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Beyond the piazza, on the left, open the huge round arches of the portico of the old Papal palace. Little that is curious
Papal Palace, Anagni.
remains in the interior; yet in these rooms William of Nogaret insulted the mighty Boniface VIII., and imprisoned him in his own palace, when "the fleur-de-lis was seen in Anagni." Here, also, Innocent III., Gregory IX., and Alexander IV., held their courts in the thirteenth century, all born here, and all sprung from native families, and once canons of the cathedral. Behind the palace a fragment of a beautiful Gothic loggia of the time of Boniface remains; part of the interior is now used as a theatre. There is not a book-shop in Anagni, and we could find no one, not even the sacristan of the cathedral, who knew anything whatever of its history. The utmost they could tell, was that "Bonifazio" had lived there, that his statue
stood on their walls, and that Dante had written of himwhat. or who he was, they were quite ignorant of.
Entrance to the Cathedral, Anagni.
It is a very short distance up the hill to the Cathedral (Sta. Maria), which is the most interesting mediaeval building in this part of Italy, except the convent of Subiaco. The see dates from A.d. 487- On the wall, above what was once the great south entrance, Boniface VIII. sits aloft, in robes and tiara, in his throne of state. Over his head, blazoned in gold and mosaic, are the illustrious alliances of the Gaetani before his time. The steps beneath this statue, which must have had a magnificent effect in the open space, as seen from the valley beneath, were destroyed thirty years ago by a certain Marchese (even his name seems to be forgotten), and the present entrance is by the north, where a quaint winding staircase leads into a dark gallery, lined with curious old frescoes and inscriptions, and so into the cathedral.
"The cathedral of Anagni, though several times renovated by the bishops of the town and by the popes, still retains its original GothicRoman character. The facade is of rude architecture; it terminates in an obtuse-angled gable, the triangle of which is cut off by a simple cornice. In it is an arched, unornamented window, beneath which is a large square one, evidently of a later date. The door (there is only one) has a cornice in very bad taste, formed of different blocks of stone patched together, and ornamented with heads of oxen and lions, the rude work of the middle ages. Two pillars are built into the wall, with the capitals joined together, without any visible object, and very unsymmetrically too, as they are only on one side of the door. Over the door is a round arch adorned with simple arabesques. The masonry is throughout of the black limestone from the neighbouring mountains. One can see that the facade still retains its original form, and has only been restored at a later period in a hurry, when absolutely necessary."— Gregorovius.
The interior is far more picturesque than beautiful. In the lofty choir is a grand pascal candlestick, supported by a crouching figure. Portraits of all the popes connected with Anagni hang over the throne and stalls. The whole pavement of the church is of the most splendid opus alexandrinum, though much decayed, and in the choir it reaches a degree of minuteness and perfection like delicate jewellers' work. Here, on the Maundy Thursday of 1160, Alexander III. stood to curse the great Emperor Barbarossa. Here Innocent III. read aloud the bull which excommunicated
ASSOCIA T/OXS OF ANAGNI. 263
Frederick II., and on this same spot Alexander IV. banished the young Manfred. Here also the cardinals elected Innocent IV., after they had received the furious letter of the Emperor Frederick II., calling them "sons of Belial." In this church also (September 7, 1303) Boniface VIII. knelt at the altar in his pontifical robes, when the French, prompted by his hereditary enemies, the Colonnas, had forced the gates of the town, and burst into the streets, crying, "Vive le roi de France, et meure Boniface."
"The Pope had retired, as usual, from the summer heat to his native city, Anagni. Here he seemed, as it were, to pause, to be gathering up his strength to launch the last crushing thunders upon the head of the contumacious king of France. The Bull of excommunication was ordered to be suspended in the porch of the cathedral of Anagni. The 8th of September was to be the fatal day.
"On a sudden, on the 7th of September, the peaceful streets of Anagni were disturbed. The Pope and the Cardinals, who were all assembled around him, were startled with the trampling of armed horse, and the terrible cry, which ran like wild-fire through the city, 'Death to Pope Boniface! Long live the King of France!' Sciarra Colonna, at the head of three hundred horsemen, the Barons of Ceccano and Supino, and some others, the sons of Master Massio of Anagni, were marching in furious haste, with the banner of the King of France displayed. The ungrateful citizens of Anagni, forgetful of their pride in their holy compatriot, of the honour and advantage to their town from the splendour and wealth of the Papal residence, received them with rebellious and acclaiming shouts.
"The bell of the city, indeed, had tolled at the first alarm; the burghers had assembled ; they had chosen their commander; but that commander, whom they ignorantly or treacherously chose, was Arnulf, a deadly enemy of the Pope. The banner of the Church was unfolded against the Pope by the captain of the people of Anagni. The first attack was on the palace of the Pope, on that of the Marquis Gaetani, his nephew, and those of three Cardinals, the special partisans of Boniface. The houses of the Pope and of his nephew made some resistance. The doors of those of the Cardinals were beaten down, the treasures ransacked and carried off; the Cardinals themselves fled from the backs of the houses through the common sewer. The Pope and his nephew implored a truce ; it was granted for eight hours. This time the Pope employed in endeavouring to stir up the people to his defence: the people answered coldly that they were under the command of their captain. The Pope demanded the terms of the conspirators. 'If the Pope would save his life, let him instantly restore the Colonna Cardinals to their dignity, and reinstate the whole house in their honours and possessions; after this restoration the Pope must abdicate, and leave his body at the disposal of Sciarra.' The Pope groaned in the depth of his heart. 'The word is spoken.' Again the assailants thundered at the gates of the palace; still there was obstinate resistance. The principal church of Anagni, that of Santa Maria, protected the Pope's palace. Sciarra Colonna's lawless band set fire to the gates; the church was crowded with clergy and laity, and traders who had brought their precious wares into the sacred building. They were plundered with such rapacity that not a man escaped with a farthing.
"The Marquis Gaetani found himself compelled to surrender, on the condition that his own life, that of his family, and of his servants, should be spared. At these sad tidings the Pope wept bitterly. The Pope was alone; from the first the Cardinals, some from treachery, some from cowardice, had fled on all sides, even his most familiar friends: they had crept into the most ignoble hiding-places. The aged Pontiff alone lost not his self-command. He had declared himself ready to perish in his glorious cause; he determined to fall with dignity. 'If I am betrayed like Christ, I am ready to die like Christ.' He put on the stole of S. Peter, the imperial crown was on his head, the keys of S. Peter in one hand and the cross in the other: he took his seat on the Papal throne, and, like the Roman senators of old, awaited the approach of the Gaul.
"But the pride and cruelty of Boniface had raised and infixed deep in the hearts of men passions which acknowledged no awe of age, of intrepidity, or religious majesty. In William of Nogaret the blood of his Tolosan ancestors, in Colonna the wrongs, the degradation, the beggary, the exile of all his house, had extinguished every feeling but revenge. They insulted him with contumacious reproaches; they menaced his life. The Pope answered not a word. They insisted that he should at once abdicate the Papacy. 'Behold my neck, behold my head,' was the only reply.
"The Pope was placed under close custody, not one of his own attendants permitted to approach him. Worse indignities awaited him. He was set on a vicious horse, with his face to the tail, and so led through the town to his place of imprisonment. The palaces of the Pope and of his nephew were plundered; so vast was the wealth, that