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CITY IN THE SEA
OF THE DEEDS OF THE OLD VENETIANS
FROM THE CHRONICLES
IMaith sixteen I utmintzion0
AUTHOR OF BELT AND SPUR"
Once she did hold the gorgeous East in fee ;
And was the safeguard of the West; the worth
Of Venice did not fall below her birth-
Venice, the eldest Child of Liberty."-WORDswORTH.
She was covetous, first, of fame; secondly, of kingdom; thirdly,
of pillars of marble and granite; lastly, and quite principally, of the
relics of good people."-RusKIN.
SEELEY, JACKSON, & HALLIDAY, FLEET STREET
All Rights Reserved
THESE stories of Venice are gathered from the
Venetian Chronicles, being generally simple. transla-
tions. Where that was impossible from the length
of the history, I have endeavoured to keep as near
as possible to the language of the chronicler. My
rule has been to prefer that Chronicle which was
written nearest to the time of the event described,
as naturally breathing most of the spirit of the age.
Sometimes they are eloquent by their very silence,
as when, for example, Sanuto tells us of the troubles
of the Foscari with scarcely a word of pity or indig-
nation, and abstains from attributing it, as later
historians did, to the feud with the Loredani.
It may perhaps be well to point out that the
Venetians kept more than one day sacred to S. Mark,
observing the 3 st of January in memory, I suppose,
of the translation of his body to Venice, and a feast
in June, in memory of its rediscovery in the reign
of Vital Faliero.
The illustrations are mostly from illuminated MSS.,
iv PREFA CE.
but I have given besides one of Canaletto's views
of, Venice; and also Uccello's battle-piece in the
National Gallery, and Gozzoli's "Brides of Venice"
(as the picture used to be called). Some figures also
have been taken from the Procession of the Doge"
in the large picture painted by Tiepolo and Canaletto
in conjunction, and the courtyard of a house from
the background of one of Crivelli's pictures.
I. THE FOUNDATION OF THE CITY, I
II. THE SIEGE OF VENICE BY PEPIN, 5
III. THE TRANSLATION OF THE BODY OF ST. MARK, II
IV. THE CORSAIRS OF NARENTA, 15
V. DOGE PIETRO URSEOLO, 19
VI. THE NORMANS IN ITALY, 26
VII. THE VENETIANS AT THE CRUSADES, 30
VIII. WAR WITH THE EMPEROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE, 36
IX. FREDERICK BARBAROSSA AND THE POPE, 43
X. THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE, 49
XI. WAR WITH THE GENOESE, 79
XII. WAR AGAIN WITH THE GENOESE, 107
XIII. A LEGEND OF ST. MARK, 121
XIV. THE DOGE MARINO FALIERO, 124
XV. THE WAR OF CHIOGGIA, 130
XVI. THE CONQUEST OF PADUA, 167
XVII. CONSTANTINOPLE TAKEN BY THE TURKS, 181
XVIII. WARS WITH THE DUKE OF MILAN, 200
XIX. THE SORROWS OF THE DOGE FOSCARI, 219
XX. CATTERINA CORNARO, QUEEN OF CYPRUS, 228
XXI. LETTERS ABOUT THE LEAGUE OF CAMBRAY, 236
XXII. THE WAR OF CYPRUS, 253
XXIII. A PLOT AGAINST VENICE, .281
XXIV. THE WAR OF CANDIA, 286
XXV. THE CONQUEST OF THE MORE, 310
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
CROSSING THE SEA, Frontisiece.
THE KING OF THE LOMBARDS, 4
THE BRIDES OF VENICE, 18
THE SIEGE OF TYRE, 34
BATTLE IN THE PORT OF ACRE, 82
THE BUCINTORO,. 124
THE SIEGE OF CHIOGGIA, 150
CARLO MALATESTA TAKEN PRISONER, 178
MANUEL PALAEOLOGUS, EMPEROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE, 182
A COURTYARD IN VENICE, 206
THE MARRIAGE OF SER JACOPO FOSCARI, 220
A VENETIAN LADY TURNING HER HAIR YELLOW, 238
THE DOGE GOING IN PROCESSION, 284
THE DOGE'S PALACE, 328
VENI.CE- 0 Porto di S.Niccolo
CITY IN THE SEA.
THE FOUNDATION OF THE CITY.
Now the beginning of the City of Venice was on this
wise. When the terror of the Huns fell on the Italian
people, the Venetians being near to the danger, and
knowing them to be more than barbarous towards the
Christians, forsook the coasts of the Adriatic Sea and
took refuge on the opposite islands. From Aquileia
they fled, they and their nobles, to Grado; and from
Padua not a few, and their chief men settled in Rialto.
And these islands were inhabited beforetime by sea-
birds, and also some fishermen dwelt there, though
they were but few. So the Paduans dwelt in Rialto,
and that was the first part of the city that was built.
And the'foundations of the city were laid with solemn
rites; for many, filled with fear of the Huns because of
their cruel hatred to the Christians' name, made
solemn vows when they sought a place of safety.
Some say that they began to build where the Church
2 THE FO UNDATION OF THE CfTY.
of St. Mark now stands; and all are agreed that
it was the 25th day of March when the building
And' they invited many to come and dwell in the
new city, but none of evil name; they would have no
dealings with such, nor might they dwell in their city.
Thus the city grew in numbers and in buildings from
day to day, until suddenly a fire broke out in the house
of the architect, and in a short space of time twenty-
four houses were burnt down. And when they could
not extinguish the flames, in their misery and distress
the whole city vowed to build a church to St. James
if they were delivered out of their trouble, which
church may still be seen in the midst of Rialto. But
speaking of these first buildings, they were but slight
and without adornment, for they hoped to return to
their own land if the Huns came not to waste Italy.
But when the Huns began indeed to come down upon
Italy, from every place came men fleeing with their
wives and children and goods, and the houses arose
side by side continually. And their first care was for
religion, for they were fleeing from the enemies of the
Christian name. Nor did they seek luxury and vain
pleasures. Riches and fine clothes were not held in
respect, but poverty and riches dwelt together; all
ate of one food, and none envied other. Some say
they were ruled by consuls chosen every two years,
and others that governors were sent to them from
Padua until the time of the coming of Attila. For
in that time the islands around Rialto began to be
inhabited, and in place of consuls there were made
THE FOUNDATION QF THE CITY. 3
tribunes; and it was ordained that in every island
there should be a tribune who should rule for one
year and minister justice to the people. And
while the Venetians were still fearing the fury of the
Huns, there came down into Italy, tempted by the
riches of that land, the Lombards-so named from their
long beards-with Alboin, their eleventh Duke. Now
these Lombards were come forth from Scandinavia
on the German Ocean, and 'for many years pressed
hard on the Roman province of the Danube, whence
in space of time, led by their king Andoin, they came
into Hungary. Then following his son Alboin, they
broke into Italy, where their riches and power increased
so much that they held it for two hundred years and
more, and Venetia lost both its liberty and its name.
Those Venetians who inhabited the islands were
confined within certain limits, from the place which is
now called Cavarzere to the waters of Grado.
And now I will tell how it fell out that the first
Doge was created. The tribunes of the islands not
as heretofore ruling the State in concord, began to
disturb the country by their enmity, so that it was
feared that the city would be ruined by their discords.
Then Liuthprand, who ruled over the Friuli, seeing his
opportunity, thought by treason to waste the Venetian
State, and prepared to pass the boundaries; which the
Venetians, being aware of, and fearing that they
should suffer much harm from the barbarians, sum-
moned a council in Heraclia, at which the Bishop
Christopher of Grado was present with his clergy.
And he arose and said that if they did not put an end
4 THE FOUNDATION OF THE CITY.
to the doings of the tribunes, Venice would be lost,
with the .liberty for which. their forefathers had. left
their 'native land and given up all that was dear to
them and come to these desert islands, where there
were no habitations; and he prayed them, as they were
brave men, never to give up their liberty while they
lived, and never to hope that the barbarian would
cease to be their enemy; but he could prevail only
through discord in the city. Therefore, that all who
wished to preserve the State must be content to make
a Doge who should have liberty to call together the
council when it was necessary in defence of the
Republic, and who should appoint the tribunes of the
islands and hold them subject to him. And to him
they agreed, and with one voice they chose Paoluccio
Heracliano, a just man and much beloved. And this
fell out, as some say, in the year 282 from the foundation
of the city; but others in 296. But this is certain, that
for 230 years they had been governed by the tribunes ;
and when this first Doge was created, they used not
those observances that they use now, but more simple
forms and manners, for in that honourable city there
was no ambition, nor desire for honour, neither had
they respect to riches, nor ornaments, nor nobility, but
virtue alone was esteemed.
T KING OF TH LOMB.iDS.
THE KING OF THE LOMBARLS,
THE SIEGE OF VENICE BY. PEPIN.
Now there came a time when there ruled in Venice
a cruel Doge, and because of his cruelty they gave
him every year tribunes who should rule with him
to soften his cruel mind. But it was of little avail,
for his wicked nature was prompt to every evil.
And the city not being able to support his tyranny,
in the fifth year of his reign they put out his eyes
and deprived him of his dignity. Maurizio. of
Heraclia succeeded him, a good man, and honour-
able, and by his good rule he won such favour with
the people that they granted to his request that
which none before had ever received-that his son
Giovanni should be joined with him in his office and
But the Doge Maurizio, in persuading the people to
yield to his request, had set an example little salutary
to the State. For having associated his son Giovanni
in the administration, he soon after died, and his son,
after his example, took his son for his colleague. But
Giovanni did not follow his father's example in
governing the Republic, but was wicked and cruel.
And he sent his son Maurizio with a powerful arma-
6 THE SIEGE OF VENICE BY PEPIN.
ment to make war on Bishop Giovanni of Grado, a
man of, great honour and justice. The cause of the
war none ever said, but I believe there was none, for
when men's minds are set on evil, they do not need
to find a cause. And the wicked son obeying his
wicked father's command, having got the prelate into
his power, cast him down from a high tower. There-
fore, Fortunato of Trieste, who succeeded him, to
revenge his cruel death, began to conspire with the
chief men of Venice, with Obelerio, Tribune of Mal-
amocco, and others, to drive out young Maurizio and
Fortunate, therefore, went into France to the
Emperor Charles, and by his entreaties persuaded
him to send his son Pepin, whom Pope Adrian had
made king of Italy, to make war on Venice. But,
in the meantime, the hatred against the parricide
Maurizio and his father grew so strong in Venice that
they were driven into exile, and Obelerio was chosen
Now, the kingdom of the Lombards being over-
thrown, and the country subdued by Charles, it was
put under the rule of Pepin. And there sprang up
great dissension between the Emperor Nicephorus
and King Pepin concerning the province of Dalmatia.
Then Obelerio and his brother Valentino, who
together administered the Republic, sought to make
peace between Nicephorus and Pepin. Thus
the Venetians on that day were between the two
greatest empires in the world, like a mole or an
isthmus between the floods of waters. But when
THE SIEGE OF VENICE BY PEPIzN. 7
peace was not made, Pepin turned his anger against
Now.the Venetians dwelt, as I have said, on islands
at a little distance one from another, separated by
the beating of the sea, the bank, stretching out be-
tween the open sea and the Lagoon, being broken.up
into about ten parts. These islands are all inhabited
by the Venetians, the chief of them being Brondolo,
afterwards called Chioggia, PIalestrina, Albiola, Mala-
mocco, and Olivola, where now is the see' of the
Patriarch. Others rose out of the water within' the
Lagoon, the first of which was Rialto, which, in our
time, by the fame of its name, has obscured the other
places. So Pepin brought up his fleet to cut off
escape by the sea, and every hope seemed taken away
on that side. Then with his army he invaded the
islands near the shore, and having driven out or sub-
dued the men of Brondolo, Chioggia and Palestrina,
advanced to Albiola, where, beyond all hope, his
progress was retarded.
Now, the seat of Government at that time was at
Malamocco, but the Doge Valentino, and the Mala-.
moccans with their children, and as much of their
goods as their fears would allow, transported them-
selves into Rialto, not only carrying there their private
property, but transferring there the seat of the highest
magistrates and the Government of the Republic,
where it has grown great and prospered until this day.
But all who have written of Venice, affirm. that the
Malamocco which you pass going from Venice to
Chioggia is not the same place that the old Venetians -
$ THE SIEGE OF VENICE BY PEPIN.
built and forsook for Rialto, but -they say that it was
destroyed, and that the remains may be seen to this
day beneath the sea.
SThe men of Albiola, hearing of the flight of the
Doge, and the citizens of. Malamocco, in their fear
determined to surrender, and all who had remained
in Malamocco followed their example. So the
victorious Gaul came to the gate of Albiola, where
now- is New Malamocco, and saw on this side the
open sea and on that the still water, and it is said,
which I hardly believe, that as he sat silent considering
how to overcome what still remained, he was counselled
by an old woman to make a bridge by which he
might transfer his soldiers into Rialto. There are
some who think that they crossed on a bridge made of
boats, but as for the story of the old woman I believe
it to be false, for he had with him many Italians well
acquainted with the sea. There are others who say
that he tried first to overcome them with famine, but
when he found that by means of certain machines
bread was rained from the opposite shore into the
camp of his enemies, the ferocious Gaul grew impatient
of longer delay, and by tying great tubs and other
vessels together and covering them with light materials,
made a very long bridge. When the Venetians saw
that, they perceived that it was time to fight for their
liberty, for their lives and for their children, or to yield
.to their proud enemy, and they resolved to go out
against the enemy and try their fortune in war, and
either to die or to deliver the Republic and bring
honour to their country. Having waited, therefore,
THE SIEGE OF VENICE BY PEPIN. 9*
till the tide was high, and the wind and water favourable;
they chose out swift sailing ships that were easily
turned about, and made a furious assault upon the
enemy. A fierce battle began, the Gauls fighting for
spoil and the desire of glory, and the Venetians for
their children, their wives, their goods, and for liberty,
which was dearer than all. Then the bridge being
but weak and broken by the force of the sea, c0uld
not withstand the enemy, and began to shake, the
Venetians in their swift ships breaking in upon it in
front and at the sides. At length it gave way, and a
cruel slaughter began, the sword on this side, the sea
on that threatened the affrightened enemy. Many
were cut down, many precipitated themselves into the
sea, so that in aftertime the canal where -this took
place, which runs between Malamocco and Rialto,
was called the Canal of Orphans. Thus the Venetians
prospered in the battle with Pepin, son of Charles.
And Pepin being sore discouraged, raised the siege
and having laid waste the district, led back his men to
There are some who say that Obelerio and his
brother, because they had been the cause of all this
evil, voluntarily went into exile. After them came
Angiolo Particiacio, who was the first who was made
Doge in-Rialto. And because there was a greater con-
course in Rialto than in any other island, for through
the Gallic war the people had increased there to an
incredible multitude, it came about that sixty little
islands near were joined to it by bridges. And when
it was seen by all the citizens that it was a worthy
10 THE SIEGE OF VENICE BY PEPIN.
seat for the highest Government, the Doge newly
elected resolved in his mind there to build the palace,
and there was built the Golden House, and Particiacio
was the author also of many other noble works. But
as for that magnificent building with the columns
and great stones, where they found them I know not.
But whether Doge Particiacio built it, or whether it
was built later, it must not be passed over in silence.
THE TRANSLATION OF THE BODY OF- ST. MARK..
IN the second year of the reign of Doge Giuptiniano
Particiacio there was brought to Venice from Alex-
andria the body of the holy evangelist St. Mark.
For, as Petrus Damianus says, Mark was brought.
from Alexandria into Venice, that he who had shone
in the East like the morning star might shed his rays in
the regions of the West. For Egypt is held, to be the
East and Venice the West. There he had held the rule
of the Church of Alexandria, and here, being, as it were,
born again, he obtained the sovereignty of Aquileia.
Now this is how the thing was done. The king of the
Saracens wishing to build himself a palace in Babylon,
gave command that stones should be taken from the
Christian churches and other public places, that they
might build him a splendid house. And at that time
there came by chance to the Church of St. Mark, Bon,
tribune of Malamocco, and Rustico da Torcello, who
had been forced by the wind, contrary to the edicts
of Venice,, to put in to the harbour of Alexandria
with ten ships laden with merchandise, and, they
observing the sadness of the guardians of the. church
(two Greeks, by name Stauratio, a monk, and Theodoro,
12 TRANSLATION OF THE BODY OF ST. MARK.
a priest), inquired the cause. And they answered
that by reason of the impious edict of the king they
feared the ruin of the church. Thereupon they
prayed them to give them the holy body that they
might carry it to Venice, promising them that the
Doge of Venice would receive it with great -honour.
But the keepers of the church were filled with fear at
their petition,- and answered reproaching them and
saying : "Know ye not how the blessed St. Mark, who
wrote the Gospel, St. Peter dictating at his request,
preached in these parts and baptised into the faith the
men of these regions ? If the faithful should become
aware, we could not escape the peril of death." But
to that they answered: "As for his preaching, we are
his firstborn sons, for he first preached in the parts
of Venetia and Aquileia. And in peril of death it is
commanded, 'If they persecute you in one city, flee
ye to another,' which the evangelist himself obeyed
when in the persecution at Alexandria he fled to
Pentapolis." But the keepers said: There is no such
persecution now that we should fear for our persons."
But while they spake, came one and broke down the
precious stones of the church, and when they would
not suffer it they were sorely beaten. Then the keepers
seeing the devastation of the church, and their own
great danger, listened to the prayer of the Venetians
and appointed them a day when they should receive
the holy body. Now the body was wrapped in a robe
of silk sealed with many seals from the head to the
feet. And they brought the body of St. Claudia, and
having cut the robe at the back and taken away the
TRANSLATION OF THE BODY OF ST. MARK. .13
body of St. Mark, they placed in its stead the blessed
Claudia, leaving the seals unbroken. But a sweet odour
quickly spread into the city, and all were filled with
astonishment, and not doubting that the body of the
evangelist had been moved, they ran together to the
church. But when the shrine was opened and they saw
the garment with the seals unbroken, they returned
quietly to their homes. And when the body should bd
borne to the boats, they covered it with herbs and
spread over it pork-flesh for the passers-by to see, and
went crying, "Khanzir, khanzir!" which is the Saracen's
abomination. And when they reached the ships they
covered it with a sail while they passed through the
Saracen ships. And as they sailed to Venice the
ship which bore it with many others was saved from
peril of shipwreck. For when the ships had been
driven in the night by a tempestuous wind and were
not far from Monte, the blessed St. Mark appeared
to the Monk Dominic and bade him lower the sails
of the ships. Which, when they had done, the
dawn appearing, they found themselves close to
the island which is called Artalia. And ten of
them, having asked and obtained pardon for break-
ing the edicts of the Doge, they came to the port
of Olivola. And the Doge, and the clergy, and
the people came to meet them, and brought the
body, with songs of thanksgiving, to the Doge's
Then the Doge Giustiniano, finding himself near to.
death, made a testament and commanded that a church
should be built, in which the body of the blessed
14 TRANSLATION OF THE BODY OF ST. MARK.
St. Mark might repose. And his brother Giovanni
Particiacio, being Doge after him, in the second year
of his reign caused a church to be built in the corner
of the Doge's palace, and the glorious body to be
deposited there, and chaplains to be ordained for
offices by day and by night, and a primicerius who
should be the Doge's chaplain, and who should rule
in perpetuity over the said church as the Doge had
ordained and enjoined.
THE CORSAIRS OF NARENTA.
ABOUT this time the corsairs of Narenta having done
much damage to the Venetians, and to the subjects
of the Emperor of Constantinople, the Doge, with
his Council, determined to arm a number of ships, and
send them against the Narentines. Messer Giovanni,
the Doge's son, was made captain, and he sailed away
and scoured all the coast of Dalmatia, doing much
injury to the Narentines, and returned with great
honour to Venice. And the thing having come to
the ears of the Emperor of Constantinople, who was
a friend to the Venetians, he invested the Duchy of
Venice with jurisdictions over many districts, and
made the Doge his Grand Equerry, which is a worthy
dignity, and henceforward the Doge signed himself
" Petrus Tradonicus Imperialis Protospatarius, &c.,
And when Orso Badoer was made Doge, one named
Dominico, in Sclavonia, worked much harm tO the
subjects of Venice in Istria. But, when the thing was
known in Venice, many ships were armed with great
speed, and the Doge went in command. And they
went into Dalmatia, laying waste many places, and
16 THE CORSAIRS OF NARENTA.
encountered the followers of the prince, and cut them
to pieces, and did such damage that the prince sent
his ambassadors to demand peace, promising to yield
up to them many places. So peace was granted, and
the Doge returned in triumph to Venice to disarm.
And the Doge, Pietro Candiano, prepared him ships,
and went into Dalmatia to seek out the pirates. But
they had fortified themselves so strongly that the
Venetians could do them no harm. Then the Doge
proposed to return to Venice. But the Narentines,
hearing of their departure, came out of their strong-
holds, and followed them down the Gulf harassing
them. Then the Venetians prepared twelve ships,
and with them the Doge returned, and came to Marano
and found the pirates there. And a fierce battle
began, and many fell on one side and the other, and
the Doge himself was slain. Then the Venetian fleet
gave way, and they carried the Doge to Grado, and
buried him there.
And again the men of Narenta, with a galley and
another ship, came over the Gulf to do the Venetians a
mischief. And the rulers, having heard of it, armed
thirty-two little boats, which at that time were called
gombariols. And they. made two captains over
these ships. One was Messer Pietro Orseolo, and
the other Messer Orso Badoer. So they came
forth, and went to seek the Narentines. But
they sent "messengers to. the captains, and agreed
to pay the Venetians for the expense of the
armament, and the damage that they had done,
according to the oath of the Venetians who
THE CORSAIRS OF NARENTA. 17
had been injured. So the captains were satisfied, and
returned to Venice. But at that time it. was the
custom that every year in Venice there were married
twelve damsels who were dowered by the State, and
they were married on the 3Ist day of January, St.
Mark's Day, in the Church of San Pietro di Castello.
And the custom was that the brides, with their dowries,
should come to the Church, where was the bishop
with all his clergy. And with the brides came the
bridegrooms. And so they were married by the
bishop, and at the end of the ceremony went tob their
own houses with their friends. But the pirates of
Trieste, who were near Venice, filled with hatred,
determined to do them an injury, and they armed a
galley and a brigantine, and came to Venice by night,
and entered secretly within the bishop's house, and
remained hidden until the morning. And during
high mass they issued forth in arms, and attacked
those who were in the Church. And being taken by
surprise, many were killed and wounded. And the
men of Trieste took the twelve damsels, with all their
dowry, and carried them on board their galleys, and
But the news spread through the city, and came to
the ears of the Doge and the Signory, and the.
command went forth that all the people should arm
with speed. And the Doge collected many little
ships from Venice, Chioggia, and Malamocco, and
went on board himself with many gallant men well
armed, and pursued after the pirates of Trieste; and
he found them in a port on this side of Caorle, and
18 THE CORSAIRS OF NARENTA.
they were gone out of their ships, and were dividing
the spoil. And the first to overtake them were from
the -district- of Santa Maria Formosa. And they fell
upon-the men of Trieste, and cut them in pieces, for
the Venetians would put none of them to ransom.
And they threw their dead bodies into the s'ea, .and
burnt'up the galley and the brigantine. And they
recovered the damsels with all their goods. This
victory was won on St. Mary's Day, the second of
February. So the Doge, returning to Venice,
ordained that in memory of it, on our Lady's Day,
.and also on the vigil of it, the Doge should go to
vespers in the Church of Santa Maria Formosa.
And the Doge should give for alms a piece of copper
money that was used at that time, called a bagatino.
T B E
j.-pa~ruT--TT -B-.--.....-_Eigg p-Fg cV-iEiN.~3Il--B C-Yj;t(gE .cII! !l~i~!i~;l'i
DOGE PIETRO URSEOLO.
Now Pietro Urseolo was chosen by the people to be
their Doge; and it is said that long before, that most
excellent man his father had foretold his reign. And
by his rule Venice not only grew strong at home, but
abroad she prospered marvellously; for he obtained
from the Emperors of Greece, Basil and Alexis, great
privileges for the Venetian merchants, league himself
with the lords of Egypt and Syria, and was in close
friendship with all the powers of Italy. And seeing that
the time was come when the Venetians might revenge
themselves for all the injuries, new and old, that they had
received from the Narentine pirates, he refused to pay
the tribute which they had demanded for many years,
for leave to navigate the waters of Dalmatia. The
barbarous Narentines, roused to anger, began to molest
all the sea-coast; and not content with, that, they
attacked by land and laid waste the borders of Zara.
These alone among the Dalmatians were at this time
subjects of Venice. But not alone did they suffer, for
all the people around were molested; so that the
Dalmatians, in the name of all its people, sent to
Venice to pray for succour; .and from Sclavonia and
20 DOGE PIETRO URSEOLO.
Istria came ambassadors to promise the Doge in the
public name, that if he would come with a strong fleet
into Dalmatia, and would defend them against the
Narentines, all Dalmatia and every place on the sea
of Sclavonia and Istria would come under the Venetian
rule and name. Such promises gladdened much the
heart of the Doge, and all the city rejoiced in the hope
of gaining Dalmatia; and that the occasion should not
be lost, a strong fleet was armed in haste. And when
the ships were ready, and the men on board, Urseolo
received the standard of the Republic from the hands
of the bishop in the Church of St. Pietro di Castello,
and sailed for Dalmatia. And it was the spring of
the year, and he sailed prosperously and came to
Grado. And Vital the bishop, with all his clergy and
the people, came out to meet him. And he said to
him, "That thou mayest prosper, 0 Urseolo, and the
Venetian name with thee, receive the standard of the
holy Hermagora, let it be with the standard of thy
country, and let thy soldiers fight under it! Know
that, this. standard, no less than the strength of thy
soldiers, is needed to bring victory." "I accept the
sign," answered the Doge, "and pray thou for us that
we may prosper and have victory." So departing
thence they came with a prosperous course to Istria,
which is now the extreme part of Italy, and runs out
in a peninsula. And he made towards Parenzo; but
before he was come to the city, Andrea the bishop
came out to meet him, and all the citizens with him,
to give themselves with all their goods to the Venetians,
and to take oath to them. The Doge with his soldiers
DOGE PI3ETRO URSEOLO. 21
entered the city and went to see the body of San
Mauro, and then sailed away and came to Pola, where
is the ancient castle built by the Colchians, and
immediately on their coming the men of Pola followed
the example of the men of Parenzo, and coming out
with Bercaldo their bishop, gave themselves up to the
Venetians. And many other people determining to
do likewise, came to the Doge at that place and prayed
him by their ambassadors to receive them into the
Venetian State. So he tarried there some days,
hearing the ambassadors of the nations and receiving
soldiers into his army, and when he had taken them
on board he set sail for Zara. Now this town had
been before under the protection of the Venetians;
therefore, with great feasting and rejoicing the people
came out to receive the Doge of Venice, and called
him their liberator and their lord.
Spalatro, a very rich town at that time, received
the Venetians within its walls. Corcyra the Black,
now called Curzola, refusing their rule, Urseolo fought
against it and took it. Thence the Venetian galleys
sailed to Faro, that is Lesina, and they saw the rocks
rising abruptly over the water, and it seemed to them
impregnable. The Narentine pirates trusting in its
strength, had infested the seas and committed all
manner of abominations ; for thither these corsairs
would repair in time of danger as a rock of safety, and
the place was well furnished for defence both by
nature and by art, and when the Venetian merchantmen
passed near the place they were often taken and
spoiled of their merchandise. So the galleys came to
22 DOGE PIETRO URSEOLO.
the port and occupied it, and the men of the place
were invited to follow the example of the other towns
and not resist the Venetian arms. It would be foolish,
they said, to suffer harm and run in peril of their
lives, rather than keeping their lives and their goods
in peace to admit the Venetians within their walls.
And many times they warned them that if they per-
sisted in forcing the Venetians to take up arms against
them, when once they had begun the siege there
would be no more room for pardon. Now the men
of Faro would have accepted the Venetian rule if
they could have obtained the same conditions as the
other cities; but fearing that if the Doge obtained
possession of the place he would raze it to the ground,
love of their country made them seek to defend the
city and hold the enemy at a distance. So the Doge
gave the signal for the battle, and the men of the castle
defended themselves fiercely from their towers. Now
the rock, as we have said, was exceedingly steep
and difficult of ascent, but from the lower slopes the
Venetians sent forth such a shower of missiles upon
the defenders that they were forced to retire, and the
sailors from the galleys with the soldiers climbed the
hillside. And while those within the walls were over-
whelmed with fear, they fixed their scaling ladders in
several places and began a fierce attack. And the
Venetians were animated with the hope that with but
a little more struggling they would gain the city,
while the men of the castle fought with the courage of
despair. But in a short time one of the towers fell
down, and the besiegers pressing forward occupied the
DOGE PIETRO URSEQLO. 23
walls. Then the courage of the men of Faro gave
way, and throwing down their arms they implored
mercy. And that most merciful Doge gave them
pardon, but he ordered that the city should be
destroyed. Then the Doge passed into the Naren-
tine territory, and he wasted it with fire and sword,
until the inhabitants demanded peace, which he
granted to them. on these conditions: That they
should pay for whatever mischief they had done to
the Venetians from the beginning of the war, and
that henceforth they should not dare to exact any
tribute, neither should their chiefs, or common people,
or any of their name commit any act of piracy, for
ever. These conditions the Narentines did not dare to
refuse, and thus were these pirates subdued with
whom the Venetians had contested the possession of
the sea with varied fortune for a hundred and seventy
years. Then the prisoners being set free, the victorious
army returned to the ships.
So the Doge having cleared the sea of these cbrsairs,
and subdued to the Venetian rule the sea-shore of
Istria, Sclavonia, and Dalmatia, returned with ai
prosperous voyage to Venice, and entered the city in
triumph, surrounded by an exulting crowd (though it
is not the custom of that city to triumph). And
having recounted to the people the things done by
him, and how all the sea-shore from Istria to th6
extreme confines of Dalmatia, with all the islands
belonging to it, had been subjected to the Venetian
rule, he received the thanks of the Council, and it'
was ordained' that it would be good and auspicious foi
.24 DOGE PIETRO URSEOLO.
the Venetian name that both he and the Doges after
him, for ever, should be styled not only Doge of Venice
but of Dalmatia also.
Then the Emperor Otho sent letters to Urseolo to
signify to him that he was about to come to Ravenna,
and that he purposed to pass over secretly into Venice ;
but it was not his will that his coming should be
made known, for he purposed to come with few
attendants and in little state. And the Doge was
well pleased to.receive him. So the emperor came to
Ravenna and passed from Ravenna to Pomposia,
near the Ghorio mouth of the Po, and there entering
into a ship, with five servants and the Deacon John,
he came with a prosperous voyage to Venice, where it
pleased him to lodge in the monastery of St. Servulo
rather than in any public or private abode, that he
might the more easily conceal his coming. Thither by
night came the Doge, and, after saluting him, con-
gratulated him on having safely reached the Venetian
shores after a prosperous voyage; and he, in return,
congratulated him on having lately so well admin-
istered the affairs of the Republic in Dalmatia. Then
late in the night they went together into the Church of
St. Mark, and having performed his devotions there
he passed into the Doge's palace. And because they
wished that it should be kept secret how great a guest
was there, the Doge, all the while that Otho was with
him, dined in public, but supped afterwards with him
in private. And that they might be joined in a more
holy friendship, Otho held at the font a daughter of
the Doge born at that time, and he remitted the
DOGE PIETRO URSEOLO. 25
payment of the cloth of gold which the Venetians had
been bound to send every year to Caesar. And the
Doge having presented to him many and rich gifts, he
returned to Ravenna.
Then three days after Otho was departed, he called
the people together and told them how the Emperor
had been in their midst for some days and what favours
he had obtained of him. And the thing pleased the
people, and because the Doge had deserved well of the
Venetians, it was decreed that he might associate with
him in his office and dignity his son Giovanni.
But as there is no human felicity which is not
disturbed by some misfortune, so this old man, hither-
to so prosperous, before he died suffered two
extreme evils--famine and pestilence in the city,
and the death of his son and his son's wife. And
the Doge having divided his property into three
parts, gave the larger part to his children and the
second part he gave to the poor and for the building
of churches, and the third part for the feasts and
public spectacles of the city. Thus-having done such
great things within and without the city, he died in
the twenty-second year of his reign. And his body
was buried with great magnificence in the Church of
St. Zacharia by the weeping city.
THE NORMANS IN ITALY.
Now Domenico Silvio ruled as Doge. And his wife
had been a Greek of Constantinople, a lady full of
pride and haughtiness, and such a lover of luxury
that she could never wash in common water, nor
touch her food with her fingers, but would put it into
her mouth with a golden fork; and her bed was scented
with various odours that she might ever be sur-
rounded with fragrance. But nothing is briefer
than immoderate luxury, which, indeed, is most
perilous. And she fell sick of a loathsome disease, so
that neither that noble element, water, which she had
despised in her pride, nor anything else, could cleanse
And at this time the Venetians had wars with the
Normans, a people from the ocean of Aquitaine, who,
having long infested the seas with their piracy, came
into Gaul in the time of Duke Rollo, and wasted
Lorraine with fire and sword. This Rollo made
peace with Charles III., surnamed the Simple, and
having through his persuasion received the Christian
faith, became from an enemy a friend, and his name
being changed to Robert, married the king's daughter,
THE NORMANS IN ITALY. .27
and settled on the banks of the Seine, which country
henceforth was called Normandy. He was the ancestor
of the Robert who afterwards brought the Norman
name to the countries this side of the Alps, of whom
we need say little, his deeds being so famous. At
his coming the people of Italy about Lucania and
Sicily were in lamentable case through the Saracen
arms. Therefore the Norman power grew great and
increased in the land of Italy..
Now Tancred their king had twelve sons, the most
famous of whom were Guilielmo, surnamed Ferrabrach,
and Roberto Guiscardo. And about that time the
Emperor Michael with his three sons were driven out
of Constantinople by Nicephorus. And he came to
Roberto Guiscardo, who was besieging Tarenta, and
prayed. him to pass into Greece. So he left the
siege and came to Hidrun, and gathering his men
together took ship and came with a favourable wind
to Avelona and thence to Durazzo, laying siege to
the city by land and sea. Then Nicephorus sent
Alexis to raise the siege, and he, in the name of his
master, made league with Doge Silvio, that he should
raise a powerful fleet to fight against the Normans.
So the Doge of Venice set sail with his ships and
came to Durazzo; and when he saw the enemy he
gave command to prepare for battle, and without
delay fell upon them fiercely. And the enemy also
strove gallantly and made repeated attacks on the
Venetian galleys. But the Venetians fought with as
much ardour as if it were for their own country, and
not merely for the -honour of their imperial ally.
28 THE NORMANS IN ITAL Y.
Long time victory was doubtful, but at last the
enemy's fleet was dispersed, and some of the ships
being taken, and some sunk, the rest took to flight,
and the victorious Venetians opened the sea to the
people of Durazzo.
But this battle cost the Venetians dear. For after
the overthrow of Nicephorus, Durazzo, besieged by
sea and- land,-for the Normans had already refitted
their fleet,-fell into the enemy's hands. Then the
Venetians, for love of Alexis, who now occupied
the throne, went again against the Normans, and in
almost the same place where they had won their
great victory, they gave battle again. But so severely
were they. defeated, that of the numerous fleet which
Silvio led, very few escaped, but most met their death
in the sea or were taken prisoners. Then the people
were roused to indication against their prince, so that
when he returned to his country he was deprived of
his high office.
And Vital Falerio was made Doge in his stead.
And in his reign came Henry the Emperor out of
Treviso to Venice to visit the Church of St. Mark;
for not long before, by a miracle, the holy body had
been found. For where it had been hidden none knew,
and many thought it had been carried away. But
the city having great desire to find it, made many
prayers and ordered a fast and a great procession.
So the bishops and all the clergy, with the people,
came to the Church making supplication, and it is said
that after many prayers a miracle was wrought, for
out of the ground came forth an arm; so to the great
THE NORMAINS IN ITALY. 29
joy of the people the body was found and taken
up and laid in a more worthy place, and it was
ordained that the place should be known only to
the Doge and to the procurators of the Church;
and a new and more sumptuous church was built
THE VENETIANS AT THE CRUSADES.
Now the Christians had passed the seas to war
against the infidels, and had taken Acre and Jeru-
salem;-but the Venetians were not then come over the
sea.. Then when they arrived, they captured Haifa.
Now the bishop, Arrigo Contarino, was. lord and
captain of the Venetians, and when he had taken
Haifa he said to the Venetians, "Since the Lord
has given us this castle, let us do our part, and
let all the Venetians come and buy and sell here."
And as he had said, so the Venetians did, and sent
their ships to Haifa. But when the barons of Acre
saw that the Venetians repaired to Haifa, they said
among themselves that Acre was of no value to them.
So they took counsel together, and agreed that if the
Venetians would give them that castle, they would give
them a fine piece of Acre. Then they sent to the
Venetians to inquire if they would do so, and they
consented. So they had a part of Acre in the stead of
Haifa, which they gave to the barons of the kingdom.
Now I would have you know that Acre was taken
in the year of our Lord I 12, and the Venetians had
perfect liberty there, and the right of judgment, and
THE VENE TIANS AT THE CR USADES. 31
all things. And the Doge gained thereby much
honour, and he sent his Bailo to that city, who ruled
over the Venetians there, and defended and maintained
the town, with the barons, against the pagans and all
who would do it hurt.
And the Venetians had this liberty throughout all
Syria, for these privileges were granted to them'in
these terms : "This is the agreement which Baldwin,
the second Latin king of Jerusalem, and the barons
made with St. Mark, and .with Messer Domenico
Michele and his successors, sworn to and affirmed
with the hand. In each city of the kingdom, the
Venetians shall have and possess in inheritance, a
church, and an entire street, a piazza, a bath, and an
oven, without tribute or tax. In the street of Jerusalem,
they shall hold as the king is accustomed to hold, and
as they have at Acre, an oven, a mill, baths, weights
and measures, and casks of wine. And 'if the king
shall be delivered, I, Gormundo, Patriarch of Jerusalem,
with the clergy, and barons, and people, promise
Domenico Michele, Doge of Venice, that this privilege
shall be confirmed by him."
Now I will recount to you how Messer Domenico
Michele, the "noble Doge of Venice, passed the sea to
go to the help of the Holy Land, which had suffered
much hurt. For Messer Baldwin, king of Jerusalem,
had been taken and thrown into prison by the un-
believers, and a great many knights with him. There-
fore the Patriarch of Jerusalem, and the barons of the
Holy Land, sent to the Pope and to the barons on
this side of the sea for help.
3 THE VENETIANS AT THE CR USADES.
. Now, Messer Dormenico Michele, a good man, and
wise and of holy life, governed Venice in peace and
gladness. But in the'year of our Lord I 127, the Pope
sent unto Venice a legate to the noble Doge, and he
said. to him: ".Sir, the Pope sends me to you, as a
father sends to his son, and he gives you his favour
Ind blessing. And, sir, he prays you for the-Lord's
sake, and for the sake of St. Peter, to send help over
the seas to the Holy Land." And he gave him the
writing,with the absolution that the Pope had sent, and
the Doge took, the writing and caused it to be read
to him. And after that he took the cross, and many
of the nobles and of the Venetian people with him.
Then Messer the Doge made ready a great and
marvellous fleet, and went on board, and with him the
nobles, and put to sea, and sailed away from Venice.
And they went across the sea until they came to
Syria, and there it fell out that they took eleven
galleys of the pagans, and a ship full of merchandise,
and Ascalon. Then Messer the Doge went with all
his host, in. company of the barons of France, against
Tyre,. and gave battle to the city. But the pagans
defended it so well that the Christians obtained no
success, so they laid siege to it. And one day it fell
out that the barons heard say that the pagans were
coming to succour the city, and they told it to the
Doge, and he answered: "Fear not, for the town
cannot be defended so that it shall not be taken."
"Sir Doge," answered one of the barons, "you' have
- your ships ready, therefore you fear not to be here, for
if the pagans come, you will put yourselves on board
THE VENETIANS AT THE CRUSADES. 33
and go your way." Then when the Doge heard that,
he commanded the Venetians that they should
immediately draw the ships to shore, and they obeyed
his commands; and when he saw the ships on the
land he commanded that they should take away at
once from each ship a plank. So when the barons of
France saw the holes in the navy of the Venetians,
they knew surely that the Doge would not go away
One day it happened that a pigeon came from the
parts of the Pagans, and passed over the host towards
Tyre. As it was flying overhead a great cry rose
from all parts, and the pigeon being but simple, and
of a feeble nature, was filled with fear, and its wings
failing, it fell to the ground, and was taken. Then
they found that it was carrying letters,, and they
brought them to the Doge and the barons, and the
letters were opened, and the seal broken. And there
was there a man who could read the Saracen language,
and he took it and said: "The Sultan of Babylon
salutes the Lord of Tyre, and the knights, and inhabi-
Stants, and all the pagans of the city, and sends them
word to keep the town for fifteen days, for however
much they are suffering he will set them at ease, and
if they want for victuals, he will give them plenty, and
that without fail he will be before Tyre within fifteen
days with such a host of Pagans that if all Christen-
dom were there they would be discomfited." Then
when the Doge and the barons of France heard that,
they were much dismayed, and said they could stay
no longer. Then said the Doge: "Leave it to me; I
.34. THE VENETIANS AT THE CRUSADES.
will gve jou the town to-morrow." So he caused
letters; to. be written. in' the Saracen tongue, saying:
"The Sultan of Babylon salutes the Lord of Tyre,
and the knights, and the Tyrians, and is much
grieved that they are in such distress. If he could
help them he would do so willingly. You have sent
us letters saying that you have no victuals, and pray-
ing me to come to succour you. Know then, truly,
that you can have of me neither help nor victuals, for
I am overtaken with too much business, and if you
cannot defend yourselves, give up the town to the
Christians, and save yourselves." When the letters
were written in the Saracen tongue, a cunning gold-
smith who was there made a seal in semblance like
the seal of the Sultan of Babylon. So the letter was
sealed and tied to the pigeon, and they let it go.
And when. the pigeon found itself free, it took its way
and came to Tyre. And when the Pagans found the
pigeon, and the letters that he bore, they were beyond
measure glad. So they took the letters and broke
the seal and read as it was written. Then they were
filled with terror, and gave up the city of Tyre quickly
to.the Christians. So the Doge had the third part of
the city within and without, and the barons two parts.
And they entered and took possession each one of his
part. Then the .Doge caused his men quickly to
repair the holes that he had had made in his ships,
and when they were repaired, he caused them to be
dragged into the sea.
Then- at the end of fifteen days the Sultan of
Babylon came with so great a host of Pagans that if
-f I (
't: ~~5t~E~ c~~i~c~C) ~ -~~L_ 'P\\\\4~Pj~
THE VENETIANS AT THE CRUSADES. 35
the Christians had been outside the city, and there
had been twice ten times as many of them, they would
all have lost their heads. But when the Sultan saw
that he had lost the city, he was beyond measure
enraged, and went away again quickly with all his
So the Doge left his Bailo in Tyre, and entered his
ship and returned to Venice; but before he came
thither he went with all his army into Roumania, for
he was at war with the Emperor of Constantinople.
So he took ten towns, and many castles, and over-
threw them, and came into Dalmatia. And he had
war with the King -of Hungary, and he took all
Dalmatia, and counts and knights in plenty, and
brought them to Venice. So we will leave speaking
of the Doge Domenico Michele.
WAR WITH THE EMPEROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
ABOUT this time the Emperor Emanuel began to
molest the Venetians, for the Emperor having sent
messengers to demand that they should send men
against the King of Sicily, the Venetians gave answer
that it was not according to their customs to bear arms
against those with whom they were at peace. And
when the ambassadors were departed, because this
answer would be very displeasing to the Emperor, it
was decreed that all the Venetian merchants should be
recalled from Greece. Then the Emperor, who before
was evil disposed in his heart towards Venice, when
he saw that the help was refused, took possession of
Spalatro, Trau, and Ragusa. Nevertheless, adding
fraud to fraud, he pretended that he meant not to
retain these Dalmatian towns, but wished to renew
his friendship with the Venetians, and by his
messengers he entreated them to let,their merchants
return into the land of Greece, and assured them that
his mind was favourably disposed toward them.
Then the citizens, moved by the offers of such a
prince, and knowing the benefits they had of old
WAR WITH EMPEROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE. 37
rendered to him, withdrew their decree, and gave
leave to all to sail into Greece.
So many ships laden with merchandise set forth,
and with them went two ambassadors, Sebastian
Ziani and Orio Maestro Pietro, of the family after-
wards called Malipietro, in the hopes of renewing the
old friendship. But they had scarce arrived in Con-
stantinople, when they heard that Emanuel on a set
day had caused to be seized all the Venetian merchants
and ships in his empire, and having distributed the
money and the goods among the people, had thrown
the men into prison. Then the ambassadors; terrified
at the novelty of these doings, although by the law of
nations they could not have been hurt, tarried not
long at Constantinople, but returned into Italy. But
before they were returned, some who in the tumult
had escaped into their ships, and were got away, came
to Venice and made known the perfidy of Emanuel,
and how the ships and merchandise had been seized
in the ports of Greece; and the wickedness of the
thing much disturbed the minds of the people, and
remembering that nothing was less to be pardoned
than perfidy, they began in haste to prepare a great
fleet to revenge the deed.
A hundred galleys were built in as many days, with
twenty ships of provisions. And all ships that were
absent for trading were ordered to return home by
the first day of September. From Istria and Dal-
matia also came ships, and so the great fleet, with the
Doge Michele, put out to sea. Then first he went to
Trau, and having taken it, destroyed it utterly, because
38 WAR WITH EMPEROR OF' CONS TANTINOPLE.
it had given itself up willingly to the Greeks. And
Ragusa being captured he threw down part of the
wall on the side of the sea, with the tower in which
the imperial standard was fixed. And having done
these things in Dalmatia, -they came with a prosperous
voyage to the island of Negroponte; and Michele
made preparation for assaulting the city. But the
governor, although the place was well furnished for
defence, either moved by fear at the sight of the great
fleet, or being commanded by Emanuel to hold them
in delay, persuaded Michele to send ambassadors to
Constantinople, saying he knew certainly that
Emanuel would prefer any conditions of peace to war.
So there were sent the bishop of Aquileia, learned in
the Greek tongue, and Manasse Badoero.
And while they tarried for their return, Doge
Michele went to the island of Scio and took posses-
sion of the city and the whole island. And because
winter was approaching he determined to tarry there
and await the return of the messengers. And because
they hoped for peace, after Scio was taken they
abstained from touching anything that belonged to
Emanuel-and he being crafty, and inclined to deceit,
appearing always to desire peace, put off the ambas-
sadors with promises, and professed ever to need to
take counsel, using every art to delay the negotia-
tions. Seeing then that the thing could not be con-
cluded, the bishop of Aquileia and Manasse returned
to the Doge.
But at this time a great plague broke out suddenly
in the army, so that a great number of men died in a
WAR WITH EMPEROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE. ,39
short time. And most men believed that the
Emperor had caused poison to be put into the springs
and rivers whence the Venetians got their water, and
that it was by drinking the water that this .great
mortality was caused. Some say that Emanuel came
with a great force to the help of the island, but not
daring to face the Venetians, poisoned the waters and
went away. It is said that in that pestilence all
the family of the Giustiniani died; for all of them
who could bear arms had followed the, Doge in this
expedition. But the city was not willing that the
name of such a family should be lost; and it was
remembered that there remained yet one, Nicolo by
name, a monk in S. Giorgio on the Piazza, or as
others say, in St. Nicolo. So they sent in the public
name to the Pope, and prayed that he would give him
leave to come out of the monastery and take a wife;
and the prayer being granted, the house of Giustin-
iani was preserved in the city, and brought forth in
after times men of great wisdom and excellent orators.
Then Vital Michele, though he was not a little
troubled by these things, yet seeing that by the
deceitfulness of Emanuel, the matter could not be
brought to a speedy conclusion, that he might not be
accused of sloth or idleness, went at the first signs of
spring -from Scio to Lesbos, and from Lesbos to
Lemnos, and from Lemnos to Schiro. But the
pestilence which had appeared in the winter increased
fearfully, and the soldiers and sailors falling dead on
every side, reproached him with bitter cries and
lamentations. Therefore, he resolved to lead back the
40 WAR WITH EMPEROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
remnant of the great fleet to Venice. But when they
were returned, the pestilence spread in the city, and
more miserably than it had been without, so that it is
said in a few days many thousands of people perished.
And the people being called together in council, cried
out against Michele as the cause of all the evil, calling
him a betrayer of his fellow-citizens and of the
Republic, and saying that to gain favour with Emanuel,
the great enemy of the Venetians, he had let slip the
opportunity of victory, and had exposed the whole
fleet to the treachery of the Greeks. And when he
would have cleared himself from these accusations,
they interrupted him with bitter insults. And when
it appeared that his head was in danger, he secretly
left the council, and passing out of the palace alone,
went towards the church of San Zaccaria by the
nearest street. But as he went they fell upon him,
and one gave him so grievous a wound, that after he
had made his confession, he died. Thus he perished
for no fault, but of too much desiring peace, by which
being too credulous, he did grave damage to the
Republic. But he was a man of great goodness, and
much beloved by all, as was made manifest at his
funeral, which was celebrated by all the people. At
his death the people rushed to the church of St. Mark,
wherefore, to quiet the tumult which his death had
caused, ten men were chosen and made to swear
solemnly to choose' no one for Doge but one who
would do well to the Republic.
Then when they began among themselves to elect
a new Doge in the place of the dead, it is said that all
WAR WITH EMPEROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE. .41
were for Orio Malipietro, a man of rare virtue, and
wise in counsel, who was one of the ten. But he,
having great love for his country, persuaded his com-
panions that they should give their votes to another,
who would be more useful to the country-Sebastian
Ziani, a man of seventy years, and mighty in riches,
for at that time there was need not only of wisdom,
but before all things of gold to rule the country easily.
Thus we may see by the modesty of Orio how little
those great men were moved by ambition, and how
the love of their country made them put the public
good before their own. So the ten followed Orio's
counsel, and made Ziani their Doge, and the people
approved their choice.
In his time there were brought from Greece three
great columns in those ships which are commonly
called caraccas. One of them being too heavy for the
strength of the machinery that was employed for
landing them, fell into the deep water, and lies there
to this day. The others with greater care were
brought to land. And they lay there a long time,
none being found bold enough to essay to raise them,
although great rewards were offered. Then at last,
because the desire was great that the thing should be
done, it was publicly proclaimed that whoever should
accomplish the work, should be permitted to ask the
prince and the people for anything he would, and the
public faith was pledged that it should be granted
him, so that it were such as could rightly be done.
When this promise was known many attempted the
thing, some moved by the desire of the reward, and
42 WAR WITh EMPEROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
others for the glory of it. But one from Lombardy
accomplished it, and. by constantly moistening with
water the cords which held the weight, set up the two
columns in the Piazza, where they now stand: on the
capital of one is the emblem of St. Mark, the lion with
spread wings, and on the other, the holy-martyr
St. Theodore, with the lance and shield and the serpent
beneath his feet. The reward that he demanded was,
that all who played at dice between the columns might
be safe from punishment, even if they cheated.
I would have called him a man of great ingenuity if
he had-not asked so shameful a reward. He also was
the first to build the bridge of Rialto and many other
useful works, by which he obtained his living for the
rest of his days.
FREDERICK BARBAROSSA AND THE POPE.
Now while Vital Michele was Doge, the Venetians
gave aid to Pope Alexander III. against the Anti-
pope. This Alexander was in favour also with the
kings of France and England. Only the Emperor
Frederick, surnamed Barbarossa, defended Octavian,
and at his request made war on the Venetians. And
the people of Verona, Padua, and Ferrara having
joined together, attacked Cavarzere and took it,
but, hearing of the coming of the Venetians, they
destroyed the castle, and, carrying the inhabitants
away prisoners, departed in haste.
Then Ulrico, patriarch of Aquileia, who also
favoured Octavian, came with a powerful army from
Friuli and took Grado, not so much with the hope of
keeping it, for that could not have been, but to carry
away the most precious things and take them to
Aquileia. But by the unexpected arrival of the Doge
he was made prisoner, with twelve canons and others,
and led away to Venice. He was soon let go free
however, on these conditions, that every year he
should send to Venice a fat bull and twelve pigs in
the days of the Carnival, that the people might see by
44 FREDERICK BARBAROSSA AND THE POPE.
their death that the crime of Ulrico was expiated, and
that it might be a perpetual memory of their victory.
But when Octavian was dead, Guido da Crema was
chosen in his' place, and Frederick, from the hatred
he bore to Alexander, favoured him also. And he
published an edict that none in Italy should receive
Alexander on pain of death, or aid him with food or
shelter, and the cities that received him he would
destroy. Therefore, having no safe place in the rest
of Italy, he passed from Apulia to Monte Gargano, and
thence in a ship of Sclavonia to Zara, and from
,Dalmatia he came in disguise to Venice as the only
refuge of liberty. Neither did he feel very secure
here, for he had never made proof of the faith of the
Venetians; therefore, concealing his dignity as he
thought best for his safety, he hid himself in humble
garments in the church della Carita until he was
discovered by one named Commodo, who had known
him before. Some say that to hide himself better he
worked as a cook, but it is more credible that he
concealed his dignity in the habit of a poor friar.
Then the Doge Ziani, knowing who he was,
received him kindly and lodged him in the church of
San Pietro di Castello, hoping to make peace between
him and Frederick, and reinstate him in his dignity.
Therefore he sent ambassadors to Frederick to pray
him to make peace with Alexander. It is said that
the Pope, seeing him seal the letters with wax, gave
command that henceforward the ducal letters should be
sealed with lead, which custom is observed to this
FREDERICK BARBAROSSA AND THE POPE. 45
Then the ambassadors, being come to Frederick,
were received by him at first graciously, but when
they made mention of peace with Alexander his
wrath was kindled. "Go," he said, "and tell your
prince and your people that Frederick the Roman
Emperor demands from them his enemy and fugitive,
and if they do not send him quickly bound in chains,
let them know that the Venetians are the enemies of
the Empire. Neither shall any treaty or law avail
them, for to avenge himself for such an injury he is
ready to overthrow all rights, human and Divine.
And he will come against them by land -and by sea,
and will plant his victorious eagles before the gates of
So the messengers were sent away to carry to
Venice the fierce menaces of the Emperor. And the
city was much moved, for the war that threatened
them seemed to them more fraught with danger than
any that had befallen them to that day.. There-
fore they made haste to prepare a fleet that should be
able to keep the command of the sea, for they knew
that if they ruled the sea they had little need to fear
the enemy. And while the fleet was making ready,
and the city on the alert in expectation of war, came
the tidings that Otho the son of Frederick was
approaching with seventy-five galleys. Whereupon
Ziani made ready to depart in the ships that were
prepared, and the holy Pontiff offered the sacrifice,
praying that a prosperous voyage and victory might
be given to the Doge and the Venetians. And he
armed Ziani with a sword of gold and gave him gold
46. FREDERICK BARBAROSSA AND THE POPE.
trappings for his horse. So he, passing out of the
harbour with thirty'galleys, went. in search of the
enemy, and on the Istrian shores near Cape Salborio
he found him and gave battle. And they fought
together for many hours ; but at length the enemy was
put to flight, and forty-eight of his ships were taken,
and the royal ship among them, and two were sunk.
Thus they returned rulers of the sea to Venice, bring-
ing with them Otho their prisoner. And the fame of
so great a victory filled the city with astonishment, and
they could scarce believe it for joy. Then when the
ships came to land, great multitudes came out to see
Otho'the son of Frederick and -the other great men
led prisoners into the city. And the Pope came out
to meet Ziani and to congratulate him on his victory,
and he gave him a ring of gold, saying: "Take this,
0 Ziani! for by my authority I make the sea subject
to thee with this token, and thou and thy successors
shall henceforward observe this day, that all posterity
may know that the sea is your possession, and as the
wife is subject to her husband, so the sea is subject to
Then Otho prayed the Venetians to let him
go. to his father that he might make peace
between him. and Alexander, promising himself to
return. And the Venetians letting him go, he came
to his father, who received him with great joy, having
feared greatly for his safety. And having embraced
him with tears, Otho recounted the story of his defeat
in. few words, referring it wholly to the Divine will, for
that he had failed in none of the duties of a captain,
FREDERICK BARBAROSSA AND THE POPE. .47
and all had been favourable for victory, and that it
could not be by. human strength that. so powerful a
fleet going boldly into battle should be overthrown by
an enemy who were scarce half as many.as they were.
Therefore he prayed. him to fight no more against
Alexander, but laying aside his hatred to the Pope, to
go to Venice to make his peace with him.
And the words of Otho prevailed with his father, and
laying aside his' arms he began to treat for peace with'
Alexander and the Venetians. So having a safe
conduct from the Venetians, he came to their.,city,
Pietro, Ziani's son, being sent to Ravenna with six
galleys to meet him, and many little ships going to
Chioggia to salute his coming. And the Pope, seated
in great state before the church of St. Mark, awaited
the coming of the Emperor. And he, when he was
come near, taking off ,his purple cloak, prostrated
himself on the ground and kissed the feet of Alex-
ander; but the Pope, raising him from the ground,
kissed him on the forehead. Then they went together
to the altar of St. Mark, where was that table,
ornamented with precious stones, which is still seen
among the public treasures. There the people saw
the two princes of Christendom talking together.
There are some who say that the Pontiff put his
foot 'on the neck of the Emperor as he lay prostrate
before him, saying in the words of David: "Thou
shalt tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion
and the dragon shalt thou trample under foot." And
Frederick, moved to anger, answered: I yield not to,
thee; but to Peter." And he, like a man in a passion,
48 FREDERICK BARBAROSSA AND THE POPE.
pressing his foot down harder, cried, "Both to me and
to Peter." Some say that these things were done on
Ascension Day, but others that that was the day
when the victory was won, and in memory' of it the
Pontiff ordained that all who should confess in that
church on that day should have plenary indulgence.
After these things Frederick and Alexander, with
the Doge Ziani, went to Ancona. And all the city
having run together to see them, there were brought
in the public name two umbrellas, one for Pope
Alexander, and the other for the Emperor Frederick.
But the Pope commanded that a third should be
brought for the Doge of Venice, giving to him and
to his successors for ever the right to use it. And
still in our times we see it borne with the other
ensigns of authority in times of solemn pomp. And
the Pope, having come to Rome, was received with
great joy, and perceiving the silver trumpets, whose
blare resounded all around, he turned to those who
bore them and commanded that eight of them should
be given to the Doge of Venice in memory of the
victory, to be used for ever by the chief magistrate of
So Doge Ziani, with the Pope's blessing, came
again to Venice. And the sailors of Poveia, whose
duty it was, received him in the Bucentoro. And the
Bishop of Castello, and great part of the city, came out
to receive him with honour. And he, with white
tapers, which had been one of the first of Alexander's
gifts, beneath the umbrella, with the trumpets and
standards going before him, entered the city.
THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
How they made ready to go to the Holy Land.
IN the year of our Lord 190, in the time of
Innocent, Pope of Rome, Philip, King of France, and
Richard, King of England, there was a holy man in
France, named Foulque de Neuille, by whom many
miracles were done. And the fame of this holy man
came to Innocent, the Pope of Rome, and he sent to
him, and commanded him to preach a crusade. And
the year after there was a tournament in Champagne,
at a castle of the name of Ecri, and it came to pass
that Thibaut, Count of Champagne, took the cross,
and Count Louis de Blois also. Count Thibaut was
a young man, not more than twenty-two years of age,
and Count Louis was not more than twenty-seven,
and they were nephews of the King of France, and
also of the King of England, and with them many
others took the cross. And at the beginning of Lent
following, Count Baldwin of Flanders, and the Coun-
tess Marie, his wife, took the cross, and with him his
brother Henri, and many others. Then they held a
parliament to arrange when they would set out, and
50 -THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
which way they would go. And they chose six
messengers, and gave them full authority to arrange
And.the six messengers took counsel together, and
they agreed to go to Venice, for they knew they would
find there more vessels than at any other port So
they rode on their: way until they came there in the
first week of Lent. The Doge of Venice, whose name
was Hen'rico Dandolo, and who was very wise and
brave, received them honourably, and when they had
given him the letters of their lords, he marvelled much
at the matter for which they had come. And he said
to them: Sirs, I. have received your letters, and know
well that your masters are the greatest men uncrowned.
What is it that you wish ? "
SAnd they answered: Sir, we wish that you should
assemble your council, and before your council we
will say what our masters wish; to-morrow, if you will.'.
But the Doge replied that he would ask them to wait
-intil the fourth day, and then he would assemble his
So on the fourth day they entered the palace, which
was very rich and fine, and found the Doge and his
council in a chamber, and they gave their message in
this manner: Sir, we have come to you from the high
harons of France, who have taken the sign of the cross
to re-conquer Jerusalem, if God will. And because
they know that no people have so great power to aid
us as you, they pray you to have pity on the land
beyond the sea, and give them ships of war and
THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE. 51
"It is a great thing," said the Doge, "that they
require. We will give you an answer in eight days.
Marvel not that the time is long, for it is well to think
much on so great a matter."
So at the time that he had fixed, they returned to
the palace. I cannot tell. you all that was said, but
this was the end of it: "My lords," said the Doge,
"we will tell you what we have resolved, if the Great
Council and the people will consent to it. We will
give you ships to carry four thousand five hundred
horses and nine thousand squires, and four thousand five
hundred knights and twenty thousand foot soldiers.
And they shall carry provisions for nine months.
And for each horse you shall give us four marks, and
for each man, two. And it shall be agreed that they
shall be held bound to the service of God and Christ-
endom for one year, from the day they leave the port
of Venice. And the whole sum is ninety-five
thousand marks. And we will add besides fifty
galleys armed, on condition that as long as our
alliance lasts, of all the conquests that we make by
land or sea, we shall have the' one-half and you the
So the messengers having agreed to this, the Doge
summoned his Great Council, and the council was of
forty men, the wisest of the land. And by his wit
and good sense he brought them to approve it.
Then he assembled a hundred of the people, then
two hundred, then a thousand, to agree to it and
approve it. Then he assembled ten thousand at once
in the chapel of St. Mark, the most beautiful in, the
52 THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
world,. and bade them hear mass and pray God to
counsel them rightly about the request that the
messengers had: made. And when mass was said
the Doge sent to the messengers to come. So they
came to the church, and many who had not seen them
before regarded them much. Then Geoffroi de Ville
Hardouin, by the will of the other messengers, took
the word, and said : Sirs, the most high and powerful
barons of France have sent us, and pray you to have
pity on Jerusalem, which is in servitude to the Turks,
and they have chosen you because they know that
there is no people that has such power on the sea as
you and your people. And they have commanded us
to fall at your feet, and not rise until you have pity
on the Holy Land."
And the six messengers knelt at their feet weeping
bitterly, and the Doge and those with him began to
weep for pity, and cried aloud with one voice, lifting
up their hands on high: "We will it! we will it!"
and the noise and tumult was so great that the earth
When the tumult of pity was appeased,-and no man
ever saw greater,-the good Doge, who was very wise
and 'brave, mounted the pulpit, and spoke to the
people, saying: "Sirs, see the honour that God has
done us, that the best men in the world have left all
other peoples, and have prayed us to accompany them
in so great a thing." I cannot tell you all the good
and fine things that the Doge said, but the end was
that the agreements were to be made out the next
day. And when that was done, it was settled in
THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.' 53
council that they would go to Babylon, for by Baby-
lon they could best destroy the Turks.
It was then Lent, and by the feast of St. John in
the next year, which was the year 1202, the barons
and pilgrims should be in Venice and the vessels
ready prepared. When the covenants were drawn
up and sealed, they were brought before the Doge
into the great palace, where was the Great Council
and the Little one. And the. Doge knelt down and
with many tears swore to keep the covenant, and all
the council did likewise, which was of forty-six per-
sons. And the messengers in their turn swore to
the agreement, and many a tear of pity was shed.
And on both sides were messengers sent to Pope
Innocent to pray him to confirm the covenant, which
he did very willingly.
So the messengers took leave and returned into
their own country. But Count Thibaut de Cham-
pagne fell sick and died, and at the news of his death
the pilgrims were sore troubled, and they held a
parliament to know what they should do. And they
agreed to send letters to the Marquis Boniface de
Montferrat, and to pray him to take the lead of the
host. And the. Marquis listened to their prayer,
and was made their captain.
Then. towards Pentecost, the pilgrims began to
move, and many a tear was shed when they left their
lands and their people and their friends. And they
rode through Burgundy, and by Mont Cenis, and
through Lombardy, and began to.assemble in Venice,
lodging in an isle that is called St. Nicholas of the
54 7HE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
Port. About the same time a fleet set out from
Flanders by sea; and they promised Count Baldwin,
and swore on relics that they would join the army
at Venice. Therefore, the Count sent in their ships,
clothes and provisions, and other things; but they
kept their word ill, and of the. French also -many
failed them, avoiding Venice and going by Marseilles.
So Count Baldwin of Flanders came to Venice,
and many of the others, and the tidings reached them
that many pilgrims had gone by other ways and
other ports, and they were greatly dismayed, for they
could not keep their agreement nor pay what they
owed to the Venetians.
Then Count Louis de Blois and other barons came
to Venice, and they were received with great feasting
and joy, and lodged in the isle St. Nicholas with the
others. Never was seen so fine an army, and such
good knights, and the Venetians made them a plenti-
ful market of everything necessary for horses and
men; and the fleet that they had prepared was so
rich and so fine that no Christian had ever seen a
finer, with galleys and ships and transports for three
times the number of the men in the army. The
Venetians had kept their covenant well, and they
summoned the counts and barons to keep theirs, for
they were ready to start. Then the barons consulted
together what they should do, and the Count of
Flanders gave all that he had and all he could
borrow, and Count Louis the same, and others also
You might have seen many fine vessels of gold and
silver carried to the Doge's house for the payment.
THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE. 55
But when they had done, there was wanting still
thirty-four thousand marks of silver.
Then the Doge spoke to his people, and said : Sirs,
these men can pay us no more. The King of Hungary
has taken from us Zara in Sclavonia. Let us pray
them to aid us to conquer it, and we will give them
respite for the thirty-four thousand marks that they
owe us, until God lets us gain them by our conquests."
And thus it was agreed.
Then they assembled on a Sunday in the. Church
of St. Mark. It was a great feast day, and the people
of the land were there and the barons and pilgrims.
But before high mass began, the Doge of Venice,
whose name was Henrico Dandolo, mounted the pulpit,
and spoke to the people and said: "Sirs, you have
joined with the best people in the world, in the greatest
affair that ever people undertook; and I am an old
man and feeble, and have need of repose, being sick of
body; but I see that none can govern you like me,
who am your father. Therefore, if you will agree that
I take the cross, and will let my son remain -in my
place and guard the land, I will go with you, and live
or die with you and the pilgrims."
And when they heard that, they cried outwith one
voice: "We pray you to do it, and to come with us."
But the people of the land and the pilgrims shed
many tears of pity, because the brave man had great
reason to stay at home, for he was an old man, and
his eyes were beautiful, and yet he could not see at
all, for he had lost his sight by a wound in the head.
But he was very great of soul.
"56 7HE TAKING OF CONS TANTINOPLE,
Then he came down from the pulpit and went to
the altar and knelt down weeping, and they sewed the
cross on his cotton cap in front that all might see it.
And the Venetians began in great numbers to take
How the Crusaders went to aid the Prince Alexis of
Now you shall hear one of the greatest marvels and
wonderful adventures that you have ever heard. At
that time there was an Emperor in Constantinople of
the name of Isaac, and he had a brother Alexis, whom
he had ransomed from a Turkish prison. This Alexis
took his brother the Emperor and put out his eyes,
and made himself Emperor. And he kept him in
prison, and a son of his by name Alexis. But this
son escaped out of prison and fled over the sea. And
he came to Verona and found the pilgrims who were
going to the army.
Now the barons went on board the ships, and
when they were laden with arms and provisions, and
the knights and soldiers had gone up into them, the
shields were hung round the sides of the ships, and on
the castles and the banners also, of which there were
many fine ones. And they carried in the ships stone-
bows and mangonels three hundred and more, and all
engines for taking towns in great plenty. No better
fleet ever left port, and it was the octave of the feast
of St. Remy in the year 1202.
Then on the eve of St. Martin they came before the
- I I- ..---- ...-._ // 1-,
2 -- -. -- - --
THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE. .
town of Zara in Sclavonia, and saw the city enclosed
in high walls, with high towers. And when the
pilgrims saw it they marvelled much, and said one to
another:" How can we take such a town by force ?"
The first ships anchored and waited for the others. And
in the morning it was fine and very clear, and all the
galleys and other ships came up and took the port by
force, and broke the chain, which was very strong.
Then many knights and soldiers issued forth of the
ships, and many a fine horse with them, and rich tents
and pavilions; so the host encamped,. and Zara was
Now all the barons were not yet arrived, neither was
the Marquis de Montferrat yet come. Then the day
after St. Martin's day, the people of Zara came out
to the Doge of Venice, who was in his pavilion, and
told him that they would give up the city and all that
they had, save themselves, to his mercy. But the
Doge answered that he would do nothing but with
the consent of the counts and barons. Now there
were some who wished not well to the army, and they
persuaded the people of Zara, saying that they had
nothing to fear from the pilgrims, so they returned
back into the city. And there rose up an Abbd de
Vaux and said,: Sirs, I forbid you in the name of the
Pope of Rome to assail this city, for the people of it
are Christians and you are pilgrims."
But the next morning they went against the gates
of the city, and set up their stone-bows and mangonels,
and the other engines, and on the sea-side they set up
ladders from the ships. And they assailed it for five
589 THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
days, and began to undermine the walls. Then they
within made accord, and the town was given up tto
the mercy of the Doge of Venice. Then came the
Marquis Boniface de Montferrat, and a little after
came messengers from King Philip of Germany
praying them to restore the young Prince Alexis to
his heritage of Constantinople. Then they met
together to consider the thing, and the Abbe de Vaux
prayed them not to consent, for it was marching against
Christians, and that they had not set out for that but
to go to Syria. And the army was at discord; nor
was it marvel that the laymen should be at discord,
for even the Whitefriars of the order of the Cistercians
were at discord among themselves. And the Abbe
de Loos, a holy man, preached to the people that it
was the way by which they could best recover the
land; and the Abbd de Vaux in his turn said it was
evil, and that they ought to go to the land of Syria.
But the Marquis de Montferrat and Baldwin of
Flanders, and others with them, came to the house of
the Doge and sent for the messengers, and concluded
with them an agreement and the time was fixed for
the heir of Constantinople'to come to them.
So they tarried that winter in Zara, and many of
the lesser people escaped in merchant-ships. In one
ship went five hundred men, but they were all drowned
and lost; and another company went away by land
and thought to go through Sclavonia, but the peasants
of the land assailed them and killed many.
And at that time the barons sent messengers to
Rome to pray the Pope to pardon them for the taking
THE TAKING OF CONS7ANTINOPLE. .59
of Zara ; and he absolved them as his sons, and bade
them keep the army together.
Then they prepared their ships to set out at, Easter.
And the day after Easter the pilgrims went out of
the town and set sail for Corfu. And before the
Doge and Marquis set out, came Alexis, son of the
Emperor Isaac, and he was received with very great
joy and honour, and the Doge gave him galleys
and vessels as he needed. So they set out from the
port of Zara and came to Durazzo, and they set out
from thence and came to Corfu, and found the army
lodged before the town, with tents and pavilions
pitched. And when they heard that the *son of the
Emperor of Constantinople was arrived, the knights
and soldiers came down to meet him with very great
joy. And his tent was pitched in the midst of the
army, and near by that of the Marquis de Montferrat.
And they sojourned in that isle three weeks. And
on the eve of Pentecost, of the year 1203, the trans-
port ships, and the galleys, and the merchant ships
which sailed with them, assembled together. And the
day was fine and clear, and the wind soft, so they
spread their sails to the wind. And it seemed a fleet
that might conquer the world; for as far as the eye
could see there was nothing but sails of ships and
vessels- to gladden the hearts of men. So they ran
through the sea till they came to Nigre, which is a
very good island with a very good city, which is called
Negroponte. And the Marquis Boniface and Count
Baldwin, with the son of the Emperor, landed on an
island named Andre, but the other ships went up the
60 THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
Arm of St. George to a city called Abydos, very fine
and well situated. There they landed, and the people
of the city came to meet them, and gave. up the town
to them. So they sojourned there eight days to await
the other ships, and they gathered the grain of the
land, for it was harvest time and they had great need.
How they came to Constantinople and took the City.
Then in eight days the barons arrived, and they
sailed- together to St. Stephen, an abbey three leagues
from Constantinople; and all on board the galleys
and ships saw Constantinople plainly, and there they
anchored. You may imagine that those who had not
seen it before looked much at Constantinople, for
they could not conceive that there could be so rich
a town in the world, when they saw the high walls
and rich' towers with which it was surrounded, and
the rich palaces and high churches, of which there
were so many that none could believe it but those
who saw it, and the length and breadth of this city
which was the sovereign of all. And there was no
man so bold who did not tremble, for such a great
enterprise was never undertaken since the world began.
So they came to land, and held a parliament in the
church of St. Stephen. And when many things had
been said, the Doge rose up and spoke: "Sirs, I
know more of this country than you do, for I have
been here aforetime. You have undertaken a very
great and perilous affair, therefore it is well to act
wisely. If we land, our men are poor and needy,
THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE. 6I
and they will spread abroad to gather food; and the
people of the land are many, and we cannot fail to
lose some of ours, and we have no need to lose them,
for we have but few to do all we wish. There are
islands near by that you can see from here, which
produce corn and provisions; let us land there, and
and when we have gathered the food go before the
To this they agreed, and all returned to their ships.
And the next morning, on the feast of St. John the
Baptist, the standards and the banners were hung out
on the castles of the ships, and the shields on the
sides of the ships, and every one looked to his arms.
Then the mariners raised the anchors and spread the
sails, and God gave them a good wind. So they
passed before Constantinople so close that they shot
upon them from the walls. But they changed their
design of going to the isles, and went as straight to
land as they could, before a palace of the Emperor
Alexis, at a place called Chalcedon on the other side
of the sea towards Turkey. This palace was one of
the finest and most delightful that could be seen. So
the counts and barons came to land and lodged in the
palace, and the others spread their tents. And the
horses were brought forth out of the ships, and none
remained in the vessels but the mariners. The
country was rich and plentiful, and the corn ready
for the harvest; and each man took what he would.
Then on the third day they weighed anchor and went
on up the sea to a palace a league above Constanti-
nople, called Scutari. So the French lodged at Scutari.
62 THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
And when the Emperor Alexis saw it, he .made his
army go forth of Constantinople, and lodged on the
other bank over against them and spread his pavilions
there. And the French sojourned there nine days.
And the Emperor sent a messenger to them to ask
them wherefore they came, and they returned answer
bidding him submit and give back the crown and the
empire to his nephew. Then they took the young
Alexis in their galleys, and went quite close to the
walls of Constantinople and showed him to the people,
but none of the city dared show that he favoured him
for fear of the Emperor Alexis.
So they prepared for battle and arranged the order
of it and made confession of their sins. And the set
time came, and the knights were all on the transport
ships with their horses, and they were all armed, with
helmets laced, and their horses draped and saddled.
And the other men were on the great ships, and the
galleys were armed and prepared. And the morning
was fine a little before sunrise, and the Emperor
Alexis awaited them with a great array. Then the
trumpets sounded and each galley was tied to a trans-
port ship to pass out more easily. And none asked
who was to go first, but whoever could was first.
And the knights leapt up to their waists in the sea,
all armed, with helmet laced and lance in hand, and
the archers and soldiers and arbalesters sprang to land
there where they touched. The Greeks made pretence
of facing them, but when they lowered their lances
they turned their backs and fled arid gave up the
shore. Then the mariners opened the doors of the
THE MAKING OF CONSTANJINOPLE. .63
transport ships and threw the bridges across and
brought out the horses, and the knights mounted and
arranged themselves in order of battle. And the next
day they took the tower of Galata and the port of
Constantinople, and brought in the ships and the
galleys and the vessels. And the Venetians wished
to set up the ladders on the ships and assault the city
from the sea. But the French said they could not aid
themselves at sea as on land,.so it was agreed that the
Venetians should attack by sea and the barons.with
their army by land.
So they tarried thus four days, and on the fifth all
the camp armed and took up its order of battle and
the fleet came inside the harbour opposite to them.
And there a river empties itself into the sea, and
can only be crossed by a bridge of stone. The
Greeks had cut the bridge, but the barons laboured
day and night to repair it. So they came before the
town,:but none came forth against them, and it was a
great.marvel, for for one that there was in the host there
were two hundred in the town. And the Venetians
were on the sea in their ships and vessels, and set up
their ladders and mangonels and stone-bows and
ordered the assault very well.
There was no hour of the day or night that one of
the -divisions of the army was not under arins to guaid
the .engines and to watch against sorties. For the
Greeks did enough at this gate to keep them engaged,,
and they could not go' four arbalesters' length from
the army 'to seek food. And they had very-little
except, flour and bacon, and no fresh meat at all.
64 THE TAKING OF CONS TANTINOPLE.
except the horses that were killed. This labour and
peril lasted nearly four days, until on Thursday
morning they prepared for the assault, and the
Venetians made ready by sea. Three of the seven
companies of the host were to guard the camp and
the other four to make the assault.
Then they set up two ladders at a barbican, and the
assault was hard and fierce, and they mounted the
wall and fought hand to hand. But those within
drove them back and took two of them. Thus went
the assault with the French.
And the Doge of Venice did not forget himself, and
he had arrayed his ships and his vessels with one
front, and it stretched thrice as far as an arbalest can
carry, and thus they began to approach the bank
beneath the walls and towers. Then you might have
seen the mangonels shooting from the ships and the
arbalests sending forth their quarrels, and those
within defending themselves from the walls and
towers; the ladders of the ships came so roughly
against the walls that they fought together with
sword and lance, and the. tumult was so great that it
seemed as if earth and sky were falling in together.
But the galleys did not venture to the shore.
I will tell you a deed of great prowess; for the Doge
of Venice, an old man who could see nought, stood all
armed at the head of his galley with the standard of
St. Mark before him, and he cried aloud to his men to
put him ashore. And they did so, and brought the
galley to land, and they sprang forth and bore the
standard -of St. Mark before him to the shore. And
THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE. 65
when the Venetians saw the standard of St. Mark on
land and the galley of their prince at the shore before
them, they were moved to shame, and all came to
land, and those on the great ships entered barges and
came to land, each striving to be first. Then was an
assault made, great and marvellous, and 'more than
forty men say they saw the standard of St. Markl.on
one of the towers, but they know not who bore .it
there. And there befel a strange miracle, for those
within fled and abandoned the walls, and the others
entered, each struggling to be first, and seized twenty-
five of the towers and garrisoned them with their men.
Then the Doge took a boat and sent messengers to the
barons to make them know that he had taken twenty-
five towers. The barons could not believe it for joy,
and the Venetians began to send them in boats
horses and palfreys that they had taken in the town.
Then when the Emperor saw that they, had entered
the town, he began to send his men against them in so
great numbers that they saw they could. not stand
against them. So they took fire, and set it between
them, and when it began to grow great, the Greeks
could not see our men, so they retired into the towers
that they had taken. Then the Emperor came out of
the city with all his force by other gates, a league
away from the army, and there were so many men it
seemed as if all the world was there.. So he ordered
his battle in the plain, and rode towards. the army.
And he rode until he was so near that they could
shoot one upon another. And- when the Doge of
Venice heard that, he made his men come out of the
66- THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
towers they-had taken, saying. he would live and die
with the pilgrims. So he himself descended first to
the ground, and with his people came to the host.
And the battle was arrayed, and the pilgrims and the
Greeks stood face, to face, but the Greeks dared not
erter the lines of the pilgrims, and they would not
leave their defences. So they waited one for the
,other,'and the Emperor began at last to draw his men
off, and when the pilgrims saw that, they began to
advance towards him. Thus went the battle that day,
for nothing more was done. The Emperor returned
to the town, and they to their tents, and disarmed
themselves, for they were very weary, and ate little,
and drank little, for they had but few victuals.
Then that same night the Emperor Alexis took as
much of his treasure as he could carry, and the men
who would go with him, and fled away out of the city.
And the town was filled with wonder, and they took
the Emperor Isaac out of prison, and put on him the
raiment of an emperor, and carried him to a great
palace, and did obeisance to him. Then they sent
messengers to the camp to tell what things were done.
And when the pilgrims found the things were true,
they mounted their horses, and took the young prince
into the city to his father, and the Greeks received
him with great joy and feasting. The joy of the
father and son was very great, for they had not seen
one. another for a great while, and they had been
brought from great misery to great power. Also in
Constantinople and in the camp of the pilgrims the
joy was very great.
THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE. .7
How the Greeks broke faith, and the Crusaders besieged
the City a second time.
The barons, at the prayer of the Emperor, took
up their lodging before Estanor and Galata on the
other side of the port, and sojourned there in peace
and repose and great plenty. And many of them
went to see the rich palaces and high churches of
Constantinople, and the great riches of the town.
And the young Prince Alexis was crowned Emperor
on the feast of St. Peter. Then he sent for the barons
and the Doge of Venice, and prayed them, saying:
"The time is near when you should go, but in sd short
a time I cannot complete the payment according to
the covenant. If you leave me, the Greeks hate me-
because by your means I have recovered my heritage,
and I shall lose it again, and they will kill me. Tarry
therefore until March, and I will pay the cost to the
Venetians." And to this they agreed, and went out
with the Emperor to aid him in subduing the empire
to his will. But when he returned, having settled his
affairs well, he grew proud towards the barons, and
delayed to fulfil his covenant with them; and when
they saw that he would not listen to them, they sent
messengers to him to renounce his friendship, and to
defy him. Thus war broke out between them, and
lasted even to the heart of the winter.
Then the Greeks bethought them of a stratagem;
for they took seventeen great ships, and filled them
with wood, and tar, and pitch, and waited until the
wind blew away from them strongly. And one night
at midnight; they set fire to the ships and spread the
68 THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
sails. And the ships burnt until it seemed as if the
land were on fire. And they came floating down
towards the fleet of the pilgrims. Then the Venetians
ran to their ships, and all who had vessels, and began
to draw them away from the fire. And no people on
the sea can help themselves better than the Venetians
can, for they sprang into their galleys and barges, and
seized the lighted ships with hooks, and dragged them
by force out bf the port into the current of the bay,
and let them go floating down the bay. And there were
Greeks without number on the banks, and they entered
little boats and shot upon the Venetians, and many
were wounded. And this lasted until day, but none
was lost save a ship of Pisa full of merchandise.
Then the Greeks, seeing no hope of peace, thought
to betray their lord; and one of them, by name Mur-
zuphle, took him by night and threw him into prison,
and made himself emperor in his stead. And when the
Emperor Isaac heard that his son was taken, he fell
sick and died. And the Emperor Murzuphle caused
the son to be strangled in prison, and said that he
had died of sickness, and. buried him honourably like
an emperor. But the barons, hearing of the murder,
held a parliament, and all were of accord that he who
did such deeds could not hold land.
Then the war grew great between the pilgrims and
the Greeks, and the pilgrims began to prepare their
stone-bows and mangonels, and the Greeks to fortify
their town. And those of the camp consulted
together, and agreed that if God should give them
the town they would appoint six men of the French
THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE. 69
and six of the Venetians, and they swore upon -relics
that they would choose him for emperor who should
be most for the profit of the land. And he who
should be chosen emperor should have one quarter of
all that should be conquered, and the other three-
quarters should be divided in two-half for the Vene-
tians and half for the army.
On the Thursday in Mid-Lent they made an assault
upon the city and were repulsed, and that day they
lost more than the Greeks, at which the Greeks were
greatly rejoiced. And they took counsel together,
and agreed to rest until the Monday, and then they
would go again to the assault. And they would tie
the ships together two and two with the ladders.
Thus two ships would attack a tower, for they had
seen that day that one was not enough, for there were
more in the tower than on a ladder. So the assault
was made and lasted long, until there arose a wind
and it drove the ships on the shore, and two ships
that were tied together, the one named Pelerine and
the other Parvis, came up against a tower, so that the
ladder touched the tower. And at the moment a
Venetian and a Frenchman entered the tower and
others after them, and those within gave way and
fled. Then the knights in the ships landed, and put
ladders against the walls, and took four of the towers,
and broke the gates and entered the town. And the
.Emperor Murzuphle fled away. And the Greeks
were overthrown and great booty taken. But when
night came on, the pilgrims decided to lodge'near the
walls, for they thought not to conquer the city in a
70 THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
month, with the strong churches and palaces, and the
people.who were within.
Then that night, some fearing the attack of the
Greeks, set fire to the houses, and the city began to
burn fiercely, and it burned all that night and the
next day until vespers. And this' was the third fire in
Constantinople since the French came into the land,
and there were more houses burnt than there are in
the three largest cities of the kingdom of France.
And when the morning came they armed them-
selves and went out, but they found none to oppose
them. The palace, with the two empresses and other
ladies, was given up to them, and treasure without
end or measure. So each one took lodging where it
pleased him, and great was the joy for the victory.
How Baldwin of Flanders was chosen Emperor.
And they assembled a parliament, and the common
people of the army prayed them to make an emperor.
Then the twelve men were chosen who were to elect.
And it could not be but that there should be many
who desired so great an honour; but the great dispute
was between Count Baldwin of Flanders and the
Marquis Bonriface-of Montferrat, and all said it would
be one of these two.
Then the day of the election came, and they
assembled in a rich palace where the Doge of Venice
was lodged, one of the finest in the world. And there
was a great assembly of people, and they called the
twelve and put them into a chapel within the palace
and shut the 'door upon them. And the council
THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE. f
lasted until they were agreed, and they named
Nevelon, Bishop of Soissons, who was one of them, to
speak for them. So they came out to where the
barons were with the Doge of Venice. And' all
looked upon them to see whom they had chosen.
Then the bishop, as he had been charged, began to
speak, and said: "Sirs, we are agreed, and you have'
sworn that you will receive him as emperor whom we
shall elect, and that none shall oppose: we name
the Count Baldwin of Flanders and Hainault."
Then arose a cry of joy, and they bore him from
the palace, the Marquis Boniface de Montferrat in
front doing him all the honour he could. Thus he
was elected emperor, and the day of his "coronation
was fixed for three weeks after Easter. And the set
time came, and the Emperor Baldwin was crowned
with great joy and great honour, in the Church of St.
Sophia, in the year of our Lord 1204.
But the Emperor Murzuphle was but four days
journey from Constantinople, and the Emperor Alexis,
who had fled, was at a city called Messinople, and
held still a great part of the land. And the Emperor
Murzuphle took a city which had yielded to the
Emperor Baldwin. Then it was resolved that the
Emperor Baldwin should go out with his army to
conquer the land, and leave a garrison in Constanti-
nople. So there tarried in Constantinople Count
Louis de Blois and the Doge of Venice, with some
others, and the rest arrayed themselves to go out with
The Emperor Murzuphle, when'he' heard of their
7; THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
coming, sent messengers to the Emperor Alexis,
saying he would join with him; and the Emperor
Alexis received him graciously, and gave him his
daughter, and they sojourned together certain days.
Then when he had but few men with him, the
Emperor Alexis caused him to be seized, and put out
his eyes. Judge if such men should hold lands and
kingdoms who do such cruel deeds one to another!
So the Emperor Baldwin set out from Constanti-
nople to. go against the Emperor Alexis. But by the
way discord sprang up between him and the Marquis
de Montferrat, so that they separated one from
another. Then the tidings of the discord was brought
to the Doge of Venice, and to Count Louis, and to
those who tarried in the town; and when they heard
it they were much troubled, for they feared greatly
that all their conquests would be lost. Therefore they
assembled together in the Palace of Blaquerne and
took counsel. together, and prayed Geoffroi de Ville-
Hardouin to go to the Marquis, for he -had more
power with him than any other man. And he went
to him and. reproached him bitterly, and laboured
until, by the aid of God, the Marquis consented to
put himself into the hands of the Doge of Venice and
Count Louis de Blois. So Geoffroi returned to Con-
stantinople, and great was the joy of the Doge and
Count Louis because he had made peace. And they
wrote letters and sent them to the Emperor Baldwin.
And the messengers met him as he rode, and one of
them, whose name was Begue ,de Fransures told his
message to him, saying: Sire, the Doge of Venice
THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE. 73
and Count Louis, my master, and the other barons,
send you salutations, and they complain to you of
those who have caused discord between you and
the Marquis de Montferrat, for it wanted but a
little to destroy Christendom, and you did very ill
to believe them. Therefore they send to let you
know that the Marquis has put his -quarrel in their
hands, and they pray you as their lord to do likewise,
and to abide by their decision. And know that they
will not suffer war on any account."
Then many of the Emperor's council held it to be a
great insult, that they said they would not suffer him
to avenge himself of his enemy; but because he would
not lose the Doge and Count Louis, and the others, he
gave answer that he would return to Constantinople
without doing harm to the Marquis. So he returned
to Constantinople, and they came out to meet him
with great honour. And on the fourth day he saw
clearly that he had been evil advised, and he put his
matters into the hands of the Doge of Venice and
Count Louis, and they sent messengers to the Marquis
and brought him to Constantinople and made peace
Then it fell out that the Marquis Boniface took
prisoners the Emperor Alexis and the Empress.
And he sent the red boots and the imperial robes to
his lord the Emperor Baldwin, and sent the Emperor
Alexis and the Empress to a prison in Montferrat.
At that time they began to divide the lands, and
the Venetians 'had their part and, the pilgrims theirs,
And when each was put in possession, covetousness,
74 THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
which ha's done so much evil, would not let them be
at peace, for each one began to do evil more or less
to his lands, and the Greeks began to hate them and
nourish ill thoughts in their hearts.
How the Greeks rose against the Latins and how the
Doge Dandolo died.
The Greeks, seeing that the French were scattered,
for each one looked to his own affairs, thought
how they might betray them; and they sent to
John, King of Bulgaria, saying they would make
him emperor and would give themselves up to him.
Then the Greeks in the castle of Dimos rose against
the French and slew them, and but few escaped to a
city called Adrianople, which the Venetians held.
But a little after those of Adrianople revolted, and the
garrison came out in great peril and left the city.
And the tidings came to the Emperor Baldwin, and
he was much troubled. For there began to come
evil tidings day by day, for the Greeks revolted
everywhere, and wherever they found French left to
keep the land they slew them. Then the Emperor
Baldwin and the Doge of Venice and Count Louis
held a council, for they saw that they were losing all
the land, and they sent to call back all who had gone
out to conquer their lands to come to the help of the
Emperor. But when the first were come to him with
about a hundred knights, he tarried not until the
others came, but rode out against Adrianople, having
with him not more than a hundred and forty knights,
and they besieged it three days. Then there came to
THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE. 7
them Henrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice; but he
was an old man and could not see. And he brought
with him the men he had, as many as the Emperor
Baldwin and Count Louis had with them, and lodged
before one of the gates. The next day came some
soldiers on horseback, but they needed many more.
And they had few provisions, for the merchants could
not follow them, and they could not go to forage, for
there were so many Greeks in the lands.
Then John, King of Bulgaria, came to succour
those of Adrianople with a, great army ; and the barons
held counsel together, for they knew that they had
committed a great folly in going out with so few men.
And John, King of the Bulgarians, came upon them,
and drew them out of their camp, and overwhelmed
them, and Count Louis was killed in the battle, and
the Emperor taken prisoner. But Geoffroi de Ville-
Hardouin rallied the fugitives, and sent to the camp
to call the Doge of Venice, who was old, and could
not see, but was a brave man, and wise. And he came
to him with his men. And when Geoffroi saw him he
took him apart and said : Sir, you' see the misfortune
that has befallen us, for we have lost the Emperor
Baldwin and Count Louis, and the best of our men.
Let us think of saving the rest, for if God does not
take pity on us we are lost." Then they agreed
together that the Doge of Venice should go to the
camp and encourage the people, and that each one
should arm and be ready in his tent, and that Geoffroi
should remain in battle array outside the camp until
the night came, and when it was night they would'
76 THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
leave the city, the Doge going first and Geoffrbi with
So they waited till it was night, and then set out
as it was agreed. And they set out slowly, taking all
with them, wounded or not, leaving none. And they
rode towards a city called Rodestoc. And a company
rode by another way, and came to Constantinople,
and told the news there, and they were greatly afraid,
for they thought that all the rest were lost. But the
Doge and Geoffroi rode all the night, and came to a
city at dawn of day, and in that city were men of
Count Louis, a hundred knights, and a hundred and
forty horse soldiers, going to the camp. More
sorrowful news they could not have heard, and
they shed many tears and beat their breasts for
grief. But Geoffroi guarded the rear with difficulty.
For John, King of Bulgaria, came to Adrianople at
dawn of day, and when he found them departed he
pursued after them, but could not find them. There-
fore these knights, being fresh, became the rear-guard,
and did their duty well.
Then they came to a city called Cariople, and rested
their horses there and gave them to eat, and ate them-
selves what they could find, and that was little. And
they tarried there until night, and John, King of
Bulgaria, followed them, and lodged within two
leagues of them. When it was night they armed
themselves, and came out and rode thus all the night
and the next day, in great fear and trouble, until they
care to Rodestoc, and there they were in safety.
Then they took counsel together, and said they were
THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE. ,. 7
more, afraid for Constantinople than.for themselves, so
they sent messengers to those in the town not to fear,
for they had escaped, and would return as soon as
And when the messengers arrived they found five
ships laden with pilgrims, and knights, and soldiers
(Venetian ships, very large and fine), who were about
to abandon the country, and return home. And there
were in the ships full five. thousand men-at-arms.
But Cardinal Pietro da Capua, and Conon de
Bethune, who was left in charge of Constantinople,
went to the five ships, and prayed the men with tears
to have pity on Christendom, and their liege lords
who were lost in the battle. But they would not hear
a word, but spread their sails and departed, and the
wind carried them into the port of Rodestoc. And
they at Rodestoc prayed them to have pity on the
land and stay, and they replied that they would
consult together, and give answer the next day ; but
as soon as it was day they spread their sails, and went
away without speaking to any one.
Then Henry, brother of the Emperor Baldwin, came
to Rodestoc, and found there the Doge of Venice and
Geoffroi, and the others who had escaped, and they
made him lord as regent in the place of his brother.
And they held counsel together, and the Doge put a
garrison of Venetians in Rodestoc, for it belonged -to
them. And the next day they arrayed themselves for
battle, and rode towards Constantinople. And the
people were very glad to see them, and it was no
marvel, for they held nothing outside Constantinople
78 THE TAKING OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
but Rodestoc and Salembria, and all else was in the
hands of the King of Bulgaria.
Then the barons determined to send to the Pope of
Rome, and into France and Flanders, and into other
countries to ask succour, and they themselves tarried
at Constantinople in great uneasiness, fearing to lose
the land. And while they tarried thus there fell a
"great misfortune on all the army, for Henrico
Dandolo fell sick, and his end came and he died, and
he was buried with great honour in the church of St.
WAR WITH THE GENOESE.
How the Venetians took Corfu and Candia, and
fought with the Genoese at Acre.
Now when Messer Henrico was dead, Pietro Ziani
was ,elected Doge of Venice; and he was a man of high
lineage, and his grandfather had been Doge; and when
Pietro Ziani was made Doge, Marino Zeno was made
Podesta of Constantinople. And about a year after,
thirty-one galleys were armed, and Ranieri Dandolo,
the son of the noble Doge who took Constantinople,
was made captain, and with him Roggero Promarino.
Then these two captains set out from Venice, and
went over the sea until they came to Corfu. Now
they of Corfu were at war with the Venetians, because
they gave victuals to the sea-robbers. So when they
came to Corfu the men of Corfu seized their arms, and
the Venetians sprang on dry land, and the men of
Corfu. defended- themselves, but the Venetians to0Qk
the city and drove them into the castle, And they
defended themselves well, casting javelins, and sharp
stakes, and stones, and hot water upon the Venetians,
and the Venetians shot upon them quarrels and
80 WAR WITH THE GENOESE.
arrows. So the battle was long and fierce, but never-
theless their defence availed nothing, for the Venetians
set up their ladders, and beat down the gate of the
castle, and mounted the wall and took Corfu.
And thence they went towards Crete, and. heard
tidings that four ships of Genoa were in the port of
Spinalonga. Now at that time there was war between
the Venetians and the Genoese, so when the two
captains came to Spinalonga, and saw the four ships
of Genoa, they made no delay, but quickly seized the
slips of their enemies, and their defence availed them
nothing. Thus the two Venetian captains went sail-
ing over the sea, taking their enemies as a falcon
seizes little birds. And they set out again and came
to Candia, which is a city of the island of Crete.
There was fought a great battle, and marvellous, for
the Cretans defended themselves well; but the captains
did great deeds of arms, and pressed on until they of
the city could not endure it, and turned ard fled. So
the Venetians took Candia, which is the chief city of
Crete. And the Doge Pietro Ziani became lord of
the isle of Crete.
About the year of our Lord 1257, it fell out that
there was much hatred and ill-feeling between the
Venetians and Genoese in the city that is called Acre;
and the Genoese were so arrogant that they laid
hands on the Venetians, and did them a mischief, and
this was when there was a truce between them;. and
they took their ships by treachery, but they had to
give them up again quickly. And then they went
and boasted in Genoa. But there was a wise man in
WAR WITH THE GENOESE. 8
Genoa, and when he saw the ships in the harbour, and
the Genoese rejoicing and feasting as if they had
conquered all the world, he asked what news they
had brought, and they answered, "The best in the
world." "Tell me it," answered he; and theybegan
to recount the great outrage they had done to the
Venetians. But when he had heard it, he was ill at
ease, and said: Sirs, know assuredly that you have
brought such merchandise over the sea, that never
since Genoa was built, have you lost by any merchan-
dise as you will lose by this. You have brought
Genoa to shame."
Then the Genoese took counsel and chose mes-
sengers, and sent quickly to the Doge, whose name
was Rainiero Zeno, and they said to him: Sir, if the
Genoese over the sea have done mischief to the
Venetians, we are here to remedy it, and will do what
you require." But the Doge answered ;" As quickly as
you can, get out of my land, that I may consider how
the mischief may be remedied, and be not found
in my land after three days." So the messengers
departed, and came to Genoa as quickly as they
could. Then the Venetians held a council, and chose
a man to avenge them, whose deeds had won him
fame; and he was Lorenzo, the son of Doge Jacopo
Tiepole, and he was debonair, courteous, wise, and
brave, and his name went through all the world. So
he went up into a ship, and had with him thirteen
But when he came to Acre, to that city where the
Genoese had done the mischief, he found' there a tower
". & .82WAR WITH THE GENOESE.
.called the Mosquito Tower, and they had fortified a
hobis6, ard made it a castle, and it was called St. Saba,
and 'they had stretched a strong chain across the
Sh-rbour that the Venetians might not enter. When
She saw this that they had done, he commanded
the' Venetians immediately to break the chain: So
they broke the chain and entered the harbour, and
took-thirty ships and two galleys of the Genoese, and
set fire to them, and burnt them to ashes. Then
Lorenzo Tiepolo entered the town, and the Venetians
with him,- and took the castle that they had made,
near St. Saba, and burnt it. And they found within
the town Messer Marco Giustiniano, who had been
Bailo of the Venetian part of Acre. So when they
met, they feasted and rejoiced. The next day, Messer
Lorenzo Tiepolo, and Messer Marco Giustiniano, and
the Venetians took arms and assailed their enemies.
Now the Genoese had a great part of Acre in their
pay, and on their side. But the Venetians prevailed
and recovered a covered street that the Genoese had
taken from them by treachery.
Now 'when the city of Genoa heard that Messer
Lorenzo Tiepolo had gone over the sea, they sent on
their part ships and four galleys, and they came to Tyre,
and there they bought and armed seventeen galleys.
Then Messer Lorenzo Tiepolo armed also seventeen
galleys. Arid the Genoese came with speed from
STy r e t o th e p o r t o f A c r e a n d w h e n th e V e n e tia n s
saw their enemies they went up into their ships, and
went out to meet them. Then the Genoese returned
to: Tyre, and this they did many times. So-when
di man ties
IN THE PORT OF ACRE.
WAR WITH THE GENOESE. :83
Messer Lorenzo Tiepolo and the Bailo saw that, they
made the town strong, and Messer Lorenzo and the
Venetians entered their ships, of which there were
seventeen, small and great, and went to Tyre, where
the Genoese were with seventeen galleys, well armed.
And when they saw the Venetians coming they came
out of the port of Tyre to meet them boldly, and in
front came Pasquetto Malone, their admiral, and with
him six armed galleys. Then' Lorenzo let his galley
go, and struck first the galley of Pasquetto, and the
struggle' was hard and fierce; but Lorenzo got the
better of him, and took the galley and Pasquetto
Malone, the admiral of the Genoese. And in the
melee a galley of the Venetians was almost taken, but
another galley succoured it, and took the Genoese
galley. In that battle three Genoese galleys were
taken, with three hundred of the best citizens of
Genoa; and if the weather had been calm, none of the
Genoese would have escaped, but it changed, and
they escaped into the port of Tyre. So when Messer
Lorenzo had taken the three galleys, and the admiral,
and had discomfited the rest, he returned to Acre,
bringing with him the Genoese bound, and dragging
behind him the three galleys. Then Messer Marco
Giustiniano was greatly rejoiced, and received him
with great honour and, feasting. But the Genoese who .
were in Acre were so grieved, that they thought they
should never know joy again. And the prisoners
were thrown into prison in chains of iron.
Now the Genoese at Acre had made the tower very
great, and so strong that there was none stronger in