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717
MARIGNOLLI

large body of landsknechts, a third being in reserve. The French and Gascon infantry (largely armed with arquebuses) was on the extreme right, the various bodies of gendarmerie in the centre. In front of all was the French artillery. The battle opened in the afternoon of the 13th of September. As the Swiss advanced in three huge columns, the French guns fired into them with terrible effect, but the assailants reached the intersected ground bordering the stream, and thus protected from the rush of the French gendarmerie, they debouched on the other side, and fell upon the landsknechts. The crowd of combatants, the gathering darkness, and the dust, prevented any general direction being given to the battle by the leaders of either side. Francis himself at the head of two hundred gendarmes charged and drove back two large bodies of Swiss which were pressing the landsknechts hard. The battle went on by moonlight till close on midnight, when the Swiss retired a short distance. Both sides spent the rest of the night on the battlefield, reorganizing their broken corps. Francis and his gendarmes were the outpost line of the French army, and remained all night mounted, lance in hand and helmet on head. Next morning at sunrise, the battle was renewed. The Swiss now left their centre inactive opposite the king and with two strong corps attempted to work round his flanks. That on the left made for the French' baggage, but found it strongly guarded by landsknechts, who drove them back. The nearest French gendarmerie joined in the pursuit, but a detachment from the Swiss centre fell upon these and destroyed them. This detachment in turn followed up its advantage until as Francis himself expressed it, “ the whole camp turned out ” to aid the landsknechts and “hunted out ” the Swiss. Meantime the Swiss left attack had closed with the French infantry bands and the “ aventuriers” (afterwards the famous corps of Picardie and Piedmont), who were commanded on this day be the famous engineer Pedro Navarro. It was in the main struggle of arquebus against pike, but it was not the arquebus alone, or even principally, that gave the victory to the French. When the Swiss ranks had been disordered, the short pike and the sword came into play, and aided by the constable de Bourbon with a handful of the gendarmerie, the French right more than held its own until Alviano with the cavalry from Lodi rode on to the field and completed the rout of the Swiss. In the centre meanwhile the two infantries stood fast for eight hours, separated by the brook, while the artillery on both sides fired into it at short range. But the landsknechts, animated by the king, endured it as well as the Swiss; and at the last, Francis leading a final advance of his exhausted troops, the Swiss gave way and Bed. Only 3000 Swiss escaped out of some 25,000 who fought. On the French side probably 5000 were killed or died of wounds. The battle lasted twenty-eight hours. Its tactical lesson was the efficacy of combining two arms against one. The French gendarmerie, burning to avenge the insult of “hares in armour, ” made more than thirty charges by squadrons, and they were admirably supported by their light artillery. The landsknechts retrieved their first day's defeat by their conduct on the second day. Nevertheless Marignan was in the main the work of the gendarmerie, the last and greatest triumph of the armoured lancer; and as a fitting close to the battle the young king was knighted by Bayard on the field.


MARIGNOLLI, GIOVANNI DE, a notable traveller to the Far East in the 14th century, born probably before 1290, and sprung from a noble family in Florence. The family is long extinct, but a street near the cathedral (Via de' Cerretani) formerly bore the name of the Marignolli. In 1338 there arrived at Avignon, where Benedict XII. held his court, an embassy from the great khan of Cathay (the Mongol-Chinese emperor), bearing letters to the pontiff from the khan himself, and from certain Christian nobles of the Alan race in his service. These latter represented that they had been eight years (since Monte Corvino's death) without a spiritual guide, and earnestly desired one. The pope replied to the letters, and appointed four ecclesiastics as his legates to the khan's court. The name of John of Florence, i.e. Marignolli, appears third on the letters of commission. A large party was associated with the four chief envoys; when in Peking the embassy still numbered thirty-two, out of an original fifty.

The mission left Avignon in December 1338; picked up the I'atar envoys at Naples; stayed nearly two months in Constantinople (Pera, May 1-June 24, 1339); and sailed across the Black Sea to Kaffa, whence they travelled to the court of Mahommed Uzbeg, khan of the Golden Horde, at Sarai on the Volga. The khan entertained them hospitably during the winter of 1339-1340 and then sent them across the steppes to Armalec, Almalig or Almaligh (Kulja), the northern seat of the house of Chaghatai, in what is now the province of Ili. “ There, ” says Marignolli, “ we built a church, bought a piece of ground sung masses, and baptized several persons, notwithstanding that only the year before the bishop and six other minor friars had there undergone glorious martyrdom for Christ's salvation.” Quitting Almaligh in 1341, they seem to have reached Peking (by way of Kamul or Hami) in May or June 1342. They were well received by the reigning khan, the last of the Mongol dynasty in China. An entry in the Chinese annals fixes the year of Marignolli's presentation by its mention of the arrival of the great horses from the kingdom of Fulang (Farang or Europe), one of which was II ft. 6 in. in length, and 6 ft. 8 in. high, and black all over.

Marignolli stayed at Peking or Cambalec three or four years, after which he travelled through eastern China to Zayton or Amoy Harbour, quitting China apparently in December 1347, and reaching Columbum (Kaulam or Quilon in Malabar) in Easter week of 1348. At this place he found a church of the Latin communion, probably founded by Iordanus of Séverac, who had been appointed bishop of Columbum by Pope John XXII. in 1330. Here Marignolli remained sixteen months, after which he proceeded on what seems a most devious voyage. First he visited the shrine of St Thomas near the modern Madras, and then proceeded to what he calls the kingdom of Saba, and identifies with the Sheba of Scripture, but which seems from various particulars to have been Java. Taking ship again for Malabar on his way to Europe, he encountered great storms. They found shelter in the little port of Perfvily or Pervilis (Beruwala or Berberyn) in the south-west of Ceylon; but here the legate fell into the hands of “ a certain tyrant Coya Jaan (Khoja Jahan), a eunuch and an accursed Saracen, ” who professed to treat him with all deference, but detained him four months, and plundered all the gifts and Eastern rarities that he was carrying home. This detention in Seyllan enables Marignolli to give a variety of curious particulars regarding Adam's Peak, Buddhist monasticism, the aboriginal races of Ceylon, and other marvels. After this we have only fragmentary notices, showing that his route to Europe lay by Ormuz, the ruins of Babel, Bagdad, Mosul, Aleppo and thence to Damascus and Jerusalem. In 1353 he arrived at Avignon, and delivered a letter from the great khan to Pope Innocent VI. In the following year the emperor Charles IV., on a visit to Italy, made Marignolli one of his chaplains. Soon after, the pope made him bishop of Bisignano; but he seems to have been in no hurry to reside there. He appears to have accompanied the emperor to Prague in 1354-1355; in 1356 he is found acting as envoy to the Pope from Florence; and in 1357 he is at Bologna. We know not when he died. The last trace of Marignolli is a letter addressed to him, which was found in the 18th century among the records in the Chapter Library at Prague. The writer is an unnamed bishop of Armagh, easily identified with Richard Fitz Ralph, a strenuous foe of the Franciscans, who had broken lances in controversy with Ockham and Burley. The letter implies that some intention had been intimated from Avignon of sending Marignolli to Ireland in connexion with matters then in debate-a project which stirs Fitz Ralph's wrath.

The fragmentary notes of Marignolli's Eastern travels often contain vivid remembrance and graphic description, but combined with an incontinent vanity, and an incoherent lapse from one thing to another. They have no claim to be called a» narrative, and it is with no small pains that anything like a narrative can be pieced out of them. lndeed the mode in which they were elicited curiously illustrates how little medieval travellers thought of publication