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From The Coutemporary Review. direct from Florence, and the ancient
little city is passed by. Those, however, It has been truly said that every square who follow the older fashion find its inleague of Italian soil deserves our atten. terest grow upon them, as the strain and tion and study, and perhaps no part of stress of the nineteenth century fades Italy is more full of rich and varied hu. from their mind and they gradually feel man interest than the quondam repub- more and more at home among the relics lics of Florence, Pisa, Lucca, and Siena, of the spirit of the Middle Ages. of the last of which I propose to write in In the short space at my disposal, it this article.
would be vain for me to do more than Etruscan vases and other remains have briefly glance at one or two interesting at various times been found in and around episodes in the history of this little reSiena; but nothing is known with cer- public, speak of some of the worthies it tainty of its bistory, until, in the reign of bas produced (a few of whom, by the com. Augustus, we find it spoken of as a Roman mon consent of Christendom, have been military colony. The three hills upon deemed worthy “on fame's eternal rollwhich it stands rise to upwards of one call to be filed”), and then describe the thousand feet above the sea-level, and the Palio, the August festival of the city. soil of which they are composed is doubt- In a famous passage Macaulay deless the product of volcanic action. Siena scribes the wide reaching effects of the has always been subject to earthquakes, ambition of Frederick the Great, and how, which, however, at the worst, never did as its bitter fruit, the natives of Corogreater injury than the shaking down of mandel engaged in internecine slaughter, a few chimneys. Formerly they recurred and Red Indians scalped one another on at intervals of forty or fifty years, but the great lakes of Canada.
In like manlatterly they have been much more fre- ner, for hundreds of years, there was conquent, ten years rarely passing without stant strife among the republics of Italy, their unwelcome advent. During the and the flower of their citizens perished months of July and August of last year either on the battlefield or the scaffold, they occasioned great terror in Siena: in because of the rivalry of the great facone day no fewer than seventy shocks tions having their origin in Germany, were observed, and thousands of the in the Guelphs and Ghibellines. Indeed, habitants camped out in the squares and the history of the Italian republics gardens, lest their houses should fall upon throughout the Middle Ages is the record them. Scientific men tell us that the tufa of constant warfare in the interest of the upon which the city stands being to a one or the other party. Without, there. great extent hollowed out, there is very fore, trying to realize what Siena may have little danger of the earthquakes doing real been when the great Etruscan league injury; but to unscientific residents, the bore sway throughout central Italy, or existence of this hollow space underneath when, having become subject to Rome, makes the fate of Korah, Dathan, and the conquering legions tramped through Abiram seem
more painfully probable its streets on their way to Gaul or Gertban if solid earih were below. Be this many or Britain, let us come at once to as it may,
in spite of the panic, no damage the mediæval history of the city, from has actually been done; and the huge which period the walls, churches, and masses of the churches and palaces show palaces date. After the Lombard invano rents or cracks, save one or two that sion of Italy, Siena was governed by a are alınost as venerable as the buildings representative of the Lombard kings; themselves.
but when, in Soo, Charlemagne destroyed, Siena used to be a more favorite station or, more properly, absorbed into his einfor English residents than it now is. Be. pire the kingdom of the iron crown, Siena fore railway days, almost all visitors to was declared a free city. The lordships Rome from the north passed a day or two and baronies and rich lands he divided, in Siena; now the railway conveys them with no niggard hand, among his warlike
followers from beyond the Alps, and some Still, it would be a great mistake to supof these became the ancestors of the no- pose that the patrician families of Siena bility of Siena. The soil, then, as now, are poor. On the contrary, the most dis. rich beyond all northern ideas, and genero tinguished of them remain possessed of ous of corn, wine, and oil, soon rendered great estates in the country as well as of wealthy its fortunate possessors, who, no their stately old palaces in the city. For longer contented with the feudal castles instance, the Palazzo Tolomei was built on their estates, began to build palaces in in 1205. It is an imposing square Gothic Siena, and built them so solidly that now, pile of stone, dark with the grime of after five or six centuries, they stand firm nearly seven centuries, during which peand strong as when erected, and there riod the family have been leading patriseems no reason why they should not bid cians in Siena, and they still continue to defiance to time and earthquakes for five occupy an important position in the city. centuries more. The feudal origin of The Chigis, Piccolominis, Bandinis, and these palaces, and the fact that the pos- many others, retain their ancient state and sessors derived their revenues from wide
The Piccolomini family gave lordships and domains outside the city, two popes to Rome the celebrated in some degree accounts for what for a Eneas Sylvius, who wore the tiara as Pius long time greatly puzzled me. As you II., and his nephew, Pius III. To this walk through the old streets of Siena, family also belonged that Ascanius Picevery hundred yards, or even much more colomini, archbishop of Siena, who, when frequently, you come upon great palazzi, the prison doors of the Inquisition were for the most part built of enormously opened to Galileo, received the venerable solid masonry, and often of such vast size philosopher, and made a home for him that you
would think that each one could within the walls of the archiepiscopal palaccommodate a whole regiment.
The persecuted philosopher seems was it possible, I have often thought, for to have been quite overcome with the such houses to be erected and the ex- kindness showered upon him by the archpenses of such households to be borne in bishop, for he speaks of it in his letters an inland city, shut out from the wealth as "inexplicable.” To this family also derived from maritime trade, which made belongs that Ottavio Piccolomini whose princes of the merchants of Venice, Genoa, defection from Wallenstein forms the and Pisa? True the wealth of many of subject of Schiller's drama. His portrait these great families is a thing of the past. may be seen at the Palazzo Pubblico on a I recently heard of a whole patrician sam- charger at full gallop in somewhat the ily living in a portion of their huge palace, same truculent attitude in which Napoleon all being entirely supported out of the is popularly represented crossing the Alps. dowry of the wise of the eldest son, who The Saracini family, whose massive palace was probably the daughter of some is one of the principal ornaments of the wealthy plebeian. Yet not one of this Via della Città, has during its long history interesting family would do a band's turn given one pope and many cardinals to of work to save himself from starvation; Rome. It is, however, on the point of they are far too sensible of what is due to dying out, only one aged, childless repre. themselves and to the honor of the family.* sentative remaining. # With a city full of huge empty palaces, one would
I an assured that the families who naturally suppose that strangers would be embarrassed reckon popes among their predecessors, in their choice of desirable furnished apartments. So as for instance the Piccolomini, Chigi, and I expected, and put what I thought a likely advertise- Saracini, date the greater part of their ment in a little Sienese journal, the Lupa. Not an answer, however, did I receive, and I am assured that wealth and greatness from that time. The that Sienese patrician must be poor and miserable in- popes appear, as a matter of course, to deed who would not rather see the palace of his ances- have made use of the vast revenues of the tors crumble to ruin than resign a portion of it to the occupation of strangers.
I have since secured an apartment in the palazzo of a noble family, whose history ridiculously cheap rate, but under such peculiar cir. has been bound up with that of the republic for cen- cumstances as in no way to militate against the above turies, and at what in England would be regarded as a
Church to aggrandize their families. We On August 11, 1259, the king sent a reply, are wont to attribute the political maxim, still preserved in the archives of Siena, in "To the victors the spoils,” — which has which he announced the despatch of an proved so great a curse to the great Trans- army sufficient to place the Ghibelline atlantic republic, - to old General Andrew cause in its old position of supremacy; Jackson; but, if the above statement be but, alas ! instead of the promised army, true, he took no new departure when he only one hundred German troopers arlaid down the principle, but was following rived. The mountain had brought forth a time-honored, not to say sacred, prece a mouse, and things looked gloomy indent. An unwritten law, by which only deed for Siena. In this crisis, however, a the eldest son of each patrician house has leading Florentine exile, Farinata degli been allowed to marry, has powerfully Uberti, whom Dante, a few years later, contributed to prevent the dispersion of was to immortalize in the pages of the their inherited wealth.
“Inferno,” cheered the drooping spirits From the time of Barbarossa (1152) un of the Sienese. He said, “We have the til long after the last of the Imperial house banner of the king; this will suffice to of Suabia, the unfortunate Conradin, had make him send us as many soldiers as we perished on the scaffold at Naples (in may require, and that without asking for 1269), Siena was always intensely Ghibel. them.” The city was at the time closely line and anti-papal, although its sturdy invested by the Florentines. Uberti gave independence showed itself, even when the unhappy Germans as much wine as Barbarossa was at the height of his power, they could drink, and, promising them and came, breathing out vengeance against double pay, persuaded them to charge the the Italian free cities, determined to de- enemy's lines. This they did, and with prive them of their liberty. Siena alone incredible fury. The Florentines, taken had the courage to shut its gates in the by surprise, and not knowing what might face of the mighty conqueror and to dare follow this whirlwind of one hundred him to do his worst. Frederick sent his German devils, were upon the point of son Henry with a large army which closely raising the siege. When, however, they invested the city. The besieged, how- perceived the insignificant number of their ever, made a simultaneous sortie from the assailants, they summoned heart of grace, two gates, Fonte Branda and S. Marco, slew the hundred troopers to the very last and, attacking the German camp at a place man, and capturing the royal banner subcalled the Rosaio, routed the Imperialists |jected it to every conceivable outrage. and put them to flight. But if Siena was| This was exactly what the MephistopheGhibelline in its politics, its great rival lean Uberti desired. Enraged at the disand sister republic, Florence, held by the honor done to his standard, Manfred de. Guelphs.
spatched eight hundred German knights, Under the great emperor Frederick II., under his cousin Giordano Lancia di the old quarrel between the Papacy and Angalono, to the help of Siena, and with the Empire broke out with fresh fury, and the levies from Pisa the whole of the involved all Italy in strife. Upon his Ghibelline forces amounted to nine thoudeath, Florence first, quickly followed by sand horse and eighteen thousand five the whole of Tuscany, with the exception hundred foot soldiers. of Siena, threw off its allegiance to the To maintain this host was an enormous Empire. The leaders of the Ghibelline tax upon the city of Siena, and in order party in Florence took refuge in Siena, to employ the army, and if possible to which speedily led to hostilities between induce the Florentines to give battle, the the two cities.
Sienese commanders laid siege to the To resist the victorious Guelphs, Siena neighboring city of Montalcino. had only the alliance of Pisa; and the The Florentines were, however, not at little republic, hardly beset, sent pressing all disposed to make easy the plans of requests for succor to Manfred, son of the their enemies, and obstinately remained emperor Frederick, and king of Naples. I within their walls. But the guile of
Uberti was more than a match for them. I orders, were assembled in the cathedral With great secrecy he despatched two asking mercy of God. The Twenty-four monks to the leaders of the people of Signori, who then ruled Siena, posted a Florence, to represent that they were the watchman on the tower of the Palazzo emissaries of the most powerful citizens Marescotti, now the palace of the Saraof Siena, who, finding the tyranny of cini, whence the field of battle was dis. Provenzano Salvani * and Uberti insup-tinctly visible. The winding road over portable, were determined to deliver hill and dale would make the distance five themselves from it at any cost. The mes or six miles; but, as a bird would fly, in sengers added that when the Florentines, a direct line, Monte Aperto is little more under pretext of succoring Montalcino, than three miles away. Thus, the watchshould reach Siena, one of the gates of man, a certain Cerreto Ceccolino, could the city would be opened to them. Un distinctly perceive the movements of the happily for Florence, her leaders believed contending armies. Terrible was the the messengers and acted upon their in- anxiety of the crowd of old men, women, sidious advice. The people of Florence and children at the base of the tower as rose in mass, and aid was demanded from they waited for the report of the combat. the allied Guelphic cities. Bologna, Pe- At length the watchman strikes his drum, rugia, and Orvieto sent their contingents. and, in the breathless pause that follows, A host of thirty-three thousand warriors he cries with a loud voice so that all may gathered around the Carroccio, or sacred bear: “They have reached Monte Sel. car of Florence. The army marched to voli, and are pushing up the hill to secure Monte Aperto, a few miles from Siena, in it, as a coign of vantage, and now the the full hope and expectation that the city Florentines are in motion and they also would soon be theirs. Towards sunset are trying to gain the hill." on the 3rd September (1260) the Sienese, Again the drum sounds: “The armies after publicly invoking the aid of the Vir- are engaged; pray God for victory." gin, and dedicating their city to her, Next the watchman cries, “ Pray God for marched out to meet their enemies, and ours; they seem to me to be getting the upon the following day the struggle took worst of it.” But soon the pain and susplace. It was a hard fought and long pense of the anxious crowd were relieved doubtful battle, and it was by treachery by the watchman crying, “ Now I see that that it was at length decided. Bocca degli it is the enemy who fall back.” And now Abati, a Ghibelline, who fought in the in all the joy of victory the watchman ranks of the Florentines, struck off, with beats a triumphant march, and informs one blow of his sword, the band of Jacopo the anxious ones below that the standards di Pazzi, who bore the standard of the of Florence have all gone down, and that cavalry. Fell panic seized the Florentine her soldiers are broken and routed, and riders when they saw their banner fallen, how cruel a slaughter there is among and that there was treachery within their them. Cruel slaughter, indeed! The ranks, the extent of which they could not Carroccio, or sacred car of Florence, gauge. Each man spurred his horse drawn by white oxen, and with the great away from the fatal field, and soon the standard of the city displayed from its foot-soldiers were involved in one com- lofty flagstaffs, was taken at a place called
Then began a butchery which Fonte al Pino, close to the Arbia. Among made the Arbia stream run blood; its gallant defenders was a Florentine lo strazio e il grande scempio
named Tornaquinci, with his seven sons, Che fece l'Arbia colorata in rosso.
all of whom were slain.
Consternation now fell upon the arıny Meanwhile, in the city of Siena, the of Florence. Many threw down their old men, women, and children, together arms and cried, “We surrender;" but with the bishop, priests, and monks of all the chronicler adds grimly, “They were
not understood.” A few of the bravest * This is the Provenzano mentioned by Dante in the from Florence, from Lucca, and from eleventh canto of the “ Purgatorio:” “ Colui che del cammin si poco piglia
Orvieto Alung themselves into the castle Dinanzi a me, Toscana sono tutta
of Monte Aperto, and there held out un. Ed ora a pena in Siena sen pispiglia
til the leaders of the army of Siena, sated Ond' era sire, quando fu distrutta La rabbia fiorentina che superba
with slaughter, admitted them to quarter.* Fu a quel tempo si com'ora é putta.
* January 10, 1983. — Yesterday I had the advantage Quegli è, rispose Provenzan Salvani
of driving, with a friend, over the battle-field for a Ed è qui perchè fu presuntuoso A recar Siena tutta alle sue mani."
Aperto, where resides Signor Canale, who most cour
We called at the modern villa of Monte
The chroniclers estimate that ten thou- ' white and spotless, some of the most persand of the Guelphic host fell on this fect exemplars of sainthood into which fatal field, and that almost all the remain humanity has ever flowered. The repub. der were made prisoners. The misery lic of Siena made amends for the turbucaused in Florence by the battle is inde lence and violence and bitter party spirit scribable, and in a very few years a like it had shown throughout its history by the misery was to fall upon Siena. Monte united and gallant resistance it offered to Aperto was the last decisive victory Cosimo dei Medici, when he determined gained by the Ghibelline cause. Nine to add the lordship of Siena to that of years afterwards, in 1269, the Sienese Florence in the middle of the sixteenth army was routed at Colle, and exactly century. Florence was in 1530 besieged twenty years after that at Campaldino.* and conquered by the combined arms of Nothing can be more melancholy than the the emperor Charles V. and Pope Clemstory of the internecine fratricidal strug. ent VII. Siena, yielding to the tradigles between the cities of Italy, with their tional hatred of many centuries, sent some constant episodes of treachery and cold- pieces of artillery into the Imperial camp, blooded cruelty.
and rejoiced greatly at the downfall of her The history of the republic of Siena ancient foe. That joy did not last long. during the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fif. Hardly was Florence his, when Charles teenth centuries is a long tale of anarchy determined to become possessed of Siena, and revolution, and of incessant strug- and this, by fraud and force, he succeeded gles between the different parties in the in a few years in accomplishing. State. In 1277 a law excluded from the The better to dominate the unruly city, supreme magistracy not only the patri- the Spaniards built a powerful fortress. cians but the people, and decreed that for Proud of their long self-government and the future the government should rest jealous of their independence, the Sienese alone in the hands of good "merchants felt this to be intolerable. They sent amloyally affected to the Guelph cause.” | bassadors to the emperor to implore him This government by the middle classes not to affix upon their free city this badge was called the “Administration of the of servitude. The Imperial reply was: Nine," and lasted for no less than seventy " Sic volo, sic jubeo.". They sent to Pope years. Though hated alike by the aris. Julius III.; they had hope in him, for was tocracy and the people, this régime proved not his mother, Christofana Saracini, a advantageous to the State. Under it the daughter of Siena? But Julius cared Palazzo Pubblico was built and the grace- more for the shameful pleasures to which ful Mangia Tower rose, while the cathe- he was addicted than for the liberty of the dral was enlarged and beautified and the country of his forefathers, and replied, city grew wealthy with trade. When the If one castle does not suffice his Impe
Nine” fell before a combined assault of rial Majesty to keep within bounds these the aristocracy and the people, the repub. hare-brained Sienese, why, let him build lic seemed to be given over to anarchy: two.” Rejected on all hands, the Sienese (In four months and a half there were no took courage from despair. They secretly less than five revolutions.) Yet, strange conspired, determined to dare everything, to say, it was at this very time that archi- and on July 27, 1552, they rose in insurtecture and sculpture and painting ad rection against their Spanish masters. vanced with wondrous strides. The great For three days a fierce struggle raged Florentine poet told of his awsul visions throughout the city: every street, every in the exquisitely beautiful language then square, every palace, almost every house, spoken in northern Italy, and crystallized was a battle-field. The struggle ended in into literary form the lovely Tuscan the triumph of the citizens; the Spantongue; and against the black background iards were beaten, and the fag of the of remorseless feuds, treacherous in. republic again waved from the Palazzo trigues, and cruel wars, there stand out, Pubblico.
The Spaniards, who had retired to the teously pointed out to us the site of the ancient castle of the same name, and showed us exactly where the newly erected fortress, saw themselves Florentine host camped on the night before the battle, compelled to capitulate, and no sooner and where the Carroccio was taken at Fonte al Pino, did the citizens become possessed of around which stone pines still raise their lordly heads.
• Dante himself fought at this battle, and in the fifth it than they proceeded to raze it to the Canto of the " Purgatorio” he addresses Buonconte di ground. Where this ill-omened castle Drontefeltro, mortaily wounded on that field:
stood, there is now the garden of the “Qual forza o qual ventura Ti traviò si fuor di Campaldino
Lizza, a charming little public park, which Che non si seppe mai tua sepoltura?”
commands very extensive views of the