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General European history is one of the most perplexing sub- 
jects to deal with in the high school. It seems essential that 
boys and girls should have some knowledge of the whole past 
of mankind ; without that they can have no real understanding 
of the world in which they live, for the simple reason that the 
present can only be explained by the past. The older historical 
manuals were, in the main, short accounts of past events; but 
it is really past conditions and past institutiotis that are best 
worth knowing about. The older books tended, moreover, to 
give too much attention to the remote past and too little in- 
formation in regard to recent history, so that there was little 
chance of the pupil's realizing the vital bearing of the past on 
the present. 

The aim of the " Outlines of European History " is to avoid 
these defects of the older books, first, by frankly subordinating - 
the mere happenings of the past to a clear statement of the con- 
ditions under which men lived for long periods and of the ideas 
which they held ; and, secondly, by devoting about half of the 
work, namely. Part II, to the past hundred and fifty or two 
hundred years, which concern us most immediately. 

The arrangement of the volumes is novel in a number of 
respects. Each chapter is divided into several topical sections, 
as will be seen by consulting the Table of Contents. The topics 
are, of course, arranged with strict attention to chronology, but the 
writers have always before them a particular subject which they 
aim to make plain under each section heading. In short, each 
section is a discussible topic and not a fragment of chronology. 
The authors hope that this plan of presentation will serve to 
make the books more useful and teachable than the older 
method of arrangement. 

iv Outlines of European History 

In the preparation of Chapters XII-XXVIII the writer has 
made free use of the corresponding matter in his Introduction 
to the History of Wester?i Europe. But a good deal in the older 
book has been omitted, new matter has been introduced, many 
fundamental readjustments have been made, and the method 
of presentation has been reconsidered from beginning to end. 

Great attention has been given to the illustrations, especially 
in Part I, where the vastness of the field to be covered and the 
necessary brevity of the text render it absolutely essential to 
reenforce the written word by reproductions of the actual ves- 
tiges of the past. Not only have the illustrations been carefully 
chosen with a view of corroborating and vivifying the text but 
under each picture a sufficiently detailed legend is given to ex- 
plain its significance, and these often add materially to the in- 
formation given in the letterpress. The pictures consequently 
give a sort of parallel narrative and furnish a helpful supple- 
ment and corrective to the text itself. Everything which does 
not obviously bear upon the chief matters under consideration 
is sedulously excluded. 

These volumes meet the growing demand for a /w^-year 
course in European history in the high school and the prepara- 
tory schools. The great achievements of the oriental peoples 
and of the Greek and Roman periods are brought into immediate 
relation with later European development, without devoting a 
whole year's study to them. English history, if somewhat briefly 
treated, is given its proper association with that of the neigh- 
boring nations on the Continent. By devoting the whole second 
year to the history of the last two centuries, the student will be 
in a position to grasp the more immediate causes of the con- 
ditions in the midst of which we live. 

In the preparation of Part I the authors have received great 
aid from Professor David S. Muzzey in the difficult task of pre- 
senting the development of Greece in a brief form ; valuable 
suggestions and emendations have also been contributed by 
Dr. Cari F. Huth and Mr. A. F. Barnard of Chicago. To 

Preface v 

Dr. Huth's kindness is also due the valuable bibliography for 
Chapters V-XI, for which the authors are greatly indebted to him. 

Hearty thanks are due to Mr. E. R. Smith of the Avery 
Library and to the publishers for their hearty cooperation in 
solving the complicated problems involved in the selection and 
reproduction of the illustrations. To Mrs. William T. Brewster 
we are indebted for the delightful water-color sketch of the plain 
of Argos from the citadel of ancient Tiryns (Plate II, p. 124). 

Besides photographs furnished by the University of Chicago 
Egyptian Expedition, many illustrations in Chapters I-XI have 
been contributed by a number of foreign scholars, to whom the 
authors would here express their thanks, especially to Bissing 
(Munich), Borchardt (Cairo), Dechelette (Roanne), Dorpfeld 
(Athens and Berlin), Hoernes (Vienna), Koldewey (Babylon), 
Montelius (Stockholm), Schaefer (Berlin), Steindorff (Leipzig), 
and some others, who have kindly furnished photographs and 
sketches. In these chapters (I~XI) the authors are also especially 
indebted to Messrs. Underwood & Underwood for permission to 
use their unrivaled series of Egyptian, oriental, and Mediter- 
ranean photographs as the basis for a number of sketches : 
Figs. 9, 10, 54, 57, 69, 72, 76, 80, 81, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 89, 90, 
94, 103, 109, 117, also tailpiece, p. no. In no other way can 
impressions of the places and scenes where the men of the 
early world lived and wrought be obtained so vividly as by the 
use of these Underwood photographs in stereoscopic form. 
Teachers who make the Underwood stereographs, from which 
the above list of figures is taken, a part of their equipment 
will find that their teaching gains enormously in effectiveness. 

J. H. R. 
J. H. B. 



I. Early Mankind in Europe 

1. Earliest Man's Ignorance and Progress i 

2. The Early Stone Age 3 

3. The Middle Stone Age 6 

4. The Late Stone Age 10 

5. Late Stone Age Europe and the Orient 14 

IL The Story of Egypt 

6. Egypt and its Earliest Inhabitants 17 

7. The Pyramid Age 27 

8^ The Feudal Age , . 42 

9. The Empire ■ 44 

III. Western Asia: Babylonia, Assyria, and Chaldea 

10. The Lands and Races of Western Asia 56 

• II. The Earliest Babylonians _ 61 

12. The Age of Hammurapi and after 67 

13. Early Assyria and her Rivals 70 

14. The Assyrian Empire (about 750 to 606 B.C.) 71 

15. The Chaldean Empire : the Last Semitic Empire ... 80 

IV. Western Asia: the Medo-Persian Empire and the 


16. The Indo-European Peoples and their Dispersion ... 86 

17. The Aryan Peoples and the Iranian Prophet Zoroaster 91 

18. The Persian Empire 95 

19. The Hebrews , loi 

V. The Mediterranean World and the Early Greeks 

20. The ^gean Civilization m 

21. The Early Greeks 123 

22. The Greek City-States under Kings 127 

VI. The Age of the Nobles and the Tyrants in Greece 

23. Civilization in the Age of the Nobles 136 

24. Gr^ek Expansion in the Age of the Nobles 146 


viii Outlines of European History 


25. The Industrial and Commercial Revolution .... 148 

26. Rise of the Democracy and the Age of the Tyrants . 153 

27. Civilization in the Age of the Tyrants 159 

VII. The Repulse of Persia and the Athenian Empire 

28. The Struggle with Persia 166 

29. The Rise of the Athenian Empire 178 

30. Civilization of Imperial Athens in the Age of Pericles . 184 

VIII. The Destruction of the Athenian Empire and the 
End of Greek Power 

3 1 . The Second Peloponnesian War and the Fall of Athens 196 

32. The Higher Life of Athens after Pericles 203 

33. The Age of Spartan Leadership 208 

34. The Leadership of Thebes 212 

IX. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age 

35. The Rise of Macedonia 215 

36. Campaigns of Alexander the Great 217 

37. International Policy of Alexander: its Personal Con- 

sequences 224 

38. The Heirs of Alexander's Empire 229 

39. The Civilization of the Hellenistic Age ' 232 

X. The Western World and Rome to the Fall of the 

40. The Western Mediterranean World and Early Italy . 241 

41. Earliest Rome 247 

42. The Expansion of the Roman Republic 254 

43. The Carthaginian Wars 258 

44. World Dominion and Civil War 261 

XL The Roman Empire to the Triumph of Christianity 

45. The Reign of Augustus 271 

46. Civilization after Augustus and its Decline 282 

47. Popularity of Oriental Religions and the Spread of 

Early Christianity 296 

48. Internal Revolution and the Collapse of Ancient Civi- 

lization 301 

49. The Triumph of Christianity 306 

50. Retrospect , , , , , 31Q 




XII. The German Invasions and the Break-up of the 
Roman Empire 

51. Founding of Kingdoms by Barbarian Chiefs . . . . 315 

52. Kingdom of the Franks 325 

53. Results of the Barbarian Invasions 329 

XIII. The Rise of the Papacy 

54. The Christian Church 334 

55. Origin of the Power of the Popes 340 

XIV. The Monks and their Missionary Work; the 


56. Monks and Monasteries 348 

57. Missionary Work of the Monks 355 

58. Mohammed and his ReHgion 358 

59. Conquests of the Mohammedans ; the Caliphate . . 364 

XV. Charlemagne and his Empire 

60. Conquests of Charlemagne 369 

61. Establishment of a Line of Emperors in the West , 376 

62. How Charlemagne carried on his Government . . . 377 

XVI. The Age of Disorder; Feudalism 

63. The Disruption of Charlemagne's Empire .... 381 

64. The Medieval Castle 387 

65. The Serfs and the Manor 394 

(id. The Feudal System 397 

67. Neighborhood Warfare in the Middle Ages .... 401 

XVII. England in the Middle Ages 

68. The Norman Conquest 405 

69. Henry II and the Plantagenets 411 

70. The Great Charter and the Beginnings of Parliament 419 

71. Wales and Scotland 423 

72. The Hundred Years' War 426 

XVIII. Popes and Emperors 

73. Origin of the Holy Roman Empire 438 

74. The Church and its Property 440 

75. Powers claimed by the Popes 446 

76. Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV 447 

77. The Hohenstaufen Emperors and the Popes . . . 452 

X Outlines of European History 


XIX. The Crusades 

78. Origin of the Crusades 460 

79. The First Crusade 464 

80. Religious Orders of the Hospitalers and Templars . 468 

81. The Second and Later Crusades 470 

82. Chief Results of the Crusades 472 

XX. The Medieval Church at its Height 

83. Organization and Powers of the Church 475 

84. The Heretics and the Inquisition 481 

85. The Franciscans and Dominicans 484 

86. Church and State 489 

XXI. Medieval Towns — their Business and Buildings 

87. The Towns and Guilds 497 

88. Business in the Later Middle Ages 502 

89. Gothic Architecture 509 

90. The Itahan Cities of the Renaissance 516 

91. Early Geographical Discoveries 526 

XXII. Books and Science in the Middle Ages 

92. How the Modern Languages originated 533 

93. The Troubadours and Chivalry 538 

94. Medieval Science 54^ 

95. Medieval Universities and Studies 544 

96. Beginnings of Modern Inventions 549 

97. The Art of the Renaissance 558 

XXIII. Emperor Charles V and his Vast Realms 

98. Emperor Maximilian and the Hapsburg Marriages . 562 

99. How Italy became the Battleground of the European 

Powers 568 

100. Condition of Germany when Charles V became 

Emperor 574 

XXIV. Martin Luther and the Revolt of Germany 

against the Papacy 

Id. The Question of Reforming the Church: Erasmus . 578 

102. How Martin Luther revolted against the Papacy . . 582 

103. The Diet at Worms, 1 520-1 52 1 593 

Conte7its ' XI 


104. The Revolt against the Papacy begins in Germany 596 

105. Division of Germany into Catholic and Protestant 

Countries 600 

XXV. The Protestant Revolt in Swii/erland and 

106. Zwingli and Calvin 605 

107. Hovj England fell away from the Papacy .... 608 

108. EnglandTDecomes Protestant 614 

XXVI. The Wars of Religion 

109. The Council of Trent ; the Jesuits 619 

no. Philip II and the Revolt of the Netherlands . . 625 

111. The Huguenot Wars in France 631 

112. England under Queen Elizabeth 639 

113. The Thirty Years' War 646 

114. The Beginnings of our Scientific Age 652 

XXVII. Struggle in England between King and Par- 

115. James I and the Divine Right of Kings .... 659 

116. How Charles I got along without Parliament . . 662 

117. How Charles I lost his Head 667 

118. Oliver Cromwell : England a Commonwealth . . 670 

119. The Restoration 676 

120. The Revolution of 1688 678 

XXVIII. France under Louis XIV 

121. Position and Character of Louis XIV 681 

122. How Louis encouraged Art and Literature . . . 685 
I 23. Louis XIV attacks his Neighbors 688 

124. .Louis XIV and his Protestant Subjects 690 

125. War of the Spanish Succession 692 


INDEX 713 

Plate I - page 


GiZEH, EGYPT Frontispiecc 

Plate II 


Plate III 


Plate IV 

A CORNER OF THE PARTHENON . . . ^ . . . I92 

Plate V 


Plate VI 


Plate VII 


Plate VIII 





The Ancient Orient 5^-57 

The Chaldean Empire ; Medo-Persian Empire So-Si 

Palestine, the Land of the Hebrews 102-103 

The Ancient Greek World 146-147 

Plan of Athens and its Harbor of Piraeus 173 

Ancient Italy, Sicily, and- Carthage -245 

Plan of Rome under the Emperors 250 

The Roman Empire at its Greatest Extent 276-277 

Migrations of the Germans 31S-319 

Europe in the Time of Theodoric 323 

Dominions of the Franks under the Merovingians 328 

The Mohammedan Conquests at their Greatest Extent . . . . 365 

Europe in the Time of Charlemagne 374-375 

Treaty of Mersen ^ 382 

Plantagenet Possessions in England and France ....... 415 

The British Isles 422-423 

Europe about a.d. iooo 440~44i 

Italian Towns in the Twelfth Century 454 

Routes of the Crusaders 464-465 

Crusaders' States in Syria 466 

Commercial Towns and Trade Routes, Thirteenth and Four- 
teenth Centuries 504-505 

The Voyages of Discovery 527 

The Malay Archipelago .^ . . . . 529 

Behaim's Globe, 1492 530-53^ 

Europe about the Middle of the Sixteenth Century .... 572-573 

Germany about 1550 5^4-5^5 

The Swiss Confederation 606 

Europe when Louis XIV began his Personal Government . 682-683 
Europe after the Treaties of Utrecht and Rastadt .... 694-695 




Section i. Earliest Man's Ignorance and Progress 

A new-born child placed in the wilds of a tropical forest and Nature does 
left there alone would of course die. If, however, we can imag- whVknSvr 
ine him possessing the strength to survive until he reached the ^^se of 

^ ^ ° _ _ civilization 

age of ten years, he would know none of the many things which 
a boy of ten in your town or city now knows. Hunger would 
have led him to eat the nuts, fruits, and digestible roots and 
tubers which he would find in the forest. But if you should 
show him a chair, he would not know what its use might be. If 
you placed him in front of a door, he would not know how to 
open it. He would possess no tools or weapons or implements 
of any kind, nor any clothing. He would probably never have 
seen a fire ; or, if so, he would not know how to make one or 
realize that his food might be cooked. Finally, he would not even 
know how to speak, or that there was such a thing as speech. 

All these things every child among us learns from others. Earliest man 
But the earliest men had no one to teach them these things, everything 
and by slow experience and long effort they had to learn them 
for themselves. Everything had to be found out ; every tool, 
however simple, had to be invented ; and, above all, the earliest 
man had to discover that he could express his feelings and 
ideas by making sounds with his throat and mouth. At first 
thought the men who began such discoveries seem to us to be 

I I 

Outlines of European History 

mere animals. Nevertheless the earliest man possessed, among 
other advantages, three things which lifted him high above the 
animals. He had a larger and a more powerful brain than any 
animal ; he had a pair of wonderful hands such as no other 
creature possessed, and with these he could make tools and im- 
plements ; finally, he had a throat and vocal organs such that 
in the course of ages he would learn to speak. 

At first man must have roamed the tropical forests without 
any clothing, without huts or shelter of any kind, with no tools 
or weapons, eating roots, fruit or berries where he found them. 
Occasionally he may have found a dead bird or animal killed 
by some other creature, and thus learning the taste of flesh he 
would be led to pursue the less dangerous animals and to lay 
them low with a stone or a club. His food was of course all 
raw, for he could not even make a fire, nor did he know that 
roasted flesh was better food. 

Men so completely uncivilized as this no longer exist on 
earth. The most savage tribes found by explorers have learned 
how useful fire is and they understand how to make it. The 
people whom the English found on the island of Tasmania a 
century or so ago were among the lowest savages known to us. 
They w^ore no clothing ; they had not learned how to build a 
hut ; they did not know how to make a bow and arrows, nor 
even to fish. They had no goats, sheep, or cows, no horses, 
nor even a dog. They had never heard of sowing seed nor 
raising a crop of any kind. They did not know that clay will 
harden in the fire, and so they had no pottery jars, jugs, or 
dishes for food. 

Naked and houseless, the Tasmanians had learned to satisfy 
only a very few of man's needs. Yet that which they had 
learned had carried them a long way beyond the earliest men. 
They could kindle a fire, which kept them warm in cold weather, 
and over it they cooked their meat. In order to secure this 
meat they had learned to construct very good spears, though 
without metal tips, for they had never heard of metal. These 

Early Mankind in Europe 3 

spears . they could throw with great accuracy and thus bring 
down the game they needed for food, or drive away their 
human enemies. They could take a flat stone, and by chipping 
off its edges to thin them they could produce a rude knife 
with which to skin and cut up the game they killed. They were 
also very deft in making cups, vessels, and baskets of bark 
fiber. Above all, they had a simple language, with words for all 
the things they used, and this language served for everything 
they needed to say. 

It is certain that man has existed on the earth for several Progress of 
hundred thousand years at least. We cannot now trace all the uacLbie^by 
different stages in his progress, which brought him at last as "fjfs^^o'^make 
far as the savage Tasmanians had come. We do not know all stone tools 
the various steps which finally enabled him to speak. With fire 
he would become acquainted from the forest fires kindled by 
lightning, or from the floods of molten lava descending the 
slopes of the fiery mountains along the Mediterranean. The 
wooden clubs and other weapons or tools of wood which he 
made in this stage of his career have, of course, long ago per- 
ished. As soon as he began to make stofie tools, however, he was 
producing something which might last for untold thousands of 
years. This art he first learned in Europe some fifty thousand 
years ago. After that he left behind him a trail of stone tools, 
and by these we can follow him through the different stages of 
his upward progress, as they show us his increasing skill in such 
matters. We thus find that he passed through three stages : the 
Early Stone Age, the Middle Stone Age, and the Late Stone Age. 

Section 2. The Early Stone Age 

A few rough and irregular fragments of flint still survive to Early stone 
show us man's earliest attempts to make weapons or tools of 
stone. The form which he finally adopted as his first successful 
tool, however, is a roughly shaped piece of flint as long as a 
man's hand, which we call a fist-hatchet (Fig. i). Its ragged 

Outlines of European History 

edge was sufficiently sharp so that its owner could cut and 
chop with it. Its maker had not learned to attach a handle, but 
he grasped it firmly in his fist- The 
first of these fist-hatchets discovered in 
modern times was found in England 
two hundred years ago, but at that 
time no one understood its enormous 
age, or guessed who had made it. For 
the last fifty years such fist-hatchets 
have been found in large numbers 
deeply buried under the sand and 
soil that has gathered since their 
owners used them along- the rivers 
of France, Belgium, and England. 
They are found side by side with 
the bones of tropical animals of vast^ 
size, showing that the men who 
made these stone tools lived in a 
much warmer climate than that of 
Europe to-day. 

We may call the period of the 
fist-hatchets the Early Stone Age. 
The man of that day, some fifty 
thousand years ago, led the life of 
a, hunter, roaming about in the 
shadows of the lofty forests which 
fringed the streams and covered the 
wide plains of western Europe. The 
ponderous hippopotamus wallowed 
along the banks of the rivers. The 
fierce rhinoceros with a horn three 
feet long charged through the jungles 
of what is now France and England. 
The hunter fleeing before them caught dim glimpses of moun- 
tainous elephants plunging through the thick tropical growth. 

Fig. I. A Flint Fist- 
hatchet OF THE Early 
Stone Age 

The earliest finished tool 
produced by man, chipped 
from a great flake of flint 
some fifty thousand years 
ago. The original is about 
nine inches long, and the 
drawing reduces it to less 
than one third. It was 
grasped in the fist by the 
upper (narrower) part, and 
never had any handle. Han- 
dles of wood or horn do 
not appear until much later 
(compare Fig. 7). See ^«- 
cie7it Times, Fig. 2 

Early Mankind in Europe 5 

Herds of bison and wild horses grazed on the uplands and 
the glades resounded far and wide with the notes of tropical 
birds which settled in swarms upon the tree tops. At night the 
hunter slept where the chase found him, trembling in the 
darkness at the roar of the lion or the mighty saber-tooth 


For thousands of years the life of the hunter went on with The^coming 
little change. He slowly improved his rough stone fist-hatchet, 
and he probably learned to make additional implements of 
wood, but of these last we know nothing. Then he began to 
notice that the air of his forest home was losing its tropical 
warmth. Geologists have not yet found out why, but as the 
centuries passed, the ice which all the year round still overlies 
the region of the North Pole and the summits of the Alps be- 
gan to descend. The northern ice crept further and further 
southward until it covered England as far south as the Thames. 
The glaciers of the Alps pushed down the Rhone valley as far 
as the spot where the city of Lyons now stands. On our own 
continent of North America the southern edge of the ice is 
marked by lines of bowlders carried and left there by the ice. 
Such lines of bowlders are found, for example, as far south as 
Long Island and westward along the valleys of the Ohio and 
the Missouri.! The hunter saw the glittering blue masses of ice 
with their crown of snow, pushing through the green of his forest 
abode and crushing down vast trees in many a sheltered glen or 
favorite hunting ground. Gradually these savage men of early 
Europe were forced to accustom themselves to a cold climate, 
but many of the animals familiar to the hunter retreated to the 
warmer south, never to return. 

1 Geologists have now shown that the ice advanced southward and retreated 
to the north again, no less than four times. Following each advance of the ice 
a warm interval caused its retreat. There were four warm intervals, and we are 
now living in the fourth. The evidence now indicates that man began to make 
stone implements in the third warm interval. The last advance of the ice there- 
fore took place between us and Jhem. It is perhaps some thirty thousand years 
ago that the ice began to come south for the last time. 

Outlines of European History 

Section 3. The Middle Stone Age 

Unable to build himself a shelter from the cold, the hunter 
took refuge in the limestone caves, where he and his descend- 
ants continued to live for thousands of years, during the next 

or " Middle Stone 
Age." Archaeolo- 
gists now find in 
the caverns of 
France, Spain, and 
Italy numerous 
objects used b}- 
these cave men 
during their long 
sojourn in the 
caverns. Rubbish, 
once even as 
much as forty feet 
deep, accumulated 
on the cavern 
floor, as century 
after century the 
sand and earth 
blew in, and frag- 
ments of rock fell 
from the ceiling. 
To-day we find 
among all this also 
many layers of 
ashes and char- 
coal from the cave dwellers' fire, besides numerous tools, 
weapons, and implements which he used. These things dis- 
close, step after step, his slow progress and show us that man 
had now left the old fist-hatchet far behind and become a real 

Fig. 2. Selection of Flint Tools of 
Middle Stone Age Man 

These tools are not only more highly varied than 
man possessed before (see Fig. i) but they are 
much more finely finished, especially along the 
edges, where you can see that tiny flakes have 
been chipped off in a long row, producing a 
sharp cutting edge. Many thousands of years 
elapsed from the time of Fig. i to that of Fig. 2 

Early Mankind in Europe y 

We see him at the door of his cave, carefully chipping off the The indus- 
edge of his flint tools and producing such a fine cutting edge that MTdd?e Stone 
he can use it to shape bone, ivory, and especially reindeer horn. ^^^ "^^'^ 
The mammoth furnishes him with ivory, and great herds of rein- 
deer which had come southward with the ice are grazing before 
the mouth of the cavern. The hunter has a considerable list of 
tools from which he can- select. We see at his elbow knives, 
chisels, drills and hammers, polishers and scrapers, all of flint 
(Fig. 2) ; while with these he works out pins, needles, spoons, 
and ladles, all of ivory or bone, and carves them with pictures of 
the animals he hunts in 

the forest (Fig. 4). He o ^ 

now fashions a keen, Fig. 3. Ivory Needle of the 

barbed ivory spear Middle Stone Age 

point, which he mounts with such needles and with tendons as 
on a long wooden shaft. thread the skin clothing of the Middle 
He has also discovered f ^l^ Age hunters was sewed together 
by the earliest seamstresses of Europe, 
the bow and arrow and twenty or twenty-five thousand years ago 
carries at his girdle a 

sharp flint dagger. The fine ivory needles (Fig. 3) show that 
the hunter's body is now protected from cold and the brambles 
of the trackless forest by clothing sewed together out of the 
skins of the animals he has slain. 

Thus equipped the hunter of the Middle Stone Age was a Life of the 
much more dangerous foe of the wild creatures than his ancestors Age hunter"^ 
of the Early Stone Age. In a single cavern in Sicily archaeolo- 
gists have dug out the bones of no less than two thousand hippo- 
potami which these Middle Stone Age hunters killed. Here 
too lay even the bone whistle with which the returning hunter 
announced his coming to the hungry family waiting in the cave. 
Surrounded by revolting piles of garbage and amid foul odors 
of decaying flesh our savage European ancestor crept into his 
cave dwelling at night, little realizing that many feet beneath the 
cavern floor on which he slept lay the remains of his ancestors 
in layer upon layer, the accumulations of thousands of years. 

Middle Stone 
Age art 

8 Outlines of European History 

It is not a little astonishing to find that these Middle Stone 
Age hunters could draw and even paint with the greatest skill. 
In the caverns of southern France and northern Spain their 

Fig. 4. Drawings carved by Middle Stone Age Man 
ON Ivory 

I, marching line of reindeer with salmon in the spaces — probably a talis- 
man to bring the hunter and fisherman good luck (see p. 9) ; ^, a bison 
bull at bay (not on ivory but incised in the rock of a cavern wall ; over 
one hundred fifty caverns containing such paintings and carvings are 
known in France and Spain) ; j, a grazing reindeer ; ^, a running rein- 
deer. These carvings are the oldest works of art by man, made fifteen 
or twenty thousand years ago. The work was done with the pointed and 
edged tools of flint shown in Fig. 2. See Ancie7it Times, Figs. 9 and 10 

paintings have been found in surprising numbers in recent years. 
Long lines of bison, deer, or wild horses cover the walls and ceil- 
ings of these caves. They are startling in their lifelikeness and 

Early Mankind in Europe 


vigor. Sometimes they are carved in the rock wall of the 
cavern (Fig. 4, 2) ; again the ancient hunter employed colored 
earth mixed with grease, and thus produced paintings which still 
survive on the cavern wall. We may suppose that the hunter 
believed the presence of this pictured game filling his cavern 

Fig. 5. Restoration of a Swiss Lake-Dwellers' 

The lake-dwellers felled trees with their stone axes (Fig. 7,5) and cut 
them into piles some twenty feet long, sharpened at the lower end. 
These they drove several feet into the bottom of the lake, in water 
eight or ten feet deep. On a platform supported by these piles they 
then built their houses. The platform was connected with the shore by 
a bridge, which may be seen here on the right. A section of it could 
be removed at night for protection. The fish nets seen drying at the 
rail, the "dug-out" boat of the hunters who bring in the deer, and 
many other things have been found on the lake bottom in recent times 

would work magically to aid him in filling it with the real game 
which he daily sought to bring in there. For the same reason also 
he decorated the ivory and bone weapons which he used with 
the figures of the animals he pursued (Fig. 4, z, j, 4). This is 
the earliest art in the whole career of man, in so far as we know. 


Outlines of European History 

Section 4. The Late Stone Age 

The signs left by the ice, and still observable in Europe, would 
lead us to think that it withdrew northward for the last time 
probably some ten thousand years ago. The climate again grew 
warmer and became what it is to-day. Men were soon after mak- 
ing rapid advances. They had now learned that it was possible 

Fig. 6. Surviving Remains of a Swiss Lake- Village 

After an unusually dry season the Swiss lakes fell to a very low level 
in 1854, exposing the lake bottom with the remains of the piles which 
once supported the lake villages along the shores. They were thus dis- 
covered for the first time. On the old lake bottom, among the projecting 
piles, were found great quantities of implements, tools, and furniture, 
like those in Fig. 7, including the dug-outs and nets of Fig. 5, wheat, 
barley, bones of domestic animals, woven flax, etc. (see p. 12). There 
they had been lying some five thousand years. Sometimes the objects 
were found in two distinct layers, the lower (earlier) containing only stone 
tools, and the upper (later) containing byvnze tools, which came into the 
lake village at a later age and fell into the water on top of the layer 
of old stone tools already lying on the bottom of the lake (see p. 114) 

to grind the edge of a stone ax or chisel (Fig. 7) as we now do 
with tools of metal. They were also able to drill a hole in the 
stone ax head and insert a handle (Fig. 7). With such an ax they 
could fell trees and build houses. The common use of the ground 
stone ax brings in the Late Stone Age. From the forests of 
southern Sweden southward to Sicily and the heel of Italy, from 
the marshes of Ireland and the harbors of Spain eastward iCr the 

Early Mankind in Europe 


Greek islands and the shores of the Black Sea, the villages of 
Late Stone Age man stretched far across Europe. The smoke 
of his settlements rose through the forests and high over the 

Fig. 7. Part of the Equipment of a Late Stone Age 
Lake Dweller 

This group contains the evidence for three important inventions made 
or received by the men of the Late Stone Age : first, pottery jars, 
like 2 and j, with rude decorations, the oldest baked clay in Europe, 
and /, a large kettle in which the lake-dwellers' food was cooked; 
second, ground-edged tools like 4, stone chisel with ground edge (p. 10), 
mounted in a deerhorn handle like a hatchet, or j, stone ax with a 
ground edge, and pierced with a hole for the ax handle (the houses of 
Fig. 5 were built with such tools) ; and third, weaving, as shown by 6, a 
spinning " whorl " of baked clay, the earliest spinning wheel. When 
suspended by a rough thread of flax eighteen to twenty inches long, it 
was given a whirl which made it spin in the air like a top, thus rapidly 
twisting the thread by which it was hanging. The thread when suffi- 
ciently twisted was wound up, and another length of eighteen or twenty 
inches was drawn out from the unspun flax to be similarly twisted. 
One of these earliest spinning wheels has been found in the Swiss 
lakes with a spool of flaxen thread still attached. (From photograph 
loaned by Professor Hoernes) 

lakes and valleys of Switzerland and northern Italy, where his 
villages of pile dwellings (Fig. 5) fringed the shores of the lakes. 
His roofs dotted the plains and nestled in the inlets of the sea, 


Outlines of European History 

of the Late 
Stone Age ; 
and wooden 

Discovery of 
burned clay 
and appear- 
ance of earli- 
est pottery 

Flax and 



wild grasses 
become do- 

tion of cattle, 
sheep, and 

Earliest carts 


whence they were strewn far up the winding valleys of the rivers 
into the interior of Europe. 

The w^ooden dwellings of the Late Stone Age are the earliest 
such shelters found in Europe. Sunken fragments of these houses 
are found all along the shores of the Swiss lakes, lying at the 
bottom, among the piles which supported the houses of the village 
(Fig. 6). Pieces of stools, chests, carved dippers, spoons, and 
the like, all of wood, show that these houses were equipped with 
convenient wooden furniture. The householder now knows that 
clay will harden in the fire, and he makes handy jars, bowls, and 
dishes of burned clay (Fig. 7). Although roughly made without 
the use of the potter's wheel and unevenly burned without an 
oven, they add much to the equipment of his dwelling. Before 
his door the women spin their flax, and the rough skin clothing 
of his ancestors has given way to garments of woven stuff. Up 
the hillside stretches the field of flax, and beside it another of 
wheat or of barley. The seeds which their ancestors once gath- 
ered from the scattered tufts of the wild grasses, these I>ate Stone 
Age men have slowly learned may be planted near the dwelling 
in ground prepared for the purpose. Thus wild grain is domes- 
ticated, and agriculture has been introduced. 

On the green uplands above are now feeding the creatures 
which the Middle Stone Age man once pursued through the 
wilds, for the mountain sheep and goats and the wild cattle 
have now learned to dwell near man" and submit to his control. 
Indeed, the wild ox bows his neck to the yoke and draws the 
plow across the forest-girt field where he once wandered in 
unhampered freedom. Fragments of wooden wheels in the 
lake-villages show that he is also drawing the w^heeled cart, the 
earliest in Europe. Groups of massive tombs still surviving, 
built of enormous blocks of stone (Fig. 8), requiring the united 
efforts of large numbers of men, disclose to us the beginnings 
of cooperation and social unity. The driving of fifty thousand 
piles for the lake-village at Wangen shows that men were 
learning to work together in communities, but a flint arrowhead 

Early Mankind in Europe 


Fig. 8. Late Stone Age Tomb in France 

These tombs are found in great numbers, especially along the Atlantic 
coast of Europe (but also in north Africa) from Gibraltar to the Norse 
peninsulas, where they still stand by thousands. One Danish island 
alone contains thirty-four hundred of them. It was in such a tomb that 
a dead chief of the Late Stone Age was buried. The stones, weighing 
even as much as forty tons apiece, were sometimes dragged by his 
people many miles fr6m the nearest quarry 

found still sticking in the eyehole of a skull reminds us that War 
these communities were often at war with one another ; while 
amber from the north and the wide distribution of a certain Commerce 
kind of flint found in only one mine of France tell us of 
the commerce which wandered from one community to another. 
Such mines reveal very vividly the industries of this remote 
age. A mine opened by archaeologists in England still contained 
eighty much-worn picks of deerhorn used by the flint miners ; 
while in Belgium a fall of rock from the ceiling covered and 
preserved to us even the body of one of these ancient miners. 


Outlines of European History 

The pre- 

Ships of the 
Nile in the 
far-away East 

The traders' 
goods, espe- 
cially their 
copper axes 
and daggers 

Section 5. Late Stone Age Europe and the Orient 

There are certain traders whose wares these Late Stone Age 
villagers inspect with eagerness. They come from the coast and 
they are already threading the Alpine passes leading northward 
from southern Europe — roads which are yet to become the 
great highways of the early world. These traders entertain the 
villagers of the European interior with the tales which circulate 
among the coast settlements, telling how huge ships (Fig. 14) 
— which make their own rude dugouts (Fig. 5) look like tiny 
chips — ply back and forth in the eastern waters of the Medi- 
terranean. Such ships have many oarsmen on each side and 
mighty fir trunks mounted upright in the craft, carrying huge 
sheets of linen to catch the favoring wind which drives them 
swiftly, without oars, from land to land. They come out of the 
many mouths of the vast river of Egypt, greater than any river 
in the world, says the tale, and they bear crowded cargoes of 
beautiful stone vases, strings of shining blue-glazed beads (see 
cut, p. 1 6), bolts of fine linen, and, above all, axes and daggers of a 
strange, heavy, shining substance, for which these European vil- 
lagers have no name. They listen with awe-struck faces and 
rapt attention ; and in their traffic they desire above all else the 
new axes and daggers of metal which take a keener edge than 
any they can fashion of stone. 

Strings of Egyptian blue-glazed beads,^ brought in by traders, 
wandered from hand to hand and people to people in western 
Europe ; and we find them now lying in graves among the orna- 
ments once worn by the men of the Late Stone or early Copper 
Age in England. In the East the people of a Late Stone Age 
village on the low hill in northwestern Asia Minor where later 
rose the walls of Troy (p. 117); likewise the people of another 
settlement of the same age near the north shore of the Island 
of Crete, yet to become the flourishing city of Cnossus (p. 120); 

1 Examples of these blue-glazed Egyptian beads discovered in prehistoric 
graves of England will be found in the drawing at the end of Chapter I (p. i6)« 

Orient (3000 
to 2000 B.C.) 

Early Mankind in Europe 1 5 

and other communities scattered through the ^gean islands, — 
these eastern people have even seen those marvelous ships of 
the Nile with their huge spars and wide sails and have trafficked 
with them on the seashore. 

Thus at the dawn of history, barbarian Europe looked across Stone Age 
the Mediterranean to the great civilization of the Nile, as our own the"^civnized 
North American Indians fixed their wondering eyes on the first 
Europeans who landed in America and listened to like strange 
tales of great and distant peoples. But these Late Stone Age 
men. had now (about 2500 B.C.) reached the limit of their re- 
sources. Without writing (for the records of business, govern- 
ment, and tradition) ; without metals (save the trader's copper 
ax and dagger) ; without stanch ships in which to develop com- 
merce, — they could go no further. Perhaps the- Late Stone Age 
villagers recalled a dim tradition of their fathers that grain and 
flax, cattle and sheep, first came to them from the same wonder- 
land of the far East, whence now came the copper ax and the 
blue-glazed beads. It was after receiving such contributions as 
these from the Orient, that Europe went forward to the develop- 
ment of a higher civilization, and in order to understand the 
further course of European history, we must turn to the Orient 
whence came these things by which the life of our European 
ancestors entered upon a new epoch. 

Let us remember as we go to the Orient that the age of man's Summary 
prehistoric career^ lasted some fifty thousand years,. and that in 
the Orient he began to enter upon a high civilization in the his- 
to?ic epoch during the thousand years from 4000 to 3000 B.C. 
(in eastern Europe a thousand years later).^ Civilization is thus 
between five and six thousand years old. It arose in the Orient, 
in the eastern Mediterranean region, and civilized supremacy 
both in peace and war shifted slowly from the Orient west- 
ward. It was not till about 500 B.C. that the Greeks became the 
leaders in matters of civilization. They, with the rest of the 

1 That is, before he began to leave any written traces of his existence. 

2 In western Europe not until after 500 B.C. or even much later. 

1 6 Outlines of European History 

Mediterranean world, were gradually subdued by the Romans, 
until Roman power was supreme and practically universal not 
long after 200 B.C. We have therefore first to trace the career 
of the Orient, and then to follow civilization as it developed 
among the Greeks and Romans. 


Section i . How did early man learn to do things ? Was there any 
one to tell him .f* Describe the probable condition of the earliest men. 
What men have actually been found in a state almost as low as this t 
Describe their possessions. How long has man existed on earth? 
At what point can we begin to trace his progress ? 

Section 2. Describe man's earliest tools. How did he live, and 
what was Europe then like '^. What do we call this age ? What great 
change brought it to an end ? 

Section 3. Where did man then take refuge ? Describe his prog- 
ress ; his home. What art did he possess ? 

Section 4. When did the ice withdraw for the last time ? What 
new treatment of his edged tools did man now discover.? Make a 
list of his new possessions in this age. What remains and evidences 
of the existence of towns and communities still survive ? 

Section 5. What wares did the traders bring into the Late Stone 
Age settlements of inland Europe? How were they brought across 
the Mediterranean ? What great people already had ships ? Where 
did high civilization first arise ? 



Section 6. Egypt and its Earliest Inhabitants 

The traveler who visits Egypt at the present day lands in a Egypt of 
very modern looking harbor at Alexandria. He is presently ° ^^ 
seated in a comfortable railway car in which we may accom- 
pany him as he is carried rapidly across a low flat country, stretch- 
ing far away to the sunlit horizon. The wide expanse is dotted 
with little villages of* dark, mud-brick huts, and here and there 
rise groves of graceful palms. The landscape is carpeted with 
stretches of bright and vivid green as far as the eye can see, 
and wandering through this verdure is a network of irrigation 
canals (Fig. lo). Brown-skinned men of slender build, with dark 
hair, are seen at intervals along the banks of these canals, sway- 
ing up and down, keeping time with the song they sing, as they 
lift an irrigation bucket attached to a simple device (Fig. 9), 
exactly like the " well sw^eep " of our grandfathers in New 
England. It is kept going day and night, as one man relieves 
another, and the irrigation trenches, branching all over the field, 
are thus kept full of water for about a hundred days until the 
grain ripens. It is the best of evidence that Egypt enjoys no rain. 

The black soil we see from the train is unexcelled in fertility, its soil and 
and it is enriched each year by the overflow of the river, whose 
roily waters rise above its banks every summer, spread far 
over the flats (Fig. i o), and stand there long enough to deposit 
a very thin layer of rich earthy sediment. All this plain over 
which the train moves southward consists of such sediment, 
which the river has brought down from its sources far away 
in Africa. In the course of ages it has filled up the ancient 

I 17 



Outlines of European History 

^ t^-Va ^P" '"/"^^ r?-^ 

^1^ y 

Fig. 9. An Egyptian Shadoof, the 
Oldest of Well Sweeps, irrigat- 
ing THE Fields 

The man below stands in the water, hold- 
ing his leather bucket {A). The pole {B) 
of the sweep is above him, with large ball 
of dried Nile mud on its lower end (C) 
as a lifting weight, or counterpoise, seen 
just behind the supporting post {D). This 
man lifts the water into a mud basin {£). 
A second man (in the middle) lifts it 
from this first basin {£) to a second 
basin (/^) into which he is just empty- 
ing his bucket ; while a third man ( G) 
lifts the water from the middle basin (F) 
to the uppermost basin {H) on the top of 
the bank, where it runs off to the left into 
trenches spreading over the fields. The 
low water makes necessary three succes- 
sive lifts (to £, to F, to H) without ceas- 
ing night and day for one hundred days 

triangular gulf of the 
Mediterranean which we 
call the Delta, and which 
we are now crossing. 
Lying with its point to 
the south, this Delta is 
connected with the Nile 
valley beyond as a flower 
is attached to its stem, 
the Delta being the 
flower and the long val- 
ley on the south the 
stem (see map, p. 56). 
The Delta and the val- 
ley together as far as 
the First Cataract con- 
tain over ten thousand 
square miles of cultiva- 
ble soil, or somewhat 
more than the state of 

As our train ap- 
proaches the southern 
point of the Delta, about 
a hundred and twenty- 
five miles from the 
sea, we begin to see 
the heights on either 
side of the valley with 
which the narrow end of 
the Delta joins. These 
heights (Figs. 10, 29) 
are the plateau of the 
Sahara Desert through 
which the Nile has cut 

The Story of Egypt 


a vast, deep trench as it winds its way northward from in- 
ner Africa. This trench, or valley, is seldom more than thirty 
miles wide, while the strip of soil on each side of the river 
rarely exceeds ten miles in width. On either edge of the soil 
strip, one steps out of 
the green fields into 
the sand of the desert, 
which has drifted into 
the trench ; or if one 
climbs the cliffs form- 
ing the walls of the 
trench, he stands look- 
ing out over a vast 
waste of rocky hills 
and stretches of sand 
trembling in the heat 
of the blazing sun- 
shine, which flames 
far across the desert. 
Then one realizes that 
Egypt is simply a low, 
narrow, winding line 
of green (see map, 
p. 56), watered by the 
Nile, in the midst of 
a rainless desert 

Fig. 10. View across the Nile Val- 
ley FROM THE Top of the Great 

Our point of view is from an elevation on 
the plateau of the western (Sahara) desert, 
looking eastward to the corresponding cliffs, 
or heights (p. 19), which limit the great 
trench of the Nile valley on the other (east) 
side. At the left (north) expands the vast 
plain of the Delta (p. 18). We can see the 
irrigation canals below, and nearer, just along 
the margin of the desert, once stretched the 
royal city of the kings buried in the pyramids 
of Gizeh (Plate I) 

plateau which looks 
down upon it from 
either side. 

As we journey on 
let us realize also that 
this valley can tell an 

unbroken story of human progress such as we can find nowhere 
else. The earliest chapter of the story must be sought in the 
oldest cemeteries in the world. We look out upon the sandy 


Outlines of European History 

The Stone 
Age Egyp- 

and taxes 

margin of the desert where it rolls in thousands of low 
mounds, covering the graves of the earliest ancestors of the 
brown men we see in the Delta fields. When we have dug out 
such a grave to the bottom we find the ancient Nile peasant 
lying there, surrounded by pottery jars and stone implements 
(Fig. ii). There he has been lying 
for over six thousand years, and the 
stone tools which he used so long 
ago tell us that he lived all his life 
without having known anything about 
metal. Occasional grains of wheat, 
barley, 'or millet, however, show that 
his women were already cultivating 
grain — the grain that later passed 
to Europe (p. 12). A fragment of 
linen in such a grave shows us also 
where Europe derived its flax. The 
peasant at the bottom of this grave 
was therefore watering his fields of 
flax and grain down on the fertile 
soil of the valley over six thousand 
years ago, just as the brown men 
whom the traveler sees from the car 
windows to-day are still doing. 

The villages of low mud-brick huts 
which flash by the car windows fur- 
nish us also with an exact picture of 
those vanished prehistoric villages, 
the homes of the early Nile dwellers who are still lying in 
yonder cemeteries on the desert margin. In such a village, 
six to seven thousand years ago, lived the local chieftain who 
controlled the irrigation canal trenches of the district. To 
him the peasant was required to carry every season a share 
of the grain and flax which he gathered from his field ; other- 
wise the supply of water for his crops would stop, and he would 

Fig 1 1 . Looking down 

INTO THE Grave of 

A Late Stone Age 


An oval pit four or five 
feet deep, excavated on the 
margin of the desert. The 
body is surrounded by pot- 
tery jars once containing 
food and drink for the life 
hereafter. Pieces of metal 
were beginning to appear 
with the implements of 
stone found in the grave 

The Story of Egypt 


receive an unpleasant visit from the chieftain, demanding instant 
payment. These were the earliest taxes. Such transactions led 
to scratching a number of strokes on the mud wall of the 
peasant's hut, indicating the number of 
measures of grain he had paid. At length 
a rude picture of the basket grain-measure 
was also scratched there, to make it clear 
to what the strokes referred. In this and 
many other ways the peasant's dealings 
with his neighbors or with the chieftain 
led him to make picture records (Fig. 12), 
and these are the earliest writing known. 
Gradually each picture which he em- 
ployed came to have a fixed form, and 
each picture always indicated the same 
word. Let us imagine for convenience that 
" Egyptian " contained the English word 
"leaf." It would be written thus: %;. 
The Egyptian would in course of time 
come to look upon the leaf as the sign 
for the syllable " leaf," wherever it might 
occur. By the same process |^ might 
become the sign for the syllable " bee " 
wherever found. Having thus a means 
of writing the syllables " bee " and " leaf," 
the next step was to put them together 
thus, ^ %^, and they would together 
represent the word " belief." Notice, how- 
ever, that in the word " belief " the sign 
\^ has ceased to suggest the idea of a 
bee but only the syllable " be." That is to 
say, \^ has become a phonetic sign. 

Fig. 12. Example 


KnowxNt Egyptian 

Interpretation — above, 
the falcon (symbol of 
a king) leading a hu- 
man head by a cord ; 
behind the head, six 
lotus leaves (each the 
sign for 1000) grow- 
ing out of the ground 
to which the head is 
attached; below, a sin- 
gle-barbed harpoon 
head and a little rec- 
tangle (the sign -of a 
lake). The whole tells 
the picture story that 
the falcon king led 
captive six thousand 
men of the land of the 
Harpoon Lake 

In this way early man could write many names of things of 
which you cannot make a picture. It is impossible to make a 
picture of " belief," as you can of a jar or a knife. 


Outlines of Eziropean History 

of phonetic 

The eariiest 

of writing 




If the writing of the Egyptian had remained merely a series 
of pictures, such words as " belief," " hate," " love," " beauty," 
and the like could never have been written.^ But when a large 
number of his pictures had become phonetic signs, each repre- 
senting a syllable, it was possible for the Egyptian to write any 
word he knew, whether the word meant a thing of which he 
could draw a picture or not. This possession of phonetic signs 
is what makes real writing for the first time. It arose among 
these Nile dwellers earlier than anywhere else in the ancient 
world. Indeed, the Egyptian went still further, for he finally 
possessed a series of signs, each representing only one letter, 
that is, alphabetic signs, or, as we say, real letters. There were 
twenty-four letters in this alphabet, which was known in Egypt 
long before 3000 B.C. It was thus the earliest alphabet knoAvn. 

The inconvenience of scratching this writing on mud walls, 
pieces of bone, or broken pottery soon led the Egyptian to a 
more practical equipment for writing. He found out that he 
could make an excellent paint or ink by thickening water with 
a litde vegetable gum, and then mixing in a little soot from 
the blackened pots over his fire. Dipping a pointed reed into 
this mixture he found he could write very well. He had .also 
learned that he could split a kind of river reed, called papyrus, 
into thin strips, and that when these were dried he could write 
on them much better than on the bits of pottery, bone, and 
wood which he had thus far used. Desiring a larger sheet 
on which to write, the Egyptian hit upon the idea of pasting his 
papyrus strips together with overlapping edges. This gave him 
a thin sheet. Then by pasting two such sheets together, back 
to back with the grain crossing at right angles, he produced a 
smooth, tough, pale yellow paper. The Egyptian had thus made 
the discovery that a thin vegetable membrane offers the most 
practical surface on which to write, and the world has since dis- 
covered nothing better. In this way arose pen, ink, and paper 

1 See the word " beauty," the last three signs in the inscription over the ship 
(Fig. 14). 

The Story of Egypt . 23 

(see Fig. 16). All three of these devices have descended to 
us from the Egyptians, and paper still bears its ancient name, 
" papyros," -^ but slightly changed. 

The invention of writing and of a convenient system of rec- 
ords on paper has had a greater influence in uplifting the human 
race than any other intellectual achievement in the career of man. 
It was more important than all the battles ever fought and all 
the methods of government ever invented. As a result of it 
the early Egyptian peasants, now lying in the thickly clustered 
graves on the margin of the desert, went rapidly forward to 
new achievements in civilization. 

They had early found it necessary to measure time, for the Beginnings 
peasant needed to know when he ought to go into the town for 
the next religious feast, or how many days still remained before 
he must pay his neighbor the grain he borrowed last year. Like 
all other early peoples he found the time from new moon to 
new moon a very convenient rough measure. If he agreed to 
pay the grain he borrowed in nine moons and eight of them 
had passed, he knew that he had one more moon in which to 
make the payment. But the moon-month varies in length from 
twenty-nine to thirty days, and it does not evenly divide the 
year. The Egyptian scribe early discovered this inconvenience, 
and soon showed himself much more practical in this respect 
than his neighbors in other lands. 

He decided to use the moon no longer for dividing his year. Egyptian 
He would have twelve months and he would make his months our calendar, 
all of the same length, that is, thirty days each ; then he would 424 
celebrate five feast days, a kind of holiday week five days long, 
at the end of the year. This gave him a year of 365 days. He 
was not yet enough of an astronomer to know that every four 
years he ought to have a leap year, of 366 days, although he 

1 The change from "papyros" to "paper" is really a very slight one. For 
OS is merely the Greek grammatical ending, which must be omitted in English. . 
This leaves us papyr as the ancestor of our word " paper," from which it differs 
by only one letter. On the other Greek word for " papyrus," from which came 
our word " Bible," see page 140. 

I u.c. 

24 Otctlmes of European History 

discovered this fact later (p. 236). This convenient Egyptian 
calendar was devised in 4241 B.C., and its introduction is the 
earliest-dated event in history. Furthermore, it is the very calen- 
dar which has descended to us, after more than six thousand 
years — unfortunately with awkward alterations in the lengths 
of the months ; but for these alterations the Egyptians were 
not responsible (see p. 268). 
Discovery of It was probably in the Peninsula of Sinai (see map, p. 56) 
400? BxV^^' that some Egyptian wandering thither, once banked his camp 
fire with pieces of copper ore lying on the ground about the 
camp. The charcoal of his wood fire riiingled with the hot 
fragments of ore piled around to shield the fire, and thus the 
ore was " reduced " as the miner says ; that is, the copper in me- 
tallic form was released from the dark recesses of the lumps of 
ore. Next morning as the Egyptian stirs the embers, he discovers 
a few glittering globules, now hardened into beads of metal. He 
draws them forth and turns them admiringly as they glitter in 
the morning sunshine. Before long, as the experience is repeated, 
he discovers whence these strange shining beads have come. 
He produces more of them, at first only to be worn as ornaments 
by his women, then to be cast into a blade and to replace the 
flint knife which he carries in his girdle. 
The dawning Without knowing it this man stands at the dawning of a new 
Metal era, the Age of Metal ; and the little disk of shining copper 

which he draws from the ashes, if this Egyptian wanderer could 
but see it, might reflect to him a vision of steel buildings, Brook- 
lyn bridges, huge factories roaring with the noise of thousands 
of machines of metal, and vast stretches of steel roads along 
which thunder hosts of rushing locomotives. For these things 
of our modern world, and all they signify, would never have 
come to pass but for the little bead of metal which the Egyptian 
held in his hand for the first time on that eventful day so long 
ago. Since the discovery of fire over fifty thousand years 
earlier (p. 3) man had made no conquest of the things of the 
earth which could compare with this in importance. 




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26 Outlines of European History 

At this point we realize that we have followed early man out 
of the Stone Age (where we left him in Europe) into a civili- 
zation possessed of metal, writing, and government. We begin 
to see that dry and rainless Egypt furnishes the conditions for 
the preservation of such plentiful remains of early man as to 
make this valley an enormous storehouse of his ancient works 
and records. These are the only link connecting prehistoric man 
with the historic age of written documents, which we are now 
to study, as we make the voyage up the Nile and learn to read 
the monuments along the great river like a vast historical vol- 
ume, whose pages will tell us age after age the fascinating story 
of ancient man and all that he achieved here so many thousands 
of years ago. The wonderful achievements of the earliest Egyp- 
tians we have recalled as we journeyed across the Delta ; but 
now as the journey up the river proceeds we shall be able to 
watch the continuous progress of the Egyptian in the long 
centuries after his discovery of metals and writing. 

Such are the thoughts which occupy the mind of the well- 
informed traveler as his train carries him southward across the 
Delta. Perhaps he is pondering on the possible results which 
the Egyptians would achieve as he sees them in imagination 
throwing away their flint chisels and replacing them with those 
of copper. The train rounds a bend, and through an opening in 
the palms the traveler is fairly blinded by a burst of blazing 
sunshine from the western desert, in the midst of which he dis- 
covers a group of noble pyramids rising above the glare of the 
sands. It is his first glimpse of the great pyramids of Gizeh, 
and it tells him better than any printed page what the Egyptian 
builder with the copper chisel in his hand could do. A few 
minutes later his train is moving among the modem buildings 
of Cairo, and the very next day will surely find him taking the 
seven-mile drive from Cairo out to Gizeh. 

The Story of Egypt 2/ 

Section 7. The Pyramid Age 

No traveler ever forgets the first drive to the Pyramids of The pyramids 
Gizeh, as he sees their giant forms rising higher and higher ^ombr^ 
above the crest of the western desert (Plate I). A thou- 
sand questions arise in the visitor's mind. He has read that 
these vast buildings he is approaching are tombs, in which the 
kings of Egypt were buried. Such mighty buildings reveal 
many things about the men who built them. In the first place, 
these tombs show that the Egyptians believed in a life after 
death and that to obtain such life it was necessary to preserve 
the body from destruction. They built these tombs to shelter 
and protect the body after death. Hence, also, came the prac- 
tice of " embalmment " by which the body was preserved as a 
mummy (Fig. 32). It was then placed in the great tomb, in 
a small but massive room deep in the heart of the pyramid 
masonry. Other tombs of masonry, much smaller in size, 
cluster about the pyramids in great numbers (Frontispiece). 
Here were buried the relatives of the king, and the great men 
of his court, who assisted him in the government of the land 
(Fig. 15)- 

These people had many gods, but there were two whom they The gods of 
worshiped above all others. The Sun, which shines so gloriously ^Yosir^^ 
in the cloudless Egyptian sky, was their greatest god, and their 
most splendid temples were erected for his worship. Indeed, 
the pyramid is a symbol sacred to the Sun-god. They called 
him Re (pron. ray^. The other great power which they revered 
as a god was likewise a visible force in their daily lives. The 
shining Nile which the traveler has just crossed on his way to 
the pyramids gives life to the fields and brings forth the har- 
vest. So the Nile, and the fertile soil he refreshes, and the green 
life which he brings forth — all these the Egyptian thought of 
together as a single god, Osiris, the imperishable life of the earth 
which revives and fades every year with the changes of the 
seasons. It was a beautiful thought to the Egyptian that this 


Outlines of Europe an History 

The progress 
of the Egyp- 
tians before 
they built 

From the 
earliest stone 
masonry to 
the Great 
Pyramid — a 
century and 
a half 

same life-giving power which furnished him his food in this world 
would care for him also in the next, when his body lay out yonder 
in the great cemetery which we are approaching. 

But this vast cemetery of Gizeh tells us of many other things 
besides the religion of the Egyptians. As we look up at the 
colossal pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) we can hardly grasp the 
fact of the enormous stride forward which the Egyptians have 
taken since the days when they used to be buried with their flint 
knives in a pit scooped out on the margin of the desert (Fig. 1 1). 
It is the use of metal which has since then carried them so far. 
That Egyptian in Sinai who noticed the first bit of metal (p. 24) 
lived over a thousand years before these pyramids were built. 
He was buried in a pit like that of the earliest Egyptian peasant 
(Fig. 11). 

It was a long time before his discovery of metal resulted in 
copper tools which made possible great architecture in stone. 
Not more than a hundred and fifty years before the Great Pyra- 
mid of Gizeh, the Egyptians were still building the tombs of 
their kings of sun-baked brick. Such a royal tomb was merely a 
chamber in the ground, roofed with wood (Fig. 13, i). 

Then some skillful workman among them found out that he 
could use his copper tools to cut square blocks of limesione and 
line the chamber with these blocks in place of the soft bricks. 
This was the first piece of sto?ie masonry ever put together in 
so far as we know (Fig. 13, 2). It was built not long before 
3000 B.C., and less than a century and a half later, that is, by 
2900 B.C., the king's architect was building the Great Pyramid 
of Gizeh (Fig. 13, 6). What a contrast between the sun- 
baked brick chamber and the Great Pyramid of Gizeh only a 
century and a half later ! Most of this progress was made 
during the thirtieth century B.C. ; that is, between 3000 and 
2900 B.C. (Fig. 13). Such rapid progress in control of mechani- 
cal power can be found in no other period of the world's history 
until the nineteenth century, which closed not long before many 
of the readers of this book were born. 

The Story of Egypt 29 

It helps us to grasp the extent of the Egyptian's progress The vast size 
when we know that the Great Pyramid covers thirteen acres, pyramid'^^^* 
It is a solid mass of masonry containing 2,300,000 blocks of 
limestone, each weighing on an average two and a half tons ; 
that is, each block is as heavy as an ordinary wagon load of coal. 
The sides of the pyramid at the base are 755 feet long ; that is, 
about a block and three quarters (counting twelve city blocks 
to a mile), and the building was nearly five hundred feet high. 
An ancient story tells us that a hundred thousand men were 
working on this royal tomb for twenty years, and we can well 
believe it (see Plate I). 

We can also learn much about the progress of the Egyptian Government 
in government from this cemetery of Gizeh. We perceive at UJid Age^"^^" 
once that it must have required a very skillful ruler and a great 
body of officials to manage and to feed a hundred thousand 
workmen around this great building. The king who controlled 
such vast undertakings was no longer a local chieftain (p. 20), 
but he now ruled all Egypt. He was so reverenced that the 
people did not mention the king by name, but instead they 
spoke of the palace in which he lived ; that is, the " Great 
House," or, in Egyptian, " Pharaoh." ^ He had his local officials 
collecting taxes all over Egypt. They were also trying cases at 
law wherever they arose, and every jiidge had before him the 
written law which bade him judge justly. A large office with its 
corps of officials was also keeping the irrigation canals (Fig. i o) 
in order. 

The king's huge central offices occupying low sun-baked brick The treasury 
buildings sheltered an army of clerks with their reed pens and cky ^ ^ 
their rolls of papyrus (p. 22), keeping the king's records and 
accounts. The tax payments received from the people here 
were not in money, for coined money did not yet exist. Such 
payments were made in produce : grain, livestock, wine, honey, 
linen, and the like. With the exception of the cattle, these had 
to be stored in granaries and storehouses, a vast group of which 

1 This word is a title, not the name of any particular king. 


Outlines of European History 

formed the treasury of the king. The villas (Fig. 21) of the 
officials who assisted the king in all this business of government, 
with their gardens, formed a large part of the royal city. 

The greatest quarter, however, was occupied by the palace of 
the king and the luxurious parks and gardens which surrounded 
it. Thus the palace and its grounds, the official villas, and offices 
of the government made up the capital of Egypt, the royal city 
which extended along the foot of the pyramid cemetery and 

Fig. 14. Earliest Representation of a Seagoing Ship 
(Twenty-eighth Century b.c.) 

The people are all bowing to the king whose figure (now lost) stood on 
■ shore (at the left), and they salute him with the words written in a line 
of hieroglyphs above, meaning : " Hail to thee ! O Sahure [the king's 
name], thou god of the living ! We behold thy beauty. " Some of these 
men are bearded Phoenician prisoners, showing that this Egyptian ship 
has crossed the east end of the Mediterranean and returned. The big 
double mast is unshipped and lies on supports rising by the three 
steering oars in the stern 

Stretched far away over the plain, of which there is a fine view 
from the summit of the pyramid (Fig. 10). But the city was all 
built of sun-baked brick and wood, and it has therefore vanished. 
Length and The city of the dead, the pyramids and the tombs clustering 

Pyramid Age around them, being built of stone, have fortunately proved more 
durable and they have much to tell us still. The v/eary climb to 
the of the Great Pyramid (Fig. i o) gives us a view south- 
ward, down a straggling but imposing line of pyramids rising 
dimly as far as we can see on the southern horizon. The line 
is over sixty miles long, and its oldest pyramids represent the 

The Story of Egypt 31 

first great age of Egyptian civilization after the land was united 
under one king.^ We may call it the Pyramid Age and it lasted 
about five hundred years, from 3000 to 2500 B.C. It was an 
age of great prosperity and splendor. Otherwise it would have 
been impossible to erect buildings of such grandeur as these in 
the Gizeh cemetery. ■ 

In the Pyramid Age the Pharaoh was powerful enough to seek 
wealth beyond the boundaries of Egypt. A few surviving blocks 

Fig. 15. Restoration of a Group of Tombs of the Nobles 
IN THE Pyramid Age 

These tombs are grouped about the royal pyramids, as seen in 
Plate I. They are sometimes of vast size. The square openings in 
the top are shafts leading down to the burial chambers in the native 
rock far below the tomb structures. These structures are solid except 
for a chapel in the east side, of which the door can be seen in the 
front of each tomb. The reliefs in Figs. 16^20 adorn the inside 
walls of these chapels 

from a fallen pyramid-temple (Fig. 22) south of Gizeh bear carved Northern 

and painted reliefs (Fig. 1 4) showing us the ships which he dared 

to send beyond the shelter of the Nile mouths far across the end ^^^so 

of the Mediterranean to the coast of Phoenicia (see map, p. 56). 

This was in the middle of the twenty-eighth century B.C., and 

1 Before this, little kingdoms scattered up and down the valley had long existed 
but were finally united into one kingdom, under a single king. The first king to 
establish this union permanently was Menes, who united Egypt under his rule 
about 3400 B.C. But it was four centuries or more after Menes that the united 
kingdom became powerful and wealthy enough to build these royal pyramid- 
tombs, marking for us the first great age of Egyptian civilization. 

and earliest 


Outlines of European History 


this relief (Fig. 14) contains the oldest-known representation of 
a seagoing ship. Yet the Pharaoh had already been carrying on 
such over-sea commerce for centuries at this time, and an ancient 
record tells us that he sent forty ships to Phoenicia to bring back 
cedar of Lebanon in the middle of the thirtieth century B.C., 

two centuries before 
[ /' . .] our earliest picture 

of such an ancient 
salt-water vessel. 
These arc the ships 
which carried metal 
J \ ■ I' i ! ,1 and other products 

of civilization to the 
peoples who lived on 
the Mediterranean 
/ '. \\ 1 shores of Europe in 
the Late Stone Age 
(p. 14). 

The king was 
also already sending 
caravans of donkeys 
far up the Nile into 
the Sudan to traffic 
with the blacks of 
the south, and to 
bring back ebony, 
ivory, ostrich feath- 

FiG. 16. Relief Scene from the Chapel 

OF A Noble's Tomb (Fig. 15) in the 

Pyramid Age 

The tall figure of the noble stands at the right. 
A piece has fallen out of the wall, imme- 
diately before his face and figure. He is in- 
specting three rows of cattle and a row of fowl 
brought before him. Note the two scribes who 
head the two middle rows. Each is writing 
with pen on a sheet of papyrus, and one car- 
ries two pens behind his ear. Such reliefs 
after being carved were colored in bright hues 
by the painter (see p. 33) 


ers, and fragrant 
The officials who conducted these caravans were the 

earliest explorers of inner Africa, and in their tombs at the First 
Cataract they have left interesting records of their exciting ad- 
ventures among the wild tribes of the south — adventures in 
which some of them lost their lives. ^ Expeditions to the south 

1 The teacher will find it of interest to read these records to the class. See 
Breasted's Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol. I, pp. 325-336, 350-374. 

The Story of Egypt 


end of the Red Sea to procure the same products early led to 
the excavation of a canal connecting the easternmost Nile branch 
in the Delta with the Red Sea. This predecessor of the Suez 
Canal was dug about 4000 years ago. 

A stroll among the tombs clustering so thickly around the The tomb- 
pyramids of Gizeh is almost like a walk among the busy com- the^^yramid 
munities which flourished in this populous valley in the days of r/^1*^^ 
the pyramid builders. We find the door of every tomb standing reveal 
open (Fig. 15), and there is nothing to prevent our entrance. We 
stand in an oblong room with walls of stone masonry. This is a 

Fig. 17. Plowing and Sowing in the Pyramid Age 

There are two plowmen, one driving the oxen and one holding the 
plow. The man with the curious hoe breaks up the clods left by the 
plow, and in front of him is the sower, scattering the seed from 
the sack he carries before him. At the left is a scribe of the estate. 
The hieroglyphs above in all such scenes explain what is going on. 
Scene from the chapel of a noble's tomb (Fig. 15) 

chapel-chamber to which the Egyptian believed the dead man 
buried beneath the tomb might return every day. Here he 
would find food and drink left for him daily by his relatives. He 
would also find the stone walls of this room covered from floor 
to ceiling with carved scenes, beautifully painted, picturing the 
daily life on the great estate of which he was lord (Figs. 16-20). 
The place is now silent and deserted, or if we hear the voices 
of the donkey boys talking outside, they are speaking Arabic ; 
for the ancient language of the men who built these tombs 
so many thousand years ago is no longer spoken. But every- 
where, in bright and charming colors, we see looking down 


Outlines of Europe mi History 

and cattle- 
raising ; 
beasts of 

The copper- 
smith and the 
of bronze 

Fig. 1 8. 

Peasant milking in the 
Pyramid Age 

upon us from these walls the life which these men of nearly five 
thousand years ago actually lived. 

Dominating all these scenes on the walls is the tall form of 
the noble (Fig. i6), the lord of the estate, as he stands looking 
out over his fields and inspecting the work going on there. 
These fields where the oxen draw the plow, and the sowers scatter 
the seed (Fig. 17), are the oldest scene of agriculture known to 
us. Here too are the herds, long lines of sleek fat cattle grazing 
in the pasture, while the milch cows are led up and tied to be 
milked (Figs. 16, 18). These cattle are also beasts of burden; 

we have noticed the 
oxen drawing the plow. 
But we find no horses 
in these tombs of the 
Pyramid Age, for the 
horse was then un- 
known to the Egyptian, 
but the donkey is every- 
where, and it would be 
impossible to harvest 
the grain without him 
(Fig. 19). 

On the next wall we find again the tall figure of the noble 
overseeing the booths and yards where toil the craftsmen of his 
estate. We can almost hear the sounds of hammer and anvil 
and the hum of industry as we look here upon these artisans of 
the early oriental world at their busy tasks. Yonder is the smith. 
He has never heard of his ancestor who picked up the first bead 
of copper probably over a thousand years earlier (p. 24). This 
man has made progress however. He is now able to harden his 
tools by the addition of a small amount of tin to the molten 
metal, which then cools into a much harder state than that of 
pure copper. We call this mixture bronze.-^ This harder metal 

1 The origin of bronze is probably natural. Professor J. L. Myres of Oxford 
informs me of the recent discovery of ore containing both copper and tin in the 
northern Mediterranean. The metal yielded by such ore would itself be bronze. 

The cow is restive and the ancient cow- 
herd has tied her hind legs. Behind her 
another man is holding her calf, which 
rears and plunges in the effort to reach 
the milk. Scene from the chapel of a 
noble's tomb (Fig. 15) 

The Story of Egypt 


here in the Age of Copper gives the workman the same advan- 
tage obtained in the Age of Iron by the invention of steel. 

On the same wall we see the lapidary holding up for the noble's The lapidary, 
admiration splendid stone bowls, cut from diorite, a stone as fnd jeweler 
hard as steel. Nevertheless the bowl is ground to such thinness 
that the sunlight glows through its dark gray sides. Other work- 
men are cutting and grinding tiny pieces of beautiful blue tur- 
quoise. These pieces they inlay with remarkable accuracy into 
recesses in the surface of a magnificent golden vase, just made 
ready by the goldsmith. The booth of the goldsmith is filled with 
workmen and apprentices, 
weighing gold and costly 
stones, hammering and cast- 
ing, soldering and fitting to- 
gether richly wrought jewelry ^ 
which can hardly be surpassed 
by the best goldsmiths and 
jewelers of to-day. 

In the next space on this 
wall we find the potter no 
longer building up his jars and 
bowls with his fingers alone, 
as in the Stone Age. He now 
sits before a small horizontal 

Fig. 19. Donkey carrying a 

Load of Grain Sheaves in 

THE Pyramid Age 

The foal accompanies its mother 
while at work. Scene from the 
chapel of a noble's tomb (Fig. 15) 

wheel, which he keeps whirling with one hand. Upon this 
potter's wheel, the ancestor of the lathe, he deftly shapes the 
vessel as it whirls round and round under his fingers. When The potter's 
the soft clay vessels are ready, they are no longer unevenly J'ur^ace ; the 
burned in an open fire, as the Late Stone Age potter in the earliest glass 
Swiss lake-villages managed it (Fig. 7) ; but here in the Egyp- 
tian potter's yard are long rows of closed furnaces of clay as 

1 Among the marvelous works of the ancient Egyptian goldsmith one of the 
best pieces now surviving is a beautiful golden tiara in the form of a chaplet of 
flowers, found on the brow of an Egyptian princess just as it was put there in 
the Feudal Age nearly four thousand years ago. It may be seen drawn as rest- 
ing on a cushion at the end of Chapter II (p. 55). 


Outlines of Etiropean History 

The weavers 
and tapestry- 

tall as a man, where the pottery is packed in, protected from 
the wind and evenly burned. These two inventions, the potter's 
wheel and the potter's furnace, were carried over to Stone Age 
Europe like many other contributions from the Orient. Indeed, 
we discover in the next booth also the source of those bright 
blue-glazed beads ^ which found their way from Egypt to far- 
off England in the Late Stone or early Bronze Age (p. 14). 
This is the earliest-known glass. The Egyptians were making 
it for centuries before the Pyramid Age. It was spread on tiles 

Fig. 20. Cabinetmakers in the Pyramid Age 

At the left, a man is cutting with a chisel which he taps with a mallet ; 
next, a man " rips " a board with a copper saw ; next, two men are finish- 
ing off a couch, and at the right a man is drilling a hole with a bow-drill. 
Scene from the chapel of a noble's tomb (Fig. 15). Compare a finished 
chair belonging to a wealthy noble of the Empire (Fig. 33) 

in gorgeous glazes for adorning house and palace walls, or 
wrought into exquisite many-colored glass bottles and vases, 
which were widely exported (Fig. 48). 

Yonder the weaving women draw forth from the loom a gos- 
samer fabric of linen. The picture on this wall could not tell us 
of its fineness, but fortunately pieces of it have survived, wrapped 
around the mummy of a king of this age. These specimens of 
royal linen are so fine that it requires a magnifying glass to dis- 
tinguish them from silk, and the best work of the modem machine 
loom is coarse in comparison with this fabric of the ancient 

1 The tailpiece of Chapter I (p. 16) shows blue- and green-glazed Egyptian 
beads found in prehistoric graves of England. Compare page 14. 

The Story of Egypt 37 

Egyptian hand loom. At one loom there issues a lovely tapestry, 
for these weavers of Egypt furnished the earliest-known speci- 
mens of such work, to be hung on the walls of the Pharaoh's 
palace or stretched to shade the roof garden of the noble's villa. 

Into the back door of the next booth pass huge bundles of Paper- 
papyrus reeds, which we see barelegged men gathering along "^^ ^"^^ 
the edge of the Nile marsh. These reeds furnish piles of pale 
yellow paper in long sheets (p. 22). The ships which we have 
followed on the Mediterranean (p. 31) will yet add bales of this 
Nile paper to their cargoes, and carry it to the European world. 
For fifteen hundred years these papyrus booths along the Nile 
were the world's paper mills, until the libraries of wealthy Greeks 
and Romans (p. 1 40) were filled with papyrus books. Thus these 
papyrus marshes of the Nile were exhausted and the papyrus 
plant at last became extinct in Egypt. The modern traveler 
looks for it in vain as he journeys up the river. 

We can easily imagine the hubbub of hammers and mauls as Shipbuilders, 
we approach the next section of wall, where we find the ship- anTcabhiet- 
builders and cabinetmakers. Here is a long line of curving hulls, makers 
with workmen swarming over them like ants, fitting together 
the earliest seagoing ships (Fig. 14). Beside them are the busy 
cabinetmakers, fashioning luxurious furniture for the noble's • 
villa. The finished chairs and couches for the king or the rich 
are overlaid with gold and silver, inlaid with ebony and ivory, 
and upholstered with soft leathern cushions (Figs. 20, t^:^. As 
we look back over these painted chapel walls, we see that the 
tombs of Gizeh have told us a very vivid story of how early men 
learned to make for themselves all the most important things 
they needed. We should notice how many more such things 
these men of the Nile could now make than the Stone Age men, 
who were living in the lake-villages of Europe (Fig. 5) at the 
very time these tomb-chapels were built. 

It is easy to picture the bright sunny river in those ancient 
days, alive with boats and barges moving hither and thither, 
and often depicted on these walls, bearing the products of all 

38 Outlines of Eiiropean History 

River com- these industries, to be carried to the treasuiy of the Pharaoh as 
marketplace; taxes or to the market of the town for traffic. Here on the wall 
traffic in jg the market place itself. We can watch the cobbler offering the 

goods ; cir- ^ 

culation of baker a pair of sandals as payment for a cake, or the carpenter s 
preaous ^.^^ giving the fisherman a little wooden box for a fish ; while 

the potter's wife proffers the apothecary two bowls fresh from 
the potter's furnace in exchange for a jar of fragrant ointment. 
We see therefore that the people have no coined mo?iey to use, 
and that in the market place trade is actual exchange of goods. 
Such is the business of the common people. If we could see 
the large transactions in the palace, we would find there heavy 
rings of gold of a recognized weight, which circulated like money. 
Rings of copper also served the same purpose. Such rings were 
the forerunners of coin (p. 152). 
Three classes These people in the gayly painted market place on the chapel 
the^Pyramid wall are the common folk of Egypt in the 'Pyramid Kg^. Some 
^g^ of them were free men, following their own business or in- 

dustry. Others were slaves working the fields on the great 
estates like the one which is pictured on these walls. Over both 
these humbler classes were the great officials of the Pharaoh's 
government, like the owner of this tomb whose tall form 
(Fig. 16) we find so often shown upon these chapel walls. We 
know many more of them by name, and a walk through this 
cemetery would enable us to make a directory of the wealthy 
quarter of the royal city under the kings who were buried in 
these pyramids of Gizeh. It would be a kind of social Blue 
Book of the capital of Egypt in the Pyramid Age. We know 
the grand viziers and the chief treasurers, the chief judges and 
the architects, the chamberlains and marshals of the palace, and 
so on. We can even visit the tomb of the architect who built 
the Great Pyramid of Gizeh for Khufu. 
The noble of We can observe with what vast satisfaction these nobles and 
Age \n^% officials presided over this busy industrial and social life of the 
home j^-jg valley in the Pyramid Age. Here on this chapel wall again 

we see its owner seated at ease in his palanquin, a luxurious 

The Story of Egypt 


Fig. 21. Villa of an Egyptian Noble 

The garden is inclosed with a high wall. There are pools on either 

side as one enters, and a long arbor extends down the middle. The 

house at the rear, embowered in trees, is crowned by a roof garden 

shaded with awnings of tapestry (see p. 37) 

wheel-less carriage, borne upon the shoulders of slaves, as he 
returns from the inspection of his estate where we have been 
following him. As he is carried through the gate of his garden 
he retires into a seeming paradise (Fig. 21). The slaves set 
down the palanquin in the shade and their master steps out to 


Outlines of European History 

recline by the cool waters of the fishpool, where he watches 
the slow and stately dances of his women or the pranks of his 
children as they romp about the pool. The villa (Fig. 21) which 
peeps through the verdure is light and airy and gay with brightly 

Fig. 22. Colonnades in the Court of a Pyramid-Temple 
(Twenty-eighth Century b.c.) 

Notice the pyramid rising behind the temple (just as in Plate I also). 
The door in the middle leads to the holy place built against the side 
of the pyramid, where a false door in the pyramid masonry serves 
as the portal through which the king comes forth from the world of 
the dead into this beautiful temple to enjoy the food and drink 
placed here for him and to share in the splendid feasts celebrated 
here. The center of the court is open to the sky ; the roof of the porch 
all around is supported on columns, the earliest known in the history 
of architecture. Each column reproduces a palm tree, the capital being 
the crown of foliage. The whole place was colored in the bright hues 
of nature, including the painting on the walls behind the columns. 
Among these paintings was the ship in Fig. 14 

colored tapestry hangings. It is a work of art, bright in all its 
decorations with the beauty of the outdoor world which the 
Egyptian so much loved. His lady comes forth to greet him in 
a long closely fitting robe of spotless white linen. She is in every 

Fig, 23. Head of Statue of King Khafre, Builder of the 
Second Pyramid of Gizeh (Twenty-ninth Century b.c.) 

The king wears a linen headdress, and a false beard hanging from his 
■chin. A falcon, symbol of the king (see Fig. 12), hovers protectingly 
over his head. The material is diorite, a stone so intensely hard that no 
modern sculptor would try to use it. Found in Khafre's valley temple 
by the Sphinx at Gizeh (Plate I) 

Fig. 24. 

The Colossal Columns of the Nave in the Great 
Hall of Karnak 

These are the columns of the middle two rows in Fig. 28. The tiny 
human figures below show by contrast the vast dimensions of the col- 
umns towering above them (p. 46) 

The Story of Egypt 41 

way his equal, his sole wife, his constant companion, enjoying 
every right possessed by her husband. • 

The Egyptians could not have left us this beautifully painted Art of the 
and sculptured room (the tomb-chapel) unless they had possessed Ag?— paint^ 
trained artists. Indeed, we can find the artist who painted^ these J."S ^id 
walls, where he has represented himself enjoying a plentiful feast 
among other people of the estate in one corner of the wall. Here 
he has written his name over his head, and we read in handsome 
hieroglyphs, " Nenekheptah, the artist." His drawings all around 
us show that he has not been able to overcome all the difficul- 
ties of placing objects having thickness and roundness on a fiat 
surface. Animal figures are drawn, however, with great beauty 
and lifelikeness (Figs. 16-20), but ''perspective" is entirely 
unknown to him, and objects in the background or distance are 
drawn of the same size as those in front. 

The sculptor was the greatest artist of this age. In a secret Art of the 
chamber alongside this chapel there is a portrait statue of the Age^— por- 
dead lord whose tomb we have visited. A multitude of these trait sculpture 
statues have been found in this cemetery. They were thought to 
furnish the dead with an additional body, in case the mummied 
body should perish. These are the earliest portraits in the history 
of art. They were colored in the hues of life ; the eyes were 
inlaid of rock crystal, and they still shine with the gleam of life. 
More lifelike portraits have never been produced by any age. 
Such statues of the kings are often superb (Fig. 23). They were 
set up in the temples which the Pharaoh erected. In size, the most 
remarkable statue of the Pyramid Age is the Great Sphinx, which 
stands here in this cemetery of Gizeh. The head is a portrait of 
Khafre, the king who built the second pyramid of Gizeh (see 
Plate I), and was carved from a promontory of rock which 
overlooked the royal city. It is the largest portrait ever wrought.^ 

1 Wonderfully colored ducks and geese from an Egyptian tomb painting of 
the Pyramid Age will be found as headpiece of Chapter II (p. 17). 

2 The art of the age of course also included architecture. Its most important 
achievement in the Pyramid Age was the colonnade, of which a good example 
will be found in the court of a pyramid-temple in Fig. 22. 

42 Outlines of European History 

Section 8. The Feudal Age 

The Nile Probably there is no journey more interesting than the voy- 

thn?mb"'l)f age up the Nile with all its revelations of the story of the Nile 
the Feudal dwellers. As the river swings from cliff to cliff the steamer in 


which the traveler leaves Cairo is carried under many a tomb 
door cut in the face of the cliff and giving entrance to a tomb 
excavated in the rock (Fig. 25). Here are the tombs of the 
nobles of some 2000 B.C. Their ancestors were officials of the 
Pharaohs in the Pyramid Age. But the nobles who made these 
later tombs have succeeded in gaining greater power than their 
ancestors. They no longer live at the court of the king, nor 
build their tombs around the pyramid of the Pharaoh. They are 
barons holding large estates, which they bequeath to their sons, 
and the Pharaoh has only a very loose control over them, by ar- 
rangements which in later ages are called feudal (Chapter XVI). 
We therefore call this the Feudal Age, in Egyptian history. It 
lasted for several centuries and was flourishing by 2000 B.C. 
The kindly These feudal barons ruled the people on their great domains 

feudS ^ ^ with much kindness. The age made great progress in the realm 
barons; their ^f conduct and kindly treatment of one's neighbors and espe- 
'cially of those over whom one had power (Fig. 25). In the story 
of man we find here the earliest chapter in human kindness. 
The evidence for it is not lacking in the cemetery, but in the 
Feudal Age our story is not drawn from the tomb records only, 
as in the Pyramid Age. Fortunately fragments from the libraries 
of these feudal barons — the oldest libraries in the world — have 
been discovered in their tombs. These oldest of all books are 
in the form of rolls of papyrus which once were packed in jars, 
neatly labeled and ranged in rows on the noble's library shelves. 
Here are the oldest storybooks in the world : tales of wander- 
ings and adventures in Asia ; tales of shipwreck at the gate of 
the unknown ocean beyond the Red Sea — the earliest Sind- 
bad the Sailor ; and tales of wonders wrought by ancient wise 
men and magicians. 

The Story of Egypt 43 

Some of these stories set forth the sufferings of the poor Books on 


and the humble and seek to stir the rulers to just and kind a^d "^^^ 

treatment of the weaker classes. Some picture the wickedness 

Fig. 25. Cliff-Tomb of an Egyptian Noble of the 
Feudal Age 

The chapel entered through this door contains painted reliefs like those 
of the Pyramid Age (Figs. 16-20) and also many written records. In 
this chapel the noble tells of his kind treatment of his people ; he 
says : " There was no citizen's daughter whom I misused ; there was 
no widow whom I oppressed ; there was no peasant whom I evicted ; 
there was no shepherd whom I expelled ; . . . there was none wretched 
in my community, there was none hungry in my time. When years 
of famine came I plowed all the fields of the Oryx barony [his estate] 
. . . preserving its people alive and furnishing its food so that there 
was none hungry therein. I gave to the widow as to her who had a 
husband ; I did not exalt the great above the humble in anything that 
I gave " (p. 44) 

of men and the hopelessness of the future. Others tell of a 
righteous ruler who is yet to come, a " good shepherd " they 
call him, meaning a good king who shall bring in justice and 


Outlines of European History 

Books of 

The Nile 
voyage — 
arrival at 

happiness for all. We notice here a contrast with the Pyramid 
Age. With the in-coming of the pyramid-builders we saw a 
tremendous growth in power, in building, and in art ; but the 
Feudal Age reveals progress in a higher realm, that of conduct 
and character (see description under Fig. 25). 

Very few rolls were needed to contain the science of this time. 
The largest and the most valuable roll of all contains what they 
had learned about medicine and the organs of the human body. 
This oldest medical book when unrolled is about sixty-six feet 
long and has recipes for all sorts of ailments. Some of them 
call for remedies, like castor oil, which are still in common use ; 
many represent the ailment as due to demons, which were long 
believed to be the cause of disease. Other rolls contain the 
simpler rules of arithmetic, geometry, and elementary algebra. 
Even observations of the heavenly bodies with crude instruments 
were made ; but these records, like those in geography, have 
been lost. 

Section 9. The Empire 

As we continue our Nile journey southward, the course of 
the river swings sharply eastward toward the Red Sea, and we 
round a great bend in the stream (see map, p. 56). All at once, as 
we look toward the east bank through the thick palm groves, we 
catch glimpses of vast masses of stone masonry and lines of tall 
columns. They are the ruins of the once great city of Thebes. 
Our voyage up the river has now carried us through many cen- 
turies. The monuments along its banks have told us the story 
of two of the three periods ^ into which the career of this great 
people of the Nile falls. At Thebes we reach the Empire, the 
third of those periods. 

A walk around the temple of Karnak ^ here is as instructive 
for this period as we have found the Gizeh cemetery to be for 

1 These three ages are (i) Pyramid Age, about 3000 to 2500 b.c. (section 7) ; 
(2) Feudal Age, flourishing 2000 B.C. (section 8) ; (3) The Empire, about 1580 to 
1 1 50 B.C. (section 9). 

2 Karnak is a tiny modern village by the greatest temple at Thebes. 

The Story of Egypt 


the Pyramid Age. As we pass along the north wall of this vast Kamak— be- 

temple we find it covered with enormous sculptures in relief, fhe^Emp^re- 

depicting the wars of the Egyptians in Asia. We see the giant arrival of the 

figure of the Pharaoh as he stands in his war chariot, towering Egypt 



Fig. 26. A Pharaoh of the Empire in Battle 

The Pharaoh stands in his chariot with the reins of his galloping horses 
fastened about his waist. His colossal figure towers above the form of 
the opposing chief below, who throws up his hands as the Pharaoh lifts 
a curved sword to strike him down. The tiny figures of the enemy are 
scattered beneath the Pharaoh's horses. This is one of an enormous 
series of such scenes, one hundred seventy feet long, carved in relief on 
the outside of the Great Hall of Karnak (Fig. 24). Such sculpture was 
brightly colored and served to enhance the architectural effect and to 
impress the people with the heroism of the Pharaoh 

above all his fleeing foes, whom he drives before his plunging 
horses (Fig. 26). This is the first time we have met the horse 
on the ancient monuments. The animal lias been imported 
from Asia, the chariot has come with him, and Egypt has learned 


Outlines of European History 

The Empire 


warfare on a scale unknown before. The Pharaohs are now 
great generals, who lead their armies into Asia and establish 
^^^^^j^_ an empire which extends from the 

/Z^" -; Euphrates in Asia to the Fourth Cata- 
ract of the Nile in Africa. 

This world-power of the Pharaohs 
lasted from the early sixteenth century 
to the twelfth century B.C., something 
over four hundred years. The great- 
est of the conquerors during all this 
period was Thutmose III, who ruled 
for ovei- fifty years, beginning about 
1500 B.C. We may call him the Napo- 
leon of Egypt, for he was the first 
great general in history, and he carried 
on wars in Asia for nearly twenty years, 
during which he led no less than 
seventeen campaigns there. His em- 
pire was slowly lost under the less 
powerful rule of Ramses II and his 

The wealth w^hich the Pharaohs cap- 
tured in Asia and Nubia during the 
Empire enabled them to live in such 
power and magnificence as the world 
had never seen before. The battle 
scenes we have just found (Fig. 26) 
are carved on the walls of a hall of the 
temple of Karnak — a hall so large 
that you could put into it the whole 
cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. 
The columns of the central aisle are 
sixty-nine feet high. The vast capital 
forming the summit of each column is large enough to contain 
a group of a hundred men standing upon it at the same time. 

A „ J1 

Fig. 27. Portrait of 
THE Napoleon of 
Ancient Egypt, Thut- 
mose III (Fifteenth 
Century b.c.) 

Carved in granite and 
showing the great con- 
queror (p. 46) wearing 
the tall crown of Upper 
Egypt, with the sacred 
asp forming a serpent- 
crest above his forehead 
(see also Fig. 130). Such 
portraits in the Empire 
can be compared with 
the actual faces of these 
Egyptian - emperors as 
we have them in their 
mummies (Fig. 32), and 
they are thus shown to 
be good likenesses 

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Outlines of Europe aji History 

The splendor 
of the Em- 
pire temples 
at Thebes 

Painting and 
sculpture in 
the temples 

As will be seen in Fig. 28, these central columns are taller 
than those on each side, and the resulting difference in the level 
of the roof permits the insertion of a row of windows on each 
side of the central aisle. Such an arrangement of the roof is 
called a clerestory (" clear story ''), and the aisle with its columns 
and windows is termed a "nave." It is found in simpler form 
as far back as the Pyramid Age. Later it passed over to Europe, 
where it finally appeared as the leading form of Christian archi- 
tecture — the cathedral church, whose nave, side aisles, and 
clerestory windows^ (Fig- 170) have descended to us from the 
colonnaded temple halls of Egypt. These buildings of the 
Empire form the leading chapter in the early history of great 
architecture, though we should not forget that the columns em- 
ployed here were already in use in the Pyramid Age (Fig. 22). 

Such temples as these at Thebes were seen through the deep 
green of clustering palms, among towering obelisks, and colossal 
statues of the Pharaohs (Fig. 29). The whole was bright with 
color, flashing at many a point with gold and silver, and, mir- 
rored in the unruffled surface of the temple lake, it made a 
picture of such splendor as the ancient world had never seen 
before. These temples and their surrounding monuments were 
connected by imposing avenues of sphinxes, and thus grew up 
at Thebes the first great monumental city ever built by man — 
a city which as a whole was itself a vast and imposing monument. 

Much of the grandeur of Egyptian architecture was due to 
the sculptor and the painter. We have already viewed the vast 
battle scenes carved on the temple wall (Fig. 26). These scenes, 
like the rest of the temple, were painted in bright colors. Portrait 
statues of the Pharaoh also were set up before these temples ; 
they were often so large that they rose above the towers of the 
temple front itself, — the tallest part of the building, — and they 
could be seen for miles around (Fig. 29). The sculptors cut 
these colossal figures from a single block, although they were 

1 These things were borrowed by the Christian architects from the Roman 
basilica, which in turn was derived from Greece, whither it had gone from Egypt. 




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Fig. 30. Colossal Portrait Figure of Ramses II at Abu Simbel 
IN Egyptian Nubia 

Four such statues, seventy-five feet high, adorn the front of this templCo 
They are better preserved than those in Fig. 29, and show us that such 
vast figures were portraits. The face of Ramses II here closely re- 
sembles that of his mummy. Grand view of the Nubian Nile, on which the 
statues have looked down for thirty-two hundred years (see p. 49). View 
taken from the top of the crown of one of the statues and never before 
pubhshed. (Photograph by The University of Chicago Expedition) 

The Story of Egypt 


sometimes eighty or ninety feet high and weighed as much as 

a thousand tons. This is a burden equivalent to the load drawn 

by a modern freight train, but it was not cut up into small units 

of light weight convenient for handling and loading like the 

train load. Nevertheless the engineers of the Empire moved 

many such vast figures for 

hundreds of miles. They 

generally dragged the statue 

on a huge sledge to the river, 

and then transported it in a 

large boat. It is in works of 

this massive monumental 

character that the art of 

Egypt excelled (Fig. 30). 

Two of these enormous 
portraits of the Pharaoh 
still stand on the western 
plain of Thebes (Fig. 29). 
A splendid temple, now 
vanished, once rose behind 
them. In the background 
we see the majestic cliffs of 
the western valley wall. Be- 
hind these cliffs is a lonely 
valley (Fjg. 31) where the 
Pharaohs of the Empire were 
buried in tombs reached by 
long galleries cut far into 
the mountain. Some of their 
bodies have been preserved, 
and we are able to look into the very faces of these great em- The ceme- 
perors who lived as much as thirty-four hundred years ago Thebes; the 

(^TTirr -^o^ tombs of the 

l^rig. 32;. Pharaohs and 

In these cliffs (Fis:. 20), which look down upon the Theban the royal 

^ ^ ^- bodies 

plain, are cut hundreds of tomb-chapels belonging to the great 

Fig. 31. Valley at Thebes 


Empire were buried 

In the Empire (after 1600 B.C.) the 
Pharaohs had ceased to erect pyra- 
mids. They excavated their tombs 
in the mountains of this valley, pen- 
etrating in long galleries hundreds 
of feet into the rock. Taken from 
here and concealed near by, the 
bodies of many of the Pharaohs, 
although long ago stripped of their 
valuables by tomb robbers, have sur- 
vived and now lie in the National 
Museum of Egypt at Cairo (Fig. 32) 


Outlines of European History 

Tombs of the 
great men of 
the Empire 

men of the Empire. Here were buried the able generals who 
marched with the Pharaoh on his campaigns in Asia and in 
Nubia. Here lay the gifted artists and architects who furnished 
a new chapter in the history of art — the men who were in 
charge of erecting the vast buildings and sculptured monuments 

(Fig. 30) of Thebes — 
the men whose genius 
made it the first great 
monumental city of the 
ancient world, so that 
its ruins are, as we 
have seen, the marvel 
of a host of modern 
visitors. We can enter 
these chapels and read 
the names of these men 
on their walls — and 
not only their names 
but long accounts of 
their lives and the 
great deeds which they 
wrought. Here is the 
story of the general 
who saved Thutmose 
IH's life in a great 
elephant hunt in Asia, 
by rushing in and cut- 
ting off the trunk of an 
enraged elephant which 
was pursuing the king. 
Here is the tomb of the general who captured the city of Joppa 
in Palestine by concealing his men in panniers loaded on the 
backs of donkeys, thus bringing them into the city as mer- 
chandise — an adventure which afterward furnished part of the 
story of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves," 

Fig. 32. 


Body of Seti I as he lies 
Coffin in the National. 
Museum at Cairo 

This king lived in the Empire in the four- 
teenth century B.C. He was buried in the 
valley shown in Fig. 31. His successors 
being unable to protect his body and those 
of other emperors from tomb robbers, hid 
them all in a large secret chamber exca- 
vated near the valley in the eleventh cen- 
tury B.C. Here the bodies lay unmolested 
for about three thousand years, until they 
were discovered and brought forth in 1S81 

The Stor)i of Egypt 


The very furniture which these great men used in their houses The furniture 
was put into these tombs. Many beautiful things, like chairs men^ofThe 
covered with gold and silver and fitted with soft leathern cush- ^^^l^ 
ions (Fig. t^t^^ beds of sumptuous workmanship, jewel boxes 
and perfume caskets of the ladies (Fig. 34), or even the 
gold-covered chariot 
in which the Theban 
noble took his after- 
noon airing, thirty- 
three or thirty-four 
hundred years ago, 
have been found in 
these tombs and 
may now be seen 
in the National 
Museum at Cairo. 
This city of Thebes 
with its majestic 
temples and monu- 
ments and its vast 
cemetery is thus a 
great chapter in that 
vast historical vol- 
ume of the Nile 
which we are read- 
ing — it is the 
chapter which tells 
us the impressive 
story of the Egyp- 
tian Empire. 

This cemeter\^ discloses to us also how much further the Egyp- Religion in 

^ .J tlie Empire 

tian has advanced in his religion since the days of the pyramids 
of Gizeh. Each of these great men buried in the Theban ceme- 
tery looked forward to a judgment in the hereafter — a judg- 
ment at which he would be called upon to answer for the 

Fig. 33. Armchair from the House of 
AN Egyptian Noble of the Empire 

This chair with other furniture from his house 
was placed in his tomb at Thebes in the early 
part of the fourteenth century B.C. There it 
remained for nearly thirty-three hundred years, 
till it was discovered in 1905 and removed to 
the National Museum at Cairo (p-Si) 


07itlines of European History 

character of his life on earth and to show whether it had been 
good or bad. Osiris was the great judge and king in the next 
world, for he himself had suffered death but had triumphed 
over it and had risen from the dead (p. 27). Every good man 
might rise from the dead as Osiris had done ; but in the pres- 
ence of Osiris he would 
be obliged to see his 
soul weighed in the 
balances over against 
the symbol of truth and 
justice (Fig. 35). The 
dead man's friends al- 
ways put into his coffin 
a roll of papyrus con- 
taining prayers and 
magic charms which 
would aid hmi in the 
hereafter, and among 
these was a picture of 
the judgment. We now 
call this roll the " Book 
of the Dead." 

It was in these great 
days of the Empire that 
some of the leading 
Egyptians gained the 
belief in a single god to 
the exclusion of all 
others. Such a belief 
we call monotheism (see p. 108). Ikhnaton, the greatest of their 
kings, endeavored to make this faith in one god the religion 
of the Empire, but the opposition of the priests and the people 
was too strong, and he perished in the attempt. 

But these monuments of Thebes do not tell us of the Egyp- 
tians alone. We find also in the temple-sculptures and the 

Fig. 34. Jewel Casket from the 

House of a Noble Egyptian Lady 

OF the Empire 

This lady was the wife of the owner of the 
chair (Fig. 33), and the casket was placed 
in the same tomb where both the noble 
and his wife were buried. The casket is 
overlaid with red and blue incrustation of 
glaze in the brightest tones. The inscripr 
tions contain the name of the king who 
gave the casket to the lady 

The Story of Egypt 


Fig. 35. 

Judgment Scene from the 
Book of the Dead 

tomb-chapel paintings many a scene which shows us the The end of 
peoples of the northern Mediterranean whom we left in the ageandtiiT 
Late Stone Age. On these Egyptian monuments we find them ^gyp^^n^^ 
after they have received metal. With huge metal swords in their Empire 
hands (Fig. 1 06) we 

see them serving 
as hired soldiers in 
the Egyptian army . 
These northern- 
ers finally entered 
Egypt in such 
numbers that in 
the twelfth cen- 
tury B.C. the weak- 
ened Egyptian 
Empire fell and 
never again 
covered her 
the civilization of 
Egypt did not 
perish with the 
fall of the Egyp- 
tian Empire. Its 
culture survived 
far down into the 
Christian Age and 
greatly influenced 
later history, con- 
tributing many 
things to Europe, 
as, for example, 
the ancient calen- 
dar of the Nile 
dwellers (p. 23). 


At the left we see entering, in white robes, the 
deceased, a man named x\ni, and his wife. Be- 
fore them are the balances of judgment for 
weighing the human heart, to determine whether 
it is just or not. A jackal-headed god adjusts 
the scales, while an Ibis-headed god stands be- 
hind him, pen in hand, ready to record the ver- 
dict of the balances. Behind him is a monster 
with head of a crocodile, fore quarters of a lion, 
and hind quarters of a hippopotamus, ready to 
devour the unjust soul. The small figure of a 
man at the left of the scales is the god of des- 
tiny, and behind him are two goddesses of 
birth. These three who presided over Ani's ar- 
rival in this world now stand by to watch the 
result of his life, as his heart (symbolized by a 
tiny jar), in the left scalepan, is weighed over 
against right and truth (symbolized by a feather) 
in the right-hand scalepan. The scene is 
painted in water colors on papyrus. Such a roll 
is sometimes as much as ninety feet long and 
filled from beginning to end with magical 
charms for the use of the dead in the next 
world. Hence the modern name for the whole 
roll, the " Book of the Dead" 

54 Outlines of European History 

The voyage up the Nile has told us, age by age, the story of 
Egypt and disclosed to us early man advancing out of the Late 
Stone Age to the discovery of metal, and then going on to 
develop a high civilization of far-reaching power and influence. 
Our Nile journey has also showed us how we gain knowledge of 
ancient men and their deeds, through the monuments and records 
which they have left behind. Such monuments and records have 
also been discovered along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in 
Asia. They show us that, following the Egyptians, the Asiatic 
peoples rose to the leading position of power in the ancient 
world, and we must therefore turn in the next chapter to the 
story of the early Orient in Asia. 


Section 6, Where is Egypt.? Describe the modern traveler's 
journey into the country. Whence came the soil of Egypt ? What 
are the shape and character of the country ? Give its area. Describe 
its climate. What is the adjoining country like.'* 

What remains have the Stone Age Egyptians left behind.'' De- 
scribe their life, industries, and government. How did they originate 
writing.'' writing materials? Is there any more important achieve- 
ment of civilization than the invention of writing.? 

Describe the origin of the calendar and its final form in Egypt. 
Whence came our calendar .? Describe the probable manner of the 
discovery of copper. What great ages of the career of man do 
Egyptian remains link together for us ? Have we any such link any- 
where else.? Do the monuments along the .Nile continue for us the 
story of man after the discovery of metal, writing, etc. ? Why may 
we call the Nile valley a historical volume ? 

Section 7. What was the purpose of a pyramid.? What do such 
buildings reveal to us about Egyptian religious beliefs.? Give an 
account of the gods of Egypt. What does the cemetery of Gizeh 
reveal to us about the early Egyptian's progress in building.? 

How long before the Gizeh pyramids was he still building royal 
tombs of sun-baked brick .? Draw the line of surviving tomb buildings 
in which we can follow the Egyptian's progress from sun-baked_ brick 

The Story of Egypt 5 5 

to stone masonry (Fig. 13). How much time was needed for this 
progress ? In what century did most of it fall ? 

With what other century may we compare it in such matters? 
What do such buildings reveal to us about government in the Pyra- 
mid Age ? Give the date and length of the Pyramid Age. Date and 
describe the earliest-known seagoing ships. 

Discuss foreign commerce in the Pyramid Age. Describe a tomb- 
chapel in the Pyramid Age. Write an account of the industries and 
the social life revealed in the tomb-chapels of the Pyramid Age. 
Describe the art of the Pyramid Age. 

Section 8. How does the Nile voyage continue the story of the 
Egyptians ? Discuss the Feudal Age. Give its date. Give an account 
of the feudal barons. Catalogue the contents of a library of this age. 
What kind of progress was being made.'* 

Section 9. Through what ages has the voyage up the Nile carried 
us ? What great age do we find revealed at Thebes, and what is its out- 
standing character ? Give the date and extent of the Egyptian Empire. 
Who was its greatest conqueror '^. Describe the great buildings of the 
Empire. Describe a clerestory, and draw a diagram representing a 
cross section of one. 

Compare it with a cross section of a Christian cathedral (Fig. 182). 
Describe the painting and sculpture in the Empire temples. Give an 
account of the cemetery at Thebes. How do the tombs differ from 
those of the Pyramid Age ? 

Recount some of the stories of the great men of the Empire which 
the Theban tomb-chapels tell us. W^hat do they reveal of Egyptian 
progress in religion? What foreigners do the Theban monuments 
reveal to us ? Did Egyptian civilization continue after the fall of the 
Empire ? Give an example of its later influence. 

K. ..M^lli.i.. 1 Ill ,1., ,iillhi,>. I nil ii' I 



Section io. The Lands and Races of 
Western Asia 


boundaries of 
western Asia 

north ; desert 

The fertile 



The westernmost reach of Asia is an irregular region roughly- 
included within the circuit of waters marked out by the Caspian 
and Black seas on the north, by the Mediterranean and the Red 
seas on the west, and by the Indian Ocean and the Persian 
Gulf on the south and east. It is a region consisting chiefly 
of mountains on the north and desert on the south. The earli- 
est home of men in this great arena of western Asia is a 
borderland between desert and mountains — a kind of culti- 
vable fringe of the desert — a fertile crescent having the moun- 
tains on one side and the desert on the other. 

This fertile crescent is approximately a semicircle, with the 
open side toward the south, having the west end at the southeast 
comer of the Mediterranean, the center directly north of Arabia, 
and the east end at the north end of the Persian Gulf (see 
map, p. 56). It lies like an army facing south, with one wing 
stretching along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, the 
other reaching out to the Persian Gulf, while the center has its 


Western Asia: Babylonia, Assyria, and Chaldea 57 

back against the northern mountains. The end of the western 
wing is Palestine, Assyria makes up a large part of the center, 
while the end of the eastern wing is Babylonia. 

This great semicircle, for lack of a name, may be called the The desert- 
fertile crescent.^ It may also be likened to the shores of a ^^^ 
desert-bay, upon which the mountains behind look down — a 
bay, not of water but of sandy waste, some five hundred miles 
across, forming a northern extension of the Arabian desert, and 
sweeping as far north as the latitude of the northeast corner of 
the Mediterranean. After the meager winter rains much of the 
northern desert-bay is clothed with scanty grass, and spring thus 
turns the region for a short time into grasslands. Much of the 
history of western Asia may be described as an age-long struggle 
between the mountain peoples of the north and the desert wan- 
derers of these grasslands — a struggle which is still going on — 
for the possession of the fertile crescent, the shores of the 

Arabia is totally lacking in rivers and enjoys but a few weeks The Arabian 
of rain in midwinter ; hence it is a desert very little of which is the s^emkic 
habitable. Its people are and have been from the remotest ages no"^ad 
a great white race called Semites, with two of whose tribes we 
are familiar, the Arabs, and the Hebrews whose descendants 
dwell among us. They all spoke and still speak dialects of the 
same tongue, of which Hebrew was one. For ages they have 
moved up and down the habitable portions of the Arabian 
world, seeking pasturage for their flocks and herds. Such 
wandering shepherds are called nomads. 

From the earliest times, when the spring grass of the northern Ceaseless 
wilderness is gone, they have been constantly drifting in from nomad from 
the sandy sea upon the shores of the northern desert-bay. If ^^^ desert to 

, -^ the fertile 

they can secure a footing there, they slowly make the transition crescent 
from the wandering life of the desert nomad to the settled life 

1 There is no name, either geographical or political, which includes all of this 
great semicircle (see map, p. 56). Hence we are obliged to coin a term and call 
it the " fertile crescent," 


Outlines of European History 

of the agricultural peasant. This slow shift at times swells into 
a great tidal wave of migration, when the wild hordes of the 
wilderness roll in upon the fertile shores of the desert-bay — a 
human tide from the desert to the towns which they overwhelm. 
We can see this process going on for thousands of years. 
Among such movements we are familiar with the passage of 
the Hebrews from the desert into Palestine, as described in the 

Fig, 36. The Euphrates at Babylon in Winter 

The winter rainfall (p. 61) is so slight that the river shrinks to a very 
low level and its bed is exposed and dry almost to the middle. In 
summer the rains and melting snows in the northern mountains swell 
the river till it overflows its banks and inundates the Babylonian plain. 
The house on the right is the dwelling of the German Expedition still 
engaged in excavating Babylon 

Bible ; and we shall later learn (Chapter XIV) of the invasions 
of the Arab hosts of Islam, which even reached Europe. After 
they had adopted a settled town life the colonies of the Semites 
stretched far westward through the Mediterranean, especially in 
northern Africa, even to southern Spain and the Atlantic (see 
diagram, Fig. 49). But it took many centuries for the long line 
of their settlements to creep slowly westward until it reached the 
Atlantic, and we must begin with the Semites in the desert. 

Western Asia : Babylonia, Assyria, and Chaldea 59 
The life of the wandering Semites in the desert is very simple. Life on the 


They possess only scanty, movable property, chiefly flocks and 
herds. They hold no land, they know no law, they are unable 
to write. They are practically without industries, and thus the 
desert tribesmen lead a life of unhampered freedom. Their 
needs oblige them to traffic now and then in the towns, and Traffic and 

... 11, the caravan 

through such connections with the townsmen these desert wan- 
derers often become the common carriers of the settled com- 
munities, fearlessly leading their caravans across the wastes of 
the desert sea, especially between Syria-Palestine and Babylonia. 

The wilderness is the nomad's home. His imagination peoples ReHgion of 

r 1 1 • 1 • • -1 1 1 the nomad 

the far reaches of the desert with invisible and uncanny crea- 
tures, who inhabit every rock and tree, hilltop and spring. These 
creatures are his gods. Each one of these beings controls only 
a little corner of the great world ; he becomes the nomad's 
tribal god and journeys with him from pasture to pasture, 
sharing his food and his feasts and receiving as his due from 
the tribesman the first-born of the flocks and herds. The thoughts 
of the desert wanderer about such a god are crude and barbarous, 
and his religious customs are often savage, even leading him to 
sacrifice his children to appease the angry god. On the other 
hand, the nomad has a dawning sense of justice and of right, 
and he feels obligations of kindness to his fellows which he be- 
lieves are the compelling voice of his god. Such lofty moral 
vision made the Semites the religious teachers of the civilized 
world. At the same time these Semites had practical gifts which 
made them the greatest merchants of the ancient world, as their 
Hebrew descendants among us still are at the present day. 

As early as 3000 B.C. or a little after, they were drifting in The western 
from the desert and settling in Palestine, where we find them 
in possession of walled towns by 2500 B.C. (Fig. 55). These 
predecessors of the Hebrews in Palestine were a tribe called 
Canaanites(p. 102); further north settled a powerful tribe known 
as Amorites (p. 67) ; while along the shores of north Syria 
some of these one-time desert wanderers had taken to the sea, 


Outlines of European History 

and had become the Phoenicians (p. 137). By 2000 B.C. all these 
settled communities of the Semites had developed no mean 

degree of civilization, drawn 
for the most part from Egypt 
and Babylonia. 

At the same time we can 
watch similar movements of 
the nomads at the eastern 
end of our fertile crescent 
(p. 56), along the lower 
course of the Tigris and 
Euphrates (Fig. 36). These 
two rivers rise in the north- 
ern mountains (see map, 
p. 56), whence they issue to 
cross the fertile crescent and 
to cut obliquely southeast- 
ward through the northern 
bay of the desert (p. 57). 
As the rivers approach most 
closely to each other, about 
one hundred and sixty or 
seventy miles from the 
Persian Gulf,^ they emerge 
from the desert and enter 
a low plain of fertile soil, 
formerly brought down by 
the rivers to fill a prehis- 
toric bay like the Delta 
of the Nile. This plain is 
Babylonia, the eastern end 
of the fertile crescent. 

Fig. 37. Early Sujvierian Wedge- 
Writing, THE Earliest Writing 
OF Babylonia (about 2900 b.c.) 

Such archaic examples (3000 to 2500 
B.C.) were written in short vertical 
lines read downward. Each sign was 
a picture. Pressing the corner of a 
square reed-tip into the soft clay for 
each line of the picture tended to 
produce a wedge-shaped line, and 
each picture thus became a group of 
wedge-shaped lines. These signs were 
also employed engraved on stone. 
The above inscription is on a frag- 
ment of a stone mortar and records 
a Sumerian king's dedication of the 
mortar to a goddess. Among other 
things the king prays to the goddess, 
*' May the king of Kish not seize it 
[the mortar]," showing the dangers 

of this Age of the City-States (p. 64) 

1 This distance applies only to ancient Babylonian and Assyrian days. The 
rivers have since then filled up the Persian Gulf for one hundred and fifty tp 
one hundred and sixty miles, and the gulf is that much shorter at the present 
day (see note under scale on map, p. 56, and see map, Ancient Ti7?ies, p. 106). 

Western Asia: Babylonia, Assyria, and Chaldea 6i 

Rarely more than forty miles wide, this plain contained prob- Area of the 
ably less than eight thousand square miles of cultivable soil — plain °"*^" 
roughly equal to the state of New Jersey or the territory of 
Wales. It lies in the Mediterranean belt of rainy winter and 
dry summer, but the rainfall is so scanty (less than three inches 
a year) that irrigation of the fields is required in order to ripen 
the grain. When properly irrigated the plain is prodigiously its fertility 
fertile, and the chief source of wealth in Babylonia was agri- 
culture. This plain was the scene of the most important and 
long-continued of those frequent struggles between the moun- 
taineer and the nomad, of which we have spoken. 

Section i i . The Earliest Babylonians 

The mountaineers were not Semitic and show no relationship Race of the 
to the Semitic nomads of the Arabian desert.-^ We are indeed Jans "™^" 
unable to connect the earliest of these mountain peoples with 
any of the great racial groups known to us. We find them 
shown on monuments of stone, as having shaven heads and 
wearing heavy woolen kilts (Fig. 41). While they were still using Sumerians 
stone implements, some of these mountaineers, now known as Babylonian 
Sumerians, pushed through the passes of the eastern mountains P^^^"^ 
at a very early date. Long before 3000 B.C. they had reclaimed 
the marshes around the mouths of the two rivers of Babylonia. 

Their settlements of low mud-brick huts soon creep northward Their 
along the river banks. They learn to control the spring freshets civilization 
with dikes and to distribute the waters in irrigation trenches. 
They already possess cattle, sheep, and goats. The ox draws the 
plow, and the ass pulls wheeled cdcrts and chariots, and the wheel 
as a burden-bearing device emerges here for the first time.^ But 

1 On the other hand, although they were certainly white races, the moun- 
taineers exhibited no relationship to the Indo-European group of peoples who 
were already spreading through the country north and east of the Caspian at a 
very early date. The Indo-European peoples, from whom we ourselves have 
descended, are discussed in section i6. 

2 Probably earlier than the wheel in the Swiss lake-villages of the Late Stone 
Age (p. 12). 


Oiitlines of European History 

writing and 
calendar . 


the horse is still unknown. Traffic with the upper river brings 
in metal from the Nile valley, and the smith learns to fashion 
utensils of copper. But he has not yet learned to harden the 
copper into bronze by admixture of tin. 

Traffic and government have taught these people to make 
records, scratched in rude pictures with the tip of a reed on a 
flat piece of soft clay. Speed in writing simplified these pictures 
into groups of wedge-shaped marks, once the lines of the picture 

(Fig. 37). Hence 
these signs are called 
cuneiform, mean- 
ing " wedge-form," 
writing (Latin, cu- 
neies, " wedge "). 
This writing was 
phonetic, but did 
not possess alpha- 
betic signs. In 
order to date events 
in a given year, 
each year received 
a name, after some 
important event 
which had hap- 
pened in it. The 
year was composed 
of moon-months, twelve of which fall very far short of making 
up a solar year. An extra month must be inserted every three 
years or so. This inconvenient calendar was also employed by 
later peoples of the Mediterranean, until it was replaced by that 
of Egypt (pp. 23 and 268), which we now use.^ 

In the midst of their most sacred town we see rising a tall 
pyramidal mount of brick (compare Fig. 43) which ser\^es as the 

Fig. 38. Restoration of an Early 
Babylonian House. (After Koldewey) 

The towns of the early Babylonians were small 
and were chiefly made of such sun-baked brick 
houses as these. Their simple adornment con- 
sisted only of vertical panels and a stepped 
(" crenelated ") edge at the top of the wall. 
The doors were crowned by arches in contrast 
with the Egyptians, who knew the arch but 
preferred a horizontal line above all doorways 

1 The moon-month calendar is still in use among the oriental Jews and 

Wester7i Asia : Babylonia, Assyria, and Chaldea 63 

dwelling of Enlil, their great god of the air. It is an artificial 
mountain, built in memory of an ancient temple on a hilltop in 
their former mountain home. It was such a temple-tower in 
Babylon which later gave rise to the story of the " Tower of 
Babel " among the Hebrews. Such " nature gods " as Enlil 
form the center of their life ; the temple in each community 

Fig. 39. A Sumerian Line of Battle 

The troops of a Sumerian city-king, marching into battle, about 2900 
B.C. The king himself, whose face is broken' off from the stone, 
marches at the right, heading his troops, who follow in a close phalanx, 
with spears set for the charge. Tall shields cover their entire bodies, 
and they wear close-fitting helmets, probably of leather. They are 
marching over dead bodies (syrhbolical of the overthrow of the enemy). 
The scene is carved in stone. It is a good example of the rude Sume- 
rian sculpture in Babylonia in the days of the Great Pyramid in Egypt 
(contrast with Figs. 23 and 40) 

is the center of the town, around which the sun-baked brick 
houses (Fig. 38) of the townsmen spread out for a few hun- 
dred feet. These houses, of which only the foundations now Society 
remain, tell us little of the life which once moved in these 
streets, and the meager stor)^ is not enlivened by beautiful 
scenes on the walls of tomb-chapels, such as we find in Egypt. 


Outlines of European History 

The Sumerian 

Wars of the 

The desert 
Semites Uke- 
wise invade 
the plain 

Sargon of 
Akkad — 


Hence we cannot visit the country and make its monuments 
tell us its story as we have done in Egypt. The Sumerians 
built no such tombs, nor had they any belief in a blessed here- 
after. Their business documents, written on clay tablets, reveal 
to us a class of free, landholding citizens, working their lands 
with slaves, who form a large part of the population, and trad- 
ing with caravans and small boats up and down the river. 

Over both these classes, free and slave, there is a numerous 
body of officials and priests — the aristocrats of the town. They 
are ruled, along with all the rest, by a priest-king. Such a com- 
munity, forming a town or city kingdom and owning the lands 
for a few miles round about the town, is the political unit, or 
state. Babylonia as a whole consisted of a number of such 
small city-kingdoms, and this earliest Sumerian period may be 
called the Age of the City-States. These early city-states were 
more skilled in war (Fig. 39) than the Egyptians and were con- 
stantly fighting each with its neighbors. Such struggles among 
themselves seriously weakened the Sumerians and made them 
less able to resist the incoming men of the desert. 

The tribesmen from the desert had early begun to filter into 
the Euphrates valley. They were finally settled in such numbers 
along the narrow strip of land where the two rivers approach 
each other most closely that they took possession of northern 
Babylonia. By the middle of the twenty-eighth century B.C. 
they had established a kingdom there known as Akkad. These 
Akkadians, under a bold and able leader named Sargon, de- 
scended the Euphrates and overthrew the Sumerians far and 
wide. Thus arose the first Semitic kingdom of importance in 
history, and Sargon I, its founder, is the first great name in the 
history of the Semitic race. 

These one-time wanderers of the desert learned to write the 
Sumerian wedge-writing, and it was now that a Semitic language 
was written for the first time. Sargon and his people gained 
Sumerian civilization. Their own vigorous life, fresh as the breath 
of the desert, also contributed much, especially in art (Fig. 40), 




j^^m.: M 




^^^ " 






«. J^':.l- 



l^;- '^^^Mi'ij 




Fig. 40. A King of Akkad" storming a Fortress — the 
Earliest Great Semitic Work of Art (about 2700 b.c.) 

King Naram-Sin of Akkad (son of Sargon I, p. 64) has pursued the 
enemy into a mountain stronghold. His heroic figure towers above his 
pygmy enemies, each one of whom has fixed his eyes on the conqueror, 
awaiting his signal of mercy. The sculptor, with fine insight, has depicted 
the dramatic instant when the king lowers his weapon as the sign that 
he grants the conquered their lives. Compare the superiority of this 
Semitic sculpture of Akkad over the Sumerian art of two centuries 
earlier (Fig. 39) 



Oictlines of European History 

Mingling of 
and Semite 

in which they far surpassed their Sumerian teachers. Thus the 
life and qualities of the desert Semite and those of the non- 
Semitic mountaineer now mingle on the Babylonian plain, as 
Norman and English later mingled in Merry England. On the 
streets and in the market places of the Euphrates towns, where 





- ,i ' ' 



J' ; 1 

Fig. 41. A Semitic Noble and his Sumerian Secretary 
(Twenty-seventh Century b.c.) 

The third figure (wearing a cap) is that of the noble, Ubil-Ishtar, who 
is brother of the king. He is a Semite, as his beard shows. Three of his 
four attendants are also Semites, with beards and long hair; but one of 
them (just behind the noble) is beardless and shaven-headed. He is the 
noble's secretary, for being a Sumerian he is skilled in writing. His 
name " Kalki" we learn from the inscription in the corner, which reads, 
" Ubil-Ishtar, brother of the king ; Kalki, the scribe, thy servant." This 
inscription is in the Semitic (Akkadian) tongue of the time and illus- 
trates how the Semites have learned the Sumerian signs for writing. 
The scene is engraved on Kalki's personal seal, of which the above is a 
drawing. It is a fine example of the Babylonian art of seal-cutting in 
hard stone. The original is in the British Museum 

once the bare feet, clean-shaven heads, 'and beardless faces of 
the Sumerian townsmen were the only ones to be seen, there is 
now a plentiful sprinkling of sandaled feet, of dark beards, and 
of heavy black locks hanging down over the shoulders of the 
swarthy Semites of Akkad (Fig. 41). 



Western Asia : Babylonia, Assyria, and Chaldea 6/ 

Section 12. The Age of Hammurapi and after 

Centuries of struggle between the Sumerians and Semites Hammu- 
ensue. A tribe of Amorites from the west (p. 59) gains control second ^^^ 
of the little town of Babylon. Hammurapi, one of their kings, Semitic 
fights for thirty years and conquers all Babylonia (about 2 1 00 b.c). 
Again the desert wins, as this second great Semitic ruler, Ham- 
murapi, raises Babylon, thus far a small and unimportant town, 
to be the leading place in the plain which we may now more 
properly call " Babylonia." 

Hammurapi survived his triumph twelve years. It is not a civilization 
little interesting to watch this great man, still betraying in his Hammumpi 
shaven upper lip (a desert custom) the evidence of his desert 
ancestry, as he puts forth his powerful hand upon the teeming life 
of Babylonia, and with a touch brings in order and system where 
before all had been confusion. He collects all the older laws and The laws of 
customs of business, legal, and social life and issues these in a 
great legal code. Engraved upon a splendid shaft of diorite, these 
laws have survived to our day, the oldest-preserved code of 
ancient law (Fig. 42). On the whole it is a surprisingly just code 
and shows much consideration for the poor and defenseless classes. 

Thus regulated, Babylonia prospers as never before, and her Expansion of 
merchants penetrate far and wide into the surrounding countries. 
The clay-tablet invoices in Babylonian writing which accompany 
their heavily loaded caravans have to be read by many a merchant 
in the towns of Syria and behind the northern mountains. Thus 
the wedge-writing of Babylonia gradually makes its way through 
western Asia. There is as yet no coined money, but lumps of 
silver of a given weight circulate so commonly (p. 98) that values 
are given in weight of silver. Thus a man may say an ox is 
worth so many ounces of silver, only he would use " shekels " 
(the name of a weight) in place of ounces. Loans are common, 
and the rate of interest is twenty per cent. Babylonian civiliza- 
tion is above all things mercantile. Merchandising is the chief 
occupation and even invades the temples. 



Outlines of European History 

and religion 

The temples are trading centers, owning vast properties, carry- 
ing on banking, and controlling much of the business of the 

people. Nevertheless there are 
some indications of higher de- 
sires. The ritual of the temples 
contains a small group of prayers 
which indicate a deep sense of 
sin ; but the chief teachings of 
religion show a man how to 
obtain prosperity from the gods 
and how to avoid their dis^ 
pleasure. Among such teach- 
ings are methods of foretelling 
the future by reading the stars. 
This art, now called " astrology," 
formed the beginnings of as- 
tronomy (p. 83). 

A journey through Babylonia 
to-day could not tell us such a 

* A shaft of stone (diorite) nearly 
eight feet high, on which the laws are 
engraved, extending entirely around 
the shaft and occupying over 
thirty-six hundred lines. Above is 
a fine relief showing King Ham- 
murapi standing at the left, receiv- 
ing the laws from the Sun-god seated 
at the right. Hammurapi's shaven 
upper lip proclaiming him a man of 
the Syrian desert (p. 67) is here in 
the shadow and cannot be seen. The 
flames risingfrom the god's shoulders 
indicate who he is. The flames on 
the left shoulder are commonly 
shown in the current textbooks as 
part of a staff in the god's left hand. 
This is an error. This scene is an 
impressive work of Semitic art, six 
hundred years later than Fig. 40 

Fig. 42. The Laws of Ham- 
MURAPi, THE Oldest-Surviv- 
ing Code of Laws(2ioob.c.)* 

Western Asia : Babylonia^ Assyria, and Chaldea 69 

story as we read among the monuments on our voyage up the 
Nile. To-day the Babylon of Hammurapi has perished utterly. 
The meager remains of his age do not reveal a bright and sunny 
outlook upon life, which felt deeply the beauty of the world and 
clothed with that beauty all the surroundings of house, furniture, 
and garden (Fig. 38). There is no painting; the sculpture of Art 
the Semites is in one instance (Fig. 40) powerful and dramatic, 
but portraiture is scarcely able to distinguish one individual from 
another. Of architecture little remains. There were no colon- 
nades and no columns, though brick supports were employed. . 
The chief architectural creation is the temple tower (as in Fig. 
43), but of the temples no example has survived. The beauti- 
ful art of gem-cutting, as we find it in their seals, was the great- 
est art of the Babylonians (Fig. 41). 

We may summarize the history of Babylonia as a thousand Summary of 
years of developing civilization and of struggle, during which history"'^" 
Sumerian and Semite each rose and fell twice — a thousand 
years reaching its highest point and its end in the reign of 
Hammurapi. Thenceforth the barbarians from the mountains 
poured into the Babylonian plain. They brought with them the 
horse} which now appears for the first time in Babylonia. They 
divided and then destroyed the kingdom of Hammurapi. After 
him there followed more than a thousand years of complete stag- 
nation. Henceforth Babylonia plays but a minor part in the 
history of the East, until in the seventh century B.C. a new line 
of desert nomads, the Chaldeans (see p. 80), established that 
Empire made famous by the name of Nebuchadnezzar and the 
Babylonian captivity of the Hebrews. The influence of the ven- 
erable Babylonian civilization lived on, especially in writing, re- 
ligion, and literature. The old Sumerian tongue — though no 
longer spoken — was employed in religious documents as a 
sacred language, which only the priests understood, as Latin has 
survived in the ritual of the Roman Catholic Church. 

1 It was a few centuries later that the horse entered Egypt, as we have seen 
(p. 45). We shall soon learn (p. 90) whence these Babylonian horses came. 


Outlines of European History 

Section 13. Early Assyria and her Rivals 

Semitic king- 
doms along 
the fertile 

Assur, once 
a Hittite 

came from 
the south 

of Assyria 

The history of our great fertile crescent (see p. ^8) did not 
end, however, with this decline of Babylonia. We find its story- 
continuing among other settlements of the desert nomads ex- 
tending all along the shores of the northern desert-bay. In the 
northeast corner of the desert-bay, in the days when Sargon I 
and his line were ruling in Babylonia, a Hittite chief (Fig. 60) 
from the mountains of Asia Minor had built his castle. It was 
really a mountain outpost within the desert-bay, whose rolling 
hills enveloped it on all sides. Seeking the northern pas- 
tures, a tribe of desert nomads who called themselves Assur 
(whence Assyria) seized this stronghold and its outlying vil- 
lages. Thus arose the little kingdom of Assur, like a dozen 
others along this desert margin. It was nearer the middle of 
the great crescent than Babylonia and held a position better 
suited to rule the shores of the desert-bay. 

In climate more invigorating than the hot Babylonian plain, 
Assur had many fertile valleys and an agricultural population. 
The Assyrians early learned cuneiform writing (p. 62), and their 
language was the same as that of Semitic Babylonia, with slight 
differences in dialect. In the days when Hammurapi's ancestors 
had seized Babylon ("2225 B.C.) (p. 67), Assur was already strong 
enough to dispute the boundary line with them. Constantly 
obliged to defend their uncertain frontiers and settlements, both 
against their kindred of the desert and against the mountaineers, 
the Assyrians were toughened by the strain of unceasing war. 
By 1 100 B.C. their peasant militia had beaten the western kings 
in Syria and looked down upon the Mediterranean, where the 
Egyptian Empire had collapsed two generations before (p. 53). 
Thrown back at this time, they reached it again in the ninth 
century B.C., and likewise made their power felt through a wide 
region of the northern mountains, around which they passed in a 
march of a thousand miles. At the same time the Assyrian kings 
more than once occupied and ruled Babylonia. 

Western Asia : Babylonia, Assyria, and Chaldea 7 1 

Meanwhile a new wave of Semitic nomads had rolled in from The Ara- 
the desert-bay and by 1400 B.C. occupied its western shores; Sama^scu^ 
that is, Palestine and Syria. These were the Hebrews in Pales- 
tine, and somewhat later the Arameans, who founded a power- 
ful kingdom at Damascus. The expansion of Assyria was stopped 
in the west by the Aramean kings of Damascus, who were 
wealthy commercial rulers. Indeed, these Arameans persistently 
pushed their caravans and settlements all along the shores of 
the desert-bay, and after the decline of Babylonia they held the 
commerce of western Asia. They received alphabetic writing 
from the Phoenicians, the earliest system of writing known 
which employed only alphabetic signs (p. 139). The Aramaic 
language of this merchant people of Damascus finally dis- 
placed that of the Hebrews, and Aramaic became the tongue 
spoken by Jesus and the other Hebrews of his time in Pal- . 
estine. It is called Aramaic because it was spoken by the 
Arameans, and it is a Semitic dialect differing but little from 
its sister tongue, Hebrew. 

Section 14. The Assyrian Empire (about 750 

TO 606 B.C.) 

By the middle of the eighth century e.g., however, Assyria Sargon il 
resumed her plans of westward expansion. We can follow her ° ssyna 
irresistible western campaigns not only in the clay-tablet records 
of her kings but also in the warnings and appeals of the Hebrew 
prophets, as they talked to their people. But they were unable 
to prevent the advance of the Assyrians as they beheld Damas- . 
cus, the only defense between them and the armies of Assyria, 
slowly giving way. In the midst of these great western cam- 
paigns of Assyria one of the leading Assyrian generals usurped 
the throne (7 2 2 B.C.) while he was besieging the unhappy Hebrew 
city of Samaria (p. 1 06). He was a very skillful soldier, and as king 
he took the name of Sargon, the first great Semite of Babylonia, 
who had reigned two thousand years earlier (p. 64). The new 

Fall of 


Egypt con- 
quered by 

Extent of 
the Assyrian 


72 Outlines of European History 

Sargon (Fig. 43) and his line ^ raised Assyria to the height of 
her grandeur and power as a military empire. Damascus at 
last fell, and the two little Hebrew kingdoms of Israel and 
Judah were then helpless before their terrible assailant (p. 106). 
At the same time the prosperous Phoenician cities of the coast 
were all humiliated and made subject kingdoms. 

Far up into Asia Minor the name of Sargon's son Sen- 
nacherib was known and feared, as he plundered Tarsus and 
the easternmost Ionian Greek strongholds (p. 146) just after 
700 B.C. A crushing burden of tribute was laid on all subject 
states, and hence Egypt, fearing Assyrian invasion, was con- 
stantly able to stir revolt among the oppressed western peoples. 
Perceiving that Egypt's interference must be stopped, Sennach- 
erib's son was knocking at the gates of the eastern Delta de- 
fenses by 674 B.C. Repulsed at first, he returned to the attack, 
and Egypt at last fell a prey to the Assyrian armies. 

By the middle of the seventh century B.C. the Assyrian 
Empire included all of the fertile crescent (p. 58). It thus 
extended entirely around the great desert-bay, including also 
the mountain country far behind. It also held the lower Nile 
valley in the west, though this last was too distant and detached 
to be kept long. Built up by a century of irresistible and far- 
reaching military campaigns, the Assyrian conquests formed 
the most extensive empire the world had yet seen. 

Along the Tigris the vast palaces (Fig. 43) and imposing 
temple towers of the Assyrian emperors arose, reign after 
reign. Sennacherib devoted himself to the city of Nineveh, 
. just north of Assur, and it became the far-famed capital of 
Assyria. The lofty and massive walls of the city which he built 
stretched two miles and a half along the banks of the Tigris. 
Here in his gorgeous palace he ruled the western Asiatic world 

1 The dynasty of Sargon II is as follows : 

Sargon II 722-705 B.C. 

Sennacherib 705-681 b.c. 

Esarhaddon . . . .' 681-668 b.c 

Ashurbanipal (called Sardanapalus by the Greeks) . 668-626 b.c 

Western Asia: Babylonia, Assyria, and Chaldea 73 

with an iron hand, and collected tribute from all the subject 
peoples. The whole administration centered in the king's busi- 
ness office, where he received the letters and reports of some 

^ ' ^ 




^: ^-^ -^W^ 

:; . ~t' 

^t.-is- -• 






Fig. 43. Restoration of the Palace of S argon II of 
Assyria (722-705 b.c.) 

The palace stands partly inside and partly outside of the city wall on a 
vast elevated platform of brick masonry, to which inclined roadways and 
stairways rise from the inside of the city wall. The king could thus drive 
up in his chariot from the streets of the city below to the palace pave- 
ment above. The rooms and halls are clustered about a number of courts 
open to the sky. The main entrance (with stairs before it leading down 
to the city) is adorned with massive towers and arched doorways built 
of richly colored glazed brick, and embellished with huge human-headed 
bulls carved of alabaster (see cut, p. 85, also Figs. 44 and 45). The 
pyramidal tower behind the great court was inherited from Babylonia 
(p. 63). It is a sacred dwelling place of the god, and his temple (with 
two others) stands just at the foot of the tower on the left 

sixty governors, besides many subject kings who were some- Organization 
times allowed to rule under Assyrian control. The Emperor Assyrian 
lived in dazzling splendor, surrounded by an imposing array rnihtary state 
of courtiers and officials who were his assistants in the work 
of administration. 

^^\ - V ^^^ ^ 2:^^^' s.^X ^?^ 


Fig. 44. Assyrian Soldiers pursuing the Fleeing Enemy 
ACROSS A Stream 

The stream occupies the right half of the scene. As drawn by the 
Assyrian artist, it may be recognized by the fish and the curHng waves ; 
also by the bows and quivers full of arrows floating downstream, along 
with the bodies of two dead horses, one on his back with feet up. Two 
dead men, with arrows sticking in their bodies, are drifting in mid- 
stream. Three of the living leap from the bank as their pursuers stab 
them with spears or shoot them with drawn bow. The Assyrian spear- 
men carry tall shields, but the archer needs both hands for his bow and 
carries no shield. The dead are strewn along the shore, occupying the 
left half of the scene. At the top the vultures are plucking out their 
eyes; in the middle an Assyrian is cutting off a head; beside him an- 
other plants his foot on a dead man's head and plunders him of his 
weapons. The vegetation along the river is shown among the bodies. 
As art, compare this sculpture with Semitic relief two thousand years 
older (Fig. 40 and see p. yy) 


Western Asia : Babylonia, Assyria, and Chaldea 75 

Amid this outward magnificence we discern the army as the The army 
center of the Emperor's power, and indeed of the state itself. 
The state is a vast military machine, more terrible than any 
such agency mankind had ever yet seen (Fig. 44). An important 
new fact aided in bringing about this result. The Assyrian forces First large 
were the first large armies to bear weapons of iron, replacing weapons 
the older armament of bronze, as borne for example by the ^firon 
armies of the Egyptian Empire (p. 53). A single arsenal room 
of Sargon's palace contained two hundred tons of iron imple- 
ments when uncovered by modern excavators. The bulk of 
the army was composed of archers, supported by heavy-armed 
spearmen and shield bearers (Fig. 44),' and the famous horsemen 
and chariotry of Nineveh (Fig. 45 and headpiece, p. 56). 

Besides their iron weapons the Assyrian soldiers possessed a Terrors of 
certain inborn ferocity which held all western Asia in abject army ^^^"^" 
terror before the thundering squadrons of the Ninevite.-^ The 
reigns of the Assyrian emperors were each one long war on all 
frontiers. Wherever their terrible armies swept through the 
land, they left a trail of ruin and desolation behind. Around 
smoking heaps which had once been towns, stretched lines of 
tall stakes on which were stuck the bodies of revolting rulers 
flayed alive ; while all around rose mounds and piles of the 
slaughtered, heaped up to celebrate the great king's power and 
serve as a warning to all revolters. Through clouds of dust 
arising along all the main roads of the Empire the men of the 
subject kingdoms behold great herds of cattle, horses, and asses, 
flocks of goats and sheep, and long lines of camels loaded with 
gold and silver, the wealth of the conquered, converging upon 
the palace at Nineveh. Before them march the chief men of the 
plundered kingdoms, with the bloody and severed heads of their 
former princes tied about their necks. Thus a vast and relentless 
system organized for plunder was absorbing the wealth of the East. 

While this plundered wealth was necessary for the support of 
the army it also served high purposes. We behold magnificent 
1 See Nahum iii, 2-3. 


Outlines of European History 

Civilization of palace fetes and banquets at which all the nobles and officers 

Empire^"^" of the court are present, to celebrate the completion of some 

huge royal castle ; or we see the Emperor amid music and 

sacrifice receiving the good wishes of his lords as he returns 

Architecture from a succcssful Hon hunt (Fig. 45). The Assyrian palaces 

are now imposing buildings (Fig. 43), suggesting in architecture 

\^ ^T!!^^^^«S^^^^'kg:^£-.^_s 

Fig. 45. An Assyrian King hunting Lions 

The king stands in the chariot, and while his driver urges the horses 
(notice loose reins and whip) at full gallop, he draws his bow to the 
arrowhead and discharges arrows full into the face of an enraged lion 
just leaping into the chariot. Three foot soldiers follow behind, and an- 
other lion with body full of arrows sinks down to die. A fine example 
of the Assyrian sculptor's skill in drawing animals. Such scenes as this 
and Fig. 44 (also cut, p. 85) were carved on large slabs of stone (ala- 
baster) and in long bands they stretched along the base of the walls of 
halls and corridors of an Assyrian palace (Fig. 43) for hundreds of feet. 
They display both the art of Assyria and the terrible ferocity of her 
soldiers (Fig. 44 and p. 77) 

something of the far-reaching power of their builder. His archi- 
tects appreciate the beauty of the arch, and we must number 
among great works of architecture the impressive arches of the 
palace entrance, faced with glazed brick in gorgeous colors (cut, 
p. 86). On either side are vast human-headed bulls wrought in 
alabaster,^ and above the whole tower lofty castellated walls of 
baked brick, visible far across the royal city. 

1 One of these gigantic sculptures may be seen at the end of Chapter III 
(p. 85). 

Western Asia: Babylonia^ Assyria, and Chaldea J J 

Within, as a dado along the lower portion of the walls of Sculpture 
corridors and halls, are hundreds of yards of reliefs ^ cut in ala- 
baster, displaying the brave deeds of the Emperor in campaign 
and hunting field (Figs. 44, 45). The human figures are monot- 
onously alike, hard and cold, but those of wild beasts are some- 
times splendid in the abandon of animal ferocity which they 
display. The tiger w^as in the blood of the Assyrian and it 
here comes out in the work of his chisel. There was no art of 
portraiture in statue form as in Egypt, 

To be sure, these great works were largely executed by foreign Assyrian 
labor, for the emperors were obliged to depend not a little on f^m abroad 
foreign skill both in art and industries. With one exception all 
the patterns of their decorative art came from Egypt, and the 
finer work of their palace adornment and their furniture in 
ebony and ivory clearly betray Egyptian origin. The art of 
glazing the colored brick for the palace front, and all work in 
glass likewise, had been borrowed from Egypt (Fig. 48). Sen- 
nacherib frankly confesses that his craftsmen were very unskilled 
in making large bronze casts needed for his palace in Nineveh, 
and boasts that he himself personally overcame the difficulties. 
It is in this ability to use foreign resources that we must rec- 
ognize one of the greatest traits of the Assyrian emperors. 
Thus Sennacherib tells us that he had in his palace "a portal 
made after the model of a Hittite palace." 

In the great gardens which he laid out along the river above Palace 
and below Nineveh he planted unknown trees and strange plants ^^^ ^"^ 
from all quarters of his great empire. Among them were cotton Earliest 
trees,^ of which he says, " The trees that bore wool they clipped 
and they carded it for garments." In this enterprise of an 
Assyrian king we thus see appearing for the first time in civili- 
zation the cotton which now furnishes so large a part of our 
own national wealth. Nor was such insight as the king showed 

1 A further example of such relief sculpture of the Assyrians shows us 
Assyrian horsemen hunting. See the headpiece of Chapter III (p. 56). 

2 This cotton tree was doubtless related to the lower-growing cotton plant of 
our Southern states. 


Outlines of Etiropean History 

pal's library 

not a mere 
echo of 

The fall of 



in this matter wholly devoted to mere wealth, for higher inter- 
ests were also cultivated and literature flourished. 

Modern excavation has uncovered the buildings of Ashurbani- 
pal, Sennacherib's grandson at Nineveh, and here was found a 
great library of clay tablets. In this library the religious, scien- 
tific, and literary documents of past ages had been systematically 
collected by the Emperor's orders. His agents passed around 
among the ancient cities with authorization to take all the old 
writings they could find. These thousands on thousands of clay 
tablets arrayed on shelves formed the earliest library known in 
Asia, and represented an idea quite in advance of Babylonian 
civilization described above. The usual impression that Assyr- 
ian civilization was but an echo of Babylonian culture is very 
misleading.^ The Assyrians were far more advanced in these 
matters than the Babylonians. 

Like many another later ruler, however, the Assyrian em- 
perors made a profound mistake in policy. They destroyed the 
industrial and wealth-producing population, first within their own 
territory and then throughout the subject kingdoms.-^ I'n spite 
of interest in introducing a new textile like cotton, the Emperor 
did not or could not build up industries or commerce like those 
of Babylonia. The people were chiefly agricultural, and in the 
old days it had sufficed to call out levies of peasant militia to 
defend the frontiers. With the expansion of the Empire, hoW' 
ever, such temporary bodies of troops were insufficient, and the 
peasants we.xt perma7ie?itly called away fro7n the fields to fill the 
ranks of an ever-growing standing army. We discern disused 
canals and idle fields as we read of Sargon's efforts to re- 
store the old farming communities. But even so the vast expan- 
sion of the Empire exceeds the power of the standing army to 

1 The fact that industries, agriculture, commerce, and wealth are historical 
forces of the first rank was first discerned by historians in the nineteenth cen- 
tury. The importance of these things in the career of a nation, however, was 
understood by some rulers as far back as the Egyptian Empire. It is therefore 
the more remarkable that historians should have been so long in discovering the 
power of such forces. 

Western Asia : Babylonia, Assyria, and Chaldea 79 

defend it. As reports of new revolts come in the harassed ruler Foreign 
at Nineveh commands the enforced service of militia from among the army 
the subjects of the foreign vassal kingdoms. To a larger and 
larger degree the imperial army thus becomes a medley of for- 
eigners. With an army made up of foreigners to a dangerous 
extent, with no industries, with fields lying idle, and with the 
commerce of the country in the hands of the Aramean traders 
(p. 71), the Assyrian state fast loses its inner strength. 

In addition to such weakness within, there were the most Fall of 
threatening dangers from without. These came, as of old, from assauVts'from 
both sides of the fertile crescent. Drifting in from the desert, as without 
we have seen, the Aramean hordes were constantly absorbing 
the territory of the Empire. Sennacherib in one campaign took 
over two hundred thousand captives out of Babylonia, mostly 
Arameans. At the same time another desert tribe called the 
" Kaldi," whom we know as the Chaldeans, had been for cen- Chaldeans 
turies creeping slowly around the head of the Persian Gulf and 
settling along its shores at the foot of the eastern mountains. 

On the other hand, in the northern mountains the advancing Indo- 
hordes of Indo-European peoples are in full view (see pp. 86 ff.). peoples : 
Their eastern wing, which has moved down the east side of ^ndSy'thi^ns 
the Caspian, fills the northeastern mountains, especially south of 
the Caspian ; its leaders are the tribes of the Medes and Per- Medes and 
sians (see p. 92). These movements shake the Assyrian state 
to its foundations. The Chaldeans master Babylonia, and when 
in combination with the Median hosts from the northeastern 
mountains they assail the walls of Nineveh, the mighty city falls. Destruction 

... ^ of Nineveh 

In the voice of the Hebrew prophet Nahum^ we hear an echo ot 
the exulting shout which resounds from the Caspian to the Nile 
as the nations discover that the terrible scourge of the East has at 
last been laid low. Its fall was forever, and when two centuries 
later Xenophon and his ten thousand Greeks marched past the 
place (p. 2 1 1) the Assyrian nation was but a vague tradition, and 
Nineveh, its great city, was a vast heap of rubbish as it is to-day. 

1 Especially ii, 8-13, and iii entire. 


Outlines of European History 

and Medes 
divide the 

nezzar de- 
feats Egypt 

Reign of 

Section 15. The Chaldean Empire: the Last 
Semitic Empire 

With the fall of Nineveh (606 B.C.) we enter upon the third 
and final period of Semite power in western Asia^ — a power 
which had begun over two thousand years earlier under Sargon 
of Akkad. The Kaldi, or Chaldeans, the new group of desert 
wanderers, now held possession of Babylonia. They made 
Babylon their capital and gave their name to the land, so that 
we now know it as " Chaldea " (from Kaldi). The whole moun- 
tain region of the north and on the east of the Tigris was at 
the same time in possession of the Medes (p. 93). The Chal- 
deans were therefore obliged to divide the Assyrian Empire 
with the Medes, and the Chaldean share was the south and 
west. But in order to hold their western possessions the Chal- 
deans were obliged to fight Egy^pt. The Chaldean crown prince 
Nebuchadnezzar - beat off Egs^pt, and thus Assyria was followed 
by Chaldean Babylon as lord of Syria and Palestine (605 B.C.). 

At Babylon Nebuchadnezzar now began a reign of over forty 
years — a reign of such power and magnificence, especially as 
reflected to us in the Bible, that he has become one of the great 
figures of oriental history. Exasperated by the obstinate revolts 
prompted by Eg}^pt in the west, Nebuchadnezzar punished the 
western nations, especially the little Hebrew kingdom of Judah. 
He finally carried away many Hebrews as captives to Babylonia 
and destroyed Jerusalem, their capital (586 B.C.), having pre- 
viously defeated the Eg}'ptian army of relief, on which the 
Hebrews had depended. 

1 The three great ages of Semite power in western Asia are : 

1. Early Babylonia (Sargon I about 2750 b.c, Hammurapi about 2100 b.c; 
there was an interval of Sumerian power between these two great Semitic kings). 

2. The Assyrian Empire (about 750 to 606 B.C.). 

3. The Chaldean Empire (about 606 to 539 b.c). 

We might add 2i fourth period of Semite supremacy, the triumph of Islam in 
the seventh century a.d., after the death of Mohammed (sections 58-59). 

2 The monuments show that the real spelling of this name was " Nebuchad- 
rezzar," but to avoid confusion the old BibUcal spelling has been retained. 



Longitude 45 East 

H I \^ 


Tropic ofjCanoef. 




B A 

from 50 Greenwich 55 

Western Asia : Babylonia, Assyjia, and CJialdea 8 1 

In spite of long and serious wars the great king found tinre civilization 
and wealth to devote to the enlarg-ement and beautification of Babylon ^ts 
Babylon. Profiting by the example of the imperial architecture bu^fj/if^g"^ 
which had once adorned Nineveh (p. 76), Nebuchadnezzar was 
able to surpass his Assyrian predecessors in the splendor of the 
great buildings which he now erected. In the large temple 
quarter in the south of the city he rebuilt the temples of the 

Fig. 46. Recoxstruction of a Temple of Babylon in the 
Chaldean Empire. (After Koldewey) 

The building was of sun-baked brick ; as the dwelling of a god, it shows 
the same architecture as the dwelHng of man, and there was no advance 
over the architecture of the old Babylonian house (Fig. 38) of two 
thousand years earlier. In contrast with the Egyptian temples, it em- 
ployed the arch over all doors and contained no colonnades. No such 
temple now stands in Babylon, and the drawing is a restoration 

long-revered Babylonian divinities (Fig. 46). Leading from these 
to the palace he laid out a festival avenue^ which passed through 
an imposing gateway called the " Gate of Ishtar" (Fig. 47), for 
it was dedicated to this goddess. Behind it lay the vast imperial 
palace and the offices of government, while high over all towered 
the temple-mount which rose by the Marduk temple as a veri- 
table " Tower of Babel " (see p. 63). Masses of rich tropical 
verdure, rising in terrace upon terrace, forming a lofty garden, 

1 A lion of brilliant blue-glazed brick, discovered by the Germans in the Festi- 
val Street of Nebuchadnezzar at Babylon, will be found at the head of Chapter 
IV (p. 86). 



Outlines of European History 


crowned the roof of the imperial palace and, overlooking the 
Ishtar Gate, enhanced the brightness of its colors. Here in 

the cool shade of palms and 
ferns, inviting to rest and 
ease, the great king might 
enjoy an idle hour with the 
ladies of his court and look 
down upon the splendors of 
his city. These roof gardens 
of Nebuchadnezzar's palace 
are the mysterious " Hang- 
ing Gardens " of Babylon, 
whose fame spread far into 
the west until they were 
numbered by the Greeks 
among the Seven Wonders 
of the World. 

It is this Babylon of Nebu- 
chadnezzar whose marvels 
over a century later so im- 
pressed Herodotus (p. i88), 
as is shown in the descrip- 
tion of it which he has left 
us. This, too, is the Babylon 
which has become familiar 
to all Christian peoples as 
the great city of the Hebrew 
captivity (p. 107). Of all the 
glories which made it world 
renowned in its time, little 
now remains. The excava- 
tions of the Germans, who 
have been uncovering the 
city since 1899, are slowly 
revealing one building after 

Fig. 47. The Ishtar Gate of the 

Palace Quarter of Babylon in 

the Chaldean Empire (Sixth 

Century b.c.) 

This gate, recently excavated by the 
Germans, is the most important build- 
ing still standing in Babylon. It is not 
a restoration like Fig. 46. The towers 
rising on either side of the gate are 
adorned with the figures of animals 
(see cut, p. 86) in splendidly colored 
glazed tile, as used also in the Assyrian 
palaces (Fig. 43). Behind this gate 
rose the sumptuous palace of Nebu- 
chadnezzar, crowned by the beautiful 
roof gardens known as the " Hanging 
Gardens " of Babylon (p. 82) 

Western Asia: Babylonia, Assyria, and Chaldea 83 

another, the scanty wreckage of the ages. To them we owe the 
recovery of the Festival Street and the Ishtar Gate (Fig. 47), but 
the Ishtar Gate is prac- 
tically the only build- 
ing in all Babylonia of 
which any impressive 
remains survive. Else- 
where the broken frag- 
ments of dingy sun-baked 
brick walls suggest 
little of the brilliant 
life which once ebbed 
and flowed through 
these streets and public 

■ The Chaldeans seem 
to have absorbed the 
civilization of Babylonia 
in much the same way 
as other earlier Semitic 
invaders of this ancient 
plain. Commerce and 
business flourished, the 
arts and industries were 
highly developed, re- 
ligion and literature 
were cultivated and 
their records were put 
into wedge-writing on 
clay tablets as of old. 
Science made notable 

Fig. 48. Glass of the Sixth Century 
B.C. FOUND IN Chaldean Babylon 

The art of glazing and glassmaking, so 
extensively used in adorning Assyrian and 
Chaldean buildings, was not native to Asia, 
but arose far earlier on the Nile (see p. 36, 
and cut, p. 16). Thus, for example, the glass 
bottle shown here is of a shape and pattern 
borrowed by the Babylonians from Egypt. 
At this time exactly the same pattern of 
bottle was being used also in north Italy, 
which likewise received it from Egypt 

progress in one impor- 
tant branch — astronomy. Still with the practical purpose of 
reading the future rather than of furthering science, the Baby- 
lonians continued the ancient art of discovering the future in 


Outlines of European History 

Origin of 
names of 
the planets 

The oriental 

the heavenly bodies (see p. 68). The art was now very syste- 
matically pursued and was really becoming astronomy.- The 
equator was divided into 360 ,degrees, and for the first time 
they laid out and mapped the twelve groups of stars which we 
call the " Twelve Signs of the Zodiac." Thus for the first time 
the sky and its worlds were mapped out into a system. 

The five planets then known (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, 
and Saturn) were especially regarded as the powers controlling the 
fortunes of men, and as such the five leading Babylonian divinities 
were identified with these five heavenly bodies. It is the names of 
these Babylonian divinities which, in Roman translation, have de- 
scended to us as the names of these five planets. So the planet of 
Ishtar, the goddess of love, became Venus, while that of the great 
god Marduk became Jupiter, and so on. The celestial observations 
made by these Chaldean "astrologers," as we call them, slowly be- 
came sufficiently accurate, so that when inherited by the Greeks 
they formed the basis of the science of astronomy, which the 
Greeks carried so much further (p. 162). The practice of " astrol- 
ogy " has survived to our own day; we still unconsciously recaH it in 
such phrases as " his lucky star " or an " ill-starred undertaking." 

This Chaldean age is in many respects an effort to restore 
the civilization of the earlier Babylonia of Hammurapi's day (pp. 
67-69). The scribes now love to employ an ancient style of writ- 
ing and out-of-date forms of speech ; the kings tunnel deep under 
the temple foundations and search for years that they may find 
the old foundation records buried (like our corner-stone docu- 
ments) by kings of ancient days. Likewise in Egypt and among 
the Hebrews, as well as in Babylonia, the men of the East are 
deeply conscious of the distant past through which their ancestors 
have come down through the ages. The oriental world is grow- 
ing old, and men are looking back upon her far-away youth with 
wistful endeavors to restore it to the earth again. Indeed, the 
leadership of the Semitic peoples in the early world is drawing 
near its close, and they are about to give way before the ad- 
vance of the Indo-Euiropean race, to which we must now turn. 

Western Asia : Babylonia^ Assyria, and CJialdca 85 


Section 10. Give the water boundaries of 'westernmost Asia. 
Where do desert and mountains chiefly lie ? What lies between them ? 
Summarize the history of the fertile crescent. Make a sketch map 
showing its situation. What land occupied its east end .? its west end 1 

What is a " nomad " .? Mention some Semitic peoples. Whither 
does the wandering desert tribe often shift 1 Do you recall any Sem- 
ites who have so shifted .'' Describe the nomads' life ; their religion. 
Describe the Babylonian plain, giving size, climate, and products. 

Section ii. Describe Sumerian civilization and invasion of the 
Babylonian plain. What do we call the earliest age of Sumerian history? 

Who were the earliest Semites in Babylonia 1 Give an account of 
their first great leader. How did these Semites gain their earliest 
civilization, for example, writing.? Did Sumerian and Semite mingle.? 

Section i 2. Who was Hammurapi .? Give an account of his laws. 
Describe Babylonian commerce in his age. How can w^e summarize 
Babylonian history .? 

Section 13. Locate Assyria on the fertile crescent. Whence did its 
people receive their civilization .? What stopped early Assyrian expan- 
sion westward .? W^ho were the Arameans.? Where was their capital .? 

Section 14. What did the Assyrian Empire at its largest chiefly 
include .? Describe the Assyrian state ; the army. Give some account 
of Assyrian civilization. Outline the causes of the fall of Assyria. 

Section 15. Who were the Chaldeans.? Who were the Medes? 
How did they divide the East between them? Describe Chaldean 
Babylon ; its chief buildings. Discuss Chaldean astronomy. 

■551?^^. _j^ '" '""" ' " II 

flli^L^^^.^ . - J 

I b^fe^ T" ^" ir f^ J 

1 \ JI 



mlmniJLiiii }MiiM liJiilii/JliiiilL 

mJ^i^^JEliiiMi!!i!iII!^ \i.!M^J!iM 



Section i6. The Indo-European Peoples and 
THEIR Dispersion ^ 

The northern 

We have seen that the Arabian desert has been a great reser- 
voir of unsettled population, which was continually leaving the 
grasslands on the margin of the desert and shifting over into the 
towns to begin a settled life (pp. 57 f.). Corresponding to these 
grasslands of the souf/i, there are similar grasslands in the norf/i 
(Fig. 49), behind the mountains of western Asia and southern 
Europe (see map, p. 80). These northern grasslands stretch 
from central Europe, behind the Balkans, eastward along the 
north side of the Black Sea through southern Russia and far 
into Asia north and east of the Caspian. They have always 
had a wandering shepherd population, and time after time, for 

1 Section i6 deals with a series of racial movements which anticipate a large 
part of ancient history. They are at first not easy for a young student to visual- 
ize. They should therefore be carefully worked over by the teacher with the 
class before the class is permitted to study this section alone. The diagram 
(Fig. 49) should be put on the blackboard and explained in detail by the teacher, 
and the class should then be prepared to put the diagram on the board from 
memory. This should be done again when the study of the Greeks is begun 
(P- 123), and a third time when Italy and the Romans are taken up. 


Wgstem Asia : The Medo-Persian Empire 8/ 

thousands of years, these northern nomads have poured forth 
over Europe and western Asia, just as the desert Semites of 
the south have done over the fertile crescent (pp. 59 ff.). 

These nomads of the north were from the earliest times a The two 
great white race, which we call Indo-European. We can perhaps European^^ 
best explain this term by saying that the present peoples of ^"^^ Semitic 
Europe are almost all Indo-European, and as most of us are of 
the same stock their ancestors were also ours, as we shall see. 
These nomads of the northerii grasslands, our ancestors, began 
to migrate in very ancient times, moving out along diverging 
routes. They at last extended in an imposing line from the 
frontiers of India on the east, westward across all Europe to the 
Atlantic, as they do to-day (Fig. 49). This great northern line was 
confronted on the south by a similar line of Semitic peoples, 
extending from Babylonia on the east, through Phoenicia and the 
Hebrews westward to Carthage and similar Semitic settlements 
of Phoenicia in the western Mediterranean. 

The history of the ancient world, as we are now to follow it, 
is largely made up of the struggle between this sonther?i Semitic 
line which issued from the southern grasslands, and the northern 
Indo-European line which came forth from the northern grass- 
lands to confront the older civilizations represented in the south- 
ern line. Thus as we look at the diagram (Fig. 49) we see the 
two great races facing each other across the Mediterranean like 
two vast armies stretching from western Asia westward to 
the Atlantic. The later wars between Rome and Carthage 
(pp. 258 ff.) represent some of the operations on the Semitic 
left wing; while the triumph of Persia over Chaldea (p. 97) is 
a similar outcome on the Semitic right wing. 

The result of the imposing struggle was the complete triumph Triumph of 
of our ancestors, the Indo-European line, which conquered along end^^^^^^" 
the center and both wings and gained unchallenged supremacy {J?^ ^"^°' 
throughout the Mediterranean world under the Greeks and line 
Romans (pp. 123 ff.). This triumph was accompanied by a long 
struggle for the mastery between the members of the northern 

and their ori 
inal home 

88 Outlines of European History 

line themselves, as first the Persians, then the Greeks, and 
finally the Romans, gained control of the Mediterranean and 
oriental world. The great civilized peoples of Europe at the 
present day are, as we have said, the offspring of the victorious 
Indo-European line. These Indo-European peoples are also the 
forefathers of the American colonists, who with later immigrants 
now make up the people of the United States.-^ 
The indo- Let US now turn back to a time before the Indo-European 

parerSji"pie peoplc had left their grasslands and see if we can find their 
original home. Modern study has not yet determined with cer- 
tainty the exact region where the parent people of the Indo- 
European nomads had their home. The indications now are 
that this original home was on the great grassy steppe in the 
region east and northeast of the Caspian Sea.^ Here, then, 
probably lived the parent people of all the later Indo-European 
race. At the time when they were still one people, they were, 
speaking one and the same tongue. From this tongue have 
descended all the languages later spoken by the civilized peoples 
of modern Europe, including, of course, our own English, as we 
shall see. 

The parent people were still in the Stone Age for the most 
part, though copper was beginning to come in, and the time 

1 Although our Indo-European ancestors gained full control of the Mediter- 
ranean world, we shall find that the final result was nevertheless a mixed civil- 
ization, containing many things of Semitic and oriental origin. Especially was 
this true in religion, for the great religions of the modern world, especially 
Christianity, are of oriental origin. 

2 There has been great difference of opinion regarding the original home of 
this parent people, from whom we ourselves have descended. The whole ques- 
tion was opened only fifty years ago, when scholars mostly maintained that the 
central Asiatic plateau was the earliest home of the parent people. Later re- 
searches led most scholars to believe in a central or northern Etiropean home of 
these people. This is still the prevailing opinion. But the recent discovery of 
documents in the Tokhar language, spoken by the tribes of old Tokharistan 
along the upper valley of the Jaxartes River far east of the Caspian Sea, has 
shown that Tokhar was an Indo-European language. This discovery of an Indo- 
European language so far east has made the theory of a European home of the 
parent people almost impossible and an Asiatic home much more probable. Its 
exact situation in Asia is, however, still uncertain, 

Indo-European Line 

Semitic Line 





■^ -S 

M-l 1 

z o - ^ 

CM a^ >- 
o op^^ 

o c o c; 















"5^ «3 













>^ Si 















^ ■ 

a3 i^ g 




90 . Outlines of European History 

Civilization must therefore have been not later than 2500 B.C. Divided 
European °" ^^^^ numerous tribes, they wandered at will, seeking pasture 
parent people f^j- their flocks, for they already possessed domestic animals, 
including cattle and sheep. But chief among their domesticated 
beasts was the horse, which, as we recall, was still entirely un- 
known to the civilized oriental nations until after Hammurapi's 
time (see p. 69). They employed him not only for riding but 
also for drawing their wheeled carts, and from these northern 
nomads has descended the widespread story of the chariot and 
the horses of the sun. The ox already bore the yoke and drew 
the plow, for some of the tribes had adopted a settled mode of 
life and possessed fields in which they cultivated grain, especially 
barley. Being without writing, they possessed but little govern- 
ment and organization. But they were the most gifted and the 
most highly imaginative people of the ancient world. 
The disper- As their tribes wandered farther and farther apart they lost 

indo- contact with each other. Lpcal peculiarities in speech and cus- 

European toms became more and more marked, until wide differences 

parent people ' 

resulted. While at first the different groups could doubtless 
understand one another when they met, these differences in 
speech gradually became so great that the widely scattered 
tribes, even if they happened to meet, could no longer make 
themselves understood, and finally all knowledge of their origi- 
nal kinship was totally lost. This kinship has only been redis- 
covered in very recent times. The final outcome, in so far as 
speech was concerned, was the languages of modern civilized 
Europe ; so that, beginning with England, we can trace many .a 
word from people to people entirely across Europe and east- 
ward into northern India. Note the followins: : 

English German Latin Greek ^ld Persian (j^ c^ntorLia) ^flVcUw.T 

and AvESTAN ^g^^^ footnote, p. 88) (Sansknt) 

brother bruder frater phrater brata pracar bhrata 

mother mutter mater meter matar macar mata 

father vater pater pater pitar pacar pita 

Western Asia : TJie Me do-Persian Empire 9^ 

In the west these wanderers from the northern grasslands had 
already crossed the Danube and were far down in the Balkan 
peninsula by 2000 B.C. Some of them had doubtless already en- 
tered Italy by this time. These western tribes were, of course, 
the ancestors of the Greeks and Romans. We shall yet join them 
and follow them in their conquest of the Mediterranean (pp. 1 23 ff .). 
Before doing so, however, we have to watch the eastern wing 
of the vast Indo-European line as it swings southward and 
comes into collision with the right wing of the Semitic line. 

Section 17. The Aryan Peoples and the Iranian 
Prophet Zoroaster 

It is now an established fact that the easternmost tribes of The Aryans-, 

-r 1 -r-. T 1 1 J i- • the advance 

the Indo-European hne were by 2000 B.C. already pastunng of the east- 
their herds in the great steppe on the east of the Caspian, ^j^" 7nd?-°^ 
Here they formed a people properly called the Aryans^ (see European 
Fig. 49) and here they made their home for some time. The 
Aryan people had no writing, and they have left no monuments. 
Nevertheless the beliefs of their descendants show that the Religion 
Aryan tribes already possessed a high form of religion, which 
summed up conduct as " good thoughts, good deeds." Fire 
occupied an important place in this faith, and they had a group 
of priests whom they called " fire-kindlers." 

When the Aryans broke up, perhaps about 1800 B.C., they Aryans sepa- 

,^, ., , 1 , rate into two 

separated into two parts. The eastern tribes wandered south- groups 
eastward and eventually arrived in India. In their sacred books, 

1 The Indo-European parent people apparently had no common name appli- 
cable to all their tribes as a great group. The term " Aryan " is. often popularly 
applied to the parent people, but this custom is incorrect. Aryan (from which 
Iran and Iranian are later derivatives) designated a group of tribes, a fragment 
of the parent people, which detached itself and found a home for some centuries 
just east of the Caspian Sea. When we hear the term " Aryan " applied to the Indo- 
European peoples of Europe, or when it is said that we ourselves are descended 
from the Aryans, we must remember that this use of the word is historically in- 
correct, though ver>' common. The Aryans, then, were eastern descendants of 
the Indo-European parent people as we are western descendants of the parent 
people. The Aryans are our distant cousins but not our ancestors. 


Outlines of European History 

I, Sanskrit- 
tribes in 

which we call the " Vedas," written in Sanskrit, there are echoes 
of the days of Aryan unity, and they furnish many a hint of the 
ancient Aryan home on the east of the Caspian. The other group, 
whose tribes have kept the name " Aryan " in the form " Iran," ^ 
also left this home and pushed westward and southwestward into 
the mountains bordering our fertile crescent (p. 58). Among 
them were two powerful tribes, the Medes and the Persians. 

Fig. 50. Fire Altars of Ancient Fire Worshipers still 
SURVIVING IN Modern Persia 

2, Medes and 
further west 
toward the 

About 2100 B.C., in the age of Hammurapi, long before they 
reached the fertile crescent, their coming was announced in 
advance by the arrival of the horse in Babylonia (see p. 69). 
We recall how in the days of Assyria's imperial power, nearly 
fifteen hundred years later, the Medes descended from the north- 
ern mountains against Nineveh (p. 79). This southern advance 
of the Indo-European eastern wing was thus overwhelming 
the Semitic right wing (Fig. 49), occupying the fertile crescent. 

1 They have given their name to the great Iranian plateau, which stretches 
from the Zagros Mountains eastward to the Indus River. This whole region was 
known in Greek and Roman days as Ariana, which (like Iran) is, of course, 
derived from " Aryan." 

Western Asia: The Medo-Persian Empire 93 

By 600 B.C. the Medes had established a powerful Iranian 
Empire in the mountains east of the Tigris. It extended from 
the Persian Gulf, where it included the Persians, northwestward 
in the general line of the mountains to the Black Sea region. The 
front of the Indo-European eastern wing is thus roughly parallel 
with the Tigris at this point, but its advance is not to stop here. 
Nebuchadnezzar (p. 80) and the Chaldean masters of Babylon 
look with anxious eyes at this dangerous Median power. The 
Chaldeans on the Euphrates represent the leadership of men 
of Semitic blood from the southern pastures. Their leadership 
is now to be followed by that of the men of Indo-European 
blood from the northern pastures. As we see the Chaldeans 
giving way before the Medes and Persians (p. 97), let us bear 
in mind that we are watching a great racial change, and remem- 
ber that these new Persian masters of the Far East are our 
kindred ; for both we and they have descended from the same 
wandering shepherd ancestors, the Indo-European parent people, 
who once dwelt in the far-off pastures of inner Asia, probably 
five thousand years ago. 

All of these Iranians possessed a beautiful religion inherited 
from old Aryan days (see p. 91). Somewhere in the east- 
ern mountains, as far back as 1000 B.C., an Iranian named 
Zoroaster ^ began to look out upon the life of men in an effort 
to find a religion which would meet its needs. He watched the 
ceaseless struggle between good and evil which seemed to meet 
him wherever he turned. To him it seemed to be a struggle 
between a group of good beings on the one hand and of evil 
beings on the other. The Good became to him a divine person, 

The Median 

The religion 
of the 


1 The Greek form of the name ; it is taken from the Persian form Zara- 
thushtra. Some scholars support a date for Zoroaster several centuries later than 
1000 B.C., among them Professor A. V. W. Jackson, in his very valuable book on 
Zoroaster ; but two proper names of certain royal Medes, occurring in the records 
of the Assyrian Sargon (722-705 B.C.), have the form " Mazdaka," containing the 
name of Zoroaster's god. His teaching had therefore been taken up by the 
Median royal house long before 700 B.C., and Zoroaster himself must therefore 
have lived far earlier than this. The date 1000 b.c. is a rough estimate by 
Eduard Meyer. 


Outlines of European History 

His gods 


of fire 

preaches his 
new religion 

Success of 
the new 

The Avesia, 
the Persian 

whom he called Mazda, or Ahuramazda, and whom he regarded 
as God. Ahuramazda was surrounded by a group of helpers 
much like angels, of whom one of the greatest was the Light, 
called " Mithras." Opposed to Ahuramazda and his helpers 
was the evil group, among whom the Spirit of Evil and another 
of Darkness were prominent. 

Thus the faith of Zoroaster grew up out of the struggle of 
life itself, and became a great power in life. It called upon 
every man to stand on one side or the other ; to fill his soul with 
the Good and the Light, or to dwell in the Evil and the Dark- 
ness. Whatever course a man pursued he must expect a judg- 
ment hereafter. As a visible symbol of the Good and the Light, 
Zoroaster maintained the old Aryan veneration of fire (Fig. 50), 
and he preserved the ancient fire-kindling priests. 

Zoroaster went about among the Iranian people preaching his 
new religion, and probably for many years found but sluggish 
response to his efforts. We can discern his hopes and fears 
alike in the little group of hymns he has left, probably the only 
words of the great prophet which have survived. It is charac- 
teristic of the horse-loving Iranians that Zoroaster is said to 
have finally converted one of their great kings by miraculously 
healing the king's crippled horse. The new faith had gained a 
firm footing before the prophet's death, however, and before 
700 B.C. it was the leading religion among the Medes in the 
mountains along the fertile crescent. Thus Zoroaster became the 
first great founder of a religious faith. 

As in the case of Mohammed, it is probable that Zoroaster 
could neither read nor write, for the Iranians seem to have 
possessed no system of writing in his day (see p. 91). With 
the exception of the hymns mentioned above, we possess 
none of his original words ; but his teaching has descended to us 
in certain fragments of older writings put together in the early 
Christian centuries, over one thousand years after the prophet's 
death. They form a book known as the Avesta. This we may 
call the Bible of the Persians, in whose tongue the book is written. 

Western Asia: The Me do- Persian Empire 95 

Section 18. The Persian Empire 

No people became more zealous followers of Zoroaster than The emer- 
the Persians. Through them a knowledge of him has de- Persians 
scended to us. At the fall of Nineveh (606 B.C.) (p. 79) they 

were already long 

settled in the region ,-^_L- ™ 1^- 

at the southeastern 
end of the Zagros 
Mountains, just north 
of the Persian Gulf. 
The northern shores 
of the Persian Gulf 
are little better than 
desert, but the valleys 
of the mountainous 
hinterland are rich 
and fertile. Here 
the group of Iranian 
tribes known as the 
Persians occupied a 
district some four 
hundred miles long. 
They were a rude 
mountain peasant 
folk, leading a settled 
agricultural life, with 
simple institutions, no 
art, no writing or 
literature, but with 
stirring memories of 
their past, including 
some grand sagas 
which had come down 
from the distant 

Persian Soldiers 

Although carrying spears when doing duty 
as palace guards, these men were chiefly 
archers (p. 96), as is shown by the size of the 
large quivers on their backs for containing 
the supply of arrows. The bow hangs on the 
left shoulder. The royal bodyguard may 
also be seen wielding their spears around 
the Persian king at the battle of Issus 
(Fig. '99). Notice the splendid robes worn 
by these palace guards. The figures are done 
in brightly colored glazed brick — an art bor- 
rowed by the Persians (see Fig. 48) 


Outlines of European History 

Cyrus of 
the Persian 
tribes into a 
nation and 
the Medes 

The Persian 

Cyrus against 
the west 

Cyrus master 
of the west 

Aryan clays. As they tilled their fields and watched their flocks 
they told many a tale of the ancient prophet who had died four 
hundred years before, and whose faith they held. 

They acknowledged themselves vassals of their kinsmen the 
Medes, who ruled far to the north and northwest of them. One 
of their tribes dwelling in the mountains of Elam (see map, 
p. 56), a tribe known as Anshan, was organized as a little 
kingdom. About fifty years after the fall of Nineveh, this little 
kingdom was ruled over by a Persian named Cyrus. He suc- 
ceeded in uniting the other tribes of his kindred Persians into 
a nation. Thereupon Cyrus at once rebelled against the rule of 
the Medes. He gathered his peasant soldiery, and within three 
years he defeated the Median king and made himself master of 
the Median territoiy. The extraordinary career of Cyrus was 
now a spectacle upon which all eyes in the west were fastened 
with wonder and alarm. The overflowing energies of the new 
conqueror and his peasant soldieiy, fresh and unspent for cen- 
turies among their eastern hills, proved irresistible. The Persian 
peasants seem to have been remarkable archers, and the mass 
of the Persian army was made up of bowmen (Fig. 51) whose 
storm of arrows at long range overwhelmed the enemy long 
before the hand-to-hand fighting began. Bodies of the skillful 
Persian horsemen, hovering on either wing, then rode in and 
completed the destruction of the foe. 

The great states Babylonia (Chaldea), Egypt, Lydia under 
King Croesus in western Asia Minor, and even Sparta in Greece 
formed a powerful combination against this sudden menace, 
which had risen like the flash of a meteor in the eastern sky. 
Without an instant's delay Cyrus struck at Croesus of Lydia, the 
chief author of the hostile combination. One Persian victory fol- 
lowed after another. By 546 B.C. Sardis, the Lydian capital, had 
fallen and Croesus, the Lydian king, was a prisoner in the hands 
of Cyrus. Cyrus at once gained also the southern coasts of Asia 
Minor. Within five years the power of the little Persian kingdom 
in the mountains of Elam had swept across Asia Minor to the 

Western Asia : The Medo-Persian Empire 97 

Mediterranean, becoming the leading state in the oriental world. 

Turning eastward again, Cyrus had no trouble in defeating Cyrus 
the army of Babylonia led by the young Belshazzar, whose name Babybnia 
in the Book of Daniel is a household word throughout the (Chaidea) 
Christian world. In 539 B.C. the Persians entered the great cit\' of 
Babylon seemingly 
without resistance. 
Thus only sixty- 
seven years after 
the fall of Nineveh 
(p. 7 9) had opened 
the conflict be- 
tween the former 
dwellers in the 
northern and the 
southern grass- 
lands, the Semitic 
East completely 
collapsed before 
the advance of 
the Indo-European 
power. Some ten 
years later Cyrus 
fell in battle (528 
B.C.) as he was 
fighting with the 
nomads in north- 
eastern Iran, 

All western Asia 
was now subject 

Fig. 5: 

Colonnades of the Persian 
Palace at Persepolis 

This sumptuous and ornate architecture of the 

Persians is made up of patterns borrowed from 

other peoples and combined (see p. 99) 

to the Persian king; but in 525 



three years after the death of Cyrus, his son Cambyses con- Cambyses 

•' ■' . conquers 

quered Egypt. This conquest of the only remaining ancient Egypt 
oriental power rounded out the Persian Empire to include the 
whole civilized East. The great task had consumed just twenty- 
five years since the overthrow of the Medes by Cyrus. 

adopt cunei- 
form and 

98 Outlines of European History 

The Persian The rude simplicity of the Persian kings now rapidly gave way 
(abour53o to ^^ ^^ more civilized life of the conquered states. The Persian 
330 B.C.) scribes were soon writing their own language with Babylonian 

cuneiform (p. 62), from which they adopted thirty-six signs as 
Persians an alphabet. Darius recorded his triumph over all his foes at 

home and abroad in a vast inscription in cuneiform on the great 
cliff of Behistun looking down upon the ancient highway leading 
from Babylon to Ecbatana ; but the king's office documents were 
written on parchment with the Aramean alphabet (see p. 71). 
Organization The Organization of such a vast empire, stretching from the 
Emplre^by^^ Indus to the ^gcan Sea, had been too big a task to be com- 
Danus pleted by Cyrus. It was carried through by Darius the Great 

(521-485 B.C.). He did not desire further conquests, but he 
planned to maintain the Empire as he had inherited it. He 
caused himself to be made actual king in Egypt and in Baby- 
lonia, but the rest of the Empire he divided into twenty provinces, 
each called a " satrapy," each being under a governor called a 
" satrap," who was appointed by the Great King. The Persian 
rule was just, humane, and intelligent, but of course tribute was 
collected from all parts of the Empire. 
Coinage In the West, chiefly Lydia and the Greek settlements in western 

"Asia Minor (p. 127), where the coinage of metal was common by 
600 B.C. (p. 152), this tribute was paid in coined money. The 
eastern countries — Egypt, Babylonia, and Persia herself — were 
not quick to adopt this new convenience. Here during most of 
the Persian period commerce was content to employ gold and 
silver in bars which could be cut up and weighed out at each 
payment (p. 67). Darius, however, began the coinage of gold 
and permitted his satraps to coin silver. The rate was about 
thirteen to one, that is to say, gold w^as worth about thirteen 
times as much as silver. Thus the great commercial convenience 
of coined money issued by the State began to come into the 
Orient during the Persian period. 

The Persian kings fostered business and commerce, main- 
tained excellent roads from end to end of the great Empire, and 

Western Asia : The Medo-Persian Empire 99 

introduced royal messengers along these roads, who formed the Commerce, 
beginnings of a postal system. These roads converged upon the p^^tai 
royal residence in the ancient Elamite city of Susa, in the Zagros system 
Mountains, where the king lived much of the time. The mild air Royal 
of the Babylonian plain attracted him during the colder months, 
when he wxnt to dwell among the palaces of the vanished Chal- 
dean Empire at Babylon. The old Persian home of the Great 
King lay too far from the centers of oriental civilization for 
him to spend much time in Persia. But Cyrus built a splendid 
palace near the battle field where he had defeated the Medes 
at Pasargadas, and Darius also established a new residence at 
Persepolis (Fig. 52), some twenty miles south of the palace of 
Cyrus. Near the ruins of these buildings the tombs of Cyrus, Tombs of the 
Darius, and other great Persian kings still stand (Fig. 53). The ^^^^^^ '"^^ 
art of. these buildings is made up of elements borrowed from 
the great oriental civilizations of Eg}^pt, Babylonia, and Assyria. 
The enormous terraces on which they stood suggested Babylonia ; Architecture 
the vast colonnades which swept along the front were more rich 
and sumptuous than the East had ever seen before, but they 
showed the influence of Egypt, Assyria, Phoenicia, and Asia 
Minor. The great civilizations which made up the Empire were 
thus merged together in Persian art. 

The later world often represents the Persian kings as cruel character of 

, , , . , ™, . r 11 • • the Persian 

and barbarous oriental tyrants. This unfavorable opinion goes kings 
too far. Such impressions have descended to us from the Greeks, 
who thrust back the Persians from Europe (p. 177). The Persian 
kings were fully conscious of their great mission as civilizing 
rulers. This is shown when Darius finds Scylax, a skillful sea 
captain who had learned navigation along the shores of Asia 
Minor, and dispatches him to explore the course of the great 
Indus River in India. Then he is ordered to sail along the coast 
of Asia from the mouth of the Indus westward to the Isthmus 
of Suez. Here Darius restores the ancient but long filled-up 
canal of the Egyptians connecting the Nile with the Red Sea 
(p. 33). It was thus possible in Persian times for Mediterranean 


Outlines of Etiropean History 

Spread of 



commerce to pass up the Nile and through the Red Sea to India. 
Darius also cherished what proved to be a vain hope, that the 
south coast of Persia might come to share in the now growing 
commerce betvv^een India and the Mediterranean world. Although 
proud of their master)' of the world, the Persian kings felt a deep 
sense of obligation to rule the nations of the earth in accordance 
with the Good and the Right which Ahuramazda personified. 

Fig. 53. The Tombs of the Persian Kings 

The fronts of the tombs are carved in the cliffs at the left. They begin 

with the tomb of Darius, about 500 B.C. The tomb of Cyrus (in the 

vicinity) is a detached stone structure not shown here. The detached 

building on the right has nothing to do with the tombs 

Unfortunately, as time passed, the Persian kings grew more and 
more inefficient and unsuccessful as rulers. 

The Persian rulers were devoted followers of Zoroaster's 
teaching and felt keenly the sharp line which that faith drew 
between good and bad. The Persian power carried this noble 
faith throughout western Asia and especially into Asia Minor. 
It had here the form which it gradually came to take under the 
later Persian kings. In this form Mithras, made by Zoroaster a 
helper of Ahuramazda (p. 94), appears as a hero of light, and 

Western Asia : The Hebrezvs lOI 

finally a sun god, who gradually outshines Ahuramazda himself. 
From Asia Minor Mithras passed into Europe, and, as we shall 
see, the faith in the mighty Persian god spread far and wide 
through the Roman Empire, to become a dangerous competitor 
of Christianity (p. 298). 

In matters of religion the Persian Empire marked the break- Far-reaching 
down of national boundaries and the beginning of a long period among orien- 
when the leading religions of the East were called upon to com- ^^^ religions 
pete in a great contest for the mastery among all the nations. 
The most important of the religions which thus found themselves 
thrown into a world struggle for chief place under the dominion 
of Persia was the religion of the Hebrews. While we leave the 
imperial family of Persia to suffer that slow decline which always 
besets a long royal line in the Orient, we may glance briefly at 
the little Hebrew kingdom among the Persian vassals in the 
West, which was destined to influence the history of the v/orld 
more profoundly than any of the great imperial powers of the 
early world. 

Section 19. The Hebrews 

The Hebrews were all originally men of the Arabian desert,^ The Hebrew 
wandering with their flocks and herds and slowly drifting over Paiesdne° 
into their final home in Palestine, at the west end of the fertile (^^out 1400 

' ^ to 1200 B.C.) 

crescent (p. 56). For two centuries their movement into Pales- 
tine continued (about 1400 to 1200 B.C.). When they entered 
it as nomad shepherds (see p. 59), the Hebrews possessed 
very little civilization. A southern group of their tribes had 
been slaves in Egy^pt,^ but had been induced to flee by their 

1 The student should here carefully reread the account of the Arabian desert 
and the Semitic nomads, their life, customs, and religion, on pages 57-60. It 
was from this desert and its life that the Hebrews all originally came. 

2 The familiar Bible stories of the oppression of the Hebrews in Egypt and 
the making of brick, which they did there, are interestingly illustrated by tlie brick 
storehouse rooms still standing in the eastern Nile Delta in the city of Pithom, 
which the Hebrews are said to have built (Exod. i, 12). They are shown at the 
end of Chapter IV (p. no). 


Outlines of European History 

heroic leader Moses, who led them to Palestine. Here they found 
flourishing towns of the Canaanites (p. 59), who had long been 
settled in Palestine. The Canaanites also had once come from 
the desert ; they spoke a language hardly differing from Hebrew. 
But they had so long led a settled life that their towns were 
protected by massive walls (Figs. 55, 56). The camel cara- 
vans which entered their gates brought in merchandise both 
from the Nile and the Euphrates. There was here, therefore, a 

Fig. 54. The Central Ridge of Palestine seen from the 
Plain of Jericho 

Palestine is much cut up by such bare and sterile ridges of limestone, 
which produce nothing. Locate on map, p. 102 ; see Fig. 55 

jumble of civilization from both these rivers. The Canaanites 
had learned from Egypt the manufacture of many valuable arti- 
cles of commerce ; from Babylonia the caravans had brought in 
bills and lists on clay tablets, and the Canaanites had thus learned 
to use Babylonian cuneiform writing (p. 62). The Hebrews were 
unable to destroy the Canaanites and their walled towns. They 
settled on the land around such towns and slowly mingled with 
the Canaanites until the two peoples, Hebrew and Canaanite, 
had become one. This process was of great advantage to the 
Hebrews, who thus gained the civilization of the Canaanites. 


The Ijand of the Hebrews 


I'O 20 30 40 50 t?0 7o 
Assyrian Empire 

lii bios' 

Countries paying tribute 

to Assyria 
Kingdoms of Israel and Judah 


Phoenicians "" 


Western Asia : The Hebrews 103 

The situation of Palestine, with Egypt on one side and Assyria Rise of the 
and Babylonia on the other, was a dangerous one. These great kingcTom 
powers would not allow another strong nation to grow up in (''^^^ut 1025 
Palestine. Fortunately for the Hebrews, Egypt, as we have 
learned, fell into a state of feebleness by 1 150 B.C. (p. 53) ; and, 
on the other side, the Aramean kingdom of Damascus was a 
protection against the advance of Assyria (p. 71). Thus the Saul and the 
Hebrews were permitted to grow into a nation, and before 
1000 B.C. we find them under their first king, Saul. But immi- 
grants from Crete in the Mediterranean — a people called 

Fig. sS' The Long Mound of the Ancient City of Jericho 

The walls of the city and the ruins of the houses (Fig. 56) are buried 

under the rubbish which makes up this mound. Many of the ancient 

cities of Palestine are now such mounds as this 

"Philistines" (Fig. 70) — had recently settled on the coast of 
Palestine (see map, p. 102). From their new home they greatly 
troubled the Hebrews. They slew Saul and in one war after 
another they nearly destroyed the young Hebrew nation. 

The old nomad customs were still strong, for Saul, the first David 
king, had no fixed home but dwelt in a tent. His successor, 
David, saw the importance of a strong castle as the king's 
permanent home. He therefore seized the old Canaanite for- 
tress of Jerusalem. The Hebrews had been dwelling under its 
shadow for centuries, unable to take it from the Canaanites. 
From Jerusalem, as his residence, David extended his -power far 
and wide and made the Hebrews a strong nation. His people 
never forgot his heroic deeds as a warrior nor his skill as a 
poet and singer, and centuries later they revered him as the 
author of many of their religious songs or " psalms." 


Outlines of European History 

The division 
of the king- 
dom (about 
930 B.C.) 

The two 

Solomon, David's son, delighted in oriental luxury and showy 
display. He weighed down the Hebrews with heavy taxes. The 
discontent was so great that, under Solomon's son, Rehoboam, 
the ten northern tribes withdrew from the nation and set up 
a king of their own. Thus the Hebrew kingdom was divided 
before it was a century old. Solomon's son continued to rule 
at Jerusalem over a little kingdom of southern Palestine known 
as Judah. The Hebrews of the northern tribes were far more 
numerous, their land was much more fertile, and they formed 
a much stronger kingdom, called Israel. Their capital, after 
some changes, was finally Samaria (see map, p. 102). 

There was much hard feeling between the two Hebrew king- 
doms, and sometimes fighting. Israel was rich and prosperous ; 
its market places were filled with industry and commerce ; its 
fields produced plentiful crops. Israel displayed the wealth and 
success of town life. Judah, on the other hand, was poor, her 
land was meager (Fig. 57), she had few large and powerful 
towns. Many of the people still wandered with their flocks. The 
south thus remained largely nomad. Here are two different 
ideals of life : a settled life of wealth, luxury, and oppression of 
the poor; and a wandering life of simplicity, where each was 
glad to share his prosperity with all the brethren of the tribe, 
and equality reigned. These two methods of life came into 
conflict in many ways, but especially in religion. Every old 
Canaanite town had for centuries worshiped its baal, or lord, 
as its local god was called. These had never died out. Many 
Hebrews accepted the baals as the gods of the rich and the 
prosperous in the towns. The Hebrew God Yahweh (or Jeho- 
vah^), on the other hand, as the god of the nomad and the 
desert, was felt to be the protector of the poor and needy. 

Thoughtful Hebrews then began to think of him as a god of 
fatherly kindness, who rebuked the wealthy class in the towns. 

1 The Hebrews pronounced the name of their God " Yahweh." The pronun- 
ciation " Jehovah " began less than four hundred years ago and was due to a 
misunderstanding of the pronunciation of the word " Yahweh." 

Western Asia : The Hebrews 


Their showy clothes, fine houses, beautiful furniture, and their The earliest 
hard-heartedness toward the poor were things unknown in the (eighth" 
desert. Men who chafed under such injustices of town life century b.c.) 
turned fondly back to the grand old days of their shepherd 
wanderings out yonder on the broad reaches of the desert, 

Fig. 56. Ruins of the Houses of Ancient Jericho 

Only the stone foundations of these houses are preserved. The walls 
were of sun-baked brick, and the rains of over three thousand years have 
washed them away; for these houses date from about 1500 B.C., and 
in them lived the Canaanites, whom the Hebrews found in Palestine 
(p. 102). Here we find the furniture of these houses, in so far as it con- 
sisted of things durable enough to survive, like the pottery jars, glass, 
and dishes of the household ; also things carved of stone, like seals, 
amulets and ornaments of metal 

where no man "ground the faces of the poor." It was a man 
with such admiration for the nomad life of the fathers who be- 
came the earliest-known historian ^ and told the immortal tales 
of the Hebrew patriarchs, of Abraham and Isaac, of Jacob and 

1 Unfortunately we do not know his name, for the Hebrews themselves early 
lost all knowledge of his name and identity, and finally associated the surviving 
fragments of his work with the name of Moses. 


Outlines of European History 

Joseph. These tales, preserved to us in the Old Testament, are 
among the noblest literature which has survived from the past.^ 

Other men were not content merely to tell tales of the good 
old days. Amos, a simple herdsman, who came from the south, 
entered the towns of the wealthy north and denounced their 
luxury and corruption. The God whom the people once thought 
of only as a leader in the fierce tribal wars of the wilderness, 
Amos now announced as a God of mercy and kindness in the 
social struggles of the touni. Thus these social and religious 
reformers, like Amos, whom we call prophets, were gaining a 
larger vision of God as they watched the struggles of men. 

By this time the Hebrews had learned to write. They were 
now abandoning the clay tablet which the Canaanites had re- 
ceived from Babylonia (p. 67), and they wrote on sheepskin and 
papyrus (p. 22) in long strips, which were rolled up when not 
in use. They used the Egyptian pen and ink, and the alpha- 
bet they employed came to them from the Phoenician merchants 
(p. 139). The "rolls" containing the tales of the patriarchs 
and the teachings of such men as Amos were the first books 
which the Hebrews produced — their first literature. Litera- 
ture was the only art the Hebrew possessed. He had no 
painting, sculpture, or architecture, and if he needed these 
things he borrowed from his great neighbors, Egypt, Phoenicia, 
Damascus, or Assyria. 

While the Hebrews were deeply stirred by their own affairs 
at home, they were now rudely aroused to dangers coming from 
beyond their own borders. Assyria first swept away Damascus 
(p. 72). The kingdom of Israel, thus left exposed, was the 
next victim, and Samaria, its capital, was taken by the Assyrians 
in 722 B.C. (p. 72). Many of the unhappy people were carried 
away as captives. The feeble little kingdom of Judah survived for 
something over a century and a quarter more. During this time 
it beheld and rejoiced over the destruction of Nineveh (p. 79). 

1 The student should read these tales, especially Gen. xxiv, xxvii, xxviii, 
xxxvii, xxxix-xlvii, 12. 

Western Asia : The Hebrezvs 107 

But it had only exchanged one foreign lord for another, and 
Chaldea followed Assyria in control of Palestine (p. 80). Then 
their unwillingness to submit brought upon the men of Judah the 
same fate which their kindred of Israel had suffered. In 586 B.C. 
Nebuchadnezzar, the Chaldean king of Babylonia, destroyed 
Jerusalem and carried away the people to exile in Babylonia.^ 

AUV*.*^-*-^ .V, ^^.. 

M -'"" 

■5. '"'''!'!u'!fl^"" 

- i. 

/ (/ 


Fig. s7- The Stony and Unproductive Fields of Judah 

Judah is largely made up of sterile ridges like this in the background. 
Note the scantiness of the growing grain in the foreground (p. 104) 

Forced to dwell in strange lands the Hebrews were now The exiled 
faced by the great question : " Does Yahweh dwell and rule in gajn mono- 
Palestine only, as we have always thought ; or is he also ruler ^^^'^'^ 
of all nations, and does he dwell with us in our exile in a strange 
land ? " Like all nomads, they had at first believed that their 
God had no power beyond the corner of the desert where they 
lived (p. 59) ; next they believed him to be lord of Palestine 

1 The headpiece of this chapter shows a lion of blue-glazed brick from the 
buildings of Nebuchadnezzar at Babylon. 

lo8 Outlines of EiLvopean History 

only ; now, in exile, they perceived for the first time that he 
was king of all the earth and righteous ruler of all the nations. 
We call belief in such a god monotheism, which is a Greek 
word meaning " one-god-ism." This belief denies the existence of 
all other gods. To reach the belief in such a god the Hebrews 
had passed through a long development and discipline, lasting 
many centuries, during which they had outgrown many imper- 
fect ideas, thus illustrating the words of the greatest of Hebrew 
teachers, " First the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in 
the ear." ^ 
The Hebrews While the Hebrews were exiles in Babylonia, the victories of 
Exile; the Cyrus (p. 96) Overthrew their Chaldean lords and gave to the 
ment^^^^ Hebrews Persian masters instead. With great humanity the 
Persian kings allowed the Hebrew exiles to return to Palestine, 
their native land. At different times enough of them went back 
to Jerusalem to rebuild the city on a very modest scale. Their 
leaders restored the temple, and the old worship there was 
resumed. These men arranged and copied the ancient writings 
of their fathers, such as the stories of the patriarchs or the 
speeches of Amos (p. 106). They also added other writings of 
their own. All these writings, in Hebrew, form the Bible of the 
Jews at the present day. They have also become a sacred book 
for all Christians and translated into English, they are called the 
Old Testament. They form the most precious legacy which we 
have inherited from the older Orient before the coming of 
Christ (p. 300). 
Decline of It should be remembered, then, that one of the most impor- 

Pcrsis. ' end 

of political tant things which we owe to the Persians was their restoration 
of^the^Orfent ^^ ^^^ Hebrews to Palestine. For the oriental world as a 
(333 B.C.) whole, Persian rule meant about two hundred years of peaceful 
prosperity (ending about 333 B.C.). The Persian kings, how- 
ever, as time went on, were no longer as strong and skillful as 
Cyrus and Darius. They loved luxury and ease and left the 
task of government to their governors and officials. The result 
1 The words of Jesus ; see Mark iv, 28. 

Western Asia : The Me do- Per siaii Empire 109 

was weakness and decline, until the final fall of Persia and the 
surrender of political leadership of the Orient to the men of 
Europe, whose career in the eastern Mediterranean we must 
now take up. 


Section 16. What is the extent of the northern grasslands? 
Trace them on the map on page 56. As a source of migrating popu- 
lation how do they resemble the southern grasslands ? Diagram the 
two racial lines, Indo-European and Semitic. 

What is the relation of these two lines in the history of the ancient 
world ? From which line are we descended ? Give some account of 
the Indo-European parent people. Discuss their dispersion. What 
proof of the relationship between their modern descendants still 
exists? Where are the two ends of the Indo-European line in the 
Old World now? of the Semitic line? 

Section 17. Locate the Aryan tribes on the map on page 80 
(they are not marked) and give some account of them. Into what 
two groups did they separate ? What became of the eastern group ? 
Where did the western group settle ? 

What were its two leading peoples? What Indo-European people 
first invaded the fertile crescent, and when ? Who overthrew Assyria, 
and when ? Who was Zoroaster ? What did he teach ? Whom did 
he convert? What peoples adopted the religion he taught? What 
is the Avestal 

Section i 8. Who were the Persians ? Who was Cyrus ? Where 
did his people live ? Whom did he first conquer ? Where were his 
next great conquests? Describe Persian methods of fighting. What 
great ancient city did Cyrus finally conquer? What race then con- 
trolled the fertile crescent? 

What other ancient land did the soji of Cyrus conquer ? What 
was then the extent of the Persian Empire? Who organized it? 
Describe Persian rule . Where did the Persian kings live ? What 
was their character? Whither did Persian religion spread? 

Section 19. What kind of a life did the Hebrews originally lead 
and whence did they come? Where is Palestine? Whom did the 
Hebrews find there ? What was the final result of the Hebrew inva- 
sion? Tell the story of the Hebrew kingdom. Did it remain united? 


Outlines of European History 

What kind of great men arose under the two kingdoms ? What 
were their ideas of God? What happened to the two kingdoms? 
What happened to the surviving Hebrews? What was their idea 
of God? Who allowed some of the exiles to return to Palestine? 
What did the returned exiles do? What is the Hebrew Bible or 
Old Testament? 


^^'I ^"^-^-^^ 

-:^^v;-;s«s^ :sg^M 



s<:>^^.j=». .^^ — ^ 



Section 20. The ^Egean Civilization 

The Mediterranean Sea was the ocean where the ancient The Medi 
world carried on its commerce by ship, its explorations of un- 
known shores, and the settlement of colonies in newly discovered 
regions, just as later, men of Europe explored and colonized 
the shores of the Atlantic. The Mediterranean is, moreover, a 
body of water so vast that it bounds a large part of Europe on 
the south. It is about twenty-four hundred miles long and, laid 
out across the United States, would reach from New York over 
into California. Nowhere else on the globe is there a great its shores 
landlocked inland sea with a coast so irregular and indented as 
to produce a whole series of smaller seas and sheltered basins. 
All this, as we have seen, favored the early rise of seagoing 
ships and made the Mediterranean the earliest home of naviga- 
tion, which is far earlier than historians formerly supposed. 
Nor have the current books yet taken knowledge of the fact that 
large fleets sailed the Mediterranean in the thirtieth century B.C. 
These earliest vessels transformed the Mediterranean from a 
separating barrier into a connecting link, joining together the 
surrounding lands which made up the ancient world. 

The food of the Mediterranean peoples to-day is chiefly bread, 
wine, and oil; wine is their tea, and oil their butter. It was 


Oiitlijies of European History 

Food prod- 
ucts and 
climate of 
the Medi- 

equally so in ancient times. In the Homeric poems bread and 
wine are the chief food of all, even of the children; and Eu- 
ripides praises bread and wine as the earliest gifts of the gods 
to men. In spite of the dry summer heat, the grapevine and 
the olive tree grow and ripen their fruit without irrigation. This 
is a condition in the Mediterranean countries, then, very different 

Fig. 58. The Mound of Axcient Troy (Ilium) 

When Schliemann first visited this mound (see map, p. 146) in 1868, it 
was about one hundred and twenty-five feet high, and the Turks were 
cultivating grain on its summit. He excavated a pit like a crater in the 
top of the hill, passing downward through nine successive cities built 
each on the ruins of its predecessors. At the bottom of his pit (about 
fifty feet deep) Schliemann found the original once bare hilltop about 
seventy-five feet high, on which the men of the Late Stone Age (p. 14) 
had established a small settlement of sun-baked brick houses about 3000 
B.C. (First City). Above the scanty ruins of this Late Stone Age settle- 
ment rose, in layer after layer, the ruins of the later cities, with the 
Roman buildings at the top. The entire depth of fifty feet of ruins rep- 
resented a period of about thirty-five hundred years from the First 
City (Late Stone Age) to the Ninth City (Roman) at the top. The 
Second City (p. 117) contained the earliest copper found in the series; 
the Sixth City was that of the Trojan War and the Homeric songs 
(p. 142). Its masonry walls may be seen in Fig. 71 

from what we have found in Eg}^pt and Babylonia. The shores of 
the northern Mediterranean are on the whole so cut up by steep 
and rugged mountains that they are well suited to flocks and herds, 
but agriculture and gardening also flourish where river valleys and 
shore plains, as in Italy, offer a wider stretch of moist and culti- 
vable soil. A mild climate with a dry summer and a rainy season 
during winter makes the conditions of life easy and favorable. 

> iil; 






Outlines of European History 

learns the use 
of metal 

As early as three thousand years before the Christian Era 
Egyptian seagoing ships ^ (p. 32 and Fig. 14) began to issue 
from the Nile and cross the Mediterranean northward. The 
copper which these ships brought into the ^gean (p. 1 4) then 
slowly spread, through the Mediterranean, from people to people. 
It finally crossed Europe as the trader carried it with his pack 
trains up the Rhone and the Danube, or over the Alpine passes 

Fig. 60. A Hittite Prince hunting Deer 

The prince accompanied by his driver stands in the moving chariot, 
shooting with bow and arrow at the fleeing stag. A hound runs beside 
the horses. Over the scene is an inscription in Hittite hieroglyphs 
(p. 118). The whole is sculptured in stone, and forms a good example of 
the rather crude Hittite art, greatly influenced by that of Egypt and 
Babylonia from which it gained much 

into the valley of the Elbe and there shifted his cargo to river 
boats, in which he floated downstream to the northern seas — 
where by 2000 B.C. copper became common as far north as 
Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. In return the trader carried 
back amber to the Mediterranean ports. 

Stone implements had, however, by no means disappeared in 
Europe, but the northern craftsman, pleased with the form of 

1 The student should here reread pp. 14 f. 

The Mediterranea7i World and the Early Greeks 1 1 5 

copper ax or dagger, imitated the metal shapes in stone with 
brilliant success. So long as he was obliged to depend entirely 
upon imported metal he was slow to learn the new art of shaping 
it. At last the knowledge that metal might be found in mountain Europe be- 
ores reached him, and he sought and found the precious veins copper and^ 
of metal in his own mountains. In the British Isles the galleries ^^" 
which the ancient miner pushed into the mountain side, although 
they have sometimes caved in, still contain the stone pickaxes 
which he used there ; while in the Austrian Alps we find the 
remains of his rude equipment for getting out the ore, with 
even his ore-crushers and smelting furnaces still preserved. The 
lens-shaped disks of copper which came from these furnaces 
still show us the form of the raw metal as it went from the smelt- 
ing furnaces to the craftsman. Such miners also discovered the 
tin mines of Portugal and of Cornwall in England, and with this 
they were able to harden copper into bronze (see p. 34), which 
was common in the Norse countries as early as 2000 b.c.^ 

Notwithstanding the fact that they now possessed metal, the Failure of 
peoples of western and northern Europe still failed to advance advance to 
to a hio^h type of civilization. As we have seen, they learned to ^}^^ civihza- 

^ J i:- 1 J tion after 

build vast structures of rough stone all along the shores of the introduction 
Atlantic (p. 12 and Fig. 8), like the great stone circles at Stone- 
henge ; but they were unable to advance to real architecture in 

1 For a long time stone and metal were used side by side. In one of the 
lake-villages of Switzerland, preserved in a peat bog, three successive towns lie 
one over the other. Stone implements are found in all three, but the upper two, 
that is the later two, contain also objects of copper along with those of stone 
Slovv'ly stone gave way before metal, and the ancient art of chipping flint gradu 
ally disappeared as metal.became more plentiful. \ye should remember, however 
that some races still surviving, like the Bushmen of South Africa and the Aus 
tralians and Tasmanians (p. 2), continue at the present day in the use of stone 
and have not yet learned to work metal nor to make metal tools. Indeed, even 
in Europe certain stone implements lingered on in use among the peasants of 
the north of Sweden as late as the nineteenth century, nearly four thousand 
years after metal was introduced in the Norse countries. A vague tradition of 
the Stone Age survived even into Roman times, although by that time the world 
at large had forgotten this long chapter in the story of their ancestors, and the 
stone axes which the peasants picked up now and then in the fields, they fancied 
Were thunderbolts of the sky god. 


Outlines of European History 

The ^gean 
world ; its 
with the 

Stone, and this failure to make further progress in architecture 
illustrates their backwardness in all the arts of civilization. The 

advance to a high civilization 
in Europe after the introduc- 
tion of metal — such an ad- 
vance as we may call real 
historical progress — was 
made in the eastern Medi- 
terranean, in the yEgean 
lands, under the influence 
of oriental culture". It was 
this oriental stimulus which 
carried Europe forward to 
the development of the civi- 
lization which we have in- 

The ^gean world con- 
sists of the islands of the 
yEgean Sea and the lands 
which surround this sea in 
neighboring Asia and Eu- 
rope, which here face each 
other across its waters. For 
the ^gean world is the 
region where Asia thrusts 
forward its westernmost 
heights (Asia Minor) and 
Europe throws out its south- 
ernmost and easternmost 
peninsula (Greece) into the 
waters so early crossed and 
recrossed by. Egyptian ships (p. 31). At the same time the east 
and west valleys of Asia Minor furnished roads for the early 
trade which linked the ^gean world with the Euphrates and 
Babylonia. Thus the Stone Age settlements of the ^ge^n 

Fig. 61. One of the Large Dec- 
orated Cretan Jars, nearly 
Four Feet high, found at 
Ancient Cnossus 

A fine example of the originality, 
power, and beauty of Cretan decora- 
tive art ; although the leading design, 
the lotus flower, is draw^n from Egypt, 
it is treated in the masterly Cretan 
manner (see p. 120) 

The MeUiterranemi World and the Early Greeks 1 1 7 

region naturally became the outposts of the great oriental civi- 
lizations which we have found so early on the Nile and the 
Euphrates. From these centers the ^gean world, at first slow 
and backward like western and northern Europe, received con- 
tinual impulses toward 
a higher civilization — 
impulses felt in trade, 
metal-working, pottery, 
house-building, and in 
many other ways. 

At the northwest cor- 
ner of Asia Minor, con- 
trolling the profitable 
trade crossing from 
Asia to Europe at this 
point, stood the ancient 
and highly prosperous 
yEgean city of Troy. 
By 2500 B.C., some 
centuries after it had 
received the first met- 
als, its rulers had erected 
a strong citadel of sun- 
baked brick, with mas- 
sive stone foundations, 

the earliest fortress in the ^gean world (the Second City, 
Fig. 58). Here they carried on industries in pottery, metal- 
working, and textiles, which show wide foreign-trade connections. 
Their kindred and neighbors on the east were the Hittites. In 
the later days of the Egyptian Empire the Hittites themselves 
held a great empire in central and eastern Asia Minor (Figs. 59, 
60). They gave Egypt much trouble in Syria, and they early 
invaded Babylonia and Assyria also (p. 70). 

Toward the east, then, the population of Asia Minor merged 
gradually with the Tigris-Euphrates world, whose history we have 

Fig. 62. An Example of the still 
Undeciphered Early Cretan Writ- 
ing INCISED ON Clay (pp. 118, 119) 

peoples — 
Trojans and 


Outlines of European History 

followed (pp. 56 ff.) ; while in the west other ^gean kindred of 
these Trojan and Hittite peoples had their homes in the ^Egean 
islands, even as far as Crete. Some of them, too, formed the 
population of Greece, where they were the predecessors of the 

people known to 
us as the Greeks. 
These predeces- 
sors of the Greeks 
in the ^gean 
world belonged 
to a great and 
gifted white race, 
whose origin and 
relationships with 
other peoples are 
still quite undeter- 
mined. We shall 
call this race the 

All of these 
^gean peoples 
were so long with- 
out writing, that 
they at first left 
no written monu- 
ments to tell us 
their story; hence 
the difficulty in 
the disentangling 
of their relation- 
ships. Some time after 2000 b.c. the Hittites invented a system 
of hieroglyphic writing (Fig. 60) showing Egyptian influence, 
which we find inscribed on stone monuments widely scattered 
through Asia Minor and northern Syria. Later they also found 
that their commerce with Babylonia brought into their hands 

Fig. 63. Ruins of the Main Entrance to 
THE Cretan Palace at Cnossus, built 

ABOUT 1800 B.C. 

It is on the north side, facing the harbor three 
and a half miles away, from which a road leads 
up to this entrance. Notice the heavy masonry 
of stone — the only portion of the palace built 
for defense, the rest being of sun-baked brick 

The Mediterranean World and the Early Greeks 119 

bills and business documents written in cuneiform (wedge- 
writing), on clay tablets (Fig. 37). They therefore began to 
write the Babylonian cuneiform also. Their capital in central 
Asia Minor (Fig. 59), recently excavated, has furnished great 
numbers of such clay tablets, but they cannot yet be read. 
When they have been deciphered we shall learn many of the 
secrets of this 
great world of Asia 
Minor, which links 
the ^gean with 
the Asiatic Orient. 

As Asia Minor 
was the link be- 
tween the ^gean 
on the west and the 
Euphrates world 
on the east, so 
Crete was the link 
between Egypt on 
the south and the 
^gean Sea on the 
north. This large 
island lies so far 
out in the Medi- 
terranean that one 
is almost in doubt 
whether it belongs 

to Europe or Africa. Even in ancient ships the mariners issu- 
ing from the mouths of the Nile and steering northwestward 
would sight the Cretan mountains in a few days. Excavations in 
this island since 1900 have uncovered the ruins of palace after 
palace and revealed a new chapter in the story of the ancient world. 

For a thousand years after Crete had received copper her Advance of 
people showed but little sign of progress. While the great pyra- hi^cr?te°by 
mids of Egypt were being built (p. 29), the Cretan craftsman ^°°° ^•^• 

Fig. 64. A Colonnaded Hall and Stair- 
case IN THE Cretan Palace at Cnossus 

The columns and roof of the hall are modern 
restoration. The hall is in the lower portion of 
the palace, and the stairway, concealed by the 
balustrade at the back of the hall, led up, by five 
flights of fifty-two massive steps, to the main 
floor of the palace 

of the posi- 
tion of Crete 


Outlines of European History 

learned from his Egyptian neighbor the use of the potter's 
wheel and the closed oven (p. 35) for shaping and firing his 
clay vases (Fig. 61). About 2000 B.C. the Cretans began a dis- 
tinct forward movement under the influence of the great na- 
tion on the Nile. Commerce between the two countries was 

Fig. 65. An Open-Air Theatral Area beside the 
Cretan Palace at Cnossus 

This area is about thirty by forty feet, and on two sides rise tiers of 
seats, accommodating four or five hundred spectators. Open-air athletic 
spectacles, like boxing matches, probably took place here to divert 
select groups of Cretan lords and ladies ; the area is not large enough 
for the bullfights in which the Cretans took great delight (compare 
the exciting bull-hunt at head of Chapter V, p. 1 1 1 , and footnote, p. 121) 

constant. Egyptian craft (Fig. 14) were a common sight in the 
Cretan harbors, while the prevailing north wind of summer 
easily carried the galleys, which the Cretans learned to build 
on Egyptian models, across to the Nile Delta. 
Cnossus At Cnossus, near the middle of the northern coast of Crete, 
arose a prosperous city, whose ruler was able to build a palace 
arranged in the Egyptian manner, with a large cluster of rooms 


Cretan art 

The Mediterranean World and the Early Greeks 1 2 1 

about a central court. A similar palace also arose at Phaestus 
in southern Crete, perhaps another residence of the same royal 
family. These palaces were not castles, for neither they nor the 
towns connected with them were fortified. Several indications, 
like the statue of an Egyptian official found under the pave- 
ment of the oldest palace at Cnossus, suggest that the Egyptian Egyptian 
Pharaohs of the Feudal Age (p. 42) may have exercised polit- \^ crete 
ical power as well as commercial and cultural influence over 
the men of Crete. In the storerooms of the palace at Cnossus 
invoices scratched on clay tablets have been found in great 
numbers. This writing is a kind of hieroglyphic clearly show- Cretan 
ing the influence of Egyptian writing ; but much study has not 
yet enabled scholars to decipher and read these precious records, 
the earliest-known writing in the European world (Fig. 62). 

As the older palace of Cnossus gave way to a more splendid Rise of 
building (about 1800 B.C.), the life of Crete began to unfold in all 
directions (Figs. 61-66). Noble pottery (Fig. 61) was painted or 
molded in grand designs drawn often from the life of the sea, 
where Cretan power was already expanding. This painted pot- 
tery shows the most powerful, vigorous, and impressive decorative 
art of the early oriental world. The palace walls were also painted 
with fresh and beautiful scenes from daily life, all aquiver with 
rpovement and action ; or they were adorned with glazed por- 
celain figures incrusted upon the surface of the wall.-^ The 
method of use and the execution of the work ever}^where show 
that this new art was due to suggestion from Eg}^pt; but in 
spite of this fact the powerful individuality of the Cretan artist 
did not permit him to follow slavishly the Egy^ptian model. His 
work is alive with his own vigor and his own character. 

Cretan civilization culminated . in the century from 1600 to 
1500 B.C., when the sea power of the Cretan rulers was carrying 

1 The Cretans produced also the most magnificent metal work ; see the bull- 
hunt wrought in a band around a golden goblet (at head of Chapter V, p. iii). 
Nothing could be more vigorous than the charging bull, goring his pursuers (at the 
left). Two such golden goblets were found at Vaphio, near Sparta, showing how 
Cretan art at its highest reached the southern mainland of Greece (see p. 123). 


Outlines of European History 

their influence and their art far and wide through the Mediterra- 
nean. At the highest level of their civilized development, however, 
the kings of Crete were vassals of the Pharaoh, and the Cretan 
cities were not free. An Eg}^ptian general of Thutmose III (p. 46) 

bore the title of "gov- 




Fig. 66. Tile Drainpipes from the 
Cretan Palace of Cnossus 

These joints of pottery drainpipe (two and 
one half feet long and four to six inches 
across) are part of an elaborate system of 
drainage in the palace, the oldest drainage 
system in the European world. The oldest- 
known system of drainpipe (copper) is in 
the pyramid-temple of Abusir, Egypt (see 
Fig. 22), about a thousand years earlier 
than this system at Cnossus 

ernor of the islands in 
the midst of the sea," 
as the Eg}'ptians called 
the islands of the 
^gean. Here, a new 
world, shaking off the 
old Stone Age lethargy 
of early Europe, under 
the magic touch of 
riper Egyptian culture, 
sprang into vigorous 
life. Beside the two 
older centers of civi- 
lization on the Nile and 
the Euphrates in this 
age, there thus arose 
here in the eastern 
Mediterranean, as a 
third great civilization, 
this splendid world of 
Crete and the ^gean 
Sea, to cany us from 
the Orient to Greece 
and later to Europe.^ 

1 An interesting evidence of the transmission of oriental civilization from the 
Nile to Crete and Europe will be found in a scene carved on a stone vase in 
Crete, about 1800 B.C. (see cut, p. 135). It depicts a harvest festival procession 
in Crete, the men marching with wooden pitchforks over their shoulders, and a 
chorus of open-mouthed singing youths, led by a shaven-headed Egyptian priest 
with a sistrum (an Egyptian musical rattle) in his hand. 

The Mediterranean World and the Early Greeks 123 

Section 21. The Early Greeks 

Thus far the islands had been leading the civilization of the The Greek 
^gean world, but the fleets of Egypt and Crete carried a bS'ore'the 
constant flow of commerce from the islands to the mainland of Q°eeks °the^ 
Greece. Massive strongholds, with heavy stone masonry foun- Mycenaean 
dations, have been excavated at Tiryns (Fig. 67) and Mycenae 
(Fig. 68) in southern Greece.-^ The ^gean princes who built 
these strongholds a little after 1500 B.C. imported works of 
Cretan and Egyptian art in pottery and metal.^ These things, 
with fragments of Egyptian glaze, still lying in the ruins, are the 
earliest tokens of a life of higher refinement as it displaced the 
barbarism of the Stone Age on the continent of Europe.^ But 
the mainland still lagged behind the islands, for Cretan writing 
seems not to have followed Cretan commerce, and there was 
as yet no writing on the continent of Europe. Regions on the 
north of Greece, such as Thessaly, were covered with scattered 
settlements which had advanced but little beyond the Late Stone 
Age civilization of the rest of Europe. Metal was not common 
in Thessaly until about 1500 B.C. The cultured Cretans had 
little influence here in the north, where a hostile race was 
already appearing. As far back as 2000 B.C. we s^e these in- 
vaders appearing behind the passes of the Balkan Mountains. 
These newcomers and not the gifted Cretans and their ^gean 
kindred were to possess the Greek peninsula.* 

The people whom we call the Greeks were a large group of 
tribes of the Indo-European race. We have already followed 

1 Also at Troy, the Sixth City, the Homeric Troy (Fig. T\). 

2 See the rehef on the golden goblet, a work of Cretan art, found at Vaphio, 
near Sparta, in southern Greece (p, iii). 

3 The discoveries of Schliemann at Mycenae were among the first revela- 
tions of pre-Greek art and civilization in the yEgean world. The discoveries in 
Crete had not yet been made, and the Cretan source of Mycenaean art was un- 
known. Hence this pre-Greek civilization of the vEgean is still commonly called 
" Mycenaean," although, as we have seen, Mycenae represents only a late and 
declining stage of the high ^Egean civilization attained by Crete. 

4 The student should here carefully reread pp. 86-88. 


Outlines of European History 

Fig. 67. Restoration of the Castle 
AND Palace of Tiryns. (After Luck- 


Unlike the Cretan palaces, this dwelling of 
an yEgean prince is massively fortified. A ris- 
ing road {A) leads up to the main gate {B), 
where the great walls are double. An assault- 
ing party bearing their shields on the left arm 
must here (C, D) march with the exposed right 
side toward the city. By" the gate [E) the visi- 
tor arrives in the large court {F) on which the 
palace faces. The main entrance of the pal- 
ace {G) leads to its forecourt {H), where the 
excavators found the place of the household 
altar of the king (p. 144). Behind the forecourt 
{H) is the main hall of the palace (/). This' 
was the earliest castle in Europe with outer walls 
of stone. The villages of the common people 
clustered about the foot of the castle hill. The 
whole formed the nucleus of a city-state (p. 130) 
in the plain of Argos (see Plate II, p. 124) 

the scattered tribes 
of the Indo-Euro- 
pean parent people 
until their diverging 
migrations finally 
ranged them in a 
line from the Atlan- 
tic Ocean to north- 
ern India (p. 87 
and Fig. 49). While 
their eastern kin- 
dred were drifting 
southward on the 
east side of the Cas- 
pian toward India, 
the Greeks on the 
west side of the 
Black Sea were like- 
wise moving south- 
ward from their 
broad pastures along 
the Danube. 

Driving their 
herds before them, 
with their families in 
rough carts drawn 
by horses, the rude 
Greek tribesmen 
must have looked 
out upon the fair 
pastures of Thes- 
saly, the snowy sum- 
mit of Olympus 
(Fig. 69), and the 
blue waters of the 


The Mediterranean World and the Early Greeks 125 

^gean not long after 2000 B.C. The Greek peninsula which 
they had entered contains about twenty-five thousand square 
miles.-^ It is everywhere 
cut up by mountains and 
inlets of the sea into small 
plains and peninsulas, sepa- 
rated from each other 
either by the sea or the 
mountain ridges (Fig. 87). 
The Greeks found the 
Thessalian plains dotted 
with the settlements of 
mud-plastered wattle huts, 
the agricultural villages of 
the Europeans of the Late 
Stone Age (p. 123), while 
the islands which the new- 
comers could dimly discern 
across the w^aters were al- 
ready carrying on busy in- 
dustries in pottery and 
metal, which a thriving com- 
merce was distributing. 
With a wonder like that 
of the North American In- 
dians as they beheld the 
first European ships, these 
earliest Greeks must have 
looked out upon the white 
sails that flecked the blue 
surface of the ^gean Sea. 

Fig. 68. The Main Entrance of 

THE Castle of Mycenae, called 

THE " Lion Gate " 

A good example of the masonry of the 
two Mycenaean cities in the plain of 
Argos (Plate II and map, p. 146). The 
gate is surmounted by a large triangu- 
lar relief showing two lions grouped 
on either side of a central column, the 
whole doubtless forming the emblem 
of the city, or the " arms " of its kings 

It was to be long, however, before 

1 It is about one sixth smaller than the state of South Carolina. The very 
limited extent of Greece will be evident if the student notes that Mount Olympus 
on the northern boundary of Greece can be seen over a large part of the peninsula. 
From the mountains of Sparta one can see from Crete to the mountains north 
of the Corinthian Gulf (see Fig. 87), a distance of t^^'O hundred twenty-five miles. 


Outlines of Enropea7i History 

Achasans in 

Dorians in 

these inland shepherds should themselves venture timidly out 
upon the great waters which they were viewing for the first time. 
Gradually their vanguard (called the Achaeans) pushed south- 
w^ard into Peloponnesus, and doubtless some of them mingled 
with the dwellers in the villages which were grouped under the 

walls of Tiryns and 
Mycenae (Figs. 67, 
68, Plate II). Some 
of their leaders 
may have captured 
these yEgean for- 
tresses.-^ But our 
knowledge of the 
situation in Greece 
is very meager be- 
cause the peoples 
here could not yet 
write, and have left 
no written docu- 
ments to tell the 

It is evident, 
however, that a 
second wave of 
Greek nomads 
(called the Dori- 
ans) reached the 
Peloponnesus by 
1500 B.C. and subdued their earlier kinsmen (the Achasans) as 
well as the ^gean townsmen, the original inhabitants of the 
region. The ^geans slowly mingled with their Greek conquer- 
ors, producing a mixed race, the people who are known to us 
henceforth as the Greeks of history. In the names of towns, 

1 The student will recall a similar situation, as the incoming Hebrew nomads 
took the strongholds of their predecessors in Palestine (p. 102). 

Fig. 69. 

Mount Olympus - 
OF THE Gods 

THE Home 

Although Mount Olympus is on the northern 
borders of Greece, it can be seen from Attica 
and the south end of Euboea. It approaches 
ten thousand feet in height, and looks down 
upon Macedonia on one side and Thessaly on 
the other (see map, p. 146). As we look at it here 
from the south, we have a portion of the plain of 
Thessaly in the foreground, where the first 
Greeks entered Hellas (p. 1 24) , and where later the 
earliest Homeric songs were composed (p. 142) 

TJie Mediterranean World and the Early Greeks 127 

rivers, mountains, and plants, the old language of the ^^geans 
left its traces in the Greek tongue ; and doubtless much of the 
supreme genius of the classical Greeks was due to this admixture 
of the blood of the gifted Cretans, with their open-mindedness 
toward influences from abroad and their fine artistic instincts. 

The Dorians did not stop at the southern limits of Greece, The Greeks 
but, learning a little navigation from their ^gean predecessors, s?on o?the^" 
they passed over to Crete, where they must have arrived by ^gean world 
1400 B.C. Cnossus, unfortified as it was, and without any walled 
castle (p. 121), must have fallen an easy prey of the invading Dorians in 
Dorians, who took possession of the island, and likewise seized so^uthern 
the other southern islands of the yEgean. Between 1300 and ^gean 
1000 B.C. the Greek tribes took possession of the remaining 
islands, as well as the coast of Asia Minor, the Cohans in the ^oiians and 
north, the lonians in the middle, and the Dorians in the south, further^north 
Thus during the thousand years between 2000 and 1000 B.C. 
the Greeks took possession of the entire ^Egean outpost of the 
Orient, including the islands of the ^gean Sea, the coasts of 
Asia Minor, and the easternmost peninsula of Europe. 

Driven from their native harbors by the Greeks, the ^gean Effect on 
mariners fled and their fleets appeared in great numbers along 
the coasts of Syria and Egypt, where they assisted in inflicting 
the deathblow on the Egyptian Empire in the twelfth century 
B.C. (see p. 53). Some of them, expelled from Crete, took refuge 
on the coast of Palestine, and w^e have already met them as the 
Philistines (Fig. 70 and p. 103). Thus the effect of the advance Philistines 
of the Indo-European line to the Mediterranean along its north- 
ern shores was felt by the older civilizations of the Orient on 
its other shores. 

Section 22. The Greek City-States under Kings 

In spite of their seaward expansion the Greeks were still a The nomad 
barbarous people of flocks and herds. As a race they had not a settled life 
yet taken to the water, and even as late as 700 B.C. we find their 


Oiitliiies of El trope an History 

peasant-poet Hesiod looking with shrinking eye upon the sea. 
As they took possession of the more fertile districts of the 
peninsula, the Greek shepherds slowly began the cultivation of 
land. This forced them to give up a wandering life and live in 


Fig. 70. Philistine Warriors — a Cretan Tribe driven 
out by the greeks 

These men with tall, feathered headdress are depicted among the cap- 
tives taken by Ramses III, the last of the Egyptian emperors in the 
twelfth century B.C., at a time when he was desperately striving to repel 
an invasion of Egypt by Mediterranean peoples, who were being dis- 
placed by the incoming Greeks and therefore sought new homes in 
Syria, Palestine, and Egypt (see p. 53 and map, p. 56) 

permanent homes, to watch over the fields and gather the 
harvests. War and care of the flocks long continued to be 
the occupation of the fuen, who at first left the cultivation of the 
field to the women, a condition still found in later times in the 
remote valleys of inner Greece. Furthermore, flocks and herds 

The Mediterranean World and the Early Greeks 1 29 

made up the chief wealth of the Greeks for many centuries 
after they had begun agriculture. 

Nomad life as we have seen it along the fertile crescent in Earliest 
Asia (p. 59) possesses no state government, for there is no fnd^s™cTety 
public business which demands it. No taxes are collected, there ^^JJ"^ ^^^ 
are no officials, there are no cases at law, no legal business, and Greeks 
society is controlled by a few customs like the " blood revenge," 
which places the punishment of the murderer in the hands of the 
injured family. Such was exactly the condition of the nomad 
Greeks when they began a settled life in the ^Egean world. 
From their old wandering life on the grasslands they carried 
with them the loose groups of families known as tribes, and 
within each tribe an indefinite number of smaller groups of 
more intimate families called " brotherhoods." 

A " council " of the old men (" elders ") occasionally decided Council and 
matters in dispute, or questions of tribal importance, and prob- ^^^"^ ^ 
ably once a year, or at some important feast, an " assembly " of 
all the weapon-bearing men of the tribe might be held, to express 
its opinion of a proposed war or migration. These are the 
germs of later European political institutions and even of our 
own in the United States to-day.-^ At some stage in their early 
career the old-time nomad leader in war, religion, and the settle- 
ment of disputes had become a rude shepherd king of the 
tribe. Each tribe seems to have gained such a king, although King 
a whole group of tribes might occasionally be found under the 
rule of one king. 

During the four centuries from 1000 to 600 B.C. we see the Lack of 
Greeks entangled in the problem of learning how to transact ^" *"^ 
the business of settled landholding communities, and how to 
adjust the ever-growing friction and strife between the rich and 
the poor, the social classes created by the holding of land and the 
settled life. We gain some idea of the difficulties to be met as 

1 Compare the House of Lords(= the above "council") and the House of 
Commons (= the above "assembly") in England, or the Senate (derived from 
the Latin word meaning "old man") and the House of Representatives in the 
United States. 


130 Outlines of European History 

a government grows up slowly out of the old wandering life on 
the gi-asslands, when we recall that the transition had to be 
made without writing. There arose in some communities a 
" rememberer," whose duty it was to notice carefully the terms 
of a contract, the amount of a loan, or the conditions of a treacy 
with a neighboring people, that he might remember these and 
innumerable other things, which in a more civilized society are 
recorded in writing. 
Rise of the In course of time the 2:roup of villages forming the nucleus 

c;ity-state r •, or o & 

ot a tribe grew and merged at last into a city. This is the 
most important process in Greek political development ; for the 
organized city became the only nation which the Greeks knew. 
Each city-state was a sovereign power ; each had its own laws, 
its own army and gods, and each citizen felt a patriotic duty 
toward his own city and no other. Overlooking the city from 
the heights in its midst is the king's castle (Fig. 67), which we 
call the "citadel," or "acropolis," and around the houses and the 
market below extends the city wall. The king has now become 
a revered and powerful ruler of the city, and guardian of the 
worship of the city gods. King and Council sit all day in the 
market and adjust the business and the disputes between 
the people. These continuous sessions for the first time create a 
state and an uninterrupted government. To be sure it is crude, 
corrupt, and often unjust. 
Rise of the By fraud, oppression, unjust seizure of lands, union of fami- 

''eupatrids" ^i^s in marriage, and many other influences, the strong man of 
ability and cleverness was able to enlarge his lands. Thus there 
arose a class of large landholders and men of wealth. Their 
fields stretched for some miles around the city and its neighbor- 
ing villages. In order to be near the king or secure member- 
ship in the Council and control the government, these men often 
left their lands and lived in the city. After a time they formed 
a class of hereditary nobles called " eupatrids." Such was the 
power of the eupatrids that the Council finally consisted only of 
men of this class. Wealthy enough to buy costly weapons, with 

The Mediterranean World and the Early Greeks 1 3 1 

leisure for continual exercise in the use of arms, tiiese nobles 
became also the chief protection of the state in time of war. 

Thus grew up a sharp distinction between the city community Conflict of 
and the peasants living in the countr)- — a division altogether coumry 
unknown in the old wandering life on the grasslands, where 

Fig. 71. The Walls of Homeric Troy, built about 1500 b.c. 

A section of the outer walls of the Sixth City in the mound of Troy 
(Fig. 58). The sloping outer surface of the walls faces toward the right; 
the inside of the city is on the left. These are the walls built in .the 
days when Mycenae was flourishing — walls which protected the old 
.F^gean inhabitants of the place from the assaults of the Greeks in a 
remote war which laid it in ruins after 1200 B.C., a war of which vague 
traditions and heroic tales have survived in the Homeric poems (p. 142), 
Schliemann never saw this Sixth City, the real Homeric city, which 
was not excavated until after his death. The walls of the houses of the 
Seventh City are visible here resting on those of the Sixth 

there were no towns. The country peasant was obliged to divide 
the family lands with his brothers. His fields were therefore 
small and he was poor. He went about clad in a goatskin, and 
his labors never ceased. Hence he had no leisure to learn the 
use of arms, nor any way to meet the expense of purchasing 

The peasant 


Outlines of European Histofj 


cowed by 
the nobles 

The struggle 
of the 
peasant class 

Disunion of 
the city-states 

Two unions 
under Sparta 
and Athens 

them. He and his neighbors were of small account in war. 
When he attended the Assembly of the people in the city, he 
found but few of his fellows from the countiyside gathered there 
— a dingy group, clad in their rough goatskins. The powerful 
Council in beautiful oriental raiment was backed by the whole 
class of wealthy nobles, all trained in war and splendid in their 
glittering weapons. 

Intimidated by the powerful nobles, the meager Assembly, 
which had once been a muster of all the weapon-bearing men 
of the tribe, became a feeble gathering of a few peasants and 
lesser townsmen, who could gain no greater recognition of their 
old-time right of self-government than the poor privilege of vot- 
ing to concur in the actions already decided upon by the king 
and the Council. The peasant returned to his little farm and 
was less and less inclined to attend the Assembly at all. Indeed, 
he was fortunate if he could struggle on and maintain himself 
and family from his scanty fields. Many of his neighbors sank 
into debt, lost their lands to the noble class, and themselves be- 
came day laborers for more fortunate men, or, still worse, sold 
themselves to discharge their debts and thus became slaves. 
These day laborers and slaves had no political rights and were 
not permitted to vote in the Assembly. 

There were hundreds of such city-states in Greece, and, of 
course, the more powerful endeavored to seize the land of the 
weaker — a tendency resulting in frequent petty wars, some of 
which continued for a thousand years of intermittent hostilities 
down into Roman days. The country was so cut up by moun- 
tains and deep bays that the various state communities were 
quite separated. They thus developed local habits and local 
dialects as different as those of North and South Germany, or 
Brittany and Provence, or even more different than those of 
our own Louisiana and New England. Such differences made 
union difficult. Only two complete and permanent unions were 
effected among the various groups of Greek city-states : one 
under the leadership of Sparta in Laconica and the other in 

The Mediterrmiean World a7id the Early Greeks 133 

Attica under the control of Athens. Both of these states, of 
course, made various endeavors at expansion, as we shall see. 
Loose groups of city-states elsewhere, as in Thessaly, arose here 
and there, but these alliances did not prove stable or permanent. 

Although no political union into a single Greek nation was Motives 
possible, religion and commerce furnished motives toward inti- °^^^^ ""^°" 
mate relationships. In order that all might have a voice in the 
management of great temples or holy places revered by all the 
Greeks, the different city-states concerned formed several religious Religious 
councils, called " amphictyonies," in the membership of which each °""^' ^ 
state had representatives. The most notable of these were the 
council for the control of the Olympic Games, another for the 
famous sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, and also the council for 
the great annual feast of Apollo in the Island of Delos. 

For the adjustment of trade between the states there were only Trade 
the most primitive arrangements. A stranger sojourning abroad 
had no legal rights in a foreign city, and could only secure pro- 
tection by appealing to the old desert custom of " hospitality," 
after he had been received by a friendly citizen as a guest. For 
the reception of a foreigner who might have no friend to be his 
host, a citizen was sometimes appointed to act as official host 
representing the city. A sentiment of unity also arose under the Language 
influence of the Homeric songs (p. 142) with which every Greek toward" unity 
was familiar — a common inheritance depicting all the Greeks 
united against the Asiatic city of Troy (Fig. 71). 

Such influences as these led the Greeks to regard themselves Barbarians 
as a distinct body of people closely bound together by ties of 
race, language, customs, common traditions, religion, and trade. 
They called all men not of Greek blood " barbarians," a word 
not originally a term of reproach for the non-Greeks. Then the 
Greek sense of unity found expression in the first all-inclusive 
term for themselves. They gradually came to call themselves 
" Hellenes," and found pleasure in the belief that they had all 
descended from a common ancestor called Hellen. But it 
should be clearly understood that this new designation did not 

134 Outli7ies of Ejtropeati History 

define a political natio7i of the Greeks, but only the group of 
Greek-speaking peoples or states, often at war with one another 
as hostile nations. The most fatal defect in Greek character 
was the inability of these states to forget their local differences 
and jealousies and to unite into a common federation or great 
nation including all Greeks.^ 


Section 20. Give an account of the Mediterranean : its shores, 
extent, climate, and the early food products. Discuss the incominj^ 
of metal in Europe, and the outgoing Stone Age. Did Europe as ,1 
whole at once advance to high civilization t Where did the advance 
begin and under what influences? Give an account of the early 
^gean and Asia Minor peoples. Who were the Hittites.? Where 
was their home? their capital (Fig. 59)? 

Who were the Trojans and where was their city ? Did the main- 
land or the islands lead the way in the first great advance of yEgean 
civilization? Where is Crete (read explanation of Fig. 87)? Under 
what influences did Cretan civilization advance ? Mention some ex- 
amples of this influence. What do you know of Cretan art ? Was it 
mere imitation of Egypt ? When did Cretan civilization culminate ? 

Sectiox 21. Where did Cretan civilization begin on the main- 
land? Did it spread throughout Greece? Give some account of 
civilization on the mainland of Greece when the Greeks came in. 
To what great race do the Greeks belong ? Whence did their ances- 
tors come? How did they enter Greece? Were they nomads or 
townsmen ? Who were two of the earliest Greek peoples in Greece ? 

What became of the old pre-Greek ^gean people of Greece? 
Have we found such a situation anywhere else.?- Whither did the 
Greeks next go? What now happened to Crete? Who were the 
Philistines? What ^gean lands did the Greeks finally hold? 

Section 22. Describe the transition of the Greeks from nomad 
to settled life. Describe their government and its different institu- 
tions. What problems did their new settied life create ? What about 
writing among them ? 

1 We may recall here how slow were the thirteen colonies of America to 
suppress local pride sufficiently to adopt a constitution uniting all thirteen into a 
nation. It was local differences similar to those among the Greeks which after- 
ward caused our Civil War. 

The Mediterranean World and the Early Greeks i 3 5 

Describe the rise of the Greek city. What is a city-state ? Who 
were the eupatfids ? How did they gain power? What then happened 
to the peasant in the city-state ? How did he and the Assembly lose 
power ? What were the relations of these city-states to each other ? 
What two unions early took place ? What were the influences toward 
a union of all Greek city-states ? Did a feeling of union result in a 
single political nation uniting all Greeks? 

^ . ^^^^'^'^■^ 



The old royal 
citadel be- 
comes the 
place of the 
State temples 

Section 23. Civilization in the Age of the Nobles 

We have seen how the noble class and the Council which it 
controlled had finally shorn the popular Assembly of its power. 
The same nobles not only thus crushed the people below but 
they also slowly undermined the power of the king above. In 
the century between 750 and 650 B.C. the kingship quite gen- 
erally disappeared, and the leader of the State became an elective 
officer chosen for a year.^ At Athens he was termed " archon," 
or " ruler." With the disappearance of the king the royal castle 
(Fig. 67) was vacated. As it fell into decay the old holy places 
and shrines which it protected were still cherished, but they 

1 A noticeable exception, however, was Sparta, where the Assembly of the 
people still retained its power. The voting citizens forming the Assembly be- 
came a military class, controlling a large body of slaves and other nonvoters in 
neighboring communities. Thus the whole body of voting citizens became a 
superior class, who were really nobles. This class did not depose the king but 
checked his power by maintaining Uvo kings at once, and by the appointment 
of administrative officers who held some of the privileges formerly enjoyed by 
the king. 


The Age of the Nobles and the Tyrants in Greece 137 

were gradually transformed into temples. Thus on the citadel 
at Athens, there had been a palace of the old king Erechtheus. 
The little shrine of Athena in this palace later became a temple 
of the goddess, called the " Erechtheum," ^ after the old king. 
In this way the castle of the ancient Attic kings was followed 
by the famous temples of Athens on the citadel mount, called 
the Acropolis (Fig. 91 and Plate III). 

During the centuries of social and political ferment which Beginnings 
brought forth a noble class and placed them in power, the civiliza- fgation\nd^^ 
tion of the ^E'gean world had undergone great changes. The co^i^ierce 
open-minded and clever Greek had meantime learned from his 
yT^gean predecessors many of the arts which had so highly devel- 
oped in the days of Cretan splendor. Iron had become common 
after 1000 r..c. and had deeply influenced all industry'. The 
^Egean waters gradually grew familiar to the Greek communi- 
ties, until they proved a far easier line of communication than 
a road through the same number of miles of forest and mountain. v 

Especially important and rich was the traffic between the Greek 
cities of the Asiatic coast on the east and Attica and Euboea 
on the European side. Among the Asiatic Greeks it was the Commercial 
Ionian cities which led in this commerce. The ships used by ^^e lonians° 
all were open, undecked craft accommodating about fifty oarsmen. 
The Greek trader was met by sharp competition in the hands 
of Phoenician mariners and merchants, who were common in Phoenicians 
these waters since Cretan days. Once dwellers in the desert, 
like the Hebrews and other Semites, the Phoenician townsmen 
along the Syrian coast (see Eig. 72 and map, p. 56) early took 
to the sea and became clever navigators. They gained a foot- 
hold in Cyprus and thence sailed into the ^gean. The Phoeni- 
cian craftsman of Tyre or Sidon was a clever imitator. He 
received the patterns and the methods of the older oriental civi- 
lizations, especially Egypt and Assyria, and easily employed them 

1 The porch of the Erechthetim, supported by figures of beautiful maid- 
ens, will be found as headpiece of this chapter. The situation of the building 
on the Acropolis may be seen in Fig. 91, at the extreme left (east) end of the 

138 Outlines of European History 

for his own gains. Great Phoenician platters of metal with rich 
Egyptian designs,^ fine linens and purple raiment, Egyptian glass 
and porcelain, — all things which the Greek -craftsman could 
not yet equal, — these made the Phoenician galley a welcome 
sight in every harbor of Greece. As Crete once kept the 

Fig. 72. The Ancient Phoenician Harbor of Sidon as it 
now appears 

It was from this harbor that the Phoenician colonists sailed fortli to 
establish new cities in the western Mediterranean, especially Carthage 
(p. 257). The town seen across the harbor is entirely modern, for the 
ancient city was again and again destroyed and rebuilt. Here the 
Phoenician ships were loaded with the goods manufactured in the city 
(see Anciej^t Times, Figs. 157 and 158), to be carried to the Greeks and 
other Mediterranean peoples ; and here an alphabet first came into 
common use (p. 139) 

vEgeans in close connection with the Orient, so now the Phoeni- 
cians played the same part for the Greeks. The work of the 
Phoenician craftsmen spread widely and became proverbial in 
Greece, appearing often in the Homeric songs (p. 142). The 
influence of such work gave to early Greek crafts a decidedly 
oriental character, which continued for a long time. 

1 The flat, round dish of pure silver shown at the end of this chapter (p. 165) 
is a good example of such work as done in Egypt. The design shows a marsh as a 
circle of water around the center, with plentiful vegetation, and four Egyptian 
boats bearing a picnic party. • 

The Age of the Nobles and the Tyrants in Greece 1 39 

The Greek now received from the Phoenician a priceless gift, The Greeks 
far more valuable than all the manufactured wares of the Orient. phSJnfcian 
This new gift was an alphabet. Until long after 1000 B.C. the ^^P^^^et 
Greek was as unable to write as he had been on the grasslands 
of inner Asia fifteen hundred years earlier. The Orient, how- 
Qver, as we have seen (pp. 21, 62), had been writing for 
several thousand years. The Phoenician merchant had by this 
time long abandoned the inconvenient Babylonian clay tablet 
(p. 62). About 1000 B.C. he or his kinsmen had developed an 
alphabet of twent}-two consonants but still without any signs 
for the vowels-^ (p. 71). For several centuries the Phoenicians 
of the cit}' of Byblos had been importing the Eg}^'ptian papyrus 
paper (p. 22), on which they wrote with their new alphabet.'^ 
The Greek merchant, thumbing the bits of papyrus bearing the 
Phoenician tradesman's written list of goods, finally learned the 
alphabet in which it was written, and slowly began to note down 
Greek words in the same way. Here the Greek soon displayed 
his usual mental superiority ; for, finding signs for certain Phoe- 
nician sounds which did not occur in Greek and were there- • 
fore superfluous to him, he used these signs for the Greek 
vowels and thus perfected the first complete system of alpha- Greek in 
betic writing. It slowly spread among the Greek states, begin- letterT- 'the 
nino^ in Ionia. It lon^: remained only a convenience in business ^^i^Jl^st 

tJ tn J writing on 

and administration. For centuries the nobles, unable to read European 
or wTite, regarded writing with misgivings. The Homeric songs 
(p. 142), which were at first not written but were handed down 
orally from generation to generation, speak of the *' deadly 
signs " used in writing. But even the painters of pottery jars had 
learned to use it by 700 B.C., when we find it on their decorated 
vases (compare Fig. 75). Shortly after this it was common 

1 They probably devised it, by adaptation from Egyptian signs, or at least 
under their influence. 

2 It is important to notice that all the alphabets of western Asia and all the 
alphabets of European countries, including our own alphabet, are descended 
from this old Phoenician alphabet. The student should recall its adoption by the 
Arameans (p. 71) and its spread eastward under the Persians (p. 98). 



Outlines of Ej trope an History 

among all classes.^ Literature, nevertheless, long remained an 
oral matter and was much slower than business to resort to 

The Greeks often called the Egyptian paper, brought in by 
the Phoenicians, byblos^ after the name of the Phoenician city 
by way of which it came. Thus when they began to write books 
on rolls of such paper (Fig. 104) they called them biblia. It is 
from this term that we received our word " Bible " (literally 
"book" or "books"), and hence the English word "Bible," 
once the name of a Phoenician city, is a living evidence of the 
origin of books and the paper they are made of, in the ancient 
Orient, from which the Greek received so much. 

There was now wide intercourse among the Greek states ; 
the constant commingling of their interests, the ebb and flow of 
their material life, developed and refined the Greek mind. The 
life which the Hellenes now led was much richer and more 
highly developed than that of their rude nomad ancestors. The 
contests in feats of arms and athletic games with which they 
had been accustomed to honor the burial of a hero in earlier 
days finally came to be practiced at stated seasons in honor of 
the gods. As early as 776 B.C. such contests were celebrated 
as public festivals at Olympia. Repeated eveiy four years, 
they eventually aroused the interest and participation of all 
Greece. Later, similar contests were also established elsewhere 
(Figs. 81, 82). Various Greek states offered money prizes to 
the victors, and the winners were regarded as having gained 
undying fame both for themselves and the fortunate cities to 
which they belonged. They v/ere finally celebrated by the 

1 Few Greek inscriptions now sur\dving are as early as the seventh century 
B.C. The eariiest inscription dated with precision belongs a little after 600 B.C. 
The written list of victors in the Olympian games went back to 776 B.C. 

2 In view of the fact that the Egyptians were exporting papyrus paper 
to Byblos by the 12th century B.C., it is evident that the Greeks called it byblos 
because they received it from there, as we call stuff from Damascus " damask," 
and from Calicut " calico." Another Greek word for Egyptian paper was 
"papyros," hence our word "paper" (see p. 23, note i). 

The Age of the Nobles and the Tyrants in Greece 141 

greatest poets, an honor which led the noble class to spend 
much of their time in manly exercises. 

In art there had been distinct decay in the ^gean with the Early Greek 
incoming of the Greeks. The art of the Cretan palaces which 
the Dorians had sent up in smoke and flame long surpassed 
anything the Greek could 
produce. Echoes of it sur- 
vived on the coast of Asia 
Minor, where they were 
finally received by the Ionian 
Greeks. But for a long time 
the early Greeks fell under 
the influence of the oriental 
art imported in such abun- 
dance in the w^orks of the 
Phoenician craftsman. Greek 
sculpture had hardly begun 
to produce rude figures ; 
painting was confined to the 
decorative efforts of the 
craftsman, like the work of 
the painter of pottery jars. 
There was no great archi- 
tecture, for the State em- 
ployed only the simplest 
buildings of sun-baked brick, 
and the earliest Greek tem- 
ples were merely houses, 
like those of private citizens, 
consisting of a square room built of sun-baked brick, with a 
wooden roof and timbers, and a porch across the front with 
wooden posts supporting it. 

It was in literature that Greek genius achieved its first great Literature 
triumph in this age of the disappearing kingship and the rule 
of the nobles. In the pastures of Thessaly where the singer 

Fig. 73. An Ideal Portrait of 

This head, from the Boston Museum 
of Fine Arts, is a noble example of 
the Greek sculptor's ability to create 
an ideal portrait of a poet whom he 
had never seen. Such work was un- 
known in the archaic days of Greece; 
it was produced in the Hellenistic 
Age (p. 232) 


Oiitlines of European History 

looked up at the cloud-veiled summit of Mount Olympus (Fig. 69), 
the home of the gods, there grew up a group of songs telling 
many a story of the feats of gods and heroes. Into these songs 
were woven also vague memories of remote wars which had 
actually occurred. By 1000 b.c. these songs had crossed to 
the coasts and islands of Ionia on the Asiatic side of the 
^gean Sea. 

Here arose a class of professional bards who graced the 
feasts of king and noble with songs of battle and adventure re- 
cited to the music of the harp. Framed in exalted and ancient 
forms of speech, and rolling on in stately measures,^ these 
heroic songs resounded through many a royal hall — the oldest 
literature born in Europe. After the separate songs had greatly 
increased in number, they were finally woven together by the 
bards into a connected whole — a great epic cycle especially 
clustering about the traditions of the Greek expedition against 
Troy. They were not the work of one man, but a growth of 
several centuries by generations of singers, some of whom were 
still living even after 700 B.C. It was then that they were first 
written down. 

Among these ancient singers there seems to have been one 
of great fame whose name was Homer (Fig. 73). His reputa- 
tion was such that the composition of the whole cycle of songs, 
then much larger than it now is, was attributed to him. Then 
as the Greeks themselves later discerned the impossibilit}- of 
Homer's authorship of them all, they credited him only with 
the Iliad ,^ the story of the Greek expedition against Troy ; and 
the Odyssey, or the tale of the wanderings of the hero Odysseus 
on his return from Troy. These are tlie only two series of 
songs that have entirely survived, and even the ancient world 
had its doubts about the Homeric authorship of the bdyssey. 
These ancient bards not only gave the world its greatest epic 

1 These were in hexameter : that is, six feet to a line. This Greek verse is the 
oldest literary form in Europe. 

2 So named after Ilium, the Greek name of Troy. 

The Age of the Nobles and the Tyrants in Gi'eece 143 

in the Iliad, but they were, moreover, the earliest Greeks to put 
into permanent literary form their thoughts regarding the world 
of gods and men. At that time the Greeks had no other sacred 
books, and the Homeric songs became the veritable Bible of 
Greece. They gave to the disunited Greeks a common litera- 
ture and the inspiring belief that they had once all taken part 
in a common war against Asia. But the heroic world of glori- 
ous achievement in which the vision of these -early singers 
moved, passed away, and with it passed their art. 

The Homeric singers never refer to themselves ; they never Hesiod and 
speak of their own lives, but retire behind the stirring pictures ^^, f^^ soda 
of heroic adventure which absorb their thought and completely g^^^opg" 
occupy them with the lives of their heroes who had died long, 
long before. But now the problems of i\\Q- present begin to 
press hard upon the minds of men ; the peasant farmer's dis- 
tressing struggle for existence (see p. 132) makes men conscious 
of very present needs. Their oiun lives become a great and 
living theme. The voices that once chanted' the hero songs die 
away, and now we hear the first voice raised in Europe on be- 
half of the poor and humble. Hesiod, an obscure farmer under 
the shadow of Mount Helicon in Bceotia, sings of the dreary 
and hopeless life of the peasant — of his 07vn life as he struggles 
on under a burden too heavy for his shoulders. We even hear 
how his brother Persis seized the lands left by their father, and 
then bribed the judges to confirm him in their possession. 

It is not a little interesting to observe that this earliest pro- Social forces 

IT • • J u ^"^^ literature 

test against the tyrannies of wealthy town life is raised at the 
very moment when across the corner of the Mediterranean the 
once nomad Hebrews are passing through the same experience 
(see p. 104). The voice of Hesiod raising the cry for social 
justice in Greece sounds like an echo from Palestine. We should 
notice also that in Palestine the cry for social justice resulted 
finally in a religion of brotherly kindness, whereas in Greece it re- 
sulted in democratic institutions, the rule of the people who refused 
longer to submit to the oppressions of the few and powerful. 

144 Outlines of European History 

Early reii- Homer was the religious teacher of the Greeks, for the 

Greeks ^ Homeric songs brought vividly before them the world of the 

gods. In this Homeric world the gods have become human, 

Influence of and act like men. Of course they possess more power than 

songs ^"^^'^'^ mortals, and at the same time they enjoy the gift of immortality 

which raises them high above the world of men. Each god has 

The gods and a kingdom and a function of his own. Zeus rules the sky ; 

omains £)JQj^ygyg bnngs forth the vine, and the goddess Demeter the 

wheat, from the earth which both control ; Poseidon rules the 

sea ; Athena with shining weapons glories in war ; Apollo with 

his golden arrows is the deadly archer of the gods, and Hermes 

of the winged feet is their messenger ; Hera is protectress 

Their human of marriage, and Aphrodite the goddess of love. They show 


decidedly human defects of character ; they practice all sorts 
of deceit and display many other human frailties. 
The hereafter Nor do the gods demand anything better in the character of 
men, for at death all men go to a gloomy world of spirits be- 
neath the earth (Hades), where no distinction is made between 
good and bad. As a special favor of the gods, the heroes are 
at last endowed with immortality and permitted to enjoy a life 
of endless bliss in the beautiful Elysian Fields or the Islands 
of the Blest somewhere in the Far West, toward the unexplored 
Altars and occan. The altars of the gods were at first always set up under 
emp es ^j^^ Open sky ^ without any sheltering roofs, as we should expect 

among tribes of wandering shepherds. But the settled life had 
brought permanent shrines in the royal castle, and, when the 
castle was vacated by the king (p. 136), these shrines became 
temples, dwelling houses of the gods, made like the dwellings of 
men. The citadel mount was thus transformed into the sacred 
inclosure of the gods, like the Acropolis of Athens (Fig. 91). 

1 See the altar in the forecourt of the prehistoric castle of Tir\Tis (Fig. 67). 
The place of the altar is marked by a little rectangle in the front part of the 
forecourt H, behind the entrance G. 


^ OJ (U ^ 


o ^ o o 

o -^ c „ 


-- c B S^ 


bJ3 4J "^ 



. <u ^, .— 


P-^ « CX 


03 ^ ? 



6 s;-^s 





>^ (U be 




^ g ^ ^, 



^ 8^- 


o aJ 3 2 





o C3 o 
t/3 o ^ +-■ 



(U W 4^ > 



j:^ iJ 

• r-l 












S >- o C 

3 (U ""^ -'-' 


'S t^ rt w 


c 3i >- 

g X ^ o 


2 a; S o 


S| ^ g 


^^ ^i:! 


^4. o <u g 



^ « o S 





>^ "^ 'O 


,*;; -4::; <u 


-^ rt S 


H -o ^ 2 



Outlines of European History 

Section 24. Greek Expansion in the Age of 
THE Nobles 

Greek colo- 
nies in the 
Black Sea 

Greek colo- 
nies in the 
east — south- 
em Asia 
Minor and 


Egypt and 

Discovery of 
the west 

The oppressive rule of the nobles, and the resulting impover- 
ishment of the peasants, was an important influence, leading the 
Greek farmers to seek new homes and new lands beyond the 
^gean world. Greek merchants were not only trafficking with 
the northern ^gean, but their vessels had penetrated the great 
northern sea, which they called the " Pontus," known to us as the 
Black Sea (see map, p. 146). Their trading stations among the 
descendants of the Stone Age peoples in these distant regions 
offered to the discontented farmers of Greece plenty of land 
with which to begin life over again. Before 600 B.C. they girdled 
the Black Sea with their towns and settlements, but no such 
development of Greek genius took place in this harsher climate 
of the north as we shall find in the ^gean. The Pontus became 
the granary of Greece but never contributed anything to its 
higher life. 

In the east, along the southern coasts of Asia Minor, there 
were already maritime peoples in possession ; but Greek expan- 
sion in this direction was stopped by the Assyrian Sennacherib 
(p. 72) when he defeated a body of Greeks in Cilicia about 
700 B.C., in the earliest collision between the Hellenes and a 
great power of the Tigris-Euphrates world. At the eastern end 
of the Mediterranean, Greek colonists absorbed nearly all of 
the large Island of Cyprus, which long remained the eastern- 
most outpost of the Greek world. In the south they found a 
friendly reception in Egypt, where they were permitted to estab- 
lish a trading city at Naukratis (Mistress of Ships), the prede- 
cessor of Alexandria. West of the Delta also they eventually 
founded Cyrene. 

It was the unknown west, however, which became the America 
of the early Greek colonists. Many a Columbus pushed his ship 
into this strange region of mysterious dangers on the distant 
borders of the world, where the heroes were believed to live in 





26 Longitude East from Greenwich 28 

The Age of the Nobles mid the Tyrants in Greece 147 

the Islands of the Blest. But step by step the dreaded regions 
were explored. Flourishing cities like Corinth, in trading with 
the western coast of Greece, pushed northward, where the sea- 
men could discover the shores of Italy as they looked westward 
toward the heel of that great peninsula. It was indeed but fifty 
miles distant from the west coast of Greece. When they had 
once crossed to it, their trading ventures carried them on coast- 
ing voyages around Sicily and northward far into the west, at 
last even to the then unknown shores which we call the French 
and Spanish coasts. Here was a new world. Its discovery w^as 
as momentous for the Greeks as that of America for later Europe. 

By 750 B.C. their colonies appeared in this new western Greek colo- 
world, and within a century they fringed southern Italy from west— south 
the heel to a point well above the instep north of Naples, which ^^^ ^^'^ 
was also a Greek colony known as " Neapolis," or " New City," 
like our Newburgh or Newtown. So numerous were the Greek 
settlements that this region of southern Italy came to be known 
as " Great Greece." ^ Here the Greek colonists looked north- 
ward to the hills crowned by the rude settlements which were 
destined to become Rome. They little dreamed that this insig- Rome 
nificant town w^ould yet rule the world, making even the proud 
cities of their homeland its tributaries. As the Greeks were 
superior in civilization to all the other dw^ellers in Italy, the civ- 
ilized history of that great peninsida begins with the advent of the 
Hellenes. They first brought in such things as writing, literature, 
architecture, and art (see headpiece of Chapter VII, p. 166). 

The Greek colonists crossed over also to Sicily (Fig. 74), siciiyand 
where they drove out the Phoenician trading posts except at the far west 
the western end of the island, and there the Phoenicians held 
their, own. These Greek colonists in the west shared in the 
higher life of the homeland; and Syracuse, at the southeast 

1 One of the oldest of all Greek temples now surviving stands in a wonderful 
state of preservation on the Italian coast south of Naples at the ancient Posei- 
donia (Poseidon's town), afterward called Paestum. It was built about 500 B.c, 
(see the drawing at head of Chapter VII, p. 166), 


Outlines of European History 

aspects of 
ancient colo- 
nization in 
the Medi- 

corner of the Island of Sicily, became at one time the most 
cultivated, as well as the most powerful, city of the Greek world. 
At Massilia (Marseilles), on the coast of later France, the western 
Greeks founded a town which controlled the trade up the Rhone 
valley; and they reached over even to the Mediterranean coasts 
of Spain, attracted by the silver mines of Tartessus. 

Thus, under the rule of the eupatrids, the Hellenes expanded 
till they stretched from the Black Sea along the north shore of 
the Mediterranean almost to the Atlantic. In this imposing 
movement we recognize a part of the far outstretched western 
wing of the Indo-European line (see p. 87); but at the same 
time we discover that the Semite has also taken to the water, 
and in the Phoenician Empire of Carthage, reaching from Sicily 
along the northern coast of Africa even to the Atlantic coast 
of Spain, the Semite has likewise flung out his western wing 
along the southern Mediterranean, facing the Indo-European 
peoples on the ?iort}i} 

Section 25. The Industrial and Commercial 

Growth of 
Greek com- 
merce and 

The remarkable colonial expansion of the Greeks, together 
with the growth of industries in the home cities, led to profound 
changes. The new colonies not only had needs of their own, but 
they also made connections with the inland, behind which opened 
up extensive regions of Europe as a market for Greek wares. 
The home cities at once began to meet this demand for goods 
of all sorts. The Ionian cities led the way as usual, but the 
islands also, and finally the Greek mainland, felt the new im- 
pulse. Ere long the great commercial fleets of the Hellenes were 
threading their way along all the coasts of the northern, western, 
and southeastern Mediterranean, bearing to distant communities 
Greek metal work, woven goods, and pottery. They brought 

1 The diagram (Fig. 49) should be carefully studied again at this point, 
especially the west end. Compare the diagram with map of Roman Empire. 

The Age of the Nobles and the Tyrants in Greece 1 49 

back either raw materials and foodstuffs, such as grain, fish, and 
amber, or finished products like the magnificent utensils in bronze 
from the cities of the 
Etruscans in north- 
ern Italy (p. 246 and 
Fig. 107). At the 
yearly feast and mar- 
ket on the Island 
of Delos the Greek 
householder found the 
Etruscan bronzes of 
the West side by side 
with the gay carpets 
of the Orient. 

To meet the in- 
creasing demands of 
trade the Greek crafts- 
man was obliged to en- 
large his small shop, 
once perhaps only 
large enough to sup- 
ply the wants of a 
single estate. Unable 
to find the necessary 
workmen, the propri- 
etor who had the 
means bought slaves, 
trained them to the 
work, and thus en- 
larged his little stall 
into a factory with a 
score of hands. Hence- 
forth industrial slave labor became an important part of Greek life. 

Athens entered the field of industry much later than the Ionian 
cities, but when she did so, she won victories not less decisive 

market on 
the island 
of Delos 

Fig. ']$. An Athenian Painted Vase 
OF THE Early Sixth Century b.c. 

This magnificent work (over thirty inches 
high) was found in an Etruscan tomb in Italy 
(see map, p. 245), whither it had been exported 
by the Athenian makers in the days of Solon 
(pp. 155 ff.). It is signed by the potter Ergo- 
timos, who gave the vase its beautiful shape, 
and also by the painter Clitias, whose skillful 
hand executed the sumptuous painted scenes 
extending in bands entirely around the vase. 
These decorations represent the final eman- 
cipation of the Greek painter from oriental 
influences, so marked before this time, and 
the triumph of his own imagination in depict- 
ing scenes from Greek stories of the gods 
and heroes. On the wide distribution of the 
works of these two artists see pp. 150- 151 


Outlines of Europe aji History 

Expansion of 



than her later triumphs in art, literature, philosophy, or war. 
Her factories must have assumed a size quite unprecedented in 
the Greek world, for of the painted Greek vases — discovered 

Fig. 76. The Isthmus of Corinth, the Link between the 
Peloponnesus and Northern Greece 

The observer stands on the hills south of ancient Corinth (out of range 
on the left) and looks northeastward along the isthmus, on both sides 
of which the sea is visible. On the left (west) we see the tip of the Gulf 
of Corinth (see map, p. 146), and on the right (east) the Saronic Gulf. 
The commerce across this isthmus from the Orient to the West made 
the Gulf of Corinth an important center of traffic westward, and Corinth 
early became a flourishing commercial city. Through this sole gateway of 
the Peloponnesus (see map, p. 146) passedbackandforthfor centuries the 
leading men of Greece, and especially the armies of Sparta, some sixty 
miles distant (behind the observer). The faint white line in the middle of 
the isthmus is the modern canal — a cut from sea to sea, about four miles 
long and nearly two hundred feet deep at the crest of the watershed 

by excavation — which are signed by the artist, about half are 
found to have come from only six factories at Athens. It is not 
a little impressive at the present day to see the modern excavator 

The Age of the Nobles and the Tyraiits in Greece 1 5 1 

opening tombs far toward the in- 
terior of Asia Minor and taking out 
vases bearing the signature of the 
same Athenian vase-painter whose 
name you may also read on vases 
dug out of the Nile Delta in north- 
ern Africa, or taken from tombs in 
cemeteries of the Etruscan cities of 
Italy (Fig. 75). We suddenly gain a 
picture of the Athenian craftsman and 
merchant in touch with a vast com- 
mercial domain extending far across 
the ancient world. 

Soon the ship- 
builder, responding 
to the growing com- 
merce, began to build 
craft far larger than 
the old " fifty-oar " 
galleys of the Ho- 
meric Age. The new 
" merchantmen "were 
driven by sails, an 
Eg}'ptian invention of 
ages before (Fig. 14). 
They were so large 
that they could no 
longer be drawn up 
on the strand as 
before ; sheltered har- 
bors were neces- 
sary, and for the first 
time in history the 
anchor appeared. The 
protection of such 


']^. Specimens illustrating the 
Beginning of Coinage 

These are rough lumps of silver, as long before 
used in the Orient (pp. 38, 67), flattened by 
the pressure of the stamp. Gradually they 
became round, and the stamp itself was finally 
made round instead of square, as in these 
e^rly examples. /, both sides of a Lydian 
coin (p. 98) (about 550 B.C.); .?, both sides of 
a coin of the Greek island of Chios (500 B.C.), 
showing how the Greeks followed the Lydian 
model (/) ; j, both sides of a Carian coin of 
Cnidus (650-550 B.C.), an example of the 
square stamp ; 4, both sides of a coin of 
Athens (sixth century B.C.), bearing head 
of goddess Athena and an owl with olive 
branch (square stamp). The inscription is 
an abbreviation of " Athens " 


Outlines of Europemi History 

merchant ships demanded more effective warships, and the dis- 
tinction arose between a " man-o'-war," or battleship, and a 
" merchantman." Corinth (Fig. 76), an older commercial center 
than Athens, boasted the production of the first decked warships, 
a great improvement, giving the warriors above more room 
and better footing, and protecting the oarsmen below. The latter 
were arranged in three rows, three micn on the same bench, each 
man wielding an oar, and thus the power of an old "fifty-oar" 
could be multiplied by three without essentially increasing the 
size of the craft. These innovations were all in common use by 
500 B.C. With their superior equipment on the sea, the Hellenes 
were soon beating the Phoenicians in the Mediterranean markets, 
and at the same time the Greek craftsmen had not only broken 
away from the leading strings of the Orient, but were already 
showing superiority^ in many lines of industry and art. 

The Ionian cities, which enjoyed important commerce with 
the peoples of inner Asia Minor, besides receiving the Babylonian 
system of weights and measures,^ began to use the precious 
metals in making business payments. The metals were first used 
in bars and rods of a given weight, as had been the custom in 
the Orient for thousands of years before (pp. 38, 67). When the 
kings of Lydia early in the seventh century B.C. began to cut up 
these bars into small pieces of a fixed weight, and to stamp these 
pieces with some symbol of the king or state, we have the earliest 
coined money (Fig. 77, i). The Ionian cities were soon using 
this new convenience, and it quickly passed thence to the islands 
and the European Greeks (Fig. 77, 2-4). It rapidly became a 
powerful influence in Greek society. 

Wealth had formerly consisted of land and flocks, but now 
men began to accumulate capital in money ; loans were made, 
and the use of interest came in from the Orient. The developing 
industries and the commercial ventures on the seas rapidly created 

1 This system has 60 as a basis and underlies also the division of the circle (360°) 
which we have inherited. The smaller subdivisions of Greek weights were on a 
decimal system derived from Egypt. 

The Age of the Nobles and the Tyrants iii Greece 153 

fortunes among a class before obscure. There arose a prosper- 
ous industrial and commercial middle class who demanded a voice 
in the government. At the beginning of the sixth century B.C. 
even a noble like Solon could say, ^' Money makes the man." 

Section 26. Rise of the Democracy and the 
Age of the Tyrants 

While the prosperous capitalistic class was thus arising, the Decline of 
condition of the peasant on his lands grew steadily worse. His and thrconv 
fields were dotted with stones, each the si^n of a morts^ao-e. The '"S of the 

^ ^ ^ "tyrants" 

wealthy creditors were foreclosing these mortgages and taking 
the lands ; and the unhappy owners were being sold into foreign 
slavery, or were fleeing abroad to escape such bonds. The 
eupatrids in control did nothing as a class to improve the situa- 
tion. They were usually divided among themselves into hostile 
factions, however, and in time able leaders among them placed 
themselves at the head of the dissatisfied people in real or feigned 
sympathy with their cause. In this way such a leader of the 
nobles was able to gain the support of the people, and thus to 
overcome and expel his own rivals among the noble class and 
gain control of the State. 

Such a ruler was in reality a king ; but the new king differed The " tyrant " 
from the kings of old, in that he had no royal ancestors and had opinFon of 
seized the control of the State by violence. The people did not ^'^ °^^^ 
reverence him as of ancient royal lineage, and while they may 
have feit gratitude to him, they felt no loyalty. The position of 
such a ruler always remained insecure. The Greeks called such 
a man a '' tyrant," which was not at that time a term of reproach 
as it is with us. The word " tyranny " was merely a term for 
the high office held by such a ruler. Nevertheless the instinctive 
feeling of the Greeks was that they were no longer free under 
such a prince, and the slayer of a tyrant was regarded as a hero 
and savior of the people. 


Outlines of European History 

Earliest One of the fancied remedies for their wrongs which the people 

of"law" ^^ ^^ had long demanded was the putting of the recognized laws into 
writing (Fig. 78). Hitherto all law, so long ago reduced to writ- 
ing in the Orient (see Fig. 42), had been a matter of oral tradition 


Ij(( ;j ";^^- r'-^vt/^^^'"''- - 

Fig. 78. Ruins of the Ancient Courthouse of Gortyna and 
THE Early Greek Code of Laws engraved on its Walls 

This hall at Gortyna in Crete, dating from the sixth century B.C., was a 
circular building about one hundred and forty feet across, which served 
as a courthouse. If any citizen thought himself unjustly treated, he could 
appeal to the great code engraved in twelve columns on the inside of 
the stone wall of the building. It covers the curved surface of the wall 
for about thirty feet, but extends only as high as would permit it to be 
read easily. It forms the longest Greek inscription now surviving. This 
code shows a growing sense of justice toward a debtor and forbids a 
creditor to seize a debtor's tools or furniture for debt ; this illustrates 
the tendency among the Greeks in the age of Solon (p. 155) 

and custom in Greece. It was easy to twist such law to favor 
the man who gave the judge the largest present, just as the judge 
did for Persis when he swindled his brother Hesiod out of their 

TJie Age of the Nobles ajid tJie Tyrants in Greeee 155 

father's lands and secured them himself (see p. 143). After a long 
struggle the Athenians secured such a written code, arranged by 
a man named Draco about 624 B.C. It was an exceedingly severe 
code, so severe, in fact, that the adjective " Draconic " has passed 
into our language as a synonym for " harsh." It did nothing to 
relieve the agricultural class, and the mortgage stones in the 
Attic grain fields were no fewer than before. 

The situation in Athens was much complicated by hostilities Foreign com 
with neighboring powers like Megara, y^^gina, and Sparta. The Athens"^ ° 
merchants of Megara had seized the Island of Salamis (Fig. 86), 
overlooking the port of Athens, while a little further south was 
another commercial rival in the little Island of yEgina (see 
map, p. 1 46). The loss of Salamis and the failure of the eupatrids 
to recover it aroused intense indignation among the Athenians. 
Then a man of the old family to which the ancient kings of 
Athens had belonged, a wealthy noble named Solon, who had Rise of Solon 
increased his wealth by many a commercial venture on the 
seas, roused his countrymen by fiery verses, calling upon the . 
Athenians not to endure the shame of such a loss. Salamis was Recovery of 
recovered, and Solon gained great popularity with all classes of "^' 

The verses of Solon (which in a later day when the Greeks Solon elected 
had begun to write prose would have taken the form of political reforms 
speeches) pictured the distressing condition of the Attic people 
with startling effect. The result was Solon's election as archon 
(p. 136) in 594 B.C. He was given full power to remedy the evil 
conditions. To save the peasants, he declared void all mortgages 
on land and all claims of creditors which endangered the liberty 
of a citizen. Furthermore, citizens who had been sold into foreign 
slavery to satisfy such claims Solon repurchased at the cost of 
the State, and they returned as free men to Attica. But Solon 
was a true statesman, and to the demands of the lower classes 
for a new apportionment of lands held by the eupatrids he would 
not yield. He did however set a limit to the amount of land 
which a noble might hold. 


OntliJies of Europe cm History 

Fig. 79. Monument of the Tyrant- 
Slayers OF Athens, Harmodius 


On the slopes of the Areopagus (see 
plan, p. 173, and Fig. 91) overlooking the 
market place, the Athenians set up this 
group, depicting at the moment of attack 
the two heroic youths who lost their lives 
in an attempt to slay the two sons of 
Pisistratus and to free Athens from the 
two tyrants (514 B.C.) (p. 157). The group 
was carried off by the Persians after the 
battle of Salamis ; the Athenians had 
another made to replace the first one. 
It was afterward recovered in Persia by 
Alexander or his successors and restored 
to its old place where both groups stood 
side by side. Our illustration is an an- 
cient copy in marble, probably reproduc- 
ing the later of the two groups 

Further, he proclaimed 
a constitution which gave 
all but the very lowest 
classes a voice in the 
control of the State. It 
was not democratic, for it 
recognized an aristocracy 
of wealth as well as the 
old aristocracy of birth. 
It created a new class 
made up of the richest 
nobles, with an income 
of at least five hundred 
measures of grain, oil, 
and wine. As they paid 
the highest taxes, these 
nobles held the treasury 
offices, leaving to other 
nobles the remaining high 
offices ; but the humblest 
free craftsman could vote 
in the Assembly of the 
people. Otherwise the es- 
tablished institutions were 
little changed by Solon. 
He left also a written 
code of law by which all 
free men were for the 
first time given equal 
rights in the courts. Some 
of these laws have de- 
scended to our own time 
and are still in force. 

Solon is the first great 
Greek statesman of whom 

The Age of the Nobles and the Tyrants in Greece 157 

we obtain an authentic picture, chiefly through those poems of 
his which have survived to our day. The leading trait of his 
character was moderation, combined with unfailing decision. 
When all expected that he would assume permanent authority 
over the Athenian State and make himself " tyrant " at the end 
of his official term, he laid down his archonship without a 
moment's hesitation and left the city for several years, to give 
his constitution a fair chance to work. 

Solon saved Attica from a great social catastrophe, and it was Pisistratus 
chiefly due to his wise reforms that Athens achieved her Indus- tyrants of ' 
trial and commercial triumphs. But his work, though it deferred Athens 
the humiliation, could not save the Athenian State from sub- 
jection to^ the tyrant. After an unsuccessful attempt to seize 
the government, Pisistratus, a member of one of the powerful 
eupatrid families, returned from exile and gained control of the 
Athenian State. He ruled with great sagacity and success, and 
many of the Athenians gave him sincere allegiance. But his 
two sons, Hippias and Hipparchus, though able men, were un- 
able to overcome the prejudice against a ruler on whom the 
people had not conferred authority. One of the earliest exhi- 
bitions of that love of the State which we call patriotism is the 
outburst of enthusiasm at Athens when two youths, Harmodius 
and Aristogiton (Fig. 79), at the sacrifice of their own lives, 
struck down one of the tyrants (Hipparchus). Hippias, the 
other one, was eventually obliged to flee. Thus, shortly before 
500 B.C., Athens was freed from her tyrants. 

The people were now able to gain new power against the The reforms 
eupatrids by the efforts of a noble friendly to the lower classes, 
named Clisthenes. He broke up the old tribal divisions of blood 
and established purely local lines of division, so cleverly adjusted 
that city and country communities were combined to form part 
of each tribe. This gave the country communities an equal 
chance with the city. Moreover the development of tactics 
of war under the leadership of the Spartans had produced 
close masses of spearmen, each mass (phalanx) remaining an 


Outlines of Europe a7i History 

Rise of the 
phalanx ; dis- 
of the indi- 
vidual cham- 

Equality of 
city and 


The " Seven 
Wise Men " 

impenetrable unit throughout the battle. Against such infanlr}^ 
the horsemen or the individual champions of ancient times, al- 
ways men of the noble class, were powerless. Thus the demand 
for the ordinary citizen in the army much increased the impor- 
tance and power of the people in the State as over against the 
eiipatrids. The new tribal divisions of Clisthenes were also the 
military divisions of the country, and again, as in the old nomad 
days, citizenship and the bearing of arms in defense of the State 
were more closely identified. In the Assembly of the people 
and on the field of battle the tovv^nsman and the countiy peasant 
henceforth stood shoulder to shoulder. 

In order to avoid the rise of a new tyrant, Clisthenes estab- 
lished a law that the people might once a year by vo.te declare 
any prominent citizen dangerous to the State and banish him 
for ten years. On the day appointed for the voting a citizen 
had only to pick up one of the pieces of broken pottery lying 
about the market place, write upon it the name of the citizen 
to be banished, and deposit it in the voting urn. As such a bit 
of pottery was called an " ostracon " (Fig. ^^^, to " ostracize " 
a man (literally to " potsherd " him) meant to interrupt his 
political career by banishment. Although the men of property 
(see p. 156) were still the only citizens to whom the office of 
archon and the other high of^ces were open, Attica had now 
(about 500 B.C.) gained a form of government giving the people 
a high degree of power, and the State was in large measure a 

Although a tyrant here and there survived, especially in Asia 
Minor, Greece at this time passed out of the Age of the Tyrants. 
As a group, the leaders of this age made an impression upon 
the mind of the people which never entirely disappeared. They 
were the earliest statesmen in Greece, if not in histor}^ and 
some of them were led by high-minded motives in their control 
of the Greek states. The people loved to quote their sayings, 
such as " Know thyself," a proverb which was carved over 
the entrance of the Apollo temple at Delphi ; or Solon's wise 

The Age of the Nobles afid the Tyrants in Greece I 59 

maxim, " Overdo nothing." There came to be collections of 
such sayings, and the most famous of the men of the age were 
grouped together as the " Seven Wise Men." ^ 

Section 27. Civilization in the Age of the Tyrants 

The Age of the Tyrants was a period of unprecedented prog- Architecture 
ress among the Hellenes, in industries, in commerce, and in the 
higher life which we call civilization. The old sun-baked brick 
and wooden temples were replaced by structures of limestone, 
and the front of the temple of Apollo at Delphi was even 
clothed with marble, but the building was painted in colors as 
before. Sculpture adorned the temple front, the statues of the 
gods being in human form and showing strong influences from 
the Orient, especially Eg}^pt. Not only religion but patriotism 
also found its voice in art, as shown by a noble group repre- 
senting the two youths who endeavored to free Athens from the 
tyranny of the sons of Pisistratus (see p. 157 and Fig. 79). 

The tyrants loved music and it was much cultivated. A Music 
system of writing musical notes, meaning for music what the 
alphabet means for literature, now arose. The flute was a favor- 
ite instrument, and one musician even wrote a composition 
for the flute which was intended to tell the story of Apollo's 
fight with the dragon of Delphi. In literature the old heroic Literature 
meter of the Homeric poems, with its six feet, was abandoned 
for less stately and monotonous forms of verse. From serious 
discussions in verse like those of Solon (p. 155), the poets passed The new 
to the expression of momentary moods, longings, dreams, hopes, 
and fiery storms of passion. Each in his way found a wondrous 
world within himself Yj\\\ch. he thus pictured in short songs. 

The Homeric songs were the impersonal voice of an age as a 
whole ; but now these new songs reveal inner experiences of the 

1 The list of the Seven Wise Men is as follows : Solon of Athens, Periander 
of Corinth, Chilon of Sparta, Thales of Miletus, Pittacus of Mitylene, Bias of 
Priene, and Cleobulus of Lindus. 



Otitlhies of European History 

Sappho individual singers. Among them the poetess Sappho was the 

earliest woman to gain undying fame in literature. In Sicily 


Fig. 8o. Ruins of the Hall of the " Mysteries " at Eleusis 

Very little of the building survives ; femnants of the columns once 
supporting the roof are seen on the left ; on the right are the seats cut 
from the solid rock, on which the initiates (p. 162) sat while watching 
the sacred ceremonies of the " Mysteries," the spring and autumn 
feasts celebrated here. Especially at the autumn feast, after five days' 
preparation, multitudes came out from Athens, seventeen miles distant, 
along the Sacred Way, and spent five days more here at Eleusis. Em- 
blems of the undying life of the earth, like heads of grain, displayed at 
these ceremonies, suggested the immortal life promised to all initiates 
(compare the similar Osirian beliefs, pp. 27-28). In the distance we see 
the Bay of Eleusis and beyond it the heights of the northern part of the 
Island of Salamis (Fig. 86 and map, p. 146) 

the poet Stesichorus developed a kind of country festival songs 
(the dithyramb), sung by peasant choruses as they marched in 
procession at many a picturesque harvest or spring feast. These 
songs told the stories of the gods from the old myths. They 

The Age of the Nobles and the Ty7'a7its m Greece l6i 

and the leader 
He thus 

were sung responsively by chorus and leader 
illustrated with gestures the story told in the song, 
became the fore- 
runner of the actor 
in a play, and in 
Athens, not long 
after, such songs 
led to the drama 
actually presented 
in a theater (Fig. 


Such literature 
reveals the pro- 
found changes in 
the religion of this 
age — changes due 
to the growing dis- 
crimination be- 
tween right and 
wrong. Men could 
no longer believe 
that the gods led 
the evil lives pic- 
tured in the Ho- 
meric songs. Ste- 
sichorus had so 
high an ideal of 
womanly fidelity 
that he could not 
accept the tale of 
the beautiful Hel- 
en's faithlessness, 

and in his festival songs he told the ancient story in another 
way. Men now felt that even Zeus and his Olympian divinities 
must do the right. Mortals too must do the same; for men 

Fig. 81. View over the Valley and 
Ruins of Delphi to the Sea 

This splendid gorge in the slopes of Mount Par- 
nassus on the north side of the Corinthian Gulf 
(see map, p. 146) was very early sacred to Apollo, 
who was said to have slain the dragon Pytho 
which lived here. The white line of road in the 
foreground is the highway descending to the 
distant arm of the Corinthian Gulf. On the left 
of this road the cliff descends sheer a thousand 
feet, and above the road (on its right) on the 
steep slope are the ruins of the sacred buildings 
of ancient Delphi, excavated by the French in 
recent years. We can see the zigzag road lead- 
ing up the hill among the ruins just at the right 
of the main road (compare also Fig. 82) 

New power of 
moral feeling 


Outlines of European History 

had now come to believe that in the world of the dead there 
was punishment for the evil-doer and blessedness for the good. 

In the temple at Eleusis (Fig. 80) scenes from the mysteri- 
ous earth life of Demeter and Dionysus, to whom men owe the 
fruits of the earth, are presented by the priests in dramatic form 
before the initiated, and he who views them may be received into 
the Islands of the Blessed, where once only the ancient heroes 
were admitted. Even the poorest slave is permitted to enter 
this fellowship and be initiated into the " Mysteries," as they 
were called. More than ever, also, men now turned to the gods 
for a knowledge of the future in this world. Everywhere it was 
believed that the oracle voice of Apollo revealed the outcome of 
every untried venture, and his shrine at Delphi (Figs. 81, 82) 
became a national religious center, to which the whole Greek 
world resorted. 

On the other hand, some thoughtful men began to reject the 
beliefs of the earlier day regarding the world and its control by 
the gods. When Thales of Miletus, from his study of the Baby- 
lonian astronomical lists (p. 84), correctly predicted an eclipse 
of the sun in the year 585 B.C. and boldly proclaimed that the 
movements of the heavenly bodies were due not to the whims 
of the gods but to fixed laws of nature, he banished the gods 
from, a whole world of their former domain. Likewise, when the 
Greeks learned of the enormous age of the oriental peoples, 
especially of the Egyptians, it was at once perceived that the 
gods could not have been wandering on earth like men only a 
few generations earlier. Such men as Thales, therefore, became 
the founders of natural science and philosophy. At this point 
in their thinking they entered upon a new world, which had 
never dawned upon the greatest minds of the early East. This 
step remains and will forever remain the greatest achievement 
of the human intellect — an achievement to call forth the rever- 
ence and admiration of all time. 

Just at this point, when the Greek was standing on the 
threshold of a new world, the Persian hosts suddenly advanced 

.& 2 '^ -B i 'S 

Si "S 4j ? "^ i-> 
. o o I 

"^ C rt O ■- ^ C 3 

2 1:?^ 


164 Outlines of European History 

to the ^gean (see p. 96) and absorbed the Ionian cities. The 
Persians represented a high civilization and an enlightened rule ; 
but with these things went lack of free citizenship, political bond- 
age, and intellectual subjection to religious tradition. Whether 
or not the Greek states had developed the power to throw off 
the Asiatic assailant, whose supremacy in Greece would have 
checked the free development of Greek genius along its own 
individual lines, — this was the question which now confronted 
the Hellenes. They little dreamed of the importance which 
the ensuing struggle would assume for the future career of 
civilized man. 


Section 23. Who overthrew the Greek kings? Who then ruled.? 
What institutions came in as a result.'* What became of the citadel 
and king's casde ? Describe Greek commercial and industrial devel- 
opment in the Age of the Nobles. Who led in these matters .? Who 
were the chief competitors of the Greeks ? How did the Greeks gain 
an alphabet.'' How did such intercourse affect the Greeks? 

What were the hero songs? Where did they chiefly flourish? To 
whom were they attributed ? Which of them have come down to us ? 
How does Hesiod differ from the Homeric singers? Give an account 
of him and compare him with the Hebrew prophets. Give some ac- 
count of early Greek gods. Were they free from moral faults ? 

Section 24. Describe Greek colonization in north and east ; in 
south and west. Whom did they find as competitors already in the 
west? Where were the Phoenician colonies? Which was the most 
famous ? What two racial lines were then facing- each other across 
the Mediterranean ? 

Section 25. How did the new colonies affect trade and industry in 
the homeland ? Describe the growth of commerce. What were the 
results at Athens? Where was the painted vase of Fig. J^ made and 
where was it found ? Has the work of its makers been found 
elsewhere? How did the growth of com.merce affect shipbuilding? 
How and when did coinage arise ? What class did the introduction 
of 7noney create ? What effect did it have on the peasants ? 

Section 26. How did some of the eupatrids make use of the 
discontent of the people? What is a "tyrant" in this ancient age? 
Why did the people demand written laws? Whose was the first 

The Age of the Nobles and the Tyrants in Greece 165 

written code of laws in Athens? Did it prove a remedy for the dis- 
tress of the peasant class? Who was Solon? Outline his reforms. 
Did Solon save Athens from the " tyranny " ? Did the tyranny 
last long at Athens? 

What reforms did Clisthenes introduce ? What change in military 
service and weapons had now taken place ? Of what advantage was 
this change to the ordinary citizen ? What was ostracism ? Tell some- 
thing of the " Seven Wise Men." 

Section 27. What advances in civilization were made in the 
Age of the Tyrants? in sculpture? music? literature? poetry? 
What progress do we now discover in religion ? Was there now 
life hereafter for all? What were the "Mysteries" of Eleusis? 
What were oracles? Who was the great god of oracles and where 
was his temple ? 

Who was Thales ? What did he do ? What effect did his predic- 
tion have on thinking men's ideas of the world and its control by 
the gods ? What did they thus create ? Who now appeared in Asia 
Minor (p. 164)? 



Section 28. The Struggle with Persia 

When 'the Ionian cities which Persia had captured in her 
advance ' to the ^gean ^ revolted, their friend and relative, 
Athens, sent twenty ships to aid them. This act brought a 
Persian army of revenge, under King Darius, into Europe. The 
long march across the Hellespont and through Thrace cost the 
invaders many men, and the fleet which formed one wing of 
the Persian advance was wrecked in trying to round the high 
promontory of Mount Athos (492 B.C.). The advance into 
Greece was therefore abandoned for a different plan of invasion, 
which would avoid the long march around the Hellespont. 

In the early summer of 490 B.C. a considerable fleet of trans- 
ports and warships bearing the Persian host put out from the 
Island of Samos, sailed straight across the ^gean, and entered 
the straits between Euboea and Attica (see map, p. 146, and Fig. 
83). The Persians began by burning the little city of Eretria, 
which had also sent ships to aid the lonians against Persia, and 
then landed on the shores of Attica, in the Bay of Marathon 

1 The student should here reread pp. 96-97. 

The Repulse of Persia and the Athenian Empire 167 

(see map, p. 146, and Fig. 83), intending to march on Athens, 
the greater offender. They were guided by the aged Hippias, 
son of Pisistratus, once tyrant of Athens, who accompanied 
them with high hopes of regaining control of his native city. 

Fig. 83. The Plain of Marathon 

This view is taken from the hills at the south end of the plain, and we 
look northeastward across a corner of the Bay of Marathon to the 
mountains in the background, which are on the large island of Euboea 
(see map, p. 146). The Persian camp was on the plain at the very shore 
line, where their ships were moored or drawn up. The Greeks held a 
position in the hills overlooking the plain (just out of range on the left) 
and commanding the road to Athens, which is twenty-five miles distant 
behind us. When the Persians began to move along the shore road 
toward the right, the Greeks crossed the plain and attacked. The 
memorial mound (Fig. 84) is too far away to be visible from this point 

nation in 
Athens and 

All was excitement and confusion among the Greek states. 
The defeat of the revolting Ionian cities, and especially the 
Persian sack of Miletus, had made a deep impression through- ^'^^^ 
out Greece. An Athenian dramatist had depicted in a play the 
plunder of the unhappy city and so incensed the Athenians that 


Outlines of European History 

The armies 

induces the 
Athenians to 
advance to 

The Greek 

they passed weeping from the theater to prosecute and fine the 
author. Now this Persian foe who had crushed the Ionian cities 
was camping behind the hills only a few miles northeast of 
Athens. After dispatching messengers in desperate haste to 
seek aid in Sparta, the Athenian citizens turned to contemplate 
the seemingly hopeless situation of their beloved city. Here was 
a tiny Greek state confronted by the army of the Lord of Asia, 
the Emperor of the world, who regarded the peoples of the West 
as insignificant communities which had been troubling the fron- 
tiers of his vast world empire. 

Thinking to find the Athenians unprepared, Darius had not 
sent a large army. The Persian forces probably numbered no 
more than twenty thousand men, while at the utmost the Athe- 
nians could not put more "than half this number into the field. 
Fortunately for them there was among their generals a skilled 
and experienced commander named Miltiades, a man of resolu- 
tion and firmness, who, moreover, had lived on the Hellespont 
and was familiar with Persian methods of fighting. To his 
judgment the commander-in-chief, Callimachus, yielded at all 
points. As the citizen-soldiers of Attica flocked to the city at 
the call to arms, Miltiades was able to induce the leaders not to 
await the assault of the Persians at Athens, but to march across 
the peninsula (see map, p. 146) and block the Persian advance 
among the hills overlooking the eastern coast and commanding 
the road to the city. This bold and resolute move roused cour- 
age and enthusiasm in the downcast ranks of the Greeks. 

Nevertheless, when they issued between the hills and looked 
down upon the Persian host encamped upon the Plain of Mara- 
thon (Fig. 83), flanked by a fleet of hundreds of vessels, misgiv- 
ing and despair chilled the hearts of the little Attic army. But 
Miltiades held the leaders firmly in hand, and the arrival of a 
thousand Greeks from Plataea revived the courage of the Athe- 
nians. The Greek position overlooked the main road to Athens, 
and the Persians could not advance without leaving their line 
of march exposed on one side to the Athenian attack. 

The Repulse of Persia and the AtJienian Empire 169 

Unable to lure the Greeks from their advantageous position The battle 
after several days' waiting, the Persians at length attempted to (490 bx.)^'^ 
march along the road to Athens, at the same time endeavoring 
to cover their exposed line of march with a sufficient force 
thrown out in battle array. Miltiades was familiar with the 





FiG. 84. Mound raised as a Monument to the Fallen 
Greeks at Marathon ' • 

The mound is nearly fifty feet high. Excavations undertaken in 1890 dis- 
closed beneath it the bodies of the one hundred and ninety-two Athenian 
citizens who fell in the battle. Some of their weapons and the funeral 
vases buried with them were also recovered 

Persian custom of massing troops in the center. He there- 
fore massed his own troops on both wings, leaving his center 
weak. It was a battle between bow and spear. The Athenians 
undauntedly faced the storm of Persian arrows, ^ and then both 
wings pushed boldly forward to the line of shields behind which 
the Persian archers were kneeling. In the meantime the Persian 
center had forced back the Greeks, while the two Greek wings 

See page 96 and Fig, 5 1 


Outlines of European History 

Rise of 

His plan for 
creation of 
a fleet 

Persian prep- 
arations for a 
third invasion 

creates a fleet 

closed in on either side and thrust back the Persian wings in 
confusion. The Asiatic army crumbled into a broken multitude 
between the two advancing lines of Greeks. The Persian bow 
was useless, and the Greek spear everywhere spread death and 
terror. As the Persians fled to their ships they left over six 
thousand dead upon the field, while the Athenians lost less than 
two hundred men (Fig. 84).^ When the Persian commander, 
unwilling to acknowledge defeat, sailed around the Attic pen- 
insula and appeared with his fleet before the port of Athens, 
he found it unwise to attempt a landing, for the victorious 
Athenian army was already encamped beside the city. 

Among the men who stood in the Athenian ranks at Marathon 
was Themistocles, the ablest statesman in Greece, a man who 
had already occupied the office of archon, the head of the 
Athenian state. As archon Themistocles had striven to con- 
vince the Athenians that the only way in which Athens could 
hope to meet the assault of Persia was by making herself un- 
disputed mistress of the sea. He had failed in his effort. But 
now the Athenians had seen the Persians cross the ^gean 
with their fleet and land at Marathon. It was evident that 
a powerful Athenian navy might have stopped them. They 
began to listen to the counsels of Themistocles to make Athens 
the great sea power of the Mediterranean. 

Darius the Persian died without having avenged his defeat 
at Marathon, but his son and successor, Xerxes, took up the 
unfinished task. He was prevailed upon by his able general 
Mardonius to adopt the Hellespont route. When the Athenians- 
saw that Xerxes' commanders were cutting a canal behind the 
promontory of Athos, to secure a short cut and thus to avoid 
all risk of such a wreck as had overtaken their former fleet in 
rounding this dangerous point, Themistocles was able to induce 
the Assembly to build a great fleet of probably a hundred and 
eighty triremes. 

1 The mound raised by the Athenians in honor of the fallen Greeks still 
marks the battlefield, a sacred memorial reverently visited by many travelers. 

llie Repulse of Persia and the A thenian Einpire 1 7 1 

Themistodes' masterly plan of campaign corresponded exactly Third Per- 

to the plan of the Persian advance. The x\siatics were coming in xhemi^^^*'^" 

combined land and sea array, with army and fleet moving together IJJ^^^^ P^-"'j^ 
down the east coast of the Greek mainland. The design of 

Fig. 85. The Pass of Thermopyl^ 

In the time of the Persian invasion the mountains to the left dropped 
steeply to the sea, with barely room between for a narrow road. Since 
then the rains of twenty-four hundred years have washed down the 
mountainside, and it is no longer as steep as formerly, while the neigh- 
boring river has filled in the shore and pushed back the sea several 
miles. Otherwise we would see it here on the right. The Persians, 
commg from beyond the mountains toward our point of view, could not 
spread out in battle array, being hemmed in by the sea on one side 
and the cliff on the other. It was only when a traitorous Greek led 
a Persian force by night over the mountain on the left, and they ap- 
peared behind the Greeks in the pass, that Leonidas and his Spartans 
were crushed by the simultaneous attack in front and rear (pp. 172-174) 

Themistodes was to meet the Persian fleet first with full force 
and fight a decisive naval battle as soon as possible. If vic- 
torious, the Greek fleet commanding the ^gean would then be 
able to sail up the eastern coast of Greece and threaten the 


Otctlines of European History 

enter Greece 

The battles 
of Thermop- 
ylae and 

communications and supplies of the Persian army. There must 
be no attempt of the small Greek army to meet the vast land 
forces of the Persians, beyond delaying them as long as possi- 
ble at the narrow northern passes, which could be defended 
with a few men. An attempt to unite all the Greek states 
against the Persian invasion was not successful, but Sparta 
and Athens united to meet the common danger. Themistocles 
was able to induce the Spartans to accept his plan only on con- 
dition that Sparta be given command of the allied Greek fleets. 

In the summer of 480 B.C. the Asiatic army was approaching 
the pass of Thermopylae (Fig. 85), just opposite the western- 
most point of the Island of Euboea (see map, p. 1 46). Their fleet 
moved with them. The Asiatic host must have numbered over 
two hundred thousand men, with probaWy as many more camp 
followers, while the enormous fleet contained presumably about a 
thousand vessels, of which perhaps two thirds were warships. Of 
these they lost a hundred or two in a storm, leaving probably 
about five hundred warships available for action. The Spartan 
king Leonidas led some five thousand men to check the Persians 
at the pass of Thermopylae, while the Greek fleet of less than 
three hundred triremes was endeavoring to hold together and 
strike the Persian navy at Artemisium, on the northern coast 
of Euboea. Thus the land and sea forces of both contestants 
were face to face. 

After several days' delay the Persians advanced to attack on 
both land and sea. The Greek fleet made a skillful and credit- 
able defense against superior numbers, and all day the daunt- 
less Leonidas held the pass of Thermopylae against the Persian 
host. Meantime the Persians were executing two flank move- 
ments by land and by sea — one over the mountains to strike 
Leonidas in the rear, and the other with two hundred ships 
around Euboea to take the Greek fleet likewise from behind. 
A storm destroyed the flanking Persian ships, and a second 
combat between the two main fleets was indecisive, but the 
flanking of the pass was successful Taken in front and rear. 

O " 

l-iH O 

*M 00 



Outlmes of European History 

Persian vic- 
tory; death 
of Leonidas 

Greek retreat 

Persian ad- 
vance into 
Attica and 
burning of 

Battle of 
(480 B.C.) 

the heroic Leonidas died fighting at the head of his small force, 
Avhich the Persian host completely annihilated. The death of 
Leonidas stirred all Greece. With the defeat of the Greek 
land forces and the advance of the Persian army, the Greek 
fleet, seriously damaged, was obliged to withdraw to the south. 
It took up its position in the Bay of Salamis (see map, p. 146, 
and Fig. 86), while the main army of the Spartans and the 
allies was drawn up on the Isthmus of Corinth (Fig. 76), the 
only point at which the Greek land forces could hope to make 
another defensive stand. 

As the Persian army moved southward from Thermopylae, 
the indomitable Themistocles gathered together the Athenian 
population and carried them in transports to the litde islands of 
Salamis and vF^gina and to the shores of Argolis (see map, p. 1 46, 
and Plate II, p. 124). Meantime the Greek fleet had been repaired, 
and with reinforcements numbered over three hundred battle- 
ships. Nevertheless it shook the courage of many as they looked 
northward, where the far-stretching Persian host darkened the 
coast road, while in the south they could see the Asiatic fleet 
drawn up off the old port of Athens at Phalerum (see map, 
p. 173). High over the Attic hills the flames of the burning 
Acropolis showed red against the somber masses of smoke that 
obscured the eastern horizon and told them that the homes 
of the Athenians lay in ashes. With masterly skill Themis- 
tocles held together the irresolute Greek leaders, while he 
induced Xerxes to attack by the false message that the Greek 
fleet was about to slip out of the bay. 

On the heights overlooking the Bay of Salamis the Persian 
king, in the midst of his brilliant oriental court, took up his 
station to watch the battle. The Greek position between the 
jutting headlands of Salamis and the Attic mainland (see map, 
p. 146, and Fig. 86) was too cramped for the maneuvers of a 
large fleet. Crowded and hampered by the narrow sea-room, the 
huge x^siatic fleet soon fell into confusion before the Greek attack. 
There was no room for retreat. The combat lasted the entire 

The Repulse of Persia and tJie Athenian Empirr 175 

■day, and when darkness settled on the Bay of Salamis the 
Persian fleet had been almost annihilated. The Athenians were 
masters of the sea, and it was impossible for the army of 
Xerxes to operate with the same freedom as before. By the 

Fig. 86. Pir^us, the Port of Athens, and the Strait and 
Island of Salamis 

The view shows the very modern houses and buildings of this flourish- 
ing harbor town of Athens (see map, p. 173). The mountains in the back- 
ground are the heights of the island of Salamis, which extends also far 
over to the right (north), opposite Eleusis (see map, p. 146), as we saw in 
Fig. 80. The four steamers at the right are lying at the place where 
the hottest fighting in the great naval battle here (p. 174) took place. 
The Persian fleet advanced from the left (south) and could not spread 
out in a long front to enfold the Greek fleet, because of the little island 
just beyond the four steamers, which was called Psyttaleia. The Greek 
fleet lying behind Psyttaleia and a long point of Salamis came into 
action from the right (north), around Psyttaleia. A body of Persian 
troops stationed by Xerxes on Psyttaleia were all slain by the Greeks 

creation of its powerful fleet Athens had saved Greece, and 

Themistocles had shown himself the greatest of Greek statesmen. 

Xerxes was now troubled lest he should be cut off from Asia 

by the victorious Greek fleet. Indeed, Themistocles made every 


Outlines of Europe an History 

Retreat of 
Xerxes in 
the east ; 
defeat of 
Carthage in 
the west 

against The- 

again in 

effort to induce Sparta to join with Athens in doing this very 
thing; but the cautious Spartans could not be prevailed upon 
to undertake what seemed to them so dangerous an enterprise. 
Had Themistocles' plan of sending the Greek fleet immediately 
to the Hellespont been carried out, Greece would have been 
saved another year of anxious campaigning against the Persian 
army. With many losses from disease and insufficient supplies, 
Xerxes retreated to the Hellespont and withdrew into Asia, 
leaving his able general Mardonius with an army of perhaps 
fifty thousand men to winter in Thec-saly. Meantime the news 
reached Greece that an army of Carthaginians which had 
crossed from Africa to Sicily had been completely defeated 
by the Greeks under the leadership of Gelon, tyrant of Syra- 
cuse. Thus the assault of the Asiatics upon the Hellenic 
world was beaten back in both east and west in the same year 
(480 B.C.) 1 

The brilliant statesmanship of Themistocles, so evident to us 
of to-day, was not so clear to the Athenians as the winter passed 
and they realized that the victory at Salamis had not relieved 
Greece of the presence of a Persian army, and that Mardonius 
would invade Attica with the coming of spring. Themistocles, 
whose proposed naval expedition to the Hellespont would have 
forced the Persian army out of Greece, was removed from 
command by the factions of his ungrateful city. Nevertheless 
the most tempting offers from Mardonius could not induce the 
Athenians to forsake the cause of Greek liberty and join hands 
with Persia. 

As Mardonius at the end of the winter rains led his army 
again into Attica, the unhappy Athenians were obliged to flee 
as before, this time chiefly to Salamis. Sparta, always reluctant 

lit is evident that Xerxes by his control of the Phpenician cities had in- 
duced Phoenician Carthage to attack the Greeks in the west while he himself 
attacked them in the east. The Persian fleet defeated at Salamis was largely 
made up of Phoenician ships. The Phoenicians in east and west (Carthage) 
thus represent the two wings of the great Semitic line, in attack on the Indo- 
European line (Fig. 49) represented in east and west by the Greeks. 

The Repulse of Persia and the Athenian Empire 177 

and slow when the crisis demanded quick and vigorous action, Spartan 
was finally induced to put her army into the field. When Mar- adkances^^ 
donius in Attica saw the Spartan king Pausanias advancing 
through the Corinthian Isthmus and threatening his rear, he 
withdrew northward, having for the second time laid waste 
Attica far and wide. With the united armies of Sparta, Athens, 
and other allies behind him, Pausanias was able to lead some 
thirty thousand heavy-armed Greeks of the phalanx, as he fol- 
lowed Mardonius into Boeotia. 

In several days of preliminary movements which brought the Battle of 
two armies into contact at Platsea, the clever Persian showed finai^^e'feat 
his superiority, out-maneuvering Pausanias and even gaining ^}^^^^^^\ 
possession of the southern passes behind the Greeks and cap- 
turing a train of their supply wagons. But when Mardonius led 
his archers forward at double-quick, and the Persians kneeling 
behind their line of shields rained deadly volleys of arrows into 
the compact Greek lines, the Hellenes never flinched, although 
their comrades were falling on every hand. With the gaps closed 
up, the massive Greek phalanxes pushed through the line of 
Persian shields, and, as at Marathon, the spear proved invincible 
against the bow. In a heroic but hopeless effort to rally his Death of 
broken lines, Mardonius himself fell. The Persian cavalry 
covered the rear of the flying Asiatic army and saved it from 

Not only European Greece, but Ionia too, was saved from Athenian 

. . . -, . r 1 ^ 1 • 1 • ^- fl^^t victori- 

Asiatic despotism ; for the Greek triremes, having meantime ous in i 
crossed to the peninsula of Mycale on the north of Miletus, 
drove out or destroyed the remnants of the Persian fleet. The 
Athenians now also captured and occupied Sestus on the Euro- 
pean side of the Hellespont and thus held the crossing from 
Asia into Europe closed against further Persian invasion. Thus 
the grandsons of the men who had seen Persia advance to the 
^gean had blocked her further progress in the west and thrust 
her back from Europe. Indeed, no Persian army ever set foot 
in European Greece again. 

and the north 


Outlines of Europe a)i History 

Section 29. The Rise of the Athenian Empire 




Rivalry of 
Athens and 

cles and the 
of Athens 

As the Athenians returned to look out over the ashes of what 
was once Athens, amid which rose the smoke-blackened heights 
of the naked Acropolis, they began to realize the greatness of 
their deliverance and the magnitude of their achievement. With 
the not too ready help of Sparta, they had met and crushed the 
ancient power of Asia. They felt themselves masters of the 
world. The past seemed narrow and limited. ' A new and 
greater Athens dawned upon their vision. 

On the other hand, the stolid Spartans, wearing the fetters of 
a rigid military organization, gifted with no imagination, looked 
with misgivings upon the larger world which was opening to 
Greek life, and although they desired to lead Greece in mili- 
tary power, they shrank from assuming the responsibilities of 
expansion. They represented the past and the privileges of the 
few. Athens represented the future and the rights of the many. 
Thus Greece fell into two camps as it were: Sparta (Fig. 87), 
the bulwark of tradition and limited privileges ; Athens (Plate III, 
p. 180), the champion of progress and the sovereign people. And 
thus the sentiment of union born in the common struggle for 
liberty, which might have united the Hellenes into one Greek 
nation, was followed by an unquenchable rivalry between the 
two leading states of Hellas, which finally cost the Greeks the 
supremacy of the ancient world. 

Themistocles was now the soul of Athens and her policy of 
progress and expansion. He determined that Athens should no 
longer follow Sparta. He cleverly hoodwinked the Spartans, 
and in spite of their objections completed the erection of strong 
walls around a new and larger Athens. At the same time he 
fortified the Piraeus, the Athenian port (see map, p. 173, and 
Fig. 86). When the Spartans, after the repulse of Persia, relin- 
quished the command of the combined Greek fleets, the power- 
ful Athenian fleet, the creation of Themistocles, was master 
of the .T^gean. 

TJie Repulse of Persia and the Athenian Empire 179 




' iniA.»l.iM.,. 

Fig. 87. The Plain where once Sparta stood 

The olive groves now grow where the Spartans once had their houses. 
The town was not walled until long after the days of Spartan and 
Greek power were over. From the mountains (nearly eight thousand 
feet high) behind the plain the visitor can see northeastward far beyond 
Athens, almost to Euboea ; one hundred miles northward to the moun- 
tains on the north of the Corinthian Gulf (see map, p. 146); and one 
hundred and twenty-five miles southward to the Island of Crete. This 
view shows also how Greece is cut up by such mountains 

As the Greek cities of Asia still feared the vengeance of the Estabiish- 

. ment of the 

Persian king, it was easy for the Athenians to lorm a perma- Delian 
nent defensive league with the cities of their Greek kindred in 
Asia and the ^Egean islands. The wealthier of these cities con- 
tributed ships, while others paid a sum of money each year into 



Outlines of Europea?t History 

the treasury of the League. Athens had command of the com- 
bined fleet and collected the money. This treasure was placed 
for protection in the temple of Apollo, on the little Island of 
Delos. Hence the federation was known as the Delian League. 
It was completed within three years after Salamis. The transfor- 
mation of such a league into an empire, made up of states subject 
to Athens, could be foreseen as a very easy step. All thie was 
therefore viewed with increasing jealousy and distrust by Sparta. 

Fig. 88. Potsherd bearing the Name of Themistocles 
AND his Place of Residence 

The name of Themistocles is scratched in the surface of this fragment 
of a pottery jar [ostracon, p. 158). It was written there by some citizen of 
the six thousand who desired and secured his ostracism in 472 B.C., 
or may have served a similar purpose in the earlier but unsuccessful 
attempt to ostracize him 

Under the leadership of Cimon, the son of Miltiades the hero 
of Marathon, the fleet of the League now drove the Persians out 
of the region of the Hellespont entirely. Cimon did not under- 
stand the importance of Athenian supremacy, but favored a 
policy of friendship and alliance with Sparta. Hence political 
conflict arose at Athens over this question. Noble and wealthy 
and old-fashioned folk favored Cimon and friendship with 
Sparta, but progressive and modern Athenians followed The- 
mistocles and his anti-Spartan plans. 

Themistocles was unable to carry the Asseiiibly; he was 


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The Repulse of Persia and the Atheniait Empire l8l 

ostracized (Fig. ^Z^^ and at length, on false charges of treason, Fall of The- 

(472-471 B.C.) 

he was condemned and obliged to flee for his life. The greatest "^'^ °^ ^^ 

statesman in Athenian history spent the rest of his life in the 
service of the Persian king, and he never again saw the city he 
had saved from the Persians and made mistress of an empire. 

When a Persian fleet of some two hundred ships now came Cimon de- 
creeping westward along the southern coast of Asia Minor, peSan fleet 
Cimon not only destroyed the entire hostile fleet, but he also gdo'jfifjyer'^ 
landed and crushed the Persian land force which had fortified 
itself at this point (468 B.C.). 

Covered with glory, Cimon returned to Athens and urged the Fall of Cimon 
dispatch of troops to Sparta in response to a request from the 
Spartans for help in quelling a revolt among their own subjects. 
Herein Cimon overestimated the good feeling of the Spartans 
toward Athens ; for, in spite of the continuance of the revolt, 
the Spartans after a time curtly demanded the withdrawal 
of the very Athenian troops they had asked for. Stung by 
this rebuff, to which Cimon's friendly policy toward Sparta had 
exposed them, the Athenians voted to ostracize Cimon (461 B.C.). 

The name of Pericles, the statesman who succeeded Cimon Pericles and 
as the leader of Athens, is the most illustrious in her history, isdc'paiiy ^ 
He was a handsome and brilliant young Athenian, descended ^* Athens 
from one of the old noble families, of the line of Clisthenes, 
who two generations before had done so much for Athenian 
democracy (see p. 157). Like his great ancestor, he fearlessly 
championed the cause of the people, and he also accepted the 
" imperialistic program " of Athenian supremacy over the other 
Greek states. He desired to rear the splendid Athenian empire 
of which Themistocles had dreamed. He put himself at the head 
of the party of progress and of increased power of the people. 
Increasing prosperity had been creating an ever-growing body 
of wealthy men who rose from the lower classes. They hoped 
for wide expansion of Athenian power, for they felt the com- 
petition of the merchants of ^gina and of Corinth, the powerful 
commercial ally of Sparta. 


Outlines of Europeaji History 

Fig. 89. The Fxvx, the Athenian Place of Assembly 

The speakers' platform with its three steps is immediately in the fore- 
ground. The listening Athenian citizens of the Assembly sat on the 
ground now sloping away to the left, but at that time probably level. 
The ground they occupied was inclosed by a semicircular wall, begin- 
ning at the further end of the straight wall seen here on the right, 
extending then to the left, and returning to the straight wall again 
behind our present point of view (see semicircle on plan, p. 173). This 
was an open-air House of Commons, where, however, the citizen did 
not send a representative but came and voted himself as he was in- 
fluenced from this platform by great Athenian leaders, like Themisto- 
cles, Pericles, or Demosthenes (p. 216). Note the Acropolis and the 
Parthenon, to which we look eastward from the Pnyx (see plan, p. 173). 
The Areopagus is just out of range on the left (see Fig. 91) 

A long struggle of the people for power had brought about 
changes in the constitution providing that all citizens holding 
state office should receive pay for such service. The people 
were in the saddle (Fig. 89). It was now possible even for men 
of very limited means to hold office, and all were permitted to 

The Repidse of Persia and the Athenian Empire 1 83 

do so except members of the laboring class entirely without Complete 
property. With one exception there was no longer any eleciipn democracy 
of the higher officers, but they were now all chosen by lot from 
the whole body of eligible citizens. The result was that the men 
holding the once influential positions in the State were now mere 
chance " nobodies " and hence completely without influence. 

It was, however, impossible to choose a military commander The leader- 
idrategus) by lot. These important offices remained elective Peddes 
and thus open to men of ability and influence, into whose hands 
the direction of affairs naturally fell. It thus became more and 
more possible for a strong and influential leader, a man of per- 
suasive eloquence like Pericles, to lay out a definite series of 
plans for the nation and by his oratory to induce the Assembly 
of the Athenian citizens on the Pnyx (Fig. 89) to accept them. 
Year after year Pericles was thus able to retain the confidence of 
the people. He became the actual head of the State in power, or, 
as we should say, the undisputed political " boss" of Athens from 
about 460 B.C. until his untimely death over thirty years later. 

Pericles had won favor with the people by favoring a policy New de- 
of hostility to Sparta, a policy opposed to Cimon's attitude of Athens; 
friendship toward the only dangerous rival of Athens in the '^^^ngf, 
struggle for the leadership of Hellas. Pericles greatly strength- 
ened the defenses of Athens by inducing the people to connect 
the fortifications of the city with those of the Pirseus harbor by 
two " Long Walls," thus forming a road completely walled in, 
connecting Athens and her harbor (Fig. 86 and plan, p. 173). 

The inevitable war with Sparta lasted nearly fifteen years. First war 
with varying fortunes on both sides. The Athenian merchants A^thenTand 
resented the keen commercial rivalry of ^gina, planted as the ^^^^^x^^' 
flourishing island was at the very front door of Attica (see map, 
p. 1 46). They finally captured the island after a long siege. Pericles Athenians 
likewise employed the Athenian- navy in blockading for years yEgina 
the merchant fleets of the other great rival of Athens and friend 
of Sparta, Corinth (Fig. 76), and thus brought financial ruin on 
its merchants. 

1 84 Outlines of European History 

Pericles shifted the treasury of the Delian League from Delos 
to Athens, an act which made the city more than ever the capi- 
tal of an Athenian Empire. The assassination of Xerxes and a 
consequent revolt against the Persians in Egypt had induced 
the Athenians to resume the conflict with Persia (459 b.c.)„ 
They therefore dispatched a fleet of two hundred ships against 
the Persians in Eg^-pt and had thus been fighting both Sparta 
and Persia for years. The entire Athenian fleet in Egypt was 
lost. Some Attic successes in Boeotia were followed by defeats in 
which the Athenians lost all that they had gained in the north. 

When peace was concluded (446 B.C.) all that Athens was 
able to retain was the Island of ^gina. It was agreed that the 
peace should continue for thirty years. Thus ended what is 
often called the First Peloponnesian War with the complete 
exhaustion of Athens as well as her enemies in the Pelopon- 
nesus. The Athenians then arranged a peace with Persia 
also, over forty years after Marathon. But the rivalry between 
Athens and Sparta for the leadership of the Greeks was still 
unsettled. The struggle was to be continued in another long 
and weary " Peloponnesian War." Before we proceed with 
the stor)^ of this fatal struggle we must glance briefly at the 
new and glorious Athens now growing up under the hand of 

Section 30. Civilization of Imperial Athens in 
THE Age of Pericles 

Although the first fifteen years of the leadership of Pericles 
were encumbered with the Spartan and Persian wars, the higher 
life of Athens continued to unfold, and the next fifteen years 
brought to fruitage the tremendous and revolutionary experi- 
ences through which Greece and especially Athens had been 
passing for half a centur)^ The new vision of the glory of the 
State, discerned nowhere in the world before this age, caughi 
the imagination of poet and painter, of sculptor and architect, 

The Repulse of Persia mid the Athenian Empire 185 

and not of these alone 
but of the humblest 
artizan and tradesman. 
All classes alike partici- 
pated in the public 
festivals which were con- 
ducted by the State 
every six or seven days. 
The great Pan-Athenaic 
festival, which occurred 
every four years, gath- 
ered all the people in 
stately processions and 
splendid games, bring- 
ing into their lives the 
memories of a heroic 
past and the imposing 
honors paid to the great 
gods who sheltered and 
protected the Athenian 
State. The wealthy citi- 
zens themselves paid 
the expenses of compet- 
ing choruses, and each 
successful competitor 
proudly erected a grace- 
ful monument of victory 
(Fig. 90) in a street es- 
pecially reserved for 
such memorials. These 
choruses were made up 
of the men and boys of 
Athens. The citizen thus 
found music, the drama, 
art and architecture, 

Fig. 90. Monument commemorat- 
ing THE Triumph of an Athenian 
Citizen in Music 

An entire street of Athens was filled 
with such monuments (p. 185). We learn 
the name of the citizen, Lysicrates, who 
erected this beautiful monument, from 
the inscription it still bears, which reads: 
" Lysicrates . . . was choragus [leader 
of the chorus] when the boy-chorus of 
the tribe of Akamantis won the prize ; 
Theon was flute-player, Lysiades of 
Athens trained the choir. Euaenetus 
was archon." The archon's name dates 
the erection of the monument for us in 
335 to 334 B.C. Beyond the monument 
we look westward to the back of the 
Acropolis (see plan, p. 173) 

1 86 Outlines of European History 

profoundly touched by the new and exalted vision of the State, 
thrust into the foreground of his life. 
Painting We can still follow the citizen and note a few of the inspir- 

ing monuments that met his eye as he went about the new 
Athens which Pericles was creating. Wandering into the market 
place (see plan, p. 173, and Fig. 91), the citizen found an impos- 
ing colonnaded porch along one side, presented to the cit}^ by a 
wealthy noble : the wall behind the columns bore a long series 
of paintings by an artist from one of the island possessions of 
Athens, a gift of the painter to the Athenians, depicting their 
glorious victoiy at Marathon. Here in splendid panorama was a 
vision of the heroic devotion of the fathers. In the thick of the 
fray the citizen might pick out the figure of Themistocles, of 
Miltiades, of Callimachus who fell in the battle, of ^schylus the 
great tragic poet. He could see the host of the fleeing Persians 
and perhaps hear some old man tell how the brother of ^schylus 
seized and tried to stop one of the Persian boats drawn up on 

* In this view we stand inside the wall of Themistocles, near the 
Dipylon Gate in the Potters' Quarter (see plan, p. 173). In the fore- 
ground is the temple of Theseus, the legendary unifier of Attica, whom 
all Athenians honored as a god, and to whom this temple has long 
been supposed to have been erected. It is built of Pentelic marble 
and was finished a few years after the death of Pericles ; but now, 
after twenty-three hundred years or more, it is still the best preserved 
of all ancient Greek buildings. Above the houses, at the extreme right, 
may be seen one corner of the hill called the Areopagus (see plan, 
p. 173), often called Mars' Hill, where sat the ancient criminal court of 
Athens — a court made up of the most influential and respected old 
citizens. It was probably here that the apostle Paul (p. 300) preached 
in -Athens (see Acts xvii). The great hill of the Acropolis was once 
crowned by the dwellings of the prehistoric kings of Athens (p. 136). 
The buildings we now see there are all ruins of the structures erected 
after the place had been laid waste by the Persians (p. 174). At the 
right (west) are the approaches built by the architect Mnesicles under 
Pericles (p. 188). The Parthenon (p. 188), in the middle of the hill (see 
plan, p. .173), shows the gaping hole caused by the explosion of a Turk- 
ish powder magazine ignited by a Venetian shell in 1687, when the 
entire central portion of the building was blown out. The space be- 
tween the temple of Theseus, the Areopagus, and the Acropolis was 
largely occupied by the market place of Athens (p. 186 and plan, p. 173)- 


1 88 OiLtlines of European History 

the beach, and how a desperate Persian raised his ax and slashed 
off the hand of the brave Greek. Perhaps among the group of 
eager listeners he might notice one questioning the veteran 
carefully and making full notes of all that he can learn from 
the graybeard. The questioner is Herodotus, the " father of 
histor}^" the first great prose writer to devote himself to the 
story of the past. He is collecting from survivors the tale of 
the Persian wars for a history which he is writing (p. 203). 
Architecture The citizen wanders on toward the theater. Above him 
towers the height of the Acropolis crowned with the Parthenon 
(Plate IV, p. 190, and Fig. 91), a noble temple to Athena, whose 
protecting arm is always stretched out over her beloved Athens. 
There on the Pnyx (Fig. 89) Pericles made the splendid speech 
in which he laid before the Assembly of the people his plans 
for the beautification of the Acropolis and the restoration of the 
temples which the Persians had burned. As he passes the Hill 
of the Areopagus the citizen remembers the discontented mut- 
terings of the old men in the ancient council which convenes on 
its summit (Fig. 91), when they heard the vast expenses required 
for Pericles' building plans, and he smiles in satisfaction as he 
reflects that this unprogressive old body, once so influential in 
Athens, has been deprived of its powers to obstruct the will of 
the people in anything they wish to do. Here before him rise 
the imposing marble colonnades of the magnificent monumental 
• approach to the Acropolis (Fig. 91). It is still unfinished, and 
the architect Mnesicles, with a roll of plans under his arm, is 
perhaps at the moment directing a group of workmen to their 
task. The tinkle of many distant hammers from the height 
above tells where the stone cutters are shaping the marble 
blocks for the still unfinished Parthenon (Fig. 91 and Plate III, 
p. 180) ; and there, too, the people often see Pericles intently in- 
specting the work, as Phidias the sculptor and Ictinus the archi- 
tect of the building pace up and down the inclosure, explaining 
to him the progress of the work. In these wondrous Greek 
buildings architect and sculptor work hand in hand. 


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Fig. 93. Hermes playing with the Child Dionysus 

The uplifted right hand (now broken off) of the god probably held a bunch 
of grapes, with which he was amusing the child. This wonderful work 
was wrought by the sculptor Praxiteles and illustrates the culmination of 
Athenian art in the fourth century B.C., in the days of the political weak- 
ness of Athens, when Thebes was overthrowing Sparta (p. 212), and Mace- 
donia was gaining the leadership of the Greeks (p. 216) 

The Reptilse of Persia aiid the Athenian Empi^-e 189 

Phidias is the greatest of the sculptors at Athens. In a long Sculpture — 
band of carved marble extending entirely around the four sides 
of the Parthenon, at the top inside the colonnades (Plate IV, 
p. 192), Phidias and his pupils have portrayed, as in a glorified 
vision, the sovereign people of Athens moving in the stately 
procession of the Pan-Athenaic festival (Fig. 92). To be sure, 
these are not individual portraits of Athenian folk, but only types - 
which lived in the exalted vision of the sculptor, and not on the 
streets of Athens. But such sculpture had never been seen 
before. How different is the supreme beauty of these perfect 
human forms from the cruder figures which adorned the temple 
burned by the Persians. The citizen has seen the shattered 
fragments of these older works cleared away and covered 
with rubbish when the architects leveled off the summit of the 
Acropolis.^ Inside the new temple gleams the colossal figure of 
Athena, wrought by the cunning hand of Phidias in gold and 
ivory — his masterpiece. Even from the city below the citizen 
can discern, touched with bright colors, the heroic figures of 
the gods with which Phidias has filled the triangular gable ends 
of the building.^ 

These are the gods to whom the faith of the Athenian people The drama 
still reverently looks up. Have not Athena and these gods 
raised the power of Athens to the imperial position which she 
now occupies ? Do not all the citizens recall ^schylus' drama ^Eschylus 
" The Persians," in which the memories of the great deliverance 
from Persian conquest are enshrined ? How that tremendous 
day of Salamis was made to live again in the imposing picture 
which the poet's genius brought before them, disclosing the 
mighty purpose of the gods to save Hellas ! As he skirts the 
sheer precipice of the Acropolis the citizen reaches the theater 

1 Till recently they lay buried under the rubbish on the slope (Fig. 91). The 
excavations of the Greek government have recovered them, and they are now in 
the Acropolis Museum at Athens. 

2 These figures will be found at the end of Chapter VII (p. 195). They repre- 
sent the battle between Athena and Poseidon, god of the sea, for possession of 

IQO Outlines of European History 

(see plan, p. 173, and Fig. 94), where he finds the people are al- 
ready entering. Only yesterday he and his neighbors received 
from the state treasury the money for their admission. It is natu- 
ral that they should feel that the theater and all that is done there 
belong to the people, and not the less as the citizen looks down 
upon the stage and recognizes many of his friends and neighbors 
and their sons in the chorus for that day's performance. 

Sophocles A play of Sophocles is on, and his neighbor in the next seat 

leans over to tell the citizen how as a lad many years ago he 
stood on the shore of Salamis, whither his family had fled 
(p. 174), and as they looked down upon the destruction of the 
Persian fleet, this same Sophocles, a boy of sixteen, was in the 
crowd looking on with the rest. How deeply must the events 
of that tragic day have sunk into the poet's soul ! For does he 
not see the will of the gods in all that happens to men ? Does 
he not celebrate the stern decree of Zeus everywhere hanging 
over human life, at the same time that he uplifts his audience 
to adore the splendor of Zeus, however dark the destiny he lays 
upon men? This is the only attitude which can bring consola- 
tion in the tragedy of life, and the citizen feels that Sophocles is 
the real voice of the people, exalting the old gods in the new 
time. Moreover, in place of the former two, Sophocles has three 
actors in his plays, a change which makes them more interesting 
and full of action.^ Even old ^F^schylus yielded to this inno- 
vation once before he died. Yet too much innovation is also 
unwelcome to the citizen. 

Euripides The citizen feels this especially if it is one of the new sensa- 

tional plays of Euripides which is presented. Euripides (Fig. 95), 
a younger poet, the son of a farmer who lives over on the 
Island of Salamis (Fig. 86), deals with new questions; he has for 
some time been presenting plays at the spring competition. His 
new plays are all troubled with problems and mental struggle 
regarding the gods, and they have raised a great many questions 

1 These actors were once only the leaders of the choruses at the spring feast 
(see p. 161). ^ 

Fig. 94. The Theater of Athens 

This theater was the center of the growth and development of Greek 
drama, which began as a part of the celebration of the spring feast of 
Dionysus, god of the vine and the fruitfulness of the earth (p. 161). 
The temple of the god 'stood here, just at the left. Long before any 
one knew of "such a thing as a theater, the people gathered at this 
place to watch the celebration of the god's spring feast, where they 
formed a circle about the chorus, which narrated in song the stories of 
the gods (p. 161). This circle (called the orchestra) was finally marked 
out permanently, seats of wood for the spectators were erected in a 
semicircle on one side, but the singing and action all took place in the 
circle on the level of the ground. On the side opposite the public was 
a booth, or tent (Greek sk'ene, " scene"), for the actors, and out of this 
finally developed the stage. Here we see the circle, or orchestra, 
with the stage cutting off the back part of the circle. The seats are of 
stone and accommodated possibly seventeen thousand people. The 
fine marble seats in the front row were reserved for the leading men of 
Athens. The old wooden seats were still in use in the days when 
^schylus, Sophocles, and Euripides presented their dramas here, in 
competition for prizes awarded to the finest plays (pp. 190-192). From 
the seats the citizens had a grand view of the sea, with the Island of 
^^gina, their old-time rival (p. 155) ; and even the heights of Argolis, 
forty miles away, were visible; for orchestra and seats continued 
roofless, and a Greek theater was always open to the sky. In Roman 
times a colonnaded porch across the back of the stage was introduced, 
and such columns of Roman date may be seen in Fig. 74 


Outlines of European History 

and thought ; 
the Sophists 

and prose 

and doubts which the citizen has never been able to banish from 
his mind since he heard them. In their pictures of men, too, 
they are nearly always very dark and gloomy and discouraging. 
The citizen determines that he will use all the influence he has 
to prevent the plays of Euripides from winning the prize, which 
the State grants to the most successful among the competing 

play writers each spring. 

When the Athenian citi- 
zen turns homeward from 
the theater, he and his neigh- 
bor perhaps discuss, as they 
walk, how they shall edu- 
cate their sons. There are 
the old subjects which have 
always been taught: read- 
ing and writing, the study 
of the old poets, music and 
dancing, and the athletic ex- 
ercises at the 'gymnasium. 
But their sons are not satis- 
fied with these ; they want 
tuition money to hear the 
lectures and the instruction 
of private teachers, a class. 
of new and clever-witted 
lecturers, who wander from 
city to city, and whom the people call " Sophists." The 
Sophists are far worse than' Euripides ; they doubt everything^ 
and make all conclusions impossible. Yes, to be sure, but they 
are wonderful speakers, much better than Herodotus when he 
recites his historical tales in the market place. And they teach 
a young man such readiness in speech that he can carry the 
people with him in the Assembly. They have indeed created a 
new art, the art of oratory and of writing prose, and no young 
man can do without it 



Portrait of Euripides 

The name of the poet (p. 191) is 

engraved in Greek letters along the 

lower edge of the bust 

Plate IV 

Corner ue the Parthenon 

Looking through the colonnades (p. 189) at the southeast corner of the build- 
ing to the distant hills of Hymettus. On the left is the base of the wall of the 
interior, blown out by the explosion of the Turkish powder magazine (Fig. 91). 
At the top of this wall was the frieze of Phidias, extending around the inner 
part of the building (p. 189 and Fig. 92). (From painting by Bethe-Lowe, 
Rhine Prints, by B, G. Teubner, Leipzig. The Prang Company. New York) 

The Repulse of Persia and the Athenian Empire 193 

They are such useful teachers, it is a pity they are such an Skepticism 
irreverent crew, these Sophists ; but when one of them actually 
writes a book which begins with a statement doubting the ex- 
istence of the gods, what is a citizen to do but vote that the 
book be burned ? And the worst of it is that there are several 
bookshops in the city and people read such books. Why, even 
the sausage-peddler who delivers meat at the citizen's door can 
read ! And the book was read aloud in the house of Euripides 
too ! There should be no hesitation in condemning and banish- 
ing such infidels, even if they are friends of Pericles, and he 
steps in to help them. But the citizen and his friend chuckle 
as they recall how Pericles was well roasted for it in the last 
comic play (comedy) they went to see. 

In spite of the fact that the Sophists teach a little arithmetic. Science 
geometiy, and astronomy, natural science is a line of progress 
of which the Athenian citizen has not the slightest notion. 
To be sure, he has seen on the Pnyx (Fig. 89) a strange-looking 
tablet set up by Meton, the builder and engineer ; it is said to Meton's 
be a calendar which will bring the short moon-month year (p. 62) ^^ ^" ^^ 
and the long solar year together every nineteen years. But this 
is all quite beyond the citizen's puzzled mind. Moreover, the 
archons have -all shaken their heads at it and will have nothing 
to do with it. The old moon months are good enough for them. 
But practical men like Meton, whose callings in life carry them 
into such investigations, are making much progress in science. 
The physician especially has largely outgrown the old Egyptian Medicine 
medical roll (p. 44) which his fathers found very useful ; he has 
made many important and new observations of his own, and 
there is even a Greek physician in Persia at the court of the 
Great King. Interesting progress is being made in mathematics 
also by the surveyor, and a new science known as 'Mand- Geometry 
measuring," geometry, is taking form. 

The reader will readily perceive how different from the Athens Athens the 
of the old days before the Persian wars was this imperial the world 
Athens ! — throbbing with new life, astir with a thousand 

194 Outlines of European History 

questions eagerly discussed at every corner, keenly awake to the 
demand of the greater State and the governing people, deeply 
studying the duties and privileges of -the individual who felt 
new and larger visions of himself conflicting with the exactions 
of the State and the old faith, already troubled by serious doubts, 
but clinging to the old gods and the old truths with wistful 
fear of losing them. Under Pericles Athens had become, as 
he desired it should, the teacher of the Greek world. It now 
remained to be seen whether \hQ people, in sovereign control of 
the State, could guide her wisely and maintain her new power. 


Section 28, What was the chief provocation of the war with 
Persia.'' By what route did Darius first attempt the invasion of 
Greece.? What route was next adopted,? Where did the Persians 
land.? Why did not the battle take place at Athens.? Describe the 
device of Miltiades. What was the outcome .? What was the policy 
of Themistocles ? What led the Athenians to vote the building of 
a fleet.? 

What route did Xerxes select for the next (third) Persian invasion .? 
Outline Themistocles' plan of campaign. Describe the battle of Ther- 
mopylas and Artemisium. What was the next move of the Persians .? 
Describe the battle of Salamis. Outline the remaining course of the 
campaign under Mardonius, and the battle of Piatsea. What was the 
final result of the Asiatic invasion of Greece and Sicily .? What were 
the racial Imes of the struggle .? 

Section 29. What rivalry dominated the Greek situation after 
the repulse of Persia .? What did Themistocles accomplish .? Describe 
the Delian League. Contrast the policies of Cimon and Themistocles. 
What was the fate of Themistocles .? 

What victory did Cimon win? Describe the Imperial Party at 
Athens. Who was its ablest young leader? What happened to 
Cimon? How did democracy now gain complete leadership at 
Athens? Who became the leader of the democracy? Outline the 
first war with Sparta (First Peloponnesian War). 

Section 30. Describe the awakening in Greece and especially 
Athens after the repulse of Persia and in the Age of Pericles. De- 
scribe a great painting of the time. What buildings were being 

The Repulse of Persia and the Athe^iian Empire 195 

erected at Athens ? What great sculptor was at work, and what are 
some of his works ? Who were the great dramatists ? What was the 
position of Aeschylus toward the gods ? 

What attitude toward the gods did Sophocles teach ? What feeling 
did Euripides show toward them? How did these things affect the 
life of Athens ? its education ? Who were the Sophists ? What did 
they teach? How did the people feel toward them ? Did the people 
know any science ? What sciences were now making progress ? 



Section 31. The Second Peloponnesian War 
AND THE Fall of Athens 

Jealousy of The outward splendor of Athens, her commercial prosperity, 

of Athens her not very conciliatory attitude toward her rivals, the visible 
growth of her power, and the example she offered of the seem- 
ing success of triumphant democracy — all these things were 
causes of jealousy to a backward and conservative military State 
like Sparta (Fig. 87). This feeling of unfriendliness toward 
Athens was not confined to Sparta but was quite general 
throughout Greece. The merchants of Corinth (Fig. 76) found 
Athenian competition a continuous vexation, and Corinth did 
all in her power to aggravate the situation by stirring up the 
sluggish Spartans to action. When Athenian possessions in the 
north ^gean revolted and received support from Corinth and 
Sparta, the fact that hardly half of the thirty years' term of 
peace (p. 184) had expired did not prevent the outbreak of war. 
It seemed as if all European Greece not included in the 
Athenian Empire had united against Athens, for Sparta con- 
War (431 B.C.) |-i-Qiig(] ii^Q entire Peloponnesus except Argos, and north of 
Attica Boeotia led by Thebes, as well as its neighbors on the 
west, were hostile to Athens. The support of Athens consisted 
of the ^gean cities which made up her empire and a few out- 
lying allies of little power. She began the war with a large war 
treasury and a fleet of warships which made her undisputed 
mistress of the sea. But she could not hope to cope with the 
land forces of the enemy, which, some thirty thousand strong, 


Opening of 
Second Pelo- 

The Destruction of the Athenian Empire 197 

had planned to meet in the Isthmus in the spring of 431 B.C. 
When this army entered Attica the outlying communities were 
at once obliged to leave their homes and take refuge in the 
open markets and squares of Athens, the sanctuaries, and espe- 
cially between the Long Walls leading to the Piraeus. To offset 
the devastation of Attica by the Spartan army, all that Athens 
could do was to organize destructive sea raids and inflict as 
much damage as possible along the coasts of the Peloponnesus 
or destroy Corinthian commerce as of old. 

The masses of people crowded within the walls of Athens Plague in 
under unsanitary conditions exposed the city to disease; a 
plague, probably brought in from the Orient, broke out in the 
port, spread to the city, and raged with intermissions for several 
seasons. It carried off probably a third of the population, and 
from this unforeseen disaster Athens never recovered. With 
such a visitation Pericles had of course been unable to reckon. 
Constantly under arms for the defense of the walls, deprived 
of any opportunity to strike the enemy, forced to sit still and 
see their land ravaged, the citizens at last broke out in discontent. 

In spite of his undaunted spirit Pericles was unable to hold Fall and 
the confidence of a majority. He lost control, was tried for Pericles 
misappropriation of funds, and fined. The absence of his steady- 
ing hand and powerful leadership was at once felt by the people, 
for there was no one to take his place, although a swarm of 
small politicians were contending for control of the Assembly. 
Realizing their helplessness the people soon turned to Pericles 
again and elected him strategus, but he was stricken with the 
plague and died soon after his return to power. Great statesman 
as he was, he had left Athens with a system of government 
which did not provide for the continuation of such leadership 
as he had furnished, and without such leadership the Athenian 
Empire was doomed. This was the great mistake in the states- 
manship of Pericles. 

Men of the prosperous manufacturing class now came to the 
fore. They possessed neither the high station in life, the ability 


Outlines of European History 

Second Pelo- 
War after the 
death of 


of the 

Incident of 

the tanner 

as Statesmen, nor the qualities of leadership to win the confi- 
dence and respect of the people. Moreover these new leaders 
were not soldiers, and could not command the fleet or the army 
as Pericles had done. The only notable exception was Alcibiades, 
a brilliant young man, a relative of Pericles and brought up in 
his house. The two sons of Pericles had died of the plague, 
and Alcibiades, if he had enjoyed the guidance of his foster 
father a few years longer, might have become the savior of 
Athens and of Greece. As it happened, however, this young 
leader was more largely responsible than any one else for 
the destruction of the Athenian Empire and the downfall 
of Greece. 

Unsteadied by a statesman whose continucus policy formed 
a firm and guiding influence, the management of Athenian affairs 
fell into confusion, rarely interrupted by any display of firmness 
and wisdom ; the leaders drifted from one policy to another, and 
usually from bad to worse. It seemed impossible to regain stable 
leadership. The youthful Aristophanes depicted the rudderless 
condition of the ship of State in one clever comedy after another, 
in which he ridiculed in irresistible satire the pretense to states- 
manship of such " men of the people " as Cleon the tanner. A 
typical example of the ill-considered actions of the Assembly was 
their treatment of the revolting citizens of Mitylene. When the 
men of Mitylene were finally subdued, the Assembly on the Pnyx 
(Fig. 89) voted that they should all be put to death, and a ship 
departed with these orders. It was with great difficulty that a 
more moderate group in the Assembly secured a rehearing of 
the question and succeeded in inducing the people to modify 
their barbarous action to the condemnation and execution of 
the ringleaders only. A second ship then overtook the first 
barely in time to save from death the entire body of the revolting 
citizens of Mitylene. 

In spite of such revolts Athenian naval supremacy continued ; 
but as the war dragged on, the payment of army and fleet re- 
duced Athenian funds to a very low state. Cleon the tanner 

The Destruction of the Athe7tian Empire 199 

succeeded in having an income tax introduced, and later on the 
tribute of the ^gean cities was raised. The only great battle 
during the first decade of the war was fought at Delium in the 
north, and this the Athenians lost ; but there was really no mili- 
tary disaster of sufficient importance to cripple seriously either 
Sparta or Athens. It was the devastation wrought by the plague 
which had seriously affected Athens. When after ten years of Peace of 
warfare peace was arranged for fifty years, each contestant (^^^'^b.c.) 
agreed to give up all new conquests and to retain only old 
possessions or subject cities. 

The attack of the allies on Athens had not realized their hope Failure of 
of breaking up her empire and overthrowing her leadership of of^Nick? 
the ^gean cities. Nevertheless Athens and the whole Greek 
world had been demoralized and weakened. The contest had in 
it no longer the inspiration of a noble struggle such as the Greeks 
had maintained against Persia. Unprecedented brutality, like 
that at first adopted toward Mitylene, had given the struggle 
a savagery and a lack of respect for the enemy which com- 
pletely obscured all finer issues, if there were any such involved 
in the war. Meantime serious difficulties arose in carrying out 
the conditions of the peace. One of the northern subject cities 
of Athens which had gone over to Sparta refused to return to 
Athenian allegiance. Athens took the unreasonable ground that 
Sparta should force the recalcitrant city to obey the terms of 
peace. It was at this juncture that Athens especially needed 
such guidance as a statesman like Pericles could have furnished. 
She was obliged to depend for leadership upon Nicias, one of 
her old commanders, and the unprincipled Alcibiades. 

Nicias had adjusted the peace compact and he continued to Alcibiades 
urge a conciliatory attitude toward Sparta ; but the gifted and Jar again 
reckless Alcibiades, seeing a great opportunity for a brilliant 
career, did all that he could to excite the war party in Athens. 
In spite of the fact that troubles at home had forced Sparta 
into a treaty of alliance with Athens, Alcibiades was able to 
carry the Assembly with him. After complicated negotiations 


Outlines of European History 

he involved Athens in an alliance with Argos against Sparta, 
and thus Attica, exhausted with plague and ten years of war- 
fare, was enticed into a life-and-death struggle which was to 
prove final. 

Several years of ill-planned military and naval operations 
followed the fruitless peace of Nicias. Under the spur of 
Alcibiades' persuasion the Athenians at length planned a great 
joint expedition of army and navy against Sicily, where the 
mighty Corinthian city of Syracuse was leading in the oppres- 
sion of certain cities in alliance with Athens. The Athenians 
placed Alcibiades and Nicias in command of the expedition. 
Just as the fleet was about to sail, certain sacred images about 
the city were impiously mutilated, and the deed was attributed 
to Alcibiades. In spite of his demand for an immediate trial, 
the Athenians postponed the case until his return from Sicily. 
When the fleet reached Italy, however, the Athenian people, 
with their usual inability to follow any consistent plan and also 
desiring to take Alcibiades at a great disadvantage, suddenly 
recalled him for trial. This method of procedure not only de- 
prived the expedition of its only able leader but also gave 
Alcibiades an opportunity to desert to the Spartans, which 
he promptly did. His advice to the Spartans now proved 
fatal to the Athenians. 

Nicias, though a brave man, was totally lacking in initiative 
and boldness, such as a Themistocles or a Miltiades would have 
shown under the same circumstances. The appearance of the 
huge Athenian fleet off their coast struck dismay into the hearts 
of the Syracusans, but Nicias entirely failed to see the impor- 
tance of immediate attack before the Syracusans could recover 
and make preparations for the defense of their city. He wasted 
the early days of the campaign in ill-planned maneuvers, only 
winning a barren victory over the Syracusan land forces. When 
Nicias was finally induced by the second general in command 
to begin the siege of the city, courage had returned to the 
Syracusans and their defense was well organized. 

The Destniction of the Athenian Empire 201 

On the advice of Alcibiades the Spartans had sent an able A Spartan 
commander with a small force to support Syracuse, and the in Syracuse 
city was confident in its new ally. When Nicias made no prog- 
ress in the siege, Athens responded to his call for help with a 
second fleet and more land forces. No Greek state had ever Athenian re- 
mustered such power and sent it far across the waters. All ^" or^emen b 
Greece watched the spectacle with amazement. Meantime the 
Syracusans too had organized a fleet. The Athenians were 
obliged to give battle in the narrow harbor, where there was no 
room for maneuvers or for any display of their superior seaman- 
ship, and the fleet of Syracuse was victorious in several actions. 
The Athenians were caught as they themselves had caught the 
Persians at Salamis two generations before. 

With disaster staring him in the face, the superstitious Nicias Capture of 
refused to withdraw in time because of an eclipse of the moon, ^^^^ a^d 
and insisted on waiting another month. The Syracusans then ^^'"y 
blockaded the channel to the sea and completely shut up the 
Athenian fleet within the harbor, so that an attempt to break 
through and escape disastrously failed. The desperate Athenian 
army, abandoning sick and wounded too late, endeavored to 
escape into the interior, but was overtaken and forced to sur- 
render. After executing the commanding generals, the Syracu- 
sans took the prisoners, seven thousand in number, and sold 
them into slaveiy or threw them into the stone quarries of the 
city, where most of them miserably perished. Thus the Athenian 
expedition was not only defeated, but captured and completely 
destroyed (413 B.C.). This disaster, together with the earlier 
ravages of the plague, brought Athens near the end of her 

Sparta, seeing: the unprotected condition of Athens, now no Decelean 

. • A • ^ xu war — Sparta 

longer hesitated to undertake a campaign mto Attica. Un the begins 
advice of Alcibiades again, thef Spartans occupied the town of hostilities 
Decelea, almost within sight of Athens. Here they established 
a permanent fort held by a strong garrison, and thus placed 
Athens in a state of perpetual siege. All agriculture ceased and 


Outlines of European History 


regain power 

of the 

to Persia 

Recall of 

the Athenians lived on imported grain. The people now under- 
stood the folly of having sent away on a distant expedition the 
ships and the men that should have been kept at home to repel 
the attacks of a powerful and still uninjured foe. The ^gean 
cities of the Empire began to fall away ; there was no way to 
raise further funds, but by desperate efforts a small fleet was 
gotten together to continue the struggle. 

The failure of the democracy in the conduct of the war enabled 
the opponents of popular rule to regain power. For a time the 
old Council was overthrown and in the name of a new council, 
in the election of which the people had little voice, a group of 
aristocratic leaders ushered in a period of violence and blood- 
shed. These men strove to restore peace with Sparta, but their 
own excesses and the war sentiment in the fleet provoked a 
reaction too strong to be overcome. The democracy with some 
modifications was restored. 

Both Athens and Sparta had long been negotiating with 
Persia for support, and Sparta had concluded an agreement 
with Persia, which recognized Persian rule over the Greek 
cities of Asia. Alcibiades had now fallen out with the Spartans 
and gone over to Persia. He skillfully used his influence with 
the Persians to arouse their hostility toward Sparta and attach 
them to Athens. He intended this action to pave the way for 
his return to favor with his own fellow citizens, and it did in 
fact lead to his recall and appointment to command the Athe- 
nian fleet. Thus the one-time union of Greece in a heroic 
struggle against the Asiatic enemy had given way to a disgrace- 
ful scramble for Persian support and favor. The only benefits 
resulting were enjoyed by Persia as she stood by and watched 
the Hellenes exhausting their power and squandering their 
wealth in a fruitless struggle among themselves. A naval defeat 
followed by several victories of the Athenian fleet enabled the 
blind leaders of the people's party at Athens to refuse Spartan 
offers of peace more than once, at a time when the continuance 
of war was the most evident folly. 

The Destruction of the Athenian Empire 203 

Then the Attic fleet of a hundred and eighty ships, lulled Battle of 
into false security in the Hellespont near the river called ^gos- g°^P° ^^^ 
potami, was surprised by the able Spartan commander Lysander 
and captured almost intact as it lay drawn up on the beach. 
Not a man slept on the night when the terrible news of final 
ruin reached Athens. It was soon confirmed by the appearance 
of Lysander's fleet blockading the Piraeus. The grain ships 
from the Black Sea could no longer reach the port of Athens ; 
the Spartan army wandered through Attica plundering at will. 
Athens saw starvation before her, and there was nothing to do 
but surrender. The Long Walls and the fortifications of the 
Piraeus were torn down, the remnant of the fleet handed over 
to Sparta, and Athens was forced to enter the Spartan League. Fall of 
These hard conditions saved the city from the complete destruc- destruction of 
tion demanded by Corinth. Thus the century which had begun gi^^jre^"'^" 
so gloriously for Athens with the repulse of Persia, the century 
which under the leadership of such men as Themistocles and 
Pericles had seen her rise to supremacy in all that was best and 
noblest in Greek life, closed with the annihilation of the Athenian 
Empire (404 B.C.). 

Section 32. The Higher Life of Athens after 

During this last quarter century which brought such ruin Conflict of 
upon her, the inner life of Athens was like a troubled stream modernism 
disturbed by many a whirlpool, in which the old currents of life, 
as it was in the days of the fathers, met the opposing. currents 
of more modern feeling and intelligence. All felt the supreme 
importance of the State and of the high mission of Athens, 
so long held up before their eyes by Pericles. At the very History of 
time when Pericles fell a victim to the plague Herodotus had 
published his history (p. 188). It was a history of the world 
so told that the glorious leadership of Athens would be clear to 
all Greeks and would show them that to her the Hellenes owed 

204 Outlifies of European History 

their deliverance from Persia. Throughout Greece it created a 
deep impression, but so tremendous was its effect in Athens 
that, in spite of the financial drain of war, the Athenians voted 
Herodotus a reward of ten talents, some thirteen thousand 
dollars. In this earliest history of the world which has come 
down to us, Herodotus traced the course of events as he 
believed them to be directed by the will of the gods, and as 
prophesied in their divine oracles. Hence he made but little 
effort to explain historical events as natural results, even though 
he was too modern and had seen too much of the Orient to 
believe that the gods who caused such events had been actually 
present on earth only a few generations back. 

But the old beliefs of the fathers regarding the gods had 
been rudely disturbed by such men as the Sophists, and by the 
troublous problems of destiny which the tragedies of Euripides 
still placed' upon the stage (Fig. 94). A comic poet named 

Aristophanes Aristophanes wrote very clever comedies in which he made 
ridiculous the mental struggles of Euripides. The people 
keenly enjoyed these as well as his amusing mockery of the 
teaching and methods of the Sophists. To be sure, they were 
also obliged to see the rule of the people with all its weaknesses 
and mistakes ridiculed on the same stage, much as we see the 
faults of our own lawmakers pictured in the cartoons which 
adorn our daily papers. Thus, while the citizens were still 
ready for any popular experiment in government by the people 
at the expense of the aristocrats, they shared the feelings of 
the aristocrats in their resentment toward those who stirred 
up doubt regarding the gods of the fathers. 

Socrates Aristophanes was sure of a sympathetic audience of Athe- 

nians when he put upon the stage a caricature of a certain 
annoying citizen, whose ill-clothed figure and ugly face (Fig. 96) 
had become familiar in the streets to all the folk of Athens 
since the outbreak of the second war with Sparta. He had just 
returned from a campaign in the north ; his name was Socrates, 
and he was the son of a stone mason.. He was accustomed to 

The Destruction of tJie Athenian Empire 205 

stand about the market place, the street corners, and the public 
baths all day long, insisting on engaging in conversation every 
citizen he met, and asking a great many questions, which left 
the average citizen in a very con- 
fused state of mind. He seemed 
to call in question everything which 
the citizen had formerly regarded 
as settled. Yet this familiar and 
homely figure of the stone mason's 
son was the personification of the 
best and highest in Greek genius. 
Without desire for ofiice or a 
political career, Socrates' supreme 
interest nevertheless was the State. 
He believed that the State, made 
up as it was of citizens, could be 
purified and saved only by the im- 
provement of the individual citizen 
through the education of his mind 
to recognize virtue and right. 

Herein lies the supreme achieve- 
ment of Socrates as he daily con- 
fronted problems which the mind 
of man was clearly stating for the 
first time ; he planted his feet 
upon what he regarded as an im- 
movable rock of truth ; namely, 
that the human mind is able to 

Fig. (/). Portrait of 

recognize and determine what are 

This is not the best of the 
numerous surviving portraits 
of Socrates, but it is especially 
interesting because it bears 
under the philosopher's name 
nine inscribed lines contain- 
ing a portion of his public de- 
fense as reported by Plato in 
his Apology 

truth and virtue, beauty and 

honesty, and all the other great 

ideas which mean so much to 

human life. To him these ideas were real. He taught that by 

keen questioning and discussion it is possible to reject error and 

perceive these realities. Inspired by this impregnable belief, 


Outlines of Ej crop can History 

I lis belief in 
man's power 
to discern the 
great truths 
as such and 
to shape his 
conduct by 

Socrates went about in Athens, engaging all his fellow citizens 
in such discussion, convinced that he might thus lead each 
citizen in turn to a knowledge of the leading and compelling 
virtues. Furthermore, he firmly believed that the citizen who 
had once recognized these virtues would shape eveiy action and 
all his life by them. Socrates thus revealed the power of virtue 
and similar ideas by argument and logic, but he made no appeal 
to religion as an influence toward good conduct. Nevertheless 
he showed himself a deeply religious man, believing with devout 
heart in the gods, although they were not exactly those of the 
fathers, and even feeling, like the Hebrew prophets, that there 
was a divine voice within him, calling him to his high mission. 

The simple but powerful personality of this greatest of Greek 
teachers in the streets of Athens often opened to him the 
houses of the rich and noble. His fame spread far and wide, 
and when the Delphian oracle (Fig. 82) was asked who was the 
wisest of the living, it responded with the name of Socrates. A 
group of pupils gathered about him, among whom the most 
famous was Plato. But it was natural that his aims and his 
noble efforts on behalf of the Athenian state should be mis- 
understood. His keen questions seemed to throw doubt upon 
all the old beliefs. The Athenians had already shown their 
displeasure toward more than one leading Sophist who had 
rejected the old faith and teaching (see p. 193). 

They summoned Socrates to trial for corrupting the youth. 
Such examples as Alcibiades, who had been his pupil, seemed 
convincing illustrations of the viciousness of his teaching ; every- 
body had seen and many had read with growing resentment 
the comedy of Aristophanes which held him up to contempt 
and hatred. Socrates might easily have left Athens when the 
complaint was lodged against him. Nevertheless he appeared 
for trial, made a powerful and dignified defense (Fig. 96), and, 
when the court voted the death penalty, passed his last days in 
tranquil conversation with his friends and pupils, in whose pres- 
ence he then quietly drank the fatal hemlock (399 B.C.). Thus 

The Destniction of the Athenian Empire 


the Athenian democracy, which had so fatally mismanaged the Execution 
affairs of the nation in war, brought upon itself much greater ° ^*^^^ ^^ 
reproach in condemning to death, even though in accordance 
with law, the greatest and purest soul among its citizens (Fig. 97). 

Fig. 97. Street of Tombs outside Ancient Athens 

It was the custom both of Greeks and Romans (Fig. 127) to bury their 
dead outside one of the city gates, on either side of the highway. This 
Athenian cemetery, outside the Dipylon Gate (see plan, p. 173), was on 
the Sacred Way to Eleusis (Fig. 80, and plan, p. 173), both sides of which 
were lined for some distance with marble tomb-monuments. The Ro- 
man Sulla (p. 265), in his eastern war, while besieging Athens, piled up 
earth as a causeway leading to the top of the wall of Athens (see plan, 
p. 173) at this point. The part of the cemetery which he covered with 
earth was thus preserved, to be dug out in modern times — the only 
surviving portion of such an ancient Greek street of tombs. In this 
cemetery the Athenians of Socrates' day were buried. The monument 
at the left shows a brave Athenian youth on horseback, charging the 
fallen enemy. He was slain in the Corinthian War and buried here a 
few years after the death of Socrates (p. 207) 

The undisturbed serenity of Socrates in his last hours, as The influence 

pictured to us in Plato's beautiful account of the scene, pro- after Ws 

foundly affected the whole Greek world, and still forms one of *^^^^^ 
the most precious possessions of humanity. But the glorified 

2o8 Outlines of European History 

figure of Socrates, as he appears in the writings of his pupils, 
was to prove more powerful even than the living teacher. The 
past could not be recalled, and, in spite of themselves, thinking 
people were already beginning to take up the very views 
which they had striven to stamp out by such means as the verdict 
Thucydides against Socratcs. The historian Thucydides, who was now writ- 
ing his great account of the wars which destroyed the Athenian 
Empire, no longer discerned only the will of the gods in these 
events but, with an insight like that of modern historians, was 
tracing events to their natural causes in the world of men where 
they occur. 

Section 33. The Age of Spartan Leadership 

The leader- The long duel for supremacy in the Greek world between 

Athens and Sparta, which occupied a large part of the latter 
half of the fifth century before Christ, ended toward the close 
of that century in the complete collapse of Athens. While the 
two states were devouring one another Persia had again appeared 
on the scene, and it was only by the use of Persian money that 
Sparta had accomplished the destruction of the last Athenian fleet. 
It now remained to be seen whether Sparta (Fig. 87) could 
maintain the leadership of the Greek world, and thrust back the 
Persians in Asia as Athens had done. 
Lysander Sparta was now dominated by the commanding figure of 

methods Lysander, who had destroyed the last remnants of Attic sea 

power. Under his guidance the popular party in each of the 
city-states, including Athens, was deprived of power as far as 
possible, and the control placed in the hands of a group of the 
old aristocrats. A garrison under a Spartan officer was placed 
in many of the cities, and Spartan control was maintained in much 
more offensive form than was the old tyranny of Athens in her 
empire over the island cities, against which Sparta had always 
protested. The Athenian democracy, however, finally regained 
and maintained control of Attic affairs. 

The Age of Spartan Leadership 209 

It was one of the saddest things in the whole tangled situa- War between 
tion that when Sparta finally fell out with Persia, and stepped p^^sJa ^" 
in to defend the Ionian cities, a fleet of Athens made common 
cause with the Persians and helped to fasten Persian despotism 
on the Greek cities of Asia. The Greeks had learned nothing 
by their long and unhappy experience of fruitless wars. When 
peace was at last established it was under the humiliating terms 
of a treaty accepted by Hellas at the hands of the Persian king, 
to whom the Greek states had appealed. It is known as the 
King's Peace (387 B.C.). It recognized the leadership of Sparta King's Peace 
over all the Greek states ; but the Greek cities of Asia Minor ^ ^ ^'^' 
were shamefully abandoned to Persia. 

The period of the King's Peace brought only discontent .with Greece under 
Sparta's control and no satisfactory solution of the question of the King's 
the relations of the Greek states among themselves. The un- ^^^^^ 
•yielding military organization of Sparta had long ago crushed 
individual aspirations for a higher culture, and even all individ- 
ual genius in leadership had been suppressed. Even men like 
Pausanias, the victor over the Persians at Plataea, or Lysander, 
the conqueror of the Athenian fleet at ^Egospotami, were unable 
to transform the rigid Spartan system into a government which 
should sympathetically include and direct the activities of the 
whole Greek world. 

At Athens the burning question had now become the problem Rise of the 
of the proper form of a free state — the problem which the government 
efforts of Socrates toward an enlightened citizenship had thrust 
into the foreground. What should be the form of the ideal state ? 
The Orient had already had its social idealism. By 2000 B.C. the 
Egyptian sages were striving for a state which should realize 
brotherly kindness and social justice. The more hopeful among 
them thought to find it under a righteous king and just officials. 
Later on in the eighth century B.C. the Hebrews also had begun 
to dream of an ideal state ruled by a righteous king like the 
David of their fond idealization of the past. In the Orient, how- 
ever, it had never occurred to these social dreamers to discuss 


Outlines of Eicropean History 


Plato's ideal 

the for7n of government of the ideal state. They accepted as a 
matter of course the monarchy under which they lived as the 
natural form for the state. But in Greece the question of the 
form of government, whether a kingdom, a republic, or what 
not, was now earnestly discussed. Thus there arose a new 
science, the science of govenmient. 

Plato, the most gifted pupil of Socrates, published much of 
his beloved master's teaching in the form of dialogues, sup- 
posedly reproducing the discussions of the great teacher himself. 
Then after extensive travels in Egypt and the west he returned 
to Athens, where he set up his school in a grove near the gym- 
nasium of Academus (hence our word " academy "). Convinced 
of the hopelessness of democracy in Athens, he reluctantly gave 
up all thought of a career as a statesman, to which he had been 
strongly drawn, and devoted himself to teaching. He was both 
philosopher and poet. The ideas which Socrates maintained the* 
human mind could discern, became for Plato eternal realities, 
having an existence outside of riian and his mind. The human 
soul, he taught, had always existed, and in an earlier state had 
beheld the great ideas such as goodness, beauty, evil, as if they 
were pictures, and the soul had thus gained a vision of them 
which in this earthly life it now recalled, and recognized again. 
People gifted with such vision were the ones to control the 
ideal state, for they w^ould necessarily act in accordance with 
the ideas of virtue and justice which they had discerned. It 
w^as possible by education, thought Plato, to lead the souls of 
men to a clear vision of these ideas. 

In a noble essay entitled The Repul^Iic Plato presents a lofty 
vision of his ideal state. Here live the enlightened souls gov- 
erning a society ruled by the highest ideals of righteousness 
and justice. They do no work, but depend on craftsmen and 
slaves for all menial labor. And yet the comforts and luxury 
which they enjoy are the product of that very world of industry 
and commerce in a Greek city which Plato so thoroughly de- 
spises. The plan places far too much dependence on education, 

The Age of Spartan Leadership 211 

and takes no account of the dignity and immense importance 
of labor in human society. Moreover, Plato's ideal state is the 
self-contained, self-controlling city-state as it had in times past 
supposedly existed in Greece, He fails to perceive that the real 
question in Greece is now the relation of these cities to each 
other. He does not discern that the life of a cultivated state 
unavoidably expands beyond its borders, and by its needs and 
its contributions affects the life of surrounding states. It cannot 
be confined within its political borders, for its com7nercial borders 
lie as far distant as its galleys can carry its produce. 

Thus boundary lines cannot separate nations ; their life over- Growth of a 
laps and flows together with the life round about them. It was ^^oj-ld 
so within Greece, and it was so far beyond the borders of Greek 
territory. There had grown up an ancient world which was read- 
ing Greek books, using Greek utensils, fitting up its houses with 
Greek furniture, decorating its house interiors with Greek paint- 
ings, building Greek theaters, learning Greek tactics in war — 
a great Mediterranean and Oriental world bound together by 
lines of commerce, travel, and common economic interests. For 
this world, as a coming political unity, the lofty idealist Plato, in Lack of 
spite of his travels, had no eyes. To this world, once dominated calleackrshi'p 
by oriental culture, the Greeks had given the noblest and sanest ^" ^^^ ^y°^'J 

^ ' '^ dominated by 

ideas yet attained by the mind of civilized man, and to this world Hellas 
likewise the Greeks should have given political leadership. 

Men in practical life, like Isocrates, a very able Athenian isocrates 
writer of political pamphlets, clearly understood the situation 
at this time (first half of the fourth century B.C.). Isocrates 
urged the Greeks to bury their petty differences, and expand 
their local patriotism into a loyalty for the united Greek world. 
He told his countrymen that, so united, they could easily over- 
throw the decaying Persian Empire and make themselves lords 
of the world, whereas now they were but the feeble creatures of 
the king of Persia. Xenophon also, who had marched into the Xenophon 
heart of the Persian Empire with the ten thousand Greek troops 
hired by Cyrus the Persian prince to assist him in overthrowing 


Outlines of European History 

his brother, Artaxerxes II, — Xenophon had witnessed the de- 
feat of a large Persian army of archers by the shock of the 
irresistible Greek phalanx. Xenophon wrote out the story of his 
journey, and his book was widely read. To all Greece the weak- 
ness of the Persian State was evident. Every motive toward 
unity was present. But yet no Greek city was ready to submit 
to the leadership of another, and no plan of federation could be 
devised which proved satisfactory to all. 

Athens and 
Thebes unite 

of Spartan 
power and 
the leader- 
ship of 

Section 34. The Leadership of Thebes 

Within ten years after the beginning of the King's Peace, 
Athens had recovered sufficient sea power to begin the organiza- 
tion of a second maritime alliance like her old Empire. The 
Spartan fleet was beaten and an alliance with Thebes was ar- 
ranged which greatly disquieted Sparta. Thebes succeeded in 
gaining the leadership of Boeotia, and when during the arrange- 
ment of a peace with Sparta the Spartans refused to recognize 
Thebes as the head of Boeotia, the Thebans made ready to 
oppose the Spartan invasion and the two armies met at Leuctra. 
The skillful Theban commander Epaminondas drew up his 
troops in a manner altogether novel, so placing his line that it 
was not parallel with that of the Spartans, his right wing being 
much further from the Spartan line than his left. At the same 
time he massed his troops on his left wing, making it many 
shields deep. This last was an old device.^ 

As the lines moved into action the battle did not begin along 
the whole front at once ; but the Theban left wing, being furthest 
advanced, met the Spartan line first and was at first engaged 
alone. Its onset proved so heavy that the Spartan right oppos- 
ing it was soon crushed, and the rest of the Spartan line was 
unable to stand as the Theban center and right came into action. 

1 It is frequently stated that the new device of Epaminondas was the massing 
on his left wing. But this was not a new device ; the Thebans had employed it 
against the Athenians at the battle of Delium (424 B.C.) Epaminondas's innova- 
tion consisted in the obliqueness of his line of battle as it advanced. 

TJie Leadership of Thebes 213 

The long im^incible Spartan army was thus at last defeated. 
While continuing the war into Spartan territory, even to Sparta 
itself/ Thebes under Epaminondas's leadership likewise created 
a navy and greatly weakened Athenian supremacy at sea. Thus, 
with Spartan power at last shattered, and Athens held in check 
on the sea, Thebes gained the leadership of Greece. 

But it was a supremacy based upon the genius of a single Collapse 

of Xhebes 

man, and when Epaminondas fell in a final battle with Sparta 

at Mantinea (362 B.C.), the power of Thebes by land and sea 

again collapsed. Thus the only powerful Greek states, which 

might have developed a federation of the Hellenic world, having 

destroyed each other, were ready to fall helplessly before the 

conqueror from the outside. He appeared in the person of 

Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great. Nor 

were the powerful and highly civilized Greek cities of the west 

in Italy and Sicily, like Syracuse, able to assume the political Final political 

leadership of the Hellenes. The Greek world, whose culture the whole" ° 

was everywhere supreme, was politically prostrate and helpless. Greek world 


Section 31. What causes contributed to hostilities between 
Athens and Sparta ? Who were the other enemies of Athens ? By 
whom was she supported.? What catastrophe caused the fall of 
Pericles? Had he founded a system which left to Athens wise and 
stable leadership '^. Give some account of Alcibiades. What kind of 
leadership did Athens now receive? Give an example. What was 
the result of ten years of war? 

What spirit had pervaded the struggle? Why did the peace of 
Nicias fail? Who brought on war again? Tell the story of the 
Sicilian expedition. What did Sparta do after the destruction of the 
Sicilian expedition? Give an account of the Decelean War. What 
kind of leadership did the Athenian democracy furnish in this war ? 
What was the outcome? What became of the Athenian Empire? 

Section 32. In what condition was the higher life of Athens 
after the death of Pericles? What was the purpose of the history 

1 W^here the city was still without walls (see Fig. 87 and explanation). 


Oiitlmes of European History 

of Herodotus ? To what causes does Herodotus trace events in the 
history of men ? What happened to the old beliefs about the gods ? 
What attitude did Aristophanes take toward the Sophists and Eu- 
ripides? What was the attitude of the people? Tell something of 
the life of Socrates. 

What was his method of teaching? What was his supreme inter- 
est? What did h^ teach? What were the realities to him? How 
did he believe they could be discerned ? What was his purpose ? Of 
what in particular was he the champion? How was he regarded in 
Athens and in Greece? Give an account of his last days. Did his 
teaching die with him? Where did the historian Thucydides find 
the causes for the events in the history of men ? 

Section 33. Describe Spartan methods of controlling the other 
Greek states. What were now the relations between the Greeks and 
Persia? How did the Spartan system affect her leading men? How 
did the study which we may call the science of government arise? 
Relate the career of Plato. Describe his ideal state. Wherein does 
it fail to be practical ? 

What kind of leadership did the Greeks fail to furnish? Could 
leadership in Plato's age be confined to a single city-state ? What did 
practical men like Isocrates and Xenophon advise? 

Section 34. How did Thebes gain the leadership of Greece? 
Who was her great commander? What was his clever military de- 
vice ? What was the cause of his successes ? Did the western Greeks 
in Italy and Sicily succeed in furnishing leadership for all the Greeks 
and combining them into one nation ? What was the final result of 
the long struggle among the Greek states ? 



Section 35. The Rise of Macedonia 

The common danger which threatened all Greek states alike, Persistence 
the power of Persia, had failed to bring together the Greek among"hT 
cities and weld them into a nation, or even to unite them in a Greeks ; 

' necesskty of 

federation of any permanence. It was evident that the per- political 

, , . . r ^ • ' ^•^ leadership 

sistent local patriotism of such city-states, in some respects like from abroad 
the "sectionalism^" which brought on the great Civil War in the 
United States, would not submit to the leadership of any one 
of their number. Exhausted by ceaseless wars among them- 
selves, their union was now to be accomplished by a people 
whom the Greeks loftily classified among the " barbarians." 

On the northern frontiers in the mountains of the Balkan The unculti- 
Peninsula Greek civilization gradually faded and disappeared, of t^he ^6^^311 

merging into the barbarism which had descended from the Pe^'^sula 

° ^ and the north 

Europe of the Stone Age. These backward northerners, such as 

the Thracians, spoke Indo-European tongues akin to Greek, but 

their Greek kindred of the south could not understand them. 

Nevertheless a surface of Greek civilization began here and there 

to mask somewhat the otherwise rough and uncultivated life of 

the peasant population of Macedonia. The Macedonian kings 

began to cultivate Greek literature and art. The mother of 

Philip of Macedon was grateful that she had been able to 

learn to write in her old age. 

Philip himself had enjoyed a Greek education, but when he Philip of 

gained the power over Macedonia in 360 B.C. he had by no Jls^^olky o"*^ 

means completely suppressed the barbarous instincts still throb- expansion 

bing in his blood. Many an unbridled orgy and drunken revel 



Outlines of Eiwopcan History 

betrayed his northern origin. But as a hostage at Thebes he 
had learned to maneuver an army under the eye of no less a 
master than Epaminondas, the conqueror of the Spartans, and 
his keen intelligence made him both a skillful commander and an 
able statesman. He completely transformed the Macedonians, 
organized them chiefly on Greek methods into an unconquer- 
able army, and steadily expanded the territory of his kingdom 

eastward and northward until it 
reached the Danube and the 

As he absorbed the Greek cit- 
ies of the northern yEgean, he of 
course collided with the interests 
of the southern Greek states like 
Athens, where Demosthenes (Fig. 
98) was now delivering those fa- 
mous orations against Philip and 
the Macedonian policy, which have 
become traditional among us as 
" Philippics." -^ After a long series 
of hostilities Philip defeated the 
Greek forces in a final batUe at 
Chseronea (338 B.C.), and firmly 
established his position as head of 
a league of all the Greek states except Sparta, which still held 
out against him. He had begun operations in Asia Minor for 
the freedom of the Greek cities there, when two years after the 
batde of Chseronea he was stabbed by conspirators during the 
revelries at the w^edding of his daughter. 

The power passed into the hands of his son Alexander, a 
youth of only twenty years. Fortunately Philip also left behind 

1 At the same time there was a sentiment in Greece, even in Athens, which 
favored PhiUp's imperial plans, and saw in him the uniter and savior of Greece. 
This sentiment found a voice in Isocrates, the Athenian pamphleteer, now an 
aged man, who had so long chided the Greeks for lack of unity in opposing 
Persia (see p. 211). 

Fig. 98. Portrait Bust 
OF Demosthenes 

Alexander the Great and the Hellenistie Age 217 

him in the Macedonians of his court a group of remarkable The suc- 
men, of kingly abilities such as no century of the ancient p^hfup^of 
world had ever yet seen. They were devoted to the royal Macedon 
house, and Alexander's early successes were in no small measure 
due to them. But their very devotion, ability, and firmness of 
character, as we shall see, later brought the young king into a 
personal conflict which contained all the elements of a tremen- 
dous tragedy (see p. 228). 

Section 36. Campaigns of Alexander the Great 

When Alexander was thirteen years of age, his father had Education 
called to the Macedonian court the great philosopher Aristotle, q" Aiexande^/ 
a former pupil of Plato, to be the teacher of the young prince. ^^^ ^"^^^^ 
Aristotle, the most gifted successor of Socrates and Plato, was 
treating every possible subject in learned essays and arranging 
the known facts and discoveries in all branches of science in a 
great series of treatises, which became the world's Encyclo- 
paedia Britannica for nearly two thousand years. Under the in- 
struction of this greatest of the living Greek thinkers, the lad 
learned to know and love the masterpieces of Greek literature, 
especially the Homeric songs. The deeds of the ancient heroes 
touched and kindled his youthful imagination and lent an heroic 
tinge to his whole character, while, as he grew and his mind 
ripened, his whole personality was aglow with the splendor of 
Greek genius and Hellenic culture. He came to believe abso- 
lutely in its power and superiority, and in its inevitable success 
as a civilizing influence. 

When Thebes revolted against Macedonia for the second time Alexander's 
after Philip's death, Alexander, knowing that he must take up ateadra^matlc 
the strugofle with Persia, realized that it would not be safe for ""pression of 

00 ' . his mission 

him to march into Asia without sfivino: the Greek states a lesson as champion 

, , , of Hellas 

which they would not forget. He therefore captured and com- 
pletely destroyed the ancient city of Thebes, sparing only the 
house of the great poet Pindar. All Greece was thus taught to 

2i8 Outlines of Europe a7i History 

fear and respect his power, but learned at the same time to recog- 
nize his reverence for Greek genius. Alexander already dreamed 
of world-wide conquests, and the Asiatic campaign which he 
now planned was to vindicate his position as the champion of 
Hellas against Asia. 

He thought to lead the united Greeks against the Persian 
lord of Asia, as the Hellenes had once made common cause 
against Asiatic Troy. Leading his army of Macedonians and 
allied Greeks into Asia Minor, he therefore stopped at Troy and 
camped upon the plain (Fig. 58 and map, p. 146) where the 
Greek heroes of the Homeric songs had once fought. Here he 
worshiped in the temple of Athena, and prayed for the success 
of his cause against Persia. He thus contrived to throw around 
himself the heroic atmosphere of the Trojan War, till all Hellas 
beheld the dauntless figure of the Macedonian youth, as it were, 
against the background of that glorious age which in their belief 
had so long ago united Greek arms against Asia (p. 133). 
Battle of the The Persian satraps, with what troops they could gather, 
(334 B.C.) endeavored to bar his eastward progress, but at the river 
of AsiTMinor Granicus he had no difficulty in scattering their forces in a 
decisive action. Following the Macedonian custom the young 
king, then but twenty-two years of age, led his troops into the 
thick of the fray and exposed his royal person without hesi- 
tation. But for the timely support of Clitus, the brother of his 
childhood nurse, who bravely pushed in before him at a critical 
moment, the impetuous young king would have lost his life in 
the action on the Granicus. Marching southward he took the 
Greek cities one by one, and freed all western Asia Minor 
forever from the Persian yoke. 
Alexander's Meantime a huge Persian fleet dominated the Mediterranean. 

through It was at this moment that the young Macedonian, litde more 

than a boy in years, began to display his mastery of a military 
situation which demanded the completest understanding of the 
art of war. It was a vast stage on which he was to dictate 
the course of the stirring world drama for the next ten years 

Asia Minor 

Alexa7ider the Great and the Helleiiistic Age 219 

(333-323 B.C.). Believing that his destruction of Thebes had fur- 
nished the Greeks such an evidence of the terrible consequences 
of revolt that not even a Persian fleet in the ^gean could arouse 
Hellas to hostility against him in his absence, Alexander pushed 
boldly eastward and rounded the northeast corner of the Medi- 
terranean. Here was spread out before him the vast Asiatic 
world of forty million souls where the family of the Great King 
had been supreme for two hundred years. 

At this important point, by the Gulf of Issus, Alexander met Defeat of 
the main army of Persia, under the personal command of the at the battle 
Great King, Darius HI, the last of the line. In a fierce batde the °^ ^^^^"^ . 
irresistible onset of Alexander and his Macedonians (Fig. 99), 
combined with the skillful arrangement of his troops, swept the 
Asiatics from the field, and the disorderly retreat of Darius never 
stopped until it had crossed the Euphrates. The Great King 
then sent a letter to Alexander desiring terms of peace and offer- 
ing to accept the Euphrates as a boundary between them, all 
Asia west of that river to be handed over to the Macedonians. 

It is a dramatic picture, the figure of the young king, still The situation 
only twenty-three years old, standing with this letter in his hand. and^AlSan- 
As he ponders it he is surrounded by a group of the ablest ^^^'^ fnends 
Macedonian youth, who have grown up around him as his 
closest friends ; but likewise by old and trusted counselors 
upon whom his father before him had leaned. The hazards of 
battle and of march, and the daily associations of camp and 
bivouac, have wrought the closest bonds of love and friend- 
ship and intimate influence between these loyal Macedonians 
and their ardent young king. 

As he considers the letter of Darius therefore, his father's 
old general Parmenio, who has commanded the Macedonian left 
wing in the battle just won, proffers him serious counsel. We 
can almost see the old man leaning familiarly over the shoulder 
of this imperious boy of twenty-three and pointing out across the 
Mediterranean, as he bids Alexander remember the Persian fleet 
operating there in his rear, and likely to stir up revolt against him 


Outlines of European History 

The decision 
after Issus, 
and Alex- 
ander's fric- 
tion with 
his friends 

in Greece. He says too that with Darius behind the Euphrates, 
as proposed in the letter, Persia will be at a safe distance from 
Europe and the Greek world. The campaign against the Great 
King, he urges, has secured all that could reasonably be ex- 
pected. Undoubtedly he adds that Philip himself, the young 
king's father, had at the utmost no further plans against Persia 
than those already successfully carried out. There is nothing 
to do, says Parmenio, but to accept the terms offered by the 
Great King. 

In this critical decision lay the parting of the ways. Before 
the kindling eyes of the young Alexander there rose a vision of 
world-empire dominated by Greek civilization — a vision to 
which the duller eyes about him were entirely closed. He 
waved aside his father's old counselors and decided to press on 
in pursuit of the Persian king. In this far-reaching decision 
he disclosed at once the powerful personality which represented 
a new ao:e. Thus arose the conflict which never ends — the 

* The artist who designed this great work has selected the supreme 
moment when the Persians (at the right) are endeavoring to rescue 
their king from the onset of the Macedonians (at the left). Alexan- 
der, the bareheaded figure on horseback at the left, charges furiously 
against the Persian king (Darius HI), who stands in his chariot (at 
the right). The Macedonian attack is so impetuous that the Persian 
king's life is endangered. A Persian noble dismounts and offers his 
riderless horse, that the king may quickly mount and escape. De- 
voted Persian nobles heroically ride in between their king and the 
Macedonian onset, to give Darius an opportunity to mount. But 
Alexander's spear has passed entirely through the body of one of these 
Persian nobles, who has thus given his life for his king. Darius throws 
out his hand in grief and horror at the awful death of his noble friend. 
The driver of the royal chariot (behind the king) lashes his three 
horses, endeavoring to carry Darius from the field in flight (p. 219). 
This magnificent battle scene is put together from bits of colored 
glass (mosaic) forming a floor pavement, discovered in 183 1 at the 
Roman town of Pompeii (Fig. 128). It has been injured in places, 
especially at the left, where parts of the figures of Alexander and his 
horse have disappeared. It is a Roman copy of an older Hellenistic 
work, probably a painting done at Alexandria (p. 233). It is one of the 
greatest scenes of heroism in battle ever painted, and illustrates the 
splendor of Hellenistic art. 


Oiitlines of Ejiropean History 

Conquest of 
and Egypt ; 
dispersion of 
the Persian 
fleet ; march 
to the Tisrris 

Battle of 
(331 B.C.) 

Death of 
Darius III 
(330 B.C.) : 
lord of the 
ancient East 

conflict between the new age and the old. Never has it been 
more dramatically staged than as we find it here in the daily 
growing friction between Alexander and that group of devoted, 
if less gifted, Macedonians who were now drawn by him into 
the labors of Heracles — the conquest of the world. 

The danger from the Persian fleet was now^ carefully and 
deliberately met by a march southward along the eastern end 
of the Mediterranean. All the Phoenician seaports on the way 
were captured, and disorganized Egypt fell an easy prey to the 
Macedonian arms. The Persian fleet, thus deprived of all its 
home harbors and cut off from its home government, soon 
scattered and disappeared. Having freed himself in this way 
from the danger of an enemy in his rear, Alexander then re- 
turned from Egypt to Asia, crossed the Euphrates, and marched 
to the Tigris, where, near Arbela, the Great King had gathered 
his forces for a last stand. 

Parmenio advised a surprise by night attack, but Alexander 
characteristically disregarded the old general's suggestions, and 
in a battle planned by himself crushed -the Persian army and 
forced the Great King into disgraceful flight. In a few days 
Alexander was established in the winter palace of Persia, in 
Babylon. As Darius fled into the eastern mountains he was 
stabbed by his own treacherous attendants (330 B.C.). Alex- 
ander rode up with a few of his officers in time to look upon 
the body of the last of the Persian emperors, the lord of Asia, 
whose vast realm had now passed into his hands. He punished 
the murderers and sent the body with all respect to the fallen 
ruler's mother and sister, to whom he had extended protec- 
tion and hospitality. Thus at last both the valley of the Nile 
and the "fertile crescent'' (see p. 56), the two earliest homes 
of those ancient oriental civilizations, whose long careers we 
have already sketched (see Chapters H-HI), vvcre now in the 
hands of a European power and under the control of a newer 
and higher civilization. Only five years had passed since the 
young Macedonian had entered Asia. 

Alexander' the Great and the Hellenistic Age 223 
Although the Macedonians had nothing more to fear from Alexander 

captures the 
Persian royal 

the Persian arms, there still remained much for Alexander to 
do in order to establish his empire in Asia. On he marched 
through the original little kingdom of the Persian kings, whence 
Cyrus, the founder of the Persian Empire, had victoriously come 
forth over two hundred years before (see pp. 96-97). He stopped 
at Susa, one of the most important of the royal Persian resi- 
dences, and then passed on to Persepolis, where he gave a dra- 
matic exhibition of his supremacy in Asia by setting fire to the 
Persian palace (Fig. 52) with his own hand, as the Persians had 
once done to Miletus and to the temples on the Athenian Acropo- 
lis. It was but an act symbolic of vengeance, and Alexander 
ordered the flames extinguished before serious damage was done. 

After touching Ecbatana in the north, and leaving behind the Alexander's 

, ^ ... . , r 1 1 campaigns 

trusted Parmenio m charge of the enormous treasure or gold in the Far 
and silver, accumulated for generations by the Persian kings, ^2?Vc')°~ 
Alexander again moved eastward. In the course of the next 
five years, while the Greek world looked on in amazement, the 
young Macedonian seemed to disappear in the mists on the 
far-off fringes of the known world. He marched his army in 
one vast loop after another through the heart of the Iranian 
plateau (see map, p. 80), northward across the Oxus and the 
Jaxartes rivers, southward across the Indus and the frontiers 
of India, into the valley of the Ganges, where at last the mur- 
murs of his fearless army forced him to turn back. 

He descended the Indus, and even sailed the waters of the Alexander 
Indian Ocean. Then he began his westward march again along ^^ B^^yion 
the shores of the Indian Ocean, accompanied by a fleet which ^^-3 R-c) ; 

' ^ ■' some results 

he had built on the Indus. The return march through desert of his eastern 

,. , 1 • 1-11 • • -1 campaigns 

wastes cost many lives as the thirsty and lU-provisioned troops 
dropped by the way. Over seven years after he had left the 
great city of Babylon, Alexander entered it again. He had been 
eleven years in Asia, and he had carried Greek civilization into 
the very heart of the continent. At important points along his 
line of march he had founded Greek cities bearing his name, 


Outli?ies of Europe a7i History 

and had set up kingdoms which were to be centers of Greek 
influence on the frontiers of India. From such centers Greek 
art entered India, to become the source of the art which still 
survives there ; and the Greek works of art from Alexander's 
communities in these remote regions of the east penetrated even 
to China, to contribute to the later art of China and Japan. 
Never before had East and West so interpenetrated as in these 
amazing marches and campaigns of Alexander. 




His endeavor 
to merge 
and Asiatic 

Section 37. International Policy of Alexander : 
ITS Personal Consequences 

During all these unparalleled achievements the mind of this 
young Hercules never ceased to busy itself with a thousand 
problems on every side. He dispatched an exploring expedition 
up the Nile to ascertain the causes of the annual overflow of 
the river, and another to the shores of the Caspian Sea to build 
a fleet and circumnavigate that sea, the northern end of which 
was still unknown. He brought a number of scientific men with 
him from Greece, and with their aid he sent hundreds of natural- 
history specimens home to Greece to his old teacher Aristotle, 
then teaching in Athens. 

Meantime he applied himself with diligence to the organiza- 
tion and administration of his vast conquests. Such problems 
must have kept him tediously bending over many a huge pile 
of state papers, or dictating his great plans to his secretaries 
and officers. He believed implicitly in the power and superiority 
of Greek culture. He was determined to Hellenize the world 
and to merge Asia with Europe by transplanting colonies of 
Greeks and Macedonians. In his army, Macedonian, Greek, and 
Asiatic stood side by side. He himself felt that he could not 
rule the world as a Macedonian, but must make concessions to 
the Persian world (Plate V, p. 224). He married Roxana, an 
Asiatic princess, and at a gorgeous wedding festival he obliged 
his officers and friends also to marr}' the daughters of Asiatic 

o U CO 


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o ^ a; 


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•^ ° '-' '13 Oh 

"w o «^ e3 

<=> u^ -^ 

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Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age 225 

nobles. Thousands of Macedonians in the army followed the 
example of their royal lord and took Asiatic wives. He appointed 
Persians to high offices and set them over provinces as satraps. 
He even adopted Persian raiment in part. 

Amid all this he carefully worked out a complete plan of Alexander 
campaign for the conquest of the western Mediterranean, in- "orthe^on-^ 
cludins: instructions for the buildinsr of a fleet of a thousand ^"^f °^!!?^, 

o ^ western Med- 

batdeships with which to subdue Italy, Sicily, and Carthage, and iterranean 
a vast roadway along the northern coast of Africa, to be built 
at an appalling expense and to furnish a highway for his army 
from Egypt to Carthage and the Pillars of Hercules (Gibraltar). 
It is here that Alexander's statesmanship may be criticized. If 
he had spent less time on the remote frontiers in the far east, 
and gone earlier to the west, he would have saved himself and 
Hellas incalculable losses. 

What was to be his own position in this colossal world-state Deification 
of which he dreamed } That question he had settled seven years ^^^ itTlogical 
before in Egypt. When he entered Asia he was king of Mace- 
donia, duke of Thessaly, and general and head of a league or 
federation of the Greek states, finally including also Sparta, 
which had defied his father. Many a great Greek had come to 
be recognized as a god, and there was in Greek belief no sharp 
line dividing gods from men. Moreover, after a long struggle, 
the Greeks had come to believe that their gods had all once 
been human beings of power and influence during their lives. 
The will of a god, in so far as a Greek might believe in him at 
all, was still a thing to which he bowed without question and 
with no feeling that he was being subjected to tyranny. Alex- 
ander found in this attitude of the Greek mind the solution of 
the question of his own position. He would have himself lifted 
to the realm of the gods, where he might impose his will upon 
the Greek cities without offense. This solution was the more 
easy because it had for ages been customary to regard the king 
as divine in Egypt, where he was a son of the sun-god, and it was 
a common idea in the Orient. 




Outlines of European History 

In Egypt therefore he had deliberately taken the time, while 
a still unconquered Persian army was awaiting him in Asia, to 
march with a small following far out into the Sahara Desert to 
the Oasis of Siwa (see map, p. 80, and Fig. 100), where there was 
a shrine of the Egyptian god Amon. Anion had been identified 

Fig. 100. Oasis of Siwa in the Sahara 

In this oasis was the famous temple of the Egyptian god Amon (or 
Ammon), who delivered oracles greatly prized by the Greeks (p. 237). 
Alexander marched hither from the coast, a distance of some two hun- 
dred miles, and thence back to the Nile at Memphis, some three hundred 
and fifty miles (see map, p. 80). A modern caravan requires twenty-one 
days to go from the Nile to this oasis. Such an oasis is a deep depression 
in the desert plateau; the level of the plateau is seen at the tops of the 
cliffs on the right. Its fertility is due to many springs and flowing wells 

with Zeus, and the oracles of Zeus-Amon at Siwa enjoyed the 
respect of the whole Greek world. Here in the vast solitude 
Alexander entered the holy place alone. No one knew what 
took place there ; but when he issued again he was greeted by 
the high priest of the temple as the son of Zeus. Alexander 
took good care that all Greece should hear of this remarkable 
occurrence, but the Hellenes had to wait some years before they 
learned what it all meant. 

Alexa7ider the Great and the Hellenistic Age 227 

Four years later the young king found that this divinity which Alexander 
he claimed lacked outward and visible manifestations. There deification by 
must 2fO with it some outward observances which would vividly *^^ ^""^/^ 

^ ■> cities of the 

suggest his character as a god to the minds of the world which dissolved 


he ruled. He adopted oriental usages, among which was the 
demand that all who approached him on official occasions should 
bow down to the earth and kiss his feet. He also sent formal 
notification to all the Greek cities that the league of which 
he had been head was dissolved, that he was nenceforth to 
be officially numbered among the gods of each city, and that 
as such he was to receive the state offerings which each city 

Thus were introduced into Europe absolute monarchy and Absolute 
the divine right of kings. Indeed, through Alexander there was ^Tdivine 
transferred to Europe much of the spirit of that Onent which "^ht of kings 
had been repulsed at Marathon and Salamis. But these meas- 
ures of Alexander were not the efforts of a weak mmd to gratify 
a vanity so drunk with power that it could be satisfied only 
with superhuman honors. They were carefully devised political 
measures dictated by state policy, and systematically developed 
step by step for years. 

This superhuman station, investing with divine power the Personal 
throne of the world-king Alexander, was gained at iragic cost to suffered^by ^^ 
Alexander the Macedonian youth and to the group of friends Alexander as 

•' ° a result of his 

and followers about him (p. 219). Beneath the Persian robes deification 
of the State-god Alexander beat the warm heart ot a young tional policy 
Macedonian. He had lifted himself to an exalted and lonely 
eminence whither those devoted friends who had followed him 
to the ends of the earth could follow him no longer. Neither 
could they comprehend the necessity for measures which thus 
strained or snapped entirely those bonds of friendship which 
linked together comrades in arms. And then there were the 
Persian intruders treated like the equals of his personal friends 
(Plate V, p. 224), or even placed over them! The tragic 
consequences of such a situation were inevitable. 


Outlines of European History 

Early in those tremendous marches eastward, after Darius's 
death, Philotas, son of Parmenio, had learned of a conspiracy 
against Alexander's life, but his bitterness and estrangement 
were such that he failed to report his guilty knowledge to the 
king. The conspirators were all given a fair and legal trial, and 
Alexander himself suffered the bitterness of seeing a whole 
group of his former friends and companions, including Philotas, 
condemned and executed in the presence of the army. The 
trusted Parmenio, father of Philotas, still guarding the Persian 
treasure at Ecbatana, was also implicated, and a messenger was 
sent back with orders for the old general's immediate execution. 
This was but the beginning of the ordeal through which the 
man Alexander was to pass, in order that the world-king Alex- 
ander might mount the throne of a god. 

Clitus also, who had saved his life at Granicus, was filled with 
grief and indignation at Alexander's political course. At a royal 
feast, where these matters intruded upon the conversation, Clitus 
was guilty of unguarded criticisms of his lord and then, entirely 
losing his self-mastery, he finally heaped such unbridled re- 
proaches upon the king that Alexander, rising in uncontrollable 
rage, seized a spear from a guard and thrust it through the 
bosom of the man to whom he owed his life. As we see him 
thereupon sitting for three days in his tent, speechless with grief 
and remorse, refusing all food, and prevented only by his officers 
from taking his own life, we gather some slight impression of 
the terrible personal cost of Alexander's state policy. 

Similarly the demand that all should prostrate themselves and 
kiss his feet on entering his presence cost him the friendship of 
the historian Callisthenes. For, not long after, this friend was 
likewise found criminally guilty toward the king in connection 
with a conspiracy of the noble Macedonian pages who served 
Alexander. Trusted and admired as he had been by Alexander, 
Callisthenes too lost his life. He was a nephew of the king's 
old teacher, Aristotle, and thus the friendship between master 
and royal pupil was transformed into bitter enmity. 

Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age 229 

On his return to Babylon, Alexander was overcome with grief Death of 
at the loss of his dearest friend Hephaestion, who had just died. (323 b.c.) 
He arranged for his dead friend one of the most magnificent 
funerals ever celebrated. Then, as he was preparing for a cam- 
paign to subjugate the Arabian peninsula and leave him free 
to carry out his great plans for the conquest of the western 
Mediterranean, Alexander himself fell sick, and after a few 
days died (323 B.C.). He was thirty-three years of age and 
had reigned thirteen years. 

Section 38. The Heirs of Alexander's Empire 
Alexander has been well termed " the Great." Few men of Conse- 

1 • r !-• quences of 

genius if any, and certainly none in so briei a career as nis, Alexander's 
have left so indelible a mark upon the course of human affairs. ^^^^^ 
His death in the midst of his colossal designs was a fearful calam- 
ity, for it made impossible forever the unification of Hellas and 
of the world by the power of that gifted race which was now 
civilizing the world. Fabulous tales of Alexander's heroic career 
grew up on every hand, as men looked back upon the wondrous 
life of the world-hero. But such visions could not bring, back 
the man himself, and there was none to take his place. Of his Alexander's 
line there remained in Macedonia a demented half brother and, appears 
ere long, the son of Roxana, born in Asia after Alexander's death. 
Conflicts among the leaders at home swept away all Alexander's 
family, even including his mother. 

His generals in Babylonia found the plans of his great west- The suc- 

, . , 1 cessors of 

ern campaign lying among his papers, but no man possessed Alexander; 
the genius or the will to carry them out, nor could there be any J^^JJ^^f [^^ 
unity among leaders feeling no authority above them which they Europe, Asia, 
would long recognize. These able Macedonian commanders 
were soon involved among themselves in a long struggle, which 
slumbered only to break out anew. After a generation of con- 
flict we find Alexander's empire in three parts, corresponding . 
to Europe, Asia, and Africa, with a Macedonian leader at the 


Oiitlijies of European History 

head of each. In Europe, Macedonia is in the hands of Antig- 
onus, who endeavors to maintain control of Greece ; in Asia 
we find the territory of the former Persian Empire under the 
rule of Seleucus ; while in Africa, Egypt, a clearly demarked 
region by itself, is held by Ptolemy. 

But the boundaries between these states were not constant. 
Ptolemy found it impossible to maintain his power with native 
Egyptian troops. He was obliged constantly to draw upon 
Greece. He made his capital Alexandria the greatest port on 
the Mediterranean. With statesmanlike judgment he built up 
a fleet which gave him the mastery of the Mediterranean, with 
the control of Cyprus and the Phoenician ports, the ^gean 
and parts ot southern Greece, and at times also of various 
points along the coasts of Asia Minor. Indeed, for a century 
(roughly the third century e.g.) the eastern Mediterranean 
was an Egyptian sea. To make his frontier toward Asia safer 
against his Asiatic rival he finally took possession of Palestine 
and southern Syria. Such an aggressive policy maintained the 
power of the Ptolemies for over a hundred years. But after 
200 B.C. they allowed their navy to decay and their army to 
decline. Then Egypt became the cat's-paw of Rome. 

In Asia the Seleucids-^ selected the northeast comer of the 
Mediterranean as their home, and here they endeavored to build 
up another Macedonia in the valley of the lower Orontes and 
the plain between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean. Here 
they founded the great city of Antioch as their capital. Without 
the hardy peasantry of the Macedonian homeland, from which 
to recruit their armies, the Seleucids found it almost impossible 
to hold together their vast empire of western Asia. Forced out 
of Asia Minor by the Romans, they lost also much of their east- 
ern territory at the hands of the Parthians, kinsmen of the Per- 
sians, who energetically pushed their boundary westward even 
to the Euphrates. As a result there arose on the east of the 
Seleucid empire a new Persian state which not even the power 
^ The descendants of Seleucus. 

Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age 231 

of Rome was able to thrust back permanently from the Euphra- 
tes. Behind the Parthians other Indo-European tribes absorbed 
the easternmost dominions of the Seleucids to the frontiers of 

Fig. 10 1. Restoration of the Public Buildings of Pergamum, 
A Hellenistic City of Asia Minor. (After Thiersch) 

Pergamum, on the west coast of Asia Minor (see map, p. 80), became a 
flourishing city-kingdom in the third century B.C. under the successors 
of Alexander the Great (p. 229). The dwelUngs of the citizens were all 
lower down, in front of the group of buildings shown here. These 
public buildings stand on three terraces —lower, middle, and upper. The 
large lower terrace, where we see the groups of people, was the main 
market place, adorned with a vast square marble altar of Zeus, having 
colonnades on three sides, beneath which was a long sculptured band 
(frieze) of warring gods and giants (Fig. 112). The middle terrace (at 
the right) contained a temple of Athena, and the colonnades behmd it 
adorned the famous library of Pergamum, where the stone bases of 
library shelves still survive. The tipper terrace once contamed the 
palace of the king ; the temple now there (directly above the Athena tem- 
ple) was built by the Roman Emperor Trajan in the first century a.d. 

India. Thus the Seleucid empire shrank to the region between 
the Taurus and the Euphrates, commonly called Syria. 

At the same time the Antigonids, the kings of Macedon, found ^nUgonids^,^ 
it difficult to maintain their control of Greece, as the fleet of the and Greece 
Ptolemies pushed into the ^gean. In war after war the three 


Ojitlines of Enropean History 

states of Macedonia, Syria, and Egypt devoured one another. 
Mere playthings of these great powers, the unhappy Greek 
cities steadily declined, and commercial leadership passed east- 
ward to Antioch and Alexandria (Fig. 102). At length, as the 
strength of Eg}^pt declined, the other two plotted to divide her 
possessions between them, at the very time when they all should 
have combined to crush the growing power of Rome in the west, 
then in the throes of a deadly struggle with Carthage (pp. 258ff.). 
The result of the failure of Macedon, Syria, and Egypt to com- 
bine against Rome was their submission to the rising city of the 
Supremacy West Rome gradually extended her power through the eastern 
the^E^t after Mediterranean, till, with the seizure of Egypt about a generation 
200 B.C. before Christ and about three hundred years after the death of 

Alexander, she was supreme from the Euphrates to the Pillars 
of Hercules (p. 263). 

The Hellen- 
istic Age — 
of the Greek 

Section 39. The Civilization of the 
Hellenistic Age 

The three centuries follovving the death of Alexander we call 
the Hellenistic Age, meaning the period in which Greek civili- 
zation spread throughout the ancient world, and was itself 
much modified by the culture of the Orient. While Greek cul- 
ture had greatly influenced the world outside Greece long before 
Alexander, his conquests placed Asia and Egypt in the hands 
of Macedonian rulers who were in civilization essentially Greek. 
Their language was the Greek spoken in Attica. The business 
of government was carried on in this language, and, together 
with Greek commerce and Greek literature, it made Greek the 
international language of the civilized world, the tongue of which 
every man of education must be master. Thus the strong Jewish 
community now living in Alexandria found it necessary to trans- 
late the books of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek, 
in order that their educated men might read them. While the 
native peasants in the thickly populated portions of the East 

Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age 233 

might learn it but indifferently, Greek became, nevertheless, 
the daily language of the great cities and of an enormous 
world throughout the Mediterranean and the East (Fig. 115). 

Fig. 102. The Lighthouse of the Harbor of Alexandria 
IN the Hellenistic Age. (After Thiersch) 

The harbor of Alexandria (see map in corner above) was protected by 
an island called Pharos, which was connected with the city by a cause- 
way of stone. On the island and bearing its name (Pharos) was built 
(after 300 B.C.) a vast stone lighthouse, some three hundred and seventy 
feet high (that is, over thirty stories, like those of a modern skyscraper). 
It shows how vast was the commerce and wealth of Alexandria only a 
generation after it was founded by Alexander the Great, when it became 
the New York or Liverpool of the ancient world, the greatest port on 
the Mediterranean (p. 232). The Pharos tower, the first of its kind, was 
influenced in design by oriental architecture, and in its turn it furnished 
the model for the earliest church spires, and also for the minarets of the 
Mohammedan mosques. It stood for about sixteen hundred years, the 
greatest lighthouse in the world, and did not fall until 1326 a.d. 

In a large city like Alexandria, founded as its name sug- Alexandr 
gests by Alexander, in the western corner of the Nile Delta, a 
Greek of the Hellenistic Age felt very much at home. Fie heard 
his own language in every street and market. Just as in the 


Outlines of European History 


The Uni- 
versity of 
Alexandria ; 
progress of 
science and 

homeland, he could go to the theater, could wander into the Odeon 
to listen to the music, or spend an agreeable hour in conversa- 
tion with the idlers around the gymnasium. At the same time 

he could watch the 
practice in the manly 
sports and the use of 
weapons, in which the 
youth were still well 
exercised, or, if so 
inclined as the after- 
noon wore on, he 
could listen to a lec- 
ture by a philosopher 
or an address by a 
rhetorician in one of 
the courts or halls of 
the gymnasium — all 
in Greek. To the 
elementary branches, 
like reading and writ- 
ing, which had been 
learned at the primary 
school, a young Greek 
might here add much. 
But if the youth 
wished to take up 
higher education seri- 
ously he might go to 
Athens, still a great 
center of learning and 
venerated by the whole ancient world for her noble history. 

The first university that was established by a government, 
however, was the institution which flourished in Alexandria 
under the patronage of the Ptolemies, known as the Museum, 
the home of the Muses. Here the greatest philosophers and 


103. The Town Clock of Athens 
IN THE Hellenistic Age 

This tower, commonly called the " Tower of 
the Winds," now stands among modern 
houses but once looked out on the Athenian 
market place (p. 186). The arches at the left 
support part of an ancient channel which 
supplied the water for the operation of a 
water clock in the tower. Such clocks were 
something like hourglasses, the flowing 
water filling a given measure in a given time, 
like the sand in the hourglass. This tower 
was built in the last century B.C., when Athens 
was under the control of Rome (p. 263) 

Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age 235 

scientists of the world carried on their studies and researches, 
combined with some lecturing and teaching. The first great 
library of the Greek world containing many thousand rolls was 
attached to this institution. Under the direction of a pupil of 
Aristotle, an astronomical observatory was erected, though as yet 
without telescopes, which were unknown to the ancient world. 
Thus supported and encouraged, science reached a level not 
again attained until modern times, two thousand years later. 
Greek thought, which culminated in the teaching of Socrates, 
Plato, and Aristotle, had now developed into four systems, or 
"schools of philosophy" as they are called,^ which continued 
for a time to make some progress in original thought. Of all 
this the educated man of the time learned something, and 
two classes were now clearly distinguished — the educated and 
the uneducated. 

The real current of civilized life, as Aristotle taught, was in Hellenistic 
the cities. To be sure there were many differences between the 
cities of Egypt, Asia, Greece, and Macedonia in this age. In 
Egypt there were no free cities and no communities enjoying 
local self-government in the old Greek sense. On the other 
hand, the Antigonids granted to the cities of Elellas their old 
self-government in local affairs, and in Asia the numerous new 
cities founded by the Seleucids, as well as the older communi- 
ties, were given the same liberal privileges. The result was the 
greatest stimulation of productive activity in all the avenues of 
life, especially commercial and intellectual life. The cities of 
Asia continued to produce great names in the history of 
thought and art^ (Plate V, p. 224, and Figs. 99, 112), but 
such names were noticeably fewer in Egypt. 

Life in such cities was more comfortably furnished and Life in the 
equipped than ever before. There were roomy market places cities 
(Fig. 1 01), tree-shaded gardens around the temples, and stately 

1 The four schools are : the Academy, Peripatetic, Stoic, and Epicurean. 

2 A noble work of Hellenistic art will be found in the figure of the dying 
Gaul at the end of Chapter VIII (p. 214). 

236 Outlines of European History 

buildings to accommodate the public offices and departments of 
government. Along the sea and in the harbors were wide quays 
.and far-reaching moles, where the traffic with distant lands 
passed in and out. At Alexandria a vast lighthouse tower 
(Fig. 102), one of the wonders of the world, shed its beams far 
across the sea to guide the mariner into the harbor. 
Time and A public clock, either a shadow dial, such as the well-to-do 

Egyptian had had in his house for over a thousand years, or a 
water clock of Greek invention (Fig. 103), stood in the market 
place and furnished all the good townspeople with the hour of 
the day. The calendar used by the government offices employed 
the inconvenient moon month of Macedonia, and that of the 
Greeks was no better. The Ptolemies or the priests under 
them attempted to improve the practical and convenient Egyp- 
tian calendar of twelve thirty-day months (see p. 23) by the 
insertion every four years of a leap year with an additional day, 
but the people could not be gotten out of the rut into which 
usage had fallen, and they continued to use the inconvenient 
moon month of the Greeks. There was no system for the 
numbering of the years anywhere but in Syria, where the 
Seleucids gave each year a number reckoned from the begin- 
ning of their sway. In Egypt at least, there was a postal service 
which carried all royal communications. 
Greek papers The soil of the Nile valley is still yielding to the modern 
dug up^ m excavator enormous quantities of office documents and house- 
Egypt \\(d\^ papers (Fig. 104) written chiefly in Greek, which disclose 
to us the way in which the business of government and of private 
citizens was then conducted. These masses of papers form one 
of the most interesting revelations of ancient life which modern 
discovery has furnished us. Indeed, the grave of a member of 
the Greek community in Memphis has preserved to us the 
oldest-surviving Greek book. 
Commingling It is in such papers that we discern how Greek and oriental 
oriental life life were interfused in these Hellenistic states. While this was 
an re igion ^^^^ ^^ ^^ whole fabric of life, in art and literature, in customs, 

Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age 237 

government, and language, it was true especially of religion. 
National boundaries were gradually wiped out in such matters, 
and even before Alexander's day the x\thenians had a ship en- 
gaged in carrying Greeks across the Mediterranean, that they 
might land at Cyrene, penetrate the Sahara, and consult the Egyp- 
tian Amon in his desert shrine (see map, p. 80, and Fig. 100). 
Men thus grew accustomed to strange gods and no longer 
looked askance at foreign usages in religion. It was only in 
such a world that Christianity was later able to pass as a foreign 
religion from land. to land. There was now complete freedom 
of conscience — far more freedom, indeed, than the later Chris- 
tian rulers of Europe granted their subjects. The teachings of 

Fig. 104. A Letter written on Papyrus, folded, 


Among the ruins of sun-dried brick houses of the Hellenistic Age in 

Egypt great quantities of such papers are now being found (p. 236). 

Their preservation is due to the rainless climate of Eygpt. See Ancient 

Times, pp. 215, 630 f., and 662 

Socrates would no longer have caused his condemnation by his 
Athenian neighbors. From Babylonia the mysterious lore of 
the Chaldean astrologers was spreading widely through the 
Mediterranean. It was received and accepted in Egypt, and 
even Greek science did not escape its influence. 

In this connection let us not misunderstand the meaning of intrusion 
the Greek repulse of Persia. Marathon and Salamis were iiifluence^s 
of enormous importance in quickening the life of Greece and i" '^^ ^^^^^" 

^ ^ <=* terranean 

especially of Athens, and in arousing it to a development which 
resulted in the highest creations of Greek genius (see pp. 184- 
194). But it is a great mistake to suppose that Marathon and 
Salamis once and for all banished the influence of the Orient 
from the Mediterranean, as a huge irrigation dam keeps back 
a body of water. The great oriental populations in Asia and 

238 Outlines of European History 

Egypt continued to be a permanent force exerting a steady 
pressure upon the life of the Mediterranean world, in commerce, 
in forms of government, in customs and usages, in art, literature, 
and religion. This pressure resulted in many ways in the slow 
orientalization of the Mediterranean world. When Christianity 
issued from Palestine, therefore, as we shall see (see p. 300), 
it found itself but one among many other influences from the 
Orient which were passing westward. Thus while Greek civili- 
zation, with its language, its art, its literature, its theaters and 
gymnasiums, was Hellenizing the Orient, the Orient in the 
same way was exercising a powerful influence on the West 
and was orientalizing the Mediterranean world. 
Disappear- In this process let us not fail to notice that the Hellenic civi- 

citkenship^ lization was on the whole the loser. In the Hellenistic states 
of the East there was no such thing as national citizenship. 
Herein they resembled the earlier Orient. Where citizenship 
existed it was that of a city-state, and implied no rights of the 
city-citizen in the affairs of the great nation or empire of which 
the city-state was a part. It was as if a citizen of Chicago might 
vote at the election of a mayor of the city but had no right to 
vote at the election of a President of the United States. There 
was not even a name for the empire of the Seleucids, and their 
subjects, wherever they went, bore the names of their home 
cities or countries.^ The conception of " native land " in the 
national sense was wanting, and patriotism did not exist. The 
citizen-soldier who defended his fatherland had long ago given 
way, even in Greece, to the professional soldier who came from 
abroad and fought for hire. The Greek no longer stood weapon 
in hand ready to defend his home and his community against 
every assault. The patriotic sense of responsibility for the wel- 
fare of the state which he loved, and the fine moral earnestness 
which this responsibility roused, no longer animated the Greek 
mind nor quickened it to the loftiest achievements in politics, 
in art, in architecture, in literature, and in original thought. 

1 It was as if the citizens of the United States were termed Bostonians, New 
Yorkers, Philadelphians, Chicagoans, etc. 

Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age 239 

Indeed, in many Greek cities only a discouraged remnant of A last at- 
the citizens was left after the emigration to Asia. The cattle ^nTty among 
often browsed on the grass growing in the public square before ^^^ Greeks 
the town hall in such cities. To be sure, ^tolia, of little fame 
in Greek history, stood forth in these declining days of Hellas 
and devised. a form of federation for the union of the Greek 
states probably better than any before known. But alas, it was 
too late ; no lasting union ensued. 

The sumptuous buildings and the pretentious home of science Final decline 

* .of CitcgIc 

in Alexandria (p. 234) represented little more than the high civilization 
aims of the Macedonian kings of Egypt. They were no indica- 
tion of widespread productive power still active in the Greek 
race as a whole. For when such state support failed, with 
its salaries and pensions to scientists and philosophers, the 
line of scientists failed too, and we see at once how largely 
science in the Hellenistic Age depended on the generosity 
of the Hellenistic kings, rather than on Greek interest in 
science as it had done of old. Add to this the extortions and 
robberies of the Roman tax gatherer under the last century 
of the Roman Republic (see p. 277); the criminal failure of 
Rome to protect her eastern dependencies of the Greek world 
from piracy and pillage (p. 277); the hopeless outlook for 
the liberties and the commercial prosperity of Hellas, and we 
have reasons enough for the tragic decline of Greek civilization 
which set in during the last two of the three centuries of the 
Hellenistic Age. 

The Greeks had brought the world to a higher level of civi- The end 
lization than men had ever seen before, but they had not been °eadeSiip 
able to unite and organize it. Not even their own Hellas was 
a unified nation. The world which the Greeks, as successors 
of the Orient, had civilized was now to be organized and U7ii- 
fied by a much less gifted but more practical race, whose city on 
the Tiber was destined to become the mistress of an enduring 
world empire. 

240 Outlines of European History 


Section 35. Give an account of the northern Greeks and their 
kindred in the north. What was the policy of Philip of Macedon ? 
Give an account of his career and its effects in Greece. 

Section 36. Give an account of the youth of Alexander. De- 
scribe his early dealings with the Greeks. How did he desire to be 
regarded ? Describe his conquest of Asia Minor. What was his great 
purpose thereafter? What did his father's counselors think of it? 

What was the result? How was the danger from the Persian fleet 
removed ? What conquest was gained at the same time ? What move 
in Asia did Alexander now make? Describe the end of the Per- 
sian Empire. How long had it lasted (p. 108)? What extraordinary 
campaigns did Alexander then carry out ? What results followed ? 

Section 37. Describe Alexander's efforts on behalf of science. 
What organization of the world he ruled did he undertake? What 
was to be the relation of Europe and Asia? What other conquests 
had he in mind ? 

What necessary position was he himself to occupy in the new 
world empire? Recount his visit to the oracle at the oasis of Siwa 
and its purpose. What were the Greek cities now asked to do? 
What personal consequences did Alexander suffer? What was the 
date of his death ? 

Section 38. What were the consequences of Alexander's death ? 
What became of his royal line ? What great divisions of his empire 
finally emerged ? Who were the rulers of these ? Give an account 
of each of these realms. What western influence succeeded them ? 

Section 39. What do we mean by the Hellenistic Age? What 
is the leading language of the Hellenistic Age ? Describe Alexandria 
and its great institutions. What was the result for science ? Describe 
the other cities. What practical conveniences for measuring time 
were now common ? Tell something of the Greek papyri in Egypt. 

Describe the commingling of Greek and oriental life. Did the 
Greek victories at Marathon and Salamis banish oriental influences 
from Greece and the Mediterranean? Did citizenship improve and 
develop ? Did civilization continue to advance under these condi- 
tions ? What other influences brought on the final decline of Greek 
civilization ? 



Section 40. The Western Mediterranean World 
AND Early Italy 

The western Mediterranean forms a large detached basin, The western 
marked off from the eastern Mediterranean by the Italian ranean world 
peninsula and the Island of Sicily. There is no geographical 
name for this western basin, but with its islands and surround- 
ing countries we may call it the western Mediterranean world. 
The most important land in the western Mediterranean world 
in early times was Italy. 

Italy ^ is not only four times as large as Greece, but, unlike Geography 
Greece, it is not cut up by a tangle of mountains into winding o" ita/^ 
valleys and tiny plains. The main chain of the Apennines, 
though crossing the peninsula obliquely in the north, is nearly 
parallel with the coasts and many of its outlying ridges are 
quite so. There are larger plains than we find anywhere in 
Greece ; at the same time there is much more room for upland 

1 The area of Italy and its islands is about 110,000 square miles, roughly 
equaling the area of Nevada and not quite four times that of South Carolina. 
I 241 


Outlines of Europe a? i History 

pasturage and there are more forests. This last fact is due to 
the latitude of Italy ; as a whole, it lies well north of Greece and 

hence enjoys more of 
the northern rains. 
There are far better 
•opportunities for agri- 
culture and livestock 
in Italy than in Greece, 
and a considerably 
larger population can 
be supported in the 
plains. At the same 
time the coast is not 
so cut v.p and in- 
dented as in Greece ; 
there are fewer good 
harbors. Hence agri- 
culture and livestock 
developed much ear- 
lier than trade. Italy- 
slopes westward, in 
the main ; it faces and 
belongs to the western 
Mediterranean world. 
Three great islands 
lie before the penin- 
sula and tempt to ex- 
pansion thither. 

Italy and the west- 
em Mediterranean 
world were further 
removed from the 

Fig. 105. Ground Plan of a Prehis- 
toric Pile Village in Italy 

The settlement was surrounded by a moat 
(A) nearly one hundred feet across, filled 
with water from a connected river (C). In- 
side the moat was an earth wall (B) about 
fifty feet thick at the base. The village thus 
inclosed was about two thousand feet long ; 
that is, four city blocks. The whole village, 
being in the marshes of the Po valley, was 
supported on piles, like the lake-villages 
(Fig. 5). The plan and arrangement of 
streets are exactly those of the Roman mili- 
tary camp later derived from it 

Orient than the ^gean. Living as they did on the threshold 
of the Orient, the peoples of the ^gean had responded quickly 
to the civilizing influences of the East ; but while the ^Egeans 

The Western World and Rome 


.J-, the most wonderful progress, the The western 


ranean in 

and the Greeks were makim 

peoples of the western Mediterranean world had lagged far be- 
hind and had made little advance in civilization since the days Prehistoric 

-' times 

of the Swiss lake-dwellers.^ 

Some movements among these early westerners had occurred. Earliest Italy 
The lake-dwellers of Switzerland (p. 1 1) had pushed southward 

•■ -'h ■};-'"■''■ '-} 

1 I J 




' " ' ,'f>f^-^i'.>V,^'^.;:«f f.^r-?*r4^ 

Fig. 106. rREiiisTORic Sardinians 

Part of the bodyguard of Ramses II, king of Egypt, as shown on the 

wall of the temple of Abu Simbel (Fig. 30) in the thirteenth century B.C. 

Notice the heavy metal swords of these westerners, and see p. 53 

through the Alpine passes and occupied the lakes of north- 
ern Italy. The remains of over a hundred of their pile- 
supported settlements (Fig. 105) have also been found under 
the soil of the Po valley, once a vast morass ; and the city of 
Venice, still standing on piles, is a surviving example of their 
methods of building in this region. They had their influence 

1 The student should here reread pp. 10-16. 


Outlines of European History 

and the East 

on the later Romans, whose military camp exactly reproduced 
the plan of the Po valley pile settlement (Fig. 105). 
Prehistoric \\'e do not know the race of these people of the pile villages, 

bei^een^toiy ^^^ in the Po Valley they entered the area of more direct influ- 
ence from the eastern Mediterranean. Articles wrought by 

the craftsmen of 
Eg^'pt (see cut, p. 
16) and of Cnos- 
sus were then find- 
ing their way into 
these regions, and 
the westerners who 
received them were 
beginning to ap- 
pear in the east- 
em Mediterranean. 
Some of these 
early westerners, 
the descendants of 
Stone Age Europe, 
who lived on the 
island of Sardinia, 
took service as 
hired soldiers in 
the army of the 
declining Egyptian 
Empire (p. 53), 
and we find them 
pictured on the 
Eg}^ptian monu- 
ments, bearing huge bronze swords and heavy round shields 
(Fig. 106). They mark the earliest appearance of the men of 
the West in the arena of history yet to be dominated by them. 
At the same time, the northern coast of Italy opposite 
Corsica was occupied by a powerful group of sea rovers like the 

Fig. 107. Etruscan Chariot of Bronze 

This magnificent work illustrates the ability of 
the Etruscans in the art of bronze-working 
(p. 246). The chariot was found in an Etruscan 
tomb ; it is of full size and now belongs to the 
Metropolitan Museum of New York City 


8° Longitude 10° East from 12° Paris 14° 

10° Longitude 12'^ 

East from 14° Greenwich is*^ 

Map of Ancient Italy 

246 Outlines of European History 

Sardinians. We call them Etruscans. They were a people whose 
origin is still uncertain ; they probably had an earlier home in 
western Asia Minor/ and the Egyptian monuments tell us of 
their sea raids on the coast of the Delta as far back as the 
thirteenth century B.C., at a time when they were perhaps leav- 
ing Asia Minor in search of a new home in Italy. Here the 
Etruscans fast developed into the most civilized and powerful 
people north of the Greek colonies of Sicily and southern Italy 
(p. 147). Greek religion and arts found easy entrance among 
them ; they mined copper and became masters in metal work 
(Fig. 107). Their utensils of bronze found a ready market even 
in Greece (p. 1 49). They learned to write with Greek letters, and 
they have left behind thousands of inscriptions, which unfortu- 
nately we cannot yet read. The west coast of Italy from the 
Bay of Naples almost to Genoa, including the inland country 
as far as the Apennines, was finally held by the Etruscans. They 
seemed destined to become the final lords of Italy, and they con- 
tinued as an important people of the West far down into Roman 

But the Etruscans were not the only immigrants who sought 
an early home in Italy. The tribes forming the western end of 
the Indo-European migration (pp. 86-91) early felt the attrac- 
tiveness of this warm, sunny, and fertile peninsula.^ Probably 
not long after the Greeks pushed into the Greek peninsula 
(p. 124), the western tribes of Indo-European blood had threaded 
the Alpine passes from the north and entered the beautiful Medi- 
terranean world into which the Italian peninsula extends. They 
took possession of the main portion of the peninsula, where we 
call them " Italic " peoples. In Italy their dialects so differed 
among themselves that hardly a tribe of the Italic peoples was 
able to understand its kindred of the next group of tribes. 

'^ They do not belong to the Indo-European line (Fig. 49). 
2 Whether the lake-dwellers represent a western migration of the Indo- 
European peoples or not we do not know. 

The Western World and Rome 


Section 41. Earliest Rome 

On the south or east banks of the Tiber, which flows into the 
sea in the middle of the west coast of Italy (see map, p. 245), there 
was a group of Italic tribes known as the Latins. They occupied a 
plain (Fig. 108), less than thirty by forty miles,^ that is smaller 

The tribes 
of " Latium ' 



fis,, .:.?^l 1 




Fig. 108. The Plain of Latium 

We look eastward from Rome to the Sabine Mountains. The arches 
on the left are part of an immense aqueduct built by the Roman 
Emperor Claudius in the first century a.d. The whole waterway was 
over forty miles long. Much of it was subterranean, but for the last ten 
miles it was carried on these tall masonry arches, which conducted the 
water to the palace of the emperors in Rome 

than many an American county. They called it " Latium," 
whence their own name, " Latins." Like all their Italic neighbors 
they lived scattered in small communities cultivating grain and 
maintaining flocks on the upland. Their land was not very fertile, 
and the battle for existence developed hardy and tenacious chil- 
dren of the soil. They had litde to do with their neighbors. 

1 Latium probably contained something over seven hundred square miles. 


Oittlines of European History 

Once a year, however, they went up to the Alban Mount (Fig. 
109), where all the Latin tribes united in a feast of their chief 
god, Jupiter, whose rude mud-brick sanctuary was on the Mount. 


Fig. 109. Ruins of the Roman Forum 

The scene is taken from the Capitol Hill (see plan, p. 250) looking south- 
eastward along the Forum to the distant Alban Mount on the horizon 
(p. 248). The steep elevation at the right is the Palatine Hill, where the 
palace of the Roman emperors stood. The long lines of bases of col- 
umns on the right belonged to a basilica built by Julius Caesar (Fig. 113); 
on the left of these was the open market place of the Forum (p. 249) ; 
the columns in the foreground belong to the Temple of Saturn (Fig. 1 13), 
which was used as a treasury by the Roman government 

Sometimes, too, they were forced to unite with the other commu- 
nities to defend themselves against their neighbors, especially the 
Samnites, a powerful group of mountain tribes in the south. 

It was at such times that the peasant was obliged to make 
the day's journey up to the town to purchase weapons for his 
son, when he reached fighting age. These — the spear, the short 

The Western World and Rome 249 

sword, and the shield — he has adopted from the Samnites. His 
fathers could find them in the market made only of bronze, but 
now they were to be had of iron, and a bronze sword was a rarity. 
The market was at a ford in the Tiber just above the coast 
marshes, which extend some ten or twelve miles inland from 
its mouth. At this ford the Etruscan merchants from the north 
side crossed over with their wares to find a market among the 
Latin peasants. The traffic resulted in a settlement on a hill 
known as the Palatine^ (Fig. 109). The settlement had long Etruscan 
been there and a line of Etruscan nobles had once succeeded in Rome° 
gaining control of the place as its kings. Several other hills close 
by, seven of them in all, bore straggling settlements which grad- 
ually merged into a considerable city, indeed the largest of 
middle Italy. It was called Rome. The peasant could recall 
the tradition which told how the townsmen, as they increased 
in wealth and power, rose against their Etruscan lords and 
expelled them. 

As he reaches the market place, the " forum " (Fig. 109, and Greek ships 
plan, p. 250), which lies beside the Palatine and another hill known influences 
as the Capitol, he looks down the valley toward the river. There 
lies a group of ships from the great Mediterranean world out- 
side, of which the peasant knows so litde. Some of them are 
from the Greek cities of the south (cut, p. 166) and some from 
the Etruscan ports along the northern coast. There are no 
Roman ships among them. The peasant goes down to the dock. 
Here he finds a Roman mechanic building a ship constructed 
exactly like the Greek and Etruscan ships beside it. 

The Greek merchants bring written invoices and bills. The Greek in- . 
Romans, entirely unable to read them at first, are slowly the alphabet 

1 The traditional date for the foundation of Rome — namely, the middle of the 
eighth century B.C. (often 753 B.C.) — has come to us from the ancient Roman 
historians and is worthless. There was a settlement of men at this important place 
on the Tiber as early as the Late Stone Age. In later times the Roman folk told 
fabulous tales about the foundation of the city by two brothers, Romulus and Remus, 
and these tales were long accepted as narratives of fact, though it is evident that 
they are purely fanciful. The headpiece of this chapter (p. 241) shows the two 
brothers as infants suckled by a wolf, according to the tradition. 


Outlines of European History 

learning to spell them out, and thus finally to recognize a Greek 
word here and there. Ere long they were scribbling memoranda 
of their own transactions in these Greek letters, which in this 
way became likewise the Roman alphabet, slightly changed of 
course to suit the Latin language used in Rome. It is this 
alphabet which descended from the Orient through Rome to tis. 

Map of Rome under the Emperors 

The Greek merchant on the dock has a sack full of copper 
coins and a smaller purse filled with silver ones. These too the 
Roman tradesman learns to use, against the day when his own 
city shall begin to coin them. He is obliged to accept also the 
measures of bulk and of length with which the Greek measures 
out to him the things he buys. The peasant hears the merchants 

The Western World and Rome 251 

on the dock speaking Greek. He too learns the Greek words 
for the clothing offered for sale, for household utensils and pot- 
tery and other things connected with traffic. These words be- 
come part of the daily fund of Roman speech. 

The Latin peasant looks on with wonderment at all this world Greek 
of civilized life of which he knows so little — a world in which J-eiigton^^ 
these clever Greeks seem so much at home. Indeed, they bring 
in things which cannot be weighed and measured like produce, 
from a realm of which the Roman is but beginning to catch 
fleeting glimpses. For the -peasant hears of strange gods of the 
Greeks, and he is told that they are the counterparts or the 
originals of his own gods. For him there is a god over each 
realm in nature and each field of human life : Jupiter is the 
great sky-god and king of all the gods ; Mars, the patron of all 
w^arriors ; Venus, the queen of love ; Vesta presides over the 
household life, with its hearth fire surviving from the nomad 
days of the fathers on the Asiatic steppe a thousand years be- 
fore (p. 91); Ceres is the goddess who maintains the fruit- 
fulness of the earth, and especially the grain fields (compare 
English " cereal ") ; and Mercury is the messenger of the 
gods who protects intercourse and ;;/^/'r//andising, as his name 
shows. The streets are full of stories which the townsmen 
have learned from the Greeks, regarding the heroic adventures 
of these divinities when they were on earth. The peasant 
learns that Venus is the Greek Aphrodite, Mercury is the 
Greek Hermes, while Ceres is the Greek Demeter, and so on. 

The oracles delivered by the Greek Sibyl, the prophetess of Oracles 
Apollo of Delphi (Fig. 82), are deeply reverenced in Italy ; 
gathered in the Sibylline Books, they are regarded by the Roman 
townsmen as mysterious revelations of the future. There are 
also other means of piercing the veil of the future, for the towns- 
men tell the peasant how the Etruscans are able to discover in 
the liver or the entrails of a sheep killed for sacrifice hints and 
signs of the outcome of the next war ; but the peasant does 
not know as we do that this art was received by the Etruscans 


Outlines of European History 

from the Babylonians by way of Asia Minor, whence the Etrus- 
cans have brought it to the Romans. 

An art like this appealed to the rather coldly calculating mind 
of the Roman. To such a mind, lacking a warm and vivid 
imagination, the Greek myths opened a new world. To such a 
mind the gods required only the fulfillment of all formal cere- 
monies, and if these were carried .out with legal exactness, all 
would be well. As the Roman looked toward his gods he felt 
no doubts or problems, like those which troubled the spirit of 
Euripides (p. 190). The Roman saw only a list of mechanical 
duties easily fulfilled. Hence he was fitted for great achieve- 
ment in political and legal organization, but not for new and 
original developments in religion, art, literature, or even science. 

When the city on the Tiber had rid itself of its Etruscan 
kings (p. 249) it was ruled by a body of nobles called " patri- 
cians." It began a political development much like that which 
we have met in the Greek cities. By the middle of the fifth 
century B.C. the people had secured protection from the whim 
of the judge by a written code of laws, engraved on twelve 
tables of bronze. Public affairs were largely controlled by a 
council of old men known as the Senate (a word connected 
with se?iex, meaning " an old man " ). At the head of the 
government were two elective magistrates of the same powers, 
called " consuls." The peasantry, or " multitude " {plebs, com- 
pare " plebeian "), of the district immediately surrounding the 
city made up an assembly of the people, which struggled for 
greater power in government. 

It was a struggle for the rights of the lower classes like that 
which we have seen in Egypt (p. 42), in Palestine (p. 105), and 
in Greece (p. 132). In Greece and Rome, however, as con- 
trasted with the Orient, there was the important difference that 
the struggle resulted not in monarchy, but in a republican form 
of government, giving the people a share in its control. In 
Rome the peasant's demand for a vote and voice in govern- 
ment was heeded. He finally gained the right to election as 

The Western World and Rome 253 

consul {^^(id B.C.) and to representation in the Senate. But 
here the fine political insight of the Roman demonstrates his 
superiority to the Greek in such matters. 

The patricians, or aristocrats, continued to hold the leader- The leader- 
ship, and they contrived so to control the power of the popular th?Senate°^ 
assembly as not to expose public affairs to the passing humors 
of a changeable city multitude like that of Athens. This stable 
leadership of a group of seasoned councilors in the Roman 
Senate was the chief reason for the success of Roman govern- 
ment, and saved the Romans from the fate of Athens after the 
death of Pericles (p. 197). Rome was thus an ''aristocratic 
republic" — more so than Athens. 

At the same time the people were not without protection Tribunes 
from injustice at the hands of the aristocrats. They gained the 
right to elect tribunes as their magistrates, who enjoyed great 
power to shield any citizen from oppression by the State. One 
of the tribunes named Licinius secured the passage of a law Lidnian laws 
intended to relieve the peasantry from financial oppression by 
large landholders, and limiting the amount of land which could 
be held by a rich man.-^ In times of great danger to the State, 
it was possible to appoint a " Dictator" with absolute power to " Dictator" 
rule as the crisis might require. The presence of the Greek 
cities in the south had exerted a great influence in leading the 
Romans to a city form of state, but the native genius of the 
Roman for government saved him from the political mistakes 
of the Greeks. Similarly the exaction of military service from 
every landholding peasant and the census^ arrangements sug- 
gest Greek customs. These developments in government were 
a slow process occupying centuries. Meantime the Roman 
republic was continually expanding and to this steady growth 
we must now turn our attention. 

iSuch abuses had become a great evil, as in Greece (p. 153). The date of 
the Licinian law is uncertain, though commonly placed in 367 B.C. See, how- 
ever, p. 263, for the later conditions calling for such laws. 

2 These were controlled by " censors," a word which has descended to u§ 
from the Romans like so many other of our ternis of goverriment, 


Outlines of European History 

Section 42. The Expansion of the Roman Republic 

The motive power which brought about the expansion of 
Rome beyond the limits of the city was largely the necessity of 
defense against the intrusion of neighboring tribes living out- 
side Latium, especially the Samnites and their kinsmen, who 
endeavored to seize the territory of the Latin tribes. The 
Latins found the leadership and the protection of the city in- 
valuable under such circumstances, and a permanent league 
naturally developed uniting the tribes of Latium under the 
leadership of the city of Rome. The obligation to bear arms, 
if they owned land, gave to the peasants of Latium the right to 
demand citizenship, and the men of all the straggling Latin com- 
munities, over thirty in number, were at length received as Roman 
citizens. It was herein that the Roman Senate displayed a 
sagacity which cannot be too much admired. While the Greek 
city always jealously guarded its citizenship and would not grant 
it to any one born outside its borders, the Roman Senate con- 
ferred citizenship as a means of expansion and increased power. 

As their intruding neighbors, like the Samnites or the 
Volscians, were thrust back and new territory was thus gained, 
the Romans planted colonies of citizens in the new lands con- 
quered, or ultim_ately granted citizenship to the absorbed popu- 
lation. Roman peasants, obligated to bear Roman arms and 
having a voice in government, thus pushed out into the ex- 
panding borders of Roman territory. This policy of agricidtiiral 
expansion steadily and consistently followed by the Senate 
finally made Rome mistress of Italy. It w^as a policy which 
knit together into an invincible structure of government the city 
and the outlying communities of its weapon-bearing peasants. 
It gave to Rome an ever increasing body of citizen-soldiers, 
greater at last than any other state could muster, in the whole 
ancient world. Curiously enough this nation which was about 
to include the territory of all Italy remained a city-state, add- 
ing distant regions of Italy as if they were new wards of the 

The Western World and Rome 255 

city. But the citizens of tliese distant wards lost their votes 
rather than take the trouble to go up to the city to vote. 

While this steady expansion of Rome was going on, a tre- Gallic and 
mendous migration of Gauls inundated southern Europe. The ^^j-s; Rome 
Gauls were a vast group of Indo-European tribes extending ^^^^l^' 
across what is now France, from the English Channel to the Po in Italy 
valley in Italy. Their eastern tribes entered the Balkan Pen- 
insula and even pushed into Asia Minor.^ At one time they 
seemed about to overwhelm the nations on the north of the 
Mediterranean, as the Germans later did (p. 305). These in- 
vasions by the Gauls swept over the city of Rome after 400 B.C. 
and almost submerged it. Nevertheless the hardy city survived. 

The rivalry with the Samnites continued. These enemies in 
the south might win more than one battle, but they could not 
break down the stability of the State which the sagacious Roman 
Senate had welded together. Rival peoples, like the Samnites, 
lacked such a system, and furthermore they lacked such a city as 
Rome to serve as a nucleus and center of union. By 300 B.C. the 
lands absorbed by the Romans had quite enveloped the Samnites 
on east and west, and in the north likewise had carried the Roman 
boundaries far into Etruscan territory and well up the Tiber. 
Plence not even the combined assaults of -Etruscan . Samnite, and 
Gaul could exhaust the resources of the Roman State. When 
the Roman legions met the Gauls at Sentinum and overwhelm- 
ingly defeated them (295 B.C.), they won the supremacy of Italy 
for the city on the Tiber. Henceforth, unchallenged, Roman 
dominion in Italy was a matter of a short time. While the 
eastern empire of Alexander the Great was being cut up and 
parceled out by his Macedonian generals (p. 229), Italy was 
undergoing a process of stable consolidation which brought even 
the Greek cities in the south of the peninsula (see cut, p. 166) 
under Roman rule (272 B.C.). 

1 The figure of the dying Gaul (see end of Chapter VIII, p. 214), once set up 
in Pergamum in 5\.sia Minor (Fig. 101), represents one of the Gauls who invaded 
Asia Minor. 


Outlines of European Histojy 

Meantime the city itself liad greatly grown. The seven hills 
had long before been covered with buildings, and the capture 
of the town by the Gauls had taught the Romans to surround 
the place with a wall. While the wall was of massive stone, 
the buildings within were chiefly of wood and sun-baked brick. 
They were simple and unpretentious, and there was hardly a 
building of monumental architecture in the city. A fine paved 
road, leading southward to the city of Capua in the region of 
Naples (see map, p. 245), was the first of the famous Roman 
military roads, and it was called the Via Appia, after the consul 
Appius Claudius. 

Traffic with the Greek ships at the docks at length forced 
the Romans to begin the issue of copper coins, — " aes " they 
called them, — and in their bills the values of goods were given in 
copper coins ; hence our w^ord " estimate " (Roman " aesiv 
mare "). But transactions soon grew too large for such small 
copper change, and the government was obliged to begin the 
coinage of silver, with Attic weights as a basis of the different- 
sized coins. Money began to be a power in the city. 

Heretofore the interests of tlie farmer had been supreme, 
and his settlement on conquered land had dictated the govern- 
ment's policy of expansion. The farmer looked no further than 
the shores of Italy. But the transactions of the Roman mer- 
chant reached out beyond those shores, especially to Sicily and 
the south. Here he was hampered by competition from Car- 
thage. While his foreign interests were still small he had been 
willing that the Senate should make a commercial treaty with 
Carthage, agreeing that Rome would not intrude in Sicily, pro- 
vided that Carthage on her part Vv'ould keep aloof from Italy. 
Now, however, the Roman merchant chafed under such restric- 
tions ; the more so because the. Greeks of Sicily and Italy 
(Fig. 74 and cut, p. 166) had as usual failed to unite,^ and had 

1 Such a union seemed at one time about to take place under King Pyrrhus 
of Epirus (on the Greek mainland), as a result of his invasion'of these regions 
(280 B.C.). Rome herself regarded him as dangerous to her power in Italy, 

The Western World and Rome 257 

thus left Sicily more than ever open to Carthaginian control. 
The resulting supremacy of the Carthaginian merchants in Sicily 
was a source of aggravation to the merchants of Rome. 

Carthage^ was governed by an aristocracy of wealthy mer- Carthage 
chants. The mercantile instinct, which still makes their race a 
line of merchant princes at the present day, was strong in the 
blood of the Semitic Carthaginians. In their veins flowed the 
blood of those hardy desert mariners of Arabia, the Semitic 
caravaneers (p. 59) who had made the market places of Baby- 
lon the center of ancient eastern trade two thousand years 
before Rome ever owned a ship (p. 67). The fleets of their 
Phoenician ancestors had coursed the Mediterranean in the days 
when the Stone Age barbarians of Italy were eagerly looking 
for the merchant of the East and his metal implements (p. 244). 
Now Rome had gained the supremacy in Italy only to find that 
the merchant princes of Carthage had made the western Medi- 
terranean a Carthaginian sea. They ruled the northern coast 
of Africa from the frontiers of the Greek city of Cyrene west- 
ward to the Atlantic. They controlled southern Spain, they had 
absorbed the islands of the west, large and small, including 
Sardinia and Corsica, and only the Greek cities of Sicily had 
prevented them from appropriating the whole of this island 
long ago. Thus they formed the extreme left or western wing 
of the great Semitic line (Fig. 49).^ We are now to witness the 
continuation of the old struggle of Semite and Indo-European, 
which has reached its final phase on the Semitic left wing, 
where the areas of Roman and Carthaginian trade have over- 
lapped and brought on the contest. 

fought him, and, although at first defeated, finally forced him to retire to Epirus 
again. This new failure of the southern Greeks to unite was of course another 
example of that local independence of which we have seen so much in Hellas. 

I The student should here reread pp. 59-60, 67, 137-139. 

'2 We have followed Europe and Asia in a long struggle for the possession 
of the eastern Mediterranean; we now behold Europe and Asia, as represented 
by Carthage, again facing each other, but this time across the western Mediter- 
ranean, for the control of which they are fighting. 


258 Outlines of European History 

Section 43. The Carthaginian Wars 

The Sicilian The Senate needed little persuasion from the wealthy mer- 
Carthage chants of Rome to intervene in Sicilian affairs, as the Greeks 
completely lost control in Sicily. The inevitable war^ saw the 
Roman legions steadily thrusting back the Carthaginian frontier 
in Sicily by 265 B.C. Carthage, as a wealthy commercial syndi- 
cate, having no agricultural population to furnish its soldiers, was 
forced to engage its troops for hire from abroad. Such troops 
were no match for the Roman legions, and the Carthaginians 
steadily lost ground. 
The Romans One great advantage, however, enabled them to defend 
fleet themselves in a last stronghold at the western end of Sicily. 

They were masters of the sea, while Rome had no war fleet. 
The Senate, like Themistocles in Athens (p. 170), at length per- 
ceived the difficulty. The forests of Italy furnished abundant 
raw material, and Roman builders were soon able to master 
the art of building warships. Gradually the new Roman fleet 
gained experience, and the outcome was the complete destruc- 
The Sicilian tion of Carthaginian sea power. After twenty-four years of 
the defeat fighting Carthage w^as forced to make peace, leaving Rome in 
?24^TcT^ undisturbed possession of all Sicily (241 B.C.). For the first 
time Rome held territory outside of Italy, an epoch-making 
step from which she was never able to draw back — a step 
which has been compared with the act of the United States in 
taking Porto Rico and the Philippines. 
Rome de- Peace between two such rivals could only be temporary, for 

fc3ts the 

Gauls, gains the constant expansion of Roman power was a daily menace to 

vaUey^and Carthage. She looked in vain for some adversary who might 

rules all Italy humble her proud rival on the Tiber. But she was forced to 

see the Roman arms again triumphant as they crushed the 

Gauls of northern Italy, who had taken possession of the valley 

of the Po. Thenceforth the entire Italian peninsula to the foot 

1 Commonly called the " First Punic War." " Punic " is a Latin form of the 
word " Phoenician," to which race the Carthaginians belonged. 

The Western World and Rome 259 

of the Alps was under Roman sovereignty. There were, to be 
sure, many cities bound to Rome only by treaty, whose citizens 
were not at first received into Roman citizenship. But in spite 
of the fact that there was no uniform language common to the 
Roman citizens and the allies who made up the population of 
the peninsula, a national feeling arose and Italy as a whole was 
slowly becoming a nation. 

In defiance of the treaty of peace with Carthage, Rome had Rome seizes 
no hesitation in seizing the island of Sardinia, a Carthaginian Carthaginian 
possession. A counter move by Carthage was necessary. While ^^^^"ce m 
the Roman war with the Gauls was going on, the Carthaginians 
therefore took advantage of the situation to seize additional 
territory in southern Spain. Here they acquired silver mines 
of immense value, and at the same time the native population 
of Spain furnished excellent troops for the Carthaginian army. 
Thus they were equipped with both money and men for another 
war. Nevertheless, the Carthaginian merchants, had not for- 
gotten their losses in the Sicilian war and had no desire to 
repeat the experience. 

The Roman Senate, however, could not allow all Spain to Rome 
be acquired by Carthage. They ordered a few legions to cross carthage in 
the Pyrenees and to seize northern Spain for Rome as far as Spam ; the 

^ ^ rise of 

the Ebro River. Here a young Carthaginian named Hannibal, Hannibal 
whose father had been the soul of the Carthaginian defense of 
Sicily, now organized a formidable army. He intentionally be- 
came involved in trouble with the Romans on the Spanish 
frontier and thus forced the peace party at home into war.^ 
He was but twenty-four years of age when he began his Span- 
ish operations, and at twenty-seven he was beginning a plan of 
campaign of such boldness and genius that he took the Romans 
completely by surprise. 

The Senate had determined to carry the war into Africa to The war with 
the very walls of Carthage, when in the autumn of 2 1 8 B.C. ^e invades 
Hannibal suddenly appeared with his army issuing from the ^^^'^ 

1 Commonly called the " Second Punic War." 

26o Outlines of European History 

passes on the Italian slopes of the Alps and taking possession 
of the valley of the Po. This unexpected march through south- 
ern France, over the Alps and into Italy, at once threw Rome 
on the defensive. The army, which they had hurriedly gotten 
together to meet Hannibal beyond the Alps, had been cleverly 
evaded by that general, and the Roman force went on into 
Spain. Then this young commander of twenty-eight, showing 
himself a master of military science (like Napoleon, who at 
about the same age w^on his first Italian victories in this very 
region), at once advanced with his Spanish veterans and many 
Gauls and defeated one Roman army after another. 
Hannibal's Pushing far southward into the old territory of the Greek 

ear y vie ones ^-^-gg q£ i^^Xy, Hannibal succeeded in detaching many of the 
southern cities from their alliance with Rome, and finally all 
Sicily went over to his cause. But the nucleus of the states in 
central Italy, which Rome had gathered about her and linked 
to herself by bonds of citizenship, could not be detached. They 
Stability stood fast. Meantime Carthage was unable to send reenforce- 

ments to its army in Italy, for the Romans commanded the sea 
with their fleet. After the first defeats the Senate was more care- 
ful in picking its commanders, and these new men were more 
successful. Among them it was now especially Fabius, who 
made himself famous by a policy of defensive waiting and 
avoiding battle with the clever Hannibal, foreseeing that the 
Carthaginian forces, if not reenforced from home, must slowly 
melt away. 
Hannibal Hannibal sent to Macedonia urging alliance and seeking aid, 

donian aid ; ^nd there was a futile effort to respond. Had the descendants 
of the Macedonian rulers who divided Alexander's empire in 
the East now discerned the character of this battle of giants 
which was going on in Italy, the}^ might have changed the history 
of the world. For this struggle of the Romans with Hannibal 
was the decisive turning point in the history of the ancient world. 
Roman victory in this contest meant the supremacy of Rome 
not only in the western Mediterranean but in the whole 

the East fails 
to intervene 

The Western World and Rome 26 1 

Mediterranean world. ^ Meantime the Roman forces besieged 
and slowly recovered the unfaithful cities one by one, until 
Sicily was in their hands again. 

Hannibal's brother endeavors to push in with reenforcements Western aid 
from Spain, where he has been obliged to leave the Romans in Hannibar*^ 
possession. But he is intercepted, defeated, and slain. Finally, 
when Hannibal has been thirteen years in Italy, the Senate 
organizes an expedition against Carthage itself. Not even the Roman vic- 
recall of Hannibal to Carthage can now halt the victorious HannS 
Romans, and in 202 B.C . the merchant princes of Carthage are (^°^ ^•^•) 
compelled to accept an ignominious peace. Their power is 
forever broken , and they are never again a source of anxiety to 
the Roman Senate. Rome thus becomes mistress of the western 
Mediterranean, and her power so far exceeds that of all other 
states that the rivalry between nations, which makes up so large a 
part of the career of the ancient world, is soon to cease, because 
there is no one who dares to challenge the power of Rome. 

For over fifty years more the merchants of Carthage were The de- 
permitted to traffic in the western Mediterranean, and then the o/carthage 
iron hand of Rome was laid upon the doomed city for the last (^46 b.c.) 
time. It was completely destroyed, and the only formidable rival 
of Rome in the West disappeared (146 b.c.).^ 

Section 44. World Dominion and Civil War 

The third century B.C., which gave to Rome the naval and introduction 
military supremacy in the Mediterranean, nevertheless saw Rome erature^and 
herself conquered by Greek civilization. Greek slaves and cap- fivihzation 

^ ■' ^ into Rome 

tives of war from the Greek cities in Italy and Sicily, now ruled 
by Rome, begin to be common in Roman households. Greek 

1 The Egyptian navy of the Ptolemies (p. 230), after a century of supremacy 
in the Mediterranean, was at this time on the decHne. The armies of the Hellen- 
istic kings also were declining. They were no match for those of Rome. 

2 As the result of a three years' war, commonly called the " Third Punic War." 
The Semitic left wing was thus annihilated by the western end of the Indo- 
European line (Fig. 49), and Europe again triumphed over Asia. 


Outlines of European History 

merchants multiply in the Roman Forum and along the river 
front. Amid the hum of voices on street or in market the sound 
of Greek becomes more and more familiar to Roman ears. 
Here and there a household possesses a Greek slave of educa- 
tion, and the parents are glad to have their children follow him 
about the house, picking up verses from Homer, or sit at his- 
elbow learning to read. 

Among the Greek slaves from southern Italy in Rome at 
this time is a youn^ man named Andronicus. Just after the 
Sicilian war with Carthage he is given his liberty by his lord, 
and seeing the interest of the Romans in Greek literature, he 
translates the Homeric Odyssey (p. 142) into Latin as a school 
book for Roman children. For their elders he likewise renders 
into Latin the classic tragedies which we have seen in Athens 
(p. 190), and also a number of Attic comedies (p. 204). These 
the Romans attend with great delight as they are presented on 
the stage at the various feasts. Thus the materials and the 
forms of Greek literature enter Roman life. 

To be sure, the Latins, like all peasant peoples, have had their 
folk songs and their simple forms of verse, but these natural prod- 
ucts of the soil of Latium now disappear as the men of Latin 
speech feel the influence of an already highly finished literature. 
Latin literature, therefore, did not develop along its own lines 
from native beginnings, as did Greek literature, but it grew up 
on the basis of a great inheritance from abroad. Indeed, we 
now see, as the poet Horace said, that Rome, the conqueror, was 
being conquered by the civilization of the Greeks, into whose 
world Roman power was now pushing out. For books, music, 
works of art, architecture, and all those things which belong to 
the more refined and the higher side of life, the Roman was at 
first dependent entirely upon the Greek. What the Romans were 
furnishing of their own was a more stable and powerful organi- 
zation than any devised by the Greeks. 

These triumphs of Greek civilization in Rome were being 
achieved at the very time when Roman political and military 

The Western World and Rome 263 

power was laying a heavy hand on the old Greek cities and the Rome ad- 
entire Hellenistic world of the eastern Mediterranean. Imme- Macedonia, 
diately after the close of the war with Hannibal the Senate Greece, and 
determined to punish Macedonia for its attempt to support 
Hannibal (p. 260). At last the long-irresistible phalanx of the 
Greeks was confronted by the Roman legion. Before the vic- 
torious legion Macedonia and Greece fell under Roman control, 
though the Roman Senate proclaimed the Greek cities free. 
The object of Rome was not the conquest of the East, but such 
a control of the eastern states as would prevent the rise of a 
great power dangerous to Rome. 

Such a control, however, unavoidably developed into more, and 
finally became Roman sovereignty. When the Seleucids (p. 230) 
interfered in Greek affairs a Roman army marched for the first 
time into Asia, and the Seleucid army received a crushing defeat. 
The last great power that confronted Rome was thus perma- 
nently crippled, and, although they did not yet take possession of 
it all, the Romans were masters of the civilized world (190 B.C.). 
A generation later the helpless Greeks were given a vivid exam- 
ple of what revolt would bring upon them, as they beheld the 
Roman destruction of Corinth in the same year (146 B.C.) which 
saw the annihilation of Carthage. 

The Rome which thus gained the dominion of the world had Rise of large 
hitherto been a republic of farmers, led by a body of aristocrats gj-eat pro- 
making up the majority of the Roman Senate. The long wars P^etors 
and the resulting vast conquests inevitably produced great changes 
as the wealth of the conquered states flowed into the Roman 
treasury, and Roman officials were enriched at the expense of 
the provinces. In these changes the farmer was the sufferer. 
He had kept his post in the legion for years, in Spain, in Africa, 
in Macedonia, or in Italy facing Hannibal. There had been 
no one to work his lands in his absence. When he returned 
he found that his neighbors all around him had disappeared, 
and their lands had been bought up by the wealthy men of 
Rome, who had combined them into huge estates. 


OiLtlines of Ej trope a7i History 

These lands were now being worked by slaves, the captives, 
of whom the Romans had taken great numbers in their wars. 
Such captives of war were usually sold into slavery. Pirates 
now in control of the eastern Mediterranean also brought in 
multitudes of captives, whom they sold as slaves to wealthy 
buyers. As a result great hosts of such slaves were working" 
the lands of Italy, and a single large landholder might possess 
thousands of them. The farmer is unable to compete with slave 
labor ; he falls into debt, loses his scanty lands, and goes up to 
the city. On the way thither he finds all Italy stripped of its 
hardy farmers by the wars, and their lands in the possession of 
Roman capitalists, who have equipped them with foreign slaves. 
He finds the city filled with a great multitude of former citizens, 
now penniless like himself, who have lost their citizenship with 
their property. All Italy is thus seething with discontent. 

What matters it to the landless peasant who has fought the 
battles of Rome and won her dominion over the whole civilized 
world — what matters it to him that the city is now being 
adorned with splendid public buildings, such as have never been 
seen in the West before, outside of the Greek cities ? He sees 
the gardens and villas of the rich filled with sculpture from the 
cities of Hellas and Asia ; he sees a network of new military 
roads spreading in all directions from the city ; he finds the 
houses of the Roman nobles in the city filled with foreign 
slaves ; he hears his old commanders speaking Greek and sees 
them reading Greek books ; he knows that they send their sons 
to Athens to receive a Greek education. 

He knows, moreover, that while these Roman lords are 
thus taking possession of the best things in Greek life, they are 
likewise appropriating the wealth of all this great world, where 
Greek culture is everywhere. This wealth and the leadership 
of the vast dominions that contribute it, have made the Roman 
Senate powerful beyond the uttermost dreams of the fathers 
of old, and in this new power and wealth the Roman multitude 
have no share. What is worse they have lost their own property 

The Western World and Rome 265 

at home. To be sure many of them have no higher desire than 
the opportunity of plundering the provinces themselves, but the 
landless condition of Rome's citizen-soldiers is destroying the 
very foundation of Roman power. 

Two men of the noble class, Tiberius Gracchus and his Reforms of 
brother Gaius, patriots with the welfare of the State in view, and civil war 
now (133-122 B.C.) endeavored to better the situation by laws 
which would redistribute the lands among the citizens and 
weaken the power of the selfish aristocrats in the Senate. Both 
men lost their lives in the struggle. The proud and powerful 
Senate was no longer willing to make concessions to the people 
as of old. A revolution began, with intermittent civil war which 
lasted for a century (ending 31 B.C.) (p. 273). As it went on, and 
the legions were turned against each other, some of the ^greatest, 
b attles in the history of the ancient world were fough t bet weeiL- 
Rmnan armie s. At the same time multitudes of slaves seizej L 
ar ms and t^rorized southern Italy and Sicily for ye ars. 

As we watch the further course of this century of civil war, Roman insti- 
we see that the statesman in the Senate more than once found to milftJiy 
himself confronted by the general from the field backed by po^er 
Roman legions. Such a commander with a loyal army behind 
him could force Rome to elect him dictator. He might not 
abolish the institutions and the outward forms of the republic, 
but he controlled the State like an absolute monarch. He 
crushed his enemies, he appropriated their property, and the 
streets of the city were stained with the blood of her own 
citizens. Mihtar y power was und ermining Roman institutions.^ 

Such were the methods of Marius and Sulla — Marius on be- Marius and 
half of the people and redistribution of lands ; Sulla in defense 
of the Senate and the wealthy of Rome (81-79 B.C.). Sulla and 
the Senate triumphed, though Rome was compelled to grant 
citizenship to the rebellious Italian cities. At Sulla's death the 
struggle broke out anew. More than one man plotted for the 
complete overthrow of the Republic, and the gifted orator and 
literary man Cicero, elected consul in 63 B.C., saved the State 


Outlines of European History 

Rise of 
Julius Caesar 

Caesar con- 
quers Gaul 
(58-50 B.C.) 

from seizure, and Rome, as he claimed, from fire and sword, at 
the hands of the notorious Catiline and his associates. But the 
aims of such lawless leaders as Catiline may perhaps have been 
more laudable service on behalf of the people than the famous 
speeches of Cicero would lead us to believe. 

Thus military leadership became the controlling power in the 
Roman world, and it was evident to the practical statesman 

that the old machinery of the 
•Republic could never again re- 
store order and stable govern- 
ment in Italy. The situation 
absolutely demanded an able 
and patriotic militaiy com- 
mander with an army behind 
him, who should make him- 
self undisputed and permanent 
master of Italy. Convinced of 
this, the young patricia n poli- 
ti cian Tulius Caesar (Tig. 110), 
steadily aiming to gather the 
reins of power in his own 
hands, adopted the cause of 
the people against the Senate. 
Rising through the consulship, 
he secured appointment as 
governor of Gaul, the ancient 
region corresponding to mod- 

FiG. "iio. Bust said to be a 
Portrait of Julius C^sar 

The ancient portraits commonly 

accepted as those of Julius Caesar 

are really of uncertain identity 

ern France (58 b.c). This gave him the desired military op- 
portunity. He organized a powerful army, and in the use of 
it he displayed a military skill which placed him among the 
world's greatest masters of the art of war. 

In eight years of march and battle he subdued the Gauls 
and conquered their territory from the ocean and the English 
Channel eastward to the Rhine. He even crossed the Channel 
and landed in Britain. He added a vast dominion to the 

The Western World and Rome 267 

territory of Rome, and we should not forget that his conquests 
brought Latin into France, as the ancestor from which French 
speech has descended. In the midst of these great operations 
Caesar nevertheless found time to write the story of his con- 
quest of Gaul. The tale is narrated with the most unpretentious 
simplicity, but it was intended to convey to the Roman people 
an indelible impression of the services which they owed to their 
governor in Gaul. It did not fail of its purpose. 

When Caesar's term as governor of Gaul expired and the Caesar leads 

, . .... his army into 

Senatorial party prevented his reelection as consul, the victori- italy (49B.C.) 

ous general was at no loss what to do. The veterans of his 

Gallic campaigns were devoted to him, and they followed him 

into Italy without hesitation. There was no army south of the 

Alps capable of meeting them in battle. Pompey, the other 

leading commander of the time, Dnce a political colleague of 

Caesar and enemy of the Senate, had now adopted the cause 

of the Senatorial party. Crossing to Greece with his army, in Caesar de- 

, . 1 . 1 11 . feats Pompey 

order to gain time and to give his troops the needed organiza- at Pharsalus 

tion, Pompey was at length confronted by Caesar at Pharsalus ^^S b.c.) 
in Thessaly. Roman again met Roman, but the seasoned 
veterans of the Gallic wars, led by the greatest commander 
of the age, inevitably drove their countrymen from the field. 
From this day (Aug. 9, 48 B.C.) the Roman Republic was 
doomed, and the rule of a military leader was inevitable. 

Pompey, fleeing to Egypt, was murdered there. The beautiful Caesar makes 
Cleopatra, the last of the Ptolemies (p. 230), found that her the Medi- 
charms ^nd the political advantages of her friendship met a t^^^^"^^" 
ready response on the part of the victorious Caesar as he dis- 
embarked and entered the oldest seat of civilization on the 
Mediterranean. In a single battle he gained Asia Minor and 
then turned his attention to the far west. The subjugation of 
the African province behind Carthage and serious opposition in 
Spain formed the only obstacles to Caesar's complete control 
of 'the empire of the world. These troubles were all disposed of 
by March, 45 B.C. 


Outlines of European History 

Caesar sole 
master of 

The assassi- 
nation of 

There was now no one in Rome to gainsay this mightiest of 
the Romans. He made no attempt to abolish the outward forms 
of the Republic. For this he was too wise. He caused himself 
to be appointed Dictator for life, consul for ten years, and gath- 
ered the powers of all other important offices into his hands. 
He filled the Senate with his own supporters and appointees 
till it was ready at any time to do his bidding. He began exten- 
sive reforms of the corrupt Roman administration. He put an 
end to centuries of vexation with the Graeco-Roman moon 
calendar (p. 193) by introducing the practical Egyptian calendar 
(p. 23), which we are all still using. -^ Divine honors were now paid 
to this tremendous Roman who had lifted himself to the throne 
of the world. He planned far-reaching conquests into new lands 
beyond the frontiers, like the subjugation of the Germans be- 
yond the Rhine. Had he carried out these plans, the language 
of the Germans to-day would be a descendant of Latin, like the 
speech of the French and the Spanish. 

But there were still men in Rome who were not ready to 
submit to the rule of one man. On the fifteenth of .March, 
44 B.C., only a year after Caesar had quelled the last disturbance 
in Spain, these men struck down the greatest of the Romans. 
If some of his murderers fancied themselves patriots overthrow- 
ing a tyrant, they little understood how vain were all such efforts 
to restore the ancient Republic. World dominion and its mili- 
tary power had forever demolished the Roman Republic, and 
t he murder- gf T^sar ggm'n plunged italv ar|d the Empire intn^ 
civil war. 


Section .40. Define the western Mediterranean world. Discuss 
the geography and climate of Italy. Did the peoples of the Late 
Stone Age in the West advance in civilization as fast as the ^gean 
people ? Do you think their distance from the Orient had anything 

1 Unfortunately the Romans altered the convenient Egyptian calendar with 
its twelve thirty-day months and five holidays at the end ; hence the varying 
length of our months. 

The Western World and Rome 269 

to do with this? What early movement can we discern in north 
Italy? What happened in the Po valley? What westerners appeared 
as mercenaries in thirteenth-century Egypt (Fig. ie6)? 

Give an account of the Etruscans. What civilization did they ab- 
sorb? Whence came the Indo-European tribes of Italy? Did they 
possess a common language like the Greeks or were their tribes 
unable to understand each other? 

Section 41. Give an account of the Latins and their plain of 
Latium. Describe the probable causes and course of the foundation 
of Rome. Who were its foreign kings ? What happened to them ? 
What foreign traffic went on at the Roman docks? What Greek 
matters passed into Roman life here? Discuss Roman religion. 
Mention the Greek influences noticeable in Roman religion. What 
Etruscan practice was found in Roman religion ? 

What was the prevailing character of Roman religion ? What kind 
of a state emerged when the Romans had expelled the kings ? How 
does it compare with the Greek states? How does it contrast with 
the oriental states ? What do we mean when we call Rome an aristo- 
cratic republic? Who were the consuls? the tribunes? What was 
the Senate ? the Assembly ? 

Section 42. Describe the Latin League and its origin. What 
was the Roman policy as to expansion ? Outline the course of Roman 
absorption of Italy. Describe the growth of the city. Discuss its 
commercial expansion. What troublesome competitor did the Roman 
merchant find in the south ? 

What position in this competition was occupied by the Greek 
cities of Sicily and southern Italy? Sketch the story of early Car- 
thage. What racial situation did Rome and Carthage illustrate ? 

Section 43. Sketch the Sicilian war with Carthage. What was 
the result? Sketch the war with Hannibal. Who should have en- 
deavored to interfere at this point? What was the result of this 
war? Where did these campaigns place Rome? What finally 
happened to Carthage? 

Section 44. Describe the introduction of Greek literature into 
Rome. What schoolbook did the Roman boy now gain? What lit- 
erature did his parents receive? What civilization underlay Roman 
progress ? Give some examples. Describe the advance of Rome into 
Macedonia and Asia. Describe the decline of the independent farm- 
ers of Italy. What part had slavery in the situation ? How did men 
of wealth influence the situation ? 


Oiitlmes of Europe a7i History 

What happened to the peasant farmer? Who now ruled? Tell 
the story of the Gracchi. Describe the resulting civil war and the 
methods of Marius and Sulla. Could the Republic survive after the 
introduction of such methods? Narrate the early career of JuHus 
Caesar. Who was his most dangerous opponent? What was the 
result of their rivalry? What was Caesar's aim? What were the 
consequences of his murder? 



Section 45. The Reign of Augustus 

The death of Alexander the Great interrupted in mid-career Far-reaching 
the conquest of a world empire stretching from the frontiers of of^cSar'"^^^ 
India to the Atlantic Ocean. The bloody deed of the Ides of ^f^^\^ j, J^^J^^ 
March, 44 b.c, stopped a similar conquest by Julius Caesar — Octavian 
a conquest which would have subjected Orient and Occident to 
the rule of a single sovereign. A like opportunity never rose 
again, and Caesar's successor had no such aims. Over in lUyria 
the terrible news from Rome found the murdered statesman's 
grand-nephew Octavian (Fig. iii), a youth of eighteen, quietly 
pursuing his studies. His mother's letter brought by a secret 
messenger bade him flee far away eastward without delay, in 
order to escape all danger at the hands of his uncle's murderers. 
The youth's reply was to proceed without a moment's hesitation 
to Rome. This statesmanlike decision of character reveals the 
quality of the young man both as he then showed it and for 
years to follow. 

On his arrival in Rome Octavian learned that he had been Early career 
legally adopted by Caesar and also made his sole heir. His bold 
claim to his legal rights was met with refusal by Mark Antony, 
who had taken possession of Caesar's fortune and gained elec- 
tion to the consulship. By such men Octavian was treated with 
patronizing indulgence at first — a fact to which he owed his 
life. He was too young to be regarded as dangerous. But his 
young shoulders carried a very old head. He slowly gathered 
the threads of the tangled situation in his clever fingers, not 
forgetting the lessons of his adoptive father's career. The most 



Outlines of Europe a7t History 



and the West 

Antony and 
gains the 
East (31 B.C.) 

obvious lesson was the necessity of military power. He therefore 
rallied a force of Caesar's veterans, and two legions of Antony's 
troops also came over to him. Then playing the game of politics, 
with military power at his back and with none too scrupulous a 
conscience^ he showed himself a statesman no longer to be ignored. 
Thus the death of Caesar reopened the long and weary civil 
war. Year after year Octavian met the difficulties of his situa- 
tion with an ever surer hand as his experience increased. One 

after another his rivals and op- 
ponents w^ere overcome, and 
the murderers of his adoptive 
father were punished. Within 
ten years after Caesar's assas- 
sination this youth of twenty- 
eight had gained complete con- 
trol of Italy and the West. 

Meantime he had early been 
obliged to enter a political alli- 
ance with his most serious 
rival, Antony, who was now 
living in Alexandria, where he 
ruled the East as far as the 
Euphrates like an oriental sov- 
ereign. With Cleopatra as his 
queen, Antony maintained a 
court of sumptuous splendor 
like that of the Persian kings 
in the days of their Empire. 
The tales of all this made their way to Rome and did not help 
Antony's cause in the eyes of the Roman Senate. Octavian easily 
induced the Senate for this and other reasons to declare war on 
Cleopatra, and thus he was able to advance against Antony. As 
the legions of Caesar and Pompey, representing the East and the 
West, had once before faced each other on a battle field in Greece 
(p. 267), so now Octavian and Antony, the leaders of the East 

Fig. III. Portrait of Augus- 
tus, NOW IN THE Boston Mu- 
seum OF Fine Arts 

Fig. 112. Conflict between Gods and Giants 

A monument of Hellenistic art — part of the great frieze around the colossal 

altar of Zeus at Pergamum (Fig. loi). A giant at the left, whose limbs end 

in serpents, raises over his head a great stone to hurl it at the goddess on the 

right. Note the vigorous action evident in the agitation of her drapery 

Fig. 113. The Roman Forum and its Public Buildings in 
THE Early Empire. (After Luckenbach) 

We look across the ancient market place [F, p. 249) to the Tiber with its 
ships at the head of navigation. On each side of the market place, where 
we see the buildings {E, /, and Z>, G, I), were once rows of little wooden 
booths for selling meat, fish, and other merchandise. Especially after the 
beginning of the Carthaginian wars, these were displaced by fine buildings, 
like the basilica hall D, built not long after 200 B.C. Note the square 
ground plans (/, M) and the arches showing Etruscan influence, the Attic 
roofs and colonnades and the clerestory windows {D, E) copied from the 
Hellenistic cities. For fuller description see Breasted's " Ancient Times," 
p. 608, footnote ; also Fig. 247 and p. 609, footnote 

The Roman Empire to the Triumph of Christianity 273 

and the West, met at Actium on the west coast of Greece. The 
battle was fought both by land and by sea, and the outcome was 
a sweeping victory for the heir of Caesar. Antony and Cleopatra 
took their own lives . 

To the West, which he already controlled, Octavian now added close of a 
also the East. Thus at last the unity of the Roman dominions dJif wAnd 
was restored and an entire century of civil war, which had begun [("g'^jjjg^j^j. 
in the days of the Gracchi, was ended (3 1 B.C.). The next year terranean 

■' ... world under 

Octavian landed in Egypt without resistance and took possession octavian 
of the ancient land, as the successor of Cleopatra, the last of the 
Ptolemies. The lands under his control girdled the Mediter- 
ranean , and the entire Mediterranean world was under the power 
of a single ruler . 

When Octavian returned to Italy he was received with the Octavian's 
greatest enthusiasm. A deep feeling of thanksgiving arose poUcy 
among all classes at the termination of a century of civil war 
and devastation. With few exceptions, all now felt also that the 
supremacy of an individual ruler was necessary for the control 
of the vast Roman dominions. It would have been easy for 
Octavian to make himself absolute monarch as his adoptive 
father was doing when the dagger cut short his plans. But 
Octavian was a man of qualities totally different from those of 
Caesar. On the one hand, he was not trained as a soldier and 
had no desire for a career of military conquest ; on the other 
hand, he felt a sincere respect for the institutions of the Roman 
Republic and did not wish to destroy them nor to gain for him- 
self the throne, of an oriental sovereign. During his struggle 
for the mastery heretofore he had preserved the forms of the 
Republic and had been duly elected to his position of power. 

On returning to Rome, therefore, Octavian did not disturb the Organization 
Senate, but did much to strengthen it and improve its member- g^ate by 
ship. Indeed, he voluntarily handed over his powers to the Senate Octavian 
in January, 27 B.C. The Senate thereupon, realizing by past 
experience that it did not possess the ability nor the organiza- 
tion for ruling the great Roman world successfully, gave him 


Outlines of European History 

officially the command of the army and the control of the leading 
frontier provinces. At the same time they conferred upon him 
the title of "Augustus ^' that is, " the august." He had many 
other important powers, and the chief name of his office was 
" Princeps," that is, " the First," meaning the first of the citizens. 
Another title given the head of the Roman Empire was an old 
word for director or commander, namely " Imperator," from 
which our word " Emperor" is derived.-^ Augustus,. as we may 
now call him, regarded his position as that of an official of the 
Roman Republic, to which he was appointed by the Senate 
representing the government of the Republic.- Indeed, his ap- 
pointment was not permanent, but for a term of years, aftei 
which he was reappointed. 

The Roman Empire which here emerges was thus under a 
dual government of the Senate and of the Princeps, whom we 
commonly call the Emperor. While Augustus devised no legally 
established method for electing his successors and continuing 
the office, there was little danger that the position of Emperor 
would lapse. This dual state in which Augustus endeavored to 
preserve the old Republic was not well balanced. The Princeps 
held too much power to remain a mere appointive official. His 
powers were more than once increased by the Senate during 
the life of Augustus ; not on his demand, for he always showed 
the Senate the most ceremonious respect, but because the 
Senate could not dispense with his assistance. 

Furthermore, the old powers of the Senate could not be main- 
tained reign after reign, when the Senate controlled no army. 
This was an obvious fact already discerned by Caesar, who made 
no pretext of preserving the mere appearance of senatorial 
power. The legions were behind the Princeps, and the so-called 
republican State created by Augustus tended to become a mili- 
tary monarchy, as we shall see. All the influences from the 

1 The German and Russian words for Emperor, " Kaiser " and " Czar," are 
derived from " Caesar." 

2 The citizens, or the Assembly, seem to have had no voice in the creation of 
the office of princeps and its powers, though some scholars think otherwise. 

The Roman Empire to the Triumph of Christianity 275 

Orient were in the same direction. Egypt was in no way con- influences of 
trolled by the Senate, but remained a private domain of the thf^Eai" 
Emperor. In this the oldest State on the Mediterranean the ^^^^^j^ 
Emperor was king, in the oriental sense. He collected its huge 
revenues and ruled there as the Pharaohs had done. His posi- 
tion as absolute monarch in Egypt influenced his position as 
Emperor and his methods of government everywhere. Indeed, 
the East as a whole could only understand the position of 

Fig. 114. Restoration of the Roman Fortified Wall on 
THE German Frontier 

This masonry wall, some three hundred miles long, protected the north- 
ern boundary of the Roman Empire between the upper Rhine and the 
upper Danube, where it was most exposed to German attack. At short 
intervals there were blockhouses along the wall, and at points of great 
danger strongholds and barracks (Fig. 125) for the shelter of garrisons 

of Augustus 

Augustus as that of a king, and this title they at once applied 
to him. This also had its influence in the West. 

The Empire which Rome now ruled consisted of the entire Peace policy 
Mediterranean world, or a fringe of states extending entirely 
around the Mediterranean and including all its shores.^ There 
was a natural boundary in the south, the Sahara, and also in the 
west, the Atlantic ; but on the north and east further conquests 

1 On the extent of the Mediterranean, see p. 


Outlines of Eiuvpcan History 

The army 

Great diver- 
sity of races 
included in 
the Empire 

might be made. Augustus adopted the policy of organizing 
and consolidating the Empire as he found it, . without mak- 
ing further conquests. In the east_his boundary thus^ ecam,e 
ihf- "pnpl^T-atpc; and in the Jiorttij he Danube __and the Rhin e. 
The angle made by the Rhine and the Danube was not a favor- 
able one for defense of the border (Fig. 1 1 4), and an effort was 
later made to push forward to the Elbe (see map of Roman 
Empire) ; but the Roman army was disastrously defeated by 
the barbarous German tribes and the attempt was abandoned. 
Thus the bulk of what we now call Germ aiBL_never wa s^coiLi^ 
quered by4h€-^E;0manSj_ and the speech of the German tribes was 
not Latinized like that of France and wSpain.-^ 

For the maintenance of these vast frontiers Augustus organ- 
ized an efficient standing army. Such was the extent of the ex- 
posed borders that the powers of the great Empire were later 
severely taxed to furnish enough troops for the purpose. Since 
the time of Marius the Italian farmers who made up the Roman 
army had been slowly giving way to professional soldiers having 
no home but the camp of the legion. Now the army was re- 
cruited from the provinces, and the soldier who entered the 
legion_r eceived citizenship in return for his service . Thus the 
fiction that the army was made up of citizens was maintained. 

The population of this vast Empire, which girdled the Medi- 
terranean, including France and England, was made up of the 
most diverse peoples and races. Egyptians, Arabs, Jews, Greeks, 
Italians, Gauls, Britons, Iberians (Spaniards) — all alike were 
under the sovereign rule of Rome. One great State embraced 
the nomad shepherds who spread their tents on the borders of 
the Sahara, the mountaineers in the fastnesses of Wales, and the 
citizens of Athens, Alexandria, and Rome, heirs to all the luxury 
and learning of the ages. Whether one lived in York or Jem- 
salem, Memphis or Vienna, he paid his taxes into the same 

1 The vast hordes of Germans in the unconquered north remained a constant 
menace to the Roman Empire. They finally overwhelmed a large part of it 
and caused the downfall of the Roman Empire in the West (see below. 
Chapter XII). 







fj NORIcujx 

-, — rL.,^ 

i^ena^'^K ■<^ 



AJ / "OME/Fide 






>:i> hJ> 


(Under Trajan, A. D. 98-117) 

9. IPO 200 300 490 SqO 600 'i'S D 

Scale of iMIlcs. 



♦. \V> 




O^ THR. 








^ ■ ••* 

I A C ^ 



■* \ . 


♦ .-V 


§-«*^'^g^ ?7. 

\ ^ 










, -Petta 

TJie Roman Empire to the Triumph of Christianity 277 

treasury, he was tried by the same law, and looked to the 
same armies for protection. 

At the accession of Augustus the Roman Empire from Rome The suffer- 
outward to the very frontiers of the provinces was sadly in p"ovinces^ 
need of restoration and opportunity to recuperate. The eastern ^g^^^^^^^f 
domains, especially Greece, where the most important fighting civil war 
of the long civil war had occurred, had suffered severely. All 
the provinces had been oppressed and excessively overtaxed or 
even tacitly plundered under the Republic (p. 239). Barbarian 
invaders had seized the undefended cities of the provinces and 
even established robber-states for plundering purposes. Greece 
herself never recovered from the wounds then suffered, and in 
general the eastern Mediterranean had been greatly demoralized. 
It was not until Caesar's time that Pompey cleared it of the 
pirates, who had almost taken possession of it. The cost of the 
century of civil war had been borne by the provinces. The civi- 
lized world was longing for peace^ Augustus now succeeded 
brilliantly in restoring order and in establishing those stable 
conditions out of which prosperity grows. 

In Italy the policy of Augustus was in all directions governed The at- 
by that respect for the traditions of older Rome which he had toration by 
displayed in organizing the new State. Everywhere he endeav- A"g"stus 
ored to restore the old days, the good old Roman customs, the 
beliefs of the fathers. The state temples, which had frequently 
fallen into decay, were repaired ; new ones were built, especially 
in Rome ; and the services and usages of Roman state religion 
were revived. The people were urged to awaken their declining 
interest in the religion of their fathers, and the old religious feasts 
were celebrated with increased splendor and impressiveness.^ 
The purpose of Augustus in reviving old Rome as far as possible 
was evidently to nationalize Italy, and to establish there a Roman 
nation forming a stable nucleus within the Roman Empire. 

1 Had it been possible for Augustus to know the history of the Orient for six 
centuries before his own time, he would have discerned how vain is any attempt 
of authority to turn back the hand of time and restore old conditions (see p, 84). 


Ou times of Ejiropean History 


/ \ 

Fig. 115. ScRiBBLiNGS OF Sicilian 

Schoolboys on a Brick in the 

Days of the Roman Empire 

In passing a brickyard these school- 
boys of seventeen hundred -years ago 
amused themselves in scribbling school 
exercises in Greek on the soft clay bricks 
before they were baked. At the top a lit- 
tle boy who was still making capitals care- 
fully wrote the capital letter S (Greek S) 
ten times, and under it the similar letter 
K, also ten times. These he followed by 
•the words " turtle " (XEAfiNA), " mill " 
.(MTAA), and "pail" (KAAOS), all in cap- 
itals. Then an older boy, who could do 
more than write capitals, has pushed the 
little chap aside and proudly demonstrated 
his superiority by writing in two lines an 
exercise in tongue gymnastics (like " Peter 
Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers," 
etc.), which in our letters is as follows : 
Nai neai nea naia neoi temon, hos neoi ha naus 

This means : " Boys cut new planks for a 
new ship, that the ship might float." A 
third boy then added two lines at the bot- 
tom. The brick illustrates the spread of 
Greek (p. 232) as well as provincial educa- 
tion under the Roman Empire (p. 282) 


Much as Athens in 
the days of greatest 
Athenian power, so the 
vision of the greatness 
of the Roman State 
stirred the imagination 
of the time. Roman 
literature now reached 
its highest level. Qic- 
ero, the most cultivated 
man Rome ever pro-. 
duced (p. 2 6 5), had per- 
ished at the hands of 
Antony's brutal sol- 
diery as one of the last 
sacrifices of the long- 
civil war. He had 
drunk deep at the foun- 
tains of Greek culture. 
There were many edu- 
cated men in Rome 
who had enjoyed sim- 
ilar opportunities, and, 
like Cicero too, had 
been shaken by the ter- 
rible ordeal of the 
death struggles of the 

Horace, the greatest 
poet of the time, had 
fraternized with the as- 
sassins of Caesar, and 
in the ensuing struggle 
had faced the future 
Augustus on the field 

The Rommt Empire to the Triumph of Christianity 279 

of battle. Like the old Greek lyric poets (p. 159) he had been 
caught in the dangerous current of his time, and, as he was 
swept along in the violent stream of civil war, he had -with diffi- 
culty struggled ashore and at last found secure footing in the 
general peace. From the vantage ground of the Emperor's 

Fig. 116. Roman Amphitheater at Pola, Dalmatia 

Every large Roman town had a vast arena, or amphitheater, in which 
thousands of spectators could be seated to watch the public fights 
between professional swordsmen (gladiators) and between men and 
wild beasts. The emperors and rich men paid the expenses of these 
combats. The greatest of these arenas was the Colosseum at Rome. 
The one here represented is at Pola, in Dalmatia, and shows that a 
Roman town of perhaps forty thousand inhabitants was supplied with 
an amphitheater, holding no less than twenty thousand spectators, who 
must have assembled from all the region around. The seats have dis- 
appeared and only the outside of the building remains 

forgiveness and favor he quietly watched events as the tide 
swept past him, and then finding his voice he interpreted the 
men and the life of his time in a body of verse, which forms for 
us an undying picture of the Romans in the age of Augustus. 
The poems of Horace will always remain one of the greatest 
legacies from the ancient world, a treasury of human life as 


Outlines of European History 

(70-19 B.C ) 

pictured by a ripe and cultivated mind, unsurpassed even in the 
highly developed literature of the Greeks. 

The other great literary name of the epoch is that of Virgil, 
the friend of Horace. Hardly so penetrating a mind as Horace* 
Virgil j ipvgr theless remains one of t he great interpreters of the 
age in which he lived. Moreover, his command of Latin verse 

Fig. 1 1 7. Ruins of the Roman Temples at Baalbek, Syria 

The Roman temples of the Sun-god at this place are among the great- 
est buildings ever erected (p. 284). The huge block in the foreground 
belongs to an inclosure wall ; this block is about sixty-one feet long, 
thirteen feet wide, and nearly ten feet thick 

is supreme. He has reflected to us in all its poetic beauty the 
rustic life of his time on the green hillsides of Italy, but he is 
better known to the modem world at large by his great epic, 
the Y^neid. Unlike the Homeric songs, the epic of Virgil is 
not the expression of a heroic age (p. 142). It is the product 
of a self-conscious, literary age — the highly finished work of 
a literary artist. He takes his materials largely from the early 
Greek stories of the Trojan cycle, but he feels the inspiration 

The Roman Empire to the Triumph of Christimiity 281 

of the great State under which he lives, and the motive of the 
poem is to trace the origin of the house of Augustus from the 
Trojan heroes of old. Deeply admired by the age which pro- 
duced it, the ^neid has had an abiding influence on the litera- 
ture of the later world. These two names, Horace and Virgil, 
far outshine the numerous 
lesser lights of the Augustan 
Age, of whom there were 
later but too few. 

The Romans who enjoyed 
such writings as these had 
also begun to read Greek 
philosophy. Once obliged to 
read it in Greek, they could 
now peruse the essays and 
treatises of Cicero, in which 
Greek philosophy is set forth 
in Latin. Greek thought had 
now taken a practical turn, 
and endeavored to furnish 
the thinking man with rules 
of life by which he might 
shape his character and order 
his conduct. The two later 
schools of Greek philosophy, 
the Stoic and the Epicurean, 
are in this respect practically 
religions — systems of thought 
which furnish a reasonable basis for right conduct. The educated Philosophy 
Roman has now usually abandoned his beliefs in the old gods of Augustan 
Rome and has become a Stoic or an Epicurean. Such men came -^^e 
to find their gospel in the writings of Seneca, who wrote on the Seneca 
Stoic manner of life after Augustus's time. 

At the same time men of the greatest gifts were beginning 
to expand the narrow <r//y-law of Rome, that it might meet the 

Fig. 118. Portrait of an 
Unknown Roman 

This terracotta head is one of the fin- 
est portraits ever made. It represents 
one of the masterful Roman lords of 
the world, and shows clearly in the 
features those qualities of power 
and leadership which so long main- 
tained Roman supremacy (p. 285) 


Outlines of European History 

needs of a great empi^-e. They laid the foundations of a vast 
imperial code of law, a great work of Roman genius. Its pur- 
pose was that as there was one government, so there should 
be one law for all the civilized world. The same principles of 
reason, justice, and humanity were believed to hold whether 
the Roman citizen lived upon the Euphrates or the Thames. 
The law of the Roman Empire is its chief legacy to posterity. 
Its provisions are still in force in many of the states of Europe 
to-day, and it is one of the subjects of study in our American 
universities. Wives and children were protected from the cruelty 
of the head of the house, who, in earlier centuries, had been 
privileged to treat the members of his family as slaves. The law 
held that it was better that a guilty person should escape than 
that an innocent person should be condemned. It conceived^ 
mankind_jiot ^ as a gro up of nations a nd j-rihesj pprh wii-h its own . 
la ws, but as one people in cludedja-jme great empire and sub- 
ject to a single system of lawjbased upon fairness and reason. 

Section 46. Civilization after Augustus and 
ITS Decline 

The Medi- 
world ; the 
same culture 
the Roman 

Such organization created a vast Mediterranean world, in the 
midst of which men of all nations lost their nationality. In spite 
of the efforts of Augustus, even the men of Italy soon felt 
themselves to be citizens of the great Roman world — a world 
everywhere more and more inwrought with Greek civilization. 
The government encouraged education by supporting at least 
three teachers in every town of any considerable importance 
(Fig. 115). They taught rhetoric and oratory and explained 
the works of the great Greek and Latin writers. A reading 
public for the first time fringed the entire Mediterranean, and 
an educated man was sure to find, even in the outlying parts 
of the great Empire, other educated men with much the same 
interests and ideas as his own. Travel was so common that 
wide acquaintance with the world was not unusual. 

The Roman Empire to the Inumph of Christianity 

The cultivated Roman gentleman now makes his tour of the 
Mediterranean much as does the modern man of means. In the 
writings of the Empire we may follow the Roman tourist as he 
wanders along the foot of the Acropolis of Athens (Plate III, 
p. 1 80) and catche's a vision of vanished greatness as it was in the 
days of Themistocles and Pericles. He strolls through the porch 

A tour of 
the Medi- 
terranean in 
the Empire; 

Fig. 119. Roman Bridge and Aqueduct at Nimes, France 

This structure was built by the Romans about the year 20 a.d. to 
supply the Roman colony of Nemausus (now called Nimes) in south- 
ern France with water from two excellent springs twenty-five miles 
distant. It is nearly nine hundred feet long and one hundred sixty feet 
high, and carried the water over the valley of the river Gard. The 
channel for the water is at the very top, and one can still walk through 
it. The miles of aqueduct on either side of this bridge and leading up 
to it have almost disappeared 

of the Stoics, where Stoic philosophy was first taught, and he 
renews pleasant memories of student days when as a youth he 
studied here. He remembers also how he went occasionally 
over to the Academy (p. 210), v/here he heard the teaching of 
Plato's successors. 

If his journey takes him to Delphi (Fig. 82), he finds it still a 
vivid story of the victories of Hellas in the days of her greatness, 

284 0?ttlmes of E7 trope an History 

a story told in marble treasuries and in votive monuments 
(Fig. 82) donated to Apollo by all the Greek states in thanks- 
giving for the triumphs he has granted. As he stands amid 
these thickly clustered monuments, the Roman notices many an 
empty pedestal, and he recalls how the villas of his friends at 
home, across the hills from his own estates, are adorned in 
court and porch and garden vista with the bronze and marble 
statues which once occupied these empty pedestals, but have 
now been carried to Italy by Roman power. It is a vivid illus- 
tration of how the best things in Greek civilization have been 
appropriated by the Romans. The Greek cities which brought 
forth these things are all now politically helpless under the 
sovereignty of Rome, and the Romans have become the heirs 
of the great past of Greece. 
The East As the Roman traveler passes through the cities of Asia 

Minor (Fig. loi) and Syria, his national pride is quickened to 
see what Roman rule is doing for these undeveloped lands to 
the very borders of the Arabian desert. Fine military roads 
paved with smooth stone blocks link city to city and furnish what 
is for the ancient world rapid transit for the speedy movement 
of government messengers or the urgent transfer of the never- 
failing legions. Long aqueducts conduct the waters from the 
mountain heights down into the city fountains for public use. 
Imposing public buildings and monuments are rising on every 
hand (Fig. 117). Where once the barracks sheltered the merce- 
naries of the local tyrant of former days, there now stands a 
schoolhouse. Men are everywhere rejoicing in the universal 
peace and realize fully that it is the gift of Rome. The ad- 
vantages of Roman citizenship are constantly before their eyes 
in the ever-increasing number of Roman citizens in the eastern 
cities, where they are settled as merchants even on the banks 
of the Euphrates. Tranquillity and safe transport, guaranteed 
by the Roman legions, have filled the highways with merchants 
and travelers. As the Roman looks out over the eastern harbors 
(Fig. 102) he sees the distant horizon whitened with the sails of 

The Roman Empire to the Triumph of Christianity 285 

Mediterranean commerce in Roman ships. They carry Roman 
coins, weights, and measures throughout the Mediterranean. 

If he takes one of these huge Roman galleys and lands in Egypt 
the Nile delta, he finds this land of ancient wonders filled as of 
old with flocks and herds and vast stretches of luxuriant grain 

Fig. 120. Roman Temple at NImes, France 

This beautiful temple was probably built about the beginning of the 
Christian era. It was situated in the forum with other pubHc buildings 
which have now disappeared. After the break-up of the Roman Em- 
pire it was used as a Christian church, then as a town hall, then as a 
warehouse, and finally as a stable. In 1824 it was restored to its original 
condition, as we now find it 

fields. It has become the granary of Rome and a mine of wealth 
for the Emperor's private purse. The splendid buildings of 
Alexandria remind the traveler of Greece ; but as he sails up the 
river, he is at once in the midst of the ancient East, and all about 
him are buildings which were old long before Rome was founded. 
These attract numerous wealthy Greek and Roman tourists. 
Such Romans feel themselves lords of the world (Fig. 118). 


Outlines of European History 

Like our own modern fellow citizens in the same land, their 
clothing betrays every touch of the latest mode. They berate 
the slow mails, languidly discuss the latest news from Rome 
while with indolent curiosity they visit the Pyramids of Gizeh 
(Plate I), or spend a lazy afternoon carving their names on the 
colossal statues which overshadow the mighty plain of Eg}^ptian 
Thebes (Fig. 29). On these monuments we find their scribv 
blings at the present day. Everywhere throughout the eastern 

Fig. 121. Roman Bridge at St. Chamas ix Southern France 

This Roman bridge with its handsome portals was built in the time of 
the Emperor Augustus; that is, about the beginning of the Christian era 

Mediterranean the ^Roman hears Greek and speaks it with his 
friends. As he moves westward again, however, he begins to 
hear more Latin. 
The West Seneca, one of the wisest of the Romans, said, " Wherever a 

Roman has conquered, there he also lives." This was true to 
some extent everywhere, but especially in the West. Colonies 
were sejit out to the confines of the Empire, and the remains of 
great public buildings, of theaters and bridges, of sumptuous 
villas and baths at places like Treves (Trier), Cologne, Bath, 
and Salzburg, indicate how thoroughly the influence and civili- 
zation of Rome penetrated to the utmost parts of the territory 

The Roinaji Empire to the 'rriinnph of CJirlstiajiity 287 

subject to her rule. The illustrations in this chapter will show 
the reader what wonderfully fine towns the Roman colonies were 
(see Figs. 116, 117, 119-124). 

The remarkable development of such splendid cities in the The decline 
Roman provinces would indicate great advances in civilization. ^^^^ l^^^^ . 
This was without doubt true of certain localities. But this out- Augustus 
ward splendor of the colonies and provinces was no indication 

Fig. 122. Ruins of Roman Baths at Bath, England 

There are hot springs at Bath, England, and here the Roman colonists 
in Britain developed a fashionable watering place. In recent years 
the soil and rubbish which, through the centuries, had collected over 
the old Roman buildings have been removed, and we can get some idea 
of how they were arranged. The picture represents a model of a part 
of the ruins. To the right is a great quadrangular pool, eighty-three by 
forty feet in size, and to the left a circular bath. Over the whole a fine 
hall was built, with recesses on either side of the big pool where one 
might sit and talk with his friends 

of the tendency of civilization in the Roman world as a whole. 
The triumph of Augustus had ushered in two centuries of peace, . 
little affected by the frequent disturbances and the often serious 
wars on the frontiers. During these two centuries the most pro- 
found changes went on within the Roman Empire — changes 
which betray the slow decline and lead to the fall of the great 
structure of civilization which had risen to dominate the Medi- 
terranean world. The effort of Augustus to restore the simple 
wholesomeness and the sturdy virtues of the old Roman life 


Otitlines of Europe mi History 

Lack of 



Decline of 
the army 

Men of 
wealth absorb 
the farming 
lands; the 

had failed. For tendencies which no ruler can control were in 
motion beneath the surface. 

In the first place, the people were losing their voice in 
government. Respotisible citizenship, which puts responsibility 
for the welfare of the state on each citizen, passed away and 
the world becarne indifferent to public questions. Men no longer 
enjoyed the educative influence of an interest in the welfare and 
the problems of the community. As the comparatively small 
percentage of highly educated men thus yielded to passive in- 
difference they lost public leadership, and it passed into the hands 
of the corrupt and untrained masses. 

This loss of regard for the duties of citizenship had a serious 
effect on the army, once the greatest organization in the Roman 
Empire. By the end of the first century a.d. the Romans of 
Italy had ceased to enlist in the rank and file of the army. Re- 
cruits for the defense of the frontiers were then levied exclusively 
in the provincial districts. We recall that the sword which such 
a recruit received from the hands of the centurion, as he stepped 
into the ranks for the first time, eventually brought him Roman 
citizenship. But such a recruit had never seen Rome nor ever 
enjoyed the influences of civilized life. He knew nothing of 
Roman citizenship in the old sense. He and his comrades lived 
in frontier barracks (Fig. 125), far from refining contact with 
civilization. As it became more and more difficult to raise the 
legions, even the German barbarians of the north were permitted 
to cross the border (Fig. 1 1 4) and enlist. In the end the army 
degenerated into unruly and turbulent hordes of military fron- 
tiers men, feeling none of the responsibilities of a citizen bear- 
ing arms, and often much resembling the revolutionary bands 
which devastate Mexico or the South American republics. 

The Romans of Italy, who thus yielded the sword to provin- 
cials and foreigners, either succumbed to poverty on the one hand 
or, on the other, improving the opportunities of the age for self- 
enrichment, the fortunate few were leading a life of idle luxury 
(Fig. 129). It was unlawful for a Roman of senatorial rank to 

The Roman E^npire to the Triumph of Christianity 289 

engage in merchandising. Hence land was the most highly 
esteemed form of wealth in the Roman Empire, in spite of the 
heavy taxes imposed upon it. Without large holdings of land no 
one could hope to enjoy a high social position or an honorable 
office under the government. Consequently the land came gradu- 
ally into the hands of the rich and ambitious. This change which 


Fig. 123. Fortified Gate of the City of Trier in 
Western Germany 

Colonia Augusta Treverorum (now called Trier or Treves) was one of 
the chief Roman colonies on the German boundaries of the Empire. 
The Roman emperors often resided there, and the remains of their 
palace are still to be seen. The great gate here represented was de- 
signed to protect the entrance of the town, which was surrounded 
with a wall, for the Romans were in constant danger of attack from the 
neighboring German tribes. One can also see at Treves the remains 
of a vast amphitheater in which on two occasions Constantine had 
several thousand German prisoners cast to be killed by wild animals 
for the amusement of the spectators (see Fig. 116) 


Outlijies of European History 

number of 
slaves and 

had already destroyed the small farmer in Italy (p. 264) now 
blighted the prosperity of the provinces also. Great estates called 
villas covered not only Italy but also Gaul and Britain. Half of 
the great province behind Carthage, called "Africa,"'^ was in 
the hands of six such villa owners. The lord of such kingly do- 
mains lived like a prince, with a great household of personal 
attendant slaves who cooked the food, waited on the proprietor, 
wrote his letters, read to him, and entertained him in other ways. 

Such houseJwId slaves led a not undesirable life and were often 
on terms of the greatest intimacy with their owners. Household 
slavery had never been so great an evil as the industrial and 
agricultural sla\-ery which had brought such social and economic 
ruin during the last two centuries of the Republic, when the 
work in the factories and the fields of Italy was done by multi- 
tudes of slaves (p. 264). The long wars had furnished these vast 
hordes of slaves ; but after the great wars of conquest were over, 
this source of supply ceased, for there were no prisoners of war 
to be sold as slaves. The hosts of foreign slaves who accom- 
plished the ruin of the Italian farmers and craftsmen after 200 B.C. 
(p. 264) had therefore greatly decreased under the Empire, when 
the number of slaves was steadily diminishing, and the villas were 
worked by the colon i (see p. 292). The condition, even of in- 
dustrial and agricultural slaves moreover, had much improved. 
Their owners abandoned the horrible subterranean prisons in 
which the farm hands had once been miserably huddled at night. 
The law, moreover, protected the slave from some of the worst 
forms of abuse ; first and foremost it deprived his master of the 
right to kill him. Although a villa might be as extensive as a 
large village, its members were under the absolute control of 
the proprietor of the estate. 

Another cause of the decreasing number of slaves was the fact 
that masters now began to free their slaves on a large scale — 

1 This word did not, of course, designate the whole continent of Africa as it 
does now. Under Rome it applied to a province extending only to the borders of 
the Sahara. 





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292 Outlines of European History 

Contrast for what reasons we do not know. When a slave was freed he 

freedman was Called 2. freedman, but he was by no means in the position 

and free men q£ ^^^ ^^j^^ ]^^^ \)^Qn bom free. It was true that he was no 

longer a mere thing that could be bought and sold, but he had 

still to serve his former master — who had now become his 

patron — for a certain number of days in the year. He was 

obliged to pay him a part of his earnings and could not marry 

without his patron's consent. 

Decline of But as the condition of the slaves improved and many of 

citizen — in them became freedmen, the state of the poor free man only be- 

the towns ^^.m^ worse. In the towns (Fig. 128), if he tried to earn his 

living, he was forced to mingle with those slaves who were 

permitted to work for wages and with the freedman, but he 

naturally tended to sink to their level. 

In the In the country the small farmer and the free laborer for hire 

^S^coioni could not survivc long in competition with the great villas. As 

the burden of taxes became unbearable the farmer finally gave 

up the struggle. He entered upon an arrangement which made 

him the colonus of some wealthy landholder. As such the farrr er 

and his descendants were forever attached to the land they 

worked, and passed with it from owner to owner when it changed 

hands. While not actually slaves, they were not free to leave 

or go where they pleased, and they were hardly as favorably sit- 

Resemblance uated as many slaves. Like the medieval serf,^ they could not 

between the . 

coloni and the DC depnved 01 their nelds so long as they paid the owner a cer- 
aterse s ^^-^ p^^.^ ^£ ^^^^ ^^^p ^^^ worked for him during a period 

fixed by the customs of the estate upon which they lived. This 
system made it impossible for the farmer to become really in- 
dependent, or for his son to become better off than he. The 
great villas once worked by slaves were now cultivated chiefly 
by these colofii. 
Country Multitudes turned to the city for relief, just as at the present 

to the city; day in Europe and America there is a large and steady move- 

popSion "'^^^^ ^^ country population toward the cities. The large families, 

1 See below, section 67. 

The Roman Empire to the Triumph of Christianity 293 

which country life favors, were no longer reared, the number of 
marriages decreased, and the population of the Empire steadily 
shrank. The rapid decline of agriculture, which had long before 
overtaken Greece, and then Italy (p. 264), having now reached 
the provinces also, there were vast stretches of unworked fields 
which were slowly absorbed by forest wilds. As the amount of 

Fig. 125. Glimpses of a Roman Frontier Stronghold 
(Restored after Waltze-Schulze) 

Above, at the left, the main gate of the fort ; the other three views show 
the barracks (compare Fig. 114) 

land under cultivation steadily decreased, the ancient world was 
no longer raising enough food to feed itself properly. The 
scarcity was felt most severely in the great centers of popula- 
tion, like Rome, where prices at once began to go up. Our 
generation, afflicted in the same way, is not the first to complain 
of " the high cost of living." Industrial prosperity and the 
growth of manufactures in the cities could not avail to offset 
the decay of agriculture. 

farm lands ; 
food supply 


Outlines of European History 

Luxury and 
of the city 

The country people who yielded to the attractions of the city 
were only debased by the life they entered there. At Rome the 
newcomer found a city of sumptuous marble where once there 
was little but brick. Noble architecture enveloped the Forum 

Fig. 126. The Vast Flavian Amphitheater at Rome now 


This enormous building, one of the greatest in the world, was an oval 
arena surrounded by rising tiers of seats, accommodating nearly fifty 
thousand people. We see here only the outside wall, as restored. It 
was built by the emperors Vespasian and Titus, and was completed in 
80 A.D. as a place for spectacular combats. Athletic games and contests 
of strength had long accompanied the funerals of great men in Greece 
and Rome. The Romans then continued such combats for their own 
sake, and the combatants, czWtd, gladiators (meaning "swordsmen"), 
often took each other's lives (compare Fig. 116) 

and crowned the Seven Hills (Figs. 113, 127). Outward pros- 
perity, luxury and splendor, chariot races, bloody games and 
spectacles (Fig. 126), free distribution of bread, wine, and meat 
to all needy citizens at the cost of the State — these things 
completely concealed from the discernment of the mob the cur- 
rents beneath the surface which were setting so steadily toward 
ruin. The city of Rome thus became a great hive of shiftless 

The Roman Empire to the Triumph of Christianity 295 

population supported by the State with means for which the 
struggling agriculturist was taxed. 

Meantime the great city was rife with increasing luxury and incoming 
display. The discovery of the seasonal winds in the Indian luxuries 
Ocean resulted in great commerce, through the Red Sea with 
India, such as the world had never known before. At the same 

Fig. 127. A Street of Tombs outside Rome, ox the 
Appian Way 

These tombs lined both sides of the Appian Way (p. 256) for some dis- 
tance from Rome. They illustrate the more showy and sumptous archi- 
tecture of the Romans as contrasted with the simpler style of the 
Greeks (compare the Athenian street of tombs, Fig. 97) 

time there was overland connection further north with China. 
All the luxuries of the East began to flow into the Mediterra- 
nean — many of them luxuries which the Romans never had 
seen before. Roman ladies were decked with diamonds, pearls, 
and rubies from India, and they robed themselves in shining 
silks from China. The tables of the rich were bright with 
peaches and apricots, now appearing for the first time in the 
Roman world. Roman cooks learned to prepare rice, formerly 

296 Outlines of European History 

only prescribed by physicians as a delicacy for convalescents.^ 
Instead of sweetening their dishes with honey, as formerly, 
Roman households began to find a new product in the market 
place known as "sakari," as the report of a venturesome oriental 
sailor of the first century a.d. calls the sirup of sugar cane, 
which he brought by water from India into the Mediterranean 
for the first time. This is the earliest mention of sugar in his- 
tory. These new things in the Roman world remind one of the 
potatoes, coffee, tobacco, and Indian corn of America as they 
found their way to Europe after the voyages of Columbus. 

Section 47. Popularity of Oriental Religions and 
THE Spread of Early Christianity 
Supremacy These things are tangible evidence of the tide that was set- 

of oriental . . i -» t t 

religions tmg mto the Mediterranean from the Orient. This tide brought 

with it other things less easily traced, but much more important 
in their influence on the declining Roman world. Intellectual 
life was steadily ebbing ; there was not a really great name in 
Roman literature after Horace and Virgil. Philosophy was no 
longer occupied with new thoughts and the discovery of new 
truths. In its place, as we have seen, appeared the semireligious 
systems of living, taught by the Stoics and Epicureans. But 
such teaching was only for the highly educated and the intel- 
lectual class — a class constantly decreasing. Even such men 
frequently yielded to the tendency of the multitude and sought 
refuge in the oriental religions which the incoming life of the 
East was bringing in. 

Egyptian isis Even in Augustus's day the Roman poet Tibullus, absent on 
a military campaign which sickness had interrupted, wrote to 
his fiancee Delia then in Rome : " What does your Isis for me 
now, Delia ? What avail me those brazen sistra ^ of hers, so 
often shaken by your hand .? . . . Now, now, goddess, help me ; 

1 Horace amusingly pictures the distress of a miserly Roman at the price of 
a dish of rice prescribed by a physician. It was still a luxury in his time. 

2 Musical instruments played by shaking in the hand. 

The Roman Empire to the Triumph of Christianity 297 

for that man may be healed by thee is proved by many a picture 
in thy temples," Tibullus and his fiancee belonged to the most 
cultivated class, but they had taken refuge in the faith of the 
Egyptian Isis. What these two had done, was being done under 

Fig. 128. A View across the Forum of Pompeii to Vesuvius 

The little provincial city of Pompeii near Naples, having twenty 
thousand to thirty thousand inhabitants, was destroyed by fire and over- 
whelmed with showers of ashes from the neighboring volcano of Vesu- 
vius in 79 A.D. Some two thousand of the inhabitants perished. At 
prese"nt the accumulations from successive eruptions are about twenty 
feet deep. The excavation of the town is still going on, and will prob- 
ably continue some twenty-five years longer before the whole place is 
uncovered. The place is a great treasure house of Roman life in the 
smaller cities under the early Empire, for all the streets and the first 
floors of the houses are preserved, often with many things of value 
which they contained (see Figs. 99 and 129) 

the early Empire by multitudes, and the temples of Isis were 
to be found in all the larger cities. The Isis temple at Pompeii 
(Fig. 128) has survived to illustrate the power of the foreign 
goddess and Osiris her husband (p. 27), who were now dis- 
placing the gods of the Greeks and Romans. 


Outlines of European History 

Isis and Osiris were not without oriental competitors, for the 
Great Mother goddess of Asia Minor, with her consort Attis, 
gained the devotion of many Romans also. In the army the 
Persian god Mithras (p. 100), a god of light, who slew his 

Fig. 129. Interior of the House of a Wealthy Roman 
CiTizEx IX Pompeii 

The walls of the houses in Pompeii (Fig. 128) are now often found pre- 
served up to the tops of the doors, or even sometimes to the ceiling. 
These walls still bear their beautiful decorative paintings, while the 
floors are paved with many-colored marble blocks of splendid mosaics 
like P'ig. 99. Sumptuous rugs and hangings also enriched walls and 
floors. Statues from Greece (p. 2S4 ; cut, p. 214), and many bronze lamps, 
tripods, and candelabra (see rear of first room) for lighting and heat- 
ing adorned the rooms and halls. Immense wealth was expended on 
luxury in such fittings. Cicero, not a man of great wealth, is reported 
to have spent over fifty thousand dollars for a single table 

enemy the bull, was a great favorite, and many a legion had its 
underground chapel where its members celebrated his triumph. 
All these faiths had their " mysteries," consisting chiefly of 
dramatic presentations of the career of the god. In the Eg\'p- 
tian religion and that of the Great Mother, his submission to 
death, his triumph over it, and ascent to everlasting life made 

The RomcDi livipire to tJie TriiinipJi of CJtristiiDiity 299 

a deep impression.^ It was believed that to witness these things 
and to submit to certain holy ceremonies of initiation would 
bring to the initiated deliverance from evil, the power to share 
in the endless life of the god, and to dwell with him forever. 

The old Roman faith had little to do with conduct and held Decline of 
out to the worshiper no such hopes as these. Litde wonder religion 
that the Roman multitude found the attraction of these oriental 
faiths and the blessed future insured by their "mysteries" irre- 
sistible. At the same time it was possible to learn the future Astrology 
of every individual, as all believed, by the use of Babylonian 
astrology (p. 84), and its mysterious practices were every- 
where. The orientals who practiced it were called Chaldeans 
(p. 84) or Magi.^ 

The Jews too, now that their temple in Jerusalem (p. 108) Judaism 
had been destroyed by the Romans, were to be found in in- 
creasing numbers in the larger cities. Strabo, a geographer of 
the early Empire, says of them, " This people has already made 
its way into every city, and it would be hard to find a place in 
the habitable world which has not admitted this race and been 
dominated by it." The Roman world was becoming accustomed 
to their synagogues ; but the Jews refused to acknowledge any 
other gods, and their exclusiveness brought them disfavor and 
trouble with the government. 

All subjects of the Empire were required to recognize the The Emperor 
divinity of the Emperor. He had now become a sun-god like ^ ^"" ^^ 
the kings of Egypt and he was known as the " Invincible Sun " 
(Fig. 117). As a god he stood for the majesty and glory of the The worship 
Roman dominion. The inhabitants of each province might Emperor 
revere their particular gods, undisturbed by the government, 
but all were obliged, as good citizens, to join in the official sacri- 
fices to the head of the State, as a god. His birthday was on 
the twenty-fifth of December. 

1 See the account of the resurrection of Osiris, p. 27. 

2 The Magi were originally an order of oriental priests. Our word " magic " 
is derived from this name. 


Outlines of E^iropean History 

Spread of 

Paul and the 
foundation of 
the earliest 

the early 

Among all these faiths of the East that were displacing the 
old religion of Rome, the common people were more and more 
inclining toward one of which we have not yet spoken. It too 
came out of the East. Its teachers told how their Master, 
Jesus, was born in Palestine, the land of the Jews, in the days 
of Augustus, and how he had caught a vision of human brother- 
hood and of divine fatherhood, surpassing that which the Hebrew 
prophets had once discerned (p. io6). This faith he preached 
for a few years — till he incurred the hatred of his countrymen 
and they put him to death. 

A Jewish tent-maker named Paul, a man gifted with pas- 
fsionate eloquence and unquenchable love for his Master, passed 
far and wide through the cities of Asia Minor and Greece, and 
leven to Rome, proclaiming his Master's teaching. He left be- 
hind him a line of devoted communities stretching from Palestine 
to Rome. A group of letters which he wrote to his followers 
were circulating widely among them and were read with eager- 
ness. They are preserved to us in the New Testament. The 
slave and the freedman, the artizan and craftsman, the humble 
and the despised in the huge barracks which sheltered the poor 
in Rome, listened to this new " mystery " from the East, as they 
thought it to be, and, as time passed, multitudes accepted it and 
found joy in the hopes which it awakened. 

Thus was Christianity launched upon the great tide of Roman 
life. The officers of government often found these early con- 
verts not only refusing to acknowledge the divinity of the Em- 
peror and to sacrifice to him, but also openly prophesying the 
downfall of the Roman State. They were therefore more than 
once called upon to endure cruel persecution. Their religion 
seemed incompatible with good citizenship, since it forbade them 
to show the usual respect for the government. Nevertheless 
their numbers steadily grew. 

The Roman Empire to the Triumph of Christianity 301 

Section 48. Internal Revolution and the Col- 
lapse OF Ancient Civilization 

Meantime there was steady decline in the prosperity of the Marcus 
Empire as more and more farm lands lay idle ; population de- and his great 
creased and the burden of taxes on those who remained 2:rew efforts to 

^ maintain the 

heavier. The able rule of Marcus Aurelius, who began to reign Roman state 
in 161 A.D., marked the end of two centuries of internal peace 
(p. 287) which contrast sharply with the age that followed him. 
He found a great scarcity of money among the people, and it 
was increasingly difficult to collect the taxes necessary to main- 
tain the State and support the army with which he was strug- 
gling to keep back the incoming hordes of barbarian invasion 
on the northern frontiers (Fig. 114). 

Yet he found time amid the growing anxieties of his position, Marcus 
even as he sat in his tent on a dangerous campaign in the heart light^ened rule 
of the barbarous north, to record his thoughts and leave the 
world a little volume of meditations which are among the most 
precious legacies of the past. His ability and enlightened states- 
manship were only equaled by the purity and beauty of his per- 
sonal life. He granted salaries of six hundred gold pieces (about 
$1600) to the heads of the four schools of philosophy at Athens. 
This was the first state support received by this " university " 
of Athens, and marked another effort to maintain the old Greek 
culture against the oriental religions. Marcus Aurelius was the 
finest spirit among all the Roman emperors, and there was 
never another like him on the imperial throne. 

Commodus, the son of Marcus Aurelius, was one of the most The fearful 
detestable in the long list of Roman emperors, and as we enter of^he thh-d 
the third century a.d. one such worthless ruler after another century a. d. 
was set up by the army ; for unfortunately no satisfactory means 
of selecting an emperor had ever been devised, and whenever 
they wished, the army elected a new emperor. Such an ap- 
pointee of the army in one province often found himself con- 
fronted by a rival in another province. We have already seen 


Outlmes of Europe ait History 

emperors in 
ninety years 

of ancient 

Diocletian ; 
the Roman 
becomes an 
oriental des- 
potism (284- 
305 A.D.) 

how degenerate the army became (p. 288), and it was chiefly 
from such a class as these military frontiersmen that the Roman 
Empire received eighty rulers in ninety years after the death 
of the son of Marcus Aurelius. In order to gain additional op- 
portunity for taxation, one of them gave Roman citizenship to 
all free men dwelling in any community ruled by Rome (212 a.d.). 
All distinction between Roman and non-Roman passed away. 
Citizenship however meant nothing which could better the situa- 
tion, as the troops tossed the scepter of Rome from one ignorant 
soldier-emperor to another. 

While tumult and fighting between rival emperors hastened 
economic decay and national bankruptcy, the affairs of the 
nation passed from bad to worse. For fifty years there was 
no public order. Life and property were nowhere safe. Turbu- 
lence, robbery, and murder were everywhere. While no Roman 
subject attempted to overthrow the Empire, and all men revered 
it as eternal, nevertheless in this tempest of anarchy during 
the third century a.d. the civilization of the ancient world suf- 
fered final collapse. The supremacy of mind and of scientific 
knowledge won by the Greeks in the third century B.C. yielded 
to the reign of ignorance and superstition in these social disasters 
of the third century A.D. 

The world which issued from these disasters toward 300 a.d. 
under Diocletian, was a totally different one from that which 
Augustus and the Roman Senate had ruled three centuries be- 
fore. When Diocletian succeeded in restoring order, he deprived 
the shadowy Senate of all power, except for the municipal gov- 
ernment of the city of Rome. The Roman Emperor thus became 
for the whole Roman world, what he had always been in Eg>'pt, 
an absolute monarch with none to limit his power. The State 
had been completely militarized and orientalized. With the un- 
limited power of the oriental despot the Emperor now assumed 
also its outward symbols — the diadem, the gorgeous robe em- 
broidered with pearls and precious stones, the throne and foot- 
stool, at which all who came into his presence must bow down 

TJie Ro7nan Evipire to tJie Triuniph of C/iristiaiiity 303 

to the dust. Thus ended the long struggle of democracy which 
we have followed through so many centuries of the career of 
man in the ancient world. 

As far back as the days of Marcus Aurelius, it had proved Oppressive 
difficult for the Roman government to raise enough by taxation 
to maintain itself. The situation in the reign of Diocletian was 
far worse. The business of the State was now in the hands of 
a vast number of local officials graded into many ranks and 
classes. This multitude and the huge army had all to be paid 
and supported. It required a great deal of money also to main- 
tain the luxurious court of the Emperor surrounded by his innum- 
erable palace officials and servants, and to supply " bread and 
circuses " for the populace of the towns (p. 294). All sorts of 
taxes and exactions were consequently devised by ingenious 
officials to make up the necessary revenue. 

When the scarcity of coin made it impossible to collect the Bad methods 

, , n ■ 1 • • 1 of collection 

land tax m money, the dencit was taken m gram or produce 
from the granary of the delinquent tax payer. As this collection 
of produce increased, the tax tended to become a mere share in 
the yield of the lands, and thus the Roman Empire sank to a 
primitive system of taxation already thousands of years old in 
the Orient (p. 29). The crushing burden of this great land 
tax, the Emperor's chief source of income, was much increased 
by the bad way in which it was collected. The government made 
a group of the richer citizens in each of the towns permanently 
responsible for the whole amount due each year from all the 
landowners within their district. It was their business to collect 
the taxes and make up any deficiency, it mattered not from 
what cause. 

This responsibility, together with the weight of the taxes J^esulting 
themselves, ruined so many landowners that the government 
was forced to decree that no one should desert his estates in 
order to escape the exactions. Only the very rich could stand 
the drain on their resources and even wealthy families were im- 
poverished. The middle class sank into poverty and despair and 



Outlines of European History 

ance of 
liberty and 
free citizen- 

many a worthy man secretly fled from his lands to become a wan- 
dering beggar, or even to take up a life of robbery and violence. 
In this way the Empire lost just that prosperous class of citizens 
who should have been the leaders in business enterprises. 

Under this oriental despotism the liberty for which men had 
striven so long disappeared in Europe, and the once free Roman 
citizen had no independent life of his own. Even his wages and 
the prices of the goods he bought or sold were as far as possi- 
ble fixed for him by the Emperor. For the will of the Emperor 
had now become law, and his decrees were dispatched through- 
out the length and breadth of the Roman dominions. His in- 
numerable officials kept an eye upon even the humblest citizen. 
They watched the grain dealers, butchers, and bakers, and saw 
to it that they properly supplied the public and never deserted 
their occupation. If the government could have had its way, it 
would have had every one belong to a definite class of society, 
and his children after him. In some cases it forced the son to 
follow the profession of his father. It kept the unruly poor in 
the towns quiet by furnishing them with. bread, and sometimes 
with wine, meat, and clothes. It continued to provide amuse- 
ment for them by expensive entertainments, such as races and 
gladiatorial combats. In a word, the Roman government now 
attempted to regulate almost every interest in life. 

Staggering under his crushing burden of taxes, in a state 
which was practically bankrupt, the citizen of every class had now 
become a mere cog in the vast machinery of the government. 
He had no other function than to toil for the State, which ex- 
acted so much of the fruit of his labor that he was fortunate 
if ijt proved barely possible for him to survive on the balance. 
As a mere toiler for the State, he was finally where the peasant 
on the Nile had been for thousands of years. The Emperor 
had become a Pharaoh, and the Roman Empire a colossal Egypt 
of ancient days. 

Such a complete transformation of State and society in the 
Roman Empire was accomplished only by unlimited application 

The Roman Empire to the T-riumph of Christianity 305 

of the most brutal force. Diocletian' increased the size of the The army 
army fourfold in spite of the additional expense and the in- barbarians 
creased burden of taxation. A vicious circle was thus set up. 
More troops cost more money, but they also meant greater 
ability to suppress disorders and collect taxes. The decreasing 
population of the Empire was insufficient to furnish the troops 
for the increased army. Diocletian w^as obliged to allow whole 
tribes of German barbarians to cross the border as military 
colonies furnishing troops for his great army. Thus the bar- 
barians were enlisted in the Roman legions to help keep out 
their fellow Germans. Julius Caesar was the first to give them 
a place among his soldiers. This custom became more and more 
common, until, finally, whole armies were German, entire tribes 
being enlisted under their own chiefs. Some of the Germans 
rose to be distinguished generals ; others attained important 
positions as officials of the government. 

In order to replenish the shrinking population likewise, great Population oi 
numbers of the German tribes were encouraged to settle within a^d the^^^^ 
the Empire, where they became coloni. Constantine (306- ^a^j.^^rians 
337 A.D.) is said to have called in three hundred thousand of 
a single people. In this way it came about that a great many 
of the inhabitants of the Roman Empire were Germans before 
the great invasions, and the line dividing the citizens of the 
Roman Empire from the barbarians was already growing 

As the Empire declined in strength and prosperity and was Decline of 
gr adually permeated by the barbarians, its art and literature and art 
rapidly degenerated. The buildings and monuments of Rome 
after Marcus Aurelius incline toward tawdry vulgarity in design 
and barbarous crudity in execution. The writings of the deca- 
dent Romans of this age fell far below the standard of the great 
literary men of the golden age of Augustus. Nor did the readers 
of the time demand anything better. The distinction of Cicero's 
clear style lost its charm for the readers of the fourth and fifth 
centuries, and a flowery kind of rhetoric took its place. No 


Outlines of European History 

Reliance on 
mere text- 

more great men of letters arose. Few of those who understand 
and enjoy Latin literature to-day would think of reading for 
pleasure any of the poetry or prose written in the later centuries 
of the Roman Empire. 

During the three hundred years before the barbarian inva- 
sions those who studied at all did not ordinarily take the trouble 
to read die best books of the earlier Greek and Roman writers, 
but relied upon mere collections of quotations, and got their 
information from textbooks put together by often ignorant 
compilers. These textbooks the Middle Ages inherited and 
continued to use. The great Greek writers were forgotten alto- 
gether, and only a few of the better known Latin authors like 
Cicero, Horace, and Virgil continued to be copied and read. 

Constantine : 
of Constan- 

of early 

Section 49. The Triumph of Christianity 

Like so many of the emperors of his time Diocletian had 
risen from the ranks of provincial troops and felt little attach- 
ment for the city of Rome. The pressure of dangerous enemies 
on the oriental frontier and the threatening flood of German 
barbarians along the lower Danube kept him much in the East, 
and still further detached him from Rome. Similar conditions led 
Constantine to forsake Rome altogether, to shift his residence 
eastward, and to establish a new seat of government on the 
Bosporus at the old Greek city of Byzantium (see map, p. 146). 
The Emperor stripped many an ancient city of its great monu- 
ments in order to secure materials for the beautification of his 
splendid residence. Some of these monuments from older places 
still stand in Constantinople (Fig. 130). By 330 a.d. the new 
capital on the Bosporus was a magnificent monumental city, 
whence the Emperor might overlook both Europe and Asia. 

Meantime one of the most important changes in the whole 
career of man was slowly taking place within the Roman Em- 
pire. The long struggle of Christianity among the older reli- 
gions of the Mediterranean and the Orient (p. 300) had steadily 

The Roman Empire to the Triumph of Christianity 307 

continued. The first Christians looked for the speedy return of 
Christ before their own generation should pass away. Since all 
were filled with enthusiasm for the Gospel and eagerly awaited 

Fig. 130. Ancient Monuments in Constantinople 

The obelisk in the foreground (nearly one hundred feet high) was first 
set up in Thebes, Egypt, by the conqueror Thutmose III (p. 46) ; it 
was erected here by the Roman Emperor Theodosius (p. 309). The 
small spiral column at the right is the base of a bronze tripod set up by 
the Greeks at Delphi (Fig. 82) in commemoration of their victory over 
the Persians at Plataea (p. 177). The names of thirty-one Greek cities 
which took part in the battle are still to be read, engraved on this base. 
These monuments of ancient oriental and Greek supremacy stand in 
what was the Roman horse-race course when the earlier Greek city of 
Byzantium became the eastern capital of Rome (p. 306). Finally, the 
great mosque behind the obelisk, with its slender minarets, represents 
the triumph of Islam under the Turks, who took the city in 1453 a.d. 

the last day, they did not feel the need for much organization. 
But as time went on the Christian communities greatly increased 
in size, and many persons joined them who had little or none 
of the original earnestness and devotion. It became necessary 
to develop a regular system of church government in order to 


Outlines of European History 

The " Cath- 
olic," or 

of the Church 
before Con- 

priests, and 

favors the 

The end of 
the old 

control the sinful and expel those who brought disgrace upon 
their religion by notoriously bad conduct. 

Gradually the followers of Christ came to believe in a 
" Catholic " — that is, a universal — church which embraced 
all the groups of true believers in Christ, wherever they might 
be. To this one universal church all must belong who hoped 
to be saved.^ A sharp distinction was already made between 
the officers of the Church, who were called the clergy^ and the 
people, or laity. To the clergy was committed the government 
of the Church, as well as the teaching of its members. In each 
of the Roman cities was a bishop, and at the head of each of the 
country communities a priest, who had derived his name from 
the original elders mentioned in the New Testament.^ It was 
not unnatural that the bishops in the chief towns of the Roman 
provinces should be especially influential in church affairs. 
They came to be called archbishops, and might summon the 
bishops of the province to a council to decide important matters. 

Thus Christianity, once the faith of the weak and the de- 
spised, gained a strong organization and became politically 
powerful. The result was that in .^ 1 1 the Roman Emperor 
Galerius^ issued a decree placing the Christian religion upon 

the same leg^al footing as the worship of the Tinman crnrl<;. 

Constantine, the first Christ ian emperor, str ictly enforced this 
edict^^His successors soon began to issue laws which gave the 
Christian clergy important privileges and forbade the worship 
of the old pagan gods. The splendid temples of the gods, which 
fringed the Mediterranean (cut, p. i66) and extended far up the 
Nile into inner Africa, were then closed and deserted, as they 
are to-day (Fig. 28, Plate III, p. 180). 

1 " Whoever separates himself from the Church," 
258) " is separated from the promises of the Church. 

rites St. Cyprian (died 
. He is an alien, he is 
profane, he is an enemy ; he can no longer have God for his father who has not 
the Church for his mother. If any one could escape who was outside the Ark of 
Noah, so also may he escape who shall be outside the bounds of the Church." 
See Readings in European History^ chap. ii. 

2 Our word " priest " comes from the Greek word presbyter, meaning " elder." 

3 One of the emperors ruling jointly with Constantine, 

The Roman Einpire to the Triumph of Christianity 309 

In the last book of the Theodosian Code — a great collection The Church 
of the laws of the Empire, which was completed in 438 — all dosian Code 
the emperors' decrees are to be found which relate to the Chris- 
tian Church and the clergy. We find that the clergy, in view of 
their holy duties, were exempted from certain burdensome gov- 
ernment offices and from some of the taxes which the laity had 
to pay. They were also permitted to receive bequests. The 
emperors themselves built churches and helped the Church in 
many ways (see below, section 52). Their example was fol- 
lowed by rulers and private individuals all through the Middle 
Ages, so that the Church became incredibly wealthy and en- 
joyed a far greater income than any state of Europe. The 
clergy were permitted to try certain law cases, and they them- 
selves had the privilege of being trie^ in their own church courts 
for minor criminal offenses. - 

The Theodosian Code makes it imJawful for any one to differ Heresy 
from the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Those who dared to \^ crime 
disagree with the teachings of the Church were called he7'etics. 
If heretics ventured to come together, their. meetings were to be 
broken up and the teachers heavily fined. Houses in which the 
doctrines of the heretics were taught were to be confiscated by 
the government. The books containing their teachings were to 
be sought out with the utmost care and burned under the eyes 
of the magistrate ; and if any one was convicted of concealing 
a heretical book, he was to suffer capital punishment. 

It is clear, then, that very soon after the Christian Church 
was recognized by the Roman government, it induced the em- 
perors to grant the clergy particular favors, to destroy the 
pagan temples and prohibit pagan worship, and, finally, to 
persecute all those who ventured to disagree with the orthodox 
teachings of the Church. 

We shall find that the governments in the Middle Ages, fol- 
lowing the example of the Roman emperors, continued to grant 
the clergy special privileges and to persecute heretics, often in 
a very cruel manner (see below, section 84). 


Outlines of Eiiropean History 

In these provisions of the Theodosian Code the later medie- 
val Church is clearly foreshadowed. The imperial government 
in the West was soon overthrown by the barbarian conquerors, 
but the Catholic Church converted and ruled these conquerors. 
When the officers of the Empire deserted their posts, the bishops 
stayed to meet the oncoming invader. They continued to rep- 
resent the old civilization and ideas of order. It was the Church 
that kept the Latin language alive among those who knew only 
a rude German dialect. It was the Church that maintained some 
little education even in the times of greatest ignorance, for with- 
out the ability to read Latin the priests could not have performed 
the religious services and the bishops could not have carried on 
their correspondence with one another. 


Final orien- 
talization of 
the Medi- 

Section 50, Retrospect 

As we stand here at the close of the career of ancient civili- 
zation, we may look back for a moment and glance over the 
vast vista traversed by early man. For some fifty thousand 
years he struggled upward through the Stone Age, from which 
he emerged into civilized life for the first time in the Orient. 
There we found the first home of civilization in the valley of 
the Nile, where it arose over five thousand years ago, appear- 
ing later also along the low^er Euphrates. From these early 
homes it contributed for ages to the civilization of the Medi- 
terranean world, till Greek genius arose to assert its owm inde- 
pendent individuality and the supremacy of mind. At Salamis 
and Marathon Hellas repulsed the sovereignty of the East and 
of eastern ideals of government and thought. That victory was 
not in vain, for it stirred free Athens, as we have seen, to the 
greatest intellectual achievements in her history. But we have 
said before that the repulse of Persia was not final (p. 237). 

The tide from the East could not be stayed by a successful 
battle or two. It swept through the Mediterranean with in- 
creasing power, till Rome, the last great state of the ancient 

The Roman Empire to the Triumph of Christianity 3 1 1 

world, was conquered by the civilization of that Orient which 
she despised. Her ruler became an oriental sultan ; his methods 
of government and administration were orientalized ; oriental 
religion and methods of thought were supreme ; and at Con- 
stantinople life and art were also oriental. By Rome oriental 
monarchy was introduced into Europe, where it later so pro- 
foundly affected the history of our ancestors, and in the Roman 
Empire free citizenship perished. Thus the final organization of 
Rome (in spite of the Republic out of which it grew) has proved 
one of the great links between the world to which we belong 
and the despotism of the early Orient behind Rome. 

One leading element in the organization of Rome always The greatest 
remained her own, and this was law. In Ro man law, still a Rome 
power in modern government, we have the great creation of 
Roman genius, which has more profoundly affected th e later 
world than any otherRoman J^ns^titutLon. Another great office 
of Rome was the^iversal spread of that international civili- 
zation which had been brought forth by Greece in contact 
with the Orient. She gave to that civilization the far-reach- 
ing organization which under the Greeks it had lacked. That 
organization, though completely transformed into oriental des- 
potism, endured for five centuries and withstood the tide of 
barbarian invasion from the grasslands of the north (p. 86), 
which would otherwise have overwhelmed the disorganized 
Greek world long before. Herein lies much of the significance 
of Rome. The Roman State was the last bulwark of civilization 
intrenched on the Mediterranean against the Indo-European 
hordes pouring in from those same northern pastures, where 
the ancestors of Greek and Roman alike had once fed their 
flocks. But the bulwark, though shaken, did not fall because of 
hostile assaults from without. It fell because of decay within, 
and because it could not keep itself impervious to the tide of 
life from the East. 

After the foundation of Constantinople the Roman Empire 
for a time remained one in law, government, and culture. Even 


Outlines of European History 

Futile effort 
to maintain 
the unity of 
the Empire 

There were 
often two 
emperors, but 
only one 

before the death of Diocletian, however, there was a tendency 
for the eastern and western portions to drift apart. Constantine 
had established his sole supremacy only after a long struggle 
with his rivals. Thereafter there were often two emperors, one 
in the west and one in the east, but they were supposed to 
govern one empire conjointly and in " unanimity." New laws 
were to be accepted by both. The writers of the time do not 
speak of two states but continue to refer to " the Empire," as 
if the administration were still in the hands of one ruler. Indeed, 
the idea of one government for all civilized mankind did not 
disappear but continued to influence men during the whole of 
the Middle Ages. 

The foundation of Constantinople and the establishment of 
a western emperor at Rome left the venerable city dangerously 
isolated ; it was a fatal step toward the surrender of Rome and 
the West to the barbarians, who were already gaining possession 
of the Empire by peaceable migration (p. 305). From the bar- 
barism which engulfed it in the fifth century a.d. the Roman 
west did not emerge for centuries. The Roman Empire sur- 
viving at Constantinople belonged, as we have seen, to the East 
and was essentially an oriental state. This was the outcome of 
the long struggle of civilization in the Mediterranean. Its finest 
fruits — democracy, free citizenship, creative art, and independent 
thought unshackled by theology — had perished. 

Although it was in the eastern part of the Empire that the 
barbarians first got a permanent foothold, the emperors at 
Constantinople were able to keep a portion of the old posses- 
sions of the Empire under their rule for centuries after the 
Germans had completely conquered the West. When at last 
the eastern capital of the Empire fell, it was not into the hands 
of the Germans, but into those of the Turks, who have held it 
ever since 1453 (Fig. 130). 

There will be no room in this volume to follow the history of 
the Eastern Empire, although it cannot be entirely ignored in 
studying western Europe. Its language and civilization had 

The Roman Empire to the Triumph of Christianity 313 

always been Greek, and owing to this and the influence of the Constanti- 

Orient, its civilization offers a marked contrast to that of the most wealthy 

Latin West, which was adopted by the Germans. Learning of ^!|^ populous 

a mechanical type never died out in the East as it did in the Europe dur- 

, ing the early 

West, nor did art reach so low an ebb. For some centuries Middle Ages 
after the break-up of the Roman Empire in the West, the capital 
of the Eastern Empire enjoyed the distinction of being the 
largest and most wealthy city of Europe. Within its walls could 
be found a refinement and civilization which had almost dis- 
appeared in the West, and its beautiful buildings, its parks, and 
paved streets filled travelers from the West with astonishment. 


Section 45. Recount the career of Octavian. Did he wish to 
destroy the Republic ? Describe the office which he wished to hold 
under it. What kind of an adjustment of power resulted 1 Could it 
be permanent.? What was the foreign policy of Augustus.? Define 
the extent of the Empire and name some of the peoples it included. 

What is the distance from the Atlantic coast of Spain to the 
Euphrates, and how far would a line of this length reach across 
the United States 1 Describe the condition of the army at this time ; 
of the Empire as a whole. What did Augustus attempt to restore ? 
Give some account of Horace and Virgil. Contrast Greek and 
Roman literature. Discuss philosophy in Augustan Rome. Give 
some account of Roman law. 

Section 46. What conditions did a wealthy Roman traveler find 
during the first century of the Roman Empire.? in Hellas.? in the 
East? in Egypt.? in the West? How long did the peace established 
by Augustus last? Mention the chief causes of decline during this 

Describe a Roman villa. Discuss slavery. Define coloni, and 
compare them with slaves. What was happening to the population 
of the Empire as a whole ? Describe city life. What oriental influences 
are discernible? 

Section 47. Discuss the oriental religions in the Mediterranean. 
Describe the spread of Christianity. 

Section 48.* Whose reign marked the end of the two centuries 
of peace? Give an account of this reign. What followed ? Describe 

314 Outlines of European History 

the revolution of the third century a.d. What happened to the 
highest civihzation? What kind of a Roman state issued from this 
revolution ? 

Who organized it ? What was now the character of taxation ? 
What was the result ? Describe the army under Diocletian and 
later. Discuss literature and art under the declining Roman Empire. 

Section 49. Where was the Emperor's new residence and who 
founded it ? Tell what religion now triumphed and how it came about. 
How was the Christian Church organized and what were bishops 
and archbishops .'* 

What privileges are granted to the Christian clergy in the Theo- 
dosian Code.? Define heresy." How were heretics treated according 
to Roman law.? 

Section 50. Sketch the career of man to the fall of ancient 
civilization. What influences were the leading ones in the Eastern 
Empire.? What were the greatest ofiices of Rome? Discuss the 
unity of the Empire after the founding of Constantinople. What 
happened to Rome and the West? How long did the Eastern 
Empire survive, and what was it like ? 



Section 51. Founding of Kingdoms by Barbarian 

It is impossible to divide the past into distinct, clearly defined impossibility 
periods and prove that one age ended and another began in a par- ^^e past'?nto 
ticular year, such as ^;^;^ B.C., or 1453 a.d., or 1789. Men do not ^^^^^ ^^' , 
and cannot change their habits and ways of doing things all at 
once, no matter what happens. It is true that a single event, 
such as an important battle which results in the loss of a nation's 
independence, may produce an abrupt change in the government. 
This in turn may either encourage or discourage trade and 
manufactures, and modify the language and alter the interests 
of a people. But these deeper changes take place only very All general 
gradually. After a battle or a revolution the farmer will sow pia"e^gradu-^ 
and reap in his old way ; the artisan will take up his familiar ^^^y 
tasks, and the merchant his buying and selling. The scholar 
will study and write as he formerly did, and the household will 
go on under the new government just as it did under the old. 



O 21 times of European History 

The unity or 
continuity of 

changes do 
not occur on 
fixed dates 

Meaning of 
the term 
" Middle 
Ages " 

The Germans 
belonged to 
the Indo- 

So a change in government affects the habits of a people but 
slowly in any case, and it may leave them quite unaltered. 

This tendency of mankind to do, in general, this year what 
it did last, in spite of changes in some one department of life, — 
such as substituting a president for a king, traveling by rail in- 
stead of on horseback, or getting the news from a newspaper 
instead of from a neighbor, — results in what is called the unity 
or co7itinuity of histofy. The truth that no sudden change has 
ever taken place in all the customs of a people, and that it can- 
not, in the nature of things, take place, is perhaps the most 
fundamental lesson that history teaches. 

Historians sometimes seem to forget this principle, when they 
undertake to begin and end their books at precise dates. We 
find histories of Europe from 476 to 918, from 1270 to 1492, 
as if the accession of a capable German king in 918, or the 
death of a famous French king in 1270, or the discovery of 
America in 1492, marked 2l general change in European affairs. 
In reality, however, no general change took place at these dates 
or in any other single year. 

We cannot, therefore, hope to fix any year or event which may 
properly be taken as the beginning of that long period which 
followed the break-up of the Roman Empire in western Europe 
and which is commonly called the Middle Ages. Beyond the 
northern and eastern boundaries of the Roman Empire, which 
embraced the whole civilized world from the Euphrates to Britain, 
mysterious peoples moved about whose history before they came 
into occasional contact with the Romans is practically unknown. 

These Germans, or " Barbarians " as the Romans called them, 
belonged to the same great group of peoples to which the Per- 
sians, Greeks, and Romans belonged — the Indo-European race 
(see above, pp. 86 ff.). They were destined, as their relatives 
had earlier done, to take possession of the lands of others and 
help build up a different civilization from that they found. They 
had first begun to make trouble about a hundred years before 
Christ, when a great army of them was defeated by the Roman 

The German Invasions 317 

general Marius. Julius Caesar narrates in polished Latin how 
fifty years later he drove back other bands. Five hundred years 
elapsed, however, before German chieftains succeeded in found- 
ing kingdoms within the boundaries of the Empire. With their 
establishment the Roman government in western Europe may be 
said to have come to an end and the Middle Ages to have begun. 

Yet it would be a great mistake to suppose that this means Most medie- 
that the Roman civilization suddenly disappeared at this time, ^e foundTn ° 
Long before the German conquest, art and literature had begun ^^j,^ g^^pj^'/g 
to decline toward the level that they reached in the Middle Ages. 
Many of the ideas and conditions which prevailed after the com- 
ing of the barbarians were common enough before. Even the 
ignorance and strange ideas which we associate particularly with 
the Middle Ages are to be found in the later Roman Empire. l^V-i^ 

The term " Middle Ages " will be used in this volume to ^^-^ 

mean, roughly speaking, the period of over a thousand years // 

that elapsed between the fifth century, when the disorder of the 
barbarian invasions was becoming general, and the opening of 
the sixteenth century, when Europe was well on its way to recover 
all that had been lost since the break-up of the Roman Empire. 

Previous to the year 375 the attempts of the Germans to The Huns 
penetrate into the Roman Empire appear to have been due to Qoths into 
their love of adventure, their hope of plundering their civilized *^ Empire 
neighbors, or the need of new lands for their increasing num- 
bers. And the Romans, by means of their armies, their walls, 
and their guards, had up to this time succeeded in preventing 
the barbarians from violently occupying Roman territory. But 
suddenly a new force appeared in the rear of the Germans 
which thrust some of them across the northern boundary of the 
Empire. The Huns, a Mongolian folk from central Asia, swept 
down upon the Goths, who were a German tribe settled upon 
the Danube, and forced a part of them to seek shelter across 
the river, within the limits of the Empire. 

Here they soon fell out with the Roman officials, and a great 
battle was fought at Adrianople in 378 in which the Goths 


Outlines of European History 

Battle of 



Alaric takes 
Rome, 410 

St. Augus- 
tine's City 
of God 

West Goths 
settle in 
Gaul and 

defeated and slew the Roman emperor, Valens. The Germans 
had now not only broken through the boundaries of the Empire, 
but they had also learned that they could defeat the Roman 
legions. The battle of Adrianople may therefore be said to 
mark the beginning of the conquest of the western part of the 
Empire by the Germans. For some years, however, after the 
battle of Adrianople the various bands of West Goths — or 
Visigoths, as they are often called — were induced to accept the 
terms of peace offered by the emperor's officials, and some of 
the Goths agreed to serve as soldiers in the Roman armies. 

Among the Germans who succeeded in getting an important 
position in the Roman army was Alaric, but he appears to have 
become dissatisfied with the treatment he received from the Em- 
peror. He therefore collected an army, of which his countrymen, 
the West Goths, formed a considerable part, and set out for Italy, 
and finally decided to march on Rome itself. The Eternal City 
fell into his hands in 410 and was plundered by his followers. 

Although Alaric did not destroy the city, or even seriously 
damage it, the fact that Rome had fallen into the hands of an 
invading army was a notable disaster. The pagans explained it 
on the ground that the old gods were angry because so many 
people had deserted them and become Christians. St. Augustine, 
in his famous book. The City of God, took much pains to prove 
that the. Roman gods had never been able on previous occasions 
to prevent disaster to their worshipers, and that Christianity could 
not be held responsible for the troubles of the time. 

Alaric died before he could find a satisfactory spot for his 
people to settle upon permanently. After his death the West 
Goths wandered into Gaul, and then into Spain. Here they 
came upon the Vandals, another German tribe, who had 
crossed the Rhine four years before Alaric had captured 
Rome. For three years they had devastated Gaul and then had 
moved down into Spain. For a time after the arrival in Spain of 
the West Goths, there was war between them and the Vandals. 
The West Goths seem to have got the best of their rivals, for 


in the 





Scale ofMilefi. 


Lougiliiar Kast 




Palace <j 





^ "^ 






, . , 7," 1 WEST GOTHS 




. . . • 4 FRANKS 







from Greenwich 

The Gerjiia7i Invasions 


the Vandals determined to move on across the Strait of Gibraltar 
into northern Africa, where they established a kingdom and con- 
quered the neigh- 
boring islands in the 
Mediterranean (see 
map, p. 323). 

Having rid them- 
selves of the Van- 
dals, the West Goths 
took possession of a 
great part of the Span- 
ish peninsula, and 
this they added to 
their conquests across 
the Pyrenees in Gaul, 
so that their kingdom 
extended from the 
river Loire to the 
Strait of Gibraltar. 

It is unnecessary 
to follow the con- 
fused history of the 
movements of the 
innumerable bands 
of restless barbari- 
ans who wandered 
about Europe dur- 
ing the fifth century. 
Scarcely any part 
of western Europe 
was left unmolested; 
even Britainwascon- 
quered by German 
tribes, the Angles 
and Saxons. 

Kingdom of 
the Vandals 
in Africa 

Fig. 131. Roman Mausoleum at St.-Remv 

The Roman town of Glanum (now called St.- 
Remy) in southern France was destroyed by 
the West Goths in 480. Little remains of the 
town except a triumphal arch and the great 
monument pictured here. Above the main 
arches is the inscription, SEX. L. M. IVLIEI. 
C. F. PARENTIBUS. SVEIS, which seems to 
mean, " Sextus Julius and [his brothers] Lucius 
and Marcus, sons of Gaius, to their parents " 


Outlines of Eu7'opean History 

Attila and 
the Huns 

The " fall " of 
the Empire 
in the West, 


Odoacer and 
the kingdom 
of the East 
Goths in 

To add to the universal confusion caused by the influx of the 
German tribes, the Huns (the Mongolian people who had first 
pushed the West Goths into the Empire) now began to fill all 
western Europe with terror. Under their chief, Attila, this sav- 
age people invaded Gaul. But the Romans and the German 
inhabitants joined together against the invaders and defeated 
them in the battle of Chalons, in 45 1 . After this rebuff in Gaul, 
Attila turned to Italy. But the danger there was averted by a 
Roman embassy, headed by Pope Leo the Great, who induced 
Attila to give up his plan of marching upon Rome. Within a 
year he died and with him perished the power of the Huns, 
who never troubled Europe again. 

The year 476 has commonly been taken as the date of the 
" fall " of the Western Empire and of the beginning of the 
Middle Ages. What happened in that year was this. Most of 
the Roman emperors in the West had proved weak and indolent 
rulers. So the barbarians wandered hither and thither pretty 
much at their pleasure, and the German troops in the service 
of the Empire became accustomed to set up and depose 
emperors to suit their own special interest, very much in the 
same way that a boss in an American city often succeeds in 
securing the election of a mayor who will carry out his wishes. 
Finally in 476, Odoacer, the most powerful among the rival 
German generals in Italy, banished the last of the emperors of 
the West and ruled in his stead.-^ 

It was not, however, given to Odoacer to establish an endur- 
ing German kingdom on Italian soil, for he was conquered by 
the great Theodoric, the king of the East Goths (or Ostro- 
goths). Theodoric had spent ten years of his early youth in 
Constantinople and had thus become familiar with Roman life 
and was on friendly terms with the Emperor of the East. 

The struggle between Theodoric and Odoacer lasted for sev- 
eral years, but Odoacer was finally shut up in Ravenna and 

1 The common misapprehensions in regard to the events of 476 are discussed 
by the author in The New History, pp. 154 ff. 

The Gennnn Invasions 


surTendered, only to be trearherously slain ri few days lafer by 
Theodoric's own hand (493). 

Theodoric put the name of the Emperor at Constantinople The East 
on the coins which he issued, and did everything in his power j^aly 
to gain the Emperor's approval of the new German kingdom. 

132. Church of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo 

This church was erected at Ravenna by Theodoric. Although the out- 
side has been changed, the interior, here represented, remains much 
the same as it was originally. The twenty-four marble columns were 
brought from Constantinople. The walls are adorned with mosaics, 
that is, pictures made by piecing together small squares of brightly 
colored marbles or glass 

Nevertheless, although he desired that the Emperor should 
sanction his usurpation, Theodoric had no idea of being really 
subordinate to Constantinople. 

The invaders took one third of the land for themselves, but 
this seems to have been done without causing any serious dis- 
order. Theodoric greatly admired the Roman laws and insti- 
tutions and did his best to preserve them. The old offices and 
titles were retained, and Goth and Roman lived under the same 
Roman law. Order was maintained and learning encouraged. In 


Otctlmes of E?iropeaii History 

and his 

Ravenna, which Theodoric chose for his capital, beautiful build- 
ings still exist that date from his reign. -^ 

While Theodoric had been establishing his kingdom in Italy 
in this enlightened way, Gaul, which we now call France, was 
coming under the control of the most powerful of all the bar- 
barian peoples, the Franks^ who were to play a more important 
role in the formation of modern Europe than any of the other 
German races (see next section). 

Besides the kingdom of the East Goths in Italy and of the 
Franks in Gaul, the West Goths had their kingdom in Spain, 
the Burgundians had established themselves on the Rhone River, 
and the Vandals in Africa. Royal alliances were concluded be- 
tween the various reigning houses, and for the first time in the 
history of Europe we see something like a family of nations, liv- 
ing each within its own boundaries and dealing with one another 
as independent powers (see map). It seemed for a few years 
as if the new German kings who had divided up the western por- 
tion of the Empire among themselves would succeed in keeping 
order and in preventing the loss of such civilization as remained. 

But no such good fortune was in store for Europe, which 
was now only at the beginning of the turmoil which was to 
leave it almost completely barbarized, for there was little to 
encourage the reading or writing of books, the study of science, 
or attention to art, in a time of constant warfare and danger. 

Theodoric had a distinguished Roman counselor named Cassi- 
odorus (d. 575), to whose letters we owe a great part of our 
knowledge of this period, and who busied himself in his old age 

1 The headpiece of this chapter represents the tomb of Theodoric. Emperors 
and rich men were accustomed in Roman times to build handsome tombs for 
themselves (see Fig. 131). Theodoric followed their example and erected this two- 
storied building at Ravenna to sei"ve as his mausoleum. The dome consists of a 
single great piece of rock 36 feet in diameter, weighing 500 tons, brought from 
across the Adriatic. Theodoric was a heretic in the eyes of the Catholic Church, 
and not long after his death his remains were taken out of his tomb and scattered 
to the winds, and the building converted into a church. The picture represents 
the tomb as it probably looked originally ; it has been somewhat altered in modern 
times, but is well preserved. 

Map of Europe in the Time of Theodoric 

It will be noticed that Theodoric's kingdom of the East Goths included 
a considerable part of what we call Austria to-day, and that the West 
Gothic kingdom extended into southern France. The Vandals held 
northern Africa and the adjacent islands. The Burgundians lay in be- 
tween the East Goths and the Franks. The Lombards, who were later 
to move down into Italy, were in Theodoric's time east of the Bavarians, 
after whom modern Bavaria is named. Some of the Saxons invaded 
England, but many remained in Germany, as indicated on the map. 
The Eastern Empire, which was all that remained of the Roman Empire, 
included the Balkan Peninsula, Asia Minor, and the eastern portion of 
the Mediterranean. The Britons in Wales, the Picts in Scotland, and 
the Scots in Ireland were Celts, consequently modern Welsh, Gaehc, and 
Irish are closely related and belong to the Celtic group of languages 



Outlines of European History 

in preparing textbooks of the " liberal " arts and sciences, — 
grammar, arithmetic, logic, geometry, rhetoric, music, and as- 
tronomy. His treatment of these seven important subjects, to 
which he devotes a few pages each, seems to us very silly and 
absurd and enables us to estimate the low plane to which learn- 
ing had fallen in Italy in the sixth century. Yet these and similar 
works were regarded as standard treatises and used as textbooks 
all through the Middle Ages, while the really great Greek and 
Roman writers of the earlier period were forgotten. 

Between the time of Theodoric and that of Charlemagne 
three hundred years elapsed, during which scarcely a person 
was to be found who could write out, even in the worst of 
Latin, an account of the events of his day.-^ Everything con- 
spired to discourage education. The great centers of learning — 
Carthage, Rome, Alexandria, Milan — had all been partially 
destroyed by the invaders. The libraries which had been kept 
in the temples of the "pagan gods were often burned, along 
with the temples themselves, by Christian enthusiasts, who 
were not sorry to see the heathen books disappear with the 
heathen religion. Shortly after Theodoric's death the Emperor 
at Constantinople withdrew the support which the Roman gov- 
ernment had been accustomed to grant to public teachers, and 
closed the great school at Athens. The only important historian 
of the sixth century was the half-illiterate Gregory, bishop of 
Tours (d. 594), whose whole work is evidence of the sad state 
of affairs. He at least heartily appreciated his own ignorance 
and exclaims, in bad Latin, " Woe to our time, for the study of 
books has perished from among us." 

The year after Theodoric's death one of the greatest of the 
emperors of the East, Justinian (527-565), came to the throne 
at Constantinople. He undertook to regain for the Empire the 
provinces in Africa and Italy that had been occupied by the 
Vandals and East Goths. His general, Belisarius, overthrew 

1 See Robinson, Readings in European History^ I, chap, iii (end), for histori- 
cal writings of this period. 

The German Invasions 325 

^he ^'andal kingdom in northern Africa in 534, but it was a 
more difficult task to destroy the Gothic rule in Itaty. How- 
ever, in spite of a brave resistance, the Goths were so com- 
pletely defeated in 553 that they agreed to leave Italy with all 
their movable possessions. What became of the remnants of 
the race we do not know. 

The destruction of the Gothic kingdom was a disaster for The Lom- 
Italy, for the Goths would have helped defend it against later ill\y ^^'^"P^ 
and far more barbarous invaders. Immediately after the death 
of Justinian the country was overrun by the Lombards, the 
last of the great German peoples to establish themselves within 
the bounds of the former Empire. They were a savage race, a 
considerable part of which was still pagan. The newcomers 
first occupied the region north of the Po, which has ever 
since been called " Lombardy " after them, and then extended 
their conquests southward. Instead of settling themselves with 
the moderation and wise statesmanship of the East Goths, the 
Lombards moved about the peninsula pillaging and massacring. 
Such of the inhabitants as could, fled to the islands off the 
coast. The Lombards were unable, however, to conquer all of 
Italy. Rome, Ravenna, and southern Italy continued to be held 
by the emperors who succeeded Justinian at Constantinople. 
As time went on, the Lombards lost their wildness and adopted 
the habits and religion of the people among whom they lived. 
Their kingdom lasted over two hundred years, until it was 
conquered by Charlemagne (see below, p. 374). 

Section 52. Kingdom of the Franks 

s : 

The various kingdoms established by the German chieftains The Frank 
were not very permanent, as we have seen. The Franks, how- tancVand°' 
ever, succeeded in conquering more territory than any other Jjj^^lo^"^^^^^^^^ 
people and in founding an empire far more important than the 
kingdoms of the West and East Goths, the Vandals, or the 
Lombards. We must now see how this was accomplished. 


Outlines of European History 

When the Franks are first heard of in history they were set- 
tled along the lower Rhine, from Cologne to the North Sea. 
Their method of getting a foothold in the Empire was essen- 
tially different from that which 
the Goths, Lombards, and 
Vandals had adopted. Instead 
of severing their connection 
with Germany and becoming 
an island in the sea of the 
Empire, they conquered by de- 
grees the territory about them. 
However far they might ex- 
tend their control, they re- 
mained in constant touch with 
their fellow barbarians behind 
them. In this way they re- 
tained the warlike vigor that 
was lost by the races who 
were completely surrounded 
by the luxuries of Roman civi- 

In the early part of the fifth 
century they had occupied the 
district which forms to-day 
the kingdom of Belgium, as 
well as the regions east of 
it. In 486, seven years before 
Theodoric founded his Italian 
kingdom, they went forth un- 
der their great king, Clovis 
(a name that later grew into 

Fig. 133. Frankish Warrior 

It is very hard to find illustrations 
for a chapter on the barbarian in- 
vasions, for this period of disorder 
was not one in which pictures were 
being painted or buildings erected. 
From the slight descriptions we 
have of the .costume worn by the 
Frankish soldiers, we infer that it 
was something like that repre- 
sented here. We know that they 
wore their hair in long braids and 
carried weapons similar to those 
in the picture 

Louis), and defeated the 
Roman general who opposed them. They extended their control 
over Gaul as far south as the Loire, which at that time formed 
the northern boundary of the kingdom of the West Goths. 

The German Invasions 327 

Clovis next enlarged his empire on the east by the conquest 
of the Alemanni, a German people living in the region of the 
Black Forest. 

The battle in which the Alemanni were defeated (496) is in Conversion 
one respect important above all the other battles of Clovis. ° 0^15,49 
Although still a pagan himself, his wife had been converted to 
Christianity. In the midst of the battle, seeing his troops giving 
way, he called upon Jesus Christ and pledged himself to be 
baptized in his name if he would help the Franks to victory 
over their enemies. When he won the battle he kept his word 
and was baptized, together with three thousand of his warriors. 
It is from Bishop Gregory of Tours, mentioned above, that most 
of our knowledge of Clovis and his successors is derived. In 
Gregory's famous History of the Fi'aiiks the cruel and unscrupu- 
lous Clovis appears as God's chosen instrument for the support 
of the Christian faith.^ Certainly Clovis quickly learned to com- 
bine his own interests with those of the Church, and, later, an 
alliance between the Pope and the Frankish kings was destined 
to have a great influence upon the history of western Europe. 

To the south of Clovis's new possessions in Gaul lay the Conquests of 
kingdom of the West Goths ; to the southeast that of another 
German people, the Burgundians. Clovis speedily extended his 
power to the Pyrenees, and forced the West Goths to confine 
themselves to the Spanish portion of their realm, while the Bur- 
gundians soon fell completely under the rule of the Franks. 
Then Clovis, by a series of murders, brought portions of the 
Frankish nation itself, which had previously been independent 
of him, under his scepter. 

When Clovis died in 511 at Paris, which he had made his Bloody 
residence, his four sons divided his possessions among them, of Frankish 

Wars between rival brothers, interspersed with the most horrible 
murders, fill the annals of the Frankish kingdom for over a hun- 
dred years after the death of Clovis. Yet the nation continued 
to develop in spite of the unscrupulous deeds of its rulers. 

1 See Readings, chap, iii, for passages from Gregory of Tours. 



Outlines of E?^ rope an Histor)' 

Extent of The Frankish kings who followed Clovis succeeded in ex- 

realms\bout tending their power over pretty nearly all the territory that is 

5^° included to-day in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, as 

well as over a goodly portion of western Germany. Half a 

century after the death of Clovis, their dominions extended from 

the Bay of Biscay on the west to a point east of Salzburg. 

The Dominions of the Franks under the Merovingians 

This map shows how the Frankish kingdom grew up. Clovis while still 
a young man defeated the Roman general Syagrius in 486, near Sois- 
sons, and so added the region around Paris to his possessions. He 
added Alemannia on the east in 496. In 507 he made Paris his capital 
and conquered Aquitania, previously held by the West Goths. He also 
made a beginning in adding the kingdom of the Kurgundians to his 
realms. He died in 511. His successors in the next half century com- 
pleted the conquest of liurgundy and added Provincia, Bavaria, and 
Gascony. There were many divisions of the Frankish realms after the 
time of Clovis, and the eastern and western portions, called Austrasia 
and Neustria, were often ruled by different branches of the Merovingians, 
as Clovis's family was called, from his ancestor Meroveus 

The German Invasions 329 

Section 53. Results of the Barbarian Invasions 

As one looks back over the German invasions it is natural Fusion of 
to ask upon what terms the newcomers lived among the old \^^ and the 
mhabitants of the Empire, how far they adopted the customs Roman popu- 
of those among whom they settled, and how far they clung to 
their old habits ? These questions cannot be answered very sat- 
isfactorily. So little is known of the confused period of which 
we have been speaking that it is impossible to follow closely 
the mixing of the two races. 

Yet a few things are tolerably clear. In the first place, we The number 
must be on our guard against exaggerating the numbers in the barians^^*^ 
various bodies of invaders. The writers of the time indicate 
that the West Goths, when they were first admitted to the 
Empire before the battle of Adrianople, amounted to four or 
five hundred thousand persons, including men, women, and chil- 
dren. This is the largest band reported, and it must have been 
greatly reduced before the West Goths, after long wanderings 
and many batdes, finally settled in Spain and southern Gaul. The 
Burgundians, when they appear for the first time on the banks 
of the Rhine, are reported to have had eighty thousand warriors 
among them. When Clovis and his army were baptized, Gregory 
of Tours speaks of " over three thousand " soldiers who became 
Christians upon that occasion. This would seem to indicate 
that this was the entire army of the Frankish king at this time. 

Undoubtedly these figures are very meager and unreliable. 
But the readiness with which the Germans appear to have 
adopted the language and customs of the Romans would tend 
to prove that the invaders formed but a small minority of the 
population. Since hundreds of thousands of barbarians had 
been absorbed during the previous five centuries, the invasions 
of the fifth century can hardly have made an abrupt change in 
the character of the population. 

The barbarians within the old Empire were soon speaking the 
same conversational Eatin which was everywhere used by the 


Outlines of European History 

Romans about them. This was much simpler than the elaborate 
and complicated language used in books, which we find so much 
difficulty in learning nowadays. The speech of the common peo- 
ple was gradually diverging more and more, in the various coun- 
tries of southern Europe, from the written Latin, and finally grew 
into French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. But the barba- 
rians did not produce this change, for it had begun before they 
came and would have gone on without them. They did no more 
than contribute a few convenient words to the new languages. 

The northern Franks, who did not penetrate far into the 
Empire, and the Germans who remained in what is now Ger- 
many and in Scandinavia, had of course no reason for giving 
up their native tongues ; the Angles and Saxons in Britain also 
kept theirs. These Germanic languages in time became Dutch, 
English, German, Danish, Swedish, etc. Of this matter some- 
thing will be said later (see below, section 92). 

The Germans and the older inhabitants of the Roman Empire 
appear to have had no dislike for one another, except when 
there was a difference in religion.'^ Where there was no religious 
barrier the two races intermarried freely from the first. The 
Frankish kings did not hesitate to appoint Romans to im.por- 
tant positions in the government and in the army, just as the 
Romans had long been in the habit of employing the barbarians 
as generals and officials. In only one respect were the two 
races distinguished for a time — each had its particular law. 

The West Goths were probably the first to write down their 
ancient laws, using the Latin language for the purpose. Their 
example was followed by the Franks, the Burgundians, and later 
by the Lombards and other peoples. These codes make up the 
" Laws of the Barbarians," which form our most important 
source of knowledge of the habits and ideas of the Germans at 
the time of the invasions. For several centuries following the 

1 The West and East Goths and the Burgundians were heretics in the eyes 
of the Catholic Church, for they had been taught their Christianity by mission- 
aries who disagreed with the Catholic Church on certain points. 

The German hivasions . 331 

barbarian conquests, the members of the various German tribes 
appear to have been judged by the laws of the particular people to 
v^hich they belonged. The older inhabitants of the Empire, on 
the contrary, continued to have their lawsuits decided according 
to the Roman law. 

The German laws did not provide for trials, either in the Medieval 
Roman or the modern sense of the word. There was no attempt 
to gather and weigh evidence and base the decision upon it. 
Such a mode of procedure was far too elaborate for the simple- 
minded Germans. Instead of a regular trial, one of the parties 
to the case was designated to prove that his side of the case 
was true by one of the following methods : 

1. He might solemnly swear that he was telling the truth Compurga- 
and get as many other persons of his own class as the court 
required, to swear that they believed that he was telling the truth. 

This was called comp2irgatio7i. It was believed that God would 
punish those who swore falsely. 

2. On the other hand, the parties to the case, or persons v^agerof 
representing them, might meet in combat, on the supposition 

that Heaven would grant victory to the right. This was the 
so-called wager of battle. 

3. Lastly, one or other of the parties might be required to Ordeals 
submit to the ordeal in one of its various forms : He might 
plunge his arm into hot water, or carry a bit of hot iron for 

some distance, and if at the end of three days he showed no ill 
effects, the case was decided in his favor. Or he might be 
ordered to walk over hot plowshares, and if he was not burned, 
it was assumed that God had intervened by a miracle to establish 
the right. ^ This method of trial is but one example of the rude 
civilization which displaced the refined and elaborate organization 
of the Romans. 

The account which has been given of the conditions in the 
Roman Empire, and of the manner in which the barbarians 

1 Professor Emerton gives an excellent account of the Germanic ideas of law 
in his Introduction to the Middle Ages, pp. 73-91. 

332 Outlines of European History 

occupied its western part, serve to explain why the following 
centuries -~ known as the early Middle Ages — were a time of 
ignorance and disorder. The Germans, no doubt, varied, a good 
deal in their habits and character. The Goths differed from the 
Lombards, and the Franks from the Vandals ; but they were all 
alike in knowing nothing of the art, literature, and science which 
had been developed by the Greeks and adopted by the Romans. 
The invaders were ignorant, simple, vigorous people, with no 
taste for anything except fighting, eating, and drinking. Such was 
the disorder that their coming produced that the declining civiliza- 
tion of the Empire was pretty nearly submerged. The libraries, 
buildings, and works of art w^ere destroyed or neglected, and 
there was no one to see that they were restored. So the western 
world fell back into a condition similar to that in which it had 
been before the Romans conquered and civilized it. 

The loss was, however, temporary. The great heritage of 
skill and invention which had been slowly accumulated in Egypt 
and Greece, and which formed a part of the civilization which 
the Romans had adopted and spread abroad throughout their 
great Empire, did not wholly perish. 

It is true that the break-up of the Roman Empire and the 
centuries of turmoil which followed set everything back, but we 
shall see how^ the barbarian nations gradually developed into our 
modern European states, how universities were established in 
which the books of the Greeks and Romans were studied. 
Architects arose in time to imitate the old buildings and build 
a new kind of their own quite as imposing as those of the 
Romans, and men of science carried discoveries far beyond 
anything known to the wisest of the Greeks and Romans. 


Section 51. How did the Germans first come into the Roman 
Empire, and for what reasons ? What is meant by the barbarian in- 
vasions ? Give some examples. Trace the history of the West Goths. 
Where did they finally establish their kingdom.? Why has the 

The Gertnan Invasions 333 

year 476 been regarded as the date of the fall of the Roman Empire? 
Tell what you can of Theodoric and his kingdom. Contrast the 
Lombard invaders of Italy with the East Goths. 

Section 52. Who were the Franks, and how did their invasion 
differ from that of the other German peoples? What did Clovis 
accomplish, and what was the extent of the kingdom of the Franks 
under his successors ? Compare the numbers of the barbarians who 
seem to have entered the Empire with the number of people in our 
large cities to-day. 

Section 53. On what terms do the Germans seem to have lived 
with the people of the Roman Empire ? Why are the " Laws of the 
Barbarians" useful to the historian ? Compare the ways in which the 
Germans tried law cases with those we use to-day in the LInited vStates. 
Tell as clearly as possible why the Middle Ages were centuries of 
disorder and ignorance as compared with the earlier period. 



Section 54. The Christian Church 

Besides the emperors at Constantinople and the various 
German kings, there grew up in Europe a line of rulers far 
more powerful than any of these, namely, the popes. We must 
now consider the Christian Church and see how the popes 
gained their great influence. 

We have already seen how marvelously the Christian com- 
munities founded by the apostles and their fellow missionaries 
multiplied until, by the middle of the third century, writers like 
St. Cyprian came to conceive of a " Catholic," or all-embracing, 
Church. We have seen how Emperor Constantine favored 
Christianity, and how his successors worked in the interest of 
the new religion ; how carefully the Theodosian Code safe- 
guarded the Church and the Christian clergy, and how harshly 
those were treated who ventured to hold another view of 
Christianity from that sanctioned by the government.^ 

1 See above, section 49. 

The Rise of the Papacy 335 

We must now follow this most powerful and permanent of all 
the institutions of the later Roman Empire into the Middle Ages. 
We must stop first to consider how the Western, or Latin, 
portion of Christendom, which gradually fell apart from the 
Eastern, or Greek, region, came to form a separate institution 
under the popes, the longest and mightiest line of rulers that 
the world has ever seen. We shall see how a peculiar class of 
Christians, the monks, appeared ; how they joined hands with 
the clergy ; how the monks and the clergy met the barbarians, 
subdued and civilized them, and then ruled them for centuries. 

One great source of the Church's strength lay in the gen- Contrast be- 
eral fear of death and judgment to come, which Christianity an?chriSan 
had brought with it. The educated Greeks and Romans of the ^^^^^ 
classical period usually thought of the next life, when they 
thought of it at all, as a very uninteresting existence compared 
with that on this earth. One who committed some great crime 
might suffer for it after death with pains similar to those of the 
hell in which the Christians believed. But the great part of 
humanity were supposed to lead in the next world a shadowy 
existence, neither sad nor glad. Religion, even to the de- 
vout pagan, was, as we have seen, mainly an affair of this life ; 
the gods were worshiped with a view to securing happiness and 
success in this world. 

Since no great satisfaction could be expected in the next 
life, according to pagan ideas, it was naturally thought wise to 
make the most of this one. The possibility of pleasure ends — 
so the Roman poet Horace urges — when we join the shades 
below, as we all must do soon. Let us, therefore, take advan- 
tage of every harmless pleasure and improve our brief oppor- 
tunity to enjoy the good things of earth. We should, however, 
be reasonable and temperate, avoiding all excess, for that 
endangers happiness. Above all, we should not worry use- 
lessly about the future, which is in the hands of the gods and 
beyond our control. Such were the convictions of the majority 
of thoughtful pagans. 

336 Outlines of Europfan History 

Other- Christianity opposed this view of life with an entirely differ- 

of°medieval ^^t One. It constantly emphasized man's existence after death, 
Christianity ^hich it declared to be infinitely more important than his brief 
sojourn on earth. Under the influence of the Church this con- 
ception of life gradually supplanted the pagan one in the Roman 
world, and it was taught to the barbarians. 
The monks The " Other- worldliness " became so intense that thousands 

gave up their ordinary occupations altogether and devoted their 
entire attention to preparation for the next life. They shut 
themselves in lonely cells ; and, not satisfied with giving up 
most of their natural pleasures, they inflicted bodily suffering 
upon themselves by hunger, cold, and other discomforts. They 
trusted that in this way they might avoid some of the sins into 
which they were apt to fall, and that, by self-infiicted punish- 
ment in this world, they might perchance escape some of that 
reserved for them in the next. 
The Church The barbarians were taught that their fate in the next world 
of salvation depended largely upon the Church. Its ministers never wearied 
of presenting the alternative which faced every man so soon as 
this short earthly existence should be over — the alternative 
between eternal bliss in heaven and perpetual, unspeakable tor- 
ment in hell. Only those who had been duly baptized could 
hope to reach heaven ; but baptism washed away only past sins 
and did not prevent constant relapse into new ones. These, un- 
less their guilt was removed through the Church, would surely 
drag the soul down to hell. 
Miracles a The divine power of the Church was, furthermore, estab- 

Church's Hshed in the eyes of the people by the wonderful works which 
power Christian saints were constantly performing. They healed the 

sick, made the blind to see and the lame to walk. They called 
down God's wrath upon those who opposed the Church and 
invoked terrible punishments upon those who treated her holy 
rites with contempt. To the reader of to-day the frequency of 
the miracles narrated by medieval writers seems astonishing. 
The lives of the saints, of which hundreds and hundreds have 

The Rise of the Papacy 337 

been preserved, contain little else than accounts of them, and 
no one appears to have doubted their everyday occurrence.^ 

A word should be said of the early Christian church build- The early 
ings. The Romans were accustomed to build near their market basilicas ' 
places a species of public hall, in which townspeople could meet 
one another to transact business, and in which judges could hear 
cases, and public officials attend to their duties. These buildings 
were called basilicas. There were several magnificent ones in 
Rome itself, and there was doubtless at least one to be found in 
every town of considerable size. The roofs of these spacious 
halls were usually supported by long rows of columns ; some- 
times there were two rows on each side, forming aisles. When, 
after Constantine had given his approval to Christianity, large, 
fine churches began to be built they were constructed like these 
familiar public halls and, like them, were called basilicas. 

During the sixteen hundred years that have passed since 
Constantine's time naturally almost all the churches of his day 
have disappeared or been greatly altered. But the beautiful 
church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome (Fig. 134) was built 
only a hundred years later, and gives us an excellent notion of 
a Christian basilica with its fine rows of columns and its hand- 
some mosaic decorations. In general, the churches were plain 
and unattractive on the outside. A later chapter will explain 
how the basilica grew into the Gothic cathedral, which was as 
beautiful outside as inside. 

The chief importance of the Church for the student of The church 
medieval history does not lie, however, in its religious func- Roman gov- 
tions, vital as they were, but rather in its remarkable relations e™"!^"^ 
to ^ the government. From the days of Constantine on, the 
Catholic Church had usually enjoyed the hearty support and 
protection of the government. But so long as the Roman 
Empire remained strong and active there was no chance for the 
clergy to free themselves from the control of the Emperor, even 
if they had been disposed to do so. He made such laws for 

1 For reports of miracles, see Readings^ especially chaps, v, xvi. 



Outli7tes of European History 

the Church as he saw fit, and the clergy did not complain. The 
government was, indeed, indispensable to them. It undertook 
to root out paganism by destroying the heathen shrines and 
preventing heathen sacrifices, and it punished severely those 
who refused to accept the teachings sanctioned by the Church. 

Fig. 134. Santa Maria Maggiore 

This beautiful church at Rome was built shortly after Constantine's 

time, and the interior, here shown, with its stately columns, above which 

are fine mosaics, is still nearly as it was in the time of St. Augustine, 

fifteen hundred years ago. The ceiling is of the sixteenth century 

The Church 
begins to 
seek inde- 

But as the great Empire began to fall apart, there was a 
growing tendency among the churchmen in the West to resent 
the interference of the new rulers whom they did not respect. 
Consequently they managed gradually to free themselves in 
large part from the control of the government. They then pro- 
ceeded to assume themselves many of the duties of government, 
which the weak and disorderly states into which the Roman 
Empire fell were unable to perform properly. 

One of the bishops of Rome (Pope Gelasius I, d. 496) briefly 
stated the principle upon which the Church rested its claims, as 

The Rise of the Papacy 339 

follows : " Two powers govern the world, the priestly and the Pope Gela- 
kingly. The first is assuredly the superior, for the priest is of"the rek-^ 
responsible to God for the conduct of even the emperors them- church'^to 
selves." Since no one denied that the eternal interests of man- the State 
kind, which were under the care of the Church, were infinitely 
more important than those merely worldly matters which the 
State regulated, it was natural for the clergy to hold that, in 
case of conflict, the Church and its officers, rather than the 
king, should have the last word. 

Gradually, as we have said, the Church began to undertake The Church 
the duties which the Roman government had previously per- peSorm^the 
formed and which our governments perform to-day, such as ^o"ernment 
keeping order, the management of public education, the trial of 
lawsuits, etc. There were no well-organized states in western 
Europe for many centuries after the final destruction of the 
Roman Empire. The authority of the various barbarian kings 
was seldom sufficient to keep their realms in order. There 
were always many powerful landholders scattered throughout 
the kingdom who did pretty much what they pleased and set- 
tled their grudges against their fellows by neighborhood wars. 
Fighting was the main business as well as the chief amusement 
of this class. The king was unable to maintain peace and 
protect the oppressed, however anxious he may have been 
to do so. 

Under these circumstances it naturally fell to the Church to 
keep order, when it could, by either threats or persuasion ; to 
see that contracts were kept, the wills of the dead carried out, 
and marriage obligations observed. It took the defenseless 
widow and orphan under its protection and dispensed charity ; 
it promoted education at a time when few laymen, however rich 
and noble, were able even to read. These conditions serve to 
explain why the Church was finally able so greatly to extend 
the powers which it had enjoyed under the Roman Empire, 
and why it undertook duties which seem to us to belong to the 
State rather than to a religious organization. 


Outlines of European History 

Origin of 
papal power 

Prestige of 
the Roman 

Belief that 
Peter was the 
first bishop 
of Rome 

Section 55. Origin of the Power of the Popes 

We must now turn to a consideration of the origin and 
growth of the supremacy of the popes, who, by raising them- 
selves to the head of the ^^'estem Church, became in many 
respects more powerful than any of the kings and princes with 
whom they frequently found themselves in bitter conflict. 

While we cannot discover in the Theodosian Code any recog- 
nition of the supreme headship of the bishop of Rome, there is 
little doubt that he and his flock had almost from the very first 
enjoyed a leading place among the Christian communities. The 
Roman church was the only one in the West which could claim 
the distinction of having been founded by the immediate followers 
of Christ — the " two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul." 

The New Testament speaks repeatedly of Paul's presence in 
Rome. As for Peter, there had been from early times a tradi- 
tion, accepted throughout the Christian Church, that he was the 
first bishop of Rome. This belief appears to have been gener- 
ally accepted at least as early as the middle of the second century. 
There is, certainly, no conflicting tradition, no rival claimant. 
The belief itself, whether or not it corresponds with actual events, 
is a fact of the greatest historical importance. Peter enjoyed a 
preeminence among the other apostles and was singled out by 
Christ upon several occasions. In a passage of the New Testa- 
ment which has affected histor}' more profoundly than the edicts 
of the most powerful monarch, Christ says : " And I say also unto 
thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my 
church ; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I 
will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven : and what- 
soever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound In heaven ; and 
whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." ^ 

1 Matt, xvi, 18-19. Two other passages in the New Testament were held 
to substantiate the divinely ordained headship of Peter and his successors : 
Luke xxii, 32, where Christ says to Peter, " Strengthen thy brethren," and John xxi, 
15-17, where Jesus said to him, " Feed my sheep.'" See Readings, chap. iv. The 
keys always appear in the papal arms (see headpiece of this chapter, p. 334). 

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Outlines of European History 

of the Eastern 
from the 

Thus it was natural that the Roman church should early have 
been looked upon as the " mother church " in the West. Its 
doctrines were considered the purest, since they had been handed 
down from its exalted founders. When there was a difference 
of opinion in regard to the tmth of a particular teaching, it was 
natural that all should turn to the bishop of Rome for his view. 
Moreover, the majesty of Rome, the capital of the world, 
helped to exalt its bishop above his fellows. It was long, how- 
ever, before all the other bishops, especially those in the large 
cities, were ready to accept unconditionally the authority of 
the bishop of Rome, although they acknowledged his leading 
position and that of the Roman community. 

We know comparatively little of the bishops of Rome during 
the first three or four centuries of the Church's existence. It is 
only with the accession of Leo the Great (440-461) that the 
history of the papacy may, in one sense, be said to have begun. 
At his suggestion, Valentinian III, the Emperor in the West, 
issued a decree in 445 declaring the power of the bishop of Rome 
supreme, by reason of Peter's headship, and the majesty of the 
city of Rome. He commanded that the bishops throughout the 
West should receive as law all that the bishop of Rome ap- 
proved, and that any bishop refusing to answer a summons to 
Rome should be forced to obey by the imperial governor. 

But a council at Chalcedon, six years later, declared that 
new Rome on the Bosporus (Constantinople) should have the 
same power in the government of the Church as old Rome 
on the Tiber. This decree was, however, never accepted in 
the Western, or Latin, Church, which was gradually separating 
from the Eastern, or Greek, Church, whose natural head was at 
Constantinople. Although there were times of trouble to come, 
when for years the claims of Pope Leo appeared an empty 
boast, still his emphatic assertion of the supremacy of the 
Roman bishop was a great step toward bringing the Western 
Church under a single head.^; 

1 See Readings^ chap, iv, for development of the Pope's power. 

The Rise of the Papacy 


The name "pope" i\adX\xv papa., "father") was originally Title of pope 
and quite naturally given to all bishops, and even to priests. It 
began to be especially applied to the bishops of Rome, perhaps 
as early as the sixth century, but was not apparently confined 
to them until two or three hundred years later. Gregory VII 

Fig. 136. The Ancient Basilica of St. Peter 

Of the churches built by Constantine in Rome that in honor of St. Peter 
was, next to the Lateran, the most important. It was constructed on 
the site of Nero's circus, where St. Peter was believed to have been 
crucified. It retained its original appearance, as here represented, for 
twelve hundred years, and then the popes (who had given up the 
Lateran as their residence and come to live in the Vatican palace close 
to St. Peter's) determined to build the new and grander church one 
sees to-day (see section 90, below). Constantine and the popes made 
constant use in their buildings of columns and stones taken from the 
older Roman buildings, which were in this way demolished 

(d. 1085 ; see section 75, below) was the first to declare explicitly 
that the title should be used only for the bishop of Rome. 

Not long after the death of Leo the Great, Odoacer put an Duties that 
end to the Western line of emperors. Then, as we know, ^pon the 
Theodoric and his East Goths settled in Italy, only to be early popes 


Outlines of European History 

followed by still less desirable intruders, the Lombards. During 
this tumultuous period the people of Rome, and even of all Italy, 
came to regard the Pope as their natural leader. The Eastern 
Emperor was far away, and his officers, who managed to hold a 
portion of central Italy around Rome and Ravenna, were glad 
to accept the aid and counsel of the Pope. In Rome the Pope 
watched over the elections of the city officials and directed the 
manner the public money should be spent. He had to manage 
and defend the great tracts of land in different parts of Italy 
which from time to time had been given to the bishopric of 
Rome. He negotiated with the Germans and even gave orders 
to the generals sent against them. 

The pontificate of Gregory the Great, one of the half dozen 
most distinguished heads that the Church has ever had, shows 
how great a part the papacy could play. Gregory, who was the 
son of a rich Roman senator, had been appointed by the 
Emperor to the honorable office of prefect. He began to fear, 
however, that his proud position and fine clothes were making 
him vain and worldly. His pious mother and his study of the 
writings of Augustine and the other great Christian writers 
led him, upon the death of his father, to spend all his hand- 
some fortune in founding seven monasteries. One of these 
he established in his own house and subjected himself to 
such severe discipline that his health never entirely recovered 
from it. 

When Gregory was chosen pope (in 590) and most reluctantly 
left his monastery, ancient Rome, the capital of the Empire, 
was already transforming itself into medieval Rome, the capi- 
tal of Christendom. The temples of the gods had furnished 
materials for the many Christian churches. The tombs of the 
apostles Peter and Paul were soon to become the center of 
religious attraction and the goal of pilgrimages from every part 
of western Europe. Just as Gregory assumed office a great 
plague was raging in the city. In true medieval fashion he 
arranged a solemn procession in order to obtain from iieaven u 

The Rise of the Papacy 


cessation of the pest! Then the archangel Michael was seen 
over the tomb of Hadrian (Fig. 137) sheathing his fiery sword 
as a sign that the wrath of the Lord had been turned away. 
With Gregory we leave behind us the Rome of Caesar and 
Trajan and enter upon that of the popes. 

Fig. 137. Hadrian's Tomb 

The Roman Emperor Hadrian (d. 138) built a great circular tomb at 
Rome, on the west bank of the Tiber, for himself and his successors. 
It was 240 feet across, perhaps 165 feet high, covered with marble and 
adorned with statues. When Rome was besieged by the Germans in 
537, the inhabitants used the tomb for a fortress and threw down the 
statues on the heads of the barbarians. Since the time when Gregory 
the Great saw the archangel Michael sheathing his sword over Hadrian's 
tomb it has been called the Castle of the Holy Angel 

Gregory enjoyed an unrivaled reputation during the Middle Gregory' 
Ages as a writer. His works show, however, how much less ^^" '"^^ 
cultivated his period was than that of his predecessors. His 
most popular book was his Dialogues, a collection of accounts 
of miracles and popular legends. It is hard to believe that it 


Outlines of European History 

Gregory as a 


could have been composed by the greater man of the time and 
that it was written for adults.^ In his commentary on Job, 
Gregory warns the reader that he need not be surprised to find 
mistakes in Latin grammar, since in dealing with so holy a work 
as the Bible a writer should not stop to make sure whether 
his cases and tenses are right. 

Gregory's letters show clearly what the papacy was coming 
to mean for Europe when in the hands of a really great man. 
While he assumed the humble title of " Servant of the servants 
of God," which the popes still use, Gregory was a statesman 
whose influence extended far and wide. It devolved upon him 
to govern the city of Rome, — as it did upon his successors 
down to the year 1870, — for the Eastern Emperor's control 
had become merely nominal. He had also to keep the Lombards 
out of central Italy, which they failed to conquer largely on 
account of the valiant defense of the popes. These duties were 
functions of the State, and in assuming them Gregory may be 
said to have founded the " temporal " power of the popes. 

Beyond the borders of Italy, Gregory was in constant com- 
munication with the Emperor and the Frankish and Burgundian 
rulers. Everywhere he used his influence to have good clergy- 
men chosen as bishops, and everywhere he watched over the 
interests of the monasteries. But his chief importance in the 
history of the papacy is due to the missionary enterprises he 
undertook, through which the great countries that were one 
day to be called England, France, and Germany were brought 
under the sway of the Roman Church and its head, the Pope. 

As Gregory had himself been a devoted monk it was natural 
that he should rely chiefly upon the monks in his great work of con- 
verting the heathen. Consequently, before considering his mission- 
ary achievements, we must glance at the origin and character of 
the monks, who are so conspicuous throughout the Middle Ages. 

1 He is reckoned, along with Augustine, Ambrose, and Jerome, as one of the 
four great Latin " fathers " of the Church. For extracts from Gregory's writings, 
see Readings^ chap. iv. 

The Rise of the Papacy 347 


Section 54. Why is it essential to know about the history of the 
Church in order to understand the Middle Ages? Compare the 
Christian idea of the importance of life in this world and the next 
with the pagan views. Describe a basilica. Mention some govern- 
mental duties that were assumed by the Church. Give the reasons 
why the Church became such a great power in the Middle Ages. 

Section ss- Why was the Roman church the most important of 
all the Christian churches ? On what grounds did the bishop of Rome 
claim to be the head of the whole Church ? Did the Christians in the 
eastern portion of the Roman Empire accept the bishop of Rome as 
their head ? Why did the popes become influential in the governing 
not only of Rome but of Italy .? Tell what you can of Gregory the Great. 



Section 56. Monks and Monasteries 

of the monks 
as a class 

appealed to 
many differ- 
ent classes 

It would be difficult to overestimate the influence that the 
monks exercised for centuries in Europe. The proud annals of 
the Benedictines, Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits contain 
many a distinguished name. The most eminent philosophers, 
scientists, historians, artists, poets, and statesmen may be found 
in their ranks. Among those whose achievements we shall men- 
tion later are "The Venerable Bede," Boniface, Thomas Aquinas, 
Roger Bacon, Fra Angelico, Luther, Erasmus — all these, and 
many others who have been leaders in various branches of 
human activity, were monks. 

The life in a monastery appealed to many different kinds of 
people. The monastic life was safe and peaceful, as well as 
holy. The monastery was the natural refuge not only of the 
religiously minded, but of those of a studious or thoughtful dis- 
position who disliked the career of a soldier and were disinclined 
to face the dangers and uncertainties of the times. Even the 


nastic life 

The Monks and their Missionary Work 349 

rude and unscrupulous Warriors hesitated to destroy the property^ 
or disturb the life of those who were believed to enjoy God's 
special favor. The monastery furnished, too, a refuge for the 
friendless, an asylum for the disgraced, and food and shelter for 
the indolent, who would otherwise have had to earn their living. 
There were, therefore, many different motives which led people 
to enter monasteries. Kings and nobles, for the good of their 
souls, readily gave land upon which to found colonies of monks, 
and there were plenty of remote spots in the mountains and 
forests to invite those who wished to escape from the world and 
its temptations, its dangers or its cares. 

Monastic CQmmunities first developed on a large scale in Egypt Necessity for 
in the fourth century. The idea, however, was quickly taken up tion'^of mo- 
in Europe. At the time that the Germans were winning their 
first great victory at Adrianople, St. Jerome was busily engaged 
in writing letters to men and women whom he hoped to induce 
to become monks or hermits. In the sixth century monasteries 
multiplied so rapidly in v/estern Europe that it became necessary 
to establish definite rules for these communities which proposed 
to desert the ordinary ways of the world and lead a holy life 
apart. Accordingly St. Benedict drew up, about the year 526, 
a sort of constitution for the monastery of Monte Cassino, in 
southern Italy, of which he was the head.-^ This was so saga- 
cious, and so well met the needs of the monastic life, that it was 
rapidly accepted by the other monasteries and gradually became 
the " rule " according to which all the Western monks lived.^ 

1 The illustration on page 348 shows the monastery of Monte Cassino. It is 
situated on a lofty hill, lying some ninety miles south of Rome. Benedict 
selected a site formerly occupied by a temple to Apollo, of which the columns 
may still be seen in one of the courts of the present building. The monastery 
was destroyed by the Lombards not long after its foundation and later by the 
Mohammedans, so none of the present buildings go back to the time of Benedict. 

2 Benedict did not introduce monasticism in the West, as is sometimes sup- 
posed, nor did he even found an order in the proper sense of the word, under a 
single head, like the later Franciscans and Dominicans, Nevertheless, the 
monks who lived under his rule are ordinarily spoken of as belonging to the 
Benedictine order. A translation of the Benedictine Rule may be found in 
Henderson, Nisiorica^ Documents, pp. 27^-^1^. 


■Outlines of European History 

The Rule of 
St. Benedict 

The monas- 
tic vows 

The Rule of St. Benedict is as important as any constitution 
that was ever drawn up for a state. It is for the most part very 
wise and sensible. It provided that, since every one is not fitted 
for the monk's life, the candidate for admission to the monastery 
should pass through a period of probation, called the novitiate^ 
before he was permitted to take the solemn, final vows. The 
brethren were to elect the head of the monastery, the abbot, 
as he was called. Along with frequent prayer and meditation, 
the monks were to do the necessary cooking and washing for the 
monastery and raise the necessary vegetables and grain. They 
were also to read and teach. Those who were incapacitated for 
outdoor work were assigned lighter tasks, such as copying books. 

The monk had to take the three vows of obedience, poverty, 
and chastity. He was to obey the abbot without question in all 
matters that did not involve his committing a sin. He pledged 
himself to perpetual and absolute poverty, and everything he 
used was the property of the convent. He was not permitted 
to own anything whatsoever — not even a book or a pen. Along 
with the vows of obedience and poverty, he was also required 
to pledge himself never to marry ; for not only was the single 
life considered more holy than the married, but the monastic 
organization would have been impossible unless the monks re- 
mained single. Aside from these restrictions, the monks. were 
commanded to live reasonable and natural lives and not to 
destroy their health, as some earlier ones had done, by undue 
fasting in the supposed interest of their souls. 

The influence of the Benedictine monks upon Europe is in- 
calculable. From their numbers no less than twenty-four popes 
and forty-six hundred bishops and archbishops have been chosen. 
They boast almost sixteen thousand writers, some of great dis- 
tinction. Their monasteries furnished retreats during the Mid- 
dle Ages, where the scholar might study and write in spite of 
the prevailing disorder of the times. 

The copying of books, as has been said, was a natural occu- 
pation of the monks. Doubtless their work was often done 

The Monks and their Missionmy Work 351 

carelessly, with little heart and less understanding. But, with the The monks 
great loss of manuscripts due to the destruction of libraries and preserve the 
the general lack of interest in books, it was most essential that ^^^^" authors 
new copies should be made. Even poor and incorrect ones were 
better than none. Almost all the books written by the Romans 
disappeared altogether during the Middle Ages, but from time to 
time a monk would copy out the poems of Virgil, Horace, or Ovid, 
or the speeches of Cicero. In this way some of the chief works of 
the Latin writers have continued to exist down to the present day. 

The monks regarded good hard work as a great aid to salva- The monks 
tion. They set the example of careful cultivation of the lands materS de^- 
about their monasteries and in this way introduced better farm- yeiopment of 

■' Europe 

ing methods into the regions where they settled. They enter- 
tained travelers at a time when there were few or no inns and so 
increased the intercourse between the various parts of Europe. 

The Benedictine monks were ardent and faithful supporters The " regu- 
of the papacy. The Church, which owes much to them, ex- "secular" 
tended to them many of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy. *='^''gy 
Indeed, the monks were reckoned as clergymen and were called 
the " regular " clergy, because they lived according to a regida, 
or rule, to distinguish them from the " secular " clergy, who con- 
tinued to live in the world {saeculum) and did not take the 
monastic vows described above. 

The home which the monks constructed for themselves was Arrangement 
called a monastery or abbey. This was arranged to meet their astery 
particular needs and was usually at a considerable distance from 
any town, in order to insure solitude and quiet.-^ It was mod- 
eled upon the general plan of the Roman country house. The 
buildings were arranged around a court, called the doister. On The cloister 
all four sides of this was a covered walk, which made it possible 
to reach all the buildings without exposing one's self to either the 
rain or the hot sun. Not only the Benedictines but all the orders 
which sprang up in later centuries arranged their homes in 
much the same way. 

1 Later monasteries were sometimes built in towns, or just outside the walls. 


Oiitlifies of European History 

The abbey 

Ox\ the north side of the cloister was the churchy which always 
laced west. As time went on and certain groups of monks 
were given a great deal of property, they constructed very beau- 
tiful churches for their monasteries. Westminster Abbey was 
originally the church of a monastery lying outside the city of 

Fig. 138. Cloisters of Heiligenkreuz 

This picture of the cloister in the German monastery of Heiligenkreuz 

is chosen to show how the more ordinary monastery courts looked, with 

their pleasant sunny gardens 

The refec- 
tory, lavatory, 
and dormi- 

London, and there are in Great Britain many picturesque re- 
mains of ruined abbey churches which attract the attention of 
every traveler. 

On the west side of the cloister were storerooms for pro- 
visions ; on the south side, opposite the church, was the " re- 
fectory," or dining room, and a sitting room that could be 
warmed in cold weather. In the cloister near the dining room 
was a " lavatory " where the monk could wash his hands before 
meals. To the east of the cloister was the " dormitory," where 
the monks slept. This always adjoined the church, for the Rule 
required that the monks should hold services seven times a day. 

TJie Monks and their Missionary Work 353 

One of these services, called vigils, came well before daybreak, 
and it was convenient when you were summoned in the dark- 
ness out of your warm bed to be able to go down a short passage 
that led from the dormitory into the choir of the church, where 
the service was held. 

The Benedictine Rule provided that the monks should so far 
as possible have everything for their support on their own land. 



Monastery of Val di Cristo 

This monastery in southern Spain has two cloisters, the main one lying 

to the left. One can see how the buildings were surrounded by vegetable 

gardens and an orchard which supplied the monks with food. Compare 

picture of another monastery (Fig. 151, below) 

So outside the group of buildings around the cloister would be The out- 
found the garden, the orchard, the mill, a fish pond, and fields ^[o"f Jf^Jiu 
for raising grain. There were also a hospital for the sick and a monastery 
guest house for pilgrims or poor people who happened to come 
along. In the greater monasteries there were also quarters 
where a king or nobleman might spend a few nights in comfort. 



The Monks and their Missionary Work 355 

Section 57. Missionary Work of the Monks 

The first great undertaking of the monks was the conver- The monks 
sion of those German peoples who had not yet been won over ^ries 
to Christianity. These the monks made not merely Christians, 
but also dutiful subjects of the Pope. In this way the strength 
of the Roman Catholic Church was greatly increased. The first 
people to engage the attention of the monks were the heathen 
German tribes who had conquered the once Christian Britain./ 

The islands which are now known as the kingdom of Great Early Britain 
Britain and Ireland were, at the opening of the Christian era, 
occupied by several Celtic peoples of whose customs and re- 
ligion we know almost nothing. Julius Caesar commenced the 
conquest of the islands (55 B.C.) ; but the Romans never suc- 
ceeded in establishing their power beyond the wall which they 
built, from the Clyde to the Firth of Forth, to keep out the 
wild tribes of the North. Even south of the wall the country 
was not completely Romanized, and the Celtic tongue has 
actually survived down to the present day in Wales (see 
p. 323, above). 

At the opening of the fifth century the barbarian invasions Saxons and 
forced Rome to withdraw its legions from Britain in order to que^^rita?n 
protect its frontiers on the Continent. The island was thus left 
to be conquered gradually by the Germans, mainly Saxons and 
Angles, who came across the North Sea from the region south 
of Denmark. Almost all record of what went on during the two 
centuries following the departure of the Romans has disap- 
peared. No one knows the fate of the original Celtic inhabitants 
of England. It was formerly supposed that they were all killed 
or driven to the mountain districts of Wales, but this seems un- 
likely. More probably they were gradually lost among the dom- 
inating Germans with whom they merged into one people. The 
Saxon and Angle chieftains established small kingdoms, of which 
there were seven or eight at the time when Gregory the Great 
became pope. 


Outlines of Etiropean History 

Gregory, while still a simple monk, had been struck with the 
beauty of some Angles whom he saw one day in the slave market 
at Rome. When he learned who they were he was grieved that 
such handsome beings should still belong to the kingdom of the 
Prince of Darkness, and he wished to go as a missionary to their 
people, but permission was refused him. So when he became 

Fig. 141. St. Martin's, Canterbury 

A church built during the period when the Romans were occupying 
England had been used by Bertha, the Christian wife of the king of 
Kent. Augustine found this on his arrival in Canterbury and is said to 
have baptized the king there. It has been rebuilt and added to in later 
times, but there are many Roman bricks in the walls, and the lower parts 
of the church as we now see it may go back to the Roman period 

Pope he sent forty monks to England under the leadership of 
a prior, named Augustine (who must not be confused with the 
church father of that name). The heathen king of Kent, in 
whose territory Augustine and his monks landed with fear and 
trembling (597), had a Christian wife, the daughter of a Frankish 
king. Through her influence the monks were kindly received 
and were given an ancient church at Canterbury, dating from 
the Roman occupation before the German invasions. • Here they 

TJie Monks a7id their Missionary Work 357 

established a monastery, and from this center the conversion, 
first of Kent and then of the whole island, was gradually accom- 
plished. Canterbury has always maintained its early preeminence 
and may still be considered the religious capital of England.^ 

England thus became a part of the ever-growing territory em- England and 
braced in the Roman Catholic Church and remained for nearly church"^^" 
a thousand years as faithful to the Pope as any other Catholic 

The conversion of England by the missionaries from Rome was Early culture 
followed by a period of general enthusiasm for Rome and its ^" "^^" 
literature and culture. The English monasteries became centers 
of learning unrivaled perhaps in the rest of Europe. A constant 
intercourse was maintained with Rome. Masons and glass- 
makers were brought across the Channel to replace the wooden 
churches of Britain by stone edifices in the style of the Romans. 
The young English clergy were taught Latin and sometimes 
Greek. Copies of the ancient classics were brought from the 
Continent and copied. The most distinguished writer of the 
seventh and early eighth centuries in Europe was' the English 
monk Baeda (often called "The Venerable Bede," 673-735), "TheVener- 
from whose admirable history of the Church in England most 
of our information about the period is derived.^ 

In 718 St. Boniface, an English monk, was sent by the Pope St. Boniface, 
as a missionary to the Germans. After four years spent in re- J^^ ciermans 
connoitering the field of his future labors, he visited Rome and 
was made a missionary bishop, taking the same oath of obedi- 
ence to the Pope that the bishops in the immediate vicinity of 
Rome were accustomed to take. Indeed, absolute subordination 
to the Pope was a part of his religion, and he became a powerful 
agent in extending the papal power. 

Boniface succeeded in converting many of the more remote Conversi 
German tribes who still clung to their old pagan beliefs. His 
energetic methods are illustrated by the story of how he cut 

1 See Readings^ chap, v, for Gregory's instructions to his missionaries. 

2 See Readings^ chap. v. 

of Germany 


Outlines of European History 

down the sacred oak of the old German god Odin, at Fritzlar, 
in Hesse, and used the wood to build a chapel, around which a 
monastery soon grew up. In 732 Boniface was raised to the 
dignity of Archbishop of Mayence and proceeded to establish 
in the newly converted region a number of German bishoprics, 
Salzburg, Regensburg, Wiirzburg, and others; this gives us some 
idea of the geographical extent of his labors. 

Section 58. Mohammed and his Religion 

Just at the time that Gregory the Great was doing so much 
to strengthen the power and influence of the popes in Rome, 
a young Arab camel driver in far-away Mecca was meditat- 
ing upon the mysteries of life and devising a religion which was 
destined to spread with astounding rapidity into Asia, Africa, 
and Europe and to become a great rival of Christianity. And 
to-day the millions who believe in Mohammed as God's greatest 
prophet are probably equal in number to those who are faithful 
to the Pope, as the head of the Catholic Church. 

Before the time of Mohammed the Arabs (a branch of the 
great Semitic people) had played no great part in the world's 
history. The scattered tribes were constantly at war with one 
another, and each tribe worshiped its own gods, when it wor- 
shiped at all. Mecca was considered a sacred spot, however, 
and the fighting was stopped four months each year so that all 
could peacefully visit the Kaaba, a sort of temple full of idols 
and containing in particular a black stone, about as long as a 
man's hand, which was regarded as specially worthy of reverence. 

Mohammed was poor and earned a living by conducting 
caravans across the desert. He was so fortunate as to find a 
rich widow in Mecca, named Kadijah, who gave him employ- 
ment and later fell in love with him and became his wife. She 
was his first convert and kept up his courage when few of his 
fellow townsmen in Mecca were inclined to pay any attention 
to his new religious teachings. 

The Mohammedans 359 

As Mohammed traveled back and forth across the desert with Mohammed's 
his trains of camels heavily laden with merchandise he had plenty from the An- 
of time to think, and he became convinced that God was sending sei Gabriel 
him messages which it was his duty to reveal to mankind. He 
met many Jews and Christians, of whom there were great num- 
bers in Arabia, and from them he got some ideas of the Old and 
New Testaments. But when he tried to convince people that he 
was God's prophet, and that the Angel Gabriel had appeared to 
him in his dreams and told him of a new religion, he was treated 
with scorn. 

Finally, he discovered that his enemies in Mecca were plan- The Hejira, 
ning to kill him, and he fled to the neighboring town of Medina, 
where he had friends. His flight, which took place in the year 
622, is called the Hejira by the Arabs. It was taken by his 
followers as the beginning of a new era — the year One, as 
the Mohammedans reckon time. 

A war followed between the people of Mecca and those who islam 
had joined Mohammed in and about Medina. It was eight years 
before his followers became numerous enough to enable him to 
march upon Mecca and take it with a victorious army. Before 
his death in 632 he had gained the support of all the Arab 
chiefs, and his new religion, which he called Islam (submission 
to God), was accepted throughout the whole Arabian peninsula. 

Mohammed could probably neither write nor read well, but The Koran- 
when he fell into trances from time to time he would repeat to 
his eager listeners the words which he heard from heaven, and 
they in turn wrote them down. These sayings, which were col- 
lected into a volume shortly after his death, form the Kofan, the 
Mohammedan Bible. This contains the chief beliefs of the new 
religion as well as the laws under which all good Mohammedans 
were to live. It has been translated into English several times. 
Parts of it are very beautiful and interesting, while other portions 
are dull and stupid to a modern reader. 

The Koran follows the Jewish and Christian religions in pro- 
claiming one God, " the Lord of the worlds, the merciful and 


Outlines of European History 

compassionate." Mohammed believed that there had been great 
prophets before him, — Abraham, Moses, and Jesus among 
others, — but that he himself was the last and greatest of 

God's messengers, who 
brought the final and 
highest form of religion 
to mankind. He de- 
stroyed all the idols in 
the Kaaba at Mecca 
and forbade his follow- 
ers to make any images 
whatsoever — but he 
left the black stone. 

Besides serving the 
one God, the Moham- 
medan was to honor his 
parents, aid the poor, 
protect the orphan, 
keep his contracts, give 
full measure, and weigh 
with a just balance. He 
was not to walk proudly 
on the earth, or to be 
wasteful, " for the waste- 
ful were ever the devil's 
brothers." He was to 
avoid, moreover, all 
strong drink, and this 
command has saved 
Mohammed's faithful 
followers from the terrible degradation which alcohol has made 
so common in our Western world. 

Besides obeying these and other commands the Mohammedan 
who would be saved must do five things : First, he must recite 
daily the simple creed, " There is no god but God, and 

Fig. 142. Arabic Writing 

This is a page from the Koran, with an 
elaborate decorated border. It gives an 
idea of the appearance of Arabic writing. 
The Arabic letters are, next to the Roman 
alphabet, which we use, the most widely 
employed in the world 

The Mohammedans 


Mohammed is his prophet." Secondly, he must pray five times 
a day — just before sunrise, just after noon, before and after 
sunset, and when the day has closed. It is not uncommon to 
see in well-furnished houses in this country the so-called 
" prayer rugs " brought from Mohammedan countries. These 
are spread down on the ground or the flat roof of the oriental 
house, and on them the worshiper kneels to pray, turning his 
face toward Mecca 
and bowing his head 
to the ground. The 
pattern on the rug 
indicates the place 
where the bowed 
head is to be placed. 
'J'hirdly,the Moham- 
medan must fast 
during the whole 
month of ramadan ; 
he may neither eat 
nor drink from sun- 
rise to sunset, for 
this is the. month 
in which God sent 

Gabriel down from the seventh heaven to bring the Koran, 
which he revealed, paragraph by paragraph, to Mohammed. 
Fourthly, the Mohammedan must give alms to the poor, and, pilgrimage 
fifthly, he must, if he can, make a pilgrimage to Mecca at 
least once during his lifetime. Tens of thousands of pilgrims 
flock to Mecca every year. They enter the great courtyard 
surrounding the Kaaba, which is a plain, almost cubical, 
building, supposed to have been built in the first place by 
Abraham. The sacred black stone is fixed in the outside wall 
at the southeast corner, and the pilgrims must circle the build- 
ing seven times, kissing the black stone each time as they pass 
it (Fig. 144). 

Fig. 143. Mohammedan kneeling on 
A Prayer Rug 

to Mecca 


Plate VI. Street Scene in Cairo 

The Mohaminedaiis 363 

The Koran announces a day of judgment when the heavens Moham- 
shall be opened and the mountains be powdered and become "^^ 
like flying dust. Then all men shall receive their reward. Those 
who have refused to accept Islam shall be banished to hell to 
be burned and tormented forever. " They shall not taste therein 
coolness or drink, save scalding water and running sores," and 
the scalding water they shall drink like thirsty camels. 

Those, on the other hand, who have obeyed the Koran, Heaven 
especially those who die .fighting for Islam, shall find themselves 
in a garden of delight. They shall recline in rich brocades 
upon soft cushions and rugs and be served by surpassingly . 
beautiful maidens, with eyes like hidden pearls. Wine may be 
drunk there, but "their heads shall not ache with it, neither shall 
they be confused." They shall be content with their past life 
and shall hear no foolish words ; and there shall be no sin but 
only the greeting, " Peace, peace." 

The religion of Mohammed was much simpler than that of the The mosque 
medieval Christian Church ; it did not provide for a priesthood 
or for any great number of ceremonies. The Mohammedan 
mosque, or temple, is a house of prayer and a place for reading the 
Koran ; no altars or images or pictures of any kind are permitted 
in it. The mosques are often very beautiful buildings, especially 
in great Mohammedan cities, such as Jerusalem, Damascus, 
Cairo, and Constantinople. They have great courts surrounded 
by covered colonnades and are adorned with beautiful marbles 
and mosaics and delightful windows with bright stained glass. 
The walls are adorned with passages from the Koran, and the 
floors covered with rich rugs. They have one or more minarets 
from which the call to prayer is heard five times a day. 

The Mohammedans, like other Eastern peoples, are very Women and 
particular to keep the women by themselves in a separate part 
of the house, called the harem, or women's quarters. 7'hey 
may not go out without the master's permission and even then 
not without wearing a veil ; no man must ever see a respectable 
woman's face, except her father, brother, or husband. The Koran 


Outlines of European History 


]3ermits a man to have as many as four wives, but in practice 
only the men of the richer classes have more than one. For a 
woman to attempt to escape from the harem is a crime punish- 
able with death. Sometimes the women seem to lead pleasant 
lives, but, for the most part, their existence is very monotonous.^ 
Slaves are very common in Mohammedan countries, but 
once they are freed they are as good as any one else and may 
then hold the highest places in the government. 

Section 59. Conquests of the Mohammedans 
THE Caliphate 

The Arabs' 
Caliphs at 

at Bagdad 

Mohammed had occupied the position of pope and king 
combined, and his successors, who took the title of caliph 
(which means " successor " or " representative "), were regarded 
as the absolute rulers of the Mohammedans. Their word was 
law in both religious and worldly matters. Mohammed's father- 
in-law was the first caliph. His successor, Omar (634-644), led 
the Arabs forth to conquer Syria, Egypt, and the great empire 
of Persia. The capital of the caliphate was then transferred 
from Medina to Damascus, which occupied a far better position 
for governing the new realms. Although the Mohammedans 
were constantly fighting among themselves, they succeeded in 
extending their territory so as to include Asia Minor and the 
northern coast of Africa. A great part of the people whom they 
conquered accepted the new religion of the prophet. 

Something over a hundred years after Mohammed's death a 
new line of caliphs came into power and established (762) a 
new capital on the river Tigris near the site of ancient Babylon. 
This new city of Bagdad became famous for its wealth, magnifi- 
cence, and learning. It was five miles across and at one time 
is supposed to have had two millions of inhabitants. In the 

1 The colored plate (opp. p. 362) shows the minarets of a great mosque in Cairo. 
One can also see the gratings of the upper stories of the houses, through which 
the women can look out of their harem without being seen from the street. 



Ontlmes of European History 

ninth century it was probably the richest and most splendid 
city in the world. 

The most entertaining example of Arabic literature which 
has been translated into English is the Thousand mid One 
Nights^ or The Arabian Nights^ Entertainments^ as it is com- 
monly called. These include the story of " Sindbad the Sailor," 
" Aladdin and the Lamp," " AH Baba and the Forty Thieves," 
and other famous tales. The great collection was got together in 
Egypt, perhaps in the fifteenth century, but many of the stories 
are very much older and were translated by the Arabs from the 
Persian, when the caliphs of Bagdad were at the height of their 
power. Some of these stories give one a lively idea of Moham- 
medan manners and customs. 

The Mohammedans made two or three attempts to cross 
over from Asia into Europe and take Constantinople, the capital 
of the Eastern Empire, but failed. It was more than eight 
hundred years after Mohammed's death .that the Turks, a 
Mohammedan people, succeeded in this, and Constantinople is 
now a Mohammedan city and the Sultan of Turkey is the 
nominal head of Islam. Long before the Turks captured Con- 
stantinople, however, the Arabs at the other end of the caliph's 
empire had succeeded in crossing the Strait of Gibraltar from 
Africa and possessing themselves of Spain. 

The kingdom of the West Goths was in no condition to 
defend itself when a few Arabs and a much larger number 
of Berbers, inhabitants of northern Africa, ventured to invade 
Spain. Some of the Spanish towns held out for a time, but the 
invaders found allies in the numerous Jews, who had been shame- 
fully treated by their Christian countrymen. As for the innumer- 
able serfs who worked on the great estates of the aristocracy, 
a change of landlords made very little difference to them. In 7 1 1 
the Arabs and Berbers gained a great batde, and the peninsula 
was gradually overrun by new immigrants from Africa. 

In seven years the Mohammedans were masters of almost 
the whole region south. of the Pyrenees. They then began to 

The Moha77tniedans 


cross into Gaul. For some years 
the Duke of Aquitaine kept them 
in check; but in 732 they col- 
lected a large army, defeated the 
duke near Bordeaux, advanced 
to Poitiers, and then set out for 

Here they met the army of 
the Franks which Charles the 
Hamnier (Martel), the king's 
chief minister, had brought to- 
gether to meet the new danger. 
We know very little indeed of 
this famous battle of Tours, ex- 
cept that the Mohammedans 
were repulsed, and that they 
never again made any serious 
attempt to conquer western 
Europe beyond the Pyrenees. 
They retired to Spain and there 
developed a great 'and prosper- 
ous kingdom, far in advance of 
the Christian kingdoms to the 
north of them. 

Some of the buildings which 
they erected soon after their 
arrival still stand. A^iong these 
is the mosque at Cordova with 
its forest of columns and arches.-^ 
They also erected a great tower 
at Seville (Fig. 147). This has 
been copied by the architects of 

1 The great mosque, which the Mo- 
hammedan rulers built at Cordova (Fig. 
145) on the site of a Christian church of 
the West Goths, was second in size only 


^ ill J :^' j:^ 

Fig. 147. GiRALDA 

This tower, called the Giralda, 
was originally the great minaret 
of the chief mosque at Seville. 
It was built (1184-1196) out of 
Roman and West Gothic mate- 
rials, and many Roman inscrip- 
tions are to be seen on the 
stones used for the walls. Orig- 
inally the tower was lower than 
it now is. All the upper part, 
including the story where the 
bells hang, was rebuilt by the 
Christians after they drove 
the Moors out of the city 

368 Outlines of European History 

Madison vSquare Garden in New York, The Mohammedans 
built beautiful palaces and laid out charming gardens. One of 
these palaces, the Alhambra, built at Granada some centuries 
after their arrival in Spain, is a marvel of lovely detail (Fig. 146). 
They also founded a great university at Cordova, to which Chris- 
tians from the North sometimes went in search of knowledge. 
Moors far Historians commonly regard it as a matter of great good luck 

the Franks that Charles the Hammer and his barbarous soldiers succeeded 
in defeating and driving back the Mohammedans at Tours. But 
had they been permitted to settle in southern France they might 
have developed science and art far more rapidly than did the 
Franks. It is difficult to say whether it was a good thing or a 
bad thing that the Moors, as the Mohammedans in Spain were 
called, did not get control of a portion of Gaul. 


Section 56, What various reasons led men to enter monasteries? 
When and where did Christian monasteries originate? Give some 
of the chief provisions of St. Benedict's Rule. What is meant by the 
" regular " and the " secular " clergy ? Why did the monks some- 
times devote part of their time to copying books? Describe the 
general plan of a monastery. 

Section %'j. Tell about the conversion of the king of Kent. Did 
England become a part of the medieval Catholic Church? 

Section 58. Give a short account of Mohammed's life. Define 
Kaaba, Islam, Koran. What does the Mohammedan religion require 
of its adherents ? 

Section 59. What countries did the MjDhammedans conquer 
during the century following Mohammed's death ? Where is Mecca 
Bagdad, Damascus, Cordova? Tell what you can of the Moorish 
buildings in Spain. 

to the Kaaba at Mecca (Fig. 144). It was begun about 785 and gradually en 
larged and beautified during the following two centuries, with the hope that it 
would rival Mecca as a place of pilgrimage. The part represented in the illus- 
tration was built by Caliph Al-Hakim, who came to the throne in 961. The 
beautiful holy of holies (the entrance of which may be seen in the background) 
is richly adorned with magnificent mosaics. The whole mosque is 570 by 425 feet ; 
that is, about the size of St. Peter's in Rome. 



Section 6o. Conquests of Charlemagne 

We have seen how the kings of the Franks, Clovis and How Pippin 
his successors, conquered a large territory, including western of th^FraSS, 
Germany and what is called France to-day; As time went on, p^pe^^g ^p. 
the king's chief minister, who was called the Mayor of the proval, 752 
Palace, got almost all the power into his hands and really ruled 
in the place of the king. Charles Martel, who defeated the 
Mohammedans at Tours in 732, was the Mayor of the Palace 
of the western Prankish king. His son, Pippin the Shore, finally 
determined to do away altogether with the old line of kings and 
put himself in their place. Before taking the decisive step, how- 
ever, he consulted the Pope. To Pippin's question whether it 
was right that the old line of kings should continue to reign 
when they no longer had any power, the Pope replied : "It 
seems better that he who has the power in the State should be 
king, and be called king, rather than he who is falsely called 
king." With this sanction, then (752), the Prankish counts and 
dukes, in accordance with the old German ceremony, raised 
Pippin on their shields, in somewhat the way college boys now- 
adays carry off a successful football player on their shoulders. 
He was then anointed king by St. Boniface, the apostle to the 
Germans, of whom we have spoken, and received the blessing 
of the Pope.^ 

It would hardly be necessary to mention this change of dynasty 
in so short a history as this, were it not that the calling in of the 

1 The old line of kings which was displaced by Pippin is known as the 
Merovingian line. Pippin and his successors are called the Carolingian hne. 
I 369 


Outlines of Europe aji History 

Pope brought about a revolution in the ideas of kingship. The 
kings of the German tribes had hitherto usually been successful 
warriors who held their office with the consent of the people, 
or at least of the nobles. Their election was not a matter that 
concerned the Church at all. But when, after asking the Pope's 
opinion. Pippin had the holy oil poured on his head, — in ac- 
cordance with an ancient religious custom of the Jews, — first 

by Bishop Boniface and later by 
the Pope himself, he seemed to 
ask the Church to approve his 
usurpation. As the historian Gib- 
bon puts it, "A German chieftain 
was transformed into the Lord's 
anointed." The Pope threatened 
with God's anger any one who 
should attempt to supplant the 
consecrated family of Pippin. 

It thus became a religious duty 
to obey the king and his succes- 
sors. He came to be regarded 
by the Church, when he had 
received its approval, as God's 
representative on earth. Here 
we have the beginning of the 
later theory of kings " by the 
grace of God," against whom it 
was a sin to revolt, however bad they might be. We shall see 
presently how Pippin's famous son Charlemagne received his 
crown from the hands of the Pope. 

Charlemagne, who became king of all the Prankish realms in 
771, is the first historical personage among the German peoples 
of whom we have any satisfactory knowledge.^ Compared with 

1 " Charlemagne " is the French form for the Latin Carolus Magnus (Charles 
the Great). We must never forget, however, that Charlemagne was a Ge7'ma}i, 
that he talked a German language, namely Prankish, and that his favorite palaces 
at Aix-la-Chapelle, Ingelheim, and Nimwegen were in German regions. 

Fig. 148. Charlemagne 

This bronze figure of Charle- 
magne on horseback was made 
in his time, and the artist may 
have succeeded in reproducing 
the general appearance of the 

Charlemagne and his Empire 


him, Theodoric, Clovis, Charles Martel, Pippin, and the rest are 
but shadowy figures. The chronicles tell us something of their 
deeds, but we can make only the vaguest inferences in regard 
to their appearance -or 

Charlemagne's looks, 
as described by his sec- 
retary, so exactly corre- 
spond with the character 
of the king as exhibited 
in his reign that they are 
worthy of attention. He 
was tall and stoutly built ; 
his face was round, his 
eyes were large and keen, 
his nose somewhat above 
the common size, his 
expression bright and 
cheerful. The good pro- 
portions and grace of his 
body prevented the ob- 
server from noticing that 
his neck was rather short 
and his person somewhat 
too stout. His voice was 
clear, but rather weak 
for his big body. He 
delighted in riding and 
hunting, and was an ex- 
pert swimmer. His ex- 
cellent health and his 
physical endurance can 

alone explain the astonishing swiftness with which he moved 
about his vast realm and conducted innumerable campaigns 
against his enemies in widely distant regions in rapid succession. 





iB j^ 

.',> Piii "" 






Fig. 149. Charlemagne and 
HIS Wife 

There is no picture of Charlemagne that 
we can be sure looked like him. The 
rather comical one here given occurs in a 
law document of about the year 820 and 
shows what passed for a picture in those 
days. It may be meant for Charlemagne 
and his wife, but some think that it is a 
religious painting representing the Angel 
Gabriel announcing the birth of Jesus to 
the Virgin Mary 


Outlines of European History 

His educa- 
tion, his atti- 
tude toward 
learning, and 
his public 

The Charle- 
magne of 

magne's idea 
of a great 

Charles was an educated man for his time, and one who knew 
how to appreciate and encourage scholarship. While at dinner 
he had some one read to him ; he delighted especially in history, 
and in St. Augustine's City of God. He 'tried to learn writing, 
which was an unusual accomplishment at that time for any but 
churchmen, but began too late in life and got no farther than 
signing his name. He called learned men to his court and did 
much toward reestablishing a regular system of schools. He 
was also constantly occupied with buildings and other public 
works calculated to adorn his kingdom. He himself planned the 
remarkable cathedral at Aix-la-Chapelle and showed the greatest 
interest in its furnishings. He commenced two palaces, one 
near Mayence and the other at Nimwegen, in Holland, and had 
a long bridge constructed across the Rhine at Mayence. 

The impression which his reign made upon men's minds con- 
tinued to grow even after his death. He became the hero of a 
whole series of romantic adventures which were as firmly be- 
lieved for centuries as his real deeds. In the fancy of an old 
monk in the monastery of St. Gall,^ writing of Charlemagne not 
long after his death, the king of the Franks swept over Europe 
surrounded by countless legions of soldiers who formed a very 
sea of bristling steel. Knights of superhuman valor formed his 
court and became the models of knighthood for the following 
centuries. Distorted but imposing, the Charlemagne of poetry 
meets us all through the Middle Ages. 

A study of Charlemagne's reign will make clear that he was 
a truly remarkable person, one of the greatest figures in the 
world's records and deservedly the hero of the Middle Ages. 

It was Charlemagne's ideal to bring all the German peoples 
together into one great Christian empire, and he was wonder- 
fully successful in attaining his end. Only a small portion of 
what is now called Germanv was included in the kingdom ruled 

1 Professor EmerLoii {In/rodni.iion, pp. 183-185) gives an example of the 
style and spitit of the monk of St. Gall, who was formerly much relied upon 
for knowledge of Charlemagne. 

Charlemague atid his Empire 373 

over by Charlemagne's father, Pippin the Short. Frisia and 
Bavaria had been Christianized, and their rulers had been in- 
duced by the efforts of Charlemagne's predecessors and of the 
missionaries, especially Boniface, to recognize the overlordship ■ 
of the Franks. Between these two half-independent countries 
lay the unconquered Saxons. They were as yet pagans and 
appear still to have clung to much the same institutions as those 
under which they had lived when the Roman historian Tacitus 
described them seven centuries earlier. 

The Saxons occupied the region beginning somewhat east The con- 
of Cologne and extending to the Elbe, and north to where the saxons 
great cities of Bremen and Hamburg are now situated. They 
had no towns or roads and were consequently very difficult to 
conquer, as they could retreat, with their few possessions, into 
the forests or swamps as soon as they found themselves unable 
to meet an invader in the open field. Yet so long as they 
remained unconquered they constantly threatened the Frankish 
kingdom, and their country was necessary to the rounding out 
of its boundaries. Charlemagne never undertook, during his 
long military career, any other " task half so serious as the 
subjugation of the Saxons, which occupied many years. 

Nowhere do we find a more striking example of the influence Conversion 
of the Church than in the reliance that Charlemagne placed 
upon it in his dealings with the Saxons. He deemed it quite 
as essential that after a rebellion they should promise to honor 
the Church and be baptized, as that they should pledge them- 
selves to remain true and faithful subjects of the king. He was 
in quite as much haste to found bishoprics and monasteries as 
to build fortresses. The law for the newly conquered Saxon 
lands issued some time between 775 and 790 provides the same 
death penalty for him who " shall have shown himself unfaithful 
to the lord king " and him who " shall scorn to come to baptism 
and shall wish to remain a pagan." 

Charlemagne believed the Christianizing of the Saxons so 
important a part of his duty that he decreed that any one should 


Outlines of European History 

of the civil 
and the 

of towns in 

king of the 

policy of 

suffer death who broke into a church and carried off anything 
by force. No one, under penalty of heavy fines, was to make 
vows, in the pagan fashion, at trees or springs, or partake of 
any heathen feasts in honor of the demons (as the Christians 
termed the heathen gods), or fail to present infants for baptism 
before they were a year old. 

These provisions are characteristic of the theory of the Middle 
Ages according to which the government and the Church went 
hand in hand in ordering and governing the life of the people. 
Disloyalty to the Church was regarded by the State as quite as 
serious a crime as treason against itself. While the claims of the 
two institutions sometimes conflicted, there was no question in 
the minds either of the king's officials or of the clergy that both 
the civil and ecclesiastical governments were absolutely neces- 
sary ; neither of them ever dreamed that they could get along 
without the other. 

Before the Frankish conquest the Saxons had no towns. Now, 
around the seat of the bishop, or about a monastery, men be- 
gan to collect, and towns and cities grew up. Of these the 
chief was Bremen, which is still one of the most important 
ports of Germany. 

Summoned by the Pope to protect him from his old enemies 
the Lombards, Charlemagne invaded Lombardy in 773 with a 
great army and took Pavia, the capital, after a long siege. The 
Lombard king was forced to become a monk, and his treasure 
was divided among the Frankish soldiers. Charlemagne then 
took the extremely important step, in 774, of having himself 
recognized by. all the Lombard dukes and counts as king of 
the Lombards. 

So far we have spoken only of the relations of Charlemagne 
with the Germans, for even the Lombard kingdom was estab- 
lished by the Germans. He had, however, other peoples to deal 
with, especially the Slavs on the east (who were one day to build 
up the kingdoms of Poland and Bohemia and the vast Russian 
empire) and, on the opposite boundary of his dominion, the 





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Charlemagne and his Empire 375 

Moors in Spain. Against these it was necessary to protect his 
realms, and the second part of Charlemagne's reign was devoted 
to what may be called his foreign policy. A single campaign 
in 789 seems to have sufficed to subdue the Slavs, who lay to 
the north and east of the Saxons, and to force the Bohemians 
to acknowledge the supremacy of the Frankish king and pa}^ 
tribute to him. 

The necessity of protecting the Frankish realms agamst any The 
new uprising of these non-German nations led to the establish- maSaves"^ 
ment, on the confines of the kingdom, of marches, that is, districts 
under the military control of counts of the march, or ??iargraves} 
Their business was to prevent any invasion of the interior of 
the kingdom. Much depended upon the efficiency of these 
men ; in many cases they founded powerful families and later 
helped to break up the empire by establishing themselves as 
practically independent rulers. 

At an assembly that Charlemagne held in 777, ambassadors Charlemagne 
appeared before him from certain dissatisfied Mohammedans ^" ^^^'" 
in Spain. They had fallen out with the emir of Cordova ^ and 
now offered to become, the faithful subjects of Charlemagne 
if he would come to their aid. In consequence of this embassy 
he undertook his first expedition to Spain in the following year. 
After some years of war the district north of the Ebro was con- 
quered by the Franks, and Charlemagne established there the 
Spanish march. In this way he began that gradual expulsion 
of the Mohammedans from the peninsula, which was to be car- 
ried on by slowly extending conquests until 1492, when Granada, 
the last Mohammedan stronghold, fell. 

1 The king of Prussia still has, among other titles, that of Margrave of Bran- 
denburg. The German word Mark is often used for " march " on maps of 
Germany. The English and French title is " Marquis." 

2 The Mohammedan caliphate broke up in the eighth century, and the ruler 
of Spain first assumed the title of emir (about 756) and later (929) that of caliph. 
The latter title had originally been enjoyed only by the head of the whole Arab 
empire, who had his capital at Damascus, and later at Bagdad (see above, p. 364). 


Outlines of European History 

Emperor by 
the Pope 

merited the 
title of 

Section 6i. Establishment of a Line of Emperors 
IN THE West 

But the most famous of all the achievements of Charle- 
magne was his reestablishment of the Western Empire in the 
year 800. It came about in this wise. Charlemagne went to 
Rome in that year to settle a dispute between Pope Leo III 
and his enemies. To celebrate the satisfactory settlement of the 
dispute, the Pope held a solemn service on Christmas Day in 
St. Peter's. As Charlemagne was kneeling before the altar 
during this service, the Pope approached him and set a crown 
upon his head, saluting him, amid the acclamations of those 
present, as " Emperor of the Romans." 

The reasons for this extraordinary act, which Charlemagne in- 
sisted took him completely by surprise, are given in one of the 
Frankish histories, the Chronicles of Lorsch, as follows : " The 
name of Emperor had ceased among the Greeks, for they were 
under the reign of a woman [the E^mpress Irene], wherefore it 
seemed good both to Leo^ the apostolic pope, and to the bishops 
who were in council with him, and to all Christian men, that they 
should name Charles, King of the Franks, as Emperor. For he 
held Rome itself, where the ancient Caesars had always dwelt, in 
addition to all his other possessions in Italy, Gaul, and Germany. 
Wherefore, as God had granted him all these dominions, it 
seemed just to all that he should take the title of Emperor, 
too, when it was offered to him at the wish of all Christendom." 

Charlemagne appears to have accepted gracefully the honor 
thus thrust upon him. Even if he had no right to the imperial 
title, it was obviously proper and wise to grant it to him under 
the circumstances. Before his coronation by the Pope he was 
only king of the Franks and of the Lombards ; but his con- 
quests seemed to give him a right to a higher title which should 
include all his outlying realms. 

The empire thus reestablished in the West was considered to 
be a continuation of the Roman Empire founded bv Augustus. 

Charlemagne and Ids Empire 377 

Charlemagne was reckoned the immediate successor of the Em- Continuity of 
peror at Constantinople, Constantine VI, whom Irene had de- Empire" 
posed and blinded. Yet, it is hardly necessary to say that the 
position of the new Emperor had little in common with^that of 
Augustus or Constantine. In the first place, the eastern emperors 
continued to reign in Constantinople for centuries, quite regard- 
less of Charlemagne and his successors. In the second place, the 
German kings who wore the imperial crown after Charlemagne 
were generally too weak really to rule over Germany and north- 
ern Italy, to say nothing of the rest of western Europe. Never- 
theless, the Western Empire, which in the twelfth century came to 
be called the Holy Roman Empire, endured for over a thousand 
years. It came to an end in 1806, when Napoleon reconstructed 
Germany and the last of the emperors laid down the crown. 

The assumption of the title of Emperor was destined to make The title of 
the German rulers a great deal of trouble. It ccmstantly led sou'fc^e'^ o'f ^ 
them into unsuccessful efforts to keep control over Italy, which Qg^^'a^ *^ ^^^ 
really lay outside their natural boundaries. Then the circum- nilers 
stances under which Charlemagne was crowned made it possible 
for the popes to claim, later, that it was they who had transferred 
the imperial power from the old eastern line of emperors to Charle- 
magne and his family, and that this was a proof of their right to 
dispose of the crown as they pleased. The difficulties which arose 
necessitated many a weary journey to Rome for the emperors, 
and many unfortunate conflicts between them and the popes. 

Section 62. How Charlemagne carried on- 
HIS Government 

The task of governing his vast dominions taxed even the Difficulty 
highly gifted and untiring Charlemagne ; it was quite beyond go faTge'^alT^ 
the power of his successors. The same difficulties continued to empire 
exist that had confronted Charles Martel and Pippin — above 
all, a scanty royal revenue and overpowcrful officials, who were 
apl to neglect the interests and commands of their sovereign. 


Outlines of European History 


Origin of 
titles of 

The dark 
before Charle- 

Charlemagne's income, like that of all medieval rulers, came 
chiefly from his royal estates, as there was no system of general 
taxation such as had existed under the Roman Empire. He 
consequently took the greatest care that his numerous planta- 
tions should be well cultivated, and that not even a turnip or an 
^g'g which was due him should be withheld. An elaborate set of 
regulations for his farms is preserved, which sheds much light 
upon the times.^ 

The officials upon whom the Frankish kings were forced to 
rely chiefly were the counts, the " hand and voice of the king " 
wherever he could not be in person. They were expected to 
maintain order, see that justice was done in their district, and 
raise troops when the king needed them. On the frontier were 
the counts of the march, or margraves (marquises), already 
mentioned. These titles, together with that of duke, still exist 
as titles of nobility in Europe, although they are no longer asso- 
ciated with any governmental duties except in cases where their 
holders have the right to sit in the upper House of Parliament. 

Charlemagne held assemblies of the nobles and bishops of 
his realm each spring or summer, at which the interests of the 
Empire were considered. With the sanction of his advisers he 
issued an extraordinary series of laws, called capitularies^ a num- 
ber of which have been preserved. With the bishops and abbots 
he discussed the needs of the Church, and, above all, the neces- 
sity of better schools for both the clergy and laity. The reforms 
which he sought to introduce give us an opportunity of learning 
the condition in which Europe found itself after four hundred 
years of disorder. 

Charlemagne was the first important king since Theodoric 
to pay any attention to book learning. About 650 the supply 
of papyrus — the kind of paper that the Greeks and Romans 
used — had been cut off, owing to the conquest of Egypt by 
the Arabs, and as our kind of paper had not yet been invented, 

1 See extracts from these regulations, and an account of one of Charlemagne's 
farms, in Readings, chap. vii. 

Charlemagne and Ids Empire 379 

there was only the very expensive parchment to write upon. 
While this had the advantage of being more durable than papy- 
rus, its high cost discouraged the copying of books. The eighth 
century — that immediately preceding Charlemagne's coronation 
— is commonly regarded as the most ignorant, the darkest, and 
the most barbarous period of the Middle Ages. 

Yet, in spite of this dark picture, there was promise for the The elements 
future. It was evident, even before Charlemagne's time, that preserved^y 
Europe was not to continue indefinitely in the path of ignorance. '^^^ Church 
Latin could not be forgotten, for that was the language of the 
Church, and all its official communications were in that tongue. 
Consequently it was absolutely necessary that the Church should 
maintain some sort of education in order that there might be 
persons who knew enough to write a Latin letter and conduct 
the church services. Some of those who learned Latin must 
have used it to read the old books written by the Romans. Then 
the textbooks of the later Roman Empire^ continued to be 
used, and these, poor as they were, contained something about 
grammar, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and other subjects. 

It seemed to Charlemagne that it was the duty of the Church 
not only to look after the education of its own officers but to 
provide the opportunity of at least an elementary education for 
the people at large. In accordance with this conviction, he issued 
(789) an order to the clergy to gather together the children of 
both freemen and serfs in their neighborhood and establish 
schools " in which the boys may learn to read." ^ 

It would be impossible to say how many of the abbots and Establish- 
bishops established schools in accordance with Charlemagne's monastery 
recommendations. It is certain that famous centers of learning t^g°P!fchool 
existed at Tours, Fulda, Corbie, Orleans, and other places during of the 
his reign. Charlemagne further promoted the cause of education 
by the establishment of the famous " School of the palace " for 
the instruction of his own children and the sons of his nobles. 
He placed the Englishman Alcuin at the head of the school, 

1 See above, p. 324. 2 See Readings, chap. vii. 

380 Outlines of European History 

and called distinguished men from Italy and elsewhere as 

teachers. The best known of these was the historian Paulus 

Diaconus, who wrote a history of the Lombards, to which we 

owe most of what we know about them. 

Charlemagne Charlemagne appears to have been particularly impressed 

interested in with the constant danger of mistakes in copying books, a task 

religious frequently turned over to ignorant and careless persons. He 

thought it very important that the religious books should be 

carefully copied. It should be noted that he made no attempt 

to revive the learning of Greece and Rome. He deemed it 

quite sufficient if the churchmen would learn their Latin well 

enough to read the church services and the Bible intelligently. 

Discourage- The hopeful beginning that was made under Charlemagne 

cation after " "^ the revival of education was destined to prove disappointing 

Charle- jj^ j|-g immediate results. It is true that the ninth century 

magne's time ^ 

produced a few noteworthy men who have left works which 
indicate acuteness and mental training. But the break-up of 
Charlemagne's empire, the struggles between his descendants, 
the coming of new barbarians, and the disorder caused by the 
unruly feudal lords, who were not inclined to recognize any 
master, all combined to keep Europe back for at least two cen- 
turies more. Indeed, the tenth and the first half of the eleventh 
century seem, at first sight, little better than the seventh and 
the eighth. Yet ignorance and disorder never were quite so 
prevalent after, as they were before, Charlemagne. 


Section 60. Explain the importance of the coronation of Pippin. 
Describe Charlemagne's appearance and character. How did the 
Church cooperate with Charlemagne in his efforts to incorporate the 
Saxons in his empire.'* 

Section 61. What led to Charlemagne's becoming Emperor? 
What modern countries did his empire include .'' 

Section 62. What were the chief sources of Charlemagne's 
revenue? How did titles of nobility originate in medieval Europe? 
What did Charlemagne do for education ? 



Section 63. The Disruption of Charlemagne's 

It was a matter of great importance to Europe whether 
Charlemagne's extensive empire held together or fell apart 
after his death in 814. He does not seem to have had any 
expectation that it would hold together, because some years 
before his death he arranged that it should be divided among 
his three sons. But as two of these died before he did, it fell 
into the hands of the only surviving son, Louis, who succeeded 
his august father as king of all the various parts of the Prankish 
domains and was later crowned Emperor. 

Louis, called '' the pious," proved a feeble ruler. He tried 
all sorts of ways of dividing the Empire peaceably among his 
rebellious and unruly sons, but he did not succeed, and after 
his death they, and their sons as well, continued to fight over 
the question of how much each should have. It is not neces- 
sary to speak of the various temporary arrangements that were 
made. Finally, it was agreed in 870, by the Treaty of Mersen, 


Division of 

Division of 
empire into 
three king- 
doms at 
Mersen, 870 


Outlines of European History 

that there should be three states, a West Frankish kingdom, an 
East Frankish kingdom, and a kingdom of Italy. The West 
Frankish realm corresponded roughly with the present bound- 
aries of France and Belgium. Its people talked dialects derived 
from the spoken Latin, which the Romans had introduced after 
their army, under the command of Julius Caesar, conquered 
Gaul. The East Frankish kingdom included the rest of Charle- 
magne's empire outside of Italy and was German in language. 

Map of Treaty of Mersen 

This map shows the division of Charlemagne's empire made in 870 by 
.. his descendants in the Treaty of Mersen _ .., ... 

Obstacles to 

Each of the three realms established by the Treaty of Mersen 
was destined finally to grow into one of the powerful modem 
states which we see on the map of Europe to-day, but hundreds 
of years elapsed before the kings grew strong enough to 'con- 
trol their subjects, and the Treaty of Mersen was followed by 
several centuries of constant disorder and local warfare. Let us 
consider the difficulties which stood in the way of peace. 

The Age of Disorder ; Feudalism 383 

In the first place, a king found it very hard to get rapidly Bad roads 
from one part of his realms to another in order to put down 
rebellions, for the remarkable roads which the Romans had so 
carefully constructed to enable their armies to move about had 
fallen into disrepair. 

To have good roads one must be constantly working on 
them, for the rains wash them out and the floods carry away the 
bridges. As there was no longer a body of engineers employed 
by the government to keep up the roads and repair the bridges, 
they often became impassable. In the East Frankish kingdom 
matters must have been worse than in the West Frankish realm, 
for the Romans had never conquered Germany and consequently 
no good roads had ever been constructed there. 

Besides the difficulty of getting about quickly and easily, the Lack of 
king had very little money. This was one of the chief troubles go°vemment 
of the Middle Ages. There are not many gold or silver mines officials 
in western Europe, and there was no supply of precious metals 
from outside, for commerce had largely died out. So the king 
had no treasury from which to pay the many officials which 
an efficient government finds it necessary to employ to do its 
business and to keep order. As we have seen, he had to give 
his officers, the counts and margraves, land instead of money, 
and their land was so extensive that they tended to become 
rulers themselves within their own possessions. 

Of course the king had not money enough to support a stand- No perma- 
ing army, which would have enabled him to put down the con- 
stant rebellions of his distant officers and of the powerful and 
resdess nobility, whose chief interest in life consisted in fighting. 

In addition to the weakness and poverty of the kings there New 
was another trouble, — and that the worst of all, — namely, the 
constant new invasions from all directions which kept all three 
parts of Charlemagne's empire, and England besides, in a con- 
stant state of terror and disaster. These invasions were almost 
as bad as those which had occurred before Charlemagne's time ; 
they prevented western Europe from becoming peaceful and 



Outlmes of European History 

The Moham- 
attack Italy 
and southern 

prosperous and serve to explain the dark period of two hundred 
years which followed the break-up of Charlemagne's empire. 

We know how the Mohammedans had got possession of 
northern Africa and then conquered Spain, and how Charles 
Martel had frustrated their attempt to add Gaul to their pos- 
sessions. But this rebuff did not end their attacks on southern 
Europe. They got control of the Island of Sicily shortly after 

KiG. 150. Amphitheater at Arles in the Middle Ages 

The great Roman amphitheater at Aries (built probably in the first or 
second century) is about fifteen hundred feet in circumference. During 
the eighth century, when the Mohammedans were invading southern 
France, it was converted into a fortress. Many of the inhabitants settled 
inside its walls, and towers were constructed, which still stand. The pic- 
ture shows it before the dwellings were removed, about 1830 

Slavs and 

Charlemagne's death, and then began to terrorize Italy and 
southern France. Even Rome itself suffered from them. 
The accompanying picture shows how the people of Aries, 
in southern France, built their houses inside the old Roman 
amphitheater in order to protect themselves from these Moham- 
medan invaders. 

On the east the German rulers had constantly to contend 
with the Slavs. Charlemagne had defeated them in his time, as 

Fig. 151. Monastery of St.-Germain-des-Pres, Paris 

This famous monastery, now in the midst of Paris, was formerly outside 
of the walls when the town was much smaller, and was fc^rtified, as shown 
in the picture, with a moat {C) and drawbridge (B). One can see the 
abbey church (A), which still stands; the cloister (B) ; the refectory, or 
dining room {£) ; and the long dormitory (6"). It was common in the 
age of disorder to fortify monasteries and sometimes even churches, as 
nothing was so sacred as to protect it from the danger of attack 
I 38s 


Outlines of European History 

The North- 

power and 
ence of the 
great land- 

mentioned above, but they continued to make much trouble for 
two centuries at least. Then there were also the Hungarians, 
a savage race from Asia, who ravaged Germany and northern 
Italy and whose wild horsemen penetrated even into the West 
Frankish kingdom. Finally, they were driven back eastward and 
settled in the country now named after them — Hungary. 

And lastly there came the Northmen, bold and adventurous 
pirates from the shores of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. 
These skillful and daring seamen not only attacked the towns 
on the coast of the West Frankish kingdom but made their way 
up the rivers, plundering and burning the villages and towns 
as far inland as Paris. In England we shall find them, under 
the name of Danes, invading the country and forcing Alfred the 
Great to recognize them as the masters of northern England.-^ 

So there was danger always and everywhere. If rival nobles 
were not fighting one another, there were foreign invaders of 
some kind devastating the country, bent on robbing, maltreat- 
ing, and enslaving the people whom they found in towns and 
villages and monasteries. No wonder that strong castles had 
to be built and the towns surrounded by walls ; even the mon' 
asteries, which were not of course respected by pagan invaders, 
were in some cases protected by fortifications. 

In the absence of a powerful king with a well-organized army 
at his back, each district was left to look out for itself. Doubt- 
less many counts, margraves, bishops, and other great landed 
proprietors, who were gradually becoming independent princes, 
earned the loyalty of the people about them by taking the lead 
in defending the country against its invaders and by estab- 
lishing fortresses as places of refuge when the community was 
hard pressed. These conditions serve to explain why such 
government as continued to exist during the centuries following 
the death of* Charlemagne was necessarily carried on mainly, 
not by the king and his officers, but by the great landholders. 

1 These Scandinavian pirates are often called vikings^ from their habit of leav- 
ing their long boats in the vik^ which meant, in their language, " bay " or " inlet." 

The Age of Disorder ; Feudalism 


Section 64. The Medieval Castle 

As one travels through England, France, or Germany to- 
day he often comes upon the picturesque ruins of a medieval 
castle perched upon some rocky cliff and overlooking the sur- 
rounding country for miles. As he looks at the thick walls 
often surrounded by a deep, wide trench once filled with water, 

The medie- 
val castle 

Fig. 152. A Medieval Castle near Klagenfurt, Austria 

It was not uncommon in mountainous regions to have fortresses 

perched so high on rocky eminences that it was practically 

impossible to capture them 

and observes the great towers with their tiny windows, he can- 
not but wonder why so many of these forts were built, and why 
people lived in them. It is clear that they were never intended 
to be dwelling places for the peaceful households of private 
citizens ; they look rather like the fortified palace of a ruler. 
Obviously, whoever lived there was in constant expectation of 
being attacked by an army, for otherwise he would never have 


Outlines of European History 

gone to the trouble and expense of shutting himself up in those 
dreary, cold, stone rooms, behind walls from ten to twenty feet 
thick. We can picture the great hall of the castle crowded 
with the armed followers of the master of the house, ready to 
fight for him when he wished to make war on a neighbor; 
or if he himself were attacked, they would rush to the little 
windows and shoot arrows at those who tried to approach, or 

Fig. 153. Machine for Hurling Stones 

This was a medieval device for throwing stones and bolts of iron, which 
were often heated red hot before they were fired. It consisted of a great 
bow {A) and the beam {B)^ which was drawn back by the windlass {C) 
turned by a crank applied at the point (Z>). Then a stone was put in 
the pocket [F] and the trigger pulled by means of the string [E). This 
let the beam fly up with a bang against the bumper, and the missile went 
sailing against the wall or over it among the defenders of the castle 

The Roman 

pour lighted pitch or melted lead down on their enemies if they 
were so bold as to get close enough to the walls. 

The Romans had been accustomed to build walls around their 
camps, and a walled camp was called castrum ; and in such 
names as Rochester, Winchester, Gloucester, Worcester, we 
have reminders of the fact that these towns were once for- 
tresses. These camps, however, were all gover?iment fortifica^ 
tions and did not belong to private individuals. 

The Age of Disorder ; Feiuialism 389 

But as the Roman Empire grew weaker and the disorder Early castles 
caused by the incoming barbarians became greater, the various 
counts and dukes and even other large landowners began to 
build forts for themselves, usually nothing more than a great 
round mound of earth surrounded by a deep ditch and a wall 
made of stakes interwoven with twigs. On the top of the mound 
was a wooden fortress, surrounded by a fence or palisade, 

Fig. 154. Medieval Battering-ram 

This is a simple kind of battering-ram, which was trundled up to the 

walls of a besieged casde and then swung back and forth by a group 

of soldiers, with the hope of making a breach. The men were often 

protected by a covering over the ram 

similar to the one at the foot of the mound. This was the type 
of " castle " that prevailed for several centuries after Charle- 
magne's death. There are no remains of these wooden castles 
in existence, for they were not the kind of thing to last very long, 
and those that escaped being burned or otherwise destroyed, 
rotted away in time. 

About the year iioo these wooden buildings began to be re- improved 
placed by great square stone towers. This was due to the fact ^t^ck lead 
that the methods of attacking castles had so changed that wood gt^ng^to^^^g 
was no longer a sufficient protection. The Romans when they about uoo 
besieged a walled town were accustomed to hurl great stones 
and heavy-pointed stakes at the walls and over them. They had 
ingenious machines for this purpose, and they also had ways of 


Fig. 155. Movable Tower 

This attacking tower was rolled up to the wall of the besieged town 
after the moat had been filled up at the proper point. The soldiers then 
swarmed up the outside and over a bridge onto the wall. Skins of ani- 
mals were hung on the side to prevent the tower from being set on fire 


The Age of Disorder) Feudalism 


protecting their soldiers when they crept up to the walls with 
their battering-rams and pickaxes in the hope of making a breach 
and so getting into the 
town. But the Ger- 
man barbarians who 
overran the Roman 
Empire were unaccus- 
tomed to these ma- 
chines, which therefore 
had fallen into disuse. 
But the practice of 
taking towns by means 
of them was kept up 
in the Eastern Empire, 
and during the Cru- 
sades, which, as we 
shall see, began about 
1 100 (see Chapter 
XIX, below), they were 
introduced once more 
into western Europe, 
and this is the reason 
why stone castles be- 
gan to be built about 
that time. 

A square tower 
(Fig. 156) can, how- 
ever, be more easily 
attacked than a round 
tower, which has no 
corners, so a century 
later round towers be- 
came the rule and continued to be used until about the year 
1500, when gunpowder and cannon had become so common 
that even the strongest castle could no longer be defended. 

Fig. 156. Tower of Beaugexcv 

This square donjon not far from Orleans, 
France, is one of the very earliest square 
towers that survive. It is a translation into 
stone of the wooden donjons that prevailed 
up to that time. It was built about 1 100, just 
after the beginning of the First Crusade. It 
is about 76 by 66 feet in size and r 1 5 feet high 


Outlines of European History 

for it could not withstand the force of cannon balls. The 
accompanying pictures give an idea of the stone castles built 
from about iioo to 1450 or 1500. They also show how a 
stone-throwing machine, such as was used before the invention 
of cannon, was constructed (Fig. 153). 

As we have no remains or good pictures of the early wooden 
castles on a mound, we must get our notions of the arrangement 

of a castle from the 
later stone fortresses, 
many of which can still 
be found in Europe. 
When the castle was 
not on a steep rocky 
hill, which made it very 
hard to approach, a 
deep ditch was con- 
structed outside the 
walls, called the 7?ioat. 
This was filled with 
water and crossed by 
a bridge, which could 
be drawn up when the 
castle was attacked, 
leaving no way of 
getting across. The 
doorway was further 
protected by a grating 
of heavy planks, called 
the portadlis^ which could be quickly dropped down to close the 
entrance (Fig. 157). Inside the castle walls was the great donjon, 
or chief tower, which had several stories, although one would not 
suspect it from its plain exterior. There was sometimes also a fine 
hall, as at Coucy (Fig. 1 58), and handsome rooms for the use of the 
lord and his family, but sometimes they lived in the donjon. There 
were buildings for storing supplies and arms, and usually a chapel. 

Fig. 157. Fortified Gate of a 
Medieval Castle 

Here one can see the way in which the 
entrance to a castle was protected : the 
moat {A) ; the drawbridge {B) ; the port- 
cullis [C) 

Fig. 158. Coucy-le-ChAteau 

This castle of Coucy-le-Ch&teau was built by a vassal of the king of 
France in the thirteenth century. It is at the end of a h.ll -<i Protec ed 
on all sides but one by steep cliffs. One can see the moat (^) ^nd the 
double drawbridge and towers which protected the poral The round 
donjon (B) is probably the largest in the world, .00 feet m d.ameter and 
lo fee h gh. At the base its walls are 34 feet At the end o the 
inner courMC) was the residence of the lord {D). To the left of the 
court was a great hall, and to the right were the quarters of the garnson 


394 Outlines of European History 

Section 65. The Serfs and the Manor 

Obviously the owner of the castle had to obtain supplies 
to support his family and servants and armed men. He could 
not have done this had he not possessed extensive tracts of land. 
A great part of western Europe in the time of Charlemagne 
appears to have been divided into great estates or plantations. 

These medieval estates were called vils, or manors^ and closely 
resembled the Roman villas described in an earlier chapter.^ 
The peasants who tilled the soil w^ere called viUains, a word 
derived from vit. A portion of the estate was reserved by the 
lord for his own use ; the rest of the plowed land was divided 
up among the peasants, usually in long strips, of which each 
peasant had several scattered about the manor. 

The peasants were generally serfs, who did not own their 
fields, but could not, on the other hand, be deprived of them 
so long as they worked for the lord and paid him certain dues. 
They were attached to the land and went with it when it changed 
hands. The serfs were required to till those fields which the 
lord reserved for himself and to gather in his crops. They might 
not marry without their lord's permission. Their wives and 
daughters helped with the indoor work of the manor house. In 
the women's buildings the women serfs engaged in spinning, 
weaving, sewing, baking, and brewing, thus producing clothes, 
food, and drink for the whole community. 

We get our clearest ideas of the position of the serfs from 
the ancient descriptions of manors, which give an exact account 
of what each member of a particular community owed to the 
lord. For example, we find that the abbot of Peterborough 
held a manor upon which Hugh Miller and seventeen other 
serfs, mentioned by name, were required to work for him three 
days in each week during the whole year, except one week at 
Christmas, one at Easter, and one at Whitsuntide. Each serf 
was to give the lord abbot one bushel of wheat and eighteen 

i See above, p. 290. 

The Age of Disorder ; Feudalism 


sheaves of oats, three hens, and one cock yearly, and five eggs at 
Easter. If he sold his horse for more than ten shillings, he was 
to give the said abbot fourpence. Five other serfs, mentioned by 
name, held but half as much land as Hugh and his companions, 
by paying and doing in all respects half as much service. 

One of the most remarkable characteristics of the manor was 
its independence of the rest of the world. It produced nearly 

Fig. 159. PlERREFONDS 

This castle of Pierrefonds, not very far from Paris, was built by the 
brother of the king of France, about 1400. It has been very carefully 
restored in modern times and gives one a good idea of the way in which 
the feudal lords of that period lived. Within the walls are a hand- 
some central courtyard and magnificent apartments 

everything that its members needed, and might almost have con- 
tinued to exist indefinitely without communication with those who 
lived beyond its bounds. Little or no money was necessary, 
for the peasants paid what was due to the lord in the form of 
labor and farm products. They also rendered the needful help 
to one another and found little occasion for buying and selling. 

39^ Outlines of European Histo7y 

The monot- There was almost no opportunity to better one's condition, 

misery of the and life must have gone on for generation after generation in a 
Hver'^^^ weary routine. And the life was not merely monotonous, it was 

wretched. The food was coarse and there was little variety, as 
the peasants did not even take pains to raise fresh vegetables. 
The houses usually had but one room, which was ill-lighted by 
a single little window and had no chimney. 

The increased use of money in the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries, which came with the awakening trade and industry, 
tended to break up the manor. The old habit of trading one 
thing for another without the intervention of money began to 
disappear. As time went on, neither the lord nor the serf was 
satisfied with the old system, which had answered well enough 
in the time of Charlemagne. The serfs, on the one hand, began 
to obtain money by the sale of their products in the markets of 
neighboring towns. They finally found it more profitable to pay 
the lord a certain sum instead of working for him, for they 
could then turn their whole attention to tbeir own farms. 

The landlords, on the other hand, found it to their advantage 
to accept money in place of the services of their tenants. With 
this money the landlord could hire laborers to cultivate his fields 
and could buy the luxuries which were brought to his notice as 
commerce increased. So it came about that the lords gradually 
gave up their control over the peasants, and there was no longer 
very much difference between the serf and the freeman who 
paid a regular rent for his land. A serf might also gain his lib- 
erty by running away from his manor to a town. If he remained 
undiscovered, or was unclaimed by his lord, for a year and a 
day, he became a freeman.^ 

1 The slow extinction of serfdom in western Europe appears to have begun 
as early as the twelfth century. A very general emancipation had taken place in 
England and France during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, though there 
were still some serfs in France when the Revolution came in 1789. Germany was 
far more backward in this respect. We find the peasants revolting against their 
hard lot in Luther's time (1524-1525), and it was not until the beginning of the 
nineteenth century that the serfs were freed in Prussia. 

The Age of Disorder ; Feudalism 397 

These manors served to support their lords and left them 
free to busy themselves fighting with other landowners in the 
same position as themselves. 

Section 66. Feudal System 

Landholders who had large estates and could spare a por- Lord and 
tion of them were accustomed to grant some of their manors ^^^^^ 
to another person on condition that the one receiving the land 
would swear to be true to the giver, should fight for him on 
certain occasions, and should lend him aid when particular diffi- 
culties arose. It was in this way^that the relation of /(?r^ and 
vassal originated. The vassal who received the land pledged 
himself to be true to his lord, and the lord, on the other hand, 
not only let his vassal have the land but agreed to protect him 
when it was necessary. These arrangements between vassals The feudal 
and lords constituted what is called the feudal systef?i. ^^^ ^"^ 

The feudal system, or feudalism, was not established by Gradual de- 
any decree of a king or in virtue of any general agreement be- feudalism 
tween all the landowners. It grew up gradually and irregularly 
without any conscious plan on any one's part, simply because 
it seemed convenient and natural under the circumstances. 
The owner of vast estates found it to his advantage to par- 
cel them out among vassals, that is to say, men who agreed to 
accompany him to war, guard his castle upon occasion, and 
assist him when he was put to any unusually great expense. 
Land granted upon the terms mentioned was called a 7%/". One The fief 
who held a fief might himself become a lord by granting a 
portion of his fief to a vassal upon terms similar to those upon 
•which he held his lands of his lord, or siize7'ain. 

The vassal of a vassal was called a subvassal. There was Vassal and 
still another way in which the number of vassals was increased. 
The owners of small estates were usually in a defenseless con- 
dition, unable to protect themselves against the attacks of the 
great nobles. They consequently often deemed it wise to put 


Outlines of European History 

their land into the hands of a neighboring lord and receive it 
back from him as a fief. They thus became his vassals and 
could call upon him for protection. 

The one proposing to become, a vassal knelt before the lord 
and rendered him homage ^ by placing his hands between those 
of the lord and declaring himself the lord's " man " for such and 
such a fief. Thereupon the lord gave his vassal the kiss of 
peace and raised him from his kneeling posture. Then the 
vassal swore an oath of fidelity upon the Bible, or some holy 
relic, solemnly binding himself to fulfill all his duties toward his 
lord. This act of rendering homage by placing the hands in 
those of the lord and taking the oath of fidelity was the first 
and most essential duty of the vassal (Fig. i6o). For a vassal to 
refuse to do homage for his fief when it changed hands 
amounted to a declaration of revolt and independence. 

The obligations of the vassal varied greatly.^ He was ex- 
pected to join his lord when there was a military expedition on 
foot, although it was generally the case that the vassal need not 
serve at his own expense for more than forty days. The rules 
in regard to the length of time during which a vassal might 
be called upon to guard the castle of his lord varied almost 

Besides the military service due from the vassal to his lord, 
he was expected to attend the lord's court when summoned. 
There he sat with other vassals to hear and pronounce upon 
those cases in which his fellow vassals were involved. Moreover, 

1 " Homage " is derived from the Latin word homo, meaning " man." 

2 The conditions upon which fiefs were granted might be dictated either by 
interest or by mere fancy. Sometimes the most fantastic and seemingly absurd 
obligations were imposed. We hear of vassals holding on condition of attending 
the lord at supper with a tall candle, or furnishing him with a great 3'ule log at 
Christmas. Perhaps the most extraordinarjnnstance upon record is that of a lord 
in Guienne who solemnly declared upon oath, when questioned by the commis- 
sioners of Edward I, that he held his fief of the king upon the following terms : 
When the lord king came through his estate he was to accompany him to a cer- 
tain oak. There he must have waiting a cart loaded with wood and drawn by two 
cows without any tails. When the oak was reached, fire was to be applied to the 
cart and the whole burned up, " unless mayhap the cows make their escape." 

The Age of Disorder ; Feudalism 


he had to give the lord the benefit of his advice when required, 
and attend him upon solemn occasions. 

Under certain circumstances vassals had to make money Money pay- 
payments to their lord ; as, for instance, when the lord was 
put to extra expense by the necessity of knighting his eldest 
son or providing a dowry for his daughter, or when he was 
captured by an enemy 
and was held for ransom. 
Lastly, the vassal might 
have to entertain his lord 
should he be passing his 
castle. There are amus- 
ingly detailed accounts 
in some of the feudal 
contracts of exactly how 
often the lord might 
come, how many fol- 
lowers he might bring, 
and what he should have 
to eat. 

There were fiefs of 
all kinds and of all 
grades of importance, 
from that of a duke or 
count, who held directly 
of the king and exercised 
the powers of a practi- 
cally independent prince, 

down to the holding of the simple knight, whose bit of land, 
cultivated by peasants or serfs, was barely sufficient to enable 
him to support himself and provide the horse upon which he 
rode to perform his military service for his lord. 

It is essential to observe that the fief was not granted for a 
certain number of years, or simply for the life of the grantee, 
to go back at his death to the owner. On the contrary, it became 

Fig. i6o. Ceremony of Homage 

This is a modern picture of the way in 
which the ceremony of homage took place. 
The new vassal is putting his hands be- 
tween those of his lord. To the left are 
retainers in their chain armor, and back 
of the lord and his lady is the jester, or 
court fool, whose business it is to amuse 
his master when he needs entertainment 

400 Outlines of European History 

The heredi- hereditary in the family of the vassal and passed down to the 

tary character ^ ^ ^ r • , r^ ■, 

of fiefs and eldest son from one generation to another. So long as the 
quences^' vassal remained faithful to his lord and performed the stipu- 
lated services, and his successors did homage and continued to 
meet the conditions upon which the fief had originally been 
granted, neither the lord nor his heirs could rightfully regain 
possession of the land. 

The result was that little was left to the original owner of the 
fief except the services and dues to which the practical owner, 
the vassal, had agreed in receiving it. In short, the fief came 
really to belong to the vassal, and only the shadow of owner- 
ship remained in the hands of the lord. Nowadays the owner 
of land either makes some use of it himself or leases it for a 
definite period at a fixed money rent. But in the Middle Ages 
most of the land was held by those who neither really owned it 
nor paid a regular rent for it, and yet who could not be deprived 
of it by the nominal owner or his successors. 
Subvassals of Obviously the great vassals who held directly of the king 
under"his^° became almost independent of him as soon as their fiefs were 
control granted to them and their descendants. Their vassals, since 

they had not done homage to the king himself, often paid little 
attention to his commands. From the ninth to the thirteenth 
century, the king of France or the king of Germany did not 
rule over a great realm occupied by subjects who owed him 
obedience as their lawful sovereign, paid him taxes, and were 
bound to fight under his banner as the head of the State. As 
a feudal landlord himself, the king had a right to demand fidel- 
ity and certain services from those who were his vassals. But 
the great mass of the people over whom he nominally ruled, 
whether they belonged to the nobility or not, owed little to the 
king directly, because they lived upon the lands of other feudal 
lords more or less independent of him. 

The Age of Disorder ; Fetcdalism 40 1 

Section 6j . Neighborhood Warfare in the 
Middle Ages 

One has only to read a chronicle of the time to discover that The feudal 
brute force governed almost everything outside of the Church, tafned'oniy^ 
The feudal obligations were not fulfilled except when the lord was ^^ ^°^^^ 
sufficiently powerful to enforce them. The oath of fidelity was 
constantly broken, and faith was violated by both vassal and lord. 

It often happened that a vassal was discontented with his The breaking 
lord and transferred his allegiance to another. This he had bon/ 
a right to do under certain circumstances, as, for instance, 
when his lord refused to see that justice was done him in his 
court. But such changes were generally made merely for the 
sake of the advantages which the faithless vassal hoped to gain. 
The records of the time are full of accounts of refusal to do 
homage, which was the commonest way in which a vassal re- 
volted from his lord. So soon as a vassal felt himself strong 
enough to face his lord's displeasure, or when the lord was 
a helpless child, the vassal was apt to declare his independence 
by refusing to recognize as his lord the one from whom he had 
received his land. 

We may say that war, in all its forms, was the law of the War the law 
feudal world. War formed the chief occupation of the restless ^^orjd 
nobles who held the land and were supposed to govern it. An 
enterprising vassal was likely to make war upon each of the 
lords to whom he had done homage ; secondly, upon the bishops 
and abbots with whom he was brought into contact, and whose 
control he particularly disliked ; thirdly, upon his fellow vassals ; 
and lastly, upon his own vassals. The feudal bonds, instead of 
offering a guarantee of peace and concord, appear to have been 
a constant cause of violent conflict. Every one was bent upon 
profiting by the permanent or temporary weakness of his neigh- 
bor. This chronic fighting extended even to members of the 
same family ; the son, anxious to enjoy a part of his heritage 
immediately, warred against his father, younger brothers against 


Outlines of European History 

Justs and 

older, and nephews against uncles who might seek to deprive 
them of their rights. 

In theory, the lord could force his vassals to settle their dis- 
putes in an orderly manner before his court ; but often he was 
neither able nor inclined to bring about a peaceful adjustment, 
and he would frequently have found it hard to enforce the 
decisions of his own court. So the vassals were left to fight 
out their quarrels among themselves, and they found their chief 
interest in life in so doing. War was practically sanctioned by 
law. This is shown by two striking examples. The great French 
code of laws of the thirteenth century and the Golden Bull, a 
most important body of law drawn up for Germany in 1356, 
did not prohibit neighborhood war, but merely provided that 
it should be conducted in what was considered a decent and 
gentlemanly way. 

Justs and tourneys were military exercises — play wars — to 
fill out the tiresome periods which occasionally intervened be- 
tween real wars. They were, in fact, diminutive batdes in which 
whole troops of hostile nobles sometimes took part. These 
rough plays called down the condemnation of the popes and 
even of the kings. The latter, however, were much too fond of the 
sport themselves not to forget promptly their own prohibitions. 

The horrors of this constant fighting led the Church to try 
to check it. About the year 1000 several Church councils in 
southern France decreed that the fighters were not to attack 
churches or monasteries, churchmen, pilgrims, merchants, and 
women, and that they must leave the peasant and his catde 
and plow alone. Then Church councils began to issue what 
was known as the " Truce of God," which provided that all 
warfare was to stop during Lent and various other holy days 
as well as on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of every 
week. During the truce no one was to attack any one else. 
Those besieging castles were to refrain from any assaults during 
the period of peace, and people were to be allowed to go quietly 
to and fro on their business without being disturbed by soldiers. 

The Age of Disorder ; Feudalism 403 

If any one failed to observe the truce, he was to be excom- 
municated by the Church — if he fell sick no Christian should 
dare to visit him, and on his deathbed he was not to receive the 
comfort of a priest, and his soul was consigned to hell if he 
had refused to repent and mend his ways. It is hard to say 
how much good the Truce of God accomplished. Some of the 
bishops and even the heads of great monasteries liked fighting 
pretty well themselves. It is certain that many disorderly lords 
paid little attention to the truce, and found three days a week 
altogether too short a time for plaguing their neighbors. 

Yet we must not infer that the State ceased to exist altogether The kings 
during the centuries of confusion that followed the break-up of fh? betfer of 
Charlemagne's empire, or that it fell entirely apart into little [^rds^"^^^ 
local governments independent of each other. In the first place, 
a king always retained some of his ancient majesty. He might 
be weak and without the means to enforce his rights and to 
compel his more powerful subjects to meet their obligations 
toward him. Yet he was, after all, the king^ solemnly anointed 
by the Church as God's representative on earth. He was always 
something more than a feudal lord. The kings were destined to 
get the upper hand^ before many centuries in England, France, 
and Spain, and finally in Italy and Germany, and to destroy the 
castles behind whose walls their haughty nobles had long defied 
the royal power. 


Section 63. What led to the breaking up of Charlemagne's em- 
pire? What is the importance of the Treaty of Mersen.? What 
were the chief obstacles that prevented a king in the early Middle 
Ages from really controlling an extensive realm? What invasions 
occurred in western Europe after Charlemagne's time ? Tell what 
you can of the Northmen. 

Section 64. Describe the changes that took place during the 
Middle Ages in the method of constructing casdes. Describe the 
arrangement of a castle. 

404 Outlmes of European History 

Section 6^. What was a manor, and what Roman institution did 
it resemble? What was a serf? What were the chief services that 
a serf owed to his master? What effect did the increased use of 
money have upon serfdom ? 

Section 66. Define "lord," "vassal," "fief," "homage," "feudal- 
ism." What services did a vassal owe to his lord ? What effects did 
feudalism have upon the power of the kings? 

Section 67. What is meant by neighborhood warfare ? Why was 
it very common in the Middle Ages ? What was the Truce of God ? 



Section 68. The Norman Conquest 

The country of western Europe whose history is of great- importance 
est interest to English-speaking peoples is, of course, Eng- °nthe\tstory 
land. From England the United States and the vast English gj^^p^^'" 
colonies have inherited their language and habits of thought, 
much of their literature, and many of their laws and institutions. 
In this volume it will not, however, be possible to study Eng- 
land except in so far as it has played a part in the general 
development of Europe. This it has greatly influenced by its 
commerce and industry and colonies, as well as by the example 
it was the first to set in modern times of permitting the people 
to share with the king in the government. 

The conquest of the island of Britain by the German Angles Ovedordship 

of Wcsscx 

and Saxons has already been spoken of, as well as the con- 
version of these pagans to Christianity by Augustine and his 
monks.^ The several kingdoms founded by the German invaders 
were brotight under the overlordship of the southern kingdom 
of Wessex by Egbert, a contemporary of Charlemagne. 

But no sooner had the long-continued invasions of the Ger- invasion of 
mans come to an end and the country been partially unified Their defeat 
than the Northmen (or Danes, as the English called them), who ^j^g^^^al 
were ravaging France (see above, p. 386), began to make incur- 871-901 
sions into England. Before long they had conquered a large 
district north of the Thames and were making permanent set- 
tlements. They were defeated, however, in a great battle by 
Alfred the Great, the first English king of whom we have any 

1 See above, pp. 355 f. 


OiUlines of European History 

from the 
death of 
Alfred the 
Great to 
the Norman 

France in the 
Middle Ages 

of small 
states in 


satisfactory knowledge. He forced the Danes to accept Christi- 
anity, and established, as the boundary between their settlements 
and his own kingdom of Wessex, a line running from London 
across the island to Chester. 

But more Danes kept coming, and the Danish invasions con- 
tinued for more than a century after Alfred's death (901). 
Sometimes they were bought off by a money payment called the 
Danegeld, which was levied on the people of England like any 
other tax. But finally a Danish king (Cnut) succeeded in making 
himself king of England in 1017. This Danish dynasty main- 
tained itself, however, for only a few years. Then a last weak 
Saxon king, Edward the Confessor, reigned for twenty years. 

Upon his death one of the greatest events in all English 
history occurred. The most powerful of the vassals of the king 
of France crossed the English Channel, conquered England, and 
made himself king. This was William, Duke of Normandy. 

We have seen how Charlemagne's empire broke up, and how 
the feudal lords became so powerful that it was difficult for the 
king to control them. The West Frankish kingdom, which we 
shall hereafter call France, was divided up among a great many 
dukes and counts, who built strong castles, gathered armies and 
fought against one another, and were the terror alike of priest, 
merchant, and laborer. (See above, sections 63 and 67.) 

In the tenth century certain great fiefs, like Normandy, Brit- 
tany, Flanders, and Burgundy, developed into little nations, each 
under its line of able rulers. Each had its own particular cus- 
toms and culture, some traces of which may still be noted by 
the traveler in France. These little feudal states were created 
by certain families of nobles who possessed exceptional energy 
or statesmanship. By conquest, purchase, or marriage they in- 
creased the number of their fiefs, and they insured their control 
over their vassals by promptly destroying the castles of those 
who refused to meet their obligations. 

Of these subnations none was more important or interesting 
than Normandy. The Northmen had been the scourge of those 

England in the Middle Ages 407 

who lived near the North Sea for many years before one of 
their leaders, Rollo (or Hrolf), agreed in 9 1 1 to accept from 
the West Frankish king a district on the coast, north of Brit- 
tany, where he and his followers might peacefully settle. Rollo 
assumed the title of Duke of the Normans, and introduced the 
Christian religion among his people. For a considerable time 
the newcomers kept up their Scandinavian habits and language. 
Gradually, however, they appropriated such culture as their 
neighbors possessed, and by the twelfth century their capital, 
Rouen, was one of the most enlightened cities of Europe. Nor- 
mandy became a source of infinite perplexity to the French 
kings when, in 1066, Duke William added England to his pos- 
sessions and the title of "• the Conqueror " to his name ; for 
he thereby became so powerful that his overlord, the king 
of France, could hardly hope to control the Norman dukes 
any longer. 

William of Normandy claimed that he was entitled to the The struggle 
English crown, but we are somewhat in the dark as to the basis n^h^crown^" 
of his claim. There is a story that he had visited the court of between Earl 

■' Harold 

Edward the Confessor and had become his vassal on condition and Duke 
that, should Edward die childless, he was to declare William his Normandy 
successor. However this may be, Harold of Wessex assumed 
the crown upon Edward's death and paid no attention to William's 
demand that he should surrender it. 

William thereupon appealed to the Pope, promising that if he The Pope 
came into possession of. England, he would see that the English winiam's 
clergy submitted to the authority of the Roman bishop. Conse- ^^^™ 
quently the Pope, Alexander II, condemned Harold and blessed 
in advance any expedition that William might undertake to 
secure his rights. The conquest of England therefore took on 
the character of a sort of holy war, and as the expedition had 
been well advertised, many adventurers flocked to William's 
standard. During the spring and summer of 1066 ships were 
building in the various Norman harbors for the purpose of 
carrying William's army across the Channel. 


Outlines of European History 

position of 

Harold, the English king, was in a very unfavorable position 
to defend his crown. In the first place, while he was expecting 
William's coming, he was called to the north of England to repel 

a last invasion of 
the fierce North- 
men, who had 
again landed in 
England and were 
devastating the 
coast towns. He 
was able to put 
them to flight, but 
as he was cele- 
brating his victory 
by a banquet, news 
reached him that 
William had actu- 
ally landed with 
his Normans in 
southern England. 
It was autumn 
now and the peas- 
ants, who formed 
a large part of 
Harold's forces, 
had gone home 
to harvest their 
crops, so he had 
to hurry south 
with an insuffi- 
cient army. 

The English 
occupied the hill 
of Senlac, west 
of Hastings, and 

Fig. i6i. Abbaye-aux-Dames, Caen 

William the Conqueror married a lady, Matilda, 
who was remotely related to him. This was 
against the rules of the Church, and he took 
pains to get the Pope's sanction to his marriage. 
But he and his queen were afraid that they might 
have committed a sin in marrying, so William 
built a monastery for men and Matilda a nunnery 
for women as a penance. The churches of these 
monasteries still stand in the Norman city of 
Caen. William was buried in his church. The 
picture represents the interior of Matilda's 
church and is a good example of what the 
EngHsh called the Norman style of architecture 







if-' ' 







s 'v-.^ 


^ ,, , 

L -ui^ 

"iiBfck. .-leak.. 

England in the Middle Ages 409 

awaited the coming of the enemy. They had few horses and Battle of 
fought on foot with their battle-axes. The Normans had horses, October^ 
which they had brought across in their ships, and were supplied ^°^^ 
with bows and arrows. The English fought bravely and re- 
pulsed the Normans as they tried to press up the hillside. But 
at last they were thrown into confusion, and Iving Harold was 
killed by a Norman arrow which pierced his eye. 

William thus destroyed the English army in this famous battle William 
of Hastings, and the rightful English king was dead. But the atTondon 
Norman duke was not satisfied to take possession of England 
as a conqueror merely. In a few weeks he managed to induce 
a number of influential nobles and several bishops to agree to 
accept him as king, and Eondon opened its gates to him. On 
Christmas Day, 1066, he was chosen king by an assembly in 
Westminster Abbey (where Harold had been elected a year 
before) and was duly crowned. 

In the Norman town of Bayeux a strip of embroidery is pre- The Bayeux 
served some two hundred and thirty feet long and eighteen ^^^^ ^'^ 
inches wide. If it was not made by Queen Matilda, William's 
wife, and her ladies, as some have supposed, it belongs at any 
rate to the time of the Norman conquest of England, which it 
pictures with much detail. The accompanying colored repro- 
duction of two scenes shows the Normans landing with their 
horses from their ships on the English coast and starting for 
the battle field of Hastings, and, in the second scene, the battle 
in actual progress ; the English are on their hill, trying to drive 
back the invaders. While the ladies could not draw very well, 
historians are able to get some ideas of the time from their 

We cannot trace the history of the opposition and the revolts 
of the great nobles which William had to meet within the next 
few years. His position was rendered doubly difficult by troubles 
which he encountered on the Continent as Duke of Normandy. 
Suffice it to say, that he succeeded in maintaining himself against 
all his enemies. 


Outlines of European History 

William's policy in England exhibited profound statesman- 
ship. He introduced the Norman feudalism to which he was 
accustomed, but took good care that it should not weaken his 
power. The English, who had refused to join him before the 
battle of Hastings, were declared to have forfeited their lands, 
but were permitted to keep them upon condition of receiving 
them back from the king as his vassals. The lands of those 
who actually fought against him at Hastings, or in later rebel- 
lions, including the great estates of Harold's family, were seized 
and distributed among his faithful followers, both Norman 
and English, though naturally the Normans among them far 
outnumbered the English. 

William declared that he did not propose to change the Eng- 
lish customs, but to govern as Edward the Confessor, the last 
Saxon king, had done. He maintained the Witenagemot, a 
council made up of bishops and nobles, whose advice the Saxon 
kings had sought in all important matters. But he was a man 
of too much force to submit to the control of his people. He 
avoided giving to any one person a great many estates in a 
single region, so that no one should become inconveniently 
powerful. Finally, in order to secure the support of the smaller 
landholders and to prevent combinations against him among 
the greater ones, he required every landowner in England to 
take an oath of fidelity directly to him, instead of having only a 
few great landowners as vassals who had their own subvassals 
under their own control, as in France. 

We read in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (1086): "He came, 
on the first day of August, to Salisbury, and there came to 
him his wise men (that is, counselors), and all the land-owning 
men of property there were over all England, whosoever men 
they were ; and all bowed down to him and became his men, 
and swore oaths of fealty to him that they would be faithful to 
him against all other men." 

It is clear that the Norman Conquest was not a simple change 
of kings, but that a new element was added to the English 

England in the Middle Ages 4 1 1 

people. We cannot tell how many Normans actually emigrated General re- 
across the Channel, but they evidently came in considerable Norman Con- 
numbers, and their influence upon the English habits and gov- °^^^^ 
ernment v^as very great. A century after William's conquest 
the whole body of the nobility, the bishops, abbots, and govern- 
ment officials, had become practically all Norman. Besides these, 
the architects who built the castles and fortresses, the cathe- 
drals and abbeys, came from Normandy. Merchants from the 
Norman cities of Rouen and Caen settled in London and other 
English cities, and weavers from Flanders in various towns 
and even in the country. For a short time these newcomers 
remained a separate people, but by the year 1200 they had 
become for the most part indistinguishable from the great mass 
of English people amongst whom they had come. They had 
nevertheless made the people of England more energetic, active- 
minded, and varied in their occupations and interests than they 
had been before the conquest. 

Section 69. Henry II and the Plantagenets 

William the Conqueror was followed by his sons, William William 

Rufus and Henry I. Upon the death of the latter the country uoo^^and '^~ 

went throuo^h a terrible period of civil war, for some of the Henry i, 
o ^ ' 1100-1135 

nobility supported the Conqueror's grandson Stephen, and some 
his granddaughter Matilda. After the death of Stephen, when Civil war end- 
Henry II, Matilda's son,^ was finally recognized in 1 154 by all cession of 
as king, he found the kingdom in a melancholy state. The jj^j^^l^j^' 
nobles had taken advantage of the prevalent disorder to erect 
castles without royal permission and to establish themselves 
as independent rulers, and many disorderly hired soldiers had 
been brought over from the Continent to support the rivals for 
the throne. 

Henry II at once adopted vigorous measures. He destroyed 
the illegally erected fortresses, sent off the foreign soldiers, and 

1 See genealogical table below, p. 416. 


Outlines of European History 

Trial by jury 






deprived many earls who had been created by Stephen and 
Matilda of their titles. Henry's task was a difficult one. He 
had need of all his tireless energy and quickness of mind to 
restore order in England and at the same time rule the wide 
realms on the Continent which he had either inherited or gained 

through his marriage 
w^ith a French heiress. 
In order to avoid 
all excuse for the pri- 
vate w^arfare which 
was such a persistent 
evil on the Continent, 
he undertook to im- 
prove and reform the 
law courts. He ar- 
ranged that his j udges 
should make regular 
circuits throughout 
the country, so that 
they might try cases 
on the spot at least 
once a year. We 
find, too, the begin- 
ning of our grand 
jury in a body of men 
in each neighborhood 
w^ho were to be duly 
sworn in, from time to time, and should then bring accusations 
against such malefactors as had come to their knowledge. 

As for the " petty," or smaller, jury of twelve, which actually 
tried the accused, its origin and history are obscure. Henry H's 
juries left the verdict for Heaven to pronounce in the ordeal ; 
but a century later we find the jury of twelve itself rendering 
verdicts. The plan of delegating to twelve men the duty of decid- 
ing on the guilt or innocence of a suspected person was very 


162. Norm AX Gateway 
Brlstol, England 

This beautiful gateway was originally the 

entrance to a monastery, begun in 1142. It 

is one of the finest examples of the Norman 

style of building to be seen in England 

England in the Middle Ages 


different from the earlier 
systems. It resembled 
neither the Roman trial, 
where the judges made 
the decision, nor the 
medieval compurgation 
and ordeals (see above, 
p. 331). The decisions 
of Henry's judges were 
mainly drawn from old 
English custom, instead 
of from Roman law as 
in France, and they be- 
came the basis of the 
common law which is 
still used in all English- 
speaking countries. 

Henry's reign was em- 
bittered by the famous 
struggle with Thomas 
Becket, which illustrates 
admirably the peculiar 
dependence of the 
monarchs of his day 
upon the churchmen. 
Becket was born in 
London and became a 
churchman, but he grew 
up in the service of the 
king and was able to aid 
Henry in gaining the 
throne. Thereupon the 
new king made him 
his chancellor. Becket 
proved an excellent 

Fig. 163. Choir of Canterbury 

The choir of Canterbury Cathedral was 
destroyed by fire four years after Thomas 
Becket was murdered there. The picture 
shows how it was rebuilt under Henry II 
during the years 1175-1184. The-two lower 
rows of arches are the round kind that 
had been used up to that time, while the 
upper row shows how the pointed arch 
was coming in (see below, section 89) 


Outlines of European History 

minister and defended the king's interest even against the 
Church. He was fond of hunting and of war and maintained 
a brilliant court from the revenues of the numerous church 
positions which he held. It appeared to Henry that there could 
be no better head for the English clergy than his sagacious 
and worldly chancellor. He therefore determined to make him 
Archbishop of Canterbury. 

In securing the election of Becket as Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, Henry intended to insure his own complete control of the 
Church. He proposed to punish churchmen who committed 
crimes, like other offenders, to make the bishops meet all the 
feudal obligations, and to prevent appeals to the Pope. Becket, 
however, immediately gave up his gay life and opposed every 
effort of the king to reduce the independence of the Church. 
After a haughty assertion of the supremacy of the Church 
over the king's government,^ Thomas fled from the wrathful 
and disappointed monarch to France and the protection of 
the Pope. 

In spite of a patched-up reconciliation with the king, Becket 
proceeded to excommunicate some of the great English prelates 
and, as Henry believed, was conspiring to rob his son of the 
crown. In a fit of anger, Henry exclaimed among his followers, 
" Is there no one to avenge me of this miserable churchman ? " 
Unfortunately certain knights took the rash expression literally, 
and Becket was murdered in his own cathedral of Canterbury, 
whither he had returned. The king really had no wish to resort 
to violence, and his sorrow and remorse when he heard of the 
dreadful deed, and his terror at the consequences, were most 
genuine. The Pope proposed to excommunicate him. Henry, 
however, made peace with the papal legates by the solemn as- 
sertion that he had never wished the death of Thomas and by 
promising to return to Canterbury all the property which he had 
confiscated, to send money to aid in the capture of the Holy 
Sepulcher at Jerusalem, and to undertake a crusade himself. 

1 See below, section 75. 

«.-«-. EIJQ., BUFFALO. 6 

The Plantagenet Possessions in England and France 


OiLtlines of Europe a7i Histor}' 

The French 
of the 

Philip Au- 
gustus of 

Although Henry II was one of the most important kings in 
English history, he spent a great part of his time across the 
Channel in his French possessions. A glance at the accompany- 
ing map will show that rather more than half of his realms lay to 
the south of the English Channel. He controlled more territory 
in France than the French king himself. As great-grandson of 
William the Conqueror, he inherited the duchy of Normandy 
and the suzerainty over Brittany. His mother, Matilda, had mar- 
ried the count of Anjou and Maine, so that Henry II inherited 
these fiefs along with those which had belonged to William the 
Conqueror. Lastly, he had himself married Eleanor, heiress of the 
dukes of Guienne, and in this way doubled the extent of his French 
lands.^ Henry II and his successors are known as the Plantag- 
enets, owing to the habit that his father, the count of Anjou, 
had of wearing a bit of broom Q^2Xm pi anta genista) in his helmet. 

So it came about that the French kings beheld a new State, 
under an able and energetic ruler, developing within their bor- 
ders and including more than half the territory over which they 
were supposed to rule. A few years before Henry II died, an 
ambitious monarch, Philip Augustus, ascended the French 
throne, and made it the chief business of his life to get control 
of his feudal vassals, above all, the Plantagenets. 

1 WilUam the Conqueror, king of England (1066-1087) 

William II (Rufus) 

Henry I (1100-1135), 

m. Matilda, daughter 

of Malcolm, king 

of Scotland 


Matilda (d. 1167), 

m. Geoffrey Plantagenet, 

count of Anjou 


Henry II (i 154-1 189), 

the first Plantagenet king, 

m. Eleanor of Aquitaine 

Adela, m. Stephen, 

count of Blois 


Stephen (1135-1154) 


Geoffrey (d. ii8b) 


Henry III 

England in the Middle Ages 4 1 7 

Henry divided his French possessions among his three sons, Quarrels in 
Geoffrey, Richard, and John ; but father and sons were engaged family ^ 
in constant disputes with one another, as none of them were 
easy people to get along with. Philip Augustus took advantage 
of these constant quarrels of the brothers among themselves 
and with their father. These quarrels were most fortunate for 
the French king, for had the Plantagenets held together they 
might have annihilated the royal house of France, whose narrow 
dominions their own possessions closed in on the west and south. 

So long as Henry H lived there was little chance of expelling Richard the 

, -11 • r 1 • Lion- Hearted 

the Plantagenets from France ; but with the accession ot his 
reckless son, Richard the Lion-Heai/ted, the prospects of the 
French king brightened wonderfully. Richard is one of the 
most famous of medieval knights, but he was a very poor ruler. 
He left his kingdom to take care of itself while he went upon 
a crusade to the Holy Land (see below, p. 47 1). He persuaded 
Philip Augustus to join him ; but Richard was too overbearing 
and masterful, and Philip too ambitious, to make it possible for 
them to agree for long. The king of France, who was physi- 
cally delicate, was taken ill on the way and was glad of the 
excuse to return home and brew trouble for his powerful vassal. 
When Richard himself returned, after several years of romantic 
but fruitless adventure, he found himself involved in a war with 
Philip Augustus, in the midst of which he died. 

Richard's younger brother John, who enjoys the reputation John loses 

, , ^ ^ ,. , , . 1., the French 

of being the most despicable of English kings, speedily gave possessions 
Philip a good excuse for seizing a great part of the Plantagenet 
lands. John was suspected of conniving at the brutal murder of 
his nephew Arthur (the son of Geoffrey^). He was also guilty 
of the less serious offense of carrying off and marrying a lady 
betrothed to one of his own vassals. Philip Augustus, as John's 
suzerain, summoned him to appear at the French court to answer 
the latter charge. Upon John's refusal to appear or to do 

1 Geoffrey, John's next older brother, who would naturally have succeeded 
Richard, died in 1186. 

of his house 


Outlines of Etiropean History 

kings still 
continued to 
hold south- 

John of Eng- 
land becomes 
a vassal of 
the Pope 

homage for his continental possessions, Philip caused his court 
to issue a decree confiscating almost all of the Plantagenet 
lands, leaving to the English king only the southwest corner 
of France. 

Philip found little difficulty in possessing himself of Normandy 
itself, which showed no disinclination to accept him in place of 
the Plantagenets. Six years after Richard's death the English 
kings had lost all their continental fiefs except Guienne. It 
should be observed that Philip, unlike his ancestors, was no 
longer merely siizei-ain of the new conquests, but made himself 
duke of Normandy, and count of Anjou, of Maine, etc. The 
boundaries of his domain — that is, the lands which he himself 
controlled directly as feudal lord — now extended to the sea. 

St. Louis, Philip's successor, arranged with John's successor 
in 1258 that the English king should do him homage for Guienne, 
Gascony, and Poitou, and should surrender every claim on all the 
rest of the former possessions of the Plantagenets. So it came 
about that the English kings continued to hold a portion of France 
for several hundred years. 

John not only lost Normandy and other territories which had 
belonged to the earlier Norman kings but he actually consented 
to become the Pope's vassal, receive England as a fief from 
the papacy, and pay tribute to Rome. This strange proceeding 
came about in this wise : The monks of Canterbury had (1205) 
ventured to choose an archbishop — who was at the same time 
their abbot ^ — without consulting King John. Their appointee 
hastened off to Rome to gain the Pope's confirmation, while the 
irritated John forced the monks to hold another election and 
make his treasurer archbishop. The Pope at that time was no 
less a person than Innocent III, one of the greatest of medieval 
rulers.^ Innocent rejected both the men who had been elected, 
sent for a new deputation of monks from Canterbury, and bade 
them choose Stephen Langton, a man of great ability. John 
then angrily drove the monks of Canterbury out of the kingdom. 
1 See above, p. 357. 2 See below, p. 457. 

Efigland in the Middle Ages 419 

Innocent replied by placing England under the iiiterdid ; that England 


is to say, he ordered the clergy to close all the churches and ^kt 
suspend all public services — a veiy terrible thing to the people 
of the time. John was excommunicated, and the Pope threatened 
that unless the king submitted to his wishes he would depose 
him and give his crown to Philip Augustus of France. As Philip 
made haste to collect an army for the conquest of England, 
John humbly submitted to the Pope in 12 13. He went so far 
as to hand England over to Innocent III and receive it back as 
a fief, thus becoming the vassal of the Pope. He agreed also 
to send a yearly tribute to Rome. 

Section 70. The Great Charter and the 
Beginnings of Parliament 

We must now turn to the most important event in John's 
reign — the drawing up of the Great Charter of English 

When, in 12 13, John proposed to lead his English vassals The grant- 
across the water in order to attempt to reconquer his lost pos- cfe^t Char- 
sessions in France, they refused to accompany him on the ground *^'^' ^^^5 
that their feudal obligations did not bind them to fight outside 
of their country. Moreover, they showed a lively discontent with 
John's tyranny and his neglect of those limits of the kingly 
power which several of the earlier Norman kings had solemnly 
recognized. In 12 14 a number of the barons met and took a 
solemn oath that they would compel the king, by arms if neces- 
sary, to sign a charter containing the things which, according 
to English traditions, a king might not do. As John would not 
agree to do this, it proved necessar)' to get together an army 
and march against him. The insurgent nobles met him at 
Runnymede, not far from London. Here on the 15th of June, 
1 2 15, they forced him to swear to observe what they believed 
to be the rights of his subjects, which they had carefully 
written out. 


Outlines of European History 

The provi- 
sions of the 
and its 

value of 
the Charter 

The Great Charter is perhaps the most famous document in 
the history of government ; ^ its provisions furnish a brief and 
comprehensive statement of the burning governmental questions 
of that period. The nobles who concluded this great treaty 
with a tyrannous ruler saw that it was to their interest to have 
the rights of the common freeman safeguarded as well as their 
own. The king promises to observe the rights of his vassals, 
and the vassals in turn agree to observe the rights of their 
men. The towns are not to be oppressed. The merchant is 
not to be deprived of his goods for small offenses, nor the 
farmer of his wagon and implements. The king is to impose no 
tax, besides the three stated feudal aids,^ except with the consent 
of the great council of the nation. This is to include the prelates 
and greater barons and all who hold directly of the king. 

There is no more notable clause in the Charter than that which 
provides that no freeman is to be arrested, or imprisoned, or 
deprived of his property, unless he be immediately sent before 
a court of his peers for trial. To realize the importance of this, 
we must recollect that in France, down to 1789, — nearly six 
hundred years later, — the king exercised such unlimited powers 
that he could order the arrest of any one he pleased, and could 
imprison him for any length of time without bringing him to 
trial or even informing him of the nature of his offense. The 
Great Charter provided further that the king should permit 
merchants to move about freely and should observe the privileges 
of the various towns ; nor were his officers longer to be allowed 
to exercise despotic powers over those under them. 

In spite of his solemn confirmation of the Charter, John, 
with his accustomed treachery, made an unsuccessful attempt to 
break his promises in the Charter ; but neither he nor his suc- 
cessors ever succeeded in getting rid of the document. Later 
there were times when the English kings evaded its provisions 

1 Extracts from the Great Charter are given in the Readings^ chap. xi. 

2 These were payments made when the lord knighted his eldest son, gave his 
eldest daughter in marriage, or had been captured and was waiting to be ransomed. 

England in the Middle Ages 421 

and tried to rule as absolute monarchs. But the people always 
sooner or later bethought them of the Charter, which thus con- 
tinued to form a barrier against permanent despotism in England. 

During the long reign of John's son, Henry III, England Henry in, 
began to construct her Parliament, an institution which has not 
only played a most important role in English history, but has 
also served as the model for similar bodies in almost every 
civilized state in the world. 

The Great Council of the Norman kings, like the older Wite- 
nagemot of Saxon times, was a meeting of nobles, bishops, and 
abbots, which the king summoned from time to time to give 
him advice and aid, and to sanction important governmental 
undertakings. During Henry's reign its meetings became more 
frequent and its discussions more vigorous than before, and the 
name Parliament began to be applied to it. 

In 1265 a famous Parliament was held, where a most impor- The Com- 

tant new class of members — the co?nmo?ts — were present, who moned "o^ 

were destined to give it its future greatness. In addition to the Parliament, 
c ^ &^ J265 

nobles and prelates, two simple knights were summoned from 
each county and two citizens from each of the more flourishing 
towns to attend and take part in the discussions. 

Edward I, the next king, definitely adopted this innovation. The Model 
He doubtless called in the representatives of the towns because EdwaS^^ " 
the townspeople were becoming rich and he wished to have an ^^95 
opportunity to ask them to make grants of money to meet the 
expenses of the government. He also wished to obtain the 
approval of all classes when he determined upon important 
measures affecting the whole realm. Ever since the so-called 
" Model Parliament" of 1295, the commons, 'or representatives 
of the people, have always been included along with the clergy 
and nobility when the national assembly of England has been 

The Parliament early took the stand that the king must agree Redress of 
to "redress of grievances" before they would grant him any ^"^^^"'^^^ 
money. This meant that the king had to promise to remedy any 


Outlines of European History 

Growth of 
powers of 

House of 
Lords and 
House of 

acts of himself or his officials of which Parliament complained 
before it would agree to let him raise the taxes. Instead of fol- 
lowing the king about and meeting wherever he might happen 
to be, the parliament from the time of Edward I began to hold 
its sessions in the city of Westminster, now a part of London, 
where it still continues to meet. 

Under Edward's successor, Edward II, Parliament solemnly 
declared in 1322 that important matters relating to the king and 
his heirs, the state of the realm and of the people should be con- 
sidered and determined upon by the king " with the assent of the 
prelates, earls and barons, and the commonalty (that is, com- 
mons) of the realm." Five years later Parliament showed its 
power by deposing the inefficient king, Edward II, and declared 
his son, Edward III, the rightful ruler of England. 

The new king, who w^as carrying on an expensive war with 
France, needed much money and consequently summoned Par- 
liament every year, and, in order to encourage its members to 
grant him money, he gratified Parliament by asking their advice 
and listening to their petitions. He passed no new law without 
adding " by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual 
and temporal and of the commons." 

At this time the separation of the two houses of Parliament 
took place, and ever since the " lords spiritual and temporal " — 
that is, the bishops and higher nobles — have sat by themselves 
in the House of Lords, and a House of Commons, including the 
country gentlemen (knights) and the representatives elected by 
the more important towns, have met by themselves. Parliament 
thus made up is really a modern, not a medieval, institution, 
and we shall hear much of it later. 

Section 71. Wales and Scotland 
Extent of the The English kings who preceded Edward I had ruled over 
Enfland's «% a portion of the island of Great Britain. To the west 
realms before of ^heir kingdom lay the mountainous district of Wales, in- 

Edward I ^ ■' ..,-r.. i-ii. 

(1272-1307) habited by that remnant of the original Britons which the 

England in the Middle- Ages 423 

German invaders had been unable to conquer. To the north of 
England was the kingdom of Scotland, which was quite inde- 
pendent except for an occasional recognition by the Scotch 
kings of the English kings as their feudal superiors. Edward I, 
however, succeeded in conquering Wales permanently and 
Scotland temporarily. 

For centuries a border warfare had been carried on between The Welsh 
the English and the Welsh. William the Conqueror had found bards ^^'^• 
it necessary to establish a chain of fortresses on the Welsh fron- 
tier, and Chester, Shrewsbury, and Monmouth became the out- 
posts of the Normans. While the raids of the Welsh constantly 
provoked the English kings to invade Wales, no permanent con- 
quest was possible, for the enemy retreated into the mountains 
about Snowdon, and the English soldiers were left to starve 
in the wild regions into which they had ventured. The Welsh 
were encouraged in their long and successful resistance against 
the English by the songs of their bards, who promised that 
their people would sometime reconquer the whole of England, 
which they had possessed before the coming of the Angles 
and Saxons. 

When Edward I came to the throne he demanded that Edward T 
Llewellyn, prince of Wales, as the head of the Welsh clans was wa^eT"^^ 
called, should do him homage. Llewellyn, who was a man of 
ability and energy, refused the king's summons, and Edward 
marched into Wales. Two campaigns were necessary before the 
Welsh finally succumbed. Llewellyn was killed (1282), and with 
him expired the independence of the Welsh people. Edward 
divided the country into shires and introduced English laws and 
customs, and his policy of conciliation was so successful that 
there was but a single rising in the coyntry for a whole century. 
He later presented his son to the Welsh as their prince, and from 
that time down to the present the title of "Prince of Wales" The title of 
has usually been conferred upon the heir to the English throne. \va?eT" 

The conquest of Scotland proved a far more difficult matter 
than that of Wales. 


Outlines of Ei trope an History 

Lowlands and 
of Scotland 

When the German peoples — the Angles and Saxons — con- 
quered Britain, some of them wandered north as far as the Firth 
of Forth and occupied the so-called Lowlands of Scotland. The 
mountainous region to the north, known as the Highlands, con- 
tinued to be held by wild tribes related to the Welsh and Irish 
and talking a language similar to theirs, namely, Gaelic. There 
was constant warfare between the older inhabitants themselves 
and between them and the newcomers from Germany, but both 
Highlands and Lowlands were finally united under a line of 

Fig. 164. Conway Castle 

Edward built this fine castle in 1284 on the north coast of Wales, to 

keep the Welsh in check. Its walls are 12 to 15 feet in thickness. There 

were buildings inside, including a great banqueting hall 130 feet long 

Scottish kings, who moved their residence down to Edinburgh, 
which, with its fortress, became their chief town. 

It was natural that the language of the Scotch Lowlands 
should be English, but iu the mountains the Highlanders to this 
day continue to talk the ancient Gaelic of their forefathers. 
Edward inter- It was not until the time of Edward I that the long series 
Scotch affairs of troubles between England and Scotland began. The dying 
out of the old line of Scotch kings in 1290 was followed by 
the appearance of a number of claimants to the crown. In order 

England in the Middle Ages 425 

to avoid civil war, Edward was asked to decide who should 
be king. He agreed to make the decision on condition that 
the one whom he selected should hold Scotland as a fef from 
the English king. This arrangement was adopted, and the 
crown was given to John Baliol. But Edward unwisely made 
demands upon the Scots which aroused their anger, and their 
king renounced his homage to the king of England. The 
Scotch, moreover, formed an alliance with Edward's enemy, Alliance be- 
Philip the Fair of France ; thenceforth, in all the difficulties i^^d and ° 
between England and France, the English kings had always ^"^^"^^^ 
to reckon with the disaffected Scotch, who were glad to aid 
England's enemies. 

Edward marched in person against the Scotch (1296) and Edward at- 
speedily put down what he regarded as a rebellion. _He declared corporate '" 
that Baliol had forfeited his fief through treason, and that con- ^j^^j^'^^jf ^^^^ 
sequently the English king had become the real ruler of Scot- 
land. He emphasized his claim by carrying off the famous 
Stone of Scone (now in Westminster Abbey), upon which the 
kings of Scotland had been crowned for ages. Continued resist- 
ance led Edward to attempt to incorporate Scotland with Eng- 
land in the same way that he had treated Wales. This was the 
beginning of three hundred years of intermittent war between 
England and Scotland, which ended only when a Scotch king, 
James VI, succeeded to the English throne in 1603 as James I. 

That Scodand was able to maintain her independence was 
mainly due to Robert Bruce, a national hero who succeeded in 
bringing both the nobility and the people under his leadership. 
Edward I died, old and worn out, in 1307, when on his way 
north to put down a rising under Bruce, and left the task of 
dealing with the Scotch to his incompetent son, Edward H. 
The Scotch acknowledged Bruce as their king and decisively 
defeated Edward H in the great battle of Bannockburn, the Battle of 
most famous conflict in Scottish history. Nevertheless, the 1314 '^ ' 
English refused to acknowledge the independence of Scotland 
until forced to do so in 1328. 


Outlines of European History 

The Scottish 
nation differs 
from the 

In the course of their struggles with England the Scotch 
people of the Lowlands had become more closely welded to- 
gether, and the independence of Scotland, although it caused 
much bloodshed, first and last, served to develop certain per- 
manent differences between the little Scotch nation and the rest 
of the English race. No Scotchman to the present day likes to 
be mistaken for an Englishman. The peculiarities of the lan- 
guage and habits of the people north of the Tweed have been 
made familiar to all readers of good literature by the novels of 
Sir Walter Scott and Robert L. Stevenson and by the poems 
of Robert Burns. 

The Hun- 
dred Years' 

Edward III 
claims the 

Edward III 



Section 72. The Hundred Years' War 

England and France were both becoming strong states in 
the early fourteenth century. The king in both of these countries 
had got the better of the feudal lords, and a parliament had been 
established in France as well as in England, in which the towns- 
people as well as the clergy and nobility were represented. But 
both countries were set back by a long series of conflicts known 
as the Hundred Years' War, which was especially disastrous to 
France. The trouble arose as follows : 

It will be remembered that King John of England had lost 
all the French possessions of. the Plantagenets except the duchy 
of Guienne (see above, pp. 417-418). For this he had to do hom- 
age to the king of France and become his vassal. This arrange- 
ment lasted for many years, but in the times of Edward HI 
the old French line of kings died out, and Edward declared 
that he himself was the rightful ruler of all France because his 
mother, Isabella, was a sister of the last king of the old line (see 
table on the next page). 

The French lawyers, however, decided that Edward had no 
claim to the French throne and that a very distant relative of 
the last king was the rightful heir to the crown (Philip VI). 
Edward, nevertheless, maintained that he was rightfully king of 

England in the Middle Ages 


France.^ He added the French emblem of the lilies (fleur-de- 
lis) to the lions on the English coat of arms (Fig. 165). In 
1346 he landed in Normandy with an English army, devas- 
tated the country and marched up the Seine toward Paris. He 
met the troops of Philip at Crecy, where a celebrated battle was Battle of 
fought, in which the English with their long bows and well- ^ ^^' ^^'^ 
directed arrows put to rout the French knights. Ten years 
later the English made another incursion into France and again 
defeated the French cavalry. The French king (John H) was 
himself captured and carried off to London. 

The French Parliament, commonly called the Estates Gen- The French 
eral, came together to consider the unhappy state of affairs. (Estat'es" 
The members from the towns were more numerous than the General) 
representatives of the clergy and nobility. A great list of 

1 The French kings during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries : 
Louis IX (St. Louis) (1226-1270) 
Philip III (1270-1285) 

Philip IV, the Fair 

Charles of Valois, 
ancestor of the house of Valois 

Louis X 

daugnter John 



who died 

when but 

a few 
days old 

Isabella, m. Philip V Charles IV 
Edward II (1316-1322) (1322-1328) 

daughters daughter 

Philip VI 


III of 



John II 

Charles V Philip, 
(1364-1380) founder of 
I the power- 
Charles VI ful house 
(1380-1422) of Bur- 
I gundy 
Charles VII (1422-1461) 

Louis XI (1461-1483) 

Charles VIII (1483-1498) 


Outlines of European History 

between the 
position of 
the Estates 
General and 
the EngHsh 

reforms was drawn up. These provided among other things that 
the Estates General should meet regularly even when the king 
failed to summon them, and that the collection and expenditure 
of the public revenue should be no longer entirely under the 
control of the king but should be supervised by the representa- 
tives of the people. The city of Paris rose in support of the 
revolutionary Estates, but the violence of its allies discredited 

rather than helped the move- 
ment, and France was soon 
glad to accept the unrestricted 
rule of its king once more. 

The history of the Estates 
General forms a curious con- 
trast to that of the English 
Parliament, which was laying 
the foundation of its later power 
during this very period. While 
the French king occasionally 
summoned the Estates when he 
•needed money, he did so only in 
order that their approbation of 
new taxes might make it easier 
to collect them. He never 
admitted that he had not the 
right to levy taxes if he wished 
without consulting his subjects. 
In England, on the other hand, the kings ever since the time 
of Edward I had repeatedly agreed that no new taxes should 
be imposed without the consent of Parliament. Edward II, as 
we have seen, had gone farther and accepted the representatives 
of the people as his advisers in all important matters touching the 
welfare of the realm. While the French Estates gradually sank 
into insignificance, the English Parliament soon learned to grant 
no money until the king had redressed the grievances which it 
pointed out, and thus it insured its influence over the king's policy. 


165. Royal Arms of 
Edward III 

On the upper left-hand quarter 

and the lower right-hand are the 

lilies as represented in heraldry 

England in the Middle Ages 429 

Edward III found it impossible, however, to conquer France, Edward ill 
and the successor of the French King, John II, managed before possiblJTo 
Edward died in 1377 to get back almost all the lands that ^j?"^^^f 
the English had occupied. 

For a p-eneration after the death of Edward III the war with Miserable 

o 1 1 rr 1 i. condition of 

France was almost discontinued. France had suffered a great prance 
deal more than England. In the first place, all the fighting had 
been done on her side of the Channel, and in the second place, 
the soldiers, who found themselves without occupation, wandered 
about in bands maltreating and plundering the people. The 
famous Italian scholar, Petrarch, who visited France at this 
period, tells us that he could not believe that this was the 
same kingdom which he had once seen so rich and flourishing. 
" Nothing presented itself to my eyes but fearful solitude and 
extreme poverty, uncultivated land and houses in ruins. Even 
about Paris there were everywhere signs of fire and destruction. 
The streets were deserted, the roads overgrown with weeds." 

The horrors of war had been increased by the deadly bubonic The bubonic 

1 • o T A '1 •♦• plague of 

plague which appeared in Europe early m 1348. In April it 1348-1349, 
had reached Florence ; by August it was devastating France ^Xd^the^ 
and Germany; it then spread over England from the south- black death 
west northward, attacking every part of the country during the 
year 1349. This disease, like other terrible epidemics, such as 
smallpox and cholera, came from Asia. Those who were stricken 
with it usually died in two or three days. It is impossible to 
tell what proportion of the population perished. Reports of the 
-time say that in one part of France but one tenth of the people 
survived, in another but one sixteenth ; and that for a long time 
five hundred bodies were carried from the great hospital of 
Paris every day. A careful estimate shows that in England 
toward one half of the population died. At the Abbey of New- 
enham only the abbot and two monks were left alive out of 
twenty-six. There were constant complaints that certain lands 
were no longer of any value to their lords because the tenants 
were all dead. 


Outlines of European History 

Conditions of 
English labor 

In England the growing discontent among the farming 
classes may be ascribed partly to the results of the great pesti- 
lence and partly to the new taxes which were levied in order to 
prolong the disastrous war with France. Up to this time the 
majority of those who cultivated the land belonged to some 
particular manor, paid stated dues to their lord, and performed 
definite services for him. Hitherto there had been relatively 
few farm hands who might be hired and who sought employ- 
ment anywhere that they could get it. The black death, by 
greatly decreasing the number of laborers, raised wages and 
served to increase the importance of the unattached laborer. 
Consequently he not only demanded higher wages than ever 
before but readily deserted one employer when another offered 
him more money. 

This appeared very shocking to those who were accustomed 
to the traditional rates of payment ; and the government under- 
took to keep down wages by prohibiting laborers from asking 
more than had been customary during the years that preceded 
the pestilence. Every laborer, when offered work at the estab- 
lished wages, was ordered to accept it on pain of imprisonment. 
The first "Statute of Laborers" was issued in 135 1 ; but 
apparently it was not obeyed, and similar laws were enacted 
from time to time for a century. 

The old manor system was breaking up. Many of the labor- 
ing class in the country no longer held land as serfs but moved 
from place to place and made a living by working for wages. 
The villain, as the serf was called in England, began to regard 
the dues which he had been accustomed to pay to his lord as 
unjust. A petition to Parliament in 1377 asserts that the vil- 
lains are refusing to pay their customary services to their lords 
or to acknowledge the obligations which they owe as serfs. 

In 1 38 1 the peasants rose in revolt against the taxes levied 
on them to carry on the hopeless war with France. They burned 
some of the houses of the nobles and of the rich ecclesiastics, and 
took particular pains to see that the registers were destroyed 

England in the Middle Ages 431 

which were kept by the various lords enumerating the obligations 
of their serfs. 

Although the peasants met with little success, serfdom de- Final disap- 
cayed rapidly. It became more and more common for the serf serfdom in 
to pay his dues to the lord in money instead of working for him, England 
and in this way he lost one of the chief characteristics of a serf. 
The landlord then either hired men to cultivate the fields which 
he reserved for his own use, or rented the land to tenants. 
These tenants were not in a position to force their fellow 
tenants on the manor to pay the full dues which had formerly 
been exacted by the lord. Sixty or seventy years after the 
Peasants' War the English rural population had in one way or 
another become free men, and serfs had practically disappeared. 

The war between England and France almost ceased for Renewal of 
nearly forty years after the death of Edward III. It was re- years' War 
newed in 141 5, and the English king won another great victory '" ^^^S 
at Agincourt, similar to that won at Cre'cy. Once more the 
English bowmen slaughtered great numbers of French knights. 
Fifteen years later the English had succeeded in conquering all 
of France north of the Loire River ; but a considerable region 
to the south still continued to be held by King Charles VII of 
France. He was weak and indolent and was doing nothing to 
check the English victories. The English were engaged in be- 
sieging the great town of Orleans when help and encourage- 
ment came to the French from a most unexpected quarter. A 
peasant girl put on a soldier's armor, mounted-a horse, and led 
the faint-hearted French troops to victory. 

To her family and her companions Joan of Arc seemed only Joan of Arc 
" a good girl, simple and pleasant in her ways," but she 
brooded much over the disasters that had overtaken her coun- 
try, and a " great pity on the fair realm of France " filled her 
heart. She saw visions and heard voices that bade her go forth 
to the help of the king and lead him to Rheims to be crowned. 

It was with the greatest difficulty that she got anybody to 
believe in her mission or to help her to get an audience with 


Outlines of European History 

Execution of 
Joan, 1431 

loses her 

her sovereign. But her own firm faith in her divine guidance 
triumphed over all doubts and obstacles. She was at last ac- 
cepted as a God-sent champion and placed at the head of some 
troops dispatched to the relief of Orle'ans. This city, which was 
the key to southern France, had been besieged by the English 
for some months and was on the point of surrender. Joan, who 
rode at the head of her troops, clothed in armor like a man, 
had now become the idol of the soldiers and of the people. 
Under the guidance and inspiration of her courage, sound sense, 
and burning enthusiasm, Orleans was relieved and the English 
completely routed. The Maid of Orle'ans, as she was hence- 
forth called, was now free to conduct the king to Rheims, 
where he was crowned in the cathedral (July 17, 1429). 

The Maid now felt that her mission was accomplished and 
begged permission to return to her home and her brothers and 
sisters. To this the king would not consent, and she continued 
to fight his battles with success. But the other leaders were 
jealous of her, and even her friends, the soldiers, were sensitive 
to the taunt of being led by a woman. During the defense of 
Compiegne in May, 1430, she was allowed to fall into the hands 
of the Duke of Burgundy, who sold her to the English. They 
were not satisfied with simply holding as prisoner that strange 
maiden who had so discomfited them ; they wished to discredit 
everything that she had done, and so declared, and undoubtedly 
believed, that she was a witch who had been helped by the 
devil. She was. tried by a court of clergymen, found guilty, 
and burned at Rouen in 1431. Her bravery and noble con- 
stancy affected even her executioners, and an English soldier 
who had come to triumph over her death was heard to ex- 
claim, " We are lost — we have burned a saint." The English 
cause in France was indeed lost, for her spirit and example had 
given new courage and vigor to the French armies. 

The English Parliament became more and more reluctant to 
grant funds when there were no more victories gained. From 
this time on the English lost ground steadily. They were 

England in the Middle Ages 


expelled from Normandy in 1450. Three years later, the last 
vestige of their possessions in southern France passed into the 
hands of the French king. The Hundred Years' War was 
over, and although England still retained Calais, the great ques- 
tion whether she should extend her sway upon the Continent 
was finally settled. 

The close of the Hundred Years' War was followed in Eng- 
land by the Wars of the Roses, between the rival houses which 
were struggling for the crown. The badge of the house of 
Lancaster was a red rose, and that of York was a white one.^ 
Each party was supported by a group of the wealthy and pow- 
erful nobles whose conspiracies, treasons, murders, and execu- 
tions fill the annals of England during the period which we have 
been discussing. 

The nobles no longer owed their power as they had in pre- 
vious centuries to vassals who were bound to follow them to 
war. Like the king, they relied upon hired soldiers. It was easy 
to find plenty of restless fellows who were willing to become 
the retainers of a nobleman if he would agree to clothe. them 
and keep open house, where they might eat and drink their fill. 
Their master was to help them when they got into trouble, and 

End of the 
Years' War, 

The Wars of 
the Roses be- 
tween the 
houses of 
and York, 


1 Descent of the rival houses of Lancaster and York 
Edward III (1327-1377) 



the Black Prince 

(d. 1376) 

John of Gaunt, 
duke of Lancaster 


duke of York 

Richard II Henry IV (1399-1413) John Beaufort 

(1377-1399) I I 

Henry V (1413-1422) John Beaufort 

Henry VI (1422-1461) 



Edward IV Richard III 
(1461-1483) (1483-1485) 

Edmund Tudor, m. Margaret 

Henry VII, m. Elizabeth of York Edward V, 

(1485-1509) murdered in 

first of the the Tower, 

Tudor kings 1483 


Outlines of European History 

Accession of 
Henry VII, 

The despot- 
ism of the 

France estab- 
lishes a stand- 
ing army, 

they on their part were expected to intimidate, misuse, and 
even murder at need those who opposed the interests of their 

It is needless to speak of the several battles and the many 
skirmishes of the miserable Wars of the Roses. These lasted 

from 1455, when the 
Duke of York set seri- 
ously to work to dis- 
place the weak-minded 
Lancastrian king (Henry 
VI), until the accession 
of Henry VII, of the 
house of Tudor, thirty 
years later. (See table 
on page 433.) 

The Wars of the 
Roses had important 
results. Nearly all the 
powerful families of 
England had been drawn 
into the war, and a great part of the nobility, whom the kings 
had formerly feared, had perished on the battle field or lost 
their heads in the ruthless executions carried out by each 
party after it gained a victory. This left the king far more 
powerful than ever before. He could now control Parliament, 
even if he could not do away with it. For a century and more 
after the accession of Henry VII the Tudor kings enjoyed 
almost despotic power. England ceased for a time to enjoy 
the free government for which the foundations had been 
laid under the Edwards, whose embarrassments at home and 
abroad had made them constantly dependent upon the aid of 
the nation. 

In France the closing years of the Hundred Years' War 
had witnessed a great increase of the king's power through the 
establishment of a well-organized standing army. The feudal 

Fig. 166. Portrait of Henry VH 

England in the Middle Ages 435 

army had long since disappeared. Even before the opening 
of the war the nobles had begun to be paid for their military 
services and no longer furnished troops as a condition of hold- 
ing fiefs. But the companies of soldiers found their pay very • 
uncertain, and plundered their countrymen as well as the 

As the war drew to a close, the lawless troopers became a 
terrible scourge to the country and were known disjlayers, on 
account of the horrible way in which they tortured the peasants 
in the hope of extracting money from them. In 1439 ^^^ Estates 
General approved a plan devised by the king, for putting an 
end to this evil. Thereafter no one was to raise a company 
without the permission of the king, who was to name the 
captains and fix the number of the soldiers. 

The Estates agreed that the king should use a certain tax. The perma- 
called the taille, to support the troops necessary for the pro- "atai to'^he 
tection of the frontier. This was a fatal concession, for the powers of the 

' Estates Oen- 

king now had an army and the right to collect what he chose to erai 
consider a permanent tax, the amount of which he later greatly 
increased ; he was not dependent, as was the English king, 
upon the grants made for brief periods by the representatives 
of the nation. 

Before the king of France could hope to establish a compact, The new 
well-organized state it was necessary for him to reduce the power 
of his vassals, some of whom were almost his equals in strength. 
The older feudal families had many of them succumbed to the 
attacks and the diplomacy of the kings of the thirteenth century, 
especially of St. Louis. But he and his successors had raised 
up fresh rivals by granting whole provinces to their younger 
sons. In this way new and powerful lines of feudal nobles were 
established, such, for example, as the houses of Orle'ans, Anjou, 
Bourbon, and, above all. Burgundy. The process of reducing 
the power of the nobles had, it is true, been begun. They had 
been forbidden to coin money, to maintain armies, and to tax 
their subjects, and the powers of the king's judges had been 


Outlines of Eiiropean History 

England and 
France estab- 
lish strong 
national gov- 

extended over all the realm. But the task of consolidating 
France was reserved for the son of Charles VII, the shrewd 
and treacherous Louis XI (i 461-1483). 

The most powerful and dangerous of Louis XI's vassals 
were the dukes of Burgundy, and they gave him a great deal of 
trouble. Of Burgundy something will be said in later chapters. 

Louis XI had himself made 
heir to a number of provinces in 
central and southern France, — 
Anjou, Maine, Provence, etc., 
— which by the death of 
their possessors came under the 
king's immediate control ( 1 48 1 ). 
He humiliated in various ways 
the vassals who in his early 
days had combined against him. 
The Duke of Alen^on he im- 
prisoned ; the rebellious Duke 
of Nemours he caused to be 
executed in the most cruel 
manner. Louis's aims were 
worthy, but his means were generally despicable. It some- 
times seemed as if he gloried in being the most rascally among 
rascals, the most treacherous among the traitors. 

Both England and France emerged from the troubles and 
desolations of the Hundred Years' War stronger than ever 
before. In both countries the kings had overcome the menace 
of feudalism by destroying the power of the great families. 
The royal government was becoming constantly more powerful. 
Commerce and industry increased the people's wealth and sup- 
plied the monarchs with the revenue necessary to maintain gov- 
ernment officials and a sufficient army to keep order throughout 
their realms. They were no longer forced to rely upon the 
uncertain fidelity of their vassals. In short, England and 
France were both becoming modern states, 

Fig. 167. Louis XI of France 

England in the Middle Ages 437 


Section 68. Tell what you can about England before the Nor- 
man Conquest. How did Normandy come into existence? How 
did William of Normandy get possession of England? What was 
William's policy after he conquered England? 

Section 69. Mention some of the reforms of Henry II. Describe 
Henry's troubles with Thomas Becket. What was the extent of 
the possessions of the Plantagenets in France? In what way did the 
French king succeed in getting a considerable part of the Plantagenet 
possessions into his own hands? Describe the chief events in the 
reign of King John of England. 

Section 70. How was the Great Charter granted, and what were 
some of its main provisions ? What is the English Parliament ? When 
.was it formed ? What were its powers ? 

Section 71. When was Wales conquered by the English kings? 
What are the Highlands and the Lowlands of Scotland ? Tell of the 
attempts of Edward I to get possession of Scotland. 

Section 72. Give the origin and general course of the Hundred 
Years' War under Edward HI. Why did not the Estates General 
become as powerful as the English Parliament? Tell about the black 
death. What led to the disappearance of serfdom in England ? Give 
an account of Joan of Arc. What were the great causes of disorder 
in England during the generation before the accession of Henry VII ? 
Why did feudalism revive in France? What was accomplished by 
Louis XI ? 





Section 73. Origin of the Holy Roman Empire 

Charlemagne's successors in the German part of his em- 
pire found it quite as hard as did the kings of the western, 
or French, kingdom to keep control of their vassals. Germany, 
like France, was divided up into big and little fiefs, and the 
dukes and counts were continually waging war upon each other 
and upon their king. The general causes of this chronic disorder 
in the Middle Ages have been described in a previous chapter. 

The first German ruler whom we need to notice here was 
Otto the Great, who came to the throne in the year 936. He- 
got as many of the great fiefs as possible into the hands of his 
relatives in the hope that they would be faithful to him. He 
put an end forever to the invasions of the Hungarians who had 
been ravaging Germany. He defeated them in a great battle 
near Augsburg and drove them out of his realms. As has 
already been said (see above, p. 386), they finally settled in 
eastern Europe and laid the foundations of what is now the 
important state of Hungary. 


Popes and Emperors 439 

But the most noteworthy of Otto's acts was his interference 
in Italian affairs, which led to his winning for the German kings 
the imperial crown that Charlemagne had worn. We have seen 
how Charlemagne's successors divided up his realms into three 
parts by the Treaty of Mersen in 870 (see above, p. 382). One 
of these parts was the kingdom of Italy. We know but little . 
of what went on in Italy for some time after the Treaty of 
Mersen. There was incessant warfare, and the disorder was 
increased by the attacks of the Mohammedans. Various power- 
ful nobles were able to win the crown for short periods. Three 
at least of these Italian kings were crowned Emperor by the 
Pope. Then for a generation there was no Emperor in the west, 
until Otto the Great again secured the title. 

It would seem as if Otto had quite enough trouble at home, Otto the 
but he thought that it would make him and his reign more comes king of 
glorious if he added northern Italy to his realms. So in 951 Italy and 
he crossed the Alps, married the widow of one of the Italian crowned 
kings, and, without being formally crowned, was generally ac- 
knowledged as king of Italy. He had to hasten back to Ger- 
many to put down a revolt organized by his own son, but ten 
years later he was called to Rome by the Pope to protect him 
from the attacks of his enemies. Otto accepted the invitation, 
and the grateful Pope in return crowned him Emperor, as 
Charlemagne's successor (962). 

The coronation of Otto was a very important event in Ger- 
man history ; for, from this time on, the German kings, instead 
of confining their attention to keeping their own kingdom in 
order, were constantly distracted by the necessity of keeping 
hold on their Italian kingdom, which lay on the other side of a 
great range of mountains. Worse than that, they felt that they 
must see to it that a Pope friendly to them was elected, and 
this greatly added to their troubles. 

The succeeding German emperors had usually to make sev- 
eral costly and troublesome journeys to Rome, — a first one to 
be crowned, and then others either to depose a hostile Pope or 

Emperor, 962 


Ontlmes of European History 

to protect a friendly one from the oppression of neighboring 
lords. These excursions were very distracting, especially to a 
ruler who left behind him in Germany a rebellious nobility that 
always took advantage of his absence to revolt. 

Otto's successors dropped their old title of king of the East 
Franks as soon as they had been duly crowned by the Pope at 
Rome, and assumed the magnificent and all-embracing designa- 
tion, " Emperor Ever August of the Romans." ^ Their " Holy 
Roman Empire," as it came to be called later, which was to 
endure, in name at least, for more than eight centuries, was 
obviously even less like that of the ancient Romans than was 
Charlemagne's. As kings in Germany and Italy they had prac- 
tically all the powers that they enjoyed as emperors. The title 
of Emperor was of course a proud one, but it gave the German 
kings no additional power except the fatal right that they claimed 
of taking part in the election of the Pope. We shall find that, 
instead of making themselves feared at home and building up 
a great state, the German emperors wasted their strength in 
a long struggle with the popes, who proved themselves in the 
end far stronger, and eventually reduced the Empire to a mere 

Section 74. The Church and its Property 

In order to understand the long struggle between the em- 
perors and the popes, we must stop a moment to consider 
the condition of the Church in the early Middle Ages. It 
seemed to be losing all its strength and dignity and to be 
falling apart, just as Charlemagne's empire had dissolved into 
feudal bits. This was chiefly due to the vast estates of the 
clergy. Kings, princes, and rich landowners had long con- 
sidered it meritorious to make donations to bishoprics and 

1 Henry II (1002-1024) and his successors, not venturing to assume the title 
of Emperor till crowned at Rome, but anxious to claim Rome as attached to the 
German crown, began to call themselves, before their coronation, " King of the 



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Popes and Emperors 44 1 

monasteries, so that a very considerable portion of the land 
in western Europe had come into the hands of churchmen. 

A king, or other landed proprietor, might grant fiefs to The church 
churchmen as well as to laymen. The bishops became the into^the^^" 
vassals of the king or of other feudal lords by doing homage ^^"^^^ 
for a fief and swearing fidelity, just as any other vassal would 
do. An abbot would sometimes secure for his monastery the 
protection of a neighboring lord by giving up his land and 
receiving it back again as a fief. 

One great difference, however, existed between the Church Fiefs held 
lands and the ordinary fiefs. According to the law of the i/ennot 
Church, the bishops and abbots could not marry and so could hereditary 
have no children to whom they might transmit their property. 
Consequently, when a landholding churchman died, some one 
had to be chosen in his place who should enjoy his property 
and perform his duties. The rule of the Church had been, 
from time immemorial, that the clergy of the di6cese should 
choose the bishop, their choice being ratified by the people. As 
for the abbots, they were, according to the Rule of St. Benedict, 
to be chosen by the members of the monastery. 

In spite of these rules, the bishops and abbots had come. Bishops 
in the tenth and eleventh centuries, to be selected, to all intents pracdcan? 
■and purposes, by the various kings and feudal lords. It is true '^jl^^r^"?^} 
that the outward forms of a regular election were usually per- lords 
mitted ; but the feudal lord made it clear whom he wished 
chosen, and if the wrong person was elected, he simply refused 
to hand over to him the lands attached to the bishopric or 
abbey. The lord could in this way control the choice of the 
prelates, for in order to become a real bishop or abbot, one 
had not only to be elected, he had also to be solemnly " in- 
vested" with the appropriate powers of a bishop or abbot 
and with his lands. 

When a bishop or abbot had been duly chosen, the feudal investiture 
lord proceeded to the investiftire. The new bishop or abbot first 
became the " man " of the lord by doing him homage, and then 


Outliiies of European History 

Attitude of 
the Church 
toward its 

Attitude of 
the king 

position of 
the bishops 
in Germany 
and else- 

the lord transferred to him the lands and rights attached to 
the office. No careful distinction appears to have been made 
between the property and the religious powers. The lord often 
conferred both by bestowing upon a bishop the ring and the 
crosier (see headpiece to Chapter XX, p. 475), the emblems of 
religious authority. It seemed shocking enough that the lord, 
who was often a rough soldier, should dictate the selection of 
the bishops ; but it was still more shocking that he should assume 
to confer religious powers with religious emblems. Yet even 
worse things might happen, since sometimes the lord, for his 
greater convenience, had himself made bishop. 

The Church itself naturally looked at the property attached 
to a church office as a mere incident and considered the religious 
prerogatives the main thing. And since the clergy alone could 
rightly confer these, it was natural that they should claim the 
right to bestow the lands (" temporalities ") attached to them 
upon whomsoever they pleased without consulting any layman 

Against this claim the king might urge that a simple minister 
of the Gospel, or a holy monk, was by no means necessarily 
fitted to manage the interests of a feudal state, such as the 
great archbishoprics and bishoprics, and even the abbeys, had 
become in Germany and elsewhere in the eleventh century. 

In short, the situation in which the bishops found themselves 
was very complicated, (i) As an officer of the Church, the 
bishop saw to it that parish priests were properly selected 
and ordained, he tried certain cases in his court, and performed 
the church ceremonies. (2) He managed the lands which be- 
longed to the bishopric, which might, or might not, be fiefs. 
(3) As a vassal of those who had granted lands to the bishopric 
upon feudal terms, he owed the usual feudal dues, including the 
duty of furnishing troops, to his lord. (4) Lastly, in Germany, the 
king had found it convenient, from about the beginning of 
the eleventh century, to confer upon the bishops in many cases 
the authority of a count in the districts about them. In this 

Popes and Emperors 443 

way they might have the right to collect tolls, coin money, and 
perform other important governmental duties. When a prelate 
took office he was invested with all these various functions at 
once, both spiritual and governmental. 

To forbid the king to take part in the investiture was, con- 
sequently, to rob him not only of his feudal rights but also 
of his authority over many of his government officials, since 
bishops, and sometimes even abbots, were often counts in all 
but name. He therefore found it necessary to take care who 
got possession of the important church offices. 

Still another danger threatened the wealth and resources of The marriage 
the Church. During the tenth and eleventh centuries the rule Sirea^enrtlie 
of the Church prohibiting the clergy from marrying appears to p?^^'^.°^ ^^^ 
have been widely neglected in Italy, Germany, France, and 
England. To the stricter people of the time this appeared a 
terrible degradation of the clergy, who, they felt, should be 
unencumbered by family cares and should devote themselves 
wholly to the service of God. The question, too, had another 
side. It was obvious that the property of the Church would 
soon be dispersed if the clergy were allowed to marry, since 
they would wish to provide for their children. Just as the 
feudal lands had become hereditary, so the church lands would 
become hereditary unless the clergy were forced to remain 

Besides the feudalizing of its property and the marriage of Buying and 
the clergy, there was a third great and constant source of church offices 
weakness and corruption in the Church, at this period, namely, 
the temptation to buy and sell church offices. Had the duties 
and responsibilities of the bishops, abbots, and priests always 
been heavy, and their income slight, there would have been 
litde tendency to bribe those who could bestow the offices. But 
the incomes of bishoprics and abbeys were usually considerable, 
and sometimes very great, while the duties attached to the 
office of bishop or abbot, however serious in the eyes of the 
right-minded, might easily be neglected by the unscrupulous. 

444 Outlines of European History 

The revenue from a great landed estate and the high rank 
that went with the office were enough to induce the members 
of the noblest families to vie with each other in securing church 
positions. The king or prince who possessed the right of inves- 
titure was sure of finding some one willing to pay something 
for important benefices. 
Origin of The sin of buying or selling church offices was recognized 

the term . ,, , . ,, i 

'^simony" as a most serious one. It was called "simony, ^ a name derived 
from Simon the Magician, who, according to the account in the 
Acts of the Apostles, offered money to the Aposde Peter if he 
would give him the power of conferring the Holy Spirit upon 
those upon whom he should lay his hands. As the aposde 
denounced this first simonist, — *' Thy silver perish with thee, 
because thou hast thought to obtain the gift of God with money " 
(Acts viii, 20), — so the Church has continued ever since to 
denounce those who propose to purchase its. sacred powers. 

Simony not Doubtlcss very few bought positions in the Church with the 

really the sale . ^ . . . i ,, t r ^ -i ,, 1 . , ,. . 

of church View of obtaining the " gift of God," that is to say, the religious 
offices office. It was the revenue and the honor that were chiefly 

coveted. Moreover, when a king or lord accepted a gift from 
one for whom he procured a benefice, he did not regard him- 
self as selling the office ; he merely shared its advantages. No 
transaction took place in the Middle Ages without accompany- 
ing gifts and fees of various kinds. 
Simony cor- The evil of simony was, nevertheless, very demoralizing, for 

lower clergy it Spread downward and infected the whole body of the clergy. 
A bishop who had made a large outlay in obtaining his office 
naturally expected something from the priests, whom it was his 
duty to appoint. Then the priest, in turn, was tempted to exact 
too much for baptizing and marrying his parishioners, and for 
burying the dead. 

So it seemed, at the opening of the eleventh century, as if 
the Church was to be dragged down by its property into the 
anarchy of feudalism described in a preceding chapter. 

1 Pronounced stm'o-ny. 

Popes and Emperors 445 

The popes had, therefore, many difficulties to overcome in 
the gigantic task which they undertook of making the Church 
a great international monarchy, like the Roman Empire, with 
its capital at Rome. The control exercised by kings and feudal 
lords in the selection of Church officials had to be done away 
with. Simony with its degrading effects had to be abolished. 
The marriage of the clergy had to be checked, for fear that the 
property and wealth of the Church would go to their families 
and so be lost to the Church. 

The first sreat step toward the freeing of the Church from Pope Nicho- 

^ ^ las II places 

the control of the kings and feudal lords was taken by ir'ope the election 
Nicholas II. In 1059 he issued a remarkable decree which j^^JhlhaTS 
took the election of the head of the Church once for all out of ^^^j^J'^^^^^"'^^- 
the hands of both the Emperor and the people of Rome, and 
placed it definitely and forever in the hands of the cardmals, 
who represented the Roman clergy. ^ Obviously the object of 
this decree was to prevent all interference, whether of the dis- 
tant Emperor, of the local nobility, or of the Roman mob. The 
college of cardinals still exists and still elects the Pope. 

The reform party which directed the policy of the popes Opposition to 

, , J. further 

had, it hoped, freed the head of the Church from the control ot reforms 
worldly men by putting his election in the hands of the Roman 
clergy. It now proposed to emancipate the Church as a whole 
from the base entanglements of earth: first, by strictly for- 
bidding the married clergy to perform religious functions and by 
exhorting their flocks to refuse to attend their ministrations; 
and secondly, by depriving the kings and feudal lords of their 
influence over the choice of the bishops and abbots, since this 

1 The word " cardinal" (Latin cardinalis, " principal ") was applied to the priests 
of the various parishes in Rome, to the several deacons connected with the 
Lateran, — which was the cathedral church of the Roman bishopric, — and, lastly, 
to six or seven suburban bishops who officiated in turn in the Lateran. The title 
became a very distinguished one and was sought by ambitious foreign prelates 
and ecclesiastical statesmen, like Wolsey, Richelieu, and Mazarin. If their 
official titles were examined, it would be found that each was nominally a cardinal 
bishop, priest, or deacon of some Roman Church. The number of cardinals 
varied until fixed, in 1586, at six bishops, fifty priests, and fourteen deacon^. 


Outlines of European History 

influence was deemed the chief cause of worldliness among the 
prelates. Naturally these last measures met with far more 
general opposition than the new way of electing the Pope. 
The magnitude of the task which the popes had undertaken 
first became fully apparent when the celebrated Gregory VII 
ascended the papal throne, in 1073. 

The Dictatus 
of Gregory 

Gregory VII 
puts his theo- 
ries of the 
papal power 
into practice 

Section 75. Powers claimed by the Popes 

Among the writings of Gregory VII there is a very brief 
statement, called the Dictatus, of the powers which he believed 
the popes to possess. Its chief claims are the following: The 
Pope enjoys a unique tide ; he is the only universal bishop and 
may depose and reinstate other bishops or transfer them from 
place to place. No council of the Church may be regarded as 
speaking for Christendom without his consent. The Roman 
Church has never erred, nor will it err to all eternity. No one 
may be considered a Catholic Christian who does not agree 
with the Roman Church. No book is authoritative unless it has 
received the papal sanction. 

Gregory does not stop with asserting the Pope's complete 
supremacy over the Church. He says that "the Pope is the 
only person whose feet are kissed by all princes " ; that he may 
depose emperors and " absolve subjects from allegiance to an 
unjust ruler." No one shall dare to condemn one who appeals 
to the Pope. No one may annul a decree of the Pope, though 
the Pope may declare null and void the decrees of all other 
earthly powers ; and no one may pass judgment upon his acts. 

Immediately upon his election as Pope, Gregory began to 
put into practice his high conception of the role that the reli- 
gious head of Christendom should play. He dispatched legates 
throughout Europe, and from this time on these legates became 
a powerful instrument of the Church's government. He warned 
the kings of France and England and the youthful German 
ruler, Henry IV, to forsake their evil ways, to be upright and 

Popes and Emperors 447 

just, and to obey his admonitions. He explained, kindly but 
firmly, to William the Conqueror that the papal and kingly pow- 
ers are both established by God as the greatest among the 
authorities of the world, just as the sun and moon are the 
greatest of the heavenly bodies. But the papal power is obvi- 
ously superior to the kingly, for it is responsible for it ; at the 
Last Day, Gregory would have, he urged, to render an account 
of the king as one of the flock intrusted to his care. The 
king of France was warned to give up his practice of simony, 
lest he be excommunicated and his subjects freed from their 
oath of allegiance. All these acts of Gregory appear to have 
been dictated not by worldly ambition but by a fervent con- 
viction of their righteousness and of his heavy responsibility 
toward all men. 

Section j6. Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV 

Obviously Gregory's plan of reform included all the states of 
western Europe, but conditions were such that the most strik- 
ing conflict took place between him and the Emperor. The 
trouble came about in this way. Henry IV 's father had died 
in 1056, leaving only his good wife Agnes and their little son 
of six years to maintain the hard-fought prerogatives of the 
German king in the midst of ambitious vassals, whom even 
the strong Otto the Great had found it difficult to control. 

In 1065 the fifteen-year-old lad, Henry IV, was declared of Accession of 
age, and his lifelong difficulties began with a great rebellion of loesl^Xrouble 
the Saxons. They accused the young king of having built castles ^'^^ ^^^ ^°P^ 
in their land and of filling them with rough soldiers who preyed 
upon the people. Pope Gregory felt it his duty to interfere. 
To him the Saxons appeared a people oppressed by a heedless 
youth guided by evil counselors. But Henry continued to asso- 
ciate with counselors whom the Pope had excommunicated and 
went on filling important bishoprics in Germany and Italy, • 
regardless of the Pope's prohibitions. 


Outlines of European History 

New prohibi- 
tion of lay in- 

Henry IV 
angered by 
the language 
of the papal 

Gregory VII 
deposed by 
a council of 
bishops at 
Worms, 1076 

The popes who immediately preceded Gregory had more than 
once forbidden the churchmen to receive investiture from laymen. 
Gregory reissued this prohibition in 1075, just as the trouble 
with Henry had begun. Investiture was, as we have seen (see 
above, p. 441), the legal transfer by the king or other lord, to 
a newly chosen church official, of the lands and rights attached 
to the office. In forbidding lay investiture Gregory attempted 
nothing less than a revolution. The bishops and abbots were 
often officers of government, exercising Jn Germany and Italy 
powers similar in all respects to those of the counts. The king 
not only relied upon them for advice and assistance in carrying 
on his government, but they were among his chief allies in his 
constant struggles with his vassals. 

Gregory dispatched three envoys to Henry (end of 1075) 
with a fatherly letter ^ in which he reproached the king for his 
wicked conduct. But he evidently had little expectation that 
mere expostulation would have any effect upon Henry, for he 
gave his legates instructions to use threats if necessary. The 
legates were to tell the king that his crimes were so numer- 
ous, so horrible, and so well known, that he merited not only 
excommunication but the permanent loss of all his royal honors. 

The violence of the legates' language not only kindled the 
wrath of the king but also gained for him friends among the 
bishops. x\ council which Henry summoned at Worms (in 
1076) was attended by more than two thirds of all the Ger- 
man bishops. Here Gregory was declared deposed, and many ter- 
rible charges of immorality were brought against him. The bishops 
publicly proclaimed that he had ceased to be their Pope. It ap- 
pears very surprising, at first sight, that the king should have 
received the prompt support of the German churchmen against 
the head of the Church. But it must be remembered that the 
prelates really owed their offices to the king and not to the Pope. 

Gregory's reply to Henry and the German bishops who had 
deposed him was speedy and decisive. " Incline thine ear to 

1 To be found in the Readings^ chap. xiii. 

Popes and Emperors 449 

us, O Peter, chief of the Apostles. As thy representative and Henry iv 
by thy favor has the power been granted especially to me excommimi- 
by God of binding and loosing in heaven and earth. On the '^p*^'^ ^^ ^^^ 
strength of this, for the honor and glory of thy Church, in the 
name of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I with- 
draw, through thy power and authority, from Henry the King, 
son of Henry the Emperor, who has risen against thy Church 
with unheard-of insolence, the rule over the whole kingdom of 
the Germans and over Italy. I absolve all Christians from the 
bonds of the oath which they have sworn, or may swear, to 
him ; and I forbid anyone to serve him as king." ^ 

For a time after the Pope had deposed him everything went Attitude of 
against Henry. Instead of resenting the Pope's interference, princes 
the discontented Saxons, and many other of Henry's vassals, 
believed that there was now an excellent opportunity to get rid 
of Henry and choose a more agreeable ruler. The Pope was 
even invited to come to Augsburg to consult with the princes 
as to whether Henry should continue to be king or another 
ruler should be chosen in his stead. It looked as if the Pope 
was, in truth, to control the civil government. 

Henry decided to anticipate the arrival of the Pope. He Henry sub- 
hastened across the Alps in midwinter and appeared as an Pope at Ca- 
humble suppliant before the castle of Canossa," whither the "°^^^' ^°77 
pope had come on his way to Augsburg. For three days the 
German king presented himself before the closed door, barefoot 
and in the coarse garments of a pilgrim and a penitent, and even 
then Gregory was induced only by the expostulations of his influ- 
ential companions to admit the humiliated ruler. The spectacle 
of this mighty prince of distinguished appearance, humiliated 
and in tears before the little man who humbly styled himself the 

1 Gregory's deposition and excommunication of Henry may be found in the 
RAadings, chap. xiii. 

2 The castle of Canossa belonged to Gregory VII's ally and admirer, the 
Countess of Tuscany. It was destroyed by the neighboring town of Reggio about 
two centuries after Gregory's time, and only the ivy-clad ruins, represented in the 
headpiece of this chapter, remain, 



Outlines of European History 

A new king 

Henry again 


triumphs over 

Death of 

Henry IV's 



'-' servant of the servants of God," has ahvays been regarded 
as most completely typifying the power of the Church and the 
potency of her curses, against which even the most exalted of 
the earth found no weapon of defense except abject penitence.^ 

The pardon which Henry received at Canossa did not satisfy 
the German princes. They therefore proceeded to elect another 
ruler, and the next three or four years was a period of bloody 
struggles between the adherents of the rival kings. Gregory 
remained neutral until 1080, when he again "bound with the 
chain of anathema " Henry, " the so-called king," and all his 
followers. He declared him deprived of his royal power and 
dignity and forbade all Christians to obey him. 

The new excommunication had precisely the opposite effect 
to the first one ; it seemed to increase rather than decrease 
Henry's friends. The German clergy again deposed Gregory 
VH. Henry's rival for the throne fell in battle, and Henry be- 
took himself to Italy with the double purpose of installing a Pope 
of his own choice and winning the imperial crown. Gregory 
held out for no less than two years ; but at last Rome fell into 
Henry's hands, and Gregory withdrew and soon after died. His 
last words were, " I have loved justice and hated iniquity, there- 
fore I die an exile," and the fair-minded historical student will 
not question their truth. 

The death of Gregory did not, however, put an end to Henry's 
difficulties. He spent the remaining twenty years of his life in 
trying to maintain his rights as king of Germany and Italy 
against his rebellious subjects on both sides of the Alps. In 
Germany his chief enemies were the Saxons and his discon- 
tented vassals. In Italy the Pope was now actively engaged 
as a temporal ruler, in building up a little state of his own, and 
he was always ready to encourage the Lombard cities in their 
opposition to the German emperors. 

All his life long Henry was turning from one enemy to 
another. Finally, his discontented German vassals induced his 

1 For Gregory's own account of the affair at Canossa, see Rgeidings, chap. xiii. 

Popes and Emperors 


son, whom he had had crowned as his successor, to revolt Death of 
against his father. Thereupon followed more civil war, more ^^^^ 
treason, and a miserable abdication. In 1106 death put an end 
to perhaps the saddest reign that history records. 

The achievement of the reign of Henry IV 's son, Henry V, 
which chiefly interests us was the adjustment of the question of 
investitures. Pope Paschal II, while willing to recognize those 
bishops already chosen by the king, provided they were good 

Henry V, 

Fig. 168. Medieval Pictures of Gregory VII 

These pictures are taken from an illustrated manuscript written some 
decades after Gregory's death. In the one on the left Gregory is rep- 
resented blowing out a candle and saying to his cardinals, "As I blow out 
this light, so will Henry IV be extinguished." In the one on the right 
is shown the death of Gregory {1085). ^e did not wear his crown in bed, 
but the artist wanted us to be sure to recognize that he was Pope 

men, proposed that thereafter Gregory's decrees against inves- 
titure by laymen should be carried out. The clergy should no 
longer do homage by laying their hands, consecrated to the 
service of the altar, in the bloodstained hands of the nobles. 
Henry V, on the other hand, declared that unless the clergy 
took the oath of fealty the bishops would not be given the lands, 
towns, casdes, tolls, and privileges attached to the bishoprics. 

After a succession of troubles a compromise was at last 
reached in the Concordat of Worms (1122), which put an end 


Outlines of Euivpean History 

of the ques- 
tion of lay 
investiture in 
the Con- 
cordat of 
Worms, 1 122 

to the controversy over investitures in Germany.^ The Emperor 
promised to permit the Church freely to elect the bishops and 
abbots and renounced his old claim to invest with the religious 
emblems of the ring and the crosier. But the elections were to 
be held in the presence of the king, and he was permitted, in a 
separate ceremom-, to invest the new bishop or abbot with his 
fiefs and his governmental powers by a touch of the scepter. 
In this way the religious powers of the bishops were obviously 
conferred by the churchmen who elected them ; and although the 
king might still practically invalidate an election by refusing to 
hand over the lands, nevertheless the direct appointment of the 
bishops and abbots was taken out of his hands. As for the Em- 
peror's control over the papacy, too many popes, since the advent 
of Henry IV, had been generally recognized as properly elected 
without the sanction of the Emperor, for any one to believe any 
longer that his sanction was necessary. 

Frederick I 
of Hohen- 

Section JJ , The Hohenstaufen Emperors and 
THE Popes 

A generation after the matter of investitures had been arranged 
bv the Concordat of Worms the most famous of German em- 
perors, next to Charlemagne, came to the throne. This was 
Frederick I, commonly called Barbarossa, from his red beard. He 
belonged to the family of Hohenstaufen, so called from their castle 
in southern Germany. Frederick's ambition was to restore the 
Roman Empire to its old glor\- and influence. He regarded him- 
self as the successor of the Caesars, as well as of Charlemagne and 
Otto the Great. He believed his office to be quite as truly estab- 
lished by God himself as the papacy. When he informed the Pope 
that he had been recognized as Emperor by the German nobles, 
he too took occasion to state quite clearly that the headship of 
the Empire had been " bestowed upon him by God," and he 
did not ask the Pope's sanction as his predecessors had done. 

1 See Readings^ chap. xiii. 

Popes and Emperors 


In his lifelong attempt to maintain what he thought to be his 
rights as Emperor he met, quite naturally, with the three old 
difficulties. He had constantly to be fighting his rivals and 
rebellious vassals in Germany ; he had to face the opposition of 
the popes, who never forgot the claims that Gregory VII had 
made to control the Emperor as well as other rulers. Lastly, 


Fig. 169. Ruins of Barbarossa's Palace at Gelnhausen 

Frederick Barbarossa erected a handsome palace at Gelnhausen (not far 

east of Frankfort). It was destroyed by the Swedes during the Thirty 

Years' War (see below, section 113), but even what now remains is 

imposing, especially the arcade represented in the picture 

in trying to keep hold of northern Italy, which he believed to 
belong to his empire, he spent a great deal of time with but 
slight results. 

One of the greatest differences between the early Middle Ages 
and Frederick's time was the development of town life. Up to 
this period we have heard only of popes, emperors, kings, bishops, progi"^3s 
and feudal lords. From now on we shall have to take the towns 
and their citizens into account. No nation makes much progress 

of the towns 
in human 


Outlines of European History 

without towns ; for only when people get together in considerable 
numbers do they begin to build fine buildings, establish univer- 
sities and libraries, make inventions and carry on trade, which 
brings them into contact with other people in their own country 
and in foreign lands. (See below,' Chapter XXI, for town life.) 

Italian Towns in the Twelfth Century 


The towns had never decayed altogether in Italy, and by the 
time of Frederick Barbarossa they had begun to flourish once 
more, especially in Lombardy. Such towns as Milan, Verona, 
and Cremona were practically independent states. Their govern- 
ment was in the hands of the richer citizens, and the poorer 
people were not given any voice in city affairs. Compared with 

o rt o [-' r-" 



Outlines of European History 

The Hohen- 
extend their 
claims to 

Frederick II 
and Innocent 

a modern city they were very disorderly, for sometimes the poor 
revolted against the rich, and often the nobles, who had moved 
in from, the country and built fortified palaces in the towns, 
fought among themselves. And then the various towns were 
always fighting one another. 

But in spite of all the warfare and disorder, the Italian cities 
became wealthy and, as we shall see later, were centers of 
learning and art similar to the ancient cities of Greece, such as 
Athens and Corinth. They were able to combine in a union 
known as the Lombard League to oppose Frederick, for they 
hated the idea of paying taxes to a German king from across 
the Alps. Frederick made several expeditions to Italy, but he 
only succeeded, after a vast amount of trouble, in getting them 
to recognize him as a sort of overlord. He was forced to leave 
them to manage their own affairs and go their own way. They 
could, of course, always rely upon the Pope when it came to 
fighting the Emperor, for he was quite as anxious as the towns 
to keep Frederick out of Italy. 

So Frederick failed in his great plans for restoring the Roman 
Empire; he only succeeded in adding a new difficulty for his 
descendants. In spite of his lack of success in conquering the 
Lombard cities, Frederick tried to secure southern Italy for his 
descendants. He arranged that his son should marry Constance, 
the heiress of Naples and Sicily. This made fresh trouble for 
the Hohenstaufen rulers, because the Pope, as feudal lord of 
Naples and Sicily, was horrified at the idea of the Emperor's 
controlling the territory to the south of the papal possessions 
as well as that to the north. 

After some forty years of fighting in Germany and Italy 
Frederick Barbarossa decided to undertake a crusade to the 
Holy Land, and lost his life on the way thither. His son was 
carried off by Italian fever while trying to put down a rebellion 
in southern Italy, leaving the fate of the Hohenstaufen family 
in the hands of his infant son and heir, the famous Frederick II. 
It would take much too long to try to tell of all the attempts of 

Popes a?td Emperors 457 

rival German princes to get themselves made king of Germany 
and of the constant interference of the popes who sided now 
with this one and now with that. It happened that one of the 
greatest of all the popes, Innocent III, was ruling during Fred- 
erick IPs early years. After trying to settle the terrible disorder 
in Germany he decided that Frederick should be made Emperor, 
hoping to control him so that he would not become the dan- 
gerous enemy of the papacy that his father and grandfather had 
been. As a young man Frederick made all the promises that 
Innocent demanded, but he caused later popes infinite anxiety. 

Frederick II was nearsighted, bald, and wholly insignificant Character of 
in person ; but he exhibited the most extraordinary energy and Frederick 1 1, 
ability in the organization of his kingdom of Sicily, in which he 12 12-1250 
was far more interested than in Germany. He drew up an 
elaborate code of laws for his southern realms and may be said 
to have founded the first modern well-regulated state, in which 
the king was indisputably supreme. He had been brought up 
in Sicily and was much influenced by the Mohammedan culture 
which prevailed there. He appears to have rejected many of the 
opinions of the time. His enemies asserted that he was not 
even a Christian, and that he declared that Moses, Christ, and 
Mohammed were all alike impostors. 

We cannot stop to relate the romantic and absorbing story His bitter 
of his long struggle with the popes. They speedily discovered the^pfpacy" 
that he was bent upon establishing a powerful state to the south 
of them, and upon extending his control over the Lombard 
cities in such a manner that the papal possessions would be 
held as in a vise. This, they felt, must never be permitted. 
Consequently almost every measure that Frederick adopted 
aroused their suspicion and opposition, and they made every 
effort to destroy him and his house. 

His chance of success in the conflict with the head of the Frederick 
Church was gravely affected by the promise which he had asTmg'o^f 
made before Innocent Ill's death to undertake a crusade. Jerusalem 
He was so busily engaged with his endless enterprises that he 

45^ Outlines of European History 

kept deferring the expedition, in spite of the papal admoni- 
tions, until at last the Pope lost patience and excommunicated 
him. While excommunicated, he at last started for the East. 
He met with signal success and actually brought Jerusalem, the 
Holy City, once more into Christian hands, and was himself 
recognized as king of Jerusalem. 
Extinction of Frederick's conduct continued, however, to give offense to 
staufens' • the popes. He was denounced in solemn councils, and at last 
power deposed by one of the popes. After Frederick died (1250) 

his sons maintained themselves for a few years in the Sicilian 
kingdom ; but they finally gave way before a French army, led 
by the brother of St. Louis, Charles of Anjou, upon whom the 
Pope bestowed the southern realms of the Hohenstaufens.^ 
Frederick's With Frederick's death the medieval Empire may be said 

the close of to have come to an end. It is true that after a period of " fist 
Em^rf '^''^^ law," as the Germans call it, a new king, Rudolf of Hapsburg, 
was elected in Germany in 1273. The German kings continued 
to call themselves emperors. Few of them, however, took the 
trouble to go to Rome to be crowned by the Pope. No serious 
effort was ever made to reconquer the Italian territory for 
which Otto the Great, Frederick Barbarossa, and his son and 
grandson had made such serious sacrifices. Germany was hope- 
lessly divided and its king was no real king. He had no capital 
and no well-organized government. 
Division of By the middle of the thirteenth century it becomes apparent 

Italy into ^^ that neither Germany nor Italy was to be converted into a 
pTndent^^' Strong single kingdom like England and France. The map of 
states Germany shows a confused group of duchies, counties, arch- 

bishoprics, bishoprics, abbacies, and free towns, each one of 
which asserted its practical independence of the weak king 
and Emperor. 

In northern Italy each town, including a certain district about 
its walls, had become an independent state, dealing with its 

1 An excellent account of Frederick's life is given by Henderson, Germany in 
the Middle Ages^ pp. 34^397. 

Popes and Emperors 459 

neighbors as with independent powers. The Italian towns were 
destined to become the birthplace of our modern culture during 
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Venice and Florence, in 
spite of their small size, came to be reckoned among the most 
important states of Europe (see section 90, below). In the cen- 
tral part of the peninsula the Pope maintained more or less 
control over his possessions, but he often failed to subdue the 
towns within his realms. To the south Naples remained for some 
time under the French dynasty, which the Pope had called in, 
while the island of Sicily drifted into Spanish hands. 


Section 73. Describe the way in which the German kings gained 
the title of Emperor. Why did they think that they ought to control 
the election of the Pope.'' What do you understand by the Holy 
Roman Empire.? 

Section 74. What were the sources of wealth of the Church.? 
What was the effect of the vast landholdings of the Church ? What 
was investiture, and why did it raise difficulties between the popes 
and emperors? Why did the Pope oppose the marriage of the 
clergy.? How is the Pope elected.? What is a cardinal.? 

Section 75. What was the Dictattts, and what claims did it make .? 

Section 'jd. Describe the conflict between Henry IV and 
Gregory VII. What were the provisions of the Concordat of 
Worms ? 

Section "j"]. What new enemies did Frederick Barbarossa find 
in northern Italy.? How did the German kings establish a claim to 
southern Italy? Give some facts about Innocent HI. Narrate the 
struggle between Frederick II and the popes and its outcome. How 
many years elapsed between the death of Otto the Great and the 
accession of Henry IV? between the death of Henry IV and that 
of Frederick Barbarossa ? between the death of Barbarossa and that 
of Frederick II? 



Section '/?>. Origin of the Crusades 

Of all the events of the Middle Ages, the most romantic 
and fascinating are the Crusades, the ad\'enturous expeditions 
to Syria and Palestine, undertaken by devout and warlike 
kings and knights with the hope of permanently reclaiming the 
Holy Land from the infidel Turks. All through the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries each generation beheld at least one great 
army of crusaders gathering from all parts of the W^est and 
starting toward the Orient. Each year witnessed the departure 
of small bands of pilgrims or of solitary soldiers of the cross. 

For two hundred vears there was a continuous stream of 
Europeans of e\erv rank and station — kings and princes, 
powerful nobles, simple knights, common soldiers, ecclesias- 
tics, monks, townspeople, and even peasants — from England, 
France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, making their way into 
western Asia. If they escaped the countless dangers which 
beset them on the journey, they either settled in this distant land 
and devoted themselves to war or commerce, or returned home, 
bringing with them tales of great cities and new peoples, of skill, 
knowledge, and luxury unknown in the West. 


The Crusades 461 

to overrate 
the impor- 
tance of the 

Our sources of information in regard to the Crusades are 
so abundant and so rich in picturesque incidents that writers 
have often yielded to the temptation to give more space to 
these expeditions than their consequences really justify. They Crusades 
were, after all, only one of the great foreign enterprises which 
have been undertaken from time to time by the European 
peoples. While their influence upon the European countries was 
doubtless very important, — like that of the later conquest 
of India by the English and the colonization of America, — the 
details of the campaigns in the East scarcely belong to the 
history of western Europe. / 

Syria had been overrun by the Arabs in the seventh century, The Holy 

1 1 1 TT 1 r^-^ ( Land con- 

shortly after the death of Mohammed, and the Holy City ot quered first 
Jerusalem had fallen into the hands of the infidels. The Arab, ^^d^the^'by' 
however, shared the veneration of the Christian for the places the Turks 
associated with the life of Christ and, in general, permitted the 
Christian pilgrims who found their way thither to worship un- 
molested. But with the coming of a new and ruder people, the 
Seljuk Turks, in the eleventh century, the pilgrims began to 
bring home news of great hardships. Moreover, the eastern 
Emperor was defeated by the Turks in 107 1 and lost Asia 
Minor. The presence of the Turks, who had taken possession 
of the fortress of Nicaea, just across from Constantinople, was 
of course a standing menace to the Eastern Empire. When the 
energetic Emperor Alexius (1081-1118) ascended the throne 
he endeavored to expel the infidel. Finding himself unequal to Eastern 
the task, he appealed for assistance to the head of Christendom, appeals to 
Pope Urban II. The first great impetus to the Crusades was ^^da^gXst"' 
the call issued by Urban at the celebrated church council which ^^^j^'^g^'^^^ 
met in 1095 at Clermont in France. 

In an address which produced more remarkable immediate 
results than any other which history records, the Pope exhorted 
knights and soldiers of all ranks to give up their usual wicked 
business of destroying their Christian brethren in private 
warfare (see above, section 67) and turn, instead, to the succor 

462 Outlmes of European History 

Urban 1 1 of their fellow Christians in the East. He warned them that the 
call to the insolent Turks would, if unchecked, extend their sway still more 
at Ae Councfl ^^'^^^^7 ^^^^ ^^ faithful Servants of the Lord. Urban urged, be- 
of Clermont, sides, that France was too poor to support all its people, while 
the Holy Land flowed with milk and honey. " Enter upon the 
road to the Holy Sepulcher; wrest the land from the wicked 
race and subject it to yourselves." When the Pope had finished, 
all who were present exclaimed, with one accord, " It is the will 
of God." This, the Pope declared, should be the rallying cry of 
the crusaders, who were to wear a cross upon their bosoms as 
they went forth, and upon their backs as they returned, as a 
holy sign of their sacred mission.^ 
The motives ^, The Crusades are ordinarily represented as the most striking 
crusaders examples of the simple faith and religious enthusiasm of the 
Middle Ages. They appealed, however, to many different kinds 
of men. The devout, the romantic, and the adventurous were 
by no means the only classes that were attracted. Syria held 
out inducements to the discontented noble who might hope to 
gain a principality in the East, to the merchant who was look- 
ing for new enterprises, to the merely restless who wished to 
avoid his responsibilities at home, and even to the criminal who 
enlisted with a view of escaping the results of his past offenses. 
It is noteworthy that Urban appeals especially to those who 
had been " contending against their brethren and relatives," and 
urges those " who have hitherto been robbers now to become 
soldiers of Christ." And the conduct of many of the crusaders 
indicates that the Pope found a ready hearing among this class. 
Yet higher motives than a love of adventure and the hope of 
conquest impelled many who took their way eastward. Great 
numbers, doubtless, went to Jerusalem " through devotion alone, 
and not for the sake of honor or gain," with the sole object of 
freeing the Holy Sepulcher from the hands of the infidel. 

To such as these the Pope promised that the journey itself 
should take the place of all penance for sin. The. faithful 
1 For the speech of Urban, see Readings f(^z^, xv, 

TJie Crusades 463 

crusader, like the faithful Mohammedan, was assured of immedi- Privileges 
ate entrance into heaven if he died repentant. Later, the Church crusaders 
exhibited its extraordinary authority by what would seem to us 
an unjust interference with business contracts. It freed those 
who " with a pure heart " entered upon the journey from the 
payment of interest upon their debts, and permitted them to 
mortgage property against the wishes of their feudal lords. 
The crusaders' wives and children and property were taken 
under the immediate protection of the Church, and he who 
troubled them incurred excommunication. These various con- 
siderations help to explain the great popularity of undertakings 
that, at first sight, would seem to have promised only hardships 
and disappointment. 

\ The Council of Clermont met in November. Before spring Peter the 
(1096) those who set forth to preach the Crusade, — above all, hisarmy^"' 
the famous Peter the Hermit, who was formerly given credit 
for having begun the whole crusading movement, — had col- 
lected, in France and along the Rhine, an extraordinary army 
of the common folk. Peasants, workmen, vagabonds, and even 
women and children answered the summons, all blindly intent 
upon rescuing the Holy Sepulcher, two thousand miles away. 
They were confident that the Lord would sustain them during 
the weary leagues of the journey, and that, when they reached 
the Holy Land, he would grant them a prompt victory over the 

This great host was got under way in several divisions under 
the leadership of Peter the Hermit, and of Walter the Penni- 
less and other humble knights. Many of the crusaders were 
slaughtered by the Hungarians, who rose to protect them- 
selves from the depredations of this motley horde in its passage 
through their country. Part of them got as far as Nicaea, only 
to be slaughtered by the Turks. This is but an example, on 
a large scale, of what was going on continually for a century 
or so after this first great catastrophe. Individual pilgrims and 
adventurers, and sometimes considerable bodies of crusaders, 


OiUlhies of Europe aji History 

were constantly falling a prey to every form of disaster — 
starvation, slavery, disease, and death — in their persistent 
endeavors to reach the far-away Holy Land. 

Ihe First 



between the 
Greeks and 
the crusaders 

Section 79. The P^irst Crusade 

The most conspicuous figures of the long period of the 
Crusades are not, however, to be found among the lowly fol- 
lowers of Peter the Hermit, but are the knights, in their long 
coats of flexible armor. A year after the summons issued at 
Clermont great armies of fighting men had been collected in 
the West under distinguished leaders — the Pope speaks of 
three hundred thousand soldiers. Of the various divisions which 
were to meet in Constantinople, the following were the most 
important : the volunteers from Provence under the papal 
legate and Count Raymond of Toulouse ; inhabitants of Ger- 
many, particularly of Lorraine, under Godfrey of Bouillon and 
his brother Baldwin, both destined to be rulers of Jerusalem ; 
and lastly, an army of French and of the Normans of southern 
Italy under Bohemond and Tancred.^ 

The distinguished noblemen who have been mentioned were 
not actually in command of real armies. ' Each crusader under- 
took the expedition on his own account and was only obedient 
to any one's orders so long as he pleased. The knights and 
men naturally grouped themselves around the more noted lead- 
ers, but considered themselves free to change chiefs when they 
pleased. The leaders themselves reserved the right to look out 
for their own special interests rather than sacrifice themselves 
to the good of the expedition. 

Upon the arrival of the crusaders at Constantinople it quickly 
became clear that they had not much more in common with the 
" (Greeks " '^ than with the Turks. Emperor Alexius ordered 

' For the routes taken by the different crusading armies, see the accompanying 

'^ The people of the Eastern Empire were called Greeks because the 
Greek language continued to be used in Constantinople. 


Ji, CJ K 











\ /' ft^y'^^^imascus ROUTES OF THE 


Piist Crusade 
^ Second Crusade 

Taflfa^ I ^ jU^lem ^^^^.^ ^r 

usade < Richard and 

{Philip Augustus 

50 100 200 

The Cr 



his soldiers to attack Godfrey's army, encamped in the suburbs 
of his capital, because their chief at first refused to take the 
oath of feudal homage to him. The Emperor's daughter Anna, 
in her history of the times, gives a sad picture of the outrageous 
conduct of the crusaders. They, on 
the other hand, denounced the 
Greeks as traitors, cowards, and liars; 

The eastern Emperor had hoped 
to use his western allies to reconquer 
Asia Minor and force back the 
I'urks. The leading knights, on the 
contrary, dreamed of carving out 
principalities for themselves in the 
former dominions of the Emperor, 
and proposed to control them by 
right of conquest. Later we find 
both Greeks and western Christians 
shamelessly allying themselves with 
the Mohammedans against each 
other. The relations of the eastern 
and western enemies of the Turks 
were well illustrated when the cru- 
saders besieged their first town, 
Nicaea. When it was just ready to 
surrender, the Greeks arranged with 
the enemy to have their troOps ad- 
mitted first. They then closed the 
gates against their western confeder- 
ates and invited them to move on. 

The first real allies that the crusaders met with were the 
Christian Armenians, who gave them aid after their terrible 
march through Asia Minor. With their help Baldwin got 
possession of Edessa, of which he made himself prince. The 
chiefs induced the great body of the crusaders to postpone 
the march on Jerusalem, and a year was spent in taking the 


171. Knight of the 
First Crusade 

In the time of the Crusades 
knights wore a coat of inter- 
woven iron rings, called a 
hauberk, to protect them- 
selves. The habit of using the 
rigid iron plates, of which 
later armor was constructed, 
did not come in until the 
Crusades were over 

among the 
leaders of the 


Outlines of European History 

rich and important city of Antioch. A bitter strife then broke 
out, especially between the Norman Bohemond and the count 
of Toulouse, as to who should have the conquered town. After 
the most unworthy conduct on both sides, Bohemond won, 

and Raymond 
was forced to set 
to work to con- 
quer another prin- 
cipality for himself 
on the coast about 

In the spring 
of 1099 about 
twenty thousand 
warriors were at 
last able to move 
upon Jerusalem. 
They found the 
city well walled, 
in the midst of 
a desolate region 
where neither 
food nor water 
nor the materials 
to construct the 
apparatus neces- 
sary for the cap- 
ture of the town 
were to be found. 
However, the opportune arrival at Jaffa of galleys from Genoa 
furnished the besiegers with supplies, and, in spite of all the 
difficulties, the place was taken in a couple of months. The 
crusaders, with shocking barbarity, massacred the inhabitants. 
Godfrey of Bouillon was chosen ruler of Jerusalem and took 
the modest title of " Defender of the Holy Sepulcher." He soon 

Map of the Crusaders' States in Syria 

The Cnisades 467 

died and was succeeded by his brother Baldwin, who left Edessa 
in HOC to take up the task of extending the bounds of the 
kingdom of Jerusalem. 

It will be observed that the " Franks," as the Mohammedans Founding 
called all the western folk, had established the centers of four domfinSy"rfa 
principalities. These were Edessa, Antioch, the region about 
Tripoli conquered by Raymond, and the kingdom of Jerusalem. 
The last was speedily increased by Baldwin ; with the help of 
the mariners from Venice and Genoa, he succeeded in getting 
possession of Acre, Sidon, and a number of other less impor- 
tant coast towns. 

The news of these Christian victories quickly reached the 
West, and in 1 1 o i tens of thousands of new crusaders started 
eastward. Most of them were lost or dispersed in passing 
through Asia Minor, and few reached their destination. The 
original conquerors were consequently left to hold the land 
against the Saracens and to organize their conquests as best 
they could. This was a very difficult task — too difficult to 
accomplish under the circumstances. 

The permanent hold of the Franks upon the eastern bor- 
ders of the Mediterranean depended upon the strength of the 
colonies which their various princes were able to establish. It 
is impossible to learn how many pilgrims from the West made 
their permanent homes in the new Latin principalities. Cer- 
tainly the greater part of those who visited Palestine returned 
home after fulfilling the vow they had made — to kneel at the 
Holy Sepulcher. 

Still the princes could rely upon a certain number of soldiers 
who would be willing to stay and fight the Mohammedans. 
The Turks, moreover, were so busy fighting one another that 
they showed less energy than might have been expected in 
attempting to drive the Franks from the narrow strip of terri- 
tory — some five hundred miles long and fifty wide — which 
they had conquered. The map on the opposite page shows 
the extent and situation of the crusaders' states, 


Outlines of Euj'opean History 

Section 8o. The Religious Orders of the 
Hospitalers and Templars 

A noteworthy outcome of the crusading movement was 
the foundation of several curious orders, of which the Hospi- 
talers and the Templars were the most important. These orders 

combined the two dominant inter- 
ests of the time, those of the monk 
and of the soldier. They permitted 
a man to be both at once ; the 
knight might wear a monkish 
cowl over his coat of armor. 

The Hospitalers grew out of 
a monastic association that was 
formed before the First Crusade 
for the succor of the poor and sick 
among the pilgrims. Later the 
society admitted noble knights to 
its membership and became a mili- 
tary order, at the same time con- 
tinuing its care for the sick. This 
charitable association, like the 
earlier monasteries, received gen- 
erous gifts of land in western 
Europe and built and controlled 
many fortified monasteries in the 
Holy Land itself. After the evacu- 
ation of Syria in the thirteenth 
century, the Hospitalers moved 
their headquarters to the Island of 
Rhodes, and later to Malta. The 
order still exists, and it is considered a distinction to this day to 
have the privilege of wearing its emblem, the cross of Malta. 

Before the Hospitalers were transformed into a military 
order, a little group of French knights banded together in 1 1 19 


Fig. 172. Costume of the 

The Hospitaler here repre- 
sented bears the peculiar 
Maltese cross on his bosom. 
His crucifix indicates his reli- 
gious character, but his sword 
and the armor which he wears 
beneath his long gown enabled 
him to fight as well as pray, 
and to succor the wounded 

TJie Crusades 469 

to defend pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem from the attacks The 
of the infidel. They were assigned quarters in the king's palace ^"^^ ^^^ 
at Jerusalem, on the site of the former Temple of Solomon ; 
hence the name " Templars," which they were destined to render 
famous. The " poor soldiers of the Temple " were enthusiasti- 
cally approved by the Church. They wore a white cloak adorned 
with a red cross, and were under a veiy strict monastic rule 
which bound them by the vows of obedience, poverty, and 
celibacy. The fame of the order spread throughout Europe, 
and the most exalted, even dukes and princes, were ready to 
renounce the world and serve Christ under its black and white 
banner, with the legend Nofi nobis, Domine. 

The order was aristocratic from the first, and it soon became 
incredibly rich and independent. It had its collectors in all parts 
of Europe, who dispatched the " alms " they received to the 
Grand Master at Jerusalem. Towns, churches, and estates were 
given to the order, as well as vast sums of money. The king 
of Aragon proposed to bestow upon it a third of his kingdom. 
The Pope showered privileges upon the Templars. They were 
exempted from tithes and taxes and were brought under his 
immediate jurisdiction ; they were released from feudal obliga- 
tions, and bishops were forbidden to excommunicate them for 
any cause. 

No wonder they grew insolent and aroused the jealousy and Abolition of 
hate of princes and prelates alike. Even Innocent III violently Templars ° 
upbraided them for admitting to their order wicked men who 
then enjoyed all the privileges of Churchmen. Early in the four- 
teenth century, through the combined efforts of the Pope and 
Philip the Fair of France, the order was brought to a terrible 
end. Its members were accused of the most abominable prac- 
tices, — such as heresy, the worship of idols, and the systematic 
insulting of Christ and his religion. Many distinguished Tem- 
plars were burned for heresy ; others perished miserably in dun- 
geons. The once powerful order was abolished and its property 


Outlines of Etirvpean History 

Section 8i. The Second and Later Crusades 

Fifty years after the preaching of the First Crusade, the 
fall of Edessa (1144), an important outpost of the Christians in 
the East, led to a second great expedition. This was forwarded 
by no less a person than St. Bernard, who went about using 
his unrivaled eloquence to induce volunteers to take the cross. 

Fig. 173. Krak-des-Chevaliers, restored 

This is an example of the strong castles that the crusaders built in 
Syria. It was completed in the form here represented about the year 
1200 and lies halfway between Antioch and Damascus.' It will be 
noticed that there was a fortress within a fortress. The castle is now 
in ruins (see headpiece of this chapter) 

In a fierce hymn of battle he cried to the Knights Templars : 
" The Christian who slays the unbeliever in the Holy War is 
sure of his reward, the more sure if he himself be slain. The 
Christian glories in the death of the infidel, because Christ is 
glorified." The king of France readily consented to take the 
cross, but the Emperor, Conrad III, appears to have yielded 
only after St. Bernard had preached before him and given a 
vivid picture of the terrors of the Judgment Day. 

The Crusades 


In regard to the less distinguished recruits, a historian of the 
time tells us that so many thieves and robbers hastened to 
take the cross that every one felt that such enthusiasm could 
only be the work of God himself. St. Bernard himself, the chief 
promoter of the expedition, gives a most unflattering description 
of the " soldiers of Christ." " In that countless multitude you 
will find few except the utterly wicked and impious, the sacri- 
legious, homicides, and perjurers, whose departure is a double 
gain; Europe rejoices to lose them and Palestine to gain them ; 
they are useful in both ways, in their absence from here and their 
presence there." 
It is unnecessary 
to describe the 
movements and 
fate of these cru- 
saders ; suffice it 
to say that, from 
a military stand- 
point, the so-called 
Second Crusade 
was a miserable 

In the year 
1 187, forty years 
later, Jerusalem 
was recaptured by 

Saladin, the most heroic and distinguished of all the Moham- 
medan rulers of that period. The loss of the Holy City led to 
the most famous of all the military expeditions to the Holy 
Land, in which Frederick Barbarossa, Richard the Lion-Hearted 
of England, and his political rival, Philip Augustus of France, 
all took part (see above, p. 417). The accounts of the enterprise 
show that while the several Christian leaders hated one another 
heartily enough, the Christians and Mohammedans were coming 
to respect one another. We find examples of the most courtly 

Fig. 174. Tomb of a Crusader 

The churches of England, France, and Germany 

contain numerous figures in stone and brass of 

crusading knights, reposing in full armor with 

shield and sword on their tombs 


Outlmes of European History 

relations between the representatives of the opposing religions. 
In 1 192 Richard concluded a truce with Saladin, by the terms 
of which the Christian pilgrims were allowed to visit the holy 
places in safety and comfort. 

In the thirteenth century the crusaders began to direct their 
expeditions toward Egypt as the center of the Mohammedan 
power. The first of these was diverted in an extraordinary 
manner by the Venetians, who induced the crusaders to con- 
quer Constantinople for their benefit. The further expeditions 
of Frederick II (see above, p. 457) and St. Louis need not be 
described. Jerusalem was irrevocably lost in 1244, and although 
the possibility of recovering the city was long considered, the 
Crusades may be said to have come to a close before the end 
of the thirteenth century. 

Section 82. Chief Results of the Crusades 

For one class, at least, the Holy Land had great and perma- 
nent charms, namely, the Italian merchants, especially those 
from Genoa, Venice, and Pisa. It was through their early inter- 
est and by means of supplies from their ships, that the conquest 
of the Holy Land had been rendered possible. The merchants 
always made sure that they were well paid for their services. 
When they aided in the successful siege of a town they arranged 
that a definite quarter should be assigned to them in the cap- 
tured place, where they might have their market, docks, church, 
and all that was necessary for a permanent center for their com- 
merce. This district belonged to the town from which the mer- 
chants came. Venice even sent governors to live in the quarters 
assigned to its citizens in the kingdom of Jerusalem. Marseilles 
also had independent quarters in Jerusalem, and Genoa had its 
share in the county of Tripoli. 

This new commerce had a most important influence in bring- 
ing the West into permanent relations with the Orient. Eastern 
products from India and elsewhere — silks, spices, camphor, 

The Crusades 473 

musk, pearls, and ivory — were brought by the Mohammedans 
from the East to the commercial towns of Palestine and Syria ; 
then, through the Italian merchants, they found their way into 
France and Germany, suggesting ideas of luxury hitherto 
scarcely dreamed of by the still half-barbarous Franks. 

Moreover, the Crusades had a great effect upon the methods Effects of 
of warfare, for the soldiers from the West learned from the orTwarfare^^ 
Greeks about the old Roman methods of constructing machines 
for attacking castles and walled towns. This led, as has been 
pointed out in a previous chapter (see section 64), to the con- 
struction in western Europe of stone castles, first with square 
towers and later with round ones, the remains of which are so 
common in Germany, France, and England. The Crusades also 
produced heraldry, or the science of coats of arms. These were 
the badges that single knights or groups of knights adopted in 
order to distinguish themselves from other people. 

Some of the results of the Crusades upon western Europe Results of 
must already be obvious, even from this very brief account. 
Thousands and thousands of Frenchmen, Germans, and Eng- 
lishmen had traveled to the Orient by land and by sea. Most 
of them came from hamlets or castles where they could never 
have learned much of the great world beyond the confines of 
their native village or province. They suddenly found them- 
selves in great cities and in the midst of unfamiliar peoples and 
customs. This could not fail to make them think and give them 
new ideas to carry home. The Crusade took the place of a 
liberal education. The crusaders came into contact with those 
who knew more than they did, above all the Arabs, and brought 
back with them new notions of comfort and luxury. 

Yet in attempting to estimate the debt of the West to the 
Crusades it should be remembered that many of the new things 
may well have come from Constantinople, or through the 
Mohammedans of Sicily and Spain,^ quite independently of the 

1 The western Europeans derived many important ideas from the Mohamme- 
dans in Spain, as Arabic numerals, alchemy, algebra, and the use of paper. 

474 Oiitlines of Europe mi History 

armed incursions into Syria. Moreover, during the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries towns were rapidly growing up in Europe, 
trade and manufactures were extending, and the universities 
were being founded. It would be absurd to suppose that with- 
out the Crusades this progress w^ould not have taken place. 
So we may conclude that the distant expeditions and the con- 
tact with strange and more highly civilized peoples did no more 
than hasten the improvement which was already perceptible 
before Urban made his ever-memorable address at Clermont. 


Section 78. What led to the Crusades.'* Describe Urban's speech. 
What was the character of Peter the Hermit's expedition ? 

Section 79. Who were the leaders of the First Crusade? 
Describe the capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders. 

Section 80. Who were the Hospitalers? What was the order 
of the Temple and what became of the Templars ? 

Section 81. What was the Second Crusade? Give some par- 
ticulars in regard to the Third Crusade and its leaders. 

Section 82. Give as complete an account as you can of the chief 
results of the Crusades. 



Section 83. Organization and Powers of 
THE Church 

In the preceding pages it has been necessary to refer con- 
stantly to the Church and the clergy. Indeed, without them 
medieval history would become almost a blank, for the Church 
was incomparably the most important institution of the time, 
and its officers were the soul of nearly every great enterprise. 
We have already learned something of the rise of the Church 
and of its head, the Pope, as well as the mode of life and the 
work of the monks as they spread over Europe. We have 
also watched the long struggle between the emperors and the 
popes, in which the emperors were finally worsted. We must 
now consider the Medieval Church as a completed institution at 
the height of its power in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. 



Outlines of European Histoyy 

Ways in 
which the 
Church dif- 
fered from 

in the 

The wealth 
of the 

The tithe 

of the Church 
to a State 

We have already had abundant proofs that the Medieval 
Church was very different from our modern churches, whether 
Catholic or Protestant. 

1 . In the first place, every one was required to belong to it, 
just as we all must belong to some country to-day. One was 
not bom into the Church, it is true, but he was ordinarily bap- 
tized into it when he was a mere infant. All western Europe 
formed a single religious association, from which it was a crime 
to revolt. To refuse allegiance to the Church, or to question 
its authority or teachings, was regarded as treason against God 
and was punishable with death. 

2. The Medieval Church did not rely for its support, as 
churches usually must to-day, upon the voluntary contributions 
of its members. It enjoyed, in addition to the revenue from its 
vast tracts of lands and a great variety of fees, the income from 
a regular tax, the tithe. Those upon whom this fell were forced 
to pay it, just as we all must now pay taxes imposed by the 

3. It is clear, moreover, that the Medieval Church was not 
merely a religious body, as churches are to-day. Of course it 
maintained places of worship, conducted devotional exercises, 
and cultivated the religious life ; but it did far more. It was, in 
a way, a State^ for it had an elaborate system of law, and its 
own courts, in which it tried many cases which are now settled 
in our ordinary courts.-^ One may get some idea of the business 
of the church courts from the fact that the Church claimed the 
right to try all cases in which a clergyman was involved, or any 
one connected with the Church or under its special protection, 
such as monks, students, crusaders, widows, orphans, and the 
helpless. Then all cases where the rites of the Church, or its 
prohibitions, were involved came ordinarily before the church 
courts, as, for example, those concerning marriage, wills, sworn 

1 The law of the Church was known as the canon law. It was taught in most of 
the universities and practiced by a great number of lawyers. It was based upon the 
" canons," or rules, enacted by the various church councils, from that of Nicasa 
(325 A.D.) down, and, above all, upon the decrees and decisions of the popes. 

The Medieval Church at its Height 4^^ 

contracts, usury, blasphemy, sorcery, heresy, and so forth. I'he 
Church even had its prisons, to which it might sentence offenders 
for life. 

4. The Church not only performed the functions of a State ; Unity of 
it had the organization of a State. Unlike the Protestant min- X?^*^°" 
isters of to-day, all churchmen and religious associations of Church 
medieval Europe were under one supreme head, the Pope, who 
made laws for all and controlled every church officer, wherever 
he might be, whether in Italy or Germany, Spain or Ireland. 
The whole Church had one official language, Latin, in which 
all communications were written and in which its services were 
everywhere conducted. 

The Medieval Church may therefore properly be called a The Medi- 
monarchy in its government. The Pope was its all-powerful rmoSrchy 
and absolute head. He was the supreme lawgiver. He might ^" ^^^ ^°"^ °^ 

'■ ^ ^ government 

set aside or repeal any law of the Church, no matter how 
ancient, so long as he did not believe it to be ordained by the 
Scriptures or by Nature. He might, for good reasons, make Dispensa- 
exceptions to all merely human laws ; as, for instance, permit 
cousins to marry, or free a monk from his vows. Such exceptions 
were known as dispe7isatio7is . 

The Pope was not merely the supreme lawgiver ; he was the The Pope 
supreme judge. Any one, whether clergyman or layman, in any judgTor'"^ 
part of Europe could appeal to him at any stage in the trial of Christendom 
a large class of cases. Obviously this system had serious draw- 
backs. Grave injustice might be done by carrying to Rome a 
case which ought to have been settled in Edinburgh or Cologne, 
where the facts were best known. The rich, moreover, always 
had the advantage, as they alone could afford to bring suits 
before so distant a court. 

The control of the Pope over all parts of the Christian Church 
was exercised by his legates. These papal ambassadors were 
intrusted with great powers. Their haughty mien sometimes 
offended the prelates and rulers to whom they brought home 
the authority of the pope, — as, for instance, when the legate 


Outlines of European History 

Pandulf grandly absolved all the subjects of King John of 
England, before his very face, from their oath of fealty to him 
(see above, p. 419). 

The task assumed by the Pope of governing the whole 
western world naturally made it necessary to create a large body 
of officials at Rome in order to transact all the multiform business 
and prepare and transmit the innumerable legal documents.^ 
The cardinals and the Pope's officials constituted what was 
called the papal ama, or court. 

To carry on his government and meet the expenses of pal- 
ace and retinue, the Pope had need of a vast income. This he 
secured from various sources. Heavy fees were exacted from 
those who brought suits to his court for decision. The arch- 
bishops, bishops, and abbots were expected to make generous 
contributions when the Pope confirmed their election. In the 
thirteenth century the Pope himself began to fill many benefices 
throughout Europe, and customarily received half the first year's 
revenues from those whom he appointed. For several centuries 
before the Protestants finally threw off their allegiance to the 
popes, there was widespread complaint on the part of both 
clergy and laymen that the fees and taxes levied by the airia 
were excessive. 

Next in order below the head of the Church were the arch- 
bishops and bishops. An archbishop was a bishop whose power 
extended beyond the boundaries of his. own diocese and who 
exercised a certain control over all the bishops within his 

There is perhaps no class of persons in medieval times whose 
position it is so necessary to understand as that of the bishops. 
They were regarded as the successors of the apostles, whose 
powers were held to be divinely transmitted to them. They 
represented the Church Universal in their respective dioceses, 
under the supreme headship of their " elder brother," the 

1 Many of the edicts, decisions, and orders of the popes were called bull. 
from the seal (Latin bi^la) attached to them. 

The Medieval Church at its Height 


bishop of Rome, the suecessor of the chief of the apostles. 
Their insignia of office, the miter and crosier, are familiar to 
every one.^ Each bishop had his especial church, which was 
called a cathedral, and usually surpassed the other churches of 
the diocese in size and beauty. 

Fig. 175. Canterbury Cathedral 

The bishop's church was called a cathedral, because in it stood the 
bishop's chair, or throne (Latin cathedra). It was therefore much more 
imposing ordinarily than the parish churches, although sometinies the 
abbey churches belonging to rich monasteries vied with the bishop's 
church in beauty (see below, section 89) 

In addition to the oversight of his diocese, it was the bishop's The bishop's 
business to look after the lands and other possessions which duTier^ 
belonged to the bishopric. Lastly, the bishop was usually a 
feudal lord, with the obligations which that implied. He might 
have vassals and subvassals, and often was himself a vassal, not 
only of the king but also of some neighboring lord. 

1 The headpiece of this chapter represents an English bishop ordaining a 
priest and is taken from a manuscript of Henry IPs time. The bishop is 
wearing his miter and holds his pastoral staff, the crosier, in his left hand while 
he raises his right, in blessing, over the priest's head. 


OjitIi)ies of Eiiropmn History 

The parish 
priest and 
his duties 

The exalted 
position of 
the clergy 

Nature of 

Only clergy- 
men ordi- 
narily knew 
how to read 
and write 

The lowest division of the Chu'rch was the parish. At the 
head of the parish was the parish priest, who conducted services 
in the parish church and absoh^ed, iDaptized, married, and buried 
his parishioners. The priests were supposed to be supported by 
the lands belonging to the parish church and by the tithes. But 
both of these sources of income were often in the hands of lay- 
men or of a neighboring monastery, while the poor priest re- 
ceived the merest pittance, scarcely sufficient to keep soul and 
body together. 

The clergy were set apart from the laity in several ways. 
The higher orders — bishop, priest, deacon, and subdeacon — 
were required to remain unmarried, and in this way were 
freed from the cares and interests of family life. The Church 
held, moreover, that the higher clergy, when they had been 
properly ordained, received through their ordination a mysterious 
imprint, the " indelible character," so that they could never 
become simple laymen again, even if they ceased to perform 
their duties altogether. Above all, the clergy alone could ad- 
minister the sacraments upon which it was believed the salva- 
tion of every individual soul depended. 

The punishment for sin imposed by the priest was called 
penance. This took a great variety of forms. It might consist 
in fasting, repeating prayers, visiting holy places, or abstaining 
from one's ordinary amusements. A journey to the Holy Land 
was regarded as taking the place of all other penance. Instead, 
however, of requiring the penitent actually to perform the fasts, 
pilgrimages, or other sacrifices imposed as penance by the priest, 
the Church early began to permit him to change his penance 
into a contribution, to be applied to some pious enterprise, like 
building a church or bridge, or caring for the poor and sick. 

The influence of the clergy was greatly increased by the fact 
that they alone were educated. For six or seven centuries after 
the overthrow of the Roman government in the West, very few 
outside of the clergy ever dreamed of studying, or even of learn- 
ing to read and write. Even in the thirteenth century an offender 

TJie Medieval ChuirJi at its HeigJit 481 

who wished to prove that he belonged to the clergy, in order 
that, he might be tried by a church court, had only to show that 
he could read a single line ; for it was assumed by the judges 
that no one unconnected with the Church could read at all. 

It was therefore inevitable that all the teachers were clergy- 
men, that almost all the books were written by priests and 
monks, and that the clergy was the ruling power in all intellectual, 
artistic, and literary matters — the chief guardians and promoters 
of civilization. Moreover, the civil government was forced to 
rely upon churchmen to write out the public documents and 
proclamations. The priests and monks held the pen for the 
king. Representatives of the clergy sat in the king's councils 
and acted as his ministers ; in fact, the conduct of the govern- 
ment largely devolved upon them. 

The offices in the Church were open to all ranks of men, and Offices in the 
many of the popes themselves sprang from the humblest classes, to airdasser 
The Church thus constantly recruited its ranks with fresh blood. 
No one held an office simply because his father had held it 
before him, as was the case iw the civil government. 

No wonder that the churckrften were by far the most power- Excommu- 
ful class in the Middle Ages. "TThey controlled great wealth ; they h^J^erdict^" 
alone were educated; they -held the keys of the kingdom of 
heaven and without their aid no one could hope to enter in. 
By excommunication they could cast out the enemies of the 
Church and could forbid all men to associate with them, since 
they were accursed. By means of the interdict they could sus- 
pend all religious ceremonies in a whole city or country by 
closing the church doors and prohibiting all public services. 

Section 84. The Heretics and the Inquisition 

Nevertheless, in spite of the power and wonderful organi- Rebels 
zation of the Church, a few people began to revolt against it as clmrch 
early as the time of Gregory VII ; and the number of these 
rebels continued to increase as time went on. Popular leaders 


Outlines of Europe an History 

H eresy 

The Walden- 

The Albi- 

arose who declared that no one ought any longer to rely upon 
the Church for his salvation ; that all its elaborate ceremonies 
were worse than useless ; that its Masses, holy water, and relics 
were mere money-getting devices of a sinful priesthood and 
helped no one to heaven. 

Those who questioned the teachings of the Church and pro- 
posed to cast off its authority were, according to the accepted 
view of the time, guilty of the supreme crime of heresy. 
Heretics were of two sorts. One class merely rejected the 
practices and some of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic 
Church while they remained Christians and endeavored to 
imitate as nearly as possible the simple life of Christ and the 

Among those who continued to accept the Christian faith but 
refused to obey the clergy, the most important sect was that of 
the Waldensians, which took its rise about 1 1 7 5 . These were 
followers of Peter Waldo of Lyons, who gave up all their 
property and lived a life of apostolic poverty. They went about 
preaching the Gospel and explaining the Scriptures, which they 
translated from Latin into the language' of the people. They 
made many converts, and before the end of the twelfth cen- 
tury there were great numbers of them scattered throughout 
western Europe. 

On the other hand, there were popular leaders who taught 
that the Christian religion itself was false. They held that there 
were two principles in the universe, the good and the evil, 
which were forever fighting for the victory. They asserted 
that the Jehovah of the Old Testament was really the evil 
power, and that it was, therefore, the evil power whom the Cath- 
olic Church worshiped. These heretics were commonly called 
Albigensians, a name derived from the town of Albi in southern 
France, where they were very numerous. 

It is very difficult for us who live in a tolerant age to under- 
stand the universal and deep-rooted horror of heresy which long 
prevailed in Europe. But we must recollect that to the orthodox 

The Medieval Chtirch at its Height 483 

believer in the Church nothing could exceed the guilt of one 
who committed treason against God by rejecting the religion 
which had been handed down in the Roman Church from the 
immediate followers of his Son. Moreover, doubt and unbelief 
were not merely sin ; they were revolt against the most power- 
ful social institution of the time, which, in spite of the sins of 
some of its officials, continued to be venerated by people at 
large throughout western Europe. The story of the Albigensians 
and Waldensians, and the efforts of the Church to suppress 
them by persuasion, by fire and sword, and by the stern court 
of the Inquisition, form a strange and terrible chapter in 
medieval history. 

In southern France there were many adherents of both the 
Albigensians and the Waldensians, especially in the county of 
Toulouse. At the beginning of the thirteenth century there 
was in this region an open contempt for the Church, and bold 
heretical teachings were heard even among the higher classes. 

Against the people of this flourishing land Innocent III Albigensian 
preached a crusade in 1208. An army marched from northern 
France into the doomed region and, after one of the most 
atrocious and bloody wars upon record, suppressed the heresy 
by wholesale slaughter. At the same time, the war checked the 
civilization and destroyed the prosperity of the most enlightened 
portion of France. 

The most permanent defense of the Church against heresy was The inqui- 
the establishment, under the headship of the Pope, of a system 
of courts designed to ferret out secret cases of unbelief and bring 
the offenders to punishment. These courts, which devoted their 
whole attention to the discovery and conviction of heretics, were 
called the Holy Inquisition, which gradually took form after 
the Albigensian crusade. The unfairness of the trials and the 
cruel treatment to which those suspected of heresy were sub- 
jected, through long imprisonment or torture, — inflicted with 
the hope of forcing them to confess their crime or to implicate 
others, — have rendered the name of the Inquisition infamous. 



Outlines of European History 

Fate of the 



Without by any means attempting to defend the methods 
employed, it may be remarked that the inquisitors were often 
earnest and upright men, and the methods of procedure of the 
Inquisition were not more cruel than those used in the secular 
courts of the period. 

The assertion of the suspected person that he was not a 
heretic did not receive any attention, for it was assumed that 
he would naturally deny his guilt, as would any other criminal. 
A person's belief had, therefore, to be judged by outward acts. 
Consequently one might fall into the hands of the Inquisition 
by mere accidental conversation with a heretic, by some unin- 
tentional neglect to show due respect toward the Church rites, 
or by the malicious testimony of one's neighbors. This is really 
the most terrible aspect of the Inquisition and its procedure. 

If the suspected person confessed his guilt and abjured his 
heresy, he was forgiven and received back into the Church : 
but a penance of life imprisonment was imposed upon him as 
a fitting means of wiping away the unspeakable sin of which he 
had been guilty. If he persisted in his heresy, he was " relaxed 
to the secular arm " ; that is to say, the Church, whose law for- 
bade it to shed blood, handed over the convicted person to the 
civil power, which burned him alive without further trial. 

Section 85. The Franciscans and Dominicans 

Founding of 
the mendi- 
cant orders 

We may now turn to that far more cheerful and effective 
method of meeting the opponents of the Church, which may 
be said to have been discovered by St. Francis of Assisi. His 
teachings and the example of his beautiful life probably did far 
more to secure continued allegiance to the Church than all the 
harsh devices of the Inquisition. 

We have seen how the Waldensians tried to better the world 
by living simple lives and preaching the Gospel. Owing to the 
disfavor of the Church authorities, who declared their teach- 
ings erroneous and dangerous, they were prevented from 

The Medieval ChurcJi at its IleigJit 485 

publicly carrying on their missionary work. Yet all conscientious 
men agreed with the Waldensians that the world was in a sad 
plight, owing to the negligence and the misdeeds of the clergy. 
St. Francis and St. Dominic strove to meet the needs of their 
time by inventing a new kind of clergyman, the begging brother, 
or "mendicant friar" (from the \.2X\\\f rater, " brother"). He was 
to do just what the bishops and parish priests often failed to do 
— namely, lead a holy life of self-sacrifice, defend the Church's 
beliefs against the attacks of the heretics, and awaken the people 
to a new religious life. The founding of the mendicant orders 
is one of the most interesting events of the Middle Ages. 

There is no more lovely and fascinating figure in all history St. Francis 
than St. Francis. He was born (probably in 1182) at Assisi, a 1182-1226 
little town in central Italy. He was the son of a well-to-do 
merchant, and during his early youth he lived a very gay life, 
spending his father's money freely. He read the French 
romances of the time and dreamed of imitating the brave 
knights whose adventures they described. Although his com- 
panions were wild and reckless, there was a delicacy and chivahy 
in Francis's own make-up which made him hate all things coarse 
and heartless. When later he voluntarily became a beggar, his 
ragged cloak still covered a true poet and knight. 

The contrast between his own life of luxury and the sad state Francis for- 
of the poor early afflicted him. When he was about twenty, of luxury 
after a long and serious illness which made a break in his gay fn^eJ^tance 
life and sjave him time to think, he suddenly lost his love for the and becomes 

^ ' -^ . a hermit 

old pleasures and began to consort with the destitute, above all 
with lepers. His father does not appear to have had any fond- 
ness whatever for beggars, and the relations between him and 
his son grew more and more strained. When finally he threatened 
to disinherit the young man, Francis cheerfully agreed to sur- 
render all right to his inheritance. Stripping off his clothes and 
giving them back to his father, he accepted the worn-out garment 
of a gardener and became a homeless hermit, busying himself 
in repairing the dilapidated chapels near Assisi. 


Outlines of Europe aii History 

He soon began to preach in a simple way, and before long a 
rich fellow townsman resolved to follow Francis's example— sell 
his all and give to the poor. Others soon joined them, and these 
joyous converts, free of worldly burdens, went barefoot and 
penniless about central Italy preaching the Gospel instead of 
shutting themselves up in a monastery. 

When, v^ith a dozen followers, Francis appealed to the Pope 
in 1 2 ID for his approval, Innocent III hesitated. He did not 
believe that any one could lead a life of absolute poverty. Then 
might not these ragged, ill-kempt vagabonds appear to condemn 
the Church by adopting a life so different from that of the rich 
and comfortable clergy? Yet if he disapproved the friars, he 
would seem to disapprove at the same time Christ's directions 
to his apostles. He finally decided to authorize the brethren to 
continue their missions. 

Seven years later, when Francis's followers had greatly in- 
creased in numbers, missionary work was begun on a large 
scale, and brethren were dispatched to Germany, Hungary, 
France, Spain, and even to Syria. It was not long before an 
English chronicler was telling with wonder of the arrival in his 
country of these barefoot men, in their patched gowns and with 
ropes about their waists, who, with Christian faith, took no 
thought for the morrow, believing that their Heavenly Father 
knew what things they had need of. 

As time went on, the success of their missionary work led 
the Pope to bestow many privileges upon them. It grieved 
Francis, however, to think of his little band of companions 
being converted into a great and powerful order. He foresaw 
that they would soon cease to lead their simple, holy life, and 
would become ambitious and perhaps rich. " I, little Brother 
Francis," he writes, " desire to follow the life and the poverty 
of Jesus Christ, persevering therein until the end ; and I beg 
you all and exhort you to persevere always in this most holy 
life of poverty, and take good care never to depart from it 
upon the advice and teachings of any one whomsoever," 

The Medieval Church at its Height 


After the death of St. Francis (1226) many of the order, change in 
which now numbered several thousand members, wished to of^the Fran-^ 
maintain the simple rule of absolute poverty; others, including ^J^^Jp^''^^'', 
the new head of the order, believed that much good might be death 
done with the wealth which people were anxious to give them. 

1^ Lit- „^;'J 

Fig. 176. Church of St. Francis at Assisi 

Assisi is situated on a high hill, and the monastery of the Franciscans 
is built out on a promontory. The monastery has tzvo churches, one 
above the other. The lower church, in which are the remains of 
St. Francis, was begun in 1228 and contains pictures of the life and mira- 
cles of the saint. To reach the upper church (completed 1253) one can 
go up by the stairs, seen to the right of the entrance to the lower church, 
to the higher level upon which the upper church faces 

They argued that the individual friars might still remain abso- 
lutely possessionless, even if the order had beautiful churches 
and comfortable monasteries. So a stately church was imme- 
diately constructed at Assisi (Fig. 176) to receive the remains of 
their humble founder, who in his lifetime had chosen a deserted 


Outlines of European History 

hovel for his home ; and a great cliest was set up in the church 
to receive the offerings of those who desired to give. 

St. Dominic (b. 1 170), the Spanish founder of the other great 
mendicant order, was not a simple layman like Francis. He 
was a churchman and took a regular course of instruction in 
theology for ten years in a Spanish university. He then (1208) 
accompanied his bishop to southern France on the eve of the 
Albigensian crusade and was deeply shocked to see the preva- 
lence of heresy. His host at Toulouse happened to be an Albi- 
gensian, and Dominic spent the night in converting him. He then 
and there determined to devote his life to fighting heresy. 

By 1 2 14 a few sympathetic spirits from various parts of 
Europe had joined Dominic, and they asked Innocent HI to 
sanction their new order. The Pope again hesitated, but is 
said to have dreamed a dream in which he saw the great Roman 
Church of the Lateran tottering and ready to fall had not 
Dominic supported it on his shoulders. He interpreted this as 
meaning that the new organization might sometime become a 
great aid to the papacy, and gave it his approval. As soon as 
possible Dominic sent forth his followers, of whom there were 
but sixteen, to evangelize the world, just as the Franciscans 
were undertaking their first missionary journeys. By 122 1 
the Dominican order was thoroughly organized and had sixty 
monasteries scattered over western Europe. 

" Wandering on foot over the face of Europe, under burning 
suns or chilling blasts, rejecting alms in money but receiving 
thankfully whatever coarse food might be set before the way- 
farer, enduring hunger in silent resignation, taking no thought for 
the morrow, but busied eternally in the work of snatching souls 
from Satan and lifting men up from the sordid cares of daily 
life" — in this way did the early Franciscans and Dominicans 
win the love and veneration of the people. 

• The Dominicans were called the " Preaching Friars " and 
were carefully trained in theology in order the better to refute 
the arguments of the heretics. The Pope delegated to them 

The Medieval Church at its Height 489 

especially the task of conducting the Inquisition. They early Contrast 
began to extend their influence over the universities, and the Domtnfcans 
two most distinguished theologians and teachers of the thirteenth ^^ *^.^ 

^ ° ^ Franciscans 

century, Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, were Domini- 
cans. Among the Franciscans, on the other hand, there was 
always a considerable party who were suspicious of learning 
and who showed a greater desire to remain absolutely poor than 
did the Dominicans. Yet as a whole the Franciscans, like the 
Dominicans, accepted the wealth that came to them, and they 
too contributed distinguished scholars to the universities. 

Section 86. Church and State 

We have seen that the Medieval Church was a single The State 
great institution with its head, the Pope, at Rome and its aided the 

and the 

officers in all the countries of western Europe. It had its laws, 
law courts, taxes, and even prisons, just like the various kings churchmen 
and other rulers. In general, the kings were ready to punish government 
every one who revolted against the Church. Indeed, the State de- 
pended upon the churchmen in many ways. It was the church- 
men who wrote out the documents which the king required ; 
they took care of the schools, aided the poor, and protected the * 
weak. They tried, by issuing the Truce of God, to discourage 
neighborhood warfare, which the kings were unable to stop. 

But as the period of disorder drew to an end and the Chief sources 
kings and other rulers got the better of the feudal lords and between" 
established peace in their realms, they began to think that ^'^"'"'^^ ^'^^ 
the Church had become too powerful and too rich. Certain 
difficulties arose of which the following were the most important : 

I . Should the king or the Pope have the advantage of select- FilHng 
ing the bishops and the abbots of rich monasteries ? Naturally ^ ""^"^ ° ^^^ 
both were anxious to place their friends and supporters in these 
influential positions. Moreover, the Pope could claim a con- 
siderable contribution from those whom he appointed, and the 
king naturally grudged him the money. 


Outlines of European History 

2 . How far might the king venture to tax the lands and other 
property of the Church ? Was this vast amount of wealth to go 
on increasing and yet make no contribution to the support of 
the government ? The churchmen usually maintained that they 
needed all their money to carry on the church services, keep 
up the churches and monasteries, take care of the schools, and 
aid the poor, for the State left them to bear all these necessary 
burdens. The law of the Church permitted the churchmen to 
make voluntary gifts to the king when there was urgent necessity. 

3. Then there was trouble over the cases to be tried in the 
church courts and the claim of churchmen to be tried only by 
clergymen. Worst of all was the habit of appealing cases to 
Rome, for the Pope would often decide the matter in exactly 
the opposite way from which the king's court had decided it. 

4. Lastly there was the question of how far the Pope as head 
of the Christian Church had a right to interfere with the govern- 
ment of a particular state, when he did not approve of the way 
in which a king was acting. The powers of the Pope were very 
great, every one admitted, but even the most devout Catholics 
differed somewhat as to just how great they were. 

We have seen some illustrations of these troubles in the 
chapter on the Popes and Emperors. A famous conflict between 
the king of France, Philip the Fair, and Pope Boniface VIII, 
about the year 1300, had important results. Philip and Edward I 
of England, who were reigning at the same time, had got into the 
habit of taxing the churchmen as they did their other subjects. 

It was natural after a monarch had squeezed all that he could 
out of the Jews and the towns, and had exacted every possible 
feudal due, that he should turn to the rich estates of the clergy, 
in spite of their claim that their property was dedicated to God 
and owed the king nothing. The extensive enterprises of 
Edward I (see above, pp. 422 ff.) led him in 1296 to demand 
one fifth of the personal property of the clergy. Philip the Fair 
exacted one hundredth and then one fiftieth of the possessions 
of clergy and laity alike. 

The Medieval Church at its Height 491 

Against this impartial system Boniface protested in the famous The bull, 
bull, Clericis laicos (1296). He claimed that the laity had always of Bonifaee''*' 
been exceedingly hostile to the clergy, and that the rulers were ^'^^^' ^^^6 
now exhibiting this hostility by imposing heavy burdens upon 
the Church, forgetting that they had no control over the clergy 
and their possessions. The Pope, therefore, forbade all church- 
men, including the monks, to pay, without his consent, to a king 
or ruler any part of the Church's revenue or possessions upon 
any pretext whatsoever. He likewise forbade the kings and 
princes under pain of excommunication to presume to exact 
any such payments. 

It happened that just as the Pope was prohibiting the clergy Boniface 
from contributing to the taxes, Philip the Fair had forbidden Hj^ited right 
the exportation of all gold and silver from the country. In that ^^^^^^^j^^j^ 
way he cut off an important source of the Pope's revenue, for 
the Church of France could obviously no longer send anything 
to Rome. The Pope was forced to give up his extreme claims. 
He explained the following year that he had not meant to inter- 
fere with the payment on the clergy's part of customary feudal 
dues nor with their loans of money to the king.^ 

In spite of this setback, the Pope never seemed more com- The jubilee 
pletely the recognized head of the western world than during 
the first great jubilee, in the year 1300, when Boniface called 
together all Christendom to celebrate the opening of the new 
century by a great religious festival at Rome. It is reported 
that two millions of people, coming from all parts of Europe, 
visited the churches of Rome, and that in spite of widening the 
streets, many were crushed in the crowd. So great was the 
influx of money into the papal treasury that two assistants were 
kept busy with rakes collecting the offerings which were deposited 
at the tomb of St. Peter. 

Boniface was, however, very soon to realize that even if 
Christendom regarded Rome as its religious center, the na- 
tions would not accept him as their political head. When he 

1 See Readings^ chap. xxi. 


Outlines of European History 

dispatched an obnoxious prelate to Philip the Fair, ordering him 
to free a certain nobleman whom he was holding prisoner, the 
king declared the harsh language of the papal envoy to be high 
treason and sent one of his lawyers to the Pope to demand 
that the messenger be punished. 

Philip was surrounded by a body of lawyers, and it would 
seem that they, rather than the king, were the real rulers of 
France. They had, through their study of Roman law, learned 
to admire the absolute power exercised by the Roman Emperor. 
To them the civil government was supreme, and they urged 
the king to punish what they regarded as the insolent conduct 
of the Pope. Before taking any action against the head of the 
Church, Philip called together the Estates General, including not 
only the clergy and the nobility but the people of the towns as 
well. The Estates General, after hearing a statement of the case 
from one of Philip's lawyers, agreed to support their monarch. 

Nogaret, one of the chief legal advisers of the king, undertook 
to face the Pope. He collected a little troop of soldiers in Italy 
and marched against Boniface, who was sojourning at Anagni, 
where his predecessors had excommunicated two emperors, 
Frederick Barbarossa and Frederick II. As Boniface, in his 
turn, was preparing solemnly to proclaim the king of France 
an outcast from the Church, Nogaret penetrated into the papal 
palace with his soldiers and heaped insults upon the helpless 
but defiant old man. The townspeople forced Nogaret to leave 
the next day, but Boniface's spirit was broken and he soon died 
at Rome. 

King Philip now proposed to have no more trouble with 
popes. He arranged in 1305 to have the Archbishop of Bor- 
deaux chosen head of the Church, with the understanding 
that he should transfer the papacy to France. The new Pope 
accordingly summoned the cardinals to meet him at Lyons, 
where he was crowned under the title of " Clement V." He 
remained in France during his whole pontificate, moving from 
one rich abbey to another. 

The Medieval Church at its Height 493 

At Philip's command he reluctantly undertook a sort of trial 
of the deceased Boniface VIII, who was accused by the king's 
lawyers of all sorts of abominable crimes. Then, to please the 
king, Clement brought the Templars to trial ; ^ the order was 
abolished, and its possessions in France, for which the king 
had longed, were confiscated. Obviously it proved very advanta- 
geous to the king to have a Pope within his realm. Clement V 
died in 13 14. 

His successors took up their residence in the town of The popes 
Avignon, just outside the French frontier of those days. There residence at 
they built a sumptuous palace in which successive popes lived Avignon 
in great splendor for sixty years. 

The prolonged exile of the popes from Rome, lasting from The Babylo- 
1305 to 1377, is commonly called the Babylonian Captivity^ of ity of the 
the Church, on account of the woes attributed to it. The popes Church 
of this period were for the most part good and earnest men ; 
but they were all Frenchmen, and the proximity of their court to 
France led to the natural suspicion that they were controlled 
by the PYench kings. This, together with their luxurious court, 
brought them into discredit with the other nations.^ 

At Avignon the popes were naturally deprived of some of the The papal 
revenue which they had enjoyed from their Italian possessions 
when they lived at Rome. This deficiency had to be made up 
by increased taxation, especially as the expenses of the splendid 
papal court were very heavy. The papacy was, consequently, 
rendered unpopular by the methods employed to raise money. 

The papal exactions met with the greatest opposition in statute of 
England because the popes were thought to favor France, with ^J^g^^^'^^' 
which country the English were at war. A law was passed by 
Parliament in 1352, ordering that all who procured a church 
oflhce from the Pope should be outlawed, since they were ene- 
mies of the king and his realm. This and similar laws failed, 

1 See above, p. 469. 

2 The name recalled, of course, the long exile of the Jews from their land, 
8 See Readings^ chap, xxi. 


Otttlines of European History 

however, to prevent the Pope from filling English benefices. 
The English king was unable to keep the money of his realm 



u»J^wwaatei» to ]^wit« tfttffc 

ti^e^iaj to pc ftc s«pfit t^ei tWRi i 

atiooittii|rf tabo^ bcgcn'm 

Fig. 177. Page FROM Wycliffe's Translation of the Bible 

This is the upper half of the first page of the Gospel according to Mark 
and contains verses 1-7 and 15-23. The scribe of the time made i, y, 
and ik in something the same way. The page begins : " The bigyn- 
ninge of the gospel of ihusu crist, the sone of god. As it is writen in 
isaie, the prophete, Loo, I send myn aungel bifore thi face, that schal 
make thi weie redi bifore thee. The voice of one crying in deseert, 
make thee redi the weie of the lord," make thee his pathis ryghtful. 
Joon was in deseert baptizinge and prechinge the baptism of penaunce 
in to remissioun of sinnes." While the spelling is somewhat different 
from ours it is clear that the language used by Wycliffe closely resembled 
that used in the familiar authorized version of the New Testament, made 
two centuries and a half later 

from flowing to Avignon, and at the meeting of the English 
Parliament held in 1376 a report was made to the effect that 
the taxes levied by the Pope in England were five times those 
raised by the king. 

The Medieval Church at its Height 495 

The most famous and conspicuous critic of the Pope at this John 
time was John VVycliffe, a teacher at Oxford. He was born ^^' ^ 
about 1320, but we know little of him before 1366, when 
Urban V demanded that England should pay the tribute prom- 
ised by King John when he became the Pope's vassal.^ Parlia- 
ment declared that John had no right to bind the people 
without their consent, and Wycliffe began his career of oppo- 
sition to the papacy by trying to prove that John s agreement 
was void. About ten years later we find the Pope issuing bulls 
against the teachings of Wycliffe, who had begun to assert that 
the State might appropriate the property of the Church, if it 
was misused, and that the Pope had no authority except as he . 
acted according to the Gospels. Soon Wycliffe went further 
and boldly attacked the papacy itself, as well as many of the 
Church institutions. 

Wycliffe's anxiety to teach the people led him to have the Wycliffe the 
Bible translated into English. He also prepared a great num- EnglLh 
ber of sermons and tracts in English. He is the father of P™^^ 
English prose,^ for we have little in English before his time, 
except poetry. 

Wycliffe and his " simple priests " were charged with encour- influence of 
aging the discontent and disorder which culminated in the teaching^ 
Peasants' Rebellion.^ Whether this charge was true or not, it 
caused many of his followers to fall away from him. But in spite 
of this and the denunciations of the Church, Wycliffe was not 
seriously interfered with and died peaceably in 1384. Wycliffe 
is remarkable as being the first distinguished scholar and re- 
former to repudiate the headship of <"he Pope and those prac- 
tices of the Church of Rome which a hundred and fitty years 
after his death v^ere attacked by Luther in his successful re- 
volt against the Medieval Church. This will be discussed in a 
later chapter. 

1 See above, p. 418. 2 Yox extracts, see Readings^ chap, xxi. 

3 See above, p. 430. 

49^ Outlines of European Histor)> 


Section 83. In what ways did the Medieval Church differ from 
the modern churches with which we are familiar? In what ways did 
the Medieval Church resemble a State ? What were the powers of the 
Pope ? What were the duties of a bishop in the Middle Ages ? Why 
was the clergy the most powerful class in the Middle Ages ? 

Section 84. What were the views of the Waldensians ? of the 
Albigensians ? What was the Inquisition ? 

Section 85. Narrate briefly the life of St. Francis. Did the 
Franciscan order continue to follow the wishes of its founder? 
Contrast the Dominicans with the Franciscans. 

Section %6. What were the chief subjects of disagreement 
between the Church and the State ? Describe the conflict between 
Boniface VIII and PhiHp the- Fair. How did the Babylonian 
Captivity come about? What were some of the results of the 
sojourn of the popes at Avignon ? What were the views of John 
Wycliffe ? 



Section 87. The Towns and Guilds 

In discussing the Middle Ages we have hitherto dealt mainly 
with kings and emperors, and with the popes and the Church 
of which they were the chief rulers ; we have also described the 
monks and monasteries, the warlike feudal lords and their castles, 
and the hard-working serfs who farmed the manors ; but nothing 
has been said about the people who lived in the towns. 

Towns have, however, always been the chief centers of Towns the 
progress and enlightenment, for the simple reason that people of progresY^ 
must live close together in large numbers before they can 
develop business on a large scale, carry on trade with foreign 
countries, establish good schools and universities, erect noble 
public buildings, support libraries and museums and art galleries. 
One does not find these in the country, for the people outside 
the towns are too scattered and usually too poor to have the 
things that are common enough in large cities. 

One of the chief peculiarities of the early Middle Ages, from 
the break-up of the Roman Empire to the time of William the 
Conqueror, was the absence of large and flourishing towns in 
western Europe, and this fact alone would serve to explain why 
there was so little progress. 

» 497 


Outlines of European History 

tance of 
town life in 
the early- 
Middle Ages 

ance of 
towns in the 

Origin of the 

of a medi- 
eval town 

The Roman towns were decreasing in population before the 
German inroads. The confusion which followed the invasions 
hastened their decline, and a great number of them disappeared 
altogether. Those which survived and such new towns as sprang 
up were, to judge from the chronicles, of very little importance 
during the early Middle Ages. We may assume, therefore, that 
during the long period from Theodoric to Frederick Barbarossa 
by far the greater part of the population of England, Germany, 
and northern and central France were living in the country, 
on the great estates belonging to the feudal lords, abbots, 
and bishops.-^ 

It is hardly necessary to point out that the gradual reappear- 
ance of town life in western Europe is of the greatest interest to 
the student of history. The cities had been the centers of Greek 
and Roman civilization, and in our own time they dominate the 
life, culture, and business enterprise of the world. Were they 
to disappear, our whole life, even in the country, would neces- 
sarily undergo a profound change and tend to become primitive 
again, like that of the age of Charlemagne. 

A great part of the medieval towns, of which we begin to 
have some scanty records about the year looo, appear to have 
originated on the manors of feudal lords or about a monastery 
or castle. The French name for town, ville, is derived from 
" vill," the name of the manor, and we use this old Roman word 
when w^e call a town Jacksonz^z//^ or Harris27/7/<?. The need of 
protection was probably the usual reason for establishing a town 
with walls about it, so that the townspeople and the neighbor- 
ing country people might find safety within it when attacked by 
neighboring feudal lords (Fig. 178). 

The way in which a medieval town was built seems to justify 
this conclusion. It was generally crowded and compact com- 
pared with its more luxurious Roman predecessors. Aside from 
the market place there were few or no open spaces. There 

1 In Italy and southern France town life was doubtless more general than in 
northern Europe. 

Medieval Towns — their Business and Btdldings 499 

were no amphitheaters or public baths as in the Roman cities. 
The streets were often mere alleys over which the jutting stories 
of the high houses almost met. The high, thick wall that sur- 
rounded it prevented its extending easily and rapidly as our 
cities do nowadays (see headpiece and Figs. 179, 208). 

Fig. 178. A Castle with a Village below it 

A village was pretty sure to grow up near the castle of a powerful lord 
and might gradually become a large town 

All towns outside of Italy were small in the eleventh and Townsmen 
twelfth centuries, and, like the manors on which they had serfr^ ^ 
grown up, they had little commerce as yet with the outside 
world. They produced almost all that- their inhabitants needed 
except the farm products which came from the neighboring 
country. There was likely to be little expansion as long as the 


Outlines of E2 trope an History 

town remained under the absolute control of the lord or monas- 
tery upon whose land it was situated. The townspeople were 
scarcely more than serfs, in spite of the fact that they lived 
within a wall and were traders and artisans instead of farmers. 
They had to pay irritating dues to their lord, just as if they still 
formed a farming community. 

With the increase of trade (see following section) came the 
longing for greater freedom. For when new and attractive com- 
modities began to be brought from the East and the South, the 
people of the towns were encouraged to make things which 
they could exchange at some neighboring fair for the products 
of distant lands. But no sooner did the townsmen begin to en- 
gage in manufacturing and to enter into relations with the out- 
side world than they became conscious that they were subject to 
exactions and restrictions which rendered progress impossible. 

Consequently, during the twelfth century there were many 
insurrections of the towns against their lords and a general 
demand that the lords should grant the townsmen charters 
in which the rights of both parties should be definitely stated. 
These charters were written contracts between the lord and the 
town government, which served at once as the certificate of birth 
of the town and as its constitution. The old dues and services 
which the townspeople owed as serfs (see above, section 65) 
were either abolished or changed into money payments. 

As a visible sign of their freedom, many of the towns had a 
belfry, a high building with a watchtower, where a guard was 
kept day and night in order that the bell might be rung in case 
of approaching danger.^ It contained an assembly hall, where 
those who governed the town held their meetings, and a prison. 
In the fourteenth century the wonderful town halls began to be 
erected, which, with the exception of the cathedrals and other 
churches, are usually the most remarkable buildings which the 
traveler sees to-day in the old commercial cities of Europe. 

1 At the beginning of this chapter there is a picture of the town of Siegen 
in Germany, as it formerly looked, with its walls and towers. 

Fig. 179. Street in Quimper, France 

None of the streets in even the oldest European towns look just as 
they did in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, but here and there, 
as in this town of Brittany, one can still get some idea of the narrow, 
cramped streets and overhanging houses and the beautiful cathedral 
crowded in among them 


502 Outlines of European History 

Craft guilds The tradesmen in the medieval towns were at once manu- 

facturers and merchants ; that is, they made, as well as offered 
for sale, the articles which they kept in their shops. Those who 
belonged to a particular trade — the bakers, the butchers, the 
sword makers, the armorers, etc. — formed unions or guilds to 
protect their special interests. The oldest statutes of a guild 
in Paris are those of the candle makers, which go back to 1061. 
The number of trades differed greatly in different towns, but 
the guilds all had the same object — to prevent any one 
from practicing a trade who had not been duly admitted to 
the union. 

The guild A young man had to spend several years in learning his trade. 

During this time he lived in the house of a " master workman " as 
an " apprentice," but received no remuneration. He then became 
a " journeyman " and 'Could earn wages, although he was still 
allowed to work only for master workmen and not directly for 
the public. A simple trade might be learned in three years, but 
to become a goldsmith one must be an apprentice for ten years. 
The number of apprentices that a master workman might employ 
was strictly limited, in order that the journeymen might not be- 
come too numerous. 

The way in which each trade was to be practiced was care- 
fully regulated, as well as the time that should be spent in work 
each day. The system of guilds discouraged enterprise but main- 
tained uniform standards everywhere. Had it not been for 
these unions, the defenseless, isolated workmen, serfs as they 
had formerly been, would have found it impossible to secure 
freedom and municipal independence from the feudal lords 
who had formerly been their masters. 

Section 88. Business in the Later Middle Ages 

The chief reason for the growth of the towns and their in- 
creasing prosperity was a great development of trade throughout 
western Europe. Commerce had pretty much disappeared with 

Medieval Towns — their Business and Buildings 503 

the decline of the Roman roads and the general disorganization Practical dis- 
produced by the barbarian invasions. In the early Middle Ages of Commerce 
there was no one to mend the ancient Roman roads. The great ^jj^^ig ^^^g 
network of highways from Persia to Britain fell apart when inde- 
pendent nobles or poor local communities took the place of a 
world empire. All trade languished, for there was little demand 
for those articles of luxury which the Roman communities in the 
North had been accustomed to obtain from the South, and there 
was but little money to buy what we should consider the com- 
forts of life ; even the nobility lived uncomfortably enough in 
their dreary and rudely furnished castles. 

In Italy, however, trade does not seem to have altogether Italian cities 
ceased. Venice, Genoa, Amalfi, and other towns appear to have the Orient 
developed a considerable Mediterranean commerce even before 
the Crusades (see map above, p. 454). Their merchants, as we 
have seen, supplied the destitute crusaders with the material 
necessary for the conquest of Jerusalem (see above, p. 466). 
The passion for pilgrimages offered inducements to the Italian 
merchants for expeditions to the Orient, whither they transported 
the pilgrims and returned with the products of the East. The 
Italian cities established trading stations in the East and carried 
on a direct traffic with the caravans which brought to the shores 
of the Mediterranean the products of Arabia, Persia, India, and 
the Spice Islands. The southern French towns and Barcelona 
entered also into commercial relations with the Mohammedans 
in northern Africa. 

This progress in the South could not but stir the lethargy of Commerce 

, - _, _-^, , . . stimulates 

the rest of Europe. When commerce began to revive, it encour- industry 
aged a revolution in industry. So long as the manor system 
prevailed and each man was occupied in producing only what 
he and the other people on the estate needed, there was nothing 
to send abroad and nothing to exchange for luxuries. But when 
merchants began to come with tempting articles, the members of 
a community were encouraged to produce a surplus of goods 
above what they themselves needed, and to sell or exchange this 


Outlines of European History 

surplus for commodities coming from a distance. Merchants and 
artisans gradually directed their energies toward the production 
of what others wished as well as what was needed by the little 
group to which they belonged. 

The romances of the twelfth century indicate that the West 
was astonished and delighted by the luxuries of the East — the 
rich fabrics, oriental carpets, precious stones, perfumes, drugs, 
silks, and porcelains from China, spices from India, and cotton 
from Egypt. Venice introduced the silk industry from the East 
and the manufacture of those glass articles which the traveler 
may still buy in the Venetian shops. The West learned how 
to make silk and velvet as well as light and gauzy cotton and 
linen fabrics. The Eastern dyes were introduced, and Paris was 
soon imitating the tapestries of the Saracens. In exchange for 
those luxuries which they were unable to produce, the Flemish 
towns sent their woolen cloths to the East, and Italy its wines. 

The Northern merchants dealt mainly with Venice and brought 
their wares across the Brenner Pass and down the Rhine, or 
sent them by sea to be exchanged in Flanders (see map). By 
the thirteenth century important centers of trade had come 
into being, some of which are still among the great commercial 
towns of the world. Hamburg, Liibeck, and Bremen carried on 
active trade with the countries on the Baltic and with England. 
Augsburg and Nuremberg, in the south of Germany, became im- 
portant on account of their situation on the line of trade between 
Italy and the North. Bruges and Ghent sent their manufactures 
everywhere. English commerce was relatively unimportant as 
yet compared with that of the great ports of the Mediterranean. 

It was very difficult indeed to carry on business on a large 
scale in the Middle Ages, for various reasons. In the first place, 
as has been said, there was little money, and money is essential 
to buying and selling, unless people confine themselves merely 
to exchanging one article for another. There were few gold and 
silver mines in western Europe and consequently the kings and 
feudal lords could not supply enough coin. Moreover, the coins 


of the 13th and 14th Centuries 

Land Routes 



100 200 300 



Longitude East 




I, A^ I - 




<S 1^ 





from Greenwich 

Medieval Toivns — their Business and Buildings 505 

were crude, with such rough, irregular edges (Fig. 180) that "Clipping" 
many people yielded to the temptation to pare off a little of the 
precious metal before they passed the money on. " Clipping," 
as this was called, was harshly punished, but that did not stop 
the practice, which continued for hundreds of years. Nowadays 
our coins are 
perfectly round 
and often have 
"milled" edges, 
so that no one 
would think of 
trying to appro- 
priate bits of 
them as they 
pass through 
his hands. 

It was univer- 
sally believed 
that everything 
had a " just " 
price, which was 
merely enough 
to cover the 
cost of the ma- 
terials used in 
its manufacture 

and to remunerate the maker for the work he had put into it. 
It was considered outrageous to ask more than the just price, no 
matter how anxious the purchaser might be to obtain the article. 

Every manufacturer was required to keep a shop in which he Difficulties 
offered at retail all that he made. Those who lived near a town wholesal? ° 
were permitted to sell their products in the market place within ^^^^^ 
the walls on condition that they sold directly to the consumers. 
They might not dispose of their whole stock to one dealer, for 
fear that if he had all there was of a commodity he might raise 

Medieval Coins 

The two upper coins reproduce the face and back of 
a silver penny of William the Conqueror's reign, and 
below is a silver groat of Edward III. The same ir- 
regularities in outline will be noted in the ancient 
coins represented in Fig. 77 


Outlines of European History 

Payment of 
interest on 

The Jews as 



the price above the just one. These ideas made wholesale trade 
very difficult. 

Akin to these prejudices against wholesale business was that 
against interest. Money was believed to be a dead and sterile 
thing, and no one had a right to demand any return for lending 
it. Interest was considered wicked, since it was exacted by those 
who took advantage of the embarrassments of others. " Usury," 
as the taking of even the most moderate and reasonable rate 
of interest was then called, was strenuously forbidden by the 
laws of the Church. We find church councils ordering that im- 
penitent usurers should be refused Christian burial and have 
their wills annulled. So money lending, which is necessary to all 
great commercial and industrial undertakings, was left to the 
Jews, from whom Christian conduct was not expected. 

This ill-starred people played a most important part in the 
economic development of Europe, but they were terribly mal- 
treated by the Christians, who held them guilty of the supreme 
crime of putting Christ to death. The active persecution of the 
Jews did not, however, become common before the thirteenth 
century, when they first began to be required to wear a peculiar 
cap, or badge, which made them easily recognized and exposed 
them to constant insult. Later they were sometimes shut up 
in a particular quarter of the city, called the Jewry. As they 
were excluded from the guilds, they not unnaturally turned 
to the business of money lending, which no Christian might 
practice. Undoubtedly this occupation had much to do in 
causing their unpopularity. The kings permitted them to make 
loans, often at a most exorbitant rate ; Philip Augustus allowed 
them to exact forty-six per cent, but reserved the right to extort 
their gains from them when the royal treasury was empty. In 
England the usual rate was a penny a pound for each week. 

In the thirteenth centuiy the Italians — Lombards, as the 
English called them ^ — began to go into a sort of banking 

1 There is a Lombard Street in the center of old London where one still finds 

Medieval Towns — their Business and Buildings 507 

business and greatly extended the employment of bills of ex- 
change. They lent for nothing, but exacted damages for all de- 
lay in repayment. This appeared reasonable and right even 
to those who condemned ordinary interest. 

Another serious disadvantage which the medieval merchant Tolls, duties, 
had to face was the payment of an infinite number of tolls and annoyances 
duties which were demanded by the lords through whose domains *° ^^J^^ 

•' ° merchants 

his road passed. Not only were duties exacted on the highways, were sub- 
bridges, and at the fords, but those barons who were so fortunate land 
as to have castles on a navigable river blocked the stream in such 
a way that the merchant could not bring his vessel through 
without a payment for the privilege. 

The charges were usually small, but the way in which they 
were collected and the repeated delays must have been a serious 
source of irritation and loss to the merchants. For example, a 
certain monastery lying between Paris and the sea required that 
those hastening to town with fresh fish should stop and let the 
monks pick out what they thought worth three pence, with little 
regard to the condition in which they left the goods. When a 
boat laden with wine passed up the Seine to Paris, the agent 
of the lord of Poissy could have three casks broached, and, 
after trying them all, he couW take a measure from the one 
he liked best. At the markets all sorts of dues had to be paid, 
such, for example, as fees for using the lord's scales or his 
measuring rod. Besides this, the great variety of coinage 
which existed in feudal Europe caused infinite perplexity and 

Commerce by sea had its own particular trials, by no means Dangers 
confined to the hazards of wind and wave, rock and shoal. ^ ^^^ 
Pirates were numerous in the North Sea. They were often Pirates 
organized and sometimes led by men of high rank, who appear 
to have regarded the business as no disgrace. The coasts were 
dangerous and lighthouses and beacons were few. Moreover, 
natural dangers were increased by false signals which wreckers 
used to lure ships to shore in order to plunder them. 


Outlines of European Histor)' 

With a view to mitigating these manifold perils, the towns 
early began to form unions for mutual defense. The most 
famous of these was that of the German cities, called the 
Hanseatic League. Liibeck was always the leader, but among 
the seventy towns which at one time and another were included 
in the confederation, we find Colbgne, Brunswick, Danzig, and 
other centers of great importance. The union purchased and 
controlled settlements in London, — the so-called Steelyard near 
London Bridge, — at Wisby, Bergen, and the far-off Novgorod 
in Russia. They managed to monopolize nearly the whole trade 
on the Baltic and North Sea, either through treaties or the 
influence that they were able to bring to bear.^ 

The League made war on the pirates and did much to reduce 
the dangers of traffic. Instead of dispatching separate and 
defenseless merchantmen, their ships sailed out in fleets under 
the protection of a man-of-war. On one occasion the League 
undertook a successful war against the king of Denmark, who 
had interfered with their interests. At another time it declared 
war on England and brought her to terms. For two hundred 
years before the discovery of America, the League played a 
great part in the commercial affairs of western Europe ; but it 
had begun to decline even befor«e the discovery of new routes 
to the East and West Indies revolutionized trade. 

It should be observed that, during the thirteenth, fourteenth, 
and fifteenth centuries, trade was not carried on between ?iations, 
but by the various towns, like Venice, Liibeck, Ghent, Bruges, 
Cologne. A merchant did not act or trade as an independent 
individual but as a member of a particular merchant guild, and 
he enjoyed the protection of his town and of the treaties it 
arranged. If a merchant from a certain town failed to pay a 
debt, a fellow-townsman might be seized if found in the town 
where the debt was due. At the period of which we have been 
speaking, an inhabitant of London was considered as much of 
a foreigner in Bristol as was the merchant from Cologne or 

1 The ships of the Hanseatic League were very small (see below, Fig. 233). 

come an in- 

Medieval Towns — their Business ajid Buildings 509 

Antwerp. Only gradually did the towns merge into the nations 
to which their people belonged. 

The increasing wealth of the merchants could not fail to raise The business 
them to a position of importance which earlier tradesmen had [^wns^be-^ 
not enjoyed. They began to build fine houses and to buy the 
various comforts and luxuries which were fijiding their way into class 
western Europe. They wanted their sons to be educated, and 
so it came about that other people besides clergymen began to 
learn how to read and write. As early as the fourteenth century- 
many of the books appear to have been written with a view of 
meeting the tastes and needs of the business class. 

Representatives of the towns were summoned to the councils 
of the kings — into the English Parliament and the French 
Estates General about the year 1300, for the monarch was 
obliged to ask their advice when he demanded their money to 
carry on his government and his wars (see above, p. 422). The 
rise of the business class alongside of the older orders of the 
clergy and nobility is one of the most momentous changes of 
the thirteenth century. 

Section 89. Gothic Architecture 

Almost all the medieval buildings have disappeared in the Disappear- 
ancient towns of Europe. The stone town walls, no longer ade- me^dieval 
quate in our times, have been removed, and their place taken buildings 
by broad and handsome avenues. The old houses have been 
torn down in order to widen and straighten the streets and . 
permit the construction of modern dwellings. Here and there 
one can still find a walled town, but they are few in number 
and are merely curiosities (see Fig. 208). 

Of the buildings erected in towns during the Middle Ages The churches 
only the churches remain, but these fill the beholder with wonder survived^ 
and admiration. It seems impossible that the cities of the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, which were neither very large 
nor very rich, could possibly find money enough to pay for 


Outlines of European History 

them. It has been estimated that the bishop's church at Paris 
(Notre Dame) would cost at least five millions of dollars to re- 
produce, and there are a number of other cathedrals in France, 
England, Italy, Spain, and Germany which must have been 
almost as costly. No modern buildings equal them in beauty 

Fig. i8i. Romanesque Church of ChItel-Montagne in the 
Department of Allier, France 

This is a pure Romanesque building with no alterations in a later style^ 
such as are common. Heavy as the walls are, they are reenforced by 
buttresses along the side. All the arches are round, none of them pointed 

and grandeur, and they are the most striking memorial of the 
religious spirit and the tov/n pride of the Middle Ages. 

The construction of a cathedral sometimes extended over two 
or three centuries, and much of the money for it must have 
been gathered penny by penny. It should be remembered that 
every one belonged in those days to s the one great Catholic 
Church, so that the building of a new church was a matter of 

Medieval Toivns — their Business and Bjdldings 5 ^ i 

esque style 

interest to the whole community — to men of every rank, from 
the bishop himself to the workman and the peasant. 

Up to the twelfth century churches were built in what is The Roman- 
called the Romanesque^ or Roman-like, style because they re- 
sembled the solid old basilicas referred to in earlier chapters 
(see pp. 47 and 337 above). These Romanesque churches had 
stone ceilings (see Figs. 
161, 163, 181), and it was 
necessary to make the 
walls very thick and solid 
to support them. There 
was a main aisle in the 
center, called the nave, 
and a narrower aisle on 
either side, separated 
from the nave by massive 
stone pillars, which helped 
hold up the heavy ceiling. 
These pillars were con- 
nected by round arches 
of stone above them. The 
tops of the windows were 
round, and the ceiling 
was constructed of round 
vaults, somewhat like a 
stone bridge, so the round 
arches form one of the 

striking features of the Romanesque style which distinguishes 
it from the Gothic style, that followed it. The windows had to 
be small in order that the walls should not be weakened, so the 
Romanesque churches- are rather dark inside. 

The architects of France were not satisfied, however, with 
this method of building, and in the twelfth century they invented 
a new and wonderful way of constructing churches and other 
buildings which enabled them to do away with the heavy walls 

Fig. 182. Figures on Notre 
Dame, Paris 

Such grotesque figures as these are very 
common adornments of Gothic build- 
ings. They are often used for spouts to 
carry off the rain and are called gar- 
goyles, that is, " throats " (compare our 
words "gargle" and "gurgle"). The 
two here represented are perched on a 
parapet of one of the church's towers 

The Gothic 


Outlines of Europe an Histor)> 

Fig. 183. Cross Section of Amiens 

It will be noticed that there is a row of 
rather low windows opening under the 
roof of the aisle. These constitute the so- 
called triforium {£). Above them is the 
clerestory {F), the windows of which open 
between the flying buttresses. So it came 
about that the walls of a Gothic church 
were in fact mainly windows. The Egyp- 
tians were the first to invent the clerestory 
(see p. 48 and Fig. 28) 

and put high, wide, 
graceful windows in 
their place. This new 
style of architecture is 
known as the Gothic} 
and its underlying prin- 
ciples can readily be 
understood from a 
little study of the ac- 
companying diagram 
(Fig. 183), which shows 
how a Gothic cathedral 
is supported, not by 
heavy walls, but by 

The architects dis- 
covered in the first 
place that the concave 
stone ceiling, which is 
known as the vaulting 
(A), could be supported 
by rids (B). These 
could in turn be brought 
together and supported 
on top of pillars which 

1 The inappropriate name 
" Gothic " was given to the 
beautiful churches of the 
North by Italian architects 
of the sixteenth century, who 
did not like them and pre- 
ferred to build in the style 
©f the ancient Romans. The 
Italians with their •' classical " 
tastes assumed that only 
German barbarians — whom 
they carelessly called Goths 
— could admire a Gothic 

Fig. 184. Facade of the Cathedral at Rheims 
(Thirteenth Century) 

Fig. 185. Rose Window of Rheims Cathedral, nearly 
Forty Feet in Diameter, from the Inside 

Fig. 1 86. Interior of Exeter Cathedral (Early 
Fourteenth Century) 

Fig. 187. North Porch of Chartres Cathedral 
(Fourteenth Century) 

Medieval Toiviis 

their Business and Buildings 513 


rested on the floor of the church. So far so good ! But the 
builders knew well enough that the pillars and ribs would be 
pushed over by the weight and outward " thrust " of the stone 
vaulting if they were not firmly supported from the outside. 
Instead of erecting 
heavy walls to insure 
this support they 
had recourse to but- 
tresses (D), which 
they built quite out- 
side the walls of the 
church, and con- 
nected them by 
means of " flying " 
buttresses (C) with 
the points where the 
pillars and ribs had 
the most tendency 
to push outward. In 
this way a vaidted 
stone ceiling cotild 
he supported without 
the use of a massive 
wall. This ingen- 
ious use of but- 
tresses instead of 
walls is the funda- 
mental principle of 
Gothic architecture, 

and it was discovered for the first time by the architects in 
the medieval towns. 

The wall, no longer essential for supporting the ceiling, was The pointed 
used only to inclose the building, and windows could be built as 
high and wide as pleased the architect. By the use of pointed 
instead of round arches it was possible to give great variety to 

Fig. li 

Flying Buttresses of Notre 
Dame, Paris 

The size of the buttresses and the height of 

the clerestory windows of a great cathedral 

are well shown here 



Oittlines of European History 

the windows and vaulting. So pointed arches came into general 
use, and the Gothic is often called the " pointed " style on this 
account, although the use of the ribs and buttresses is the chief 
peculiarity of that form of architecture, not the pointed arch. 

The light from the huge windows (those at Beauvais are 
fifty to fifty-five feet high) would have been too intense had it 
not been softened by the stained glass, set in exquisite stone 

Fig. 189. Grotesque Heads, Rheims Cathedral 

Here and there about a Gothic cathedral the stone carvers were accus- 
tomed to place grotesque and comical figures and faces. During the 
process of restoring the cathedral at Rheims a number of these heads 
were brought together, and the photograph was taken upon which the 
illustration is based 

tracery, with which they were filled (Fig. 185). The stained 
glass of the medieval cathedral, especially in France, where the 
glass workers brought their art to the greatest perfection, was 
one of its chief glories. By far the greater part of this old glass 
has of course been destroyed, but it is still so highly prized that 
every bit of it is now carefully preserved, for it has never since 
been equaled. A window set with odd bits of it pieced together 
like crazy patchwork is more beautiful, in its rich and jewel-like 
coloring, than the finest modern work. 

Medieval Towns — their Business and Buildings 5 1 5 

As the skill of the architects increased they became bolder Gothic 
and bolder and erected churches that were marvels of lightness ^^" ^^^^^ 
and delicacy of ornament, without sacrificing dignity or beauty 
of proportion. The facade of Rheims cathedral (Fig. 184) is 
one of the most famous examples of the 
best work of the thirteenth century, with 
its multitudes of sculptured figures and 
its gigantic rose window (Fig. 185), filled 
with exquisite stained glass of great bril- 
liancy. The interior of Exeter cathedral 
(Fig. 186), although by no means so 
spacious as a number of the French 
churches, affords an excellent example 
of the beauty and impressiveness of a 
Gothic interior. The porch before the 
north entrance of Chartres cathedral 
(Fig. 187) is a magnificent example of 
fourteenth-century work. 

One of the charms of a Gothic build- 
ing is the profusion of carving — statues 
of saints and rulers and scenes from the 
Bible, cut in stone. The same kind of 
stone was used for both constructing the 
building and making the statues, so they 
harmonize perfectly. A fine example of 
medieval carving is to be seen in Fig. 190. 
Here and there the Gothic stone carvers 
would introduce amusing faces or comical 
animals (see Figs. 182, 189). 

In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries Gothic 
other than churches were built. The most striking and impor- 
tant of these were the guild halls, erected by the rich corpora- 
tions of merchants, and the town halls of important cities. But 
the Gothic style has always seemed specially appropriate for 
churches. Its lofty aisles and open floor spaces, its soaring 

Fig. 190. Eve and 

THE Serpent, 



Gothic used 
mainly in 


Outlines of Europe a7t History 

arches leading the eye toward heaven, and its glowing windows 
suggesting the glories of paradise, may well have fostered the 
faith of the medieval Christian. 

Map of 
Italy in the 

Venice and 
its relations 
with the 

Section 90. The Italian Cities of the Renaissance 

We have been speaking so far of the town life in northern 
Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. We must now 
see how the Italian towns in the following two centuries reached 
a degree of prosperity and refinement undreamed of north of 
the Alps. Within their walls learning and art made such ex- 
traordinary progress that a special name is often given to the 
period when they flourished — the Renaissance,^ or new birth. 
The Italian towns, like those of ancient Greece, were each a 
little state with its own peculiar life and institutions. Some of 
them, like Rome, Milan, and Pisa, had been important in Roman 
times ; others, like A^enice, Florence, and Genoa, did not become 
conspicuous until about the time of the Crusades. 

The map of Italy at the beginning of the fourteenth century 
was still divided into three zones, as it had been in the time of 
the Hohenstaufens.^ To the south lay the kingdom of Naples. 
Then came the states of the Church, extending diagonally across 
the peninsula. To the north and west lay the group of city- 
states to which we now turn our attention. 

Of these none was more celebrated than Venice, which in the 
history of Europe ranks in importance with Paris and London. 
This singular town was built upon a group of sandy islets lying 
in the Adriatic Sea, about two miles from the mainland. It was 
protected from the waves by a long, narrow sand bar similar to 
those which fringe the Atlantic coast from New Jersey south- 
ward. Such a situation would not ordinarily have been delib- 
erately chosen as the site of a great city ; but it was a good 

1 This word, although originally French, has come into such common use 
that it is quite permissible to pronounce it as if it were English, — re-na'sens, 

2 See map above, p. 454. 

Medieval Towns — theii" Business and Buildings 5 1 7 

place for fishermen, and its very desolation and inaccessibility 
recommended it to those settlers who fled from their homes on the 
mainland during the barbarian invasions. As time went on, the 
location proved to have its advantages commercially, and even 
before the Crusades Venice had begun to engage in foreign 

Fig. 191. A Scene in Venice 

Boats, called gondolas, take the place of carriages in Venice ; one can 
reach any point in the city by some one of the numerous canals, which 
take the place of streets. There are also narrow lanes along the canals, 
crossing them here and there by bridges, so one can wander about 
the town on foot 

trade. Its enterprises carried it eastward, and it early acquired 
possessions across the Adriatic and in the Orient. The influ- 
ence of this intercourse with the East is plainly shown in the 
celebrated church of St. Mark, whose domes and decorations 
suggest Constantinople rather than Italy (Fig. 192). 

It was not until early in the. fifteenth century that Venice 
found it to her interest to extend her sway upon the Italian 


Outlines of Eiiropean History 

Venice ex- 
tends her 
sway on the 

mainland. She doubtless believed it dangerous to permit her 
rival, Milan, to get possession of the Alpine passes through 
which her goods found their way north. It may be, too, that she 

Fig. 192. St. Mark's and the Doge's Palace in Venice 

One sees the fa9ade of St. Mark's to the left, and that of the doge's 
palace beyond. The church, modeled after one in Constantinople, 
was planned before the First Crusade and is adorned with numerous 
colored marble columns and slabs brought from the East. The interior 
is covered with mosaics, some of which go back to the twelfth and the 
thirteenth century. The fa9ade is also adorned with brilliant mosaics. 
St. Mark's " is unique among the buildings of the world in respect 
to its unparalleled richness of material and decoration." The doge's 
palace contained the government offices and the magnificent halls in 
which the senate and Council of Ten met. The palace was begun 
about 1300, and the fa9ade we see in the picture was commenced 
about a hundred years later. It shows the influence of the Gothic 
style, which penetrated into northern Italy 

preferred to draw her food supplies from the neighborhood in- 
stead of transporting them across the Adriatic from her eastern 
possessions. Moreover, all the Italian cities except Venice al- 
ready controlled a larger or smaller area of country about them. 

Medieval Towns — their Business and Buildings 519 

In the fifteenth century Venice reached the height of its pros- 
perity. It had a population of two hundred thousand, which was 
very large for those days. It had three hundred seagoing 
vessels which went to and fro in the Mediterranean, carrying 
wares from the East to the West. It had a war fleet of forty- 
five galleys, manned by eleven thousand marines ready to 

Fig. 193. Senate Chamber in the Doge's Palace 

This is an example of the magnificent decoration of the rooms used by 

the Venetian government. It was adorned by celebrated painters in 

the sixteenth century, when Venice became famous for its artists 

fight the batdes of the republic. It still prospered when Con- 
stantinople fell into the hands of the Turks (1453), but when, 
later, the route to India by sea was discovered (see next section), 
Venice could no longer keep control of the trade with the East, 
and while it remained an important city, it no longer enjoyed 
its former influence and power. 

Although Venice was called a republic, it was really gov- 
erned by a very small group of persons. In 131 1, after a 


Outlines of European History 

of Venice 

Position and 
character of 
the Italian 

The con- 

rebellion, the famous Council of Ten was created as a sort of 
committee of public safety. The whole government, domestic and 
foreign, was placed in its hands, in conjunction with the senate 
and the doge (that is, duke), the nominal head of the republic. 
The government, thus concentrated in the hands of a very few, 
was carried on with great secrecy, so that public discussion, 
such as prevailed in Florence and led to innumerable revolu- 
tions there, was unheard of in Venice. The Venetian merchant 
was such a busy person that he was quite willing that the State 
should exercise its functions without his interference, 

Venice often came to blows with other rival cities, especially 
Genoa, but its citizens lived quietly at home under the govern- 
ment of its senate, the Council of Ten, and the doge. The 
other Italian towns were not only fighting one another much of 
the time, but their government was often in the hands *of despots, 
somewhat like the old Greek tyrants, who got control of towns 
and managed them in their own interest. 

There are many stories of the incredible ferocity exhibited 
by the Italian despots. It must be remembered that they were 
very rarely legitimate rulers, but usurpers, who could only hope 
to retain their power so long as they could keep their subjects 
in check and defend themselves against equally illegitimate 
usurpers in the neighboring cities. This situation developed a 
high degree of sagacity, and many of the despots found it to 
their interest to govern well and even to give dignity to their 
rule by patronizing artists and men of letters. But the despot 
usually made many bitter enemies and was almost necessarily 
suspicious of treason on the part of those about him. He was 
ever conscious that at any moment he might fall a victim to 
the dagger or the poison cup. 

The Italian towns carried on their wars among themselves 
largely by means of hired troops. When a military expedition 
was proposed, a bargain was made with one of the professional 
leaders {condottieri), who provided the necessary force. As the 
soldiers had no more interest in the conflict than did those whom 

Medieval Towns — their B^isiness and Buildings 521 

they opposed, who were likewise hired for the occasion, the 
fight was not usually very bloody ; for the object of each side 
was to capture the other without unnecessarily rough treatment. 

It sometimes 
happened that the 
leader who had 
conquered a town 
for his employer 
appropriated the 
fmits of the vic- 
tory for himself. 
This occurred in 
the case of Milan 
in 1450. The old 
line of despots 
(the Visconti) 
having died out, 
the citizens hired 
a certain captain, 
named Francesco 
Sforza, to assist 
them in a war 
against Venice, 
whose possessions 
now extended al- 
most to those 
of Milan. When 
Sforza had repelled 
the Venetians, the 
Milanese found it 
impossible to get 
rid of him, and 
he and his succes- 
sors became mlers 
over the town. 

Fig. 194. Tomb of an Italian Despot 

The family of the Visconti maintained them- 
selves many years as despots of Milan. Gian 
Galeazzo Visconti began in 1396 a magnificent 
Carthusian monastery not far from Milan, one of 
the most beautiful structures in Italy. Here, 
long after his death, a monument was erected to 
him as founder of the monastery. The monu- 
ment was begun about 1500 but not completed 
for several decades 


Outlines of European History 



The Medici 

Lorenzo the 


An excellent notion of the position and policy of the Italian 
despots may be derived from a little treatise called The Prince, 
written by the distinguished Florentine historian, Machiavelli. 
The writer appears to have intended his book as a practical 
manual for the despots of his time. It is a cold-blooded discus- 
sion of the ways in which a usurper may best retain his control 
over a town after he has once got possession of it. The author 
even takes up the questions as to how far princes should con- 
sider their promises when it is inconvenient to keep them, and 
how many of the inhabitants the despot may wisely kill. 
Machiavelli concludes that the Italian princes who have not 
observed their engagements overscrupulously, and who have 
boldly put their political adversaries out of the way, have fared 
better than their more conscientious rivals. 

The history of Florence, perhaps the most important of the 
Italian cities, differs in many ways from that of Venice and of 
the despotisms of which Milan was an example. Florence was a 
republic, and all classes claimed the right to interest themselves 
in the government. This led to constant changes in the constitu- 
tion and frequent struggles between the different political parties. 
When one party got the upper hand it generally expelled its 
chief opponents from the city. Exile was a terrible punishment 
to a Florentine, for Florence was not merely his native city — 
it was his cotmtry, and loved and honored as such. 

By the middle of the fifteenth century Florence had come 
under the control of the great family of the Medici, whose 
members played the role of very enlightened political bosses. 
By quietly watching the elections and secretly controlling the 
selection of city officials, they governed without letting it be 
suspected that the people had lost their power. The most dis- 
tinguished member of the house of Medici was Lorenzo the 
Magnificent (d. 1492) ; under his rule Florence reached the 
height of its glory in art and literature. 

As one wanders about Florence to-day, he is impressed with 
the contradictions of the Renaissance period. The streets are 

Medieval Towns 

their Business and Buildings 


lined with the palaces of the noble families to whose rivalries 
much of the continual disturbance was due. The lower stories 
of these build- 
ings are con- 
structed of great 
stones, like for- 
tresses, and 
their windows 
are barred like 
those of a prison 

(Fig. 195); yet 
within they were 
often furnished 
with the great- 
est taste and 
luxury. For in 
spite of the dis- 
order, against 
which the rich 
protected them- 
selves by mak- 
ing their houses 
half strongholds, 
the beautiful 
churches, noble 
public build- 
ings, and works 
of art which 
now fill the mu- 
seums indicate 
that mankind 
has never, per- 
haps, reached a 

higher degree of perfection in the arts of peace than amidst 
the turmoil of this restless town (see below, Figs. 203, 204). 



The Palace of the Medici in 

This was erected about 1435 ^Y Cosimo dei Medici, 
and in it Lorenzo the Magnificent conducted the 
government of Florence, and entertained the men 
of letters and artists with whom he liked best to as- 
sociate. It shows how fortresslike the lower por- 
tions of a Florentine palace were, in order to protect 
the owner from attack 


Outlines of European History 

Rome, the 

capital of the 

During the same period in which Venice and Florence became 
leaders in wealth and refinement, Rome, the capital of the popes, 

likewise underwent a 
great change. After the 
popes returned from 
their jeventyjears' resi- 
dence in France and 
Avignon (see "above, 
p. 493) they found the 
town in a dilapidated 
state. For years they 
were able to do little to 
restore it, as there was 
a long period during 
which the papacy was 
weakened by the exist- 
ence of a rival line of 
popes who continued to 
live at Avignon. When 
the " great schism " was 
over, and all the Euro- 
pean nations once more 
acknowledged the pope 
at Rome (141 7), it be- 
came possible to improve 
the city and revive some 
of its ancient glory. 
Architects, painters, and 
men of letters were called 
in and handsomely paid 
by the popes to erect and 
adorn magnificent build- 
ings and to collect a 
great library in the Vati- 
can palace. 

Fig. 196. Cathedral and Bell 
Tower at Florence 

The church was begun in 1 296 and com- 
pleted in 1436. The great dome built by 
the architect Brunelleschi has made his 
name famous. It is 300 feet high. The 
fa9ade is modern but after an old design. 
The bell tower, or campanile, was begun 
by the celebrated painter Giotto about 
1335 and completed about fifty years later. 
It is richly adorned with sculpture and 
colored marbles and is considered the 
finest structure of the kind in the world 

Medieval Towns — their Business and Buildings 525 

The ancient basilica of St. Peter's (Fig. 136) no longer satis- 
fied the aspirations of the popes. It was gradually torn down, 
and after many changes of plan the present celebrated church 
with its vast dome and imposing approach (Fig. 197) took its 

St Peter's 

Fig. 197. St. Peter's and the Vatican Palace 

This is the largest church in the world. It is about 700 feet long, includ- 
ing the portico, and 435 feet high, from the pavement to the cross on the 
dome. The reconstruction was begun as early as 1450 but it proceeded 
very slowly