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ITALY, 1250-1290


At the moment of Frederick II’s death, his power showed little decline in Italy. He held the Regno (i.e. the kingdom of Sicily and its provinces on the mainland) in undiminished submission. In the March of Ancona and Duchy of Spoleto, which owed allegiance to the Holy See, his partisans had the upper hand: the legate, Cardinal Peter Capocci, could only act on the defensive. In North Italy the imperialists seemed still more predominant. The house of Savoy was his ally, its chief, Count Amadeus IV, commanding the north-western passes, while its cadet, Thomas, ex-Count of Flanders, ruled Turin and his appanage of Piedmont; and the great city of Asti was firmly imperialist, so that in the west the only powerful papalist was Boniface IV, Marquess of Montferrat and regent of Saluzzo for his young kinsman, Marquess Thomas I. If Genoa, a greater state than these, was for the Pope, her Italian interests were mainly confined to her Riviera, and there she was busily occupied in subjugating her lesser neighbours, who of course were imperialist for the nonce. Farther to the east, Marquess Manfred Lancia was imperial vicar between the river Lambro and the western Alps; he was podestà of Pavia and Lodi, while Vercelli, Tortona, and Alessandria also admitted his authority. Whereas Lancia possessed little personal importance, his fellow-vicar and rival between the Lambro and the Mincio was the wielder of a kind of tyranny. This personage was the Marquess Oberto Pelavicini, co-tyrant of Cremona with its faction-chief Buoso da Dovara. Although the only other imperialist cities really in his vicariate were Bergamo and Reggio, his warlike prowess and his German mercenaries made him superior at the moment to his antagonists. The leaders of the papalist cities were the two warlike Cardinal-deacons, Octavian degli Ubaldini and Gregory of Montelongo, both indefatigable, but hampered by the divergent aims of the towns which, headed by Milan, were on their side. Piacenza hesitated between Pope and Emperor. Bologna, in concert with Cardinal Octavian, was preoccupied in establishing her own supremacy in Romagna on the basis of the reconciliation of both factions, although she lent a helping hand to the Church’s efforts in Lombardy. Lastly, in the Trevisan March, the grim Ezzelin da Romano held sway from his capital at Verona. He was not imperial vicar for the March, an office which was held by Ansedisio de’ Guidotti, his lieutenant at Padua, but over Verona, Padua, Vicenza, and Trent he ruled with absolute power. The only enemy he had to fear was Marquess Azzo VII of Este, tyrant of Ferrara, for his brother Alberic da Romano, tyrant of Treviso, was but a nominal papalist, and, in spite of a seeming quarrel, a tepid adversary. Thus in northern Italy Frederick’s star was in the ascendant; it was in Tuscany that his position was doubtful. His vicar in the south, indeed, Marquess Galvano Lancia, could depend on its principal city, Siena; but his son Frederick of Antioch, vicar in the north, had ill success and saw the Ghibelline nobles of Florence obliged to share power with the traders under the new constitution of the Primo Popolo.

On this promising outlook the news of Frederick’s death worked a sudden change. The loss of his commanding personality not only dispirited the imperialists, it disunited them; and the common action we find among them subsequently is rather the compromise of separate ambitions than any true harmony of purpose. With the disappearance of the last true Emperor, the Empire itself seems to dissolve. Frederick’s own testament recognised something of this kind. Besides the bid for popularity contained in its re-establishment of the customs of the Regno as they were under William the Good, he tried to conciliate the clashing ambitions of his sons. The Regno—it was the fatal necessity of Staufen policy—was devised to his eldest son, Conrad IV, King of the Romans, with succession to his next son, Henry; but the bastard Manfred was not only called to the throne in case the legitimate line became extinct; he was also given a vast appanage which included the principality of Taranto, and was nominated Balio or regent of the Regno and all Italy till the absent Conrad could reach his realm. It was a difficult task which required the harmonising of four divergent groups of interests. First, there were the discontented towns and barons of the Regno, irked by the strong centralised government and harassed by heavy taxation; their disaffection was to be crushed or cajoled. Then, the national dislike of the German connexion was to be dealt with; Frederick’s armed strength consisted in German and Saracen soldiery, and the Regnicoli were averse to the Germans at any rate, and perhaps wished to be free from the burden of the Empire. With this desire Manfred’s own ambition to supplant his brothers, bound up as they were with Germany and the Empire, only too well coincided, and his uncles, Galvano and Frederick Lancia, spurred him on. Lastly, there were the loyal counsellors of Frederick II, firm partisans of Conrad IV and the Staufen policy. At their head stood the seneschal, Margrave Berthold of Hohenburg, who had the confidence of the German troops, the marshal, Peter Ruffo, and the chamberlain, John the Moor, who disposed of the treasure and the Saracens. They all were quickly alienated from the young Balio.

For the moment there was little difficulty in taking over the reins of government. The boy-prince Henry was sent in charge of Peter Ruffo to rule Sicily and Calabria. Manfred himself started for the Terra di Lavoro in order to hold that most disaffected portion of the Regno in check. But he did not long succeed. Scarcely was the Emperor’s death known when the imperialist towns in the March of Ancona and Duchy of Spoleto submitted to Cardinal Peter Capocci, Florence recalled the exiled Guelfs, and a conspiracy was soon afoot in the Regno itself. Early in March 1251 the Terra di Lavoro, led by the cities of Naples and Capua and the Counts of Acerra and Caserta, broke into revolt, while the frontier town of Ascoli in the Abruzzi submitted to the cardinal.

The strings of all these movements were held by the Pope. “Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad!” Innocent IV wrote jubilantly when the news came of the Emperors death. No one knew better how much Frederick had meant to the imperial cause, and he gave way to triumphant hopes. He would not only sever the Regno from the Empire; he would annex it to the Holy See; and a lax combination of communes and nobles should rule southern, if not all, Italy under the guidance of the Papacy. His first act, on 25 January 1251, shewed his confidence. He somewhat airily ordered his legate Peter to make terms with the magnates of the Regno. Probably Innocent knew well the character of Margrave Berthold, suspicious of Manfred and fond of an inept diplomacy, and underrated the inexperienced balio, As for King Conrad, he hoped to detain him in Germany. North Italy should be won over and brought to peace by himself in person on his way to Rome and his new realm. Even when the Pope heard of Manfred’s vigorous proceedings against the rebels in the Regno, he only added a victorious invasion to his programme.

His preparations were gradually made. On 15 March he announced his return to Italy and summoned the northern cities to a conference at his native city of Genoa. On 19 April, after an interview with the anti­Caesar William, he left Lyons, and proceeded down the Rhone and by sea to Genoa, which he reached on 18 May. There the Lombard con­gress was held, and Innocent’s disillusionment began. Instead of crossing straight to Rome, he decided to make a progress through Lombardy to gain adherents. Some success he had. Alessandria declared for him; Thomas of Savoy-Piedmont adroitly changed sides and secured his possessions by marrying the kindred-loving Pope’s niece. But the politics of Lombardy were decided, not by the claims of Pope or Emperor, but by the rivalries of the cities and the strife of factions and classes within them. When Innocent arrived at Milan on 7 July, his long stay there was embittered by the demands of his hosts for the payment of their war-expenses, and each papalist town had its terms to make. The subjection of Lodi by Milan which occurred in August was thus of little profit to the Pope, while on 24 March Piacenza had gone over to Pelavicini. Nor was Innocent’s farther journey to Perugia, where he fixed his headquarters from 5 November, marked by success. He quar­relled with Bologna, and had the mortification of seeing her set Buoso da Dovara, the co-tyrant of Cremona, at liberty. The fact was that the power of Ezzelin and of Pelavicini was increasing, not diminishing, for the loss of Lodi and Alessandria was a blow to Manfred Lancia, not to them; while even in west Lombardy the progress that Asti made in subduing her smaller neighbours counterbalanced the party-change of Thomas of Savov. Innocent’s perception of facts is, perhaps, shown in his nomination of a single moderate agent on reaching Perugia. Octavian degli Ubaldini was reappointed sole legate for Lombardy and Romagna, while Gregory of Montelongo received the patriarchate of Aquileia, so that he could control Friuli in the papal interest.

In the meantime the favourable moment had passed in the Regno. On the outbreak of the revolt in the Terra di Lavoro, Manfred had retired to Apulia, only to meet and to suppress an ephemeral rebellion of the towns there. Then he joined forces with Margrave Berthold, and they invaded the Terra di Lavoro. Here, however, though Nola was captured, Naples and the rest resisted his efforts. His position grew more insecure, for Cardinal Peter had incited the Abruzzan coastland to insurrection. His own ambition had further weakened Manfred. Peter Ruffo had refused to execute his grants in favour of the Lancia in Sicily, and had driven off Galvano Lancia who was sent to replace him. So Manfred and Berthold towards the end of June turned to the Pope, with what ulterior purpose on the part of either or both it is impossible to say. In any case Innocent’s offers were too low, and Manfred in September retired to Apulia to await his brother’s coming. The youth had at least checked the papal progress. Innocent’s means were exhausted, and he confined himself to keeping the revolt alive. His dreams of conquest had been thwarted by the strongly organised bureaucracy left by Frederick II, and by his own lack of troops and money.

Frederick’s heir, Conrad IV, now came to give unity to his party. In November he held a congress of the imperialist tyrants and cities at Goito near Cremona, and then crossed by sea to Siponto in the Regno in mid-January 1252. Conrad had the great advantage of knowing exactly his own views. He worked for the traditional Staufen policy: he would rule the Regno, and use its wealth to rule the Empire. On this basis he was anxious for an accord with the Pope, and on no other. In the Regno, too, he was strong, since the officials, and the Germans and Saracens, were for him, and there was no conflict of wills. Margrave Berthold had met him in Istria and gained, perhaps justifiably, his ear. He soon showed his disapproval of his brother Manfred’s conduct as Balio, while Berthold’s share in the negotiations with the Pope was forgiven or explained. So Manfred was deprived of part of his appanage, and during the rest of the reign he was under suspicion. His relatives, the Lancia, were deprived of his lavish grants, but Berthold and Peter Ruffo received fresh donations. A parliament was held at Foggia, in which the abolition of the hated general tax, the collecta, was used to gain favour for the German king; and then Conrad set to work. In February he opened negotiations with the Pope, but their result was utter failure, for Innocent would not hear of a union of the Regno with the Empire. Meantime Conrad was warring down the rebellion in the Terra di Lavoro, which, a significant fact, had spread since his arrival. Gradually he conquered the rebels, Capua surrendering in January and Naples on 10 October 1253. As the Abruzzi were slowly won back during these operations, Conrad was now at last master of his kingdom.

Outside the Regno the omens were also in favour of the Staufen. Rome itself had become imperialist. Wearied of the anarchy of the nobles, the popolo, led by the Colonna, adopted a constitution on the Lombard model with a foreign podestà, in Roman style a Senator. In November 1252 they obtained for the post one of the most eminent Italians of the day, Brancaleone degli Andalò. He was a Bolognese, one of the chief of the imperialist faction in his native city, and came of a family already noted for its energetic podestàs. His safety secured by hostages, his rule was a righteous tyranny. Stern justice was dealt to the disturbers of the public peace, and so powerful did the Senator become that he was able to take a haughty tone to the Pope, while he also negotiated with Conrad.

Meanwhile Innocent, who vainly attempted to counteract the Senator by spending the winter in Rome, did not prosper in Lombardy either. He was naturally anxious to isolate Conrad and cut off his communications with Germany. For that the ruin or the party-change of Oberto Pelavicini and of Ezzelin was necessary. A league of the papalist cities seemed the most feasible plan, and it was carried through at Brescia by Cardinal Octavian on 8 March 1252, but it remained almost a dead letter. Bologna, the only really prosperous commune, although she sent occasional aid, was absorbed in her Romagnol policy. Milan and the rest were crippled by financial embarrassment due to long years of war. Still more fatal to the scheme was the prevalence of heresy, which Innocent was seriously determined to suppress. On 19 April the Dominican inquisitor, Peter Martyr, was slaughtered at Milan, and the murderer went free. Brescia and Mantua were other centres of heretical opinions, and the influence of the sects, together with the toleration they enjoyed under Ezzelin and Pelavicini, tended to make the cities where they had many adherents disinclined to proceed against the two imperialist tyrants. Ezzelin was too savage to attract fresh communes to his rule, but the milder Pelavicini profited. The two despots quickly replied to the new papal league by one of their own on 31 March, and soon scored an important success by the subjugation of the Piacenzan papalists who held out in the countryside. Cardinal Octavian, whose military incapacity and reconciling tendency made him suspected as an imperialist, although lack of means and men was the main cause of his failure, was recalled; but matters were not mended thereby. Parma was isolated by the submission of the Piacenzan papalists. She accepted a native tyrant, and on 20 May 1253 made peace with Pelavicini. Innocent IV’s only consolation was that the imperial vicar gained merely a suspicions ally. Yet Pelavicini’s direct domain was increasing. Manfred Lancia’s loyalty to Conrad had been dubious ever since his nephew Prince Manfred and his other relatives had been disgraced. His cities, west of the River Lambro, had held aloof from the league of Ezzelin and Pelavicini. Finally, he changed sides and in 1253 became podestà of Milan. Conrad at once declared all the Lancia traitors, and made Pelavicini sole vicar of Lombardy on 22 February 1253. He even hunted his new foes from Constantinople where they took refuge. It was soon seen, however, that Manfred Lancia’s slackness was partly due to the lassitude of his cities. Even with Pelavicini as lord, Pavia carried on the weary petty warfare languidly, and showed her anxiety for peace. Further west, again, the out­look was little more encouraging for Innocent. Boniface IV of Montferrat did not long endure being on the same side as his rival Thomas of Savoy-Piedmont, and joined the imperialists in 1252. Thomas, indeed, grew more powerful: in 1253 he became regent of Savoy on the death of his brother, Amadeus IV. But Asti continually increased her dominion, and even Thomas became her vassal on 28 July 1252 as the price of peace.

Only in Tuscany could the Pope look for better things, and that, curiously enough, was against his will. In Tuscany there were no dreaded tyrants who were indissolubly connected with the Staufen, and perpetuated the might of the Empire by linking Germany with Italy and the Regno. There were republics fighting for their own territorial and commercial interests, which at this time had little effect on the main struggle of Pope and Emperor. Here Frederick II’s officials faded away on his death, and the domains he had collected were promptly annexed by the cities. Here therefore Innocent appears as a fatherly pontiff and short-sighted politician. He did not realise the importance of Florence for the Papacy. Florence had readmitted her exiled Guelfs on 7 January 1251, immediately on the news of Frederick’s death, and her leading Ghibellines went into exile in July. War had already broken out with the still Ghibelline cities, Pisa, Siena, and their allies, and in the conflict Florence, seconded by her natural Guelf allies, Lucca, Genoa, and Umbrian Orvieto, was emerging triumphant. The Pope’s attempts at mediation did not hamper her; a series of victories marked the year 1252, and on 1 February 1254 Pistoia surrendered and became a Guelf town.

In spite of the poor success that crowned his efforts, and the steadily growing danger that surrounded him in the papal lands, Innocent IV pursued the policy he had most at heart with an admirable tenacity. But it was clear that neither his temporal nor his spiritual resources were equal to the uprooting of the Staufen from the Regno, and his petty efforts to keep alive the rebellion among the Regnicoli only emphasised his impotence. If he wished to conquer, he must find a champion. After a suggestion that Conrad’s brother Henry should take the Regno and marry the Pope’s niece had been firmly refused by Conrad in June 1552, he took the final decision to call in a new dynasty for the Regno, which in the end was to bring so many troubles on Italy. At the end of August he obtained the consent of the cardinals to offer the Regno to Richard, Earl of Cornwall, the wealthy younger brother of King Henry III of England, if he would come and conquer it at his own expense. Charles, Count of Anjou and Provence, the youngest brother of King Louis IX of France, was to be approached if Richard refused. Accordingly the Pope’s envoy, Master Albert of Parma, reached England in November 1252 to negotiate; but Richard was cautious and haggled shrewdly, and the Pope could not meet his reasonable demands. So by March 1253 the Earl had finally refused. Unlike his brother, however, Henry III greedily swallowed the bait and begged the crown for his own younger son Edmund. For the moment his proffer seems to have come too late, since Master Albert crossed to France and began to angle for the second candidate, Charles of Anjou. Charles, too, was ready to snatch the crown; but he also was shrewd, and Innocent’s terms were high. His relatives were against the scheme, the dangers of which were obvious while Conrad’s success continued; and, in spite of the bargain being all but struck in July 1553, Charles had withdrawn his candidature by 30 October. It was then that Henry III’s folly renewed Edmund’s candidature. On 20 December Innocent authorised Master Albert to treat again, and on 6 March 1254 an arrangement was made at Vendome, although some revision of it was necessary before Innocent would ratify it on 14 May. This ratification, however, was not imparted by Master Albert, and Conrad’s death caused it to be withheld altogether.

Henry III’s scruples at attacking his own kith and kin had been alleviated by the death in December 1253 of his nephew Henry of Staufen, which was at once attributed by rumour and the Pope to poison at the hands of his jealous elder brother King Conrad. Conrad on his part had not ceased to hope for an accommodation with his adversary. He was probably willing to give all but Innocent’s indispensable condition, the separation of the Regno and the Empire. He knew that reconciliation with the Papacy was needful if he were to recover Germany, and Innocent’s position seemed so hazardous that he might after all give way. In October 1253 he made fresh overtures to the Pope, perhaps on the suggestion of his ally, the Roman Senator Brancaleone. Innocent, whose negotiations with Charles of Anjou were just collapsing and who dreaded an immediate attack, gave favourable ear, and envoys met at Rome. But Innocent probably never intended to do more than win time and appear placable to the world. He deceived his blunt antagonist and held him in hand through the winter. No real progress was made, and Conrad was answering a series of flimsy charges, such as heresy and usurpation, in January 1254. Then he must have discovered the Pope’s negotiations with Henry III, for on 4 February Innocent IV gave him till 22 March to appear in Rome to exculpate himself, and thus broke off the parley. Conrad, excommunicated anew on 9 April, could only look for war.

He did so, however, with confidence. He had a fine army; his exhausted treasure was replenished by heavy taxes on the Regno; and he was pre­pared to march north to reconquer Germany. Then it was that his luck gave out. He had become infected, like so many German invaders, with a southern fever, most naturally malaria, and, although at one time his recovery seemed certain, he relapsed. On 21 May 1254 he died in his camp at Lavello. There is something attractive in the indomitable courage with which the last Staufen King of the Romans endeavoured to revivify the obsolete. Yet Conrad was opposing the necessary march of events. Frederick II at least had aspired to unite Italy by German and Saracen arms and the Regno’s subsidies, which perhaps was practicable. Conrad looked on the ecumenical idea of the Empire from another side: Italy was a subject province and source of revenue, which should enable him to maintain the Empire in Germany and elsewhere. That it could not be done in the long run, that it gave the Popes a continuous support in Italy for their struggles for independence, he never saw. He had little alternative under the circumstances of his accession, needing as he did the Regno’s wealth to overcome his foes in Germany; and the heir of the Staufen could hardly be the forerunner of Rudolf of Habsburg.

How much Conrad’s German outlook and his exactions had alienated the Regnicoli from his house appeared immediately after his death. He dreaded a usurpation of the Regno by its native, Manfred, and almost in despair recommended his infant son, the ill-fated Conrad II or Conradin as he was universally called, to the Pope’s protection. For Balio or regent he named the German, Margrave Berthold of Hohenburg, the chief of all who desired the German connexion. An obvious ruin now impended over the Staufen. Disloyalty had grown among the Regnicoli, and such favour as existed for the royal house was mostly engrossed by Prince Manfred. The child Conradin was far away in Germany, and even the Saracens of Lucera, though controlled by the loyal chamberlain, John the Moor, really preferred the brilliant youth whom they knew. Manfred himself desired at least the regency, but what with towns and nobles hankering after the liberty promised by the Pope, with the fighting force and the chiefs of the bureaucracy siding with the Balio, he only headed the strongest faction among three.

The elated Innocent was master of the game. He was urging the unready Henry III to immediate action when the news of Conrad’s death arrived. Thereat he hastened to Anagni by 9 June 1254 to be near the frontier, and all his old hopes revived. Disunion and treason were sapping his adversaries’ strength, and in July Prince Manfred appeared to treat for peace on behalf of the Balio. A treaty was all but made, which included an adjudication on Conradin’s rights when, years later, he should come of age. But the Pope was wily and demanded immediate possession of the Regno; and this was refused. It seems as if Berthold was willing to take the risk of papal rule on the chance of restoring Conradin at the last; Manfred on the other hand held out, while the party which desired annexation to the Papal State gained ground. Berthold accord­ingly resigned and Manfred was declared Ballot but he was as weak as Berthold, and, unlike Berthold, could not depend on the soldiery. Meantime Innocent raked together an army with all haste, pledging Henry III’s credit and disregarding his son’s claims on the Regno. On 8 September he could besiege San Germano on the frontier. Manfred was helpless, and on 27 September accepted the Pope’s terms: Innocent was to be ruler, saving the future adjudication on Conradin’s rights; Manfred obtained his appanage under his father’s will, and was made vicar of the mainland south of the rivers Sele and Trigno; the Lancias, now again beside him, recovered the grants he had made them.

Innocent seemed at the goal for which he had striven through so many anxious years. But the same faithlessness which made him ignore the claims of Henry III led to his downfall. He knew—and events proved him right—that no Staufen could abandon the imperial dream. He meant to annex the Regno once for all: Manfred was far too powerful a subject and a possible claimant; his power should be diminished. When the Pope’s army preceded him into the Regno, its commander, his nephew, Cardinal-deacon William de’ Fieschi, began to demand oaths of allegiance without the stipulated salvo in Conradin’s favour; on 7 October the Pope himself offered to Peter Ruffo, vicar of Sicily and Calabria since 1252, to make his Calabrian property an immediate fief of the Holy See, thus exempting it from Manfred’s vicariate. None the less Manfred met his future suzerain at the frontier and led his horse over the Garigliano on 11 October. But when Innocent reached Teano, the inevitable discord broke out. Manfred found that his rights over his barony of Monte Sant’ Angelo were to be brought in question, and left the town to consult Berthold. Scarcely was he out of Teano, when he met his supplanter in Monte Sant’ Angelo, Borrello d’Anglona, and in the chance affray Borrello was killed. It was unfortunate for Innocent, since the event and the impossibility of trusting himself to the Pope steeled Manfred’s wavering decision to resist. He had no other chance even of safety, for Berthold renounced him and made full submission to the Pope at Capua on 19 October; and next day Innocent came to final terms with Peter Ruffo, by which he was made vicar of Sicily and Calabria, now formally annexed to the Papal State. Thus both Conradin’s claims and Manfred’s treaty rights of 27 September were put aside. The desperate prince fled, to Apulia, still perhaps hoping to bargain through John the Moor who ruled Lucera and its Saracens. But John was deciding for the Pope; Berthold’s brothers were holding Apulia; and Cardinal William had already reached Ariano with the papal army on his way to occupy Lucera. Among romantic adventures Manfred’s spirit awoke. On 2 November 1254 he entered Lucera, which John the Moor had quitted, seized the royal treasure, rallied the Saracens, and began a revolt. On the same day Berthold returned to Loggia and Cardinal William and his army encamped at Troia.

The tables were now suddenly turned. Innocent IV could still depend on the towns to which he granted communal autonomy and on a few ambitious nobles; but, by his breach of the treaty with regard to Conradin, he had united the cause of the rightful king with that of Manfred in one national and loyalist movement. Berthold might still persist in his blundering plan of submitting to the Pope in order to help Conradin another day; he could not now carry with him the German soldiery, since he could not pay them, and his jealousy of Manfred and his greed were manifest. Manfred was Conradin’s only hope; he had the treasure, and the Germans flocked to him. The Saracens, 400, were all for the tolerant Staufen they knew, while the barons, irrespective of former party-divisions, proceeded to go over to the native prince. The decisive action soon came. Berthold loved negotiating, and he was fully aware of the wretched quality of the cardinal’s hireling troops. During long pourparlersno truce is mentioned—Manfred routed Berthold’s brother Otto and his detachment near Foggia on 2 December. The moment the news reached Troia, both the Cardinal and his men fled in wild panic across the snow-covered hills to Ariano. In a few days Manfred ruled Apulia save a few towns, the Lancia and other barons had joined him, and even Peter Ruffo, in spite of justifiable suspicions, accepted him as Conradin’s Balio, on condition, however, of his own independent regency in Sicily and Calabria.

When the news reached Innocent, the Pope was on his death-bed. He had fallen ill at Teano, but none the less he had kept at work during his residence at Capua, and on 27 October had entered Naples in triumph. He perceived gradually that his expectation of annexing the Regno was vain, and coolly began again to treat with Henry III, whom he yet hoped to cheat of some or all of the booty. Henry’s slackness, indeed, might fairly be held to diminish his gains under the treaty. Meantime the parliament that had been summoned was put off, for the Pope was confined to his bed. Then the news of the cardinal’s rout came as a parting stroke. The sick man’s conscience smote him; he was continually murmuring: “Domine, propter iniquitatem corripuisti hominem.” On 7 December 1254 he died.

It is hardly a just reproach to Innocent IV that he introduced foreign rule into Italy by his negotiations with Henry III, for the foreigner was already there. The Staufen and their subsidiary tyrants depended on German or Saracen levies. And, in defence of his policy, it is true that he stood for a milder rule against often ferocious tyrants. The free communes, with all allowance made, were juster and more humane than Ezzelin and Pelavicini or even than the Staufen. Innocent was pro­foundly convinced that the independence of the Papacy was impossible so long as the Empire and the Regno were under the same sovereign, and indeed so long as the Emperor claimed a real dominion in North Italy. The solution of his choice was to make all Italy a land of petty states, to the south in subordination to the Roman See, to the north in allegi­ance to the Empire, yet really also guided by the Pope. Then the Papacy would be free and could direct Europe through obedient kings and magistrates. And his conception of the Papacy was more secular than any Pope’s before him. He viewed his weakness as political and his remedies were political. He used his spiritual powers constantly to raise money, buy friends, injure foes, and by his unscrupulousness he roused a disrespectful hostility to the Papacy everywhere. His dispensations were a scandal. In contempt of his spiritual duties and of local rights, he used the endowments of the Church as papal revenue and means of political rewards: there would be four papal nominees waiting one after another for a benefice. Bad appointments were a natural consequence of such a system; and, further, legates chosen for war and diplomacy would more likely than not be thoroughly worldly in character, like such Cardinal-deacons as Octavian and Gregory of Montelongo, or the truculent elect of Ravenna, Philip della Fontana. Of the loss of prestige and spiritual influence occasioned by him Innocent was unconscious. He had good intentions but not good principles. Endowed with courage, with invincible resolution, with astuteness, his cold equanimity was seldom shaken by disaster or good-fortune, and he patiently pursued his ends with a cunning faithlessness which lowered the standards of the Church. His influence on events was enormous. He wrecked the Empire; he started the Papacy on its decline; he moulded the destinies of Italy.

The election of a new Pope followed quickly. The natural desire of the cardinals was for some one without Innocent’s faults, and on 12 December 1254 they concurred in the promotion of Gregory IX’s nephew Rinaldo Conti, Cardinal-bishop of Ostia. Alexander IV was, indeed, the opposite of his predecessor. He was a pious, learned prelate, protector of the Franciscan Friars, easy-tempered and easily led. “He did not care for the affairs of princes and kingdoms”, but would select a manager for a business and then leave all to him. He was honestly anxious for peace and right, the suppression of heresy, and the reform of abuses in the Church; yet his weakness threw him into the hands of Innocent’s advisers, and he tremblingly followed his ways. In the matter of the Regno Cardinal Octavian, able and moderate, became his oracle, being appointed legate in January 1255, with the dubious Berthold by his side. It was resolved to carry through the treaty with Henry III, after overtures to Conradin’s German guardian, Duke Louis of Bavaria, had come to nothing, and Manfred had kept firm to his demand for the recognition of Conradin and his own regency. Edmund’s investiture was now confirmed on 9 April 1355, and Henry’s envoy agreed that Innocent’s expenditure should be paid, and that an array should come by Michaelmas 1256.

Active preparations, meanwhile, were made to crush Manfred. By a curious combination he had ousted Ruffo from Calabria, while the Sicilian towns had gone over to the Pope. But the prince was finding it hard to subdue the papalist Apulian communes. The time seemed propitious for a vigorous effort, and at the end of May 1355 Cardinal Octavian marched on Lucera with a large and inefficient army. He was advised by Berthold, and this was his ruin, for the news came that Conradin’s guardian had allied with Manfred. It seems most likely that Berthold could not endure to fight against the heir of the Staufen, and lured on the legate to break a temporary truce with Manfred and to march on to Foggia. There during the deadly summer months he was blockaded by the prince, while Berthold with the best of his troops was making a long tour for supplies in Apulia. At last the margrave drew near, letting Manfred know his movements. One night he tried, or feigned to try, to break through the blockading lines, and was utterly defeated. The legate and his starving army could hold out no longer. Early in September he made a treaty with the victor, by which Conradin’s and Manfred’s rights were acknowledged, while all papalists, including the Hohenburg brothers, were restored, and the Terra di Lavoro was ceded to the Pope. Then he was allowed to retreat to Alexander IV, who disowned the bargain.

Manfred could now gather the fruits of victory. Most of the Regno went over to his side. In 1256 he conquered the Terra di Lavoro, while his adherents won Sicily for him. The last embers of revolt were stamped out in 1257, and he could then pursue his own ambitions. Already in 1256 he had blinded his enemies, the Hohenburgs, and had procured the murder of Peter Ruffo in exile. It only remained to usurp the throne. A false report of Conradin’s death was spread, whereat the Balio held a Parliament at Palermo, and of course was begged to assume the crown, which he did on 10 August 1258. Perhaps he might have founded a lasting dynasty if he could have kept up a policy of non­intervention in Northern Italy. He was secure in the Regno with the support of the bureaucracy; his German and Saracen troops were good and loyal; his own indolent temper made inaction pleasant. But the son of Frederick II could with difficulty renounce the Emperor’s projects and the attempt to unite all Italy under his sway, while his Lombard kinsmen urged him on and were ready to take the trouble of business off his hands. They might argue that it was necessary to establish barriers against a fresh invasion, for Alexander IV persisted in his refusal to ratify Cardinal Octavian’s treaty. The Pope, in fact, perseveringly attempted to bring Henry III with an army against the Regno, although the English king, weary of his bargain and tethered by his Parliaments, broke his promises and endeavoured to escape from the expedition altogether. Even so, however, the weak Pope, crippled by debts, could be dangerous. He had done his part in diminishing the power of Ezzelin and Pelavicini. The Romans, whose countryman he was, had expelled the imperialist Brancaleone from office in November 1255, and he could now reside alternately in Anagni and at the Lateran. His allies and faithful creditors, the Guelfs of Florence, ruled Pistoia, Arezzo, and Volterra, had brought Siena to unwelcome terms, and had twice overthrown the rival Ghibelline city of Pisa, in 1254 and 1256. Their commerce had taken on a vast extension through the banking business of the indebted Papacy and Innocent IV’s financial expedients. Lastly, on the death of King William, once anti-Caesar to Frederick II, on 28 January 1256, two rival Kings of the Romans had been elected, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, and Alfonso X, King of Castile; and Conradin’s indignant guardian, Louis of Bavaria, had acknowledged Richard, whose imperial claims in Italy seemed a possible danger to Manfred.

In 1257 Manfred began his policy of expansion, which was a combi­nation of Frederick II’s designs for dominion over all Italy and of the old oriental schemes of the Norman dynasty. While remaining neutral in the war in progress between Venice and Genoa in the Levant, he renewed their ancient privileges in the Regno and thus gained their friendship. We can hardly doubt that he also had a share in the new revolution in May 1257 at Rome, where Brancaleone was reinstated and ruled as strongly as ever. An alliance was at once made between the Senator and Manfred, whose treasure began to flow in Rome. He also negotiated with the Central Italian towns, and drew many to his side. In October 1258 he was able to appoint a vicar for the March of Ancona and Duchy of Spoleto, who acquired most of the March. In Tuscany, Siena declared for King Manfred in 1259. Events in western Lombardy, too, were in his favour. Thomas of Savoy had tried conclusions with Asti, and after a defeat had been captured by his revolted city of Turin in 1255. Although he was released in 1257, he died in February 1259 restricted to his ancient appanage of Piedmont, and imperialist Asti was momentarily predominant.

In east Lombardy, however, Manfred’s intervention was necessary if he wished to lead the imperialists, for the power both of Ezzelin and of Pelavicini was shaken, although for very different reasons. Pelavicini did certainly represent one of the factors of the Italian city-tyranny which was coming into existence in his day. He was a warlike noble to whom his imperial vicariate gave influence and, what was more important, a body of German troops. But he had no real root in any of his cities, and shared his authority with the local faction-chiefs who had called him in and could drive him out. His own native city of Parma never admitted him. These faction-chiefs, like Buoso da Dovara at Cremona, were the product of the rise of the middle-class of traders to power in the towns. Amid endless divergencies of detail the main lines of development were the same. The middle-class in their gilds had claimed and were obtain­ing a separate organisation as the popolo alongside of the older governing body, the Commune, where the nobles were preponderant. The popolani, as they were called, were usually abetted by a minority of the nobles who were at faction-strife with the others of their order. Unfortunately in the Lombard towns the popolo as a rule proved incapable of working their organisation so as to secure internal peace and to govern their city, or even to overcome the main body of the city’s nobles. For one thing, they had neither sufficient support from nor control of the petty tradesmen and employees beneath them. Part of their failure was due to the struggle of Pope and Emperor. The factions of the nobles took sides as papalists or imperialists, for which as the thirteenth century drew to its close the Tuscan names of Guelf and Ghibelline became general. The struggle rarely appealed to the popolani, who were far more influenced in their action by the rivalry of city with city and the attitude of their nobles towards themselves. Thus a multitude of cross-currents prevented all stability. If Bergamo became papalist, the popolo of Brescia would veer round to the imperialist faction of its nobles. The whole strife was embittered by the custom of exiling the defeated faction of nobles, which was a consequence of their irreconcilable feuds, and was almost rendered necessary to a victorious popolo if any sort of peace was to be kept within the city. Sometimes, indeed, a well-knit popolo, like that of Bologna, could keep both factions of nobles in check for a term of years and pursue a consistent practical policy within and without. But as a rule the distracted popolani would entrust the government for longer or shorter periods to a noble faction-chief, generally the chief of the smaller faction, whether papalist or imperialist. He would hold, at first, however absolute his real power, one or more of the city-offices, usually podestà as head of the Commune or Captain as head of the popolo, or sometimes Captain of the militia. As time wore on, new enactments would increase his powers, especially after he had been elected for life, till at length he would be Captain-General with absolute authority, and signore or lord, i.e, no longer an official, and finally an hereditary sovran. Each city indeed had its own series of changes, its own variations from the type, but in the gross the development was in curious parallel to Roman history with its co-ordinate assemblies of the centuries and tribes and its evolution of the Principate.

Such a variation was Ezzelin. In essence his position resembled that, of the full-fledged tyrant, in that he was a local faction-chief of Verona allied with the popolo. He was akin, also, to Pelavicini, in that he owed his absolutism to German troops, obtained at first through his alliance with Frederick II. But he was singular in that his power was extra-legal and he held no office. None the less he was despot of his territory: the imperial vicar, Ansedisio de’ Guidotti, was his humble instrument to rule Padua; the magistrates of Verona and Vicenza were his creatures. He fell, however, not owing to his usurpations, but owing to the streak of insanity in his character. His German guards lifted him above public opinion. Harshness towards faction-rivals became mad cruelty in him, and his thirst for blood was mingled with a perverse hatred of his species, which perhaps was the real ground of the intangible reputation for heresy which clung to him. Thus lashed with scorpions, his popolani grew disaffected, especially in the miserable city of Padua. Innocent IV had coolly parleyed with him, but the kindly Alexander IV really acted against him. In December 1255 he appointed the adventurous and more than secular Philip da Pistoia, the elect of Ravenna, legate to lead a crusade against the tyrant who was also the mainstay of the imperialists in Lombardy. It was a task far beyond the power of the Lombard papalists, disunited and preoccupied with their own city-interests, but Philip gained the aid of Venice, who added to his exiles and crusading riff-raff soldiers, ships, and victuals. On 20 June 1256 he captured Padua, while Ezzelin was ravaging the Mantuan contado. Ezzelin could not recover the town, and this first intervention of Venice in her hinterland was an unalloyed success. Ezzelin, however, if mad, was both a ruler and a general. In spite of the slow weakening of the Lombard imperialists, he seized Brescia in 1258 with the aid of Pelavicini, after they had defeated and captured Philip of Ravenna at Gambara. But he cheated his ally of his share in the conquest, and thus produced a temporary league against himself of all his neighbours, including Azzo of Este, Milan, and Bologna, led by Pelavicini, who in 1258 had become Manfred’s representative. Ezzelin took the offensive in August 1259 by invading the Milanese; he was outgeneralled, outnumbered, defeated, and taken prisoner at Cassano by the passage of the river Adda, to die by tearing the bandages from his wounds on October 1. His brother Alberic of Treviso, latterly his ally, next year was horribly put to death. In many ways Ezzelin had been a prototype of the degenerate despots of the fourteenth century but his maniacal cruelty had been wreaked on a wider circle than those of his imitators: he had held an army of opponents in his prisons.

By this victory of Pelavicini, Manfred, at least by proxy, had become powerful in Lombardy. Mastino della Scala, an imperialist, obtained the tyranny of Verona; and the papalist Martin della Torre, since 1258 tyrant of Milan, was for the time being Pelavicini’s ally. Year after year the royal vicar’s power increased: he directed the politics of most of central Lombardy, and he began to plan out a commercial policy which should further the recovery of the cities after so many broils. Yet he was bound to continue war to maintain his position. In the end his strength decayed, not from misgovernment, but owing to the death of his ally, Martin della Torre.

The establishment of a tyranny was not the only way out from the strife of the popolo with the nobles. In Genoa the nobles were also the chief shipowners and capitalists, and thus doubly entrenched in power and identified with the city’s prosperity. When even there a dictatorial Captain of the popolo, William Boccanera, was placed in power by a revolution in 1257, he gained no lasting support, and his ill-conduct of the naval war—Genoa being driven from the Syrian coast and from Sardinia by Venice and Pisa—in spite of the all-important Treaty of Nymphaeum with Michael Palaeologus in 1261, which was to give Genoa almost a monopoly of the Black Sea trade, led to a renewal of aristocratic government in 1262. Feuds then led to a resurgence of the popolo in 1270; yet the two joint Captains, a Doria and a Spinola, were Ghibellines and aristocrats and their strong government, supported by the yearly plebeian “Abbot of the popolo”, was in no way akin to a Lombard tyranny. The most successful constitution, however, was that of Tuscan Florence. In the Primo Popolo, as it was later called, which was set up in 1250, the popolo was organised in a militia of local companies. It was commanded by the Captain of the popolo, who, roughly speaking, possessed co­ordinate powers with the podestà of the commune, and advised with Councils of his own, corresponding to those of the podestà. By his side, too, stood the twelve anziani (ancients) who supervised finance. In spite of its cumbrousness and the mutual suspicion which pervaded it, this constitution worked well in practice, for the rich bankers and merchants who controlled it were well backed by the general opinion of the popolo. Their ability was shown in the prosperous wars by which Pisa was vanquished and their small neighbour-towns subjugated. Finance, however, showed them at their best, as it was the source of their predominance. In 1252 they usurped an imperial prerogative by coining the famous gold florin, and their wisdom kept it undebased, so that it became the standard coin of Western Europe. They were chief bankers to the Pope, and his and Henry III’s debts increased their trade, especially in England, where the wool export was largely pledged to them. They were strong enough to defeat in 1258 an attempt of their countryman, Cardinal Octavian, to seize a tyranny over Florence in concert with the exiled Ghibellines, and they were dreaming of a mid-Italian dominion for their city when they were overthrown by Manfred’s intervention.

It was Siena, the steady foe of Florence, who opened the way for the Sicilian king. In May 1259 she accepted his overlordship, and Manfred sent in return bodies of German horse to her aid. This was the decisive factor in the struggle that followed. True, Pisa’s recent recovery as against Genoa in the Levant and Sardinia counted for something; true, that the repulse of the ambitious reconciler, Cardinal Octavian, had alienated the Curia—it was then, not earlier, that he “lost his soul for the Ghibellines”. But Florence was strong and well led; her defect lay in the fact that the burghers, excellent against like troops to themselves, had neither the training nor the delight in sword-play which could resist the German men-at-arms in the open field. The nobles of the countryside were more capable of fighting the Transalpines, but they were largely Ghibelline and at war with their native city. So on 4 September 1260 the Florentine host was overthrown with fearful slaughter, 10,000 out of 33,000, at Montaperto. Submission followed at once; the Guelf nobles and some leading popolani went into exile, and Florence herself might have been razed to the ground, had not her Ghibelline leader, Farinata degli Uberti, withstood her envenomed foes a viso aperto.

Thus Manfred through his vicar at the head of a Ghibelline league of cities ruled all Tuscany, even Lucca submitting in 1264. It was not a harsh government, although the Primo Popolo in Florence was abolished, and the Ghibelline nobles controlled the Commune; the popolo still had to be humoured, if made subordinate. The king’s weakness partly lay in the restiveness of the cities, all pressing their separate interests which were not his, and still more in economic circumstances. The bankers and merchants of Florence and Siena were irretrievably bound up with the Popes, whose bankers and creditors they wore, and whose revenues they largely collected. The Popes, too, wielded a deadly weapon; they could forbid the overjoyed debtors of the bankers abroad to pay their debts. Hence Siena lost, for instance, the English trade. Subterfuges, like a concealed partnership with Guelf firms, were of no avail in the long run, and one by one the leading bankers, secretly or openly, became Guelfs, as the new Pope, Urban IV, put steady pressure upon them. They had watched without flinching the tragic procession of the Flagellants, who in 1260 pervaded Italy. That melancholy spasm of revivalism—city after city stirred by the nameless self-scourging penitents and adding to their number, unless a stem despot like Pelavicini warded off the infection—did not indeed create a return to godliness. It was only, as was said by Gregorovius, the funeral dirge over the magnificent conceptions of the Empire and the Papacy. Men did not, save in the mystic expectations of Joachism, recognise the beginnings of a newer world.

We may guess that the policy of Cardinal Octavian, who led the Curia, was not unlike that of the later Pope, Nicholas III: that he wished a strictly local King of Sicily, and a peaceable Papal State in Central Italy, within which the old factions should be reconciled. But the scheme had failed. Although Rome had again become uncertainly papalist in 1259 some months after Brancaleone’s death, Manfred conquered Tuscany and made progress in the papal lands. Naturally, when the Pope died on 25 May 1261 at Viterbo, the Cardinals recurred to a more worldly pontiff. On 29 August they elected James Pantaleon, Patriarch of Jerusalem, the son of a shoemaker of Troyes, who took the name of Urban IV. A born despot, who “did what he willed”, he was the first non-Italian, now that national feeling was strongly developed, to sit in St Peter’s chair, and he at once gave the papal policy a pro-French direction. Fourteen new cardinals, several of them French, created for him a majority in the Sacred College, and increased his freedom of action. Vigorous measures and new men did much to restore his authority in the papal lands and to alleviate the papal debts. Like Innocent IV he saw that Staufen rulers in Empire or Regno must aim at a unification of Italy, since even Manfred openly claimed the Empire. A champion, then, must be called in to light against them, and Urban was resolved that the champion should be French. First, however, he must convert the righteous Louis IX of France to aggression on the Regno; for that Conradin’s claims must be dismissed and Manfred must be proved an irreconcilable enemy. A further complication was introduced by the efforts of the ex-Emperor Baldwin of Constantinople to obtain the restoration of the Latin Empire and the expulsion of the schismatic Palaeologus by means of Manfred as champion, an object sure to appeal to the crusading French-king. Manfred must then be proved useless to Christendom. So negotiations were opened with him which lasted through 1262, and in which Urban contrived to make demands such as the Sicilian king would not grant. On 29 March 1263 Manfred was excommunicated anew, this time with Louis IX’s approval.

Urban IV had never intended a reconciliation. He had long been in treaty with Charles of Anjou, once the alternative candidate of Innocent, Edmund of England being deservedly cashiered. A prolonged haggling took place over the terms of the agreement, for Urban had no intention of founding a new prepotent dynasty in Italy, and Charles meant to be no catspaw. In March 1264 mutters were furthered by Charles finally taking over the senatorship of Rome, offered him since August by the papalist faction there, and sending a deputy. The Pope may not have been pleased at seeing his hand forced, but was too hard-pressed by Manfred to be unbending to Charles, and the bargain was all but concluded when he died worn out at Perugia on 2 October 1264. The strong-willed, keen-sighted Frenchman had set on foot a great work, the exclusion of the Germans from Italy and the introduction of the French. His successor was to see the accomplishment of the design and to feel its effect, the renewed subjugation of the Papacy to a lay power, this time French.

His successor after a four months’ conclave was another Frenchman, an ex-chancellor of Louis IX. This was Guy Foulquoi “le Gros”, a native of Languedoc and Cardinal-bishop of Sabina; he was an exemplar of the pagan virtues, with asceticism added. Clement IV, as he was styled, was crowned on 15 February, and at last concluded the treaty with Charles in April 1265. Its principal provisions were: the separation of the Regno from the Empire; the Sicilian king was to hold no office nor land in the papal territory, nor any dominion in Lombardy or Tuscany; for three years, however, Charles might be Senator of Rome, unless he obtained the Regno in a shorter period; Charles was to pay 50,000 marks down on conquest, and a tribute of 8000 gold ounces yearly, and was to furnish 300 knights for three months yearly, if called upon to do so; the clergy were to be tax-free and subject to ecclesiastical tribunals only; the Regnicoli were to enjoy their customs as under William the Good. Both allies were in desperate need of money. Still they borrowed, begged, and taxed; the affair was a crusade, and the French clergy gave a tenth of their possessions to it. The Tuscan Guelf bankers were cajoled and coerced to lend with the prospect of the exploitation of the Regno to requite them. Charles had equipped a fleet from his county of Provence, and crusaders flocked together from all France, eager for booty and spiritual benefits.

The leading characteristic of diaries of Anjou, who thus became the Pope’s champion, was a devouring ambition, which stopped at no obstacle and was never satisfied. He was a statesman strong and cold, ruthless and crafty. Unweariedly active, he had no liking for any sort of diversion, and with this dour activity went a love of despotic rule. Of an orthodox nature, heresy vanished before him. Without being in any way a monster, he was singularly unloveable, and the narrowness of his sympathies, confined to Frenchmen who were noble, made him a harsh governor. In 1246 he had obtained the county of Provence in the Arelate by his marriage with Beatrice, youngest daughter and heiress of Raymond Berengar IV, Count of Provence, who died in 1245. In spite of revolts, he had succeeded in turning his dominion there into a complete despotism and had begun fresh conquests. Between 1258 and 1264 he had made himself lord or count of southern Piedmont, composed of the little communes which had recently been subject to Asti, and thus he had a foothold in Italy. Now he was to be the defender of Holy Church, and doubted neither the righteousness of his hire nor that of any of his subsequent proceedings. He convinced himself that his own exaltation was the chief need of Christendom.

By 1265 immediate action was essential. Manfred was head of a great confederation, made victorious by his Germans and Saracens. He ruled Tuscany; his ally Pelavicini was the greatest power in Lombardy; he had much authority in the papal March of Ancona where his vicar had won a victory in 1264; the Trevisan March was at least neutral; and Venice and Genoa were his friends. Tunis was his tributary; his father-in-law was Despot of Epirus; his son-in-law was heir to Aragon. He seemed to aim at uniting Italy, seizing the Empire, and keeping a supremacy in the East. But the wielder of this dominion was himself weak. In spite of his courage and ability and his many adventures, Manfred yet remained a child of the harem, which Frederick II, like his Norman predecessors, had fatally adopted. Indolent and undecided, prone to act through confidential officials, and loving the imagination of his own greatness, the “Sultan of Lucera”, as his insulting enemies called him, spent his days in his delicious country-palaces among the Apennines, dictating his adroit, vainglorious manifestoes, and unable to brace himself up to the pleasureless activity necessary for his ambitions and even for his safety. He now showed the same oriental mixture of self-confidence and enervation. James de Gantelme, a Provençal, came to Rome as Charles’ vicar in the spring of 1264. It was necessary to expel him, if Charles was not to have a basis of operations. But Manfred only made two ineffective, if clever, campaigns which left things as they were. He could not resolve to press the attack home in person, and seized the occasion of Pope Urban’s death to give up the enterprise. Very different were the actions of his adversaries. Penniless and surrounded, the Pope and Gantelme held out dauntlessly in Perugia and Rome.

Charles’ plan was simple. He would go himself to Rome to hold and prepare his base. His crusading army, unable to cross the sea which Manfred commanded, should take a circuit through Lombardy and Romagna and so reach him. This scheme was possible owing to the change which had occurred in Lombardy. In December 1264 Philip della Torre succeeded his brother Martin as tyrant of Milan. He at once broke with Pelavicini, and formed in February 1265 in concert with Marquess Obizzo of Este a new papalist league, which in its turn allied with Charles, and kept gaining over fresh cities, while Pelavicini lost Modena and Parma. To its progress the succession of Napoleon della Torre in October 1265 made no difference. In November 1265 Charles’ crusading army crossed the Alps and assembled at his town of Alba. It consisted of 5000 French men-at-arms and 25,000 foot, and was of fine fighting quality. By Vercelli, which a revolution took from Pelavicini and gave to the Torriani, through Milan, Mantua, and Bologna they went—Pelavicini, now much diminished in power, not daring to attack—gained the Flaminian Way, and reached Rome in January 1266. Meanwhile Charles with a smaller force had taken ship on 14 May 1265, and favoured by the weather and the general paralysis of Manfred’s side, had entered Rome. He was invested as king and crusading chief on 28 June.

Manfred was awaking to his danger. After a further unreal campaign against Rome in the summer of 1265, during which Charles seemed to offer battle in vain, he made earnest preparations for defence. He recalled his Germans from the north, he massed his Saracens, he summoned in December the feudal levies. Treason, however, was already at work. The Norman barons of the Regno had never submitted willingly to their kings, and the German conquest had further alienated them. Heavy taxation, also, made the Regnicoli only too ready to listen to the Pope’s glowing prophecies. Manfred knew it, and showed too late the energy of despair. Charles stormed the frontier town of San Germano on 10 February 1266, and the Terra di Lavoro began to declare for him; so Manfred retreated to the inner line of defence in the pass of the Apennines, and encamped at Benevento, whither Charles followed. They joined battle on 26 February with nearly equal forces, but the French troopers were too strong for Manfred’s fighting men, Germans, Lombards, and Saracens, and the Regnicoli fled without a blow. Manfred saw his fate and charged into the fray to fell by an unknown hand. With him the glory of the Regno departed. Like Frederick II he had fostered its rich culture, the most advanced in Europe; he was himself an author. In spite of indolence, revengefulness, and faithlessness, he had been a merciful, indulgent prince. Now the Regnicoli were to fell under an utterly selfish, greedy ruler, and to expiate their own fickle treason. True it is, that it was time that European civilisation should find its centre to the north away from the semi-oriental influences of Sicily. It was time, too, that the now unfruitful connexion of Italy and Germany should give place to independent development. And these necessities were effected by the victory of the French knights over German and Saracen at Benevento.

A kaleidoscopic change took place all over Italy on Manfred’s fall. The Regno accepted its new master. Almost all the March of Ancona submitted to the Rope. At Florence, after an intricate series of compromises, the Ghibelline nobles left the town, and the was revived; the Guelfs of course came back throughout Tuscany and took the load. In Lombardy there followed a number of revo­lutions, as the imperialist towns turned papalist. Pelavicini lost all his dominions and retired to his estates, where he died in 1269; Buoso da Bovara was similarly relegated to his possessions in the Cremonese contado. Societies were formed in many towns to secure peace and orthodoxy, and they soon became actively papalist bodies. Of all the cities, only tyrant-ruled Verona and republican Pavia retained their imperial party standpoint.

It seemed for a moment as if the aims of the Popes were fully brought about. That they were not, was due partly to King Charles’ ambition and partly to his necessities, but also to the rivalries of the north Italian towns, the policy of which was only partially and unwillingly concerned with the strife of Pope and Emperor, and not at all fulfilled by the mere victory of Clement IV. Charles’ government of the Regno rapidly became a public scandal. The Staufen had ruled through the Regnicoli themselves; but Charles, who had seen their treason and who knew that such, loyalty as existed was for the Staufen, governed them as he governed the Provençals, by foreigners. Only the tax-farmers were native, and these men soon earned a hatred which their predecessors had avoided. The French officials, on their side, were oppressive aliens. The Tuscan merchants and bankers absorbed the country’s trade, once in native hands. The promised Parliament was not held. The taxes themselves were as heavy as of old, and harder to bear, for the general collectae were still levied, in spite of Charles’ promises to the Pope, and the clergy were now exempt from them, Charles’ promise being kept on that head. Charles might justly claim that he could not abolish the collectae had he wished, since the bureaucratic State needed heavy taxes for its support, and he had soldiers and debts to pay, among which the debt and tribute to the Pope were prominent. This argument, however, did not convince the Pope, and no wonder, for Charles embarked at once on great schemes which meant costly preparations. “What do you wish me to rejoice at?” he said after Benevento; “to a valiant man the whole world would not suffice”. The capture of Constantinople in 1261 by the Greek Emperor Michael VIII gave him a pretext for subduing the schismatic Greeks, and he formed a comprehensive maritime policy like that of the Norman kings, which included the conquest of the Balkans and the supremacy in the trade of the Levant. The Regnicoli, thus made his stepping-stones, became eager for revolt, and looked in their turn for a champion.

Clement IV was well-informed, and his angry reproaches were justified, but his own measures did little good. He insisted on Charles resigning the senatorship of Rome according to the treaty; but the subsequent rule of the papalist nobility roused the Romans to revolution, and in June 1267 a new Senator was appointed, Don Henry of Castile. Although a younger brother of Alfonso X, he was practically a wealthy adventurer, and he had recently become mortal enemy to Charles over his disappointed hopes for a kingdom in Sardinia. Once Senator, he soon fell out with the Pope and joined the imperialist faction. In Tuscany Clement’s intervention had been equally unhappy. He was an aristocrat and disliked the rule of the popolo; he wished his dependents, the Guelf nobles and bankers, to be untrammelled masters of Florence; he was jealous for the papal authority, and he dreaded with reason a new storm coming from Germany, to which even a partly Ghibelline Florence might give free ingress, for the exiled Ghibellines kept their ground in the contado, as was usual with a defeated city-faction, and possessed a formidable force of German troopers. When the Florentine popolo pursued a reconciling system and disregarded the Pope’s wishes, the angry Clement resolved to abandon a main security of the Papacy and bring King Charles into Tuscany. With remarkable blindness he showed himself more patient to Ghibelline Pisa, and attempted to make her peace with Charles, who had abolished her toll-freedom in the Regno and was aggrieved by her consequent hostile attitude to him.

The main reason for all these Tuscan proceedings was the imminent invasion of Italy by Conradin. The last heir of the Staufen was in 1267 a boy of fifteen, precocious, bold, and ambitious; he was the only hope of the malcontent Regnicoli and the Italian imperialists. Early in the year relatives of Manfred and ex-officials, like the Lancia, came flocking to his court in Swabia; and a plan was struck out by which he should march to Tuscany and thence invade the Regno, while the Regnicolo, Conrad Capece, should attack Sicily from Tunis. Some vague notion of the scheme must have been known to the Pope and Charles, and they resolved to gain Tuscany first.

Charles met Clement at Viterbo in April 1267. However unwillingly, the Pope appointed him Paciariuspacifier—of Tuscany for three years, a grant which enabled him shortly after to usurp the vicariate of the Holy Roman Empire in that province. The king’s troops preceded him to Florence, whence the remaining Ghibellines fled. He was at once made Signore and Podestà with a vicar to represent him. In a new constitu­tion the popolo’s organisation and Captain were abolished, and the Guelf nobles and bankers placed in exclusive power. A new magistracy was recognised, that of the Parte Guelfa, governed by the usual apparatus of Captains and Councils; and its function was to keep the Guelfs in power, analogously to the action of the peace-societies in Lombardy. For this purpose one-third of the confiscated property of the Ghibelline exiles was handed over to it. Not all of Tuscany, however, showed the sub­missiveness of Florence; Siena and Pisa, the latter now at open war with Charles, held out along with the Ghibellines in the Florentine contado. In the course of the war 800 Ghibellines and Germans were shut up in Poggibonsi, and Charles who came north in August 1267 set about its siege. The task was hard, for the town only surrendered on 30 November, and this delay gave the Ghibellines their chance. Pisa allied with Conradin, who also gained over Don Henry and Rome; while Conrad Capece obtained the alliance of the Emir of Tunis, and with Don Frederick, brother to Don Henry, raised a formidable revolt in Sicily at the end of August 1267.

Meanwhile Conradin entered Verona with a German army on 21 October. Now excommunicated by the Pope, he gained no result from his diplomacy in Lombardy, and he decided to make a dash for Tuscany. By a circuit southward he reached Pavia safely with 3000 troopers on 20 January 1268. Charles intended to march to fight him, but his better judgment was overruled by the Pope—his treasure was exhausted and Clement was paymaster. On 2 February the Saracens of Lucera had revolted, and the Pope insisted on Charles’ return to quell them and hold the Regno. So the king moved south and began another weary unsuccessful siege. Conradin immediately slipped to Pisa by sea, and his army, avoiding the customary Via Francigena, blocked by Charles at Pontremoli, was adroitly led over the unguarded westerly pass of Cento Croci above Varese to the same point on 2 May. The Sienese popolo had come to power in March and were ardent Ghibellines. Thus supported, the young Staufen, who took the attitude, half of Sicilian King and half of Emperor, could march south, routing Charles’ lieutenants on his way. Rome was reached on 24 of July and the Regno entered at Carsoli on 20 August. Conradin was avoiding the Terra di Lavoro and aiming by the unguarded northerly route, the Via Valeria, at Lucera, but Charles met him ready for battle. He had abandoned the siege of Lucera and awaited the invader in the Campi Palentini. Behind him the Regno rose in rebellion, barons and townsmen together over two-thirds of the land; only French-garrisoned towns and the Staufen-hating Terra di Lavoro and Principato stood on his side. The two armies fought their battle on 23 August 1268 close to Albe; Conradin’s 7000 horse were composed of Germans, Don Henry’s Spaniards, and Italians; Charles’ much inferior force, hurried north in haste, was French and Italian only. It was Charles’ generalship in em­ploying a reserve in ambush and the staunchness of his French knights which won the day; even the unyielding Spaniards were routed, and the devout conqueror could write to the Pope “to arise and eat of his son’s venison”. It was, indeed, a feast of vengeance, which eclipsed Conradin’s unchivalrous murder of his prisoner, Charles’ Tuscan vicar, John de Braiselve. Executions, mutilations, burning alive, were the order of the day. Don Henry was soon captured, to suffer imprisonment for many years; Conradin all but escaped by sea from the Roman Cam­, to be brought to a mock and formal trial at Naples. He was beheaded with his boy-friend, Frederick of Austria, on 29 October 1268, although European opinion was shocked by the slaughter of a royal rival in cold blood.  Charles’motives were those of policy, he could not reign securely while the rightful heir survived. The Pope gave consent by silence; his aims at least were achieved, for, despite later transitory changes, any real intervention of Germany in Italy, or danger to the Papacy from the Empire, came to an end. The prepotence he had now to fear was that of his French countrymen.

It remained to gather in the spoils. Charles promptly re-obtained the Senatorship of Rome, although his tenure of the office was limited to ten years by the Pope. As for the rebels in the Regno, they largely submitted at once, while the obstinate were warred down. On 27 August 1269 Lucera surrendered, and the revolt in Sicily came to an end with the capture and execution of Conrad Capece in July 1270. Sporadic risings indeed took place almost yearly, but their importance was slight save as an indication of Charles’ misrule. The king’s methods were thorough: the rebel baronage was replaced by a loyal French nobility by means of wholesale confiscation. Otherwise, after the first vengeance, only ringleaders and obstinate rebels were put to death. He moved the capital to loyal Naples in the Terra di Lavoro, no great grievance to Palermo, for the Staufen, too, had preferred the mainland; but his abso­lutism was more pronounced than theirs, since he ceased to assemble the Parliaments which they had occasionally convoked, and the burden of his taxation steadily grew, since he needed money to realise his ambitious dreams.

For those dreams his hands had been freed by the death of Pope Clement IV on 29 November 1268. Although the Pope had been all in his favour during the war with Conradin, and had even on 17 April 1268 appointed him indefinitely imperial vicar of Tuscany, it was not likely that he would suffer Charles’ continued intervention in the north for long. Charles too obviously was imitating the Staufen scheme of rule over all Italy. Then, like all Popes, he must press on the project of a genuine crusade in Palestine, while Charles was bent on the conquest of the schismatic Greeks of Constantinople and on peace with the Mamluk Sultan Baibars, ruler of Palestine, while he effected it. Now that the Holy See was vacant, Charles knew that the papalist—Guelf we may now say—majority of the cardinals by no means desired a new lay and French master, however convinced they might be that Ghibellinism was to be suppressed and the Germans and their Emperor practically excluded from Italy. It was his cue, therefore, to exploit the political, national, and personal divisions among the cardinals so as to prevent the formation of the two-thirds majority which would suffice to elect a fresh Pope. He could thus utilise the interval to affirm his power in Italy, and to take irremediable action in the East.

In Italy success on the whole awaited him. After a year’s warfare in Tuscany he forced Pisa to a peace in 1270, and the same year Siena made submission, became Guelf, and expelled the Ghibellines. Save in Pisa, Charles acted in concert with the Guelf nobles and bankers to whom he was so closely bound. His rule was mild and, so to say, constitutional; he gave the harassed country peace and prosperity. In Lombardy he extended his Piedmontese territory by the submission of Turin and Alessandria in 1270, while further east he became Signore of Brescia in 1270, and attempted to gain the like position in the other Guelf cities. But his demand was refused in 1269, although he obtained a kind of oath of allegiance. It was a serious mistake to claim it, for the house of Della Torre, which held the tyranny of Milan and its dependent towns, was alarmed and inclined to look for new allies.

Charles’ attention, however, during the vacancy of the papal see was mainly directed to his brother King Louis’ unwelcome crusade. Had he been able, perhaps, he would have stopped it altogether; yet he at least managed to make it less harmful than it might have been. Time, indeed, in which he hoped to master Constantinople, was wasted, but money was got. In August 1269 he had refused to re-establish the Staufens’ treaty with Mustansir, the Emir of Tunis, and the latter’s envoys had gone on to Paris. An idea of beginning his crusade at Tunis appears thenceforward to have taken root in the French king’s mind, although it was not finally decided to do so until the crusading fleet reached Cagliari in Sardinia by 11 July 1270. Charles’ share in this decision remains doubt­ful; yet he was due to meet his brother in Sicily, and seems to have planned to join in the Tunisian expedition, take his profit out of it, and then proceed with his Grecian war. He never met Louis IX either in Sicily or Tunis; for, when he had wrung out of the Regnicoli sufficient means to arrive at Carthage on 25 August 1270, he found his brother just dead. He at once became leader of the Crusade, and used it for his interest. On 1 November a treaty was made with the Emir. By it Charles obtained the ancient status quo under the Staufen, but with doubled tribute, payment of some arrears, and a large share of the war indemnity which the Emir had to pay. Another important clause prescribed the expulsion from Tunis of the dangerous fugitive Regnicoli. The genuine crusaders might be wroth, but Charles, with debts paid and a little money in hand, could proceed with his oriental project. He had long prepared for it. In 1269 his alliance with Baldwin, the Latin ex-Emperor, was cemented by a marriage arranged between his daughter and Baldwin’s heir, Philip. In the same year a further match, carried out in 1271, between Charles’ own son Philip and the heiress of William de Villehardouin, Prince of Achaia, gave Charles a prospect of direct dominion in the Morea. Already in 1267 he had gained possession of Corfu and of the dowry of Manfred’s captured queen in Epirus, which in 1272 was to grow into a kingdom of Albania. If Venice in 1269 refused her co-operation, he secured the friendship of Hungary by a double marriage-treaty, owing to which his grandson, Charles Martel, long after mounted the Hungarian throne. In short, all seemed going well, in spite of the delay over the Tunisian Crusade, till Charles on 22 November 1270 landed at Trapani. The next day a sudden hurricane arose and shattered the fleet in harbour. The ships and treasure for the Greek war went to the bottom; possible troops, from Charles’ point of view, were lost in the thousands of drowned crusaders; and the conquest of New Rome was fatally deferred.

It was now clear that the election of a Pope could no longer be avoided. Not only was the outcry of Western Christendom against the vacancy growing, but the Ghibellines wore using the time to work in Lombardy. King Richard of Cornwall had long ceased to pay attention to Italy; his rival Alfonso X of Castile seemed at last to be taking his title of King of the Romans in earnest, and the Lombard Ghibellines with little hesitation turned to him. A Pope was required to resist him, if possible a French Pope. Charles, therefore, accompanied his docile nephew, Philip III of France, to the unending conclave at Viterbo; but their joint efforts to obtain the election of a French Pope were unavailing. When the cardinals some months after agreed to accept the nomination of six of their number, it was found that the moderates had triumphed. An Italian, not a Frenchman, was chosen, a friend of Charles, who was yet no puppet, and chiefly—what would satisfy the Ghibellines—a man who believed in the old order of Papacy and Empire and who longed to unite all Christendom for a crusade. Tedald Visconti of Piacenza, Archdeacon of Liege, was far away in Palestine when he became Pope Gregory X on 1 September 1271. He only reached Rome on 12 March 1272, accompanied by bis disillusioned royal vassal. He saw his policy with perfect clearness: there was to be a real Emperor, now that he could only be useful and not dangerous; and the reunion with the schismatic Greek Church should be carried through as the indispensable preliminary for a crusade in the Holy Land. While reunion was aimed at, Charles’ war of conquest in Greece must remain in abeyance; he was the Pope’s creature, and could not resist an obviously justified command. But he should not be uncompensated. Within due limits he should be supported in his Italian greatness, which was after all his first interest.

For the Union with the Greek Church and the settlement of the new order of things in the West, a General Council was necessary, which should seal the treaty of peace after the war begun between Papacy and Empire at the Council of Lyons in 1245. Gregory’s Council was summoned for Lyons also, and in June 1273 the Pope set out from his residence at Orvieto. He hoped io leave reconciled factions behind him in Italy, but in this he was thwarted. The accord he decreed in Florence on his journey was wrecked by Charles, to whom its execution fell, and no better success attended him in Lombardy. Charles’ behaviour was due to his estrangement from his suzerain. On the death of Richard of Cornwall on 2 April 1272, the election of a new King of the Romans loomed nearer, Alfonso X being impossible from a German or a papal point of view. Charles quickly schemed to utilise the election. The French were now the leading nation; his nephew, the colourless Philip III, should obtain the Empire and the titular leadership of Europe, and this would settle at once the matter of Charles’ position in North Italy, where his nephew would certainly not oppose him. Here Gregory put his foot down. While exerting strong pressure on the German Electors to create a new King of the Romans, he refused, in spite of Charles’ wrath, to recommend Philip III for their choice. The result was that Rudolf of Habsburg was elected on 1 October 1273, he sent his envoys to the Council of Lyons when it was opened on 7 May 1274, and was gladly recognised. In return, he accepted the moderate Guelf views: he renounced all rights over the papal territory; and he admitted the permanent separation of the Regno and the Empire. The good Pope’s object was thus attained, and he could undertake the pious task of promoting friendship between Charles and Rudolf.

A still greater triumph rewarded Gregory’s brilliant diplomacy on the Reunion question. He used Charles’ ambitions for the conquest of Constantinople as pressure to induce the Greek Emperor Michael Palaeologus to submit to the Roman see and Western creed. At the same time he made it clear that Charles would not be allowed to attack the Eastern Empire, if the schism were healed in time. Michael’s convictions took rapid shape under these threats and promises. A Greek Synod gave a forced approval, and accredited Greek envoys accepted the Western “Filioque” and the papal supremacy at the Council on 6 July. It was only a screen spread over the chasm of dissidence; but it sufficed to baffle Charles, and Gregory could hope for a true crusade of all Christendom.

One more decree, passed on 16 July, was to prevent the scandal of a long vacancy in the Popedom. After ten days of ineffectual conclave the hesitating cardinals were to be placed under progressive austerities. Only with a Pope elected could they return to even tolerable comfort. It was an honest endeavour to meet a public need, yet it marked Gregory’s weakness: he put all his trust in the appearances of things, and thought that, with an Emperor, with some sort of Pope, with a nominal Union, all would go well; but the heavy feet of his contemporaries soon trod through his painted panorama.

The good intentions, however, of an able, high-minded man bore fruit, humbler, perhaps, but more useful than his worldwide schemes. The Spanish danger in North Italy had increased. Marquess William VII of Montferrat had become the son-in-law of Alfonso X, and could begin a revolt from Charles in Piedmont and a Ghibelline resurgence all over Lombardy. More important was a consequence of Charles’ own aggressive ambition. The revolution of 1270 in Genoa had placed in power the Ghibelline nobles supported by the popolo. Charles needed the city and its fleet, and therefore allied with the exiled Guelfs. He then forced on a war in 1273, but by sea and land was signally defeated. Now Genoa could admit the Spaniards into Lombardy, and she used her opportunity. She allied on 26 October 1274 with the west Lombard Ghibellines, William VII of Montferrat and Asti, who were losing to Charles’ attacks, and transported 1000 Spanish troopers to Lombardy. All the Ghibelline cities promptly acknowledged Alfonso X’s title, and their number grew. Finally, the victory of Marquess Thomas of Saluzzo over Charles’ seneschal at Roccavione on 10 November 1275 caused the Sicilian king to lose Piedmont. His allies, the Della Torre, had been at least luke-warm, and his supremacy in North Italy was vanishing and being replaced by a less effectual dominion of Alfonso.

But Gregory X resolved that the Spanish dominion should not be. In May 1275 he intercepted Alfonso, who was coming to lead his Lom­bard partisans, at Beaucaire at the frontier of Provence, and, after months of negotiation, obtained in August his renunciation of the Roman kingship. It was a great surrender, but Alfonso’s deserted realm of Castile was becoming restive, and the difficulty of reaching Italy by the route he had chosen was manifest. That done, the Pope could meet King Rudolf at Lausanne in October 1276. The King of the Romans, too, was pliable. He again confirmed all his concessions; he at once sent German troopers to Milan to resist the Alfonsist Ghibellines; he himself would, come to be crowned Emperor next year. Gregory could re-enter Italy full of hope for an interview with Charles, who as well as Alfonso was checkmated in Lombardy. In December he learnt that Rudolf’s envoys were demanding the oaths of allegiance not only from the Lombard cities but also from Romagna, according to ancient custom. The Pope, however, was determined to require the literal observance of the ancient charters which secured Romagna to the Papacy, and he demanded at once the renunciation of Romagna from the king. The answer never reached him, for he died at Arezzo on 12 January 1276.

Two ephemeral Popes succeeded Gregory X. The Savoyard Innocent V, who reigned from 21 January to 22 June 1276, did little save refuse to sanction Charles’ Grecian war and to arrange a peace between him and Genoa. The Genoese Hadrian V, who reigned from 11 July to 18 August, had only time to suspend Gregory’s conclave decree, which had worked havoc on the cardinals in the conclave at Rome which elected him. Charles thus lost not only two favourable Popes but their and others’ votes in the next conclave. Accordingly, on 15 September 1276 Peter Juliani, a Portuguese cardinal, was elected at Viterbo as John XXI. He was a cheerful dilettante and left the conduct of affairs to the leading moderate Guelf in the Sacred College, Cardinal John Gaetan Orsini. Charles in vain urged the Pope to induce the rupture of the Union, which might indeed be justified on account of its proved unreality. He only obtained the Pope’s sanction for his acquisition of the shadowy kingdom of Jerusalem, now confined to Acre. Then John XXI, too, died suddenly on 20 May 1277. A prolonged struggle began in the conclave between the moderate Guelfs and the pro-French party, in which the moderate Guelfs won by the election on 25 November of Cardinal John Gaetan as Nicholas III.

Like so many of the Popes of Roman birth, Nicholas possessed that ruler’s nature, statesmanlike, patient, and masterful, which seemed to revive the ancient Roman spirit. His temperament was thoroughly secular; he was splendour-loving and a great builder. His most patent fault was nepotism, which led him easily to simony. Although special favour to his own relatives was natural to a Pope when each cardinal belonged to a political party and was prone to independent action, and although Innocent IV and Gregory X had set him an example, Nicho­las III’s desire to exalt the Orsini went far beyond older limits and has branded him as the introducer of a new disease in the Western Church. It affected the schemes he inherited from Gregory X: the checking, yet the compensation of, Charles of Sicily, the alliance with, yet the precau­tions against, the King of the Romans, the neutral independent Papal State. For these aims the clearsighted, nepotistic Pope struck out his plan of the four kingdoms. Charles was to keep the Regno and be allied to Rudolf, but was to be excluded from the rest of Italy and to receive the kingdom of Arles for his grandson Charles Martel in exchange. Rudolf, likewise, was to lose North Italy and Arles, but in return Germany and the imperial title should be made hereditary in the Habsburgs. The kingdom of North Italy should be conferred on the house of Orsini. Thus the principle of nationality would be in a way admitted. In this secular interpretation of Gregory’s ideas, the crusade of course took a subordinate place, although the Pope had no notion of giving up the ecumenical activities of his office.

The first step was to make sure of Romagna for the Papal State. He at once demanded from Rudolf the renunciation of dominion there. The king made no resistance. He was fighting for his kingship with Ottokar of Bohemia, and, as we shall see, his Lombard proteges were fallen. But he found it difficult to make the renunciation formal and irrevocable enough to satisfy the Pope, who remembered that the ancient donation had been treated as unmeaning for three hundred years, and it was not till February 1279 that every possible guarantee was given. Still Nicholas was convinced of the reality of the surrender in May 1278, and could proceed with his further design of ousting Charles from Rome and Tuscany and of making him the ally of Rudolf. In addition to the power any strong-willed Pope was bound to have over Charles, Nicholas enjoyed other advantages. He had mastered the cardinals by a large creation, and was thus freer than most recent Popes; he was a native Roman, and could rely on his fellow-countrymen; imperialism in the old sense was extinct as a political force; and lastly, Charles’ power had waned after his loss of Piedmont and his defeat by Genoa.

Lombardy, in fact, had at last become independent with the fall of the house of Della Torre which had ruled Milan. The Ghibellines had regained much favour in their cities, now that they were dissociated from any foreign ruler, while the Della Torre, who employed King Rudolf’s Germans, had made themselves hateful by misgovernment. The lead against the Milanese tyrant was taken by the Archbishop of Milan, Otto Visconti, whom he had always kept in exile. The Archbishop rallied the Ghibelline exiles who formed the majority of the Milanese nobility, and, in spite of a defeat, seized on Como in November 1277. Thence he attacked his foes with the support of most of the countryside, and overthrew them on 21 January 1278 at Desio. The tyrant Napoleon and many of his kin fell into Otto’s hands, and next day Milan received the Archbishop as her despot. A new grouping of towns at once followed, in which Milan headed the Ghibelline, and Cremona the Guelf league, and indecisive fighting continued for some years, chiefly concerning the possession of Lodi, which the remaining Della Torre made their headquarters. It was dangerous enough to induce the archbishop to submit to call in William VII of Montferrat in 1278 as Captain-General of Milan for four years.

With Lombardy really lost, Charles was weaker than before in Tuscany. He had, against his wish, helped his Guelf allies to reconquer and further depress Pisa in 1275-6; he had also seen in Florence a new single Captain instituted for the Parte Guelfa, who had in practice equal powers with Charles’ vicar, while the feuds springing up among the Guelfs were impairing the stability of the whole régime. Nicholas had thus the opportunity to insist on mediating. On 24 May 1278 in a personal interview he ordered Charles to quit the Roman senatorship on 16 September when his term of office expired, and also to resign the vicariate of Tuscany eight days later. His commands were obeyed, and, in reward, the Pope took up the question of Charles’ alliance with Rudolf with such zeal that in the summer of 1280 the treaty was all but ready.

Meanwhile Nicholas was eagerly contriving peace, papal suzerainty, and Orsini domination in Central Italy. At Rome, his action was imme­diate and characteristic. He issued a new constitution forbidding a non­Roman Senator; he obtained from his countrymen the direct rule of the Eternal City for life, becoming in this way both suzerain and grantee; and then he promoted his brother to the senatorial office. This had been an easy task, but that of reconciling the Tuscan factions and of annexing Romagna was hard. Formally, indeed, Bologna and the Romagnol towns made no great objection to the oath of allegiance to the Pope, but they were not anxious for his effective government and were torn by faction. The days had gone by when Bologna had dominated Romagna and compelled the factions to endure one another. Her trade was rapidly declining and she had lost in a three years’ war with Venice. Then her nobles got out of hand, and in 1274 the Guelfs or Geremei had driven out the Ghibellines or Lambertazzi. War broke out over all Romagna, in which the Ghibellines led by Count Guido of Montefeltro had a decided advantage over the Guelfs in spite of the aid given to the latter by Guelfic Florence. Matters were in this stage when on 25 September 1278 Nicholas appointed one nephew, the worthy Cardinal Latino Malabranca, legate for Tuscany and Romagna, and another nephew, Bertold Orsini, Rector or “Count” of Romagna under him. The two patched up a general peace with infinite trouble, and on 8 October 1279 Cardinal Latino was able to arrive at Florence for his mission there. But in December the Ghibellines were again driven from Bologna, and neither Bertold nor Latino had been able to quench the resulting war or to restore the short-lived papal rule, when Nicholas III died on 22 August 1280.

In Florence, however, Cardinal Latino ameliorated the state of the city permanently, although, curiously enough, his actual scheme proved a fleeting mirage. Nicholas was made Signore on 19 November 1279, and a general reconciliation and a new constitution were promulgated on 18 January 1280. Almost all the Ghibellines returned and re-obtained a portion of their lost property. The popolo again received an organisation and a Captain. The Parte Guelfa and its Captain remained as a partisan body, while the Ghibellines were given a similar status. If the Ghibellines were soon edged out of political power, they had been repatriated for good. Further, a Council of Fourteen was set up for general supervision and finance. In 1282 they were replaced by the Priors of the Arts, who, being based on the gilds, were far more successful and became the true rulers of the city. Thus Florence passed under the control of the wealthy middle-class. She, at any rate, produced a government by the popolo which could work. As if to signalise the new era, shrewd King Rudolf sent a vicar to Tuscany, whose vain efforts ended in small payments to his exchequer. The destruction of the Empire in Italy was illustrated by the trifling price which its claims could fetch.

Nicholas filled a small place in history compared with his ambitions. His four kingdoms’ scheme, nebulous always, quite vanished at his death. Still he had helped to wind up several insolvent ideals, and had maintained the Papacy in complete independence. His successor was to lose that independence, and to declare an open bankruptcy.

After his recent experience, Charles was determined to secure a pro-French Pope. A timely riot of the Viterbans terrorised the moderate Guelf cardinals, and on 22 February 1281 the college elected Cardinal Simon de Brie Pope as Martin IV. Their choice was a representative of the rising national feeling of his day. This ancient councillor of St Louis and negotiator between Charles and Urban IV hated Germans and loved his French countrymen. He was both able and irresolute, and thus a fit tool for Charles. His pontificate was a foretaste of Avignon. His subservience, indeed, proved the ruin of Charles, who had the rein given to his passionate ambition, for he immediately threw himself into the king’s arms. On obtaining the direct rule of Rome for life, he made his patron Senator for that period in contempt of Nicholas III’s constitution; and the whole Papal State was quickly officered by Charles’ functionaries. In Romagna some success was gained by this method, for, in spite of the crushing defeat of the papal representative, John d’Eppe, at the head of the Guelfs, on 1 May 1282 at Forli, the outwearied Ghibellines laid down their arras in 1283. It seemed as if Italy was safe, although on 25 May 1281, near Vaprio, Archbishop Otto Visconti overthrew the Della Torre for a generation, and soon recaptured Lodi. Lombardy might after all be left to itself, with Milan, William VII, Asti, and the other states to quarrel as they would.

But Charles’ chief wish was freedom of action in the East. Under Nicho­las III the unreality of the Union and the insincerity of Michael VIII’s adherence to it had grown very clear, but the Pope held Charles firmly in leash, while himself unbending in his demands on Constantinople. The more pliant Martin, however, immediately declared a breach by excommunicating the Greeks on 10 April 1281. No doubt he destroyed a sham; yet his motive was chiefly to open the way for Charles’ resurrection of the Franco-Latin Empire. The Papacy in his hands had lost its ecumenical spirit. Charles could now prepare in earnest once more. He gained the alliance of Venice for a campaign in 1283, and the Regno was astir with the coming war. In the long desultory border conflict with Michael in Albania and Greece, he had on the whole been a loser, but victory seemed sure now that he could bend all his powers to its attainment.

The knowledge of his plans roused his foes to strike in time. Charles’ rule in the Regno had been a bitter experience for its population. His foreign officials and troops were insolent, his native tax-farmers uncontrollably extortionate. His attempts at remedies were fruitless, for he kept adding to the burden of taxation, and was bound to foster the French and such as would serve them. Besides, he had no sympathy with the commonalty, and thought that, if he gave them peace and order, and endeavoured, as he truly endeavoured, to dispense justice, he had done. The occasional Parliaments were no longer assembled, the collectae he had sworn to abolish were yearly levied. Not only so, but in spite of clerical exemption the amount raised in each collecta was nearly doubled, by 1282. And all was for an undesired war.

The long-gathering storm burst from Aragon. Its king, Peter III, was the husband of Manfred’s daughter Constance, and had long nourished plans for reconquering her inheritance. He knew of the hatred felt by the Regnicoli against Charles, and the withdrawal of Alfonso X and the independence of Lombardy and Tuscany all increased his chances. He had for advisers two exiles from the Regno of commanding ability, John of Procida and Roger Loria. A wealthy ally, the chief need of the moneyless warrior-king, was at hand in the person of Michael VIII, now in the utmost danger, and John of Procida contrived the treaty between the two at Constantinople late in 1281. So King Peter proclaimed a crusade against Africa and feverishly pushed on his armaments. He was in close touch with the malcontents in the Regno, and especially in Sicily, where he meant to land. Then in 1282 he heard that he had been anticipated by a popular explosion. The Sicilian Vespers had taken place on 30 March, and Charles, his great schemes blown to air, had lost Sicily, as it turned out, for ever.

It was on Easter Monday that the Sicilian revolution, more singular perhaps in its successful sequel and its historical significance than in its immediate circumstance, began. Long sufferance had confirmed the French soldiery in the island in their opinion of the fatalistic submission and only fitful wrath of the Sicilians, and men-at-arms mingled with coarse insolence among the festival-makers before the church of Santo Spirito built by the English Archbishop Offamil outside Palermo. A crowning insult, the mishandling of a young married woman on her way with her family to the church, roused a bystander to strike the culprit down. On all sides arose the cry of “Death to the French!”; the riot spread to the city and continued through the night; no one who spoke French, man, woman or child, was spared. The insurrection and the massacre travelled with extraordinary speed and with the same atrocious vengeance throughout the island, and some 3000 to 4000 of the hated foreigners were slaughtered. Before the end of the month Messina had joined the revolt and compelled the royal vicar to leave the island. A carious experiment followed; the general wish was not to receive another ruler, but to copy Innocent IV’s idea of vassal communes subject to the Papacy. Such were set up in Palermo, Messina, and elsewhere, ranged in an embryonic federation. But their envoys and prayers were sternly repulsed by Pope Martin, and Charles, astounded and enraged, diverted his armament of conquest to suppress this domestic revolt.

On 25 July the king crossed to Sicily and began the siege of Messina, the key to the island. The same exaltation of hatred which had produced the Vespers now led the untrained townsmen under Alaimo da Lentini to repair their ruinous walls and to repulse again and again Charles’ attacks. But the failure of the mediation of the cardinal-legate Gerard of Cremona, Bishop of Sabina, showed that there was no choice between conquest and foreign aid. This was ready; for Peter III had landed in Barbary on his simular crusade on 18 June, and was demanding tithes and the like concessions from the wary Pope. In his African camp envoys from Sicily offered him the crown he had plotted for, and on 30 August he landed at Trapani with 600 men-at-arms and 8000 almugaveri, the guerilla infantry whose courage and cruelty were to be known far and wide. His arrival and his fleet, one of the best in the Mediterranean, rendered Charles’ position untenable. After a last vain assault the Angevin abandoned the siege of Messina and crossed to Calabria about 26 September 1282.

Beyond carrying the war into Calabria, which was to suffer for years from the guerilla exploits of the almugaveri, soon a mixed force of Catalans and Sicilians, Peter I of Sicily did little in the local war. His rule was arbitrary and unpopular, and he left for Aragon in May 1283 to arrange for the singular ordeal by battle with 100 knights a side, in which Charles and he had pledged themselves to engage at Bordeaux on 1 June. Obvious insincerity marked both the exponents of this histrionic chivalry, and a beau geste of chicanery was all that they seemed to achieve. But probably to gain time was their strongest motive: Charles was gathering fresh forces from France; Peter wished to stave off a French invasion of Aragon and to win ground in the Regno during the delay. He had left his queen Constance regent in Sicily and Roger Loria as admiral of the joint Sicilian and Catalan fleet. In Roger he possessed a born naval commander, a tactician and a hard-bitten fighter, a victor in every battle he engaged. It was Loria who deferred a new Angevin invasion by des­troying a part of their fleet at Malta in July 1283. The new invasion, however, was to be most formidable, nor was the war to be in Sicily alone. Pope Martin deposed Peter from Aragon, proclaimed a crusade and interdict against him, declared Charles of Valois, the younger son of Philip III of France, King of Aragon, and arranged for the conquest of the country by the French king in 1285. Meantime he poured money into Charles of Anjou’s hands and relentlessly used his spiritual weapons in the crusade against Sicily: Venice was placed under interdict for refusing to hire out her ships. Every resource was drained for this in 1284: a motley army of French and Italians was gathered; some 30 galleys at Naples, others from Brindisi, were to meet at Ustica and convoy the transports; to lead them Charles himself set sail from Provence. But now came the unexpected. His son and heir, Charles the Lame, Prince of Salerno, left as regent in the Regno, had busily carried out the preparations there, but was not to move till his father came. On 5 June 1284, however, Loria appeared with seemingly few galleys in the Bay of Naples, ravaging the islands and tempting an attack. Salerno fell into the trap and rowed out to fight a stronger fleet. The battle ended in his capture with many nobles, and Charles of Anjou arrived at Gaeta to find an immediate invasion impossible and Naples rioting. He could call his son “a cowardly priest, a fool who always chose the worse part”, but he could not undo the event. Indeed he himself wasted men and money in a vain siege of Reggio, and then withdrew, with forces disaffected and thinned by desertions, to Apulia for fresh preparations and exactions, blended with schemes of reform to gain the loyalty of what we may now call the kingdom of Naples. His days, however, were numbered; his strength was exhausted by a slow fever, and he died on 7 January 1285 at Foggia. He appointed his kinsman Robert, Count of Artois, as Balio, to whom the Pope gave as colleague Cardinal Gerard of Cremona.

Charles of Anjou had failed not only in his wider ambitions of an Eastern Empire, but in his attempt to rule or guide Italy as a papal champion, to be a kind of inverted Hohenstaufen, and in the mere maintenance of his conquest of Sicily. His failure was perhaps not merely his own fault; for it was not in the power of man, not of Frederick II, to unite the Italy of the thirteenth century, and the national evolution was working towards another end. Yet his fame has suffered irredeemably and deservedly. He had prospered only when his own way was in some degree denied him, and fell a victim to his overweening ambition and inconsiderate pride. A bold knight and a forceful autocrat, his immense efforts to subdue Sicily all miscarried largely through the disaffection and desertion which his government of the Regno had provoked, and he was unaware or contemptuous of national feeling outside France and of the strength of the bourgeois trader. He exhausted the Regno; in North Italy he had ruled by faction and violence; his attempt to found a Mediterranean empire was a greed-begotten chimaera. Thus, in spite of many great qualities, his lasting work, fit for the grim face of his effigy on the Capitol, was that of a destroyer. He ruined the Hohenstaufen; he crippled the Papacy. In South Italy he only left a new dynasty, a worse government, and a degenerating people.

Although Charles II was in captivity, and soon transferred to the safer imprisonment of Aragon, the two regents took firm hold of the government. The insurrectionary movements on the mainland never amounted to much, and the guerilla warfare in the south made little progress beyond Calabria. The two colleagues were steadily upheld by the Pope, for when Martin IV died at Perugia on 28 March 1285 his successor, the Roman Cardinal-deacon Jacopo Savelli, now Honorius IV, continued inevitably the fixed policy of the Curia. Sicily was to return to submission; the reforms in the Regno, promised and enacted by Charles the Lame in 1283, were confirmed; the collectae beyond the four feudal aids were forbidden in September 1285. These concessions were perhaps the more ample owing to the events of the war. In May the great French invasion of Aragon began, and it seemed that Peter, at odds with his own people, must go down before it. Yet it proved a miserable failure. The crusading army was smitten by pestilence in the long summer siege of Girona, while the fleet was completely disabled by a victory of Roger Loria. Philip III retreated to die on 6 October 1285 at Perpignan. His adversary, however, did not long outlive him, for Peter the Great died too on 11 November. His eldest son Alfonso III succeeded, to Aragon, while his second son James became King of Sicily. The change was momentous, for though the two brothers remained allied their interests drifted apart, and it became clearer every year that the Sicilians must save themselves. Fortunately they held the sea; a surprise invasion which captured Agosta in May 1287 could be stifled by King James on 23 June, the same day on which the admiral Loria with smaller forces routed the Angevin fleet at Castellammare and bore off 42 captured galleys. What with truce and exhaustion, the war lapsed now for two years in spite of the renewed ban from Pope Nicholas IV. It flamed up again on the return of Charles the Lame. By the mediation of Edward I of England, Alfonso of Aragon at last bought peace and security by releasing him. A first bargain made at Oleron in 1287 was quashed by the Pope because it ceded Sicily to James; a vaguer second treaty at Campofranco on 27 October 1288 was allowed, and, leaving three sons as hostages, Charles returned to be crowned by the Pope at Rieti on 19 June 1289, to the joy, the very transitory joy, of the Guelfs, who thought they had gained a leader. Even the inconvenient obligations of Campofranco had been annulled by the Pope, and war had been renewed in the Regno by James. It was only the imminent danger of Acre from the Mamluks which induced the combatants to a two years'truce in August 1289; and even that excepted Calabria and the almugaveri. Thus no question was settled, although much was foreshadowed; the Regno in fact was split up into two hostile kingdoms whose separate character remained until 1816. That of Sicily enjoyed a parting gleam of prosperity before it fell into turbid isolation. James’ brief rule was good; sea-power gave wealth; the circumstances of the revolution and the influence of Aragon provided a remarkable stimulus to the island parliament, with its three estates, and the Statuti di Giacomo formed a basis for national liberties which were in the future to prove barren. As for Naples, ravaged, oppressed, and overtaxed, with foreign nobles, foreign troops, and the combined evils of excessive feudalism and corrupt bureaucracy, all exacerbated by the incurable ambitions of its dynasty, it was leaving the days of Frederick II further and further behind.

It is a testimony to the failure of Charles of Anjou that it is not his death but the Sicilian Vespers which mark an epoch. His predominance and his alliance with the Pope had given some sort of unity to Italian history, but now each province seems to work out its own destiny with little effective influence, if much interference, from the others. Rome itself soon slipped from Charles’ grasp owing to a revolt of the Orsini in January 1284, which led to the appointment of Roman senators. Pope Honorius IV could keep order because he was a native Roman, but when he died on 3 April 1287 the apostolic see remained vacant for a year owing to dissensions among the cardinals in conclave, due perhaps more to the mutual hatred of the Orsini and Colonna factions who domi­nated the election than because they had settled policies to promote. Their eventual choice on 22 February 1288 was a pious, unselfish friar. Jerome of Ascoli, the Cardinal-bishop of Palestrina, and once General of the Franciscans, now Nicholas IV, had dared and survived the Roman fever which had struck down six of his colleagues and put to flight the rest, but brave as he was, he was soon notoriously in the hands of the Colonna, who under him ruled, in name at least, the congeries of towns and nobles which formed the Papal States. The Papacy, with its ecumenic claims as vigorously asserted as ever, was getting once more dangerously entangled in purely local broils and family interests.

If disunion was the chief characteristic of the Papal States, signs of future consolidation were visible in the next natural area to the north, in Tuscany. Immediately after the peace of Cardinal Latino, when Charles of Anjou was preparing to concentrate all his efforts in the East, Florence and her friends assured their safety and trade by putting the Tuscan Guelf League on a permanent basis. Florence and Lucca were the chiefs; Siena, Volterra, and others the secondary allies. On the military side the League maintained a permanent force of 500 professional and non-Italian men-at-arms to replace the occasional assistance of Charles’ troopers. This was a notable step in the decline of the citizen soldier and the citizen nobility, for they were out-classed and in the end replaced by these trained competitors. In matters of trade, goods destined for, or coming from, any ally passed toll-free through the territory of the others. Here was a customs’ union of a sort, from which industrial Florence gained most. But Martin IV increased the prosperity of all by the financial arrangements which bound the Papacy to Tuscany, for the collection of papal tithes was carefully apportioned among the Tuscan banking firms. It was the question of free transit which first led the League to join Genoa in harrying defeated Pisa; Pisan concessions made it languid and obedient to a papal prohibition; complete free transit was a chief condition of the peace of Fucecchio in 1293. So, too, one motive for the war over Arezzo was the security of the road to Rome.

Pisa was fatally hampered by her situation in Tuscany, but her true interests were seaward, and her deadliest enemy Genoa, whom she had the misfortune to rival not only in the Levant but in the rich islands they wished to exploit at their doors. Neither city wished to do more than stand profitably neutral in the war pf the Vespers; in these years they fought their own quarrel to a finish. Genoa under her two aristocratic Ghibelline Captains was more united, less exposed to attack, and won. On 6 August 1284 the Captain Ober to Doria lured out the Pisan fleet to fight against odds by the island of Meloria, and there destroyed it. Over 9000 prisoners were taken to Genoese dungeons; Pisa was ruined, for, if fresh galleys could be built, the loss in men was irreplaceable. None the less she fought gallantly against the ring of foes. The bitter terms of peace wrung from her semi-tyrant, Count Ugolino, were among the causes in 1288 of his fall and tragic end. The temporary autocracy of Count Guido of Montefeltro which followed could show his brilliant talents, but could not avert the inevitable loss of Sardinia and decline. Thus the third competitor among the maritime states fell out of the running, and Venice and Genoa were left to struggle, while Italy was the poorer of a centre of her civilisation.

The tendency to form larger territorial units, dictated in some degree by geography, and the ever-growing inclination to tyranny, which might give peace, efficiency, and equality, were clearly visible among the Lombard cities, which wished for liberty and autonomy but could neither keep nor give them. The first instance of composite dominions had been given by the soi-disant imperial deputies like Pelavicini, followed by the smaller coagulation of towns under the Della Torre; now we find a great independent war-lord attempting the same thing. William VII “Longsword” of Montferrat was much in request and much dreaded for his force of warlike vassals; and with the fall of the Torriani in 1278, combined with the fact that they remained strong and dangerous, his day seemed to have come. He ruled Ivrea, Turin, Alessandria, Tortona, Acqui, and Casale in his native West Lombardy; he became Captain-General of Milan, Pavia, Vercelli, Novara, Como, Verona, and Mantua. But this dominion was more apparent than real. He was a baron with no roots even in his own towns, while in most he was merely an ally of the true tyrant or native faction. Add to this that he was more of an intriguer than a warrior, and that his campaigns were games of bluff, and the temporary character of his state becomes clear. In 1280 he was kid­napped by Thomas, the heir of Savoy, in the course of an attempt to partition the Savoyard lands in Piedmont, and was forced to surrender Turin to his captor. At Christmas 1282 the Archbishop Otto Visconti suddenly turned him out of Milan, and the eastern cities followed suit. In the consequent hostilities the Torriani played a fighting part, but not so the marquess, who preferred raids on the powerful coalition of Milan, Pavia, Brescia, Piacenza, Cremona, Genoa, and Asti arrayed against him.

His most striking success was the acquisition of Pavia in 1289 by in­geniously gaining over her army to his side. Then in 1290 he himself was treacherously seized by the Alessandrians, and like Napoleon della Torre was only released by death from the iron cage which was his prison. His dominion at once broke up and his young son was deprived of Montferrat by Matteo Visconti. City-tyrannies were now the order of the day, yet with a tendency of Milan, the natural metropolis, to encroach on and overawe the others. At Milan itself the Archbishop contrived the elec­tion of his great-nephew, the Aviso Matteo, as Captain of the popolo, and Novara and Vercelli gave him the same office. Alberto Scotti ruled over Piacenza; Pinamonte Bonaccolsi over Mantua. Incurable faction-strife induced first Modena and then Reggio to elect the tyrant of Ferrara, Obizzo, Marquess of Este, as their signore; thus the natural outlets of the Po valley to the east were altogether in the same hands. It was beginning to need exceptional circumstances to maintain a city free.

Italy thus presented in 1290 a mosaic of diverse states. The efforts of the Emperors, of Manfred, and of Charles of Anjou to unite the land had all alike failed. That of the Popes to divide and supervise it was likewise no success, although defeat was yet to come; and this political enterprise was proving ever more disastrous to their spiritual influence over Europe. The Sicilians had given an example of revolt against their secular pretensions, and for the time the prestige of the Papacy was bound up with the dubious subjection of the island. Meantime anarchic communes in the Papal State, prosperous republics in Tuscany, city-tyrants in Lombardy, feudal monarchies in Naples and beneath the Western Alps, European sea-powers in Venice and Genoa, all jostled one another. The last period of the Italian Middle Age, that of independent national development round sharply differentiated provincial centres, had begun.