Page:The Normans in European History.djvu/208

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It needed no pious invention to prove that Charlemagne had been in Rome and had received the imperial crown as he knelt in St. Peter's, and men told how in their own time the great king Canute had betaken himself thither with staff and scrip and many horses laden with gold and silver. Already the number of strangers in Rome was so great that guide-books were compiled indicating its principal sights and marvels—"seeing Rome," we might call them—; and as the processions wound into sight of the Eternal City, they burst into its praise in that wonderful pilgrim's chorus:—

O Roma nobilis, orbis et domina,
Cunctarum urbium excellentissima,
Roseo martyrum sanguine rubea,
Albis et virginum liliis candida;
Salutem dicimus tibi per omnia,
Te benedicimus: salve per secula.

Jerusalem was most precious of all, by reason both of its sacred associations and of the difficulty of the journey. No Charlemagne was needed to justify resort to the Holy Sepulchre, where the mother of the great emperor Constantine had built the first shrine; but the great Charles had a hostel constructed there for Frankish pilgrims, and soon legend makes him, too, follow the road to Constantinople and Jerusalem, as we are reminded in the great Charlemagne window at Chartres. There were manuals for the pilgrim to Jerusalem also, but these were chiefly occupied with how to reach the heavenly city, though one of them contents itself