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JAMES BRYCE, D.C.L.
HONORARY FELLOW OF TRINITY AND ORIEL COLLEGES
A NEW EDITION
ENLARGED AND REVISED THROUGHOUT, WITH A
AND THREE MAPS
LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.
up and electrotyped. Published October, 1904. Reprinted July, 1905.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.
PREFACE TO THE EDITION OF 1904
FORTY years have passed since this book was first published, and since then our knowledge of mediaeval history has been much increased and events have happened which render some of the remarks then made no longer applicable. I have not however attempted to rewrite the whole book, for this reason, among others, that were I to do so it would almost inevitably grow out of a small volume devoted to a single Idea and Institution into a systematic history of the Empire and the Popedom in the Middle Ages. That would double or treble its size, and make it unsuitable to one class of the students who have used it in its present form. I have therefore confined myself to such changes and enlargements as seemed to be most needed. Where events of significance had been omitted or too briefly noticed, additions have been made. For instance, the struggle of the Emperor Lewis IV against Pope John XXII and the careers of Arnold of Brescia and Cola di Rienzo have been somewhat more fully described. An entirely new chapter has been inserted dealing with the East Roman or Byzantine Empire, a topic inadequately handled in previous editions. A concluding chapter, sketching the constitution of the new German Empire and the forces which have given it strength and cohesion, has been appended. This chapter, and that which (first published in 1873) traces the process whereby after 1813 national sentiment grew in Germany, and national unity was achieved in 1871, are not indeed necessary for the explana
tion of an institution whose best days were over four centuries ago. But they help to explain it, if only by contrast; and the convenience to a reader of finding a succinct account of the foundation and the character of this modern representative - if one may call it so — of the mediaeval Empire will, I hope, be deemed to compensate for whatever loss of symmetry is involved in an extension of the treatise beyond its original limits. With a similar practical aim, I have prefixed a pretty full Chronological Table of important events, presenting such an outline of the narrative history of the Empire as may serve to elucidate the text, and have added three maps.
The book has been revised throughout : statements which seemed to have been too broadly expressed, or which political changes have made no longer true, have been corrected: more exact references have been given and new illustrations inserted in the notes. I have to acknowledge with cordial thanks the help which in the verification of statements and references I have received from my friend Mr. Ernest Barker, lecturer on history at Wadham College, Oxford.
Did custom permit the dedication to any one of a new edition of a book long before the public, I should have dedicated the pages that follow to Mr. Goldwin Smith, now the honoured patriarch of English historians, from whom forty-three years ago, when he was professor at Oxford, I received my first lessons in modern history, and whose friendship I have ever since been privileged to enjoy.
September 13, 1904.
PREFACE TO THE FOURTH EDITION
The object of this treatise is not so much to give a narrative history of the countries included in the RomanoGermanic Empire - Italy during the Middle Ages, Germany from the ninth century to the nineteenth as to describe the Holy Empire itself as an institution or system, the wonderful offspring of a body of beliefs and traditions which have almost wholly passed away from the world. Such a description, however, would not be intelligible without some account of the great events which accompanied the growth and decay of Imperial power; and it has therefore appeared best to give the book the form rather of a narrative than of a dissertation; and to combine with an exposition of what may be called the theory of the Empire an outline of the political history of Germany, as well as some notices of the affairs of mediaeval Italy. To make the succession of events clearer, a Chronological List of Emperors and Popes has been prefixed.
The great events of 1866 and 1870 reflect back so much light upon the previous history of Germany, and so much need, in order to be properly understood, to be viewed in their relation to the character and influence of the old Empire, that although they do not fall within the original limits of this treatise, some remarks upon them, and the causes which led to them, will not be out of place in it, and will perhaps add to whatever interest or value it may possess.
As the Author found that