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SKETCHES
FROM THE
SUBJECT AND NEIGHBOUR LANDS
OF
VENICE.

Printer's Logo
Peristyle, Spalato

PERISTYLE AND CATHEDRAL TOWER, SPALATO.

SKETCHES

FROM THE

SUBJECT AND NEIGHBOUR LANDS

OF

VENICE.

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

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.

London:
MACMILLAN AND CO.
1881.

[All Rights reserved.]

PREFACE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Somerleaze, Wells,
September 20th, 1881.

CONTENTS.

THE LOMBARD AUSTRIA:— PAGE
  Treviso 3
  Udine and Cividale 24
  Gorizia 41
  Aquileia 52
  Trieste 70
TRIESTE TO SPALATO:—
  Trieste to Spalato 85
  Parenzo 97
  Pola 109
  Zara 121
SPALATO AND ITS NEIGHBOURS:—
  Spalato 137
  Spalato revisited 149
  Salona 156
  Traü 175
SPALATO TO CATTARO:—
  Spalato to Cattaro 189
  Curzola 200 xii
  Ragusa 218
  Ragusan Architecture 240
  A Trudge to Trebinje 260
  Cattaro 271
VENICE IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE NORMANS:—
  Trani 287
  Otranto 313
  First Glimpses of Hellas 332
  Corfu and its Names 343
  Corfu and its History 353
  Corfu to Durazzo 365
  Antivari 381

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

  PAGE
Peristyle and Cathedral Tower, Spalato Frontispiece
Porta Gemina, Pola 113
Tower of Saint Mary's, Zara 132
Saint Vitus, Zara, and the Orthodox Church, Cattaro 133
The Tower, Spalato 145
Cathedral, Traü 182
Saint John Baptist, Traü 185
Tower of Franciscan Church, Ragusa 242
Palace, Ragusa 245
Dogana, Ragusa 253
Caboga House, Gravosa 255
Cathedral, Trani 299
Cathedral, Trani, inside 305
Churches at Corfu 358
Saint Jason and Saint Sosipatros, Corfu, inside 363

CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE.

 

B.C.

Foundation of Korkyra

c. 734

Foundation of Epidamnos

c. 627

War between Corinth and Korkyra about Epidamnos

435

Colonization of Pharos and Issa

385

Korkyra held by Agathoklês

300

Korkyra held by Pyrrhos

287

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

229

Korkyra, Epidamnos, and Apollonia become allies of Rome

229

Second Illyrian War

219

Foundation of Aquileia

181

First Roman Conquest of Illyria

168

First mention of Tragyrion (Traü)

158

First Dalmatian War

156

Salona the head of Dalmatia

117

Roman Conquest of Istria

107

Foundation of Forum Julii

c. 45

Colony of Tergeste fortified by Augustus

32

Foundation of Pietas Julia

c. 30

 

A.D.

Final conquest of Dalmatia

6

Martyrdom of Saint Caius

296?

Diocletian retires to Salona

305

Crispus put to death at Pola

326

First church of Aquileia built by Fortunatian

c. 347

Gallus put to death at Pola

354

Aquileia destroyed by Attila

452

Dalmatia under Marcellian

454-468

Dalmatia under Odoacer

c. 480 xvi

Dalmatia under Theodoric

488

The Emperor Glycerius Bishop of Salona

474

Nepos killed near Salona

480

Salona recovered to the Empire

535

Building of the church of Parenzo

535-543

Belisarius sails from Salona

544

Narses sails from Salona

552

Schism in the church of Aquileia

557

Beginning of the Patriarchate of Grado

606

Lombard conquest of Italy begins

568

Slavonic settlements under Heraclius

c. 620

Salona destroyed by the Avars

639

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

806

The church of Pola built by Bishop Handegis

857

Cattaro taken by the Saracens

867

Saracen siege of Ragusa

867

First Venetian conquest of Dalmatia

997

Poppo Patriarch of Aquileia; rebuilding of the church

1019-1042

First authentic mention of Gorizia

1051

Croatian kingdom of Dalmatia

1062

Foundation of Saint Nicolas at Traü

1064

Corfu conquered by Robert Wiscard

1081

Corfu recovered by the Empire

1085

Exploits of the English exiles at Durazzo

1086

Magyar kingdom of Dalmatia

1102

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

1105

Beginning of the Counts of Gorizia

1120

Corfu held by Roger of Sicily

1147-1150

Dalmatia restored to the Eastern Empire

1171

Corfu conquered by William the Good

1186

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

1186

Richard the First at Ragusa

1192

Taking of Zara by the Crusaders

1202 xvii

Venetian Counts at Ragusa

1204

Corfu and Durazzo first occupied by Venice

1206

Building of Traü cathedral

1215-1321

Corfu and Durazzo recovered by Michael of Epeiros

1216

Durazzo recovered by the Empire

1259

Corfu and Durazzo ceded to Manfred

1268

Consecration of Saint Anastasia at Zara

1285

Durazzo under Servia

1322

Durazzo restored to the Kings of Naples

1322

Pola submits to Venice

1331

Neapolitan duchy of Durazzo

1333-1360

Treviso first occupied by Venice

1338

Building of the Archbishop's castle at Salona

1347

Treviso besieged by Lewis of Hungary

1356

Dalmatia ceded to Lewis of Hungary

1358

Durazzo the capital of an Albanian kingdom

1358-1392

Complete independence of Ragusa

1359

Markquard, Patriarch of Aquileia; recasting of the church

1365-1381

Gradual advance of Venice in Dalmatia

1378-1444

Treviso ceded to Leopold of Austria

1381

Trieste commends itself to Austria

1381

Final acquisition of Corfu by Venice

1386

Venetian occupation of Argos

1388

Treviso restored to Venice

1388

Second Venetian acquisition of Durazzo

1392

Building of the palace at Ragusa

1388-1435

Butrinto and Parga commend themselves to Venice

1407

Consecration of Saint Chrysogonos at Zara

1407

Sebenico annexed by Venice

1412

Building of the cathedral at Sebenico

1415-1555

Cattaro becomes Venetian

1419

Traü annexed by Venice

1420

Curzola finally submits to Venice

1420

Dominions of the Patriarch of Aquileia annexed by Venice

1420

Udine annexed by Venice

1420 xviii

Lesina occupied by Venice

1424

The city of Aquileia left to the Patriarchs

1451

Argos ceded by Venice

1463

Fluctuations between Venice and the Turk in Dalmatia

1465-1718

Date of the cloister at Badia

1477

Otranto taken by the Turks

1480

Otranto recovered by Alfonso

1481

Veglia annexed by Venice

1481

Monopoli stormed by the Venetians

1495

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

1496

Durazzo and Butrinto lost by Venice

1500

Gorizia annexed to Austria by Maximilian

1500

Treviso besieged by Maximilian

1508

Trani, etc., recovered by Ferdinand of Aragon

1509

Building of the Dogana at Ragusa

1520

Trani, etc., recovered by Venice

1528

Trani, etc., restored to Charles the Fifth

1530

Aquileia annexed to Austria

1544

Mark Anthony de Dominis Archbishop of Spalato

1622

Building of the gate at Curzola

1643

The great earthquake at Ragusa

1667

Prevesa won and Butrinto recovered by Venice

1685-1699

The Emperor Leopold repairs the castle of Gorizia

1660

Athens taken by Morosini

1687

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

1751

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

1797-8

The Ionian Islands and the Venetian outposts ceded to France

1797

Septinsular Republic under Ottoman overlordship

1798

Prevesa stormed by Ali of Jôannina

1798

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

1805

The Republic of Ragusa suppressed by Buonaparte

1808

Various points occupied by England

1810-1814 xix

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

1813

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

1814

Venetia, Istria, and Trieste recovered by Austria

1814

English occupation of Curzola

1813-1815

The Ionian Islands under British protection

1815

Surrender of Parga to the Turk

1819

Liberation of Venice and recovery by Austria

1848-9

The Ionian Islands added to free Greece

1864

Final liberation of Venetia

1866

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

1869

Beginning of the war in Herzegovina

1875

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

1876-7

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

1878

The liberation of Epeiros decreed the second time

1880

Dulcigno recovered for Montenegro

1880

Liberation of Thessaly, but not of Epeiros

1881

THE LOMBARD AUSTRIA.

TREVISO.

3

1881.


The north-eastern corner of Italy is one of those parts of the world which have gone through the most remarkable changes. That it has often changed its political masters is only common to it with the rest of Italy, and with many other lands as well. The physical changes too which the soil and its waters have gone through are remarkable, but they are not unparalleled. The Po may perhaps be reckoned as the frontier stream of the region towards the south, and the many paths by which the Po has found its way into the Hadriatic need not be dwelled on. We are more concerned with rivers further to the north-east. The Isonzo no longer represents the course of the ancient Sontius; the Natisone no longer flows by fallen Aquileia. The changes of the coast-line which have made what is left of Aquileia inland have their counterparts at Pisa and at Ravenna. In the range of historical geography, the most curious feature is the way in which certain political names have kept 4 on an abiding life in this region, though with singular changes of meaning. The land has constantly been either Venetian or Austrian; sometimes it has been Venetian and Austrian at once. But it has been Venetian and Austrian in various meanings. It was Venetian long before the name of Venice was heard of in its present sense; it was Austrian long before the name of Austria was heard of in its present sense. The land of the old Veneti bore the Venetian name ages before the city of Venice was in being, and it keeps it now that Venice has ceased to be a political power. Venetian then the land has ever been in one sense, while a large part of it was for some centuries Venetian in another sense, in the days when so many of its cities bowed to Saint Mark and his commonwealth as its rulers. Austrian the land was in the old geographical sense, when it formed the Lombard Austria—the eastern half, the Eastrice—that form would, we suspect, come nearer to Lombard speech than Oesterreich—of the Lombard realm. But if the Lombard realm had its Austria and its Neustria, so also had the Frankish realm. Wherever a land could be easily divided into east and west, there was an Austria, and its negative a Neustria. Lombardy then had its Austria, and its Austria was found in the old and the new Venetian land. No one perhaps ever spoke of the Karlings as the House 5 of Austria, or of their Empire as the dominions of the House of Austria. And yet the name would not have been out of place. Their dominion marked the predominance of the eastern part of the Frankish realm—its Oesterreich, its Austrasia, its Austria—over the Neustrian power of the earlier dynasty. The Lombard Austria became part of the dominions of those who were before all things lords of the Frankish Austria. And in later times, when the Lombard and the Frankish Austria were both forgotten, when the name clave only to a third Austria, the more modern Austria of Germany—the Eastern mark called into being to guard Germany from the Magyar—the Venetian land has more than once become Austrian in another sense; some of it in that sense remains Austrian still. Dukes of the most modern Austria—plain dukes who were satisfied with being dukes—archdukes who were Emperors by lawful election—archdukes who have had a strange fancy for calling themselves Emperors of their archduchy—have all of them at various times borne rule over the whole or part of the older Austria of Lombardy. To-day the north-eastern corner of Italy, land of Venetia, the once Lombard Austria, is parted asunder by an artificial boundary between the dominions of the Italian King and the lord of the later Austria. And, what a passing traveller might not easily find out, 6 in this old Venetian land, in both parts of it, alike under modern Italian and under modern Austrian rule, besides the Latin speech which everywhere meets the eye and the ear, the speech of Slavonic settlers still lingers. Settlers they are in the Venetian land, no less than its Roman or its German masters. It is hard to say who the old Veneti were, perhaps nearer akin to the Albanians than to any other European people. At all events there is no reason for thinking that they were Slaves. The presence of a Slavonic speech in this region is a fruit of the same migration which made the land beyond Hadria Slavonic. But to hear the Slavonic and the Italian tongues side by side is so familiar a phænomenon under modern Austrian rule, that its appearance at Aquileia or Gorizia may with some minds seem to give the land a specially Austrian character, and may help to shut out the remembrance that at Aquileia and Gorizia we are within the ancient kingdom of Italy. Nay it may be a new and strange thing to many to hear that, even within the bounds of the modern kingdom of Italy, there are districts where, though Italian is the cultivated tongue, yet Slave is the common peasant speech.

But besides physical changes, changes of name, changes of inhabitants, we are perhaps yet more deeply struck with the fluctuations in the history of the cities 7 of this region. In this matter, throughout the Venetian land, the first do indeed become last and the last first. No city in this region has kept on that enduring life through all changes which has belonged to many cities in other parts of Europe. We do not here find the Roman walls, or the walls yet earlier than Roman days, fencing in dwelling-places of man which have been continuously inhabited, which have sometimes been continuously flourishing, through all times of which history has anything to tell us. We need not take our examples from Rome or Athens or Argos or the Phœnician Gades. It is enough to look to one or two of the capitals of modern Europe. At the beginning of the fifth century, London and Paris, not yet indeed capitals of kingdoms, were already in being, and had been in being for some centuries. But far above either ranked the great city of north-eastern Italy, then one of the foremost cities of the world, the ancient colony of Aquileia, keeper of one of the great lines of approach towards Italy and Rome. No one city had then taken the name of the Venetian land; no wanderers from the mainland had as yet settled down like sea-fowl, as Cassiodorus puts it, on the islands of the lagoons. By the end of the fifth century both London and Paris had passed from Roman rule to the rule of Teutonic conquerors. London, we may conceive, was still inhabited; at all 8 events its walls stood ready to receive a fresh colony before long. Paris had received one of those momentary lifts of which she went through several before her final exaltation; the city which had been favoured by Roman Julian was favoured also by Frankish Chlodwig. But Aquileia had felt the full fury of invaders who came, not to occupy or to settle, but simply to destroy. As a city, as a bulwark of Italy, she had passed away for ever. But out of her fall several cities had, in the course of that century, risen to increased greatness, and the greatest of all had come into being. The city was born which, simply as a city, as a city bearing rule over distant lands, must rank as the one historic peer of Rome. Not yet Queen of the Hadriatic, not yet the chosen sanctuary of Saint Mark, not yet enthroned on her own Rialto, the settlement which was to grow into Venice had already made its small beginnings.

But the fall of Aquileia, the rise of Venice, are only the greatest examples of a general law. A nearer neighbour of Aquileia at once profited by her overthrow; Grado, on her own coast, almost at her own gates, sprang up as her rival; but the greatness of Grado has passed away only less thoroughly than the greatness of Aquileia. So the Venetian Forum Julii gave way to its more modern neighbour Udine. It lost the name which it had given to the land around 9 it. Its shortened form Friuli lived on as one of the names of the surrounding district, but Forum Julii itself was forgotten under the vaguer description of Cividale. Gorizia has been for ages the head of a principality; in later times it has been the head of an ecclesiastical province. But Gorizia is absolutely unknown till the beginning of the eleventh century, and it does not seem even to have supplanted any earlier city. It is thus a marked peculiarity of this district that the chief towns, with Venice itself at their head, have not lived on continuously as chief towns from Roman or earlier times. West of Venice the rule does not apply. Padua and Verona are old enough for the warmest lover of antiquity, and Vicenza, going back at least to the second century B.C., must be allowed to be of a respectable age.

That the chief cities of a district should date from early mediæval, and not from Roman times, is a feature which at once suggests analogies with our own island. Both in Venetia and in Britain we are struck with the prevalence of places which arose after the fall of the elder Roman power, in opposition to most parts of Italy and Gaul, where nearly every town can trace back to Roman days or earlier. But the likeness cannot be carried out in detail. In the district which we have just marked out it is absolutely the greatest cities—one of them so great as to be put out of all 10 comparison with the others—which are of this comparatively recent date. In England, though the great mass of the local centres are places of English foundation and bearing English names, yet the greatest and most historic cities still carry the marks of Roman origin about them. Some Roman cities in Britain passed utterly away; others lived on, or soon came to life again, in the forms of York, London, and Winchester. But in Venetia it is the cities which answer to York and London which have lost their greatness, though they have not utterly passed away. This last fact is one of the characteristics of the district; the fallen cities have simply fallen from their greatness; they have not ceased to be dwelling-places of man. Aquileia and Forum Julii have ceased for ages to be what Aquileia and Forum Julii once were, but they have not become as Silchester, or even as Salona. Of the position of all these places there is no manner of doubt. They are there to speak for themselves; even Julium Carnacum, whose site has had to be looked for, still abides, though those who have reached it describe it as a small village. Aquileia under its old name, Forum Julii under its new name, are still inhabited, they still hold the rank of towns; but while they still abide, the rule that the first should become last and the last first is carried out among them. As ancient Aquileia was far greater than ancient Forum 11 Julii, so modern Aquileia, though it keeps its name, is now far less than modern Cividale, from which the name of Forum Julii has passed away.

Aquileia then, once the greatest city of all, is the city that has come nearest to being altogether wiped out of being. Venice, afterwards the greatest of all, is the city which may most truly be said to have been called out of nothing in after-times. Among the other cities the change has been rather a change of relation and proportion, than a case of absolute birth and death. Cividale is still there, though it is but a poor representative of Forum Julii. Udine has taken its place. But Udine, though its importance belongs wholly to mediæval times, was not strictly a mediæval creation. It is just possible to prove the existence of Vedinum in Roman days, though it is only its existence which can be proved; it plays no part whatever in early history. The case is slightly different with another neighbouring city, the Roman Tarvisium, whose name gradually changed to Treviso. Tarvisium was of more account than Vedinum, but it first comes into notice in the wars of Belisarius, and its position as an important city playing a part in Italian history dates only from the days of the Lombard League. And its general history is one in which the shifting nomenclature of the district may be read with almost grotesque 12 accuracy. It has not only been, like its neighbours, Venetian and Austrian in two widely different senses—it has not only been Venetian in the old geographical sense, and Venetian in the sense of being subject to the commonwealth of Venice—it has not only been Austrian in the old Lombard sense, and Austrian in the sense of being subject to the Dukes of the German Austria—but it has also shifted backwards and forwards between the rule of the Serene Republic and the rule of the Austrian Dukes, in a way to which it would not be easy to find a parallel even among the old revolutions of its neighbours.

Treviso and its district, the march which bears its name, was the first possession of Venice on the true mainland of Italy, as distinguished from that mere fringe of coast along the lagoons which may be more truly counted as part of her dominion by sea. That Treviso lay near to Venice was a truth which came home to Venetian minds at a very early stage of Venetian history. Even in the eleventh century, the earliest authentic chronicler of Venice, that John whose work will be found in the seventh volume of Pertz, speaks with some significance, even when recording events of the time of Charles the Great, of "quædam civitas non procul a Venetia, nomine Tarvisium." 13 When strictly Italian history begins, Treviso runs through the ordinary course of a Lombard city; it takes its share in resistance to the imperial power, it falls into the hands of tyrants of the house of Romano and of the house of Scala. Along with Padua, it is the city which is fullest of memories of the terrible Eccelinò. Won by the Republic in 1338 from its lord Mastino della Scala, the special strangeness of its fortunes begins. The modern House of Austria was already in being; but its Dukes had not yet grown into Emperors, one only had grown into an acknowledged King. They had not won for themselves the crowns of Bohemia or Hungary, though, by the opposite process, one Bohemian king, the mighty Ottocar, had counted Austria in the long list of his conquered lands. But presently Treviso becomes the centre of events in which Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, and the Empire, all play their parts. It is perhaps not wonderful when the maritime republic, mistress of the Trevisan march, vainly seeks to obtain the confirmation of her right from the overlord of Treviso though not of Venice, Charles of Bohemia, King of the Romans and future Emperor. But the old times when Huns, Avars, Magyars, barbarians of every kind, poured into this devoted corner of Italy, seem to have come back, when in 1356 we find Treviso besieged by a Hungarian king. But the Hungarian king is no longer an 14 outside barbarian; he is a prince of the house of Anjou and Paris. If Lewis the Great besieged Treviso, it was not in the character of a new Attila or Arpad; he attacked the now Venetian city as part of the war which he so successfully waged against the Republic in her Dalmatian lands. Not thirty years later we find the Doge Andrew Contarini, with more wisdom perhaps than the more famous Foscari of the next age, considering that to Venice the sea was greater than the land, and therefore commending her new conquest on the mainland to Duke Leopold of Austria. The words of the chronicler Andrew Dandolo are worth remembering. They express the truest policy of the Republic, from which she ought never to have gone astray.

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

But Leopold, he who fell at Sempach, had not the same passion for dominion south of the Alps as some of his successors. He wisely sold Treviso to the lord of Padua, Francesco Carrara, from whom, after a moment of doubt whether the prize would not pass to the tyrant of Milan, the Republic won it back after eight years' separation. Henceforward Treviso shared the fate of the other Venetian possessions which gradually gathered on each side of her. Having had for a 15 moment its share of Austrian dominion in the fourteenth century, Treviso was able, in the wars of the sixteenth century, to withstand the same power in a new shape, the power of Maximilian, Austrian Archduke and Roman King. In later times nothing distinguishes the city from the common course by which Treviso and her neighbours became Austrian, French, and Austrian again, till, by the happiest change of all, they became members of a free and united Italy.

In the aspect of the city itself, the Roman Tarvisium has left but small signs of its former being. All that we see is the Treviso of mediæval and later times. The walls, the bell-towers, the slenderer tower of the municipal palace, the arcaded streets, the houses too, though they are not rich in the more elaborate forms of Italian domestic art, have all the genuine character of a mediæval Italian town. Not placed in any striking position, not a hill-city, not in any strictness a river-city, but a city of the plain looking towards the distant mountains—not adorned by any building of conspicuous splendour—Treviso is still far from being void of objects which deserve study. As we look on the city, either from the lofty walk into which so large a part of its walls have been turned, or else from the neighbourhood of its railway station, its aspect, without rivalling that of the great cities of 16 Italy, is far from unsatisfactory. But the character of the city differs widely in the two views. From the station the ecclesiastical element prevails. The main object in the view from this side is the Dominican church of Saint Nicolas, one of those vast brick friars' churches so characteristic of Italy, and to which the praise of a certain stateliness cannot be denied. Saint Nicolas, with its great bell-tower, groups well with the smaller church and smaller tower of a neighbouring Benedictine house. In short, the towers of Treviso form its leading feature, and that, though several of the greatest, above all the huge campanile designed for the cathedral church, have never been finished. In the view from the railway Saint Nicolas' tower is dominant; the tall slender tower of the municipal palace, loftier, we suspect, in positive height, fails to balance it. In the other view, from the wall on the other side, the municipal tower is the leading object, which it certainly would not have been if the bell-tower of the duomo had ever been carried up. There is a great friars' church on this side too, the desecrated church of Saint Francis; but, though a large building with marked outline, it does not stand out at all so conspicuously as its Dominican rival on the other side. The duomo itself, with its eccentric cupolas, goes for less in the general view than either. On the whole, the aspect of Treviso is very characteristically 17 Italian; it would be yet more so if it sent up its one great campanile to mark its site from afar. Still, even as it is, this city of the Lombard Austria proclaims itself as one of the same group as those cities further to the west which we look down on side by side from the castle-hill of Brescia.

Treviso, so near a neighbour of Venice, the earliest of her subject cities of the mainland, does not fail to proclaim the relation between the subject and the ruling commonwealth in the usual fashion. The winged lion, the ensign which we are to follow along so many shores, appears on not a few points of her defences. Over the gate of Saint Thomas the badge of the Evangelist appears in special size and majesty, accompanied, it would seem, by several younger members of his family whose wings have not yet had time to grow. And Treviso too in some sort calls up the memory of its mistress in the abundance of streams, canals, and bridges. It has at least more right than some of the towns to which the guide-books give the name, to be called a little Venice. But the contrast is indeed great between the still waters of the lagoons and the rushing torrents which pass under the walls and turn the mills of Treviso. Venice, in short, though her name has been rather freely scattered about hither and thither, remains without likeness or miniature among either subjects, rivals, or strangers. 18

The heart of an Italian city is to be looked for in its town-house and the open space before it. It is characteristic of the mistress of Treviso that her palace, the palace of her rulers, not of her people, stands somewhat aside from the great centre of Venetian life. The church of the patron saint who had become identified with the commonwealth takes in some sort the place which in more democratic states belongs to the home of the commonwealth itself. Technically indeed Saint Mark's is itself part of the palace; it answers to Saint Stephen's at Westminster, not to Saint Peter's; but nowhere else among commonwealths does the chapel of the palace in this sort surpass or rival the palace itself. The less famous Saint Liberalis, patron of the city and diocese of Tarvisium, does not venture, after the manner of the Evangelist, thus to supplant Tarvisium itself. The commonwealth fully proclaims its being in the group of municipal buildings which surround the irregular space which forms the municipal centre of the city. One alone of these, at once in some sort the oldest and the newest, calls for special notice. The former palazzo della Signoria, now the palace, the centre, in the new arrangement of things, not only of the city of Treviso but of the whole province of which it is the head, has been clearly renewed, perhaps rebuilt. But it keeps the true character of a Lombard building 19 of the kind, the simpler and truer forms which were in vogue before the Venetian Gothic set in. It marks the true position of that style that, though we cannot help admiring many of its buildings when we look at them, we find it a relief when we come to something earlier and more real. The buildings of which Venice set the type are very rich, very elegant; but we feel that, after all, England, France, Germany, could all do better in the way of windows, and that Italy left to herself could do better in the way of columns and arches. Old or new, rebuilt or simply repaired, there is nothing very wonderful in the municipal palace of Treviso; but in either case it is pleasing as an example of the genuine native style of Italy. It has arcades below, groups of round-headed windows above, and the tower looks over the palace with the more effect, because it is not parallel to it. The arcades of the palace, continued in the form of the arcades of the streets, are a feature of Treviso, as of all other southern cities that were built by rational men in rational times, and were designed, unlike Venice and Curzola, for the passage of carriages and horses. At Treviso we have arcades of all kinds, all shapes, all dates, some rude enough, some really elegant, but all of them better than the portentous folly which has offered up modern Rome and modern Athens as helpless victims to whatever powers may 20 be conceived to preside over heat, dust, and their consequences. Treviso is not a first-class Italian city; it is hardly one of the second class; but it is pleasant to thread one's way through the arcades, to try to spell out the geography of the streams that are crossed by many bridges; it is pleasant to mount here and there on the wall, to look down on the broad foss below, and across it on the rich plain with its wall of mountains in the distance.

In the ecclesiastical department what there is of any value above ground belongs mainly to the friars. The interest of the duomo, as a building, lies wholly in its crypt, a grand and spacious one, certainly not later than the twelfth century. It may be that some of the smaller marble shafts which support its vault had already done duty in some earlier building, and there is no doubt as to the classical date of a fragment of a large fluted column which in this same crypt serves the purpose of a well. The church above has been mercilessly Jesuited; yet, as it keeps more than one cupola, those cupolas give it a certain dignity; the stamp of Constantinople and Venice, of Périgueux and Angoulême, is hard wholly to wipe out. Otherwise a few tombs and a fine piece of mediæval gilded wood-carving are about all that the church of Treviso has to show. The great Dominican church has been more lucky. The guide-book of Gsel-fels, commonly 21 the best of guide-books, but which cuts Treviso a little short, rather sets one against it by saying that it has been wholly modernized within. Repaired and freshened up it certainly has been; but it can hardly be said to have been modernized; the old lines seem not to have been tampered with. And there is something far from lacking in dignity in the effect of its vast interior, even though its style be the corrupt Gothic of Italy. One merit is that the arches which spring from the huge pillars, though wide, are not sprawling—not like those which those who do not dare to think for themselves are called on to admire in the nave of the Florentine duomo. Unlike the work of Arnolfo, the Dominican church of Treviso does not look one inch shorter or lower than it is. It has too the interest of much contemporary painting and other ornamental work. The smaller Benedictine church hard by, whose bell-tower groups so well with Saint Nicolas, employs in that bell-tower a trefoil arch, a strange form to spring from mid-wall shafts. Within there is not much to look at, beyond a tablet setting forth the glories of the Benedictine order, how many emperors, empresses, kings, queens, popes, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and so forth, belonged to it. Dukes, marquesses, counts, and knights, were unnumbered. It is a strange thought that to that countless band Bec added the full manhood and long monastic 22 life of Herlwin, that Saint Peter of Shrewsbury and Saint Werburh of Chester had severally the privilege of enrolling Earl Roger and Earl Hugh, each for a few days only, as members of the brotherhood of Benedict and Anselm.

The other friars' church, that of Saint Francis, has been less lucky than its Dominican rival. Desecrated and partitioned, its inside is now inaccessible; the outside promises well for a church of its own type. Yet how feeble after all are the very best of these Italian buildings which forsook their own native forms for a hopeless attempt to reproduce the forms of other lands. We are always told that Italian Gothic cannot be Northern Gothic, because Italy is not like Northern lands. True enough; but what that argument proves is that Italy should have kept to her own natural Romanesque, the true fruit of her own soil, and should never have meddled with forms which could not be transplanted in their purity. The great fact of Italian architectural history is that the native style never was thoroughly driven out, but that, alongside of the sham Gothic, true Romanesque lived on to lose itself in the earlier and better kind of Renaissance. The open arcades of streets and houses, and the bell-towers of the churches, largely remain really Romanesque in style at all dates. For the working out of the same law in greater buildings we must make our way south-eastward. 23 The chronicler of the eleventh century hinted that Treviso was near to Venice, and the men of the fourteenth century acted on the hint. But the wise Doge, who a generation later told his people to stick to the sea and leave the land behind, knew better where the true subject and neighbour lands of Venice lay. We cannot fully obey him as yet, as we have still points on the Italian mainland to visit. But we may still keep the true goal of our pilgrimage before our eyes, and we may remember that the lands which were most truly near to Venice were those lands, subject and hostile, to which the path lay by her own element. The lessons of which we begin to get a glimpse at Treviso we shall not learn in their fulness till we have reached the other side of Hadria.

UDINE AND CIVIDALE.

24

1875—1881.


Ought the antiquarian traveller who has taken up his quarters at Udine and has thence made an expedition to Cividale to counsel his fellow-inquirers to follow his example in so doing or not? The answer to this question may be well made largely to depend on the state of the weather. It would be dangerous to say, from an experience of two visits only, that at Udine and Cividale it always either rains or has very lately rained; but those are the only two conditions in which we can speak of those places from personal knowledge. Now it is wonderful how a heavy rain damps the zeal of the most inquiring spirit, especially if he be carrying on his inquiries by himself. If he has companions, a good deal of wet may be shaken off by the process of talking and laughing at the common bad luck. If he be alone, every drop sticks; he has nothing to do but to grumble, and he has nobody to listen to his grumblings but himself. The land may be beautiful, but its beauties are half hid; the 25 buildings may have the most taking outlines, but it is impossible to make a drawing of them. Even interiors lose their cheerfulness; the general gloom makes half their details invisible; and his own depression of spirit makes the inquirer less able than usual to understand and appreciate what he can see. Udine and Cividale on a fine day are something quite unlike Udine and Cividale in the rain. But even in this more cheerful state of things, when the rain has to be spoken of in the past tense, it may happen that the past puts serious difficulties in the way of the enjoyment of the present. Cividale is undoubtedly more pleasant and more profitable to see when the rain is past than when the rain is actually falling. But then, to judge from our two experiences, Cividale is easier to get at while the rain is actually falling than when it has ceased to fall. What in the one state of things is the half-dry ghiara of an Alpine stream becomes a flood covering the road for no small distance, and suggesting, to all but the most zealous, the thought of turning back. It is only those for whom the attractions of the spot which once was the Forum Julii are strong indeed, who will pluck up heart to go on when their carriage has sometimes to be helped on by men who are used to wade through the flood, or else is forced to leave what should have been the high road for a narrow and difficult path 26 across the fields. It is well to record these things, that those who stay at home may be put in mind that, even in perfectly civilized lands, topographical knowledge is not always to be got without going to some little trouble in the search after it. We have seen Udine and Cividale wet, and we have seen them dry, but then it was when they had been wet only a very short time before. We are tempted to think that we might understand them better at some time when the rainfall was neither of the present nor of the very recent past.

One thing however is certain, that, wet or dry, not many Englishmen make the experiment of trying to find out what this corner of Italy may have to show. Not an English name, save that of one specially famous and adventurous traveller, was to be seen in the visitors' book, either in Albergo dell' Italia at Udine or in the Museum at Cividale. The true traveller is always in a doubtful state of mind when he finds a place of interest neglected by his own countrymen. On the one hand he is personally relieved, as being set free from the gabble of English tourists at tables d'hôte and the like. But how far ought he to proclaim to the world the merits of the place which he has found out for himself? How can he draw the line, so as to lead travellers to come, without holding out the least inducement to mere tourists? 27 But perhaps the danger is not great; tourists will go only where it is the fashion to go, and the historical traveller must not think of himself more highly than he ought to think or fancy that it is for such as he to create a fashion.

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

Like Treviso, but somewhat later, Udine had to 28 undergo a Hungarian siege, when the Magyar crown had passed by marriage from the house of Anjou to the house of Luxemburg. But we may mark how the different powers which had something to do with the lands with which we are concerned are already beginning to gather from the same hands. Lewis, the enemy of Treviso in 1356, purely western in origin, was purely eastern in power—King of Hungary and of the lands round about Hungary, King of Poland by a personal union. Siegmund, the enemy of Udine in 1411, was already King of Hungary, Margrave of Brandenburg also, in days when, as Hungary had nothing to do with Austria, so Brandenburg had nothing to do with Prussia. He was already chosen but not crowned King of the Romans; he was to be, before he had done, King of Bohemia, reformer of the Church, and Emperor, last crowned Emperor not of the Austrian house. Presently the city passed away from the rule of the patriarchs, but it could hardly be said to pass from a spiritual to a temporal lord when it came under the direct superiority of the Evangelist and his Lion. In the war of the League of Cambray it passed for a moment into the hands of an Austrian Archduke, but one who wore the crown of Aachen, and bore the titles of Rome without her crown. The first momentary master saw from the German Austria that Udine was 29 Maximilian, King of Germany and Emperor-elect. In the eighteenth century the patriarchs of Aquileia had become harmless indeed, so harmless that their dignity could be altogether swept away, and their immediate province divided between the two new archbishoprics of Udine and Gorizia. Thus Udine, having once been the temporal seat of an ecclesiastical prince of the highest rank, came, as a subject city, to hold the highest ecclesiastical rank short of that which was swept away to make room for its elevation.

Udine is one of those places which keep fortifications of what we may call the intermediate period, what, in this part of the world, is specially the Venetian period. Such walls stand removed alike from those which, even when not Roman in date, closely follow the Roman type of defences, and from fortifications of the purely modern kind. The walls of Udine are well preserved and defended with ditches, and, as they fence in a large space and as there is comparatively little suburb, they form a prominent feature in the aspect of the town. Within the town, towering over every other object, is the castle or citadel, as unpicturesque a military structure as can be conceived, but perched on a huge mound, like so many of the castles of our own land. Here is work for Mr. Clark. Is the mound natural or 30 artificial? Tradition says that it was thrown up by Attila, that he might stand on it and see the burning of Aquileia. Legendary as such a tale is on the face of it, it may perhaps be taken as some traditional witness to the artificial nature of the mound. It would be dangerous to say anything more positively without minute knowledge both of the geology and of the præ-historic antiquities of Venetia; but analogy always suggests that such mounds are artificial, or at least largely improved by art. Anyhow there the mound is, an earthwork which, if artificial it be, the Lady of the Mercians herself need not have been ashamed of.

Some of the guide-books call Udine "a miniature Venice;" it is not easy to see why. There are some canals and bridges in Udine, but so there are in Milan, Amiens, and countless other towns. There is even a Rialto; but one hardly sees how it came by its name. The true "piccola Venezia" is far away in Dalmatia, floating on its islands in the bay of Salona. The point of likeness to Venice is probably found in the civic palace and the two neighbouring columns. But these last are only the usual badges of Venetian rule, and the palace, though it may suggest the dwelling of the Doges, has no more likeness to it than is shared by many other buildings of the same kind in Italy. But, like or unlike to Venice, there is no doubt, even on a 31 rainy day, that the palace of Udine is a building of no small merit; on a fine day it might perhaps make us say that it was worth going to Udine to see it. It is, of course, far smaller than the Doges' palace; and if it lacks the wonderful intermediate story of the Venetian building, it also lacks the ugly story above it. The point of likeness, if any, lies in the arcades, with their columns of true Italian type, slenderer than those at Venice, and using the pointed arch in the outer and the round arch in the inner range. But the columns at Udine are not a mere range like those at Venice. They stand row behind row, almost like the columns of a crypt, and they supply a profitable study in their floriated capitals. The pillared space forms the market-place of the city, and a busy place it is at the times of buying and selling, filled with the characteristic merchandise of the district, the golden balls of silk, for whose presence the Venetian land may thank the adventurous monks of Justinian's day. Some of the columns, and a large part of the rest of the building, had been renewed between 1875 and 1881. Between those years the palace had been nearly destroyed by fire. Here was a case of necessary restoration. No rational person could have been better pleased, either if the palace had been left in ruins or if it had been repaired in some incongruous fashion. In such a case as this, the new work is as much in its place as the 32 old, and the new work at Udine is as worthy as any new work is ever likely to be to stand side by side with the old. At Udine again, as in many other places, the thought cannot fail to strike us how thoroughly these grand public palaces of Italy do but set before us, on a grand scale and in a more ornamented style, a kind of building of which a humble variety is familiar enough among ourselves. Many an English market-town has an open market-house with arches, with a room above for the administration of justice or any other public purpose. Enlarge and enrich a building of this kind, and we come by easy steps to the palace of Udine and to the palace of Venice.

The civic palace is the only building of any great architectural value in Udine. The metropolitan church contains little that is attractive for antiquity or for beauty of the higher kind. But the interior, though of mixed and corrupt style, is not without a certain stateliness, and its huge octagonal tower would have been a grand object if its upper stages had been carried up in a manner worthy of its basement. The streets are largely arcaded; and if the arcades of Udine supply less detail than those of some other Italian cities, any arcade is better than none. Udine can at least hold its head higher than modern Bari, modern Athens, modern Rome. Still at best Udine 33 in itself holds but a secondary place among Italian cities, and its main historic interest consists in the way in which the utterly obscure Vedinum contrived to supplant both Aquileia and Forum Julii. As things now are, Forum Julii, dwindled to Cividale, has become a kind of appendage to Udine, and we must make our way thither from what is now the greater city.

Let us here put on record the memories of an actual journey, as strengthened and corrected by a later one made under more favourable circumstances. The accounts in the common guide-books are so meagre, and it is so impossible to get any topographical books in Udine, that our inquirer sets out, it must be confessed, with the vaguest notions of what he is going to see. Gsel-fels was not in those days, and, now that he has come into being, he has treated the lands at the head of the Hadriatic a good deal less fully than he has done most other parts of Italy. The traveller then is promised a store of Roman remains by one guide-book, and an early Romanesque church by another. He knows that the greatness of Forum Julii has gone elsewhere, and he is perhaps led to the belief that he is going to see a fallen city, perhaps another Aquileia, perhaps even 34 another Salona. One thing is clear, even in the rain—namely, that the natural surroundings of Forum Julii are of the noblest kind. The grand position of the place itself he will not find out till later; but the mist half hides, half brings out, the fact that Udine lies near, and Cividale lies nearer, to the great range of the Julian Alps. Here and there their outlines can be made out; here and there a snowy peak shows itself for a moment in the further distance. A fertile plain with a mountain barrier, with broad and rushing rivers to water it—it was clearly a goodly land in which the old Veneti had fixed themselves, and in which Rome fixed the Forum of Julius as a colony and garrison to keep their land in obedience.

A long and flat road, but with the mountains ever in front, leads on by several villages with their bell-towers, over what, according to the accidents of weather, may be either a half-dry ghiara or a deep flood, till the traveller reaches the place which was Forum Julii, and which is Cividale. Here he finds himself—a little to his amazement—in a living town, with walls and gates and towers, with streets and houses and churches, none of them certainly of the Julian æra. The town is not very large; it is not a local capital like Udine; still it is a town, not a village among ruins and fragments like Aquileia and Salona. 35 But it is plain that Cividale has not forgotten what she once was; the traveller is set down at the Grande Albergo al Friuli, and the albergo stands in the Piazza Giulio Cesare. He remembers the like name at Rimini, and he begins to cherish hopes that the treasures of Rimini may have their like at Cividale. In utter ignorance of what the place may really contain, he seeks for a bookseller's shop, hoping that some guide-book or plan of some kind may still be found. The bookseller is soon found, but his shop contains nothing of the least profit to an inquirer into the remains of Forum Julii. But the traveller hears that there is a museum; that promises something: besides the treasures which the museum itself may contain, such a place commonly implies an intelligent keeper, who sometimes proves to be a scholar of a high order. But he takes a wrong turn; no great harm however, as he thereby learns sooner than he otherwise would have learned the noble natural site of Cividale, planted on the rocky banks of the rushing stream of the Natisone. He sees two or three unpromising churches, and looks into the chief of them, a building of strange and mixed style, but not without a certain stateliness of general effect. He sees the Via Cornelio Gallo, which promises something, and the Via del Tempio, which promises more. Visions of Nîmes, Vienne, and Pola 36 rise before him; he follows the track, but he finds nothing in the least savouring of Jupiter or Diana, and he learns afterwards that the Tempio from which the street is called is the great church, known, it seems, in a special way, as Templum Maximum. Still the museum is not reached; but a second inquiry, a second journey to quite another end of the town, leads to it. The museum is examined; it contains a considerable stock of objects of the usual kind, fragments of architecture and sculpture, which witness to the former greatness of Forum Julii. More remarkable are the specimens of Lombard workmanship, in various forms of armour and ornament, to say nothing of the actual tomb of the Lombard Duke Gisulf. At the museum he is put under the friendly guidance of a kindly priest, by whose care many matters are cleared up. Roman remains, strictly so called, there are none to see. There have been diggings, and the walls have been traced out, but all has been covered up again; outside the museum there is nothing in the pagan line left. But of Romanesque work the remains, though neither large nor many, are of high interest. Buried in an Ursuline nunnery, of which the good father opens the door, is a small Romanesque church of most singular design, built, so he tells us, in 764, but which, if so, must have received some further enrichment in the twelfth century. The sculptures in 37 the western wall are surely of the later date; but the shell, parts of which in their coupled Corinthian columns strongly call to mind some of the ancient churches of Rome, may well be of the earlier date, of the last days of the Lombard kingdom.

Here at last something of no small value has been lighted on. As a matter of architecture, this church is by far the best thing in Cividale. Indeed, as a matter of architecture strictly so called, it is the only thing of any importance. But let the other churches be gone through again, perhaps only with that relief of the mind which follows the discovery of an intelligible clue, yet more when old memories are revived and strengthened by a second visit, and, though they are of no great value as buildings, they are found to be of no small interest in other ways. The Templum Maximum indeed, late and corrupt as is its style, is not without a certain grandeur of internal effect, and it contains more than one object which calls up historic memories. There is the chair which cannot in strictness be called patriarchal, but which was doubtless used by patriarchs when the spiritual shepherds of Aquileia fled from their wasted home to the safer shelter of Forum Julii, and ruled its chief church as provosts. There too on the altar we may see the silver image work of the twelfth century, the gift of one of the two patriarchs who bore the name of 38 Peregrinus. And there too is a wonderful object, the indoor baptistery—for it is more than a font—repaired two years after Charles the Great had added the style of King of the Lombards to his Frankish kingship and his Roman patriciate. We may then believe that, in the columns and round arches of its octagon, we see work of the date when the land of Forum Julii was still the Austria of an independent Lombard realm. Other objects of early days are to be found in even the less promising churches, specially an altar, rich with the goldsmith's craft, which suggests, though it does not rival, the altar of Saint Ambrose at Milan. But first among the treasures of Cividale must rank the precious volume which is still guarded in the treasury of the great church. This is an ancient book of the gospels, now of three gospels only, for some zealous Venetian, eager for the honour of Saint Mark, deemed that the pages which contained his writings were out of place anywhere except in the Evangelist's own city. The highest historical value of the book consists in the crowds of signatures scattered through its margin, signatures of persons great and small, known and unknown, from the days of the Lombard princes to the Empress-Queen of the last age and the Bourbon pretender of the present. When we have grasped the fact that the popular speech of the surrounding district is Slavonic, we 39 are less surprised than we otherwise might be to find that a large proportion of the signatures come from eastern Europe. Among them are a crowd of signatures from Bulgaria, headed by Michael their king. It is for palæographers to judge of the date by the writing. And palæographers say that, of the ancient names, none are earlier than the end of the eighth century or later than the end of the tenth. Otherwise we might have been driven to see in this Michael nothing greater than a fourteenth century king of an already divided Bulgaria. But the great Simeon of an earlier day left a son Michael, a monk, who left his monastery to strive vainly for his father's crown. Yet, if the witness of wise men as to the dates of the writing may be trusted, it must be either the signature of this Michael or else an utter forgery. But the unenlightened in such matters asks how the signatures of men of so many lands and ages got there. Did those whose names were written—for of course few, if any, would write them themselves—come to the book, or did the book go to them? The earlier signatures at least are said to be the names of reconciled enemies who took the holy book to witness that their enmities were laid aside. This we can neither affirm nor deny, but it surely cannot apply to all the signatures in the book. The treasury contains other ancient books, and other objects which are well 40 worth notice, but this strange and precious relic is the chiefest of them all.

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

GORIZIA.

41

1881.


At Udine and at Cividale we are still in Italy in every sense which that name has borne since the days of Augustus Cæsar. But the fact which may have startled us at the last stage of our course, the fact that a Slavonic tongue is to be heard within the borders of both the old and the new Italian kingdom, may suggest the thought that we are drawing near to parts of the world which are in some respects different from Treviso and the lands to the west of it. We are about to pass from the subject lands of Venice to the neighbour lands. We shall presently reach the borders which modern diplomacy has decreed for the Italian kingdom, seemingly because they were the borders of the territory of the Venetian commonwealth on the mainland. Venice, as Venice, has passed away, but it is strange to see how one of the most artificial of her boundaries survives. The present arrangements of the European map seem to lay down as the rule on this frontier that nothing that 42 was not Venetian can be Italian. The rule is purely negative; no weight at all is given to the converse doctrine that whatever was Venetian should be Italian. Nor is it necessary to plead for any such doctrine, a doctrine which nationality and geography, as well as practical possibility, would all decline to support. Still it is hard to see why the negative doctrine should be so strictly pressed, and why Italian lands should be forced to remain under a foreign dominion, simply because they never came under the dominion of Venice. If any argument grounded in this way on facts which have long since ceased to have a meaning were urged on the Italian side, it would be at once scouted as pedantic and antiquarian. But it would seem that even pedantry and antiquarianism are welcomed when they tell on behalf of the other side. For surely it is the height of pedantry and antiquarianism to argue that, because a land was never numbered among the subject provinces of Venice, it therefore may not be numbered among the equal members of a free Italian kingdom. It is certainly hard to find any other reason, except that the advance of Venice stopped at a certain point, to account for the fact that the dominions of a foreign prince come so awkwardly near to Verona, for the fact that Trent and Roveredo look to Vienna and not to Rome. Such are our thoughts on one line of journey; on our 43 present course the same question suggests itself again. We pass a frontier where it is not at first sight easy to see why any frontier should be there. We journey from Udine to Gorizia, still keeping within the old Lombard Austria, but between Udine and Gorizia lies Cormons, and after Cormons we find ourselves in a new Austria. We speak with geographical accuracy. We might not say, as some would, that we were in Austria if we were at Cattaro or at Tzernovitz, but in the land which we have now entered, we are, not indeed in the archduchy of Austria, but within the circle of Austria according to the arrangements of Maximilian. And in truth we do soon mark a change. We soon come to feel more distinctly than before that we are in a land where more tongues than one are spoken. We may have found out that round about Cividale all is not Italian in speech; but the Slavonic tongue of those parts is modest and retiring. It does not thrust itself into print or show itself flauntingly on doors or windows. But when we pass the border, when we are in the land which is Austrian both in the oldest and the newest sense, the presence of a twofold, even of a three-fold, speech makes itself very clear. At Cividale, if Slavonic was to be heard, it was at least not to be seen. In the city which we next reach, Italian and Slavonic are both to be seen 44 openly, and a third tongue is to be seen alongside of them. Are we to seek here for the justification of the frontier which struck us as artificial and needless? Is the fact that the Slavonic tongue is spoken in or close by the city which we next reach a proof that that city ought to remain outside the Italian kingdom? If so, the argument might be thought to prove too much; it might be thought to prove that Cividale ought not to be counted to Italy any more than its neighbour. But any one who took up this line of argument would hardly be led by it to approval of things as they are. The Panslavist who should go the length of arguing that neither Gorizia nor Cividale ought to look to Rome as its head would hardly argue that either of them ought to look to Vienna.

We have written the name Gorizia; but we have written it with fear and trembling. For we have now reached a city where we have three names to choose from. Shall we say Görz, Gorizia, or Gorici? All three names will be found carefully displayed side by side in public notices. One is tempted, by the analogy of a crowd of Slavonic names in other places, to suggest Goritaz instead of any of them. But Gorici is the Slavonic form as by law established, and to that rule both natives and visitors may do well to bow. In any case there is little doubt that on this 45 spot of many names we have reached a place which, though Italian in geography, though for ages German in allegiance, was in truth Slavonic in origin. A charter of Otto the Third speaks of "una villa quæ Sclavonica lingua vocatur Gorizia." This is the earliest certain mention of the place. There is indeed a document which tells us how in the year 949 Bishop John of Trieste was borne down by many troubles, and how one source of his troubles was a heavy debt to David the Jew of Gorizia. But wise men reject the document which asserts this piece of episcopal mismanagement. And the way in which the place is spoken of in the eleventh century does not sound as if it could have been a spot whose wealth could have drawn Jews thither in the tenth. In any case the Slavonic villa grew into a town and a county of the Empire, and late in the fifteenth century the Counts of Gorizia became the same persons as the Archdukes of Austria. But long after the beginning of that union, the distinction between Austria and Gorizia was still strongly drawn. How much Gorizia still thought of itself, how much its prince still thought of himself in his local character, is made plain by the most prominent feature of the chief building of the place. Over the gateway of the castle is an inscription recording repairs done in the year 1660 by the reigning Count Leopold. 46 That Count bore higher titles, and he does not fail to record them on the stone; but they are recorded in an almost incidental way. Letters boldly cut, letters which catch the eye at some distance, proclaim that the work was done by LEOPOLDUS COMES GORITIÆ. Go near, and you may literally read between the lines, in smaller letters and abbreviated words, that this Count Leopold happened to be also Emperor of the Romans, King of Germany, Hungary, and Bohemia, Archduke of Austria, and—in his own eyes at least—Duke of Burgundy. But here at Gorizia he reigned and built directly as Count of Gorizia, and he proclaimed himself primarily by his local title. In an inscription such things could be done; heraldry hardly admitted of any such ingenious devices. The bird of Cæsar must bear the hereditary shield of the prince who has been chosen to the imperial office, and on that hereditary shield the bearings of the Gorizian county cannot displace those of duchies and kingdoms. While therefore the legend proclaims the doer of the repairs of 1660 as before all things a hereditary local count, the shield proclaims him as before all things a Roman Emperor-elect. Yet one may believe that most of those who pass under the imperial bird over the gateway deem him all one with his bastard likeness over the tobacco-shops. Some may even fail to see that, among the many hereditary bearings of the 47 elective Cæsar, the lion of the Austrian duchy keeps his proper place. That lion is so apt to pass out of sight, men are so ready to cry "Austria" when they see the eagle of Rome, so little ready to cry "Austria" when they see Austria's own bearing, that it may be kind to point out one place where his form and his occasional destiny may best be studied. The true Austrian beast is plainly to be seen on the walls of the Schlachtkapelle near Sempach, and his presence there is explained by the legend, thrilling to the federal and democratic mind, "Das Panier von Oestreich ist gefangen, und ist nach Uri gekommen."

The eagle of Rome over the gateway, in a place where in these regions we look almost mechanically for the lion of Saint Mark, reminds us yet again that we have passed from the subject into the neighbour lands of Venice. And various inscriptions, public and private, bring no less clearly home to our minds that we are in a land of more than one tongue. Of the three names of the town, that by which we have hitherto spoken of it, that which it bears in the earliest trustworthy charter, that which differs by one letter only from its more ordinary Latin shape as seen over the gate, is also the name which the traveller will most frequently hear in its streets and will see universally written over its shops. As far as one can see at a glance, German is at Görz the tongue of 48 hôtels, cafés, public departments of all kinds. Italian is the tongue of the citizens of Gorizia whose shops are sheltered by its street arcades. Slavonic, we conceive, will some day be the tongue of the little children who, in all the joy of a state of nature, as naked as any other mammals, creep, as merrily though more slowly than the lizards, over the grass and stones of the castle-hill of Gorici. Anyhow Gorizia is, like Palermo of old, the city of the threefold tongue. But the place itself is, considering its history, a little disappointing. Nothing indeed is lacking in the way of position. Mountains on all sides, except where the rich plain of the swift Isonzo stretches away to the sea, fence in the city, without hemming it close in as in a prison. One hill is crowned by the castle, whence we look out on another crowned by the long white line of the Franciscan convent, suggesting memories of the banished king who was the last to receive the consecrating oil of Rheims. Houses, churches, villages, are thickly scattered over the plain and the hill sides. The vines and the mulberry-trees, the food of the silkworm whose endless cocoons choke up the market-place, witness to the richness of the land. But there is a strange lack of buildings of any importance in this capital of an ancient county, this resort which boasts itself as the "Nizza Austriaca," the "Oesterreichische Nizza"—in such formulæ 49 the third tongue of the spot is not called into play. A Nizza without any Mediterranean may seem as strange as the Rialto which we saw at Udine without any Grand Canal. But Gorizia as a modern town is not striking. Its best features are the old arcades in some of its streets and markets. Such arcades must be bad indeed to be wholly unsatisfactory, and some of those at Gorizia are very fairly done. But there is no grand church, no grand municipal palace; the castle itself is not what on such a site it ought to be. The castle is the kernel of the whole place. Gorizia is not a hill-town, nor can we call it a river-town. There is the castle on the hill, and the town seems to have gathered at its foot. The castle soars so commandingly over the country round that we wish here, as at Udine, that there was something better to soar than the ugly barrack which forms its uppermost stage. There are indeed better things within Count Leopold's gateway. The outer court is laid out in streets, and contains several houses with architectural features. One, bearing date 1475, with respectable columns and round arches below, and with windows of the Venetian type above, might pass for a very humble following, not of the palaces of Venice or Udine, but of the far nobler pile which is in store for us at Ragusa. A small church too strikes us, with its windows projecting like oriels, one of them 50 indeed rising from the ground. This last, when we enter, proves to be the smallest of side-chapels set on this fashion. In some cities such a small eccentricity would hardly deserve any notice; but at Gorizia we learn to become thankful for rather small mercies.

In the lower town what little interest there is gathers round the pieces of street arcades; the churches go for next to nothing. Yet Gorizia ranks as an ecclesiastical metropolis, and it has its metropolitan church no less than Canterbury or Lyons. Nor is this merely one of those arrangements of the present century which have stripped Mainz and Trier of their immemorial dignity, and which have given us archbishops of such unexpected places as Munich and Freiburg-im-Breisgau. The style of Archbishop of Gorizia is at least several generations older than the style of Emperor of Austria. The church of Gorizia rose to metropolitan rank, at the same time as the church of Udine, when the patriarchate of Aquileia came to an end, and its province was divided between the two new metropolitans thus called into being. But the seat of the modern primacy is hardly worthy of a simple bishopric. There is nothing in the building of any antiquity but a choir, German rather than Italian, and of no great antiquity either. The rest of the church is of a gaudy Renaissance; yet it deserves some notice from the boldness of its construction. It is designed, within and without, of 51 two stories: that is, the upper gallery is an essential part of the building. The principle is the same as in Saint Agnes and Saint Laurence at Rome, and as in German churches like the Great Minster at Zürich; but the feeling is quite different. Still, if a church is to be built in a Renaissance style and to receive two sets of worshippers, one over the heads of the other, it must be allowed that the object is thoroughly attained in the metropolitan church of Gorizia, and its architect is entitled to the credit of having successfully grappled with the problem immediately set before him.

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

AQUILEIA.

52

1875—1881.


We have already, in our course through the lands at the head of the Hadriatic, had need constantly to refer to the fallen city which once was the acknowledged head of those lands, the city whose fame began as a great Roman colony, the bulwark of Italy at her north-eastern corner, and which lived on, after the fall of its first greatness, in the character of the nominal head alike of a considerable temporal power and of an ecclesiastical power whose position and history were altogether unique. We have noticed that, while the cities of this region rise and fall, still even those which fall are not wholly swept away. Aquileia has always lived, though, since the days of Attila, the life of the actual city of Aquileia has been a very feeble one indeed. But though Aquileia, as a city, practically perished in the fifth century, yet it continued till the eighteenth to give its name to a power of some kind. Its temporal position passed to Forum Julii, and Udine succeeded to the position alike of Forum Julii and of Aquileia. But the patriarchs grew 53 into temporal princes, and their style continued to be taken from Aquileia, and not from Forum Julii or Udine. On the ecclesiastical side, the patriarchal title itself arose out of a theological and a local schism. And, while the bishops of Aquileia thus rose to the same nominal rank as those of Constantinople and Alexandria, they had, as the result of the same chain of events, to see—at least, if they had gone on living at Aquileia they would have seen—a rival power of the same rank spring up, at their own gates, in the form of the patriarchs of Grado. This last was surely the greatest anomaly in all ecclesiastical geography. He who is not familiar with the Italian ecclesiastical map may be surprised to find Fiesole a separate bishopric from Florence. Even he who is familiar with such matters may still be surprised to find Monreale a separate archbishopric from Palermo. But even this last real anomaly seems a small matter, compared with the arrangement which placed one patriarch at Aquileia itself, and another almost within a stone's throw at Aquileia's port of Grado. At every step we have lighted on something to suggest the thought of the ancient capital of the Venetian borderland; we have now to look at what is left of the fallen city itself. Setting aside the actual seats of Imperial power, Rome Old and New, Milan, Trier, and Ravenna, few cities stand out more conspicuously 54 than Aquileia both in general and in ecclesiastical history. The stronghold by which Rome first secured her power over the borderland of Illyria and Cisalpine Gaul—the city which grew under the fostering hand of Augustus into one of the great cities of the Empire—the city whose overthrow by Attila was one of the causes of the birth of Venice—might have claimed for itself no mean place in history, even if it had never become one of the special seats of ecclesiastical rule and ecclesiastical controversy. To see such a city sunk to a mean village, to trace out the remains of its ancient greatness and splendour, is indeed a worthy work for the historical traveller.

But how shall the traveller find his way to Aquileia? Let us confess to a certain degree of pious fraud in our notices of Treviso, Udine, and Gorizia. We have, for the general purposes of the series, conceived the traveller as starting from Venice, while in truth those notices contained the impressions of journeys made the other way, with Trieste as their starting-point. The mask must be thrown off, if only because the journey to Aquileia always calls up the memory of an earlier visit to Aquileia when it was also from Trieste that another traveller set forth. We have before us a record of travel from Trieste to Aquileia, in which the pilgrim, finding himself on the road "in a capital barouche behind two excellent horses," 55 tells us that "the idea of thus visiting a church city, which seemed a mere existence of the past, had something so singular and inappropriate as to seem an ecclesiastical joke. When at the octroi," he continues, "our driver gave out his destination, the whole arrangement produced the same effect in my mind as if Saint Augustine had asked me to have a bottle of soda-water, or Saint Jerome to procure for him a third-class ticket." Without professing altogether to throw ourselves into enthusiasm of this kind, the ecclesiastical history of the city, its long line of patriarchs, schismatical and orthodox, is of itself enough to give Aquileia a high place among the cities of the earth. But why Aquileia should be called "a church city" as if it were Wells or Lichfield or Saint David's, cities to which that name would very well apply—why going thither should seem an "ecclesiastical joke"—why Saint Augustine, if he were still on earth, should be debarred from the use of soda-water—why Saint Jerome should be condemned to a third-class ticket, while his modern admirer goes in a capital barouche behind two excellent horses—all these are mysteries into which it would not do for the profane to peer too narrowly. But the traveller from whom we quote was one in whose mind the first sight of Spalato called up no memory of Diocletian, but who wandered off from 56 the organizer of the Roman power to an ecclesiastical squabble in which the British Solomon was a chief actor. We quote his own words. As he first saw the mighty bell-tower, he asks, "What were our thoughts? What but of poor Mark Antony de Dominis?"

Our ecclesiastical traveller who went straight from Trieste to Aquileia in the barouche with the excellent horses made his pilgrimage before the railway was opened. As it is, the more modern inquirer is more likely to take the train to Monfalcone—perhaps humbly, like Saint Jerome, by the third class, perhaps otherwise, according to circumstances. He will pass through a land of specially stony hills coming down near to the sea, but leaving ever and anon, in the most utter contrast, green marshy places between the stones and the water. Some may find an interest in passing by Miramar, the dwelling of the Maximilian who perished in Mexico; some may prefer to speculate about Antenor, and to wonder where he found the nine mouths of Timavus. But it is still possible to go by the same path as our predecessor, and that antiquated course has something to be said for it. The road from Trieste to Aquileia is, for some while at least, not rich in specially striking objects, but it passes over lofty ground whence the traveller will better understand the geography of the Hadriatic, and will come in for some glimpses of the inland 57 parts of this region of many tongues. For here it is not quite enough to say that native Italian and Slave and official German all meet side by side. We are not far off from the march-land of two forms of the Slavonic speech; the tongue of Rome too is represented at no great distance by another of its children, distinct from the more classic speech of Italy. We remember that the Vlach, the Rouman, the Latin-speaking remnant of the East, has settled or has lingered at not very distant points. We are tempted to fancy—wrongly, it may be—that some of them must almost come within the distant landscape. One thing is certain; bearers far more strange of the Roman name, though no speakers of the Roman tongue, are there in special abundance. Those whom sixteenth century Acts of Parliament spoke of as "outlandish persons calling themselves Egyptians," though they certainly now at least no more call themselves Egyptians than Englishmen ever called themselves Saxons, are there as a distinct element in the land. The traveller who comes on the right day may come in for a gipsy fair at Duino; he may hear philologers whose studies have lain that way talking to them in their own branch of the common Aryan tongue. He himself meanwhile, driven to look at their outsides only, perhaps thinks that after all gipsies do not look so very different from 58 other ragged people. Certainly if he chances to be making his way, as it is possible that he may be, from Dalmatia and Montenegro, he will miss, both among the gipsies and the other inhabitants of the land, the picturesque costumes to which he has become used further south. Duino itself, a very small haven, but which once believed that it could rival Trieste, will, to the antiquary at least, be more interesting than its gipsy visitors. A castle on rocks, overhanging the sea—a castle, so to speak, in two parts, one of which contains a tower which claims a Roman date, while the other is said to have sheltered Dante—will reward the traveller who still keeps to the barouche and the horses on his journey to the "church city," instead of making use of the swifter means which modern skill has provided for him.

At last, by whichever road he goes, the traveller finds himself at the little town of Monfalcone, and there he who comes by the railway must now look for the capital barouche and the excellent horses, or such substitutes for them as Monfalcone can supply. A small castle frowns on the hill above the station, but the town contains nothing but an utterly worthless duomo and some street arcades, to remind us once more that, if we are under the political rule of the Apostolic King, we are on soil which is Italian in history and 59 in architecture. After a railway journey which has mainly skirted the sea, perhaps even after a journey over the hills during a great part of which we have looked down on the sea, we are a little surprised at finding that the road which leads us to what once was a great haven takes us wholly inland. We pass through a flat and richly cultivated country, broken here and there by a village with its campanile, till two Corinthian columns catch the eye in front of a modern building, which otherwise might be passed by without notice. Those two columns, standing forsaken, away from their fellows, mark that we have reached Monastero; in the days before Attila we should have reached Aquileia. We are now within the circuit of the ancient colony. But mediæval Aquileia was shut up within far narrower limits; modern Aquileia is shut up within narrower limits still. Within the courtyard of the building which is fronted by the two columns, we find a large collection, a kind of outdoor museum, of scraps of architecture and sculpture, the fragments of the great city that once was. We go on, and gradually our approach to the centre is marked by further fragments of columns lying here and there, as at Rome or Ravenna. A little farther, and we are in modern Aquileia, "città Aquileia," as it still proudly calls itself in the official description, which, as usual, proclaims to the traveller the name 60 of the place where he is, and in what administrative division of the "Imperial and Royal" dominions he finds himself.

Of the village into which the ancient colony has shrunk up we must allow that the main existing interest is ecclesiastical. So far as Aquileia is a city at all, it is now a "church city." The patriarchal church, with its tall but certainly not beautiful campanile, soars above all. But, if it soars above all, it still is not all. Here and there a fragment of a column, or an inscription built into the wall, reminds us of what Aquileia once was. One ingenious man has even built himself an outhouse wholly out of such scraps, here a capital, there a bit of sculpture, there inscriptions of various dates, with letters of the best and of the worst kinds of Roman lettering. Queer and confused as the collection is, the bits out of which it is put together are at least safe, which they would not be if they were left lying about in the streets. Another more regularly assorted collection will be found in the local museum, which has the advantage of containing several plans, showing the extent of the city in earlier times. At last we approach the church, now, and doubtless for many ages past, the one great object in Aquileia. In front of it a single shattered column marks the place of the ancient forum. To climb the tower is the best way of studying the 61 geography of Aquileia, just as to climb the tower of Saint Apollinaris is the best way of studying the geography of Ravenna. In both cases the first feeling that comes upon the mind is that the sea has become a distant object. Now the eye ranges over a wide flat, and the sea, which once brought greatness to Aquileia, is far away. A map of Aquileia in the fifteenth century is to be had, and it is wise to take it to the top of the tower. There we may trace out the churches, gates, and other buildings, which have perished since the date of the map, remembering always that the Aquileia of the fifteenth century was the merest fragment of the vast city of earlier times. A good deal of the town wall of the mediæval date may still be traced. It runs near to the east end of the church, acting, as at Exeter and Chichester, as the wall at once of the town and of the ecclesiastical precinct. The church itself, the patriarchal basilica of Aquileia, is a study indeed, though the first feeling on seeing it either within or without is likely to be one of disappointment. We do not expect outline, strictly so called, in an Italian church; when we come in for any grouping of towers, such as we see at Saint Abbondio at Como and at more wonderful Vercelli, we accept with thankfulness the boon which we had not looked for. So we do not complain that the basilica of Aquileia, with its vast length and 62 its lofty tower, is still, as judged by a northern eye, somewhat shapeless. But in such a place we might have expected to find a front such as those which form the glory of Pisa and Lucca, such a tower as may be found at Pisa and Lucca and at a crowd of places of less renown. We enter the church, and we find ourselves in a vast and stately basilica; but one feature in its architecture at once amazes us. There are the long rows of columns with which we have become familiar at Pisa and Lucca, at Rome and Ravenna; but all the main arches are pointed. And the pointed arches are not, as at Palermo and indeed at Pisa also, trophies of the vanquished Saracen; their details at once show that they are actual mediæval work. We search the history, for which no great book-learning is needed, as inscriptions on the walls and floor supply the most important facts. The church was twice recast, once early in the eleventh century, and again in the fourteenth. The pointed work in the main building is of course due to this last change; the crypt, with its heavy columns and rude capitals, looks like work of the eleventh century, though it has been assigned to the fifth, and though doubtless materials of that date have been used up again. And in the upper church also, the columns of the elder building have, as so often happens, lived through all repairs. Their capitals for the most 63 part are mediæval imitations of classical forms rather than actual relics of the days before Attila. But two among them, one in each transept, still keep shattered Corinthian capitals of the very finest work.

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

In the basilica of Aquileia we have three marked dates, but we may call it on the whole a church of the eleventh century, keeping portions of a church of the fourth, and itself largely recast in the fourteenth. Thus, setting aside later changes, the existing church shows portions of work a thousand years apart, and spans nearly the whole of Aquileian history. When the rich capitals of the transepts were carved, the days of persecution were still of recent memory; when 64 pointed arches were set on the ancient columns, the temporal power of the patriarchate was within a century of its fall. The first church of Aquileia is assigned to the bishop Fortunatian, who succeeded in 347, the last prelate who held Aquileia as a simple bishopric without metropolitan rank. The builder and consecrator of the present church—for present we may call it, though it shows less detail of his work than of either earlier or later times—was Poppo or Wolfgang, patriarch from 1019 to 1042, a man famous in local history as the chief founder of the temporal power of the patriarchate. His influence was great with the Emperors Henry the Second and Conrad the Second; he accompanied the latter prince to his Roman coronation, and must therefore have stood face to face with our own Cnut. The name of this magnificent prelate suggests his namesake, who at the very same moment filled the metropolitan throne of Trier, and was engaged in the same work of transforming a great church of an older day. If we compare Trier and Aquileia, we see how men's minds are worked on by local circumstances and local associations. Poppo of Aquileia and Poppo of Trier were alike German prelates, but one was working in Germany and the other in Italy. The northern Poppo therefore gave the remodelled church of Trier a German character, while the remodelled church of Aquileia remained, under the hands of 65 the southern Poppo, a church thoroughly Italian. We may even say that the essential character of the building was not changed, even by the still later remodelling which brought in the pointed arches; these were the work of Markquard of Randeck, who was translated from Augsburg to the patriarchal see in 1365, and who held it till 1381. He brought in the received constructive form of his day, but he did not by bringing in pointed arches turn the building into Italian Gothic. The church of Markquard remained within and without a true basilica, keeping the general effect of the church of Poppo, perhaps even of the church of Fortunatian. The walls of the church moreover show inscriptions of much later date, recording work done in the church of Aquileia in the days of Apostolic sovereigns of our own time. The newest of all, which was not there in 1875, but which was there in 1881, bears the name of the prince who has ceased to be lord of Forum Julii, but who still remains lord of Aquileia.

But the basilica itself is not all. A succession of buildings join on to the west: first a loggia, then a plain vaulted building, called, but without much likelihood, an older church, which leads to the ruined baptistery. The old map shows this last with a high roof or cupola, and then the range from the western baptistery to the great eastern apse must have been striking indeed. Fragments of every kind, 66 columns, capitals, bits of entablature, lie around; and to the south of the church stand up two great pillars, the object of which it is for some local antiquary to explain. The old map shows that they stood just within the court of the patriarchal palace, which was then a ruin, and which has now utterly vanished. They are not of classical work; they are not columns in the strict sense; they are simply built up of stones, like the pillars of Gloucester or Tewkesbury. Standing side by side, they remind us of the columns which in towns which were subject to Venice commonly bear the badges of the dominion of Saint Mark. But can we look for such badges at Aquileia? The lands of the patriarchate, in by far the greater part of their extent, did indeed pass from the patriarch to the Evangelist. But had the Evangelist ever such a settled possession of the city itself as to make it likely that columns should be set up at Aquileia as well as at Udine? The treaty which confirmed Venice in the possession of the patriarchal state left the patriarchal city to its own bishop and prince. Was the winged lion ever set up, and then taken down again? The old map which represents Aquileia in the fifteenth century shows that, as the pillars carry nothing now, so they carried nothing then. Again, would Venetian taste have allowed such clumsy substitutes for columns as these? And, if they had been 67 meant as badges of dominion, would they not have stood in the forum rather than in the court of the Patriarch's palace?

We are far from having exhausted even the existing antiquities of Aquileia, further still from exhausted its long and varied history. Within the bounds of the fallen city pleasant walks may be taken, which here and there bring us among memories of the past. Here is a fine street pavement brought to light, here a fragment of a theatre. But men do not dig at Aquileia with the same vigour with which they dig at Silchester and at Solunto. The difference between the diggings at the beginning and the end of a term of six years is less than it should be. But we have perhaps done enough to point out the claims of so wonderful a spot on those who look on travelling as something more than a way either of killing time or of conforming to fashion. Aquileia has a character of its own; it is not a ruined or buried city; nor is it altogether like Trier or Ravenna, which, though fallen from their ancient greatness, are cities still. In the general feeling of the spot it has more in common with such a place as Saint David's in our own island, that thorough "church city," where a great minster and its ecclesiastical establishment still live on amid surrounding desolation. But there is no reason to believe that Saint 68 David's, as a town, was ever greater than it is now. Still Saint David's keeps its bishopric, it keeps its chapter; at Aquileia the patriarch with his fifty canons are altogether things of the past. We must seek for their surviving fragments at Udine and Gorizia. Aquileia then, as regards its present state, has really fallen lower than Saint David's. But then at Aquileia we see at every step, what could never at any time have been seen at Saint David's, the signs of the days when it ranked among the great cities of the earth. Aquileia, in short, is unique. We turn away from it with the feeling that we have seen one of the most remarkable spots that Europe can show us. It may be that our horses, excellent or otherwise, take us back to Monfalcone, and that from Monfalcone the train takes us back to Trieste. In theory, it must be remembered, we have not been at Trieste at all; we are going thither from Venice, by way of Treviso, Udine, Gorizia, and Aquileia. In going thither, we shall outstrip the strict boundary of the Lombard Austria, though we shall keep within the Italy of Augustus and the Italy of Charles the Great. On the other hand, in matter of fact it may be that, as we have come by the older mode of going from Trieste to Aquileia, we go on to make our way by the same mode from Aquileia to Gorizia. In favourable states of the 69 astronomical world, we may even be lighted on our way by a newly-risen comet. We follow the precedent of our forefathers: "Isti mirant stellam." Such a phænomenon must, according to all ancient belief, imply the coming of some great shaking among the powers of the world. In such a frame of mind, the gazer may be excused if he dreams that the portent may be sent to show that the boundary which parts Aquileia and Gorizia from Udine and Treviso need not be eternal.

TRIESTE.

70

1875—1877—1881.


We have already learned, at Gorizia and at Aquileia, that, whether in real travel or on the map, the subject lands of Venice cannot be kept apart from those neighbour lands which were not her subjects. The Queen of the Hadriatic could at no time boast of the possession of the whole Hadriatic coast; could she now be called up again to her old life, to her old dominion, she would feel very sensibly that she had only a divided rule over her own sea. She would find her peer in a city, a haven, all claim to dominion over which she had formally resigned more than four hundred years before her fall. Facing her from the other side of her own watery kingdom, she would see a city too far off to be an eyesore, but quite near enough to be a rival. She is fronted by a city which hardly comes within the old Venetian land, though it comes within the bounds of the old Italian kingdom, a city which for five hundred years has been parted from Venetian or Italian rule, emphatically a city of the present, 71 which has swallowed up no small share of the wealth and prosperity of the city of the past.

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

The great haven of Trieste may almost at pleasure 72 be quoted as either confirming or contradicting the rule that it is not in the great commercial cities of Europe that we are to look for the choicest or the most plentiful remains of antiquity. Sometimes the cities themselves are of modern foundation; in other cases the cities themselves, as habitations of men and seats of commerce, are of the hoariest antiquity, but the remains of their early days have perished through their very prosperity. Massalia, with her long history, with her double wreath of freedom, the city which withstood Cæsar and which withstood Charles of Anjou, is bare of monuments of her early days. She has been the victim of her abiding good fortune. We can look down from the height on the Phôkaian harbour; but for actual memorials of the men who fled from the Persian, of the men who defied the Roman and the Angevin, we might look as well at Liverpool or at Havre. Genoa, Venice herself, are hardly real exceptions; they were indeed commercial cities, but they were ruling cities also, and, as ruling cities, they reared monuments which could hardly pass away. What are we to say to the modern rival of Venice, the upstart rebel, one is tempted to say, against the supremacy of the Hadriatic Queen? Trieste, at the head of her gulf, with the hills looking down to her haven, with the snowy mountains which seem to guard the approach from the other side of 73 her inland sea, with her harbour full of the ships of every nation, her streets echoing with every tongue, is she to be reckoned as an example of the rule or an exception to it?

No city at first sight seems more thoroughly modern; old town and new, wide streets and narrow, we search them in vain for any of those vestiges of past times which in some cities meet us at every step. Compare Trieste with Ancona; we miss the arch of Trajan on the haven; we miss the cupola of Saint Cyriacus soaring in triumph above the triumphal monument of the heathen. We pass through the stately streets of the newer town, we thread the steep ascents which lead us to the older town above, and we nowhere light on any of those little scraps of ornamental architecture, a window, a doorway, a column, which meet us at every step in so many of the cities of Italy. Yet the monumental wealth of Trieste is all but equal to the monumental wealth of Ancona. At Ancona we have the cathedral church and the triumphal arch; so we have at Trieste; though at Trieste we have nothing to set against the grand front of the lower and smaller church of Ancona. But at Ancona arch and duomo both stand out before all eyes; at Trieste both have to be looked for. The church of Saint Justus at Trieste crowns the hill as well as the church of Saint Cyriacus at Ancona; but it does not 74 in the same way proclaim its presence. The castle, with its ugly modern fortifications, rises again above the church; and the duomo of Trieste, with its shapeless outline and its low, heavy, unsightly campanile, does not catch the eyes like the Greek cross and cupola of Ancona. Again at Trieste the arch could never, in its best days, have been a rival to the arch at Ancona; and now either we have to hunt it out by an effort, or else it comes upon us suddenly, standing, as it does, at the head of a mean street on the ascent to the upper town. Of a truth it cannot compete with Ancona or with Rimini, with Orange or with Aosta. But the duomo, utterly unsightly as it is in a general view, puts on quite a new character when we first see the remains of pagan times imprisoned in the lower stage of the heavy campanile, still more so when we take our first glance of its wonderful interior. At the first glimpse we see that here there is a mystery to be unravelled; and as we gradually find the clue to the marvellous changes which it has undergone, we feel that outside show is not everything, and that, in point both of antiquity and of interest, though not of actual beauty, the double basilica of Trieste may claim no mean place among buildings of its own type. Even after the glories of Rome and Ravenna, the Tergestine church may be studied with no small pleasure and profit, as an example of a kind of transformation 75 of which neither Rome nor Ravenna can supply another example.

Whatever was the first origin of Tergeste, whoever, among the varied and perplexing inhabitants of this corner of the Hadriatic coast, were the first to pitch on the spot for a dwelling-place of man, it is plain that it ranks among the cities which have grown up out of hill-forts. Trieste in this affords a marked contrast to Marseilles, as it supplies a marked analogy to Cumæ and Ancona. The site of the Phôkaian settlement marks a distinct advance in civilization. The castellieri, the primitive forts, in the neighbouring land of Istria, were, according to Captain Burton, often made into places of Roman occupation, and something of the same kind may have been the case with Tergeste itself. The position of the cathedral church, occupying the site of the capitol of the Roman colony, shows of itself that Tergeste was thoroughly a hill-city. It has spread itself downwards, like so many others, though this time, not into the plain, but towards the sea. Standing on the border-land of Italy and Illyria, its destiny has been in some things the same as that of its neighbours, in others peculiar to itself. It must not be forgotten that, setting aside the coast cities, the land in which Trieste stands has for ages been a Slavonic land, except so far as it is also partly a Rouman land. How far the Italian and 76 the Rouman elements may have been originally the same, is a puzzling question on which it would be dangerous to enter here. But one thing is certain, that, if the present inhabitants of the Tergestine city had obeyed the call of Garibaldi, "Men of Trieste, to your mountains," they would have found Slavonic possessors claiming those mountains by the strongest of all titles. For we have now distinctly passed the national border. We have come to the lands where the body is Slavonic, where the Italian element, greater or smaller, is at most only a fringe along the coast. Tergeste with the neighbouring lands formed part of the dominion of Theodoric and of the recovered Empire of Justinian; but it never came under the rule of the Lombard. Its allegiance to the lords of Constantinople and Ravenna, lords whose abiding power in this region is shown in the foundation of the Istrian Justinopolis, lasted unshaken till the Frank conquest, when Tergeste became part of the Italian kingdom of the Karlings. From that time to the fourteenth century, its history is the common history of an Italian city. It is sometimes a free commonwealth, sometimes subject to, or claimed by, the Patriarch of Aquileia or to the Serene Republic itself. By the treaty of Turin in 1381, the independence of the commonwealth of Trieste was formally acknowledged by all the contending powers. The next year the liberated city took the seemingly 77 strange step of submitting itself to the lordship of a foreign prince. Leopold, Duke of Austria, he who died at Sempach, he to whom Venice resigned Treviso, was received by a solemn act as Lord of Trieste, and that lordship passed on to the Dukes, Archdukes, Kings, and Emperors of his house, and from them to their Lotharingian successors. Thus, unlike Treviso and Udine, Trieste has been Austrian in one sense only. Never forming a part of the Austria of Lombardy, it has had a far more abiding connexion with the Austria of Germany. The lordship which Trieste acknowledged was of course at first only an overlordship, and the Council and Commons of the city still continued to act as a separate commonwealth. But an union of this kind is one of those fatal partnerships between the stronger and the weaker which can lead only to bondage. Trieste has ever since remained Austrian in allegiance, save during the chaos of the days of the elder Buonaparte. Those days are commemorated by an inscription on the duomo, which tells of the expulsion of the French from the castle by an allied force, whose name of "Austro-Angli" might almost suggest some unrecorded tribe in our own island.

It is certainly hard to conceive a building more uninviting without than the cathedral church of Saint 78 Justus. But Sokratês was not to be judged by his outside, neither is the duomo of Trieste. A broad and almost shapeless west front is flanked by a low, heavy tower, not standing detached as a campanile, as it should stand in Italy, not worked into the church as it would be worked in England or Germany, but standing forward in a kind of Scotch fashion, like Dunkeld. The only architectural feature seems to be a large wheel window, which it would be unfair to compare to that of Saint Zeno. But the next moment will show, built in at the angle of the church and the tower, a noble fluted column with its half-defaced Corinthian capital, which is enough to show what has been. We are carried back to Rome, to Saint Mary in Cosmedin and Saint Nicolas in Carcere, as we trace out in the lower stage of the tower the remains of the temple of Jupiter which has given way to the church of Justus. Imbedded in its walls are pilasters, columns, and their basement, showing that Jupiter of Tergeste must have lifted his pillared portico above the sea as proudly as Aphroditê of the Doric Ankón. Fragments of entablatures, trophies, sepulchral monuments, are built up in the wall. The western doorway of the church is made out of a huge tomb of the Barbii—a gens which we do not elsewhere remember—deliberately cut in two, and set up the wrong way. The building or rebuilding of the tower 79 in 1337 is commemorated by an inscription in letters of that date—"Gothic" letters, as some call them—out of a mutilated part of which the earlier Tergestine antiquaries spelled out that the tower was rebuilt, in 556, after a destruction by the Goths. As the letters ..LVM.. were enough to create the new saint Philumena, the letters ..OT... could easily be filled up into "a Gothis eversa"—quite evidence enough to lead a zealous Italian to lay the destroying deeds of his own forefathers on the Gothic preservers of the works of the elder day.

As soon as we pass the doorway with the heads of the Barbii on either side, we forget the wrongs alike of Jupiter and of the Goths. The wonderful interior of the double basilica opens upon us. The first feeling is simply puzzledom. A nave of vast width seems to be flanked by two ranges of columns on either side, columns varying even more than is usual in their height and in the width of the arches which they support. When we look within the two lateral ranges, we are not surprised to find each ending in an apse with a noble mosaic; we are surprised to find the southern range interrupted by a cupola. This last phænomenon will help us to the explanation of the whole mystery. The church is in fact two churches thrown into one. When they were distinct, they must have stood even nearer than the old and new minsters 80 at Winchester; indeed a plan in a local work shows, with every probability, their walls as actually touching in one point. The northern church was a basilica of the ordinary type, made up of columns—some of them of very fine marble—put together, as usual, without much regard to uniformity. All bear Corinthian capitals of different varieties, and all carry the Ravenna stilt in a rude form without the cross. The wall rose high above the arcade, and was pierced with a range of narrow clerestory windows, but with nothing else to relieve its blankness. This church the Tergestine antiquaries attribute, but, as far as we can see, without any direct evidence, to the reign of Theodosius. The southern church is, in its original parts, the same in style as the northern, but it is much smaller and, in its plan at least, thoroughly Byzantine. It was a small cross church, with a central cupola, and its north transept seems to have touched the south aisle of its northern neighbour. It is perhaps on the strength of the plan that the church is assigned to the reign of Justinian. But there is nothing Byzantine in the details; where the original capitals remain, they are of the same somewhat rude Corinthian character as those in the northern church; they have the same stilt, and under the cupola there is even a bit or two of entablature built up again. But the building went through much greater changes than the northern 81 church did in the work of throwing the two into one whole. The date of this change seems to be fixed by a consecration recorded in the local annals in 1262. The south aisle of the northern church, the north aisle and north transept of the southern one, were pulled down, and the space which they had covered was roofed in to form the nave of the united building, while the two earlier basilicas sank into the position of its aisles. In the northern church this involved no change beyond the disappearance of the south aisle and the blocking of its clerestory; the smaller church to the south had to suffer far more. It had to be raised and lengthened; a quadrangular pier on the south side marks the original length, and the increase of height of course destroys the proper effect of the cupola. Then, as the cupola of course rested on columns with wider arches, its northern arch was filled up with two smaller arches and an inserted column, so as to make something like a continuous range. Still, late in the thirteenth century, they again used up the old marble columns; but they now used a flat capital, by which the additions of this time may be distinguished from the genuine basilican work.

Probably no church anywhere has undergone a more singular change than this. It is puzzling indeed at first sight; but, when the key is once caught, the signs of each alteration are so easily seen. 82 The other ancient relic at Trieste is the small triumphal arch. On one side it keeps its Corinthian pilasters; on the other they are imbedded in a house. The arch is in a certain sense double; but the two are close together and touch in the keystone. The Roman date of this arch cannot be doubted; but legends connect it both with Charles the Great and with Richard of Poitou and of England, a prince about whom Tergestine fancy has been very busy. The popular name of the arch is Arco Riccardo.

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

TRIESTE TO SPALATO.

TRIESTE TO SPALATO.

85

1875.


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

The narrow strip of land on the eastern side of the Hadriatic on which the name of Dalmatia has settled down has a history which is strikingly analogous to its scenery. A coast for the most part barren and rocky, but with its barrenness and rockiness 86 diversified by a series of noble havens, is fenced off by a range of mountains from a boundless inland region. Each of these havens, with the cities which from early days have sprung up on each, has always been an isolated centre of civilization in a backward land. As a rule, broken only during a few centuries of the universal sway of Rome, the coast and the inland country have been the possession, by no means always of different nations, but most commonly of different governments. On the coast the rule of the Venetian has been succeeded by the rule of the Austrian, while in the inland region the rule of native Slavonic princes has been succeeded by the rule of the Turk. Yet the Slave, though an earlier settler than the Turk or the Venetian, was himself only a settler in comparatively recent times. Native Illyrians, Greek colonists, Roman colonists, the rule of the Goth from Ravenna, the rule of the Eastern Roman from Constantinople, had all to take their turn before the land put on its present character of a more or less Italianized fringe on a Slavonic body, of a narrow rim of Christendom hemming in the north-eastern conquests of the once advancing and now receding Mussulman.

So it is with Dalmatian history. As the cultivation and civilization of the land lies in patches, as harbours and cities alternate with barren hills, so Dalmatia 87 has played a part in history only by fits and starts. This fitful kind of history goes on from the days of Greek colonies and Illyrian piracy to the last war between Italy and Austria. But of continuous history, steadily influencing the course of the world's progress, Dalmatia has none to show. Salona plays its part in the wars both of Cæsar and of Belisarius; Zara reminds us of the fourth crusade; the whole history of Ragusa claims a high place among the histories of independent and isolated cities; Lissa recalls the memory of two times of warfare within our own century. But if there was any time when Dalmatia really influenced the history of the world, it was when Dalmatia had no national being, when it was merely a province of an universal dominion along with Britain and Egypt. Of the great Emperors of the third century, who called the Roman power into new life and checked the ever-advancing wave of Teutonic invasion, many came from the Illyrian lands, several came from the actual Dalmatian coast. And the most famous among them—Docles, Diocletian, Jovius—not only came forth from Dalmatia to rule the world, but went back to Dalmatia to seek rest when weary of the toil of ruling it.

But in our immediate point of view we must never forget that our course now lies wholly, not only by subject lands of Venice, but by lands where Venice appears in her highest character as the bulwark of 88 Christendom against the misbeliever. The shores and cities by which we pass, were subject to the Serene Republic, but subjection to the Serene Republic was their only chance of escaping subjection to the Ottoman Sultan. Every town, every fortress, almost every point of ground along this whole coast, has been fought for, most of them have been won and lost, over and over again, in the long crusade which Venice waged, if for herself, yet for Europe also. Her rule was an alien rule, but it was still European and Christian; it shut out the rule of the barbarian. It was a rule better and worse in different times and places, but it had always the merit of shutting out a worse rule than itself, which was ever ready to take its place. Whenever we see the winged lion keeping guard, the thought should rise that he kept guard over spots which he alone kept for Christendom, which he alone saved from barbarian bondage.

The visitor to Dalmatia may be conceived as setting forth from the harbour of Trieste—from Trieste with its houses climbing up to the church and castle on the hill, with the background of mountains growing in the far distance into snowy Alps. From the Dalmatian coast itself no snowy Alps are seen; but the whole land is only a mountain slope, and the cities are cities on a smaller scale than Trieste, 89 and which seldom run so high as Trieste does up the hill-side. But we must not forget that, even at Trieste, Dalmatia is still a distant land. There is the Istrian peninsula to be skirted, the peninsula whose coast was so long counted among the subject lands of Venice, while the inland region, under the rule of counts of Gorizia and dukes of Austria, counted only among the neighbours of the Republic. The Istrian coast, largely flat, is marked here and there by small towns standing well on high points over the sea, or seen more faintly in the more distant inland region. But we know that inland Istria is a hilly land, and, even from the sea, the mountain wall may still be seen skirting the horizon. Darkness has come on by the time we reach the harbour of Pola, once Pietas Julia, now the chief station of the infant navy of Austria. But the darkness is not so great but that the dim outline of the vast amphitheatre can be seen, and the arrangements of the Austrian Lloyd's steamers allow time enough to go on shore and take in the general effect both of the amphitheatre and the other buildings of Pola. We here get our first impression of the Venetian towns beyond the Hadriatic, all of which seem to attempt in some sort to reproduce their mistress, so far as Venice can be reproduced where there are no canals and therefore no gondolas. But all have the same narrow, paved streets, the same little 90 squares, and, if the passage of horses and wheels is not so utterly unknown as it is at Venice, their presence is, to say the least, rare. The lion of Saint Mark is to be seen everywhere else; by daylight therefore he is to be seen at Pola also. But the Lloyd's arrangements condemn Pola, in the early part of October at least, to be seen only by dim glimpses, while Zara has an ample measure of daylight. Let no one however blame a time-table which will bring him into Spalato with the setting sun, and will allow him to take his first glance of Diocletian's palace by the rising moon.

In the night we pass by several islands, but none are of any historic importance. Veglia lies out of our path, or we might muse on the evil deeds of the last independent Count, at least as they were reported by his Venetian enemies, who were eager to get possession of his island. The tale will be found in Sir Gardner Wilkinson's "Dalmatia and Montenegro," a book which no traveller in these lands should be without. The next morning's light shows us genuine Dalmatia, its coast at this stage marked by the barren hills coming down to the sea and the range of higher mountains further inland. We skirt among endless islands, most of which seem barren and uninhabited; we pass along the channel of Zara, and come to anchor off the city itself, standing on its peninsula 91 crowned with its walls—Venetian and later—and with the towers of its churches rising above them. Here a stay of several hours allows a pretty full examination of our first Dalmatian city—a city however more Italian and far less thoroughly Dalmatian than other cities to which our further course will lead us. There is time to visit the duomo and the smaller churches—to mark the two surviving Roman columns—to thread the narrow streets, with their occasional scraps of Venetian architecture—to stroll by the harbour, under the gateways marked by the lion of Saint Mark, one of which so oddly proves to be really a Roman gate with a Venetian casing. We may even, if we so think good, climb the mound which, though crowned by a not attractive Chinese pagoda, nevertheless supplies the best view of Zara and her two seas. The Albergo al Cappello—the sign of the Hat—supplies food certainly not worse than an Italian town of the same class would set before a passing traveller. The meal done, to sit out of doors in a café is nothing new to any one who has crossed the straits, not of Zara but of Calais; but it is a new feeling to do so in the narrow streets of a Dalmatian town, and to add the further luxury of maraschino drunk in its native land.

Night is now passed on board, and Zara is left by sunrise. Islands and hills again succeed on either 92 side, till we enter a narrow strait and find ourselves in a noble harbour with a town in front, lying, like most Dalmatian towns except Zara, at the foot of the mountains. We are in the haven of Sebenico, but the haven of Sebenico is by no means the whole of the inlet, which runs much further inland in the shape of a narrow creek. We land, and give such time as is allowed us to a sight of the little hill-side city. Shall we give Sebenico the last place among the cities which we stay and examine in detail, or the first place among the lesser cities to which we give such time as we can in passing by? We are driven to this last course, not forgetting, if we are minded to turn away from history and art to look for a while on a striking natural object, that it is from Sebenico that we may best make our way to the great waterfall of Kerka. And, as far as those who have made no special study of Alpine matters may speak, the falls of Kerka, rushing down in a company of torrents side by side, look as if they had a right to take a high place among the falls at least of the old world. But Sebenico is not simply the way to Kerka; there is something to see in Sebenico itself. It is a hill city, but it is emphatically not a hill-top city, but a hill-side city. We climb up through the inhabited town to the castle, and when we reach the castle, we are far from having reached the hill top. And to those who make Sebenico their 93 second halting-place on the strictly Dalmatian coast it will have a special interest. Much smaller than Zara, it is far more thoroughly Dalmatian; costume is more marked, and its position gives it that peculiar air of quaintness which is shared by all places where narrow streets run up a steep hill. And those streets moreover are rich with architectural features, graceful windows and the like, which witness to the influence of the ruling city. And there is something not a little taking in the small piazza of Sebenico—the arcaded loggia on the one side, the cathedral on the other, with its mixed but stately architecture, its waggon-roof of stone standing out boldly without either buttress or external roof. Mr. Neale, whom, as he does not rule Sebenico to be a "church city," we may now quote seriously, holds that the cathedral of Sebenico is "in an exclusively architectural view the most interesting church in Dalmatia." He adds that "in truth it is one of the noblest, most striking, most simple, most Christian of churches." This is high praise, especially when bestowed by Mr. Neale on a church which was consecrated so lately as 1555. But there is no denying that, strangely confused as is its style, the church of Sebenico is, both inside and out, not only a most remarkable, but a thoroughly effective building. The internal proportions are noble; the height is great; the columns, though their arches are 94 pointed, might have stood in any basilica at Rome or Ravenna; the barrel vaulting carries us away to Saint Sernin at Toulouse and to the Conqueror's Tower. The details are a strange mixture of late Gothic and Renaissance, very rich and somehow very effective. It is not exactly like that class of French churches of which Saint Eustache at Paris is the grandest example, where a thoroughly mediæval outline is carried out with Renaissance detail. At Sebenico we see side by side, a bit in one style and a bit in the other, and yet the two contrive to harmonize. We go down again to the haven; we mark a few classical capitals preserved, as we here preserve ammonites and pieces of rock-work; we start again to make the second portion of our second day's voyage, and to reach the most marked and memorable spot in our whole course.

After Sebenico the coast is for a while almost free from islands. Presently we pass along among a few small ones, and Lissa, famous for piracies two thousand years back and for more regular warfare in our own century and in our own day, shows itself in the distance. Our course has by this time turned nearly due east. We pass by Bua, hardly conscious that it is an island. We pass by the mouth of the bay which Bua guards, hardly conscious of the depth of the inlet into which it leads, or that two cities—Traü 95 and fallen Salona—are washed by its waters. For the child of Salona, the great object of a Dalmatian voyage, is coming within sight far away. The mighty campanile of Spalato rises, kindled with the last rays of sunlight; presently the cupola of the metropolitan church, the long line of the palace wall, the buildings of what is plainly no inconsiderable city, stand out against their mountain background. The sun has gone down behind the western headland, but we can get our first glimpse of the city, its arcades and tower and temples, by that moonlight which is as good at Spalato as at Melrose. We have been in the home of Diocletian, and we go back to our ship, for the next day to bring us to the one city along these shores which the might of Venice could never bring into subjection.

In such a voyage as this many points necessarily escape notice, and the great objects of study are well reserved for the return journey. In all travelling for instruction's sake, it is a point specially to be insisted on that every place should, whenever it is possible, be seen twice. Nothing fixes a thing so well in the memory as going through the process of recollection. And, in such a voyage as this, it is no bad way to go at once to the furthest point, to see on the way so much of the several points as the arrangements of the 96 steamers allow, and to stop a longer time at the important places coming back. In this way a general notion of Dalmatia and its cities is gained first of all—a notion which may be enlarged and corrected by more minute examination of the chief places, and of course, foremost among them, of Spalato itself. But Spalato, though the great object of a Dalmatian voyage, is by no means its final object. When we have reached Spalato, we have not yet gone through half our course. Before we can come back to study its wonders more worthily, we have to spend a day in the archipelago of larger islands, nearly each of which, unlike their northern fellows, has some old historical memory. We have for part of another day to sail along that still narrower strip of Christendom which fences off Ragusa from the Mussulman, to thread our way through the lovely Bocche of Cattaro, till we reach the furthest of Dalmatian cities, with the path to unconquered Montenegro over our heads.

PARENZO.

97

1875.


Parenzo, the ancient colony of Parentium, is likely to be, for many travellers in Istria and Dalmatia, their first point of stoppage after leaving Trieste. To such travellers it will be the beginning of the dominion of Venice in spots lying wholly beyond the Hadriatic, the first glimpse of the long series of lands and cities, from Istria to Cyprus, which once "looked to the winged lion's marble piles," and where the winged lion still abides in stone to keep up the memory of his old dominion. The short voyage is a lovely one. Looking back, there is Trieste on her hill-side, with her suburbs and detached houses spreading far away in both directions, and backed by the vast semicircle of the Julian Alps, with the snowy peaks of their higher summits soaring above all. The northern part of the Istrian peninsula, as we see it from the sea, has a strikingly rich and picturesque look, which is lost as we follow the coast towards the south. The small Istrian towns, each one of which has its civil and 98 ecclesiastical history, jut out, each one on its own smaller peninsula; and in this part of the voyage the spaces between them are not lacking in signs of human dwelling and cultivation. Capo d'Istria, once Justinopolis, lies in its gulf to the left, to remind us that we have passed into the dominions of the Cæsars of the East. Forwards, Pirano stands on its headland, its duomo rising above the water on arcades built up to save it from the further effects of the stripping process which is so clearly seen along the coast. The castle, with its many towers capped with their Scala battlements, rises over town and church, with a picturesqueness not common in Italian buildings. The church, on the other hand, is as far from picturesque as most Italian churches are without, and the detached campanile is simply, like many other Istrian bell-towers, a miniature of the great tower of the ruling city. But neither Capo d'Istria nor Pirano is so likely to cause the traveller bound for Dalmatia to halt as the other and more famous peninsular town of Parenzo. Long before Parenzo is reached, the Istrian shore has lost its beauty, though the Istrian hills, now and then capped by a hill-side town, and the higher mountains beyond them, tell us something of the character of the inland scenery. At last the Parentine headland is reached; the temples which crowned it are no longer to be seen, but the campanile 99 of the famous duomo, with its Veronese spire, and one or two smaller towers, have taken their place as the prominent objects of the little city. On the side which would otherwise be open to the Hadriatic, the isle of Saint Nicolas shuts in the haven guarded by a round Venetian tower. The other side of the peninsula is washed by the mouth—here we must not say the estuary—of a stream yellow as Tiber, which comes rushing down by a small waterfall from the high ground where the Parentine peninsula joins the mainland. On this peninsula stood the older municipium of Parentium, and the colony, some say the Julian Colony of Augustus, others the Ulpian Colony of Trajan. The zeal of Dr. Kandler, the great master of Istrian antiquities, made out the position of the forum, patrician and plebeian, of the capitol, the theatre, and the temples. The traveller will probably need a guide even to the temples, though one of them keeps the greater part of its stylobate, and the other one has two broken fluted columns left. A single inscribed stone in the ancient forum he can hardly fail to see; but the truth is that the Roman remains of Parentium are such as concern only immediate inquirers into local Parentine history. At Pola it is otherwise; there the Roman remains stand out as the great object, utterly overshadowing the buildings of later times; but at Parenzo the main interest, as it is not mediæval 100 so neither is it pagan Roman. As at Ravenna, so at Parenzo, the real charm is to be found in the traces which it keeps of the great transitional ages when Roman and Teuton stood side by side. Against the many objects of Ravenna Parenzo has only to set its one. It has no palace, no kingly tomb—though the thought cannot fail to suggest itself that it was from Istrian soil that the mighty stone was brought which once covered the resting-place of Theodoric. Parenzo has but a single church of moment, but that church is one which would hold no mean place even among the glories of Ravenna. The capitol of Parentium has given way to the episcopal precinct, and the temple of the capitoline god has given way to the great basilica of Saint Maurus, the building which now gives Parenzo its chief claim to the study of those for whom the days of the struggle of Goth and Roman have a special charm.

As to the date of the church of Parenzo there seems little doubt. It is a basilica of the reign of Justinian, which has been preserved with remarkably little change, and which will hardly find, out of Rome and Ravenna, any building of its own class to surpass it. With the buildings of Ravenna it stands in immediate connexion, being actually contemporary with the work both at Saint Vital and at Saint Apollinaris in Classe. 101 Its foundation is a little later, as the church of Parenzo seems to have been begun after the reconquest of Italy and Istria by Belisarius, while both Saint Vital and Saint Apollinaris, though finished under the rule of the Emperor, were begun under the rule of the Goth. There are points at Parenzo which connect it with both the contemporary churches of Ravenna. The pure basilican form, the shape of the apse, hexagonal without, though round within, are common to Parenzo and Classis; the capitals too have throughout the Ravenna stilt above them; but of the capitals themselves many take that specially Byzantine shape which at Ravenna is found only in Saint Vital. That the founder was a Bishop Euphrasius is shown by his monogram on many of the stilts, by the great mosaic of the apse, in which he appears holding the church in his hand as founder, and by the inscription on the disused tabernacle, which is engraved in Mr. Neale's book on Dalmatia and Istria. At Parenzo, as at Sebenico, Mr. Neale was in a serious mood; but, though he copied the inscription rightly or nearly so, he misunderstood it in the strangest fashion, and thereby led himself into much needless puzzledom. Euphrasius, according to Dr. Kandler, having been before a decurion of the town, became the first bishop in 524, when the Istrian bishoprics were founded under Theodoric. The church would seem to have 102 been built between 535 and 543. The inscription runs thus:—

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

The church was therefore begun in the eleventh year of the episcopate of Euphrasius; that is, in 535. Dr. Kandler prints, unluckily only in an Italian translation, a document of 543, the sixteenth year of Justinian, who appears with his usual titles, in which Euphrasius makes regulations for the Chapter, and speaks of the church as something already in being. Mr. Neale quotes from Coletti, the editor of Ughelli's Italia Sacra, part of a document in Latin which is obviously the same, but which is assigned to 796, the sixteenth year of Constantine the Sixth. The difference is strange; but the date of the document does not directly affect the date of the church, and, whatever be the date of either, Mr. Neale needlessly perplexed himself with the inscription. He says that the inscription commemorates a certain Pope John, and wonders that Euphrasius, who took part in the Aquileian schism about the Three Chapters—the Three Chapters which readers of Gibbon will remember—should record the name of a Pope with whom he was not in communion. But this difficulty is got rid of by the simple fact that there is nothing 103 about any Pope John in the inscription. Mr. Neale strangely read the two words DO . IOBANT .—the words are carefully marked off by stops—that is, in the barbarous spelling of the inscription, DEO IVVANTE, into the four words "Domino Johanne Beatissimo Antistite." We therefore need not, in fixing the date of the church of Parenzo, trouble ourselves about any Popes. There can be no doubt that it is the work of Euphrasius, and that Euphrasius was one of those who opposed Rome about the Three Chapters. In any case, the duomo of Parenzo has the interest which attaches to any church built while our own forefathers were still worshipping Woden; and we may safely add that it has the further interest of being built by a prelate who threw off all allegiance to the see of Rome.

The church is indeed a noble one, and its long arcades preserve to us one of the most speaking examples of the forms of a great basilica. Every arch deserves careful study, because at Parenzo the capitals seem not to have been the spoil of earlier buildings, but to have been made for the church itself. Some still cleave to the general Corinthian type, though without any slavish copying of classical models. Animal forms are freely introduced; bulls, swans, and other creatures, are made to do duty as volutes; and when bulls and swans are set on that 104 work, we may be sure that the Imperial bird is not left idle. Others altogether forsake the earlier types; it perhaps became a church built in the dominions of Justinian while Saint Sophia was actually rising, that some of its capitals should adopt the square Byzantine form enwreathed with its basket-work of foliage. But all, whatever may be their form in other ways, carry the Ravenna stilt, marked, in some cases at least, with the monogram of the founder Euphrasius. Happily the love of red rags which is so rampant on either side of Parenzo, at Trieste and at Zara, seems not to have spread to Parenzo itself, and the whole of this noble series of capitals may be studied with ease. The upper part, including the arches, has been more or less Jesuited within and without, but enough remains to make out the original arrangements. The soffits on the north side are ornamented like those in the basilica of Theodoric, a style of ornament identical with that of so many Roman roofs; above was a simple round-headed clerestory, and outside are the same slight beginnings of ornamental arcades which are to be seen at Saint Apollinaris in Classe. The apse, with its happily untouched windows and its grand mosaic, also carries us across to Ravenna. Besides the founder Euphrasius, we see the likeness of the Archdeacon Claudius and his son, a younger Euphrasius, besides Saint Maurus the patron and 105 other saintly personages. Below is a rich ornament, but which surely must be of somewhat later date, formed largely of the actual shells of mother-of-pearl. The Bishop's throne is in its place; and, as at Ravenna and in the great Roman basilicas, mass is celebrated by the priest standing behind the altar with his face westward. Such was doubtless the usage of the days of Euphrasius, and in such an old-world place as Parenzo it still goes on.

But if, in this matter, Parenzo clings to a very ancient use, we may doubt whether, at Parenzo or anywhere else, the men who made these great apses and covered them with these splendid mosaics designed them to be, as they so often are, half hidden by the baldacchini which cover the high altar. Even in Saint Ambrose at Milan, where the apse is so high above the altar and where apse and baldacchino are of the same date, we feel that the view of the east end is in some measure interfered with. Much more is this the case at Parenzo, where the apse is lower and the baldacchino more lofty. But the Parenzo baldacchino, dating from 1277, is a noble work of its kind, and it is wonderful how little change the course of seven hundred years has made in some of its details as compared with those of the great arcades. The pointed arch is used, and the Ravenna stilt is absent; but the capitals, with their animal volutes, are almost the 106 same as some of those of Euphrasius. Between the date of Euphrasius and the date of the baldacchino we hear of more than one consecration, one of which, in 961, is said to have followed a destroying Slavonic inroad; but it is clear that any works done then must have been works of mere repair, not of rebuilding. No one can doubt that the columns and their capitals are the work of Euphrasius, and by diligently peeping round among the mass of buildings by which the church is encumbered, the original design may be seen outside as well as in.

But the church of Parenzo is not merely a basilica; it has all the further accompaniments of an Italian episcopal church. West of the church stands the atrium, with the windows of the west front and the remains of mosaic enrichment rising above it. An arcade of three on each side surrounds the court, a court certainly far smaller than that of Saint Ambrose. Two columns with Byzantine capitals stand on each side; the rest are ancient, but those of the west side are a repair of the present king, or by whatever title it is that the King of Dalmatia and Lord of Trieste reigns on the intermediate Istrian shore. To the west of the atrium is the roofless baptistery, to the west of that the not remarkable campanile. We have thus reached the extreme west of this great pile of building, which, after all—such is the difference 107 of scale between the churches of northern and southern Europe—reaches only the measure of one of our smallest minsters or greatest parish churches. The basilica of Parenzo, with all its accompaniments, measures, according to Mr. Neale's plan, only about 240 feet in length. But, if we have traced out those accompaniments towards the west, we have not yet done with those towards the east. A modern quasi-transept has been thrown out on each side, of which the northern one strangely forms the usual choir, much as in St. Peter's at Rome. These additions have columns with Byzantine capitals, like those in the atrium, copied from the old ones. But beyond this choir, and connected with the original church, is a low vaulted building of the plainest round-arched work, called, as usual, the "old church," the "pagan temple," and what not, which leads again into two chapels, the furthest having an eastern apse. Now these chapels have a mosaic pavement, and it is most remarkable that, below the pavement of the church, is a pavement some feet lower, which evidently belongs to some earlier building, and which is on the same level as the pavement of these chapels. It is therefore quite possible that we have here some remains of a building, perhaps a church, earlier than the time of Euphrasius. Between Constantine and Justinian there was time enough for a 108 church to be built at Parentium and for Euphrasius to think it needful to rebuild it. Lastly, among the canonical buildings on the south side of the church is one, said to have been a tithe barn, with a grand range of Romanesque coupled windows, bearing date 1250. They remind us somewhat of the so-called John of Gaunt's stables, the real Saint Mary's Guild, at Lincoln. In short, so long as any traces are left of the style once common to all Western Europe, England and Italy are ever reminding us of one another.

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

POLA.

109

1875—1881.


After Parenzo the most obvious stopping-place on the Istrian shore will be Pola; and at Pola the main objects of interest for the historical student will be classed in an order of merit exactly opposite to those which he has seen at Parenzo. At Parenzo the main attraction is the great basilica, none the less attractive as being a monument of early opposition to the claims of the Roman see. Beside this ecclesiastical treasure the remains of the Parentine colony are felt to be quite secondary. At Pola things are the other way; the monuments of Pietas Julia claim the first place; the basilica, though not without a certain special interest, comes long after them. The character of the place is fixed by the first sight of it; we see the present and we see the more distant past; the Austrian navy is to be seen, and the amphitheatre is to be seen. But intermediate times have little to show; if the duomo strikes the eye at all, it strikes it only by the extreme ugliness of its outside, nor is there anything 110 very taking, nothing like the picturesque castle of Pirano, in the works which occupy the site of the colonial capitol. The duomo should not be forgotten; even the church of Saint Francis is worth a glance; but it is in the remains of the Roman colony, in the amphitheatre, the arches, the temples, the fragments preserved in that temple which serves, as at Nîmes, for a museum, that the real antiquarian wealth of Pola lies.

There is no need to go into the mythical history of the place. Tales about Thracians and Argonauts need not be seriously discussed at this time of day. Nor can there be any need to show that the name Pola is not a contraction of Pietas Julia. Save for the slight accidental likeness of letters, so to say is about as reasonable as to say that London is a corruption of Augusta, or Jerusalem of Ælia. In all these cases the older, native, familiar, name outlived the later, foreign, official, name. When we have thoroughly cleared up the origin of the Illyrians and the old Veneti, we may know something of the earliest inhabitants of Pola, and possibly of the origin of its name. But the known history of Pola begins with the Roman conquest of Istria in 178 B.C. The town became a Roman colony and a flourishing seat of commerce. Its action on the republican side in the civil war brought on it the vengeance of the second 111 Cæsar. But the destroyer became the restorer, and Pietas Julia, in the height of its greatness, far surpassed the extent either of the elder or the younger Pola. Like all cities of this region, Pola kept up its importance down to the days of the Carolingian Empire, the specially flourishing time of the whole district being that of Gothic and Byzantine dominion at Ravenna. A barbarian king, the Roxolan Rasparasanus, is said to have withdrawn to Pola after the submission of his nation to Hadrian; and the panegyrists of the Flavian house rank Pola along with Trier and Autun among the cities which the princes of that house had adorned or strengthened. But in the history of their dynasty the name of the city chiefly stands out as the chosen place for the execution of princes whom it was convenient to put out of the way. Here Crispus died at the bidding of Constantine, and Gallus at the bidding of Constantius. Under Theodoric, Pola doubtless shared that general prosperity of the Istrian land on which Cassiodorus grows eloquent when writing to its inhabitants. In the next generation Pola appears in somewhat of the same character which has come back to it in our own times; it was there that Belisarius gathered the Imperial fleet for his second and less prosperous expedition against the Gothic lords of Italy. But, after the break up of the Frankish Empire, the history of mediæval Pola 112 is but a history of decline. It was, in the geography of Dante, the furthest city of Italy; but, like most of the other cities of its own neighbourhood, its day of greatness had passed away when Dante sang. Tossed to and fro between the temporal and spiritual lords who claimed to be marquesses of Istria, torn by the dissensions of aristocratic and popular parties among its own citizens, Pola found rest, the rest of bondage, in submission to the dominion of Saint Mark in 1331. Since then, till its new birth in our own times, Pola has been a falling city. Like the other Istrian and Dalmatian towns, modern revolutions have handed it over from Venice to Austria, from Austria to France, from France to Austria again. It is under its newest masters that Pola has at last begun to live a fresh life, and the haven whence Belisarius sailed forth has again become a haven in more than name, the cradle of the rising navy of the united Austrian and Hungarian realm.

Porta Gemina

PORTA GEMINA, POLA.

That haven is indeed a noble one. Few sights are more striking than to see the huge mass of the amphitheatre at Pola seeming to rise at once out of the land-locked sea. As Pola is seen now, the amphitheatre is the one monument of its older days which strikes the eye in the general view, and which divides attention with signs that show how heartily the once forsaken city has entered on its new career. But 113 in the old time Pola could show all the buildings which befitted its rank as a colony of Rome. The amphitheatre of course stood without the walls; the city itself stood at the foot and on the slope of the hill which was crowned by the capitol of the colony, where the modern fortress rises above the Franciscan church. Parts of the Roman wall still stand; one of its gates is left; another has left a neighbour and a memory. At the north side of the capitol stands the Porta Gemina, leading from it to the amphitheatre. The outer gateway remains, a double gate-way, as its name implies, with three Corinthian half-columns between and on each side of the two arches. But here steps in a singular architectural peculiarity, one which reminds us that we are on the road to Spalato, and which already points to the arcades of Diocletian. The columns support an entablature with its frieze and cornice, but the architrave is wanting. Does not this show a lurking sign of what was coming, a lurking feeling that the arch itself was the true architrave? Be this as it may, there it stands, sinning, like so many other ancient works, against pedantic rules, but perhaps thereby winning its place in the great series of architectural strivings which the palace of Spalato shows us the crowning-point. The other arch, which is commonly known as Porta Aurea or Porta Aurata, conforms more nearly to ordinary 114 rules. Here we have the arch with the coupled Corinthian columns on each side of it, supporting, as usual, their bit of broken entablature, and leaving room for a spandril filled in much the same fashion as in the arch of Severus at Rome. Compared with other arches of the same kind, this arch of Pola may certainly claim to rank amongst the most graceful of its class. With Trajan's arch at Ancona it can hardly be compared. That tallest and slenderest of monumental arches palpably stands on the haven to be looked at; while the arch of Pola, like its fellows at Rimini and Aosta, and like the arch of Drusus at Rome, is a real thoroughfare, which the citizens of Pietas Julia must have been in the daily habit of passing under. And, as compared with the arches of Rimini and Aosta, its design is perhaps the most pleasing of the three. Its proportions are better designed; the coupled columns on each side are more graceful than either the single columns at Rimini or the pair of columns which at Aosta are placed so much further apart. The idolater of minute rules will not be offended, as at Aosta, with Doric triglyphs placed over Corinthian capitals, and the lover of consistent design will not regret the absence of the sham pediment of Rimini. But it must be borne in mind that the arch of Pola did not originally stand alone, and that its usual name of Porta Aurea is a misnomer. It was built close against the golden gate 115 of the city, whose name it has usurped. But it is, in truth, the family arch of the Sergii, raised in honour of one of that house by his wife Salvia Postuma. As such, it has a special interest in the local history of Pola. Ages afterwards, as late as the thirteenth century, Sergii appear again at Pola, as one of the chief families by whose dissensions the commonwealth was torn in pieces. If there is authentic evidence to connect these latter Sergii with the Sergii of the arch, and these again with the great Patrician gens which played such a part in the history of the Roman commonwealth, here would indeed be a pedigree before which that of the house of Paris itself might stand abashed.

A curious dialogue of the year 1600 is printed by Dr. Kandler in his little book, Cenni al Forrestiere che visita Pola, which, with a later little book, Pola und seine nächste Umgebung, by A. Gareis, form together a very sufficient guide for the visitor to Pola. From this evidence it is plain that, as late as the end of the sixteenth century, the ancient buildings of Pola were in a far more perfect state than they are now. Even late in the next century, in the days of Spon and Wheler, a great deal was standing that is no longer there. Wheler's view represents the city surrounded with walls, and with at least one gate. The amphitheatre stands without the wall; the arch of the Sergii stands within it; but the theatre must 116 have utterly vanished, because in the references to the plan its name is given to the amphitheatre. And it must have been before this time that the amphitheatre had begun to be mutilated in order to supply materials for the fortress on the capitoline hill. Indeed it is even said that there was at one time a scheme for carrying off the amphitheatre bodily to Venice and setting it up on the Lido. This scheme, never carried out, almost beats one which actually was carried out, when the people of Jersey gave a cromlech as a mark of respect to a popular governor, by whom it was carried off and set up in his grounds in England. Of the two temples in the forum, that which is said to have been dedicated to Diana is utterly masked by the process which turned it into the palace of the Venetian governor. A decent Venetian arcade has supplanted its portico; but some of the original details can be made out on the other sides. But the temple of Augustus, the restorer of Pietas Julia, with its portico of unfluted Corinthian columns, still fittingly remains almost untouched. Fragments and remains of all dates are gathered together within and without the temple, and new stores are constantly brought to light in digging the foundations for the buildings of the growing town. But the chief wonder of Pola, after all, is its amphitheatre. Travellers are sometimes apt to complain, and that not wholly without reason, that all amphitheatres 117 are very like one another. At Pola this remark is less true than elsewhere, as the amphitheatre there has several marked peculiarities of its own. We do not pretend to expound all its details scientifically; but this we may say, that those who dispute—if the dispute still goes on—about various points as regards the Coliseum at Rome will do well to go and look for some further lights in the amphitheatre of Pola. The outer range, which is wonderfully perfect, while the inner arrangements are fearfully ruined, consists, on the side towards the town, of two rows of arches, with a third story with square-headed openings above them. But the main peculiarity in the outside is to be found in four tower-like projections, not, as at Arles and Nîmes, signs of Saracenic occupation, but clearly parts of the original design. Many conjectures have been made about them; they look as if they were means of approach to the upper part of the building; but it is wisest not to be positive. But the main peculiarity of this amphitheatre is that it lies on the slope of a hill, which thus supplied a natural basement for the seats on one side only. But this same position swallowed up the lower arcade on this side, and it hindered the usual works underneath the seats from being carried into this part of the building. In the other part the traces of the underground arrangements are very 118 clear, especially those which seem to have been meant for the naumachiæ. These we specially recommend to any disputants about the underground works of the Flavian amphitheatre.

The Roman antiquities of Pola are thus its chief attraction, and they are enough to give Pietas Julia a high place among Roman colonies. But the ecclesiastical side of the city must not be wholly forgotten. The duomo, if a small matter after that of Parenzo, if absolutely unsightly as seen from without, is not without its importance. It may briefly be described as a church of the fifteenth century, built on the lines of an ancient basilica, some parts of whose materials have been used up again. There is, we believe, no kind of doubt as to the date, and we do not see why Mr. Neale should have wondered at Murray's Handbook for assigning the building to the time to which it really belongs. No one could surely have placed a church with pointed arches, and with capitals of the kind so common in Venetian buildings, more than a century or two earlier. There is indeed an inscription built into the south wall which has a special interest from another point of view, but which, one would have thought, could hardly have led any one to mistake the date of the existing church. It records the building of the church by Bishop Handegis in 857, "Regnante Ludowico Imperatore Augusto in 119 Italia." The minute accuracy of the phrase—"the Emperor Lewis being King in Italy"—is in itself something amazing; and this inscription shares the interest which attaches to any memorial of that gallant prince, the most truly Roman Emperor of his line. And it is something to mark that the stonecutter doubted between "Lodowico" and "Ludowico," and wrote both letters, one over the other. But the inscription of course refers to a reconstruction some hundred years earlier than the time when the church took its present shape. Yet these basilican churches were so constantly reconstructed over and over again, and largely out of the same materials, that the building of the fifteenth century may very well reproduce the general effect, both of the building of the eighth and of the far earlier church, parts of which have lived on through both recastings.

The ten arches on each side of the Polan basilica are all pointed, but the width of the arches differs. Some of them are only just pointed, and it is only in the most eastern pair of arches that the pointed form comes out at all prominently. For here the arches are the narrowest of the series, and the columns the slightest, that on the south side being banded. The arch of triumph, which is round, looks very much as if it had been preserved from the earlier church; and such is clearly the case with two columns and one 120 capital, whose classical Corinthian foliage stands in marked contrast with the Venetian imitations on each side of it. The church, on the whole, though not striking after such a marvel as Parenzo, is really one of high interest, as an example of the way in which the general effect of an early building was sometimes reproduced at a very late time. Still at Pola, among such wealth of earlier remains, it is quite secondary, and its beauties are, even more than is usual in churches of its type, altogether confined to the inside. The campanile is modern and worthless, and the outside of the church itself is disfigured, after the usual fashion of Italian ugliness, with stable-windows and the like. Yet even they are better than the red rags of Trieste and Zara within.

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

ZARA.

121

1875—1877—1881.


The name of Zara is familiar to every one who has read the history of the Fourth Crusade, and its fate in the Fourth Crusade is undoubtedly the one point in its history which makes Zara stand out prominently before the eyes of the world. Of all the possessions of Venice along this coast, it is the one whose connexion with Venice is stamped for ever on the pages of universal history. Those who know nothing else of Zara, who perhaps know nothing at all of the other cities, at least know that, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, the possession of Zara was claimed by Venice, and that the claim of Venice was made good by the help of warriors of the Cross who thus turned aside from their course, not for the last time, to wield their arms against a Christian city. It is as Zara that the city is famous, because it is as Zara that its name appears in the pages of the great English teller of the tale. And perhaps those who may casually 122 light on some mention of the city by any of its earlier names may not at once recognize Zara under the form either of Jadera or of Diadora. One is curious to know how a city which under the first Augustus became a Roman colony by the name of Jadera had, in the time of his orthodox successors in the tenth century, changed its name into anything with such a heathenish sound as Diadora. Yet such was its name in the days of Constantine Porphyrogenitus; and the Imperial historian does not make matters much clearer when he tells us that the true Roman name of the city was "Jam erat," implying that the city so called was older than Rome. Let us quote him in his own Greek, if only to show how oddly his Latin words look in their Greek dress.

Τὸ κάστρον τῶν Διαδώρων καλεῖται τῇ Ῥωμαίων διαλέκτῳ ἰὰμ ἔρατ, ὅπερ ἑρμηνεύεται ἀπάρτι ἦτον· δηλονότι ὅτε ἡ Ῥώμη ἐκτίσθη, προεκτισμένον ἦν τὸ τοιοῦτον κάστρον. ἔστι δὲ τὸ κάστρον μέγα· ἡ δὲ κοινὴ συνήθεια καλεῖ αὐτὸ Διάδωρα.

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

The history of the city in the intermediate ages is the usual history of the towns on the Dalmatian coast. They all for a while keep on their formal allegiance 123 to the Eastern Empire, sometimes being really its subjects, sometimes being practically independent, sometimes tributary to the neighbouring Slaves. Still, under all changes, they clave to the character of Roman cities, just as they still remain seats of Italian influence in a Slavonic land. Then came a second time of confusion, in which Zara and her sister cities are tossed to and fro between another set of contending disputants. The Eastern Empire hardly keeps even a nominal claim to the Dalmatian towns; the Slavonic settlements have grown into regular kingdoms; Hungary on one side, Venice on the other, are claiming the dominion of the Dalmatian coast. The history of Zara now consists of conquests and reconquests between the Republic of Saint Mark and the Hungarian and Croatian kings. The one moment when Zara stands out in general history is the famous time when one of the Venetian reconquests was made by the combined arms of the Republic and the Frank Crusaders. The tale is a strange episode in a greater episode—the episode of the conquest of the New Rome by the united powers which first tried their 'prentice hand on Zara. But the siege, as described by the Marshal of Champagne and the many writers who have followed him, is not easy to understand, except by those who have either seen the place itself or have maps before them such as are not easily to 124 be had. Like so many other Istrian and Dalmatian towns, Zara stands on a narrow peninsula, lying east and west. It has on its north side an inlet of the sea, which forms its harbour; to the south is the main sea, or, more strictly, the channel of Zara lying between the Dalmatian coast and the barren islands which at this point lie off it. Villehardouin describes the port as being guarded by a chain, which was broken by the galleys of the Crusaders. They presently landed on the opposite coast, so as to have the haven between them and the town ("et descendirent à terre, si que di porz fu entr' aus et la ville"). That is to say, they landed on the mainland north of the haven. The Frank army then besieged the city by land—that is, from the isthmus on the east, and perhaps also from the shore of the haven; while the Venetians, though their ships anchored in the haven ("le port ou les nés estoient"), made their assault on the side of the open sea ("devers la mer"). On the spot, or in reading the narrative of Villehardouin by the light of remembrance of the spot, the description becomes perfectly clear.

Zara still keeps its peninsular site, and the traveller, as he draws near, still marks the fortifications, old and new, the many towers, no one of which so predominates over its fellows as to make itself the chief object in the view. Either however the modern 125 Venetian and Austrian fortifications of Zara are less formidable, in appearance at least, than those which the Crusaders found there, or else they seemed more terrible to those who had actually to undertake the business of attacking them. Villehardouin had never seen such high walls and towers, nor, though he had just come from Venice, could he conceive a city fairer or more rich. The pilgrims were amazed at the sight, and wondered how they could ever become masters of such a place, unless God specially put it into their hands. The modern traveller, as he draws nearer, soon sees the signs of the success which the pilgrims so little hoped for. He sees the badge of Venetian rule over the water-gate, and most likely he little suspects that the outer arch, of manifest Venetian date, masks a plain Roman arch which is to be seen on the inner side. There is another large Venetian gate towards the inlet; and the traveller who at Zara first lands on Dalmatian ground will find on landing much to remind him that Dalmatian ground once was Venetian ground. The streets are narrow and paved; they are not quite as narrow as in Venice, nor is the passage of horses and all that horses draw so absolutely unknown as it is in Venice. Still the subject city comes near enough to its mistress to remind us under whose dominion Zara stayed for so many ages. And the traveller who begins his Dalmatian studies at Zara 126 will perhaps think Dalmatia is not so strange and out-of-the-way a land as he had fancied before going thither. He may be tempted to look on Zara simply as an Italian town, and to say that an Italian town east of the Hadriatic is not very unlike an Italian town on the other side. This feeling, not wholly true even at Zara, will become more and more untrue as the traveller makes his way further along the coast. Each town, as he goes on, will become less Italian and more Slavonic. In street architecture Zara certainly stands behind some of the other Dalmatian towns. We see fewer of those windows of Venetian and Veronese type which in some places meet us in almost every house. The Roman remains are not very extensive. We have said that Jadera still keeps a Roman arch under a Venetian mask. That arch keeps its pilasters and its inscription, but the statues which, according to that inscription, once crowned it, have given way to another inscription of Venetian times. Besides the Porta Marina, two other visible memorials of earlier days still exist in the form of two ancient columns standing solitary, one near the church of Saint Simeon, presently to be spoken of, the other in the herb-market between the duomo and the haven. But the main interest of Zara, apart from its general and special history, and apart from the feeling of freshness in treading a land so famous 127 and so little known, is undoubtedly to be found in its ecclesiastical buildings.

The churches of Zara are certainly very much such churches as might be looked for in any Italian city of the same size. But they specially remind us of Lucca. The cathedral, now metropolitan, church of Saint Anastasia, has had its west front engraved in more than one book, from Sir Gardner Wilkinson downwards; it is a pity that local art has not been stirred up to produce some better memorial of this and the other buildings of Zara than the wretched little photographs which are all that is to be had on the spot. But perhaps not much in the way of art is to be looked for in a city where, as at Trieste and Ancona and Rome herself, it seems to be looked on as adding beauty to the inside of a church to swathe marble columns and Corinthian capitals in ugly wrappings of red cloth. This at least seems to be an innovation since the days of the Imperial topographer. Constantine speaks of the church of Saint Anastasia as being of oblong, that is, basilican, shape—δρομικός is his Greek word—with columns of green and white marble, enriched with much ancient woodwork, and having a tesselated pavement, which the Emperor, or those from whom he drew his report of Zara, looked on as wonderful. It is very likely that some of the columns which in the tenth century were clearly 128 allowed to stand naked and to be seen have been used up again in the present church. This was built in the thirteenth century, after the destruction wrought in the Frank and Venetian capture, and it is said to have been consecrated in 1285. It is, on the whole, a witness to the way in which the Romanesque style so long stood its ground, though here and there is a touch of the coming pseudo-Gothic, and, what is far more interesting to note, here and there is a touch of the Romanesque forms of the lands beyond the Alps. The church is, in its architectural arrangements, a great and simple basilica; but, as might be expected from its date, it shows somewhat of that more elaborate way of treating exteriors which had grown up at Pisa and Lucca. The west front has surface arcades broken in upon by two wheel windows, the lower arcade with round, the upper with pointed, arches. Along the north aisle runs an open gallery, which, oddly enough, is not carried round the apse. The narrow windows below it are round in the eastern part, trefoiled in the western, showing a change of design as the work went on. Near the east end stands the unfinished campanile; a stage or two of good Romanesque design is all that is finished. The one perfect ancient tower in Zara is not that of the duomo.

On entering the church, we at once feel how much the building has suffered from puzzling and disfiguring 129 modern changes. But this is not all; the general effect of the inside has been greatly altered by a change which we cannot bring ourselves wholly to condemn. The choir is lifted up above the crypt as at Saint Zeno and Saint Ambrose; the stone chair still remains in the apse; but the object which chiefly strikes the eye is one which is hardly in harmony with these. The choir is fitted up with a range of splendid cinque cento stalls—reminding one of King's College chapel or of Wimborne as it once was—placed in the position usual in Western churches. This last feature, grand in itself, takes away from the perfection of the basilican design, and carries us away into Northern lands.

Of the church which preceded the Venetian rebuilding, the church described by Constantine, little remains above ground, allowing of course for the great likelihood that the columns were used up again. There is nothing to which one is even tempted to give an early date, except some small and plain buildings clinging on to the north side of the choir, and containing the tomb of an early bishop. But in the crypt, though it has unluckily lost two of its ranges of columns, two rows, together with those of the apse, are left, columns with finished bases but with capitals which are perfectly rude, but whose shape would allow them to be carved into the most elaborate Byzantine 130 forms. The main arcades of the church form a range of ten bays or five pair of arches, showing a most singular collection of shapes which are not often seen together. Some are simple Corinthian; in others Corinthian columns are clustered—after the example of Vespasian's temple at Brescia; others have twisted fluting; one pair has a section, differing in the two opposite columns, which might pass for genuine Northern work; while—here in Dalmatia in the thirteenth century—not a few shafts are crowned with our familiar Norman cushion capital. Yet the effect of the whole range would be undoubtedly fine, if we were only allowed to see it. The hideous red rags have covered even the four columns of the baldacchino, columns fluted and channelled in various ways and supporting pointed arches. They have also diligently swathed the floriated cornice above the arcade; in short, wherever there is any fine work, Jaderan taste seems at once to hide it; but nothing hides the clerestory with its stable windows or the flat plastered ceiling which crowns all. The triforium has an air of Jesuitry; but it seems to be genuine, only more or less plastered; six small arches, with channelled square piers, which would not look out of place at Rome, at Autun, or at Deerhurst, stand over each pair of arches. With all its original inconsistencies and its later changes, the duomo of Zara, if it were only 131 stripped of its swaddling-clothes, would be no contemptible specimen of its own style.

Tower of St. Mary's

TOWER OF ST. MARY'S ZARA.

But Saint Anastasia is not the only, it is hardly the most interesting, church in Zara. Saint Chrysogonos, monk and martyr, was held in reverence at Diadora in the days of Constantine, where his tomb and his holy chain were to be seen. Perhaps they are to be seen still; certainly his name is still preserved in an admirable church of the same general Lucchese type as the duomo, but which surpasses it in the exquisite grace of the three apses at its east end, after the best models of the type common to Italy and Germany. Within, the arrangement of the triapsidal basilica is perfect; the range of columns is, as is so often found, interrupted by two pairs of more massive piers, making groups of three, two, and two arches. It is almost startling to find that the date of the consecration of this exquisite Romanesque church is as late as 1407; but the fact is only one example out of many of the way in which in some districts, in Dalmatia above all, the true style of the land stood its ground. In Dalmatia the Italian pseudo-Gothic, common in houses, is but little seen in churches at any time. Another church, Saint Simeon, called after the Prophet of Nunc dimittis, boasts of its gorgeous shrine borne aloft behind the high altar, the gift of Elizabeth of Bosnia, the wife of Lewis the Great. 132 The church itself is of the same basilican type as the other, but in less good preservation. Saint Mary's, a church of nuns, is itself of a rather good kind of Renaissance, but its chief merit is that it keeps the only finished ancient tower in Zara, a noble campanile of the best Italian type, thick with midwall shafts, which every Englishman will feel to be the true kinsman of our own towers at Lincoln and Oxford. Its date is known; it is the work of King Coloman of Hungary, in 1105. But, after all, the most interesting architectural work in Zara is one which, as far as we have seen, is not noticed in any English book, but which was described by the Imperial pen in the tenth century, and which has in our own days been more fully illustrated in the excellent work of Eitelberger on the Dalmatian buildings. Close by Saint Anastasia there stood in the days of Constantine, and there still stands, a round church, lately desecrated, now simply disused, which was then called by the name of the Trinity (ἕτερος ναὸς πλησίον αὐτοῦ εἰληματικὸς, ἡ ἁγία Τριάς ), but which now bears that of Saint Donatus. Its dome and the tower of Saint Mary's are the two objects which first catch the eye in the general view of Zara. Tradition, as usual, calls the building a pagan temple, in this case of Juno; but it has in no way the look of a temple, nor does the Emperor who 133 describes it with some minuteness give any hint of its having been such. Yet it is plain that, if it was not itself a pagan building, the spoils of pagan buildings contributed to its materials. Formed of two arcaded stages, the whole pile rises to a vast height, and the height of the lower stage alone is very considerable. The arches of the round rest on heavy rectangular piers of truly Roman strength, save only two vast columns with splendid Composite capitals—which mark the approach to the triapsidal east end. This building, lately cleared from the disfigurements and partition of its profane use, forms one of the noblest round churches to be found; the so-called house of Juno at Zara is almost a rival of the so-called house of Jupiter at Spalato. The upper stage is of the same general type as the lower, having again two columns left free and uninjured, but not rivalling the splendour of those which are in bondage below. Zara had lately another desecrated church of extreme interest, but of quite another type from Saint Donatus. This was the little church of Saint Vitus, a perfect example of the genuine Byzantine arrangement on a very small scale. The ground-plan was square; four arms, square-ended without, quasi-apsidal within, bore up the cupola on perfectly plain square-edged piers. Between our first and second visits to Zara, between 1875 and 1877, this charming 134 little piece of Byzantine work was swept away to make a smart shop-front. It was a recompense no more than was due to find on our third visit that the round church had been cleared out.

Cattaro

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

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

SPALATO AND ITS NEIGHBOURS.

SPALATO.

137

1875.


The main object and centre of all historical and architectural inquiries on the Dalmatian coast is of course the home of Diocletian, the still abiding palace of Spalato. From a local point of view, it is the spot which the greatest of the long line of renowned Illyrian Emperors chose as his resting-place from the toils of warfare and government, and where he reared the vastest and noblest dwelling that ever arose at the bidding of a single man. From an œcumenical point of view, Spalato is yet more. If it does not rank with Rome, Old and New, with Ravenna and with Trier, it is because it never was, like them, an actual seat of empire. But it not the less marks a stage, and one of the greatest stages, in the history of the Empire. On his own Dalmatian soil, Docles of Salona, Diocletian of Rome, was the man who had won fame for his own land, and who, on the throne of the world, did not forget his provincial birthplace. In 138 the sight of Rome and of the world Jovius Augustus was more than this. Alike in the history of politics and in the history of art, he has left his mark on all time that has come after him, and it is on his own Spalato that his mark has been most deeply stamped. The polity of Rome and the architecture of Rome alike received a new life at his hands. In each alike he cast away shams and pretences, and made the true construction of the fabric stand out before men's eyes. Master of the Roman world, if not King, yet more than King, he let the true nature of his power be seen, and, first among the Cæsars, arrayed himself with the outward pomp of sovereignty. In a smaller man we might have deemed the change a mark of weakness, a sign of childish delight in gewgaws, titles, and trappings. Such could hardly have been the motive in the man who, when he deemed that his work was done, could cast away both the form and the substance of power, and could so steadily withstand all temptations to take them up again. It was simply that the change was fully wrought; that the chief magistrate of the commonwealth had gradually changed into the sovereign of the Empire; that Imperator, Cæsar, and Augustus, once titles lowlier than that of King, had now become, as they have ever since remained, titles far loftier. The change was wrought, and all that Diocletian 139 did was to announce the fact of the change to the world. So again, now that the Roman city had grown into the Roman world, a hill by the Tiber had long ceased to be a fit dwelling-place for rulers who had to keep back hostile inroads from the Rhine and the Euphrates. This fact too Diocletian announced to the world. He planted his Augusti and his Cæsars on spots better suited for defence against the German and the Persian than the spot which had been chosen for defence against the Sabine and the Etruscan. Jupiter of the Capitol and his representatives on earth were to be equally at home in every corner of their dominions. Nor is it wonderful if, with such aims before him, he deemed that a faith which taught that Jupiter of the Capitol was a thing of naught was a faith which it became his votary to root out from all the lands that bowed to Jove and to Jovius. What if his work in some sort failed? what if his system of fourfold rule broke up before his own eyes—if his Bithynian capital soon gave way to the wiser choice of a successor, if the faith which he persecuted became, almost on the morrow, the faith of his Empire? Still his work did not wholly fail. He taught that Empire was more than kingship, a lesson never forgotten by those who, for fifteen hundred years after him, wore the diadem of Diocletian rather than of Augustus. In some sort he 140 founded the Roman Empire. What Constantine did was at once to undo and to complete his work by making that Empire Holy.

Such a man, if not actually a creator, yet so pre-eminently one who moulded the creations of others into new shapes, might well take to himself a name from the supreme deity of his creed, the deity of whom he loved to be deemed the special votary. The conception which had grown up in the mind, and had been carried out by the hand, of the peasant of Salona might well entitle him to his proud surname. Nor did the organizing hand of Jovius confine its sphere to the polity of the Empire only. He built himself an house, and, above all builders, he might boast himself of the house that he had builded. Fast by his own birthplace—a meaner soul might have chosen some distant spot—Diocletian reared the palace which marks a still greater epoch in Roman art than his political changes mark in Roman polity. On the inmost shore of one of the lake-like inlets of the Hadriatic, an inlet guarded almost from sight by the great island of Bua at its mouth, lay his own Salona, now desolate, then one of the great cities of the Roman world. But it was not in the city, it was not close under its walls, that Diocletian fixed his home. An isthmus between the bay of Salona and the outer sea cuts off a peninsula, which again throws 141 out two horns into the water to form the harbour which has for ages supplanted Salona. There, not on any hill-top, but on a level spot by the coast, with the sea in front, with a background of more distant mountains, and with one peaked hill rising between the two seas like a watch-tower, did Diocletian build the house to which he withdrew when he deemed that his work of empire was over. And in building that house, he won for himself, or for the nameless genius whom he set at work, a place in the history of art worthy to rank alongside of Iktinos of Athens and Anthemios of Byzantium, of William of Durham and of Hugh of Lincoln.

And now the birthplace of Jovius is forsaken, but his house still abides, and abides in a shape marvellously little shorn of its ancient greatness. The name which it still bears comes straight from the name of the elder home of the Cæsars. The fates of the two spots have been in a strange way the converse of one another. By the banks of the Tiber the city of Romulus became the house of a single man; by the shores of the Hadriatic the house of a single man became a city. The Palatine hill became the Palatium of the Cæsars, and Palatium was the name which was borne by the house of Cæsar by the Dalmatian shore. The house became a city; but its name still clave to it, and the house of Jovius still, at least in the mouths 142 of its own inhabitants, keeps its name in the slightly altered form of Spálato.

He placed his home in a goodly land, on a spot whose first sight is striking at any moment; but special indeed is the good luck of him who for the first time draws near to Spalato at the hour of sunset. It is a moment to be marked in a life, as we round the island headland, one of the stony Dalmatian hills rising bleak and barren from the sea, and catch the first glimpse of the city, the tall bell-tower, the proud rampart of mountains which forms its background. But the sight is more spirit-stirring still if we come on that sight at the very moment when—in sight of the home of the great persecutor we may use the language of mythology—the sun-god has just sunk into its golden cup. The sinking sun seems no unfit symbol, as we look on the spot where the lord of the world withdrew to seek for rest after his toils. Another moment, the headland is rounded; its top is kindled like Vesuvius in the last rays of the sunlight; the lesser light is kindled before the greater has wholly failed us, and, by the light of sun and moon together, we can trace out the long line of the sea-front of the palace which became a city. No nobler site could surely have been found within the bounds of the Empire of the two Augusti and their Cæsars. The sea in front, the mountains behind, the headlands, 143 the bays, the islands scattered around, might indeed have formed a realm from which the prince who had there fixed his home would have been unwise to go forth again to wrestle with the storms of the world which lay beyond its borders. The mountains have drawn nearer to the shore; the islands have gathered round the entrance of the haven, as if to shut out all but the noble bay and its immediate surroundings, as if to fence in a dominion worthy of Jovius himself.

We land with the moon lighting up the water, with the stars above us, the northern wain shining on the Hadriatic, as if, while Diocletian was seeking rest by Salona, the star of Constantine was rising over York and Trier. Dimly rising above us we see, disfigured indeed, but not destroyed, the pillared front of the palace, reminding us of the Tabularium of Rome's own Capitol. We pass under gloomy arches, through dark passages, and presently we find ourselves in the centre of palace and city, between those two renowned rows of arches which mark the greatest of all epochs in the history of the building art. We think how the man who re-organized the Empire of Rome was also the man who first put harmony and consistency into the architecture of Rome. We think that, if it was in truth the crown of Diocletian which passed to every Cæsar from the first Constantius to the last Francis, it was no less 144 in the pile which rose into being at his word that the germ was planted which grew into Pisa and Durham, into Westminster and Saint Ouen's. There is light enough to mark the columns put for the first time to their true Roman use, and to think how strange was the fate which called up on this spot the happy arrangement which had entered the brain of no earlier artist—the arrangement which, but a few years later, was to be applied to another use in the basilica of the Lateran and in Saint Paul without the walls. Yes, it is in the court of the persecutor, the man who boasted that he had wiped out the Christian superstition from the world, that we see the noblest forestalling of the long arcades of the Christian basilica. It is with thoughts like these, thoughts pressing all the more upon us where every outline is clear and every detail is invisible, that we tread for the first time the Court of Jovius—the columns with their arches on either side of us, the vast bell-tower rising to the sky, as if to mock the art of those whose mightiest works might still seem only to grovel upon earth. Nowhere within the compass of the Roman world do we find ourselves more distinctly in the presence of one of the great minds of the world's history; we see that, alike in politics and in art, Diocletian breathed a living soul into a lifeless body. In the bitter irony of the triumphant faith, 145 his mausoleum has become a church, his temple has become a baptistery, the great bell-tower rises proudly over his own work; his immediate dwelling-place is broken down and crowded with paltry houses; but the sea-front and the Golden Gate are still there amid all disfigurements, and the great peristyle stands almost unhurt, to remind us of the greatest advance that a single mind ever made in the progress of the building art.

The Tower, Spalato

THE TOWER, SPALATO.

At the present time the city into which the house of Diocletian has grown is the largest and most growing town of the Dalmatian coast. It has had to yield both spiritual and temporal precedence to Zara, but, both in actual population and all that forms the life of a city, Spalato greatly surpasses Zara and all its other neighbours. The youngest of the Dalmatian towns, which could boast neither of any mythical origin nor of any Imperial foundation, the city which, as it were, became a city by mere chance, has outstripped the colonies of Epidauros, of Corinth, and of Rome. The palace of Diocletian had but one occupant; after the founder no Emperor had dwelled in it, unless we hold that this was the villa near Salona where the deposed Emperor Nepos was slain, during the patriciate of Odoacer. The forsaken palace seems, while still almost new, to have become a cloth factory, where women worked, and which therefore appears in 146 the Notitia as a Gynæcium. But when Salona was overthrown, the palace stood ready to afford shelter to those who were driven from their homes. The palace, in the widest sense of the word—for of course its vast circuit took in quarters for soldiers and officials of various kinds, as well as the rooms actually occupied by the Emperor—stood ready to become a city. It was a chester ready made, with its four streets, its four gates, all but that towards the sea flanked with octagonal towers, and with four greater square towers at the corners. To this day the circuit of the walls is nearly perfect; and the space contained within them must be as large as that contained within some of the oldest chesters in our own island. The walls, the towers, the gates, are those of a city rather than of a house. Two of the gates, though their towers are gone, are nearly perfect: the porta aurea, with its graceful ornament; the porta ferrea in its stern plainness, strangely crowned with its small campanile of later days perched on its top. Within the walls, besides the splendid buildings which still remain, besides the broken-down walls and chambers which formed the immediate dwelling-place of the founder, the main streets were lined with massive arcades, large parts of which still remain. Diocletian, in short, in building a house, had built a city. In the days of Constantine Porphyrogenitus it was a κάστρον—Greek 147 and English had by his day alike borrowed the Latin name; but it was a κάστρον which Diocletian had built as his own house, and within which was his hall and palace. In his day the city bore the name of Aspalathon, which he explains to mean παλάτιον μικρόν . When the palace had thus become a common habitation of men, it is not wonderful that all the more private buildings whose use had passed away were broken down, disfigured, and put to mean uses. The work of building over the site must have gone on from that day to this. The view in Wheler shows several parts of the enclosure occupied by ruins which are now covered with houses. The real wonder is that so much has been spared and has survived to our own days. And we are rather surprised to find Constantine saying that in his time the greater part had been destroyed. For the parts which must always have been the stateliest remain still. The great open court, the peristyle, with its arcades, have become the public piazza of the town; the mausoleum on one side of it and the temple on the other were preserved and put to Christian uses. We say the mausoleum, for we fully accept the suggestion made by Professor Glavinich, the curator of the museum of Spalato, that the present duomo, traditionally called the temple of Jupiter, was not a temple, but a mausoleum. These must have been the great public 148 buildings of the palace, and, with the addition of the bell-tower, they remain the chief public buildings of the modern city. But, though the ancient square of the palace remains wonderfully perfect, the modern city, with its Venetian defences, its Venetian and later buildings, has spread itself far beyond the walls of Diocletian. But those walls have made the history of Spalato, and it is the great buildings which stand within them that give Spalato its special place in the history of architecture. In the face of them we hardly stop to think of the remains of Venetian or even of earlier times. Yet both within and without the palace walls, scraps of Venetian work may be found which would attract the eye on any other spot, and hard by the north-western tower of Diocletian there remains a small desecrated church of the Byzantine type, which out of Spalato might be set down as a treasure. But, as we stand beneath the arcades of Jovius, things which would elsewhere be treasures seem as nothing. They, and the other buildings which stand in artistic connexion with them, form an epoch in the history of art, apart from the general history and general impression of the city which they have at once created and made famous.

SPALATO REVISITED.

149

1877—1881.


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

First, with regard to the name of the place itself. I seem, when I wrote my paper of first impressions, to have had no doubt as to the received derivation from Palatium. That derivation is wonderfully tempting, and it enables one to make an epigrammatic contrast between the Palatium of Rome and the Palatium of Spalato, between the city which became a house and the house which became a city. But the fact remains the same, whatever may be the name. The city did become a house, and the house did become a city, whether the two were called by the same name or not. And I am now convinced, chiefly by Mr. Arthur Evans, that the name of Spalato has nothing to do with Palatium. I began to doubt rather early, as I did not see how the s could have got into the name; in a Greek name the origin of the s would have been plain enough, 150 but it seemed to have no place in a Latin name. And I was staggered by the form Aspalato found as early as the Notitia Imperii. Nothing goes for less than the etymologies of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, and anyhow it is hard to see how Ἀσπάλαθον, the form which he uses, could mean μικρὸν παλάτιον. But, as I had nothing better to propose, I thought it better, when I wrote the fuller paper which appears in the Historical Essays, to say nothing about the matter either way. I need not stop to dispute against the intrusive r in the vulgar form Spalatro, as both Sir Gardner Wilkinson and Mr. Neale have done that before me. But it is wonderful to see how early it got in. It is as old as the Ravenna Geographer, who has three forms—Spalathon, Spalathron, and Spalatrum. I need hardly say that the r is unknown in the country, unless perhaps now and then in the mouth of some one who thinks it fine. So one has known people in England destroy etymology, by sounding Waltham as if it had a thorn, and Bosham with the sound of the German sch. I am now fully convinced that the name has nothing to do with Palatium. It is plain that the oldest form that we can find is Aspalathum, and I am inclined to accept the view of Mr. Evans, who connects the name with Aspalathus, or perhaps with ἄσφαλτος. But I must not venture myself in any quarter which savours of botany or geology.

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

I was doubtless right in saying that no Emperor, strictly so called, inhabited the Palace after Diocletian. In strictness indeed no Emperor ever inhabited it at all, as Diocletian had ceased to be Emperor when he went there. But I think that, at the time of 151 my first visit, I had not fully taken in the story of Nepos and his father Count Marcellian. One is strongly tempted to think that, when Nepos was killed "haud longe a Salonis, sua in villa," the place meant is the palace of Spalato. On the other hand, we have the earlier entry in the Notitia, which certainly looks as if the palace had already become a kind of Imperial factory. But Nepos would hardly live in the same style as Jovius, and the palace is quite big enough to lodge the deposed Emperor and the work-women at the same time.

On the special importance of Spalato in the history of architecture I have spoken in several places, specially in the paper in my Historical Essays to which I have already referred. My main position is that, in the palace at Spalato, after a series of approaches, many of which may be seen in the building itself, Diocletian or his architect hit on the happy device of making the arch spring directly from the capital of the column. To merely classical critics this seems to mark the depth of degradation into which art had fallen in Diocletian's day. To me it seems to be the greatest step ever taken, the beginning of all later forms of consistent arched architecture, Romanesque, Gothic, or any other. The importance of the step is of course the same whoever took it; and if the same feature can be shown in any building earlier than Spalato, we must transfer our praises from, the designer of Spalato to the designer of that building. Spalato would in that case lose something of its strictly architectural interest; but that would be all. But, as far as I know, no such rival has appeared. If the same form really was used in the baths of Diocletian at Rome, that would not be a rival building, but a case of the same mind working in the same way in two places. And to establish an earlier use of the form, it would be needful to show that it was deliberately employed in some considerable building. There is nothing commoner in the history of architecture than the casual and isolated appearance of some form, which the designer had not so much chosen as stumbled on, long before the time when it really came into use. I put in this caution, because I know that there is a kind of feeble approach to the arrangement at Spalato in one or two buildings at Pompeii. 152 And, great as was the advance at Spalato, it had, like many other cases of advance, its weak side. The Ravenna stilt and the Byzantine double capital were both of them shifts to relieve, as it were, the light abacus of the Corinthian capital from the weight which the arch laid upon it. The heavy abacus of Pisa and Lucca was a better escape from this difficulty. Again, the lightness of the columns used at Spalato and in the basilicas which followed its model forbade the use of the vault, and condemned the roofs of the basilicas to be among their poorest features. In the peristyle itself of course no roof was needed, though to an eye used to Rome and Ravenna it has so much the air of an unroofed basilica that it is really hard to believe that it was always open. But, though the basilican arrangement forbade the use of the vault, yet the step taken at Spalato was not without its effect on later vaulted buildings. When the vault came in again, as in the heavier forms of the German Romanesque, men had learned that the arch and its pier, whether that pier was a light column or a massive piece of wall, were enough for all artistic purposes, without bringing in, as in the classical Roman, purely ornamental features from a style which followed another system of construction. I came to my belief in the architectural importance of Spalato thirty years before I saw the building itself, and, now that repeated visits have made the peristyle of Diocletian as familiar to me as Wells cathedral, I admire and approve just as much, though of course I cannot undertake to be quite as enthusiastic now as I was on the evening when I first saw it.

When I was last at Spalato, a process was going on which always makes one tremble. The peristyle and the inside of the mausoleum were surrounded by scaffoldings. As for the mausoleum, it was perhaps a mistake ever to make it into a church; but, as it has been made into a church, the additions and changes which were needed for that purpose have become part of the history, and ought not to be meddled with. It must always have been nearly the smallest, and quite the darkest, metropolitan church in Christendom; but that it is so is part of the wonder of the place. And, if some of the details were restored in plaster at the time of a certain famous 153 royal visit, it seems hardly worth while to knock them away, with the chance of knocking away some of the genuine stone along with them. That royal visit is commemorated in a tablet at the end of the peristyle, which professes great loyalty to a personage described as "Franciscus Primus, Austriæ Imperator et Dalmatiæ Rex." The man so labelled in Diocletian's own house had been the last successor to Diocletian's empire.

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

That city, as it now stands, stretches, I need hardly say again, a long way beyond the bounds of the ancient house. Yet one cannot conceive Spalato without Diocletian's palace. It is something much more than the chief object and ornament of Spalato, as this or that building is the chief object and ornament of any other city. It is more than the castle or monastery round which a city has often grown. It is not merely that, but for the existence of the palace, the city would never have come into being; the palace still is the city in a sense in which we could hardly use those words of any other building elsewhere. Yet there are things to see at Spalato besides the palace. The museum is eminently a thing to see; but then it is within the palace, and moreover, though it is locally placed at Spalato, it belongs historically to Salona. There is a good deal of pretty Venetian work scattered up and down, both within the walls of 154 Diocletian and without them. The piazza just outside the gate of iron, where the traveller will most likely seek his breakfast, his coffee, and his maraschino, would have some attractions in itself, if it did not lie just outside the gate of iron. The eye naturally turns to the gate, and to the little campanile perched on it; otherwise it might very fairly rest on the Venetian loggia, with its columns and their wide—yet not sprawling—pointed arches. It might rest none the less because the building so strongly suggests that class of English town-halls or market-houses of which I said something when speaking of Udine. The octagonal tower too, and the remains of the Venetian fortifications generally, are worth a glance. The difficulty is, in the home of Jovius, to give even a glance to anything but the works of Jovius.

The mausoleum, now the once metropolitan church, and the temple, now the baptistery, have both of them become churches by accident. Besides these, the first impression is that Spalato has little to show in the ecclesiastical line. And further examination will not take away that impression as to quantity, though it will modify it somewhat as to quality. The little desecrated church which in 1875 I saw just within the palace walls, embodied in military buildings, I could not find in 1881. I was told that it had been burned, and there certainly was a burned building thereabouts; but I did not feel quite sure that I had hit upon the right site, and whether the church that I was looking for might not still be there, imprisoned in some of the queer devices of Austrian occupation. But in 1881 I and my companion lighted by way of recompense on one most curious building which neither of us had seen in earlier visits. This is the little church of Saint Nicolas in the suburb on the slope of the hill. It is very small, of a rude kind of Byzantine type, with four of the very strangest columns I ever saw. Save that they have a mighty entasis, they really have more of an Egyptian cut than anything Greek, Roman, Gothic, or any of the forms to which Aryan eyes are used. The Franciscan church at the foot of the hill, with its cloister, would be worth a glance for its own sake; and it is worth much more than a glance on account of the precious sarcophagus which the cloister shelters. 155 But this, like the objects in the museum, is an outlying fragment of Salona, to be talked of there. To the modern church on the other side of the city it would be only kindness to shut our eyes. But we cannot help looking at it; it aims at the style of the place, and clearly fancies itself to be Romanesque, if not Roman. We look at its tower, and we look back to the mighty campanile within the walls. Somehow the fourteenth century could adapt itself to the fourth; but the nineteenth cannot adapt itself to the fourteenth. Yet it is something for Spalato to say that it contains the noblest and the most ignoble of all towers that do profess and call themselves Romanesque.

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

SALONA.

156

1875—1877—1881.


The strictly classical student will perhaps be offended if any one, on reading the name at the head of this article, should ask him where the place is, and how its name is to be pronounced. Salona, he will answer, is in Dalmatia, and how can there be more than one way of sounding the omega in the second syllable? And so far he will be right. The Salona of which we speak is in Dalmatia, and, as its most usual Greek forms are Σαλῶνα and Σαλῶναι, there can be no doubt as to the rights of that particular omega. But those who have gone a little deeper into the geography of south-eastern Europe will know that, besides the Dalmatian Salona, there is another within the Greek kingdom, which has taken the place of the Lokrian Amphissa. As we write the names of the two, we make no difference between them, and we fear that most Englishmen will make as little difference in sounding the two names as in writing them. Yet, as Boughton in Northamptonshire and Boughton in Kent 157 are, by those who have local knowledge, sounded in two different ways, so it is with the Lokrian and the Dalmatian Salona. Σάλωνα and Σαλῶνα differ to the eye; and, among those with whom Greek is a living tongue, they differ to the ear also. But it is not with the Lokrian Sálona, but with the Dalmatian Salóna, that we are here concerned. We need not disturb the feelings of the late Bishop Monk, whose one notion of accentual reading was that those who follow it must "make some strange false quantities." The classical purist may make the omega in the Dalmatian Salóna as long as he pleases. Only, if he pronounces the Lokrian Sálona in the same fashion, he will wound the ears of those to whom the chief notion of (so-called) quantitative reading is that those who follow it must make some strange false accents.

At Salona we are in one of the subject lands of Venice, but we cannot say that we are in one of her subject cities. For Salona, as a city, had passed away before the Serene Republic bore rule on these coasts, in truth before the Serene Republic was, while the lagoons still sheltered only those few settlers whom the minister of Theodoric likened to waterfowl on their nests. As a city, it passed away as few cities have passed away. Others indeed have perished more thoroughly; of some the very sites have been lost; but there is no city whose name survives which has left so little trace 158 of what it was in the time of its greatness. For it is not like those cities whose very name and memory have perished, which are wholly ruined or buried, which have no modern representatives, or whose modern representatives bear wholly different names. Salona is still an existing name, marked on at least the local map; but, instead of the head of Dalmatia, one of the great cities of the Roman Empire, a city which was said to have reached half the size and population of the New Rome itself, we find only a few scattered houses, which hardly deserve the name of a village. By the side of modern Salona, modern Aquileia looks flourishing, and modern Forum Julii might pass for a great city. For Aquileia is not wholly dead as long as the patriarchal basilica still stands, if only to discharge the functions of a village church. But at Salona the traveller hardly notices whether there be any church in use or not. Of modern objects the one which is most likely to catch his eye is the building which at least proclaims, in the name of "Caffè Diocleziano," that Salona in her fall has not forgotten the man who commonly passes for her greatest son, who, according to some, was her second founder, and who, in any case, was her most renowned neighbour. By a strange piece of good luck, the citizen and sovereign of Salona who came back to spend his last days in his own land had reared at no great distance from her the house 159 which, when Salona fell, stood ready to receive her inhabitants, and to take her place as a new city.

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

"Qua maris Hadriaci longas ferit unda Salonas,

Et tepidum in molles Zephyros excurrit Iader."

Longæ certainly well expresses the way in which the city must have spread itself along the mouth of the river, and the northern side of the bay. And, more than this, the idea of length must have been deeply impressed on Salona by the long walls which, as we shall presently see, yoked the city to something or other beyond her own immediate defences. Salona, like most of the older cities, was not at all like one of our square chesters which rose up at once out of some military necessity. The Dalmatian capital had grown 160 up bit by bit, and its walls formed a circuit almost as irregular as that of Rome herself. The site was a striking one. As we set forth from the comparatively flourishing daughter to visit the fallen mother, the road from Spalato leads us over a slight hill, from the descent of which we look on the bay with its background of mountains, a view which brings before us two strongly contrasted sites of human habitation. In advance of the mountain range stands the stronghold of Clissa, so famous in later wars—a stronghold most tempting in a distant view, but utterly disappearing when we come near to it. The seat of the Uscocs has nothing to show but its site and an ugly fortress; yet the hill is well worth going up, for the site and the view from it, a most instructive geographical prospect over mainland, sea, and islands. We turn to our Imperial guide, and we find that Κλεῖσα was so called because it kept the key of the passage over the mountains. It was the Κλεισοῦρα , so called διὰ τὸ συγκλείειν τοὺς διερχομένους ἐκεῖθεν. He has to tell us how it was taken by invaders, whom he speaks of as the Slaves who were called Avars (Σλάβοι, οἱ καὶ Ἄβαροι καλούμενοι ). The ethnological confusion is like that of another self-styled Imperial personage, who thought that he could get at a Tartar by scratching a Russian. But in both cases the confusion is instructive, as pointing to the way in which Slavonic 161 and Turanian nations were mixed up together, as allies and as enemies, in the history of these lands. Far below, on the bosom of the bay, a group of small islands are covered by a small village, which seems to float on the water, and which well deserves its name of Piccola Venezia. Between the height and the sea lay Salona, on a slight elevation gently sloping down to the water; here, as so often on the Dalmatian coast, it needs somewhat of an effort to believe that the water is the sea. To the right of the road, we see the ruins of the aqueduct which brought water to the house of Diocletian—an aqueduct lately repaired, and again set to discharge its ancient duties. Ancient fragments of one kind or another begin to line the road; an ancient bridge presently leads us across the main stream of the Giadro, Lucan's Iader, which we might rather have looked for at Zara. We mark to the right the marshy ground divided by the many channels of the river; we pass by a square castle with turreted corners, in which a mediæval archbishop tried to reproduce the wonder of his own city; and we at last find ourselves close by one of the gates of Salona, ready to begin our examination of the fallen city in due order.

The city distinctly consists of two parts. A large suburb has at some time or another been taken in within the walls of the city. This is plain, because 162 part of a cross wall with a gate still remains, which must have divided the space contained within the outer walls into two. This wall runs in a direction which, without professing to be mathematically correct, we may call north and south. That is, it runs from the hills down towards the bay or the river. Now, which was the elder part of the two? that to the east or that to the west? In other words, which represents the præ-Roman city, and which represents its enlargement in Roman times? By putting the question in this shape, we do not mean to imply that any part of the existing walls is of earlier than Roman date. The Roman city would arise on the site of the earlier settlement, and, as it grew and as its circuit was found too narrow, it would itself be further enlarged. The cross wall with the gate in it must of course have been at some time external; it marks the extent of the city at the time when it was built; but in which way has the enlargement taken place? It used to be thought that the eastern, the most inland division, was the elder, and that the city was extended to the west. And it certainly at first sight looks in favour of this view that, in the extreme north-west corner, an amphitheatre has clearly been worked into the wall, exactly in the same way in which the Amphitheatrum Castrense at Rome is worked into the wall of Aurelian. How so keen an observer as Sir Gardner 163 Wilkinson could have doubted about this building being an amphitheatre, still more how his doubts ended in his positively deciding that it was not, seems really wonderful. It has all the unmistakeable features of an amphitheatre, and we can only suppose that a good deal has been brought to light since Sir Gardner Wilkinson's visit, and that what is seen now was not so clearly to be seen then. As amphitheatres were commonly without the walls, this certainly looks as if the eastern part were the old city, and as if those who enlarged it to the west had made use of the amphitheatre in drawing out their new line of fortification, exactly as Aurelian in the like case made use of amphitheatre, aqueducts, anything that came conveniently in his way. But, on the other hand, Professor Glavinič, whom we have already referred to when speaking of Spalato, and whose keener observation has come usefully in the wake of the praiseworthy researches of Dr. Carrara, has pointed out with unanswerable force that the gate has two towers on its eastern side, showing that that side was external, and that therefore the western part must be the older and the eastern the addition. This is evidence which it is impossible to get over. Clearly then the space to the west of it was once the whole city, and the far greater space to the east once lay beyond the walls. The gate must have been a grand one; but unluckily 164 its arches have perished. There was a central opening, along which the wheel-tracks may still be traced, and a passage for foot-passengers on each side. The large rectangular blocks of limestone of which it is built have been encrusted in a singular way with some natural formation, which might almost be mistaken either for plaster or for some peculiarity of the stone itself. In the northern wall of the eastern part is an inscription commemorating the building or repair of the wall in the time of the Antonines. This by itself would not be conclusive; for the wall might very well have been rebuilt in their day and the city might have been enlarged to the west in a still later time. But the position of the gate is decisive, and the position of the amphitheatre is a difficulty that can easily be got over. If, besides the great enlargement to the east, we also suppose an enlargement to the west which would take the amphitheatre within the city walls, this will be quite enough.

We may rule then that the Illyrian city, the earlier Roman city, stood to the west of the cross wall, and that it was enlarged at some time earlier than the reigns of the Antonines by taking in an eastern suburb larger than the original town. The walls of both parts may be traced through a large part of their extent. The outer gate to the east was flanked by octagonal towers, and both a square and an octagon tower may 165 be traced near the north-east corner. But the most remarkable thing about the walls of Salona is that, besides the walls of the city itself, there are long walls, like those of Athens and Megara, reaching from the western side of the city for a mile and more nearly along the present road to Traü. They have not been traced to the end; but there can be no doubt that they were built to make long Salona yet longer by joining the town to some further point of the coast. Nothing is more natural; the water of the bay by Salona itself is very shallow; when the city became one of the great maritime stations of the world, it was an obvious undertaking to plant a dock at some point of the coast where the water was deeper. And to one who comes to Salona almost fresh from the hill-cities of central Italy, from the strongholds of Volscians, Hernicans, and Old-Latins, from Cora and Signia and Alatrium, it becomes matter of unfeigned surprise to find Dalmatian antiquaries speaking of these walls as "Cyclopean." The name "Cyclopean," though as old as Euripides, is as dangerous as "Pelasgian" or "Druid;" but, if it means anything, it must mean the first form of wall-building, the irregular stones heaped together, such as we see in the oldest work at Cora and Signia. Here we have nothing of the kind. The blocks are very large, and the outer surface is not smooth; but all of them are carefully cut to a 166 rectangular shape, and they are laid with great regularity. There seems no kind of temptation to attribute them to any date earlier than the Roman conquest of Illyricum. The style of building is simply that which is made natural by the kind of stone. And the same kind of construction, though with smaller blocks, is that which prevails throughout the walls of Salona, except where later repairs have clearly been made. This has happened with the outer wall to the west, where some earlier fragments have even been built in. Otherwise, by far the greater part of the walls, towers, and gates of Salona, not forgetting a gate which has been made out in the long walls themselves, all belong to one general style of masonry.

Within the walls of Salona the general effect is somewhat strange. The city is pierced by the road from Spalato to Traü; in these later times it has been further pierced by the railway—strange object in Dalmatia, strangest of all at Salona—which starts from Spalato, but which does not find its way to Traü. The greater part of the space is still covered with vineyards and olive-trees; systematic digging would bring a vast deal to light; but a good deal positively has been made out already. The amphitheatre has been already spoken of; the road cuts through the theatre. But, as becomes the history of the city, the greater part of 167 the discoveries belong to Christian times, to the days when the bishopric of Salona was a post great enough to be employed to break the fall of deposed emperors. But we may doubt whether the head church of Salona, the church which held the episcopal chair of Glycerius, has yet been brought to light.

Near the north-western corner of the eastern division of the city the foundation of a Christian baptistery has been uncovered. The site of the baptistery, according to all rule, must be near to the site of the great church of the city. Now the baptistery stands near the wall; is it fanciful to think that at Salona, as well as at Rome, it was not thought prudent in the earliest days of the establishment of Christianity to build churches in the more central and prominent parts of the city? The baptistery of Salona keeps—the great basilica must therefore have kept—under the shadow of the wall of the extended city, exactly as the Lateran basilica and baptistery do at Rome. Of the baptistery it is easy to study the plan, as the foundations and the bases of the columns, both of the building itself and the portico in front of it, are plainly to be seen. Many of their splendid capitals are preserved among the rich treasures of the museum at Spalato. These are of a Composite variety, in which the part of the volute is played by griffins, while the lower part of the capital is rich with foliage 168 of a Byzantine type. West of the baptistery, but hardly placed in any relation to it, are the remains of a small church, which seems to have been a square, with columns to the east and an apse to the north. Whatever this building was, it surely can never have been the great church of Salona. That must have been a basilica of the first class; and we may hope that future diggings may bring that to light also. But outside the city to the north, successive diggings have made precious discoveries in the way of Christian burying-places and churches. Since the last researches have been made, it is perfectly clear that here, outside the walls, like the basilicas of the apostles at Rome, there stood a church of considerable size, that it had supplanted a smaller predecessor, and that it had another smaller neighbour hard by. It is now easy—but it is only very lately that it has become easy—to see nearly the whole outline of a church measuring—speaking roughly—about 120 feet long. It ranged therefore with the smaller rather than the larger basilicas of Rome. It had two rows of large columns, which, from their nearness to one another, look as if they had supported an entablature rather than arches, with a transept, with the arch of triumph opening into it, and the apse beyond, to the east. There are also, in front of the arch of triumph, foundations which look most temptingly like those of cancelli, like those 169 of Saint Clement's at Rome, but which seem too narrow for such a purpose. It is also plain, from the base of a smaller column at a lower level, that this comparatively large church was built on the remains of an earlier one. And this is borne out by the discovery of pavements at more than one level, which supported sarcophagi, which are still to be seen, and of which an inscription shows that the lowest level was of the time of Theodosius the Second and Valentinian the Third. This thrusts on the building of the upper and greater church to a later time, surely not earlier than the reign of Justinian. It must therefore have still been almost in its freshness when the last blow fell on Salona. And at such a time we can better take in the full force of the inscription which stood over the west door: "Dominus noster propitius esto reipublicæ Romanæ." The church, it should be noted, has been, at some time or other before it was quite swept away, patched up or applied to some other use. A later wall runs across the western face of the transept. An endless field for guessing is hereby opened; but it is more prudent not to enter upon it.

Another smaller ruined church stands close by, with its apse pointing to the north. This and the eastern part of the larger church are filled with sarcophagi of all kinds and sizes, reminding us of the newly-opened basilica of Saint Petronilla by the Appian Way. 170 Among these is the tomb of an early Chorepiscopus. A crowd of architectural fragments are scattered around, among which one splendid Corinthian capital bears witness to the magnificence of the upper church. But the real wealth of Salona, both sepulchral and architectural, is not to be looked for in Salona itself, but in the museum at Spalato. There are a crowd of superb tombs, pagan and Christian, and the splendid capitals from the baptistery. There are stores of inscriptions, Latin and Greek, which would make the place where they are preserved a place of no small interest, even if that place were not Spalato. But one sarcophagus of pagan date still stays in its place, a little way beyond the city, because, being hewn in the limestone rock, it could not be taken away. This is that which is described by Sir Gardner Wilkinson, which has some of the exploits of Hêraklês carved on its one face, and which has been so oddly changed in modern times into the altar of the canonized Pope Saint Caius. For he, like the Emperor under whom he suffered, passes for a native of Salona. And a no less precious sarcophagus of Christian days is preserved in the cloister of the Franciscan church at Spalato. This represents the crossing of the Red Sea. The Pharaoh looks very much as if he were in a Roman triumphal chariot, trampling a genius or two of the waters under his wheels. His warriors follow, looking, according to 171 the eyes with which we look at them, like Romans in military dress or like Albanians in the immemorial fustanella. The Aryan mind is offended at seeing men of another continent clothed in such a very European garb; it is for Egyptologers to say whether the sculpture is correct. The sea is very narrow; it swallows up the Egyptian chariots with great force, and the rescued Hebrews stand on the other side, Miriam just about to begin her hymn of victory. The subject of the sculpture is obvious; but it seems that nobody understood it till it was expounded by an exalted lady at that royal visit of 1818 which at Spalato is commemorated oftener than enough. The expounder was the wife of the man who had once been the last successor of Diocletian and Augustus; whether his queen had any claim to rank either as a successor of Prisca and Livia or as the doubtful mother-in-law of a conqueror from Ajaccio, we have not looked in any pedigree-book to find out. One would really have thought that the loosing of the knot was so easy that it might have been unravelled by the hand of a subject; but a book which we have before us by a local antiquary goes off into raptures at the surprising keenness of Imperial, Royal, and Apostolic eyes.

The chapel of Saint Caius, with its heathenish altar, brings our thoughts back to the long walls below it, the walls which yoked the ancient Salona to the deeper 172 sea. It must not be forgotten that, in the days of its greatness, Salona was one of the chief ports of the Hadriatic, the greatest on its own side of it. After shifting to and fro from one port to another, that position has come back, if not to Salona itself, yet to its modern representative. If we distinguish the Hadriatic from the Gulf of Trieste, Spalato is undoubtedly its chief port; but the smallness of Spalato, as compared with the greatness of ancient Salona, is a speaking historical lesson. We see the difference between the place in Europe which is held by the Illyrian lands now and the place which they held in the days of the Roman peace. Then Salona was one of the chief cities of the Roman world, placed on one of the most central sites in the Roman world, the chief port of one of the great divisions of the Empire, and one of the main highways between its eastern and western halves. Such could be the position of a Dalmatian city when Dalmatia had a civilized mainland to the back of it. Salona therefore kept up its position as long as the Empire still kept any strength on its Illyrian frontier. It played its part in both the civil wars. Cæsar himself enlarges on the strength of the city—"oppidum et loci natura et colle munitum." In after-times it was a special object of the regard of its own great citizen, who took up his abode so near to its neighbourhood. According to Constantino Porphyrogenitus, 173 Salona was pretty well rebuilt by Diocletian. Its importance went on in the time of transition, as is witnessed by the growth of its ecclesiastical buildings, and by the high position held by its bishopric. Like the rest of the neighbouring lands, it passed under the dominion, first of Odoacer and then of Theodoric, and it was the first place which was won back to the Empire in the wars of Justinian. Lost again and won back again, it appears throughout those wars as the chief point of embarcation for the Imperial armies on their voyages to Italy. This was the last century of its greatness; in the next century the modern history of Illyria begins. The Slaves were moving, and the Avars were moving with them. Salona fell into the hands of these last barbarians; it was ruined and pillaged, and sank to the state in which it has remained till our own time. Since the seventh century Salona has ceased to rank among the cities of the earth, but the house which had been raised by its greatest citizen stood ready hard by to supply a shelter to some at least of its homeless inhabitants. Things were wholly turned about on the bay of Salona and on the neighbouring peninsula. Down to the days of Heraclius, Salona had been a great city, with the vastest house that one man ever reared standing useless in its neighbourhood. From his day onwards the house grew into a city, and the 174 city became a petty village, where, of all the places along that historic coast, the traveller finds least to disturb him in the pious contemplation of ruins. The only danger is that his meditations may be broken in upon by sellers of coins and scraps of all ages, dates, and values. Coins at Salona hardly need the process once known at the Mercian Dorchester as "going a-Cæsaring." Cæsars seem to be picked up from under and off the ground with much less trouble than hunting for truffles. And even he who is no professed numismatist or collector of gems will be pleased to give a few soldi, perhaps even for a very clear image and superscription of "Constantinus Junior Nob[ilissimus] C[æsar]," much more for any image and superscription of Jovius himself. It may have neither rarity nor value in the eyes of the numismatically learned; but it is something to carry away from Salona itself the head of the foremost local worthy in Salona's long annals.

TRAÜ.

175

1875—1877—1881.


The visitor to Spalato and Salona should, if possible, not fail to pay a visit to Traü. To most readers the very name will doubtless be strange. Yet Tragurium is an old city, a city old enough to be named by Polybios, to say nothing of later Greek and Latin writers. As in countless other cases, many readers may have passed by the name without any notice at all; others may have turned to the map, and, having once found Tragurium, may have presently forgotten that Tragurium was anywhere recorded. The case may be different with those who carry on their studies so far as to have dealings with the Imperial topographer. In his pages the name of the city has got lengthened into Τετραγγούριον, and we are told that it was so called διὰ τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸ μικρὸν δίκην ἀγγουρίου . We are not ashamed to confess that the word ἀγγουρίου gave us no meaning whatever, and that we had to turn to our dictionary to find that ἀγγούριον means a water-melon. 176 But where the point of likeness is between the town of Traü and a water-melon, and why the name should have been lengthened, so as to suggest, if anything, the notion of four water-melons, we are as much in the dark as before. Those therefore who have made acquaintance with the city in the shape of Τετραγγούριον will have a chance of keeping it in their minds. But with those who light only either on Tragurium or on Traü, it will most likely happen as most commonly happens with places which play no great part in general history. The name passes away as a mere name, till something happens to clothe it with a special meaning. Salona the parent and Spalato the child are names which never can become meaningless to any one who has a decent knowledge of the history of the world. But the name of Tragurium, Traü, will probably always be purely meaningless, save to those whom anything may have led to take a special interest in Dalmatian matters. Tragurium has a history—no place is without one—but its history is purely local and Dalmatian. As far as one can venture to judge, the great course of human affairs would have been much the same if Tragurium had never become a city. But there it stands, and, as it stands, its position, its buildings, even its local history, combine to give it no small interest. They make it no contemptible appendage even to the famous spots in its immediate 177 neighbourhood. Whatever was its origin, Tragurium became a Roman town, and it was one of those places on the Dalmatian coast which so long and steadily clave to their allegiance to the Eastern Cæsars. As the Byzantine power declined, the town was disputed between the Kings of Hungary and the commonwealth of Venice, and once at least it is said to have felt the hand of Saracen plunderers. By each of the Christian powers by which it was disputed it was won and lost more than once, till it finally became Venetian in 1420. Perhaps the point of greatest interest in these dates is that Traü was a Hungarian possession at the time of the building of its cathedral church in the thirteenth century. It is said to have points of likeness to other great Hungarian churches of the same date.

The approach to Traü is a speaking commentary on the state of things in days when no one but the lord of a private fortress could be safe anywhere except within a walled town. The road from Spalato to Traü goes through Salona, through the heart of the ruined city, as does the railway which the traveller may use for part of his journey. The railway turns off; the road keeps on alongside of the bay, with the water on one side and the mountains on the other. This road passes through the district of the castelli, forts with surrounding villages, which various lords, 178 spiritual and temporal, held of the Serene Republic by a feudal tenure. Things were under the oligarchy of Venice as they were under the democracy of Athens. A private fortress within either city was unheard of; neither Demos nor the Council of Ten would for a moment have endured the existence of such towers as we still see at Rome and at Bologna. But in the outlying possessions of either commonwealth greater licence was allowed. Alkibiadês had his private forts in the Thracian Chersonêsos, and a string of Venetian nobles and subjects of the Republic were allowed to have their private forts along the shores of the bay of Salona. The points which they occupied still remain as small towns and villages, some of them with their little havens on the lake-like sea, where the traveller whom the railway has forsaken may haply light on a small steamer to take him on. But none of those among the castelli which we can ourselves speak of from our own knowledge possess any architectural interest. When at last we reach Traü, we see further how needful it was, even in the case of a walled city, to plant it in the position best suited for defence. Traü, now at least, belongs to the class of island cities. At the point where the large island of Bua comes nearest to the mainland, a small island lies between it and the shore, leaving only a narrow channel on each side, spanned in each case by a bridge. But the language 179 of the Emperor who likens the city to a water-melon might suggest the idea that the site was once, not insular, but peninsular. Constantine places his Τετραγγούριον on a small island, but the small island has a neck like a bridge which joins it to the mainland (μικρόν ἐστι νησίον ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ, ἔχον καὶ τράχηλον ἕως τῆς γῆς στενώτατον δίκην γεφυρίου, ἐν ᾧ διέρχονται οἱ κατοικοῦντες ἐς τὸ αὐτὸ κάστρον ). This somewhat contradictory way of speaking sounds as if, as in the case of some other peninsular cities, a narrow isthmus had been cut through. In the Peutinger Table too, "Ragurio" is made distinctly peninsular. Now at least the likeness of a bridge is exchanged for the reality; the island is an island, and on this island is built the main part of the city of Traü. A small part only spreads itself on to Bua, where it begins to climb the hills, though it goes up only a very little way, by paths almost as rugged as though they were in Montenegro. This outlying part, which contains two churches, may pass as a suburb, a Peraia; for Bua may reckon as a mainland when compared with the neighbouring islet, and the real mainland of Dalmatia seems to have been carefully avoided by the builders of Tragurium. The view in Wheler would give no one any idea of the size of Bua, any more than the Peutinger Table would give any idea of its position. But Wheler's view well brings out the relative 180 positions of mainland, islet, and island, and it shows how strongly Traü was fortified in his day. Such a site as this was a valuable one in days when security was the main object; but it hardly tends to prosperity in modern times, and Tragurium must be reckoned among the cities whose day is past. While Spalato is putting on the likeness of a busy modern town, Traü has nothing to show but its ancient memories.

Traü, as we now see it, is indeed an old-world place. Even the new-made railway, which has appeared long since our first visit, and which startles the quiet of Salona and some of the castelli, keeps away from the city of the four water-melons. Strangers come but seldom, and they are remembered when they do come; a visitor showing himself again after some years is greeted in friendly guise as "one of the three Englishmen with red beards." And the city looks like one of the ends of the world. Owing to the peculiar position of Traü, the fashion of narrow streets, common to all the Dalmatian towns, is here carried to an extreme point. Indeed the crooked alleys through which the visitor has to thread his way, and the dark arches and vaults under which he has to pass, give the place a Turkish rather than a Venetian look. The explorer of Traü might almost fancy himself at Trebinje. One wonders how the Tragurians manage to live; it is only on the quay and in the open place by the cathedral 181 that there seems room to breathe. Yet, uninviting as the streets of Traü are in their general effect, they are far from being void of objects of interest. As elsewhere in Dalmatia, we ever and anon light on ornamental doorways and windows. In Traü some of these show better forms than those of the familiar Venetian Gothic; one or two windows are in style, whatever they may be in date, genuine Romanesque. Of the Venetian defences some considerable portions remain; close by the water, at the south-western point of the smaller island, is a castle bearing the badge of Saint Mark, whose chief feature is a tower of irregular octagonal shape, singularly and ingeniously vaulted within. Of civic buildings the chief is the Venetian loggia, now dirty and uncared for. But it still keeps at its east end what at first sight seems like an altar, dedicated, not to the Evangelist but to his lion, but which really marks the judgment-seat of the representative of the Republic in Traü. The building was repaired over and over again, the last renovation dating early in the seventeenth century; but it keeps a colonnade, which, whenever it was put together, was put together out of materials of far earlier date. Some of the capitals seem to be late; but there is one of true Corinthian form, which seems closely akin to those in Diocletian's peristyle; another capital is covered with rich foliage of a type rather 182 Byzantine than classical. And on either side of the loggia, forming a strange contrast to one another, one of them utterly hidden from view, the other proclaiming itself as the main ornament of the town, stand the two most important ecclesiastical buildings of Traü.

Cathedral, Trau

CATHEDRAL, TRAÜ.

The chief architectural ornament of the city is undoubtedly the formerly cathedral, now only collegiate, church. This is a work of the thirteenth century, with a stately bell-tower of the fourteenth or fifteenth. But the tower of Traü is no detached campanile, such as we have seen at Zara and Spalato. It forms part of the building; it occupies its north-western corner, and was designed to be one of a pair, after the usage of more northern lands. The inscription on the southern doorway gives 1215 as its date; one on the great western doorway names 1240, and adds the name of Raduanus as its artist. Looked at from the outside, the work is of the best and most finished kind of Italian Romanesque; and we have here, what is by no means uncommon in Dalmatia, an example of the late retention of the forms of that admirable style. The tower palpably belongs to a later date, as it shows the distinct forms of the Venetian Gothic, though, as usual in Dalmatia, in a not unpleasing form. Eitelberger quotes an inscription which gives the date as 1321, while in his text he speaks of it as 1421, just after the Venetian capture of the town. And the 183 course of Dalmatian architecture is so capricious, forms are found at dates when one would so little have looked for them, that we really cannot undertake to decide between the two. The inside of the church is striking, with its round arches resting on massive square piers of German rather than Italian character, and with its clerestory and vault, in which the round and pointed arch are struggling for the mastery. By a freak almost more unaccountable than the red rags of Zara, the piers have very lately been taught to discharge the perhaps useful, but rather incongruous, function of a catalogue of the bishops of Traü, bishops whose succession has come to an end. The pulpit, the stalls, and other fittings, are also striking in many ways, and the triapsidal east end shows us a rather simple Romanesque style in all its purity. But the glory of Traü is at the other end. The stately portico veils the still more stately western doorway, in which, if the purity of the architectural style is somewhat forsaken, we forgive it for the richness and variety of its sculpture. The scriptural scenes in the tympanum, the animal forms, the statues of Adam and Eve, the crouching turbaned figures, the strange blending together of sculpture and architectural forms, make together a wonderful whole, none the less wonderful because it is clear that everything is not exactly in its right place, but that there has been a change or 184 removal of some kind at some time. The details of this splendid doorway, and of the church in general, must be studied in the elaborate memoir of Eitelberger, which, with its illustrations, goes further than most memoirs of the kind to make the building really intelligible at a distance. The turbaned figures are far older than the appearance of the Ottoman in the neighbourhood of Traü, or indeed in any part of Europe. Are they Saracens whose forms record the memories of some returning Crusader? Or are we to believe that the Morlacchi used the turban as their head-dress before the Ottoman came?

But the duomo is not all that Traü has to show in the way of churches. On the other side of the Venetian loggia stands, hidden among other buildings, a church which is in its way of equal interest with its greater neighbour, which certainly shows us a purer form of Romanesque. This is the little desecrated church of Saint Martin, now called Saint Barbara, one of those domical buildings on a small scale of which we have seen other varieties at Zara and at Spalato. Its height and the tall stilts on its columns would, if the building were cleared out, make it one of the most striking instances of its style and scale. Nearer to the water, south-east from the cathedral, is another small Romanesque church, almost as striking without as Saint Barbara is within. This is 185 the small church of Saint John Baptist, which, except that it has a square east end, might pass for an almost typical Romanesque church on a small scale. Nearly opposite to Saint Barbara is the most striking house in Traü, with an open galleried court; and not very far off, hidden in the narrow streets, is the Benedictine monastery of Saint Nicolas, the foundation of the local saint John Orsini in 1064. The points to be noticed are not in the church but in the adjoining buildings. There, besides some pretty Venetian windows and doorways, is an arcade which looks as if it were of genuine Romanesque date, though perhaps hardly so old as the saint himself. A walk outside the walls in the direction of the Venetian castle leads to other churches, one of which, attached to a house of Dominican nuns, surprises the visitor, like the ruined chapel of the Gaetani by the tomb of Cæcilia Metella, by its almost English look. A few hours may well be spent in examining the antiquities of this strange little island city, and in taking in the varied views of land and sea which are to be had alike from the lofty bell-tower and from the higher ground on Bua. The journey back again shows us objects which have become familiar to us, but which are now seen in a reverse order. We mark the ever shifting outlines of the hills, the islands and the bay which they surround, the ruins of fallen Salona, Clissa 186 on its peak, the stream of Giadro, the aqueduct of Diocletian, till we again mount and descend the little hill on the neck of the isthmus, and find ourselves once more under the shadow of the palace-walls of Spalato and of the bell-tower which soars so proudly over them.

Saint John Baptist, Trau

SAINT JOHN BAPTIST, TRAÜ.

SPALATO TO CATTARO.

SPALATO TO CATTARO.

189

1875.


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

As Spalato must be looked on as the great object of a Dalmatian voyage, it may also be looked on as its centre. After Spalato the coast scenery changes its character in a marked way. Hitherto hills, comparatively low and utterly barren, come down straight to the sea, while the higher mountains are seen only farther inland. From this point the great mountains themselves come nearer to the water. We are thus reminded of the change in the political boundary, how from this point the Hadriatic territory of Austria and of Christendom becomes narrower and narrower, till we reach the stage when the old dominion of Ragusa becomes a mere fringe between the sea and the Turk, fenced in from the former land of Saint Mark by the two points at either end where the less dangerous infidel was allowed to spread himself to the 190 actual sea-board. But as the mountains come nearer to the sea, a fringe of cultivation, narrower or wider, now spreads itself between them and the water. Small towns and villages, detached houses, land tilled with the vine and the olive, now skirt the bases of the mountains, in marked contrast to the mere stony hills of the earlier part of the voyage. The islands too among whose narrow channels we have to make our way change their character also. After Spalato, instead of mere uninhabited rocks, we come to islands of greater size, some of them thirty or forty miles long, islands several of which have a distinct place in history, islands containing towns and cities, and which are still seats of industry and cultivation. These are the islands which give such a marked character to the map of this part of the Hadriatic, and they form the most marked feature in the fourth day's voyage of the course from Trieste to Cattaro. The endless islands which we have seen along the northern part of the Dalmatian shore, bare and uninhabited rocks as many of them are, are without history. Some of the Croatian islands indeed have somewhat of a history; but with these we are not dealing; the barren archipelago of Zara could never have had any tale to tell. First we pass through the channel which divides the mainland from the large island of Brazza, distinguished at a glance by its 191 solid shape from its endless long and narrow fellows. Dreary and rocky as it seems, it is the most populous and industrious of the group, and at one point of its coast, San Pietro, the steamer makes a short halt. So it does at the picturesque little port of Almissa on the mainland, a nest of houses and trees at the mountain's foot, standing so invitingly as to make the traveller wish for a longer sojourn. Then comes Makarska, where we are allowed a short glimpse of the little hill-side town, smaller and more Dalmatian than any that we have yet seen. Presently we plunge into the full intricacies of the Dalmatian seas. We pass through the narrow channel which parts the mainland from the eastern promontory of the long, slender island of Lesina—the awl. Here we come within old Hellenic memories. We are now within the full range of Greek colonization, though of Greek colonization only in its latest stage. Issa, now Lissa, Black Korkyra, now Curzola, amongst the islands, and Epidauros on the mainland, were all of them undoubted Greek settlements. But Issa and Pharos, the only ones to which we can fix a positive date, were colonized only in the first half of the fourth century, and Dionysios of Syracuse had a hand in their colonization. Lesina is Pharos, the ancient colony of the Ægæan Paros, whose name still lives on Slavonic lips in the shape of Far or Hvar. It 192 plays a considerable part in the history of Polybios, as the island of that Dêmêtrios whose crooked policy formed an important element in the affairs of mankind in the days when Greek and Roman history began to flow together into one stream. These islands form one of the highways by which Rome advanced to the possession of Illyricum, Macedonia, and Greece. But we see neither the ancient nor the modern city, neither Pharos nor Lesina; we merely skirt the island to find ourselves in the channel of Narenta. That name suggests yet another pirate power, later than that of Tenta and Dêmêtrios, that power of the old Pagania against which Venice, in her early days, had to wage so hard a struggle. We seem to be pressing on between the mainland and a long, slender, mountainous island; but our course suddenly turns; the seeming island is no other than the long peninsula of Sabioncello, a peninsula not Venetian but Ragusan. We get merely a glimpse down the gulf, at the end of which Turkish Klek once divided the possessions of the two maritime commonwealths, and still, nominally at least, breaks the continuity of Austrian dominion. But, if the peninsula was Ragusan, a narrow channel only parts it from an island which was a chief seat of the power of the rival city. We skirt the western horn of Sabioncello, and another turn leads us through the channel—narrower than any through which we 193 have passed—which divides it from Curzola, Black Korkyra of old. We stop for a little while off the island capital, the fortress of Curzola, which was to the declining navy of Venice what Pola now is to the rising navy of Austria. This channel passed, we come to the last of the great islands. For miles and miles we skirt the Ragusan island of Meleda, long, slender, with its endless hills of no great height standing up like the teeth of a saw—a true sierra in miniature. Here volumes of scriptural controversy are open to us. As we are not tossed up and down in Hadria, but are floating along as on a lake or a river, we muse on the claims which all local and some independent authorities have set up for Illyrian Meleda, as against Phœnician Malta, to be the true seat of the shipwreck of Saint Paul. But Meleda can have its claims admitted only on the condition of being shut out from Hellenic fellowship, even though its barbarians were of a mood which led them to show no little kindness to strangers. It is hard also to understand how those who were making their way from Meleda to any point of Italy could have any possible business at Syracuse. At all events, with Meleda the island history ends, though the island scenery does not end as yet. Several islands, smaller than these more famous ones, but not so small as they look on the map, fringe the coast till we enter the haven of 194 Gravosa, the port of modern Ragusa, with its thickly wooded shores, a marked contrast to the bleakness and barrenness of so many other points of the Dalmatian coast.

Ragusa, the city of argosies, the commonwealth which so long was the rival of Venice and which never stooped to be her subject, so thoroughly suggests maritime enterprise by her very name, that we are surprised to find that Ragusa herself has ceased to be a port of any moment. Her mighty walls, her castles, her more distant forts, still rise out of the sea, and the mightier wall of mountains just behind her still fence off her land, as the narrowest rim of Christendom, from the land of the infidel beyond. All this is as it was; modern military art has added to the defences of Ragusa, but it has not taken away her elder bulwarks. But her haven is now of the very smallest, and admits only vessels of the smallest size. The modern haven is at Gravosa, and the road which Sir Gardner Wilkinson describes as so well kept, but as useless because no carriages went upon it, is still as good and more useful. At this moment Ragusa bears the honourable character of a city of refuge for the unhappy ones who seek shelter under the government of a civilized state from the barbarian rule beyond the mountains. Her suburbs are crowded with women and children flying 195 from the seat of war, for whom the charity both of the state and of private persons is doing much, but whose sufferings—as one who has seen them can bear witness—cry for the sympathy and help of all who have hearts and who have not invested in Turkish bonds. As we pass by and look on the city—no city surely fronts the sea more proudly than Ragusa—as we turn round to the island of La Croma, lying off what was Ragusa's harbour, the island which suggests the names of Richard of Poitou and of Maximilian of Mexico—the scene is so peaceful and lovely, the warlike defences look such mere things of the past, that it is hard indeed to believe that, just beyond the mountain barrier, warfare is going on in its bitterest and yet its noblest form—the struggle of an oppressed people to cast off the yoke of ages. This form of speech may grate somewhat on the received phrases of Western diplomacy; but, however we might be bound to write in England, in Dalmatia—so close to the facts—we may be allowed to write as all men in Dalmatia think and speak. We pass La Croma, and our time among the islands is over; no other that can be called more than a mere rock meets us between Ragusa and Cattaro. At last we enter the loveliest of inlets of the sea, the Bocche di Cattaro. A narrow strait leads us between points of land which were once Ragusan on the west and Venetian to the 196 east, into the winding gulf, girded by mountains, and now for nearly its whole extent fringed by towns, villages, houses, cultivation in every form—a land where the sublimity of the rugged mountain has come into close partnership with the loveliness of the smiling dwelling-places of man. As we pass through the strait, a piece of barren mountain to the left marks the second piece of territory where the Turk was allowed to isolate the two commonwealths, and where, in name, his dominion still reaches to the shore of the lovely gulf. We pass on, as on the smoothest of lakes, round mountain headlands, with their rich fringe of life, by towns and villages, many of which have their own local history both in earlier and later times, till we reach the most distant of Dalmatian cities, Cattaro at the innermost point of her own unrivalled Bocche. Hemmed in between the mountains and the sea—though it seems almost strange to apply the word sea to the gentle waters of her harbour—with the mountains again rising on the other side, Cattaro seems indeed to be the end of its own world. Yet in the days of Venetian greatness, Cattaro was far indeed from being the last point of the dominion of Saint Mark. Climb the heights above the city, and the eye stretches far away along the Albanian coast, a coast along which many a city and island once bowed to the winged lion, till in 197 fancy we track our course, as by stepping stones along the sea, to distant Crete and to more distant Cyprus.

Cattaro, the end of the outward journey, will also be the beginning of the journey back again. The little town, with its narrow paved streets, its little piazze, still keeps up the same Venetian tradition as elsewhere. And the walls of the fortress climbing far up the mountain show how firm was the grasp of the ruling city over its subjects. But at Cattaro and throughout the Bocche another feature strikes us which we do not see either at Spalato or at Ragusa. The churches do not all belong to one denomination; the Eastern, the Orthodox, Church, holds its own in this corner of Venetian or Austrian rule at least as firmly as its Latin rival. The fact is, what is forced upon our notice at every step, that, the further we go along this coast, the Italian element dies out and the Slavonic element grows. It is so in language, in dress, in everything. Zara, Spalato, Ragusa, Cattaro, each city is less and less Italian according to its geographical position. The inland country is, of course, Slave throughout. But at Cattaro the Slave element distinctly predominates, even in the town; Italian can hardly be said to be more than the best known among foreign languages. The pistol and yataghan worn in the belt, a general costume essentially 198 the same as that of the Montenegrin, has gradually been growing upon us; here in Cattaro it is the rule, almost more than the rule. In short, the Bocchese, the Montenegrin, the Turkish rayah of Herzegovina, really differ in nothing but the difference of their political destinies. They are members of the same immediate family, whose fortunes have led them in three different directions. Now the religious tendency of the south-eastern Slaves, as is only natural from their geographical position, has always been towards the Eastern Church rather than the Western, towards the New Rome rather than towards the Old. Here, where the Slavonic element is so distinctly the stronger, the religious developement has taken its natural course, and the Orthodox population in Cattaro and all the coasts thereof is always a large minority, and in some places it actually outnumbers the Latins.

We have professed to give only the impressions of the outward voyage, though our account may have here and there been influenced by later impressions drawn from fuller observation on the way back. But the way back, and the fuller knowledge gained in its course, only brings out more strongly the intense charm of Dalmatian coast and mountain scenery, fitly united with the deep historic interest of cities which, though they seem to form a world apart by themselves, 199 have played their part in the world's history none the less. No one can visit Dalmatia once without a wish that his first visit may not be his last; no one can take a glimpse of any of her cities without the desire that the glimpse may be only the forerunner of more perfect knowledge.

CURZOLA.

200

1881.


We part from Spalato; by the time that we have made two or three voyages in these seas, we shall find that there are several ways of reaching and parting from Spalato. We speak of course of ways by sea; by land there is but one way, and that way leads only to and from places at no great distance, and it does not lead to or from any place in the direction in which we are now bent. By sea the steamer takes two courses. One keeps along the mainland, that which allows a glimpse of the little towns of Almissa and Makarska, both nestling by the water's edge at the mountain's foot. Of these Almissa at least has an historical interest. Here Saint Mark was no direct sovereign; his lion, if we rightly remember, is nowhere to be seen, a distinction which, along this whole line of coast, Almissa alone shares with greater Ragusa. Was it a commonwealth by itself, cradled on the channel of Brazza like Gersau on the Lake of the Four Cantons? Or was it the haven of the inland commonwealth of 201 Polizza, which, like Gersau and a crowd of other commonwealths, perished at the hands of their newborn French sister for the unpardonable crime of being old? But far more interesting is the other route of the steamers, that which leads us among the greater islands. Here, as soon as we pass Spalato, as soon as we pass the greatest monument of the dominion of Rome, we presently find ourselves in a manner within the borders of Hellas. We pass between Brazza and Solta, we skirt Lesina and think once more of its old Parian memories. We look out on Lissa, where the Hellenic name lives on with slighter change, but we are more inclined to dwell on those later memories which have made its name an unlucky one in our own day, a far luckier one in the days of our grandfathers. At last we make our first halt for study where a narrow strait divides the mainland, itself all but an island, from another ancient seat of Greek settlement, the once renowned isle of Curzola.

Curzola—such is its familiar Italian form—is the ancient Black Korkyra, and on Slavonic lips it still keeps the elder name in the shape of Kerker. But the sight of ἡ μέλαινα Κόρκυρα suggests a question of the same kind as that which the visitor is driven to ask on his first sight of Montenegro. How does a mass of white limestone come to be called the Black Mountain? Curzola can hardly be called a mass of 202 white limestone; but the first glance shows nothing specially black about it, nothing to make us choose this epithet rather than any other to distinguish this Hadriatic Korkyra from the more famous Korkyra to the south. That some distinguishing epithet is needed is shown by the fact that, not so very long ago, a special correspondent of the Times took the whole history of Corfu and transferred it bodily to Curzola. The reason given for the name is the same in Curzola and in Montenegro. The blackness both of the island and of the mountain is the blackness of the woods with which they are covered. True the traveller from Cattaro to Tzetinje sees no woods, black or otherwise; but he is told that the name comes from thick woods on the other side of the principality. So he is told that Black Korkyra was called from its thick woods, its distinctive feature as compared with the many bare islands in its neighbourhood. But no black woods are now to be seen in that part of the island which the traveller is most likely to see anything of. There were such, he is told; but they have been cut down on this side, while on the other side they still flourish. As things are now, Curzola is certainly less bare than most of its fellows; but the impression which it gives us is, of the two, rather that of a green island than of a black one. It is not green in the sense of rich verdure, but such 203 trees as show themselves give it a look rather green than black. At any rate, the island looks both low and well-covered, as compared with the lofty and rocky mountains of the opposite peninsula of Sabioncello. The two are at one point, and that a point close by the town of Curzola, separated by a very narrow strait. And the nearness of the two formed no inconsiderable part of their history. There was a time when Curzola must have been, before all things, a standing menace to Sabioncello, and to the state of which Sabioncello formed an outpost. Sabioncello, the long, narrow, stony peninsula, all backbone and nothing else, formed part of the dominions of the commonwealth of Ragusa. Curzola was for three centuries and a half a stronghold of that other commonwealth which Ragusa so dreaded that she preferred the Turk as her neighbour. Nowhere does the winged lion meet us more often or more prominently than on the towers and over the gates of Curzola. And no wonder; for Curzola was the choice seat of Venetian power in these waters, her strong arsenal, the place for the building of her galleys. If Aigina was the eyesore of Peiraieus, Curzola must have been yet more truly the eyesore of Sabioncello.

It is only of what must have been the special eyesore of its Ragusan neighbours, of the fortified town of Curzola and of a few points in its near neighbourhood, 204 that we can now speak. Curzola is one of the larger Dalmatian islands; and it is an island of some zoological interest. It is one of the few spots in Europe where the jackal still lingers. Perhaps there is no other, but, as we have heard rumours of like phænomenon in Epeiros, a decided negative is dangerous. We believe that, according to the best scientific opinion, "lingered" is the right word. The jackal is not an importation from anywhere else into Curzola; he is an old inhabitant of Europe, who has kept his ground in Curzola after he has been driven out of other places. But he who gives such time as the steamer allows him in the island to the antiquities of the town of Curzola need cherish no hope or fear of meeting jackals. He might as soon expect to meet with a horse. For, true child of Venice, Curzola knows neither horse nor carriage. Horses and carriages are not prominent features in any of the Dalmatian towns; but they may be seen here and there. They are faintly tolerated within the walls of Ragusa, and we have certainly seen a cart in the streets of Zara. But at Curzola they are as impossible as at Venice itself, though not for the same reason. Curzola does not float upon the waters; it soars above them. The Knidian emigrants chose the site of their town in the true spirit of Greek colonists. It is such another site as the Sicilian Naxos, as the Epidauros of the Hadriatic, 205 as Zara too and Parenzo, though Zara and Parenzo can lay no claim to a Greek foundation. The town occupies a peninsula, which is joined to the main body of the island by a narrow isthmus. The positive elevation is slight, but the slope close to the water on each side is steep. From the narrow ridge where stands the once cathedral church, the streets run down on each side, narrow and steep, for the most part ascended by steps. The horses of the wave are the only steeds for the men of Black Korkyra, and those steeds they have at all times managed with much skill. The seafaring habits of the people take off in some measure from the picturesque effect of the place. There is much less to be seen, among men at least, of local costume at Curzola than at other Dalmatian towns. We miss the Morlacchian turbans which become familiar at Spalato; we miss the Montenegrin coats of the brave Bocchesi, which fill the streets of Cattaro, not without a meaning. Seafaring folk are apt to wear the dress of their calling rather than that of their race, and the island city cannot be made such a centre for a large rural population as the cities on the mainland. But, if the men to be seen at Curzola are less picturesque than the men to be seen at Spalato or Ragusa, their dwellings make up for the lack. Curzola is a perfect specimen of a Venetian town. It is singular how utterly everything earlier 206 than the final Venetian occupation of 1420 has passed away. The Greek colonist has left no sign of himself but the site. Of Roman, of earlier mediæval, times there is nothing to be seen beyond an inscription or two, one of which, a fragment worked into the pavement of one of the steep streets, records the connexion which once was between Curzola and Hungary. With præ-Venetian inscriptions we may class one which is post-Venetian, and which records another form of foreign dominion, one which may be classed with that of Lewis the Great as at least better than those which went between them. From 1813 to 1815—a time memorable at Curzola as well as at Cattaro—the island was under English rule, and the time of English rule was looked on as a time of freedom, compared with French rule before or with Austrian rule both before and after. It is not only that an official inscription speaks of the island as "libertate fruens" at the moment when the connexion was severed; we believe that we are justified in saying that those two years live in Black-Korkyraian memory as the one time for many ages when the people of Black Korkyra were let alone.

The formerly cathedral church is the only building in the town of Curzola which suggests any thought that it can be older than 1420. Documentary evidence, we believe, is scanty, and contains no mention 207 of the church earlier than the thirteenth century. In England we should at first sight be tempted to assign the internal arcades to the latter days of the twelfth; but the long retention of earlier forms which is so characteristic of the architecture of this whole region makes it quite possible that they may be no earlier than the Venetian times to which we must certainly attribute the west front. Setting aside a later addition to the north, which is no improvement, this little duomo consists of a nave and aisles of five bays, ending in three round apses. Five bays we say, though on the north side there are only four arches; for the tower occupies one at the west end. The inner arcades and the west doorway are worthy of real study, as contributions to the stock of what is at any rate singular in architecture; indeed a more honourable word might fairly be used. The arcades consist of plain pointed arches rising from columns with richly carved capitals, and, like so many columns of all ages in this region, with tongues of foliage at their bases. Above is a small triforium, a pair of round arches over each bay; above that is a clerestory of windows which within seem to be square, but which outside are found to be broad pointed lancets with their heads cut off. In England or France such a composition as this would certainly, at the first sight of its general effect, be set down as belonging to the 208 time of transition between Romanesque and Gothic, to the days of Richard of Poitou and Philip Augustus. And the proportions are just as good as they would be in England or France; there is not a trace of that love of ungainly sprawling arches which ruins half the so-called Gothic churches of Italy. But, when we look at the capitals, we begin to doubt. They are singularly rich and fine; but they are not rich and fine according to any received pattern. They are eminently not classical; they have nothing more than that faint Corinthian stamp which no floriated capital seems able quite to throw away; they do not come anything like so near to the original model as the capitals at Canterbury, at Sens, or even at Lisieux. But neither do they approach to any of the received Romanesque or Byzantine types, nor have they a trace of the freedom which belongs to the English foliage of days only a little later. They are more like, though still not very much like, our foliage of the fourteenth century; there is a massiveness about them, a kind of cleaving to the shape of the block, which after all has something Byzantine about it. Those on the north side have figures wrought among the foliage; the four responds have the four evangelistic symbols. Here then we cannot fail to find the lion of Saint Mark, but we find him only in his place as one of a company of 209 four. Would the devotion of the Most Serene Republic have allowed its patron anywhere so lowly a place as this to occupy? Otherwise the character of the capitals, which extends to the small shafts in the triforium, might tempt us to assign a far later date to these columns and arches than their general effect would suggest. But at all events they are thoroughly mediæval; there is not the faintest trace of Renaissance about them.

Outside the church, the usual mixed character of the district comes out more strongly. The addition to the north, and the tower worked in instead of standing detached, go far to spoil what would otherwise be a simple and well-proportioned Italian front. Both the round window—of course there is a round window—and the great doorway are worthy of notice. The window is not a mere wheel; the diverging lines run off into real tracery, such as we might see in either England or France. The doorway is a curious example of the way in which for a long time in these regions, the square head, the round arch, and the pointed arch, were for some purposes used almost indifferently. The tradition of the square-headed doorway with the arched tympanum over it never died out. We may believe that the mighty gateways and doorways of Diocletian's palace set the general model for all ages. But when the pointed arch came 210 in, the tympanum might be as well pointed as round. Sometimes the pointed tympanum crowns a thoroughly round-headed doorway, and is itself crowned with a square spandril, looking wonderfully like a piece of English Perpendicular. In the west doorway at Curzola things do not go quite to such lengths as this; but they go a good way. The square doorway is crowned by a pointed tympanum, containing the figure of a bishop; over that again is a kind of canopy. This is formed of a round arch, springing from a pair of lions supported on projections such as those which are constantly used, specially at Curzola, for the support of balconies. The lions which in many places would have supported the columns of the doorway seem, though wingless, to have flown up to this higher post. For here the doorway has nothing to be called columns, nothing but small shafts, twisted and otherwise, continued in the mouldings of the arch. The cornice under the low gable is very rich; the tower is of no great account, except the parapet, and the octagon and cupola which crown it, a rich and graceful piece of work of that better kind of Renaissance which we claim as really Romanesque.

In the general view of the town from the sea this tower counts for more than it does when we come close up to it in the nearest approach to a piazza 211 which Curzola can boast. It is the crown of the whole mass of buildings rising from the water. At Curzola the fortifications are far more to the taste of the antiquary than they are at Ragusa; they fence things round at the bottom, instead of hiding everything from the top. We may shut our eyes to a modern fort or two on the hills; the walls of the town itself, where they are left, are picturesque mediæval walls broken by round towers, on some of which the winged lion does not fail to show himself. He presides again over a loggia by the seashore, one of those buildings with nondescript columns, which may be of any date, which most likely are of very late date, but which, because they are simply straightforward and sensible, are pleasing, whatever may be their date. Here they simply support a wooden roof, without either arch or entablature. And while we are seated under the lion in the loggia, we may look down at another lion in a sculptured fragment by the shore, in company with a female half-figure, something of the nature of a siren, Nereid, or mermaid, who seems an odd yoke-fellow for the Evangelist. He seems more in his natural place over the gate by which we shall most likely enter the town, a gate of 1643, itself square-headed, but with pointed vaulting within. Its inscriptions do not fail to commemorate the Trojan Antênor as founder of Black Korkyra, along with 212 a more modern ruler, the Venetian John-Baptist Grimani. To the right hand, curiosity is raised by a series of inscriptions which have been carefully scratched out. About them there are many guesses and many traditions. One cannot help thinking that the deed was more likely to be done by the French than by the Austrian intruder. To scratch out an inscription is a foolish and barbarous act; but it implies an understanding of its meaning and a misapplied kind of vigour, which, of the two stolen eagles, was more likely to flourish under the single-headed one. The double-headed pretender, by the way, though he is seen rather too often in these parts, is seldom wrought in such lasting materials as Saint Mark's lion. So, when the good time comes, the stolen badge of Empire may, at Curzola as at Venice and Verona, pass away and be no more seen, without any destruction of monuments, old or new.

We are now fairly in the town. The best way to see Curzola thoroughly is for the traveller to make his way how he will to the ridge of the peninsula, and then systematically to visit the steep and narrow streets, going in regular order down one and up another. There is not one which does not contain some bit of domestic architecture which is well worth looking at. But he should first walk along the ridge itself from the gate by the isthmus to the point 213 where the ground begins to slope to the sea opposite Sabioncello. Hard by the gate is the town-hall, Obcina, as it is now marked in the native speech. The mixed style—most likely of the seventeenth century—of these parts comes out here in its fulness. Columns and round arches which would satisfy any reasonable Romanesque ideal, support square windows which are relieved from ugliness by a slight moulding, the dentel—akin to our Romanesque billet—which is seen everywhere. But in a projecting building, which is clearly of a piece with the rest, columns with nondescript capitals support pointed arches. Opposite to the town-hall is one of the smaller churches, most of which are of but little importance. This one bears the name of Saint Michael, and is said to have formerly been dedicated to Orthodox worship. It shows however no sign of such use, unless we are to count the presence of a little cupola over the altar. We pass along the ridge, by a house where the projection for balconies, so abundant everywhere, puts on a specially artistic shape, being wrought into various forms, human and animal. Opposite the cathedral the houses display some characteristic forms of the local style, and we get more fully familiar with them, as we plunge into the steep streets, following the regular order which has been already prescribed. Some graceful scrap meets us 214 at every step; the pity is that the streets are so narrow that it needs some straining of the neck to see those windows which are set at all high in the walls. For it is chiefly windows which we light upon: very little care seems to have been bestowed on the doorways. A square or segmental-headed doorway, with no attempt at ornament, was thought quite enough for a house for whose windows the finest work of the style was not deemed too good. Indeed the contrasts are so odd that, in the finest house in Curzola, in one of the streets leading down eastward from the cathedral, a central story for which magnificent would not be too strong a word is placed between these simple doorways below and no less simple square-headed windows above. This is one of the few houses in Curzola where the windows are double or triple divided by shafts. Most of the windows are of a single light, with a pointed, an ogee, or even a round head, but always, we think, with the eminently Venetian trefoil, and with the jambs treated as a kind of pilaster. With windows of this kind the town of Curzola is thick-set in every quarter. We may be sure that there is nothing older than the Venetian occupation, and that most of the houses are of quite late date, of the sixteenth and even the seventeenth century. The Venetian style clave to mediæval forms of window long after the Renaissance 215 had fully set in in everything else. And for an obvious reason; whatever attractions the Renaissance might have from any other point of view, in the matter of windows at least it hopelessly failed. In the streets of Curzola therefore we meet with an endless store of windows, but with little else. Yet here and there there are other details. The visitor will certainly be sent to see a door-knocker in a house in one of the streets on the western slope. There Daniel between two lions is represented in fine bronze work. And some Venetian effigies, which would doubtless prove something for local history, may be seen in the same court. Of the houses in Curzola not a few are roofless; not a few have their rich windows blocked; not a few stand open for the visitor to see their simple inside arrangements. The town can still make some show on a day of festival; but it is plain that the wealth and life of Curzola passed away when it ceased to be the arsenal of Venice. And poverty has one incidental advantage; it lets things fall to ruin, but it does not improve or restore.

Two monasteries may be seen within an easy distance of the town. That of Saint Nicolas, approached by a short walk along the shore to the north-west, makes rather an imposing feature in the general view from the sea; but it is disappointing 216 when we come near. Yet it illustrates some of the local tendencies; a very late building, as it clearly is, it still keeps some traces of earlier ideas. Two equal bodies, each with a pointed barrel-vault, might remind us of some districts of our own island, and, with nothing else that can be called mediæval detail, the round window does not fail to appear. The other monastery, best known as the Badia, once a house of Benedictines, afterwards of Franciscans, stands on a separate island, approached by a pleasant sail. The church has not much more to show than the other; but it too illustrates the prevalent mixture of styles which comes out very instructively in the cloister. This bears date 1477, as appears from an inscription over one of its doors. But this doorway is flat-headed and has lost all mediæval character, while the cloister itself is a graceful design with columns and trefoil arches, which in other lands one would attribute to a much earlier date. The library contains some early printed books and some Greek manuscripts, none seemingly of any great intrinsic value. A manuscript of Dionysios Periêgêtês is described as the property of the Korkyraian Nicolas and his friends. (Νικολάου Κερκυραίου καὶ τῶν φίλων. ) Nicolas had a surname, but unluckily it has passed away from our memory and from our notes. But the local description which he has given of himself makes us ask, 217 Did the book come from Corfu, or did any citizen of Black Korkyra think it had a learned look so to describe himself?

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

RAGUSA.

218

1875—1877—1881.


The voyage onward from Curzola will lead, as its next natural stopping-place, to Ragusa. At Curzola, or before he reaches Curzola, the traveller will have made acquaintance with what was once the territory of the Ragusan commonwealth, in the shape of the long peninsula of Sabioncello. He will have seen how all the winged lions of Curzola look out so threateningly towards the narrow tongue of land which bowed to Saint Blaise and not to Saint Mark. He will pass by Meleda, that one among the larger islands which obeyed Ragusan and not Venetian rule. After Meleda the islands cease to be the most important features in the geography or in the prospect. They end, so far as they give any character to the scene, in the group which lies off the mouth of the inlet of Gravosa and Ombla, the ordinary path to Ragusa. But he who would really take in the peculiar position of Ragusa will do well to pass by the city on his outward 219 voyage, to go on to Cattaro, and to take Ragusa on the way back. The wisdom of so doing springs directly out of the history of the city. The haven, which is said—and we have no better derivation to suggest—to have given its name to argosies, could certainly not give shelter to a modern argosy. Nothing but smaller craft now make their way to Ragusa herself; steamers and everything else stop at the port of Gravosa. It has been only quite lately, long since the earlier visits which gave birth to the present sketches, that Ragusan enterprise has so far again awakened as to send a single steamer at long intervals from the true Ragusan haven to Trieste. He therefore who visits Ragusa on his outward voyage has to land at Gravosa and to make his way to Ragusa by land. He thus loses the first sight of the city from the sea which he has had at Zara and Spalato, and which at Ragusa is, setting special associations aside, even more striking than at Zara and Spalato. Before he sees Ragusa from the water, as Ragusa was made to be seen, he has already made acquaintance with the city in a more prosaic fashion. He will not indeed have had his temper soured by the inconveniences which Sir Gardner Wilkinson had to put up with more than thirty years ago. There is no more delay at the gate of Ragusa, there is no more difficulty in finding a carriage to take the traveller from Gravosa to Ragusa, 220 than there is in the most frequented regions of the West. Still, in such a case, the traveller sees Ragusa for the first time from the land, and Ragusa of all places ought to be seen for the first time from the sea. Seen in this way, the general effect of Ragusa is certainly more striking than that of any other Dalmatian city; and it is so in some measure because the effect of Ragusa, whether looked at with the bodily eye or seen in the pages of its history, is above all things a general effect. There is not, as there is at Zara and at Spalato, any particular moment in the history of the city, any particular object in the city itself, which stands out prominently above all others. We draw near to Zara, and say, "There is the city that was stormed by the Crusaders," and, though we find much at Zara to awaken interest on other grounds, the crusading siege still remains the first thing. We draw near to Spalato; we see the palace and the campanile, and round the palace and the campanile everything gathers. We draw near to Ragusa; the eye is struck by no such prominent object; the memory seizes on no such prominent fact. But there is Ragusa; there is the one spot along that whole coast from the Croatian border to Cape Tainaros itself, which never came under the dominion either of the Venetian or of the Turk. Ragusa will be found at different times standing in something like a tributary or dependent relation to 221 both those powers, but it never was actually incorporated with the dominions of either. In this Ragusa stands alone among the cities of the whole coast, Dalmatian, Albanian, and Greek. Among all the endless confusions and fluctuations of power in those regions, Ragusa stands alone as having ever kept its place, always as a separate, commonly as an independent, commonwealth. It lived on from the break-up of the Byzantine power on those coasts till the day when the elder Buonaparte, in the mere caprice of tyranny, without provocation of any kind, declared one day that the Republic of Ragusa had ceased to exist. This is the history of Ragusa, a history whose general effect is as striking as any history can be. It is a history too which, if we dig into its minute details, is full of exciting incidents, but not of incidents which, like the one incident in the history of Zara, stand out in the general history of Europe. There is, to be sure, one incident in Ragusan history which may claim some attention at the hands of Englishmen, and ought to claim more at the hands of Poitevins. Count Richard of Poitou, who was also by a kind of accident King of England, and who in the course of his reign paid England two very short visits, paid also a visit to Ragusa which was perhaps still shorter. But this again is an incident of mere curiosity. The homeward voyage and captivity of Richard had some effect on 222 the general affairs of the world; his special visit to Ragusa affected only the local affairs of Ragusa. Ragusan history then may either be taken in at a glance, and a most striking glance it is; or else it may be studied with the minute zeal of a local antiquary. There is no intermediate point from which it can be looked at. In the general history of Europe Ragusa stands out, as the city itself stands out to the eye of the traveller, as that one among the famous cities of the Dalmatian and Albanian coast where the Lion of Saint Mark is not to be seen.

As is the history, so is the general effect. As we sail past Ragusa, as we look at the city from any of the several points which the voyage opens to us, we say at once, Here is one of the most striking sights of our whole voyage; but we cannot at once point our finger to any one specially striking object. There are good campaniles, but there is nothing very special about them; there are castles and towers in abundance, but each by itself on any other site would be passed by without any special remark. What does call for special remark and special admiration is the city itself, at once rising from the sea and fenced in from the sea by its lofty walls. It is the shore, with its rocks and its small inlets, each rock seized on as the site of a fortress. It is the background of hills, forming themselves a natural rampart, but with the artificial 223 defences carried up and along them to their very crest. Here we are not tempted, as we are tempted at some points of our voyage, to forget that our voyage is one by sea, and to fancy that we are floating gently on some Swiss or Italian lake. Ragusa does not stand on a deep inlet like Cattaro, on a bay like Spalato, on a peninsula like Zara, fenced in by islands on one side and by the opposite shore of its haven on the other. Ragusa does indeed stand on a peninsula, but it is a peninsula of quite another kind; a peninsula of hills and rocks and inlets, offering a bold front to the full force of the open sea. One island indeed, La Croma, lies like a guard-ship anchored in front of the city, but we feel that La Croma is strictly an island of the sea. The islands of the more northern coast form as it were a wall to shelter the coast itself. And such a function seems specially to be laid upon the small islands which lie off the mouth of Ragusa's modern haven at Gravosa. Covered indeed as they are with modern fortifications, it is not merely in a figure that it is laid upon them. But La Croma fills no such function. The city of argosies boldly fronts the sea on which her argosies were to sail, and fiercely do the waves of that sea sometimes dash upon her rocks. Ragusa seems the type of a city which has to struggle with the element on which her life is cast, while Venice is the type of a city which has, in the sense of her 224 own yearly ceremony, brought that element wholly under her dominion.

As we look up from the sea to the mountains, we feel yet more strongly how purely Ragusa was a city of the sea. Venice was an inland power on that Italian land off which she herself lay anchored. She might pass for an inland power even on the Ragusan side of the Hadriatic. The Dalmatian territory of Venice looks on the map like a narrow strip; but, compared with the Ragusan coast, the Venetian coast has a wide Venetian mainland to the back of it. But Ragusa lies at the foot of the mountains, and the crest of the mountains was her boundary. She has always sat on a little ledge of civilization, for four centuries on a little ledge of Christendom, with a measureless background of barbarism behind her. Those hills, the slopes of which begin in the streets of the city, once fenced in a ledge of Hellenic land from the native barbarians of Illyricum. Then they fenced in a ledge of Roman land from the Slavonic invader. Lastly, when we first looked on them, when we first crossed them, they still fenced in a ledge of Christian land from the dominion of the Infidel. And the newest arrangements of diplomacy make it still not wholly impossible to use the language which we used then. The Archduke of Austria and King of Dalmatia is immediate sovereign of Ragusa and her ancient territory; 225 when we cross the line between Ragusa and Herzegovina, he rules only in the character familiar to some even of his Imperial forefathers, that of the man of the Turk. The Christian prince simply "administers;" it is the Infidel Sultan who is still held to reign. To form such a boundary as this has been no mean calling for the heights which look down upon Ragusa. It is well to climb those heights, best of all to climb them by the road which so lately led, which we might almost say still leads, from civilization to barbarism, from Christendom to Islam, and to look down on the city nestling between the sea and the mountains. The view is of the same kind as the view of the city from the sea. Rocks, inlets, walls, and towers, come out in new and varied groupings, but there is still no one prominent object. La Croma indeed, with its fallen monastery—its fortress is not seen—now comes in as a prominent object. But it shows by its very prominence the difference between this part of the Dalmatian coast, with its one island, all but invisible on the map, lying close to the shore, and the two archipelagos, one of small and obscure, one of great and historic islands, which the voyager has already passed by.

It would thus be well if we could look on Ragusa both from the sea and from the mountains before we approach the city by the one possible to reach it, by 226 the road which leads from its port of Gravosa. This last is a picturesque haven of thoroughly Dalmatian character, lying on a smooth inlet with a small fertile fringe between the water and the mountains. The road, rising and falling, looking out on both the mountains and the sea, leads along among villas and chapels which gradually grow into a suburb till we reach the gate. Here we see not a few ruined houses, houses which have remained ruined for nearly seventy years, houses whose ruin was wrought by Montenegrin hands in the days when Ragusa was an unwilling possession of France and Montenegro a valued ally of England. But, before we reach the gate, we see what there was not in the time of Sir Gardner Wilkinson, carriages standing for hire, carriages no very long drive in which will take us over the late borders of Christendom. In that suburb too the traveller will most likely take up his quarters—quarters, it may be, looking down straight on the rocks and waves. And there, when war was raging at no great distance, and when Ragusa was the special centre of the purveyors of news, he was sure to hear both the latest truths and the latest fables. But he is still outside the city. No city brings better home to us than Ragusa the Eastern hyperbole of cities great and fenced up to heaven. We must leave the military architect to discuss their military merits or demerits. To the non-professional observer they seem 227 to belong to that type of fortification, between mediæval and modern, which in these lands we naturally call Venetian, inapplicable as that name is at Ragusa. But they have clearly been strengthened and extended in more modern times. The city lies in a kind of hollow between the lower slopes of the mountain on one side, and a ridge which lies between the mountain and the sea, and which thus adds greatly to the appearance of the fortifications as seen from the sea. The one main street of Ragusa, the Stradone, thus lies in a valley with narrow streets running down towards it on both sides. Indeed, before the great earthquake of 1667 which destroyed so much of old Ragusa, part at least of this wide street was covered with water as a canal. It is so pent in with buildings that we hardly feel how near we are to the sea; yet the small port, the true port of Ragusa, is very near at hand. The two ends of the Stradone are guarded by gates, which lead up—for the ascent is considerable—to the outer gates at either end, still strong and still guarded, reminding us that we are in what is still really a border city. And over those gates we see, not the winged lion for which we have learned to look almost instinctively everywhere on these coasts, but the figure of Saint Blaise, San Biagio, the patron of Ragusa, whose relics form some of the choicest treasures in the rich hoard of her once metropolitan church. We pass 228 under the saintly effigy, and we find that within the walls the general aspect of the city is comparatively modern. Most of the buildings, the metropolitan church among them, were rebuilt after a great earthquake in 1667. Such remains however of old Ragusa as are still left are of such surpassing interest in the history of architecture that we must keep them for a more special examination.

The history of Ragusa, as we have already said, is of a kind which must either be taken in at a glance or else dealt with in the minutest detail. All Dalmatian history for a good many centuries wants a more thorough sifting than has ever been brought to bear upon it. It wants it all the more because it is so closely connected with early Venetian history, than which no history is more utterly untrustworthy. But we may safely gather that Ragusa had its origin in the destruction of the Greek city of Epidauros, now Ragusa Vecchia. The old Epidaurian colony fell, like Salona, before the barbarians. Its inhabitants had no ready-made city to flee to, but they founded a city on the rocks which became Raousion or Ragusa. Whether any part of the Ragusan peninsula had ever become a dwelling-place of men at any earlier time it is needless to inquire. It is enough that Ragusa now became a city. As to the name of the city, our Imperial guide helps us to one of his strange etymologies. 229 With him Epidauros has sunk into Πίταυρα—the t seems to have supplanted the d at a much earlier time—and the city on the rocks which its exiles founded was first called from its site Λαύσιον, which by vulgar use (ἡ κοινὴ συνήθεια, ἡ πολλάκις μεταφθείρουσα τὰ ὀνόματα τῇ ἐναλλαγῇ τῶν γραμμάτων ) became Ῥαούσιον. He tells us that, ἐπεὶ ἐπάνω τῶν κρημνῶν ἵσταται, λέγεται δὲ Ῥωμαϊστὶ ὁ κρημνὸς λαῦ, ἐκλήθησαν ἐκ τούτου Λαυσαῖοι, ἤγουν οἱ καθεζόμενοι εἰς τὸν κρημνόν . What tongue is meant by Ῥωμαϊστί? It is only because the strange form λαῦ seems to come one degree nearer to λᾶας ἀναιδής than to anything in Latin, that it dawns on us that it means Greek. But, under whatever name, the city on the rocks, small at first, strengthened by refugees from Salona, grew and prospered, and remained one of the outlying Roman or Greek posts which in the days of Constantine, as now, fringed the already barbarian land.

For some centuries after the time of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, the history of Ragusa defies abridgement. It is one web of intricate complications between the Emperors of the East and West, the Republic of Venice, the Kings of Hungary, Dalmatia, and Bosnia. Somewhat later the story begins to be more intelligible, when the actors get pretty well reduced to Venice, the Turk, and the Empire in a new form, that of Charles the Fifth. The republic of Ragusa 230 contrived, which must surely have needed a good deal of skill, to keep on good terms at once with Charles and his son Philip and with their Turkish enemies. Yet Ragusa, though never incorporated by anything earlier than the dominion of Buonaparte, stood at different times in a kind of dependent relation both to Venice and to the Turk. At an earlier time the commonwealth for a short time received a Venetian Count. He was doubtless only meant to be like a foreign podestà, but Venice was a very dangerous place for Ragusa to bring a podestà from. In her later days Ragusa must be looked on as being under the protection of the Porte; but it was a protection which in no way interfered with her full internal freedom—such freedom at least as is consistent with the rule of an oligarchy. The geography of Dalmatia keeps to this day a curious memorial of the feeling which made Ragusa dread the Turk less than she dreaded Venice. To this day the Dalmatian kingdom does not extend continuously along the Dalmatian coast. At two points territory which till late changes was nominally Turkish, which is still only "administered," not "governed," by its actual ruler, comes down to the Hadriatic coast. These are at Klek, at the bottom of the gulf formed by the long Ragusan peninsula of Sabioncello, and at Sutorina on the Bocche di Cattaro. These two points mark the two ends of the narrow 231 strip of coast which formed the territory of Ragusa. Rather than have a common frontier with Venice at either end, Ragusa willingly allowed the dominions of the Infidel to come down to her own sea on either side of her.

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

One point in the history of Ragusa which needs a more thorough explanation than it has yet found is 232 the fact that the Roman or Greek city, founded by men who had escaped from barbarian invaders—who must surely have been largely Slavonic—has become so pre-eminently a Slavonic city. There is no Italian party at Ragusa. Not that the city is strongly Panslavonic; the memory of local freedom has survived through both forms of foreign rule. The Ragusan aristocracy is Slavonic, and the Slavonic language holds quite another position at Ragusa from what it holds, for example, at Spalato. There all that claims to be literature and cultivation is Italian; at Ragusa, though Italian is familiarly spoken, the native literature and cultivation is distinctly Slave. The difference is marked in the very names of the two cities. Spalato is in Slavonic Spljet, a mere corruption of the corrupt Latin name. But Ragusa, on Slavonic lips—that is on the lips of its own citizens speaking their own language—is Dubrovnik, a perfectly independent Slavonic name. It may be the name of some Slavonic suburb or neighbouring settlement—like the Wendisches Dorf at Lüneburg—but at all events it is no corruption, no translation, of Latin Ragusa or of Constantine's Raousion.

As for King Richard, the Ragusan story is that he built the cathedral which was destroyed in 1667. It is said that he vowed to build a church on the island 233 of La Croma, and that this purpose was changed into building one in the city instead of the former cathedral, while the commonwealth of Ragusa built a church on the island. La Croma thus becomes connected with the memory of two princes who died of thrusting themselves in matters which did not concern them. Richard, Count and King, might have lived longer if he had not quarrelled with his vassal at Limoges; Maximilian, Archduke and self-styled Emperor, was perfectly safe at La Croma, but when he took up the trade of a party-leader in Mexico, he could hardly look for anything but a Mexican party-leader's end. Of the monastery which formed his dwelling-place the great church is so utterly desecrated and spoiled that hardly anything can be made out. But a good deal remains of the cloister, and at a little distance stand the ruins of a beautiful little triapsidal basilica, which surely, all save a few additions, belongs to the age of the Lion-hearted King. Indeed we should be tempted to fix on this, rather than any other church of Ragusa or its island, as the work of Richard himself. It looks greatly as if a Count of Poitiers and Duke of Aquitaine had had a hand in it. A single wide body, with three apses opening into it, is not a Dalmatian idea, as it is not an English idea. But something like it might easily be found in Richard's own land of southern Gaul. 234

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

Two other rather longer excursions than that to La Croma may be profitably made from Ragusa. There is, first of all, the short voyage to the site of the city which Ragusa supplanted, the Dalmatian Epidauros, now known by the odd name of Ragusa Vecchia. Beyond a few inscriptions, there is really next to nothing to be seen of the ancient city besides its site; but the site is well worthy of study. It is thoroughly the site for a Greek colony, and it has much in common with the more famous site of Korkyra 235 and Epidamnos. The city occupied a peninsula, sheltered on the one hand by the mainland, on the other by another promontory, forming the outer horn of a small bay. In this position the town had the sea on every side; it had a double harbour, and was at the same time thoroughly sheltered on both sides. Such a site was the perfection of Greek colonial ideas. We have now got far away indeed from the earliest type of city—the hill-fort which dreads the sea, and which finds the need of the haven, and of the long walls to join the haven to the city, only in later times. The highest point of the promontory, the akropolis—if we can use that name in a city of such late date—is now forsaken, crowned only by a burying-ground and sepulchral church. The view is a noble one, looking out on the mainland and the sea, with the neighbouring island crowned by a forsaken monastery, and directly in front Ragusa herself on her rocks, with the beginnings of the Dalmatian archipelago rising in the distance. The modern town, which is hardly more than a village, with two or three churches and a small amount of fortification, covers the isthmus and the lower ground of the promontory. Such is all that is left of the northern city of Asklêpios, the city which played its part alike in the wars of Cæsar and in the wars of Belisarius, which in the great revolution that followed the Slavonic 236 inroads perished to give birth to the more abiding city from which it has strangely borrowed its later name. That Ragusa Vecchia has so little to show is no ground for despising it or passing it by; the very lack of remains in some sort adds to the interest of the spot.

The voyage from New to Old Ragusa is not a long one. A shorter land journey on the same side of the city will lead to the sea-side village of Breno, which will not supply the traveller with anything in the antiquarian line, but which will reward him with a good deal of Dalmatian mountain and land scenery, especially with a waterfall, though one not quite on the scale of Kerka. And, to those who peer pryingly into all corners, the little inn of the place will suggest some memories of very modern history. That piece of history it has been the interest of exalted personages to keep unknown, and their efforts have been crowned with a remarkable degree of success. As the inn at Curzola contains picture memories of an unsuccessful struggle for freedom in 1848, so the inn at Breno contains picture memories of a more successful struggle waged twenty-one years later in the same cause and against the same enemy. When in 1869 the present ruler of Austria and Dalmatia strove, in defiance of every chartered right and every royal promise, to trample under foot the ancient rights of the freemen 237 of the Bocche di Cattaro, the troops of the foreign intruder were driven back in ignominious defeat by the brave men of the mountains, and the master who had sent them was forced to renew the promises which he had striven to break. People still chatter about the mythical exploits of Tell, but hardly any one has heard of this little piece of successful resistance to oppression done only twelve years back. The deed is not forgotten by the neighbours of those who did it, and in the inn at Breno rude pictures may be seen showing the victorious Bocchese driving the troops of the stranger down those heights which at Vienna or at Budapest it seemed so easy a matter to bring into bondage. Strange to say, the pictures which record this Slavonic triumph have the legend beneath them in the High-Dutch tongue. Stranger still, it is the eye only and not the ear by which any knowledge of the matter is to be picked up. The wary native, even when spoken to in his own tongue, will not enlarge on the subjects of those pictures to a man in Western garb. It is perhaps not without reason if a stranger in Western garb is suspected in those parts to be a spy of the enemy.

If the voyage from New to Old Ragusa is not a long one, the sail on the other side of the city up the river's mouth to Ombla is shorter still. Its starting-point will be, not Ragusa itself but its port of Gravosa. 238 Here the main object is scenery; but several houses, one at least of which will deserve some further mention, a nearly forsaken monastery with a good bell-tower and a not ungraceful church, and one or two living or forsaken chapels may be taken in, and they help us to complete some inferences as to the architecture of the district. But our business at this moment is mainly with the basin which lies at the foot of the limestone rock. The hills of Greece and Dalmatia constantly suggest, to one who knows the West of England, the kindred, though far lowlier, hills of Mendip. As the gorge under the akropolis of Mykênê at once suggests the gorge of Cheddar, so the basin of the Trebenitza at Ombla suggests, though the scale is larger, the basin of the Axe at Wookey Hole. The river runs out from the bottom of the rocks, and, to those who have been adventurous enough to cross the heights and to make their way through the desolate land of Herzegovina—the very land of limestone in all forms—as far as Trebinje, the river that reappears at Ombla is an old friend. There seems no doubt that it is the Trebenitza which, after hiding itself in a katabothra, comes out again to light in the Ombla basin. The journey to Trebinje itself is in its own nature less exciting now than it was in 1875. What it was when the drive thither from Ragusa enabled the traveller to say that he had 239 been into "Turkey," and that he had seen a little of a land in a state of warfare, may perhaps be worth some separate mention. At present it is reported that Trebinje is cleaner than it was then, that it has been adorned with a Rudolfsplatz, and that justice is there administered to its Slavonic folk, Christian and Mussulman, in the tongue of which Rudolfsplatz is a specimen. It would therefore seem that the direct rule of the stranger is at least better than his "administration." At Ragusa men are allowed to speak their own tongue in which they were born.

RAGUSAN ARCHITECTURE.

240

1875—1877—1881.


We have spoken in a former article of the general aspect and the historical position of the city and commonwealth of Ragusa, her hills, her walls, her havens, her union of freedom from the lion of Saint Mark with half dependence on the crescent of Mahomet. But this ancient and isolated city has yet something more to tell of. There are several of the municipal and domestic buildings of the fallen republic, buildings which, as far as we know, have never been described or illustrated in detail in any English work, and of which no worthy representation can be found on the spot. In the work of Eitelberger much will be found; but for the ordinary English student there is no help at all. Yet, on the strength of these buildings, Ragusa may really claim a place among those cities which stand foremost in the history of architectural progress. And this fact is the more remarkable, and the more to be insisted on, because of the seemingly general belief that there is little or 241 nothing to see at Ragusa in the way of architecture. But the truth is that far more of the old city escaped the earthquake of 1667 than would be thought at first sight. Because the cathedral is later, because the general aspect of the main street is later, the idea is suggested that nothing is left but the municipal palace. That alone would be a most important exception, but it is by no means the only one. If the traveller leaves the main street and turns up the narrow alleys which run from it up the hills on either side, alleys many of them which, at present at least, lead to nothing, he will find many scraps of domestic architecture which must belong to times earlier than the great blow of the seventeenth century. Signs of that blow are seen in many places in the form of scraps of detail of various kinds irregularly built up in the wall; but there are a great number of pointed doorways still in their places which no man can think are later than 1667. Some of these are simply pointed; others combine the pointed arch with the tympanum, sometimes with both the tympanum and the spandril. There is also a not unpleasing type of Renaissance doorway, a lintel resting on two pilasters with floriated capitals, which one can hardly believe are due to a time so late as the days after the earthquake. At all events, if they are later than the earthquake, they only go to strengthen the general 242 position which we have to lay down, namely the way in which early forms lived on at Ragusa to an amazingly late date. This same examination of the narrow streets will also bring to light a few, but only a few, windows of the Venetian Gothic. The strength of Ragusa, as far as scraps of this kind are concerned, undoubtedly lies in its doorways.

Franciscan Church, Ragusa

TOWER OF FRANCISCAN CHURCH, RAGUSA.

In the churches too there is more left than the mere scraps which are built up again. Parts at least of the tall towers—neither of them detached—of the Franciscan and Dominican churches, the former in the main street, the latter near the eastern gate, are also earlier. In the former the line of junction between the older tower and the ugly church which has been built up against it is clearly to be seen. The upper stage of this tower, and the small cupola which crowns it, may be later than the earthquake; but if so, they have caught the spirit of earlier work in an unusual degree, and all the lower part is in a form of Italian Gothic less unpleasing than usual. Both this tower and that of the Dominican church show how long the general type of the earliest Romanesque campaniles went on. Save in the small cupola, this tower has the perfect air, and almost the details, of a tower of the eleventh century: three ranges of windows with mid-wall shafts rise over one another; only they are grouped under containing arches in 243 what in England we should call a Norman fashion. But, as this tower forms part of a Dominican monastery, it cannot be earlier than the thirteenth century, and its smaller details also cannot belong to any earlier date. Yet the general effect of this tower, even more than of the other, is that of a tower of the Primitive type. The Dominican church also keeps some details of Italian Gothic which must be older than the earthquake, and the cloister is one of the best specimens of that style. Its groupings of tracery under round arches, the poverty of design in the tracery itself, strike us as weak, if our thoughts go back to Salisbury or to Zürich; but the general effect is good, and the cloister—as distinguished from the buildings above it—may almost be called beautiful. Of more importance in the history of Ragusan architecture is the Franciscan cloister. Being Franciscan, it cannot be earlier than the thirteenth century, and it may well be much later. But it is essentially Romanesque in style. The general effect of the tall shafts which support its narrow round arches differs indeed a good deal from the general effect of the more massive Romanesque cloisters to which we are used elsewhere. But it is essentially one with them in style, and it is one of the many witnesses to the way in which at Ragusa early forms were kept in use till a late time. 244

But the architectural glory of Ragusa is certainly not to be looked for among its churches. The most truly instructive work that Ragusa has to show in any of its ecclesiastical buildings does not show itself at first sight, and its full significance is not likely to be understood till the civic and domestic buildings of the city and its suburbs have been well studied. When this has been done, it will be easily seen that certain arches and capitals in the subordinate buildings of the Dominican church have their part in the history of Ragusan art; but the great civic buildings must be seen and mastered first. Of these two of the highest interest escaped the common overthrow. They both show the Italian Gothic in its best shape; but they also show something else which is of far higher value. They show that peculiar form of Renaissance which can hardly be called Renaissance in any bad sense, which is in truth a last outburst of Romanesque, a living child of classical forms, not a dead imitation of them. Examples of this kind often meet us in Italy; we see something of it in the north side of the great piazza at Venice as compared with the southern side; but the Ragusan examples go beyond anything that we know of elsewhere. Give the palace of Ragusa—the palace, not of a Doge, but of a Rector—the same size, the same position, as the building which answers to it at Venice, and we should 245 soon see that the city which so long held her own against Venice in other ways could hold her own in art also. The Venetian arcade cannot for a moment be compared to the Ragusan; the main front of the Ragusan building has escaped the addition of the ugly upper story which disfigures the Venetian. As wholes, of course no one can compare the two in general effect. Saint Blaise must yield to Saint Mark. But set Saint Blaise's palace on Saint Mark's site; carry out his arcade to the same boundless extent, and there is little doubt which would be the grander pile. The Venetian building overwhelms by its general effect; the Ragusan building will better stand the test of minute study.

Palace, Ragusa

PALACE, RAGUSA.

The palace of the Ragusan commonwealth was begun in 1388, and finished in 1435, in the reign, as an inscription takes care to announce, of the Emperor Siegmund. What name shall we give to the style of this most remarkable building, at all events to the style of its admirable arcade? Here are six arches—why did not the architect carry on the design through the whole length of the building?—which show what, as late as the fifteenth century, a round-arched style could still do when it followed its natural promptings, instead of either binding itself by slavish precedents or striving after a helpless imitation of foreign forms. Never mind the date; here is Romanesque in all its 246 truth and beauty; here, in the land which gave Rome so many of her greatest Cæsars, the arcade of Ragusa may worthily end the series which began with the arcades of Spalato. Siegmund, the last but one to wear the crown of Diocletian in the Eternal City, has his name not quite unworthily engraved on a building less removed in style than a distance of more than eleven centuries would have led us to expect from the everlasting house of Jovius. Does some pedantic Vitruvian brand the columns as too short? The architect has grasped the truth that, as the arch takes the place of the entablature, the height of the arch may fairly be taken out of the height of the column. Does he blame the massive abaci? They are wrought to bear the greater immediate weight which the arch brings upon the capital, and they avoid such shifts as the Ravenna stilt and the Byzantine double capital. Does he blame the capitals, which certainly do not follow the exact pattern of any Vitruvian order? Let us answer boldly, Why should art be put in fetters? A Corinthian capital is a beautiful form; but why should the hand of man be kept back from devising other beautiful forms? The Ragusan architect has ventured to cover some of his capitals with foliage which does not obey any pedantic rule; in others he has ventured—like the artists of the noble capitals which may still be seen 247 in the Capitol and in Caracalla's baths—to bring in the forms of animal and of human, as well as of vegetable, life. In one point his taste seems slightly to have failed him; on some of the capitals the winged figures with which they are wrought savour a little of the vulgar Renaissance. But who shall blame the capital long ago engraved and commented on by Sir Gardner Wilkinson, in which however a neighbouring inscription shows that tradition was right in seeing the form of Asklêpios, and not that of a mere mortal alchemist, though tradition was certainly wrong in believing that Asklêpios had been brought ready made from his old home at Epidauros? And the capitals bear arches worthy of them, round arches with mouldings and ornaments, which thoroughly fit their shape, though, like the capitals, they do not servilely follow any prescribed rule. Altogether this arcade only makes us wish for more, for a longer range from the same hand. Compare it with the vulgar Italian work of the two neighbouring churches. Pisa and Durham might have stretched out the right hand of fellowship to Romanesque Ragusa before the earthquake; they would have held it back from Jesuited Ragusa after it.

The rest of the front cannot be called worthy of this admirable arcade. The windows behind the arcade are of the worse, those above it are of the better, kind 248 of Italian Gothic. These last in fact are about as good as Italian Gothic can be. They are well proportioned two-light windows with Geometrical tracery, and in the general effect they really agree better than could have been looked for with the admirable arches below. Still they are Italian Gothic, and at Ragusa we should not welcome the loveliest form of tracery that Carlisle or Selby could give us. A Pisan arcade, pierced for light wherever light was wanted, would have been the right thing for the columns and arches to bear aloft. He who duly admires the arcade will do well to shut his eyes as he turns round the corner by the west front of the cathedral; but let him go inside, and the court, if not altogether worthy of the outer arcade, is no contemptible specimen of the same style. It contains one or two monuments of Ragusan worthies. The figure of Roland, which lay there neglected when we first saw Ragusa, has since been set up again in the open piazza. And, strange to say in these lands, it ventures to proclaim itself as having been set up, as it might have been in the old time, by the free act of the commune of Ragusa, without any of those cringing references to a foreign power which are commonly found expedient under foreign rule. The court is entered by a side door with two ancient knockers, one of them a worthy fellow of the great one at Durham or of that which we saw more 249 lately at Curzola. But its chief interest comes from its strictly architectural forms, and from the comparison of them with those which are made use of on the outside. The court is very small, and it is surrounded on all sides, save that which is filled by the grand staircase, by an arcade of two, supporting a second upper range. The composition is thus better than that of the front itself, as there are two harmonious stages in the same style, without any intrusion of foreign elements, like the pointed windows in the front; but the arcades themselves, though very good and simple, do not carry out the wonderful boldness and originality of the outer range. Columns with tongues to their base with flowered capitals, showing a remembrance, but not a servile remembrance, of Corinthian models, support round arches. Over these is the upper range of two round arches over each one below, resting on coupled shafts, the arrangement which, from the so-called tomb of Saint Constantia, has spread to so many Romanesque cloisters and to so many works of the Saracen. Were this range open, instead of being foolishly glazed, this design of two stages of a true Romanesque, simpler, but perhaps more classical, than the outer arcade, would form a design thoroughly harmonious and satisfactory.

Now when we come to examine this inner court more minutely, we shall find that it is certainly of 250 later date than the outer arcade, and that it supplanted earlier work which formed part of the same design as the outer arcade. It is impossible to believe that the court is later than the great earthquake; but 1667 was not the only year in which Ragusa underwent visitations of that kind; and it is an allowable guess that a rebuilding took place after an earlier earthquake in the beginning of the sixteenth century. That some change took place at some time is certain. There are preparations for spanning arches at one point of the outer wall of the court, which could never have agreed with the position of the present columns. And we have a most interesting piece of documentary evidence which carries us further. In a manuscript account of the building of the palace, it is mentioned that at the entrance were two columns, on the capital of one of which was carved the Judgement of Solomon, while the other showed the Rector of Ragusa sitting to administer justice after the model of Solomon. Now this cannot refer to the outer arcade, where none of the capitals show those subjects. Still less is there anything like it in the arcade of the court, nor can there have been since the present arrangement was made. But the description is no freak of the imagination; both capitals are in being; one of them is still within the palace. The capital showing the Rector in his chair dispensing justice to his fellow-citizens 251 is built in at a corner in the upper story of the court. And a capital of exactly the same style, and with the Judgement of Solomon carved on one face of it, may still be seen in the garden of a house outside the city of which we shall have presently to speak. It is thus perfectly plain that the inner court was rebuilt at some time later than the days of Siegmund, and that this rebuilding displaced an inner design more in harmony with the outer arcade, and of which these two capitals formed a part.

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

But the palace must not be spoken of as if it stood 252 altogether alone among the buildings of the city. There is another civic building, which, though it does not reach the full perfection of its great neighbour, must also be treated as a true fruit, in some sort a more remarkable fruit, of the same spirit which called its greater neighbour into being. This is the building which acted at once in the characters of mint and custom-house, the second character being set forth by its name wrought in nails on the great door. This building stands just where the main street and the piazza join, close by the arch leading to the town-gate. Here we have an arcade of five, the columns of which are crowned with capitals, Composite in their general shape, but not slavishly following technical precedents, nor all of them exactly alike. They have a heavy abacus, which, as well as the soffit of the round arch, is enriched with flowered work. One or two of them are none the better for being new chiselled in modern times. Here is something which is quite unlike Northern Romanesque, but which still is absolutely identical with it in principle. The column and the round arch are there in their purity, and the enrichment is of a kind which we instinctively feel is in place at Ragusa, though it would be out of place at Caen or Mainz or Durham. Whatever the date may be, the thing is thoroughly good, incomparably better than either the Italian Gothic or the cosmopolite Jesuit 253 style. Above the arcade are windows with the usual Venetian attempt at tracery, a large square window between two with ogee arches; above is a stage with square windows, which we may hope is a later addition. The merits of the three stages lessen as they get higher. Yet from the date, when we come to find it out, it seems not impossible that the arcade and both the stages above it may really be of the same date. In the inner court there are no such discordant elements as there are without, though the forms of different styles are quite as much mingled. Octagonal piers support round arches; pointed doorways with thoroughly Ragusan tympana open into the chamber behind them. On this arcade rests another, with round arches on the short sides of the court, and pointed arches on the long sides, rising from columns and square piers alternately. Above is a range which might as well be away. Square windows, round Ragusan windows, might well be endured; but Renaissance shields and Renaissance angels show that the infection had begun. Now this beautiful piece of Romanesque work—we give it that name in defiance of dates—was finished in 1520, when the world on the southern side of the Alps was, for the most part, running after the dreariest forms of the mere revived Italian. This amazingly late date makes this building even more wonderful than the palace, though it certainly 254 is not its rival in beauty. The arcades, good as they are, cannot be compared to those of the palace, and the Venetian work above is still more inferior. Still, the later the date, the more honour to the architect who designed such a work at such a time. And the later the date, the more likely that he built his arcade according to the promptings of his own genius, and added the two ranges of windows in deference to the two rival fashions of his time.

Dogana, Ragusa

DOGANA, RAGUSA.

The arcade of this building, taken alone without reference to the windows above, is the last link in a chain which shows that the preservation of good architectural ideas at so late a time is no mere accident. Indeed, if we pass from public buildings within the city to private buildings outside of it, we shall begin to doubt whether the dogana is the last chain, and whether there are not still later buildings which are fairly entitled to the Romanesque name. The best of the houses of the Ragusan patricians are to be found, not within the city, but by the port at Gravosa, and further on on the way to Ombla. Several of those, while their other features are Venetian Gothic, or even later still, have—commonly in their upper loggie—a column or two supporting a round arch, which are certainly not vulgar Renaissance, and which keep on the sound tradition of the palace and the dogana. The finest of these is the house of the Counts Caboga, known 255 as Batahovina, on the coast on the way to Ombla. Here, as in the palace, as in the dogana, an arcade of this late local Romanesque supports an upper story of Venetian Gothic, very inferior and most likely much later than that in either of the civic buildings. It has however at each end an open loggia matching the arcade below. The columns, plain and with twisted flutes—distant kinsfolk of Waltham, Durham, Dunfermline, and Lindisfarn—have capitals such as we might look for in much earlier Romanesque.

Caboga House, Gravosa

CABOGA HOUSE, GRAVOSA.

This, we may note by the way, is the house in whose garden the column from the palace, wrought with the Judgement of Solomon, still lies hid. Indeed we might go further away from the palace than the loggie of the houses. At Ragusa art extends itself to objects which might have been thought hardly capable of artistic treatment. Stone is common, and it is used for all manner of purposes. Among other things stone vine-props are common. In not a few cases these take the form of columns, slenderer doubtless than the rules of classical proportion, realizing the description of Cassiodorus about the tall columns like reeds, the lofty buildings propped as it were on the shafts of spears. Sometimes the columns are fluted or twisted; in a great many cases they have real capitals, with various forms according to taste. It often happens that a row of such columns, whether on a house-top or in a vineyard, 256 really becomes an architectural object, a genuine colonnade. Here the style, the construction at least, is Greek rather than Romanesque; but the principle is the same. A good and rational artistic form is kept in use, and is applied to a purpose for which it is fitted.

All these examples, the palace, the dogana, the houses, the remains in the Dominican church, we might almost say the vine-props, look one way. All point to the existence of a Ragusan style, to an unbroken Romanesque tradition, which could not wholly withstand the inroads of the pseudo-Gothic of Italy, but which could at least keep its place alongside of the intruder. All help us to see how instructive must have been the course of architectural developement at Ragusa, and how much has been lost to the history of art by the destruction of so many of the buildings of the city in the great earthquake. It is easy to see that for a long time the struggle between the genuine Romanesque tradition, the Italian Gothic, and the new ideas of the Renaissance, must have been very hard. How long real Romanesque went on, bringing in new developements of its own, but remaining still as truly Romanesque by unbroken succession as anything at Pisa or Durham, is shown by the noble arches of the palace, and the still later dogana. The slight touch of Renaissance in some of the capitals of the palace 257 in no sort takes away from the general purity of the style. Still over these noble arcades are windows of Venetian Gothic, and one of the most characteristic features of the Ragusan streets are the flat-headed doorways. But these, alternating as they do with pointed ones, help to make out our case. On the other hand, it is equally plain that in some cases the Renaissance came in early. A little chapel by the basin at Ombla, bearing date 1480, is in a confirmed Renaissance style, and looks more like 1580. Yet of true Renaissance there is very little. One large house in the city, older than the earthquake, stands quite alone as the kind of thing which might easily have been built in Italy or copied in England. But at Ragusa, in the near neighbourhood of several native doorways of different shapes, of many native vine-props, of several native wells—for wells too take an artistic style and copy the form of a capital—the regular trim Palladian building looks strangely out of place. Even in the Stradone, where in the houses there is little architecture of any kind, a touch of ancient effect is kept in the form of the shops, with their arches and stone dressers, thoroughly after the mediæval pattern. And some architectural features never died out. The round window with tracery goes on long after every other feature of Romanesque or Gothic is forgotten. It is to be seen in endless little 258 chapels of very late date in the city and suburbs, sometimes standing apart, sometimes attached to private houses.

The plain conclusion from all this is that at Ragusa the use of the round arch for the chief arcades never went out of use; that it always remained as a constructive feature, passing from Romanesque to Renaissance, if fully developed Renaissance can at Ragusa be said to exist at all, without any intermediate Gothic stage, and continuing to invent and adopt any kind of ornament which suited its constructive form. In windows and doorways, on the other hand, the forms of the Italian Gothic came in and stood their ground till a very late date. In most cases we wish the Venetian features away; in the upper story of the palace they may be endured; but conceive palace, dogana, Caboga house, with smaller arcades and windows to match the great constructive arches. Such buildings as these, now so few, make us sigh over the effects of the great earthquake, and over the treasures of art which it must have swallowed up. If Ragusa, in her earlier day, contained a series of churches to match her civic arcades, she might claim, in strictly artistic interest, to stand alongside of Rome, Ravenna, Pisa, and Lucca. Her churches of the fifteenth century must have been worthy to rank with anything from the fourth century to the twelfth. 259 One longs to be able to study the Ragusan style in more than these few examples. It is not indeed absolutely peculiar either to Ragusa or to Dalmatia. Many buildings in Italy and Sicily show a good native Romanesque tradition, holding its own against the sham Gothic, and showing a good fight against the Renaissance. Not a few arcades, not a few cloisters, of this kind may be found here and there. But it would be hard to light on another such group of buildings as the palace, the dogana, and their fellows. In any case the Dalmatian coast may hold its head high among the artistic regions of the world. It is no small matter that the harmonious and consistent use of the arch and column should have begun at Spalato, and that identically the same constructive form should still be found, eleven ages later, putting forth fresh and genuine shapes of beauty at Ragusa.

A TRUDGE TO TREBINJE.

260

1875.


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

The first step which any man takes beyond the bounds of Christendom can hardly fail to mark a kind of epoch in his life. And the epoch becomes more memorable when the first step is taken into an actual "seat of war," where the old strife between Christian and Moslem is still going on with all the bitterness of crusading days. In Europe it is now in one quarter only that such a step can be made by land with somewhat less of formality than is often needed in passing from one Christian state to another. It is now only in the great south-eastern peninsula that the frontier of the Turk marches upon the dominions of any Christian power; and, now that Russia and the Turk are no longer immediate neighbours, the powers on which his frontier marches are, with one exception, states which have been more or less fully liberated from his real or asserted dominion. That exception 261 is to be found in the Hadriatic dominions of Austria; and certainly no more striking contrast can be imagined than that which strikes the traveller as he passes on this side from Christian to Moslem dominion. Let us suppose him to be at Ragusa, with his ears full of tales from the seat of war, all of which cannot be true, but all of which may possibly be false. The insurgents have burned a Turkish village. No; it was a Christian village, and the Turks burned it. The Turks have murdered seven Roman Catholics. The Turks have murdered seventy Roman Catholics—a difference this last which may throw light on some cases of disputed numbers in various parts of history. The Turks have threatened Austrian subjects. Austrian subjects have attacked the Turks. An Italian has had his head cut off by the Turks just beyond the frontier. A Turkish soldier has been found lying dead in the road a little further on. These two last stories come on the authority of men who have seen the bodies, so that we have got within the bounds of credible testimony. Meanwhile the one thing about which there is no doubt is the presence and the wretchedness of the unhappy Herzegovinese women and children whose homes have been destroyed either by friends or by enemies, and who are seeking such shelter as public and private charity can give in hospitable Ragusa. All these things kindle a certain 262 desire to get at least a glimpse of the land where something is certainly going on, though it may not be easy to know exactly what. Between Ragusa and Trebinje there is just now no actual fighting; the road is reported to be perfectly safe; only it is advisable to get a passport visé by the Turkish consul. The passports are visé, but, so far for the credit of the Turks, it must be added that, though duly carried, they were never asked for. The party, four in number—three English and one Russian—presently set forth from Ragusa. It is now as easy to get a carriage at Ragusa as in any other European town. So our party sets out behind two of the small but strong and sure-footed horses of the country, to get a glimpse of what, to two at least of their number, were the hitherto unknown lands of Paynimrie.

As long as we are on Austrian territory there is nothing to fear or to complain of but those evils which no kings or laws can cure. The day was rainy—so rainy that a word was once or twice murmured in favour of turning back; but it was deemed faint-hearted to turn again in an undertaking which had been once begun. On the Austrian side the rain was certainly to be regretted, as damping the charm of the glorious prospect from the zigzag road which winds up from Ragusa to the frontier point of Drino. Ragusa, nestling among hills and forts and castles, 263 the isle of La Croma keeping guard over the haven which has ceased to be a haven, the wide Hadriatic stretching to the horizon, form a picture surpassed by but few pictures even in the glorious scenery of the Dalmatian coast. On the other side, it was perhaps no great harm if the rain made the savage land between Drino and Trebinje seem more savage still. At the top of the height the Austrian guard-house is reached, a guard-house which the line of the frontier causes to be overlooked by a Turkish fort above it. The guardians of the borders of Christendom look wild enough in their local dress; but the wildness is all outside, though one certainly does not envy them their watch on so dreary a spot. Hard by is the place where the Italian lost his head; but the Italian was openly in the ranks of the insurgents; so, though the thought is a little thrilling, our present travellers feel no real danger for their heads. The frontier is now passed; we are in the land where the Asiatic and Mahometan invader still holds European and Christian nations in bondage. We see no immediate sign of his presence. The Turkish guard-house is at some distance from the Austrian, in order to watch the pass on the other side, where the road begins to go down towards Trebinje, as the Austrian guards the road immediately up from Ragusa. But, if as yet we see not the Turk, we feel his presence in another 264 way. In one point at least we have suddenly changed from civilization to barbarism. The excellently kept Austrian road at once stops—that is to say, its excellent keeping stops; the road goes on, only it is no longer mended in Austrian but in Turkish fashion—a fashion of which the dullest English highway board would perhaps be ashamed. We presently begin to see something cf the land of Herzegovina, or at least of that part of it which lies between Ragusa and Trebinje. It may be most simply described as a continuous mass of limestone. The town lies in a plain surrounded by hills, and it would be untrue to say that that plain is altogether without trees or without cultivation. Close to the town tobacco grows freely, and before we reach the town, as we draw near to the river Trebenitza, the dominion of utter barrenness has come to an end. But the first general impression of the land is one of utter barrenness, and for a great part of our course, long after we have come down into the lower ground, this first general impression remains literally true. It is not like a mountain valley or a mountain coast, with a fringe of inhabited and cultivated land at the foot of the heights. All is barren; all is stone; stone which, if it serves no other human purpose, might at least be used to make the road better. That road, in all its Turkish wretchedness, goes on and on, through masses 265 of limestone of every size, from the mountains which form the natural wall of Trebinje down to lumps which nature has broken nearly small enough for the purposes of MacAdam. Through the greater part of the route not a house is to be seen; there are one or two near the frontier; there is hardly another till we draw near to the town, when we pass a small village or two, of which more anon. Through the greater part of the route not a living being is to be seen. In such a wilderness we might at least have looked for birds of prey; but no flight of vultures, no solitary eagle, shows itself. As for man, he seems absent also, save for one great exception, which exception gives the journey to Trebinje its marked character, and which brings thoroughly home to us that we are passing through a seat of war.

It will be remembered that, early in the war, the insurgents were attacking the town of Trebinje, and, among later rumours, were tales of renewed attacks in that quarter. But at the time of our travellers' journey the road was perfectly open, and no actual fighting was going on in the neighbourhood. Trebinje however was on the watch: the plain before the town was full of tents, and, long before the town or the tents were within sight, the sight of actual campaigners gave a keen feeling of what was going on. Flour is to be had in the stony land only by seeking it 266 within the Austrian frontier, and to the Austrian frontier accordingly the packhorses go, with a strong convoy of Turkish soldiers to guard them. Twice therefore in the course of their journey, going and coming back, did our travellers fall in with the Turkish troops on their way to and from the land of food. For men who had never before seen anything of actual warfare there was something striking in the first sight of soldiers, not neat and trim as for some day of parade, but ragged, dirty, and weather-stained with the actual work of war. And there was something more striking still in the thought that these were the old enemies of Europe and of Christendom, the representatives of the men who stormed the gates of the New Rome and who overthrew the chivalry of Burgundy and Poland at Nikopolis and at Varna. But the Turk in a half-European uniform has lost both his picturesqueness and his terrors, and the best troops in Europe would be seen to no great advantage on such a day and on such a march. And perhaps Turkish soldiers, like all other men and things, look differently according to the eyes with which they are looked at. Some eyes noticed them as being, under all their disadvantages, well-made and powerful-looking men. Other eyes looked with less pleasure on the countenances of the barbarians who were brought to spread havoc over Christian lands. 267 All however agreed that, as the armed votaries of the Prophet passed before them, the unmistakeable features of the Æthiop were not lacking among the many varieties of countenance which they displayed. But the Paynim force, though it did no actual deed of arms before the eyes of our party, did something more than simply march along the road. The realities of warfare came out more vividly when, at every fitting point, skirmishers were thrown off to occupy each of the peaked hills and other prominent points which line the road like so many watchtowers.

The armed force went and came back that day without any need for actually using their arms. Insurgent attacks on the convoys are a marked feature of the present war; but our travellers had not the opportunity of seeing such a skirmish. Still before long they did see one most speaking sign of war and its horrors. By the banks of the Trebenitza a burned village first came in sight. The sight gives a kind of turn to the whole man; still a burned village is not quite so ugly in reality as it sounds in name. The stone walls of the houses are standing; it is only the roofs that are burned off. But who burned the village, and why? He would be a very rash man who should venture to say, without the personal witness of those who burned it, or saw it burned. Was it a Christian village burned by Turks? Was it a Turkish village 268 burned by Christians? Was it a Christian village burned by the insurgents because its inhabitants refused to join in the insurrection? Was it a Christian village burned by its own inhabitants rather than leave anything to fall into the hands of the Turks? If rumour is to be trusted, cases of all these four kinds have happened in the course of the war. All that can be said is that the village has a church and shows no signs of a mosque, and that, while the houses were burned, the church was not. The burned village lay near a point of the river which it is usually possible to ford in a carriage. This time however, the Trebenitza—a river which, like so many Greek rivers, loses itself in a katabothra—was far too full to be crossed in this way, and our travellers had to leave their carriage and horses and get to Trebinje as they could. After some scrambling over stones, a boat was found, which strongly suggested those legends of Charon which are far from having died out of the memory of the Christians of the East. A primitive punt it was, with much water in it, which Charon slowly ladled out with a weapon which suggested the notion of a gigantic spoon. Charon himself was a ragged object enough, but, as became his craft, he seemed master of many tongues. We may guess that his native speech would be Slave, but one of the company recognized some of his talk for 269 Turkish, and the demand for the two oboli of old was translated into the strange phrase of "dieci groschen." To our travellers the words suggested was the expiring coinage of the German Empire; they did not then take it how widely the groat had spread its name in the south-eastern lands. At first hearing, the name sounded strange on the banks of the Trebenitza; but in the absence of literal groats or groschen, the currency of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy was found in practice to do just as well. Then our four pilgrims crossed and crossed again, the second time with much gladness of heart, as for a while things looked as if no means of getting back again were forthcoming, and it was not every one of the party that had a heart stout enough even to think of trying to swim or wade. Charon's second appearance was therefore hailed with special pleasure.

From the crossing-place to Trebinje itself our travellers had to trudge as they could along a fearfully rough Turkish path—not rougher though than some Dalmatian and Montenegrin paths—till they reached the town itself, which this delay gave them but little time to examine. The suburbs stretched along the hillside; below, the tents of the Turkish troops were pitched on one side; the Mahometan burial-ground lay on the other. After so much time and pains had been spent in getting to Trebinje, a glimpse of Trebinje 270 itself was all that was to be had. But even a glimpse of Eastern life was something, particularly a glimpse of Eastern life where Eastern life should not be, in a land which once was European. It is the rule of the Turk, it is the effect of his four hundred years of oppression, which makes Trebinje to differ alike from Tzetinje and from Cattaro. The dark, dingy, narrow, streets, the dim arches and vaults, the bazaar, with the Turk—more truly the renegade Slave—squatting in his shop, the gate with its Arabic inscription, the mosques with their minarets contrasting with the church with its disused campanile, all come home to us with a feeling not only of mere strangeness, but of something which is where it ought not to be. It is with a feeling of relief that, after our second trudge, our second voyage, our second meeting with the convoy, we reach the heights, we pass the guard-houses, and find ourselves again in Christendom. Presently Ragusa comes within sight; we are in no mood to discuss the respective merits of the fallen aristocratic commonwealths and of the rule of the Apostolic King. King or Doge or Rector, we may be thankful for the rule of any of them, so as it be not the rule of the Sultan. The difference between four hundred years of civilized government and four hundred years of barbarian tyranny has made the difference between Ragusa and Trebinje.

CATTARO.

271

1875.


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

The end of a purely Dalmatian pilgrimage will be Cattaro. He who goes further along the coast will pass into lands that have a history, past and present, which is wholly distinct from that of the coast which he has hitherto traced from Zara—we might say from Capo d'Istria—onwards. We have not reached the end of the old Venetian dominion—for that we must carry on our voyage to Crete and Cyprus. But we have reached the end of the nearly continuous Venetian dominion—the end of the coast which, save 272 at two small points, was either Venetian or Ragusan—the end of that territory of the two maritime commonwealths which they kept down to their fall in modern times, and in which they have been succeeded by the modern Dalmatian kingdom. After Cattaro and the small district of Budua beyond it, the Venetian territory did indeed once go on continuously as far as Epidamnos, Dyrrhachion, or Durazzo, while, down to the fall of the Republic, it went on, in the form of scattered outposts, much farther. But, for a long time past, Venice had held beyond Budua only islands and outlying points; and most of these, except the seven so-called Ionian Islands and a few memorable points on the neighbouring mainland, had passed away from her before her fall. Cattaro is the last city of the present Austrian dominion; it is, till we reach the frontier of the modern Greek kingdom, the last city of Christendom. The next point at which the steamer stops will land the traveller on what is now Turkish ground. But the distinction is older than that; he will now change from a Slavonic mainland with a half-Italian fringe on its coast to an Albanian, that is an Old-Illyrian, land, with a few points here and there which once came under Italian influences. It is not at an arbitrary point that the dominion in which the Apostolic King has succeeded the Serene Republic comes to an end. With Cattaro then the Dalmatian 273 journey and the series of Dalmatian cities will naturally end.

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

ὅτι τὸ κάστρον τῶν Δεκατέρων ἑρμηνεύεται τῇ Ῥωμαίων διαλέκτῳ ἐστενωμένον καὶ πεπληγμένον.

We are again driven to ask, Which is the dialect of the Romans? What word either of Greek or of Latin can the Emperor have got hold of? At the same time he had got a fair notion of the general position of Cattaro, though he runs off into 274 bits of exaggeration which remind us of Giraldus' description of Llanthony. The city stands at the end of an inlet of the sea fifteen or twenty miles long, and it has mountains around it so high that it is only in fair summer weather that the sun can be seen; in winter Dekatera never enjoys his presence. There certainly is no place where it is harder to believe that the smooth waters of the narrow, lake-like inlet, with mountains on each side which it seems as if one could put out one's hand and touch, are really part of the same sea which dashes against the rocks of Ragusa. They end in a meadow-like coast which makes one think of Bourget or Trasimenus rather than of Hadria. The Dalmatian voyage is well ended by the sail along the Bocche, the loveliest piece of inland sea which can be conceived, and whose shores are as rich in curious bits of political history as they are in scenes of surpassing natural beauty. The general history of the district consists in the usual tossing to and fro between the various powers which have at different times been strong in the neighbourhood. Cattaro—τὰ κάτω Δεκάτερα—was in the reign of Basil the Macedonian besieged and taken by Saracens, who presently went on unsuccessfully to besiege Ragusa. And, as under Byzantine rule it was taken by Saracens, so under Venetian rule it was more than once besieged by Turks. In the intermediate 275 stages we get the usual alternations of independence and of subjection to all the neighbouring powers in turn, till in 1419 Cattaro finally became Venetian. At the fall of the Republic it became part of the Austrian share of the spoil. When the spoilers quarrelled, it fell to France. When England, Russia, and Montenegro were allies, the city joined the land of which it naturally forms the head, and Cattaro became the Montenegrin haven and capital. When France was no longer dangerous, and the powers of Europe came together to part out other men's goods, Austria calmly asked for Cattaro back again, and easily got it. To this day the land keeps many signs of the endless changes which it has undergone. We enter the mouth of the gulf, where, eighty years ago, the land was Ragusan on the left hand and Venetian on the right. But Ragusa and Venice between them did not occupy the whole shore of the Bocche; neither at this day does the whole of it belong to that Dalmatian kingdom which has taken the place of both the old republics. We soon reach the further of the two points where Ragusan jealousy preferred an infidel to a Christian neighbour. At Sutorina the Turkish territory nominally comes down to the sea; nominally we say, for if the soil belongs to the Sultan, the road, the most important thing upon it, belongs to the Dalmatian King. And if the Turk 276 comes down to the Bocche at this end, at the other end the Montenegrin, if he does not come down to the water, at least looks down upon it. In this furthest corner of Dalmatia political elements, old and new, come in which do not show themselves at Zara and Spalato. In short, on the Bocche we have really got into another region, national and religious, from the nearer parts of the country. We have hitherto spoken of an Italian fringe on a Slavonic mainland; we might be tempted to speak of Italian cities with a surrounding Slavonic country. On the shores of the Bocche we may drop those forms of speech. We can hardly say that here there is so much as an Italian fringe. We feel at last we have reached the land which is thoroughly Slavonic. The Bocchesi at once proclaim themselves as the near kinsmen of the unconquered race above them, from whom indeed they differ only in the accidents of their political history. For all purposes but those of war and government, Cattaro is more truly the capital of Montenegro than Tzetinje. In one sense indeed Cattaro is more Italian than Ragusa. All Ragusa, though it has an Italian varnish, is Slavonic at heart. At Cattaro it would be truer to speak of a Slavonic majority and an Italian minority. And along these coasts, together with this distinct predominance of the Slavonic nationality, we come also, if not to the predominance, 277 at all events to the greatly increased prominence, of that form of Christianity to which the Eastern Slave naturally tends. Elsewhere in Dalmatia, as we have on the Slavonic body a narrow fringe of Italian speech, art, and manners, so we have a narrow fringe of the religion of the Old Rome skirting a body belonging to the New. Here, along with the Slavonic nationality, the religion of Eastern Christendom makes itself distinctly seen. In the city of Cattaro the Orthodox Church is still in a minority, but it is a minority not far short of a majority. Outside its walls, the Orthodox outnumber the Catholics. In short, when we reach Cattaro, we have very little temptation to fancy ourselves in Italy or in any part of Western Christendom. We not only know, but feel, that we are on the Byzantine side of the Hadriatic; that we have, in fact, made our way into Eastern Europe.

And East and West, Slave and Italian, New Rome and Old, might well struggle for the possession of the land and of the water through which we pass from Ragusa to our final goal at Cattaro. The strait leads us into a gulf; another narrow strait leads us into an inner gulf; and on an inlet again branching out of that inner gulf lies the furthest of Dalmatian cities. The lower city, Cattaro itself, τὰ κάτω Δεκάτερα, seems to lie so quietly, so peacefully, as if in a world of its own from which nothing beyond the shores of 278 its own Bocche could enter, that we are tempted to forget, not only that the spot has been the scene of so many revolutions through so many ages, but that it is even now a border city, a city on the marchland of contending powers, creeds, and races. But, if we once look up to the mountains, we see signs both of the past and of the present, which may remind us of the true nature and history of the land in which we are. In some of the other smaller Dalmatian towns, and at other points along the coast, we see castles perched on mountain peaks or ledges at a height which seems almost frightful; but the castle of Cattaro and the walls leading up to it, walls which seem to leap from point to point of the almost perpendicular hill, form surely the most striking of all the mountain fortresses of the land. The castle is perhaps all the more striking, nestling as it does among the rocks, than if it actually stood, like some others, on a peak or crest of the mountain. One thinks of Alexander's Aornos, and indeed the name of Aornos might be given to any of these Dalmatian heights. The lack of birds, great and small, especially the lack of the eagles and vultures that one sees in other mountain lands, is a distinct feature in the aspect of the Dalmatian hills and of their immediate borders, Montenegrin and Turkish. But, while the castle stands as if no human power could reach it, much less fight 279 against it, there are other signs of more modern date which remind us that there are points higher still where no one can complain that the art of fighting has been unknown in any age. Up the mountain, during part of its course skirting the castle walls, climbs the winding road—the staircase rather—which leads from Cattaro to Tzetinje. On it climbs, up and up, till it is lost in the higher peaks; long before the traveller reaches the frontier line which divides Dalmatia and Montenegro, long before he reaches the ridge to which he looks up from Cattaro and its gulf, he has begun to look down, not only on the gulf and the city, but on the mountain castle itself, as something lying far below his feet. From below, Cattaro seems like the end of the world. As we climb the mountain paths, we soon find that it is but a border post on the frontier of a vast world beyond it, a world in whose past history Cattaro has had some share, a world whose history is not yet over.

The city of Cattaro itself is small, standing on a narrow ledge between the gulf and the base of the mountain. It carries the features of the Dalmatian cities to what any one who has not seen Traü will call their extreme point. But, though the streets of Cattaro are narrow, yet they are civilized and airy-looking compared with those of Traü, and the little paved 280 squares, as so often along this coast, suggest the memory of the ruling city. The memory of Venice is again called up by the graceful little scraps of its characteristic architecture which catch the eye ever and anon among the houses of Cattaro. The landing-place, the marina, the space between the coast and the Venetian wall, where we pass for the last time under the winged lion over the gate, has put on the air of a boulevard. But the forms and costume of Bocchesi and Montenegrins, the men of the gulf, with their arms in their girdles, no less than the men of the Black Mountain, banish all thought that we are anywhere but where we really are, at one of the border points of Christian and civilized Europe. If in the sons of the mountains we see the men who have in all ages held out against the invading Turk, we see in their brethren of the coast the men who, but a few years back, brought Imperial, Royal, and Apostolic Majesty to its knees. The same thought is brought home to us in another form. The antiquities of Cattaro are mainly ecclesiastical, and among them the Orthodox church, standing well in one of the open places, claims a rank second only to the duomo. Here some may see for the first time the ecclesiastical arrangements of Eastern Christendom; and those who do not wish to see a church thrown wide open from end to end, those who would cleave alike to the rood-beam of Lübeck, the 281 jubé of Albi, and the cancelli of Saint Clement, to the old screen which once was at Wimborne and to the new screen which now is at Lichfield, may be startled at the first sight of the Eastern eikonostasis blocking off apse and altar utterly from sight. The arrangements of the Eastern Church may indeed be seen in places much nearer than Cattaro, at Trieste, at Wiesbaden, in London itself; but in all these places the Eastern Church is an exotic, standing as a stranger on Western ground. At Cattaro the Orthodox Church is on its own ground, standing side by side on equal terms with its Latin rival, pointing to lands where the Filioque is unknown and where the Bishop of the Old Rome has ever been deemed an intruder. The building itself is a small Byzantine church, less Byzantine in fact in its outline than the small churches of the Byzantine type at Zara, Spalato, and Traü. The single dome rises, not from the intersection of a Greek cross, but from the middle of a single body, and, resting as it does on pointed arches, it suggests the thought of Périgueux and Angoulême. But this arrangement, which is shared by a neighbouring Latin church, is well known throughout the East. The Latin duomo, which has been minutely described by Mr. Neale, is of quite another type, and is by no means Dalmatian in its general look. A modern west front with two western 282 towers does not go for much; but it reminds us that a design of the same kind was begun at Traü in better times. The inside is quite unlike anything of later Italian work. It seems like a cross between a basilica and an Aquitanian church. It is small, but the inside is lofty and solemn. The body of the church, not counting the apses and the western portico, has seven narrow arches, the six eastern ones grouped in pairs forming, as in so many German examples, three bays only in the vaulting. The principal pillars are rectangular with flat pilasters; the intermediate piers are Corinthian columns with a heavy Lucchese abacus, enriched with more mouldings than is usual at Lucca. As there is no triforium, and only a blank clerestory, the whole effect comes from the tall columns and their narrow arches, the last offshoots of Spalato that we have to record. For the ecclesiologist proper there is a prodigious baldacchino, and a grand display of metal-work behind the high altar. A good deal too, as Mr. Neale has shown, may be gleaned from the inscriptions and records. The traveller whose objects are of a more general kind turns away from this border church of Christendom as the last stage of a pilgrimage unsurpassed either for natural beauty or for historic interest. And, as he looks up at the mountain which rises almost close above the east end of the duomo of Cattaro, and thinks of the land and 283 the men to which the path over that mountain leads, he feels that, on this frontier at least, the spirit still lives which led English warriors to the side of Manuel Komnênos, and which steeled the heart of the last Constantine to die in the breach for the Roman name and the faith of Christendom.

VENICE IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE NORMANS.

TRANI.

287

1881.


The solemn yearly marriage between the Venetian commonwealth and the Hadriatic sea had much more effect on the eastern shore of that sea than on the western. On the eastern side of the long gulf there are few points which have not at some time or other "looked to the winged lion's marble piles," and for many ages a long and nearly continuous dominion looked steadily to that quarter. On the western shore Venice never established any lasting dominion very far from her own lagoons. Ravenna was the furthest point on that side which she held for any considerable time, and at Ravenna we are hardly clear of the delta of the Po. In the northern region of Italy her power struck inland, till at last, defying the precepts of the wise Doge who could not keep even Treviso, she held an unbroken dominion from Bergamo to Cividale. That she kept that dominion down to her fall, that that dominion could live through the fearful trial of the League of Cambray, may perhaps show that 288 Venice, after all, was not so unfitted to become a land-power as she seems at first sight, and as Andrew Contarini deemed her in the fourteenth century. Yet one might have thought that the occupation of this or that point along the long coast from Ravenna to the heel of the boot would have better suited her policy than the lordship over Bergamo and Brescia. And one might have thought too that, amid the endless changes that went on among the small commonwealths and tyrannies of that region, it would have been easier for the Republic to establish its dominion there than to establish it over great cities like Padua and Verona. Yet Venice did not establish even a temporary dominion along these coasts till she was already a great land power in Lombardy and Venetia. And then the few outlying points which she held for a while lay, not among the small towns of the marches, but within the solid kingdom which the Norman had made, and which had passed from him to kings from Swabia, from Anjou, and from Aragon. It is this last thought which gives the short Venetian occupation of certain cities within what the Italians called the Kingdom a higher interest in itself, and withal a certain connexion in idea with more lasting possessions of the commonwealth elsewhere. At Trani and at Otranto, no less than in Corfu and at Durazzo, the Venetian was treading in the footsteps of the 289 Norman. Only, on the eastern side of Hadria the Republic won firm and long possession of places where the Norman had been seen only for a moment; on the western side, the Republic held only for a moment places which the Norman had firmly grasped, and which he handed on to his successors of other races. And, if we pass on from the Norman himself to those successors, we shall find the connexion between the Venetian dominion on the eastern and the western side of the gulf become yet stronger. The Venetian occupation of Neapolitan towns within the actual Neapolitan kingdom seems less strange, if we look on it as a continuation of the process by which many points on the eastern coast had passed to and fro between the Republic and the Kings of Sicily and afterwards of Naples. The connexion between Sicily and southern Italy on the one hand and the coasts and islands of western Greece on the other, is as old as the days of the Greek colonies, perhaps as old as the days of Homer. The singer of the Odyssey seems to know of Sikels in Epeiros; but, if his Sikels were in Italy, we only get the same connexion in another shape. A crowd of rulers from one side and from the other have ruled on both sides of the lower waters of Hadria. Agathoklês, Pyrrhos, Robert Wiscard, King Roger, William the Good, strove alike either to add Epeiros and Korkyra to a Sicilian dominion or to add 290 Sicily to a dominion which already took in Epeiros and Korkyra. So did Manfred; so did Charles of Anjou. And after the division of the Sicilian kingdom, the kings of the continental realm held a considerable dominion on the Greek side of the sea. And that dominion largely consisted of places which had been Venetian and which were to become Venetian again. To go no further into detail, if we remember that Corfu and Durazzo were held by Norman Dukes and Kings of Apulia and Sicily—that they were afterwards possessions of Venice—that they were possessions of the Angevin kings at Naples, and then possessions of Venice again—it may perhaps seem less wonderful to find the Republic at a later time occupying outposts on the coasts of the Neapolitan kingdom itself.

It was not till the last years of the fifteenth century, when so many of her Greek and Albanian possessions had passed away, that the Republic appeared as a ruler on the coasts of Apulia and of that land of Otranto, the heel of the boot, from which the name of Calabria had long before wandered to the toe. It was in 1495, when Charles of France went into southern Italy to receive for himself a kingdom and to return,—only to return without the kingdom,—that the Venetians, as allies of his rival Ferdinand, took the town of Monopoli by storm, and one or two 291 smaller places by capitulation. What they took they kept, and in the next year their ally pledged to them other cities, among them Trani, Brindisi, Otranto, and Taranto, in return for help in men and money. These cities were thus won by Venice as the ally of the Aragonese King against the French. But at a later time, when France and Aragon were allied against Venice, the Aragonese King of the Sicilies, a more famous Ferdinand than the first, took them as his share in 1509. We cannot wonder at this; no king, or commonwealth either, can be pleased to see a string of precious coast towns in the hands of a foreign power. Again in 1528 Venice is allied with France against Aragon and Naples, and Aragon and Naples are now only two of the endless kingdoms of Charles of Austria. For a moment the lost cities are again Venetian. Two years later, as part of the great pageant of Bologna, they passed back from the rule of Saint Mark to the last prince who ever wore the crown of Rome.

So short an occupation cannot be expected to have left any marked impress on the cities which Venice thus held for a few years at a late time as isolated outposts. These Apulian towns are not Venetian in the same sense in which the Istrian and Dalmatian towns are. In those regions, even the cities which were merely neighbours and not subjects of Venice may be called Venetian in an artistic sense; they 292 were in some sort members of a body of which Venice was the chief. Here we see next to nothing which recalls Venice in any way. The difference is most likely owing, not so much in the late date at which these towns became Venetian possessions, as to the shortness of time by which they were held, and to the precarious tenure by which the Republic held them. As far as mere dates go, Cattaro and Trani were won by Venice within the same century. But, as we have seen, the architectural features which give the Dalmatian towns their Venetian character belong to the most part to times even later than the occupation of Trani. Men must have gone on building at Cattaro in the Venetian fashion for fully a century and a half after Trani was again lost by Venice. There are few Venetian memorials to be seen in these towns; and if the winged lion ever appeared over their gates, he has been carefully thrust aside by kings and emperors. More truly perhaps, kings and emperors rebuilt the walls of these towns after the Venetian power had passed away. Still the occupation of these towns forms part of Venetian history, and they may be visited so as to bring them within the range of Venetian geography. Brindisi is the natural starting point for Corfu and the Albanian coast, and Brindisi is one of the towns which Venice thus held for a season. The two opposite coasts are thus brought into direct 293 connexion. The lands which owned, first the Norman and the Angevin, and then the Venetian, as their masters, may thus naturally become part of a single journey. We may have passed through the hilly lands, we may have seen the hill-cities, of central Italy; we may have gone through lands too far from the sea to suggest any memories of Venice, but which are full of the memories of the Norman and the Swabian. We find ourselves in the great Apulian plain, the great sheep-feeding plain so memorable in the wars of Anjou and Aragon, and we tarry to visit some of the cities of the Apulian coast. The contrast indeed is great between the land in which we are and either the land from which we have come, or the land whither we are going. Bari, Trani, and their fellows, planted on the low coast where the great plain joins the sea, are indeed unlike, either the Latin and Volscian towns on their hill-tops, or the Dalmatian towns nestling between the sea and the mountains. The greatest of these towns, the greatest at least in its present state, never came under Venetian rule. Bari, the city which it needed the strength of both Empires to win from the Saracen, is said to have been defended by a Venetian fleet early in the eleventh century, when Venetian fleets still sailed at the bidding of the Eastern Emperor. Further than this, we can find few or no points of connexion between 294 Venice and these cities, till their first occupation at the end of the fifteenth century. But that short occupation brings them within our range. We are passing, it may be, from Benevento to fishy Bari, as two stages of the "iter ad Brundisium." Thence we may go on, in the wake of so many travellers and conquerors, to those lands beyond the sea where the Lords of one-fourth and one-eighth of the Empire of Romania, and the Norman lords of Apulia and Sicily, the conquerors of Corfu and Albania, were alike at home. Between Benevento and Bari the eye is caught by the great tower of Trani. Such a city cannot be passed by; or, if we are driven to pass it by, we must go back to get something more than a glimpse of it. And Trani is one of the towns pledged to Venice by Ferdinand of Naples. In the midst of cities whose chief memories later than old Imperial times carry us back to the Norman and Swabian days of the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, we find ourselves suddenly plunged into the Venetian history of the end of the fifteenth.

Trani then will be our introduction to the group of towns with which we are at present concerned. At the present moment, it is undoubtedly the foremost among them; but it is hard to call up any distinct memory of its history till we reach the times which 295 made it for a moment a Venetian possession. Trani, like other places, doubtless has its history known to local inquirers; but the more general inquirer will very seldom light upon its name. It is hard to find any sure sign of its being in Roman times, but it must be the "Tirhennium quæ et Trana" of the geographer Guido. Let us take such a common-place test as looking through the indices to several volumes of Muratori and Pertz till the task becomes wearisome. Such a task will show us the name of Trani here and there, but only here and there. We do by searching find it mentioned in the days of King Roger and in the days of the Emperor Lothar, but it is only by searching that we find it. The name of Trani does not stand out without searching, like so many of the cities even of southern Italy. Yet Trani is no inconsiderable place; it is an archæpiscopal see with a noble metropolitan church; and in our own day, though much smaller than its neighbour Bari, it seems to share in the present prosperity of which the signs at Bari are unmistakeable. The visitor to Trani will find much to see there, but he will not find the stamp of Venice on the city. Trani, like its fellows, had received its distinctive character long before it had to do with Venice, and that character was not one that was at all marked by Venetian influences. The city is not without Venetian monuments; the memory of its Venetian days is not 296 forgotten even in its modern street nomenclature. There is a Piazza Gradenigo, and an inscription near one of the later churches records the name of Giuliano Gradenigo as the Venetian governor of Trani in 1503, and as having had a hand in its building. The castle might be suspected of containing work of the days of the Republic; but a threatening man of the sword forbids any study of its walls even with a distant spy-glass; not however till the chief inscription has been read, and has been found to belong to days later than those of Venetian rule. There is no knowing what may not happen to places when they have once fallen into the hands of soldiers; to the civilian mind it might seem that, when a king writes up an inscription to record his buildings, he wishes that inscription to be read of all men for all time. It is hard too to see how an antiquary's spy-glass can do anything to help prisoners confined within massive walls to break forth, as Italian—at least Sicilian—prisoners sometimes know how to break forth. The metropolitan church of Trani is happily not in military hands; neither are the streets and lanes of the city, the houses, the smaller churches, the arcades by the haven, the buildings of the town in general. All these may therefore be studied without let or hindrance; civil officials, even cloistered nuns, see no danger to Church or State if the stranger draws the outside of 297 a window or copies an inscription on an outer wall. But though we may find at Trani bits of work which might have stood in Venice, it is only as they might have stood in any other city of Italy. There is nothing in Trani, besides the memorial of Gradenigo, which brings the Serene Republic specially before the mind. The great church, the glory of Trani, bears the impress of that mixed style of art which is characteristic of Norman rule in Apulia, but which is quite different from anything to be found in Norman Sicily. It has some points in common with its neighbours at Bitonto and Bari, and some points very distinctive of itself. It is undoubtedly one of the noblest churches of its own class. If we were to call it one of the noblest churches of Christendom, the phrase would be misleading, because, to an English ear at least, it would suggest the thought of something on a much greater scale, something more nearly approaching the boundless length of an English minster or the boundless height of a French one. In southern Italy bishops and archbishops were so thick upon the ground that even a metropolitan church was not likely to reach, in point of mere size, to the measure of a second-class cathedral or conventual church in England or even in Normandy. But mere size is not everything, and, as an example of a particular form of Romanesque, as an example of difficulties ably grappled 298 with and thoroughly overcome, the church of Trani might almost claim to rank beside the church of Pisa and the church of Durham. And higher praise than that no building can have.

Cathedral, Trani

CATHEDRAL, TRANI.

Fully to take in the effect of this grand church, it will be well not to hurry towards it on reaching the city. Go straight from the railway-station towards another bell-tower, not to that of the duomo. That course will lead to the so-called villa or public garden. The suppressed Dominican convent close by its gate has no attractive feature except its tower, one of the usual Italian type, only with pointed arches. But the grounds of the villa, raised on the ancient walls of the monastic precinct, look down at once on the waves of Hadria. In the northern view we look out on lands and hills beyond the water; but no man must dream that the eastern peninsula of Europe is to be seen from Trani. We look out only over the gulf of Manfredonia—the name of the Hohenstaufen king is as it were stamped upon the waters—to the Italian peninsula of Mount Garganus. Hence, on our way to the metropolitan church, we pass by the basin which forms the haven of Trani, a basin which reminds us of the cala which is all that is left of the many waters of Palermo. The distant view clearly brings out its main outline; above all, it brings out those arrangements of the eastern end which form the most 299 characteristic feature. We see the tall tower at the south-west corner; we see the line of the clerestory with its small round-headed windows; above all, we see—so unlike anything in Northern architecture—the tall transept seeming to soar far above the rest of the church, with the three apses, strangely narrow and lofty, treated simply, as it would seem, as appendages to the transept itself. Those who have not seen Bitonto and Bari will not guess how great a danger these soaring apses have escaped. The Norman of Apulia did not, like the native Italian, deal in detached bell-towers; he clave to the use of his native land which made the tower or towers an integral part of the church. But he seems to have specially chosen a place for them which is German rather than Norman, and then to have treated them in a way which is neither German, Norman, nor Italian. At Bitonto and in the two great churches of Bari, a pair of towers flanks the east end. In Italy it might be safer to say the apse end; but we think that in all these cases the apse end is the east end or nearly so. Such pairs of eastern towers are common in Germany; but there the great apse projects between them. At Bari and Bitonto the whole apsidal arrangement is masked by a flat wall. The towers rise above the side apses; the great central apse is hidden by the wall carried in front of it. We thus get at the east end a flat front, 300 like a west front; we lose the curves of the apses, and with them the arcades and grouped windows which form so marked a feature in the ordinary Romanesque of Germany and Italy. A single window, of larger size than Romanesque taste commonly allows, marks the place of the high altar. And this window is adorned with shafts and mouldings of special richness, and with animal figures above and below the shafts. Now here at Trani, though all the apses stand out, yet a like arrangement is followed. The central apse has only a single window of the same enriched type; the side apses have also only a single window each, but of a much plainer kind. Thus much, without taking in every detail, we can mark in our distant view; we can mark too somewhat of the unusually rich and heavy cornice of the transept, and the upper part of the transept front, the wheel window and the two rich coupled windows beneath it. We can mark too the arrangements of the great square tower, crowned with its small octagonal finish; and even here we can see that, with all its majesty of outline, it is far from ranking in the first class of Italian bell-towers. Its composition lacks boldness and simplicity, while it has nothing remarkable in the way of ornament. Saint Zeno among the simpler towers, Spalato among the more elaborate, stand indeed unrivalled. But the cathedral tower of Trani, when closely examined, is 301 less satisfactory than its own majestic neighbour at Bari. It is not merely that the pointed arch, always out of place in an Italian bell-tower, is used in the upper stages. The pointed arch is used with better effect, both far away in the noble tower of Velletri, and close by at Trani itself, in the far humbler tower of the Dominican church. The fault lies in this, that the windows, instead of being spread over the whole face of each stage, are gathered together in the centre of each, while two of them have rather awkward pointed canopies over the groups of windows. Still, seen from far or near, it is a grand and majestic tower, though its faults, which catch the eye at a distance, become more distinct as we draw nearer.

The road by which we approach the duomo will give us no view of it from the west, and, till we come quite near to the church, we shall hardly see how closely it overhangs the sea. We take our course by the harbour, for part of the way is under heavy and dark arcades which remind us of Genoa. Presently, before we reach the great church, we come across the east end of a smaller one, with which we shall afterwards become better acquainted from its western side. At this end it seems to be called Purgatorio; at the other end we shall find that its true name is Ogni Santi—All Hallows. Here there is no transept; still the three apses may pass for a miniature of those in the metropolitan 302 church; there is the same single large and elaborate window in the mid apse, the same smaller single windows in the side apses. We go landwards for a short way, and we presently find ourselves on a terrace overlooking the sea, close under the east end of the duomo. We now better take in both the grandeur and the singularity of the building whose general effect we have studied from a distance. We take in some fresh features, as the tall blank arcades along the walls, a feature shared by Trani with Bari, and we guess that the extraordinary height of the apses must be owing to the presence of a lofty under-church. We see signs too at the east end which seem to show that at some time or other there was a design for some other form of east end, inconsistent with the present design. The visitor will now perhaps be tempted to go at once within, though he ought in strictness to pass under the tower in order to finish his outside survey at the west end. It is curious to see how the same feeling which prevails in the east end prevails in the west front also. Here we have no continuous arcades like Pisa, Lucca, and Zara—happily we have no sham gables like the great one at Lucca; we have again the single great window with the small ones on each side. Only here the mid window has over it a rich wheel, the favourite form of the country, a form which the apsidal east end would not allow. And it is treated in exactly the same 303 way, with the same kind of surrounding ornaments, as the single-light windows.

This west front, as it now stands, has a rather bare look; the windows have too much the air of being cut through the wall without any artistic design, and there is too great a gap between the windows and the west doorway with its flanking arcades below. But this last fault at least is not to be charged on the original design, which clearly took in a projecting portico. We may doubt however whether the portico could have been high enough to have much dignity, and we shall find this feature far more skilfully treated in the other smaller church of which we have already spoken. And here we must confess that it is possible to make two visits to Trani, and each time to make a somewhat careful examination of its great church, and yet to miss—not at all to forget to look for, but to fail to find—the bronze doors which form one of the wonders of Trani. This may seem incredible at a distance; it will be found on the spot not to be wonderful. We will not describe the doors at second-hand; we will rather hasten within to gaze on the surpassing grandeur of an interior, which, as an example of architectural design, may, as we have already hinted, rank beside the church by the Arno and the church by the Wear, beside the Conqueror's abbey at Caen and King Roger's chapel at Palermo. 304

We say King Roger's chapel advisedly; for the palace chapel of Palermo, were every scrap of its gorgeous mosaics whitewashed over, would still rank, simply as an architectural design, among the most successful in the world. And the chapel of Palermo has points which at once suggest comparison and contrast with the great church of Trani. We see the traces of the Saracen in both; but at Palermo the building itself is thoroughly Saracenic, at Trani the Saracen contributes only one element among others. In Sicily, where the Saracen was thoroughly at home, the Norman kings simply built their churches and palaces in the received style of the island, a style of which the pointed arch was a main feature. In southern Italy, where the Saracen was only an occasional visitor, a style arose in which elements from Normandy itself—elements, that is, perhaps brought first of all from northern Italy—are mixed with other elements to be found on the spot, Italian, Saracenic, and Byzantine. The churches of Bari, Bitonto, and Trani, all show this mixture in different shapes. One feature of it is to take the detached Italian bell-tower, and to make it, Norman fashion, part of the church itself. In such cases the general character of the tower is kept, but Norman touches are often brought into the details; for instance, the common Norman coupled window, such as we are used to in Normandy 305 and England, often displaces the œcumenical mid-wall shaft which the older England shared with Italy. Thus here at Trani, the tower joins the church, though it is not made so completely part of its substance as it is at Bari and Bitonto. The inside of the church shows us another form of the same tendency. The Norman in Apulia could hardly fail to adopt the columnar forms of the land in which he was settled; but he could not bring himself to give up the threefold division of height and the bold triforium of his own land. An upper floor was not unknown in Italy, as we see in more than one of the Roman churches, as in Saint Agnes, Saint Laurence, and the church known as Quattro Coronati, to say nothing of Modena and Pisa, and Sta. Maria della Pieve at Arezzo. But in some of these cases the arrangement is widely different from the genuine Norman triforium, and the threefold division certainly cannot be called characteristically Italian, any more than characteristically Greek. But it is characteristically Norman; and when we find it systematically appearing in churches built under Norman rule, we must set it down as a result of special Norman taste. At Trani each of the seven arches of the nave has a triplet of round arches over it, and a single clerestory window above that. The Norman in his own land would have made more of the clerestory; he would have drawn a string underneath it to part it 306 off from the triforium; he would have carried up shafts to the roof to mark the division into bays. But the triforium itself, as it stands at Trani, might have been set up at Caen or Bayeux, with only the smallest changes in detail. But where in Normandy, where in England, where, we may add, in Sicily, is there anything at all like the arcades which in the church of Trani support this all but thoroughly Norman triforium? These have no fellow at Bitonto; they have hardly a fellow at Bari. In those cities the Norman adopted the columnar arcades of the basilica, while in Sicily the Saracen still at his bidding placed the pointed arch on the Roman column. At Trani too we see the work, or at least the influence, of the Saracen; but it takes quite another form. The pointed arch would have been out of place; in Normandy and England it is ever a mark of the coming Gothic, and there is certainly no sign of coming Gothic at Trani. But the coupling of two columns with their capitals under a single abacus—sometimes rather a bit of entablature—to form the support of an arch, is a well-known Saracenic feature. Not that it was any Saracen invention. In architecture, as in everything else, the Saracen was, as regards the main forms, only a pupil of Rome, Old and New; but, exactly like the Norman, he knew how to develope and to throw a new character into the forms which he borrowed. The coupled columns may 307 truly be called a Saracenic feature, though the Saracen must have learned it in the first instance from such buildings as the sepulchral church known as Saint Constantia at Rome. We may fairly see a Saracenic influence in a crowd of Christian examples where this form is used in cloisters and other smaller buildings where the arches and columns are of no great size. It is even not uncommon in strictly Norman buildings in positions where the shafts are merely part of the decorative construction, and do not actually support the weight of the building. It was a bolder risk to take a pair of such columns, and bid them bear up the real weight of the three stages of what we may fairly call a Norman minster.

Cathedral, Trani

CATHEDRAL, TRANI, INSIDE.

But the daring attempt is thoroughly successful; there is not, what we might well have looked for, any feeling of weakness; the twin columns yoked together to bear all that would have been laid on the massive round piers of England or their square fellows of Germany, seem fully equal to their work. It may be that the appearance of strength is partly owing to the use of real half-columns, and not mere slender vaulting-shafts, to support the roofs of the aisles. But the slender shaft comes in with good effect to support both the arch between the nave and the transept, and the arch between the transept and the great apse. The lofty transept is wholly an Italian 308 idea; but the general idea of these two tall arches is thoroughly Norman.

In looking at such a church as this, so widely different from any of the many forms with which we are already familiar, there is always a certain doubt as to our own feelings. We admire; as to that there is no doubt. But how far is that admiration the result of mere wonder at something which in any case is strange and striking? how far is it a really intelligent approval of beauty or artistic skill? Both feelings, we may be pretty sure, come in; but it is not easy to say which is the leading one, till we are better acquainted with the building than we are likely to become in an ordinary journey. It is familiarity which is the real test. It is the building which we admire as much the thousandth time as the first which really approves itself to our critical judgement. We have not seen Trani for the thousandth time; but we did what we could; we were so struck with a first visit to Trani that, at the cost of some disturbance of travelling arrangements, we went there again, and we certainly did not admire it less the second time than the first. And, whatever may be the exact relation of the two feelings of mere wonder and of strictly critical approval, it is certain that a third feeling comes in by no means small a measure. This is a kind of feeling of historic fitness. The church of Trani is the kind of church 309 which ought to have been built by Normans building on Apulian ground, with Greek and Saracen skill at their disposal.

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

But the metropolitan church is not all that Trani has to show. In some of the buildings which we pass by in its narrow streets, we see some good windows of the style which it is most easy to call Venetian, though it might be rash hastily to refer them to the days of Venetian occupation. And there are other windows seemingly of earlier date, certainly of earlier character, which bear about them signs of the genuine Norman 310 impress. But the strength of Trani, even setting aside the great church, lies in its ecclesiastical buildings; the best pieces even of domestic work are found in one of the monasteries. Two smaller churches deserve notice; one of them deserves special notice. This is the church of All Saints, of which we saw the east end on our way to the great minster, and on whose west end we shall most likely light as we come away from it. That west end is covered by a portico, or rather something more than a portico, as it contains a double row of arches. The front to the street forms part of a long and picturesque range of building, of which the actual arcade consists of four arches. One only of these is pointed, and that is the only one which rests on a column, the others being supported by square piers. But beyond this outer range, the vaulted approach to the church displays a grand series of columns and half-columns, with capitals of various forms. One is of extraordinary grandeur, with the volutes formed of crowned angels; the forms of the man and the eagle, either of them good for a volute, are here pressed into partnership. Within, the church is a small but graceful basilica, which, notwithstanding some disfigurements in 1853 which are boastfully recorded, pretty well keeps its ancient character, its columns with their capitals of foliage. He who visits Trani will doubtless also visit Bari, and such an one 311 will do well both to compare the great church of Trani with the two great churches of Bari, and to compare and contrast this smaller building with the smaller church at Bari, that of Saint Gregory. Besides this little basilica, Trani possesses, not in one of its narrow streets, but in its widest piazza, a church, now of Saint Francis, but which, among many disfigurements, still keeps the form of the Greek cross within, and some Romanesque fragments without. Here, as also at Bari and at Bitonto, oriental influences—something we mean more oriental than Greeks or even than Sicilian Saracens—may be seen in the pierced tracery with which some of the windows are filled. In these cases this kind of work suggests a mosque; with other details, it might have carried our thoughts far away, to the great towers of the West of England.

Among the other members of this group of cities we might have expected to find Brindisi, so famous as a haven of the voyager in Roman days, and no less famous in our own, fill a high, if not the highest, place among its fellows. And Brindisi has its points of interest also, one of them of an almost unique interest. Over the haven rises a commemorative column—its fellow has left only its pedestal—which records, not the dominion of Saint Mark, but the restoration of the city by the Protospatharius Lupus. 312 Is this he whose name has been rightly or wrongly added to certain annals of Bari? Anyhow there the column stands, one of the few direct memorials of Byzantine rule in Italy. There is the round church also, the mosaic in the otherwise worthless cathedral, and one or two fragments of domestic work. The lie of the city and its haven is truly a sight to be studied; we see that in whatever language it is that Brentesion means a stag's horn, the name was not unfittingly given to the antler-like fiords of this little inland sea. We trace out too the walls of Charles the Fifth, and we see how Brindisi has shrunk up since his day. But we are perhaps tempted to do injustice to Brindisi, to hurry over its monuments, when we are driven to choose between Brindisi and the greater attractions of the furthest city of our group, in some sort the furthest city of Europe. We pass by Lecce, which lies outside our group, as between Trani and Brindisi we have been driven to pass Monopoli, the spot which saw the first beginnings of the short Venetian rule in these parts. Everything cannot be seen, and we shall hardly regret sacrificing something to hasten to a spot which may well call itself the end of the world, and which forms the most fitting link between the central and the eastern peninsulas of Europe.

OTRANTO.

313

1881.


Hydrous, Hydruntum, Otranto, has as good a claim as a city can well have to be looked on as the end of the world. It is very nearly the physical end of the world in that part of the world with which it has most concern. When we have reached Otranto, we can go no further by any common means of going. It may pass for the south-eastern point of the peninsula of Italy: it is the point where that central peninsula comes nearest to the peninsula which lies beyond it. It is the point where Western and Eastern Europe are parted by the smallest amount of sea. It has therefore been in all times one of the main points of communication between Eastern and Western Europe. The old Hydrous appears as a Greek colony, placed, as one of the old geographers happily puts it, on the mouth either of the Hadriatic or of the Ionian sea. Hydruntum appears in Roman days as a rival route to Brundisium for those who wish to pass from Italy into Greece. A city so placed naturally plays its part 314 in the wars of Belisarius and in the wars of Roger. Held by the Eastern Emperors as long as they held anything west of the Hadriatic, it passed, when the Norman came, into the hands of Apulian Dukes and Sicilian Kings, and it remained part of the continental Sicilian kingdom, save for the two moments in its history which bring it within our immediate range. Otranto is the one city of Western Europe in which the Turk has really reigned, though happily for a moment only. It is one of the cities in this corner of Italy which formed, for a somewhat longer time, outlying posts of Venetian dominion; and it is a spot where the memory of the Turk and the memory of the Venetian are mingled together in a strange, an unusual, and a shameful way. In most of the other spots which have seen the presence of the Turk and the Venetian, the commonwealth which was the temple-keeper of the Evangelist shows itself only in its nobler calling, as "Europe's bulwark 'gainst the Ottomite." At Otranto, Venice appears in a character which is more commonly taken by the Most Christian King. Before Francis and Lewis had conspired with the barbarian against their Christian rivals, the Serene Republic had already stirred him up to make havoc of a Christian city.

At Otranto then we finish our journey by land, and from Otranto, as Otranto is now, we have no means of continuing it by sea. We cannot sail straight, as men 315 did in old times, either to Corfu or to Aulona. To make our way from the central to the south-eastern peninsula, we have to make the "iter ad Brundisium" back again from the other side. It is the natural consequence of being at the end of the world, that when we reach the point which holds that place, we have to go back again. And when we find ourselves at Otranto, the fact that we are at the end of the world, that we have reached the end, not only of our actual journey, but of any possible journey of the same kind, is forcibly set before us as a kind of symbol. We have come to an end, to a very marked end, of the great railway system of central Europe. From any place within that system we can find our way to Otranto by the power of steam. Beyond Otranto that power can take us no further; indeed we have so nearly reached the heel of the boot that there is not much further to go by the help of any other power. We are at the end of Italy, at the end, that is, of the central peninsula of Europe, in a sense in which we are not even at more distant Reggio. For Reggio is before all things the way to Sicily, and Sicily we must allow to be geographically an appendage to Italy, strongly as we must assert the right of that great island to be looked on historically in quite another light. And that at Otranto we have distinctly reached the end of something is clearly set forth by the arrangements of the railway station itself. The 316 rails come to an end; the buildings of the station are placed, not at the side of the line, but straight across it, a speaking sign that we can go no further, and that the thought of taking us further has not entered the most speculative mind.

At Otranto then we have come to the end of one of the great divisions of the European world; it is therefore a fitting point to form a main point of connexion between that division and another. Otranto and its neighbourhood are the only points of the central peninsula from which we can, as a matter of ordinary course, look across into the eastern peninsula. We say as a matter of ordinary course. There are Albanian or Dalmatian heights from which it is said that, in unusually favourable weather, the Garganian peninsula may be descried; so it may be that the Garganian peninsula is favoured back again with occasional glimpses of south-eastern Europe. But a stay of even a few hours at Otranto shows that there south-eastern Europe comes within the gazer's ordinary ken. It is easy to see that it does not so much need good weather to show it as bad weather to hinder it from being shown. Before we reach Otranto, while we are still on the railway, the mountains of Albania rise clearly before our eyes; from the hill of Otranto itself they rise more clearly still. And even to those to whom those heights are no unfamiliar objects from 317 nearer points of view, it is a thrilling and a saddening thought, when we look forth for the first time from a land of which every inch belongs to the free and Christian world, and gaze on the once kindred land that has passed away from freedom and from Christendom. From the soil of free Italy we look on shores which are still left under the barbarian yoke, shores where so many whose fathers were sharers in the European and Christian heritage have fallen away to the creed of the barbarian and to all that that creed brings with it. On the other hand, it is said that there are more favourable moments when it is possible to look from free Italy into free Greece. It is said that, sometimes perhaps Corfu itself, more certainly the smaller islands which lie off it to the west, may be seen from the hill of Otranto. If so, we look out from that one spot of the central peninsula, from that one spot of the general western world, where the Turk can be said to have really ruled, for however short a time, and not simply to have harried. And we look out on that one among the many islands which gird the eastern peninsula, which has gone through many changes and has bowed to many masters, but where alone the Turk has never ruled as a master, but has shown himself only as a momentary besieger.

The Turk then was never lord of Corfu; he was for a while, though only for a very little while, lord of 318 Otranto. The winged lion floated over Corfu while the crescent floated for a season over Otranto. It was therefore perhaps not wholly unfitting that, for another somewhat longer season, the winged lion should float over Corfu and Otranto together. But it was not in his nobler character that the winged lion floated over Otranto. It would have been a worthy exploit indeed, if the arms of Venice, by that time a great Italian power, had driven out the Turk from his first lodgement on Italian soil. But instead of Venice driving the Turk out of Otranto, it was the common belief of the time that it was Venetian intrigue which had let him in. Nay more, if there was any truth in other suspicions of the time, the good old prayer of our forefathers, which prayed for deliverance from "Pope and Turk," might well have been put up by the people of Otranto and all Apulia in the year 1480. Not only the commonwealth of Venice, but the Holy Father himself, Pope Sixtus the Fourth, was believed to be an accomplice in the intrigues which enabled the infidel to establish himself on the shores of Italy. A time came, almost within our own day, when Pope and Turk were really leagued together, and when the Latin Bishop of the Old Rome owed his restoration to his seat to the joint help of the Mussulman Sultan of Constantinople and the Orthodox Tzar of Moscow. But in the fifteenth century we need 319 hardly expect even such a Pope as Sixtus of deliberately bringing the Turk into Italy. His own interests both as priest and as prince were too directly threatened. But it is hard to acquit the Venetian commonwealth, under the dogeship of Giovanni Mocenigo, of risking the lasting interests of all Christendom, and of their own Eastern dominion as part of it, to serve the momentary calls of a petty Italian policy. We even read that Venetian envoys worked on the mind of the Sultan by the argument that it was the part of the new lord of Constantinople to assert his claim to all that the older lords of Constantinople had held east of the Hadriatic. No argument could be more self-destructive in Venetian mouths. If the Turk had inherited the rights of Eastern Cæsar in the Western lands, how cruelly was Venice defrauding him of a large part of the rights of the Eastern Cæsar in his own Eastern lands.

The conquest of Otranto was the last of the conquests of him who rightly stands out in Ottoman history as pre-eminently the Conqueror. The second Mahomet, he who completed the conquest of Christian Asia by the taking of Trebizond, who crowned the work of Ottoman conquest in Europe by the taking of Constantinople, who by the taking of Euboia dealt 320 the heaviest blow to the Venetian power in the Ægæan, who brought under his power, as a gleaning after the vintage, the Frank lordship of Attica and the Greek lordship of Peloponnêsos, in his last days stretched forth his hand to vex Western Europe as he had so long vexed Eastern Europe and what was left of Christian Asia. He was in truth attacking both at the same time; he won Otranto almost at the moment when he was beaten back from Rhodes. Each scene of his warfare illustrates the nature of the Ottoman power at that moment, how it was by the hands of her own apostate sons that Christendom was brought into bondage. Against Rhodes the infidel host was led by a Greek, against Otranto by an Albanian, both renegades or sons of renegades. And under the first Ferdinand of Aragon such was the state of things in the land which had once been ruled by good King William that soldiers of the Neapolitan King were willing to pass into the service of the Turk. Nay, the inhabitants in general seemed ready to believe the Turk's promises and to accept his dominion as likely to be milder than that of their own stranger king. The invader was his own worst enemy. A contemporary writer witnesses that the prisoners taken by Achmet Break-Tooth—such is said to be the meaning of his surname Giédek—pointed out to him that by his cruelties at Otranto he was losing for 321 his master a province which otherwise might have been won with little effort.

But happily things took another turn. Otranto was in the Western world what Kallipolis—the Kallipolis of the Thracian Chersonêsos—had been in the Eastern. It was the first foothold of the barbarian, the gate by which he seemed likely to open his way to the possession of the central peninsula of Europe, as he had by the gate of Kallipolis opened his way to the possession of the eastern peninsula. Otranto was the last of the conquests of the great Conqueror; what if he had been longer-lived? what if the second Bajazet had deserved the name of Thunderbolt like the first? Would the threat of the first Sultan have been carried out, and would the Turk have fed his horse on the high altar of Saint Peter's? The eastern peninsula fell by internal division, and the central peninsula, as his very entrance into it shows, was fully as divided as the eastern. The French conquests presently showed how little prepared Italy was to withstand a vigorous attack, and Mahomet the Conqueror would have been another kind of enemy from Charles the Eighth. But all such dangers were warded off. The Turk still showed himself once and again in northern Italy, but only as a momentary plunderer. Otranto remained his only conquest on Italian ground, and that a conquest 322 held for thirteen months only. Alfonso, who bears so unfavourable a character from other sides, must be at least allowed the merit of winning back the lost city for his father's realm. Otranto, and Otranto alone of Italian cities, belongs to, and heads, the list on which we inscribe the names of Buda and Belgrade and Athens and Sofia, on which it may now inscribe the names of Arta and Larissa, but from which hapless Jôannina and twice-forsaken Parga are still for a while shut out.

It was not therefore till the Turk had been driven out, not until southern Italy had been more thoroughly but not much more lastingly overrun by the armies of France, that Otranto passed for a while under the rule of Venice. The Serene Republic hardly deserved to rule in a city which she had so lately betrayed; the place seems never to have recovered from the frightful blow of the Turkish capture. The town now shows no sign either of the short Venetian occupation or of the shorter Turkish occupation. From the side of military history, this last fact is to be regretted. We must remember that in that day the Ottomans, pressing and hiring into their service the best skill of Europe, were in advance of all other people in all warlike arts. So Guiccardini remarks that the Turks, during their short occupation of Otranto, strengthened the city with works of a kind hitherto unknown in 323 Italy, and which, as he seems to hint, Italian engineers would have done well to copy, but did not. The present fortifications date from the time of Charles the Fifth. Their extent shows at once how far the Otranto of his day had shrunk up within the bounds of the ancient city, and how far again modern Otranto has shrunk up within the walls of the Emperor. It is said that, before the Turkish capture, Otranto numbered twenty-two thousand inhabitants; it has now hardly above a tenth part of that number. As the military importance of the place has passed away, military precautions seemed to have passed away with it; the castle stands free and open; no sentinel hinders the traveller from wandering as he will within its walls. But the traveller will gain little by such wanderings except the look-out over land and sea. The town stands close upon the sea, on a small height with a valley between it and the railway station. It is entered by a gateway of late date, but of some dignity; but it is not much that the frowning entrance leads to. The visitor soon finds that Otranto, which gave its name of old to the surrounding land, which still ranks as a metropolitan city, has sunk to little more than a village. It seems to have had no share in the revived prosperity of the other towns along this coast. Its one object of any importance is the metropolitan church, and this is at once the only monument of the 324 ancient greatness of the place, and also in a strange way the chief memorial of its momentary bondage to the barbarian.

In order thoroughly to take in the position of the great church of Otranto in its second character, as a memorial of bondage and deliverance, it may be well to pass it by for a moment and to go first to the castle, and look out on one of the points of view which it commands. Any local guide will be able to show the traveller the Hill of the Martyrs. It stands at no great distance beyond the town, and is held to mark the site of a pagan temple. There the Turks, after their capture of the city, did as they have done in later times. Some eight or nine hundred of the people of Otranto were massacred. Their bodies lay unburied so long as the Turk kept possession; on the recovery of the city, the bodies of the martyrs, as they were now deemed, were gathered together, and a special chapel was added to the metropolitan church to receive them. There they may still be seen, piled together in cases, with inscriptions telling the story. There are skulls, legs, arms, bones of every part of the human body, some still showing the dents of barbarian weapons, some with barbarian weapons still cleaving to them. There we look on them, ghastly witnesses that, neither in their days nor in ours, is the 325 Æthiopian at all disposed to change his skin or the leopard his spots. What the Turk did at Otranto he has done at Batak; he may, if the freak seizes him, do the like at Jôannina. Only the deeds of Otranto were at least done by the Turk as a mere outside barbarian; he was not licensed to do them by the united voice of Europe. It is only in these latest times that the Turk has been fully authorized, under all the sanctions of so-called international right, to renew at pleasure the deeds of Otranto and of Batak in lands to which Europe has twice promised freedom.

The martyrs of 1480, their sufferings, their honours, have made so deep an impression on the mind of Otranto that the metropolitan basilica has popularly lost its name of Annunziata, and is more commonly spoken of as the church of the martyrs. But the great church of Otranto, the church of the prelate whose style runs as "archiepiscopus Hydrutinus et primas Salentinorum," is a building of deep interest on other grounds. Like so many Italian churches, it is not very attractive without, nor is there anything specially to tarry over in its bell-tower. But even outside we may mark one or two signs of the restoration which the church underwent after its deliverance from the Turk. The west window is of that date, one of those rose-windows to which Italian, and still more Dalmatian, taste clave so long, even when all 326 other mediæval fashions had vanished away. Of the same date is the north door, showing, like the great doors at Benevento, the Primate of the Salentines attended by the bishops and chief abbots of his province. As we go within, our first feeling is one of wonder that so much should have lived through the infidel storm and occupation. But, according to the usual practice of Mussulman conquerors, the head church of the city was turned into a mosque; there was therefore, after the first moment of havoc had passed by, no temptation on the part of the new occupants to damage the essential features of a building which had become a temple of their own worship. It is therefore not wonderful that the main features of the basilica are still there, either untouched or most skilfully restored. Seven arches rise from columns, perhaps of classical date, with capitals, mostly of different kinds of foliage, but one of which brings in human figures, after the type which was so well set in Caracalla's baths. But a more interesting study is supplied by the great crypt, or rather under-church. At Otranto, as in some of its neighbours, the craftsmen who worked below clearly allowed themselves a freer choice of forms in the carving of capitals than they ventured on above ground. The vault of the under-church rests on ranges of slender columns, with heavy abaci and with an amazing variety in the 327 capitals. None perhaps can be called classical; but very few are simply grotesque. The few that are so are found—one does not quite see the reason of the distinction—among the half-columns against the walls. Most of them show various forms of foliage and animal figures; the old law that almost any kind of man, beast, or bird, can be pressed to serve as the volute at the corner of a capital is here most fully carried out. But the further law, that that duty is most worthily discharged by the imperial eagle, can be nowhere better studied than in the Hydrantine under-church. In some capitals again, especially in the columns of the apses, the bird of Cæsar is perched as it were on Byzantine basket-work, clearly showing which Augustus it was to whom the Salentine Primate bowed as his temporal lord. Other capitals again are much simpler, but also savouring of the East; the plain square block has mere carving on the surface. Then, of the columns themselves, some are plain, some are fluted, some are themselves carved out with various patterns. In short a rich and wonderful variety reigns in every feature of the under-church of Otranto.

Our comparison of the columns and capitals has carried us underground; but the really distinctive feature of the basilica of Otranto is above. Other churches of southern Italy have wonderful crypts; none, we may feel sure, has so wonderful a pavement. 328 And here we do wonder that the Turks did not do incomparably more mischief than they did do. Some mischief they did; but the archbishops and canons of Otranto seem—perhaps unavoidably—to have done a great deal more by destroying or covering the rich pavement to make room for the furniture of the church. It would surely be hard to find another example of a pavement whose design is spread over the whole ground-floor of a great church. The pictures are in mosaic, rough mosaic certainly, of the second half of the twelfth century, when Otranto formed part of the Sicilian realm, and when that realm was ruled by William the Bad. Luckily inscriptions in the pavement itself have preserved to us the exact date, and the names of the giver and the artist. One tells us in leonine rimes:

"Ex Ionathi donis per dexteram Pantaleonis

Hoc opus insigne est superans impendia digne.

Another stoops to prose: "Humilis servus Ionathas Hydruntinus archieps. jussit hoc op fieri per manus Pantaleonis prb. Anno ab Incarnatione Dni Nri Ihu. Xri MCLXV indictione XIV, regnante Dno nostro W. Rege Magnif." The design of the priest Pantaleon, wrought at the bidding of Archbishop Jonathan in the last year of the first William, is of a most extensive and varied kind. Scriptural scenes and persons, figures which seem purely fanciful, the favourite 329 subject of the signs of the zodiac, all find their place. We meet also with one or two heroes of earlier and later times whom we should hardly have looked for. The main design starts, not far from the west end, with a tree rising from the backs of two elephants. The huge earth-shaking beast, the Lucanian ox, is, it must be remembered, a favourite in southern Italy; he finds a marked place among the sculptures of the great churches of Bari. The tree—one is tempted to see in it the mystic ash of Northern mythology—sends its vast trunk along the central line of the nave, throwing forth its branches, and what we may call their fruit, on either side. Here are strange beasts which may pass either for the fancies of the herald or for the discoveries of the palæontologist; but in the lion with four bodies and a single head we must surely look for a symbolical meaning of some kind. He is balanced, to be sure, by other strange forms, in which two or three heads rise from a single body. Here are figures with musical instruments, here a huntress aiming at a stag; and in the midst of all this, not very far from the west end, we find the figure of "Alexander Rex." To the left we have Noah, making ready to build the ark—the story begins at the beginning, like the building of the Norman fleet in the Bayeux Tapestry. Four figures are cutting down trees, and the patriarch himself is sawing up the wood, with a saw of the type 330 still used in the country. The centre of the pavement is occupied by the zodiac; each month has its befitting work assigned to it according to the latitude of Otranto. Thus June cuts the corn. July threshes it, neither with a modern machine, nor with the feet of primitive oxen, but with the flail which many of us will remember in our youth. August, with his feet in the wine-press, gathers the grapes. December carries a boar, as if for the Yule feast of Queen Philippa's scholars. Each month has its celestial sign attached; but it would seem that the priest Pantaleon was in a hurry in putting together his kalendar, and that he put each of the signs a month in advance. Beyond the zodiac, near the entrance of the choir, and partly covered by its furniture, is a figure, which startles us with the legend "Arturus Rex." If we were to have Alexander and Arthur, why not the rest of the nine worthies? If only a selection, why are the Hebrews defrauded of their representative?—unless indeed Samson, who appears in the form of a mutilated figure, not far from the left of Arthur, has taken the place of the more familiar Joshua, David, and Judas. Here is a witness to the early spread of the Arthurian legends; here, in 1165, within the Sicilian kingdom, the legendary British hero receives a place of honour, alongside of the Macedonian. Nor is this our only witness to the currency in these regions of the tales which had 331 been not so long before spread abroad by Walter Map. By this time, or not long after, the name of Arthur had already found a local habitation on Ætna itself. Among other scriptural pieces in different parts, we find of course Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel; there is Jonah too, far to the east; and in the eastern part of the north aisle, the imagination of Jonathan or Pantaleon has forestalled somewhat of the Dantesque conception of the Inferno. "Satanas" is vividly drawn, riding on a serpent, and other figures armed with serpents are doing their terrible work in the train of the "duke of that dark place." The whole work is strictly mosaic, and the design, though everywhere rude, is carried out with wonderful spirit. We may indeed rejoice that the hoofs of Turkish horses and the improvements of modern canons have left so much of a work which, even if it stood by itself, it would be worth while going to the end of railways at Otranto to see.

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

FIRST GLIMPSES OF HELLAS.

332

1875—1881.


In our present journey we draw near to the eastern peninsula, to the Hellenic parts of that peninsula, by way of the great island—great as compared with the mass of Greek islands, though small as compared with Sicily or Britain—which keeps guard, as a strictly Hellenic outpost, over a mainland which was and is less purely Hellenic. From Brindisi we sail to Corfu, the elder Korkyra, as distinguished from the black isle of the same name off the Dalmatian shore. In so sailing, we specially feel ourselves to be sailing in the wake of the conquerors who made Corfu an appendage to the Sicilian realm; we are passing between spots on either side which have known both a Norman and Venetian master. But it may be that we may have already drawn near to Greece by another path. It is easy to prolong the voyage which took us from Trieste to Spalato, from Spalato to Cattaro, by a third stage which will take us from Cattaro to Corfu. In this case we may have already studied the Albanian 333 coast, and that with no small pleasure and profit. We may have marked a point not long after we had left Dalmatia behind us, and that where a line may well be drawn. There is a geographical change in the direction of the coast, from the shore of Dalmatia, with its islands and inland seas, its coast-line stretching away to the south-east, to the nearly direct southern line of the shore of Albania. In modern political geography we pass from the dominion of Austria to the dominion of the Turk. In the map of an earlier day, we pass from the all but wholly continuous dominion of the two commonwealths of Venice and Ragusa. In modern ethnology we pass from the Slave under a certain amount of Italian influence to the Albanian under a certain, though smaller, amount of influence, Italian or Greek, according to his local position and his religious creed. In modern religious geography we pass from a land which is wholly Christian, but where the Eastern form of Christianity, though still in the minority, makes itself more deeply felt at every step, to a land where Islam and the two great ancient forms of Christianity are all found side by side. In the geography of earlier times this point marks the frontier of a land intermediate between the barbaric land to the north, with only a few Greek colonies scattered here and there, and the purely Greek lands, the "continuous Hellas," to 334 the south. We find on this western shore of the south-eastern peninsula the same feature which is characteristic of so large a part of the Ægæan and Euxine coasts, both of the south-eastern peninsula itself and of the neighbouring land of Asia. The great mainland is barbarian; the islands and a fringe of sea-coast are Greek. As we draw nearer to the boundary of Greece proper, the Hellenic element is strengthened. Thesprotians, Molossians, Chaonians, were at least capable of becoming Greeks. Epeiros, Ἤπειρος, terra firma, once the vague name of an undefined barbarian region, became the name of a Greek federal commonwealth with definite boundaries. And the character of a barbarian land, fringed with European settlements and looking out on European islands, did not wholly pass away till almost our own day. A few still living men may remember the storming of Prevesa; many can remember the cession—some might call it the betrayal—of Parga. It was only when Parga was yielded to the Turk that this ancient feature of the Illyrian and Epeirot lands passed away. What Corinth had once been Venice was. Corinth first studded that coast with outposts of the civilized world. Venice held those outposts, sadly lessened in number, down to her fall. And the men of Parga deemed, though they were mistaken in the thought, that to the mission of Corinth and Venice England had succeeded. 335

From whichever side our traveller draws near to Corfu, he comes from lands where Greek influence and Greek colonization spread in ancient times, but from which the Greek elements have been gradually driven out, partly by the barbarism of the East, partly by the rival civilization of the West. Whether we come from Otranto and Brindisi or from the Illyrian Pharos and the Illyrian Korkyra, we are coming from lands which once were Greek. But Otranto and Brindisi, Pharos and Black Korkyra, even Epidamnos and Apollonia, were scattered outposts of Greek life among barbarian neighbours; as the traveller draws near to the elder Korkyra, he finds himself for the first time within the bounds of "continuous Hellas." He may have seen in other lands greater and more speaking monuments of old Hellenic life than any that the island has to show him; he may have seen the lonely hill of Kymê, the hardly less lonely temples of Poseidônia; but those were Greece in Italy; now for the first time he sees Greece itself. Whatever we may say of the mainland to the left, there can be no doubt, either now or in ancient times, of the Hellenic character of the island to the right. There are the small attendant isles; there are the great peaks of Korkyra—not the lowlier peaks which gave city and island their later name—but the far mightier mountains which catch the eye as we approach 336 the great island from the north. That island at least is Hellas—less purely Hellenic, it may be, than some other lands and islands, but still Hellenic, part of the immediate Hellenic world of both ancient and modern days. It was and is the most distant part of the immediate Hellenic world; but it forms an integral part of it. The land which we see is Hellenic in a sense in which not even Sicily, not even the Great Hellas of Southern Italy, much less then the Dalmatian archipelago, ever became Hellenic. From the first historic glimpse which we get of Korkyra, it is not merely a land fringed by Hellenic colonies; it is a Hellenic island, the dominion of a single Hellenic city, a territory the whole of whose inhabitants were, at the beginning of recorded history, either actually Hellenic or so thoroughly hellenized that no one thought of calling their Hellenic position in question. Modern policy has restored it to its old position by making it an integral portion of the modern Greek kingdom. And, if in some things it is less purely Greek than the rest of that kingdom, what is the cause? It is because, if Corfu may be thought for a while to have ceased to be part of Greece, it never ceased to be part of Christendom. It was for ages under alien dominion, but it never was under the dominion of the Turk. The Venetian could to some extent modify and assimilate his Greek subjects; the Turk could modify 337 or assimilate none but actual renegades. And, after all, the main influence has been the other way. If Italian became the fashionable speech, even for men of Greek descent, men on the other hand whose names distinctly show their Italian descent have cast in their lot with their own country rather than with the country of their forefathers. Shallow critics have mocked because men with Venetian names have been strong political assertors of Greek nationality. They might as well mock whenever a man of Norman descent shows himself a patriotic Englishman. They might as well hint that Presidents and Ministers of France and Spain, who have borne names which proclaim their Irish origin, were bound or likely to follow an Irish policy rather than a French or a Spanish one.

The first aspect, indeed every aspect, of the island of Corfu and the neighbouring coast of Epeiros is deeply instructive. The island and the mainland come so close together that, till the eye has got well used to the outline of particular mountains, it is not easy to tell how much is island and how much mainland. A statesman of the last generation twice told the House of Lords that Corfu lay within a mile of the coast of Thessaly. We cannot say, without looking carefully to the scale on the map, how many miles Corfu lies from the coast of Thessaly, any more than we can say offhand how many miles Anglesey lies 338 from the coast of Norfolk. It is a more practical fact that some parts of Corfu lie very near indeed to the coast of Epeiros, though not quite so near as Anglesey lies to the coast of Caernarvonshire. The channel must surely be everywhere more than a mile in width; certainly it could nowhere be bridged, as in the case of Anglesey, or in the cases of Euboia and nearer Leukas. Both coasts are irregular, both coasts are mountainous, and the mountains on both sides fuse into one general mass. Above all, prominent from many points, soars the famous range where, with a singular disregard of later geography,

"Arethusa arose

From her couch of snows

In the Acroceraunian mountains."

Snow of course is in these lands to be had only at a much higher level than the snow-line of the Alps, so that the couch of Arethousa stands out yet more conspicuously over the neighbouring heights than it might have done in a more northern region. The inhabitants of Corfu are fond of pointing to the contrast between the well-wooded hills and valleys of their own fertile island and the bare, almost uninhabited, land which lies opposite to them. And of course they do not fail to point the inevitable moral. As in most such cases, there is truth in the boast, but truth that needs some qualifications. Corfu, through all its changes of 339 masters, has always been under governments which were civilized according to the standard of their own times. It has fared accordingly. Epeiros has been handed over to a barbarian master, and it has also been largely colonized by the least advanced of European races. Besides having the Turk as a ruler, it has had the Albanian, Christian and Mussulman, as a settler. In Corfu the Albanian is a frequent visitor; his sheepskin and fustanella may be constantly seen in the streets of Corfu; but he has not—unless possibly in the shape of refugees from Parga—formed any distinct element in her population. It is only in the nature of things that Greeks under successive Venetian, French, and English rule should do more for their land than Albanians under Turkish rule. But we may doubt whether any people under any government could have made the land opposite to Corfu like Corfu itself. Had the mainland shared the successive destinies of the island, it would doubtless have been far better off than it has been. But it could hardly have been as the island. One point of advantage for the island was the mere fact that it was an island. In all but the highest states of civilization, this is an advantage beyond words; and the ancient colonists fully understood the fact.

Still it is a striking contrast to pass across the narrow sea from Corfu to what was Butrinto. Buthrotum, the mythical city of the Trojan Helenos, has 340 a more real being as a Roman colony, and as one of those outposts on the mainland in which Venice succeeded the Neapolitan Kings, and which she kept down to her own fall. Butrinto was once a city no less than Corfu; to Virgil's eyes it was the reproduction of Troy itself. Now we cross from the busy streets and harbour of Corfu to utter desolation at Butrinto. The desolation is greater in one way than any that Helenos or any other primitive settler could have found, because it is that form of desolation which consists in traces of what has been. We enter the mouth of the river, with rich trees and pasturage between its banks and the rugged mountains; we mark ruins of fortresses and buildings on either side, till we come to the ruined castle at the mouth of the lake. The lake is a carefully preserved fishery, and permission is needed to enter it. A few dirty-looking men assemble at the door of a tumble-down building standing against the ruined castle. But among them are personages of some local importance. One is the lessee of the fishery, whose good will is of special importance. There is also a Turkish officer of some kind—more likely a Mussulman Albanian than an Ottoman—with his small and not threatening following. There are one or two native Christians; and it brings the varied ethnology of the land more deeply home to learn that they are neither Greeks nor 341 Albanians, but that they belong to the scattered race of the Vlachs, the Latin-speaking people of the East, whose greatest settlement, far away from Butrinto, has now grown into an European kingdom. It is well to be reminded at such a moment that the Rouman principality, though the greatest, is only one among many, and that the latest, of the settlements of this scattered people. And it brings home the fact to us when we see here, in a land where Greek and Albanian—that is, Hellên and Illyrian—are both at home, the third of the great primitive races of the peninsula, the widely spread Thracian kin, the people of Sitalkês and Kersobleptês, so far away from the land in which alone political geography acknowledges them.

One feeling however the group, so small, but differing so widely in race and creed, seem all to share very deeply. This is a devout reverence for the image of George King of the Greeks, when graven on a five- (new) drachma piece, and held up in the hand of one of the representatives of Corfu in the Greek Parliament. We remember the ancient power of much smaller coins—ὡς μέγα δύνασθον πανταχοῦ τὼ δύ' ὀβολώ—and we begin to doubt whether a smaller sum might not have done the work as well. Anyhow his Hellenic Majesty's countenance, in this attractive shape, acts as a talisman on all, private and official, Christian and 342 Mussulman; it buys off all questions or searchings of any kind, and wins free access to the beautiful scenery of the lake, full licence to poke about among what little there is to poke about in the shattered castle. The thought cannot help coming into the mind that those who so greatly respect the image and superscription of King George would have no very violent dislike to become his subjects. Still it is not without a certain feeling of having escaped out of the mouth of the lion that we cross once more over the channel, and find ourselves at the hospitable door of a Greek gentleman of Koloura.

CORFU AND ITS NAMES.

343

1875.


The great argument to establish the fact of a long-abiding Slavonic occupation in Greece has always been the changes in local nomenclature, the actual Slavonic names and the Greek names which have displaced older Greek names. The former class speak for themselves; the latter class are held to have been given during the process of Greek reconquest. Nor can there be any reasonable doubt that there is a large amount of truth in this doctrine, if only it is kept in moderation, and is not pressed to the extreme conclusions of Fallmerayer. But it is important to note that the change from one Greek name to another has taken place also in cases when there has been no foreign settlement, no reconquest, no violent change of any kind. One of the greatest of Greek islands has lost one Greek name and has taken another, without the operation of any of the causes which are said to have brought about the change of nomenclature in Peloponnêsos. Crete and Euboia, we may say in passing, 344 seem to have changed their names, when in truth they have not; but Korkyra really has changed its name. It had, for all purposes, become Corfu—in some spelling or other—till the modern revival—unwisely, we must venture to think—brought back, not the true local Korkyra (Κόρκυρα), but the Attic and Byzantine Kerkyra (Κέρκυρα). City and island alike are now again Κέρκυρα; or rather we cannot say that the city is again Κέρκυρα, as the modern city never was Κέρκυρα at all, nor even Κόρκυρα. The modern town of Corfu—in its best Greek form Κορυφώ—stands on a different site from the ancient town of Korkyra, and there can be little doubt that the change of name is connected with the change of site.

The legendary history of the island goes up, we need not say, to the Homeric tales. That Korkyra was the Homeric Scheriê was an accepted article of faith as early as the days of Thucydides. His casual phrase goes for more than any direct statement. He connects the naval greatness of the Korkyraians of his day with the seafaring fame of the mythical Phaiakians (ναυτικῷ πολὺ προέχειν ἔστιν ὅτε ἐπαιρόμενοι καὶ κατὰ τὴν τῶν Φαιάκων προενοίκησιν τῆς Κερκύρας κλέος ἐχόντων τὰ περὶ τὰς ναῦς). Nearly a thousand years later Prokopios is equally believing, though he goes into some doubts and speculations as to the position of the isle of Kalypsô. His way of describing 345 the island should be noticed. With him the island is the Phaiakian land, which is now called Korkyra (ἡ Φαιάκων χώρα, ἣ νῦν Κέρκυρα ἐπικαλεῖται). Against this description we may fairly balance that of Nikêtas (ἡ Κερκυραίων ἄκρα, ἣ νῦν ἐπικέκληται Κορυφώ), with whom the promontory of the Kerkyraians is now called Koryphô. The two answer to each other. To talk of Κερκυραίων ἄκρα was as much an archaism in the eleventh century as to talk of Φαιάκων χώρα was in the sixth. The everyday name of the island in the days of Prokopios was still Κόρκυρα or Κέρκυρα. In the days of Nikêtas it was already Κορυφώ.

We put the two phrases of Prokopios and Nikêtas together, because they are turned out as it were from the same mould. But there is no doubt that the change of name had happened a good while before Nikêtas, and there is some reason to believe that it was the result of causes which are set forth in the narrative of Prokopios. The earliest mention of Corfu by its present name seems to be that in Liudprand, who calls it "Coriphus" in the plural, the Greek Κορυφούς. The change therefore happened between the sixth century and the tenth, the change doubtless of site no less than the change of name. And no time seems more likely for either than the time which followed the wasting expedition of Totilas which Prokopios 346 records. Then doubtless it was that the old city, if it did not at once perish, at least began to decay; a new site began to be occupied; a new town arose, and that new town took a new name from its most remarkable physical feature, the κορυφώ, the two peaks crowned by the citadel, which form the most striking feature in the entrance to the harbour of modern Corfu.

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

κείνην νῦν Κορφὺν ναῦται διεφημίξαντο.

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

καὶ λιπαρὴ Κέρκυρα, φίλον πέδον Ἀλκινόοιο.

Nor does the commentator Eustathios say one word as to the change of name. We can only conceive that 347 the line must have been added as a gloss in some copy, printed or manuscript, which was consulted by Quirini.

We will assume then that, as far as the island is concerned, Korkyra and Corfu—in its various spellings—are two successive names, one of which supplanted the other, while, as far as the city is concerned, they are strictly the names of two distinct though neighbouring cities, one of which fell as the other rose. And now the question comes, Is the island of Korkyra the Scheriê of Homer? Is his description of Scheriê and the city of Alkinoos meant for the description of Korkyra or any part of it, whether the historical city or any other? We must remember that the general witness of antiquity in favour of Korkyra being Scheriê loses a good deal of its weight when we consider that the ancient writers felt bound to place Scheriê somewhere, while no such necessity is laid upon us. Bearing this in mind, the plain case seems to be that it is far more likely that Scheriê was nowhere at all. In dealing with Scheriê and its inhabitants, we are not dealing with an entry in the Catalogue of the Iliad, the Domesday of the Mykênaian empire; we are simply dealing with a piece of the romantic geography of the Odyssey. Everything about the Phaiakians and their land reads as if the whole thing was as purely a play of the imagination 348 as the Kyklôpes and the Laistrygones. It is indeed quite possible that, even in describing purely imaginary lands, a poet may bring in his remembrance of real places, just as the features of a real person may be reproduced in the picture of an imaginary event. The poet, in painting Scheriê, may have brought in bits of local description from Korkyra or from any other place. But that is all. As we read the story, it seems quite as reasonable to look on the map for Nephelokokkygia as to look on the map for Scheriê. The thinkers of the days of Thucydides or of some time before Thucydides, deeming themselves bound to place Scheriê somewhere, fixed it at Korkyra. The reason doubtless was that the Phaiakians are spoken of as the most distant of mankind, far away from any others, and that Korkyra really was for a long time the most distant of Greek settlements in this region. When Korkyra was once ruled to be Scheriê, the process of identification naturally went on. Spots received Homeric names. Alkinoos had his grove and his harbour in the historical Korkyra. All this is the common course of legend, and proves nothing for either geography or history. Yet the tale of Scheriê, of Alkinoos, Arêtê, and the charming Nausikaa, is not simply one of the loveliest of tales. Scheriê knew the use of wheeled carriages; therefore Scheriê had roads. Alkinoos, the head king, was chief over twelve lesser 349 kings. Here we get real history, though history neither personal nor local. Scheriê itself may safely be looked for in the moon; but the roads of Scheriê and the Bretwalda of Scheriê have their place in the early history of institutions.

Other names of the island are spoken of, as Drepanê and Makris, descriptive names which perhaps never were in real use, and which, if they were, were supplanted by the historical name of Korkyra. We must again repeat that Korkyra, not Kerkyra, is the genuine local name. It is the spelling on the coins of the country; it is the spelling of the Latin writers, who would get the name from the island itself; it is the spelling of Strabo. But it is equally plain that in Greece generally the spelling Κέρκυρα prevailed. It is so in Herodotus and the Attic writers; it is so in Polybios; it is so in the Byzantine writers, who of course affect Attic forms. It must never be forgotten that, from the time of Polybios, perhaps from an earlier time than his, down to the present moment, written Greek has been one thing, and spoken Greek another. Polybios wrote Κέρκυρα, while its own people called it Κόρκυρα, just as he wrote Ἦλις, while its own people called it Ϝᾶλις. The difference has been thought to have its origin in some joke or sarcasm—some play on κέρκος, κέρκουρος, and the like. But the literary form may just as likely be simply a tempting 350 softening of the local form. One point only is to be insisted on, that the syllable Κορ in Κόρκυρα, and the syllable Κορ in Κορυφώ, have nothing to do with one another. The latter name is no corruption of the elder; it is a genuine case of one Greek name supplanting another—perhaps rather a case of a Greek name, after so many ages, supplanting a name which the first Greek colonists may have borrowed from earlier barbarian inhabitants. In this case the change implies no change of inhabitants, no change of language. It is a change within the Greek language itself, which can be fully accounted for by historical causes. It therefore teaches that changes of name, such as the Slavonic theory insists on in Peloponnêsos, though they do often arise from new settlements and reconquests, do also come about in other ways.

It is for the mythologist to find out whether Homer had Korkyra in his eye when he described the mythic Scheriê. This, be it again noted, is a perfectly reasonable subject for inquiry, and in no way implies any historical belief in the legend. It is simply like asking whether the real Glastonbury at all suggested the mythic Avalon. History begins to deal with Korkyra in the eighth century B.C., when the settlement of the Corinthian Chersikratês added the island to the Greek world. From that day onward the island has a long and eventful story, reaching down to our 351 own times. But, before that story begins, the historian may fairly ask of the ethnologist what evidence, what hints of any kind, there are as to the people whom the Corinthian colonists found settled in the island. It is not likely that they found so promising a site wholly uninhabited. Some branch of the great Illyrian race, the race which is still so near to the island, and which still supplies it, if not with inhabitants, at least with constant visitors, may well be supposed to have made their way into so tempting an island. The harbours of Corfu would surely attract the seafaring Liburnians. We are then brought to the common conditions of a Greek colony, planted, as usual, among pre-existing barbarian inhabitants, and, as Mr. Grote has so strongly enforced, sure to receive a dash of barbarian blood among some classes of its members. The dêmos of Korkyra may well have been far from being of pure Hellenic descent—a fact which, if it be so, may go far to explain the wide difference between the dêmos of Korkyra and the dêmos of Athens. Since the time of the Corinthian settlement, the island has undergone endless conquests and changes of masters, each of which has doubtless brought with it a fresh infusion into the blood of its inhabitants. But since the time of Chersikratês there has been nothing like extirpation, displacement, or resettlement. Korkyra has ever since been an Hellenic land, though a succession of 352 foreign occupations may have marred the purity of its Hellenism. And one point at once distinguishes it from all the neighbouring lands. Among all the changes of masters which Korkyra or Corfu has undergone, they have always been European masters. It is the one land in those parts that has never seen the Turk as more than a momentary invader, to be speedily beaten back by European prowess.

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

CORFU AND ITS HISTORY.

353

1875.


We have already spoken of the singular change of name which has befallen the most famous and important, though not the largest in superficial extent, of the group known as the Ionian Islands. The change of name, as we hold, followed naturally on the change of site of the city. The new city took a new name, and the island has always followed the name of the city. The old city and the new both occupy neighbouring points in a system of small peninsulas and havens, which form the middle of the eastern coast of the long and irregularly-shaped island of Korkyra. There, to the south of the present town, connected with it by a favourite walk of the inhabitants of Corfu, a long and broad peninsula stretches boldly into the sea. Both from land and from sea, it chiefly strikes the eye as a wooded mass, thickly covered with the aged olive-trees which form so marked a feature in the scenery of the island. A few houses skirt the base, growing on the land side into 354 the suburb of Kastrades, which may pass for a kind of connecting link between the old and the new city. And from the midst of the wood, on the side nearest to the modern town, stands out the villa of the King of the Greeks, the chief modern dwelling on the site of ancient Korkyra. This peninsular hill, still known as Palaiopolis, was the site of the old Corinthian city whose name is so familiar to every reader of Thucydides. On either side of it lies one of its two forsaken harbours. Between the old and the new city lies the so-called harbour of Alkinoos; beyond the peninsula, stretching far inland, lies the old Hyllaic harbour, bearing the name of one of the three tribes which seem to have been essential to the being of a Dorian commonwealth. But the physical features of the country have greatly changed since Chersikratês led thither his band of settlers twenty-six centuries back. It is plain that both harbours once came much further inland than they do now, that they covered a great deal of the low ground at the foot of the peninsular hill. The question indeed presents itself, whether the two did not once meet, whether the peninsula was not once an island, whether the original colony did not occupy a site standing to the mainland of Korkyra in exactly the same relation in which the original insular Syracuse, the sister Corinthian colony, stood to the mainland of Sicily. The physical aspect of the 355 country certainly strongly suggests the belief. And though Thucydides does not directly speak of the city as insular, though his words do not at all suggest that it was so, yet we do not know that there is anything in his narrative which directly shuts out the idea. Anyhow, the great change which has happened is plain when we see how utterly the great Hyllaic haven has lost the character of a haven. It is now called a lake, and exists only for purposes of fishing. We may believe that these physical changes had a great deal to do with the removal of the city to another site, with the change from Korkyra to Corfu.

The description which Thucydides gives of the great sedition brings out a fact which we should at first sight hardly have expected, the fact that the aristocratic quarter of Korkyra was on the lower ground by the harbour, while the upper part of the town was occupied by the dêmos. To one who thinks of Rome, Athens, and ancient cities generally, this seems strange. But arguments from the most ancient class of cities do not fully apply to cities of the colonial class. These, where commerce was so great an object, were no longer, as a rule, placed on heights; convenient access from the sea was a main point, and we can therefore understand that the ground by the coast would be first settled, and would remain the dwelling-place of the old citizens, the forefathers of the oligarchs 356 of the great sedition. There on the lower ground was the agora, where the Epidamnian exiles craved for help, and pointed to the tombs of their forefathers. The impression of the scene becomes more lively when we see not far off an actual ancient tomb remaining in its place, though it could hardly have been the tomb of the forefather of any Epidamnian. This is the tomb of Menekratês of Oianthê, honoured in this way by the people of Korkyra on account of his friendship for their city, a plain round tomb with one of those archaic inscriptions in which Korkyra is rich. Archaic indeed it is, written from right to left, in characters which mere familiarity with the Greek of printed books or of later inscriptions will not enable any one to read off with much ease. It formed doubtless only one of a range of tombs, doubtless outside the city, but visible from the agora. An orator in the Roman forum could not have pointed to the tombs of forefathers by the Appian Way.

The position of the quarter of the oligarchs by the modern suburb of Kastrades seems perfectly clear from Thucydides. The dêmos took refuge in the upper part of the city and held the Hyllaic harbour; the other party held the agora, where most of them dwelled, and the harbour near it and towards the continent (οἱ δὲ τήν τε ἀγορὰν κατέλαβον, οὗπερ οἱ πολλοὶ ᾤκουν αὐτῶν, καὶ τὸν λιμένα τὸν πρὸς αὐτῇ καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἤπειρον). 357 This district marks out the haven by Kastrades, looking out on the Albanian mountains, as distinguished from the Hyllaic haven shut in by the hills of Korkyra itself.

But where was the Hêraion, the temple of Hêrê, which plays a part in more than one of the Thucydidean narratives? and where was the island opposite to the Hêraion—πρὸς τὸ Ἡραῖον—and the isle of Ptychia, both of which appear in his history? The answer to the former question seems to turn on another. Was the present citadel, the true Κορυφώ, itself always an island, as it is now? The present channel is artificial—that is to say, it is made artificial by fortifications—but it may after all have been a natural channel improved by art. And that is the belief of some of the best Corfiote antiquaries. If so, this may well be the νῆσος πρὸς τὸ Ἡραῖον, and Ptychia may be the isle of Vido beyond. The Hêraion would thus stand on the north side of the old Korkyra, looking towards the modern city; it would stand in the oligarchic quarter on the low ground near the agora. It was therefore neither of the two temples of which traces remain. One, of which the walls can be traced out nearly throughout, and of which a single broken Doric column is standing, overlooks the open sea towards Epeiros. Another on the other side overlooked the Hyllaic harbour. This in course of time 358 became a church, a now ruined church, but which keeps large parts of its Hellenic walls and some windows of beautiful Byzantine brickwork. It seems hardly possible in any case that the Hêraion could have been at quite the further end of the peninsula, and that the island πρὸς τὸ Ἡραῖον could be either of the small islands, each containing a church, which keep the entrance of the Hyllaic harbour.

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

Churches at Corfu

CHURCHES AT CORFU.

This last is the Corfu whose fate seems to have been to become the possession of every power which 359 has ruled in that quarter of the world, with one exception. For fourteen hundred years the history of the island is the history of endless changes of masters. We see it first a nominal ally, then a direct possession, of Rome and of Constantinople; we then see it formed into a separate Byzantine principality, conquered by the Norman lord of Sicily, again a possession of the Empire, then a momentary possession of Venice, again a possession of the Sicilian kingdom under its Angevin kings, till at last it came back to Venetian rule, and abode for four hundred years under the Lion of Saint Mark. Then it became part of that first strange Septinsular Republic of which the Tzar was to be the protector and the Sultan the overlord. Then it was a possession of France; then a member of the second Septinsular Republic under the hardly disguised sovereignty of England; now at last it is the most distant, but one of the most valuable, of the provinces of the modern Greek kingdom. But Corfu has never for a moment been under the direct rule of the Turk. The proudest memory in the later history of the island is the defeat of the Turks in 1716. Peloponnêsos, the conquest of Morosini, had again been lost, and the Turk deemed that he might again carry his conquests into the Western seas. The city was besieged by land and sea; the two fleets, Christian and infidel, stretched across the narrow channel between 360 the island and the mainland, the left wing of the Turkish fleet resting strangely enough on Venetian Butrinto, while the ships of Venice and her allies stretched from Vido to the Albanian shore. The statue of Schulemberg, set up as an unparalleled honour in his lifetime, adorns the esplanade of the city which he saved. Unless we count the Turkish acquisition of the Venetian points on the mainland, which, though done under the cover of a treaty, took at Prevesa at least the form of an actual conquest, this was the last great attempt of the Turk to extend his dominion by altogether fresh conquests at the expense of any Christian power.

Korkyra thus gave way to Corfu, and the endless fortifications of Corfu of every date were largely built out of the remains of Korkyra which supplied so convenient a quarry. None but an accomplished military engineer could attempt to give an account of the remains of all the fortifications, Venetian and English, dismantled, ruined, or altogether blown up. But the kingdom of which Corfu now forms a part still keeps the insular citadel, the outline of the two peaks being sadly disfigured by the needs of modern military defence. Of the modern city there is but little to say. As becomes a city which was so long a Venetian possession, the older part of it has much of the character of an Italian town. It is rich in street 361 arcades; but they present but few architectural features, and we find none of those various forms of ornamental window, so common, not only in Venice and Verona, but in Spalato, Cattaro, and Traü. The churches in the modern city are architecturally worthless. They are interesting so far as they will give to many their first impression of Orthodox arrangement and Orthodox ritual. The few ecclesiastical antiquities of the place belong to the elder city. The suburb of the lower slope of the hill contains three churches, all of them small, but each of which has an interest of its own. Of one, known as ἡ Παναγία τῶν βλαχερνῶν , we have already spoken; another, known specially as Our Lady of Oldbury (ἡ Παναγία παλαιοπόλεως), is unattractive enough from any point from which the spectator is likely to see it. Its form is by courtesy called basilican; but, if so, it is like the basilica of Trier, without columns or arches. Within it is a dreary building enough, but it presents one object of interest in a side-altar, a Latin intrusion into the Orthodox fabric. But the west end is one of the most memorable things to be found in Corfu or anywhere else. Two columns, not of the usual early Doric of the island, but with floriated capitals, though not exactly Corinthian, are built into the wall with a piece of their entablature. On this is graven a Christian inscription, which is given in an inaccurate 362 shape by Mustoxidi (Delle cose Corciresi, p. 405), who has further improved the spelling. The spelling is in truth after the manner of Liudprand and the modern shoe-makers of Corfu, and is therefore instructive. At the top come the words of the Psalmist; "This is the gate of the Lord; the writeous shall enter into it":—αὕτη ἡ πύλη τοῦ Κυρίου, δίκεοι εἰσελεύσονται ἐν αὐτῇ. Below come four hexameters:—

πίστιν ἔχων βασίλιαν ἐμῶν μενέων συνέριθον,

σοὶ μάκαρ ὑψιμέδον τόνδ' ἱερὸν ἔκτισα ναὸν,

Ἑλλήνων τεμένη καὶ βωμοὺς ἐξαλαπάξας,

χειρὸς ἀπ' οὐτιδανῆς Ἰοβιανὸς ἔδωκεν ἄνακτι.

Who was this Jovianus? Clearly a Christian as zealous as his Imperial namesake; for he cannot be the Emperor himself, as some have thought. He thought it glory and not shame to destroy the works of the Gentiles—the Ἕλληνες—and to turn them to the service of the royal faith. But are we to take the "royal faith" in the same sense as the "royal law" of the New Testament? or does it mean the "royal faith," as being set up under some orthodox Emperor, when the orthodoxy of Emperors was still a new thing? Anyhow the plunderer of Gentile temples and altars could not keep himself from something of the Gentile in the ring and the language of his verses. And had he made use of his spoil to rear a basilica like those of Constantine and Theodoric, 363 we should, from a wider view than that of the mere classical antiquary, have but little right to blame him. The rest of the columns, besides the two that are left, would have well relieved the bareness of his interior; better still would it have been if Saint Peter ad Vincula had found a rival in two arcades formed out of the Doric columns whose fragments lie about at Corfu, almost as Corinthian and Composite fragments lie about at Rome. The third church, that which professes to be the oldest in the island, that which bears the name of the alleged apostles of the island, the Jasôn and Sosipatros of the New Testament, is a more successful work. Brought to its present form about the twelfth century by the priest Stephen, as is recorded in two inscriptions on its west front, it is, allowing for some modern disfigurements, an admirable specimen of a small Byzantine church. It will remind him who comes by way of Dalmatia of old friends at Zara, Spalato, and Traü; but it has the advantage over them of somewhat greater size, and of standing free and detached, so that the outline of its cross, its single central cupola and its three apses, may be well seen. This church, like most in the neighbourhood, has a bell-gable—κωδωνοστάσιον—with arches for three bells, of a type which seems to be found of all ages from genuine Byzantine to late Renaissance. 364

Saint Jason, Corfu

SAINT JASON AND SAINT SOSIPATROS, CORFU.

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

CORFU TO DURAZZO.

365

1881.


We start again from Corfu, and this time our course is northward. A survey of Greece as Greece would lead us southward and eastward. So would even a complete survey of the subject lands of Venice. For that we must go on to the rest of the western islands, to not a few points in the Ægæan, to the greater islands of Euboia and Crete, to Saint Mark's own realm of Cyprus, which the Evangelist so strangely inherited from his daughter and her son. Not a few points of Peloponnêsos for some ages, all Peloponnêsos for a few years, Athens itself for a moment, comes within the same range. We might write the history of Argos from the Venetian point of view, a point of view which would shut out the history of Mykênê, and would look on Tiryns only as Palai-Nauplia, the precursor of Napoli di Romania. But no man could journey through Greece itself with Venice in this way in his thoughts. Far older, far nobler, memories would press upon him at every moment. The mediæval 366 history of Greece is a subject which deserves far more attention than it commonly gets, and in that history Venice plays a prominent part. But it is hard, in a Greek journey, to make the mediæval history primary, and even in the mediæval history Venice is only one element among others. A large part of Greece fairly comes under the head of the Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice; but we cannot bring ourselves to make that the chief aspect in which we look at them. It is otherwise with the Dalmatian and Albanian possessions of the Republic. There, though other points of view are possible, yet the special Venetian point of view is one which may be both easily and fairly taken. So too with Corfu; thoroughly Greek as the island is, it still lies on the very verge of continuous Greece. In its history and geography it is closely connected with the more northern possessions of the Republic; its Venetian side is at least as important as any other side; we can without an effort bring ourselves to treat it in a way in which we could hardly bring ourselves to treat Argos. We can then fairly take Corfu into our special Venetian survey; but we can hardly venture to carry that survey further. The rest of Greece, though it has its Venetian side, though it is important that its Venetian side should not be forgotten, can never be looked on in this way as an appendage to the Hadriatic commonwealth. We 367 cannot go through the earliest homes of European civilization and freedom, and keep our mind mainly fixed even on the days when Rome had made them members of her Empire, and when their influence had gone far to make the later power of Rome at least as much Greek as Roman. Still less can we go through them with our mind mainly fixed on the days when so large part of Greece had passed under the rule of a city which was in truth a revolted member of the Empire which it helped to split in pieces.

We start then again from Corfu, with our faces turned towards our old haunts among the Illyrian coasts and islands. In so doing, we pass for a while out of the Christian and civilized world, to skirt along the coasts where Europe is still in bondage to Asia. The wrong is an old one, as old as the days when Herodotus put on record how Greek cities for the first time passed under the rule of a barbarian master. From his day, from times long before his day, from the days of Agamemnôn, perhaps from the days of the brave men who lived before him, the same long strife has been going on, the same "eternal Eastern question" has been awaiting its "solution." And nowhere does that abiding struggle come more fully home to us than in the lands where the Eastern question has become a Western question. The Greek cities whose bondage to the barbarian was recorded by Herodotus were Greek 368 cities on barbarian ground. They were outposts of Europe on the soil of Asia; they were spots in winning which the Asiatic might deem that he was winning back his own. And after all, the barbarian whose conquest of the Greek cities of Asia marks one important stage in this long strife, was a barbarian of another kind from the barbarians whom European lands have in later times been driven to receive as masters. Crœsus worshipped the Gods of Greece, and Greek poets sang his praises. It may even be that the Lydian, like the Persian who succeeded him, was not a barbarian at all in the strictest sense, but that there was some measure of kindred, however distant, between him and his European subjects. It is another kind of master, another kind of bondage, which has fallen to the lot of the lands along whose coast we are now sailing. Here we do indeed see the West in bondage to the East, we do indeed see Europe on her own soil bowed down beneath the yoke of Asia. We pass by coasts which look to the setting sun no less than our own island, but which the Asiatic intruder still holds beneath the yoke,—over some of which he has pressed the yoke for the first time within the memory of living men. On these coasts at least we think of Venice only in her nobler character. Here indeed every island, every headland, which owned her rule, was something saved from the 369 grasp of the enemy; it was indeed a brand plucked from the burning. As we sail northward, we leave spots behind us, memorable in past times, memorable some of them in our own day. We leave behind us Prevesa, where, till almost within our own century, Saint Mark still held his own, hard by the City of Victory of the first Emperor. We remember how Prevesa was torn away from Christendom by the arms of Ali of Jôannina, and how within the last three years freedom has been twice promised to her but never given. We leave behind us more famous Parga, where, within the lifetime of many of us, stout hearts could still maintain their freedom, in the teeth alike of barbarian force and of European diplomacy—Parga, whose banished sons bore with them the bones of their fathers rather than leave them to be trampled on by the feet of the misbelievers. There must be men still living who had their share in that famous exodus, and who have lived to see Europe first decree that their land should be again set free, and then thrust it back again beneath the yoke. We leave behind us Butrinto, happier at least in this, that there no promise of later days has been broken. There we have passed the point beyond which assembled Europe ruled that even the dreams of freedom might go no further. And as we sail between the home of freedom and the house of bondage, our thoughts overleap the mountain wall. They 370 fly to the heights where Souli, birth-place of Botzarês, is left to the foes against whom it so long and so stoutly strove. They fly to Jôannina, so long the home of light and comparative freedom amid surrounding darkness and bondage, but which now, instead of receiving the twice-promised deliverance, is again thrust back into bondage for a while. We pass on by the High Thunderpeaks, fencing in the land of Chimara, famous in the wars of Ali. We double the promontory of Glôssa, and find ourselves in the deep bay of Aulôn, Aulona, Valona, with the town itself high on its hill, guarding the entrance to the gulf from the other side. Here is a true hill-city, unlike Korkyra, unlike even Buthrotum; but while Korkyra and Buthrotum, each on its shore, has each its history, Aulôn on its height has none. We pass by the mouths of the great Illyrian rivers, by Aoos and Apsos, and we leave between them the place where once stood Apollonia, another of the paths by which Rome made her way into the Eastern world. At last we find ourselves in another bay, wider, but not so deep as the bay of Aulôn. Here we look out on what remains of a city whose earlier name dwells in the memory of every reader of the greatest of Greek historians, a city whose later name, famous through a long series of revolutions, ought to be ever fresh in the minds of Englishmen, as having become by a strange destiny the scene of one stage of the same struggle as 371 Senlac and York and Ely. The city on which we look was, under its elder name of Epidamnos, that famous colony of Korkyra which gave an occasion for the Peloponnesian war. Under its later name of Dyrrhachion or Durazzo it beheld Englishmen and Normans meet in arms, when Englishmen driven from their homes had found a shelter and an honourable calling in the service of the Eastern Cæsar.

The city on which we gaze, though it is only by a figure that we can be said to gaze on the original Epidamnos, is one of those cities which, without ever holding any great place themselves, without being widely ruling cities, without exercising any direct influence on the course of the world's history, have given occasion for the greatest events through their relations to cities and powers greater than themselves. Under none of its names was Epidamnos the peer of Corinth in the elder state of things, or of Venice in the later. Yet events of no small moment came of the relations between Epidamnos and Corinth, of the relations between Durazzo and Venice. Greater events still came of the relations between Dyrrhachion and Rome. The three names, though of course the third is a simple corruption of the second, are convenient to mark three periods in the history of the place, just as one of the great Sicilian cities is conveniently spoken of at three stages of its life as 372 Akragas, Agrigentum, and Girgenti. When and how the name changed from Epidamnos to Dyrrhachion is not clear, nor are the reasons given for the change satisfactory. In practice, Epidamnos is its old Greek name, Dyrrhachion its Roman, Durazzo its mediæval name. But the name Dyrrhachion can be Roman only in usage; the word itself is palpably Greek. In strictness it seems that Epidamnos was the name of the city, and Dyrrhachion the name of the peninsula on which the city was built. The change then has some analogy with the process by which the tribal names in northern Gaul have displaced the elder names of their chief cities, or with the change among ourselves by which Kingston-on-Hull, as it is still always called in formal writings, is in common speech always spoken of as "Hull." Anyhow, under Roman rule, the name of Dyrrhachion altogether displaced Epidamnos. The new name gradually came to be mispelled or Latinized into Durachium and Duracium, and, in that state, it supplied the material for more than one play upon words. When Robert Wiscard came against it, he said that the city might indeed be Duracium, but that he was a dour man (durus) and knew how to endure (durare). The Norman made his way by this path into the Eastern lands, as the Roman had done before him; but as his course was quicker, his stay was shorter. Epidamnos, along with Apollônia 373 and Korkyra, were the first possessions of Rome east of the Hadriatic. They were possessions of the ruling city where dominion was for a long time disguised under the name of alliance. But, under whatever name, Rome, Old and New, held them till the Norman came. But the Norman did not hold them till the Venetian came. In a few years after the coming of Robert Wiscard, Durazzo and Corfu were again cities of the Eastern Empire.

Amidst all the revolutions which this little peninsula has gone through, one law seems to hold. Under all its names, it has had in a marked way what we may call a colonial life, in the modern sense of the word colonial. It has ever been an outpost of some other power, of whatever power has been strongest in those seas, and it has been an outpost ever threatened by the elder races of the mainland. Herein comes one of the differences between this Albanian coast and the Dalmatian coast further north. The Roman Peace took in all; but in the days before and after the Roman Peace, the settlements of Corinth, Venice, or any other colonizing and civilizing power, along the coast of which Durazzo was the centre, were merely scattered outposts. There never was that continuous fringe of a higher culture, Italian or Greek, which spread along the whole coast further north. As a colony, an isolated colony, 374 Epidamnos or Durazzo was always exposed to the attacks of barbarian neighbours. And in this land the barbarian neighbours have always been the same. The old Illyrian, the Albanian, the Arnaout, the Skipetar—call him by whichever name we will—has here lived on through all changes. He has indeed a right to look on Greek, Roman, Norman, Angevin, Servian, Venetian, and Ottoman, as alike intruders within his own immemorial land. It was danger from the Illyrian that led to the disputes which open the history of Thucydides, when Corinth and Korkyra fought over their common colony. It was danger from the Illyrian which drove Epidamnos into the arms of Rome. It was the Illyrian under his new name who in the fourteenth century for a moment made Durazzo the head of a national state, the capital of a short-lived kingdom of Albania. Twice conquered by the Normans of Apulia and Sicily, twice by their Angevin successors, granted as part of a vassal kingdom by the Norman and as a vassal duchy by the Angevin, twice won by the Venetian commonwealth, held by the despots of Epeiros, by the restored Emperors of Constantinople, by the kings of Servia, by the native kings of Albania, no city has had a more varied succession of foreign masters; but, save in the days of the old Epidamnian commonwealth and in the days of the momentary Albanian kingdom, it 375 has always had a foreign master of some kind. But in the endless succession of strangers which this memorable spot has seen, as masters, as invaders, as defenders, it is the Englishman and the Venetian who can look with most satisfaction on their share in its long history. Englishmen had the honour of guarding the spot for the Eastern Cæsar; Venice had the honour of being the last Christian champion to guard it against the Ottoman Sultan.

We stand then gazing from our ship on what is left of the city which Robert Wiscard crossed the sea to conquer, which Alexios came with his motley host to defend, and to find that in all that host the men whom he could best trust were the English exiles. There, as in their own island, the English axe and the Norman lance clashed together; there the stout axemen alone stayed to die, while the other soldiers of the Eastern Rome, the Greek, the Turk, and the Slave, all turned to fly around their Emperor. We look out, and we long to know the site of the church of Saint Michael, which our countrymen so stoutly guarded, till the Normans, Norman-like, took to their favourite weapon of fire. But may we confess to the weakness of looking at all these things only from the deck of the steamer? Perhaps there are some who may be forgiven if they shrink from thrusting themselves alone, with no 376 native or experienced guide, into the jaws of the present masters of Durazzo. They may be the more forgiven when those who have the care of their vessel and its temporary inhabitants utter warnings against any but the most stout-hearted trusting themselves to the boats which form the only means of reaching the Dyrrhachian peninsula. Strengthened in weakness by such counsels, there seems a kind of magnanimity in the resolution to abide in the ship, to say that we have landed at free Corfu, that we shall land at recovered Antivari, but that we will not betweenwhiles set foot on any soil where the Turk still reigns. And the time of distant gazing is not wasted. Without risking ourselves either on Turkish ground or on the rough waves of the Epidamnian bay, a fair general view of the city may be had from the steamer. The wide curve of the bay has for the most part a flat shore, with a background of mountains in the distant landscape. Towards the north-west corner, a promontory of a good height, backed by a comb-like range of peaks, rises at once from the water. This is the peninsula of Dyrrhachion, once crowned by the Epidamnian city. The modern town is seen on a small part of the tower slope of the hill. The walls can be traced through the greater part of their circuit; a huge round bastion by the sea, more than one tower, round and square, teach us that Durazzo has been 377 strongly fortified. If we may eke out our own distant impressions by the help of an old print showing what Durazzo was in times past, we see that it was fortified indeed. We can recognize in the picture most of the towers which we have seen with our own eyes, and there is shown also another tower far greater, a huge square tower of many stages, which no imagination of the artist can have devised out of anything which now comes into the sea-view of the city. But that view enables us to trace out a few buildings within the wall. We mark the distinctive symbols of the two stranger forms of worship, from the East and from the West, which have, each in its turn, supplanted or dominated the native Church. The Latin church, with its conspicuous bell-tower, carries on the traditions of Angevin and Venetian rule; the mosque, with its more conspicuous minaret, speaks of the more abiding dominion of the representative of the False Prophet. The native church meanwhile lurks significantly unseen in the general view. Our teacher on board our ship assures us that Durazzo is not without an Orthodox place of worship; but he cannot point out its whereabouts.

And it may be that it is no common anniversary on which we look out on the land which has passed into bondage. Looked at by the evening light of the twenty-ninth day of May, the group of buildings at 378 Durazzo, alike by what is present to the eye and by what is absent, brings to the mind the fate of a greater city than Durazzo was in its proudest day. It makes us muse how, after four hundred and eight and twenty years, we have still to repeat the Psalmist's words: "O God, the heathen have come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled, and made Jerusalem an heap of stones." Durazzo has not indeed, like some other cities under the yoke, sunk to a heap of stones; but it is easy to see how the Turkish town has shrunk up within the Venetian walls, and again how narrow must be the circuit of Venetian Durazzo compared with the Epidamnos of the days of Thucydides, or even with the Dyrrhachion beneath whose walls our banished kinsmen so well maintained the cause of the Eastern Augustus. For the church that they so stoutly defended we need not say that it is vain to look in such a Pisgah view of the city as is all that we can take. But to the left of the present wall, where the hill soars, one stage upon another, far above the height of Durazzo that now is, we must surely place the site of the akropolis of the old Korkyraian settlers. Such a post, looking over the wide bay and commanding its mouth, would be just what would commend itself to the Greek colonists for the site of their new stronghold, while the lower city would naturally be spread over the more sheltered ground which holds 379 all that is left of Durazzo under the rule of the Turk. Pausanias indeed implies that there had been a change of site before his time, that the Dyrrhachion of his day did not stand on exactly the same ground as the elder Epidamnos. No doubt the loftier site was the older; men came down from the hill-top as they did at Athens and Corinth. Thus much the passing stranger can see of this historic spot, even without setting his foot on the soil which the barbarian has torn away from Christendom. His course will bear him on to the place of his next halt, to the spot which, only a few months back, was the last soil which Christendom had won back from the barbarian. Since then, if another land has been denied the promised freedom, in a third the boon has been actually bestowed. And we may comfort ourselves by thinking that, while the shame of what is left undone belongs to others, the praise of what is done belongs to our own land only. We may comfort ourselves too by further thinking that right and freedom are powers which have an awkward way, when they have taken the inch, of going on to take the ell. The wise men whose wisdom consists in living politically from hand to mouth, are again crying out against "re-opening the Eastern question." In sailing along the shores, in scanning their history in past and present times, we feel how deep a truth was casually uttered in the shallow sneer 380 which called that question "eternal." We feel how vain is the dream of those who think that this or that half-measure has solved it. As we gaze on enslaved Durazzo, with free Greece behind us, with free Montenegro before us—as we run swiftly in our thoughts over the long history of the spot—as we specially call up the deeds of our own countrymen on the shore on which we look—we feel that something indeed has been done, but that there is yet much more to do. Before us, behind us, are lands to which England, and England only, has given freedom. A day must come when, what England has done for Corfu, for Arta, and for Dulcigno, she must do for Jôannina and for Durazzo.

ANTIVARI.

381

1881.


We wind up our course with one more of the once subject cities of Venice, one where we can hardly say that we are any longer following in Norman footsteps, but whose history stands apart from the history of Dalmatia and Istria, while it has much in common with our last halting place. But here the main interest belongs to our own day. It is with new and strange feelings that we look out on a land which, when we last passed by it, was still clutched tight in the grasp of the barbarian, but to which we can now give the new and thrilling name of the sea-coast of Tzernagora. And yet it is with mingled feelings that we gaze. We rejoice in the victories, in the extension, of the unconquered principality, the land which has shown itself a surer "bulwark 'gainst the Ottomite" than Hungary or Poland, or even Venice, ever proved. We rejoice that the warriors of the mountain, long shut in by force and fraud, have again, with their own right hands, cut their way to their own sea. And 382 yet we feel that, though the sea to which they have cut their way is truly their own sea, their own ancient heritage, yet the coast and the havens which they have won are not the coast and the havens which they should have won. If all had their own, Dulcigno, Antivari, and the ewe lamb which the rich man stole at Spizza, would be the havens of the free Albanian, while the free Slave would have his outlet to the Hadriatic waters at his own Cattaro and at Ragusa too. In such an ideal state of things, the present lord of Cattaro and Ragusa might reign peaceably and harmlessly in the duchy of his grandmothers, happy in deliverance from the curses of those whom he now keeps back from union with the brethren whom they love and with the one prince whom they acknowledge. The Montenegrin, in short, kept back by wrong from winning his way to the sea by peaceful union with those who yearn for his presence, has been driven to win his way to the sea by the conquest of lands which were once the heritage of his race, but from which his race has now passed away. Forbidden to be the deliverer of the Slave, he has been forced to be the conqueror of the Albanian. The Albanian Mussulman himself has practically gained by being conquered; still, as we said, if every one had his own, arrangements would be different. The blame indeed lies, not with the people who extend their borders when to 383 extend their border is a matter of national life, but with those who, not in the interest of any people, nation, or language, but in the private interest of their own family estate, sit by to hinder them from extending their borders in the right way. We rejoice then as we look for the first time on the sea-coast of Montenegro; but we mourn that the sea-coast of Montenegro lies where it does and not elsewhere. We mourn too that the enlargement of Christendom, the falling back of Islam, has been bought only by the destruction of an ancient and beautiful city from which the memorials at least of Christendom had not wholly passed away.

Antibaris, Antivari, in the tongues of the land, Bar and Tivari, is perhaps rather to be understood as meaning "the Bari on the other side" than "the city opposite Bari." But there is no doubt that its name contains, in one way or another, a reference to the more famous Bari, "Barium piscosum," on the other side of the Hadriatic. And Antivari is the opposite to Bari in a sense which was certainly not meant; no two sites can well be more unlike one another than the sites of Bari and of Antivari. The Apulian Bari lies low on a flat shore, with not so much as a background of hills; the Albanian Bari crowns a height, with a wall of more soaring heights on each side of it. The Apulian Bari had no chance of occupying such a 384 position as this; the marked difference between the two coasts of the Hadriatic forbade it. But the site of Antivari is hardly less unlike most of the other sites on its own coast. Zara, Salona and its successor Spalato, Epidauros and its successor Ragusa, Cattaro, Durazzo, and a crowd of others of lesser name, are none of them placed on heights. Some of them nestle immediately at the foot of the mountain; some have thrown out their defences, older or newer, some way up the side of the mountain; in none is the city itself perched high on the hills. For a parallel to Antivari on this coast we have to go back to the mountain citadel of Aulona. The position and the name of Antivari seem to point to a state of things differing both from the days of the Greek and Roman foundations, and from the days of the cities which arose to shelter their fugitives in the day of overthrow. Long Salona stood low on the shore; the house of Jovius stood low on the shore also; it did not come into the head of the founders of either to plant city or palace on the height of Clissa. When Antivari arose, it would seem that men had gone back to that earlier state of things which planted the oldest Argos, even the oldest Corinth, on mountain peaks some way from their own coasts. The inaccessible height had again come to be looked on as a source of strength. Antivari may take its place alongside of the mediæval Syra, 385 the Latin town covering its own peaked hill—a mons acutus, a Montacute, by the shore—while the oldest and the newest Hermoupolis lies on the shore at its feet. The town does not even look down at once on the haven; it has to be reached in a manner sideways from the haven. It is true indeed that the sea has gone back, that the plain at the foot of the mountains between the town and the shore was smaller than it now is, even in times not far removed from our own. But Antivari was never as Cattaro; it always stood on a height, with some greater or less extent of level ground between the town and its own haven.

The city thus placed has gone through its full share of the revolutions of the eastern coasts of the Hadriatic. Once a commonwealth under the protection of the Servian kings and tzars, it came late under Venetian rule. But it remained under that rule down to a later time than any other of the possessions of the Republic on this coast, save those which came within the actual Dalmatian border and those detached points further to the south which have a history of their own in common with the so-called Ionian Islands. It was for a while in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, what Budua was for so long afterwards, the furthest point of the continuous rule of Saint Mark, a city which remained part of Christendom after Durazzo and Skodra had passed into the hands of the infidel. 386 In earlier times, when Antivari had a separate being, its tendency was rather to a connexion with Ragusa than with Venice. Ragusa, though the nearer of the rivals, was the weaker, the less likely to change alliance or protection into dominion. Antivari too, like most other city-commonwealths, had its patricians and plebeians, its disputes between the privileged and the non-privileged order. As the justice of either side at home was distrusted, it was agreed that the decision of some classes of causes should be referred to the courts of Ragusa. Such a settlement, though taking another and more dangerous form, is the same in principle as the favourite Italian custom of choosing a foreign podestà, as the earlier usage by which cities which had won their independence in all other points were still willing to receive a criminal judge of the Emperor's naming. In all these cases alike, the stranger is looked on as more likely than the native to deal out even-handed justice amid the disputes and rivalries of persons and parties.

Though Antivari stands on a hill, it does not crown any such height as those of Cortona or Akrokorinthos, nor does it call for any such journey as that which leads to the spot which masters of the high-polite style will now doubtless call its "metropolis" at Tzetinje. It stands on an advanced point among the mountains, one easily commanded 387 from higher points, as was soon found in the siege of 1877. A road of no astonishing steepness leads us up to the town—or more strictly to its ruins. We look down on a church in the valley, whose air proclaims it as belonging to the Orthodox communion; and that church seems to be the only untouched building within sight. It is not till we get within the walls that we take in the full measure of the destruction which has been wrought; but the first glance shows that Antivari has suffered not a little from the warfare of our own times. The walls and towers are there; but we see that they fence in only roofless buildings; the mosques, with their minarets, several of them shattered, remind us that we are drawing near to a city which has been won for Christendom from Islam, as a nearer view reminds us that it is a city which had before been won for Islam from Christendom. We halt at a small café outside the walls, where we receive a friendly greeting from the representatives of Montenegrin authority in the new conquest. Here too is the club and reading-room of Antivari, supplied with newspapers in the Slavonic, Italian, and Turkish tongues; the really prevailing speech of the district, the immemorial Skipetar or Albanian, hardly boasts of a representative in the press. Here too are gathered a few fragments from the ruins, a few capitals, 388 sculptures, and inscriptions, all or most of Venetian times. Among them is the winged lion himself, and the epitaph of a local dignitary who bears the very English-sounding title of "justitia pacis." Even among ourselves embodied righteousness sometimes takes the same abstract form, instead of the more mortal and fleshly "justitiarius." A slight descent and a steep ascent leads us through a rebuilt suburb, which now forms the only part of Antivari which serves as a dwelling-place of man. A line of shops, or rather booths, supplies the needs of the neighbouring people, among whom Christians and Mussulmans, Slaves and Albanians, seem pretty equally mingled. A Montenegrin sentinel, whose national coat must once have been whiter than it now is, guards the gate, a Venetian gate where inscriptions in the Arabic character record the dominion of the late masters of Antivari. We enter, we gaze around, we climb a tower for a better view, and we look on a scene of havoc which is startling to men of peaceful lives, and which, one would think, must be unusual even in the experience of men of the sword. We believe that we are speaking the truth when we say that every building within the enclosed space has become uninhabitable; certainly not one seemed to be inhabited. This destruction is indeed not wholly the immediate result of the siege. A powder-magazine 389 was afterwards struck by lightning, and its explosion destroyed whatever the siege had spared. But the havoc wrought by the siege itself must have been fearful. Antivari is as strictly a collection of ruins, and of nothing but ruins, as Ninfa at the foot of the Volscian hills, looking up at the mighty walls of Norba. But Ninfa was simply forsaken some ages back. Its inhabitants fled from an unhealthy site, and left their houses, churches, and military defences, to crumble away. But at Antivari we see the work of destruction in our own day, almost at the present moment. Four years back, the traveller passing along the Albanian coast was shown where Antivari, then an inhabited town, nestled among its rocks. The war was then raging inland; the Montenegrin was then defending his own heights against Turkish invasion; he had not yet come down to win back a fragment of his ancient coast from one of the two intruders who kept him from it. The traveller comes again; this time he does not only look from afar, but examines on the spot with his own eyes. But he finds only the shattered fragments of what four years before was a city of men.

And, small as Antivari must have been even in its most flourishing times, it is no mean city that it must have been. It must be remembered that Antivari, though it was a Mussulman town under Turkish rule, 390 was never in any strict sense a Turkish town. Its history is that of Albania generally, as it is the history of large classes of men in Bosnia. Antivari was easily won by the Turk, and it remained in the hands of its old inhabitants, Christian Albanians and Venetian settlers. Gradually, for the sake of their temporal interests, they conformed outwardly to the religion of their conquerors, and so passed from the subject to the ruling order. At first, this was a mere outward conformity for worldly ends; men still hoped that some chance of warfare would bring back the rule of Saint Mark. If so, they were ready to return to the faith which they still secretly held. But the happy revolution never came; new generations sprang up with whom Islam was an hereditary creed, and Antivari became a Mussulman city. But it never became a Turkish city. The descendants of the once Christian inhabitants lived on in their fathers' houses, and worshipped in the same temples as their fathers, though they were now turned to the use of another faith. Each church had a minaret added, and it became a mosque. In most cases of Mahometan conquest, the conquerors took the head church of the city as a trophy of their own faith, but left the subject Christians in possession of one or more of the lesser churches. So, in this same region, it was at Durazzo; so it was at Trebinje; in both 391 there was a church, or more than one, within the walls. Here at Antivari, as the inhabitants gradually embraced Islam, all the churches became mosques; and thus, for the very reason that there was less of violent disturbance than in most cases of Turkish conquest, Antivari, while never becoming Turkish, became more strictly Mussulman than most cities under Turkish rule. The churches, or rather their ruins, still stand, examples of the usual churches of the country, none of them remarkable for size or antiquity or architectural splendour; but still essentially churches, with their fabrics untouched, save only the inevitable addition of the minaret. Some of them even keep memorials of their earlier use of which one would have expected Mussulman zeal to wipe out every trace as monuments of idolatry. Intruding Turks or Saracens would doubtless have done so; but the Mahometan descendants of the Christian citizens of Antivari still felt a tenderness for the works of their forefathers. Even pictures of Christian subjects have been spared. In one case especially, in a church which does not seem ever to have been a mosque, but, as having perhaps been a private chapel, to have formed part of a private house, among other kindred pictures, the baptism of our Lord in Jordan is still almost as clear as when the painter first traced it on the wall. Old ancestral memories, perhaps the 392 vague feeling that after all a day of change might come—the feeling which led Bosnian beys, while holding their Christian countrymen in bondage, to keep Christian patents of nobility and even concealed objects of Christian worship—were clearly stronger in Antivari than any strict regard to the Mussulman law.

And as it was with the churches, so it was with the houses. Antivari never became, like Trebinje, a tumble-down Eastern town, nor, like Butrinto, a collection of beggarly huts, not fit to be called a town at all. It was a small, but well-built city, after the pattern of the other cities on the eastern coast of the Hadriatic. There was clearly no moment of general havoc; the Mussulman lived on in the house of his Christian father. Some of those houses must have been still almost new when their owners embraced the faith of their conquerors. At every step we see among the shattered houses some pretty scrap, door or window, of the style which we commonly call Venetian; we see some too which belong to the confirmed Renaissance, and which can hardly be older than the sixteenth century. One stately building indeed seems to have perished. An old print of Antivari, in a book called Viaggio da Venetia a Costantinopoli, a book without date but which has an air of the sixteenth century, shows what is plainly meant for a 393 municipal palace, after the same general type as the bigger one at Venice and the more beautiful one at Ragusa. It has arcades below and windows above. Still as we tread, even in their state of ruin, the streets, the little piazze, of what once was Antivari, we see that the city perched on its Albanian height must have been no unworthy fellow of its neighbours on the Dalmatian shore.

It is sad that the enlargement of Europe and of Christendom, the winning back of their ancient coast by the valiant warriors of the Black Mountain, should have been bought only at such a price as the destruction of this interesting and really beautiful little city. The loss, it may be feared, cannot be repaired. A gently working hand might possibly set up again the ruined houses and churches nearly as they once were. Or it might at first sight seem a more obvious work to forsake the ruined hill-town, and to build another by the haven, a new Montenegrin Cattaro, to make up as far as may be for the city by the Bocche so cruelly torn away from its free brethren. But either scheme seems to be forbidden by the growing unhealthiness of the spot. The place has been for some while getting more and more fever-stricken, and the disease has now—seemingly since the siege—spread upwards to the hill-town itself. It is for medical knowledge to judge whether, as is said to be the 394 case in some parts of the Roman Campagna, sudden colonization, the settlement of a large number of new inhabitants at once, could do anything to check the evil. Failing this chance, it would seem as if Antivari was doomed utterly to perish. A new Montenegrin town and haven may arise, but not on the site of the ancient town and haven of the eastern Bari.

On whom rests the blame? Surely not on the conquerors, whose warfare was waged in the noblest cause for which man can fight, for their faith, their freedom, their national life, the extension of freedom and national life to their brethren under the yoke. Nor can we say that it rests with the men who fought against them, who, from their own side, were fighting for faith and freedom and national life fully as much. It rather rests with the dangerous neighbour of both, whose very existence is founded on the trampling down of freedom and national life among all its neighbours. It rests with the power which takes care to strike no blows itself, but which knows how to suck no small advantage from the blows which are struck by others on either side. The ruin of Antivari is in truth the work, though the indirect work, of the power hard by, the power which was not ashamed to stretch forth its hand for such a spoil as Spizza, the hard-won earnings of its poor neighbour. The guilt of ruined Antivari rests with those who drove its 395 conquerors to conquest in the wrong place by hindering them from peaceful advance in the right place. It rests with those who stirred up its defenders to a hopeless resistance by promises which never were fulfilled. When we see how in 1878 Montenegro was allowed to keep possession of ruined and almost worthless Antivari, but was forced to give up its other comparatively flourishing conquests of Spizza and Dulcigno, we better understand how the rule of doing as one would be done by is looked on in the council-chamber of an Apostolic King. And we see too, with some comfort, how England, as one of her first national acts when England found herself once more under English leadership, knew how to step in, with vigour and with patience, to undo at least one part of the wrong which had been done.

THE END.

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


				



				




				

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