صور الصفحة
PDF

the death of the preceding. An act of base ingratitude was the first and almost the sole exertion of his imperial authority. He banished his uncle John the eunuch, and confined the empress Zoe to a monastery. The resentment of the people for this conduct broke out into a sedition, in which Zoe and her sister Theodora were recalled and proclaimed joint sovereigns. Michael retired to a monastery and took the religious habit, of to escape further injury; but at the instance of Theodora, his eyes were cruelly torn out, and with all his relations and adherents he was sent into banishment, after he had occupied the throne only four months. Univ. Hist. Gibbon.—A.

MICHAEL VI. emperor, surnamed Stratioticus, was appointed by the empress Theodora her successor on the throne, which he ascended in 1056. He was then advanced in

years, and enjoyed a reputation for military

talents, but was entirely unacquainted with the art of government. In consequence, he fell under the dominion of the court-eunuchs, at whose instigation he disobliged the principal officers of the army. A conspiracy was formed among them, and Isaac Comnenus was elevated by the rest to the imperial dignity. He assembled an army in the eastern provinces, with which he proceeded towards the capital. In the neighbourhood of Nice he was met by the forces of Michael,and an engagement ensued in which the latter were totally routed. Michaël had in vain exacted an oath from the Constantinopolitans never to acknowledge Comnenus for emperor. At his approach a decree unanimously passed, investing him with that title, and a deputation of bishops was sent to Michael commanding him to renounce the sovereignty. “What will you give me (said he) in exchange for the empire * “The kingdom of Heaven,” they replied. He recognised the call, and retired to a monastery, after a reign little exceeding a year. Univ. Hist. Gibbon.—A. MICHAEL VII. of the house of Ducas, surnamed Parapinace, was the son of Constantine XI. On the defeat and capture by the Turks of the emperor Romanus Diogenes, who had married Eudocia, the widow of Constantine, Michael was proclaimed emperor in of 1 by the influence of his uncle, the Cesar John. He had studied philosophy and rhetoric, and possessed (says Gibbon) “the virtues of a monk and the learning of a sophist,” but was unfit for the cares of the empire, which devolved upon his

uncle. He was, however, accused of diminishing the measure of corn for his own emolument and that of a rapacious favourite, during a scarcity, which fixed upon him his reproachful surname. The peace of the empire was disturbed soon after his accession by an invasion of the "I urks, who made an alarming progress, and more than once defeated the imperial generals. At length, in the midst of the public confusion, two of the commanders, Botoniates and Bryennius, set up the standard of revolt; and Michael, finding himself unequal to the task of reducing them, left a clear field to their mutual competition, and retired to a monastery in 1978, after a reign of six years. and a half. He closed his life inthe possession of the see of Ephétus. Univ. Hist. Gibbon — A. MICHAEL VIII. emperor, of the noble family of Palaeologi, was brought up as a soldier, and obtained popularity and distinction by the graces of his person and manners. In his youth he was constable or commander of the I’rench mercenaries in the service of the empire. He underwent the suspicion of ambitious designs in the reign of John Vataces, but cleared himself so well that he was made governor of Nice by his son Theodore Lascaris. In consequence, however, of new charges against him at court, he privately withdrew about 1255, to the Turkish sultan of Iconium, by whom he was honourably received, and placed at the head of a body of Greeks in Turkish pay, with whom he distinguished himself against the Tartars. Theodore, unwilling to lose a subject of so much merit, recalled: him; and at his death in 1259, recommended his minor son John to his protection. After the assassination of Muzalon, the guardian of the young prince, in which crime Michael did not partake, he was appointed to the guardianship, and also to the regency of the empire, under the title of grand-duke. The career of ambition was now open to him, and he employed every art to give splendour to his administration, and impress the people with the wish of seeing him upon the throne. He courted the clergy, and paid particular deforence to his colleague in the guardianship, the patriarch Arsenius. The news of a victory over the despot of Epirus was the signal for the nobles and people in Michael's interest to salute him with the title of emperor, and it was agreed that he and the young prince should wear the purple conjointly. By his artiàce, however, the patriarch, though with great reluctance, was induced to place the imperial crown upon the head of Michael alone on the day of coronation in 1260, while John walked in his train marked only by a slight diadem. Constantinople was now in the possession of the Latin emperor Baldwin, but was closely invested by the Greek troops. In 1261 Michael received the welcome intelligence of the recovery of that capital by his general Alexius Stratogopulus, and he did not long delay to make his triumphal entry, and remove his court thither from Nice. His conduct in restoring the city to its ancient splendour, and encouraging the continued residence of the Genoese, Venetian and Pisan merchants, was directed by enlightened policy. He now felt himself strong enough to reign in his own sole name; and in order finally to remove a future competitor, he caused He sight of the young emperor to be destroyed by the least cruel way of performing that operation, the approach of a red-hot bason to the eyes. For this act of injustice and barbarity, Arsenius, now made fully sensible cf his guilty ambition, pronounced a sentence of excommunication against him, which no token of repentance short of abdication could induce him to recal. The deposition and exile of the patriarch soon followed; but his firmness had attached to him such a party among the clergy, that a schism in the Greek church for a number of years was the consequence. Michael was successful in recovering several of the finest islands in the Archipelago, as well as part of the Morea, from the Franks; but on the other hand, the despot of Epirus and the king of Bulgaria made incursions into Thrace, and laid waste the country by fire and sword. A crusade for the restoration of Baldwin, and combinations among the European princes, further disquieted him, and at length involved him in so many troubles, that he was induced to seek the favour of the Roman see by proposing an union between the Greek and Latin churches, with an acknowledgment of the supremacy of Rome. This was at length effected at the general council of Lyons under pope Gregory X. in 1274; but Michael lost more from the dissatisfaction of his own subjects with this act, than he gained by reconciliation with the Roman pontiff. He was obliged to institute a violent persecution against the schismatic Greeks in order to preserve the vain semblance of an union, and he incurred the

[ocr errors]

hatred of his own family, as well as of the Constantinopolitans in general, by his severities. In conclusion, he was excommunicated by pope Martin IV. for the share he had in the massacre of the French in Sicily, known by the name of the Sicilian vespers. Soon after, as he was marching against the Turks who had invaded his eastern provinces, he was taken ill, and died in 1283, at a place called Allogium, in the fisty-eighth year of his age and twentyfourth of his reign. His son and associate in the empire, Andronicus, immediately dissolved the union of the churches, and refused his father christian burial. Univers. Hist. Gibbon.—A. MICHAEL FEopoRovirch, czar of Russia, first of the house of Romanof, was the son of Feodor or Theodore Nikitiz Romanof, called Philaretes, archbishop of Rostock. After the dethronement of the czar Zuski in 1610, a party of Russian nobles offered the crown to Ladislaus prince of Poland, and a Polish garrison had been admitted into Moscow, which had been the occasion of much disorder and . bloodshed. It was at length expelled by a more numerous party of Russians, who abhorred the government of a foreigner; and on proceeding to the election of a new czar, they cast their eyes upon Michael Feodorovitch, then a youth of seventeen, distinguished by his descent from a daughter of Ivan Vasilevitch, and rendered dear to the nation by the virtues of his father. He was then in a monastery with his mother, while his father was a prisoner in Poland; and when the proposal was made to raise him to the throne, the unhappy fate of some of the late czars filled his mother with such apprehensions, that she wrote to her brother Czeremetof to get him excused to the senate. They persisted, however, in their choice, and Michael was solemly elected in 1613. The first part of his reign passed in a war with the generals of Gustavus Adolphus king of Sweden, which was concluded in 1617, by a treaty under the mediation of England, which ceded Kexholm and all Ingria to the Swedes. In the next year a truce was made with the Poles, who had supported by force of arms the prior election of their prince Ladislaus, and had ravaged the country as far as Moscow. In 1625 the czar married Eudocia, the daughter of a poor gentleman, who had no other portion than her beauty and virtue. He employed the interval of peace in promoting the internal prosperity of Russia,

and formed a commercial connection with the states of the United Provinces. War was renewed in 1632 with Poland, but was terminated two years afterwards by a peace; and from that time the czar preserved his country in a state of tranquillity, much respected by all his neighbours for his equity and good faith, and greatly beloved by his subjects on account of his mild and beneficent government. He died in 1645, in the forty-ninth year of his age, and thirty-third of his reign, leaving his crown to his son Alexis Michaelovitch. Univers. Hist. Coxe's Travels.-A. MICHAEL, CERULARIUs, patriarch of Constantinople in the eleventh century, was raised to that dignity in the year 1043. He was a person of a restless and ambitious spirit; a determined enemy to the church of Rome and the papal claims; and in the year los3, the reviver of the famous contest between the Greek and Latin churches, which had been suspended for a considerable time. The pretexts which were employed to justify this new rupture, were zeal for the truth, and an anxious concern about the interests of religion; but its true causes were the arrogance and ambition of the Grecian patriarch and the Roman pontiff. The latter was constantly forming the most artful stratagems to reduce the former under his yoke ; and, on the other hand, the Grecian pontiff was not only determined to refuse obstinately the least mark of submission to his haughty rival, but was also laying schemes for extending his own dominion, and for reducing all the Oriental patriarchs under his supreme jurisdiction. Among the measures to which they mutually had recourse, in order to sap the foundations of each other's authority and influence with the people, were accusations of holding corrupt doctrines, or heresies, of the most dangerous nature. On the present occasion Cerularius struck the first blow, by a letter written in his own name, and in the name of Leo, bishop of Acrida, in which he publicly accused the Latins of various errors of consequence. Of such a description, among others which are enumerated by ecclesiastical historians, were their fasting on the sabbath, or seventh day of the week; their permitting the use of milk and cheese in the first week of Lent; their using unleavened bread in the celebration of the Lord's supper; their allowing their priests to be beardless; their confining themselves to one single immersion in the rite of baptism, &c. Such trifling objects as these, in those dark times, were considered to

be so serious and important, as to excite a fatal schism, and kindle a furious war between the Greeks and Latins, who carried their animosities to the greatest lengths, and loaded each other with reciprocal invectives and imprecations. To the letter of Cerularius pope Leo IX. wrote a most imperious reply; and at the same time assembled a council at Rome, in which the Greek churches were solemnly excommunicated. In our life of that pontiff, we have mentioned the unsuccessful issue of the effort made by the emperor Constantine Monomachus to stifle this controversy in its birth; and also the insolent and imprudent proceeding of the papal legates at Constantinople, in publicly excommunicating the patriarch, and all who should continue in his communion. Out of resentment, the patriarch excommunicated these legates with all their adherents and followers, in a public council, and procured an order from the emperor for burning the sentence pronounced against the Greeks. These violent measures were followed, on both sides, with a number of controversial writings, which were filled with the most bitter and irritating invectives, that contributed to widen the breach between the Greek and Latin churches, till it became irreparable. In the year 1057, when the struggle took place between the emperor Stratioticus and Isaac Comnenus for the imperial crown, our patriarch embraced the interests of the latter, and was one of the principal instruments of raising him to that dignity. Owing either to the persuasion or menaces of Cerularius, Stratioticus divested himself of the purple, and retired into a monastery; after which Comnenus advanced to Constantinople, where the influence of the patriarch had prepared the way for his being received without opposition, and he was crowned by that prelate on the dav after his arrival. In the sollowing year, the emperor being compelled by the exhausted state of the public ". to lay heavy taxes upon the people, thought it reasonable to draw from the monasteries also part of the immense wealth with which they had been enriched by his predecessors. This proceeding was highly resented by the patriarch, who arrogantly threatened to pull him. down from the throne to which he had raised him, unless he restored what he had taken from the religious houses. Exasperated at this insolent menace, the emperor caused Cerularius to be arrested, deposed, and sent into exile, where he died soon afterwards. Two of this. patriarch’s “Letters,” in Greek and Latin,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

may be seen in the second volume of “Cotelerii Eccl. Graec. Monum. ;” and two of his “Synodical | dicts,” together with fragments of others, in Greek and Latin, are preserved in “Jur. Graec.” Lib. III. and IV. and in Leo Allatius “De Lib. Eccles. Graec.” Cave's Hist. Lit. vol. II. sub sac. Hild. Dupin. Moreri. Mosh. Hist. Eccl. sac. xi. par. ii. cap. 3. sect. ix–xii. Anc. Un. Hist, vol. A VII. b. iv. ch. I 1.-M. MICHAEL-ANGELO. See BUoNARRoTI. MICHAEL ANGIOLO DELLE BATT = GLIE, a painter, whose proper name was Marcello Cerquozzi, was born at Rome, in 1602. His father, who was a jeweller, discerning his natural inclination for the arts of design, placed him with different masters; but he finally attached himself to the manner of Bamboccio, and chose for his subjects scenes in common life, and marches, skirmishes and battles, from his excellence in which last he derived the name by which he is usually known. He painted with great facility, with strong and vivid tints, and threw much spirit into his figures. His works were popular, and brought him in a great deal of money. . His manners were pleasant and jovial, and he had a turn for humorous observation, which frequently displays itself in his works. His principal performances are at Rome, among which, one at the palace Spada is distinguished by the number and variety of its figures, representing a mob of Neapolitan lazzaroni shouting applause to Massaniello. He lived in celibacy; but his morals were regular, and his character was kind and friendly. He died of a fever at Rome, in 1660. D'Argenville. Pilkington's Dict.—A. MICHAELIS, John David, a very celebrated German philosophical professor, orientalist, and biblical critic in the eighteenth century, was the only son of Christian-Benedict Michaelis, professor of divinity and the oriental languages at Halle, in Lower Saxony, where he was born in the year 1717. The early part of his education he received in his father's house, under different private tutors, by whose instructions he was well grounded in the Latin language, which he was taught to write with correctness. He also made considerable progress in geography and history; but he was not initiated in the elements of the Greek tongue before the last half year of his private private tuition: which was a disadvantageous circumstance that he was never afterwards able entirely to surmount. In the year 1729, he was sent to the public school of the Orphan

I House, where, unfortunately, he had but an indifferent master in the Greek language; and he now began occasionally to attend his father's Hebrew lectures. Here he also received lessons in divinity from Baumgaertner; but began so very early to form his own opinion on some particular points, that when he was confirmed, at the age of fifteen, he was already become a semi-pelagian. The greatest benefit which he received from that tutor was in the philosophical course. The philosophy of Wolf, through strictly prohibited at Halle, was nevertheless taught at that time in the OrphanHouse, with the exception of some parts, of which only an historical account was given. Satisfied with these lectures, our young scholar was tired and disgusted with the philosophical lectures which he afterwards heard in the university, and soon ceased to attend them, being persuaded of the fallacy of the philosophy then in fashion. During the latter part of his time at this school, he acquired a great facility in speaking Latin, and thinking systematically, from the practice of disputation, in which one of his masters frequently exercised him. By his Latin master he was taught to write Latin verses; but in maturer life he renounced that study, considering it to be a pedantic misemployment of his time. It seems, however, to have contributed not a little in creating in him a relish for the works of Virgil, which he read constantly, and knew almost memoriter, always making use of them instead of a grammar, the formal analysis of which he had disliked from his childhood. In the year 1733, Michaelis entered of the university in his native place, with tue view of qualifying himself, according to the wish of his parents, either for the clerical profession, or for the chair of oriental literature, in which his father hoped to see him one day his successor. Here he diligently applied himself to the study of the mathematics, metaphysics on the Wolfian system, divinity, the §., Hebrew, Syriac, and Arabic languages, and ecclesiastical history. He also prepared himself for pulpit services, and preached with great approbation, first at a neighbouring village, and afterwards at Halle, and other places. In the year 1739, Michaelis was admitted to the degree of master in the faculty of philosophy, and about this time he was the subject of a temporary melancholy, which threatened to prove injurious to his health, and was owing to religious impressions originating in misconceptions of some scriptural precepts, to which he affixed a too literal interpretation. Trom this state of mind, however, he appears soon to have recovered; and in the same year he became assistant lecturer under his father, after having shewn how well qualified he was for that situation, by publishing a small treatise “De Antiquitate Punctorum Vocalium.” After he had read lectures from the professor's chair for about a year, with great reputation, in the spring of 1741 he set out on a visit to England; and passing through Holland, became acquainted with the celebrated Schultens, from whom he received many marks of friendly attention. He came to England, as he informs us, without having any definite object in view; and without any letters of recommendation, excepting to M. Ziegenhagen, German chaplain to the court. This gentleman being at that time in an infirm state of health, engaged Michaelis to officiate for him at the palace-chapel, as afternoon, and sometimes as morning preacher, for the greatest part of a year and a half; which occasioned his stay in this country to be protracted considerably beyond the time that he intended to spend here when he left Germany. During this interval he embraced the opportunity of visiting the university of Oxford, where his superior knowledge of the oriental languages was considerably increased, by his having access to the rich stores of eastern manuscripts in the Bodleian library, on the examination of which he was daily employed for a month, from ten in the morning, till two in the afternoon. He also was introduced to the acquaintance, and enjoyed the esteem of several of our first literary characters; particularly Dr. afterwards bishop Lowth, on some of whose lectures “De sacra Poesi Haebreorum” he attended, and with whom he maintained a correspondence for many years. About this time Michaelis entirely renounced the Hebrew points, as grammatical trifles. His enquiries also while in England, and his conversation with some divines among his acquaintance, particularly with Ziegenhagen, occasioned a change to take place in one point of his theological creed, and made him a decided pelagian. This alteration in his sentiments created regret in some of his friends; at whose instance, most probably, on his return home through Hamburg in the autumn of 1742, he held a conversation on doctrinal topics with the elder Wagner, and, in particular, proposed to him some doubts on the subject of supernatural grace, without receiving any satisfactory solution of his difficulties.

vol. VII.

Upon our author's arrival.at Halle, he resumed his labours in the professional chair, as his father's assistant; and delivered lectures on the historical books of the Old Testament, the Syriac and Chaldee languages, and also upon natural history, and the Roman classics. By these exercises he maintained and increased

the fame which he had already acquired; but

without having the prospect of any immediate good establishment. He, therefore, determined to quit Halle, and accepted with satisfaction an offer that was made to him by Münchausen in 1745, of going to Gottingen in the capacity of private tutor, notwithstanding that he was to have only a small salary. Soon after this, Haller, who had been somewhat jealous of him, became his warm friend. In the year 1746, he was made extraordinary professor of philosophy in the university of Gottingen; and in 1750, professor in ordinary in the same faculty. In 1751, he was appointed secretary to the newly instituted Royal Society of Gottingen; of which he afterwards became director, and about the same time was made aulic counsellor by the court of Hanover. During the year 1750, he gained the prize in the Royal Academy of Berlin, by a memoir “On the Infiuence of Opinions on Language, and Language on Opinions;” which added to his reputation in foreign countries, where he was already well known by his former works, chiefly on scriptural and theological subjects and the Hebrew language, which will be noticed at the end of this article. While the seven years war lasted, in which the university of Gottingen was particularly distinguished, Michaelis met with but little interruption in his studies, being exempted, in common with the other professors, from military employment: and when the new regulations introduced by the French in 1769 deprived them of that privilege, by the particular command of the mareshal de Broglio, it was extended to our author. For this mark of favour he was indebted to the good offices of his friend Thiery, a physician at Paris, who was in great esteem with the minister, and with whom he corresponded under the cover of the latter. Soon after this, the marquis de Lostanges brought him from Paris the manuscript of “Abulfeda's Geography,” from which our author afterwards edited his account of the Egyptians. From this time that nobleman was Michaelis's firm friend, and had no little share in procuring him the honour of being chosen correspondent of the Academy of Inscriptions at Paris, in 1764, and of being subsequently M

« السابقةمتابعة »