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The Church and the Empire by D. J. Medley

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agreed to a joint expedition only to abandon it, and the papal mission
sent in 1178, composed of the papal legate, several bishops, and the
Abbot of Clairvaux, only made heroes of the few heretics whom they
ventured to excommunicate. In 1179, at the third Lateran Council,
Alexander III proclaimed a crusade against all enemies of the Church,
among whom were included, for the first time, professing Christians.
The Abbot of Clairvaux, as papal legate, raised a force and reduced to
submission Roger, Viscount of Beziers, who openly protected heretics;
but the crusading army melted away at the end of the time of
enlistment, and the only result of the expedition was the exasperation
produced by the devastation of the land. After this failure no real
attempt was made to stop the spread of heresy until the accession of
Innocent III, while the fall of Jerusalem in 1186 turned all crusading
ardour in the direction of Palestine.

[Sidenote: Raymond VI of Toulouse.]

Meanwhile, in 1194 Raymond V had been succeeded by his son, Raymond
VI, who, if he was not actually a heretic, was at least indifferent to
the interests of the Catholic faith. Most of his barons favoured
Catharism. He himself was surrounded by a gay and cultured court, and
was popular with his subjects. At the same time the local clergy
neglected their duties, the barons plundered the Church, and the
heretics, without persecuting the Catholics, were gradually
extinguishing them in the dominions of Toulouse. Immediately on his
accession in 1198 Innocent III appointed commissioners to visit the
heretical district; but the local bishop, from jealousy, would not
help. Some effect, however, was produced when, acting on the
suggestion of a Spanish prelate, Diego de Azevedo, Bishop of Osma,
they dismissed their retinues and started on a preaching tour among
the people. The Bishop was accompanied by the Canon Dominic, and this
mission was the germ out of which shortly grew the great Dominican
Order. But the Bishop went back to Spain, and twice the papal legate
excommunicated Raymond VI because he would give no help. Once Raymond
made his peace with the Church, but the second pronouncement against
him was shortly followed by the murder of the legate Peter of
Castelnau, who had made himself peculiarly obnoxious (1208). Raymond's
complicity was never proved, but Innocent was getting impatient, and
his commissioners had made up their minds that it was easier and
quicker to exterminate the heretics than to convert them. Raymond and
all concerned in the murder were excommunicated, and a crusade was
proclaimed against them. Philip Augustus of France allowed his barons
to go, but excused himself on the ground of his relations with John of
England. Raymond hoped to avoid the threatening storm by another
abject submission; but he was obliged to surrender his chief
fortresses and to join in person the army which now assembled for the
extirpation of heresy in his own lands.

[Sidenote: The Crusade.]

Although Raymond was thus forced to appear in the ranks of his
enemies, a leader in resistance was found in his nephew, Raymond
Roger, Viscount of Beziers (1209). But his capital Beziers was stormed
by the crusading army under the legate, who, when asked how the
soldiers could distinguish Catholics from heretics, is said to have
replied, "Slay them all: God will know His own." Then Carcassonne,
deemed impregnable, was besieged, and the young Viscount, decoyed into
the enemies' camp under pretence of negotiation, was kept a prisoner.
He died, and the city was surrendered. The conquered territory was
practically forced by the legate on Simon de Montfort, younger son of
the Count of Evreux, who, through his mother, was also Earl of

[Sidenote: Simon de Montfort.]

In 1211 the crusaders attacked Count Raymond's territories. He had
never yet been tried for the murder of the legate, of which he was
accused; and already Philip of France had warned the Pope that in any
question of Raymond's forfeiture, it was for the French King as
suzerain and not for the Pope to proclaim it. By a visit to Rome
Raymond hoped that he had gained permission to purge himself from the
impending charges; but at the last moment this was pronounced
impossible, because in having failed to clear his lands of heresy, as
he had promised to do, he was forsworn. In a war of sieges De
Montfort's skill took from Raymond everything except Toulouse and
Montauban. Raymond's brother-in-law, Pedro II of Aragon, now
intervened; but when Innocent III, misled by his legates, refused a
further offer of purgation on the part of Raymond, Pedro formally
declared war against De Montfort. He invaded and laid siege to Muret;
but his forces were defeated and he was killed (1213). So far Innocent
III had avoided the recognition of De Montfort's conquests in
Toulouse. But early in 1215 he ratified the act of the Council of
Montpellier which had elected Simon de Montfort as lord of the whole
conquered land. Raymond, although he had never yet been tried, was
declared deposed for heresy; and the fourth Lateran Council, while
confirming this decision, left a small portion of the territory still
unconquered, for his son. It seems likely that Innocent would have
been willing to deal fairly with the Count of Toulouse; but by this
time there were too many interested in the ruin of the House of
Toulouse, and the Pope was deliberately misled by his legates. Hence
it came that a judgment which might, as it was expected that it would,
have righted a great wrong, proved only a signal for revolt. Raymond
and his son were welcomed back by an united people, and finally in
1218 Simon de Montfort was killed while besieging Toulouse.

[Sidenote: A war of aggression.]

De Montfort's son could make no headway against a people in arms. But
in 1222 Raymond VI and Philip of France vainly tried to promote a
peaceful settlement between Amaury de Montfort and Raymond VII.
Amaury, despairing of success, offered his claims to the French King,
and in 1223 Philip's successor, Louis VIII, overpersuaded by the Pope,
accepted them. The young Count Raymond vainly endeavoured to ward off
the threatened invasion and showed every desire to be reconciled with
the Church. There was scarcely any longer a pretence of religious war.
From the first it had been largely a war of races, promoted by
northern jealousy at the wealth and civilisation of the south and by a
desire for the completion of the Frank conquest of Gaul. Thus from the
beginning of hostilities the whole population of the south, Catholic
as well as heretic, had stood together in resistance to the crusading
army, and despite his tergiversations Raymond VI had never lost their
affection and support. The war lasted for three years (1226-9); Louis
VIII led an expedition southwards, which for some inexplicable reason
turned back before it had achieved complete success; and after his
death the Queen-Regent, Blanche of Castile, with the encouragement of
Pope Gregory IX, came to terms with Raymond VII. By the Treaty of
Meaux (1229) Count Raymond agreed to hunt down all heretics, to assume
the cross as a penance, to give up at once about two-thirds of his
lands, while the remainder was to go to his daughter, who was to be
married to a French prince, with the ultimate reversion to the French
Crown. In 1237 Jeanne of Toulouse was married to Alfonso, brother of
Louis IX; in 1249, on the death of Raymond VII, they succeeded to his
dominions, and on their death in 1271 without children Philip III
annexed all their possessions to the dominions of the French Crown.

[Sidenote: Punishment for heresy.]

The question of the acquisition of territory was thus shown to be far
more important than the suppression of heresy. But a university was
established at Toulouse for the teaching of true philosophy, and the
Inquisition was set up under the Dominicans for the suppression of
false doctrine. The time had definitely gone by when the Church would
rely upon methods of persuasion in dealing with heretics. And yet for
a long time there was much hesitation among Churchmen. Even as late as
1145 St. Bernard pleads for reasoning rather than coercion. And the
application of methods of coercion was equally tentative. At first the
obstinate heretic was imprisoned or exiled and his property was
confiscated. But the practice of burning a heretic alive was long the
custom before it was adopted anywhere as positive law. Pedro II of
Aragon, the champion of Raymond VI, first definitely legalised it
(1197). In 1238 by the Edict of Cremona this became the recognised law
of the Empire, and was afterwards embodied in the Sachsenspiegel and
Schwabenspiegel, the municipal codes of Northern and Southern Germany
respectively. The Etablissements of Louis IX (1270) recognised the
practice for France. It is a tribute to English orthodoxy that the Act
"de haeretico comburendo" was not passed until 1401.

[Sidenote: The secular arm.]

Early usage forbade the clergy to be concerned in judgments involving
death or mutilation. This finds expression in the Constitutions of
Clarendon (1164); and the fourth Lateran Council (1215) definitely
forbade clerks to utter a judgment of blood or to be present at an
execution. Thus the Church merely found a man a heretic and called
upon the secular authority to punish him. It was impressed upon all
secular potentates from highest to lowest that it was their business
to obey the behests of the Church in the extirpation of heresy.
Indeed, it may almost be said that the validity of this command of the
Church was the principal point at issue in the Albigensian crusade;
for Raymond's lands were declared forfeit merely because he would not
take an active part in the punishment of his heretical subjects. Thus
by the thirteenth century all hesitation as to the attitude of the
Church towards heretics had entirely disappeared. As Innocent III lays
it down, "faith is not to be kept with him who keeps not faith with
God," and Councils of this century declared that any temporal ruler
who did not persecute heresy must be regarded as an accomplice and so
as himself a heretic.

We cannot apply modern standards to the mediaeval feelings about
heresy. The noblest and most saintly among clergy and laity alike were
often the fiercest persecutors. Church and State were closely
intermingled; heresy was a crime as well as a sin; the heretic was a
rebel; mild measures only made him bolder; and in fear of the
overthrow of the whole social system the rulers of State and Church
combined to crush him.



[Sidenote: Need for new kinds of Orders.]

At the Lateran Council in 1215 Innocent III issued a decree which
practically forbade the foundation of new monastic Orders. The
increase of such Orders in the name of religious reform had not always
tended to the promotion of orthodoxy. Moreover, the monastic ideal was
the spiritual perfection of the individual, to be gained by separation
from the world; but the growth of large urban populations with the
accompanying disease and misery called for a new kind of dedication to
religion. There was strength in membership of an Order, and during the
twelfth century there were founded alongside of the newer monastic
Orders organisations devoted to social work of various kinds. Such was
the origin of the Hospitallers and perhaps of the Templars also, and
of a number of small Orders, most of them merely local in their work
and following, which were founded all over Western Europe for care of
the sick and pilgrims and for other charitable work.

A point that demanded even more immediate attention was the almost
total neglect of preaching by the parochial clergy and the consequent
success of the Waldensian and other heretical preachers. There were
isolated examples of missionary devotion among the clergy. Fulk of
Neuilly, a priest, obtained a licence from Innocent III to preach, and
met with marvellous success among the Cathari until he was turned
aside by Innocent's exhortation to preach a new crusade. But he died
before it set out (1202). Duran de Huesca, a Catalan, conceived the
idea of fighting the heretics with their own weapons, and founded the
Pauperes Catholici as an Order professing poverty and engaged in
missionary work. But the outbreak of the Albigensian War superseded
the work of the Order by more summary methods of dealing with

[Sidenote: Dominicans.]

But these Poor Catholics were the precursors, if not the actual model
of the Preaching Friars of St. Dominic. The founder was a Spaniard,
who had studied long in the University of Palencia, and had become
sub-prior of the cathedral of Osma. He accompanied his bishop to Rome,
and thence on a mission among the Albigenses. He wandered as a
mendicant through the most heretical districts of Languedoc for three
years (1205-8) before the outbreak of war, holding religious
discussions with leading heretics. But amid the clash of arms his
activity took a different shape. Communities had been founded among
the Albigenses for the reception of the daughters of dead or ruined
nobles. For the protection of such and of any others of the gentle sex
who returned to Catholicism, Dominic founded the monastery of Prouille
(1206). This was established on the lines of houses in other Orders;
and although he led a life of extreme asceticism, he did not at first
contemplate imposing a rule of collective poverty upon his Order.
Indeed, he received for the use of Prouille gifts of all kinds in land
and movables, and even increased the possessions by purchase. Towards
the end of the war Dominic established a brotherhood which should
devote itself to preaching with a view to refuting heretics. In 1215
he appeared at the Lateran Council, in order to obtain the papal
approbation of this new Order. Innocent III, while taking under his
protection the monastery of Prouille, desired Dominic to choose an
already existing rule for his new community. The Dominican legend
depicts Innocent as converted to the recognition of the Order by a
dream, in which he saw the Lateran Church tottering and upheld by the
support of the Spanish saint. But Innocent died before Dominic had
decided with his followers that they would place themselves under the
rule of the Augustinian Canons; and it was from Honorius III that the
Friars Preachers obtained the confirmation of their Order. A parallel
story is told of the papal approval of the Franciscans; but there is
no proof that St. Francis was present at the Council, nor is it likely
that in the face of the decree against the foundation of new Orders
the sanction of the Pope should have been given to his rule. But the
meeting of the two great founders at Rome in 1216 is an historical
event of great importance; for the example of the Franciscans caused
the adoption of the life of poverty by the Dominicans also.

[Sidenote: Their spread.]

Immediately after the papal confirmation the Order began its work. The
first followers of Dominic included natives of Spain, England,
Normandy, and Lorraine, and the Friars Preachers are soon found in
every country of Western and Central Europe. The nature of the work to
which they set themselves made them from the beginning a congregation
of intellectual men. Honorius III conferred on Dominic himself the
Mastership of the Sacred Palace, which gave to him, and even more to
those who succeeded him in the headship of the Order, not merely the
religious instruction of the households of popes and cardinals, but
also the censorship of books. Paris, the headquarters of the
scholastic theology, and Bologna, the great law school of the Middle
Ages, became at once the chief seats of training. The Dominicans
spread so rapidly that at the death of their founder in 1221 they
possessed sixty houses, which had just been divided into eight
provinces. To these four were subsequently added. The death of
Dominic, like his life, has been almost overwhelmed in the miraculous;
but for whatever reason, it was not until thirteen years after his
death that he was enrolled among the recognised saints of the Church,
although the honour of canonisation had been paid to St. Francis eight
years earlier and within two years of his death.

[Sidenote: Popularity of the friars.]

Jealousy between the conventual and the parochial clergy had been of
long standing: it had been based upon the exemption of monks from the
jurisdiction of the local Church. The monks had, however, been
definitely warned off themselves taking part in parochial work. But
the friars began with a missionary purpose; and in 1227 Gregory IX,
who as Cardinal Ugolino had been Protector of the Franciscans,
conferred on both Orders the right not only of preaching, but also of
hearing confessions and granting absolution everywhere. The rules of
the Orders forbade them to preach in a church without the leave of the
parish priest; but they ignored this prohibition, set up their own
altars, at which a papal privilege allowed them to celebrate Mass, and
not only superseded the lazy secular clergy in all the work of the
cure of souls, but deprived them of the fees which were a chief source
of their income. The secular clergy bitterly resented the presence of
the intruders; but the Pope favoured the friars and heaped privileges
upon them, since they formed an international body easy to mobilise
for use against the hierarchy, and able to be used for transmitting
and executing papal orders. The people also welcomed them, because, at
first at any rate, they worked for their daily bread, and were
prevented by their vow of poverty from seeking endowments: while the
peripatetic character of his life made the friar popular as a
confessor who could know nothing about his penitents.

[Sidenote: Dominicans and University of Paris.]

The characteristic work of the Dominicans as preachers and teachers
rather determined the particular form which the struggle should assume
between them and the seculars. The University of Paris welcomed the
Dominicans on their first arrival; the new-comers soon fixed
themselves in the Hospital of St. Jacques (the site of the Jacobin
Club of 1789), on University ground, and many members of the
University became affiliated to their Order. In 1229 the privileges of
the University were violated by the municipality, and, since the Crown
would give no redress, the whole body of masters and students
dispersed themselves among different provincial towns. In 1231 a bull
of Gregory IX confirmed their privileges and brought them back to
Paris. But during their absence the Dominicans, with the approval of
the Bishop, admitted scholars to their house of St. Jacques and
appointed their own teachers; while several of the most famous secular
teachers took the Dominican habit. Thus after 1231 there were in the
University several theological chairs occupied by Mendicants. The
prosperity and aggressiveness of the friars, and political and
doctrinal differences between them and the seculars, caused great
tension. Not without reason the seculars complained that they were
likely to be deprived of all the theological teaching. Matters came to
an issue in 1253, when, on the murder of a scholar by the municipal
officers, the University in accordance with its privileges proclaimed
a cessation or suspension of the classes. In this act the Mendicants
refused to join without the papal sanction. The University attempted
to expel them from the teaching body, and under the leadership of
William of St. Amour it so far prevailed at Rome that Innocent IV, for
whatever reason, issued the "terrible" bull _Etsi Animarum_, by
which the Mendicants were deprived at one blow of all the privileges
which had given them the power of interfering in parochial life. But
in the legend of the Order Innocent was prayed to death by the
revengeful friars. Anyhow, his death (1254) saved the situation, since
his successor, Alexander IV, declared unreservedly for them. The
University was forced to receive them, and to acknowledge their rights
of preaching and hearing confessions. On the other hand, it was
arranged under Urban IV that the number of theological chairs to be
held by Mendicant teachers, whose representatives at the moment were
Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventura, should be limited to three. But the
war against the Mendicants continued, and the bullying to which the
University was subjected, especially by Benedict Gaetani, the papal
legate, in 1290, accounts perhaps for the support given by the
University to Philip IV in his quarrel with Boniface VIII, and for the
political action of the University at a later date.

[Sidenote: Friars and Inquisition.]

The spread of heresy and the feeble attempts of the bishops to use the
machinery at their disposal for dealing with it, caused the gradual
growth of the system known as the Papal Inquisition. This was
feasible, partly because the civil government, led by Frederick II,
were enacting severe laws against heresy, but chiefly because in the
new Mendicant Orders there were now to be found men of sufficient
knowledge and training to cope with the difficulty of unmasking
heresy. But it is a mistake to suppose that the inquisitorial work was
a perquisite of the Dominicans. Both Orders alike were employed by the
Papacy in the unsavoury duty, although ultimately the Dominicans took
the larger share. For the service of the wretched, to which the
Franciscans primarily devoted themselves, soon necessitated a study of
medicine in order to cope with disease and a study of theology in
order to deal with heresy. If as a body they never came to represent
learning like the Dominicans, the names of Bonaventura, Roger Bacon,
and Duns Scotus sufficiently prove that there was no necessary
antagonism between learning and the Franciscan ideal.

[Sidenote: St. Francis.]

The modern and the Protestant world apparently finds the life of St.
Francis as interesting and wonderful as his contemporaries found it.
It seems no exaggeration to say that "no human creature since Christ
has more fully incarnated the ideal of Christianity" than he. Even the
extravagances of himself and some of his followers, scarcely
exaggerated by the mass of legends which has grown up around him and
the Order, cannot conceal the real beauty of his life; while they bear
eloquent witness not only to the impression which he made on his own
and succeeding generations, but also to the fact of his attempt to
realise the standard set up by Christ for human imitation. His
devotion to the wretched and the outcast, especially the lepers; his
deep humility; his childlike faith and absolute obedience, were the
outcome of a desire to attain to the simplicity of Christ and the
Apostles. But the essence of his system lay in the idealisation of
poverty as good in itself and the best of all good things. Poverty
was, indeed, the "corner-stone on which he founded the Order." But
this did not imply sadness, which St. Francis considered one of the
most potent weapons of the devil. Sociability, cheerfulness,
hopefulness were characteristics of himself and of the Order in its
early days. Here it is impossible to tell the fascinating story of his
own life, to describe his own graphic preaching, or to illustrate his
instinctive sympathy with animal life. But it must be noted that his
passionate love for Christ the Sufferer caused him to desire to
reproduce in detail the last hours of the Saviour's life on earth,
until the ecstasies may have ended in producing those physical marks
of the crucifixion upon the body known as the Stigmata. The evidence
is conflicting and not above suspicion, and the Dominicans always
treated the claim with ridicule. Certainly the Franciscan Order
exalted their founder with an extravagance which ultimately (1385)
ended in the production of a Book of Conformities, some forty in
number, in which, by implication, the simple friar becomes a second if
not a rival Christ.

It was in 1210 that Francis and the Brotherhood of Penitents which he
had founded at Assisi appeared in Rome, and obtained from Innocent III
a verbal confirmation of their rule and authority to preach. This rule
seems to have comprised nothing more than certain passages of
Scripture enjoining a life of poverty. The first disciples of Francis
were drawn from a variety of social classes, and a revelation from God
is said to have decided him and his little company to abandon their
first notion of a contemplative life in favour of one of active
service along evangelical lines. The missionary work began at once,
and they wandered in couples through Italy, finding their way quickly
into France, England, Germany, and all other European lands.

[Sidenote: Franciscan Rule.]

The future organisation of the Order was determined by a definitive
Rule sanctioned by Honorius III in 1223. Francis refused to alter any
of the clauses at the Pope's request, asserting that the Rule was not
his, but Christ's; whence it became a tradition of the Order that the
Rule had been divinely inspired. It was strictly enjoined that the
brethren should possess no property, should receive no money even
through a third person, and that all who were able to labour should do
so in return not for money, but for necessaries for themselves and
their brethren. And as if these plain directions were not enough, St.
Francis in his will enjoins that the words of the Rule are to be
understood "simply and absolutely, without gloss," and to be observed
to the end.

[Sidenote: Organization]

The organisation aimed at being non-monastic; the houses, which should
be mere headquarters of the simplest kind, were placed under guardians
who had neither the title nor the powers of the monastic abbot, and
were grouped into provinces; while the provincial ministers were
responsible to the General Minister stationed at Assisi, who was
himself chosen by the General Chapter of the provincials and guardians
called every three years, and could also be deposed by them. A
Cardinal watched the interests of the Order at Rome. The rapid spread
of the Franciscans is shown from the fact that the first General
Chapter in 1221 is said to have been attended by several thousand
members, while in 1260, when Bonaventura as General reorganised the
arrangements, a division was made into 33 provinces and 3 vicariates
which included in all 182 guardianships. England, for example,
comprised 7 guardianships with 49 houses and 1242 friars.

The Order included other branches than the fully professed friars.
Some time before 1216 a sisterhood was added in the Order of St.
Claire under a noble maiden of Assisi, who put herself under the
guidance of Francis and received from Pope Innocent for herself and
her sisters the "privilege of poverty." They observed the Franciscan
Rule in all its strictness, and their founder was canonised in 1255,
two years after her death.

[Sidenote: Tertiaries.]

A very distinctive feature of the Franciscans is the organisation
officially known as the Brothers and Sisters of Penitence, but more
popularly described as the Tertiaries of the Order. The affiliation of
laymen and women to religious Orders was no new thing. But the laity
of both sexes who attached themselves by bonds of brotherhood and in
associations for prayer to the great monasteries were mostly well-born
and wealthy, prospective if not actual patrons. The Franciscan
Tertiaries were as democratic as the Order itself. The papal sanction
was given in 1221. The members were required to live the ordinary
daily life in the world under certain restrictions. In addition to the
obligations of religion and morality, they were required to dress
simply and to avoid certain ways of amusement, while they were
forbidden to carry weapons except for the defence of their Church and
their land. The Dominicans possessed a similar organisation under the
name of _Militia Jesu Christi_, the Soldiery of Christ. In the
case of both Orders this close contact with the laity irrespective of
class was a source of great strength and influence. Many, from royal
personages downwards, enrolled themselves among the Tertiaries or
hoped to assure an entrance to heaven by assuming the garb of a friar
upon the death-bed.

[Sidenote: Friars as missionaries to the heathen.]

Since both Orders were founded with a missionary purpose, it is not
surprising to find that at a very early date they extended their
efforts beyond Europe. No real distinction of sphere can be profitably
made; but perhaps the Dominican work lay chiefly among heretics, while
the Franciscans devoted the greater attention to the heathen.
Certainly St. Francis himself did not deal with heretics as such. He
did, however, try to convert the Mohammedans and became for a while a
prisoner in the hands of the Sultan of Egypt. Both Orders established
houses in Palestine and both Orders were employed in embassies to the
Mongols. The Dominicans brought back the Jacobite Church of the East
into communion with Rome, while the Franciscans won King Haiton of
Armenia, who entered their Order. Stories of martyrdom were frequent.
At any rate, the friars were among the most enterprising of mediaeval
travellers, and were the first to bring large portions of the Eastern
world into contact with the West.

[Sidenote: Change from original principle.]

The story of the Dominican Order in the thirteenth century is one of
continual progress. It was devoted to poverty no less than its
companion Order. But circumstances soon showed that this was a
principle which in its strictness made too great a demand upon human
nature. Relaxation of the Rules was obtained from more than one pope;
the popularity of the Orders brought them great wealth, and land and
other property was held by municipalities and other third parties for
the use of the friars. Their houses and their churches became as
magnificent as those of the monks. But while this grave departure from
the original ideal gave rise to no qualms among the more worldly and
accommodating Dominicans, it rent asunder the whole Franciscan Order
in a quarrel which forms perhaps the most interesting and important
episode in the religious history of the Middle Ages.

[Sidenote: Development of extreme views among Franciscans.]

The conflict began at once after St. Francis' death. His successor as
General of the Order, Elias of Cortona, desired to supersede the
democratic constitution of the Order in favour of a despotic rule, and
obtained from Gregory IX a relaxation of the strict rule of poverty:
while he raised over the remains of the founder at Assisi a
magnificent church which the saint would have repudiated. The bitter
complaints of the Franciscans who wished to observe the Rule in the
spirit of their founder obliged the Pope to depose Elias, who took
refuge at the Court of Frederick II. But the tendency towards
relaxation continued and was favoured by the Papacy. For the
Spirituals--those who clung to the strict Rule and regarded it as a
direct revelation to St. Francis--by the severity of their practices
tended to isolate themselves from the life around them and so to
escape the discipline of the Church. In addition to this they became
involved in heresy by identifying themselves with the prophecies
attached to the name of Joachim de Flore. He was the Abbot of a
Calabrian monastery, who founded an Order at the end of the twelfth
century. He depicted the history of mankind as composed of three
periods--the first under the dispensation of the Father ending at the
birth of Christ; the second under the Son, which by various
calculations he determined would end in 1260; and the third ruled by
the Holy Ghost, in which the Eucharist, which had itself superseded
the paschal lamb, should give way to some new means of grace. Joachim
also foretold the rise of a new monastic order which should convert
the world, and this the Franciscans concluded to mean themselves.
Curiously enough, the Church did not condemn Joachim for his
prophecies: popes even encouraged him to write. In 1254 there appeared
in Paris a book entitled the _Introduction to the Everlasting
Gospel_, a name taken from a passage of the Revelation (xiv. 6). We
know it only from the denunciations of its enemies; but it was
apparently intended to consist of three undoubted works of Joachim
with explanatory glosses and an introduction. These were the work of
Friar Gerard of Borgo-san-Donnino, who is represented as having gone
beyond the views of the Calabrian prophet. He asserted that about the
year 1200 the spirit of life had left the Old and New Testaments in
order to pass into the Everlasting Gospel, and that this new
scripture, of which the text was composed of Joachim's three books,
was a new revelation which did not, as Joachim held, contain the
mystical interpretation of the Bible, but actually replaced and
effaced the Law of Christ as that had effaced the Law of Moses. It is
impossible to tell how far the author represented the views of all the
Spirituals. A share in the composition was ascribed to the Franciscan
General John of Parma (1248-57), who represented the purest Franciscan
tradition, and was chiefly responsible for the more extravagant forms
of the Franciscan legend. He was a gentle mystic, and his belief in
the prophetical utterances of the age probably did not go beyond the
actual works of Joachim. But his sympathy encouraged the extreme
Joachites, who manufactured and passed from hand to hand a large
number of spurious prophetical writings which were attributed to

[Sidenote: Popular manifestations.]

Moreover, the extravagances of the Spirituals were no isolated
outburst of religious liberty. In 1251 there appeared in France an
elderly preacher, known as the Hungarian, who, professing a revelation
from the Virgin Mary and preaching a social revolution, led a band of
peasants and rioters through country, until the leader was killed in a
scuffle and his followers were dispersed. In 1260 Italy was startled
by processions of persons of all classes and ages, stripped to the
waist, who flogged themselves at intervals in penance for their sins.
These movements of the Pasteauroux and the Flagellants were merely the
best known among many which bore witness to the restlessness and
yearning of the age.

[Sidenote: Papal action and its effect.]

But despite the manifest danger of these movements the Papacy acted
with great caution. In 1255 a tribunal of three Cardinals at Anagni
investigated the charges against Gerard's book. Joachim's orthodoxy
remained unquestioned the _Everlasting Gospel_ was condemned, but
the Bishop of Paris was told not to annoy the Franciscans. The most
important result was that John of Parma was deposed by the General
Chapter acting under the influence of the Conventual Franciscans, who
welcomed the relaxations of the severe Rule. For their new head was
Bonaventura, himself a mystic; but the fact that he had taken the
place of their beau ideal, that he distrusted the rule of absolute
poverty as tending to weaken the social worth of the Franciscan body,
and that he was a recognised leader in the Church--all increased the
alienation of the Spirituals from the Church and suggested to their
minds the idea of schism.

[Sidenote: Chances of separation.]

On the other hand, the Conventuals met the austere intolerance of the
extreme party by persecution. The most interesting victim of this
religious rancour was Peter John, the son of Olive, a French friar,
whose works were condemned more than once, although he died quietly in
1298. He allowed to the Franciscans only the sustenance necessary for
daily life and the furniture for the celebration of divine service. In
his view the Roman Church was Babylon, and the Rule of St. Francis was
the law of the Gospel. For those who held such views there was no
place in the Roman Church. The Spirituals began to seek relief in a
return to the eremitic life. But the sudden elevation of a hermit of
South Italy to the Papacy in the person of Celestine V seemed to
present to these dreamers the chance of the accomplishment of the new
Gospel. His hopeless failure and abdication turned their thoughts more
than ever to separation from the Church. Celestine, who had gathered
some of the extreme Franciscans into a community of his own, is said
to have released them from obedience to the Franciscan Order. In any
case, Boniface VIII not only secured the ex-Pope, but also attempted
to exterminate his followers. So far the question at issue had been a
disciplinary question which concerned the Franciscan Order--whether
for the Order absolute poverty was of the essence of the Rule. The
time was at hand when the question would assume a doctrinal form, and
the Church at large would be called upon to decide whether absolute
poverty was an article of the Christian faith.



[Sidenote: Hungary and Poland.]

From the time of Otto I it was the policy of the German Kings to
Germanise and Christianise the nations on their eastern border, as a
preparatory step to including them in the Empire. Otto had exacted
homage from the rulers of Hungary, Poland, and Bohemia, but under his
successors they broke away; and although, meanwhile, Christianity was
accepted by the rulers in all three countries, Hungary and Poland both
established their independence politically of the German King, and
ecclesiastically of the German Metropolitan of Mainz or Magdeburg.
Henry III reasserted the political influence in Germany; but it was to
the interest of the Pope to encourage the independent attitude of the
Churches in Hungary and Poland so long as they recognised the Roman
supremacy. But even politically Gregory VII told Solomon, King of
Hungary (1074), that his kingdom "belongs to the holy Roman Church,
having been formerly offered by King Stephen to St. Peter, together
with every right and power belonging to him, and devoutly handed
over." A similar claim, of which the basis was much more doubtful, was
made to Poland.

[Sidenote: Bohemia.]

The Czechs in Bohemia were less fortunate. Boleslas Chrobry, i.e. the
Brave, of Poland (992-1025), had aspired to rule over an united
kingdom of the Northern Slavs, but had to be content with the
independence of his own Polish kingdom. Bretislas of Bohemia (1037-55)
had a similar ambition; but he could not shake off the German yoke,
and his bishopric of Prague remained a suffragan of the Metropolitan
of Mainz.

[Sidenote: Adalbert of Bremen.]

North of Bohemia, in the country lying between the Baltic, the Elbe,
and the Oder, Otto had established a series of marks or border-lands
in which he had built towns, introduced German colonists, and founded
bishoprics which he had grouped round a new Metropolitan at Magdeburg.
Here for nearly a century and a half the House of Billung did much to
keep under the surging tide of paganism. It was the ambitions of
Adalbert, Archbishop of Bremen (1043-72), which for a time caused a
serious heathen reaction in this quarter. He was the rival of Hanno of
Koln for influence at the Court during Henry IV's minority. As the
most northern German Metropolitan he aspired to set up a patriarchate
in Northern Europe. He met with considerable success in Scandinavia.

[Sidenote: Scandinavia.]

The Christianisation of Denmark had been completed under Cnut, who
also ruled over England (1014-35). Norway was also being rapidly
converted; but the forcible methods of King Olaf, who afterwards
became the patron saint of his country, roused discontent. Cnut added
Norway to his dominions, and was anxious to make his realm
ecclesiastically independent. He established three bishoprics in
Denmark, but did not get his own metropolitan, and his empire fell
asunder at his death. Adalbert made a close alliance with Swein of
Denmark, and thus kept the Danish Church dependent. Harold Hardrada
struggled against Adalbert's attempts to assert his power in Norway.
Sweden had accepted Christianity under Olaf Stotkonung, i.e. the
Lap-King, who died in 1024. But until towards the end of the eleventh
century heathenism continued to maintain itself, and the difficulties
of the Christian party were considerably increased by the assertive
policy of Bremen. Adalbert's schemes were wide-reaching. He sent
bishops to the Orkneys, to Iceland, and even to Greenland, of which
the last two lands had been converted by missionaries from Norway and
ultimately became subject to the Metropolitan of Norway.

[Sidenote: Wends.]

But the real mischief of Adalbert's ambitious schemes was apparent
east of the Elbe. He founded the bishopric of Hamburg, and held it in
addition to Bremen. He sent bishops to Ratzeburg and Mecklenburg
across the Elbe. He encouraged Henry IV's schemes against the Saxons
in order to diminish the power of the House of Billung, who were his
rivals in that quarter. The various tribes of the Wends--Wagrians,
Obotrites, Wiltzes--had been drawn together into one kingdom under
Gottschalk (1047-66), himself a Christian, who founded churches and
monasteries, and has been likened to Oswald of Northumbria in that he
interpreted the missionaries' sermons to his heathen subjects. This
dominion had been established under the protection of the Saxon dukes.
But Henry IV's quarrels with Saxony distracted the attention of the
Billungs and their followers; and Gottschalk's death was followed by a
heathen reaction in which, together with the extirpation of other
marks of Christianity, the bishoprics were destroyed, and among them
Adalbert's own foundation of Hamburg. This was the beginning of the
end. Adalbert's successor had to be content with Bremen alone.
Moreover, in the investiture struggle he was loyal to Henry IV; and
since Eric of Denmark declared for the Pope, Urban II made the Danish
prelate of Lund the Metropolitan of the North (1103). This arrangement
caused discontent in the two other Scandinavian kingdoms, and
ultimately Eugenius III sent Cardinal Breakspear, the future Hadrian
IV, on a mission which resulted in the establishment of Nidaros or
Drontheim as the see of a primate for Norway, and of Upsala in a
similar capacity for Sweden. It may be mentioned in connection with
this point that Finland owed its conversion to Sweden very shortly
afterwards, though the Swedish attempts in Esthonia failed.

[Sidenote: Their final conversion.]

Meanwhile among the Wends Gottschalk's son revived his father's
authority and contact with German civilisation; but after 1131 the
Wendish kingdom fell to pieces, and from that moment we can mark the
steady advance of German power to the Oder. The Billung line of Saxon
dukes had become extinct in 1106, and Henry V had given the ducal name
to Lothair, who succeeded him as Emperor, and who as Duke aimed at
building up a strong dominion in north-eastern Germany. As Emperor he
took up the civilising role of Otto the Great and encouraged the
Germanisation of the Slavs. The actual work was done by his chief
adviser Norbert, whom he had almost forced to become Archbishop of
Magdeburg. He acted in conjunction with Albert the Bear, a descendant
in the female line of the Billung dukes and Margrave of the Northmark,
who himself founded bishoprics among his immediate neighbours the
Wiltzes. Albert's soldiers prepared the way for Norbert's
Premonstratensian canons, and bishoprics were founded with so little
regard for division of territory, even in Poland and Pomerania, that
both Gnesen and Lund found themselves for a time subordinated to
Magdeburg. Two names are especially associated with the conversion of
the Wends. In 1121, under the patronage of Lothair who was not yet
Emperor, Vicelin began his work among the Wagrians, and in 1149 he
became their Bishop with his see at Oldenburg. He died in 1154. It was
under the auspices of Henry the Lion, now Duke of Saxony, that Berno
preached to the Obotrites, converting the Wendish Prince and becoming
Bishop of Mecklenburg. The gradual advance of German colonisation had
weakened the Wendish resistance and prepared the way for this
restoration of Christianity. Henry the Lion finished the work. In
alliance with Waldemar II of Denmark he repeated with greater
completeness the work of founding bishoprics, establishing houses of
Premonstratensians, whose missionary activity was now shared by the
Cistercians, building towns and introducing colonists, until the whole
country between the Northmark and the Baltic was included in his Saxon

[Sidenote: Pomerania.]

The fall of Henry the Lion was not followed by any anti-German
reaction; and meanwhile the work of conversion had been going forward
among the Slavs beyond the Oder. The first attempts of the Poles to
influence their troublesome Pomeranian neighbours failed. The ultimate
success of a mission was due to a German. Otto, a native of Suabia,
began as a schoolmaster in Poland. From chaplain to the Polish Prince
the Emperor Henry V made him Bishop of Bamberg (1102); and, when
Boleslas III had subdued part of Pomerania and found his bishops
unwilling to attempt its conversion, he offered the task to Otto of
Bamberg who, although an old man, undertook it with the consent of the
Pope and the Emperor. He paid two visits--in 1124 and 1128--both to
Western Pomerania, and established the bishopric of Wollin. The
conversion was naturally imperfect, but the country never relapsed.
The fierce islanders of Rgen could not then be touched, but ultimately
gave way in 1168 before the combined secular and spiritual weapons of
the Danish rulers.

[Sidenote: Livonia.]

From the middle of the twelfth century the cities of Bremen and
Lubeck had established trading connections with Livonia. Following in
the wake of the traders (1186) an Augustinian canon, Meinhard by name,
preached Christianity under permission from a neighbouring Russian
Prince, and he was made Bishop of Yrkill, on the Duna, under the
Archbishop of Bremen. His successors, however, impatient at failure,
organised a crusade from Germany. The third Bishop, Albert, took the
recently founded trading centre Riga as his bishopric, and organised
the knightly Order of the Brethren of the Sword (1202), to be under
the control of the Bishop. He aimed at an united spiritual and
temporal power in his own land, and in 1207 he accepted Livonia as a
fief from King Philip of Suabia. But Albert's chief foes were those of
his own household. The Knights of the Sword strove for independence
and tried to establish themselves in Esthonia. Albert appointed his
own nominee as Bishop there, who should act as a check upon the
knights. Innocent III, however, gave the ecclesiastical supervision of
Esthonia to the Danish Archbishop of Lund. But when the Danish King
attempted to follow this up by asserting a political authority his
forces were defeated by the Esthonians. German influences prevailed;
Albert took Dorpat, made it the seat of a new bishopric, and organised
the whole country ecclesiastically until his death in 1229; although
it was not until 1255 that Riga became the Metropolitan of the
Livonian and Prussian Churches. The Order of the Sword ceased to
resist, and in 1237 it merged itself in the Teutonic Order in Prussia.
The conversion of Livonia was followed by that of Semgallen in 1218,
and finally the inhabitants of Courland, threatened on all sides,
accepted baptism (1230) as the only alternative to slavery.

[Sidenote: Prussia.]

Between these lands and Pomerania lay the savage Prussians. Among them
Bishop Adalbert of Prague, the Apostle of Bohemia, had ended his life
by martyrdom in 997: and subsequent efforts, whether of bold
missionaries or of victorious Polish Kings, equally failed. At length
in 1207 some Cistercian monks from Poland obtained leave from Innocent
III to make another attempt on Prussia. They were well received, and
Christian of Oliva was consecrated bishop. But the rulers of
neighbouring lands, notably Conrad, Duke of Masovia, which lay just to
the south, schemed to turn these converted Prussians into political
dependents, and Christian welcomed their armies as a means of
hastening on the nominal change of religion. A crusade was set on
foot; but the natives resisted with success, and began to destroy the
monasteries established in the country. Consequently, in 1226 Duke
Conrad invited some members of the Teutonic Order to help him. In 1230
came a large number of the knights, and a devastating war which lasted
for more than fifty years (1230-83), ended in the nominal conversion
of the remaining inhabitants.

During the war German colonists were placed upon the conquered lands
and towns were founded--Konigsberg (1256) in honour of Ottocar of
Bohemia, who lent his aid for a time; Marienburg (1270), which became
the headquarters of the Teutonic Order. Indeed, it was the Order which
reaped the benefit of the conquest. In 1243 Innocent IV divided the
country ecclesiastically into four bishoprics, which were placed
afterwards under the Livonian Archbishop of Riga as their
Metropolitan. One of these four--Ermland--freed itself both
ecclesiastically from Riga and politically from the Teutonic knights,
and placed itself directly under the Pope. The others were less
fortunate, and the Order successfully resisted the joint efforts of
the bishops and the Pope to place them in a similar position.

[Sidenote: Missions in Asia.]

The spread of Christianity among the tribes upon the Baltic coast,
imperfect though it was, led to permanent results. In the second great
field of missionary activity during this period the work of the Roman
Church was more interesting than effective. It is difficult now to
realise that in the fourteenth century emissaries from Rome had
nominally organised large districts of Asia as part of the Christian
Church. Nor was theirs the first announcement of the Gospel in those
regions. Christians of the Nestorian or Chaldean faith could claim
adherents from Persia across the Continent to the heart of China, and
had even converted several Turkish tribes.

[Sidenote: Prester John.]

About the middle of the twelfth century the report reached Europe of
the conversion as early as the beginning of the eleventh century of
the Khan of the Karait, a Tartar tribe, lying south of Lake Baikal,
with its headquarters at Karakorum. The Syrian Christians, through
whom the report came, misinterpreted his Mongolian title Ung-Khan as
denoting a priest-king named John, and it was this distant Eastern
potentate who came to be known in Europe as Presbyter Johannes or
Prester John. It was the Syrian Christians who, in their desire to
outvie the boastful arrogance of their Latin neighbours, together with
many apochryphal tales invented a letter from this dignitary to some
of the sovereigns of Europe, including the Pope. Equally fabulous
seems to have been the report to Alexander III of a physician named
Philip, that this shadowy personage desired reception into the Roman
communion; for Alexander's answer apparently met with no response. In
1202 the tribe of the Karaites became the vassals of the great
conqueror Ghenghiz Khan, who is said to have added to his wives the
Christian daughter of the last Ung-Khan of the tribe. The kingdom of
Prester John, however, lived on in fables, of which the best known
relates how the Holy Grail, the cup consecrated by Christ at the Last
Supper, had withdrawn from the sinful West and found refuge in this
distant land.

[Sidenote: The Mongols in Europe.]

The conquests of Ghenghiz opened an entirely new chapter in the
relations between Western Europe and the Mongols. Ghenghiz himself
before his death in 1227 overran China, Central Asia, Persia, and
penetrated as far west as the Dnieper. His successors entered Russia
in 1237, conquered the Kipchaks about the Caspian Sea and pursued
their fugitives into Central Europe, defeated the Poles, ravaged
Saxony and Silesia, and overran Hungary (1240). It was fortunate for
Europe that the death of the Great Khan in 1242 caused the Mongol
leaders to withdraw their forces back to the East. The chief result of
this Mongolian raid was that 10,000 Kharizmians fleeing before the
Tartars entered the Egyptian service, and in 1244 captured Jerusalem
for the Egyptian Sultan. At the time of the Tartar invasion the Papacy
was vacant; but in 1243 Innocent IV was elected, and in 1245 at the
Council of Lyons a crusade was mooted. But the renewal of the papal
quarrel with Frederick II so far added to the general indifference
that no crusade was possible. Louis IX of France alone forced his
nobles to take the vow and fulfil it.

[Sidenote: Innocent IV's missions.]

To Innocent, however, is due the credit of inaugurating a new method
of approaching Eastern nations. It was well known that Christians were
to be found in the Mongolian armies; and the tolerant treatment
accorded to them was construed as a favourable feeling towards
Christianity itself. The truth was that for the purpose of reconciling
all nations to their rule the Mongols tolerated all religions among
their subjects. Already Mohammedanism and Buddhism competed with the
Christianity of the Nestorians for the favour of the Tartar Princes.
Their own religion has been characterised as a vague monotheism. Its
lack of definiteness led the early missionaries in their enthusiasm to
hope that its followers were in a state of mind to be easily persuaded
of the superior claims of the Catholic faith. Anyhow there existed for
some time quite an expectation in the West that the whole of Asia
would one day acknowledge the spiritual rule of Rome. Pope Innocent,
therefore, fully convinced of the friendly disposition of the Mongols,
despatched two embassies to them. One was composed of John of Piano
Carpini, a friend of St. Francis of Assisi, and three other
Franciscans. From the Khan of Kipchak at the Golden Horde on the Volga
they were passed on to the Great Khan, who ruled now from the old
capital of the Karaites at Karakorum. Here they were received in
friendly fashion by the newly elected Kuyuk, grandson of Ghenghiz. The
other embassy, composed of four Dominicans, visited Persia; but they
showed so much want of tact that their lives were endangered, and they
returned with letters written in the name of the Great Khan, in which
all princes of the earth were bidden to come and pay their homage.
Immediately, then, these visits were without result; but they had
opened the way for further communications.

[Sidenote: Louis IX's missions.]

It was known in the East that Louis IX of France was preparing to set
out on crusade; so that when he halted with his army in Cyprus he was
visited by an envoy purporting to come from Kuyuk and seeking an
alliance against Mohammedans. Louis sent two Dominicans to a Christian
monarch, as he supposed, armed with suitable presents; but Kuyuk was
dead, and the presents were treated as tribute. Perhaps in consequence
of this failure Louis turned his army against Egypt instead of Syria;
but the envoys returned to find him after the disastrous Egyptian
campaign in Palestine, where he spent four years. In consequence of
their report he sent to Kuyuk's successor, Mangu, a Franciscan,
William of Ruysbroek or Rubruquis. It was afterwards reported to the
Pope that Mangu and another Tartar Prince had been converted. Such
fabricated stories were only too common. Rubruquis has left us much
information about the Tartar Court; but his public discussions before
the Khan with Nestorians, Mohammedans and Buddhists led to no
practical result.

[Sidenote: Tartars and Mohammedans.]

On the death of Mangu (1257) his dominions were divided between his
two brothers. Hulagu, who became Khan of Persia, overthrew the
Caliphate of Bagdad; but the further progress of the Mongol armies was
stayed by the Mohammedan General, Bibars who, as a consequence of his
success, shortly became Sultan of Egypt. Henceforth the Mongols of
Persia constantly sought an alliance with the Christians of the West
against the Mohammedans as represented by Egypt, the one Mohammedan
power which as yet had opposed them with success. Thus in 1274, at the
second Council of Lyons, two Persian envoys invited the cooperation of
Christendom, and, perhaps by way of raising the expectations of such
contact, submitted to baptism; but the hostility of Greeks and Latins
and the selfish projects of Charles of Anjou prevented any response.
The long anarchy in Egypt which followed the death of Bibars (1277)
was too good an opportunity for the Mongols to lose; but Kelaun
secured the power in Egypt in time to repeat the exploits of Bibars.
But the remaining Latin princes in Syria had veered between the
Mohammedans and Mongols, and Kelaun determined to complete the
destruction of such an alien element. By 1291 the kingdom of Jerusalem
was wiped out. Europe watched with comparative indifference the easy
triumph of Mohammedanism. Not so the Mongols. Arghun, who became Khan
of Persia in 1284, made three definite efforts towards an alliance
which would mean a new crusade. In 1287 the Vicar of the Nestorian
Patriarch of China brought letters to the Pope and visited the Kings
of France and England; in 1289 a Genoese resident in Persia brought
the news of Arghun's intended invasion of Syria and his professed
desire for baptism; in 1290, to a yet more pressing call the Pope
returned a somewhat hopeful answer. But it was too late. Arghun died
in 1291, and although his eldest son, Ghazan, ultimately took up his
father's projects and even decisively defeated the Egyptian army in
Syria (1299), his losses forced him to return to Persia. It was
reported that he had died a Christian and in the Franciscan habit, but
there is no proof of this.

[Sidenote: Chinese missions.]

The more purely missionary efforts which were being made
contemporaneously with the events just related, were directed chiefly
to China which, on the death of Mangu, had fallen to the lot of Kublai
Khan. The opportunity for these was opened out by the relations
already established with the Mongolians on other grounds. The first
missionaries found Nestorian Christians who were subjects and others
who were captives acting as clerks, artisans and merchants at the
Tartar Court. Besides these, others in search of fortune or adventure
occasionally found their way from the West. Such were two Venetians,
Nicolo and Maffeo Polo, who, having traded with the Tartars of the
Golden Horde (1260), were led by force of circumstances further into
Asia, until they reached China. Kublai sent them back to Europe with a
request to the Pope for at least a hundred well-instructed persons who
should initiate his subjects in Western lore. They returned
practically alone; but Nicolo's son Marco accompanied them. They
remained for seventeen years in the service of the Khan (1275-93), and
Marco Polo has left a very celebrated account of his travels. This
establishment of friendly feeling was followed by a definite mission
of Franciscans, headed by John of Monte Corvino, who had already
organised the missions in Persia. He was welcomed by Kublai's
successor, and was allowed to preach. Despite the violent opposition
of the Nestorians he made converts and built churches. In 1307 he
became the first Archbishop of Cambaluc or Peking, while subsequently
no less than ten suffragans were grouped under him. Scarcely less
remarkable was the organisation in Persia of the archbishopric at
Sultanyeh and six subordinate sees. But this development belongs
almost entirely to the following period.



[Sidenote: Honorius III (1216-27) and the Crusade.]

The bull of summons to the Lateran Council of 1215 mentions as the two
great desires of the Pope's heart the recovery of the Holy Land and
the reformation of the Church Universal; and it is made clear that the
various measures of reform to be placed before the General Council are
intended to bring Christian princes and peoples, both clergy and
laity, into the frame of mind for sending aid to Palestine. Moreover,
at the Council it was agreed that an expedition should start from
Brindisi or Messina on June 1, 1216. In any case Innocent's death
would probably have caused a delay. His successor, Honorius III, was a
noble Roman of mild and gentle character, who, during Frederick's
youth, had been his tutor and the guardian of the kingdom of Sicily.
No less than his predecessor was he bent on carrying out the project
of a crusade, and immediately on his accession he appealed to all
Christians in the West to lay aside their enmities, and refused to
allow any excuse for not setting out to those who had taken the
crusading vow. But the apathy was general, and since Frederick could
not leave Europe so long as his rival Otto was alive, the expedition
was robbed of its natural chief. A crusade, however, did go, and in
accordance with the plan agreed upon at the Council the attack was
directed against Egypt. Damietta was taken (1219), but then a long
pause was made in the expectation of Frederick's coming. In 1221
arrived a German contingent under Frederick's friend Herman von Salza;
but the crusaders were now defeated and could only secure their
retreat by the surrender of Damietta.

[Sidenote: Frederick II.]

For despite the death of Otto in 1218 Frederick had been detained in
Europe. Before leaving he was anxious to secure the election of his
son Henry as King of Germany. This he did not accomplish until 1220,
and then only by the surrender to the German princes of many important
royal rights, especially the right of spoils. It was necessary also to
reassure the Pope, who feared the continued union of Sicily and
Germany. Honorius accepted Frederick's assurances and even crowned him
Emperor in St. Peter's (November, 1220); and Frederick again took the
cross. But he found that the royal rights in the kingdom of Sicily had
been much impoverished during his minority and his subsequent absence.
His efforts to recover them caused a further delay in his promised
crusade and brought him into conflict with papal claims. Honorius was
very long-suffering. In 1223 he agreed to a postponement of two years
on condition that Frederick should affiance himself to Iolanthe, the
daughter and heiress of John of Brienne, who in right of his wife bore
the title of King of Jerusalem. In 1225 Frederick not only married
Iolanthe but followed the example of his father-in-law by taking the
title of King of Jerusalem in right of his wife, who since her
mother's death was lawfully Queen. On the strength of this act of
self-committal he obtained another delay of two years until August,
1227, agreeing that if he did not then start he should be _ipso
facto_ excommunicate.

But lapse of time did not make it any easier for him to leave his
dominions. In 1226 the Lombards, fearing that Frederick's success in
the recovery of royal rights in the South was merely a prelude to his
renewal of imperial claims in North Italy, revived the old Lombard
League. Frederick put them to the ban of the Empire. But the Pope had
approved the League; and when both parties agreed to refer the quarrel
to him he naturally proposed an arrangement favourable to the
Lombards. A breach with Frederick was only averted by Honorius' death
(March, 1227).

[Sidenote: Gregory IX (1227-41).]

His successor was Gregory IX, a relative of Innocent III who had made
him a Cardinal and employed him on important embassies. He has been
described as a man "of strong passions and an iron strength of will."
He is said to have been more than eighty years of age at his
accession; but he was vigorous and alert in mind and body, a man of
blameless life and ardent faith, eloquent and learned, especially in
law. Hitherto he had been friendly to Frederick. But he held views
even more advanced than those of Innocent regarding the power of the
Papacy. Hence, while to Honorius the Crusade was the end towards which
his whole policy was directed, Gregory only desired to use the
crusading vow taken by temporal rulers as a weapon for the assertion
of the papal power against them. It was Gregory who as Cardinal
Ugolino had placed the cross in Frederick's hand at his imperial
coronation. As Pope he now demanded the immediate fulfilment of
Frederick's promise; and despite his reluctance to go and the outbreak
of an epidemic in his army, Frederick embarked at Brindisi on
September 18th, 1227. But three days later under the plea of sickness
he turned back. Gregory never hesitated. On September 29th in the
cathedral of Anagni in fulfilment of the terms agreed to by Frederick
himself, he excommunicated the Emperor with the accompaniment of every
kind of impressive ceremonial. There seems little doubt that the cause
of Gregory's determination to exact from Frederick the utmost penalty
for his failure to carry out the agreement lay in Frederick's Italian
policy. Frederick had postponed the crusade in order to build up a
power in Sicily, which he was now trying to extend to North Italy by
crushing the Lombard League. This was a fatal bar to the policy of a
papal state in Central Italy, inaugurated by Innocent III. No less
imminent was the danger from the success of Frederick in baffling the
papal schemes for the separation of the Sicilian and German crowns. It
was becoming apparent that only by the extinction of the Hohenstaufen
line could the papal policy be carried out.

[Sidenote: Frederick's crusade.]

The age of the Crusades was indeed over. Frederick, in justifying his
action to the princes of Europe, pointed to the conduct of the Papacy
to Raymond of Toulouse and John of England as a warning to secular
princes, and attributed the papal hostility not to a desire for the
promotion of a crusade, but to greed. Gregory's conduct seemed to bear
out this interpretation of his motives. Despite the excommunication
Frederick once more set sail in June, 1228. But an expedition under
such circumstances was an independent act subversive of all
ecclesiastical discipline. Consequently, instead of his departure
being the signal for the removal of his sentence, Frederick was
followed to Palestine by the anathema of the Church. The Pope having
got Frederick into his power intended to keep him there. Thus when
Frederick reached Palestine the Templars and Hospitallers held aloof,
while the Mendicant Orders preached against him; and when, in
accordance with his treaty with the Sultan, he entered Jerusalem, the
city and all the holy places were laid under an interdict. But
Frederick was not daunted. Since no ecclesiastic would crown him he
took the crown himself off the altar and placed it on his head. For as
in the case of the Pope, so with Frederick, it was from no religious
motives that he persisted in the crusade. It was a purely political
expedition. He put the Pope in the wrong in the eyes of European
princes by refuting the charge of the Roman supporters that he never
seriously intended to go on crusade. But, more important still, his
own attitude and act were a manifesto on behalf of the Empire against
the claim put forward by Innocent III for the Papacy as the head and
leader of Christendom. But the very means of his success added to his
enormities. It was nothing that he had gained for Christendom without
fighting more than had been won since the First Crusade. For he had
dealt with the Sultan of Egypt as an equal, and in the treaty which
gave him Jerusalem and several other places he had undertaken to
enforce certain articles favourable to the Sultan, even in the event
of opposition from Christian Princes. Thus it is not astonishing that
while Frederick was winning this success in Palestine Pope Gregory was
using papal emissaries, in the shape of the lately founded Orders of
mendicant friars, to denounce the Emperor in every country of Western
Europe, and even let loose on Frederick's Sicilian territories an army
of so-called crusaders under John of Brienne, who resented the
adoption of the title of King of Jerusalem by his imperial son-in-law.
This monstrous attack upon a successful crusader turned the sentiment
of Europe against the Pope. Frederick returned in June, 1229, and by
the help of his Saracen troops drove out the invaders. In return for
peace with the Church Frederick was willing to give to the Pope almost
extravagantly generous terms, and a treaty was arranged at San Germano
in August, 1230, by which Frederick surrendered his claim over the
Sicilian clergy and obtained in return the removal of the
excommunication, which carried with it a tacit recognition of his

[Sidenote: The Pope and Roman claims.]

It was nine years before the struggle was openly renewed. There were
many causes of difference in the interval, but Pope and Emperor found
two occasions for common action. In the first place Gregory imitated
the policy of his great relative in using every method for extending
the immediate suzerainty of the Pope over the towns and barons within
the Roman duchy. But despite Innocent's civic victory the Roman
Commune desired to place themselves on a level with the other free
cities of Italy such as Milan and Florence, and claimed jurisdiction
over the whole district. Twice already had the Romans expelled Gregory
and recalled him before they demanded from him, in 1234, the surrender
of sovereign rights within the duchy. Gregory fled and appealed for
help to Christendom; and Frederick supplied the troops which restored
the Pope for the third time and forced the Romans to withdraw their

[Sidenote: Frederick and heresy.]

Pope and Emperor also pursued a common policy against heretics. The
Lateran Council of 1215 issued a series of ordinances against
heretics, making it the duty of the secular power to punish them under
pain of excommunication. But each country and even each city issued
its own regulations for giving effect to the injunctions of the
Council. Only gradually in the second quarter of the century was the
old episcopal jurisdiction over heresy superseded by the establishment
of the papal Inquisition. Meanwhile, in 1220 at his imperial
coronation Frederick put out in his own name an edict for the secular
suppression of heresy, which had been dictated to him from Rome. In
1231 this edict was enforced in Rome itself when Gregory IX
established the Inquisition there and made it the business of the
Senator, the head of the civic commune, to execute the sentences of
the Inquisitor. The regulations now drawn up for the conduct of the
secular power in such cases, were sent over all Europe with orders for
their enforcement. In the same year Frederick renewed his attack upon
heretics in his Sicilian Constitutions, and in the course of the next
eight years he issued "a complete and pitiless code" of "fiendish
legislation," placing the whole of the machinery of state at the
disposal of the Inquisitor. But Gregory was not deceived. Rather he
complained that Frederick's orthodoxy took the form of the punishment
of his personal enemies, of whom many were good Catholics. Certainly
Frederick's anti-heretical edicts were not prompted by religious zeal.
He was more detached than any ruler of the Middle Ages from the
current ideas of the time. He seems to have been, if it is possible,
utterly non-religious.

[Sidenote: Legislation of Emperor and Pope.]

Moreover, his regulations against heresy were part of his general code
of law for the government of the diverse races in his kingdom of
Sicily, and in this code issued in 1231, although their temporalities
were secured to the clergy, as a class they were subjected to taxation
and to the secular jurisdiction of the State. Pope Gregory's
counter-blast to this policy is contained in his addition to the Canon
Law known as his Decretals (1234). By these the clergy were declared
entirely exempt from secular taxation and jurisdiction, on the ground
that all secular law was subordinate to the law of the Church, and
that the duty of the secular power was to carry out the commands of
the Church.

[Sidenote: The second contest.]

Thus each side was maintaining its pretensions until the opportunity
should come for asserting them. This was found for the second time in
the affairs of Lombardy. The Lombard cities still feared the designs
of Frederick. In 1235 they renewed their League. Again the Pope was
accepted as arbiter, and again Frederick complained with justice that
he was too favourable to the cities. In 1236 Frederick declared war
against the League. His pretext of punishing heresy which was rife in
Lombardy, deceived no one; while his declaration, when Gregory desired
him to turn his arms to Palestine, that "Italy is my heritage, and
this the whole world knows," confirmed the worst apprehensions of the
Pope and the Lombards. Moreover, Frederick's first move was entirely
successful, and in 1237 he completely defeated the Lombards in battle
at Corte Nuova, took the Milanese standard and sent it to be placed in
the Capitol at Rome. The subjugation of the Lombards would mean the
union of Italy under Frederick's rule, while, since the acquisition of
Sicily by the Hohenstanfen, the Lombards remained the only allies of
the Papacy in Italy. Gregory therefore declared himself, and in March,
1239, he excommunicated Frederick and released his subjects from their
allegiance. Frederick issued a manifesto addressed to all Princes, in
which he appealed to a General Council. Gregory's counter-manifesto
was couched in terms of the most unrestrained violence. Frederick was
described as the beast in the Apocalypse (Rev. xiii. 1), which had
upon its seven heads the name of blasphemy; and he is charged with
saying that the world had been deceived by three impostors, Christ,
Moses and Mohammed, of whom two had died in glory, while the third had
been crucified.

This is not the place to investigate the interesting question of the
truth of Gregory's charges against Frederick. The French sent a
mission to Frederick to enquire as to the accusation of infidelity,
and he thanked them warmly and denied it. The Duke of Bavaria told
Gregory in 1241 that most of the German princes and prelates would
shortly go to Frederick's aid. In fact, the papal exactions had caused
intense disgust over all Western Europe, and no prince would allow
himself to be set up as a rival to Frederick. Yet the papal
condemnation caused many to hold aloof from the Emperor who, moreover,
did not venture to set up an antipope. He contented himself with
persecuting the friars who were the most active emissaries of Rome,
and with confiscating the estates of the Church, until it was said at
the papal Court that he had sworn to reduce the Pope to beggary and to
stable his horses in St. Peter's.

[Sidenote: Innocent IV (1243-54).]

Frederick had suggested the calling of a council, and Gregory summoned
one to Rome. But Frederick had begun to reduce the Roman duchy and,
anyhow, he did not want a council which would merely register the
papal decrees. So when a number of bishops ignored his prohibition and
met at Genoa in order to embark for Rome, the fleets of Pisa and
Sicily met them off the island of Meloria and captured nearly the
whole of the prospective Council. Frederick's attack upon Rome itself
was only averted by the death of Gregory IX on August 21, 1241. The
new Pope died seventeen days after his election, and then, for some
reason, the Papacy was vacant for two years. The delay was attributed
to Frederick; and the French actually declared to the Cardinals that
if a new Pope were not chosen quickly, the French nation, in
accordance with an ancient privilege given by Pope Clement to St.
Denys, would set up a Pope of their own. At length, in June, 1243,
Innocent IV was chosen; and Frederick, alluding to previous dealings
with him, remarked that by this election he had lost a friend among
the Cardinals, since no Pope could be a Ghibelline.

The truth of this was soon apparent. Innocent demanded the restoration
of all Frederick's conquests in the States of the Church in return for
peace; and although nothing was said about the time of the removal of
the excommunication, Frederick accepted the terms. But when Frederick
saw that there was no intention of absolving him, he refused to
surrender the papal cities and thereby technically broke the treaty.
Innocent intended to get a treaty which would carry an acknowledgment
of the Emperor's failure, and then to reduce him to submission by a
council held outside Italy. Negotiations continued until Innocent fled
to Lyons, a practically independent city. France, England and Aragon,
however, declined to receive him, and Innocent exclaimed that he must
come to terms with the Emperor, "for when the dragon has been crushed
or pacified, the little serpents will be quickly trodden underfoot."

[Sidenote: First Council of Lyons.]

At Lyons there met in 1245 the General Council to which Frederick had
appealed, and which is reckoned by the Romans as the thirteenth of the
OEcumenical Assemblies of the Church; 140 archbishops and bishops,
besides numerous lesser clergy, were present. Frederick was
represented by a celebrated jurist, Thaddeus of Suessa, who pleaded
the Emperor's cause. Several points were proposed for settlement; but
all other matters were brushed aside, and Innocent hurried on the
third and last session of the Council in which Frederick was declared
deposed, his subjects were released from their allegiance, the German
princes told to elect another King, and Sicily kept for disposal by
the Pope in consultation with the Cardinals. All remonstrances were
unavailing; even Louis IX quite failed to move the Pope. Frederick
realised that it was a fight to a finish, and in a protest he called
upon the other princes of the West to help him in depriving the clergy
of the wealth which had choked their spiritual power. But this was
interpreted as a design for the destruction of the Church, and despite
the testimonies to Frederick's orthodoxy published by the Archbishop
of Palermo, the papal charge of heresy against him gained wide belief.
Innocent in his reply asserted among other things that the Pope was
the Legate of Christ who had entrusted him with full powers to act as
judge over the earth, and that the Emperor should take an oath of
subjection to the Pope who, as overlord, gave him his title and crown.
Thus the claims now made on behalf of the Papacy left no room for a
belief in the balance of spiritual and secular authority.

[Sidenote: Death of Frederick.]

Both sides resorted to every kind of expedient. Frederick, aiming
especially at the friars, ordered that any who spread or even received
the papal letters of condemnation against him should be burnt!
Innocent declared an actual crusade against Frederick, stirred up
revolt in Sicily, and at length succeeded in raising a rival King in
Germany. Henry Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia, owed his election (1246)
almost exclusively to the great prelates of the Rhine; but he died the
next year and, although another King was put forward in the person of
William Count of Holland, a young man of twenty, he made no progress
so long as Frederick lived. Moreover, in Italy Frederick's cause was
gaining ground, until the revolt of Parma and the failure of his
efforts to retake it ended in the complete rout of his forces (1248).
In 1250 Frederick himself died directing by his will that all the
rights of the Church should be restored in so far as they did not
conflict with the claims of the Empire, provided that the Church
herself should recognise the imperial rights. Almost to the last
Frederick had been quite willing to be reconciled to the Church, and
he died unsubdued. But the Papacy was fighting for that supremacy
which experience had shown to be the condition of its existence. Not
that any Emperor ever cherished the thought of destroying the Papacy
any more than the Pope dreamed of annihilating the Empire. Many
passages have been cited to prove that Frederick contemplated the
establishment of a Church of his own in Sicily. Here perhaps he did
not aim at anything more than Henry VIII afterwards accomplished in
England or the barons under Louis IX, as we have seen, threatened on
one occasion in France. The language used by his followers was
extravagant, even blasphemous, and he did not discourage it. How far
he ever aimed as setting himself up as Pope is more doubtful. But in
any case, and however much we may be inclined to sympathise with him,
it must be allowed that there was abundant reason for the hostility of
the Pope.

[Sidenote: A papal candidate for Sicily.]

And the reasons which caused the Papacy to hound Frederick to death,
also determined it not to rest until it had exterminated the whole
"viper's brood." Innocent IV expressed the most indecent joy at
Frederick's death, and refused all offers of peace from his son and
successor, Conrad IV. But being too weak to wrest Sicily from the
Hohenstaufen he sought for some prince who would accept it as a papal
fief. It was refused on behalf of Louis IX's brother, Charles of
Anjou, and also by Henry III's brother, Richard Earl of Cornwall, who
said that the Pope might as well offer him the moon. Henry III,
however, accepted it for his second son Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, a
boy of eight, promising to pay the expenses of the conquest. The
Pope's action was utterly unscrupulous. In May, 1254, Conrad died in
the twenty-sixth year of his age, and the only legitimate Hohenstaufen
representative who remained, was his son, distinguished as Conradin,
who was under the guardianship of Berthold Marquis of Hohenburg.
Conrad's Regent in Italy had been his half-brother Manfred, the son of
Frederick by an Italian lady, and the most brilliant of all
Frederick's children. Berthold, alarmed at the difficulties, made way
for Manfred, who found Innocent ready to come to terms. To Manfred was
confirmed the principality of Tarento originally the gift of his
father, and he was recognised as Papal Vicar for the greater part of
the Sicilian kingdom. But the grant of Sicily was confirmed to Edmund
of Lancaster, and the Pope determined to take possession of the
kingdom in person. Manfred, now a vassal of the Church, held the
bridle of the Pope's horse as he entered his new dominions. But
Manfred soon found that the Pope's object was to reduce him to
harmlessness and then to get rid of him. He therefore raised the
standard of revolt and defeated the papal forces (December, 1254).

[Sidenote: Alexander IV (1254-61).]

At this juncture Innocent IV died at Naples. Matthew Paris relates the
dream of a Cardinal who saw the Church accusing the Pope before the
throne of God because he had enslaved the Church, had made her a table
of money-changers and had shaken faith, abolished justice, and
obscured truth. However necessary to the independence of the Papacy
was this strenuous struggle, the utterly unscrupulous means employed
and the almost complete identification of its spiritual power with its
temporal interests is impossible to justify or even to excuse. The new
Pope, Alexander IV, a nephew of Gregory IX, without Innocent's ability
tried to follow the policy of his predecessor. In 1255 he ratified the
grant of Sicily to the young English prince on severe conditions.
Indeed, he surpassed his predecessors in the demands made on Henry III
and the English Church; until in 1258 his claim for the repayment of
the money which he alleged to have been expended in the prosecution of
Edmund's cause, brought on a grave constitutional crisis in England
and reduced Henry III to impotence.

[Sidenote: King Manfred.]

Meanwhile Manfred had regained all the dominions of the Sicilian crown
in the name of Conradin, but in 1258 he quietly set aside his nephew
and accepted the throne for himself. However necessary such a step
might be, it divided Sicily from Germany. This was what the papal
party desired: but Manfred, the son of an Italian mother, aimed, like
his father, at an Italian monarchy. Consequently Alexander declared
against him. In Italy, however, the cessation of supplies from England
left Alexander almost powerless, and Manfred was accepted as the head
of the Ghibellines in the peninsula.

[Sidenote: The rival Kings of the Romans.]

But before his death in May, 1261, Alexander had gained a distinct
success in Germany. The young King, William of Holland, the destined
Emperor, had been killed in 1256. The Pope forbade the choice of
Conradin, and the votes of the German princes were divided between the
Englishman, Richard Earl of Cornwall, and Alfonso the Wise, King of
Castile and grandson of Philip of Suabia. Richard, wealthy and
attracted by the imperial title, was crowned Emperor at Aachen in 1257
and bought himself a measure of support so long as he remained in
Germany. Alfonso, on the other hand, did nothing to secure his new
dominions. Alexander and his successors, by professing a judicial
attitude, gradually established the impression in Germany that the
decision in these matters rested with the Papacy.



[Sidenote: Urban IV (1261-4).]

The date of Alexander's death marks the beginning of a new episode in
the history of the mediaval Papacy. His successor, Urban IV, was a
Frenchman. With more vigour than his predecessor he pursued the policy
of the destruction of the Hohenstaufen. Since the English prince had
proved a useless tool and no more money could be wrung from the
English people, he obtained the renunciation of the claims of Edmund
to the Sicilian crown and turned to his native country for a
candidate. Louis IX refused the offer for a son, but it was accepted
by his brother, Charles of Anjou, whose wife, the daughter and heiress
of Raymond Berengar of Provence, desired to be the equal of her three
elder sisters, the Queens, respectively, of France, England, and
Germany. For the next twenty years the papal policy centres round the
doings of Charles as much as it had centred for thirty years round the
aims of Frederick II. The Guelf party in Rome had already elected
Charles as senator, or head of the civic commune, in opposition to the
Ghibelline Manfred. Thus the Pope and the Italian Guelfs once more
combined to betray Italy to the foreign conqueror. Urban was able to
obtain a promise that Charles would not accept the senatorship for
life, although the need for Charles' presence in Italy as a check upon
the victorious Manfred enabled the new King to obtain better terms in
regard to Sicily than the Pope had offered at first.

[Sidenote: Clement IV (1265-8).]

Fortune favoured Charles from the outset. Before he could reach Italy
Urban had died in Perugia (October, 1264), having never entered Rome
during his pontificate. His successor, Clement IV, a Provencal and
therefore a subject of Charles, had been overpersuaded to accept the
tiara, and naturally continued his predecessor's work. Charles arrived
by sea, was welcomed in Rome where he assumed the office of senator,
and was invested with the crown of Sicily (June, 1265). But from the
very first he showed the arbitrariness and violence which were to
characterise his relations with Italy. He came destitute of money; he
took possession of the Lateran palace until the Pope's remonstrances
forced him to withdraw. His army marched through Italy to join him,
plundering as it came. The Pope was helpless; he had not yet even
ventured to come to Rome. Charles and his wife were crowned King and
Queen of Sicily by a commission of Cardinals; and theirs was the first
coronation of any sovereign other than an Emperor, which had taken
place in St. Peter's.

[Sidenote: End of the Hohenstaufen.]

Meanwhile Manfred was doing everything to meet the new attack. But
there was no patriotism among the Italians of the south. Frederick II
in founding his strong monarchy had alienated nobles and the cities;
the clergy, of course, were his bitter foes. All seemed to think that
Charles' advent would bring freedom and peace. They were soon to be
disabused. On Charles' march southwards Manfred, relying solely on
Germans and Saracens, met him at Benevento, but was beaten and fell in
the fight (February 26, 1266). Charles entered Naples and the papal
aims seemed attained. Charles was their vassal for Sicily, and was now
obliged to lay down his office of senator. The German influence in
Italy was destroyed; the "German" Empire was a thing of the past. But
the Romans still kept the Pope at arms' length. In 1252 they had for
the first time introduced a foreign senator in the Bolognese
Brancaleone who, before his death in 1258, was twice overthrown and
restored to power. Thus the election of Charles was no new departure.
And as his successor was chosen Henry, brother of Alfonso the Wise of
Castile, titular King of the Romans. He maintained the interests of
the commune against the Pope, and then, from hatred to Charles, the
Ghibelline cause against the papal party. The Ghibellines found a
rallying ground in Tuscany, and sent to Germany for Conradin. The boy,
now fourteen years of age, was welcomed by the senator in Rome; but
his forces were utterly defeated by Charles at Tagliacozzo on August
23, 1268. Conradin fled, but was captured and executed.

[Sidenote: Schemes of Charles.]

This time it was Charles, and not the Pope, whose success was the
obvious fact. Whether the Pope interceded for the last of the
Hohenstaufens or approved his execution, is a matter of some doubt.
But Charles was now elected senator of Rome for life, and Clement
offered no opposition to this violation of the original agreement.
Moreover, on Clement's death (November, 1268), the divisions among the
Cardinals assembled at Viterbo prolonged the vacancy in the papal
chair for nearly three years. During that time Charles developed the
most ambitious schemes. With the Ghibelline position he took up the
Ghibelline aims. Thus the papal plans for reviving the Crusades were
nothing to him, but he desired to obtain for himself the crown of
Jerusalem; and since Constantinople had been recovered by the Greeks
in 1261, while on the one side he make a treaty with the Latin
ex-Emperor, Baldwin II, whereby the reversion of the Byzantine throne
should go to the King of Sicily, on the other side the papal project
for an union of the Greek and Latin Churches was an obstacle to his
hostile design. Charles, in fact, began to equip an expedition against
Constantinople. Louis IX for the moment checked his brother's schemes
and took him off on the crusade from which Louis himself was not to
return. The diversion of the expedition from Palestine or Egypt to
Tunis is generally attributed to the influence of the King of Sicily,
whose Norman predecessors had once held the north coast of Africa: but
this charge can scarcely be maintained, for the crusade thither
interfered with his schemes against Constantinople, which were resumed
immediately on his return to Europe.

[Sidenote: Gregory X (1272-6).]

But again Charles was destined to meet with a serious check. When at
length the Church obtained a new Pope it was no servile henchman of
Charles who was elected. Gregory X, a Visconti of Piacenza, had spent
his life outside Italy, and was with Edward I of England in Palestine
when he was chosen. He was the first Pope since Honorius III, who set
before himself the promotion of a crusade as his primary object. As an
indispensable prerequisite of this be desired to promote the union of
the Latin and Greek Churches. It was these unselfish objects of his
which enabled him to check both Charles' power and his schemes. There
was a still further point. The fall of the Hohenstaufen had destroyed
the imperial house, and had left the Papacy not only isolated but face
to face with one who was proving himself "a burdensome protector." The
equilibrium of Europe had been seriously shaken. The election of two
rival Kings of the Romans had not helped to restore it. But now
Richard of Cornwall, who had tried to assert his position, was dead,
and Gregory refused to recognise the claims of Alfonso of Castile. But
Louis IX was dead also, and Charles would be likely to influence his
nephew the new King of France more than he had ever influenced his
high-souled brother. It was necessary to find a new King of the Romans
who might be a counterpoise in Europe, and perhaps even in Italy, to
Charles. Thus encouraged and almost coerced by the Pope, the German
princes elected Rudolf Count of Hapsburg (September 1273), a man of
"popular qualities" who was not too powerful.

[Sidenote: Second Council of Lyons.]

The success of the papal policy was to be advertised to Europe in a
second Council of Lyons (May-July, 1274). This was attended by five
hundred bishops and innumerable other clergy. An opportunity was taken
to issue a canon, the object of which was to prevent the recurrence of
the long vacancy in the papal see which had preceded Gregory's
election. It was decreed that ten days after the death of the Pope the
Cardinals should meet and should be confined in one conclave until a
choice had been made. All intercourse with the outside world was
forbidden; the food was to be supplied through a window, the amount of
it being diminished after three days; while a further diminution was
to take place five days later. The duty of supervision was entrusted
to the magistrates of the city in which the election might be held.
Despite the stringent resistance of the Cardinals the canon was passed
with the aid of the bishops; and although it was more than once
suspended, it has continued to direct the procedure at papal elections
to the present day.

[Sidenote: Union of Eastern and Western Churches.]

But the real object of the meeting of the Council was that it should
witness the reconciliation of the Eastern Church with the Western.
More than two centuries earlier (1054) the long jealousy of Rome and
Constantinople had ended in the rupture of communion between the
Christians of West and East; and the Crusades and the Latin Empire of
Constantinople had prevented any real attempt at re-union. But just
now circumstances were favourable. Michael Palaologus, who had
reconquered Constantinople for the Greeks and made himself Emperor,
was in difficulties at home with a section of the clergy, and,
threatened by the designs of Charles of Sicily, he coerced the Greek
clergy into accepting the union with the Western Church, which gave
the only chance of such help as would hold Charles in check. An
embassy of Greeks appeared at Lyons; and although Bonaventura and
Thomas Aquinas were present to argue the case for the Western Church,
no persuasion was needed. The Greeks expressed a readiness to accept
the primacy of Rome, the doctrine that the Holy Ghost proceeded from
both Father and Son (whereas they had maintained His procession from
the Father alone), and all the customs of the Western Church. It
seemed as if at length a crusade were really possible. The chief
sovereigns of Europe had taken the cross, and Gregory had even
persuaded Charles of Sicily and the Greek Emperor to sign a truce.

[Sidenote: Nicholas III (1277-80).]

But it was not to be. Gregory's death (January 10, 1276) undid all his
work. Charles of Sicily alone rejoiced at the vacancy, and made
desperate efforts to secure the nomination to the Papacy again. But
two nominees died in quick succession; and when on the death of John
XXI after a similarly short reign, Charles again interfered, he was
met by the election of Nicholas III of the family of Orsini, who
returned to Rome and spent the three years of his pontificate in
neutralising Charles' power. For this purpose he used the new King of
the Romans. Charles was forced to resign the vicariate of Tuscany,
which was made over to Rudolf. Charles also resigned the senatorship
of Rome which he had held for ten years. To this Nicholas got himself
elected, and issued a decree by which he hoped to make it impossible
for any foreign prince to be elected, or for anyone to hold the post
for more than a year without the papal favour.

[Sidenote: Revival of the Empire.]

But Nicholas was only able to give a German prince once more a footing
in Italy because Rudolf had been effectually barred from reviving the
Hohenstaufen claims. Already at the Council of Lyons the envoys of
Rudolf had appeared and in his name had taken the oaths previously
exacted from Otto IV and Frederick II. Rudolf had subsequently met
Pope Gregory at Lausanne in 1275, and had confirmed the act of his
representatives. Thus Gregory obtained from a crowned German King an
acknowledgment of all the claims advanced by the Papacy since the days
of Charles the Great. Rudolf was too busy ever to visit Rome; but in
negotiations with regard to his coronation as Emperor, Nicholas III
exacted the confirmation of all that was promised to Gregory, and this
included especially the lands of the old Exarchate and the district of
Pentapolis, which had never yet been actually in the hands of papal

[Sidenote: Martin IV (1281-5).]

Dante has banned the memory of Nicholas as the simoniacal Pope. He
certainly used his enormous patronage to enrich his own family. But
his death (August, 1280) nearly proved fatal to the freedom of Europe;
for Charles at length obtained his own nominee to the Papacy in the
person of a Frenchman, Martin IV, who proceeded to hand over to the
King for life the Roman senatorship conferred upon the Pope. All the
work of the preceding Popes was undone. The temporary union of the
Churches was dissolved by the excommunication of the Greek Emperor on
the pretext that he had not carried out his promises; and Charles, who
had obtained a footing in the Greek peninsula and made a league with
Venice, prepared to start on his expedition against Constantinople.
There seemed every prospect of his success.

[Sidenote: Sicilian Vespers]

But Charles' brutality had been imitated by his French officials; and
the rising known as the "Sicilian Vespers" in March, 1282, cleared the
French out of Sicily and finally overthrew all Charles' plans. The
fleet prepared for Constantinople had to be turned against the rebel
islanders. The Pope, thinking to play the game of his royal master,
refused to mediate; the Sicilians thereupon declared that from St.
Peter they would turn for aid to another Peter, and offered the crown
to Peter, King of Aragon, the husband of Manfred's daughter,
Constance, who for some years had welcomed Sicilian refugees at his
court and had been ready for the summons. The Pope deprived Peter of
his hereditary dominions and bestowed them on Charles' great nephew
Charles of Valois, a son of Philip III of France; but the Aragonese
fleet under Roger di Loria defeated Charles' fleet and captured his
son and heir Charles the Lame. On January 7, 1285, Charles himself
died, and was followed to the grave very shortly by Pope Martin IV.
The same year saw also the death of Philip III of France and of Peter
of Aragon. Pope Honorius IV followed the policy of his predecessor,
and to him succeeded Nicholas IV. It was during his pontificate that
the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, the result of the First Crusade, was
finally wiped out by the capture of Acre (1291), and the little stir
made by this event affords a measure of the decay of the crusading

[Sidenote: Celestine V (1294).]

On the death of Nicholas the division among the Cardinals reflecting
the jealousies of the Roman families of Orsini and Colonna, caused a
vacancy in the papal office for more than two years. Then by a sudden
whim, which in the event of a successful result would have been called
an inspiration, the name of a hermit, Peter, whose austerities in his
cell on Monte Murrone in the Abruzzi had won him great reverence, was
suggested apparently in all sincerity to the wearied and perplexed
Cardinals. He was elected and took the title of Celestine V. In
accordance with the desire of Charles II of Naples, he took up his
abode at Naples. But he was utterly unfit for his high office, and
after a pontificate of less than four months (August to December,
1294) he resigned, thus perpetrating that "great refusal" which won
Dante's immortal phrase of scorn. How far his act was due to the
machinations of Cardinal Gaetani is uncertain. At any rate Gaetani had
evidently obtained Charles' sanction beforehand to his own elevation,
which took place ten days later. But the new Pope did not intend that
anyone should be his master. For the moment he and Charles needed each
other, and it was agreed between them that Sicily should be recovered
for Charles, while Celestine should be given into the keeping of his
successor lest he should become a centre for disaffection.

[Sidenote: Boniface VIII (1294-1303).]

Boniface VIII--such was the name of the new Pope--returned to Rome
escorted by Charles II and his son, Charles Martel of Hungary; and his
coronation surpassed that of all previous Popes in magnificence. The
late Pope was soon secured and placed in a tower on the top of a
mountain, where he died in 1296. It was not so easy for Boniface to
fulfil his part of the compact with regard to Sicily. James, the son
of Peter of Aragon, agreed to surrender Sicily on the understanding
that the new Pope would withdraw the award of Aragon made by Martin IV
to a French prince, and confirm it him. But the Sicilians refused to
return to their French ruler and found a champion in James' younger
brother Frederick, who was their Governor. He was crowned King of
Sicily at Palermo in 1296. Charles II was too feeble to make any real
headway against Frederick, and even the title of Standard-bearer of
the Church conferred by the Pope on James of Aragon, did not keep
Frederick's brother permanently on the papal side. In 1301 Boniface
fell back upon the French prince Charles of Valois, to whom Pope
Martin had given Aragon, and sent for him to attack "the new Manfred"
in Sicily. Charles having first failed in an attempt to appease the
Florentine factions, passed on to the south, and here Frederick
ultimately forced him to peace and a recognition of his title as King
of Sicily (1302). At first Boniface would not ratify a peace from
which all reference to Pope or Church had been omitted; but in 1303
circumstances caused him to accept it, though he exacted as a
condition that Frederick should acknowledge himself a papal vassal.
Frederick, however, never paid any tribute.

[Sidenote: Quarrel with Colonnas.]

Boniface held views of the papal power of the most exalted kind. It
was in accordance with these that he once more made Rome the
headquarters of the papacy. But he soon found himself involved in a
quarrel which, purely local in origin, assumed an European importance.
The family of Colonna by favour of Pope Nicholas IV had become one of
the most powerful in Rome and the neighbourhood. The centre of the
family property was the city of Palestrina. Cardinal Jacopo Colonna,
who as the eldest brother administered it, did not distribute it
fairly to his brothers, but rather favoured his nephews, the sons of
his dead brother John who had been Senator of Rome. One of these was
the Cardinal Peter. Uncle and nephew were the most influential members
of the Roman Curia, and as Roman nobles they resented Boniface's
design of humbling the Roman aristocracy. They refused the papal
admonitions to deal justly with the other members of the family; they
withdrew from the papal Court, and having already turned from
Ghibelline to Guelf, they once more became Ghibelline and made an
alliance with Frederick of Sicily. They published a manifesto in which
they refused to recognise Boniface on the ground that Pope Celestine's
abdication had been unlawful. But Celestine was dead and the Colonnas
had voted for his successor. Boniface deposed the Cardinals and
excommunicated them, even declaring a crusade against them! The
struggle centred round Palestrina, and it is said that the Pope
fetched from a Franciscan cloister a once famous Ghibelline general,
Guy of Montefeltro, by whose advice he decoyed the Colonnas out of
their fortress by promises which he did not intend to keep. Palestrina
was levelled to the ground and the Colonnas fled (1298), finding
refuge among the enemies of Boniface and preparing the way for the
final catastrophe.

[Sidenote: Papal Jubilee.]

Boniface, however, had become his own master at home to an extent
attained by none of his predecessors since Innocent III. His reign
reached what may be termed its high-water mark in the Papal Jubilee of
1300. The cessation of the Crusades had largely increased the crowds
of pilgrims to Rome, until in 1299 there awoke an expectation of
special spiritual privileges in connection with the end of the
century. Indulgences had been so freely scattered in attempts to
promote the Crusades that a craving for them had been created.
Boniface recognised the importance of exploiting the popular feeling,
and after a mock enquiry he issued a bull promising generous
indulgences to all who should visit the Churches of SS. Peter and Paul
during the year for so many successive days, and directing that a
similar pilgrimage should be proclaimed every hundredth year. Pilgrims
flocked to Rome; 30,000 are reckoned to have entered and left daily,
while 200,000 were in Rome at any given moment. The amount of the
offerings must have been enormous, and the Ghibellines naturally
declared that the Jubilee had its origin in the papal need for money.
But most of the pilgrims were poor; and even if the size of the crowds
were a just measure of the continued hold of the Roman Church upon the
people of Western Europe, the absence of all the monarchs except
Charles Martel, the claimant of Hungary, was significant. Indeed,
Boniface had already experienced a foretaste of the independent
attitude of the secular princes, which eventually proved fatal to him.
Rudolf of Hapsburg died in 1291, and the German princes, rejecting the
claims of his son Albert, elected Adolf of Nassau as their King. But
Adolf proved less submissive than his electors had hoped to find him.
He was deposed and fell in battle, and Albert was chosen and crowned
without any reference to the Pope--the first occasion on which the
German princes had acted without papal authority. Boniface had already
barred Albert's claims. He now refused to recognise him, declaring
that the Empire owed all its honour and dignity to the papal favour.
Nevertheless, in 1303 circumstances forced him to accept Albert,
especially since Albert was willing in return to confirm all that his
father Rudolf had granted to the Papacy.

[Sidenote: First quarrel with France and England.]

But this quarrel with Germany sinks into insignificance before the
great contest of Boniface with France, with which his English dispute
was also closely connected. The Hohenstaufen had fallen before the
Papacy because their German kingdom and the "German" Empire rested on
no solid foundation. But in his attempts to coerce France and England
into obedience the Pope found himself face to face with two strong
national monarchies. Boniface failed to grasp the position. Edward I
of England and Philip IV of France were engaged in war. Each resorted
to every available method of raising money for the conduct of the war,
and among other ways laid heavy taxes on the clergy. Boniface having
failed to make the Kings submit their quarrels to his judgment, issued
a bull, _Clericis Laicos_ (February, 1296), by which he forbade,
under pain of excommunication, that any prelate or ecclesiastical body
should pay or laymen should exact from the clergy any taxes under any
pretext without papal leave. Edward I met this manifesto by
confiscating the lay fees of all ecclesiastics; while Philip forbade
the export of all money from France, thus depriving the Pope and all
Italian ecclesiastics endowed with French benefices, of the usual
sources of income from France. The English clergy, with the exception
of the Archbishop of Canterbury, made their own arrangements with the
King. But in order to avoid a rupture with France Boniface issued
another bull, _Ineffabilis_, in which he explained that
ecclesiastics were not forbidden to contribute to the needs of the
State; and by subsequent letters he allowed that they might pay taxes
of their own free will, and even that in cases of necessity the King
might take taxes without waiting for the papal leave. He certainly
told his legates to excommunicate the King and his officials if they
should prevent money coming from France; but in order to gain Philip's
favour he granted him the tithe of the French clergy for three years,
he placed Louis IX among the recognised saints of the Church, and he
promised that Philip's brother, Charles of Valois, should be made
German King and Emperor.

Good relations having been established Philip and Edward now agreed to
submit their differences to Boniface. Philip, however, stipulated that
Boniface should act in the matter not as Pope but in a personal
capacity, and the Pope issued his award "as a private person and
Master Benedict Gaetani" (June 30,1298). But the judgment was in the
form of a bull, and ordered that the lands to be surrendered on either
side should be placed in the custody of the papal officers. Philip
could not reject the award; but he determined to prepare for a
conflict which was clearly inevitable. He gave refuge to some members
of the Colonna family, and he made an alliance with Albert of Austria

[Sidenote: Second quarrel with England.]

Meanwhile Boniface began a second quarrel with England. Edward I had
refused the papal offers of mediation on behalf of Scotland. But after
the battle of Falkirk the national representatives of Scotland
appealed to Boniface as suzerain of the kingdom. The Pope wrote to
Edward claiming that from ancient times the kingdom of Scotland had
belonged by full right to the Roman Church, and demanding that Edward
should submit all causes of difference between himself and the Scots
to the Papacy. The English answer was given in a Parliament called for
the purpose to Lincoln (1301), by which a document addressed to the
Pope asserted for the English Kings a right over Scotland from the
first institution of the English kingdom, and denied that Scotland had
ever depended in temporal matters on the Roman Pontiff. Any further
action was prevented by the beginning of the final quarrel between
Boniface and Philip.

[Sidenote: With France.]

The Pope found it necessary to complain frequently of Philip's misuse
of the royal right of regale, and in 1301 relations became so strained
that he sent a legate, Bernard of Saisset, Bishop of Pamiers in the
south of France. But Bernard was arrogant, and on being claimed by
Philip as a subject, he exclaimed that he owned no lord but the Pope.
Since Boniface administered no reproof Philip procured the
condemnation of the Bishop for treason. The Pope in fury issued four
bulls in one day, the most important addressed to Philip and beginning
_Ausculta fili_, in which he asserted that God had set up the
Pope over Kings and kingdoms in order to destroy, to scatter, to build
and to plant in His name and doctrine. Philip caused the bull to be
publicly burnt--"the first flame which consumed a papal bull"--and
called an Assembly of the Estates of the Realm, in which for the first
time the commons were included. The Cardinals, in answering the
remonstrances sent by the nobles and commons, denied that the Pope had
ever told the King that he should be subject in temporal matters to
Rome; and Boniface assured the French clergy that he merely claimed
that the King was subject to him "in respect of sin."

[Sidenote: The final struggle.]

But in July, 1302, the burghers of Flanders inflicted a severe defeat
on the French forces in the battle of Courtray; and the Pope, taking
advantage of Philip's humiliation before Europe, immediately assumed a
more defiant attitude. In a Council at Rome and before the French
envoys, he declared that his predecessors had deposed three Kings of
France and, if necessary, he would depose the King "like a groom"
(_garcio_). He followed this up by issuing the most famous of his
bulls, _Unam Sanctam_, in which he roundly asserted that the
submission of every human creature to Rome was a condition of
salvation. Finally, while on the one side he excommunicated Philip
(April 13, 1303), he hastened to recognise Albert as King of Germany,
and ratified the peace made between Frederick of Sicily and Charles of
Valois. Philip on his side abandoned his Scots allies in order to make
peace with England (May 20, 1303), and called for a second time an
Assembly of the Estates. Before its members the aged Pope was accused
of heresy, murder, and even lust; and the appeal to a General Council
was now adopted by the representatives of the whole French nation. But
it was certain that the excommunication of Philip would be followed by
his deposition; and Philip and his councillors determined to forestall
this. Urged on by the Colonnas the French King conceived the plan of
seizing the person of the Pope and bringing him before a council to be
held at Lyons. Boniface was at his native Anagni, and Philip's
emissaries, in conjunction with many Italian enemies of the Pope,
forced their way into the town and seized the old man (September 3,
1303). He was rescued and taken back to Rome; but the shock of the
attack unhinged his reason and hastened his end. He died on October 11
at the age of eighty-six. His foes described his last days in lurid
colours; but the violent behaviour of his enemies caused strong
disgust throughout Christendom.

To a contemporary, Boniface was "magnanimus peccator," the
great-hearted sinner; while a modern historian describes him as
"devoid of every spiritual virtue." If Canossa was the humiliation for
the Empire which the ecclesiastical annalists describe, in the
pettiness of the stage and the insignificance of the actors Anagni was
an ample revenge of the lay spirit. The Papacy which had worn down the
Empire had dashed itself in vain against the new phenomenon of a
strong national spirit.



[Sidenote: The Eastern Church.]

A history of the Church Universal must needs take some notice of those
Christian communities which never acknowledged the supremacy of Rome.
Chief among these stands the Church of the Eastern Empire where the
Patriarch of Constantinople strove to make himself at least the equal
of the Bishop of Rome. This mutual jealousy of the old and the new
Rome was only one of the causes of quarrel between them, a quarrel
which was fanned from time to time by the appeal of a defeated party
in some ecclesiastical dispute at Constantinople to the Pope. The most
famous of these disputes was that begun by the deposition of the
aristocratic Ignatius from the patriarchate in favour of the learned
Photius. Both Emperor and Patriarch appealed from Constantinople to
Pope Nicholas I; but when that masterful bishop decided against the
new patriarch, Photius used his learning to summarise in eight
articles the differences between east and west. Of these, two
concerned such important matters as the doctrine of the procession of
the Holy Ghost and the practice of clerical celibacy.

[Sidenote: Breach between East and West.]

The schism made by this quarrel was healed for the moment, but for the
first time the points of difference between the two Churches had been
crystallised. The Eastern Emperors, however, who still possessed lands
in the Italian peninsula, felt it to their interest to remain friendly
with the pope, and in 1024 an attempt on the part of Basil II to
adjust the question of dignity by the suggestion that both the
Patriarch and the Pope should assume the title of Universal bishop,
was only defeated by the inextinguishable jealousy of the Western
Church. The presence of the Normans in Southern Italy should have
united Pope and Eastern Emperor against the intruders; but the Greek
Church only saw in the Norman successes a danger lest Southern Italy
should pass from the Greek to the Latin communion, and the Patriarch
Michael Caerularius joined with the Bulgarian Archbishop of Achrida in
publicly warning the inhabitants of Apulia against the errors of the
Latin Church. The one especially noted was the use of unleavened bread
at the Sacrament, with the addition of others of even less importance.
The Emperor Constantine Monomachos strove hard in the interests of
peace and even compelled a literary champion of the Greek Church,
Nicetas Pectoratus, a monk of the monastery of Studium, to repudiate
his own arguments. But the violence of the papal envoys and the
obstinacy of the Patriarch made agreement impossible. Finally the
legates laid upon the altar of St. Sophia's Church a document in which
Michael and all his party were anathematised; and the Patriarch
responded by summoning a Council, which in like manner banned the
Western Church (1054). Not only was Michael's action supported by the
clergy and people of Constantinople, but it was ratified by the
approval of the Patriarchs of Bulgaria and Antioch.

[Sidenote: Attempts at reconciliation.]

Attempts to promote reunion between the Churches were made at
intervals. The danger from the Mohammedans forced the Emperors of the
East to seek help in the West and encouraged the theologians of the
West in their maintenance of a perfectly rigid attitude. These
approaches began with the forced intercourse of the First Crusade, and
in 1098 Urban II held a Council at Bari among the Greeks of Southern

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