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

[Sidenote: Raymond VI of Toulouse.]

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

[Sidenote: The Crusade.]

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

[Sidenote: Simon de Montfort.]

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

[Sidenote: A war of aggression.]

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

[Sidenote: Punishment for heresy.]

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

[Sidenote: The secular arm.]

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

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

CHAPTER XIII

THE MENDICANT ORDERS

[Sidenote: Need for new kinds of Orders.]

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

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

[Sidenote: Dominicans.]

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

[Sidenote: Their spread.]

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

[Sidenote: Popularity of the friars.]

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

[Sidenote: Dominicans and University of Paris.]

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

[Sidenote: Friars and Inquisition.]

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

[Sidenote: St. Francis.]

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

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

[Sidenote: Franciscan Rule.]

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

[Sidenote: Organization]

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

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

[Sidenote: Tertiaries.]

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

[Sidenote: Friars as missionaries to the heathen.]

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

[Sidenote: Change from original principle.]

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

[Sidenote: Development of extreme views among Franciscans.]

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

[Sidenote: Popular manifestations.]

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

[Sidenote: Papal action and its effect.]

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

[Sidenote: Chances of separation.]

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

CHAPTER XIV

THE CHURCH AND THE HEATHEN

[Sidenote: Hungary and Poland.]

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

[Sidenote: Bohemia.]

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

[Sidenote: Adalbert of Bremen.]

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

[Sidenote: Scandinavia.]

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

[Sidenote: Wends.]

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

[Sidenote: Their final conversion.]

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

[Sidenote: Pomerania.]

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

[Sidenote: Livonia.]

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

[Sidenote: Prussia.]

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

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

[Sidenote: Missions in Asia.]

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

[Sidenote: Prester John.]

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

[Sidenote: The Mongols in Europe.]

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

[Sidenote: Innocent IV’s missions.]

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

[Sidenote: Louis IX’s missions.]

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

[Sidenote: Tartars and Mohammedans.]

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

[Sidenote: Chinese missions.]

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

CHAPTER XV

GUELF AND GHIBELLINE. (II)

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

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

[Sidenote: Frederick II.]

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

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

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

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

[Sidenote: Frederick’s crusade.]

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

[Sidenote: The Pope and Roman claims.]

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

[Sidenote: Frederick and heresy.]

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

[Sidenote: Legislation of Emperor and Pope.]

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

[Sidenote: The second contest.]

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

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

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

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

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

[Sidenote: First Council of Lyons.]

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

[Sidenote: Death of Frederick.]

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

[Sidenote: A papal candidate for Sicily.]

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

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

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

[Sidenote: King Manfred.]

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

[Sidenote: The rival Kings of the Romans.]

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

CHAPTER XVI

THE FALL OF THE EMPIRE AND OF THE PAPACY

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

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

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

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

[Sidenote: End of the Hohenstaufen.]

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

[Sidenote: Schemes of Charles.]

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

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

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

[Sidenote: Second Council of Lyons.]

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

[Sidenote: Union of Eastern and Western Churches.]

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

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

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

[Sidenote: Revival of the Empire.]

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

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

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

[Sidenote: Sicilian Vespers]

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

[Sidenote: Celestine V (1294).]

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

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

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

[Sidenote: Quarrel with Colonnas.]

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

[Sidenote: Papal Jubilee.]

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

[Sidenote: First quarrel with France and England.]

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

Good relations having been established Philip and Edward now agreed to submit their differences to Boniface. Philip, however, stipulated that Boniface should act in the matter not as Pope but in a personal capacity, and the Pope issued his award “as a private person and Master Benedict Gaetani” (June 30,1298). But the judgment was in the form of a bull, and ordered that the lands to be surrendered on either side should be placed in the custody of the papal officers. Philip could not reject the award; but he determined to prepare for a conflict which was clearly inevitable. He gave refuge to some members of the Colonna family, and he made an alliance with Albert of Austria (1299).

[Sidenote: Second quarrel with England.]

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

[Sidenote: With France.]

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

[Sidenote: The final struggle.]

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

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

CHAPTER XVII

THE CHURCHES OF THE EAST

[Sidenote: The Eastern Church.]

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

[Sidenote: Breach between East and West.]

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

[Sidenote: Attempts at reconciliation.]

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