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Title: Sketches from the Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice
Author: Freeman, Edward A.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have
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     _BY THE SAME AUTHOR._

     Historical and Architectural Sketches;
     CHIEFLY ITALIAN.

     ILLUSTRATED BY THE AUTHOR.

     BEING A
     _Companion Volume to 'Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice.'_
     Crown 8vo. 10_s._ 6_d._


"A historian is not always an antiquary, even less frequently is an
antiquary a historian; by combining the two characters, he thereby
redeems his historical writings from the dangers of shallowness and
inaccuracy, and his antiquarianism from pedantry and dryness.... From
the information afforded by the essays themselves, we may gather much
which should heighten the enjoyment of visits to the inexhaustible
architectural treasures of the Italian Peninsula."--_The Times._

"For these essays we have only words of unqualified praise; they are
full of valuable information, and are delightfully interesting."
--_Westminster Review._

"Full of valuable teachings and suggestions to all who are ready to
profit by them."--_Academy._

"Those who know Italy will retrace their steps with delight in Mr.
Freeman's company, and find him a most interesting guide and
instructor, not merely in the architectural, but in the history of the
various Italian towns that he deals with.... One of the most
interesting features of the volume are the illustrations, twenty-two
in number, from the author's own pencil."--_Examiner._


     MACMILLAN & CO., LONDON, W.C.



     WORKS BY E. A. FREEMAN, D.C.L., LL.D.


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     MACMILLAN & CO., LONDON, W.C.



     SKETCHES
     FROM THE
     SUBJECT AND NEIGHBOUR LANDS
     OF
     VENICE.



  [Illustration: PERISTYLE AND CATHEDRAL TOWER, SPALATO.]



     SKETCHES
     FROM THE
     SUBJECT AND NEIGHBOUR LANDS
     OF
     VENICE.

     BY
     EDWARD A. FREEMAN, D.C.L., LL.D.,
     HONORARY FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, OXFORD.

     WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.

     London:
     MACMILLAN AND CO.
     1881.

     [_All Rights reserved._]



PREFACE.


This volume is designed as a companion and sequel to my former volume
called "Architectural and Historical Sketches, chiefly Italian." Its
general plan is the same. But more of the papers in the present volume
appear for the first time than was the case with the earlier one, and
most of those which are reprinted have been more largely changed in
reprinting than those which appeared in the former book. This could
hardly be otherwise with the pieces relating to the lands east of the
Hadriatic, where I have had to work in remarks made during later
journeys, and where great events have happened since I first saw those
lands.

The papers are chiefly the results of three journeys. The first, in
the autumn of 1875, took in Dalmatia and Istria, with Trieste and
Aquileia. At that time the revolt of Herzegovina had just begun, and
Ragusa was crowded with refugees. Some of the papers contained
references to the state of things at the moment, and those references
I saw no reason to alter. But I may as well say that the time of my
first visit to the South-Slavonic lands was not chosen with reference
to any political or military object. The journey was planned before
the revolt began; it was in fact the accomplishment of a thirty years'
yearning after the architectural wonders of Spalato, which till that
year I had been unable to gratify. If that visit taught me some things
with regard to our own times as well as to earlier times, it is not, I
think, either wonderful or blameworthy.

In 1877 I visited Dalmatia for the second time, and Greece for the
first. I should be well pleased some day to put together some out of
many papers on the more distant Greek lands. In this volume I have
brought in those on Corfu only, as that island forms an essential part
of my present subject.

In the present year 1881 I again visited Dalmatia and some parts of
Istria and Albania, as also a large part of Italy. This has enabled me
to add some papers on the Venetian possessions both in northern and
southern Italy, as also one on the Dalmatian island of Curzola, which
on former visits I had seen only in passing.

The papers headed "Treviso," "Gorizia," "Spalato revisited," "Trani,"
"Otranto," "Corfu to Durazzo," and "Antivari," are all due to this
last journey, and have never been in print before. That on "Curzola"
appeared in _Macmillan's Magazine_ for September 1881. Those headed
"Udine and Cividale," "Aquileia," "Trieste to Spalato," "Spalato to
Cattaro," "A trudge to Trebinje," appeared in the _Pall Mall Gazette_
in 1875. The rest appeared in the _Saturday Review_ in 1875 and 1876.
But many of them have been so much altered that they can hardly be
called mere reprints; they are rather recastings, with large
additions, omissions, and changes, such as the light of second and
third visits seemed to call for.

I made none of these journeys alone, and I have much for which to
thank the companions with whom I made them. In 1877 I was with the
Earl of Morley and Mr. J. F. F. Horner. And I must not forget to
mention that it was Lord Morley who at once read and explained the
inscription in the basilica of Parenzo, when Mr. Horner and I had seen
that Mr. Neale's explanation was nonsense, but had not yet hit upon
anything better for ourselves. In a great part of my two later
journeys I had the companionship of Mr. Arthur Evans, my friend of
1877, my son-in-law of 1881. How much I owe to his knowledge of
South-Slavonic matters, words would fail me to tell. I had seen
Dalmatia for the first time, and I had begun to write about it, before
I knew him and, I believe, before he had published anything; otherwise
I should almost feel myself an intruder in a province which he has
made his own. One out of many points I may specially mention. It was
Mr. Evans who found and explained the two missing capitals from the
palace at Ragusa, which are at once so remarkable in themselves and
which throw so much light on the history of the building.

The illustrations to my former volume met with some severe criticism.
But I am bound to say that of that severe criticism I agreed to every
word. Only I thought that the critics would perhaps have been less
severe if they had seen my original drawings themselves. The
illustrations to the present volume have been made by a new process,
partly, as before, from my own sketches, but partly also from
photographs. I trust that they will be found less unsatisfactory than
those that went before them.

As there are in these papers a good many historical references, some
of them to rather out-of-the-way matters, but matters which could not
always be explained at length in the text, I have drawn up a
chronological table of the chief events in the history of the lands
and cities of which I have had to speak.

I need hardly say that this volume, though I hope it may be useful to
travellers on the spot, is not strictly a guide-book. But a good
guide-book to Istria and Dalmatia is much needed. I am not joking when
I say that the best guide to those parts is still the account written
by the Emperor Constantino Porphyrogenitus more than nine hundred
years back. But it is surely high time that there should be another.
The attempts made in one or two of Murray's Handbooks are very poor.
Sir Gardner Wilkinson's "Dalmatia and Montenegro," published more than
thirty years ago, is an admirable book, and one to which I owe a very
deep debt of gratitude. It first taught me what there was to see in
the East-Hadriatic lands. But it is over-big for a guide-book. Mr.
Neale's book contains some information, and, even in its ecclesiastical
grotesqueness, it is sometimes instructive as well as amusing. But we
can hardly take as our guide one who leaves out the Ragusan palace and
who, when at Spalato, does not think of Diocletian. It would be in
itself well if Gsel-fels, the prince of guide-book-makers, would do
for Dalmatia as he has done for Sicily; but one would rather see it
done in our own tongue.

     SOMERLEAZE, WELLS,
     _September 20th, 1881_.



CONTENTS.


     THE LOMBARD AUSTRIA:--                     PAGE

       TREVISO                                              3

       UDINE AND CIVIDALE                                  24

       GORIZIA                                             41

       AQUILEIA                                            52

       TRIESTE                                             70


     TRIESTE TO SPALATO:--

       TRIESTE TO SPALATO                                  85

       PARENZO                                             97

       POLA                                               109

       ZARA                                               121


     SPALATO AND ITS NEIGHBOURS:--

       SPALATO                                            137

       SPALATO REVISITED                                  149

       SALONA                                             156

       TRAÜ                                               175


     SPALATO TO CATTARO:--

       SPALATO TO CATTARO                                 189

       CURZOLA                                            200

       RAGUSA                                             218

       RAGUSAN ARCHITECTURE                               240

       A TRUDGE TO TREBINJE                               260

       CATTARO                                            271


     VENICE IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE NORMANS:--

       TRANI                                              287

       OTRANTO                                            313

       FIRST GLIMPSES OF HELLAS                           332

       CORFU AND ITS NAMES                                343

       CORFU AND ITS HISTORY                              353

       CORFU TO DURAZZO                                   365

       ANTIVARI                                           381



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                         PAGE

     PERISTYLE AND CATHEDRAL TOWER, SPALATO    _Frontispiece_

     PORTA GEMINA, POLA                                   113

     TOWER OF SAINT MARY'S, ZARA                          132

     SAINT VITUS, ZARA, AND THE ORTHODOX CHURCH, CATTARO  133

     THE TOWER, SPALATO                                   145

     CATHEDRAL, TRAÜ                                      182

     SAINT JOHN BAPTIST, TRAÜ                             185

     TOWER OF FRANCISCAN CHURCH, RAGUSA                   242

     PALACE, RAGUSA                                       245

     DOGANA, RAGUSA                                       253

     CABOGA HOUSE, GRAVOSA                                255

     CATHEDRAL, TRANI                                     299

     CATHEDRAL, TRANI, INSIDE                             305

     CHURCHES AT CORFU                                    358

     SAINT JASON AND SAINT SOSIPATROS, CORFU, INSIDE      363



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE.


                                                         B.C.
     Foundation of Korkyra                           _c._ 734

     Foundation of Epidamnos                         _c._ 627

     War between Corinth and Korkyra about Epidamnos      435

     Colonization of Pharos and Issa                      385

     Korkyra held by Agathoklês                           300

     Korkyra held by Pyrrhos                              287

     First Roman war with Illyria, time of Queen Teuta
       and Demetrios of Pharos                            229

     Korkyra, Epidamnos, and Apollonia become allies of
       Rome                                               229

     Second Illyrian War                                  219

     Foundation of Aquileia                               181

     First Roman Conquest of Illyria                      168

     First mention of Tragyrion (Traü)                    158

     First Dalmatian War                                  156

     Salona the head of Dalmatia                          117

     Roman Conquest of Istria                             107

     Foundation of Forum Julii                        _c._ 45

     Colony of Tergeste fortified by Augustus              32

     Foundation of Pietas Julia                       _c._ 30

                                                         A.D.
     Final conquest of Dalmatia                             6

     Martyrdom of Saint Caius                            296?

     Diocletian retires to Salona                         305

     Crispus put to death at Pola                         326

     First church of Aquileia built by Fortunatian   _c._ 347

     Gallus put to death at Pola                          354

     Aquileia destroyed by Attila                         452

     Dalmatia under Marcellian                        454-468

     Dalmatia under Odoacer                          _c._ 480

     Dalmatia under Theodoric                             488

     The Emperor Glycerius Bishop of Salona               474

     Nepos killed near Salona                             480

     Salona recovered to the Empire                       535

     Building of the church of Parenzo                535-543

     Belisarius sails from Salona                         544

     Narses sails from Salona                             552

     Schism in the church of Aquileia                     557

     Beginning of the Patriarchate of Grado               606

     Lombard conquest of Italy begins                     568

     Slavonic settlements under Heraclius            _c._ 620

     Salona destroyed by the Avars                        639

     Inland Dalmatia under Charles the Great; the
       coast cities left to the Eastern Empire            806

     The church of Pola built by Bishop Handegis          857

     Cattaro taken by the Saracens                        867

     Saracen siege of Ragusa                              867

     First Venetian conquest of Dalmatia                  997

     Poppo Patriarch of Aquileia; rebuilding of the
       church                                       1019-1042

     First authentic mention of Gorizia                  1051

     Croatian kingdom of Dalmatia                        1062

     Foundation of Saint Nicolas at Traü                 1064

     Corfu conquered by Robert Wiscard                   1081

     Corfu recovered by the Empire                       1085

     Exploits of the English exiles at Durazzo           1086

     Magyar kingdom of Dalmatia                          1102

     The tower of Saint Mary's at Zara built by Coloman
       of Hungary                                        1105

     Beginning of the Counts of Gorizia                  1120

     Corfu held by Roger of Sicily                  1147-1150

     Dalmatia restored to the Eastern Empire             1171

     Corfu conquered by William the Good                 1186

     Corfu, Durazzo, etc., held by Margarito as a
       kingdom dependent on Sicily                       1186

     Richard the First at Ragusa                         1192

     Taking of Zara by the Crusaders                     1202

     Venetian Counts at Ragusa                           1204

     Corfu and Durazzo first occupied by Venice          1206

     Building of Traü cathedral                     1215-1321

     Corfu and Durazzo recovered by Michael of Epeiros   1216

     Durazzo recovered by the Empire                     1259

     Corfu and Durazzo ceded to Manfred                  1268

     Consecration of Saint Anastasia at Zara             1285

     Durazzo under Servia                                1322

     Durazzo restored to the Kings of Naples             1322

     Pola submits to Venice                              1331

     Neapolitan duchy of Durazzo                    1333-1360

     Treviso first occupied by Venice                    1338

     Building of the Archbishop's castle at Salona       1347

     Treviso besieged by Lewis of Hungary                1356

     Dalmatia ceded to Lewis of Hungary                  1358

     Durazzo the capital of an Albanian kingdom     1358-1392

     Complete independence of Ragusa                     1359

     Markquard, Patriarch of Aquileia; recasting
       of the church                                1365-1381

     Gradual advance of Venice in Dalmatia          1378-1444

     Treviso ceded to Leopold of Austria                 1381

     Trieste commends itself to Austria                  1381

     Final acquisition of Corfu by Venice                1386

     Venetian occupation of Argos                        1388

     Treviso restored to Venice                          1388

     Second Venetian acquisition of Durazzo              1392

     Building of the palace at Ragusa               1388-1435

     Butrinto and Parga commend themselves to Venice     1407

     Consecration of Saint Chrysogonos at Zara           1407

     Sebenico annexed by Venice                          1412

     Building of the cathedral at Sebenico          1415-1555

     Cattaro becomes Venetian                            1419

     Traü annexed by Venice                              1420

     Curzola finally submits to Venice                   1420

     Dominions of the Patriarch of Aquileia annexed
       by Venice                                         1420

     Udine annexed by Venice                             1420

     Lesina occupied by Venice                           1424

     The city of Aquileia left to the Patriarchs         1451

     Argos ceded by Venice                               1463

     Fluctuations between Venice and the Turk in
       Dalmatia                                     1465-1718

     Date of the cloister at Badia                       1477

     Otranto taken by the Turks                          1480

     Otranto recovered by Alfonso                        1481

     Veglia annexed by Venice                            1481

     Monopoli stormed by the Venetians                   1495

     Trani, Otranto, and other cities pledged to Venice
       by Ferdinand of Naples                            1496

     Durazzo and Butrinto lost by Venice                 1500

     Gorizia annexed to Austria by Maximilian            1500

     Treviso besieged by Maximilian                      1508

     Trani, etc., recovered by Ferdinand of Aragon       1509

     Building of the Dogana at Ragusa                    1520

     Trani, etc., recovered by Venice                    1528

     Trani, etc., restored to Charles the Fifth          1530

     Aquileia annexed to Austria                         1544

     Mark Anthony de Dominis Archbishop of Spalato       1622

     Building of the gate at Curzola                     1643

     The great earthquake at Ragusa                      1667

     Prevesa won and Butrinto recovered by Venice   1685-1699

     The Emperor Leopold repairs the castle of Gorizia   1660

     Athens taken by Morosini                            1687

     Abolition of the patriarchate of Aquileia; Udine
       and Gorizia become metropolitan sees              1751

     Peace of Campo Formio; fall of Venice: Venetia,
       Istria, and Dalmatia, except Ragusa, occupied
       by Austria                                      1797-8

     The Ionian Islands and the Venetian outposts
       ceded to France                                   1797

     Septinsular Republic under Ottoman overlordship     1798

     Prevesa stormed by Ali of Jôannina                  1798

     Venetia, Istria, Trieste, and Dalmatia ceded
       to the French kingdom of Italy; Dalmatia partly
       occupied                                          1805

     The Republic of Ragusa suppressed by Buonaparte     1808

     Various points occupied by England             1810-1814

     Cattaro delivered from France by England and
       Montenegro; Cattaro, capital of Montenegro        1813

     Dalmatia recovered by Austria, Ragusa also
       occupied by Austria for the first time            1814

     Venetia, Istria, and Trieste recovered by Austria   1814

     English occupation of Curzola                  1813-1815

     The Ionian Islands under British protection         1815

     Surrender of Parga to the Turk                      1819

     Liberation of Venice and recovery by Austria      1848-9

     The Ionian Islands added to free Greece             1864

     Final liberation of Venetia                         1866

     Austrian attempt to infringe the liberties of the
       Bocchesi; defeat of the Austrians                 1869

     Beginning of the war in Herzegovina                 1875

     Servian and Montenegrin war; recovery of Antivari,
       Dulcigno, and Spizza by Montenegro              1876-7

     Congress of Berlin; Dulcigno restored to the Turk;
       Spizza taken by Austria; Antivari left to
       Montenegro; the Turk "invited" to cede Epeiros
       to free Greece                                    1878

     The liberation of Epeiros decreed the second time   1880

     Dulcigno recovered for Montenegro                   1880

     Liberation of Thessaly, but not of Epeiros          1881



THE LOMBARD AUSTRIA.



TREVISO.

1881.


The north-eastern corner of Italy is one of those parts of the world
which have gone through the most remarkable changes. That it has often
changed its political masters is only common to it with the rest of
Italy, and with many other lands as well. The physical changes too
which the soil and its waters have gone through are remarkable, but
they are not unparalleled. The Po may perhaps be reckoned as the
frontier stream of the region towards the south, and the many paths by
which the Po has found its way into the Hadriatic need not be dwelled
on. We are more concerned with rivers further to the north-east. The
Isonzo no longer represents the course of the ancient Sontius; the
Natisone no longer flows by fallen Aquileia. The changes of the
coast-line which have made what is left of Aquileia inland have their
counterparts at Pisa and at Ravenna. In the range of historical
geography, the most curious feature is the way in which certain
political names have kept on an abiding life in this region, though
with singular changes of meaning. The land has constantly been either
Venetian or Austrian; sometimes it has been Venetian and Austrian at
once. But it has been Venetian and Austrian in various meanings. It
was Venetian long before the name of Venice was heard of in its present
sense; it was Austrian long before the name of Austria was heard of in
its present sense. The land of the old Veneti bore the Venetian name
ages before the city of Venice was in being, and it keeps it now that
Venice has ceased to be a political power. Venetian then the land has
ever been in one sense, while a large part of it was for some centuries
Venetian in another sense, in the days when so many of its cities
bowed to Saint Mark and his commonwealth as its rulers. Austrian the
land was in the old geographical sense, when it formed the Lombard
_Austria_--the eastern half, the _Eastrice_--that form would, we
suspect, come nearer to Lombard speech than _Oesterreich_--of the
Lombard realm. But if the Lombard realm had its Austria and its
Neustria, so also had the Frankish realm. Wherever a land could be
easily divided into east and west, there was an _Austria_, and its
negative a _Neustria_. Lombardy then had its Austria, and its
_Austria_ was found in the old and the new Venetian land. No one
perhaps ever spoke of the Karlings as the House of Austria, or of
their Empire as the dominions of the House of Austria. And yet the
name would not have been out of place. Their dominion marked the
predominance of the eastern part of the Frankish realm--its
_Oesterreich_, its _Austrasia_, its _Austria_--over the Neustrian
power of the earlier dynasty. The Lombard Austria became part of the
dominions of those who were before all things lords of the Frankish
Austria. And in later times, when the Lombard and the Frankish Austria
were both forgotten, when the name clave only to a third Austria, the
more modern Austria of Germany--the Eastern mark called into being to
guard Germany from the Magyar--the Venetian land has more than once
become Austrian in another sense; some of it in that sense remains
Austrian still. Dukes of the most modern Austria--plain dukes who were
satisfied with being dukes--archdukes who were Emperors by lawful
election--archdukes who have had a strange fancy for calling
themselves Emperors of their archduchy--have all of them at various
times borne rule over the whole or part of the older Austria of
Lombardy. To-day the north-eastern corner of Italy, land of Venetia,
the once Lombard Austria, is parted asunder by an artificial boundary
between the dominions of the Italian King and the lord of the later
Austria. And, what a passing traveller might not easily find out, in
this old Venetian land, in both parts of it, alike under modern
Italian and under modern Austrian rule, besides the Latin speech which
everywhere meets the eye and the ear, the speech of Slavonic settlers
still lingers. Settlers they are in the Venetian land, no less than
its Roman or its German masters. It is hard to say who the old Veneti
were, perhaps nearer akin to the Albanians than to any other European
people. At all events there is no reason for thinking that they were
Slaves. The presence of a Slavonic speech in this region is a fruit of
the same migration which made the land beyond Hadria Slavonic. But to
hear the Slavonic and the Italian tongues side by side is so familiar
a phænomenon under modern Austrian rule, that its appearance at
Aquileia or Gorizia may with some minds seem to give the land a
specially Austrian character, and may help to shut out the remembrance
that at Aquileia and Gorizia we are within the ancient kingdom of
Italy. Nay it may be a new and strange thing to many to hear that,
even within the bounds of the modern kingdom of Italy, there are
districts where, though Italian is the cultivated tongue, yet Slave is
the common peasant speech.

But besides physical changes, changes of name, changes of inhabitants,
we are perhaps yet more deeply struck with the fluctuations in the
history of the cities of this region. In this matter, throughout the
Venetian land, the first do indeed become last and the last first. No
city in this region has kept on that enduring life through all changes
which has belonged to many cities in other parts of Europe. We do not
here find the Roman walls, or the walls yet earlier than Roman days,
fencing in dwelling-places of man which have been continuously
inhabited, which have sometimes been continuously flourishing, through
all times of which history has anything to tell us. We need not take
our examples from Rome or Athens or Argos or the Phoenician Gades.
It is enough to look to one or two of the capitals of modern Europe.
At the beginning of the fifth century, London and Paris, not yet
indeed capitals of kingdoms, were already in being, and had been in
being for some centuries. But far above either ranked the great city
of north-eastern Italy, then one of the foremost cities of the world,
the ancient colony of Aquileia, keeper of one of the great lines of
approach towards Italy and Rome. No one city had then taken the name
of the Venetian land; no wanderers from the mainland had as yet
settled down like sea-fowl, as Cassiodorus puts it, on the islands of
the lagoons. By the end of the fifth century both London and Paris had
passed from Roman rule to the rule of Teutonic conquerors. London, we
may conceive, was still inhabited; at all events its walls stood
ready to receive a fresh colony before long. Paris had received one of
those momentary lifts of which she went through several before her
final exaltation; the city which had been favoured by Roman Julian was
favoured also by Frankish Chlodwig. But Aquileia had felt the full
fury of invaders who came, not to occupy or to settle, but simply to
destroy. As a city, as a bulwark of Italy, she had passed away for
ever. But out of her fall several cities had, in the course of that
century, risen to increased greatness, and the greatest of all had
come into being. The city was born which, simply as a city, as a city
bearing rule over distant lands, must rank as the one historic peer of
Rome. Not yet Queen of the Hadriatic, not yet the chosen sanctuary of
Saint Mark, not yet enthroned on her own Rialto, the settlement which
was to grow into Venice had already made its small beginnings.

But the fall of Aquileia, the rise of Venice, are only the greatest
examples of a general law. A nearer neighbour of Aquileia at once
profited by her overthrow; Grado, on her own coast, almost at her own
gates, sprang up as her rival; but the greatness of Grado has passed
away only less thoroughly than the greatness of Aquileia. So the
Venetian Forum Julii gave way to its more modern neighbour Udine. It
lost the name which it had given to the land around it. Its shortened
form _Friuli_ lived on as one of the names of the surrounding
district, but Forum Julii itself was forgotten under the vaguer
description of _Cividale_. Gorizia has been for ages the head of a
principality; in later times it has been the head of an ecclesiastical
province. But Gorizia is absolutely unknown till the beginning of the
eleventh century, and it does not seem even to have supplanted any
earlier city. It is thus a marked peculiarity of this district that
the chief towns, with Venice itself at their head, have not lived on
continuously as chief towns from Roman or earlier times. West of
Venice the rule does not apply. Padua and Verona are old enough for
the warmest lover of antiquity, and Vicenza, going back at least to
the second century B.C., must be allowed to be of a respectable age.

That the chief cities of a district should date from early mediæval,
and not from Roman times, is a feature which at once suggests
analogies with our own island. Both in Venetia and in Britain we are
struck with the prevalence of places which arose after the fall of the
elder Roman power, in opposition to most parts of Italy and Gaul,
where nearly every town can trace back to Roman days or earlier. But
the likeness cannot be carried out in detail. In the district which we
have just marked out it is absolutely the greatest cities--one of them
so great as to be put out of all comparison with the others--which
are of this comparatively recent date. In England, though the great
mass of the local centres are places of English foundation and bearing
English names, yet the greatest and most historic cities still carry
the marks of Roman origin about them. Some Roman cities in Britain
passed utterly away; others lived on, or soon came to life again, in
the forms of York, London, and Winchester. But in Venetia it is the
cities which answer to York and London which have lost their
greatness, though they have not utterly passed away. This last fact is
one of the characteristics of the district; the fallen cities have
simply fallen from their greatness; they have not ceased to be
dwelling-places of man. Aquileia and Forum Julii have ceased for ages
to be what Aquileia and Forum Julii once were, but they have not
become as Silchester, or even as Salona. Of the position of all these
places there is no manner of doubt. They are there to speak for
themselves; even Julium Carnacum, whose site has had to be looked for,
still abides, though those who have reached it describe it as a small
village. Aquileia under its old name, Forum Julii under its new name,
are still inhabited, they still hold the rank of towns; but while they
still abide, the rule that the first should become last and the last
first is carried out among them. As ancient Aquileia was far greater
than ancient Forum Julii, so modern Aquileia, though it keeps its
name, is now far less than modern Cividale, from which the name of
Forum Julii has passed away.

Aquileia then, once the greatest city of all, is the city that has
come nearest to being altogether wiped out of being. Venice,
afterwards the greatest of all, is the city which may most truly be
said to have been called out of nothing in after-times. Among the
other cities the change has been rather a change of relation and
proportion, than a case of absolute birth and death. Cividale is still
there, though it is but a poor representative of Forum Julii. Udine
has taken its place. But Udine, though its importance belongs wholly
to mediæval times, was not strictly a mediæval creation. It is just
possible to prove the existence of _Vedinum_ in Roman days, though it
is only its existence which can be proved; it plays no part whatever
in early history. The case is slightly different with another
neighbouring city, the Roman Tarvisium, whose name gradually changed
to _Treviso_. Tarvisium was of more account than Vedinum, but it first
comes into notice in the wars of Belisarius, and its position as an
important city playing a part in Italian history dates only from the
days of the Lombard League. And its general history is one in which
the shifting nomenclature of the district may be read with almost
grotesque accuracy. It has not only been, like its neighbours,
Venetian and Austrian in two widely different senses--it has not only
been Venetian in the old geographical sense, and Venetian in the sense
of being subject to the commonwealth of Venice--it has not only been
Austrian in the old Lombard sense, and Austrian in the sense of being
subject to the Dukes of the German Austria--but it has also shifted
backwards and forwards between the rule of the Serene Republic and the
rule of the Austrian Dukes, in a way to which it would not be easy to
find a parallel even among the old revolutions of its neighbours.

       *       *       *       *       *

Treviso and its district, the march which bears its name, was the
first possession of Venice on the true mainland of Italy, as
distinguished from that mere fringe of coast along the lagoons which
may be more truly counted as part of her dominion by sea. That Treviso
lay near to Venice was a truth which came home to Venetian minds at a
very early stage of Venetian history. Even in the eleventh century,
the earliest authentic chronicler of Venice, that John whose work will
be found in the seventh volume of Pertz, speaks with some
significance, even when recording events of the time of Charles the
Great, of "quædam civitas non procul a Venetia, nomine Tarvisium."
When strictly Italian history begins, Treviso runs through the
ordinary course of a Lombard city; it takes its share in resistance to
the imperial power, it falls into the hands of tyrants of the house of
Romano and of the house of Scala. Along with Padua, it is the city
which is fullest of memories of the terrible Eccelinò. Won by the
Republic in 1338 from its lord Mastino della Scala, the special
strangeness of its fortunes begins. The modern House of Austria was
already in being; but its Dukes had not yet grown into Emperors, one
only had grown into an acknowledged King. They had not won for
themselves the crowns of Bohemia or Hungary, though, by the opposite
process, one Bohemian king, the mighty Ottocar, had counted Austria in
the long list of his conquered lands. But presently Treviso becomes
the centre of events in which Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, and the
Empire, all play their parts. It is perhaps not wonderful when the
maritime republic, mistress of the Trevisan march, vainly seeks to
obtain the confirmation of her right from the overlord of Treviso
though not of Venice, Charles of Bohemia, King of the Romans and
future Emperor. But the old times when Huns, Avars, Magyars,
barbarians of every kind, poured into this devoted corner of Italy,
seem to have come back, when in 1356 we find Treviso besieged by a
Hungarian king. But the Hungarian king is no longer an outside
barbarian; he is a prince of the house of Anjou and Paris. If Lewis
the Great besieged Treviso, it was not in the character of a new
Attila or Arpad; he attacked the now Venetian city as part of the war
which he so successfully waged against the Republic in her Dalmatian
lands. Not thirty years later we find the Doge Andrew Contarini, with
more wisdom perhaps than the more famous Foscari of the next age,
considering that to Venice the sea was greater than the land, and
therefore commending her new conquest on the mainland to Duke Leopold
of Austria. The words of the chronicler Andrew Dandolo are worth
remembering. They express the truest policy of the Republic, from
which she ought never to have gone astray.

     "Ducalis excellentia prudentissima, meditatione considerans
     proprium Venetorum esse mare colere, terramque postergare;
     hinc enim divitiis et honoribus abundat, inde sæpe sibi
     proveniunt scandala et errores."

But Leopold, he who fell at Sempach, had not the same passion for
dominion south of the Alps as some of his successors. He wisely sold
Treviso to the lord of Padua, Francesco Carrara, from whom, after a
moment of doubt whether the prize would not pass to the tyrant of
Milan, the Republic won it back after eight years' separation.
Henceforward Treviso shared the fate of the other Venetian possessions
which gradually gathered on each side of her. Having had for a moment
its share of Austrian dominion in the fourteenth century, Treviso was
able, in the wars of the sixteenth century, to withstand the same
power in a new shape, the power of Maximilian, Austrian Archduke and
Roman King. In later times nothing distinguishes the city from the
common course by which Treviso and her neighbours became Austrian,
French, and Austrian again, till, by the happiest change of all, they
became members of a free and united Italy.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the aspect of the city itself, the Roman Tarvisium has left but
small signs of its former being. All that we see is the Treviso of
mediæval and later times. The walls, the bell-towers, the slenderer
tower of the municipal palace, the arcaded streets, the houses too,
though they are not rich in the more elaborate forms of Italian
domestic art, have all the genuine character of a mediæval Italian
town. Not placed in any striking position, not a hill-city, not in any
strictness a river-city, but a city of the plain looking towards the
distant mountains--not adorned by any building of conspicuous
splendour--Treviso is still far from being void of objects which
deserve study. As we look on the city, either from the lofty walk into
which so large a part of its walls have been turned, or else from the
neighbourhood of its railway station, its aspect, without rivalling
that of the great cities of Italy, is far from unsatisfactory. But
the character of the city differs widely in the two views. From the
station the ecclesiastical element prevails. The main object in the
view from this side is the Dominican church of Saint Nicolas, one of
those vast brick friars' churches so characteristic of Italy, and to
which the praise of a certain stateliness cannot be denied. Saint
Nicolas, with its great bell-tower, groups well with the smaller
church and smaller tower of a neighbouring Benedictine house. In
short, the towers of Treviso form its leading feature, and that,
though several of the greatest, above all the huge campanile designed
for the cathedral church, have never been finished. In the view from
the railway Saint Nicolas' tower is dominant; the tall slender tower
of the municipal palace, loftier, we suspect, in positive height,
fails to balance it. In the other view, from the wall on the other
side, the municipal tower is the leading object, which it certainly
would not have been if the bell-tower of the _duomo_ had ever been
carried up. There is a great friars' church on this side too, the
desecrated church of Saint Francis; but, though a large building with
marked outline, it does not stand out at all so conspicuously as its
Dominican rival on the other side. The _duomo_ itself, with its
eccentric cupolas, goes for less in the general view than either. On
the whole, the aspect of Treviso is very characteristically Italian;
it would be yet more so if it sent up its one great campanile to mark
its site from afar. Still, even as it is, this city of the Lombard
Austria proclaims itself as one of the same group as those cities
further to the west which we look down on side by side from the
castle-hill of Brescia.

Treviso, so near a neighbour of Venice, the earliest of her subject
cities of the mainland, does not fail to proclaim the relation between
the subject and the ruling commonwealth in the usual fashion. The
winged lion, the ensign which we are to follow along so many shores,
appears on not a few points of her defences. Over the gate of Saint
Thomas the badge of the Evangelist appears in special size and
majesty, accompanied, it would seem, by several younger members of his
family whose wings have not yet had time to grow. And Treviso too in
some sort calls up the memory of its mistress in the abundance of
streams, canals, and bridges. It has at least more right than some of
the towns to which the guide-books give the name, to be called a
little Venice. But the contrast is indeed great between the still
waters of the lagoons and the rushing torrents which pass under the
walls and turn the mills of Treviso. Venice, in short, though her name
has been rather freely scattered about hither and thither, remains
without likeness or miniature among either subjects, rivals, or
strangers.

The heart of an Italian city is to be looked for in its town-house and
the open space before it. It is characteristic of the mistress of
Treviso that her palace, the palace of her rulers, not of her people,
stands somewhat aside from the great centre of Venetian life. The
church of the patron saint who had become identified with the
commonwealth takes in some sort the place which in more democratic
states belongs to the home of the commonwealth itself. Technically
indeed Saint Mark's is itself part of the palace; it answers to Saint
Stephen's at Westminster, not to Saint Peter's; but nowhere else among
commonwealths does the chapel of the palace in this sort surpass or
rival the palace itself. The less famous Saint Liberalis, patron of
the city and diocese of Tarvisium, does not venture, after the manner
of the Evangelist, thus to supplant Tarvisium itself. The commonwealth
fully proclaims its being in the group of municipal buildings which
surround the irregular space which forms the municipal centre of the
city. One alone of these, at once in some sort the oldest and the
newest, calls for special notice. The former _palazzo della Signoria_,
now the palace, the centre, in the new arrangement of things, not only
of the city of Treviso but of the whole province of which it is the
head, has been clearly renewed, perhaps rebuilt. But it keeps the true
character of a Lombard building of the kind, the simpler and truer
forms which were in vogue before the Venetian Gothic set in. It marks
the true position of that style that, though we cannot help admiring
many of its buildings when we look at them, we find it a relief when
we come to something earlier and more real. The buildings of which
Venice set the type are very rich, very elegant; but we feel that,
after all, England, France, Germany, could all do better in the way of
windows, and that Italy left to herself could do better in the way of
columns and arches. Old or new, rebuilt or simply repaired, there is
nothing very wonderful in the municipal palace of Treviso; but in
either case it is pleasing as an example of the genuine native style
of Italy. It has arcades below, groups of round-headed windows above,
and the tower looks over the palace with the more effect, because it
is not parallel to it. The arcades of the palace, continued in the
form of the arcades of the streets, are a feature of Treviso, as of
all other southern cities that were built by rational men in rational
times, and were designed, unlike Venice and Curzola, for the passage
of carriages and horses. At Treviso we have arcades of all kinds, all
shapes, all dates, some rude enough, some really elegant, but all of
them better than the portentous folly which has offered up modern Rome
and modern Athens as helpless victims to whatever powers may be
conceived to preside over heat, dust, and their consequences. Treviso
is not a first-class Italian city; it is hardly one of the second
class; but it is pleasant to thread one's way through the arcades, to
try to spell out the geography of the streams that are crossed by many
bridges; it is pleasant to mount here and there on the wall, to look
down on the broad foss below, and across it on the rich plain with its
wall of mountains in the distance.

In the ecclesiastical department what there is of any value above
ground belongs mainly to the friars. The interest of the _duomo_, as a
building, lies wholly in its crypt, a grand and spacious one,
certainly not later than the twelfth century. It may be that some of
the smaller marble shafts which support its vault had already done
duty in some earlier building, and there is no doubt as to the
classical date of a fragment of a large fluted column which in this
same crypt serves the purpose of a well. The church above has been
mercilessly Jesuited; yet, as it keeps more than one cupola, those
cupolas give it a certain dignity; the stamp of Constantinople and
Venice, of Périgueux and Angoulême, is hard wholly to wipe out.
Otherwise a few tombs and a fine piece of mediæval gilded wood-carving
are about all that the church of Treviso has to show. The great
Dominican church has been more lucky. The guide-book of Gsel-fels,
commonly the best of guide-books, but which cuts Treviso a little
short, rather sets one against it by saying that it has been wholly
modernized within. Repaired and freshened up it certainly has been;
but it can hardly be said to have been modernized; the old lines seem
not to have been tampered with. And there is something far from
lacking in dignity in the effect of its vast interior, even though its
style be the corrupt Gothic of Italy. One merit is that the arches
which spring from the huge pillars, though wide, are not
sprawling--not like those which those who do not dare to think for
themselves are called on to admire in the nave of the Florentine
_duomo_. Unlike the work of Arnolfo, the Dominican church of Treviso
does not look one inch shorter or lower than it is. It has too the
interest of much contemporary painting and other ornamental work. The
smaller Benedictine church hard by, whose bell-tower groups so well
with Saint Nicolas, employs in that bell-tower a trefoil arch, a
strange form to spring from mid-wall shafts. Within there is not much
to look at, beyond a tablet setting forth the glories of the
Benedictine order, how many emperors, empresses, kings, queens, popes,
cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and so forth, belonged to it. Dukes,
marquesses, counts, and knights, were unnumbered. It is a strange
thought that to that countless band Bec added the full manhood and
long monastic life of Herlwin, that Saint Peter of Shrewsbury and
Saint Werburh of Chester had severally the privilege of enrolling Earl
Roger and Earl Hugh, each for a few days only, as members of the
brotherhood of Benedict and Anselm.

The other friars' church, that of Saint Francis, has been less lucky
than its Dominican rival. Desecrated and partitioned, its inside is
now inaccessible; the outside promises well for a church of its own
type. Yet how feeble after all are the very best of these Italian
buildings which forsook their own native forms for a hopeless attempt
to reproduce the forms of other lands. We are always told that Italian
Gothic cannot be Northern Gothic, because Italy is not like Northern
lands. True enough; but what that argument proves is that Italy should
have kept to her own natural Romanesque, the true fruit of her own
soil, and should never have meddled with forms which could not be
transplanted in their purity. The great fact of Italian architectural
history is that the native style never was thoroughly driven out, but
that, alongside of the sham Gothic, true Romanesque lived on to lose
itself in the earlier and better kind of _Renaissance_. The open
arcades of streets and houses, and the bell-towers of the churches,
largely remain really Romanesque in style at all dates. For the
working out of the same law in greater buildings we must make our way
south-eastward. The chronicler of the eleventh century hinted that
Treviso was near to Venice, and the men of the fourteenth century
acted on the hint. But the wise Doge, who a generation later told his
people to stick to the sea and leave the land behind, knew better
where the true subject and neighbour lands of Venice lay. We cannot
fully obey him as yet, as we have still points on the Italian mainland
to visit. But we may still keep the true goal of our pilgrimage before
our eyes, and we may remember that the lands which were most truly
near to Venice were those lands, subject and hostile, to which the
path lay by her own element. The lessons of which we begin to get a
glimpse at Treviso we shall not learn in their fulness till we have
reached the other side of Hadria.



UDINE AND CIVIDALE.

1875--1881.


Ought the antiquarian traveller who has taken up his quarters at Udine
and has thence made an expedition to Cividale to counsel his
fellow-inquirers to follow his example in so doing or not? The answer
to this question may be well made largely to depend on the state of
the weather. It would be dangerous to say, from an experience of two
visits only, that at Udine and Cividale it always either rains or has
very lately rained; but those are the only two conditions in which we
can speak of those places from personal knowledge. Now it is wonderful
how a heavy rain damps the zeal of the most inquiring spirit,
especially if he be carrying on his inquiries by himself. If he has
companions, a good deal of wet may be shaken off by the process of
talking and laughing at the common bad luck. If he be alone, every
drop sticks; he has nothing to do but to grumble, and he has nobody to
listen to his grumblings but himself. The land may be beautiful, but
its beauties are half hid; the buildings may have the most taking
outlines, but it is impossible to make a drawing of them. Even
interiors lose their cheerfulness; the general gloom makes half their
details invisible; and his own depression of spirit makes the inquirer
less able than usual to understand and appreciate what he can see.
Udine and Cividale on a fine day are something quite unlike Udine and
Cividale in the rain. But even in this more cheerful state of things,
when the rain has to be spoken of in the past tense, it may happen
that the past puts serious difficulties in the way of the enjoyment of
the present. Cividale is undoubtedly more pleasant and more profitable
to see when the rain is past than when the rain is actually falling.
But then, to judge from our two experiences, Cividale is easier to get
at while the rain is actually falling than when it has ceased to fall.
What in the one state of things is the half-dry _ghiara_ of an Alpine
stream becomes a flood covering the road for no small distance, and
suggesting, to all but the most zealous, the thought of turning back.
It is only those for whom the attractions of the spot which once was
the Forum Julii are strong indeed, who will pluck up heart to go on
when their carriage has sometimes to be helped on by men who are used
to wade through the flood, or else is forced to leave what should have
been the high road for a narrow and difficult path across the fields.
It is well to record these things, that those who stay at home may be
put in mind that, even in perfectly civilized lands, topographical
knowledge is not always to be got without going to some little trouble
in the search after it. We have seen Udine and Cividale wet, and we
have seen them dry, but then it was when they had been wet only a very
short time before. We are tempted to think that we might understand
them better at some time when the rainfall was neither of the present
nor of the very recent past.

One thing however is certain, that, wet or dry, not many Englishmen
make the experiment of trying to find out what this corner of Italy
may have to show. Not an English name, save that of one specially
famous and adventurous traveller, was to be seen in the visitors'
book, either in Albergo dell' Italia at Udine or in the Museum at
Cividale. The true traveller is always in a doubtful state of mind
when he finds a place of interest neglected by his own countrymen. On
the one hand he is personally relieved, as being set free from the
gabble of English tourists at _tables d'hôte_ and the like. But how
far ought he to proclaim to the world the merits of the place which he
has found out for himself? How can he draw the line, so as to lead
travellers to come, without holding out the least inducement to mere
tourists? But perhaps the danger is not great; tourists will go only
where it is the fashion to go, and the historical traveller must not
think of himself more highly than he ought to think or fancy that it
is for such as he to create a fashion.

       *       *       *       *       *

We will suppose then that our traveller has started from Treviso, and
has reached the frontier town of Italy in the modern sense of the
name. We have seen that the existence of the place in Roman times
under the name of Vedinum can be proved and no more. The importance
and history of Udine, _Utinum_, are wholly mediæval. It takes the
place of Forum Julii as the capital of Friuli the district which keeps
the name which has passed away from the city. It is one of the
eccentricities of nomenclature that the other Forum Julii in southern
Gaul has kept its name, but in the still more corrupted shape of
_Fréjus_. The new head of the Venetian borderland--Venetia in the
older sense--went through the usual course of the neighbouring cities
with one feature peculiar to itself. Not a patriarchal see, Udine was
a patriarchal capital, the capital of the patriarchs of Aquileia in
that temporal character which for a long while made the bishops of the
forsaken city the chief princes of that corner of Italy.

Like Treviso, but somewhat later, Udine had to undergo a Hungarian
siege, when the Magyar crown had passed by marriage from the house of
Anjou to the house of Luxemburg. But we may mark how the different
powers which had something to do with the lands with which we are
concerned are already beginning to gather from the same hands. Lewis,
the enemy of Treviso in 1356, purely western in origin, was purely
eastern in power--King of Hungary and of the lands round about
Hungary, King of Poland by a personal union. Siegmund, the enemy of
Udine in 1411, was already King of Hungary, Margrave of Brandenburg
also, in days when, as Hungary had nothing to do with Austria, so
Brandenburg had nothing to do with Prussia. He was already chosen but
not crowned King of the Romans; he was to be, before he had done, King
of Bohemia, reformer of the Church, and Emperor, last crowned Emperor
not of the Austrian house. Presently the city passed away from the
rule of the patriarchs, but it could hardly be said to pass from a
spiritual to a temporal lord when it came under the direct superiority
of the Evangelist and his Lion. In the war of the League of Cambray it
passed for a moment into the hands of an Austrian Archduke, but one
who wore the crown of Aachen, and bore the titles of Rome without her
crown. The first momentary master saw from the German Austria that
Udine was Maximilian, King of Germany and Emperor-elect. In the
eighteenth century the patriarchs of Aquileia had become harmless
indeed, so harmless that their dignity could be altogether swept away,
and their immediate province divided between the two new
archbishoprics of Udine and Gorizia. Thus Udine, having once been the
temporal seat of an ecclesiastical prince of the highest rank, came,
as a subject city, to hold the highest ecclesiastical rank short of
that which was swept away to make room for its elevation.

       *       *       *       *       *

Udine is one of those places which keep fortifications of what we may
call the intermediate period, what, in this part of the world, is
specially the Venetian period. Such walls stand removed alike from
those which, even when not Roman in date, closely follow the Roman
type of defences, and from fortifications of the purely modern kind.
The walls of Udine are well preserved and defended with ditches, and,
as they fence in a large space and as there is comparatively little
suburb, they form a prominent feature in the aspect of the town.
Within the town, towering over every other object, is the castle or
citadel, as unpicturesque a military structure as can be conceived,
but perched on a huge mound, like so many of the castles of our own
land. Here is work for Mr. Clark. Is the mound natural or artificial?
Tradition says that it was thrown up by Attila, that he might stand on
it and see the burning of Aquileia. Legendary as such a tale is on the
face of it, it may perhaps be taken as some traditional witness to the
artificial nature of the mound. It would be dangerous to say anything
more positively without minute knowledge both of the geology and of
the præ-historic antiquities of Venetia; but analogy always suggests
that such mounds are artificial, or at least largely improved by art.
Anyhow there the mound is, an earthwork which, if artificial it be,
the Lady of the Mercians herself need not have been ashamed of.

Some of the guide-books call Udine "a miniature Venice;" it is not
easy to see why. There are some canals and bridges in Udine, but so
there are in Milan, Amiens, and countless other towns. There is even a
Rialto; but one hardly sees how it came by its name. The true "piccola
Venezia" is far away in Dalmatia, floating on its islands in the bay
of Salona. The point of likeness to Venice is probably found in the
civic palace and the two neighbouring columns. But these last are only
the usual badges of Venetian rule, and the palace, though it may
suggest the dwelling of the Doges, has no more likeness to it than is
shared by many other buildings of the same kind in Italy. But, like or
unlike to Venice, there is no doubt, even on a rainy day, that the
palace of Udine is a building of no small merit; on a fine day it
might perhaps make us say that it was worth going to Udine to see it.
It is, of course, far smaller than the Doges' palace; and if it lacks
the wonderful intermediate story of the Venetian building, it also
lacks the ugly story above it. The point of likeness, if any, lies in
the arcades, with their columns of true Italian type, slenderer than
those at Venice, and using the pointed arch in the outer and the round
arch in the inner range. But the columns at Udine are not a mere range
like those at Venice. They stand row behind row, almost like the
columns of a crypt, and they supply a profitable study in their
floriated capitals. The pillared space forms the market-place of the
city, and a busy place it is at the times of buying and selling,
filled with the characteristic merchandise of the district, the golden
balls of silk, for whose presence the Venetian land may thank the
adventurous monks of Justinian's day. Some of the columns, and a large
part of the rest of the building, had been renewed between 1875 and
1881. Between those years the palace had been nearly destroyed by
fire. Here was a case of necessary restoration. No rational person
could have been better pleased, either if the palace had been left in
ruins or if it had been repaired in some incongruous fashion. In such
a case as this, the new work is as much in its place as the old, and
the new work at Udine is as worthy as any new work is ever likely to
be to stand side by side with the old. At Udine again, as in many
other places, the thought cannot fail to strike us how thoroughly
these grand public palaces of Italy do but set before us, on a grand
scale and in a more ornamented style, a kind of building of which a
humble variety is familiar enough among ourselves. Many an English
market-town has an open market-house with arches, with a room above
for the administration of justice or any other public purpose. Enlarge
and enrich a building of this kind, and we come by easy steps to the
palace of Udine and to the palace of Venice.

The civic palace is the only building of any great architectural value
in Udine. The metropolitan church contains little that is attractive
for antiquity or for beauty of the higher kind. But the interior,
though of mixed and corrupt style, is not without a certain
stateliness, and its huge octagonal tower would have been a grand
object if its upper stages had been carried up in a manner worthy of
its basement. The streets are largely arcaded; and if the arcades of
Udine supply less detail than those of some other Italian cities, any
arcade is better than none. Udine can at least hold its head higher
than modern Bari, modern Athens, modern Rome. Still at best Udine in
itself holds but a secondary place among Italian cities, and its main
historic interest consists in the way in which the utterly obscure
_Vedinum_ contrived to supplant both Aquileia and Forum Julii. As
things now are, Forum Julii, dwindled to Cividale, has become a kind
of appendage to Udine, and we must make our way thither from what is
now the greater city.

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us here put on record the memories of an actual journey, as
strengthened and corrected by a later one made under more favourable
circumstances. The accounts in the common guide-books are so meagre,
and it is so impossible to get any topographical books in Udine, that
our inquirer sets out, it must be confessed, with the vaguest notions
of what he is going to see. Gsel-fels was not in those days, and, now
that he has come into being, he has treated the lands at the head of
the Hadriatic a good deal less fully than he has done most other parts
of Italy. The traveller then is promised a store of Roman remains by
one guide-book, and an early Romanesque church by another. He knows
that the greatness of Forum Julii has gone elsewhere, and he is
perhaps led to the belief that he is going to see a fallen city,
perhaps another Aquileia, perhaps even another Salona. One thing is
clear, even in the rain--namely, that the natural surroundings of
Forum Julii are of the noblest kind. The grand position of the place
itself he will not find out till later; but the mist half hides, half
brings out, the fact that Udine lies near, and Cividale lies nearer,
to the great range of the Julian Alps. Here and there their outlines
can be made out; here and there a snowy peak shows itself for a moment
in the further distance. A fertile plain with a mountain barrier, with
broad and rushing rivers to water it--it was clearly a goodly land in
which the old Veneti had fixed themselves, and in which Rome fixed the
Forum of Julius as a colony and garrison to keep their land in
obedience.

A long and flat road, but with the mountains ever in front, leads on
by several villages with their bell-towers, over what, according to
the accidents of weather, may be either a half-dry _ghiara_ or a deep
flood, till the traveller reaches the place which was Forum Julii, and
which is Cividale. Here he finds himself--a little to his
amazement--in a living town, with walls and gates and towers, with
streets and houses and churches, none of them certainly of the Julian
æra. The town is not very large; it is not a local capital like Udine;
still it is a town, not a village among ruins and fragments like
Aquileia and Salona. But it is plain that Cividale has not forgotten
what she once was; the traveller is set down at the _Grande Albergo al
Friuli_, and the _albergo_ stands in the _Piazza Giulio Cesare_. He
remembers the like name at Rimini, and he begins to cherish hopes that
the treasures of Rimini may have their like at Cividale. In utter
ignorance of what the place may really contain, he seeks for a
bookseller's shop, hoping that some guide-book or plan of some kind
may still be found. The bookseller is soon found, but his shop
contains nothing of the least profit to an inquirer into the remains
of Forum Julii. But the traveller hears that there is a museum; that
promises something: besides the treasures which the museum itself may
contain, such a place commonly implies an intelligent keeper, who
sometimes proves to be a scholar of a high order. But he takes a wrong
turn; no great harm however, as he thereby learns sooner than he
otherwise would have learned the noble natural site of Cividale,
planted on the rocky banks of the rushing stream of the Natisone. He
sees two or three unpromising churches, and looks into the chief of
them, a building of strange and mixed style, but not without a certain
stateliness of general effect. He sees the _Via Cornelio Gallo_, which
promises something, and the _Via del Tempio_, which promises more.
Visions of Nîmes, Vienne, and Pola rise before him; he follows the
track, but he finds nothing in the least savouring of Jupiter or
Diana, and he learns afterwards that the _Tempio_ from which the
street is called is the great church, known, it seems, in a special
way, as _Templum Maximum_. Still the museum is not reached; but a
second inquiry, a second journey to quite another end of the town,
leads to it. The museum is examined; it contains a considerable stock
of objects of the usual kind, fragments of architecture and sculpture,
which witness to the former greatness of Forum Julii. More remarkable
are the specimens of Lombard workmanship, in various forms of armour
and ornament, to say nothing of the actual tomb of the Lombard Duke
Gisulf. At the museum he is put under the friendly guidance of a
kindly priest, by whose care many matters are cleared up. Roman
remains, strictly so called, there are none to see. There have been
diggings, and the walls have been traced out, but all has been covered
up again; outside the museum there is nothing in the pagan line left.
But of Romanesque work the remains, though neither large nor many, are
of high interest. Buried in an Ursuline nunnery, of which the good
father opens the door, is a small Romanesque church of most singular
design, built, so he tells us, in 764, but which, if so, must have
received some further enrichment in the twelfth century. The
sculptures in the western wall are surely of the later date; but the
shell, parts of which in their coupled Corinthian columns strongly
call to mind some of the ancient churches of Rome, may well be of the
earlier date, of the last days of the Lombard kingdom.

Here at last something of no small value has been lighted on. As a
matter of architecture, this church is by far the best thing in
Cividale. Indeed, as a matter of architecture strictly so called, it
is the only thing of any importance. But let the other churches be
gone through again, perhaps only with that relief of the mind which
follows the discovery of an intelligible clue, yet more when old
memories are revived and strengthened by a second visit, and, though
they are of no great value as buildings, they are found to be of no
small interest in other ways. The _Templum Maximum_ indeed, late and
corrupt as is its style, is not without a certain grandeur of internal
effect, and it contains more than one object which calls up historic
memories. There is the chair which cannot in strictness be called
patriarchal, but which was doubtless used by patriarchs when the
spiritual shepherds of Aquileia fled from their wasted home to the
safer shelter of Forum Julii, and ruled its chief church as provosts.
There too on the altar we may see the silver image work of the twelfth
century, the gift of one of the two patriarchs who bore the name of
Peregrinus. And there too is a wonderful object, the indoor
baptistery--for it is more than a font--repaired two years after
Charles the Great had added the style of King of the Lombards to his
Frankish kingship and his Roman patriciate. We may then believe that,
in the columns and round arches of its octagon, we see work of the
date when the land of Forum Julii was still the Austria of an
independent Lombard realm. Other objects of early days are to be found
in even the less promising churches, specially an altar, rich with the
goldsmith's craft, which suggests, though it does not rival, the altar
of Saint Ambrose at Milan. But first among the treasures of Cividale
must rank the precious volume which is still guarded in the treasury
of the great church. This is an ancient book of the gospels, now of
three gospels only, for some zealous Venetian, eager for the honour of
Saint Mark, deemed that the pages which contained his writings were
out of place anywhere except in the Evangelist's own city. The highest
historical value of the book consists in the crowds of signatures
scattered through its margin, signatures of persons great and small,
known and unknown, from the days of the Lombard princes to the
Empress-Queen of the last age and the Bourbon pretender of the
present. When we have grasped the fact that the popular speech of the
surrounding district is Slavonic, we are less surprised than we
otherwise might be to find that a large proportion of the signatures
come from eastern Europe. Among them are a crowd of signatures from
Bulgaria, headed by Michael their king. It is for palæographers to
judge of the date by the writing. And palæographers say that, of the
ancient names, none are earlier than the end of the eighth century or
later than the end of the tenth. Otherwise we might have been driven
to see in this Michael nothing greater than a fourteenth century king
of an already divided Bulgaria. But the great Simeon of an earlier day
left a son Michael, a monk, who left his monastery to strive vainly
for his father's crown. Yet, if the witness of wise men as to the
dates of the writing may be trusted, it must be either the signature
of this Michael or else an utter forgery. But the unenlightened in
such matters asks how the signatures of men of so many lands and ages
got there. Did those whose names were written--for of course few, if
any, would write them themselves--come to the book, or did the book go
to them? The earlier signatures at least are said to be the names of
reconciled enemies who took the holy book to witness that their
enmities were laid aside. This we can neither affirm nor deny, but it
surely cannot apply to all the signatures in the book. The treasury
contains other ancient books, and other objects which are well worth
notice, but this strange and precious relic is the chiefest of them
all.

Altogether then there turns out to be a good deal to see on the site
which once was Forum Julii. What is to be seen is perhaps not exactly
of the kind which the traveller may have fancied in his dreams. He can
hardly have come expecting to find a stately mediæval or modern city.
He may have come expecting to find the walls of a Roman city
sheltering here and there either Roman fragments or modern cottages.
He will find neither of these; but he will find a town whose natural
position is far more striking than could have been looked for in the
approach from Udine, and whose chief merit is that it shelters here
and there, in corners where they have to be sought for, several
objects, neither Roman nor mediæval, but of the darker, and therefore
most instructive, period which lies between the two.



GORIZIA.

1881.


At Udine and at Cividale we are still in Italy in every sense which
that name has borne since the days of Augustus Cæsar. But the fact
which may have startled us at the last stage of our course, the fact
that a Slavonic tongue is to be heard within the borders of both the
old and the new Italian kingdom, may suggest the thought that we are
drawing near to parts of the world which are in some respects
different from Treviso and the lands to the west of it. We are about
to pass from the subject lands of Venice to the neighbour lands. We
shall presently reach the borders which modern diplomacy has decreed
for the Italian kingdom, seemingly because they were the borders of
the territory of the Venetian commonwealth on the mainland. Venice, as
Venice, has passed away, but it is strange to see how one of the most
artificial of her boundaries survives. The present arrangements of the
European map seem to lay down as the rule on this frontier that
nothing that was not Venetian can be Italian. The rule is purely
negative; no weight at all is given to the converse doctrine that
whatever was Venetian should be Italian. Nor is it necessary to plead
for any such doctrine, a doctrine which nationality and geography, as
well as practical possibility, would all decline to support. Still it
is hard to see why the negative doctrine should be so strictly
pressed, and why Italian lands should be forced to remain under a
foreign dominion, simply because they never came under the dominion of
Venice. If any argument grounded in this way on facts which have long
since ceased to have a meaning were urged on the Italian side, it
would be at once scouted as pedantic and antiquarian. But it would
seem that even pedantry and antiquarianism are welcomed when they tell
on behalf of the other side. For surely it is the height of pedantry
and antiquarianism to argue that, because a land was never numbered
among the subject provinces of Venice, it therefore may not be
numbered among the equal members of a free Italian kingdom. It is
certainly hard to find any other reason, except that the advance of
Venice stopped at a certain point, to account for the fact that the
dominions of a foreign prince come so awkwardly near to Verona, for
the fact that Trent and Roveredo look to Vienna and not to Rome. Such
are our thoughts on one line of journey; on our present course the
same question suggests itself again. We pass a frontier where it is
not at first sight easy to see why any frontier should be there. We
journey from Udine to Gorizia, still keeping within the old Lombard
Austria, but between Udine and Gorizia lies Cormons, and after Cormons
we find ourselves in a new Austria. We speak with geographical
accuracy. We might not say, as some would, that we were in Austria if
we were at Cattaro or at Tzernovitz, but in the land which we have now
entered, we are, not indeed in the archduchy of Austria, but within
the circle of Austria according to the arrangements of Maximilian. And
in truth we do soon mark a change. We soon come to feel more
distinctly than before that we are in a land where more tongues than
one are spoken. We may have found out that round about Cividale all is
not Italian in speech; but the Slavonic tongue of those parts is
modest and retiring. It does not thrust itself into print or show
itself flauntingly on doors or windows. But when we pass the border,
when we are in the land which is Austrian both in the oldest and the
newest sense, the presence of a twofold, even of a three-fold, speech
makes itself very clear. At Cividale, if Slavonic was to be heard, it
was at least not to be seen. In the city which we next reach, Italian
and Slavonic are both to be seen openly, and a third tongue is to be
seen alongside of them. Are we to seek here for the justification of
the frontier which struck us as artificial and needless? Is the fact
that the Slavonic tongue is spoken in or close by the city which we
next reach a proof that that city ought to remain outside the Italian
kingdom? If so, the argument might be thought to prove too much; it
might be thought to prove that Cividale ought not to be counted to
Italy any more than its neighbour. But any one who took up this line
of argument would hardly be led by it to approval of things as they
are. The Panslavist who should go the length of arguing that neither
Gorizia nor Cividale ought to look to Rome as its head would hardly
argue that either of them ought to look to Vienna.

We have written the name _Gorizia_; but we have written it with fear
and trembling. For we have now reached a city where we have three
names to choose from. Shall we say _Görz_, _Gorizia_, or _Gorici_? All
three names will be found carefully displayed side by side in public
notices. One is tempted, by the analogy of a crowd of Slavonic names
in other places, to suggest _Goritaz_ instead of any of them. But
_Gorici_ is the Slavonic form as by law established, and to that rule
both natives and visitors may do well to bow. In any case there is
little doubt that on this spot of many names we have reached a place
which, though Italian in geography, though for ages German in
allegiance, was in truth Slavonic in origin. A charter of Otto the
Third speaks of "una villa quæ Sclavonica lingua vocatur Gorizia."
This is the earliest certain mention of the place. There is indeed a
document which tells us how in the year 949 Bishop John of Trieste was
borne down by many troubles, and how one source of his troubles was a
heavy debt to David the Jew of Gorizia. But wise men reject the
document which asserts this piece of episcopal mismanagement. And the
way in which the place is spoken of in the eleventh century does not
sound as if it could have been a spot whose wealth could have drawn
Jews thither in the tenth. In any case the Slavonic _villa_ grew into
a town and a county of the Empire, and late in the fifteenth century
the Counts of Gorizia became the same persons as the Archdukes of
Austria. But long after the beginning of that union, the distinction
between Austria and Gorizia was still strongly drawn. How much Gorizia
still thought of itself, how much its prince still thought of himself
in his local character, is made plain by the most prominent feature of
the chief building of the place. Over the gateway of the castle is an
inscription recording repairs done in the year 1660 by the reigning
Count Leopold. That Count bore higher titles, and he does not fail to
record them on the stone; but they are recorded in an almost
incidental way. Letters boldly cut, letters which catch the eye at
some distance, proclaim that the work was done by LEOPOLDUS COMES
GORITIÆ. Go near, and you may literally read between the lines, in
smaller letters and abbreviated words, that this Count Leopold
happened to be also Emperor of the Romans, King of Germany, Hungary,
and Bohemia, Archduke of Austria, and--in his own eyes at least--Duke
of Burgundy. But here at Gorizia he reigned and built directly as
Count of Gorizia, and he proclaimed himself primarily by his local
title. In an inscription such things could be done; heraldry hardly
admitted of any such ingenious devices. The bird of Cæsar must bear
the hereditary shield of the prince who has been chosen to the
imperial office, and on that hereditary shield the bearings of the
Gorizian county cannot displace those of duchies and kingdoms. While
therefore the legend proclaims the doer of the repairs of 1660 as
before all things a hereditary local count, the shield proclaims him
as before all things a Roman Emperor-elect. Yet one may believe that
most of those who pass under the imperial bird over the gateway deem
him all one with his bastard likeness over the tobacco-shops. Some may
even fail to see that, among the many hereditary bearings of the
elective Cæsar, the lion of the Austrian duchy keeps his proper place.
That lion is so apt to pass out of sight, men are so ready to cry
"Austria" when they see the eagle of Rome, so little ready to cry
"Austria" when they see Austria's own bearing, that it may be kind to
point out one place where his form and his occasional destiny may best
be studied. The true Austrian beast is plainly to be seen on the walls
of the _Schlachtkapelle_ near Sempach, and his presence there is
explained by the legend, thrilling to the federal and democratic mind,
"Das Panier von Oestreich ist gefangen, und ist nach Uri gekommen."

The eagle of Rome over the gateway, in a place where in these regions
we look almost mechanically for the lion of Saint Mark, reminds us yet
again that we have passed from the subject into the neighbour lands of
Venice. And various inscriptions, public and private, bring no less
clearly home to our minds that we are in a land of more than one
tongue. Of the three names of the town, that by which we have hitherto
spoken of it, that which it bears in the earliest trustworthy charter,
that which differs by one letter only from its more ordinary Latin
shape as seen over the gate, is also the name which the traveller will
most frequently hear in its streets and will see universally written
over its shops. As far as one can see at a glance, German is at _Görz_
the tongue of hôtels, _cafés_, public departments of all kinds.
Italian is the tongue of the citizens of _Gorizia_ whose shops are
sheltered by its street arcades. Slavonic, we conceive, will some day
be the tongue of the little children who, in all the joy of a state of
nature, as naked as any other mammals, creep, as merrily though more
slowly than the lizards, over the grass and stones of the castle-hill
of _Gorici_. Anyhow Gorizia is, like Palermo of old, the city of the
threefold tongue. But the place itself is, considering its history, a
little disappointing. Nothing indeed is lacking in the way of
position. Mountains on all sides, except where the rich plain of the
swift Isonzo stretches away to the sea, fence in the city, without
hemming it close in as in a prison. One hill is crowned by the castle,
whence we look out on another crowned by the long white line of the
Franciscan convent, suggesting memories of the banished king who was
the last to receive the consecrating oil of Rheims. Houses, churches,
villages, are thickly scattered over the plain and the hill sides. The
vines and the mulberry-trees, the food of the silkworm whose endless
cocoons choke up the market-place, witness to the richness of the
land. But there is a strange lack of buildings of any importance in
this capital of an ancient county, this resort which boasts itself as
the "Nizza Austriaca," the "Oesterreichische Nizza"--in such formulæ
the third tongue of the spot is not called into play. A Nizza without
any Mediterranean may seem as strange as the Rialto which we saw at
Udine without any Grand Canal. But Gorizia as a modern town is not
striking. Its best features are the old arcades in some of its streets
and markets. Such arcades must be bad indeed to be wholly
unsatisfactory, and some of those at Gorizia are very fairly done. But
there is no grand church, no grand municipal palace; the castle itself
is not what on such a site it ought to be. The castle is the kernel of
the whole place. Gorizia is not a hill-town, nor can we call it a
river-town. There is the castle on the hill, and the town seems to
have gathered at its foot. The castle soars so commandingly over the
country round that we wish here, as at Udine, that there was something
better to soar than the ugly barrack which forms its uppermost stage.
There are indeed better things within Count Leopold's gateway. The
outer court is laid out in streets, and contains several houses with
architectural features. One, bearing date 1475, with respectable
columns and round arches below, and with windows of the Venetian type
above, might pass for a very humble following, not of the palaces of
Venice or Udine, but of the far nobler pile which is in store for us
at Ragusa. A small church too strikes us, with its windows projecting
like oriels, one of them indeed rising from the ground. This last,
when we enter, proves to be the smallest of side-chapels set on this
fashion. In some cities such a small eccentricity would hardly deserve
any notice; but at Gorizia we learn to become thankful for rather
small mercies.

In the lower town what little interest there is gathers round the
pieces of street arcades; the churches go for next to nothing. Yet
Gorizia ranks as an ecclesiastical metropolis, and it has its
metropolitan church no less than Canterbury or Lyons. Nor is this
merely one of those arrangements of the present century which have
stripped Mainz and Trier of their immemorial dignity, and which have
given us archbishops of such unexpected places as Munich and
Freiburg-im-Breisgau. The style of Archbishop of Gorizia is at least
several generations older than the style of Emperor of Austria. The
church of Gorizia rose to metropolitan rank, at the same time as the
church of Udine, when the patriarchate of Aquileia came to an end, and
its province was divided between the two new metropolitans thus called
into being. But the seat of the modern primacy is hardly worthy of a
simple bishopric. There is nothing in the building of any antiquity
but a choir, German rather than Italian, and of no great antiquity
either. The rest of the church is of a gaudy _Renaissance_; yet it
deserves some notice from the boldness of its construction. It is
designed, within and without, of two stories: that is, the upper
gallery is an essential part of the building. The principle is the
same as in Saint Agnes and Saint Laurence at Rome, and as in German
churches like the Great Minster at Zürich; but the feeling is quite
different. Still, if a church is to be built in a _Renaissance_ style
and to receive two sets of worshippers, one over the heads of the
other, it must be allowed that the object is thoroughly attained in
the metropolitan church of Gorizia, and its architect is entitled to
the credit of having successfully grappled with the problem
immediately set before him.

Gorizia then can hardly claim, on the ground either of its history or
its buildings, to rank among cities of the first, or even of the
second class. Its natural position far surpasses all that has been
done in it, and all that has been built in it. But there is no spot on
which men have lived for eight or nine hundred years which does not
teach us something, and Gorizia has its lessons as well as other
places. It would hardly be worth making a journey thither from any
distant point to see Gorizia only; but the place should be seen by any
one whose course takes him through the lands at the head of the
Hadriatic. Udine, Cividale, and Gorizia are places which have in some
sort partitioned among them the position of fallen Aquileia. From the
children, we might perhaps say the rebellious children, we must go on
to the ancient mother.



AQUILEIA.

1875--1881.


We have already, in our course through the lands at the head of the
Hadriatic, had need constantly to refer to the fallen city which once
was the acknowledged head of those lands, the city whose fame began as
a great Roman colony, the bulwark of Italy at her north-eastern
corner, and which lived on, after the fall of its first greatness, in
the character of the nominal head alike of a considerable temporal
power and of an ecclesiastical power whose position and history were
altogether unique. We have noticed that, while the cities of this
region rise and fall, still even those which fall are not wholly swept
away. Aquileia has always lived, though, since the days of Attila, the
life of the actual city of Aquileia has been a very feeble one indeed.
But though Aquileia, as a city, practically perished in the fifth
century, yet it continued till the eighteenth to give its name to a
power of some kind. Its temporal position passed to Forum Julii, and
Udine succeeded to the position alike of Forum Julii and of Aquileia.
But the patriarchs grew into temporal princes, and their style
continued to be taken from Aquileia, and not from Forum Julii or
Udine. On the ecclesiastical side, the patriarchal title itself arose
out of a theological and a local schism. And, while the bishops of
Aquileia thus rose to the same nominal rank as those of Constantinople
and Alexandria, they had, as the result of the same chain of events,
to see--at least, if they had gone on living at Aquileia they would
have seen--a rival power of the same rank spring up, at their own
gates, in the form of the patriarchs of Grado. This last was surely
the greatest anomaly in all ecclesiastical geography. He who is not
familiar with the Italian ecclesiastical map may be surprised to find
Fiesole a separate bishopric from Florence. Even he who is familiar
with such matters may still be surprised to find Monreale a separate
archbishopric from Palermo. But even this last real anomaly seems a
small matter, compared with the arrangement which placed one patriarch
at Aquileia itself, and another almost within a stone's throw at
Aquileia's port of Grado. At every step we have lighted on something
to suggest the thought of the ancient capital of the Venetian
borderland; we have now to look at what is left of the fallen city
itself. Setting aside the actual seats of Imperial power, Rome Old and
New, Milan, Trier, and Ravenna, few cities stand out more
conspicuously than Aquileia both in general and in ecclesiastical
history. The stronghold by which Rome first secured her power over the
borderland of Illyria and Cisalpine Gaul--the city which grew under
the fostering hand of Augustus into one of the great cities of the
Empire--the city whose overthrow by Attila was one of the causes of
the birth of Venice--might have claimed for itself no mean place in
history, even if it had never become one of the special seats of
ecclesiastical rule and ecclesiastical controversy. To see such a city
sunk to a mean village, to trace out the remains of its ancient
greatness and splendour, is indeed a worthy work for the historical
traveller.

But how shall the traveller find his way to Aquileia? Let us confess
to a certain degree of pious fraud in our notices of Treviso, Udine,
and Gorizia. We have, for the general purposes of the series,
conceived the traveller as starting from Venice, while in truth those
notices contained the impressions of journeys made the other way, with
Trieste as their starting-point. The mask must be thrown off, if only
because the journey to Aquileia always calls up the memory of an
earlier visit to Aquileia when it was also from Trieste that another
traveller set forth. We have before us a record of travel from Trieste
to Aquileia, in which the pilgrim, finding himself on the road "in a
capital barouche behind two excellent horses," tells us that "the
idea of thus visiting a church city, which seemed a mere existence of
the past, had something so singular and inappropriate as to seem an
ecclesiastical joke. When at the octroi," he continues, "our driver
gave out his destination, the whole arrangement produced the same
effect in my mind as if Saint Augustine had asked me to have a bottle
of soda-water, or Saint Jerome to procure for him a third-class
ticket." Without professing altogether to throw ourselves into
enthusiasm of this kind, the ecclesiastical history of the city, its
long line of patriarchs, schismatical and orthodox, is of itself
enough to give Aquileia a high place among the cities of the earth.
But why Aquileia should be called "a church city" as if it were Wells
or Lichfield or Saint David's, cities to which that name would very
well apply--why going thither should seem an "ecclesiastical
joke"--why Saint Augustine, if he were still on earth, should be
debarred from the use of soda-water--why Saint Jerome should be
condemned to a third-class ticket, while his modern admirer goes in a
capital barouche behind two excellent horses--all these are mysteries
into which it would not do for the profane to peer too narrowly. But
the traveller from whom we quote was one in whose mind the first sight
of Spalato called up no memory of Diocletian, but who wandered off
from the organizer of the Roman power to an ecclesiastical squabble
in which the British Solomon was a chief actor. We quote his own
words. As he first saw the mighty bell-tower, he asks, "What were our
thoughts? What but of poor Mark Antony de Dominis?"

Our ecclesiastical traveller who went straight from Trieste to
Aquileia in the barouche with the excellent horses made his pilgrimage
before the railway was opened. As it is, the more modern inquirer is
more likely to take the train to Monfalcone--perhaps humbly, like
Saint Jerome, by the third class, perhaps otherwise, according to
circumstances. He will pass through a land of specially stony hills
coming down near to the sea, but leaving ever and anon, in the most
utter contrast, green marshy places between the stones and the water.
Some may find an interest in passing by Miramar, the dwelling of the
Maximilian who perished in Mexico; some may prefer to speculate about
Antenor, and to wonder where he found the nine mouths of Timavus. But
it is still possible to go by the same path as our predecessor, and
that antiquated course has something to be said for it. The road from
Trieste to Aquileia is, for some while at least, not rich in specially
striking objects, but it passes over lofty ground whence the traveller
will better understand the geography of the Hadriatic, and will come
in for some glimpses of the inland parts of this region of many
tongues. For here it is not quite enough to say that native Italian
and Slave and official German all meet side by side. We are not far
off from the march-land of two forms of the Slavonic speech; the
tongue of Rome too is represented at no great distance by another of
its children, distinct from the more classic speech of Italy. We
remember that the Vlach, the Rouman, the Latin-speaking remnant of the
East, has settled or has lingered at not very distant points. We are
tempted to fancy--wrongly, it may be--that some of them must almost
come within the distant landscape. One thing is certain; bearers far
more strange of the Roman name, though no speakers of the Roman
tongue, are there in special abundance. Those whom sixteenth century
Acts of Parliament spoke of as "outlandish persons calling themselves
Egyptians," though they certainly now at least no more call themselves
Egyptians than Englishmen ever called themselves Saxons, are there as
a distinct element in the land. The traveller who comes on the right
day may come in for a gipsy fair at Duino; he may hear philologers
whose studies have lain that way talking to them in their own branch
of the common Aryan tongue. He himself meanwhile, driven to look at
their outsides only, perhaps thinks that after all gipsies do not look
so very different from other ragged people. Certainly if he chances
to be making his way, as it is possible that he may be, from Dalmatia
and Montenegro, he will miss, both among the gipsies and the other
inhabitants of the land, the picturesque costumes to which he has
become used further south. Duino itself, a very small haven, but which
once believed that it could rival Trieste, will, to the antiquary at
least, be more interesting than its gipsy visitors. A castle on rocks,
overhanging the sea--a castle, so to speak, in two parts, one of which
contains a tower which claims a Roman date, while the other is said to
have sheltered Dante--will reward the traveller who still keeps to the
barouche and the horses on his journey to the "church city," instead
of making use of the swifter means which modern skill has provided for
him.

       *       *       *       *       *

At last, by whichever road he goes, the traveller finds himself at the
little town of Monfalcone, and there he who comes by the railway must
now look for the capital barouche and the excellent horses, or such
substitutes for them as Monfalcone can supply. A small castle frowns
on the hill above the station, but the town contains nothing but an
utterly worthless _duomo_ and some street arcades, to remind us once
more that, if we are under the political rule of the Apostolic King,
we are on soil which is Italian in history and in architecture. After
a railway journey which has mainly skirted the sea, perhaps even after
a journey over the hills during a great part of which we have looked
down on the sea, we are a little surprised at finding that the road
which leads us to what once was a great haven takes us wholly inland.
We pass through a flat and richly cultivated country, broken here and
there by a village with its campanile, till two Corinthian columns
catch the eye in front of a modern building, which otherwise might be
passed by without notice. Those two columns, standing forsaken, away
from their fellows, mark that we have reached Monastero; in the days
before Attila we should have reached Aquileia. We are now within the
circuit of the ancient colony. But mediæval Aquileia was shut up
within far narrower limits; modern Aquileia is shut up within narrower
limits still. Within the courtyard of the building which is fronted by
the two columns, we find a large collection, a kind of outdoor museum,
of scraps of architecture and sculpture, the fragments of the great
city that once was. We go on, and gradually our approach to the centre
is marked by further fragments of columns lying here and there, as at
Rome or Ravenna. A little farther, and we are in modern Aquileia,
"città Aquileia," as it still proudly calls itself in the official
description, which, as usual, proclaims to the traveller the name of
the place where he is, and in what administrative division of the
"Imperial and Royal" dominions he finds himself.

Of the village into which the ancient colony has shrunk up we must
allow that the main existing interest is ecclesiastical. So far as
Aquileia is a city at all, it is now a "church city." The patriarchal
church, with its tall but certainly not beautiful campanile, soars
above all. But, if it soars above all, it still is not all. Here and
there a fragment of a column, or an inscription built into the wall,
reminds us of what Aquileia once was. One ingenious man has even built
himself an outhouse wholly out of such scraps, here a capital, there a
bit of sculpture, there inscriptions of various dates, with letters of
the best and of the worst kinds of Roman lettering. Queer and confused
as the collection is, the bits out of which it is put together are at
least safe, which they would not be if they were left lying about in
the streets. Another more regularly assorted collection will be found
in the local museum, which has the advantage of containing several
plans, showing the extent of the city in earlier times. At last we
approach the church, now, and doubtless for many ages past, the one
great object in Aquileia. In front of it a single shattered column
marks the place of the ancient forum. To climb the tower is the best
way of studying the geography of Aquileia, just as to climb the tower
of Saint Apollinaris is the best way of studying the geography of
Ravenna. In both cases the first feeling that comes upon the mind is
that the sea has become a distant object. Now the eye ranges over a
wide flat, and the sea, which once brought greatness to Aquileia, is
far away. A map of Aquileia in the fifteenth century is to be had, and
it is wise to take it to the top of the tower. There we may trace out
the churches, gates, and other buildings, which have perished since
the date of the map, remembering always that the Aquileia of the
fifteenth century was the merest fragment of the vast city of earlier
times. A good deal of the town wall of the mediæval date may still be
traced. It runs near to the east end of the church, acting, as at
Exeter and Chichester, as the wall at once of the town and of the
ecclesiastical precinct. The church itself, the patriarchal basilica
of Aquileia, is a study indeed, though the first feeling on seeing it
either within or without is likely to be one of disappointment. We do
not expect outline, strictly so called, in an Italian church; when we
come in for any grouping of towers, such as we see at Saint Abbondio
at Como and at more wonderful Vercelli, we accept with thankfulness
the boon which we had not looked for. So we do not complain that the
basilica of Aquileia, with its vast length and its lofty tower, is
still, as judged by a northern eye, somewhat shapeless. But in such a
place we might have expected to find a front such as those which form
the glory of Pisa and Lucca, such a tower as may be found at Pisa and
Lucca and at a crowd of places of less renown. We enter the church,
and we find ourselves in a vast and stately basilica; but one feature
in its architecture at once amazes us. There are the long rows of
columns with which we have become familiar at Pisa and Lucca, at Rome
and Ravenna; but all the main arches are pointed. And the pointed
arches are not, as at Palermo and indeed at Pisa also, trophies of the
vanquished Saracen; their details at once show that they are actual
mediæval work. We search the history, for which no great book-learning
is needed, as inscriptions on the walls and floor supply the most
important facts. The church was twice recast, once early in the
eleventh century, and again in the fourteenth. The pointed work in the
main building is of course due to this last change; the crypt, with
its heavy columns and rude capitals, looks like work of the eleventh
century, though it has been assigned to the fifth, and though
doubtless materials of that date have been used up again. And in the
upper church also, the columns of the elder building have, as so often
happens, lived through all repairs. Their capitals for the most part
are mediæval imitations of classical forms rather than actual relics
of the days before Attila. But two among them, one in each transept,
still keep shattered Corinthian capitals of the very finest work.

The fittings of the church are largely of _Renaissance_ date, but the
patriarchal throne remains, and there are one or two fragments of
columns and the like put to new uses. On the north side of the nave is
a singular building, known as the _sacrario_, of which it is not easy
to guess the original purpose. It is a round building supporting a
miniature colonnade with a conical roof above, so that it looks more
like a model of a baptistery than anything else. Those who see
Cividale before Aquileia may be reminded of the baptistery within the
_Templum Maximum_. But the Forojulian work is larger than the
Aquileian, and we can hardly fancy that this last was really designed
to be used for baptism; at all events there is a notable baptistery
elsewhere.

In the basilica of Aquileia we have three marked dates, but we may
call it on the whole a church of the eleventh century, keeping
portions of a church of the fourth, and itself largely recast in the
fourteenth. Thus, setting aside later changes, the existing church
shows portions of work a thousand years apart, and spans nearly the
whole of Aquileian history. When the rich capitals of the transepts
were carved, the days of persecution were still of recent memory;
when pointed arches were set on the ancient columns, the temporal
power of the patriarchate was within a century of its fall. The first
church of Aquileia is assigned to the bishop Fortunatian, who
succeeded in 347, the last prelate who held Aquileia as a simple
bishopric without metropolitan rank. The builder and consecrator of
the present church--for present we may call it, though it shows less
detail of his work than of either earlier or later times--was Poppo or
Wolfgang, patriarch from 1019 to 1042, a man famous in local history
as the chief founder of the temporal power of the patriarchate. His
influence was great with the Emperors Henry the Second and Conrad the
Second; he accompanied the latter prince to his Roman coronation, and
must therefore have stood face to face with our own Cnut. The name of
this magnificent prelate suggests his namesake, who at the very same
moment filled the metropolitan throne of Trier, and was engaged in the
same work of transforming a great church of an older day. If we
compare Trier and Aquileia, we see how men's minds are worked on by
local circumstances and local associations. Poppo of Aquileia and
Poppo of Trier were alike German prelates, but one was working in
Germany and the other in Italy. The northern Poppo therefore gave the
remodelled church of Trier a German character, while the remodelled
church of Aquileia remained, under the hands of the southern Poppo, a
church thoroughly Italian. We may even say that the essential
character of the building was not changed, even by the still later
remodelling which brought in the pointed arches; these were the work
of Markquard of Randeck, who was translated from Augsburg to the
patriarchal see in 1365, and who held it till 1381. He brought in the
received constructive form of his day, but he did not by bringing in
pointed arches turn the building into Italian Gothic. The church of
Markquard remained within and without a true basilica, keeping the
general effect of the church of Poppo, perhaps even of the church of
Fortunatian. The walls of the church moreover show inscriptions of
much later date, recording work done in the church of Aquileia in the
days of Apostolic sovereigns of our own time. The newest of all, which
was not there in 1875, but which was there in 1881, bears the name of
the prince who has ceased to be lord of Forum Julii, but who still
remains lord of Aquileia.

But the basilica itself is not all. A succession of buildings join on
to the west: first a _loggia_, then a plain vaulted building, called,
but without much likelihood, an older church, which leads to the
ruined baptistery. The old map shows this last with a high roof or
cupola, and then the range from the western baptistery to the great
eastern apse must have been striking indeed. Fragments of every kind,
columns, capitals, bits of entablature, lie around; and to the south
of the church stand up two great pillars, the object of which it is
for some local antiquary to explain. The old map shows that they stood
just within the court of the patriarchal palace, which was then a
ruin, and which has now utterly vanished. They are not of classical
work; they are not columns in the strict sense; they are simply built
up of stones, like the pillars of Gloucester or Tewkesbury. Standing
side by side, they remind us of the columns which in towns which were
subject to Venice commonly bear the badges of the dominion of Saint
Mark. But can we look for such badges at Aquileia? The lands of the
patriarchate, in by far the greater part of their extent, did indeed
pass from the patriarch to the Evangelist. But had the Evangelist ever
such a settled possession of the city itself as to make it likely that
columns should be set up at Aquileia as well as at Udine? The treaty
which confirmed Venice in the possession of the patriarchal state left
the patriarchal city to its own bishop and prince. Was the winged lion
ever set up, and then taken down again? The old map which represents
Aquileia in the fifteenth century shows that, as the pillars carry
nothing now, so they carried nothing then. Again, would Venetian taste
have allowed such clumsy substitutes for columns as these? And, if
they had been meant as badges of dominion, would they not have stood
in the forum rather than in the court of the Patriarch's palace?

We are far from having exhausted even the existing antiquities of
Aquileia, further still from exhausted its long and varied history.
Within the bounds of the fallen city pleasant walks may be taken,
which here and there bring us among memories of the past. Here is a
fine street pavement brought to light, here a fragment of a theatre.
But men do not dig at Aquileia with the same vigour with which they
dig at Silchester and at Solunto. The difference between the diggings
at the beginning and the end of a term of six years is less than it
should be. But we have perhaps done enough to point out the claims of
so wonderful a spot on those who look on travelling as something more
than a way either of killing time or of conforming to fashion.
Aquileia has a character of its own; it is not a ruined or buried
city; nor is it altogether like Trier or Ravenna, which, though fallen
from their ancient greatness, are cities still. In the general feeling
of the spot it has more in common with such a place as Saint David's
in our own island, that thorough "church city," where a great minster
and its ecclesiastical establishment still live on amid surrounding
desolation. But there is no reason to believe that Saint David's, as
a town, was ever greater than it is now. Still Saint David's keeps its
bishopric, it keeps its chapter; at Aquileia the patriarch with his
fifty canons are altogether things of the past. We must seek for their
surviving fragments at Udine and Gorizia. Aquileia then, as regards
its present state, has really fallen lower than Saint David's. But
then at Aquileia we see at every step, what could never at any time
have been seen at Saint David's, the signs of the days when it ranked
among the great cities of the earth. Aquileia, in short, is unique. We
turn away from it with the feeling that we have seen one of the most
remarkable spots that Europe can show us. It may be that our horses,
excellent or otherwise, take us back to Monfalcone, and that from
Monfalcone the train takes us back to Trieste. In theory, it must be
remembered, we have not been at Trieste at all; we are going thither
from Venice, by way of Treviso, Udine, Gorizia, and Aquileia. In going
thither, we shall outstrip the strict boundary of the Lombard Austria,
though we shall keep within the Italy of Augustus and the Italy of
Charles the Great. On the other hand, in matter of fact it may be
that, as we have come by the older mode of going from Trieste to
Aquileia, we go on to make our way by the same mode from Aquileia to
Gorizia. In favourable states of the astronomical world, we may even
be lighted on our way by a newly-risen comet. We follow the precedent
of our forefathers: "Isti mirant stellam." Such a phænomenon must,
according to all ancient belief, imply the coming of some great
shaking among the powers of the world. In such a frame of mind, the
gazer may be excused if he dreams that the portent may be sent to show
that the boundary which parts Aquileia and Gorizia from Udine and
Treviso need not be eternal.



TRIESTE.

1875--1877--1881.


We have already learned, at Gorizia and at Aquileia, that, whether in
real travel or on the map, the subject lands of Venice cannot be kept
apart from those neighbour lands which were not her subjects. The
Queen of the Hadriatic could at no time boast of the possession of the
whole Hadriatic coast; could she now be called up again to her old
life, to her old dominion, she would feel very sensibly that she had
only a divided rule over her own sea. She would find her peer in a
city, a haven, all claim to dominion over which she had formally
resigned more than four hundred years before her fall. Facing her from
the other side of her own watery kingdom, she would see a city too far
off to be an eyesore, but quite near enough to be a rival. She is
fronted by a city which hardly comes within the old Venetian land,
though it comes within the bounds of the old Italian kingdom, a city
which for five hundred years has been parted from Venetian or Italian
rule, emphatically a city of the present, which has swallowed up no
small share of the wealth and prosperity of the city of the past.

_Tergeste_, Trieste, stands forth as a rival of Venice, which has, in
a low practical view of things, outstripped her. Italian zeal
naturally cries for the recovery of a great city, once part of the old
Italian kingdom, and whose speech is largely, perhaps chiefly, Italian
to this day. But, cry of _Italia Irredenta_, however far it may go, he
must not go so far as this. Trieste, a cosmopolitan city on a Slavonic
shore, cannot be called Italian in the same sense as the lands and
towns so near Verona which yearn to be as Verona is. Let Trieste be
the rival, even the eyesore, of Venice, still Southern Germany must
have a mouth. We might indeed be better pleased to see Trieste a free
city, the southern fellow of Lübeck, Bremen, and Hamburg; but it must
not be forgotten that the Archduke of Austria and Lord of Trieste
reigns at Trieste by a far better right than that by which he reigns
at Cattaro and Spizza. The present people of Trieste did not choose
him, but the people of Trieste five hundred years back did choose the
forefather of his great-grandmother. Compared with the grounds on
which kingdoms, duchies, counties, and lordships, are commonly held in
that neighbourhood, such a claim as this must be allowed to be
respectable indeed.

The great haven of Trieste may almost at pleasure be quoted as either
confirming or contradicting the rule that it is not in the great
commercial cities of Europe that we are to look for the choicest or
the most plentiful remains of antiquity. Sometimes the cities
themselves are of modern foundation; in other cases the cities
themselves, as habitations of men and seats of commerce, are of the
hoariest antiquity, but the remains of their early days have perished
through their very prosperity. Massalia, with her long history, with
her double wreath of freedom, the city which withstood Cæsar and which
withstood Charles of Anjou, is bare of monuments of her early days.
She has been the victim of her abiding good fortune. We can look down
from the height on the Phôkaian harbour; but for actual memorials of
the men who fled from the Persian, of the men who defied the Roman and
the Angevin, we might look as well at Liverpool or at Havre. Genoa,
Venice herself, are hardly real exceptions; they were indeed
commercial cities, but they were ruling cities also, and, as ruling
cities, they reared monuments which could hardly pass away. What are
we to say to the modern rival of Venice, the upstart rebel, one is
tempted to say, against the supremacy of the Hadriatic Queen? Trieste,
at the head of her gulf, with the hills looking down to her haven,
with the snowy mountains which seem to guard the approach from the
other side of her inland sea, with her harbour full of the ships of
every nation, her streets echoing with every tongue, is she to be
reckoned as an example of the rule or an exception to it?

No city at first sight seems more thoroughly modern; old town and new,
wide streets and narrow, we search them in vain for any of those
vestiges of past times which in some cities meet us at every step.
Compare Trieste with Ancona; we miss the arch of Trajan on the haven;
we miss the cupola of Saint Cyriacus soaring in triumph above the
triumphal monument of the heathen. We pass through the stately streets
of the newer town, we thread the steep ascents which lead us to the
older town above, and we nowhere light on any of those little scraps
of ornamental architecture, a window, a doorway, a column, which meet
us at every step in so many of the cities of Italy. Yet the monumental
wealth of Trieste is all but equal to the monumental wealth of Ancona.
At Ancona we have the cathedral church and the triumphal arch; so we
have at Trieste; though at Trieste we have nothing to set against the
grand front of the lower and smaller church of Ancona. But at Ancona
arch and _duomo_ both stand out before all eyes; at Trieste both have
to be looked for. The church of Saint Justus at Trieste crowns the
hill as well as the church of Saint Cyriacus at Ancona; but it does
not in the same way proclaim its presence. The castle, with its ugly
modern fortifications, rises again above the church; and the _duomo_
of Trieste, with its shapeless outline and its low, heavy, unsightly
campanile, does not catch the eyes like the Greek cross and cupola of
Ancona. Again at Trieste the arch could never, in its best days, have
been a rival to the arch at Ancona; and now either we have to hunt it
out by an effort, or else it comes upon us suddenly, standing, as it
does, at the head of a mean street on the ascent to the upper town. Of
a truth it cannot compete with Ancona or with Rimini, with Orange or
with Aosta. But the _duomo_, utterly unsightly as it is in a general
view, puts on quite a new character when we first see the remains of
pagan times imprisoned in the lower stage of the heavy campanile,
still more so when we take our first glance of its wonderful interior.
At the first glimpse we see that here there is a mystery to be
unravelled; and as we gradually find the clue to the marvellous
changes which it has undergone, we feel that outside show is not
everything, and that, in point both of antiquity and of interest,
though not of actual beauty, the double basilica of Trieste may claim
no mean place among buildings of its own type. Even after the glories
of Rome and Ravenna, the Tergestine church may be studied with no
small pleasure and profit, as an example of a kind of transformation
of which neither Rome nor Ravenna can supply another example.

       *       *       *       *       *

Whatever was the first origin of Tergeste, whoever, among the varied
and perplexing inhabitants of this corner of the Hadriatic coast, were
the first to pitch on the spot for a dwelling-place of man, it is
plain that it ranks among the cities which have grown up out of
hill-forts. Trieste in this affords a marked contrast to Marseilles,
as it supplies a marked analogy to Cumæ and Ancona. The site of the
Phôkaian settlement marks a distinct advance in civilization. The
_castellieri_, the primitive forts, in the neighbouring land of
Istria, were, according to Captain Burton, often made into places of
Roman occupation, and something of the same kind may have been the
case with Tergeste itself. The position of the cathedral church,
occupying the site of the capitol of the Roman colony, shows of itself
that Tergeste was thoroughly a hill-city. It has spread itself
downwards, like so many others, though this time, not into the plain,
but towards the sea. Standing on the border-land of Italy and Illyria,
its destiny has been in some things the same as that of its
neighbours, in others peculiar to itself. It must not be forgotten
that, setting aside the coast cities, the land in which Trieste stands
has for ages been a Slavonic land, except so far as it is also partly
a Rouman land. How far the Italian and the Rouman elements may have
been originally the same, is a puzzling question on which it would be
dangerous to enter here. But one thing is certain, that, if the
present inhabitants of the Tergestine city had obeyed the call of
Garibaldi, "Men of Trieste, to your mountains," they would have found
Slavonic possessors claiming those mountains by the strongest of all
titles. For we have now distinctly passed the national border. We have
come to the lands where the body is Slavonic, where the Italian
element, greater or smaller, is at most only a fringe along the coast.
Tergeste with the neighbouring lands formed part of the dominion of
Theodoric and of the recovered Empire of Justinian; but it never came
under the rule of the Lombard. Its allegiance to the lords of
Constantinople and Ravenna, lords whose abiding power in this region
is shown in the foundation of the Istrian Justinopolis, lasted
unshaken till the Frank conquest, when Tergeste became part of the
Italian kingdom of the Karlings. From that time to the fourteenth
century, its history is the common history of an Italian city. It is
sometimes a free commonwealth, sometimes subject to, or claimed by,
the Patriarch of Aquileia or to the Serene Republic itself. By the
treaty of Turin in 1381, the independence of the commonwealth of
Trieste was formally acknowledged by all the contending powers. The
next year the liberated city took the seemingly strange step of
submitting itself to the lordship of a foreign prince. Leopold, Duke
of Austria, he who died at Sempach, he to whom Venice resigned
Treviso, was received by a solemn act as Lord of Trieste, and that
lordship passed on to the Dukes, Archdukes, Kings, and Emperors of his
house, and from them to their Lotharingian successors. Thus, unlike
Treviso and Udine, Trieste has been Austrian in one sense only. Never
forming a part of the Austria of Lombardy, it has had a far more
abiding connexion with the Austria of Germany. The lordship which
Trieste acknowledged was of course at first only an overlordship, and
the Council and Commons of the city still continued to act as a
separate commonwealth. But an union of this kind is one of those fatal
partnerships between the stronger and the weaker which can lead only
to bondage. Trieste has ever since remained Austrian in allegiance,
save during the chaos of the days of the elder Buonaparte. Those days
are commemorated by an inscription on the _duomo_, which tells of the
expulsion of the French from the castle by an allied force, whose name
of "Austro-Angli" might almost suggest some unrecorded tribe in our
own island.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is certainly hard to conceive a building more uninviting without
than the cathedral church of Saint Justus. But Sokratês was not to be
judged by his outside, neither is the _duomo_ of Trieste. A broad and
almost shapeless west front is flanked by a low, heavy tower, not
standing detached as a campanile, as it should stand in Italy, not
worked into the church as it would be worked in England or Germany,
but standing forward in a kind of Scotch fashion, like Dunkeld. The
only architectural feature seems to be a large wheel window, which it
would be unfair to compare to that of Saint Zeno. But the next moment
will show, built in at the angle of the church and the tower, a noble
fluted column with its half-defaced Corinthian capital, which is
enough to show what has been. We are carried back to Rome, to Saint
Mary _in Cosmedin_ and Saint Nicolas _in Carcere_, as we trace out in
the lower stage of the tower the remains of the temple of Jupiter
which has given way to the church of Justus. Imbedded in its walls are
pilasters, columns, and their basement, showing that Jupiter of
Tergeste must have lifted his pillared portico above the sea as
proudly as Aphroditê of the Doric Ankón. Fragments of entablatures,
trophies, sepulchral monuments, are built up in the wall. The western
doorway of the church is made out of a huge tomb of the Barbii--a
_gens_ which we do not elsewhere remember--deliberately cut in two,
and set up the wrong way. The building or rebuilding of the tower in
1337 is commemorated by an inscription in letters of that
date--"Gothic" letters, as some call them--out of a mutilated part of
which the earlier Tergestine antiquaries spelled out that the tower
was rebuilt, in 556, after a destruction by the Goths. As the letters
..LVM.. were enough to create the new saint Philumena, the letters
..OT... could easily be filled up into "a Gothis eversa"--quite
evidence enough to lead a zealous Italian to lay the destroying deeds
of his own forefathers on the Gothic preservers of the works of the
elder day.

As soon as we pass the doorway with the heads of the Barbii on either
side, we forget the wrongs alike of Jupiter and of the Goths. The
wonderful interior of the double basilica opens upon us. The first
feeling is simply puzzledom. A nave of vast width seems to be flanked
by two ranges of columns on either side, columns varying even more
than is usual in their height and in the width of the arches which
they support. When we look within the two lateral ranges, we are not
surprised to find each ending in an apse with a noble mosaic; we are
surprised to find the southern range interrupted by a cupola. This
last phænomenon will help us to the explanation of the whole mystery.
The church is in fact two churches thrown into one. When they were
distinct, they must have stood even nearer than the old and new
minsters at Winchester; indeed a plan in a local work shows, with
every probability, their walls as actually touching in one point. The
northern church was a basilica of the ordinary type, made up of
columns--some of them of very fine marble--put together, as usual,
without much regard to uniformity. All bear Corinthian capitals of
different varieties, and all carry the Ravenna stilt in a rude form
without the cross. The wall rose high above the arcade, and was
pierced with a range of narrow clerestory windows, but with nothing
else to relieve its blankness. This church the Tergestine antiquaries
attribute, but, as far as we can see, without any direct evidence, to
the reign of Theodosius. The southern church is, in its original
parts, the same in style as the northern, but it is much smaller and,
in its plan at least, thoroughly Byzantine. It was a small cross
church, with a central cupola, and its north transept seems to have
touched the south aisle of its northern neighbour. It is perhaps on
the strength of the plan that the church is assigned to the reign of
Justinian. But there is nothing Byzantine in the details; where the
original capitals remain, they are of the same somewhat rude
Corinthian character as those in the northern church; they have the
same stilt, and under the cupola there is even a bit or two of
entablature built up again. But the building went through much greater
changes than the northern church did in the work of throwing the two
into one whole. The date of this change seems to be fixed by a
consecration recorded in the local annals in 1262. The south aisle of
the northern church, the north aisle and north transept of the
southern one, were pulled down, and the space which they had covered
was roofed in to form the nave of the united building, while the two
earlier basilicas sank into the position of its aisles. In the
northern church this involved no change beyond the disappearance of
the south aisle and the blocking of its clerestory; the smaller church
to the south had to suffer far more. It had to be raised and
lengthened; a quadrangular pier on the south side marks the original
length, and the increase of height of course destroys the proper
effect of the cupola. Then, as the cupola of course rested on columns
with wider arches, its northern arch was filled up with two smaller
arches and an inserted column, so as to make something like a
continuous range. Still, late in the thirteenth century, they again
used up the old marble columns; but they now used a flat capital, by
which the additions of this time may be distinguished from the genuine
basilican work.

Probably no church anywhere has undergone a more singular change than
this. It is puzzling indeed at first sight; but, when the key is once
caught, the signs of each alteration are so easily seen. The other
ancient relic at Trieste is the small triumphal arch. On one side it
keeps its Corinthian pilasters; on the other they are imbedded in a
house. The arch is in a certain sense double; but the two are close
together and touch in the keystone. The Roman date of this arch cannot
be doubted; but legends connect it both with Charles the Great and
with Richard of Poitou and of England, a prince about whom Tergestine
fancy has been very busy. The popular name of the arch is _Arco
Riccardo_.

Such, beside some fragments in the museum, are all the remains that
the antiquary will find in Trieste; not much in point of number, but,
in the case of the _duomo_ at least, of surpassing interest in their
own way. But the true merit of Trieste is not in anything that it has
in itself, its church, its arch, its noble site. Placed there at the
head of the gulf, on the borders of two great portions of the Empire,
it leads to the land which produced that line of famous Illyrian
Emperors who for a while checked the advance of our own race in the
world's history, and it leads specially to the chosen home of the
greatest among them. The chief glory of Trieste, after all, is that it
is the way to Spalato.



TRIESTE TO SPALATO.



TRIESTE TO SPALATO.

1875.


Given such weather as suits fair-weather sailors, there can hardly be
any enjoyment more thoroughly unmixed than a sail along the coast of
Dalmatia. First of all, there is a freshness about everything. Here is
a portion of land which is thoroughly unhackneyed; the coasts, the
islands, the channels, of Dalmatia are as yet uninvaded by the British
tourist. No Cook's ticket can be taken for Spalato; no hotel coupon
would be of the slightest use at Sebenico. The land is whatever its
long and strange history, old and new, has made it. It has gone
through many changes and it has put on many shapes, but it has escaped
the fate of being changed into a "playground of Europe."

The narrow strip of land on the eastern side of the Hadriatic on which
the name of Dalmatia has settled down has a history which is
strikingly analogous to its scenery. A coast for the most part barren
and rocky, but with its barrenness and rockiness diversified by a
series of noble havens, is fenced off by a range of mountains from a
boundless inland region. Each of these havens, with the cities which
from early days have sprung up on each, has always been an isolated
centre of civilization in a backward land. As a rule, broken only
during a few centuries of the universal sway of Rome, the coast and
the inland country have been the possession, by no means always of
different nations, but most commonly of different governments. On the
coast the rule of the Venetian has been succeeded by the rule of the
Austrian, while in the inland region the rule of native Slavonic
princes has been succeeded by the rule of the Turk. Yet the Slave,
though an earlier settler than the Turk or the Venetian, was himself
only a settler in comparatively recent times. Native Illyrians, Greek
colonists, Roman colonists, the rule of the Goth from Ravenna, the
rule of the Eastern Roman from Constantinople, had all to take their
turn before the land put on its present character of a more or less
Italianized fringe on a Slavonic body, of a narrow rim of Christendom
hemming in the north-eastern conquests of the once advancing and now
receding Mussulman.

So it is with Dalmatian history. As the cultivation and civilization
of the land lies in patches, as harbours and cities alternate with
barren hills, so Dalmatia has played a part in history only by fits
and starts. This fitful kind of history goes on from the days of Greek
colonies and Illyrian piracy to the last war between Italy and
Austria. But of continuous history, steadily influencing the course of
the world's progress, Dalmatia has none to show. Salona plays its part
in the wars both of Cæsar and of Belisarius; Zara reminds us of the
fourth crusade; the whole history of Ragusa claims a high place among
the histories of independent and isolated cities; Lissa recalls the
memory of two times of warfare within our own century. But if there
was any time when Dalmatia really influenced the history of the world,
it was when Dalmatia had no national being, when it was merely a
province of an universal dominion along with Britain and Egypt. Of the
great Emperors of the third century, who called the Roman power into
new life and checked the ever-advancing wave of Teutonic invasion,
many came from the Illyrian lands, several came from the actual
Dalmatian coast. And the most famous among them--Docles, Diocletian,
Jovius--not only came forth from Dalmatia to rule the world, but went
back to Dalmatia to seek rest when weary of the toil of ruling it.

But in our immediate point of view we must never forget that our
course now lies wholly, not only by subject lands of Venice, but by
lands where Venice appears in her highest character as the bulwark of
Christendom against the misbeliever. The shores and cities by which we
pass, were subject to the Serene Republic, but subjection to the
Serene Republic was their only chance of escaping subjection to the
Ottoman Sultan. Every town, every fortress, almost every point of
ground along this whole coast, has been fought for, most of them have
been won and lost, over and over again, in the long crusade which
Venice waged, if for herself, yet for Europe also. Her rule was an
alien rule, but it was still European and Christian; it shut out the
rule of the barbarian. It was a rule better and worse in different
times and places, but it had always the merit of shutting out a worse
rule than itself, which was ever ready to take its place. Whenever we
see the winged lion keeping guard, the thought should rise that he
kept guard over spots which he alone kept for Christendom, which he
alone saved from barbarian bondage.

       *       *       *       *       *

The visitor to Dalmatia may be conceived as setting forth from the
harbour of Trieste--from Trieste with its houses climbing up to the
church and castle on the hill, with the background of mountains
growing in the far distance into snowy Alps. From the Dalmatian coast
itself no snowy Alps are seen; but the whole land is only a mountain
slope, and the cities are cities on a smaller scale than Trieste, and
which seldom run so high as Trieste does up the hill-side. But we must
not forget that, even at Trieste, Dalmatia is still a distant land.
There is the Istrian peninsula to be skirted, the peninsula whose
coast was so long counted among the subject lands of Venice, while the
inland region, under the rule of counts of Gorizia and dukes of
Austria, counted only among the neighbours of the Republic. The
Istrian coast, largely flat, is marked here and there by small towns
standing well on high points over the sea, or seen more faintly in the
more distant inland region. But we know that inland Istria is a hilly
land, and, even from the sea, the mountain wall may still be seen
skirting the horizon. Darkness has come on by the time we reach the
harbour of Pola, once Pietas Julia, now the chief station of the
infant navy of Austria. But the darkness is not so great but that the
dim outline of the vast amphitheatre can be seen, and the arrangements
of the Austrian Lloyd's steamers allow time enough to go on shore and
take in the general effect both of the amphitheatre and the other
buildings of Pola. We here get our first impression of the Venetian
towns beyond the Hadriatic, all of which seem to attempt in some sort
to reproduce their mistress, so far as Venice can be reproduced where
there are no canals and therefore no gondolas. But all have the same
narrow, paved streets, the same little squares, and, if the passage
of horses and wheels is not so utterly unknown as it is at Venice,
their presence is, to say the least, rare. The lion of Saint Mark is
to be seen everywhere else; by daylight therefore he is to be seen at
Pola also. But the Lloyd's arrangements condemn Pola, in the early
part of October at least, to be seen only by dim glimpses, while Zara
has an ample measure of daylight. Let no one however blame a
time-table which will bring him into Spalato with the setting sun, and
will allow him to take his first glance of Diocletian's palace by the
rising moon.

In the night we pass by several islands, but none are of any historic
importance. Veglia lies out of our path, or we might muse on the evil
deeds of the last independent Count, at least as they were reported by
his Venetian enemies, who were eager to get possession of his island.
The tale will be found in Sir Gardner Wilkinson's "Dalmatia and
Montenegro," a book which no traveller in these lands should be
without. The next morning's light shows us genuine Dalmatia, its coast
at this stage marked by the barren hills coming down to the sea and
the range of higher mountains further inland. We skirt among endless
islands, most of which seem barren and uninhabited; we pass along the
channel of Zara, and come to anchor off the city itself, standing on
its peninsula crowned with its walls--Venetian and later--and with
the towers of its churches rising above them. Here a stay of several
hours allows a pretty full examination of our first Dalmatian city--a
city however more Italian and far less thoroughly Dalmatian than other
cities to which our further course will lead us. There is time to
visit the _duomo_ and the smaller churches--to mark the two surviving
Roman columns--to thread the narrow streets, with their occasional
scraps of Venetian architecture--to stroll by the harbour, under the
gateways marked by the lion of Saint Mark, one of which so oddly
proves to be really a Roman gate with a Venetian casing. We may even,
if we so think good, climb the mound which, though crowned by a not
attractive Chinese pagoda, nevertheless supplies the best view of Zara
and her two seas. The _Albergo al Cappello_--the sign of the
Hat--supplies food certainly not worse than an Italian town of the
same class would set before a passing traveller. The meal done, to sit
out of doors in a _café_ is nothing new to any one who has crossed the
straits, not of Zara but of Calais; but it is a new feeling to do so
in the narrow streets of a Dalmatian town, and to add the further
luxury of maraschino drunk in its native land.

Night is now passed on board, and Zara is left by sunrise. Islands and
hills again succeed on either side, till we enter a narrow strait and
find ourselves in a noble harbour with a town in front, lying, like
most Dalmatian towns except Zara, at the foot of the mountains. We are
in the haven of Sebenico, but the haven of Sebenico is by no means the
whole of the inlet, which runs much further inland in the shape of a
narrow creek. We land, and give such time as is allowed us to a sight
of the little hill-side city. Shall we give Sebenico the last place
among the cities which we stay and examine in detail, or the first
place among the lesser cities to which we give such time as we can in
passing by? We are driven to this last course, not forgetting, if we
are minded to turn away from history and art to look for a while on a
striking natural object, that it is from Sebenico that we may best
make our way to the great waterfall of Kerka. And, as far as those who
have made no special study of Alpine matters may speak, the falls of
Kerka, rushing down in a company of torrents side by side, look as if
they had a right to take a high place among the falls at least of the
old world. But Sebenico is not simply the way to Kerka; there is
something to see in Sebenico itself. It is a hill city, but it is
emphatically not a hill-top city, but a hill-side city. We climb up
through the inhabited town to the castle, and when we reach the
castle, we are far from having reached the hill top. And to those who
make Sebenico their second halting-place on the strictly Dalmatian
coast it will have a special interest. Much smaller than Zara, it is
far more thoroughly Dalmatian; costume is more marked, and its
position gives it that peculiar air of quaintness which is shared by
all places where narrow streets run up a steep hill. And those streets
moreover are rich with architectural features, graceful windows and
the like, which witness to the influence of the ruling city. And there
is something not a little taking in the small _piazza_ of
Sebenico--the arcaded _loggia_ on the one side, the cathedral on the
other, with its mixed but stately architecture, its waggon-roof of
stone standing out boldly without either buttress or external roof.
Mr. Neale, whom, as he does not rule Sebenico to be a "church city,"
we may now quote seriously, holds that the cathedral of Sebenico is
"in an exclusively architectural view the most interesting church in
Dalmatia." He adds that "in truth it is one of the noblest, most
striking, most simple, most Christian of churches." This is high
praise, especially when bestowed by Mr. Neale on a church which was
consecrated so lately as 1555. But there is no denying that, strangely
confused as is its style, the church of Sebenico is, both inside and
out, not only a most remarkable, but a thoroughly effective building.
The internal proportions are noble; the height is great; the columns,
though their arches are pointed, might have stood in any basilica at
Rome or Ravenna; the barrel vaulting carries us away to Saint Sernin
at Toulouse and to the Conqueror's Tower. The details are a strange
mixture of late Gothic and _Renaissance_, very rich and somehow very
effective. It is not exactly like that class of French churches of
which Saint Eustache at Paris is the grandest example, where a
thoroughly mediæval outline is carried out with _Renaissance_ detail.
At Sebenico we see side by side, a bit in one style and a bit in the
other, and yet the two contrive to harmonize. We go down again to the
haven; we mark a few classical capitals preserved, as we here preserve
ammonites and pieces of rock-work; we start again to make the second
portion of our second day's voyage, and to reach the most marked and
memorable spot in our whole course.

After Sebenico the coast is for a while almost free from islands.
Presently we pass along among a few small ones, and Lissa, famous for
piracies two thousand years back and for more regular warfare in our
own century and in our own day, shows itself in the distance. Our
course has by this time turned nearly due east. We pass by Bua, hardly
conscious that it is an island. We pass by the mouth of the bay which
Bua guards, hardly conscious of the depth of the inlet into which it
leads, or that two cities--Traü and fallen Salona--are washed by its
waters. For the child of Salona, the great object of a Dalmatian
voyage, is coming within sight far away. The mighty campanile of
Spalato rises, kindled with the last rays of sunlight; presently the
cupola of the metropolitan church, the long line of the palace wall,
the buildings of what is plainly no inconsiderable city, stand out
against their mountain background. The sun has gone down behind the
western headland, but we can get our first glimpse of the city, its
arcades and tower and temples, by that moonlight which is as good at
Spalato as at Melrose. We have been in the home of Diocletian, and we
go back to our ship, for the next day to bring us to the one city
along these shores which the might of Venice could never bring into
subjection.

       *       *       *       *       *

In such a voyage as this many points necessarily escape notice, and
the great objects of study are well reserved for the return journey.
In all travelling for instruction's sake, it is a point specially to
be insisted on that every place should, whenever it is possible, be
seen twice. Nothing fixes a thing so well in the memory as going
through the process of recollection. And, in such a voyage as this, it
is no bad way to go at once to the furthest point, to see on the way
so much of the several points as the arrangements of the steamers
allow, and to stop a longer time at the important places coming back.
In this way a general notion of Dalmatia and its cities is gained
first of all--a notion which may be enlarged and corrected by more
minute examination of the chief places, and of course, foremost among
them, of Spalato itself. But Spalato, though the great object of a
Dalmatian voyage, is by no means its final object. When we have
reached Spalato, we have not yet gone through half our course. Before
we can come back to study its wonders more worthily, we have to spend
a day in the archipelago of larger islands, nearly each of which,
unlike their northern fellows, has some old historical memory. We have
for part of another day to sail along that still narrower strip of
Christendom which fences off Ragusa from the Mussulman, to thread our
way through the lovely Bocche of Cattaro, till we reach the furthest
of Dalmatian cities, with the path to unconquered Montenegro over our
heads.



PARENZO.

1875.


Parenzo, the ancient colony of Parentium, is likely to be, for many
travellers in Istria and Dalmatia, their first point of stoppage after
leaving Trieste. To such travellers it will be the beginning of the
dominion of Venice in spots lying wholly beyond the Hadriatic, the
first glimpse of the long series of lands and cities, from Istria to
Cyprus, which once "looked to the winged lion's marble piles," and
where the winged lion still abides in stone to keep up the memory of
his old dominion. The short voyage is a lovely one. Looking back,
there is Trieste on her hill-side, with her suburbs and detached
houses spreading far away in both directions, and backed by the vast
semicircle of the Julian Alps, with the snowy peaks of their higher
summits soaring above all. The northern part of the Istrian peninsula,
as we see it from the sea, has a strikingly rich and picturesque look,
which is lost as we follow the coast towards the south. The small
Istrian towns, each one of which has its civil and ecclesiastical
history, jut out, each one on its own smaller peninsula; and in this
part of the voyage the spaces between them are not lacking in signs of
human dwelling and cultivation. Capo d'Istria, once Justinopolis, lies
in its gulf to the left, to remind us that we have passed into the
dominions of the Cæsars of the East. Forwards, Pirano stands on its
headland, its _duomo_ rising above the water on arcades built up to
save it from the further effects of the stripping process which is so
clearly seen along the coast. The castle, with its many towers capped
with their Scala battlements, rises over town and church, with a
picturesqueness not common in Italian buildings. The church, on the
other hand, is as far from picturesque as most Italian churches are
without, and the detached campanile is simply, like many other Istrian
bell-towers, a miniature of the great tower of the ruling city. But
neither Capo d'Istria nor Pirano is so likely to cause the traveller
bound for Dalmatia to halt as the other and more famous peninsular
town of Parenzo. Long before Parenzo is reached, the Istrian shore has
lost its beauty, though the Istrian hills, now and then capped by a
hill-side town, and the higher mountains beyond them, tell us
something of the character of the inland scenery. At last the
Parentine headland is reached; the temples which crowned it are no
longer to be seen, but the campanile of the famous _duomo_, with its
Veronese spire, and one or two smaller towers, have taken their place
as the prominent objects of the little city. On the side which would
otherwise be open to the Hadriatic, the isle of Saint Nicolas shuts in
the haven guarded by a round Venetian tower. The other side of the
peninsula is washed by the mouth--here we must not say the estuary--of
a stream yellow as Tiber, which comes rushing down by a small
waterfall from the high ground where the Parentine peninsula joins the
mainland. On this peninsula stood the older _municipium_ of Parentium,
and the colony, some say the Julian Colony of Augustus, others the
Ulpian Colony of Trajan. The zeal of Dr. Kandler, the great master of
Istrian antiquities, made out the position of the forum, patrician and
plebeian, of the capitol, the theatre, and the temples. The traveller
will probably need a guide even to the temples, though one of them
keeps the greater part of its stylobate, and the other one has two
broken fluted columns left. A single inscribed stone in the ancient
forum he can hardly fail to see; but the truth is that the Roman
remains of Parentium are such as concern only immediate inquirers into
local Parentine history. At Pola it is otherwise; there the Roman
remains stand out as the great object, utterly overshadowing the
buildings of later times; but at Parenzo the main interest, as it is
not mediæval so neither is it pagan Roman. As at Ravenna, so at
Parenzo, the real charm is to be found in the traces which it keeps of
the great transitional ages when Roman and Teuton stood side by side.
Against the many objects of Ravenna Parenzo has only to set its one.
It has no palace, no kingly tomb--though the thought cannot fail to
suggest itself that it was from Istrian soil that the mighty stone was
brought which once covered the resting-place of Theodoric. Parenzo has
but a single church of moment, but that church is one which would hold
no mean place even among the glories of Ravenna. The capitol of
Parentium has given way to the episcopal precinct, and the temple of
the capitoline god has given way to the great basilica of Saint
Maurus, the building which now gives Parenzo its chief claim to the
study of those for whom the days of the struggle of Goth and Roman
have a special charm.

       *       *       *       *       *

As to the date of the church of Parenzo there seems little doubt. It
is a basilica of the reign of Justinian, which has been preserved with
remarkably little change, and which will hardly find, out of Rome and
Ravenna, any building of its own class to surpass it. With the
buildings of Ravenna it stands in immediate connexion, being actually
contemporary with the work both at Saint Vital and at Saint
Apollinaris in Classe. Its foundation is a little later, as the
church of Parenzo seems to have been begun after the reconquest of
Italy and Istria by Belisarius, while both Saint Vital and Saint
Apollinaris, though finished under the rule of the Emperor, were begun
under the rule of the Goth. There are points at Parenzo which connect
it with both the contemporary churches of Ravenna. The pure basilican
form, the shape of the apse, hexagonal without, though round within,
are common to Parenzo and Classis; the capitals too have throughout
the Ravenna stilt above them; but of the capitals themselves many take
that specially Byzantine shape which at Ravenna is found only in Saint
Vital. That the founder was a Bishop Euphrasius is shown by his
monogram on many of the stilts, by the great mosaic of the apse, in
which he appears holding the church in his hand as founder, and by the
inscription on the disused tabernacle, which is engraved in Mr.
Neale's book on Dalmatia and Istria. At Parenzo, as at Sebenico, Mr.
Neale was in a serious mood; but, though he copied the inscription
rightly or nearly so, he misunderstood it in the strangest fashion,
and thereby led himself into much needless puzzledom. Euphrasius,
according to Dr. Kandler, having been before a decurion of the town,
became the first bishop in 524, when the Istrian bishoprics were
founded under Theodoric. The church would seem to have been built
between 535 and 543. The inscription runs thus:--

     Famul[us] . D[e]i . Eufrasius . Antis[tes] . temporib[us] .
     suis . ag[ens] an[num] . xi. hunc. loc[um] . fondamen[tis] .
     D[e]o . jobant[e] . s[an]c[t]e . æc[c]l[esie] Catholec[e] .
     cond[idit].

The church was therefore begun in the eleventh year of the episcopate
of Euphrasius; that is, in 535. Dr. Kandler prints, unluckily only in
an Italian translation, a document of 543, the sixteenth year of
Justinian, who appears with his usual titles, in which Euphrasius
makes regulations for the Chapter, and speaks of the church as
something already in being. Mr. Neale quotes from Coletti, the editor
of Ughelli's _Italia Sacra_, part of a document in Latin which is
obviously the same, but which is assigned to 796, the sixteenth year
of Constantine the Sixth. The difference is strange; but the date of
the document does not directly affect the date of the church, and,
whatever be the date of either, Mr. Neale needlessly perplexed himself
with the inscription. He says that the inscription commemorates a
certain Pope John, and wonders that Euphrasius, who took part in the
Aquileian schism about the Three Chapters--the Three Chapters which
readers of Gibbon will remember--should record the name of a Pope with
whom he was not in communion. But this difficulty is got rid of by the
simple fact that there is nothing about any Pope John in the
inscription. Mr. Neale strangely read the two words DO . IOBANT .--the
words are carefully marked off by stops--that is, in the barbarous
spelling of the inscription, DEO IVVANTE, into the four words "Domino
Johanne Beatissimo Antistite." We therefore need not, in fixing the
date of the church of Parenzo, trouble ourselves about any Popes.
There can be no doubt that it is the work of Euphrasius, and that
Euphrasius was one of those who opposed Rome about the Three Chapters.
In any case, the _duomo_ of Parenzo has the interest which attaches to
any church built while our own forefathers were still worshipping
Woden; and we may safely add that it has the further interest of being
built by a prelate who threw off all allegiance to the see of Rome.

The church is indeed a noble one, and its long arcades preserve to us
one of the most speaking examples of the forms of a great basilica.
Every arch deserves careful study, because at Parenzo the capitals
seem not to have been the spoil of earlier buildings, but to have been
made for the church itself. Some still cleave to the general
Corinthian type, though without any slavish copying of classical
models. Animal forms are freely introduced; bulls, swans, and other
creatures, are made to do duty as volutes; and when bulls and swans
are set on that work, we may be sure that the Imperial bird is not
left idle. Others altogether forsake the earlier types; it perhaps
became a church built in the dominions of Justinian while Saint Sophia
was actually rising, that some of its capitals should adopt the square
Byzantine form enwreathed with its basket-work of foliage. But all,
whatever may be their form in other ways, carry the Ravenna stilt,
marked, in some cases at least, with the monogram of the founder
Euphrasius. Happily the love of red rags which is so rampant on either
side of Parenzo, at Trieste and at Zara, seems not to have spread to
Parenzo itself, and the whole of this noble series of capitals may be
studied with ease. The upper part, including the arches, has been more
or less Jesuited within and without, but enough remains to make out
the original arrangements. The soffits on the north side are
ornamented like those in the basilica of Theodoric, a style of
ornament identical with that of so many Roman roofs; above was a
simple round-headed clerestory, and outside are the same slight
beginnings of ornamental arcades which are to be seen at Saint
Apollinaris in Classe. The apse, with its happily untouched windows
and its grand mosaic, also carries us across to Ravenna. Besides the
founder Euphrasius, we see the likeness of the Archdeacon Claudius and
his son, a younger Euphrasius, besides Saint Maurus the patron and
other saintly personages. Below is a rich ornament, but which surely
must be of somewhat later date, formed largely of the actual shells of
mother-of-pearl. The Bishop's throne is in its place; and, as at
Ravenna and in the great Roman basilicas, mass is celebrated by the
priest standing behind the altar with his face westward. Such was
doubtless the usage of the days of Euphrasius, and in such an
old-world place as Parenzo it still goes on.

But if, in this matter, Parenzo clings to a very ancient use, we may
doubt whether, at Parenzo or anywhere else, the men who made these
great apses and covered them with these splendid mosaics designed them
to be, as they so often are, half hidden by the _baldacchini_ which
cover the high altar. Even in Saint Ambrose at Milan, where the apse
is so high above the altar and where apse and _baldacchino_ are of the
same date, we feel that the view of the east end is in some measure
interfered with. Much more is this the case at Parenzo, where the apse
is lower and the _baldacchino_ more lofty. But the Parenzo
_baldacchino_, dating from 1277, is a noble work of its kind, and it
is wonderful how little change the course of seven hundred years has
made in some of its details as compared with those of the great
arcades. The pointed arch is used, and the Ravenna stilt is absent;
but the capitals, with their animal volutes, are almost the same as
some of those of Euphrasius. Between the date of Euphrasius and the
date of the _baldacchino_ we hear of more than one consecration, one
of which, in 961, is said to have followed a destroying Slavonic
inroad; but it is clear that any works done then must have been works
of mere repair, not of rebuilding. No one can doubt that the columns
and their capitals are the work of Euphrasius, and by diligently
peeping round among the mass of buildings by which the church is
encumbered, the original design may be seen outside as well as in.

But the church of Parenzo is not merely a basilica; it has all the
further accompaniments of an Italian episcopal church. West of the
church stands the atrium, with the windows of the west front and the
remains of mosaic enrichment rising above it. An arcade of three on
each side surrounds the court, a court certainly far smaller than that
of Saint Ambrose. Two columns with Byzantine capitals stand on each
side; the rest are ancient, but those of the west side are a repair of
the present king, or by whatever title it is that the King of Dalmatia
and Lord of Trieste reigns on the intermediate Istrian shore. To the
west of the atrium is the roofless baptistery, to the west of that the
not remarkable campanile. We have thus reached the extreme west of
this great pile of building, which, after all--such is the difference
of scale between the churches of northern and southern Europe--reaches
only the measure of one of our smallest minsters or greatest parish
churches. The basilica of Parenzo, with all its accompaniments,
measures, according to Mr. Neale's plan, only about 240 feet in
length. But, if we have traced out those accompaniments towards the
west, we have not yet done with those towards the east. A modern
quasi-transept has been thrown out on each side, of which the northern
one strangely forms the usual choir, much as in St. Peter's at Rome.
These additions have columns with Byzantine capitals, like those in
the atrium, copied from the old ones. But beyond this choir, and
connected with the original church, is a low vaulted building of the
plainest round-arched work, called, as usual, the "old church," the
"pagan temple," and what not, which leads again into two chapels, the
furthest having an eastern apse. Now these chapels have a mosaic
pavement, and it is most remarkable that, below the pavement of the
church, is a pavement some feet lower, which evidently belongs to some
earlier building, and which is on the same level as the pavement of
these chapels. It is therefore quite possible that we have here some
remains of a building, perhaps a church, earlier than the time of
Euphrasius. Between Constantine and Justinian there was time enough
for a church to be built at Parentium and for Euphrasius to think it
needful to rebuild it. Lastly, among the canonical buildings on the
south side of the church is one, said to have been a tithe barn, with
a grand range of Romanesque coupled windows, bearing date 1250. They
remind us somewhat of the so-called John of Gaunt's stables, the real
Saint Mary's Guild, at Lincoln. In short, so long as any traces are
left of the style once common to all Western Europe, England and Italy
are ever reminding us of one another.

Such is the church of Parenzo, and at Parenzo the church is the main
thing. As we pass away, and catch the last traces of the church of
Euphrasius rising above the little peninsular city, our thoughts fly
back to the other side of the Hadriatic, and it seems as if the men
who came to fetch the great stone from Istria to Ravenna had left one
of the noblest basilicas of their own city behind them on the Istrian
shore.



POLA.

1875--1881.


After Parenzo the most obvious stopping-place on the Istrian shore
will be Pola; and at Pola the main objects of interest for the
historical student will be classed in an order of merit exactly
opposite to those which he has seen at Parenzo. At Parenzo the main
attraction is the great basilica, none the less attractive as being a
monument of early opposition to the claims of the Roman see. Beside
this ecclesiastical treasure the remains of the Parentine colony are
felt to be quite secondary. At Pola things are the other way; the
monuments of Pietas Julia claim the first place; the basilica, though
not without a certain special interest, comes long after them. The
character of the place is fixed by the first sight of it; we see the
present and we see the more distant past; the Austrian navy is to be
seen, and the amphitheatre is to be seen. But intermediate times have
little to show; if the duomo strikes the eye at all, it strikes it
only by the extreme ugliness of its outside, nor is there anything
very taking, nothing like the picturesque castle of Pirano, in the
works which occupy the site of the colonial capitol. The _duomo_
should not be forgotten; even the church of Saint Francis is worth a
glance; but it is in the remains of the Roman colony, in the
amphitheatre, the arches, the temples, the fragments preserved in that
temple which serves, as at Nîmes, for a museum, that the real
antiquarian wealth of Pola lies.

There is no need to go into the mythical history of the place. Tales
about Thracians and Argonauts need not be seriously discussed at this
time of day. Nor can there be any need to show that the name Pola is
not a contraction of Pietas Julia. Save for the slight accidental
likeness of letters, so to say is about as reasonable as to say that
London is a corruption of Augusta, or Jerusalem of Ælia. In all these
cases the older, native, familiar, name outlived the later, foreign,
official, name. When we have thoroughly cleared up the origin of the
Illyrians and the old Veneti, we may know something of the earliest
inhabitants of Pola, and possibly of the origin of its name. But the
known history of Pola begins with the Roman conquest of Istria in 178
B.C. The town became a Roman colony and a flourishing seat of
commerce. Its action on the republican side in the civil war brought
on it the vengeance of the second Cæsar. But the destroyer became the
restorer, and Pietas Julia, in the height of its greatness, far
surpassed the extent either of the elder or the younger Pola. Like all
cities of this region, Pola kept up its importance down to the days of
the Carolingian Empire, the specially flourishing time of the whole
district being that of Gothic and Byzantine dominion at Ravenna. A
barbarian king, the Roxolan Rasparasanus, is said to have withdrawn to
Pola after the submission of his nation to Hadrian; and the
panegyrists of the Flavian house rank Pola along with Trier and Autun
among the cities which the princes of that house had adorned or
strengthened. But in the history of their dynasty the name of the city
chiefly stands out as the chosen place for the execution of princes
whom it was convenient to put out of the way. Here Crispus died at the
bidding of Constantine, and Gallus at the bidding of Constantius.
Under Theodoric, Pola doubtless shared that general prosperity of the
Istrian land on which Cassiodorus grows eloquent when writing to its
inhabitants. In the next generation Pola appears in somewhat of the
same character which has come back to it in our own times; it was
there that Belisarius gathered the Imperial fleet for his second and
less prosperous expedition against the Gothic lords of Italy. But,
after the break up of the Frankish Empire, the history of mediæval
Pola is but a history of decline. It was, in the geography of Dante,
the furthest city of Italy; but, like most of the other cities of its
own neighbourhood, its day of greatness had passed away when Dante
sang. Tossed to and fro between the temporal and spiritual lords who
claimed to be marquesses of Istria, torn by the dissensions of
aristocratic and popular parties among its own citizens, Pola found
rest, the rest of bondage, in submission to the dominion of Saint Mark
in 1331. Since then, till its new birth in our own times, Pola has
been a falling city. Like the other Istrian and Dalmatian towns,
modern revolutions have handed it over from Venice to Austria, from
Austria to France, from France to Austria again. It is under its
newest masters that Pola has at last begun to live a fresh life, and
the haven whence Belisarius sailed forth has again become a haven in
more than name, the cradle of the rising navy of the united Austrian
and Hungarian realm.

  [Illustration: PORTA GEMINA, POLA.]

That haven is indeed a noble one. Few sights are more striking than to
see the huge mass of the amphitheatre at Pola seeming to rise at once
out of the land-locked sea. As Pola is seen now, the amphitheatre is
the one monument of its older days which strikes the eye in the
general view, and which divides attention with signs that show how
heartily the once forsaken city has entered on its new career. But
in the old time Pola could show all the buildings which befitted its
rank as a colony of Rome. The amphitheatre of course stood without the
walls; the city itself stood at the foot and on the slope of the hill
which was crowned by the capitol of the colony, where the modern
fortress rises above the Franciscan church. Parts of the Roman wall
still stand; one of its gates is left; another has left a neighbour
and a memory. At the north side of the capitol stands the _Porta
Gemina_, leading from it to the amphitheatre. The outer gateway
remains, a double gate-way, as its name implies, with three Corinthian
half-columns between and on each side of the two arches. But here
steps in a singular architectural peculiarity, one which reminds us
that we are on the road to Spalato, and which already points to the
arcades of Diocletian. The columns support an entablature with its
frieze and cornice, but the architrave is wanting. Does not this show
a lurking sign of what was coming, a lurking feeling that the arch
itself was the true architrave? Be this as it may, there it stands,
sinning, like so many other ancient works, against pedantic rules, but
perhaps thereby winning its place in the great series of architectural
strivings which the palace of Spalato shows us the crowning-point. The
other arch, which is commonly known as _Porta Aurea_ or _Porta
Aurata_, conforms more nearly to ordinary rules. Here we have the
arch with the coupled Corinthian columns on each side of it,
supporting, as usual, their bit of broken entablature, and leaving
room for a spandril filled in much the same fashion as in the arch of
Severus at Rome. Compared with other arches of the same kind, this
arch of Pola may certainly claim to rank amongst the most graceful of
its class. With Trajan's arch at Ancona it can hardly be compared.
That tallest and slenderest of monumental arches palpably stands on
the haven to be looked at; while the arch of Pola, like its fellows at
Rimini and Aosta, and like the arch of Drusus at Rome, is a real
thoroughfare, which the citizens of Pietas Julia must have been in the
daily habit of passing under. And, as compared with the arches of
Rimini and Aosta, its design is perhaps the most pleasing of the
three. Its proportions are better designed; the coupled columns on
each side are more graceful than either the single columns at Rimini
or the pair of columns which at Aosta are placed so much further
apart. The idolater of minute rules will not be offended, as at Aosta,
with Doric triglyphs placed over Corinthian capitals, and the lover of
consistent design will not regret the absence of the sham pediment of
Rimini. But it must be borne in mind that the arch of Pola did not
originally stand alone, and that its usual name of _Porta Aurea_ is a
misnomer. It was built close against the _golden gate_ of the city,
whose name it has usurped. But it is, in truth, the family arch of the
Sergii, raised in honour of one of that house by his wife Salvia
Postuma. As such, it has a special interest in the local history of
Pola. Ages afterwards, as late as the thirteenth century, Sergii
appear again at Pola, as one of the chief families by whose
dissensions the commonwealth was torn in pieces. If there is authentic
evidence to connect these latter Sergii with the Sergii of the arch,
and these again with the great Patrician _gens_ which played such a
part in the history of the Roman commonwealth, here would indeed be a
pedigree before which that of the house of Paris itself might stand
abashed.

A curious dialogue of the year 1600 is printed by Dr. Kandler in his
little book, _Cenni al Forrestiere che visita Pola_, which, with a
later little book, _Pola und seine nächste Umgebung_, by A. Gareis,
form together a very sufficient guide for the visitor to Pola. From
this evidence it is plain that, as late as the end of the sixteenth
century, the ancient buildings of Pola were in a far more perfect
state than they are now. Even late in the next century, in the days of
Spon and Wheler, a great deal was standing that is no longer there.
Wheler's view represents the city surrounded with walls, and with at
least one gate. The amphitheatre stands without the wall; the arch of
the Sergii stands within it; but the theatre must have utterly
vanished, because in the references to the plan its name is given to
the amphitheatre. And it must have been before this time that the
amphitheatre had begun to be mutilated in order to supply materials
for the fortress on the capitoline hill. Indeed it is even said that
there was at one time a scheme for carrying off the amphitheatre
bodily to Venice and setting it up on the Lido. This scheme, never
carried out, almost beats one which actually was carried out, when the
people of Jersey gave a _cromlech_ as a mark of respect to a popular
governor, by whom it was carried off and set up in his grounds in
England. Of the two temples in the forum, that which is said to have
been dedicated to Diana is utterly masked by the process which turned
it into the palace of the Venetian governor. A decent Venetian arcade
has supplanted its portico; but some of the original details can be
made out on the other sides. But the temple of Augustus, the restorer
of Pietas Julia, with its portico of unfluted Corinthian columns,
still fittingly remains almost untouched. Fragments and remains of all
dates are gathered together within and without the temple, and new
stores are constantly brought to light in digging the foundations for
the buildings of the growing town. But the chief wonder of Pola, after
all, is its amphitheatre. Travellers are sometimes apt to complain,
and that not wholly without reason, that all amphitheatres are very
like one another. At Pola this remark is less true than elsewhere, as
the amphitheatre there has several marked peculiarities of its own. We
do not pretend to expound all its details scientifically; but this we
may say, that those who dispute--if the dispute still goes on--about
various points as regards the Coliseum at Rome will do well to go and
look for some further lights in the amphitheatre of Pola. The outer
range, which is wonderfully perfect, while the inner arrangements are
fearfully ruined, consists, on the side towards the town, of two rows
of arches, with a third story with square-headed openings above them.
But the main peculiarity in the outside is to be found in four
tower-like projections, not, as at Arles and Nîmes, signs of Saracenic
occupation, but clearly parts of the original design. Many conjectures
have been made about them; they look as if they were means of approach
to the upper part of the building; but it is wisest not to be
positive. But the main peculiarity of this amphitheatre is that it
lies on the slope of a hill, which thus supplied a natural basement
for the seats on one side only. But this same position swallowed up
the lower arcade on this side, and it hindered the usual works
underneath the seats from being carried into this part of the
building. In the other part the traces of the underground arrangements
are very clear, especially those which seem to have been meant for
the _naumachiæ_. These we specially recommend to any disputants about
the underground works of the Flavian amphitheatre.

The Roman antiquities of Pola are thus its chief attraction, and they
are enough to give Pietas Julia a high place among Roman colonies. But
the ecclesiastical side of the city must not be wholly forgotten. The
_duomo_, if a small matter after that of Parenzo, if absolutely
unsightly as seen from without, is not without its importance. It may
briefly be described as a church of the fifteenth century, built on
the lines of an ancient basilica, some parts of whose materials have
been used up again. There is, we believe, no kind of doubt as to the
date, and we do not see why Mr. Neale should have wondered at Murray's
Handbook for assigning the building to the time to which it really
belongs. No one could surely have placed a church with pointed arches,
and with capitals of the kind so common in Venetian buildings, more
than a century or two earlier. There is indeed an inscription built
into the south wall which has a special interest from another point of
view, but which, one would have thought, could hardly have led any one
to mistake the date of the existing church. It records the building of
the church by Bishop Handegis in 857, "Regnante Ludowico Imperatore
Augusto in Italia." The minute accuracy of the phrase--"the Emperor
Lewis being King in Italy"--is in itself something amazing; and this
inscription shares the interest which attaches to any memorial of that
gallant prince, the most truly Roman Emperor of his line. And it is
something to mark that the stonecutter doubted between "L_o_dowico"
and "L_u_dowico," and wrote both letters, one over the other. But the
inscription of course refers to a reconstruction some hundred years
earlier than the time when the church took its present shape. Yet
these basilican churches were so constantly reconstructed over and
over again, and largely out of the same materials, that the building
of the fifteenth century may very well reproduce the general effect,
both of the building of the eighth and of the far earlier church,
parts of which have lived on through both recastings.

The ten arches on each side of the Polan basilica are all pointed, but
the width of the arches differs. Some of them are only just pointed,
and it is only in the most eastern pair of arches that the pointed
form comes out at all prominently. For here the arches are the
narrowest of the series, and the columns the slightest, that on the
south side being banded. The arch of triumph, which is round, looks
very much as if it had been preserved from the earlier church; and
such is clearly the case with two columns and one capital, whose
classical Corinthian foliage stands in marked contrast with the
Venetian imitations on each side of it. The church, on the whole,
though not striking after such a marvel as Parenzo, is really one of
high interest, as an example of the way in which the general effect of
an early building was sometimes reproduced at a very late time. Still
at Pola, among such wealth of earlier remains, it is quite secondary,
and its beauties are, even more than is usual in churches of its type,
altogether confined to the inside. The campanile is modern and
worthless, and the outside of the church itself is disfigured, after
the usual fashion of Italian ugliness, with stable-windows and the
like. Yet even they are better than the red rags of Trieste and Zara
within.

Such is Pola, another step on the road to the birthplace of true grace
and harmony in the building art. Yet, among the straits and islands of
the Dalmatian coast, there is more than one spot at which the
traveller bound for Spalato must stop. The first and most famous one
is the city where Venetians and Crusaders once stopped with such
deadly effect on that voyage which was to have led them to Jerusalem,
but which did lead them only to New Rome. After the glimpses of Istria
taken at Parenzo and Pola, the first glimpse, not of Dalmatia itself,
but of the half-Italian cities which fringe its coast, may well be
taken at Zara.



ZARA.

1875--1877--1881.


The name of Zara is familiar to every one who has read the history of
the Fourth Crusade, and its fate in the Fourth Crusade is undoubtedly
the one point in its history which makes Zara stand out prominently
before the eyes of the world. Of all the possessions of Venice along
this coast, it is the one whose connexion with Venice is stamped for
ever on the pages of universal history. Those who know nothing else of
Zara, who perhaps know nothing at all of the other cities, at least
know that, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, the possession
of Zara was claimed by Venice, and that the claim of Venice was made
good by the help of warriors of the Cross who thus turned aside from
their course, not for the last time, to wield their arms against a
Christian city. It is as Zara that the city is famous, because it is
as Zara that its name appears in the pages of the great English teller
of the tale. And perhaps those who may casually light on some mention
of the city by any of its earlier names may not at once recognize Zara
under the form either of _Jadera_ or of _Diadora_. One is curious to
know how a city which under the first Augustus became a Roman colony
by the name of _Jadera_ had, in the time of his orthodox successors in
the tenth century, changed its name into anything with such a
heathenish sound as _Diadora_. Yet such was its name in the days of
Constantine Porphyrogenitus; and the Imperial historian does not make
matters much clearer when he tells us that the true Roman name of the
city was "Jam erat," implying that the city so called was older than
Rome. Let us quote him in his own Greek, if only to show how oddly his
Latin words look in their Greek dress.

[Greek: To kastron tôn Diadôrôn kaleitai tê Rhômaiôn dialektô iam
erat, hoper hermêneuetai aparti êton; dêlonoti hote hê Rhômê ektisthê,
proektismenon ên to toiouton kastron. esti de to kastron mega; hê de
koinê synêtheia kalei auto Diadôra.]

Yet the name of the colony of Augustus lived on through these strange
changes and stranger etymologies, and even in the narrative of the
Crusade it appears as _Jadres_ in the text of Villehardouin.

The history of the city in the intermediate ages is the usual history
of the towns on the Dalmatian coast. They all for a while keep on
their formal allegiance to the Eastern Empire, sometimes being really
its subjects, sometimes being practically independent, sometimes
tributary to the neighbouring Slaves. Still, under all changes, they
clave to the character of Roman cities, just as they still remain
seats of Italian influence in a Slavonic land. Then came a second time
of confusion, in which Zara and her sister cities are tossed to and
fro between another set of contending disputants. The Eastern Empire
hardly keeps even a nominal claim to the Dalmatian towns; the Slavonic
settlements have grown into regular kingdoms; Hungary on one side,
Venice on the other, are claiming the dominion of the Dalmatian coast.
The history of Zara now consists of conquests and reconquests between
the Republic of Saint Mark and the Hungarian and Croatian kings. The
one moment when Zara stands out in general history is the famous time
when one of the Venetian reconquests was made by the combined arms of
the Republic and the Frank Crusaders. The tale is a strange episode in
a greater episode--the episode of the conquest of the New Rome by the
united powers which first tried their 'prentice hand on Zara. But the
siege, as described by the Marshal of Champagne and the many writers
who have followed him, is not easy to understand, except by those who
have either seen the place itself or have maps before them such as are
not easily to be had. Like so many other Istrian and Dalmatian towns,
Zara stands on a narrow peninsula, lying east and west. It has on its
north side an inlet of the sea, which forms its harbour; to the south
is the main sea, or, more strictly, the channel of Zara lying between
the Dalmatian coast and the barren islands which at this point lie off
it. Villehardouin describes the port as being guarded by a chain,
which was broken by the galleys of the Crusaders. They presently
landed on the opposite coast, so as to have the haven between them and
the town ("et descendirent à terre, si que di porz fu entr' aus et la
ville"). That is to say, they landed on the mainland north of the
haven. The Frank army then besieged the city by land--that is, from
the isthmus on the east, and perhaps also from the shore of the haven;
while the Venetians, though their ships anchored in the haven ("le
port ou les nés estoient"), made their assault on the side of the open
sea ("devers la mer"). On the spot, or in reading the narrative of
Villehardouin by the light of remembrance of the spot, the description
becomes perfectly clear.

Zara still keeps its peninsular site, and the traveller, as he draws
near, still marks the fortifications, old and new, the many towers, no
one of which so predominates over its fellows as to make itself the
chief object in the view. Either however the modern Venetian and
Austrian fortifications of Zara are less formidable, in appearance at
least, than those which the Crusaders found there, or else they seemed
more terrible to those who had actually to undertake the business of
attacking them. Villehardouin had never seen such high walls and
towers, nor, though he had just come from Venice, could he conceive a
city fairer or more rich. The pilgrims were amazed at the sight, and
wondered how they could ever become masters of such a place, unless
God specially put it into their hands. The modern traveller, as he
draws nearer, soon sees the signs of the success which the pilgrims so
little hoped for. He sees the badge of Venetian rule over the
water-gate, and most likely he little suspects that the outer arch, of
manifest Venetian date, masks a plain Roman arch which is to be seen
on the inner side. There is another large Venetian gate towards the
inlet; and the traveller who at Zara first lands on Dalmatian ground
will find on landing much to remind him that Dalmatian ground once was
Venetian ground. The streets are narrow and paved; they are not quite
as narrow as in Venice, nor is the passage of horses and all that
horses draw so absolutely unknown as it is in Venice. Still the
subject city comes near enough to its mistress to remind us under
whose dominion Zara stayed for so many ages. And the traveller who
begins his Dalmatian studies at Zara will perhaps think Dalmatia is
not so strange and out-of-the-way a land as he had fancied before
going thither. He may be tempted to look on Zara simply as an Italian
town, and to say that an Italian town east of the Hadriatic is not
very unlike an Italian town on the other side. This feeling, not
wholly true even at Zara, will become more and more untrue as the
traveller makes his way further along the coast. Each town, as he goes
on, will become less Italian and more Slavonic. In street architecture
Zara certainly stands behind some of the other Dalmatian towns. We see
fewer of those windows of Venetian and Veronese type which in some
places meet us in almost every house. The Roman remains are not very
extensive. We have said that Jadera still keeps a Roman arch under a
Venetian mask. That arch keeps its pilasters and its inscription, but
the statues which, according to that inscription, once crowned it,
have given way to another inscription of Venetian times. Besides the
_Porta Marina_, two other visible memorials of earlier days still
exist in the form of two ancient columns standing solitary, one near
the church of Saint Simeon, presently to be spoken of, the other in
the herb-market between the _duomo_ and the haven. But the main
interest of Zara, apart from its general and special history, and
apart from the feeling of freshness in treading a land so famous and
so little known, is undoubtedly to be found in its ecclesiastical
buildings.

The churches of Zara are certainly very much such churches as might be
looked for in any Italian city of the same size. But they specially
remind us of Lucca. The cathedral, now metropolitan, church of Saint
Anastasia, has had its west front engraved in more than one book, from
Sir Gardner Wilkinson downwards; it is a pity that local art has not
been stirred up to produce some better memorial of this and the other
buildings of Zara than the wretched little photographs which are all
that is to be had on the spot. But perhaps not much in the way of art
is to be looked for in a city where, as at Trieste and Ancona and Rome
herself, it seems to be looked on as adding beauty to the inside of a
church to swathe marble columns and Corinthian capitals in ugly
wrappings of red cloth. This at least seems to be an innovation since
the days of the Imperial topographer. Constantine speaks of the church
of Saint Anastasia as being of oblong, that is, basilican,
shape--[Greek: dromikos] is his Greek word--with columns of green and
white marble, enriched with much ancient woodwork, and having a
tesselated pavement, which the Emperor, or those from whom he drew his
report of Zara, looked on as wonderful. It is very likely that some of
the columns which in the tenth century were clearly allowed to stand
naked and to be seen have been used up again in the present church.
This was built in the thirteenth century, after the destruction
wrought in the Frank and Venetian capture, and it is said to have been
consecrated in 1285. It is, on the whole, a witness to the way in
which the Romanesque style so long stood its ground, though here and
there is a touch of the coming pseudo-Gothic, and, what is far more
interesting to note, here and there is a touch of the Romanesque forms
of the lands beyond the Alps. The church is, in its architectural
arrangements, a great and simple basilica; but, as might be expected
from its date, it shows somewhat of that more elaborate way of
treating exteriors which had grown up at Pisa and Lucca. The west
front has surface arcades broken in upon by two wheel windows, the
lower arcade with round, the upper with pointed, arches. Along the
north aisle runs an open gallery, which, oddly enough, is not carried
round the apse. The narrow windows below it are round in the eastern
part, trefoiled in the western, showing a change of design as the work
went on. Near the east end stands the unfinished campanile; a stage or
two of good Romanesque design is all that is finished. The one perfect
ancient tower in Zara is not that of the _duomo_.

On entering the church, we at once feel how much the building has
suffered from puzzling and disfiguring modern changes. But this is
not all; the general effect of the inside has been greatly altered by
a change which we cannot bring ourselves wholly to condemn. The choir
is lifted up above the crypt as at Saint Zeno and Saint Ambrose; the
stone chair still remains in the apse; but the object which chiefly
strikes the eye is one which is hardly in harmony with these. The
choir is fitted up with a range of splendid _cinque cento_
stalls--reminding one of King's College chapel or of Wimborne as it
once was--placed in the position usual in Western churches. This last
feature, grand in itself, takes away from the perfection of the
basilican design, and carries us away into Northern lands.

Of the church which preceded the Venetian rebuilding, the church
described by Constantine, little remains above ground, allowing of
course for the great likelihood that the columns were used up again.
There is nothing to which one is even tempted to give an early date,
except some small and plain buildings clinging on to the north side of
the choir, and containing the tomb of an early bishop. But in the
crypt, though it has unluckily lost two of its ranges of columns, two
rows, together with those of the apse, are left, columns with finished
bases but with capitals which are perfectly rude, but whose shape
would allow them to be carved into the most elaborate Byzantine
forms. The main arcades of the church form a range of ten bays or five
pair of arches, showing a most singular collection of shapes which are
not often seen together. Some are simple Corinthian; in others
Corinthian columns are clustered--after the example of Vespasian's
temple at Brescia; others have twisted fluting; one pair has a
section, differing in the two opposite columns, which might pass for
genuine Northern work; while--here in Dalmatia in the thirteenth
century--not a few shafts are crowned with our familiar Norman cushion
capital. Yet the effect of the whole range would be undoubtedly fine,
if we were only allowed to see it. The hideous red rags have covered
even the four columns of the _baldacchino_, columns fluted and
channelled in various ways and supporting pointed arches. They have
also diligently swathed the floriated cornice above the arcade; in
short, wherever there is any fine work, Jaderan taste seems at once to
hide it; but nothing hides the clerestory with its stable windows or
the flat plastered ceiling which crowns all. The triforium has an air
of Jesuitry; but it seems to be genuine, only more or less plastered;
six small arches, with channelled square piers, which would not look
out of place at Rome, at Autun, or at Deerhurst, stand over each pair
of arches. With all its original inconsistencies and its later
changes, the _duomo_ of Zara, if it were only stripped of its
swaddling-clothes, would be no contemptible specimen of its own style.

  [Illustration: TOWER OF ST. MARY'S ZARA.]

But Saint Anastasia is not the only, it is hardly the most
interesting, church in Zara. Saint Chrysogonos, monk and martyr, was
held in reverence at Diadora in the days of Constantine, where his
tomb and his holy chain were to be seen. Perhaps they are to be seen
still; certainly his name is still preserved in an admirable church of
the same general Lucchese type as the _duomo_, but which surpasses it
in the exquisite grace of the three apses at its east end, after the
best models of the type common to Italy and Germany. Within, the
arrangement of the triapsidal basilica is perfect; the range of
columns is, as is so often found, interrupted by two pairs of more
massive piers, making groups of three, two, and two arches. It is
almost startling to find that the date of the consecration of this
exquisite Romanesque church is as late as 1407; but the fact is only
one example out of many of the way in which in some districts, in
Dalmatia above all, the true style of the land stood its ground. In
Dalmatia the Italian pseudo-Gothic, common in houses, is but little
seen in churches at any time. Another church, Saint Simeon, called
after the Prophet of _Nunc dimittis_, boasts of its gorgeous shrine
borne aloft behind the high altar, the gift of Elizabeth of Bosnia,
the wife of Lewis the Great. The church itself is of the same
basilican type as the other, but in less good preservation. Saint
Mary's, a church of nuns, is itself of a rather good kind of
_Renaissance_, but its chief merit is that it keeps the only finished
ancient tower in Zara, a noble campanile of the best Italian type,
thick with midwall shafts, which every Englishman will feel to be the
true kinsman of our own towers at Lincoln and Oxford. Its date is
known; it is the work of King Coloman of Hungary, in 1105. But, after
all, the most interesting architectural work in Zara is one which, as
far as we have seen, is not noticed in any English book, but which was
described by the Imperial pen in the tenth century, and which has in
our own days been more fully illustrated in the excellent work of
Eitelberger on the Dalmatian buildings. Close by Saint Anastasia there
stood in the days of Constantine, and there still stands, a round
church, lately desecrated, now simply disused, which was then called
by the name of the Trinity ([Greek: heteros naos plêsion autou
eilêmatikos, hê hagia Trias]), but which now bears that of Saint
Donatus. Its dome and the tower of Saint Mary's are the two objects
which first catch the eye in the general view of Zara. Tradition, as
usual, calls the building a pagan temple, in this case of Juno; but it
has in no way the look of a temple, nor does the Emperor who
describes it with some minuteness give any hint of its having been
such. Yet it is plain that, if it was not itself a pagan building, the
spoils of pagan buildings contributed to its materials. Formed of two
arcaded stages, the whole pile rises to a vast height, and the height
of the lower stage alone is very considerable. The arches of the round
rest on heavy rectangular piers of truly Roman strength, save only two
vast columns with splendid Composite capitals--which mark the approach
to the triapsidal east end. This building, lately cleared from the
disfigurements and partition of its profane use, forms one of the
noblest round churches to be found; the so-called house of Juno at
Zara is almost a rival of the so-called house of Jupiter at Spalato.
The upper stage is of the same general type as the lower, having again
two columns left free and uninjured, but not rivalling the splendour
of those which are in bondage below. Zara had lately another
desecrated church of extreme interest, but of quite another type from
Saint Donatus. This was the little church of Saint Vitus, a perfect
example of the genuine Byzantine arrangement on a very small scale.
The ground-plan was square; four arms, square-ended without,
quasi-apsidal within, bore up the cupola on perfectly plain
square-edged piers. Between our first and second visits to Zara,
between 1875 and 1877, this charming little piece of Byzantine work
was swept away to make a smart shop-front. It was a recompense no more
than was due to find on our third visit that the round church had been
cleared out.

  [Illustration: SAINT VITUS, ZARA, AND THE ORTHODOX CHURCH, CATTARO.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is Zara, a city in which, as at Parenzo, the ecclesiastical
element distinctly prevails, as contrasted with the mainly pagan
interest of Pola. Such is equally the case in our next Dalmatian city
also. But the main interest of Sebenico is of a different kind from
that of any of its fellows. We go there to study a church, but, as we
have seen, a church which has little in common with other churches in
Dalmatia or anywhere else. At Zara, at Spalato, at Ragusa, we study
buildings which all in some sort hang together. At Sebenico we stop
our course to study something which stands altogether aloof from all.



SPALATO AND ITS NEIGHBOURS.



SPALATO.

1875.


The main object and centre of all historical and architectural
inquiries on the Dalmatian coast is of course the home of Diocletian,
the still abiding palace of Spalato. From a local point of view, it is
the spot which the greatest of the long line of renowned Illyrian
Emperors chose as his resting-place from the toils of warfare and
government, and where he reared the vastest and noblest dwelling that
ever arose at the bidding of a single man. From an oecumenical point
of view, Spalato is yet more. If it does not rank with Rome, Old and
New, with Ravenna and with Trier, it is because it never was, like
them, an actual seat of empire. But it not the less marks a stage, and
one of the greatest stages, in the history of the Empire. On his own
Dalmatian soil, Docles of Salona, Diocletian of Rome, was the man who
had won fame for his own land, and who, on the throne of the world,
did not forget his provincial birthplace. In the sight of Rome and of
the world Jovius Augustus was more than this. Alike in the history of
politics and in the history of art, he has left his mark on all time
that has come after him, and it is on his own Spalato that his mark
has been most deeply stamped. The polity of Rome and the architecture
of Rome alike received a new life at his hands. In each alike he cast
away shams and pretences, and made the true construction of the fabric
stand out before men's eyes. Master of the Roman world, if not King,
yet more than King, he let the true nature of his power be seen, and,
first among the Cæsars, arrayed himself with the outward pomp of
sovereignty. In a smaller man we might have deemed the change a mark
of weakness, a sign of childish delight in gewgaws, titles, and
trappings. Such could hardly have been the motive in the man who, when
he deemed that his work was done, could cast away both the form and
the substance of power, and could so steadily withstand all
temptations to take them up again. It was simply that the change was
fully wrought; that the chief magistrate of the commonwealth had
gradually changed into the sovereign of the Empire; that Imperator,
Cæsar, and Augustus, once titles lowlier than that of King, had now
become, as they have ever since remained, titles far loftier. The
change was wrought, and all that Diocletian did was to announce the
fact of the change to the world. So again, now that the Roman city had
grown into the Roman world, a hill by the Tiber had long ceased to be
a fit dwelling-place for rulers who had to keep back hostile inroads
from the Rhine and the Euphrates. This fact too Diocletian announced
to the world. He planted his Augusti and his Cæsars on spots better
suited for defence against the German and the Persian than the spot
which had been chosen for defence against the Sabine and the Etruscan.
Jupiter of the Capitol and his representatives on earth were to be
equally at home in every corner of their dominions. Nor is it
wonderful if, with such aims before him, he deemed that a faith which
taught that Jupiter of the Capitol was a thing of naught was a faith
which it became his votary to root out from all the lands that bowed
to Jove and to Jovius. What if his work in some sort failed? what if
his system of fourfold rule broke up before his own eyes--if his
Bithynian capital soon gave way to the wiser choice of a successor, if
the faith which he persecuted became, almost on the morrow, the faith
of his Empire? Still his work did not wholly fail. He taught that
Empire was more than kingship, a lesson never forgotten by those who,
for fifteen hundred years after him, wore the diadem of Diocletian
rather than of Augustus. In some sort he founded the Roman Empire.
What Constantine did was at once to undo and to complete his work by
making that Empire Holy.

Such a man, if not actually a creator, yet so pre-eminently one who
moulded the creations of others into new shapes, might well take to
himself a name from the supreme deity of his creed, the deity of whom
he loved to be deemed the special votary. The conception which had
grown up in the mind, and had been carried out by the hand, of the
peasant of Salona might well entitle him to his proud surname. Nor did
the organizing hand of Jovius confine its sphere to the polity of the
Empire only. He built himself an house, and, above all builders, he
might boast himself of the house that he had builded. Fast by his own
birthplace--a meaner soul might have chosen some distant
spot--Diocletian reared the palace which marks a still greater epoch
in Roman art than his political changes mark in Roman polity. On the
inmost shore of one of the lake-like inlets of the Hadriatic, an inlet
guarded almost from sight by the great island of Bua at its mouth, lay
his own Salona, now desolate, then one of the great cities of the
Roman world. But it was not in the city, it was not close under its
walls, that Diocletian fixed his home. An isthmus between the bay of
Salona and the outer sea cuts off a peninsula, which again throws out
two horns into the water to form the harbour which has for ages
supplanted Salona. There, not on any hill-top, but on a level spot by
the coast, with the sea in front, with a background of more distant
mountains, and with one peaked hill rising between the two seas like a
watch-tower, did Diocletian build the house to which he withdrew when
he deemed that his work of empire was over. And in building that
house, he won for himself, or for the nameless genius whom he set at
work, a place in the history of art worthy to rank alongside of
Iktinos of Athens and Anthemios of Byzantium, of William of Durham and
of Hugh of Lincoln.

And now the birthplace of Jovius is forsaken, but his house still
abides, and abides in a shape marvellously little shorn of its ancient
greatness. The name which it still bears comes straight from the name
of the elder home of the Cæsars. The fates of the two spots have been
in a strange way the converse of one another. By the banks of the
Tiber the city of Romulus became the house of a single man; by the
shores of the Hadriatic the house of a single man became a city. The
Palatine hill became the _Palatium_ of the Cæsars, and _Palatium_ was
the name which was borne by the house of Cæsar by the Dalmatian shore.
The house became a city; but its name still clave to it, and the house
of Jovius still, at least in the mouths of its own inhabitants, keeps
its name in the slightly altered form of Spálato.

He placed his home in a goodly land, on a spot whose first sight is
striking at any moment; but special indeed is the good luck of him who
for the first time draws near to Spalato at the hour of sunset. It is
a moment to be marked in a life, as we round the island headland, one
of the stony Dalmatian hills rising bleak and barren from the sea, and
catch the first glimpse of the city, the tall bell-tower, the proud
rampart of mountains which forms its background. But the sight is more
spirit-stirring still if we come on that sight at the very moment
when--in sight of the home of the great persecutor we may use the
language of mythology--the sun-god has just sunk into its golden cup.
The sinking sun seems no unfit symbol, as we look on the spot where
the lord of the world withdrew to seek for rest after his toils.
Another moment, the headland is rounded; its top is kindled like
Vesuvius in the last rays of the sunlight; the lesser light is kindled
before the greater has wholly failed us, and, by the light of sun and
moon together, we can trace out the long line of the sea-front of the
palace which became a city. No nobler site could surely have been
found within the bounds of the Empire of the two Augusti and their
Cæsars. The sea in front, the mountains behind, the headlands, the
bays, the islands scattered around, might indeed have formed a realm
from which the prince who had there fixed his home would have been
unwise to go forth again to wrestle with the storms of the world which
lay beyond its borders. The mountains have drawn nearer to the shore;
the islands have gathered round the entrance of the haven, as if to
shut out all but the noble bay and its immediate surroundings, as if
to fence in a dominion worthy of Jovius himself.

We land with the moon lighting up the water, with the stars above us,
the northern wain shining on the Hadriatic, as if, while Diocletian
was seeking rest by Salona, the star of Constantine was rising over
York and Trier. Dimly rising above us we see, disfigured indeed, but
not destroyed, the pillared front of the palace, reminding us of the
Tabularium of Rome's own Capitol. We pass under gloomy arches, through
dark passages, and presently we find ourselves in the centre of palace
and city, between those two renowned rows of arches which mark the
greatest of all epochs in the history of the building art. We think
how the man who re-organized the Empire of Rome was also the man who
first put harmony and consistency into the architecture of Rome. We
think that, if it was in truth the crown of Diocletian which passed to
every Cæsar from the first Constantius to the last Francis, it was no
less in the pile which rose into being at his word that the germ was
planted which grew into Pisa and Durham, into Westminster and Saint
Ouen's. There is light enough to mark the columns put for the first
time to their true Roman use, and to think how strange was the fate
which called up on this spot the happy arrangement which had entered
the brain of no earlier artist--the arrangement which, but a few years
later, was to be applied to another use in the basilica of the Lateran
and in Saint Paul without the walls. Yes, it is in the court of the
persecutor, the man who boasted that he had wiped out the Christian
superstition from the world, that we see the noblest forestalling of
the long arcades of the Christian basilica. It is with thoughts like
these, thoughts pressing all the more upon us where every outline is
clear and every detail is invisible, that we tread for the first time
the Court of Jovius--the columns with their arches on either side of
us, the vast bell-tower rising to the sky, as if to mock the art of
those whose mightiest works might still seem only to grovel upon
earth. Nowhere within the compass of the Roman world do we find
ourselves more distinctly in the presence of one of the great minds of
the world's history; we see that, alike in politics and in art,
Diocletian breathed a living soul into a lifeless body. In the bitter
irony of the triumphant faith, his mausoleum has become a church,
his temple has become a baptistery, the great bell-tower rises proudly
over his own work; his immediate dwelling-place is broken down and
crowded with paltry houses; but the sea-front and the Golden Gate are
still there amid all disfigurements, and the great peristyle stands
almost unhurt, to remind us of the greatest advance that a single mind
ever made in the progress of the building art.

  [Illustration: THE TOWER, SPALATO.]

At the present time the city into which the house of Diocletian has
grown is the largest and most growing town of the Dalmatian coast. It
has had to yield both spiritual and temporal precedence to Zara, but,
both in actual population and all that forms the life of a city,
Spalato greatly surpasses Zara and all its other neighbours. The
youngest of the Dalmatian towns, which could boast neither of any
mythical origin nor of any Imperial foundation, the city which, as it
were, became a city by mere chance, has outstripped the colonies of
Epidauros, of Corinth, and of Rome. The palace of Diocletian had but
one occupant; after the founder no Emperor had dwelled in it, unless
we hold that this was the villa near Salona where the deposed Emperor
Nepos was slain, during the patriciate of Odoacer. The forsaken palace
seems, while still almost new, to have become a cloth factory, where
women worked, and which therefore appears in the Notitia as a
Gynæcium. But when Salona was overthrown, the palace stood ready to
afford shelter to those who were driven from their homes. The palace,
in the widest sense of the word--for of course its vast circuit took
in quarters for soldiers and officials of various kinds, as well as
the rooms actually occupied by the Emperor--stood ready to become a
city. It was a _chester_ ready made, with its four streets, its four
gates, all but that towards the sea flanked with octagonal towers, and
with four greater square towers at the corners. To this day the
circuit of the walls is nearly perfect; and the space contained within
them must be as large as that contained within some of the oldest
_chesters_ in our own island. The walls, the towers, the gates, are
those of a city rather than of a house. Two of the gates, though their
towers are gone, are nearly perfect: the _porta aurea_, with its
graceful ornament; the _porta ferrea_ in its stern plainness,
strangely crowned with its small campanile of later days perched on
its top. Within the walls, besides the splendid buildings which still
remain, besides the broken-down walls and chambers which formed the
immediate dwelling-place of the founder, the main streets were lined
with massive arcades, large parts of which still remain. Diocletian,
in short, in building a house, had built a city. In the days of
Constantine Porphyrogenitus it was a [Greek: kastron]--Greek and
English had by his day alike borrowed the Latin name; but it was a
[Greek: kastron] which Diocletian had built as his own house, and
within which was his hall and palace. In his day the city bore the
name of Aspalathon, which he explains to mean [Greek: palation
mikron]. When the palace had thus become a common habitation of men,
it is not wonderful that all the more private buildings whose use had
passed away were broken down, disfigured, and put to mean uses. The
work of building over the site must have gone on from that day to
this. The view in Wheler shows several parts of the enclosure occupied
by ruins which are now covered with houses. The real wonder is that so
much has been spared and has survived to our own days. And we are
rather surprised to find Constantine saying that in his time the
greater part had been destroyed. For the parts which must always have
been the stateliest remain still. The great open court, the peristyle,
with its arcades, have become the public piazza of the town; the
mausoleum on one side of it and the temple on the other were preserved
and put to Christian uses. We say the mausoleum, for we fully accept
the suggestion made by Professor Glavinich, the curator of the museum
of Spalato, that the present _duomo_, traditionally called the temple
of Jupiter, was not a temple, but a mausoleum. These must have been
the great public buildings of the palace, and, with the addition of
the bell-tower, they remain the chief public buildings of the modern
city. But, though the ancient square of the palace remains wonderfully
perfect, the modern city, with its Venetian defences, its Venetian and
later buildings, has spread itself far beyond the walls of Diocletian.
But those walls have made the history of Spalato, and it is the great
buildings which stand within them that give Spalato its special place
in the history of architecture. In the face of them we hardly stop to
think of the remains of Venetian or even of earlier times. Yet both
within and without the palace walls, scraps of Venetian work may be
found which would attract the eye on any other spot, and hard by the
north-western tower of Diocletian there remains a small desecrated
church of the Byzantine type, which out of Spalato might be set down
as a treasure. But, as we stand beneath the arcades of Jovius, things
which would elsewhere be treasures seem as nothing. They, and the
other buildings which stand in artistic connexion with them, form an
epoch in the history of art, apart from the general history and
general impression of the city which they have at once created and
made famous.



SPALATO REVISITED.

1877--1881.


I thought it right to reprint the foregoing sketch of Spalato, the
record of my first visit there in 1875, exactly as it was first
written, with the change of two or three words only. It seemed worth
while to keep the first impressions of such a place as they were set
down at once after the first sight of it. Instead therefore of
recasting this piece, as I have done several of the others, I will
mention a few points on which later visits and further reading might
have led to some change in what I first wrote nearly on the spot.
Another paper of a strictly architectural character, headed
"Diocletian's Place in Architectural History," has been reprinted in
the third series of my Historical Essays, as an appendix to the essay
headed "The Illyrian Emperors and their Land."

First, with regard to the name of the place itself. I seem, when I
wrote my paper of first impressions, to have had no doubt as to the
received derivation from _Palatium_. That derivation is wonderfully
tempting, and it enables one to make an epigrammatic contrast between
the _Palatium_ of Rome and the _Palatium_ of Spalato, between the city
which became a house and the house which became a city. But the fact
remains the same, whatever may be the name. The city did become a
house, and the house did become a city, whether the two were called by
the same name or not. And I am now convinced, chiefly by Mr. Arthur
Evans, that the name of Spalato has nothing to do with _Palatium_. I
began to doubt rather early, as I did not see how the =s= could have
got into the name; in a Greek name the origin of the =s= would have
been plain enough, but it seemed to have no place in a Latin name.
And I was staggered by the form _Aspalato_ found as early as the
Notitia Imperii. Nothing goes for less than the etymologies of
Constantine Porphyrogenitus, and anyhow it is hard to see how [Greek:
Aspalathon], the form which he uses, could mean [Greek: mikron
palation]. But, as I had nothing better to propose, I thought it
better, when I wrote the fuller paper which appears in the Historical
Essays, to say nothing about the matter either way. I need not stop to
dispute against the intrusive r in the vulgar form _Spalatro_, as both
Sir Gardner Wilkinson and Mr. Neale have done that before me. But it
is wonderful to see how early it got in. It is as old as the Ravenna
Geographer, who has three forms--_Spalathon_, _Spalathron_, and
_Spalatrum_. I need hardly say that the _r_ is unknown in the country,
unless perhaps now and then in the mouth of some one who thinks it
fine. So one has known people in England destroy etymology, by
sounding _Waltham_ as if it had a _thorn_, and _Bosham_ with the sound
of the German _sch_. I am now fully convinced that the name has
nothing to do with _Palatium_. It is plain that the oldest form that
we can find is _Aspalathum_, and I am inclined to accept the view of
Mr. Evans, who connects the name with _Aspalathus_, or perhaps with
[Greek: asphaltos]. But I must not venture myself in any quarter which
savours of botany or geology.

With the newer lights which I have made use of in Historical Essays, I
think I should no longer speak of Diocletian as "the great
persecutor." Galerius ought in fairness to take that name off his
shoulders. Mr. A. J. Mason has certainly proved thus much; and it is a
great comfort to think so in visiting Spalato. Nor should I have
spoken of him as a native of Salona. He was of Doclea, Dioclea,
however we are to spell it, within the present bounds of Tzernagora.
Those who at various times have spoken of Saint Alban as "protomartyr
_Anglorum_," and of King Lucius as becoming "a _Swiss_ bishop," might
also speak of Diocletian as a Montenegrin.

I was doubtless right in saying that no Emperor, strictly so called,
inhabited the Palace after Diocletian. In strictness indeed no Emperor
ever inhabited it at all, as Diocletian had ceased to be Emperor when
he went there. But I think that, at the time of my first visit, I had
not fully taken in the story of Nepos and his father Count Marcellian.
One is strongly tempted to think that, when Nepos was killed "haud
longe a Salonis, sua in villa," the place meant is the palace of
Spalato. On the other hand, we have the earlier entry in the Notitia,
which certainly looks as if the palace had already become a kind of
Imperial factory. But Nepos would hardly live in the same style as
Jovius, and the palace is quite big enough to lodge the deposed
Emperor and the work-women at the same time.

On the special importance of Spalato in the history of architecture I
have spoken in several places, specially in the paper in my Historical
Essays to which I have already referred. My main position is that, in
the palace at Spalato, after a series of approaches, many of which may
be seen in the building itself, Diocletian or his architect hit on the
happy device of making the arch spring directly from the capital of
the column. To merely classical critics this seems to mark the depth
of degradation into which art had fallen in Diocletian's day. To me it
seems to be the greatest step ever taken, the beginning of all later
forms of consistent arched architecture, Romanesque, Gothic, or any
other. The importance of the step is of course the same whoever took
it; and if the same feature can be shown in any building earlier than
Spalato, we must transfer our praises from, the designer of Spalato to
the designer of that building. Spalato would in that case lose
something of its strictly architectural interest; but that would be
all. But, as far as I know, no such rival has appeared. If the same
form really was used in the baths of Diocletian at Rome, that would
not be a rival building, but a case of the same mind working in the
same way in two places. And to establish an earlier use of the form,
it would be needful to show that it was deliberately employed in some
considerable building. There is nothing commoner in the history of
architecture than the casual and isolated appearance of some form,
which the designer had not so much chosen as stumbled on, long before
the time when it really came into use. I put in this caution, because
I know that there is a kind of feeble approach to the arrangement at
Spalato in one or two buildings at Pompeii. And, great as was the
advance at Spalato, it had, like many other cases of advance, its weak
side. The Ravenna stilt and the Byzantine double capital were both of
them shifts to relieve, as it were, the light abacus of the Corinthian
capital from the weight which the arch laid upon it. The heavy abacus
of Pisa and Lucca was a better escape from this difficulty. Again, the
lightness of the columns used at Spalato and in the basilicas which
followed its model forbade the use of the vault, and condemned the
roofs of the basilicas to be among their poorest features. In the
peristyle itself of course no roof was needed, though to an eye used
to Rome and Ravenna it has so much the air of an unroofed basilica
that it is really hard to believe that it was always open. But, though
the basilican arrangement forbade the use of the vault, yet the step
taken at Spalato was not without its effect on later vaulted
buildings. When the vault came in again, as in the heavier forms of
the German Romanesque, men had learned that the arch and its pier,
whether that pier was a light column or a massive piece of wall, were
enough for all artistic purposes, without bringing in, as in the
classical Roman, purely ornamental features from a style which
followed another system of construction. I came to my belief in the
architectural importance of Spalato thirty years before I saw the
building itself, and, now that repeated visits have made the peristyle
of Diocletian as familiar to me as Wells cathedral, I admire and
approve just as much, though of course I cannot undertake to be quite
as enthusiastic now as I was on the evening when I first saw it.

When I was last at Spalato, a process was going on which always makes
one tremble. The peristyle and the inside of the mausoleum were
surrounded by scaffoldings. As for the mausoleum, it was perhaps a
mistake ever to make it into a church; but, as it has been made into a
church, the additions and changes which were needed for that purpose
have become part of the history, and ought not to be meddled with. It
must always have been nearly the smallest, and quite the darkest,
metropolitan church in Christendom; but that it is so is part of the
wonder of the place. And, if some of the details were restored in
plaster at the time of a certain famous royal visit, it seems hardly
worth while to knock them away, with the chance of knocking away some
of the genuine stone along with them. That royal visit is commemorated
in a tablet at the end of the peristyle, which professes great loyalty
to a personage described as "Franciscus Primus, Austriæ Imperator et
Dalmatiæ Rex." The man so labelled in Diocletian's own house had been
the last successor to Diocletian's empire.

In the changes which are being made in the peristyle, it is said that
this tablet was first taken down as being modern, and then set up
again, because official loyalty overrode all considerations of what
was old and what was new. But some care should be taken in removing
what is modern in such a place as Spalato. It is very well to get rid
of some mean excrescences; but, where the arches have been filled up
by Venetian buildings of respectable work, it would seem to be a great
mistake to open them, to say nothing of the chance that such opening
may endanger the columns and arches themselves. Though built up, they
are not so blocked as to hinder a full study of their details. Indeed
the building up, both of the arches of the peristyle and of the
heavier arches in the other parts of the palace, is really a part of
the history which should be preserved. It marks the distinctive
character of Spalato as the house which became a city.

That city, as it now stands, stretches, I need hardly say again, a
long way beyond the bounds of the ancient house. Yet one cannot
conceive Spalato without Diocletian's palace. It is something much
more than the chief object and ornament of Spalato, as this or that
building is the chief object and ornament of any other city. It is
more than the castle or monastery round which a city has often grown.
It is not merely that, but for the existence of the palace, the city
would never have come into being; the palace still is the city in a
sense in which we could hardly use those words of any other building
elsewhere. Yet there are things to see at Spalato besides the palace.
The museum is eminently a thing to see; but then it is within the
palace, and moreover, though it is locally placed at Spalato, it
belongs historically to Salona. There is a good deal of pretty
Venetian work scattered up and down, both within the walls of
Diocletian and without them. The piazza just outside the gate of iron,
where the traveller will most likely seek his breakfast, his coffee,
and his maraschino, would have some attractions in itself, if it did
not lie just outside the gate of iron. The eye naturally turns to the
gate, and to the little campanile perched on it; otherwise it might
very fairly rest on the Venetian _loggia_, with its columns and their
wide--yet not sprawling--pointed arches. It might rest none the less
because the building so strongly suggests that class of English
town-halls or market-houses of which I said something when speaking of
Udine. The octagonal tower too, and the remains of the Venetian
fortifications generally, are worth a glance. The difficulty is, in
the home of Jovius, to give even a glance to anything but the works of
Jovius.

The mausoleum, now the once metropolitan church, and the temple, now
the baptistery, have both of them become churches by accident. Besides
these, the first impression is that Spalato has little to show in the
ecclesiastical line. And further examination will not take away that
impression as to quantity, though it will modify it somewhat as to
quality. The little desecrated church which in 1875 I saw just within
the palace walls, embodied in military buildings, I could not find in
1881. I was told that it had been burned, and there certainly was a
burned building thereabouts; but I did not feel quite sure that I had
hit upon the right site, and whether the church that I was looking for
might not still be there, imprisoned in some of the queer devices of
Austrian occupation. But in 1881 I and my companion lighted by way of
recompense on one most curious building which neither of us had seen
in earlier visits. This is the little church of Saint Nicolas in the
suburb on the slope of the hill. It is very small, of a rude kind of
Byzantine type, with four of the very strangest columns I ever saw.
Save that they have a mighty _entasis_, they really have more of an
Egyptian cut than anything Greek, Roman, Gothic, or any of the forms
to which Aryan eyes are used. The Franciscan church at the foot of the
hill, with its cloister, would be worth a glance for its own sake; and
it is worth much more than a glance on account of the precious
sarcophagus which the cloister shelters. But this, like the objects
in the museum, is an outlying fragment of Salona, to be talked of
there. To the modern church on the other side of the city it would be
only kindness to shut our eyes. But we cannot help looking at it; it
aims at the style of the place, and clearly fancies itself to be
Romanesque, if not Roman. We look at its tower, and we look back to
the mighty campanile within the walls. Somehow the fourteenth century
could adapt itself to the fourth; but the nineteenth cannot adapt
itself to the fourteenth. Yet it is something for Spalato to say that
it contains the noblest and the most ignoble of all towers that do
profess and call themselves Romanesque.

Eitelberger has well hit off the character of the three chief
Dalmatian cities in three pithy epithets. Zara is _bureaukratisch_;
Spalato is _bürgerlich_; Ragusa is _alt-aristokratisch_. The burghers
seem to make more progress than either the foreign officials or the
native patricians. Both better quarters and better dinners can be had
at Spalato in 1881 than were to be had there in 1875. In 1881 we can
walk on shore, while in 1877 boats were needed. And in 1881 the
railway--a wonder in Dalmatia--was ready to carry us to Salona or even
to Sebenico, but not to Traü. On the other hand in some other
respects, if not Spalato, at least its foreign rulers, seem to advance
backwards, if they advance at all. Those who dwell under the shadow of
Apostolic Majesty are used to the daily suppression of such newspapers
as venture to proclaim inconvenient truths. At Spalato that Apostolic
and constitutional power has gone a step further by suppressing the
municipality. With us, when a Stewart king suppressed an ancient
corporation, he at least set up another of a new Stewart fashion. But
at Spalato the _podestà_--the _potestas_ still lingers in Dalmatia,
while in Italy only syndics are tolerated--and the other elders of the
city seem to have become altogether things of the past, no less than
Jovius and his Empire.



SALONA.

1875--1877--1881.


The strictly classical student will perhaps be offended if any one, on
reading the name at the head of this article, should ask him where the
place is, and how its name is to be pronounced. Salona, he will
answer, is in Dalmatia, and how can there be more than one way of
sounding the _omega_ in the second syllable? And so far he will be
right. The Salona of which we speak is in Dalmatia, and, as its most
usual Greek forms are [Greek: Salôna] and [Greek: Salônai], there can
be no doubt as to the rights of that particular _omega_. But those who
have gone a little deeper into the geography of south-eastern Europe
will know that, besides the Dalmatian Salona, there is another within
the Greek kingdom, which has taken the place of the Lokrian Amphissa.
As we write the names of the two, we make no difference between them,
and we fear that most Englishmen will make as little difference in
sounding the two names as in writing them. Yet, as Boughton in
Northamptonshire and Boughton in Kent are, by those who have local
knowledge, sounded in two different ways, so it is with the Lokrian
and the Dalmatian Salona. [Greek: Sálona] and [Greek: Salôna] differ
to the eye; and, among those with whom Greek is a living tongue, they
differ to the ear also. But it is not with the Lokrian Sálona, but
with the Dalmatian Salóna, that we are here concerned. We need not
disturb the feelings of the late Bishop Monk, whose one notion of
accentual reading was that those who follow it must "make some strange
false quantities." The classical purist may make the _omega_ in the
Dalmatian Salóna as long as he pleases. Only, if he pronounces the
Lokrian Sálona in the same fashion, he will wound the ears of those to
whom the chief notion of (so-called) quantitative reading is that
those who follow it must make some strange false accents.

At Salona we are in one of the subject lands of Venice, but we cannot
say that we are in one of her subject cities. For Salona, as a city,
had passed away before the Serene Republic bore rule on these coasts,
in truth before the Serene Republic was, while the lagoons still
sheltered only those few settlers whom the minister of Theodoric
likened to waterfowl on their nests. As a city, it passed away as few
cities have passed away. Others indeed have perished more thoroughly;
of some the very sites have been lost; but there is no city whose name
survives which has left so little trace of what it was in the time of
its greatness. For it is not like those cities whose very name and
memory have perished, which are wholly ruined or buried, which have no
modern representatives, or whose modern representatives bear wholly
different names. Salona is still an existing name, marked on at least
the local map; but, instead of the head of Dalmatia, one of the great
cities of the Roman Empire, a city which was said to have reached half
the size and population of the New Rome itself, we find only a few
scattered houses, which hardly deserve the name of a village. By the
side of modern Salona, modern Aquileia looks flourishing, and modern
Forum Julii might pass for a great city. For Aquileia is not wholly
dead as long as the patriarchal basilica still stands, if only to
discharge the functions of a village church. But at Salona the
traveller hardly notices whether there be any church in use or not. Of
modern objects the one which is most likely to catch his eye is the
building which at least proclaims, in the name of "Caffè Diocleziano,"
that Salona in her fall has not forgotten the man who commonly passes
for her greatest son, who, according to some, was her second founder,
and who, in any case, was her most renowned neighbour. By a strange
piece of good luck, the citizen and sovereign of Salona who came back
to spend his last days in his own land had reared at no great distance
from her the house which, when Salona fell, stood ready to receive
her inhabitants, and to take her place as a new city.

There is a marked difference between the position of the older and
that of the newer city. Spalato stands indeed on a bay, but it is a
bay which, in that region of channels and islands, may pass for the
open sea. Salona lay at the innermost point of the deep gulf which
bears her own name, the gulf which forms one side of the peninsula on
which Spalato stands, and which is shielded from the main sea by the
island of Bua. It is curious to compare the real geography with the
way in which the land and sea are laid down in the Peutinger Table,
where Bua seems nearer to the coast of Italy than it is to Salona. Sir
Gardner Wilkinson appositely quotes the lines of Lucan:--

     "Qua maris Hadriaci longas ferit unda Salonas,
     Et tepidum in molles Zephyros excurrit Iader."

_Longæ_ certainly well expresses the way in which the city must have
spread itself along the mouth of the river, and the northern side of
the bay. And, more than this, the idea of length must have been deeply
impressed on Salona by the long walls which, as we shall presently
see, yoked the city to something or other beyond her own immediate
defences. Salona, like most of the older cities, was not at all like
one of our square _chesters_ which rose up at once out of some
military necessity. The Dalmatian capital had grown up bit by bit,
and its walls formed a circuit almost as irregular as that of Rome
herself. The site was a striking one. As we set forth from the
comparatively flourishing daughter to visit the fallen mother, the
road from Spalato leads us over a slight hill, from the descent of
which we look on the bay with its background of mountains, a view
which brings before us two strongly contrasted sites of human
habitation. In advance of the mountain range stands the stronghold of
Clissa, so famous in later wars--a stronghold most tempting in a
distant view, but utterly disappearing when we come near to it. The
seat of the Uscocs has nothing to show but its site and an ugly
fortress; yet the hill is well worth going up, for the site and the
view from it, a most instructive geographical prospect over mainland,
sea, and islands. We turn to our Imperial guide, and we find that
[Greek: Kleisa] was so called because it kept the key of the passage
over the mountains. It was the [Greek: Kleisoura], so called
[Greek: dia to synkleiein tous dierchomenous ekeithen]. He has to
tell us how it was taken by invaders, whom he speaks of as the Slaves
who were called Avars ([Greek: Slaboi, hoi kai Abaroi kaloumenoi]).
The ethnological confusion is like that of another self-styled
Imperial personage, who thought that he could get at a Tartar by
scratching a Russian. But in both cases the confusion is instructive,
as pointing to the way in which Slavonic and Turanian nations were
mixed up together, as allies and as enemies, in the history of these
lands. Far below, on the bosom of the bay, a group of small islands
are covered by a small village, which seems to float on the water, and
which well deserves its name of _Piccola Venezia_. Between the height
and the sea lay Salona, on a slight elevation gently sloping down to
the water; here, as so often on the Dalmatian coast, it needs somewhat
of an effort to believe that the water is the sea. To the right of the
road, we see the ruins of the aqueduct which brought water to the
house of Diocletian--an aqueduct lately repaired, and again set to
discharge its ancient duties. Ancient fragments of one kind or another
begin to line the road; an ancient bridge presently leads us across
the main stream of the Giadro, Lucan's Iader, which we might rather
have looked for at Zara. We mark to the right the marshy ground
divided by the many channels of the river; we pass by a square castle
with turreted corners, in which a mediæval archbishop tried to
reproduce the wonder of his own city; and we at last find ourselves
close by one of the gates of Salona, ready to begin our examination of
the fallen city in due order.

The city distinctly consists of two parts. A large suburb has at some
time or another been taken in within the walls of the city. This is
plain, because part of a cross wall with a gate still remains, which
must have divided the space contained within the outer walls into two.
This wall runs in a direction which, without professing to be
mathematically correct, we may call north and south. That is, it runs
from the hills down towards the bay or the river. Now, which was the
elder part of the two? that to the east or that to the west? In other
words, which represents the præ-Roman city, and which represents its
enlargement in Roman times? By putting the question in this shape, we
do not mean to imply that any part of the existing walls is of earlier
than Roman date. The Roman city would arise on the site of the earlier
settlement, and, as it grew and as its circuit was found too narrow,
it would itself be further enlarged. The cross wall with the gate in
it must of course have been at some time external; it marks the extent
of the city at the time when it was built; but in which way has the
enlargement taken place? It used to be thought that the eastern, the
most inland division, was the elder, and that the city was extended to
the west. And it certainly at first sight looks in favour of this view
that, in the extreme north-west corner, an amphitheatre has clearly
been worked into the wall, exactly in the same way in which the
_Amphitheatrum Castrense_ at Rome is worked into the wall of Aurelian.
How so keen an observer as Sir Gardner Wilkinson could have doubted
about this building being an amphitheatre, still more how his doubts
ended in his positively deciding that it was not, seems really
wonderful. It has all the unmistakeable features of an amphitheatre,
and we can only suppose that a good deal has been brought to light
since Sir Gardner Wilkinson's visit, and that what is seen now was not
so clearly to be seen then. As amphitheatres were commonly without the
walls, this certainly looks as if the eastern part were the old city,
and as if those who enlarged it to the west had made use of the
amphitheatre in drawing out their new line of fortification, exactly
as Aurelian in the like case made use of amphitheatre, aqueducts,
anything that came conveniently in his way. But, on the other hand,
Professor Glavinivc, whom we have already referred to when speaking
of Spalato, and whose keener observation has come usefully in the wake
of the praiseworthy researches of Dr. Carrara, has pointed out with
unanswerable force that the gate has two towers on its eastern side,
showing that that side was external, and that therefore the western
part must be the older and the eastern the addition. This is evidence
which it is impossible to get over. Clearly then the space to the west
of it was once the whole city, and the far greater space to the east
once lay beyond the walls. The gate must have been a grand one; but
unluckily its arches have perished. There was a central opening,
along which the wheel-tracks may still be traced, and a passage for
foot-passengers on each side. The large rectangular blocks of
limestone of which it is built have been encrusted in a singular way
with some natural formation, which might almost be mistaken either for
plaster or for some peculiarity of the stone itself. In the northern
wall of the eastern part is an inscription commemorating the building
or repair of the wall in the time of the Antonines. This by itself
would not be conclusive; for the wall might very well have been
rebuilt in their day and the city might have been enlarged to the west
in a still later time. But the position of the gate is decisive, and
the position of the amphitheatre is a difficulty that can easily be
got over. If, besides the great enlargement to the east, we also
suppose an enlargement to the west which would take the amphitheatre
within the city walls, this will be quite enough.

We may rule then that the Illyrian city, the earlier Roman city, stood
to the west of the cross wall, and that it was enlarged at some time
earlier than the reigns of the Antonines by taking in an eastern
suburb larger than the original town. The walls of both parts may be
traced through a large part of their extent. The outer gate to the
east was flanked by octagonal towers, and both a square and an octagon
tower may be traced near the north-east corner. But the most
remarkable thing about the walls of Salona is that, besides the walls
of the city itself, there are long walls, like those of Athens and
Megara, reaching from the western side of the city for a mile and more
nearly along the present road to Traü. They have not been traced to
the end; but there can be no doubt that they were built to make long
Salona yet longer by joining the town to some further point of the
coast. Nothing is more natural; the water of the bay by Salona itself
is very shallow; when the city became one of the great maritime
stations of the world, it was an obvious undertaking to plant a dock
at some point of the coast where the water was deeper. And to one who
comes to Salona almost fresh from the hill-cities of central Italy,
from the strongholds of Volscians, Hernicans, and Old-Latins, from
Cora and Signia and Alatrium, it becomes matter of unfeigned surprise
to find Dalmatian antiquaries speaking of these walls as "Cyclopean."
The name "Cyclopean," though as old as Euripides, is as dangerous as
"Pelasgian" or "Druid;" but, if it means anything, it must mean the
first form of wall-building, the irregular stones heaped together,
such as we see in the oldest work at Cora and Signia. Here we have
nothing of the kind. The blocks are very large, and the outer surface
is not smooth; but all of them are carefully cut to a rectangular
shape, and they are laid with great regularity. There seems no kind of
temptation to attribute them to any date earlier than the Roman
conquest of Illyricum. The style of building is simply that which is
made natural by the kind of stone. And the same kind of construction,
though with smaller blocks, is that which prevails throughout the
walls of Salona, except where later repairs have clearly been made.
This has happened with the outer wall to the west, where some earlier
fragments have even been built in. Otherwise, by far the greater part
of the walls, towers, and gates of Salona, not forgetting a gate which
has been made out in the long walls themselves, all belong to one
general style of masonry.

       *       *       *       *       *

Within the walls of Salona the general effect is somewhat strange. The
city is pierced by the road from Spalato to Traü; in these later times
it has been further pierced by the railway--strange object in
Dalmatia, strangest of all at Salona--which starts from Spalato, but
which does not find its way to Traü. The greater part of the space is
still covered with vineyards and olive-trees; systematic digging would
bring a vast deal to light; but a good deal positively has been made
out already. The amphitheatre has been already spoken of; the road
cuts through the theatre. But, as becomes the history of the city, the
greater part of the discoveries belong to Christian times, to the
days when the bishopric of Salona was a post great enough to be
employed to break the fall of deposed emperors. But we may doubt
whether the head church of Salona, the church which held the episcopal
chair of Glycerius, has yet been brought to light.

Near the north-western corner of the eastern division of the city the
foundation of a Christian baptistery has been uncovered. The site of
the baptistery, according to all rule, must be near to the site of the
great church of the city. Now the baptistery stands near the wall; is
it fanciful to think that at Salona, as well as at Rome, it was not
thought prudent in the earliest days of the establishment of
Christianity to build churches in the more central and prominent parts
of the city? The baptistery of Salona keeps--the great basilica must
therefore have kept--under the shadow of the wall of the extended
city, exactly as the Lateran basilica and baptistery do at Rome. Of
the baptistery it is easy to study the plan, as the foundations and
the bases of the columns, both of the building itself and the portico
in front of it, are plainly to be seen. Many of their splendid
capitals are preserved among the rich treasures of the museum at
Spalato. These are of a Composite variety, in which the part of the
volute is played by griffins, while the lower part of the capital is
rich with foliage of a Byzantine type. West of the baptistery, but
hardly placed in any relation to it, are the remains of a small
church, which seems to have been a square, with columns to the east
and an apse to the north. Whatever this building was, it surely can
never have been the great church of Salona. That must have been a
basilica of the first class; and we may hope that future diggings may
bring that to light also. But outside the city to the north,
successive diggings have made precious discoveries in the way of
Christian burying-places and churches. Since the last researches have
been made, it is perfectly clear that here, outside the walls, like
the basilicas of the apostles at Rome, there stood a church of
considerable size, that it had supplanted a smaller predecessor, and
that it had another smaller neighbour hard by. It is now easy--but it
is only very lately that it has become easy--to see nearly the whole
outline of a church measuring--speaking roughly--about 120 feet long.
It ranged therefore with the smaller rather than the larger basilicas
of Rome. It had two rows of large columns, which, from their nearness
to one another, look as if they had supported an entablature rather
than arches, with a transept, with the arch of triumph opening into
it, and the apse beyond, to the east. There are also, in front of the
arch of triumph, foundations which look most temptingly like those of
_cancelli_, like those of Saint Clement's at Rome, but which seem too
narrow for such a purpose. It is also plain, from the base of a
smaller column at a lower level, that this comparatively large church
was built on the remains of an earlier one. And this is borne out by
the discovery of pavements at more than one level, which supported
sarcophagi, which are still to be seen, and of which an inscription
shows that the lowest level was of the time of Theodosius the Second
and Valentinian the Third. This thrusts on the building of the upper
and greater church to a later time, surely not earlier than the reign
of Justinian. It must therefore have still been almost in its
freshness when the last blow fell on Salona. And at such a time we can
better take in the full force of the inscription which stood over the
west door: "Dominus noster propitius esto reipublicæ Romanæ." The
church, it should be noted, has been, at some time or other before it
was quite swept away, patched up or applied to some other use. A later
wall runs across the western face of the transept. An endless field
for guessing is hereby opened; but it is more prudent not to enter
upon it.

Another smaller ruined church stands close by, with its apse pointing
to the north. This and the eastern part of the larger church are
filled with sarcophagi of all kinds and sizes, reminding us of the
newly-opened basilica of Saint Petronilla by the Appian Way. Among
these is the tomb of an early _Chorepiscopus_. A crowd of
architectural fragments are scattered around, among which one splendid
Corinthian capital bears witness to the magnificence of the upper
church. But the real wealth of Salona, both sepulchral and
architectural, is not to be looked for in Salona itself, but in the
museum at Spalato. There are a crowd of superb tombs, pagan and
Christian, and the splendid capitals from the baptistery. There are
stores of inscriptions, Latin and Greek, which would make the place
where they are preserved a place of no small interest, even if that
place were not Spalato. But one sarcophagus of pagan date still stays
in its place, a little way beyond the city, because, being hewn in the
limestone rock, it could not be taken away. This is that which is
described by Sir Gardner Wilkinson, which has some of the exploits of
Hêraklês carved on its one face, and which has been so oddly changed
in modern times into the altar of the canonized Pope Saint Caius. For
he, like the Emperor under whom he suffered, passes for a native of
Salona. And a no less precious sarcophagus of Christian days is
preserved in the cloister of the Franciscan church at Spalato. This
represents the crossing of the Red Sea. The Pharaoh looks very much as
if he were in a Roman triumphal chariot, trampling a genius or two of
the waters under his wheels. His warriors follow, looking, according
to the eyes with which we look at them, like Romans in military dress
or like Albanians in the immemorial fustanella. The Aryan mind is
offended at seeing men of another continent clothed in such a very
European garb; it is for Egyptologers to say whether the sculpture is
correct. The sea is very narrow; it swallows up the Egyptian chariots
with great force, and the rescued Hebrews stand on the other side,
Miriam just about to begin her hymn of victory. The subject of the
sculpture is obvious; but it seems that nobody understood it till it
was expounded by an exalted lady at that royal visit of 1818 which at
Spalato is commemorated oftener than enough. The expounder was the
wife of the man who had once been the last successor of Diocletian and
Augustus; whether his queen had any claim to rank either as a
successor of Prisca and Livia or as the doubtful mother-in-law of a
conqueror from Ajaccio, we have not looked in any pedigree-book to
find out. One would really have thought that the loosing of the knot
was so easy that it might have been unravelled by the hand of a
subject; but a book which we have before us by a local antiquary goes
off into raptures at the surprising keenness of Imperial, Royal, and
Apostolic eyes.

The chapel of Saint Caius, with its heathenish altar, brings our
thoughts back to the long walls below it, the walls which yoked the
ancient Salona to the deeper sea. It must not be forgotten that, in
the days of its greatness, Salona was one of the chief ports of the
Hadriatic, the greatest on its own side of it. After shifting to and
fro from one port to another, that position has come back, if not to
Salona itself, yet to its modern representative. If we distinguish the
Hadriatic from the Gulf of Trieste, Spalato is undoubtedly its chief
port; but the smallness of Spalato, as compared with the greatness of
ancient Salona, is a speaking historical lesson. We see the difference
between the place in Europe which is held by the Illyrian lands now
and the place which they held in the days of the Roman peace. Then
Salona was one of the chief cities of the Roman world, placed on one
of the most central sites in the Roman world, the chief port of one of
the great divisions of the Empire, and one of the main highways
between its eastern and western halves. Such could be the position of
a Dalmatian city when Dalmatia had a civilized mainland to the back of
it. Salona therefore kept up its position as long as the Empire still
kept any strength on its Illyrian frontier. It played its part in both
the civil wars. Cæsar himself enlarges on the strength of the
city--"oppidum et loci natura et colle munitum." In after-times it was
a special object of the regard of its own great citizen, who took up
his abode so near to its neighbourhood. According to Constantino
Porphyrogenitus, Salona was pretty well rebuilt by Diocletian. Its
importance went on in the time of transition, as is witnessed by the
growth of its ecclesiastical buildings, and by the high position held
by its bishopric. Like the rest of the neighbouring lands, it passed
under the dominion, first of Odoacer and then of Theodoric, and it was
the first place which was won back to the Empire in the wars of
Justinian. Lost again and won back again, it appears throughout those
wars as the chief point of embarcation for the Imperial armies on
their voyages to Italy. This was the last century of its greatness; in
the next century the modern history of Illyria begins. The Slaves were
moving, and the Avars were moving with them. Salona fell into the
hands of these last barbarians; it was ruined and pillaged, and sank
to the state in which it has remained till our own time. Since the
seventh century Salona has ceased to rank among the cities of the
earth, but the house which had been raised by its greatest citizen
stood ready hard by to supply a shelter to some at least of its
homeless inhabitants. Things were wholly turned about on the bay of
Salona and on the neighbouring peninsula. Down to the days of
Heraclius, Salona had been a great city, with the vastest house that
one man ever reared standing useless in its neighbourhood. From his
day onwards the house grew into a city, and the city became a petty
village, where, of all the places along that historic coast, the
traveller finds least to disturb him in the pious contemplation of
ruins. The only danger is that his meditations may be broken in upon
by sellers of coins and scraps of all ages, dates, and values. Coins
at Salona hardly need the process once known at the Mercian Dorchester
as "going a-Cæsaring." Cæsars seem to be picked up from under and off
the ground with much less trouble than hunting for truffles. And even
he who is no professed numismatist or collector of gems will be
pleased to give a few _soldi_, perhaps even for a very clear image and
superscription of "Constantinus Junior Nob[ilissimus] C[æsar]," much
more for any image and superscription of Jovius himself. It may have
neither rarity nor value in the eyes of the numismatically learned;
but it is something to carry away from Salona itself the head of the
foremost local worthy in Salona's long annals.



TRAÜ.

1875--1877--1881.


The visitor to Spalato and Salona should, if possible, not fail to pay
a visit to Traü. To most readers the very name will doubtless be
strange. Yet Tragurium is an old city, a city old enough to be named
by Polybios, to say nothing of later Greek and Latin writers. As in
countless other cases, many readers may have passed by the name
without any notice at all; others may have turned to the map, and,
having once found Tragurium, may have presently forgotten that
Tragurium was anywhere recorded. The case may be different with those
who carry on their studies so far as to have dealings with the
Imperial topographer. In his pages the name of the city has got
lengthened into [Greek: Tetrangourion], and we are told that it was so
called [Greek: dia to einai auto mikron dikên angouriou]. We are not
ashamed to confess that the word [Greek: angouriou] gave us no meaning
whatever, and that we had to turn to our dictionary to find that
[Greek: angourion] means a water-melon. But where the point of
likeness is between the town of Traü and a water-melon, and why the
name should have been lengthened, so as to suggest, if anything, the
notion of four water-melons, we are as much in the dark as before.
Those therefore who have made acquaintance with the city in the shape
of [Greek: Tetrangourion] will have a chance of keeping it in their
minds. But with those who light only either on Tragurium or on Traü,
it will most likely happen as most commonly happens with places which
play no great part in general history. The name passes away as a mere
name, till something happens to clothe it with a special meaning.
Salona the parent and Spalato the child are names which never can
become meaningless to any one who has a decent knowledge of the
history of the world. But the name of Tragurium, Traü, will probably
always be purely meaningless, save to those whom anything may have led
to take a special interest in Dalmatian matters. Tragurium has a
history--no place is without one--but its history is purely local and
Dalmatian. As far as one can venture to judge, the great course of
human affairs would have been much the same if Tragurium had never
become a city. But there it stands, and, as it stands, its position,
its buildings, even its local history, combine to give it no small
interest. They make it no contemptible appendage even to the famous
spots in its immediate neighbourhood. Whatever was its origin,
Tragurium became a Roman town, and it was one of those places on the
Dalmatian coast which so long and steadily clave to their allegiance
to the Eastern Cæsars. As the Byzantine power declined, the town was
disputed between the Kings of Hungary and the commonwealth of Venice,
and once at least it is said to have felt the hand of Saracen
plunderers. By each of the Christian powers by which it was disputed
it was won and lost more than once, till it finally became Venetian in
1420. Perhaps the point of greatest interest in these dates is that
Traü was a Hungarian possession at the time of the building of its
cathedral church in the thirteenth century. It is said to have points
of likeness to other great Hungarian churches of the same date.

The approach to Traü is a speaking commentary on the state of things
in days when no one but the lord of a private fortress could be safe
anywhere except within a walled town. The road from Spalato to Traü
goes through Salona, through the heart of the ruined city, as does the
railway which the traveller may use for part of his journey. The
railway turns off; the road keeps on alongside of the bay, with the
water on one side and the mountains on the other. This road passes
through the district of the _castelli_, forts with surrounding
villages, which various lords, spiritual and temporal, held of the
Serene Republic by a feudal tenure. Things were under the oligarchy of
Venice as they were under the democracy of Athens. A private fortress
within either city was unheard of; neither Demos nor the Council of
Ten would for a moment have endured the existence of such towers as we
still see at Rome and at Bologna. But in the outlying possessions of
either commonwealth greater licence was allowed. Alkibiadês had his
private forts in the Thracian Chersonêsos, and a string of Venetian
nobles and subjects of the Republic were allowed to have their private
forts along the shores of the bay of Salona. The points which they
occupied still remain as small towns and villages, some of them with
their little havens on the lake-like sea, where the traveller whom the
railway has forsaken may haply light on a small steamer to take him
on. But none of those among the _castelli_ which we can ourselves
speak of from our own knowledge possess any architectural interest.
When at last we reach Traü, we see further how needful it was, even in
the case of a walled city, to plant it in the position best suited for
defence. Traü, now at least, belongs to the class of island cities. At
the point where the large island of Bua comes nearest to the mainland,
a small island lies between it and the shore, leaving only a narrow
channel on each side, spanned in each case by a bridge. But the
language of the Emperor who likens the city to a water-melon might
suggest the idea that the site was once, not insular, but peninsular.
Constantine places his [Greek: Tetrangourion] on a small island, but
the small island has a neck like a bridge which joins it to the
mainland ([Greek: mikron esti nêsion en tê thalassê, echon kai
trachêlon heôs tês gês stenôtaton dikên gephyriou, en hô dierchontai
hoi katoikountes es to auto kastron]). This somewhat contradictory way
of speaking sounds as if, as in the case of some other peninsular
cities, a narrow isthmus had been cut through. In the Peutinger Table
too, "Ragurio" is made distinctly peninsular. Now at least the
likeness of a bridge is exchanged for the reality; the island is an
island, and on this island is built the main part of the city of Traü.
A small part only spreads itself on to Bua, where it begins to climb
the hills, though it goes up only a very little way, by paths almost
as rugged as though they were in Montenegro. This outlying part, which
contains two churches, may pass as a suburb, a _Peraia_; for Bua may
reckon as a mainland when compared with the neighbouring islet, and
the real mainland of Dalmatia seems to have been carefully avoided by
the builders of Tragurium. The view in Wheler would give no one any
idea of the size of Bua, any more than the Peutinger Table would give
any idea of its position. But Wheler's view well brings out the
relative positions of mainland, islet, and island, and it shows how
strongly Traü was fortified in his day. Such a site as this was a
valuable one in days when security was the main object; but it hardly
tends to prosperity in modern times, and Tragurium must be reckoned
among the cities whose day is past. While Spalato is putting on the
likeness of a busy modern town, Traü has nothing to show but its
ancient memories.

Traü, as we now see it, is indeed an old-world place. Even the
new-made railway, which has appeared long since our first visit, and
which startles the quiet of Salona and some of the _castelli_, keeps
away from the city of the four water-melons. Strangers come but
seldom, and they are remembered when they do come; a visitor showing
himself again after some years is greeted in friendly guise as "one of
the three Englishmen with red beards." And the city looks like one of
the ends of the world. Owing to the peculiar position of Traü, the
fashion of narrow streets, common to all the Dalmatian towns, is here
carried to an extreme point. Indeed the crooked alleys through which
the visitor has to thread his way, and the dark arches and vaults
under which he has to pass, give the place a Turkish rather than a
Venetian look. The explorer of Traü might almost fancy himself at
Trebinje. One wonders how the Tragurians manage to live; it is only on
the quay and in the open place by the cathedral that there seems room
to breathe. Yet, uninviting as the streets of Traü are in their
general effect, they are far from being void of objects of interest.
As elsewhere in Dalmatia, we ever and anon light on ornamental
doorways and windows. In Traü some of these show better forms than
those of the familiar Venetian Gothic; one or two windows are in
style, whatever they may be in date, genuine Romanesque. Of the
Venetian defences some considerable portions remain; close by the
water, at the south-western point of the smaller island, is a castle
bearing the badge of Saint Mark, whose chief feature is a tower of
irregular octagonal shape, singularly and ingeniously vaulted within.
Of civic buildings the chief is the Venetian _loggia_, now dirty and
uncared for. But it still keeps at its east end what at first sight
seems like an altar, dedicated, not to the Evangelist but to his lion,
but which really marks the judgment-seat of the representative of the
Republic in Traü. The building was repaired over and over again, the
last renovation dating early in the seventeenth century; but it keeps
a colonnade, which, whenever it was put together, was put together out
of materials of far earlier date. Some of the capitals seem to be
late; but there is one of true Corinthian form, which seems closely
akin to those in Diocletian's peristyle; another capital is covered
with rich foliage of a type rather Byzantine than classical. And on
either side of the _loggia_, forming a strange contrast to one
another, one of them utterly hidden from view, the other proclaiming
itself as the main ornament of the town, stand the two most important
ecclesiastical buildings of Traü.

  [Illustration: CATHEDRAL, TRAÜ.]

The chief architectural ornament of the city is undoubtedly the
formerly cathedral, now only collegiate, church. This is a work of the
thirteenth century, with a stately bell-tower of the fourteenth or
fifteenth. But the tower of Traü is no detached campanile, such as we
have seen at Zara and Spalato. It forms part of the building; it
occupies its north-western corner, and was designed to be one of a
pair, after the usage of more northern lands. The inscription on the
southern doorway gives 1215 as its date; one on the great western
doorway names 1240, and adds the name of Raduanus as its artist.
Looked at from the outside, the work is of the best and most finished
kind of Italian Romanesque; and we have here, what is by no means
uncommon in Dalmatia, an example of the late retention of the forms of
that admirable style. The tower palpably belongs to a later date, as
it shows the distinct forms of the Venetian Gothic, though, as usual
in Dalmatia, in a not unpleasing form. Eitelberger quotes an
inscription which gives the date as 1321, while in his text he speaks
of it as 1421, just after the Venetian capture of the town. And the
course of Dalmatian architecture is so capricious, forms are found at
dates when one would so little have looked for them, that we really
cannot undertake to decide between the two. The inside of the church
is striking, with its round arches resting on massive square piers of
German rather than Italian character, and with its clerestory and
vault, in which the round and pointed arch are struggling for the
mastery. By a freak almost more unaccountable than the red rags of
Zara, the piers have very lately been taught to discharge the perhaps
useful, but rather incongruous, function of a catalogue of the bishops
of Traü, bishops whose succession has come to an end. The pulpit, the
stalls, and other fittings, are also striking in many ways, and the
triapsidal east end shows us a rather simple Romanesque style in all
its purity. But the glory of Traü is at the other end. The stately
portico veils the still more stately western doorway, in which, if the
purity of the architectural style is somewhat forsaken, we forgive it
for the richness and variety of its sculpture. The scriptural scenes
in the tympanum, the animal forms, the statues of Adam and Eve, the
crouching turbaned figures, the strange blending together of sculpture
and architectural forms, make together a wonderful whole, none the
less wonderful because it is clear that everything is not exactly in
its right place, but that there has been a change or removal of some
kind at some time. The details of this splendid doorway, and of the
church in general, must be studied in the elaborate memoir of
Eitelberger, which, with its illustrations, goes further than most
memoirs of the kind to make the building really intelligible at a
distance. The turbaned figures are far older than the appearance of
the Ottoman in the neighbourhood of Traü, or indeed in any part of
Europe. Are they Saracens whose forms record the memories of some
returning Crusader? Or are we to believe that the Morlacchi used the
turban as their head-dress before the Ottoman came?

But the _duomo_ is not all that Traü has to show in the way of
churches. On the other side of the Venetian loggia stands, hidden
among other buildings, a church which is in its way of equal interest
with its greater neighbour, which certainly shows us a purer form of
Romanesque. This is the little desecrated church of Saint Martin, now
called Saint Barbara, one of those domical buildings on a small scale
of which we have seen other varieties at Zara and at Spalato. Its
height and the tall stilts on its columns would, if the building were
cleared out, make it one of the most striking instances of its style
and scale. Nearer to the water, south-east from the cathedral, is
another small Romanesque church, almost as striking without as Saint
Barbara is within. This is the small church of Saint John Baptist,
which, except that it has a square east end, might pass for an almost
typical Romanesque church on a small scale. Nearly opposite to Saint
Barbara is the most striking house in Traü, with an open galleried
court; and not very far off, hidden in the narrow streets, is the
Benedictine monastery of Saint Nicolas, the foundation of the local
saint John Orsini in 1064. The points to be noticed are not in the
church but in the adjoining buildings. There, besides some pretty
Venetian windows and doorways, is an arcade which looks as if it were
of genuine Romanesque date, though perhaps hardly so old as the saint
himself. A walk outside the walls in the direction of the Venetian
castle leads to other churches, one of which, attached to a house of
Dominican nuns, surprises the visitor, like the ruined chapel of the
Gaetani by the tomb of Cæcilia Metella, by its almost English look. A
few hours may well be spent in examining the antiquities of this
strange little island city, and in taking in the varied views of land
and sea which are to be had alike from the lofty bell-tower and from
the higher ground on Bua. The journey back again shows us objects
which have become familiar to us, but which are now seen in a reverse
order. We mark the ever shifting outlines of the hills, the islands
and the bay which they surround, the ruins of fallen Salona, Clissa
on its peak, the stream of Giadro, the aqueduct of Diocletian, till we
again mount and descend the little hill on the neck of the isthmus,
and find ourselves once more under the shadow of the palace-walls of
Spalato and of the bell-tower which soars so proudly over them.

  [Illustration: SAINT JOHN BAPTIST, TRAÜ.]



SPALATO TO CATTARO.



SPALATO TO CATTARO.

1875.


     [I have not thought it needful to strike out of this paper a
     few allusions to the times when it was written, the early
     days of the revolt in Herzegovina with which the war of
     1875-1878 began.]

As Spalato must be looked on as the great object of a Dalmatian
voyage, it may also be looked on as its centre. After Spalato the
coast scenery changes its character in a marked way. Hitherto hills,
comparatively low and utterly barren, come down straight to the sea,
while the higher mountains are seen only farther inland. From this
point the great mountains themselves come nearer to the water. We are
thus reminded of the change in the political boundary, how from this
point the Hadriatic territory of Austria and of Christendom becomes
narrower and narrower, till we reach the stage when the old dominion
of Ragusa becomes a mere fringe between the sea and the Turk, fenced
in from the former land of Saint Mark by the two points at either end
where the less dangerous infidel was allowed to spread himself to the
actual sea-board. But as the mountains come nearer to the sea, a
fringe of cultivation, narrower or wider, now spreads itself between
them and the water. Small towns and villages, detached houses, land
tilled with the vine and the olive, now skirt the bases of the
mountains, in marked contrast to the mere stony hills of the earlier
part of the voyage. The islands too among whose narrow channels we
have to make our way change their character also. After Spalato,
instead of mere uninhabited rocks, we come to islands of greater size,
some of them thirty or forty miles long, islands several of which have
a distinct place in history, islands containing towns and cities, and
which are still seats of industry and cultivation. These are the
islands which give such a marked character to the map of this part of
the Hadriatic, and they form the most marked feature in the fourth
day's voyage of the course from Trieste to Cattaro. The endless
islands which we have seen along the northern part of the Dalmatian
shore, bare and uninhabited rocks as many of them are, are without
history. Some of the Croatian islands indeed have somewhat of a
history; but with these we are not dealing; the barren archipelago of
Zara could never have had any tale to tell. First we pass through the
channel which divides the mainland from the large island of Brazza,
distinguished at a glance by its solid shape from its endless long
and narrow fellows. Dreary and rocky as it seems, it is the most
populous and industrious of the group, and at one point of its coast,
San Pietro, the steamer makes a short halt. So it does at the
picturesque little port of Almissa on the mainland, a nest of houses
and trees at the mountain's foot, standing so invitingly as to make
the traveller wish for a longer sojourn. Then comes Makarska, where we
are allowed a short glimpse of the little hill-side town, smaller and
more Dalmatian than any that we have yet seen. Presently we plunge
into the full intricacies of the Dalmatian seas. We pass through the
narrow channel which parts the mainland from the eastern promontory of
the long, slender island of Lesina--the _awl_. Here we come within old
Hellenic memories. We are now within the full range of Greek
colonization, though of Greek colonization only in its latest stage.
Issa, now Lissa, Black Korkyra, now Curzola, amongst the islands, and
Epidauros on the mainland, were all of them undoubted Greek
settlements. But Issa and Pharos, the only ones to which we can fix a
positive date, were colonized only in the first half of the fourth
century, and Dionysios of Syracuse had a hand in their colonization.
Lesina is Pharos, the ancient colony of the Ægæan Paros, whose name
still lives on Slavonic lips in the shape of _Far_ or _Hvar_. It
plays a considerable part in the history of Polybios, as the island of
that Dêmêtrios whose crooked policy formed an important element in the
affairs of mankind in the days when Greek and Roman history began to
flow together into one stream. These islands form one of the highways
by which Rome advanced to the possession of Illyricum, Macedonia, and
Greece. But we see neither the ancient nor the modern city, neither
Pharos nor Lesina; we merely skirt the island to find ourselves in the
channel of Narenta. That name suggests yet another pirate power, later
than that of Tenta and Dêmêtrios, that power of the old Pagania against
which Venice, in her early days, had to wage so hard a struggle. We
seem to be pressing on between the mainland and a long, slender,
mountainous island; but our course suddenly turns; the seeming island
is no other than the long peninsula of Sabioncello, a peninsula not
Venetian but Ragusan. We get merely a glimpse down the gulf, at the
end of which Turkish Klek once divided the possessions of the two
maritime commonwealths, and still, nominally at least, breaks the
continuity of Austrian dominion. But, if the peninsula was Ragusan, a
narrow channel only parts it from an island which was a chief seat of
the power of the rival city. We skirt the western horn of Sabioncello,
and another turn leads us through the channel--narrower than any
through which we have passed--which divides it from Curzola, Black
Korkyra of old. We stop for a little while off the island capital, the
fortress of Curzola, which was to the declining navy of Venice what
Pola now is to the rising navy of Austria. This channel passed, we
come to the last of the great islands. For miles and miles we skirt
the Ragusan island of Meleda, long, slender, with its endless hills of
no great height standing up like the teeth of a saw--a true sierra in
miniature. Here volumes of scriptural controversy are open to us. As
we are not tossed up and down in Hadria, but are floating along as on
a lake or a river, we muse on the claims which all local and some
independent authorities have set up for Illyrian Meleda, as against
Phoenician Malta, to be the true seat of the shipwreck of Saint Paul.
But Meleda can have its claims admitted only on the condition of being
shut out from Hellenic fellowship, even though its barbarians were of
a mood which led them to show no little kindness to strangers. It is
hard also to understand how those who were making their way from
Meleda to any point of Italy could have any possible business at
Syracuse. At all events, with Meleda the island history ends, though
the island scenery does not end as yet. Several islands, smaller than
these more famous ones, but not so small as they look on the map,
fringe the coast till we enter the haven of Gravosa, the port of
modern Ragusa, with its thickly wooded shores, a marked contrast to
the bleakness and barrenness of so many other points of the Dalmatian
coast.

Ragusa, the city of argosies, the commonwealth which so long was the
rival of Venice and which never stooped to be her subject, so
thoroughly suggests maritime enterprise by her very name, that we are
surprised to find that Ragusa herself has ceased to be a port of any
moment. Her mighty walls, her castles, her more distant forts, still
rise out of the sea, and the mightier wall of mountains just behind
her still fence off her land, as the narrowest rim of Christendom,
from the land of the infidel beyond. All this is as it was; modern
military art has added to the defences of Ragusa, but it has not taken
away her elder bulwarks. But her haven is now of the very smallest,
and admits only vessels of the smallest size. The modern haven is at
Gravosa, and the road which Sir Gardner Wilkinson describes as so well
kept, but as useless because no carriages went upon it, is still as
good and more useful. At this moment Ragusa bears the honourable
character of a city of refuge for the unhappy ones who seek shelter
under the government of a civilized state from the barbarian rule
beyond the mountains. Her suburbs are crowded with women and children
flying from the seat of war, for whom the charity both of the state
and of private persons is doing much, but whose sufferings--as one who
has seen them can bear witness--cry for the sympathy and help of all
who have hearts and who have not invested in Turkish bonds. As we pass
by and look on the city--no city surely fronts the sea more proudly
than Ragusa--as we turn round to the island of La Croma, lying off
what was Ragusa's harbour, the island which suggests the names of
Richard of Poitou and of Maximilian of Mexico--the scene is so
peaceful and lovely, the warlike defences look such mere things of the
past, that it is hard indeed to believe that, just beyond the mountain
barrier, warfare is going on in its bitterest and yet its noblest
form--the struggle of an oppressed people to cast off the yoke of
ages. This form of speech may grate somewhat on the received phrases
of Western diplomacy; but, however we might be bound to write in
England, in Dalmatia--so close to the facts--we may be allowed to
write as all men in Dalmatia think and speak. We pass La Croma, and
our time among the islands is over; no other that can be called more
than a mere rock meets us between Ragusa and Cattaro. At last we enter
the loveliest of inlets of the sea, the _Bocche di Cattaro_. A narrow
strait leads us between points of land which were once Ragusan on the
west and Venetian to the east, into the winding gulf, girded by
mountains, and now for nearly its whole extent fringed by towns,
villages, houses, cultivation in every form--a land where the
sublimity of the rugged mountain has come into close partnership with
the loveliness of the smiling dwelling-places of man. As we pass
through the strait, a piece of barren mountain to the left marks the
second piece of territory where the Turk was allowed to isolate the
two commonwealths, and where, in name, his dominion still reaches to
the shore of the lovely gulf. We pass on, as on the smoothest of
lakes, round mountain headlands, with their rich fringe of life, by
towns and villages, many of which have their own local history both in
earlier and later times, till we reach the most distant of Dalmatian
cities, Cattaro at the innermost point of her own unrivalled _Bocche_.
Hemmed in between the mountains and the sea--though it seems almost
strange to apply the word sea to the gentle waters of her
harbour--with the mountains again rising on the other side, Cattaro
seems indeed to be the end of its own world. Yet in the days of
Venetian greatness, Cattaro was far indeed from being the last point
of the dominion of Saint Mark. Climb the heights above the city, and
the eye stretches far away along the Albanian coast, a coast along
which many a city and island once bowed to the winged lion, till in
fancy we track our course, as by stepping stones along the sea, to
distant Crete and to more distant Cyprus.

Cattaro, the end of the outward journey, will also be the beginning of
the journey back again. The little town, with its narrow paved
streets, its little piazze, still keeps up the same Venetian tradition
as elsewhere. And the walls of the fortress climbing far up the
mountain show how firm was the grasp of the ruling city over its
subjects. But at Cattaro and throughout the Bocche another feature
strikes us which we do not see either at Spalato or at Ragusa. The
churches do not all belong to one denomination; the Eastern, the
Orthodox, Church, holds its own in this corner of Venetian or Austrian
rule at least as firmly as its Latin rival. The fact is, what is
forced upon our notice at every step, that, the further we go along
this coast, the Italian element dies out and the Slavonic element
grows. It is so in language, in dress, in everything. Zara, Spalato,
Ragusa, Cattaro, each city is less and less Italian according to its
geographical position. The inland country is, of course, Slave
throughout. But at Cattaro the Slave element distinctly predominates,
even in the town; Italian can hardly be said to be more than the best
known among foreign languages. The pistol and yataghan worn in the
belt, a general costume essentially the same as that of the
Montenegrin, has gradually been growing upon us; here in Cattaro it is
the rule, almost more than the rule. In short, the Bocchese, the
Montenegrin, the Turkish rayah of Herzegovina, really differ in
nothing but the difference of their political destinies. They are
members of the same immediate family, whose fortunes have led them in
three different directions. Now the religious tendency of the
south-eastern Slaves, as is only natural from their geographical
position, has always been towards the Eastern Church rather than the
Western, towards the New Rome rather than towards the Old. Here, where
the Slavonic element is so distinctly the stronger, the religious
developement has taken its natural course, and the Orthodox population
in Cattaro and all the coasts thereof is always a large minority, and
in some places it actually outnumbers the Latins.

We have professed to give only the impressions of the outward voyage,
though our account may have here and there been influenced by later
impressions drawn from fuller observation on the way back. But the way
back, and the fuller knowledge gained in its course, only brings out
more strongly the intense charm of Dalmatian coast and mountain
scenery, fitly united with the deep historic interest of cities which,
though they seem to form a world apart by themselves, have played
their part in the world's history none the less. No one can visit
Dalmatia once without a wish that his first visit may not be his last;
no one can take a glimpse of any of her cities without the desire that
the glimpse may be only the forerunner of more perfect knowledge.



CURZOLA.

1881.


We part from Spalato; by the time that we have made two or three
voyages in these seas, we shall find that there are several ways of
reaching and parting from Spalato. We speak of course of ways by sea;
by land there is but one way, and that way leads only to and from
places at no great distance, and it does not lead to or from any place
in the direction in which we are now bent. By sea the steamer takes
two courses. One keeps along the mainland, that which allows a glimpse
of the little towns of Almissa and Makarska, both nestling by the
water's edge at the mountain's foot. Of these Almissa at least has an
historical interest. Here Saint Mark was no direct sovereign; his
lion, if we rightly remember, is nowhere to be seen, a distinction
which, along this whole line of coast, Almissa alone shares with
greater Ragusa. Was it a commonwealth by itself, cradled on the
channel of Brazza like Gersau on the Lake of the Four Cantons? Or was
it the haven of the inland commonwealth of Polizza, which, like
Gersau and a crowd of other commonwealths, perished at the hands of
their newborn French sister for the unpardonable crime of being old?
But far more interesting is the other route of the steamers, that
which leads us among the greater islands. Here, as soon as we pass
Spalato, as soon as we pass the greatest monument of the dominion of
Rome, we presently find ourselves in a manner within the borders of
Hellas. We pass between Brazza and Solta, we skirt Lesina and think
once more of its old Parian memories. We look out on Lissa, where the
Hellenic name lives on with slighter change, but we are more inclined
to dwell on those later memories which have made its name an unlucky
one in our own day, a far luckier one in the days of our grandfathers.
At last we make our first halt for study where a narrow strait divides
the mainland, itself all but an island, from another ancient seat of
Greek settlement, the once renowned isle of Curzola.

Curzola--such is its familiar Italian form--is the ancient Black
Korkyra, and on Slavonic lips it still keeps the elder name in the
shape of _Kerker_. But the sight of [Greek: hê melaina Korkyra]
suggests a question of the same kind as that which the visitor is
driven to ask on his first sight of Montenegro. How does a mass of
white limestone come to be called the Black Mountain? Curzola can
hardly be called a mass of white limestone; but the first glance
shows nothing specially black about it, nothing to make us choose this
epithet rather than any other to distinguish this Hadriatic Korkyra
from the more famous Korkyra to the south. That some distinguishing
epithet is needed is shown by the fact that, not so very long ago, a
special correspondent of the _Times_ took the whole history of Corfu
and transferred it bodily to Curzola. The reason given for the name is
the same in Curzola and in Montenegro. The blackness both of the
island and of the mountain is the blackness of the woods with which
they are covered. True the traveller from Cattaro to Tzetinje sees no
woods, black or otherwise; but he is told that the name comes from
thick woods on the other side of the principality. So he is told that
Black Korkyra was called from its thick woods, its distinctive feature
as compared with the many bare islands in its neighbourhood. But no
black woods are now to be seen in that part of the island which the
traveller is most likely to see anything of. There were such, he is
told; but they have been cut down on this side, while on the other
side they still flourish. As things are now, Curzola is certainly less
bare than most of its fellows; but the impression which it gives us
is, of the two, rather that of a green island than of a black one. It
is not green in the sense of rich verdure, but such trees as show
themselves give it a look rather green than black. At any rate, the
island looks both low and well-covered, as compared with the lofty and
rocky mountains of the opposite peninsula of Sabioncello. The two are
at one point, and that a point close by the town of Curzola, separated
by a very narrow strait. And the nearness of the two formed no
inconsiderable part of their history. There was a time when Curzola
must have been, before all things, a standing menace to Sabioncello,
and to the state of which Sabioncello formed an outpost. Sabioncello,
the long, narrow, stony peninsula, all backbone and nothing else,
formed part of the dominions of the commonwealth of Ragusa. Curzola
was for three centuries and a half a stronghold of that other
commonwealth which Ragusa so dreaded that she preferred the Turk as
her neighbour. Nowhere does the winged lion meet us more often or more
prominently than on the towers and over the gates of Curzola. And no
wonder; for Curzola was the choice seat of Venetian power in these
waters, her strong arsenal, the place for the building of her galleys.
If Aigina was the eyesore of Peiraieus, Curzola must have been yet
more truly the eyesore of Sabioncello.

It is only of what must have been the special eyesore of its Ragusan
neighbours, of the fortified town of Curzola and of a few points in
its near neighbourhood, that we can now speak. Curzola is one of the
larger Dalmatian islands; and it is an island of some zoological
interest. It is one of the few spots in Europe where the jackal still
lingers. Perhaps there is no other, but, as we have heard rumours of
like phænomenon in Epeiros, a decided negative is dangerous. We
believe that, according to the best scientific opinion, "lingered" is
the right word. The jackal is not an importation from anywhere else
into Curzola; he is an old inhabitant of Europe, who has kept his
ground in Curzola after he has been driven out of other places. But he
who gives such time as the steamer allows him in the island to the
antiquities of the town of Curzola need cherish no hope or fear of
meeting jackals. He might as soon expect to meet with a horse. For,
true child of Venice, Curzola knows neither horse nor carriage. Horses
and carriages are not prominent features in any of the Dalmatian
towns; but they may be seen here and there. They are faintly tolerated
within the walls of Ragusa, and we have certainly seen a cart in the
streets of Zara. But at Curzola they are as impossible as at Venice
itself, though not for the same reason. Curzola does not float upon
the waters; it soars above them. The Knidian emigrants chose the site
of their town in the true spirit of Greek colonists. It is such
another site as the Sicilian Naxos, as the Epidauros of the
Hadriatic, as Zara too and Parenzo, though Zara and Parenzo can lay
no claim to a Greek foundation. The town occupies a peninsula, which
is joined to the main body of the island by a narrow isthmus. The
positive elevation is slight, but the slope close to the water on each
side is steep. From the narrow ridge where stands the once cathedral
church, the streets run down on each side, narrow and steep, for the
most part ascended by steps. The horses of the wave are the only
steeds for the men of Black Korkyra, and those steeds they have at all
times managed with much skill. The seafaring habits of the people take
off in some measure from the picturesque effect of the place. There is
much less to be seen, among men at least, of local costume at Curzola
than at other Dalmatian towns. We miss the Morlacchian turbans which
become familiar at Spalato; we miss the Montenegrin coats of the brave
_Bocchesi_, which fill the streets of Cattaro, not without a meaning.
Seafaring folk are apt to wear the dress of their calling rather than
that of their race, and the island city cannot be made such a centre
for a large rural population as the cities on the mainland. But, if
the men to be seen at Curzola are less picturesque than the men to be
seen at Spalato or Ragusa, their dwellings make up for the lack.
Curzola is a perfect specimen of a Venetian town. It is singular how
utterly everything earlier than the final Venetian occupation of 1420
has passed away. The Greek colonist has left no sign of himself but
the site. Of Roman, of earlier mediæval, times there is nothing to be
seen beyond an inscription or two, one of which, a fragment worked
into the pavement of one of the steep streets, records the connexion
which once was between Curzola and Hungary. With præ-Venetian
inscriptions we may class one which is post-Venetian, and which
records another form of foreign dominion, one which may be classed
with that of Lewis the Great as at least better than those which went
between them. From 1813 to 1815--a time memorable at Curzola as well
as at Cattaro--the island was under English rule, and the time of
English rule was looked on as a time of freedom, compared with French
rule before or with Austrian rule both before and after. It is not
only that an official inscription speaks of the island as "libertate
fruens" at the moment when the connexion was severed; we believe that
we are justified in saying that those two years live in
Black-Korkyraian memory as the one time for many ages when the people
of Black Korkyra were let alone.

The formerly cathedral church is the only building in the town of
Curzola which suggests any thought that it can be older than 1420.
Documentary evidence, we believe, is scanty, and contains no mention
of the church earlier than the thirteenth century. In England we
should at first sight be tempted to assign the internal arcades to the
latter days of the twelfth; but the long retention of earlier forms
which is so characteristic of the architecture of this whole region
makes it quite possible that they may be no earlier than the Venetian
times to which we must certainly attribute the west front. Setting
aside a later addition to the north, which is no improvement, this
little _duomo_ consists of a nave and aisles of five bays, ending in
three round apses. Five bays we say, though on the north side there
are only four arches; for the tower occupies one at the west end. The
inner arcades and the west doorway are worthy of real study, as
contributions to the stock of what is at any rate singular in
architecture; indeed a more honourable word might fairly be used. The
arcades consist of plain pointed arches rising from columns with
richly carved capitals, and, like so many columns of all ages in this
region, with tongues of foliage at their bases. Above is a small
triforium, a pair of round arches over each bay; above that is a
clerestory of windows which within seem to be square, but which
outside are found to be broad pointed lancets with their heads cut
off. In England or France such a composition as this would certainly,
at the first sight of its general effect, be set down as belonging to
the time of transition between Romanesque and Gothic, to the days of
Richard of Poitou and Philip Augustus. And the proportions are just as
good as they would be in England or France; there is not a trace of
that love of ungainly sprawling arches which ruins half the so-called
Gothic churches of Italy. But, when we look at the capitals, we begin
to doubt. They are singularly rich and fine; but they are not rich and
fine according to any received pattern. They are eminently not
classical; they have nothing more than that faint Corinthian stamp
which no floriated capital seems able quite to throw away; they do not
come anything like so near to the original model as the capitals at
Canterbury, at Sens, or even at Lisieux. But neither do they approach
to any of the received Romanesque or Byzantine types, nor have they a
trace of the freedom which belongs to the English foliage of days only
a little later. They are more like, though still not very much like,
our foliage of the fourteenth century; there is a massiveness about
them, a kind of cleaving to the shape of the block, which after all
has something Byzantine about it. Those on the north side have figures
wrought among the foliage; the four responds have the four
evangelistic symbols. Here then we cannot fail to find the lion of
Saint Mark, but we find him only in his place as one of a company of
four. Would the devotion of the Most Serene Republic have allowed its
patron anywhere so lowly a place as this to occupy? Otherwise the
character of the capitals, which extends to the small shafts in the
triforium, might tempt us to assign a far later date to these columns
and arches than their general effect would suggest. But at all events
they are thoroughly mediæval; there is not the faintest trace of
_Renaissance_ about them.

Outside the church, the usual mixed character of the district comes
out more strongly. The addition to the north, and the tower worked in
instead of standing detached, go far to spoil what would otherwise be
a simple and well-proportioned Italian front. Both the round
window--of course there is a round window--and the great doorway are
worthy of notice. The window is not a mere wheel; the diverging lines
run off into real tracery, such as we might see in either England or
France. The doorway is a curious example of the way in which for a
long time in these regions, the square head, the round arch, and the
pointed arch, were for some purposes used almost indifferently. The
tradition of the square-headed doorway with the arched tympanum over
it never died out. We may believe that the mighty gateways and
doorways of Diocletian's palace set the general model for all ages.
But when the pointed arch came in, the tympanum might be as well
pointed as round. Sometimes the pointed tympanum crowns a thoroughly
round-headed doorway, and is itself crowned with a square spandril,
looking wonderfully like a piece of English Perpendicular. In the west
doorway at Curzola things do not go quite to such lengths as this; but
they go a good way. The square doorway is crowned by a pointed
tympanum, containing the figure of a bishop; over that again is a kind
of canopy. This is formed of a round arch, springing from a pair of
lions supported on projections such as those which are constantly
used, specially at Curzola, for the support of balconies. The lions
which in many places would have supported the columns of the doorway
seem, though wingless, to have flown up to this higher post. For here
the doorway has nothing to be called columns, nothing but small
shafts, twisted and otherwise, continued in the mouldings of the arch.
The cornice under the low gable is very rich; the tower is of no great
account, except the parapet, and the octagon and cupola which crown
it, a rich and graceful piece of work of that better kind of
_Renaissance_ which we claim as really Romanesque.

In the general view of the town from the sea this tower counts for
more than it does when we come close up to it in the nearest approach
to a _piazza_ which Curzola can boast. It is the crown of the whole
mass of buildings rising from the water. At Curzola the fortifications
are far more to the taste of the antiquary than they are at Ragusa;
they fence things round at the bottom, instead of hiding everything
from the top. We may shut our eyes to a modern fort or two on the
hills; the walls of the town itself, where they are left, are
picturesque mediæval walls broken by round towers, on some of which
the winged lion does not fail to show himself. He presides again over
a _loggia_ by the seashore, one of those buildings with nondescript
columns, which may be of any date, which most likely are of very late
date, but which, because they are simply straightforward and sensible,
are pleasing, whatever may be their date. Here they simply support a
wooden roof, without either arch or entablature. And while we are
seated under the lion in the _loggia_, we may look down at another
lion in a sculptured fragment by the shore, in company with a female
half-figure, something of the nature of a siren, Nereid, or mermaid,
who seems an odd yoke-fellow for the Evangelist. He seems more in his
natural place over the gate by which we shall most likely enter the
town, a gate of 1643, itself square-headed, but with pointed vaulting
within. Its inscriptions do not fail to commemorate the Trojan Antênor
as founder of Black Korkyra, along with a more modern ruler, the
Venetian John-Baptist Grimani. To the right hand, curiosity is raised
by a series of inscriptions which have been carefully scratched out.
About them there are many guesses and many traditions. One cannot help
thinking that the deed was more likely to be done by the French than
by the Austrian intruder. To scratch out an inscription is a foolish
and barbarous act; but it implies an understanding of its meaning and
a misapplied kind of vigour, which, of the two stolen eagles, was more
likely to flourish under the single-headed one. The double-headed
pretender, by the way, though he is seen rather too often in these
parts, is seldom wrought in such lasting materials as Saint Mark's
lion. So, when the good time comes, the stolen badge of Empire may, at
Curzola as at Venice and Verona, pass away and be no more seen,
without any destruction of monuments, old or new.

We are now fairly in the town. The best way to see Curzola thoroughly
is for the traveller to make his way how he will to the ridge of the
peninsula, and then systematically to visit the steep and narrow
streets, going in regular order down one and up another. There is not
one which does not contain some bit of domestic architecture which is
well worth looking at. But he should first walk along the ridge itself
from the gate by the isthmus to the point where the ground begins to
slope to the sea opposite Sabioncello. Hard by the gate is the
town-hall, _Obcina_, as it is now marked in the native speech. The
mixed style--most likely of the seventeenth century--of these parts
comes out here in its fulness. Columns and round arches which would
satisfy any reasonable Romanesque ideal, support square windows which
are relieved from ugliness by a slight moulding, the dentel--akin to
our Romanesque billet--which is seen everywhere. But in a projecting
building, which is clearly of a piece with the rest, columns with
nondescript capitals support pointed arches. Opposite to the town-hall
is one of the smaller churches, most of which are of but little
importance. This one bears the name of Saint Michael, and is said to
have formerly been dedicated to Orthodox worship. It shows however no
sign of such use, unless we are to count the presence of a little
cupola over the altar. We pass along the ridge, by a house where the
projection for balconies, so abundant everywhere, puts on a specially
artistic shape, being wrought into various forms, human and animal.
Opposite the cathedral the houses display some characteristic forms of
the local style, and we get more fully familiar with them, as we
plunge into the steep streets, following the regular order which has
been already prescribed. Some graceful scrap meets us at every step;
the pity is that the streets are so narrow that it needs some
straining of the neck to see those windows which are set at all high
in the walls. For it is chiefly windows which we light upon: very
little care seems to have been bestowed on the doorways. A square or
segmental-headed doorway, with no attempt at ornament, was thought
quite enough for a house for whose windows the finest work of the
style was not deemed too good. Indeed the contrasts are so odd that,
in the finest house in Curzola, in one of the streets leading down
eastward from the cathedral, a central story for which _magnificent_
would not be too strong a word is placed between these simple doorways
below and no less simple square-headed windows above. This is one of
the few houses in Curzola where the windows are double or triple
divided by shafts. Most of the windows are of a single light, with a
pointed, an ogee, or even a round head, but always, we think, with the
eminently Venetian trefoil, and with the jambs treated as a kind of
pilaster. With windows of this kind the town of Curzola is thick-set
in every quarter. We may be sure that there is nothing older than the
Venetian occupation, and that most of the houses are of quite late
date, of the sixteenth and even the seventeenth century. The Venetian
style clave to mediæval forms of window long after the _Renaissance_
had fully set in in everything else. And for an obvious reason;
whatever attractions the _Renaissance_ might have from any other point
of view, in the matter of windows at least it hopelessly failed. In
the streets of Curzola therefore we meet with an endless store of
windows, but with little else. Yet here and there there are other
details. The visitor will certainly be sent to see a door-knocker in a
house in one of the streets on the western slope. There Daniel between
two lions is represented in fine bronze work. And some Venetian
effigies, which would doubtless prove something for local history, may
be seen in the same court. Of the houses in Curzola not a few are
roofless; not a few have their rich windows blocked; not a few stand
open for the visitor to see their simple inside arrangements. The town
can still make some show on a day of festival; but it is plain that
the wealth and life of Curzola passed away when it ceased to be the
arsenal of Venice. And poverty has one incidental advantage; it lets
things fall to ruin, but it does not improve or restore.

Two monasteries may be seen within an easy distance of the town. That
of Saint Nicolas, approached by a short walk along the shore to the
north-west, makes rather an imposing feature in the general view from
the sea; but it is disappointing when we come near. Yet it
illustrates some of the local tendencies; a very late building, as it
clearly is, it still keeps some traces of earlier ideas. Two equal
bodies, each with a pointed barrel-vault, might remind us of some
districts of our own island, and, with nothing else that can be called
mediæval detail, the round window does not fail to appear. The other
monastery, best known as the _Badia_, once a house of Benedictines,
afterwards of Franciscans, stands on a separate island, approached by
a pleasant sail. The church has not much more to show than the other;
but it too illustrates the prevalent mixture of styles which comes out
very instructively in the cloister. This bears date 1477, as appears
from an inscription over one of its doors. But this doorway is
flat-headed and has lost all mediæval character, while the cloister
itself is a graceful design with columns and trefoil arches, which in
other lands one would attribute to a much earlier date. The library
contains some early printed books and some Greek manuscripts, none
seemingly of any great intrinsic value. A manuscript of Dionysios
Periêgêtês is described as the property of the Korkyraian Nicolas and
his friends. ([Greek: Nikolaou Kerkyraiou kai tôn philôn.]) Nicolas
had a surname, but unluckily it has passed away from our memory and
from our notes. But the local description which he has given of
himself makes us ask, Did the book come from Corfu, or did any
citizen of Black Korkyra think it had a learned look so to describe
himself?

On the staircase of the little inn at Curzola still hangs a print of
the taking of the arsenal of Venice by the patriots of 1848. Strange
that no Imperial, Royal, and Apostolic official has taken away so
speaking a memorial of a deed which those who commemorate it would
doubtless be glad to follow.



RAGUSA.

1875--1877--1881.


The voyage onward from Curzola will lead, as its next natural
stopping-place, to Ragusa. At Curzola, or before he reaches Curzola,
the traveller will have made acquaintance with what was once the
territory of the Ragusan commonwealth, in the shape of the long
peninsula of Sabioncello. He will have seen how all the winged lions
of Curzola look out so threateningly towards the narrow tongue of land
which bowed to Saint Blaise and not to Saint Mark. He will pass by
Meleda, that one among the larger islands which obeyed Ragusan and not
Venetian rule. After Meleda the islands cease to be the most important
features in the geography or in the prospect. They end, so far as they
give any character to the scene, in the group which lies off the mouth
of the inlet of Gravosa and Ombla, the ordinary path to Ragusa. But he
who would really take in the peculiar position of Ragusa will do well
to pass by the city on his outward voyage, to go on to Cattaro, and
to take Ragusa on the way back. The wisdom of so doing springs
directly out of the history of the city. The haven, which is said--and
we have no better derivation to suggest--to have given its name to
_argosies_, could certainly not give shelter to a modern argosy.
Nothing but smaller craft now make their way to Ragusa herself;
steamers and everything else stop at the port of Gravosa. It has been
only quite lately, long since the earlier visits which gave birth to
the present sketches, that Ragusan enterprise has so far again
awakened as to send a single steamer at long intervals from the true
Ragusan haven to Trieste. He therefore who visits Ragusa on his
outward voyage has to land at Gravosa and to make his way to Ragusa by
land. He thus loses the first sight of the city from the sea which he
has had at Zara and Spalato, and which at Ragusa is, setting special
associations aside, even more striking than at Zara and Spalato.
Before he sees Ragusa from the water, as Ragusa was made to be seen,
he has already made acquaintance with the city in a more prosaic
fashion. He will not indeed have had his temper soured by the
inconveniences which Sir Gardner Wilkinson had to put up with more
than thirty years ago. There is no more delay at the gate of Ragusa,
there is no more difficulty in finding a carriage to take the
traveller from Gravosa to Ragusa, than there is in the most
frequented regions of the West. Still, in such a case, the traveller
sees Ragusa for the first time from the land, and Ragusa of all places
ought to be seen for the first time from the sea. Seen in this way,
the general effect of Ragusa is certainly more striking than that of
any other Dalmatian city; and it is so in some measure because the
effect of Ragusa, whether looked at with the bodily eye or seen in the
pages of its history, is above all things a general effect. There is
not, as there is at Zara and at Spalato, any particular moment in the
history of the city, any particular object in the city itself, which
stands out prominently above all others. We draw near to Zara, and
say, "There is the city that was stormed by the Crusaders," and,
though we find much at Zara to awaken interest on other grounds, the
crusading siege still remains the first thing. We draw near to
Spalato; we see the palace and the campanile, and round the palace and
the campanile everything gathers. We draw near to Ragusa; the eye is
struck by no such prominent object; the memory seizes on no such
prominent fact. But there is Ragusa; there is the one spot along that
whole coast from the Croatian border to Cape Tainaros itself, which
never came under the dominion either of the Venetian or of the Turk.
Ragusa will be found at different times standing in something like a
tributary or dependent relation to both those powers, but it never
was actually incorporated with the dominions of either. In this Ragusa
stands alone among the cities of the whole coast, Dalmatian, Albanian,
and Greek. Among all the endless confusions and fluctuations of power
in those regions, Ragusa stands alone as having ever kept its place,
always as a separate, commonly as an independent, commonwealth. It
lived on from the break-up of the Byzantine power on those coasts till
the day when the elder Buonaparte, in the mere caprice of tyranny,
without provocation of any kind, declared one day that the Republic of
Ragusa had ceased to exist. This is the history of Ragusa, a history
whose general effect is as striking as any history can be. It is a
history too which, if we dig into its minute details, is full of
exciting incidents, but not of incidents which, like the one incident
in the history of Zara, stand out in the general history of Europe.
There is, to be sure, one incident in Ragusan history which may claim
some attention at the hands of Englishmen, and ought to claim more at
the hands of Poitevins. Count Richard of Poitou, who was also by a
kind of accident King of England, and who in the course of his reign
paid England two very short visits, paid also a visit to Ragusa which
was perhaps still shorter. But this again is an incident of mere
curiosity. The homeward voyage and captivity of Richard had some
effect on the general affairs of the world; his special visit to
Ragusa affected only the local affairs of Ragusa. Ragusan history then
may either be taken in at a glance, and a most striking glance it is;
or else it may be studied with the minute zeal of a local antiquary.
There is no intermediate point from which it can be looked at. In the
general history of Europe Ragusa stands out, as the city itself stands
out to the eye of the traveller, as that one among the famous cities
of the Dalmatian and Albanian coast where the Lion of Saint Mark is
not to be seen.

As is the history, so is the general effect. As we sail past Ragusa,
as we look at the city from any of the several points which the voyage
opens to us, we say at once, Here is one of the most striking sights
of our whole voyage; but we cannot at once point our finger to any one
specially striking object. There are good campaniles, but there is
nothing very special about them; there are castles and towers in
abundance, but each by itself on any other site would be passed by
without any special remark. What does call for special remark and
special admiration is the city itself, at once rising from the sea and
fenced in from the sea by its lofty walls. It is the shore, with its
rocks and its small inlets, each rock seized on as the site of a
fortress. It is the background of hills, forming themselves a natural
rampart, but with the artificial defences carried up and along them
to their very crest. Here we are not tempted, as we are tempted at
some points of our voyage, to forget that our voyage is one by sea,
and to fancy that we are floating gently on some Swiss or Italian
lake. Ragusa does not stand on a deep inlet like Cattaro, on a bay
like Spalato, on a peninsula like Zara, fenced in by islands on one
side and by the opposite shore of its haven on the other. Ragusa does
indeed stand on a peninsula, but it is a peninsula of quite another
kind; a peninsula of hills and rocks and inlets, offering a bold front
to the full force of the open sea. One island indeed, La Croma, lies
like a guard-ship anchored in front of the city, but we feel that La
Croma is strictly an island of the sea. The islands of the more
northern coast form as it were a wall to shelter the coast itself. And
such a function seems specially to be laid upon the small islands
which lie off the mouth of Ragusa's modern haven at Gravosa. Covered
indeed as they are with modern fortifications, it is not merely in a
figure that it is laid upon them. But La Croma fills no such function.
The city of argosies boldly fronts the sea on which her argosies were
to sail, and fiercely do the waves of that sea sometimes dash upon her
rocks. Ragusa seems the type of a city which has to struggle with the
element on which her life is cast, while Venice is the type of a city
which has, in the sense of her own yearly ceremony, brought that
element wholly under her dominion.

As we look up from the sea to the mountains, we feel yet more strongly
how purely Ragusa was a city of the sea. Venice was an inland power on
that Italian land off which she herself lay anchored. She might pass
for an inland power even on the Ragusan side of the Hadriatic. The
Dalmatian territory of Venice looks on the map like a narrow strip;
but, compared with the Ragusan coast, the Venetian coast has a wide
Venetian mainland to the back of it. But Ragusa lies at the foot of
the mountains, and the crest of the mountains was her boundary. She
has always sat on a little ledge of civilization, for four centuries
on a little ledge of Christendom, with a measureless background of
barbarism behind her. Those hills, the slopes of which begin in the
streets of the city, once fenced in a ledge of Hellenic land from the
native barbarians of Illyricum. Then they fenced in a ledge of Roman
land from the Slavonic invader. Lastly, when we first looked on them,
when we first crossed them, they still fenced in a ledge of Christian
land from the dominion of the Infidel. And the newest arrangements of
diplomacy make it still not wholly impossible to use the language
which we used then. The Archduke of Austria and King of Dalmatia is
immediate sovereign of Ragusa and her ancient territory; when we
cross the line between Ragusa and Herzegovina, he rules only in the
character familiar to some even of his Imperial forefathers, that of
the man of the Turk. The Christian prince simply "administers;" it is
the Infidel Sultan who is still held to reign. To form such a boundary
as this has been no mean calling for the heights which look down upon
Ragusa. It is well to climb those heights, best of all to climb them
by the road which so lately led, which we might almost say still
leads, from civilization to barbarism, from Christendom to Islam, and
to look down on the city nestling between the sea and the mountains.
The view is of the same kind as the view of the city from the sea.
Rocks, inlets, walls, and towers, come out in new and varied
groupings, but there is still no one prominent object. La Croma
indeed, with its fallen monastery--its fortress is not seen--now comes
in as a prominent object. But it shows by its very prominence the
difference between this part of the Dalmatian coast, with its one
island, all but invisible on the map, lying close to the shore, and
the two archipelagos, one of small and obscure, one of great and
historic islands, which the voyager has already passed by.

It would thus be well if we could look on Ragusa both from the sea and
from the mountains before we approach the city by the one possible to
reach it, by the road which leads from its port of Gravosa. This last
is a picturesque haven of thoroughly Dalmatian character, lying on a
smooth inlet with a small fertile fringe between the water and the
mountains. The road, rising and falling, looking out on both the
mountains and the sea, leads along among villas and chapels which
gradually grow into a suburb till we reach the gate. Here we see not a
few ruined houses, houses which have remained ruined for nearly
seventy years, houses whose ruin was wrought by Montenegrin hands in
the days when Ragusa was an unwilling possession of France and
Montenegro a valued ally of England. But, before we reach the gate, we
see what there was not in the time of Sir Gardner Wilkinson, carriages
standing for hire, carriages no very long drive in which will take us
over the late borders of Christendom. In that suburb too the traveller
will most likely take up his quarters--quarters, it may be, looking
down straight on the rocks and waves. And there, when war was raging
at no great distance, and when Ragusa was the special centre of the
purveyors of news, he was sure to hear both the latest truths and the
latest fables. But he is still outside the city. No city brings better
home to us than Ragusa the Eastern hyperbole of cities great and
fenced up to heaven. We must leave the military architect to discuss
their military merits or demerits. To the non-professional observer
they seem to belong to that type of fortification, between mediæval
and modern, which in these lands we naturally call Venetian,
inapplicable as that name is at Ragusa. But they have clearly been
strengthened and extended in more modern times. The city lies in a
kind of hollow between the lower slopes of the mountain on one side,
and a ridge which lies between the mountain and the sea, and which
thus adds greatly to the appearance of the fortifications as seen from
the sea. The one main street of Ragusa, the _Stradone_, thus lies in a
valley with narrow streets running down towards it on both sides.
Indeed, before the great earthquake of 1667 which destroyed so much of
old Ragusa, part at least of this wide street was covered with water
as a canal. It is so pent in with buildings that we hardly feel how
near we are to the sea; yet the small port, the true port of Ragusa,
is very near at hand. The two ends of the Stradone are guarded by
gates, which lead up--for the ascent is considerable--to the outer
gates at either end, still strong and still guarded, reminding us that
we are in what is still really a border city. And over those gates we
see, not the winged lion for which we have learned to look almost
instinctively everywhere on these coasts, but the figure of Saint
Blaise, _San Biagio_, the patron of Ragusa, whose relics form some of
the choicest treasures in the rich hoard of her once metropolitan
church. We pass under the saintly effigy, and we find that within the
walls the general aspect of the city is comparatively modern. Most of
the buildings, the metropolitan church among them, were rebuilt after
a great earthquake in 1667. Such remains however of old Ragusa as are
still left are of such surpassing interest in the history of
architecture that we must keep them for a more special examination.

       *       *       *       *       *

The history of Ragusa, as we have already said, is of a kind which
must either be taken in at a glance or else dealt with in the minutest
detail. All Dalmatian history for a good many centuries wants a more
thorough sifting than has ever been brought to bear upon it. It wants
it all the more because it is so closely connected with early Venetian
history, than which no history is more utterly untrustworthy. But we
may safely gather that Ragusa had its origin in the destruction of the
Greek city of Epidauros, now _Ragusa Vecchia_. The old Epidaurian
colony fell, like Salona, before the barbarians. Its inhabitants had
no ready-made city to flee to, but they founded a city on the rocks
which became Raousion or Ragusa. Whether any part of the Ragusan
peninsula had ever become a dwelling-place of men at any earlier time
it is needless to inquire. It is enough that Ragusa now became a city.
As to the name of the city, our Imperial guide helps us to one of his
strange etymologies. With him Epidauros has sunk into [Greek:
Pitaura]--the _t_ seems to have supplanted the _d_ at a much earlier
time--and the city on the rocks which its exiles founded was first
called from its site [Greek: Lausion], which by vulgar use ([Greek: hê
koinê synêtheia, hê pollakis metaphtheirousa ta onomata tê enallagê tôn
grammatôn]) became [Greek: Rhaousion]. He tells us that, [Greek: epei
epanô tôn krêmnôn histatai legetai de Rhômaisti ho krêmnos lau,
eklêthêsan ek toutou Lausaioi, êgoun hoi kathezomenoi eis ton
krêmnon]. What tongue is meant by [Greek: Rhômaisti]? It is only
because the strange form [Greek: lau] seems to come one degree nearer
to [Greek: laas anaidês] than to anything in Latin, that it dawns on
us that it means Greek. But, under whatever name, the city on the
rocks, small at first, strengthened by refugees from Salona, grew and
prospered, and remained one of the outlying Roman or Greek posts which
in the days of Constantine, as now, fringed the already barbarian
land.

For some centuries after the time of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, the
history of Ragusa defies abridgement. It is one web of intricate
complications between the Emperors of the East and West, the Republic
of Venice, the Kings of Hungary, Dalmatia, and Bosnia. Somewhat later
the story begins to be more intelligible, when the actors get pretty
well reduced to Venice, the Turk, and the Empire in a new form, that
of Charles the Fifth. The republic of Ragusa contrived, which must
surely have needed a good deal of skill, to keep on good terms at once
with Charles and his son Philip and with their Turkish enemies. Yet
Ragusa, though never incorporated by anything earlier than the
dominion of Buonaparte, stood at different times in a kind of
dependent relation both to Venice and to the Turk. At an earlier time
the commonwealth for a short time received a Venetian Count. He was
doubtless only meant to be like a foreign _podestà_, but Venice was a
very dangerous place for Ragusa to bring a _podestà_ from. In her
later days Ragusa must be looked on as being under the protection of
the Porte; but it was a protection which in no way interfered with her
full internal freedom--such freedom at least as is consistent with the
rule of an oligarchy. The geography of Dalmatia keeps to this day a
curious memorial of the feeling which made Ragusa dread the Turk less
than she dreaded Venice. To this day the Dalmatian kingdom does not
extend continuously along the Dalmatian coast. At two points territory
which till late changes was nominally Turkish, which is still only
"administered," not "governed," by its actual ruler, comes down to the
Hadriatic coast. These are at Klek, at the bottom of the gulf formed
by the long Ragusan peninsula of Sabioncello, and at Sutorina on the
_Bocche_ di Cattaro. These two points mark the two ends of the narrow
strip of coast which formed the territory of Ragusa. Rather than have
a common frontier with Venice at either end, Ragusa willingly allowed
the dominions of the Infidel to come down to her own sea on either
side of her.

At last all dread from Venice passed away, but only because Saint Mark
gave way to a more dangerous neighbour. The base conspiracy of
Campoformio gave Venetian Dalmatia to an Austrian master, and the
strips of Turkish territory which had once sheltered Ragusa from the
Venetian now for a while sheltered her from the Austrian. Then the
dividers of the spoil quarrelled; the master of France took to himself
what France had betrayed to Austria. Presently he disliked the small
oasis of independence, and added Ragusa to the dominion which was
presently to take in Rome and Lübeck. Lastly, when the days of
confusion were over, and order came back to the world, order at Ragusa
took the form of a new foreign master. The Austrian, who had reigned
for a moment at Zara and Cattaro, but who had never reigned at Ragusa,
put forth his hand to filch Ragusa as he has since filched Spizza. The
motive need not be asked. The pleasure of seizing the goods of a
weaker neighbour is doubtless enough in either case.

One point in the history of Ragusa which needs a more thorough
explanation than it has yet found is the fact that the Roman or Greek
city, founded by men who had escaped from barbarian invaders--who must
surely have been largely Slavonic--has become so pre-eminently a
Slavonic city. There is no Italian party at Ragusa. Not that the city
is strongly Panslavonic; the memory of local freedom has survived
through both forms of foreign rule. The Ragusan aristocracy is
Slavonic, and the Slavonic language holds quite another position at
Ragusa from what it holds, for example, at Spalato. There all that
claims to be literature and cultivation is Italian; at Ragusa, though
Italian is familiarly spoken, the native literature and cultivation is
distinctly Slave. The difference is marked in the very names of the
two cities. Spalato is in Slavonic _Spljet_, a mere corruption of the
corrupt Latin name. But Ragusa, on Slavonic lips--that is on the lips
of its own citizens speaking their own language--is _Dubrovnik_, a
perfectly independent Slavonic name. It may be the name of some
Slavonic suburb or neighbouring settlement--like the _Wendisches Dorf_
at Lüneburg--but at all events it is no corruption, no translation, of
Latin _Ragusa_ or of Constantine's _Raousion_.

       *       *       *       *       *

As for King Richard, the Ragusan story is that he built the cathedral
which was destroyed in 1667. It is said that he vowed to build a
church on the island of La Croma, and that this purpose was changed
into building one in the city instead of the former cathedral, while
the commonwealth of Ragusa built a church on the island. La Croma thus
becomes connected with the memory of two princes who died of thrusting
themselves in matters which did not concern them. Richard, Count and
King, might have lived longer if he had not quarrelled with his vassal
at Limoges; Maximilian, Archduke and self-styled Emperor, was
perfectly safe at La Croma, but when he took up the trade of a
party-leader in Mexico, he could hardly look for anything but a
Mexican party-leader's end. Of the monastery which formed his
dwelling-place the great church is so utterly desecrated and spoiled
that hardly anything can be made out. But a good deal remains of the
cloister, and at a little distance stand the ruins of a beautiful
little triapsidal basilica, which surely, all save a few additions,
belongs to the age of the Lion-hearted King. Indeed we should be
tempted to fix on this, rather than any other church of Ragusa or its
island, as the work of Richard himself. It looks greatly as if a Count
of Poitiers and Duke of Aquitaine had had a hand in it. A single wide
body, with three apses opening into it, is not a Dalmatian idea, as it
is not an English idea. But something like it might easily be found in
Richard's own land of southern Gaul.

That Richard did come to Ragusa and to La Croma seems plain from the
narrative in Roger of Howden. He hired a ship at Corfu expressly to
take him to Ragusa. He landed "prope _Gazere_ apud Ragusam." _Gazere_
suggests Jadera or Zara, but "Gazere apud Ragusam" can hardly fail to
mean La Croma. "_Gazere_" is the Arabic name for _island_--the same
which appears in _Algesiras_--one of the Eastern words which passed
into the _lingua franca_ of the Crusaders. After all, Ragusa gives
more interest to Richard than any that it takes from him. Born and
twice crowned in England, he had little else to do with England than
to squeeze money out of it. It mattered little to Englishmen--or to
Normans either--whether their Poitevin lord was astounding the world
at Acre, at Chaluz, or at La Croma.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two other rather longer excursions than that to La Croma may be
profitably made from Ragusa. There is, first of all, the short voyage
to the site of the city which Ragusa supplanted, the Dalmatian
Epidauros, now known by the odd name of _Ragusa Vecchia_. Beyond a few
inscriptions, there is really next to nothing to be seen of the
ancient city besides its site; but the site is well worthy of study.
It is thoroughly the site for a Greek colony, and it has much in
common with the more famous site of Korkyra and Epidamnos. The city
occupied a peninsula, sheltered on the one hand by the mainland, on
the other by another promontory, forming the outer horn of a small
bay. In this position the town had the sea on every side; it had a
double harbour, and was at the same time thoroughly sheltered on both
sides. Such a site was the perfection of Greek colonial ideas. We have
now got far away indeed from the earliest type of city--the hill-fort
which dreads the sea, and which finds the need of the haven, and of
the long walls to join the haven to the city, only in later times. The
highest point of the promontory, the akropolis--if we can use that
name in a city of such late date--is now forsaken, crowned only by a
burying-ground and sepulchral church. The view is a noble one, looking
out on the mainland and the sea, with the neighbouring island crowned
by a forsaken monastery, and directly in front Ragusa herself on her
rocks, with the beginnings of the Dalmatian archipelago rising in the
distance. The modern town, which is hardly more than a village, with
two or three churches and a small amount of fortification, covers the
isthmus and the lower ground of the promontory. Such is all that is
left of the northern city of Asklêpios, the city which played its part
alike in the wars of Cæsar and in the wars of Belisarius, which in the
great revolution that followed the Slavonic inroads perished to give
birth to the more abiding city from which it has strangely borrowed
its later name. That Ragusa Vecchia has so little to show is no ground
for despising it or passing it by; the very lack of remains in some
sort adds to the interest of the spot.

The voyage from New to Old Ragusa is not a long one. A shorter land
journey on the same side of the city will lead to the sea-side village
of Breno, which will not supply the traveller with anything in the
antiquarian line, but which will reward him with a good deal of
Dalmatian mountain and land scenery, especially with a waterfall,
though one not quite on the scale of Kerka. And, to those who peer
pryingly into all corners, the little inn of the place will suggest
some memories of very modern history. That piece of history it has
been the interest of exalted personages to keep unknown, and their
efforts have been crowned with a remarkable degree of success. As the
inn at Curzola contains picture memories of an unsuccessful struggle
for freedom in 1848, so the inn at Breno contains picture memories of
a more successful struggle waged twenty-one years later in the same
cause and against the same enemy. When in 1869 the present ruler of
Austria and Dalmatia strove, in defiance of every chartered right and
every royal promise, to trample under foot the ancient rights of the
freemen of the Bocche di Cattaro, the troops of the foreign intruder
were driven back in ignominious defeat by the brave men of the
mountains, and the master who had sent them was forced to renew the
promises which he had striven to break. People still chatter about the
mythical exploits of Tell, but hardly any one has heard of this little
piece of successful resistance to oppression done only twelve years
back. The deed is not forgotten by the neighbours of those who did it,
and in the inn at Breno rude pictures may be seen showing the
victorious Bocchese driving the troops of the stranger down those
heights which at Vienna or at Budapest it seemed so easy a matter to
bring into bondage. Strange to say, the pictures which record this
Slavonic triumph have the legend beneath them in the High-Dutch
tongue. Stranger still, it is the eye only and not the ear by which
any knowledge of the matter is to be picked up. The wary native, even
when spoken to in his own tongue, will not enlarge on the subjects of
those pictures to a man in Western garb. It is perhaps not without
reason if a stranger in Western garb is suspected in those parts to be
a spy of the enemy.

If the voyage from New to Old Ragusa is not a long one, the sail on
the other side of the city up the river's mouth to Ombla is shorter
still. Its starting-point will be, not Ragusa itself but its port of
Gravosa. Here the main object is scenery; but several houses, one at
least of which will deserve some further mention, a nearly forsaken
monastery with a good bell-tower and a not ungraceful church, and one
or two living or forsaken chapels may be taken in, and they help us to
complete some inferences as to the architecture of the district. But
our business at this moment is mainly with the basin which lies at the
foot of the limestone rock. The hills of Greece and Dalmatia
constantly suggest, to one who knows the West of England, the kindred,
though far lowlier, hills of Mendip. As the gorge under the akropolis
of Mykênê at once suggests the gorge of Cheddar, so the basin of the
Trebenitza at Ombla suggests, though the scale is larger, the basin of
the Axe at Wookey Hole. The river runs out from the bottom of the
rocks, and, to those who have been adventurous enough to cross the
heights and to make their way through the desolate land of
Herzegovina--the very land of limestone in all forms--as far as
Trebinje, the river that reappears at Ombla is an old friend. There
seems no doubt that it is the Trebenitza which, after hiding itself in
a _katabothra_, comes out again to light in the Ombla basin. The
journey to Trebinje itself is in its own nature less exciting now than
it was in 1875. What it was when the drive thither from Ragusa enabled
the traveller to say that he had been into "Turkey," and that he had
seen a little of a land in a state of warfare, may perhaps be worth
some separate mention. At present it is reported that Trebinje is
cleaner than it was then, that it has been adorned with a
_Rudolfsplatz_, and that justice is there administered to its Slavonic
folk, Christian and Mussulman, in the tongue of which _Rudolfsplatz_
is a specimen. It would therefore seem that the direct rule of the
stranger is at least better than his "administration." At Ragusa men
are allowed to speak their own tongue in which they were born.



RAGUSAN ARCHITECTURE.

1875--1877--1881.


We have spoken in a former article of the general aspect and the
historical position of the city and commonwealth of Ragusa, her hills,
her walls, her havens, her union of freedom from the lion of Saint
Mark with half dependence on the crescent of Mahomet. But this ancient
and isolated city has yet something more to tell of. There are several
of the municipal and domestic buildings of the fallen republic,
buildings which, as far as we know, have never been described or
illustrated in detail in any English work, and of which no worthy
representation can be found on the spot. In the work of Eitelberger
much will be found; but for the ordinary English student there is no
help at all. Yet, on the strength of these buildings, Ragusa may
really claim a place among those cities which stand foremost in the
history of architectural progress. And this fact is the more
remarkable, and the more to be insisted on, because of the seemingly
general belief that there is little or nothing to see at Ragusa in
the way of architecture. But the truth is that far more of the old
city escaped the earthquake of 1667 than would be thought at first
sight. Because the cathedral is later, because the general aspect of
the main street is later, the idea is suggested that nothing is left
but the municipal palace. That alone would be a most important
exception, but it is by no means the only one. If the traveller leaves
the main street and turns up the narrow alleys which run from it up
the hills on either side, alleys many of them which, at present at
least, lead to nothing, he will find many scraps of domestic
architecture which must belong to times earlier than the great blow of
the seventeenth century. Signs of that blow are seen in many places in
the form of scraps of detail of various kinds irregularly built up in
the wall; but there are a great number of pointed doorways still in
their places which no man can think are later than 1667. Some of these
are simply pointed; others combine the pointed arch with the tympanum,
sometimes with both the tympanum and the spandril. There is also a not
unpleasing type of _Renaissance_ doorway, a lintel resting on two
pilasters with floriated capitals, which one can hardly believe are
due to a time so late as the days after the earthquake. At all events,
if they are later than the earthquake, they only go to strengthen the
general position which we have to lay down, namely the way in which
early forms lived on at Ragusa to an amazingly late date. This same
examination of the narrow streets will also bring to light a few, but
only a few, windows of the Venetian Gothic. The strength of Ragusa, as
far as scraps of this kind are concerned, undoubtedly lies in its
doorways.

  [Illustration: TOWER OF FRANCISCAN CHURCH, RAGUSA.]

In the churches too there is more left than the mere scraps which are
built up again. Parts at least of the tall towers--neither of them
detached--of the Franciscan and Dominican churches, the former in the
main street, the latter near the eastern gate, are also earlier. In
the former the line of junction between the older tower and the ugly
church which has been built up against it is clearly to be seen. The
upper stage of this tower, and the small cupola which crowns it, _may_
be later than the earthquake; but if so, they have caught the spirit
of earlier work in an unusual degree, and all the lower part is in a
form of Italian Gothic less unpleasing than usual. Both this tower and
that of the Dominican church show how long the general type of the
earliest Romanesque campaniles went on. Save in the small cupola, this
tower has the perfect air, and almost the details, of a tower of the
eleventh century: three ranges of windows with mid-wall shafts rise
over one another; only they are grouped under containing arches in
what in England we should call a Norman fashion. But, as this tower
forms part of a Dominican monastery, it cannot be earlier than the
thirteenth century, and its smaller details also cannot belong to any
earlier date. Yet the general effect of this tower, even more than of
the other, is that of a tower of the Primitive type. The Dominican
church also keeps some details of Italian Gothic which must be older
than the earthquake, and the cloister is one of the best specimens of
that style. Its groupings of tracery under round arches, the poverty
of design in the tracery itself, strike us as weak, if our thoughts go
back to Salisbury or to Zürich; but the general effect is good, and
the cloister--as distinguished from the buildings above it--may almost
be called beautiful. Of more importance in the history of Ragusan
architecture is the Franciscan cloister. Being Franciscan, it cannot
be earlier than the thirteenth century, and it may well be much later.
But it is essentially Romanesque in style. The general effect of the
tall shafts which support its narrow round arches differs indeed a
good deal from the general effect of the more massive Romanesque
cloisters to which we are used elsewhere. But it is essentially one
with them in style, and it is one of the many witnesses to the way in
which at Ragusa early forms were kept in use till a late time.

But the architectural glory of Ragusa is certainly not to be looked
for among its churches. The most truly instructive work that Ragusa
has to show in any of its ecclesiastical buildings does not show
itself at first sight, and its full significance is not likely to be
understood till the civic and domestic buildings of the city and its
suburbs have been well studied. When this has been done, it will be
easily seen that certain arches and capitals in the subordinate
buildings of the Dominican church have their part in the history of
Ragusan art; but the great civic buildings must be seen and mastered
first. Of these two of the highest interest escaped the common
overthrow. They both show the Italian Gothic in its best shape; but
they also show something else which is of far higher value. They show
that peculiar form of _Renaissance_ which can hardly be called
_Renaissance_ in any bad sense, which is in truth a last outburst of
Romanesque, a living child of classical forms, not a dead imitation of
them. Examples of this kind often meet us in Italy; we see something
of it in the north side of the great _piazza_ at Venice as compared
with the southern side; but the Ragusan examples go beyond anything
that we know of elsewhere. Give the palace of Ragusa--the palace, not
of a Doge, but of a Rector--the same size, the same position, as the
building which answers to it at Venice, and we should soon see that
the city which so long held her own against Venice in other ways could
hold her own in art also. The Venetian arcade cannot for a moment be
compared to the Ragusan; the main front of the Ragusan building has
escaped the addition of the ugly upper story which disfigures the
Venetian. As wholes, of course no one can compare the two in general
effect. Saint Blaise must yield to Saint Mark. But set Saint Blaise's
palace on Saint Mark's site; carry out his arcade to the same
boundless extent, and there is little doubt which would be the grander
pile. The Venetian building overwhelms by its general effect; the
Ragusan building will better stand the test of minute study.

  [Illustration: PALACE, RAGUSA.]

The palace of the Ragusan commonwealth was begun in 1388, and finished
in 1435, in the reign, as an inscription takes care to announce, of
the Emperor Siegmund. What name shall we give to the style of this
most remarkable building, at all events to the style of its admirable
arcade? Here are six arches--why did not the architect carry on the
design through the whole length of the building?--which show what, as
late as the fifteenth century, a round-arched style could still do
when it followed its natural promptings, instead of either binding
itself by slavish precedents or striving after a helpless imitation of
foreign forms. Never mind the date; here is Romanesque in all its
truth and beauty; here, in the land which gave Rome so many of her
greatest Cæsars, the arcade of Ragusa may worthily end the series
which began with the arcades of Spalato. Siegmund, the last but one to
wear the crown of Diocletian in the Eternal City, has his name not
quite unworthily engraved on a building less removed in style than a
distance of more than eleven centuries would have led us to expect
from the everlasting house of Jovius. Does some pedantic Vitruvian
brand the columns as too short? The architect has grasped the truth
that, as the arch takes the place of the entablature, the height of
the arch may fairly be taken out of the height of the column. Does he
blame the massive abaci? They are wrought to bear the greater
immediate weight which the arch brings upon the capital, and they
avoid such shifts as the Ravenna stilt and the Byzantine double
capital. Does he blame the capitals, which certainly do not follow the
exact pattern of any Vitruvian order? Let us answer boldly, Why should
art be put in fetters? A Corinthian capital is a beautiful form; but
why should the hand of man be kept back from devising other beautiful
forms? The Ragusan architect has ventured to cover some of his
capitals with foliage which does not obey any pedantic rule; in others
he has ventured--like the artists of the noble capitals which may
still be seen in the Capitol and in Caracalla's baths--to bring in
the forms of animal and of human, as well as of vegetable, life. In
one point his taste seems slightly to have failed him; on some of the
capitals the winged figures with which they are wrought savour a
little of the vulgar _Renaissance_. But who shall blame the capital
long ago engraved and commented on by Sir Gardner Wilkinson, in which
however a neighbouring inscription shows that tradition was right in
seeing the form of Asklêpios, and not that of a mere mortal alchemist,
though tradition was certainly wrong in believing that Asklêpios had
been brought ready made from his old home at Epidauros? And the
capitals bear arches worthy of them, round arches with mouldings and
ornaments, which thoroughly fit their shape, though, like the
capitals, they do not servilely follow any prescribed rule. Altogether
this arcade only makes us wish for more, for a longer range from the
same hand. Compare it with the vulgar Italian work of the two
neighbouring churches. Pisa and Durham might have stretched out the
right hand of fellowship to Romanesque Ragusa before the earthquake;
they would have held it back from Jesuited Ragusa after it.

The rest of the front cannot be called worthy of this admirable
arcade. The windows behind the arcade are of the worse, those above it
are of the better, kind of Italian Gothic. These last in fact are
about as good as Italian Gothic can be. They are well proportioned
two-light windows with Geometrical tracery, and in the general effect
they really agree better than could have been looked for with the
admirable arches below. Still they are Italian Gothic, and at Ragusa
we should not welcome the loveliest form of tracery that Carlisle or
Selby could give us. A Pisan arcade, pierced for light wherever light
was wanted, would have been the right thing for the columns and arches
to bear aloft. He who duly admires the arcade will do well to shut his
eyes as he turns round the corner by the west front of the cathedral;
but let him go inside, and the court, if not altogether worthy of the
outer arcade, is no contemptible specimen of the same style. It
contains one or two monuments of Ragusan worthies. The figure of
Roland, which lay there neglected when we first saw Ragusa, has since
been set up again in the open _piazza_. And, strange to say in these
lands, it ventures to proclaim itself as having been set up, as it
might have been in the old time, by the free act of the _commune_ of
Ragusa, without any of those cringing references to a foreign power
which are commonly found expedient under foreign rule. The court is
entered by a side door with two ancient knockers, one of them a worthy
fellow of the great one at Durham or of that which we saw more lately
at Curzola. But its chief interest comes from its strictly
architectural forms, and from the comparison of them with those which
are made use of on the outside. The court is very small, and it is
surrounded on all sides, save that which is filled by the grand
staircase, by an arcade of two, supporting a second upper range. The
composition is thus better than that of the front itself, as there are
two harmonious stages in the same style, without any intrusion of
foreign elements, like the pointed windows in the front; but the
arcades themselves, though very good and simple, do not carry out the
wonderful boldness and originality of the outer range. Columns with
tongues to their base with flowered capitals, showing a remembrance,
but not a servile remembrance, of Corinthian models, support round
arches. Over these is the upper range of two round arches over each
one below, resting on coupled shafts, the arrangement which, from the
so-called tomb of Saint Constantia, has spread to so many Romanesque
cloisters and to so many works of the Saracen. Were this range open,
instead of being foolishly glazed, this design of two stages of a true
Romanesque, simpler, but perhaps more classical, than the outer
arcade, would form a design thoroughly harmonious and satisfactory.

Now when we come to examine this inner court more minutely, we shall
find that it is certainly of later date than the outer arcade, and
that it supplanted earlier work which formed part of the same design
as the outer arcade. It is impossible to believe that the court is
later than the great earthquake; but 1667 was not the only year in
which Ragusa underwent visitations of that kind; and it is an
allowable guess that a rebuilding took place after an earlier
earthquake in the beginning of the sixteenth century. That some change
took place at some time is certain. There are preparations for
spanning arches at one point of the outer wall of the court, which
could never have agreed with the position of the present columns. And
we have a most interesting piece of documentary evidence which carries
us further. In a manuscript account of the building of the palace, it
is mentioned that at the entrance were two columns, on the capital of
one of which was carved the Judgement of Solomon, while the other
showed the Rector of Ragusa sitting to administer justice after the
model of Solomon. Now this cannot refer to the outer arcade, where
none of the capitals show those subjects. Still less is there anything
like it in the arcade of the court, nor can there have been since the
present arrangement was made. But the description is no freak of the
imagination; both capitals are in being; one of them is still within
the palace. The capital showing the Rector in his chair dispensing
justice to his fellow-citizens is built in at a corner in the upper
story of the court. And a capital of exactly the same style, and with
the Judgement of Solomon carved on one face of it, may still be seen
in the garden of a house outside the city of which we shall have
presently to speak. It is thus perfectly plain that the inner court
was rebuilt at some time later than the days of Siegmund, and that
this rebuilding displaced an inner design more in harmony with the
outer arcade, and of which these two capitals formed a part.

To our mind this palace, to which Sir Gardner Wilkinson hardly does
justice, and of which Mr. Neale takes no notice at all, really
deserves no small place in the history of Romanesque art. It shows how
late the genuine tradition lingered on, and what vigorous offshoots
the old style could throw off, even when it might be thought to be
dead. One or two capitals show that the Ragusan architect knew of the
actual _Renaissance_. But it was only in that one detail that he went
astray. In everything else he started from sound principles, and from
them vigorously developed for himself. And the fruit of his work was a
building which thoroughly satisfies every requirement of criticism,
and on which the eye gazes with ever increased delight, as one of the
fairest triumphs of human skill within the range of the builder's art.

But the palace must not be spoken of as if it stood altogether alone
among the buildings of the city. There is another civic building,
which, though it does not reach the full perfection of its great
neighbour, must also be treated as a true fruit, in some sort a more
remarkable fruit, of the same spirit which called its greater
neighbour into being. This is the building which acted at once in the
characters of mint and custom-house, the second character being set
forth by its name wrought in nails on the great door. This building
stands just where the main street and the _piazza_ join, close by the
arch leading to the town-gate. Here we have an arcade of five, the
columns of which are crowned with capitals, Composite in their general
shape, but not slavishly following technical precedents, nor all of
them exactly alike. They have a heavy abacus, which, as well as the
soffit of the round arch, is enriched with flowered work. One or two
of them are none the better for being new chiselled in modern times.
Here is something which is quite unlike Northern Romanesque, but which
still is absolutely identical with it in principle. The column and the
round arch are there in their purity, and the enrichment is of a kind
which we instinctively feel is in place at Ragusa, though it would be
out of place at Caen or Mainz or Durham. Whatever the date may be, the
thing is thoroughly good, incomparably better than either the Italian
Gothic or the cosmopolite Jesuit style. Above the arcade are
windows with the usual Venetian attempt at tracery, a large square
window between two with ogee arches; above is a stage with square
windows, which we may hope is a later addition. The merits of the
three stages lessen as they get higher. Yet from the date, when we
come to find it out, it seems not impossible that the arcade and both
the stages above it may really be of the same date. In the inner court
there are no such discordant elements as there are without, though the
forms of different styles are quite as much mingled. Octagonal piers
support round arches; pointed doorways with thoroughly Ragusan tympana
open into the chamber behind them. On this arcade rests another, with
round arches on the short sides of the court, and pointed arches on
the long sides, rising from columns and square piers alternately.
Above is a range which might as well be away. Square windows, round
Ragusan windows, might well be endured; but _Renaissance_ shields and
_Renaissance_ angels show that the infection had begun. Now this
beautiful piece of Romanesque work--we give it that name in defiance
of dates--was finished in 1520, when the world on the southern side of
the Alps was, for the most part, running after the dreariest forms of
the mere revived Italian. This amazingly late date makes this building
even more wonderful than the palace, though it certainly is not its
rival in beauty. The arcades, good as they are, cannot be compared to
those of the palace, and the Venetian work above is still more
inferior. Still, the later the date, the more honour to the architect
who designed such a work at such a time. And the later the date, the
more likely that he built his arcade according to the promptings of
his own genius, and added the two ranges of windows in deference to
the two rival fashions of his time.

  [Illustration: DOGANA, RAGUSA.]

The arcade of this building, taken alone without reference to the
windows above, is the last link in a chain which shows that the
preservation of good architectural ideas at so late a time is no mere
accident. Indeed, if we pass from public buildings within the city to
private buildings outside of it, we shall begin to doubt whether the
_dogana_ is the last chain, and whether there are not still later
buildings which are fairly entitled to the Romanesque name. The best
of the houses of the Ragusan patricians are to be found, not within
the city, but by the port at Gravosa, and further on on the way to
Ombla. Several of those, while their other features are Venetian
Gothic, or even later still, have--commonly in their upper _loggie_--a
column or two supporting a round arch, which are certainly not vulgar
_Renaissance_, and which keep on the sound tradition of the palace and
the _dogana_. The finest of these is the house of the Counts Caboga,
known as Batahovina, on the coast on the way to Ombla. Here, as in
the palace, as in the _dogana_, an arcade of this late local
Romanesque supports an upper story of Venetian Gothic, very inferior
and most likely much later than that in either of the civic buildings.
It has however at each end an open _loggia_ matching the arcade below.
The columns, plain and with twisted flutes--distant kinsfolk of
Waltham, Durham, Dunfermline, and Lindisfarn--have capitals such as we
might look for in much earlier Romanesque.

  [Illustration: CABOGA HOUSE, GRAVOSA.]

This, we may note by the way, is the house in whose garden the column
from the palace, wrought with the Judgement of Solomon, still lies
hid. Indeed we might go further away from the palace than the _loggie_
of the houses. At Ragusa art extends itself to objects which might
have been thought hardly capable of artistic treatment. Stone is
common, and it is used for all manner of purposes. Among other things
stone vine-props are common. In not a few cases these take the form of
columns, slenderer doubtless than the rules of classical proportion,
realizing the description of Cassiodorus about the tall columns like
reeds, the lofty buildings propped as it were on the shafts of spears.
Sometimes the columns are fluted or twisted; in a great many cases
they have real capitals, with various forms according to taste. It
often happens that a row of such columns, whether on a house-top or in
a vineyard, really becomes an architectural object, a genuine
colonnade. Here the style, the construction at least, is Greek rather
than Romanesque; but the principle is the same. A good and rational
artistic form is kept in use, and is applied to a purpose for which it
is fitted.

All these examples, the palace, the _dogana_, the houses, the remains
in the Dominican church, we might almost say the vine-props, look one
way. All point to the existence of a Ragusan style, to an unbroken
Romanesque tradition, which could not wholly withstand the inroads of
the _pseudo_-Gothic of Italy, but which could at least keep its place
alongside of the intruder. All help us to see how instructive must
have been the course of architectural developement at Ragusa, and how
much has been lost to the history of art by the destruction of so many
of the buildings of the city in the great earthquake. It is easy to
see that for a long time the struggle between the genuine Romanesque
tradition, the Italian Gothic, and the new ideas of the _Renaissance_,
must have been very hard. How long real Romanesque went on, bringing
in new developements of its own, but remaining still as truly
Romanesque by unbroken succession as anything at Pisa or Durham, is
shown by the noble arches of the palace, and the still later _dogana_.
The slight touch of _Renaissance_ in some of the capitals of the
palace in no sort takes away from the general purity of the style.
Still over these noble arcades are windows of Venetian Gothic, and one
of the most characteristic features of the Ragusan streets are the
flat-headed doorways. But these, alternating as they do with pointed
ones, help to make out our case. On the other hand, it is equally
plain that in some cases the _Renaissance_ came in early. A little
chapel by the basin at Ombla, bearing date 1480, is in a confirmed
_Renaissance_ style, and looks more like 1580. Yet of true
_Renaissance_ there is very little. One large house in the city, older
than the earthquake, stands quite alone as the kind of thing which
might easily have been built in Italy or copied in England. But at
Ragusa, in the near neighbourhood of several native doorways of
different shapes, of many native vine-props, of several native
wells--for wells too take an artistic style and copy the form of a
capital--the regular trim Palladian building looks strangely out of
place. Even in the _Stradone_, where in the houses there is little
architecture of any kind, a touch of ancient effect is kept in the
form of the shops, with their arches and stone dressers, thoroughly
after the mediæval pattern. And some architectural features never died
out. The round window with tracery goes on long after every other
feature of Romanesque or Gothic is forgotten. It is to be seen in
endless little chapels of very late date in the city and suburbs,
sometimes standing apart, sometimes attached to private houses.

The plain conclusion from all this is that at Ragusa the use of the
round arch for the chief arcades never went out of use; that it always
remained as a constructive feature, passing from Romanesque to
_Renaissance_, if fully developed _Renaissance_ can at Ragusa be said
to exist at all, without any intermediate Gothic stage, and continuing
to invent and adopt any kind of ornament which suited its constructive
form. In windows and doorways, on the other hand, the forms of the
Italian Gothic came in and stood their ground till a very late date.
In most cases we wish the Venetian features away; in the upper story
of the palace they may be endured; but conceive palace, _dogana_,
Caboga house, with smaller arcades and windows to match the great
constructive arches. Such buildings as these, now so few, make us sigh
over the effects of the great earthquake, and over the treasures of
art which it must have swallowed up. If Ragusa, in her earlier day,
contained a series of churches to match her civic arcades, she might
claim, in strictly artistic interest, to stand alongside of Rome,
Ravenna, Pisa, and Lucca. Her churches of the fifteenth century must
have been worthy to rank with anything from the fourth century to the
twelfth. One longs to be able to study the Ragusan style in more than
these few examples. It is not indeed absolutely peculiar either to
Ragusa or to Dalmatia. Many buildings in Italy and Sicily show a good
native Romanesque tradition, holding its own against the sham Gothic,
and showing a good fight against the _Renaissance_. Not a few arcades,
not a few cloisters, of this kind may be found here and there. But it
would be hard to light on another such group of buildings as the
palace, the _dogana_, and their fellows. In any case the Dalmatian
coast may hold its head high among the artistic regions of the world.
It is no small matter that the harmonious and consistent use of the
arch and column should have begun at Spalato, and that identically the
same constructive form should still be found, eleven ages later,
putting forth fresh and genuine shapes of beauty at Ragusa.



A TRUDGE TO TREBINJE.

1875.

     [This paper, as giving the impressions of a first visit to
     the soil of Herzegovina, during an early stage of the war,
     has been reprinted, with the change of a few words, as it
     was first written.]


The first step which any man takes beyond the bounds of Christendom
can hardly fail to mark a kind of epoch in his life. And the epoch
becomes more memorable when the first step is taken into an actual
"seat of war," where the old strife between Christian and Moslem is
still going on with all the bitterness of crusading days. In Europe it
is now in one quarter only that such a step can be made by land with
somewhat less of formality than is often needed in passing from one
Christian state to another. It is now only in the great south-eastern
peninsula that the frontier of the Turk marches upon the dominions of
any Christian power; and, now that Russia and the Turk are no longer
immediate neighbours, the powers on which his frontier marches are,
with one exception, states which have been more or less fully
liberated from his real or asserted dominion. That exception is to be
found in the Hadriatic dominions of Austria; and certainly no more
striking contrast can be imagined than that which strikes the
traveller as he passes on this side from Christian to Moslem dominion.
Let us suppose him to be at Ragusa, with his ears full of tales from
the seat of war, all of which cannot be true, but all of which may
possibly be false. The insurgents have burned a Turkish village. No;
it was a Christian village, and the Turks burned it. The Turks have
murdered seven Roman Catholics. The Turks have murdered seventy Roman
Catholics--a difference this last which may throw light on some cases
of disputed numbers in various parts of history. The Turks have
threatened Austrian subjects. Austrian subjects have attacked the
Turks. An Italian has had his head cut off by the Turks just beyond
the frontier. A Turkish soldier has been found lying dead in the road
a little further on. These two last stories come on the authority of
men who have seen the bodies, so that we have got within the bounds of
credible testimony. Meanwhile the one thing about which there is no
doubt is the presence and the wretchedness of the unhappy
Herzegovinese women and children whose homes have been destroyed
either by friends or by enemies, and who are seeking such shelter as
public and private charity can give in hospitable Ragusa. All these
things kindle a certain desire to get at least a glimpse of the land
where something is certainly going on, though it may not be easy to
know exactly what. Between Ragusa and Trebinje there is just now no
actual fighting; the road is reported to be perfectly safe; only it is
advisable to get a passport _visé_ by the Turkish consul. The
passports are _visé_, but, so far for the credit of the Turks, it must
be added that, though duly carried, they were never asked for. The
party, four in number--three English and one Russian--presently set
forth from Ragusa. It is now as easy to get a carriage at Ragusa as in
any other European town. So our party sets out behind two of the small
but strong and sure-footed horses of the country, to get a glimpse of
what, to two at least of their number, were the hitherto unknown lands
of Paynimrie.

As long as we are on Austrian territory there is nothing to fear or to
complain of but those evils which no kings or laws can cure. The day
was rainy--so rainy that a word was once or twice murmured in favour
of turning back; but it was deemed faint-hearted to turn again in an
undertaking which had been once begun. On the Austrian side the rain
was certainly to be regretted, as damping the charm of the glorious
prospect from the zigzag road which winds up from Ragusa to the
frontier point of Drino. Ragusa, nestling among hills and forts and
castles, the isle of La Croma keeping guard over the haven which has
ceased to be a haven, the wide Hadriatic stretching to the horizon,
form a picture surpassed by but few pictures even in the glorious
scenery of the Dalmatian coast. On the other side, it was perhaps no
great harm if the rain made the savage land between Drino and Trebinje
seem more savage still. At the top of the height the Austrian
guard-house is reached, a guard-house which the line of the frontier
causes to be overlooked by a Turkish fort above it. The guardians of
the borders of Christendom look wild enough in their local dress; but
the wildness is all outside, though one certainly does not envy them
their watch on so dreary a spot. Hard by is the place where the
Italian lost his head; but the Italian was openly in the ranks of the
insurgents; so, though the thought is a little thrilling, our present
travellers feel no real danger for their heads. The frontier is now
passed; we are in the land where the Asiatic and Mahometan invader
still holds European and Christian nations in bondage. We see no
immediate sign of his presence. The Turkish guard-house is at some
distance from the Austrian, in order to watch the pass on the other
side, where the road begins to go down towards Trebinje, as the
Austrian guards the road immediately up from Ragusa. But, if as yet we
see not the Turk, we feel his presence in another way. In one point
at least we have suddenly changed from civilization to barbarism. The
excellently kept Austrian road at once stops--that is to say, its
excellent keeping stops; the road goes on, only it is no longer mended
in Austrian but in Turkish fashion--a fashion of which the dullest
English highway board would perhaps be ashamed. We presently begin to
see something cf the land of Herzegovina, or at least of that part of
it which lies between Ragusa and Trebinje. It may be most simply
described as a continuous mass of limestone. The town lies in a plain
surrounded by hills, and it would be untrue to say that that plain is
altogether without trees or without cultivation. Close to the town
tobacco grows freely, and before we reach the town, as we draw near to
the river Trebenitza, the dominion of utter barrenness has come to an
end. But the first general impression of the land is one of utter
barrenness, and for a great part of our course, long after we have
come down into the lower ground, this first general impression remains
literally true. It is not like a mountain valley or a mountain coast,
with a fringe of inhabited and cultivated land at the foot of the
heights. All is barren; all is stone; stone which, if it serves no
other human purpose, might at least be used to make the road better.
That road, in all its Turkish wretchedness, goes on and on, through
masses of limestone of every size, from the mountains which form the
natural wall of Trebinje down to lumps which nature has broken nearly
small enough for the purposes of MacAdam. Through the greater part of
the route not a house is to be seen; there are one or two near the
frontier; there is hardly another till we draw near to the town, when
we pass a small village or two, of which more anon. Through the
greater part of the route not a living being is to be seen. In such a
wilderness we might at least have looked for birds of prey; but no
flight of vultures, no solitary eagle, shows itself. As for man, he
seems absent also, save for one great exception, which exception gives
the journey to Trebinje its marked character, and which brings
thoroughly home to us that we are passing through a seat of war.

It will be remembered that, early in the war, the insurgents were
attacking the town of Trebinje, and, among later rumours, were tales
of renewed attacks in that quarter. But at the time of our travellers'
journey the road was perfectly open, and no actual fighting was going
on in the neighbourhood. Trebinje however was on the watch: the plain
before the town was full of tents, and, long before the town or the
tents were within sight, the sight of actual campaigners gave a keen
feeling of what was going on. Flour is to be had in the stony land
only by seeking it within the Austrian frontier, and to the Austrian
frontier accordingly the packhorses go, with a strong convoy of
Turkish soldiers to guard them. Twice therefore in the course of their
journey, going and coming back, did our travellers fall in with the
Turkish troops on their way to and from the land of food. For men who
had never before seen anything of actual warfare there was something
striking in the first sight of soldiers, not neat and trim as for some
day of parade, but ragged, dirty, and weather-stained with the actual
work of war. And there was something more striking still in the
thought that these were the old enemies of Europe and of Christendom,
the representatives of the men who stormed the gates of the New Rome
and who overthrew the chivalry of Burgundy and Poland at Nikopolis and
at Varna. But the Turk in a half-European uniform has lost both his
picturesqueness and his terrors, and the best troops in Europe would
be seen to no great advantage on such a day and on such a march. And
perhaps Turkish soldiers, like all other men and things, look
differently according to the eyes with which they are looked at. Some
eyes noticed them as being, under all their disadvantages, well-made
and powerful-looking men. Other eyes looked with less pleasure on the
countenances of the barbarians who were brought to spread havoc over
Christian lands. All however agreed that, as the armed votaries of
the Prophet passed before them, the unmistakeable features of the
Æthiop were not lacking among the many varieties of countenance which
they displayed. But the Paynim force, though it did no actual deed of
arms before the eyes of our party, did something more than simply
march along the road. The realities of warfare came out more vividly
when, at every fitting point, skirmishers were thrown off to occupy
each of the peaked hills and other prominent points which line the
road like so many watchtowers.

The armed force went and came back that day without any need for
actually using their arms. Insurgent attacks on the convoys are a
marked feature of the present war; but our travellers had not the
opportunity of seeing such a skirmish. Still before long they did see
one most speaking sign of war and its horrors. By the banks of the
Trebenitza a burned village first came in sight. The sight gives a
kind of turn to the whole man; still a burned village is not quite so
ugly in reality as it sounds in name. The stone walls of the houses
are standing; it is only the roofs that are burned off. But who burned
the village, and why? He would be a very rash man who should venture
to say, without the personal witness of those who burned it, or saw it
burned. Was it a Christian village burned by Turks? Was it a Turkish
village burned by Christians? Was it a Christian village burned by
the insurgents because its inhabitants refused to join in the
insurrection? Was it a Christian village burned by its own inhabitants
rather than leave anything to fall into the hands of the Turks? If
rumour is to be trusted, cases of all these four kinds have happened
in the course of the war. All that can be said is that the village has
a church and shows no signs of a mosque, and that, while the houses
were burned, the church was not. The burned village lay near a point
of the river which it is usually possible to ford in a carriage. This
time however, the Trebenitza--a river which, like so many Greek
rivers, loses itself in a _katabothra_--was far too full to be crossed
in this way, and our travellers had to leave their carriage and horses
and get to Trebinje as they could. After some scrambling over stones,
a boat was found, which strongly suggested those legends of Charon
which are far from having died out of the memory of the Christians of
the East. A primitive punt it was, with much water in it, which Charon
slowly ladled out with a weapon which suggested the notion of a
gigantic spoon. Charon himself was a ragged object enough, but, as
became his craft, he seemed master of many tongues. We may guess that
his native speech would be Slave, but one of the company recognized
some of his talk for Turkish, and the demand for the two oboli of old
was translated into the strange phrase of "dieci groschen." To our
travellers the words suggested was the expiring coinage of the German
Empire; they did not then take it how widely the _groat_ had spread
its name in the south-eastern lands. At first hearing, the name
sounded strange on the banks of the Trebenitza; but in the absence of
literal _groats_ or _groschen_, the currency of the Austro-Hungarian
monarchy was found in practice to do just as well. Then our four
pilgrims crossed and crossed again, the second time with much gladness
of heart, as for a while things looked as if no means of getting back
again were forthcoming, and it was not every one of the party that had
a heart stout enough even to think of trying to swim or wade. Charon's
second appearance was therefore hailed with special pleasure.

From the crossing-place to Trebinje itself our travellers had to
trudge as they could along a fearfully rough Turkish path--not rougher
though than some Dalmatian and Montenegrin paths--till they reached
the town itself, which this delay gave them but little time to
examine. The suburbs stretched along the hillside; below, the tents of
the Turkish troops were pitched on one side; the Mahometan
burial-ground lay on the other. After so much time and pains had been
spent in getting to Trebinje, a glimpse of Trebinje itself was all
that was to be had. But even a glimpse of Eastern life was something,
particularly a glimpse of Eastern life where Eastern life should not
be, in a land which once was European. It is the rule of the Turk, it
is the effect of his four hundred years of oppression, which makes
Trebinje to differ alike from Tzetinje and from Cattaro. The dark,
dingy, narrow, streets, the dim arches and vaults, the bazaar, with
the Turk--more truly the renegade Slave--squatting in his shop, the
gate with its Arabic inscription, the mosques with their minarets
contrasting with the church with its disused campanile, all come home
to us with a feeling not only of mere strangeness, but of something
which is where it ought not to be. It is with a feeling of relief
that, after our second trudge, our second voyage, our second meeting
with the convoy, we reach the heights, we pass the guard-houses, and
find ourselves again in Christendom. Presently Ragusa comes within
sight; we are in no mood to discuss the respective merits of the
fallen aristocratic commonwealths and of the rule of the Apostolic
King. King or Doge or Rector, we may be thankful for the rule of any
of them, so as it be not the rule of the Sultan. The difference
between four hundred years of civilized government and four hundred
years of barbarian tyranny has made the difference between Ragusa and
Trebinje.



CATTARO.

1875.

     [I have left this paper, with a few needful corrections, as
     it was published in March 1876. Since then, it must be
     remembered, much has changed, especially in the way of
     boundaries--to say nothing of a carriage-way to Tzetinje.
     Neither Cattaro nor Budua is any longer either the end of
     Christendom or the end of the Dalmatian kingdom of the
     Austrian. That kingdom has been enlarged by the harbour of
     Spizza, won from the Turk by Montenegrin valour and won from
     the Montenegrin by Austrian diplomacy. But Christendom must
     now be looked on as enlarged by the whole Montenegrin
     sea-coast, a form of words which I could not have used
     either in 1875 or in 1877. Of this sea-coast I shall have
     something to say in another paper.]


The end of a purely Dalmatian pilgrimage will be Cattaro. He who goes
further along the coast will pass into lands that have a history, past
and present, which is wholly distinct from that of the coast which he
has hitherto traced from Zara--we might say from Capo d'Istria--onwards.
We have not reached the end of the old Venetian dominion--for that we
must carry on our voyage to Crete and Cyprus. But we have reached the
end of the nearly continuous Venetian dominion--the end of the coast
which, save at two small points, was either Venetian or Ragusan--the
end of that territory of the two maritime commonwealths which they
kept down to their fall in modern times, and in which they have been
succeeded by the modern Dalmatian kingdom. After Cattaro and the small
district of Budua beyond it, the Venetian territory did indeed once go
on continuously as far as Epidamnos, Dyrrhachion, or Durazzo, while,
down to the fall of the Republic, it went on, in the form of scattered
outposts, much farther. But, for a long time past, Venice had held
beyond Budua only islands and outlying points; and most of these,
except the seven so-called Ionian Islands and a few memorable points
on the neighbouring mainland, had passed away from her before her
fall. Cattaro is the last city of the present Austrian dominion; it
is, till we reach the frontier of the modern Greek kingdom, the last
city of Christendom. The next point at which the steamer stops will
land the traveller on what is now Turkish ground. But the distinction
is older than that; he will now change from a Slavonic mainland with a
half-Italian fringe on its coast to an Albanian, that is an
Old-Illyrian, land, with a few points here and there which once came
under Italian influences. It is not at an arbitrary point that the
dominion in which the Apostolic King has succeeded the Serene Republic
comes to an end. With Cattaro then the Dalmatian journey and the
series of Dalmatian cities will naturally end.

Cattaro is commonly said to have been the Ascrivium or Askrourion of
Pliny and Ptolemy, one of the Roman towns which Pliny places after
Epidauros--that Epidauros which was the parent of Ragusa--towards the
south-east. And, as it is placed between Rhizinion and Butua, which
must be Risano and Budua, one can hardly doubt that the identification
is right. But though Ascrivium is described as a town of Roman
citizens, it has not, like some of its neighbours, any history in
purely Roman times. It first comes into notice in the pages of
Constantine Porphyrogenitus, and it will therefore give us for the
last time the privilege of studying topography in company with an
Emperor. In his pages the city bears a name which is evidently the
same as the name which it bears still, but which the august geographer
seizes on as the subject of one of his wonderful bits of etymology.
Cattaro with him is Dekatera, and we read:

    [Greek: hoti to kastron tôn Dekaterôn hermêneuetai tê
    Rhômaiôn dialektô estenômenon kai peplêgmenon.]

We are again driven to ask, Which is the dialect of the Romans? What
word either of Greek or of Latin can the Emperor have got hold of? At
the same time he had got a fair notion of the general position of
Cattaro, though he runs off into bits of exaggeration which remind us
of Giraldus' description of Llanthony. The city stands at the end of
an inlet of the sea fifteen or twenty miles long, and it has mountains
around it so high that it is only in fair summer weather that the sun
can be seen; in winter Dekatera never enjoys his presence. There
certainly is no place where it is harder to believe that the smooth
waters of the narrow, lake-like inlet, with mountains on each side
which it seems as if one could put out one's hand and touch, are
really part of the same sea which dashes against the rocks of Ragusa.
They end in a meadow-like coast which makes one think of Bourget or
Trasimenus rather than of Hadria. The Dalmatian voyage is well ended
by the sail along the _Bocche_, the loveliest piece of inland sea
which can be conceived, and whose shores are as rich in curious bits
of political history as they are in scenes of surpassing natural
beauty. The general history of the district consists in the usual
tossing to and fro between the various powers which have at different
times been strong in the neighbourhood. Cattaro--[Greek: ta katô
Dekatera]--was in the reign of Basil the Macedonian besieged and taken
by Saracens, who presently went on unsuccessfully to besiege Ragusa.
And, as under Byzantine rule it was taken by Saracens, so under
Venetian rule it was more than once besieged by Turks. In the
intermediate stages we get the usual alternations of independence and
of subjection to all the neighbouring powers in turn, till in 1419
Cattaro finally became Venetian. At the fall of the Republic it became
part of the Austrian share of the spoil. When the spoilers quarrelled,
it fell to France. When England, Russia, and Montenegro were allies,
the city joined the land of which it naturally forms the head, and
Cattaro became the Montenegrin haven and capital. When France was no
longer dangerous, and the powers of Europe came together to part out
other men's goods, Austria calmly asked for Cattaro back again, and
easily got it. To this day the land keeps many signs of the endless
changes which it has undergone. We enter the mouth of the gulf, where,
eighty years ago, the land was Ragusan on the left hand and Venetian
on the right. But Ragusa and Venice between them did not occupy the
whole shore of the _Bocche_; neither at this day does the whole of it
belong to that Dalmatian kingdom which has taken the place of both the
old republics. We soon reach the further of the two points where
Ragusan jealousy preferred an infidel to a Christian neighbour. At
Sutorina the Turkish territory nominally comes down to the sea;
nominally we say, for if the soil belongs to the Sultan, the road, the
most important thing upon it, belongs to the Dalmatian King. And if
the Turk comes down to the _Bocche_ at this end, at the other end the
Montenegrin, if he does not come down to the water, at least looks
down upon it. In this furthest corner of Dalmatia political elements,
old and new, come in which do not show themselves at Zara and Spalato.
In short, on the _Bocche_ we have really got into another region,
national and religious, from the nearer parts of the country. We have
hitherto spoken of an Italian fringe on a Slavonic mainland; we might
be tempted to speak of Italian cities with a surrounding Slavonic
country. On the shores of the _Bocche_ we may drop those forms of
speech. We can hardly say that here there is so much as an Italian
fringe. We feel at last we have reached the land which is thoroughly
Slavonic. The _Bocchesi_ at once proclaim themselves as the near
kinsmen of the unconquered race above them, from whom indeed they
differ only in the accidents of their political history. For all
purposes but those of war and government, Cattaro is more truly the
capital of Montenegro than Tzetinje. In one sense indeed Cattaro is
more Italian than Ragusa. All Ragusa, though it has an Italian
varnish, is Slavonic at heart. At Cattaro it would be truer to speak
of a Slavonic majority and an Italian minority. And along these
coasts, together with this distinct predominance of the Slavonic
nationality, we come also, if not to the predominance, at all events
to the greatly increased prominence, of that form of Christianity to
which the Eastern Slave naturally tends. Elsewhere in Dalmatia, as we
have on the Slavonic body a narrow fringe of Italian speech, art, and
manners, so we have a narrow fringe of the religion of the Old Rome
skirting a body belonging to the New. Here, along with the Slavonic
nationality, the religion of Eastern Christendom makes itself
distinctly seen. In the city of Cattaro the Orthodox Church is still
in a minority, but it is a minority not far short of a majority.
Outside its walls, the Orthodox outnumber the Catholics. In short,
when we reach Cattaro, we have very little temptation to fancy
ourselves in Italy or in any part of Western Christendom. We not only
know, but feel, that we are on the Byzantine side of the Hadriatic;
that we have, in fact, made our way into Eastern Europe.

And East and West, Slave and Italian, New Rome and Old, might well
struggle for the possession of the land and of the water through which
we pass from Ragusa to our final goal at Cattaro. The strait leads us
into a gulf; another narrow strait leads us into an inner gulf; and on
an inlet again branching out of that inner gulf lies the furthest of
Dalmatian cities. The lower city, Cattaro itself, [Greek: ta katô
Dekatera], seems to lie so quietly, so peacefully, as if in a world of
its own from which nothing beyond the shores of its own _Bocche_
could enter, that we are tempted to forget, not only that the spot has
been the scene of so many revolutions through so many ages, but that
it is even now a border city, a city on the marchland of contending
powers, creeds, and races. But, if we once look up to the mountains,
we see signs both of the past and of the present, which may remind us
of the true nature and history of the land in which we are. In some of
the other smaller Dalmatian towns, and at other points along the
coast, we see castles perched on mountain peaks or ledges at a height
which seems almost frightful; but the castle of Cattaro and the walls
leading up to it, walls which seem to leap from point to point of the
almost perpendicular hill, form surely the most striking of all the
mountain fortresses of the land. The castle is perhaps all the more
striking, nestling as it does among the rocks, than if it actually
stood, like some others, on a peak or crest of the mountain. One
thinks of Alexander's Aornos, and indeed the name of Aornos might be
given to any of these Dalmatian heights. The lack of birds, great and
small, especially the lack of the eagles and vultures that one sees in
other mountain lands, is a distinct feature in the aspect of the
Dalmatian hills and of their immediate borders, Montenegrin and
Turkish. But, while the castle stands as if no human power could reach
it, much less fight against it, there are other signs of more modern
date which remind us that there are points higher still where no one
can complain that the art of fighting has been unknown in any age. Up
the mountain, during part of its course skirting the castle walls,
climbs the winding road--the staircase rather--which leads from
Cattaro to Tzetinje. On it climbs, up and up, till it is lost in the
higher peaks; long before the traveller reaches the frontier line
which divides Dalmatia and Montenegro, long before he reaches the
ridge to which he looks up from Cattaro and its gulf, he has begun to
look down, not only on the gulf and the city, but on the mountain
castle itself, as something lying far below his feet. From below,
Cattaro seems like the end of the world. As we climb the mountain
paths, we soon find that it is but a border post on the frontier of a
vast world beyond it, a world in whose past history Cattaro has had
some share, a world whose history is not yet over.

       *       *       *       *       *

The city of Cattaro itself is small, standing on a narrow ledge
between the gulf and the base of the mountain. It carries the features
of the Dalmatian cities to what any one who has not seen Traü will
call their extreme point. But, though the streets of Cattaro are
narrow, yet they are civilized and airy-looking compared with those of
Traü, and the little paved squares, as so often along this coast,
suggest the memory of the ruling city. The memory of Venice is again
called up by the graceful little scraps of its characteristic
architecture which catch the eye ever and anon among the houses of
Cattaro. The landing-place, the _marina_, the space between the coast
and the Venetian wall, where we pass for the last time under the
winged lion over the gate, has put on the air of a _boulevard_. But
the forms and costume of _Bocchesi_ and Montenegrins, the men of the
gulf, with their arms in their girdles, no less than the men of the
Black Mountain, banish all thought that we are anywhere but where we
really are, at one of the border points of Christian and civilized
Europe. If in the sons of the mountains we see the men who have in all
ages held out against the invading Turk, we see in their brethren of
the coast the men who, but a few years back, brought Imperial, Royal,
and Apostolic Majesty to its knees. The same thought is brought home
to us in another form. The antiquities of Cattaro are mainly
ecclesiastical, and among them the Orthodox church, standing well in
one of the open places, claims a rank second only to the _duomo_. Here
some may see for the first time the ecclesiastical arrangements of
Eastern Christendom; and those who do not wish to see a church thrown
wide open from end to end, those who would cleave alike to the
rood-beam of Lübeck, the _jubé_ of Albi, and the _cancelli_ of Saint
Clement, to the old screen which once was at Wimborne and to the new
screen which now is at Lichfield, may be startled at the first sight
of the Eastern _eikonostasis_ blocking off apse and altar utterly from
sight. The arrangements of the Eastern Church may indeed be seen in
places much nearer than Cattaro, at Trieste, at Wiesbaden, in London
itself; but in all these places the Eastern Church is an exotic,
standing as a stranger on Western ground. At Cattaro the Orthodox
Church is on its own ground, standing side by side on equal terms with
its Latin rival, pointing to lands where the _Filioque_ is unknown and
where the Bishop of the Old Rome has ever been deemed an intruder. The
building itself is a small Byzantine church, less Byzantine in fact in
its outline than the small churches of the Byzantine type at Zara,
Spalato, and Traü. The single dome rises, not from the intersection of
a Greek cross, but from the middle of a single body, and, resting as
it does on pointed arches, it suggests the thought of Périgueux and
Angoulême. But this arrangement, which is shared by a neighbouring
Latin church, is well known throughout the East. The Latin _duomo_,
which has been minutely described by Mr. Neale, is of quite another
type, and is by no means Dalmatian in its general look. A modern west
front with two western towers does not go for much; but it reminds us
that a design of the same kind was begun at Traü in better times. The
inside is quite unlike anything of later Italian work. It seems like a
cross between a basilica and an Aquitanian church. It is small, but
the inside is lofty and solemn. The body of the church, not counting
the apses and the western portico, has seven narrow arches, the six
eastern ones grouped in pairs forming, as in so many German examples,
three bays only in the vaulting. The principal pillars are rectangular
with flat pilasters; the intermediate piers are Corinthian columns
with a heavy Lucchese abacus, enriched with more mouldings than is
usual at Lucca. As there is no triforium, and only a blank clerestory,
the whole effect comes from the tall columns and their narrow arches,
the last offshoots of Spalato that we have to record. For the
ecclesiologist proper there is a prodigious _baldacchino_, and a grand
display of metal-work behind the high altar. A good deal too, as Mr.
Neale has shown, may be gleaned from the inscriptions and records. The
traveller whose objects are of a more general kind turns away from
this border church of Christendom as the last stage of a pilgrimage
unsurpassed either for natural beauty or for historic interest. And,
as he looks up at the mountain which rises almost close above the east
end of the _duomo_ of Cattaro, and thinks of the land and the men to
which the path over that mountain leads, he feels that, on this
frontier at least, the spirit still lives which led English warriors
to the side of Manuel Komnênos, and which steeled the heart of the
last Constantine to die in the breach for the Roman name and the faith
of Christendom.



VENICE IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE NORMANS.



TRANI.

1881.


The solemn yearly marriage between the Venetian commonwealth and the
Hadriatic sea had much more effect on the eastern shore of that sea
than on the western. On the eastern side of the long gulf there are
few points which have not at some time or other "looked to the winged
lion's marble piles," and for many ages a long and nearly continuous
dominion looked steadily to that quarter. On the western shore Venice
never established any lasting dominion very far from her own lagoons.
Ravenna was the furthest point on that side which she held for any
considerable time, and at Ravenna we are hardly clear of the delta of
the Po. In the northern region of Italy her power struck inland, till
at last, defying the precepts of the wise Doge who could not keep even
Treviso, she held an unbroken dominion from Bergamo to Cividale. That
she kept that dominion down to her fall, that that dominion could live
through the fearful trial of the League of Cambray, may perhaps show
that Venice, after all, was not so unfitted to become a land-power as
she seems at first sight, and as Andrew Contarini deemed her in the
fourteenth century. Yet one might have thought that the occupation of
this or that point along the long coast from Ravenna to the heel of
the boot would have better suited her policy than the lordship over
Bergamo and Brescia. And one might have thought too that, amid the
endless changes that went on among the small commonwealths and
tyrannies of that region, it would have been easier for the Republic
to establish its dominion there than to establish it over great cities
like Padua and Verona. Yet Venice did not establish even a temporary
dominion along these coasts till she was already a great land power in
Lombardy and Venetia. And then the few outlying points which she held
for a while lay, not among the small towns of the marches, but within
the solid kingdom which the Norman had made, and which had passed from
him to kings from Swabia, from Anjou, and from Aragon. It is this last
thought which gives the short Venetian occupation of certain cities
within what the Italians called _the Kingdom_ a higher interest in
itself, and withal a certain connexion in idea with more lasting
possessions of the commonwealth elsewhere. At Trani and at Otranto, no
less than in Corfu and at Durazzo, the Venetian was treading in the
footsteps of the Norman. Only, on the eastern side of Hadria the
Republic won firm and long possession of places where the Norman had
been seen only for a moment; on the western side, the Republic held
only for a moment places which the Norman had firmly grasped, and
which he handed on to his successors of other races. And, if we pass
on from the Norman himself to those successors, we shall find the
connexion between the Venetian dominion on the eastern and the western
side of the gulf become yet stronger. The Venetian occupation of
Neapolitan towns within the actual Neapolitan kingdom seems less
strange, if we look on it as a continuation of the process by which
many points on the eastern coast had passed to and fro between the
Republic and the Kings of Sicily and afterwards of Naples. The
connexion between Sicily and southern Italy on the one hand and the
coasts and islands of western Greece on the other, is as old as the
days of the Greek colonies, perhaps as old as the days of Homer. The
singer of the Odyssey seems to know of Sikels in Epeiros; but, if his
Sikels were in Italy, we only get the same connexion in another shape.
A crowd of rulers from one side and from the other have ruled on both
sides of the lower waters of Hadria. Agathoklês, Pyrrhos, Robert
Wiscard, King Roger, William the Good, strove alike either to add
Epeiros and Korkyra to a Sicilian dominion or to add Sicily to a
dominion which already took in Epeiros and Korkyra. So did Manfred; so
did Charles of Anjou. And after the division of the Sicilian kingdom,
the kings of the continental realm held a considerable dominion on the
Greek side of the sea. And that dominion largely consisted of places
which had been Venetian and which were to become Venetian again. To go
no further into detail, if we remember that Corfu and Durazzo were
held by Norman Dukes and Kings of Apulia and Sicily--that they were
afterwards possessions of Venice--that they were possessions of the
Angevin kings at Naples, and then possessions of Venice again--it may
perhaps seem less wonderful to find the Republic at a later time
occupying outposts on the coasts of the Neapolitan kingdom itself.

It was not till the last years of the fifteenth century, when so many
of her Greek and Albanian possessions had passed away, that the
Republic appeared as a ruler on the coasts of Apulia and of that land
of Otranto, the heel of the boot, from which the name of Calabria had
long before wandered to the toe. It was in 1495, when Charles of
France went into southern Italy to receive for himself a kingdom and
to return,--only to return without the kingdom,--that the Venetians,
as allies of his rival Ferdinand, took the town of Monopoli by storm,
and one or two smaller places by capitulation. What they took they
kept, and in the next year their ally pledged to them other cities,
among them Trani, Brindisi, Otranto, and Taranto, in return for help
in men and money. These cities were thus won by Venice as the ally of
the Aragonese King against the French. But at a later time, when
France and Aragon were allied against Venice, the Aragonese King of
the Sicilies, a more famous Ferdinand than the first, took them as his
share in 1509. We cannot wonder at this; no king, or commonwealth
either, can be pleased to see a string of precious coast towns in the
hands of a foreign power. Again in 1528 Venice is allied with France
against Aragon and Naples, and Aragon and Naples are now only two of
the endless kingdoms of Charles of Austria. For a moment the lost
cities are again Venetian. Two years later, as part of the great
pageant of Bologna, they passed back from the rule of Saint Mark to
the last prince who ever wore the crown of Rome.

So short an occupation cannot be expected to have left any marked
impress on the cities which Venice thus held for a few years at a late
time as isolated outposts. These Apulian towns are not Venetian in the
same sense in which the Istrian and Dalmatian towns are. In those
regions, even the cities which were merely neighbours and not subjects
of Venice may be called Venetian in an artistic sense; they were in
some sort members of a body of which Venice was the chief. Here we see
next to nothing which recalls Venice in any way. The difference is
most likely owing, not so much in the late date at which these towns
became Venetian possessions, as to the shortness of time by which they
were held, and to the precarious tenure by which the Republic held
them. As far as mere dates go, Cattaro and Trani were won by Venice
within the same century. But, as we have seen, the architectural
features which give the Dalmatian towns their Venetian character
belong to the most part to times even later than the occupation of
Trani. Men must have gone on building at Cattaro in the Venetian
fashion for fully a century and a half after Trani was again lost by
Venice. There are few Venetian memorials to be seen in these towns;
and if the winged lion ever appeared over their gates, he has been
carefully thrust aside by kings and emperors. More truly perhaps,
kings and emperors rebuilt the walls of these towns after the Venetian
power had passed away. Still the occupation of these towns forms part
of Venetian history, and they may be visited so as to bring them
within the range of Venetian geography. Brindisi is the natural
starting point for Corfu and the Albanian coast, and Brindisi is one
of the towns which Venice thus held for a season. The two opposite
coasts are thus brought into direct connexion. The lands which owned,
first the Norman and the Angevin, and then the Venetian, as their
masters, may thus naturally become part of a single journey. We may
have passed through the hilly lands, we may have seen the hill-cities,
of central Italy; we may have gone through lands too far from the sea
to suggest any memories of Venice, but which are full of the memories
of the Norman and the Swabian. We find ourselves in the great Apulian
plain, the great sheep-feeding plain so memorable in the wars of Anjou
and Aragon, and we tarry to visit some of the cities of the Apulian
coast. The contrast indeed is great between the land in which we are
and either the land from which we have come, or the land whither we
are going. Bari, Trani, and their fellows, planted on the low coast
where the great plain joins the sea, are indeed unlike, either the
Latin and Volscian towns on their hill-tops, or the Dalmatian towns
nestling between the sea and the mountains. The greatest of these
towns, the greatest at least in its present state, never came under
Venetian rule. Bari, the city which it needed the strength of both
Empires to win from the Saracen, is said to have been defended by a
Venetian fleet early in the eleventh century, when Venetian fleets
still sailed at the bidding of the Eastern Emperor. Further than this,
we can find few or no points of connexion between Venice and these
cities, till their first occupation at the end of the fifteenth
century. But that short occupation brings them within our range. We
are passing, it may be, from Benevento to fishy Bari, as two stages of
the "iter ad Brundisium." Thence we may go on, in the wake of so many
travellers and conquerors, to those lands beyond the sea where the
Lords of one-fourth and one-eighth of the Empire of Romania, and the
Norman lords of Apulia and Sicily, the conquerors of Corfu and
Albania, were alike at home. Between Benevento and Bari the eye is
caught by the great tower of Trani. Such a city cannot be passed by;
or, if we are driven to pass it by, we must go back to get something
more than a glimpse of it. And Trani is one of the towns pledged to
Venice by Ferdinand of Naples. In the midst of cities whose chief
memories later than old Imperial times carry us back to the Norman and
Swabian days of the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, we
find ourselves suddenly plunged into the Venetian history of the end
of the fifteenth.

       *       *       *       *       *

Trani then will be our introduction to the group of towns with which
we are at present concerned. At the present moment, it is undoubtedly
the foremost among them; but it is hard to call up any distinct memory
of its history till we reach the times which made it for a moment a
Venetian possession. Trani, like other places, doubtless has its
history known to local inquirers; but the more general inquirer will
very seldom light upon its name. It is hard to find any sure sign of
its being in Roman times, but it must be the "Tirhennium quæ et Trana"
of the geographer Guido. Let us take such a common-place test as
looking through the indices to several volumes of Muratori and Pertz
till the task becomes wearisome. Such a task will show us the name of
Trani here and there, but only here and there. We do by searching find
it mentioned in the days of King Roger and in the days of the Emperor
Lothar, but it is only by searching that we find it. The name of Trani
does not stand out without searching, like so many of the cities even
of southern Italy. Yet Trani is no inconsiderable place; it is an
archæpiscopal see with a noble metropolitan church; and in our own
day, though much smaller than its neighbour Bari, it seems to share in
the present prosperity of which the signs at Bari are unmistakeable.
The visitor to Trani will find much to see there, but he will not find
the stamp of Venice on the city. Trani, like its fellows, had received
its distinctive character long before it had to do with Venice, and
that character was not one that was at all marked by Venetian
influences. The city is not without Venetian monuments; the memory of
its Venetian days is not forgotten even in its modern street
nomenclature. There is a _Piazza Gradenigo_, and an inscription near
one of the later churches records the name of Giuliano Gradenigo as
the Venetian governor of Trani in 1503, and as having had a hand in
its building. The castle might be suspected of containing work of the
days of the Republic; but a threatening man of the sword forbids any
study of its walls even with a distant spy-glass; not however till the
chief inscription has been read, and has been found to belong to days
later than those of Venetian rule. There is no knowing what may not
happen to places when they have once fallen into the hands of
soldiers; to the civilian mind it might seem that, when a king writes
up an inscription to record his buildings, he wishes that inscription
to be read of all men for all time. It is hard too to see how an
antiquary's spy-glass can do anything to help prisoners confined
within massive walls to break forth, as Italian--at least
Sicilian--prisoners sometimes know how to break forth. The
metropolitan church of Trani is happily not in military hands; neither
are the streets and lanes of the city, the houses, the smaller
churches, the arcades by the haven, the buildings of the town in
general. All these may therefore be studied without let or hindrance;
civil officials, even cloistered nuns, see no danger to Church or
State if the stranger draws the outside of a window or copies an
inscription on an outer wall. But though we may find at Trani bits of
work which might have stood in Venice, it is only as they might have
stood in any other city of Italy. There is nothing in Trani, besides
the memorial of Gradenigo, which brings the Serene Republic specially
before the mind. The great church, the glory of Trani, bears the
impress of that mixed style of art which is characteristic of Norman
rule in Apulia, but which is quite different from anything to be found
in Norman Sicily. It has some points in common with its neighbours at
Bitonto and Bari, and some points very distinctive of itself. It is
undoubtedly one of the noblest churches of its own class. If we were
to call it one of the noblest churches of Christendom, the phrase
would be misleading, because, to an English ear at least, it would
suggest the thought of something on a much greater scale, something
more nearly approaching the boundless length of an English minster or
the boundless height of a French one. In southern Italy bishops and
archbishops were so thick upon the ground that even a metropolitan
church was not likely to reach, in point of mere size, to the measure
of a second-class cathedral or conventual church in England or even in
Normandy. But mere size is not everything, and, as an example of a
particular form of Romanesque, as an example of difficulties ably
grappled with and thoroughly overcome, the church of Trani might
almost claim to rank beside the church of Pisa and the church of
Durham. And higher praise than that no building can have.

  [Illustration: CATHEDRAL, TRANI.]

Fully to take in the effect of this grand church, it will be well not
to hurry towards it on reaching the city. Go straight from the
railway-station towards another bell-tower, not to that of the
_duomo_. That course will lead to the so-called _villa_ or public
garden. The suppressed Dominican convent close by its gate has no
attractive feature except its tower, one of the usual Italian type,
only with pointed arches. But the grounds of the _villa_, raised on
the ancient walls of the monastic precinct, look down at once on the
waves of Hadria. In the northern view we look out on lands and hills
beyond the water; but no man must dream that the eastern peninsula of
Europe is to be seen from Trani. We look out only over the gulf of
Manfredonia--the name of the Hohenstaufen king is as it were stamped
upon the waters--to the Italian peninsula of Mount Garganus. Hence, on
our way to the metropolitan church, we pass by the basin which forms
the haven of Trani, a basin which reminds us of the _cala_ which is
all that is left of the many waters of Palermo. The distant view
clearly brings out its main outline; above all, it brings out those
arrangements of the eastern end which form the most characteristic
feature. We see the tall tower at the south-west corner; we see the
line of the clerestory with its small round-headed windows; above all,
we see--so unlike anything in Northern architecture--the tall transept
seeming to soar far above the rest of the church, with the three
apses, strangely narrow and lofty, treated simply, as it would seem,
as appendages to the transept itself. Those who have not seen Bitonto
and Bari will not guess how great a danger these soaring apses have
escaped. The Norman of Apulia did not, like the native Italian, deal
in detached bell-towers; he clave to the use of his native land which
made the tower or towers an integral part of the church. But he seems
to have specially chosen a place for them which is German rather than
Norman, and then to have treated them in a way which is neither
German, Norman, nor Italian. At Bitonto and in the two great churches
of Bari, a pair of towers flanks the east end. In Italy it might be
safer to say the apse end; but we think that in all these cases the
apse end is the east end or nearly so. Such pairs of eastern towers
are common in Germany; but there the great apse projects between them.
At Bari and Bitonto the whole apsidal arrangement is masked by a flat
wall. The towers rise above the side apses; the great central apse is
hidden by the wall carried in front of it. We thus get at the east end
a flat front, like a west front; we lose the curves of the apses, and
with them the arcades and grouped windows which form so marked a
feature in the ordinary Romanesque of Germany and Italy. A single
window, of larger size than Romanesque taste commonly allows, marks
the place of the high altar. And this window is adorned with shafts
and mouldings of special richness, and with animal figures above and
below the shafts. Now here at Trani, though all the apses stand out,
yet a like arrangement is followed. The central apse has only a single
window of the same enriched type; the side apses have also only a
single window each, but of a much plainer kind. Thus much, without
taking in every detail, we can mark in our distant view; we can mark
too somewhat of the unusually rich and heavy cornice of the transept,
and the upper part of the transept front, the wheel window and the two
rich coupled windows beneath it. We can mark too the arrangements of
the great square tower, crowned with its small octagonal finish; and
even here we can see that, with all its majesty of outline, it is far
from ranking in the first class of Italian bell-towers. Its
composition lacks boldness and simplicity, while it has nothing
remarkable in the way of ornament. Saint Zeno among the simpler
towers, Spalato among the more elaborate, stand indeed unrivalled. But
the cathedral tower of Trani, when closely examined, is less
satisfactory than its own majestic neighbour at Bari. It is not merely
that the pointed arch, always out of place in an Italian bell-tower,
is used in the upper stages. The pointed arch is used with better
effect, both far away in the noble tower of Velletri, and close by at
Trani itself, in the far humbler tower of the Dominican church. The
fault lies in this, that the windows, instead of being spread over the
whole face of each stage, are gathered together in the centre of each,
while two of them have rather awkward pointed canopies over the groups
of windows. Still, seen from far or near, it is a grand and majestic
tower, though its faults, which catch the eye at a distance, become
more distinct as we draw nearer.

The road by which we approach the _duomo_ will give us no view of it
from the west, and, till we come quite near to the church, we shall
hardly see how closely it overhangs the sea. We take our course by the
harbour, for part of the way is under heavy and dark arcades which
remind us of Genoa. Presently, before we reach the great church, we
come across the east end of a smaller one, with which we shall
afterwards become better acquainted from its western side. At this end
it seems to be called _Purgatorio_; at the other end we shall find
that its true name is _Ogni Santi_--All Hallows. Here there is no
transept; still the three apses may pass for a miniature of those in
the metropolitan church; there is the same single large and elaborate
window in the mid apse, the same smaller single windows in the side
apses. We go landwards for a short way, and we presently find
ourselves on a terrace overlooking the sea, close under the east end
of the _duomo_. We now better take in both the grandeur and the
singularity of the building whose general effect we have studied from
a distance. We take in some fresh features, as the tall blank arcades
along the walls, a feature shared by Trani with Bari, and we guess
that the extraordinary height of the apses must be owing to the
presence of a lofty under-church. We see signs too at the east end
which seem to show that at some time or other there was a design for
some other form of east end, inconsistent with the present design. The
visitor will now perhaps be tempted to go at once within, though he
ought in strictness to pass under the tower in order to finish his
outside survey at the west end. It is curious to see how the same
feeling which prevails in the east end prevails in the west front
also. Here we have no continuous arcades like Pisa, Lucca, and
Zara--happily we have no sham gables like the great one at Lucca; we
have again the single great window with the small ones on each side.
Only here the mid window has over it a rich wheel, the favourite form
of the country, a form which the apsidal east end would not allow. And
it is treated in exactly the same way, with the same kind of
surrounding ornaments, as the single-light windows.

This west front, as it now stands, has a rather bare look; the windows
have too much the air of being cut through the wall without any
artistic design, and there is too great a gap between the windows and
the west doorway with its flanking arcades below. But this last fault
at least is not to be charged on the original design, which clearly
took in a projecting portico. We may doubt however whether the portico
could have been high enough to have much dignity, and we shall find
this feature far more skilfully treated in the other smaller church of
which we have already spoken. And here we must confess that it is
possible to make two visits to Trani, and each time to make a somewhat
careful examination of its great church, and yet to miss--not at all
to forget to look for, but to fail to find--the bronze doors which
form one of the wonders of Trani. This may seem incredible at a
distance; it will be found on the spot not to be wonderful. We will
not describe the doors at second-hand; we will rather hasten within to
gaze on the surpassing grandeur of an interior, which, as an example
of architectural design, may, as we have already hinted, rank beside
the church by the Arno and the church by the Wear, beside the
Conqueror's abbey at Caen and King Roger's chapel at Palermo.

We say King Roger's chapel advisedly; for the palace chapel of
Palermo, were every scrap of its gorgeous mosaics whitewashed over,
would still rank, simply as an architectural design, among the most
successful in the world. And the chapel of Palermo has points which at
once suggest comparison and contrast with the great church of Trani.
We see the traces of the Saracen in both; but at Palermo the building
itself is thoroughly Saracenic, at Trani the Saracen contributes only
one element among others. In Sicily, where the Saracen was thoroughly
at home, the Norman kings simply built their churches and palaces in
the received style of the island, a style of which the pointed arch
was a main feature. In southern Italy, where the Saracen was only an
occasional visitor, a style arose in which elements from Normandy
itself--elements, that is, perhaps brought first of all from northern
Italy--are mixed with other elements to be found on the spot, Italian,
Saracenic, and Byzantine. The churches of Bari, Bitonto, and Trani,
all show this mixture in different shapes. One feature of it is to
take the detached Italian bell-tower, and to make it, Norman fashion,
part of the church itself. In such cases the general character of the
tower is kept, but Norman touches are often brought into the details;
for instance, the common Norman coupled window, such as we are used to
in Normandy and England, often displaces the oecumenical
_mid-wall_ shaft which the older England shared with Italy. Thus here
at Trani, the tower joins the church, though it is not made so
completely part of its substance as it is at Bari and Bitonto. The
inside of the church shows us another form of the same tendency. The
Norman in Apulia could hardly fail to adopt the columnar forms of the
land in which he was settled; but he could not bring himself to give
up the threefold division of height and the bold triforium of his own
land. An upper floor was not unknown in Italy, as we see in more than
one of the Roman churches, as in Saint Agnes, Saint Laurence, and the
church known as _Quattro Coronati_, to say nothing of Modena and Pisa,
and _Sta. Maria della Pieve_ at Arezzo. But in some of these cases the
arrangement is widely different from the genuine Norman triforium, and
the threefold division certainly cannot be called characteristically
Italian, any more than characteristically Greek. But it is
characteristically Norman; and when we find it systematically
appearing in churches built under Norman rule, we must set it down as
a result of special Norman taste. At Trani each of the seven arches of
the nave has a triplet of round arches over it, and a single
clerestory window above that. The Norman in his own land would have
made more of the clerestory; he would have drawn a string underneath
it to part it off from the triforium; he would have carried up shafts
to the roof to mark the division into bays. But the triforium itself,
as it stands at Trani, might have been set up at Caen or Bayeux, with
only the smallest changes in detail. But where in Normandy, where in
England, where, we may add, in Sicily, is there anything at all like
the arcades which in the church of Trani support this all but
thoroughly Norman triforium? These have no fellow at Bitonto; they
have hardly a fellow at Bari. In those cities the Norman adopted the
columnar arcades of the basilica, while in Sicily the Saracen still at
his bidding placed the pointed arch on the Roman column. At Trani too
we see the work, or at least the influence, of the Saracen; but it
takes quite another form. The pointed arch would have been out of
place; in Normandy and England it is ever a mark of the coming Gothic,
and there is certainly no sign of coming Gothic at Trani. But the
coupling of two columns with their capitals under a single
abacus--sometimes rather a bit of entablature--to form the support of
an arch, is a well-known Saracenic feature. Not that it was any
Saracen invention. In architecture, as in everything else, the Saracen
was, as regards the main forms, only a pupil of Rome, Old and New;
but, exactly like the Norman, he knew how to develope and to throw a
new character into the forms which he borrowed. The coupled columns
may truly be called a Saracenic feature, though the Saracen must have
learned it in the first instance from such buildings as the sepulchral
church known as Saint Constantia at Rome. We may fairly see a
Saracenic influence in a crowd of Christian examples where this form
is used in cloisters and other smaller buildings where the arches and
columns are of no great size. It is even not uncommon in strictly
Norman buildings in positions where the shafts are merely part of the
decorative construction, and do not actually support the weight of the
building. It was a bolder risk to take a pair of such columns, and bid
them bear up the real weight of the three stages of what we may fairly
call a Norman minster.

  [Illustration: CATHEDRAL, TRANI, INSIDE.]

But the daring attempt is thoroughly successful; there is not, what we
might well have looked for, any feeling of weakness; the twin columns
yoked together to bear all that would have been laid on the massive
round piers of England or their square fellows of Germany, seem fully
equal to their work. It may be that the appearance of strength is
partly owing to the use of real half-columns, and not mere slender
vaulting-shafts, to support the roofs of the aisles. But the slender
shaft comes in with good effect to support both the arch between the
nave and the transept, and the arch between the transept and the great
apse. The lofty transept is wholly an Italian idea; but the general
idea of these two tall arches is thoroughly Norman.

In looking at such a church as this, so widely different from any of
the many forms with which we are already familiar, there is always a
certain doubt as to our own feelings. We admire; as to that there is
no doubt. But how far is that admiration the result of mere wonder at
something which in any case is strange and striking? how far is it a
really intelligent approval of beauty or artistic skill? Both
feelings, we may be pretty sure, come in; but it is not easy to say
which is the leading one, till we are better acquainted with the
building than we are likely to become in an ordinary journey. It is
familiarity which is the real test. It is the building which we admire
as much the thousandth time as the first which really approves itself
to our critical judgement. We have not seen Trani for the thousandth
time; but we did what we could; we were so struck with a first visit
to Trani that, at the cost of some disturbance of travelling
arrangements, we went there again, and we certainly did not admire it
less the second time than the first. And, whatever may be the exact
relation of the two feelings of mere wonder and of strictly critical
approval, it is certain that a third feeling comes in by no means
small a measure. This is a kind of feeling of historic fitness. The
church of Trani is the kind of church which ought to have been built
by Normans building on Apulian ground, with Greek and Saracen skill at
their disposal.

But at Trani, as commonly in these Apulian churches, it is not enough
to look at the building from above ground. The great height of the
apses will have already suggested that there is a lower building of no
small size; and so we find it, conspicuously tall and stately, even in
this land of tall and stately under-churches--crypt is a word hardly
worthy of them. The under-church at Trani shows us a forest of tall
columns, some of them fluted, with a vast variety of capitals of
foliage. A few only can be called classical; some have the punched
ornament characteristic of Ravenna. A good many of the bases have
leaves at the corners, a fashion which in England is commonly a mark
of the thirteenth century, but which in Sicily and Dalmatia goes on at
least till the seventeenth.

       *       *       *       *       *

But the metropolitan church is not all that Trani has to show. In some
of the buildings which we pass by in its narrow streets, we see some
good windows of the style which it is most easy to call Venetian,
though it might be rash hastily to refer them to the days of Venetian
occupation. And there are other windows seemingly of earlier date,
certainly of earlier character, which bear about them signs of the
genuine Norman impress. But the strength of Trani, even setting aside
the great church, lies in its ecclesiastical buildings; the best
pieces even of domestic work are found in one of the monasteries. Two
smaller churches deserve notice; one of them deserves special notice.
This is the church of All Saints, of which we saw the east end on our
way to the great minster, and on whose west end we shall most likely
light as we come away from it. That west end is covered by a portico,
or rather something more than a portico, as it contains a double row
of arches. The front to the street forms part of a long and
picturesque range of building, of which the actual arcade consists of
four arches. One only of these is pointed, and that is the only one
which rests on a column, the others being supported by square piers.
But beyond this outer range, the vaulted approach to the church
displays a grand series of columns and half-columns, with capitals of
various forms. One is of extraordinary grandeur, with the volutes
formed of crowned angels; the forms of the man and the eagle, either
of them good for a volute, are here pressed into partnership. Within,
the church is a small but graceful basilica, which, notwithstanding
some disfigurements in 1853 which are boastfully recorded, pretty well
keeps its ancient character, its columns with their capitals of
foliage. He who visits Trani will doubtless also visit Bari, and such
an one will do well both to compare the great church of Trani with
the two great churches of Bari, and to compare and contrast this
smaller building with the smaller church at Bari, that of Saint
Gregory. Besides this little basilica, Trani possesses, not in one of
its narrow streets, but in its widest _piazza_, a church, now of Saint
Francis, but which, among many disfigurements, still keeps the form of
the Greek cross within, and some Romanesque fragments without. Here,
as also at Bari and at Bitonto, oriental influences--something we mean
more oriental than Greeks or even than Sicilian Saracens--may be seen
in the pierced tracery with which some of the windows are filled. In
these cases this kind of work suggests a mosque; with other details,
it might have carried our thoughts far away, to the great towers of
the West of England.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the other members of this group of cities we might have expected
to find Brindisi, so famous as a haven of the voyager in Roman days,
and no less famous in our own, fill a high, if not the highest, place
among its fellows. And Brindisi has its points of interest also, one
of them of an almost unique interest. Over the haven rises a
commemorative column--its fellow has left only its pedestal--which
records, not the dominion of Saint Mark, but the restoration of the
city by the Protospatharius Lupus. Is this he whose name has been
rightly or wrongly added to certain annals of Bari? Anyhow there the
column stands, one of the few direct memorials of Byzantine rule in
Italy. There is the round church also, the mosaic in the otherwise
worthless cathedral, and one or two fragments of domestic work. The
lie of the city and its haven is truly a sight to be studied; we see
that in whatever language it is that _Brentesion_ means a stag's horn,
the name was not unfittingly given to the antler-like fiords of this
little inland sea. We trace out too the walls of Charles the Fifth,
and we see how Brindisi has shrunk up since his day. But we are
perhaps tempted to do injustice to Brindisi, to hurry over its
monuments, when we are driven to choose between Brindisi and the
greater attractions of the furthest city of our group, in some sort
the furthest city of Europe. We pass by Lecce, which lies outside our
group, as between Trani and Brindisi we have been driven to pass
Monopoli, the spot which saw the first beginnings of the short
Venetian rule in these parts. Everything cannot be seen, and we shall
hardly regret sacrificing something to hasten to a spot which may well
call itself the end of the world, and which forms the most fitting
link between the central and the eastern peninsulas of Europe.



OTRANTO.

1881.


Hydrous, Hydruntum, Otranto, has as good a claim as a city can well
have to be looked on as the end of the world. It is very nearly the
physical end of the world in that part of the world with which it has
most concern. When we have reached Otranto, we can go no further by
any common means of going. It may pass for the south-eastern point of
the peninsula of Italy: it is the point where that central peninsula
comes nearest to the peninsula which lies beyond it. It is the point
where Western and Eastern Europe are parted by the smallest amount of
sea. It has therefore been in all times one of the main points of
communication between Eastern and Western Europe. The old Hydrous
appears as a Greek colony, placed, as one of the old geographers
happily puts it, on the mouth either of the Hadriatic or of the Ionian
sea. Hydruntum appears in Roman days as a rival route to Brundisium
for those who wish to pass from Italy into Greece. A city so placed
naturally plays its part in the wars of Belisarius and in the wars of
Roger. Held by the Eastern Emperors as long as they held anything west
of the Hadriatic, it passed, when the Norman came, into the hands of
Apulian Dukes and Sicilian Kings, and it remained part of the
continental Sicilian kingdom, save for the two moments in its history
which bring it within our immediate range. Otranto is the one city of
Western Europe in which the Turk has really reigned, though happily
for a moment only. It is one of the cities in this corner of Italy
which formed, for a somewhat longer time, outlying posts of Venetian
dominion; and it is a spot where the memory of the Turk and the memory
of the Venetian are mingled together in a strange, an unusual, and a
shameful way. In most of the other spots which have seen the presence
of the Turk and the Venetian, the commonwealth which was the
temple-keeper of the Evangelist shows itself only in its nobler
calling, as "Europe's bulwark 'gainst the Ottomite." At Otranto,
Venice appears in a character which is more commonly taken by the Most
Christian King. Before Francis and Lewis had conspired with the
barbarian against their Christian rivals, the Serene Republic had
already stirred him up to make havoc of a Christian city.

At Otranto then we finish our journey by land, and from Otranto, as
Otranto is now, we have no means of continuing it by sea. We cannot
sail straight, as men did in old times, either to Corfu or to Aulona.
To make our way from the central to the south-eastern peninsula, we
have to make the "iter ad Brundisium" back again from the other side.
It is the natural consequence of being at the end of the world, that
when we reach the point which holds that place, we have to go back
again. And when we find ourselves at Otranto, the fact that we are at
the end of the world, that we have reached the end, not only of our
actual journey, but of any possible journey of the same kind, is
forcibly set before us as a kind of symbol. We have come to an end, to
a very marked end, of the great railway system of central Europe. From
any place within that system we can find our way to Otranto by the
power of steam. Beyond Otranto that power can take us no further;
indeed we have so nearly reached the heel of the boot that there is
not much further to go by the help of any other power. We are at the
end of Italy, at the end, that is, of the central peninsula of Europe,
in a sense in which we are not even at more distant Reggio. For Reggio
is before all things the way to Sicily, and Sicily we must allow to be
geographically an appendage to Italy, strongly as we must assert the
right of that great island to be looked on historically in quite
another light. And that at Otranto we have distinctly reached the end
of something is clearly set forth by the arrangements of the railway
station itself. The rails come to an end; the buildings of the
station are placed, not at the side of the line, but straight across
it, a speaking sign that we can go no further, and that the thought of
taking us further has not entered the most speculative mind.

At Otranto then we have come to the end of one of the great divisions
of the European world; it is therefore a fitting point to form a main
point of connexion between that division and another. Otranto and its
neighbourhood are the only points of the central peninsula from which
we can, as a matter of ordinary course, look across into the eastern
peninsula. We say as a matter of ordinary course. There are Albanian
or Dalmatian heights from which it is said that, in unusually
favourable weather, the Garganian peninsula may be descried; so it may
be that the Garganian peninsula is favoured back again with occasional
glimpses of south-eastern Europe. But a stay of even a few hours at
Otranto shows that there south-eastern Europe comes within the gazer's
ordinary ken. It is easy to see that it does not so much need good
weather to show it as bad weather to hinder it from being shown.
Before we reach Otranto, while we are still on the railway, the
mountains of Albania rise clearly before our eyes; from the hill of
Otranto itself they rise more clearly still. And even to those to whom
those heights are no unfamiliar objects from nearer points of view,
it is a thrilling and a saddening thought, when we look forth for the
first time from a land of which every inch belongs to the free and
Christian world, and gaze on the once kindred land that has passed
away from freedom and from Christendom. From the soil of free Italy we
look on shores which are still left under the barbarian yoke, shores
where so many whose fathers were sharers in the European and Christian
heritage have fallen away to the creed of the barbarian and to all
that that creed brings with it. On the other hand, it is said that
there are more favourable moments when it is possible to look from
free Italy into free Greece. It is said that, sometimes perhaps Corfu
itself, more certainly the smaller islands which lie off it to the
west, may be seen from the hill of Otranto. If so, we look out from
that one spot of the central peninsula, from that one spot of the
general western world, where the Turk can be said to have really
ruled, for however short a time, and not simply to have harried. And
we look out on that one among the many islands which gird the eastern
peninsula, which has gone through many changes and has bowed to many
masters, but where alone the Turk has never ruled as a master, but has
shown himself only as a momentary besieger.

The Turk then was never lord of Corfu; he was for a while, though only
for a very little while, lord of Otranto. The winged lion floated
over Corfu while the crescent floated for a season over Otranto. It
was therefore perhaps not wholly unfitting that, for another somewhat
longer season, the winged lion should float over Corfu and Otranto
together. But it was not in his nobler character that the winged lion
floated over Otranto. It would have been a worthy exploit indeed, if
the arms of Venice, by that time a great Italian power, had driven out
the Turk from his first lodgement on Italian soil. But instead of
Venice driving the Turk out of Otranto, it was the common belief of
the time that it was Venetian intrigue which had let him in. Nay more,
if there was any truth in other suspicions of the time, the good old
prayer of our forefathers, which prayed for deliverance from "Pope and
Turk," might well have been put up by the people of Otranto and all
Apulia in the year 1480. Not only the commonwealth of Venice, but the
Holy Father himself, Pope Sixtus the Fourth, was believed to be an
accomplice in the intrigues which enabled the infidel to establish
himself on the shores of Italy. A time came, almost within our own
day, when Pope and Turk were really leagued together, and when the
Latin Bishop of the Old Rome owed his restoration to his seat to the
joint help of the Mussulman Sultan of Constantinople and the Orthodox
Tzar of Moscow. But in the fifteenth century we need hardly expect
even such a Pope as Sixtus of deliberately bringing the Turk into
Italy. His own interests both as priest and as prince were too
directly threatened. But it is hard to acquit the Venetian
commonwealth, under the dogeship of Giovanni Mocenigo, of risking the
lasting interests of all Christendom, and of their own Eastern
dominion as part of it, to serve the momentary calls of a petty
Italian policy. We even read that Venetian envoys worked on the mind
of the Sultan by the argument that it was the part of the new lord of
Constantinople to assert his claim to all that the older lords of
Constantinople had held east of the Hadriatic. No argument could be
more self-destructive in Venetian mouths. If the Turk had inherited
the rights of Eastern Cæsar in the Western lands, how cruelly was
Venice defrauding him of a large part of the rights of the Eastern
Cæsar in his own Eastern lands.

       *       *       *       *       *

The conquest of Otranto was the last of the conquests of him who
rightly stands out in Ottoman history as pre-eminently the Conqueror.
The second Mahomet, he who completed the conquest of Christian Asia by
the taking of Trebizond, who crowned the work of Ottoman conquest in
Europe by the taking of Constantinople, who by the taking of Euboia
dealt the heaviest blow to the Venetian power in the Ægæan, who
brought under his power, as a gleaning after the vintage, the Frank
lordship of Attica and the Greek lordship of Peloponnêsos, in his last
days stretched forth his hand to vex Western Europe as he had so long
vexed Eastern Europe and what was left of Christian Asia. He was in
truth attacking both at the same time; he won Otranto almost at the
moment when he was beaten back from Rhodes. Each scene of his warfare
illustrates the nature of the Ottoman power at that moment, how it was
by the hands of her own apostate sons that Christendom was brought
into bondage. Against Rhodes the infidel host was led by a Greek,
against Otranto by an Albanian, both renegades or sons of renegades.
And under the first Ferdinand of Aragon such was the state of things
in the land which had once been ruled by good King William that
soldiers of the Neapolitan King were willing to pass into the service
of the Turk. Nay, the inhabitants in general seemed ready to believe
the Turk's promises and to accept his dominion as likely to be milder
than that of their own stranger king. The invader was his own worst
enemy. A contemporary writer witnesses that the prisoners taken by
Achmet _Break-Tooth_--such is said to be the meaning of his surname
_Giédek_--pointed out to him that by his cruelties at Otranto he was
losing for his master a province which otherwise might have been won
with little effort.

But happily things took another turn. Otranto was in the Western world
what Kallipolis--the Kallipolis of the Thracian Chersonêsos--had been
in the Eastern. It was the first foothold of the barbarian, the gate
by which he seemed likely to open his way to the possession of the
central peninsula of Europe, as he had by the gate of Kallipolis
opened his way to the possession of the eastern peninsula. Otranto was
the last of the conquests of the great Conqueror; what if he had been
longer-lived? what if the second Bajazet had deserved the name of
Thunderbolt like the first? Would the threat of the first Sultan have
been carried out, and would the Turk have fed his horse on the high
altar of Saint Peter's? The eastern peninsula fell by internal
division, and the central peninsula, as his very entrance into it
shows, was fully as divided as the eastern. The French conquests
presently showed how little prepared Italy was to withstand a vigorous
attack, and Mahomet the Conqueror would have been another kind of
enemy from Charles the Eighth. But all such dangers were warded off.
The Turk still showed himself once and again in northern Italy, but
only as a momentary plunderer. Otranto remained his only conquest on
Italian ground, and that a conquest held for thirteen months only.
Alfonso, who bears so unfavourable a character from other sides, must
be at least allowed the merit of winning back the lost city for his
father's realm. Otranto, and Otranto alone of Italian cities, belongs
to, and heads, the list on which we inscribe the names of Buda and
Belgrade and Athens and Sofia, on which it may now inscribe the names
of Arta and Larissa, but from which hapless Jôannina and
twice-forsaken Parga are still for a while shut out.

It was not therefore till the Turk had been driven out, not until
southern Italy had been more thoroughly but not much more lastingly
overrun by the armies of France, that Otranto passed for a while under
the rule of Venice. The Serene Republic hardly deserved to rule in a
city which she had so lately betrayed; the place seems never to have
recovered from the frightful blow of the Turkish capture. The town now
shows no sign either of the short Venetian occupation or of the
shorter Turkish occupation. From the side of military history, this
last fact is to be regretted. We must remember that in that day the
Ottomans, pressing and hiring into their service the best skill of
Europe, were in advance of all other people in all warlike arts. So
Guiccardini remarks that the Turks, during their short occupation of
Otranto, strengthened the city with works of a kind hitherto unknown
in Italy, and which, as he seems to hint, Italian engineers would
have done well to copy, but did not. The present fortifications date
from the time of Charles the Fifth. Their extent shows at once how far
the Otranto of his day had shrunk up within the bounds of the ancient
city, and how far again modern Otranto has shrunk up within the walls
of the Emperor. It is said that, before the Turkish capture, Otranto
numbered twenty-two thousand inhabitants; it has now hardly above a
tenth part of that number. As the military importance of the place has
passed away, military precautions seemed to have passed away with it;
the castle stands free and open; no sentinel hinders the traveller
from wandering as he will within its walls. But the traveller will
gain little by such wanderings except the look-out over land and sea.
The town stands close upon the sea, on a small height with a valley
between it and the railway station. It is entered by a gateway of late
date, but of some dignity; but it is not much that the frowning
entrance leads to. The visitor soon finds that Otranto, which gave its
name of old to the surrounding land, which still ranks as a
metropolitan city, has sunk to little more than a village. It seems to
have had no share in the revived prosperity of the other towns along
this coast. Its one object of any importance is the metropolitan
church, and this is at once the only monument of the ancient
greatness of the place, and also in a strange way the chief memorial
of its momentary bondage to the barbarian.

       *       *       *       *       *

In order thoroughly to take in the position of the great church of
Otranto in its second character, as a memorial of bondage and
deliverance, it may be well to pass it by for a moment and to go first
to the castle, and look out on one of the points of view which it
commands. Any local guide will be able to show the traveller the Hill
of the Martyrs. It stands at no great distance beyond the town, and is
held to mark the site of a pagan temple. There the Turks, after their
capture of the city, did as they have done in later times. Some eight
or nine hundred of the people of Otranto were massacred. Their bodies
lay unburied so long as the Turk kept possession; on the recovery of
the city, the bodies of the martyrs, as they were now deemed, were
gathered together, and a special chapel was added to the metropolitan
church to receive them. There they may still be seen, piled together
in cases, with inscriptions telling the story. There are skulls, legs,
arms, bones of every part of the human body, some still showing the
dents of barbarian weapons, some with barbarian weapons still cleaving
to them. There we look on them, ghastly witnesses that, neither in
their days nor in ours, is the Æthiopian at all disposed to change
his skin or the leopard his spots. What the Turk did at Otranto he has
done at Batak; he may, if the freak seizes him, do the like at
Jôannina. Only the deeds of Otranto were at least done by the Turk as
a mere outside barbarian; he was not licensed to do them by the united
voice of Europe. It is only in these latest times that the Turk has
been fully authorized, under all the sanctions of so-called
international right, to renew at pleasure the deeds of Otranto and of
Batak in lands to which Europe has twice promised freedom.

The martyrs of 1480, their sufferings, their honours, have made so
deep an impression on the mind of Otranto that the metropolitan
basilica has popularly lost its name of _Annunziata_, and is more
commonly spoken of as the church of the martyrs. But the great church
of Otranto, the church of the prelate whose style runs as
"archiepiscopus Hydrutinus et primas Salentinorum," is a building of
deep interest on other grounds. Like so many Italian churches, it is
not very attractive without, nor is there anything specially to tarry
over in its bell-tower. But even outside we may mark one or two signs
of the restoration which the church underwent after its deliverance
from the Turk. The west window is of that date, one of those
rose-windows to which Italian, and still more Dalmatian, taste clave
so long, even when all other mediæval fashions had vanished away. Of
the same date is the north door, showing, like the great doors at
Benevento, the Primate of the Salentines attended by the bishops and
chief abbots of his province. As we go within, our first feeling is
one of wonder that so much should have lived through the infidel storm
and occupation. But, according to the usual practice of Mussulman
conquerors, the head church of the city was turned into a mosque;
there was therefore, after the first moment of havoc had passed by, no
temptation on the part of the new occupants to damage the essential
features of a building which had become a temple of their own worship.
It is therefore not wonderful that the main features of the basilica
are still there, either untouched or most skilfully restored. Seven
arches rise from columns, perhaps of classical date, with capitals,
mostly of different kinds of foliage, but one of which brings in human
figures, after the type which was so well set in Caracalla's baths.
But a more interesting study is supplied by the great crypt, or rather
under-church. At Otranto, as in some of its neighbours, the craftsmen
who worked below clearly allowed themselves a freer choice of forms in
the carving of capitals than they ventured on above ground. The vault
of the under-church rests on ranges of slender columns, with heavy
abaci and with an amazing variety in the capitals. None perhaps can
be called classical; but very few are simply grotesque. The few that
are so are found--one does not quite see the reason of the
distinction--among the half-columns against the walls. Most of them
show various forms of foliage and animal figures; the old law that
almost any kind of man, beast, or bird, can be pressed to serve as the
volute at the corner of a capital is here most fully carried out. But
the further law, that that duty is most worthily discharged by the
imperial eagle, can be nowhere better studied than in the Hydrantine
under-church. In some capitals again, especially in the columns of the
apses, the bird of Cæsar is perched as it were on Byzantine
basket-work, clearly showing which Augustus it was to whom the
Salentine Primate bowed as his temporal lord. Other capitals again are
much simpler, but also savouring of the East; the plain square block
has mere carving on the surface. Then, of the columns themselves, some
are plain, some are fluted, some are themselves carved out with
various patterns. In short a rich and wonderful variety reigns in
every feature of the under-church of Otranto.

Our comparison of the columns and capitals has carried us underground;
but the really distinctive feature of the basilica of Otranto is
above. Other churches of southern Italy have wonderful crypts; none,
we may feel sure, has so wonderful a pavement. And here we do wonder
that the Turks did not do incomparably more mischief than they did do.
Some mischief they did; but the archbishops and canons of Otranto
seem--perhaps unavoidably--to have done a great deal more by
destroying or covering the rich pavement to make room for the
furniture of the church. It would surely be hard to find another
example of a pavement whose design is spread over the whole
ground-floor of a great church. The pictures are in mosaic, rough
mosaic certainly, of the second half of the twelfth century, when
Otranto formed part of the Sicilian realm, and when that realm was
ruled by William the Bad. Luckily inscriptions in the pavement itself
have preserved to us the exact date, and the names of the giver and
the artist. One tells us in leonine rimes:

     "Ex Ionathi donis per dexteram Pantaleonis
     Hoc opus insigne est superans impendia digne."

Another stoops to prose: "Humilis servus Ionathas Hydruntinus
archieps. jussit hoc [~o]p fieri per manus Pantaleonis p[~r]b. Anno ab
Incarnatione Dn[~i] Nr[~i] Ihu. Xr[~i] MCLXV indictione XIV, regnante
Dn[~o] nostro W. Rege Magnif." The design of the priest Pantaleon,
wrought at the bidding of Archbishop Jonathan in the last year of the
first William, is of a most extensive and varied kind. Scriptural
scenes and persons, figures which seem purely fanciful, the favourite
subject of the signs of the zodiac, all find their place. We meet also
with one or two heroes of earlier and later times whom we should
hardly have looked for. The main design starts, not far from the west
end, with a tree rising from the backs of two elephants. The huge
earth-shaking beast, the Lucanian ox, is, it must be remembered, a
favourite in southern Italy; he finds a marked place among the
sculptures of the great churches of Bari. The tree--one is tempted to
see in it the mystic ash of Northern mythology--sends its vast trunk
along the central line of the nave, throwing forth its branches, and
what we may call their fruit, on either side. Here are strange beasts
which may pass either for the fancies of the herald or for the
discoveries of the palæontologist; but in the lion with four bodies
and a single head we must surely look for a symbolical meaning of some
kind. He is balanced, to be sure, by other strange forms, in which two
or three heads rise from a single body. Here are figures with musical
instruments, here a huntress aiming at a stag; and in the midst of all
this, not very far from the west end, we find the figure of "Alexander
Rex." To the left we have Noah, making ready to build the ark--the
story begins at the beginning, like the building of the Norman fleet
in the Bayeux Tapestry. Four figures are cutting down trees, and the
patriarch himself is sawing up the wood, with a saw of the type still
used in the country. The centre of the pavement is occupied by the
zodiac; each month has its befitting work assigned to it according to
the latitude of Otranto. Thus June cuts the corn. July threshes it,
neither with a modern machine, nor with the feet of primitive oxen,
but with the flail which many of us will remember in our youth.
August, with his feet in the wine-press, gathers the grapes. December
carries a boar, as if for the Yule feast of Queen Philippa's scholars.
Each month has its celestial sign attached; but it would seem that the
priest Pantaleon was in a hurry in putting together his kalendar, and
that he put each of the signs a month in advance. Beyond the zodiac,
near the entrance of the choir, and partly covered by its furniture,
is a figure, which startles us with the legend "Arturus Rex." If we
were to have Alexander and Arthur, why not the rest of the nine
worthies? If only a selection, why are the Hebrews defrauded of their
representative?--unless indeed Samson, who appears in the form of a
mutilated figure, not far from the left of Arthur, has taken the place
of the more familiar Joshua, David, and Judas. Here is a witness to
the early spread of the Arthurian legends; here, in 1165, within the
Sicilian kingdom, the legendary British hero receives a place of
honour, alongside of the Macedonian. Nor is this our only witness to
the currency in these regions of the tales which had been not so long
before spread abroad by Walter Map. By this time, or not long after,
the name of Arthur had already found a local habitation on Ætna
itself. Among other scriptural pieces in different parts, we find of
course Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel; there is Jonah too, far to the
east; and in the eastern part of the north aisle, the imagination of
Jonathan or Pantaleon has forestalled somewhat of the Dantesque
conception of the _Inferno_. "Satanas" is vividly drawn, riding on a
serpent, and other figures armed with serpents are doing their
terrible work in the train of the "duke of that dark place." The whole
work is strictly mosaic, and the design, though everywhere rude, is
carried out with wonderful spirit. We may indeed rejoice that the
hoofs of Turkish horses and the improvements of modern canons have
left so much of a work which, even if it stood by itself, it would be
worth while going to the end of railways at Otranto to see.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is now the one city in which the Turk ever ruled on our side of
Hadria. In earlier times we might have passed straight from Otranto to
the lands where he still rules, or to the island where he never ruled.
But now he who looks out for Otranto on the heights of Albania, and
whose objects call him to the nearer neighbourhood of those heights,
must go back to Brindisi to find his way to reach them.



FIRST GLIMPSES OF HELLAS.

1875--1881.


In our present journey we draw near to the eastern peninsula, to the
Hellenic parts of that peninsula, by way of the great island--great as
compared with the mass of Greek islands, though small as compared with
Sicily or Britain--which keeps guard, as a strictly Hellenic outpost,
over a mainland which was and is less purely Hellenic. From Brindisi
we sail to Corfu, the elder Korkyra, as distinguished from the black
isle of the same name off the Dalmatian shore. In so sailing, we
specially feel ourselves to be sailing in the wake of the conquerors
who made Corfu an appendage to the Sicilian realm; we are passing
between spots on either side which have known both a Norman and
Venetian master. But it may be that we may have already drawn near to
Greece by another path. It is easy to prolong the voyage which took us
from Trieste to Spalato, from Spalato to Cattaro, by a third stage
which will take us from Cattaro to Corfu. In this case we may have
already studied the Albanian coast, and that with no small pleasure
and profit. We may have marked a point not long after we had left
Dalmatia behind us, and that where a line may well be drawn. There is
a geographical change in the direction of the coast, from the shore of
Dalmatia, with its islands and inland seas, its coast-line stretching
away to the south-east, to the nearly direct southern line of the
shore of Albania. In modern political geography we pass from the
dominion of Austria to the dominion of the Turk. In the map of an
earlier day, we pass from the all but wholly continuous dominion of
the two commonwealths of Venice and Ragusa. In modern ethnology we
pass from the Slave under a certain amount of Italian influence to the
Albanian under a certain, though smaller, amount of influence, Italian
or Greek, according to his local position and his religious creed. In
modern religious geography we pass from a land which is wholly
Christian, but where the Eastern form of Christianity, though still in
the minority, makes itself more deeply felt at every step, to a land
where Islam and the two great ancient forms of Christianity are all
found side by side. In the geography of earlier times this point marks
the frontier of a land intermediate between the barbaric land to the
north, with only a few Greek colonies scattered here and there, and
the purely Greek lands, the "continuous Hellas," to the south. We
find on this western shore of the south-eastern peninsula the same
feature which is characteristic of so large a part of the Ægæan and
Euxine coasts, both of the south-eastern peninsula itself and of the
neighbouring land of Asia. The great mainland is barbarian; the
islands and a fringe of sea-coast are Greek. As we draw nearer to the
boundary of Greece proper, the Hellenic element is strengthened.
Thesprotians, Molossians, Chaonians, were at least capable of becoming
Greeks. Epeiros, [Greek: Êpeiros], _terra firma_, once the vague name
of an undefined barbarian region, became the name of a Greek federal
commonwealth with definite boundaries. And the character of a
barbarian land, fringed with European settlements and looking out on
European islands, did not wholly pass away till almost our own day. A
few still living men may remember the storming of Prevesa; many can
remember the cession--some might call it the betrayal--of Parga. It
was only when Parga was yielded to the Turk that this ancient feature
of the Illyrian and Epeirot lands passed away. What Corinth had once
been Venice was. Corinth first studded that coast with outposts of the
civilized world. Venice held those outposts, sadly lessened in number,
down to her fall. And the men of Parga deemed, though they were
mistaken in the thought, that to the mission of Corinth and Venice
England had succeeded.

From whichever side our traveller draws near to Corfu, he comes from
lands where Greek influence and Greek colonization spread in ancient
times, but from which the Greek elements have been gradually driven
out, partly by the barbarism of the East, partly by the rival
civilization of the West. Whether we come from Otranto and Brindisi or
from the Illyrian Pharos and the Illyrian Korkyra, we are coming from
lands which once were Greek. But Otranto and Brindisi, Pharos and
Black Korkyra, even Epidamnos and Apollonia, were scattered outposts
of Greek life among barbarian neighbours; as the traveller draws near
to the elder Korkyra, he finds himself for the first time within the
bounds of "continuous Hellas." He may have seen in other lands greater
and more speaking monuments of old Hellenic life than any that the
island has to show him; he may have seen the lonely hill of Kymê, the
hardly less lonely temples of Poseidônia; but those were Greece in
Italy; now for the first time he sees Greece itself. Whatever we may
say of the mainland to the left, there can be no doubt, either now or
in ancient times, of the Hellenic character of the island to the
right. There are the small attendant isles; there are the great peaks
of Korkyra--not the lowlier peaks which gave city and island their
later name--but the far mightier mountains which catch the eye as we
approach the great island from the north. That island at least is
Hellas--less purely Hellenic, it may be, than some other lands and
islands, but still Hellenic, part of the immediate Hellenic world of
both ancient and modern days. It was and is the most distant part of
the immediate Hellenic world; but it forms an integral part of it. The
land which we see is Hellenic in a sense in which not even Sicily, not
even the Great Hellas of Southern Italy, much less then the Dalmatian
archipelago, ever became Hellenic. From the first historic glimpse
which we get of Korkyra, it is not merely a land fringed by Hellenic
colonies; it is a Hellenic island, the dominion of a single Hellenic
city, a territory the whole of whose inhabitants were, at the
beginning of recorded history, either actually Hellenic or so
thoroughly hellenized that no one thought of calling their Hellenic
position in question. Modern policy has restored it to its old
position by making it an integral portion of the modern Greek kingdom.
And, if in some things it is less purely Greek than the rest of that
kingdom, what is the cause? It is because, if Corfu may be thought for
a while to have ceased to be part of Greece, it never ceased to be
part of Christendom. It was for ages under alien dominion, but it
never was under the dominion of the Turk. The Venetian could to some
extent modify and assimilate his Greek subjects; the Turk could
modify or assimilate none but actual renegades. And, after all, the
main influence has been the other way. If Italian became the
fashionable speech, even for men of Greek descent, men on the other
hand whose names distinctly show their Italian descent have cast in
their lot with their own country rather than with the country of their
forefathers. Shallow critics have mocked because men with Venetian
names have been strong political assertors of Greek nationality. They
might as well mock whenever a man of Norman descent shows himself a
patriotic Englishman. They might as well hint that Presidents and
Ministers of France and Spain, who have borne names which proclaim
their Irish origin, were bound or likely to follow an Irish policy
rather than a French or a Spanish one.

The first aspect, indeed every aspect, of the island of Corfu and the
neighbouring coast of Epeiros is deeply instructive. The island and
the mainland come so close together that, till the eye has got well
used to the outline of particular mountains, it is not easy to tell
how much is island and how much mainland. A statesman of the last
generation twice told the House of Lords that Corfu lay within a mile
of the coast of Thessaly. We cannot say, without looking carefully to
the scale on the map, how many miles Corfu lies from the coast of
Thessaly, any more than we can say offhand how many miles Anglesey
lies from the coast of Norfolk. It is a more practical fact that some
parts of Corfu lie very near indeed to the coast of Epeiros, though
not quite so near as Anglesey lies to the coast of Caernarvonshire.
The channel must surely be everywhere more than a mile in width;
certainly it could nowhere be bridged, as in the case of Anglesey, or
in the cases of Euboia and nearer Leukas. Both coasts are irregular,
both coasts are mountainous, and the mountains on both sides fuse into
one general mass. Above all, prominent from many points, soars the
famous range where, with a singular disregard of later geography,

         "Arethusa arose
         From her couch of snows
     In the Acroceraunian mountains."

Snow of course is in these lands to be had only at a much higher level
than the snow-line of the Alps, so that the couch of Arethousa stands
out yet more conspicuously over the neighbouring heights than it might
have done in a more northern region. The inhabitants of Corfu are fond
of pointing to the contrast between the well-wooded hills and valleys
of their own fertile island and the bare, almost uninhabited, land
which lies opposite to them. And of course they do not fail to point
the inevitable moral. As in most such cases, there is truth in the
boast, but truth that needs some qualifications. Corfu, through all
its changes of masters, has always been under governments which were
civilized according to the standard of their own times. It has fared
accordingly. Epeiros has been handed over to a barbarian master, and
it has also been largely colonized by the least advanced of European
races. Besides having the Turk as a ruler, it has had the Albanian,
Christian and Mussulman, as a settler. In Corfu the Albanian is a
frequent visitor; his sheepskin and _fustanella_ may be constantly
seen in the streets of Corfu; but he has not--unless possibly in the
shape of refugees from Parga--formed any distinct element in her
population. It is only in the nature of things that Greeks under
successive Venetian, French, and English rule should do more for their
land than Albanians under Turkish rule. But we may doubt whether any
people under any government could have made the land opposite to Corfu
like Corfu itself. Had the mainland shared the successive destinies of
the island, it would doubtless have been far better off than it has
been. But it could hardly have been as the island. One point of
advantage for the island was the mere fact that it was an island. In
all but the highest states of civilization, this is an advantage
beyond words; and the ancient colonists fully understood the fact.

Still it is a striking contrast to pass across the narrow sea from
Corfu to what was Butrinto. Buthrotum, the mythical city of the Trojan
Helenos, has a more real being as a Roman colony, and as one of those
outposts on the mainland in which Venice succeeded the Neapolitan
Kings, and which she kept down to her own fall. Butrinto was once a
city no less than Corfu; to Virgil's eyes it was the reproduction of
Troy itself. Now we cross from the busy streets and harbour of Corfu
to utter desolation at Butrinto. The desolation is greater in one way
than any that Helenos or any other primitive settler could have found,
because it is that form of desolation which consists in traces of what
has been. We enter the mouth of the river, with rich trees and
pasturage between its banks and the rugged mountains; we mark ruins of
fortresses and buildings on either side, till we come to the ruined
castle at the mouth of the lake. The lake is a carefully preserved
fishery, and permission is needed to enter it. A few dirty-looking men
assemble at the door of a tumble-down building standing against the
ruined castle. But among them are personages of some local importance.
One is the lessee of the fishery, whose good will is of special
importance. There is also a Turkish officer of some kind--more likely
a Mussulman Albanian than an Ottoman--with his small and not
threatening following. There are one or two native Christians; and it
brings the varied ethnology of the land more deeply home to learn that
they are neither Greeks nor Albanians, but that they belong to the
scattered race of the Vlachs, the Latin-speaking people of the East,
whose greatest settlement, far away from Butrinto, has now grown into
an European kingdom. It is well to be reminded at such a moment that
the Rouman principality, though the greatest, is only one among many,
and that the latest, of the settlements of this scattered people. And
it brings home the fact to us when we see here, in a land where Greek
and Albanian--that is, Hellên and Illyrian--are both at home, the
third of the great primitive races of the peninsula, the widely spread
Thracian kin, the people of Sitalkês and Kersobleptês, so far away
from the land in which alone political geography acknowledges them.

One feeling however the group, so small, but differing so widely in
race and creed, seem all to share very deeply. This is a devout
reverence for the image of George King of the Greeks, when graven on a
five- (new) drachma piece, and held up in the hand of one of the
representatives of Corfu in the Greek Parliament. We remember the
ancient power of much smaller coins--[Greek: hôs mega dynasthon
pantachou tô dy' obolô]--and we begin to doubt whether a smaller sum
might not have done the work as well. Anyhow his Hellenic Majesty's
countenance, in this attractive shape, acts as a talisman on all,
private and official, Christian and Mussulman; it buys off all
questions or searchings of any kind, and wins free access to the
beautiful scenery of the lake, full licence to poke about among what
little there is to poke about in the shattered castle. The thought
cannot help coming into the mind that those who so greatly respect the
image and superscription of King George would have no very violent
dislike to become his subjects. Still it is not without a certain
feeling of having escaped out of the mouth of the lion that we cross
once more over the channel, and find ourselves at the hospitable door
of a Greek gentleman of Koloura.



CORFU AND ITS NAMES.

1875.


The great argument to establish the fact of a long-abiding Slavonic
occupation in Greece has always been the changes in local
nomenclature, the actual Slavonic names and the Greek names which have
displaced older Greek names. The former class speak for themselves;
the latter class are held to have been given during the process of
Greek reconquest. Nor can there be any reasonable doubt that there is
a large amount of truth in this doctrine, if only it is kept in
moderation, and is not pressed to the extreme conclusions of
Fallmerayer. But it is important to note that the change from one
Greek name to another has taken place also in cases when there has
been no foreign settlement, no reconquest, no violent change of any
kind. One of the greatest of Greek islands has lost one Greek name and
has taken another, without the operation of any of the causes which
are said to have brought about the change of nomenclature in
Peloponnêsos. Crete and Euboia, we may say in passing, seem to have
changed their names, when in truth they have not; but Korkyra really
has changed its name. It had, for all purposes, become Corfu--in some
spelling or other--till the modern revival--unwisely, we must venture
to think--brought back, not the true local _Korkyra_ ([Greek:
Korkyra]), but the Attic and Byzantine _Kerkyra_ ([Greek: Kerkyra]).
City and island alike are now again [Greek: Kerkyra]; or rather we
cannot say that the city is again [Greek: Kerkyra], as the modern city
never was [Greek: Kerkyra] at all, nor even [Greek: Korkyra]. The
modern town of Corfu--in its best Greek form [Greek: Koryphô]--stands
on a different site from the ancient town of Korkyra, and there can be
little doubt that the change of name is connected with the change of
site.

The legendary history of the island goes up, we need not say, to the
Homeric tales. That Korkyra was the Homeric Scheriê was an accepted
article of faith as early as the days of Thucydides. His casual phrase
goes for more than any direct statement. He connects the naval
greatness of the Korkyraians of his day with the seafaring fame of the
mythical Phaiakians ([Greek: nautikô poly proechein estin hote
epairomenoi kai kata tên tôn Phaiakôn proenoikêsin tês Kerkyras kleos
echontôn ta peri tas naus]). Nearly a thousand years later Prokopios
is equally believing, though he goes into some doubts and speculations
as to the position of the isle of Kalypsô. His way of describing the
island should be noticed. With him the island is the Phaiakian land,
which is now called _Korkyra_ ([Greek: hê Phaiakôn chôra, hê nyn
Kerkyra epikaleitai]). Against this description we may fairly balance
that of Nikêtas ([Greek: hê Kerkyraiôn akra, hê nyn epikeklêtai
Koryphô]), with whom the promontory of the Kerkyraians is now called
_Koryphô_. The two answer to each other. To talk of [Greek: Kerkyraiôn
akra] was as much an archaism in the eleventh century as to talk of
[Greek: Phaiakôn chôra] was in the sixth. The everyday name of the
island in the days of Prokopios was still [Greek: Korkyra] or [Greek:
Kerkyra]. In the days of Nikêtas it was already [Greek: Koryphô].

We put the two phrases of Prokopios and Nikêtas together, because they
are turned out as it were from the same mould. But there is no doubt
that the change of name had happened a good while before Nikêtas, and
there is some reason to believe that it was the result of causes which
are set forth in the narrative of Prokopios. The earliest mention of
Corfu by its present name seems to be that in Liudprand, who calls it
"Coriphus" in the plural, the Greek [Greek: Koryphous]. The change
therefore happened between the sixth century and the tenth, the change
doubtless of site no less than the change of name. And no time seems
more likely for either than the time which followed the wasting
expedition of Totilas which Prokopios records. Then doubtless it was
that the old city, if it did not at once perish, at least began to
decay; a new site began to be occupied; a new town arose, and that new
town took a new name from its most remarkable physical feature, the
[Greek: koryphô], the two peaks crowned by the citadel, which form the
most striking feature in the entrance to the harbour of modern Corfu.

One argument alone need be mentioned the other way, and that is one
which perhaps is not likely to present itself to any one out of Corfu
itself. The local writer Quirini quotes a single line as from
Dionysios Periêgêtês, which runs thus:--

     [Greek: keinên nyn Korphyn nautai diephêmixanto.]

Dionysios is a writer of uncertain date; but he may safely be set down
as older than Prokopios. If then he used the later name, and used it
in a form more modern than the [Greek: Koryphô] of Nikêtas, the whole
argument would be set aside, and the name of Corfu would be carried
back to a much earlier time. But where Quirini got his verse is by no
means clear. We have looked in more than one edition of Dionysios, and
no such verse can we find. The only mention of Korkyra is in a verse
which runs thus:--

     [Greek: kai liparê Kerkyra, philon pedon Alkinooio.]

Nor does the commentator Eustathios say one word as to the change of
name. We can only conceive that the line must have been added as a
gloss in some copy, printed or manuscript, which was consulted by
Quirini.

We will assume then that, as far as the island is concerned, Korkyra
and Corfu--in its various spellings--are two successive names, one of
which supplanted the other, while, as far as the city is concerned,
they are strictly the names of two distinct though neighbouring
cities, one of which fell as the other rose. And now the question
comes, Is the island of Korkyra the Scheriê of Homer? Is his
description of Scheriê and the city of Alkinoos meant for the
description of Korkyra or any part of it, whether the historical city
or any other? We must remember that the general witness of antiquity
in favour of Korkyra being Scheriê loses a good deal of its weight
when we consider that the ancient writers felt bound to place Scheriê
somewhere, while no such necessity is laid upon us. Bearing this in
mind, the plain case seems to be that it is far more likely that
Scheriê was nowhere at all. In dealing with Scheriê and its
inhabitants, we are not dealing with an entry in the Catalogue of the
Iliad, the Domesday of the Mykênaian empire; we are simply dealing
with a piece of the romantic geography of the Odyssey. Everything
about the Phaiakians and their land reads as if the whole thing was as
purely a play of the imagination as the Kyklôpes and the
Laistrygones. It is indeed quite possible that, even in describing
purely imaginary lands, a poet may bring in his remembrance of real
places, just as the features of a real person may be reproduced in the
picture of an imaginary event. The poet, in painting Scheriê, may have
brought in bits of local description from Korkyra or from any other
place. But that is all. As we read the story, it seems quite as
reasonable to look on the map for Nephelokokkygia as to look on the
map for Scheriê. The thinkers of the days of Thucydides or of some
time before Thucydides, deeming themselves bound to place Scheriê
somewhere, fixed it at Korkyra. The reason doubtless was that the
Phaiakians are spoken of as the most distant of mankind, far away from
any others, and that Korkyra really was for a long time the most
distant of Greek settlements in this region. When Korkyra was once
ruled to be Scheriê, the process of identification naturally went on.
Spots received Homeric names. Alkinoos had his grove and his harbour
in the historical Korkyra. All this is the common course of legend,
and proves nothing for either geography or history. Yet the tale of
Scheriê, of Alkinoos, Arêtê, and the charming Nausikaa, is not simply
one of the loveliest of tales. Scheriê knew the use of wheeled
carriages; therefore Scheriê had roads. Alkinoos, the head king, was
chief over twelve lesser kings. Here we get real history, though
history neither personal nor local. Scheriê itself may safely be
looked for in the moon; but the roads of Scheriê and the _Bretwalda_
of Scheriê have their place in the early history of institutions.

Other names of the island are spoken of, as Drepanê and Makris,
descriptive names which perhaps never were in real use, and which, if
they were, were supplanted by the historical name of Korkyra. We must
again repeat that _Korkyra_, not _Kerkyra_, is the genuine local name.
It is the spelling on the coins of the country; it is the spelling of
the Latin writers, who would get the name from the island itself; it
is the spelling of Strabo. But it is equally plain that in Greece
generally the spelling [Greek: Kerkyra] prevailed. It is so in
Herodotus and the Attic writers; it is so in Polybios; it is so in the
Byzantine writers, who of course affect Attic forms. It must never be
forgotten that, from the time of Polybios, perhaps from an earlier
time than his, down to the present moment, written Greek has been one
thing, and spoken Greek another. Polybios wrote [Greek: Kerkyra],
while its own people called it [Greek: Korkyra], just as he wrote
[Greek: Êlis], while its own people called it [Greek: Walis]. The
difference has been thought to have its origin in some joke or
sarcasm--some play on [Greek: kerkos, kerkouros], and the like. But
the literary form may just as likely be simply a tempting softening
of the local form. One point only is to be insisted on, that the
syllable [Greek: Kor] in [Greek: Korkyra], and the syllable [Greek:
Kor] in [Greek: Koryphô], have nothing to do with one another. The
latter name is no corruption of the elder; it is a genuine case of one
Greek name supplanting another--perhaps rather a case of a Greek name,
after so many ages, supplanting a name which the first Greek colonists
may have borrowed from earlier barbarian inhabitants. In this case the
change implies no change of inhabitants, no change of language. It is
a change within the Greek language itself, which can be fully
accounted for by historical causes. It therefore teaches that changes
of name, such as the Slavonic theory insists on in Peloponnêsos,
though they do often arise from new settlements and reconquests, do
also come about in other ways.

It is for the mythologist to find out whether Homer had Korkyra in his
eye when he described the mythic Scheriê. This, be it again noted, is
a perfectly reasonable subject for inquiry, and in no way implies any
historical belief in the legend. It is simply like asking whether the
real Glastonbury at all suggested the mythic Avalon. History begins to
deal with Korkyra in the eighth century B.C., when the settlement of
the Corinthian Chersikratês added the island to the Greek world. From
that day onward the island has a long and eventful story, reaching
down to our own times. But, before that story begins, the historian
may fairly ask of the ethnologist what evidence, what hints of any
kind, there are as to the people whom the Corinthian colonists found
settled in the island. It is not likely that they found so promising a
site wholly uninhabited. Some branch of the great Illyrian race, the
race which is still so near to the island, and which still supplies
it, if not with inhabitants, at least with constant visitors, may well
be supposed to have made their way into so tempting an island. The
harbours of Corfu would surely attract the seafaring Liburnians. We
are then brought to the common conditions of a Greek colony, planted,
as usual, among pre-existing barbarian inhabitants, and, as Mr. Grote
has so strongly enforced, sure to receive a dash of barbarian blood
among some classes of its members. The _dêmos_ of Korkyra may well
have been far from being of pure Hellenic descent--a fact which, if it
be so, may go far to explain the wide difference between the _dêmos_
of Korkyra and the _dêmos_ of Athens. Since the time of the Corinthian
settlement, the island has undergone endless conquests and changes of
masters, each of which has doubtless brought with it a fresh infusion
into the blood of its inhabitants. But since the time of Chersikratês
there has been nothing like extirpation, displacement, or
resettlement. Korkyra has ever since been an Hellenic land, though a
succession of foreign occupations may have marred the purity of its
Hellenism. And one point at once distinguishes it from all the
neighbouring lands. Among all the changes of masters which Korkyra or
Corfu has undergone, they have always been European masters. It is the
one land in those parts that has never seen the Turk as more than a
momentary invader, to be speedily beaten back by European prowess.

So much for the origin and the name of the greatest of the group which
in modern geography has come by the strange name of the Ionian
Islands. The only sense in which that name has any meaning is if it be
taken as meaning the Islands of the Ionian Sea. It ought to be
needless to remind any one that the word in that sense has nothing
whatever to do with the real Ionians, with the Ionic dialect or the
Ionic order. It certainly has an odd effect when one hears the people
of Doric Korkyra spoken of as "Ionians;" and we have even seen the
whole group of islands spoken of as "Ionia," to the great wrong of
Chios, Samos, Ephesos, and others of the famous Ionian twelve. But
having said so much about names, we must in another paper say
something of the long series of revolutions which mark the history of
Korkyra under its two names, and of their effect on its present state.



CORFU AND ITS HISTORY.

1875.


We have already spoken of the singular change of name which has
befallen the most famous and important, though not the largest in
superficial extent, of the group known as the Ionian Islands. The change
of name, as we hold, followed naturally on the change of site of the
city. The new city took a new name, and the island has always followed
the name of the city. The old city and the new both occupy neighbouring
points in a system of small peninsulas and havens, which form the
middle of the eastern coast of the long and irregularly-shaped island
of Korkyra. There, to the south of the present town, connected with it
by a favourite walk of the inhabitants of Corfu, a long and broad
peninsula stretches boldly into the sea. Both from land and from sea,
it chiefly strikes the eye as a wooded mass, thickly covered with the
aged olive-trees which form so marked a feature in the scenery of the
island. A few houses skirt the base, growing on the land side into
the suburb of Kastrades, which may pass for a kind of connecting link
between the old and the new city. And from the midst of the wood, on
the side nearest to the modern town, stands out the villa of the King
of the Greeks, the chief modern dwelling on the site of ancient
Korkyra. This peninsular hill, still known as Palaiopolis, was the
site of the old Corinthian city whose name is so familiar to every
reader of Thucydides. On either side of it lies one of its two
forsaken harbours. Between the old and the new city lies the so-called
harbour of Alkinoos; beyond the peninsula, stretching far inland, lies
the old Hyllaic harbour, bearing the name of one of the three tribes
which seem to have been essential to the being of a Dorian
commonwealth. But the physical features of the country have greatly
changed since Chersikratês led thither his band of settlers twenty-six
centuries back. It is plain that both harbours once came much further
inland than they do now, that they covered a great deal of the low
ground at the foot of the peninsular hill. The question indeed
presents itself, whether the two did not once meet, whether the
peninsula was not once an island, whether the original colony did not
occupy a site standing to the mainland of Korkyra in exactly the same
relation in which the original insular Syracuse, the sister Corinthian
colony, stood to the mainland of Sicily. The physical aspect of the
country certainly strongly suggests the belief. And though Thucydides
does not directly speak of the city as insular, though his words do
not at all suggest that it was so, yet we do not know that there is
anything in his narrative which directly shuts out the idea. Anyhow,
the great change which has happened is plain when we see how utterly
the great Hyllaic haven has lost the character of a haven. It is now
called a lake, and exists only for purposes of fishing. We may believe
that these physical changes had a great deal to do with the removal of
the city to another site, with the change from Korkyra to Corfu.

The description which Thucydides gives of the great sedition brings
out a fact which we should at first sight hardly have expected, the
fact that the aristocratic quarter of Korkyra was on the lower ground
by the harbour, while the upper part of the town was occupied by the
_dêmos_. To one who thinks of Rome, Athens, and ancient cities
generally, this seems strange. But arguments from the most ancient
class of cities do not fully apply to cities of the colonial class.
These, where commerce was so great an object, were no longer, as a
rule, placed on heights; convenient access from the sea was a main
point, and we can therefore understand that the ground by the coast
would be first settled, and would remain the dwelling-place of the old
citizens, the forefathers of the oligarchs of the great sedition.
There on the lower ground was the _agora_, where the Epidamnian exiles
craved for help, and pointed to the tombs of their forefathers. The
impression of the scene becomes more lively when we see not far off an
actual ancient tomb remaining in its place, though it could hardly
have been the tomb of the forefather of any Epidamnian. This is the
tomb of Menekratês of Oianthê, honoured in this way by the people of
Korkyra on account of his friendship for their city, a plain round
tomb with one of those archaic inscriptions in which Korkyra is rich.
Archaic indeed it is, written from right to left, in characters which
mere familiarity with the Greek of printed books or of later
inscriptions will not enable any one to read off with much ease. It
formed doubtless only one of a range of tombs, doubtless outside the
city, but visible from the _agora_. An orator in the Roman forum could
not have pointed to the tombs of forefathers by the Appian Way.

The position of the quarter of the oligarchs by the modern suburb of
Kastrades seems perfectly clear from Thucydides. The _dêmos_ took
refuge in the upper part of the city and held the Hyllaic harbour; the
other party held the _agora_, where most of them dwelled, and the
harbour near it and towards the continent ([Greek: hoi de tên te
agoran katelabon, houper hoi polloi ôkoun autôn, kai ton limena ton
pros autê kai pros tên êpeiron êpeiron]). This district marks out the
haven by Kastrades, looking out on the Albanian mountains, as
distinguished from the Hyllaic haven shut in by the hills of Korkyra
itself.

But where was the Hêraion, the temple of Hêrê, which plays a part in
more than one of the Thucydidean narratives? and where was the island
opposite to the Hêraion--[Greek: pros to Hêraion]--and the isle of
Ptychia, both of which appear in his history? The answer to the former
question seems to turn on another. Was the present citadel, the true
[Greek: Koryphô], itself always an island, as it is now? The present
channel is artificial--that is to say, it is made artificial by
fortifications--but it may after all have been a natural channel
improved by art. And that is the belief of some of the best Corfiote
antiquaries. If so, this may well be the [Greek: nêsos pros to
Hêraion], and Ptychia may be the isle of Vido beyond. The Hêraion
would thus stand on the north side of the old Korkyra, looking towards
the modern city; it would stand in the oligarchic quarter on the low
ground near the _agora_. It was therefore neither of the two temples
of which traces remain. One, of which the walls can be traced out
nearly throughout, and of which a single broken Doric column is
standing, overlooks the open sea towards Epeiros. Another on the other
side overlooked the Hyllaic harbour. This in course of time became a
church, a now ruined church, but which keeps large parts of its
Hellenic walls and some windows of beautiful Byzantine brickwork. It
seems hardly possible in any case that the Hêraion could have been at
quite the further end of the peninsula, and that the island [Greek:
pros to Hêraion] could be either of the small islands, each containing
a church, which keep the entrance of the Hyllaic harbour.

Such then was old Korkyra, the colony of Chersikratês, the Korkyra
which figures in the tale of Periandros, the Korkyra which played such
a doubtful part in the Persian War, which gained so fearful a name in
the Peloponnesian War, and which, within two generations, had so
thoroughly recovered itself that in the days of Timotheos it struck
both friends and enemies by its wealth and flourishing state. It is
the Korkyra of Pyrrhos and Agathoklês, the Korkyra which formed one of
the first stepping-stones for the Roman to make his way to the
Hellenic continent, the Korkyra whose history goes on till the wasting
inroad of Totilas. Then, as we hold, ancient Korkyra on its peninsula
began to give way to Koryphô (Corfu) on another peninsula or island,
that to which the two peaks which form its most marked feature gave
its name.

       *       *       *       *       *

  [Illustration: CHURCHES AT CORFU.]

This last is the Corfu whose fate seems to have been to become the
possession of every power which has ruled in that quarter of the
world, with one exception. For fourteen hundred years the history of
the island is the history of endless changes of masters. We see it
first a nominal ally, then a direct possession, of Rome and of
Constantinople; we then see it formed into a separate Byzantine
principality, conquered by the Norman lord of Sicily, again a
possession of the Empire, then a momentary possession of Venice, again
a possession of the Sicilian kingdom under its Angevin kings, till at
last it came back to Venetian rule, and abode for four hundred years
under the Lion of Saint Mark. Then it became part of that first
strange Septinsular Republic of which the Tzar was to be the protector
and the Sultan the overlord. Then it was a possession of France; then
a member of the second Septinsular Republic under the hardly disguised
sovereignty of England; now at last it is the most distant, but one of
the most valuable, of the provinces of the modern Greek kingdom. But
Corfu has never for a moment been under the direct rule of the Turk.
The proudest memory in the later history of the island is the defeat
of the Turks in 1716. Peloponnêsos, the conquest of Morosini, had
again been lost, and the Turk deemed that he might again carry his
conquests into the Western seas. The city was besieged by land and
sea; the two fleets, Christian and infidel, stretched across the
narrow channel between the island and the mainland, the left wing of
the Turkish fleet resting strangely enough on Venetian Butrinto, while
the ships of Venice and her allies stretched from Vido to the Albanian
shore. The statue of Schulemberg, set up as an unparalleled honour in
his lifetime, adorns the esplanade of the city which he saved. Unless
we count the Turkish acquisition of the Venetian points on the
mainland, which, though done under the cover of a treaty, took at
Prevesa at least the form of an actual conquest, this was the last
great attempt of the Turk to extend his dominion by altogether fresh
conquests at the expense of any Christian power.

Korkyra thus gave way to Corfu, and the endless fortifications of
Corfu of every date were largely built out of the remains of Korkyra
which supplied so convenient a quarry. None but an accomplished
military engineer could attempt to give an account of the remains of
all the fortifications, Venetian and English, dismantled, ruined, or
altogether blown up. But the kingdom of which Corfu now forms a part
still keeps the insular citadel, the outline of the two peaks being
sadly disfigured by the needs of modern military defence. Of the
modern city there is but little to say. As becomes a city which was so
long a Venetian possession, the older part of it has much of the
character of an Italian town. It is rich in street arcades; but they
present but few architectural features, and we find none of those
various forms of ornamental window, so common, not only in Venice and
Verona, but in Spalato, Cattaro, and Traü. The churches in the modern
city are architecturally worthless. They are interesting so far as
they will give to many their first impression of Orthodox arrangement
and Orthodox ritual. The few ecclesiastical antiquities of the place
belong to the elder city. The suburb of the lower slope of the hill
contains three churches, all of them small, but each of which has an
interest of its own. Of one, known as [Greek: hê Panagia tôn
blachernôn], we have already spoken; another, known specially as Our
Lady of _Oldbury_ ([Greek: hê Panagia palaiopoleôs]), is unattractive
enough from any point from which the spectator is likely to see it.
Its form is by courtesy called basilican; but, if so, it is like the
basilica of Trier, without columns or arches. Within it is a dreary
building enough, but it presents one object of interest in a
side-altar, a Latin intrusion into the Orthodox fabric. But the west
end is one of the most memorable things to be found in Corfu or
anywhere else. Two columns, not of the usual early Doric of the
island, but with floriated capitals, though not exactly Corinthian,
are built into the wall with a piece of their entablature. On this is
graven a Christian inscription, which is given in an inaccurate shape
by Mustoxidi (_Delle cose Corciresi_, p. 405), who has further
improved the spelling. The spelling is in truth after the manner of
Liudprand and the modern shoe-makers of Corfu, and is therefore
instructive. At the top come the words of the Psalmist; "This is the
gate of the Lord; the _writeous_ shall enter into it":--[Greek: hautê
hê pylê tou Kyriou, dikeoi eiseleusontai en autê.] Below come four
hexameters:--

     [Greek: pistin echôn basilian emôn meneôn sunerithon,
     soi makar hypsimedon tond' hieron ektisa naon,
     Hellênôn temenê kai bômous exalapaxas,
     cheiros ap' outidanês Iobianos edôken anakti.]

Who was this Jovianus? Clearly a Christian as zealous as his Imperial
namesake; for he cannot be the Emperor himself, as some have thought.
He thought it glory and not shame to destroy the works of the
Gentiles--the [Greek: Hellênes]--and to turn them to the service of
the royal faith. But are we to take the "royal faith" in the same
sense as the "royal law" of the New Testament? or does it mean the
"royal faith," as being set up under some orthodox Emperor, when the
orthodoxy of Emperors was still a new thing? Anyhow the plunderer of
Gentile temples and altars could not keep himself from something of
the Gentile in the ring and the language of his verses. And had he
made use of his spoil to rear a basilica like those of Constantine and
Theodoric, we should, from a wider view than that of the mere
classical antiquary, have but little right to blame him. The rest of
the columns, besides the two that are left, would have well relieved
the bareness of his interior; better still would it have been if Saint
Peter _ad Vincula_ had found a rival in two arcades formed out of the
Doric columns whose fragments lie about at Corfu, almost as Corinthian
and Composite fragments lie about at Rome. The third church, that
which professes to be the oldest in the island, that which bears the
name of the alleged apostles of the island, the Jasôn and Sosipatros
of the New Testament, is a more successful work. Brought to its
present form about the twelfth century by the priest Stephen, as is
recorded in two inscriptions on its west front, it is, allowing for
some modern disfigurements, an admirable specimen of a small Byzantine
church. It will remind him who comes by way of Dalmatia of old friends
at Zara, Spalato, and Traü; but it has the advantage over them of
somewhat greater size, and of standing free and detached, so that the
outline of its cross, its single central cupola and its three apses,
may be well seen. This church, like most in the neighbourhood, has a
bell-gable--[Greek: kôdônostasion]--with arches for three bells, of a
type which seems to be found of all ages from genuine Byzantine to
late _Renaissance_.

  [Illustration: SAINT JASON AND SAINT SOSIPATROS, CORFU.]

To go back to earlier times, the museum of Corfu contains an
inscription, [Greek: boustrophêdon] inscription, rivalling that of
Menekratês in its archaism, attached to a Doric capital, of far later
workmanship, one would have thought, than the inscription. The
building art had clearly outstripped the writing art. The military
cemetery contains some beautiful Greek sepulchral sculptures from
various quarters, not all Korkyraian. And at some distance from the
city, near the shore of Benizza--a name of Slavonic sound--is a Roman
ruin with mosaics and hypocaust, whose bricks we think Mr. Parker
would rule to be not older than Diocletian. In Corfu such a monument
seems at first sight to be out of place. For Hellenic remains, for
Venetian remains, we naturally look; still it is well to have
something of an intermediate day, something to remind us of the long
ages which passed between the revolutions recorded by Polybios and the
revolutions recorded by Nikêtas.



CORFU TO DURAZZO.

1881.


We start again from Corfu, and this time our course is northward. A
survey of Greece as Greece would lead us southward and eastward. So
would even a complete survey of the subject lands of Venice. For that
we must go on to the rest of the western islands, to not a few points
in the Ægæan, to the greater islands of Euboia and Crete, to Saint
Mark's own realm of Cyprus, which the Evangelist so strangely
inherited from his daughter and her son. Not a few points of
Peloponnêsos for some ages, all Peloponnêsos for a few years, Athens
itself for a moment, comes within the same range. We might write the
history of Argos from the Venetian point of view, a point of view
which would shut out the history of Mykênê, and would look on Tiryns
only as _Palai-Nauplia_, the precursor of Napoli di Romania. But no
man could journey through Greece itself with Venice in this way in his
thoughts. Far older, far nobler, memories would press upon him at
every moment. The mediæval history of Greece is a subject which
deserves far more attention than it commonly gets, and in that history
Venice plays a prominent part. But it is hard, in a Greek journey, to
make the mediæval history primary, and even in the mediæval history
Venice is only one element among others. A large part of Greece fairly
comes under the head of the Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice; but
we cannot bring ourselves to make that the chief aspect in which we
look at them. It is otherwise with the Dalmatian and Albanian
possessions of the Republic. There, though other points of view are
possible, yet the special Venetian point of view is one which may be
both easily and fairly taken. So too with Corfu; thoroughly Greek as
the island is, it still lies on the very verge of continuous Greece.
In its history and geography it is closely connected with the more
northern possessions of the Republic; its Venetian side is at least as
important as any other side; we can without an effort bring ourselves
to treat it in a way in which we could hardly bring ourselves to treat
Argos. We can then fairly take Corfu into our special Venetian survey;
but we can hardly venture to carry that survey further. The rest of
Greece, though it has its Venetian side, though it is important that
its Venetian side should not be forgotten, can never be looked on in
this way as an appendage to the Hadriatic commonwealth. We cannot go
through the earliest homes of European civilization and freedom, and
keep our mind mainly fixed even on the days when Rome had made them
members of her Empire, and when their influence had gone far to make
the later power of Rome at least as much Greek as Roman. Still less
can we go through them with our mind mainly fixed on the days when so
large part of Greece had passed under the rule of a city which was in
truth a revolted member of the Empire which it helped to split in
pieces.

We start then again from Corfu, with our faces turned towards our old
haunts among the Illyrian coasts and islands. In so doing, we pass for
a while out of the Christian and civilized world, to skirt along the
coasts where Europe is still in bondage to Asia. The wrong is an old
one, as old as the days when Herodotus put on record how Greek cities
for the first time passed under the rule of a barbarian master. From
his day, from times long before his day, from the days of Agamemnôn,
perhaps from the days of the brave men who lived before him, the same
long strife has been going on, the same "eternal Eastern question" has
been awaiting its "solution." And nowhere does that abiding struggle
come more fully home to us than in the lands where the Eastern
question has become a Western question. The Greek cities whose bondage
to the barbarian was recorded by Herodotus were Greek cities on
barbarian ground. They were outposts of Europe on the soil of Asia;
they were spots in winning which the Asiatic might deem that he was
winning back his own. And after all, the barbarian whose conquest of
the Greek cities of Asia marks one important stage in this long
strife, was a barbarian of another kind from the barbarians whom
European lands have in later times been driven to receive as masters.
Croesus worshipped the Gods of Greece, and Greek poets sang his
praises. It may even be that the Lydian, like the Persian who
succeeded him, was not a barbarian at all in the strictest sense, but
that there was some measure of kindred, however distant, between him
and his European subjects. It is another kind of master, another kind
of bondage, which has fallen to the lot of the lands along whose coast
we are now sailing. Here we do indeed see the West in bondage to the
East, we do indeed see Europe on her own soil bowed down beneath the
yoke of Asia. We pass by coasts which look to the setting sun no less
than our own island, but which the Asiatic intruder still holds
beneath the yoke,--over some of which he has pressed the yoke for the
first time within the memory of living men. On these coasts at least
we think of Venice only in her nobler character. Here indeed every
island, every headland, which owned her rule, was something saved from
the grasp of the enemy; it was indeed a brand plucked from the
burning. As we sail northward, we leave spots behind us, memorable in
past times, memorable some of them in our own day. We leave behind us
Prevesa, where, till almost within our own century, Saint Mark still
held his own, hard by the City of Victory of the first Emperor. We
remember how Prevesa was torn away from Christendom by the arms of Ali
of Jôannina, and how within the last three years freedom has been
twice promised to her but never given. We leave behind us more famous
Parga, where, within the lifetime of many of us, stout hearts could
still maintain their freedom, in the teeth alike of barbarian force
and of European diplomacy--Parga, whose banished sons bore with them
the bones of their fathers rather than leave them to be trampled on by
the feet of the misbelievers. There must be men still living who had
their share in that famous exodus, and who have lived to see Europe
first decree that their land should be again set free, and then thrust
it back again beneath the yoke. We leave behind us Butrinto, happier
at least in this, that there no promise of later days has been broken.
There we have passed the point beyond which assembled Europe ruled
that even the dreams of freedom might go no further. And as we sail
between the home of freedom and the house of bondage, our thoughts
overleap the mountain wall. They fly to the heights where Souli,
birth-place of Botzarês, is left to the foes against whom it so long
and so stoutly strove. They fly to Jôannina, so long the home of light
and comparative freedom amid surrounding darkness and bondage, but
which now, instead of receiving the twice-promised deliverance, is
again thrust back into bondage for a while. We pass on by the High
Thunderpeaks, fencing in the land of Chimara, famous in the wars of
Ali. We double the promontory of Glôssa, and find ourselves in the
deep bay of Aulôn, Aulona, Valona, with the town itself high on its
hill, guarding the entrance to the gulf from the other side. Here is a
true hill-city, unlike Korkyra, unlike even Buthrotum; but while
Korkyra and Buthrotum, each on its shore, has each its history, Aulôn
on its height has none. We pass by the mouths of the great Illyrian
rivers, by Aoos and Apsos, and we leave between them the place where
once stood Apollonia, another of the paths by which Rome made her way
into the Eastern world. At last we find ourselves in another bay,
wider, but not so deep as the bay of Aulôn. Here we look out on what
remains of a city whose earlier name dwells in the memory of every
reader of the greatest of Greek historians, a city whose later name,
famous through a long series of revolutions, ought to be ever fresh in
the minds of Englishmen, as having become by a strange destiny the
scene of one stage of the same struggle as Senlac and York and Ely.
The city on which we look was, under its elder name of Epidamnos, that
famous colony of Korkyra which gave an occasion for the Peloponnesian
war. Under its later name of Dyrrhachion or Durazzo it beheld
Englishmen and Normans meet in arms, when Englishmen driven from their
homes had found a shelter and an honourable calling in the service of
the Eastern Cæsar.

The city on which we gaze, though it is only by a figure that we can
be said to gaze on the original Epidamnos, is one of those cities
which, without ever holding any great place themselves, without being
widely ruling cities, without exercising any direct influence on the
course of the world's history, have given occasion for the greatest
events through their relations to cities and powers greater than
themselves. Under none of its names was Epidamnos the peer of Corinth
in the elder state of things, or of Venice in the later. Yet events of
no small moment came of the relations between Epidamnos and Corinth,
of the relations between Durazzo and Venice. Greater events still came
of the relations between Dyrrhachion and Rome. The three names, though
of course the third is a simple corruption of the second, are
convenient to mark three periods in the history of the place, just as
one of the great Sicilian cities is conveniently spoken of at three
stages of its life as Akragas, Agrigentum, and Girgenti. When and how
the name changed from Epidamnos to Dyrrhachion is not clear, nor are
the reasons given for the change satisfactory. In practice, Epidamnos
is its old Greek name, Dyrrhachion its Roman, Durazzo its mediæval
name. But the name Dyrrhachion can be Roman only in usage; the word
itself is palpably Greek. In strictness it seems that Epidamnos was
the name of the city, and Dyrrhachion the name of the peninsula on
which the city was built. The change then has some analogy with the
process by which the tribal names in northern Gaul have displaced the
elder names of their chief cities, or with the change among ourselves
by which Kingston-on-Hull, as it is still always called in formal
writings, is in common speech always spoken of as "Hull." Anyhow,
under Roman rule, the name of Dyrrhachion altogether displaced
Epidamnos. The new name gradually came to be mispelled or Latinized
into _Durachium_ and _Duracium_, and, in that state, it supplied the
material for more than one play upon words. When Robert Wiscard came
against it, he said that the city might indeed be _Duracium_, but that
he was a _dour_ man (_durus_) and knew how to _endure_ (_durare_). The
Norman made his way by this path into the Eastern lands, as the Roman
had done before him; but as his course was quicker, his stay was
shorter. Epidamnos, along with Apollônia and Korkyra, were the first
possessions of Rome east of the Hadriatic. They were possessions of
the ruling city where dominion was for a long time disguised under the
name of alliance. But, under whatever name, Rome, Old and New, held
them till the Norman came. But the Norman did not hold them till the
Venetian came. In a few years after the coming of Robert Wiscard,
Durazzo and Corfu were again cities of the Eastern Empire.

Amidst all the revolutions which this little peninsula has gone
through, one law seems to hold. Under all its names, it has had in a
marked way what we may call a colonial life, in the modern sense of
the word _colonial_. It has ever been an outpost of some other power,
of whatever power has been strongest in those seas, and it has been an
outpost ever threatened by the elder races of the mainland. Herein
comes one of the differences between this Albanian coast and the
Dalmatian coast further north. The Roman Peace took in all; but in the
days before and after the Roman Peace, the settlements of Corinth,
Venice, or any other colonizing and civilizing power, along the coast
of which Durazzo was the centre, were merely scattered outposts. There
never was that continuous fringe of a higher culture, Italian or
Greek, which spread along the whole coast further north. As a colony,
an isolated colony, Epidamnos or Durazzo was always exposed to the
attacks of barbarian neighbours. And in this land the barbarian
neighbours have always been the same. The old Illyrian, the Albanian,
the Arnaout, the Skipetar--call him by whichever name we will--has
here lived on through all changes. He has indeed a right to look on
Greek, Roman, Norman, Angevin, Servian, Venetian, and Ottoman, as
alike intruders within his own immemorial land. It was danger from the
Illyrian that led to the disputes which open the history of
Thucydides, when Corinth and Korkyra fought over their common colony.
It was danger from the Illyrian which drove Epidamnos into the arms of
Rome. It was the Illyrian under his new name who in the fourteenth
century for a moment made Durazzo the head of a national state, the
capital of a short-lived kingdom of Albania. Twice conquered by the
Normans of Apulia and Sicily, twice by their Angevin successors,
granted as part of a vassal kingdom by the Norman and as a vassal
duchy by the Angevin, twice won by the Venetian commonwealth, held by
the despots of Epeiros, by the restored Emperors of Constantinople, by
the kings of Servia, by the native kings of Albania, no city has had a
more varied succession of foreign masters; but, save in the days of
the old Epidamnian commonwealth and in the days of the momentary
Albanian kingdom, it has always had a foreign master of some kind.
But in the endless succession of strangers which this memorable spot
has seen, as masters, as invaders, as defenders, it is the Englishman
and the Venetian who can look with most satisfaction on their share in
its long history. Englishmen had the honour of guarding the spot for
the Eastern Cæsar; Venice had the honour of being the last Christian
champion to guard it against the Ottoman Sultan.

       *       *       *       *       *

We stand then gazing from our ship on what is left of the city which
Robert Wiscard crossed the sea to conquer, which Alexios came with his
motley host to defend, and to find that in all that host the men whom
he could best trust were the English exiles. There, as in their own
island, the English axe and the Norman lance clashed together; there
the stout axemen alone stayed to die, while the other soldiers of the
Eastern Rome, the Greek, the Turk, and the Slave, all turned to fly
around their Emperor. We look out, and we long to know the site of the
church of Saint Michael, which our countrymen so stoutly guarded, till
the Normans, Norman-like, took to their favourite weapon of fire. But
may we confess to the weakness of looking at all these things only
from the deck of the steamer? Perhaps there are some who may be
forgiven if they shrink from thrusting themselves alone, with no
native or experienced guide, into the jaws of the present masters of
Durazzo. They may be the more forgiven when those who have the care of
their vessel and its temporary inhabitants utter warnings against any
but the most stout-hearted trusting themselves to the boats which form
the only means of reaching the Dyrrhachian peninsula. Strengthened in
weakness by such counsels, there seems a kind of magnanimity in the
resolution to abide in the ship, to say that we have landed at free
Corfu, that we shall land at recovered Antivari, but that we will not
betweenwhiles set foot on any soil where the Turk still reigns. And
the time of distant gazing is not wasted. Without risking ourselves
either on Turkish ground or on the rough waves of the Epidamnian bay,
a fair general view of the city may be had from the steamer. The wide
curve of the bay has for the most part a flat shore, with a background
of mountains in the distant landscape. Towards the north-west corner,
a promontory of a good height, backed by a comb-like range of peaks,
rises at once from the water. This is the peninsula of Dyrrhachion,
once crowned by the Epidamnian city. The modern town is seen on a
small part of the tower slope of the hill. The walls can be traced
through the greater part of their circuit; a huge round bastion by the
sea, more than one tower, round and square, teach us that Durazzo has
been strongly fortified. If we may eke out our own distant
impressions by the help of an old print showing what Durazzo was in
times past, we see that it was fortified indeed. We can recognize in
the picture most of the towers which we have seen with our own eyes,
and there is shown also another tower far greater, a huge square tower
of many stages, which no imagination of the artist can have devised
out of anything which now comes into the sea-view of the city. But
that view enables us to trace out a few buildings within the wall. We
mark the distinctive symbols of the two stranger forms of worship,
from the East and from the West, which have, each in its turn,
supplanted or dominated the native Church. The Latin church, with its
conspicuous bell-tower, carries on the traditions of Angevin and
Venetian rule; the mosque, with its more conspicuous minaret, speaks
of the more abiding dominion of the representative of the False
Prophet. The native church meanwhile lurks significantly unseen in the
general view. Our teacher on board our ship assures us that Durazzo is
not without an Orthodox place of worship; but he cannot point out its
whereabouts.

And it may be that it is no common anniversary on which we look out on
the land which has passed into bondage. Looked at by the evening light
of the twenty-ninth day of May, the group of buildings at Durazzo,
alike by what is present to the eye and by what is absent, brings to
the mind the fate of a greater city than Durazzo was in its proudest
day. It makes us muse how, after four hundred and eight and twenty
years, we have still to repeat the Psalmist's words: "O God, the
heathen have come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they
defiled, and made Jerusalem an heap of stones." Durazzo has not
indeed, like some other cities under the yoke, sunk to a heap of
stones; but it is easy to see how the Turkish town has shrunk up
within the Venetian walls, and again how narrow must be the circuit of
Venetian Durazzo compared with the Epidamnos of the days of
Thucydides, or even with the Dyrrhachion beneath whose walls our
banished kinsmen so well maintained the cause of the Eastern Augustus.
For the church that they so stoutly defended we need not say that it
is vain to look in such a Pisgah view of the city as is all that we
can take. But to the left of the present wall, where the hill soars,
one stage upon another, far above the height of Durazzo that now is,
we must surely place the site of the akropolis of the old Korkyraian
settlers. Such a post, looking over the wide bay and commanding its
mouth, would be just what would commend itself to the Greek colonists
for the site of their new stronghold, while the lower city would
naturally be spread over the more sheltered ground which holds all
that is left of Durazzo under the rule of the Turk. Pausanias indeed
implies that there had been a change of site before his time, that the
Dyrrhachion of his day did not stand on exactly the same ground as the
elder Epidamnos. No doubt the loftier site was the older; men came
down from the hill-top as they did at Athens and Corinth. Thus much
the passing stranger can see of this historic spot, even without
setting his foot on the soil which the barbarian has torn away from
Christendom. His course will bear him on to the place of his next
halt, to the spot which, only a few months back, was the last soil
which Christendom had won back from the barbarian. Since then, if
another land has been denied the promised freedom, in a third the boon
has been actually bestowed. And we may comfort ourselves by thinking
that, while the shame of what is left undone belongs to others, the
praise of what is done belongs to our own land only. We may comfort
ourselves too by further thinking that right and freedom are powers
which have an awkward way, when they have taken the inch, of going on
to take the ell. The wise men whose wisdom consists in living
politically from hand to mouth, are again crying out against
"re-opening the Eastern question." In sailing along the shores, in
scanning their history in past and present times, we feel how deep a
truth was casually uttered in the shallow sneer which called that
question "eternal." We feel how vain is the dream of those who think
that this or that half-measure has solved it. As we gaze on enslaved
Durazzo, with free Greece behind us, with free Montenegro before
us--as we run swiftly in our thoughts over the long history of the
spot--as we specially call up the deeds of our own countrymen on the
shore on which we look--we feel that something indeed has been done,
but that there is yet much more to do. Before us, behind us, are lands
to which England, and England only, has given freedom. A day must come
when, what England has done for Corfu, for Arta, and for Dulcigno, she
must do for Jôannina and for Durazzo.



ANTIVARI.

1881.


We wind up our course with one more of the once subject cities of
Venice, one where we can hardly say that we are any longer following
in Norman footsteps, but whose history stands apart from the history
of Dalmatia and Istria, while it has much in common with our last
halting place. But here the main interest belongs to our own day. It
is with new and strange feelings that we look out on a land which,
when we last passed by it, was still clutched tight in the grasp of
the barbarian, but to which we can now give the new and thrilling name
of the sea-coast of Tzernagora. And yet it is with mingled feelings
that we gaze. We rejoice in the victories, in the extension, of the
unconquered principality, the land which has shown itself a surer
"bulwark 'gainst the Ottomite" than Hungary or Poland, or even Venice,
ever proved. We rejoice that the warriors of the mountain, long shut
in by force and fraud, have again, with their own right hands, cut
their way to their own sea. And yet we feel that, though the sea to
which they have cut their way is truly their own sea, their own
ancient heritage, yet the coast and the havens which they have won are
not the coast and the havens which they should have won. If all had
their own, Dulcigno, Antivari, and the ewe lamb which the rich man
stole at Spizza, would be the havens of the free Albanian, while the
free Slave would have his outlet to the Hadriatic waters at his own
Cattaro and at Ragusa too. In such an ideal state of things, the
present lord of Cattaro and Ragusa might reign peaceably and
harmlessly in the duchy of his grandmothers, happy in deliverance from
the curses of those whom he now keeps back from union with the
brethren whom they love and with the one prince whom they acknowledge.
The Montenegrin, in short, kept back by wrong from winning his way to
the sea by peaceful union with those who yearn for his presence, has
been driven to win his way to the sea by the conquest of lands which
were once the heritage of his race, but from which his race has now
passed away. Forbidden to be the deliverer of the Slave, he has been
forced to be the conqueror of the Albanian. The Albanian Mussulman
himself has practically gained by being conquered; still, as we said,
if every one had his own, arrangements would be different. The blame
indeed lies, not with the people who extend their borders when to
extend their border is a matter of national life, but with those who,
not in the interest of any people, nation, or language, but in the
private interest of their own family estate, sit by to hinder them
from extending their borders in the right way. We rejoice then as we
look for the first time on the sea-coast of Montenegro; but we mourn
that the sea-coast of Montenegro lies where it does and not elsewhere.
We mourn too that the enlargement of Christendom, the falling back of
Islam, has been bought only by the destruction of an ancient and
beautiful city from which the memorials at least of Christendom had
not wholly passed away.

Antibaris, Antivari, in the tongues of the land, _Bar_ and _Tivari_,
is perhaps rather to be understood as meaning "the Bari on the other
side" than "the city opposite Bari." But there is no doubt that its
name contains, in one way or another, a reference to the more famous
Bari, "Barium piscosum," on the other side of the Hadriatic. And
Antivari is the opposite to Bari in a sense which was certainly not
meant; no two sites can well be more unlike one another than the sites
of Bari and of Antivari. The Apulian Bari lies low on a flat shore,
with not so much as a background of hills; the Albanian Bari crowns a
height, with a wall of more soaring heights on each side of it. The
Apulian Bari had no chance of occupying such a position as this; the
marked difference between the two coasts of the Hadriatic forbade it.
But the site of Antivari is hardly less unlike most of the other sites
on its own coast. Zara, Salona and its successor Spalato, Epidauros
and its successor Ragusa, Cattaro, Durazzo, and a crowd of others of
lesser name, are none of them placed on heights. Some of them nestle
immediately at the foot of the mountain; some have thrown out their
defences, older or newer, some way up the side of the mountain; in
none is the city itself perched high on the hills. For a parallel to
Antivari on this coast we have to go back to the mountain citadel of
Aulona. The position and the name of Antivari seem to point to a state
of things differing both from the days of the Greek and Roman
foundations, and from the days of the cities which arose to shelter
their fugitives in the day of overthrow. Long Salona stood low on the
shore; the house of Jovius stood low on the shore also; it did not
come into the head of the founders of either to plant city or palace
on the height of Clissa. When Antivari arose, it would seem that men
had gone back to that earlier state of things which planted the oldest
Argos, even the oldest Corinth, on mountain peaks some way from their
own coasts. The inaccessible height had again come to be looked on as
a source of strength. Antivari may take its place alongside of the
mediæval Syra, the Latin town covering its own peaked hill--a _mons
acutus_, a Montacute, by the shore--while the oldest and the newest
Hermoupolis lies on the shore at its feet. The town does not even look
down at once on the haven; it has to be reached in a manner sideways
from the haven. It is true indeed that the sea has gone back, that the
plain at the foot of the mountains between the town and the shore was
smaller than it now is, even in times not far removed from our own.
But Antivari was never as Cattaro; it always stood on a height, with
some greater or less extent of level ground between the town and its
own haven.

The city thus placed has gone through its full share of the
revolutions of the eastern coasts of the Hadriatic. Once a
commonwealth under the protection of the Servian kings and tzars, it
came late under Venetian rule. But it remained under that rule down to
a later time than any other of the possessions of the Republic on this
coast, save those which came within the actual Dalmatian border and
those detached points further to the south which have a history of
their own in common with the so-called Ionian Islands. It was for a
while in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, what Budua was for so
long afterwards, the furthest point of the continuous rule of Saint
Mark, a city which remained part of Christendom after Durazzo and
Skodra had passed into the hands of the infidel. In earlier times,
when Antivari had a separate being, its tendency was rather to a
connexion with Ragusa than with Venice. Ragusa, though the nearer of
the rivals, was the weaker, the less likely to change alliance or
protection into dominion. Antivari too, like most other
city-commonwealths, had its patricians and plebeians, its disputes
between the privileged and the non-privileged order. As the justice of
either side at home was distrusted, it was agreed that the decision of
some classes of causes should be referred to the courts of Ragusa.
Such a settlement, though taking another and more dangerous form, is
the same in principle as the favourite Italian custom of choosing a
foreign _podestà_, as the earlier usage by which cities which had won
their independence in all other points were still willing to receive a
criminal judge of the Emperor's naming. In all these cases alike, the
stranger is looked on as more likely than the native to deal out
even-handed justice amid the disputes and rivalries of persons and
parties.

Though Antivari stands on a hill, it does not crown any such height as
those of Cortona or Akrokorinthos, nor does it call for any such
journey as that which leads to the spot which masters of the
high-polite style will now doubtless call its "metropolis" at
Tzetinje. It stands on an advanced point among the mountains, one
easily commanded from higher points, as was soon found in the siege
of 1877. A road of no astonishing steepness leads us up to the
town--or more strictly to its ruins. We look down on a church in the
valley, whose air proclaims it as belonging to the Orthodox communion;
and that church seems to be the only untouched building within sight.
It is not till we get within the walls that we take in the full
measure of the destruction which has been wrought; but the first
glance shows that Antivari has suffered not a little from the warfare
of our own times. The walls and towers are there; but we see that they
fence in only roofless buildings; the mosques, with their minarets,
several of them shattered, remind us that we are drawing near to a
city which has been won for Christendom from Islam, as a nearer view
reminds us that it is a city which had before been won for Islam from
Christendom. We halt at a small _café_ outside the walls, where we
receive a friendly greeting from the representatives of Montenegrin
authority in the new conquest. Here too is the club and reading-room
of Antivari, supplied with newspapers in the Slavonic, Italian, and
Turkish tongues; the really prevailing speech of the district, the
immemorial Skipetar or Albanian, hardly boasts of a representative in
the press. Here too are gathered a few fragments from the ruins, a few
capitals, sculptures, and inscriptions, all or most of Venetian
times. Among them is the winged lion himself, and the epitaph of a
local dignitary who bears the very English-sounding title of "justitia
pacis." Even among ourselves embodied righteousness sometimes takes
the same abstract form, instead of the more mortal and fleshly
"justitiarius." A slight descent and a steep ascent leads us through a
rebuilt suburb, which now forms the only part of Antivari which serves
as a dwelling-place of man. A line of shops, or rather booths,
supplies the needs of the neighbouring people, among whom Christians
and Mussulmans, Slaves and Albanians, seem pretty equally mingled. A
Montenegrin sentinel, whose national coat must once have been whiter
than it now is, guards the gate, a Venetian gate where inscriptions in
the Arabic character record the dominion of the late masters of
Antivari. We enter, we gaze around, we climb a tower for a better
view, and we look on a scene of havoc which is startling to men of
peaceful lives, and which, one would think, must be unusual even in
the experience of men of the sword. We believe that we are speaking
the truth when we say that every building within the enclosed space
has become uninhabitable; certainly not one seemed to be inhabited.
This destruction is indeed not wholly the immediate result of the
siege. A powder-magazine was afterwards struck by lightning, and its
explosion destroyed whatever the siege had spared. But the havoc
wrought by the siege itself must have been fearful. Antivari is as
strictly a collection of ruins, and of nothing but ruins, as Ninfa at
the foot of the Volscian hills, looking up at the mighty walls of
Norba. But Ninfa was simply forsaken some ages back. Its inhabitants
fled from an unhealthy site, and left their houses, churches, and
military defences, to crumble away. But at Antivari we see the work of
destruction in our own day, almost at the present moment. Four years
back, the traveller passing along the Albanian coast was shown where
Antivari, then an inhabited town, nestled among its rocks. The war was
then raging inland; the Montenegrin was then defending his own heights
against Turkish invasion; he had not yet come down to win back a
fragment of his ancient coast from one of the two intruders who kept
him from it. The traveller comes again; this time he does not only
look from afar, but examines on the spot with his own eyes. But he
finds only the shattered fragments of what four years before was a
city of men.

And, small as Antivari must have been even in its most flourishing
times, it is no mean city that it must have been. It must be
remembered that Antivari, though it was a Mussulman town under Turkish
rule, was never in any strict sense a Turkish town. Its history is
that of Albania generally, as it is the history of large classes of
men in Bosnia. Antivari was easily won by the Turk, and it remained in
the hands of its old inhabitants, Christian Albanians and Venetian
settlers. Gradually, for the sake of their temporal interests, they
conformed outwardly to the religion of their conquerors, and so passed
from the subject to the ruling order. At first, this was a mere
outward conformity for worldly ends; men still hoped that some chance
of warfare would bring back the rule of Saint Mark. If so, they were
ready to return to the faith which they still secretly held. But the
happy revolution never came; new generations sprang up with whom Islam
was an hereditary creed, and Antivari became a Mussulman city. But it
never became a Turkish city. The descendants of the once Christian
inhabitants lived on in their fathers' houses, and worshipped in the
same temples as their fathers, though they were now turned to the use
of another faith. Each church had a minaret added, and it became a
mosque. In most cases of Mahometan conquest, the conquerors took the
head church of the city as a trophy of their own faith, but left the
subject Christians in possession of one or more of the lesser
churches. So, in this same region, it was at Durazzo; so it was at
Trebinje; in both there was a church, or more than one, within the
walls. Here at Antivari, as the inhabitants gradually embraced Islam,
all the churches became mosques; and thus, for the very reason that
there was less of violent disturbance than in most cases of Turkish
conquest, Antivari, while never becoming Turkish, became more strictly
Mussulman than most cities under Turkish rule. The churches, or rather
their ruins, still stand, examples of the usual churches of the
country, none of them remarkable for size or antiquity or
architectural splendour; but still essentially churches, with their
fabrics untouched, save only the inevitable addition of the minaret.
Some of them even keep memorials of their earlier use of which one
would have expected Mussulman zeal to wipe out every trace as
monuments of idolatry. Intruding Turks or Saracens would doubtless
have done so; but the Mahometan descendants of the Christian citizens
of Antivari still felt a tenderness for the works of their
forefathers. Even pictures of Christian subjects have been spared. In
one case especially, in a church which does not seem ever to have been
a mosque, but, as having perhaps been a private chapel, to have formed
part of a private house, among other kindred pictures, the baptism of
our Lord in Jordan is still almost as clear as when the painter first
traced it on the wall. Old ancestral memories, perhaps the vague
feeling that after all a day of change might come--the feeling which
led Bosnian beys, while holding their Christian countrymen in bondage,
to keep Christian patents of nobility and even concealed objects of
Christian worship--were clearly stronger in Antivari than any strict
regard to the Mussulman law.

And as it was with the churches, so it was with the houses. Antivari
never became, like Trebinje, a tumble-down Eastern town, nor, like
Butrinto, a collection of beggarly huts, not fit to be called a town
at all. It was a small, but well-built city, after the pattern of the
other cities on the eastern coast of the Hadriatic. There was clearly
no moment of general havoc; the Mussulman lived on in the house of his
Christian father. Some of those houses must have been still almost new
when their owners embraced the faith of their conquerors. At every
step we see among the shattered houses some pretty scrap, door or
window, of the style which we commonly call Venetian; we see some too
which belong to the confirmed _Renaissance_, and which can hardly be
older than the sixteenth century. One stately building indeed seems to
have perished. An old print of Antivari, in a book called _Viaggio da
Venetia a Costantinopoli_, a book without date but which has an air of
the sixteenth century, shows what is plainly meant for a municipal
palace, after the same general type as the bigger one at Venice and
the more beautiful one at Ragusa. It has arcades below and windows
above. Still as we tread, even in their state of ruin, the streets,
the little _piazze_, of what once was Antivari, we see that the city
perched on its Albanian height must have been no unworthy fellow of
its neighbours on the Dalmatian shore.

It is sad that the enlargement of Europe and of Christendom, the
winning back of their ancient coast by the valiant warriors of the
Black Mountain, should have been bought only at such a price as the
destruction of this interesting and really beautiful little city. The
loss, it may be feared, cannot be repaired. A gently working hand
might possibly set up again the ruined houses and churches nearly as
they once were. Or it might at first sight seem a more obvious work to
forsake the ruined hill-town, and to build another by the haven, a new
Montenegrin Cattaro, to make up as far as may be for the city by the
_Bocche_ so cruelly torn away from its free brethren. But either
scheme seems to be forbidden by the growing unhealthiness of the spot.
The place has been for some while getting more and more
fever-stricken, and the disease has now--seemingly since the
siege--spread upwards to the hill-town itself. It is for medical
knowledge to judge whether, as is said to be the case in some parts
of the Roman _Campagna_, sudden colonization, the settlement of a
large number of new inhabitants at once, could do anything to check
the evil. Failing this chance, it would seem as if Antivari was doomed
utterly to perish. A new Montenegrin town and haven may arise, but not
on the site of the ancient town and haven of the eastern Bari.

On whom rests the blame? Surely not on the conquerors, whose warfare
was waged in the noblest cause for which man can fight, for their
faith, their freedom, their national life, the extension of freedom
and national life to their brethren under the yoke. Nor can we say
that it rests with the men who fought against them, who, from their
own side, were fighting for faith and freedom and national life fully
as much. It rather rests with the dangerous neighbour of both, whose
very existence is founded on the trampling down of freedom and
national life among all its neighbours. It rests with the power which
takes care to strike no blows itself, but which knows how to suck no
small advantage from the blows which are struck by others on either
side. The ruin of Antivari is in truth the work, though the indirect
work, of the power hard by, the power which was not ashamed to stretch
forth its hand for such a spoil as Spizza, the hard-won earnings of
its poor neighbour. The guilt of ruined Antivari rests with those who
drove its conquerors to conquest in the wrong place by hindering them
from peaceful advance in the right place. It rests with those who
stirred up its defenders to a hopeless resistance by promises which
never were fulfilled. When we see how in 1878 Montenegro was allowed
to keep possession of ruined and almost worthless Antivari, but was
forced to give up its other comparatively flourishing conquests of
Spizza and Dulcigno, we better understand how the rule of doing as one
would be done by is looked on in the council-chamber of an Apostolic
King. And we see too, with some comfort, how England, as one of her
first national acts when England found herself once more under English
leadership, knew how to step in, with vigour and with patience, to
undo at least one part of the wrong which had been done.


THE END.

     LONDON:
     PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,
     STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.





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