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BR 270 .S6 1885 
Smith, Philip, 1817-1885. 
The history of the Christia 
church during the middle 


The Student's Ecclesiastical History 

Part II. 













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The present Work forms the continuation and conclusion 
of the Author's " History of the Christian Church during 
the First Ten Centuries." 

The Preface to that Yolume set forth the need of such 
a Manual, not only for the Theological Student, but also 
for every reader of Civil History, which becomes more 
closely connected with Ecclesiastical History as we ad- 
vance into the Middle Ages ; while the great severance of 
a large part of Western Christendom from Home marks 
the epoch at which the general history of the Church 
branches out into that of the several nations. 

The limit thus prescribed by the nature of the subject 
corresponds to that which has been found practicable in 
the execution of the work ; for the Author is not ashamed 
to confess that he had to learn the magnitude of his task 
in its performance — " Experto disces quam gravis iste labor " 
— and the book was not written in the order of its final 
arrangement. The History of the Medieval Church— or 
rather that well-defined part of it which begins from the 
darkness of the Tenth Century— is a subject large enough 
in itself, and a complete History of the Reformation is one 
of equal magnitude ; but the ultimate issue of the former 


can only be seen by a glance at least, comprehensive how- 
ever brief, over the latter ; and this has been attempted in 
the present Volume. 

Apart from all questions of opinion about the true 
Catholic Church, which belong to polemical Theology, the 
external union of Western Christianity under the twofold 
headship of the Roman See and the Empire supplies a 
well-defined historical chain, which is here followed in the 
first two Books, from the deaths of the Emperor Otho III. 
and Pope Sylvester II. (a.d. 1002-3) to the Reformation, 
at the epoch marked by the coronation of Charles Y. in 
the same year as the Diet and great Protestant Confession 
of Augsburg (1530) and the death of Pope Clement VII. 
(1534), which is also the epoch of England's severance 
from Rome. Then, taking up what Mosheim long since 
defined as the Internal History of the Church, the attempt 
is made to exhibit, in successive Books, the Constitution, 
Worship, and most distinctive Doctrines of the Roman 
Catholic system ; the progress and decline of Monasticism, 
including the wondrous phenomenon of the Mendicant 
Orders, the standing militia of Rome, till their corruptions 
became a chief cause of the revolt from her authority; 
the great intellectual movement of Scholasticism and the 
Universities ; and the rebellion of opinion and conscience 
against authority, which — justly or unjustly — was stig- 
matized as Heresy. This subject leads, by a natural 
transition, to the great movement of Reformation, begin- 
ning with Wyclif and Hus, and culminating in the 
religious revolution of the Sixteenth Century ; the last 
wide period being only sketched in outline. 

With regard to the authorities on which the Work is 
founded, the avowal made in the Preface to the former 
Volume is still more applicable to the vast, literature of the 
Medieval Church. Though the subject has formed one of 
his special studies, the Author does not claim to have 
founded the present Manual on the life-long labour of 
original research ; but to have used the best Histories 


accessible, with such, reference to primary authorities as 
was possible. The works chiefly used are constantly 
indicated by references, and quotations are freely made 
where they seemed to give the best expression of the 
subject. Special acknowledgment is due to the thesaurus 
of extracts from original authorities, collected with equal 
industry and judgment by Gieseler in the Notes to his 
History, 1 which were also freely drawn on by Canon 
Robertson, to whose work the Author's acknowledgment 
is now mingled with regret for his loss (he died on the 
8th of July, 1882, in his 70th year). Another tribute of 
mingled gratitude and regret is due to Archbishop Trench, 
on his retirement from the see of Dublin, for the spirited 
and devout portraiture of the period in his Lectures on 
Medieval Church History ; 2 and great help has been derived 
from the late Archdeacon Hardwick's two excellent 
Manuals of Church History during the Middle Ages and 
the Reformation, edited by the present Bishop of Chester 
(Dr. Stubbs) ; and also from Mr. Pryce's Essay, which has 
become a standard work, on the Holy Roman Empire. Of 
Dean Milman's History of Latin Christianity, and the works 
of Hallam, it is almost superfluous to sj)eak. Constant 
use has been made of the German Church Histories of 
Guerike, Niedner, Kurz, and Hase. Some important 
authorities for special parts of the work are acknowledged 
in their place ; but a tribute of admiration must here be 
paid to the labours of the late Professor Brewer and 
Dr. Shirley on the Franciscans and the Schoolmen, and 
particularly Roger Bacon and Wyclif. 

The avowal made in the Author's former Preface of his 
attempt to preserve historical impartiality, but not in a 
spirit of indifference, becomes the more necessary from 

1 The references are to Mr. Hull's Translation in Clark's Foreign 
Theological Library. 

2 Another light of the Irish Church, the late Bishop Fitzgerald, has 
left behind the Lectures delivered in Trinity College, Dublin, which it is 
hoped will soon be published. They are full of instruction and suggestion. 


the nature of the questions at issue throughout the 
Middle Ages, especially between the Church of Rome and 
those who regard it as essentially a corrupted form of 
Christianity. On all such matters the object aimed 
at has been to state the plain historic truth, without 
exaggerating or glozing over the conclusions to which 
it leads. 

Luther's Cell in the Augustinian Convent at Erfurt. 

Noah's Ark, as a Symbol of Salvation in the Church by Bapti 
From the Catacombs. 





Centuries XI.-XIII. 



HENRY III. a.d. 1002-1056 1 


TURES, a.d. 1057-1085 10 



From the Death of Gregory VII. to thk Concordat op Worms 
and the Death of the Emperor Henry V. 

a.d. 1085 1125 J4 

II— A 2 




From the Election of Pope Honorius II. and the Emperor 


and Pope Celestine III. a.d. 1124-1198 40 



From the Election of Innocent III. to the Deaths of 
Conrad IV. and Innocent IV. a.d. 1198-1254 61 



From the Election of Alexander IV. to the Deaths of 
Boniface VIII. and Benedict XL a.d. 1254-1304 .. .. 81 




Centuries XIV.-XVI. 


CLEMENT V. AND JOHN XXII. a.d. 1305-1334 103 



From Benedict XII. to Gregory XI. a.d. 1334-1378. 

Including the Tribuneship of Rtenzi at Rome .. 119 




To thr Council op Pisa and the Death of Alexander V. 

a.d. 1378-1410 136 


The Council of Constance and End of the Schism. 

a.d. 1410 to 1418 149 


The Council of Basle : to its Virtual End. a.d. 1418-1443 . 168 



The XVIIth (Ecumenical of the Romans. End of the Council 
of Basle, a.d. 1438 to 1447 .. ..' 185 



Age of the Renaissance. Nicolas V. Calixtus III. Pius II. 

Paul II. a.d. 1447-1471 196 



Sixtus IV. Innocent VIII. Alexander VI. Pius III. 

a.d. 1471-1503 214 


Julius II. Leo X. Clement VII. To the Epoch of the 
Coronation of Charles V. a.d. 1503-1530 233 





Centuries XI.-XVI. 









Lanfranc and Berengar— Doctrine of Transubstantiation . . 310 






PREACHING FRIARS, a.d. 1170, et seq 368 





AND HIS ORDER, a.d. 1182-1226 381 

PROGRESS OF THE FRANCISCANS, a.d. 1226-1256 .. 399 





Centuries XI.-XV. 



From Lanfranc and Berengar to Anselm — Second Half of 
Cent. XI 451 


Realism and Nominalism: Roscellin, Abelard, and St. Ber- 
nard. The Victorines and Peter Lombard. First Half 
of Cent. XII 464 


The Universities and the Schoolmen. — Cent. XII., XIII. .. 486 





St. Bonaventcra, St. Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus. 

a.d. 1221 4308 501 


Roger. Bacon. From about 1214 to after 1292 a.d 525 



William of Ockham and the Later Schoolmen. From the 
End of Cent. XIII. to the End of Cent. XV 543 



Centuries XIV. and XV 554 




Retrospect. — Centuries VII.-XII 576 


Cathari, Albigenses, etc. — Centuries XII., XIII 585 



Centuries XII.-XV 595 




THE ALBIGENSIAN CRUSADE, a.d. 1198-1229 .. ..607 

THE INQUISITION: from a.d. 1229 621 


WYCLIF AND THE LOLLARDS, a.d. 1324 (?)-1384, et seq. 629 



From the Fourteenth Century to the Peace of Westphalia 

(a.d. 1648) 650 


Century XVI 681 

The Pope's Chair at the Council of Constance. 

Christ and the Doctors. The figure brlow is supposed to represent the Firmament. 



The Pope in Procession Frontispiece 

A Gem, with Christian Symbols Title 

The Twelve Apostles on Thrones, with Our Lord in the centre . . . . v 

Luther's Cell in the Augustinian Convent at Erfurt viii 

Noah's Ark, as a Symbol of Salvation in the Church by Baptism .. ix 

The Pope's Chair at the Council of Constance xv 

Christ and the Doctors xvi 

Susannah and the Elders allegorized as a type of the Church : a Sheep 

between two wild beasts xvii 

Coin of Charles the Great xviii 

Vestibule of the Abbey of Lorsch, near Darmstadt xl 

The Walls of Rome. The Ostian Gate 1 

Rome 10 

Ancient Chalices, formerly at Monza 23 

Jerusalem 24 

Shrine of the "Three Kings," Cologne Cathedral 40 

The Iron Crown of Lombardy, at Monza Cathedral , BO 

Apse of the Apostles' Church at Cologne 61 

Basilica of the Lateran, (San Giovanni in Laterano) 81 

The Lord with SS. Peter and Paul. An ancient Glass Medallion, 

found in the Catacombs, and preserved in the Vatican 102 

Avignon; with the Broken Bridge over the Rhone 103 

Palace of the Popes at Avignon 119 

The Castle of St. Angelo (Mausoleum of Hadrian) 136 

Hall of the Kaufhaus, in which the Council of Constance was held .. 149 

Medal of Martin V. From the British Museum 167 

Medal of Pope Eugenius IV 1(58 

Florence 185 

Medal of John Palseologus. II., by Pisani. (Reverse.) 195 



Interior of St. Peter's, at Rome 196 

Medal of Cosmo de' Medici 213 

Bronze Statue of St. Peter, in St. Peter's, at Rome 214 

The Pope in Procession 233 

Durham Cathedral 255 

Shrine of St. heboid, at Nuremberg 270 

Cologne Cathedral 271 

St. Peter Fishing. (From the Calixtine Catacomb) 293 

The Virgin Enthroned 294 

Abbey of Corbey, in Westphalia 310 

Archbishop celebrating Mass "before the Table " 327 

The Abbey of Clugny, in Burgundy 328 

IXQTC and Anchor. (A Gem from Martigny) 350 

The Temple, Paris 351 

Monks. — Devotion and Labour. One at prayer and two basket-m;iking 367 

Interior of Cordova Cathedral 368 

St. Francis in Glory. From the Fresco by Giotto, on the Vault of 

the Lower Church of St. Francis at Assisi 381 

Assi&i : showing the Churches of St. Francis .. 399 

Christ the Good Shopherd, with subjects from the Old Testament. 

An archaic bronze Medallion, found in the Catacombs at Rome . . 414 

Franciscan Friar and Trinitarian Monk 415 

Tomb of the Venerable Bede : in the Galilee of Durham Cathedral .. 438 

Tomb of Charles the Great, at Aix-la-Chapelle 451 

Vezelay — where St. Bernard preached the Second Crusade .. .. 464 

Interior of Notre Dame, Paris 486 

The Great, Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino 501 

Merton College, Oxford .. 525 

The Kbnigsstuhl at Rhense on the Rhine 543 

Strassburg 554 

Interior of the Court of a Greek Monastery. ' A monk is calling the 
Congregation to prayers by beating a board called a Simaodro, 

which is used instead of bells 576 

Albi 585 

Church of St. Ainay, Lyon 595 

Gateway of Carcassonne 607 

The Three Children in the Fiery Furnace 620 

Prison of the Inquisition at Cordova 621 

Preaching at Paul's Cross 629 

Old Town-hall (Rathhaus) at Prague 650 

Council of Trent. From a photograph of an old picture which used 

to hang in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Trent .. .. 681 
Castle of the Wartburg in Thuringia, where Luther made his trans- 
lation of the Bible 690 

Susannah and the Elders allegorized as a type of the Church : 
a Sheep between two wild beasts. From a bas-relief. 

Coin of Charles the Gnat 




524. Boethius the last Classical Latin Writer 440 

Decay of Learning ; but preserved by the Church 441 

600. The Epoch from which the Middle Ages begin 440 

Ecclesiastical Schools. Gregory the Great 442 

630. Schools of King Sigbert and Bishop Felix in East Anglia . . 443 
653. Constantine founds the Paulician Heresy in Armenia .. .. 579 
668. Archbishop Theodore. Greek Learning in England . . . . 443 

Learning flourishing in Northumbria 444 

684. Benedict Biscop's Abbeys of Wearmouth and Jarrow . . . . 445 

The Venerable Bede (ob. 735). His knowledge of Greek .. 445 

690. Burning of Panlicians by Justinian II 579 

735. Archbishop Egbert (ob. 766); the Schools of York .. .. 445 
766. Alcuin (6. 735, d. 804) ; teacher of Charles the Great 445-6 
800 f. The Cathedral and Conventual Schools of Charles .. ..446 

811. Capitularies of Charles on Church-building 306 

813. Council of Mainz. Feast of the Assumption 295 

i Note.— This is intended not merely as a Chronological Table complete in itself, 
but a gathering up into consecutive order of the items which our arrangement by 
subjects lias necessarily dispersed through the book. 

Beyond the limits of the text (Centuries XI.-XVI.) various items incidentally 
referred to are inserted boih at the beginning and the end of the Table. 

What relates to the conversion of the nations of Northern Europe (in Centuries 
XI.-XIV.) has already been given In our First Volume. 



871. Destruction of the Paulician stronghold Tephrica 580 

General Intellectual State of Europe in 9th and 10th Centuries 447 

880 (circ.). Death of John Scotus Hrigena 448-450 

912. Berno founds the Benedictine Order of Glugny 332 

960. Witikund OF Corvey against Monastic Reform 335 

969 f. Pauliciaiis in Thrace, &c. : spread to Europe 580 

Oriental Origin of Western Manicheaa Sects 578-580 

980. Avicenna, Arab commentator on Aristotle (06. 1037).. 458-9 

999. Sylvester II., P. (Gerbert), brings Arab Learning from Spain 458 

1000. General Expectation of the Millennium 306 


1002. Death of the Emperor Otho III 2 

Henry II. (of Bavaria) King of the Romans 2 

1003. Death of Pope Sylvester II. (Gerbert). His Learning .. .. 448 
John XVII. (Sicco) and John XVIII. (Fanassi) Popes .. .. 3 n. 
Sergius IV. (Bocca di Porco) Pope 3 n. 

1004. Leutheric, Archbishop of Sens, on the Eucharist 313 

1005. Nilus the Younger, hermit in Calabria (ob.) 333 

1012. Benedict VIII. (John), Pope : Gregory, Antipope .. .. 3 

1017. Manichean Heretics in Aquitaine .. 581 

1018. Romuald founds the Order of Camaldoli 334 

1022. Heretics burnt at Orleans, Toulouse, &c 581 

1024. John XIX. (Romano) Pope, Senator of Rome 3 

Conrad the Salic (Franconian) : cr. Emperor 1027 . . . . 3, 4 

1025. Eucharistic Miracles 311 n. 

1030. St. Catharine of Alexandria, a fictitious Saint 292 

1033. Benedict IX. (Terfilacto) Pope (deposed 1046) 4 

Expectations of the Millennium 306 

1038. Earliest known Regular Canons of Cathedrals 343 

1039. Henry III. the Black {Franconian) : cr. Emperor 1046 . . . . 4 
Gttalbert founds the Order of Vallombrosa 334 

1044. Heretics burnt at Monteforte near Turin 581 

Wazo, Bishop of Liege, against persecution (ob. 1048) .. .. 581 
1044-5. SYLVESTER III. and G REGORY T7. Antipopes (deposed 1046) 4 
1046. Clement II. (Suidger) Pope : Synod of Sutri 4 

1048. Dam asus II. (Poppo) Pope for 20 days 5 

St. Leo IX. (Bruno) Pope: Rise of Hildebrand 5-7 

Hospital of St. John at Jerusalem (cf. 1095) 352 

1049. Hugh, Abbot of Clugny 342-3 

Dispute of Berengar of Tours (6. 1000, d. 1088) and Lan- 

franc OF Bec (b. 1005) on the Eucharist 314 f. 

1050. Synods of Home and Vercelli against Berengar 316 

Use of Dialectics in the controversy 323,461 



Origin and Meaning of SCHOLASTICISM \ . 452-3 

1053-4. Final Schism of the Eastern and Western Churches .. ..8,9 
1054. Victor II. (Gebhard) Pope 9 

Council of Tours about Berengar 317 

1056. HENRY IV. (Franconian) : cr. Emperor 1084 9 

1057-8. STEPHEN IX. (Frederick of Lorraine) Pope 11 

1058. Decay of Cathedral and Monastic Schools 491 

1058-9. Besedict X. (John) Antipope 11 

1059. Nicolas II. (Gerard) Pope. He makes the College of Cardinals 

electors of the Pope .. .. 11 

Treaty with Robert Guiscard, founder of the Norman power 

in South Italy 13 

Resistance to the Pope in Germany 13,15 

Berengar's enforced confession at Rome 318 

1061. Alexander II. (Anselmo da Baggio) Pope 14 

E.ONORIUS Antipope to 1069 „ .. .. 14 

1066 f. William the Conqueror : his ecclesiastical policy .. .. 35 

1068. Hanno, Archbishop of Cologne, Monastic Reformer 335 

1069. Congregation of Hirschau founded by the Abbot William .. 336 

1070. Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury 35 

1072. Peter Damiani (St.) ob. : promotes Mariolatry 14, 282, 296, 321 n. 

His complaint of secular learning 457 

1073 f. Guitmund on the Eucharist 319 

St. Gregory" VII. (Hildebrand) Pope. His "Dictate " .. .. 15 

1074. Synod of Borne, against simony anil clerical marriage .. .. 16 
Stephen of Tigerno founds the Order of Grammont .. 336-7 

1075. Decree against Investitures 17 

Council of Poitiers against Berengar 317 

1076. Henry IV. excommunicated 19 

1077. His abject submission at Canossa 20 

Rudolf of Swabia, Anti-King in Germany (killed 1080) .. .. 21 

1078. ANBELM (St.) Abbot of Bee (6. 1033, d. 1109): founder of 

the Scholastic Theology .. ., 37,461-3 

1079. Council of Borne against Berengar 322 

1080. Henry IV. again excommunicated 21 

CLEMENT III. (Guibert) Imperialist Antipope, to 1100.. .. 22 
Plenary Indulgence to the supporters of Rudolf 283 

1084. Henry IV. takes Rome and is crowned by Clement 22 

Alliance of Gregory with Robert Guiscard and the Eastern 

Emperor Alexius Comnenus 22-3 

Bruno of Cologne founds the Carthusian Order .. .. 338-9 

1085. Death of Gregory VI] 23 

1086. Victor III. (Desiderio) Pope 25 

1088. Urban II. (Otho, a Frenchman) Pope. Conflicts in Rome .. 25 
1092 f. Roscellin {Nominal tat) opposed to Anselm 465-7 



1093. Conrad, son of Henry IV., Anti-King in Italy 37 

Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury 37 

1095. His quarrel with William Rufus about Investiture 37 

Council of Clermont. First Crusade 26 

Order of Hospitallers of St. Anthony founded 352 

1098. Archbishop Anslem at the Synod of Bari 38 

Robert of Champagne founds the Cistercian Order 341 

1099 Capture of Jerusalem. Godfrey of Bouillon, King .. .. 27 

Paschal II. (Rainer) Pope 28 

Order of Hospital Brethren of St. John founded (cf. 1118) .. 353 

1100. Robert of Arbrissel founds the Order of Fontevraud .. .. 339 

Council of Poitiers : fictitious Relics 291 

William of Champeaux {Realist), teacher at Paris . . . . 467 
Afterwards founder of the Victor ine Mystical Scholasticism . . 479 
Peter Abelard {Nominalist, b. 1079) rival of William .. 467-8 
Abelard attacks Indulgences 285 

1100 f. England resists legatine authority 32,39 


1101 f. The Heretics Eon, Tanchelm, and Peter of Bruis .. 582-3 

1102. Henry IV. again excommunicated 28 

1103. Civil War in Germany. Henry deposed (06. 1106) 29 

1106. Agreement of Anselm with Henry 1 39 

Henry V. {Franconian) : cr. Emperor 1111 29 

1107. Contest about Investitures renewed 30 

1109. Death of Anselm of Canterbury 39 

1111. Henry in Italy. The Pope imprisoned 30 

1112. Paschal revokes his agreement with Henry 31 

1113 f. The Cistercian "daughter societies" founded 342 

1115. Bernard, St. {b. 1091), Abbot of Clairvaux 44 

1116. Alexius Comnenus and the Paulicians in Thrace 582 

1116 f. Henry of Lausanne : the Henrician heresy 584 

1117. Anselm of Laon (o'>.), biblical theologian 468 

1118. Abelard and Heloisa 469 

Gelasius II. (John Gaetano) Pope 31 

Gregory VIII. (Burdinus) Antipope to 1121 31 

Military Order of the Temple founded 355 

The Hospitallers of St. John become Military 353 

1119. CalixtusII. (Guy of Dauphiny) Pope 32 

Council of Reims. Henry V. excommunicated 32 

Conference of Gisors between Henry I. and the Pope . . . . 33 

1119. Religious and Ecclesiastical State of Languedoc 588 

Council of Toulouse against Heresy 589 

1120. Abelard's Jnt> oduction to Theology 470 


a.d. PAGE 

1120. Norbert founds the Prsemonstratensian Order .. ..^ .. 345 

1121. Council of Soissons against Abelard 47/ 

1122. Abel ard founds the monastery Paraclete 471-2 

Norbert and Bernard against Abelard 472 

Concordat of Worms about Investitures 34 

1123. First Lateran Council (the Ninth (Ecumenical) 34 

1124. Honorius II. (Lambert) Pope .. 43 

First mention of Seven Sacraments 275 n. 

Guiberti, Abbot of Nogent, on false relics and saints .. .. 291 

1125. Ivo OF Chartres (ob.) : Canons Regular of St. Augustine . . 343 

Bernard on Monastic Corruptions 348-9 

Abelard, Abbot of St. Gildas in Brittany 473 

History of his Misfortunes. Correspondence with Heloisa . . 473 
Emperor Henry V. ob. End of the Franconiin Line .. .. 34 

Lothair II. (of Saxony): cr. Emperor, 1137 43, 46 

Peter the Venerable, Abbot of Clugny 45, 348 

1128. The Statutes of the Templars by Bernard 356 

1130. Innocent II. (Gregory), Pope 43 

ANACLETUS II. (Peter Leonis) Antipope to 1138 43 

1131 (or 1148). Order of Sempringham founded by Gilbert .. ..341 
1134. Abelard's teaching at Paris. His Sic et \on .. .. 474-5 

1138. Conrad III. (The Swabian or Hohenstaufrn Line) 46 

Contest with Henry of Bavaria and Saxony 46 

Origin of the Guelph and Ghibelline factions 46 

1139. Second Lateran Council (the Tenth (Ecumenical) .. .. 47 

Condemnation of Arnold of Brescia 47 

Edict against Heresy in Languedoc 589 

1140. Abelard condemned by the Council of Sens (ob. 1142) .. 476-7 

1141. Robert Pulleyn (ob. circ. 1150), writer of Sentences .. 482-3 
Hugo of St. Victor, Mystical Scholastic (ob.) 480 

1143. Republican Revolt at Rome 47 

Celestine II. (Guy de Castro) Pope 47 

1144. Lucius II. (Gerard Caccianimico) Pope 48 

Church of St. Denys at Paris, : Pointed Architecture .. .. 308 

1145. Eugenius III. (Bernard) Pope 48 

1146. St. Bernard against puttiog Heretics to Death 587 

1147. Gilbert de la Porree opposed to Bernard (ob. 1151) .. .. 478 

The Second Crusade preached by St. Bernard 48 

Albi, the seat of the Albigensian Heresy 584, 586 

1 147 f. Prophecies of St. Hildegard (6. 1098) and St. Elizabeth 584 n. 

1148. Council of Reims against Heresy 589 

1149. St. Bernard's work De Consideration e 48 n. 

(probably earlier) Averrhoes (06. 1198) of Cordova, Arab com- 
mentator on Aristotle 459 

Vacarius teaches Civil Law at Oxford 490 



1150. Peter Lombard, "Master of Sentences " at Paris (ob. 1164).. 483 

1152. Frederick I. Barbarossa (Hohenstaufen) : cr. Emperor 1155 49 
St. Bernard on Papal Legates 261 

„ on the Mediation of the Virgin 298 

„ Definition of a Sacrament 324 

1153; Death of St. Bernard 48 

Anastasius IV. (Conrad) Pope 50 

1158 (about). The Decretum Gratiani 485 

1153. Alliance of Barbarossa with the Emperor Manuel Comnenus 49 

1154. Barbarossa in Lombardy 50 

Adrian IV. (Nicolas Breakspear) the only English Pope . . 50 
The Hundred Years' Conflict with the Empire begins .. 50-1 

John of Salisbury, friend of Adrian IV. (ob. 1180) .. 480-1 

„ on Papal corruptions and Archdeacons .. 261 

„ on Ancient Learning and the Schoolmen .. 481 

1155. Execution of Arnold of Brescia 50 

1156. The Carmelite Order founded by Berthold 364 

Stephen, Abbot of Obaize (ob. 1159), resists an Indulgence .. 284 

1158. Order of Calatrava founded 363 

Frederick in Italy. Assembly at Roncaglia 52 

Privileges granted to the University of Bologna 457 

1159. Alexander III. (Roland) Pope 52 

Victor IV. (Octavian) Antipope to 1164 52 

1160. Imperialist Council at Pavia 53 

Punishment of Heretics (Publicani) in England 587 

1161. Flight of Alexander III. to France 53 

Knights of St. James of the Sword founded 363 

1162. Council of Tours for Alexander 54 

Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury 54 

Knights of Evora, or Order of Avis, founded 363 

1163. Council of Tours against Heresy 589 

1164. Council of Clarendon. Exile of Becket 54 

PASCHAL III. (Guy of Crema) Antipope to 1168 54 

1165. Alexander III. returns to Rome 54 

1166. The Greek Emperor Manuel proposes a reunion 54 

1167. Barbarossa takes Rome, but retreats 55 

The Lombard League against the Emperor 55 

Catharist Council near Toulouse, under their " Pope " . . . . 589 

1168. CALIXTUS III. (John of Struma) Antipope to 1178 . ..55 
1170. Murder of Thomas Becket. Penance of Henry II., 1178 .. 55 

Peter Waldo founds the Poor Men of Lyon ( Waldenses) 596 f. 

Power of Canonization vested in the Pope 260 

St. Dominic (Domingo Guzman) born 371 

(circ.) Richard of St. Victor (ob.) 480 

Walter of St. Victor opposes the Scholastics 480 


a.d. . page 

1176. Defeat of Frederick by the Lombards at Legnano 56 

Order of Alcantara founded 363 

1177. The Emperor reconciled to the Pope at Venice 56 

First Cistercian Mission against Heresy in Languedoc .. 589, 590 

1178. Alexander's triumphant return to Rome 56 

INNOCENT III. Anti pope to 1180 57 

Hospital Brethren of Montpellier founded by GuiDO .. .. 352 

1179. Third Lateran Council (the Eleventh (Ecumenical) .. .. 57 

Decree on (University)* Teaching at Paris 489 

Decree on behalf of Cathedral Schools 491 

Decree against Pluralities . . 268 

Crusade against Heretics in Languedoc 57,591 

Various names and tenets of the Cathari, Albigenses, &c. 586, 591, f. 
Waldensian Deputies at the Council 600 

1180. Pkter of Blois on Confession and Penance 276 

1180 f. Origin of the Beguines and Beghards 436 

1181. Lucius III. (Ubaldo Allocingoli) Pope 57 

1182. Belethus, Ritualist writer 303 

St. Francis of Assisi, born 382 

1183. Peace of Constance between Emperor and Lombards .. .. 57 

1184. Council of Verona against heretical Sects 601,623 

The Reichsfest of Frederick Barbarossa at Mainz 57 

1185. Urban III. (Humbert Crivelli) Pope 58 

Fame of the Schools of Oxford 491 

1187. Gregory VIII. (Albert di Morra) Pope, Oct. 20-Dec. 17 .. 59 

Clement III. (Paul Scolaro) Pope 59 

Jerusalem taken by Saladin 59 

1188. The Third Crusade; led by Barbarossa (1189) 59 

1190. Frederick Barbarossa drowned in Cilicia 59 

Henry VI. (ffohenstaufen) : cr. Emperor 1191 159 

1191. The Order of Teutonic Knights founded by Henry of Walpot 362 
Celestine III. (Hyacinth Bubona) Pope 59 

1192 (cir.) Adam of St. Victor, Liturgical poet (ob.) .. .. 305 n. 

1194. Henry VI. conquers Naples and Sicily 59 

Council of Verona condemns the Waldenses 601 

Wide Diffusion of the Waldenses 601 

Raymund VI., Count of Toulouse, excommunicated .. .. 609 

1195. Fourth Crusade under Henry VI 60 n. 

1196. Peter II. King of Arragon 609 

I'm DEBICE II. (Henry's infant son) elected King of the Romans 60 

1197. but on the death of his father excluded by the 60 

rival elections of Philip II. (Swabiari), and Otho IV. (Saxon) 65 

1 The C ) are a reminder thai the name is not yet used, but in reality Universities 
rose In the twelfth century or < ; irlirr (see p. 487 f). 



1198. Innocent III. (Lothair of Segni) Pope .. 65 

His Reforms. Climax of the Papacy 65 71 

Frederick, King of Sicily, under the Pope's protection . . . . 64 

Civil War in Germany. Innocent supports Otho 65 

Order of Trinitarians or Mathurins founded 365 

The Waldenses in Piedmont 601 

1198 f. The Jus Exuviarum renounced in Germany 265-6 

1199. Innocent proclaims the Fifth Crusade 68 

Heresy in Italy put down by the Pope 608 

Heresy in Languedoc : Mission of Cistercians 609-16 

Innocent III. on the Waldenses and Scripture 602 

1200. Paulus Presbyter on the Remission of Sins 285 n. 

Aristotle's Philosophical works brought into Europe in the 

latter part of the twelfth century. The Dialectic works 
known much earlier 459,460 


1201. Charter of John to the University of Oxford (cf. 1149) .. 490 
Royal Grant to the University {Studium Generale) of Paris . . 490 
Order of the Humiliati sanctioned by Innocent III 365 

1202. Abbot St. Joachim of Fiore (06.): his Prophecies 420 

1203. The Crusaders take Constantinople 68 

1204. Latin Kingdom there till 1261 ' 68 

Heresies of David of Dinant and Amalric of Bena . . . . 492 

Peter of Castelnau and Arnold in Languedoc .. .. 379, 610 

1204 f. Hospitals of the Holy Ghost 352 

1205. Diego, Bishop of Osma, and Dominic in Languedoc .. 372 

1208. Murder of Peter of Castklnau imputed to Raymond .. ..61 

Philip II. murdered, Otho IV. cr. Emperor (1220) 67 

A Crusade against Languedoc; Simon de Montfort .. 611, 613 

1209. Capture and Massacre of Beziers and Carcassonne .. .. 614-5 

Submission and Penance of Raymond 614 

Female Schools founded by Dominic 375 

Council of Paris condemns the Physics of Aristotle ; also the 

books of Amalric of Bena and David of Dinant 491-2 and n. 

1210. Attempt to reconcile the Waldenses 610 

Otho excommunicated by the Pope 66 

1212. Frederick II. {Hohenstaufen) recalled to Germany : (cr. 1220) 67 

The Moors defeated at Navas de Tolosa in Spain 68 

St. Francis founds his Order of Minor Brethren 385 

Sisterhood of St. Clare 387 

1213. John of England becomes the Pope's vassal 67 

Homage of various states to Innocent III 68 

II— B 


a.d. v page 

1213. Peter II. of Arragon defeated and slain at Muret .. .. 617 

1214. Otho defeated at Bouvines. (Dies 1218) 67 

Roger Bacon, Franciscan Schoolman, born (ob. after 1292) 526 f. 

1214-5. Conquest of Languedoc by the Crusaders 617 

1215. Fourth Later an Council (the Twelfth (Ecumenical) .. .. 70 
Decrees for Transubstantiation and Auricular Confession Til ', 325 

„ against Episcopal power of Indulgence 288 n. 

Condemns the Cathari, Waldenses, and other heretics .. .. 623 

Proclaims Crusade against the Albigenses 71 

Decrees published in the Pope's name 259 n. 

Forbids new religious Orders 350 

Innocent sanctions the Franciscans and Dominicans 71 

First General Chapter of the Minorites (Franciscans) .. .. 388 

First use of the name of the University of Paris 490 

Aristotle prohibited by the Papal Legate at Paris . . . . 493 

1216. Honorius III. (Cencio Savelli) Pope 72 

The Dominican Order of Preachers sanctioned 375 

1217. Revolt of Languedoc. Death of De Montfort (1218) .. ..619 
Unsuccessful Sixth Crusade to Egypt 72 

1219. St. Francis goes to Egypt 388 

FraDciscan Martyrs in Morocco 388 

1220. Brethren of the Warfare of Jesus Christ 364 

Henry, son of Frederick, elected King of the Romans .. .. 72 
First Dominican Chapter 377 

1220-3. Agreements between the Emperor and Pope 72 

1221. Death of St. Dominic (canonized 1233) 378-9 

The Third Order (Terliarii) of St. Francis 392 

1222. Council of Oxford on Feasts of the Virgin 301 n. 

1223. The University of Cambridge 490 

1223 (or 1224). Charter of Honorius to the Minor Brethren .. .. 389 

1224. Arrival of the Franciscans in England 389 

Their School at Oxford, Robert Grosseteste reader 390 w., 494 
The Stigmata of St. Francis. His death (1226) .. .. 393-5 

1225 f. Adam Marsh (Ada de Maiisco) Francn. Prior at Oxford 407, 495 
122(3. Louis IX. (St.) King of France 85 

1227. Gkegory IX. (Ugolino de Segni) Pope 73 

Begins the long strife with Frederick II 73 

The Crusade. Excommunication of the Emperor 74 

Cjesarius of Heisterbach on Miracles and Visions .. . . 293 

1228. Albertus Magnus at Paris (6. 1193, d. 1280) 497-500 

University of Paris suspended (restored in 1231) .. .. 498-9 

1228-9. Frederick in Palestine : King of Jerusalem 75 

1229. End of the War. Penance of Raymond VII 620 

Sequel of the history of Languedoc 620 n. 

Council of Toulouse against Heresy 622 



1229. The Scriptures forbidden to the Laity 622 

First Origin of the Inquisition 623 

1230. Frederick's return and agreement with Gregory 75 

1231. Frederick's ecclesiastical laws. The Code of Melfi 75 

His Laws against Heresy 75 624 

Elias, successor of St. Francis : deposed 1239 411-413 

Bull of Gregory X. on Aristotle 493 

Albert the Great at Cologne (Bp. of Ratisbon 1260-3) .. .. 499 

1232. Conradof Marburg, preacher and Inquisitor (k. 1233) 557, 625-6 

1233. The Inquisition entrusted to the Dominicans 374, 380 

Order of Servites of the Blessed Virgin 434 

1234. Crusade against the Stedingcrs in Frisia 626 n. 

Raymund Pennaforti: the Decretals of Gregory IX. .. 76, 485 
The Emperor's son Henry rebels in Italy : dies 1242 .. 76-7 

Council of Tarraco forbids vernacular SS. to the clergy .. 622 n. 

1235. Council of Bordeaux forbids Infant Communion 325 

Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln (pb. 1253).. .. 407, 495 

1237. Frederick's son Conrad IV. elected King of the Romans .. 77 

1238. The Carmelite Order come to Europe 434 

1239. Frederick again excommunicated 77 

1241. Celestine IV. Pope, Oct. 26-Nov. 17, not consecrated .. .. 78 

The Holy See vacant till' June 26, 1243 78 

1243. Innocent IV. (Sinibald Fiesco) Pope 78 

The Quarrel with the Emperor continued 78 

Matthew Paris on the Mendicant Friars 380 

1244. Jerusalem taken by the Chorasmians 86 

1245. Alexander Hales, Franciscan Schoolman (06.) .. .. 496-7 

The Franciscan rule relaxed by Innocent IV 413 

Rise of the Zealots of the Order or Fraticelli 426 

1245. First Council of Lyox (the Thirteenth (Ecumenical) .. .. 79 

Decrees Frederick's deposition. War in Italy 79 

1246-7. Henry of Thuringia and William of Holland Anti-kings .. 79 

1247 f. Berthold, Franciscan preacher in Germany (06. 1272) 289, 557 

1248-54. The Seventh Crusade. Louis IX. in Egypt 86 

1249. William, Bishop of Paris, on Absolution 281 

1250. Death of Frederick II. The Great Interregnum is dated by 

some from this year to the election of Rudolf of Hapsburg 

(1271); by others only from 1254 to 1256 79, 80 

Robert of Sorbonne founds the famous Theol. School at Paris 506 
1250-4. Conrad II., the last of the Hohenstaufen 80 

1251. Contest of the University of Paris with the Friars 507 

First Crusade of the Pastoureaux Ill w. 

1254. Introduction to the " Everlasting Gospel" 423 f 

Bull of Innocent IV. about the Friars 507 

Alexander IV. (Reinaldo di Segni, a Franciscan) Pope.. .. 82 



1254. Alexander IV. 's Bulls in favour of the Mendicants .. ,\ .. 507 

1255. Council of Bordeaux ; fictitious relics 291 

1256. John of Parma, Franciscan General, resigned 414 

St. Bonaventura (p. 1221, d. 1274), General .. .. 416, 497, 502 
William of St. Amour On the Perils, &c. (ph. 1270) .. 508-9 

Condemnation of the Everla sling Gospel 510 

Order of the Augustinian Eremites 434 

1257. Richard, Earl of Cornwall jRival Kings of thef to 1271 .. 82 
Alfonso X. of Castile ) Romans \ to 1273 .. 82 
St. Thomas Aquinas (b. 1226, 6b. 1274) Doctor at Paris 503 f. 

1258. Manfred King of. Sicily, to 1266 83-4 

1260. Supposed Apocalyptic Epoch 421, f. 

1261. Council of Mainz against Quxst iaries 289 n. 

Urban IV. (James Pantaleon, a Frenchman) Pope . . . . 83 

The Eastern Empire recovered by Michael VIII. Pal^eologus 90 
Spurious Catena of Greek Fathers imposed on Thos. Aquinas . . 520 

1263. Crusade against Manfred for Charles of Anjou 84 

1264. Festival of Corpus Christi 327 

1265. Clement IV. (Guy Foulquois, a Frenchman) Pope 84 

Papal claim to dispose of vacant benefices 263 

1266. Charles of Anjou cr. King of Sicily 84 

1266-7. Roger Bacon's Op. Majus, Minus, and Tertium .. .. 529 f. 

1268. Enterprize and execution of Conradin 84-5 

Death of Clement IV. Papal Vacancy to 1271 85 

1269. Pragmatic Sanction of Louis IX. 87 

1270. Eighth and Last Crusade. Louis IX. d. at Carthage .. .. 88 
Philip III. {le Hardi) King of France, to 1285 88 

1270-2. Edward of England in Palestine. End of the Crusades.. 88 

1271. Roger Bacon's Compendium of Philosophy 536 

Gregory X. (Theobald Visdomini) Pope 89 

1272. Edward I. King of Englaud .. 95 

1273. Rudolf I. of Hapsburg, King of the Romans 89 

1274. Second Council of Lyon (the Fourteenth (Ecumenical) .. 89 

The Four Orders of Mendicant Friars 434 

New rule for Papal Elections. The Conclave of Cardinals .. 91 

Fruitless reconciliation with the Greeks 91 

Deaths of Bonaventura and Thomas Aquinas .. .. 502,511 

1274? William of Ockham born (06. 1343 or 1347) 545 

1275. Papal Territories and Claims confirmed by Rudolf 92 

1276. Innocent V. (Peter de Tarentaise) Pope, Jan.-June .. .. 92 
Adrian V. (Ottobone di Fresco) Pope, July-August .. .. 92 
John XXI. (Ioao Pedro, a Portuguese) Pope 92 

1277. Nicolas III. (John Orsini, a Franciscan) Pope 92 

Franciscan Indulgence of.the Portiunculit 4is 

1278. Rudolf I. (Emperor), master of Bohemia . . .. ■. .. .. 652 



1278 f. Jerome of Ascoli, Francn. Gen., afterwards P. Nicolas IV. 427 

1279. Bull Exiit, relaxing the Franciscan Rule 427 

Peter John Olivi (6. 1247, ob. 1297) 427-30 

1281. Martin IV. (Simon de Brie, a Frenchman) Pope 93 

1282. Massacre at Palermo, the " Sicilian Vespers" 93 

Sicily conquered by Peter III. of Arragon 93 

Naples still held by the house of Anjou 93 

1285. HONORIUS IV. (James Savelli; Pope 93 

Philip IV. (the Fair) King of France 95 

1287. Raymund Lully (b, 1235, ob. 1315) 552-3 

1288. Nicolas IV. (Jerome of Ascoli, Franciscan General) Pope .. 93 

1291. Fall of Acre. End of Christian Kingdom in Palestine 93,354,361 
1291 f. NlCOLAUS DE Lyra (Franciscan), Biblical expositor .. .. 551 

1292. Adolf (of Nassau) King of the Romans .. _ 95 

Jacobus de Voragine (6.) : the Golden Legend .. . . 292 n. 
Roger Bacon's Compendium of Theology, &c 536-7 

1292-4. Papal Vacancy for more than two years 93 

1294. Celestine V. (Peter Murrone, a hermit) Pope, abdicated .. 93 

His order of the Celestine Eremites 427 

Boniface VIII. (Benedict Gaetano) Pope 94 

1296. His conflict with England and France. The Bull Clericis Laicos 95 

The poet Dante jl. (b. 1265, d. 1321) 95 n. 

1296. William Durandus, Bp. of Mende (ob.) 292 n., 303 

1298. Albert I. (of Hapsburg) King of the Romans 95 

The Decretals of Boniface VIII 485 

1299 f. Contest of England with the Pope about Scotland .. ..96 f. 
1300. The first great Papal Jubilee. Indulgences 96,288 


1301. Four Bulls against Philip of France 97 

1302. Answei's of the States-General 98 

The Bull Unam Sanctam : climax of Papal claims 99 

1303. Assault on Boniface. His death 10o 

Benedict XI. (Mcolas Bocasi) Pope 101 

Turning-point in the state of the Papacy 104 

1304. Henry Eckiiart, Dominican Mystic (pb. 1330) .. .. 558-9 

1305. Clement V. (Bertram! le Got, a Gascon) 105 

Removes Irom Lyon to Avignon 106 

1305-1378. Period of the " Babylonian Captivity " .. .. 106 f. 

1305 f. Exactions of the Popes at Avignon 263 

System of Papal Reservations or Provisions 263 

1308. Henkit YII. (of Luxemburg) : cr. Emperor 1312 107 

John Duns SCOTUS, Franciscan Schoolman (ob.) .. .. 522-3 
Long Conflict of Thomists and Scotists .. .. .. .* .. 524 



1309. The Knights Hospitallers at Rhodes v .. 354 

1309 f. Brotherhoods of Practical Benevolence : Fratres Cellitx, 

Lollards, Brethren of the Common Life 569-70 

1310. Henry VII.'s son John K. of Bohemia : killed at Crecy, 1346 125, 652 
(circ.) Brethren of the Free Spirit in Alsace 437, 557 

1311. Council of Vienxe (the Fifteent h (Ecumenical) 108 

Durantis, Bishop of Mende, on Councils 109 

1312. Abolition of the Order of the Temple 108,361-2 

1313. Matthew Visconti, Captain-General of Milan 112 

1314. Death of Clement V. Papal Vacancy for ttxo years 110 

Louis IV. (of Bavaria) : cr. Emperor 1328 112 

Frederick (of Austria), rival king to 1325 112 

1316. John XXII. (James of Cahors, a Gascon) Pope 110 

Contest of the Pope with Louis 113 

1316 f. John claims the Reservation of all benefices 263 

Persecution of the Franciscan Zealots 430-1 

Suspension of Nicolas lll.'s Bull Quis exiit 431-2 

1317. Philip Y.(le Long) King of France 110 

Persecution of Magicians, Lepers, and Jews 110-11 

Second Crusade of the Pastoureaux Ill 

1322. William of Ockham, Provincial Minister for England.. .. 546 
Renewed and long contest of Nominalism and Realism . . . . 548 
Franciscan General Chapter at Perugia 432 

1324. Victory of Louis at Mukk lorf 113 

His Excommunication. The Long Lnterdict of Germany .. 114, 556 

1324? Assumed date of John Wyclif's birth 634 

1325. Alliance of the Austrian party with Louis 114 

1326. Wm. Durandus, Bp. of Meaux, on the Sacraments and SS. 544-5 

1327. Louis in Italy. Council at Trent against John XXII 115 

John Buridan, disciple of Ockham, at Paris 548 n. 

Walter Burley, Realist, at Oxford 548 n. 

1328. Nicolas V. imperialist Antipope to 1329 116 

Assembly of Pisa against John XXII 117 

Philip VI. (of I 'alois) King of France .. 117 

Thomas Bradwardine, Oxford Schoolman (ob. 1349) .. .. 524 

1329. Flight of Ockham and Michael di Cesena to Louis IV. 432, 546-7 
Works of Ockham and John of Jaudun on the Empire and 

Papacy 113 n.. 547 

i:'.29-30. Retreat of Louis. End of Lmperial power in Italy .. ..117 

1331. John XXII. on the Beatific Vision: charged with heresy .. 118 

Nicolas of Basle (burnt 1393) : the Friends of God .. 559-561 

1334. Benedict XII. (James Fournier), a reforming Pope .. .. 120 

1336. Opposes Philip, who prevents a reconciliation with Louis 120-1 

1338. Electoral Union at Rhense 121-2 

Controversy of William of Ockham and the Papalists .. .. 122 


A ' D ' PAGE 

1338. Edward III., imperial vicar : deserted by Louis 122 

1340. John Tauler, Preacher and Mystic (6. 1290, ob. 1361) .. 561-4 
1340 f. Revival of Republican spirit at Rome 127 f. 

1341. Petrarch (6. 1304, ob. 1374) crowned at the Capitol .. ..128 

1342. Clement VI. (Peter Roger) Pope 123 

Missions inviting his return to Rome 123 

Climax of Profligacy at Avignon 123 

1343. Clement's Bull against Louis 124 

1344. Prague made an independent Archbishopric 652 

1345. Disputed succession in Naples 124-5 

1346. Charles IV. (of Luxemburg) King of Bohemia 652 

1347. Charles IV. King of the Romans : cr. Emperor 1355 .. 125, 652 
1347-8. Nicolas Rienzi, Tribune of Rome 129-30 

Plague of the Black Death 130,556 

Conduct of the Friars and John Tauler 131,563 

The fanatical Flagellants 132 

1348. University of Prague founded by Charles IV 653 

Joanna of Naples sells A vignon to the Pope 126 

1348-9. Gunther of Schwarzburg Anti-King 126 

1350. The Second great Papal Jubilee 132 

John II. King of France .. 132 

1351. Statute of Edward III. against Papal Provisions .. 140 n., 264 

1352. Rienzi imprisoned at Avignon 130 

Innocent VI. (Stephen Aubert) Pope 130 

1353. Cardinal Giles Albornoz reconquers the Papal States .. .. 132 

1353-4. Rienzi's mission to Rome, and murder 133 

1356. The Golden Bull of Charles IV 133 

1361. Wyclif, Master of Baliol College, Oxford 634 

Resigned for the rectory of Fylingham 634 

1362. Urban V. (William de Grimoard), reforming Pope 133 

1363. Wyclif takes his Doctor's Degree 635 

His " bundles of tares " gathered up by the Friars . . . . 631, 635 

1364. Free Companies in Italy. Treaty with Bernabo Visconti .. 134 

1365. Suso, Dominican Mystic (06. set. 70) 564 

Urban V. demands tribute from England 637 

1366. Refusal of the Tribute supported by Wyclif 97,637 

His Theory of Dominion. First Epoch of English Reformation 638 

1367. Urban returns to Rome ; and reo ives the 134 

1368. submission of the Greek Emperor John Pal^eologus 1 134 

Wyclif Rector of Ludgershall. His Poor Priests . . . . 634, 640 

1369. Conrad of Waldhausen, Bohemian reformer (06.) .. .. 654 
John Hus of Husinetz born 656 

1370. Urban's return to Avignon, and death 134 

The enthusiasts St. Bridget and two St. Catherines .. 134-5 
Gregory XL (Peter Roger) Pope .. ..135 


A.D. „ PAGE 

1371. Wyclif iu the contest about taxing the Clergy 642 

1374. Milicz, Bohemian reformer (ob.) 654-5 

Wyclif, Rector of Lutterworth 634 

Goes to Bruges for negociations with Gregory XL .. .. 6+2 

1376. The Good Parliament. Death of the Black Prince .. ..642 

1377. John of Gaunt, William of Wykeham, and Wyclif.. .. 642 
Wyclif cited before the Bishop of London at St. Paul's.. .. 643 

Papal Bulls against Wyclif and Oxford 643 

Richard II. King of England 138 n. 

Wyclif's State Paper for Richard II 644 

The Pope returns to Rome; and dies (1378) 135 

End of the Babylonian Captivity 135 

1378-1417. The Great Papal Schism of Forty Years 1 .. ..137 

1378. Urban VI. (Bartholomew Prignano) elected Pope at Rome .. 137 
A number of the cardinals secede and elect Clement VII. 

(Robert de Geneve), who retires to Avignon (ob. 1394) .. 138 
Wenceslaus (of Luxemburg and Bohemia) King of the Romans, 

deposed 1400 138 n., 658 

Wyclif before Archbishop Sudbury at Lambeth 645 

1379. Jerome of Prague born 659 

1380. Charles VI. (Le Bien-Aime) King of France 138 n. 

1380 f. Wyclif's Translation of the Bible 646 

1381. Effect of Cade's Insurrection on Wyclif 645 

Archbishop Courtenay hostile to Wyclif 645 

Wyclif's Doctrine of the Eucharist 646 

Proceedings against Wyclif at Oxford 647 

Anne of Bohemia, queen of Richard II 656 

Her Bible in three Languages 656-7 

John Ruysbroek, Mystic (ob. set. 88) 565 

1382. The " Earthquake Council " at London 647 

Wvclif's retirement at Lutterworth 647 

His Trialogus, &c, and English Tracts 648 

1384. Wyclif cited to Rome: his Death (Dec. 3 1) 648-9 

Gerard Groot, founder of Brethren of the Common Life (ob.) 572 

1385. New forms of Papal exaction 14<» 

1386. Florentius Radevvini, founds Canons of Windesheim (o&. 1400; 572 

1387. Sigismund (of Luxemburg), King of Hungary 658 

University of Paris for the Immaculate Conception 304 

1389. Boniface IX. (Peter Tomacelli) Pope at Rome (ob. 1404) . . 140 

1389 and 1393. Richard II.'s Statutes of Praemunire 140 

1390 and 1400. The two Jubilees of Boniface IX 141 

1391. Wyclif's (scholastic) works known at Prague 657 

John DE Huesden, prior of Windesheim to 1424 .. .. 366, 572 

i Note.— On the question of Pope or Antipope during the Schism, see p. 138 n. 



1393. Mathias of J a now, Bohemian reformer (06.) 655-6 

Nicolaus de Clamengis, Rector of Univ. of Paris . . 140 568 n. 

1394. Efforts in France to heal the Schism 141 

BENEDICT XIII. (Peter de Luna) Pope at Avignon, dej>. 1417 142 

1395. Attempts to induce both Popes to resign 140 

The Visconti made Dukes of Milan U2 

1395-1409. Dominicans expelled from University of Paris ;;79 

1396. Peter d'Ailly (ob. 1425) 140, 567-8 n. 

1398. The French declare against Benedict 142 

1399. Richard II. deposed : Henry IV. King of England . . .. 142,649 

1400. Statute (2 Hen. IV. c. 15) for the burning of Heretics .. ..'649 
Rupert (Count Palatine) King of the Romans 142 

1400 f. Persecution of the Lollards in England 649 n. 


1401 (dr.). The Noble Lesson of the Waldenses 598 606 

1401. Hus's first work on the Sacrament of the Altar 661 

1402. Wyclif's theological works brought to Prague 660 

1402. John Hus preacher at Bethlehem Chapel 658 

1403. Zbynek Zajitz, Archbishop of Prague 662 

1404. Innocent VII. (Cosmato Migliorati) Pope at Rome (ob. 1406) 143 

1405. Jerome of Prague at Paris, Cologne, aDd Heidelberg .. .. 660 

1406. Gregory XII. (Angelo Corario) Pope at Rome (abd. 1415) .. 143 

1407. Murder of Duke of Orleans. (Case of Jean Petit) 144, 161, 165 

1408. Demand for a Council. John Charlier Gerson 144 

Meeting of seceding Cardinals of both Popes 144 

1408-9. The petty councils (Conciliabules) of the two Popes .. .. 145 

1409. Council of Pisa (not recognized as (Ecumenical) . . 146 and n. 

Principle of Reform "in Head and Members" 146 

Decree of deposition against both Popes 146 

Election of Alexandeh V. (Peter Philargi, a Greek) .. .. 147 
Three rival Popes : the Church, before bivira, now trivira 147 n. 

Alexander's favour to the Mendicants 148 

His Bull against Wyclifs works and Hus 664 

Secession of Germans from the University of Prague . . . . 663 

1410. John XXIII. (Balthasar Cossa) elected Pope at Bologna ' . . 148 

His contest with Ladislaus of Naples 151 

Wyclifs works burnt at Prague 665 

Sentence in their favour at Bologna 633 

SlGlSMUND (of Luxemburg and Hungary) cr. Emperor 1433 .. 152 

JOBST (of Moracia) rival King (ob. 1411) 152 

1412. Bull for Indulgence burnt at Prague 666 

1 On the legitimacy of Alexander V. and John XXIII., see 148 n. 
II— B 2 



1412. John Hus in exile from Prague " .. 667 

1413. His Be Ecclesia and Bohemian works 667-8 

John Hus excommunicated 154 

1414-18. Council of Constance (the Sixteenth (Ecumenical).. 153, 155 
The leaders : Card. Zabarella, D'Ailly, Gerson, Hallam 156 

Reluctant presence of John XXIII 154-5 

Arrival, reception, and arrest of Hus 155, 157, 670 

Arrival of Sigismund : Sermon of D'Ailly 158-9 

1415. Sigismund's safe-conduct to Hus, and perfidy 160,669 

Trial and martyrdom of Hus 160, 670, f. 

Deposition of John XXIIL, Gregory XII., and Benedict XIII. 161-2 

1416. Trial and burning of Jerome of Prague 160, 674, f. 

1417. Election of Pope Martin V. (Otho of Colonna) 163 

Exile of Gerson (06. 1429) 164 and n. 

His Mystical Theology 566-7 

Order of St. Justina sanctioned 367 

1418. The Council dissolved: reform postponed to another .. .. 167 
Papal Abuses restored. High claims of Martin .. .. 164,168 
Concordats with separate states 169 

1418 f. Religious War in Bohemia. Calixtines and Taborites .. 678 f. 
1420. Crusade and defeat of Sigismund ; John Ziska (pb. 1424) .. 679 

1422. Charles VII. (the Victorious) King of France 170 

Siege of Constantinople by Amurath II. Truce . . . . 170 n, 

1423. Papal Councils of Pavia and Siena 170 

1424. Council summoned to Basle after seven years 179 

1427. Crusade of Cardinal Beaufort in Bohemia 679 

1428. Burning of Wyclif s bones 649 

1430 (cir). Raymund of Sabunde : Natural Theology 568 

1431. Eugenius IV. (Gabriel Condolmieri) Pope 171 

Bohemian Crusade. Cesarini defeated at Tauss .. 171-2, 672 
Council of Basle. (In part, Seventeenth (Ecumenical) 173, 184 n. 
Its Beputations. Cardinals Cesarini and Nicolas Cusanus 173-4 

1432. Decrees of Constance renewed. Opposition of the Pope .. 174-5 
Decree for the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin .. 304 n. 

1431-3. Sigismund in Italy and at Basle 175-6 

1433. The Council's Agreement (Compactata) with the Bohemians .. 679 

1434. The Taborites crushed by the Calixtines 679 

Eugenius driven from Rome, till 1443 177 

1435-40. Government and fate of John Vitelleschi 177 

1435 f. Reforming Decrees of the Council 178 

1436. Sigismund received as King of Bohemia (ob. 1437) 679 

1437. Scheme of reconciliation with the Greeks 186 

1438. Final Breach between Pope and Council 178 

Papal Council at Ferrara (afterwards at Florence) 178 

New Leaders at Basle : Cardinal Louis, Bishop of Aries . . . . 179 



1438. ^neas Sylvius Piccolomini (6. 1405) afterwards Pius II. 179-80 
Albert II. (of Hapsburg) l King of the Romans .. .. 181. 680 

Germany neutral between Pope and Council 181 

Pragmatic Sanction of Bourgcs; the Gallican liberties .. .. 181 
The Emperor John Pal^eologus II. comes to Italy 187 

1439. Felix V. (Amadeus, Duke of Savoy) Antipope elected at Basle 182 
Council of Florence (the Seventeenth (Ecumenical) 184 n., 187 
Agreement with the Greeks : the " Definition" .. .. 187-9 

1440. Frederick III. elected : cr. Emperor 1451 183 

Laurenttus Valla (b. 1406, d. 1465) 204 

1442. Invention of Printing 204 

1443. Council at Rome. Orientals received 189 

Virtual end of the Council of Basle 184 

1444. Crusade in Turkey. Fatal battle of Varna 190 

1445. Mission of jEneas Sylvius from Frederick to Rome . . . . 191 
144 6. Diet of Frankfort agrees to his terms 192 

1447. Consent and death of Eugenics IV 193 

Nicolas V. (Thomas of Sarzana) Pope 193,198 

1448. Concordat of Aschaffenburg 193 

1449. Submission of Felix. End of the Council of Basle .. .. 193-4 

Results of the three great reforming Councils 194-5 

Virtual end of the Middle Age of the Church 195 

Climax of Latin Christianity and Epoch of the " Renaissance " 197 

1450. Splendour and Profit of the Jubilee 199 

Discontent provoked by the sale of Indulgences .. .. 199 n. 
Cardinal Nicolas of Cusa, monastic reformer in Germany .. 367 

1450 f. The Moravian Brethren 680 

1452. Last Coronation of an Emperor at Rome 201 

Amurath II. renews the siege of Constantinople 190 

The Greeks reject the Agreement with Rome 190 

1453. Fall of Constantinople and the old Roman Empire . . 202 

Its results in the diffusion of Greek learning 203 

Conspiracy and execution of Porcaro 201 

1455. Death of Nicolas V. Character of his Pontificate . . . . 202-3 

His patronage of Letters and Art 203 

Restorations and new buildings at Rome 204 f. 

Design of St. Peter's and the Vatican 204-5 

Other works throughout Italy 205 

Printing perfected by John Gutenberg 204 

1455. Calixtus III. (Alphonso Borgia, Spaniard) Pope 206 

Crusade against the Turks. John Capistrano 206 

i All the succeeding Emperors were of the house of Hapsburg, except Charles VII. 
(Bavarian) and Francis I. of Lorraine, whose marriage with Maria Theresa made him 
head of the new line of Hapsburg-Lorraine. 



1455. John Huniades repulses Mahomet II. from Belgrade .^ .. 207 

1456. The Germaaia of .Eneas Sylvius 207 

The Pope's Nepotism . the Borgias and " Catalans " . . . . 207 

1458-71 George Podiebrad King of Bohemia 680 

1458, Pius II. (.Eneas Sylvius Piccolomini) Pope 208 

1459. His crusading zeal. Congress of Mantua 209,210 

New Orders of religious Knighthood for the Crusade .. 240, 367 

1461. His papal policy. Bull of Retractation (1463) 210 

Louis XL King of France 211 

Attempt to repeal the Pragmatic Sanction 211 

Progress of the Turks. Thomas Palseologus at Rome .. .. 211 

1462. Pius II. annuls the Compactata of Basle 679 n. 

1464. Pius starts for the Crusade : dies at Ancona 212 

Paul II. (Peter Barbo) Pope : his works at Rome 212 

Paganism mixed with the revival of letters 212 

College of Abbreviators. Persecution of Platina 213 

1467. Printing first used at Rome 213 

1469. Lorenzo de' Medici (the Magnificent) ruler of Florence .. 217 

Marriage of Ferdinand of Arragon to Isabella of Castile .. 627 

1471. Regular Canons of St. Agnes at Zwoll 572 

Thomas a Kempis ob. (b. 1380). The De fmitatione Christi 574-5 

Moral Degradation of the Papacy 215 

Sixtus IV. (Francis della Rovere) Pope 216 

The Pope's nephews, Julian, Peter, and Jerome 217 

1473. Contest of Realists and Nominalists at Paris 549 n. 

1474. Bulls on behalf of the Mendicants 379 

1475. Jubilee. Works at Rome 217 

John of Goch, German reformer (ob.) 683 

1478. Conspiracy of the Pazzi at Florence .. .. 21'8 

1479. Bull of Sixtus IV. for the Spanish Inquisition 627 

John Busch, Monastic Reformer (ob.) 366 n. 

1480-1. The Turks take Otranto : their surrender 218 

1481. John of Wesel, German reformer (<>b.) 683 

1482. The Pope's quarrels with Venice and Naples 218-9 

St. Francis of Paola. founds Order of Minims (ob. 1507) .. 433 

1483. Deaths of Sixtus IV., Louis XL, and Edward IV 219, 683 

Charles VIII. (l'Affable) King of France 219 

Birth of Martin Luther (November 10) 219,683 

Thomas of Torquemada Inquisitor-General in Spain .. .. 627 

1484. Innocent VIII. (John Baptist Cibo) Pope 219 

His gross profligacy, corruption, and venality 219 

Birth of the Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli 686 

1489. Papal alliance with Florence. John de' Medici a cardinal .. 220 
Jtntrigue with Sultan Bajazeft. Prince Djem (killed 1495) .. 220 
John Wessel, German reformer (d>.) 682 


A ' D - PAGE 

1491. Jerome Savonarola (6. 1452) prior of St.. Mark's, at Florence 226 

1492. Savonarola at the death-bed of Lorenzo de' Medici 227 

Discovery of A merica by Columbus 226 n. 

Conquest of Granada from the Moors 220 

Alexander VI. (Roderigo Borgia) Pope 221 

His sons John and Caesar, and daughter Lucrezia . . . . 222 

1493. Maximilian I. (styled Emperor Elect x ) 222,237 

1494. Charles VIII. invades Italy : retires in 1495 223 

The Medici expelled : power of Savonarola at Florence .. .. 227 

1495. Gabriel Biel (Nominalist) the last great Schoolman .. .. 549 
1496-7. Reformation at Florence. Sacrifices of Vanities 228 

Affairs of Naples. ^ Schemes of the Pope 223 

1497. Murder of John Borgia by his brother Caesar 224 

Order of St. Bernard founded 367 

1498. Martyrdom of Savonarola 229 230 

Niccolo Machiavelli, Secretary (b. l-'69, d. 1527) .. 230-1 n. 

Louis XII. (of Valois- Orleans) King of France 224 

His alliance with the Pope and Cassar Borgia 224-5 

1499. Louis conquers the duchy of Milan 225 

Schemes and Progress of Caesar Borgia 225 

1500. The Jubilee. Caesar's triumph 225 

Corruption, Disorder, and Terror at Rome 225-6 

Feb. 24. Birth of Charles of Austria and Spain (aft. Charles V.) . . 231 
Treaty of Granadx for the partition of Naples 231 


1503. Battle of the Garigliano. Spanish Conquest of Naples 231 and n. 
Pius III. (Francis Piccolomini) Pope, Sept. 22-Oct. 18 .. .. 232 
Julius II. (Julian della Rovere) a warrior Pope 235 

1504-6. He recovers the papal territory in the Romagna 236 

1507. Death of Caesar Borgia in Spain 236 n. 

1508. League of Cambray against Venice 237 

1509. Henry VIII. King of England 237 and n. 

John Calvin born 687 

1510. The Venetians submit to the Pope 237 

Breach of the Pope with France. Assembly at Orleans . . . . 238 
The Gravamina of Germany 238 

1511. Julius at the siege of Mirandola 239 

Schismatic Council of Pisa and Milan, to 1512 239 

Holy League of the Pope, Spain, and Venice, against the French 239 

1512. Victory and death of Gaston de Foix at Ferrara 240 

i The title borne by all his successors, except Charles V., who was crowned Emperor 
at Bologna. 



1512 Cardinal John de' Medici taken prisoner v .. 240 

The Emperor joins the League 240 

The French driven out of Milan 240 

Fifth Lateran Council (the Eighteenth (Ecumenical) . . . . 241 
Jacques Lefevke, leader of French Reformation .. .. 687 n. 

1513. Leo X. (John de' Medici) Pope. His Character .. .. 241-4 

Affairs of Italy, Fiance, and Germany 244 

Restoration of a general peace 245 

1515. Francis I. King of France 245 

Invades Italy : his victory at Marignano 245 

Concordat of Bologna. Pragmatic Sanction annulled 245-6, 266 

1516. Charles I. King of Spain : his vast Dominions 246 

Conspiracy and execution of Cardinal Petrucci 243 

Luther reads the Greek Testament of Erasmus 684 

1517. Last Session of the Fifth Lateran Council 247 

Cardinal Ximenes, ob 628 n. 

Indulgence for St. Peter's preached by Tetzel 247, 684 

Luther's Ninety-five Theses at Wittenberg 247, 684 

1518-19. His Disputations. Philip Melanchthon (6. 1497) .. .. 685 

1519. Election of Charles V. (cr. Emperor at Bologna, 1530).. .. 248 
Ulrich Zwingli (b. 1484) preaches at Zurich 686 

1520. Relations' of Charles, Francis, and Henry 249 

Luther burns the Bull of Excommunication 249,685 

His three Primary Works 685 

1521. Diet of Worms. Ban against Luther 249,685 

Luther at the Wartburg. Translation of the Bible .. .. 685 

War between Charles and Francis in Lombardy and Navarre .. 249 

Ignatius Loyola wounded at Pampeluna 249, 688 

Death of Leo X 249 

The Turks take Belgrade, and Rhodes (1522) .. .. 253 n., 354 
Henry VIII. " Defender of the Faith " 249 n. 

1522. Adrian VI. (Adrian Florent) a reforming Pope 250 

An Infallible Pope denies Papal Infallibility 250 

The Reformation in Basle 687 

1523. Clement VII. (Julius de' Medici) Pope 251 

1524. Erasmus separates from Luther (06. 1536) 687 n. 

1525. Francis I. taken prisoner at Pavia 251 

Treaty of Madrid forced upon him 251 

John the Constant, Elector of Saxony (ob. 1532) .. .. 686 n. 

1526. First Diet of Spires : a compromise 685 

1527. League of Pope, France, Venice, and Florence, against Charles 252 

Sack of Rome by the Imperialists 252 

Ferdinand I. King of Bohemia 680 

1528. Lautrec in Italy. The Pope set free 252 

The French repulsed from Naples 253 



1529. Peace of Cambray 253 

Second Diet of Spires. The name of Protestants 686 

The Turks repulsed from Vienna 253 n. 

1530. Charles V. crowned by Clement at Bologna 253 

The Diet and Confession of Augsburg 25+, 686 

1531. Protestant League of Schmalkald 686 

Death of Zwingli. Peace of Cappel 686 

1532. Religious Peace of Nuremberg 686 

John Frederick (the Magnanimous) Elector of Saxony .. 686 

1533. Marr. of Catherine de' Medici to Henry (afterwards II.) 253 n. 
The Knights Hospitallers at Malta (till 1798) 354 

1534. Death of Clement VII 253 n. 

The English Church severed from Rome 253 n. 

Luther's Translation of the Bible finished 685 

Calvin at Basle. His Institutes 687 

Paul III. (Alexander Farnese) Pope 270, 688 

1538. Calvin expelled from Geneva (returns 1541) 688 

Paul III.'s Commission De Emendanda Ecclesia 270 

15)0. Society of Jesus sanctioned by the Pope 681 

1541. The Interim of Ratisbon 688 

1542. Xavier, Jesuit Missionary to India (06. 1552) .. .. .. 689 

Bull of Paul III. for the Inquisition 628 

1545-63. Council of Trent (the Nineteenth (Ecumenical) . . . . 689 

1546. Death of Martin Luther 689 

1546-7. Schmalkaldic War. Battle of Miihlberg 689 

1553. Servetus burnt at Geneva 688 n. 

1555. Religious Peace of Augsburg 690 

1555-6. Abdication of Charles V 690 n. 

1556. Philip II. King of Spain. Persecution in the Netherlands 690 n. 
1558. Ferdinand I. Emperor 680 

Elizabeth Q. of England. Statute 2 Hen. IV. c. 15 repealed. 

15n9. Bull of Paul IV. confirming the Inquisition 628 

1564. Maximilian II. Emperor 680 

1566. Constitution of Pius V. for the Inquisition 628 

1572. Massacre of St. Bartholomew at Paris. 

1576. Rudolf II. Emperor 680 

1589. Henry IV. King of France 687 n. 

1598. Edict of Nantes. (Revoked 1685) 687 n. 

1609. Royal Charter in Bohemia 680 

1611. Matthias Emperor 680 

1617. Ferdinand II. King of Bohemia (Emperor 1619) 680 

1618-48. The Thirty Years' War 680,690 

1619-20. Frederick, Elector Palatine, " winter King" of Bohemia 680 

1620. Bohemia finally subjected to Austria 680 

1648. Peace of Westphalia 254,680,690 


A.1-. PAGE 

1677. Writ Ve Hwetico Comburendo abolished by 2 Chas. II. c. 9." 

1685. Edict of Nantes revoked by Louis XIV 687 

The Waldenses expelled from Piedmont. 

1805. Death of the last Grand Master of the Hospitallers 354- 

1806. Abdication of Francis II. End of the Holy Roman Empire. 

1820. The Spanish Inquisition abolished 627 n. 

1854. Pus IX. decrees the Immaculate Conception 305 

1870. End of the Pope's temporal power. 

1870-1. Council of the Vatican (the Taentieth (Ecumenical) . . j 259 

1871. The Pope's Infallibility decreed / 305 n. 

1879. Leo XIII. Pope. Encyclical on St. Thomas Aquinas .. .. 513 

1884. „ Encyclical on Franciscan Tertiaries .. .. 393 

1883. Aor. 10. Quatercentenary of Luther's birth 632 

1884. Dec. 31. Quincentenary of Wycltf's death 632 

i£L__r— '^'^ 

Vestibule of the Abbey of Lorsch, near Darmstadt. Of the time of Charles the Great. 


The Names in [ ] are those of Antipopes and Rival Emperors. The term " Emperor "' 
is used for convenience, but those who were not crowned at Rome are marked with **. 

From the Beginning of the 11th Century. 








Saxon Line. 


Sylvester II 

John XVII. Jan. la-Dec. 7 






Henry II. B.iv. (the Saint). 





(Crowned Empiror.) 

Sergius IV 


Benedict VIII 


[Gregory] Jan. Dec. 


Franconian Line. 

John Xi\ 



Con radii, the Salic 
(Crowned Emperor. - ) 


Benedict IX 



Henry III. the Black 


[Sylvester III.] 



(Crowned Emperor.) 

Gregory VI 


Clement II 


Damasus 11 


Leo IX 


Victor II 



Henry IV 


Stephen IX 



(Crowned Emperor; dep.) 

[Benedict X.] 


Nicolas II 


Alexander II 


[Honorius II.] 


Rivals with Henry I V. 

Gregory VII 



[Rudolf of Swabia.] 

[Clement III.] 



[Hermann of Luxemburg.] 

Victor 111 


Urban 11 



[Conrad of Franconia.] 

Paschal II 






[Sylvester IV.] . . 



Henry V 


Gelasius 11 



(Crowned Emperor.) 

[Gregory VIII.] . . 





Honorius 11 



Lotliairll. (or III.).. .. 


Innocent II 



(Ciowned Emperor.) 

[Anacletus II] 


Lint of Hohtnstaufen. 



*Conrad ill 


Celestine II 


(Never crowned at Rome.) 

Lucius 11 


Eugenius III 



Fr< derick 1 . Barbarossa . . 


Anastasius IV 



(Crowned Emperor) 

Adrian IV 


Alexander II I 


[Victor IV.] 


[Paschal III.] 




[Innocent III] 


Lucius III 


Urban III 


Gregory VIII 





Clement III. 
Celestine III. 
Innocent III. 
Honorius III. 

Gregory IX 

Celestine IV 

The Holy See vacant 

Innocent IV 

Alexander IV 

Urban IV 

Clement IV 


Gregory X 

Innocent V 

I Adrian V. July 11-Aug. 5. 

John XXI 

Nicolas III 

Martin IV 

Honorius IV 

Nicolas lv' 


Celestine V. 

Boniface VIII 

Benedict XI 




I 1241 

j 1243 

i 1254 

I 1261 

I 1264 


' 1271 

I 1276 

I 1276 

I 1276 

j 1277 

I 1280 

! 1285 

I 1287 












Henry VI . 

(Crowned Emperor.) 

[*Philip II.] 

Otho IV. (Saxon) .. . 

(Crowned Emperor.) 

Frederick II. Hohenstfn. 

(Crowned Emperor). 

[Henry of Thuringia] . 

[William of Holland] . 


[Richard of Cornwall] . 

[Alfonso of Castile] . . . 
*RudolfI (Hapsburg) . 

* Adolf (Nassau) deposed. . 


* Albert I. (Hapsburg) . . 








The Babylonian Captivity at Avignon. 

Clement V. ... 

John XXII 

[Nicolas V.] . . 

Benedict XII 

Clement VI 

Innocent VI. . . . f 

Urban V 

Gregory XI 

Returns to Rome. 



















Henry VII. (Luxemburg) 
(Crowned Emperor.) 
Louis IV. (Bavaria) 
(Crowned by the Antipope) 
[Frederick of Austria] 
[Charles IV. of Luxembg.] 
Charles I V. acknowledged 
(Crowned Emperor) 
[Giinther of Schwarzburg] 


The Great Papal Schism. 

1378 i Urban VI. (Rome) . . . 

1378 Clement VII. (Avignon) 
1389 Boniface IX, (Rome) 
1394 Benedict XIII. (Av ) dep 
Innocent VII. (Rome ) . 
Gregory XII. ( Ro.) resig 
Alexander V. (Pisa) 

John XXIII. (Pisa).. 


End of >'«e Schism. 

















*Wenceslaus (of Luxem 
burg) deposed. 

♦Rupert (Palatine) . . 

Sigismund (of Luxemburg) 


(Crowned Kmperor.) 

[Jobst, of Moravia] 

i Clement VIII. and Benedict XIV. : rival elections by the followers of Benedict XIII. 
in Spain (1424-1429). 











A D. 

House if Hapsburg.*- 

| A.D. 


Martin V 



♦Albert II 

! 1439 


Eugenius IV 



Frederick III 



[Felix V. (Basle) ] . . . 



Nicolas V 



/ ast Coronation at Home. 



Calixtus III 




Pius II 



Paul II 



Sixtus IV 



Innocent VIII 



♦Maximilian 1 

i 1519 


Alexander VI 



(Emperor Elect.) 


Pius III 



Julius II 






Charles V., abdicated 



Adrian VI 



* Crowned at Bologna.) died 



Clement VII 



Paul III 



Julius III 



Marcelltis II. (An. 9-30) 



Paul IV. .. ... .. .. 



♦Ferdinand I 



Pius IV 



♦Maximilian II 



Pius V 



Gregory XIII 



♦Rudolf II 



Reformation of Calendar 


Sixtus V 



Urban VII. (Sept. 15-27) 



Gregory XIV 



Innocent IX 



Clement VIII 



Leo XI. (April 1-27) 






Paul V 



♦Ferdinand II 



Gregory XV 



Urban VIII 



♦Ferdinand III 



Innocent X 



Alexander VII 



♦Leopold I 



Clement IX. .T .. .. 



Clement X 



Innocent XI 



Alexander VIII 



Innocent XII 



♦Joseph I 



Clement XII 



♦Charles VI 



Innocent XIII 



Benedict XIII 



Clement XII 



♦Charles VII. of Bavaria. 



Benedict XIV 



♦Francis I. of Lorraine. 



Clement XIII 



(H. of Hapsburg- Lorraine.) 
♦Joseph 11 



Clement XIV 



Pius VI. d. pris. in France 



♦Leopold II 



Pius VII. (Rome united 
with France, 1809-14). 



Leo XII 



"Francis II 



Pius VIII 





Gregory XVI 


End of the Holy Roman 


Pius IX 




Leo XIII. 


•All subsequent Emperors were of the House of Hapsburg, except 
Charles VII. and Francis I. 



325. I. The First of Nicea Vol. I. 255 

381. II. The First of Constantinople „ 273 

431. III. The Council of Ephesus „ 353 

451. IV. The Council of Chalcedon „ 359 

553. V. The Second of Constantinople „ 373 

680. VI. The Third of Constantinople „ 377 

787. VII. The Second of Nicea „ 537 

Note. — These Seven are recognized alike by the Greek 
and Roman Churches. 

869. VIII. (Roman) Fourth of Constantinople . . . . „ 546 

879. VIII. (Greek) Fourth of Constantinople . . . . „ 517 

Note. — The following are of the Soman Catholic Church : 

1123. IX. First Lateran Council Vol.11. 34 

1139. X. Second Lateran Council „ 47 

1179. XL Third Lateran Council „ 57 

1215. XII. Fourth Lateran Council ,, 70 

1245. XIII. First Council of Lyon „ 79 

1274. XIV. Second Council of Lyon „ 91 

1311. XV. Council of Vienne „ 108 

1409. [Council of Pisa: not recognized by best authorities] „ 146 

1414-18. XVI. Council of Constance „ 153 

XVII. Council of Basle-Ferrari-Florence, viz. .. „ 184 n. 

1431 f. „ Basle (recognized in part) ,, 173 

1438-9. „ Ferrara, removed to Florence Vol. II. 178, 187 

1512-17. XVIII. Fifth Lateran Council Vol.11. 241 

1545-63. XIX. Council of Trent „ 689 

1870-1. XX. Council of the Vatican Vol. II. 259, 305 

rWT r: ' 

The Walls of Rome. The Ostian Gate. 



Centuries XL — XIII. 

chapter I. 



A.D. 1002—1056. 

§ 1. The Papacy, redeemed from degradation, aims at Supremacy. § 2. 
Henry II., King of the Germans— State of Italy and the Papacy — Pope 
Benedict VIII. crowns Henry Emperor. § 3. Pope John XIX. and 
the Emperor Conrad II., the Franconian — Pope Benedict IX. § 4. 
King Henry III. — Contest for the Papacy — Simony at Rome — Synod of 
Sutri — Abdication of Gregory VI. — Pope Clement II. crowns Henry III. 
Emperor. § 5. Sudden deaths of Clement II. and Dam ASUS II. — The 
Emperor appoints Bruno Pope — Intervention of Hildebrand. § 6. The 
clerical party of Reform — They aim at papal supremacy — Life, Principles, 


and Character of Hildebrand. § 7. Contest about the imperial nomi- 
nation and confirmation of the Popes — Interview of Hildebrand and 
Bruno — Bruno's consecration as Leo IX. § 8. His Journeys and 
Synods — Councils of Rheims and Mainz — Leo's personal jurisdiction — 
Admission of papal assumptions. § 9. Leo IX. and the Normans in 
Italy — Capture of the Pope in battle, and treaty with the Normans — 
Death of Leo. § 10. Final Schism of the Greek and Latin Churches. 
§ 11. Hildebrand declines the Papacy — Election of Gebhard as Pope 
Victor II. — Deaths of Henry III. and Victor. 

§ 1. Like most schemes of human wisdom and policy, the reform of 
the Papacy by the great German emperors had effects very different 
from their fair designs and hopes. The ideal of a " holy alliance " 
between the supreme civil and ecclesiastical powers, for the re- 
generation of the world, was above the reach of human nature ; and 
the practical question soon became, which of these powers should 
subdue the other to its supremacy. The Church in general, and the 
Papacy in particular, raised from the degradation into which it had 
sunk in the tenth century, with an awakened feeling of its high 
calling and duties, had also a revived sense of privilege and ambition. 
The subjection of the Church to the Empire seemed a danger only 
to be escaped by the subjection of the Empire to the Church. The 
victory was won by the power which the spiritual authority had 
over the minds of men, and by the energy and resolution of such Popes 
as Hildebrand and Innocent III., aided by the monastic orders and 
the standing army of mendicant friars. The Crusades too, while 
keeping religious enthusiasm at a high pitch of exaltation, occupied 
the attention and exhausted the strength of the European princes. 
But the victory of the Papacy was purchased at the heavy cost of 
discovering that the imperial power had been its best ally. The 
Pope had conquered the Emperor only to become subservient to the 
policy of France, and to prepare the way for the humiliation of the 
" Babylonian Exile." 

§ 2. On the death of Otho III., Henry, 1 duke of Bavaria, sur- 
named the Pjous, was elected King of the Germans through the in- 
fluence of Archbishop Willigis (1002). Henry, who had been destined 
for the clerical office, was remarkably devout, but none the less vigo- 
rous in civil administration and in his efforts to reform the Church. 
It was ten years, however, before his power was established in Italy, 2 

1 He is called in history Henry II., which was his style as King of 
the Germans; but he was the first emperor of his name, for Henry the 
Fowler was not emperor. 

2 From this time forward the sovereign of Germany was elected at once 
in that character and as King of the Romans, with a title to the imperial 
dignity, involving (though by no clear claim of right) the sovereignty 
of Italy, which ere long became but nominal. (As to this last point, see 

A.D. 1002 f. THE STATE OF ITALY. 3 

where the nobles had set up Ardoin (or Harduin) as king at 
Pavia, while the republican party was revived at Rome under John, 
a member of the Crescentian family, and three successive popes 
owed their election to his influence. 1 

On the death of the last of these, the election of Gregory as his 
successor was disputed by the Tusculan party, who were strong 
enough to establish Benedict VIII. (1012-1014) on the papal 
throne. Gregory repaired for aid to Henry, who had just put down 
Ardoin; but Henry, on his arrival at Rome, declared for Benedict, who 
crowned him Emperor. The schemes of both for the reformation of 
the Church had to be postponed for more pressing occupations, and 
the energy of Benedict was spent in conflicts with the Greeks, who 
still ruled in Southern Italy and threatened to win back Home for 
the Eastern Empire, and with the Saracens, who were extending 
their power from Sicily into Italy. It was during the papacy of 
Benedict that the first bands of Normans established themselves in 
Southern Italy, after giving their aid against the Greeks and Saracens. 

§ 3. On the death of Benedict VII 1. (1024), the Tusculan party 
purchased the votes of the Romans for his brother, Romanus, a lay- 
man, who took the name of John XIX. (1024-1033). A few months 
later, the death of Henry II. ended the Saxon imperial line, and the 
crown of Germany was conferred on the first of the Franconian 
dynasty, Conrad II. (1024-1039), whose surname of " the Salic " 
declared his origin from the noblest race of the Franks, and who 
proved himself a worthy successor of Charles the Great. 2 In 1026 

Bryce, Holy Hon, an Empire, pp. 149-150, 6th ed. 1876.) Preceding 
Emperors were (before coronation) kings of the Franks, or of the Eastern 
Franks, or of the Franks and Saxons, or of the Germans {lentonicorum, 
very rarely Geimanorum. The title Rex Germanice was first used by 
Maximilian I. in 1508). Henry II. and his successors asserted their claims 
to the sovereignty of Rome by tailing themselves A'in</s of th" Romans, 
till the act of coronation at Rome invested each with the title of Emperor. 
But the title Rex Romanorum was not uniformly assumed till the reign of 
Henry IV. From the eleventh century to the sixteenth, the title before 
coronation at Rome was Romanorum Rex semper Augustus, and after that 
ceremony it was Romanorum Imperator scmp>r Aujustus. (Bryce, Note C, 
p. 452.) 

1 John XVII. (1003; John XVIII. (1003-1009); and Sergius IV. 
(1009-1012). Gregory is not reckoned among the Popes. 

2 Conrad was also connected with the Saxon line by his descent from 
a daughter of Otho the Great. Franconia was now the name of the 
eastern or Teutonic part of the old Frank kingdom (Francia Orientalis), 
to distinguish it from the western part, now called simply Francia. With 
reference both to Conrad's origin and character, it was said that his throne 
stood on the steps of Charles : — " Sella Chuonradi habet ascensoria Caroli," 
or, inverse — "Chuonradus Caroli premit ascensoria regis." (Wippo, Vita 
Chuonradi, c. 6, quoted by Robertson, vol. ii. p. 442.) 


he was crowned King of Italy at Milan, and in the ful lowing year he 
received the imperial crown at Home, our King Canute being present 
at the ceremony. Conrad vindicated his authority over the highest 
ecclesiastics by imprisoning Heribert of Milan, when, presuming on 
his former services, the archbishop added to his misgovernment 
insolence towards the Emperor. But, in the contest which ensued, 
Conrad demeaned himself by an alliance with the dissolute Pope 
Benedict IX. (1033-1048), whom, while a mere boy of ten or 
twelve, the Tusculan party had raised to the chair of St. Peter, as 
successor to his cousin John XIX. 1 

§ 4. In 1039 Conrad was succeeded by his son Henry III. (1039- 
1056), who raised the German kingdom and the Holy Empire to 
the climax of its power, and was a vigorous reformer of the Church. 
His intervention was called for at Rome by the rival pretensions of 
three Popes, all of them the creatures of simony, and each holding 
one of the principal churches of the city. " Benedict IX. was sup- 
ported by the Tusculan party, and Sylvester 111. by a rival faction 
of nobles, while John Gratian, who had assumed the name of (J re- 
gory VI., was the Pope of the people. The state of things was 
miserable ; revenues were alienated or intercepted, churches fell into 
ruin, and disorders of every kind pievailed." 2 

Gregory VI., in whom the hopes of the reforming party were 
centred, met Henry III. on his entrance into Italy, and by his 
desire convened a synod at Sutri (Dec. 1046). This assembly set 
aside the claims of Benedict and Sylvester ; and then proceeded to 
enquire into the election of Gregory himself. The worthy man, 
convinced that he had erred in purchasing his election, stripped off 
his robes in presence of the council ; and a German, nominated by 
Henry, Suidger, bishop of Bamberg, was elected at Rome on Christ- 
mas Eve as Pope Clement II. (1046-47). On Christmas Day, he 
placed the imperial crown on Henry's head ; and the Romans, in 
their joy for the restoration of order, conferred on Henry the here- 
ditary patriciate, 3 with the right of nomination to the papal chair, 
and bound themselves by an oath not to consecrate a Pope without 
tli.' Emperor's consent. No Emperor was ever so absolute at Rome 
as Henry, and under his rule the Romans were obliged to elect a 
succession of pious and reforming German Popes. 

§ 5. Clement had only time to begin the work of reformation by 

1 His own name was Theophylact. 

2 Robertson, History of the Christum Church, vol. ii. p. 445 ; where the 
reader will find the complicated details of the elevation of these rival 
Popes, and tin conflict between their parties. 

Henry constantly wore the green mantle and circlet of gold, which 
were the insignia of the Patrician of Rome. 


holding a council against simony, when he died within ten months 
from his election (1047). Henry had returned to Germany, carrying 
with him the deposed Pope Gregory. The Tusculan party ventured 
on the restoration of Benedict IX. ; but he was compelled to fly at 
the approach of the Emperor's nominee, the German Damasds II., 
with a powerful escort. The death of the new Pope on the 
twentieth day from his installation (1048), following on the sudden 
end of Clement's pontificate, raised suspicions of foul play by the 
anti-German party. 

The choice of the Emperor now fell on his cousin Bruno, bishop 
of Toul, who was famed "for piety, learning, prudence, charity, 
and humility; he was laborious in his duties, an eloquent preacher, 
and a skilful musician." 1 Notwithstanding his hesitation to accept 
the dignity, and without waiting for the form of election by the 
Roman clergy and people, Bruno was invested with the papal 
insignia at a Diet held at Worms, in presence of the Roman envoys; 
and he set out for Borne in full state. But at Besancon he was 
met by Hugh, abbot of Clugny, who was accompanied by the monk 
Hildebrand, and the rtnown of that great name may be said to 
date from the epoch of this interview. 

§ 6. We have thus far seen the course of ecclesiastical and papal 
reform directed by the imperial head of the ideal Christian State. 
But there was a party within the Church, which laboured for deeper 
reform and aimed at a higher ideal of spiritual power, and only 
accepted the aid of princes till that power could be raised above all 
secular authority. "To the connection of the Church with the 
State, to the feudal obligations of the prelates, they traced the 
grievous scandals which had long disgraced the hierarchy — the rude 
and secular habits of the bishops, their fighting and hunting, their 
unseemly pomp and luxury, their attempts to render ecclesiastical 
preferments hereditary in their own families. And what if the 
empire were to achieve such an entire control over the Papacy and 
the Church as Henry appeared to be gaining? What would be the 
effect of such power when transferred from the noble, conscientious, 
and religious Emperor, to a successor of different character? The 
Church must not depend on the personal qualities of a prince ; it 
must be snided by other hands, and under a higher influence; 
national churches, bound up with and subject to the State, were 
unequal to the task of reformation, which must proceed, not from 
the State, but from the hierarchy, from the papacy, from heaven 
through Christ's vicegerent, the successor of St. Peter; to him alone 
on earth it must be subject, and for this purpose all power must be 

1 Robertson, vol. ii p. 552. 
II— C 


centred in the papacy." 1 The strongholds of this reforming party 
were the cloisters recently founded for the purpose of reviving strict 
monasticism, especially those of Clugny and Camaldoli ; 2 and their 
whole spirit was centred in the enthusiastic but deeply politic reso- 
lution of Hildebrand, the Italian monk, who began the conflict of 
life and death between the Papacy and the German Emperors. 

Born between 1010 and 1020, the son of a carpenter, at the old 
Etruscan city of Suana (now Sovana), he was trained for the priest- 
hood by his uncle, the abbot of St. Mary's on the Aventine. His 
rigid views of the monastic life led him across the Alps to join the 
society of Clugny, where the abbot is said to have applied to him the 
prophecy, " He shall be great in the sight of the Highest." After 
visiting the court of Henry III., Hildebrand returned to Rome, and 
became chaplain to his former preceptor, Gregory VI., on whose 
deposition he retired again to his cell at Clugny, whence he now 
came forth to be the guiding and animating spirit of the reformation 
which was based on the supremacy of the Church over the State, of 
the Papacy above the Empire. It has been well said that Hilde- 
brand " was not the inventor nor the first propounder of these 
doctrines ; but he teas the first who dared to apply them to the world 
as he found it. His was that rarest and grandest of gifts, an intel- 
lectual courage and power of imaginative belief which, when it has 
convinced itself of aught, accepts it fully with all its consequences, 
and shrinks not from acting at once upon it — a perilous gift, as the 
melancholy end of his own career proved, for men were found less 
ready than he had thought them to follow out with unswerving 
consistency like his the principles which all acknowledged. But it 
was the very suddenness and boldness of his policy that secured the 
ultimate triumph of his cause, awing men's minds and making that 
seem realized which had been till then a vague theory." 3 

§ 7. The chief practical point, on which the contest between the 
civil and ecclesiastical powers turned, was the right of the Emperor 
to nominate the Popes and to confirm their election. 4 In the present 
case, Henry and the Diet of Worms had gone so far as to invest 
Bruno with the papal insignia, which indeed he had only accepted 
on the condition that he should be duly elected at Borne. But, on 
the remonstrances of Hildebrand against his accepting from the 
Emperor the dignity to which he could only be raised by the free 
election of the Romans, Bruno laid aside all outward marks of his 

1 Robertson, vol. ii. p. 551 ; who cites Voigt's Hildebrand, 8, 9, and Re- 
musat's St. Ansehne, 186. 

2 Concerning these new orders, see below. Chap. XX. 

3 Bryce, The Holy Rom in Empire, pp. 160, 161. 

4 On the mode of election itself, see Part I. Chaps VII. § 6, and 
below, Chap. II. § 2. 

A.D. 1048 f. REFORMS OF LEO IX. 7 

office for the dress of a pilgrim, and entering Rome barefoot, in 
company with Hildebrand, he was received with enthusiasm, and 
was elected Pope by the style of Leo IX. (1048-1054). Hildebrand, 
whom he ordained a sub-deacon and made his treasurer, was the 
chief director of his policy; and Italian influence was strengthened 
by the ascetic enthusiast, Peter Damiani, the vehement opponent 
of simony and " nicolaitanism," and the zealous votary of flagella- 
tion and other superstitions of the age. 1 Damiani was the tool of 
Hildebrand, whom he calls his " hostile friend " and " saintly £atan." 
§ 8. Leo IX. addressed himself vigorously to carry on the work of 
reformation by his own presence and by frequent councils in various 
parts of the Empire. One of the most important of these was held 
at Rheims (1049), where the French bishops and abbots, who were 
among the most corrupt in Christendom, were required to take an 
oath that they had not obtained their benefices by simony ; and 
several of them were excommunicated. The Council acknowledged 
the Bishop of Rome as Apostolic Pontiff and Primate of the whole 
Church, and recognized the pseudo-Isidorian Decretals as the law of 
the Church. In the same year Leo held another council at Mainz 
in presence of the Emperor. This personal assertion of his authority 
had a wonderful effect in crushing the rising tendency to dispute 
the advancing claims of Rome. Leo entered kingdoms and princi- 
palities without asking pea-mission of their sovereigns ; summoned 
councils, in which he not only sat as judge, but himself originated 
proceedings and conducted them according to no forms but his own 
pleasure; treated the dignitaries of each national church as respon- 
sible to himself, forced them to accuse or excuse themselves on 
oath, and pronounced a summary judgment on every offender. 
" Yet startling as were the novelties of such proceedings, Leo was 
able to venture on them with safety, for the popular feeling was 
with him and supported him in all his aggressions on the authority 
of princes or of bishops. Hi-s presence was welcomed everywhere as 
that of a higher power come to redress the grievances under which 
men had long been groaning ; there was no disposition to question 
his pretensions on account of their novelty ; rather this novelty gave 
them a charm, because the deliverance which he offered had not 
before been dreamed of. And the manner in which his judgments 
were conducted was skilfully calculated to disarm opposition. What- 
ever there might be of a new kind in it, the trial was before synods, 
the old legitimate tribunal ; bishops were afraid to protest, lest they 
should be considered guilty ; and while the process for the discovery 
of guilt was unusually severe, it was in the execution tempered 
with an appearance of mildness which took off much from its 

1 For the life and character of Damiani, see Robertson, vol. ii. pp. 555 f. 


seventy. Offenders were allowed to state circumstances" in extenua- 
tion of their guilt, and their excuses were readily admitted. The 
lenity shown to one induced others to submit, and thus the Pope's 
assumptions were allowed to pass without objection." 1 

§ 9. The N T orman adventurers, who had established themselves in 
Southern Italy at the expense both of the Greeks and Saracens, and 
had now conquered Apulia (1040-1013), 2 proved troublesome and 
dangerous neighbours to the Holy See, invading the patrimony of 
St. Peter and threatening Rome itself. To seek the Emperor's aid 
against them, Leo IX. crossed the Alps for the third time (1052). 
But his appeal was frustrated through the influence of Bishop Geb- 
hard, the imperial chancellor, and he only obtained a body of 700 
German adventurers. With these and the Italians who nocked to 
his standard, the Pope, who had hitherto exerted himself to put down 
the military spirit among the churchmen of France and Germany, 
advanced to battle agarn a Christian enemy, and, being defeated at 
Civitella, became a prisoner to the Normans (1053). But this disaster 
led to a new alliance, on which the Papacy could rely in its contest 
with the Empire. The Norman victors implored the pardon of the 
Holy Father, who was glad to grant the terms he had before refused, 
that they should hold their present and future conquests in Italy 
and Sicily under the Pope, who claimed the right to those territories 
as included in the donation of Constantine. In consequence of this 
Treaty, the Two Sicilies remained a fief of the Holy ^ee till their recent 
absorption in the new kingdom of Italy. Leo, after being kept in 
honourable captivity at Benevento for nine months, was permitted 
to return to Rome, to die before the altar of St. Peter (April, 1054). 

§ 10. Just before his death, the schism between Rome and Con- 
stantinople was made, complete and final. The interest of the 
Greek Emperors in Southern Italy had disposed them to cultivate 
the goodwill of the Popes ; and the Emperor Basil II. had lately 
proposed to John XVIII. a reconciliation on the basis of allowing 
the title of Universal Bishop to both patriarchs ; but the Italian 
bishops protested vehemently against the compromise. Leo IX. had 
laboured to heal the schism and to unite the forces of both Emperors 
against the Normans ; but the threatened loss of Southern Italy seems 
rather to have roused the zeal of the Greeks against all the Latins. 

The patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius, joined the 
metropolitan of Bulgaria, Leo, archbishop of Achrida, in a letter 
to the bishop of Trani, in Apulia, denouncing the heresies of the 
Latin Church, and especially the use of unleavened bread in the 

1 Robertson, vol. ii. pp. 564, 565. 

2 For the history of the Normans in Italy and Sicily, see the Student's 
Gibbon, chap. xxxi. pp. 520, foil. 

A.D. 1056-7. DEATH OF HENRY 111. AND VICTOR II. 9 

Eucharist ; and the patriarch closed the Latin churches and mona- 
steries at Constantinople (1053). The captive Pope wrote a letter 
of remonstrance to the patriarch, and at the beginning of 1054 
he sent three legates to the Emperor Constantine X. Monomachus. 
A controversy ensued between Humbert, the chief of the papal 
legates, and the Studite monk, Nicetas, in which the Emperor took 
the side of Humbert. But the patriarch Michael refused not only 
agreement, but even discussion ; and the legates, after laying a 
sentence of excommunication against him on the high altar of St. 
Sophia, took their departure from Constantinople Further attempts 
at reconciliation were made in vain by the Emperor and the 
moderate party among the Greeks, and soon afterwards by Pope 
Stephen IX., 1 and the schism remains open to the present day. 

§ 11. The dying words of Leo IX., and the wishes of the Roman 
clergy and people, summoned Hildebrand to assume the power which 
he really directed. But he saw that the Papacy was not yet strong 
enough to oppose a powerful emperor like Henry III., nor even to 
dispense with his support. With profound policy he preferred the 
elevation of another German, and that the very man whose influence 
had opposed Leo IX. Hildebrand himself headed an embassy from 
the Romans to the Emperor, requesting him to nominate a Pope, as 
none among themselves was worthy of the office ; and, in suggesting 
the Chancellor Gebhard, he trusted that Henry's ablest counsellor, 
hitherto an opponent of the Cluniac party, would be transformed 
into the spirit of his new dignity. When Hildebrand's persistence 
had not only overborne the reluctance of Henry, who in vain sug- 
gested other names, but had brought him to press the appointment on 
his unwilling chancellor, Gebhard at length yielded, with the ominous 
words, " So be it! I give myself body and soul to St. Peter, but 
only on the condition that you give him back what is his" (1055). 

A great victory was won when Henry not only consented to that 
formal election at Rome, in which he had tacitly acquiesced in the 
case of Bruno, but promised the restoration of the Patrimony of St. 
Peter in its full extent, and in performing his promise he also con- 
ferred on the Pope the administration of all Italy. The year after 
the installation, Gebhard, now Victor II., was invited by Henry 
to Germany, and was present when the great Emperor died, in his 
fortieth year, commending his infant son Henry IV. (1056-1106) 
to the Pope's care, and bidding his widow Amies to be guided by 
his ancient counsellor's advice. The power of the Empire and of 
the Papacy seemed to be united in the see of St. Peter, when Victor 
himself died in the following year (1057). 

1 Frederick of Lorraine, who was one of Leo IX.'s envoys to Constan- 




a.d. 1057—1085. 

1. Infancy of Henry IV. and Regency of his mother Agnes. Popes 
Stephen IX. and Benedict X. — Election of Nicolas II. — Beginning of 
Hildebrand's Supremacy. § 2. Regulation of Papal Elections by the 
College of Cardinals — The Emperor's right only saved in name. § 3. 
Relations of the Empire and Papacy at this crisis — Lofty claims of Hilde- 
brand's party — Aid sought from the Normans — Treaty with Robert 
Guiscard. § 4. German Council against Nicolas — His death — Double 
Papal Election — Alexander II. and the Antipope Honorius II. § 5. 
Revolution in Germany — Abduction of Henry IV. by Archbishop Hanno 
— Synod of Osbor — Deposition and death of Honorius. § 6. Germany 
under Hanno and Adalbert — Henry IV. cited to Rome — Death of Alex- 
ander II. § 7. Hildebrand becomes Pope Gregory VII. — His lofty 
claims embodied in the "Dictate." § 8. Reformation of simony. ;ind 
enforcement of clerical celibacy —Discords between clergy and people — 
Gregory VII. and Henry IV. § 9. Gregory's decree against Inves- 
titures — State of the question — Consequences of the Papal claim. 
§ 10. Outrage of Cencius on Gregory. § 11. Revolt of the Saxons — 
The Pope cites the Emperor to Rome — Gregory deposed by the 


Synods of Worms and Piacenza. § 12. Excommunication of Henry — 
Diet of Tribur : Henry conditionally deposed. § 13. Henry goes to 
Italy — His humiliation and interview with Gregory at Canossa — Hard 
terms of absolution. § 14. Rudolf elected King — Civil War and Victory 
of Henry. § 15. Second excommunication of Henry — Guibert made 
Antipope as Clement III. § 16. Henry enters Italy, takes Rome, and 
is crowned Emperor by Clement. § 17. Rome retaken and sacked by 
Guiscard — Gregory VII. retires to Salerno — His death. 

§ 1. The change from the rule of Henry III. to the government of 
a woman, as guardian for a child of seven, encouraged the cardinals 
to choose Frederick of Lorraine, abbot of Monte Cassino, as Pope 
Stephen IX. 1 (1057-58). The great schemes attributed to this 
haughty and ambitious pontiff were cut short by his death, while 
Hildebrand was absent on a mission to reconcile the Empress- 
Regent to his election. The Tusculan party seized the opportunity 
to set up once more a member of the Crescentian family, John, 
bishop of Velletri, by the title of Benedict X. (1058-59) ; but the 
cardinals withdrew from the city to Siena ; and Hildebrand secured 
both the Empress's nomination and their election of Gerard, bishop 
of Florence, and a Burgundian by birth, as Nicolas II. (1059- 
1061). Benedict, condemned and excommunicated by a council, 
fled from Rome, but presently returned and submitted to Nicolas. 
From this time may be dated the full ascendancy of Hildebrand as 
the soul of the papal Curia. 

§ 2. Up to this time the Emperor had still the right both of nomi- 
nating a candidate for the vacant chair and of confirming the election, 
and the Pope was his acknowledged subject. But now the first de- 
cisive step towards freeing the Papacy from dependence on the Empire 
was taken by the appointment of a permanent body of electors to 
St. Peter's chair, who were possessed of high dignity and authority. 
Hitherto the election of the Pope, as of bishops in general, had been 
made by the clergy and people ; and this right, which had been 
exercised in a manner both uncertain and often tumultuous, was not 
formally annulled, but was so modified as to place the election 
virtually in the hands of the august body since known as the 
College of Cardinals. 

This famous title, like so many others, had a simple and com- 
paratively humble origin. 2 As, from the etymological sense of the 
word, 3 anything principal and fixed is called cardinal — such as 

1 Or Stephen X., according to the reckoning noticed in vol. i. p. 522. 

2 " Nomen vetus, nova est dignitas, purpura recentior," say the Bene- 
dictine editors of St. Gregory the Great (Ad Epist. i. 15). See the Article 
Cardinal in the Diet, of Christian Antiqq. 

3 Cardo, the " hinge," on which the door turns and is supported. 


cardinal numbers, points of the compass, virtues, and, in. ecclesias- 
tical usage, the cardinal altar and mass — so the permanent and chief 
holders of benefices and officers in churches were called cardinal 
bishops, presbyters, and deacons, as opposed to those who held tem- 
porary, movable, or subordinate appointments. The title, -whose 
origiu is very ancient, is frequently used in this sense by Gregory 
the Great. 

At Rome, especially, it was applied from an early age to the per- 
manent priests and deacons of the twenty-five or twenty-eight 
parish churches, or of the seven regions of the city. The title of 
cardinal-bishojys was given later (probably not till the time now 
spoken of) to the seven bishops of the Pope's own immediate pro- 
vince, who assisted him in his functions, and officiated in turn at 
the altar of St. Peter's — those, namely, of Ostia, Porto, !St. Rufina, 
Albano, Sabina, Tusculum, and Prameste. These bishops, with the 
cardinal priests of the city, 1 were now formed into a College for the 
election of all future popes; but in such a manner that the initiative 
was given to the seven cardinal-bishops. They were first to consult 
about the election, and then to call in the cardinals of lower rank ; 
and the choice thus made was to be ratified by the assent of the 
rest of the clergy and the people. 

The time had not come for the Emperor's right of confirmation 
to be openly renounced ; but it was recognized in terms little short 
of the mockery of formal respect, and reasserting the papal claim 
to grant the imperial dignity, " saving the due honour and reverence 
of our beloved son, Henry, who at present is accounted King, and 
hereafter will, it is hoped, if God permit, be Emperor, 2 as we have 
already granted to him, and of his successors icho shall have person- 
ally obtained tliis privilege from the Apostolic >See." 

§ 3. This bold assertion calls us to pause and notice the relations 
of the Papacy to the Empire on the eve of the coming conflict. 
"The attitude of the Roman Church to the imperial power at 
Henry III.'s death was externally respectful. The right of a German 

1 " Although the term cardinal was applied to Roman deacons, there 
were as yet no members of the electoral college below the order of priest ; 
but afterwards, on the complaint of the deacons and lower clergy that 
they were excluded, some deacons were added to the body. The steps are 
uncertain ; but it is supposed that the College of Cardinals was thus 
arranged by Alexander III. (See Mosheim, ii. 331-34.) The whole 
number was fifty-three, until Sixtus V., in 1586, fixed it at seventy 
(Walter, 29.0-1). See lists of the churches from which the cardinals took 
their titles at various times in Ciacon, vol. i. pp. 117-120." (Robertson, 
vol. ii. p. 584.) 

2 Henry IV. is here recognized as K'in'j of the Romans. (See Chap. I. 
§ 2, note.) He did nut become Emperor till the twenty-eighth year of his 
reign, when he was crowned by the Antipope Clement (10X4). 


King to the crown of the city was undoubted, and the Pope was his 
lawful subject. Hitherto the initiative in reform had come from 
the civil magistrate. But the secret of the pontiff's strength lay in 
this : he, and he alone, could confer the crown, and had, therefore, 
the light of imposing conditions on its recipient. Frequent in- 
terregna had weakened the claim of the Transalpine monarch, and 
prevented his power from taking firm root ; his title was never by 
law hereditary : the Holy Church had before sought, and might 
again seek, a defender elsewhere. And since the need of snch 
defence had originated this transference of the Empire from the 
Greeks to the Franks, since to render it was the Emperor's chief 
function, it was surely the Pope's duty, as well as his right, to see 
that the candidate was caj able of fulfilling his task, to degrade 
him if he rejected or misperformed it." 1 

If these lofty claims were to be more than an idle boast, a new 
helper must be found against the Emperor, who, rejected as a pro- 
tector, must soon be reckoned with as an enemy ; and the needed 
force was at hand in the now established power of the Normans. 
After the council at Rome, Nicolas went into Southern Italy, and 
held a council at Melfi to denounce certain Greek customs of the 
clergy in those parts, especially the liberty of marriage (1059). 
This gave him the opportunity of making a treaty with the Norman 
chieftain, Robert Guiscard (i.e. the Wise or Crafty)? to whom 
the Pope renewed the grant of such territories in Italy and Sicily 
as he now held or might conquer from the Saracens and Greeks, 
by the title of " Robert, by the grace of God and of St. Peter, Duke 
of Apulia and of Calabria, and, with the help of both, hereafter to 
be of Sicily." The Norman duke engaged to hold his territories as 
a fief of St. Peter, paying an annual quit-rent ; to be the faithful 
defender of his lord the Pope against all men; and especially to 
support the new order of the papal elections. All the churches in 
his dominions were to be subject to the Pope. Nicolas also secured 
the support of Richard, the chief of the Normans who had been 
long established at Aversa, by creating him Prince of Capua. In 
the next and following years, the conquest of Sicily by Roger, the 
brother of Guiscard, won back another province to the see of Rome. 

§ 4. Meanwhile the proceedings of Nicolas roused in Germany a 
vehement opposition, headed by Hanno, archbishop of Cologne. At 
Easter, 1061, the Empress Agnes convened a council of German 
bishops, which excommunicated the Pope and annulled his or- 
dinances. Nicolas, who was already ill, received the sentence of his 

1 Bryce, Holy lio'nan Empire, pp. 157-8. 

2 For the history of Robert Guiscard and his brothers, the sons of Tancred 
of Hauteville, see the Student's Gibbon, chap. xxxi. §§ 6, foil. 

II— C 2 


countrymen with signs of the deepest grief, and died immediately 
afterwards (July 1061). 

A fierce contest broke out for the succession to the papal chair. 
The Tusculan and imperial parties combined in "opposition to Hilde- 
brand, and sent an embassy to offer Henry the Patriciate and 
Empire. Hildebrand, learning that this embassy was well received 
by the Empress, while his own envoys were kept waiting for an 
audience, bribed the Prince of Capua to come to Rome, where 
Anselm, bishop of Lucca, was elected by the cardinals as Alex- 
ander II. (106L-73), and was enthroned by night, after a bloody 
conflict between the Norman troops and the imperialists (Oct. 1). 

Thereupon the diet and council, which the Empress was holding 
at Basle, with the concurrence of some Lombard bishops, headed by 
the Chancellor Guibert, 1 annulled the decree of Nicolas concerning 
papal elections, and elected Cadalous, bishop of Parma, as Pope 
Honorius II. (October 28). 2 The war between the supporters of the 
two Popes in the neighbourhood of Rome was stopped by the armed 
mediation of Godfrey, Count of Tuscany, the ally of Hildebrand. 
Cadalous and Anselm engaged to retire to their respective bishop- 
rics, till the question between them should be decided by the 
Empress. But all was changed by a new crisis in Germany. 

§ 5. A large party of the German princes, who resented their 
subjection to Henry III. and the firm and upright administration 
of his widow Agnes, laid a plot to obtain possession of the person of 
Henry IV., who was now twelve years old. Archbishop Hanno, 
while feasting with the young King on an island of the Rhine, 
near the present town of Kaiserswerth, tempted Henry on board of 
a richly-equipped vessel, which carried him to Cologne ; and a 
decree was published, vesting the administration in the archbishop 
of the province where the King should be at any time resident. 
To support the power thus seized, Hanuo deserted the party of the 
Antipope, and formed a league with Alexander and Hildebrand. 
A synod held at Osbor (Augsburg) acknowledged Alexander and 
excommunicated Honorius (1062). The Antipope, however, gained 
possession of the Leonine city, and was enthroned at St. Peter's ; 
but, after being besieged for two years in the Castle of St. Angelo 
by a Norman force, he fled to his bishopric of Parma, and died there 
in 1072. 

§ 6. After the revolution at the German court, the Empress 
Agnes, having been brought by Peter Damiani to repent of her 
resistance to the Holy See, became a nun in a Roman convent. 

1 Guibert had been the leader of the Imperialist party in the Roman 
Council of 1059. 

2 In the Papal Annals, Honorius is treated as an Antipope. 


Henry IV. was brought up in such a manner as to spoil his natural 
good qualities, and to develop his faults by frivolous pursuits and 
the indulgence of his passions. Hanno, unable to overcome the young 
King's dislike of him, committed his education to Adalbert, arch- 
bishop of Bremen, a prelate whose many noble qualities were marred 
by haughtiness, ambition, and ostentation, and a strange mixture of 
affability and angry temper. Under these two prelates Germany, 
both in State and Church, became a prey to misgovernment and 
disorder, rapacity and corruption, which grew worse when Adalbert 
supplanted Hanno as minister of the young King, who, at the age 
of fifteen, was declared able to govern without a regent (1065). It 
belongs to civil history to relate the alternate rise and fall of the rival 
prelates, till Adalbert died in March L072, and Hanno retired at 
the end of the same year. 

Freed from these able though unscrupulous ministers, Henry 
gave the reins to his licentiousness and misgovernment, till many 
of his subjects, driven to the verge of rebellion, carried their 
complaints to the Holy See. After calling the chief prelates of 
Germany to answer before him for their misrule, especially in the 
permission of flagrant simony, Alexander ventured on the unpre- 
cedented assumption of citing Henry to Rome ; but, before the 
mandate could be delivered, the Pope died (April 21, 1073). 

§ 7. The signal thus given for the long-impending conflict at 
length called the great champion of Rome to his true place. The 
appointed pause of three days before the election of a new Pope 
was broken, at the funeral of Alexander, by the cries of the clergy 
and people for Hildebrand ; and the cardinals, having retired for a 
short time, presented him to the acclamations of the people. As 
if to intimate his resolve to resume the work and spirit of his friend 
and preceptor Gratian, Hildebrand chose the title of Gregory VII. 
(1073-1085). 1 With consummate prudence, he asked for the royal 
confirmation ; 2 and, the envoys sent by Henry having reported that 
they found no informality in the election, Gregory was consecrated 
on St. Peter's Day (June 29, 1073). 

In devoting himself to the reformation of the Church, Gregory 
plainly declared, as the essential condition of the work, her inde- 
pendence of all secular control, and her sovereignty over all worldly 
powers. With equal plainness, he asserted a despotic power for the 
Papacy over the rest of the Church. 3 In the " Dictate," which gives 

1 The choice of this title was also a declaration that he I'egarded Gre- 
gory VI, as a legitimate Pope. (See above, p. 4.) 

2 This was the last occasion on which such confirmation was asked for a 
papal election. 

3 Canon Robertson (vol. ii. pp. 610-11) sums up the principles of his 


a fair summary of Gregory's principles, it is laid down that "the 
]{oman pontiff alone is universal bishop ; that his name is the 
only one of its kind in the world. To him alone it belongs to 
depose or to reconcile bishops ; and he may depose them in their 
absence, and without the concurrence of a synod. He alone is 
entitled to frame new laws for the Church — to divide, unite, or 
translate bishoprics. He alone may use the ensigns of empire ; 
all princes are bound to kiss his feet ; he has the right to de- 
pose emperors, and to absolve subjects from their allegiance. His 
power supersedes the diocesan authority of bishops. He may revise 
all judgments, and from his sentence there is no appeal. All 
appeals to him must be respected, and to him the greater causes 
of every Church must be referred. With his leave, inferiors may 
accuse their superiors. No Council may be styled General without 
his command. The Roman Church never has erred, and, as 
Scripture testifies, never will err. The Pope is above all judgment, 
and by the merits of St. Peter is undoubtedly rendered holy." 
The claim, that all kingdoms are held as fiefs of St. Peter, 
was not only laid down by Gregory as a general principle, 
but was asserted in his direct dealings with all the states of 

§ 8. Gregory's chief efforts for the reformation of the Church 
were directed against simony and the marriage of the clergy. A 
synod held in Lent, 1074, debarred those guilty of such practices 
from all functions in the Church, and charged the laity to refuse 
their ministrations. The enforcement of clerical celibacy raised a 
commotion through Germany and France ; but Gregory sent out 
legates to execute the new decrees ; and they were supported by the 
monks, who inveighed against the disobedient clergy. The laity 
were not only released from obedience to the bishops and clergy 
who opposed the decrees, but were enjoined by Gregory to prevent 
their ministrations, " even by force if necessary." An excuse was 
thus given for acts of outrage against the clergy and profanation of 
religious ordinances ; and the contempt of the clergy thus generated 
contributed greatly to the increase of anti-hierarchical and heretical 
sects. 1 

In his dealings with the Empire, Gregory began with remarkable 
moderation. '1 he disorders and discontent caused by the mis- 
system as " embodied in a set of propositions known as his Dictate, which, 
though not drawn up by himself, contains nothing but what may be paral- 
leled either from his writings or his actions. These maxims are far in ad- 
vance of the forged decretals." The propositions of the Dictate are generally 
believed to belong to Gregory's own time. Gieseler observes as to their 
form, that they look like the headings of a set of canons passed at some 
synod under Gregory. l Robertson, vol. ii. p. 619. 


government of Henry seemed to give an opportunity for friendly 
intervention, which the difficulties of the young King disposed him 
to accept. When his mother Agnes came to Nuremberg with 
four bishops on an embassy from Gregory, Henry did penance, and 
received absolution for his sins against the Church, and promised to 
aid the Pope in suppressing simony (1074). Gregory, while return- 
ing his thanks, announced the project of a Crusade, which he himself 
was to lead, while Henry was to watch over the Church. But all 
hope of friendly relations was destroyed by a new blow which the 
Pope aimed at the whole existing system of secular authority. 

§ 9. At his second Lenten synod (1075) Gregory issued a decree 
that no ecclesiastic should take investiture from lay hands, on pain 
of deposition ; and that any lay potentate who should confer inves- 
titure should be placed under the ban of the Church. The custom 
of investiture? that is, of putting ecclesiastics in possession of their 
temporalities by a symbolical act performed by the sovereign, was 
peculiar to the West, where its origin was later than the ninth 
century, and it seems to have been not fully established till the 
end of the tenth. Under the feudal system, the custom formed an 
important bond between the sovereign and the clerical holders of 
fiefs, to whom it secured their lord's protection, while it assured 
him of their submission as his liege vassals. But the line of 
demarcation between the appointment to the spiritual office and the 
investiture with temporalities was less clear in practice than in 
theory. The right of investiture might be so used as to secure the 
power of nomination ; and, by withholding it, the sovereign might 
annul a canonical elect ; on. Nay, the very form of investiture seemed 
to imply a claim on the sovereign's part to confer the spiritual office ; 
for the symbols which he delivered to the bishop were the ring — the 
figure of spiritual marriage with his Church — and the pastoral staff 
(the crook or crosier), the emblem of pastoral authority over the flock. 

To the obvious argument that, if bishops and abbots were to 
hold property, they ought, like other holders, to be subject to its 
feudal obligations, the advocates of ecclesiastical independence re- 
plied, l - that the temporalities were annexed to the spiritual office, 
as the body to the soul ; that, if laymen could not confer the 
spiritualities, they ousht not to meddle with trie disposal of their 
appendages, but that these should be conferred by the Pope or the 

1 Twestitura, from vestire, " to put into possession." The word is ex- 
clusively ecclesiastical, in the sense defined above. The earlier and more 
general term for the form of giving position, in the case both of lay and 
clerical holders, was traditio. The attempt to trace investiture to the time 
of Charles the Great, and to make it a privilege conferred on the Emperor 
by Adrian I., is contradicted by the silence of the Capitularies. (See Diet, 
of Christian Antiqq., Art. Investiture.) 


Metropolitan, as an assurance to the receivers that their tempo- 
ralities were given by God." Herein lay the whole practical issue of 
the dispute. The abolition of investitures meant nothing less than 
the transfer of the feudal allegiance of all ecclesiastics (for the lower 
clergy and monks depended on the bishops and abbots, as the 
lesser vassals on the greater) from the sovereign to the Pope. There 
could be no longer any treason against the crown, nor any feudal 
obedience to any lord except the supreme bishop. 

§ 10. With his usual policy, Gregory took no hasty steps to 
enforce the decrees against investiture ; and at the end of the year a 
strange incident befel him. As he was celebrating a midnight ma>s 
on Christmas Eve, Cencius, the leader of the anti-reforming party 
among the Roman nobles, broke into the church at the head of an 
armed band, cutting down many of the worshippers ; and the Pope, 
beaten and wounded in the head by a sword, was dragged from the 
altar and carried off to a tower, with the intention of taking him 
away from the city as a prisoner. But the people of Rome rose in 
the night, and forced Cencius to set Gregory at liberty; his popu- 
larity was redoubled, and the shame of the sacrilegious outrage was 
imputed to the Imperial party, just at the time when the relations 
between the Emperor and the Pope had reached a crisis. 

§ 11, The misgovernment of Henry had driven his Saxon sub- 
jects to open revolt; and both parties had appealed to the Pope. 
Gregory, still intent on gaining his ends by friendly influence, had 
congratulated Henry on a victory gained over the Saxons in June 
1075 ; but his advice to use that success well had been utterly 
disregarded. Shortly before the outrage of Cencius, Gregory had 
replied to an embassy from Henry by sending legates with a letter, 
greeting the King with " Health and benediction — if, however, he 
obey the Apostolic See o.s a Christum kin;/ ought." The obedience 
thus required had respect to Henry's conduct in holding intercourse 
with excommunicate persons, and investing several bishops. With 
his usual study of moderation, at least in form, the Pope offered to 
listen to any reasonable accommodation on the question of investi- 
tures. Henry had already been privately warned that his rejection 
of the Pope's demands would be followed by excommunication ; 
but he replied by an indignant refusal ; and the envoys cited him 
to appear at Rome at the ensuing Lenten synod (January 107G). 

The King's anger was now inflamed to the utmost, and his 
indignation was shared by the German bishops and abbots whom 
he convened at Worms (January 24). On the ground of simony, 
magic, and other incredible charges — supported by letters, in the 
name of Roman cardinals, which appear to have been forged — the 
Council pronounced the deposition of Gregory, to whom Henry 


announced the sentence in a letter addressed, " To Hildebrand, not 
now Apostolic Pontiff, but a false monk." He also wrote to the 
Romans, bidding them to thrust out " the monk Hildebrand," by- 
force, if he should resist, and to receive a new Pope from the King. 
This letter charged Hildebrand with attempting to rob Henry of his 
Italian kingdom and of his rights in the appointment to the 
Papacy, and with determined designs against the King's crown and 
life. Another, from the bishops to their " brother Hildebrand," 
accused him of throwing the Church into confusion. " His begin- 
ning had been bad ; his progress worse ; he had been guilty of 
cruelty and pride; he had attempted to deprive the bishops of the 
power committed to them by God ; and had given up everything 
to the fury of the multitude." * After adding other charges, the 
bishops solemnly renounced their obedience to Gregory ; and the 
same renunciation was made by a synod of Lombard bishops at 
Piacenza, which confirmed the decree of Worms. 

§ 12. At the Lenten Synod at Rome (February 21-22, 1076) the 
decrees of the two councils and the King's letter were answered by 
a sentence of excommunication and deposition against Henry, who 
replied from Utrecht by pronouncing a ban against the Pope. But, 
as to the power of enforcing the sentences, their natural position 
was inverted ; the subjects whose support the King should have 
commanded became the ministers of the Pope. Bishops who had 
taken part in the council of Worms went to Rome to seek absolu- 
tion ; and when the disaffected Saxons applied to the Pope, they 
were exhorted to choose another King The same threat was 
formally announced as the resolution of an assembly of the German 
princes, prelates, and nobles, at Tribur ; 2 and Henry's abject offers 
of amendment could only procure the alternative of a reference of all 
questions in dispute to the Pope, who was invited to attend a diet 
at Augsburg next Candlemas. Henry's continuance on the throne 
was made conditional on his obtaining papal absolution before a year 
and a day had elapsed from his excommunication, in which case the 
German nobility would attend him to Rome for his coronation as 
Emperor, and help him to win back Italy from the Normans. 
Meanwhile he was to live as a private person at Spires. 

§ 13. Dreading the effect of Gregory's presence in Germany, 
Henry crossed the Alps in the depth of a severe winter, with his 
wife and child and the scantiest attendance, and was received with 
enthusiasm by the Lombards. Gregory had already set out for 

1 Robertson, vol. ii. p. 625. 

2 Tribur (Trebur) on the east side of the Rhine, south of Mainz, was one 
of the old election fields of the Germans. Henry IV was now at Oppen- 
heim, on the other side of the Rhine. 


Germany, in company with his devoted supporter, Matilda, Coun- 
tess of Tuscany, called the " Great Counte ss " from her immense 
wealth and commanding talents. 1 On hearing that Henry had 
reached Vercelli, with a train growing as he advanced, the Pope 
withdrew to Canossa, a strong castle in the Apennines, belonging 
to Matilda. Here he was joined by some of his most eminent 
adherents, as well as by several bishops of Henry's party, who came 
to make their submission, and were put to severe penance before 
they received absolution. 

Henry, on arriving before Canossa, prevailed on Matilda, and 
other persons of high influence, to mediate for him with the 
Pope, who required, as a proof of the King's penitence, the sur- 
render of his royal insignia, with a confession that for his offences 
he was unworthy to reign. When the importunity of the envoys 
at length obtained Gregory's consent to a personal interview, 
Henry was kept waiting for three days in a court of the castle, 
alone, barefooted, in the coarse woollen garment of a penitent, ex- 
posed from morning to night to the winter's cold of that mountain 
region, till, as Gregory himself relates, 2 all within the castle cried 
out against his harshness, as being nut the severity of an apostle, 
but barbarous and tyrannical cruelty. On the fourth day Henry, 
having persuaded the Countess Matilda and Hugh, abbot of Clugny, 
to be his sureties, was admitted to the presence of Gregory. 
** Numb with cold, bareheaded and barefooted, the King, a man of 
tall and remarkably noble person, prostrated himself with a pro- 
fusion of tears, and then stood submissive before the Pope, whose 
small and slight form was now withered with austerities and bent 
with age. Even Gregory's sternness was moved, and he too shed 
tears." 3 Put he showed no relenting in the terms of absolution 
which he imposed. Henry's conduct was to be tried before a diet of 
the German princes under the Pope's presidency ; his kingdom was 
to depend on the sentence given according to the laws of the 
Church ; and he was for the future to yield implicit obedience to 
the Holy See (January 1077). 

Gregory cleared himself of the charges made against him by an 

1 Matilda was the daughter and heiress of Boniface, Count of Tuscany, 
and Beatrice, a cousin of the Emperor Henry III. She had been lately left 
a widow, and sole mistress of her enormous wealth, by the deaths of her 
husband, the younger Godfrey of Lorraine, and of her mother. In spite of 
the scan lal raised by the Pope's enemies, there is no reason to question the 
purity of her enthusiasm for Gregory, and for the ecclesiastical principles 
with which he had imbued her mind. During Gregory's residence at 
Canossa, Matilda bequeathed her vast inheritance to the See of Rome ; but 
the donation was only partially carried into effect. 

3 Epist. iv. 12. 3 Robertson, vol. ii. p. 63? 


oath taken upon the eucharistic bread. "Here," said lie, "is the 
Lord's body ; may this either clear me from all suspicion if I am 
innocent, or, if guilty, may God strike me with sudden death !" — an 
awful and convincing ordeal to the bystanders; but from which 
Henry, in his turn, recoiled with terror, pleading the absence of 
his accusers, and preferring a trial by the diet. 

§ 14. Gregory is said to have replied to the remonstrances of the 
Saxons at Henry's absolution, "Be not uneasy, for I will send him 
back to you more culpable than ever ;" and its effect was to widen 
the breach with his German subjects, who complained that Henry 
had broken faith with them by his journey into Italy, and were 
jealous of his reception by the Italians. A diet held at Forchheim. 
in Franconia, where legates attended from the Pope, 1 elected a new 
king in the person of Henry's brother-in-law, Budolf, duke of 
Swabia, who was crowned at Mainz by the primate Siegfried 
(March 1077). But the deposition of the rightful king by the 
princes, and his humiliation by the arrogance of the Italian Pope, 
awoke a strong reaction in Henry's favour ; and most of the bishops 
and towns took his part against the nobles. We must leave to 
secular history the account of the three years' civil war, which was 
ended by the victory of Henry and the death of his rival on the 
banks of the Elster (October 1080). 

§ 15. The Pope, having tried to keep his favourite attitude of a 
mediator during the conflict, had taken a decided course just in time 
to incur the conqueror's implacable resentment. At the Lenten 
Synod following a victory won by Rudolf at Fladenheim (Jan. 
1080), he renewed the sentence against Henry in terms most re- 
markable for their assertion of his claims to supreme sovereignty — 
nay, to universal ownership — for the See of Pome : " Come, now I 
beseech you, O most holy and blessed Fathers and princes, Peter 
and Paul, 2 that all the world may understand and know that if ye 
are able to bind and to loose in heaven, ye are likewise able on earth, 
according to the merits of each man, to give and to take away 
empires, kingdom*, princedoms, marquisates, duchies, countships, 
and the possessions of all men. For if ye judge spiritual things, 
what must we believe to be your power over worldly things ? and if 

1 Gregory, whose profound policy foresaw the reactionary effect of this 
extreme step, excused his own attendance on the ground that Henry would 
not grant him a safe-conduct, and instructed his legates to endeavour to 
postpone the new election till he should be able to attend, but not To risk 
the consequences of direct opposition to it. 

2 Both sentences of excommunication were in the form of an address to 
the two Apostles. Let it be remembered that the doctrines thus affirmed 
in the eleventh century have been declared of infallible authority in the 
nineteenth bv the Vatican Council. 


ye judge the angels, who rule over all proud princes, what can ye 
not do to their slaves ?" 

But Gregory proved himself unable to " bind on earth" the fate 
of the King, on whose death or utter defeat within the year he 
ventured to stake his credibility. When, on the contrary, that 
fate befel the rival King Rudolf, Gregory, in the spirit of an am- 
biguous Delphic oracle rather than of an infallible Vicar of Christ, 
is said to have declared that he had rightly prophesied the death 
of the pretended king. 

Meanwhile, Henry had felt himself strong enough to meet this 
seeond deposition by an equally decisive stroke. A synod convened 
at Mainz, and adjourned to Brixen for the attendance of the Lom- 
bard bishops, who had been Henry's most stedfast friends, elected 
the great leader of the Lombard party, Guibert, now archbishop of 
Ravenna, as Pope Clement III. (1080-1100). 1 

§ 16. After his victory over Rudolf, Henry offered peace to the 
Saxons, but they refused to treat without the Pope, and set up a 
new king, Hermann, to whom Gregory sent a form of oath which 
would have reduced the kingdom and empire to a fief of the Church. 
While abating nothing of his sovereign claims, Gregory relaxed his 
reforming zeal in order to win support from various countries against 
the march of Henry into Italy. But he found no sure ally except 
the Countess Matilda, who put her wealth and forces at his disposal. 

In this extremity he turned again to the Normans, and released 
Robert Guiscard from a ban laid on him for invading the patrimony 
of St. Peter. The entreaties of his friends, that he would make peace 
with the King, were all in vain ; and even after Henry had entered 
Italy, Gregory wrote, " If we would comply with his impiety, never 
has any one of our predecessors received such ample and devoted 
service as he is ready to pay us, but we would rather die than yield." 2 
He still maintained his resolution when, after a tedious siege of 
three years, Henry had won the Leonine city; and in a last council 
he anathematized the King, just before the Romans capitulated on 
March 21st, 1084. On Easter Day, Henry IV. at length received 
the imperial crown from the Antipope Clement, who had been en- 
throned on Palm Sunday. 

§ 17. But the triumph of Henry and Clement at Rome was short. 
Gregory held out in the castle of St. Angelo, awaiting the promised 
aid of the Normans, whose expulsion from Italy was one object of 
Henry's expedition. To this end he had made an alliance with the 
Byzantine Emperor, Alexius Comnenus (1081-1118) ; while Robert 

1 He is only reckoned as an Antipope; but he maintained himself against 
four successive Popes, keeping many adherents till the day of his death. 
7 L'pist. ix. 11, April 28th, 1081. 

A.D. 1085. 



Guiscard, on the other hand, had engaged in an expedition into 
Northern Greece. 1 Henry had already sent away most of his forces, 
when he received news that Guiscard was on his march from Salerno 
at the head of 6000 horse and 30,000 foot. The Emperor retreated ; 
and the Normans gained an easy entrance into the city, which, 
after three days' sack and pillage, was set on fire to avenge a rising 
of the exasperated people (May-June 1084). 

The liberated Pope, unable to bear the spectacle of such ruin or the 
reproaches of the people, retired with his Norman allies to Salerno, 
whence he renewed his excommunication of the Emperor and the 
Antipope; and he still excepted them when, feeling the approach 
of death, he absolved all others whom he had anathematized. 2 He 
expired amidst, the raging of a fearful tempest, after leaving this last 
testimony to the sincerity of his motives : " I have loved righteous- 
ness and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile " (May 25th, 1085). 
This assumption, habitual to Gregory and to most other popes, of 
language that belongs only to Him whose human nature is glorified 
by His deity, reveals far better than any elaborate analysis of cha- 
racter and motives the fundamental fault of Gregory's career, and 
of the principles to which he sacrificed all other claims of right and 

1 See the Student's Gibbon, chap. xxxi. § 10. 

2 Such is the statement of Gregory's friends ; but the imperialist 
writers say that he absolved all, acknowledged that he had sinned greatly 
in his office, and sent his confessor to request Henry's forgiveness. For 
the authorities on either side, see Robertson (vol. ii. p. 647, note), who 
observes that Gregory's dying words, " which have been interpreted as a 
reproach against Providence, may perhaps rather imply a claim to the 
beatitude of the persecuted." 

Ancient Chalices, formerly at Monza. 
From a Painting in the Cathedral Library. 





§ 1. Election and Character of Urban II. § 2. His relations with Henry IV. 
— Progress of the conflict in Germany — Conrad made King of Italy. 
§ 3. The First Crusade adds to the power of Urban — Council of Cler- 
mont — Philip I. of France — Results of the Crusades in favour of the 
Clergy and Papacy. § 4. Recovery of Rome from the Antipope — Cap- 
ture of Jerusalem — Death of Urban — His arrangement with the Normans 
in Sicily, called the Sic Hi m Monarch)/. § 5. Paschal II. Pope — Deaths 
of Guibert (Clement III.) and Conrad — New excommunication of 
Henry IV. § »3. His good government and efforts for peace — Henry 
made prisoner by his son, who is crowned Henry V. — Death and Cha- 
racter of Henry IV. § 7. The contest renewed between Henry V. and 
the Pope — Henry enters Italy, and accepts a compromise, which fails — 
Imprisonment of the Pope and Cardinals — Enforced treaty, and corona- 
tion of Henry as Emperor. § 8. Paschal is compelled to condemn the 
treaty and to excommunicate the Emperor. § 9. Henry again at Rome — 
Flight and Death of Paschal — Elections of ( J flash s II. and the Anti- 
pope Gregory VIII. — Expulsion and Death of Gelasius, and election of 
Calixtus II. in France. § 10. Council of Rheims and renewed excom- 
munication of Henry V. § 11. Questions between England and the 


Papacy — Resistance to Legates — Sees of Canterbury and York — Inter- 
view of Calixtus with Henry I. at Gisors— Calixtus at Rome— Punish- 
ment of the Ant i pope. § 12. Civil War in Germany — The Dispute on 
Investitures ended by the Concordat of Worms — First General Council of 
Lateran (Ninth (Ecumenical Council of the Romans) — Death of Henry V. 
§ 13. Ecclesiastical affairs of England — Supremacy maintained by 
William I., independently of Rome. § 14. Lanfranc, Archbishop of 
Canterbury — His reforms, and support of the King's policy — William 
and Gregory VII. § 15. Rapacity and Tyranny of William Rufus — 
Seizure of vacant bishoprics and abbacies. § 16. Anselm made Primate 
— His Life and Character. § 17. Differences between Anselm and Rufus 
— The pall brought from Pope Urban. § 18. Renewed disputes — Anselm 
goes to Rome — Death of William Rufus. § 19. Anselm recalled by 
Henry I. — He refuses Investiture and Homage — His second exile. § 20. 
Agreement about Investiture and Homage — Return and Death of Aaselm 
— Council of Westminster — Celibacy of the Clergy enforced. 

§ 1. At the death of Gregory VIL, his party held the ascendancy 
in Italy, supported by the Normans and the Countess Matilda, while 
the great cities showed a growing desire to make the Papacy the 
rallying point for their claims of independence against the Empire. 
It is not worth while to pursue the confused details of the disputes 
among the party of Hildebrand in professing to carry out his dying 
wishes, or the short papacy of his successor, Victor III. (1086-87), 
preceded and followed by long vacancies, till Otho, bishop of Ostia, 
was elected by a council at Terracina as Urban II. (1088-1099). 
A Frenchman of noble family, educated at Rheinis under Bruno, 
the famous founder of the Carthusians, he became a monk of Clugny, 
whence he was sent to Rome in 1076, as one of a body of monks 
whose services were desired by Gregory, and he was there advanced 
to the bishopric of Ostia. Such a training made him a devoted 
adherent of the Cluniac party and of the principles of Hildebrand, 
who had named Otho among those most worthy to succeed him ; 
and, with equal firmness and activity, Urban surpassed his master 
in artfulness and caution. 

§ 2. Rome was now in the hands of Clement -, 1 and the partisans of 
Pope and Antipope carried on fierce and cruel conflicts both in the 

1 The following epigrams cleverly described the positions of the rival 
Popes : — 

" Clem. Diceris Urbanus, cum sis projectus ab urbe ; 
Vel muta nomen, vel regrediaris ad urbem. 

" Urb. Nomen habes Clemens, sed clemens non potes esse, 
Cum tibi solvendi sit tradita nulla potestas." 

(Gerh. Syntagma, 17, Pairolog., cxciv. ; quoted by Robertson, vol. ii. 
p. 669.) 


capital and other cities of Italy. In Germany Henry put an end to 
the civil war this year, and expelled the hostile bishops from their 
sees, so that only four were left who acknowledged Urban. On the 
other hand, Clement was driven out of Rome by the citizens 
(1089) ; and a negociation was opened between Urban and Henry 
on the basis of their mutual acknowledgment as Pope and Em- 
peror ; but it was defeated by the imperialist bishops, who feared 
that they might be made victims of the peace. It is needless 
here to dwell on the progress of the conflict between the papal 
and imperial parties during the next few years, including the 
Countess Matilda's marriage to the young Welf, son of the 
Duke of Bavaria, and Henry's troubles with his second wife, 
Adelaide of Russia, and with his rebellious son Conrad, whom 
the Lombards and papalists set up as King of Italy ; nor need we 
repeat the story of the first Crusade, which is related in all the 
civil histories. 1 

§ 3. The enterprise, to which Peter the Hermit incited Europe by 
his tale of the sufferings of the Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land 
from the Seljuk Turks, who had lately conquered Asia Minor and 
Palestine, gave the one great opportunity for realizing the idea of 
the Holy Roman Empire in the union of Christendom, roused to the 
defence of the faith at the call and blessing of the Pope, and led by 
the Emperor to its achievement. But at this crisis the civil head of 
Christendom was an excommunicated prince, with a disputed title 
conferred only by an Antipope : he was distracted by domestic 
troubles, and weakened by rebellion. The crusading enthusiasm, 
which " Henry III. might have used to win back a supremacy hardly 
inferior to that which had belonged to the first Carolingians, . . . 
turned wholly against the opponent of ecclesiastical claims, and 
was made to work the will of the Holy See, which had blessed and 
organized the project." 2 

As the sole head of this great movement, animating and directing 
the princes and chivalry of Europe, Urban was raised above both 
the temporal power and the Antipope, while the appeal for his help 
from Alexius Comnenus, so lately banded with Henry against 
Gregory, seemed to invite him to the high destiny of reuniting the 
Eastern with the Western Church. It was significant of his in- 
creased strength that the great council of Piacenza, 3 at which the 
Pope proposed the holy war, and the much greater council of Cler- 
mont in Auvergne, 4 at which the Crusade was adopt ml with the 

1 For the foundation of the Seljukian kingdom of Sown (1074), the cap- 
ture of Jerusalem by the Turks (1076), and the history of the Crusades, 
see the Sttulent's Gihbon, chaps, xxxii. and xxxiii. 

2 Bryce, p. 164. 3 March 1095. 4 November 1095. 

A.D. 1099. DEATH OF URBAN II. 27 

enthusiastic war-cry, "God wills it!" — both pronounced new con- 
demnations of the Antipope and the Emperor, and excommunicated 
another disobedient king, Philip I. of France, for his adultery with 
Bertrada. 1 

The assured ascendancy added to the Pope, as director of the united 
enterprise of Western Christendom, was afterwards still further en- 
hanced when, in the Second Crusade, sovereign princes were sent 
forth to fulfil their religious vows, to which the Pope had the power 
of holding them. The preaching of a Crusade gave a new pretext 
for the interference of legates and the exaction of contributions, 
especially from ecclesiastical bodies, whose property was thus brought 
more or less under papal control. In the East, the lands won from 
the infidels were added to the Latin Church and to the papal 
claim of sovereignty ; but this course, combined with the double 
dealing of the Byzantine Empire and the violence of the Crusaders 
towards the Greeks, made the desired reunion of the two churches 
more than ever hopeless. 

The increased power of the Popes was shared by the clergy, who 
found in the Crusaders' vow a new hold on the conscience of nobles 
and people. They remained a permanent body amidst the changes 
caused by absence and death ; and, while their contributions to the 
cause affected only their annual income, they added greatly to their 
wealth by purchasing the estates sold at a depreciated value to 
equip the nobles and their followers. 2 Nor were the political 
changes produced by the Crusades, and the impulse which they 
gave to commerce, learning, the spirit of chivalry, and freedom 01 
thought, without great indirect influence upon the Church. The 
direct result of the first Crusade for Christianity in the East was 
the establishment of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem, and 
of the Latin patriarchates of that city and of Antioch. 

§ 4. Urban 's last year was crowned by the complete recovery ot 
Pome from the Antipope Clement, and by the capture of Jerusalem 
(July 15th, 1099); but his own death followed in a fortnight, un- 
cheered by the news of the great success (July 29th). 

It remains to notice the important arrangement which he made 
for the Church re-established in Sicily by Count Roger's conquest 
of the island from the Saracens. Always careful to preserve the 
goodwill of his Norman allies, when the great count complained oi 
the subjection of the Church in Sicily to the bishop of Trani as 
legate, Urban, at a council at Salerno, made the ordinance known 
as " the Sicilian Monarchy," vesting the exercise of the ecclesias- 

1 Philip's quarrels with Gregory VII., Urban II.. and Paschal II. belong 
rather to the history of France than to that of the Church. 

2 Robertson,'vol. ii. pp. 699-701. 


tical supremacy in the civil power, and appointing Roger and his 
successors perpetual legates of the Roman See. 1 

§ 5. Uiban was succeeded by another member of the Cluniac 
party, a Tuscan named Rainier, who, like his predecessor, had 
been sent from the monastery of Clugny to Rome to serve under 
Gregory VII., at the age of twenty. He took the title of Paschal II. 
(1099-1118). In the following year (September 1100), death re- 
moved his rival, Guibert (Clement 111.), a man whose noble qualities 
and great abilities might have adorned the papal chair, into the dis- 
puted possession of which he was thrust against his will. Next 
year, death relieved Henry also from the rivalry of his son Conrad 
in Italy ; while in Germany, since his return in 1096, he had won 
back much of his people's esteem, and his supremacy was generally 
acknowledged, even by many bishops of the papal party. 

Thus the twelfth century seemed to open with new opportunities 
for reconciliation ; and the Emperor proposed to cross the Alps and 
submit all differences to a Council. But it seems that the German 
bishops dissuaded him from the double risk of leaving Germany and 
trusting himself in Italy to the papal party, now elated with the 
success of the Crusade; and his failure to appear furnished the 
ground for a new excommunication by Paschal (March 1102). 

§ 6. Henry, however, persevered in his desire for peace, and at 
the Christmas diet at Mainz he announced his resolution of abdi- 
cating in favour of his son Henry (now twenty-one years old), 2 and 
devoting himself to the Crusade, as soon as he could obtain a recon- 
ciliation with the Pope. The " peace of God," which he proclaimed 
for four years, seemed to open a new era of happiness for Germany ; 
but the sources of discord were too deeply seated to be healed by 
words. The turbulent nobles, who longed for the renewal of war 
and plunder, were the natural allies of those papal claims which 
depressed the power of their sovereign. A large party of the clergy, 
and especially the monks, found the principles of Hildebrand suited 
to their interests as well as their spiritual pride, or in many cases 
were moved by a purer enthusiasm of duty to God rather than man. 

These passions were brought to a terrible focus, and both Em- 
peror and Empire were plunged back into a sea of misery, by the 
rebellion of the prince who had been held forth as the hope of a 

1 The contrast between the policy adopted on the vital principle at stake, 
when the Empire was to be humbled, and when the Normans were to be 
conciliated, is naively exposed by Baronius, when he uses it as an argu- 
ment against the genuineness of this decree. "How is it to be supposed 
that Urban could have granted to Roger such powers, when, by granting 
but a small part of them to Henry,- he might have prevented so much 
misery?" On this question see further in Robertson, vol. ii. p. 702. 

2 Henry V. was born in 1081. 

A.D. 1106. DEATH OF HENRY IV. 29 

new age. The noble youths, his comrades, were naturally ready, 
and were encouraged by the Emperor's enemies, to foster the son's 
discontent at any position short of equality with his father on the 
throne. 1 But young Henry declared, with characteristic hypocrisy, 
that he had no wish to reign, but only to bring about the con- 
version of his father, whom, as an excommunicated person, he 
could not in conscience obey : and his own share in the excom- 
munication was removed by the Pope, whose counsel he sought as 
soon as he broke into open rebellion (December 1101). The Em- 
peror's paternal fondness led him to place himself in the hands of 
his son at Coblenz (December 1105); whence, with a perfidious 
show of affection, young Henry carried his father up the Rhine to 
a prison, where the harshest treatment broke his already humbled 
spirit ; and he resigned his crowns, with abject entreaties for the 
absolution which the papal legate still found excuses for postponing. 

Henry V. was crowned " King of the Romans " at Mainz, at 
Epiphany, 1106; 2 but the deposed Emperor escaped, and seemed 
in a fair way to regain the crown, when he died at Liege on the 7th 
of August, sending his ring and sword to his son, with a fruitless 
request for an amnesty to his adherents. His faults had been many; 
but his better qualities brought upon him much of the opposition 
and trouble that embittered the fifty years' reign which he had 
begun as a child of seven. "It was his fate," says William of 
Malmesbury, " that whosoever took up arms against him regarded 
himself as a champion of religion." The common people and the 
poor, to whom he had always shown kindness, honoured with a 
saintly reverence the remains which his enemies disinterred from his 
tomb at Liege and kept for five years in an unconsecrated vault at 
Spires, where Henry had wished to be buried in the cathedral raised 
by himself. It was not till August 1111 that Henry V., having ob- 
tained a reluctant consent from the humiliated Pope, interred his 
father's body in the cathedral with a funeral of unexampled splendour. 

§ 7. During those five years, Paschal II. had in his turn been 
made the victim of the craft and perfidy which he had encouraged 
in Henry V. against his father. Trusting to the King's professions 
of obedience, the Pope renewed the decrees against investiture at a 
council at Guastalla (October 1106). He was on his way to spend 
the Christmas with Henry at Augsburg, when news reached him 

1 The association of a son iu the kingdom, nominally of the Romans, 
really of Germany, during his father's life, was now common, as a means 
of securing the succession, which fell to him on his father's death, with- 
out a new election, involving also the claim to the Empire. (See Bryce, 
A pp. C, p. 45<5-7.) Both Henry III. and Henry IV. had been crowned 
during the lifetime of their fathers. 

- He reigned hetween nineteen and twenty years, to May 1120. 
II— D 


which raised his suspicions, and he turned aside to France to seek 
support from King Philip I. At a conference at Chalons-on-the- 
Marne (April 1107), the German envoys demanded the acknow- 
ledgment of the right of investiture, which Henry had already put 
in force; and, on the Pope's refusal, they declared that the question 
must be decided at Rome, and by the sword. 

Three years later Henry crossed the Alps; and Paschal, unable to 
obtain help from his Norman allies, offered a remarkable compro- 
m j se — that, if Henry would relinquish investiture, the Church should 
give up the property on which the claim was founded, namely, all 
the endowments and secular privileges conferred upon bishops and 
abbots by his predecessors since Charles the Great. " The Pope 
expressed an opinion that, as the corruptions of the clergy had 
chiefly arisen from the secular business in which those privileges 
had involved them, they would, if relieved of them, be able to 
perform their spiritual duties better ; while he trusted for their 
maintenance to the tithes, with the oblations of the faithful, and 
such possessions as they had acquired from private bounty or by 
purchase." l 

The needful consent of the clergy was so unlikely, as to have 
thrown doubts on the sincerity both of the Pope's offer and of its 
acceptance by Henry on the condition that it should be ratified by 
the bishops and the Church. Henry at all events contrived to 
secure all the advantage of the impossibility of its performance. On 
his arrival at Rome (Feb. 12th, 11 1 1), where the agreement was to 
be confirmed and he was to receive the imperial crown, he publicly 
declared in St. Peter's that it was not his wish to take away from 
the clergy any gifts made by his predecessors. This threw all the 
odium upon the Pope, who was attacked at once by the German 
and Lombard bishops, and by the nobles who held ecclesiastical 
fiefs. Henry demanded his immediate coronation, as the execution 
of the agreement had become impossible ; and when the Pope did 
not at once comply, he was seized and imprisoned in the castle of 
St. Angelo, with several of the cardinals, while fearful riots broke 
out in Rome against the Germans, and the royal troops devastated 
the country all around. 

It was not till after two months that Paschal yielded to the 
entreaties of the cardinals and the distress of the Romans He was 
released on swearing:, together with thirteen cardinals, to allow in- 
vestiture by the symbols of the ring and staff after a free election, 
never to trouble the King either on this subject or for his late 
treatment of him, and never to excommunicate him ; and he was 

1 Robertson, vol. ii. n. 741. 


reluctantly compelled to place a copy of this agreement in Henry's 
hands when he crowned him at St. Peter's (April 13th). The Pope 
and Emperor ratified their treaty by a solemn oath upon the 
Eucharist, and the Scotch historian, David, 1 who was Henry's 
chaplain, compares his master's treatment of the Pope to Jacob's 
importunity when he wrestled with the angel at Peniel, and said, 
" I will not let thee £0, except thou bless me." (Gen. xxxii. 26.) 

§ 8. It was not likely that the treaty thus extorted should be lasting, 
though Paschal attempted to he faithful to his engagements, against 
the clamour of the Hildebrandine party, headed by Bruno, abbot of 
Monte Cassino, whom he regarded as a dangerous rival. At the 
Lateran Synod of 11 L2, he was compelled to condemn the agreement, 
as having been made under constraint ; and soon afterwards he was 
artfully drawn into a more decided step. Guy, archbishop of 
Vienne, in Henry's kingdom of Burgundy, held a council which not 
only repeated the Lateran condemnation of the compact, but pro- 
nounced investiture a heresy, and excommunicated Henry for his 
outrages against the Pope. The decree was sent to Paschal, with a 
threat of renouncing obedience to him if he refused to confirm it, 
and the Pope saved his conscience by the plea that this indirect act 
was no violation of his oath. 

§ 9. Meanwhile the proceedings of Henry towards the German 
Church had given the grossest provocation, and had thrown Germany 
back into civil war. In 111') he again crossed the Alps to take 
possession of the inheritance of the Countess Matilda, in disregard of 
her donation to the papal see. On his way to Pome he made vain 
attempts to negociate with Paschal, who fled to Monte Cassino ; and 
when Henry departed, after Easter (1117), the Romans, who had a 
quarrel of their own with the Pope, refused him admission, and he 
died in the castle of St. Angelo (Jan. 21st, 1118). The cardinals 
elected one of their own number, John of Gaeta, as Pope Ge- 
lasius II. (1118-1119) ; but, before his consecration, Henry re- 
turned to Rome, and used his prerogative to confirm the election 
by the ] eople of Burdinus, archbishop of Braga, as the Antipope 
Gregory VIII. After much trouble, and even personal violence, 
from the turbulent factions of Rome, Gelasius retired to France and 
died at Clugny (Jan. 29, 1119). The five cardinals who had accom- 
panied him chose as his successor the anti-imperialist champion 
Guy, archbishop of Vienne, who, after much reluctance on his own 

1 David, a Scot by birth, and afterwards Bishop of Bangor, accom- 
panied Henry into Italy, with several other men of learning, to support 
the controversial part of the conflict, which has been quite eclipsed by 
the King's decisive measures. David was charged to write a history of 
the expedition, which was used by Ekkehard and William of Malmesbury. 


part and violent resistance from his flock, was consecrated in his 
cathedral as Pope Calixtus II. (1119-1124). 

§ 10. The anarchy and civil war now raging in Germany disposed 
the Emperor to listen to the Pope's proposals for a compromise, on 
the terms that Henry should be released from excommunication on 
giving up his claim to investiture, but that the bishops should still 
do homage for their fiefs. Calixtus had even set out from Hheims, 
where he was holding a great Council, to meet the Emperor, when 
his commissioners reported that Henry was trying to evade the 
terms agreed upon. Calixtus returned to Rheims in great indig- 
nation, and the Council, after enacting further canons against simony, 
clerical marriage, and investiture, pronounced a most solemn ana- 
thema on the Emperor and the Antipope, and absolved Henry's 
subjects from their allegiance (Oct. 1119). 

§ 11. Among the matters brought before the Council of Rheims 
were complaints made by the King of France 1 against Henry I. of 
England, for his conduct in regard to the duchy of Normandy, and 
for his treatment of his brother Robert. 2 These purely secular 
disputes were referred by Louis, with the consent of Henry, to the 
Pope's arbitration ; and the attempt of the Norman primate, Godfrey 
of Rouen, to vindicate his sovereign, was put down by the clamour 
of the Council. Henry had given four English bishops permission 
to attend the Council ; but he had warned them against bringing 
back any " superfluous inventions ;" and he had charged them not 
to complain against each other, because he was resolved to do full 
justice to every complaint within his own kingdom. 

In accordance with this principle, Henry had resisted the use of the 
legatine authority, which was one of the most effective means of 
subjection employed by the Hildebrandine party. At the beginning 
of his reign (1100), he and the English Church had refused to 
receive the present Pope as legate of Paschal II., who had admitted 
the claim of the Archbishop of Canterbury 3 to be his sole repre- 
sentative in England. On the election of a new archbishop, 
Ralph (1114), Paschal had complained of the independent spirit 

1 Louis VI. le Gros (1108-1137). 

2 Robert had been a prisoner since the battle of Tenchebrai (1106); but 
Louis supported the claims of his son, William, to the duchy of Normandy. 

Here, and in §§ 13-20, we relate briefly, as a part of our whole subject, the 
matters of which a fuller account is given in the Student's History of the 
Eagh'sh CiUrch, by Canon Perry, Period I., Chaps, xi.-xiii. 

3 This admission, however, was personal to Anselm, who had just returned 
from his first exile, and might be relied on to support the cause of Rome. 
The next legate appointed by Paschal was Ansclm's nephew, also named 
Anselm, Abbot of St. Edniundsbury. Respecting the earlier disputes of 
Anselm with William Rufus and Henry I., see below §§ 16-20 


shown by the English Church, and had appointed another legate, 
whom Henry ordered to he received with honour in Normandy, but 
did not suffer him to cross the sea. 

There was also a question open between Henry and the Pope 
about the claim of the see of York to independence of the Archbishop 
of Canterbury, which two successive archbishops of York had main- 
tained against Lanfranc and Anselm, but without success. Thurstan, 
who had been appointed to the see of York in 1114, and had refused 
to be consecrated at Canterbury, had gone to Reims and received 
consecration from Gelasius, in spite of the protest of the English 

On all these questions the Pope determined to hold a personal con- 
ference with Henry, whom it was of great importance to conciliate, 
both as King of England and as father-in-law of the Emperor. 1 
Calixtus proceeded from lieims to meet Henry at Grisors, and 
readily accepted his answers to the complaints of the King of France 
(November 1119). The Pope promised that no legate should be 
sent into England except at the King's request, and for the arrange- 
ment of such matters as the English bishops could not settle. 
Having conceded these points, the Pope asked that Thurstan might 
return to his see ; and when the King replied that he had sworn to 
the contrary, Calixtus, as apostolic pontiff, offered to release him 
from his oath. Henry's conscience was not over-scrupulous ; 
but he was able to plead that, whatever a pope might do or 
undo, a king could not break his oath without producing universal 

On his return to Italy, Calixtus punished the Antipope, who was 
betrayed into his hands, by a humiliating exposure,- and shut him 
up for life in a monastic prison (1121). 

§ 12. Germany was still a prey to anarchy, and the armies of the 
Emperor and the primate Adalbert, now papal legate, were encamped 
near Wurzburg, as if for a decisive battle, when negociations were 
opened, and had a successful issue (October 1121). The contest of 
half a century had exhausted both parties, and each had learned the 
impossibility of obtaining complete supremacy over the other. The 
princes of Germany were unwilling that the Emperor should be 
subjected to Pome, and the clergy of France — where investiture was 
unknown, because the kings had retained an effectual control over 

1 Matilda, daughter of Henry I., was married to the Emperor Henry V. 
in 1114, when only twelve or thirteen, and was left a widow by his death 
in 1125. She married Geoflrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou, in 1130. 

2 Burdinus was paraded about Rome, dressed in bloody sheepskins for his 
Pontifical robe, and seated backwards on a camel, the tail of which he held 
in his hands. 


the Church— came forward to suggest a compromise, by which the 
election and consecration, which made a bishop, should be clearly 
distinguished from his investiture in his temporalities by means of 
other symbols than the ring and staff, which were proper to his 
spiritual authority. On this basis the Pope and the Emperor made 
the Concordat of Worms (September 23, 1122). " On the Pope's 
part it was stipulated that in Germany the elections of bishops and 
abbots should take place in the presence of the King, without 
simony or violence. If any discord should arise, the King, by the 
advice of the metropolitan and his suffragans, was to support the 
party who should be in the right. The bishop elect was to receive 
the temporalities of his see by the sceptre, and was bound to perform 
all the duties attached to them. In other parts of the Emperor's 
dominions the bishop was, within six months after consecration >., to 
receive the temporalities from the sovereign by the sceptre, without 
any payment, and was to perform the duties which pertained to 
them. The Emperor, on his part, gave up investiture by ring and 
staff, and engaged to allow free election and consecration through- 
out his dominions ; he restored to the Roman Church all possessions 
and royalties which had been taken from it since the beginning of 
his father's reign, and undertook to assist towards the recovery of 
such as were not in his own hands." 1 These terms were read out 
before a vast multitude assembled in a meadow^ near Worms, and 
the ratifications were solemnly exchanged in the city. The papal 
legate, Lambert, cardinal bishop of Ostia, performed mass, and gave 
the Emperor the kiss of peace. On the apparent simplicity of the 
solution, as contrasted with the length and bitterness of the struggle, 
Canon Robertson observes : — " But in truth circumstances had 
disposed both parties to welcome a solution which at an earlier time 
would have been rejected. The question of investitures had, on 
Gregory's part, been a disguise for the desire to establish a domi- 
nation over temporal sovereigns ; on the part of the emperors, it 
had meant the right to dispose of ecclesiastical dignities, and to 
exercise a control over the hierarchy. Each party had now learnt 
that its object was not to be attained, hut it was not until this 
experience had reduced the real question within the bounds of its 
nominal dimensions that any accommodation was possible." 

The terms of the Concordat were confirmed by the First General 
Council of Lateran, which is reckoned by the Romans the Ninth 
(Ecumenical Council (March 1123). Two years later, Henry V. 
died childless at Utrecht (May 23, 1125), and with him ended the 
line of the Franconian Emperors. 

1 Robertson, vol. ii. p. 757. 


§ 13. A few words must be added concerning the dispute about 
investitures in England, a country which had also at this time 
the honour of possessing the two greatest lights of the Western 
Church, as successive primates. The ecclesiastical policy of William 
the Conqueror was directed by his own resolute will, with the 
twofold purpose of securing his power over England, and keeping 
it free from foreign control. From the first he acted on the watch- 
word of our national independence — "Britain is a world by itself." 
The native English prelates were soon replaced by his own followers, 
whom he appointed and promoted at his pleasure, and invested 
according to the feudal forms. By abstaining from the sale of 
benefices, he earned the praise of Gregory VI 1., and also deprived 
him here of what was the great excuse for his interference with 
the German Church, in order to put down simony. Deep as were 
his obligations to the Papacy for the support given to his enterprise 
by Alexander II., William was not the man to hold his kingdom 
as the vassal of the Pope. Legates were allowed to hold synods, 
in which, however, nothing was to be done without the King's 
sanction first obtained. Bishops were forbidden to obey citations 
from Rome, or to receive letters from the Pope without showing 
them to the King ; and none of his nobles or servants were to be 
excommunicated without his license. 

§ 14. While conferring bishoprics ana abbeys on his .Norman 
followers with very little regard to learning or even character, 
William chose for the primacy one of the most eminent ecclesias- 
tics of the age, the Lombard Lanfranc, a native of Pavia, who had 
been a distinguished lawyer before he became a monk of Bec-Herlouin 
in Normandy, which he made a great school of both sacred and secular 
learning. William had made Lanfranc head of his new abbey of 
St. Stephen's, at Caen, whence he was called to Canterbury, 
against his own will, on the deposition of the English primate, 
Stigand (1070). Proceeding to Rome for the pall, he was received 
by Alexander II. with the highest honour, and was made legate 
in England. He exerted himself to reform the disorders of the 
Emilish Church, which the Norman writers represent as in a dis- 
graceful state from the ignorance an<l low character of the clergy. 
On the two great points of contention, monasticism and celibacy, 
the effects of Dunstan's reforms had passed away, and Lanfranc 
had to renew the work, wffch imperfect success. 1 The substitution 
of monks for secular canons in cathedrals led to serious struggles; 
and a council at Winchester, while enforcing celibacy on canons 

1 For the work of Dunstan, and the whole history of the English Church 
under the Anglo-Saxon kings, see the Student? 6 History of the Enjlish 
Church, Period I., Chaps, ii.-viii. 


and on future priests and deacons, allowed the rural clergy to keep 
their wives (1076). 

Lanfranc seconded the King's* policy of independence towards 
Rome, and professed neutrality in the contest between Hildebrand 
and Guibert. Gregory VII. used every effort to secure the support 
of William ; and his letters, both to the King and the Archbishop, 
are in a curiously mingled tone of compliment and authority. But 
neither flattery nor command, nor even citations to Rome, backed 
by threats, were of any avail. When, for example, Gregory re- 
quired William to enforce the payment of Peter's Pence, and to 
swear fealty to the Apostolic see, the King granted the former, 
as an alms due by precedent, but not as tribute, and peremptorily 
refused the latter, as neither called for by precedent nor by his own 
promise. His letter is characteristic : " Your legate has admonished 
me in your name to do fealty to you and your successors, and to 
take better order as to the money which my predecessors have been 
accustomed to send to the Roman Church. The one I have 
admitted; the other I have not admitted. I refused to do fealty ; 
nor will I do it, because neither have I promised it nor do I find 
that my predecessors have performed it to yours." 1 

§ 15. The firm policy of the Conqueror contrasts most favourably 
with his son's reckless disregard of all religious obligations, his 
contemptuous levity and self-interest, alternating with abject weak- 
ness under superstitious terror. William of Malmesbury says of 
Rufus, " He feared God but little; man not at all." The death 
of Lanfranc, two years after the King's accession (1089), put an 
end to the hopes founded on his influence over his pupil, who took 
for his adviser the unprincipled Ralph Flambard. The revenues of 
vacant bishoprics and other high preferments were not only diverted 
to the use of the crown, but the offices themselves were kept vacant 
to supply the King's extravagance. The primacy remained unfilled 
for four years, Rufus swearing that he would have no archbishop 
but himself, till a serious illness brought on a fit of seeming 
penitence, and he chose Anselm for the see of Canterbury. 

§ 16. This great divine and philosopher was, like Lanfranc, an 
Italian, having been born at Aosta about 1033. Having entered 
the monastery of Bee, he succeeded Lanfranc as prior and master of 
the school (1063), and was afterwards elected abbot (1078). He 
was regarded as the greatest light of the Western Church since 
Augustine ; and he has been called the founder of Natural Theology, 
in the wide sense of bringing all science and philosophy to the sup- 
port and illustration of Divine truth. But, unlike Johannes Scotus, 

1 Ap. Lanfranc, Epist. 7 ; Robertson, vol. ii. p. 718. 


who forced theology into agreement with his philosophy, Anselm 
proceeded from the principle, that the truth concerning God is 
the foundation and end of all knowledge. The great motto of his 
system — " Faith in search of Understanding " (Fides quctrens iv- 
teUectum) — was the first title of his work called ' ProslogionJ which 
aims to prove the existence and attributes of the Deity by a single 
argument : " God is that than which none greater can be conceived, 
and he who well understands this will understand that the Divine 
Being exists in such a manner that His non-existence cannot even 
be conceived." 1 

§ 17. Anselm was the more unwilling to leave his cloister and his 
work of teaching, as he foresaw the difficulty of acting in concord 
with such a king as Kufus. He reluctantly accepted the arch- 
bishopric, on conditions which the King partly agreed to and partly 
evaded, and he was consecrated near the end of 1093. The King 
impeded his efforts for reforming clerical and social disorders ; 
and when Anselm urged him to fill up the vacant abbacies, liufus 
replied, " What is that to you? Are not the abbeys mine?" 
"They are yours," answered Anselm, "to defend and protect as 
advocate, but they are not yours to invade and devastate." 

An open quarrel broke out when Anselm asked leave to go to 
Rome, to receive the pall from Urban II. Neither the Pope nor the 
Antipope had yet been acknowledged in England; and William 
angrily declared that no one should be styled Pope there without 
his special warrant. He consented, however, to refer the question 
of the primate's duty to a council of bishops and nobles at Rocking- 
ham (March 1095). With two exceptions, all the prelates took 
part against Anselm, and urged him to make full submission to 
the King's authority ; but Piiifus could not prevail oti them absolutely 
to renounce obedience to the primate. 2 The nobles still more 
decidedly refused to disown him ; and the people outside were 
clamorous in his favour. 

At length a truce was agreed on till after Whitsuntide : and 
William meanwhile sent two ecclesiastics to Rome, to enquire into 
the claims of the rival Popes. They decided in favour of Urban, 
and from him they asked for a pall, not for Anselm by name, 
but for the Archbishop of Canterbury, as William hoped to confer 
it on another primate of his own choice. The pall was brought 

1 Eadmer's 'Life of Anselm,' 6; Robertson, vol. ii. p. 722. Respecting 
Anselm's position as the founder of Scholastic Theology, see further in 
Chap. XXVII. 

2 It is interesting to find the bishops recognizing the Archbishop of 
Canterbury as primate, not only of all England, but also of Scotland, Ireland, 
and the adjacent islands, in accordance with the scope of the commission 
given by Gregory the Great to Augustine. 

II- D 2 


by Walter of Urbano, who refused to depose the Archbishop ; and 
Anselm was summoned to receive the pall from the King's hands. 
On his refusal to take it from any secular person, it was agreed that 
the pall should be laid on the altar, and that the primate should 
take it thence, as from St. Peter. 

§ 18. In order to make up the sum for which Duke Robert, when 
preparing for the Crusade, pledged Normandy to his brother, Rufus 
made severe exactions from the Church ; and he found a pretext for 
citing Anselm to answer in the King's court for failing to make 
certain contributions. Regarding this summons as an attempt to 
bring him under feudal subjection, Anselm asked leave to go to 
Rome, to lay his case, and the whole state of the English Church, 
before the Pope. After several refusals, the King gave an un- 
gracious assent (October 1097); and Anselm, who was received at 
Rome with high honour and sympathy for his wrongs, 1 remained 
in Italy, 2 and afterwards in France, with his friend Hugh, arch- 
bishop of Lyon, till William's death (1100). 

§ 19. Anselm was recalled to England by Henry T., who began 
his reign by granting a charter securing the liberties of the Church, 
the nobles, and the people; he also filled up the vacant bishoprics 
and abbacies, 3 and restored their possessions. The King received 
the primate with marked honour ; but it soon appeared that Anselm 
had brought back from his exile ideas of papal authority beyond 
what had hitherto been admitted in England. The custom of in- 
vestiture, with the concomitant act of homage by the ecclesiastical 
possessor to the King as his feudal lord, was firmly established in 
England, and had been submitted to by Anselm himself on his 
appointment to the primacy. But, on being required to receive 
investiture from, and to do homage to, the new king, he replied 
that he was bound to obey the decree of the council, which he had 
lately attended (at Bari), against investitures. 

The question was referred to Pope Taschal II., who would make 
no concession ; and, after long and complicated negotiations, Anselm 
undertook a journey to Rome to confer with the Pope, at the King's 

1 In the exuberance of his compliments to " the holy man " (as Anselm 
was commonly called at Rome), Urban bore an unconscious testimony to the 
independence of the English Church by declaring that lie ought to be treated 
as an equal — as " pope and patriarch of another world." Again the maxim, 
" Britain is a world by itself." 

? During his retirement at a monastery among the hills near Telese, in 
1097, Anselm finished his work, Cur Dens Homo i which is one of the best 
treatises on the Incarnation of our S iviour. He was present at the 
Councils of Clermont and Bari, and at the latter he made a powerful 
address on the questions at issue between the Greek and Latin Churches. 

3 In the last year of Rufus, the King received the revenues of Canterbury 
Salisbury, Winchester, and of twelve abbeys. (William of Malmesbury.) 


desire, but protesting that lie would do nothing to the injury of the 
Church or to his own discredit. At the same time Henry sent an 
envoy of his own, who declared that his master would rather lose his 
crown than give up his right of investiture, and Paschal rejoined that 
he also would rather die than yield (1103). Dreading, however, the 
result of the corruption to which the King's envoy resorted, Anselm 
retired again to Lyon, where he received repeated invitations from 
Henry to return, if he would do as his predecessors had done, which 
he construed as a virtual sentence of banishment. 

§ 20. Anselm had at length resolved to pronounce, by his own 
authority, the sentence of excommunication which he had in vain 
urged the Pope to utter against the King, when the mediation of 
Henry's sister, the Countess of Blois, brought about an interview 
between the King and primate at the castle of L' Aigle, in Normandy. 
The result was, that both again sent envoys to Rome, who brought 
back the proposal of a compromise, by which the King was to give 
up investiture, but, " until he should come to a better mind," 
bishops and abbots should be permitted to do homage. The victory 
was apparently with Anselm; but the King retained his feudal 
rights over the clergy and the power of nominating the bishops, in 
the exercise of which, however, he took the advice of his ecclesiastical 
councillors. 1 The agreement was confirmed at Bee (August HOG), 
and Anselm returned to England, where he was received with en- 
thusiasm, the " good Queen Maud " taking a prominent part in his 
welcome. At a council held at Westminster next year, the King 
and Church of England formally adopted the agreement. Canon? 
were at the same time passed, renewing the enforcement of celibacy 
on the parochial clergy, which had been enacted by a council at 
London in 1102. The Pope, however, consented that, for a time, 
the sons of the married clergy might be admitted to holy orders, 
for a reason which really furnished a strong argument against the 
prohibition, namely, that " almost the greater and the better part 
of the English clergy" were derived from this class. Anselm 
remained the honoured friend of Henry till his own death two 
years later (April 1109). The archbishopric, having remained 
vacant for five years, was conferred on Ralph, bishop of Rochester 
(1114), who was successful in his mission to Rome to maintain the 
rights of the primacy against the attempt to intrude a papal legate 
(s;>e § 13). 

1 William of Malmesbury, Gesta JRerjum, lib. v. p. 654 : — " Rex investi- 
tnram annuli et baculi indulsit in perpetuum ; retento tantum electionis et 
regalium privilegio. Respecting his exercise of the power of nomination, 
Anselm writes to the Pope, "Rex ipse in personis eligendis nullatenus pro- 
pria utitur voluntate, sed religiosorum se penitus committit consilio." 

Shrine of the "■Three Kings," Cologne Cathedral. 


A.D. 1124 TO 1198. 

§ L„ Results of the Conflict on Investitures — The German People and the 
Papacy. § 2. Contest for the Empire — The House of Hohenstaufen — 
Election of Lothair II. of Saxony — Civil War between the Saxon and 
Swabian parties. § 3. Pope Honorius II. — Papal Schism between 
Innocent II. and the Antipope Anacletus II. § 4. St. Bernard of 
Clairvaux and Peter the " Venerable " of Clugny — General acceptance of 
Pope Innocent. § 5. Diet of Wiirzburg — Lothair crowned Emperor — 
His submission to the Pope — Roger of Sicily — Death of Lothair, and of 
the Antipope. § 6. Coxrad III. of Hohenstaufen, the first King of the 
Swabian Line — War of the Guelpks and Ghibellines. § 7'. The Second 
Lateran Council — Arnold of Brescia— Republic at Rome — Popes 
Celestine II. and Lucius II. § 8. Pope Eugenius III. — The 
Second Crusade — Bernard's work " On Consideration " — Deaths of 
Conrad, Eugenius, and Bernard. § 9. Election of Frederick I. 
BarbaroSSA — His Character and Work. § 10. State of Italy — 
Frederick's first expedition into Lombardy — Pope Anastasius IV. 
§ 11. Pope Adrian IV. — Execution of Arnold of Brescia— Frederick 


crowned Emperor. § 12. Beginning of the Hundred Years' Conflict 
between the Popes and the Hohenstaufen — Affairs of Sicily — Assembly of 
BesaiKjon and quarrel about "beneficia," § 13. Frederick again in 
Lombardy — Assembly of Roncaglia — Indignation and death of Adrian. 
§ 14. The Twenty Years' Papal Schism — Pope Alexander III. and the 
Imperialist Antipope Victor IV. — Real significance of the contest — 
Council of Pavia — General acceptance of Alexander — His Character and 
Policy. § 15. Frederick takes Milan — Council of Tours — Thomas 
Becket — The Antipope Paschal III. — Council of Wvirzburg. § 16. 
Frederick's fourth expedition into Italy — League against him — The 
Emperor Manuel Comnenus — Frederick at Rome — The fatal Pestilence 
and disastrous Retreat — The Lombard League — Murder of Becket and 
Submission of Henry II. to Alexander — The Antipope Calixtus III. 
§ 17. Frederick's fifth expedition and defeat at Legnano — His agree- 
ment and meeting with the Pope at Venice. § 18. Alexander at Rome — 
Submission of Calixtus and imprisonment of the fourth Antipope, 
Innocent III. — The Third Lateran Council prescribes the order of Papal 
Elections and sanctions Crusades against Heretics — Death of Alexan- 
der III. § 19. Pope LUCIUS III. — Frederick's Reichsfest at Mainz — His 
sixth visit to Italy and agreement with the Lombards — Pope Urban III. 
— His hostility to Frederick — Marriage of Henry VI. to Constance of 
Sicily — Death of Urban — The Third Crusade and death of Frederick 
Barbarossa— Death of Pope Clement III. § 20. Henry VI. crowned 
Emperor by Pope Celestine III. — Henry's War in South Italy — 
He conquers Sicily : his cruelties — His Proposal of an Hereditary Empire 
rejected — His Ecclesiastical Policy — The Fourth Crusade — Deaths of 
Henry and Celestine — Results, of the Conflict. 

§ 1. The long conflict between the Franconian Emperors and the 
Italian Popes left permanent results, which had great influence both 
on the imperial constitution and on the second and decisive stage of 
the struggle for supremacy. The personal authority of the Em- 
peror had received rude shocks, and the power of the princes and 
nobles had risen on his humiliation. " All fiefs are now hereditary, 
and when vacant can be granted afresh only by consent of the 
States; the jurisdiction of the crown is less wide; the idea is 
beginning to make progress, that the most essential part of ihe 
Empire is not its supreme head, but the commonwealth of princes 
and barons. Their greatest triumph is in the establishment of the 
elective principle, which, when confirmed by the three free elections 
of Lothair II., Conrad III., and Frederick I., passes into an un- 
doubted law. The Prince-Electors are mentioned in a.d. 1156 as 
a distinct and important body. 1 The clergy, too, whom the policy 

1 "Gradum statim post Principes Electores." — Frederick I.'s Privilege 
of Austria, in Pertz, Man. Hist. Germ. Legg. ii. 


of Otto the Great and Henry II. had raised, are now not less 
dangerous than the dukes, whose power it was hoped they would 
balance ; possibly more so, since protected by their sacred character 
and their allegiance to the Pope, while able at the same time to 
command the army of their countless vassals." 1 But their preten- 
sions had roused a new spirit among the German people, and espe- 
cially in the rising order of the burghers. " It was now that the first 
seeds were sown of that fear and hatred, wherewith the German 
people never thenceforth ceased to regard the encroaching Romish 
court. Branded by the Church, and forsaken by the nobles, Henry 
IV. retained the affections of the faithful burghers of Worms and 
Liege. It soon became the test of Teutonic patriotism to resist 
Italian priestcraft." 2 

§ 2. The choice of Henry V.'s successor exemplified at once the 
principle of free election and the influence of the clergy. The 
death of Henry without a direct heir gave an opportunity for 
asserting fully the old German right of electing the new sovereign ; 
and the princes who attended his funeral issued from Spires a letter 
— ascribed to Henry's chief enemy, Adalbert, archbishop of Mainz — 
exhorting their brethren to choose one who would free the kingdom 
from "so heavy a yoke of slavery." 3 

In August, 1 125, a great assembly of 60,000 men of the four 
German nations — Franconians, Saxons, Swabians, and Bavarians — 
encamped on both banks of the Rhine between Worms and Mainz, 
the city where the princes met. Under the guidance of the papal 
legate, the procedure was modelled on that of an election to the 
Holy See ; the choice being made by a select body — ten from each 
of the four nations — and ratified by the whole assembly. 

The candidate who had the strongest hereditary claim was Frede- 
rick, Duke of Swabia, whose father, Frederick', head of the ancient 
house of Hohenstaufen, 4 had risen into celebrity as the firm ad- 
herent of Henry IV., who had bestowed on him the hand of his 
daughter Agnes, and the dnchy of Swabia. Thus Frederick was 

1 Bryce. p. 165. 2 Ibid, p. 164. 

3 Pertz, Eegg. ii. 79 ; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 2. 

4 This renowned title was derived (like that of Hapsburg) from the 
family castle of Hohenstaufen, which stood (as its name denotes) on a lofty 
conical hill, between Ulm and Stuttgart. It was destroyed in the Peasants' 
War, and only a few foundations mark its site : but the remembrance of its 
imperial dignity is preserved by an inscription over the doorway of a chapel 
on the slope below — " Hie transibat Caesar." To avoid confusion, the 
succession of the Dukes of Swabia, of the house of Hohenstaufen, should be 
noted: — (1) Frederick I., son-in-law of Henry I.; (2) His son. Frederick 
II., the competitor with Lothair II. ; (3) His son, Frederick III., who be- 
came the Emperor Frederick I. Barbarossa. 


Grandson of Henry IV., and joint heir of the family estates of the 
Franconian emperors with his brother Conrad, who inherited the 
duchy of Franconia through his mother. But their other inheri- 
tance — of the policy of their house — provoked the opposition of the 
clergy, as well as of the nobles, who feared a strong emperor ; and the 
influenceof Archbishop Adalbert turned the scale in favour of Lothair, 
Count of Supplinburg and Duke of Saxony, who was chosen king, 
and became afterwards the Emperor Lothair II. (1125-1138). 1 
Though he had been, during a life already long, the firm opponent 
of the late Emperor, Lothair was now required to give new guaran- 
tees in favour of the Church, among which the Concordat of Worms 
was tacitly ignored. The mission of two bixhops to solicit the 
Pope's confirmation of his election gave an earnest of that complete 
submission to the Holy See, by which he sought to strengthen 
himself against the Swabian party. 2 

§ 3. The Pope to whom this request was made, Honorius II. 
(1124-1130), had succeeded Calixtus II. after a brief contest with 
an Antipope, Celestine. The death of Honorius was followed by 
a far more important struggle for the papal throne, which- brought 
into notice the great names of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and Peter 
V the Venerable " of Clugny. On this occasion the double election 
represented no conflict of principles, but a rivalry of powerful fac- 
tions. No sooner was Honorius dead, than a party of the Cardinals 
met in the church of St. Gregory, on the Caslian, and made a hasty 
election of Gregory, cardinal of St. Angelo, by the name of Innocent 
11. (1130-1143), but without the proper formalities ; while a larger 
number of the sacred college, at a later hour of the same day and 
observing the regular forms, chose Peter Leonis, cardinal of St. Mary 
in the Transtevere. Peter, who had studied at Paris and been a 
monk of Clugny, was the head of the " Leonine " family or " Pkr- 
leoni," so called from his grandfather, a wealthy Jew, who had em- 
braced Christianity under Leo IX., and was baptized by his name. 
The family had gained increasing power by their wealth and their 
able services in office and diplomacy ; and the party of Peter, who 
was styled Anacletus II., 3 was strong enough to hold possession 
of Home, while Honorius sought refuge and support in France. 
The response of Louis VI. and the French church was deter- 
mined by the two great Abbots, of whom some account must now 
be given. 

1 Lothair was descended from Otho II. through his daughter Matilda. 
He became Duke of Saxony in 1106. 

2 The origin and details of Lothair's civil wars with Frederick and Conrad 
behmg to civil historv. 

3 Antipope from 1130 to 1138. 


§ 4. Bernard, born in 1091, the third of the six sons" of a Bur- 
gundian knight, imbibed a spirit of deep devotion from his mother 
Aletha, who died while he was still a youth. After a conflict be- 
tween the love of learning for its own sake and the religious profes- 
sion, to which his sainted mother often appeared to summon him 
in vision, he resolved not only to devote himself to the monastic 
life, but also to lead his family and friends to the same calling. His 
uncle, his brothers, his father, and his only sister, were successively 
won over, and at length, in 1113, Bernard, with more than thirty 
companions, applied for admission to the monastery of Citeaux. 1 

The Cistercian fraternity, which had grown but slowly owing to 
its rigorous discipline, was so enlarged by this addition, that new 
monasteries were founded at La Ferte and Pontigny ; and, in 1114, 
Bernard himself led fortb a company to a desolate spot, formerly the 
haunt of robbers, which now exchanged the name of " Valley of 
Wormwood " for that of Clair vaux {Clara Vallls). But it was a 
"bright valley" only in the spiritual sense: for the new settlers 
suffered extremities of cold and hunger, and a visitor carried away a 
piece of bread as a curiosity. The Abbot's own life was one of the 
most rigid mortification, hard manual labour, and diligent study, 
pursued in a spirit of independent thought, which demands special 
record : " Although he read the orthodox expositors, he declared that 
he preferred to learn the sense of Scripture from itself, that his best 
teachers were the oaks and beeches among which he meditated in 
solitude." 2 Miracles were ascribed to him, and he appears to have 
been himself persuaded of their reality ; but they were hardly 
needed to enhance the fascination of Bernard's eloquence, made 
doubly persuasive by his pale face and emaciated form and the 
power of his holy life. "As the chief representative of the age's 
feelings, the chief model of the character which it most revered, he 
found himself, apparently without design and even unconsciously, 
elevated to a position of such influence as no ecclesiastic, either 
before or since his time, has attained. Declining the ecclesiastical 
dignities to which he saw a multitude of his followers promoted, the 
Abbot of Clairvaux was for a quarter of a century the real soul and 
director of the Papacy : he guided the policy of emperors and kings, 
and swayed the deliberations of councils ; nay, however little his 
character and the training of his own mind might have fitted him 

1 The Cistercians, that is, brethren of Citeaux, had been founded by 
Robert, a Benedictine, near the end of the eleventh century. They were 
now under their third abbot, Stephen Harding, an Englishman, who had 
sought the solitude of the convent as a pilgrim. For nn account of these 
and the other new monastic oi-ders, see Chap. XX. 

2 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 9. 


for such a work, the authority of his sanctity was such as even to 
control the intellectual development of the age which owned him as 
its master." l 

The whole weight of Bernard's influence was thrown into the scale 
for the fugitive Pope ; and his eloquence, which was felt to be like a 
divine inspiration, prevailed on the Council which Louis VI. con- 
vened at Etampes to declare in favour of Innocent, chiefly on the 
ground of his personal character; for Anacletus was accused of 
impiety, corruption, and many other misdeeds. But at this crisis 
the authority of Bernard had scarcely more weight than the spon- 
taneous judgment of Peter, the "Venerable" Abbot of Clugny, 
against Anacletus, who had relied on the support of his former 
fraternity. " The character of Peter was such as to give all weight 
to his decision. Elected to the headship of his order at the age of 
thirty, he had recovered Clugny from the effects of the disorders 
caused by his predecessor, Pontius, and had once more established 
its reputation as a seat of piety, learning, and arts. In him the 
monastic spirit had not extinguished the human affections, but was 
combined with a mildness, a tolerance, and a charity, which he was 
able to reconcile with the strictest orthodoxy. The reputation of 
the 'Venerable' Abbot was such, that emperors, kings, and high 
ecclesiastical personages revered his judgment; and when it became 
known that Innocent had reached Clugny with a train of sixty horses, 
provided by the Abbot for his conveyance, the effect of this signal 
declaration against the Cluniac Antipope was widely and strongly 
felt." 2 During his stay at Clugny, Innocent was welcomed in the 
King's name by the Abbot of St. Denys ; and early in the new year 
Louis himself received him, with every mark of reverence, at 
Fleury. By the personal influence of Bernard, though opposed by 
many English and Norman prelates, Henry 1. of England was 
brought to give his support to Innocent in a personal interview at 
Chartres (Jan. 1131). All the great orders throughout the West 
declared in favour of Innocent, while Anacletus vainly pleaded his 
cause in letters to princes and prelates ; and the state of the 
controversy w r as pithily -expressed by the verse : — 

" Peter holds Rome, but Gregory the world." 3 

§ 5. A German diet held at Wurzburg declared in favour of 
Innocent, who met Lothair at Liege, and crowned him with his 
queen Bichenza (March 1131). Two years later the King met the 

1 Robertson, vol. iii. pp. 11, 12. We have to spenk in another place of 
St. Bernard's share in the scholastic controversies of the age, and of his 
conflict with Abelard. (See Chap. XXVIII.) - Ibid. pp. 12, 13, 

3 " Roniam Petrus habet, totum Gregorius orbem." Rob. de Monte, 
A.D. 1130: Robertson, ibid. p. 14. 


Pope in Italy and escorted him to Rome, where Innocent crowned 
Lothair Emperor in the Lateran, St. Peter's being still held by the 
Antipope (June 4th, 1132). Before the ceremony, Lothair took an 
oath to defend the Pope's person and dignity, to maintain those 
royalties of St. Peter which Innocent already possessed, and to aid 
him with all his power for the recovery of the rest. It is, however, 
doubtful whether the Emperor's submission went the length of that 
acknowledgment of vassalage which Innocent boasted in the inscrip- 
tion beneath a picture of the scene on the wall of the Vatican ; 

"Rex venit ante fores, jurans prius urbis honores, 
p ost homo fit Paps, sumit quo dante coronam." 

For the present, the Emperor had so little power to give the 
promised help, that, as soon as he had left Rome, Innocent was again 
driven out to Pisa, where he remained till 1137. By that time 
Anacletus had exhausted his wealth and lost most of his adherents ; 
his only powerful supporter being Roger II., whom he had crowned 
King of Sicily. Innocent now returned to Italy ; and Lothair, who 
had made peace with the Swabian party in 1135, led a powerful army 
across the Alps, drove Roger out of his possessions in Italy, and 
restored the Pope to Rome. But on his return the Emperor fell sick 
at Trent, and died in a peasant's hut on the Alps (Dec. 3, 1137). 
A few weeks later the papal schism was ended by the death of 
Anacletus in the Vatican (Jan. 25, 1138). * 

§ 6. The pretensions of Lothair's son-in-law, Henry the Proud, 
Duke of Bavaria and afterwards of Saxony, were now contested by 
Conrad of Hohenstaufen, who was chosen king by a part of the 
electors, headed by the Archbishops of Treves and Cologne, without 
waiting for the meeting of the Diet. With Conrad III. (1138- 
1152) began the Swabian or Hohenstaufen dynasty ; but civil war 
and his unfortunate part in the Second • Crusade prevented his 
establishing his power in Italy,oreven going to Rome to receive the 
Imperial crown. His contest with Henry is memorable for the use 
of the names of the Saxon and Swabian factions, Gutlph and 
Ghibelline, which became so famous as the titles of the Papal and 
Imperial parties. 2 They are said to have been first used as watch- 
words at the great battle of Weinsberg, in which Conrad defeated 
Wei f, the brother of Henry (1140). The fall of Weinsberg vir- 

1 A new Antipope. who was set up under the name of Victor IV., was 
soon persuaded to make his submission to Innocent (May 1138). 

2 Guelp'i and Ghibelline are the Italian torms of the German We'f and 
Waihlingen ; the former being; the family name which the Dukes of Saxony 
inherited from Henry's grandfather, Welf I., Duke of Bavaria, the latter 
the name of the village where Conrad's brother Frederick had been 
brought up. 


tually ended the civil war. Henry had died the year before ; and 
peace was made in 1142. 1 

§ 7. Pope Innocent II., restored to the undisputed possession of 
Rome, held the Second General Council of Lattran (the Tenth 
(Ecumenical of the Romans), which annulled the acts of Anacletus 
and excommunicated Roger of Sicily (1139). This Council also 
condemned Arnold of Brescia, who may be called in some 
respects one of the forerunners of the Protestant Reformation, 
while he was also a leader of the republican agitation which 
was now gaining strength in Italy. The conflicts between the 
Empire and the Papacy, and the diminished power of the Em- 
perors south of the Alps, had encouraged many of the Lombard 
cities to assert their independence under republican forms of govern- 
ment ; and the claims of their bishops to temporal rule provoked a 
political resistance to the hierarchy, who were already widely de- 
nounced for their worldliness and immorality. This twofold opposi- 
tion found a vigorous leader in Arnold, who was born about 1105 
at Brescia, one of the chief centres of republican independence in 
Lombard}'. Having been for some time a reader in the church, he 
adopted the monastic profession, and began to denounce the cor- 
ruptions both of the clergy and the monks in a strain of eloquence, 
to which Bernard applied the language of the Psalmist (lv. 22): — 
"his words were softer than oil, yet were they very swords." His 
ideas of reform were based on the pure spirituality of the Church. 
" Filled with visions of apostolical poverty and purity — of a purely 
spiritual church working by spiritual means alone — Arnold im- 
agined that the true remedy for the evils that had been felt would 
be to strip the hierarchy of their privileges, to confiscate their wealth, 
and to reduce them for their support to the tithes, with the free-will 
offerings of the laity." 2 Condemned to banishment by the Council 
of 1 139, he withdrew to France, and afterwards to Zurich. 

The influence of Arnold's teaching was supposed to be manifested 
by the insurrection at Rome in 1143, which replaced the Pope's 
civil government by a Senate in the Capitol. The Romans " re- 
solved that their city should resume its ancient greatness — that it 
should be the capital of the world, as well in a secular as in a 
religious sense; but that the secular administration should be in 
different hands from the spiritual." 3 Broken down by this revolt, 
Innocent died in the same year, and his successor Celestine II. 
held the See for only six months (1143-44), during which time 
Arnold, who had been before protected by the new Pope, seems to 

1 The details belong to the histories of Europe and Germany. 

2 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 43. 3 Ibid. p. 4»5 ; cf. Bryce, pp. 174, 253, 277, f 


have returned to Rome. On the death of Celestine, the model of the 
old Republic Avas still further copied by the creation of an equestrian 
order; and a Patrician, as nominal representative of the Emperor, 1 
was substituted for the papal prefect of the city. The new Pope, 
Lucius II., provoked by the riots and new demands of the people, 
and trusting to the armed power of the nobles, lost his life in an 
attempt to drive the Senate from the Capitol (Feb. loth, 1145). 

§ 8. His successor, Eugenius III. (1145-1153) — a pupil of 
Bernard of Clairvaux, and hitherto known only for his pure sim- 
plicity — surprised his former master and the world by displaying 
an ability and eloquence, which were explained by miraculous 
illumination. The interruption of his consecration by a riotous 
demand for his acknowledgment of the Republic caused his retire- 
ment to Viterbo; and he only returned to Rome (Jan. 1146) to be 
driven out again by the people (March), whose riots were inflamed 
by the harangues of Arnold and by his armed force of 2000 Swiss. 
The efforts of Bernard to induce Conrad to restore the Pope were 
interrupted by the excitement which caused the disastrous Second 
Crusade, of which Bernard was the great preacher (1147-1149). 2 

The Pope Eugenius, who had gone to France to support the 
Crusade, was enabled by the help of Roger of Sicily to return to 
Rome in 1149. The treatise " On Consideration," 3 which Bernard 
wrote at his request and for his direction, exhorting him to the 
spiritual duties of his office and warning him against secularity, 
contains an exposure of the abuses that infected the Roman Church 
and the monastic system, which is doubly impressive as a witness 
borne by the great champion of the Papacy. Though respecting the 
personal character and spiritual authority of Eugenius, the Romans 
still resisted his secular government, and he was again driven out 
after a few months. While preparing an expedition to restore him, 
Conrad died of a sudden illness (Feb. 1152). At the end of the 
year the Romans consented to receive Eugenius, but he died six 
months after his return (July 1153); and in the following month 
Bernard — to use the words of a chronicler — "ascended from the 
Bright Valley to the mountain of eternal brightness." 4 He was 
canonized by Alexander III. in 1174. 

1 It should be remembered that there was no Emperor at this time ; 
and Conrad had refused the invitation of the republican party to receive 
the imperial crown at Rome as the head of the revived state. 

2 The details of the Crusade belong to civil history. 

3 " De Considei-atione." — Bernard explains the meaning of this term 
(in contradistinction to contemplatio) as " intensa ad investigandum cogi- 
tatio vel intentio animi investigantis rerum." — ii. 2. 

* Rob. Autissiod. ; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 70. 


§ 9. A week after Conrad's death, the electors at Frankfort con- 
firmed his designation of his nephew Frederick I., 1 surnamed by 
the Italians Barbarossa ("with the Red Beard"). In him was 
united the blood of the Ghibellines and Guelphs, whose feud was 
suspended during his reign. A few days later he was crowned as 
King of the Germans at Aix-la-Qhapelle, at the age of thirty-one, 
and he reigned thirty-seven years (1152-1189). His firm character 
and splendid abilities qualified him to fulfil his resolution of sup- 
porting the imperial dignity and rights after the model of Charles 
the Great ; and his reign is the most brilliant in the annals of the 
Empire. " Its territory had been wider under Charles, its strength 
perhaps greater under Henry III., but it never appeared in such 
pervading vivid activity, never shone with such lustre of chivalry, 
as under the prince whom his countrymen have taken to be one of 
their national heroes, and who is still, as the half mythic type of 
Teutonic character, honoured by picture and statue, in song and in 
legend, through the breadth of the German lands. The reverential 
fondness of his annalists, and the whole tenor of his life, goes far to 
justify this admiration, and makes it probable that nobler motives 
were joined with personal ambition in urging him to assert so 
haughtily and carry out so harshly those imperial rights in which 
he had such unbounded confidence. Under his guidance the 
Transalpine power made its greatest effort to subdue the two 
antagonists which then threatened and were fated in the end to 
destroy it — Italian nationality and the Papacy." 2 Frederick's 
famous struggle with the Lombard cities must be left to the civil 
history of the age, except in its bearing on his conflict with his 
papal antagonists, Adrian IV. and Alexander III. 

§ 10. The state of Italy at Frederick's accession was such as to 
demand vigorous action, unless he were prepared to renounce all do- 
minion beyond the Alps. The exiled Pope Eugenius entreated his 
aid against the republicans, while they wrote to assure him that 
all respect for the Papacy was lost at Piome. The cities of North 
Italy were not only asserting their independence, but abusing it in 
bitter contests with each other ; the larger oppressed their weaker 
neighbours ; and a fierce feud was waged between Milan and Pavia, 
the ancient capital of Lombardy, which remained faithful to the 
Empire. To protect Southern Italy against the Norman kingdom 
of Sicily, Frederick formed an alliance with the Greek Emperor, 
Manuel Comnenus, and he made a compact with Pope Eugenius for 
the mutual safeguard of their interests (March 1153). At his first 

1 He was the son of Frederick II., Duke of Hohenstaufen, and of Judith, 
sister of Henrv the Proud and of Welf. (Cf. p. 42, n. 4.) 

2 Bryce, p." 167. 


diet (1152) he proposed an expedition to Italy, the. importance of 
which was indicated by the two years' preparation required of the 
princes. In October, 1154, Frederick led into Lombardy the 
strongest German army that had ever crossed the Alps, and asserted 
his power over the imperial vassals and the cities. Meanwhile 
death had carried off not only Eugenius, who had promised to 
crown him Emperor, but also his successor, Anastasius IV. (1153- 
1151); and, while Frederick was still in Lombardy, the election fell 
upon Adrian IV., who began that hundred years' conflict with the 
house of Hohenstaufen, which at length raised the Papacy to the 
climax of its power (Dec. 1154). 

§ 11. Nicolas Breakspear, the only Englishman who ever filled 
St. Peters chair, is described by a biographer as " a man of great 
kindness, meekness, and patience, skilled in the English and the 
Latin tongues, eloquent in speech, polished in his utterance, dis- 
tinguished in singing and an eminent preacher, slow to anger, quick 
to forgive, a cheerful giver, bountiful in alms, and excellent in his 
whole character." 1 But these milder personal virtues did not 
exclude the utmost vigour in exalting and enforcing the claims of 
his office. He at once refused to acknowledge the republican 
government of Rome, and, on the murder of a cardinal in the street, 
he placed the city under an interdict in the midst of the solemnities 
of Lent, and only removed it on the consent of the Senators to 
banish Arnold of Brescia. 2 This vigorous stroke was followed by an 
embassy of three cardinals to Frederick, who was now advancing 
rapidly towards Rome, requesting him to take measures against the 
common enemy of the Empire as well as the Church. Arnold, 
given up by his protectors, was sent by Frederick to Rome, where 
he was hanged and his body burnt, and his ashes thrown into the 
Tiber (1155). 

The mission of the Cardinals, who received friendly assurances 
from Frederick and promised him the imperial crown, was followed 
by a visit of the Pope to the King's camp. Not content with the 

1 Card. Aragon, in the Patrolog., clxxxix. 1352; Robertson, vol. iii. 
p. 74. 

2 An Interdict was a sentence, pronounced by the supreme spiritual 
authority of a district or country, suspending the service of the churches 
and all the other offices of religion, except the baptism of infants and the 
confession and absolution of the dying. Its appeal to men's spiritual fears 
was doubly terrible, as the innocent were involved equally with the guilty. 
The first example of its use was by Alduin, bishop of Limoges, in 994- ; 
but it was not till the time of Hildebrand and his successors that Inter- 
dicts on a whole kingdom were resorted to as the most powerful weapon 
in the Papal armoury. They were used most effectively by Innocent III. 
against France and England. 


prostration of Frederick at his feet, Adrian required him to hold his 
stirrup, as Constantine was said to have performed that service to 
Sylvester! The politic King referred the question to his nobles, 
and, finding that the service had been performed by Lothair to 
Innocent II., he went through the form, but in such a manner as 1o 
make it ridiculous. Accompanying the Pope to Rome, Frederick 
was crowned Emperor by Adrian at St. Peter's (June 18, 1155). 

§ 12. Causes of quarrel soon arose, first from Adrian's treaty of 
peace with William the Bad (son of Roger of Sicily), whom he in- 
vested with the kingdom of Sicily and more than the former posses- 
sions of the Normans in Italy, as a fief of the Holy See, not only 
disallowing the imperial sovereignty, but obtaining William's pro- 
mise of aid against all enemies. A petty quarrel, also, caused by an 
outrage on a Scandinavian bit-hop, was inflamed into a grave offence 
by one ambiguous word. At an assembly at Besancon (1157) two 
cardinals presented a letter from Adrian, reminding Frederick that 
the Pope had conferred on him the imperial crown, and protesting 
his willingness, had it been in his power, to have bestowed on him 
still greater favours (beneficia). This word was taken by the 
Germans in its technical sense of benefices, as if it were meant to im- 
ply that the Empire was a fief of the Holy See. When, amidst their 
clamorous resentment of the supposed insult, one of the cardinals, 
Roland, rashly exclaimed, " From whom then does the Emperor 
hold his crown, if not from the Pope?" — the noble who carried the 
unsheathed sword of state was hardly restrained from cleaving his 
head, and the Emperor — while holding him back — said, " If we 
were not in a church, they should know how the swords of the 
Germans cut." The taunt was amply avenged when the other of 
"the two swords" 1 was wielded by the same Roland as Pope 
Alexander III. Frederick dismissed the le2ates with vehement 
reproaches, and put forth a declaration to his subjects that he 
would rather hazard his life than admit the Pope's insolent assump- 
tions. Adrian found it prudent to* explain that by beneficia he 
had only meant bona facta, and by conferring the crown the act 
of placing it on the Emperor's head. More than this, he yielded 
to Frederick's demand for the removal of the offensive picture of 
Lothair's homage to Innocent II. 2 (Jan. 1158). 

§ 13. In the following July Frederick acain led an immense 
army across the Alps, with the resolution of establishing the im- 
perial authority on a firm bnsis, which was settled in a great assem- 

1 Luke xxii. 38 ; a text which was constantly applied to the two swords 
of temporal and spiritual government — of the Emperor and the Pope — 
especially by Boniface VIII., in his famous Bull Unam Sanctam (see 
below, p*. 99> 2 See above,. § 2. 


bly held on the plains of Roncaglia (Nov. 1158). The details belong 
to the civil history of Italy: what concerns us here is the resent- 
ment of Adrian at the almost autocratic power over the Italian cities, 
which the assembly conferred upon the Emperor. " It seemed to 
him as if all that the Emperor gained were taken from himself." x 
The quarrel reached its climax in the Pope's claim to the uncontrolled 
government of Rome, in reply to which Frederick cited the imperial 
rights secured by the Civil Law, 2 and concluded thus : — " Since by 
the ordination of God I both am and am called Emperor of the 
Romans, in nothing but name shall I appear to be ruler if the 
control of the Roman city be wrested from my hands." Such 
was the crisis in the midst of which Adrian IV. died at Anagni, on 
Sept. 1, 1159. 

§ 14. Each of the two factions at Rome — the Imperialist, and 
that of the late Pope, which relied on the Sicilian power — now made 
a separate election, and a Papal schism ensued for twenty years. 
The majority of the sacred college elected the Chancellor Roland, 
Cardinal of St. Mark, whose bearing at the assembly of Besancon 3 
had given an earnest of his bitter opposition to the Empire as Pope 
Alexander III. (1159-1181). A majority of the cardinals, sup- 
ported by the lower clergy, the nobles, and the people, chose the 
Imperialist Octavian, Cardinal of St. Cecilia, who is regarded as the 
Antipope Victor IV. (1159-1164). It would be tedious to review 
the arguments of the two parties or the contradictory accounts of 
the riotous proceedings on both sides. 4 The true issue is described 
by the voice of impartial history : — " The keen and long-doubtful 
strife of twenty-years that followed, while apparently a dispute be- 
tween rival Popes, was in substance an effort by the secular monarch 
to recover his command of the priesthood ; not less truly so than 
that contemporaneous conflict of the English Henry II. and St. 
Thomas of Canterbury, with which it was constantly involved. 
Unsupported, not all Alexander's genius and resolution could have 
saved him : by the aid of the Lombard cities, whose league he had 
counsel le 1 and hallowed, and of the fivers of Rome, by which the 
conquering German host was suddenly annihilated, he won a 
triumph the more signal, that it was over a prince so wise and pious 
as Frederick." 6 

1 Gunther, viii. 107-8, quoted by Robertson, vol. iii. p. 82. 

2 The study of the Civil Law had received a great impulse through the 
University of Bologna, the professors of which had decided in favour of 
the high claims of imperial authority in the assembly of Roncaglia. For 
the great intellectual movement of this age, and the rise of the 
Universities, see Book V., especially Chap. XXIX. 3 See above, § 12. 

4 For the details, see Robertson, vol. iii. pp. 85, 86. 5 Bryce, p. 171. • 


Frederick was engaged in quelling the resistance of Milan and other 
Lombard cities when he received the appeal of Victor for his decision, 
as well as a letter from Alexander announcing his election in terms 
which roused the Emperor's passionate indignation. In right of his 
imperial authority, after the examples of Constantine, Theodosius, 
Justinian, and Charles the Great, 1 he summoned a General Council, 
inviting the kings of France, England, Hungary, Spain and other 
countries, to send bishops ; but in fact the fifty prelates who assem- 
bled at Pavia were almost entirely his own German and Lombard 
subjects (Feb. 1160). Alexander not only refused to attend, assert- 
ing the old claim that a lawful Pope was above all human judg- 
ment, but he accused Frederick of invading the rights of the Holy 
See by calling a Council without his sanction. The Council pro- 
nounced its judgment for Victor and rendered him homage, the 
Emperor holding his stirrup, while on his part he received investi- 
ture from Frederick by the ring. 

Beyond the Empire, however, almost all Christendom declared 
for Alexander, who was solemnly acknowledged by the kings and 
bishops of France and England in a Council at Toulouse, as well as 
by the Byzantine court and the Latin Christians of Palestine. " In 
Alexander the hierarchical party had found a chief thoroughly 
fitted to advance its interests . While holding the highest views of 
the Hildebrandine school, the means which he employed in their 
service were very different from those of Hildebrand. He was 
especially skilful in dealing with men, and in shaping his course 
according to circumstances ; and above all things he was remark- 
able for the calm and steady patience with which he was content to 
await the development of affairs, and for the address with which he 
contrived to turn every occurrence to the interest of his cause." 2 

§ 15. Neither of the rival Popes had been strong enough to 
establish himself at Pome. Alexander indeed returned thither 
from Anagni in April 1161, but he soon found himself unsafe in 
the city, and after a short residence at Terracina he took refuge in 
France, just after Frederick had destroyed all his hopes of support 
in Lombardy by the capture and cruel chastisement of Milan 
after a three years' siege (1162). 3 

1 This was Frederick's own declaration at the opening of the Council. 

2 Robertson, vol. iii. pp. 89, 90. 

3 Among the relics now carried away from Milan were the skulls of the 
three "Magi," or "Wise Men from the East" (Matt. ii. 1), which were 
said to have been presented by the Empress Helena to Eustorgius, bishop 
of Milan, and were now transferred to Cologne Cathedral by Reginald, the 
imperial Chancellor. The splendid shrine of the " Three Kings of Cologne " 
was made towards the end of the century. It is more than 5 feet long, 
and 5 feet high. (See Vignette to this Chapter.) 



In the following year Alexander was solemnly acknowledged by 
a great council of cardinals, bishops, and abbots, convened at Tours 
by Louis VII. and Henry II. ; 1 and on their invitation the Pope 
took up his residence at Sens (Oct. 1163). 

Among the ecclesiastics present at this Council was Thomas 
Becket, who had been made Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 
before (1162), and w T ho, a year later, returned to France an exiled 
fugitive (Nov. 1164). 2 His cordial welcome by Louis and Alex- 
ander seemed to offer an occasion for detaching Henry from the 
cause of the Pope. Meanwhile the Antipope Victor had died at 
Lucca in the same year ; and of the two surviving cardinals who 
had elected him, one, the Archbishop of Treves, declining the tiara 
for himself, appointed the other, Guy of Crema, as Paschal III. 
(April 1164). This step is ascribed to Reginald of Cologne; 3 and 
it is a curious parallel to our own time to find an imperial chancellor, 
seven centuries ago, denounced by the then Pope as " the author 
and head of the Church's troubles." 4 Having secured the warm 
support of Frederick (who is said to have first inclined to a recon- 
ciliation with Alexander), Reginald went to England to negociate 
with Henry, who consented to send envoys to an imperial diet at 
Wiirzburg, which pronounced a most solemn decision for Paschal 
(Whitsuntide, 1165). But Alexander gained new adherents even 
among the high ecclesiastics of Germany ; and the Romans, won 
over by money supplied from France, England, and Sicily, received 
him back into the city with an enthusiastic welcome (Dec. 23). 

§ 16. And now the tide of Barbarossa's fortune began to turn. 
The tyranny and exactions of the podestas 5 had spread disaffection 
in Lombardy even among the imperialist cities, and the princes of 
Germany were less and less ready to supply the force for another 
campaign in Italy. The Emperor Manuel took advantage of the long 
quarrel, to propose to the Pope a reconciliation of the Churches under 
a reunited Empire ; and he landed a body of troops at Ancona. At 

1 It must be remembered that Henry II. 's possessions in France were 
larger than those of Louis. 

2 The great conflict between Henry and Becket is so essential a part of 
the history of England, that we need only notice it here in its connection 
with the wider contest between the Empire and the Papacy. (See the 
Student's History of the English Church, Period I., Chap. XV.) 

3 Reginald, though ruling at Cologne, was at this time only in deacon's 
orders, from the fear (as it seems) that consecration by a schismatic Pope 
would shut the door to reconciliation with Alexander; but, on the decision 
of the Diet *of Wiirzburg for Paschal, he was obliged to receive priest's 
orders, and was soon afterwards consecrated at Cologne as Archbishop. 

4 Alex. III. Epist. 254; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 93. 

5 The podcsta was the chief magistrate in each city, appointed by the 
Emperor, under the provisions settled at Roncaglia. 


length Frederick crossed the Alps for the fourth time, 1 with a powerful 
army, in the autumn of 1166; and, while he himself remained to 
besiege Ancona, the Archbishops of Cologne and Mainz gained a 
decisive victory over the Romans at Monte Porzio, near Tusculum 
(May 20, 1167). Hastening to Rome, Frederick took possession of 
the Leonine City, and, after a fearful massacre of the Romans, who 
held out in the very Basilica of St. Peter, the Antipope Paschal was 
brought from his residence at Viterbo and solemnly enthroned, and 
the Emperor and Empress were crowned by him anew (Aug. 1). The 
Romans swore fealty to Frederick, who acknowledged the privileges 
of their Senate. Alexander, fortified among the ruins of the Colos- 
seum, refused all terms which would subject him to any earthly 

But this success was the prelude to a fatal disaster, in which the 
Papal party claimed God's judgment on "the new Sennacherib;" 
only it fell as heavily on the Romans themselves. The German army 
had scarcely been established in Rome when a pestilence broke out in 
the city and camp, carrying off in one week 20,000 of the soldiers, 
and among many chief prelates and nobles the Chancellor Reginald of 
Cologne. Frederick retreated northwards — his army thinned at every 
march — to find Lombardy in full insurrection. Already while he 
was detained at the siege of Ancona, the chief cities, encouraged by 
the Pope and the Emperor Manuel, had formed the famous Lombard 
League ; the walls of Milan had been rebuilt ; and Frederick's 
disaster made the revolt almost universal. Scarcely any of the 
cities obeyed his call to an assembly at Pavia ; and, having launched 
the brutum fulmen of an imperial ban against the rebels, he 
pursued his retreat, harassed by constant attacks, till at Susa he was 
obliged to fly for his life across the Alps. The great fortified city of 
Alessandria, which the Italians built to command the road through 
Piedmont, still preserves the memory of the Pope in whose honour 
it was named, and whose power was secured by his alliance with 
the Lombard League. 

The last stroke needed to turn the general sympathy of Christen- 
dom into enthusiasm was given by the murder of Thomas Becket 
(Dec. 29, 1170), and the submission of Henry II. to the terms of 
reconciliation dictated by the Papal Legates (May 1172). The 
King's penance at the tomb of "Thomas of Canterbury," whom 
the Pope canonized as " Saint and Martyr," at Lent, 1173, was 
the sign to Europe, as well as England, of Alexander's victory. 
Meanwhile the Antipope Paschal had died at Rome (Sept. 1168), 
and his successor, John of Struma, who bore for ten years the 

1 He had visited Italy the third time in the autumn of 1163, but with- 
out any large force. 


empty title of Calixtus III. (1168-1178) is scarcely worthy of 

§ 17. It was not till seven years after his great repulse that 
Frederick once more crossed Mont Cenis, and avenged the insults 
he had received at Susa (1174) ; but both Alessandria and Ancona 
resisted his attacks, and the Lombard League gained a decisive victory 
in the great battle of Legnano, the Emperor hardly escaping with 
his life (May 20th, 1176). In the following year the complete 
triumph of the Papacy was displayed in the striking scene of the 
meeting between Alexander III. and Frederick Barbarossa, in the 
great square of St. Mark's at Venice^ 1 with all the public marks of 
abject homage, followed by less formal, and even cordial converse 
(July 23-25, 1177). 2 " Three slabs of red marble in the porch of 
St. Mark's point out the spot where Frederick knelt in sudden awe, 
and the Pope with tears of joy raised him and gave the kiss of 
peace. A later legend, to which poetry and painting have given 
undeserved currency, tells how the Pontiff set his foot on the neck 
of the prostrate King, with the words, ' The lion and the dragon 
shalt thou trample under feet.' 3 It needed not this exaggeration to 
enhance the significance of that scene, even more full of meaning 
for the future than it was solemn and affecting to the Venetian 
crowd that thronged the church and the piazza. For it was the 
renunciation by the mightiest prince of his time of the project to 
which his life had been devoted : it was the abandonment by the 
secular power of a contest in which it had twice been van- 
quished, and which it could not renew under more favourable 
conditions." 4 

§ 18. In March, 1178, Alexander re-entered Eome from his 
retirement at Anagni, on the invitation of all ranks of the people, 
whose obedience was guaranteed by the senate's homage and oath 
of fealty. His horse could hardly move through the crowds of 
people who struggled to kiss his feet, and his right hand was weary 
of bestowing benedictions. 5 Calixtus soon after submitted to 
Alexander, who gave him a rich abbacy at Benevento (Aug. 1178); 

1 The republic had been neutral in the conflict. 

2 The terms of peace, settled before the meeting, provided for the ab- 
juration of the Antipope by the Emperor and the imperialist bishops, and 
a perpetual peace between the Empire and the Papacy. The Lombards 
were to yield the Emperor the same obedience which they had paid to his 
predecessors from Henry V. downwards; while the Emperor acknowledged 
their power to appoint their own consuls, to fortify their cities, and to 
combine for the defence of their liberties. There was to be a truce of six 
years with the Lombards, and of fifteen years with the King of Sicily. — 
Robertson, vol. iii. pp. 101, 102. 

a Psalm xci. 13. 4 Brvce, p. 171-2. 5 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 104. 


and a fourth Antipope, set up by the Frangipani, mocked by- 
anticipation the famous title of Innocent III. for about a year, when 
he was delivered up to the Pope and imprisoned for life. To lessen 
the danger of future schisms, a new order for Papal elections was 
enacted by the Third Lateran Council (the Eleventh (Ecumenical of 
the Romans), held by Alexander in March 1179. " The share which 
had been reserved to the Emperor by Alexander II. had already been 
long obsolete ; and it was now provided that the election should rest 
exclusively with the College of Cardinals ; while, by adding to the 
College certain official members of the Roman clergy, Alexander de- 
prived the remaining clergy of any chiefs under whom they might 
have effectually complained of their exclusion from their ancient 
rights as to the election. It was enacted that no one should be de- 
clared Pope unless he were supported by two-thirds of the electors ; 
and that, if a minority should set up an Antipope against one so 
chosen, every one of their party should be anathematized, without 
hope of forgiveness until his last sickness." 1 This Council also marks 
a new epoch in the history of the Roman Church, as well as of the 
forces rising up in opposition to its supremacy, by its 27th Canon, 
which gave the first public sanction to a Crusade against Heretics. 2 

The few remaining events of Alexander's long pontificate 3 belong 
rather to the separate histories, especially of France and England. 
Notwithstanding his triumph over all his enemies, he found the 
turbulence of his subjects at home so dangerous that he was again 
obliged to leave Rome, and he died at Civita Castellana (Aug. 30, 
1181). His enemies insulted his corpse on its way to the city, and 
would hardly allow him to be buried in the Lateran Church. 

§ 19. The enmity of the Romans broke out into open violence on 
finding themselves excluded, by the recent scheme, from any voice 
in the election of the new Pope, Lucius 111. (1181-1185), who was 
forced to seek refuge at Velletri, and was unable to re-enter the city 
during his whole pontificate. Frederick gained new strength by 
conciliating the Lombards, and, before the expiration of the six 
years' truce, the relations between the Empire and the cities were 
definitely settled by the peace of Constance (1183). At Whitsun- 
tide, 1184, Frederick gathered the flower of the German nobility to 
a great festival at Mainz — the famous Beichsfest of Barbarossa on 

1 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 104. 

2 On the whole subject of Heresies in this age, see Chaps. XXXIV. f. 

3 Since St. Peter's pretended Papacy, of twenty five years, the twenty- 
two years of Alexander III. had only been exceeded by the twenty-three 
years of Sylvester I. and Adrian I. (before him), and of Pius VII. since 
(1800-1823), till Pius IX. falsified the old prophecy of warning to each 
Pope — "Non videbis annos Petri" — by surviving the full term of twenty- 
five years, which he completed in 1871, and lived on to the 7th of Feb., 1879. 


the Rhine — to celebrate the conferring of knighthood on^iis two elder 
sons, Henry and Frederick — Henry having been already crowned 
"King of the Romans." 1 The Emperor was warmly welcomed, 
even at Milan, in the same year, when he visited Italy for the sixth 
time. At Verona he was met by the Pope, who solicited his aid 
against the Romans, but refused to crown Frederick's son Henry as 
his colleague in the Empire. Other causes of mutual complaint 
made a breach which seemed already hopeless, when Lucius died at 
Verona (Nov. 25, 1185), and was succeeded by a bitter enemy of 
the Emperor. 

Humbert Crivelli, archbishop of Milan, had been both a leader 
and a sufferer in the resistance of that city to Frederick, an advocate 
of the high pretensions of Pope and priesthood, and the friend and 
companion of Thomas Becket. On the same day that Lucius died, 
he gathered together twenty-seven cardinals, who elected him as 
Pope Urban III. 2 (1185-1187). He at once sounded the note of 
conflict, not only by repeating the refusal to crown Henry emperor, 
but by refusing also, as Archbishop of Milan, to place the iron crown 
of Italy on the young King's head. 

Meanwhile Frederick was maturing a scheme for enhancing his 
power in Italy, which he compared to " an eel, which a man had 
need to grasp firmly by the tail, the head, and the middle, and 
which might nevertheless give him the slip." He had regained a 
hold of the head in Lombardy, and by securing the tail in the Two 
Sicilies, he might hope to keep the Pope in check in the middle. 
The kingdom, which had descended from the famous Roger to his 
son, William the Bad, had devolved in 1166 on his son, William the 
Good, who had been married to a daughter of Henry II. of England 
since 1177, but was still childless. Frederick resolved to grasp the 
almost sure reversion by the union of his son Henry with the next 
heiress, Constance, a posthumous daughter of Roger. In spite of 
the Pope's violent opposition and threats, the marriage was celebrated 
at Milan, where also Frederick was crowned as King of Burgundy, 
Henry as King of Italy, and Constance as Queen of the Germans 
(January 1186). The harshness of King Henry to the partisans of 
the Pope had embittered the growing quarrel, when Urban died at 
Ferrara, whither he had removed from Bologna with the intention 
of excommunicating Henry (October 20, 1187). 

Before his death the thoughts and feelings of all Western 
Christendom had been turned into a new channel by the fall of 

1 On such coronations, see p. 29, n. 

2 As in the case of Urban II. (see Chap. III. § 1), the name provoked 
pun, and Urban III. was nicknamed Twrbantts-— "eo quod in odium 

Imperatoris volebat turbare ecclesiam." — Chron. Ursperg., 224. 


the corrupt Latin kingdom of Palestine before the victorious 
Sultan of Egypt, Saladin, who took Jerusalem on the 3rd of 
October, 1187. This is not the place to relate the story of the 
Third Crusade? the van of which was led by Frederick Barbarossa, 
who was now sixty-seven years old. Amidst all his contests 
with the Papacy, he had always been a devout Christian, and it 
seemed fitting that he should end his course as he bad begun 
it, in fighting for the Sepulchre of Christ. 2 But he was not 
destined even to reach the Holy Land. Leaving to civil history 
the story of his march, which began from Ratisbon in 1189, and of 
his firm policy towards the treacherous and supercilious Byzantines, 
it behoves us only to record his unlooked-for death near Tarsus, iu 
attempting the passage of the river Calycadnus (June 10, 1190). 
The Pope Clement III., who had followed Urban after the two 
months' pontificate of Gregory VIII. — and of whom nothing need 
be said except that he was restored to Rome by an agreement with 
the citizens — survived the great Emperor only till March 1191. 

§ 20. The ntw Pope, Celestine III. (1191-1198), who was 
elected at the age of eighty-five, deferred his consecration till the 
arrival of King Henry VI., 3 who was on his way to Rome to receive 
the imperial crown. The Poj e was consecrated on Easter Day, and 
he crowned Henry and Constance on the two succeeding days 
(April 14-16, 1191). Henry at once marched southwards with his 
empress, whose inheritance had been seized — on the death of 
William in 1189 — by Tancred, a bastard of the Norman royal 
house. The first campaign, though opened by the capture of 
Naples, had a disastrous end; but two years later Henry conquered 
Sicily with the aid of a Genoese fleet, and his triumphal entry into 
Palermo was followed by cruelties which proved him — as indeed he 
had already shown in Lombardy — " a man who had inherited more 
than all his father's harshness, with none of his father's generosity." 4 
The acquisition of Naples and Sicily (1194) turned the stronghold 
of his enemies into a vantage-ground against the Papacy from the 
south, as Lombardy already was on the north, and encouraged him 
to propose a scheme for making the crown hereditary ; but all he 

1 Besides the splendid narrative of Gibbon and the other histories which 
treat of this Crusade, it forms a special part of the history of England 
through the brilliant achievements of Richard Coeur de Lion. 

2 Frederick had accompanied his uucle Conrad on the Second Crusade 
just forty years before. 

3 We have seen that Henry had already been crowned King of the 
Romans (that is, heir to the German kingdom and the Empire) and of 
Italy in the lifetime of his father, who had left the government in his hands 
when he went on the Crusade. 

* Bryce, p. 205. 


could obtain from the diet was the election of his- infant son 
Frederick as King of the Romans (1196). 1 

" In his ecclesiastical policy, Henry showed himself resolved to 
yield nothing to the Papacy. He forbad appeals to Rome, and 
prevented his subjects from any access to the Papal court. He 
attempted to revive the imperial privilege of deciding in cases of 
disputed election to bishopricks. He refused the homage which 
the Norman princes had performed to the Pope for their Italian 
and Sicilian territories, and, returning into Italy, he invaded the 
patrimony of St. Peter up to the very gates of the city." 2 The aged 
Pope tried to conciliate the Emperor, and reminded him of the vow 
which he had taken some time before to lead a new crusade. 3 
Henry renewed his engagements at Bari (Easter, 1195), and he 
gathered a force in Apulia, but with the intention of using it for 
his own ends, and especially against the Byzantine Empire. He 
had crossed over into Sicily and resumed his cruelties in putting 
down a conspiracy, when he died suddenly at Messina, not without 
a suspicion that he was poisoned by his wife Constance, through 
abhorrence of his savage treatment of her Norman relatives and 
friends (September 28th, 1197). Pope Celestine died soon after, 
on the 8th of January, 1198. 

The death of Henry VI. marks the turning point from which 
we have to trace the rapid fall of the imperial house of Ilohen- 
staufen, and the advance of the Papal power to its climax. 

1 He is not, however, reckoned as King Frederick II. till his de facto 
accession in 1212. (See next chapter.) 

2 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 134. 

3 A part of the German forces proceeded on this Fotirth Crusade, and 
gained some success on the sea-coast only ; but they had fierce quarrels 
with the Templars, and on the death of Henry they made a six years' 
truce with the infidels. 

The Iron Crown of Lombardy, at Monza Cathedral. 

Apse of the Apostles' Church at Cologne. 



AND INNOCENT IV. A.D. 1198-1254. 

§ I. Exaltation of the Papacy. § 2. Election of Innocent III -His pre- 
vious career works, and character. § 3. His Reforms at Rome, and 
power m Italy-Frederick, Kin, of Sicily and ward of the Pope 
§ 4. Contest for the German Crown— Otho IV. and Philip II.-- 


Murder of Philip — Otho crowned Emperor. § 5. His Quarrel with 
the Pope, excommunication, and deposition — Election of Frederick II. 
§6. Wide influence of Innocent — England, France, Spain, and other states 
— The Fifth Cmsad:: Latin Empire of Constantinople. § 7. Crusades 
against Heathens and Heretics —New Romish doctrine of persecution 
and death for Heresy — The Vernacular Scriptures forbidden by 
Innocent — Burning of French Bibles — Rising forces of resistance. 
§ 8. The Fourth Lateran Council — Transubstantiation and Auricular 
Confession — Death of Innocent III. — Climax of the Papacy, but seeds 
of Reaction. § 0. Pope Honorius III. — Sixth Crusade— Frederick II. 
crowned Emperor — Kingdoms of Sicily and Jerusalem. § 10. Pope 
Gregory IX. — Final and decisive contest with the Empire — Character 
of Frederick II. § 11. The Crusade — Frederick excommunicated — 
His Recovery of Jerusalem, return to Italy, successes, and Absolu- 
tion. § 12. Legislation of Frederick and Gregory — The Code of Melfi 
and the new Decretals — Laws of Frederick for burning Heretics. 
§ 13. Rebellion, pardon, and death of Frederick's son, Henry — Election 
of Conrad as King — Victory of Corte Nuova over the Lombards. 
§ 14. Frederick again excommunicated — Deaths of Gregory and his 
successor Celestine IV. § 15. Papal Vacancy — Election and Cha- 
racter of Innocent IV. § 16. His opposition to and peace with 
Frederick — His flight to Lyon — The First Council of Lyon deposes 
Frederick. § 17. War in Italy and Sicily — Rival Kings in Germany : 
Henry of Thuringia and William of Holland — Death of Frederick II. 
§ 18. Real Fall of the Empire — Conrad IV., the last King of the 
Hohenstaufen line — Affairs of Italy — Deaths of Conrad and Innocent. 

§ 1. The Thirteenth Century of the History, of the Church exhibits 
the closing scene of that great contest for supremacy, which was 
the unforeseen but inevitable result of the grand idea, conceived 
and carried on by Otho I. and his successors down to Henry III., 
of making a reformed Papacy the life and strength of a renovated 
Empire. 1 "The first result of Henry lll.'s purification of the 
Papacy was seen in Hihlebrand's attempt to subject all jurisdiction 
to that of his own chair, and in the long struggle of the Investitures, 
which brought out into clear light the opposing pretensions of the 
temporal and spiritual powers. Although destined in the end to 
bear far other fruit, the immediate effect of this struggle was to 
evoke in all classes an intense religious feeling ; and, in o| ening 
up new fields of ambition to the hierarchy, to stimulate wonderfully 
their power of political organization. It was this impulse that gave 
birth to the Crusades, and that enabled the Popes, stepping forth 
as the rightful leaders of a religious war, to bend it to serve their 
own ends : it was thus too that they struck the alliance — strange 

1 See Chap. I. § 1. 


as such an alliance seems now — with the rebellious cities of Lom- 
bardy, and proclaimed themselves the protectors of municipal free- 
dom. But the third and crowning triumph of the Holy See was 
reserved for the thirteenth century. In the foundation of the two 
great orders of ecclesiastical knighthood — the all-powerful all- 
pervading Dominicans and Franciscans — the religious fervour of the 
Middle Ages culminated. In the overthrow of the only power which 
could pretend to vie with her in antiquity, in sanctity, in uni- 
versality, the Papacy saw herself exalted to rule alone over the 
kings of the earth." 1 But before the close of this century we shall 
see the triumphant Papacy fairly launched on the descent to its 
worst corruption and deepest degradation. 

§ 2. We have seen that Henry VI. died in September 1197, and 
Celestine III. on Jan. 8, 1198 ; but a new Pope was elected before 
the succession to the Roman and German crowns was settled. On the 
very day of Celestine's death — without waiting, as was the rule, 
till after his funeral — the assembled cardinals pressed the papal 
dignity, against his own resistance and even tears, on Lothair, 
cardinal of SS. Sergius and Bacchus. Having waited till the 
ember season for ordination to the priesthood, for he was as yet 
only a sub-deacon, he was enthroned as Innocent III. (Feb. 22). 

The new Pope was now only 37 years old. Born a member of 
the house of Conti, as the Counts of Segni proudly styled themselves, 
he had studied at Paris, and also at Bologna, where he acquired a 
profound knowledge of ecclesiastical law. Having been ordained a 
sub-deacon by Gregory VII 1., he was made a cardinal, in his 29th 
year, by his relative, Clement III., and discharged several important 
missions. "The papacy of Celestine, to whom he was obnoxious 
on account of the hostility between their families, 2 condemned him 
for a time to inaction ; and he employed himself chiefly in study, 
which produced its fruit in a treatise, On the Contempt of the 
World, and in other writings. The general tone of these is that of 
a rigid ascetic, withdrawn from the world and despising it — a tone 
seemingly very alien from the vigorous practical character which 
the author was soon to display. His sermons are remarkable for 
the acquaintance with Scripture which appears in them, and for 
his extraordinary delight in perverting its meaning by allegory ; 
a practice which in later times enabled him to produce scriptural 
authority for all his pretensions and for everything that he might 
desire to recommend. And in his books On the Sacred Mystery of 
the Altar, he had laid down the highest Roman doctrine as to the 
elevation of St. Peter and his successors over all other Apostles and 

1 Bryce, pp. 204-5. 2 Celestine was of the family of the Orsini. 


Bishops." * Now that he was raised to the position for putting these 
principles in practice, he displayed a union of the boldness of 
Hildebrand with the cautious and patient policy of Alexander III. 
" Yet stern as Innocent was in principle, fully as he upheld the 
proudest claims of the Papacy — and not the less so for his continual 
affectation of personal humility — he appears to have been amiable 
in his private character. His contemporary biographer describes 
him as bountiful but not prodigal, as hot in temper but easily 
appeased, and of a magnanimous and generous spirit. He is said to 
have been even playful in intercourse ; he was a lover of poetry and 
music, and some well-known hymns of the Church have been 
ascribed to him." 2 

§ 3. The first act of Innocent was to reform the. luxury of the 
Papal court ; and he attempted to free the administration of 
the Curia from corruption. Having secured the support of the 
citizens, he abolished the last vestiges both of the imperial 
and republican government at Rome, by exacting oaths of fide- 
lity to himself from the Prefect of the City, and from the Consul 
who now alone represented the Senate, as well as from all the 

Thus established as sole ruler in Eome, Innocent next set him- 
self to get rid of the Imperial power in Central Italy, and to transfer 
the suzerainty over Southern Italy and Sicily from the Empire 
to the Papacy. Taking advantage of the hatred borne by the 
Italians to the Germans, and of the discords among the German 
officers themselves, he contrived, by mingling negociations with 
threats of excommunication, to win the allegiance of the imperialist 
and other nobles who held possession of a great part of the States of 
the Church, and to drive out those who refused to acknowledge him 
as their sovereign. 

The desired severance of the Sicilian kingdom from the Empire 
was prepared to his hand by that hatred of the people to the 
Germans, which was felt even by their Queen, the widowed 
Empress Constance. Having caused her son Frederick to be 
crowned King of Sicily (May 1198), she offered to place the king- 
dom and her son under the Pope's protection. She died before the 
treaty was completed (Nov.) ; but her will left the guardianship of 
the young King to Innocent ; and thus the training of the heir of 
the anti-papal Hohenstaufens was committed to the hands of the 
very Pope who was most determined in upholding the claims which 
that family had resisted. 

§ 4. In Germany the untimely death of the Emperor Henry VI., 

1 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 283. 2 Ibid. p. 284. 

A.D. 1198. OTHO IV. AND PHILIP II. 65 

while his son and colleague in the kingdom was an infant of three 
years old, caused new and strange relations of the rival parties both to 
each other and towards the Papacy. In the critical state of affairs, a 
long minority was but another name for anarchy; and while Philip, 
the youngest brother of Henry VI., was chosen by the Ghibelline 
party, at first only as guardian of the kingdom for his nephew 
Frederick (March 6, 1198), a Guelphic assembly, held at Andernach 
at Easter, elected Otho of Saxony, son of Henry the Lion, and 
nephew of Richard Cceur-de-Lion, who strongly supported his cause. 

" Each of the competitors was in the earliest manhood — Otho 
twenty-three years of age, and Philip younger by a year. In personal 
character, in wealth, and in the number of his adherents, Philip had 
the advantage. The chroniclers praise his moderation and his love of 
justice ; his mind had been cultivated by literature to a degree then 
very unusual among princes — a circumstance which is explained 
by the fact that he had been intended for an ecclesiastical career, 
until the death of an elder brother diverted him from it ; — and his 
popular manners contrasted favourably with the pride and rough- 
ness of Otho. But Otho was the favourite with the great body of 
the clergy, to whom Philip was obnoxious as the representative of 
a family which was regarded as opposed to the interests of the 
hierarchy." 1 At his coronation at Aix-la-Chapelle, Otho IV. took 
an oath to maintain the Roman Church and to relinquish the abuses 
of his predecessors (July 12). Two months later, his rival was 
crowned at Mainz as Philip II. 2 (Sept. 8). 

It could not be doubtful which side Innocent would take; but 
the applications made to him by the rival princes themselves, and 
by the kings of England and France — Richard pleading the cause 
of Otho, and Philip Augustus that of Philip — gave him the oppor- 
tunity of declaring his decision for Otho with the appearance of 
impartial argument. 3 A ten years' war ensued in Germany ; and, 
though Innocent used his influence with growing vehemence on 
behalf of Otho, the cause of Philip prevailed more and more, till he 
was murdered by a personal enemy, Otho of Wittelsbach, Count 
Palatine of Bavaria (June 21, 1208). 

The Hohenstaufen family was now left without a head, for 
Frederick was still only in his fourteenth year, and was under the 
tutelage of the Pope. All parties desired peace, and it was proposed 

1 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 292. 

2 The number not only claimed a sequence with the old Roman Empire, 
but also recognized the claim of Philip (a.d. 244—249) to be regarded as 
the first Christian Emperor (see Part I. Chap V. § 4). 

3 It is hardly worth while to cite the Pope's reasons, which will be 
found in Robertson, vol. iii. p. 294. 


to unite the Swabian and Saxon houses by Otho's marriage to Philip's 
daughter Beatrice, who was yet only twelve years old. Having 
been recognized as king in a great assembly at Frankfort (Nov. II, 
1208), and having solemnly renewed his promises to the Pope by 
a deed signed at Spires (March 1209), and celebrated his betrothal 
with Beatrice, Otho set out for Piome, where he was crowned Em- 
peror by Innocent (Oct. 4, 1209). At this ceremony he confirmed 
all his former promises by a solemn oath ; and, for the first and 
last time, an Emperor confessed that he held his crown " by the 
grace of God and of the Apostolic See." x 

§ 5. But even this Guelph, hitherto so obsequious to the Pope, 
formed no exception to what seemed almost to have become a 
ril l e — that an Emperor's coronation was the preface to a deadly 
quarrel with the Pope who had just blessed him. Disputes began 
with the usual collisions between the Roman citizens and the 
German troops, for which Innocent refused redress. Otho with- 
drew from Rome, and made himself master of some of the places 
which the Pope had occupied ; and, when Innocent reminded him 
of his oath to respect the property of the Church, he replied that the 
Pope himself had caused him to swear that he would maintain the 
rights of the crown, and that, while he owned the authority of the 
Pope in spiritual things, he was himself supreme in the affairs of this 
world. After spending a year in strengthening his cause in Tus- 
cany and Lombardy, and composing the disputes of Guelph and 
Ghibelline, Otho proceeded to assail the most vital part of the Pope's 
Italian policy by invading Apulia. Upon this provocation, the 
Pope pronounced an excommunication against the Emperor (Nov. 
1210) ; and, after repeated attempts to negotiate with Otho in his 
winter-quarters at Capua, Innocent solemnly confirmed the sen- 
tence on Maunday Thursday (1211). 

A powerful party had now risen up in Germany against the 
absent Emperor. His rough manners, his avarice, and his exac- 
tions, had made him unpopular with all classes, and especially with 
his chief supporters, the clergy, whose state he had attempted to 
reduce. Siegfried, archbishop of Mainz, whom Otho had formerly 
protected, undertook, as legate, to publish the Pope's sentence, and 
organized a confederacy of the Swabian party in favour of Frederick, 
the surviving heir of Hohenstaufen. On Ascension Day, a meeting 
of German princes and prelates at Nuremberg declared Otho to have 
forfeited the crown, and invited Frederick from Sicily. This call to 
the youth of sixteen, to embark on a career so much high( r and vaster 
than he could hope for in his Sicilian kingdom, was eagerly accepted 
by Frederick, against the advice of his councillors and the entreaties 
Gregorov. v. 80 : Robertson, vol. iii. p. 300. 


of his wife. 1 Innocent gave his consent, whether in the belief that 
his own influence and Frederick's southern blood and training had 
mastered the old Hohenstaufen leaven, or as the best policy 
open to him. In, either case we may well be struck with the destiny 
of the young prince, " whom a tragic irony sent into the field of 
politics as the champion of the Holy See, whose hatred was to 
embitter his life and extinguish his house." 2 

It does not concern us here to follow Frederick's journey from 
Palermo — whence he set out on Easter Day, 1212 — to Rome — where 
he received counsel and money from Innocent — and across the Alps 
to Constance, with a small band of followers, Avhich was swollen at 
every stage of his progress down the Rhine. In Lorraine he was 
met by Louis, son of Philip Augustus, who made a treaty with 
Frederick. Meanwhile, Otho, at the news of the revolt, had 
returned to Germany (March 1212), which became the scene of 
a fierce civil war. In the desperate hope of reconciliation with the 
Swabian party, he completed his marriage with Beatrice (Aug. 7) ; 
but her death only four days afterwards, ascribed to poisoning by 
her husband's Italian mistresses, inflamed the exasperation of his 
enemies. His final effort against his rival's great supporter, the 
King of France, ended in his decisive defeat, with his English and 
Flemish allies, in the battle of Bouvines (July 27th, 1214). Otho fled 
to Cologne and thence to Saxony : he was deposed from the Imperial 
dignity by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), and died in 12 IS. 

§ 6. Frederick II. 3 (1212-1250) was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle 
by the German primate, Siegfried of Mainz, on St. James's Day, 
July 25, 1215 ; but the interest of his eventful career scarcely 
begins till after the death of Innocent, whose other acts mean- 
while claim our attention. In the furtherance of his stedtast de- 
termination to establish the unlimited spiritual supremacy of the 
Papacy over all the governments of Western Christendom, there 
was scarcely a country of Europe that was not made to bow to his 
authority, which was everywhere represented and upheld by the 
presence of his Legates. The two great contests with France and 
England — in which, putting forth all his power up to the terrible ex- 
tremity of the Interdict, he humbled Philip Augustus, deposed John, 
and gave him back his kingdom as the vassal of the see of Rome, 
and defied the Barons who had just extorted the Great Charter from 

1 Frederick had been married, in his fifteenth year (August 1209), 
through the arrangement of the Pope, to Constance, daughter of Peter II., 
King of Arragon, and widow of Emmerich, King of Hungary, who was at 
least ten years older than himself. - Bryce, p. 207. 

3 His reign is reckoned from his entrance into Germany, or even (by 
some) from the invitation sent to him in 1211. 


their sovereign — these triumphs of Innocent in the two kingdoms 
most independent of the Papacy are fully related in their histories. 1 

The Christian kings of Spain were brought under the spiritual 
authority of Innocent by the censures — extending 4o interdict and 
excommunication — to which their irregular marriages laid them open. 
For the first time since the erection of Arragon into a kingdom, 
Peter II. came to Rome to receive the crown from the Pope, and to 
hold it thenceforth as the tributary vassal of the Holy See (1204) ; 
and he united with the King of Castile, under the encouragement of 
Innocent, in repelling a new Moslem invasion from Africa at the 
decisive battle of Navas de Tolosa (1212). The kingdom of Portugal 
was made tributary to the Pope. Hungary and Dalmatia, Poland 
and Livonia, Norway and Scotland, accepted him as a mediator 
and director. Bulgaria was confirmed in its allegiance to the 
Eoman Church by his elevation of its prince to the royal dignity. 
But the like offer proved of no avail to shake the stedfastness of 
Bussia to the Greek Church. When the Papal envoy spoke of in- 
vesting the Grand Prince, Roman, with the power of St. Peter's 
sword, the prince laid his hand upon his own with the proud words, 
" Has your master a weapon like this ? If so, he may dispose of 
kingdoms and cities ; but so long as I carry this on my thigh, I 
need no other." 2 

In the remote East the ancient church of Armenia was brought, 
through the intercourse renewed by the Crusades, into closer com- 
munion with Rome, and the Patriarch accepted a pall from Innocent, 
and promised to take part in Councils summoned by the Pope. It 
was under Innocent, too, that the Latin Christianity of the East came 
to a great crisis. No Pope was ever more strongly possessed with 
crusading zeal ; and the disasters of the Fourth Crusade only 
stimulated Innocent to redeem its failure. But the Fifth Crusade* 
which he proclaimed near the beginning of his pontificate (1199), 
was joined by no sovereign of the first rank, and it was diverted 
from its proper object to the capture of Constantinople (1203), and 
the establishment of a Latin Empire in that capital for nearly 60 
years (1204-1261). 4 But this passing success had no results on 
which it concerns us to dwell, except an increase of exasperation 
between the Greek and Latin Churches/ 

1 See the Student 1 a History of France, chap. viii. ; the Student's Hume, 
chap. viii. ; and the Student's English Church History, chap. xvi. 

2 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 324. 

3 The Fourth of Gibbon, who passes over the Crusade of Henry VI. 

4 For the details, see the Student's Gibbon, chap, xxxiv. 

5 See Robertson, vol. iii. pp. 336 f. We must be content to refer to the 
same historian's account of that strange outbreak of fanaticism, the 
Children's Crusades (pp. 340-1). 


§ 7. There were other manifestations of the crusading spirit, into 
which Innocent threw himself with equal ardour. The mixture of 
religious zeal and chivalrous adventure, which had reached^ its 
climax in the efforts to rescue the Holy Places from the infidel 
Moslem, was directed against the nations which were still heathen, 
and against the heretics who, as ecclesiastical rebels, were deemed 
worthy of extirpation by the sword. Our survey of the conversion 
of Europe has shown how Innocent encouraged the military orders 
which subdued the heathens on the Baltic shores, 1 and a subsequent 
review of the great internal movements of the Church during this age 
will give the fit occasion for describing his unflinching severity in 
the suppression of heresy, and, in particular, the exterminating 
crusade against the Albigenses ; as well as for the history of the 
champions whom he sent forth to the conflict with heresy by his 
encouragement of the two great non-military orders of ecclesiastical 
knighthood, the Dominicans and Franciscans. 2 

Meanwhile we must record, as characteristic of Innocent's ponti- 
ficate, the plainer avowal than had yet been made of the two prin- 
ciples : — that religious error ought to be put down by persecution even 
to the death, a doctrine which had been repudiated so lately and 
by so zealous a champion of orthodoxy as St. Bernard ; 3 — and that 
the people should not read the Scriptures, " every man in his own 
tongue wherein he was born " (Acts ii. 8). The first principle is 
defended by Innocent in an argument from the less to the greater; 
that the heretic is both a thief and a murderer, because " He that 
taketh away the faith stealeth the life ; for the just shall live by 
faith." 4 This is a sample of that peculiar use of Scripture which 
adds a sort of irony to Innocent's hostility against its possession in 
the vernacular tongue by the common people, to whose presumption 
he applies the command — " If a beast touch the mountain it shall 
be stoned." 5 Almost at the beginning of his pontificate, in 1199, 
Innocent wrote to the bishop and faithful of Metz, in denuncia- 
tion of a party of laymen and women who used French translations 

1 See Part I. Chap. XXIV. §§ 18, 19. 

2 See below, Books III. and IV. 

3 Scrm. in Cantica, 05-6 ; in which ho applies to heretics the text, 
Canticles ii. 15, as did Innocent after him ; but Bernard wishes the "little 
foxes that spoil the vines" to be " taken to 'is" — reclaimed to the Church ; 
while Innocent censures <he Milanese for not extirpating them (Epist. xv. 
189). It is ; n one of Innocent's letters that we first find the direction, 
which henceforth bore such a terrible meaning, that heretics should be 
"delivered to the secular arm" for punishment. Sismondi, R. I. ii. 72 ; 
Robertson, vol. iii. pp. 185, 345. (Comp. Chap. XXXVIII. § 2.) 

4 Epist. i. 94. 

5 Epist. ii. 141-2 j Robertson, vol. iii. p. 565. 


of the Scriptures, and, on the strength of their acquaintance with them, 
despised the clergy and their ministrations. The Pope admits that 
a desire to know the Scriptures is not only innocent but praise- 
worthy ; but he censures the party at Metz for their sectarian spirit, 
for imagining that the mysteries of the faith are open to the un- 
learned, and for their behaviour towards the clergy — as to which he 
is careful to deprive them of such warrant as they might allege from 
the example of Balaam's ass rebuking the prophet. He desires the 
bishop to enquire into the authorship and character of the vernacular 
translations ; and the result was the burning of all such versions 
that they could find. 1 From the language of Innocent it is clear 
that the objection to the use of the Scriptures in the vernacular, on 
the ground of the incompetence of the unlearned to understand 
them, was no abstract principle established on its own merits and 
for the sake of guarding the people against error, but was the off- 
spring of alarm at the use which was made of the Scriptures against 
the clergy. And so throughout, the new severity against heresy, 
which marks this age, is the measure of the rising forces which it 
aimed to suppress, and the measure also of the ecclesiastical 
tyranny and corruption which provoked that growing opposition. 
And this is true also of the excesses which are charged, not 
altogether unjustly, upon the objects of persecution. 

§ 8. In the last year of his pontificate, Innocent accomplished his 
long-cherished design of assembling the Fourth Lateran Council 
(the Twelfth (Ecumenical of the Romans), the acts of which were the 
crown and confirmation of his whole work. Among the 77 primates 
and metropolitans, 412 bishops and 800 abbots, the East was 
represented by the titular patriarch of Jerusalem and two claimants 
to the Latin patriarchate of Constantinople — both of whom were 
set aside and another appointed. There were also ambassadors from 
various Christian powers, and a vast number of deputies for bishops, 
chapters, and monasteries. 2 On St. Martin's Day (Nov. 11, 1215) 
Innocent opened the proceedings with a sermon from the text — 
perhaps with a half-prophetic consciousness — " With desire I have 
desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." 3 The de- 
cisions of the Council embraced most of the questions which had 
been dealt with by the Pope's vast energy : — the disputes with 
England and France ; the coronation of Frederick II. as Emperor ; 
a new Crusade, which was to be carried out in the ensuing year, 
;uk1 in which Innocent himself proposed to take part; the con- 

1 Innoc. Epist. ii. 141-2 ; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 344. 

2 The total number of persons entitled to attend the sittings is reckoned 
at 2283. Rog. Wendov. iii. 341 ; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 376. 

3 Luke xxii. 15; Patrolog. vol. ccxvii. p. 673, scqq. 


demnation of the Albigenses and other heretics, as well as the pre- 
sumption of preaching, "under the appearance of piety," without a 
regular mission, that is, by canonical orders. But all these sentences 
are insignificant in comparison with the formal establishment, for 
the first time, by the authority of the Western Church, of the doc- 
trine of Tran substantiation 1 in the Eucharist, and the obligation of 
A uricular Confession . 2 

Within eight months of this crowning scene of his success, when 
Innocent was still in the vigour of his age (55), he was seized with 
illness at Perugia, on a journey to mediate between the republics of 
Genoa and Pisa, and he died on the 16th of July, 1216, in the 
19th year of his Papacy. 

The Papacy of Innocent III. marks the culminating point of the 
power of the Roman See ; but even in his success the light of 
ensuing events shows the germs of reverses, which were hastened by 
the attempts of his successors to raise their authority still higher. 
The very height at which he pitched his claims provoked a sure re- 
action ; as especially in England, where the subjection of John 
created an eternal resentment against the whole authority of the 
Pope. Natural feeling was shocked by the cruelties perpetrated 
against the Albigenses ; and the formal sanction given to the deadly 
persecution of heretics committed the Church of Rome to a contest 
with humanity. Even the new strength brought to the Papacy by 
the Dominican and Franciscan orders involved a new provocation to 
resistance ; and their corruptions ere long offered a fresh mark for the 
assailants. Innocent himself appears to have had a foresight of 
this danger. " His sanction of the Mendicant Orders was contrary 
to his own first judgment, and, notwithstanding the powerful help 
and support which the Papacy derived from these orders, there was 
more than enough in their later history to justify his original dis- 
trust of them." 3 The rule of Innocent and its results showed forth 
the utmost strength and the certain retribution of worldly policy 
usurping the government of Christ's kingdom. 

§ 9. His gentle successor, Cencio Savelli, Honorius III. (1216- 
1227), made it his first object to carry out the Crusade determined on 
by the Lateral) Council ; but his letters and envoys met with a feeble 

1 The doctrine is stated as follows in the 1st Canon of the Fourth 
Lateran Council: — " Cujus corpus et sanguis in sacramento altaris sub 
speciebus panis et vini veraciter contiuentur, transubstantiate pane in corpus 
et vino in sanguinem potestate Domini." See further in Chap. XIX. 

2 The 21st Canon prescribed to every Catholic Christian the duty of 
confessing once a year, at least, to his own priest, and of receiving the 
Eucharist yearly at Easter. But, if any one wished to confess to some other 
prie.-t, it was necessary to get the leave of his own pastor, or else the other 
would not be entitled to loose or bind. 3 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 378. 


response ; and the expedition which was ,at length made to Egypt 
proved a complete failure (1218-1220). 1 The Pope ascribed the dis- 
astrous issue to the hesitation of Frederick II., who had postponed 
the fulfilment of his vow to the object of strengthening himself in 
Germany, and especially of securing the succession of his son Henry, 
who was elected King of the Romans (April 26, 1220). To secure 
the support of the clergy on this occasion, Frederick renewed the 
promises he had made to Innocent on his own election — to renounce 
the long-disputed claim of the crown to the property of deceased 
bishops,^ as well as to the income of vacant sees, and to allow free- 
dom of election and appeals, besides other privileges. In the same 
year Frederick crossed the Alps, and was crowned Emperor by the 
Pope with a splendid ceremonial (Nov. 22, 1220), after all causes of 
dispute had been arranged, at least apparently. " Laws were enacted 
for the liberty of the Church and of ecclesiastical persons ; for the 
exemption of the clergy from taxes and from secular jurisdiction; 
for the enforcement of ecclesiastical censures by civil penalties ; for 
the severe punishment of heretics and of any who should show 
them favour or indulgence/' 3 

In return for finally making over to the Holy See the long- 
disputed inheritance of the Countess Matilda, 4 Honorius released 
Frederick from the promise he had made to Innocent, not to 
reunite the kingdom of Sicily to the Empire. The Emperor at 
once proceeded to Southern Italy, where the measures which he 
took to enforce his authority opened a new quarrel with the Pope, 
who urged on Frederick the fulfilment of his vow as a Crusader ; 
but the Emperor pleaded the urgency of his affairs at home. 
It was at length agreed, in a personal interview at Ferentino 
(March 1223), that two years should be granted for Frederick to 
establish order in his dominions, while fresh attempts were made 
to rouse the apathetic sovereigns of Europe to adequate prepara- 
tions ; and the Emperor was to be further pledged to the enterprise 
by a union with Iolanthe, the heiress to the kingdom of Jerusalem. 5 

1 For the details of this Crusade, which is variously reckoned the Fifth 
or the Sixth, see the Student's Gibbon, pp. 566-7 ; and Robertson, vol. iii. 
pp. 381-4. 

2 This jus exuviarum had been maintained by Frederick Barbarossa 
against Urban III., and had been introduced into England by William Rufus. 

3 Pertz, Leges, ii. 243-5 ; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 386. 

4 This had been one of the most constant grounds of quarrel between 
successive Emperors and Popes since the original bequest made by Matilda 
to Gregory VII. (See p. 20, note.) 

5 Iolanthe was the daughter of John de Brienne and his wife Iolanthe, 
who had inherited the titular kingdom of Jerusalem from her father, 
Conrad of Montferrat. The elder Iolanthe had died in 1212. 


The marriage was celebrated in November 1225 ; Frederick having 
meanwhile bound himself by new crusading vows under the penalty 
of the censures of the Church. But he was again detained by fresh 
troubles in Germany and by a renewal of the Lombard League ; and 
the Pope's decision for the Lombards on the appeal of both parties 
seemed to threaten an open quarrel, when Honorius died on the 
18th of March, 1227. 

§ 10. Of a very different temper was Ugolino de' Segni, Pope 
Gregory IX. (1227-1241), who resembled his near relative Inno- 
cent III. in character, ability, and principles ; and was still vigorous 
under the weight of eighty years. "Frederick himself had charac- 
terized him as a man of spotless reputation, eminent for religion and 
purity of life, for eloquence and learning." 1 His accession to St. 
Peter's chair marks the beginning of " that terrific strife, for which 
Emperor and Pope girded themselves up for the last time," as well 
as a fresh starting-point in Frederick's career, " with its romantic 
adventures, its sad picture of marvellous powers lost on an age not 
ripe for them, blasted as by a curse in the moment of victory. That 
conflict did indeed determine the fortunes of the German kingdom 
no less than of the republics of Italy ; but it was upon Italian 
ground that it was fought out, and it is to Italian history that its 
details belong. So, too, of Frederick himself. Out of the long array 
of the Germanic successors of Charles, he is, with Otto III., the 
only one who comes before us with a genius and a frame of cha- 
racter that are not those of a Northern or a Teuton. There dwelt 
in him, it is true, all the energy and knightly valour of his father 
Henry and his grandfather Barbarossa. But along with these, and 
changing their direction, were other gifts, inherited perhaps from 
his Italian mother and fostered by his education among the orange- 
groves of Palermo — a love of luxury and beauty, an intellect refined, 
subtle, philosophical. Through the mist of calumny and fable it is 
but dimly that the truth of the man can be discerned, and the out- 
lines that appear serve to quicken rather than appease the curiosity 
with which we regard one of the most extraordinary personages in 
history. A sensualist, yet also a warrior and a politician ; a pro- 
found lawgiver and an impassioned poet; in his youth fired In- 
crusading fervour, in later life persecuting heretics while himself 
accused of blasphemy and infidelity ; of winning manners and 
ardently beloved by his followers, but with the stain of more than 
one cruel deed upon his name; — he was the marvel of his own 
generation, 2 and succeeding ages looked back with awe, not un- 
mingled with pity, upon the inscrutable figure of the last Emperor 

1 Pertz, Leges, ii. 246 (Feb. 1221); Robertson, vol. iii. p. 389. 

2 " Stupor mundi Friderieus," he was called. 


who had braved all the terrors of the Church and died beneath her 
ban, the last who had ruled from the sands of the ocean to the shores 
of the Sicilian Sea. But while they pitied they condemned. The 
undying hatred of the Papacy threw round his memory a lurid 
light; him and him alone, of all the imperial line, Dante, the 
worshipper of the Empire, must perforce deliver to the flames of 
hell." 1 

§ 11. It now appeared how fatal a bequest Barbarossa had left to his 
descendants by the extension of his dominions over all Italy, and 
especially by the acquisition of Naples and Sicily, which had been 
for two centuries a fief of the Holy See, Every Pope who had the 
smallest share of that ambition, which was now a fixed tradition 01 
the See, felt challenged to a conflict of life and death for his tem- 
poral rights. The " eel," which Barbarossa had confessed it so hard 
to hold, became a serpent to bite the hand that grasped it. And it 
was the fate of Frederick II. to have placed himself at the Pope's 
mercy by his crusading vow with its acknowledged penalty. Hono- 
rarius had temporized, to win Frederick to the enterprise on which his 
own heart was set ; but Gregory cared more to advance his power by 
exacting the penalty. Whether from seeing this, or from a sincere 
desire to perform his vow as soon as he was able, Frederick, in 
spite of the backwardness of all the other powers, collected his forces, 
and embarked from Brindisi (Sept. 8, 1227); but, after being three 
days at sea, he returned on the plea of his own sickness and of a 
pestilence among his troops. Upon this the Pope declared him 
excommunicate (Sept. 29), and required all his bishops to publish 
the sentence. Frederick's solemn declaration of his sincerity, in a 
letter to the Crusaders, was answered by a renewed excommunica- 
tion, to which the Pope added a declaration that the Emperor had 
forfeited the Apulian kingdom, and pronounced an interdict on all 
places where he might be (Maunday Thursday, 1228). 

To prove his sincerity, or at least to remove the ostensible ground 
of the sentence, Frederick again set sail from Brindisi at the end of 
June, and landed at Acre on the 7th of September. This per- 
severance in daring to proceed to the holy war as an excommuni- 
cated person redoubled his offence ; and then was seen the strange 
spectacle of the chief of the Holy Roman Empire, cursed by its 
spiritual head and disowned by the clergy of Palestine, treating 
with the Sultan Kamed in a spirit of mutual friendship, as unlike 

1 Inferno, canto x. : " Qua entro e lo secondo Federico." Bryce (}>p. 
207-8), who quotes from the Liber August ilis, printed among Petrarch's 
works, the following curious description of Frederick: '' Fuit armorum 
strenuus, linguarum peritus, rigorosns, luxuriosus, epicurus, nihil curans 
vel credens nisi temporale : fuit malleus Romans ecclesise." 


as possible to the zeal of Godfrey or Coeur-de-Lion. By the treaty 
of February 1229, Frederick obtained Jerusalem, with Nazareth, 
Bethlehem, Sidon, and other places ; but the site of the Temple, 
venerated as it was by both parties, remained in Moslem custody, 
though open to the Christians. But the clergy and the Knights 
of the Temple and St. John joined in opposing Frederick's claim to 
the kingdom of Jerusalem on the ground of the Pope's censure and 
the want of an election ; and when Frederick took the crown from 
the altar with his own hands, the Archbishop of Cffisarea, in the 
name of the patriarch, laid the city and the holy places under an 
interdict because of the pollution. 

The denunciations and charges of vice and infidelity, with which 
the Pope pursued Frederick at Jerusalem, were accompanied by an 
invasion of Apulia, which brought him back to Brindisi, to the 
surprise and discomfiture of his enemies (June 10). It was 
indeed a case suited to enlist the sympathy which was excited 
by Frederick's vindication of his conduct. " Excommunicated by 
Gregory for not going to Palestine, he went, and was excommuni- 
cated for going. Having concluded an advantageous peace, he sailed 
for Italy, and was a third time excommunicated for returning." 1 
But Gregory's obstinacy was forced to give way before the desertions 
of his troops and the progress of Frederick's arms; and an agree- 
ment was made at Ceperano, by which the Emperor was absolved 
on his submission as to all matters for which he had incurred ex- 
communication and the payment of a large indemnity for the Pope's 
expenses (Aug. 1230). " Immediately after his absolution, Frederick 
visited the Pope at Anagni, and both parties in their letters express 
great satisfaction as to their intercourse on this occasion." 2 

§ 12. The ensuing few years' interval of quiet is notable for 
the ecclesiastical laws enacted both by the Emperor and the Pope. 
The 'Code of Melfi' (1231) — which Frederick promulgated for his 
Sicilian dominions — the work chiefly of his distinguished Chan- 
cellor, Peter delle Vigne, 3 secured the temporalities of the Church 
while controlling the pretensions of the hierarchy, subjecting them 
to taxation and the judgment of secular courts, restricting their 
jurisdiction to matrimonial cases, and forbidding the sale of land to 
the clergy, or even their holding it without providing for the feudal 
services. Appeals to the Pope were not allowed except in matters 
purely spiritual, and were altogether forbidden when the sovereign 

1 Bryce, p. 209. 2 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 296. 

3 Peter delle Vigne (in Latin, dc Vineis, like our name Viney) was a 
native of Capua, who had risen from the humble position of a mendicant 
scholar to the highest place in the Emperor's confidence. Besides his 
learning as a jurist, he shared with his master the reputation of a poet. 


and the Pope should be at variance. The provision that the King 
might legitimatize the children of clergymen is a proof of the still 
surviving resistance to clerical celibacy. 

On the other hand " Gregory, who had been noted for his skill in 
canon law, put forth a body of Decretals, in which the principles of 
Hildebrand and Innocent III. were carried to their greatest height. 
According to this code, the clergy were to be wholly exempt from 
taxes and from secular judgment ; all secular law was to be sub- 
ordinate to the law of the Church ; and the secular power was bound 
to carry out obediently the Church's judgment. There was, how- 
ever, one subject as to which the rival systems of law were in 
accordance with each other. While Gregory was severe in his 
enactments against heresy, Frederick was no less so — declaring 
heresy to be worse than treason, and in this and his other legisla- 
tion condemning heretics to be burnt, or, at least, to have their 
tongues cut out, while he denounced heavy^ penalties against all 
who should harbour or encourage them." 1 It seems not unfair to 
Frederick to suppose that these severities were designed partly as 
an answer to the imputations of heresy made against himself. It has 
been supposed, too, that he meant to use the new laws against the 
Lombard rebels, on the pretext of their being heretics ; and he 
made the necessity of combatting heresy among the Italians an excuse 
for not renewing the Crusade. 

§ 13. The urgent need in which Gregory stood of Frederick's aid 
forced him to be content with strong remonstrances against the 
Code of Melfi. The Pope had resided chiefly at Anngni, and, 
after he had returned to Rome, he had been twice driven out. 
Though the citizens had done this chiefly in the cause of Frederick, 
the Emperor restored the Pope to the city earl}' in 1235. 

At Easter, Frederick left Rome for Germany, owing to tidings 
(received at the end of 1234) that his son and colleague, Henry, 
had raised a rebellion, in league with the Lombard cities. The 
revolt was easily put down, and Henry was forgiven ; 2 but he 
soon gave his father fresh provocation, and was confined in 

1 Pertz, Leges, ii. 244, 252, 287-9, 326, &c. ; Robertson, vol. iii. pp. 397-8. 
Dean Milman has shown (Lett. Christ v. 390) that, in the 12th, and per- 
haps the 11th century, heretics had been burnt in England, France, and 
Germany ; but this seems to be the first legislative sanction of the practice. 
As to the cutting of tongues, it is worth while to mention the coincidence, 
that the Assyrian sculptures and inscriptions of Sennacherib and his 
successors exhibit the like punishment of blasphemers of the god Asshur. 

2 During this visit to Germany, Frederick formed an alliance with 
England by marrying Isabella, the "sister of Henry III. His second wife, 
lol.mthe, had died in childbirth just as he was setting out for the 


various prisons of Southern Italy. On his way from one of these 
to another Henry threw himself from his horse, and died from the 
injuries received in his fall 1 (1242). 

Meanwhile, at Vienna, which Frederick had entered as a con- 
queror, after repelling an attack by the Duke of Austria, he pro- 
cured the election of Conrad, his son by Iolanthe, as King of the 
Romans (March 1237) ; and, in the following November, he 
gained the decisive victory of Corte Nuova over the Lombards, who 
had renewed their league two years before. 2 

§ 14. All this time the Pope kept bringing charges against the 
Emperor, and sent repeated embassies urging him to submission. 
At length, having secured the support of Genoa and Venice, 
Gregory pronounced against Frederick the sentence of excommuni- 
cation and anathema, releasing his subjects from their allegiance, 
on Palm Sunday, 1239. Frederick, who was keeping Easter at 
Pavia, held a court in full state, at which he published the Pope's 
bull and his own answer to the charges, with his refusal to submit 
because the sentence was unjust. Gregory rejoined by a most 
violent letter, in which he brought against Frederick those charges 
of infidelity and profanity, to which the Emperor gave a firm denial, 
and for which there seem to have been no sufficient grounds, 
beyond a certain laxity of religious opinion, and his freedom from 
fanatical hatred of the Mohammedans. In his rejoinder he asserted 
his orthodoxy, and distinguished between the authority of the 
Church and of the Pope, whose power to bind and loose was null 
and void, if wrongly exercised. It is not uninteresting to find the 
heads of the Holy Roman Empire anticipating Protestant com- 
mentators in their interpretation of Apocalyptic imagery — the 
Pope comparing Frederick to the beast with seven heads and ten 
horns, having on his 'heads the names of blasphemy ; while the 
Emperor sees in Gregory the great red dragon and the Antichrist. 
The general feeling of Europe was on the side of Frederick, whose 
arms were successful in Italy ; and he was for the second time 
threatening Rome, when Pope Gregory IX. died on August 21, 

1 Though Henry had been elected King of the Romans, he is not reckoned 
in the line of kings, and the title of Henry VII. is given to the King and 
Emperor of the Hapsburg line (1308-1314). 

2 The details of the great and constantly renewed conflict between 
Frederick and the Lombards belong to civil history. 

3 See Canon Robertson's discussion of the charges and of Frederick's 
religious opinions (vol. iii. pp. 389-390, 401-3). The specific charge — 
that Frederick had spoken of three great impostors who had deluded the 
world, and of whom two had died in honour, but the third had been 
hanged on a tree — was formerly supposed to be supported by a book De 
Tribus Impostoribus, ascribed to Frederick or his chancellor Peter ; but 
this work has been proved to be a foreerv of the lHth centurv. 

II— F 


1241. His successor, Celestine IV., survived him only seven- 
teen days, and died without heing consecrated. 

§ 15. The dissensions in the conclave prolonged the vacancy of the 
Holy See above a year and a half, till Frederick, to whom the delay 
was generally imputed, compelled them to an election at Anagni 
(June 25, 1243). Their choice fell on Cardinal Sinibald Fiesco, 
a noble Genoese, who had hitherto been an imperialist, but who 
soon verified the reply of Frederick, when congratulated on his 
election, that, instead of gaining a friendly Pope, he had only lost 
a friendly cardinal, for no Pope could be a Ghibelline. " By 
styling himself Innocent IV. (1243-1254), Sinibald seemed to 
announce a design of following the policy of the great Pope who 
had last borne the name of Innocent ; and this design he steadily 
carried out. In some respects his pretensions exceeded those of 
any among his predecessors ; he aimed at a power over the Church 
more despotic than anything before claimed ; and the vast host of 
the mendicant friars, who were wholly devoted to the Papacy, 
enabled him to overawe any members of the hierarchy who might 
have been disposed to withstand his usurpations. Yet, although 
he was less violent than Gregory IX., his pride, his rapacity, and 
the bitterness of his animosity against those who opposed him, 
excited wide dissatisfaction ; and many who were well affected to 
the Papacy were forced to declare that the Pope's quarrels were 
not necessarily the quarrels of all Christendom." 1 

§ 16. From the first, Innocent took up the charges against 
Frederick, against whom the fortune of war turned at the same 
time; and the Pope entered Rome amidst the rejoicings of the 
people (Nov. 15, 1243). After long negociations, Frederick sub- 
mitted to hard terms of peace (March 31, 1244); but there was 
mutual distrust as to the execution of its "terms, and the poten- 
tates were advancing to hold a personal interview, when Innocent 
suddenly fled to Civita Vecchia, and embarked for Genoa. Thence 
he crossed the Alps to Lyon, which at this time was not in France, 
but belonged to the kingdom of Burgundy, while in fact it was 
independent under its own archbishop (Dec. 2). His overtures 
for a reception in England, France, or Arragon, had all been 
rejected — so strong was the feeling that had been roused, especially 
by the exactions of the papal legates and collectors ; but Innocent 
consoled himself with a remark which shows the aim of his policy : 
" When the great dragon is crushed or quieted, the king-snakes 2 
and little serpents will soon be trodden down." 

At Lyon Innocent summoned a General Council, to which 

1 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 409. 

2 This word may be allowed to represent the double sense of rrgulos, minor 
kings or cockatrices. (Matt. Paris, 660, 774; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 411, note.) 


Frederick was invited, but the excommunication was renewed 
without waiting for his answer. He nevertheless sent the Arch- 
bishop of Palermo, and other envoys, headed by an eloquent and 
learned jurist, Thaddeus of Sessa. The First Council of Lyon 
(the Thirteenth (Ecumenical of the Romans), 1 was opened on 
JSt. Peter's Eve (June 28th, 1245), the East being represented by 
the Latin Emperor and the Patriarchs of Constantinople and 
Antioch. The chief subjects for consultation — which Innocent 
compared to the Saviour's five wounds — were the Tartar invasion 
of Europe, the schism of the Greeks, the prevalence of various 
heresies, the state of the Holy Land, and the enmity of the Em- 
peror ; but the last was the real object of the convocation. 
Notwithstanding offers from Frederick, whjch the Pope himself 
admitted to be fair if only he had sureties for their performance, the 
able defence of his master by Thaddeus (who finally appealed to 
a future Pope, and to a more impartial Council), and the desire of 
the French and English envoys that the sentence might be deferred, 
the synod, at its third session, decreed the deposition of Frederick. 
The German princes were directed to choose another King, while the 
Pope claimed to dispose of the kingdom of Sicily in consultation 
with his cardinals (July 17th). 

§ 17. On receiving the sentence at Turin, Frederick declared 
himself released from all obedience, reverence, love, or other duty 
towards the Pope, whom he upbraided for his luxury, extravagance, 
blood-guiltiness, and neglect of his pastoral duties ; and he defied 
Pope or Council to deprive him of his crown without a bloody 
struggle. A cruel war was forthwith begun in North Italy, while 
in Sicily a revolt was stirred up by papal emissaries, who preached 
a crusade against the King; but we cannot dwell on the details of 
the conflict, in which both parties were equally violent, while the 
Pope was the more obstinate in rejecting all terms or mediation. 

In Germany a rival was found, with some difficulty, in Henry, 
Landgrave of Thuringia, who was elected King by the great Khenish 
prelates (Vlay 22nd, 1246), but died nine months later after a 
defeat by Frederick's son, Conrad (Feb. 1247). His successor, 
William, count of Holland, a youth of twenty, had little more 
than the name of royalty. Meanwhile the successful career of 
Frederick in Italy was rapidly turned to utter reverse by his repulse 
at the siege of Parma (Feb. 1248), where he lost Thaddeus and 
other faithful friends, and by the treason of his chancellor, Peter delle 
Vigne. Sick in body and mind, and with his temper exasperated 
to ferocious cruelty, he was at length struck with palsy, and died at 
Fiorentino in the Capitanata (Dec. 13, 1250). 

1 But it is not admitted by the Gallican Church. 


On his death-bed he was reconciled to the Church ; -and his will 
directed that her rights should be restored, but on condition that 
she restored the rights of the Empire. He was buried beside his 
parents in the cathedral of Palermo. 

§ 18. That royal and imperial tomb was all that remained of the 
dominion set up by Barbarossa in the south ; but it belongs to oivil 
history to relate the complicated fortunes of the Sicilian kingdom. 
Lombardy also was virtually severed from the Empire by Frederick's 
death ; and even in Germany the crown lost its imperial splendour. 
" With Frederick fell the Empire. From the ruin that overwhelmed 
the greatest of its houses it emerged, living, indeed, and destined to 
a long life, but so shattered, crippled, and degraded, that it could 
never be to Europe and to Germany what it had once been." 1 

The " likeness of the kingly crown " of Hohenstaufen was indeed 
prolonged for four troubled years. The will of Frederick had ap- 
pointed Conrad IV. (1250-1254) the heir of all his dominions, and 
his illegitimate son, Manfred, to be regent in Italy and Sicily 
during Conrad's absence. Innocent launched a new excommunica- 
tion against Conrad, and wrote to the Germans that " Herod was 
dead, but Archelaus reigned in the room of his father." 2 He even 
offered the hereditary lands of the Swabian duchy to any one who 
could seize them. Germany fell into complete anarchy; while 
Conrad crossed the Alps, and, after reducing Naples, died at the 
age of twenty-six (May 20, 1254), the last king of the house of 
Hohenstaufen. 3 He left an infant son only two years old, named 
also Conrad, but called commonly by the diminutive, Conradin. 

Innocent now claimed the Sicilian kingdom, as having lapsed to 
its suzerain, St. Peter, and on his progress to take possession of it he 
was well received by the people, who were tired both of Saracen and 
German rule. He had reached Naples, when he received a mortal 
shock from the news of a victo^ gained by Manfred over his troops 
at Foggia, and he died five days later (Dec. 7, 1254). " We are told 
by a Guelfic chronicler that on his death-bed he often repeated the 
penitential words, 'Thou, Lord, with rebukes hast chastened man 
for sin.' 4 A story of different character is told by Matthew Paris — 
that, as the Pope lay on his death-bed, surrounded by his weeping 
relations, he roused himself to rebuke them by asking, ' Why do 
you cry, wretches ? Have I not made you all rich ?' " 5 

1 Bryce, p. 210. We must be content to refer to Dr. Bryce's admirable 
sketch of the decline of the Empire, and the essential difference of its 
character under the Hapsburgs from what it had been under the Saxon, 
Franconian, and Hohenstaufen Emperors. 

2 Matt. ii. 22. 3 Conrad II. never became Emperor. 

4 Annul. Par mens. ap. Pertz, xviii. 77 (Ps. xxviii. 12, Vulg.). 

5 Matt. Par. 897 ; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 426. 

Basilica of the Lateran. (San Giovanni in Laterano.) 




1. Pope Alexander IV.— Germany : Richard, Earl of Cornwall, and 
Alfonso X. of Castile— Manfred, King of Sicily. § 2. Pope 
Urban IV. offers the crown of Sicily to Charles of Anjou— Pope 
Clement IV. crowns him— Defeat and Death of Manfred— Enterprise 
and Execution of Conradin. § 3. Triumph of the Papacy and be- 
ginning of its Decline— St. Louis IX. of France— His First Crusade, 
Captivity in Egypt, and Return. § 4. His Ecclesiastical Policy— His 
Pragmatic Sanction of 1269— His Treatment of Heretics and Jews. § 5 
The Second Crusade of St. Louis— His Death at Carthage— Edward I 
of England in Palestine— End of the Crusades and of the Christian King- 
dom in Palestine. § 6. Philip III., King of France-Power of Charles 
in Italy— Papal Vacancy, and election of Gregory X.— His devotion to 
the Crusades— Rudolf I., of Hapsburg, elected King of the Romans- 
Change in the character of the Empire, and diminished power of the 


German kingdom. § 7. Attempt to reconcile the Latin and Greek 
Churches — Michael VIII. Pal^Ologus — Second Council of Lyon — 
New Rule for Papal Elections by the Cardinals in Conclave. § 8. 
Rudolf and the Pope — Death of Gregory X. — Rapid Succession of 
Innocent V., Adrian V., and John XXI. § 9. Nicolas III. — 
Martin IV. — Designs of Charles of Sicily — Insurrection : the " Sicilian 
Vespers " — Peter of Arragon in Sicily — Honorius IV. — Nicolas IV. 
§ 10. Papal Vacancy — Election and Abdication of Celestine V. — 
Benedict Gaetani made Pope Boniface VIII. — His Character and 
Schemes — Obstacles to his Policy. § 11. His persecution of the 
Colonnas — His policy in Italy and Germany — Adolf of Nassau and 
Albert I. § 12. The Pope's contests with Edward I. of England, 
and Philip IV. (the Fair) of France — Taxation of the Clergy — The 
Bull Clericis Laicos — Strong Measures of Philip. §. 13. The Jubilee 
of 1300. § 14. Claim of Papal suzerainty over Scotland — Reply of 
the English Parliament. § 15. Progress of the Quarrel with France 
— Bulls against the King— § 16. The Bull Ausculta fill burnt by Philip 
— Assembly of the States-General— Papal Consistory. § 17. Council 
at Rome — Extreme assertion of the Pope's temporal supremacy in the 
Bull Unam Sanctam. § 18. Philip cited to Rome — Mutual defiances 
and preparations. § 19. Consistory at Anagni — Bull prepared for the 
deposition of Philip — Imprisonment, release, and death, of Boniface VIII. 
— The turning-point of the Papal supremacy — Its power never re- 
covered. § 20. Brief Pontificate of Benedict XI. 

§ 1. The new Pope, Alexander IV. (1254-1261), a zealous Francis- 
can, and nephew of Gregory IX., had the will without the ability to 
carry on the system of his two predecessors ; and " while he is praised 
for his piety and for his kindly disposition, he is said to have been 
the dupe of flatterers, and a tool of those who made the Roman 
court odious by their rapacity and extortion." l Under him and 
his two successors the chief interest of our subject centres in the 
sequel of the struggle between the Papacy and the Hohenstaufen 
interest in the Sicilian kingdom. For the rest, it is enough to say 
that, in Germany, after the death of William of Holland (1250), 
the kingly power was merely nominal, during the " Great Interreg- 
num " and the rivalry of Richard, Earl of Cornwall (brother of 
Henry 111. of England), who was crowned but never really reigned 
(1257-1271), and Alfonso X. of Castile (1257-1273), who never 
set foot in Germany ; while in Northern Italy the fierce factions of 
Guelph and C.hibelline merged ecclesiastical in political conflicts. 
The sum of the Papal victory in the long contest with the Empire 

1 Matt. Par. 897 ; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 450. The Franciscan Salim- 
bene gives the following terse description of the person and character of 
Alexander : " Gross us (i.e. corpulentus) et crassus rait, sicut alter Eglon ; 
beniguus, clemens, pins, Justus, e f timoratus fuit, et Deo devotus. 


was, Germany distracted, Italy dismembered, England and other 
states disgusted with the encroachments and exactions of Home, and 
— as we shall presently see — France a helper so much too powerful, 
that she was soon to humble both the Papacy and the Empire. 

In the Sicilian kingdom the papal power was resisted by the able 
and accomplished Manfred, who had thrown himself into the strong- 
hold of Luceria, which was held by a mixed garrison of Germans 
and Saracens, 1 who were less hated by the people than the Germans. 
Manfred's reliance on his Saracen soldiers was a chief source of 
his strength, but the papal party made it a ground of accusation 
against his Christianity. The refusal by the Pope of a partition of 
the kingdom left him no choice but submission or war ; and he 
had nearly regained the whole, when, on a report of Conradin's death 
in Germany, which his enemies accuse him of inventing, the people 
cried for Manfred to be king, and he was crowned at Palermo 
(Aug. 11, 1258). The claim of Edmund, the young second son of 
Henry III. of England, to whom Innocent had offered the crown, 
was a source of embarrassment to the English king rather than of 
danger to Manfred, 2 whose able administration gained him the sup- 
port of the people against the censures of the Church. The Pope was 
fain to reopen negociations ; but, when he asked for the dismissal of 
the Saracen troops, Manfred replied that he would fetch over as 
many more from Africa (1260). Soon after this the Pope, who had 
been driven out from Rome 3 in 1257, died at Viterbo, May 25, 1261. 

§ 2. His more vigorous successor, Urban IV. (1261-1264), a 
native of France, 4 finding that no more money was to be got from 
England, offered the crown of Sicily to Louis IX. of France for one 
of his sons. The pious King preferred his own sense of the prior rights 
of Conradin and Edmund to the assurances of the Pope ; but his am- 
bitious brother, Charles of Anjou, was troubled by no such scruples. 
The Pope obtained a cession of Edmund's claim in return for a 
renewed censure against the barons, whose contest with Henry III. 

1 There was still a considerable remnant of the old Saracen conquerors 
in Southern Italy ; and Frederick II. — one of whose greatest offences was 
his favour to his Mohammedan subjects — had permitted Saracen colonies 
to settle in Luceria and Nocera. 

2 The sums of money raised in England for this enterprize, but wasted 
by the English and Roman courts, formed one chief ground of quarrel 
between Henry and his subjects. 

3 For the political state of Rome — where the republican party still 
rejected the temporal government of the Pope — and the rule and fortunes 
of the Senator Brancaleone, see Robertson, vol. iii. pp. 426-7. 

4 James Pantaleon, the son of a poor cobbler at Troyes, had risen by 
his skill in diplomatic missions. He was now Patriarch of Jerusalem, and, 
arriving at Viterbo when the Cardinals had been debating for three months 
on a successor to Alexander, he was elected to the vacant chair. 


was near its climax ; * and a Crusade against Manfred was preached 
in France (1263). The Koman people, among whom Manfred had 
had a strong party, now preferred Charles to him in the election of 
a Senator, and the prince used this advantage to make better terms 
with the Pope. Instead of a partition of Southern Italy, Charles 
was to have the whole, except the papal city of Benevento, (besides 
other advantages,) in return for his promise to resign the senator- 
ship as soon as he was in possession of the kingdom. 

Meanwhile Manfred had won most of the papal territory, and 
his advance on Rome caused the Pope's flight to Perugia, where he 
arrived and died on the same day (Oct. 2, 1264). He was succeeded 
by another Frenchman, Clement IV. (1265-1268), whose name 
(as with many other Popes) was a satire on his character and rule. 2 
He had been eminent as a lawyer, and had assisted Louis IX. in 
his legislation. He was fully prepared to espouse the cause of 
Charles ; but, when the prince arrived at Rome (May 1265) with 
few men and no money, Clement bitterly remarked that he could 
do nothing for Charles except by a miracle, and for this his own 
merits were not sufficient. Further offence was given by the prince's 
arrogance and exactions, but their common interests prevailed ; 
Charles was invested with the Sicilian kingdom on new con- 
ditions, and the Pope crowned him with his wife at St. Peter's at 
Epiphany (Jan. 6, 1266). 8 The crusade which the Pope pro- 
claimed against Manfred gathered to Charles's banners a host of 
reckless adventurers, who were a terror to the whole country. The 
complaints of Clement and the want of supplies hastened the march 
of Charles, who won a decisive victory at Benevento (Feb. 26), 
where Manfred's defeat and death crushed the Ghibelline party 
throughout Southern Italy. But the tyranny and exactions of the 
new king prepared the people to welcome the gallant but rash 
attempt of Conradin, the son of Conrad IV., to recover his in- 
heritance. This last scion of the Hohenstaufen, now a handsome 
and accomplished youth of fifteen, was encouraged by his grand- 

1 Urban confirmed the release which Alexander IV. had given Henry III. 
from his oath to observe the Provisions of Oxford. These are far from 
the only examples in our history of the Papal standard of good faith ; and 
it was characteristic of Edward I., that he refused to accept the dispen- 
sation from his oath, and preferred his own maxim, Pactum serva. 

2 " Clemens, cujus nomen ab effectu non modice distat." Matins of 
Monza, ap. Pertz. xvii. 517 ; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 458. The different 
dates given for his accession (Oct. 1264, and Feb. 1265), may be probably 
accounted for by the interval between his election and his acceptance, as he 
was absent on a legation in England. 

3 This was the first coronation of any sovereign at St. Peter's, except 
as Emperor. 

A.D. 1220-70. ST. LOUIS IX., KttsG OF FRANCE. 85 

father's example to disregard the cautious counsels of his mother 
and the threats of the Pope. We need not dwell on the details 
of his enterprise, which, after a bright dawn of success, ended with 
his defeat and capture at Tagliacozzo (Aug. 23, 1268), and his 
execution at Naples after the mockery of a trial (Oct. 29). 1 On that 
day month the Pope died at Viterbo (Nov. 29). 

§ 3. The fall of the last Hohenstaufen signalized the triumph of 
the Papacy in Italy, so long its great field of battle with the Empire ; 
but it had already turned the summit towards that rapid descent of 
humiliation, of which the chief instrument was the very power it 
had helped to strengthen against the Empire. We have seen, in the 
ninth and tenth centuries, how slowly the Frank Church yielded to 
the supremacy of Ptome ; and we have now to witness the re-asser- 
tion of the liberties of the Gallican Church by that most devout of 
sovereigns whom Pome herself has canonized. Saint Louis, the 
ninth French king of that name (1226-1270), though not con- 
spicuous for intellectual gifts or military skill, shines in history 
above almost every other sovereign by the purer lustre of piety 
and moral principle, acted out consistently through his life : — 

" Where shall the Holy Cross find rest ? 

On a crown'd monarch's mailed breast : 
Like some bright angel o'er the darkling scene, 
Through court and camp he holds his heavenward course seiene." 2 

Even those who distrust the sympathy of the Christian poet may accept 
the testimony of Voltaire — " It is not given to man to carry virtue 
to a higher point." The King's scrupulous moderation in making use of 
advantages proved a gain to him, instead of a loss, as it gave confidence 
in his justice ; and no sovereign ever exercised a more wide-spread in- 
fluence over his age. The details of his career, even in ecclesiastical 
affairs, must be left to the special annals of France; 3 but some 
points of it are inseparable from the general history of the Church. 

It was his peculiar distinction above other sovereigns to be 
the leader of two Crusades, almost without allies. In 1244, 
a new cry for help came from Palestine. The Latin Christians 
had enjoyed for fifteen years the fruit of the much-maligned 

1 The part of Clement IV. in this atrocious deed has been very differ- 
ently represented. Canon Robertson (vol. iii. p. 464) adopts the statement 
of some authorities, that the Pope interceded for Conradin, adding, "the 
story that Clement, on being consulted by Charles, answered ' Vita Cor- 
radini mors Caroli ; mors Corradini vita Caroli,' — although adopted by 
Giannone (iii. 294) — is now generally rejected," and quoting, in support 
of this view, Raynald, Tillemont, Schrockh, Sismondi, Von Raumer, and 
Milman. On the other hand, Dr. Bryce says (p. 211), " The murder of 
Frederick's grandson Conradin was the suggestion of Pope Clement, the 
deed of Charles of France." 

2 Keble's Christian Year: Advent Sunday. 

3 See the Student's France, chap. ix. 

II— F 2 


policy of Frederick II., when they were overwhelmed by the 
irruption of the Chorasmians (or Carizmians), a barbarous horde, 
who, flying from northern Persia before the Mongols, defeated 
the united Moslem and Frank defenders of Syria, and sacked Jeru- 
salem. The Christian sovereigns were too much occupied with 
their own troubles to venture on the Crusade which was proposed 
at the Council of Lyon (see p. 79), and it was a tribute to the good 
government which Louis IX. had established, when Henry III. 
said, " The King of France may go, for his people may follow him." 

In the same autumn, the sudden recovery of Louis from what 
seemed a fatal sickness, as soon as the cross was placed in his hands, 
bound his couscience to the expedition, on which he started for 
Egypt in June 1248, and which ended, after a series of disasters, 
in his surrender to the Saracens at Damietta (April 8th, 1250). 1 
After being ransomed, he spent some time in Palestine, strengthening 
the places still held by the Christians, and attempting the harder 
task of reconciling them to one other ; and he returned home in 
1254, after an absence of six years. Innocent IV. had proved the 
warm sympathy, which he expressed for the captive King, by 
diverting much of the money raised for his ransom to his own 
crusade against Frederick and Conrad ; but the retribution fol- 
lowed quickly, for the struggle of the Popes to make Italy their 
own left them powerless to resist the national policy of Louis. 

§ 4. A chronicler testifies that the King's conversation after his 
first Crusade was better than before, as gold is better than silver. 2 
His opposition to the assumptions of Rome was the fruit of his 
piety, rather than a contrast to it, since it sprang from his deep 
sense of law and justice. The knowledge that his firmness was 
based on a pure conscience of right and wrong often silenced clerical 
resistance and encroachments ; and " thus the saintly reputation of 
the King enabled him to assert with success, and almost without 
question, principles which would have drawn on any ordinary 
sovereign the charge of impiety and hostility to the Church." 3 With 
consummate prudence he refrained from invading the immunities 
of the clergy by his own authority ; " but he gained the substantial 
acknowledgment of the rights of the state by prevailing on Alex- 
ander IV. to allow that the King's officials should not be liable to 
excommunication for arresting criminal clerks in flagrant delict, 
provided that they held them at the disposal of the ecclesiastical 
courts." 4 To the persistent claim of Hildebrand and his successors, 

1 For the details of this Sixth (or Sere»th) Crusade, see the Student's 
Gibbon, p. 568, the Student's France, chap. ix. § 6, Robertson, vol. iii. 
pp. 443-9 ; and Milman, who draws a striking contrast between Fre- 
derick II. and St. Louis (L<tt. Christ., Bk. XI. c. 1). 

2 W. Nang. ap. Bouq. xx 392, quoted by Robertson, vol. iii. p. 464. 

3 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 165. 4 Ibid. 


that all earthly crowns were held by the gift of the "Vicar of Christ, 
Louis opposed the declaration, that " the King of France holdeth 
of no one save God and himself." 1 The crowning act of his eccle- 
siastical legislation was the Pragmatic Sanction, 2 put forth in 1269, 
which is justly regarded as the foundation of the liberties of the 
Gallican Church, though its provisions were often invaded both by 
Popes and kings. It was, in fact, a protest against crying abuses, 
which time and strength were still required to extinguish. The 
edict provided that no tax or pecuniary exaction should be levied 
by the Pope without consent of the king and the national Church ; 
that churches should possess their rights to the election of bishops, 
and other patronage, free from papal interference ; and that all 
prelates and other patrons should enjoy their full rights as to the 
collation of benefices according to the Canons. 3 Like most declara- 
tions of right that have been fruitful of results, the Pragmatic 
Sanction is remarkable for its unrevolutionary moderation. As 
Sismondi observes, it introduces no new right, changes nothing in 
the ecclesiastical organization, and, with the exception of the article 
concerning the levy of money by the Roman court, it contains 
nothing which that court itself might not have published. 

The moderation of St. Louis tempered even his abhorrence of 
heresy and heretics, whose repression by the sword he rather held 
as a principle than practised it with the cruelty which disgraced the 
age. "No one," he said, " ought to dispute with Jews unless he 
be a very good clerk ; but the layman, when he heareth the 
Christian law spoken against, ought not to defend it save with the 
sword, which he should thrust as far as it will go into the unbe- 
liever's belly." But the pious Louis practised no such severities as 
the latitudinarian Frederick; the cruel deeds in Languedoc were 
committed without his consent, and it seems due to him that the 
inquisition was never established elsewhere in France. 4 He deserves 
credit for the rare consistency of proving his horror of the Jews by 
refusing to make use of their property ; and he ordered them to for- 
sake usury or to leave his kingdom, in spite of the plea of his 
counsellors that, when they were driven out, Christians proved still 
worse usurers. 

1 In his " Establishments," Liv. i. c. 78, in Ordonnances des Eois de 
France, i. 169 ; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 465. 

2 The term pragmatic was derived from the Byzantine Empire, sig- 
nifying an ordinance issued by the sovereign after deliberation (irpay/xa, 
irpay/JLaTeia) with his counsellors. 

3 As to the genuineness and provisions of this edict see Hallam's Middle 
Ages, vol. ii. p. 214 (ed. 1872), with the additional notes. 

4 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 441 ; Milman, I.e. Languedoc was no part of 
Louis' territories ; nor was Champagne, where 104 alleged Manicheans were 
burnt alive in 1239. On these matters see Chaps. XXXVII , XXXVIII. 


§ 5. The cherished purpose of his last years was to fulfil the vow 
which he legarded as only postponed by his failure in Egypt. In 
1267 Louis solemnly took the cross, with his three sons and many 
of his nobles, and the example was followed by the heir of 
England, Edward, who had just restored peace to his father's king- 
dom. The zeal of Louis was quickened by the fall of Antioch 
(May 1268) ; and, though too ill to bear his armour, he set out on 
what proved the last of the Crusades, 1 in March 1270. On arriving 
at Sardinia, the expedition was carried over to Africa, probably to 
enforce the claim of Charles of Sicily for tribute from the Sultan of 
Tunis, for whose conversion Louis thought he had grounds to hope. 
Arriving in sight of Tunis on July 17, the Crusaders disembarked 
next day on the famous peninsula where Carthage had once stood ; 
and while they lay inactive for a month, waiting the arrival of 
Charles from Sicily, the African sun and the vapours of the lagoon 
bred a pestilence in the camp. Among the earliest victims was 
the King's younger son, John Tristan ; and the enfeebled frame of 
Louis himself succumbed after a sickness of twenty days, spent in 
devotion and wise counsels to his son and successor, Philip. At 
last he caused himself to be laid on a bed of ashes, and — uttering 
the words "I will enter into thy house, Lord, I will worship in 
thy holy tabernacle," — he expired at the age of fifty-six years, of 
which he had reigned forty-four (Aug. 25, 1270). St. Louis was 
canonized by a Bull of Pope Boniface VIII. (Aug. 11, 1297) 

Charles arrived just too late to see his brother alive, and found the 
new King, Philip III., surnamed the Bold {Je Eardi, 1270-1285), 
seemingly at the point of death. His military skill won two 
sanguinary battles, and extorted from the Sultan an advantageous 
peace, including a yearly tribute to the Sicilian crown. The sur- 
vivors returned to France, professing the intention to recruit their 
forces for resuming the Crusade ; but it was only carried on by 
Edward of England, who reached Tunis after the departure of Philip, 
and, though his force numbered only 1200 lances, he sailed in the 
spring from Sicily to Acre, now the only place left to the Latin 
Christians in Palestine. Edward signalized his chivalrous courage 
and improved his great military talents in the defence of Acre, the 
capture of Nazareth, and other daring exploits ; but his small army 
could, of course, effect nothing of any permanent importance, and 
his truce with the Sultan Bibars for 10 years, 10 months, and 
10 days, marks the epoch of the End of the Crusades (Aug. 1272). 
Within twenty years the capture of Acre by the Sultan Khalid 
destroyed the last remnant of the Latin Christian kingdom of 
Palestine (see § 9). 

1 This last Crusade is variously reckoned the Seventh or the Eighth. As 
to the details, see the works referred to for the preceding Crusade. 


§ 6. While Edward was still at Acre, the news arrived that one 
of his companions in the Crusade, Theobald, formerly archdeacon 
of Liege, had been elected Pope (Sept. 1, 1271). The Papal Chair had 
been kept vacant for three years through the factions in the Sacred 
College and the intrigues of Charles of Sicily, who took advantage 
of the interregnum to make himself the arbiter of Italy. His bold 
ambition, and the weakness of his nephew Philip III., caused Charles 
to be looked up to as the virtual head of the French interest, which 
now began to have weight in the papal elections. But the choice of 
Theobald was made by a compromise between the two parties 
among the Cardinals ; as, though he was of the Visconti of Piacenza, 
his life had been passed remote from the strife of Italian factions. 
After his consecration at St. Peter's, as Gregory X. (1271-6), he 
took up his residence at Viterbo. 

The chief desire of Gregory's heart had been expressed in the 
words with which he departed from Acre — " If I forget thee, O 
Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning ! "* — and his first 
object, as Pope, was to reunite the Christian powers, both of the 
the East and West, in a great effort for the recovery of the Holy 
Land. The cause seemed hopeless while Europe was divided by 
varied interests, the Empire virtually in abeyance, and the ambition 
of Charles reaching to Constantinople and Jerusalem. 2 The one 
remedy which Gregory saw was the revival of the Empire : he 
pressed the Germans to choose a king from among themselves, and 
went so far as threaten that, if the electors failed to do their duty, 
he with his cardinals would appoint an Emperor. The choice — made 
not only by the seven Electors, but by an assembly of the princes, 
and by the cities, which had promised to obey the sovereign who 
might be elected — felt on Eudolf, Count of Hapsburg in the 
Aargau 3 (1273-1291), whose descendants— direct, and in the female 
line of Hapsburg- Lorraine 4 — held the royal crown and the imperial 

1 Psalm cxxxvii. 5. 

2 Charles had married one of his sons to a daughter of Baldwin II., the 
dispossessed Latin Emperor of Constantinople, and he had obtained the 
semblance of a title to the crown of Jerusalem by cession from a daughter 
of John of Brienne. 

3 The traveller who enters Switzerland by the high road from Basle to 
Zurich, looking down from the descent of the Jura on the confluence of 
the three rivers which form the Aar, once the site of the Roman Vindonissa, 
sees on a slight eminence the ruins of the castle (Habbisburg, the "Havvk's- 
fort") that cradled the imperial house which still rules over the Austrian 
Empire. " Within the ancient walls of Vindonissa (says Gibbon) the castle 
of Hapsburg, the abbey of Konigsfeld, and the town of Bruck, have succes- 
sively arisen. The philosophic traveller may compare the monuments of 
Roman conquests, of feudal or Austrian tyranny, of monkish superstition, 
and of industrious freedom. If he be truly a philosopher, he will applaud 
the merit and happiness of his own time." 

4 For the few exceptions see the Table of Emperors. 


dignity, 1 till the Holy Koman Empire ended with the abdication of 
Francis II. (1806). " Rudolf was a petty independent prince, fifty- 
five years of age, who had been recommended by his valour, his 
frankness, ability, honesty, and other popular qualities, while he was 
not so powerful as to give cause for apprehension that he might re- 
vive the authority which Emperors in former days had exercised." 2 
He was crowned King of the Romans by Engelbert, archbishop of 
Cologne, at Aix-la-Chapelle (Oct. 24, 1273). 

Rudolf was chosen with the intention that he should be a real 
Emperor — though it happened that he was never crowned — but it 
was a complete mistake to suppose that the Empire of Charles the 
Great, of the Othos and Henries, had been, or could be, revived. 3 
What the election of Rudolph really did, was to give Germany 
a new and vigorous German king, and to restore the fabric of law 
and order — which had almost gone to pieces during the Great Inter- 
regnum — in the only form then possible, under its recognized feudal 
head. But even as a king that head was weak, in comparison with 
other kings, especially in France and England, where political union 
had advanced, while in Germany it had grown feebler and the 
princes had become more and more independent. The restored 
Empire, therefore, was no longer an effective centre for that united 
action of Europe which Gregory sought to secure. 

§ 7. The Pope's second great object, the reconciliation of the 
Greek and Latin Churches — both for its own sake and as a means 
to his more cherished purpose, the Crusade — was favoured by the 
political necessities of the Emperor Michael VIII. (the first of the 
PaLjEOLOgi). Having recovered Constantinople from the Latins, in 
1261, he was eager both to make peace with the Pope, who had 
espoused the cause of the deposed Emperor Baldwin II., and to 
strengthen himself at home against the party of the deprived patriarch 
Arsenius, 4 and still more against the ambitious schemes of Charles 

1 This distinction is important, as very few sovereigns of the Hapsburg 
line were crowned as Emperors at Rome. Rudolph himself was not, and 
only five of his successors were so crowned, one of these being only a rival 
to the acknowledged sovereign. The last imperial coronation at Rome 
was that of Frederick III. (1452), the only full Emperor since that time 
being Charles V., who was crowned at Bologna (1530). To the end of the 
fifteenth century those not crowned at Rome were " Kings of the Romans ;" 
but in 1508 Maximilian I., being refused a passage to Rome by the 
Venetians, obtained authority by a Bull of Julius II. to call himself 
" Kmperor-elect " (fmperator electus, erirdkltcr Kaiser), and this title, pei'- 
pctuated by his successors, became by courtesy " Emperor." 

2 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 472. 

3 We must content ourselves with referring to Dr. Bryce's admirable 
sketch of the changed character of the Empire (pp. 214 f). 

4 Arsenius had been deposed in consequence of his excommunicating 
Michael for his treachery in deposing and blinding his ward, John Lascaris, 
the last of the Emperors who reigned at Nicava during the Latin occupation 


of Sicily. With these powerful motives, the Eastern Emperor got 
rid of the hitherto insuperable difficulties of creed and patriarchal 
supremacy, by the simple plan of forcing his clergy, on the pain of 
treason, to yield everything to the Church of Rome. 

As the fit means of establishing a general reconciliation and peace 
among the Christian states, and with the view of their union in 
a decisive Crusade, Gregory had, at his first Easter, summoned a 
General Council, which, in order to secure a full attendance from the 
Transalpine states, met at Lyon on the 7th of May, 1274. This 
Second Council of Lyon (the Fourteenth (Ecumenical of the Romans) 
was the most numerous that had ever yet assembled ; being attended 
by the Latin Patriarchs of Antioch and Constantinople, and by 
more than 500 bishops and a thousand of the inferior clergy. Three 
chief subjects were laid before it by the Pope : — a subsidy for the 
recovery of the Holy Land ; — the reconciliation of the Greeks ; — 
and the reformation of morals. The first was as easily voted as it 
was soon afterwards lightly abandoned. As to the second, the 
ambassadors from Michael, being received with great honour, agreed 
to the Latin doctrines and usages, confessed the primacy of the 
Roman see, and joined in chanting the Nicene Creed with special 
emphasis on the article of the Double Procession, which they sang 
thrice " with solemnity and devotion." But there was no reality in 
the agreement, and the efforts of Michael to enforce it only made 
the schism more flagrant and bitter after his death (Dec. 1282). 

The third topic was urged by the Pope, at the sixth and final 
session, in a strong invective against the vices of prelates, and an 
earnest exhortation to reform their manners (July 17). But the 
most permanent fruit of this Council was the new rule for Papal 
elections, established by its Second Canon, with a view to prevent 
the long strife of parties among the Cardinals, and consequent vacan- 
cies of the Papal See. On the lapse of ten days from the death of a 
Pope — to give time for absent members of the college to assemble — 
the Cardinals were to be shut up in one room (conclave), 1 without 
partitions (each attended by a single clerk or lay domestic), and to 
hold no communication with the outer world, till they should agree 
on a successor. If the election should not be made within three 
days, their food was to be diminished, and, alter five days more, 
reduced to bread, wine, and water. 

§ 8. The Council was attended by envoys from Rudolf, who re- 

of Constantinople. (For the general outline of this period of Byzantine 
history, see the Student's Gibbon, chaps, xxxiw, xxxv.) 

1 Hence the Cardinals assembled for a papal election are called the 
Conclive. The Latin word conclave properly means a room under lock 
and key (clavis), or that can be closed with a key. (Festus, s.v, : " conclavia 
dicuntur loca, quae una clave clanduntur.") In practice, however, the 
Cardinals are confined to a number of rooms in the Vatican. 


quested the Pope to confirm his election, and renewed alLthe engage- 
ments made by Frederick II., or by any other Emperor, in favour 
of the Papacy and the Church. Gregory confirmed Rudolfs elec- 
tion, but in words which by their ambiguity were intended 
to insinuate a claim to the right of nominating the King of the 
Romans (Sept. 1275). A month later he met Rudolf at Lau- 
sanne, to receive his vow as a Crusader, and to arrange for his 
imperial coronation ; Rudolf confirming all the engagements of his 
envoys, giving up all claim to the territories long disputed between 
the Empire and the Pope, 1 and promising to help the Pope in recover- 
ing all the possessions that he claimed. " Thus Gregory had gained 
from the Empire more than any of his predecessors. . . . All the 
forged or doubtful privileges in favour of the Papal See, from the 
time of Louis the Pious downwards, were acknowledged as valid 
and binding ; and the Pope was owned as temporal lord of all the 
territories which had formerly been subjects of contention." 2 

But at this acme of his success, and while preparing for the 
Crusade, the Pope died at Arezzo (Jan. 10, 1276), and most of his 
work and hopes died with him. Within the same year, the Papal 
Chair fell to the lot of three successive Popes, Innocent V. 
(Jan.-June); Adrian V., who did not live to be consecrated; and 
John XXI. (Sept. 1276-May 1277), who disliked the monks and 
cultivated science, which procured him the reputation of being an 
astrologer. 3 

§ 9." The cardinals now rebelled against the " Conclave," and 
announced its suspension by the authority of the late Pope. But 
after six months the people of Viterbo made a Conclave of their 
town-hall, shutting up there seven Cardinals, who elected Nicolas III. 
(1277-1280), a member of the house of the Orsini and of the Fran- 
ciscan order, who had acted as an inquisitor into heresy. His high 
accomplishments were disgraced by nepotism, simony, and the cor- 
ruption of his court, which he transferred from Viterbo to Rome, 
where he began the splendid palace on the Vatican. By an artful 
policy, and chiefly by playing off Rudolf and Charles against each 
other, Nicolas obtained fresh concessions from both ; and he re- 
established the Papal government in Rome. But his sudden death 
from a stroke of palsy (Aug. 22, 1280) was the signal for fresh 
tumults in the city, and for a violent attempt of Charles to secure 
a Pope favourable to himself. 

The Canon of Lyon was set aside, and six months passed before 

1 Namely, the Exarchate of Ravenna, the Pentapolis, Ancona and 
Spoleto, and the inheritance (once more) of the Countess Matilda. 

2 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 479. 

3 Some call him John XX., but the recognized lists omit this number 
(XX.), though for what reason is doubtful. 


the election of a Frenchman, who took the title of Martin IV. 
(1281-1285), in honour of St. Martin of Tours, where he had been a 
canon. He hated the Germans, and proved himself a mere tool of 
Charles, in favour of whose designs on Constantinople he helped on 
the new rupture (already mentioned) between the Churches. But 
the design of Charles was frustrated by the insurrection long pre- 
pared against his tyranny in Sicily, which broke out in the great 
massacre of the French, known as the Sicilian Vespers (Easter, 
1282), and was followed by the invasion of Sicily by Peter of Arragon, 
as the avenger of Conradin. Leaving the details to civil history, 1 we 
need only record the deaths of Charles, in January 1285, and of 
Pope Martin in the ensuing March. 

His aged successor, Honorius IV. (1285-7), confirmed the Cru- 
sade which Martin had proclaimed against the King of Arragon, 
under the sanction of which Philip III. invaded Spain, with all the 
cruel outrages common to wars waged on the pretext of religion, 
and died at Perpignan on his retreat (Oct. 1285). The King of 
Arragon died the month after, and Pope Honorius died in April 1287. 

The cardinals wasted nearly a year in disputes, at the expense 
of six lives out of sixteen from the malaria at Rome, where the 
conclave was held on the Aventine, before they elected Jerome 
of Ascoli, General of the Franciscans, who took the name of 
Nicolas IV. (1288-1292). This Pope also was an undisguised 
partisan of the French interest, and he gave another example of the 
dishonest use of spiritual authority for political ends, by releasing 
Charles II. of Naples from an inconvenient oath to Alfonso of 
Arragon. 2 In his time the final fall of the Christian kingdom of Pales- 
tine by the capture of Acre, in 1291, marks an epoch in the West as 
well as the East ; for it gave a new blow to the papal supremacy. 
" The association of nations was at an end, and the spell, which for 
200 years had given the Popes so great a power of control over 
them, had lost its efficacy." 3 

§ 10. On the death of Nicolas (April 1292), the Lyonnese Canon 
was again set aside, and the disputes of the French and Italian 
parties prolonged the vacancy for two years and a quarter. At length 
the difficulty seemed evaded by the suggestion of the name of Peter 
Murrone, a simple hermit of extraordinary sanctity, seventy-two 
years old, who was made Pope Celestine V. (1294). But he 
proved a mere tool in the hands of the King of Naples and the 
French party, the monks and the lawyers of the Curia ; and in 
other respects his utter incapacity became manifest. The able and 

1 They are related also by Robertson, vol. iii. pp. 488-493. 

2 The progress of the contest for Sicily does not belong to our subject. 

3 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 496. 


ambitious Cardinal Benedict Gaetani obtained a complete" ascendancy- 
over " the hermit pope," and persuaded him to resign the Papacy 
(Dec. 13). Ten days later a conclave held at Naples, under the 
influence of King Charles II., elected Gaetani, who took the title 
of Boniface VIII. (1294-1303). 

This last of the great Popes who trod in the steps of Hildebrand 
and the Innocents was a native of Anagni, the birthplace of 
Innocent III., Gregory IX., and Alexander IV., and he was grand- 
nephew of the last-named pontiff. He had discharged important 
missions and offices under successive Popes, and was eminently 
learned in Scripture and ecclesiastical law. But the consciousness of 
his abilities made him arrogant and scornful, and he is charged with 
" making no conscience of gain." At the age of seventy-seven he 
preserved full mental vigour, which he applied to the work of restor- 
ing the Papacy to its highest supremacy. " But in thinking to renew 
the triumphs of Gregory VII. and Innocent III., he overlooked the 
adverse circumstances which had arisen since their time — the 
increase of the royal power in France ; the English impatience 
of Roman rule and aspirations after civil and spiritual liberty ; 
the growth of independent thought in the Universities; above all, 
the great influence of the civil lawyers who had been trained in the 
principles of the old imperial jurisprudence of Rome, and opposed to 
the pretensions of the hierarchy a rival system, supported by a rival 
learning, and grounded on a rival authority." 1 Not the least cause, 
however, of his final failure, was the passionate, imperious, and 
reckless violence, that now overmastered the prudence for which he 
had been famous. 

§ 11. Abandoning the Ghibelline politics of his family, Boniface 
became at once a bitter enemy of that party. At Rome he had a 
personal quarrel with the great Ghibelline family of Colonna, who 
protested against the abdication of Celestine V. He deposed and ex- 
communicated the two Cardinals Colonna, launched violent bulls 
against the whole family, confiscated their property, destroyed their 
palaces in Rome, and sent his army to reduce their fortresses, till the 
last of them, Palestrina, was gained by treacherous offers, the Pope 
acting without scruple on the advice to " promise much, but perform 
little." The spoils of the exiled family enabled the Pope to establish 
his nephews as princes. 

With equal violence he mingled in the feuds of the Italian cities ; 
but of this great crisis in their history we must be content to 
mention the part taken by Boniface in calling in Charles of Anjou 
as the pacificator of Tuscany (1301), which at Florence caused the 
exile <>f Dante, with the Guelphic party, and earned for Boniface 
1 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 505. Comp. below, Book V. 


himself a prospective place in the poet's Hell. 1 In Germany he 
attempted to assert his authority by denying the right of the princes 
to depose Adolf of Nassau, who had been elected in opposition to 
Albert, the son of Rudolf (1292) ; and though Adolf was killed in 
battle just after the election of Albert in his place (1298), the Pope 
continued to denounce Albert as a usurper till, at a later period, the 
need of his help led to a reconciliation. 2 

§ 12. But by far the most important exhibitions of this Pope's 
spirit and policy are his conflicts with the two great kings who now 
filled the thrones of England and France, Edward I. (1272-1307), 
and Philip IV., surnamed the Fair (1285-1314). It was more 
especially the great struggle in which Boniface engaged with the 
kingdom of France, which had now become more powerful than 
ever, that finally broke the power of the Papacy, and prepared its 
way into the " Babylonian Exile." The details of both contests 
form such essential parts of English and French history, that a 
broad outline will suffice here. 

In both countries the sovereigns insisted, with the strong will 
which was a quality common to Edward and Philip, that the clergy 
should contribute to the expenses of the state ; and the demand 
was sternly urged by both, owing to the necessities of the wars 
between France and England. Philip had also offended the Pope 
by scornfully refusing his mediation; and he had excluded the 
clergy from all share in the administration of the laws, substituting 
for their judicial authority the strict principles of the civil law. 

On the 24th of February, 1296, Boniface VIII. issued the famous 
Bull, Clericis Laicos* which excommunicated all clergymen who had 
paid or promised to pay any part of their revenues to laymen, and 
all sovereigns who had imposed or received such payments. The 
two kings, who were plainly indicated, though not named, defied the 
sentence by insisting on their demands; while Philip stopped all 
the supplies which the Pope and the Italian churchmen derived from 
various sources of revenue in France, by ferbidding the exportation 
of the precious metals and jewels, as well as of horses and munitions 
of war. A controversy ensued, which Boniface did not yet feel 

1 Dante represents Nicolas III. as expecting Boniface in Hell (Inferno, 
canto xix. 53). Dante lived from 1265 to 1321. 

2 Albert's marriage with Elizabeth, a descendant ot the Hohenstaufen 
through her mother made him especially obnoxious to Boniface, who 
declared that he should not be king "while that Jezebel lived." 

3 The student is reminded that Papal Bulls are generally identified by 
their initial words, which are of course unmeaning till read with their 
context. Thus the Bull now mentioned begins with the proposition, 
"Clericis laicos infestos oppido tradit antiquitas:" — a strange result of 
thirteen centuries of teaching and pastoral care! 


strong enough to carry to extremities. He conciliated Philip by 
canonizing Louis IX.; and his mediation was accepted by both 
kings, not however as Pope, but as a private person, " Master 
Benedict Gaetani" (1298). But both the substance of the award, 
and its form as a Bull, gave vehement offence to Philip and his 

§ 13. To satisfy a prevalent expectation that the close of another 
century ought to be marked by some extraordinary spiritual privi- 
leges, and especially to gratify the craving for indulgences which 
had been excited by the Crusades, Boniface published a Bull, pro- 
mising very full indulgences to all who should visit the tombs of 
St. Peter and St. Paul with penitence and devotion for a specified 
number of days during the current year ; and directing that, in 
future, the Jubilee should be celebrated in the last year of every 
century (Feb. 1300). 1 But the Pope's idea of a Jubilee was not to 
" loose every yoke :" he excluded from its benefits the enemies of 
the Church — Frederick of Sicily and the Colonnas by name, and 
Philip of France by implication, as among their protectors. Nor 
did Boniface miss the opportunity of solemnly asserting for himself 
the power of " the two swords." " The Pope was now at the height 
of his greatness. Although some of his pretensions had not passed 
without question, he had never yet been foiled in any considerable 
matter ; and, while the enthusiasm of the Jubilee filled his treasury, 
the veneration of the congregated multitudes waited on him as 
uniting the highest spiritual and temporal dominion." 2 

§ 14. We leave to British history the details of Boniface's attempt 
to act as sovereign arbiter between England and the Scots, by 
reviving an old legend — already made use of by former Popes, and 
especially by Alexander III. — that Scotland, as an ancient Catholic 
country, was subject directly to the Holy See. When Edward 
claimed the homage of the Scots, after the overthrow of Wallace at 
Falkirk (1298), the regency appealed to the Pope as their suzerain ; 
and Boniface addressed a Bull to the King of England, asserting 
the above claim, denying that the English sovereign had any feudal 
rights over Scotland, and requiring him to set free all Scottish eccle- 

1 The desire for the indulgences and other benefits of the Jubilee led to 
the shortening of the interval to every 50th year by Clement VI. (1343), 
to every 33rd year by Urban VI. (1389), and to every 25th year by 
Paul II. (1470) ; and this interval has been ever since observed. 

2 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 524. The two greatest names in the dawn of 
modern poetry and art are connected with this Jubilee. The multitudes 
passing to and from St. Peter's over the bridge of S. Angelo supplied 
Dante with a simile ; and the painting of Boniface VIII. proclaiming the 
Jubilee from the balcony of S. John Lateran is the sole remnant of the 
frescoes with which Giotto adorned the walls of that Basilica. 


siastics whom he held as prisoners, but permitting him to submit 
his claim to the judgment of the Pope (1299). The result was the 
solemn declaration of a Parliament assembled at Lincoln (Jan. 1301), 
which was sent to the Pope, subscribed by above a hundred English 
barons, to the following effect : — " It is our common and unanimous 
resolution (and by the grace of God it shall continue so) that our 
Lord the King shall not plead before you, nor submit in any manner 
to your judgment with respect to his rights as to his kingdom of 
Scotland, or as to any other his temporal rights : nor shall he suffer 
his said rights to be treated as questionable by any discussion as to 
the same. To do so would be to betray the rights of the crown of 
England, the constitution of the State, and the liberties, laws, and 
customs, which we have inherited from our fathers. These are rights 
which we have sworn to maintain, and, by God's help, we are pre- 
pared to defend them with all our might. We do not permit, we 
ought not to permit, our Lord the King to do the things demanded 
of him, and even if he were minded to do so, we would not allow him 
to do them or to make the attempt" We call special attention to 
the last sentence, as once for all asserting the independence of the 
English crown of all Papal claims, on the broad basis of the rights 
of the English people, even against the accidental disturbance of the 
constitution by a king's will. In accordance with this principle, 
Edward had refused to pay the tribute which John had promised to 
the Pope, and the vassalage confessed by that wretched tyrant, after 
being stedfastly ignored by successive kings and parliaments, was 
finally abolished by an Act of Parliament in 1367. 

§ 15. On the present occasion Boniface was fain to abandon the 
Scots, lest he should add the enmity of Edward to his growing 
difficulties with France. We cannot dwell on the details of the new 
quarrel, 1 which led to the Pope's issue of four Bulls against Philip 
on the same day (Dec 5, 1301). The first was a demand to release 
the Legate who, as a French bishop, had been tried and condemned 
for treason. The second summoned a Council of French ecclesiastics 
to meet at Rome, to consider the grievances of the Church of France. 
The third, known as Salvator Mundi, suspended all privileges which 
the Popes had granted to the French kings. The fourth, beginning 
Auscultafili (" Hearken, my son "), was a long letter in a tone scarcely 
consistent with the precept, " fathers, provoke not your children," 
mingling paternal solicitude with accusation, reproof, and admo- 
nition, and with the proudest assertion of the authority given to 
the Pope by God over kings and kingdoms, "to pluck down, 
destroy, scatter, rebuild, or plant." 2 It concludes with inviting 

1 For the affair of the Papal Legate, the Bishop of Pamiers, see Robert-^ 
son, vol. iii. pp. 527-9. 2 Jeremiah i. 10. 


the King to appear before a Council which the Pope was about to 
convene at Rome. 

§ 16. Philip accepted this Bull as a challenge to a mortal conflict. 
Having had it read before a full court of nobles and knights, the 
King declared that he would not acknowledge his own sons for 
heirs if they admitted the authority of any living person, save God 
alone, over the kingdom of France. Amidst a general outburst of 
indignation, 1 the Bull was burnt before the King a fortnight later. 
This defiance was followed by the most solemn appeal which a 
French king could make to the opinion of the people, the assembly 
of the Estates of the Pealm, 2 technically called the States- General ; 
and the meeting is the more remarkable as the first to which repre- 
sentatives of the Third Estate (tiers e'tat), answering to the English 
Commons, were summoned (April 10, 1302). 

In a speech reminding all three orders of the papal encroach- 
ments upon each, the Chancellor, Peter de la Flotte, proposed to 
them the question, whether the kingdom was to stand immediately 
under God, or to be subject to the Pope. The first impulse of 
the assembly was expressed by the Count of Artois, who declared 
— like the English barons — that, if the King were disposed to submit 
to the Pope, the nobles w r ould not ; and by a Norman law T yer, who 
preferred a written charge of heresy against the Pope, for his 
attempt to deprive the King of the rights he held from God. The 
more deliberate acts of the three orders were expressed with equal 
firmness in their several letters, addressed by the Clergy to the Pope 
(of course in Latin), and by the two lay orders to the Cardinals, in 
French; but the letter of the Third Estate is unfortunately lost. 

The Cardinals replied in a moderate tone, denying that the Pope 
had ever claimed temporal subjection from the King ; but Boniface 
himself answered the clergy in the spirit denoted by his opening 
words, Verba delirantis, the " madman " being the French Chancellor. 
The Pope and cardinals used similar language in a consistory held 
at Rome — where Boniface threatened to depose Philip " like a 

§ 17. The bold tone of the Pope Avas partly due to the troubles 

1 Respecting the means taken to excite the people against the Pope, by 
circulating the so-called " Lesser Bull " (a still more violent epitome of 
Auscult i fili), with an equally violent reply in the King's name, see 
Robertson, vol. iii. p. 530. 

2 In French history the Three Est <t<>s, of Clergy, Nohles, and Commons 
(or Third Estate, tiers (bit) are so clearly defined, that it may be needless 
to warn the student against the blunder so often made in England, that 
the King, Lords and Commons are the Three Estates. The cause of the 
error is the long union of the first two estates in the House of Peers, but 
-the old distinction is still preserved in the title, Lords Spiritual and 


A.D. 1302. THE BULL " UNAM SANCTAM." 99 

of Philip with the insurgent Flemings, who had defeated his army 
in the battle of Courtray (July 11, 1302). These reverses emboldened 
a considerable number of the French clergy, headed by the Arch- 
bishop of Tours, to attend — in defiance of Philip's prohibition — the 
Council which met at Rome in the ensuing November. It was then 
that Boniface put the climax to all the claims of the Papacy — and 
indeed of the whole priestly order (sacerdotis) ! — to temporal supre- 
macy by the famous Bull Unam sanctam, 2 which defines the consti- 
tution of the Church and State. The Church is one body and has one 
head, not two (like a monster), Christ and his Vicar, Peter and his 
successor. 3 The power of that one head is set forth by the favourite 
figure of the two swords, which the Lord declared to be " enough," 
not " too much." Hence, to use the very words of the Bull, " Each 
of the two is in the power of the Church, namely, the spiritual 
sword and the material. But the latter is to be used (exercendus) 
for the Church, the former by (he Church: the one by the hand of 
the priest, the other by that of kings and soldiers, but at the bidding 
and sufferance of the priest. 4 Sword must be subject to sword, the 
temporal authority to the spiritual :" — a thesis sustained by curious 
arguments and texts of Scripture. Whoever resists this one power 
resists the ordinance of God ; for he cannot suppose there are two 
powers, without falling into the Manichean heresy of two principles. 5 
The Bull ends with this most comprehensive and emphatic asser- 
tion of the Pope's universal supremacy : — "Moreover we declare, we 
say, we define, and we pronounce, that it is absolutely necessary to 
salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Boman 
Pontiff"* Such was the climax of Papal pretensions ! 

§ 18. Another Bull promulgated at this Council obliges all 
persons, of whatever rank, to appear when personally cited before 

1 This deserves special notice with regard to high views of the authority 
of the priest, however independent of, or even opposed to, the supreme 
authority of Rome. 

2 The full opening sentence is — " Unam sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam 
et ipsam apostolicam urgente fide credere cogimur et tenere." 

3 To understand this plain assertion, it should be remembered that the 
Church of Rome distinctly denies the doctrine of an invisible Church, and 
hence leaves no place for Christ's headship of His Church. The only Church 
is that visible society on earth, of which Christ's Vicar is the only head. 

4 " Sed ad nutum et patientiam sacerdotis." 

5 " Quicunque igitur huic potestati a Deo sic ordinate resistit, Dei 
ordinationi resistit : nisi duo, ut Manichseus, fnyat esse princ'pia." 

6 " Porro subesse Romano Pontifici omni humana? creature declaramus, 
dicimus, definimus, et pronunciamus, omnino esse de necessite salutis." 
The omni humanse creUurx may be compared with the irciaa t\ kt'ktis of 
Romans viii. 19-23; a text which seems to cast a prospective irony over 
the sentence of the Bull — a sort of contrast which must often strike the 
reader of Scripture and of Ecclesiastical History. 


the apostolical tribunal at Rome ; and Philip was thus summoned 
to answer for having burnt the Bull Ausculta fili. Negotiations 
proved fruitless ; and both parties prepared for a decisive conflict : 
Philip by making peace with Edward and abandoning the Scots; 
Boniface by acknowledging Frederick of Arragon as King of Sicily, 
and above all by flattering Albert and exalting the imperial dignity — 
which he compared to a secular papacy — as the power in which he 
trusted to overthrow France. Almost at the same time the Pope 
excommunicated Philip (April 13, 1303), and the King in a great 
assembly declared " Benedict Gaetani " an usurper of the Papal See, 
as a heretic and simoniac " such as none ever was from the begin- 
ning of the world," and demanded his suspension and trial before a 
Council," which Philip claimed the power to summon (March 12). 
Meanwhile he convened a second meeting of the States-General to 
consider the Pope's offences ; and this Assembly resolved to make an 
appeal to a General Council (June). 

§ 19. Boniface, who had retired for the summer to Anagni, held 
a consistory, in which he purged himself by oath from the charge of 
heresy, and declaring his intention of issuing a Bull deposing 
Philip and absolving his subjects from their allegiance. Its solemn 
promulgation had been announced for the Nativity of the Blessed 
Virgin (Sunday, September 8) ; but, on the day before, a body of 
armed men, raised by the French Chancellor 1 and one of the 
Colonnas, marched into Anagni under the French flag, with cries of 
"Death to Boniface! Long live the King of France!" They 
demanded the Pope's resignation ; and, after a parley, in which 
Boniface bore himself with calm dignity, he was dragged from his 
throne, and carried to prison with insults and contumely. But he 
was so carelessly guarded, that he was delivered by the people of 
Anagni, and was escorted by his friends to Pome. But the old 
man's sufferings and agitation had affected his mind as well as 
body, and he died on the 11th of October, 1303, at the age of 86. 2 
His career as Pope was summed up in the epigram : — " He got in 
like a fox, played the Pontiff like a lion, departed like a dog ;" — 

" Vulpes intravit, tanquam leo pontifioavit, 
Exiit ut canis, de divite factus inanis." 

" Such was the description of Boniface's career, uttered no doubt 
after the event, but soon popularly changed into the form of a pro- 
phecy, which Celestine was supposed to have spoken when visited 
in his confinement at Fumone by his supplanter and persecutor. 

1 William of Nogaret, who was on a mission to Italy, and was the 
bearer of the documents drawn up by the States-General. 

2 For the various statements and conjectures concerning the manner of 
his death, see Robertson, vol. iii. p. 542. 


The circumstances of his death produced a general horror, which was 
felt even by those who abhorred the man, while they revered the 
office which had been so atrociously outraged in him ; x and tales of 
judgments denounced by him on his enemies, and of terrible fulfil- 
ments of his curses, were eagerly circulated and believed. But the 
end of Boniface involved far more than his own ruin. He had 
attempted to strain the Papal power too far, and after his failure it 
never recovered the ascendancy which he had rashly hazarded in 
the endeavour to gain a yet more absolute dominion." 2 

§ 20. The brief pontificate of his successor marks the mere sequel 
and end of the conflict in which Boniface succumbed. Eleven days 
after his death (Nov. 23), the conclave at Perugia, in which the 
Orsini party had full power, elected Nicolas Boccassini, bishop of 
Ostia, a native of Trevisa, of humble origin, who had been general 
of the Dominican order, and a firm adherent of Boniface down to 
the fatal scenes at Anagni. 

Benedict XI. 3 (1303-4) proved his will to maintain the preten- 
sions of the Papacy by a Bull rebuking Frederick of Arragon for 
dating his regnal years from his assumption of the crown of Tri- 
nacria, instead of from the confirmation of his title by the Pope. 
Something of the same spirit was shown by the manner in which 
he made the concessions, which were dictated by prudence, to the 
King of France. As if to assert perfect free will in the matter, 4 
and to place Philip in a position to hold intercourse with the Holy 
See, the Pope anticipated the King's embassy of congratulation by 
an act of absolution, published at Paris, which revoked or suspended 
all the measures of his predecessor against France. The ambas- 
sadors who brought the King's flattering congratulations to the 
Pope on his elevation were cordially received, and all the privileges 
claimed by the Gallican church were restored. 

But all this policy of concession barely covered the longing for 
revenge on both sides. Benedict refused to include William of 
Nogaret in the amnesty for the outrage at Anagni, and Philip 
demanded a formal condemnation of the late Pope by a General 
Council. To avoid (as he said) the summer heats of Eome, but 
doubtless also for greater security from the power of the Colonnas, 

1 See, for example, Dante, Furgat. xx. 86-91. 

2 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 542. 

3 He was at first styled the Xth of the name, as Benedict X. (1058-9) 
was regarded as an Antipope (see Chap. II. § 1, p. 11). 

4 The Pope stated in a letter that the King was absolved ahsente et non 
petente. No embassy could be received by the Holy See from a prince 
under sentence of excommunication. The tone taken by Benedict towards 
Philip was that of a shepherd compelling the noblest sheep of his flock to 
return to the fold even against his will (Epist. ap. Dupuy, III. p. 207). 

II— G 



Chap. VI. 

Benedict retired to Perugia, whence he fulminated a Bull of excom- 
munication against the sacrilegious perpretrators of the outrage 
upon Boniface, citing William of Nogaret and fourteen others to 
appear at the approaching feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. This 
Bull was issued on the 9th of June; the citation was for the 
29th ; but on the 27th Benedict died after a few days' illness, 
brought on by eating freely of figs sent to him as a present from 
the abbess of St. Petronilla at Perugia. The passion of the age, 
which best knew its own propensities in the mode of disposing of 
an enemy, ascribed his death to poison; 1 but there is no clear 
evidence of the fact. Benedict's death ended the resistance to 
France ; and he was the last Pope seen at Borne, or even in Italy, 
for that period of more than seventy years (1304-1378) which is 
called the Babylonian Captivity. 

1 As to the different forms of the accusation, and the persons charged 
with the crime, see Robertson, vol. iv. p. 5. 

The Lord with SS. Peter and Paul. 

An ancient Glass Medallion, found in the Catacombs, and preserved iu the Vatican. 

(From Roma Sotteranea.) 

Avignon ; with the Broken Bridge over the Rhone. 



Centuries XIV.-XVL 




A.D. 1305—1334. 

1. Dante on the overbuilt edifice of Rome— New Influences against the 
Papacy. § 2. Election of Clement V. — The Papal Court at Avignon — 
Results of the Removal. § 3. Relations of Clement to Philip IV. of 
France — The Emperor Henry VII. § 4. The Cou-icil of Vienne — Con- 
demnation of the Templars — Memory of Boniface VIII. — Proposed 
Crusade frustrated by the Pope — Durantis of Mende on Reformation 
in " Head and Members." § 5. Death of Clement V. — Character of 
John XXII. — Persecution of Magicians, Lepers, and Jews— Crusade 
of the Pastoureaux. § 6. Death of Henry VII. — Double election of 
LOUIS IV. of Bavaria and Frederick of Austria — League of John XXII. 
with Robert of Naples — The Visconti of Milan. § 7. The Pope's claim to 
the vicariate of the Empire— Victory of Louis IV. at Miihldorf — His 
Contest with John on the Imperial Authority — Men of Learning on 


both sides — The Defensor Pads. § 8. Papal Interdict against Louis — 
Union of Germany. § 9. Anti-papal Assembly at Trent — Louis IV. in 
Italy. § 10. His Coronation at Rome — Sentence of deprivation against 
John — The Antipope Nicolas V. — Unpopularity and. departure of the 
Emperor and Antipope — The Assembly at Pisa — Nicolas submits to 
John. § 11. Philip VI. of Valois proposes a Crusade against Louis. 
§ 12. The Pope charged with heresy about the Beatific Vision — Decisiou 
of the Sorbonne — Death of John XXII. 

§ 1. The pontificate of Boniface Till, marks a decisive turning- 
point in the fortunes of the Papacy. As is the common law in 
human affairs, the crisis of humiliation, provoked by his extreme 
pretensions, had been prepared by the predecessors by whom 
those same pretensions had been most successfully asserted. The 
victory over the Empire was also the fatal triumph of the Pope's 
secular over his spiritual authority. The lofty fabric of the Papacy 
had overbuilt itself ; and its tottering state was clearly discerned 
by Dante : 1 

"To Rome, which taught the ancient world good deeds, 

Two suns were wont to point the twofold way, 
That of the world, and that to God which leads. 

The one hath quencht the other : with the crook 
The sword is joined ; and scarce it need be told 

How ill the twain such combination brook, 
Since one no longer doth the other curb. 

* * * * * 

Know then, Rome's Church, oppressed by too«much weight, 

Confounding the two governments, hath brought 
Herself into the mire, with all her freight." 

Such noble strains of vernacular literature were an organ of the 
free spirit that was rebelling against the claim to one supreme 
authority over temporal as well as spiritual affairs. That claim, 
with the exactions which it brought into constant and irritating 
exercise, was an especial means of advancing the growth of 
nationalities — a power fatal to papal supremacy, as was proved by 
the victory of Philip the Fair over Boniface, and afterwards by the 
legislation of Edward III. and his grandson against papal aggressions 
and exactions. 2 The claims and humiliation of Boniface are justly 
marked by Archbishop Trench 3 as a decisive epoch in the History of 
the Church, " having in view the manner in which all subsequent 

1 These lines of the Purgatorio (canto xvi. v. 97, Wright's translation) 
are part of a passage in which he contrasts the happy state of Northern 
Italy before the overthrow of Frederick II. with its later lawlessness. The 
date is 1300. 

2 See further on these points, Trench, Medieval Church History, 
Lect. xix. pp. 279, f. 3 Ibid. p. 286. 


humiliations of the Papacy are connected with this first humilia- 
tion, and links in the same chain. With it, as we shall presently 
see, is immediately connected the transfer of the seat of the Papacy 
to Avignon ; from this ill-omened transfer springs the Great Schism 
of the West ; from the Schism, and with a view to its healing, the 
Three Councils, also of the West ; while all these events effectually 
work together for. the hastening forward of the Reformation." 

§ 2. The brief episode of Benedict XL's pontificate was followed 
by a whole year's contest of intrigue between the Italian and 
French parties in the reduced conclave of nineteen members ; till 
the Dominican cardinal of Prato made the insidious proposal, that 
the Italians should name three Ultramontane candidates, from 
whom the French party should select the future Pope. The result 
was the choice of Bertrand d'Agoust or Du Got, 1 archbishop of Bor- 
deaux, by birth a noble Gascon, who, besides being a subject of the 
King of England, had made himself obnoxious to Philip the Fair 
and his brother Charles of Valois, and had been a partisan of 
Boniface. These presumptions against his siding with France 
seem to have been relied on by the Italians ; but they were out- 
weighed by his vanity and ambition, and his election was secured 
by a secret compact, which bound him to the interests of Philip. 2 
Elected on the 5th of June, 1305, the new Pope, who took the 
name of Clement V., replied to the request of the Italian cardinals 
that he should go to Piome, by summoning them to attend his 
coronation at Lyon. " Matthew Orsini, the senior of the college, 
is said to have told the Cardinal of Prato that, since he had 
succeeded in bringing the Papal Court beyond the mountains, it 
would be long before it would return ; for, he added, / know the 
character of the Gascons."" 3 

The Cardinal's foresight was justified by that long sojourn of the 

1 His surname was taken from Le Got, a village near Bordeaux. 
The chief contemporary authorities for this period are Ferreti Vicentini 
(ab. 1328), Hist. Suorum Temporum, in Muratori, ix. 1014; and Giovanni 
Villain (o'k 1348), Hist. Florent., in Muratori, .\iii. 415, f. 

2 Villain specifies five conditions, besides a sixth secret article, as agreed 
on at a personal interview between the Archbishop and the King in the 
forest of St. Jean d'Angely. It seems to be proved that no such meeting 
could have taken place ; but the fact of an agreement appears certain, 
and the details may have been inferred from the subsequent ((induct of the 
Pope. By the five alleged articles the Pope is said to have bound himself 
to the complete reconciliation of Philip and his agents with the Church, 
the condemnation of the memory of Boniface, the restoration of the 
Colonnas to the cardinalate and the promotion of certain friends of the 
King to that dignity, together with the substantia] gain of a tithe of the 
ecclesiastical revenues in France for five years towards the expenses of 
the Flemish war. 3 Villani, viii. 81 ; Piobertson, vol. iv. p. 7. 


Papal Court at Avignon, 1 to which the Italians gave the name of 
the Babylonian Captivity, not only from its seventy years' dura- 
tion 2 and the subjection of the Holy See to the policy of France, 
but with an evident allusion to the likeness of the apocalyptic 
Babylon in the greed, rapacity, and profligacy of the Popes and 
ecclesiastics during that period. 3 " It is not hard to perceive " — 
says Archbishop Trench 4 — " the manifold ways in which such 
a self-chosen estrangement from its Italian home must have wrought 
injuriously for the Papacy. It was no light matter for this to be 
thus torn away from those roots which during the course of ages it 
had stricken in the Italian soil, — dissociated from the reminiscences 
and traditions, patent still, of the imperial city. Then, too, the 
Popes could no longer make plausible claims to be regarded as inde- 
pendent umpires and arbiters in the affairs of Christendom ; for it 
was manifest that they had no choice but to set forward the interests 
and to fulfil the behests of the monarch who sheltered them ; and 
who, as no other, could work for them harm or good. At the same 
time, feeling comparatively safe in that ignoble shelter, they 
allowed themselves in insolences and aggressions on the rights of 
other princes of Christendom, upon which they would not otherwise 
have ventured; they advanced claims to an universal monarchy, 
which stood in ridiculous contrast with their own absolute de- 
pendence on the Court of France, a dependence so abject that there 
were times when a Pope did not venture to give away the smallest 
preferment without permission first obtained from the French king. 
... It was altogether an unlovely time, as unlovely morally as 
is materially that ugly fortress-prison, called a palace, which the 
Popes have left behind them on the banks of the Khone. The 
morals of the Court of Rome may not have always been very edify- 
ing ; but those of the Court of Avignon were immeasurably worse. 

1 After being compelled to retire from Lyon to Bordeaux through the 
exasperation of the citizens at the profligacy and exactions of his court, 
Clement moved from city to city in the south of France, till he fixed his 
residence at Avignon in Provence, on the left bank of the Rhone, which, 
with its territory (the small county of Venaissin), a part of the old 
Burgundian kingdom of Aries, belonged to Robert of Anjou, who was also 
the Pope's vassal for the kingdom of Naples. 

2 The exact period of foreign residence was 71i years from the election 
of Clement XV. to the return of Gregory XL in Jan. 1377. It is a further 
coincidence with apocalyptic numbers, that there were seven Popes in 
the seventy years. 

3 Thus Petrarch, in advocating the claims of Rome to have the Papacy 
restored to it, denounces the corruptions of the court at Avignon, which 
he calls the third Babylon and I'empia Ba'n/oiva. We shall see later how 
familiar that age had become with denunciations by sound Catholics of 
the Papacy as the mystic Babylon. 

4 Mediecal Church History, p. 287. 


Petrarch, who formed one of a deputation from the city of Rome 
beseeching Clement VI. to return (1342), . . . gives in his Letters 
a revolting picture of the place, and of the things which were 
perpetrated there." 

§ 3. The politics of Avignon are summed up by one writer in the 
words, " The whole court was governed by Gascons and French- 
men." 1 Whatever may be the truth as to the secret agreement 
with Philip, its alleged five articles exactly represent the conces- 
sions made by Clement soon after his accession. He even consented 
to absolve William of Nogaret for his share in the violence done to 
Boniface VIII. ; but Philip's urgency for the condemnation of the 
late Pope's memory was evaded by reserving the question for 
a general council. His subserviency to the King was crowned by 
the part he took in the condemnation of the Templars, after suffi- 
cient hesitation to betray his consciousness of its iniquity. 2 But 
in another matter of the greatest moment the cunning policy ot 
Clement contrived to disappoint the King of France. On the 
murder of the Emperor, Albert of Austria (May 1, 1308), Philip 
urged the Pope, who was then at Poitiers, to support the candi- 
dature of his brother, Charles of Valois. Clement could not but be 
alarmed at such an addition to the power of his royal patron, whose 
family already possessed, besides France and Navarre, the thrones 
of Naples and Hungary, and through agents at Florence and Rome 
had supreme influence in Central Italy ; while the establishment of 
a rival power in Germany and Northern Italy might secure another 
protector in future contingencies. So, while he gratified Philip by 
writing to the electors in favour of Charles, he took secret measures 
in favour of Henry of Luxemburg, who was elected as Henry VII. 
(Nov. 27th, 1308). " The Pope, in ratifying the election, exacted 
from Henry an engagement that he would confirm the grants of 
former emperors to the Church, that he would exterminate heresies 
and heretics, that he would never intermarry or ally himself with 
Saracens, heathens, or schismatics, and that he would secure to the 
Roman Church the lands which had been mentioned in former 
compacts." 3 

1 St. Antoninus of Florence, iii. 269 ; Robertson, vol. iv. p. 10. For the 
new forms of exaction devised to support the court at Avignon, see 
Chap. XVI. 

2 See below, Chap. XXI. 

3 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 42. Henry's march into Italy to claim the 
imperial crown — a duty which Dante had censured his predecessors, 
Rudolf and Albert, for neglecting ; his contest with the Guelph factions 
headed by Robert of Naples, for supremacy in the peninsula, and for the 
possession of Rome ; his coronation by three cardinals, as commissioner, 
for the Pope, at St. John Lateran (the Vatican quarter, and St. Peter's 
being in the hands of John and the Orsini); his quarrel with the Pope, 
who interfered on behalf of the French king's kinsman Robert ; <i»d 


§ 4. It may have been from a knowledge or suspicion df Clement's 
conduct in this affair, that Philip revived the question of the con- 
demnation of Pope Boniface; and, after long discussions and 
intrigues, a special Bull was issued (April 1311) annulling the 
acts of the late Pope against France, except the Bulls Unam 
Sanctam and Rem non novam, which were explained in a qualified 
and inoffensive sense. On the 16th of October, in the same year, 
the promised council (the Fifteenth (Ecumenical, in the Roman 
reckoning) was assembled at Vienne, a city not belonging to the 
King of France ; and the Pope opened it with the announcement of 
three subjects for consideration, the case of the Templars, a Crusade, 
and the reform of the Church. After long consideration of the 
evidence against the order, and the appearance of Philip in arms 
before Vienne, " to make the cause of Christ triumphant," a com- 
promise was found by the ingenuity of Durantis, bishop of Mende ; 
and, at the second general session of the council (April 3rd, 1312), 
the abolition of the order was decreed on the ground of expe- 
diency, " by the way of provision or apostolical ordination, not by 
way of definitive sentence" on the evidence in support of the 
process. " Thus the very instrument by which the abolition of 
the Order was determined left the question of its guilt or innocence 
open, and has left it to perplex later ages, without even such 
assistance towards the solution of it as might have been derived 
from a papal judgment." * At the same session the Council decided 
the long vexed question of the memory of Pope Boniface by de- 
claring that he had always been a Catholic, thus leaving Philip to 
be content with the practical concessions of the late Bull. The 
third session (May 3rd) granted a tenth for six years for a new 
Crusade ; the cross was taken by King Philip, his son Louis of 
Navarre, Edward II. of England, and other princes ; and thousands 
of Crusaders are said to have presented themselves at the gates of 
Avignon. But Clement absolved them from their vow and sent 
them back to their homes ; " and thus " (says a chronicler of the 

his sudden death, which was ascribed by the suspicions of that age to 
poison given in the Eucharistic cup by his Dominican confessor (Aug. 24. 
1313); — all this belongs rather to civil than ecclesiastical history. The 
interest of Henry's career is enhanced by Dante's assertion of imperial 
rights against the Papacy in his famous treatise " Of Monarchy." which 
Mr. Bryce justly calls the epitaph of the Empire in Italy, rather than a 
prophecy of its revival. 

1 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 49: — "A writer who lived near the time, and 
who professes to have special authority for his statement, reports Clement 
as having said that the Order could not be destroyed in the way of justice, 
but that it must be destroyed by the way of expediency, lest our dear son 
the King of France shou'd be offended. (Albert de Rosate, Dictionarium 
Juris, Venet. 1573, s. v. Templarii, quoted by Baluz, Vitae Pap. Aven., i. 
590)." See the account of the order, Chap. XXI. 


time) " their labours and very great expenses became like a mockery, 
and had no effect." ] 

Though for the proposed reformation of the Church nothing was 
effected beyond some constitutions for the regulation of the clergy 
and certain points of discipline, the Council marks a real epoch by 
the Pope's admission of the need for a reform, and still more by the 
bold and comprehensive scheme proposed by Durantis, bishop of 
Mende. 2 The tract is doubly interesting as a witness to existing 
corruptions, and an indication how far a most orthodox bishop and 
learned canonist was prepared to go in reversing the existing 
system. He urges a thorough reform of the Church, from the 
head downwards through all its members — a phrase which be- 
came the watchword of reform ; an exact definition of the Pope's 
primacy, who ought no longer to be styled universal bishop, in 
contradiction to the prohibition of Gregory the Great ; a limi- 
tation of the pretensions of the Roman see ; a remedy for the 
abuses of the conclave, especially in keeping the Papacy long 
vacant. On the great question between Pope and Councils, he 
declares for the legislative power of General Councils alone, and 
proposes their convocation every ten years. While urging the 
restoration of those episcopal rights, which had been invaded by 
the Roman Curia and by the privileges and exemptions granted to 
monks and friars, he insists on the need of a reform throughout all 
orders of the clergy ; especially denouncing simony, pluralities, the 
system of granting monastic and other benefices to cardinals in 
commendam, the employment of bishops and clergy in secular 
affairs, improper promotions, the pride, luxury, and ignorance of the 
clergy, the want of decent ornaments and vestures in churches, 
defects in the performance of the services, and the profanation of 
Sundays and holydays by giving them up to unseemly merriment. 
He proposed to deal with the gross scandals arising from clerical 
celibacy and concubinage, partly by special measures, and in 
general by conforming the Western discipline as to the marriage 
of the clergy to that of the Eastern Church. It will be seen that 
the scheme does not even touch the doctrines about which the later 
Reformation centred. 

1 Annal. Altah. A.n. 1311 ; Robertson, vol. iv. p. 48. 

2 See Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 46-7 : — " The tract, De Modo Genei-alis 
Conoilii ce ebrandi, which was one among various proposals written by 
bishops for consideration at the Council of Vienne, was published, with 
other pieces of a reforming tendency, at Paris, 1671, and has Deen since 
reprinted. The editor makes the mistake of ascribing it to the elder 
Durantis, the author of the Speculum Juris and of the Rationale Divinorwn 
Ojficio'-um, whereas it was really written by his nephew, who had suc- 
ceeded him in the see of Mende." 

II— G 2 


§ 5. The death of Clement V. (April 20, 1314) was followed by a 
long vacancy of the pontificate, during which two kings of France 
also died, Philip the Fair (Nov. 29th, 1314), and his son Louis X. 
(July 5th, 1316). 1 The struggle between the Italian and French 
parties, in which the Gascon populace interposed by force, was at 
length ended by the influence of Napoleon Orsini, who supposed 
he had found a Gascon friendly to the Italians in James d'Euse 
or Duese, a native of Cahors, cardinal of Porto, who was elected by 
the conclave at Lyon (Aug. 7th, 1316), and took the name of 
John XXII. (1316-1334) ; by some called John XXI. (see p. 92). 

The new Pope had been a firm adherent of his predecessor, from 
whom he was honourably distinguished by his simple personal 
habits, but he was of a vehement and bitter temper. He was distin- 
guished for his-acuteness, his eloquence, and learning ; and his pride 
in these qualities formed a mixture of strength and rashness. 2 
Towards his virtual sovereigns, the kings of France, who were men 
of far less vigour than Philip the Fair, he assumed the air of a 
superior, and invaded their privileges in ecclesiastical affairs. 3 

The bigotry, which was a strong element in John's pride of 
religious learning, must share with popular prejudice and the cruel 
zeal of the French king the blame of the persecution of three classes 
so different as persons accused of magic, lepers, and Jews. The 
Inquisition was active in searching out the magical practices which 
were commonly charged against the Albigenses. There may have 
been an element of personal vengeance in the fate of Hugh Geraldi, 
the bishop of John's native city, who, convicted of compassing the 
Pope's death by magical arts, was flayed alive, torn asunder by 
horses, and his remains burnt at the place of execution (1317). The 
lepers, who had formerly been objects of compassion and the special 

1 The French throne remained vacant for six months, as Louis X. had 
left his wife with child; but the son born on Nov. 15th lived only six 
davs, and on June 9th, 1317, the regent Philip, brother of Philip the 
Fair and Louis X., caused himself to be crowned at Rheims as Philip V. 
(surnamed the Tall, le Long). The claim of Jeanne, the daughter of 
Louis X. by his first marriage, preferred by her uncle, the Duke of Bur- 
gundy, was set aside by the States-General on a pretext derived from the 
old laws of the Salian Franks (the " Salic Law "j, and this unjust decision 
thenceforth established the rule by which females were excluded from the 
succession to the crown. (Com p. the Stud nt's History of France, chap. 
ix. § 22.) Philip, who had been deputed by his brother Louis to manage 
the papal election, shut up the conclave at Lyon, and left them there when 
the death of Louis called him to Paris. 

2 Archbishop Trench characterizes him as "John XXII. , that ' man of 
blood,' as some named him, than whom there may have been worse and 
wickeder men in the Papal Chair, but scarcely one who more repels every 
sympathy.'' — Medieval < hurch History, p. 290. 

3 For the details see Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 65-6. 


oare of the Franciscans, fell under the popular suspicion of a plot, 
instigated by Jews and Mohammedans, to poison the wells and 
infect all Christians with their own loathsome disease. Many of 
them were shut up and burnt in their houses by excited mobs ; and 
many more were sentenced indiscriminately by the judges, at the 
King's express order, to a more formal death by fire. The like fate 
was now inflicted on many of the Jews, whom St. Louis had allowed 
to return to France ; and, while the King obtained their confiscated 
property, the Pope ordered the bishops to destroy all copies of the 
Talmud, as being the chief support of their perversity. 1 

The popular hatred of the Jews showed itself, in combination 
with a wild remnant of the old crusading zeal, in a fanatical 
movement, which was provoked by the exactions made under the 
pretence of a crusade. In 1320, there appeared in the north of 
France a body of peasants, chiefly boys, who took the name of 
the Pastoureaux, which had before denoted a similar movement 
in the reign of St. Louis. 2 Their leaders were a priest, who had 
been deprived of his parish for misconduct, and an apostate Bene- 
dictine monk. They professed to set out on pilgrimage for the 
Holy Land, marching in silence with a cross borne before them, 
and seeking support in alms. But the band was soon swollen 
by lawless ruffians, and their begging became .plunder. Their 
zeal w r as chiefly displayed in massacring and pillaging the Jews ; 
but they spread a general terror as they advanced southwards, 
and at Avignon they were anathematized by the Pope. Their 
numbers had swollen to 40,000 when they reached Languedoc, 
where they proposed to embark at Aigues Mortes ; but, shut out 
from that town by the governor, and hemmed in by a cordon of 
troops, most of them perished from famine, exposure, and fever; 
and of the remnant thus weakened, numbers were hanged on trees 
and gibbets. 

§ 6. The contest for the imperial crown, which ensued on the 

1 " Bernard Guidonis, as inquisitor of Toulouse, threw two cartloads of 
Talmuds into the fire on the 29th Dec, 1319 (Hist. Lang. iv. 181). Many 
Tews threw their children into the fire in order to rescue them from being 
iorcibly baptized." Robertson, vol. iv. p. 67. 

2 These earlier Pastoureaux were a body of shepherds and other peasants, 
who banded themselves together in 1251, with the professed object of 
obtaining the release of Louis IX., who had been taken prisoner at 
Damietta. Their leader was a mysterious personage, called the Master 
of Hungary — a title which suggests a connection with the Manicheans 
about the Danube — of whom the most marvellous and inconsistent stories 
were told. They were at first encouraged by the queen-mother ; but, as 
they advanced from Paris to the south, they committed excesses both 
against the clergy and the Jews, and at last their leader and many of his 
followers were hanged, and the rest dispersed. 


death of Henry VII., gave John XXII. an opportunity of renewing 
the pretensions which his predecessors had asserted against the 
Hohenstaufen. While the Papacy was still vacant after the death 
of Clement V., two parties among the electors had made a douhle 
election at Frankfort to the dignity of King of the Komans ; one 
party choosing Frederick of Austria, a son of Henry's predecessor, 
Albert ; while the partisans of the late Emperor, headed by Peter 
Aichspalter, archbishop of Mainz, chose Louis of Bavaria, a grand- 
son of Rudolf of Hapsburg through female descent (Oct. 19 and 20, 
1314). The latter prince, besides the majority of three unquestion- 
able votes over the two given for Frederick, had possession of the 
city of Frankfort, where he was solemnly inaugurated, and he was 
crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle as Louis IV. by the Archbishop of 
Mainz (Nov. 26); the Archbishop of Cologne having crowned 
Frederick at Bonn on the preceding day. 

The contest between the rivals had lasted nearly two years, when 
John was elected to the Papacy ; and he assumed the appearance of 
neutrality in order to establish his own right to dispose of the 
imperial crown ; avowing, as we are told, the principle that " when 
kings and princes quarrel, then the Pope is truly Pope." His 
predecessor Clement had, immediately on the death of Henry V1L, 
claimed the administration of the empire in Italy as an ancient 
right of the Papacy, and had appointed the Angevine prince, Eobert 
of Naples, as imperial vicar in that country. John went further 
still ; declariDg by a Bull that all the authority held in Italy under 
grants of the late Emperor was at an end, and forbidding all officials 
to exercise such authority without fresh commissions from himself. 
These assumptions, and the well-founded apprehension of a scheme 
for subjecting all Italy to Robert of Anjou, as the ally and agent of 
the Pope, provoked a spirit which strengthened the anti-papal 
party, especially among the tyrants who had now usurped the rule 
of most of the 1 talian republics. Among these, the most conspicuous 
chief of the Ghibelline party was Matthew Visconti, of Milan, who, 
though he laid down the title of Imperial Yicar, procured his election 
as captain-general of the republic (1313), and founded, in spite of all 
the interdicts and even the proclamation of a Crusade against him 
by John, the hereditary power which was afterwards (1395) con- 
verted by the Emperor Wenceslaus into the duchy of Milan. 1 

Hallam (Mid. Ages, vol. i. p. 411) says of the Visconti: "That 
family, the object of every league formed in Italy for more than fifty 
years* in constant hostility to the Church, and well inured to interdicts 
and excommunications, producing no one man of military talents, but 
fertile of tyrants detested for their perfidiousness and cruelty, was never- 
theless enabled, with almost uninterrupted success, to add city after city 


§ 7. Even in Germany, John set up the pretension to a vicariate 
during the v.icancy of the imperial throne, 1 — a vacancy which he 
held to exist till he himself should decide between the rival emperors- 
elect; nor did he show any disposition to end the strife which was 
exhausting both parties to his ultimate profit. He addressed both 
rivals as King of the Romans, and desired them to settle their 
quarrel and report the result to him. This policy was brought to 
an end by the decisive victory which Louis the Bavarian won at 
Muhldorf, taking Frederick and his brother Henry prisoners (Sept. 
28, 1322). The victorious prince was soon required to submit his 
title to the Pope's decision ; and a long interchange of manifestoes 
and arguments ended in his excommunication by John, from which 
sentence he appealed to a general council, and to a true and lawful 
future pope (1324). The controversy is especially memorable for 
the bold principles of imperial authority in the civil relations of the 
Church, and condemnation of papal usurpations, which were set 
forth in elaborate arguments by the literary champions of Louis, the 
English Franciscan, William of Ockham, and the two great lights of 
the University of Paris, John of Jandun, and Marsilius Kaimondini 
of Padua, a physician, who had also studied law at Orleans. 2 To 
the two latter is ascribed the joint authorship of the famous tract 
against the Pope, under the ironical title of Defensor Pads 3 — as he 
ought to have been, instead of the fomenter of war. Starting from 
the principles of civil government laid down in Aristotle's Politics, 

to the dominion of Milan, till it absorbed .all the north of Italy " — 
meaning Lombardy, but not Piedmont or the territory of Venice. 

1 By the Bull Si fratrum of 1316, John distinctly asserted the vicariate 
of the Pope during a vacancy of the Empire; and the same claim had 
already been made by Boniface VIII., when he refused to recognize 
Albert I. But this pretension of the Popes was never admitted by the 
Germans. " Still their place was now generally felt to be higher than 
that of the monarch, and their control over the three spiritual electors 
and the whole body of the clergy was far more effective than his. A 
spark of national feeling was at length kindled by the exactions and 
shameless subservience to France of the Court of Avignon ; and the infant 
democracy of industry and intelligence, represented by the cities and by 
the English Franciscan Occam, supported Louis IV. in his conflict with 
John XXII., till even the princes who had risen by the help of the Pope 
were obliged to oppose him." (Bryce. p. 219, 220.) 

2 We have to speak fully of Ockham, and his famous contributions to 
the controversy, among the Schoolmen (Chap. XXXII.). John of Jandun 
(whose surname, de Jandano, from his birthplace in Champagne, is some- 
times corrupted into de Gandavo, of Ghent) wrote a tract, De Kullitate 
Processuum Papse, Johnrmis contra Ludwicum Imperatorem, printed in 
Goldast, i. 18-21. 

3 In Goldast, ii. 154—312; for a fuller account of its contents, see 
Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 79, 80. 


and regarding them as best fulfilled in the elective Empire, the 
work assails the whole theory, not only of the temporal sovereignty, 
but of the spiritual supremacy, of the Roman See. In civil power, 
the Pope ought to be subject to the Emperor, and to be elected 
and, on sufficient cause, deposed, by him and the people : in Church 
government and doctrine, the ultimate authority belongs to a 
General Council : the precedence of one Apostle and church over the 
rest, and the need of an earthly head of the Church, are plainly 
denied. But perhaps even these bold assaults on the very foundations 
upon which the Papal power had grown up, had less effect on the 
people than the extravagance with which John's champions x revived 
all the most extreme claims, supported by all the falsifications of 
history, from the donation of Constantine to the pretensions of 
Hildebrand, Innocent, and Boniface. 

§ 8. The loyalty of the German people to Louis was confirmed by 
the intrigues of the Pope, in interviews at Avignon, with Charles IV. 
of France, Robert of Naples, and King John of Bohemia, to hand over 
the imperial crown to the King of France ; in pursuance of which 
scheme John pronounced a ban against Louis (March 31, 1324), and 
laid Germany under an interdict (July ll). 2 The Austrian party, 
however, not only refused to concur in this scheme, but Leopold 
formally sent the imperial insignia to.Louis, who released Frederick 
from captivity on his renouncing his claim to the Empire and 
making an alliance with him against all enemies, especially " against 
him who styles himself Pope " (March 1325). Frederick not only 
kept his word, in spite of the Pope's dispensation and injunctions to 
the contrary, but placed himself entirely in the hands of Louis, 
and lived with him like a brother ; and his own brother, Leopold, 
the real leader of the Austrian party, died suddenly about a year 
later (Feb. 1326). 

§ 9. Louis now deemed himself strong enough to maintain his 
cause in Italy in person, whither he was invited by his Ghibelline 
partisans, aud to receive the imperial crown at Rome. But in a diet 

1 The chief papal advocates were Augustinus Triumphus (Triomfi), an 
Augustinian friar of Ancona (06. 1328), who wrote a Summa de Potestate 
Eccle$iast : ca ad J oh. XXII. I. (first printed at Augsburg, 1473; Romoe, 
1582); and the Spanish Franciscan, Alvarus Pelagius (Alvar Pelajo), 
whose De Planctu Ecclesise Libri II. was written at Avignon in 1330, and 
revised ten years later by the author, then bishop of Silves in Portugal 
(printed at Ulm, 1474; Venet. 1560). For a summary of the contents of 
both works, see Gieseler, vol. iv. pp. 31-34. As to the latter, " it is 
remarkable how the writer combines with his extravagant papal ism an 
unsparing exposure of the corruptions which existed in the Church, and 
had their real source in the system of the Pope and his court (see 
Janus, 247-8)." Robertson, vol. iv. p. 80. 

2 For the sufferings caused by this "Long Interdict," see Chap. XXXIII. § 6. 

A.D. 1327. LOUIS IV. IN ITALY 1 . 125 

at Spires the expedition was strongly opposed, especially by the 
ecclesiastical princes ;, and most of the great feudatories refused their 
bounden service to a sovereign who was excommunicated. In 
February, 1327, Louis crossed the Alps with a train which a 
chronicler likens to a mere hunting party ; but his adherents 
gathered round him at Trent, not only from the Ghibelline party 
of Italy, but many bishops, the grand master of the Teutonic order, 
and a multitude of Franciscans, Dominicans, and others, whom 
John had alienated from their natural loyalty to the Papacy. Mar- 
silius and John of Jandun enlarged on the misdeeds of " Priest 
John," which were set forth in 18 articles, as the grounds on which 
the assembly declared him a heretic and unworthy of the Papacy. 
The charge of heresy had been brought against the Pope by the 
"spiritual" Franciscans, whom his enmity was now driving more 
and more decidedly into the Ghibelline ranks. 1 On receiving the 
report of this meeting, John issued his " fifth process," pronouncing 
Louis deprived of all the fiefs held by him both from the Church 
and the Empire, and specially the duchy of Pavaria ; absolving all 
his subjects from their allegiance, and declaring that he had 
incurred the penalties of heresy by his persistent favouring of 
heretics since his excommunication (April 3, 13 l .:7). 2 At Milan, 
whence the archbishop had fled, Louis received the iron crown from 
three bishops who had been deprived of their sees by the Guelphic 
party ; but here too he began to learn how Italy had finally escaped 
from any real exercise of the imperial authority. By deposing and 
imprisoning Galeazzo Visconti, as an act of justice, he alarmed the 
Ghibelline tyrants of the Lombard and Tuscan cities ; but yet he 
was received by all Northern Italy from hatred of the Pope. 

§ 10. Louis marched on to Rome. The city was in that social 
and political disorder, which was its normal state during the Middle 
Ages, and now aggravated by the absence of the Pope. 3 A republic 
in form, without an element of popular government ; with an idle 
and turbulent populace, destitute of manufacturing and commercial 
industry; and without the prosperous and powerful middle-class 
which had risen up in the other cities of Northern Italy; it was 
kept in commotion by the feuds of the powerful families — the 

1 Respecting the quarrel between John and the Franciscans, see further 
in Chap. XXV. § 7. 

2 For the ten, see Gieseler, vol. iv. p. 37. About the same time 
(April 9th) several of the adherents of Louis were excommunicated by 
name, especially Marsilius of Padua and John of Jandun; and these 
two were afterwards expressly declared heretics and outlaws (Oct. 23, 

3 See Brvce, Holy I?o?nan Empire, c. xvi., for an admirable description 
of the state of Rome during the Middle Ages. 


papalist Orsini, the Ghibelline Colonna ! and Savelli — who became 
in turn the supporters or masters of the Papal Legate, or of a 
foreign prince, as at this time of Robert of Naples. The people, 
incensed against John by his evasive answer to an invitation to 
return, and by the attempt of a papal Genoese force to surprise the 
city, received Louis with enthusiasm. His consecration as Emperor 
in St. Peter's was performed by excommunicated bishops, and the 
imperial crown was placed on his head by Sciarra Colonna, as 
captain of the city (Jan. 17, 1328). To the Pope's denunciation of 
both coronations and proclamation of a Crusade against the usurper, 
Louis replied by presiding as Emperor at a vast assembly in the 
Place of St. Peter's, where some Franciscans and others denounced 
the misdeeds of " priest James of Cahors, who styled himself 
John XXI L;" he was pronounced to be deprived of the Papacy ; 
and the Emperor declared it to be his duty, after the example of 
Otho the Great, to provide a fit successor to the apostolic see 
(April 18th). This revival of the claim to the election of the Pope 
by the Roman people, on the nomination of their Emperor, was 
carried out in another assembly on Ascension Day (May 12th), 
when Peter Rainalucci, of Corbaria, was invested with the nominal 
dignity of Pope Nicolas V. 2 Hitherto a rigid Franciscan, he 
exchanged his strict poverty for the luxury and ostentation which 
seemed now inseparable from the Papacy, and supported it by the 
traditional expedients of selling offices and preferments. He ob- 
tained little support even from the imperialists of Rome, where the 
party of John grew stronger, and Louis offended the Ghibellines 
by his impolitic measures. The people, who had welcomed the 
Emperor as a deliverer, found themselves burdened by new taxes to 
supply his wants, and plundered by the German soldiers ; while 
their provisions were cut short by the enterprize of Robert of 
Naples, who took Ostia and sent his galleys up the Tiber. 
Instead of a bold advance, to establish his power by wresting 
Southern Italy from the Angevin, Louis found his position 
untenable at Rome. His retreat, on the 4th of August, was 
attended by curses and derision, mingled with acclamations for 
" Holy Church;" and the populace even pelted his men with stones 
and killed some of them. The privileges granted to the city by the 

1 At the time now in question the Colonna were divided into two 
factions, under the brothers Stephen and Sciarra, the former adhering to 
the Pope, the latter to the Empire ; and Sciarra, elected by the Romans 
as their captain, drove Stephen out of the city. 

2 He is only reckoned as an Antipope, and the title of Nicolas V. 
was afterwards borne by a lawful Pope, Thomas de Sarzana (1447- 
1455). See Chapter XIII. 


Emperor and the Antipope were contemptuously burnt in the 
Place of the Capitol. 

At Pisa Louis was joined by the Franciscan leaders who had 
escaped from Avignon— Michael of Cesena, Bonagratia, and William 
of Ockham; and he held an assembly, in which Pope John was 
again pronounced a heretic and sentenced to deposition (Dec. 13); 
while John, at Avignon, renewed his condemnation of the Emperor 
and the Antipope, who had joined Louis at Pisa. Meanwhile the 
growing discontent of the Italians had pronounced a stronger prac- 
tical sentence of failure on the expedition of Louis, whose retreat 
across the Alps marked the final end of the imperial authority in 
the peninsula (Jan. 1330). The Romans again swore fealty to the 
Pope ; and his forgiveness was sued for by cities that had taken 
part with the Emperor. The Antipope Nicolas, left behind at 
Pisa, was given up to the Pope's urgent demand next year by his 
protector, Count Boniface of Donoratico, on condition that his life 
should be spared; and, after an abject submission at the feet of 
John, he received the kiss of peace, and passed the remaining three 
years of his life in honourable but strict seclusion in the palace at 

§ 11. The death of Frederick of Austria, in January 1330, had no 
effect in mitigating the Pope's animosity towards Louis, which was 
inflamed by Naples and France. Philip VI. of Valois, who had 
succeeded to the French crown in 1328, followed St. Louis in 
maintaining the Gallican liberties against Rome. But it was in a 
spirit far less pure than his sainted ancestor's that he proposed a 
Crusade, with the twofold object of aspiring to the imperial crown, 
as the head of united Christendom, and of obtaining concessions 
from the Pope, who granted for the enterprize a tithe of all eccle- 
siastical benefices for six years. In a diet at Spires, Louis denounced 
the collection of this tithe in the empire as illegal without his 
authority, and expressed a doubt of its being spent for its avowed 
object. He declared himself ready to lead a Crusade if peace were 
re-established in the distracted Empire, adding that he should have 
lived long enough if he might but see a Pope who cared for his 
soul's good. When his repeated missions to Avignon failed to 
conciliate John, he proposed even to abdicate as the price of his 
restoration to the Church, but this plan was frustrated through the 
fault of his intended successor (1333). 

§ 12. At this crisis the Pope incurred a new suspicion of heresy on 
the part of his own supporters. The doctrine of an intermediate state 
of departed spirits between death and the resurrection, interesting 
as it is to believers in general, is evidently of vital consequence to 
Roman Catholic Theology for its bearing on the intercession of 


glorified saints. The earliest Fathers had taught that the souls 
of those who have died in grace do not see the essence of God nor 
are perfectly "blessed, till after their resurrection in the body ; but 
this opinion appears to have been abandoned, and it was con- 
demned by the University of Paris in 12^0. But in Advent, 1331, 
John XXII. preached it publicly ; and he was reported to have 
said that even the Blessed Virgin only beheld the humanity of the 
Son, not His Divinity, till the final consummation. At the court 
of Avignon an English Dominican alone opposed the Pope's 
teaching; but his old enemies among the spiritual Franciscans 
denounced it as heresy ; and at Paris it was vehemently resisted, 
especially by the Dominicans. The King, who saw the opportunity 
of forcing the Pope to further concessions, referred the question to 
the theological faculty of Paris ; and their decision was that, from 
the time when the Saviour, descending into hell {ad inferos, the 
abode of departed spirits), led the souls of the redeemed out of 
limbo, the souls of the faithful dead (whether those needing no 
purgation, or on their release from purgatory), are caught up to the 
"beatific vision" of the Divine Essence and the Blessed Trinity, 
and perfectly enjoy the Blessed Deity. But, as a door of escape 
for the Pope, they assumed that he had taught the contrary only 
as citing an opinion, not as giving a decision. The King sent 
this declaration to the Pope, desiring him to correct those about 
him who taught the contrary ; and John replied in a tone curiously 
contrasting with other papal utterances, treating it as a party 
question between the doctors of the two courts ; asking his beloved 
son to regard what was said, not who said it ; recommending the 
King to study the proofs he had collected from the Fathers ; and 
hinting that the whole was a trap to catch him in a charge of 
heresy. The Italian cardinals and the Franciscan zealots urged 
the Emperor to summon a council for the condemnation of the 
heresy, when the Pope died at the age of ninety (Dec. 4th, 1334). 
The recantation, which his successor published as having been 
signed by John the day before his death, was suspected even by 
his contemporaries. He left an immense treasure, amassed partly 
under the pretext of a Crusade, but chiefly by his unscrupulous 
manipulation of ecclesiastical patronage. " Yet although his long 
pontificate was chiefly remarkable for the unrelenting hostility with 
which he pursued the Emperor Louis, and for the extortions and 
corruptions by which he so largely profited, it must in justice be 
added that he is described as temperate in his habits, regular in the 
observation of devotion, and unostentatious in his manner of life." x 

1 Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 94, 95. 

Palace of the Popes at Avignon. 




1. Benedict XII. a reforming Pope — He resists Philip VI. — His rela- 
tions with Rome and Italy. § 2. Efforts of Louis IV. for a reconciliation 
frustrated by France — Spirit of Germany — Diet at Frankfort — First 
Electoral Union at Rhense — Louis IV. and Edward III. — Question of the 
Emperor's matrimonial jurisdiction. § 3. Character and politics of 
Clement VI. — His profligate administration — Refusal to return to 
Rome — Petrarch. § 4. Clement's animosity to Louis IV. — Discontent 
in Germany — New quarrel about Naples — Queen Joanna and Andrew 
of Hungary — Charles of Moravia elected as rival Emperor — Death of 
Louis IV. — Succession of Charles IV. § 5. Joanna of Naples sells 
Avignon to the Papacy. § 6. Republican spirit at Rome — Retrospect 
from Arnold of Brescia to Rienzi — Petrarch's coronation in the Capitol 
• — Rienzi's early life — His visit to Avignon — Career as Roman Tribune — 
His faults and fall : imprisonment at Avignon. § 7. The Black Death : 
its social and religions effects— A profligate Pope's testimony to the 
virtues of the Friars — The fanatical Flagellants. § 8. Jubilee of 1350 
— Innocent VI. a vigorous reformer — Anarchy in Italy — The Legate 
Giles Albornoz — Return and death of Rienzi. § 9. Coronation of 
Charles IV. — His Uolden Bui': its results on the Empire and Ger- 
many. § 10. Urhan V. another reforming Pope — His buildings and 
institutions — The Free Companies and Bernabo Visconti. § 11. The 


Pope goes to Rome — Visit and reconciliation of the Eastern Emperor, 
John Pal^ologus I. — Urban's return to Avignon, and death — Pro- 
phecies of St. Bridget and Peter of Arragon. § 12. Gregory XI. and 
St. Catherine of Siena — Disorders of Italy — The Pope's return to Rome, 
and death — End of the Babylonian Captivity. 

§ 1. An unforeseen turn in the intrigues of the conclave, which 
was interpreted as a divine inspiration, brought about the elec- 
tion of the cardinal James Fournier, a native of the country of 
Foix, as Pope Benedict XII. (Dec. 20, 1334— April 25th, 1342). 
His judgment on his own election — "You have chosen an ass" — 
was belied by his sense and judgment, as well as his learning. The 
colours in which his personal character is drawn by no less an 
authority than Petrarch, 1 are so dark as scarcely to admit of 
deepening by the animosity of the monks and friars whom he 
strove to reform. He reversed his predecessor's corrupt methods 
of dealing with church patronage, and even eschewed the papal vice 
of nepotism, telling his relations that, as James Fournier, he had 
known them, but as Pope he had no kindred. He made an effort 
to break the bondage of the Papacy to France ; refusing the King's 
demand for the late Pope's treasures and a continuance of the eccle- 
siastical tithe, ostensibly for the Crusade, but really for the war 
with England ; 2 and, when Philip went in person to Avignon, to 
urge his claim with regard to the Crusade, Benedict told him that, 
if he had two souls he would gladly sacrifice one for the King, but, 
as he had only one, he must endeavour to save it (1336). He 
refused Philip's request for investment with the vicariate of Italy. 
But his courage and power fell short of shaking off the control of 
France over his two great objects of policy, a return to Borne and 
a reconciliation with the Emperor. He accepted his election by 
the Romans to the office of Senator ; appointed vicars in Italy 
under the Apostolic See; endeavoured to check party spirit by 
forbidding the use of the names Guelph and Ghibelline ; and spent 
large sums in repairing St. Peter's and other Roman churches and 
palaces : but the design of returning to Rome, or at least to Bologna, 

1 In a confidential letter written immediately after Benedict's death 
(Epist. 1 sine titulo: comp. Sade's Petrci'que ii. 13, n.), the poet describes 
the Pope as addicted to fierce anger, indolence, and sensuality ; and his 
habitual drunkenness is said to have originated the proverb Bib nnus 

- The reader is reminded that Philip of Valois provoked the hostility of 
England by his aid to the Scotch (1336), and it was in 1337 that 
lvlward III. advanced his public claim to the crown of France. The war 
that ensued tended, of course, to hamper Philip in his dealings both with 
the Pope and the Emperor. 


where a palace was begun for him by the legate, was frustrated by 
a display of anti-papal spirit in Italy, and by other difficulties. 
So he stayed at Avignon, and began the vast papal palace there. 

§ 2. Benedict was sincerely desirous to restore the peace of 
Christendom by a reconciliation with Louis ; and he even replied 
to the charges made by the Kings of France and Naples against the 
Emperor as the enemy of the Church : — " Rather it is we that have 
sinned against him. He would, if he might have been allowed, 
have come with a staff in his hand to our predecessor's feet ; but 
he has been in a manner challenged to act as he has done." But 
the influence of Philip forbad his returning an answer to a fifth 
and sixth embassy which Louis sent to Avignon, offering the 
most humiliating terms of submission and obedience, even to 
laying down the imperial title, to receive it again from the Pope 
(1336). When his envoys returned, weary of waiting for an 
answer, Louis made an alliance with the King of England, who 
was preparing to invade France. A last effort was made by a 
mission to Avignon from a council of the Archbishop of Mainz and 
his suffragans at Spires ; and the Pope is said to have wept as he 
told the envoys that Philip had threatened him with a worse fate 
than that of Boniface VIII., if he should absolve the Bavarian 
against the will of the King of France. 1 

The spirit of Germany was now roused to resist the claim of 
the Pope to control the election of the Emperor at the bidding 
of the French king. On Rogation Sunday, 1338, Louis laid his 
whole case before a great diet of princes and nobles, deputies 
from the cities and cathedral chapters ; and, after an argument 
by canonists and lawyers, in which the Franciscan Bonagratia 
took a leading part, the assembly decided that the papal censures 
against the Emperor were wrongful and of none effect, that the 
interdict ought not to be observed, and that any of the clergy 
who wished to obey it should be compelled to perform their 
office. This decision was followed by a meeting of the electors 
(except the King of Bohemia, who acted throughout with France 
and Naples), at Rhense on the Rhine, 2 which is celebrated as 

1 Albertus Argent., p. 127, ap. Gieseler, vol. iv. p. 48. 

2 This famous spot, in the midst of the finest scenery of the Rhine, 
between Coblenz and Boppart, is distinctly mentioned as the place of 
meeting for the electors on the occasion of the election of Henry Vll. 
(1308). It lay within the territory of the Archbishop of Cologne, con- 
veniently near the frontiers of the Archbishops of Mainz and Treves and 
the Elector Palatine. The Gothic chapel called Konujstuhl (king's chair), 
in which the electors met and the chosen king was enthroned, was built 
by the Emperor Charles IV. in 1376, and restored (after its ruin by the 
French) in 1844. (See the Illustration to Chap. XXXII.) 


the First Electoral Union (Churverein, July 15th, 1338). They 
made a solemn declaration that the King of the Komans 1 received 
his rank and power solely from the choice of the Electors, and 
needed no confirmation of the Pope; and they swore to defend 
the ancient rights, liberties, and customs of the Empire, and their 
own, against every human command, without exception, nor to avail 
themselves of any dispensation, absolution, or relaxation, of this 
their oath. 2 They sent this declaration to the Pope, with a denial 
of his authority to appoint a sovereign or confer sovereign rights 
over the Empire. Another diet at Frankfort (Aug. 8th) con- 
firmed the resolutions of these two assemblies as laws of the 
Empire, and Louis issued edicts to enforce them ; while the war of 
argument was renewed between his literary supporters, headed by 
William of Ockham, 3 and the partisans of the Pope, who published 
his denunciations of the Emperor. The German priests, banished 
for obedience to the interdict, resorted to Avignon ; but, obtaining 
no compensation for their losses, they returned and submitted to 
Louis. The contest had become thoroughly national, when the 
Emperor's vacillation and rashness lost him the advantages he had 
thus gained. 

- Edward III. had crossed to Flanders, and Louis met him at 
Coblenz (September). Their alliance against Philip was solemnly 
confirmed, and the King of England was appointed imperial 
vicar over the territory west of Cologne. But, in spite of his 
oath and the subsidies he received from Edward, Louis allowed 
himself to be enticed by his mother-in-law, who was Philip's 
sister, into an alliance with France (1339-40). But his hope 
of obtaining absolution, through the mediation which Philip only 
affected to use, was frustrated by the Pope's demand for un- 
conditional submission. While things were in this state, the 
Emperor did his cause irreparable harm by invading the Papal 
jurisdiction in matrimonial cases. In order to obtain the Tyrol for 
his own family, he dissolved the marriage of its heiress, Margaret, 
with a son of the King of Bohemia, and granted a dispensation for 
her marriage with his own son, Louis, whom he had made Marquis 
of Brandenburg (1341). In this assumption he was again sup- 
ported by Marsilius of Padua and William of Ockham, who argued 
that the imperial jurisdiction in such cases was handed down from 
the old Roman emperors, and, though it was for ecclesiastics to 
decide on the grounds which justify a divorce, their application 

1 On the title, see note, pp. 89-90. 

2 See the original in Gieseler, vol. iv. p. 49. 

3 Compendium errorum Papse, Joannis XXII., published during the 
papacy of Benedict XII. 

A.D. 1342. POPE CLEMENT VI. 123 

belongs to the secular judge ; that " it is for the human lawgiver 
to order that to be done which is established by the divine law." 1 
Both politically and ecclesiastically, these steps gave wide offence, 
at the very time when a far more decided opponent ascended the 
papal chair. 

§ 3. On the death of Benedict XII. (April 25th, 1342), the election 
fell (May 7th) on a thorough partisan of France, Cardinal Peter Roger, 
of a noble family in the Limousin, who had been a Benedictine 
monk and chancellor to King Philip, and was now Archbishop of 
Rouen. Pope Clement VI. (1342-1352) "was noted for his learn- 
ing, for his eloquence, and for an extraordinary power of memory ; 
his manners were agreeable, and he is described as free from malice 
and resentment. His morals were never of any rigid correctness ; 
and, while he was Pope, a countess of France, if not absolutely his 
mistress, is said to have exercised an absolute influence over him. 
He was a lover of splendour and luxury. The great palace of 
Avignon was growing under his care, and the princely houses of 
the cardinals rose around it ; the court of the successor of St. Peter 
was, perhaps, the gayest and most festive in Europe. Under 
Clement the vice of the papal city became open and scandalous. 
Petrarch, who himself cannot be described as a model of rigid and 
intolerant virtue, expressed in the strongest terms his horror at the 
abominations which filled the new 'Babylon of the West,' and 
withdrew in disgust from the papal city to the solitudes of 
Vaucluse." 2 The ecclesiastical government of Clement was in 
keeping with his personal character, and his shameless bestowal 
of benefices', in defiance of the rights of sovereigns and chapters, on 
the gay and dissolute young men who won his favour, as well as on 
his relations, was made a boast of in his answer to a remonstrance, 
" Our predecessors did not know how to be Pope." 

Such a father of the faithful, and " servant of the servants of 
God," was not likely to exchange the luxurious ease of Avignon for 
the cares of government at Rome. Two missions, composed of 
different classes (1342-3), invited his return, which was urged by 
Petrarch, who was one of the deputies, in a poetical epistle, describ- 
ing the attractions of the city. 3 Clement replied that his presence 
beyond the Alps was necessary to mediate between France and 
England ; but he promised to visit Rome when those troubles were 
composed, and meanwhile he accepted the dignity of Senator, but 
only as a private person, not in his character of Pope. 

§ 4. In his relations with the Emperor Louis, personal animosity 
and papal ambition prevailed completely over the easy good-nature 

1 Marsilius and Ockham, ap. Gieseler, iv 52; Robertson, iv. 103. 

2 Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 104-5. 3 Petrarch; Epist. ii. p. 1340. 


of Clement's usual character. He had already taken" a bitter part 
against the " Bavarian " or " boor " (baurum), as he called him in a 
sermon ; and now the urgent overtures of Louis to the new Pope 
were met by demands for unlimited submission, followed up by a 
new Bull, recounting all his offences, and calling on him to lay 
down the imperial dignity within three months (April 12th, 1343). 
Clement wrote to the German princes, desiring them to prepare for 
a new election, and threatening, if they hesitated, that he would 
appoint a new Emperor by the same authority by which Pope Leo 
had transferred the crown of the West from the Greeks to the 
Germans. That extreme course was averted for the present by 
Louis's appearance before the electors at Khense, offering to be 
guided by their judgment ; but his acceptance of all the Pope's 
terms was met by new demands of absolute submission, not only 
as Emperor, but as King of Germany. This fresh usurpation was 
rejected by an imperial diet at Frankfort with an indignation in 
which the Emperor was involved for his vacillation, and he was 
charged with making his personal interests the only obstacle to 
peace. Another meeting of electors at Rhense rejected the Em- 
peror's offer to resign in favour of his son Louis ; and a new candi- 
date was set up, Charles, Marquis of Moravia, the son of Louis's 
constant enemy, John, King of Bohemia. 1 Charles had been a 
pupil of Pope Clement, when the latter was Abbot of Fecamp. 

A new cause of quarrel now arose out of the affairs of Italy. 
Charles, the only son of Robert, King of Naples, had died in 1328, 
leaving two infant daughters, Joanna and Maria. In order, as it 
seems, to compensate the elder branch of his family for their exclu- 
sion from the kingdom, 2 he had arranged a marriage between his 

1 The name of John, who fell blind about this time, is familiar to 
English readers for his fate at Crecy. where his crest and motto, " Ich 
dien," became the prize of the Prince of Wales. 

2 Charles II., the second King of Naples of the line of Anjou, had 
married a sister of Ladislaus IV., King of Hungary, on whose death, in 
1290, Pope Nicolas IV. decided for Charles Martel as King of Hungary 
in preference to Andrew III., the son of Ladislaus. Charles Martel was 
defeated at Zagrab in 1292, and died in 1295, and Andrew III. died in 
1301, ending the line of Arpad. The claim of Charles Robert (or Charobert) 
son of Charles Martel, had already been advanced, and, after a contest, he 
became Charles I., King of Hungary. He was, of course, the direct heir to 
the Kingdom of Naples ; but, on the death of Charles II. (1309), the high 
qualities shown by Robert, his third sou, caused him to be preferred to 
his nephew, Charles of Hungary, by the decision of Pope Clement V. ; 
and, in his reign of thirty-four years, " Robert the Wise '' fully justified 
his choice, and remained the mainstay of the Guelphic party in Italy. 
John Villani says that for 500 years there had been no such sovereign, 
either for abilities or acquired knowledge. 

A.D. 1347. DEATH OF LOUIS IV. 125 

heiress, Joanna, and Andrew, the second son of his nephew Charles 
Robert (or Charobert), King of Hungary (1333). The bridegroom, 
who was seven years old (the bride being six), was educated at 
Naples, but grew up a rude and headstrong youth. When Joanna 
succeeded to the crown on her grandfather's death (1343), an Hun- 
garian faction was formed at Naples; Andrew claimed to be 
crowned in his own right, as heir of Charles II., and talked im- 
prudently of the vengeance he would take on his opponents. He 
suspected the young queen of infidelity, and the quarrel was 
fomented by the rival parties in the court. After two years, 
Andrew was strangled on the night of September 18th, 1345, by 
a conspiracy, to which Joanna was suspected of being privy. On 
the death of her child, the posthumous son of Andrew, Louis King 
of Hungary claimed the crown of both Sicilies, and invaded 
Apulia to avenge his brother's murder. The Emperor Louis 
supported him as a means of regaining influence in Italy ; and 
Clement, while refusing an audience to the envoys of the King of 
Hungary because of his connection with the excommunicated 
Bavarian, fulminated against the latter another most violent 
anathema, and called on the electors to choose a new king 
(April 13th, 1346). Charles of Moravia, who had gone with his 
father to urge his claim at Avignon, bound himself to an absolute 
submission to the papal see. Clement deposed Louis's chief sup- 
porter, Henry of Virneburg, archbishop of Mainz, the official presi- 
dent of the electors, replacing him by Count Gerlach of Nassau, 
a youth of twenty, who summoned the Archbishops of Cologne and 
Treves, with the King of Bohemia and the Duke of Saxony, to 
Rhense. 1 These five electors proceeded to declare the empire 
vacant. They chose Charles of Moravia King of the Romans, and 
enthroned him on the Konigstuhl, as Frankfort was held by Louis 
(July 11th, 1346). 

But Germany with one accord rejected " the priest's emperor ; " a 
diet at Spires under Louis declared the election null, and denied the 
Pope's right to depose an emperor ; and Charles was fain to withdraw 
with his father to France. Both followed Philip to the field against 
Edward III. ; and, while the blind King of Bohemia died like a 
knight of romance at Crecy, the Emperor elect saved himself by 
flight (August 26th, 1346). A civil war was imminent ; and even 
the death of Louis IV., by a fall from his horse (October 1 1th, 1347), 
did not end the dispute. The Bavarian party, headed by Henry 
of Virneburg, who was still generally recognized as Archbishop of 

1 The Emperor's sou, Louis of Brandenburg, w-as excluded from the 
electoral college by the Pope, on tbe ground that his appointment by his 
father to the marquisate had been illegal. 
II— H 


Mainz, offered the crown to Edward III., who declined it by the 
advice of his parliament (1 348). They then chose Gunther, Count 
of Schwarzburg in Thuringia, who was enthroned at Frankfort 
(January, 1349) ; but he met with little support, and, being hope- 
lessly ill, he resigned his pretensions for a sum of money, and 
died in June. Charles made terms with the Bavarian party, 
undertaking to obtain the Pope's sanction to the marriage of 
Louis of Brandenburg with Margaret of the Tyrol. Whether 
or not he submitted to a new election (as some authorities state), 
Charles IV., now King of Bohemia, was recognized without dispute 
as King of the Romans. His reign lasted till 1378. 

§ 5. When Louis of Hungary invaded Apulia, Joanna of Naples, 
who had married her cousin and alleged paramour and accomplice 
in her husband's murder, Louis of Tarentum, fled with her husband 
to her county of Provence, and was received with great honour at 
Avignon. After the form of an enquiry by three cardinals into 
the charges brought against her by the King of Hungary, the Pope 
granted a dispensation for her marriage. When Louis retired from 
Italy, after punishing many of his brother's alleged assassins, Joanna 
was invited to return. To meet the expenses of the journey and the 
defence of her kingdom, she sold Avignon to Clement (January 
1348); and the territory was a papal possession till the great 
French Revolution. 1 

§ 6. Rome was at this time the scene of one of the most striking 
episodes in her medieval annals, which has been related in brilliant 
passages of history and romance. 2 While some forms of the old Re- 
public remained as lifeless names amidst the corruption and decay 
of the city, the memory of its freedom and glories was cherished in 
bitter contrast with the haughty rule of the Teutonic emperors, and 
in jealousy of the sacerdotal authority. This feeling had obtained 
a more definite direction in the twelfth century, under the impulse 
of the revived study of Roman law and the example of the re- 
publics of Northern Italy ; and it was wakened into a paroxysm 
of seeming life by Arnold of Brescia. " But practically the 
scheme was absurd, and could not maintain itself against any 
serious opposition. As a modern historian aptly expresses it, 
' they were setting up ruins ;' they might as well have raised the 
broken columns that strew the Forum, and hoped to rear out of 
them a strong and stately temple. The reverence which the men 
of the Middle Ages felt for Rome was given altogether to the name 
and place, nowise to the people, As for power, they had none : so 

1 It was annexed by the Republic in 1791, and was incorporated with 
France by the treaties of 1815 and 1816. 

2 Gibbon, c. lxx. ; and Lord Lytton's Bienzi. 


far from holding Italy in subjection, they could scarcely maintain 
themselves against the hostility of Tusculum. But it would have 
been worth the while of the Teutonic emperors to have made the 
Romans their allies, and bridled by their help the temporal am- 
bition of the Popes. The offer was actually made to them, first to 
Conrad III., who seems to have taken no notice of it ; and after- 
wards to Frederick I., who repelled in the most contumelious 
fashion the envoys of the Senate. Hating and fearing the Pope, 
he always respected him : towards the Romans he felt all the con- 
tempt of a feudal king for burghers, and of a German warrior 
for Italians. At the demand of Pope Hadrian, who prudently 
thought no heresy so dangerous as one which threatened the 
authority of the clergy, Arnold of Brescia was seized by the 
imperial prefect, put to death, and his ashes cast into the Tiber, 
lest the people should treasure them up as relics. But the mar- 
tyrdom of their leader did not quench the hopes of his followers. 
The republican constitution continued to exist, and rose from time 
to time, during the weakness or the absence of the Popes, into a 
brief and fitful activity. Once awakened, the idea, seductive at 
once 'to the imagination of the scholar and the vanity of the 
Roman citizen, could not wholly disappear, and two centuries 
after Arnold's time it found a more brilliant, if less disinterested 
exponent, in the tribune Rienzi." l 

Since the retirement of the Papal Court to Avignon, the anarchy 
at Rome and the factions of the noble houses had become more 
intolerable than ever. The last attempts of Henry VII. and 
Louis IV. to restore the imperial authority had ended in the final 
alienation of the Romans from their German sovereigns, long since 
only such in name. But one hope seemed left, — the restitution of 
the Republic, sanctioned and dignified by the return of the spiritual 
sovereign, whose presence would mark Rome as still the capital of 
the world. This feeling found fervid expression both in the poetry 
and prose of Petrarch, whose youth shared the exile at Avignon. 2 
Of his feeling towards Rome one utterance may be chosen from a 
letter to his friend, John Colonna : — " Thinkest thou not that I 
long to see that city, to which there has never been any like nor 
ever shall be ; which even an enemy called a city of kings ; of 
whose people it hath been written, ' Great is the valour of the 
Roman people, great and terrible their name;' concerning whose 
unexampled glory and incomparable Empire, which was, and is, 

1 Bryce, Holy Poman Empire, pp. 278, 279. 

2 Francesco Petrarca was born in 1304 at Arezzo, in Tuscnrxy (Arretium, 
the native town of Maecenas), whence his father (a fiieml of Dante) 
removed to Avignon. He died at Arqua, July 18th, 1374. 


and is to be divine, prophets have sung ; where are the tombs of 
the apostles and martyrs, and the bodies of so many thousands of 
the saints of Christ ?" 

Amidst the solemnities of Easter Day, 1341, Petrarch was crowned 
with laurel in the Capitol, — as the prince both of Italian intellect and 
Roman patriotism. Probably among the enthusiastic spectators of his 
triumph was Nicholas Rienzi, 1 then a young man of twenty-seven, 
whose indignation had already been roused by a cruel bereavement 
through the anarchy which prevailed at Rome. Born about 1314, 
Rienzi sprang from among the lowest ranks of the people in the 
Transteverine region, where his father kept a tavern and his mother 
was a washerwoman and water-carrier ; though the morbid vanity, 
which marred his career in the hour of success, claimed the Emperor 
Henry VII. as his father. His low birth did not debar him from a 
good education, with a view to his becoming a notary : he delighted 
in the study of the Roman classics, and acquired a remarkable skill 
in deciphering and interpreting ancient inscriptions. This converse 
with the great minds and great deeds of the old Republic had inspired 
him with the vision of being a chosen instrument to revive the 
glories of Rome, when an accident added the impulse of a personal 
motive. Just when he was of full age, his young and dearly loved 
brother fell an innocent victim to one of the faction fights which 
the nobles waged daily in the streets; and the failure to obtain 
redress embittered his disgust at the state of Rome (1334-5). 

In 1342-3, Rienzi went to Avignon with the deputation sent (as 
we have seen) to invite the new Pope, Clement VI., to return to 
Rome. His eloquence is said to have been admired by the Pope, 
as it certainly was by Petrarch, who conceived hopes from the 
enthusiasm which he afterwards found to be wanting in stedfast- 
ness. 2 Returning to Rome invested with the office of papal notary, 

1 This famous name was not that of his family, but a corrupted patronymic 
from Lorenzo, his father's name ; the o being changed to the plural i of 
family names. By the popular abridgmeut of his Christian name, he 
was called Cola di tiienzo or Rienzi. The original records say nothing of 
the family name Gabrini, given by some writers. The leading authority 
for Rienzi's life is a chronicle entitled Historic Romanse Fragnienta in 
Muratori's Antiquities, vol. iii., and re-edited by Zephyrino Re, Florence, 
1828 and 1854. The most important modern work, compiled chiefly 
from unprinted sources, is Cola di Rienzo und seine Zeit, von Dr. F. 
Papencordt, Hamburg and Gotha, 1841. Canon Robertson refers also to 
Lord Broughton's Italy, vol. ii. pp. 512,/. 

2 Writing after Rienzi's fall, and drawing an argument from his 
temporary success for the possibility of renovating Rome, Petrarch 
describes him as follows: — " Vir unus obscurissimae originis et nullarum 
opum, atque, ut ratio docuit, plus animi habens quam constantiae, rei- 
publicae imbecillos humeros subjicere ausus est, et tutelam labentis 


which he had solicited as a protection from the enmity of the nobles, 
he set to work to rouse the popular feeling of patriotism. He 
expounded ancient inscriptions recording the glories of old Rome, 
and placed the present forlorn state of the Republic vividly before 
the people's eyes in a great picture which, in the midst of many 
other symbols, displayed Rome under the figure of a majestic 
matron, clothed in tattered garments, with dishevelled hair, 
weeping eyes, and hands crossed on her breast, kneeling on the 
deck of a ship which was without mast or sail, and appeared about 
to sink. l On Whitsunday, May 20th, 1347, Rienzi proclaimed at 
the Capitol that the time was come for the Romans to return to 
"their ancient good estate," and he assumed the venerable and 
popular title of Tribune, with the papal Legate, Raymond, bishop 
of Orvieto, as his colleague in the government. His measures to 
restore order were signally successful. The streets and roads 
became safe, for the first time since many years ; the fortresses of 
the nobles were demolished, both in the city and the Campagna, 
and they themselves were compelled to go through a solemn form 
of reconciliation, at the bidding of the Tribune. The cities of 
Italy received his invitations, to union with seeming favour ; and 
marks of the respect of foreign powers for the new government of 
Rome were received, even, it is said, from the Soldan of Babylon. 
Petrarch's poetic and patriotic enthusiasm congratulated the Tribune 
and the people on having thrown off the yoke; but more clear- 
sighted observers pronounced the Tribune's enterprize a fantastic 
work, which could not last. It had in fact the fatal defect of a 
mere revival of forms, the substance of which had long since 
passed away; and the last hope of success was extinguished by 
the faults and weaknesses of Rienzi's character. Like all dictators 
raised up by a revolution — save but one or two in the whole course 
of history — he yielded to the temptation to glorify and indulge 
himself; and together with offensive arrogance he stooped to vulgar 
and sensual luxury. To the nobles, whose hostility demanded the 
union of consummate prudence with firmness, he showed an irri- 
tating mixture of weakness and provocation. Having treacherously 
seized some of the chief nobles, whom he accused of conspiracy and 
condemned to death, he humiliated them by a contemptuous pardon 
at the intercession of the citizens ; and then loaded them with 
offices and honours. A victory, which he gained under the walls 

imperii profiteri." — Apol. c. Galli Calumnia?;, p. 1181, ap. Robertson, vol. iv. 
p. 117. 

1 Fragm. 401 ; Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 117-8. Mr. Bryce (p. 279) points 
out the mistake of those who suppose Rienzi " to have been possessed of 
profound political insight, a republican on modern principles." 


of Rome, over the Colonna and their adherents, was abused by his 
insults to the slain, and left unimproved through his incompetence. 
By adding the title of Augustus to that of Tribune, he seemed to 
claim succession to those foreign Emperors, from whose yoke he 
had freed the Republic ; and he even summoned the electors and 
the rival claimants to submit to his arbitration. 1 

Towards the Pope himself, by whose authority he professed to 
govern, Rienzi assumed the tone of command in calling him to 
return to Rome; while he gave the jealous spiritual power a 
handle for the fatal charge of heresy by claiming divine inspiration 
and even comparing himself with the Saviour. The Legate not only 
broke off from him as a colleague, but pronounced the papal anathema 
against him ; and when Count Pipin, a banished Neapolitan noble 
and leader of mercenaries, answered the tribune's summons for his 
crimes by an armed attack, the people fell away from Rienzi in 
disgust. Thus, within a year of his first elevation, he fled in abject 
terror, leaving Rome to fall back into worse anarchy than before. 
(Jan. 1348.) He found shelter among the fanatical Fraticelli of 
the Apennines; and two years later he appeared at Prague, pro- 
fessing a divine commission, revealed to him by a hermit, to unite 
with Charles IV. in reforming the world. But the Emperor regarded 
him as a fanatic, and placed him in the custody of the Archbishop 
of Prague, who afterwards, at the Pope's desire, sent Rienzi to 
Avignon (1352), where he was kept in a comparatively lenient 
captivity for two years, 2 till the time came for his new and last 
attempt to realize his dreams. 

§ 7. The year of Rienzi's first government at Rome was marked 
by a terrible pestilence, which affected the social and ecclesiastical 
state of Europe. The Black Death of 1347-8 shares the celebrity 
of the Plague of Athens, in B.C. 430, and of the Plague of London, 
in a.d. 1665, not only for its great mortality and its remarkable moral 
effects, but also for its fame in literature, through the Decamerone 
of Boccaccio, beside the historic record of Thucydides and the vivid 
picture of Defoe. Invading Europe from the East — like all other 
great pestilences, down to the cholera of our own times — it spread 
from Constantinople to Ireland, and even to Greenland; destroying 
about a quarter of the population. The distress which it caused 

1 Though this claim was left unnoticed, the Emperor Louis solicited 
Rienzi's mediation with the Pope ; and both Louis of Hungary and Joanna 
of Naples sought his support in their quarrel. 

2 It was chiefly through Petrarch's intercession that his life was spared, 
and the charge of heresy was dropped. He was bound with a single 
chain, and was allowed the use of books, particularly the Scriptures and 


inflamed the growing discontent of the people with existing insti- 
tutions in Church as well as State. Decimating the ranks of the 
lower clergy, it at first enabled the survivors to insist on higher 
emoluments, which attracted unqualified laymen, especially those 
who had lost their wives by the plague, till its further ravages 
among the people again reduced the clergy, thus demoralized, to 
greater poverty than before. The corruption of the religious orders 
was increased by the loss of many of the older and more experienced 
monks, followed by a general relaxation of discipline. 1 

It was in such times of suffering and terror that the Mendicant 
orders showed at their best. 2 But the courage with which they 
supplied the " lack of service " of the priests, who fled from their 
stricken parishes, was no longer crowned with the virtue of con- 
sistent poverty in refusing the reward of their self-denial, especially 
in the form of large bequests from persons who had lost their 
heirs. The secular clergy, supported by the cardinals, complained 
to the Pope of the intrusion of the Mendicants, and asked for their 
suppression. But the answer of Clement (according to a writer 
who himself belonged to the Mendicant brotherhood of Car- 
melites) was a severe rebuke of the accusers. " He asked them what 
they themselves would preach if the monks were silent. He told 
them that if they were to preach humility, poverty, and chastity, 
their exhortations would be vitiated by the glaring contrast of their 
avarice and greed, and the notorious laxity of their lives. He re- 
proached them for closing their doors against the Mendicants, 
while they opened them to panders and buffoons. If, he said, the 
Mendicants had got some benefit from those whose death-beds they 
had attended, it was a reward of the zeal and courage they had 
shown when the secular clergy fled from their posts. If they had 
erected buildings with the money, it was better spent so than in 
worldly and sensual pleasures ; and he declared the opposition to the 
friars to be merely the result of envy. The rebuke carried weight 
from its truth, if not from the character of the Pope who uttered it." s 

It was doubtless from a mixture of religious laxity with good 
sense, which was so little understood as to be imputed to bribery, 
that the Pope endeavoured to protect the Jews, against whom the 
pestilence roused renewed superstitious charges and persecutions. 

1 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 123. 

2 This is the account of a favourable authority, himself a Carmelite 
friar (W. Nang. contin. 110), but the annalist of Parma (ap. Muratori, 
xii. 746) says that the sick were abandoned by the friars, as w<>11 as by 
servants, doctors, and notaries, so that they could neither make their 
wills nor obtain absolution before they died. 

3 W. Nang. cont. 112; Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 125-6. 


The excitement found vent also in another outbreak of the sect of 
the Flagellants, who had first appeared in Hungary and Germany 
during the preceding century. Professing to have received from 
an angel a written revelation of the Lord's wrath at the prevalent 
sins, they went about in procession stript to the waist, and 
scourging themselves while they sang. They regarded their blood 
as a sacrifice mingled with the Saviour's, and superseding the need 
of the sacraments. Such fanatical movements have always been 
found to grow into dangerous societies : thus the Flagellants had 
" masters," to whom they were bound by an oath of obedience ; 
and they showed a hostile spirit towards the clergy. When they 
went from Germany into France, their practice was pronounced a 
" vain superstition " by the University of Paris, at whose instance it 
was condemned by the Pope and forbidden by the King. Passing 
from the Low Countries into England, they were there rejected by 
popular feeling and branded as heretics by the Church. 

§ 8. The impression produced by the pestilence may have been a 
chief cause of the zeal, celebrate d by Petrarch, with which about 
two millions of pilgrims flocked to Rome to keep the jubilee of 1350, 
and to obtain the indulgences for its observance ; though a 
chronicler of the time says that many came back worse than 
they had been before. 1 Two years later, Clement VI. died sud- 
denly (Dec. 6, 1352). One of his last acts was to mitigate the 
rules for the seclusion of the Conclave. The new election, hastened 
in order to anticipate the interference of the French King, 2 fell on 
Stephen Aubert, bishop of Ostia, a native of the Limousin, who 
took the name of Innocent VI. (1352-1362). He is described as 
" a good, sincere, and just man," learned in civil and canon law. 
He at once repudiated the " capitulations " sworn to by the members 
of the Conclave, which would have made the Pope the mere tool of 
the cardinals, availing himself of the saving clause, "provided that 
these laws be agreeable to right." Left more free to act as he 
wished by the disasters of the French monarchy in the war with 
England, Innocent applied himself to the work of reformation, 
retrenching the luxury of his court and of the cardinals, compelling 
the bishops to return from Avignon to their dioceses, discouraging 
pluralities, and making a good use of his own patronage. 

To put an end to the anarchy of Pome, he sent an army under 
Cardinal Giles Albornoz, a Spaniard, who had been a distinguished 
soldier before he became Archbishop of Toledo, and whose military 
talents reconquered the States of the Church (1353). With him, as 

1 Limb. Chron. ap. Gieseler, vol. iv. p. 207. 

2 The unfortunate John II., who was taken prisoner at Poitiers (1356), 
and died in England (1364), had succeeded to the crown in 1350. 


Legate, was associated Rienzi, released from prison, and appointed 
Senator of Rome. But the enthusiasm with which he was received 
by the people was soon turned into disgust by his renewed and 
aggravated exhibition of the arrogance and sensuality into which 
he had fallen before, and he was cut to pieces in a popular tumult 
(October 8, 1354). 1 

§ 9. In the same year the Emperor Charles IV. went to Italy, to 
receive the crowns of Lombardy and Rome ; having engaged with the 
Pope to make no attempt to assert real authority. Attended by an 
escort so small as to disarm suspicion, he was welcomed everywhere 
with respect, even by the Guelphs of Florence. Having received 
the iron crown at Milan at Epiphany, 1355, he was crowned, 
with his empress, at St. Peter's, on Easter Day, by the Cardinal 
Bishop of Ostia. His departure from Rome on the same day, 
according to his agreement with the Pope, was a bitter disappoint- 
ment to Petrarch, who had urged him to revive the glories of the 
Empire. But preferring to such a doubtful enterprize the acknow- 
ledgment of his dignity by the Italian cities and the substantial 
gain of the contributions he had levied on them, Charles, in a 
diet at Nuremburg, commemorated his coronation by the famous 
" Golden Bull," which settled the rules for future elections to the 
Empire (Jan. 1356). In this new fundamental law of the Empire 
" the claim of the Pope to interfere with the election was not men- 
tioned at all ; and it was assumed that in Germany, at least, the 
King or Emperor had full power from the time of his election. 
The ' priests' Emperor ' had secured the crown against the pre- 
tensions of the Papacy; and Innocent was greatly annoyed at the 
result." 2 

The new imperial constitution was, in effect, a final abandon- 
ment of Italy by the Empire, while in Germany it " confessed and 
legalized the independence of the Electors and the powerlessness 
of the Crown." 3 Charles now sacrificed what was left of German 
unity under the Empire to the aggrandizement of the house of 
Bohemia, and gave a decisive impulse to that rapid decline, by 
which the " Holy Roman Empire " became (as Voltaire said) 
neither Holy, nor Boman, nor an Empire. 

§ 10. On the death of Innocent VI. (Sept. 12, 1362), the cardinals, 
being unable to settle their respective claims, elected William de 
Grimoard, the Benedictine abbot of St. Victor at Marseilles, a man 
of sixty, of high repute for holiness and learning, as Urban V. 
(1362-1370). The new Pope retained his monastic dress and sim- 
plicity of life, and was even a more stedfast reformer than his 

1 The details belong to civil history. 2 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 138. 

3 See the results described by Bryce, pp. 225, 237-8. 
II— H 2 

134 POPE URBAN V. Chap. VIII. 

predecessor. The frugality of his court was happily contrasted by 
his free expenditure on the restoration of the churches and palaces 
of Eome, and for purposes of learning as well as religion. He 
built and endowed a monastery and college at Montpellier, and 
maintained a thousand students at the Universities. 

Urban inherited from his predecessor two great sources of trouble, 
both in France and in Italy. The military adventurers, who had been 
trained in the Anglo-French wars, especially when thrown loose by 
the peace of Bretigny (1360), formed disorderly bands under the name 
of Free Companies. It was against them that Innocent VI. fortified 
the palace and city of Avignon. Urban V. put them down in the 
south of France; but they continued to infest Italy, both as inde- 
pendent bands and as mercenaries of the princes and cities. Even 
more audacious was the defiance both of Pope and Emperor by 
Bernabo Visconti, of Milan, against whom crusades were proclaimed 
both by Innocent and Urban. He continued, however, to with- 
stand the martial cardinal legate, Giles Albornoz, till Urban was 
fain to conclude a peace with him, by which Bologna was secured 
to the papal territory (1364). 

§ 11. The way seemed now clear for that return to Borne, which 
Urban had advocated before his elevation ; and the renewed in- 
vitation of the people, adorned by the eloquence of Petrarch, was 
supported by the Emperor, who visited Avignon (May 1365), to ar- 
range a solemn meeting of the Pope and himself at Rome. Embark- 
ing with the reluctant cardinals, five of whom refused to leave 
Avignon (April 30, 1367), Urban, on landing at Corneto, was re- 
ceived by Giles Albornoz ; but the victorious legate died next 
month, while the Pope was staying at Viterbo. The Komans wel- 
comed his entrance with enthusiasm (Oct.) ; and, in the following 
year, he received the personal homage, not only of Charles, but of 
John Palasologus I., the eastern emperor, who, in his eagerness for 
that aid against the Turks which he failed to obtain, professed to 
acknowledge all the claims of the Latin Church and the see of 
Home. After three years, however, the influence of the French 
cardinals prevailed on the Pope to return to Avignon, where he 
died only three months after his arrival (Dec. 19, 1370). The dis- 
appointed Italians recognized the fulfilment of the warnings given 
to Urban by St. Bridget of Sweden, 1 and by Peter of Arragon (who 

1 St. Bridget, a widowed princess of Sweden, lived a life of ascetic 
devotion and charity, chiefly at Koine, from the jubilee of 1350 to her death 
in 1373. She founded an order, both of monks and nuns, at Wadstena, 
in Sweden, which spread far and wide. Her oracles, which had a great 
influence on her age, were approved by Gregory XI. and later Popes; and 
she was canonized by Boniface IX. (1391). 


from a prince had become a Franciscan friar), that, if he returned 
to Avignon, it would be only to die. 

§ 12. The like influences of enthusiasm, in which St. Catherine of 
Sweden, the daughter of St. Bridget, united with the more powerful 
pleading of her namesake of Siena, 1 in prevailing on the new Pope, 
Gregory XI. 2 (1370-1378) to take the step by which alone it 
seemed possible to save the temporal power of the Holy See in 
Italy. The persistent contumacy of Bernabo Visconti and his 
brother Galeazzo caused the proclamation of another crusade against 
them (1372). Eighty towns of the Papal States rose in rebellion, 
and the people suffered terribly from the licence of the mercenaries 
led against them by the legate Robert, Cardinal of Geneva. In the 
treacherous massacre with which he punished the rising of Cesena, 
1000 women were saved, not by the legate's mercy, but by the 
compassion of his ally, Sir John Hawkwood, the most famous 
captain of Free Companies. The people of Bologna drove out the 
legate and papal officials. The Florentines, having formed a league 
against the papal authority, were placed under a ban and interdict, 
by which they were allowed to be made slaves (1376). It was at 
their request for her mediation, that Catherine of Siena went to 
Avignon to urge the Pope's return to Eome ; and Gregory announced 
his resolution, though opposed by the French King and most of the 
cardinals, of whom six remained at Avignon. 

The seventy years' "Babylonian Captivity" was ended by the 
Pope's entrance into Pome, amidst demonstrations of joy, in 
January 1377 ; but he had been able to do little towards com- 
posing the troubles of Italy, when his health, always feeble, broke 
down, and he died at the early age of 47 (March 27, 1378). 

1 This most famous of the female mystical enthusiasts was born in 
1347, the daughter of a dyer. In her sixth year she began to see visions, 
and in her seventh she devoted herself, by a vow to the Blessed Virgin, 
as the bride of the Saviour, whose mystic marriage with her was after- 
wards celebrated by a ring visible on her ringer to herself alone. Like 
St. Francis, she received the stigrrvit i, but with a difference which may 
help to suggest an explanation ; the marks were invisible, but she felt 
the pain of the wounds. She even s imagined that the Saviour had 
exchanged her heart for His own, as was witnessed by a scar in her 
side. She became a sister of penitence of the order of St. Dominic, 
and led a life of extraordinary asceticism, abstaining from food to a 
degree of which even her biographer says, " non video quod sit pos- 
sibile per naturam." Catherine died in 1380, and was canonized by 
Pius II. in 14-61. (Hase, Caterina von Siena, Leipzig, 1864.) 

2 Cardinal Peter Roger, a Provencal, and nephew of Clement VI. He 
was highly esteemed for his learning and prudence, modesty and generosity. 

The Castle of St. Angelo (Mausoleum of Hadrian). 1 


A.D. 1378—1410. 

1. Elections of Urban VI. at Rome and Clement VII. at Avignon — 
Their characters and adherents — National character of the Schism — 
Forces at work for a reformation. § 2. Urban's visit to Naples ; his 
detention and escape — His violent acts and death. § 3. Exactions of 
Clement; resisted by France and England — Statute of Praemunire. 
§ 4. Boniface IX. at Rome — His exactions and two jubilees (1390 
and 1400). § 5. Effort at Paris to end the Schism — Death of 
Clement VII. and election of Benedict XIII. at Avignon — Attempts to 
make both Popes resign — France withdraws from and returns to Bene- 
dict. § 6. Death of Boniface IX. — Succession of Innocent VII. and 
Gregory XII. at Rome — Vain overtures of Pope and Antipope. § 7. 
France rejects Benedict — A General Council proposed. § 8. Gerson 

1 The architectural decorations, though only an imaginary restoration, 
may serve to give some idea of the state of the edifice before its ruin at 

this epoch. (See p. 139, note.) 


on Popes and Councils — Question of the Imperial Power. § 9. The 
Council of Pisa deposes both Popes. § 10. Declaration for reform " in 
head and members " — Election of the Franciscan Alexander V. — He 
dissolves the Council — The Schism not healed : the Church with three 
husbands — Weakness and profusion of Alexander — His Bull for the 
Friars, resisted by the University of Paris — His capture of Rome, and 
death — Balthasar Cossa, John XXIII. 

§ 1. The death of Gregory XI. gave the signal for another pro- 
longed crisis, the Great Papal Schism of forty years (1378-1417), 
"which next to the long residence at Avignon, tended more than 
other agencies to shake the empire of the Popes, and stimulate a 
reformation of the Church." x The late Pope, foreseeing the struggle 
of parties in the Conclave, had decreed that an election by the 
majority of the cardinals, whether at Home or elsewhere, should 
be valid, even if the usual formalities were not observed. The 
Koman populace, resolved to prevent another return to Avignon, 
forced their way into the Vatican, clamouring for the election of an 
Italian ; their favourite candidate being the oldest member of the 
sacred college, Tibaldeschi, archpriest of St. Peter's. Of the sixteen 
cardinals at Rome, eleven were Frenchmen ; but they were divided 
among themselves, and it was as a compromise as well as under 
the popular compulsion, that they chose one who was not a car- 
dinal, but at once an Italian and a native subject of the Queen of 
Naples — Bartholomew of Prignani, archbishop of Bari, who took 
the title of Urban VI. (April 9th, 1378-Oct. 15th, 1389). 

To remove all doubts of the validity of the election, it was an- 
nounced to Europe and to their brethren at Avignon by the car- 
dinals themselves (instead of by the new Pope, as usual) as their 
unanimous choice, under the direction of the Holy Ghost. Urban, a 
man of humble birth and of ascetic life, learned in Church law and 
devoted to the study of Holy Scripture, had the reputation of 
humility, compassion, and disinterested equity. But he bore his 
elevation badly, at once announcing violent and impolitic reforms, 
and provoking the cardinals by his harsh mandates and his arrogant 
behaviour. He alienated a powerful ally in his late sovereign, 

1 Hardwick (Ch. Hist. Mid. Age, p. 328), who cites the remarkable testi- 
mony of Henry of Hesse (1381): " Hanc tribulatiouem a Deo non gratis 
permissam, sed in necessariam opportunamque Ecclesise, reformntionem fina- 
liter convertendam." (Consilium Pads, in Von der Hardt's Consil. Constant. 
ii. 1, seq.) Hardwick also points out that " the long duration of the schism 
could not fail to give an impulse, hitherto unknown, in calling up the 
nationality of many a western state, in satisfying it that papal rule was 
not essential to its welfare, and in thereby adding strength to local 


Joanna of Naples, by his rude reception of her husband, 1 who 
brought him the Queen's congratulations. 

The majority of the cardinals, leaving the city one by one, 
assembled at Anagni, where they denounced the election of Urban 
as having been extorted from them by fear of death, and then, 
having removed to Fondi, in the Neapolitan territory, they made 
a new election of Cardinal Robert of Geneva, bishop of Cambray, 
as Pope Clement VII. (Sept. 20, 1378). The Antipope, 2 who was 
connected by birth with the chief princes of Europe, was 36 years 
old, of an enterprizing spirit, which we have already seen displayed 
in the Italian wars in the guise rather of a captain of mercenaries 
than of a Christian prelate. He proceeded to visit Joanna, with whose 
concurrence the election had been made ; but the people of Naples, 
zealous for Urban as their countryman, raised the cry of " Death 
to the Antipope and the Queen," and Clement retired to Avignon, 
to become the dependent of the King of France. The University 
of Paris, after a contest between its " nations," pronounced in his 
favour (1379) : Scotland, the ally of France, took the same side ; 
while England declared for Urban, as did also Germany and 
Bohemia, Hungary, Poland, and Portugal, as well as all Italy, 
except Naples. Castile and Arragon, after some delay, declared 
for Clement. 

The contest assumed very much of a national character, and an 
English writer of the time remarks that, but for the quarrels of 
nations, the schism would neither have been so lightly begun, nor 
kept up so long. 3 The evil was aggravated by the want of any 
master-mind among the sovereigns of Europe; for at this very 
crisis the crowns of England, France, and Germany, passed from 
able and experienced rulers to young and feeble successors. 4 But 
far deeper than these outward influences was the working of those 
internal forces, w T hich had already come to a head in the open 

1 Otho, duke of Brunswick, was Joanna's fourth husband. 

2 Antipope, that is to say, according to the Roman authorities; but 
the legitimacy of the Popes at Avignon (Clement VII. and Benedict XIII.) 
is maintained by the Gallican divines, and no decision was given by the 
Councils held for the express purpose of healing the schism. The Pope 
appointed by the Council of Pisa, Alexander V., obtained a sort of ac- 
knowledgment by the fact that the next Pope of that name was numbered 
as Alexander VI., while, on the other haul, the names of Clement VII. and 
Benedict XIII. have been borne by later Popes. 

3 Richard of Ulverstone, ap. Von der Hardt, i. 1170. 

4 In England, Edward III. was succeeded by Richard II. in 1377; in 
Germany and Bohemia, Charges IV. was followed by his son Wenzel or Wen- 
ceslaus, a weak debauchee (1378) ; in France, the able King Charles V. was 
replaced (1380) by his son Charles VI., a boy of fourteen, whose imbecility 
left the realm a prey to factions and an English conquest. 


demands for a thorough reformation in England 1 and Bohemia, 
when the schism bore its own witness against the claims of 
either pontiff to universal authority. To all these movements 
the stimulus of practical grievances was added by the gross exac- 
tions begun by Avignon and soon outstripped by Rome. It was 
in vain that the University of Paris, feeling the national disgrace 
of Clement's proceedings, proposed that the dispute should be 
decided by a General Council. Both Popes professed their readi- 
ness to accept the judgment of a Council, but each demanded the 
submission of his rival as a prior condition. 

§ 2. Urban VI. succeeded in re-establishing his authority in the 
Papal States by the aid of a native mercenary force, which broke 
up the Breton and Gascon free companies. 2 To avenge himself on 
the Queen of Naples, he used all his temporal and spiritual power 
in aid of her kinsman, Charles of Durazzo, by whom Joanna was 
dethroned (1381), and, as was believed, murdered in her prison 
(1382). As Charles was slow in complying with the Pope's ex- 
travagant claims, Urban went to Naples, against the advice of his 
cardinals, on whose company he insisted with a fury that raised 
doubts of his sanity (1383). Charles received him with high 
honour, but kept a strict guard on his movements ; and, when 
Urban proceeded to more and more arbitrary acts of authority, he 
found himself a prisoner at Nocera (1384). Here his self-will and 
violence became so intolerable, even to the cardinals of his own 
creation, that they framed a design for putting him in charge of 
curators. The plot was betrayed, and a confession was extracted 
by torture from six cardinals, who were half starved in a narrow 
loathsome dungeon. At length Urban was aided to escape, and 
sailed to Genoa, where five of the six captive cardinals were secretly 
put to death. 3 Having quarrelled with his protector, the Doge, 

1 The epoch of Wyclifs appearance as a reformer may be dated from 
his establishment in the rectory of Lutterworth in 1375 ; and it was in 
the year which ended the Babylonian Captivity that he was summoned 
before the Archbishop of Canterbury at St. Paul's (1377). See Chap. 
XXXIX., and for Hus and Bohemia, Chap. XL. 

2 An incident of this campaign was the ruin of Hadrian's splendid 
Mausoleum on the Tiber, which had been turned into the chief fortress of 
Rome, and named the Castle of St. Angelo. Being held by the party 
of the cardinals, it was now first assailed with cannon; and, after its 
capture by the papal forces, it was stripped of its marble facings and 
ornaments. (See the vignette on p. 136.) 

3 On the murder of Charles in Hungary (1386), whither he had gone 
to secure the crown on the death of Louis, Urban refused to invest his 
son Ladislaus in the kingdom of Naples; thus playing into the hands of 
his rival Clement, who supported the claim of Louis of Anjou. Naples 
fell into anarchy, till Boniface IX. recognized Ladislaus (1389). In 


Urban removed to Lucca (1386), and thence to Perugia ; and, 
compelled to leave that city by his nephew's infamous licence, he 
returned to Rome in August, 1388. His cold reception by the 
people, and the need of replenishing his coffers, suggested the 
popular expedient of a Jubilee ; and from his tender regard for 
those who found the interval of fifty years too long, Urban disco- 
vered a more sacred precedent in the thirty-three years of our 
Saviour's life on earth. But the appointed date of 1390 was 
anticipated by his own death (Oct. 15th, 1389). The cardinals 
at Rome elected Cardinal Peter Tomacelli as Boniface IX. (1389- 
1404), a man in the prime of life, who is described as possessed 
of some showy personal qualities, but wanting in learning and 
knowledge of affairs. 

§ 3. Urban had the one merit of abstaining from the gross exac- 
tions and simony which his rival carried to an outrageous length. 
Europe had now to support tw T o papal courts, and the burthen fell 
most oppressively on the West, where Clement surrounded himself 
with no less than 36 cardinals. The papal claim to present to all 
* benefices was enforced wherever it was possible, and a new exten- 
sion of it was devised by the Qratise exspectativee, conferring the 
reversion of a benefice. The utmost use was made of existing 
forms of exaction, such as the tithes of vacant benefices, the annates 
and jus exuviarum, and all kinds of dispensations. The sale of 
appointments to the most unfit persons, in the schools as well as the 
Church, was ruinous alike to religion and learning, and the Uni- 
versity of Paris was deserted by its students. The resources thus 
raised were partly expended in purchasing the support of princes and 
nobles. The King of France endeavoured to check these abuses by 
a royal edict (1385) and by new taxation of the clergy ; and in 
England they provoked the famous statutes of Praemunire, im- 
posing the penalties of outlawry on any who should bring in 
papal bulls or instruments for the translation of bishops and the 
like purposes (1389 and 1393). 1 

§ 4. At Rome the influence of the elder cardinals restrained Boni- 

Northern Italy, the weakness of the Roman court threw the chief power 
into the hands of the politic and unscrupulous John Galeazzo Visconti, 
who had poisoned his uncle Bernabo (1383). 

1 13 Ric. II. st. ii. c. 2, 3 ; 16 Ric. II. c. 5. The latter, which is 
usually called the Statute of Praemunire, was enrolled at the desire of 
the Archbishop of Canterbury himself. The former statute was especially 
directed against the bringing in of excommunications against those who 
enforced the equally famous Statute of Provisors (25 Edw. III. st. 6, 1351), 
which made it - penal to secure any presentation to benefices from the 
court of Rome. (Comp. Chap. XVI.'§ 7.) Another statute (27 Edw. III. 
c. 1) visited the carrying appeals to Rome with outlawry. 


face from the like practices during his first seven years, after which 
he far outstript even Clement in unblushing simony and multiplied 
exactions. 1 In 1390 Boniface held the Jubilee proclaimed by Urban, 
and, after an absence caused by dissensions with the citizens, he 
returned to Rome, at their request, to celebrate the greater jubilee 
of the end of the century (1400). Both festivals were well attended, 
and even the French flocked to the second, in spite of the King's 
prohibition. The great profits drawn from these multitudes were 
increased by the indulgences granted in lieu of the pilgrimage. 
Besides what was retained for the Pope's use, means were thus 
provided for restoring the churches and fortifications of Rome, and 
for recovering portions of the papal territory, so that Boniface was 
more powerful than any of his predecessors for a considerable time. 

§ 5. While Boniface, thus strengthened, endeavoured by repeated 
letters to detach the King of France from Clement, the University 
of Paris made a vigorous effort to end the schism. Having, at the 
beginning of 1394, obtained permission 2 to declare their opinion, 
and having collected the opinions of the academic body, they drew 
up a judgment suggesting three ways of settlement : either, that both 
Popes should abdicate ; or, that they should agree on the choice of 
a council of arbitration ; or, that the question should be referred to 
a General Council. This judgment, drawn up by Nicolas of 
Clamenges, who was styled the Cicero of his age, assisted by the 
eminent doctors, Peter d'Ailly, Chancellor of Paris, and Giles 
Deschamps, was submitted to the King, who had now recovered 
(June 1394) ; but the party of Clement, and chiefly the Cardinal 
Peter de Luna, persuaded Charles to postpone his decision. Most of 
the cardinals at Avignon, however, were disposed to agree with the 
University ; and, on learning this, Clement was so enraged that he 
died in a few days (Sept. 16, 1394). 

The letters of Charles, desiring the cardinals not to make a hasty 

1 For the details, see Robertson (vol. iv. pp. 169 f.), and especially the 
extracts in Gieseler (iv. 100 f.) from the very important treatise, De Ruina 
Ucclesise or De Corrupto Ecclesim Statu (a.d. 1401), commonly, though 
very questionably, ascribed to Nicolas of Clamenges (printed in Hardt, 
Cone. Const. I. pt. iii.). This writer gives another example of the use of 
apocalyptic imagery in tracing all the evils resulting from the schism to 
the Popes and their courts : " Sed me praeterire non decet, quantam et 
quam abominabilem fornicationem Papa et hi sui fratres cum saeculi 
principibus inierint." Ample evidence to the same corruptions is borne 
by the works of another contemporary, Theodoric of Niem, De Schismate, 
and Nomus Unionis (printed at Strassburg, 1629). 

2 From the Duke of Berri, who was in power during one of the King's 
attacks of derangement. Above 10,000 papers are said to have been thrown 
into the chest which was placed to receive the opinions of the members of 
the University. 


election, found them just assembling in conclave. On this pretext 
the King's letters were left unopened, and the Cardinal di Luna was 
elected as Benedict XIII. (Sept. 28, 1394). This able and obstinate 
Spaniard had been from the first most active in the cause of Clement, 
and had won over Castile to his side. Still he had professed a desire 
to heal the schism ; and he was now under an oath, which all the 
cardinals had taken before the election, to do his utmost for that 
object, even by resigning if the college required it. But he had 
taken the precaution to declare that the oath could not bind the 
Pope, except so far as every Catholic was bound by right and 
conscience ;* and his real purpose was afterwards expressed by the 
pithy phrase, that " he would rather be flayed alive than resign." 
It was in this temper that he received a mission, headed by the 
Dukes of Berri, Burgundy, and Orleans, conveying to him the 
judgment of a great national council of the prelates, monastic 
orders, and Universities, that both Popes should resign (June 
1395). 2 The sovereigns and Universities of Europe were called 
on for their opinions. Germany leaned to the side of Boniface. 
In England, Oxford declared for a Council ; but King Richard wrote 
to both Popes, advising their resignation. At a meeting at Keims, 
Charles V. and Wenceslaus agreed to enforce that measure, each 
on the Pope he had before supported; but, in answer to this 
resolution, each Pope required the other to resign first. 

At length another national council at Paris decided, by 247 votes 
out of 300, to withdraw support from Benedict (July 1398). A 
royal edict forbad obedience to him, and he was besieged at 
Avignon by the marshal of France, from April 1399 to March 1403, 
when he made his escape down the Rhone into Provence, the 
territory of Louis of Sicily. Meanwhile events had changed in 
his favour. The deposition of Richard II. ( 1399) 3 was followed by 
that of Wenceslaus (1400) and the election of Rupert, Count Pala- 
tine of the Rhine, as King of the Romans, which was confirmed by 

1 " Whatsoever promises might be made [at elections], the Pope could 
never be bound by the oaths of the Cardinal." (Gibbon, vi. 897.) 

2 Adopted by 87 votes to 22, and approved by the King. The cause 
of Benedict was espoused by the Dominicans, who had been excluded from 
the University of Paris for their rejection of the Immaculate Conception, 
and also by the University of Toulouse. When. Benedict deprived his 
opponents at Paris of their preferments, the University appealed to "a 
future, sole, and real, pope ; and when he declared appeals from the Pope 
to be unlawful, it repeated the act, asserting that schismatical and 
heretical popes were subject in life to the judgment of general councils, and 
after death to that of their own successors." (Robertson, vol. iv. p. 176.) 

3 In England, the schism strengthened the nationality of the Church, 
and Henry IV. detained the papal revenues till the dispute should be 


Boniface in a tone worthy of Hildebrand. In the factions at the 
French Court, the King's brother, the Duke of Orleans, espoused 
the cause of Benedict ; and the great leaders of the University — 
Peter d'Ailly, Nicolas of Clamenges, 1 and John Gerson — went over 
to his side. Another national assembly resolved, and the King 
confirmed the decision by a public solemnity, to return to the obe- 
dience of Benedict, on condition that he should resign in case of 
Boniface's resignation or death, and that he would speedily call a 
General Council and abide by its judgment (May 1403). 

§ 6. The contingency speedily occurred to test his good faith. In 
the following year he sent a mission to his rival, proposing a personal 
conference ; but Boniface scouted all idea of equality, and ordered 
Benedict's envoys to leave Rome. Provoked by this insolence, they 
replied, " At least our master is not a simoniac ;" and Boniface, 
stung mortally by the taunt, fell ill and died in three days (Oct. 1, 
1404). The Roman cardinals now asked the envoys if they had 
authority to declare the resignation of Benedict; and, on receiving a 
negative reply, they elected the Neapolitan Cardinal Cosmato 
Migliorati as Innocent VII. (Oct. 17, 1404) ; every cardinal having 
first taken an oath that, if elected, he would labour to heal the 
schism, and resign if required. This mild old man, opposed to 
simony and rapacity, found his attempts to reform the morals of his 
court overborne by the ambition and vices of his kinsmen ; and his 
brief pontificate was one scene of trouble from the factions of Rome 
and the intrigues of Ladislaus of Naples. 2 He died Nov. 6, 1406. 

Cardinal Angelo Corario, titular patriarch of Constantinople, a 
man of seventy, respected for his piety, learning, and prudence, was 
now elected as Gregory XII. (1406-1409), under so binding a pro- 
mise to heal the schism, by resignation if necessary, that he was said to 
be chosen rather as a proctor for resigning the Papacy than as a 
Pope. 3 It was on his proposal that the cardinals took this oath, which 
he renewed after his election ; but Theodoric of Niem, who held an 
office at his court, calls him a wolf in sheep's clothing. In a letter 
to Benedict he likened himself to the Hebrew mother, who would 
rather give up her child than see it cut in twain ; and he only 
feared not to live long enough to fulfil his purpose. But, in fact, 
there were more immediate obstacles in the cupidity of his nephews 

1 Nicolas became Benedict's private secretary. " It was with re- 
luctance that he consented, and he expresses joy at being released from 
the service, although he speaks with gratitude of the Pope's considerate 
behaviour towards him. The tone of the papal court, he says, was better 
than that of secular courts." (Epist. 14, 54. Robertson, vol. iv. p. 179.) 

2 For the details, see Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 181-2. 

3 Leonardus Arretinus, 925 ; Robertson, vol. iv. p. 182. 


and the ambition of Ladislaus of Naples. Benedict responded by 
proposing a personal interview, for which both set out, but with 
such delays as to provoke a comparison to a land and sea animal 
proposing to meet, but each refusing to leave its own element. 

§ 7. Meanwhile the French had again lost patience with Benedict, 
who was deprived of his chief friend by the murder of the Duke of 
Orleans (Nov. 1407) ; and he gave fresh provocation by two Bulls 
against his opponents (April 1408). Another great national assem- 
bly burnt the Bulls, and declared " Peter de Luna " guilty of heresy 
and schism, and he only escaped imprisonment by a flight to Per- 
pignan (May). At this same time Gregory, at Lucca, quarrelled 
with his cardinals, who withdrew to Pisa, and proceeded to meet 
Benedict's cardinals at Leghorn. The two parties agreed to 
summon a Council to meet at Pisa in the following year, and the 
design was approved by the Universities of Paris, Bologna, and 
Florence. In their letters to the princes and universities, the car- 
dinals of each party drew the most odious character of the Pope they 
had hitherto supported ; but, as Milman observes, 1 " the mutual fear 
and mistrust of the rival Popes was their severest condemnation. 
These grey-headed Prelates, each claiming to be the representative 
of Christ upon earth, did not attempt to disguise from the world, 
that neither had the least reliance on the truth, honour, justice, 
religion, of the other." While refusing to abdicate their high dig- 
nity, they stripped it of all respect in the eyes of Christendom, at 
the very crisis of a wide-spread and growing demand for a thorough 
reform of the Church " in head and members." All this strength- 
ened the conviction that the time had come to fall back on the 
ancient mode of taking the judgment of the Church in a General 

§ 8. This course was advocated with great effect by a doctor whose 
name now becomes conspicuous, John Charlier, surnamed Gerson, 
from the village in Champagne where he was born (1363). Having 
studied at Paris under Peter d'Ailly and Giles Deschamps, he 
succeeded the former as Chancellor and professor of theology in 
1395. The counsel he now gave was the more weighty from his 
former adhesion to Benedict and his unpopular opposition to the 
extreme course taken by the national council in 1406. In the 
works 2 which he contributed towards the closing of the schism, 

1 Latin Christianity, vol. viii. p. 108. 

2 Especially his Considerationes de Pace, a sermon preached before 
Benedict XIII. (Jan. 1, 1404), and his tracts, De Unitate Ecclesise, (1409), 
and De Auferibilitate P<ipx. See the copious extracts in Gieseler, vol. iv. 
pp. 116-121). Though Gerson thus helped to pave the way for the 
Council, he was not present at that of Pisa ; but he was a chief leader in 


Gerson fell back on the original idea of the Church, maintaining 
that its authority resided in the Catholic body, and, practically, in 
a General Council as its representative. "He supposed that, 
although the power of convoking General Councils had in later 
times been exercised by the Popes alone, the Church might resume 
it in certain circumstances ; that this might be properly done in the 
case of a division between rival Popes ; and that, in such a case, a 
Council might be summoned, not only by the cardinals, but by 
faithful laymen. He held that, in case of necessity, the Church 
could subsist for a time without a visible head ; he greatly mitigated 
the pretensions which had been set up on behalf of the Papacy ; 
and, on the whole he expressed, far more distinctly than any one 
who had written since the appearance of the False Decretals, that 
theory of the Church to which the name of Gallican has been 
given in later times." l Others found the root of the whole evil in 
the discord between the Empire and the Papacy, and regretted the 
time when the Emperor could convene a General Council, so as to 
strangle a schism in its birth. 2 But now, strange to say, the only 
appeal to that lost power was made by Gregory XII. to Kupert, 3 
who had promised to support him, but who found himself unable to 
refuse sending representatives to Pisa, though chiefly to oppose the 
proceedings. It was in vain that each Pope made a futile attempt 
to anticipate the Council by one of his own, 4 — called, with deserved 
contempt, Conciliabules. The only sovereigns who refused to send 

that of Constance. Of his theology we have to speak further in connection 
with the Mystics (see Chap. XXXIII.). 

1 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 189. 

2 Theod. a Niem, de Schismate, iii. 7, ap. Gieseler, vol. iv. p. 117-8. 

3 Rupert's claim to the Empire was still contested by the partisans of 
Wenceslaus, and when Rupert's envoys withdrew from the Council, after 
a vain effort for its adjournment, the Council recognised Wenceslaus, but 
without any practical effect. 

4 Benedict's " hasty, but somewhat imposing assembly " at Perpignan, 
composed of bishops from Spain, Savoy, Lorraine, and a few from France 
(Nov. 1408-March 1409), dissolved in discord, and the small rem- 
nant advised him to abdicate and send envoys to Pisa, but their final 
decisions are a very obscure question. Benedict is said to have treated 
the bishops with contemptuous harshness. " He certainly retired to the 
strong fortress of Peniscola, and there in sullen dignity awaited the 
event." (Milman, viii. p. 112.) Gregory was unable even to obtain a 
place for his assembly till after the meeting of the Council of Pisa, when 
the authorities of Venice, his native state, allowed his Council to be held 
in a remote corner of their territory, at Ciudad or Cividale, in the Friuli 
(June-Sept. 1409). It was scantily attended, and without any result. 
Florence, the state in which Pisa was situated, held a Council of its own, 
which condemned both Popes. Pisa had been sold by its Doge to its old 
enemies, the Florentines, three years before. 


representatives to Pisa were the Kings of Castile and Arragon, as 
adherents of Benedict, and Ladislaus of Naples, who supported 
Boniface as the instrument of his own ambition, and from enmity 
to Florence. 

§ 9. On the appointed Lady Day, 1409, the Council 1 met in the 
splendid Italian cathedral of Pisa. 2 " Among those who took part in 
it (although many of them did not arrive until later) were twenty- 
two cardinals and four titular patriarchs, with archbishops, bishops, 
abbots (including the heads of the chief religious orders), envoys of 
many sovereign princes, representatives of cathedral chapters, and a 
host of masters and doctors, who represented the powerful influence 
of the Universities." 3 The choice of Cardinal Peter Philargi, arch- 
bishop of Milan, to preach the opening sermon, proved a presage of 
the chief act of the Council. The rival Popes were summoned, and 
pronounced contumacious for non-attendance. The charges against 
them were stated, and the evidence examined by a commission ; and, 
after a recital of the judgments of Universities 4 in favour of the 
course proposed, both were declared notorious schismatics and here- 
tics, guilty of perjury and incorrigible obstinacy, rejected of God 
and cut off from the Church, and by their enormous iniquities 
and excesses unworthy of all honour and dignity, especially of the 
Supreme Pontificate, which was accordingly pronounced vacant, 
and all Christians were absolved from obedience to them (June 5). 

§ 10. A leading principle of the Council was the full admission of 
the need of reform " in head and members;" and, before proceeding 
to a new election, each of the Cardinals pledged himself that, should 
he be chosen, he would continue the Council till it effected " a due, 
seasonable, and sufficient reformation." 5 Balthasar Cossa, who had 
taken an active part in the Council, might have secured the tiara, 

1 Sometimes called the 16th (Ecumenical Council, but Roman Catholic 
divines are not unanimous as to its authority and the legitimacy of Alexan- 
der V. Bellarmine pronounces the council nee approbation nee reprobatum. 
The best recent authorities reject it as not convened by a Pope. 

2 See Milman's vivid description of the scene, and full enumeration of the 
members of the Council {Latin Christianity, viii. 1 13-115). The four titular 
patriarchs were those of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Grado ; but 
it should be remembered that the three imposing eastern titles, as well as 
that of Constantinople, were borne by Latin bishops. Of the English 
representatives, the most distinguished and active was Robert Hal lam, 
bishop of Salisbury, who declared that he had authority from Henry IV. 
to consent to whatever the Council might determine for promoting unity. 

3 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 190. 

* Namely, of Paris, Angers, Orleans, Toulouse, Bologna, and Florence. 

" It seems not superfluous to point out the use by the Roman Catholic 
Church itself of a word afterwards regarded as so hateful, and, what is 
much more, the recognition of the idea which that word embodies. 


but he preferred that it should be worn, for a time, by one who 
was his tool. The election was duly conducted by the twenty - 
two cardinals present, who, after being eleven days in conclave, 
elected Cardinal Peter Philargi as Alexander V. (June 26). 
He was a Greek, born in Candia, but had never known his parents 
or any other relation. The child, found by a Franciscan friar 
begging his bread, was received into the order, and educated at 
Paris and Oxford. Having become tutor to the~sons of John 
GaleaZzo Visconti, he was made through his influence Bishop of 
Vicenza and Novara, and Archbishop of Milan. He was now above 
70 years old ; of high repute for theological learning. But he had 
faults which soon disappointed the hopes which he was called to 
fulfil. The advice, which Gerson addressed to him on the duties 
of his office, was disregarded ; and, instead of at once proceeding with 
the promised reformation, he postponed it for another Council, to be 
held three years later, and dissolved the Council of Pisa on the 7th 
of August, 1409. Its great result had been to strike a mortal blow 
at the foundations of the papal authority, by the deposition of two 
Popes on other grounds than invalid election, and by setting a 
General Council above the Holy See. 1 " Each party of the Cardinals 
had concurred in the election of one or other of the Popes ; they 
could not take that ground without impugning their own authority. 
If the Schism imperceptibly undermined the Papal power in public 
estimation, the General Council might seem to shake it to its base." 2 
Nor had the main purpose of healing the Schism been yet accom- 
plished. Both Benedict, from his fastness at Peiliscola, and Gregory 
from the refuge he had found with Ladislaus, 3 refused submission 
and anathematized the Council ; the former was still recognized by 
France and Scotland, the latter by some of the German bishops and 
the lesser states of Italy, while the King of Naples gave him armed 
support. Hence, in a work of the time, the Church was made to 
complain that the Council had only exchanged her bigamy for three 
husbands. 4 

1 Gieseler (vol. iv. p. 119) points out that, after the Council of Pisa, 
"the Canonists vied with each other in demonstrating this new opinion, so 
injurious to the Papacy, of the superiority of General Councils to the 
Pope, and thus the papal system of the last century seemed to be 
threatened with total overthrow." 

2 Milman, viii. 120. 

3 After holding his council, Gregory had repaired to Gaeta, in the 
territory of Ladislaus, to whom he is said to have sold his rights of 
sovereignty in Rome and the Papal States. 

4 "Bivira fueram et triviram fecerunt." A dialogue between Christ 
and the Church, in imitation of Boethius de Consul., by Th. de Vrie, 
printed in Hardt's Hist. Cone. Const, i. 148. Others likened the Church 
to a three-headed Cerberus. 


He might have said, a multitude, for the easy disposition of 
Alexander made him a tool in the hands of his order. The 
Franciscans filled all places at his court, and in order to provide for 
the vast number of applicants, he multiplied offices till they fell 
into contempt. Thus the order supplied that want of kindred 
which kept him free from nepotism ; and, being equally free from 
avarice and too good-natured to refuse, he lavished gifts till he 
said of himself that, having been rich as a bishop, and poor as a 
cardinal, he was a beggar as Pope. His first act of authority was 
to throw down a new apple of discord by granting the four orders of 
Mendicant Friars the privilege most obnoxious to the secular clergy, 
of hearing confessions, giving absolution, and administering the 
sacraments everywhere, independently of bishops and parish priests ; 
to whose injury was added the insult of requiring them to read the 
Bull in their churches on pain of excommunication. 1 Even the 
Dominicans and Carmelites refused the privileges, which were 
accepted by the Franciscans and Augustinians. The University of 
Paris, led by Grerson, replied by expelling these two orders, 2 and 
obtained from the King an edict, forbidding the parochial clergy to 
allow the Mendicants to hear confessions or to preach in their 

While Alexander remained at Pisa, Ladislaus took possession 
of Rome in the name of Gregory. Louis of Anjou, the rival of 
Ladislaus, and his enemies the Florentines, aided Cardinal Balthasar 
Cossa, legate of Bologna, to retake the city for Alexander, to whom 
the Romans sent their keys. But the Pope, who was under the 
control of Balthasar Cossa, joined him at Bologna, where he died, 
not without suspicion of poison, 3 on the 3rd of May 1410 ; and on 
the 16th a conclave of seventeen cardinals elected Cossa as Pope : 
" a man," says Archbishop Trench, " than whom it would have 
been difficult to select an abler or a worse. He took the name of 
John XXIII. 4 

' * This Bull, " Regnans in excelsis," overruled no less than seven edicts 
of former Popes. It likewise authorized the Mendicants to receive tithes. 
It was revoked by his successor, John XXIII. Respecting the whole 
question, see the subsequent account of the Franciscans (Chap. XXV.). 

2 Affecting to doubt its genuineness, they sent a mission to Rome, to 
require a sight of the Bull itself, which was disavowed to the envoys by 
the Cardinals, by Avhose advice it professed to have been issued. 

3 One of the Articles preferred against John XXIII. at Constance 
alleged the murder of his predecessor by his machinations as a thing 
asserted, repixted, and believed. 

4 Some call him John XXII. See p. 92. The legitimacy both of 
Alexander V. and John XXIII. is involved in that of the Council ; and 
the most consistent opinion holds that Gregory XII. was the true Pope 
from 14-06 to his resignation in 1415. 

Hall of the Kaufhaus, in which the Council of Constance was held. 


A.D. 1410 TO 1418. 

1. Character and Career of John XXIII. § 2. His first acts as Pope — 
Contest with Ladislaus of Naples — A Council at Rome condemns 
Wyclif — John driven from the City. § 3. The Emperor Sigismund — 
His Character. § 4. He resolves to call a Council — The Pope consents 
— Place of meeting at Constance. § 5. Death of Ladislaus — John and 
Frederick of Austria — Arrival of the Pope and John Hus at Constance. 
§ 6. Assembling of the Council — Its numbers and motley attendants. 
§ 7. The leaders : Zabarella ; Peter d'Ailly ; John Gerson ; Robert 
Hallam — Reform in He id and Members — Character and Limits of this 
demand. §8. The Sixteenth (Latin) (Ecumenical Council — The last 
that can claim the title — Its Opening, and threefold purpose — Policy of 
the Pope : to deal first with Heresy — Hus committed to custody. 
§ 9. Arrival of the Emperor — Cardinal d'Ailly's Sermon: the Sun, 
Moon, and Stars. § 10. Sigismund's first acts — He gives up Hus — 
Doctrine of No Faith vith Heretics. § 11. The Pope's scheme frus- 
trated — Mode of voting — The Four Nations. § 12. Proceedings against 
the Pope — His Flight and Return — The 70 charges — Deposition of 
John XXIII. — Resignation of Gregory XII. — Resistance and deposition 
II— I 


of Benedict XIII. — End of the Forty Years' Schism. § 13. Divisions in 
the Council — Henry (afterwards Cardinal) Beaufort — Election of Pope 
Martin V. § 14. His Character and first acts — Abuses restored — The 
Con~ ordat< instead of a general reform. § 15. Affair of Jean Petit and 
tyrannicide — His condemnation annulled by Martin V. — The three 
J < tins dealt with by the Council — Exile and end of Gerson. § 16. 
Decrees in place of Reformation — The Emperor and Pope — End and 
failure of the Council. 

§ 1. John XXIlI. (1410-1416) is characterized by Milman 1 as 
" another of those Popes the record of whose life, by its contradic- 
tious, moral anomalies, almost impossibilities, perplexes and baffles 
the just and candid historian. That such, even in those times, 
should be the life even of an Italian Churchman, and that after 
such a life he should ascend to the Papacy, shocks belief; yet the 
record of that life not merely rests on the concurrent testimony of 
all the historians of the time, two of them secretaries to the Koman 
Courts, 2 but is avouched by the deliberate sanction of the Council 
of Constance to articles which contained all the darkest charges of 
the historians, and to some of which John himself had pleaded 

Born of a noble Neapolitan family, his early clerical profession did 
not restrain him from taking part in the piratical warfare between 
the Hungarian and Provencal fleets about Naples; 3 and he then 
acquired the habit of sleeping in the day and keeping awake during 
the night. While studying, or affecting to study, the Canon Law at 
Bologna, he obtained the favour of Gregory IX., who made him 
archdeacon of that city, and afterwards the papal chamberlain at 
Rome. For his own profit, as well as the Pope's, he became the 
unscrupulous agent of Gregory's simony and extortion, of which he 

1 Latin Christianity, viii. pp. 128-9. 

2 These two chief authorities are : Leonardus Arretinus, private secre- 
tary to Innocent VII., Gregory XII., Alexander V., and John XXIII., and 
aftei wards Chancellor of Florence (o'>. 1444), Rcrum suo tempore in Italia 
gestarum Commentarins ah anno 1378 usque ad annum 1440 (in Muratori, 
xix. p. 909 f.) ; and Theodoricus a Niem, secretary to John XXIII., 
in his work De Schismate, his Vita Johannis XXIII., and Invectiva in 
diffugientem a Const. Concil. (in Meibomius, Rerum German. Script., and 
Von der Hardt, Concil. Const.) Niem is bitterly hostile to John ; but most 
of his charges are confirmed by the Acts of the Council of Constance, for 
which see Mansi, vol. xxvii., D'Achery, i. p. 828 f., and Von der Hardt : 
also Jacques Lenfant, Histoire du Cvncile de Pisa, et de ce qui s'est passe 
d< /i'ks memorable depuis ce Concile jusqu'au Concite de Co7istance, Arast. 

3 The condemnation of his two brothers to death by Ladislaus, as 
pirates, though they were saved by the intercession of Boniface IX., 
embittered his hatred of the King. 


devised new and ingenious methods. To him is ascribed the 
enormous development of the public sale of Indulgences by priests 
and friars throughout Europe ; * and a case is recorded of his plun- 
dering one of these papal merchants of the proceeds of his traffic* 
Returning to Bologna as Cardinal and Legate, he ruled the city for 
nearly nineteen years " with as absolute and unlimited dominion as 
the tyrant of any other of the Lombard or Romagnese common- 
wealths. Balthasar Cossa, if hardly surpassed in extortion and 
cruelty by the famous Eccelino, by his debaucheries might have 
put to shame the most shameless of the Viscontis." He took an 
active part in the Council of Pisa, and was one of those named for the 
Papacy, but he found it more convenient to use the respectable 
Franciscan as his tool ; till the time came to " remove *' Alexander 
and secure his own election by his power over the conclave held at 
Bologna. " The pirate, tyrant, adulterer, violator of nuns, became 
the successor of St. Peter, the Vicegerent of Christ upon earth." 3 

§ 2. The first acts of John XX1I1. confirmed the worst corrup- 
tions that were prevalent, 4 and anathematized his two rivals and 
the King of Naples. The Crusade which he proclaimed against 
Ladislaus was supported by the arms of Louis of Anjou, who gained 
a great victory at Rocca Secca (May 17th, 1411), but, failing to force 
the passes of the Apennines, retired to Provence, leaving the Pope 
to deal alone with Naples. John had meanwhile entered Rome, 
where he celebrated the victory with insults against Ladislaus, and 
soon made the people repent of the welcome they had given him. 
He now found it necessary to purchase peace with a large sum of 
money, besides disallowing the claims of Louis to Naples and of 
Peter of Arragon to Sicily, and making Ladislaus standard-bearer 
of Rome 5 (June 14] 2). In affected compliance with the promises 
given at Pisa, the Pope now summoned at St. Peter's the mere 

1 "On their arrival at a city, they exhibited a banner with the Papal 
arms, the keys of St. Peter, from the windows of their inn. They entered 
the principal church, took their seats before the altar, the floor strewed 
with rich carpets, and, under awnings of silk to keep off the flies, exhibited 
to the wondering people, notwithstanding the remonstrances of Priests and 
Bishops, their precious wares. ' 1 have heard them,' writes the biographer 
of John XXUL, 'declare that St. Peter himself had not greater power 
to remit sins than themselves ' (Niem, p. 7)." Milman, vol. viii. p. 130. 

2 This person, seemingly a creature of Cossa's, who was then legate at 
Bologna, was seized by him on his arrival at that city, and thrown into 
prison, where he hanged himself in despair. 

3 Niem, ap. Milman, ibid. p. 133. 

4 For the details see Niem and Peter d'Ailly, quoted by Gieseler, 
vol. iv. p. 283 f. 

5 Gregory XII., expelled from Gaeta, took refuge with Charles Malatesta 
at Rimini. 


mockery of a Council, which only deserves a mention for its con- 
demnation and burning of Wyclif s writings (Feb. 1413). 1 The 
treaty was soon broken on account of the exactions which John 
attempted in Naples, and he had to fly before Ladislaus (June), who 
entered and pillaged the city, and overran the Papal States as far as 
Siena, threatening the Pope's safety even at Bologna. John had 
now, most unwillingly, to seek a new protector in Sigismund, the 

§ 3. On the death of Rupert, in 1410, the imperial schism was 
prolonged for a while by the partisans of Wenceslaus, of his brother 
Sigismund, 2 and of Jobst (or Jodocus), marquis of Moravia, whose 
rivalry was ended by his death in about a year. 3 Sigismund was 
then unanimously reelected, his deposed brother voting for him 
(July 1411). " He was the most powerful Emperor who for many 
years had worn the - crown of Germany, and the one unoccupied 
sovereign in Europe. 4 . . . Sigismund, as Emperor, had redeemed 
the follies, vices, tyrannies of his youth ; ... he seemed almost at 
once transformed into the greatest sovereign whom the famous 
house of Luxemburg had ever offered to wear the imperial crown. 
... He enacted and put into execution wise laws. He made peace 
by just mediation between the conflicting principalities. He was 
averse to war, but not from timidity. His stately person, his 
knightly manners, his accomplishments, his activity which bordered 
on restlessness, his magnificence, which struggled, sometimes to his 
humiliation, with his scanty means, had cast an unwonted and 
imposing grandeur, which might recal the great days of the Othos, 
the Henrys, and the Fredericks, around the imperial throne." 6 

§ 4. As King of Hungary, Sigismund had acknowledged John 

1 For the strange incident of the owl, which on two successive days flew 
into the church, and sat glaring at the Pope, see Milnian, vol. viii. p. 135. 

2 Sigismund (b. 1366) was the second son of the Emperor Charles IV., 
on whose death (1378) he succeeded to the marquisate of Brandenburg. 
Having married Maria, the daughter of Louis, King of Hungary, in 1386, 
he was recognized as King next year ; but he had a hard struggle to main- 
tain himself against Ladislaus and internal conspiracies, and afterwards 
against the Turks under Bajazet, whose great victory at Nicopolis (1396) 
made Sigismund a fugitive for 18 months. This earlier period of his life was 
sullied by his love of pleasure and the cruelties provoked by the frequent 
conspiracies against him. Wenceslaus reigned in Bohemia till his death. 

3 He is said to have been 90 years old. 

4 France, distracted by the factions striving for power in the name of 
the lunatic King, Charles VI., was already threatened with the invasion, 
which soon gave occupation to all the strength of England. The 
visit of Sigismund to Henry V. at London (in 1415, after the battle of 
Agincourt) is memorable for his full admission of England's independence 
of the Empire. (See Bryce, Holy Roman Empire, p. 187.) 

5 Milman, vol. viii. pp. 139-140. 


XXIII., with whom he had a common interest against the claims 
of Ladislaus. 1 At his election he had sworn to the Archbishop of 
Mainz that he would receive the crown from no rival Pope. But he 
was above all things desirous of healing the schism of the Church ; 
and now, after the long triumph of papal supremacy, the imperial 
right of convening a General Council, after the example of Constan- 
tine, was not only revived, but put in force. 2 This decisive act was 
urged upon the Emperor by Catholic reformers throughout Christen- 
dom ; and Gerson, in the name of the French Church and State, whose 
own strenuous efforts had failed, told him that it was a duty of his 
office, not to be neglected without mortal sin. John empowered 
his envoys to consent to this indispensable condition of the 
Emperor's support, but with a secret reservation, of which his 
secretary, Leonard of Arezzo, informs us in the very words which 
the Pope used to him : 3 " All depends on the place appointed for 
the Council : I will not trust myself within the dominions of the 
Emperor. My ambassadors, for the sake of appearances, shall have 
liberal instructions and the fullest powers, to display in public ; in 
private I will limit them to certain cities.*' But at the moment of 
their departure, whether from a fit of confidence, or from fear of 
losing all, or in sheer finesse leaving the game to them, he tore 
up the secret instructions ; and, on their meeting the Emperor at 
Como, they consented to the choice he had made of Constance. 4 

1 Besides his competition for the crown of Hungary, Ladislaus appears 
to have aspired to the Empire. 

2 On the significance of this step at the particular crisis, Mr. Bryce ob- 
serves (pp. 303-4): — "The tenet commended itself to the reforming party 
in the Church, headed by Gerson, whose aim it was, while making no 
changes in matters of faith, to correct the abuses which had grown up in 
discipline and government, and limit the power of the Popes by exalting the 
authority of General Councils, to whom there was no\v attributed an in- 
fallibility superior to that which resided in the successor of St. Peter. . . . 
The existence of the Holy Roman Empire and the existence of General 
Councils were necessary parts of one and the same theory, and it was 
therefore more than a coincidence, that the last occasion, on which the 
whole of Latin Christendom met to deliberate and act as a single Common- 
wealth, was also the last on which that Commonwealth's lawful temporal 
head appeared in the exercise of his international functions. Never after- 
wards was he in the eyes of Europe anything more than a German monarch." 
Mr. Bryce adds the remark on the relations between the Emperor and 
Councils : — " It is not without interest to observe, that the Council of 
Ba«el showed signs of reciprocating imperial care by claiming those very 
rights over the Empire, to which the Popes were accustomed to pretend." 

3 Leonard. Arret, s. a. 1413. The envoys were the Cardinal Challant 
and Zabarella, Cardinal of Florence. 

4 In German Konstanz or Kostanz, from the Latin Constantia, so named 
from the Csesar Constantius Chlorus, having been formerly called Ganno- 
durum. Bodensee is the proper German name of the laiae, anciently called 


This ancient imperial city, on the western shore of the Lake 
through which the Khine flows in the great bend by which it encom- 
passes Switzerland on the East and North, was admirably adapted for 
the seat of a Council. Enjoying internal order and a salubrious air, it 
was accessible alike from Italy, from the heart of Germany, and by 
the Rhine from all Western Europe ; while needful supplies could 
be brought from the shores of the lake. The Pope's objection to the 
Italians having to cross the Alps was applied with still great force 
to the many more who lived outside them. It was in vain that he 
raved at his envoys for yielding the choice of a place, and tried to 
reopen it in an interview with the Emperor at Lodi, where he was 
treated with all respect, and promised compliance with Sigismund's 
exhortations to amend the faults by which he scandalized Christen- 
dom. At this time the summons to the Council had already gone 
forth by the Emperor's authority as the temporal head of Christen- 
dom (Oct. 31, 14 13) ; and John consented to issue his summons, as if 
by the independent authority of the Holy See (Dec. 9). Both fixed 
the date of the Feast of All Saints (Nov. 1), in the following year ; 
and the Emperor invited Benedict and Gregory to attend, but 
addressed neither of them as Pope. His edict promised his full 
protection to all who should attend, and guaranteed the rights of 
Pope and Cardinals, prelates and clergy. 

§ 5. John was already threatened with an attack from Ladislaus in 
his residence at Bologna, when the King was seized with illness at 
Perugia, and was carried back to Naples to die (Aug. 1414). This 
release revived the idea of an escape from the decision to which the 
Pope stood committed, and his kindred pressed him to go to Rome 
instead of to Constance, with the ominous warning, " You may set 
forth as a Pope to the Council, to return a private man." But his 
Cardinals l urged him to keep faith with the Emperor and Christen- 
dom, and he set out with reluctance and misgivings. On his way 
through the Tyrol, he was met by Duke Frederick of Austria, the 

Lacus Brigantinus, from the Vindelician tribe of Brigantii on its north- 
eastern shore. Defined more precisely, the position of Constance is at the 
point where the Rhine flows out of the lake into the smaller lake called 
the Untersee (i.e. Lower D ike) from which the river goes westward past 
Schaffhausen. It must be remembered that the Swiss confederacy did not 
yet include the region in which Constance stands. In fact, to the present 
day, the city preserves its connection with Germany, belonging to the 
duchy of Baden. It has about 12,000 inhabitants. 

' Milman observes (vol. viii. p. 145) that "it is among the inexplicable 
problems of his life, that some of the Cardinals whom he promoted were 
men of profound piety, as well as learning and character. . . . Their 
urgency might seem a guarantee for their loyalty. ... In all Councils, 
according to the ordinary form of suffrage, the Pope and the Cardinals 
had maintained commanding authority." 


hereditary enemy of the house of Luxemburg, on whom the Pope 
conferred honours and gifts, while Frederick promised his support 
in case of need, and, at all events, a safe retreat from Constance. 1 
Among other friends, John reckoned on the Duke of Burgundy, the 
Marquis of Baden, and the Archbishop of Mainz, Primate of 
Germany. Most of all, perhaps, he counted on the great treasures 
he carried with him, to secure support in the Council itself. Yet he 
was haunted by misgivings and omens. As he descended the steep 
slope of the Arlberg, the upsetting of his sledge in the snow pro- 
voked a curse on the evil prompting of the journey ; 2 and when he 
looked down upon the fair city standing at the foot of the hills, on 
the point between the lake and river, he ejaculated, " So are foxes 
caught." But the reflection might still more truly have been made 
on the guileless innocence of the Reformer, who walked into the trap 
baited with the Emperor's safe-conduct specially given to him. 
John Hus arrived in Constance three days after the Pope (Nov. 3). 
Reserving the cause which brought him thither for the connected 
narrative of the movement for reform, 3 we shall presently see that 
the proceedings against him had a most essential bearing on the 
whole course of the Council. 

§ 6. Since Midsummer the quiet Swabian town beside the lake had 
become the busy scene of preparation for the visitors, who had now 
arrived in great numbers and kept pouring in for months after the 
sessions began. When fully assembled, the members numbered 
22 cardinals, 20 archbishops — besides the titular patriarchs of 
Antioch, Constantinople, and Jerusalem, who took precedence next 
after the Pope, — nearly 100 bishops and 33 titular bishops, 24 
abbots, 250 doctors, with many secular princes and nobles, repre- 
sentatives of absent princes, and deputies of the free cities. Some 
came in splendid array, with hosts of retainers, some singly on foot, 
like trains of pilgrims. " With these, merchants, traders of every 
kind and degree, and every sort of strange vehicle. It was not only, 
it might seem, to be a solemn Christian Council, but a European 
congress, a vast central fair, where every kind of commerce was to 
be conducted on the boldest scale, and where chivalrous or histrionic 

1 Frederick was possessor of the Tyrol and Vorarlberg and the Black 
Forest, and his territory nearly surrounded Constance. 

2 Jaceo hie in nomine diaboli, was his response to the anxious enquiries 
of his attendants. 

3 See Chap. XL. Meanwhile the above sentence must not be under- 
stood as implying that Sigi&mund's safe-conduct was given with the 
least intention of breaking it. In point of fact, Hus went without waiting 
for the promised safe-conduct; and the exact date at which it reached 
him is uncertain. At all events it was before the first proceedings were 
taken against him on Nov. 28th, and it had been promised before he went. 


or other common amusements were provided for idle hours and for idle 
people. It might seem a final and concentrated burst and manifesta- 
tion of medieval devotion, medieval splendour, medieval diversions : 
all ranks, all orders, all pursuits, all professions, all trades, all artisans, 
with their various attire, habits, manners, language, crowded to one 
single city." 1 The total number of ecclesiastics and princes, with 
their attendants, is reckoned at 18,000 ; and the strangers, who 
overflowed the city and encamped outside of it, amounted usually 
to 50,000, but sometimes twice that number, with 30,000 horses. 2 

§ 7. The most eminent leaders of the Council were, on the part of 
the Italians, Cardinal Zabarella, archbishop of Florence ; and, repre- 
senting the Ultramontane 3 advocates of a reformation, Peter d' Ailly, 
now Cardinal Archbishop of Cambray, leader of the French prelates ; 
John Gerson, Chancellor of the University of Paris, leader of the 
Doctors ; and Robert Hallam, bishop of Salisbury, who was com- 
missioned to declare the King of England's assent to the authority 
of the Council. 4 The Pope had made efforts to conciliate this party 
by granting new privileges to the University of Paris, and sending 
a cardinal's hat to D' Ailly, who had published his doubts of the 
efficacy of a General Council. 5 Their demand for " reformation of 
the Church in Head and Memhers" 6 formally adopted by the Council, 
pointed boldly at the Papacy itself, as the source and focus of the 
prevalent corruptions. But, in recognizing this Catholic precedent 
for the use of the word which we have lived to see scorned by 

1 Milman, Latin Christianity, vol. viii. p. 228. 

2 The history of the Council is compiled in the great work of H. von 
der Hardt : ' Magnum Oecumenicum Constantiense Concilium ex ingenti anti- 
quissimorum MScriptorum mole diligoitissime erutum op. H. v. d. Hardt, 
vi. Tom., Francof. et Lips. 1700: Tom. vii., sistens Indicem Generalem, 
congessit G. Ch. Bohnstedt, Berol. 1742.' Other works are : Histoire du 
Concile de Constance, par Jaques Lenfant, Amst. 1714 and 1727; Nouvelle 
histoire du Concile de Cmstance, par Bourgeoise du Chastenet, Paris, 1718. 
For other works, see Gieseler, iv. 286, Hefele, vii., Hase, p. 297. Im- 
portant extracts are given, as usual, by Gieseler. 

3 This word is here used in its constant medieval sense ; namely, 
beyond the Alps, in contrast with Cismontane Italy. 

4 He died at Constance during the sessions (Sept. 1417). A brass in 
front of the high altar of the Cathedral marks his grave. 

5 In a tract addressed to Gerson in 1410, De Difficultate Reformations 
in Concilio Universali ; answered in the Opus de Modo uniendi ac re- 
fonnandi Ecclesiam in Concil. Univers., ascribed to Gerson, though his 
authorship has been doubted (see the note in Robertson, iv. p. 257). Both 
tracts are printed in Gerson's works and by Von der Hardt. 

6 The formula, as it recurs in the public acts of the Council, is " gene- 
ralis reformatio Ecclesioe Dei in capite et in membris," and, more fully, 
" in fide et in moribus, in capite et in membris ;" where in fide must 
evidently be understood, not as bringing Catholic doctrine into question, 
but of the casting out of heresy. 


members of our own Protestant Church, we must clearly distinguish 
the sense in which they called for a thorough Reformation. This 
is well put by Milman : x " But Latin Christianity was alike the 
religion of the Popes and of the Councils which contested their 
supremacy. It was as yet no more than a sacerdotal strife, whether 
the Pope should maintain an irresponsible autocracy, or be limited 
and controlled by an ubiquitous aristocratic Senate. The most 
ardent reformers looked no further than to strengthen the Hierarchy. 
The Prelates were determined to emancipate themselves from the 
usurpations of the Pope, as to their elections, their arbitrary taxation 
by Rome, the undermining of their authority by perpetual appeals ; 
but they had no notion of relaxing in the least the ecclesiastical 
domination. It was not that Christendom might govern itself, but 
that themselves might have a more equal share in the government. 
They were as jealously attached as the Pope to the creed of Latin 
Christendom. The Council, not the Pope, burned John Hus. 
Their concessions to the Bohemians were extorted from their fears, 
not granted by their liberality. Grerson, D'Ailly, Louis of Aries, 
Thomas of Corcelles, were as rigid theologians as Martin V. or 
Eugenius IV. The Vulgate was their Bible, the Latin service their 
exclusive liturgy, the Canon law their code of jurisprudence." 

§ 8. Besides the distinction of having been called by the Emperor, 
the Sixteenth (Ecumenical Council (according to the Latin reckon- 
ing) stands in a unique relation to all that went before, and to the few 
that have followed it. 2 The ancient Councils, down to the schism 
of the East and West, represented (in some sense) the Universal 
Church ; while in those held since the severance the Italian element 
was predominant. The Council of Constance was the first that 
fairly represented the Western Church ; and, to use the words of 
Mr. Bryce, " it was the last occasion on which the whole of Latin 
Christendom met to deliberate and act as a single Common- 
wealth." 3 

1 Latin Clirvitianity , vol. viii. p. 448. To make the statement complete, 
a more distinct recognition is required of the lay and national part in 
the demand for reformation. 

2 In so far as the Council of Basle shared the same character, it may 
be regarded as a supplement to that of Constance ; but, besides its com- 
parative numerical insignificance, its validity is still a disputed question. 
As to the numbering, see p. 146, note 1. 

3 Besides that, of course, no Protestant can concede this claim to the 
three remaining Councils, it is also to be observed that only the last of these 
(at Rome, 1870-1) fully represented the Roman Catholic world. The Fifth 
Lateran (1512-17), like former Councils at Rome, was chiefly Cismontane ; 
and even at the famous Council of Trent, Italy and Spain sent by far the 
greater number of the Fathers who were to reorganize the Church in its 
resistance to the Reformation. 

II— 12 


The Pope, as we have seen, reached Constance on the eve of the 
appointed Feast of All Saints (1414) ; but few of the Fathers had 
arrived ; and, though the Council was solemnly opened on Nov. 
oth, the first session was adjourned to the 16th. Sigismund was 
detained by his coronation as King of Germany, which wasxelebrated 
at Aix-la-Chapelle on the 8th; and the Italian party were for the time 
strong. John used the interval to " make himself friends of the 
mammon of unrighteousness," and to lay an astute plan for improv- 
ing the advantage which he had as the lawful Pope under the 
authority of the Council of Pisa. True, the sanction of this claim, 
by the proposal of his Italian partisans to confirm the acts done 
there (Dec. 7th), was adroitly evaded by the decision to regard the 
present Council as only a continuation of that of Pisa; but John 
had what seemed a surer game. The Council had a threefold 
object : to end the papal schism ; to reform the Church in head and 
members ; and to extirpate heretical doctrines, especially those of 
Wyclif and the Bohemians. For the last purpose John Hus had 
been summoned to the Council ; and his early arrival gave the Pope 
his opportunity. If the question of heresy could be taken in hand 
first, and dealt with effectually while John's authority was still 
supreme, the Reformation might be postponed, and the Pope, 
strengthened against his rivals and the Emperor by the honour of 
crushing the heresiarch, might dissolve the Council, as Alexander V., 
under his guidance, had dissolved that of Pisa. There was, as 
we have seen, no sympathy with the Husite doctrines, and the 
Germans had a national quarrel with the Bohemian reformers ; 
and, according to all precedent, false doctrine was to be dealt with 
before discipline. When Hus arrived at Constance, though under 
excommunication, he was received graciously by the Pope, who is 
reported to have said that he *' would protect Hus even if he had 
slain his own brother." x But he was followed at once by two of his 
bitterest enemies, and, on their accusation, he was called before the 
Pope and Cardinals, committed to custody, and soon after thrown 
into a noisome dungeon (Nov. 28 and Dec. 6). 

§ 9. Before the late dawn of Christmas Day Sigismund crossed the 
lake to Constance, and attended mass. By a remarkable coincidence, 
in reading the Gospel for the day, as was his custom, his first public 
utterance before the Pope and Council was in the words : " There 
went forth a decree from Cesar Augustus ! " 2 On Innocents' 
Day (Dec. 28th) Cardinal d'Ailly preached from the ominous text, 

1 Von der Hardt, vol. iv. p. 11 : — " Etiamsi Johannes Huss fratrem sibi 
germanum occidisset, se tamen nullo modo commissurum, quantum in ipso 
sitmn est, ut aliqua ei fiat injuria, quamdiu Constantia? esset." Perhaps 
the qualification was a loophole. 2 Luke ii. 1, 


" There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the 
stars." x The two great lights were figures of the supreme spiritual 
and temporal powers, the Pope and the Emperor, and the numberless 
stars the several estates of the Church, united in the firmament of 
the Council, in which Christ showed signs now, as in a higher sense 
at His second coming. But each in his own order, as established by 
the Lord. There could be no reform without union, nor union with- 
out reform. John, who held his office to be indefeasible except for 
invalid election or heresy, was touched to the quick by being to4d 
that a Pope who had risen by ambition or evil means, who lived ill 
or ruled ill, was but the false image of a sun ; and he seemed to be 
placed on a level with his rivals by the indignant likening of himself 
and them to three idols in the sun's house, the Church of Rome, 
usurping the place of the one Sun in heaven. The Emperor's place 
there was defined with high honour but strict limits ; not to pre- 
side over it, but to provide for its good ; 2 not to define spiritual and 
ecclesiastical matters, but to maintain its decrees by his power. 
The stars are to have their proper influence (the age believed in 
astrology) : it was granted that the Council derived its authority 
from the Pope ; but, once assembled, it was above him. The right 
of defining and decreeing belonged, not to him, but to the whole 
Council ; even as St. James published the decisions of the First 
Council, not in the name of St. Peter, but as the decree of the 
Apostles and Elders and brethren, who wrote, " It seemed good 
to us, being assembled with one accord," and again " It seemed good 
to the Holy Ghost and to ws." 3 

§ 10. On the same day, in the first general congregation, the 
Emperor swore to protect the Pope ; but he also insisted on the 
admission of the legates of Benedict and Gregory to the Council. 
" This was to sever the link which bound the Council of Con- 
stance to the Council of Pisa ; it disclaimed the authority of Pisa, 
if it recognized as Popes those who had been there deposed." 4 
This blow was followed by the decisive one which Sigismund 
dealt upon John, against his will, and to his own lasting dis- 
grace, though still more to the teaching of the Church and the 
Council itself. Already, on an appeal from the friends of Hus, 

1 Luke xxi. 25: in our Lord's prophecy of his second coming. 

2 Thus we try to render the play of words : " Non ut pnrsit, sed ut 
prosit ;" but prxsit implies power over it, not mere place. It might be 
rendered, " not to be master, but minister." 

3 Acts xv. 23, 25, 28. We are not told what the Cardinal made of the 
words "the brethren," " the multitude " (v. 12), and " the whole church," 
who are associated with the Apostles and Elders in the decree (verse 22). 

4 Milman, vol. viii. p. 253. The election of a new Pope had already 
been proposed in a sermon by a Parisian divine. 


the Emperor had sent an indignant order for his release, which 
was disregarded ; and he now retired for a time from the city, 
threatening to withdraw from the Council. The reforming leaders 
urged upon him that this course would be to sacrifice the unity 
of the Church and his own noblest desires, nay to bring a sus- 
picion of heresy on himself, for the sake of an enemy of the 
faith, with whom Popes and Councils and Canons had decreed, 
and the Doctors of the Church had taught, that no faith should be 
kept. 1 He was told that even his power did not extend to the pro- 
tection of a heretic from the punishment due to his errors ; that his 
safe-conduct did not pledge the Council, which was greater than the 
Emperor, and that the responsibility would rest on them. As he 
himself afterwards pleaded to the Bohemians, Sigismund was over- 
come by these importunities and the difficulties of his position ; and 
he left John Hus to be tried and sentenced by the Council. If, as 
seems probable, he had also come to believe Hus politically 
dangerous, he reaped his reward in the disastrous civil war which 
raged in Bohemia for the remaining twenty years of his life, and 
brought ruinous disgrace on his arms. 

§ 11. This sacrifice of the reformer's life and his own plighted 
faith restored harmony between Sigismund and the Council, and 
broke down John's astute plan. The prosecution of Hus's case 
was postponed to the ' more urgent settlement of the schism. 2 
John's last reliance, on the influence of the Cardinals and the su- 
perior clergy, and the votes of the numerous poor Italian clergy, 
bound to him by interest, fear, and dislike of the Transalpines, was 
broken down by the mode of procedure which was adopted. First, 
the professors and doctors of theology, who had been admitted to 
vote in the Council of Pisa, had the privilege secured to them ; and 
it was given to the proctors, and inferior clergy ; also to princes 
and their ambassadors, except in articles of faith. But of 
far more importance was the adoption of the mode of voting by 
Nations, as practised in most Universities. The nations were four : 

1 As Milman says (viii. 255): "The fatal doctrine, confirmed by long 
usage, by the decrees of pontiffs, by the assent of all ecclesiastics, and the 
acquiescence of the Christian world, that no promise, no faith, was binding 
to a heretic, had hardly been questioned, never repudiated." It was 
deliberately and formally avouched by this reforming Council; and the 
more we admit the excuses urged for Sigismund, the more does the case 
of John Hus fasten the guilt of the doctrine on the theological and moral 
system of the Church that taught it. 

' 2 It was after the deposition of John XXIII. that Hus was burnt, on 
July 6th, 1415, and his friend, Jerome of Prague, who had joined him at 
Constance, suffered on May 30th, 1416. The details, and the outline 
the Bohemian war, are related in another place (Chap. XL.). 


Italians, Germans (including Hungarians, Poles, and Scandinavians), 
French, and English (Feb. 7, 1415). 1 This arrangement, carried 
against the Pope's remonstrances, reduced the Italians to one vote 
out of four ; the Germans and English being thoroughly hostile to 
John, as were the most influential of the French, though the factions 
of their country, and the great national quarrel with England, tended 
towards discord in the Council. 2 

§ 12. The resignation or deposition of John XXIII. was now only 
a question of time and manner ; and it would be tedious to trace his 
artifices to evade the result. The secret presentation to the Council, 
by an Italian, of a memoir setting forth the crimes of his life, with 
details deemed unfit even to be read in public, came to his know- 
ledge, and frightened him into a conditional promise of abdication 
simultaneously with his rivals, in artful terms, which the Council, 
now led by John Gerson, 3 insisted on his making more stringent. 
But the restored concord, attested by the gift to Sigismund of the 
golden rose, 4 the special sign of papal gratitude, was belied by the 
watch set on the gates of Constance, and the promise exacted from 
John not to attempt flight. The leaders of the Council pressed for 
his absolute resignation ; but, by the contrivance of Duke Frederick 
of Austria, he escaped in disguise to Schaffhausen (March 20th), 
and thence removed successively to Freyburg, Breysach, and 
Neuenburg. Frederick, placed under the ban of the Empire, had 
to make abject submission to Sigismund, and finally to pursue 
John and bring him back (May 27). Meanwhile the Council had 
adopted a strong declaration, proposed by Gerson, of its authority 
above the Pope ; and 70 articles of accusation were exhibited 
against him, and witnesses heard in support of them. " Never 

1 When, at a later period of the Council, Arragon and Castile abandoned 
Benedict and joined the Council, the Spaniards formed a fifth nation. 

2 At this time (the spring of 1415) Henry V. was preparing the invasion 
which led to the battle of Agincourt (October 25th, 1415). The Orleanist 
faction ruled in France. John, duke of Burgundy, who, after his formal 
reconciliation with the Dauphin Charles (1414), was waiting events in 
sullen retirement, was inclined to the party of Pope John ; and his rela- 
tions to the Council were complicated by its having to decide on the 
charge brought against the Franciscan Jean Petit for his defence of the 
murder of Louis, duke of Orleans, by the contrivance of his cousin, John 
of Burgundy (Nov. 1407). For the details, see the Student's History of 
France, chap. xi. 

3 Gerson arrived with the delegates of his University, on Feb 18th. 

4 "The golden rose is consecrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent, and is 
given by the Pope to such princes as have rendered signal services to the 
Church. The origin of this custom is uncertain, but it is commonly 
referred to Leo IX. (See Herzog's Encyclop. art. Rose, die Goldene)." 
Robertson, vol. iv. p. 142, 


probably were seventy more awful accusations brought against 
man than against the Vicar of Christ. The Cardinal of St. Mark 1 
made a feeble attempt to repel the charge of heresy ; against the 
darker charges no one spoke a word. Before the final decree, 
sixteen of those of the most indescribable depravity were dropped, 
out of respect, not to the Pope, but to public decency and the 
dignity of the office. On the remaining undefended fifty-four 
the Council gravely, deliberately, pronounced the sentence of 
deposition against the Pope." 2 John received it with quiet sub- 
mission, and voluntarily swore that he would never attempt to 
recover the Papacy. He was kept a prisoner in the castle of 
Heidelberg, till his further disposal should be determined by his 
successor (Martin V.), who after two years restored John to the 
dignity of Cardinal and made him Bishop of Frascati ; but he died 
at Florence without entering on his see (Dec. 28th, 1417). 

His rival, Gregory XII., had died two months before him 
(Oct. 18), at the age of 90, having given in his resignation to the 
Council through his legate (July 4th, 1415), and been made Car- 
dinal-Bishop of Porto and first of the sacred college. Benedict XIII. 
held out obstinately, even evading an interview with Sigismund, 
who went as far as Perpignan to meet him ; but the Emperor 
succeeded in obtaining the Antipope's renunciation by the King 
of Arragon and other princes (Dec. 13th, 1415). Shutting himself 
up in the fortress of Peniscola, in Valentia, Benedict remained proof 
against all negociations, and at length received the sentence of depo- 
sition 3 with the outburst of violent rage, " Not at Constance, the 
Church is at Peniscola." This end of the forty years' schism was 
celebrated by a Te Deum in the Cathedral and proclaimed with the 
sound of trumpets in the streets of Constance. 

§ 13. During the two years of waiting for this result, the work 
of " reformation in head and members " had been suspended, and 
was now frustrated by a repetition of the fatal error made at Pisa, 
the election of a Pope — to prevent it. The English and Germans 
supported the Emperor's demand to give precedence to reforms; 

1 Zabarella, the leader of the Italian party, who, unable to support 
John, did his best to break his fall. 

2 May 29th, 1515. Milman, vol. viii. p. 277. 

3 In the sentence passed on July 26th, 1417, the Council, besides declaring 
Benedict guilty of perjury, scandal to the whole Church, and schism, 
contrived to fasten on him a constructive charge of heresy, inasmuch as 
he had violated the article of faith in " one Holy Catholic Church." After 
his death at Peniscola, in 1424, his cardinals attempted to set up two 
successors, three of them electing a Clement VIII. and the fourth a Bene- 
dict XIV. (a schism within the dead remnant of a schism) ; but the King of 
Arragon had fully acknowledged Martin V., and the nominal Clement VIII. 
was finally compelled to abdicate by a Council at Tortosa (1429). 


but the divisions in the Council were inflamed by national hatred ; * 
and the French, led by d'Ailly, in whom " the Cardinal prevailed 
over the Reformer,'' 2 joined the Italians in demanding the elec- 
tion of a new Pope. The Spaniards, who now entered the Council 
as a fifth nation, took the same side ; to which even the English 
fell off, after the death of Robert Hallam 3 (Sept. 4th, 1417). 
At this crisis, Henry Beaufort, bishop of Winchester, arrived at 
Ulm, with the prestige of an intended Crusade added to the 
dignity of the uncle of the English King. The Emperor invited 
him to Constance to act as mediator ; and he used his influence 
for the election of a Tope, to which the Council agreed, as much 
probably from weariness as conviction, and Sigismund gave his 
reluctant consent (Sept. 30). After further disputes about the 
mode of election and the reforms to which the future Pope must 
agree as the conditions of his elevation, the Council, at its 40th 
Session (Oct. 30th), " made its last effort for independent life. It 
declared that it was not to be dissolved till the Pope had granted 
reform." 4 It was agreed that thirty members (six from each nation) 
should be associated with the twenty-three Cardinals ; and this 
Conclave, enclosed according to the regular forms on Nov. 8th, 
proclaimed in three days, " We have a Pope, Lord Otho of Colonna." 
Amidst the ringing of all the bells in Constance, and the shouts of 
80,000 people, exulting in the restored unity of the head of the 
Church on earth, the Emperor rushed into the conclave, and fell at 
the feet of the Pope, who raised and embraced him as the chief 
author of this peaceful issue of the schism. Being as yet only 
a lay Cardinal, 5 Otho was ordained deacon, priest, and bishop, 
on three successive days, and on the 21st he was crowned as 

1 It was within a week after Benedict's deposition that Henry V. landed 
at the mouth of the Seine (Aug. 1st. 1417) on his second invasion, which 
resulted in his conquest of France. 

2 Milman, vol. viii. p. 309. 

3 They appear to have acted under the direction of Henry V., who 
would naturally wish to secure the favour of the future Pope to sanction 
his proceedings in France, and Beaufort was doubtless his agent in the 
same policy. Martin V. rewarded his services by making him a Cardinal 
(November 28th) and Legate for England and Ireland, an appointment 
which was resisted by Archbishop Chichele, as the Primate had always 
hitherto been Legate ; and Beaufort was not received in that character till 
his family gained the ascendancy under Henry VI. This famous Cardinal 
Beaufort was the second son of John of Gaunt, by his marriage (afterwards 
legitimated) with Catherine Swynford, and so the half-brother of Henry IV. 

4 Milman, vol. viii. p. 310. 

5 He had been made Cardinal of St. George by Innocent VII., had sup- 
ported Gregory XII. till the Council of Pisa declared against him, and had 
been one of the last to give up the cause of John XXIII. 


Pope Martin V., after the saint on whose day he was elected 
(Nov. 11th, Martinmas). 

§ 14. This election formed an honourable contrast with nearly all 
those of the Captivity and Schism. Martin was about 50 years old, of 
the noblest blood of Home, learned in the Canon Law, of irreproach- 
able morals, " courteous in manners, short and sententious in speech, 
quick and dexterous yet cautious in business, a strict and even 
ostentatious lover of justice." * Though so fast an adherent of John 
as even to share his flight, he displayed a dignified moderation in 
all the debates of the Council, who might flatter themselves that 
in such a man, " no stern advocate of reformation, no alarming 
fanatic for change," they had chosen the desired leader and arbiter 
of the work they had yet to do. But there has ever been a power 
in the papal tiara, which might seem magical were it not the 
natural result of the changed position, to develop qualities unsus- 
pected under the cardinal's hat. Leonard of Arezzo says of Martin 
that whereas, before his elevation, he had been noted rather for his 
amiability than for his talents, he showed, when Pope, extreme 
sagacity but no excess of benignity. 2 His great sagacity was 
proved in the disappointment prepared for the Council, when they 
gave themselves a head which they expected to begin the work of 
reform upon itself! Perhaps, indeed, they acted on the principle, 
which has since become familiar in what is called statesmanship, 
accepting what seemed inevitable rather than daring to do what 
was right. In the oft-quoted saying, " Video meliora proboque, 
Deteriora sequor? the true point lies in the last word — " drifting " 
on the current, real or imagined. They ought to have seen that, 
the abler and more respectable the new Pope, the more sure was he 
to revive the papal power rather than to " crown the edifice " of 
the Council. 

Martin's first brief, dated on the day after his election, confirmed 
the regulations of all his predecessors, even of John XXIII., for the 
Papal Chancery, the very focus of ecclesiastical abuses ; and that 
by the act of the Pope, not of the Council. " All the old grievances 
— Reservations, Expectancies, Vacancies, Confirmations of Bishops, 
Dispensations, Exemptions, Commendams, Annates, Tenths, Indul- 
gences — might seem to be adopted as the irrepealable law of the 
Church." 3 Martin was prepared for the protests of the nations, 

1 Milman, viii. 311. 

2 Muratori, xix. 930 ; Robertson, iv. 296. Of the change charged against 
him from contented poverty to avarice we have to speak pi-esentlv. 

3 Milman, viii. 312. Even the Spaniards threatened to return to the 
obedience of Benedict, but their indignation evaporated in a satirical " Mass 
for Simony." (On the abuses enumerated see further in Chap. XVII.) 


and met their demands by " a counter-plan of Reformation, each 
article of which might have occupied the weary Council for months 
of hot debate." 1 He constituted a "reformatory college" of six 
cardinals, with representatives of the nations, and offered some 
improvements in the Curia, in order to elude the wider demands of 
the Germans. Meanwhile, acting on the maxim Divide et impera, 
he proposed to grant partial reforms by vague Concordats 2 with the 
several nations, Germany, England, and France, the Italians having 
at once accepted the Pope's ecclesiastical supremacy. England, 
secure in her laws of provisors and praemunire, seems to have left 
the Concordat offered to her unnoticed ; while that with France was 
rejected by the Parliament, and the Dauphin postponed the 
acknowledgment of Martin's title, till it should have been examined 
and approved by the University of Paris. 3 

§ 15. It remains to notice the other affair on which the French, 
both at Paris and Constance, were at issue with the new Pope. The 
treacherous murder of Louis of Orleans by the agents of John of 
Burgundy (1407) had been defended, as an act of tyrannicide, by a 
Franciscan friar, Jean Petit (Joannes Parvus), in a discourse before 
the King (March 1408), 4 for which the author is said to have pro- 
fessed penitence on his death-bed (1410). Eight propositions ex- 
tracted from his work — the " Eight Verities " of Jean Petit — Avere 
condemned by a Council of theologians, canonists, and jurists, under 
the presidency of the Archbishop of Paris (1414) ; and Gerson, 5 in 
the name of the University, supported by D'Ailly, asked for a 
confirmation of this sentence at Constance. Thus the Council had 
before them the abstract question of tyrannicide, and the practical 
condemnation of the Duke of Burgundy, whose partisans, headed 
by the Bishop of Arras, joined with the Abbots of Clairvaux and 
Citeaux and the Friars, " did not scruple to undertake the contest, 
to allege every kind of factious objection, every subtlety of scholastic 
logic. These monstrous tenets were declared to be only moral and 

1 Milman, vol. viii. p. 316. 

2 This technical word of diplomacy is the Latin concordata, " things 
agreed on." 

3 It must be remembered that at this time the Dauphin Charles, at 
the head of the Orleanist party, was endeavouring to withstand Henry V., 
who, having formed an alliance with the Duke of Burgundy, was pursuing 
the conquest of France. 

4 Printed in Gerson's Works, vol. v. p. 15, seq. 

5 Gerson, always a consistent opponent of passive obedience, had in his 
earlier years defended tyrannicide on the ground taken by Seneca: " Nulla 
Deo gratior victima, quam tyrannus." But his opinion was changed by 
the murder of the Duke of Orleans, and he denounced the doctrine in his 
treatise, De Auferibilitate Papas. 


philosophical opinions, not of faith, therefore out of the province of 
the Church and of the Council." x An attempt was made to silence 
Gerson by charges of heresy, and all that could be obtained from the 
Council was a condemnation of one of Petit's extremest doctrines : 
" It is lawful, and even meritorious, in any vassal or subject to kill 
a tyrant, either by stratagem, by blandishment, flattery, or force, 
notwithstanding any oath or covenant sworn with him, without 
awaiting the sentence or authority of any judge.'" 1 2 This sentence, 
passed, by a noteworthy coincidence, on the day of Hus's condem- 
nation (July 6, 1415), was annulled by Martin V. for informality; 
and thus, of the three Johns, 5 w T ho were arraigned for different 
offences before the Council, the guilty Pope was allowed to end his 
days in peace and dignity ; the blameless Hus was betrayed by a 
breach of imperial faith, and burnt by a reforming Council ; while 
even the memory of the third was saved from condemnation. But 
a fourth John, leader and mouthpiece of the effort for reform, " the 
learned pious Gerson, dared not return to Paris, now in the power 
of Burgundy and the English; he lay hid for a time in Germany, 
lingered out a year or two at Lyons, and died a proscribed and 
neglected exile ; finding his only consolation, no doubt full conso- 
lation, in the raptures of his Holy Mysticism." 4 

§ 16. Of the great " reformation in head and members," nothing 
was effected, save some decrees on exemptions and other means 
of papal exaction, on simony, tithes, and the lives of the clergy ; 
and these were solemnly pronounced, with the Concordats, a full 

1 Mil man, vol. viii. p. 305. 

2 Observe the exact parallel, except in the last clause, to the treatment 
of heretics avowed and acted on by the Council. For Martin's determined 
opposition to the condemnation of similar doctrines in the case of the 
Dominican, John of Falkenberg, who had declared it highly meritorious to 
assassinate the King of Poland and all h : s people, see Robertson, vol. iv. 
p. 300. In this matter the Pope ventured, in defiance of the main prin- 
ciples laid down by the Council, to deny the lawfulness of any appeal 
from " the supreme judges, viz. the Apostolic See, or the Roman Pontiff," 
(March 10th, 1418). Gerson denounces this decree as destroying the funda- 
mental validity of the Councils of Pisa and Constance, with all their acts, 
including the elections of Alexander V. and Martin himself. (See his 
Dialogue on the case of Jean Petit, quoted by Gieseler, vol. iv. p. 306.) 

3 See the striking contrast drawn by Milman, vol. viii. pp. 303-306. 

4 On the breaking up of the Council, Gerson accepted an asylum from 
the Duke of Bavaria. The offer of a professorship at Vienna was declined 
in a poem of thanks to Frederick of Austria. On the death of the Duke of 
Burgundy (September 1419), he returned to France; and, Paris being in 
disorder, and the Dauphin making terms with Henry V., he stayed at 
Lyon, where, after ten years passed in devotion, study, and abundant 
labour in letters, he died at the age of sixty-six. only three days after 
finishing his Commentary on the Canticles (July 12th, 1429). 

A.D. 1418. 



satisfaction of those declared to be essential before t lie election of the 
Pope ! x For the rest, they had the promise of regular Councils ; and 
the next of these was appointed to be held at Pavia, much to the dis- 
content of the French (April 19th, 1418). The Emperor had already- 
been rewarded (in January) with the Pope's solemn thanks, and 
the grant of a year's tithe from the German church ; 2 but he did 
not withhold some covert bitterness in his farewell. " He declared 
his full obedience to the Pope ; his submission to all the decrees of 
the Council ; but if the Council had fallen into error, he disclaimed 
all concern in it." 3 At the 45th and last Session (April 22, 1418) 
the Pope pronounced plenary absolution on all who had attended the 
Council ; officiated in high pomp in the Cathedral on Whitsunday, 
and at night gave his blessing to the thousands who crowded round 
the bishop's palace (May 15th). Next day, with the Emperor and 
the Elector of Brandenburg holding his bridle on either side, he 
went forth on the way to Genoa at the head of a cavalcade of 
princes, nobles, cardinals, bishops, churchmen, and their followers, 
to the number of 40,000, which might well seem the triumph of 
papal Eome. " The Council which had deposed Popes had been 
mastered by a Pope of its own choosing ; the old system of Kome, 
so long the subject of vehement complaint, had escaped un- 
touched." 4 

1 Compare the articles of this decree of the 43rd Session (March 21, 
1418), with those, which it express 1 y cited, of the 40th Session (October 
1417), in Gieseler, vol. iv. pp. 301, 304-5. 

2 See the Literse, Gratiosas (7 Cal. Febr. 1418) in Gieseler, iv. 305. This 
tithe was objected to in Germany, but without effect. 

3 Von der Hardt, iv. p. 1563 ; Milman, vol. viii. p. 319. 

4 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 301. Compare Milman's eloquent summary, too 
long to quote here (vol. viii. pp. 319-321). 

Medal of Martin V. From the British Museum. 

Medal of Pope Eugenius IV. 




A.D. 1418—1443. 

1. State of Italy : Braccio and Sforza — Martin V. at Rome — His 
merits and faults — His claims of supremacy — England and France. 
§ 2. Councils of Pavia and Siena — Danger of the Eastern Empire — 
Overtures for Reconciliation. § 3. France — Bohemian War — Death of 
Martin V. § 4. Measures of the Cardinals — Election and Character of 
Eugenius IV. — Proscription of the Colonnas. § 5. The Council of 
Basle and the Bohemian Crusade — The Legate Julian Cesarini — Battle 
of Tauss — The Pope's attempt to postpone the Council. § 6. Its opeuing 
— Mode of Voting— Four Deputations — The Leaders — Nicolas Cusanus 
on Popes and Councils. § 7. The Council claims to be above the Pope — 
Eugenius denounces the Council. § 8. Sigismund in Italy — His Coro- 
nation at Milan and Rome. § 9. He arrives at Basle — Eugenius sanctions 
the Council — Departure and death of the Emperor. § 10. Eugenius 
driven from Rome — Government and fate of John Vitelleschi — The 
Pope's return. §11. Refonning decrees of the Council — Bull trans- 
ferring it to Ferrara — Open quarrel with the Pope. § 12. New leaders 
at Basle — Defection of Cusanus and Cesarini — Louis, Bishop of Aries, 
and Nicolas of Palermo — jEneas Sylvius Piccolomini : his early life 
and appearance at the Council. § 13. Election of Albert II. — Prag- 
matic Sanction of Bowges. § 14. The Council deposes Eugenius, and 
elects the Antipope Felix V. — Failure of this Schism. § 15. Death of 
Albert II. — Election and Character of Frederick III. — Low State of the 
Empire — ./Eneas Sylvius in Frederick's service — Virtual end, but formal 
continuance, of the Council and the Schism. 

A.D. 1418. MARTIN V. AT ROME. 169 

§ 1. Taking leave of the Emperor at Geneva. 1 Martin travelled 
slowly to Italy, where the first Pope, who since forty years had an 
undisputed title, was not master of a single city. Besides the 
local governments, the captains of Free Companies had risen to 
great power ; and one of them, Braccio of Montone, had made him- 
self master of Kome after the deposition of John XXIII. He was 
well matched by another captain, Jacopo Sforza Attendolo, whose 
son afterwards won the dukedom of Milan. Sforza was now 
serving in the pay of Joanna II., the sister and successor of Ladislaus 
in the kingdom of Naples, with whom Martin made an alliance. 
As gonfalonier of the Church, Sforza expelled Braccio from Eome ; 
but the latter held his ground at his native city of Perugia, and 
found it prudent to make his peace with the Pope, who, after a 
splendid reception at Milan, was staying at Florence (Feb. 1420). 2 
He restored several towns in the Papal territory, receiving others as 
a fief; and recovered Bologna for the Pope. Entering Rome on 
the 28th of September, Martin beheld the misery and ruin wrought 
by the long absence of the Popes and by the wars of factions. Order 
was restored by his firm and just administration ; and his labours, 
emulated by the Cardinals, in rebuilding the churches and other 
public edi6ces, gained for him the titles of " the third founder of 
Rome, and the happiness of his times." 3 But his cardinals resented 
his arbitrary rule over them ; and the ecclesiastical abuses, that 
were to have been reformed at Constance, continued to bring in 
vast wealth, of which a large part was bestowed, besides castles, 
lands, and offices, on the Pope's kindred. 

In his relations with the powers of Christendom, Martin revived 
the highest claims of his predecessors. England only accepted 
Cardinal Beaufort as Legate with limited powers, and stood firm 
against the Pope's haughty demand for the repeal of the anti-papal 

1 Geneva was an imperial city, under the government of its bishops, 
who, from the beginning of the 15th century, were of the house of Savoy. 

2 It was at Florence that Martin received the submission of his deposed 
predecessor. Here too the severe economy of the Pope's equipage, espe- 
cially in contrast with the magnificence affected by Braccio, was ridiculed 
in popular songs, with a refrain curiously echoed in one of our own 
nursery rhymes : — 

" Papa Martino : Non vale un quattrino : " 
" Here is Pope Martin : Not worth a farthing." 

The rival chieftains died in the same year (1424), Braccio of wounds 
received in action, Sforza drowned in the river Pescara. His son, Francesco, 
obtained the sovereignty of Milan in 1449, two years after the death of 
Philip Masse, the last of the Visconti. 

3 For the enthusiastic efforts of St. Frances of Rome (ob. 1440), and 
the Franciscan St. Bernardino of Siena (ob. 1444), to rouse Rome to a 
religious and moral reformation, see Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 373-375. 


statutes. 1 The Parliament of Paris resisted the Concordat till the 
death of Charles VI. (1422) ; when the Pope won over the young 
King for a time, through the influence of his mother and brother, 
and absolved him from the oath which he had sworn, as Dauphin, 
to observe the national laws (1425). 2 

§ 2. Meanwhile the Parliament of Paris urged the Pope to convene 
the Council, for which the place and date had been appointed at 
Constance ; and a few prelates, from Italy only, were assembled at 
Pavia (April 1423), whence, in consequence of an outbreak of 
plague, the session was transferred to Siena. The Council, which 
was opened by a papal commission on July 21st, did nothing 
beyond renewing the condemnation of Wyclif, Huss, and Peter of 
Luna (Benedict XIII.). Martin had shown his resolve to abate 
nothing of the supremacy of Rome ; and he hoped to set aside the 
question of reform by the grander idea of reuniting Christendom 
under his obedience. The victorious Turks had now pressed their 
conquests in Europe, till of the Eastern Roman Empire Constanti- 
nople alone was left ; 3 and but one hope remained, to purchase help 
from Latin Christendom at the cost of an ecclesiastical reunion, for 
which some overtures had already been made. But, small as was 
the number of Transalpine prelates at Siena, 4 the Council passed a 
decree that the internal union of the Church by reform ought to 
take precedence of external union. On the ground that so few 
Fathers could not pretend to represent Christendom on so great and 
vital a question, Martin issued a Bull dissolving the Council, and 
appointed another to meet in seven years' time at the imperial city 
of Basle (1424). 5 

1 For the details of these affairs, and the resistance of Archbishop 
Chichele to the Pope, see Canon Perry's Student's Enjlish Church History, 
Period I. chap, xxiii. 

2 Charles VII. would naturally seek to win the support of the Pope 
in that great conflict with the English, which gained him the surname of 
" the Victorious." On the other side, Gerson wrote a treatise, urging, 
among other arguments, the coronation oath, by which the Kings of 
France bound themselves to defend the liberties of the national church. 

3 The first (unsuccessful) siege of Constantinople by Amurath II. was 
in 1422; and the truce, which postponed its fall for 30 years, was made 
in 1425. For the details see the Student's Gibbon, chap, xxxviii. 

4 Besides a very few from England, there were only five from Germany, 
six from France, none from Spain. It is not reckoned as an (Ecumenical 

5 This old French form of the name is a convenient compromise between 
the pure German Basel and the modern French Bale. It is the Roman 
Basilia, first mentioned in the 4th century, which grew on the decay of 
Augusta Rauracorum, the ruins of which are still visible behind Augst, about 
6 miles higher up the Rhine. Early in the 4th century it was important 
enough to be mentioned, in the Notitia Imperii, as Civitas Basiliensium. 


§ 3. The interval was marked by great events. The uprising of 
France, moved by the enthusiasm of the Maid of Orleans (1429), pro- 
mised a revival of the spirit of ecclesiastical liberty ; while in Bohemia 
the war provoked by the death of Huss had brought repeated disaster 
and disgrace on the imperial arms, till Sigismund felt it necessary to 
negociate. 1 He demanded the submission of the Bohemians to the 
decrees of the coming Council, to which they were to send delegates. 
But they distrusted alike the Emperor's good faith and the promise 
of reformation; and at the beginning of 1431 a papal Bull pro- 
claimed a new Crusade against them under the Cardinal Legate, 
Julian Cesarini, 2 who was appointed by another Bull to preside at 
the Council (Feb. 1). But, before either instrument could be acted 
on, Martin V. died (Feb. 20th, 1431). 

§ 4. To guard against another such rule over themselves, the Cardi- 
nals joined in a mutual pledge, which the new Pope was to confirm 
by his oath and publish in a Bull, that he would reform the Curia as 
he might be required by the cardinals, use them as his acknowledged 
advisers, respect their privileges and the rules laid down at 
Constance for the making of new cardinals, and call a General 
Council, at such place and time as they should recommend, for the 
reformation of the whole Church, in faith, life, and morals. On the 
next day (March 3rd) the election fell on Cardinal Gabriel 
Condolmieri, a Venetian and nephew of Boniface XII., who took the 
name of Eugenius IV. (1431-1447). The new Pope's age was forty- 
eight. In early life he had given his fortune to the poor and joined 
his cousin in founding a society of canons on one of the islands of 
Venice. " Both his virtues and his faults were chiefly those of a 
monk. In his own person he was abstinent and severe, although 
his household expenses were equal to the dignity of his station ; he 
loved and encouraged men of letters, although his own learning was 
but moderate ; he was obstinate, narrow-minded, possessed by an 
ambition which refused to consider the limits of his power ; little 
scrupulous in the pursuit of his objects, open to flattery, filled with 
a high idea of the papal greatness, and implacably hostile to all 

1 The crown of Bohemia devolved on Sigismund on the death of his 
brother Wenceslaus, in 1419, but the armed insurgents held out against his 
efforts to subdue them with the whole force of the Empire. For the events 
of the war, and the state of parties in Bohemia, see Chap. XL. 

2 Julian Cesarini, who had lately been made Cardinal of St. Angelo, 
was a Roman, " of a family whose poverty is more certain than its nobility. 
He had risen to eminence by his merits, was esteemed for ability, morals, 
and learning, and, from having been in Bohemia in attendance on a former 
legate, was supposed to have special qualifications for the office." — Robert- 
son, vol. iv. p. 398. 


deviation from the established doctrines of the Church. Under him 
the Romans found reason to look back with regret on the prosperous 
government of Martin ; and to his mistaken policy was chiefly to 
be ascribed the troubles by which the Church was agitated through- 
out his pontificate." * Leagued closely with the Orsini, his first act 
was to reclaim from the Colonnas not only the wealth which their 
kinsman, the late Pope, had placed in their hands, but to subject 
them to plunder and proscription, and to destroy the monuments of 
Martin's pontificate. 

§ 5. The time appointed for the Council to meet was in March, 
and Eugenius renewed the commission to Cardinal Cesarini, both to 
preside at Basle and to attend to the affairs of Bohemia, evidently 
wishing to postpone the former to the latter. While the Fathers 
were gathering together with a slowness that proved ominous of the 
eighteen years to which the Council dragged out its feeble existence, 2 
the Legate travelled up the Bhine and as far as Flanders, to stir up 
princes and people to the Crusade. He-deputed two Dominicans to 
open the Council, and to entreat it to await the issue of the holy 
war. After further vain attempts at negociation, an army of 100,000 
men, under the imperial banner, entered Bohemia on the 1st of 
August, only to be utterly routed within a fortnight (Aug. 14) in 
the Battle of Tauss, the Legate himself hardly escaping in the garb 
of a common soldier. His silver crucifix, cardinal's robes and 
insignia, and the very Bull authorizing the Crusade, were long 
shown at Tauss as memorials of the victory. 

Not only by this crowning disaster, but by what he had seen 
in Germany, Cesarini was convinced that the sole hope both of 
reconciling the Bohemians and satisfying the Germans lay in the 
Council and its work of real reformation ; and he pressed this view 
on the Emperor and princes at Nuremburg. Repairing to Basle 
(Sept. 9), where but very few prelates were as yet assembled, he 
exerted himself by letters to secure a fuller attendance, and 
obtained its authority to write a very conciliatory letter to the 
Bohemians (Oct. 15), which was forwarded by the Emperor. 
Indignant at such a concession, the Pope issued a Bull denouncing 
and annulling any treaty with heretics, and calling the faithful to a 
new Crusade, and sent the Legate a decree dissolving the Council, 
aud announcing the calling of another a year and a half later at 
Bologna (Nov. 12th). The reasons alleged for this prorogation Avere 
the small attendance, the insecurity of the roads owing to the war 
between Burgundy and Austria, and the convenience of the envoys 

1 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 400. 

2 From July 23rd, 1431, to April 25th, 1449. 


expected from Constantinople : all which really meant the post- 
ponement of reform to the honour and substantial gain of bringing 
back the Eastern Church to the obedience of Rome. Cesarini 
replied by an earnest and bold remonstrance, insisting on the 
demoralized state of the clergy, the necessity of reform, and the 
danger of losing, not only Bohemia, but Germany, a risk not to be 
run for the doubtful reconciliation of the East. 

§ 6. On the very day after the dispatch of this letter, the Council 
began its work (Dec. 14th), which it defined under the three heads 
of the extinction of heresy, the restoration of peace and unity 
among Christians, and the reformation of the Church " in head and 
members." The system adopted at Constance, of voting by nations, 
was found impracticable ; l and the Council was divided into four 
deputations, each composed of the clergy of all ranks, which met 
thrice a-week and discussed all questions before they were pro- 
posed in a general sitting. They were charged severally with the 
subjects of ( I ) General Business ; (2) Reformation ; (3) The Peace ; 
(4) Faith. The extension of the right of voting to all ecclesiastics 
of good repute deprived the bishops of their usual predominance, and 
tended to give to the proceedings a democratic, and even a turbulent 
character ; while the proximity of Basle to Germany and France 
gave those nations a great preponderance in the Council. Like that 
of Constance, it was greatly guided by the spirit of the University 
of Paris. 2 

The great leaders who had passed away, Gerson, D'Ailly, and the 
rest, had for a time a worthy successor in the Cardinal Nicolas 
Cusanus, 3 a man of the highest reputation for learning in ancient 
letters and a wide range of practical experience, who attended the 
Council as Dean of St. Florins at Coblenz. Early in its sitting, he 

1 For the reasons of this, see Robertson, iv. p. 408. Among these were 
the fierce jealousies between the Spaniards and English, and the practical 
abstinence of the latter from any part in the Council. 

2 See, for example, the Letter of the University sustaining the Council 
(Feb. 9, 1432) against all attempts to remove, prorogue, and dissolve it, 
and denying any such right in the Pope. (Bulaeus, Hist. Univ. Paris, 
vol. v. p. 412; Gieseler, vol. iv. p. 319.) 

3 . Nicolas Chryfftz, in High German Krebs (i.e. Crab), was named 
Cusanus from the village of Cues on the Moselle, in the diocese of Treves, 
where he was born in an humble station in 1401. iEneas Sylvius speaks 
of him as "homo et priscarum litterarum eruditissimus, et multarum 
revum usu perdoctus." Like his predecessor Cardinal d'Ailly at Constance, 
and his successor in the leadership at Basle, ./Eneas Sylvius, Nicolas 
Cusanus went over to the papal side (in 1437), and did all he could to 
bring the Council into discredit. His M)ri III. de Catholica Concordantia 
are printed in his Works, Paris, 1 514. See the extracts given bv Gieseler, 
vol. iv. p. 319. 
II— K 


published a work on " Catholic Agreement," which assailed the very 
foundations of the Papal supremacy. He maintained that a General 
Council had supreme power in all things, above, the Roman Pontiff. 
Recognizing the division of opinion among the Fathers of the 
Church, whether the power of the Pope was of God or of man, he 
decides that it is from God through the human medium of Councils. 
The Roman Pontiffs primacy above other bishops in the seat of St. 
Peter depends, therefore, on the consent of those who have the rule 
in all other things ; and hence if, for example, it should happen that 
the Archbishop of Treves were elected by the assembled Church as 
their president and head, he, rather than the Pope of Rome, would 
be the true successor of St. Peter in the primacy. A Council might 
depose a Pope for other causes besides heresy. Infallibility was a 
grace promised to the whole Church, not to any one of its members. 
Besides these opinions on matters of principle, he ventured, as the 
result of careful study, to declare the famous donation of Constantine 
apocryphal, " as also perhaps (he adds) some other long and great 
writings, ascribed to St. Clement (the Pseudo-Clementines) and 
Pope Anacletus, on which those rely, wholly or in part, who wish to 
exalt the Roman see above what is expedient and becoming for the 
Holy Church." 

§ 7. Under such leadership, the Council, at its second session 
(Feb. 15th, 1432), 1 renewed the decrees of Constance, pronouncing a 
General Council to be above the Pope, and the Pope bound to obey 
it. They declared that the Council neither could nor should be 
removed, prorogued, or dissolved, without its own consent, and that 
no one, even though invested with the papal authority, could or 
ought to hinder any person from attending. At this juncture, too, 
the cause of the Council was decidedly taken by an assembly of the 
French clergy at Bourges, who petitioned Charles VII. to support it 
by an embassy to the Pope (Feb. 26). The renewed prohibition of 
Eugenius, in the same month, was again answered by Cesarini, who 
not only repeated his exposure of the futility of the reasons given, 
but maintained that the authority of the Council was derived from 
the same source as that of Martin V. and Eugenius himself, the 
decrees of Constance, against which the Pope had no right to dis- 
solve the Council (June, 1432). The Legate, however, deferred to the 
Pope's authority by resigning the presidency, to which the Council 
elected Philibert, bishop of Coutances ; at the same time announc- 
ing, in a synodal letter to the princes and churches of Christendom, 
their resolve to remain at Basle till their work should be accom- 
plished. While humbly beseeching the Pope not to dissolve the 

1 For the negotiations which the Council, of its own authority, carried 
on with the Bohemians, see Chap. XL. 


Council, they summoned him and the Cardinals to attend it within 
three months (April 29) ; affirmed their right, in ease of the death 
of Eugenius, to elect his successor (July 3 2) ; and at length, after 
fruitless negociations with the papal Legates, they proceeded to 
declare the Pope and seventeen cardinals contumacious for non-attend- 
ance (Sept. 6). This bold attitude attracted larger numbers to the 
assembly, which Eugenius denounced as a Synagogue of Satan. 1 " It 
is marvellous but true," writes the most famous actor in a later 
stage of the proceedings, 2 " that the prohibition of the Pope drew 
more than the invitation of the Council." Even the Cardinals 
slunk away from Borne to Basle, till only four remained with 

§ 8. The Emperor-elect, though strongly in favour of the Council 
as the only means of pacifying Bohemia, had not yet appeared at 
Basle. Shortly before it met he had acted on a sudden resolution, 
without the wish or consent of the Electors, to go to Rome for his 
coronation. Like his father Charles IV., he was tempted with the 
hope of reviving the imperial influence in Italy by the aid of the 
Duke of Milan ; and, after his disappointment at Constance and his 
reverses in Bohemia, he probably thought that the dignity of a 
crowned Emperor would enhance his influence both in and on 
behalf of the Council. But the want of money, which was a constant 
check on Sigismund's magnificence and still more on his real power, 3 
reduced him to appear in Italy with a train of only 2000 German 
and Hungarian horse, instead of a force adequate to join Philip 
Maria in his contest with Florence, Venice, and the Pope. The 
Duke kept away from the ceremony of crowning Sigismund with 

1 The numbers at the Council varied greatly, the largest attendance 
being about 100, in June 1435. 

2 iEneas Silvius Piccolomini, afterwards Pope Pius II., of whom more 
presently. His Commentariorum de Gestis Concilii Basiliensis Libri IL, 
written in 1444, while he still sided with the Council, contains its history 
for the years 1438-1440. (Published in the Fasciculi Rerum Expetend. ac 
Fugiend. Colon. 1535 f.). The Epistola ad Jvannem de Segovia de Coro- 
natione Felicis, appended to the work, is often reckoned as a 3rd Book. 
Another leading authority is Augustinus Patricius (a Canon of Siena) 
Sumrna C ' nciliorum Basiliensis, Florentini, Lateranensis, Lausanensis, <J-c, 
composed in 1480 from two MSS. left by John of Segovia, and preserved 
at Basle (Harduin. ix. p. 1081). The Acts of the Council are given fully 
in Mansi, vols, xxix.-xxxi. 

3 Mr. Bryce says of the time from Rudolf downwards: "After all, the 
Empire was perhaps past redemption, for one fatal ailment paralyzed all 
its efforts. The Empire was poor." (Pp. 223 f., where the causes of its 
impoverishment are traced out.) At Rupert's death, there were said to 
be many bishops better off than the Emperor ; and Sigismund himself told 
his Diet, "nihil esse imperio spoliatius, nihil egentius," and that his suc- 
cessor would find it " non imperium> sed potius servitiuni." 


the iron diadem 1 of Lombardy at Milan (Nov. 25, 1431). Though 
treated with outward respect, the King was in danger from the 
Guelfic republics and the Free Companies ; and his first cordial wel- 
come was at the Grhibelline city of Siena. 2 Here, however, he was 
detained many months by the evasions of Eugenius, who endeavoured 
to make the forcible suppression of the Bohemians a condition of the 
coronation. At length the Pope had to be content with Sigismund's 
promise never to desert his cause ; and the Emperor was crowned at 
Home on Whitsunday (May 31, 1433). The diminished splendour 
of the ceremony suited its loss of any real significance. 3 

§ 9. During his long stay in Italy, the Emperor had kept on urging 
the Pope to allow the Council to continue, and had sent letters to 
enlist the princes of Christendom in its support ; while, as its acknow- 
ledged protector, 4 he had written to moderate its proceedings against 
Eugenius. While the Pope was preparing fresh Bulls of dissolution, 
the Council extended the term of the summons to him again and 
again; till the Emperor arrived at Basle (Oct. 11th), bringing a 
document from Eugenius, which was deemed insufficient. At length 
the increasing troubles of Italy, and the factions which made Rome 
unsafe for the Pope, induced him to issue a Bull, revoking all his 
sentences against the Council (Dec. 15th, 1433). On April 26th, 
1434, in presence of the Emperor, the Pope's legates were admitted 
to the Council as its presidents, " on swearing, in their own names, 5 
that a General Council has its authority immediately from Christ, 
and that all men, including even the Pope, are bound to obey it in 

1 The " iron crown " of Lombardy, of which an engraving is given on 
p. 60, is really a diadem of gold and jewels, but wrought within it is a 
thin circle of iron, said to have been forged from one of the nails of the 
cross. It was the reputed gift of Queen Theodelinda (ob. A.D. (528) to the 
cathedral of Monza, where it is still preserved. For its history, see the 
article Crown in the Diet, of Christian Antiqq. vol. i. p. 507. 

2 This city had been visited by Charles IV. soon after his marriage, 
and so the people claimed a sort of hereditary interest in Sigismund. 

3 Mr. Bryce observes that Sigismund was virtually an Hungarian king. 
Eugenius, also, had to contend with narrowed observance from his dis- 
obedient son; for, "as Sigismund was suffering from gout, the Pope was 
obliged to consent that his mule should be led only three steps by the 
Emperor — a symbol rather than a performance of the traditional homage 
of Constantine. It is said that from this time is to be dated the use of 
the double eagle as denoting the union of imperial and royal dignity." 
Robertson, vol. iv. p. 411. 

4 By a decree of the 9th Session, Jan. 12th, 1433, which also declared 
any papal sentence of deprivation against Sigismund null and void. 

5 I'rivatis nommibus, but the Council maintained that this act implied 
the Pope's sanction to all their proceedings from the beginning. His 
advocates, however, declared that his approval was given only to the 
progress of the Council, not to its decrees! 


matters relating to faith, to the extinction of schism, and to the 
reform of the Church in head and members." 1 

It was but a hollow reconciliation ; but the Emperor declared he 
would die rather than allow another papal schism. He felt the 
scanty numbers of the Council to be a poor support for their high 
pretensions, which trenched on his own prerogative, not only by 
negociating with other powers, but interfering with the politics of 
Germany. He left "Basle on the 19th of May, 1434. Before his 
departure, he had introduced the question of the marriage of the 
clergy, which was debated seriously, but without result. Through 
its mediation with the more moderate party of the Bohemians, he 
was at length acknowledged as their King in 1436. He was again 
labouring to avert the papal schism, when he died at Znaim, in 
Hungary (Dec. 9th, 1437). 

§ 10. Wi;hin a month of Sigismund's departure from Basle, 
Eugenius was driven from Rome by a popular rising against the in- 
solence of his nephew, Cardinal Condolmieri (June 1434). The Pope 
escaped in the disguise of a monk to Ostia, and thence to Florence ; 
while the Eomans once more set up a short-lived republic, and made 
overtures to the Council. But they soon found their new govern- 
ment intolerable, and their city a desert without the papal court. 
At their request Eugenius resumed his authority, but remained at 
Florence, 2 while he entrusted the government of Rome to John of 
Vitelleschi, who united the characters of a bishop and captain of 
Condottieri, and whose services were rewarded with the dignities of 
Cardinal Archbishop of Florence, and titular Patriarch of Alexandria. 
John's ruthless devastation of the Campagna in his war to crush the 
Colonna, and his vices and despotism, were atoned for, in the eyes 
of the Romans, by the peace and prosperity secured by his five 
years' rule (1435-1440) ; and, after he fell a victim to the suspicion 
of playing the part of another Rienzi (April 1440), they erected a 
statue to Vitelleschi as a new founder of their city. 3 His chief 
enemy, Scarampo, held the government, or tyranny, of Rome till 
the Pope's return, after an absence of nine years (Sept. 1443). How 
Eugenius had been occupied during that long interval will appear 

1 Robertson, iv. p. 421. "The power of the Legates was limited by- 
strict conditions, which showed tiiat a fresh breach with the Pope was 

2 He afterwards (1436) removed to Bologna, as a stronghold against 
the Duke of Milan. 

3 For the details of Vitelleschi's fall, and the question of Eugenius's 
complicity in his treacherous arrest and death in prison, see Robertson, 
vol. iv. pp. 429-430. 


§ 11. The Council had lost no time in using the Pope's sanction to 
proceed earnestly with the work of reformation (1435). " Decrees 
were passed for entire freedom of election in churches ; against 
expectancies, usurpations of patronage, reservations, annates, and 
many of the exactions by which the Roman court drained the wealth 
of the Church ; against frivolous appeals ; against the abuse of 
interdicts, the concubinage of the clergy, the burlesque festivals 
and other indecencies connected with the service of the Church. 
Rules were laid down as to the election and behaviour of Popes. . . . 
The number of Cardinals was limited to twenty-four ; they were to 
be taken from all Christian countries, and to be chosen with the 
consent of the existing Cardinals. A very few of royal or princely 
families might be admitted, but the nephews of the Popes were to 
be excluded from the College." 1 

The contraction of the sources of papal revenues touched Eugenius 
at his most sensitive part. His plea for the continuance of annates, 
till some other means of maintaining his dignity should be provided, 
was answered by the demand to submit himself unreservedly to the 
Council. 2 While he appealed by letters to the princes of Christendom, 
new charges were brought against him in the Council, and he was 
again summoned to appear within sixty days (July 31st). Mean- 
while the Greeks had continued their appeals both to the Pope and 
the Council ; and it was vehemently disputed whether the conference 
with the Greeks should be held within or beyond the Alps. When 
at length Eugenius issued a Bull for transferring the Council to 
Ferrara (Sept. 18), they continued their sessions at Basle, and pro- 
nounced him obstinately contumacious for disregarding their 
summons (Oct. 1). The Pope opened his Council at Ferrara (Jan. 8, 
1438), which excommunicated the men at Basle, and annulled 
their acts ; they declared the assembly at Ferrara schismatical, and 
cited its members to appear at Basle within 30 days (Jan. 24th). 
This 31st Session was, in fact, the last at which reformatory decrees 
were passed ; 3 henceforth the Council existed only to carry on a 
war with Eugenius, which soon became an open schism. 

§ 12. In this conflict the leaders were somewhat changed. Nicolas 
of Cusa had already left Basle, seduced, it is said, by the flattery of the 
Pope, that " his peerless learning was absolutely necessary to conduct 
negociations with the Greek Church, now returning into the bosom 

1 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 423. See the extracts from the decrees of the 
Council in Gieseler, vol. iv. pp. 322 f. 

2 It is a striking sign of the ingrained abuses now prevalent, to find 
the Pope retorting on the Council itself the charge of issuing indulgences, 
to provide for the cost of an embassy to the Greeks. 

3 For the details, see Gieseler, vol. iv. pp. 331-2. The negociations with 
the Greeks, and the Council held by Eugenius at Ferrara and Florence, are 
related in the ensuing Chapter XII. 


of Rome." 1 The legate Julian Cesarini had striven to remain loyal 
both to the Council and the Pope, till he seemed in danger of being 
elected as the head of a schism. He and Nicolas of Cusa left Basle 
at the beginning of 1438 ; but they, with two other Cardinals, were 
the only seceders to Ferrara. The lead was now taken by the 
Burgundian Louis Allemand, bishop of Aries (the only Cardinal 
left at Basle), 2 who combined the most signal eloquence and fairness, 
temper and tact, with inveterate animosity to Eugenius. 3 The new 
president was supported by Nicolas de Tudesco, archbishop of 
Palermo (Nicolas Panormitanus), the most famous canonist of the 
age. Less conspicuous as yet, but destined to a fame much more 
lasting, was the versatile Italian, JEneas Sylvius Piccolomini, " the 
most elegant writer of Latin, the historian of the Council — at one 
time its ruling authority, at another its most dangerous, because 
secret foe." 4 A very microcosm of Rome in all the stages of its 
history is suggested by the scion of a noble but reduced Italian 
house, named after the refugee from Troy and his great-grandson, 
the third King of Alba, 5 beginning life as an adventurer and votary 
of pleasure, and, after taking part in a bitter conflict with the papal 
see, labouring to revive its loftiest traditions in his own person, and 
dying in the odour of sanctity. The Piccolomini, of whom Pius II. 
does not stand alone in history, 6 one of the noblest and most 

1 Milman, vol. viii. p. 361. 

2 Several Cardinals had left Basle before. Eugenius had created new 
Cardinals, to supply the place of those who had gone to Basle, and the 
Council had declared these appointments null and void. 

3 iEneas Sylvius describes Louis as " homo multarum parabolarum, 
liberalitate insignis, sed odio erga Eugenium veteri et novo accendissimus." 
" His lofty independence and resistance to the Papal See did not prevent 
his subsequent canonisation." Milman, viii. p. 361. 

4 Milman, /. c. We must be content to refer to the Dean's graphic 
pages for a fuller account of the remarkable career of ^Eneas Sylvius, 
afterwards Pius 11. (Chap. xvi. vol. viii. p. 415 f.) 

5 He had a third and more Christian name, Bartholomew. 

6 Besides his nephew, who was Pope for a month (in 1503) as Pius III,, 
Ottavio Piccolomini (b. 1599, d. 1656), the Austrian general in the Thirty 
Years' War, has been made famous by Schiller's tragedy, translated by 
Coleridge. The chief modern authority for the Life of JEneas Sylvius is 
Voigt, JEneas Sylvius de' Piccolomini als Papst Pius II., und seiti Zeitalter 
3 vols. Berlin, 1856-63. The original sources are his own works, espe- 
cially his Letters, and the Commentaries of Pius II. The latter book, 
though not published till 1504, 120 years after his death, and then under 
the name of the copyist, Joannes Gobellinus, is known by the testimony 
of two friends of the Pope to have been his own work. The editor, 
Francesco Bandini de' Piccolomini, not only kept back the true authorship, 
but suppressed some passages, which were however collected by some one 
who saw the sheets while passing through the press. The collection was 
preserved among the MSS. of the Chigi Library, the librarian of which 


powerful families of Siena, had fallen with the establishment of the 
republic. The father of iEneas added to the poor remnant of a dissi- 
pated estate a family of 22 children, of whom 10 grew up, only to 
perish by the plague, except two daughters and iEneas himself, who 
was born at the village of Corsignago on the 18th of October, 1405. 
Though the poverty of the family obliged him to take part in the 
labours of the field, his education was not neglected ; and at the age 
of 22 he went to Siena, where the aid of his wealthier relations 
enabled him to pursue the study of law, but he turned with ardour 
to Greek and Roman letters under the famous scholar Filelfo. 
Driven from Siena by the war with Florence, he became secretary 
to Cardinal Dominico Capranica, whom he attended to the Council of 
Basle. But the Cardinal's poverty compelled iEneas to seek other 
patrons, whom he followed in varied missions through Germany, 
Italy, and France, and was himself sent on to England and Scotland, 
of which countries he has left a most interesting description. 1 

Returning to Italy, he joined his master, the Bishop of Novara, 
at Basle, shortly before the final rupture of the Council with 
Eugenius (1437). " No sooner was iEneas fixed at Basle, than his 
singular aptitude for business, no doubt his fluent and perspicuous 
Latin, his flexibility of opinion, his rapidly growing knowledge of 
mankind, his determination to push his fortunes, his fidelity to the 
master in whose service he happened to be, opened the way to 
advancement ; offices, honours, rewards, crowded upon him. He 
was secretary, first reporter of the proceedings, then held the office 
as writer of the epistles of the Council. The office of these duo- 
decimvirs was to prepare all business for the deliberations of the 
Council ; nothing could be brought forward without their previous 
sanction, nor any one admitted to the Council till they had examined 
and approved his title. He often presided over his department, 
which was that of faith. The leaden seal of the Council was often 
in his custody. During his career he was ambassador from the 
Council, three times to Strassburg, twice to Constance, twice to 
Frankfort, once to Trent, later to the Emperor Albert, and to 
persuade Frederick III. to espouse the cause of the Council." 2 

has published them under the title " JEnese, Sylvii Piccolomini Se?iensis, 
qui postea fuit Pius II. Pont. Max. Opera Inedita ; descripsit Joseph us 
Cugnoni, Roma, 1883." The work is invaluable for the characteristically 
frank expression of opinion ou contemporary persons and affairs. Another 
recent work is " The Life of Pope Pius II., as illustrated by Pinturicchio's 
Frescoes in the Piccolomini Library at Siena. By the Rev. G. W. Kitchen, 
M.A. With the engravings from the Frescoes by Professor Gruner. Printed 
for the Arundel Society, 1881." 

1 See Milman, vol. viii. pp. 417 f. For .Eneas's frank confession of his 
loose morals, as natural in a layman, in his Letters, see ibid. p. 421 f. 

8 Milman, vol. viii. pp. 423-4. 


§ 13. His first appearance as a full member of the Council (when 
in the debate on the place for conference with the Greeks, taking a 
middle course between the Papal and Transalpine parties, he 
supported the Milanese proposal for Pavia) was rewarded with the 
office of provost of St. Lawrence at Milan. On his return thence 
to Basle, still a layman, he preached with great success before the 
Council on the feast of St. Ambrose (Dec. 7th, 1437). As we have 
seen, this was the moment when the Council took a decisive step 
against the Pope, and when Sigismund died, leaving his hereditary 
crowns of Hungary and Bohemia to his son-in-law, Albert of Austria, 
who was elected in the following March as Albert II., King of the 
Komans. 1 He was reluctant to accept the dignity, the prospect of 
which he was said by the Hungarians to have expressly renounced 
on his election as their king. iEneas, virtually if not formally 
accredited by the Council, accompanied the Duke of Milan's 
ambassador to Vienna, and overcame the objections of the Hungarians 
as well as of Albert himself. 

The Electors had seized the opportunity to declare Germany 
neutral between the Council and the Pope ; 2 and a more important 
decision was taken by France about the same time. Charles VII. 
himself had not been favourable to the Council ; but in a national 
assembly at Bourges he adopted their reforms, with some modifi- 
cations, by a Pragmatic Sanction, which was one of the foundations 
of Gallican liberty (July 7th, 1438). 3 The assembly also disowned 
the Council of Ferrara. 

§ 14. These measures were taken in the hope of averting a schism ; 
but the Council of Basle, now growing more and more irreconcil- 
able, trusted to the support of France and Germany. The final step 
divided the Council itself ; and most of the bishops retired, leaving 

1 By this election the imperial dignity, which had been held bv Rudolf 
of Hapsburg (1273-1292) and his son Albert I. (1298-1308), returned 
to the House of Hapsburg, in which it remained till the abdication of 
Francis II. in August 1806, — with the sole exceptions of the Bavarian 
Charles VII. (1742-45) and Francis I. of Lorraine (1745-65), though 
the latter may be called a Hapsburg by his marriage with Maria Theresa. 
Mr. Bryce, however, has pointed out that Maximilian I. was the true 
founder of the greatness of the Hapsburgs, and he has traced the causes 
which made the elective imperial dignity practically hereditary in that 
family. (Holy Roman Empire, p. 352 f.) Of all the Emperors-elect 
during the 368 years from Albert II. to Francis II., Frederick III. was 
the only one crowned at Rome. 

2 A year later, however, the reforms of the Council were adopted by 
the Emperor and Diet at Mainz in a formal Instrumenium Acceptationis 
(March 26, 1439). See Gieseler, vol. iv. p. 353. 

3 See the Pragmatique Sanction, or La Pragmatique de Bourges, editel 
by Pinson (1666), in the Ordinances des Kois de France de la T, oisieme 
Pace, vol. xiii. p. 267. 

II— K 2 


affairs in the hands of the lower clergy, after a violent discussion 
whether preshyters had a vote or only a consultative voice. The 
Cardinal president, Archbishop of Aries, who sided with the extreme 
party, caused all the holiest relics of saints that could be found in 
Basle to be placed in the vacant seats of the bishops; a device 
which moved the Council to tears ! With such overwrought 
feelings, but with marked dignity and decorum, the assembly of 
about 400 clergy (but few of whom were bishops) pronounced the 
deposition of Eugenius as " notoriously and obstinately contumacious, 
a violator of canons, guilty of scandal to the whole Church ; as 
simoniacal, perjured, incorrigibly schismatic and obstinately 
heretical, a dilapidator of the Church's rights and property, and 
unfit to administer his office" (June 25th, 1439). A few days 
later, to the surprise of the Council itself, the ambassadors of the 
Emperor-elect and the French King expressed their concurrence in 
the act, and added an apology for their absence. 

During the interval of sixty days allowed before the new election, 
a terrible outbreak of plague tried the stedfastness both of the 
dying * and the survivors ; but the few who left Basle returned as it 
abated, and the session of September 17th is remarkable for its 
decree affirming the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. 2 
The 37th session (October 24th) resolved to associate with their 
only Cardinal (the Archbishop of Aries) 32 other electors, chosen 
from all nations and all ranks of the clergy ; three being named 
by the Council to choose the rest. 3 Out of seventeen candidates 
named at first, the conclave announced, on the sixth day, 4 its choice 
of Amadeus, Duke of Savoy, who, after governing his duchy for 
thirty-eight years with high reputation, had resigned it to his son 
(1434), and was living at Eipaille, on the south shore of Lake 
Leman, as the head of a society of twelve noble hermits. 5 Their 
life seems to have been easy, if not luxurious ; but the character of 
Amadeus was above reproach, and the objections that he was a 
layman and had been married were easily overruled. Yet it seemed 
to Christendom a strange choice, of an aged retired prince instead of 

1 It is said that many, with the last sacrament in their hands, professed 
that their salvation depended on their renunciation of Eugenius. ./Eneas 
Sylvius was one of the few stricken who recovered. One writer (Rinaldi) 
regards the plague as a judgment, without explaining whether those who 
died from it at Ferrara were equal sinners with those at Basle. 

2 The schismatic character ascribed to the Council (a-t all events after 
its deposition of Eugenius) deprived this decree of any authority. 

3 One of these was a Scotch monk, Thomas, abbot of Dundrennan, a 
Cistercian house in the diocese of Candida Casa ( Whitherne in Galloway). 

4 Nov. 5th, confirmed by the Council, Nov. 17th, 1439. 

5 He was styled Dean of St. Maurice, the patron saint of that region. 
jEneas suggests that his retirement was a scheme to prepare for his eleva- 
tion to the Papacy, but this is improbable. 


a bold and vigorous prelate, or a learned canonist, likely to fulfil the 
hopes of a complete reformation by the Council. Perhaps respectably 
neutral qualities were thought safest ; and it seems to have been 
supposed that Amadeus could for a time supply the want of papal 
revenues by his own wealth, and ultimately induce his powerful 
connections to establish him at Home. He was crowned at Basle 
with great splendour as Felix V. (July 23rd, 1440) ; but he is only 
reckoned as an Antipope. It was soon seen that his cause was 
hopeless ; and his elevation marks the epoch of the Council's rapid 
decline in power and repute. Its imposition of a tax on vacant 
ecclesiastical benefices at once made it unpopular. 

The King of France expressed his disapproval of the schism, and 
wrote from Bourges, exhorting " Monsieur de Savoye " and the 
Council to study the peace of the Church. Alfonso, King of 
Arragon, was after some time induced to separate himself from the 
Council by Eugenius's recognition of his claim to Naples, against 
Rene of Anjou (1443). 1 

§ 15. Germany resented the schism as a breach of her neutrality ; 
but the Emperor Albert died at the very moment of the election 
which he had written to deprecate (Nov. 5, 1439). His cousin, the 
Duke of Styria (b. 1415), son of Ernest the Iron, Duke of Austria, 
was elected as Frederick III., 2 King of the Romans (Feb. 4, 1440). 
His inglorious reign of 53 years marks the lowest degradation of the 
Empire. He was far from being destitute of ability and good sense ; 
but his tenacity of purpose was marred, as that quality often is, 
with constitutional indolence. He was signally unfortunate ; and 
his want of decision and alleged meanness were often the result of 
the want of wealth, which now paralysed the Empire. His super- 
stitious weakness gave the example of that subservience to the 
Papacy, which became the hereditary policy of his line. Though 
hitherto favourable to the Council, he shrank from the schism, and 
three Diets held by him affirmed the neutrality of Germany. iEneas 
Sylvius, who was a warm partisan of Felix, and had accepted the 
post of his secretary, was sent on an embassy to Frederick, which 

1 Joanna II. had died in 1435, bequeathing her kingdom to Rene, the 
brother of Louis of Anjou, whom the Pope was disposed to favour, while 
claiming to treat Naples as a lapsed fief of the Holy See. Alfonso now 
added to his former claim his heirship of Manfred and the Hohenstaufen. 
The consequence of his abandoning the Council was the withdrawal of 
Nicolas of Palermo, who gave up the cardinalate he had received from Felix. 

2 As Emperor, Frederick is variously reckoned as the Illrd, IVth ^r 
Vth (according as former claimants, of the name, are recognized or not). 
Albert Kranz (Saxonia, 304) likens him to Fabius Maxim us for his slowness 
in action. Rauke gives a careful estimate of his character, doing justice 
to his better qualities {Hint, of the Popes, translated by Mrs. Austin, 
vol. i. pp. 101-5). 


proved a turning-point in his own fortunes. The Emperor nattered 
his literary vanity, and made him his poet laureate (July 1442). 
In November, Frederick appeared at Basle, but in the avowed 
character of mediator, treating Felix with profound respect, but 
avoiding any recognition of his title. The chief result of his visit 
was the transference of iEneas to his own service as secretary, with 
the reluctant consent of Felix. The astute Italian, while as yet 
unchanged in his convictions of the Council's right, began to doubt 
both the motives and the issue of the conflict. In words of very 
wide application, he says, " In truth the quarrel is not for the sheep 
but for the wool ; there would be less strife were the Church poor." 
In accepting the Emperor's service, he took up his new position of 
neutrality, and resolved to secure his own advancement and power 
by a steady course of seeming obedience to his master's weaker will. 1 
Meanwhile Felix withdrew to Lausanne, on the plea of illness ; 
and the Council of Basle held its 45th and last session on the 16th 
of June, 1443, when Lyon was appointed as the place for the next 
General Council, to be held according to the decrees of Constance. 
As a protest, however, against the rival assembly, which was still 
sitting at Florence, 2 the Council declared its continued existence,- 
which was prolonged in form, with that of its nominal Pope, for 
six years longer, till 1449. " The authority of this assembly has 
been variously estimated within the Eoman communion. The 
more moderate divines in general acknowledge its oecumenical 
character as far as the 26th session, i.e. until the time when 
Eugenius proposed to transfer it to Ferrara. But the advanced 
Gallicans maintained its authority throughout ; and by the more 
extreme Romanists it is altogether disavowed." 3 

1 See his own frank and acute avowals cited by Milman, vol. viii. p. 431. 
Here is a hint for those who try to manage affairs by reports and memorials, 
as the Archbishop of Palermo was labouring to do at Frankfort : — " Stultus 
est qui putat libellis et codicibus movere reges." Soon after his removal 
to Vienna, iEneas took holy orders, and lived for a time on the small 
benefice given him by the Emperor, in a retired valley of the Tyrol, 
whence he removed to the better living of Auspac in Bavaria, given him 
by the Bishop of Passau. He attended the Diet of Nuremberg (144-1), 
and maintained the strict neutrality for which it again declared. 

2 See the next Chapter. 

3 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 437. According to the best Roman Catholic 
authorities, this Council, so far as it is accepted at all, is merged in that 
of Ferrara and Florence, as the consequence of its removal by Eugenius IV. 
Hence the XVIFth CEcum< nical Council is that of Basle- Ferrara- Florence, 
usually styled simply, of Florence. (Hefele's Conciliengeschichte ; Her- 
genroether's Kirchenaeschichte. 1879-80; Alzog, Manual of Universal 
Church History, translated by Tabish and Byrne, ] 874-78.) 




1. The Greek Empire and Church — Progress of the Turks: help sought 
from the West — Former overtures for Union — Embassies from Pope and 
Council — John Pal^eolocjus II. and his suite at Ferrara — Mark, 
Bessarion, a ,d Syropulus — The Council removed to Florence. § 2. The 
four chief points in dispute — The " procession " and Filioque — The 
Agreement (Definite-). § 3. Death of the Patriarch Joasaph — Dissent 
of Demetrius and Mark — Ceremony of Reconciliation. § 4. The Agree- 
ment rejected at Constantinople — The Council ti-ansferred to Rome — 
Submission of other Orientals. § 5. Crusade against the Turks — 
Ladislaus, Ces:irini, and Huniades — First Successes — Disastrous battle 
of Varna — Sequel of the Agreement — Constantink XIII. and Maho- 
met II. — Mission of Cardinal Isidore — Popular feeling the 
Latins. § 6. Quarrel of Eugenius with the Germans — Mission of 
iEneas Sylvius to Rome — His favour with the Pope — Thomas of Sarzana. 
§7. The Diet of Frankfort — Diplomacy of ./Eneas — How "Mainz was 
captured" — New German compact. § .8. /Eneas again at Rome — 
The dying Pope concludes the agreement — His four Bulls, and death 
— The agreement continued by Nicolas V. § 9. The Concordat of 


Aschaffenburg — The Council of Basle dissolved — Resignation and death 
of Felix V. § 10. Archbishop Trench on the three Great Councils — 
Their wrong view of the reformation needed — Yet not total failures — 
The Hildebrandine idea rejected — They mark the end of the Middle Age 
of the Church, by their shock to the Papal dictatorship. 

§ 1. The hollow character and fruitless result of the last effort, 
or pretence of an effort, to reunite the Greek and Latin Churches, 
demands but a brief account of the Council held by Eugenius IV., 
at Ferrara and Florence, in opposition to that of Basle. 1 It belongs 
to secular history to follow the victories of the Turks in Europe, by 
which the Eastern Empire was now narrowed to the environs of 
Constantinople. " In the four last centuries of the Greek Emperors," 
says Gibbon, " their friendly or hostile aspect towards the Pope and 
the Latins may be observed as the thermometer of their prosperity 
or distress." We have seen how, after the capture of Adrianople by 
Amurath I., the Emperor John Palajologus I., the son of a Latin 
mother, Anne of Savoy, went in person to propitiate Urban V., who 
made a vain effort to kindle an Eastern Crusade (1369). Thirty years 
later, his son Manuel visited France and England, but gained only 
empty honour. The overthrow of Bajazet by Timour (1403) gave a 
respite, which was prolonged by the dissensions of the Turks, till 
Amurath II. laid siege to Constantinople in 1422. Its brave resistance 
and a revolt in Asia obtained the peace which allowed the new Emperor, 
John Palaeologus II. to reign over the city as the Sultan's tributary 
(L425). Before his father's death, John had gone to Italy in search 
of aid (1423), and he is said to have formed the idea of reuniting the 
Empires as the successor of Sigismund. He agreed to the proposal 
of Martin V., that he and other Greeks should attend a Council for 
accommodating the differences between the Churches. Not to dwell 
on the further overtures made to the Greeks by the Coimcil and the 
Pope, 2 both of w T hom sent fleets to Constantinople, which came near 
illustrating their desire of union by a battle with each other, — the 
result was that the Greek Emperor, with his brother, the " despot " 
Demetrius, and the Patriarch Joasaph, attended by 22 bishops and 
a large train of clergy and monks, 3 embarked on the Venetian 

1 For the details, see Milman's graphic narrative, c. xiii. vol. viii. 
p. 365 f., and Gibbon, c. xxxvii. 

2 Among the Pope's envoys was Nicolas of Cusa, the former leader in 
the Council. 

3 Among the attendants of the Patriarch was the Ecclesiast (Preacher) 
Sylvester Syropulus (otherwise called Sguropulus, ^yovpoirovXos) who (as 
Milman puts it) M avenged the compulsion laid upon him to follow his 
master to Ferrara and Florence by writing a lively and bold history of 
the whole proceedings." His Vera Hisloria L T ?iionis non Verse, sen Concilii 


galleys provided by the Pope (Nov. 29th, 1437), and were welcomed 
with great ceremony at Venice (Feb. 8th, 1438). Here they first 
learned the decisive breach between the Pope and the Council ; and 
it was chiefly by the persuasion of the Legate Cesarini that they 
decided to attend the Pope's Council, which had been opened in 
January at Ferrara. 1 After various difficulties of etiquette had 
been adjusted — the Pope sitting as President above the Emperor, 
and the Patriarch on a level with the Cardinals — the preparatory 
discussions were opened between twelve champions on either side. 
Of these the most conspicuous, among the Greeks, were the rough 
outspoken Mark and the more conciliatory Bessarion, archbishops 
of Ephesus and Nicam ; among the Latins, Cardinal Julian Cesarini 
and the Spanish Dominican John, provincial of Lombardy. 2 But 
the Greeks soon found themselves pressed by other forces besides 
argument : the Emperor's resolve to effect some sort of union as the 
only hope of help against the Turks ; the disgrace visited on the 
obstinate ; and the cost and difficulty of needful provisions, which 
were supplied or withheld according to their obedience. Their 
troubles were increased by the plague, 3 which gave the Pope a 
pretext for transferring the Council to Florence (Jan. 1439), a move 
which roused the suspicions of the Greeks. 

§ 2. Meanwhile the public conferences had begun on the four 
chief points, out of fifty more in which the Greeks were held to be 
heretical ; 4 and at the 25th session the Emperor summed up the 

Flonntini exactissima Narratio, was edited, with a free Latin Translation, 
bv Rob. Creighton, afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells, Hagae Comitis, 
1660; and was severely criticized in the Exercitationes of Leo Allatius, 
Romae, 1665. 

1 From its removal in the following year, it is usually called the 
Council of Florence. Its Acts, both in Greek and Latin, are in the 
Collections of Labbe and Cossart, vol. xiii , and Harduin, vol viii. See 
also the History of the Council of Florence from the Russian of B. Popoff, 
edited by J. M. Neale, Lond. 1861. 

2 Contrasting Cesarini with Mark, Syropulus says that, although the 
Cardinal was the more eloquent, the Archbishop of Ephesus was the 
stronger and more solid. The principal interpreter was Nicolas Secondino, 
a native of Negropont ; but we are told that St. Bernard of Siena received, 
in answer to his prayers, the gift of conversing fluently in Greek, a tongue 
unknown to him. 

3 See above, p. 182. As a sign of national habits, it is interesting to 
read that the chief sufferers were the Latins, and the Russians who came 
in the train of their Patriarch Isidore, himself a Greek. 

4 For the course of the arguments, especially on the main question of 
the " Procession," see Milman, /. c. and Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 443 f. It 
is important to observe that the Latins acknowledged themselves unable 
to trace the Filioque in the Nicene Creed further back than to the Frank 
Church under Charles the Great. (See Vol. I. of this work, pp. 473-4.) 


discussion by leaving the Pope to devise terms of union, otherwise 
the Greeks would return home. Ten representatives of each side 
at length agreed on a Definition, 1 which was drawn up in Latin by 
Ambrose Traversari, head of the Camaldolite order, and translated 
into Greek by Bessarion. (1.) On the main question of the " Pro- 
cession of the Holy Ghost" it was decided that the difference was 
only in the form of expression ; inasmuch as the Latins disavowed 
the inference, that the Holy Spirit proceeded from two principles, 
which was the ground of the Greek objection to the words Filioque. 
(2.) As to the use of leavened or unleavened bread in the Eucharist, 
the consecration of either was valid, and each Church was allowed 
to retain its own custom. (3.) The doctrine of Purgatory was 
affirmed, but as to its nature nothing was defined against the opinion 
of either Church. (4.) The Roman Pontiff was declared to have the 
primacy of the whole world, as the successor of St. Peter, the chief 
of the Apostles and true vicar of Christ; and the agreement 
" renewed the order " of the other patriarchal sees " handed down 
in the Canons," namely, Constantinople second, Alexandria third, 
Antioch fourth, Jerusalem fifth, " saving all their privileges and 
rights." Thus, leaving the Eastern Patriarchs to make what they 
might out of this saving clause, the Pope had gained the one sole 
object of his ambition, the full acknowledgment of his supremacy. 
All the rest was unmeaning compromise, for the sake of a formal 
concord 2 which soon proved to be just as hollow. 

§ 3. The Definition was subscribed by every member of the Coun- 
cil, — though not without reluctance, especially on the part of some 
Greek ecclesiastical officers, who had had no voice in the debates, — 
with three remarkable exceptions. The Patriarch Joasaph, who had 
been earnest for the union, was spared the last surrender by his death 
(June 10th). The despot Demetrius refused to sign, and retired to 
Venice ; " he was to reap his reward in popularity, hereafter to be 
dangerous to his brother's throne." 3 The Archbishop Mark, whose 

1 The Definitio is printed in Labbe and Cossart, xiii. p. 510 f., Harduin, 
vol. ix. p. 401 f. ; and Gieseler, vol. v. pp. 206-7. Each of the forms, 
Greek and Latin has the force of an original. 

2 This was plainly expressed in the words of a deacon to the English 
ambassadors who met the Emperor on his return. "Neither did we go 
over to the doctrine (8<$|t?) of the Latins, nor the Latins to that of the 
Greeks ; but the doctrine's were considered severally by each party, and 
were found to be accordant, and so they appeared to be one and the .same 
doctrine. Wherefore it was ordained that each party should hold the 
doctrine that it had held till now, and so we should bo united. " 
(Svicpulus, p. 307, ap. Gieseler, vol. v. p. 207.) A remarkable case of 
"agreeing to differ;" but. as usual in such cases, the difference remained 
without any agreement worth the name. 3 Milman, vol. viii. p. 3i*8. 


resistance had brought him into hot collision with the Romanizing 
Bessarion, had obtained the Emperor's promise that he should not 
be compelled to sign ; and the Pope's prophetic remark, " Then we 
have done nothing at all ! " acknowledged in Mark the true voice of 
the Greek Church. For the present, however, Eugenius celebrated 
his triumph in the magnificent Cathedral which he had lately- 
consecrated, after it had been 150 years in building l (July 6th, 
1439). It was the practical reply of the patriarch of reunited 
Christendom to his deposition at Basle just a week before. " Nothing 
was wanting to the splendour of the ceremony, to the glory of the 
Pope. After Te Deum chanted in Greek, Mass celebrated in Latin, 
the Creed was read, with the Filioque. Syropulus would persuade 
himself and the world that the Greeks did not rightly catch the 
indistinct and inharmonious sounds. Then the Cardinal Julian 
Cesarini ascended the pulpit and read the Edict in Latin, the 
Cardinal Bessarion in Greek. They descended and embraced, as 
symbolizing the indissoluble unity of the Church. The Edict (it 
was unusual) ended with no anathema." 2 

§ 4. While the Greeks returned by Venice to Constantinople, to 
find their submission indignantly repudiated, Eugenius transferred 
the Council to Rome, and reopened its sessions in the Church of 
St. John Lateran (Oct. 1443). Here the formal reconciliation of the 
Eastern Church was completed by the reception of deputies, real or 
pretended, of the Copts, Jacobites, Maroni.tes, and Chaldasans ; 3 the 
Armenians having already presented themselves at Florence. " This 
frivolous scene," as it is justly characterized by Gieseler, 4 " was 
evidently intended to win back the public opinion of the Western 
world to the Pope, by the appearance of a general union of all 
Christendom under the papal obedience, and to overawe and bring to 
submission the adherents of the Council of Basle." 

§ 5. Meanwhile the Pope had endeavoured to fulfil his part of 
the alliance with the Greeks by proclaiming a Crusade against the 

1 The Duomo of Florence, originally the church of Santa Reparata, 
afterwards dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore, was begun in 1298 from 
the designs of Arnolfo, continued by many architects, among whom were 
Giotto, Taddeo Gaddi, and Andrea Orcagna, and finished by Brunelleschi, 
who completed the dome in 1446. For a full description, see Murray's 
' Handbook for Central Italy,' pp. 32 f. 

2 Milman, vol. viii. p. 398. But it is a slight anticipation to call Bes- 
sarion Cardinal. Wisely distrusting the effect on the Greeks of the part 
ne had taken in the Council, he declined the vacant patriarchate of Con- 
stantinople, accepted the reward of a Cardinal's hat from Eugenius, and 
remained at Rome, where he exercised great influence, and was thrice 
near being elected Pope. 

3 For these churches, see Vol. I. pp. 355, 379-383. 4 Vol. v. p. 409. 


Turks. Though England, France, 1 and Germany, were too much 
occupied at home to act as nations, they furnished many adventurers, 
attracted by what Gibbon calls an endless treasure of indulgences ; 
and an enthusiatic leader was found in young Ladislaus, King of 
Poland and Hungary. Cardinal Julian Cesarini, who had preached 
the holy war in those countries, accompanied the Crusade, which was 
aided by the military skill of John Huniades, and the equipment of 
fleets from Flanders, Genoa, and Venice. An advance to Sophia, 
the capital of Bulgaria, with two considerable victories, brought the 
Turks to sue for terms ; and both parties swore to a ten years' 
truce (Aug. 1, 1444). But the Cardinal Julian, who had held 
sullenly aloof from the negociations, now received news that 
the fleets of Burgundy, Genoa, and Venice, were in the Hellespont, 
while the Greeks were gaining victories in Asia Minor. His power 
of absolution persuaded Ladislaus to break the truce and advance 
to Varna, where the fleets were expected. But, instead of their aid, 
the powerful army of Amurath had been transported from Asia by 
the perfidious Genoese, and the last hope of Latin help for the 
Greeks perished with Ladislaus and 10,000 Christians in the fatal 
battle of Varna (Nov. 10th, 1444). 2 

It is convenient here to follow the vain attempt at reconciliation 
to its sequel. John Palaeologus, having been compelled by popular 
feeling to repudiate the agreement of Florence, was succeeded in 
1448 by his son Constantine XIII., the last Emperor of New 
Rome ; and three years later the moderation of Amurath II. was 
replaced by the youthful vigour of his son Mahomet II., the 
destined conqueror of Constantinople. 3 On his renewal of war 
(1452), Constantine turned again to Rome with professions of 
penitence, and the Cardinal Isidore, a Greek and former metro- 
politan of Russia, was sent to renew the reconciliation. But the 
Latin forms used in a solemn thanksgiving at St. Sophia provoked 
the popular indignation. The church was avoided as if it were " a 
Jewish synagogue;" 4 the ministrations of the Romanizing clergy 
were refused. So violent was the feeling against the Latins, that 
a great officer declared " that he would rather see a Turkish turban 
than a cardinal's hat in Constantinople." 5 As in the last days of 
Jerusalem, the religious factions aggravated the terrors of the siege 
and helped to paralyze the defence ; the Greeks were disputing 

1 It was now the very crisis of the expulsion of the English from France 
and the eve of the Wars of the Roses. 

2 The legate Cesarini perished in the flight ; but the manner of his 
death is variously related. 

3 See his character drawn by Gibbon (Stu<1e7it's Gibbon, p. 622). 

4 Ducas, pp. 143, 148. 5 Ibid. p. 146. 


over a text, while the Turk, the derider of all their texts, was 
thundering at their gates. 1 

§ 6. Though, as we have seen, the imperial diet maintained its 
neutrality in the papal schism, the policy of Frederick III. was 
guided by iEneas Silvius towards a reconciliation with Eugenius. 
Disregarding all warnings of personal danger, the former anti-papal 
leader and secretary of Felix went on a mission to Eome, and con- 
vinced the Pope of his true penitence and the wisdom of making a 
friend of such a man as himself (1445). 2 But Eugenius evaded the 
Emperor's chief demand, for a new Council to be held in Germany ; 
and, overrating his own strength and the submissiveness of Frederick, 
he deposed the Archbishops of Treves and Cologne for the part they 
had taken, both in the Council of Basle and as Electors, in favour of 
neutrality. This sentence kindled a flame in Germany : six of the 
seven Electors, including the two Archbishops, met at Frankfort, 
and bound themselves by a secret agreement to join the Antipope, 
unless Eugenius would agree to certain practical reforms and to the 
regular holding of General Councils, with an admission of their 
authority according to the decrees of Constance and Basle. The 
Emperor, who was informed of the agreement without a pledge of 
secresy, sent iEneas Sylvius to Home (1445) ; and, though joined 
with a rougher colleague, Gregory of Heimburg, 3 he paved the way 
to reconciliation with such address, that the Pope invited him to 
become his secretary. 4 

1 For the final catastrophe, see Chap. XIII. § 6. 

2 On this and his subsequent mission ./Eneas was aided by the mediation 
of Thomas of Sarzana, bishop of Bologna (the future Pope Nicolas V.), 
the only one of the curia who at tirst looked coldly on his professions of 
penitence, but who showed him great kindness when he fell ill. ^Eneas, who 
had at first refused to humble himself before the Cardinal's severe virtue, 
adds this reflection on his own conduct — " Si scisset ./Eneas futurum 
Papam, omnia tolerasset !" Thomas was not made a Cardinal till Dec. 
1446, at the same time with John of Carvajal. 

3 ./Eneas describes Gregory as " the most eminent among the Germans 
for eloquence and learning; a man of fine person, but rough in manner, 
and careless of his appearance, whose sturdy German patriotism regarded 
the Italians with dislike and contempt." (Hist. Frid. 123. Robertson, 
vol. iv. p. 463.) 

4 ./Eneas accepted this offer somewhat later, and was continued in the 
office by Nicolas V. He meditates with his usual frankness on his wonderful 
fortune in having been secretary to three cardinals and as many Popes 
(though one of them, Felix, was not genuine — adulterum), while to the 
Emperor he was not only secretary, but a councillor, and crowned with 
the honour of a princedom : — all of which he imputes, not to luck but to 
God, the ruler and governor of all things. Epist. clzzzviii. p. 760; 
comp. the passage from his autobiographical Commentaries in Milman, 
vol. viii. p. 439. 


§ 7. iEneas left Rome in company with Thomas of Sarzana, who had 
a mission to the Duke of Burgundy on the way. At Frankfort the 
Diet was assembled in full state, though Frederick was not there in 
person (Sept. 1, 1446). The Pope was represented by his legates, 
the Spaniard John of Carvajal and Nicolas of Cusa (besides Thomas 
of Sarzana, when he arrived) ; the Antipope Felix and the Council 
of Basle by the Cardinal of Aries, John of Lysura, and others, from 
whom iEneas had to bear some sharp taunts for his desertion. But 
his temper and tact prevailed, aided by the free use of money and a 
diplomatic artifice, as bold as it was astute. The great object of 
the Emperor and Pope was to break up the compact of the Electors 
by any means. " Mainz was taken " — that is, 1 the Archbishop was 
bribed, though he refused all offers for himself, with 2000 florins 
divided among his four chief councillors. But the spiritual prince 
required a plausible excuse for breaking his sworn faith ; so iEneas 
took in hand the notes of the compact made by the Electors, 
" taking out of them all the venom, and composed new notes," to 
which he pledged his opinion that Eugenius would consent. 2 The 
Electors of Mainz and Brandenburg, with other princes and bishops, 
signed the new agreement in private ; and its support by a majority 
of the Diet overawed the three dissentient Electors of Treves, 
Cologne, and Saxony. As a further security, the Emperor's envoys 
made a new treaty with the princes who supported them, to send 
a mission to Eugenius, at Christmas, to offer the submission of the 
German nation if he would approve the new agreement. " The 
Diet broke up ; the three Electors departed in indignation ; the 
ambassadors of Basle in sorrow and discomfiture." 3 

§ 8. iEneas and his colleagues found the Pope near his end, but 
determined, before he died, to complete the agreement with the 
Emperor and the Germans. The opposition of nearly all the 
Cardinals was overborne by a threat of new creations; and the 
legates, Thomas of Sarzana and John Carvajal, were at once added, 
with two others, to the Sacred College. iEneas pressed on the 
agreement, lest the work should have to be begun again, and a 

1 Literally " He of Mainz " was stormed. See the full account given 
by .Eneas with his usual frankness. Hist. Friderici III., p. 125 f., 
quoted by Gieseler, vol. iv. pp. 340 1. 

2 The purport of this document was that the Archbishops should be 
restored, and the authority of ihe Council safeguarded ; this general phrase 
being purposely left open to mean either the Council of Basle, or the new 
Council which was proposed. 

3 Milman, vol. viii. p. 445; iEneas gives an account of the embassy to 
Rome, the death of Eugenius IV., and the election and coronation of 
Nicolas V., in a speech to the Emperor. Frederick. Baluzii Miscell. lib. 
vii. p. 525 foil. 


new election might even create a new schism. Eugenius lived just 
long enough to issue four Bulls, accepting the decrees of Constance 
in general, and in particular those relating to General Councils; 
sanctioning such of the decrees of Basle as had been accepted 
by the Germans under the Emperor Albert ; reinstating the deprived 
Archbishops on their acknowledgment of Eugenius as the true Vicar 
of Christ ; and forgiving all who had taken part in the proceedings 
at Basle, on their submission. A fifth Bull declared that nothing in 
the agreement should infringe on the privileges of the Church. 

From the morrow of the day when this restoration of concord 
with the Empire was celebrated with brilliant rejoicings at Rome 
(Feb. 5th, 1447) the Pope sank rapidly ; and on the 23rd he died, 
expressing his regret that he had not lived and died a simple monk. 
" The dead which he slew at his death were more than they which 
he slew in his life ; " * for his dying acts extinguished the long- 
lived hostile Council and the last papal schism ; and their end must 
be recorded before tracing the brilliant era of his successor. The 
new Pope, Nicolas V., at once assured iEneas Sylvius of his resolve 
to hold a middle course between the undue assumption of authority 
by former Popes over other bishops, and the pretension of the 
Council of Basle to shorten his hands ; and iEneas, rewarded with 
the bishopric of Trieste, and carrying with him a written confir- 
mation of the agreement, returned to Germany to give effect to 
the Pope's designs. 

§ 9. The versatile Italian, able for a time at least to serve two 
masters, aided the papal legate Carvajal in obtaining from the Em- 
peror all that Piome could now ask, by the Concordat of Aschaffenburg 
(Feb. 17th, 1448), which the Electors were bribed with privileges, 
patronage, exemptions, and the like, to ratify. The Pope was to 
have annates and reservations, with a mere change of form ; the 
acceptance of the decrees of Basle by the Diet at Mainz (1439) * was 
set aside, and Germany was again placed under the burthens that 
she had struggled against for fifty years. In consequence of this 
agreement, the Emperor formally withdrew his protection from the 
Council of Basle, and forbad the city to harbour it, under penalty of 
the imperial ban. A decent if not dignified end was arranged by a 
conference at Lyon between the Cardinal President and envoys of 
the French and English kings. Felix announced to the remnant of 
the Council, which had joined him at Lausanne, that he resigned his 
dignity for the sake of the peace of the Church (April 7th, 1449); 
his eight cardinals went through the form of electing "Thomas 
of Sarzana " as Pope ; and the Council declared itself dissolved 
1 Judges xvi. 3. 2 See p. 181, n. 2. 


April 25th). This quiet close of the schism was confirmed by the 
moderation of Nicolas. Amadeus himself, invested with the nominal 
dignities of premier-cardinal and legate for Savoy and Piedmont, 
survived only one or two years in his old retreat at Ripaille. The 
cardinals created by him were enrolled in the Sacred College ; 
even the Archbishop of Aries was left unmolested, and, dying in 
the following year (1450), ultimately received the honour of 
beatification from Clement VII. m 1527. 

§ 10. Thus ended at once, with the last papal schism, the series 
of Great Councils of the 15th century, which gave the Church of 
Rome its last opportunity of reformation from within. It remains 
for us to ask, with Archbishop Trench, 1 " Shall we lament the 
defeat of so many well-intended efforts for the Church's good ? 
Have we reason to suppose that there was any real help for a Church, 
sick at heart, sick throughout all her members, any true healing for 
her hurts, in that which these councils proposed to effect ; assum- 
ing that they had been able to bring this about, instead of succumbing, 
they and their handiwork, before the superior craft and skill which 
were arrayed against them ? 1 cannot believe it. The Gersons, the 
Clemangises, the d'Aillys, with the other earnest Doctrinaires who 
headed this movement, — let them have the full meed of honour which 
is their due ; but, with all their seeing, they did not see what is now 
most plain to us ; they only most inadequately apprehended the 
sickness wherewith the Church was sick. For them the imperious 
necessity of the time was a canonically chosen Pope, and one who, it 
inclined to go wrong, might find the law of the Church too strong 
for him ; when indeed what the time needed was, no Pope at all ; 
what it wanted was, that the profane usurpation by a man of the 
offices of Christ, — kingly, priestly, prophetical, — should cease 
altogether; that the standing obstacle of the Church's unity, — a 
local centre for a divine Society, whose proper centre, being the 
risen and ascended Lord, was everywhere, should be removed. 
They would admit no errors of doctrine in the Church, but only 
abuses in practice ; wholly refused to see that the abuses were rooted 
in the errors, drew all their poisonous life from them, and that blows 
stricken at the roots were the only blows which would profit. So far 
from admitting this, the most notable feat which in all their course 
they had accomplished was the digging up of the bones of a dead man, 
and the burning of a living man who had invited them to acknow- 
ledge their errors and to amend them. 

"And yet, failure upon failure as these Councils had proved, 
wholly as every gain which they seemed to have secured for the 

1 Lectures on the Medieval Church, pp. 305 f. 

A.D. 1449. 



Church was again lost before many years had elapsed, total failures 
they were not. They played their part in preparing the Church for 
a truer deliverance than any which they themselves could have ever 
wrought. The Hildebrandine idea of the Church, — a society, that is, 
in which only one person has any rights at all, — this idea, questioned 
debated, denied, authoritatively condemned, could never dominate 
the Church and world, as for nearly three centuries it had done. 
The decrees of the Councils might be abrogated, and their whole 
legislation abolished ; but it was not possible to abolish from men's 
minds and memories that such once had been. There needed many 
blows, and from many quarters, to overthrow so huge and strong- 
built a fabric as that of the medieval Papacy. By the Councils one 
of these blows was stricken" 

This judgment of the Protestant Archbishop is strikingly con- 
firmed by the terse sentence of the French Ultramontane historian 
Capefigue : " I consider the Councils of Constance and Bale and the 
Pragmatic Sanction as the three acts which end the Middle Age 
of the Church, by the shock they gave to the powerful and holy 
dictatorship of the Popes." 

Medal of John Pala'ologus IT., by Pisani. (Reverse.) The Emperor, travelling 
through a mountainous country, is stopping in prayer before a Latin cross. 

Interior of St. P* ter's, at Rome. 



1. The culmination of Latin Christianity — New Epoch in Art and 
Letters. § 2. Election and Character of Nicolas V. — The Pacification 
of Italy. § 3. The Great Jubilee of 1450— Its results in Europe. § 4. 
Frederick III. in Italy : his Marriage and Coronation. § 5. Roman 
Republicanism : Conspiracy of Porcaro — Its evil influence on the Pope. 
§ 6. Constantinople taken by the Turks (145.3)— Effect on the West — 
A Crusade proclaimed. § 7. Death of Nicolas (1455) — His Love of 
Letters — Revival of Learning— Influx of Greeks into Italy. § 8. Greek 

A.D. 1447. EPOCH OF NICOLAS V. 197 

Teachers and Translators — Laurentius Valla — Invention of Printing. 
§ 9. Buildings of Nicolas V. at Rome : St. Peter's, the Vatican, &c. 
§ 10. Election of Alfonso Borgia as Calixtus III. § 11. His zeal for the 
Crusade — Opposition in Europe — The Gcrmania of ./Eneas Sylvius. § 12. 
The Pope's Nepotism — Roderigo and Peter Borgia — Death of Calixtus 
(1458). § 13. Election of iEneas Sylvius Piccolomini as Pius II. §14. 
His devotion to the Crusade — Congress at Mantua: inadequate response 
of the Powers. § 15. Zeal of Pius for the Papacy — The Bull Execrahilis 
and Bull of Retractation. § 16. Louis XI. revokes the Pragmatic 
Sanction. § 17. Progress of the Turks — The Pope's Letter to Mahomet 
II. — Pius sets out in Person for the Crusade — His Death (1464). § 18. 
Character of Paul II. § 19. Heathenism in the revival of Letters : 
the College of Abbreviators : persecution of Platina, the papal bio- 
grapher. § 20. Fruitless Efforts for the Crusade — First use of Printing 
at Rome— Death of Paul II. 

§ 1. Dean Milman 1 marks the pontificate of Nicolas V. (1447- 
1455) as " the culminating point of Latin Christianity ;" nor is this 
inconsistent with the judgment cited at the close of the preceding 
chapter. True, the papal autocracy, which had been declining 
from Innocent III. to Boniface VIII., had been compelled to yield, 
at Constance and Basle, to the control of an ecclesiastical aristocracy 
in a General Council ; but the great object of those reformers was 
to strengthen the Hierarchy, not to yield a jot of the creed of the 
Church, or of its pow r er over the conscience. "It was not that 
Christendom might govern itself, but that they themselves might 
have a more equal share in the government." In the contest with 
the Council of Basle and its Antipope, the practical victory remained 
with Rome ; and she spent another half century in enjoying and 
improving it in her own fashion, heedless of the warning that, 
unless there were a reformation of discipline and administration, 
from the head throughout the members, there would be a compul- 
sory reformation rising upward from below, and not effected without 
violence and schism. 2 

The revolutionary reform thus rendered necessary was forwarded 
by the artistic and intellectual revival — the boasted Renaissance — 
which gave new outward splendour to the last age of the medieval 
Papacy. It was for evil and good strangely mingled that " Latin 
Christianity had yet to discharge some part of its mission. It had 
to enlighten the world with letters, to adorn it with arts. It had 
hospitably to receive (a gift fatal in the end to its own dominion), 
and to promulgate to mankind, the poets, historians, philosophers, 

1 History of Latin Christianity, vol. viii. p. 448. Respecting the Anti- 
pope, who bore the same title in 1328-9, see Chap. X. § 10. 

2 For such warnings by Peter d'Ailly, Julian Cesarini, and others, see 
Gieseler, vol. iv. p. 439. 

II— L 


of Greece. It had to break down its own idols, the Schoolmen, and 
to substitute a new idolatry, that of Classical Literature. It had to 
perfect Christian art." 1 

§ 2. The spirit of the age was well represented in the new pontiff, 
whose election was due to one of those accidents not unfrequent in 
the Conclave, where nicely-balanced parties suddenly united their 
votes on some one not at first thought of (March 6, 1447). 2 Thomas 
Parentuccelli, or Thomas of Sarzana (his mother's native place), 3 
was born at Pisa in 1398 ; and, in spite of difficulties from the 
harshness of a stepfather, he studied at Bologna with great success 
and reputation. Such was his univeral science, that iEneas Sylvius 
says anything hidden from him must be beyond the knowledge of 
man. The name he took as Pope marked his gratitude to his early 
patron, Cardinal Nicolas Albergati, in whose family he spent twenty 
years. The ability he displayed in controversy with the Greeks at 
Florence had been lately rewarded by Eugenius with the bishopric 
of Bologna, where as Legate he was active and popular, and with a 
cardinal's hat. In person he was small and spare ; of affable and 
unassuming manners. iEneas Sylvius, speaking — as we have seen 4 
— from personal experience, describes him as hasty, but placable ; 
friendly, but there was no friend with whom he was not sometimes 
angry ; neither revengeful nor forgetful of wrongs. The complaint 
of undue trust in his own judgment, and wishing to do everything 
himself, perhaps marks the limit of the great confidence which he 
reposed in iEneas, who became the energetic minister of the Pope's 

1 Milman, /. c. p. 449. A recent work of the highest value for the 
period down to the Reformation is " The History of the Renaissance in Italy, 
by John Addington Symonds." This work traces the Pagan spirit which 
infected the revival of classical learning, as an almost inevitable reaction 
from the utterly corrupt Christianity of the age ; and the deep moral degra- 
dation of society, especially in Italy, and in particular of the Papacy, 
which attended the new splendour of art and letters, except in the few 
who applied themselves earnestly to a religious reformation. For all but 
those few, the collapse of the doctrinal and ecclesiastical system, which had 
governed the mind and conscience of Europe for a thousand years, involved 
the abandonment of the very foundations of Christian morality. 

2 The papal elections, especially in this age, furnished many examples 
of what was called the vote by access, that is, when, after an indecisive 
ballot in the forenoon, an elector (or more than one) revoking his 
morning's ballot, transfers his vote to some one whose name had that 
morning already come out of the ballot-box, or to an entirely new candidate. 
(Cartwright on P<ip I Conclaves, l.">4.) 

3 The chief authorities are the Lives of Nicolas V. by Vespasiano and 
Manetti (in Muratori) and Georgi, Pom. 1742 ; ./Eneas Sylvius ; and 
Bartholomew Platina (papal officer under Pius II. &c, ■ b. 1481), Vitx 
P,,ntificum Romano mm, Venet. 1479, continued by the Augustinian 
Onofrio Panvini (6. 1568), Venet. 1562, and reprints. 

* See Chap XII. p. 191, n. 2. 


desire to recover the prerogatives that had "been shorn at Constance 
and Basle. We have seen how he confirmed the agreement with 
Germany, 1 whither iEneas returned rewarded with the bishopric of 
Trieste and confirmed in the office of papal secretary. 

The new Pope was free from that vice of nepotism, by which 
several of his predecessors and successors vainly tried to establish 
their kinsmen in principalities. " Hitherto these families had 
taken no root, had died out, sunk into obscurity, or had been beaten 
down by common consent as upstart usurpers. Nicolas V. laid the 
foundations of his power, not so much in the strength of the Koman 
see as a temporal sovereignty, as in the admiration and gratitude of 
Italy, which was rapidly reported over the whole of Christendom. 
He kept in pay no large armies ; his Cardinals were not Condottieri 
generals ; he declared that he would never employ any arms but 
those of the Cross of Christ. But he maintained the Estates of 
the Church in peace ; he endeavoured (and the circumstances of 
the times favoured that better policy) to compose the feuds of 
Italy, raging at least with their usual violence. He was, among 
the few Popes, really a great Pacificator in Italy." 2 While pre- 
serving neutrality in the contests between Spain and France in 
Naples, between the Florentines and Venetians, and in that which 
established the Sforzas in the duchy of Milan, he recovered the 
tributary allegiance of the chieftains who had usurped the domains 
of the Church in the Romagna. 

§ 3. The peace and security thus established helped to make the 
Jubilee of 1450 the greatest, and the most fruitful to the treasury 
of Home, since the first Jubilee, kept by Boniface VIII. and cele- 
brated by Dante, a century and a half before. The papal collectors 
and vendors of indulgences had been busy throughout Christendom, 
not indeed without provoking discontent and opposition, especially 
in Germany. 3 But the twofold temptation of the present pleasure 
and future recompense of the pilgrimage was still too strong for the 
reforming spirit. The pilgrims who flocked to Rome are likened to 

1 Chap. XII. p. 193. 

2 Milman, viii., p. 455. The details of the contests referred to belong to 
civil history. 

3 " In 1449, a collector and vendor of indulgences levied in Prussia 7845 
marks : for indulgences, 3241, for Peter's pence, 4604 " (Milman, vol. viii. 
p. 456). The Teutonic knights at first refused to publish the Bull ; but they 
afterwards paid the Pope 1000 ducats for the privilege of themselves dis- 
pensing the indulgences of the Jubilee to those who should perform 
devotions and alms in their own country; and a similar compromise was 
made by Philip, Duke of Burgundy. Even Nicolas of Cusa, the papal 
legate in Germany, when asked whether a monk might go on pilgrimage 
without leave of his abbot, quoted Pope Nicolas himself for the opinion 
that obedience is better than indulgences (Robertson, vol. iv. p. 479). 


flights of starlings and swarms of ants ; more than 400,000 daily- 
walked through the streets and filled the churches ; and an acci- 
dental stoppage of the two crowds, passing the bridge of St. Angelo 
to and from a display of the holy Veronica, 1 cost the lives of 200 
persons crushed to death or pushed into the Tiber. The throng 
must have greatly aggravated the plague, which spread from 
Northern Italy 2 to the city in the summer, when the Pope with- 
drew with a company of scholars, and shut himself up in one castle 
after another till the danger was over. But the splendour of the 
Jubilee prevailed over all these drawbacks and disasters. " The 
pilgrims carried back throughout Europe accounts of the resuscitated 
majesty of the Roman Pontificate, the unsullied personal dignity 
of the Pope, the reinthronement of Religion in the splendid edifices, 
which were either building or under restoration." 3 Of this use of 
the wealth now poured in we have to speak presently. 

§ 4. Two years later Kome saw for the last time the coronation 
of an Emperor by a Pope. 4 The feeble Frederick III. vainly hoped 
to revive his authority by this high sanction, at the same time that 
he went to Italy to receive his bride, Leonora of Portugal. So 
reduced was the imperial state, that the Pope supplied part of his 
expenses as a recompense for the concordat of Vienna ; and the 
third Frederick solicited a safe-conduct from the cities which 
Barbarossa had marched into Italy to conquer. The Emperor's 
authority was exhausted in bestowing nominal privileges and 
dignities, such as count and knight, doctor, and even notary, for 
the sake of the money they brought him in fees ; and his weakness 
ensured him a cordial reception. 5 At Siena, his faithful iEneas, 
whom the Pope had lately made bishop of his native city, met him 
with his bride ; and here, too, Frederick submitted to take an oath 
for the Pope's security and dignity, which was repeated before he 
entered Rome. 6 There he was lodged in the old imperial palace of 
the Lateran, and held frequent conferences with the Pope. 

1 The napkin impressed with a miraculous likeness (vc a icon) of the 
Saviour (See Vol. I. p. 27). 

2 We are told that in Milan 60,000 persons died, and hardly any were 
left alive at Piacenza. 

3 Milman, vol. viii. p. 457. 

* As has been said before, Charles V. was the only subsequent Emperor 
crowned by a Pope but at Bologna, not at Rome. All the rest, from Maxi- 
milian to Francis II. were strictly only Emperors Elect. (See note, pp. 89-90.) 

5 A contemporary writer says that "all before him had made some 
attempt to recover power ; he was the first who gave up the hope." 

6 The two cardinals, who met the Emperor at Florence, represented the 
oath as prescribed by that treasury of papal claims, the pseudo-Clementines 
(Lib. ii. tit. 9, Dc Jwejura>id>), as well as by custom. Frederick replied 
that it had not been required of Henry VII. and only of Charles IV., but 
he yielded at last. 


On the 16th of March the marriage was celebrated by the Pope, 
who crowned Frederick, not as King of Italy, 1 but of Germany, 
with the crown brought from Aix-la-Chapelle for the purpose, and 
two days later the imperial coronation was solemnly performed by 
Nicolas, on the anniversary of his own. 2 " The Emperor swore 
once more to support and defend the Roman Church, and, according 
to the traditional usage, he performed the 'office of a groom' by 
leading the Pope's horse a few steps." 3 On his return from a visit 
to King Alfonso at Naples, Frederick waived the demand for a 
Council, and only asked for a Crusade, which the Pope referred to 
await the general consent of Christendom. 

§ 5. In the same year the power of Nicolas was threatened by a 
new outbreak of the republican fanaticism which was ever smoulder- 
ing at Rome. The death of his predecessor had been seized by 
Stephen Porcaro * — an enthusiast of high culture and influence — as 
an opportunity for addressing to the common council of the city, 
in the church of Ara Cceli, a vehement protest against the baseness 
of slavery, foulest of all when it was yielded to priests : let them, he 
cried, strike a blow for liberty while the cardinals were shut up in 
conclave. But the force which Alfonso of Naples had at hand for 
the protection of the cardinals rendered a rising hopeless, and the 
policy of Nicolas made Porcaro podesta of Anagni. On his return 
to Rome and attempt to renew the agitation at a popular festival, 
he was sent in honourable banishment to Bologna, where he 
pondered the verses of Petrarch and the example of Rienzi, and 
at length, by correspondence with his friends in Rome, organized a 
conspiracy, which was betrayed : and, on his arrival at Rome for 
its execution, Porcaro was seized, and hanged by night from a tower 
of St. Angelo (Jan. 9, 1453). The punishment of his confederates, 
both at Rome and in distant places, was pursued with treachery 
as well as cruelty, and much sympathy was shown for them by the 
people. Nicolas, disgusted at the ingratitude of the Romans, and 
also (it seems) at the severity to which he had been driven, and 
suffering from the gout, changed his popular mode of life for a 
morose retirement, and often uttered the wish that he could again 
become Master Thomas of Sarzana. 

1 Significant as this omission was in fact, the reason for it was the 
protest of ambassadors from Milan, with which city Frederick was at 
enmity for its preference of the claims of Sforza to his own. Respecting 
the four crowns of Rome, Italy, Germany, and Aries or Burgundy, see 
Bryce, Holy Roman Empire, pp. 193, 403. 

2 The ceremony is fully described by ./Eneas Sylvius, who made a 
speech on the Kmperor's behnlf. (Vit. Frid., p. 277, s- q.) 

3 Mn. Sylv. 292-3; Robertson, vol. iv. p. 481. 

4 He claimed descent from the Porcii, the yens of the Catos. 


§ 6. This year was signalized by the great catastrophe, which 
put an end to the old Koman Empire, after a duration of nearly 
1500 } T ears from its establishment by Augustus, and full twenty-two 
centuries from the foundation of the city. 1 On the 29th of May, 
1453, the Turkish Sultan Mahomet II. took Constantinople by 
assault, and the body of the last Emperor, Constantine XIII. 
Pal^ologus, was found under a heap of slain. The great church 
of St. Sophia was converted into a mosque ; but the wise moderation 
of the conqueror, desirous to retain the Christian population of the 
city, shared the other churches between them and the Moslems ; 
and the patriarch, George Scholaris (or Gennadius), who had 
retired to a monastery rather than carry out the agreement with 
Rome, 2 was re-elected under an order of the Sultan. It was not till 
sixty years later that the public countenance of Christian worship 
in Constantinople was put an end to by the Sultan Selim. 

This catastrophe fell upon Latin Christendom with the double 
pain of indignation for the loss of the city of Constantine, the 
newly-reconciled capital of Eastern Christianity, and terror at the 
prospect of the like fate. The first effect was an effort to revive 
the crusading spirit, to which iEneas Sylvius devoted the remainder 
of his life. The Pope issued a Bull, declaring the founder of Islam 
to be the great red dragon of the Apocalypse, 3 dwelling on the 
fate of Constantinople and the danger threatening the West; 
calling on all princes to take up arms ; and requiring a tithe from 
the clergy. John Capistrano, an observant friar of unrivalled 
eloquence, who had been a disciple of St. Bernardine of Siena, was 
sent to preach the new crusade in Germany, while xEneas Sylvius 
urged it with all his power on successive diets. But his zeal was 
encountered by deep distrust of the Papacy; and the suspicion 
of the use to be made of the funds appealed for was supported 
by complaints of Nicolas's expenditure on the works of Eome. 

§ 7. The shock, which the great disaster gave to the Pope's 
enfeebled health, hastened his death (March 24th, 1455). But, as 
is truly said by the historian who concludes his great work with 

1 The distinction between the Western and Eastern Empires, and the 
appellation of "Greek "for the latter, tend to obscure the real continuity 
of the Empire, which was called Roman to the last ; a name which still 
survives in the province around Constantinople (Boum>li, Roumelia). For 
the details of the fall of Constantinople, see the Student's Gibb>n } chap, 

2 See Chap. XII. § 5. The Cardinal Isidore, the head of the Latin 
party, who was at first supposed to have perished in the sack, escaped in 
disguise, and, after many adventures, reached Italy in safety. 

3 Anol her example of that use of apocalyptic imagery, which is often 
ignorantly supposed to be peculiar to modern Protestants. 


this event, 1 " Nicolas V. foresaw not that in remote futurity the 
peaceful, not the warlike, consequences of the fall of Constantinople 
would be most fatal to the Popedom — that what was the glory of 
Nicolas V. would become among the foremost causes of the ruin 
of medieval religion : that it would aid in shaking to the base, and 
in severing for ever, the majestic unity of Latin Christianity. 
Nicolas V. aspired to make Italy the domicile, Borne the capital, 
of letters and arts. As for letters, it was not the ostentatious 
patronage of a magnificent sovereign; nor was it the sagacious 
policy which would enslave to the service of the Church that of 

which it might anticipate the dangerous rebellion In 

Nicolas it was pure and genuine, almost innate, love of letters." 
Long before his advancement he had been a great collector of 
books ; and as Pope he began the great Libraiy of the Vatican with 
a collection of 5000 volumes. Florence was now the centre of 
the revival of letters, which was daily gaining strength by the 
influx of Greek fugitives from the advance of the Turks; and a 
great epoch in this movement was marked by the visit of John 
Palasologus with his train of learned ecclesiastics, some of whom — 
such notably as Cardinal Bessarion — stayed behind to enlighten 
the West with Greek learning. The acquaintance of these men 
was sought by Thomas of Sarzana, when he went to the Council of 
Florence with Pope Eugenius ; 2 and when the last siege and fall 
of Constantinople drove many more learned Greeks into exile, they 
were welcomed by several of the Italian states, and especially at 
Florence by the Medici, and by Nicolas V. at Rome. They 
became living teachers of the language which was henceforth to be 
the chief organ of intellectual life for the world. 3 

§ 8. Besides the treasures of MSS. brought from the East, the 
emissaries of Pope Nicolas ransacked all the countries of Europe for 

1 Milman, History of Latin Christian^'-, vol. viii. p. 468. Comp. 
Gibbon's reflections to the same effect, chap, lxvii., and Trench's Meduval 
Church History, lecture xxv. 

2 See especially the Disaiu'sitio de Nicolai V. Pont. Max. e ga literas et 
liteiarios vir-os pa'rocinio, appended to his Life by Georgi, Rom. 1742. 

3 We have to speak of this great intellectual revival in aDother place; 
but a word of warning mav be given here against the mistake of supposing 
the knowledge of Greek to have been anything like extinct in the West. 
It was fostered in England under Theodore of Tarsus ; it was known to 
Bode, Scotus Erigcna, Roger Bacon, and many other Western scholars; 
and Petrarch, with whom it made a fresh start in Italy, learnt it from a 
bishop of Calabria (the ancient Magna Graecia), where it was still spoken. 
In fact, it is simply untrue to call Greek and Latin dead Ian iUages in any 
sense ; besides their vital and vivifying literature, neither has ever ceased 
to be a verna ular tongue, the one as the speech of a people, the other as 
the common language of learning and of a large part of the Church. 


the remains of classical and patristic antiquity ; and the refugees, 
and scholars taught by them, were employed to translate the great 
Greek authors into Latin. 1 One example demands special record, 
as showing how the love of letters began to prevail over the rules 
of orthodoxy, even in a Pope. One of the greatest scholars of the 
age, Laurentius Valla (born at Rome, 1406), had dared (about 
1440) to publish a treatise exposing the forgery of the " Donation 
of Constantine ; " and he found it needful to withdraw secretly to 
Naples, where he applied his critical skill to the fictitious corre- 
spondence of Abgarus with Christ, and also to the pretended 
authorship of the Apostles' Creed by the Holy Twelve. 2 Rescued 
from the Inquisition by King Alfonso, he in vain sought permission 
from Eugenius to return to Rome ; but the liberal Nicolas invited 
him and made him his secretary, and Calixtus II I. promoted him 
to a canonry of the Lateran. He died in 1465. 

The significance of this revival of letters was immensely en- 
hanced by the Invention of Priuting, which has been well called 
" a new gift of tongues — if only it had been always turned to 
worthy uses." 3 The epoch assigned to that great event is the 
year 1442, when John Fust (the Faust of dramatic legend) esta- 
blished his press at Mainz ; and the first work printed from metal 
types (cut, not yet cast) was the Latin Bible, 4 completed at the same 
place by John Gutenberg in the same year that Nicolas V. died. 

§ 9. The decay of Rome, during the exile at Avignon and the 
strife of the great schism, had begun to be repaired when order and 
prosperity were re-established by Martin and Eugenius ; but " under 
Nicolas V. Rome aspired to rise again at once to her strength and 
her splendour." 5 With the restoration of the Pope's authority, his 
ordinary revenues flowed in steadily, but the Jubilee of 1450 fur- 
nished the special resources for the new works of defence, majesty, 
and ornament. While the fortifications of the whole city were 
repaired, the Leonine quarter on the Vatican Mount beyond the Tiber 
was to be separately fortified and embellished for the residence of 
the Pope and the Cardinals, in security against the turbulent 
populace of the city. As its sacred centre, the ancient basilica of 
St. Peter, built by Constantine, 6 now falling into decay, was to be 

1 For the splendid rewards offered by Nicolas, just before his death, to 
the Greek Philclpho, for a translation of the Iliad and Odyssey into Latin 
verse, see Milman, vol. viii. p. 472. A prose version of the Homeric poems 
had been made by Leontius Pilatus, under the care of Boccaccio. 

2 See Vol. I. pp. 26, 234. 3 Trench, Medi ml Ch. fhst. p. 389. 

* Called the M 'sarine Bible, from a copy in the library of Cardinal 
Mazarin. See the work of Dr. Hessels on Gutenberg, 1882. 

3 Milman, vol. viii. p. 474. 

6 See Vol. 1. p. 422. The Lives of Nicolas V. by Georgio and Manetti 


replaced by a majestic edifice, in the form of a Greek cross; 
and Nicolas began the work by building a tribune, which was 
destroyed when the new design of Bramante was carried out. 

Beside the old basili-a there was a palace, probably of the same 
age, in which Charles the Great had lodged when he was crowned 
by Leo III. It was rebuilt by Innocent III. and enlarged by 
Nicolas III. ; and, on the return from Avignon, Gregory XI. 
transferred the papal residence to this palace on the Vatican, for 
the security afforded by the neighbouring castle of St. Angelo. 
Nicolas V. now resolved to build, beside the cathedral of St. Peter, 
a palace worthy of his successor ; but the completion of " the 
Vatican," with its 20 courts and 4422 rooms, covering and enclosing 
a space of 1151 'feet by 767, with its vast treasures of art and letters, 
occupied his successors for four centuries, to the fall of the temporal 
power under Pius IX. 1 The palace was connected by strong walls 
with the castle of St. Angelo ; and both the fortress and bridge were 
strengthened and adorned with bulwarks and towers. All the 
principal churches of the city were repaired, and their ritual made 
more magnificent than before. Nicolas restored the Milvian 
Bridge and the aqueduct of Augustus, whose ancient name of 
Aqua Virgo was easily sanctified as Acqua Vergine ;* and he 
cleansed the channel of the Anio. Nor did his munificence expend 
itself on the city only. " Everywhere in the Roman territory rose 
churches, castles, public edifices. Already the splendid church of 
St. Francis, at Assisi, 3 wanted repair: Nicolas built a church 

describe the design and the details of the plan, of which Milman says, 
" Julius II. and Leo X. did but accomplish the design of Nicolas V. Had 
Nicolas lived, Bramante and Michael Angelo might have been prematurely 
anticipated by Rosellini of Florence and Leo Battista Alberti." The 
mosaic pavement of the apse, begun by Nicolas V., was completed bv 
Paul II. The existing church was designed, in the plan of a Greek cross 
surmounted by a cupola, by Bramante for Pope Julius II., who laid the 
foundation stone, under one of the piers, in 1506. Leo X. employed 
Raphael on the work, which was checked by the death of both ; and in 
1534 Paul III. entrusted it to Michael Angelo (then in his 72nd year), 
who declared that he would raise the dome of the Pantheon in the air. 
The drum only was complete when he died at the age of 89 (1563), but 
the church was finished according to his plan, except that the nave was 
lengthened to the form of a Latin cross, in order to include the western 
part of the old basilica, and the portico was made in two stories, with the 
result of hiding the near view of the dome. The church was dedicated by 
Urban VIII. (Nov. 18th, 1626), 176 years after its commencement by 
Nicolas V. For a full account, see Murray's Hundbo >k for Borne. 

1 For its history, and a full account of its museums, galleries, and 
libraries, see Murray's Rome, Sect. I. § 26. 

2 For many such adaptations, see Conyers Middleton's Letter from Home. 

3 See below in the account of the Franciscans, Chap. XXIIL, p. 387, n. 

II— L 2 


dedicated to St. Francis at his favoured town of Fabriano; one at 
Gualdo in Urnbria to St. Benedict. Among his princely works 
was a castle at Fabriano, great buildings at Centumcellce, the walls 
of Civita Castellana, a citadel at Narni, with bulwarks and deep 
fosses ; another at Civita Vecchia ; baths near Viterbo ; buildings 
for ornament and defence at Spoleto. The younger arts, Sculpture 
and Painting, began under his auspices still further to improve. 
Fra Angelico painted at Rome at the special command or request 
of Nicolas V." } 

§ 10. On the death of Nicolas V., Bessarion seemed marked out 
as his worthiest successor ; but his severe virtue was disliked by 
the laxer cardinals, 2 who objected to the promotion of a Greek 
neophyte, still wearing- his beard. So by the frequent method of 
compromise, the preference was given to the first of that name 
which was soon to become a proverbial type of outrageous wicked- 
ness. 3 The Spanish Cardinal Alfonso Borja (in Italian Borgia), a 
native of Valencia, studied and became a professor in the University 
of Lerida, and was esteemed the greatest jurist of his time. His 
first preferment was received from Benedict XIII.; but, being sent 
by Alfonso of Arragon to Rome on an effort to end the remnant of 
the papal schism, he was rewarded by Martin V. with the bishopric 
of Valencia ; and, on a second mission to Eugenius at Florence, he 
was made a cardinal, and attached himself to the papal court. It 
was at the advanced age of 77 that he became Pope by the title of 
Calixtus III. (1455-1458). 4 

§ 11. Despising and openly censuring the splendid tastes and 
schemes of his predecessor, he divided his energies between the 
Crusade and the advancement of his family. Public works were 
stopped, and the remains of Nicolas's treasure, as well as church 
property and jewels, were devoted to the holy war, to which a Bull 
summoned the nations of the West for the 1st of March, 1456. 
Calixtus equipped a fleet, and sent aid to the famous Albanian 
chieftain Scanderbeg ; while the eloquence of John Capistrano 

1 Milman, vol. viii. p. 477. The only remaining works at Rome of the 
Dominican Fra John or Angelico are his paintings in the chapel of St. 
Laurence in the Vatican. He died in the same year as the Pope. 

2 Leces et volnpt >osi (Platina, Panetmr. in Bessar. 8 »). 

3 The famous lines, in which Pope illustrates the position, that moral 
as well as physical evils may be a part of the scheme of Providence — 

*• If plagues or earthquakes break not Heav'n's design, 
Why then a Borgia or a Catiline ?" — 

may refer to Alexander VI., or his son Ca?sar, or both. {Essay on Man, 
Bk. I. 155-6.) 

4 Some writers call him Calixtus IV.; but the former Calixtus III. 
(111)8-1178) is regarded as only an Antipope by the Roman authorities. 


raised an enthusiastic though undisciplined force of 40,000 men, 
which, animated by his daily exhortations, and led by the skill aud 
valour of John Huniades, repulsed Mahomet II. from Belgrade 
(July and August, 1456). 1 

But this check to the instant danger from the Turks tended rather 
to make the great powers more suspicious of the Pope's designs in the 
Crusade. Charles VII. of France dreaded a diversion of the strength 
needing to be consolidated after the deliverance from the English 
yoke ; and the universities only consented with reluctance to the 
tenth demanded. The same impost was collected in Arragon and. 
Sicily, but was used by Alfonso against the Genoese as " the Turks 
of Europe." 2 The chief opposition was in Germany ; but the zea/ 
and energy of /Eneas Sylvius secured the adhesion of Frederick III., 
and obtained for himself the reward of a cardinal's hat (1456). It 
was on this occasion that iEneas wrote an interesting book on the 
relations of the Papacy to Germany, in which " he contrasts thi 
free cities of Germany, which owned subjection to the Emperor 
alone, and enjoyed the greatest liberty anywhere known, with the 
Italian republics, such as Venice, Florence, and Siena, where all but 
the dominant few were alike slaves." 3 

§ 12. While the crusading zeal of Calixtus remained fruitless, his 
nepotism had lasting results in the history of the Papacy and 
Europe. Enfeebled by age and gout, he fell under the influence of 
his three nephews, the sons of his sisters, and a band of friars, 
whom the popular hatred designated as the Catalans (a nation not 
only Spanish but notorious as pirates). They were laden with 
offices, and under their administration Rome fell into frightful cor- 
ruption and disorder. One nephew, Louis John Milano, was made 
the Pope's first new cardinal and bishop of Bologna. Even /Eneas 
Sylvius was for a while passed over in favour of another nephew, 
Roderigo Lenzuol, who assumed the name of Borgia, which he was 
destined to make infamous as Pope Alexander VI. At the age of 
22 he was made a cardinal, chancellor of the Roman church, and 
warden of the Marches, besides being invested with numerous 
ecclesiastical benefices. His elder brother, Peter Borgia, who re- 
mained a layman, was made Duke of Spoleto, Vicar of Benevento 

1 In the enthusiasm of gratitude, preachers applied to Huniades, as 
afterwards to Sobieski, the text (John i. 6), "There was a man sent from 
God, whose name was John." Both the defenders, Capistrano and Huniades, 
were in feeble health, and died within two months after the victory. St. 
John Capistrano was canonized in 1690. 

2 For the troubles of Calixtus about the succession to the crown of 
Naples on Alfonso's death (1458), see Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 492-4. 

3 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 492. The title of the book is Germanh. 


and Terracina, standard-bearer of the Church, and prefect of Rome. 
In this office he became the special object of a popular insurrection 
against the " Catalans," which broke out on the Pope's death 
(August 6th, 1458) ; and he escaped down the Tiber, only to die of 
fever at Civita Vecchia, leaving his vast wealth to his brother 

§ 1 3. The close balance of parties in the conclave caused another 
resort to the vote by access, and, on the proposal of Cardinal Borgia, 
the election fell on iEneas Sylvius Piccolomini, who may perhaps 
have followed Virgil's well known epithet of iEneas in assuming 
the name of Pros II. 1 (1458-1464). His elevation was acceptable 
both to the Roman people, weary of the " Catalan " yoke, and to 
the states of Europe, which had ample experience of his eloquence 
and accomplishments, his personal fascination, political skill and 
versatility. He came to the papal throne vainly pledged, like so 
many of his predecessors, by a capitulation agreed on among the 
cardinals, to the following effect : — " The future pope was bound to 
carry on the war against the Turks, to reform the curia, to secure 
a provision for the cardinals, to act by their advice, to choose them 
according to the decrees of Constance, without regard to the im- 
portunities of princes. Once a year the cardinals were to meet, in 
order to enquire as to his performance of his engagements ; and they 
were authorized to admonish him in ca«e of failure." 2 

§ 14. Of these obligations, Pius devoted himself heart and soul to 
the advancement of the Crusade; and, for the rest, the former 
leader in the Council of Basle became the uncompromising assertor 
of the papal privileges he had there assailed. His fondness for 
letters, and his elegant tastes, yielded to the devotion of all his 
resources to the Crusade, except in the favour he showed to Siena, 
the cradle of his family, and to his birthplace Corsignano. 3 " The 
war against the Turks engrossed his care, and left him no funds to 
spare for the patronage of arts or of letters. His personal tastes 
and habits were simple ; he delighted in the pure air of the country, 
and intensely enjoyed the beauties of nature ; and the rapidity of 
his movements disgusted the formal officers of the court, although 

1 Vergil. JEneid. i. 305, ct passim. The only papal precedent for the 
name was as far back as the second century ; Pius I. (142-157). Pius II. 
was now in his 53rd year, having been born in 14Uf>. 

2 Robertson, iv. p. 495. 

3 He made Siena an archbishopric, and Corsignano, renamed after him- 
self Pienza, a bishopric. The splendid cathedral and vast Piccolimini 
palace, built by Pius II. aud his nephew, Pius III., also a native of the 
place, still contrast strangely with the iusignificance of the town of 20u0 
inhabitants. Respecting the frescoes in the Library, see above, p. 180. 


they did not really interfere with' his attention to the details of 
business." x 

It was a striking sign of the degradation of the Empire when a 
Pope summoned, V>y his own authority, not an ecclesiastical council, 
but a congress of princes, to meet at Mantua ; 2 but the result was 
a lamentable contrast to the enthusiastic meeting at Clermont 
under Urban II. The Emperor Frederick found an excuse for not 
obeying in person the summons of his former secretary, in the 
contest which he was beginning with Matthias Corvinus(the son of 
John Hnniades), who had been elected King x>f Hungary on the 
death of Ladislaus V. (1458). 3 Pius reproved him sharply both for 
his absence and the inefficiency of his ambassadors, remembering 
doubtless how differently he himself had worked both for Emperor 
and Pope. Charles VII. of France, offended at the part taken by 
Pius in Naples, 4 refused his concurrence ; and when at last he sent 
ambassadors, they pleaded the impossibility of doing anything; till 
peace was made with England ; and the latter power was now fully 
occupied with the Wars of the Roses. 5 Even Philip of Burgundy, 
the prince heartiest in the cause, was persuaded by his counsellors 
to remain at home ; but he sent a splendid embassy, with a promise 
of 6000 men. The Duke of Milan, and other Italian princes, ap- 
peared in. person. Even among the Cardinals, Bessarion was the 
only earnest supporter of the Crusade. 

1 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 496. 

2 Pius II. instituted two new orders of knighthood for the enterprize, 
in imitation of the Templars and Hospitallers, named after Jesus and 
"the Blessed Virgin Mary of Bethlehem." 

3 Ladislaus, the posthumous son of Albert II. (born 1440), had been sent 
to Frederick III. by his mother Elizabeth, with the regalia of Hungarv. 
Chosen king after death of Ladislaus IV. at Varna (1444), under the regency 
of John Huniades, he was at last released by the Emperor in 1452; but 
his ungrateful treatment of Huniades caused civil dissensions, in which 
Ladislaus, the eldest son of Huniades, was executed, his second son Matthias 
Corvinus was imprisoned in Bohemia, and the young King died, it was said 
from poison (1457). The Hungarians then elected Matthias (15 years old), 
who was released from prison, and had to sustain a long but ultimately 
victorious conflict with Frederick III. 

4 Alfonso the Wise, King of Arragon and the Two Sicilies, being with- 
out lawful issue, had procured from Eugenius IV. the legitimation of his 
son Ferdinand, on whom he intended to bestow the crown of Naples (as 
his own conquest), those of Arragon and Sicily going in due course to his 
brother John. The arrangement was confirmed by Nicolas V. ; but, on 
the death of Alfonso (1458), Calixtus III. claimed Naples as a lapsed fief 
of the Holy See, intending it, as was supposed, for his son Peter ; while 
the house of An jou renewed their claim. Pius II. acknowledged Ferdinand, 
and married one of his nephews to a natural daughter of the King. 

5 England, however, sent representatives, with whom, as well as those 
of Castile, the Pope expressed himself dissatisfied. 


Though Pius, whose health was bad, made a painful journey over 
the snow-clad Apennines in January 1459, it was not till the 1st of 
June that he opened the Congress. His speeches are described by 
those present as unrivalled for elegance and copious variety ; but 
his own peroration to his eloquent address of three hours (Sept. 
26th) complains that his " many words " failed to call forth the 
response of Godfrey, Baldwin, and their fellows, when they rose and 
answered Urban with the shout, " Deus vultl Deus vult." Assu- 
redly a Crusade for the defence of Hungary, as the bulwark of 
Western Christendom, was more needful and more righteous than 
the first for the rescue of the Holy Sepulchre ; but the spirit of the 
age had changed, and the varied interests of Europe were harder to 
unite against a pressing danger, than then for a distant enterprize. 
Of the promises made in men and money, a large part were after- 
wards disavowed ; but, in dissolving the Congress (Jan. 19th, 1460), 
the Pope was able to count on 88,000 men, to be supplied, in nearly 
equal proportions, by Germany, and by Hungary, the country in 
most imminent danger. 1 The support of Germany was purchased 
at a price sufficient to ruin the enterprize, the concession of its 
command to the feeble Emperor. 

§ 15. That the politic and versatile iEneas had a genuine enthu- 
siasm for this cause, seems proved by his whole career as Pope ; nor 
can we doubt that he felt himself to be the champion of Christendom 
against the danger that threatened to overwhelm it. But he was 
not the man to overlook the power that this position would give to 
the Papacy, the aggrandizement of which was his other great object. 
Accordingly, though the Congress of Mantua was no Council, and he 
alleged that the consent which he obtained from the Fathers present 
there left the act entirely his own, he issued thence the Bull Exe- 
crabilis, declaring an appeal from a Pope to a General Council to be 
punishable with excommunication. This reversal of the decrees of 
Constance and Basle — or rather of the very foundations of those 
Councils — on the sole authority of a Pope, who had himself been a 
leader on the other side, was followed up, three years later, by his 
famous " Bull of Retractation," addressed to the University of 
Cologne (April 1463). 2 "With characteristic skill and frankness he 
relates his former errors, and pleads the course of events as his 
apology; admitting that he had said, written, and done many 

1 Besides the 6000 Burgundians, Germany promised 10,000 horse and 
32,000 foot, and Hungary 20,<>0 > horse and 2 y>00 foot. 

2 For the various events, which had meanwhile caused fresh demands 
for a Genei-al Council -the Pope's conflict with Diether (Theodore), 
archbishop of Mainz, with Sigismund of Austria about the jurisdiction of 
the legate, Nicolas of Cusa, and with the persistent opponent of the Papacy, 
Gregory of Heimburg see Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 502-3. 


things which might be condemned; but professing his desire to 
follow the example of St. Augustine in his " Confessions." The 
spirit of the whole is summed up in the appeal : " Believe an old 
man rather than a young one, and do not make a private person of 
more account than a Pontiff. Eeject jEneas ; receive Pius; 1 the 
former Gentile name our parents imposed on us at our birth ; the 
latter Christian name we took with our apostolic office." 

§ 16. To the Pope's new principles the Pragmatic Sanction of 
Bourges was, of course, no less obnoxious than the decrees of the 
Councils, and he denounced it to the French ambassadors at 
Mantua as a token of the Antichrist's approach. While Charles VII. 
lived, it was steadily maintained ; but Louis XI. 2 began at once to 
reverse the policy of his hated father. He was, however, far too 
politic to act from passion only ; and he was persuaded by Gode- 
froy, bishop of Arras, who conveyed the Pope's congratulations on 
the King's accession, that the repeal of the Sanction would further 
his great policy of curbing the power of the nobles, by transferring 
their influence in ecclesiastical promotions to the crown. Godefroy, 
next year, carried back the repeal of the Sanction, which was 
received with public rejoicings at Rome; but it was resolutely 
opposed by the Parliament and the Universities of France; and 
when it appeared that the Pope would not support the Angevine 
cause in Naples, Louis reverted to an anti-papal policy. 

§ 17. In 1461 a new excitement was caused by the Turkish 
capture of Trebizond and Sinope, and by the arrival at Rome of 
Thomas Paheologus (brother of the last Emperor), who, having been 
expelled from the Morea, came from Patras, the place where 
St. Andrew was said to have died a martyr, bringing with him the 
Apostle's head. The holy relic was received with great solemnities 
by a vast crowd assembled from Italy by the promise of indul- 
gences, and was buried beside the head of St. Peter on the Vatican. 

The Pope now took the strange step of addressing to the Sultan 
Mahomet a letter inviting him to end the contest by embracing the 
Christian faith ; but the enthusiasm and self-confidence of Pius 
are more apparent than the old diplomatic skill of iEneas, in the 
zeal with which, after a courteous exordium on the Sultan's 
virtues and his faith in one God, he urges the imposture of the 

1 This seems to confirm the motive suggested above for the choice of his 
papal name from Virgil's Pius 2En n .as. 

2 The great authority for the reign of Louis XI. (July 22, 1461 -Aug. 
30, 1483), as well as of his son Charles VIII., is the Hf&moires of Philippe de 
Confines; but it is impossible to separate Louis from the powerful sketch of 
his character drawn by Sir Walter Scott in Quentin Duraard. For the 
outlines of his reign, see the Student's France, chap. viii. 


Koran, the moral vices of Mohammedanism, and the sure damnation 
of all but Catholic Christians. Another congress of princes was 
summoned to meet at Rome, and Pius proclaimed a "truce of 
God " for five years throughout Christendom. In one of his most 
eloquent and pathetic speeches, he declared to the Cardinals his 
resolve to lead the Crusade in person, not to wield the weapons 
of war, but, like Moses while Israel fought with Amalek, to lift up 
his hands in prayer from some hill or lofty ship. His Bull called 
forth no response, except from Hungary and Venice; but he set 
out, tortured with gout and fever, to meet the Venetian fleet at 
Ancona (June 19th, 1464). " Farewell, Rome ! thou wilt never 
see me alive ! " — were his parting words, fulfilled at Ancona within 
a fortnight. He died comforted by the sight of the Venetian fleet, 
and by the assurance of Bessarion that he had governed well. 
" Pray for me, my son ! " were the last words of the man who had 
played so many varied parts in life (August 15th, 1464). 

§ 18. Paul II. 1 (1464-1471) was a Venetian and nephew of 
Fugenius IV., who had made him Cardinal of St. Mark at the 
rge of twenty-two. While holding that dignity, he built, chiefly 
from the ruins of the Colosseum, the great Venetian Palace on the 
Via Lata, the street now called the Corso, from the races which he 
instituted at the Carnival. He was fond of display in splendid 
attire, jewels, and ornaments ; 2 and to gratify these tastes he kept 
the incomes of vacant bishoprics in his own hands. His reputation 
has doubtless suffered from the mortal affront given to his 
biographer, Platina, by measures which throw an important light 
on the character of the age. 

§ 19. The great revival of letters and art was deeply infected 
with the paganism, from the famous works of which it derived its 
chief impulse, — a natural reaction from corrupt Christianity, when 
not replaced by purer faith. In his attempts to reform the College 
of Abbreviators, whose office it was to record contemporary events, 3 
Paul is said to have detected a society, or, as they called themselves, 
an academy, who laid aside their baptismal names for fanciful 
appellations, such as Callimachus and Asclepiades, 4 and, with their 

1 Peter Barbo, of a family claiming descent from the Ahenobarbi. He 
is said to have been so vain of his beauty as to wish to take the name of 
Formosus. That of Paul was derived from the church which he rebuilt. 

2 He is said to have painted his face, to heighten the effect of his 
appearance at the festivals of the Church. 

3 The college, which dated from the time of the Papacy at Avignon, 
had been remodelled by Pius II., who fixed its number at 7<>. 

* The fact that many of these names were found in the catacombs raises 
the question whether the movement may not have been, in part, a pro- 
fession of primitive Christianity. 

A.D. 1464*71. 



pagan ideas, held republican principles, which were perhaps their 
chief real offence. Many of them were tortured in the Pope's own 
presence, and banished. Among the accused was Bartholomew 
Sacchi, called Platina, from the old Latin name of Piadena, in the 
Cremonese, where he was born in 1421. He had been made an 
abbreviator by Pius II., but under Paul II. he was deprived of his 
office, imprisoned and tortured, though finally acquitted. Sixtus IV. 
made him librarian of the Vatican, and induced him to write the 
lives of the contemporary Popes. He died in 1481. No wonder 
that he represents Paul as heartless and cruel, while other writers 
speak of his tenderness, benevolence, and charity, and Platina 
himself testifies to his bounty to the poorer cardinals and bishops, 
and his mercy to offenders against the law. Though he made 
three of his relations cardinals, he did not succumb to favourites ; 
" and his pontificate, however little we may find in it to respect, 
came afterwards to be regarded as an era of purity and virtue in 
comparison with the deep degradation which followed." * 

§ 20. The election of Paul was preceded, as in so many other 
cases, by capitulations among the cardinals, accepting mutual 
obligations, which the new Pope at once threw off as illegal. For 
the crusade against the Turks, who were now threatening Italy, he 
gave subsidies to the Venetians, Hungarians, and Scanderbeg ; and 
endeavoured to form alliances and raise money in Germany, where 
his invitations were answered by a demand for reform. The 
Crusade, in fact, had died with Pius. A visit from the Emperor 
Frederick to Rome led to nothing but display and empty compli- 
ments, ending in mutual dissatisfaction (1468). Far more im- 
portant is the record of the first use of printing at Rome in 1467. 
Paul was found dead in his bed on the 26th of July, 1471. 
1 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 515. 

Medal of Cosmo dei Medici : b. 1389, d. 1464. 
From the British Museum. 

Bronze Statue of St. Peter, in St. Peter's, at Rome : 
ascribed to the time of St. Leo the Great. 



§ 1. Moral Degradation of the Papacy — Election of Cardinal della Rovere 
as Sixtus IV. — His nepotism — The Popes as Italian princes — Julian 
della Rovere; Peter and Jerome Riario — Corruption and oppression — 
Jubilee of 1475 — Public Works at Rome. § 2. Conspiracy of the Pazzi 
at Florence, and complicity of the Pope — The Turks at Otranto. 
§ 3. Quarrel with the Venetians — Birth of Martin Luther (1483) — 
Death of Sixtus IV. (1484). § 4. Innocent VIII. — His gross immo- 
rality — Corruption and profligacy of the court — Disorder of Rome. 


§ 5. Wars with Naples — Alliance with the Medici — Cardinal John 
de' Medici (afterwards Leo X.). § 6. Relations with the Turks — 
Prince Djem at Rome — Treaty with the Sultan Bajazet. § 7. Conquest 
of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella — Deaths of Lorenzo de' Medici- 
and Innocent VIII. (1492). § 8. Election of Roderick Borgia as Alex- 
ander VI. His Early Life and Character — His Family ; John, Duke 
of Gandia, Caesar Borgia, Lucrezia. § 9. Maximilian I. Emperor 
Elect. § 10. Charles VIII. of France at Rome and in Naples — 
Ferdinand II. restored at Naples by the Spaniards — His death. §11. 
Murder of John Borgia by his brother Caesar, who renouuees his cardi- 
nalate and clerical orders. § 12. Accession and divorce of Louis XII. — 
Mission of Caesar Borgia to France — His Conquests in Italy — French 
conquest of the Milanese. § 13. Profligacy and corruption at Rome — 
The Jubilee of a.d. 1500, and its effect in Europe. § 14-. Savonarola 
at Florence : his pi'eaching : no doctrinal innovations — His republicanism : 
the death-bed of Lorenzo de' Medici. § 15. Savonarola's relations to 
Charles VIII. and the Florentine Republic — His work of reformation. 
§ 16. Interference of the Pope — The " Sacrifice of Vanities " — Excom- 
munication of Savonarola. § 17. His renewed preaching, and the 
Franciscan opposition — The Ordeal of Fire — His imprisonment and mar- 
tyrdom — Machiavelli. §18. Birth of Charles V. — Naples seized by Spain. 
§ 19. Death of Alexander VI. § 20. Election and Death of Pius III. 

§ 1. The period of about half a century, that now lies before us 
to the epoch of the Reformation, is at once glorified by the highest 
spendours of the Renaissance and darkened by the deep moral 
corruption, which had its climax in the characters of those who still 
claimed to be the Vicars of Christ and chief pastors of His flock : 
" Quis custodiet ipsos Custodes ? " A recent writer x sums up, in 
colours not blacker than the truth, the characters of the Popes 
who are now to be passed in review : " The Papacy had descended 
to the lowest depths of infamy. The fiercely avaricious and cruel 
Paul II. had been succeeded by ISixtus IV., who was steeped in 
bloodshed and diabolic lust ; under Innocent VIII., more con- 
temptible and scarcely less guilty, the imperial city liecame once 
more the asylum of murderers and robbers ; till finally, in 
Alexander VI. the Christian nations saw a monster, who excelled in 
depravity the most hated names of the Pagan Empire, seated on the 
throne of St. Peter." 

1 Mr. F. P. Willert, in an article on Machiavelli, in the Fortnijhtly 
Review, March 1884. In the description of this corruption in the 
verses of the Carmelite friar, Baptista Mantuanus (ob. 1516), de Hbrum 
Tempumm Calamitalibus Libei IV., one chief element is thus described : — 

" venulia nobis 
Templa. sacerdotes, altaria, saeni, corona?. 
Igncs, thuia, preces : cctlum est venale, Deusque." 

The last words are not too strong for the traffic in Indulgences. (See 
Gieseler, vol. iv. pp. 437-8.) 


After the death of Paul II., the election of Bessarion was once 
more prevented by those " light and voluptuous " cardinals, who 
dreaded his severe virtue. They were afterwards rewarded with 
offices and preferments for their preference of Francis della Rovere, 
who took the name of Sixtus IV. 1 (1471-1484). Born near 
Savona, in a humble station (1414), he had become a Franciscan, 
and, after teaching philosophy and theology in several Universities, 
he had lisen to the generalship of his order; and, through the 
influence of Bessarion, he had been made Cardinal of St. Peter ad 
Vincula (1407). Some of his works had been put forth by the 
new art of printing. 

But this learned cardinal, if we are to believe the chief contem- 
porary annalist, 2 became as Pope a monster of moral depravity, as 
well as a most corrupt and oppressive governor; and, however 
exaggerated may be the shadows of the picture, its outline is 
justified by his public history. Sixtus IV. is notorious in the 
annals of the Papacy for his outrageous nepotism. Indeed we have 
now reached a point where the See of Bome, instead of being the 
centre of Latin Christianity, might almost seem to part company 
with any proper history of the Christian Church. The Pope 
becomes a secular Italian prince, using his ecclesiastical dignity 
chiefly as a means of influence in the politics of the Peninsula and 
of Europe, and aiming to strengthen himself, as well to gratify his 
relations, called in general nephews, 3 by making them the heads of 
great families, and even conferring on them principalities ; so that 
a new power was raised up in rivalry with the cardinals at Rome 
and with the nobles and States of Italy. In defiance of the usual 
"capitulations," in which he had concurred before his election, 
Sixtus at once conferred the dignity of cardinal on two of his 
nephews, young men of humble origin, who, like himself, had 

1 With regard to the origin of this papal name, which had not been 
used for more than 1000 years, and was destined to be made famous by 
Sixtus V. (1585-1590), it is a simple blunder to connect it with Sextus. 
In the history of the early Popes (Sixtus I. 119-128, Sixtus II. 257-8, 
a martyr under Valerian, and Sixtus III. 432-440) it appears in the 
original form of Xystus, a Graeco-Latin word signifying a terrace or 
colonnade, so called from its smoothed floor (£u(rros, from £eV). The 
name would become in Italian ^isto, which was re-latinized as Sixtus. 

2 Stephanus Infessuva (who is styled Senatus Populique Romani Scriba 
s. Cancellarius. circ. 1494) author of a Diariwn homanse Urbis, 1294-1494 
(in Eccard and Muratori). See the passage (in Gieseler, vol. iv. p. 385), 
in which the writer speaks of the Divine Providence in the Pope's death, 
and dwells on his wickedness and oppression. But a much less severe 
character is given in the Life ascribed to Platina, whom, as we have seen, 
Sixtus made librarian of the Vatican. 

3 The ambiguous application of the term was made still more con- 
veniently in its original Latin form, niputes, whence nep t sin, 

A.D. 1475. JUBILEE- WORKS AT ROME. 217- 

become Franciscans, but speedily threw off all the restraints of 
their profession (Dec. 1471). One of them, Julian della Rovere, 
became famous under the name of Pope Julius II. The other, 
Peter Riario, took only two years to bring himself to ruin and the 
grave at the age of 28 by his extravagance and debauchery 
(Jan. 1474) ; when his brother Jerome succeeded to the Pope's still 
greater favour. 1 To create fortunes for these relatives, Sixtus 
raised money by the most disgraceful arts ; selling the highest 
dignities to unworthy purchasers, who were often defrauded of 
their money by non-fulfilment of the promise ; creating new offices 
to trade in; corrupting justice by the sale of pardons, even for 
capital offences ; imposing oppressive taxes ; and tampering with 
the market-prices of provisions to such an extent as even to cause 
a famine. 

As a means of bringing in money, advantage was taken, by 
large indulgences, of the Jubilee appointed by Paul II. for 1475, 
twenty-five years after the last celebration : but the influx of 
pilgrims, notwithstanding the amplest offers of indulgences, was 
checked not only by a pestilence, but also by the evil repute of 
the Pope, which had reached all parts of Christendom. Still it 
brought in great wealth, which Sixtus expended in part on the im- 
provement of Rome, though with much of the destruction which 
has become almost synonymous with " restoration." In widening 
and repaving the streets, he destroyed many porticoes and other 
ancient buildings, which the King of Naples marked as obstacles to 
the Pope's full mastery of Rome. One of his biographers boasts 
that the city would have been rebuilt had Sixtus lived, and, in 
rivalling the famous saying of Augustus, he destroyed many of the 
most venerable churches. His chief monuments are the Janiculan 
bridge, which he rebuilt, and the Sistine chapel in the Vatican, 
afterwards renowned for the frescoes of Michael Angelo. His 
enlargement of the Vatican Library, and appointment of Platina to 
its charge, testify to his patronage of letters. 

§ 2. The nepotism of Sixtus IV. affected his whole policy 
towards the States of Italy ; and in one case it was a chief cause of 
his complicity in an atrocious crime, the conspiracy of the Pazzi, at 
Florence, for the murder of Lorenzo de' Medici (surnamed " the 
Magnificent ") and his brother Julian. The Pope's nephew, 
Jerome Riario, and his grand-nephew, Raphael Riario, who had 

1 The brothers Riario were said to be really the Pope's sons ; and 
Infessura ascribes their favour to a more odious connection. Another 
nephew, who is described as "a very little man, aud of intellect corre- 
sponding to his person." was married to an illegitimate daughter of 
Ferdinand of Naples; and, as the price of this alliance, Sixtus commuted 
the tribute of Naples to the Apostolic See for <i white h<>rs<'! There are 
other cases of the Pope's nepotism, which it is needless to recount. 


just been made a cardinal at the age of eighteen, were active 
parties in the conspiracy, to the support of which Sixtus, while 
professing to desire no bloodshed, promised the aid of the papal 
troops. When the murderous attack, made by two priests in the 
cathedral, at the moment of the elevation of the host (Sunday, 
April 26th, 1478), failed of its object — Lorenzo de' Medici escaping 
with a wound, though his brother Julian was killed, and the 
people taking part vehemently against the assassins — the Pope 
issued a violent Bull against Lorenzo and the magistrates of 
Florence, and made war upon the city in league with Ferdinand, 
King of Naples. 

Europe in general was indignant against the Pope, and Louis XL 
threatened to revive the Pragmatic Sanction and to stop the papal 
revenues from France, which, he declared, went to enrich Jerome, 
instead of being applied to the Holy War. So little indeed had 
been done towards the Crusade, for which the Pope had professed 
great zeal at his accession, that Home itself was now threatened by 
Mahomet, who took Otranto, and put 12,000 out of its 22,000 inhabi- 
tants to the sword (Aug. 21, 1480). This blow brought the Pope" to 
terms with the Florentines, who had already, in their extremity, 
won over Ferdinand of Naples by the personal influence of Lorenzo 
de' Medici. Their ambassadors went through a solemn form of sub- 
mission and reconciliation at Pome ; and the chief States of Italy 
joined to expel the invader from Italian soil. The dynastic 
contest, which followed the death of Mahomet the Conqueror 
(May 3rd, 1481), cut off the reinforcements needed fur holding 
Otranto, and the Turkish garrison surrendered to the Neapolitans 
(August 10th). 

§ 3. Instead of following up this success against the common 
enemy, who were besieging the Knights of St. John at Rhodes, the 
Pope and the Venetians joined in an attempt to take Ferrara from 
the house of Este for Jerome Riario. Ferdinand of Naples opposed 
the scheme, and his troops had advanced to the gates of Rome, 
when he won over Riario, and through him Sixtus himself (1482). 
The Pope's late allies were invited to join in a new league for the 
pacification of Italy ; and their refusal was punished by Bulls of the 
severest excommunication and interdict (May 1483). But the 
Venetian oligarchy proved itself too strong for the Vatican ; and, 
fortified by the opinion of the jurists of Padua, the Council of Ten 
intercepted the papal missives, compelled the clergy to perform 
their functions, and appealed both to a General Council and a 
Congress of Christian princes. Besides this war, the Roman 
territory was desolated by the feuds of the papal Orsini and the 
an ti- papal Colonna and Savelli ; till a peace was made between 
Venice and Naples, without any stipulation in favour of Jerome 


Riario. The Pope's vexation at this treaty is said to have 
hastened his death, which took place five days later (Aug. 12, 1484). 
The biographer sees the power of God in this liberation of His 
Christian people ; but we may now still more trace the Divine 
hand in an event of the last year of Sixtus. Martin Luther ivas 
born on the 11th of November, 1483. 1 

§ 4. The death of Sixtus IV. gave free rein to the popular hatred 
of his family and connections, the factions of the nobility, and the 
intrigues of parties in the Conclave. The interests of the cardinals 
were again vainly protected by stringent capitulations ; and the 
confident hopes of Roderigo Borgia were frustrated by the exertions 
of Julian della Rovere and Ascanius Sforza 2 in favour of Cardinal 
John Baptist Cibo, 3 who was elected as Innocent VIII. (1484- 
1492). The moral laxity of the nominal head of Christianity 
seemed to have reached its climax in a Pope whose seven illegiti- 
mate children, by different mothers, were openly recognized and 
provided for out of the revenues of the Church. Corrupt and 
simoniacal dealings were continued and increased ; and offices were 
created to be sold, the purchasers repaying themselves by exactions. 
The " capitulations," to which the Pope had renewed his oath after 
his election, were set at nought. Rome, distracted by the renewed 
feuds of the Colonna and Orsini, was thrown into utter disorder by 
a papal edict allowing the return of all who had been banished, for 
whatever cause (1485) ; and pardons were sold for the grossest 
crimes, for, as a high officer said, " God willeth not the death of a 
sinner, but rather that he should pay and live."* The papal court 

1 The same year was also marked by the death of Louis XI. (Aug. 30, 
1483), to soothe whose superstitious terrors Sixtus sent relics in such 
abundance that the Romans remonstrated against the loss to their 
city. Among the troop of holy men, whose intercession was sought by 
the King, was St. Francis of Paola, the founder of a new branch of his 
great namesake's order of the Minorites (Fratns JJinores), which he 
called in his humility the Minims (Fratres Minimi). See further in 
Chap. XXV. § 9. 

2 Ascanius Sforza, son of Galeazzo Sforza of Milan, had been made a car- 
dinal by the late Pope in consideration of the marriage of Jerome Riario 
to an illegitimate daughter of Galeazzo. 

3 His family was of Greek origin, but had been long settled at Genoa 
and Naples by the name of fomacelli, that to which Boniface IX. 
belonged. The name of Cibo was taken from the chess-board pattern 
(kv^os) in their arms. The father of Innocent had been Viceroy of Naples 
under King Rene, and Senator of Rome under Calixtus III. 

4 Infessura, ap. Robertson, vol. iv. p. 544. According to the oft-mis- 
quoted proverb, the exception tests (probat) the rule; as when two papal 
secretaries, detected in forging Bulls, were put to death because they could 
not pay the price of a pardon. On the other hand, there are writers who 
praise Innocent for his maintenance of public order; but the testimony of 
Infessura, though hostile, seems the more trustworthy. 


was disgraced by gross profligacy, extravagance, and gambling, 
which infected the whole society of Home. 

§ 5. The demand made by Innocent of the former tribute from 
Naples involved him in long wars with King Ferdinand, though 
twice ended by treaties in favour of the Papacy, the terms of which, 
however, were little regarded. 1 In this conflict the Pope sought 
the alliance of the great ruler of Florence, Lorenzo de' Medici, 
whose son John (Giovanni), afterwards famous as Leo X., was 
made a cardinal at the age of thirteen (1489). 

§ 6. While following the example of his predecessors, and with 
as little result, in calling the princes of Europe to a crusade against 
the Turks, Innocent entered into curious relations with their royal 
family. The succession to the great Sultan Mahomet II. had been 
disputed between his sons, Bajazet and Djem (called Zizim or 
Zemes in the West) ; and the latter, defeated by his brother, fled to 
the Knights of St. John at Rhodes, who sent him for greater safety 
to their brethren in France. After some years of competition for 
the young prince's person, to be used as a pretender against the 
Sultan, Djem was given up to the Pope, and was lodged as an honoured 
guest in the Vatican (1489). Bajazet, having failed (if the report 
can be trusted) in an intrigue to poison both the prince and the 
Pope, arranged to pay Innocent 40,000 ducats annually for his 
brother's maintenance and safe custody; 2 and he propitiated the 
Pope with a most holy relic, the head of the spear which pierced 
the Saviour's side. 3 

§ 7. While these civilities were exchanged between the Pope and 
Sultan, a great landmark was set in the history of Christendom by 
the final victory of Ferdinand and Isabella over the Moslems in 
Spain, in the conquest of Granada after a twelve years' war (Jan. 
1492). The triumph was celebrated at Rome with unbounded 
rejoicings, and with bull-fights given by the Spanish ambassador 
and Cardinal Borgia. Three months later, the almost royal honours, 
with which the young Cardinal John de' Medici was installed on 

1 For the details of these purely political affairs, see Robertson, vol. iv. 
pp. 544-5. 

2 The young prince's fate was in keeping with the vest of this policy. 
When the next Pope, Alexander VI., supported the claim of Charles VIII. 
on Naples (see below, § 10), lie gave up Djem to the French King, to be 
used in a Crusade (Jan. 1495). But in the next month Djem died, 
poisoned, as was believed, and is now confirmed by the secret archives of 
Venice (see p. 232, n), for the great sum which Bajazet gave the Pope. 

3 This is still one of the four most sacred relics preserved at St. Peter's. 
True, the possession of the lance was already claimed by other places, and 
Bajazet himself informed the Pope that its point (cuspis) was at Paris; 
but, as a writer asked in the spirit of the classic revival, if several cities 
claimed the birth of Homer and the tomb of /Eneas, why should there not 
be many claimants to the custody of this holy relic? 


completing his sixteenth year, were interrupted by the death of his 
father Lorenzo (April 7th) ; and the Pope died on July 27th. 

§ 8. Amidst the armed tumults and loss of life in Eome and its 
neighbourhood, for which every papal vacancy had become the 
regular signal, a vehement struggle took place in the Conclave 
between the parties of Cardinals Borgia, Sforza, and della Rovere ; 
till Sforza, finding his chance hopeless, threw his weight into the 
scale of Borgia, whose success was ensured by unbounded bribery 
and promises of preferment to his brother cardinals. 1 Alexander 
VI. (1492-1503), whose name stands alone in its " bad eminence ! " 
even among the Popes of this age, expressed his exultation in words 
which have a satiric force in history; "I am Pope, Pontiff, Vicar 
of Christ ! " Some of the Romans rejoiced in the promise which 
his noble presence, wealth, and expensive tastes, gave of a splendid 
pontificate ; but his elevation alarmed the sovereigns of Spain, who 
knew him better, and Ferdinand of Naples is said to have burst 
into tears at the news. His career seems strangely placed in this 
history of the Christian Church ; but it helps on the climax of 
evidence for the necessity of a better foundation than the falsely- 
claimed Roman rock of Peter — that one true Rock of which the 
Apostle's name was but the symbol. 2 

\Roderigo Borgia, 3 now 61 years old, was (as we have seen) 

1 The only ones not thus won over are said to have been the Cardinals 
Piccolomini, della Rovere, and three others. Contemporary satire cele- 
brated the means by which Borgia secured his election, and his indis- 
criminate sale of benefices : — 

" Vendit Alexander claves, altaria, Chi istum : 
Emerat iota prius ; vendere jure potest." 

Alexander's consciousness of the means by which his election was 
obtained was betrayed by his constant dread of a General Council. 

2 The grand text inscribed round the dome of St. Peter's (Matt. xvi. 
J 8, "Tu es Petrus, &c") may suggest an irony to those who remember 
the state of the Papacy when it was set up. 

3 The chief original authorities for this Pope and his family are Stephen 
Infessura(to 1494); Burchard, Master of the Ceremonies to Alexander VI., 
Diarium Curse Romanee, 1484-1506 (the first vol. of a new and complete 
edition, by L. Thuasne, has appeared at Paris, 1883) ; and especially 
Guicciardini, Isto-ia d'ltalia, Lib. XX. 1494-1532. Francesco Guicci- 
ardini, who ranks at the head of the general historians of Italy, was born 
at Florence in 1482, and became a strong partisan of the Medicean party. 
He was in the service of Leo X. and Clement VII., and had a chief share 
in the final establishment of the rule of the Medici in 1530. But disgust 
at the despotic power usurped by Cosmo I. caused his retirement to his 
country seat at Arcetri, where he wrote his History, and died in May 
1540. The History was only published 20 years later by his nephew, 
Bks. I.— XVI. in 1561, aud the first complete edition at Venice in 1569. 
Though prolix, it is valuable and authentic, the more so because charac- 
terized, like the great work of his contemporary Machiavelli, by the 
moral indifference of the age, and so the more impartial. 

II— M 


by birth a Spaniard: he and his family spoke Spanish among 
themselves, and were surrounded by attendants and confidants of 
their own nation. 1 A legatine mission to Spain, to collect money 
for the Crusade, added to the great wealth he derived from his 
numerous preferments and the inheritance of his uncle, Calixtus III. 
Like the Spanish clergy in general, he was deficient in learning, 
though of ready eloquence ; his ability lying chiefly in craft, 
resources, and perseverance as a negociator. His faithlessness, 
Machiavelli tells us, 2 was such that he was not to be believed on 
his oath. His addiction to pleasure was not allowed to interfere 
with business, which he often transacted during a large part of the 
night. His earlier ecclesiastical life had been marked by deeds as 
well as professions of piety and charity ; nor, up to this time, had 
his loose morality reached the licence which made the palaces of 
some other cardinals notorious for their profligate revels. 3 It was 
probably about 1470 that he made an irregular marriage (so he 
regarded the connection) with Vanozza de' Catanei, whom he pro- 
vided with two husbands in succession. 4 

Alexander's surviving family was three sons and two daughters. 
His eldest son, Peter Louis, having died, the title of Duke of 
Gandia, given him by the King of Spain, had devolved on his next 
brother, John. The third and favourite son, the infamous Cesar 
Borgia, who was studying for the priesthood at Pisa, was at once 
made Bishop of Pampeluna and soon after Archbishop of Valencia 
(his father's see), and next year a cardinal. 5 

§ 9. In the same year (1493) a new force arose in Europe by the 
succession of the able and adventurous Maximilian I. to his father 
Frederick III. 6 From him dates the real greatness of the house of 

1 Caesar Borgia's trusted assassin and poisoner was a Spaniard. 

2 Principe, c. 18. 

3 Even an historian of the age, who holds that the vices of Alexander 
were equalled by his virtues, draws his character in the following terms : — 
"perfidia plusquam Punica, saevitia immani, avaritia immensa ac rapaci- 
tate, inexhausta parandifilio imperii per fas et nefas libidine . . . Mulieri- 
bus maxime addictus, &c" Onuphrius Panvinius (the continuer of 
Platina), de Yit. Pontif. p. 360, Colon. 1600. 

* After Alexander's death, Vanozza is said to have led a life of devotion 
and beneficence. She is buried in the church of Sta. Maria del Popolo. 

5 The character and adventures of the beautiful Lucrezia Borgia, who 
was now fifteen, have no real place in the ecclesiastical history ot' the 
age. It is enough to say that there is undoubtedly much exaggeration in 
the traditional accounts of her, and indeed of the whole family of Borgia. 
But enough was true to m:\ke the worst easy of belief. 

6 As has been said before, he was the first who bore the title of 
Emperor Elect, whi.h was formally conferred by Pope Julius II., when 
the Venetians prevented Maximilian from going to Rome for his coronation 
(1508). Born in 1459, he had been elected King of the Romans in his 
father's lifetime. At the age of 18, he married Mary, heiress of Charles 


Hapsburg in the Empire which they held (with the exception of 
only one reign) till it was abdicated by Francis II. in 1806. 

§ 10. We may best leave to civil history the intricate movements 
of Italian politics, which brought Charles VIIL of France to Rome 
on his enterprize to recover the Angevine inheritance of Naples 
(Dec. 31, 1494). The Pope, who had taken part with King 
Alfonso, 1 and had vainly sought aid from Maximilian, found 
himself unable to refuse Charles a passage ; he shut himself up 
in the castle of St. Angelo, threatened at once by the French 
cannon and an appeal promoted by a large party of the cardinals to 
a General Council for his deposition. But he found means to 
influence the King's counsellors; a treaty was concluded, and 
Caesar Borgia accompanied Charles as legate, but really as a 
hostage, and contrived to escape on the march to Naples. Alfonso, 
whose tyranny and vices, as well as his father's, had made him 
hated by his subjects, abdicated in favour of his son Ferdinand II., 
and retired to a monastery, where he soon after died ; while the 
new King, unable to oppose the invader, fled to Ischia, and Charles 
entered Naples unopposed (Feb. 21st, 1495). But his indolence 
and misgovernment, and the rapacity and licence of his followers, 
utterly disgusted his new subjects ; and the news of a league formed 
by the Pope, the Emperor, the sovereigns of Spain, and the Vene- 
tians, forced him to retreat from Naples. At Rome, Alexander 
avoided meeting him by retiring to Orvieto, and Charles recrossed 
the Alps in October. Meanwhile Ferdinand was reinstated at 
Naples by the aid of the " Great Captain " of Spain, 2 Gonsalvo de 
Aguilar, the conqueror of Granada, who also recovered Ostia for the 
Pope from the force left there by Charles under Julian della Rovere ; 
the Cardinal himself being driven into exile. Gonsalvo accepted 
the golden rose as a present for his sovereigns ; but he refused the 
honours offered for himself, and rebuked the Pope for the disorders 
of his court (1497). 

§ 11. The speedy death of Ferdinand IT., at the age of 27 
(Sept. 7th, 1496), opened to the Pope a prospect of schemes for the 

the Bold of Burgundy, who brought the Low Countries to the house of 
Austria; and the marriage of their son, Philip, with Joanna, the heiress 
of Ferdinand and Isabella, united the possessions of Spain, Austria, and 
the Netherlands, in the person of their son, Charles I. of Spain, the 
Emperor Charles V. 

1 Alfonso succeeded his father Ferdinand, Jan. 25th, 1494. Charles 
was urged on to the enterprize by the Cardinal della Rovere, the im- 
placable enemy of the Pope. 

2 It is a sign of the objects for which the pretence of a Crusade was 
kept up, that the Pope authorized the Spanish sovereigns to employ the 
money, collected for that purpose in Spain, against the French in Naples. 


aggrandizement of his family in Naples, like those which had been 
formed by Sixtus IV. As a first step, the dukedom of Benevento 
— the ancient possession of the Papacy in the heart of the Neapolitan 
dominions — was conferred on John Borgia, duke of Gandia, Picco- 
lomini being the only cardinal who protested against this aliena- 
tion of the Church's patrimony (June 7th, 1497). But on that day 
week the duke was murdered in the streets of Rome, 1 and it was 
not doubted that the crime was perpetrated by Caesar Borgia, in 
order to secure for himself the advancement designed for his 
brother. Alexander, amidst his bitter lamentations, cried out that he 
knew the murderer ; but before the consistory he declared that he 
suspected no one. In his agony of grief, he appointed a commis- 
sion of six cardinals to draw up a scheme for the reformation of the 
Church, and even talked of resigning the Papacy ; but all this 
ended in verifying the famous proverb of the sick wicked one. 

Csesar soon regained his ascendancy over his father, and went to 
Naples to crown the new King, Frederick, uncle of Ferdinand, an 
amiable and popular sovereign, whom he was perhaps already 
plotting to supplant (Aug. 1497). To smooth the path of his 
ambition, Caesar obtained a dispensation from his clerical orders 
and dignity as a cardinal, and became a simple layman (Aug. 1498). 

§ 12. Meanwhile Charles VIII. of France had died at the age of 
28 (April 7th, 1498), and was succeeded by his cousin the Duke of 
Orleans, as Louis XII. The new King was eager for release from 
his deformed but amiable wife, Jeanne, whom her father, Louis XL, 
had forced upon him, 2 that he might marry Charles's widow, who 
was heiress of Brittany in her own right. Alexander eagerly 
seized the opportunity for an alliance with France, and sent Caesar 
on a splendid mission, with Bulls for the divorce and remarriage of 
Louis, 3 and one conferring the dignity of cardinal on the King's 
minister, d'Amboise. The divorce was pronounced after a scanda- 

1 John (Juan, Giovanni), who was 24 when he died, was the only one 
of the Borgias in whose line the family was continued. His son Juan 
was the ancestor of dukes, cardinals, and prelates: and chief among them 
ranks his son, St. Francesco de Borgia (b. 1510), who, after a splendid 
career at the court of Charles V. (whose executor he became later), 
retired from the world on the death of his wife (1546), entered the 
Society of Jesus, and became its third General (1565). He died at Rome 
in 1572, and was canonized by Clement IX. in 1671. 

2 Louis XII., the first King of the line of Valois-Orleans, was the 
grandson of Louis, duke of Orleans, the younger son of Charles V., and 
of Valentina Viseonti, on his descent from whom he based his claim to 
the duchy of Milan. As to the death of Charles VIII., see ]-. 232, n. 

3 With characteristic duplicity, the second Bull was kept back, to 
secure better terms from Louis; but its existence was betrayed to the 
King by a bishop, whom Caesar is said to have poisoned for his indiscretion. 


lous mockery of a trial. Louis rewarded Ca3sar Borgia with the 
hand of his niece Charlotte d'Alhret, sister of the King of Navarre, 
and with the duchy of Valentinois, and promised to aid his ambi- 
tious schemes in Italy. While Louis, in two campaigns, conquered 
the duchy of Milan, and carried off Ludovico Sforza a prisoner to 
France, 1 Cajsar Borgia pursued his designs in Central Italy. With 
the design of creating a great principality — and even, as some 
think, of aiming at a union of the peninsula — Ceesar began by 
putting down the numerous petty princes, who had raised them- 
selves from the original condition of papal vicars in the territories 
of the Holy See. The oppressive taxation, required to support 
these courts in the luxury of the age and their patronage of arts 
and letters, made them hateful to their subjects ; and their failure 
to pay the tribute to Rome gave a pretext for their suppression. 
The alienation of their fiefs from the domain of the Church to become 
the property of the Borgias was sanctioned by the Sacred College, 
and Ca?sar, who had been received at Rome with a splendid triumph 
(Feb. 1500), was created Duke of Romagna. His designs on 
Tuscany were checked by the French king, wlio was urged by many 
of the Italians to deliver the Church from the Pope and his son. 
Alexander, however, secured the influence of Cardinal d'Amboise 
by new promises ; and the alliance was confirmed in an interview 
between Louis and Caesar at Milan (Aug. 1502). 

§ 13. It would only be disgusting to recite in detail the acts of 
cruelty and perfidy by which Caisar Borgia secured and extended 
his power in Italy; or the shameless profligacy in which, after 
making allowance for exaggeration, we must believe that the Pope, 
his family, and his court, revelled at the Vatican. These excesses, 
and the splendid establishments of the Borgias, were supported in 
part by all the old abuses — the traffic in benefices and indulgences, 
the creation of offices for sale, the misappropriation of money collected 
for the Crusade — with new and most shameful devices. Cardinals 
were created in large numbers at a time, " for a consideration ; " 
but their removal was still more profitable. Alexander not only 
seized the property of deceased cardinals under the jus exuvia/rum, 
in defiance of their testamentary dispositions, but even forbad 
their making wills, and in some cases a rich succession is said to 
have been secured by poison. Wealthy prelates disappeared mys- 
teriously. Rome was kept under a government of terror ; the prisons 
were crowded, while the streets were full of assassins and spies, 
and dead bodies were daily found lying in the streets or floating 

1 The details belong to civil history. See the Student's France, 
chap. xiii. § 2. 

226 JUBILEE OF 1500. Chap. XIV. 

in the Tiber. Criminal charges were invented against Roman 
nobles, that their confiscated property might be swept into the 
coffers of the Iiorgias ; and church property was largely alienated 
for their possession. 1 The Jubilee of 1500 enriched the Vatican 
with the contributions of a vast number of pilgrims, who in return 
carried abroad the news of the utter depravity of Rome, and so 
gave an impulse to the great movement of the sixteenth century. 2 

§ 14. How the forces of reformation were gathering beyond the 
Alps, will be told in its place ; but, even in the great depth of 
Italian corruption, the dark picture of Alexander's Papacy is broken 
by the appearance of one of the most striking characters of the age, 
the reformer and martyr Jerome Savonaboi-a. 3 Born in 1452 at 
Ferrara, where his grandfather was court physician, he became an 
ardent student of poetry, philosophy, and theology. Imbued with 
reverence for Thomas Aquinas, and disgusted at the profligacy of 
the times, he was led by the preaching of a Dominican friar to 
enter the Order at the age of twenty-two (1475). He had 
already believed himself favoured with visions ; and in the scrip- 
tural studies, which he pursued with ardour, he was addicted to 
mystic and allegorical interpretations. After a course of seven 
years in the Dominican convent at Bologna, his superiors removed 
him to the monastery of St. Mark's at Florence (1482), of which he 
was elected prior in 1491. Meanwhile, notwithstanding some 
natural disqualifications and first failures, Savonarola burst forth 
into full power as a preacher to the multitudes who filled the 

1 "Thus Caesar, in addition to his fiefs in the Romagna, received the 
abbey of Subiaco, with eighteen castles belonging to it ; and nineteen 
cardinals signed the deed of alienation, while not one dared to object to 
it."— Robertson, vol. iv. p. 580. 

2 A series of events of the highest importance in contemporary history 
claim notice also as an illustration of the lofty claims of the Pap;icy. 
The Discovery or re-discovery of Americx was begun by the first voyage 
of Columbus in 1492, and in 1497 Vasco da Gama found the way to 
India round the Cape of Good Hope. Alexander VI. assumed the right to 
divide the newlv discovered worlds by a Bull, drawing a line from Pole to 
Pole west of the Azores, and giving the East to Portugal and the West to 
Spain (1493). 

3 In Italian Girolamo, in Latin, Hieronymus Savonarola. The chief 
authorities are the old lives, by his admirer Picus of Mirandola, 1530, 
and by the Dominican Burlamacchi (ob. 1519), in Baluz. Miseell. vol. i. ; 
Ecchard and Quetif; Machiavelli, and De Comines. Among modern 
works, the most valuable is that of Villari, Storia di (iir. Sav. 2 vols. 
Fir. 1859-61; also the lives by Rudelbach, Hamb. 1835, Hase (Ncue 
Propheten, Leipz. 1851-1861), Madden, Lond. 1853; and an article by 
Dean Milman in the Qu irt< rly Bevien; June 1865. The preaching and 
death of Savonarola play a conspicuous part in 4 George Eliot's ' novel 
of Romola 


cathedral, to hear the friar whose fervent words and passionat" 
gestures seemed to mark one who pleaded for God. He propounded 
no new doctrines, nor did he assail any point in the creed of the 
Church; but he rebuked with equal vehemence the practical cor- 
ruptions of laity and clergy, the utter want of spirituality amidst 
the splendour and culture of the age ; the luxury of common life, 
and the pomp of religious worship. Formerly, he said, the Church 
had golden priests and wooden chalices, but now the chalices were 
of gold, the priests of wood. His threats of coming punishment 
were not only couched in apocalyptic imagery, but in more directly 
prophetic language, predicting that Italy w T ould be scourged by a 
new Cyrus coming over the Alps. He claimed to have received 
visions and revelations from angels; these, and his contests with 
evil spirits, became famous beyond Italy ; and his admirers spoke of 
him as " the prophet." 

With Savonarola's religious enthusiasm was mingled an ardent 
love of republican freedom ; and his political opposition to the 
Medici was the more inflexible for his reprobation of their luxury 
and vice. In 1492, Lorenzo " the Magnificent," on his deathbed, 
turned to the prior of St. Mark's, whom he had before vainly tried to 
conciliate, and confessed the sins that lay heaviest on his conscience. 
But when Savonarola, replying by assurances of the Divine mercy 
and goodness, demanded acts of restitution, one of which was that 
he should restore the liberties of Florence, Lorenzo refused, and 
Savonarola left him unabsolved. 

§ 15. When, two years later, Charles VIII. entered Italy and 
approached Florence, Pietro de' Medici, who at the age of twenty-one 
had succeded to his father's power and was already unpopular for 
his vice and weakness, met the French king and made with him 
a treaty most disadvantageous to the city. For this he and his 
brothers w T ere expelled ; but Savonarola, as a leader in the restored 
Eepublic, counselled submission to Charles, of whom he spoke as 
" the new Cyrus ;" while the French king made a vague response 
to the friar's exhortations that he would respect the liberties of 
Florence, and labour for the reformation of the Church (1494). 
After this brief episode of Charles's invasion, the responsibility of 
guiding the Eepublic devolved in a great degree on Savonarola, 
amidst the suppressed dislike of the Medicean party and the 
avowed opposition of the ardent oligarchs, while the pure repub- 
licans had little sympathy with the principles of moral and religious 
reform, which he put above all worldly policy. " He proclaimed the 
sovereignty of Christ, and did not hesitate to deduce from this 
the sacredness of the laws which he himself set forth. His visions 


increased, partly through the effect of his ascetic exercises." 1 His 
preaching produced a complete revolution in the outward aspect of 
life at Florence, in dress, manners, religious duties, almsgiving, 
commercial honesty, the reading of serious in place of licentious lite- 
rature, and the abandonment of gross public spectacles. H is influence 
even pressed into the service of reform the unruly boys, whose 
exaction of money for their festivities had been a chief scandal of 
the Carnival, where they now appeared to collect alms (149B). In 
his own priory he effected a thorough reformation, not only restoring 
the simplicity of monastic life, but training the brethren in schools 
for the study of Holy Scripture in the original tongues, and for the 
arts of calligraphy, painting, and illumination, which were used to 
defray the expenses of the house. " The number of the brethren 
had increased from about 50 to 238, of whom many were dis- 
tinguished for their birth, learning, or accomplishments ; and among 
the devoted adherents of the prior were some of the most eminent 
artists of the age ; . . . above all, Michael Angelo Buonarotti, who 
even to old age used to read the sermons of Savonarola, and to recal 
with reverence and delight his tones and gestures." 2 

§ 16. Around such a course it was inevitable that bitter enmity, 
both ecclesiastical and political, should gather. As the result of 
representations made to Koine, Savonarola was prohibited from 
preaching ; but his temporary obedience was soon broken by new 
denunciations of the vices of the Roman court and of the Pope's 
simoniacal election, with appeals to a General Council (1495). The 
crafty Alexander tried to win him over by offering to make him a 
cardinal ; " but Savonarola indignantly declared from the pulpit that 
he would have no other red hat than one dj^ed with the blood of mar- 
tyrdom." 3 He was again interdicted from preaching till he should 
obey the summons to Rome. 

The Carnival of 1497 was signalized by Savonarola's great 
Sacrifice of Vanities. " For some days the boys who were under 
his influence went about the city, asking the inhabitants of each 
house to give up to them any articles which were regarded as 
vanities and cursed things ; and these were built up into a vast pile, 
fifteen stories high — carnival masks and habits, rich dresses and 
ornaments of women, false hair, cards and dice, perfumes and 
cosmetics, amatory poems and other books of a free character, 
musical instruments, paintings, and sculptures ; all surmounted by 
a monstrous figure representing the Carnival. ... On the morning 
of the last day of the Carnival, Savonarola celebrated mass. A long 

1 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 584. 2 Ibid. p. 585. 

s Villari, i. 423 ; Robertson, iv. 587. 


procession of children and others then wound through the s'reets, 
after which the pyre was kindled, and its burning was accompanied 
by the singing of psalms and hymns, the sounds of bells, drums, 
and trumpets, with the shouts of an enthusiastic multitude, while 
the signory looked on from a balcony (Feb. 7)." 1 

On the ensuing Ascension Day (May 4) Savonarola's friends 
with difficulty protected him from a riotous assault made upon him 
in the pulpit ; and at the same time (May 12), Alexander issued 
the sentence of excommunication against him. 2 Savonarola retired 
to his convent and wrote his most important work, • The Triumph of 
the Cross.' On the death of the Duke of Gandia (July 1), he addressed 
to the Tope a letter of consolation, and of encouragement in the 
reforms which Alexander professed to contemplate under the pres- 
sure of his grief, and it seemed at the time to meet with a favourable 
reception. 3 

§ 17. In the spring of next year he resumed his preaching at the 
request of the signory, denouncing the arbitrary claims of the Pope, 
and especially the abuse of excommunication, as well as the vices ot 
the papal court, and urging the necessity of a General Council. 
The " burning of vanities " was repeated, and was followed by wild 
dances and singing in front of St. Mark's, by allowing and defending 
which Savonarola incurred fresh odium. A fanatical Franciscan, 
Francis of Apulia, now came forward to challenge the great 
Dominican reformer to the ordeal of fire ; but Savonarola declared 
that the truth of his teaching was proved by sounder evidence, and 
that he had other and better work to do. The challenge, however, 
was eagerly accepted by his zealous adherent, Dominic of Pescia ; 4 
and not only all his friars, but a multitude of men, women, and 
even children, proffered themselves for the trial. At leng h, as 
Francis refused to meet any one but Savonarola himself, the chal- 
lenger's place was taken by another Franciscan, Fr. Eondinelli, and 
the eve of Palm Sunday was fixed for the ordeal (April 7th, 1498). 
All Florence flocked to the Place of the Signory, where two piles 
of wood were heaped up, each 40 feet long, with a passage between 
them only a yard wide. But the Franciscans raised objections, 
chiefly on the ground that Savonarola's boast of miraculous powers 

1 Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 587-8. 

2 The ground alleged was Savonarola's disobedience, as prior of St. 
Mark's, to the order uniting that society with the Tuscan congregation. 

3 Afterwards, however, Alexander treated the intrusion as an offence. 
Villari, ii. 32. 

4 Dominic had taken Savonarola's place in the pulpit, when his leader 
was forbidden to preach: and he had been engaged in disputations with 
Francis of Apulia. We have to speak afterwards of the bitter rivalry 
long since established between the two great orders of Mendicants. 

II— M 2 


might be made good by magical charms. The dispute had lasted 
for hours, when a heavy fall of rain soaked the piles, and the 
signory finally forbad the ordeal. The multitude of sightseers, 
who, according to their kind in all ages, cared most for the danger 
and cruelty of the spectacle, vented their disappointment on 
Savonarola, whose friends could hardly conduct him in safety to 
St. Mark's. Two days later the convent had to surrender to a mob, 
and Savonarola and Dominic were put in prison. 

The signory who governed Florence were elected anew in 
alternate months, and the power which had protected Savonarola 
had now fallen into the hands of his enemies. A hostile commis- 
sion was appointed for his examination, and he was repe itedly sub- 
jected to torture, which his frame, exhausted by an ascetic life, was 
unable to endure. " When I am under torture," he said, " I lose 
myself, I am mad ; that only is true which I say without torture." 
The Pope wished him to be sent to Rome for trial; but, as the 
Florentines stood on the dignity of the Republic, and argued that 
the scene of the offence should also be that of the punishment, 
Alexander appointed the General of the Dominicans and another as 
his commissioners. Though it was found impossible to make good 
any charge of doctrinal unsoundness, 1 the predetermined judgment 
was pronounced (May 19th), and on the following day Savonarola, 
Dominic of Pescia, and Sylvester Maruffi, were hanged and burnt 
in the place of the Signory, and their ashes were thrown into the 
Arno. In the preliminary ceremony of degradation, the officiating 
bishop, who had formerly been a friar of St. Mark's, was so agitated 
that he misread the formula : " I separate thee from the Church 
triumphant." Savonarola calmly corrected him : " From the 
militant, not from the triumphant, for that is not thine to do:" in 
those few words rebuking the whole usurpation of the power of 
binding and loosing. 2 

1 The acts of the process seem to have been falsified with this view. 
See the original documents in Villari, and the authorities cited by 
Gieseler, v. 155 f., and Robertson, iv. 593. 

2 It was in the same year, and just after the death of Savonarola, that 
the active career of NlCCOLO MACHIAVELLI began. Born of a noble 
Florentine family, in 14G9, he was 25 years old when the Medici were 
expelled and Charles VIII. entered Florence. His decided Republicanism 
was rather of a heathen character than in any sympathy with the theo- 
cratic views of Savonarola, whom he charges with weakness in not 
destroying the " sons of Brutus " (i.e. the Medici). For fourteen years 
(1498-1512) he served the Repubic as Secretary to the Council of Ten, 
and also proved his high ability in the discharge of several missions to 
the King of France, the Emperor, and Popes Pius III., Julius II. and 
Leo X. It was at Rome, during the election of Pius III., that he conceived 


§ 18. To return to Rome at the epoch of the Jubilee of 1500. In 
the midst of the celebration of Caesar Borgia's triumph, news arrived 
of the birth, at Ghent (Feb. 24), of Charles, son of Philip of 
Austria and Joanna of Castile, grandson and heir of Maximilian 
and Ferdinand, around whom, as the Emperor Charles V., the 
coming religious contest was to centre. In the same year, Louis of 
France and Ferdin md of Spain made a treaty at Granada for the par- 
tition of Naples (Nov. 11). The Pope sanctioned the treacherous 
scheme, on the old plea of preparing for a crusade ; and Caesar 
Borgia joined " the great cap' am " Gonsalvo 1 in expelling Frederick, 
w ho surrendered to Louis and received from him the duchy of Anjou 
(1501). A quarrel about the division of the spoil was arranged by 
another treaty at Lyon (April, 1503), providing for the marriage of 
the infant Charles, of Spain and Austria, to Claude, the daughter 
of Louis XII. But, in open disregard of this treaty, Gonsalvo, 
joined by Cassar Borgia, overran Naples, to recover which Louis 
was preparing an expedition, when all was changed by the Pope's 
sudden death. 2 

§ 19. Alexander VI. seemed s* ill in full vigour at the age of 
seventy-two, and an ambassador had admired his sonorous 

a bitter hatred of " those rascally priests," to whom he ascribed the ruin 
of faith and morality in Italy. On the restoration of the Medici, he 
submitted, and even sought office, but in vain, and in the following year 
he was arrested on a charge of conspiracy, tortured, and banished. It was 
during his retirement of eight years that he composed his famous works, 
of which especially the Principe and the Discorsi illustrate the history 
of his times, and embody the then prevalent maxims of Italian policy 
which have become proverbial under his name, that "the means must be 
judged by the ends for which they are employed," and that a sovereign 
may use all arts of fraud and violence, the one crime being failure. It 
mav be said that Caesar Borgia was the original of his J rincipe ; and his 
principles were acted out by Frederick the Great and Napoleon. His 
earnest endeavours for the favour of the Medici may be explained from his 
conviction that a despotism was the only hope for the state ; and his 
cvuical contempt for human nature set him free from all bonds of political 
morality. He died in 1527, just after the second expulsion of the Medici. 
The very valuable Life and Times of Muchiavelli, by Professor Villari, has 
been translated by Linda Villari (1878 f.) ; and a complete English trans- 
lation of his works has recently appeared. 

1 Gonsalvo was in Sicily, professedly preparing to aid the Venetians 
against the Turks. 

2 The French army was detained in the Roman States by the intrigues 
of Cardinal d'Amboise, as a candidate for the Papacy. The delay proved 
fatal ; and the destiny of Naples was decided bv the victory of Gonsalvo 
on the Gariijliuno, one of the greatest military disasters in the history of 
France (Dec. 27, 1503). This decision of war was confirmed by Leo X., 
and Naples remained united to Spain till their separation in the great War 
of Succession (1707). 


voice in celebrating mass at Easter. On the 12 h of August, 
in his vineyard near the Vatican, he gave, with his son Ca?sar, 
a supper to the wealthy cardinal of St. Chrysogonus and Bishop 
of Hereford, 1 who, according to the common belief, was to be 
"removed" by the usual practice of the Borjjias. Whether by 
some mismanagement or by a counterplot, 2 all three were seized 
with illness, from which Ca>sar and the Cardinal recovered after a 
frightful crisis; but the Pope died within a week, as was publicly 
given out, of a fever (Aug. 18, 1503). 

§ 20. The preparations which Ca?sar Borgia had made for such 
an event were hampered by his illness, and the cardinals were 
taken quite by surptise. As a temporary expedient, ihey chose 
the most respectable but most infirm of their body, Francis Piccolo- 
mini, 3 who, from respect to the memory of his uncle, iEneas 
Sylvius (Pius 11.), took the title of Pius III. (Sept. 22). The utter 
anarchy caused by the rising against the Borgias of the people of 
Rome, the nobles of the environs, and the cities of the Romagna, 
drove the Pope for refuge to the castle of St Angelo, where he died 
on the twenty-sixth day after his election (Oct. 18, 1503). 

1 Adrian Castellesi, a native of Corneto, was made Bishop of Hereford in 
1502, and translated to Bath and Wells in 1504. The architect Bramante 
built the splendid palace in the Borgo for the Cardinal, who gave it to 
Henry VIII., and it became the residence of the English ambassador. 
Under Leo X. Adrian retired to Venice, in consequence of having become 
privy to the conspiracy of Petrucci ; and he is supposed to have been 
murdered on his way to Rome for the election of Leo's successor. 

2 Ranke cites, from a MS. of Sanuto, a story that Adrian, suspecting the 
design against his life (like the famous Cardinal Spada of romance) bribed 
the Pope's cook to serve up a poisoned dish to Alexander (Hist, of the Popes, 
iii. 253). The common report, that the Pope and Caesar drank by mistake of 
the poisoned wine, is given by several original authorities, in vague terms, 
as is natural under the circumstances; and the hypothesis of an innocent 
accident seems quite untenable. The recovery of the Cardinal favours 
the supposition that he was on his guard. His whole skin is said to have 
been changed. The recovery of Caesar is ascribed to the use of antidotes, 
aided by his youthful vigour. The belief that the Pope died of a fever 
contracted by supping in the garden is perhaps but a sign of what is now 
called "scientific criticism." Some very interesting revelations of the 
free use of poison in this age, as well as of other points in its history, are 
made in the recent publication of the secret archives of Venice — " Secrets 
d' /'tat de Venise. Par Vladimir Lamansky, St. Petersbourg, 1884-." 
Among seventy-seven eminent persons whose lives were thus attempted 
or threatened by the Republic, we find the Emperors Sigismund and 
Maximilian, Kings Charles VIII. and I.ouis XII., the Sultans Mahomet II. 
and Bajazet III., Casar Borgia and Julius II. 

3 He was 64 years old, and had been made a cardinal by his uncle in 

The Pope in Procession. 



A.D. 1503-1530. 

1. Parties in the Conclave — Capitulations — Election of Julian della 
Rovere as JULIUS II. — His portrait and character: love of war, and 
policy of Italian independence. § '_'. Expulsion and death of Caesar 
Borgia — The Pope's conquesjts in the Romagna. § 3. Power of J'< nice 
against both the Empire and Papacy- — Maximilian styled "Emperor 

234 POPE JULIUS II. Chap. XV. 

Elect " — League of Cambray and war with Venice — The Venetians re- 
conciled to the Pope — Henry VIII. of England. § 4. Quarrel of Julius 
with France — National Assembly of Tours — The Gravamini of Germany. 
§ 5. Julius in the Field — The Keys of Peter and Sword of Paul — Siege of 
Mirandola. § 6. Demands of Maximilian and Louis — Anti-papal Council 
of Pisa — The Holy League against France — Battle of Ravenna — The 
French driven out of Lombardy. § 7. The Fifth Lateran Council (the 
18th (Ecumenical of the Romans) — Adhesion of the Emperor. § 8. Death 
of Julius II. (1513). § 9. Cardinal John de' Medici : his earlier life 
and election as Leo X. § 10. His character, a personification of the 
Renaissance — His patronage of arts and letters ; splendour, luxury, 
and extravagance. § 11. Instability and selfishness of his policy — New 
League against Louis XII. — The French again driven out of Milan — 
Peace made by the Pope — Louis adheres to the Lateran Council. § 12 
Accession and character of Francis I. (1515) — His invasion of the 
Milanese and victory at M irignano — Interview with the Pope — The 
Pragm die Sanction renounced — New Concordat : confirmed by the 
Council. § 13. Accession of Charles I. in Spain (1516) — His Alliance 
with France — Europe at Peace. § 14. End of the Council and 
Beginning of the Reformation by Luther's 95 Theses (1517). § 15. 
Death of Maximilian, and contest for the Empire — Frederick the Wise 
of Saxony — Election of Charles of Spain as Charles V. (1519). § 16. 
Francis renews the war — Ignatius Loyola — The Pope joins the Emperor 
—Death of Leo (1521). § 17. Adrian VI. (1522-3) ; his attempted 
reform and death. A Pope denying Pap d Infallibility. § 18. Another 
Medicean Pope, Clement VII. § 19. War in Lombardy — Battle of 
Pavic (1525) — New Holy Lrajue against Charles — Rome sacked by the 
Germans — French success in Lombardy and disaster at Naples. § 20. 
Peace of Cambray — Charles crowned by Clement at Bologna — Position 
of the Empire — Death of Clement VII. (15o4), coincident with the 
epoch of the English Reformation — State of the Papacy. 

§ 1. The brief episode of Pius III.'s pontificate gave a breathing- 
space to test the strength of parties in the Sacred College. Cardinal 
d'Amboise, 1 the powerful minister of Louis XII., having found his 
own election hopeless, threw his influence into the scale of Julian 
della Kovere ; and even Csesar Borgia saw the policy of supporting 
that enemy of his family as the only hope of still maintaining some 
part of his own power. Among the capitulations sworn to, it would 
seem with more serious purpose than usual, the most important 

1 George d'Amboise, archbishop of Rouen, the early friend of Louis XII. 
and his chosen minister on his accession, had been male a cardinal (as 
we have seen) by Alexander VI. on the occasion of Ca>sar Borgia's mission 
in 1499, and he was now rewarded for his support of Julius II. by the 
appointment of Legate in France. But his great power and abilities made 
him a thorn-in-the-side to Julius, who, on, the Cardinal's death in 1510, 
is said to have exclaimed, "Thank God, I am now the only Pope ! " 


was the promise to call a General Council, within two years, for the 
reformation of the Church. Without the formality of a conclave, 
37 out of the 38 cardinals gave their votes for Julian, who retained 
his own name under the slightly altered form of Julius II. 
(Oct. 31, 1503). 1 

The lineaments of this remarkable man are preserved by Raphael's 
wonderful portrait in our National Gallery, which has no superior, 
if any equal, in that province of art. 2 We have had to notice the 
earlier career of this nephew of Sixtus IV., who was now above 
threescore years of age. 3 In contrast with the profligacy of some 
of his predecessors, his manner of life appears comparatively 
respectable ; but only comparatively, for he was licentious and given 
to wine. 4 Even his great enemy, Alexander VI., allowed him the 
merit, then so rare, ot sincerity and frankness. But Julius is most of 
all distinguished in history for the martial energy, untamed by old 
age, which he brought to the support of a high policy, in striking 
contrast to the nepotism of his predecessors. It was his great aim 
to restore the power of the Papacy, according to the principles of 
Hildebrand, and (in his own phtase) to drive the "barbarians " out 
of Italy — that is, the French, whom he had himself invited in his 
enmity to Alexander. This chief design furnishes the key to the 
apparently varying policy and alliances by which his history is 

1 His one predecessor of the name was the contemporary of Athanasius 
and the sons of Constantine (a.d. 337-352). It has been borne by but 
one Pope since, Julius III. (1550-5), who was elected by only two votes 
above Cardinal Pole. The chief original authorities for Julius II. are 
Guicciardini, Lib. vi.-xi. ; Paris de Grassis, Diarium Curiae Rom mse, 1504- 
1 522 ; Hadrianus Castellensis, Itin. .lulii. 

2 The picture represents him sitting in the attitude, and with the 
expression, described by Fr. Carpesanus (p. 1286) : " Dum domi forte 
sedens contractione super cilii nescio quid secum mussitaret ; " and the 
writer adds that Julius sometimes betrayed his secrets by this habit of 
thinking aloud. 

3 He was born near Savona about 1441, or perhaps a year or two later. 

4 Julius had a natural daughter, whom he married to one of the Orsini. 
" His love of wine is frequently mentioned in the Dialogue entitled Julius 
Exclusus, which is reprinted in the Appendix to Jortin's Life of Erasmus, 
and in Miinch's edition of the Epistolx Obscurorum Yirorum. In this 
bitter satire the Pope appears at the gate of heaven, attended by a 
'genius,' and demands admission. A conversation with St. Peter ensues, 
in which the unlikeness of Julius — in his ambition, love of war, and 
personal character — to the true pastor of the Church, is brought out, and 
at last he is not admitted. Erasmus and Ulrich von Hutten have been 
charged with the authorship of this piece. Erasmus strongly denied it 
{Append. Epp. 17). Munch attributes it to Hutten (422), but Dr. Strauss 
believes that the initials ' F. A. F.' mean Faustus Andrelinus Faroliviensis, 
who was a partisan of Louis XII." Robertson, vol. iv. p. 597. 


§2. He had first to deal with Caesar Borgia, who regretted his 
support of Julius as the only mistake he had ever made. In the 
agitation following the death of Alexander, the cities of the 
Romagna had for the most part recalled their old lords, while some 
had been seized by the Venetians. The armed force of Caesar had 
been scattered by the Orsini and his other enemies ; yet with the 
400 or 500 soldiers left him he resolved to attempt the recovery of 
the Romagna. But he was arrested when about to embaik at 
Ostia, and was kept a prisoner in the Vatican till he made over to 
the Pope the few Romagnese fortresses which still held out for him 
(Jan. 1504). 1 Rejecting scornfully the compromise offered by the 
Venetians, 2 Julius set out in person to reduce the fiefs of the Church 
(Aug. 1506). Perugia submitted ; Bologna was retaken from the 
Bentivogli ; and the Pope re-entered Rome in triumph on 
St. Martin's Day (Nov. 11). 

§ 3. Julius now regarded the Venetians — even before the French 
in the Milanese — as the great immediate obstacle to his policy. 
The Republic was theu at the height of its power. While its fleet 
placed it in the forefront of the Crusade which was still contem- 
plated, and promised it the lion's share of any spoils won from the 
Turk, 3 it kept the French in check in Lombardy, and defied the 
Pope on one side and the Emperor on the other. When Maximilian, 
with a view to re-establish the imperial influence in Italy, 4 and 
with the support of a diet assembled at Constauce, set out for his 

1 The sequel of Caesar's career may be briefly told. Repairing to 
Naples, he was received with honour by Gonsalvo, but Ferdinand ordered 
him to be sent as a prisoner to Spain. Escaping after two years, he 
entered the service of his brother-in-law, the King of Navarre, and found 
his death in a skirmish at Viana, in his own former diocese of Pampeluna 
(March 1507). 

2 They offered to restore all their acquisitions in the Romagna, except 
Faenza, and to hold that city as a fief of the Holy See, on the same terms 
as its former lords. 

3 This was the ground on which Florence had refused to join the 
Crusade proposed by Pius II., alleging that whatever might be taken 
from the Turks would fall to the Venetians. 

4 This step was of special importance from the crisis which had arisen 
in the dynastic affairs of Austria and Spain. On the death of Isabella, in 
1504, the crown of Castile passed to her only daughter Joanna, in con- 
sequence of whose mental incapacity her husband, the archduke Philip I. 
(King-consort of Castile), son of Maximilian, was co-regent with her 
father Ferdinand. Philip died in 1506, leaving his son Charles (now 
six years old), the only heir, on the one hand, to the united crowns of 
Spain, with its late acquisitions in the New World, and with Naples, 
which was now securely conquered by Ferdinand, and, on the other, 
to Maximilian's possessions of Austria and the Netherlands, besides the 
hereditary claim to preference in the election to the Empire. 


coronation at Borne, the Venetians offered him a free passage for 
himself, but refused it to his army. After some fighting on his 
descent from the Tyrol, Maximilian was fain to accept the com- 
promise offered by the policy of Julius, that, without the ceremony 
of coronation, he should have the title of " Emperor Elect " (1508), 
which was borne by all his successors, except his grandson Charles, 
who was Emperor in virtue of his papal coronation at Bologna. 

Glad as Julius was to keep the Germans away from Rome, he 
shared the Emperor's hostility to the Venetians, and that from 
other causes of quarrel besides their encroachments in the Romagna. 
In a letter to Maximilian, he spoke of them as aggressive, as aiming 
at supreme domination in Italy, and even at re-establishing the 
imperial power in their own hands. But, for all this, he dreaded 
still more the strengthening of the French power in Italy, and he 
was jealous of d'Amboise, his probable successor. Accordingly, when 
the Cardinal, as Legate, invited the Pope to join the secret Lague of 
Cambray (Dec. 1508) between France and the Empire, with the 
promised adhesion of Spain, against Venice, Julius made a private 
offer of peace to the Republic, if the territories in dispute were given 
up to him. But the Venetians, confident in their mercenary troops 
and the discordant elements of the alliance, rejected all terms ; and, 
while the French began a successful invasion of their territory, the 
Pope not only followed up a Bull against them by an interdict, but 
his troops, under his nephew, the Duke of Urbino, took Faenza, 
Rimini, Ravenna, and other towns (1509). 

In this strait, the Venetians are said to have hesitated between 
submission to the Father of Christendom and an alliance with the 
Turk ; but the Pope was moved by dread of French aggrandisement, 
and listened to the intercession of Henry VIII., 1 notwithstanding 
the strong opposition of France and the Empire. The Venetians 
yielded the points in dispute about ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and 
their envoys received the Pope's absolution in the porch of St. 
Peter's " not as excommunicate or interdicted, but as good Christians 
and devoted sons of the apostolic see " (Feb. 1510;. 

§ 4. This reconciliation was followed by an open rupture with 
Louis XII., against whom Julius had ecclesiastical grounds of 
quarrel ; 2 but his great object was to exclude the French from 

1 Henry VIII. had succeeded to the English throne during the crisis 
of the war with Venice (April 21, 1509). Already, as Prince of Wales, 
he was indebted to Julius for the dispensation for his marriage with 
Katherine, the widow of his brother Arthur. His envoy, who now 
interceded for the Venetians, was Bainbridge, archbishop of York, who 
was made a cardinal in March, 1511. 

2 One dispute, in which Julius had to give way, was about the appoint- 
ment to the vacant see of Avignon : another arose out of the Pope's claim to 
the treasures of the Cardinal-Legate d'Amboise, on his death in May 1510. 


Italy, and with this view he laboured to form alliances against them. 
He made private overtures to England; and decided the long- 
pending dispute for the crown of Naples by declaring that Louis 
had forfeited his claim, and granting investiture to Ferdinand 
(July 1510). The Swiss, whom their ally Louis had offended, 
were induced to allow the Pope leave to enlist soldiers from the 
confederation. His Italian allies and vassals were required to follow 
his change of policy ; and when Alfonso, duke of Ferrara, refused 
to break off from the alliance against Venice, Julius issued a violent 
Bull, declaring that he had forfeited his fief, and that to punish him 
he would risk his tiara and his life (August). 

At the same time the King of France convened a National 
Assembly of prelates and doctors at Orleans (soon removed to 
Tours), which denounced the whole conduct of Julius, the intrigues 
which obtained his election, and the love of war wherewith he 
troubled Christendom; declared the right of princes to resist an 
aggressive Pope, even to the invasion of his territory, and reaffirmed 
the principles of the Pragmatic Sanction (Aug.-Sept. 1510). 1 

About the same time a paper was drawn up in Germany, and 
received favourably by the Emperor, reciting under ten heads the 
" Grievances of the German Nation" {Gravamina) in regard to the 
long-standing abuses of the curia: interference with the election of 
bishops ; reservation of the higher dignities for cardinals and papal 
officers ; expectancies, annates, patronage, indulgences, tithes for 
pretended crusades, and needless appeals to Rome. 2 The grievances 
were folio we \ by proposed " Remedies " and an "Advice to His Im- 
perial Majesty," recommending a Pragmatic Sanction, on the princi- 
ples of that of Bourges. The imperial ambassador to Julius, Matthew 
Lang, bishop of Gurk, returned complaining of the impossibility 
of moving the Pope's " obstinate and diabolical pertinacity." 3 

§ 5. Julius was now at Bologna, having taken up arms against 
Alfonso and the French, in spite of old age and serious illness. A 
famous epigram of the time represents him as throwing the 
harmless keys of Peter into the Tiber and girding on the sword of 
Paul. 4 After leaving his sick-bed to bless from a balcony the 

1 For the details, see Gieseler, vol. iv. pp. 401-2. 

2 For the text of the ten Gravamina and the question of their author- 
ship, see Gieseler, vol. iv. pp. 402 f. 

3 On the other hand, Lang's own arrogance seems to have been enough 
to make his mission hopeless. (See Robertson, vol. iv. p. 606.) 

* " In Galium, ut fama est, bfllum gessurus acerbum, 
Armatam educit Julius urbe mamuu ; 
Accinctus gladio, claves in Tibridis annu-m 

Projictt. et saevus talia verba facit : 
Qttum I etri nihil eWciant ad pralia c'aves, 
Avxilia Pauli forsitan ensis erit." 
There is a tale that, when a bishop remonstrated with Julius for 


troops mustered at Bologna, Julius was carried in a litter to the 
siege of Mirandola. Amidst the severity of winter, he took an 
active part in the operations, once narrowly escaping capture by 
the famous Chevalier Bayard. When the place fell, the warrior 
Pope refused to enter by the gate, but rode in, arrayed in helmet 
and cuirass, through a breach made for the purpose in the wall 
(Jan. 20, 151 1). 1 

§ 6. Louis and Maximilian now joined in requiring of the Pope 
the fulfilment of his promise to convene a General Council ; and 
the plan was aided by the defection of five cardinals, 2 who repaired 
first to Florence and then to Milan, and there declared their 
hostility to the Pope. On the 10th of May, three of the cardinals, 
in their own name and that of six others (who disavowed the act), 
convened a Council to meet on the 1st of September at Pisa, 
a place which suggested a threatening precedent for the Pope, 3 to 
whom it was notified at Bimini. Julius replied (July 18) by 
a Bull summoning a Council to meet at St. John Lateran on the 
Monday after Easter in the following year, with threats against 
the cardinals and all supporters of the rival Council. When that 
assembly met, 4 under the presidency of Carvajal, it was found to 
consist almost entirely of Frenchmen, the German prelates having 
refused their concurrence. The Florentine magistrates, and even the 
clergy of Pisa, showed their dread of the papal interdict ; and the 
assembly removed to French territory at Milan (Dec. 7). 

This schismatical movement furnished a ground for the new 
alliance which Julius formed with Spain and Venice against the 
French, under the name of the "Holy League" (Oct. 9, 1511), 

causing war and bloodshed, and reminded him that Christ ordered Peter 
to put up his sword, the Pope replied, " True, but not till after Peter had 
cut off the ear of the High Priest's servant." 

1 For the episode of the revolt of Bologna, in May, and the murder of 
the obnoxious legate, Alidosi, by the Pope's nephew, the Duke of Urbino, 
see Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 607-8. 

2 The reason alleged for this step was the death of a cardinal at 
Ancona; and a charge of poison seems to have been implied, though not 
openly alleged, against the Pope. The leader of the secession was the 
Spanish cardinal Carvajal. 

3 See Chap. IX. Ferdinand of Spain refused the requests of Maximi- 
lian and Louis to join them in supporting the Council, and Henry VIII. 
wrote to the Emperor, expressing his horror at the prospect of a new 

4 The attendance is snid not to have exceeded 4 cardinals, who held 
proxies for 3 of their brethren, 2 archbishops, 13 bishops, 5 abbots, besides 
some doctors of law and deputies from Universities. The most dis- 
tinguished of these was Dr. Philip Dexio (or Decius), who wrote in defence 
of the Council, ;ind was therefore degraded by Julius II. His tracts are 
in Goldast, vol. ii. p. 1667 f., and Richer, vol. iv. p. 39 f. 


and to which he obtained the accession of England, and afterwards 
of the Empire. 1 Louis at once poured his forces into Lombardy 
under his heroic young nephew, Gaston de Foix, duke of Nemours, 
who on Easter Day gained a brilliant victory over the Papal and 
Spanish troops at Ravenna, but fell in the battle, at the age of 
twenty-four (April 11, 1512). " With him," says the contem- 
porary historian Guicciardini, " disappeared all the vigour of the 
French army," and there ensued an instant and complete turn 
of the tide. The Cardinal John de' Medici, legate of Bologna, 
was carried a prisoner from the field to Milan, where many of the 
soldiers accepted the absolution he offered to all who would promise 
not to serve against the Church. The people declared against the 
antipapal party. The Emperor, having joined the League at this 
moment, withdrew 2000 men from the French army, which retreated 
from Milan, pursued by 20,000 Swiss, who came down through the 
Tyrol for the service of Venice and the Pope. 2 With the exception 
of the garrisons left in Milan, Cremona, and Novara, the barbarians 
were driven out of Italy, and the great object of Julian's civil 
policy was for the time achieved. 3 There was, of course, no longer 
a place in Milan for the schismatic Council, which held its last 
session on April 21st. Its decrees, modelled for the most part on 
those of Constance, and among them a sentence suspending the 
Pope, had no authority or effect. 4 

§ 7. By a noteworthy coincidence, the Pope's Council had been 
summoned for the 19th of April ; and these events only postponed 
it for a fortnight. The Fifth Lateran Council (the 18th (Ecu- 

1 Maximilian joined the League in April, 1512. The motives and 
special aims of the several allies belong to secular history. Concerning 
the strange proposal of Maximilian, on the occasion of the Pope's seemingly 
mortal illness (in Aug. 1511) to become the coadjutor and ultimately the 
successor of Julian, see Gieseler, vol. iv. p. 407, and Robertson, vol. iv. 
p. t>09. The Emperor's pious ambition, as expressed in a letter to his 
daughter Margaret, regent of the Netherlands, went beyond the highest 
place in this world, to canonization and worship as a saint: — " de avoir le 
Papat et devenir Prester et apres estre Saint, et que yl vous sera de ne- 
cessite que apres ma mort vous seres contraint de me adorer, dout je me 
tmuvere bien gloryoes"! 

2 The Emperor claimed the duchy of Milan, but the Pope was stedfast 
for the right of Maximilian Sforza (son of Louis) who was restored in 
December. The Cardinal Ascanius Sforza had been a strong supporter of 
the election of Julius, in the hope of his family's restoration at Milan. 

3 Among the consequences of this campaign were the recovery of inde- 
pendence by Genoa, and the restoration of the Medici at Florence. The 
latter revolution was effected by the Spanish army under Cardona. 

4 An insignificant remnant of the Council met at Asti, and afterwards 
at Lyon. Its minutes are in Richerii Concil. Gen. Lib. IV. p. i. c 3. For 
particulai"s, see Gieseler, vol. iv. p. 406. 

A.D. 1513. DEATH OF JULIUS II. 241 

menical, 1 according to the Koman reckoning), which lasted for 
nearly five years, may be regarded as the final act of the Latin 
Church before its great disruption. But, instead of representing 
the whole Western Church, it had a partisan character, being 
directed against France and the Pragmatic Sanction. The keynote 
was struck in a much-admired sermon, on the opening day, by 
Giles of Viterbo, General of the Augustinian Friars ; and, after 
two formal sessions, the real business was adjourned for half a year. 
Meanwhile Julius issued an interdict against all France, except 
Brittany, and, having again quarrelled with Venice about terri- 
tories on the Po, he concluded an alliance with Maximilian. 2 At 
the third session (Dec. 3) the Bishop of Gurk appeared as the 
Emperor's representative, to declare that he adhered to the 
Council and annulled the acts of the conciliabulum of Pisa. The 
Council adopted the Pope's Bull condemning that assembly and 
renewing the interdict against France. The fourth session 
(Dec. 10) was opened by the reading of the letter in which 
Louis XL had promised to revoke the Pragmatic Sanction ; and 
two Bulls annulling that Act were read and adopted by the 

§ 8. When the fifth session was held, Julius lay on his death- 
bed (Feb. 16, 1513) ; but he obtained the sanction of a Bull for 
checking simony in papal elections. " The Pope retained to the 
last his clearness of mind and strength of will. With regard to 
the cardinals who had been concerned in the Council of Pisa, he 
declared that as a private man he forgave them, and prayed that 
God would forgive the injuries which they had done to the Church, 
but that as Pope he must condemn them ; and he ordered that 
they should be excluded from the election of his successor. On 
the night of the 21st of February Julius breathed his last, at the 
age of seventy." 3 

§ 9. Among the twenty-five cardinals, who met in conclave on 

1 That is, according to the authoritative reckoning, which does not 
recognize Pisa, nor Basle as a distinct Council (see p. 146). The Fifth Late- 
ran Council was opened on May 3rd, 1512, and its last session was held on 
March 16th, 1517, the same year in which (Oct. 31) Martin Luther pub- 
lished his 95 Theses against the Papacy at Wittenberg. The character 
of the Council, as the mere instrument of a predetermined papal policy, 
is seen partly in the very moderate attendance, chiefly of Italians, but 
with some representatives of England, Spain, ami Hungary. From 
first to last, the numbers did not exceed 16 cardinals and about 100 
bishops and abbots. (Paris de Grassis, in Raynald. Aunal. Eccles. 1512, 
41 ; Robertson, vol. iv. pp. 622-3.) 

2 The Venetians now formed an alliance with France 

3 Robertson, vol. iv. p. 613. 

242 JOHN DE' MEDICI, LEO X. Chap. XV. 

March 4th, the desire prevailed for a change from the restless 
warlike policy of Julius II. ; and the younger members, headed by- 
Alfonso Petrucci, son of the lord of Siena, were disposed to assert 
their influence. It was not till two days after the meeting that 
John (Giovanni) de' Medici arrived lrom Florence. Born in 
December 1475, 1 the second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, 
he was made a cardinal at the age of thirteen by Innocent Till. 
(1489). Driven from Florence five years later, in the expulsion 
of his family (1494), he travelled in Germany, France, and the 
Low Countries, courting the society of artists and men of letter.-. 
At Genoa, where he resided for some time, 2 he was associated with 
Julian della Rovere in an intimacy cemented by their common 
enmity to the Borgias ; and on his friend's election to the Papacy 
he returned to Rome. There his palace was the home of Medicean 
splendour and patronage of art and letters, as well as of the bound- 
less extravagance which caused it afterwards to be said of him that 
he had spent the revenues of three Papacies. He threw open to the 
public a splendid library, gathered in great measure by the purchase 
of MSS. dispersed from Florence, where he afterwards founded the 
great Laurentian Library. In 1512 the Cardinal was sent as 
Legate to reduce the revolted Bolognese ; and was taken prisoner, , 
as we have seen, at the battle of Ferrara. After the retreat of the 
French from Milan, he rejoined the Spaniards under Cardona, to 
whom Florence capitulated (Aug. l- r »12). Entering the city with 
his brother Julian, he obtained, by the device of the universal 
suffrage of the assembled citizens, called the Parliament (parla- 
rnento), 3 the reversal of all acts done since their expulsion of the 
Medici, and the appointment of a commission of their partisans, 
with dictatorial powers to reform the state (Dec). 

1 Just 8 years before the birth of Luther. 

2 Genoa was the home of his sister, who was married to Franceschetto 
Cibo, a favourite son of Innocent VIII. 

3 The equivalent of the more modern plebiscite, of which Cavour said 
that it is a very good thing for those who know how to manipulate it ; 
only the vote was given by a personal assembly in the great square 
of the city, not through ballot-boxes. During the pontificate of Leo, 
Florence was virtually subject to Rome. The sequel of its history may 
be noted here. After an effort to preserve its independence amidst the 
struggle between Charles V. and Francis I., the city surrendered to the 
combined imperial and papal forces in 1530. By another parlameuto 
Alessandro de' Medici obtained his election as Duke, and his successor, 
Cosmo I., became lord of all Tuscany, as Grand Duke (1569). On the 
extinction of the Medicean line (1737), the Grand Duchy was given by 
the treaty of Vienna (1738) to Francis of Lorraine (afterwards the 
Emperor Francis I.), and remained an appanage of the house of Austria 
till the great Italian revolution of 1860. 


On the death of Julius II., the Cardinal set out for Rome, leaving 
the government to his brother Julian and his nephew Lorenzo. 
An illness, which detained him on the journey, contributed to his 
election by raising the hope that his pontificate would be short ; 
and, in announcing the election of Cardinal Medici to the people as 
Pope Leo X. (March 11th), 1 Cardinal Petrucci is said to have 
exclaimed, " Life and health to the juniors ! " For himself the 
aspiration proved ironical. The Pope, indeed, died at the early age 
of forty-six (Dec. 1, 1521), but five years before (1516) he sent 
Petrucci to the gallows as the chief of a plot against his life. 
Being only in deacon's orders, Leo was ordained priest and bishop 
on March 15th and 17th, and enthroued on the 19th, reserving 
a more splendid coronation till after Easter. 

§ 10. The nine years of Leo's pontificate were so crowded with 
great events in history and adorned by art and letters, as to have 
invested his name with a splendour far beyond his personal merits. 
The Medicean pope represented the spirit of the Renaissance 
enthroned as the head of the Church, which it was his destiny 
to rend asunder as the direct effect of that same spirit. We have 
often meditated on the problem, Can a Pope believe in himself? 
but Leo assuredly had no such faith. It seems doubtful whether 
he ever uttered the saying ascribed to him, "All ages well know 
how profitable the fable of Christ has been to us and ours ;" 2 but 
no words could better express the state to which the Pope and 
Curia had now come. The gods of Olympus and other heathen 
emblems adorned the coronation procession, in which Leo rode to 
the Lateran on the Turkish charger which had borne him through 
the battlefield of Ravenna. His magnificence and expense were 
unbounded. His banquets, at which the newest and strangest 
luxuries were served, were enlivened by the wit of true scholars 
and the verses of the poetasters who amused and flattered him ; 
and the comedies and other diversions, which he shared with the 
younger cardinals, often transgressed the bounds of decency. But 
he was a munificent patron of real learning and of the art which is 

1 The chief original authorities for his papacy are Guicciardini, 
Lib. XI. -XIV. ; Paris de Grassis, Diarium Curiae Homanse, 1504—1522; 
Paulus Jovius, bishop of Nocera (06. 1552), Vitas Virorum lllustr. Among 
modern writers, besides Ranke and Gregorovius, the well-known work of 
Roscoe, Life and Pontificate of Leo X., was written with the partiality 
of a biographer for his subject, at a time when men were dazzled by the 
splendours of the Renaissance. 

2 " Quantum nobis nostrisque ea de Christo fabula profuerit, satis est 
omnibus saeculis notum," are the alleged words of Leo to Cardinal Bembo, 
but on no better authority than Bale, bishop of Ossory, who was ready to 
believe anything against the Church of Rome. 


still supreme in the modern world ; for Michael Angelo and Raphael 
wrought for him at Florence and Rome. Himself au accomplished 
classical scholar, as the pupil of Politian, he encouraged the study 
of Greek ; restored the University of Rome and the Laurentian 
Library at Florence ; collected classical and oriental MSS. and 
antiquities ; gathered about him a galaxy of scholars, and cor- 
responded with such men as Ariosto, Machiavelli, and Erasmus. 
The necessities of his profusion drove him to all the old corrupt 
expedients for raising money. His zeal in advancing the rebuild- 
ing of St. Peter's became, through the indulgence preached by 
Tzetzel, the well-known occasion of the great religious revolution, 
of which the causes lay far deeper. 

§ 11. But to all this splendour there was wanting — nay it was the 
very sign of its absence — a solid foundation of firm character and 
consistent policy. Leo's indolent good-nature did not, indeed, 
prevent his good administration of. his own states, and his occasional 
severity is a quality often found with easy selfishness. But his 
chief objects were the advancement of his own family, 1 and the pre- 
servation of the Papacy by conciliating and cajoling the great con- 
tending powers of Europe, without any regard to principle or con- 
sistency. 2 At the moment of Leo's accession, Louis XII. made an 
alliance with the Venetians for the recovery of the Milanese (March 
24) ; and the Pope joined the new league made at Mechlin 
between the Emperor and the Kings of England and Spain against 
France (April). The troops poured by Louis into Lombardy were 
joined by a strong Venetian army ; Milan declared for the French, 
and Maximilian Sforza fled to the camp of his Swiss mercenaries at 
Novara, who, in their turn, surprised the French camp with a dis- 
astrous defeat (June 6), and drove the invaders out of Italy. At 
the same moment Henry invaded France, accompanied by Maxi- 
milian as a volunteer, and won the " Battle of the Spurs " (Aug. 16). 
These disasters inclined Louis to peace; while Leo was drawn 

1 Signal examples of this are seen in his taking the duchy of Urbino 
from the nephew of Julius II. to give it to his own nephew Lorenzo; his 
annexation of Perugia by treachery ; and his attempt to create a princi- 
pality for another nephew by the union of Parma and Piacenza with 
Reggio, and, when that plan failed, by the expulsion of Alfonso d'Este 
from Ferrara — a scheme frustrated by the Pope's death. The Romans 
were disgusted by the preference given to Florentines for all sorts of 
offices and employments. 

2 With England several causes concurred to keep Leo on good terms. 
His accession took place at the moment when Henry went to war with 
France ; but the more permanent bonds of union were Henry's theological 
prepossessions and the influence of Wolsey, who was made a cardinal in 
1515 and a legatee 1518. 


towards him by fear of the aggrandizement of Spain and the 
Empire. The French King guaranteed Milan to Sforza, and agreed 
to renounce and expel the rival council ;* and his accession to 
the Lateran Council was made at its 8th session (Dec. 17, 1513). 
Maximilian deserted England for France ; and Henry, though 
deeply offended, was induced by the Pope to assent to the peace. 

§ 12. A sudden change was made by the death of Louis XII. on 
New Year's Day, 1515, and the accession of Francis I. at the age of 
twenty. 2 The young King resembled Henry VIII. in his fine person, 
chivalrous accomplishments, joyous spirit, and graceful manners ; 
but these brilliant qualities were marred by levity and faithlessness, 
addiction to gross pleasure, and hard-hearted selfishness. Martial 
ardour and ambition urged him to emulate the fame of Gaston de 
Foix, and to recover the ground lost in Italy. He at once pro- 
claimed himself Duke of Milan, and entering Lombardy with 
a mighty army, aided by the Venetians, he defeated the hitherto 
invincible Swiss in what a veteran present called the " battle of 
giants " at Marignano (Sept. 13 and 14) near Milan, which became 
the prize of his victory. 3 Leo threw himself on the mercy of the 
conqueror, and hastened to conclude a peace ; 4 and at a personal in- 
terview at Bologna (Dec. 10), chiefly it seems by holding out hopes 
about Naples on the death of Ferdinand, he induced Francis not 
only to sanction his designs in Italy, but to concede the one great 
vital point of the Pragmatic Sanction. 5 Francis entrusted the 
negociation to his Chancellor, Duprat, whom Leo had won over by 
the hope of a Cardinalate ; and the terms of a new Concordat were 
settled at Bologna, in August 1516. The mutual compromises 
made had the curious effect (remarked by Mezeray) that the Pope 
abandoned to the civil power a purely spiritual privilege, and 
received a temporal advantage in return. Elections in cathedrals 
and monasteries were abolished, on the ground of the alleged evils 

1 That is, the remnant of the Council of Pisa, then sitting at Lyon. 

2 As Louis XII. died without male issue, Francis of Angouleme, duke 
of Valois, was the next collateral heir of the line of Valois-Orleans, being 
the grandson of John, count of Angouleme, the younger son of Louis, 
duke of Orleans, who was the younger son of King Charles V. Francis 
was also the husband of Claude, the eldest daughter of Louis XII. 

3 For the particulars, and an engraving of the battle, from the tomb of 
Francis at St. Denys, see the Student's France (pp. 292—4). The Duke 
Maximilian retired to France, and so ended the rule of the house of 
Sforza at Milan. The Swiss Republic transferred their friendship to 
France, by the Paix Pcrpetuclle, which was faithfully observed to the time 
of the Revolution. 

4 At Viterbo, Oct. 13. 

5 This question had occupied the Council, without any decisive result, 
at its 9th and 10th sessions in 1514. 

II— N 


attending them, and the King acquired the right of presentation to 
bishoprics and other ecclesiastical dignities, subject to the Pope's 
veto on the ground of canonical disqualification. The rights thus 
surrendered were, in fact, at the expense of the Gallican Church 
rather than of the Pope. As to temporalities, Leo surrendered the 
papal reservations and gratise exspectativee, but obtained a compen- 
sation in the recovery of the annates. The Concordat was ratified 
by the Lateran Council at its eleventh session (Dec. 19, 1516) ; 
the Pragmatic Sanction was annulled, being stigmatized as " the 
Bourges corruption of the kingdom of France ;" and the apparent 
triumph of the Papacy in the struggle of two centuries was com- 
pleted by the re-enactment of the famous Bull of Boniface VIII. 
" Unam sanctam Ecclesiam." 1 Thus the doctrine was re-affirmed, 
that the Pope is the sole Head of the Church, invested with the 
power of the " two swords," spiritual and temporal, and that " it is 
absolutely necessary to salvation for every human creature to be 
subject to the Roman Pontiff." 2 And this within a year of Luther's 
first public protest against Rome ! 

§ 13. This same year brought a new and mighty element into the 
national and ecclesiastical relations of the European world. The 
death of Ferdinand the Catholic (Jan. 23, 1516) left the united 
kingdom of Spain, with the Indies and the Two Sicilies, to Charles 
I. ; and, in place of Lord Bacon's tres mayi of statecraft, Louis XL, 
Henry VII., and Ferdinand, Europe became the field for the rival 
ambitions of the three youthful sovereigns, Henry, Francis, and 
Charles. 3 But the youngest, though a mere boy, was already more 
than a match for the other two in policy and war. Never since the 
first founder of the Roman Empire has history shown such an 
example of precocious prudence, supported by deep dissimulation. 
At once, in the critical relations of the great powers, he saw the 
importance of quiet for the time ; and a treaty of peace and alliance 
between France and Spain, signed at Noyon (Aug. 13, 1516), was 
soon concurred in by England and the Empire. The closing year 

1 See Chap. VI. § 17, p. 99. The Bull was adopted with the slight 
modifications made by Clement V.; see p. 1< »8. 

2 In France the Concordat was received with manifestations of popular 
indignation ; it was denounced from the pulpits and vehemently opposed 
by the University and Parliament of Paris ; nor was it submitted to till 
Francis transferred the cognizance of ecclesiastical causes from the courts 
of law to the Great Council of State (1527). The spirit of the Gallican 
liberties survived, but the attempts made to re-assert them lie beyond our 
range. The Concordat of 1516 governed the relations of Rome and France 
down to the Great Revolution. 

3 At the beginning of 1516, Henry VIII. was 2-1 years old, Francis I. 
was 21, Charles was 15. 


left Europe in the rare state of profound peace, which lasted for two 
years, till the rivalry for succession to the Empire gave the signal 
for new and furious wars. 

§ 14. Leo might well be satisfied with his share in this result. 
The Lateran Council had done its one great work, as the mere in- 
strument of the Papal policy : France was restored to the papal 
obedience, and the reforming efforts of Constance and Basle seemed 
brought to naught. " A few decrees for the reform of the Curia, 
and other such objects, were passed in the later sessions ; but they 
were so limited by exceptions and reservations, that little effect was 
to be expected from them. There was also a project of an alliance 
between Christian sovereigns against the Turks. There was a con- 
demnation of some sceptical opinions which had been vented as to 
the eternity of the world and the mortality of the soul ; and, in 
order to check the indulgence in such speculations, it was decreed 
that no student in any university should spend more than five 
years in philosophical and poetical studies, without also studying 
theology or canon law, either instead of such subjects or together 
with them." x 

The Council ended with its last Session on the 1 6th of March, 
1517 ; little thinking how its accomplished work was to be dis- 
turbed in the same year by an obscure Augustinian friar. The 
Pope, intent on the completion of St. Peter's, had issued an Indul- 
gence of unexampled compass, which was preached in Germany by 
the Dominican Tetzel with unprecedented boldness in the assertion 
of its power both in this world and the world to come. How these 
extravagant claims roused the opposition of Martin Luther, who 
published his famous 95 theses at Wittenberg on the 31st of October, 
has to be related in its place. 2 

§ 15. Meanwhile it is convenient here to follow the history to the 
epoch of what seemed for the moment the decisive supremacy of 
another great Emperor Charles in Europe. Leo showed at first a 
contemptuous carelessness about the contest between Luther and 
the Dominicans, to whose demand for his interference he replied, that 
Brother Martin was a fine genius and the whole dispute sprang from 
jealousy among the orders of friars. 3 He felt also the policy of not 

1 " Hard. ix. 1720. Under the name of poetry was included the study 
of classical literature in general." Robertson, vol. iv. p. 623. 

2 See Chap. XLI. § 4. 

3 " Che Fra Martino fosse un bellissimo ingegno, e che coteste erano 
invidie fratesche," are the words ascribed to Leo by the contemporary 
Matteo Bandello, bishop of Agen, the writer of episcopal annals (Novel. 
XXV. Pref., Lucca, 1554). Leo, as well as Bembo and other members of 
the Curia, is said to have spoken with habitual scorn of the friars as 


offending Luther's protector, Frederick the Wise, Elector of 
Saxony, 1 the most respected and powerful prince of Germany, in the 
near prospect of an imperial election. On the death of Maximilian 
(Jan. 12, 1519), it became clear that the hereditary claim of the 
house of Hapsburg would be strongly contested, not only by the 
ambition of Francis, but from a wide-spread jealousy of the vast 
power which would fall into the hands of Charles. 2 The adminis- 
tration of the Empire was committed to Frederick of Saxony, who 
at a later period of the contest declined the crown offered him by 
the patriotic party in Germany. Henry VIII. became a candidate, 
but rather to assert his dignity than with a serious purpose to press 
his claims. 3 The real competitor with Charles was Francis, who 
advanced the fallacious claim, so often since repeated, that the 
sovereign of France is the successor of Charlemagne, and wrote to 
his ambassador at the Diet, " I will spend three millions of crowns 
to gain my object." He even obtained the promise of four out of 
the seven votes ; but, when the day of election came, other counsels 
prevailed. The refusal of the crown by Frederick the Wise, fol- 
lowed by his vote and cordial speech in favour of Charles, decided 
the election 4 (July 5th, 1519) ; and, after consenting to unusually 
stringent " capitulations," the King of Spain received the Eoman 
and German crown as Charles V. at Aix-la-Chapelle in the follow- 
ing year. 5 We have described the vast possessions united under 

1 This famous prince, who soon became the leader of the Protestant 
party, was born in 1463, succeeded his father Ernest in I486, and died in 
1525. He founded the University of Wittenberg (1502), which became 
the focus of a moderate " Humanism ; " and in 1508 he appointed Luther 
Professor of Philosophy. 

2 It should be remembered that Charles, though an Austrian archduke, 
was more of a Spaniard and a Fleming than a German, nor did he even 
speak the true German language. Born at Ghent, and brought up in the 
Netherlands, under the care of his aunt, the regent Margaret, daughter of 
Maximilian, he spoke only the Low German dialect, now called Dutch. 

3 There would have been a strange anomaly in the election of the 
King of England, which prided itself on being "a world by itself," com- 
pletely independent of the Empire. Besides, Henry was too late in the 
field, and his envoy found all the votes promised. The chief object of his 
candidature was doubtless to strengthen his position as mediator in the 
inevitable conflict between Charles and Francis, whichever of them might 
be chosen. 

4 The chief motive, which overcame the objections to Charles and the 
dread of the vast power united in his hands, was the desire to oppose that 
power to the still greater danger from the Turks, a striking sign of which 
is preserved in Luther's hymn to his grand " Pope and Turk " tune. 

5 He was now " Emperor-Elect " by the grant of Julius II. to Maximilian ; 
but in 153a he received the imperial crown at Bologna from the humiliated 
but reconciled Pope, Clement VII. (See below, § 20.) 

A.D. 1521. DEATH OF LEO X. 249 

the young Emperor (he was still only in his 20th year) ; but the 
least part of his strength was in Germany, which was soon rent 
asunder by the Reformation i 1 his chief strength lay in his Spanish 
infantry, the industrial and commercial wealth of the Low 
Countries, and the riches of the New World. 

§ 16. The year 1520 was one of preparation for both the conflicts, 
political and ecclesiastical. In the contest for the goodwill of 
Henry VIII., Charles outgeneralled Francis (in spite of the " Field 
of the Cloth of Gold "), chiefly by holding up the papal tiara before 
Wolsey. After Leo's vain attempts to win back Luther to obe- 
dience, his own bold assertion of his principles and the influence of 
his Dominican enemies at Rome called forth the Bull of excommu- 
nication (June 15th), which he burnt at Wittenberg (Dec. 10). In 
the next year, his appearance before the Diet at Worms was followed 
by the imperial ban against him and his abettors ; but the Em- 
peror's action was crippled by the outbreak of war with France both 
in Italy and the Pyrenees. The campaign for the recovery of 
Navarre on behalf of Jean d'Albret, whom Ferdinand had dis- 
possessed, is memorable for the introduction of another great actor 
on the scene of ecclesiastical history ; for it was in the defence 
of Pampeluna that a gallant young Spanish noble, Ignatius 
Loyola, received the wound which gave cause to the meditations 
that led him to a religious life and the foundation of the Society of 

At the same time war was renewed in Lombardy. The Milanese 
were alienated from the French by the oppression of the governor, 
Marshal Lautrec, who was also left without means to pay his Swiss 
mercenaries. Leo, always siding with the stronger party, made a 
secret compact with the Emperor, and their united forces recovered 
Milan (Oct.). But in the midst of the public rejoicings at Rome, 
the Pope was taken ill, and he died just before completing his 46th 
year (Dec. 1st, 1521). 2 

§ 17. The suspicion of poison, which attended his early death, 
was perhaps better founded in the case of his honest, pious, and 

1 For some excellent remarks on what might have happened if Charles 
had supported the Reformation, and on the necessity of the opposite course 
from the essential relations of the Empire to the Papacy, see Mr. Bryce 
(pp. 321 f.) who observes that, politically, Luther completed the work of 
Hildebrand and neutralized the power of Charles, though increased by his 
conquest of Italy. 

2 One of Leo's last acts (Oct. 11) was to confer on Henry VIII. the title 
of " Defender of the Faith," in recognition of the splendid MS. of his 
" Libellus Regius " on the Seven Sacraments, against Luther. The title 
was not new, having been granted to Henry IV. for his zeal against the 


reforming successor, Adrian VI. (1522-1523), 1 whose physician is 
said to have been pronounced by the malcontent Romans " the 
saviour of his country." This last Teutonic Pope, Adrian Florent, 
born at Utrecht, the son of an artisan, rose by his learning and 
high character to be Vice-Chancellor of the University of Louvain, 
and was chosen by the Emperor Maximilian as tutor to his grand- 
son Charles. Ferdinand appointed the learned and zealous Domi- 
nican Bishop of Tortosa and Grand Inquisitor ; and after the King's 
death Adrian shared the regency of Spain with Cardinal Ximenes. 
He was created a Cardinal by Leo, on whose death Charles V., 
evading his promise to Wolsey, 2 procured the election of his fellow- 
countryman and tutor, who kept his own name as one already 
famous in the Papacy (Jan. 2, 1522, but not crowned till Sept. 1). 
He has been called distinctively " the reforming Pope :" and he was 
the last who indulged the hope of a reformation of the Roman 
Church from within. A zealous Thomist, the Pope, who is himself 
now declared infallible, did not hesitate, in his Commentary on the 
Master's work, to deny the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, and that 
not only in the abstract but in fact, for he declares that " many of the 
Roman pontiffs were heretics," 3 as we have seen at least two pro- 
nounced by the authority of their own Church. His conviction of the 
need of a reformation was strengthened by his bitter hostility to the 
heresy of Luther, about the means of suppressing of which he corre- 
sponded with his old friend and countryman Erasmus, and invoked 

1 The chief authorities, besides the general works on the civil and 
ecclesiastical history of the time (especially Onuphrius Panvinus (the 
continuer of Platina), Du Chesne, Ranke, and Gregoroviu^, are Burman's 
Vita Adriani VI., Utrecht, 1727; Correspondence de Charles-Quint et 
d Adrien VI., publie'e par Gachard, Brux. 1859 ; Bauer, Hadrian VI. 
Heidelberg, 1876. (For other works, see Hase, pp. 470, 471). 

2 Charles succeeded in amusing Wolsey with hope for the next vacancy 
(to be equally disregarded), as well as the promise of a pension (which was 
never paid). Henry VIII. joined Charles this same year in the war against 

3 Comment, in Lib. IV. Sent nt. Rom. 1522 : " Dico primo, quod si per 
Ecclesiam Romanam intelligat caput ejus, puta pontificem, certum est quod 
possit errare, etiam in Us qnze tangunt fidem, hseresim per suam determin- 
ationem aut decretalem asserendo. Plures enim fturunt pontifices Romani 
hxretici" (of course, it is indifferent whether the last word is adjective or 
substantive). Observe, from the date, that this is the declaration of 
Adrian as Pope; whether er cathedra is a question perhaps beyond our 
discrimination; but, in the light of honest common sense, the Infallible 
Pope denying the doctrine of Papal Infallibility is very much like the 
scholastic problem of Kpimenides and the Cretans, thus : Adrian says the 
Pope can err; he was infallible ; ergo, Adrian could err; ergo, this dictum 
may be an error, and the Pope cannot err ; ergo, Adrian did not err, and 
the Pope can err : and so on, ad infinitum. 


the secular arm at the Diet of Nuremberg, while in his formal 
instructions to his legate he declared that " Many abominations had 
for a long time existed even in the Holy See, yea, that all things 
had been grievously altered and perverted." * Beginning his reforms 
at Rome, the change from Leo's splendour and prodigality to his 
frugal simplicity disgusted the people as well as the Curia ; and his 
schemes of reformation, as well as of uniting Christendom against 
the Turks, ended with his premature death (Sept. 24, 1523). 

§ 18. The abortive honesty of the Dominican Pope proved but an 
episode between the reigns of two Mediceans ; for his successor, who 
took the name of Clement VII. 2 (Nov. 1523-Sept. 1534), was 
Julius, a natural and posthumous son of Julian de' Medici, who was 
murdered in the Pazzi conspiracy, and a cousin of Leo X., who 
legitimated him and made him Archbishop of Florence and a Car- 
dinal. Born in 1478, he was now about 55 years old. With the 
worldly and irreligious spirit of his cousin he united a more stedfast 
ambition, but without the ability to make it good. Owing his 
election to the imperial influence, for the sake of antagonism to 
France, he hoped to restore the old relations between the Empire 
and the Papacy. 3 

§ 19. The campaign of 1522 in Lombardy had been disastrous to the 
French, who were now for the third time driven out of the Milanese 
territory ; but next year a greater disaster befel Francis in the de- 
fection of the Constable, Charles, duke of Bourbon, 4 who transferred 
his service to the Emperor, and arranged with him and England a 
combined attack on France. We must leave to civil history the 
vicissitudes of war which led to the defeat and capture of the King 
of France by the Constable Bourbon in the great Battle of Pavia, 
fought on Charles's birthday (Feb. 24, 1525). 

After a year's captivity in Spain, Francis regained his liberty on 
terms so severe that he never intended to observe them ; and the 
very greatness of Charles's success led to a new combination against 
him. The Pope absolved Francis from the obligations of the 
treaty of Madrid, and formed a league with him and the Venetians 

1 Instructions to Francesco Chieregati, ap. Raynald, Annal. Eccles. an. 
1522, § 66, cited by Hardvvick, Hist, of the Reformation Period, p. 3. 

2 This title had already been borne by the French Antipope, whose 
election in opposition to Urban VI. (1378) began the Great Papal Schism. 
See Chap. IX. p. 138. 

3 Clement's action with regard to the Reformation in Germany will be 
noticed in connection with that movement (Chap. XLL). His part in the 
divorce case of Henry VIII., which resulted in the severance of the 
English Church from Rome, belongs to the History of England. 

4 The details of this event, and the offence which caused it, belong to 
civil history. (See the Student's France, Chap. XIV. § 6.) 


and Florentines for the expulsion of the Imperialists from Milan, 
which was to be restored to Francesco Sforza. But while Francis, 
whose high spirit seemed crushed by his disaster, abandoned him- 
self to pleasure at Paris, Bourbon overran the duchy, which 
had been promised him by Charles. His German soldiers, for 
the most part Lutherans, demanded to be led against Rome, 
which, for the second time in history, was sacked by a northern 
army, but now under the banner of the Holy Roman Empire 
(May 6, 1527). The death of Bourbon, from a shot as he was 
mounting a scaling ladder, added revengeful fury to the assault, 
and for seven months the city was given up to violence and rapine. 
The Pope, shut up in the castle of St. Angelo, was the object of 
perpetual insult, which Philibert, Prince of Orange, who had suc- 
ceeded Bourbon in the command, was unable to restrain. " Soldiers 
dressed as cardinals, with one in the midst bearing the triple crown 
on his head, and personating the Pope, rode in solemn procession 
through the city, surrounded by guards and heralds : they halted 
before the castle of St. Angelo, where the mock pope, nourishing 
a large drinking-glass, gave the cardinals his benediction. They 
even held a consistory, and promised in future to be more faithful 
servants of the Roman Empire : the papal throne they meant to 
bestow on Luther." * And all this time the Emperor was enacting 
the solemn hypocrisy of ordering public prayers for the Holy 
Father's liberation ! 

A more practical way to that result was found in the alliance of 
England and France, in the name of outraged Christendom. A 
powerful French army under Lautrec again crossed the Alps, took 
Alessandria, Pavia, and Genoa, and, disregarding the interests and 
entreaties of Sforza and the other northern allies, marche 1 south- 
wards to attack Naples (April 1528). Their approach made Rome 
untenable, and the Prince of Orange fell back to defend Naples, 
while Charles set the Pope free for a large ransom and a promise 
not to take part against him. In striking contrast with this policy, 
the headstrong Francis threw away the advantage he had gained, 
by another blunder like his treatment of Bourbon. The army 
investing Naples was powerfully aided by the Genoese fleet, which 
had defeated the Spaniards off Salerno. As a just reward for this 
and former faithful services, the great admiral Andrea Doria 
petitioned for the restoration of certain franchises and commercial 
privileges to Genoa. Misled by his favourites, Francis not only 
refused, but sent out a French officer to supersede and arrest Doria, 
who thereupon carried his fleet over to the Emperor. The result 

1 Ranke, German Hist, in the Age of the Reformation, Book iv. p. 449. 


was the relief of Naples and the capitulation of the besieging force, 
while Doria, returning with his victorious fleet to Genoa, expelled 
the French and became the head of the restored Eepublic, which 
retained its independence till the great French Revolution. 

§ 20. These disasters, and the exhaustion of France by the long and 
repeated wars in Italy, had tamed the martial ambition of Francis; 
while Charles was threatened with a religious war in Germany and 
by the advancing conquests of the Turks under Solyman the Magni- 
ficent. 1 . The Peace of Cambray is still more famous by the name of 
the Paix des Barnes, from its negociation between the Emperor's 
aunt, Margaret of the Netherlands, and Louisa of Savoy, the mother 
of Francis I. (July 1529). Its terms were based on those before 
accepted by the captive King at Madrid ; but all that concerns us 
here is the absolute surrender of the French claims in Italy. 2 
Charles, who was at Barcelona, had already come to terms with 
the Pope, to whom he restored the whole States of the Church, 
while he took the house of Medici under his special protection. 
He now proceeded to Italy, and, on the anniversary of his birth and 
of the victory of Pavia, he was solemnly crowned at Bologna by 
Clement (Feb. 24, 1530). 

This last imperial coronation marks an epoch which, at first 
sight, might be compared with that of Charles's great namesake in 
800. But, besides the long-standing erection of the Western and 
Middle Frank kingdoms into a great rival power, the imperial 

1 Solyman took Belgrade, the bulwark of Western Europe on the 
Danube, in Aug. 1521, and Rhodes, the last Christian possession on the 
coast of Asia, in Dec. 1522. In August 1526, he won the battle of 
Mohatz, in Hungary, where Louis II., the last Jagellon king of Hungary 
and Bohemia, was killed ; and the Archduke Ferdinand, regent of Austria 
for his brother Charles, was more intent on securing the vacant crowns 
than on repelling the Turkish invasion. Espousing the rival claim of John 
Zapolya, Solyman overran most of Hungary, and for the second time took 
Buda, which he burnt (1529). It was after the Peace of Cambray that he 
was repulsed from Vienna, with the loss of 70,000 men, by Frederick 
the Prince Palatine (Sept. 1529). 

2 The subsequent renewal and end of the contest belong to civil history. 
We have only to notice here the policy of Francis in courting the favour 
of the Pope, which gave a share in the French throne to a queen- 
consort most notorious in history. Catherine de' Medici, daughter of 
Lorenzo, duke of Urbino, was married by Clement himself at Marseille 
(Oct. 1533) to Francis's second son Henry, Duke of Orleans, who, in con- 
sequence of the death of his brother, the Dauphin Francis, succeeded his 
father as Henry II. (1547). The only important events in the few 
remaining years of Clement VII. belong to the history of the Reformation 
and of Henry VIII.'s divorce, his opposition to which occasioned (we do not 
say, caused) the severance of the English Church from Rome just at the 
time of his own death on Sept. 26th, 1534. 

II— N 2 


rule of Germany itself was little more than nominal. The severed 
states of that country were plunging into a religious war, 1 from 
which Charles himself withdrew twenty-five years later, to meditate 
in his convent on the folly of trying to force human thought and 
action to uniformity, when even mechanism defied his regulation ; 
and, when another century saw an agreement at length affected by 
the Peace of Westphalia (1648), the States of Europe had lost even 
the pretence of any likeness to the old civil and ecclesiastical con- 
stitution of the Holy Roman Empire under the double headship of 
the Pope and Emperor. There is no longer a united visible Church 
to occupy the historian. 

Meanwhile the great contest between the autocracy of Rome, and 
the principles of ecclesiastical aristocracy and the independence of 
national Churches, seemed now to have been decided everywhere, 
except in England, in favour of the Papacy. But the allegiance ren- 
dered to the Pope was no longer that of deep religious conviction, 
much less the enthusiasm of united Christendom, as at the epoch of 
the Crusades. The reverence still preserved for the visible centre 
of Latin Christendom was mingled with the element, now stronger, 
of that policy by which the sovereigns of Europe found it prudent 
to take account of the Papacy as a great Italian power, and as a 
bulwark against the encroachments of the ecclesiastical aristocracy, 
and against genuine reform, in their several states. Nor did any 
fresh papal schism bring its authority into dispute. 

But the vantage ground thus secured for the Roman see proved 
a growing temptation to the indulgence of those abuses which out- 
raged public morality ; the avarice, venality, and misgovernment, 
the luxury and personal vices, of the Popes and the papal curia. 
It was in vain that, through the whole fifteenth century, the most 
faithful counsellors urged a voluntary reformation from above as the 
only means of averting a compulsory reformation from below, which 
would not be effected without violence and schism. The events 
reviewed throughout this Book confirmed the conviction, that Rome 
herself would not undertake her own reform, and that neither the 
ecclesiastical aristocracy nor the temporal princes could enforce it, 
for want of union among themselves ; and it was the sad confession 
of a man most honourably eminent, that a reformation was at once 
necessary and impossible. But " the things which are impossible 
with men are possible with God." 

1 It was in this same year that the great Protestant Confession (Con- 
fessio Augustana, or of Augsburg) was presented to the Diet of the Empire 
at Augsburg (June 25th, 1530), 

Durham Cathedral. 



Centuries XI. to XYI. 



1. Character of the Period— Revival from the Darkness of the Tenth 
Century— The Middle Ages in their Glory — New Creations of the Age. 
§ 2. Relations of the Church to the State— The Threefold Alternative: 
independent, national, or Catholic — Imperial (Ecumenical Church — 
National Churches of Europe. § 3. The Church of Rome and the 
Holy Roman Empire— Internal State of the Church— Era of its 
supreme sovereignty. § 4. Power of the Papacy — Causes of the 
general submission — The Pope's despotic authority — First claims to 
Infallibility — Supremacy over Councils and Canons — The Pope's dis- 
pensing power — Canonization. § 5. The Episcopate subject to the 
" Universal Bishop " — Oath of obedience imposed on Metropolitans — 
Power and Oppressions of the Papal Legates — Testimony of John of 
Salisbury and St. Bernard. § 6. The Curia Romans — Its ubiquitous 
and ravenous agents — John of Salisbury and Adrian IV. — The Mother- 
Church a Stepmother — The Pope and Cardinals. § 7. Episcopal Eleo- 


tions by Cathedral Canons — Interference of the Pope : Preces, Man- 
data, and Plenaria Dispositio — Papal Reservations or Provisions, and 
Exemptions — Attempts to restore free Elections — Character of the 
Bishops — Titular or Suffragan Bishops — Power an I Tyranny of the 
Archdeacons and " Officials." § 8 Increase of Church Property — 
Feudal Claims of Sovereigns : the Regale, Jus Exuviarum, and Jus 
Primarum Prccum — Taxation of the Clergy — Papal Exactions from 
them — Annates and Expectancies. § 9. Worldly motives and spirit 
of the Clergy — Abuses of Patronage — Income of the Clergy — Tithes — 
Simony and Pluralism — Secular Business and Ambition. § 10. De- 
graded state of the parochial clergy — Caricatures and more serious 
testimony — Acephali and Chaplains — Popular preference for the Friars. 

§ 1. The title of the Dark Ages — indiscrimiuately applied to the 
Medieval Period of History by the pride of the Renaissance and the 
self-complacency of modem progress — is truly characteristic of the 
Tenth Century. The great intellectual revival, fostered by the 
government of Charles the Great on the Continent, and renewed by 
Alfred in the island w T hich had been one of its chief sources, had 
spent its force amidst the conflicts of the kingdoms into which the 
new Empire was again split up, and the sacred centre at Rome 
had become the seat of corruption. But already, before the end of 
the tenth century, we have seen the efforts of the great Saxon 
Emperors to reform the Church and Papacy ; and the following cen- 
turies, from the eleventh to the thirteenth, are marked by the out- 
burst and growth of new light and life, religious and intellectual 
energy, none the less powerful and fruitful of ultimate results, 
though their elements were as yet working in disorder, and re- 
pressed by the despotism which the See of Rome now succeeded 
in establishing. These three centuries are justly described by- 
Arch bishop Trench 1 as "the Middle Ages in their glory and at 
their height" — as "their creative period, to which belong all those 
magnificent births which they have bequeathed, some to the 
admiration, and all to the wonder, of the after- world— the Cru- 
sades, the rise of Gothic Architecture, the Universities, the School- 
men, the Mystics, the Mendicant Orders :" to all of which must be 
added the still newer forces of free religious thought and w T orship 
— new in form, but springing from the primitive sources of Chris- 
tianity itself — that were destined to transform the Church, though 
now the civil and ecclesiastical powers suspended their deadly strife 
to join in crushing this common foe. The seeds of purer truth and 
holier life, which were mingled with much that was evil in the 
medieval heresies, the efforts for reformation within the bosom of 

1 Lectures on Medieval Church History, pp. 16-17. 


the Church, and even the growing worldliness and corruption of the 
Papacy, when it seemed to have crushed or evaded those attempts, 
all converge to the great crisis of Reformation in the sixteenth 

§ 2. The threefold alternative in the relations of the Church to 
the civil power and the life of the people — independence, nationality, 
or a Catholic despotism — is now fairly presented to us in its his- 
toric working. The pure ideal of a Church independent of all 
worldly power had been of necessity maintained so long as the civil 
government was anti-christian ; and the revived aspiration for " a 
free Church in a free State," prompted by the corruption and 
tyranny of both powers, became a great problem of the future. 
The close union and theoretical identity of the Church with the 
Christian state, established by Constantine, was practicable while 
the Roman Empire was co-extensive with Christendom, and so long 
as the decrees of (Ecumenical Councils could be regarded as express- 
ing the mind of the universal Church under the civil control of one 
imperial ruler. 

In the ensuing disruption, this constitution furnished a type for 
the several National Churches, at the necessary sacrifice of oecu- 
menical action, though with the attempt to preserve the Catholic 
unity of doctrine, ritual, and discipline. But the bishops of the old 
capitals still clung to those oecumenical claims, of which, after 
the severance of the East and West and the revival of the Holy 
Roman Empire, Rome became the unrivalled centre for the Latin 
Church. We have seen how the generally admitted claim of pre- 
cedence was pressed forward, step by step, first to the Pope's spiritual 
authority over the Western Church (and in theory over the whole), 
and then to his supremacy over the civil power in all matters, tem- 
poral as well as spiritual ; in short, a personal Catholic despotism, 
equally opposed to the ideas of a free spiritual Church, and of 
nationally constituted Churches : for the claim of Rome to embody 
the former is perpetually contradicted by her assumptions of tem- 
poral power and control. 

§ 3. While the idea of national churches, with rights more or 
less independent of papal control, was maintained in England and 
France — to be asserted with signal vigour in the latter part of 
the period we have reviewed — the great region still included in the 
Empire had received the doctrine, that God had divided all power 
on earth between the Emperor and the Pope. The question then 
arose, whether these " two swords " were held each by an inde- 
pendent commission, in virtue of which the Emperor was supreme 
in civil matters even over ecclesiastics, or whether — as the Hilde- 
brandine doctrine held — the ecclesiastical power was independent, 


and the civil power was derived from and responsible to the Pope 
as Christ's vicar upon earth. In the foregoing chapters we have 
followed the external aspect of " the struggle, so grand and terrible, 
between the world- king and the world-priest, the Emperor and the 
Pope, with the triumph, complete though temporary, of the latter, 
the Papacy, in the most towering heights to which it ever ascended." l 
We have seen how the overbuilt edifice, weakened by its own lofti- 
ness, was shattered by the Babylonian Captivity and the great 
Papal Schism ; and how, evading the demands for internal reforma- 
tion, it regained a deceptive splendour amidst the corruptions that 
brought on the final crisis. We have now to trace the working of 
the power won by the Papacy on the internal constitution of the 
Church, together with the whole character of its worship and disci- 
pline, its doctrines and controversies, its religious and intellectual 
life, during the Middle Ages. The general character of the period is 
admirably summed up by Schaff: 2 " This may be termed the age 
of Christian legalism, of Church authority. Personal freedom is here, 
to a great extent, lost in slavish submission to fixed traditional rules 
and forms. The individual subject is of account only as the organ 
and medium of the general spirit of the Church. All secular powers, 
the state, science, art, are under the guardianship of the hierarchy, 
and must everywhere serve its ends. This is emphatically the era 
of grand universal enterprises, of colossal works, whose completion 
required the co-operation of nations and centuries ; the age of the 
supreme outward sovereignty of the visible Churchy 

§ 4. That supreme sovereignty was vested in the see of Rome 
by the efforts of Hildebrand and his successors, with the general 
assent of the clergy and the people. To understand this submission, 
it must be remembered that the Hildebrandine claim to papal as- 
cendancy went hand in hand with that effort to reform the deep 
corruptions of the clergy, which won the mass of the people to the 
side of Gregory VII. It might well seem to earnest men that the 
work could only be achieved by a central power invested with 
absolute spiritual authority ; and, in yielding up a portion of their 
liberty, the clergy saw their order strengthened against the civil 
ruler. In an elective hierarchy, every member naturally sympa- 
thizes with the aggrandisement of the head, especially as the triumph 
of spiritual power over worldly might. From a president or primus, 
acting as an authoritative counsellor and arbiter according to the 
canons, the Pope became the autocrat of the Latin Church, accord- 
ing to the principles of the false Decretals, 3 the supreme and ulti- 

1 Trench, I.e. 2 Church Hist. Introd. p. 51. 

3 See Pt. I. p. 500 f. The gradual adoption of the autocratic principle 


mate source of jurisdiction, as the one representative of Christ on 
earth, wielding a kind of power above that belonging to human 
rulers. 1 Though the claim, to infallibility, which lias been retro- 
spectively affirmed in our own day, 2 was only beginning to be 
heard, the supreme authority of Councils was more and more dis- 
tinctly usurped. The old imperial authority to summon General 
Councils was now claimed by the Pope ; 3 they sank to the position 
of deliberative assemblies, whose decrees derived their force from 
the authority of the Roman Pontiff, and (from the time of Inno- 
cent III.) were published in his name. 4 He was placed so far 
above the laws of the Church, as to be not only not bound by them 
himself, but able to release others from obedience; and this dis- 
pensing power, which was at first applied only in extreme cases, 
as an indemnity for offences already committed, was extended to 
prospective infractions of the canon-law. 5 Such dispensations, and 

is one great distinction between Western and Eastei-n Christendom. It 
was never admitted in the Greek Church. 

1 Though it was reserved for later and worser Popes to assume actual 
Divine titles, we find Innocent III. describing himself as " citra Deum, 
ultra hominem," and as " minor Deo, major liomine" — where the disclaimer 
is scarcely less arrogant than the assumption. The same pontiff plainly 
puts forward the claim to be the Vicar, no longer of St. Peter only, but of 
the true God and of Jesus Christ (Epist. i. 326). These growing claims 
were symbolized by the triple crown. Boniface VIII. added to the papal 
tiara a second crown, to denote the Pope's twofold lordship, spiritual and 
temporal ; and Urban V. added the third crown, to signify that the Pope is 
the representative of Christ. The climax of titular assumption is seen in 
the worst age of the Papacy, when, at' the 5th Lateran Council (1512), 
such a Pope as Julius II. was addressed as "another God upon the 
earth " : " Tu enim pastor, tu medicus, tu gubernator, tu cultor, tu 
denique alter Dcus in tern's." (See Gieseler, vol. iv. p. 432.) 

2 By the Vatican Council, 1870. The doctrine was chiefly founded on 
Luke xxii. 32, " I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not" and as 
such it is cited in the Vatican decree of 1870 (chap. iv.). For examples 
of the claim, in a greater or lesser degree, by Leo IX., Gregory VII., and 
Innocent III., see Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 164, n. 

3 Thus, as early as 1095, Urban II., relying on the enthusiasm for the 
Crusade, summoned the Councils of Piacenza and Clermont by his own 
authority (see above, p. 26). 

* Thus he says of the 4th Lateran Council (1215): — "Sacra universal] 
Synodo approbante, sancimus ; " and the formula is duly repeated in the 
Vatican Decrees of 1870 ; " Pius Episcopus, &c, sacro approbante concilio." 

5 The earlier and more restricted form of dispensation, which gave 
" veniam canonis infracti," but not infringendi, was granted by ordinary 
bishops. The wider power dates from Innocent III., who, for example, 
absolved King John from his oath to observe the Great Charter (see his 
Epist. lib. xvi. 154 ; ap. Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 163). But the power was not 
held to be unlimited. As defined by Thomas Aquinas, the Pope's ple- 
nary authority in the Church gave him the power to dispense with the 


especially the Pope's absolution from the laws of marriage and from 
oaths, struck at the foundation of social and political order, in the 
same proportion as they exalted and extended his authority over 
the common life of persons, families, and nations. The power of 
canonization, which had formerly belonged to bishops, was vested 
in the Pope by a decree of Alexander III. (a.d. 1170). 

§ 5. As an inference from his authority as the Vicar of Christ, 
the Pope claimed to be the " universal bishop " and head of the 
episcopate in all countries. 1 As a necessary consequence, the metro- 
politans, who had been the heads and champions of their national 
and provincial churches, became the vicars of the Pope. An oath 
of obedience to him was imposed on them as the condition of 
receiving the pallium, from the time of Gregory VII., who regarded 
the relation of metropolitans to the Holy See as that of vassals to 
a suzerain. 2 This authority was soon extended to the confirma- 
tion of all episcopal elections, and the Pope often even nominated 
the bishops, from whom and from the exempted abbots the oath 
imposed on the metropolitans was also exacted. The Pope further 
claimed the right to remove and depose bishops, and to receive 
appeals from episcopal decisions. The growing frequency of these 
appeals to Rome was not only a serious interference in national 
jurisdiction, but a cause of the decay of discipline, which the 
bishops were deterred from exercising by the constant fear of a 
mandate from Rome reversing their decisions. 

The relation thus claimed was made a practical power by the 
papal Legates (legati a latere), who, according to Gregory VII., 
" were to be heard even as the Pope himself." Such representatives 
had been at first only sent from Rome on special occasions ; but 
from the time of Leo IX. their commissions were unlimited both in 
time and subject. Under Gregory VII. a regular legate was esta- 
blished in every country, either as an emissary direct from Rome 
(generally a Cardinal), or by a commission conferring the lull power of 
the Pope on a local ecclesiastic. The Legate, who, although usually a 
bishop, might even be a deacon or archdeacon, at once superseded 

institutes of the Church, as the ordinances of mail or of positive Ici't; but 
not with those of divine or natural law ; or, as others put it, not against 
the Gospel or articles of faith, or the precept of an Apostle, though, 
according to one authority, " tamen contra Apostolum dispensat." 

1 This was a main point of contention in the reforming effort of the 
15th century. While Gerson and his party at Constance held that the 
episcopal and papal authority rested on a common foundation, the champions 
of Home claimed that the Pope was the source and perpetual dispenser of 
all episcopal powers. 

2 For a full account of the Pallium, see the article in the Diet, of 
Christ. Anti/q. 


the full authority of the metropolitan, or, if the latter held the 
office, the danger to the national church was still greater. Besides 
this usurpation on the ancient system of episcopal authority, the 
power entrusted to the legates, in an age of great worldliness 
and corruption among the clergy, was used as the instrument of 
oppression and rapacity, to such a degree that John of Salisbury 
(the close friend of the English Pope Adrian IV.) speaks of them as 
"raging in the provinces as if Satan had gone forth from the 
presence of the Lord for the scourging of the Church." 1 St. Ber- 
nard, who often mingled his championship of Rome with faithful 
warnings of her corruptions, has left a picture of the behaviour of a 
cardinal named Jordanus, as legate to France : 2 " Your Legate has 
passed from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another 
people, everywhere leaving foul and horrible traces among us. 
Travelling about from the foot of the Alps and the kingdom of the 
Germans through almost all the churches of France and Normandy, 
and all round as far as Rouen, the apostolic man has filled them, 
not with the Gospel, but with sacrilege. He is reported everywhere 
to have committed disgraceful deeds, to have carried off the spoils of 
the churches, to have advanced pretty little boys 3 to ecclesiastical 
honours where he was able, and to have wished to do where he was 
unable. Many have bought themselves off, that he might not come 
to them ; those whom he could not visit he taxed and squeezed by 
his messengers. In schools, in courts, at the cross roads, he has 
made himself a by-word. Seculars and religious, all speak ill of 
him." 4 

§ 6. Nor is a better character given to the numerous body of 
ecclesiastics at Rome, whose aid and advice the Pope found ne- 
cessary for the exercise of his authority, and whose very name, 
which has since become a byword, was regarded from the first as a 
sign of worldliness, oppression, and corruption. In the middle of 

1 Policrat. lib. v. c. 16, ip. Gieseler (vol. iii. p. 179), who gives a number 
of similar testimonies. 

2 Epist. 290; ad Episcop. Ostic?is. (1152); Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 177; 
Robertson, vol. iii. p. 216. For St. Bernard's strong warning of the moral 
danger of the Papacy, especially from its growing secularization, addressed 
to his former pupil, Eugenius III., in his work on Self-Consideration, see 
Trench, Med. Ch. Hist. p. 280. 

3 We can scarcely mistake what is veiled under the words " formulosos 

4 For the resistance to the intrusion of Legates into England, see 
Chap. III. § 11. The objection appears to have been not so much to the 
office itself as to its exercise by Italian cardinals. From the year 1195 to 
the Reformation it was generally held by the Archbishops of Canterbury. 
We have seen the dissatisfaction caused by the appointment of Cardinal 
Beaufort in the 15th century (Chap. X. p. 163, n. 3 ). 


the 12th century, Gerhoh, Bishop of Reichersperg l complains to 
the reigning Pope of the stain (macula), that the venerable name 
of the Church of Rome had been exchanged for that of the 
Roman Court (Cukta Romana). The vast growth of business 
consequent on the extended power and jurisdiction of the Pope 
created a ubiquitous host of ravenous Officials of the Curia. John 
of Salisbury tells us that when, on a visit to Adrian IV. at 
Benevento, the Pope asked him what men thought of the Church 
and himself, he frankly exposed the evil reports which he had heard 
in various provinces. 2 " For, as was said by many, the Roman 
Church, which is the mother of all the Churches, shows itself to 
the rest not so much a mother as a stepmother. 3 The Scribes 
and Pharisees sit in it, laying on the shoulders of men burthens 
not to be borne, which they do not touch with a finger. They 
shatter churches, stir up strifes, set clergy and people against one 
another, have no sympathy with the toils and miseries of the 
afflicted, revel in the spoils of the churches, and account all gain 
godliness. They render justice not so much to truth as to a 
bribe." From this character he excepts "a few, wdio fulfil the 
name and duty of the pastor," but he describes the Roman pontiff 
himself (to whom he said all this) " as almost intolerably oppressive 
to all," and of his chief agents he says, " The palaces of the priests 
are splendid, while the Church of Christ is made sordid in their 
hands. They plunder the spoils of provinces, as if it were their 
business to replenish the treasuries of Croesus." In the next 
century, a greater Englishman, Robert Grosseteste, bishop of 
Lincoln, warned Innocent III. that the extravagant claims of the 
Roman Church were tending to open schism. The monastic orders 
were still, for the most part, a sort of papal garrisons in every land, 
and we have presently to describe the vast reinforcement brought 
to the power of Rome by the mendicant orders, who have been 
called the Pope's militia. 

§ 7. In the time of Gregory VII., and as a part of his reforming 
efforts, the election of bishops was transferred from the people to 
the clergy ; and, after the pattern of the papal elections, it passed 
int© the hands of the canons of each cathedral. 4 But the change 

1 De Corrupto Ecclesise Statu ad Engcaium III. ; Gieseler, vol. iii. 
p. 178. The formal council of the Pope was the College of Cardinals. 
The actual administration of affairs was in the hands of the Curia. The 
department of finance was called the Rota Romana. 

2 Policrat. lib. vi. c. 24 ; Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 179. 

3 The same figure was used by the Emperor Frederick II., in a letter to 
Henry III. of England (Matt. Paris, a.d. 1254, p. 293). 

* The secular canons (canonici) were a class of ecclesiastics attached 
to particular churches, intermediate between the ordinary parish clergy 


from lay patronage, instead of doing away with the corruption 
which had been the subject of such indignant denunciations, had 
only the effect of transferring it from courtiers to the canons ; and 
in its new form it worked worse than before, inasmuch as the clergy 
might choose a bishop with a view of benefiting by his defects, or 
might make a bargain with him more injurious to the Church than 
any that could be made by a layman. Jealousies, intrigues, and 
disputed rights, which led to long and ruinous suits, and sometimes 
to open war, now became rife ; and Frederick Barbarossa had 
probably good reason for declaring, in a well-known speech, that 
the bishops appointed by the imperial power had been better than 
those whom the clergy chose for themselves. 1 

The Popes now began to interfere in the elections of bishops, 
and the appointment of the clergy in general, first by requests 
(jpreces), from which Innocent III. advanced to mandates (mandata), 
and Clement IV. (ob. 1268) claimed the full right of disposing of 
vacant benefices (phnaria disjwsitio). These abuses reached their 
climax during the residence of the Popes at Avignon, when, being 
separated from their estates, they made their claims of patronage 
a source of revenue. Clement V. began the system of appropriating 
rich bishoprics and benefices to the use of the Pope, his kinsmen 
and favourites, under the name of papal Reservations or Provi- 
sions, in contempt of the rights of sovereigns and chapters; and 
John XXII. claimed to reserve for himself all the benefices in 
Christendom ! Besides that interference with the rights of national 
churches, which was vigorously resisted in England, 2 the system 

and the monastic orders. They were so called either from living under 
a regular rule, or, as is more probable, from the enrolment of their 
names in the lists of officers of the Church (navwv, in Latin matricula, 
albus, tabula). The institution sprang from the practice which arose even 
before the 4th century, and of which we have examples in Ambrose, 
Augustine, and other bishops, who gathered a body of clergy round them 
in a common domicile, under strict rules of life ; but it received its definite 
form in the latter part of the 8th century, from Chrodegang, archbishop 
of Mainz, and cousin of King Pepin. " The essential difference between 
a cathedral with its canonici and an abbey-church with its monks has been 
well expressed thus : the canonici existed for the service of the cathedral, 
but the abbey church for the spiritual wants of the recluses happening to 
settle there (Freeman's Norman Conquest, ii. 443)." — Diet, of Christian 
Antiqq. art. Canonici. For the growing corruption of the secular canons, 
and the foundation of the " canons regular of St. Augustine," see below, 
Chap. XX. 

1 Robertson, vol. iii. p. 218. See what is there added on the partly 
successful efforts of sovereigns, especially in England, to retain influence 
over the episcopal elections. The contest about Investiture has been fully 
related above (see Chaps. II. and III.). 

2 By the famous Statute of 1'rovisors, visiting the introduction of papal 


tended to deprive the episcopate of the increased power due to the 
weakening of the Papacy by the great schism. The rights and 
disciplinary authority of the Bishops were also infringed by the 
habitual exemptions of churches, monasteries, chapters, and even 
individuals, besides the Mendicant Friars as a body, from episcopal 
jurisdiction. 1 The kindred of the Pope were loaded with prefer- 
ments, and Clement VII., when remonstrated with for these abuses, 
replied, "Our predecessors knew not how to play the Pope." 

The theory of episcopal elections, however, was still maintained. 
After the settlement of the great contest on Investitures, the 
bishops were almost universally elected by the cathedral canons ; 
and this system, with the exclusion of the ancient assent of the 
laity, was enjoined by decrees of Innocent III. and Gregory IX. 
The Council of Basle endeavoured to restore the practice " accord- 
ing to the ancient laws" (1433); and free elections were stipulated 
for by the German Compact of 1448 ; but they fell more and more 
into the hands of sovereigns. In the Concordat with France (1516) 
the appointment of bishops was conceded to the King by Leo X., 
who set a higher value on the revenues that were yielded to him in 
return. 2 The whole character of the times leaves little ground for 
wonder that the bishops, with some admirable exceptions, grew 
worldly and corruprt, idle in their own office but ambitious of 
secular power, and covetous of wealth ; and few were willing or 
even able to take the lead in the work of reformation by means of 
the diocesan synods, which the Council of Basle directed to be held 
in every diocese at least once a year. 

Since the order of country bishops (Chorepiscopi 3 ) had died out, 
their functions devolved partly on the Archdeacons, and partly on 
the Titular or Suffragan Bishops, whom (especially from the thir- 
teenth century onward) the Popes ordained for sees in the hands of 
the Saracens (in partibus infidelium). The order of Archdeacons 
acquired a new character and growing importance onwards from 
the eighth century, when, instead of only one under each bishop, 
every diocese was divided into several archdeaconries, in which 
those who were still but deacons exercised jurisdiction over the 
presbyters, and were tempted to make themselves independent. 
They are complained of as defying the authority of their bishops, 

instruments for such " provisions " with the penalties of praemunire 
(25 Edw. III. c. 6). 

1 Martin V., in his Bull for remedying such abuses (1418), confesses 
that they had been created by his predecessors "in grave ipsorum ordina- 
riorium pra-judicium." In the case of the monasteries, however, the 
primary cause of their exemptions may be traced to the exactions and 
oppressions of the bishops upon them. 

2 See Chap. XV. § 12. 3 See Vol. I. p. 296. 


tyrannizing over the clergy, and vexing the people by their exac- 
tions, especially on the pretext of penance, by which they were 
said to make a gain of sins. New abuses were the sole result of 
the attempts of the bishops to check these troublesome dignitaries 
by setting up courts of their own under the presidency of " officials," 
whom Peter of Blois (himself, it is true, an a'chdeacon) designates 
" Bishops' leeches." 

§ 8. All these evils were aggravated by the increased wealth of 
the Church and the contests of the clergy with the people and the 
state respecting temporalities and taxation. " It was not to any 
regard for their persons, but to the superstition and circumstances 
of the age, that the clergy were indebted for the remarkable increase 
of their property. It was brought about partly by the vindication 
of tithe-law, partly by wills, partly by advantageous purchases and 
mortgages (obtained mostly from nobles who took the cross), 
partly by compact with the oppressed free commonalty, who 
received their own property in copyhold from them. From time 
to time, however, this immoderate increase of ecclesiastical wealth 
began already to attract attention and receive some restric- 
tions from secular law." 1 By long contests, and much firmness, 
the sovereigns of England, France, and Germany, succeeded in 
maiutaining the right to tax the clergy, 2 which was first called in 
question during this period, as well as the feudal dues styled Regale 
and Jus Exuviarum or Spoliorum. The former was the " royal 
title " to the income of vacant sees ; the latter was the inheritance 
of the personal property of deceased bishops, which the King's 
claim had at least the advantage of saving from lawless plun- 
derers. This claim was constantly contested by the Popes, who 
enforced it in their turn when they had the pow T er. In 1198 both 
rivals for the Empire, Otho and Philip, renounced it to obtain the 
Pope's support, and so did the electors ; and the renunciation was 

1 Gieseler iii. 214, 215. For the details and authorities, see the Notes ad 
loc, and Robertson iii. 225 f. 

2 This right was limited in Germany to one year, but in France and 
England it appears to have been enjoyed at the King's pleasure. We have 
seen (Chap. III. § 15) how shamefully it was abused by William Rufus, 
who seems first to have established it in England. Its origin in France is 
traced back to the 7th and 8th centuries, when the Frank kings interfered 
to rescue the property of vacant bishoprics from seizure by dukes or 
counts, and to hold it as the chief advocates ecclesix ; so that the seeming 
exaction was, in fact, a remedy for worse evils. The English clergy were 
severely taxed by Edward I. for his wars ; and when the Archbishop of 
Canterbury (Robert Winchelsea) attempted resistance on the ground 
of the Bull of Boniface VIII. (<'/rricis Idicos. see p. 95), Edward put the 
whole of the clergy under a virtual outlawry till they yielded. (For 
details, see Student's Eng. Ch. Ilitt p. 386 f.) 


repeated by Frederick II. (1213), and by the envoys of Rudolf at 
the Second Council of Lyon (1274). The Jus Primarum Precum 
was a compensation to sovereigns (first granted in 1242), entitling 
them to claim one piece of patronage from each new bishop or 
abbot, in lieu of their former share in the appointment of bishops. 

While resisting these imposts of the secular powers, the Popes 
themselves claimed the right to tax the clergy for special objects, 
such as a war against the infidels, or a conflict with an Emperor 
or Antipope. A rematkable example is furnished by the " Saladin's 
tithe," which was exacted long after the Crusade was abandoned. 
It was significant of the free spirit which survived to bear future 
fruit, that this tithe " was at first resisted by the clergy and monks, 
on the ground that their prayers were their proper and sufficient 
contribution towards the holy cause; those who fight for the 
Church," said Peter of Blois, " ought rather to enrich her with 
the spoils of her enemies than to rob her." 1 A new and vast deve- 
lopment of these abuses was caused by the wants of the Popes in 
their banishment at Avignon, and of their rival courts during the 
great papal schism. Besides exercising more severely the Jus 
Exuviarum, which their predecessors had resisted in the hands of 
sovereigns, they devised new engines of exaction. In addition 
to the reservations or jwovisions, spoken of above, the Annates, or 
first year's revenue of benefices, brought in an immense treasure to 
John XXIL, who first invented them. 2 During the great schism, 
the Pope at Avignon, Clement VII,, began the grants of Expec- 
tancies (gratiie exspectativse), by which the reversion of benefices 
was conferred during the life of their incumbents (comp. p. 140) ; 
and the abuse was carried to such lengths, that the same reversions 
were granted over and over again to each who would bid higher 
than another. These exactions were repeatedly condemned by the 
great reforming Councils, the University of Paris, and the civil 
powers both of France and Germany ; till by the Concordat of 
1516 Leo X. gave up reservations and expectancies, but the Annates 
were secured to the Roman see. Meanwhile the practical pressure 
of these claims had been the most fruitful source of discontent 
against the Papacy. 

§ 9. The increased wealth of the Church, and the eagerness with 
which her temporal rights and possessions were fought over, tended 
to make the sacred calling more and more a worldly profession, in 
which holy orders were a short road to opulence. Not only ignorant 

1 Epist. 112 (Patrolog. ccvii. 337-3); Robertson, iii. 230. 

2 A false claim to the higher antiquity of Annates was set up by 
Eugenius IV. in reply to the decree of the Council of Basle for their 


and worthless men, but even boys, were appointed to benefices by 
family interest and corrupt traffic with patrons. For, from a time 
as early as the ninth century, the appointment of parish priests, 
throughout the Western Church, as a general rule, had fallen into 
the hands of lay patrons, suppressing the ancient voice of the people 
in the choice of their pastors. In the case of churches built by 
private persons, the patronage was vested in the founder, and was 
sometimes continued to his representatives. Hence arose the 
practice of church-building as a speculation, the founder being 
reimbursed by the oblations, out of which he paid the incumbent 
a stipend. Such arrangements, though condemned by canons, were 
legalized by the Carolingian kings; and canons were enacted, to 
secure the bishop's right of assent to an appointment, while forbid- 
ding him to reject a presentee except on good grounds. 1 

In the early medieval age the Income of the Clergy was still 
derived from the voluntary offerings of their flocks and the endow- 
ments of the churches. Generally, in the Western Church, these 
funds, thrown into a common stock in each parish, were divided 
into four portions: (1) for the poor; (2) for the clergy; (3) for 
maintaining the fabric of the church and the expenses of its service ; 
while (4) the remnant went to the bishop, in whose hands rested 
the entire administration of the property. The endowments were 
largely increased by testamentary bequests, by advantageous pur- 
chases of land and other arrangements made with Crusaders in 
want of funds, and by the contracts called feuda oblata, in which 
a holder made over his property to the Church, on condition of 
receiving it back in fee, whereby, besides the present consideration, 
the Church had the chance of the reversion. To these revenues 
were added the perpetual source from Tithes, which were claimed 
from early times on the ground of Scriptural precedent, but not 
generally paid by Christians of the West till the close of the sixth 
century ; and from the eighth they were enforced as a legal obliga- 
tion by Charles the Great and other sovereigns. Like the earber 
voluntary offerings, they were allotted to the poor, as well as to 
the clergy and the maintenance of worship, the allotments being 
prescribed by the diocesan. From the produce of the land, tithes 
were extended to the earnings of trade and professions and military 
service, and it was even held that they ought to be paid on the receipts 
of beggars and prostitutes ; but the full enforcement of such rules 
was of course impracticable. Among the reforms contemplated by 
Gregory VII. was the entire recovery of those portions of the 
tithes which bad fallen into the hands of laymen, but he was 

1 See Robertson, vol. ii. pp. 201, 202. 


obliged to give up the attempt through his need of the support of 
the nobles against the Emperor, and later elforts to recover the 
tithes from lay impropriators proved unsuccessful. 1 The constant 
practice of simony was condemned by Papal decrees, but was fre- 
quent (as we have seen) in the election of the Popes themselves; 
and the special war made upon it by Gregory VII. proved in vain. 
There was a close connection between the great Pope's war against 
simony and his enforcement of clerical celibacy; but the former 
abuse embraced other relationships than the fruit of marriage. 

The vast multiplication of pluralities 2 was a natural consequence 
of a state of things in which preferment was regarded chiefly as a 
source of ample income for churchmen who devoted themselves to 
secular affairs, maintaining the state of nobles and princes, playing 
an ambitious part in the service 3 or humiliation of sovereigns, and 
were even forward to distinguish themselves in battle. This martial 
spirit was partly due to the prevalent reign of physical force, and 
partly an inheritance from the Crusades, where, for example, 
" Hubert Walter, bishop of Salisbury and afterwards Archbishop 
of Canterbury, attracted the admiration of the lion-hearted Richard 
himself, and after his return found exercise for his military talents 
in the feuds of his own country. And the story is well-known how 
Richard, having taken prisoner Philip, count-bishop of Beauvais, 
met the Pope's interference on behalf of the warlike prelate by 
sending to him Philip's coat of mail, with the scriptural quotation, 
' Know now whether it be thy son's coat or not.' " 4 But yet, besides 
the bright individual exceptions to this abandoned worldliness, the 
reformatory injunctions of synods, from which we learn much of 
the evil, attest the continued acknowledgment of a higher standard 
of piety and duty. 

§ 10. With such examples among the higher clergy, we do not 
wonder to find St. Bernard complaining that " the insolence of the 
clergy, of which the negligence of the bishops is mother, everywhere 
disturbs and molests the Church." 5 Prelates of such a character, 

1 See further in Robertson, vol. iii. p. 22fi. 

2 The third Lateran Council (1179) denounced the practice of accumu- 
lating six or move churches on one incumbent ; but for the vastly greater 
growth of the practice, see Robertson, iii. 232. 

3 The frequent employment of ecclesiastics in the higher offices of state 
was a natural consequence of their being the only well-educated class ; 
and it was for the most part an advantage to the sovereign and people, 
whatever its effect upon the character of the Church. On the other 
hand, the resolute struggle (as in the contest of Becket with Henry II.) 
for the exemption of the clergy from the jurisdiction <d" the civil courts 
tended to encourage them in lawlessness and immorality. 

1 Matt. Paris ; Robertson, iii. 233. ' 5 Epist. 152. 


and absorbed in the worldly pursuits and conflicts of those troublous 
times, were not likely to be choice in conferring orders, nor careful 
in the exercise of discipline, even if they had had better material to 
work with. But the state of corruption, intellectual darkness, and 
moral depravity, pervaded all classes ; nor had the great intellectual 
movement which we have presently to trace, among the few higher 
minds of the age, any considerable effect on the character of the 
clergy in general. Indeed, the earliest efforts of reviving letters, out- 
side the range of ecclesiastical and scholastic literature, are largely 
occupied with a satirical exposure of the ignorance, indolence, and 
vices of the clergy ; ! and the truth which underlies these cari- 
catures is confirmed by the testimony of eminent churchmen, such 
as Herbert of Boseham, the friend and biographer of Becket, John 
of Salisbury, Ivo of Chartres, Gerhoh, St. Bernard, and many others, 
as well as by the frequent acts of councils, which vie with one 
another in denouncing the evils which they vainly strove to 
correct. The reformation attempted by Gregory VII. missed the 
mark ; and its special direction in enforcing the celibacy of the 
clergy only provoked the growth of concubinage and gross vice. 2 
The cathedral canons became especially notorious lor their immo- 
rality. Among the most disorderly of the clergy were those called 
" Acephali," whom the bishops ordained without a title, and the 
stipendiary chaplains in the families of great men, who were ap- 
pointed without the sanction of bishops, and withdrawn from their 
supervision. But, in truth, even over the parish clergy the super- 
intendence and discipline of such bishops as we have described was 
of little worth, and any honest desire to exercise it was checked by 

1 It belongs to the history of literature to give a full account of the 
works referred to, such as the famous Reinecke Fuchs (' Reynard the Fox '), 
and the satiric writings of Walter von der Vogelweide in Germany, the 
Confessio Goligs and Be Nugis Carialium, ascribed to Walter Map, or 
Mapes, Archdeacon of Oxford, about the end of the 12th century, and 
many others in England and France (see Mr. Wright's Latin Poems com- 
monly attributed to Walter Mapes, and Collection of Political Songs, &c). 

2 It was only by degrees that clerical celibacy was enforced. In 
England the rule was mitigated by a decree of the Council of Winchester 
(U)76). Clerical marriage, though everywhere discredited, did not entirely 
cease till the middle of the loth century ; and it was only after a pro- 
tracted contest that celibacy was enforced on the subdeacons and inferior 
orders (see Hardwick, p. 241). Efforts were made at Constance and Basle 
to abate the scandal, not only by severe decrees against concubinage, but 
the marriage of the clergy had powerful advocates in 7abarella and others, 
while Gerson stood firm against it. Pius II. himself said, according to 
Platina (Vit. Pii IT. p. 311), that, if there were good reasons for pro- 
hibiting the marriage of priests, there were stronger reasons for allowing 
it. (See Gieseler, vol. v. pp. 15-18, for numerous other opinions of writers 
in the 15th century in favour of clerical marriage.) 



Chap. XVI. 

the interference of the Pope's emissaries, mandates, and dispensa- 
tions. The contempt of the masses of the people for the parochial 
clergy is attested by the general rejection of their ministrations for 
those of the monks, and afterwards of the mendicant friars. There 
were bright exceptions to this prevalent gloom and deadness ; and 
the true life of the Church was maintained, not only by the great 
reforming lights of the age, but by many an obscure and humble 
parish priest, whose ministrations, teaching, and example guided 
and comforted his flock, and preserved among them the " incorrup- 
tible seed of the word," to bear fruit in a better age. Meanwhile, 
apart from the indignant utterances of reformers and satirists, we 
have the emphatic testimony of a Committee of Cardinals, appointed 
by Paul III. to consider what could be done De Ernendo.nda Ec- 
clesia (in 1538), to the incompetence and crying vices of the clergy 
as the chief cause by which not only had their order fallen into 
contempt, but reverence for divine worship was not so much 
lessened as all but extinct. 1 

1 Le Plat, Mm. Cone. Trident, ii. 598. 

Shrine of St. Siebold, at Nuremberg. 

Cologne Cathedral. 



1. Ministrations of the Church : formality and sacramentalism — 
Latin Service — Vernacular Preaching and Teaching — The Holy 
Scriptures — Scarcity of Copies — Vernacular Versions and other reli- 
gious books — Lives of the Saints — Theological Literature — Books of 
" Sentences " — Prohibition of the Scriptures by the Council of Toulouse 
— Observance of the Lord's Day. § 2. Miracle Plays, Mysteries, and 
Moralities — Mock Festivals : turned against the Church of Rome. 
§ 3. Mechanical Views of Rites and Ordinances — The Sacraments : 
change in the meaning of the word — The Opus Operation — The Seven 
Sacraments. § 4. Doctrine of Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins 
— More Spiritual Views of Gregory VII., Hildebert of Tours, and 
Peter Lombard — The three parts of penitence: contrition, con- 
fession, satisfaction. § 5. Different opinions on Confession — Pre- 


scribed by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) — Confession held neces- 
sary to Salvation. § 6. Doctrine of sacerdotal Absolution new to 
the Church — The old formula deprecatoria — Views of Peter Lombard, 
Albertus Magnus, &c. — The Absolution of Faith and Charity — Lay 
Confession and Absolution — The Victorine School — Thomas Aquinas 
on Absolution — Popular view — The new formula — Authority of the 
Priest. § 7. Penitential Discipline — Commutations of Penance — 
Asceticism — Flagellation. § 8. Indulgences : special and Plenary 
— Objectors : Abbot Stephen ; Abelard — Doubts and Limitations — 
The Treasury of Supererogation — Power of the Keys — Special Forms 
of Indulgence — Sale of Indulgences: Questuaries and Pardoners. 
§ 9. Traffic in Relics — Impostures — Multiplication of Saints : new 
and fictitious ones. § 10. Pilgrimage : protests against it —Multipli- 
cation of Miracles : opposed by Abelard and others. 

§ 1. Throughout the Middle Ages, the ministrations of the 
clergy, and the teaching and worship of the Church, were hampered 
by a system in which forms were substituted for spiritual thought 
and feeling, and the assumed efficacy of sacramental rights and 
priestly functions interposed between the conscience and God. In 
Western Christendom, the great movements which had created the 
new nations of Europe had strangely severed the one link of intelli- 
gence between the Church and people, language, the chief organ of 
all thought and feeling, through the adherence to forms of worship 
and ministration of the sacraments in Latin. Councils, Popes, and 
bishops, indeed, recommended preaching in the vernacular tongues, 
and specified the great Christian doctrines that were to be taught ; 
but their directions were generally neutralized by the ignorance and 
indifference of the priesthood. But there were bright exceptions 
among the parish clergy to the prevalent neglect of vernacular 
preaching ; and a vast and wide influence was exerted by the 
sermons of St. Bernard. We shall see presently how great a change 
was effected by the voluntary itinerant preaching of the mendicant 
friars. The parish priest was bound to teach children the elements 
of the faith contained in the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, 
and the Apostles' Creed, 1 in the vulgar tongue ; and the range of in- 
struction was much widened where town and village schools were 
established, especially by the Benedictines. 2 

But the fountain-head of light and life in the Holy Scriptures was 
little resorted to by the clergy, and was almost entirely closed to the 
common people, though not at first so much from the set purpose of 

1 To these were added expositions of the other creeds, and, as Mario- 
latry advanced, the Are Maria. 

2 On the other hand, the monks showed great jealousy of the secular 
and lay schools, and often succeeded in getting them closed. 


blinding them to the corruptions of the Church, as from other more 
natural causes. The Bible was held in the highest reverence ; copies 
were multiplied by transcription in the monasteries ; and there were 
vernacular translations (for the most part only of portions, as the 
Gospels, Psalms, and Pentateuch), dating from the ninth and tenth 
centuries. 1 The clergy were enjoined to study the Scriptures, 
and to make them the basis of their teaching of the people. 2 But 
copies were few and costly ; a complete Bible — which has become 
to us a marvel of cheapness in the smallest compass — formed then 
a collection of several MS. volumes, seldom found complete except 
in the conventual libraries ; and many of the clergy were content 
to possess only a few books of Scripture, generally the Gospels and 
the Psalms. Besides the lack of means, the sacred text was more 
and more thrust into the background by works on the theological 
controversies of each age, and especially by the growing taste lor the 
Lives of the Saints, 3 which, though to a great extent pure inventions, 
and often evidently intended to be accepted only as edifying religious 
fictions, were received as historically true. For the laity, besides 
the vernacular editions of these legends, 4 the chief provision con- 

1 To this period belong, besides King Alfred's efforts for the translation 
of the Scriptures, the Anglo-Saxon Gospels, printed in Dr. Bosworth's 
excellent edition, in parallel columns, with the Gothic version of 
Ulphilas and the English translations of Wyclif and Tyndale (1865) ; the 
extant fragments of ^Elfric's Heptateuch" s, a translation of portions of the 
Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, &c. ; the metrical version of the SS. made 
under the direction of Louis the Pious (probably the Heliand, about 
A.D. 830) ; Gospel Harmonies, both in Anglo-Saxon and German ; a Low- 
German version of the Psalms, besides fragments of other translations and 
glosses in High German (see Von Raumer, Kinuirkung des Christenthums 
auf die althochdeutsche Sprache, 1845 ; Hardwick, pp. 89, 194, 195). 
Slavonic versions of the Bible and Service-Book were current in Moravia, 
Russia, and Servia. 

2 The following was a question put to bishops at their consecration : 
" Vis ea quae ex Divinis Scripturis intehigis plebem docere et praeceptis 
et exemplis ? " — Soames, Baiupton Lectures, p. 95 ; Hardwick, p. 194. 

3 The great collection of this literature is the Acta Sanctorum of the 
Jesuit " Bollandists," as the compilers are called, from John Bolland, 
a Belgian, who began to publish the work at Antwerp, in 1643, and 
wrote the 1st and 2nd volumes. It was interrupted in 1794 by the 
French Revolution, when 54 vols, had appeared. The Society of Bol- 
landists was re-organized at Brussels in 1837, and 6 more vols, were 
published (1845-1867), bringing it down to October 12th; the work 
being arranged in order of the Calendar of Saints' Days. It has been 
lately resumed on a graud scale at Rome (1882). 

4 iElfric translated two large volumes of Li'es of the Saints for the 
English people, and compiled a third for his own monks. See Hardwick, 
p. 195, and his edition of an Anglo-Saxon Passion of St. George for the 
Percy Society, No. lxxxviii. 


sisted of the translations of fragments of Scripture as interlinear 
gloss- s in the Service-Book, paraphrases, harmonies of the Gospels, 
and hymns. 

The later intellectual movements of the age, instead of promoting 
the study of the Scriptures as the supreme and ultimate authority, 
led to their being neglected for the pagan writers of philosophy 
and poetry, for the great treasury of the civil law, and the books of 
Sentences, in which the schoolmen aimed to formulate all know- 
ledge, human and divine. The direct hostility of ^ome to the 
reading of the Scriptures by the people was at length avowed 
when they were appealed to by the sectaries, especially the Albi- 
genses and the Waldenses; and in 1229 the Council of Toulouse 
formally condemned vernacular translations of the Bible, 1 and 
forbad the laity to have in their possession any books of the Old 
and the New Testament, except perhaps the Psalter, and those parts 
of the Bible contained in the Breviary and the Hours of the Blessed 
Virgin. The same council prescribed the attendance of all persons 
a>; church, under penalty of a fine, on Sundays, Saturday evenings, 
and the greater festivals ; and during this period the strict observance 
of the Lord's Day was enjoined by councils and by preachers, and 
enforced by pretended revelations and the threat of special judg- 
ments on those who profaned the Sabbath. 2 

§ 2. A remarkable plan devised by clerical ingenuity for the 
religious instruction of the uneducated people was that of the Mys- 
teries or Miracles, in which a rude presentation was given on the 
stage of subjects taken from the whole range c?f Scripture history, 
the interest and attention of the uncultivated audience being main- 
tained by the admixture of a sufficiently broad grotesque and comic 
element. 3 The popular taste for such comedy was also exhibited in 
a form to which the clergy at first found it prudent to condescend 
as a harmless amusement for the vulgar, in the mock festivals, such 
as the Feast of Fools, with its Bishop of Fools, at Circumcision 

1 Canon 14. This prohibition was especially directed against the 
Romaunt translations in use amongst the Waldenses ; and it is remark- 
able that a new edition of the French Bible was put forth by authority 
under King Charles V. (1364—1380), expressly to supplant those versions 
(Hardwick, p. 290). In the Greek Church the Scriptures were forbidden 
to the laity as early as the 9th century. 

2 See the particulars in Robertson, vol. iii. pp. 262-263. The Calendar 
of Church Festivals was enlarged during this period by the addition of 
Trinity Sunday, in the 12th century, and the Feast of Corpus Christ i (1264, 
confirmed in 1311) to commemorate the full establishment of the doctrine 
of Transubstantiation, besides many new Saints' Days. 

3 An account of these plays, and of the Moralities and Interludes which 
formed a link between them and the regular drama, is ' given in the 
Student's History of English Literature (chap. vi. § 1-3). 


or Epiphany, the " Feast of Asses" (referring to the infant Saviour's 
flight to Egypt), and the election of the " boy-bishop," or " boy- 
abbot " on Innocents' Day, or at the Feast of St. Nicholas, the 
patron of children. This burlesque of sacred things, with the pro- 
fanation of churches by the attendant revelries, became the object of 
condemnation by numerous councils ; but they failed to put down 
a taste which at last grew into a formidable instrument of satire on 
the Church of Rome at the time of the Reformation. 

§ 3. In the ministrations of the Church to the spiritual life 
and conscience of the faithful, especially for the forgiveness of 
sins and peace with God, there was a constant growth of what 
may be called the mechanical (in some cases we might even 
say magical) efficacy of external acts and priestly functions. The 
sacramental system was fully developed by investing the chief 
acts of a Christian's life with the mysterious sanctity which now 
became attached to the word. In its primitive meaning, " sacra- 
ment" was a general term for any symbolic aet, 1 the sign of 
some sacred reality, leaving a wide scope for different views as to 
the lesson which it taught, or the spiritual operation with which it 
was connected. Gradually the idea of intrinsic efficacy in the rite 
itself prevailed more and more, till it reached the hard and fast 
form denoted by the significant phrase, opus operatum, as clearly 
embodied in the words of Duns Scotus : " A sacrament confers 
grace through the virtue of the work which is wrought, so that 
there is not required any good inward motion such as to deserve 
grace; but it is enough that the receiver place no bar" in the way 
of its operation. 2 In its original sense, the name was applied 
especially to Baptism and the Lord's Supper, as the sacraments 
instituted by Christ himself, a pre-eminence which was still ad- 
mitted-when the schoolmen of the 12th and, 13th centuries, influ- 
enced by a mystic view of the number, established the doctrine of 
Seven Sacraments, namely, Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, 
Penitence, Extreme Unctio:i, Holy Ord'rs, and Matrimony. z 

1 St. Augustine's definition was sacrse ret signum or invisibilis gratise 
visihilis forma. Among the acts to \yhich he applies the word, are 
exorcism and the giving salt to the catechumens ; and the like com- 
prehensive sense survived to the period now under review. Thus a writer 
early in the 12th century says that the episcopal ring and staff, salt and 
water, oil and unction, and other things essential to the consecration of 
men and churches, are sacraments of the Church ; and St. Bernard applies 
the term to the washing of feet, which our Lord used as symbolical of an 
act essential to salvation (John xiii. 9). — Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 327. 

2 Duns Scotus, Sentent. lib. iv. dist. i. qu. vi. § 10; Robertson, 
iii. 608. 

3 The first distinct trace of this number is fbund in a discourse of Otho, 
the apostle of the Pomeranians (a.d. 1124 ; Hardwick, pp. 208, 301). It 


§ 4. The foundation of Christian life, in the evangelic doctrine 
of the forgiveness of sin, was now more and more undermined by 
the corruption of the penitential discipline of the Church. On the 
vital questions of repentance and penance, confession and absolu- 
tion, we trace a remarkable conflict between mechanical and more 
spiritual views in the teaching of the great masters of the Church ; 
but its practical application to the life of the people was all in the 
downward direction. The better side of Gregory VI I. 's character 
is shown in the earnestness with which he combatted the prevalent 
tendency to substitute outward acts of penance for genuine re- 
pentance towards God and amendment of the life. In a remarkable 
letter to the bishops and faithful of Brittany, he argues that true 
repentance is nothing less than a return to such a state of mind 
as to feel oneself obliged hereafter to the faithful performance of 
baptismal obligations ; while other forms of penance, if this state 
of heart be wanting, are sheer hypocrisy. 1 Hildebert, bishop of 
Tours in the early part of the 12th centuiy, was the author 2 
of the famous definition of penitence, which was adopted by the 
great "master of sentences," Peter Lombard, 3 and other scholastic 
divines, as consisting of three parts, the contrition of the heart, the 
confession of the mouth, and the satisfaction of the work. 

§ 5. As the outward evidence of the first, the Church required 
the second and third, confession and penance ; but the proper forms 
of both were subject to long discussion and development in practice. 
The primitive doctrine was, that open sin cut off members from 
the Church, and public confession was the condition of restoration 
to communion. But now the wider question had arisen respecting 
secret as well as open sins. The necessity of confession to a priest 
in order to the forgiveness of sins ; its sufficiency if made to a lay- 
man in the absence of a priest; the obligation of confessing venial 
as well as mortal sins ; these and other questions are discussed 

was established by the authority of Peter Lombard (Sentent. lib. iv. 
dist. 1 f.), followed by Bonaventura and Thomas Aquinas (Summa Thco- 
logiae, lib. iv. qu. 60). The reader is reminded, once for all, that a full 
account of the great scholastic divines, whose opinions are quoted through- 
cut this and the ensuing Chapters, is given below (Book V.). Meanwhile 
it should be remembered that Thomas Aquinas is recognized by the 
general voice of Romanists, and most emphatically of late by Pope 
Leo XIII., as the chief doctrinal authority of their Church. 

1 Epist. lib. vii. 10 ; so also Ivo of Chartres, Epist. 47, 22S ; Hard- 
wick, p. 307. 2 Sermo 23. 

3 Sentent. lib. iv. 16, c. 1. We find a significant variation in Peter of 
Blois (ab. a.d. 1180), who gives as the third part carnis qffiictionem, and 
describes the three as pnrgatoria mercifully assigned to us by Christ, while 
Himself making purgation of sins {Be Confessione Sacramentali, p. 1086, 
ed. Migne ; Hardwick, p. 307). 


by the great scholastic theologians. 1 Duns Scotus held the ex- 
treme view, that confession falls under a positive Divine command ; 
but Thomas Aquinas agreed with Bonaventura, that it did nut become 
heretical to deny its necessity, until the decision of the Fourth 
Lateran Council (1215), which prescribed to every Catholic Christian 
the duty of confessing to his own parish priest once a year at least. 2 
The enormous power thus conferred on the priest, with all its 
liability to abuse, failed of the one good object intended — namely, 
to strengthen the discipline of the pastor over his flock — through the 
preference of the people for confessing to the mendicant friars rather 
than to their own priests. But the decision established the great 
principle of sacerdotalism, which invests the priest with the full 
authority of God over the penitent sinner; and "from that time 
forth the confessional began to be considered as the only means of 
obtaining forgiveness for deadly sin, which the priest as the repre- 
sentative of God actually granted, and which he alone could 
grant.'' 3 

§ 6. The necessity of confession, thus established in the fullest 

1 For a summary of opinions on the whole subject, see Gieseler, 
vol. iii. pp. 357-364. The whole subject is admirably treated in Dean 
Reichel's Sermon before the University of Cambridge (June 10th. 1883) 
on The History and Claims of the Confessional, with a valuable collection 
of original authorities. 

2 The extremer views, which at last found utterance in this Canon, 
derived their chief support from the work Be vera et falsa Poenitentia, 
which was fathered upon Augustine in the 11th or 12th century, and 
embodied almost in its entirety in the Decretal of Gratian and the 
Sentences of Peter Lombard, and hence quoted by the schoolmen generally. 
It exhorts to confession on the ground of the full absolving power com- 
mitted to the priests, and teaches that sins mortal in themselves are made 
venial by confession. 

3 Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 360. Among other important testimonies he quotes 
the decisive authority of Thomas Aquinas on the question, Utritm con- 
fessio sit necessaria ad saluteml The answer is, that the passion of Christ, 
without the virtue of which neither original or actual sin is remitted, 
operates in us through the reception of the sacraments, by baptism for 
the former and penitence for the latter. And as he who seeks baptism 
thereby commits himself to the minister of the Church, to whom it belongs 
to dispense the sacrament, so by the very act of confessing his sins he 
submits himself to the minister of the Church, to obtain through the 
sacrament of penitence the remission dispensed by him, who cannot apply 
the fit remedy unless he knows the sin, which he only does through the 
confession of the sinner. " And therefore confession is necessary for his 
salvation who hat fallen into mortal sin." Gieseler adds that " confession 
was universally believed to be indispensably necessary only for the forgive- 
ness of deadly sins ; with reference to venial sins the judgment of St. 
Augustine, quoted by Lombard, was received, ' For those daily and light 
sins, without which our life is not led, the daily prayer of the faithful 
makes satisfaction.' " 

II— O 2 


sense, involved that extreme view of the authority of sacerdotal 
absolution, which was a doctrine as new to the Church as it was 
a mighty engine of command over freedom of action as well as 
conscience. Nothing is more certain, as a matter of fact, than that 
down to the 13th century the form of absolution used in the 
service of the Church was not authoritative, nor even declaratory, 
but (as it was called) deprecatory — that is, a prayer, implied in 
the priest's address to the penitent on his confession, recognizing 
the remission of his sins as in the power of God alone. 1 In 
accordance with this formula, the doctrine is distinctly explained 
by the great authority of Peter Lombard, but in terms which mark 
the beginning of a tendency to magnify the authority of the priest : 2 
" This we are able fully to fay and think, that God alone remits 
and retains sins ; and yet He has conferred on the Church the 
power of binding and loosing. But He himself binds and looses in 
one way (or 'sense'), the Church in another (aliter . . . aliter). 
For He himself of himself alone remits sin, because He both cleanses 
the soul from its inward stain, and frees it from the debt of eternal 
death. But this He has not granted to the priests, to whom how- 
ever He has granted the power of binding and loosing, that is, of 
shoiving men bound or loosed. Because, though a man be loosed 
in the sight of God, yet is he not regarded (habetur) as loosed in 
the face of the Church, except through the judgment of the priest." 
That judgment, then, is the outward recognition, for the sake of 
the penitent's position in the Church, of the real state in which he 
is placed by the Divine forgiveness; as is further shown by the 
comparison of his case with that of the lepers, whom Christ com- 
manded to shew themselves to the priests, according to the law, 3 for 
the cure of the outward disease of which all were cleansed, though 
only the one who obeyed was made whole thiough his faith. The 
resort to the priests was necessary, both as they were the appointed 
ministers of the leper's exclusion or restoration, and to this end 
they had diligently to examine (a parallel to confession), and pass 
judgment on the signs of his condition. "Therefore (says Lombard) 
in loosing or retaining sins 4 the evangelical priest acts (operatur) 
and judges in the same manner as did the legal priest of old in the 
case of those who were contaminated with leprosy, which is the 

1 For the proofs and examples, see Gieseler (iii. 358), and Reichel. 
* Sentent. lib. iv. dist. 18 ; quoted by Gieseler, iii. 358. 

3 Luke xvii. 14 ; see Lev. xiii. 2 and xiv. 2. 

4 Here culpis. the word which signified the guilt of sin, subjecting to 
eternal death, in contrast with pma, its temporal penalty. This distinc- 
tion is of the utmost importance for understanding the views of the 
scnolastic theologians on the whole subject. 


outward mark of sin." All this goes to explain and qualify the 
sense in which he argues from God's committal to the priests of 
the power of binding and loosing, that " to those to whom they 
give remission, God also gives it;" 1 and he distinctly holds that 
their absolution is only valid in so far as it accords with the Divine 
judgment. And how completely his whole view of absolution rests 
on this foundation is shown by his at once subjoining, " If, how- 
ever, a priest be not at hand, confession is to be made to the nearest 
neighbour or companion." Such confession is distinctly held to 
be sacramental by another of the greatest schoolmen, Albertus 
Magnus, 2 who regards the ministration committed to the priests as 
only one of Jive kinds of absolution, the last being described in the 
most widely comprehensive terms as u from the unity of faith and 
charity; and this in the case of necessity devolves on every man for 
the relief of his neighbour ; and this power the layman has in case 
of necessity." Had Albert been asked " Who is the neighbour" 
qualified to grant this " absolution of faith and charity " ? — he might 
perhaps have replied in the confession which his Master's parable 
drew from the scribe, " He that shewed mercy on him," when the 
priest and Levite had passed him by. 3 It is true that these opinions 
were not universal; but even their strongest opponents in the 
12th century did not venture to maintain the absolute power of 
the priest to remit the guilt of sin as with the authority of God. 
In the Victorine school, for example, 4 the founder Hugh held a high 
sacramental view of absolution, 5 and his follower Richard described 
the opinion of Lombard — that the priests had not the power of 
binding and loosing, but of showing men bound or loosed— as 
frivolous and almost too ridiculous for refutation. 6 But his own 

1 It is to be particularly observed that, wheiever Lombard approaches 
the extreme views of confession and absolution, he is following the treatise 
falsely ascribed to St. Augustine (see p. 277 ). On the locus clatsicus 
respecting the power of binding and loosing in heaven as well as earth 
(Matt. xvi. 19), he quotes Jerome's condemnation of the-authority assumed 
by bishops and presbyters " who did not understand the text" 

2 Sentent. lib. iv. dist. 17, art. 58, 59, where we have the true echo of 
the apostolical precept, so often perverted into an argument for auricular 
confession to a priest : " Confess your faults one to another, and pray for 
one another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a 
righteous man availeth much " (James v. 16). As late as 1310 confession 
to a Catholic layman by a person in danger of death, when no priest was at 
hand, was sanctioned by the Synod of Treves; and we have an example of 
its practice in the confession of Joinville and his companions to the 
Constable of Cyprus, when prisoners in the hands of the Saracens (Join- 
ville, St. Louis, quoted by Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 364). 

3 Lukex. 37. 4 See Chap. XXVIII. § 14. 

5 Hugo a S. Victore, de Stcrament, lib. ii. pars. xiv. c. 8. 

6 Ricardus a S. Vict., de Potestate ligandi et solvendi, c. 12 


view fell far short of that which ultimately prevailed, for the 
absolute power which he ascribes to the priest extends onh' to the 
temporal penalty of sin (the poena), while he reserves for God 
the " deliverance from its guilt (culpa) by the inward supply of 
grace from God" 

But in the 13th century the same great distinction is as clearly 
drawn, only to be decided the other way by the authority of 
Thomas Aquinas, expressing the prevalent opiniou of his age. 1 
Propounding the two questions — Whether the power of the keys 
extends to the remission of guilt, and whether the priest can remit 
sin as respects its penalty : — he replies to the former, that the virtue 
of the keys operates for the remission of guilt, just as also does the 
water of baptism. But still the great master's scholastic subtilty 
avoids the purely mechanical view of an opus operatum. In 
both cases the work is not that of a principal agent, for Grod 
alone of Himself remits guilt, and by virtue of His power baptism 
and the priest act each as an instrument — an inanimate instrument 
in the water, a living instrument in the power of the keys — and, 
even as an instrument, not causing, but disposing to the reception 
of grace and the remission of guilt. At first sight, this disposing 
might appear to be a spiritual operation ; but he further explains 
it as operating in the sacrament itself, in such a manner that, " if 
before absolution the person had not been perfectly disposed for 
receiving grace, he would obtain grace in the sacramental confession 
and absolution itself, if he opposed no obstacle " — for the loss of the 
benefit of a sacrament by its unworthy reception was a doctrine 
never abandoned, at least in theory. 

But such refinements were not likely to reach the understanding 
of the vulgar, who were even told by some of their priests that they 
were cleared of their sins as a stick is peeled of its bark. 2 The 
popular confidence in so comfortable a doctrine was strengthened by 
the change which was made about this time from the old form of 
absolution into the formula, "I absolve thee" (Ego te dbsolvo), not 
without strong objections, as we learn from the pains taken by 
Aquinas to answer them. As late as 1249, William, bishop of 
Paris, 3 distinctly testifies to the continued use of the formula dfjn-r- 
catoria : " Nor does the confessor, after the manner of judges in the 

1 " Secundum opinionem quae sustenetur commuuius." — Summa Theo- 
logize, pars. iii. qu. 18, art. 1, 2. There is no reason to doubt this 
testimony to the growth of opinions so much in accordance with human 
nature, as well as with the spirit of the times. 

2 This expressive figure was used with reference to the virtue of a 
local indulgence, and was condemned by Honorius III. (1255). 

3 Be Sacramento Pamitentix, sub fin. ; Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 363. 


courts, pronounce the sentence, We absolve, we do not condemn; 
but rather he offers prayer over him, that God would give him 
absolution and remission and grace." Thomas Aquinas quotes the 
statement of a writer, to whom he is replying, that it was scarcely 
thirty years since all had used the form, "May God grant thee 
absolution and remis.sion," and that the priest ought not to say " I 
absolve thee," both because this lies within the power of God alone, 
and because the priest could not be sure that the person was really 
absolved. Thomas decided for the formula, "I absolve thee," as 
alone effective, the deprecatory formula being retained only as an 
introductory prayer that the penitent might be rightly disposed to 
receive the formal absolution. 1 As to the authority of the priest 
alone to grant absolution, Thomas Aquinas argues thus: — "The 
grace, which is given in the sacraments, descends to the members 
from the Head : and therefore the only minister of the sacraments 
in which grace is given, is he who has the ministry over Christ's 
true body; which belongs to the priest only, who has power to 
consecrate the Eucharist. And therefore, since grace is conferred in 
the sacrament of penitence, the priest alone is the minister of this 
sacrament; and to him alone, therefore, is to be made the sacra- 
mental confession, which ought to be made to the minister of the 
Church." In such reasoning we see how completely the character 
of the Church, as the body of Christ, in which all believers are 
united as members to Him, 2 their living head, had been usurped by 
the priesthood. 

§ 7. The power of absolution from the temporal penalty (poena) 
of sin was connected with the whole penitential discipline, which 
fell during this age into depths of abuse, corruption, and supersti- 
tion. To the question, Whether the priest can remit sin in respect 
of its punishment, Thomas Aquinas replies, that those who through 
penitence obtain remission of guilt and of the sentence of eternal 
death receive increase of grace and remission of the temporal 
penalty, a part of which had still remained. For penitence is not, 
like baptism, a regeneration, but a healing, a process in its nature 
gradual and imperfect; and, after contrition, absolution, and con- 
fession, there is a remnant of penalty {residua poena), for which 
satisfaction has still to be made. Hence the effort to maintain true 
repentance and amendment of life was overpowered by the idea 
that penance was a satisfaction for sin to God, required of the 

1 Summa, pars. iii. qu. 84, art. 3 : " Utrum hasc sit forma hujus sacra- 
menti, Ego te absoho." The formda deprecatoria was retained as the 
absolution in some places down to the 14th century ; afterwards it was 
used only as an introduction (Gieseler, iii. 363). 

2 See Rom. xii. 4, 5 ; 1 Cor. vi. 15, xii. throughout ; Ephes. iv. 25, v. 30. 


sinner as his part over and above the atonement of Christ and the 
absolution of the Church. In this new sense of satisfaction we 
find the key to a vast system of abuse. For the evangelic duty of 
"bringing forth fruits meet for repentance " and making reparation 
for the wrong done so far as it was possible, was substituted a 
system of acts, burdensome or frivolous, not for the benefit of the 
injured person, bat for the quieting of the offender's conscience. 
The primitive doctrine of penitential discipliue and self-denial, to 
combat and remove the sin incurred from day to day, was now 
corrupted into a system of "indulgences" and "commutations of 
penance," in which the Church made profit from the vices of the 
people. Penance was commuted for some less onerous task, of which 
pilgrimage was one most in favour ; pecuniary gilts, the building of 
churches and founding of monasteries, and even the vicarious obser- 
vance of fasts and other penances by the dependants of the great, 
who thus laid their sins on others. But while the worship, disci- 
pline, and sacramental system of the Church grew more and more 
mechanical, many were moved all the more by dissatisfaction with 
such a system, and especially with the easy modes of penance, to 
the sterner practice of asceticism. Such persons for the most part 
found refuge in the stricter monastic orders ; and we shall have to 
speak presently of the special provision made for them. 

Among various modes of self mortification, sometimes vying with 
the cruellest ingenuity of torturers, besides protracted fasts, special 
virtue was attributed to flagellation, whether self-inflicted or volun- 
tarily submitted to. One of the most vehement advocates of this 
discipline was Peter Damiani, who regarded self-mortification as a 
meritorious anticipation of purgatory on earth. 1 The practice grew, 
though protests were made against its excess. 2 Jn the year 1260 
it broke out into a sort of epidemic, originating at Perugia, which 
should, however, rather be accounted among the irregular fanatical 
movements of the age, than as example of ascetic discipline. The 
fanatical Flagellants of the 14th century have been spoken of 
above (Chap. VIII. § 7). 

§ 8. The chief form of commutation, which now arose and was 
afterwards developed into an elaborate system, was that of Indul- 

1 Damiani, Opusc. xliii. Be Laude Flagellorum ct Discipline. 

2 Thus in England the author of the Ancren Rivcle (' The Rule of 
Female Anchorets '), a sufficiently stern disciplinarian, enjoins upon the 
nuns of Tarent, in Dorset : " Wear no iron, nor hair-cloth, nor hedgehog 
skins; and do not beat yourselves therewith, nor with a scourge of 
leather thongs, nor leaded ; and do not with holly nor with briars cause 
yourselves to bleed without leave of your confessor; and do not, at one 
time, use too many flagellations." (Morton's translation, p. 419; quoted 
by Hardwick, p. 307.) 


gences, pardons of sin granted in consideration of particular acts of 
piety and services to the Church. At first they referred only to 
specific offences already committed, and were granted by bishops ; 
and the abuses attending them were rebuked by the very Popes 
who developed the system on a gigantic scale. 1 

Plenary Indulgences* began to be granttd fur all sins, without 
limitation to special acts; such as Gregory VII. promised to those 
who supported the rival of Henry IV. (1080) ; but the first grand 
example of a general plenary indulgence was that which Urban II. 
proclaimed at the Council of Clermont to all who would join in the 
First Crusade (1095). " These indulgences, indeed, were intended 
as remissions of those temporal penalties only, which it was believed the sinner must undergo in this life or in purgatory ; but the 
people in general understood them, and persisted in understanding 
them, as promises of eternal forgiveness, while they overlooked any 
conditions of repentance or charity which had been annexed to 
them. And the licence which marked the lives of the Crusaders, 
and of the Latins who settled in the Holy Land, is an unquestion- 
able proof of the sense in which the papal offers were interpreted." 3 
There were not wanting those who saw these evil consequences, and 
contended that the graces of penitence and devotion were essential 
to the benefit of indulgence ; but others, more practically if less 
piously, regarded the popular view as necessary to the indulgence 
having any value, and held that, if the people were deceived, the 
deceit was lawful for its good effects. The fatal doctrine was now 
propounded, " The Church deceives the faithful, and yet she doth not 

1 Among the acts for which indulgences were granted by bishops were 
" the recitation of a certain prayer before a certain altar, visiting a church 
on a certain day, pilgrimages to relics or miraculous pictures, or the like ; 
and in furtherance of local undertakings, such as the building or enlarge- 
ment of a church, the building of a bridge, or the enclosure of a forest " 
(Robertson, iii. 271). An interesting example of the system in a state of 
transition is furnished by the promise of Gregory VI. (1044), in grntitude 
for the offerings made towards the restoration of churches in Rome, of his 
prayers and those of his successors on behalf of the donors for the remis- 
sion of their sins, that they might be brought to everlasting life. — D'Achery, 
Spicileg. iii. 398 ; Gieseler, iii. 366, n. 

2 " At first plenary indulgence was only granted for services undertaken 
on behalf of the Church at the risk of life. Thus the idea of the power of 
martyrdom to eradicate sin entered into the conception of indulgence." — 
Gieseler, iii. 366, n. 

3 :% Those who remained at home also received the benefit of the indul- 
gence in proportion to the amount of their contributions to the cost of 
the Crusade; but Gregory IX. was the first who allowed such a pay- 
ment as a commutation for fulfilling the vow of the Crusader," — Robert- 
son, vol. iii. p. 270. 


lie;" 1 and Thomas Aquinas says that, if inordinate indulgences are 
given, " so that men are called back almost for nothing from the 
works of penitence, he who gives such indulgence sins, yet, never- 
theless, the receiver obtains full indulgence." 2 

In fact, something like doubt about the whole system is betrayed 
by the elaborate discussions respecting both the foundation and the 
extent of the efficacy of indulgence, which some altogether denied 
as inconsistent with the fundamental doctrine, that God only can 
forgive sin. This seems to have been one of the points on which 
the purer religion surviving in the monasteries withstood the 
corruptions countenanced by the bishops and Popes from motives 
of interest. 3 Thus Stephen, abbot of Obaize, in laying the founda- 
tion of a new church (1156), resisted the bishop's offer of letters 
of indulgence to the assembled people, refusing to introduce a 
custom which (he said) was a stumbling-block to the people and a 
disgrace to the clergy, by making them a present of indulgences 
which none but God had the power to give. 4 "We" — said the 
pious abbot to the bishop, on another like occasion — "are still 
burthened by our sins, nor have we pow^r to lighten the sins of 
others." 5 

In his own sharper spirit of sarcasm, Abelard denounces " priests 
who deceived those put under them, not so much through error 
as covetousness, so that for offerings of money they condoned or 
mitigated the penance enjoined for satisfaction, regarding not 
so much the Lord's will as the power of money. And we 
see " (he adds) " not only priests, but also the very princes of 
those priests (I mean the bishops) so shamelessly inflamed with 
this covetousness, that when, at the dedications of churches, or 
the consecrations of altars, or the blessing of cemeteries, or any 
solemnities, they gather assemblies of the people from which they 

1 William of Auxerre, quoted by Neander, vii. 487. 

2 Summa Theol. suppl. qu. xxv. art. 2 ; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 610. 

3 In the 12th century, and even later, all bishops had the right to grant 
indulgences in their own dioceses, unless it were limited by the Pope 
(Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, ap. Gieseler, vol. iii. "p. 368, n.). 
Innocent III., by a decree at the Fourth Lateran Council, imposed restric- 
tions on the granting of "indiscreet and extravagant" (supertfuas) 
" indulgences by the prelates," who thereby " contemned the power of 
the keys, and weakened penitental satisfaction " — a plea for the papal 
prerogative as much as for holy discipline. 

4 It is clear from other evidence, as well as from the testimony of 
Abelard next quoted, that the indulgences granted on such occasions were 
not a gracious reward for pious acts, but a stimulus and enticement to 
obtain contributions from the people. 

5 Vit. Steph. Opaz. ii. 18 ; ap. Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 168. 


expect copious oblations, they are prodigal in the relaxation of 
penance, granting to all in common the indulgence, sometimes of a 
third, sometimes of a fourth part of the penance, under a certain 
semblance forsooth of benignity, but in truth from the greatest 
covetousness. And in vaunting themselves of the power which, as 
they say, they have received through Peter or the Apostles, 1 when 
the Lord said to them, Whosesoever sins ye remit, &c. (John xx. 
23), they boast above all that the act is theirs, when they confer 
this benignity on those put under them. And I would that they 
at least did this for their own sake and not for money, that it might 
seem at all events to be benignity rather than cupidity. But, 
indeed, if it is to redound to the praise of their benignity, that they 
remit a third or a fourth of the penance, much more would their piety 
deserve proclaiming if they were to remit the half or the whole 
completely, as they profess to have the right entrusted to them by 
the Lord, as if heaven were placed in their hands. While, on the 
other hand, they seem chargeable with great impiety, because they 
do not absolve all those put under them from all their sins, so as to 
suffer none of them to be damned : if, I say, it has been thus put 
in their power to remit or to retain what sins they will, or to open 
or shut heaven to those for whom they decide : nay, they might 
well be proclaimed most blessed, if the}' could open it to themselves 
when they would. But if this is beyond either their power or their 
knowledge, they certainly incur, as 1 think, the censure of the poet, 

Nee prosunt domino, qua -prosunt omnibus, artes. 
Let who pleases covet that power — not I— by which he is able 
rather to profit others than himself, as though he had power over 
the souls of others rather than his own." 2 

The sarcastic boldness of this language, so characteristic of Abe- 
lard, is scarcely more damaging to the doctrine of indulgence than 
the doubts and limitations with which the doctrine was accepted. 3 

1 It is very interesting to observe, in the frequent references of this 
age to the leading texts on the remission and retention of sins, how little 
stress is laid on that commission of the power of the keys to St. Peteb 
on which the Papacy rests its highest claims (Matt. xvi. 19 ; comp. 
xvih. 18, where the same commission is given to all the Apostles). It is 
evident also that Abelard's reasoning applies a fortiori to Papal indul- 
gences, and even to the whole extreme theory of sacerdotal absolution. 

2 Abaelardi Kthica, cc. 18, 25; ap. Gieseler, iii. 365-6. 

3 See, for example, Paul us Presbyter, who recites seven probable 
opinions (Summa de Poznitentia, 15 ; about a.d. 1200), and Gulielmus 
Episcop. Altissidor. (SenUnt. iv. tract vi. c. ix. qu. 1), who discusses the 
question, Whether in truth the remission avails as much as the Church pro- 
mises* (Gieseler, vol. iii. pp. 368-9). Albertus Magnus (Sentent. lib. 
iv. dist. 20, art. 16) says that three opinions were snciently held about 


The original and moderate notion was, that the remissions granted 
in reward of contributions and services to the Church availed only- 
through securing the prayers of the Church ; and even the highest 
views attached some conditions and limitations to their efficacy. 
But much more than this was not only commonly understood, but 
often promised. Thus of the indulgence by which many were 
induced to take the Cross, they were told by the bishops that the 
vowed Crusader, on his death, would immediately fly away to 
heaven ; upon which a writer x observes that " the prelates make 
many promises which are not performed; wherefore this sort of 
remissions should be made with great discretion, and not at 

But the high theory, which ultimately prevailed, was that the 
Church had at its disposal an accumulated treasure of merits won, 
the good deeds, sufferings, and penitential exercises of the faithful, 
especially of Christ himself, to impart to deserving penitents, in 
virtue of which, like the " Mammon of unrighteousness " in the 
parable, they would be " received into everlasting habitations." 2 

The scholastic divines of the thirteenth century gave this notion 
the form in which we find it taught by Alexander Hales and Albertus 
Magnus, and fully elaborated by Thomas Aquioas, of the " Treasury 
of Supererogation " 3 of the merits of those made perfect (thesaurus 

indulgences : the first, that they were of no effect at all, hut a pious 
fraud which the mother uses to entice her children to goodness, such 
as pilgrimage, and alms, and hearing the word of God, and the like ; 
but this, he thinks, perverts the acts of the Church into mere child's-play, 
and almost savours of heresy. Others, going too far in their eagerness to 
contradict that view, have said that indulgences avail simply as they are 
pronounced, without any other condition declared or understood. He him- 
self agrees with the third opinion, namely, that indulgences avail just 
as the Church declares them to avail ; but six conditions are required, 
which are either supposed or expressed by the Church. Two of these are 
on the part of the giver : authority and a pious cause ; two are pre- 
supposed on the part of the receiver : contrition with confession, and faith 
that this can be done for him through the power of the keys, wherefore letters 
of indulgence always (?) contain the clause " to those who are contrite and 
have confessed " ; the other two are required on the part of grace or of 
the Church, namely, the superfluity of the treasury of merits (abundantia 
thesauri meritorum), and the just estimation of that remission for which 
the indulgence has been instituted. 1 Gulielmus Altissidor, I.e. 

2 We find the germ of this doctrine in the first of the seven "probable 
topinions " enumerated by the Presbyter Paulus (loc. sup. cit.), who quotes 

he parable (Luke xvi. 1-9). 

3 The verb erogo, "to obtain by asking," had the secondary sense of 
expending grants thus obtained from the people, and then generally of 
spending and paying. Hence, in Roman law, supererogo signified " to make 
a payment over and above the sum due," and supererogatio any excess of 
payment so made. 


supererogationis perfectorum, also meritorum), on which (to use 
the modern phrase) the Church could draw, in virtue of the poiver of 
the keys, for the remission both of the temporal and eternal penalties 
of sin, not only for the benefit of the living, but also of the dead in 
purgatory. The doctrine of some, that such remissions regard only 
the judgment of the Church, and not the judgment of God, is 
expressly rejected by Alexander Hales, 1 because, if the Church 
remits punishment and God does not, this would be more of a 
deception than a remission, and cruelty rather than piety ; and he 
holds that God confirms the remission granted by the Church. To 
the question, whether the merit of one man can avail in satisfaction 
of the penalty incurred by another, he replies that, so far as punish- 
ment is a remedy (rtiedicamenturti), it cannot, but if we speak of it 
as a price (pretium), in this sense one man can make satisfaction 
for another. But this can only be done by the authority of a 
superior ; and his conclusion is, that " indulgences and remissions 
are made in consideration of the supererogatory merits of the mem- 
bers of Christ, and principally those of Christ himself 2 which are 
the spiritual treasure of the Church. But to dispense this treasure 
does not belong to all, but only to those who are chiefly the vice- 
gerents of Christ, that is, the Bishops." Thus he leads up to the 
Pope's prerogative of indulgence by the power of the keys, which is 
more fully developed by Thomas Aquinas. 3 And that power was 
now held to rule over the unseen world of purgatory, as well as over 
the Church on earth ; so that those who had died in penitence, but 
without receiving absolution, even though absolved by God, might 
still obtain the absolution of the Church ; as Alexander Hales 
says, " It is presumed probably and most truly that the Pontiff can 
grant indulgences to those who are in Purgatory." But he adds, 
with special emphasis, that several conditions are required for the 
efficacy of such indulgence, which he regards as availing chiefly 
through the faith and prayers of surviving friends and of the 

1 Summa Theol. pars iv. qu. 23, art. 1. 

2 It would be an injustice to the views of the scholastic divines to over- 
look the stress they lay upon this point, not merely that the treasure 
of supererogation consists chiefly of the merits of Christ, but also that 
those of the saints avail (as Aquinas puts it), "because of the mystic 
unity of the members of His body . . . just as the apostle says that he filled 
up what was wanting of the sufferings of Christ in his body for the 
Church to which he writes (Col. i. 24) ; and so the aforesaid merits are 
the common merits of the whole Church " ; and (he adds), as common 
property, they are distributed to the individuals of the community at the 
pleasure of him who presides over it, namely, the Pope, in virtue of the 
power of the keys {Summa Thcol. suppl. pars. iii. qu. 25, ap. Gieseler, 
vol. iii. pp. 375-6). 3 Loc. mp. cit. 


Church. Aquinas infers the benefit of the dead from the com- 
munity of the whole Church in the merits on which indulgences 
depend. 1 

This final form of the doctrine of indulgence, both for the 
quick and dead, brought a vast increase and awful sanction to the 
authority of the Papacy, as holding the supreme power of the 
keys. The attempts of Popes 2 to check the abuse of the episcopal 
power of indulgence tended to strengthen their own prerogative. 
During the 13th century, plenary indulgences were renewed for 
every crusade, not only against infidels, but against heretics and 
contumacious princes, as the Albigenses and Frederick II. At the 
Jubilee of the year 1300 Boniface VIJ I. proclaimed to all penitent 
visitors to the clurches of St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome "not 
only a full, but mure abundant, nay the fullest pardon of all their 
sins." When at length the system reached the climax which 
provoked Luther's opposition, Leo X. declared that the temporal 
penalty {poena) could be remitted to the living and the dead alike, 
by means of the indulgences which he was empowered to distribute 
as the almoner of Christ and of the Saints; the guilt {culpa) being 
graciously forgiven through the sacrament of penance. Lesser 
indulgences were granted on the most trivial pretexts; and they 
were dispensed throughout Christendom, in the Pope's name, by his 
devoted agents the monks, and especially by the friars, who used 
them in return for easy and mechanical services as the means of 
attracting popular devotion to their respective orders. Thus the 
Franciscans gathered crowds of visitors every year, on the feast of 
St. Peter's chains (Aug. 1), to receive the benefit of the indulgence 
which their founder's prayers had obtained from the Saviour himself 
for the church called Portiuncula at Assisi (cf. p. 418) ; while the 
Dominicans established the use of the rosary, by proclaiming indul- 
gences for the prayers reiterated by the aid of that instrument. 3 

1 See his full answer to the question, Utrum indulgent >'a> Ecclesise 
prosint mortnis 1 (Quasst. 71, art. 10, ap. Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 377). 

2 As Innocent III. at the 4th Lateran Council (1215), and Honorius III. 
(1225). Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 372. 

3 Though the rosary (capettina, paternoster, preculse, psalteriuni) now 
became the special property of the Dominicans, it had certainly been in 
use much earlier, and it appears to have been derived from the "muttering 
chaplet " (in Sanscrit, japamatd), or " remembrance " (snutrani), in use 
among Hindoos and Buddhists long before the Christian era (see the 
article in the Diet, of Christian Ant qq. vol. ii. p. 1819). "The manner of 
performing the devotion of the rosary was by reciting the angelic saluta- 
tion, with a prayer for the Blessed Virgin's intercession in the hour of 
death. A rosary of 150 beads represented a like number of arcs, which 
were divided into fifteen portions, and between these portions a recitation 
of the Lord's Prayer was interposed. Some mystery of the Christian faith 


The abuse of the system reached its climax in the open sale 
of indulgences, for which the way was prepared, first by such 
grants to those who contributed money for a Crusade, in place of 
personal service ; next by the pecuniary commutation of a Crusader's 
vow ; and finally by the grant of indulgences for small contributions 
without reference to any special pious object. The function of 
making such collections was abused by a set of impostors in the 
garb of friars, often of abandoned character — called Quaestuarii, 
from their trade 1 — who went about preaching in rivalry with the 
regular mendicant orders, and offering for sale an unlimited supply 
of briefs of indulgence, as well as forged relics. Their practices 
were denounced by several Councils, 2 and in most vehement 
terms by the friars on whose special province they intruded. Thus 
the Franciscan Befthold (pb 1272) inveighs against them as "newly 
sprung up, for when I was a little child there was never a one 
of them. They are called penny-preachers : the devil has no 
more favourite servants. For one of these goes out among the 
simple folk, and preaches and shouts, till all weep who stand before 
him. And he says he has power from the Pope to take off all thy 
sins for one mite. And he lies, saying that a man is thereby made 
free from sin before God. Thus he crowns the devil every day 
with many thousand souls. Ye must give him nought : ye must 
stand off from the fraud. The while you are giving to him, he is 
selling to you eternal death. And they slay you, and turn you 
away from true repentance, which God has hallowed, so that ye 
never may have the will to repent." Thus far the Franciscan ; 
and the General of the Dominicans 3 is equally emphatic: "about 

was proposed for meditation during the performance of this exercise, and 
the whole was concluded by a repetition of the Creed" (Robertson, vol. iii 
p. 609). 

1 Or, more fully, Quxstuarii prsedicatores, "trafficking preachers." 

2 See, for example, the declaration of the Council of Mainz (a.d. 1261, 
Mansi, xxiii. 1102; Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 372), "Contra Quxstuarios 
maledicos" whose monstrous abuse of base gain had made them as odious to 
the world as persons infected with the plague ; who exhibited as relics the 
bones of profane persons and of brutes, and boasted of lying miracles ; and 
then spent the money thus sacrilegiously acquired in feasts and drunken- 
ness, games and luxury. The Council orders them to be delivered over as 
prisoners to the bishops. In the following year Urban IV. issued a Bull 
to the inquisitors to restrain the " prsedicatores quarstuarios " from the 
function of preaching, " which in no way belongs to them," while recog- 
nizing their proper business of " merely collecting charitable contribu- 
tions, and exhibiting (exponere) the indulgence, if they happen to have 
any " (Gieseler, ib.). 

3 Humbertus de Romanis, in his book drawn up at the request of 
Gregory X., on the questions to be treated of in the General Council 
of Lyon (1274), lib. iii. c. 8 ; Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 373. 


the questuary preachers, who infect almost the whole Church in 
every land and are a scandal to the whole world : . . . . for they 
are for the most part persons dishonoured and of ill fame." And 
their influence over the common people was encouraged by the 
superior clergy; for he adds that "they corrupt Prelates and 
officials, and Archpresbyters and Presbyters to such a degree by 
their obsequiousness, 1 that they let them loose to say and do 

whatever they please Moreover they are wont to tell many 

lies both about relics and about indulgences ; and, what is the 
crowning mischief, these and many other evils have been so turned 
into sport and derision, that scarcely any one grieves over them for 
the sake of Christ." 2 

§ 9. The traffic in Relics was a means of meeting a demand 
which had grown chiefly out of the Crusades and the passion for pil- 
grimage as a penance and a form of indulgence. While the moral 
and religious results to the pilgrims and Crusaders themselves are 
pithily summed up in the contemporary testimony, " I have scarcely, 
nay never, seen any who returned better, either from the parts 
beyond sea or the shrines of the saints," 3 they returned at once to 
corrupt their friends and to stimulate in them new devotion by the 
visible signs of their own, in the shape of portions of the body and 
blood, and even of the tears, of Christ, the Apostles, and Saints, the 
instruments of His passion and their martyrdom, and other objects 
connected with them, often in a way almost grotesque. 4 These 

1 Servitiis seems to imply the acting as their servants and tools in various 
ways. Of course, the jealousy between the secular and regular clergy, 
especially the friars, must be borne in mind. 

2 This testimony is confirmed by the prominent part played by the 
qua?stionary or " pardoner " in satiric literature from this time to the 
Reformation — a matter which, as well as the mock festivals, is graphically 
introduced by Sir Walter Scott in the Abbot. 

3 Albertus Stadensis, ap. Gieseler (vol. iii. p. 367), who quotes other 
striking testimonies to the abandoned character of many of the Crusaders, 
and its aggravation by the system of indulgences ; the worst of them 
going so far as to say " I will work wickedness, because by taking up the 
Cross I shall not only be blameless, but shall free the souls of many from 
their crimes." Innocent IV. (1246) found it necessarv to desire the 
French prelates to warn the Crusaders against presuming on indulgence 
to commit the thefts, homicides, rapes, and other crimes, of which the 
King had made complaint to the Holy See. But the climax of enormity 
(the testimony of Gregory X.) was reached by the Christians in Palestine, 
whose devotion was repaid by the amplest indulgences. 

4 Among the most memorable are the dish, said to be of emerald, but 
really of green glass, still preserved in the cathedral of Genoa, whither it 
was brought from the capture of Caesarea, in 1101, as the Holy Grail 
used in our Lord's last supper (William of Tyre, x. 16); the likeness of 
the Saviour (vera icon) on a napkin, the name of which was at last trans- 


relics were not merely reverenced as memorials, but (following a 
heathen superstition of high antiquity) they were trusted in as 
charms, by which evils might be warded off and diseases cured. 
More important than a vain attempt to specify the vast number of 
such relics are the testimonies borne by Councils 1 and by writers 
of high character to the many gross impostures, for the sake of 
gain, as well as the protests which were still raised against the 
honours paid, not only to the relics but to the Saints themselves, 
whose number was now so vascly multiplied, that one writer 
likens the multitude of patron saints to the idolatries of the 
heathens settled in Samaria : " Howbeit every nation made gods of 
their own, and put them in the houses of the high places, every 
nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. 2 Many stories were 
now invented to supply the silence of Scripture and of primitive 
Church History concerning the part borne by the Apostles and 
their contemporaries in the conversion of the several nations; such 
as that which brought Joseph of Arimathea to Britain and invented 
the legend of the sncred thorn of Glastonbury, with many others 
of the like sort. Churches discovered new patrons, and the monks 

muted into St. Veronica (see Part I. p. 27) ; the seamless coat of Christ, 
which (like many other relics single in their nature) was multiplied into 
several, among which the "Holy Coat of Treves " raised a new controversy 
not long ago ; the bodies of the three Magi, or " Kings," brought first to 
Milan, and translated by Archbishop Reginald to Cologne, where also the 
church of St. Ursula is still lined with the bones of the British princess 
and her 11,000 virgin comrades who were martyred by the Huns, a legend 
conjecturedly traced to the "XL M. V." (11 martyres virgines) of some 
ancient martyrology. We may cite among the more grotesque examples — 
a feather of the angel Gabriel, a portion of Noah's beard, a flame of the 
burning bush, and the sword that Balaam — wished for ! 

1 As that of Poitiers (1100), the Fourth Lateran (1215), and that of 
Bordeaux (1255): Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 334; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 268. 
The multiplication of false relics suggested testing their genuineness by 
the ordeal of fire. -Mabillon, Vet. Analecta, p. 568; Hardwick, p. 198. 

2 2 Kings xvii. 29. Guiberti, abbot of Nogent (f 1124), ap. Gieseler, 
vol. iii. pp. 334-5. This writer, after demonstrating the imposture of the 
tooth of Christ, which the monks of St. Medard pretended to possess, pro- 
ceeds to an uncompromising denunciation of the worship not only of relics, 
but of saints, and the frequent falsity of the current legends, by very 
many of which (he says) their preaching among the heathen would rather 
be blasphemed than glorified. He declares avarice to be the chief cause 
of these abuses, and implies that the custodians of the relics made use of 
their gold and silver settings, which they replaced as new offerings 
came in. " Assuredly " (he says) " if the bodies of the saints had the 
places belonging to them by nature, I mean their sepulchres, they would 
have been spared these errors. . . . Let each man say what he thinks, I 
feel quite sure of my conclusion, that it would never have pleased God or 
the saints themselves, that any of their sepulchres should be opened, or 
their bodies taken away piece by piece." 


found special saints to glorify their respective orders. The Crusades 
brought into the Western Church saints hitherto unknown, and 
some who probably never had any existence, such as St. Catherine 
of Alexandria, whose alleged relics were imported by Simeon of 
Treves (cir. 1030). 1 

§ 10. Even after the failure of the Crusades, the practice of Pil- 
grimage retained its popularity as a proof of devotion and penitence, 
often by way of commutation for severer forms of penance; and this 
also was connected with the abuses of indulgences and forged relics. 2 
For the longer pilgrimages — such as to Rome and the shrine of 
St. James at Compostella, plenary indulgences were granted, as 
well as for that to Jerusalem; and these again were commuted for 
easier journeys. 3 Against reliance on such acts weighty protests 
were uttered, especially by the monastic reformers, who held it 
better to " follow Christ in His burial " by entering a convent 
than to run after His burial-place at Jerusalem. 4 They also re- 

1 Baronius, ad Martyr. Bom. d. 25 Nov. ; Fleury, Hist. Eccles. lib. lix. 
s. 27; Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 334; Hardwick, pp. 198, 424. Respecting 
the various forms of the legend of St. George, who supplanted Edward the 
Confessor as the patron saint of England, see the Diet, of Christian Biog. 
s. v. Many of the most extravagant legends in the Greek hagiographies 
of Simeon Metaphrnstes (fl. cir. 900) were copied into the works which 
became permanently popular in the West. Among these the title of 
Golden Legend was given to the Lombard History, or Legends of the Saints, 
by the Dominican Jacobus de Voragine (i.e. of Viraggio or Varese), 
archbishop of Genoa (b. cir. 1292). The system of allegorizing the saints' 
lives was carried to absurd lengths in the Bationale of Divine Offices by 
William Durantis, or Durandus (b. 1237 ; d. 1296), an eminent Professor 
of Law at Bologna, and afterwards Bishop of Mende. The lasting 
popularity of his Bationale is attested by the fact that it was the earliest 
work printed by Fust. 

2 Pilgrims became naturally carriers of false relics, but some also 
forged them in order to claim the character. " Innocent III. complains 
that, for the sake of the privileges connected with the Compostella pil- 
grimage, the scallop-shells which were the tokens of it were counterfeited 
(Epist. x. 78)." — Robertson, vol. iii. p. 269. 

3 "Thus Calixtus II. allowed the English and Scots, instead of going 
to Rome, to content themselves with resorting to St. David's (William 
Malmesb. Gest. Beg. 435)." Robertson (/. c), quoting old Fuller (i. 298), 
"Witness the ancient rhyming verse: 'Roma semel quantum bis dat 
Menevia tantum ' : not that St. David's gives a peck of pardons where 
Rome gives but a gallon, as the words at the first blush may seem to 
import, but that two pilgrimages to St. David's should be equal in merit 
to one pilgrimage to Rome." A favourite pilgrimage was to "St. 
Patrick's Purgatory," the place in Ireland where the saint had carried 
more than one visitor beneath the earth, whether in person or in vision, 
to see the terrors of Purgatory. 

' Hildebert, i. 5 ; Peter of Clugny, Epist. ii. 15. So Anselm " held 
that a vow of pilgrimage was fulfilled by entering a monastic order ; that 


proved the neglect of ordinary duties consequent on these long 
journeys. 1 

But only a few of the more daring spirits ventured to question 
the Miracles 2 which were now multiplied far and wide; like 
Abelard, 3 who explains the cures of diseases by the mixture of 
ordinary remedies with food and drink, while the priests made a 
display of their prayers and benedictions and sanctified bread and 
water; and he cites the ridiculous failures of those who took on 
themselves to raise the dtad, like Norbert and his fellow-apostle 
Farsitus; every failure, great or small, being ascribed to want of 
faith on the part of the people. A grammarian at Bologna, Buon- 
compagno, ventured on a practical ridicule of the miracles of a 
Dominican friar, John. He gave out that he also would perform a 
miracle ; and having drawn a crowd of people out of the city to see 
him fly, he kept them waiting there a long time, and then dis- 
missed them with the words, " Depart with the divine blessing, 
and let it content you to have seen the face of Buoncompagno." 4 

thus to vow one's whole life to God was more than the partial vows of 
pilgrims {Epist. iii. 33, 116)." — Robertson, /. c. 

1 Hildebert to Fulk, Count of Anjou {Epist. xv.) ; Bernard, Epist. Iii., 
264, 399. 

2 The accounts of such miracles were collected by Peter the Venerable, 
of Clugny (de Mirarulis sui Temporis, lib. ii.) ; Herbert, archbishop of 
Torre, in Sardinia; and Caesarius of Heisterbach (cir. 1227 : de Miracidis 
et Visionibus sum ^Etatis, libri xii.) ; besides the accounts of the miracles 
of St. Thomas of Canterbury, by William of Canterbury and Benedict of 
Peterborough. Among the most remarkable of these miracles were those 
which enforced the doctrine of transubstantiation by the visible appearance 
of flesh (sometimes dropping with blood) assumed by the consecrated 
wafer. (See further in Chap. XIX.) 

3 Sermo XXXI. de S. Joanne Baptisto ; Gieseler, iii. 337. 

4 Chron. Fr. Salimbeni de Adam. ad. ann. 1229; ap. Gieseler, iii. 337. 
It would certainly seem that there must have been a strong popular sym- 
pathy with the grammarian's scepticism to allow him to play off his jest 
with safety to himself. 

St. Peter Fishing. (From the Cjlixtine Catacomb.) 
II— P 

The Virgin Enthroned. 



1. Worship of Saints and Images — Progress of Mariohtry — Festivals 
and Titles of the Blessed Virgin — Orders in her honour — the Servites 
and Cistercians. § 2. Language of Peter Damiani — Deification and 
Mediation of the Virgin. § 3. St. Bernard — Views of the Schoolmen : 
doctrine of hyperdulia. § 4. Hymns and Office of St. Mary — The Ave 
Maria — The Marian Psalters — Scriptures applied to the Virgin. 
§ 5. Feast of the Conception — Development of the Doctrine — View of 
Anselm — Opposition of Bernard and others. § 6. The Immaculate 
Conception rejected by Thomas Aquinas, but maintained by Duns 
Scotus and the Franciscans — Finally promulgated by Pius IX. (1854). 
§ 7. Latin Hymns: Dies Irte ; Stabat Mater; Adam of St. Victor. 
§ 8. Great Impulse to Church-building. § 9. The Architecture mis- 
called Gothic — The Romanesque or Norman style — Pointed Archi- 
tecture: Early English; Decorated; Perpendicular. § 10. Carving, 
Painting, and other works of art — The Renaissance. 

§ 1. The miraculous powers referred to in the preceding chapter 
were often attached to the images and pictures, the worship of 
which had now been long established in the Latin as well as the 


Greek Church. 1 The worship of the Saints, as if they were the 
tutelar divinities of persons and places, assumed a form scarcely 
distinguishable from polytheism; and, as they were exalted, the 
Virgin Mary was exalted higher and higher above them, and 
nearer and nearer to an equality with the Godhead. The spirit of 
Mariolatry among all classes betrays a strange mixture of religious 
doctrine, monastic devotion, popular feeling, and chivalric idealism, 
often of a character really erotic. 2 We have seen the germ of the 
virtual deification of the Blessed Virgin 3 in the early use of the title 
" Mother of God " (eeoroKos), which provoked the great Nestorian 
controversy ; 4 and we have traced the growth of her worship, espe- 
cially in the Eastern Church, as a female mediator, replacing in the 
minds of men and women the lost goddesses of heathenism. 5 Its 
progress is marked by the new festivals established in her honour, 
especially that of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (Aug. 15), 
which commemorated her being taken up into heaven without 
death, as if to equal her with her divine Son in His resurrection. 
This feast was instituted by the Council of Mainz (a.d. 813). 6 

The great development of Mariolatry belongs to the time of 
Gregory VII., in connection with the revived energy of religious 
life in the monasteries. Among the new orders, 7 the monks of 
Clugny chose the Virgin as their patron, in conjunction with John 

1 See Part I. Chap. XXI. 

2 For th c popular German songs in honour of the Virgin, and the 
mixture of knightly courtesy with her worship, assuming the form even 
of love-songs by the Troubadours, see Gieseler, vol. iii. pp. 339-341. In 
some cases we trace a sensuousness little short of Paphian. 

3 Her usual ecclesiastical titles are Beata Maria or Virgo (or both 
combined), Sancta Maria, &c. 

4 Part I. Chap. XV. § 3, p. 352. s Ibid. p. 452. 

6 The first great festival of the Annunciation (March 25th, commonly 
called Lady Day) is referred to the 5th or even the 4th century: and it 
is worth remembering that this (rather than the birth of Christ, Dec. 25) 
was the epoch first used in chronology as that of the Incarnation. The 
Nativity of the Virgin (Sept. 8) was celebrated at an early period both in 
the East and West ; and while the growing honour paid to her is marked 
by the change of the feast of Christ's Presentation in the Temple into the 
Purification of St. Mary (Feb. 2, Candlemas), her own Presentation (her 
imaginary dedication to the service of the Temple, Nov. 21) was made, a 
feast of the Greek Church, though it was not adopted in the West till the 
14th century. The legend commemorated by the feast of the Assumption 
originated in a mere conjecture of Epiphanius (Hxr. lxxviii. 11) that she 
never died, supported by sermons falsely ascribed to Jerome and Augustine 
(see Robertson, vol. ii. pp. 231-2). The word assumptio (&c. in caelum) 
was originally applied to the death of saints, without any suggestion of a 
miracle (Du Cange, s. v.). For a full account of the Feasts of the Virgin 
see the Diet, of Christian Antiqq., art. Mary, Festivals of ; see also the 
article Mary (in Art). 7 Respecting these, see Chap. XX. 


the Baptist; the Carmelites were styled the "hermit friars of 
St. Mary ; " the Servites adopted their name to express their servitude 
to her (servi B. Marise Virginis) ; but the Cistercians are described 
as, from their first foundation, distinguished above all the other 
religious orders for their special devotion to the glorious Virgin, 1 
and all their churches were dedicated to her. 

§ 2. The extravagantly hyperbolic language, with which writers 
and especially preachers now vied in inflaming the minds of men with 
adoration and something more, is found in the Sermons of the rigid 
ascetic, Peter Damiani, the great friend of Gregory VII. 2 Though 
regarding Mary as a created being, he places her above all the greatest 
of God's other creatures, both in the excellence of her nature and the 
special object of her existence. " The works of God's fingers made 
nothing so excellent, so glorious." " When God made all His works 
very good, He made this one (Maria) better, consecrating in her for 
Himself" — a relation in which the mystery of the incarnation is ex- 
pressed in language too daring to be plainly quoted. 3 Following up 
this idea, he represents God as announcing the design of man's re- 
demption, and the renewal of all creation, to a council of admiring 
and rejoicing angels — not as in Milton's sufficiently bold description 
of the covenant between the Father and the Son, but—" from the 
treasure of divinity the name of Mary is brought out (evoloitur), 
and through her, and in her, and of her, and with her, all this is 
decreed to be done, that, as without Him nothing was made, so 
without Her nothing should be made ! " 4 

And as her part in the new creation is thus made, if not equal, 
certainly co-ordinate with that of the Father and the Son, so her 
entrance into heaven is even more glorious than His. 5 The 
Assumption is " that sublime day, on which the royal Virgin is 
carried to the throne of God the Father, and, enthroned on the 
very seat of the Trinity, invites also the angelic nature to behold 
her glory. The whole concourse of Angels is gathered arouud to 
see the Queen 6 seated on the right hand of the Lord of virtues 

1 These are the express words of the Privilegium granted to the order 
by Gregory IX. (Giesekr, iii. 340). 

2 De Nativitate and de Annunciatione Marise, ap. Gieseler, vol. ii. p. 427. 

3 Sermo xi. de Annnnciatione B. V.M. Nor is Damiani alone in thus 
applying the Song of Solomon to Mary, who is thereby made the bride as 
well as the mother of God. 4 Referring to John i. 3. 

5 Sermo xl. de Assumptione B. V. M. 

6 The constant application to the Virgin of the title Regina coeli not 
only shows the growing tendency to invest her with a co-ordinate share 
of God's power in heaven and over creation, but betrays the hankering 
after the old heathen idea of female divinities, the "survival " of which, 
perhaps, formed the chief root of Mariolatry. She was also called Mother 
of Mercy, Blessed Queen of the World, &c. 


in her golden robe When the Lord ascended, all that 

glorious company of blessed spirits went out to meet Him. Now 
lift up your eyes to the assumption of the Virgin, and — saving the 
majesty of the Son — you will find the concourse of this procession 
even much more worthy ! For only angels could meet the Redeemer, 
but when the Mother entered the palace vf heaven, the Son himself 
going out in state to meet her, with the whole court both ot 
Angels and of the Just, carried her to the assembly of the blessed 
session, 1 and says ' Thou art all fair, my love ; there is no spot in 
thee' (Cant. iv. 7)." 2 

This exaltation is distinctly declared to be a real apotheosis of 
the Virgin's human nature, in which she is again likened to the 
risen Saviour in the retention of human sympathy. In a direct 
apostrophe to her, Damiani says, 3 " Because thou art thus deified, 
hast thou forgotten our humanity ? By no means, Lady (Do- 
mino)," a title which means more than the mere reverence of " our 

As the relations of God to man were made more and more an 
awful mystery, in which perfect love was cast out by fear, and 
recourse was had to the mediation of Saints, what mediation could 
be so powerful as hers, who had now become fully recognized as the 
Mother of God, and who had womanly sympathy with mankind? 
But Damiani goes so far as to ascribe to her a sort of mediation, 
not only omnipotent through the power of God, but even directing 
His power by her authority ! Not content with applying to her 
the mediatorial prerogative of the Son — "All power is given to 
thee, in heaven and in earth ; nothing is impossible to thee, to 
whom it is possible to raise up the despairing to the hope of 
blessedness " — he adds this as the reason : " For how can that 
power, which took its origin from the flesh of thy flesh, resist thy 
power ? For thou approachest to that golden altar of man's recon- 
ciliation, 4 not only asking hut commanding, as a mistress (Domina), 
not a handmaid (ancilla)." 

1 We give, as safest, the literal rendering of the phrase ad beatse 
consistorium sessionis ; that it means the throne of the Trinity seems 
clear from the first sentence above : " Sublimis ista dies, in qua Virgo 
regaiis ad thronum Dei patris evehitur, et in ipsius Trinitatis sede repo- 
sita," &c. 

2 This passage of the Song of Solomon was afterwards used to support 
the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. 

3 Sermo xlv. or i. de Nativ. Marix, ap. Gieseler, vol. ii. p. 427. 

4 Referring to Hcbr<ws ix., where the mediatorial office of Christ is set 
forth as the antitype of the High Priest's entrance into the Holy of Holies 
on the great Day of Atonement ; another example of applying to Mnry 
what belongs in Scripture to Christ only. 


§ 8. The like ideas were afterwards expressed even more clearly in 
the more measured language of St. Bernard, 1 calling on his hearers 
to venerate Mary with their inmost hearts and affections and all 
their prayers, because God "has willed that we should have all 
things through Mary." He represents fallen man hiding from the 
face of the Father (Gen. iii. 7, 10), who gives him Jesus as 
Mediator : " But even in Him, perhaps, you fear the Divine Majesty, 
because though He was made man, He still remained God. Would 
you have an advocate also with Him ? Have recourse to Mary. . . . 
He will hejr her as a Son his Mother, and the Father will hear the 
Son-" 2 and the impossibility of His refusing her mediation is 
argued from the angelic salutation, " Fear not Mary, for thou hast 
found favour with God" (Luke i. 30). When the relation of the 
Blessed Virgin to the Son and the Father was once put thus, what 
limit could be placed to her power with God on behalf of man, or 
to the honour due to her and the adoration by which her aid was 

In answering this question, the scholastic divines drew a dis- 
tinction, which tended rather to obliterate than define the limit. 
There was already vagueness enough in the old difference attempted 
to be made between the adoration of worship (Aarpeia, latria) due to 
God alone, and the adoration of service (dovXeia, dulia), which might 
be rendered to the Saints. Peter Lombard was the first to imagine 
an intermediate form of adoration (a higher dulia), as due to the 
human nature of Christ, full worship (latria) being reserved for 
His Divine nature ; but from this higher dulia he expressly ex- 
cludes evert/ other created being. 3 When, however, his followers 
abandoned this distinction as applied to the worship due to Christ, 
they claimed the higher sort of dulia for the Virgin, 4 under the 
name of hyperdulia, which is thus finally explained by Thomas 
Aquinas : " Since then the Blessed Virgin is a mere rational creature, 
the adoration of latria is not due to her, but only the veneration 
of dulia ; but yet in a more exalted degree than to other creatures, 
inasmuch as she is the Mother of God. And therefore it is said 
that what is due to her is not any mere form of dulia, but hyper- 
dulia;" which he elsewhere defines as " a mean between latria and 
dulia.'" 6 

1 Sermo in Nativ. B. Marias, ap. Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 340-1. 

2 Compare the language of the Hsalterium Majus J>. Maria Vinjinis, 
Psalm xciii. : "God is the Lord of vengeance, but thou, Mother of Mercy, 
turuest Him to pity " ! 

3 Sentent. lib. iii. dist. 9, ap. Gieseler, iii. 341. 

4 Alex. Halesius, Swnmi, pars. iii. qu. 30; Bonaventura, Sentent. lib. 
ii. dist. 9, art. 1, qu. 3; Thorn. Aquin. Sunma, pars. iii. qu. 25, art. 5. 

5 Secunda secundae, qu. 103, art. 4. 


§ 4. This attempted refinement vanishes when we turn to the 
honours actually paid to the Virgin and the forms of worship 
addressed to her ; beginning in the monasteries, and afterwards 
adopted throughout the Church. As early as the tenth century, we 
find in the convents a weekly service " in honour of Mary, the 
Mother of God -," 1 and the hymns of praise to her were developed 
into a form of service, the Officium Sanctx Marix, which is still in 
use. Its full establishment is due to the zealot Peter Damiani, 2 who 
gives the assurance of eternal hope to those who paid their daily 
vows of '* hours" to the Blessed Queen of the World, and says that 
it was already a good old custom in some churches to celebrate 
offices of Masses in her honour every Sabbath (i.e. Saturday); 
s.j that there were three sacred days in every week (besides the 
Sunday), one in commemoration of the Cross of Christ, another of 
Mary, and another of all the Saints. Damiani's rule was resisted 
as an innovation in the Italian monasteries, especially by Gozo, a 
Benedictine, who even persuaded his brethren to discontinue their 
accustomed hymns to the Virgin ; but thereupon the convent met 
with great disasters, which only ceased when the monks promised 
unanimously to resume the wonted praises of the Mother of God. 
As early as 1095, it was decreed by Urban II. at the Council of 
Clermont that the Hours of St. Mary should be said daily, and her 
Office on Saturdays. The Council of Toulouse (1229) prescribed 
also to the laity devout visits to their churches on Saturday even- 
ings in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And as, besides 
Sundays, the great feasts were dedicated to the Lord, so, besides 
Saturdays, their vigils were consecrated to His mother. 3 

It was also in the time of Damiani that the " Angelic Saluta- 
tion," which the humble Virgin of Nazareth heard with fear and 
tremVing, 4 began to be addressed to her in countless repetitions 

1 See Gebhard's Life of Udalric. bishop of Augsburg (923-973), ap. 
Gieseler, vol. ii. p. 428. For the general u-e of the service in monasteries 
from the time of Hildebrand we have this testimony in the 12th century : 
" In Cceuobiis canticum novum celebratur, cum a tempore Papse Sepiimi 
Gregorii cursus b. Marias frequentatur. Gerhoh, Comtn. in Ps, xxxix. 4, 
ap. Gieseler, iii. 342. 

2 Damiani himself composed an Officium 8. Marise. 

3 In the 13th century many kept a fast of forty days before the festival 
of the Assumption ; aud the forms of devotion to the Virgin were multi- 
plied in the convents. See the examples given by Robertson, vol. iii. 
p. 616. 

4 Luke i. 27-30. The novelty of the practice is proved by Damiani's 
mentioning it as something singular, that an ecclesiastic had daily saluted 
the Virgin with the words of the Angel (Luke i. 28): "A-e Maria, gratia 
plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus." This was the original 
formula of the Ave Maria] the fuller form was framed little by little 


every day, and, soon afterwards, by the aid of the rosary, Ave 
Marias and Pater Nosters divided the mechanical form of prayer 
between God and Mary. 

The high flown language of these forms of devotion to the Virgin 
culminates in the Marian Psalters, the Lesser and the Greater, 1 the 
latter being for the most part a parody of the Psalms of David. 
The mingling of female perfections with divine power is seen in 
the 1st Psalm : " Blessed is the man who loves thy name, Virgin 
Mary : thou shalt comfort his soul with thy grace. . . . Thou 
excellest all women in beauty: thou . surpassest Angels and Arch- 
angels in the excellence of thy holiness." Nor does the imitator 
hesitate to apply to her the words which express the exaltation of 
the Son of God above all created beings 2 (Ps. 109) : " The Lord 
(Dominus) said to our Lady (Domina), Sit, Mother, on my right 
hand : Goodness and holiness have pleased thee : therefore thou 
shalt reign with me for ever." In the same spirit the Bible was 
searched for passages to be transferred from Christ to Mary, and for 
figures, the application of which is often either ridiculous or pro- 
fane, or both combined. Thus she was said to be the Bock on 
which Christ was to build His Church, because she alone remained 
firm in faith during the interval between His death and resurrection. 3 
She was said to be typified by the tree of life, by the ark of Noah, 
by Jacob's ladder which reached to heaven, by Aaron's rod that 
budded, and by other Scriptural figures, down to the Apocalyptic 
woman clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet. 

§ 5. Amidst all this excess of reverence and adoration, Mary was 
still acknowledged to be a created being, though above all other 
creatures. It remained still further to distinguish her nature from 
theirs, and to make it equal with the human nature of Christ, by the 
doctrine which has been finally developed into that of her Immaculate 
Conception. The first step had been taken long before, of supposing 
the Blessed Virgin free from any taint of actual sin ; 4 but it was still 

after the beginning of the 16th century, and was first honoured with 
universal acceptance by the Church by the Brcviarium Pii IV — Gieseler, 
vol. iii. pp. 342-3. 

1 The Psalterium Minus and the Psalterium 31ajns B. Marise Virginis, 
both of which were ascribed to Bonaventura, as a similar work, the Biblia 
Mariana, was to Albertus Magnus, but, it seems, equally without good 
reason. The works, however, certainly belong to their age. 

2 Comp. Ps. ex. 1 with Matt. xxii. 44; Mark xii. 36; Luke xx. 42; 
Acts ii. 34 ; 1 Cor. xv. 2o ; Heb. ii. 13 ; 1 Pet. iii. 22. See also Ps. xxxiii. 
5, xlv. 6, 7. 

3 Bonaventura, Speculum B. Virginis, 12; a work full of the most high- 
flown language in her honour. 

4 The primitive doctrine, down to the end of the 5th century, taught 
not only Mary's subjection to actual as well as original sin, but that she 


held that she shared with all humanity the guilt of original sin, 
which Anselm, for example, emphatically applies to her in the 
language of the Psalmist, 1 saying that " though the conception of 
Jesus was pure, . . . yet the Virgin was conceived in iniquity, and 
in sin did her mother conceive her, and she was born with original 
sin, because she herself also sinned in Adam, in whom all sinned." 2 
And this continued to be the prevalent opinion among the great 
schoolmen (with the exceptions to be presently noticed) throughout 
the Middle Ages. 

It seems strange, with this clear expression of Anselm's views 
before us, that he should have been represented as sanctioning, 3 
or even himself instituting, the Feast of the Conception (Dec. 8) in 
England ; but this account is legendary. The festival does not 
appear in history till the following century (the twelfth) ; and at 
first it was only a commemoration of the fact of the conception of 
St. Mary, the Mother of Christ, in imitation of the festival of the 
Annunciation, which commemorates the conception of her Son. 4 
The superadded idea of something beyond the ordinary case of 
humanity was at first that of holy conception, that is, free from the 
guilt of original sin, but not supernatural like that of Christ ; and 
when the latter idea was first started, as we shall presently see, 
about the end of the 13th century, it was long before the term 
immaculate was adopted. The opposition to the new festival, as exhi- 
biting the new doctrine of a holy conception, was led by no less a 

did in fact fall into sins of infirmity. (See the testimonies of Tertullian, 
Origen, Basil, Chrysostom, &c, cited in the Diet, of Christian Biog. vol. ii. 
p. 1145. 

1 Ps. ii. 5. 

2 But he seems to regard her nature as freed from all possibility of sin, 
though her sanctification took place after birth, and by some mysterious 
working of faith. Cur Deus Homo, ii. 16, 17, 18 ; Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 343. 

3 The Le/jenda Aurea quotes Anselm as the authority for the story 
that the Abbot Helsinus, being sent on a mission to Denmark by William 
the Conqueror, was caught in a storm on his return, and, praying for 
help to St. Mary, saw a vision of a grave ecclesiastic on the waves, who 
assured him of safety on condition of his founding the Feast of the Con- 
ception of St. Manj on Dec. 8 (1067). In England it was only in 1328 
that a Council at London accepted its imposition by Simon Mepeham, 
archbishop of Canterbury, who then ascribed its institution to Anselm, 
doubtless on the authority of the Legenda Aurea. The passages in its 
favour quoted from Anselm by recent controversialists are really in work.* 
by other authors or interpolated. (See Diet, of Christian Biog. vol. ii. 
p. 1145; Robertson, vol. iii. p. 264.) A Council at Oxford, in 1222, had 
prescribed the keeping of " all the feasts of S. Mary, except that of the 
Conception, the celebration of which is not imposed of necessity.'''' — Gieseler, 
vol. iii. p. 344. 

4 For the way in which this parallel was worked out, see Gieseler, 
vol. iii. pp. 314— 5. 

II— P 2 


person than St. Bernard, who condemned it as alike novel, heterodox, 
and unauthorized. His views are fully expressed in a letter of sharp 
rebuke to the canons of Lyon, 1 because "some of them had wished 
to change what was already excellent by introducing a celebration 
unknown to the ritual of the Church, not approved by reason, nor 
recommended b}^ ancient tradition." He had learnt from the Church 
to regard the birth of the Virgin as undoubtedly holy and to be kept 
as a feast, " holding with the Church that she received in the womb 
the privilege to be born without sin." Others had been made holy 
before their birth; 2 but he will not venture to say how far this 
sanctification availed against original sin. " Beyond all doubt also 
the Mother of the Lord was holy before she was born ; " and there- 
fore the Church is right in keeping the day of her birth as a joyful 
festival throughout the world, because "a more abundant blessing 
of sanctification came down upon her, not only to sanctify har own 
birth, but also to keep her life thenceforth free from all sin ; which 
is believed to have been granted to none else of those born of women. 
What (he asks)c?o we suppose is still to be added to these honours t" 
To the reply, " that her conception should be honoured, which pre- 
ceded her honourable birth," he rejoins; "that the same reason 
would apply to all her ancestors in an infinite series." As to the 
doctrine itself, he adds: "Although it has been given to some, 
however few, among the sons of men to be born holy, yet to noue to 
be also thus conceived, that the prerogative of a holy conception might 
be reserved for One only, who should sanctify all and make, a cleans- 
ing of sins, being Himself the only one who comes without sin. 
It is the Lord Jesus Christ alone that was conceived by the Holy 
Ghost, for He alone was holy before His conception. Excepting 
Him, the humble and true confession (quoting Ps. li. 5) applies to 
every one else of Adam's children. Then what can be the meaning 
of a Festival of her Conception ? How can a conception be said to be 
holy, which is not of the Holy Spirit, not to say, which is of sinf 
or how can it be regarded as a matter for festive celebration, when 
it is not holy ? The glorious woman will be ready enough to go 
without an honour, which seems either to honour sin, or to attribute 
a holiness which did not exist." 

The protest of Bernard was supported by various eminent contem- 
poraries ; s and the general rejection of the festival, up to or beyond 

1 Efiist. 174, cited by Gieseler, vol. Hi. p. 343, and the Rev. F. Meyrick, 
n the Diet, of Christian Antiqq. vol. ii. p. 1145. 

2 He names Jeremiah, as he had read in Jer. ii. 5 ; John the Baptist 
(Luke i. 41) ; and possibly David (on the ground of Ps. Ixx. 6 ; xxi. 11, 12). 

3 For example: Potho, a presbyter of Priim, after questioning the 
reasonableness of introducing the Feast of the Trinity and that of the 


the end of the 12th century, may be inferred from the language of 
the ritualist Belethus : ! " Some have sometimes celebrated the Feast 
of the Conception, and still perhaps celebrate it ; but it is not 
authorized (or genuine, authenticum) and approved ; nay, it seems 
that it ought rather to be prohibited, for she was conceived in sin ;" 
and this conclusion is expressly adopted by his follower Durandus, 
the great ritualist authority of the 13th century. 2 

§ 6. During that century, however, the celebration made steady 
] >rogress ; 3 and even Thomas Aquinas 4 allows that, "although the 
lioman Church does not celebrate the Conception of the Blessed Virgin, 
yet she tolerates the usage of some churches which celebrate that 
feast. Wherefore such celebration is not to be wholly blamed." 
But yet, he forthwith adds, it must not be understood from the 
fact of the celebration, that the Virgin was holy in her conception ; 
but, because it is unknown at what time she was sanctified, the feast 
of her sanctification, rather than of her conception, is celebrated on 
the day of her conception. Of her sanctification in the womb 
nothing is delivered to us in canonical Scripture, neither does it 
mention her Nativity; but the doctrine may be reasonably in- 
ferred. 5 He defines this sanctification to be a cleansing from the 
original sin in which she had been conceived ; and he argues that if 
her soul (or " life," anima) 6 had never incurred the stain of original 

Transfiguration, says : " To these is added by some what seems more absurd 
— a feast also of the Conception of St. Mary {Be Statu Domua Dei, lib. iii.). 
Peter of La Celle, abbot of St. Remigius at Rheims, defended Bernard's 
views against the vehement attack of Nicolas, a monk of St. Albans 
(cir. 1175).— Gieseler, iii. 344. 

1 Divin. Offic. Explicatio, c. 146 (ap. Gieseler, /. c). Belethus appears 
to have flourished at Paris or Amboise (or both) about 1182. His work 
is frequently appended to the Rationale of Durandus (J.b. p. 313). 

2 Rationale, lib. vii. c. 7 (Gieseler, ib. p. 345). 

3 See the examples cited by Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 344, n. 18. Observe 
that it was still simply the Feast of the Conception, without any such 
epithet as Immaculate or even Holy. 

* Summa, pars iii. qu. 27 ; ap. Gieseler, vol. iii. pp. 345-6. 

5 Just as (he says) the fact of her being taken up to heaven in the body 
may be reasonably inferred, for which he quotes Augustine in that 
{spurious) Sermon on the Assumption, which greatly influenced the school- 
men's views of the honours due to the Virgin. As to the little weight 
given to the authority of Scripture, St. Bernard had already dismissed the 
Scriptural arguments for the higher view of the doctrine as of no weight 
if unsupported by reason and the authority of the Fathers: "Ipse mihi 
facile persuadeo script is talibus mm mover i, quibus nee ratio supped itare, 
nee certa invenitur favere auctoritas " (in the Epist. 174, referred to above). 

6 This was the point on which the controversy turned, Aquinas holding, 
with the other great schoolmen of the 13th century, that the Virgin was 
not made holy ante animationem (see the passages cited by Gieseler, I.e.). 
Such are the subtilties of the scholastic divinity! 


sin, she would not have needed the redemption and salvation which 
is through Christ, which would derogate from the dignity of Christ 
as the universal Saviour of all mankind. As to her own sinlessness, 
he concludes that " it is simply to be confessed that the Blessed 
Virgin committed no actual sin, so that thus is fulfilled in her, what 
is written in Canticles iv. 7 : ' Thou art all fair, my love ; there is 
no spot in thee.' " l 

In these views the " Angelic Doctor " of the Dominicans gave 
the weight of his authority to the opinion prevalent in the 13th cen- 
tury, even among the Franciscans, 2 whose " subtile Doctor," at the 
end of the century, became the great teacher of the higher doctrine, 
though even Duns Scotus did not venture to affirm it as certain. 
He states this threefold alternative: 3 "It was in God's power to 
make her so that she never was in original sin ; or only for one 
instant ; or that she was in sin for some time, and was cleansed 
from it at the last moment of that time. Which of these three pos- 
sibilities took place in fact, God knows; but it seems probable to 
assign to Mary that which is the more excellent, if it be not opposed 
to the authority of the Church or the authority of Scripture."* 
As a part of the general controversy between Thomists and Scotists 
the Franciscans henceforth took the festival and doctrine under their 
special protection; and from the 14th century onwards, the belief in 

1 As he quotes from the Vulgate, Tota pulchra es, arnica mea, et macnh 
non est in te," where the word macula became the great Scripture 
authority for the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. 

2 See Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 345, n. 17. Let it be remembered that, 
though Aquinas was a Dominican, Alexander of Hales and Bonaventura 
were both Franciscans. 

3 Sentent. lib. iii. dist. 3, qu. 1, § 9 ; ap. Gieseler, vol. iii. p. 346. 

4 More decisive, but still brief, is the passage (dist. 18, qu. 1, § 13), 
" Virgo mater Dei nunquam fuit inimica actualiter ratione peccati 
actualis, nee ratione originalis (fuisset tamen, nisi fuisset pra?servata)." It 
appears especially strange to the later Franciscans that their Duct r 
Subtilis is so short on this head ; accordingly they consider that his prin- 
cipal works on this subject must have been lost (e.g. Hugo Cavellus in 
the Vita Scoti, prefixed to his Quzes'i >ne*). — Gieseler, vol. iii. pp. 346-7. 
The later Franciscans state that (about 1304) Duns Scotus defended the 
doctrine of the Immaculate Conception against 200 Dominicans in a public 
disputation at Paris, and thereby induced the University to impose on 
commencing graduates an oath to defend the Blessed Virgin from original 
guilt, and to decree the annual celebration of the " Feast of the Im- 
maculate Conception." But the earliest authorities for this are late in 
the 15th century, and even they place the decree no earlier than 1333; 
and there is no trace of it in the Acts of the University. The " Gallic 
nation" first decreed the celebration in 1380, and the University de- 
clared the Immaculate Conception a probable opinion in 1387. — Gieseler, 
i'nd. The reforming Council of Basle passed a decree in favour of the 
doctrine (see p. 182). See further in Chap. XXII. § 10. 


the Latin Church 1 wavered between a maculate and immaculate 
conception, according as the Dominicans or Franciscans were most 
powerful at Rome. At length, under the Jesuit influence which 
prevailed at Rome after the crisis of 1848-9, and the desire to 
retrieve the temporal losses of the Roman see by new assertions of 
spiritual and dogmatic power, Pius IX. promulgated a Bull (Dec. 8, 
1854), declaring the dogma that St. Mary, having been conceived 
immaculately, was absolutely exempt from original and actual sin, 
to be an article of faith, all opposition to which is heresy. 2 

§ 7. During this period, and especially in the 13th century, the 
worship of the Church was enriched with some of the noblest 
hymns which, either in the Latin original or translations, have 
become the possession of the universal Church. The "Dies Iix" 
is ascribed (but doubtfully) to Thomas of Celano, a Franciscan and 
one of the biographers of St. Francis, and the " Stabat Mater " to 
another Franciscan, Jacopone of Todi. In the highest rank of this 
sacred poetry is the series of Latin hymns composed for the great 
festivals and saints' days— a medieval Christian Year— by Adam 
of St. Victor, who lived at the famous Victorine convent at Paris 
through the greater part of the 12th century. 3 These devout 
utterances— which owe part of their charm to the novel use of 
rhythmic cadence, in place of quantity, and of rhyme— however 
strange to the forms of classic Latin verse, bear witness to a strain 
of deep and pure devotion by the response which they evoke from 
devout minds in every age. 

§ 8. Among the causes which tended to intensify religious feeling 
or outward acts of devotion, especially about the beginning of the 
period under review, were those millennial speculations, which have 
had a sort of fearful fascination in every age of the Church. As, 

1 The doctrine is regarded by the Greek Church as heretical (see Con- 
ference between the Archbp. of Syros a id the Bp. of Winchester, Lond. 1871). 

2 The fact that this dogma was promulgated by the immediate pre- 
decessor of the Pope (Leo XIII.) who has given an unlimited sanction to 
the theology of Thomas Aquinas, is the more remarkable in the light of 
the establishment of the doctrine of Papal infallibility under Pius IX. 
(1871). It is well asked by Dean Milman : "Is not the utter and total 
apathy with which it has been received the most unanswerable proof of 
the prostration of the strength of the Roman Church ? There is not life 
enough for a schism on this vital point " {Latin Christianity, vol. ix. 
p. 76, n.). 

3 See " Tne Liturgical Poetry of Adam of SK Victor, from the text of 
Gautier ; with Translations in the original metres and short explanatory 
Notes ; by Digby S. Wrangham, Lond. 1^82 ; " and an article on Medio;',/ 
Hymns in the Quarterly Review, July 1882. The probable date of Adam 
is from before 1130 to 1192. Respecting the Victorines, see below, 
Chap. XXVIII. § 14. 


even in apostolic times, our Lord's sayings were misunderstood as a 
warning of His immediate coming to the final judgment, 1 so the 
apocalyptic prophecies of a millennium 2 were not unnaturally 
interpreted as predicting the end of the world at the completion of 
1000 years, first from the advent of Christ, and, when that epoch 
was overpassed, from the date of his crucifixion (1033). Then, as 
now, few were able to regard the consummation of Christ's media- 
torial work with joyful anticipation rather than fear; and the 
passage of each epoch was hailed as a relief from a crisis of terror, 
almost as if men forgot how near their own individual end must be, 
at the longest. 

The sense of gratitude for so great a deliverance is assigned by a 
writer of the age as one chief motive for the great impulse which 
was given to church-building, as if (he says) 3 " the world, casting 
off its old age, and renewing its youth were clad everywhere in the 
white robe of churches." To the partial truth embodied in this 
fancy several other causes must be added. Many ecclesiastical 
foundations, both churches and monasteries, were the fruit of servile 
fear rather than cheerful gratitude, a form of that compromise of 
penitence spoken of above, or a supposed meritorious sacrifice to be 
rewarded hereafter. But many are monuments of the purer feeling 
which led a king or noble to say with David, " See now, I dwell in 
an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains :" 4 
like Edward the Confessor, when he built the abbey church at 
Westminster. And that minster is also a type of the vast number 
of churches that sprang up as necessary adjuncts to the growth of 
monastic life. In our own country, especially, the destruction of 
the monasteries causes men to forget how many of our noblest 
cathedrals, besides others which have not become bishops' sees, 
were originally conventual churches ; not only those whose names 

1 Thess. ii. 1, 2, 2 Rev. xx. 1-6. 

3 Radulph, Hist. in. 4, quoted by Hardwick, p. 204. The " white robe" 
was not only the new brightness of stone and marble; but the brilliant 
aspect of the church amidst the landscape was due to the custom of casing 
the rough materials of the walls and towers with plaster and whitewash. 
u Aesthetic " u restorers " have been unable to distinguish between the abuse 
of whitewash in hiding the carved work within a church, and its proper 
use on the outside. A conspicuous example is seen in the raw edges of the 
Roman bricks of St. Alban's Abbey Church as exposed by the removal of 
the whitening which made it formerly a true Koh-i-noor — mountain of 
light — amidst a wide expanse of country. 

4 2 Sam. vii. 2. This spirit of genuine devotion had been recommended 
by Charles the Great, in a Capitulary addressed to the prelates of the 
Empire (811) reminding them that, however good is the work of building 
fine churches, the true ornament and topstone of a good life is to be 
put before any buildings. (Mansi, xiii. 1073 : Hardwick, p. 93.) 


bear witness to their origin, as Westminster, York Minster, 
Wimborne Minster, 1 but such also as Canterbury, Durham, Ely, 
St. Albans, Christchurch (Hants), to name but a few examples. 
While the growing wealth of the Church at large supplied means 
for the natural passion for building, the monks, vowed to poverty, 
found in this an excellent use for their common revenues. Suc- 
cessive abbots rejoiced to enlarge and beautify their churches ; and 
their ambition was shared by the princely and noble men and 
women who brought their wealth to the cloister in which they 
sought refuge from the world. 

§ 9. To illustrate these statements by examples would require us 
to follow the erection of many churches, both English and foreign : 
and even to trace the general process of church building in this age 
would lead us aside into the history of architecture. 2 A very brief 
sketch must suffice us. Few students, perhaps, require now to be 
warned against the twofold error, prevalent not very long ago, of 
supposing that there was a particular style of ecclesiastical archi- 
tecture, and that that style was especially associated with the 
Church of Borne. In fact, it was in Italy, and especially at Rome, 
that classic architecture held its ground for ecclesiastical use ; and 
to this day the churches — with St. Peter's for their great type — 
have retained the form and style, as well as the name, of the old 
Roman basilica. With regard to the former point, in a rude age 
when houses were built with the barest regard to utility, and the 
general building of castles happened to be simultaneous with the 
new impulse to church building, the new style, developed for civil 
and domestic use, was adopted also for ecclesiastical purposes, 
modified in each case by the practical requirements of church or 
castle, palace, house, or hall. 

The Italians of the Eenaissance, in the contemptuous spirit of 
their classic revival, gave this medieval architecture the name of 
Gothic, from the mistaken idea that it was the native creation 
of the northern barbarians ; and, as a mere technical nomencla- 
ture, fixed by long usage, the term is retained as a broad distinction 
from the Classic and other types of architecture. It is now agreed 
that its earliest form was derived, not, as some have thought, from 
the Byzantine, but from the later Roman, called distinctively 
Romanesque, 3 which spread from Italy over Western Europe. In 

1 Minster is merely the English form of monaster turn. 

2 For all that needs to be known on this matter, the student is referred 
to Fergusson's History of Architecture, and, for the present subject in parti- 
cular, Rickman's English Architecture, newly edited by the late John Heron 
Parker, C.B. : it is somewhat remarkable that Mr. Rickman was a Quaker. 

3 The parallel is something more than merely fanciful, between the 


England, it is known as Norman, having been one of the new 
elements imported from Normandy in the 11th century, a con- 
siderable time before the Conquest. 1 In a church of this style, 
massive columns or piers, round or polygonal (sometimes with 
smaller columns round them), divide the nave from the aisles, 
carrying semicircular arches, which support the lofty walls, covered 
in with a roof, in the oldest examples generally of timber, but 
with cylindrical groined ceilings in the smaller widths, as in the 
aislt s and porches. The round arch also heads the windows and 
doorways, and is used throughout as an ornament; but the 
characteristic forms of surface-ornament and mouldings must be 
left to special works on architecture. 

The lighter style— characterized by the pointed arch (which 
is said to have been known in Provence as early as the time 
of Charlemagne), and by the clustered columns, from which 
ribs branch out to support a groined roof — began to come 
into general use from the middle of the 12th century. The 
first great example of it is said to be the church of St. Denys, 
near Paris, about 1144. Brought into England somewhat later, it 
formed the style called Early English, in which the harmony 
of beauty and dignity has attained perfection ; as in the great 
examples of Salisbury Cathedral (1220-1258) and the nave and 
transepts of Westminster, reared by tke devotion of Henry III. 

The next stage of Gothic architecture, called from its richer 
ornamentation, and the more flowing tracery of the windows, the 
Decorated, belongs chiefly to the 14th century, the age of the 
Edwards in England, where it is seen in innumerable churches. It 
was succeeded by the style characterized by superficial florid orna- 
mentation and perpendicular lines (seen especially in the mullions 
of the windows), whence it has received the name of Perpen- 
dicular. 2 In England, as the Early English is associated with 
Henry II L, so is the Perpendicular with his still more devout 
descendant Henry VI., in such works as the Chapels at West- 
relations of the Romanesque architecture to the Roman, and of the Romance 
languages to Latin. 

1 Among its finest types are the naves of Winchester, Ely, St. Alban's, 
Peterborough, Durham, and Christchurch, the two last built (partly at 
least) by Ralph Flambard, the notorious minister of William Rufus, 
who is called by Peter of Blois "omnium virorum in terra cupidissimus 
et pessimus." His motive in the rebuilding of Christchurch, of which 
he was prior, is said to have beeu that he might keep the income of 
the canons in his hands during the progress of the works, after he was 
made Bishop of Durham (1099). The choir, as well as nave, of Durham is 

2 Earlier writers, before Rickman, called it Florid. 


minster, 1 Windsor, and King's College, Cambridge, and the choirs 
of many cathedrals and abbey churches. 

§ 10. The churches were adorned, as an essential part of the 
design, with carving which, like the architectural details, shows a 
growing skill and freedom in the artisans who worked out their 
spontaneous ideas; and, while the workmen produced figures of 
saints, sepulchral effigies, and those more sacred subjects which it 
was not then deemed profanity to represent, their exuberant imagi- 
nation revelled in most extraordinary efforts of grotesque art. 2 
Besides the rich colouring of architectural details, painting as an 
art went hand in hand with sculpture, on the inner walls of the 
churches, and especially in the windows of stained glass, which, 
with all their imperfections of drawing and composition, still baffle 
imitation for the purity and " fastness " of their colouring. The 
like art was lavished on the illumination of manuscripts, and the 
embroidery of vestments, altar-cloths, and other tapestry. Nor 
must we pass over the works in metal, the genuine product of the 
hammer in the hand of an artist-workman, as the architecture was 
of the mason and the carver. 1 n a word, all the work of the age 
owed its life to this creative power in the workmen themselves, 
of whom it may generally be said, as of the first sacred artist, 
Pezaleel, 3 that they were filled with the spirit of God, because 
they worked by the nature He had given them, and with all their 
hearts, " in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and 
in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in 
gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, . . . and in 
carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship." 

We have had occasion to refer to the rise of those new forms of 
art which culminated in the great masterpieces of the Renaissance; 
but the subject is too large to follow here, and must be left to the 
special Histories of Art. 

1 " Henry Vllth's Chapel," though finished and appropriated by that 
King, was planned and begun by Henry VI., for his own resting-place. 

2 Besides the familiar gargoyles and masks of strange monsters, devils, 
and the damned in torture, whose place outside the church is contrasted 
with the saints within, the reader has only to turn up the seats of the 
stalls in almost any ancient choir, to see carvings which will excite a 
strange mixture of admiration (in both senses of the word) and of amuse- 
ment. Some curious examples are given in Wright's History of Caricature. 

3 Exod. xxxi. 3-5. 

Abbey of Corbey, in Westpbalia. (The Monastery of Radbert and Ratramn.) 



1. Doctrine of the Eucharist — The three Views of Paschasius, Ratramn, 
and John Scotus. § 2. Opinions in the 11th century — Opponents of 
Paschasius Radbert— Heriger and JElfric. § 3. General State of 
Opinion. §4. Middle View: Ratherius ; Gerbert ; Leutheric ; Fulbert. 
§5. Berengar of Tours: reproved by Adelmanu and Hugh— His 
remonstrance with Lanfranc for teaching the doctrine of Paschasius 
(1049). § 6. Lanfranc's answer : Berengar condemned at Rome (1050) ; 
imprisoned by Henry I. of France ; condemned at Vercelli — Popular 
fanaticism against him. § 7. Satisfies Hildebrand at the Synod of 
Tours (1054) — Council at Rome under Nicolas II. (1059) ; Berengar's 
enforced confession. § 8. His Character — Renewed Controversy with 
Lanfranc. § 9. Guitmund — Various Classes of Berengarians : Impo- 
rtation, &c. § 10. Real nature of the dispute — Statement of Bp. 
Bruno. § 11. Gregory VII. protects Berengar — The two Roman 


Councils (1078-9); Berengar's enforced but qualified confession — 
Gregory's Letter in his favour — His last days ; honours paid to his 
memory. § 12. Intellectual Aspect of the Controversy — Authority 
and Reason; Use of Dialectic . § 13. Doctrine of the 12th century — 
St. Bernard — Popular Feeling — Miracles — The Schoolmen — Transuh- 
stantiation enacted under Innocent III. (1215) — The dogma fixed by 
Thomas Aquinas. § 14. Discontinuance of Infant Communion — The 
Cup withdrawn from the Laity. § 15. Elevation of the Host — Festival 
of Corpus Christi — Infrequency of Communion. 

§ 1. The materializing tendencies of the a_-e under review reached 
their climax in that doctrine of the Eucharist, which was declared 
by authority as the faith of the Roman Catholic Church. We have 
related the controversy, which sprang up in the 9th century, 1 between 
Paschasius Radbert, who first distinctly taught a real change of the 
bread and wine into the body and blood of the Lord, and Ratramn, 
who advocated a spiritual change, producing the presence in truth 
and in figure to the faithful soul ; while John Scotus Erigena seems 
to have held that the Lord's Supper was nothing more than a com- 
memorative ordinance, in which the bread and wine were only the 
symbols of the body and blood of Christ, setting forth the truth of 
His sacrifice in visible signs. 

§ 2. The last opinion was condemned as heretical by the chief 
disputants on both sides ; and the general acceptance of a " Real Pre- 
sence " in some form, without an attempt to define its mode, sus- 
pended the controversy during the 10th century and the first part 
of the 11th. The doctrine of Paschasius prevailed more and more, 
and was received (as we shall see) by the common people, always 
fond of mystical power, with an almost fanatical eagerness. 2 But 
the more spiritual views of Ratramn had numerous adherents ; such 
as Heriger, abbot of Taubes, in the diocese of Liege, who, we are 
told, " collected in opposition to Radbert many writings of the 
Catholic Fathers concerning the body and blood of the Lord." 3 
Such were the views that seem to have prevailed in England, 
which was always slow to follow the extremes of the Roman and 
Frank churches. Thus iElfric, 4 whose homilies were used by 

1 Part I. Chap. XXII. §§ 12, 13. 

2 The popular faith was stimulated by the stories of miracles (already 
referred to) in which the consecrated bread assumed the form of flesh, 
sometimes dripping with blood, or of the infant Saviour, and so forth, 
Such confirmations were urged as early as by Radbert himself. For 
examples see Acts of the Synod of Arras (1025) ; Mansi, xix. 433 ; 
Gieseler, ii. 397. 

3 Sigebert Gemblac. op. Gieseler, vol. ii. p. 398. 

* Vol. II. pp. 271-3, ed. Thorpe. vElfric's Homi'i-s belong to the early 
part of the 11th century, and their use by the Anglo-Saxon Church is 


authority, discourses as follows. " Of the Sacrifice on Easter 
day :" " Great is the difference between the invisible might of 
the holy housel and the visible appearance of its own nature. By 
nature it is corruptible bread and corruptible wine, and is by the 
power of the Divine word truly Christ's body and blood ; not, how- 
ever, bodily, but spiritually. Great is the difference between the 
body in which Christ suffered and the body which is hallowed for 
housel. ... In His spiritual body, which we call housel, there is 
nothinn to he understood bodily, but all is to be understood spiri- 
tually. It is, as we before said, Christ's body and Bis blood, not 
bodily but spiritually. Ye are not to enquire how it is done, but 
to hold in your belief that it is done." 

§ 3. The general state of opinion and feeling is described by Dean 
Milman with characteristic power and eloquence: — "This Sacra- 
ment — the Eucharist — from the earliest times had been withdrawn 
into the most profound mystery ; it had been guarded with the most 
solemn reverence, shrouded in the most impressive ceremonial. It had 
become, as it were, the Holy of Holies of the religion, in which the 
presence of the Godhead was only the more solemn from the sur- 
rounding darkness. That presence had as yet been unapproached 
by profane and searching controversy, had been undefined by canon, 
neither agitated before Council, nor determined by Pope. During all 
these centuries no language had been thought too strong to express 
the overpowering awe and reverence of the worshippers. The oratory 
of the pulpit and the hortatory treatise had indulged freely in the 
boldest images ; the innate power of the faith had worked these 
images into realities. Christ's real presence was in some indescribable 
manner in the Eucharist ; but under the notion of the real Presence 
might meet conceptions the most dissimilar, ranging from the most 
subtle spiritualism to the most gross materialism ; that of those 
whose faith would be as profoundly moved by the commemorative 
symbols, which brought back upon the memory in the most vivid 
reality the one sacrifice upon the cross, as that of the vulgar, to 
whom the more material the more impressive the notion, to whom 
the sacred elements would be what the fetiche is to the savage. 

" Between these two extremes would be the great multitude of 
believers, who would contemplate the whole subject with remote 
and reverential awe. To these the attempt at the scrutiny or even 
the comprehension of the mystery would appear the height of pro- 
fane presumption ; yet their intuitive apprehension would shrink, 

undoubted, though the identity of the writer is difficult to determine. On 
this question, and the attempt of Dr. Lingard to explain away his testi- 
mony, see Soames, Th». Creed of the A i g'o-Saxnn Churc'i (Oxford, 1835), 
and Robertson, vol. ii. p. 652. 


on the one hand, from refining the holy bread and wine into mere 
symbols, on the other from that transubstantiation which could 
not but expose the actual Godhead to all the accidents to which 
those elements, now not merely corporeal, but with all the qualities 
of the human flesh and blood, but actually deified, might be 
subject." 1 

§ 4. The prevalent disposition to accept the extreme doctrine as an 
incomprehensible mystery of faith, is thus expressed by Ratherius, 
bishop of Verona : 2 — " That wine is made, by the blessing of God, 
true and not figurative blood ; and the bread, flesh. About the rest, 
I pray you, do not concern yourself, since you are told that it is a 
mystery, and that of faith. For if it is a mystery, it cannot be 
comprehended : if of faith, it ought to be believed, not discussed. 
The great Gerbert 3 (Pope Sylvester II.) saw no great difference 
between the doctrines of Paschasius and Ratramn. 4 His disciple 
Leutheric, archbishop of Sens, was censured by King Robert I. for 
administering the Eucharist with the words, " If thou art worthy, 
receive " (1004) ; and, though he submitted to be silenced, we are 
told that " his perverse dogma grew in that age." 5 A more eminent 
teacher, Fulbert, bishop of Chartres, the friend of Leutheric and 
instructor of Berengar, uses language very similar to that of iElfric. 
The Lord, he says, 6 " left us the pledge of his body and blood — 
a fledge of salvation — not the symbol of an empty mystery. The 
bread consecrated by the bishop is transfused 7 into one and the 
same body of Christ.'" But he goes on to distinguish this from the 
body of His incarnation in these remarkable words:— "But in 

1 Latin Christ. Bk. VI. c. ii. ; vol. iii. pp. 386-7. In the first 
sentence " the earliest times " must not be taken too literally ; but, except 
for the apostolic age, they are hardly too strong. See Part I. Chap. VIII. 
S§ 5, 7. 

2 Epist. 6, ad Patricium, in D'Aehery, Spicileg. vol. i. p. 376 ; Gieseler, 
vol. ii. pp. 397-8. It is observable that he ascribes the transmutation of the 
elements not to the direct act of the priest, but " Dei benedictione. . . ." 
a phrase equally significant whether we understand the genitive sub- 
jectively or objectively. Ratherius (who died in 971) was distinguished 
for his efforts to reform the corrupt Italian clergy. 

3 See Part I. Chap. XXIII. § 10, foil. 

4 Corp. et Sang. Christi, in Gieseler, vol. ii. p. 398. 

5 Helgoldus, Vita Roberti, ap. Gieseler, vol. ii. p. 398 ; but it is some- 
what doubtful whether the censure was not rather for his use of the 
Eucharist as an ordeal. Another writer distinctly ascribes to Leutheric 
the origination of the Berengarian heresy: " Hujus tempore [i.e. 
John XVII., 1003] Leuthericus Senon. Archiep. haeresis Berengarianae 
primordia et semina sparsit." Vit. Johannis X I 11., Gieseler, I.e. 

6 Epist. 1, ap. Gieseler, /. c. 

7 Transfunditur, a remarkable word : neither transmutation, nor much 
less transubstantiation. 


some way that body, which, being made incarnate in the Virgin's 
womb, suffered the outrage of the cross — the memory of which the 
bishop seems to present in the bread imparted by the presbyters — 
is different from that which is presented in the way of mystery." 
Such language might even seem to come down to the low view of 
John Scotus Erigena, but for the distinct statement of the preceding 
sentence; and, in the ensuing controversy, some of Fulbert's pupils 
evidently believed that he would not have approved of the views of 

§ 5. All this, however, suffices to show that the teaching of 
Berengar was by no means a sudden outburst of new heresy, but the 
revival of an unsettled controversy. It is remarkable both for the 
part taken in it by Gregory VII., and for the occasion it gave for the 
use of those dialectic subtilties which soon afterwards took a lasting 
form in the scholastic theology. 1 Berengarius or Berengar of 
Tours (where he was born a.d. 1000), after studying under Fulbert 
at Chartres, returned to his native city in 1031, and became 
treasurer of the cathedral and master of its school, where he esta- 
blished so high a character as a teacher and theologian, that the 
Bishop of Angers 2 made him archdeacon of that city, while still 
holding his post at Tours. Our earliest information of his opinions 
on the Eucharist is derived, not from his own writings, but from 
the letters of remonstrance on the scandal caused by his teaching, 
addressed to him by two of his old fellow-pupils under Fulbert, 
namely, Adelman, schoolmaster of Liege, and Hugh, bishop of 
Langres. 3 As to the result, we only know it to have been so fruitless, 

1 In the 18th century the controversy arquired a new interest through 
Lessing's discovery, among the MSS. at Wolfenbiittel, of Berengar's 
Treatise De Sacra Coena, which had been only known before through the 
accounts of his opponents, and on which Lessing wrote his famous vindi- 
cation of Berengar, Berengarius Ticron. od. Ankiindig. eines icichtige/i 
Werkes destelhen, Braunschweig, 1770, 4to. Lessing's endeavour to prove 
the identity of Berengar's doctrine with that of Luther, who had 
vehemently condemned it as formerly understood, gave great offence. 
The De Sacra Coena was first edited by A. F. and F. Th. Vischer, Berol. 
1834. The knowledge of its contents had been previously derived chiefly 
from Lanfranc's work against Berengar, De Eucharistix Sacramento contra 
Berengarium in the Bibl. Pair. vol. xviii. p. 763, seq.. and in Dr. Giles's 
edition of Lanfranc's works, Oxon, 1844. The personal form of address 
in both works adds a zest to the controversy. The best account of it is in 
Ebrard's Das Dogma u. Geschichte des hciligen Abcndmahl, Frankf., 1844-6 
It appears from internal evidence that the work of Lanfranc was written 
between 1063 and 1070, and that of Berengar in 1070, exactly seven 
centuries before its rediscovery. 

2 Either Eusebius Bruno or his predecessor, in 1040. 

8 Adelman, de Ve<itate Co>p. et San/ D mini, ad Berengar. Epist., in 
Bibl. Patr. xviii. 438, and better edited by C. A. Schmid from a Wolfen- 


that we find Berengar in his turn remonstrating with no less a 
person than Lanfranc, then abbot of Bee, 1 on a report brought 
to him by a certain ingelran, that Lan franc had disapproved, and 
even held as heretical, the opinions of Joannes Scotus (meaning 
Ratramn) 2 on the Sacrament of the altar, in which he differed 
from Paschasius, whose views Lanfranc had adopted. This hasty 
opinion, adds Berengar, was unworthy of his high ability, and 
betrayed an imperfect study of Holy Scripture, from which he 
challenges Lanfranc to defend his view. Distinctly adopting the 
opinions of John Scotus (i.e. Ratramn) on the Eucharist as his 
own, Berengar tells Lanfranc that, if he deemed John a heretic, he 
must make heretics of Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine, not to 
speak of others (a.d. 1049). 

§ 6. Even if Lessing goes too far in praising this letter as " friendly, 
modest, and flattering," it scarcely deserved the hostile reception 
which appears to have been aggravated by an accident. 8 When 
Berengar's messenger arrived at Bee, Lanfranc had left for Rome, 
and the letter was opened by certain clerks, whose pious zeal was 
so inflamed at the scent of heresy, that, instead of simply for- 
warding the letter, they showed it to others, and talked about the 
opinions expressed in it to many more. The result was — to use 
Lanfranc's own words — " that no worse suspicion was raised against 
you than against me, to whom you directed such a letter : " — 

biiltel MS., Bruns. 1770; Hugonis Ep. Lingon. Lib. de Corp. et Sang. 
Domini, in D'Acheiy, Opp. LnnfraiiC. Append, p. 68, seq., Bibl. Pair. 
xviii. 417. The date of Hugo's work must have been before 1049, when 
he was deposed by the Council of Rheims for simony ; that of Adelman 
was probably about 1047-8. He afterwards became Bishop of Brixen. The 
letter appears to have been answered, after some time, by Berengar in a 
Porgatoria Episto'a, of which we have only fragments; ap. Schmid, op. ct. 
p. 34, se'j. ; "Gieseler, ii. 399. The rumour which had reached Liege, as 
Hugo tells Berengar, was that he denied the "veium corpus Chri$ti n in 
the Eucharist, and argued that it was only present in " a sort of figure 
and similitude." 

1 See above, Chap. III. § 14. Guitmund, the pupil of Lanfranc, and 
one of Berengar's most vehement opponents, accuses him, in very coarse 
terms, of being moved by jealousy of Lanfranc's rising fame as a teacher. 
De Corp. et Sang. Christi, ap. Bibl. Pair. xvii. 441 ; Robertson, ii. 655. 

2 Respecting the common error, by which the work of Ratramn was 
attributed to Joannes Scotus, see Robertson, ii. 306. Gieseler even 
supposes that Scotus did not write a book on the Eucharist. 

3 The circumstances are related by Lanfranc (de Enchar. c. 4) : 
"Tempore S. Leonis [IX.] P. delata est It wests tua ad apostolicam 
sedem," &c. It is supposed that Lanfranc departed for Rome in the suite 
of Leo IX. after the Council of Rheims ; but a biographer (Milo Crispinus, 
Vit. Lanfr. c. 3) says he w ent to Rome on account of a clerk named 
Berengar, who dogmatized on the sacrament of the altar otherwise than 
as the Church holds. See Lessing, xii. 230 (Robertson, vol. ii. pp. 655-56). 


a sign, it may be observed in passing, both of the frankness of the 
letter and of the unsettled state of opinion on the question. 

When the letter at last reached Home, it was read before a synod 
presided over by Leo IX. ; and the sentence of condemnation was at 
once promulgated against Berengar (1050). The Pope then called on 
Lanfranc to clear himself of the stain brought upon him by rumour ; 
to state his belief, and to prove it rather by sacred authorities 
than by arguments — (was this a rebuke from the simple-minded 
Bruno to the germs of the scholastic spirit?) "Therefore" — he 
says — " I rose up; what I thought, I said; what I said, I proved ; 
what I proved pleased all, displeased none." Berengar was sum- 
moned to a synod at Vercelli, in September ; where the question was 
raised as to the supreme jurisdiction of the Eoman see. He says 
that, according to the ecclesiastical laws, by which no one was com- 
pelled to go for trial out of his own province, his fellow-churchmen 
and his friends dissuaded him ; but from respect to the Pope, he 
applied for a safe-conduct to the King of France (Henry I.) as his 
ecclesiastical superior; 1 but the King — we are not told on what 
ground — handed Berengar over to the custody of a person who 
stripped him of all his property. 2 Though the Pope was informed 
of this, the accused was again condemned at Vercelli in his absence. 
Lanfranc indeed states that two clerics appeared there as his 
envoys, and, though wishing to defend him, " in primo statim aditu 
defecerunt et capti sunt." According to Berengar's comment on 
this somewhat obscure phrase, so far from any explanation being 
made to the synod of his opinions (on which indeed his own mind 
was not made up) 3 one of the two clerks was sent, not by him, but 
by the clergy of Tours to move the Pope to compassion for his state ; 
the other was a Normau ecclesiastic, and the part they took was spon- 
taneous. The one, on hearing a member of the Council declare 
Berengar a heretic, was provoked to exclaim, "Thou liest!" The 

1 That is as Abbot of St. Martin's, of which the cathedral of Tours 
was the conventual church. See Gieseler, ii. 400 ; Robertson, ii. 657. 

2 Respecting the doubtful accounts of an intended synod at Paris, to 
condemn Berengar and his patron Bruno, bishop of Angers, which Henry I. 
was persuaded to give up, and of Berengar's condemnation by a Norman 
synod at Brionne, in 1051, see Gieseler, vol. ii. p. 400, Robertson, vol. ii. 
pp. 657-8. 

3 The passage is doubly interesting as the frank utterance of an 
enquiring mind, confirmed in its convictions by persecution, and for that 
appeal which Berengar constantly made to the Scriptures : — " Quod sen- 
tentiam meam scribis Vercellis in concessit illo expositam, dico de rei 
veritate et testimonio conscientia; mese, nullum eo tempore sentential!) 
mean) exposuisse, quod nee mihi eo tempore tanta perspicuitate const ibat, 
quod nondum tanta pro vet if ate eu tempore perpessus, nondum tarn dilijenti 
in Scriptnris consideratione sategeram." 


Norman, whose name was Stephen, when he heard the book of Scotus 
condemned at the bidding of Lanfranc, was moved by zeal to say that 
any book of St. Augustine might be condemned by the like incon- 
siderate haste. Whereupon the Pope ordered both into custody ; not, 
as he himself afterwards explained, with the intention of doing them 
any harm, but to protect them from the probable violence of the mob, 
— a remarkable testimony to the popular fanaticism for the myste- 
rious doctrine, which was again displayed at the council of Poitiers, 
in 1075, when Berengar narrowly escaped being killed in a riot. 1 

§ 7. On the other hand, the fact that powerful friends 2 adhered to 
Bruno, goes far to confirm his assertion of a general sympathy with 
his opinions among the more intelligent. To these friends was 
added no less a person than Hildebrand, who, as papal legate, held 
a numerous council of bishops at Tours (1054), at which for the 
first time Berengar had the opportunity of making his defence. 
Lanfranc indeed says that, instead of defending himself, he in 
presence of all confessed the common faith of the Church, which he 
swore to hold thenceforth, as he did aft/ r wards at Rome. 3 This 
Berengar indignantly denies, and appeals for the truth of his own 
account to Hildebrand, whom (he says) he satisfied by arguments 
which any one who pleases may learn (setting himself aside) from 
Prophet, Apostle, and Evangelist, and from the authentic* writings 
of Ambrose, Augustine, and Gregory. Hildebrand persuaded him to 
go to Rome, to plead his own cause with Leo ; and meanwhile the 
assembled bishops professed themselves satisfied with Berengar's 
confession, which he swore to hold from the heart : — " The bread 
and wine of the altar after consecration are the body and blood of 
Christ:" — a formula in which the mode was left as open as before, 
and not a word was said of any change of substance, or even of a 
" presence," corporeal or spiritual. 5 

1 Chron. S. Maxentii or Malleacense, ap. Gieseler, ii. 408. 

2 For some of these, besides Bruno, bishop of Angers, see Gieseler, 
vol. ii. p. 402, n. 11. We are not told how Berengar obtained his release 
from custody. 

3 On this Canon Robertson, who certainly shows no partiality for 
Berengar, observes (vol. ii. p. 659) : " The enemies of Berengar state that, 
being unable to defend his heresy, he recanted it at Tours, and afterwards 
resumed the profession of it. But this is a misrepresentation, founded on 
their misconception of what his doctrine really was. . . . Lessing (120) 
shows that Orderic Vitalis is wrong in supposing Lanfranc to have been 
at the Council of Tours." 

4 Here is an indication that certain works of the Fathers, which were 
cited as authorities, were already regarded by some as spurious. 

5 Except for the words "after consecration," the formula simply 
embodies our Lord's words of institution (Matt. xxvi. 26; Mark xiv. 22; 
Luke xxii. 19; 1 Cor. xi. 23-25); nor are the words "after consecration" 

II— Q 


Very different was the confession which was dictated by Cardinal 
Humbert and imposed on Berengar five years later by a council at 
Rome, whither he seems to have gone in reliance on the support 
of Hildebrand, 1 who had virtually nominated Pope Nicolas II. 
(1C59). But the violence of his opponents carried all before them ; 
they refused to hear a word from him about "spiritual refreshment 
from the body of Christ ;" and they were deaf to his request, that 
they would either listen to him with Christian mildness and 
fatherly attention, or, if not to him, that they would choose persons 
fit to search the Scriptures at leisure and with care. Berengar 
confesses his weakness in having yielded through fear of death, but 
represents his acquiescence as entirely passive. He was made to 
light a fire and cast his writings into it, while Cardinal Humbert 
wrote the confession, which he accepted but denies that he signed : 
" I, Berengarius, anathematize every heresy, especially that for 
which I have hitherto been brought into ill repute, &c. I agree 
with the Holy Roman Church, namely, that the bread and wine, 
which are placed on the altar, are after consecration not only a 
Sacrament, but also the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and that sensibly (senstmliter), not only as a Sacrament but 
in reality (yeritate), they are handled by the hands of the priests, 
broken and ground by the teeth of the faithful ! " 

§ 8. There are three types among men who have been called to 
suffer for what they believed to be truth : those who unite constancy 
to their opinions with the courage of the martyr or confessor ; those 
who prove themselves, in the hour of trial, destitute of both; and 
those whom fear impels to the temporary denial of the convictions 
to which they are still constant in heart, like Galileo muttering as 
he rose from his knees: "And yet it does move." To this third 
class — whom the world is apt to judge more harshly for their 
cowardly compromise than the second for their cowardly apostacy — 
Berengar belonged through his whole career. He no sooner re- 
turned to Tours than he began again to teach his old opinions ; to 
counteract which Lanfranc published the famous work, 2 in which 

a real exception to the parallel, for it was " when he had blessed it " 
or "given thanks" that Christ said "This is my body," "This is my 
blood": — in whit sense, and what was the force of the consecration — still 
remained to be decided. 

1 Whether Lanfranc himself was at the council is doubtful : it seems 
more probable that he was not. (See Robertson, vol. ii. p. 660.) 

2 The De Corpore et Sanguine Domini, already often cited. As above 
stated, the date of this work is somewhere between 1063 and 1070, the 
year in which Lanfranc's removal from the Abbey of Bee to the primacy 
of England appears to have withdrawn him from the active prosecution of 
the controversy with Berengar. 


he gave his version of the controversy up to this time, and to 
which Berengar replied in the apologetic treatise, only discovered 
in its integrity a century ago. 1 It is significant of the open state 
of the question, that through the long pontificate of Alexander II. 
(1061-1073) no attempt was made to put down Berengar by the 
authority of Rome ; and to the Pope's friendly remonstrances he 
replied that he was resolved to adhere to his opinions. 

§ 9. About the time of Hildebrand's elevation to the Papacy as 
Gregory VII. (1073), a new disputant took the field against Berengar 
with still greater violence than Lanfranc. The work of this Guit- 
mund 2 is of special interest for his statement of the different shades 
of opinion among those who followed the views of Berengar. He 
says that, while all the Berengarians — (an admission, by the w T ay, 
of their number)— agreed that the bread and wine were not changed 
in substance (essentialiter), they differ much in this : — that some 
say there is in those sacraments nothing at all of the body and 
blood of the Lord, but that they are only shadows and figures ; 
while others, yielding to the right views of the Church, say that 
the body and blood of the Lord are contained there in truth, but in 
a hidden manner, and so that they may be taken, — that they are, 
so to speak, impanated : 3 and this, they say, is the more subtile 
opinion of Berengar himself. Others (he adds) — these not Beren- 
garians, but very sharply opposed to Berengar, though somewhat 
influenced by his arguments and certain words of the Lord — used 
formerly to think that the bread and wine are in part changed, and 
in part remain : while others hold that the bread and wine are 
indeed wholly changed, but, when the unworthy come to communi- 
cate, the flesh and blood of the Lord return again to bread and 

This enumeration of various opinions throws a flood of light on 
the whole state of the controversy at this critical epoch before the 

1 De Sacra Cani, adv. Lanfmncum liber posterior. The contents of his 
former work (the liber" prior) against Lanfranc are only known through 
the fragments quoted by Lanfranc and other opponents of Berengar. 

2 De Veritite Corporis et Sanguinis Christi in Eucharistia, in the form of 
a Dialogue ; Bibl. Patrum, xviii. 440-468. " The date varies from 1073 
and 1077. Guitmund (who was a Norman monk) had refused an English 
bishopric offered to him by the Conqueror. He was afterwards nominated 
to the archbishopric of Rouen, but his enemies objected that he was the 
son of a priest. He then obtained his abbot's leave to go into Italy, 
where Gregory made him a cardinal, and he was consecrated Archbishop 
of Aversa by Urban II. (Orderic. Vital, iv. 13 ; Anselm, Epist. i. 16 ; 
Hist. Litt. viii. 552, ?eq<].)" — Robertson, vol. ii. pp. 662-3. 

3 fmpanari, i.e. "embodied in the bread," if we may venture at all to 
translate the word, formed from the analogy of incarnari, to express an 
idea of the Real Presence short of Transubstantiation. 


definition of the Eucharistic doctrine by the Roman Church. It is a 
complete misapprehension to regard Berengar as a heretic rising up 
— whether wantonly or conscientiously — to oppose an orthodox doc- 
trine of the Catholic Church. In the older stage of the controversy 
the real innovator was Paschasius Radbert, whom Lanfranc and his 
party owned as their master. It may be difficult to determine 
whether the responsibility of its revival rests on Berengar or 
Lanfranc; but there is no doubt as to the real character of the 
struggle : it was an attempt for the first time to establish, in the 
form advocated by Paschasius and his followers, a doctrine on 
which the Church had not yet pronounced a decision. That doc- 
trine seems to have now obtained the majority of adherents, 
especially among the Noman clergy, the monks, and the common 
people. But, when Lanfranc claims it to be the doctrine of the 
Church, Berengar protests against his " so often giving the name of 
Church to a multitude of foolish persons ; " and adds : " when you 
say that all hold this faith, you speak against your conscience, 
which cannot but tell you — now that the question has been so 
freely agitated — how numerous, nay almost unnumbered, are those 
of every rank and dignity, who execrate your error, and that of 
Paschasius, the monk of Corbey, about the sacrifice of the Church." l 
§ 10. The language of this confident appeal may be exaggerated, 
but it could not have been made without some strong grounds ; and 
it seems clear that there was a powerful resistance of the more 
thoughtful and spiritual minds against a current swollen by popular 
fanaticism. The party of Lanfranc had the advantage of main- 
taing a definite view of actual and tangible realities, against the 
more subtile and vacillating attempts to clothe a mystery in 
language which should express the whole teaching of Scripture 2 
and the Fathers. It is as needless as it would be perplexing, to 
trace the subtilties and inevitable inconsistencies of such a tenta- 
tive process : the spirit of Berengar's best adherents may be seen 
in a letter addressed to him by his bishop, Bruno, of Angers : 3 
" Leaving the turbid rivulets of disputations, we say it is necessary 
to draw from the very fountain of truth, which is ' The Lord Jesus, 
the day before He suffered, &c.' 4 That the bread, after the hal- 

1 De Ccena, p. 27 ; ap. Gieseler, vol. ii. p. 407. 

2 This is one very interesting feature of the controversy. We have 
seen how constantly Berengar makes his appeal to Scripture ; but his 
friend Paulinus (Joe. sup. cit.) remonstrates with him for " throwing the 
deep sense (profunditatem) of the Scriptures before those to whom he 
ought not, like pearls before swine." 

3 Ap. Gieseler, vol. ii. p. 408. 

4 He quotes 1 Cor. xi. 23, &c, by the sense rather than the exact 


lowing of the consecrating priest according to these words, is the 
true body of Christ, and the wine in the same manner the true 
blood, we believe and confess. But if any one asks in what way 
(qualiter) this can take place, we answer him, not according to the 
order of nature, but according to the omnipotence of God. And if 
any one enquires of us what our Fathers or Doctors think of this 
matter, we send him to their books, that he may read diligently 
what he finds in them, and may choose for himself what .he thinks 
agreeable to evangelic truth, with thankfulness and the desire of 
brotherly concord." Wide as is the scope which this reference to 
patristic authority leaves to the individual judgment, it is given 
with a qualification still more remarkable for that age: — "More- 
over for our own part — not contemning the writings of the Fathers, 
but yet neither reading them with the same assurance (securitate) as 
the Gospel, we abstain from (introducing) their opinions in the 
discussion of so great a subject, lest we might improperly put 
forward the opinions of the Fathers, either depraved by any 
accident, or not well understood or thoroughly investigated by 

§ 11. We could scarcely need a stronger. proof of the open state of 
the question, than that such a Pope as Gregory VII. protected 
Berengar, even if he did not agree with him. In fact, his imperialist 
enemies charged him by implication with being a Berengarian heretic. 
We have seen the part taken by Hildebrand, as Legate at Tours, 
and how Berengar went to Kome in reliance on his friendship (1059). 
In 1078 he was again in Rome as the guest of Gregory VII., who 
took the opportunity, at an assembly of bishops on All Saints' 
Day, of causing Berengar to swear to a confession of the Real 
Presence in general terms ; not without a loud d ; ssent (yociferatione 
multa), to which the Pope replied that it sufficed to give babes 
milk, not solid food, that Berengar was no heretic, that he took his 
doctrine from the Scriptures, and not from his own fancy, and that 
that " son of the Church," Peter Damiani, had not agreed with the 
dicta of Lanfranc about the Sacrifice. 1 The tumult was appeased, 

1 Berengar. ap. Martene, Thes. Anecdot. xiv. 99, seq. ; Act. Cone. Rom 
(Mansi, xix. 761); Gieseler, ii. 409. Peter Damiani, the great monastic 
zealot and supporter of Hildebrand, had died a year before the latter 
became Pope (1072). This account of Gregory's appeal to his authority 
is given by Berengar ; but both parties claimed Damiani. His opinions, 
as expressed in the Expositio Carionis Missx (by some disciple, probably 
soon after his death) come much nearer to Transubstantiation ; and that 
word is said to occur first in this Treatise (c. 7), which was first published 
by Cardinal Mai, and reprinted in the Patrologia, cxlv. 879, seq. (See the 
passages quoted by Gieseler, vol. ii. p. 407 ; among them, the comparison 
of the daily consumption of Christ's flesh and blood to the widow of 
Sarepta's barrel of meal and cruse of oil : 1 Kings xvii.) 


bat the question was not decided. Gregory sought counsel, as was 
his custom, from the Blessed Mar)', who revealed to a young monk 
(prepared by prayer and fasting) that nothing ought to be thought 
or held about the sacrifice of Christ, except what was contained in 
authentic Scriptures (or writings). 1 But the opposite party urged 
the Pope to detain Berengar at Rome till the Lenten Synod, which 
they knew their supporters would attend in force ; and accordingly, 
at that assembly of 150 bishops and abbots, Berengar was required 
to sign a confession declaring in strong terms the substantial conver- 
sion of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. 
If the grounds on which he consented betray his own want of moral 
strength, they are equally a satire on the binding power of such 
defining formulas. While his conscience found the strange subter- 
fuge, that, " substantially " {substantial iter) might mean " still re- 
taining its own substance" (salva sua substantia), so that the con- 
secrated bread is the body of Christ, not losing what it was, but 
assuming wliat it was not, — he discovered that the authors of the 
formula had written against themselves in ascribing the efficacy of 
consecration to " the mystery of prayer " (per mysterium orationis). 
The assembly insisted on his swearing to interpret the confession 
thenceforth according to their sense, and not his own ; but even 
here he found a loop-hole by replying, that he held what the Pope 
had stated to him a few days before ; referring to the revelation 
from the Blessed Mary. In the end, he signed the required con- 
fession, he tells us, through fear of anathema and violence, because 
God did not give him constancy ; and he was forbidden to teach 
in future, except to reclaim those whom he had led astray. After 
all this, Gregory sent him home, as an honoured guest, with his 
legate Fulco, bearing a commendatory letter, which declared to all 
the faithful in St. Peter, " that the Pope had anathematized all who 
should presume to do any injury to Berengar, the son of the Roman 
Church, or who should call him heretic." He forthwith revoked 
his enforced confession ; and, still protected by Gregory, he spent the 
rest of his life in quiet retirement on the island of St. Come, near 
Tours, where he died in 1088. In spite of his perseverance in his 
opinions to the last, his character is exalted by his contemporaries, 
whose testimony is confirmed by the annual festival long observed 
at his grave at Tours. On the strength of this reverence for his 
memoiy, Romanists claimed him as a convert at last to Lanfranc's 
arguments; and, before the discovery of his own work, he was 

1 "Nisi quod haberent authenticae Scriptural' where the word 
authenticse suggests that the