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Goths were instructed to spare the people and to reverence the laws. Under Theodoric's wise rule Italy revived, and Romans and Ostrogoths lived in peace and plenty: the fairhaired Goths, still wearing their furs and brogues, carried the sword, while the Romans, wrapped in the flowing toga, held the pen and filled the schools. So passed three-andthirty years, until Theodoric died, in A. D. 526, and then frightful scenes of blood were enacted over his fallen throne.

29. In the confusion that followed, the Byzantine government took the opportunity to interfere, rteconquest by At this time the Emperor of the East was JustinianJustinian, the first able ruler that had sat on the throne of Constantinople since the downfall of the Western Empire. His general, Belisa'rius, a man of great military talent, now marched with the imperial forces into Italy, and captured Rome. Nar'ses, the successor of Belisarius, completed the overthrow of the Ostrogothic power in Italy, A. D. 553. Italy was thus reduced to a Byzantine province, and was governed by rulers appointed from Constantinople and called Exarchs of Raven'na.

30. Three years after the death of Justinian (a. D. 565), Italy, then a dependency of Constantinople Lombard inand governed by an exarch residing at Raven- vaslon'

na, was overwhelmed by the last of the three great Teutonic deluges. The Lombards (so called from their long bardi, or spears,) moved from Central Europe, crossed the Alps, and descended into the basin of the Po, settling in the extensive district known even yet as Lombardy. They took possession of this region, and made Pa'via their capital, a. D. 568. The Lombards treated the Italians with great cruelty, and committed ravages on every side. Among the results of such oppression was the flight of various Roman families to the islands and lagoons at the head of the Adriatic, where, engaging in a seafaring life, they laid the foundations of the Venetian state.

31. While the Lombards overran the greater part of

Italy, the Byzantine power still retained Ra

Later history. ■" ' r .

"venna, Rome, Naples, a portion of the coastline, and most of the southern part. So we see that the Eastern Empire upheld its title in the peninsula, and for two hundred years the Lombard kings and the exarchs of Ravenna divided Italy between them. The last Lombard king was Deside'rius, who was made prisoner by Charlemagne in A. D. 774. This brings the history of Italy down to the time when it falls into the general history of the Empire of Charlemagne, and concerning this we are to learn fully hereafter.

3. BEGINNINGS OF FRANCE.

32. In the stormy period, when the Western Roman

Empire was falling to pieces, various Teutonic

Rise of France. 1 0 r'

tribes established themselves in Gaul. There were Visigoths and Burgundians and Franks, but in the end the Franks under Chlod'wig, or Clovis (which is the same as Ludwig, or Louis), got the upper hand; so when Clovis fixed his capital at Paris (Lute'tia), in A. D. 707, we may say that the foundation of France was laid. When the Franks came into Gaul they were pagans, but they were soon converted to be Christians.

33. The Franks were too powerful and too far off for Relations to the Byzantine emperors to have much real Constantinople, authority over them; so they were held to be friends of the empire, and from Constantinople a gold crown and purple robes were sent to Clovis.

34. On the death of Clovis, his dominions were divided Successors of among his four sons. For over a century, Clovis. during the whole period of the first Frankish dynasty (called Merovin'gian, after Merowig, the supposed grandfather of Clovis), there is nothing to relate but a series of crimes and violences. Latterly the Frankish kings became mere imbeciles, and were too weak to be wicked even.

35. In this state of affairs a remarkable arrangement was made: the real power passed into the hands Mayors of the of a sort of prime minister styled the Mayor Palace

of the Palace, — an officer chosen by the nobles to be the guide and controller of the sovereign. As the Mayor of the Palace had the command of the army, he was the real king and carried on all the affairs of the nation, while the phantoms of royalty called the "sluggard kings " (rois faineants) combed the long yellow hair which they regarded as the sign of their kingship.

36. One of the most celebrated of the Mayors of the Palace was Karl, or Charles, Martel, who up- ,

. , , Charles Martel.

held the Frankish power most vigorously, and,

what is more, by his defeat of the Saracens in A. D. 732,

saved all Europe from being subjugated by Mohammedan

rule.

The Saracenic invasion will be related in a subsequent chapter.

37. The son of Charles Martel, Pepin, succeeded his father as Mayor of the Palace; but under him

this absurd arrangement was ended. He shut Pepin' up the puppet-king in a convent, and was himself made king of the Franks and anointed such by the Pope A. D. 732. Thus the second, or Carlovin'gian, dynasty began. Now, Pepin's son and the inheritor of his crown was that very Karl, or Charles, who is known in history as Charlemagne; and about him and his doings we shall learn more fully hereafter.

4. BEGINNINGS OF ENGLAND.

38. We must now look for a moment at another series of events happening in an obscure corner of the Anglo-Saxon once great empire of the West, and see how the conquestfoundations of the nation that afterwards rose to be England were laid. The Roman troops had been withdrawn from the province of Britain about half a century before the downfall of Rome, and the Britons, who belonged to the

[graphic]

Celtic race, were left to shift for themselves. About the close of the 5 th century various Teutonic tribes belonging to the Low-German stock, and coming from the old LowGerman lands by the Elbe and the Weser, invaded Britain and won for themselves new homes there. They knew nothing and cared nothing for the language or arts of Rome, and they did not, like the Franks and Goths, adopt the language and religion of the Romans. These swept everything before them, and the native Celtic Britons were killed, enslaved, or driven to the mountain regions of Wales and North Britain.

39. Among these Low-German invaders there were three The three main tribes, — the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, tribes. -j-ne naroe yute has left no memorial in Eng

land; but the English people are still often spoken of as belonging to the Saxon race, while the speech which arose in the island from the intermixture of the various German dialects took the name of Anglo-Saxon, and Britain changed its name to England, or the land of the Angles.

40. The German immigrations to England went on from the middle of the 5th to the close of the 6th Growth of century; so that in little more than a hundred Englan<i. years the greater part of that land which had been the Roman and Christian province of Britain had become the heathen land of the Angles and Saxons. In the course of the following century the Anglo-Saxons were Christianized by Roman missionaries. Various little kingdoms were formed, and wars were waged, — wars that, as Milton says, are of no more importance than "the battle of kites and crows," — till finally, early in the 9th century, under Egbert, who was a contemporary and friend of Charlemagne, the various petty dominions were united in the one kingdom of England.

41.

RISE OF THE SARACENS.

We now come to a remarkable chapter in European

Subject.

history, — the invasion of Europe, the land of the Aryans, by a Semitic race, the followers

of the famous Moham'med. Connected with this is the rise of a new religion and of a vast dominion that played a great part in the history of the Middle Ages.

42. Ma'homet, or Mohammed, was born at the sacred city Mohammed's of Mecca, in Arabia, in early hfethe year 570 or 571. Till the age of forty he lived without exciting much remark, and was known only as an able, rich, and enterprising merchant, honorable in his dealings, and strictly truthful in all that he said. He could neither read nor write; but his mercantile journeys to various parts of the peninsula, as well as

[graphic]

Mahometan Emblems.

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