Although religious animosities between Christian nations have died out, although dynasties may now rise and fall without raising half Europe to arms, the springs of warlike enterprise are still to be found in commercial jealousies, in imperialistic ambitions and in the doctrine of the survival of the fittest which lends scientific support to both.
The population was at that time a little over 300,000; public security and education were alike lacking, and there were considerable animosities between different parts of the island.
Lombardy was, roughly speaking, divided between two parties, the one headed by Pavia professing loyalty to the empire, the other headed by Milan ready to oppose its claims. The municipal animosities of the last quarter of a century gave substance to these factions; yet neither the imperial nor, the anti-imperial party had any real community of interest with Frederick.
In fact, nearly the whole of the region between the Caucasus and the Perso-Turkish frontier on the south, from the Caspian Sea on the one side to the Black Sea on the other, was embroiled in a civil war of the most sanguinary and ruthless character, the inveterate racial animosities of the combatants being in both cases inflamed by religious fanaticism.
In part, again, a commercial war raged between Venice and Genoa, which attracted into its orbit all the various feuds and animosities of the Levant (12J7).