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demanding the permission of the Pope for any such levy. This does not mean that the clergy escaped taxation at the hands of the State; it merely means that while the Popes themselves heavily taxed them for purposes which it was often difficult to describe as religious, the price paid by the Crown for leave to tax the clergy was that a large portion of the money should find its way to Rome.

[Sidenote: Tithes from the laity.]

The clergy were not content with this merely negative position. Besides the right of self-taxation, they claimed that the laity should contribute to the needs of the Church. The chief permanent source of such contribution was the tithe, both the lesser tithes on smaller animals, fruits, and vegetables, and the greater tithes on corn, wine, and the larger animals. The Church also claimed tithes of revenues of every kind, even from such divers classes as traders, soldiers, beggars, and abandoned women. Much of the regular tithe had fallen into the hands of laymen by gift from Kings to feudal tenants, or from bishops to nobles and others, in return for military protection. These alienated tithes Gregory VII tried to recover; but his need for the help of the nobles against the Emperor forced him to stay his hand. The third Lateran Council (1179) forbade, on pain of peril to the soul, the transfer of tithes from one layman to another, and deprived of Christian burial any one who, apparently having received such a transfer, should not have made it over to the Church. This was a definite claim for tithes as a right of which the Church had only been deprived by some wrongful act. But in the very next year (1180) Frederick I, at the Diet of Gelnhausen, declared that the alienation of tithes as feudal fiefs to defenders of the Church was perfectly legitimate. Religious scruples, however, seem to have caused the surrender of tithes by many lay impropriators, especially to monasteries.

[Sidenote: Bequests.]

There were many other sources of wealth to the Church. An enormous quantity of property was bequeathed to pious uses by testators. The attendance of the clergy at the death-bed gave them an opportunity of which they were not slow to make use. The bodies of those who died intestate, as of those unconfessed, were denied burial in consecrated ground; all questions concerning wills were heard in the ecclesiastical courts. The civil power attempted to check the freedom of death-bed bequest, especially in Germany, where it was held that a valid will could only be made by one who was still well enough to walk unsupported. Another common source of revenue came from purchases or mortgages or other arrangements made with crusaders, in which advantage was taken of the haste of the lay men to raise funds for their expedition.

[Sidenote: Wealth of the Church.]

From these and other sources the wealth which poured in upon the Church was enormous. Individual gifts in money or in kind as thank-offerings on all sorts of occasions reached no small of the total; while no religious ceremony, from baptism to extreme unction and burial, could be carried out apart from the payment of an appropriate fee. The clergy constantly complained of spoliation, and no doubt individuals suffered much. The very laymen who, with the title of advocates, undertook to defend a cathedral or a monastery were often its worst robbers. But the endowments and revenues of the Church were so extensive as to raise in the minds of many reformers the question whether they were not largely responsible for her corruptions.

[Sidenote: Immunity from lay jurisdiction.]

The clergy also sought freedom from the jurisdiction of the secular courts; in other words, the Church claimed exclusive cognisance in her own tribunals of all matters concerning those in Holy Orders. The _Decretiun_ of Gratian–the text-book of Canon Law–laid it down that in civil matters the clergy were to be brought before a civil judge, but that a criminal charge against a clerk must be heard before the bishop. Urban II, however, declares that all clergy should be subject to the bishop alone, and the Synod of Nimes (1096), at which he presided, stigmatises it as sacrilege to hale clerks or monks before a secular court. Alexander III (1179) threatens to excommunicate any layman guilty of this offence; while Innocent III points out that a clerk is not even at liberty to waive the right of trial in an ecclesiastical court in a matter between him and a layman, because the spiritual jurisdiction is not a matter personal to himself, but belongs to the whole clerical body. Finally Frederick II, on his coronation at Rome in 1220, forbade any one to dare to indict an ecclesiastic on either a civil or a criminal charge before a secular tribunal. But meanwhile the frequent perpetration of violent crimes by those who wore the tonsure made it imperative in the interests of social order that the Church should not be allowed to defend these criminals in order to save her own interests.

The fiercest struggle took place in England. Henry II did not deny the right of the Church to jurisdiction over her members; but he demanded that clerks found guilty of grave crime should be unfrocked by the ecclesiastical court, and that then, being no longer clerks, they should be handed over to the royal officers, by whom they should be punished according to their deserts. Archbishop Thomas Becket answered that it was contrary to justice and the Canon Law that a man should be punished twice for the same offence; that the punishment by the Church involved the offender’s damnation and was therefore quite adequate; and that finally he himself was officially bound to defend the liberties of the Church even to the death. Henry II attempted to solve the difficulty by issuing the Constitutions of Clarendon (1164), the third clause of which decreed that the royal officer should determine whether any matter in which a clerk was concerned should be tried in the secular or the ecclesiastical court, and that even if it went to the latter, the King’s officer should be present at the hearing. As the price, however, of his reconciliation with the Papacy after Becket’s death, Henry was obliged to withdraw the Constitutions.

The position of the Church on this question was clearly stated by Pope Celestine III in 1192. If a clerk had been lawfully convicted of theft, homicide, perjury, or any capital crime, he should be degraded by the ecclesiastical judge; for the next offence he should be punished by excommunication, and for the next by anathema; then, since the Church could do no more, for any subsequent offence he might be handed over to the secular power to be punished by exile or in any other lawful manner. This, of course, was a direct licence to the ill-disposed clergy to commit more crimes than were allowable for a layman; but the laity had to proceed cautiously in opposing it. In 1219 Philip II of France demanded that a clerk who had been degraded should not be protected by the Church from seizure outside ecclesiastical precincts by the royal officers with a view to his trial in a secular court. But here again, both at his coronation as Emperor in 1220 and again in the code of laws drawn up for his kingdom of Sicily in 1231, Frederick II confirmed the privileges of the Church in the matter of jurisdiction. On the latter occasion, however, he did reserve cases of high treason for the royal court. Almost the only immediate effect of these protests on the part of the State was that Popes and Councils enjoined on the ecclesiastical courts greater severity of treatment of offenders, even to the extent of perpetual imprisonment in the case of those whom the lay tribunals would have condemned to death.

[Sidenote: Increase of ecclesiastical jurisdiction.]

But this exclusive jurisdiction in all matters that concerned her own members was only a part of the authority claimed and exercised by the Church in the sphere of justice. Synods of the clergy did not hesitate to take part in the enforcement of civil law and order, and threatened with severe ecclesiastical penalties all who did not observe the Truce of God, or who were guilty of piracy, incendiarism, or false coining. At one time they attempted thus to suppress usury and trial by ordeal, which at other times they allowed. They even legislated against tournaments and against the use of certain deadly weapons in battle by one Christian nation against another. But apart from the special circumstances which called out and so justified the legislation, the Church claimed at all times jurisdiction over certain classes of lay persons and in certain categories of cases. Thus all persons needing protection, such as widows, minors, and orphans, came under the cognisance of the ecclesiastical courts, and to these the Popes added Crusaders. Furthermore, all cases which could be regarded as in any way involving a possible breach of faith were also claimed as belonging to the jurisdiction of the Church, and these included everything concerning oaths, marriages, and wills. Naturally the Church had cognisance of all cases of sacrilege and heresy. These excuses for interference in the transactions of daily life were susceptible of almost indefinite extension, especially since the Church asserted a right to hear cases of all sorts in her courts on appeal on a plea that civil justice had failed. Even so stout a champion of the Church as St. Bernard complains bitterly that all this participation in worldly matters tends to stand between the clergy and their proper duties. The secular powers constantly protested. Even when Alfonso X in his legal code allowed that all suits arising from sins should go to ecclesiastical courts, the Cortes of Castile constantly protested. The chief attempts to check the growth of ecclesiastical jurisdiction were made in France. Even under Louis IX the barons combined to resist the encroachments of the Church, and resolved that “no clerk or layman should in future indict any one before an ecclesiastical judge except for heresy, marriage, or usury, on pain of loss of possessions and mutilation of a limb, in order that,” they add with a justifiable touch of malice, “our jurisdiction may be revived, and they [the clergy] who have hitherto been enriched by our pauperisation may be reduced to the condition of the primitive Church, and living the contemplative life they may, as is seemly, show to us who spend an active life miracles which for a long time have disappeared from the world.”

[Sidenote: Simony.]

The result, then, of the efforts of the Church reformers to free the Church from the State had been an enormous increase in the power of the Church. But these efforts were in the beginning only a means to an end, and that end was the purification of the Church itself. We have, therefore, to ask how far the attempts to get rid of simony and to enforce the celibacy of the clergy had met with permanent success. Before the movement in favour of reform the traffic in churches and Church property was indulged in by laity and clergy alike. Not only Kings and nobles but bishops and abbots received payments from those who accepted ecclesiastical preferment at their hands, and were by no means always careful that ecclesiastical offices were acquired by those in Holy Orders. Church property, in fact, was treated by those who represented the original donors as if it were the private property of the patron. The reform movement of the eleventh century, at any rate, succeeded in making a distinction between the right of ownership and the right of presentation, and in limiting the power of the patron to the latter. Beyond this nothing much was permanently effected in checking the traffic in things ecclesiastical. Preferment continued to be used as patronage: offices and dignities in the Church were given to children, and preferments were accumulated upon individuals until pluralities became a standing grievance. Councils and Popes still thundered against simony, but with the extending authority of Rome the staff of the papal curia was increased, and the traffic in things ecclesiastical at Rome was notorious.

[Sidenote: Clerical marriage.]

The efforts of the reformers in checking clerical marriage had not been much more successful. The law now stood as follows: the first two Lateran Councils (1123, 1139) prohibited matrimony to priests, deacons, and sub-deacons; but to those only in one of the three minor orders of the Church it was still allowed, although Alexander III ultimately decreed that marriage should cause them to forfeit their benefice. It was some time, however, before these decrees could be enforced, and even the Popes found themselves compelled to deal leniently with offending clergy. Thus Pascal II allowed to Archbishop Anselm that a married priest not only might, but must, if applied to, minister to a dying person. Attempts were made to forbid ordination to the sons of priests, at least as secular clergy, but such regulations were constantly relaxed or ignored. Pascal II actually allowed that in Spain, where clerical marriage had been lawful, the children should be eligible for all secular and ecclesiastical preferment. In the remoter countries of Europe–the Scandinavian lands, Bohemia, Hungary, Poland–the decrees against clerical marriage were not accepted until far into the thirteenth century. Even in part of Germany, notably the diocese of Liege, the clergy continued openly to marry until the same century. But even in countries where the principle was nominally accepted it triumphed at the expense of morality. For example, in England the decree was published in Council after Council throughout the twelfth century and was undoubtedly accepted as the law. But in 1129, after the death of Anselm, who had opposed the expedient, Henry I imprisoned the “house-keepers” of the clergy in London in order to obtain a sum of money by their release. Furthermore, both in England and elsewhere, bishops finding it impossible to enforce the decree, frankly licensed the breach of it by individual clergy in return for an annual payment. It is interesting to note that several important writers of the age speak with studied moderation on this question. The great lawyer Gratian admits that in the earlier period of the Church marriage was allowed to the clergy. The Parisian theologian, Peter Comestor, publicly taught that the enforcement of the vow of celibacy on the clergy was a deliberate snare of the devil. The English historians, Henry of Huntingdon, Matthew Paris, and Thomas of Walsingham, speak with disapproval of the attempts to enforce it, and even St. Thomas Aquinas holds that the celibacy of the secular clergy was a matter of merely human regulation. Thus the protest of the reformers of the eleventh century in favour of purity of life among the clergy had met with the smallest possible success, but like all such protests, it helped to keep alive the idea of a higher standard of personal and official life until such time as secular circumstances were more favourable.

CHAPTER V

CANONS AND MONKS

[Sidenote: Secular canons.]

So far, in speaking of the attempted purification of the Church in the eleventh century, we have dealt merely with the bishops and the parochial clergy. But a movement which emanated from the monasteries had a message also for those ecclesiastics who were gathered into corporate bodies, and whom we have learnt to distinguish respectively as canons and monks. Of these the canons were reckoned among the secular clergy; for although they were supposed to live a common life according to a certain rule, their duties were parochial, and they were not bound for life to the community of which they were members. The body of canons was called a chapter, and of chapters there were two kinds–the cathedral chapter, whose members served the Mother Church of the diocese, and, as we have seen, ultimately obtained the nominal right of electing the bishop; and the collegiate chapter, generally, though not always, to be found in towns which had no cathedral, the members of which, like those of a modern clergy-house, served the church or churches of the town. In the eighth century these communities were subjected to a rule drawn up by Chrodegang, Bishop of Metz, in accordance with which they were required to sleep in a common dormitory, feed at a common table, and assimilate themselves as far as possible to monks. But in the two succeeding centuries there was no class of clergy which fell so far from the ideal as the capitular clergy. They were important and they were wealthy, for the cathedral chapters claimed to share with the bishop in the administration of the diocese, and both kinds of chapters owned extensive lands. In some of the more important chapters great feudal nobles had obtained for themselves the titular offices; in nearly all such bodies some, if not most or even all, of the canonries came to be reserved for younger members of the noble families. The common property was divided into shares, between the bishop and the body of the canons and between the individual canons: many of the canons employed vicars to do their clerical duty, and some even lived on the estates of the capitular body, leading the existence of a lay noble. Even those who remained on the spot had houses of their own round the cloister, where they lived with their wives and children, using the common refectory only for an occasional festival.

[Sidenote: Canons Regular.]

Thus no body of ecclesiastics stood in need of thorough reform more than the capitular clergy, and no class proved so hard to deal with. Attempts to substitute Cluniac monks for canons roused the opposition of the whole body of secular clergy. More successful to a small degree was the plan of Bishop Ivo of Chartres and others to revive among the capitular bodies the rule of common life. But it was difficult to pour new wine into old bottles, and the reformers found it more profitable to leave the old capitular bodies severely alone, and to devote their efforts to the foundation of new communities. To these were applied from the very first a new rule for which its advocates claimed the authority of St. Augustine. It laid upon the members vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and placed them under an abbot elected by the community of canons. Such was the origin of the Augustinian or Austin Canons, who came to be distinguished as Regular Canons, and are to be reckoned with monastic bodies, in comparison with the old cathedral and collegiate chapters, who were henceforth known as Secular Canons. These bodies of clergy, who combined parochial duties with what was practically a monastic life, became exceedingly popular; and by degrees not only were Secular Canons of collegiate churches, and even of some cathedrals, transformed into Regular Canons, but even some monastic houses were handed over to them. Instead of existing as isolated bodies, like the old Benedictines, they took the Cluniac model of organisation and formed congregations of houses grouped round some one or other of those which formed models for the rest. Of these congregations of Regular Canons the most celebrated were those of the Victorines and the Premonstratensians.

[Sidenote: Victorines.]

The abbey of St. Victor at Paris was founded in 1113 by William of Champeaux, afterwards Bishop of Chalons. The Order came to consist of about forty houses, and its members strove to keep the Augustinian ideal of a parochial and monastic life. But the chief fame of the abbey itself comes from its scholastic work, and it became known both as the stronghold of a somewhat rigid orthodoxy and as the home of a mystical theology which was developed among its own teachers.

[Sidenote: Premonstratensians.]

But by far the most important congregation of Canons Regular was that of the Premonstratensians. Their founder, Norbert, a German of noble birth, in response to a sudden conversion, gave up several canonries of the older kind with which he was endowed; but finding that a prophet has no honour in his own country, he preached in France with astonishing success, and ultimately, under the patronage of the Bishop of Laon in 1120, he settled with a few companions in a waste place in a forest, where he established a community of Regular Canons and gave to the spot the name of _Premontre–pratum monstratum–_the meadow which had been pointed out to him by an angel. Almost from its foundation the Premonstratensian Order admitted women as well as men, and at first the two sexes lived in separate houses planted side by side. The Order also began the idea of affiliating to itself, under the form of a third class, influential laymen who would help in its work. The Premonstratensian houses assimilated themselves to monastic communities more than did the Victorines: their work was missionary rather than parochial. The Order spread with great rapidity not only in Western Europe, but, even in its founder’s lifetime, to Syria and Palestine, and for purposes of administration it came to be divided into thirty provinces.

[Sidenote: St. Norbert in Germany.]

Meanwhile Norbert had come under the notice of the Emperor Lothair II, who forced him into the archbishopric of Magdeburg. Here he substituted Premonstratensians in a collegiate chapter for canons of the older kind, and he eagerly backed up Lothair’s policy of extending German influence upon the north-eastern frontier by planting Premonstratensian houses as missionary centres and by founding new bishoprics. Norbert, in fact became Lothair’s chief adviser and was an European influence second only to that of St. Bernard in all the questions of the day.

[Sidenote: Knights Templars.]

It was upon the model of the Canons Regular that the great military Orders of the religious were organised. In the year 1118 a Burgundian knight, Hugh de Payens, with eight other knights, founded at Jerusalem an association for the protection of distressed pilgrims in Palestine. From their residence near Solomon’s Temple they came to be known as the Knights of the Temple. They remained a small and poor body until St. Bernard who was nephew to one of the knights, took them under his patronage and drew up for them a code of regulations which obtained the sanction of Honorius II at the Council of Troyes in 1128. From that moment the prosperity of the Templars was assured. Their numbers increased, and lands and other endowments were showered upon them in all parts of Europe. As monks they were under the triple vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and the regulations of the Order which governed their daily life were among the most severe. As knights it was their duty to maintain war against the Saracens. For administrative purposes the possessions of the Order were grouped in ten provinces, each province being further subdivided into preceptories or commanderies, and each of these into still smaller units. Each division and subdivision had its own periodical chapter of members for settling its concerns, and at the head of the whole Order stood the Grand Master with a staff of officers who formed the general chapter and acted as a restraint upon the conduct of their head. In addition to the knights the Order contained chaplains for the ecclesiastical duties, and serving brethren of humble birth to help the knights in warfare. Their possessions in Western Europe were used as recruiting-grounds for their forces in the East; but it was only in towns of some importance that they erected churches on the model of the Holy Sepulchre in connection with their houses.

[Sidenote: Knights Hospitallers.]

The Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem was a reorganisation of a hospital dedicated to St. John the Baptist. This had been erected for poor pilgrims by the merchants of Amalfi before the Crusades began. But it remained merely a charitable brotherhood living under a monastic rule and attracting both men and endowments, until the example of the Templars caused the then master, Raymond du Puy, to obtain papal sanction some time before 1130 for a rule which added military duties without superseding the original object of the Order. Their possessions were divided into eight provinces with subdivisions of grand priories and commanderies, and the other administrative arrangements differed in little, except occasionally in name, from those of the Templars.

[Sidenote: Privileges of the military Orders.]

Both these Orders obtained not only extensive possessions from the pious, but wide privileges from the Pope. They were subject to the spiritual jurisdiction of the Pope alone; they could consecrate churches and cemeteries on their own lands without any interference of the local clergy; they could hold divine service everywhere. Interdicts and excommunications had no terrors or even inconveniences for them. They were free from payment of tithes and other imposts levied on the clergy. There is no doubt that but for these Orders the Crusaders would have fared far worse than they did. The Templars and Hospitallers were the one really reliable element in the crusading forces. This is no very high praise, and their effectiveness was largely discounted by their bitter quarrels with each other and with the local authorities, both secular and ecclesiastical, alike in the east and the west. They scandalously abused the extensive privileges accorded to them, by such acts as the administration of the Sacrament to excommunicated persons, to whom they would also give Christian burial. In 1179, at the second Lateran Council, Alexander III was moved by the universal complaints to denounce their irresponsible defiance of all ecclesiastical law, and subsequent Popes were obliged to speak with equal vigour. After the destruction of the Latin power in Palestine (1291) the Hospitallers transferred their head-quarters to Cyprus till 1309, then to Rhodes, and finally to Malta. The Templars abandoned their _raison d’etre_, retired to their possessions in the west, and placed their head-quarters at Paris, where they acted as the bankers of the French King. Their wealth provoked jealousy: they were accused of numberless and nameless crimes, and their enemies brought about their fall, first in France, then in England, and finally the abolition of the Order by papal decree in 1313. Such of their wealth as escaped the hands of the lay authorities went to swell the possessions of the Hospitallers.

[Sidenote: Teutonic Knights.]

There were many other Orders of soldier-monks besides these two. The best known are the Teutonic Knights, who originated during the Third Crusade at the siege of Acre (1190) in an association of North German Crusaders for the care of the sick and wounded. The Knights of the German Hospital of St. Mary the Virgin at Jerusalem–for such was their full title–gained powerful influence in Palestine; their Order was confirmed by Pope Celestine III (1191-8), and in 1220 Honorius III gave them the same privileges as were enjoyed by the Hospitallers and Templars. Their organisation was similar to that of the older Orders. Their prosperity was chiefly due to the third Grand Master, Herman von Salza, the good genius of the Emperor Frederick II, and a great power in Europe. Under him the Order transferred itself to the shores of the Baltic, where it carried on a crusade against the heathen Prussians, and here it united in 1237 with another knightly Order, the Brethren of the Sword, which had been founded in 1202 by the Bishop of Livonia for similar work against the heathen inhabitants of that country.

[Sidenote: Other military Orders.]

The Knights of the Hospital of St. Thomas of Acre was a small English Order named after Thomas Becket and founded in the thirteenth century. They, together with those already mentioned as founded for work in Palestine, belonged to the Canons Regular. For convenience, however, mention should be made here of the great Spanish Orders which were affiliated to the Cistercian monks. These were founded in imitation of the Templars and Hospitallers for similar work against the Saracens of the Peninsula. The Order of Calatrava, founded by a Cistercian abbot when that city was threatened by the Saracens in 1158, and the Order of St. Julian, founded about the same time, which ultimately took its name from the captured fortress of Alcantara, were amenable to the complete monastic rule; while the Portuguese Order of Evora or Avisa, founded a few years later, was assimilated rather to the lay brethren of the Cistercians, and its members could marry and hold property. There was one of the Spanish Orders, however, which was not connected with the Cistercians. The Knights of St. James of Compostella originated in 1161 for the protection of pilgrims to the shrine of Compostella. Their rule was confirmed by Alexander III in 1175, and the Order of Santiago became the most famous of the military Orders in the Peninsula.

[Sidenote: New Monastic Orders.]

The revival and reorganisation of the common life among cathedral and collegiate bodies roused the jealousy of the monastic houses. The absolute superiority of the monastic life over any other was an article of faith to which the obvious interests of the monks could allow no qualification; and the close imitation of the monastic model adopted by the Regular Canons was sufficient proof that the Church generally acquiesced in this view. The great reform movement of the eleventh century had emanated from the monks of Cluny; but just as the degradation of the monastic ideal by the Benedictines had called into existence the Order of Cluny with its reformed Benedictine rule, so now the failure of the Cluniacs to live up to the expectations and to minister to the needs of the most fervent religious spirits caused the foundation of a number of new Orders. In each such case the founder and his first followers strove, by the austerities of their personal lives and by the severity of the rule which they enjoined, to embody and to maintain at the highest level that ideal of contemplative asceticism which was the object of the monastic life. Such was the origin of the Order of Grammont (1074) and of Fontevraud (1094) and of the better known Orders of the Carthusians (1084) and the Cistercians (1098).

[Sidenote: Grammont.]

Thus Stephen, the founder of the Order of Grammont, was the son of a noble of Auvergne, who, in the course of a journey in Calabria, was so impressed by the life or the hermits with which the mountainous districts abounded, that he resolved to reproduce it, and lived for fifty years near Limoges, subjecting himself to such rigorous devotional exercises that his knees became quite hard and his nose permanently bent! Gregory VII sanctioned the formation of an Order, but Stephen and his first followers called themselves simply _boni homines_. After his death the monastery was removed to Grammont close by, and a severe rule continued to be practised; but the management of the concerns of the house was in the hands, not of the monks, but of lay brethren, who began even to interfere in spiritual matters, and the Order ceased to spread.

[Sidenote: Carthusians.]

The founder of the Carthusians, Bruno, a native of Koln, but master of the Cathedral school at Rheims, also took the eremitic life as his model for the individual. To this end he planted his monastery near Grenoble, in the wild solitude of the Chartreuse, which gave its name to the whole Order and to each individual house. In addition to a very rigorous form of asceticism his rule imposed on the members an almost perpetual silence. The centre of the life of the Carthusian monk was not the cloister, but the cell which to each individual was, except on Sundays and festivals, at the same time chapel, dormitory, refectory, and study. The Carthusian rule has been described as “Cenobitism reduced to its simplest expression”; but despite the growing wealth of the Order, the rigour of the life was well maintained, and of all the monastic bodies it was the least subjected to criticism and satire.

[Sidenote: Fontevraud.]

A different type of founder is represented by Robert of Arbrissel, in Brittany, who, although he attracted disciples by the severity of his life as a hermit, was really a great popular preacher, whose words soon came to be attested by miracles. He was especially effective in dealing with fallen women, and the monastery which he established at Fontevraud, in the diocese of Poitiers, was a double house, men and women living in two adjacent cloisters; but the monks were little more than the chaplains and the managers of the monastic revenues, and at the head of the whole house and Order the founder placed an Abbess as his successor. The rule of this Order imposed on the female members absolute silence except in the chapter-house.

[Sidenote: Cluniac Congregation.]

The foundation of these Orders, greater or less, did not exhaust the impetus in favour of monasticism. Single houses and smaller Orders were founded during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, of which many attained a merely local importance. The common feature of the great Orders was that each of them formed a Congregation, that is to say, an aggregate of numerous houses scattered over many lands, but following the same rule and acknowledging some sort of allegiance to the original home of the Order. The invention of this model was due to Cluny, although even among the Cluniacs the organisation of the Congregation, with its system of visiting inspectors who reported on the condition of the monasteries to an annual Chapter-General meeting at Cluny, was not completed until the thirteenth century. From the first, however, the Abbot of Cluny was a despot; with the exception of the heads of some monasteries which became affiliated to the Order he was the only abbot, the ruler of the Cluniac house being merely a prior. All the early abbots were men of mark, who were afterwards canonised by the Church. The fourth abbot refused the Papacy; but Gregory VII, Urban II, and Pascal II were all Cluniac monks. The real greatness of the Order was due to its fifth and sixth abbots, Odilo who ruled from 994 to 1049, and Hugh who held the reins of office for an even longer period (1049-1109); while the fame of the Order culminated under Peter the Venerable, the contemporary of St. Bernard.

[Sidenote: Its decay.]

But the history of the abbot who came between Hugh and Peter shows the strange vicissitudes to which even the greatest monasteries might be subjected. Pontius was godson of Pope Pascal II, who sent to the newly elected abbot his own dalmatic. Calixtus II visited Cluny, and while reaffirming the privileges granted by his predecessors, such as the freedom of Cluniac houses from visitation by the local bishop, he made the Abbot of Cluny _ex officio_ a Cardinal of the Roman Church, and allowed that when the rest of the land was under an interdict the monks of Cluny might celebrate Mass within the closed doors of their chapels. But as a consequence of these distinctions Pontius’ conduct became so unbearable as to cause loud complaints from ecclesiastics of every rank. Ultimately the Pope intervened and persuaded Pontius to resign the abbacy and to make a pilgrimage to Palestine. Meanwhile another abbot was appointed. But Pontius returned, gathered an armed band, and got forcible possession of Cluny, which he proceeded to despoil. Again the Pope, Honorius II, interfered, and Pontius was disposed of.

[Sidenote: Criticism of St. Bernard.]

But such an episode was only too characteristic of the decay which seemed inevitably to fall on each of the monastic Orders. The wealth and privileges of Cluny made its failure all the more conspicuous. A few years after the expulsion of Pontius, St. Bernard wrote to the Abbot of the Cluniac house of St. Thierry a so-called apology, which, while professing a great regard for the Cluniacs Order and pretending to criticise the deficiencies of his own Cistercians, is in reality a scathing attack upon the lapse of the former from the Benedictine rule. He attacks their neglect of manual work and of the rule of silence; their elaborate cookery and nice taste in wines; their interest in the cut and material of their clothes and the luxury of their bed coverlets: the extravagance of the furniture in their chapels, and even the grotesque architecture of their buildings. He especially censures the magnificent state in which the abbots live and with which they travel about, and he declares himself emphatically against that exemption of monasteries from episcopal control which was one of the most prized privileges of the Cluniac Order. Something may perhaps be allowed for exaggeration in this attack; but that there was no serious overstatement is clear from the letters written some years later by Peter the Venerable to St. Bernard, in answer to the accusations made by the Cistercians in general. He justifies the departure from the strict Benedictine rule partly on the ground of its severity, partly because of its unsuitability to the climate; but his defence clearly shows how far, even under so admirable a ruler, the Cluniacs had fallen away from the monastic ideal.

[Sidenote: Cistercians.]

The Cistercian Order, no less than the Orders already mentioned, owed its origin to the desire to revive the primitive monastic rule from which the Cluniacs had fallen away. The wonderful success which it met with made it the chief rival of that Order. The parent monastery of Citeaux, near Dijon, was founded by Robert of Molesme in 1098 under the patronage of the Duke of Burgundy. But the monks kept the rule of St. Benedict in the strictest manner, and their numbers remained small. In 1113, however, they were joined by the youthful Bernard, the son of a Burgundian knight, together with about thirty friends of like mind, whom he had already collected with a view to the cloister life. At once expansion became not only possible but necessary, and the abbot of the day, Stephen Harding, by birth an Englishman from Sherborne in Dorsetshire, sent out four colonies in succession, which founded the abbeys of La Ferte (1113), Pontigny (1114), Clairvaux and Morimond (1115). The first general chapter of the Order was held in 1116: the scheme of organisation drawn up by Stephen Harding was embodied in _Carta Caritatis_, the Charter of Love, and received the papal sanction in 1119. By the middle of the century (1151) more than five hundred monasteries were represented at the general chapter, and despite the resolution to admit no more houses, the number continued to increase until the whole Order must have contained upwards of two thousand.

[Sidenote: Mode of life.]

The entire organisation of the Cistercian Order made it a strong contrast to the Cluniacs, both in the mode of life of its members and in the method of government. The Cluniacs had become wealthy and luxurious: their black dress, the symbol of humility, had become rather a mark of hypocrisy. In order to guard against these snares the Cistercians, to the wrath of the other monastic Orders, adopted a white habit indicative of the joy which should attend devotion to God’s service. Their monasteries, all dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, were built in lonely places, where they would have no opportunity to engage in parochial work. This indeed was strictly forbidden them as detracting from the contemplative life which should be the ideal of the Cistercian. For the same reason they were forbidden to accept gifts of churches or tithes. The monastic buildings, including the chapel, were to be of the simplest description, without paintings, sculpture, or stained glass; and the ritual used at the services was in keeping with this bareness. The arrangements of the refectory and the dormitory were equally meagre. Hard manual work, strict silence, and one daily meal gave the inmates every opportunity of conquering their bodily appetites.

[Sidenote: Organisation.]

The method of government adopted for the Cistercian Order is also a contrast by imitation of the Cluniac arrangements. It was an essential point that a Cistercian house should be subject to the bishop of the diocese in which it was situated. The episcopal leave was asked before a house was founded, and a Cistercian abbot took an oath of obedience to the local bishop. The actual organisation of the whole Order may be described as aristocratic in contrast with the despotism of the Abbot of Cluny. The Abbot of Citeaux was subject to the visitation and correction of the abbots of the four daughter houses mentioned above, while he in turn visited them; and each of them kept a similar surveillance over the houses which had sprung from their houses. In addition to this scheme of inspection, an annual general chapter met at Citeaux. The abbots of all the houses in France, Germany, and Italy were expected to appear every year; but from remoter lands attendance was demanded only once in three, four, five, or even seven years.

[Sidenote: Decay.]

The Cistercians certainly wrested the lead of the monastic world from Cluny, and until the advent of the Friars no other Order rivalled them in popularity. But no more than any other Order were they exempt from the evils of popularity. The very deserts in which they placed themselves for protection, and the agricultural work with which they occupied their hands, brought them the corrupting wealth; in England they were the owners of the largest flocks of sheep which produced the raw material for the staple trade of the country. They accepted ecclesiastical dignities; they became luxurious and magnificent in their manner of life; they strove for independence of the ecclesiastical authorities, until in the middle of the thirteenth century one of their own abbots quotes against them the saying that “among the monks of the Cistercian Order whatever is pleasing is lawful, whatever is lawful is possible, whatever is possible is done.”

[Sidenote: Grant of privileges.]

This degeneracy of the monastic Orders was due in no small measure to the policy of the Papacy. The monasteries, in their desire to shake themselves free from the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese, appealed to Rome; and the Pope, in pursuit of his policy of superseding the local authorities, encouraged the monks to regard themselves as a kind of papal militia. Thus from the time of Gregory VII, at all events, all kinds of exemptions and privileges were granted to the monastic communities in general and to the abbots of the greater houses in particular. Exemption from the visitation of the local bishop was one of the most frequent grants, until the great Orders became too powerful to be afraid of any interference. This carried with it the right of jurisdiction by the abbot and general chapter over all churches to which the monastic body had the right of presentation. This was an increasingly serious matter, for pious donors were constantly bequeathing churches and tithes to favourite Orders and popular houses, and the abbot attempted with considerable success to usurp the definitely episcopal authority by instituting the parish priest. Nor was this the only matter in which the abbot substituted himself for the bishop. The monastic community might build a church without any reference to the local ecclesiastical authority, and the abbot might consecrate it and any altar in it. It is true that if any monk of the house or secular clergyman serving one of the churches in the gift of the house desired ordination to any step in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the abbot was limited to choosing a bishop who might be asked to perform the duty; but in the course of the thirteenth century, in some cases at least, the Popes gave to certain abbots the privilege of advancing candidates to the minor Orders. Probably Gregory VII began the grants of insignia which marked the episcopal office to abbots of important houses. The Abbot of St. Maximin in Trier certainly obtained from him permission to wear a mitre and episcopal gloves. Urban II granted to the Abbot of Cluny the right to appear in a dalmatic with a mitre and episcopal sandals and gloves.

[Sidenote: Forged claims.]

What could be gained by favour could also be obtained by payment or claimed by forgery. The expenses of the Roman Curia increased; the monastic Orders were wealthy. Moreover, the critical faculty was slightly developed. Certain monasteries became notorious for the manufacture of documents in their own favour, St. Augustine’s at Canterbury being especially bad offenders; and certain individuals from time to time supplied such material to all monasteries which would pay for them; while, finally, in return for well-bestowed gifts, the Roman Curia was often willing to recognise the authenticity of a spurious claim.

CHAPTER VI

ST. BERNARD

[Sidenote: Honorius II.]

Calixtus II died in December, 1124, and in a few months (May, 1125) Henry V followed him to the grave. The imperial party at Rome had disappeared, but, on the other hand, Calixtus had established only a truce between the Roman factions. The Frangipani and Pierleoni families each nominated a successor to him, but the former forcibly placed their candidate in the papal chair. The six years of the pontificate of Honorius II (1124-30) are unimportant.

[Sidenote: Lothair II.]

It was perhaps fortunate for the Papacy that the allegiance of Germany was also divided. With Henry V expired the male line of the Salian or Franconian House. He had intended to secure the succession for his nephew, Frederick the One-eyed, Duke of Suabia and head of the family of Hohenstaufen. But the anti-Franconian party procured the election of Lothair, Duke of Saxony, who had built up for himself a practically independent territorial power on the north-eastern side of Germany, and had taken a prominent part in opposition to Henry V.

[Sidenote: Lothair and the Concordat.]

Lothair’s election, then, was a triumph for the Papacy, and the Church party could not let pass so good an opportunity of revising the relations of State and Church in Germany. They had maintained from the first that the Concordat of Worms was a personal arrangement between Calixtus II and Henry V. But the exact nature of Lothair’s promise on election is a matter of great dispute. According to the account of an anonymous writer, he undertook that the Church should exercise entire freedom in episcopal elections without being controlled, “as formerly” (an obvious reference to the Concordat of Worms), by the presence of the lay power or by a recommendation from it, and that after the consecration (not before, according to the terms of the Concordat) the Emperor should, without any payment, invest the prelate with the regalia by the sceptre and should receive his oath of fealty “saving his Order.” Lothair’s actual conduct, however, in the matter of appointments seems to have been guided by the terms of the Concordat.

[Sidenote: Lothair and the Hohenstaufen.]

Frederick of Hohenstaufen did homage with the rest of the nobles to Lothair, but not unnaturally Lothair distrusted him. Frederick was heir to all the allodial possessions of the late Emperor; but Lothair persuaded to a decision which would have deprived Frederick of a large portion of these, and thus have rendered him and his house practically innocuous. When Frederick refused to accept this decision he was put to the ban of the Empire. The Hohenstaufen party challenged Lothair’s title to the throne, and put up as their candidate Frederick’s younger brother Conrad, Duke of Franconia, who, having been absent in Palestine, had never done homage to Lothair. Conrad was crowned King in Italy, but he was excommunicated by Pope Honorius, and neither in Germany nor in Italy did the Hohenstaufen cause advance.

[Sidenote: Schism in the Papacy.]

Meanwhile a crisis at Rome quite overshadowed the German disputes. Honorius II died in February, 1130. Immediately the party of the Frangipani, who had stood around him, met and proclaimed a successor as Innocent II. This was irregular, and in any case the act was that of a minority of the Cardinals. It must have been, therefore, with some confidence in the justice of their cause that the opposition party met at a later hour, and by the votes of a majority of the College of Cardinals elected the Cardinal Peter Leonis, the grandson of a converted Jew and formerly a monk of Cluny, as Anacletus II. There was no question of principle at stake; it was a mere struggle of factions. The partisans of Innocent charged Anacletus with the most heinous crimes. Clearly he was ambitious and able, wealthy and unscrupulous. Moreover, for the moment he was successful. By whatever means, he gradually won the whole of Rome; and Innocent, deserted, made his way by Pisa and Genoa to Burgundy, and so to France. His reception by the Abbey of Cluny was a great strength to his cause, and he there consecrated the new church, which had been forty years in building and was larger than any church yet erected in France. In order that the schism in the Papacy should not be reproduced in every bishopric and abbey of his kingdom, Louis VI of France summoned a Council at Etampes, near Paris, which should decide between the respective merits of the rival Popes.

[Sidenote: Bernard of Clairvaux.]

To this Council a special invitation was sent to the great monk who for the next twenty years dominates the Western Church and completely over-shadows the contemporary Popes. We have of seen that it was the advent of Bernard and his large party at the monastery of Citeaux in 1113 that saved the newly founded Order from premature collapse. Although only twenty-four years of age, Bernard was entrusted with the third of the parties sent forth in succession to seek new homes for the Order, and he and his twelve companions settled in a gloomy valley in the northernmost corner of Burgundy, which was henceforth to be known as Clairvaux. Here the hardships suffered by the monks in their maintenance of the strict Benedictine rule and the entire mastery over his bodily senses obtained by their young abbot built up a reputation which reacted on the whole body of the Cistercians, and soon made them the most revered and widespread of all the monastic Orders. Bernard himself became the unconscious worker of many miracles: he was the friend and adviser of great potentates in Church and State, and without the least effort on his own part he was gradually acquiring a position as the arbiter of Christendom.

[Sidenote: Acceptance of Innocent II.]

As yet he had confined his interferences in secular matters to the kingdom of France and some of its great fiefs; he had rebuked the King of France for persecution of two bishops; he had remonstrated with the Count of Champagne for cruelty to a vassal. Now he was called upon to intervene for the first time in a matter of European importance. The whole question of the papal election was submitted to his judgment, and his clear decision in favour of Innocent carried the allegiance of France. Advocates of Innocent could not base his claims on legal right, and Bernard led the way in asserting his superiority in personal merit over his rival. At Chartres Innocent met Henry I of England and Normandy, and again it was Bernard’s eloquence which won Henry’s adhesion. A Synod of German clergy at Wurzburg acknowledged Innocent, and Lothair accepted the decision. But when Innocent met the German King at Liege in March, 1131, fortunately for the Pope Bernard was still by his side. It is true that Lothair stooped to play the part of papal groom, which had been played only by Conrad, the rebellious son of Henry IV; that he and his wife were both crowned by the Pope in the cathedral; and that he promised to lead the Pope back to Rome. But in return for his services Lothair tried to use his opportunity for going back upon the Concordat and claiming the restoration of the right of investiture. Bernard, however, came to the help of the Pope, and, backed by the general indignation and alarm at the meanness of Lothair’s conduct, forced the Emperor to withdraw his demands. Innocent spent some time longer in France, among other places visiting Clairvaux, where the hard life of the inmates filled him and his Italian followers with astonishment.

Throughout these wanderings since the Council of Etampes Bernard had been the constant companion of the Pope, and had ultimately become not merely his most trusted but practically his only counsellor. As a matter of form questions were submitted to the Cardinals, but no action was taken until Bernard’s view had been ascertained. In April, 1132, Innocent once more appeared in Italy. Meanwhile Anacletus, having failed to obtain the support of any of the great monarchs of the West, turned to the Normans, and by the grant of the royal title gained the allegiance of Roger, Duke of Apulia and Count of Sicily. A few other parts of Europe still acknowledged Anacletus. Scotland was too distant to be troubled by Bernard’s influence; but in Lombardy the great abbot worked indefatigably; and the Archbishop of Milan, who had accepted his pallium from Anacletus, was driven out by the citizens, who subsequently welcomed Bernard with enthusiasm and tried to keep him as their archbishop. Duke William X of Aquitaine also continued to acknowledge Anacletus, and when at length Bernard accompanied the legate of Innocent to a conference at his court, the saint had recourse to all the methods of ecclesiastical terrorism at his command before he gained the fearful acquiescence of the ruler.

[Sidenote: Lothair at Rome.]

At length Lothair felt himself sufficiently free to fulfil his promise to Innocent. But the turbulent condition of Germany prevented him from bringing a force of any size, and, despite the vehement eloquence of Bernard, among the cities of Lombardy and Tuscany the friend of Innocent was still the German King and was viewed with much suspicion. Fortunately, however, Roger of Sicily, the one strong supporter of Anacletus, was engaged in a struggle with his nobles and could give no help. But Lothair desired to avoid bloodshed if possible. He made no attempt, therefore, to get possession of St. Peter’s and the Leonine city, which were in the hands of Anacletus and his followers, but contented himself with the peaceful occupation of the rest of Rome. He and his wife were crowned in the church of St. John Lateran by Innocent (June, 1133). Lothair seems again to have used his opportunity to attempt a recovery of the right of investiture from the Pope; but on this occasion the opponent of the Emperor was his own favourite counsellor, Archbishop Norbert of Magdeburg, the founder of the Premonstratensian Order. A few days later, however, Innocent published two bulls dealing with the questions at issue between himself and the Emperor. The first merely confirms the arrangements of the Concordat, although it certainly omits all mention of the presence of the King at the election. The second bull deals with the inheritance of the Countess Matilda. Henry V had never recognised the donation of the Countess to the Papacy, and consequently, as a lapsed fief and part of the late Emperor’s possessions, the lands could be claimed by his Hohenstaufen heirs. This perhaps accounts for Lothair’s readiness to accept the conditions imposed by the Pope. Innocent invested him by a ring with the allodial or freehold lands of the Countess in return for an annual tribute and on the understanding that at Lothair’s death they should revert to the Papacy. Lothair took no oath of fealty for them, but such oath was exacted from his son-in-law, Henry the Proud of Bavaria, to whom the inheritance was made over on the same conditions. Lothair had perhaps saved the much-coveted lands from being lawfully claimed by the Hohenstaufen; but it was the Pope who had really gained by these transactions, for he had obtained from a lawfully crowned Emperor the recognition of the papal right to their possession. Indeed, the whole episode of Lothair’s coronation was treated as a papal triumph, and by Innocent’s direction a picture was placed in the Lateran palace in which Lothair was represented as kneeling before the throned Pope to receive the imperial crown, while underneath as inscribed the following distich:–

“Rex stetit ante fores, jurans prius urbis honores, Post homo fit papae, sumit quo dante coronam.”

Lothair, however, never saw this record of his visit. He returned to Germany, having secured, at any rate for himself, the right of investing his ecclesiastics with their temporalities, the lands of the Countess Matilda, and, most important of all, the imperial crown bestowed at Rome by a Pope who was recognised practically throughout the West. So strengthened, he intended to crush the still opposing Hohenstaufen. But the intercessions of his own Empress and the papal legates were backed up by the fiery eloquence of the all-powerful Bernard, who appeared at the Diet of Bamberg (March, 1135). Lothair was overruled and terms were granted, which first Frederick of Suabia and, later on, Conrad were induced to accept. Frederick confined himself to Suabia, but Conrad attached himself to Lothair’s Court, and became one of the Emperor’s most honoured followers.

After Lothair’s return to Germany, Roger of Sicily gradually recovered his authority in Southern Italy, and he even made use of his championship of Anacletus to annex unopposed some of the papal lands. Finally, to the scandal of Christendom, the abbey of Monte Cassino, the premier monastery of the West, declared for Anacletus. Both Innocent and the Norman foes of Roger appealed to Lothair, who crossed the Alps, for a second time, in August, 1136, this time, accompanied by a sufficient force. He did not delay long in Lombardy: he ignored Rome, which apart from Roger was powerless. One army, under Lothair, moved down the shores of the Adriatic; another, under Henry of Bavaria, along the west coast. The fleets of Genoa and Pisa co-operated, and Roger retired into Sicily. But both Emperor and Pope claimed the conquered duchy of Apulia, and the dispute was only settled by both presenting to the new duke the banner by which the investiture was made. It did not help to soothe the quarrel when the recovered monastery of Monte Cassino was handed over to the Emperor’s Chancellor. Lothair could remain no longer in Italy; but he fell ill on his way back, and died in a Tyrolese village on December 3rd, 1138.

[Sidenote: The end of the schism.]

Lothair had done nothing to end the schism. Innocent was back in Rome, but Anacletus had never been ousted from it. Meanwhile, in the spring of 1137, Bernard had also responded to the appeal of Innocent and returned to Italy. While Lothair was overrunning Apulia Bernard was winning over the adherents of Anacletus in Rome. When Lothair retired Roger immediately began to recover his dominions; but when Bernard made overtures to him on behalf of Innocent, he professed himself quite ready to hear the arguments on both sides. A conference took place between a skilful supporter of Anacletus and this “rustic abbot”; but although Bernard convinced his rhetorical adversary, Roger had too much to lose in acknowledging Innocent, for he would be obliged to surrender the papal lands which he had occupied and, perhaps, the royal title, the gift of Anacletus. The end, however, was at hand. Less than two months after Lothair’s death Anacletus died (January 25, 1138). His few remaining followers elected a successor, but this was more with the desire of making good terms than of prolonging the schism. Innocent bribed and Bernard persuaded, and the anti-Pope surrendered of his own accord. Bernard, to whom was rightly ascribed the merit of ending the scandal of disunion in Christendom, immediately escaped from his admirers and returned to the solitude of Clairvaux and his literary labours. These were not all self-imposed. Among his correspondents were persons in all ranks of life; and his letters, no less than his formal treatises, prove his influence as one of the most deeply spiritual teachers of the Middle Ages.

[Sidenote Roger of Sicily.]

Roger of Sicily alone had not accepted Innocent; but a foolish attempt to coerce him ended in the defeat and capture of the Pope. In return for the acknowledgment of papal suzerainty, which involved oblivion of the imperial claims, Innocent not only confirmed to Roger and his successors both his conquests in Southern Italy and the royal title, but even, by the grant of the legatine power to the King himself, exempted his kingdom from the visits of papal legates. Roger was supreme in Church and State. A cruel yet vigorous and able ruler, he built up a centralised administrative system from which Henry II of England did not disdain to take lessons. His possession of Sicily carried him to Malta and thence to the north coast of Africa; and before his death in 1154 Tunis was added to his dominions. He was thus one of the greatest among the early Crusaders, and perhaps the most notable ruler of his time.

[Sidenote: Conrad III.]

Lothair hoped to leave in his son-in-law a successor with irresistible claims. But the very influence to which Lothair owed his own election was now to be cast into the scale against the representative of his family; while the grounds of objection to the succession of Frederick of Hohenstaufen to Henry V now held good against Henry of Bavaria, Saxony, and Tuscany. The Pope and the German nobles were equally afraid of a ruler whose insolent demeanour had already won him the title of “the Proud.” They took as their candidate the lately rejected Hohenstaufen Conrad, whose behaviour since his submission had gained him favour in proportion as the conduct of Henry of Bavaria had alienated the other nobles. Conrad was crowned at Aachen by the papal legate, and Henry made his submission. But Conrad, like Lothair, felt himself insecure with so powerful a subject. Accordingly he took away from him the duchy of Saxony, and gave it to the heir of the old dukes in the female line. When Henry refused to accept the decision Conrad put him to the ban of the Empire and deprived him of Bavaria also, which he proceeded to confer upon a relative of his own. But Conrad’s obvious attempt to advance his own family offended the nobles, and the death of Henry the Proud in 1139 opened the way for a compromise. Saxony was made over to Henry’s youthful son, known in history as Henry the Lion, while Bavaria was to be the wedding portion of Henry the Proud’s widow if she married Conrad’s relative, who was already Margrave of Austria.

[Sidenote: Arnold of Brescia.]

But despite this elimination of all rivals Conrad was so much occupied elsewhere that he never managed to reach Italy. And yet his presence there was eagerly desired. It was under the guidance of their bishops that the cities of Lombardy had freed themselves from subjection to the feudal nobles. But with the growth of wealth they resented the patronage of the bishops and were inclined to listen to those who denounced the temporal possessions of the Church. The movement spread to Rome. Here the municipality still existed in name, but it was quite overlaid by the papal prefect and the feudal nobles of the Campagna; and the Roman people had no means of increasing their wealth by the agriculture or the commerce which was open to the cities of Tuscany or Lombardy. A leader was found in Arnold of Brescia (1138). He seems to have been a pupil of Abailard, who devoted himself to practical reforms. He began in his native Lombardy to advocate apostolic poverty as a remedy for the acknowledged evils of the Church. Condemned by the second Lateran Council (1139), he retired to France, and in 1140 stood by the side of Abailard at the Council of Sens. After Abailard’s condemnation Arnold took refuge at Zurich, where, despite the denunciations of Bernard, he found protection from the papal legate, who had been a fellow-pupil of Abailard. Arnold returned to Italy in 1145, and was absolved by the Pope.

[Sidenote: The Roman Republic.]

The course of affairs in Rome brought him once more to the front. In 1143 Innocent II had offended the Romans, who in revenge proclaimed a republic with a popularly elected senate and a patrician in place of the papal prefect. Innocent died (September, 1143); his successor survived him by less than six months, and the next Pope, Lucius II, was killed in attempting to get possession of the Capitol, which was the seat of the new government. The choice of the Cardinals now fell upon the abbot of a small monastery in the neighbourhood of Rome, who took the title of Eugenius III (1145-53). He was a pupil of Bernard, who feared for the appointment of a man of such simplicity and inexperience. But Eugenius developed an unexpected capacity, and forced the Romans to recognise for a time his prefect and his suzerainty. But Arnold’s presence in Rome was an obstacle to permanent peace. Both Arnold and Bernard eagerly sought the same end–the purification of the Church. But in Bernard’s eyes Arnold’s connection with Abailard convicted him of heresy, and his doctrine of apostolic poverty was construed by the ascetic abbot of the strict Cistercian Order as an attack upon the influence under cover of the wealth of the Church. Nor was Arnold a republican in the ordinary sense. He expelled the Pope and organised, under the name of the Equestrian order, a militia of the lesser nobles and the more substantial burgesses, such as existed in the cities of Lombardy. But he did not desire to repudiate the Emperor; and at his instigation the Romans summoned Conrad to their aid and to accept the imperial crown at their hands. Eugenius spent almost his whole pontificate in exile; his successor, Anastasius IV, during a short reign, accepted the republic, but Hadrian IV (1154-9) took the first excuse for boldly placing the city for the first time under an interdict. The consequent cessation of pilgrims during Holy Week and the loss of their offerings caused the fickle Romans to expel their champion, and Arnold wandered about until a few months later Frederick Barbarossa sacrificed him to the renewed alliance of Empire and Papacy (1154).

[Sidenote: The second Crusade.]

Conrad III, then, never was crowned Emperor. It was no fault of his that he never visited Rome. Bernard’s influence caused him to postpone his immediate duties for a work which every Christian of the time regarded as of paramount importance. The first Crusade had met with a measure of success only because the Mohammedan powers were divided. The Crusaders were organised into the kingdom of Jerusalem and the principalities of Tripoli, Antioch, and Edessa. But they quarrelled incessantly. Meanwhile Imad-ed-din Zangi, the Atabek or Sultan of Mosul on the Tigris, extended his arms over all Mesopotamia and Northern Syria, and in 1144 he conquered the Latin principality of Edessa. The whole of Europe was shocked at the disaster. Pope Eugenius delegated to Bernard the task of preaching a new crusade. The young King, Louis VII of France, had already taken the Crusader’s vow, but so far the earnest entreaty of his minister, Suger, Abbot of St. Denys, had kept him from his purpose. But at the Council of Vezelai in 1146 the eloquence of Bernard bore down all considerations of prudence. Conrad III was much harder to persuade, for he felt the need of his presence at home. But Bernard was not to be denied, and by working upon Conrad’s feelings at the moment of the celebration of the Mass he entirely overcame the better judgment of the German King.

Events proved in every way the mischievous nature of Bernard’s influence. The Crusade was a total failure. Only a small remnant of the force which followed either King reached Palestine; and the only offensive operation undertaken–an attack upon Damascus–had to be abandoned. Nothing had been done to break the growing power of Zangi’s son, Noureddin, the uncle and predecessor of the great Saladin.

[Sidenote: The divorce of Louis VII.]

The effects were scarcely less disastrous in Western Europe. Suger supplied Louis with money and defended his throne against plots, and ultimately persuaded him to return to France. But during the Crusade Louis and his wife Eleanor, the daughter and heiress of William X of Aquitaine, had quarrelled bitterly. Louis had disgusted his high-spirited wife by behaving more like a pilgrim than a warrior; while Eleanor had attempted to divert the French troops to the aid of her uncle, Raymond of Antioch. Suger alone preserved some sort of harmony between the ill-assorted pair; but he died in 1151, and Bernard, who had never approved of the marriage on canonical grounds, lent his support to Louis’ desire for a declaration of its invalidity, though Louis and Eleanor had been married for thirteen years and there were two daughters. The dissolution of the marriage was pronounced by an ecclesiastical Council in 1152, and in the same year Eleanor, taking with her all her extensive lands, married the young Henry of Anjou and Normandy, who two years later became King of England.

[Sidenote: Bernard as defender of the Faith.]

Bernard and Suger were friends; but while the predominant work of Suger’s life had been the supremacy of the House of Capet, it is vain to attempt to trace in Bernard any prejudice in favour of a growing French nationality. He represents the cosmopolitan Church of the Middle Ages; and his career is a supreme instance of the power which results from an absolutely single-minded devotion to a lofty cause. In masterful vehemence he challenges comparison with Hildebrand; but unlike the Pope, he never identified the Church with his own interests. He steadfastly refused all offers of advancement for himself, although he did not dissuade his own monks from accepting preferment. He would have preferred to live out his life as the obscure head of a poor and secluded community; and even if the political condition of the time had not brought constant appeals for help to him, his duty to the Church would have made him a public character. For the work of his life which was perhaps most congenial to him was the defence of the doctrine of the Church against heretical teachers. He has been called “the last of the Fathers,” and his whole conception and methods were those of the great Christian writers of the early centuries. To the great saint self-discipline through obedience to the ordinances of the Church was the cure for all evil suggestions of the human heart; while as for the intellect, its duty was to believe the revealed faith as propounded by the authorities of the Church. Like St. Augustine, Bernard did not despise learning; but he would confine the term to the study of religion. Secular learning was for the most part not only a waste of precious time, but an actual snare of the devil. Thus Bernard stood for all that was most uncompromising in the theological attitude of the time. Speculative discussion was an abomination; for the end of conversation was spiritual edification, not the advancement of knowledge; and what to strong minds might be mental gymnastics, in the case of weaker brethren caused the undermining of their faith. Against heretics of the commoner sort, such as the Petrobrusians, who impugned the whole system of the Church and appealed to the mere words of Scripture, there was only one line to be taken. But Bernard was no persecutor. During his preaching of the Crusade a monk perverted the popular excitement to an attack upon the Jews in the cities of the Rhineland: Bernard peremptorily interfered and crushed the rival preacher. Similarly with heretics. He trusted to his preaching–attested, as it was commonly supposed, by miracles–to convince the people; while the leaders when captured were subjected to monastic discipline.

[Sidenote: Abailard.]

But such popular forms of unbelief were merely the outcome of the speculations of subtler minds, which it was necessary to stop at the fountain-head. The arch-heretic of the time was Peter Abailard, who routed in succession two great teachers–William of Champeaux in dialectic in the great cathedral school of Paris, and Anselm of Laon, a pupil of Anselm of Canterbury, in theology. He gathered round him on the Mount of Ste. Genevieve, just outside Paris, a large band of students, in whom he inculcated his rationalistic methods. For his was a definite attempt to obtain by reason a basis for his faith. How could such teaching be allowed to continue unreproved by Bernard, who held that the sole office of the reason was to lead the mind astray? But in the height of his fame Abailard, still quite young, loved the beautiful and erudite Heloise. He abused her trust, and when she in her infatuation for his genius refused to monopolise for herself by marriage the talents which were for the service of the world, she and he both entered the monastic life. Abailard passed through several phases of this–a monk at St. Denys; a hermit gradually gathering a band of admirers round a church which they built and he dedicated to the Third Person of the Trinity, the Paraclete; and finally the abbot of a poor monastery in his own native Brittany. While an inmate of St. Denys a work of his on the Trinity was condemned at a Council at Soissons presided over by the papal legate (1121). It was twenty years before he was again subjected to the censures of the Church. But, meanwhile, he had more than once fallen foul of Bernard, and had not hesitated to flout with his gibes the one man before whom the whole of Catholic Europe bent in awestruck reverence. But the time came when Bernard, noting the spread of the Petrobrusian heresy, determined to strike at the source of these errors. He appealed for assistance to the friends of orthodoxy from the Pope downwards. Abailard determined to anticipate attack and desired to be heard before an assembly to be held at Sens (1140). Bernard reluctantly consented to take part in a public controversy. But when they met, Abailard, probably feeling himself surrounded by an unsympathetic audience, suddenly refused to speak and appealed to the Pope. On his way to Rome he fell ill at Cluny, where the saintly abbot, Peter the Venerable, received him as a monk. He made a confession which chiefly amounted to a regret that he had used words open to misconstruction, and he died in 1142 the inmate of a Cluniac house.

Bernard remained upon the alert, intent on checking any further spread of the teaching of Abailard’s followers. But he had pushed matters to an extreme, and there were many in high place who resented his efforts to dictate the doctrine of the Church. Thus Gilbert de la Porree, Bishop of Poictiers, a pupil of Abailard, was accused at the Council of Rheims (1148) of erroneous doctrines regarding the being of God and the Sacraments. Bernard tried to use his influence over Pope Eugenius in order to procure the bishop’s condemnation, and stirred up the French clergy to assist him. The Cardinals addressed an indignant remonstrance to the Pope, pointing out that as he owed his elevation from a private position to the papacy to them, he belonged to them rather than to himself, that he was allowing private friendship to interfere with public duty, and that “that abbot of yours” and the Gallican Church were usurping the function of the See of Rome. Bernard had to explain away the action of his party, and the Council contented itself with exacting from the accused a general agreement with the faith of the Roman Church, and this was represented by Gilbert’s friends as a triumph.

Bernard’s death restored the leadership of Christendom to the official head, and the removal of several others of the chief actors of the time opened the way not only for new men, but for the emergence of new questions. In 1152 Conrad III ended his well-intentioned but somewhat ineffectual reign. In 1153 Pope Eugenius died at Rome, to which he had at length been restored a few months previously. Six weeks later St. Bernard followed him to the grave. It was not long before the papal act ratified the general opinion of Christendom, and in 1174 Alexander III placed his name among those which the Church desired to have in everlasting remembrance.

CHAPTER VII

THE SCHOOLMEN AND THEOLOGY

[Sidenote: Secular Studies.]

Mediaeval learning, whether sacred or secular, was founded upon authority. The Scholasticus, who took the place of the ancient Grammaticus, was not an investigator, but merely an interpreter. On the one side the books of the sacred Scriptures as interpreted by the Fathers were the rule of faith; on the other side as the guide of reason stood the works of the Philosopher, as Aristotle was called in the Middle Ages. But until the thirteenth century few of his works were known, and those only in Latin translations. Here were the materials, slight enough, on which hung future development. The secular knowledge taught in the ordinary schools was that represented by the division of the Seven Arts into the elementary Trivium of Grammar, Rhetoric, Dialectic, followed by the Quadrivium of Music, Arithmetic, Geometry, and Astronomy. The scope of the Trivium was much wider than the terms denote. Thus Grammar included the study of the classical Latin authors, which never entirely ceased; Rhetoric comprised the practice of composition in prose and verse, and even a knowledge of the elements of Roman Law; Dialectic or Logic became the centre of the whole secular education, because it was the only intellectual exercise which was supposed to be independent of pagan writers. In the Quadrivium–the scientific education of the time–Arithmetic and Astronomy were taught for the purpose of calculating the times of the Christian festivals; Music consisted chiefly of the rules of plain-song. It was the subjects of the Quadrivium which were subsequently enlarged in scope by the discoveries of the twelfth century. Apart from these subjects little attempt was made at a systematic training in theology. In so far as any such existed it was purely doctrinal, and aimed merely at enabling those in Holy Orders to read the Bible and the Fathers for themselves and to expound them to others.

[Sidenote: Scholasticism.]

Now the speculative intellect trained in dialectic had no material to work upon save what could be got from the Scriptures, the Fathers, and the dogmas of the Church; and Scholasticism is the name given to the attempt to apply the processes of logic to the systematisation and the interpretation of the Catholic faith. The movement was one which, narrow as it seems to us, yet made for ultimate freedom of human thought; for it meant the exercise of the intellect on matters which for long were regarded as beyond the reach of rationalistic explanation. There was much difference of opinion among the thinkers as to the limits to be assigned to such freedom of speculation on the mysteries of the faith, some starting from the standpoint of idealists and endeavouring to avoid the logical consequences of their speculations; while others, adopting so far as possible a position of pure empiricism, set tradition at defiance, and hoped by the aid of reason to reach the conclusions of divine revelation.

[Sidenote: Realists and Nominalists.]

The philosophical problem to which the mediaval thinkers addressed themselves is one that it is essential to the progress of human thought to solve. Whence do we derive general notions (Universals, as they were called), and do they correspond to anything which actually exists? Thus for the purpose of classifying our knowledge we use certain terms, such as genera, species, and others more technical. Do these in reality exist independently of particular individuals or substances? One school of philosophers, basing their reasoning upon Plato, maintained that such general ideas had a real existence of their own, and hence gained the name of Realists. But another school, who took Aristotle as their champion, held that reality can be asserted of the individual alone, that there is nothing real in the general idea except the name by which it is designated; while some of these Nominalists, as they came to be called, even proclaimed that the parts of an individual whole were mere words, and could not be considered as having an existence of their own. With the application of these definitions to theological dogmas we reach the beginning of Scholastic Theology. Here both sides were soon landed in difficulties. Nominalism, in its denial of reality to general notions, undermined the Catholic idea of the Church: in its recognition of none except individuals it destroyed the whole conception of the solidarity of original sin; while those of its professors who allowed no existence of their own to the parts of an individual whole, resolved the Trinity into three Gods. On the other hand, the danger of Realism was that, since individuals were regarded merely as forms or modes of some general idea, these philosophers were inclined to make no distinction between individuals and to fall into pantheism. As a result, the personality of man, and with it the immortality of the soul, disappeared, and even the personality of God threatened to lose itself in the universe which He had created. These tendencies will be clear from a short account of the chief schoolmen or writers on Scholastic Philosophy.

[Sidenote: Roscelin and Anselm.]

The first great names are those of Roscelin and Anselm of Canterbury. Roscelin (between 1050 and 1125), primarily a dialectician, rigidly applied his logic to theological dogmas. If we may judge from the accounts of his opponents, Anselm and Abailard, he took up a position of extreme individualism and denied reality alike to a whole and to the parts of which any whole is commonly said to be composed. The application of this principle to the doctrine of the Trinity landed him in tritheism, and he did not shrink from the reproach. Roscelin, a theologian by accident, was answered by Anselm who was primarily a theologian, and a dialectician by accident. If Roscelin was the founder of Nominalism Anselm identified Realism with the doctrine of the Church. But Anselm’s Realism is not the result of independent thought. In his methods he has been rightly styled the “last of the Fathers.” His keynote was Belief in the Christian faith as the road to understanding it. Thus his object was to give to the dogmas accepted by the Church a philosophical demonstration. To him Realism was the orthodox philosophical doctrine because it was the one most in harmony with Christian theology. He applied philosophical arguments to the explanation of those tenets of the faith which later scholastic writers placed among the mysteries to be accepted without question.

[Sidenote: Abailard.]

The reputed founder of definite Realism was William of Champeaux (1060-1121), a pupil of Roscelin himself, a teacher at Paris, and ultimately Bishop of Chalons. By the account of his enemy Abailard, he held an uncompromising Realism which maintained that the Universal was a substance or thing which was present in its entirety in each individual. It was the presence of such crude Realism as this which gave his opportunity to the greatest teacher of this early period of Scholasticism, Peter Abailard (1079-1142). A pupil of both Roscelin and William of Champeaux–the two extremes of Nominalism and Realism–he aimed in his teaching at arriving at a _via media_ to which subsequent writers have given the name Conceptualism. According to him the individual is the only true substance, and the genus is that which is asserted of a number of individuals; it is therefore a name used as a sign–a concept, although he does not use the word. Thus he does not condemn the Realistic theory borrowed from Plato, of Universals as having an existence of their own; he regards them as ideas or exemplars which existed in the divine mind before the creation of things. But he opposes the tendency in Realism to treat as identical the qualities which resemble each other in different individuals, since that abolishes the personality of the individual which to him is the only reality. Like Roscelin he did not hesitate to apply his dialectic to theology. Here, while repudiating the tritheism of his master, he practically reproduced the old heresy of Sabellius which reduced the Trinity to three aspects or attributes of the Divine Being–power, wisdom, and love. “A doctrine is to be believed,” he held, “not because God has said it, but because we are convinced by reason that it is so.” His whole attitude was that of the free, if reverent, enquirer. “By doubt,” he says, “we come to enquiry; by enquiry we reach the truth.” His book _Sic et Non_, a collection of conflicting opinions of the Christian Fathers on the chief tenets of the faith, was to be the first step towards arriving at the truth.

[Sidenote: Mysticism.]

He was condemned twice–his doctrine of the Trinity at Soissons in 1121, his whole position at Sens in 1141. The leaders of orthodoxy met him not with argument but with a demand for recantation. St. Norbert during the early part of his life, and St. Bernard both early and late, pursued him with their enmity. Their objection was not to his particular views, but to his whole attitude towards divine revelation; and the conclusions in which the use of the scholastic method landed its advocates perhaps justified the rigid theologians in the general distrust of the exercise of reason on such subjects. St. Bernard did not hesitate to attack even Gilbert de la Porree, Bishop of Poictiers, an avowed Realist, who attempted to explain the Trinity. In fact, St. Bernard represents the reaction from Scholasticism, which took the form of Mysticism, that is, the purely contemplative attitude towards the verities of the Christian creed. In this he was followed with much greater extravagance by the school which found its home in the great abbey of St. Victor–Hugh (1097-1143), who formulated the sentence “Knowledge is belief, and belief is love,” and Richard (died in 1173), who applied to the intuitive perception of spiritual things and to the love of them the same dialectical and metaphysical methods as the Schoolmen applied to reason.

[Sidenote: After Abailard.]

The results of Abailard’s work are seen in two directions. His _Sic et Non_ became the foundation of the work of the “Summists,” who, in the place of Abailard’s purely critical work, occupied themselves in systematising authorities with a view to the reconciliation of their conflicting opinions. The greatest of these was Peter the Lombard (died 1160), who became Bishop of Paris, and whose _Sententiae_ was taken as the accredited text-book of theology for the next three hundred years. With the Summists theology returned to its attitude of unquestioning obedience to the conclusions of the early Fathers. But in the second place, Abailard was indirectly responsible for “the troubling of the Realistic waters,” which resulted in many modifications of the original position.

[Sidenote: Classical revival.]

A justification for the attitude of the Church towards the followers of Abailard is to be found in the apparent exhaustion of the speculative movement which had started at the end of the eleventh century, and the consequent degeneracy of logical studies. It was a result of this that in the second half of the twelfth century many of the best minds were directing their energies into the channel of classical learning which was to prepare the way for the next phase of Scholasticism. Besides being a philosopher and a theologian, Abailard was also a scholar well read in classical literature. The cathedral school of Chartres, founded by Fulbert at the beginning of the eleventh century, was the centre of this classical Renaissance, and it rose to the height of its fame under Bernard Sylvester and his pupil, William of Conches; while the greatest representative of this learning was a pupil of William of Conches, John of Salisbury, an historian of philosophy rather than himself a philosopher or theologian.

[Sidenote: Origin of universities.]

It was in the twelfth century and out of the cathedral schools that the medieval universities arose. The monastic schools had spent their intellectual force, and during this century they almost ceased to educate the secular clergy. St. Anselm, when Abbot of Bec in Normandy, was the last of the great monastic teachers. But it was not from the school of Chartres but from that of Paris that the greatest University of the Middle Ages took its origin. Paris was identified with the scholastic studies of dialectic and theology, and it was the fame of William of Champeaux, and still more that of Abailard, which drew students in crowds to the cathedral school of Paris. But no university immediately resulted. Indeed, the Guild of Masters, from which it originated, is not traceable before 1170, and the four Nations and the Rector did not exist until the following century. Its recognition as a corporation dates from a bull of Innocent III about 1210. Its development starts from the close of its struggle with the Chancellor and cathedral school of Paris, in which contest it obtained the papal help. Before the middle of the thirteenth century the University had acquired its full constitution. But its great fame as a place of education dates from the teaching of the two great Dominicans, Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas in the convent of their Order in Paris during the middle years of the century. This new outburst of philosophical studies was due to the recovery of many hitherto unknown works of Aristotle, and as a consequence classical studies were completely neglected and Chartres was deserted for Paris.

[Sidenote: Aristotle in the East.]

We have seen that the contemporaries of Abailard knew none but Aristotle’s logical works, and these only in part and in Latin translations. So far nothing had interfered with the development of thought along “purely Western, purely Latin, purely Christian” lines. Churchmen who did not disapprove of dialectic altogether, had accepted and used Aristotle so far as they understood what they had of his works. Heretics there had been, but hitherto none had questioned the authority of the Bible or the Church. Meanwhile in the east a completer knowledge of Aristotle’s works had been communicated by the Nestorian Christians to their Mohammedan masters. Greek books were translated into Arabic, and Arabian philosophy, already monotheistic, became permeated with Aristotelian ideas. Moreover, the union of philosophical and medical studies among the Arabs caused them to attach a special value to Aristotle’s treatises on natural science. In Spain the Arabs handed on their knowledge of Aristotle to the Jews, and it was from the Jews of Andalusia, Marseilles, and Montpellier that the works of the Greek philosopher and his Arabian commentators became known in the west.

[Sidenote: Revival in the west.]

By the middle of the twelfth century the chief of these works–texts, paraphrases, commentaries–had, at the instance of Raymond, Archbishop of Toledo, been rendered into Latin by Archdeacon Dominic Gondisalvi, assisted by a band of translators. But the translations of Aristotle’s own works were not from the original Greek, but from the Arabic, which laid stress upon the most anti-Christian side of Aristotle’s thought, such as the eternity of the world and the denial of immortality. The result was an outbreak of heretical speculation along pantheistic lines. Swift steps were taken: the heretics were hunted down, and in 1209 the Council of Paris forbade the study of Aristotle’s own works or those of his commentators which dealt with natural philosophy; while in 1215 the statutes of the University renewed the prohibition. But such prohibition did not include any of the logical works; and in 1231 a bull of Gregory IX only excepted any of Aristotle’s works until they had been examined and purged of all heresy. Finally, in 1254, a statute of the University actually prescribed nearly all the works of Aristotle, including even the most suspected, as text-books for the lectures. Meanwhile fresh translations were made from the Arabic by Michael Scot and others at the instance of Frederick II, so that by 1225 the whole body of his works was to be found in Latin form. Further still, the Latin conquest of Constantinople in 1204 had brought back to the west a knowledge of a large part of Aristotle’s writings in their original form. Translations were now made into Latin straight from the Greek; and Thomas Aquinas, seconded by Pope Urban IV, took especial pains to encourage such scholarship.

[Sidenote: The later Scholasticism.]

By this medium there was developed the great system of orthodox Aristotelianism which was the form taken by Scholasticism in the later Middle Ages. This was the work of the Friars, who, for the purpose of giving to their own students the best procurable training in theology, established houses of residence in Paris and elsewhere. The quarrels between the University of Paris and the municipality in the first half of the thirteenth century gave their opportunity to the Friars, and even after the settlement of the quarrels they remained and became formidable rivals to the teachers drawn from the secular clergy. It was only in 1255 that, after a severe struggle, the University was forced by a bull of Alexander IV to admit the Friars to its privileges, although it succeeded in imposing upon them an oath of obedience to its statutes.

[Sidenote: The change of position.]

It was the Franciscans who began this new intellectual movement in the persons of the Englishman, Alexander of Hales (died 1245), who was the first to be able to use the whole of the Aristotelian writings, and his pupil, the mystic Bonaventura (died 1274). But the scholastic philosophy as it is taught to this day was the work of the two great Dominicans, Albert of Bollstadt, a Suabian, known as Albertus Magnus (1193-1280), and his even greater pupil, Thomas of Aquino, an Italian (1227-74). The endeavour of these writers was to take over into the service of the Church the whole Aristotelian philosophy. It was a consequence of this that the old question of the nature of Universals was not so all-important, or that at any rate it ceased to be treated from a purely logical standpoint. The great Dominicans were very moderate Realists; but they treated Logic as only one among a number of subjects. Albert wrote works which in print fill twenty-one folio volumes (whence his name Magnus); but his fame has been somewhat obscured by the more methodical, if almost equally voluminous (in seventeen folio volumes) works of his successor. The result of their labours was a wonderfully complete harmonisation of philosophy and theology as these subjects were understood by their respective champions. This was brought about by the use of two methods. In the first place, the works of Aristotle on the one side, and the Bible and the writings of the Fathers on the other side, were treated as of equal authority in their respective spheres The ingenuity of the theologians was to be employed in harmonising them. It is, in fact, only from this period that “the Scholastic Philosophy became distinguished by that servile deference to authority” which we ordinarily attribute to it.

[Sidenote: Reason and faith.]

But, in the second place, any such harmonisation could only be carried out by some demarcation of territory. The earlier orthodox writers like Anselm, as we have seen, did not hesitate to attempt a philosophical explanation of the doctrine of the Trinity. But Aristotle and his Arabian commentators were monotheistic, and consequently the reconciliation between the Aristotelian philosophy and the Christian faith could only be effected by distinguishing between natural and revealed religion. The truths of the former were demonstrable by reason, of which Aristotle was the supreme guide. The truths of the latter were mysteries to be accepted on an equally good though different authority. By such methods these later schoolmen excepted and accepted the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, though they allowed the doctrine of the existence of God to be susceptible of logical proof. But notwithstanding these exceptions, the teaching of the Dominicans was a wonderful attempt to abolish the inevitable dualism between faith and reason.

[Sidenote: Thomists and Scotists.]

The history of Scholasticism after Thomas Aquinas is largely occupied by an account of the quarrel between the rival schools of Thomists and Scotists. The great teacher of the generation after St. Thomas was a Franciscan, Duns Scotus, the “Subtle Doctor,” who taught at Oxford and Paris and died in 1308. His teaching differed in two ways from that of his Dominican predecessor. In the first place he excepted a larger number of theological doctrines as not being capable of philosophic proof, so that his teaching tended to bring back and to emphasise the dualism between faith and reason. It is for this reason that his system has been considered as the beginning of the decline of Scholasticism. In the second place, the real quarrel between Thomists and Scotists centred round the question of the freedom of the will. The followers of St. Thomas maintained that although the will is to some extent subordinate to the reason, yet it is free to determine its own course of action after a process of rational comparison, by contrast with the animals which act on the impulse of the moment. The Scotists, on the other hand, taught that what is called the will is merely a name for the possibility of determining without motive in either of two opposite directions. The importance of this difference of view consisted in this–that whereas the Thomists held that God subjects His will to a rational determination and therefore commands what is good because it is good, the Scotist taught that good is so because God wills it; if He chose to will the exact opposite, that would be equally good–in other words, he attributed to God an entirely arbitrary will. The two greatest disciples of St. Thomas were Dante and the Franciscan Roger Bacon (1214-92), the latter of whom fell into disfavour with the superiors of his own Order in consequence of his scientific studies, and spent many years at the end of his life in prison.

[Sidenote: Results of Scholasticism.]

The Scholastic philosophy failed to justify the doctrines of the Church to a rapidly expanding world. But it is unjust and ungrateful to stigmatise its results as barren. In the first place it gave a most valuable training in logical method to the keenest intellects of the time. Moreover, the very attempt to establish the Christian faith by argument was an unconscious homage to the supremacy of reason as the ultimate guide; while, finally, in the philosophy of St. Thomas, all nature was regarded as a fit subject for enquiry, and some of the greatest Schoolmen, as we have just seen, were noted for their investigations into natural phenomena.

CHAPTER VIII

GUELF AND GHIBELLINE. (I)

[Sidenote: Hadrian IV.]

Hadrian IV is interesting to us as the only Englishman who has ever sat upon the throne of St. Peter. As Nicholas Brakespeare he had led the life of a wandering scholar, chiefly in France. He entered the house of Canons Regular of St. Rufus near Avignon, and when Abbot of this monastery attracted the attention of Eugenius III, who made him Cardinal Bishop of Albano, and employed him as papal legate in freeing the Church in Scandinavia from its dependence on the Bishops in Germany. The prestige which he acquired in this work marked him out as the successor of the shortlived Anastasius. Hadrian was a much abler man than either of his predecessors, and, while fully conscious of the difficulties of his office, he did not let these deter him from the fulfilment of its obvious duties. We have seen how he drove Arnold from Rome. He found, however, a new danger in Sicily. Roger’s son William, known as “the Bad,” took up an attitude of hostility, and when the Pope asserted his overlordship, William’s troops overran the Campagna. The Pope retorted by excommunicating his refractory vassals and looking for help from the new German King.

[Sidenote: The new contest.]

With the accession of Frederick I the quarrel between Empire and Papacy enters on a new phase. On the death of Henry V the natural candidate of the papal party for the German throne was Henry the Black Duke of Bavaria, the head of the family of Welf or Guelf. But he was old, and related by marriage to the Hohenstaufen. He was, however, bribed to acquiesce in the election of Lothair by the offer of Lothair’s daughter and heiress, Gertrude, as a wife for his son Henry the Proud. This marriage determined the whole course of German history. Henry the Proud obtained the duchy of Bavaria from his father and the duchy of Saxony from his father-in-law. Thus, if the Hohenstaufen family were the heirs of the Franconian Emperors, the Guelfs became the representatives of the opposition to that line which had centred in Saxony; and for the old contest between Papacy and Empire, Saxon and Franconian, there was now substituted a dynastic struggle between Weiblingen or Ghibelline and Guelf. The Guelfs were the papal party only in the sense that, like the Saxons, they were in opposition to the dynasty which occupied the German throne and claimed the imperial title. The name, however, was extended to Italy: it was applied to the collective opposition to the imperial power, and therefore came to denote the friends of the Papacy.

[Sidenote: Frederick I.]

So far the contest had been confined to Germany; for Lothair had sacrificed the claims of the empire to his own immediate interests, while Conrad had never set foot in Italy after his accession to the German throne. But as the attempt of Lothair to crush the acknowledged Ghibelline leaders had been thwarted, so Conrad had failed to render the Guelf harmless; and it was the pretensions of Henry the Lion, the son of Henry the Proud, which determined Conrad to waive the claims of his young son to the succession, and to recommend to the nobles the choice of his nephew Frederick. But Conrad’s nomination would have been of little account. Frederick’s claims were largely personal. Already before he succeeded his father as Duke of Suabia he had shown a combination of boldness in action with a conciliatory disposition which marked him out as a leader and a statesman. To this was added, as with Conrad, the prestige of a crusader; while in view of the bitter rivalries of the last two reigns, it was a recommendation that Frederick united in his person the two families whose strife had divided the kingdom. Two years elapsed from his accession before Frederick was free to set out for Italy. As the heir of the Franconians his probable attitude was a matter of some anxiety at Rome and in Italy generally. He was no enemy of the Church. His first act after his coronation at Aachen (March 9th, 1152) was to announce his accession to the Pope, who sent him a return message of goodwill. But from the outset Frederick showed his intention of taking a high line, for, in a disputed election at Magdeburg he obtained a party for a nominee of his own who was already a bishop, and therefore ineligible, and by virtue of the Concordat he decided for his own candidate in defiance of all ecclesiastical laws, and straightway invested him with the regalia.

[Sidenote: Imperial rights.]

Moreover, he had a high idea of the imperial mission. It was seventeen years since any emperor had crossed the Alps; and it is difficult to say whether the selfish policy of Lothair or the non-appearance of Conrad must have been the more detrimental to the maintenance of imperial interests. But during the first few months of his reign appeals poured in from the Pope against his various enemies, from some barons of Apulia against the great Roger of Sicily, from the citizens of Lodi against the tyranny of Milan. These, together with the ridiculous proffer of the imperial crown from the lately formed Republic of Rome, seemed to open an opportunity for the successful recovery of imperial rights. And, much as the Italians resented the spasmodic interferences of the Emperor, they were proud of their imperial connection. The commerce of the East, largely increased by the Crusades, flowed into Western Europe chiefly through Italy. As a result, the north and centre of the peninsula were studded with a number of compact, self-governing communities inclined to resent any outside interference, however lawful in origin. But the larger cities were ever trying to group the smaller round them as satellites; and the constant quarrels which resulted, often produced a party which was ready to welcome the interposition of the Emperor. There was this common ground, then, between these cities and the Papacy that, whereas they found it equally necessary to invoke the aid of the Emperor as an outside power against their foes, each was threatened by the assertion of those imperial rights which it was the sole object of Frederick’s journey to Italy to assert.

But the results of Frederick’s first expedition to Italy were of a very doubtful kind. It is true that he was crowned at Rome, that he asserted his imperial rights both positively in a great assembly on the plains of Roncaglia and, as it were, negatively by the destruction of three refractory towns, and that he got rid of Arnold of Brescia. But, on the other hand, his assertion of power provoked hatred instead of fear; and although, despite some sharp differences, he parted amicably from the Pope, his return to Germany left Hadrian in an impossible position. The republican party in Rome remained untouched: William of Sicily was unsubdued.

[Sidenote: Papal defiance.]

Shortly after his accession Frederick had made an agreement with the then Pope that neither should make peace with the Romans or the Sicilian King without consent of the other. But now Hadrian, deserted, accepted the Commune as the civil authority in Rome, and even came to a treaty with William of Sicily, who engaged to hold all his lands as a vassal of the Pope. Frederick was naturally angry at the repudiation of the mutual obligation with regard to peace and of the imperial suzerainty of William’s duchy of Apulia. But he was too much occupied in Germany to do more than protest. And before he was able to assert his power in Italy again Pope Hadrian had, as it were, thrown down a challenge to him. At the Diet of Besancon in Burgundy in 1157 two papal envoys appeared with a complaint of Frederick’s conduct in some particular. The letter which they bore spoke of the late coronation of the Emperor by the Pope and used the equivocal word _beneficia_ to describe the papal act. When the assembled nobles resented the expression as implying a feudal relation between Pope and Emperor, the papal representative, the Chancellor Roland, boldly asked, “From whom, then, does the emperor hold the empire if not from the Pope?” Frederick’s authority alone saved the envoys from violence, and Hadrian found himself obliged to explain away the objectionable expressions.

[Sidenote: The breach.]

But the papal position had been formulated, and that before a German assembly. The Pope was no longer a suppliant: he claimed to be more than an equal. He had thrown down a challenge. Frederick proceeded to pick it up. In fact, it was this second expedition of Frederick to Italy which opened the long contest between Ghibelline and Guelf, a contest only to be ended by the practical destruction of one or other of the parties. It was the complaints of the other cities against the oppression of Milan, which were the immediate cause of Frederick’s appearance in Italy in 1158; and the reduction of the Milanese was followed by the holding of an assembly on the plain of Roncaglia, to which Frederick summoned the most famous lawyers of Italy. By their decision rights and powers were given to him, which placed all the communes at his mercy. Moreover, these were not compatible with the rights asserted since the time of Gregory VII by the papal supporters: the regalia were given to the Emperor at the expense of ecclesiastical as well as lay landowners and corporations. If the papal investiture of Apulia infringed the imperial rights, the investiture of Frederick’s uncle, Welf VI of Bavaria, with the inheritance of the Countess Matilda openly ignored the oft-repeated claim of the Papacy. Neither side seemed to take especial pains to avoid a breach. The acrimonious correspondence which ensued centred round the relations of the Italian bishops to the Emperor, the respective claims of each party to Rome, and the restoration of the Tuscan inheritance and all the other lands which it claimed, to the Papacy. The excommunication of the Emperor–the open declaration of war–was prevented by Hadrian’s death on September 1, 1159.

[Sidenote: The papal schism.]

A schism was inevitable. The majority of the Cardinals elected the papal Chancellor Roland who had defied Frederick at Besancon, and who would be likely to maintain Hadrian’s high claims: he was afterwards consecrated as Alexander III. The minority got possession of St. Peter’s and proclaimed an imperialist Cardinal as Victor IV. Neither Pope could be consecrated or could remain in Rome: both appealed by legates and letters for the recognition of Christendom. Frederick as Emperor summoned both candidates to submit their claims to the decision of a Council at Pavia. Alexander entirely repudiated the Emperor’s implied claim to be the arbiter of Christendom in a spiritual matter, and found support in the fact that only fifty bishops, almost entirely from Germany and Lombardy, assembled at Pavia. The Council, of course, decided in favour of Victor IV. Alexander, however, excommunicated the Emperor, and bent all his energies to gain the adherence of France and England. Not only was he successful in this, but he was also recognised by the Latins of the East and the lessor Christian kingdoms. Victor IV’s only supporter was the Emperor.

Nor did Frederick gain anything by his successes in Lombardy. It cost him seven months to subdue the little town of Crema; while it was three years (1159-62) before Milan surrendered and was destroyed. It is true, Alexander could no longer maintain himself in Italy, but in 1162 sought refuge in France. Frederick’s attempts to drive him from his new asylum failed. Alexander carried on skilful negotiations with Louis VII of France and Henry II of England; and at Whitsuntide, 1163, a Council assembled at Tours, composed of a large number of cardinals, bishops, and clergy, and acknowledged Alexander with the utmost solemnity, while at the joint invitation of the two Kings the Pope took up his abode at the city of Sens.

[Sidenote: Fredericks’s chance.]

The death of the anti-Pope was a further blow to Frederick’s cause, for the action of his representative in Italy committed him to recognise a second anti-Pope and laid him open to the accusation of desiring to perpetuate the schism. It seemed, however, as if his chance had come when the quarrel between Henry II and Thomas Becket drove the English Archbishop to take refuge with the Pope at Sens. Alexander was in a difficulty. Henry was perhaps the most powerful monarch in Europe, and his support was of the utmost importance to the Pope. But the rights for which Thomas was contending were part of the rights which Alexander himself was claiming against the Emperor–the right of the Church to manage her own concerns without lay interference. While, therefore, prudence forbade him to throw down a distinct challenge to the English King, it was impossible that he should comply with Henry’s demand for the condemnation of the refractory Archbishop. Frederick took advantage of Henry’s ill-humour to propose a marriage alliance between the royal houses and to sound Henry on the question of a change of alliance. The marriage thus arranged–of Frederick’s cousin, Henry the Lion, to Henry II’s daughter–ultimately took place. But both clergy and people in England were for the most part in sympathy with Becket and unwilling to prolong the schism. The altars used by Frederick’s envoys in England were purified after their departure; and although Henry’s representatives appeared at the Diet of Wurzburg in May, 1165, and even took an oath to acknowledge the anti-Pope, the English King did not dare to ratify their action.

[Sidenote: Frederick’s momentary triumph.]

Nor was this the only time when success seemed possible to Frederick. This failure to move the English allegiance and the defection of a number even of the German clergy emboldened Alexander to assume the aggressive, and he ventured to leave France and to take up his abode at Rome. (December, 1165.) Again the discontents of Lombardy were the occasion for the Emperor’s visit. In the autumn of 1166 he crossed the Alps, and after spending some months in Lombardy he forced an entrance into Rome, enthroned his own Pope in St. Peter’s, and himself wore his imperial crown. Frederick refused to treat with Alexander except on the basis of the resignation of both existing Popes and the election of a third. Alexander’s position was unbearable and he fled to Benevento. The Romans accepted Frederick as their lord. The Emperor’s triumph seemed complete: Charlemagne’s successor had indeed arrived. But the triumph was short-lived. The summer pestilence, which so often attacked a German army in Italy, fell more fiercely than ever before. Frederick fled northwards before it, and found so much hostility in Lombardy that it was only by bypaths and in disguise that he was able to make his way out of Italy.

[Sidenote: The Lombard League.]

It was seven years (1167-74) before Frederick was able to return to Italy; and although by that time his position in Germany was unquestioned and the mutual relations of Louis VII and Henry II precluded any likelihood of interference from France or England, the Italian foes of the Emperor had gathered strength and combined their forces. Chief among these were the cities of Lombardy. Divided as they were into imperialist and anti-imperialist, or, to use the terms coming into vogue, Ghibelline and Guelf, they at first followed no common policy. Milan had taken the lead of the anti-imperialists. After the destruction of Milan a league formed by the cities of the Veronese March helped to force Frederick for a time to abandon his designs upon Italy (1164). During his expedition of 1166-7 a Lombard League sprang up and coalesced with the Veronese League; a common organisation was set up, Milan was restored, many of the staunchest imperial towns were forced to become members, and the crowning work of the League was the foundation of a common stronghold which in compliment to the Pope was named Alessandria.

[Sidenote: Alliance with the Pope.]

The real danger to the Emperor came from alliance of this League with the Pope. The Lombard cities were the Pope’s natural enemies. Some of them were the rivals of Rome–Pavia as the capital of the kingdom of Italy; Milan the quondam champion of the cause of the married clergy; Ravenna as the rival patriarchate in Italy. Strong local feeling made them resent all outside interference, of Pope no less than of Emperor.

It was among these free, self-governing communities that heresy found its chief adherents. But for the moment the common danger from the Emperor overshadowed all other differences. The old imperial rights which Frederick designed to recover included the power of appointing local officers whether consuls or bishops. Alone, neither Pope nor Lombard cities could look for success. In 1162, when all the cities fell before Frederick, Alexander remained practically untouched. But although his position was immensely strengthened since then, experience had shown that the Pope could not hold his own in Italy or Rome without the help of some secular power. At the same time, in Europe at large he had proved a most potent force, since he wielded weapons which were independent of time and place for their action, and such as the most powerful secular prince had found it impossible to ignore. It was under direct encouragement from Alexander that the cities concluded their League in 1167. Before the next imperial expedition it had become all-powerful in Northern Italy; not only the chief Ghibelline cities, including Pavia itself, had joined, but even the remaining feudal nobles had found it impossible to stand outside.

[Sidenote: Submission of Henry II.]

Nor was this Alexander’s only triumph. So long as Archbishop Thomas Becket remained unreconciled to Henry II, the English King had done all in his power to influence Alexander. A marriage alliance was carried out between the royal families of England and Sicily, solely with the object on Henry’s side of neutralising one of the chief papal supporters, and Henry scattered his bribes among the Lombard cities with the same intent. But the reconciliation to which the attitude of his own people forced Henry in 1170 robbed him of all excuse for harassing the Pope, and the murder of the Archbishop by four of the King’s knights in Canterbury Cathedral isolated Henry and forced him to a humiliating treaty with Alexander.