The patriarchal seat given by Heraclius to the Patriarch Primigenius was taken in 1520 to S. Mark's, Venice, where it may still be seen in the treasury. Pasini says it is certainly of Egyptian manufacture, in proof of which both the character of the ornaments and tradition are invoked. The Chronicles of the Acts of S. Mark in Aquileia, which are earlier than the eleventh century, say that it was covered with ivory plaques, "utique antiquo," but the large amount of carving upon it leaves little space for the attachment of further ornament. Its history seems quite clear. Heraclius brought it from Alexandria to Constantinople about 630, and between 1520 and 1534 it was behind the high-altar of S. Mark's. In the latter year it was moved into the baptistery on to the altar, where it stayed till taken into the treasury.
It is made of Oriental cipollino. The medallion at the top is cemented on. On it is a crux ansata, with two figures at the sides, both in front and behind, believed to be the four Evangelists. On the exterior of the arms are ten lighted tapers, thought to symbolise the ten churches founded in Africa by SS. Matthew and Mark. Below the medallion in front is a Lamb on a hill, from which the rivers of Paradise flow, and on which is either a vine or a fig-tree. On the back are an eagle and a lion, each with six wings. The background is starred, there are two palms at the bottom, and a Tree of Life in the space between the lion's lower wings. Above the eagle's head is a crescent. Beneath the tapers on the outside is a bull with six wings on a starred background, and on the other side an angel, also with six wings, with two palms below, and two little two-winged trumpeting angels in the top corners, on a similarly starred ground. These three sides have a band of lattice-work at the base; the front has a panel with zigzag lines. The inscription on the front has puzzled paleographists. It has been read as Hebrew and as stating that it is the chair of S. Mark. A hole in the back and another in the side are thought to have perhaps held the debris of the wooden chair which he actually used.
Herr Graeven believes that he has identified several plaques of ivory which belonged to the chair in different museums. They all display the type of head afterwards used for S. Paul in Western art, which Dr. Strzygowski has identified as representing S. Mark in Alexandrian ivories.
The octagonal baptistery, to the north of the cathedral, shows no sign of its age, which must no doubt be considerable; near to it is the church of S. Maria delle Grazie, which has fragments of similar paving to that in the cathedral, including the inscriptions. In the floor in front of the altar are also several pieces of ninth-century ciborium heads, and bits of twelfth-century carving. It is possible that the baptistery once had a canopy such as still exists at Cividale, and that the fragments here and at the cathedral formed part of it. The nave has six bays, with five antique columns on each side, of cipollino, granite, white and black, and white-veined marble. The caps are very varied. Some are Byzantine of the type of those at S. Apollinare in Classe; two are truncated reversed pyramids with roughly cut scrolls on the surface, and one of these has a super-abacus. Two of them are queer, rough things, with brackets at the angles in place of volutes, and a deep abacus sloping back, with a cross upon it. The bases of the pillars are boxed in, as at the cathedral. An antique base serves as support to the holy-water basin. The floor has been mended with slabs of red and white marble and tiles, and the mosaic goes on into the rooms which flank the apse, at the ends of the aisles. This arrangement of the plan is exactly the same as that in a church at Kanytelides not far from Tarsus, the plan of which Miss Lowthian Bell gives in her book on Cilicia and Lycaonia; it also occurs in the church of Bir-Umm-Ali in Tunisia. De Vogue gives two plans closely resembling it, and Mr. H.C. Butler describes some very similar plans near Is-Sanemen in the Northern Hauran (the ancient AEre), which are probably Constantinian. It seems certain that it is an Oriental importation, especially in connection with the fact that the free-standing apse, as in the earlier church at Parenzo and at Salona, occurs quite frequently in Cilicia and Lycaonia, as Miss Lowthian Bell shows.
Between Grado and Aquileia is a little island with a celebrated church, S. Maria di Barbana. In the early centuries of the Christian era legend says that a picture of the Virgin floated hither on a springtide, and was caught in the branches of a little tree, which lived till the middle of the nineteenth century when a great storm destroyed it. The picture and the church which contains it are the object of an annual pilgrimage on the Feast of the Assumption; people from all around accompany a sacred picture from Grado to visit it. On this day the lagoon is alive with numberless craft, the priests' boat leading, with banners and tapers and fully vested ecclesiastics; and the air resounds with simple church melodies. At Barbana the Virgin's picture waits on the pier to greet that from Grado; and report says that it has been observed to nod at the moment the sister picture reached the shore!
GRADO TO TRIESTE
There is a small steamer which plies from Grado to Trieste, going one day and returning the next, but fine weather is very necessary for that mode of travel, as the sea can be very rough between Venice and Trieste. We did not hit the day of its sailing, so retraced our steps to Villa Vicentina and went via Monfalcone and Nabresina. Between these two places the railway rises steadily, giving fine views over the sea and plain. Looking forward and back the pale-grey line of the viaducts winds round and about the slopes like some gigantic snake, or like the aqueducts of the Campagna of Rome. Here the grey limestone breaks through the vegetation more and more, for the line is approaching the lofty stony plateau of the Karst, and enormous heaps of debris accentuate the position of the numerous quarries. They are very extensive, going far into the rock, which is also pierced by many great hollows, like entrances to an unknown under-world. All over Istria these memorials of sunken river channels occur—a maze of holes and paths, in which the water is still sinking deeper through the porous stone as through a sieve. Curious funnel-shaped depressions often occur amid uniform slopes, several hundred feet across and sometimes 200 ft. deep, as if worn by ancient whirlpools, and many of the rivers become subterranean, sometimes coming to the surface again many miles away. The river Rjeka, for instance, enters into the grottoes of S. Canzian, near Divaca—a succession of narrow abysses, hollows, pits, waterfalls, and stalactite grottoes, with pools in them; and other examples will be noted farther down the coast.
The Castle of Duino has been called "The pearl of the Coastlands." It stands finely upon its rock, just where the diluvial plain meets the lime or sandstone formation. In a couple of hundred paces or so the vegetation changes its character from that of upper Italy to the softness of the southern islands, the sheltered slope to the sea being like an evergreen garden. Aloes root in the rocks as at Sorrento, and even in winter the purple cyclamen may be found in flower. Its name in antiquity was Castrum Pucinum. Here Augustus had a villa, whence the best wine for his table was brought. From the line, too, the campanili of Grado and Aquileia are visible, far away over the plain, dark against lagoon or sky in the evening, or flashing white in the morning sun.
At Monfalcone we took corner seats in an unoccupied carriage, but while we were arranging our things an old man, rather infirm, got in and made me to understand that he wanted mine. German was the language which he spoke. I thought perhaps I was intruding, though there was nothing on the seat to show that it was taken, so gave it up. We had two nice youths, who were talking Italian, at the other end of the compartment, cadets of some kind in uniform, going home for the Easter holidays. The old man was very short-sighted and gazed at the landscape through a little telescope. When we left Nabresina and went the other way to run down to Trieste, the views changed to the other side of the carriage, and to my astonishment the selfish old fellow moved across and turned one of the youths out of his place! to which he submitted quite meekly.
The descent from the high land to the coast level is very fine, the eye ranging far over the blue water, headland projecting beyond headland, paler and more diaphanous, till the historic point of Salvore fades into the distance scarcely distinguishable. Below the blue is stained by the smoke of steamers and flecked with the many-coloured sails of other craft, while in the middle-distance populous Trieste stretches round the curve of the bay, with many vessels at its wharves, and the smoke from the Lloyd-Arsenal mingling with that from the iron-works at Muggia beyond S. Servolo across the bay; or, if it should be night, lines of lights define the long stretch of quays and streets like strings of pearls, and sparkle up the heights which the houses climb in several directions. Prosecco is passed, which gives its name to a celebrated wine much esteemed in Trieste; Miramar, with its memories of the ill-fated Maximilian of Mexico, who delighted in its beautiful situation and splendour of appointment; then comes Barcola, where excavations have proved the existence of Roman villas, which have enriched the museum of Trieste with many interesting objects; and at last the train slackens and stops at the west end of the town, in the fine station built with that disregard for economy of space and lavish expenditure of material which the Englishman finds remarkable in Continental railway management.
Trieste is primarily a modern town, and the people are very proud of the important buildings which adorn it, as they have every right to be. The post office, for instance, is palatial, and round and near to the Piazza Grande are large and showy edifices which include the Town Hall and the Lloyd Palace, while the Greek church is a fine building in the Byzantine style, decorated with mosaics, and the church of Sant' Antonio makes a very effective termination to the Canale Grande. The broad quays are thronged with people of many nationalities and varied costumes, from the ships which lie along them flaunting ensigns of all kinds—red and white crosses, blue, yellow, and black stripes, moons and stars—Italian, Norwegian, Greek, Turkish, French, and Montenegrin, as well as Istrian and Dalmatian. The Greek ships generally lie in the Canal, the Norwegian by the Molo S. Carlo (so called from a warship which was sunk in 1737), and beyond the health office for the port at the Molo Giuseppino, where many others also lie, and the various passenger steamers in definite berths—the big English steamers at the end of the projecting quays. From a Sicilian ship hundreds of chests of oranges and lemons may be seen unloading; from a Venetian trabarcolo great heaps of onions and ropes of garlic; an Istrian boat disgorges a small mountain of green water-melons; from a Dalmatian cutter barrel after barrel of wine is rolled out, much of which goes on to Bordeaux (!); and the same from a Greek schooner near, while its neighbour from the Levant lands grapes and chests of raisins, and the Norwegian ship brings train oil or wood. Many Turkish and Albanian costumes lighten up the crowd with their brilliant colours and quaint shapes, Bosniaks and Montenegrins are occasionally seen, and a fair number of Morlacchi, though fewer than lower down the coast. The weather-beaten Chioggian fishermen, too, with their red caps and waist-scarves, black curly hair and great rings in their ears, are very picturesque, though less unusual. The Triestines themselves are abandoning the old costume of the countryman, the "mandriere," described as consisting of a long waistcoat with great silver buttons hanging on it, short black hose open at the knee, and a short black, close-fitting jacket. In summer he wore a broad, flapping hat; in winter a costly cap of so-called beaver-skin, which he had probably inherited from his grandfather. The women had broad frocks with coloured borders, and a short, heavy cloth jacket; and on their heads a white linen cloth hanging down behind, with costly lace upon it. The girl of the people, the "sessolotta," and the seamstress, the "sartorella," both go bareheaded, and are proud of their hair; they are fond of flowers and songs, and spend much of their time in the open air. I quote a Gradese song, which is also sung at Trieste, and must be of some antiquity, since it names the gondola, which is not now seen either at Grado or Trieste.
Lisetta guarda, bella e la luna Argento piove sulla laguna, Non e una nuvola; quieto e il mar— Lisetta, in gondola ti voi menar?
La bavisella che va soffiando Con quel bel viso di quando in quando I biondi boccoli te li fa far— Lisetta, in gondola ti voi menar?
The markets are rich with colour and well looked after. Officials go round constantly testing the articles of food sold, while the women (who are generally the sellers) look on with anxiety. A dozen or more, men and women, will bring in their wares on a cart, 10 or 15 ft. long, each putting a hand to the work.
The city existed in antiquity. Strabo knew it as a Carnian market-town. Various derivations of the Latin name "Tergeste" have been suggested, of which perhaps the most probable is from the Celtic "twr," water or sea, and "geste," colony, establishment. The fact that it was the only city held by the Carni on the sea-coast increases the probability. A Roman colony was established here in 129 B.C. The amount of tribute paid by the various cities is an index of their importance; both Pola and Parenzo paid more than Trieste. The Triestines were enrolled in the tribe Pupinia. The city was the landing-place for Roman troops, as was the case in Trajan's campaign against the Dacians. The fulling establishments of both Trieste and Pola were known far and wide.
The Romans made the hill of S. Giusto the centre of their colony, adding to the defensive works the temple of the Capitoline divinities, reconstructed with a magnificence worthy of the increased importance of the city by Clodius Quirinale, prefect of the fleet of Ravenna. Remains of it are the seven columns within the campanile (built in 1337 and restored in 1556), still bearing architrave, frieze, and cornice, and fragments of architectural carving and inscriptions encrusted in its walls, or preserved in the civic Museo Lapidario. There was an antique theatre at Trieste also; its shape only can be traced, though the name of the street is still "Rena Vecchia."
S. Hermagoras is said to have planted a church here about 50 A.D., by means of missionaries sent from Aquileia. S. Giusto, one of the patron saints of the city, probably died about 303. The other two are S. Sergio, a soldier, whose halberd still appears in the arms of the town, and S. Servolo, a pious youth who lived at one time in a grotto not far from this place, where they both were martyred. There is said to have been a bishop in the fourth century, but the list of authentic bishops begins with Frugiferus in the sixth. When Christianity triumphed, a church was built on the Capitol on the ruins of the ancient temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption. This was the part to the north of the present church (see plan), now the nave of the Holy Sacrament, "del Santissimo," in the apse of which are the mosaics of the twelve Apostles, probably earlier than the sixth century; while those in the vault, together with the border, are later. Till some twenty years ago a difference in the level of the floor between the three columns farthest east on each side (where the pulpit stands) marked the place of the original choir. The walled-up clerestory windows of the right side are ancient. The fourteen columns have been plastered over to make them uniform, but are evidently of different thicknesses, suggesting the use of older material. The caps are for the most part rough imitations of Corinthian, and the bases are stilted Attic in type. Of the baptistery nothing remains but the hexagonal font of marble in the chapel of S. John the Baptist, where there is also an ancient well and the apparatus for baptism by ablution, not now used. In the time of Justinian, the second, smaller, church (probably dedicated to SS. Giusto and Servolo) was erected at the south side by Bishop Frugiferus, about 550, as the monogram at the left of the apse shows. The mosaics in the apse are late Byzantine. Four great columns support a cupola in front of the presbytery, by means of four round arches, pendentives, and a drum, round which is an arcade of sixteen stilted round arches with foliated caps and prominently projecting abaci, which it is thought may belong to the original building, though the cupola itself is later. The small apse of the south aisle, with vaulted roof, also belonged to the first building. In front of the apses is a solea with a wagon vault, except in front of the small aisle apse, where it is quadripartite. The aisle is raised a step above the nave. The arcades are uniformly round-arched and stilted, and the caps generally have super-abaci. The north aisle has pointed arches at intervals and a flat roof; the nave of the Santissimo also has a flat roof with beams and brackets. There is a triumphal arch and one blocked window in the apse, with mosaic on the splay of the jamb.
The mosaic in the semi-dome is probably an eleventh-century restoration of an older work, itself very carefully restored in 1863. The Virgin, robed in blue and holding the Divine Child to her bosom, is enthroned between the archangels Michael and Gabriel, who hold lilies and are robed in priestly costume. The Child blesses with the right hand in the Greek fashion. Below, on the wall, are figures of the Apostles, of a very early date, for SS. Peter and Paul are without their usual attributes, and the white draperies shaded with pale colours are early Christian in arrangement. Between the figures are palm-trees and conventional plant ornaments. The church is very dark, but the details of the mosaics may be studied in the careful copies in the museum. Above the altar of S. Giusto, to the right, in the semi-dome, SS. Giusto and Servolo stand on each side of our Saviour, beneath whose feet are two monsters, asp and basilisk. The central apse was reconstructed in the seventeenth century. The main reconstruction took place in the fourteenth century. The aisle walls of the two churches were demolished, and a nave built reaching from the pillars of one church to those of the other, thus uniting them under one roof, the western wall being placed contiguous to the campanile, and chapels added at each side. The memorial of the Gens Barbia was sawn in two and used as jambs for the west door, and inscriptions from the pedestals of statues and classical ornamental fragments were used in the campanile, both round the openings and close to the niche which encloses the statue of S. Giusto holding a model of the cathedral and castle. The consecration took place in 1385, Bishop Henry of Wildenstein officiating. Below the S. Giusto mosaics are wall-paintings of the fourteenth century, in niches of a much earlier date, with slender antique columns of precious marbles; in the centre the saint stands with a model of the city in his hand—the earliest record of its appearance extant; the other niches show his sufferings. In the niche of S. Apollinaris are remains of frescoes of two dates found in 1892, and thought to belong to the sixth and the tenth centuries; other remains of the fourteenth or fifteenth century, found under whitewash, prove that the whole church was ornamented with painting as the "Acts" relate. When the roof was raised the exterior of the drum of S. Giusto was enclosed within the church. The trilobate roof of the nave was mediaeval, but has lately been restored. The facade also was restored in 1843, and the gravestones ranged along its base were then removed from the floor.
In the sacristy is a picture signed Tommaso Giottino, and dated 1313; it is thought to have belonged to the high-altar. There is a picture by Benedetto Carpaccio, of the Madonna, between SS. Giusto and Servolo, in the right-hand portion of the church. The treasury is kept in the chapel of S. Antonio Abate, to the north of the apse of the Santissimo; it is closed with a very fine late Renaissance German iron grille, with elaborate projecting floral bosses. It contains a thirteenth-century processional cross, with a repousse Christ on a ground of gilded silver.
The original wheel-window of the facade is in the Museo Lapidario, just below the cathedral, where a good many well-heads of Venetian type are also preserved, and a few fragments of eighth and ninth-century carving, as well as the usual antique columns, bases, and inscriptions, one expects to find. There are also stone balista balls, relics of ancient sieges, many cinerary urns, and a few mutilated figures, grouped under the trees and upon the terraces which descend to the little temple in which the better pieces are housed. These include the lower half of a female figure, graceful in pose, and, in the folds of the drapery, a decree of the Decurions' College of Trieste in honour of the quaestor and Senator Fabius Severus (of the time of Antoninus Pius), engraved on one of two large pedestals, a sarcophagus and steles, the inscriptions from the jambs of the campanile, &c. The collection is mainly due to Dr. Dom. di Rossetti, who, in 1830, erected the monument to Winckelmann (murdered here in 1768), which is against one of the walls. Near the Jesuit church, half-way down the slope of the hill, is a half-buried Roman arch of the time of Severus, ornamented equally on both sides, perhaps a memorial of one of the ancient gates. It is known as the Arco di Riccardo, from some fancied connection with Richard Coeur de Lion.
The finest objects in the Civic Museum are two pieces of antique Greek metal-work found at Taranto. One is a bronze jug, upon which are represented two griffins, facing each other by the sides of a palmette, with a flowing band of vine-leaves surrounding the body above. The relief is very delicate, and the design beautiful. The other is a rhyton of silver which is almost unique. The motif is the head of a young deer. The ears, which project at right angles, are riveted on; the rest is repousse in one piece. It is so finely modelled and so accurate in its detail, that it has been recognised as a representation of the Cervus Dama, which was formerly common in South Italy. The interior of the ears and the lip of the cup have been gilt, and in the nostrils is niello. Round the neck is a band with four small figures, probably representing the nuptials of Poseidon and Saturia, daughter of Minos, from which sprang Taras, the mythical founder of Taranto. Two of the figures are seated, two standing; their draperies are gilded. The handle curves gracefully to the back of the jawbones, where it is attached to a palmette. The work may be of the fourth century B.C., the doe's head being much finer than the figures, which are possibly a later addition. The only similar piece of silver-work known is the bull's-head rhyton in the Hermitage Collection, St. Petersburg. In this also the figures (which are of barbarians) are inferior to the animal forms.
There are various sculptures discovered at Barcola, the finest of which is a male torso with the greater part of the legs, prehistoric objects, coins, a personification of Istria, things found at Pirano, and three splendid large Chinese bronzes. The copies of the mosaics of the Apostles from S. Giusto are on the ceiling of the upper room. A seal of the city of the fourteenth century bears three towers and the inscription: "Sistilianum . publica . Casiilir . mare . Certos . dat . michi . fines." Sistiana was on the north of Trieste; Castilir, the river Risano, was the southern boundary. The present arms were given by Frederick IV., 1464—a black two-headed eagle on gold on the first of three horizontal fields, and on the lowest the halberd of S. Sergius, on the colours of the archduchy of Austria.
The bishopric of Trieste corresponded to the Roman municipium in its boundaries. The bishops gradually became temporal lords of the city, and in 1295 the commune bought its freedom from Brissa di Toppo for two hundred marks. At this time the first communal palace was built. The first statute, however, dates from 1313-1319. It provides for a foreign podesta, a greater and lesser council, and the usual officials from the noble families. The title of Count of Trieste was first taken by Antonio di Negri (1350-1370). During his time Venice besieged the city for eleven months, conquering it in 1368, notwithstanding the attempted succour of Leopold of Austria. They then built a fort on the hill of S. Giusto and another on the shore called Amarina. Trieste made overtures to the dukes of Austria, and war continued between them and Venice till 1370, when it was ended by the peace of Kaisach, by which Venice agreed to pay 75,000 florins of gold, and to give up the castle of Vragna, as well as to relinquish all claim to Trieste and her territory. The Venetian forts were demolished, and in 1382 the city gave itself to the Habsburgs to make itself secure. In 1470 Frederick III. built the castle to control the factions which had been indulging in civil war, and Trieste lost a good deal of her liberty. The mediaeval city formed a triangle on the north-west slope of the castle. Till the middle of the eighteenth century it was a small town of 6,000 inhabitants, but the gift of free harbour rights by Charles VI., in 1719, soon made it prosperous. Italian, German, and Swiss merchants settled in numbers, and the population grew till it is now over 160,000.
The bishop of Trieste was subject to the Patriarch of Aquileia, and a special form of worship was used, invented by the Patriarch Paulinus. This is still in existence, partly printed and partly in MS.
On Saturday, June 10, 1501, Canon Johannes Baptista, the chancellor, used the Roman rite in the cathedral for the first time, a fact noted as remarkable in several documents. In Aquileia itself the form continued in use till 1585, and in S. Mark's, Venice, till the fall of the Republic. In Trieste confraternities were established very early. That of S. Giusto is mentioned in 1072.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF ISTRIA
The name "Istria" is derived from the Istro, confounded by the ancient geographers with the Danube (Ister), and therefore supposed to be a branch of it. Considering the testimony of ancient writers as to the migration of Thracians, it appears probable that the Istrians were of these people, a band who left Pontic Istria by ascending the rivers Danube, Save, and Lubiana, crossed the Julian Alps, and descended to the Adriatic. Some such migration may be at the root of the story of the passage of the Argonauts, pursued by the Colchians. In the ninth century B.C. Ionians from Miletus settled colonies in Istria, who were followed by Corinthians in 735 B.C. It has been claimed that the name "Adriatic" is derived from Adar, the Asiatic sun-god, or god of fire. Plenty of stone implements and other prehistoric objects have been found in caves and burial places, and there are many Celtic place-names; the Celts arrived in the fourth or fifth century B.C., and contested the country with the older immigrants. Under Roman rule the two races ultimately intermixed, the Celts being in the majority.
The oldest inhabitants thus appear to have been of Pelasgic stock, Celto-Thracian. The Carnians were a branch of those of Lycaonia and Acarnania, who also settled in Gaul, and, according to Livy, mixed with the Etruscans during the reign of Tarquinius Priscus. They were sailors and merchants, but also pirates. When the Romans founded Aquileia they were forced to take measures to ensure safe navigation and to prevent danger to the new colony. Therefore, in 178 B.C., an expedition against the Istrians was undertaken under the Consul Aulus Manlius Vulso, but without the authorisation of the Senate, the army being transported by ship to the environs of Muggia. The Istrians attacked the camp in a fog, and, having driven the Romans to the shore, sat down to eat—and drink. While they were incapacitated in consequence, the Romans returned and killed most of them. The following year they entered Istria again, sacking and devastating the country. In the battle which followed, 4,000 Istrians were left on the field, and the rest took refuge in the cities, and asked for peace. The negotiations were broken off owing to the Consul Claudius proceeding in an irregular manner, and Nesactium was vigorously besieged with two fresh legions. A stream which defended the walls and supplied drinking-water was diverted by the Romans; its failure convinced the inhabitants that their gods were either powerless or angry, and during the final assault the despairing Istrians killed their women and children to save them from slavery, and threw their bodies over the walls. Epulus, the king, fell upon his sword when he saw the enemy within the walls; the rest either perished or were made slaves. Mutila and Faveria were also attacked and levelled with the ground, and quiet reigned in Istria. Livy says that at that time 5,622 persons were sold into slavery, the authors of the war were beaten and then decapitated, and Istria was garrisoned with Roman troops. In 129 B.C. the Istrians rose in revolt when Rome was occupied with the Gepid war. The Consul Caius Sempronius Tuditanus crushed this revolt, and after that colonies were established at AEgida (Capodistria), AEmonia (Cittanova), Albona, Parentium, Piquentum, Pola, Tergeste, and probably in other places. Many Istrians fled into the Karst region, and for a long time the land was unsafe. Julius Caesar had to take measures to protect Tergeste from raids.
The Italianising of the country proceeded apace. Many Slav names occur in Roman inscriptions; but in 127 B.C. 14,000 Roman colonists arrived, and year by year more came, until the time of Augustus, both plebeians and patricians. Many of the latter of Istrian birth occupied important posts outside Istria; and, according to an ancient Aquileian breviary quoted by Dr. Kandler, many of the Christian martyrs belonged to patrician families. The names of SS. Euphemia, Thecla, Apollinaris, Lazarus, Justina, Zeno, Sergius, Bacchus, Servulus, and Justus may be quoted. The towns benefited in material ways, aqueducts were constructed to supply them with water, and fine roads, such as the consular road from Pola to Aquileia and Venetia, with its many branches, provided easy and rapid communication. There was traffic in wines, wood, marble, and granite. Istrian acorns nourished a fine breed of pigs which were exported to Rome. The purple-dyeing factories of Cissa near Rovigno, the fulling works of Pola and Trieste, and the potteries of Aquileia were known far and wide. Nor were philanthropic works neglected. Under some of the later Pagan emperors foundling hospitals and schools were established in separate provinces for orphans and poor children.
Under the just and wise rule of Theodoric the province flourished; but the people always regarded the Goths as barbarians, and when the Byzantines attacked Istria in 539-544 and 552 the troops of Vitalius, Belisarius, and Narses were welcomed. They called the Greek Government "Sancta Respublica," and erected basilicas in gratitude for the freeing of the land from the Arian Goths. Justinian re-established the Roman constitution with certain alterations, among which was the power of appeal to the court of the bishop, which gave him control and surveillance over the municipal functionaries. His power was not supreme, however, the military defence of the frontier being equally important. For some sixty years the "Schism of the Three Chapters" rent this part of Christendom, and caused a great deal of ill-feeling and many questionable actions. It arose from the Emperor Justinian in 544 condemning (1) the writings of Theodore, bishop of Mopsnestia, who anticipated the heresy of Nestorius; (2) the writings of Theodoret, bishop of Cyrus, against the twelve anathemas of S. Cyril of Alexandria, and the decrees of the Council of Ephesus; and (3) the letter of Ibas, bishop of Edessa, to Maris the Persian. The Latin Church, with Vigilius the pope at its head, declined to accept the Imperial decree, which was in contradiction to the Council of Chalcedon of 451. In 548 the pope, while at Constantinople, was induced to repudiate them; but, on finding how strong the opposition was, revoked his agreement in 550, and induced the emperor to summon a council, which met in 553 and condemned the three chapters and their authors. The pope returned to Rome, and died there in 554, having confirmed the decision of the Council of Constantinople, and anathematised those who refused to accept it. Notwithstanding this, the bishops of Lombardy, Venice, and Istria, with the Aquileian patriarch Macedonius at their head, and other bishops, refused, and this refusal produced the "Istrian schism," or schism of the "Tre Capitoli." Paulinus, who succeeded Macedonius, called a synod at Aquileia in 557, which repudiated the decision of the Council of Constantinople. Pelagius II., who was then pope, called in the secular arm, but the descent of the Lombards in 568 stopped the discussion. Euphrasius of Parenzo was one of the principal supporters of Macedonius, and the pope did not hesitate to make the most disgraceful charges against him. In 578 Paulinus transferred the patriarchate to Grado, so putting himself under Byzantine protection. Elias of Grado held the same opinions as his predecessor, even excommunicating his adversaries. His successor, Severus, holding the same views, Smaragdus the Exarch made an expedition to Grado in 588, took Severus and the bishops of Parenzo and Trieste to Ravenna, and kept them there in prison for a twelvemonth, till they agreed to condemn the three chapters. When they returned they found their clergy would not go with them, so a synod was convened at Marano, and there they revoked their condemnation. Smaragdus, exarch again in 603, so arranged matters that on the death of Severus (who had preached revolt) Candidiano was appointed patriarch, a man who was devoted to the papal authority, and who reconciled himself with Rome, thus ending the schism. It had caused grievous disorders, the bishops being sometimes for and sometimes against it, and the clergy sometimes in strife among themselves and sometimes with the Patriarch of Grado; but the mode in which it was ended was quite as disgraceful as any of the deeds done during its course. In 610 armed Byzantine soldiers entered the basilicas and dragged three Istrian bishops from the altars, with menaces and vituperation, compelling them to accompany them to Grado, where they were forced to bend to the Imperial commands and reconsecrate Candidiano patriarch.
The Lombards re-established the patriarchate of Aquileia, electing Abbot John, who was opposed to the pope, and thus there was a double patriarchate. The Aquileian patriarchs only became reconciled to the papacy in 698 when the Lombards had ceased to be Arians. The Istrian bishops obeyed the Patriarch of Grado until the Council of Mantua (827), which decided that they should return to Aquileia. Istria was Lombard only from 751 to 788.
When Charlemagne conquered the country in 789 feudalism was substituted for the Roman autonomy with the co-operation of the higher clergy. The Frank duke was supreme, and his underlings had arbitrary power. Public property was confiscated for the benefit of the duke and his supporters, and all kinds of arbitrary and exorbitant imposts and restraints were imposed upon the people, even to the prohibition of fishing! The result was great discontent, and at last, in 804, by the intervention of Fortunatus, Patriarch of Grado, an inquiry was held at Risano, the acts of which were embodied in the "placito" of Risano. The envoys of Charlemagne restored the communal property and the jurisdiction over foreigners, exempted freemen from servile tasks, suppressed arbitrary imposts, and restored the tribunes and other Byzantine magistrates, whom the people were allowed to select freely according to the ancient custom. In 952 Istria became a German fief by gift of Otho I. of Germany (who had conquered Italy the year before) in feud to his brother Henry, duke of Bavaria, together with Verona and Friuli. Documents show the presence of large numbers of persons of German origin during the tenth century; but the maritime cities, depending upon commerce, were forced into connection with Venice by the necessity of making arrangements for mutual defence against Slav and Saracen Corsairs, and thus the foundations were laid for the Republic's later supremacy.
Great part of the history of Istria relates to incursions by the barbarians, either beaten off, or successful, with the destruction of towns, and the carrying off of slaves and booty. The descent of the Lombards was followed by a raid of the Avars in 599, but they were beaten off. Three years later they came again in company with Slavs and Lombards. In 611 the Huns or Slovens descended on Istria, in 670 they were defeated near Cividale by Duke Vetturi, and in 718 were conquered in three battles near Lauriana by Duke Pemmo. His son Ratchis copied the bad example of the Huns, sacking and killing far into Carniola. Between 620 and 630 the Serbo-Croats descended from the Carpathians and crossed the Danube by suggestion of Heraclius, driving the Avars from Dalmatia and taking their place. The result of these constant barbarian raids was the concentration of the population in the towns on the sea-coast.
The pirates in the Adriatic were first the Narentans and next the Saracens, who devastated the coasts of Dalmatia in 840, fruitlessly besieging Ragusa for fifteen months, and afterwards taking Taranto and Bari. In 842 they defeated the Venetians at Taranto, and, on the octave of Easter, took Ossero and burnt it. They then passed on to Ancona and Adria, and as they returned captured a whole Venetian squadron. In 876 the Slavs of Croatia and Dalmatia raided the Istrian coast towns, but were defeated at Grado. The Emperor Basil occupied Dalmatia in 877 on the pretext of Slav piracy. He gave the tribute from the Roman cities of Dalmatia to the Croats and Narentans, so that Spalato, Zara, Trau, Arbe, and the Byzantine cities of Veglia and Ossero had to pay tribute to the Croats. The successful expedition of Pietro Orseolo II. against the Narentan pirates tended to the greater security of the coast towns and strengthened the bond which Venice was weaving.
In 933 a solemn treaty of peace was signed at Rialto between Istria and Venice by the Marquis of Istria, the bishops of Pola and Cittanova, two "locopositi," two "scabini," and twelve other trustees from Pola, Capodistria, Muggia, and Pirano, there convened. A fresh treaty was made in 977 with Capodistria, giving Venice special advantages, and these negotiations were carried on without reference to the Imperial authority, the nominal feudal lord. Walking thus warily, avoiding offence to the Emperor of Germany, Venice took 200 years of continuous political action to acquire the Istrian cities. By 1145 Venice had obtained for herself liberty of commerce in most of the Istrian towns and complete exemption from any kind of taxation; she had established at Pola and Capodistria a representative, to look after the punctual execution of treaties, and to protect Venetians from injustice, and had also made the Istrian cities pay her a tribute, either in money or products, obtaining also assistance for her navy from them whenever it was fighting beyond Zara and Ancona. The importance attached by Venice to these concessions is proved by the triumph which was given to the squadron of Morosini and Gradonico when returning victorious from Istrian waters. It was then that the doge assumed the title of "dux totius Istriae," but the dates of the dedition of the several cities are much later. The re-organisation of the communes took place between 1150 and 1180. The podesta had a council of assessors, the "consiglio minore"; the larger "consiglio del popolo" was called together for the more important matters, such as declaration of war, conclusion of peace, legislation, imposition of taxes, election of podesta and consuls, &c.; while many documents show that the whole body of citizens was summoned to a "parlamento" for the publication of new laws, very important deliberations requiring practical unanimity, the installation of fresh magistrates, &c. The "statute" was apparently drawn up when a foreign podesta succeeded to native consuls as an assertion of the ancient judicial custom. That of Capodistria, the earliest, is of 1238-1239; that of Pola, 1264. As soon as the communes began to extend their work of domestic supervision a "fontico" was established, a place where corn was sold at little above cost price. Everything was supervised—the time of vintage and of selling the new wine was fixed, the amount of bread to be baked in each oven was prescribed, the justices tasted the wine before the taverners began to sell, cut off the tails of fish unsold by the evening, and generally looked after the strict fulfilment of the regulations affecting food. As the vintage approached, the guards in the vineyards were doubled, and, from August 3, dogs were tethered to a stake to intimidate thieves. The prices of foreign goods were fixed and, before commencing to sell, merchants were obliged to expose their wares on the quays or in the piazza for three days. Standard measures were cut in stone in conspicuous places, and at Albona the various imposts were carved on the clock-tower in the piazza. Armed men were not allowed to enter the cities, and the officials interested themselves in everything going on, an example of which may be quoted from Pirano. When S. Francesco was built in 1301, the podesta carried the first stone on his shoulder, and set it in the ground before the assembled people. Venice succeeded the patriarch as overlord of the Istrian communes in 1420, and after this the history of Istria is merged in that of the Republic.
The ravages of the plague were fearful, and practically depopulated the province, returning again and again till 1631. In the fourteenth century it decimated the Brioni Islands; no less than five Benedictine convents were abandoned—three in Pola and one near Barbana d'Arsia, as well as that on the Brioni Islands. In Muggia an inscription states that half the population died in 1347. In 1361 Ossero was so devastated that two years later the bishop abandoned it and went to live in Zara. In 1371 the country round Pola was so afflicted that of seventy-two towns only eleven preserved their names, the rest disappearing without leaving any trace. In Cittanova in 1643 there were only ten inhabitants left, the bishop abandoned it to live in Buie or Verteneglio, and in 1686, as there were not enough citizens to constitute a council, they had to add strangers to make a quorum. Angelo Morosini, podesta of Capodistria in 1646, described it as "Goddess of desolation and refuge of solitude itself." Parenzo was so severely smitten that only thirty persons remained. At Pola in 1631 there were but 300 persons left, including the garrison of foreigners, and of the citizens but three families. This was the last visitation.
MUGGIA TO PIRANO
From Trieste steamers, large and small, ply to most of the places on the coast, and the islands down to Fiume. Though there is railway communication with a few places, travelling by water is much pleasanter in fine weather, and the towns are more easily accessible from the seaside. The country people throng to market in the early hours of the morning, and are ready to return by the time the average English tourist has finished his breakfast and sets out sightseeing.
We went to Muggia about midday by one of the little steamboats which round the Punta S. Andrea, and, passing the Lloyd-Arsenal, cross the bay, the Vallone di Muggia. The boat was full of belated contadini, for the most part rugged and picturesque, among whom was an old woman with a few long candles, which she vainly offered for sale to every person on the boat; a boy with nuts and sweets was more fortunate, and lessened his stock considerably. The deck was lumbered up with baskets, milk-cans, &c., which had been full in the early morning, and most of the passengers had bundles and parcels containing their purchases. Some thirty minutes were sufficient in the fine weather with which we were favoured to take us across, and, passing the smoky iron-works which are the principal industry of modern Muggia, we disembarked at the little quay, and immediately became objects of interest to a small crowd of impertinent boys. Our principal objective was the ancient church on the hill where Muggia Vecchia once stood. We found on inquiry that it was closed as being in a dangerous state. This entailed visits to the municipio and to the parish priest, under escort of a uniformed official, who then conducted us by a steep and stony path up the hill Monte Michele, towards the summit of which, higher than the church, prehistoric graves have been found, consisting of stone slabs set roughly together, making a kind of chest which opens on to the hillside. The church stands amid fragments of ruined walls, the remains of the town destroyed by the Genoese in 1354. To the west is a stony space where wild irises grow and bloom profusely in the crevices of the rocks, and from which there is a fine view over the sea northwards to the highlands of the Karst. Between this flowery wilderness and the church is an open grassy space enclosed by a wall, and with a few trees round its edges, which was probably the atrium. Opening upon this is the narthex, an open portico level with the tower which stands at the west end of the north aisle, with a stone seat running round the wall. Two steps lead down into the nave, and there is a door in the south aisle, which has two windows, the clerestory having four; though on the north side, where the graveyard lies, there are none. The building consists of a nave and aisles divided by an arcade of five round arches upon rectangular piers without caps, the two eastern bays being enclosed by dwarf walls with framings of marble slabs upon which interlacing patterns of the ninth century are carved. They return across the ends of the aisles, in each of which is an altar beneath a wagon vault, though there is no apse. The central apse is vaulted with a semi-dome, but does not show externally. The choir is raised two steps above the nave, and the altar is approached by a third. The ambo or pulpit stands outside the screen on four columns, approached by steep steps from within; an octagonal column of coloured marble supports a slab for a book-rest, facing eastwards at the foot of the steps. In plan the ambo somewhat resembles that at Grado, with six half-colonnettes projecting from the curved form, two of them terminating in heads on each side of the book-rest, itself supported on an octagonal shaft which dies into its underside with very flat vine or oak leaves spread over the surface. The whole has been so plentifully whitewashed that detail is nearly obliterated, but there is sufficient difference between the styles of various parts to make it probable that a reconstruction took place at some period, older material being employed to a great extent. The fact that two of the bases have angle claws and are manifestly not in their original position supports this theory. The altar to the left is part of a Roman sarcophagus with a funerary inscription in letters of the Imperial period:
C. IVLIO NICOSTRATO FILIO . PIISSIMO ANN . XVIII . M . VIIII . D . XII IVLIVS . NICOSTRATVS.
Upon the piers and walls are remains of paintings of various dates. On the first pier to the left is S. Catherine, vested as a Byzantine empress. Further to the east are the Madonna "Blacherniotissa" and S. Dominic, and near the ambo figures of the four Evangelists; the last apparently of the period of the foundation of the church, the ninth or early tenth century. On the last pier, which is broader than the others, and suggests a later addition (perhaps in the thirteenth century), is a gigantic S. Christopher, roughly painted, and with the well-known inscription stating that whoso looks at it will not die a sudden death that day. The aisles have lean-to roofs, and the nave roof we found shored up, the supporting timbers being wreathed with garlands of artificial flowers. The dedication is to SS. Peter and Paul.
As we descended the hill our guide, observing that flowers interested us, made a sudden dive through the gate of a garden full of wallflowers and picked a bunch for us, presenting it with as much grace as if they had been his own! a proceeding to which the rightful owners appeared to have no objection. The more modern town lay below us with its walls and towers, some of them ruinous and some restored, and looked picturesque enough except for the ancient castle which has been turned into a modern house by its latest purchaser, who has tried with more zeal than judgment to copy the style of the older portions. Through the postern by which we had left the town a number of workmen from the iron-works straggled, grimy and weary; in their modern dress and employment marking a contrast with their surroundings. Muggia Nuova first appears in history in 1235. When Paganino Doria destroyed Monticula (Muggia Vecchia) in 1354, the port Vicuna Lauri (now Muggia) increased, and twenty years later was surrounded with walls by the Patriarch Marquand da Randeck after his triumphal entry. It had nine square towers, a bastioned keep on the east, and a barbican with unequal sides, which covered the Porta a Mare, or of S. Rocco. Three other gates, the Porta Grande, which faced to the country, the Porta S. Francesco or Del Castello, and the Portizza, which joined the Imperial road of Zaule with a drawbridge, added to the defences, and a chain closed the port.
The nave of the church is of the eighteenth century, the apse twelfth, and the facade of the fifteenth century, with a wheel window of 1467 above the west door, and a gable of an ogee-trefoil shape. In the centre of the rose of sixteen rays is a little relief of the Virgin and Child; the tracery is like that of the cathedral at Trieste. The door is square-headed, with a cable moulding on the inner and a dentil on the outer edge, and with a slightly ogee tympanum above, in which are an enthroned God the Father with Christ in His lap, two kneeling figures with palms at the sides, and two little angels on the uprights of the throne. On the architrave is an Agnus Dei. Two windows, slightly ogee-headed, flank the door. Coats of arms and inscriptions give the date. The treasury contains a late Gothic ostensory with Renaissance patterns on the foot, a chalice which has portions of several dates, and a seventeenth-century processional cross. The contemporary municipal palace is now made into dwelling-houses, though the lion of S. Mark, with closed book and the date 1444, still looks down from the wall, and the shapes of the windows reveal a mediaeval building.
While we were on the hill the few children had become a crowd, and our proceedings were much hampered, although our friendly guard adopted very rough measures more than once to keep them in order. The people have always been turbulent and unruly, and no doubt there is still an hereditary disposition among them to resist authority, though one must acknowledge that it was only among the young that we ourselves observed it.
Muggia Vecchia is first mentioned in a diploma of Ugo and Lothair, king of Italy, in 971, by which the Castello was given to the church of Aquileia. In 1202, when the Venetians were on their way to the Holy Land, they subjected the coast towns under the pretext of enforcing the patriarch's rights. Doge Enrico Dandolo disembarked at Muggia with part of his troops, and was received by clergy and people with the ringing of bells. The citizens being collected swore fealty and subjection to the Republic, promising not to help pirates, and to pay each S. Martin's Day twenty-five "orne" of good wine. From this date till 1420 the city was ruled by a podesta elected every six months by the council and confirmed by the patriarch. There were three judges and several "anziani," who formed the lesser council, to attend to daily business. In the thirteenth century it had its own statute, and at that time the commune paid a doctor, a surgeon, and a schoolmaster. The crest is a turreted castle, seen on the campanile of the old church borne by two figures. It was sometimes under Venice and sometimes under the patriarch till 1420. At one time four noble hostages were confined for the latter in Cividale, who were obliged to prove their presence every day; at another the procurator swore fealty to Venice and received the standard of S. Mark with much pomp. In 1371 the council decided to elect every year two upright men who should do their best to settle disputes and quarrels among the citizens, and in case of failure to report to the council, when extraordinary measures were to be taken. The next year Raffaello Steno attacked the city at the head of the exiles and killed many supporters of the patriarch, sacking their houses and proscribing his followers; and it was only at the end of 1374 that he succeeded in retaking the town, coming in person to do so. After his triumphal entry in that year a castle was built to keep the people in subjection, and a castellan with a garrison was left in it; but the town rebelled again in 1377.
Capodistria is at the head of the next bay to the south-west, on rising ground which was once an island, though now joined to the mainland. From the sea the most conspicuous building is a great yellow prison. There is also a naval school there, the cadets from which have to endure a certain amount of chaff when they acknowledge having spent five years at Capodistria. According to Dandolo the city was founded on the island of Capraria, and named in honour of Justin II. (565-578) Justinopolis; the fact of its having been free of money taxes during the Byzantine dominion makes some such origin probable; but it occupies the site of the Roman colony of AEgida, founded in 128 B.C., and a few antique fragments have been found, such as the restored statue of Justice on the communal palace, a Roman work of the Lower Empire, and the reliefs of an ox and a female dancer encrusted in the wall of a garden. In the church of S. Clemente there is also a little round antique altar, used as a holy-water basin.
Under Pietro Orseolo a treaty was made between Venice and Capodistria in 977, under which the hundred amphoras of wine (which had been sent since 932 as an annual present to the doge, and handed by him to the Patriarch of Grado) were made obligatory and a perpetual tribute, while a Venetian officer resided in Capodistria to look after it. Another stipulation was that the city should always be at peace with Venice, even if the rest of Istria were at war. The Venetian representative or consul had the right to sit with the Capodistrian judges whenever a Venetian had cause to appear before them. In 1145, envoys had to go to Venice to swear on the Gospels true and loyal fidelity to S. Mark, the Doge Polano, and all his successors, and to the commune of Venice, undertaking to renew the oath on the election of each new doge. In 1186 the commune was represented by a podesta and four consuls, the year in which the bishopric was founded on the strength of their promise to provide sufficient income. Eight years later they were obliged to decree that if any one did not pay his dues by the usual time he should have his vineyard taken away, and if the tithe of oil was not paid by the Purification, it should be doubled. It was the first Istrian city with a fully formed commune, and the notice of the meeting of the council on July 5, 1186, is the earliest notice preserved of such a meeting. The first statute appears in 1238-1239.
When Venice had acquired the city the senate commanded Tommaso Gritti and Piero Gradenigo to build Castel Leone; it was constructed astride the road which crossed the marshes, so that all travellers and vehicles entering or leaving the city had to pass through it. The walls, for which the Patriarch Gregorio Montelungo was responsible, were damaged in 1278, when the city swore fealty to Venice, and were thrown down on the sea side after the insurrection of 1348. They were not completely repaired till the sixteenth century. In 1550 Michele Sanmicheli, and subsequently his nephew Alvise Brignoli and others were sent by the senate to report, and finally the repair of the walls of many of the Istrian towns was committed to Constantine and Francesco Capi. A hundred years later they were in such a state that Stefano Capello reported that it was useless to guard the gates, for entrance was easy through the ruinous part of the walls. The only portion now remaining is the Porta della Muda, built by Sebastian Contarini in the seventeenth century. It bears an inscription of 1701 stating that the sea then no longer flowed round it.
The Palazzo Comunale was burnt after the revolt of 1348, when the city had to surrender unconditionally, the clergy carrying crosses, and the citizens in procession, followed by the soldiers and the other foreigners, meeting the army outside the gates. Fifty of the persons most compromised were sent to Venice for trial, and the city was punished by increase of taxation and modification of some of the chapters of the statute. A few years after it rebelled again, and was then deprived of all municipal rights. The burnt portion of the palace was ordered to be restored in 1353, but it had to be pulled down afterwards, and in 1385 the senate gave orders to the Podesti Leonardo Bembo to level it and rebuild. It bears resemblance in some of its details to palaces of the Bembo family in Venice. It was not completed till 1447, under Domenico Diedo. The right wing was altered in 1481, and further damaging alterations were made in 1664 by Vincenzo Bembo, who was so proud of his work that he put up a pompous inscription. There are numerous coats of arms of podestas and busts on the facade, the earliest of which is dated 1432. Under the portico were the "bocche del leone" for secret denunciations, and, though the masks are gone, the chests within are still in position.
At right angles to the Palazzo Comunale is the cathedral, with the campanile projecting and flanking the facade to the south. It has a ground story of Gothic, three pointed arches, the central one pierced by a doorway with clustered pillars, and figures beneath niches above them, and an upper story with classic pilasters and cornice, the central space pierced by a circular window. These are somewhat the characteristics of the cathedral at Cividale, of which two Capodistrians, Bartolommeo Costa and Giovanni Sedula, were architects. It was reconsecrated in 1445, but the upper part was not finished till 1598. The side doors, with beautiful arabesques carved on the jambs, were constructed with material from the tribune in which the big Carpaccio was housed. It was destroyed in 1714 during the restoration of the cathedral. There is a terra-cotta medallion of Constantino Copronymus on the facade. The present campanile is of 1480. The great bell was cast in 1333 by two sons of the celebrated bell-founder, Jacopo da Venezia. Under the bell-chamber of the older campanile was an iron cage in which ecclesiastics guilty of grievous crime were exposed, a punishment abolished in 1497.
The interior of the church, considered the finest of the period in Istria, was recast in 1741 by the Venetian engineer Giorgio Massari. Under the last arch of the nave to the right is a picture by Vittore Carpaccio, signed and dated 1516—a Madonna and Child enthroned upon a damask-hung seat raised on five steps, which are covered with an Oriental carpet. Upon the steps saints are ranged, SS. Jerome, Roch, and an old man to the left—perhaps Zacchariah or Joseph; SS. Sebastian, George, and a bishop to the right—probably S. Louis of Toulouse: at the bottom a little lute-playing angel sits, flanked by two amorini on a lower level with white drapery. The Virgin is seated in an arched vestibule with a flat ceiling through which the sky and trees are seen. It was restored in 1829. Another picture from S. Nicolo near the port shows the Virgin with SS. Nicholas of Bari and John the Baptist. The organ wings were painted by Vittore's son Benedetto in 1538, and two other pictures of his are affixed to the west wall. The subjects are the Slaughter of the Innocents and the Presentation in the Temple. Other pictures by him are a Coronation of the Virgin, in the communal palace, signed and dated 1537, his earliest known picture; the Virgin between SS. James and Bartholomew, 1538; and the town damaged by a sea-storm. In Santa Anna is a picture of the Name of Jesus adored by SS. Paul, John the Baptist, Francis, and Bernardino, and surrounded by cherubs' heads. In the communal palace an indifferent picture of the entrance of a podesta escorted by the councillors (dated 1517) is ascribed to Vittore Carpaccio, who has been claimed as a Capodistrian, as his son Benedetto certainly was. He lived in the Largo di Porta S. Martino, in an old house of two stories. In 1500 it was inhabited by the Scarpaza family, and before that they possessed a little farm in the locality called San Vittore; but the Capodistrian tradition as to Vittore's birthplace is erroneous, since he was born at Venice of a family of Mazzorbo, record of which has been found by Signor Molmenti. Lazzaro Sebastiani is also claimed as Capodistrian, and memorials of two other painters exist, Cleriginus de Justinopoli, who was living in 1471, and Giorgio Vincenti. A Mag. Domenico di Capodistria began the pretty octagonal chapel at Vicovaro above Tivoli.
In the choir of the church of Santa Anna is a picture by Cima da Conegliano in the original frame made by Vittore da Feltre. In the central arched compartment the Virgin sits enthroned with the Child on her knees and angels at her sides; on the steps below are two child angels with mandoline and fiddle. The lower range of panels has full-length figures of SS. Anna, Mary Magdalene, Joachim, and Catherine. In the upper are half-lengths of SS. Chiara, Francis, Jerome, and Nazario, with Christ between SS. Peter and Andrew in the centre. It has been restored. There is also an altar-frontal of cut and gilded leather.
The lions from the ancient cathedral doors are now in the atrium of the high-school. The ancient baptistery is close to the north side of the cathedral; it has suffered Renaissance alteration inside, but outside still shows the early arrangement of pilaster-strips and corbel-tables. It is circular in plan, and has several round-headed, unmoulded windows built up, as well as a pointed-arched door with fourteenth-century shields in the tympanum.
In the large piazza which stretches to the south-east of the cathedral are two well-heads and the "fontico" or place where corn was sold cheaply to the poor, a building of 1432, restored in 1529, plentifully studded with coats of arms. Opposite the Palazzo Comunalelis the Loggia, now a cafe, built in 1464 for a literary academy. It has seven pointed and traceried arches in front and two at the side, a Madonna and Child decorates the south-west angle, and coats of arms are between the windows of the upper story. Here the Compagnia della Calza was instituted in 1478 in imitation of that of Venice. A few houses have remains of late Gothic painting, and in others something of the mediaeval arrangement may still be seen. Upon the Palazzo Tacco is a very beautiful knocker, ascribed to Sansovino, now happily the property of the commune; and the Casa del Bello has a fine negro's head as handle, rather worn by use, and an elaborate knocker, probably of German work. The Casa Borisi also has a handle with the head and shoulders of a child emergent from leaves, and a knocker of similar design.
In the cathedral treasury is a late fifteenth-century silver-gilt chalice with elaborately worked knop and stem; on the knop are saints under canopies, and angels with outspread wings emerge from scroll-work round the base of the cup. Also a monstrance of the same period with very elaborate and beautiful architectural ornament and figures of angels in adoration. In two elaborate silver-gilt crosses of the sixteenth century there is a curious mixture of Gothic and Renaissance details.
There is also a Byzantine civil casket at Capodistria, with traces of ancient gilding upon it. It has the usual rosettes in the borders, and small plaques with figure subjects. On the front there are three gods and goddesses, separated by a repetition of the border pattern. The handle and fastenings are later in date.
Just inside the Porta della Muda is the Piazza da Ponte, so called after the Podesta Lorenzo da Ponte, who in 1666 had the very curious fountain erected, in which he imagined a further memorial of himself by the punning design of the bridge, so unsuitable for its position. In front of the Palazzo Tacco is a column with a statue of S. Giustina, set up to commemorate the battle of Lepanto, at which Domenico di Tacco commanded a ship fitted out at his own expense.
In the churches on Good Friday a crucifix was laid on the chancel steps. Women and children knelt round and kissed it. In one or two of them a dead Christ, life-size and painted, was exhibited behind glass. There was also the "tomba," a custom to which one is used in Italy. A few men joined in the devotion. The Good Friday procession is over half a mile long, and takes two hours to get round the town, starting from the cathedral west door at twilight. It is formed in great part of the ancient confraternities (among which that of S. Maria is mentioned as early as 1082), who carry some 200 implements and standards, torches, candelabra, wax tapers, figures of saints, and lanterns. At the end of the procession a rich baldacchino is borne aloft above the priest who carries the Host. "Mazzieri" (from the mace which they carry as sign of authority) keep order. Other processions by daylight take place on Corpus Domini and S. Nazario (June 19). The people have always been fond of such displays, and till the seventeenth century there was a great function at the departure of the rector, who was solemnly bidden farewell by one of the syndics or nobles in the cathedral. These Istrian coast towns have always shown enlightenment in the matter of education. In 1699 a school was opened in Capodistria for the sons of citizens and patricians, in which Latin, Greek, Italian, mathematics, rhetoric, and physics were taught. And, in order that poor and talented young men should not be cut off from the possibility of learning, this town, and, after its example, Isola, Muggia, Parenzo, Pola, and Trieste established scholarships at the University of Padua, where Istrian professors became rectors. But, even in the fourteenth century, there were already school teachers in Pirano, Muggia, and Capodistria.
It is Pirano on its headland, with the cathedral standing out against the sea, and with its crown of battlemented towers among cypresses and other trees which terminates the land as seen from the railway descending from Nabresina to Trieste; for, though the Point of Salvore stretches actually farther out, it is low, and does not catch the eye as Pirano does, especially when its characteristic silhouette is emphasised by the blue shadow of a passing cloud. The headland upon which the cathedral is built, with its arched buttresses below, hides the town, except for the fortified cresting high above the trees; but, when the point is rounded and the harbour entered, one is tempted to assert that there are few places so picturesque. The quays are crowded with fishing-boats, which are backed by the brilliantly white buildings. The green water reflects boats, buildings, and sky with a bewildering flashing and mingling of varied colours; while, above the houses of the Piazza Tartini, other houses and towers climb to the battlemented walls which crown the hill above a space filled with the grey of olives and green of the grass beneath them. Within the town the streets are narrow and often arched over, producing striking effects of light and shade; and there are external stairs to some of the houses and many balconies.
It is an ancient town, and may have been founded by Celtic immigrants, since the word "pyrn" (a possible derivation for its name) means "top of the hill" in Celtic. It certainly was inhabited in Roman times, for the foundations of a Roman house have been found, as well as inscriptions, bronzes, and other objects now preserved in the museums of Trieste, Parenzo, and Pola. The names of a good many places near are of Roman derivation, but the first definite mention of Pirano is made by the anonymous Ravennese chronicler. In the tenth century the Istrians attacked the possessions of the Patriarch of Grado and of Venice, under the Marquis Winter, who governed for Ugo, king of Italy. The doge retaliated by prohibiting all commerce with Pirano, Trieste, Muggia, Capodistria, Cittanova, and Pola, and this soon brought them to their knees, finally resulting in the treaty of 933.
A castle, the residence of the count or burgrave, was built nearly opposite the cathedral, with a wall falling sheer to the sea; this wall was still in existence in 1483, and was seen by Sanudo, but it was destroyed soon after. Venice gradually laid a heavier hand on this part of the eastern shore of the Adriatic, and, though the citizens struggled to retain their independence, the year 1283 saw the dedition of Pirano. Yet it always retained the right of displaying its own standard of S. George in the Piazza by the side of that of S. Mark. The existing bases for the support of these standards date from 1464 and 1466, and bear the figure of S. George on one, and S. Mark's lion on the other, with the arms of the podestas who ruled in those years. On the base of the Venetian standard the measures of length then in use are engraved. The standards for measures of capacity were three hollows sunk in a stone which once stood at the foot of the stair of the communal palace. This palace was demolished in 1877. It was a building erected in 1291, outside the circuit of the walls as it then existed, "to show that a new spirit ought to animate the citizens to forget their ancient divisions," as a chronicler says. From 1264 Venice practically had control of the government, being the principal customer for the salt, which was (and is still) the chief product of the place.
The city is an irregular triangle in plan, and is divided into four sections, known as "Porte"—Porta Muggia, Porta Domo, Porta Misana, and Porta Campo. Walls enclosed each of these sections, which were thrown down by Venice at the same time that many of the nobles' towers were destroyed; but some portions remain here and there, utilised for the erection of later houses. Round the "Punta," the most ancient part of the city, are remains of early walls, thought to be late Roman. The Venetians allowed only one wall for protection, and the present towered portion, so conspicuous along the crest of the hill, was finished in 1488. The suburb, the Borgo Marzana, which stretched along the shore, was also enclosed within their circuit by 1533. They recall those of Soave and Marostica in North Italy, where the houses cluster round the piazza below, and the hillside is covered with olives, through and above which the line of battlements may be traced high above the tops of the campanili. The harbour was once larger than it now is, the Piazza Tartini occupying the site of part of it. In 1320 the Venetians sent three engineers to construct a port, but all that was done was to strengthen the inner harbour as then existing. The chain which closed it was replaced by a drawbridge in 1578, shown in a picture in the cathedral, but this was demolished in 1894.
In 1379 the Genoese fleet of fifteen galleys demanded the surrender of Pirano. Reply was made with cannon-shots which sank three large ships, and the others sailed away. It was the only Istrian city which thus repelled the Genoese attack, and the incident is also interesting as showing that the Venetians used bombards before the war of Chioggia.
The statute is more ancient than those of most of the neighbouring cities, and gives curious details as to pains and penalties and municipal regulations. The penalty for mutilation was a corresponding mutilation unless the fine prescribed was paid. The making of false money was punished with death. The false witness, if insolvent, lost his right nostril, and his name was published as a perjurer on the stair of the communal palace. He who destroyed the property of another lost his right hand. But there was no public executioner; and there are many records of the flight of guilty persons, though an intention to make "the punishment fit the crime" is evident. No one was allowed to build a house close to the walls, and thatch was forbidden. A blasphemer was pilloried for a day (a list of illegal words and phrases is attached to this section). Workmen were forbidden to receive more than the wage prescribed, butchers had to accept the price fixed for meat by the justices, and the times and places for fishing were specified. The commune had an inn "let to an honest man," with six good beds, which he had to provide. No one else was allowed to let rooms till 1469, when the payment of a tax of three ducats a year entitled the payer to a license. In 1484 interest on loans was fixed at 20 per cent., and Jews were allowed to charge no more. This people enjoyed considerable liberties, as in Venice, and corresponding concessions were made to them. With the establishment of a "Monte di Pieta" their occupation was gone, and they migrated to Trieste. The commune paid a chief bombardier, a captain of ordnance, a palace chaplain, two doctors and a surgeon, a canon of the Community, a master of arithmetic, a professor of humanities and rhetoric, and a preacher for Lent.
An academy, called "Dei Virtuosi," was also sustained at the public expense, and by it public festivals were organised, with the accompaniment of decorations and music, &c. The festival of Corpus Domini is still celebrated with the hanging of cloths and paintings on the walls of the houses, and with stretching awnings, like the Florentine mediaeval "cieli," across the streets, which are strewn with flowers and ornamented with altars and fountains. Processions also still accompany funerals and marriages, when garlands, flowers, and confetti are thrown upon the cortege as it passes. The banner and pall are black, with white embroidery, and the members of a red-clothed confraternity attend the funerals, bearing a crucifix and tapers. Many of them are quite old men, and they raise a quavering chant as they climb the steep ascent to the cathedral, which is a late Renaissance building, and not interesting, though finely placed. The campanile is an evident copy of that of S. Mark at Venice.
In 1572, under an altar in the cathedral, a fine Byzantine civil casket of ivory was found. Presented in 1884 to the Emperor by the municipality, it is now in the Court museum at Vienna. It has a sliding lid, the usual borders of rosettes, and long panels of subjects imitated from the antique. In the library above the sacristy are several early paintings in carved and gilt frames. The most important represents a long arcade with four saints on each side of a broader central panel, on which are the Virgin and Child enthroned. The figures have small heads and meagre limbs. There is also a Crucifixion, which, from its shape, was probably the top panel of a large picture in compartments. These are of the fourteenth century. A later example shows four saints in trefoil-headed panels, with a cornice above, composed of a series of shell-headed tops of niches. These originally formed the doors of a cupboard. There are also said to be a psalter and antiphonary of the fourteenth century, and a Bull of Urban V. relating to the Crusades of 1365. The ancient baptistery stood opposite the cathedral, if one may trust the views in Carpaccio's picture, and in one by Domenico Tintoretto in the town-hall. The modern one is on the slope of the hill, just below the campanile. It contains an early rectangular font. On the side facing the door is a carving similar to that on the font at Venzone—a naked youth astride of a sea-monster, said to typify the control of the bodily appetites by the reason. The other sides are much damaged.
The other important church is that of S. Francesco, which has a good early Renaissance doorway and a cloister, some seventeenth-century carved chairs, several Venetian pictures, and an early altar-piece. On the facade a curious inscription is set in the wall, which states that the church was dedicated on S. Mark's Eve, 1344, and that seven altars were then consecrated by seven bishops—nine being mentioned, however—Justinoplensis (Capodistria), Enonensis (Cittanova), Parentinus, Polensis, Petenesinus (Pisino), Capiolensis, Evelinensis (Buie), Domatensis, Soaralensis. The lion of the church is, however, the fine Carpaccio in the chapel to the left at the bottom of the nave, dated 1518, and signed "Victoris Charpatii Veneti opus," considered by some his best work. It represents the Virgin seated, and holding the Child to her breast. He has two cherries in His left hand; to His right are three saints —S. Francis with a cross, S. George, and S. Louis of Toulouse; to the left, S. Anthony, Santa Chiara, and S. Louis of France. At the feet of the Virgin are two angels with lute and violin on each side of a pot of lilies; a pillared hall, with a view of Pirano in the distance, forms the background. The chapel has pilasters with very beautiful arabesques. The design of the architecture and of the picture agrees perfectly, and it is evident that it was intended that the painted architecture should continue the effect of perspective, which commences with the reality of carved and built-up marble.
In the office of the salt-works is a picture by Carpaccio's son Benedetto, signed and dated 1541, which came from S. Lucia di Val di Fasano. It shows the Virgin seated with the Child in a little shirt, in the act of blessing. On the left is S. Lucy, on the right S. George standing, with their heads on the same level as the Virgin, and therefore on a smaller scale. The throne has a very shallow step. The figure of S. George is a repetition of that by Benedetto's father in S. Francesco.
In the Piazza Tartini, near a fourteenth-century house of Venetian Gothic, once the palace of the family of del Bello, is a modern statue of Tartini the violinist (1692-1770), who here commenced the study of music, which led him to extraordinary executive triumphs and the production of the celebrated "Trillo del diavolo."
Outside the walls, on the road to Porto Rose, are the ruins of the monastery of S. Bernardino, founded in 1450 by S. Giovanni da Capistrano, to whom the ruined convent on the island opposite Rovigno is also due. It once possessed a Vivarini, a Madonna with a sleeping Child, which was sent to Vienna in 1803. In the church of S. George is a fragment of a carved stall with a figure of the saint, which should be mentioned.
The town of Salvore seems to have been under the jurisdiction of Pirano, and the commune held a fair there on S. John the Baptist's Day, to celebrate the naval battle in 1177, in which Frederick Barbarossa was conquered in the deep bay between it and Pirano. The jousts, boat-races, and hunts which were held then and on the feasts of Pentecost and S. Orligo were so sumptuous that the provveditore limited the expenditure.
The last boat for Trieste left Pirano at 1.30 p.m., an hour so ridiculously early, that we determined to walk to Isola and proceed thence by train. We started off bravely up the steep road which led to the fifteenth-century Porta di Raspo, obtaining fine views down the alleys and through garden doors as we ascended the hill. High above our heads the battlements towered, and as we approached the walls we realised what a business it must have been to attack a town so protected before the invention of gunpowder. Soon the road bent away to the right, which was not the direction in which we wished to go, but a path led to some brick-works, and there we found an idle workman, who advised us to go along the shore as being much shorter. So we plunged and slid about among rocks of a considerable size, and skirted the base of slippery cliffs, and ploughed through sand and shingle for some miles, rejoicing when we met the road again in a flat piece of land where there were salt-pans. From this point it made a long sweep inland and then rose in wide curves up the shoulder of a hill which divided us from Isola. Here we saw a train draw up to take on board two gentlemen and a little boy; there was no sign of station or halting-place, and we wondered whether all that was necessary was to stand by the line and wave one's hand to the driver in order to be taken up! A stony path led us to the summit—another short cut, which happily called for less exertion than our previous jaunt along the shore—and a charming view amply repaid us for our labours. In the foreground the stony path dropped between steep banks, the soil being occupied by vines and olives, with a little shrine perched on one of the banks. In the middle distance Isola lay like a jewel upon the sea, opalescent with delicate blue shadows and the indescribable tints of grey stone buildings at a distance in sunlight; with the campanile crowning the slight elevation of the clustered houses. Beyond were the horns of the Bay of Capodistria and the highlands of the Julian Alps, blue in the shadow of the declining sun. A few lighter houses scattered along the peninsula served to soften the transition from the grey town to the green country.
The town is at least as old as the beginning of the eleventh century, for in 1041 it was ceded to the monastery of Aquileia; at this time it was probably unwalled, for in 1165 the Abbess Valperta allowed the inhabitants to remove to Monte Albuciano and build fresh houses there, as they did not feel secure. After the dedition to Venice in 1280 it was strengthened; but that did not prevent a body of the patriarch's troops scaling the walls and taking it on August 25, 1379, to be driven out a few days after by the podestas of Capodistria, Pirano, and Umago. Since 1411 it has been joined to the Capodistria road by a bridge, and no one would now suppose that it was originally—as its name denotes—an island. Nine square towers defended the walls, and the principal gate was protected by a barbican. The ditch was so useful to the people in peaceful times that the commune threatened with severe penalties those who went by night to deposit in it the refuse of their houses and stables. No trace of these works now remains.
The Colleggiata is a late Renaissance building, but contains some interesting things, including a picture by Girolamo Santa Croce of the Madonna enthroned, with SS. Nicholas and Joseph, and a child angel with a violin on the plinth, signed and dated 1537, but restored. The treasury contains a fine monstrance of silver, Gothic in design, with bands of pierced work and tabernacles at the sides on twisted columns. It has a spire-like top with windows and pinnacles between round its base, a feature which is repeated on the knop. In the seventeenth century several figures were added or replaced and the stem repaired. The Scuola dei Battuti, built in 1451, has a door with a frescoed tympanum beneath a pointed arch on brackets, a good deal weather-worn—Madonna sheltering the penitents beneath her cloak—and pretty arabesque scrolls on the soffit.
Isola is delightful from outside; but inside there is much dirt, and little food for the traveller. All that we could obtain was bread and rough red wine. While waiting for the train, as the sun set and twilight fell, we saw many of the contadini returning from their work, most of them on donkeys or ponies—a father with a little son before or behind him, a man in a black cloak with panniers laden with branches of trees, which hid the saddle, and, in the semi-obscurity, made them look like some monstrous beast of strange form, another perched upon a great bundle of hay or grass, and so on, all passing rapidly from the malaria of the fields to the safety of the malodorous town.
It reminded one of the return of the townspeople within the walls at nightfall necessitated by the mediaeval custom of closing the gates an hour after "Ave Maria," after which none could enter or leave the cities; and how the lamps of the shrines were the only illumination of the streets, about which none were allowed to go without carrying a light.
In the train we had as fellow traveller an engineer who spoke English well. He said that all over Istria nothing could be obtained to eat (except, of course, in the more important towns). He had been constructing a new line near Divaca, where nothing was obtainable, and he and his companions had been obliged to take a cook and all supplies with them. He appeared to have a very bad opinion of the Triestines, whom he characterised as drunken swine, which we had not observed ourselves. He said that beer was too dear for the majority, so they got drunk on black wine and brandy—a statement which sounded strange to our English ears. The smaller boats, being for the use of the country people, are very inconvenient for tourists, since they generally start so as to arrive at Trieste early in the day, thus allowing of return the same night with the purchases made. Baedeker advises an excursion to Muggia and on to Capodistria and Isola and Pirano, "returning by boat in the evening"; but the last boat from Pirano leaves at 1.30 p.m., and the last one from Capodistria at 4.0 (by which, by-the-bye, we paid twice as much as we paid for the same journey in the morning), and after that the traveller is dependent upon the little railway, which lands him in Trieste after 10.0 p.m., at the S. Andrea Station, rather late to obtain a meal.
UMAGO TO PARENZO
The next place along the coast, after passing the Promontory of Salvore and turning south, is Umago. It is sheltered behind a shoal, upon which the Chronicles say that the ship laden with the relics of S. Mark struck during a storm on its way to Venice. It was given as a feud to the bishop of Trieste in 929, at Pavia, by Ugo of Provence, king of Italy, and to the bishop of Cittanova in 1029 or 1038 by the Emperor Conrad. It had been sacked by the Slavs of Croatia and Dalmatia in 876, at the same time with Cittanova, Rovigno, and Sipar (at which last place very early wall-paintings are said to exist). It swore fealty to Venice in 1269; but very little is known of its history, the English apparently having burnt the archives in the piazza early in the nineteenth century. At that period no one seems to have thought that such things could be of any value; indeed at Portole, about 1850, the podesta actually sold all the communal deeds to the grocer of the place, thinking them useless rubbish, and at Cittanova the parchments were used by the citizens to mend windows!