The Ancient Library

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insight into the causes of the final overthrow of the Greek empire than the history of his time. Our space, however, is too confined to give more than a sketch of those events which are most remarkable for ecclesiastical as well as political history. The young emperor was scarcely seated on his throne when the Turks crossed the Bosporus, and by the capture of the fortress of Tzympe, now Chini or Jemenlik, laid the foundation of all their further conquests in Europe. The plan of extending the dominions of the Osmanlis over Europe was formed by Soliman, the son of sultan Urkhan, the governor of Cyzicus, while he was wandering in the silence of a moonlight night through the ruins of that an­cient and once splendid town; and having crossed the Bosporus with 10,000 horse, he soon conquered an extensive district near the mouth of the Hebrus. He died in 1358 ; but his brother Murad, who succeeded sultan Urkhan in 135.9, took up and realized his plans. Neither the arms nor the gold of Palaeologus could stop the victorious career of sultan Murad: town after town fell into his hands; and in 1361 he took the noble city of Adrianople, which soon became the capital of the Turkish em­pire. Thence he directed his march upon Servia, despising the forces of the emperor, who could have fallen upon his rear and cut off his retreat to Asia, but stood trembling within the closed gates of Con­stantinople. With the fall of Adrianople the fate of the Greek empire was sealed. Pope Urban V. yielding to the entreaties of the Greek emperor, who promised to submit to his spiritual authority, entreated king Louis of Hungary to arm for the defence of both the Servian and Greek Christians,

-and from that time the protection of the remnants of the Greek empire depended entirely upon the fears iOr the courage of the kings of Hungary. A united army of Servians and Hungarians, commanded by ,-king Louis, advanced upon Adrianople, but at two ..days' distance from that town was stopped by .Miirad, who obtained a decisive victory over them (1363). After this Murad took up his permanent

-residence at Adrianople, and gradually conquered the greater part of the Thracian peninsula; but .finding the Servians formidable adversaries, he .made peace with John Palaeologus, who paid him :a heavy annual tribute. Aware that his turn would come. as soon as the Servians should have been brought under the Turkish yoke, Palaeologus resolved to implore the assistance of the Western princes, and with that view made overtures to pope Urban V. to adopt the Roman Catholic religion if he would assist him in his plans. The negotiations being carried on too slowly for his fears and his hopes, he went twice to Rome (1369 and 1370). Urban promised to put 15 galleys, 500 men in armour, and 1500 archers, at his disposal; but this succour never arrived at Constantinople, nor did the pope succeed in his endeavours to arm the > Western princes for the defence of the city. The

-emperor, however, kept his promise to the pope, and in the presence of four cardinals solemnly pro­fessed himself a Roman Catholic, and acknowledged the pope as the spiritual head of the Greek church. Disappointed in Rome, Palaeologus went to Venice; but there he not only failed in obtaining assistance, . but being short of money, he incurred debts, and was arrested by some Venetian merchants. He sent messengers to his son Andronicus, who, during his absence, governed the empire, which was then .reduced to the city of Constantinople, Thessalonica


with its district, a few islands, and some districts in the Peloponnesus and northern Greece, and im­plored him to do his utmost for his delivery should he even be obliged to sell the holy vessels of the churches. Andronicus, in pursuit of some selfish and ambitious plans, remained deaf to the prayers of his father. Manuel, however, the emperor's second son and lord of Thessalonica, was no sooner informed of the misfortune of his father, than he sold his whole property, hastened to Venice, and released his father, who immediately returned to Constantinople (1370), although not without serious apprehensions of vengeance from sultan Murad. In order to soothe him he sent his third son, Theodore, as a hostage, to Adrianople; where­upon he deprived Andronicus of his supreme au­thority, and appointed the faithful Manuel co-emperor. Andronicus, a man full of ambition and destitute of principles and honour, now sought for revenge; and being acquainted with one of the sons of Murad, who governed the European pro* vinces during the sultan's absence in Asia, and who was a secret enemy of his father, he had an. interview with this prince, and they mutually pro­mised to murder their fathers, and then assist each other in obtaining the supreme power. The name of the Turkish prince was Sauji, but the Greek historians call him 2a§ovTpios and Muffy TpeXtTrrjs (Moses the gentleman), Chalcocondylas being the only one who writes the name nearly correctly, Sidovs. Murad was soon informed of the con­spiracy. He summoned the emperor to appear at his court, and to justify himself, since it was be­lieved that only Sauji, not Andronicus, really intended the alleged crime, and that the whole was but a plot of John Palaeologus: but the deep grief of the emperor at hearing this terrible news soon convinced the sultan of his innocence. They now resolved to unite their efforts in punishing the traitors, who had meanwhile raised troops and pitched their camp near Apricidium, in the neigh­bourhood of Constantinople. In the dead of night they were roused by the voice of the sultan, who was seen riding fearlessly through the tents of the rebels, summoning them to avoid certain death by returning to their duty, and promising life and liberty to their royal leaders likewise, if they would now surrender and implore his mercy. Most of the rebels, Turks as well as Greeks, immediately availed themselves of the sultan's conditions, and were pardoned, but the two princes fled. Sauji was taken in the town of Didymoticum, blinded, and afterwards put to death: and Andronicus having likewise been made prisoner by the imperial troops, he and his son John were sentenced to be deprived of their sight, but the operation was un­skilfully performed with boiling vinegar, and neither father nor son was entirely blinded. The rebel­lion of the sons of the two Eastern monarchs is differently told by the Byzantine and Turkish historians ; but the narratives of the Greeks, Chal­cocondylas, Phranza, and Ducas, deserve more credit, because they agree even in details. Phranza indeed says that the rebellion took place previous to the emperor's journeys to Rome in 1369 and 1370, though it really happened in 1385 ; but chronology is the weak side of Phranza, and here, as in many other cases, he makes an anachronism. Andronicus and his son were confined in the tower of Anemas, a sort of state prison, where forty years previously the admiral Apocauchus was murdered.

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