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ous amongst whom were Scandinaviaus cept the Latin or the Greek. Domi: and English, and with them some of nant race there was none ; nation there the most warlike braves of Asia and of was none. Roman meant subject of Europe. The empire made no attempt the emperor ; emperor meant the chief to destroy their national characteristics, in the vermilion buskius, installed in to discourage their native language, the palace on the Bosphorus, and duly religion, or habits. Each was told off crowned by the Orthodox patriarch in to the service which suited it best, and the Church of the Holy Wisdom. was trained in the use of its proper 5. Here we reach the last, as I venweapons. They remained distinct ture to think, the main element of from each other, and wholly distinct strength in the empire of New Rome from the civil population. But as they
its alliance with or, rather, its poscould not unite, they seldom became so session of the Orthodox Church. The great a danger to the empire as the Roman Empire at Constantinople was Prætorian guard of the Roman army. really, if not in style, a Holy Roman The organization and management of Empire. The patriarch was one of its such a heterogeneous body of merce- officials. The venerable Church of the nary braves required extraordinary Holy Wisdom was almost the private skill ; but it was just this skill which chapel of the emperor; the emperor's the rulers of Byzantium possessed. palace may almost be described as the The bond of the whole was the tradi- Vatican of Byzantium. The relations tion of discipline and the conscious- between the emperor and the patriarch ness of serving the Roman emperor, were wholly different from the rela
The modern history of Russia and tions between the emperor at Aachen still more the native armies of the and the pope. Instead of being sepaBritish Empire, will enable us to un- rated by a thousand miles and many derstand how the work of consolidation tribes and peoples, the emperor of the was effected. The queen's dominions Bosphorus resided in the same group are at this hour defended by men of of buildings, worshipped, and almost every race, color, language, adored in the same metropolitan temreligion, costume, and habits. And we ple, and sat in the same council-hall may imagine the composite character with his patriarch, who was practically of the Byzantine armies, if we reflect one of his great officers of state. All how distant wars are carried on in the students of the Carolingian or Holy name of Victoria by Hindoos, Musul- Roman Empire, know how immensely mans, Pathans, Ghoorkas, Afghans, Pippin, Charles, the Henries, and the Egyptians, Soudanese, Zanzibaris, Ne- Ottos were strengthened by the supgroes, Nubians, Zulus, Kaffirs, using port of the popes from Zacharias to their native languages, retaining their Victor II. But the papacy was a very national habits, and, to a great extent, intermittent, uncertain, and exacting their native costume. The Roman bulwark of the empire, and after the Empire was maintained from its centre advent of Hildebrand, in the eleventh on the Bosphorus, somewhat as the century, it was usually the open or seBritish Empire is maintained from its cret enemy of the empire. The Cathcentre on the Thames, by wealth, mar-olic Church was always the co-equal, itime ascendency, the traditions of usually the jealous rival, often the ir empire, and organizing capacity — al- l'econcilable foe of the emperor. It ways with the great difference that never was a State Church, and rarely, there was no purely Roman nucleus as until the fourteenth ceutury, was an there is a purely British nucleus, and official and obsequious minister of any also that the soldiery of the Roman emperor or king. Empire had no common arniament, But the Orthodox Church of Conand was not officered by men of the stantinople, from first to last, was a dominant race, but by capable leaders State Church, part of the State, servant indifferently picked from any race, ex-' of the State. There were, of course,
rebel patriarchs, ambitious, indepen-source of their autocratic power. It dent, factious, and deeply spiritual pa- was this sacred character, a character triarchs. There were whole reigus and which the de facto emperor possessed dynasties when emperor and patriarch from the hour of his coronation in St. represented opposite opinions. But all Sophia until the day when he died, was this was trifling compared with the deposed, or blinded, which held toindependent and hostile attitude of the gether an empire of such strangely hetpapacy to the temporal power. The erogeneous elements, permeated with Catholic Church represented a spiritual such forces of anarchy and confusion. power independent of any sovereign, Christians in the West contemn, and with a range of influence not conter- perhaps with justice, the servility, idolminous with that of any sovereign. atry, and formalism of the Greek priestThat was its strength, its glory, its hood. They may be right when they menace to the temporal power. The tell us that the essence of Greek ritOrthodox Church represented a spirit- ualism is only a debased kind of paganual authority, the minister of the sov-ism. But the Orthodox Church is still ereign, directing the conscience of the a great political force ; and in the Bysubjects of the sovereign, and in theory zantine Empire it was a political force of no others. The Orthodox Church perhaps greater than any other of was the ideal State Church, and for a which we have extant examples. thousand years it deeply affected the If, then, we have to answer the hishistory of the Byzantine Empire for torical problem - how was it that the evil and for good. It more than real- Roman Empire succeeded in prolonging ized Dante's dream in the “De Mo- its existence for a thousand years after narchia,” a dream which the essence of its final transfer to the Bosphorus, in Catholicism and the traditions of the the face of tremendous and, it seemed, papacy made impossible in the West. insurmountable difficulties ? It constituted a real and not a titular swer is, by a happy combination of Holy Roman Empire in the East. three concurrent forces. The first was
Ruinous to religion, morality, and the prestige of the name and traditions freedom as was this dependence of of Rome. The second was the won. Church ou the sovereign, it gave the derful language of Hellas, and the versovereign an immense and permanent satility and astuteness of the Greek strength. We can see to-day what genius. The third was the organizaoverwhelming force is given to the tion of an Orthodox Church, which, on rulers of the two great empires of the one hand, bad a hold over the mass eastern Europe, who are both absolute of the people hardly ever acquired even heads of the religious ganization of by the Church Catholic, and, on the their respective dominions. Now the other hand, was willing to become the Orthodox Church of the Byzantine faithful minister of an empire that it Empire was a more powerful spiritual cousecrated and venerated as its suauthority. than the Russian Church, if preme master on earth. In one sense not quite so abject a servant of the Ro- the empire was not strictly Roman, man emperor as the Russian Church is not Greek, not Holy. But by a marvelof the czar. And it was no doubtlous combination of Roman tradition, much more completely under the con- Greek genius, and Orthodox sanctity it trol of the emperor than the imâms maintained itself erect for a thousand and softas of Stamboul are under the years. control of the padishah. The Roman emperor, in spite of his vices, origin, or character, even in the midst of the WE will now turn to the modern po Iconoclast struggle, was invested in the litical problem presented by Constantieyes of his orthodox subjects with that nople ; a problem which is not in the sacred halo which still surrounds czar least yet solved, which time has not and sultan, and which is the main removed, and which recent events have
not made easier. Constantinople still nople involves the practical control of remains, and ever must remaiu, one of Asia Minor, of the entire Levant, and, the most important ports in the whole but for Cyprus and Malta, of North world. In the hands of a great mili- | Africa and the whole Syrian coast. tary and naval power, it must always Nor is this all. In the hands of a be one of the most dominant capital first-class military and naval power, cities in the whole world. All that Constantinople must dominate the Cronstadt is in the Baltic, or Gibraltar Balkan peninsula and the whole of in the western, or Toulon in the north- Greece. With an impregnable capital, ern, or Malta in the southern, Mediter- and the powerful navy which the ranean — all these together and more wonderful marine opportunities of Con
- Constantinople might be made by stantinople render an inevitable possesa first-class power.
Colonel F. V. sion to any great power, the rival races Greene, of the United States army, in and petty kiugdoms of the peninsula his “Russian Campaigns in Turkey,” would all alike become mere dependen1877–78, speaking of the first lives of cies or provinces. Here, then, we reach Turkish defence, between the Black the full limit of the possible issue. Sea at Lake Derkos and the Sea of Turkey is now no longer a maritime Marmora, calls this position (uearly power of any account. Her magnifithat of the wall of Anastasius in the cent soldiery forms no longer a menace fifth century) “ a place of vastly greater to any European power, however strength than Plevna.” He adds : “No small; and, if it suffices to hold the other capital in the world possesses lines of Constantinople on the Balkan such a line of defence, and when side (which is not absolutely certain), completed, armed, and garrisoned in it is liable at any moment to be parasufficient strength (about seventy-five lyzed by an enemy on the flank who thousand men), it may fairly be deemed could command the Black Sea or the impregnable, except to a nation pos- Sea of Marmora. Of course, the Bossessing a navy capable of controlling phorus has lost its ancient importance the Black Sea and Sea of Marmora, as a defence ; for a northern invader and a fleet of transports sufficient to commanding the Black Sea could easily land troops in rear of its flanks." (Pp. descend on the heights above Pera, 427, 428.) That is to say, in the opin- and with Pera in the hands of an ion of one of the first of living authori- enemy, Stamboul is now indefensible. ties, who followed the Russian staff in That is to say, Constantinople is no the last war, Constantinople is prac- longer impregnable, or even defen- . tically impregnable in the hands of a sible, without a first-class fleet. Therefirst-class military and naval power. fore neither Turkey, nor Bulgaria, nor
But Constantinople is not merely Greece, nor any other small power, impregnable on the defensive side, in could have any but a precarious hold the hands of such a power, but if on it, in the absence of a very powerful adequately manned and equipped, it is fleet of some ally. equally strong for offensive purposes ; From these conditions the following and, with the Bosphorus and the consequences result. Turkey can hold Hellespont duly fortified, it would com- Constantinople as her capital with absomand the Black Sea, the Sea of Mar- lute security agaiust any minor power. mora, and the Ægean Sea. Much more She could not hold it against Russia than this : it would practically domi- having a predominant fleet in the nate Asia Minor; for, as old Busbecq Black Sea, uuless she received by allisays,
“ Constantinople stands in Eu-ance the support of a powerful navy. rope, but it faces Asia." It faces Asia, With the support of a powerful fleet, and it dominates Asia Minor ; and, if and her own re-copstituted army and possessed by a first-class military and restored financial and administrative naval power of ambitious and aggres- condition, she might hold Constantisive spirit, the possession of Constantinople indefinitely agaigst all the re
sources of Russia. It is perfectly plain | No one of all those rival nationalities, that no minor power, even if placed in creeds, and populations could for a moStamboul, could hold it except by suf- ment maintain their ascendency. No ferance; certainly neither Bulgaria, one of them has the smallest title either nor Greece, nor Servia, perhaps hardly from tradition, numbers, or proved caAustria, upless she enormously devel-pacity, to pretend to the sceptre of the oped her fleet, and transformed her Bosphorus- and not one of them could entire empire. Turkey, as planted at hold it for a day against Russia, if she present on the Bosphorus, is not a chose to take it. to any other power. The
Of course Russia would choose to powers with which she is surrounded take it; and (the Moslem withdrawn are intensely jealous of each other; altogether) nothing could prevent her and by race, religion, traditions, and from taking it. Such is the issue to aspirations, incapable of permanent which all anti-Moslem enthusiasts look amalgamation.
forward with joy and hope. And, From the national and religious side doubtless, there are very real grounds the problem is most complex and men- in the facts of Musulman society and acing. Even in Constantinople the government, to make all right-minded Moslems are a minority of the popula- men share in that joy and hope. But tion; and in the other European prov- secular international problems are not inces even more decidedly so. But in to be settled off-hand by appeal to most of the Asiatic provinces, Moslems theological sympathies and historical are a majority, and in almost all they enthusiasms. They are serious pracare enormously superior in effective tical difficulties to be faced with munstrength to any other single commu- dane good sense. And reasonable nity. To put aside Syrians, Arabs, politicians are bound to consider all the Egyptians, Jews, and other non-Chris- ulterior consequences and immediate tian populations, there are, within the operation of so great a change in Euromore western parts of the Turkish Em- pean politics as the planting of Russia pire, Bulgarians, Greeks, Albanians, triumphantly on the Bosphorus. various Slavonian peoples, Armenians, Assume that Russia has succeeded and Levantine Catholics, not so very Turkey in possession of Constantiunequally balanced in effective force nople, the Bosphorus, and the Hellesand national ambition ; all intensely pont. What is the result? She would averse to submit to the control of any immediately make her southern capital one amongst the rest, and unwilling impregnable, as Colonel Greene says, to combine with each other. Each with a line of defence such as no watches the other with jealousy, suspi- other capital in the world possesses." cion, antipathy, and insatiable desire She would make it stronger than Cronto domineer.
stadt or Sebastopol, and place there The habit of five centuries and the one of the most powerful arsenals in hope of ultimate triumph lead all of the world. With a great navy in sole them to submit, with continual out- command of the Euxine, the Bosphobreaks and outcries, to the qualified rus, the Marmora, and the Hellespont, rule of the Turk. But place any one of with a vast expanse of inland waters this motley throng of nationalities in within which she could be neither inthe place of the sultan, and a general vested nor approached — for nothing confusion would arise. The Greek would be easier than to make the would not accept the Bulgarian as his Hellespont absolutely impassable — master, nor the Bulgarian the Greek ; Russia would possess a marine base the Albanians would submit to neither; such as nothing else in Europe prethe Armenians would seize the first sents, such as nothing in European moment of striking in for themselves ; history records, except in the days of and the Italian and Levantine Catho- the Basilian dynasty and the Ottoman lics would certainly assert their claims. caliphs of the sixteenth century.
LIVING AGE, VOL. III. 111
With such an unequalled naval base and Cyprus. With first-class naval she would certainly require and easily strongholds in these three islands, and secure a further marine arsenal in the with the British fleet and forces in the archipelago. It is of no consequence Mediterranean at least doubled in whether this was found on the Greek strength, the present position of Enor on the Asiatic side. There are a gland in these waters may be proscore of suitable points. An island or longed. Without it, that position a port situated somewhere in the would depend on the good-will of RusÆgean Sea between Besika Bay and sia and France. Let us trust that we the Cyclades would be a necessary ad- may long retain that valuable support. junct and an easy acquisition. With But, given the enthronement of Russia Russia having the sole command of the on the Bosphorus, an alternative at seas that wash south-eastern Europe, once arises. The British flag must dominating the whole south-eastern either be hauled down in the Mediterseaboard from a chain of arsenals ranean, to appear in it as a visitor, stretching from Sebastopol to the Greek like the flag of the United States and archipelago, the entire condition of of Germany, or the British feets, the Mediterranean would be trans- forces, and arsenals in the Mediterraformed
say at once the nean must be doubled and trebled. A entire condition of Europe would be very strong party in England would transformed.
prefer the forner alternative. But it We all feel kindly towards the Chris- may be taken for granted that the tians of Roumelia, and we are anxious majority of Englishmen would choose to keep the Kurds from plundering the latter at any sacrifice. Armenian villages ; but the price that Has the British public fully realized we are asked to pay for these blessings the enormous change in the political is the instalment of Russia as para- conditions of the whole Levant and of mount mistress of the eastern Mediter- Europe involved in the installation of ranean. Many eminent statesmen and Russia on the Bosphorus ? We are a strong force of Liberal opinion, men accustomed to treat the settlement of having quite as real a patriotism as the the Ottoman in Stanı boul as a matter noisiest of their neighbors, saw with which is now of very minor imporrepugnance and dismay the fatuous tance. Why so? Because the Turk occupation of Cyprus and the damnosa is powerless for anything but precahereditas of Egypt. But, with Russia rious defence, under the preponderant installed in absolute predominance in menace of Russia on the north, whilst the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus he is hemmed in by ambitious and rest. would become a mere embarrassment less neighbors in his last ditch in the and weakness; and a simple under- Balkan peninsula. He cannot fortify standing between France and Russia the Bosphorus without Russian intermight make the British occupation of ference; he cannot maintain his govEgypt impossible or precarious ; for ernment in Crete without a roar of Malta, a thousand miles off, would indignation from Greece. He is conavail but little, and would itself be no stantly harried by Bulgarians, Servians, more than a fresh source of incum- Albanians, Montenegrins, and Epirots. brance.
He lives forever on the defensive, he Once install Russia in absolute com- menaces no one ; and no one is afraid mand of these eastern seas, with a of him in Europe - because he has chain of arsenals from the Crimea to nothing in Europe but a shrunken the Ægean, and, if the British flag is province, and practically no fleet. to float in pride in the Mediterranean We are accustomed, again, to treat at all, the British forces in that sea the position of Russia in the Balkan must be doubled or trebled
nay, peninsula as one of influence more or measures had better be taken to add less continuous, but as not practically the possession of Crete to that of Malta affecting the eastern Mediterranean