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    Chapter 6

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    Chapter 7
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    The Emperor Henry comes into Italy--The Florentines take the part
    of the pope--The Visconti originate the duchy of Milan--Artifice
    of Maffeo Visconti against the family of de la Torre--Giovanni
    Galeazzo Visconti, first duke of Milan--The Emperor Louis in Italy
    --John, king of Bohemia, in Italy--League against the king of
    Bohemia and the pope's legate--Origin of Venice--Liberty of the
    Venetians confirmed by Pepin and the Greek emperor--Greatness of
    Venice--Decline of Venice--Discord between the pope and the
    emperor--Giovanna, queen of Naples--Rienzi--The jubilee reduced to
    fifty years--Succession of the duke of Milan--Cardinal Egidio the
    pope's legate--War between the Genoese and the Venetians.

    At this time, Charles II. of Naples died, and was succeeded by his son
    Robert. Henry of Luxemburg had been elected to the empire, and came to
    Rome for his coronation, although the pope was not there. His coming
    occasioned great excitement in Lombardy; for he sent all the banished
    to their homes, whether they were Guelphs or Ghibellines; and in
    consequence of this, one faction endeavoring to drive out the other,
    the whole province was filled with war; nor could the emperor with all
    his endeavors abate its fury. Leaving Lombardy by way of Genoa, he
    came to Pisa, where he endeavored to take Tuscany from King Robert;
    but not being successful, he went to Rome, where he remained only a
    few days, being driven away by the Orsini with the consent of King
    Robert, and returned to Pisa; and that he might more securely make war
    upon Tuscany, and wrest the country from the hands of the king, he
    caused it to be assailed by Frederick, monarch of Sicily. But when he
    was in hope of occupying Tuscany and robbing the king of Naples of his
    dominions, he died, and was succeeded by Louis of Bavaria. About the
    same period, John XXII. attained the papacy, during whose time the
    emperor still continued to persecute the Guelphs and the church, but
    they were defended by Robert and the Florentines. Many wars took place
    in Lombardy between the Visconti and the Guelphs, and in Tuscany
    between Castruccio of Lucca and the Florentines. As the family of
    Visconti gave rise to the duchy of Milan, one of the five
    principalities which afterward governed Italy, I shall speak of them
    from a rather earlier date.

    Milan, upon recovering from the ruin into which she had been thrown by
    Frederick Barbarossa, in revenge for her injuries, joined the league
    formed by the Lombard cities for their common defense; this restrained
    him, and for awhile preserved alive the interests of the church in
    Lombardy. In the course of the wars which followed, the family of La
    Torre became very potent in that city, and their reputation increased
    so long as the emperor possessed little authority in the province. But
    Frederick II. coming into Italy, and the Ghibelline party, by the
    influence of Ezelin having grown powerful, seeds of the same faction
    sprang up in all the cities. In Milan were the Visconti, who expelled
    the La Torres; these, however, did not remain out, for by agreement
    between the emperor and the pope they were restored to their country.
    For when the pope and his court removed to France, and the emperor,
    Henry of Luxemburg, came into Italy, with the pretext of going to Rome
    for his crown, he was received in Milan by Maffeo Visconti and Guido
    della Torre, who were then the heads of these families. But Maffeo,
    designing to make use of the emperor for the purpose of expelling
    Guido, and thinking the enterprise not difficult, on account of the La
    Torre being of the contrary faction to the imperial, took occasion,
    from the remarks which the people made of the uncivil behavior of the
    Germans, to go craftily about and excite the populace to arm
    themselves and throw off the yoke of these barbarians. When a suitable
    moment arrived, he caused a person in whom he confided to create a
    tumult, upon which the people took arms against the Germans. But no
    sooner was the mischief well on foot, than Maffeo, with his sons and
    their partisans, ran to Henry, telling him that all the disturbance
    had been occasioned by the La Torre family, who, not content to remain
    peaceably in Milan, had taken the opportunity to plunder him, that
    they might ingratiate themselves with the Guelphs of Italy and become
    princes in the city; they then bade him be of good cheer, for they,
    with their party, whenever he wished it, were ready to defend him with
    their lives. Henry, believing all that Maffeo told him, joined his
    forces to those of the Visconti, and attacking the La Torre, who were
    in various parts of the city endeavoring to quell the tumult, slew all
    upon whom they could lay hands, and having plundered the others of
    their property, sent them into exile. By this artifice, Maffeo
    Visconti became a prince of Milan. Of him remained Galeazzo and Azzo;
    and, after these, Luchino and Giovanni. Giovanni became archbishop of
    Milan; and of Luchino, who died before him, were left Bernabo and
    Galeazzo; Galeazzo, dying soon after, left a son called the Count of
    Virtu, who after the death of the archbishop, contrived the murder of
    his uncle, Bernabo, became prince of Milan, and was the first who had
    the title of duke. The duke left Filippo and Giovanmaria Angelo, the
    latter of whom being slain by the people of Milan, the state fell to
    Filippo; but he having no male heir, Milan passed from the family of
    Visconti to that of Sforza, in the manner to be related hereafter.

    But to return to the point from which we deviated. The Emperor Louis,
    to add to the importance of his party and to receive the crown, came
    into Italy; and being at Milan, as an excuse for taking money of the
    Milanese, he pretended to make them free and to put the Visconti in
    prison; but shortly afterwards he released them, and, having gone to
    Rome, in order to disturb Italy with less difficulty, he made Piero
    della Corvara anti-pope, by whose influence, and the power of the
    Visconti, he designed to weaken the opposite faction in Tuscany and
    Lombardy. But Castruccio died, and his death caused the failure of the
    emperor's purpose; for Pisa and Lucca rebelled. The Pisans sent Piero
    della Corvara a prisoner to the pope in France, and the emperor,
    despairing of the affairs of Italy, returned to Germany. He had
    scarcely left, before John king of Bohemia came into the country, at
    the request of the Ghibellines of Brescia, and made himself lord of
    that city and of Bergamo. And as his entry was with the consent of the
    pope, although he feigned the contrary, the legate of Bologna favored
    him, thinking by this means to prevent the return of the emperor. This
    caused a change in the parties of Italy; for the Florentines and King
    Robert, finding the legate was favorable to the enterprises of the
    Ghibellines, became foes of all those to whom the legate and the king
    of Bohemia were friendly. Without having regard for either faction,
    whether Guelph or Ghibelline, many princes joined them, of whom, among
    others, were the Visconti, the Della Scala, Filippo Gonzao of Mantua,
    the Carrara, and those of Este. Upon this the pope excommunicated them
    all. The king, in fear of the league, went to collect forces in his
    own country, and having returned with a large army, still found his
    undertaking a difficult one; so, seeing his error, he withdrew to
    Bohemia, to the great displeasure of the legate, leaving only Reggio
    and Modena guarded, and Parma in the care of Marsilio and Piero
    de' Rossi, who were the most powerful men in the city. The king of
    Bohemia being gone, Bologna joined the league; and the leaguers
    divided among themselves the four cities which remained of the church
    faction. They agreed that Parma should pertain to the Della Scalla;
    Reggio to the Gonzaga; Modena to the family of Este, and Lucca to the
    Florentines. But in taking possession of these cities, many disputes
    arose which were afterward in a great measure settled by the
    Venetians. Some, perhaps, will think it a species of impropriety that
    we have so long deferred speaking of the Venetians, theirs being a
    republic, which, both on account of its power and internal
    regulations, deserves to be celebrated above any principality of
    Italy. But that this surprise may cease when the cause is known, I
    shall speak of their city from a more remote period; that everyone may
    understand what were their beginnings, and the causes which so long
    withheld them from interfering in the affairs of Italy.

    When Attila, king of the Huns, besieged Aquileia, the inhabitants,
    after defending themselves a long time, began to despair of effecting
    their safety, and fled for refuge to several uninhabited rocks,
    situated at the point of the Adriatic Sea, now called the Gulf of
    Venice, carrying with them whatever movable property they possessed.
    The people of Padua, finding themselves in equal danger, and knowing
    that, having became master of Aquileia, Attila would next attack
    themselves, also removed with their most valuable property to a place
    on the same sea, called Rivo Alto, to which they brought their women,
    children, and aged persons, leaving the youth in Padua to assist in
    her defense. Besides these, the people of Monselice, with the
    inhabitants of the surrounding hills, driven by similar fears, fled to
    the same rocks. But after Attila had taken Aquileia, and destroyed
    Padua, Monselice, Vicenza, and Verona, the people of Padua and others
    who were powerful, continued to inhabit the marshes about Rivo Alto;
    and, in like manner, all the people of the province anciently called
    Venetia, driven by the same events, became collected in these marshes.
    Thus, under the pressure of necessity, they left an agreeable and
    fertile country to occupy one sterile and unwholesome. However, in
    consequence of a great number of people being drawn together into a
    comparatively small space, in a short time they made those places not
    only habitable, but delightful; and having established among
    themselves laws and useful regulations, enjoyed themselves in security
    amid the devastations of Italy, and soon increased both in reputation
    and strength. For, besides the inhabitants already mentioned, many
    fled to these places from the cities of Lombardy, principally to
    escape from the cruelties of Clefis king of the Lombards, which
    greatly tended to increase the numbers of the new city; and in the
    conventions which were made between Pepin, king of France, and the
    emperor of Greece, when the former, at the entreaty of the pope, came
    to drive the Lombards out of Italy, the duke of Benevento and the
    Venetians did not render obedience to either the one or the other, but
    alone enjoyed their liberty. As necessity had led them to dwell on
    sterile rocks, they were compelled to seek the means of subsistence
    elsewhere; and voyaging with their ships to every port of the ocean,
    their city became a depository for the various products of the world,
    and was itself filled with men of every nation.

    For many years the Venetians sought no other dominion than that which
    tended to facilitate their commercial enterprises, and thus acquired
    many ports in Greece and Syria; and as the French had made frequent
    use of their ships in voyages to Asia, the island of Candia was
    assigned to them in recompense for these services. While they lived in
    this manner, their name spread terror over the seas, and was held in
    veneration throughout Italy. This was so completely the case, that
    they were generally chosen to arbitrate in controversies between the
    states, as occurred in the difference between the Colleagues, on
    account of the cities they had divided among themselves; which being
    referred to the Venetians, they awarded Brescia and Bergamo to the
    Visconti. But when, in the course of time, urged by their eagerness
    for dominion, they had made themselves masters of Padua, Vicenza,
    Trevisa, and afterward of Verona, Bergamo, and Brescia, with many
    cities in Romagna and the kingdom of Naples, other nations were
    impressed with such an opinion of their power, that they were a
    terror, not only to the princes of Italy, but to the ultramontane
    kings. These states entered into an alliance against them, and in one
    day wrested from them the provinces they had obtained with so much
    labor and expense; and although they have in latter times reacquired
    some portions, still possessing neither power nor reputation, like all
    the other Italian powers, they live at the mercy of others.

    Benedict XII. having attained the pontificate and finding Italy lost,
    fearing, too, that the emperor would assume the sovereignty of the
    country, determined to make friends of all who had usurped the
    government of those cities which had been accustomed to obey the
    emperor; that they might have occasion to dread the latter, and unite
    with himself in the defense of Italy. To this end he issued a decree,
    confirming to all the tyrants of Lombardy the places they had seized.
    After making this concession the pope died, and was succeeded by
    Clement VI. The emperor, seeing with what a liberal hand the pontiff
    had bestowed the dominions of the empire, in order to be equally
    bountiful with the property of others, gave to all who had assumed
    sovereignty over the cities or territories of the church, the imperial
    authority to retain possession of them. By this means Galeotto
    Malatesti and his brothers became lords of Rimino, Pesaro, and Fano;
    Antonio da Montefeltro, of the Marca and Urbino; Gentile da Varano, of
    Camerino; Guido di Polenta, of Ravenna; Sinibaldo Ordelaffi, of Furli
    and Cesena; Giovanni Manfredi, of Faenza; Lodovico Alidossi, of Imola;
    and besides these, many others in divers places. Thus, of all the
    cities, towns, or fortresses of the church, few remained without a
    prince; for she did not recover herself till the time of Alexander
    VI., who, by the ruin of the descendants of these princes, restored
    the authority of the church.

    The emperor, when he made the concession before named, being at
    Tarento, signified an intention of going into Italy. In consequence of
    this, many battles were fought in Lombardy, and the Visconti became
    lords of Parma. Robert king of Naples, now died, leaving only two
    grandchildren, the issue of his sons Charles, who had died a
    considerable time before him. He ordered that the elder of the two,
    whose name was Giovanna or Joan, should be heiress of the kingdom, and
    take for her husband Andrea, son of the king of Hungary, his grandson.
    Andrea had not lived with her long, before she caused him to be
    murdered, and married another cousin, Louis, prince of Tarento. But
    Louis, king of Hungary, and brother of Andrea, in order to avenge his
    death, brought forces into Italy, and drove Queen Joan and her husband
    out of the kingdom.

    At this period a memorable circumstance took place at Rome. Niccolo di
    Lorenzo, often called Rienzi or Cola di Rienzi, who held the office of
    chancellor at Campidoglio, drove the senators from Rome and, under the
    title of tribune, made himself the head of the Roman republic;
    restoring it to its ancient form, and with so great reputation of
    justice and virtue, that not only the places adjacent, but the whole
    of Italy sent ambassadors to him. The ancient provinces, seeing Rome
    arise to new life, again raised their heads, and some induced by hope,
    others by fear, honored him as their sovereign. But Niccolo,
    notwithstanding his great reputation, lost all energy in the very
    beginning of his enterprise; and as if oppressed with the weight of so
    vast an undertaking, without being driven away, secretly fled to
    Charles, king of Bohemia, who, by the influence of the pope, and in
    contempt of Louis of Bavaria, had been elected emperor. Charles, to
    ingratiate himself with the pontiff, sent Niccolo to him, a prisoner.
    After some time, in imitation of Rienzi, Francesco Baroncegli seized
    upon the tribunate of Rome, and expelled the senators; and the pope,
    as the most effectual means of repressing him, drew Niccolo from his
    prison, sent him to Rome, and restored to him the office of tribune;
    so that he reoccupied the state and put Francesco to death; but the
    Colonnesi becoming his enemies, he too, after a short time, shared the
    same fate, and the senators were again restored to their office. The
    king of Hungary, having driven out Queen Joan, returned to his
    kingdom; but the pope, who chose to have the queen in the neighborhood
    of Rome rather than the king, effected her restoration to the
    sovereignty, on the condition that her husband, contenting himself
    with the title of prince of Tarento, should not be called king. Being
    the year 1350, the pope thought that the jubilee, appointed by
    Boniface VIII. to take place at the conclusion of each century, might
    be renewed at the end of each fifty years; and having issued a decree
    for the establishment of it, the Romans, in acknowledgment of the
    benefit, consented that he should send four cardinals to reform the
    government of the city, and appoint senators according to his own
    pleasure. The pope again declared Louis of Tarento, king, and in
    gratitude for the benefit, Queen Joan gave Avignon, her inheritance,
    to the church. About this time Luchino Visconti died, and his brother
    the archbishop, remaining lord of Milan, carried on many wars against
    Tuscany and his neighbors, and became very powerful. Bernabo and
    Galeazzo, his nephews, succeeded him; but Galeazzo soon after died,
    leaving Giovan Galeazzo, who shared the state with Bernabo. Charles,
    king of Bohemia, was then emperor, and the pontificate was occupied by
    Innocent VI., who sent Cardinal Egidio, a Spaniard, into Italy. He
    restored the reputation of the church, not only in Rome and Romagna,
    but throughout the whole of Italy; he recovered Bologna from the
    archbishop of Milan, and compelled the Romans to accept a foreign
    senator appointed annually by the pope. He made honorable terms with
    the Visconti, and routed and took prisoner, John Agut, an Englishman,
    who with four thousand English had fought on the side of the
    Ghibellines in Tuscany. Urban V., hearing of so many victories,
    resolved to visit Italy and Rome, whither also the emperor came; after
    remaining a few months, he returned to the kingdom of Bohemia, and the
    pope to Avignon. On the death of Urban, Gregory XI. was created pope;
    and, as the Cardinal Egidio was dead, Italy again recommenced her
    ancient discords, occasioned by the union of the other powers against
    the Visconti; and the pope, having first sent a legate with six
    thousand Bretons, came in person and established the papal court at
    Rome in 1376, after an absence of seventy-one years in France. To
    Gregory XI., succeeded Urban VI., but shortly afterwards Clement VI.
    was elected at Fondi by ten cardinals, who declared the appointment of
    Urban irregular. At this time, the Genoese threw off the yoke of the
    Visconti under whom they had lived many years; and between them and
    the Venetians several important battles were fought for the island of
    Tenedos. Although the Genoese were for a time successful, and held
    Venice in a state of siege during many months, the Venetians were at
    length victorious; and by the intervention of the pope, peace was made
    in the year 1381. In these wars, artillery was first used, having been
    recently invented by the Dutch.
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