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presence there would do most in his favour. But the imperial finances were exhausted, through the heavy tribute paid to the Turks, and the emperor would have been unable to accept the invitation but for a timely succour of eight papal gallies laden with provisions, and the still more acceptable pre sent of a handsome sum of money, to defray the expenses of his journey. John, accompanied by his brother Demetrius, a host of prelates and priests, among whom was the learned Bessarion, set out from Constantinople in November, 1437, and safely arrived at Venice, where he was received with all the honours due to his rank. After a short stay at Venice, he proceeded to Ferrara, and there also was received with great state by the sovereign of that principality. It was at Ferrara that the council was to assemble. Pope Eugene IV. had preceded him thither. Particular reasons induced the pope to treat the Greek emperor with much more attention, and the Greek prelates with much less pride, than the mightier emperor of Germany, or the arrogant prelates of the West. The council of Ferrara was but a continuation of those of Pisa, Constance, and Basel, in which the supremacy of the popes had met with severe checks, especially in the latter, where the authority of the councils was declared to be superior to that of the popes ; and Eugene flattered himself that, through the re-union of the widely-spread church of the Greeks with that of Rome, he would secure for himself and his successors that unlimited authority which was once possessed by pope Gregory VII., and others of the preceding centuries. In the following year the council was transferred to Florence, and there, after long negotiations, carried on with remarkable ability and learning by Bessarion and bishop Marcus, of Ephesus, on the part of the Greeks, the re-union of the two churches was concluded in July, 1439. The Greek Syropulus has written the his tory of the councils of Ferrara and Florence; and to his work, of which Robert Creighton published a Latin translation at the Hague, 1660, fol., we refer the reader for particulars. The emperor and his suite returned to Constantinople early in 1440, rather disappointed that the western princes had declined giving any direct promise of restoring the Greek empire to its ancient splendour, and his dis appointment was still greater when he went on shore in his capital. The Greek people considered their spiritual union with Rome as the prelude to a second Latin empire in the East; the orthodox and the bigotted thought their souls in .danger ; the learned were shocked at the idea, that by submit ting to the infallible decision of the pope they would henceforth be deprived of all the honours and advantages they derived from either remov ing or creating religious difficulties ; and bishop .Marcus of Ephesus, who had constantly opposed a reunion on conditions dictated by the pope, raised the standard of Greek orthodoxy, and con fined the doctrine of the united church within the palace of the emperor, and the narrow cells of his chaplains. •
The journeys of several of the Greek emperors to Rome were of great importance in the revival of classical learning in Italy, and that" of John VII. forms an epoch in the history of literature, the consequences of which we can trace down to the present day. After his return to Constantinople, John was engaged for some time in secret negotiations with the pope, who, moved by the dangers of a Turkish
invasion of Italy, rather than by compassion for the independence of the Greeks, roused king Ladislaus of Hungary to break the peace which he had con cluded with sultan Miirad, and to invade Turkey. The dreadful rout of the Hungarians, in 1444, at Varna, where king Ladislaus and the cardinal Ju lian were slain, placed John and his capital in jeo pardy, but the sultan was bent upon retiring from the throne, and refrained from punishing the em peror. During the Hungarian campaign, the em peror's brother, Constantine, had enlarged his dominions in Greece so much, that in 1445 he reigned over the whole Peloponnesus and a con siderable part of northern Greece. Miirad marched against him with the victors of Varna, stormed the Hexamilion, or the wall which, stretching across the isthmus of Corinth, served as a barrier against an invasion from the north, took and destroyed Corinth and Patras, and was only induced through a second invasion of the Hungarians, in 1447, to allow Constantine the further possession of the Peloponnesus, on condition of paying an annual tribute. The peace between Constantine and the sultan was concluded by the historian Phranza. In the following year, 1448, John died, and was suc ceeded by his brother Constantine, the last em peror of Constantinople. John was thrice married, 1. to Anna, a Russian princess ; 2. to Sophia of Montferrat j and 3. to Maria Comnena, of the im perial family of Trebizond ; but by none of them did he leave any issue. (Phranza, lib. ii. ; Ducaa, c. 28—33 ; Syropulus, in the edition of Creighton quoted above.) [W. P.]
JOANNES, commonly called Joannes of cap-padocia, because he was a native of that country, one of the principal ministers of the emperor Justinian I., was appointed praefectus praetorio of the East in a. d. 530. His services, however, were more in the cabinet than in the field ; and in the administration of the provinces subject to his authority he evinced a degree of rapacity and fiscal oppression that filled his own and the emperor's purse, but rendered him odious to the people. Nor had he fewer enemies among the great, for he was constantly busy in ruining his rivals, or other persons of eminence, through all sorts of slander and intrigues. Proud of Justinian's confidence, who, in his turn, was too fond of money not to like a servant of John's description, the praetorian praefect continued his system of peculation and oppression during thirteen years. John opposed sending an expedition against the Vandals in Africa, because he would be unable to appropriate so much of the imperial revenues ; but Justinian would not take the advice of his favourite, and in 533 Belisarius set out for the conquest of Carthage. When he arrived off Methone, now Modon, in Greece, where he put some troops on shore, a disease decimated the men, and it was discovered to be the effect of a sultry climate combined with bad food: their bread was not fit to eat; John, who was at the head of the provision department at Constantinople, having given secret orders to bake the bread at the same fires which heated the public baths, whence it became not only very bad, but also increased both in bulk and weight. In this way John robbed the treasury. Belisarius soon remedied the evil, and was much praised by Justinian, but John was not punished. The arrogance of this rapacious man became daily more insupportable, and at last he undertook to ruin the empress Theodora in the eg-