BOOK IV - CHURCH AND STATE
9. Gregory VII.'s Justification of himself to the Germans.
1076 A.D. (April or May).
Bishop Gregory, servant of the servants of God, to all the bishops, dukes, counts and other loyal defenders of the Christian faith in the land of the Germans, greeting and apostolic benediction.
We have heard that certain among you utter complaints and are doubtful, concerning the excommunication which we have passed against the king, whether he has justly been excommunicated and whether our sentence has proceeded from the authority of a censure that is permissible, and with due deliberation. Therefore, as best we could, our conscience bearing witness, we have taken care to lay before the eyes and intellects of all how we were led to excommunicate him; not so much in order to throw before the public, with our clamour as it were, the separate causes -- which, alas, are too well known -- as to satisfy the doubts of those who think that we have seized the spiritual sword rashly, and through a sudden impulse of our mind, rather than through fear of God and zeal of justice.
Previously, when we were exercising the office of deacon, a dark and very disgraceful report of the king's actions having reached us, we, for the sake of the imperial dignity and out of reverence for his father and mother -- also with the hope and desire of correcting him -- often admonished him, through letters and envoys, to desist from his wickedness and, mindful of his most distinguished race and dignity, to order his life according to rules of conduct suitable for a king and, if God should grant it, a future emperor.
Moreover, his age and his depravity keeping pace with each other, -- after we, though unworthy, came to be supreme pontiff, the more diligently did we urge him in every way, by arguing, exhorting, rebuking, to amend his life; knowing that God Almighty would the more strictly demand his soul at our hands the more we, above all others, had been given permission and authority to rebuke him. He, while often sending to us devoted letters and greetings, excusing himself both with his age, which was pliable and frail, and because evil was often recommended to him by those who had the court in their hands, promised, indeed, in words, from day to day, that he would most readily receive our warnings; but in fact, and by increasing his faults, he entirely trod them under foot.
In the mean while we called to repentance some of his associates by whose counsels and machinations he had, with simoniacal heresy, defiled bishoprics and many monasteries, introducing, for money, wolves instead of shepherds. For we wished both that, while there was yet time to make amends, they should restore to the venerable places where they belonged the goods of the church which they, through so shameful a traffic, had with sacrilegious hand received -and that they themselves, through the lamentations of penitence, should render satisfaction to God for the iniquity perpetrated. But when we learned that they had scorned the terms appointed for carrying out these things and were obstinately continuing in their accustomed iniquity, we justly separated them, as sacrilegious persons and ministers and members of the devil, from the communion and body of the whole church. And we warned the king to expel them, as excommunicate, from his palace and his counsels and from all intercourse with himself.
But meanwhile the cause of the Saxons gained the upper hand against the king. And when he saw that the forces and the protectors of the land were ready, for the most part, to abandon him, he once more directed to us a letter, supplicatory and full of all humility. In it he acknowledged his guilt towards God Almighty, St. Peter and ourselves; praying that, whatever faults he might have committed in ecclesiastical matters against the institutions of the canons and the decrees of the holy fathers, we, with our apostolic foresight and authority, should strive to correct. And in this matter he promised us, in every way, obedience, consent and faithful aid. Afterwards, being admitted to penance by our brothers and legates Humbert bishop of Praeneste and Gerald bishop of Ostia whom we sent to him, he renewed to them and confirmed this promise, swearing by the sacred stoles which they bore about their necks.
But when, after a time, a battle was fought with the Saxons, these are the thanks and the sacrifices which he offered to God in return for the victory which he gained: he straightway broke the vows that he had made concerning his improvement, and, carrying out none of his promises, received those who had been excommunicated into companionship and intercourse with himself, dragging down the churches into the same confusion as formerly.
At this we, much afflicted -- although, after his scorning the kindness of the Heavenly King, we had lost almost all hope of correcting him -- decided that an attempt must still be made to reach his conscience, desiring rather that he should give ear to the apostolic clemency than experience its severity. Accordingly we sent to him admonitory letters: he was to remember what he had promised and to whom; he was not to believe that he could deceive God, whose wrath, when He commences to judge, is so much the more severe the more long suffering His patience has been; he was not to dishonour God by honouring himself, nor was he to try and extend his own power to the contempt of God and to the shame of the papacy -- knowing that while God resists the proud He also gives grace to the humble. Moreover we sent to him three men of the clergy, his own faithful followers, warning him through them in secret that he should do penance for his crimes -- which are indeed horrible to speak of, known moreover unto many and divulged in many places; and, on account of them, the authority of divine and human laws sanctions and orders that he should not only be excommunicated until he renders suitable satisfaction, but that he should be deprived of all honour in his kingdom without hope of regaining it. Finally we warned him that, unless he should cease to hold intercourse with those who had been banned, we could judge or decree nothing else of him than that, being cut off from the church, he should share the fate of the excommunicate, with whom he preferred to have his portion rather than with Christ. But if he should be willing to receive our warnings and to correct his life, we called and do call God to witness how greatly we should rejoice concerning his safety and honour, and with what love we would fold him in the lap of the holy church as one who, having been made prince of a people and holding the reins of a most extended kingdom, ought to be a defender of catholic peace and justice.
But his deeds declare how much he thought either of our writings or of the messages sent through our legates. For, offended at being taken to task or rebuked by any one, he not only could not be induced to make amends for the deeds perpetrated, but, carried away by a still greater fury of spirit, did not cease until he had caused the bishops -nearly all of those in Italy; in German lands as many as he could -- to shipwreck the faith of Christ, compelling them to deny the obedience and honour due to St. Peter and the apostolic see and granted to them by our Lord Jesus Christ. We, therefore, seeing his iniquity advance to a climax, for these causes: -- first, namely, that he was unwilling to abstain from intercourse with those who had been excommunicated for sacrilege and for the sin of simoniacal heresy; then because, for the criminal acts of his life, he was not willing -- I will not say to undergo -- but even to promise penance, that repentance which he had promised before our legates having been feigned; finally because he has not flinched at rending the unity of the holy church, which is the body of Christ: -- for these faults, I say, we have excommunicated him by sentence of a synod to the end that, since we could not recall him by gentleness, we might either lead him back to the way of salvation by severity, God helping us, or that, should he not even fear the censure of the bann -- which God forbid -- our soul might not at length succumb to the charge of negligence or fear.
If any one, therefore, thinks that this sentence has been unjustly or unreasonably imposed -- if he be such a one as is able to apply his intellect to the sacred canons -- let him treat with us in the matter and let him acquiesce after hearing patiently, not what we, but what the divine authority teaches, what it decrees, what the unanimous voice of the holy fathers declares. We, indeed, do not think that there is one of the faithful who, knowing the ecclesiastical statutes, is so bound by this error as not to say in his heart, even though he do not dare to publicly affirm it, that we have acted rightly. But even if we -- which God forbid -- had bound him with such bann for no sufficiently grave reason or in a too irregular manner: even then, as the holy fathers assert, it would not have been right to scorn the sentence, but absolution should have been sought with all humility.
But do ye, beloved, who have not been willing because of the royal indignation or of any danger to desert the justice of God, paying little heed to those who at the last shall be announced as cursers and liars, stand boldly and be comforted in the Lord; knowing that ye defend the part of Him who, as an unconquerable King and glorious Victor, is about to judge the quick and the dead, rendering unto each man according to his works. Concerning His manifold retribution ye also can be assured if ye shall to the end have remained faithful and unshaken in His truth. Wherefore we also incessantly pray to God for ye that He may cause ye to be strengthened in His name through the Holy Spirit, and that He may so turn the heart of the king to repentance that he also at some time may know that we and ye more truly love him than those who now pander to and favour his iniquities. But if by God's inspiration he be willing to come to his senses, no matter what he shall attempt against us, he shall always, notwithstanding, find us ready to receive him into the holy communion as ye, beloved, have counselled us to do.
10. Convention of Oppenheim.
(a.) Promise of the King to offer Obedience to the Pope.
Being admonished to do so by the counsel of our faithful ones, I promise to observe in all things the obedience due to the apostolic see and to thee, pope Gregory, and will take care devoutly to correct and to render satisfaction for anything whereby a derogation to the honour of that same see, or to thine, has arisen through us. Since, moreover, certain very grave charges are brought against us concerning attempts which I am supposed to have made against that same see and against thy reverence: these, at a suitable time, I will either refute by the help of innocence and by the favour of God, or, failing this, I will at length willingly undergo a suitable penance for them. It behoves thy holiness also, moreover, not to veil those things which, spread abroad concerning thee, cause scandal to the church -- but rather, by removing this scruple too from the public conscience, to establish through thy wisdom the universal tranquillity of the church as well as of the kingdom.
(b.) Edict cancelling the Sentence against Gregory VII., October, 1076.
Henry, king by the grace of God, sends to the archbishops, bishops, margraves, counts and dignitaries of every rank the honourable distinction of his goodwill. Inasmuch as we have been brought to recognize, through the representations of our faithful ones, that we have been wanting in clemency, in some regards, towards the apostolic see and its venerable bishop, pope Gregory: it has pleased us, in accordance with healthful counsel, to change our former sentence and to observe, after the manner of our predecessors and progenitors, due obedience in all things to the holy see and to him who is known to preside over it, our master Gregory the pope. And if we have presumed to act too severely against him we will atone for it by rendering fitting satisfaction. We will, moreover, that ye also, warned by our Highness's example, do not hesitate to render solemn satisfaction to St. Peter and to his vicar; and that those of you who understand themselves to be bound by his bann do strive to be solemnly absolved by him -- by our master, namely, Gregory the pope.
11. Gregory VII.'s Letter to the German Princes concerning the Penance of Henry IV. at Canossa. (1077.)
Bishop Gregory, servant of the servants of God, to all the archbishops, bishops, dukes, counts and other princes of the realm of the Germans who defend the Christian faith, greeting and apostolic benediction.
Inasmuch as for love of justice ye assumed common cause and danger with us in the struggle of Christian warfare, we have taken care to indicate to you, beloved, with sincere affection, how the king, humbled to penance, obtained the pardon of absolution and how the whole affair has progressed since his entry into Italy up to the present time.
As had been agreed with the legates who had been sent to us on your part, we came into Lombardy about twenty days before the date on which one of the commanders was to come over the pass to meet us, awaiting his advent that we might cross over to the other side. But when the term fixed upon had already passed, and we were told that at this time on account of many difficulties -- as we can readily believe -- an escort could not be sent to meet us, we were involved in no little care as to what would be best for us to do, having no other means of crossing to you.
Meanwhile, however, we learned for certain that the king was approaching. He also, before entering Italy, sent on to us suppliant legates, offering in all things to render satisfaction to God, to St. Peter and to us. And he renewed his promise that, besides amending his life, he would observe all obedience if only he might merit to obtain from us the favour of absolution and the apostolic benediction. When, after long deferring this and holding frequent consultations, we had, through all the envoys who passed, severely taken him to task for his excesses: he came at length of his own accord, with a few followers, showing nothing of hostility or boldness, to the town of Canossa where we were tarrying. And there, having laid aside all the belongings of royalty, wretchedly, with bare feet and clad in wool, he continued for three days to stand before the gate of the castle. Nor did he desist from imploring with many tears the aid and consolation of the apostolic mercy until he had moved all of those who were present there, and whom the report of it reached, to such pity and depth of compassion that, interceding for him with many prayers and tears, all wondered indeed at the unaccustomed hardness of our heart, while some actually cried out that we were exercising, not the gravity of apostolic severity, but the cruelty, as it were, of a tyrannical ferocity.
Finally, conquered by the persistency of his compunction and by the constant supplications of all those who were present we loosed the chain of the anathema and at length received him into the favour of communion and into the lap of the holy mother church, those being accepted as sponsors for him whose names are written below. And of this transaction we also received a confirmation at the hands of the abbot of Cluny, of our daughters Matilda and the countess Adelaide, and of such princes, episcopal and lay, as seemed to us useful for this purpose.
Having thus accomplished these matters, we desire at the first opportunity to cross over to your parts in order that, by God's aid, we may more fully arrange all things for the peace of the church and the concord of the kingdom, as has long been our wish. For we desire, beloved, that ye should know beyond a doubt that the whole question at issue is as yet so little cleared up -- as ye can learn from the sponsors mentioned -- that both our coming and the unanimity of your counsels are extremely necessary. Wherefore strive ye all to continue in the faith in which ye have begun and in the love of justice; and know that we are not otherwise bound to the king save that, by word alone as is our custom, we have said that he might have hopes from us in those matters in which, without danger to his soul or to our own, we might be able to help him to his salvation and honour either through justice or through mercy.
Oath of Henry, King of the Germans.
I, king Henry, on account of the murmuring and enmity which the archbishops and bishops, dukes, counts and other princes of the realm of the Germans, and others who follow them in the same matter of dissension, bring to bear against me, will, within the term which our master pope Gregory has constituted, either do justice according to his judgment or conclude peace according to his counsels -- unless an absolute impediment should stand in his way or in mine. And on the removal of this I shall be ready to continue in the same course. Likewise, if that same lord pope Gregory shall wish to go beyond the mountains or to any other part of the world, he himself, as well as those who shall be in his escort or following or who are sent by him or come to him from any parts of the world whatever, shall be secure, while going, remaining or returning, on my part and on the part of those whom I can constrain, from every injury to life or limb, or from capture. Nor shall he by my consent have any other hindrance which is contrary to his dignity; and if any such be placed in his way I will aid him according to my ability. So help me God and this holy gospel.
Given at Canossa on the 5th day before the Calends of February ( Jan. 28), in the 15th indiction, in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ 1077 -- there being present the bishops Humbert of Praeneste and Gerald of Ostia; the Roman cardinals Peter of the title of St. Chrisogonus and Cono of the title of St. Anastasius; the Roman deacons Gregory and Bernard, and the sub-deacon Humbert. Likewise, on the part of the king, there were present the archbishop of Bremen, the bishops of Vercelli and Osnabruck, the abbot of Cluny and many noble men.
12. Second Banning and Dethronement of Henry IV. through Gregory VII., March 7th, 1080.
St. Peter, chief of the apostles, and thou St. Paul, teacher of the nations, deign, I beg, to incline your ears to me and mercifully to hear me. Do ye who are the disciples and lovers of truth aid me to tell the truth to ye without any of the falsehood which we altogether detest: to the end that my brothers may better acquiesce with me and may know and learn that, after God and his mother the evervirgin Mary, it is in ye I trust when I resist the wicked and unholy but lend aid to your faithful followers. For ye know that I did not willingly take holy orders. And unwillingly I went with my master Gregory beyond the mountains; but more unwillingly I returned with my master pope Leo to your especial church, in which I served ye as always. Then, greatly against my will, with much grieving and groaning and wailing I was placed upon your throne, although thoroughly unworthy. I say these things thus because I did not choose ye but ye chose me and did place upon me the very heavy burden of your church. And because ye did order me to go up into a high mountain and call out and proclaim to the people of God their crimes and to the sons of the earth their sins, the members of the devil have commenced to rise up against me and have presumed, even unto blood, to lay their hands upon me. For the kings of the earth stood by, and the secular and ecclesiastical princes; the men of the palace, also, and the common herd came together against the Lord and against ye His anointed, saying: "Let us break their chains and cast off their yoke from us." And they have in many ways attempted to rise up against me in order to utterly confound me with death or with exile.
Among them, especially, Henry whom they call king, son of Henry the emperor, did raise his heel against your church and strive, by casting me down, to subjugate it, having made a conspiracy with many ultramontane bishops. But your authority resisted and your power destroyed their pride. He, confounded and humbled, came to me in Lombardy and sought absolution from the bann. I seeing him humiliated, having received many promises from him concerning the bettering of his way of living, restored to him the communion. But only that; I did not reinstate him in his kingdom from which I had deposed him in a Roman synod, nor did I order that the fealty from which, in that synod, I had absolved all those who had sworn it to him, or were about to swear it, should be observed towards him. And my reason for not doing so was that I might do justice in the matter or arrange peace -- as Henry himself, by an oath before two bishops, had promised me should be done -- between him and the ultramontane bishops or princes who, being commanded to do so by your church, had resisted him. But the said ultramontane bishops and princes, hearing that he had not kept his promise to me, and, as it were, despairing of him, elected for themselves without my advice -- ye are my witnesses -- duke Rudolf as king. This king Rudolf hastily sent an envoy to intimate to me that he had been compelled to accept the helm of state but that he was ready to obey me in every way. And to make this the more credible he has continued from that time to send me words to the same effect, adding also that he was ready to confirm what he had promised by giving his own son and the son of his faithful follower duke Bertald as hos- tages. Meanwhile Henry commenced to implore my aid against the said Rudolf. I answered that I would willingly grant it if I could hear the arguments on both sides so as to know whom justice most favoured. But he, thinking to conquer by his own strength, scorned my reply. But when he found that he could not do as he had hoped he sent to Rome two of his partizans, the bishops, namely, of Verdun and of Osnabruck, who asked me in a synod to do justice to him. This also the envoys of Rudolf pressed me to do. At length, by God's inspiration as I believe, I decreed in that synod that an assembly should take place beyond the mountains, where either peace should be established or it should be made known which side justice the most favoured. For I -- as ye, my fathers and masters, can testify -- have taken care up to this time to aid no party save the one on whose side justice should be found to be. And, thinking that the weaker side would wish the assembly not to take place, whereas justice would hold its own, I excommunicated and bound with the anathema the person of any one -- whether king, duke, bishop or ordinary man -- who should by any means contrive to prevent the assembly from taking place. But the said Henry with his partizans, not fearing the danger from disobedience, which is the crime of idolatry, incurred the excommunication by impeding the assembly. And he bound himself with the chain of the anathema, causing a great multitude of Christians to be given over to death and of churches to be ruined, and rendering desolate almost the whole realm of the Germans. Wherefore, trusting in the judgment and mercy of God and of his most holy mother the ever-virgin Mary, armed with your authority, I lay under excommunication and bind with the chains of the anathema the oft-mentioned Henry -- the socalled king -- and all his followers. And again, on the part of God Almighty and of yourselves, I deny to him the kingdom of the Germans and of Italy and I take away from him all royal power and dignity. And I forbid any Christian to obey him as king, and absolve from their oath all who have sworn or shall swear to him as ruler of the land. May this same Henry, moreover, -- as well as his partizans, -- be powerless in any warlike encounter and obtain no victory during his life Whereas I grant and concede in your name that Rudolf, whom, as a mark of fidelity to ye, the Germans have chosen to be their king, may rule and defend the land of the Germans. To all of those who faithfully adhere to him I, trusting in your support, grant absolution of all their sins and your benediction in this life and the life to come. For as Henry, on account of his pride, disobedience and falseness, is justly cast down from his royal dignity, so to Rudolf, for his humility, obedience and truthfulness, the power and dignity of kingship are granted.
Proceed now, I beg, O fathers and most holy princes, in such way that all the world may learn and know that, if ye can bind and loose in Heaven, so ye can on earth take away empires, kingdoms, principalities, duchies, margravates, counties and all possessions of men, and grant them to any man ye please according to his merits. For often have ye taken away patriarchates, primateships, archbishoprics and bishoprics from the wicked and unworthy and given them to devout men. And if ye judge spiritual offices what are we to believe of your power in secular ones? And if ye shall judge angels, who rule over all proud princes, how will it be with those subject to them? Let kings and all secular princes now learn how great ye are and what your power is; and let them dread to disregard the command of your church. And, in the case of the said Henry, exercise such swift judgment that all may know him to fall not by chance but by your power. Let him be confounded; -would it were to repentance, that his soul may be safe at the day of the Lord!
Given at Rome, on the Nones of March, in the third indiction.
13. Decision of the Synod of Brixen, June 25th, 1080.
In the year of our Lord's incarnation 1080, when, in the presence of the most serene king Henry IV. and by his order, in the 26th year of his reign, on Friday the 7th day before the Calends of July and in the 3rd indiction, there was assembled at Brixen in Noricum a convention of thirty bishops and an army of nobles not only from Italy but also from Germany: there was heard from the mouth of all one voice, as it were, terribly complaining over the truculent madness of a certain false monk called pope Gregory VII., and asking why the invincible king allowed the same to rage so long unhindered when Paul, the vase of election, testifies that a prince does not wield the sword without cause; and when Peter, the chief of the apostles, proclaims that not only is the king pre-eminent but that it is his place to send out commanders to punish, indeed, the evil, but to reward the good. In answer to these representations, therefore, it seemed just to the most illustrious king and to his princes that the judgment of the bishops and the sentence of the divine wrath against this same Hildebrand should precede the material sword; so that him the royal power might afterwards, with more right, declare an object of pursuit whom the bishops of the churches should first have deposed from his proud eminence. What one of the faithful, indeed, who knows him would fear to hurl against him the javelin of damnation? For from his earliest years he has striven through vain glory to commend himself in the world as more than man -- no merits calling for it -- and to prefer his own divinations and those of others to the divine orderings; to be a monk in dress and not by profession; to consider himself beyond ecclesiastical discipline, subject to no master; to assist, more than laymen, at obscene theatrical amusements; for the sake of sordid gain publicly to watch the tables of the money-changers in the path of the passers by. Having accumulated money, then, by such pursuits, he invaded the abbey of St. Paul's, supplanting the abbot. Then, inducing by deception a certain man named Mancius to sell him the office, he seized the archdeaconship; and, against the will of pope Nicholas, in the midst of a popular tumult he had himself raised to the office of administrator. Moreover, by the outrageous death, through poison, of four Roman pontiffs at the hand of a certain intimate of his -- John Brachintus -- he is convicted of being a murderer; as the minister of death himself, although repenting late, did testify with dire clamourings when in the very grasp of death -- all others having kept silence. Finally this oftmentioned pest-bearer, on the very night when the body of pope Alexander was being honoured with the funeral cere- mony in the church of St. Salvatore, guarded the gates and bridges, towers and triumphal arches of the city of Rome with bands of armed men, occupied the Lateran palace with an armed force that he had brought together with hostile intent, frightened the clergy -- lest they, none of whom wished to elect him, should dare to resist -- by threatening death through the drawn swords of his satellites, and carried by assault the long-besieged chair before the body of the dead man had obtained burial. But when some persons tried to call to his mind that decree of Pope Nicholas promulgated by those 125 bishops under pain of anathema, Hildebrand himself approving, -- the tenor of which was that if any one, without the consent of the Roman sovereign, should presume to become Pope he should be considered no Pope but an apostate: he denied all knowledge of a king and asserted his own right to declare void a decree of his predecessors. What more is there to say? Not only Rome, indeed, but the whole Roman world bears witness that he was not chosen by God but that he forced his way most impudently by violence, fraud and bribery. For his fruits betray their root and his works manifest his intent, inasmuch as he subverts the order of the Church; has perturbed the rule of a Christian empire; tries to kill the body and soul of a Catholic and pacific king; defends as king a perjurer and traitor; has sown discord among the united, strife among the peaceful, scandals among brothers, divorce among husbands and wives; and has shattered whatever of rest he found being enjoyed by those leading a holy life.
Therefore we, congregated together, as has been said, by God's authority, trusting in the legates and letters of the 19 bishops who were assembled at Mainz on the holy day of last Pentecost, do decree against this same most brazen Hildebrand, - who preaches sacrilege and arson, who defends perjury and homicide, who questions the Catholic and apostolic faith concerning the body and blood of our Lord, who is an ancient disciple of the heretic Berengar, a manifest believer in dreams and divinations, a necromancer, dealing in the spirit of prophecy and therefore a wanderer from the true faith -- that, he shall be canonically deposed and expelled and, unless on hearing this he descend from that seat, forever damned.
(Here follow the signatures of the bishops, etc., first the cardinal Hugo Candidus, then the king, etc.)
14. Letter of Gregory VII. to Bishop Hermann of Metz, March 15th, 1081.
Bishop Gregory, servant of the servants of God, to his beloved brother in Christ, Hermann bishop of Metz, greeting and apostolic benediction. It is doubtless owing to a dispensation of God that, as we learn, thou art ready to bear labours and dangers in defence of the truth. For such is His ineffable grace and wonderful mercy that He never allows His chosen ones completely to go astray -never permits them utterly to fall or to be cast down. For, after they have been afflicted by a time of persecution -- a useful term of probation as it were, -- He makes them, even if they have passed through some trepidation, stronger than before. Since, moreover, manly courage impels one strong man to act more bravely than another and to press forward more boldly -- even as among cowards fear induces one to flee more disgracefully than another, -- we wish, beloved, with the voice of exhortation, to impress this upon thee: thou should'st the more delight to stand in the army of the Christian faith among the first, the more thou art convinced that they are the most worthy and the nearest to God the victors. Thy demand, indeed, to be aided, as it were, by our writings and fortified against the madness of those who babble forth with unhallowed mouth that the authority of the holy and apostolic see had no right to excommunicate Henry -- a man who despises the Christian law; a destroyer, namely, of the churches and of the empire; a favourer of heretics and a partaker with them -- or to absolve any one from the oath of fealty to him, does not seem to us to be altogether necessary when so many and such absolutely certain proofs are to be found in the pages of Holy Scripture. Nor do we believe, indeed, that those who, heaping up for themselves damnation, impudently detract from the truth and run counter to it have joined these charges to the audacity of their defence so much from ignorance as from a certain mad- ness of wretched desperation. And no wonder. For it is the custom of the wicked to strive after protection from their iniquity and to defend those like to themselves; considering it of no importance that they incur perdition for lying.
For, to cite a few passages from among many, who does not know the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who says in the gospel: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth shall be bound also in Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth shall be loosed also in Heaven"? Are kings excepted here, or do they not belong to the sheep which the Son of God committed to St. Peter? Who, I ask, in this universal concession of the power of binding and loosing, can think that he is withdrawn from the authority of St. Peter, unless, perhaps, that unfortunate man who is unwilling to bear the yoke of the Lord and subjects himself to the burden of the devil, refusing to be among the number of Christ's sheep? It will help him little to his wretched liberty, indeed, that he shake from his proud neck the divinely granted power of Peter. For the more any one, through pride, refuses to bear it, the more heavily shall it press upon him unto damnation at the judgment.
The holy fathers, indeed, as well in general councils as otherwise in their writings and doings, have called the holy Roman church the universal mother, accepting and serving with great veneration this institution founded by the divine will, this pledge of a dispensation to the church, this privilege handed over in the beginning and confirmed to St. Peter the chief of the apostles. And even as they accepted its proofs in confirmation of their faith and of the doctrines of holy religion, so also they received its judgments -- consenting in this, and agreeing as it were with one spirit and one voice: that all greater matters and exceptional cases, and judgments over all churches, ought to be referred to it as to a mother and a head; that from it there was no appeal; that no one should or could retract or refute its decisions, Wherefore the blessed pope Gela- sius, armed with the divine authority, when writing to the emperor Anastasius, how and what he should think concerning the primacy of the holy and apostolic see, instructed him as follows: "Although," he said, "before all priests in common who duly exercise divine functions it is right that the necks of the faithful should be bowed, by how much more should the bishop of the Roman see be obeyed, whom both the supreme deity has willed to predominate over all priests and the subsequent piety of the whole church in common has honoured? From which thy prudence clearly sees that, with him whom the voice of Christ placed over all, and whom a venerable church has always professed and devoutly holds as its primate, no one can, by any human device whatever, gain an equal privilege and be equally acknowledged." Likewise pope Julius, when writing to the oriental bishops concerning the power of that same holy and Apostolic See, said: "It would have become ye, brethren, to choose your words and not to speak ironically against, the holy Roman and apostolic church, since our Lord Jesus Christ, addressing it as was fitting, said:
'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven.' For it has the power, granted to it by a special privilege, of opening and closing for whom it will the gates of the kingdom of Heaven." Is it not lawful, then, for him to whom the power of opening and closing Heaven is granted to exercise judgment upon earth? God forbid that it should not be! Remember what the most blessed apostle Paul says: "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more the things of earth!" The blessed Pope Gregory also decreed that those kings should fall from their dignity who should dare to violate the statutes of the Apostolic See, writing to a certain abbot, Senator, as follows: "But if any king, priest, judge or secular person, disregarding this the page of our decree, shall attempt to act counter to it he shall lose the dignity of his power and honour and shall know that he, in the sight of God, is guilty of committing a crime. And unless he restore the things which have been wrongfully removed by him, or unless he atone by fitting penance for his unlawful acts, he shall be kept away from the most sacred body and blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and shall undergo a stern vengeance at the eternal judgment."
But if the blessed Gregory, the most gentle of teachers, decreed that kings who should violate his decrees in the matter of a single hospice should not only be deposed but also excommunicated and, at the last judgment, condemned: who, save one like to them, will blame us for having deposed and excommunicated Henry, who is not alone a scorner of the apostolic judgments but also, as far as in him lies, a treader under foot of holy mother church herself and a most shameless robber and atrocious destroyer of the whole realm and of the churches. As we have learned, through St. Peter's teaching, from a letter concerning the ordination of Clement in which it says: "If any one shall be a friend to those with whom he ( Clement) does not speak, he also is one of those who wish to exterminate the church of God; and while, with his body, he seems to be with us, he is with heart and soul against us. And such an enemy is far more dangerous than those who are without and who are open enemies. For he, under the guise of friendship, does hostile acts, and rends and lays waste the church." Mark well, beloved, if this pope so severely judges the friend or companion of those with whom, on account of their actions he is angry, with what condemnation he will visit the man himself with whose actions he is displeased.
But to return to the matter in hand. Is not a dignity like this, founded by laymen -- even by those who do not know God, -- subject to that dignity which the providence of God Almighty has, in His own honour, founded and given to the world? For His Son, even as He is undoubtingly believed to be God and man, so is He considered the highest priest, the head of all priests, sitting on the right hand of the Father and always interceding for us. And He despised a secular kingdom, which makes the sons of this world swell with pride, and came of His own will to the priesthood of the cross. Who does not know that kings and leaders are sprung from those who -- ignorant of God -- by pride, plunder, perfidy, murders -- in a word by almost every crime, the devil, who is the prince of this world, urging them on as it were -- have striven with blind cupidity and intolerable presumption to dominate over their equals; namely, over men? To whom, indeed, can we better compare them, when they seek to make the priests of God bend to their footprints, than to him who is head over all the sons of pride and who, tempting the Highest Pontiff Himself, the Head of priests, the Son of the Most High, and promising to Him all the kingdoms of the world, said:
"All these I will give unto Thee if Thou wilt fall down and worship me?" who can doubt but that the priests of Christ are to be considered the fathers and masters of kings and princes and of all the faithful? Is it not considered miserable madness for a son to attempt to subject to himself his father, a pupil his master; and for one to bring into his power and bind with iniquitous bonds him by whom he believes that he himself can be bound and loosed not only on earth but also in Heaven? This the emperor Constantine the Great, lord of all the kings and princes of nearly the whole world, evidently understood -- as the blessed Gregory reminds us in a letter to the emperor Mauritius -- when, sitting last after all the bishops in the holy Council of Nicæa, he presumed to give no sentence of judgment over them, but, even calling them gods, decreed that they should not be subject to his judgment but that he should be dependent upon their will. Also the afore-mentioned Pope Gelasius, persuading the said Emperor Anastasius not to take offence at the truth which had been made clear to his senses, added this remark:
"For, indeed, O august emperor, there are two things by which this world is chiefly ruled -- the sacred authority of the Pontiffs and the royal power; whereby the burden of the priests is by so much the heavier according as they, at the divine judgment of men, are about to render account for the kings themselves." And a little further on he says: "Thou dost know, therefore, that in these matters thou art dependent on their judgment and that thou art not to wish to reduce them to do thy will."
Very many of the Pontiffs, accordingly, armed with such decrees and with such authorities, have excommunicated -- some of them kings; some, emperors. For, if any special example of the persons of such princes is needed, -- the blessed Pope Innocent excommunicated the Emperor Arcadius for consenting that St. John Chrysostom should be expelled from his see. Likewise another Roman Pontiff -- Zacchary, namely -- deposed a king of the Franks, not so much for his iniquities as for the reason that he was not fitted to exercise so great power. And he substituted Pipin, father of the emperor Charles the Great, in his place -- loosing all the Franks from the oath of fealty which they had sworn him. As, indeed, the holy church frequently does by its authority when it absolves servitors from the fetters of an oath sworn to such bishops as, by apostolic sentence, are deposed from their Pontifical rank. And the blessed Ambrose -- who, although a saint, was not, indeed, bishop over the whole Church -- excommunicated and excluded from the Church the emperor Theodosius the Great for a fault which, by other priests, was not regarded as very grave. He shows, too, in his writings that, not by so much is gold more precious than lead, as the priestly dignity is more lofty than the royal power; speaking thus towards the beginning of his pastoral letter: "The honour and sublimity of bishops, brethren, is beyond all comparison.
If one should compare them to resplendent kings and diademed princes it would be far less worthy than if one compared the base metal lead to gleaming gold. For, indeed, one can see how the necks of kings and princes are bowed before the knees of priests; and how, having kissed their right hands, they believe themselves to be fortified by their prayers." And, after a little: "Ye should know, brethren, that we have thus mentioned all these things in order to show that nothing in this life can be found more lofty than priests or more sublime than bishops."
Thou, brother, should'st also remember that more power is granted to an exorcist, when he is made a spiritual emperor for the casting out of demons, than can be granted to any layman in the matter of secular dominion. Over all kings and princes of the earth who do not live religiously and do not, in their actions, fear God as they should, demons -- alas, alas -- hold sway, confounding them with a wretched servitude. For such men desire to rule, not, induced by divine love, to the honour of God and for the saving of souls -- like the priests of the church; but they strive to have dominion over others in order to show forth their intolerable pride and to fulfil the lusts of their heart. Concerning whom the blessed Augustine says in the first book on the Christian teaching: "For, indeed, whoever strives to gain dominion even over those who are by nature his equals -- that is, over men: his pride is altogether intolerable." Exorcists, then, have, as we have said, dominion from God over demons: how much more, therefore, over those who are subject to demons and members of demons? If, moreover, exorcists are so preeminent over these, how much the more so are priests!
Furthermore every Christian king, when he comes to die, seeks as a miserable suppliant the aid of a priest to the end that he may evade hell's prison, that he may pass from the shadows to the light, that, at the last judgment, he may appear absolved from the bonds of his sins. But what man -- a layman even, not to speak of priests -- has ever implored the aid of an earthly king for the salvation of his soul when his last hour was near? And what king or emperor is able, by reason of the office imposed upon him, to snatch any Christian from the power of the devil through holy baptism, to number him among the sons of God and to fortify him with the divine unction? And who of them -- which is the greatest thing in the Christian religion -- can with his own lips make the body and blood of our Lord? Or who of them possesses the power of binding and loosing in Heaven and on earth? From which things it is clearly seen how greatly priests excel in power and dignity. Or who of them can ordain any one as clerk in the holy church -- much less depose him for any fault? For in the matter of ecclesiastical grades a greater power is needed to depose than to ordain. For bishops may ordain other bishops, but by no means depose them without the authority of the apostolic see. Who, therefore, that is even moderately intelligent can doubt that priests are to be preferred to kings? But if kings are to be judged by priests for their sins, by whom should they be judged with more right than by the Roman Pontiff? Finally, any good Christians what- ever have much more right to be considered kings than have bad princes. For the former, seeking the glory of God, strenuously rule themselves; but the latter, enemies unto themselves, seeking the, things which are their own and not the things which are God's, are tyrannical oppressors of others. The former are the body of the true king, Christ; the latter, of the devil. The former restrain themselves to the end that they may eternally reign with the supreme emperor; but the sway of the latter brings about this -- that they shall perish in eternal damnation with the prince of darkness who is king over all the sons of pride.
Nor, indeed, is it much to be wondered at that wicked bishops are of one mind with a bad king whom -- having wrongfully obtained honours from him -- they love and fear. For they, simoniacally ordaining whom they please, sell God even for a paltry price. And as the good are indivisibly united with their head, so also the bad are pertinaciously banded together -- chiefly against the good -- with him who is the head of evil. But against them we ought surely not so much to hold discourse as to weep for them with tears and lamentations: to the end that God Almighty may snatch them from the nooses of Satan in which they are held captive and, after their great danger, bring them at length at some time to a knowledge of the truth.
We refer to kings and emperors who, too much swollen by worldly glory, rule not for God but for themselves. But, since it belongs to our office to distribute exhortation to each person according to the rank or dignity which he adorns, we take care, God impelling us, to provide weapons of humility just for emperors and kings and other princes, that they may be able to subdue the risings of the sea and the waves of pride. For we know that mundane glory and worldly cares usually do induce to pride, especially those who are in authority. They, in consequence, neglecting humility and seeking their own glory, always desire to dominate over their brothers. Wherefore to kings and emperors especially it is of advantage, when their mind tends to exalt itself and to delight in its own particular glory, to find out a means of humbling themselves and to be brought to realize that what they have been rejoicing in is the thing most to be feared.
Let them, therefore, diligently consider how dangerous and how much to be feared the royal or imperial dignity is. For in it the fewest are saved; and those who, through the mercy of God, do come to salvation are not glorified in the holy church and in the judgment of the Holy Spirit to the same extent as many poor people. For, from the beginning of the world until these our own times, in the whole of authentic history we do not find seven emperors or kings whose lives were as distinguished for religion and as beautified by significant portents as those of an innumerable multitude who despised the world -- although we believe many of them to have found mercy in the presence of God Almighty. For what emperor or king was ever honoured by miracles as were St. Martin, St Antony and St Benedict -- not to mention the apostles and martyrs? And what emperor or king raised the dead, cleansed lepers, or healed the blind?
See how the holy hurch praises and venerates the emperor Constantine of blessed memory, Theodosius and Honorius, Charles and Louis as lovers of justice, promoters of the Christian religion, defenders of the churches: it does not, however, declare them to have been resplendent with so great a glory of miracles. Moreover, for how many kings or emperors has the holy Church ordered chapels or altars to be dedicated to their names, or masses to be celebrated in their honour? Let kings and other princes fear lest the more they rejoice at being placed over other men in this life, the more they will be subjected to eternal fires. For of them it is written: "The powerful shall powerfully suffer torments." And they are about to render account to God for as many men as they have had subjects under their dominion. But if it be no little task for any private religious man to guard his own soul: how much labour will there be for those who are rulers over many 'thousands of souls? Moreover, if the judgment of the holy church severely punishes' a sinner for the slaying of one man, what will become of those who, for the sake of worldly glory, hand over many thousands to death? And such persons, although after having slain many they often say with their lips "I have sinned," nevertheless rejoice in their hearts at having extended their fame as it were. And they are unwilling not to have done what they have done, nor do they grieve at having driven their brothers into Tartarus. And, so long as they do not repent with their whole heart and are unwilling to let go what has been acquired or retained through shedding of blood, their penitence before God will remain without the worthy fruit of penitence. Surely, therefore, they ought greatly to fear. And it should frequently be recalled to their memory that, as we have said, in the different kingdoms of the earth, from the beginning of the world, very few of the innumerable multitude of kings are found to have been holy: whereas in one see alone -- the Roman one, namely -- almost a hundred of the successive pontiffs since the time of St. Peter the apostle are counted among the most holy. Why, then, is this -- except that the kings and princes of the earth, enticed by vain glory, prefer, as has been said, the things that are their own to the things that are spiritual; but the pontiffs of the church, despising vain glory, prefer to carnal things the things that are of God? The former readily punish those who sin against themselves and are indifferent to those who sin against God; the latter quickly pardon those who sin against themselves and do not lightly spare those who sin against God. The former, too much bent on earthly deeds, think slightingly of spiritual ones; the latter, sedulously meditating on heavenly things, despise the things which are of earth.
Therefore all Christians who desire to reign with Christ should be warned not to strive to rule through ambition of worldly power, but rather to keep in view what the blessed Gregory, most holy pope, tells them to in his pastoral book when he says: "Among these things, therefore, what is to be striven for and what to be feared except that he who surpasses in virtue shall be urged and shall come to rule, and that he who is without virtues shall not be urged and shall not come?" But if those who fear God come, when urged, with great fear to the apostolic chair, in which those who are duly ordained are made better by the merits of the apostle St. Peter, -- with how much fear and trembling is the throne of the kingdom to be approached, where even the good and humble -- as is shown in the case of Saul and David -- become worse? For what we have said of the apostolic chair -- we know it, too, by experience -- is thus contained in the decrees of the blessed pope Symmachus: "He -- St. Peter, namely -- has sent down to posterity a perennial gift of merits together with a heritage of innocence." And a little further on: "For who can doubt that he is holy who is raised by the apex of so great a dignity? And, if the goods acquired by merit are lacking, those which are furnished by his predecessor suffice. For either he ( St. Peter) exalts distinguished men to this summit, or he illumines those who are exalted."
Therefore let those whom holy Church, of its own will and after proper counsel, not for transitory glory but for the salvation of many, calls to have rule or dominion, humbly obey. And let them always beware in that point as to which St. Gregory, in that same pastoral book bears witness: "Indeed, when a man disdains to be like to men, he is made like to an apostate angel. Thus Saul, after having possessed the merit of humility, came to be swelled with pride when at the summit of power. Through humility, indeed, he was advanced; through pride, reproved -- God being witness who said: 'When thou wast small in thine own eyes, did I not make thee head over the tribes of Israel?' " And a little further on: "Moreover, strange to say, when he was small in his own eyes he was great in the eyes of God; but when he seemed great in his own eyes he was small in the eyes of God." Let them also carefully retain what God says in the gospel: "I do not seek my glory"; and, "He who wishes to be the first among you shall be the servant of all.
" Let them always prefer the honour of God to their own; let them cherish and guard justice by observing the rights of every man; let them not walk in the counsel of the ungodly but, with an assenting heart, always consort with good men. Let them not seek to subject to themselves or to subjugate the holy church as a handmaid; but chiefly let them strive, by recognizing the teachers and fathers, to honour in due form her eyes -- namely the priests of God. For if we are ordered to honour our carnal fathers and mothers -- how much more our spiritual ones! And if he who has cursed his carnal father or mother is to be punished with death -- what does he merit who curses his spiritual father or mother? Let them not, enticed by carnal love, strive to place one of their own sons over the flock for which Christ poured forth His blood, if they can find some one who is better and more useful than he: lest, loving their son more than God, they inflict the greatest detriment on the holy church. For he who neglects to provide to the best of his ability for such a want -- and, as it were, necessity -- of holy mother church is openly convicted of not loving God and his neighbour as a Christian should.
For if this virtue -- namely, love -- has been neglected, no matter what good any one does he shall be without every fruit of salvation. And so by humbly doing these things, and by observing the love of God and of their neighbour as they ought, they may hope for the mercy of Him who said: "Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart." If they shall have humbly imitated Him they shall pass from this servile and transitory kingdom to a true kingdom of liberty and eternity.
15. Negotiations between Paschal II. and Henry V., 1111.
(a.) Paschal's Privilege of the first Convention, Feb. 12th, 1111.
Bishop Paschal, servant of the servants of God.
To his beloved son Henry and his successors, forever. It is both decreed against by the institutions of the divine law, and interdicted by the sacred canons, that priests should busy themselves with secular cases, or should go to the public court except to rescue the condemned, or for the sake of others who suffer injury. Wherefore also the apostle Paul says: "If ye have secular judgments constitute as judges those who are of low degree in the church." Moreover in portions of your kingdom bishops and abbots are so occupied by secular cares that they are compelled assiduously to frequent the court, and to perform military service. Which things, indeed, are scarcely if at all carried on without plunder, sacrilege, arson. For ministers of the altar are made ministers of the king's court; inasmuch as they receive cities, duchies, margravates, monies and other things which belong to the service of the king. Whence also the custom has grown up -- intolerably for the Church -- that elected bishops should by no means receive consecration unless they had first been invested through the hand of the king. From which cause both the wickedness of simoniacal heresy and, at times, so great an ambition has prevailed that the episcopal sees were invaded without any previous election. At times, even, they have been invested while the bishops were alive. Aroused by these and very many other evils which had happened for the most part through investitures, our predecessors the pontiffs Gregory VII. and Urban II. of blessed memory, frequently calling together episcopal councils did condemn those investitures of the lay hand, and did decree that those who should have obtained churches through them should be deposed, and the donors also be deprived of communion -- according to that chapter of the apostolic canons which runs thus: "If any bishop, employing the powers of the world, do through them obtain a church: he shall be deposed and isolated, as well as all who communicate with him." Following in the traces of which (canons), we also, in an episcopal council, have confirmed their sentence.
And so, most beloved son, king Henry, -- now through our office, by the grace of God, emperor of the Romans, -- we decree that those royal appurtenances are to be given back to thee and to thy kingdom which manifestly belonged to that kingdom in the time of Charles, Louis, and of thy other predecessors. We forbid, and under sentence of anathema prohibit, that any bishop or abbot, present or future, invade these same royal appurtenances. In which are included the cities, duchies, margravates, counties, monies, toll, market, advowsons of the kingdom, rights of the judges of the hundred courts, and the courts which manifestly belonged to the king together with what pertained to them, the military posts and camps of the kingdom. Nor shall they henceforth, unless by favour of the king, concern themselves with those royal appurtenances. But neither shall it be allowed our successors, who shall follow us in the apostolic chair, to disturb thee or thy kingdom in this matter.
Furthermore, we decree that the churches, with the offerings and hereditary possessions which mani- festly did not belong to the kingdom, shall remain free; as, on the day of thy coronation, in the sight of the whole church, thou didst promise that they should be. For it is fitting that the bishops, freed from secular cares, should take care of their people, and not any longer be absent from their churches. For, according to the apostle Paul, let them watch, being about to render account, as it were, for the souls of these (their people).
(b.) Paschal's Privilege of the second Convention, April 12th, 1111.
Bishop Paschal, servant of the servants of God, to his most beloved son in Christ, Henry, glorious king of the Germans, and, through the grace of Almighty God, august emperor of the Romans, greeting and apostolic benediction.
The divine disposition has appointed that your kingdom should be singularly united with the holy Roman church. Your predecessors by reason of uprightness and greater virtue have obtained the crown of the city of Rome and the empire. To which dignity, viz.: that of the crown and the empire, the divine majesty has, most beloved son Henry, through the ministry of our priestship, brought thy person also. That prerogative, therefore, of dignity which our predecessors did grant to thy predecessors the catholic emperors, and did confirm by their charters, we also do concede to thee, beloved, and do confirm by the page of this present privilege: that, namely, thou may'st confer the investiture of staff and ring, freely, except through simony and with violence to the elected, on the bishops and abbots of thy kingdom. But after the investiture they shall receive the canonical consecration from the bishop to whom they belong. If any one, moreover, without thy consent, shall have been elected by the clergy and people, he shall be consecrated by no one unless he be invested by thee.
Bishops and archbishops, indeed, shall have the right of canonically consecrating bishops or abbots invested by thee. For your predecessors have enriched the churches of their kingdom with such benefits from their royal appurtenances, that the kingdom itself should seek its chief safety in protecting the bishops and abbots; and popular dissensions, which often happen at elections, should be restrained by the royal majesty. Wherefore the attention of thy prudence and power ought the more carefully to be applied to this end: that the greatness of the Roman, and the safety of the other churches, should be preserved through still greater benefits -- God granting them. Therefore if any person, secular or ecclesiastical, knowing this page of our concession, shall with bold daring strive to act against it: he shall, unless he come to his senses, be entwined in the chain of the anathema, and shall suffer the risk of losing his honour and dignity. The divine mercy, moreover, shall guard those observing it, and shall permit thy person and power happily to reign to His honour and glory. Amen.
16. Concordat of Worms, Sept. 23rd, 1122.
(a.) Privilege of Pope Calixtus II.
I, bishop Calixtus, servant of the servants of God, do grant to thee beloved son, Henry -- by the grace of God august emperor of the Romans -- that the elections of the bishops and abbots of the German kingdom, who belong to the kingdom, shall take place in thy presence, without simony and without any violence; so that if any discord shall arise between the parties concerned, thou, by the counsel or judgment of the metropolitan and the co-provincials, may'st give consent and aid to the party which has the more right. The one elected, moreover, without any exaction may receive the regalia from thee through the lance, and shall do unto thee for these what he rightfully should. But he who is consecrated in the other parts of thy empire (i.e. Burgundy and Italy) shall, within six months, and without any exaction, receive the regalia from thee through the lance, and shall do unto thee for these what he rightfully should. Excepting all things which are known to belong to the Roman church. Concerning matters, however, in which thou dost make complaint to me, and dost demand aid, -- I, according to the duty of my office. will furnish aid to thee. I give unto thee true peace, and to all who are or have been on thy side in the time of this discord.
(b.) Edict of the Emperor Henry IV.
In the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity, I, Henry, by the grace of God august emperor of the Romans, for the love of God and of the holy Roman church and of our master pope Calixtus, and for the healing of my soul, do remit to God, and to the holy apostles of God, Peter and Paul, and to the holy catholic church, all investiture through ring and staff; and do grant that in all the churches that are in my kingdom or empire there may be canonical election and free consecration. All the possessions and regalia of St. Peter which, from the beginning of this discord unto this day, whether in the time of my father or also in mine, have been abstracted, and which I hold: I restore to that same holy Roman church. As to those things, moreover, which I do not hold, I will faithfully aid in their restoration. As to the possessions also of all other churches and princes, and of all others lay and clerical persons which have been lost in that war: according to the counsel of the princes, or according to justice, I will restore the things that I hold; and of those things which I do not hold I will faithfully aid in the restoration. And I grant true peace to our master pope Calixtus, and to the holy Roman church, and to all those who are or have been on its side. And in matters where the holy Roman church shall demand aid I will grant it; and in matters concerning which it shall make complaint to me I will duly grant to it justice. All these things have been done by the consent and counsel of the princes Whose names are here adjoined:
Adalbert archbishop of Mainz; F. archbishop of Cologne; H. bishop of Ratisbon; O. bishop of Bamberg; B. bishop of Spires; H. of Augsburg; G. of Utrecht; Ou. of Constance; E. abbot of Fulda; Henry, duke; Frederick, duke; S. duke; Pertolf, duke; Margrave Teipold; Margrave Engelbert; Godfrey, count Palatine; Otto, count Palatine; Berengar, count.
I, Frederick, archbishop of Cologne and archchancellor, have given my recognizances.
THE VESANCON EPISODE.
( Doeberl: "Monumenta Germaniae Selecta," vol. iv. pp. 107-115.)
(a.) Letter of Pope Adrian IV. to Barbarossa, Sept. 20th, 1157.
Bishop Adrian, servant of the servants of God, to his beloved son Frederick, illustrious emperor of the Romans, -- greeting and apostolic benediction.
A few days ago we remember to have written to thy imperial Majesty recalling to thy Highness's memory that, as we believe, that horrid and execrable crime and impious deed of evil committed in our time in Germany had remained for some time univestigated, -- and observing, not without great wonder, that thou had'st allowed the barbarity of so pernicious a crime to pass until now without taking the severe vengeance that was fitting. For in what manner our venerable brother Eskill, archbishop of Lyon, while returning from the Apostolic See, was captured in that land by certain impious and godless men -- we cannot speak of it without great grief of mind, -- and is at present kept in custody; how, moreover, in the aforesaid capture the impious men, the seeds of evil, the sons of crime did violently and with drawn swords rise against him and his followers; and how vilely and disgracefully they treated them, taking away all that they had: -- thy serene Highness knows on the one hand, and, on the other, the fame of so great an outrage has already reached the most distant and most unapproachable regions. In vengeance of which most violent crime, as one to whom, as we believe, good things are pleasing and evil ones displeasing, thou should'st have arisen with more steadfastness; and the sword, which was given thee by divine concession to punish evil-doers but to exalt the good, ought to have raged above the neck of the impious and most sternly to have destroyed the presumptuous. But thou art said so to have hushed this up -- or rather to have neglected it -- that they have no reason to repent of having committed the deed, inasmuch as they already feel that they have gained immunity for the sacrilege which they committed.
As to the cause of this dissimulation or negligence we are entirely ignorant, since no scruple of conscience accuses our mind of having offended thy serene Highness in any respect; but we have always loved thy person as that of our most dear and special son, and the most Christian prince, whose power we do not doubt to have been founded by the grace of God on the rock of the apostolic confession. And we have treated thee always with the partiality of due benignity. For thou should'st, oh most glorious son, bring before the eyes of thy mind how graciously and how joyfully thy mother the holy Roman church received thee in a former year; with what affection of heart she treated thee; what plenitude of dignity and honour she granted thee; and how, most willingly conferring upon thee the distinction of the imperial crown, she strove to cherish in her most bountiful lap thee at the summit of thy sublimity -- doing nothing at all which she knew would even in the least be contrary to the royal will. Nor, indeed, do we repent having fulfilled in all things the desires of thy heart, but would, not without right, rejoice if thy excellency had received from our hand even greater benefices (beneficia), if that were possible; knowing, as we do, what great increase and advantage can come through thee to the church of God and to us.
But now, since thou dost seem to neglect and gloss over so monstrous a crime -- which is known, indeed, to have been committed to the shame of the universal Church and of thy Empire -- we suspect and likewise fear lest perhaps thy mind has been led to this dissimulation and neglect for the reason that, at the suggestion of a perverse man sowing discord, thou hast conceived against thy most lenient mother the most holy Roman Church, and against our own person, some indignation or rancour -- which God forbid! On account of this, therefore, and of other matters which we know to be pressing upon us, we have seen fit at present to despatch to thy serenity from our side two of the best and most beloved men whom we have about us, our dear sons, namely, Bernard, cardinal presbyter of St. Clement, and Roland, cardinal presbyter of the title of St. Mark and our own chancellor -- as being men who are conspicuous for their religion and prudence and honesty. And we most urgently request thy Highness to receive them honourably as well as kindly, to treat them fairly and to receive without hesitation, as though proceeding from our lips, whatever they say on our part to thy imperial Majesty concerning this matter and concerning other things which pertain to the honour of God and of the holy Roman church, and also to the glory and exaltation of the Empire. And do not doubt to lend faith to their words as though we ourselves had happened to utter them.
(b.) Manifesto of the Emperor, Oct. 1157.
Inasmuch as the divine power, from which is every power in Heaven and on earth, has committed to us, his anointed, the kingdom and the empire to be ruled over, and has ordained that the peace of the church shall be preserved by the arms of the empire, -- not without extreme grief of heart are we compelled to complain to you, beloved, that, from the head of the holy church on which Christ impressed the character of his peace and love, causes of dissension, seeds of evil, the poison of a pestiferous disease seem to emanate. Through these, unless God avert it, we fear that the whole body of the church will be tainted, the unity riven, a schism be brought about between the kingdom and the priesthood. For recently, while we were holding court at Vesançon and with due watchfulness were treating of the honour of the empire and of the safety of the church, there came apostolic legates asserting that they brought such message to our majesty that from it the honour of our empire should receive no little increase. When, on the first day of their coming, we had honourably received them, and, on the second, as is the custom, we sat together with our princes to listen to their report, -- they, as if inflated with the mammon of unrighteousness, out of the height of their pride, from the summit of their arrogance, in the execrable elation of their swelling hearts, did present to us a message in the form of an Apostolic letter, the tenor of which was that we should always keep it before our mind's eye how the lord Pope had conferred upon us the distinction of the imperial crown and that he would not regret it if our Highness were to receive from him even greater benefices. This was that message of paternal sweetness which was to foster the unity of Church and Empire, which strove to bind together both with a bond of peace, which enticed the minds of the hearers to the concord and obedience of both.
Of a truth at that word, blasphemous and devoid of all truth, not only did the imperial majesty conceive a righteous indignation, but also all the princes who were present were filled with such fury and wrath that, without doubt, they would have condemned those two unhallowed presbyters to the punishment of death had not our presence prevented them. Whereupon, since many similar letters were found upon them, and sealed forms to be filled out afterwards at their discretion -- by means of which, as has hitherto been their custom, they intended to strive throughout all the churches of the kingdom of Germany, to scatter the virus conceived by their iniquity, to denude the altars, to carry away the vessels of the house of God, to strip the crosses: lest an opportunity should be given them of proceeding further, we caused them to return to Rome by the way on which they had come. And, inasmuch as the kingdom, together with the empire, is ours by the election of the princes from God alone, who, by the passion of His Son Christ subjected the world to the rule of the two necessary swords; and since the apostle Peter informed the world with this teaching, "Fear God, honour the king": whoever shall say that we received the imperial crown as a benefice from the lord Pope, contradicts the divine institutions and the teaching of Peter, and shall be guilty of a lie.
Since, moreover, we have hitherto striven to rescue from the hands of the Egyptians the honour and liberty of the church which has long been oppressed by the yoke of an undue servitude, and are striving to preserve to it all the prerogatives of its dignity: we ask you as one to condole with us over such ignominy inflicted on us and on the Empire, trusting that the undivided sincerity of your faith will not permit the honour of the empire, which, from the foundation of Rome and the establishment of the Christian religion up to your own times has remained glorious and undiminished, 1 to be lessened by so unheard of an innovation. And be it known beyond the shadow of a doubt, that we would rather incur danger of death than in our day to sustain the shame of so great a disaster.
(c.) Letter of Adrian IV. to the German Bishops.
As often as any thing is attempted in the church against the honour of God and the salvation of the faithful, it ought to be the care of our brothers and fellow bishops -and especially of those who are impelled by the spirit of God -- to discover a means of correction pleasing to God for the evil things that have been done. In the present time, indeed, -- a thing which we can not mention without extreme grief, -- our most beloved son, Frederick emperor of the Romans, has done a thing such as we do not read to have ever been perpetrated in the times of our predecessors. For when we had sent to his presence two of our best brothers, Bernard, namely, of the title of St. Clement, and Roland our chancellor, of the title of St. Mark, cardinal presbyters, -- he, when they first came into his presence, received them with open arms. But, on the following day, when they returned to him and our letter was read before him, exception being taken at a certain word which was contained in the course of that letter, viz.: "we conferred upon thee the 'beneficium' of a crown," he burst forth into a fit of such anger that it is shameful to hear and grievous to mention the insults which he is said to have heaped upon us and our legates, and to relate how disgracefully he compelled them to retire from his presence and swiftly to depart from his land. And when, moreover, they had left his presence, passing an edict that no one from your land should go to the apostolic see, he is said to have placed guards at all the boundaries of that kingdom who should turn back with violence those who wished to approach the apostolic see. Although we were somewhat disturbed by this measure, nevertheless we personally
1 This Passage is an excellent illustration of the fact, so often insisted upon by Mr. Freeman, that there is no break in the continuity of history, and that the mediæval emperors considered themselves the direct successors of the Cæsars.
received the greater consolation from the fact that it did not proceed from the counsel of yourselves and the princes. Wherefore we trust that he can easily be recalled from his anger of mind by your counsel and persuasion. And so, beloved brothers, since in this matter not only our interest but yours and that of all the churches is known to be at stake, we urge and exhort ye in the Lord, that ye oppose yourselves as a wall of protection before the house of God and that ye strive to bring back, as quickly as possible, our aforesaid son to the right path -- paying most particular heed to this, that he cause so great and such evident satisfaction to be rendered by Rainald his chancellor and by the count Palatine who presumed to vomit forth great blasphemies against our aforesaid legates and your mother also, the holy Roman church, that, according as the bitterness of their words offended the ears of many, so also their atonement may recall many to the right path. Let not this same son of ours acquiesce in the counsels of the wicked; let him consider the newest laws and the old, and let him tread the path along which Justinian and the other catholic emperors are known to have passed. By their example, indeed, and by imitating them, he will be able to heap up for himself honour upon earth and felicity in Heaven. But ye also, if ye bring him back to the right path, shall both perform a service pleasing to St. Peter the prince of the apostles and will preserve your own and your churches' liberty. Otherwise let our aforesaid son know from your admonitions, let him know from the truth of the promise of the gospel -- that the holy Roman church is founded on a most firm rock, God placing it there; and that, no matter by how great a whirlwind of words it may be shaken, it will remain firm, God protecting it, throughout all the ages. He ought not, as ye know, to have entered upon so arduous a path without your advice; whence we believe that, hearing your warnings, like a discreet man and catholic emperor, he may most easily be recalled to the enjoyment of a more healthful pursuit.
(d.) Letter of the German Bishops to the Pope.
Although we know and are sure that neither the winds nor the waves of tempests can cast down the church of God which is founded on a firm rock: we, nevertheless, being very weak and timid, are shaken and tremble whenever such attacks occur. Wherefore we are very gravely disturbed and frightened concerning those things which seem about to furnish, unless God avert it, a fruitful source of great evil between your Holiness and your most devoted son our lord emperor. Indeed, by those words which were contained in the letter which you sent through your most prudent and honest envoys, master Bernard and master Roland the chancellor, venerable cardinal presbyters, the whole public of our empire has been set in commotion. The ears of the imperial power were not able to hear them patiently nor the ears of the princes to bear them. All present were so deaf to them, that we, saving thy grace, most holy father, on account of the sinister interpretation which their ambiguity permits, do neither dare, nor are we able, to defend or to approve them by any form of consent, -- for the reason that they are unusual and have not been heard of up to the present time. Receiving with due reverence, however, and putting into effect the letter which you did send to us, we did admonish your son, our lord emperor, as you did order; and, thanks be to God, we received from him such reply as became a catholic prince. It was to this effect: "There are two things by which our empire ought to be ruled, the holy laws of the emperors and the good customs of our predecessors and fathers. We will not and can not go beyond those limits placed for the church; whatever is counter to them we do not receive. We willingly exhibit due reverence to our father; we look upon the free crown of our empire as a divine benefice alone; we acknowledge that the first vote in the election belongs to the archbishop of Mainz, the remaining ones to the other princes in order; that the royal anointing pertains to the archbishop of Cologne, but the highest, which is the imperial, to the supreme pontiff. Whatever there is besides these is superfluous, is evil.
It was not in contempt of our most beloved and most reverent father and consecrator that we compelled the cardinals to depart from the confines of our land. But with those things and on account of those things which they bore in writing, or about to be filled in to the disgrace and scandal of our empire, we could not permit them to proceed further. The exits and entrances of Italy we neither closed by an edict nor do we wish in any way to close them to pilgrims or to those approaching the Roman see for their reasonable necessities with testimonials from their bishops and prelates. But we do intend to oppose those abuses through which all the churches of our land are oppressed and worn out, and almost all monastic discipline is dead and buried. God, through the emperor, has exalted the church to be at the head of the world; at the head of the world the church, not through God, as we believe, now tries to demolish the empire. It began with a picture; 1 from a picture it went on to a letter; from a letter it tries to go on to authority. We shall not suffer it, we shall not permit it. We will rather lay aside the crown than to consent that the crown, together with ourselves, be so abased. Let the pictures be obliterated, the writings retracted, so that they may not remain eternal sources of discord between the kingdom and the priesthood." These and other things, concerning the peace with Roger and William of Sicily and the other conventions which have been drawn up in Italy, which we do not dare to give in full, we heard from the lips of our lord emperor. The count Palatine, moreover, being absent, having been already sent ahead to prepare for an expedition into Italy, -- we heard nothing from the chancellor, who was still present there, that did not savour of humility and peace except that he stood by those men in the danger to their lives that threatened them from the people. And
1 The picture referred to is described in the Cologne Annals ( Mon. Ger. xvii. 766).
Innocent II. sits upon a throne, while King Lothar, Frederick's predecessor, bends before him with folded hands to receive the crown of the Empire. Underneath was written, as we learn from Ragewin, iii. 10:
"The king comes before the gates, first swearing to preserve the rights of the city. He is afterwards made the Pope's vassal, and takes the crown which he gives."
all who were present testify as to this same fact. For the rest we humbly beg and beseech your holiness to spare our weakness, to soothe like a good pastor your highsouled son by writings which shall sweeten your former writings with honeyed suavity; so that both the church of God may rejoice in tranquil devotion, and that the empire may be raised still higher in its lofty position, He himself mediating and helping -- Jesus Christ, who, as mediator between God and men, was made man.
(e.) Letter of Adrian IV. to the Emperor, Feb., 1158.
From the time when, God disposing as it pleased himself, we received the charge of the universal church, we have so taken care to honour thy Highness that, from day to day, thy mind ought to have been inflamed more and more with love for us and with veneration for the apostolic see. Wherefore we can not hear without great astonishment that when -- having heard from the suggestions of certain men that thy anger was somewhat aroused against us -- in order to learn thy will we sent to thy presence two of our best and greatest brothers, the chancellor Roland, namely, of the title of St Mark, and Bernard of the title of St Clement, cardinal presbyters, who had always been most concerned for the honour of thy Majesty in the Roman Church: they were treated otherwise than was becoming to the imperial magnificence. On account of a certain word, indeed, -- "beneficium," namely -- thy mind is said to have been moved to anger; which word ought not by any means to have aroused the ire of so great a man, nor even of any lesser man. For although this word -- namely, "beneficium" -- is used by some in a sense different from that which it has by derivation, it should, nevertheless, have been accepted in that sense which we ourselves attributed to it and which it is known to retain from its origin. For this word is derived from "bonus" and "factum," and a "beneficium" is called by us not "a fief" but a "bonum factum." It is found in this signification in the whole body of Holy Scripture, where it speaks of the "beneficium" of God not as of a fief but as a benediction and good deed of His by which we are said to be governed and nourished.
And thy Magnificence, indeed, clearly recognizes that we did so well and so honourably place the mark of the imperial dignity upon thy head that it may be considered by all a "bonum factum." Wherefore when some have tried to distort from its own to another signification this word and that other one, namely: "we have conferred (contulimus) upon thee the distinction of the imperial crown," they have done this not upon the merits of the case, but of their own will and at the suggestion of those who by no means cherish the peace of the kingdom and the church. For by this word "contulimus" we mean nothing else than what we said above, "imposuimus." But that thou didst afterwards, as it is said, order ecclesiastics to be restrained from visiting, as they ought, the holy Roman Church, -- if this is so, thy discretion, as we hope, O dearest Son in Christ, recognizes how wrongly this was done. For if thou didst have against us anything of bitterness, thou should'st have intimated it to us through thy envoys and letters and we would have taken care to provide for thy honour, as for that of our dearest son. Now, indeed, at the instigation of our beloved son, Henry duke of Bavaria and Saxony, we send into thy presence two of our brothers, Henry of the title of Sts. Nereus and Achilles, presbyter, and Jacinctus deacon of St. Mary in Cosmide -- both cardinals, prudent and honest men, indeed. And we urge and exhort thy Highness in the Lord to receive them honestly and kindly. And thy Excellency may know that what shall be intimated by them on our part to thy Magnificence has proceeded from the sincerity of our heart; and, on the ground of this, through the mediation of the aforesaid duke, our son, may thy Highness strive to come to an agreement with them, so that between thee and thy mother the holy Roman Church no soil for the seeds of discord may henceforth remain.
IV. THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN FREDERICK BARBAROSSA AND ALEXANDER III. ( Doeberl iv. pp. 165 - 247.)
(a.) Epistola Minor of the Council of Pavia, Feb. 5-11, 1160 A.D. (Encyclic.) Inasmuch as the turmoil in which the apostolic see has been involved has exceedingly wounded the hearts of Christians, we, who have congregated at Pavia to heal the schisms and to restore the peace of the church, have thought best fully to intimate to all of you the nature of the case and the manner of procedure and the ruling of the holy council. We do this in order that the facts shown forth simply and truly in the present writing may forcibly expel any false impressions which the hearers may have conceived, and that henceforth they may not be deceived by schismatic writings.
When, therefore, all of the orthodox congregated at Pavia in the name of the Lord had taken their seats, the case was lawfully and canonically tried and diligently investigated during 7 successive days. And it was sufficiently and canonically proved in the eyes of the council through capable witnesses, that, in the church of St Peter, our lord Pope Victor and no other had been elected and solemnly enmantled by the sounder part of the cardinals -at the request of the people and with the consent and at the desire of the clergy; and that, Roland the former chancellor being present and not objecting, he was placed in the chair of St Peter; and that there, by the clergy of Rome and the cardinals, a grand Te Deum was sung to him; and that thence, wearing the stoles and other Papal insignia, he was led to the palace.
And the clergy and people being asked according to custom by the notary if they agreed, replied thrice with a loud voice: "We agree."
It was proved also that Roland, on the twelfth day after the promotion of Pope Victor, going forth from Rome was first enmantled at Cisterna where once the emperor Nero, an exile from the city, remained in hiding. It was proved that Roland, being interrogated by the rectors of the Roman clergy and the clergy of his cardinalate as to whether they were to obey pope Victor, -- expressly confessed that he himself had never been enmantled, and expressly said: Go and obey him whom you shall see to be enmantled.....
Then the venerable bishops Hermann of Verden, Daniel of Prague and Otto count Palatine, and master Herbert, provost, whom the lord emperor, by the advice of 22 bishops and the Cistercian and Clairvaux abbots and other monks there present, had sent to Rome to summon the parties before the council at Pavia, gave testimony in the sight of the council that they had summoned before the presence of the church congregated at Pavia, through three edicts at intervals, peremptorily and solemnly, all secular influence being removed, Roland the chancellor and his party; and that Roland the chancellor and his party with loud voice and with their own lips manifestly declared that they were unwilling to accept any judgment or investigation from the church.....
Being sufficiently instructed, therefore, from all these things, and the truth being fully declared on both sides, it pleased the reverend council that the election of pope Victor, who, like a gentle and innocent lamb had come to humbly receive the judgment of the church, should be approved and confirmed, and the election of Roland should be altogether cancelled. And this was done.
The election of Pope Victor, then, after all secular influence had been removed and the grace of the Holy Spirit invoked, being confirmed and accepted, -- the most Christian emperor, last, after all the bishops and after all the clergy, by the advice and petition of the council, accepted and approved the election of pope Victor. And, after him, all the princes and an innumerable multitude of men who were present, being asked three times if they agreed, replied, rejoicing with loud voice: "We agree."
On the following day -- that is, on the first Saturday in Lent -- pope Victor was led with honour in procession from the church of St. Salvatore without the city, where he had been harboured, to the universal Church. There the most holy emperor received him before the gates of the church, and, as he descended from his horse, humbly held his stirrup, and, taking his hand, led him to the altar and kissed his feet. And all of us -- the patriarch, the archbishops, bishops and abbots and all the princes as well as the whole multitude that was present -- kissed the feet of the pope. And on the next day -- the Sabbath, namely -- a general council being held, the lord pope and we with him, with blazing candles anathematized Roland the chancellor as schismatic, and likewise his chief supporters; and we handed him over to Satan unto the death of the flesh, that his spirit might be safe at the day of the Lord.
We wish, moreover, that it be not hidden from your prudent discernment that Roland the chancellor and certain cardinals of his following had formed a conspiracy while pope Adrian was still alive. The tenor of this conspiracy was, moreover, that if Pope Adrian should happen to die while they were still living, they should elect one cardinal from those who were banded together in that conspiracy.
For the rest, on the part of Almighty God, and of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, and of the orthodox men who have come together by the divine will to heal the schism, we humbly implore and admonish all of you in Christ, that, all doubt and ambiguity being removed, you will irrefragably confirm and hold fast those things which the church of God congregated at Pavia has faithfully ordained for the honour of the Creator and for the tranquillity of your mother the holy Roman church and for the salvation of all Christians. And we pray that our Redeemer Christ Jesus may long preserve the universal Pontiff, our Pope Victor, in whose sanctity and religion we altogether trust; and that He will grant to him all tranquillity and peace, so that, through him, Almighty God shall be honoured and the Roman church and the whole Christian religion may receive an increase pleasing to God. In order, moreover, that our action may have more weight with those who read this we have thought best to subscribe the consent and the names of all of us, I, Peregrin, patriarch of Aquileija, etc. etc.
(b.) Letter of John of Salisbury concerning the Council of Pavia. June, 1160.
To his master and dearest friend Randolf de Serres, John of Salisbury sends greeting and whatever there is better than that. I do not doubt thee to be a sharer, my beloved, in our difficulties; for the cause which troubles us is not different or dissimilar, although it affects us differently and dissimilarly. For we, from near by, receive in our hands the arrows of raging fortune, and always before our eyes there is matter for continual labour and grief and sorrow. Our bitter lot gives us no time or place for happiness or rest, hardly is even a faint hope of solace left to us. And that is from God; for now, indeed, we despair of human help. Want of means, indeed, oppresses me on account of weight of debt and of the importunity of my creditors; but grief obliterates this care, and the inroad of a stronger and a public fear swallows up all that is private. Thou thyself dost feel also what I feel; what I say, thou dost, I think, say to thyself in continual meditation; and, with circumspect mind thou dost anticipate the sad word which I am about to speak. For thou also, unless thou dost put off thyself, art with viligant and continual care occupied with our labours and griefs, inasmuch as thou art troubled with the misfortune of our common master. For whilst thou dost look upon the disasters of the universal church from whose breasts we are nourished, dost weigh the matter, dost measure the dangers, -- the meditation adds grief to grief, grief such as thou canst not bear. Nevertheless in all this thou hast been more gently treated than I. for thou having obtained the lot of a more independent condition, art not compelled to be present and to weep at every breath and at every hour, and at every complaint of a desolate family; nor dost thou by any means fear that there is hanging over thee either exile or the necessity of committing some infamous crime. For thou dost live under a prince who is thought of with joy and benediction. 1 We, however, fear beyond measure lest the
1. Louis VII. of France.
German emperor circumvent and subvert with his wiles the serenity of our prince. 1 It seems to me to make very little difference whom the presumption of the little Pavian convention supports, unless that the election of Alexander, if any one doubted of it, is confirmed by the very testimony of the opposing party.
To pass over the rashness of one who has presumed to judge the Roman church which is reserved for the judgment of God alone, and who, when he ought to have been excommunicated -- as the disgraceful treatment of the cardinals at Vesancon shows -- cited through a peremptory edict before his judgment seat two men, and, having already made up his mind as to the sentence, greeted one with the name of his old office and dignity, the other with the appellation of Roman pontiff, revealing to the senators and people his secret inclination: whatever has been done at Pavia is found to be contrary, as well to common fairness, as to the lawful constitutions and sanctions of the fathers. Of course the absent were condemned, and in a case which was not investigated, nay, which had no right to be investigated there, or in that way, or by such men, -impudently and imprudently and iniquitously, a sentence was hurriedly given.
But perhaps one ought to say "those who absented themselves," rather than "the absent." Surely so, for those men ignore or pretend to ignore the privilege of the holy Roman church. Who has subjected the universal church to the judgment of a single church? Who has constituted the Germans judges of the nations? Who has conferred authority on these brutal and impetuous men of electing at their will a prince over the sons of men? And, indeed, their fury has often attempted this, but, God bringing it about, it has often had to blush, prostrate and confused, over its iniquity. But I know what this German is attempting. For I was at Rome, under the rule of the blessed Eugenius, when, in the first embassy sent at the beginning of his reign, his intolerable pride and incautious tongue displayed such daring impudence. For he promised that he would reform the rule of the whole world, and
1. Henry II. of England.
subject the world to Rome, and, sure of success, would conquer all things, -- if only the favour of the Roman pontiff would aid him in this. And this he did in order that against whomever he, the emperor, declaring war, should draw the material sword, -- against the same the Roman pontiff should draw the spiritual sword. He did not find any one hitherto who would consent to such iniquity, and, Moses himself opposing -- i.e. the law of God contradicting -- he raised up for himself a Balaamitic pontiff, through whom he might curse the people of God; the son of malediction (Antichrist), therefore, for the designation and reception of whom, through many generations, from the first father of the family down to him for whom it was reserved, the name and cognomen of "accursed" has been invented. And perhaps, for the purging and probation of the Roman church, the attack of the Germans, like that of the Canaanite, has been left to hang over it forever, -- in order that for her own improvement he should make her uneasy, himself being conquered and giving way; and that she herself, after her triumph, should be restored more pleasing and more glorious to the embraces of her Spouse. And so to the renown of the fathers, -- witness the Lateran palace where even lay men read this in visible pictures -- to the renown of the fathers, the schismatics whom the secular power thrusts in are given to the pontiffs as a foot stool, and posterity looks back with triumph to their memory...........
(c.) The Peace of Venice, 1177.
1. The lord Emperor Frederick, according as he has received the lord Pope Alexander as catholic and universal Pope, so he will exhibit to him due reverence, just as his, Frederick's, Catholic predecessors have exhibited it to his, Alexander's, Catholic predecessors. He will also exhibit the same reverence to the Pope's successors who shall be catholically enthroned.
2. And the lord emperor will truly restore peace as well to the lord Pope Alexander, as to all his successors and to the whole Roman Church.
3. Every possession and holding, moreover, whether of a prefecture or of any other thing, which the Roman church enjoyed and which he took away of himself or through others, he will restore in good faith; saving all the rights of the empire. The Roman Church also will restore in good faith, every possession and holding which it took away from him through itself or through others; saving all the rights of the Roman Church.
The possessions also which the lord emperor shall restore, he will also aid in retaining.
Likewise also all the vassals of the Church whom, by reason of the schism, the lord emperor took away or received, the lord emperor will release and will restore to the lord Pope Alexander and to the Roman Church.
Moreover the lord emperor and the lord Pope will mutually aid each other in preserving the honour and rights of the Church and the Empire; the lord Pope as a benignant father will aid his devoted and most beloved son, the most Christian emperor, -- and the lord emperor, on the other hand, as a devoted son and most Christian emperor, will aid his beloved and reverend father, the Vicar of St. Peter.
Whatever things, moreover, at the time of the schism and by reason of it, or without judicial proceedings, have been taken away from the Church by the lord emperor or his followers, shall be restored to it.
The empress also will receive the lord Pope Alexander as Catholic and universal Pope. The lord king Henry, their son, will likewise receive him and will show due reverence to him and his catholic successors, and the oath which the lord emperor shall take, he also will take.
The lord emperor and the lord king Henry, his son, closes a true peace with the illustrious king of Sicily for 15 years, as has been ordained and put in writing by the mediators of the peace.
He closes also a true peace with the emperor of Constantinople and all the aiders of the Roman church, and he will make no evil return to them, either through himself or through his followers, for the service conferred on the Roman Church.
Concerning the complaints and controversies, moreover, which, before the time of pope Adrian were at issue between the church and the empire, mediators shall be constituted on the part of the lord pope and the lord emperor, to whom it shall be given over to terminate the same through a judgment or through an agreement. But if the aforesaid mediators can not agree the matters shall be terminated by the judgment of the lord Pope and the lord emperor, or of him or of them whom they shall choose for this purpose.
To Christian, moreover, the said chancellor, the archbishopric of Mainz, but to Philip the archbishopric of Cologne shall be granted; and they shall be confirmed to them with all the plenitude of the archiepiscopal dignity and office. And the first archbishopric which shall be vacant in the German realm shall be assigned to master Conrad by the authority of the lord Pope and the aid of the lord emperor, if, however, it seem suitable for him.
To him also who is called Calixtus one abbey shall be given. Those, moreover, who were called his cardinals shall return to the places which they held before, unless they had renounced them by their own will or judgment; and they shall be left in the grades which they had before the schism. Gero, moreover, now called bishop of Halberstadt, shall be unconditionally deposed, and Ulrich, the true bishop of Halberstadt, shall be restored. Alienations made and benefices given by Gero, and likewise by all in. truders, shall be cancelled by the authority of the lord pope and the lord emperor and shall be restored to their churches.
Concerning the election of the Brandenburg bishop who had been elected to the Bremen archbishopric an investigation shall be made, and, if it shall be found canonical, he shall be transferred to that church. And whatever things have been alienated or given as benefices by Baldwin who now rules over the Bremen church, shall be restored to that church as shall be canonical and just. Likewise what was taken from the Salzburg church at the time of the schism, shall be restored to it in full.
All the clergy who belong to Italy or to other regions outside of the German realm, shall be left to the disposition and judgment of the lord Pope Alexander and his successors. But if it please the lord emperor to ask for a continuance in their grades of some who canonically received them, he shall be heard to the extent of 10 or 12, if he wish to insist. Garsidonius, moreover, of Mantua, shall be restored to his former bishopric, in such way, however, that he who now is bishop of Mantua shall, by the authority of the lord pope and the aid of the lord emperor, be transferred to the bishopric of Trent; unless, perchance, it shall be agreed between the lord Pope and the lord emperor, that provision shall be made for him in another bishopric.
The archpresbyter of Sacco, moreover, shall be restored in all plenitude to his former archpresbytery and to the other benefices which he had before the schism.
All those ordained by any former primates, or by their delegates, in the realm of Germany, shall be restored to the grades thus received; nor shall they be oppressed by reason of this schism. Concerning, moreover, the said bishops of Strassburg and Basel, who were ordained by Guido of Crema, the matter shall, in that same realm, be committed by the aforesaid mediators to 10 or 8 men whom they themselves shall choose; and these shall swear on oath that they will give such counsel of their own accord to the Roman pontiff and the lord emperor, as they find that they can give according to the canons; without danger, namely, to the souls of the lord emperor and the lord pope and their own; and the lord pope will acquiesce in their counsel.
The lord Pope, moreover, and all the cardinals, just as they have received the lord emperor Frederick as Roman and catholic emperor, so they will receive Beatrix his serene wife as catholic and Roman empress, Provided, however, that she shall be crowned by the lord pope Alexander or by his legate. They will receive, moreover, the lord Henry their son as catholic king.
The lord Pope and the cardinals will close a true peace with the lord emperor Frederick and the empress Beatrix, and king Henry their son, and all their supporters, save as to the spiritual matters which by the present Writing are left to the disposition and Judgment of the lord Pope Alexander, and saving all the rights of the Roman church against the detainers of the possessions of St. Peter, and saving those things which are prescribed above as well on the part of the Church as on the part of the lord Emperor and of the Empire.
Moreover the lord pope promises that he will observe the above peace to the letter, and so will all the cardinals; and he shall cause a document to be drawn up to this effect, signed by all the cardinals. The cardinals themselves, also, shall draw up a writing in confirmation of the above peace, and will place their seals to it.
And the lord pope, calling together a council as quickly as it can be done, shall, together with the cardinal bishops and the monks and ecclesiastics who shall be present, declare the excommunication against all who shall attempt to infringe this peace. Then in a general council he shall do the same. Many also of the Roman nobles and the chief lords of the Campagna shall confirm this peace with an oath.
The emperor, moreover, shall confirm with his own oath and that of the princes, the aforesaid peace with the church, and the aforesaid peace of 15 years with the illustrious king of Sicily, and the truce with the Lombards, -for six years, namely, from the Calends of next August; and he shall cause the Lombards who are of his party to confirm this same truce, as has been arranged and put down in the general wording of the truce. But if there shall be any one in the party of the emperor who shall refuse to swear to the aforesaid truce, the emperor shall command all who are of his party, by the fealty due him and for the sake of his favour, to lend no aid to such person, and not to stand in the way of or oppose those who wish to do him harm; and if any one shall do him harm, he shall not be accountable for it. The emperor, moreover, will not recall that mandate so long as the truce shall last. And the lord king Henry, his son, shall confirm the aforesaid, as has been stated in the writing. The lord emperor, also, shall corroborate the aforesaid peace with the church, and with the illustrious king of Sicily for 15 years, and the truce with the Lombards, in a writing of his own, and with his own signature and that of the princes.
But if, which God forbid, the lord pope should die first, the lord emperor and the lord king Henry, his son, and the princes shall firmly observe this form of peace and agreement as regards his successors, and all the cardinals and the whole Roman church, and the illustrious king of Sicily and the Lombards, and the others who feel with them. Likewise if, which God forbid, the lord emperor should die first, the lord pope and the cardinals and the Roman church shall firmly observe the aforesaid peace as regards his successor, and Beatrix his serene wife, and king Henry, his son, and all who belong to the German realm, and all his supporters, as has been said before.
(Signed by Wicmann, archbishop of Magdeburg; Philip, archbishop of Cologne; Christian, archbishop of Mainz; Arnold, archbishop of Treves; Arduin, the imperial protonotary.)
JOHN'S CONCESSION OF ENGLAND TO THE POPE. A.D. 1213.
( "Stubbs' Charters," p. 284.)
John, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, count of Anjou, to all the faithful of Christ who shall look upon this present charter, greeting. We wish it to be known to all of you, through this our charter, furnished with our seal, that inasmuch as we had offended in many ways God and our mother the holy Church, and in consequence are known to have very much needed the divine mercy, and can not offer anything worthy for making due satisfaction to God and to the Church unless we humiliate ourselves and our kingdoms:
-- we, wishing to humiliate ourselves for Him. who humiliated Himself for us unto death, the grace of the Holy Spirit inspiring, not induced by force or compelled by fear, but of our own good and spontaneous will and by the common counsel of our barons, do offer and freely concede to God and His holy apostles Peter and Paul and to our mother the holy Roman church, and to our lord Pope Innocent and to his Catholic successors, the whole kingdom of England and the whole kingdom of Ireland, with all their rights and appurtenances, for the remission of our own sins and of those of our whole race, as well for the living as for the dead; and now receiving and holding them, as it were a vassal, from God and the Roman church, in the presence of that prudent man Panshy; dulph, subdeacon and of the household of the lord pope, we perform and swear fealty for them to him our aforesaid lord pope Innocent, and his catholic successors and the Roman church, according to the form appended; and in the presence of the lord pope, if we shall be able to come before him, we shall do liege homage to him; binding our successors and our heirs by our wife forever, in similar manner to perform fealty and show homage to him who shall be chief pontiff at that time, and to the Roman church without demur. As a sign, moreover, of this our perpetual obligation and concession we will and establish that from the proper and especial revenues of our aforesaid kingdoms, for all the service and customs which we ought to render for them, saving in all things the penny of St. Peter, the Roman Church shall receive yearly a thousand marks sterling, namely at the feast of St. Michael five hundred marks, and at Easter five hundred marks -- seven hundred, namely, for the kingdom of England, and three hundred for the kingdom of Ireland -- saving to us and to our heirs our rights, liberties and regalia; all of which things, as they have been described above, we wish to have perpetually valid and firm; and we bind ourselves and our successors not to act counter to them. And if we or any one of our successors shall presume to attempt this, -whoever he be, unless being duly warned he come to his senses, he shall lose his right to the kingdom, and this charter of our obligation and concession shall always remain firm.
Form of the oath of fealty.
I, John, by the grace of God, king of England and lord of Ireland, from this hour forth will be faithful to God and St. Peter and the Roman church and my lord Pope Innocent and his successors who are ordained in a catholic manner: I shall not bring it about by deed, word, consent or counsel, that they lose life or members or be taken captive. I will impede their being harmed, if I know of it, and will cause harm to be removed from them if I shall be able: otherwise, as quickly as I can I will intimate it or tell of it to such person as I believe for certain will inform them. Any counsel which they entrust to me through themselves or through their envoys or through their letters, I will keep secret, nor will I knowingly disclose it to anyone to their harm. I will aid to the best of my ability in holding and defending against all men the patrimony of St. Peter, and especially the kingdom of England and the kingdom of Ireland. So may God and these holy Gospels aid me.
I myself bearing witness in the house of the Knights Templars near Dover, in the presence of master H., archbishop of Dublin; master J., bishop of Norwich; G., the son of Peter count of Essex, our justice; W., count of Salisbury, our brother; W. Marshall, count of Pembroke; R., count of Boulogne; W., count of Warren; S., count of Winchester; W., count of Arundel; W., count of Ferrières; W. Briwer; Peter, son of Herbert; Warin, son of Gerold; on the 15th day of May, in the 14th year of our reign.
THE BULL "CLERICIS LAICOS,"
( Rymer Foedera, ed 1816, vol. i. pt. ii. p. 836.)
Bishop Boniface, servant of the servants of God, in perpetual memory of this matter. Antiquity teaches us that laymen are in a high degree hostile to the clergy, a fact which also the experiences of the present times declare and make manifest; inasmuch as, not content within their own bounds, they strive after what is forbidden, and loose the reins in pursuit of what is unlawful. Nor have they the prudence to consider that all jurisdiction is denied them over the clergy -- over both the persons and the goods of ecclesiastics.
On the prelates of the churches and on ecclesiastical persons, monastic and secular, they impose heavy burdens, tax them and declare levies upon them. They exact and extort from them the half, the tenth or twentieth or some other portion or quota of their revenues or of their goods; and they attempt in many ways to subject them to slavery and reduce them to their sway. And, with grief do we mention it, some prelates of the churches and ecclesiastical persons, fearing where they ought not to fear, seeking a transitory peace, dreading more to offend the temporal than the eternal majesty, without obtaining the authority or permission of the apostolic chair, do acquiesce, not so much rashly, as improvidently, in the abuses of such persons. We, therefore, wishing to put a stop to such iniquitous acts, by the counsel of our brothers, of the apostolic authority, have decreed: that whatever prelates, or ecclesiastical persons, monastic or secular, of whatever grade, condition or standing, shall pay, or promise, or agree to pay as levies or talliages to laymen the tenth, twentieth or hundredth part of their own and their churches' revenues or goods -or any other quantity, portion or quota of those same revenues or goods, of their estimated or of their real value -- under the name of an aid, loan, subvention, subsidy or gift, or under any other name, manner or clever pretence, without the authority of that same chair: likewise emperors, kings, or princes, dukes, counts or barons, podestas, captains or officials or rectors -- by whatever name they are called, whether of cities, castles, or any places whatever, wherever situated; and any other persons, of whatever pre-eminence, condition or standing who shall impose, exact or receive such payments, or shall any where arrest, seize or presume to take possession of the belongings of churches or ecclesiastical persons which are deposited in the sacred buildings, or shall order them to be arrested, seized or taken possession of, or shall receive them when taken possession of, seized or arrested -- also all who shall knowingly give aid, counsel or favour in the aforesaid things, whether publicly or secretly: -- shall incur, by the act itself, the sentence of excommunication. Corporations, moreover, which shall be guilty in these matters, we place under the ecclesiastical interdict.
The prelates and above mentioned ecclesiastical persons we strictly command, by virtue of their obedience and under penalty of deposition, that they by no means acquiesce in such demands, without express permission of the aforesaid chair; and that they pay nothing under pretext of any obligation, promise and confession made hitherto, or to be made hereafter before such constitution, notice or decree shall come to their notice; nor shall the aforesaid secular persons in any way receive anything. And if they shall pay, or if the aforesaid persons shall receive, they shall fall by the act itself under sentence of excommunication. From the aforesaid sentences of excommunication and interdict, moreover, no one shall be able to be absolved, except in the throes of death, without the authority and special permission of the apostolic chair; since it is our intention by no means to pass over with dissimulation so horrid an abuse of the secular powers. Notwithstanding any privileges whatever -- under whatever tenor, form, or manner or conception of words -- that have been granted to emperors, kings, and other persons mentioned above; as to which privileges we will that, against what we have here laid down, they in no wise avail any person or persons.
Let no man at all, then, infringe this page of our constitution, prohibition or decree, or, with rash daring, act counter to it; but if any one shall presume to attempt this, he shall know that he is about to incur the indignation of Almighty God and of His blessed apostles Peter and Paul.
Given at Rome at St. Peter's on the sixth day before the Calends of March ( Feb. 25), in the second year of our pontificate.
THE PAPAL BULL "UNAM SANCTAM."
(From the latest revision of the text in "Revue des Questions Historiques," July, 1889, p. 255.)
We are compelled, our faith urging us, to believe and to hold -- and we do firmly believe and simply confess -that there is one holy catholic and apostolic church, outside of which there is neither salvation nor remission of sins; her Spouse proclaiming it in the canticles: "My dove, my undefiled is but one, she is the choice one of her that bare her;" which represents one mystic body, of which body the head is Christ; but of Christ, God. In this church there is one Lord, one faith and one baptism. There was one ark of Noah, indeed, at the time of the flood, symbolizing one church; and this being finished in one cubit had, namely, one Noah as helmsman and commander. And, with the exception of this ark, all things existing upon the earth were, as we read, destroyed. This church, moreover, we venerate as the only one, the Lord saying through His prophet: "Deliver my soul from the sword, my darling from the power of the dog." He prayed at the same time for His soul -- that is, for Himself the Head -- and for His body, -- which body, namely, he called the one and only church on account of the unity of the faith promised, of the sacraments, and of the love of the church. She is that seamless garment of the Lord which was not cut but which fell by lot. Therefore of this one and only church there is one body and one head -- not two heads as if it were a monster: -- Christ, namely, and the vicar of Christ, St. Peter, and the successor of Peter. For the Lord Himself said to Peter, Feed my sheep. My sheep, He said, using a general term, and not designating these or those particular sheep; from which it is plain that He committed to Him all His sheep. If, then, the Greeks or others say that they were not committed to the care of Peter and his successors, they necessarily confess that they are not of the sheep of Christ; for the Lord says, in John, that there is one fold, one shepherd and one only.
We are told by the word of the gospel that in this His fold there are two swords, -- a spiritual, namely, and a temporal. For when the apostles said "Behold here are two swords" -when, namely, the apostles were speaking in the church -the Lord did not reply that this was too much, but enough. Surely he who denies that the temporal sword is in the power of Peter wrongly interprets the word of the Lord when He says: "Put up thy sword in its scabbard." Both swords, the spiritual and the material, therefore, are in the power of the Church; the one, indeed, to be wielded for the Church, the other by the Church; the one by the hand of the priest, the other by the hand of kings and knights, but at the will and sufferance of the priest. One sword, moreover, ought to be under the other, and the temporal authority to be subjected to the spiritual.
For when the apostle says "there is no power but of God, and the powers that are of God are ordained," they would not be ordained unless sword were under sword and the lesser one, as it were, were led by the other to great deeds. For according to St. Dionysius the law of divinity is to lead the lowest through the intermediate to the highest things. Not therefore, according to the law of the universe, are all things reduced to order equally and immediately; but the lowest through the intermediate, the intermediate through the higher. But that the spiritual exceeds any earthly power in dignity and nobility we ought the more openly to confess the more spiritual things excel temporal ones. This also is made plain to our eyes from the giving of tithes, and the benediction and the sanctification; from the acceptation of this same power, from the control over those same things. For, the truth bearing witness, the spiritual power has to establish the earthly power, and to judge it if it be not good. Thus concerning the church and the ecclesiastical power is verified the prophecy of Jeremiah: "See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms," and the other things which follow. Therefore if the earthly power err it shall be judged by the spiritual power; but if the lesser spiritual power err, by the greater. But if the greatest, it can be judged by God alone, not by man, the apostle bearing witness.
A spiritual man judges all things, but he himself is judged by no one. This authority, moreover, even though it is given to man and exercised through man, is not human but rather divine, being given by divine lips to Peter and founded on a rock for him and his successors through Christ himself whom he has confessed; the Lord himself saying to Peter: "Whatsoever thou shalt bind," etc. Whoever, therefore, resists this power thus ordained by God, resists the ordination of God, unless he makes believe, like the Manichean, that there are two beginnings.
This we consider false and heretical, since by the testimony of Moses, not "in the beginnings," but "in the beginning" God created the Heavens and the earth. Indeed we declare, announce and define, that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.
The Lateran, Nov. 14, in our 8th year. As a perpetual memorial of this matter.
THE LAW "LICET JURIS" OF THE FRANKFORT DIET OF 1338 A.D.
( Altmann u. Bernheim, p. 38.)
Although the proofs of both kinds of law (civil and canon) manifestly declare that the imperial dignity and power proceeded from of old directly through the Son of God, and that God openly gave laws to the human race through the emperor and the kings of the world; and since the emperor is made true emperor by the election alone of those to whom it pertains, and needs not the confirmation or approbation of any one else, since on earth he has no superior as to temporal things, but to him peoples and nations are subject, and our Lord Jesus Christ Himself ordered to be rendered unto God the things that are God's, and unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's; because, nevertheless, some, led by the blindness of avarice and ambition, and having no understanding of Scripture, but turning away from the path of right feeling into certain iniquitous and wicked deceptions, and, breaking forth into detestable assertions, do wage war against the imperial power and authority and against the prerogatives of the emperors, electors, and other princes, and of the faithful subjects of the empire, falsely asserting that the imperial dignity and power come from the pope and that he who is elected emperor is not true emperor or king unless he be first confirmed and crowned through the pope or the apostolic see; and since, through such wicked assertions and pestiferous dogmas the ancient enemy moves discord, excites quarrels, prepares dissensions and brings about seditions: -- therefore, for the purpose of averting such evil, by the counsel and consent of the electors and of the other princes of the empire we declare that the imperial dignity and power comes directly from God alone; and that, by the old and approved right and custom of the empire, after any one is chosen as emperor or king by the electors of the empire concordantly, or by the greater part of them, he is, in consequence of the election alone, to be considered and called true king and emperor of the Romans, and he ought to be obeyed by all the subjects of the empire. And he shall have full power of administering the laws of the empire and of doing the other things that pertain to a true emperor; nor does he need the approbation, confirmation, authority or consent of the apostolic see or of any one else.
And therefore we decree by this law, to be forever valid, that he who is elected emperor concordantly or by the majority of the electors, shall, in consequence of the election alone, be considered and regarded by all as the true and lawful emperor; and that he ought to be obeyed by all the subjects of the empire, and that he shall have, and shall be considered and firmly asserted by all to have and to hold, the imperial administration and jurisdiction and the plenitude of the imperial power.
Moreover, whatever persons shall presume to assert or say any thing contrary to these declarations, decrees or definitions, or any one of them; or to countenance those who assert or say anything; or to obey their mandates or letters or precepts: we deprive them from now on, and decree them to be deprived by the law and by the act itself, of all the fiefs which they hold from the empire, and of all the favours, jurisdictions, privileges and immunities granted to them by us or our predecessors. Moreover, we decree that they have committed the crime of high treason and are subject to all the penalties inflicted on those committing the crime of high treason. Given in our town of Frankfort on the 8th day of the month of August A.D. 1338.
LIUTPRAND'S REPORT OF HIS MISSION TO CONSTANTINOPLE.
THIS remarkable and exceedingly original piece of writing has been relegated to the appendix not because it is less important than the other documents in this collection, but because, being more of a narrative, it differs from them in character.
We first hear of Liutprand at the court of Berengar and Willa, who, in the middle of the tenth century, ruled over northern. Italy. Becoming estranged from his royal patrons he wrote against them the "Antapodosis," or book of retribution, which is one of our most valued historical sources for those times. In 963 Liutprand was envoy of Otto the Great to the shameless Pope John XII., and wrote the only connected account which we have of the latter's condemnation and deposition.
The journey to Constantinople took place in 968. Otto had, in his efforts to bring Italy into his power, come into collision with the Greeks, who regarded Benevento and Capua as belonging to the provinces of the Eastern Empire. Otto went so far as to occupy Apulia and to besiege the Greek town of Bari, but soon came to the conclusion that more was to be gained by negotiations than by war. Liutprand, now Bishop of Cremona, advised peace, and suggested that a Greek princess should be sought in marriage for the young emperor Otto II., who had commenced to reign conjointly with his father. It was upon the princess Theophano that the hopes of the emperor were fixed, and it was thought that Nicephorus would give Apulia and Calabria as her dowry. It was to arrange this matter that Liutprand, accompanied by a large suite, went to Constantinople. The reception that he met with will be explained in his own words.
Liutprand bishop of the holy church of Cremona desires, wishes and prays that the Ottos, the unconquerable august emperors of the Romans, -- and the most glorious Adelaide the august empress -- may always flourish, prosper and be triumphant.
Why it was that ye did not receive my former letters or my envoy, the following explanation will make clear. On the day before the Nones of June ( June 4) we came to Constantinople, and there, as a mark of disrespect to yourselves, being shamefully received, we were harshly and shamefully treated. We were shut up in a palace large enough, indeed, but uncovered, neither keeping out the cold nor warding off the heat. Armed soldiers were mado to stand guard who were to prevent all of my companions from going out and all others from coming in. This dwelling, into which we alone who were shut up could pass, was so far removed from the palace that our breath was taken away when we walked there -- we did not ride. To add to our calamity the Greek wine, on account of being mixed with pitch, resin and plaster was to us undrinkable. The house itself was without water, nor could we even for money buy water to still our thirst. To this great torment was added another torment -- our warden, namely, who cared for our daily support. If one were to look for his like, not earth, but perhaps hell, would furnish it; for he, like an inundating torrent, poured forth on us whatever calamity, whatever plunder, whatever expense, whatever torment, whatever misery he could invent. Nor among a hundred and twenty days did a single one pass without bringing us groaning and grief.
On the day before the Nones of June ( June 4), as stated above, we arrived at Constantinople before the Carian gate and waited with our horses, in no slight rain, until the eleventh hour. But at the eleventh hour, Nicephorus, not regarding us, who had been so distinguished by your mercy, as worthy to ride, ordered us to approach; and we were led to the aforesaid hated, waterless, open marble house. But on the eighth day before the Ides ( June 6), on the Saturday before Pentecost, I was led into the presence of his brother Leo, the marshal of the court, and chancellor; and there we wearied ourselves out in a great discussion concerning your imperial title. For he called ye not emperor, which is Basileus in his tongue, but, to insult ye, Rex, which is king in ours. And when I told him that the thing signified was the same although the terms used to signify it were different, he said that I had come not to make peace but to excite discord; and thus angrily rising he received your letters, truly insultingly, not in his own hand, but through an interpreter. He was a man commanding enough in person but feigning humility; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand and pierce it.
On the seventh day before the Ides ( June 7), moreover, on the sacred day of Pentecost itself, in the palace which is called the crown hall, I was led before Nicephorus -- a monstrosity of a man, a pygmy, fat-headed and like a mole as to the smallness of his eyes; disgusting with his short, broad, thick, and half hoary beard; disgraced by a neck an inch long; very bristly through the length and thickness of his hair; in colour an Ethiopian; one whom it would not be pleasant to meet in the middle of the night; with extensive belly, lean of loin, very long of hip considering his short stature, small of shank, proportionate as to his heels and feet; clad in a garment costly but too old, and foul-smelling and faded through age; shod with Sicyonian shoes; bold of tongue, a fox by nature, in perjury and lying a Ulysses. Always my lords and august emperors ye seemed to me shapely, how much more shapely after this! Always magnificent, how much more magnificent after this! Always powerful, how much more powerful after this! Always gentle, how much more gentle henceforth! Always full of virtues, how much fuller henceforth. At his left, not in a line but far below, sat two petty emperors, once his masters, now his subjects. His discourse began as follows:
"It would have been right for us, nay, we had wished to receive thee kindly and with honour; but the impiety of thy master does not permit it since, invading it as an enemy, he has claimed for himself Rome; has taken away from Berengar and Adalbert their kingdom, contrary to law and right; has slain some of the Romans by the sword, others by hanging, depriving some of their eyes, sending others into exile; and has tried, moreover, to subject to himself by slaughter or by flame cities of our empire. And, because his wicked endeavour could not take effect, he now has sent thee, the instigator and furtherer of this wickedness, to act as a spy upon us while simulating peace."
I answered him: "My master did not by force or tyrannically invade the city of Rome; but he freed it from a tyrant, nay, from the yoke of tyrants. Did not the slaves of women rule over it; or, which is worse and more disgraceful, harlots themselves? Thy power, I fancy, or that of thy predecessors, who in name alone are called emperors of the Romans and are it not in reality, was sleeping at that time. If they were powerful, if emperors of the Romans, why did they permit Rome to be in the hands of harlots? Were not some of the most holy popes banished, others so oppressed that they were not able to have their daily supplies or the means of giving alms? Did not Adalbert send scornful letters to the emperors Romanus and Constantine thy predecessors? Did he not plunder the churches of the most holy apostles? What one of you emperors, led by zeal for God, took care to avenge so unworthy a crime and to bring back the holy church to its proper condition? You neglected it, my master did not neglect it. For, rising from the ends of the earth and coming to Rome, he removed the impious and gave back to the vicars of the holy apostles their power and all their honour. But afterwards those who had risen against him and the lord pope, according to the decrees of the Roman emperors Justinian, Valentinian, Theodosius and the others he slew, strangled, hung, and sent into exile as violators of their oath, as sacrilegious men, as torturers and plunderers of their lords the popes. Had he not done so he would have been impious, unjust, cruel, a tyrant. It is well known that Berengar and Adalbert, becoming his vassals, had received the kingdom of Italy with a golden sceptre from his hand, and that they, taking an oath, promised fealty in the presence of servants of thine who still live and are at present in this city. And because, at the devil's instigation they perfidiously violated this promise, he justly deprived them as deserters and rebels against himself, of their kingdom. Thou thyself would'st do the same to those who had been thy subjects, and who afterwards rebelled."
"But Adalbert's vassal," he said, "does not acknowledge this." I answered him: "If he denies it one of my suite shall, at thy command, show by a duel to-morrow that it is so.""Well," he said, "he may, as thou sayest, have done this justly. Explain now why with war and flame he attacked the boundaries of our empire. We were friends, and were expecting by means of a marriage to enter into an indissoluble union."
"The land," I answered, "which thou sayest belongs to thy empire belongs, as the nationality and language of the people proves, to the kingdom of Italy. The Lombards held it in their power, and Louis, the emperor of the Lombards, or Franks, freed it from the hand of the Saracens, many of them being cut down. But also Landulph, prince of Benevento and Capua, subjugated and held it in his power for seven years. Nor would it until now have passed from the yoke of his servitude or that of his successors, had not the emperor Romanus, giving an immense sum of money, bought the friendship of our king Hugo. And it was for this reason that he joined in marriage to his nephew and namesake the bastard daughter of this same king of ours, Hugo. And, as I see, thou dost ascribe it not to kindness but to weakness that, after acquiring Italy and Rome, he left it to thee for so many years. The bond of friendship, however, which thou didst wish, as thou sayest, to form through a marriage, we look upon as a wile and a snare: thou dost demand a truce, which the condition of affairs neither compels thee to demand nor us to grant. But, in order that now all deceit may be laid bare and the truth not be hidden, my master ( Otto) hast sent me to thee, so that if thou art willing to give the daughter of the emperor Romanus and of the empress Theophano to my master his son, Otto the august emperor, thou may'st affirm this to me with an oath; whereupon I will affirm by an oath that, in return for such favours, he will observe and do to thee this and this. But already my master has given to thee, as to his brother, the best pledge of his friendship in restoring to thee, by my intervention, at whose suggestion thou declarest this evil to have been done, all Apulia which was subject to his sway. Of which thing there are as many witnesses as there are inhabitants in all Apulia."
"The second hour," said Nicephorus, "is already past. The solemn procession to the church is about to take place. Let us now do what the hour demands. At a convenient time we will reply to what thou hast said."
May nothing keep me from describing this procession, and my masters from hearing about it! A numerous multitude of tradesmen and low-born persons, collected at this festival to receive and to do honour to Nicephorus, occupied both sides of the road from the palace to St. Sophia like walls, being disfigured by quite thin little shields and wretched spears. And it served to increase this disfigurement that the greater part of this same crowd in his ( Nicephorus') honour, had marched with bare feet. I believe that they thought in this way better to adorn that holy procession. But also his nobles who passed with him through the plebeian and barefoot multitude were clad in tunics which were too large, and which were torn through too great age. It would have been much more suitable had they marched in their everyday clothes. There was no one whose grandfather had owned one of these garments when it was new. No one there was adorned with gold, no one with gems, save Nicephorus alone, whom the imperial adornments, bought and prepared for the persons of his ancestors, rendered still more disgusting. By thy salvation, which is dearer to me than my own, one precious garment of thy nobles is worth a hundred of these, and more too. I was led to this church procession and was placed on a raised place next to the singers.
And as, like a creeping monster, he proceeded thither, the singers cried out in adulation: "Behold the morning star approaches; Eos rises; he reflects in his glances the rays of the sun -- he the pale death of the Saracens, Nicephorus the ruler." And accordingly they sang: "Long life to the ruler Nicephorus! Adore him, ye people, cherish him, bend the neck to him alone!" How much more truly might they have sung: "Come, thou burnt-out coal, thou fool; old woman in thy walk, wood-devil in thy look; thou peasant, thou frequenter of foul places, thou goatfoot, thou horn-head, thou double-limbed one; bristly, unruly, countrified, barbarian, harsh, hairy, a rebel, a Cappadocian!" And so, inflated by those lying fools, he enters St. Sophia, his masters the emperors following him from afar, and, with the kiss of peace, adoring him to the ground. His armour-bearer, with an arrow for a pen, places in the church the era which is in progress from the time when he began to reign, and thus those who did not then exist learn what the era is.
On this same day he ordered me to be his guest. Not thinking me worthy, however, to be placed above any of his nobles, I sat in the fifteenth place from him, and without a tablecloth. Not only did no one of my suite sit at table, but not one of them saw even the house in which I was a guest. During which disgusting and foul meal, which was washed down with oil after the manner of drunkards, and moistened also with a certain other exceedingly bad fish liquor, he asked me many questions concerning your power, many concerning your dominions and your army. And when I had replied to him consequently and truly, "Thou liest," he said, "the soldiers of thy master do not know how to ride, nor do they know how to fight on foot; the size of their shields, the weight of their breast-plates, the length of their swords, and the burden of their helms permits them to fight in neither one way nor the other." Then he added, smiling: "their gluttony also impedes them, for their God is their belly, their courage but wind, their bravery drunkenness. Their fasting means dissolution, their sobriety panic. Nor has thy master a number of fleets on the sea. I alone have a force of navigators; I will attack him with my ships, I will overrun his maritime cities with war, and those which are near the rivers I will reduce to ashes. And how, I ask, can he even on land resist me with his scanty forces? His son was there, his wife was there, the Saxons, Swabians, Bavarians, were all with him: and if they did not know enough and were unable to take one little city that resisted them, how will they resist me when I come, I who am followed by as many troops as
'Gargara corn-ears hath, or grape-shoots the island of Lesbos, Stars in the sky are found, or waves in the billowy ocean' ?"
When I wished to reply to him and to give forth an answer worthy of his boasting, he did not permit me; but added as if to scoff at me: "You are not Romans but Lombards." When he wished to speak further and was waving his hand to impose silence upon me, I said in anger: "History teaches that the fratricide Romulus, from whom also the Romans are named, was born in adultery; and that he made an asylum for himself in which he received insolvent debtors, fugitive slaves, homicides, and those who were worthy of death for their deeds. And he called to himself a certain number of such and called them Romans. From such nobility those are descended whom you call world-rulers, that is, emperors; whom we, namely the Lombards, Saxons, Franks, Lotharingians, Bavarians, Swabians, Burgundians, so despise, that when angry we can call our enemies nothing more scornful than Roman -- comprehending in this one thing, that is in the name of the Romans, whatever there is of contemptibility, of timidity, of avarice, of luxury, of lying: in a word, of viciousness. But because thou dost maintain that we are unwarlike and ignorant of horsemanship, if the sins of the Christians shall merit that thou shalt remain in this hard-heartedness: the next battle will show what you are, and how warlike we."
Nicephorus, exasperated by these words, commanded silence with his hand, and bade that the long narrow table should be taken away, and that I should return to my hated habitation -- or, to speak more truly, my prison. There after two days, as a result of vexation as well as of heat and thirst, I was taken with a severe illness. And, indeed, there was not one of my companions who, having drunk from the same cup of sorrow, did not fear that his last day was approaching. Why should they not sicken, I ask, whose drink instead of the best wine was brine; whose resting place was not hay, not straw, not even earth, but hard marble; whose pillow was a stone, whose open house kept off neither heat, nor showers, nor cold? Salvation itself, to use a common expression, if it had poured itself out upon them could not have saved them. Weakened therefore by my own tribulations and those of my companions, calling my warden, or rather my persecutor, I brought it about, not by prayers alone but through money, that he should carry my letter containing what follows, to the brother of Nicephorus:
"To the coropalate and logothete of the palace, Leo, -BishopLiutprand. If the most illustrious emperor thinks of granting the request on account of which I have come, the suffering which I here endure shall not exhaust my patience; only his lordship must be instructed by my letters and by an envoy that I will not remain here without reason. But if the contrary be the case, there is a transport ship of the Venetians here which is just about to start. Let him permit me who am ill to embark, so that, if the time of my dissolution be at hand, my native land may at least receive my corpse."
When he had read these lines he ordered me to come to him after four days. There sat with him, according to their tradition, to discuss your affair the wisest men, strong in Attic eloquence: Basilius the chief chamberlain, the chief state secretary, the chief master of the wardrobe and two other officials. They began their discourse as follows: "Tell us, brother, why thou hast taken the trouble to come hither." When I had told them that it was on account of the marriage which was to be the ground for a lasting peace, they said: "It is an unheard of thing that a daughter born in the purple of an emperor born in the purple should be joined in marriage with strange nations. But although ye seek so high a favour, ye shall receive what ye wish, if ye give what is right: Ravenna, namely, and Rome with all the adjoining places which extend from thence to our possessions. But if ye desire friendship without the marriage, let thy master permit Rome to be free; but the princes, of Capua, namely, and Benevento, who were formerly slaves of our empire and now are rebels, let him give over to their former subjection."
I answered them: "You yourselves can not but know that my master rules over Slavonian princes who are mightier than Peter king of the Bulgarians who has wedded the daughter of the emperor Christophorus.""But Christophorus," they said, "was not born in the purple."
"But Rome," I said, "which, as you exclaim, you wish to have free, who does it serve, to whom does it pay tribute? Did it not formerly serve harlots? And, while you were sleeping, nay, powerless, did not my master the august emperor free it from so disgraceful a servitude? Constantine, the august emperor who founded this city and called it after his name, as world-ruler gave many gifts to the holy apostolic Roman church, not only in Italy but in almost all the western kingdoms; also in the eastern and southern -- in Greece, namely, Judea, Persia, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Egypt, Libya: as his own privileges witness, which are preserved in our land. Now whatever there is, in Italy and also in Saxony and Bavaria or in any of the dominions of my master, that belongs to the church of the blessed apostles: he has conferred it on the vicar of those same most holy apostles. And may I deny God if my master has retained from all of these a city, an estate, a vassal or a serf. But why does your emperor not do the same? Why does he not restore to the church of the apostles what lies in his kingdom; so that he may make it, rich and free as it is by the labour and munificence of my master, still richer and more free?"
"But this," said the first chamberlain Basilius, "he will do as soon as Rome and the Roman Church shall be subordinated to his will.""A certain man," I said, "having suffered much injury from another, approached God with these words: 'Lord, avenge me upon my adversary!' To whom the Lord said: 'I will do it at the day when I shall render unto each man according to his works!''Alas,' said he, 'how late that will be!' "
At which all except the emperor's brother shook with laughter. They then ended the interview and ordered me to be led back to my hated abode, and to be guarded with great care until the day, honoured by all religious persons, of the holy apostles. On this festal occasion the emperor commanded me -- I was very ill at the time -- and also the Bulgarian envoys who had arrived the day before, to meet him at the church of the holy apostles. And when, after the garrulous songs of praise (to Nicephorus) and the celebration of the mass we were invited to table, he placed above me on our side of the table, which was long and narrow, the envoy of the Bulgarians who was shorn in Hungarian fashion, girt with a brazen chain, and as it seemed to me, a catechumen; plainly in scorn of yourselves my august masters. On your behalf I was despised, rejected and scorned. But I thank the Lord Jesus Christ whom ye serve with your whole soul that I have been considered worthy to suffer contumely for your sakes. However, my masters, not considering myself but yourselves to be insulted, I left the table. And as I was about indignantly to go away, Leo the marshal of the court and brother of the emperor, and Simeon the chief state secretary came up to me from behind, barking out at me this: "When Peter the king of the Bulgarians married the daughter of Christophorus articles were mutually drawn up and confirmed with an oath to the effect that with us the envoys of the Bulgarians should be preferred, honoured and cherished above the envoys of all other nations. That envoy of the Bulgarians although, as thou sayest and as is true, he is shorn, unwashed and girt with a brazen chain, is nevertheless a patrician; and we decree and judge that it would not be right to give a bishop, especially a Frankish one, the preference over him. And since we know that thou dost consider this unseemly, we will not now, as thou dost expect, allow thee to return to thy quarters, but shall oblige thee to take food in a separate apartment with the servants of the emperor.
On account of the incomparable grief in my heart I made no reply to them, but did what they had ordered; judging that table not a suitable place where -- I will not say to me, that is, the bishop Liutprand, but to your envoy -- an envoy of the Bulgarians is preferred. But the sacred emperor soothed my grief through a great gift, sending to me from among his most delicate dishes a fat goat, of which he himself had partaken, deliciously (?) stuffed with garlic, onions and leeks; steeped in fish sauce: a dish which I could have wished just then to be upon your table, so that ye who do not believe the delicacies of the sacred emperor to be desirable, should at length become believers at this sight!
When eight days had passed and the Bulgarians had already departed, thinking that I thought very highly of his table he compelled me, ill as I was, to dine with him in the same place. There was present also, with many bishops, the patriarch; in whose presence he asked me many questions concerning the Holy Scriptures; which, the divine Spirit inspiring me, I expounded with elegance. And at last, in order to make merry over ye, he asked me what synods we recognized. When I had mentioned to him Nicea, Chalcedon, Ephesus, Carthage, Ancyra, Constantinople, --" Ha, Ha, Ha," said he, "you have forgotten to mention Saxony, and, if you ask us why our books do not contain it, I answer that your beliefs are too young and have not yet been able to reach us."
I answered: "That member of the body where the infirmity has its seat must be burned with the burning iron. All heresies have emanated from you, have flourished among you; by us, that is by the western nations they have been here strangled, here put an end to. -- A Roman or a Pavian synod, although they often took place, I do not count here. A Roman clerk, indeed, afterwards the universal pope Gregory who is called by you Dialogus, freed Eutychius the heretical patriarch of Constantinople from his heresy. This same Eutychius said, nor did he only say but taught, proclaimed and kept writing, that we would assume at the Resurrection not the true flesh which we have here, but a certain fantastic flesh. The book containing this error was, in an orthodox manner, burned by Gregory. Ennodius, moreover, bishop of Pavia, was, on account of a certain other heresy, sent here, that is to Constantinople, by the Roman patriarch. He repressed it, and restored the orthodox catholic teaching. -- The race of the Saxons, from the time when it received the holy baptism and the knowledge of God, has been spotted by no heresy which would have rendered a synod necessary for the correction of an error which did not exist. Since thou declarest the faith of the Saxons to be young, I am willing also to affirm the same; for always the faith of Christ is young and not old with those whose works second their faith. Faith is there not young but old where works do not accompany it; but faith is scorned, as it were, for its age, like a worn-out garment. But I know for certain of one synod that was held in Saxony in which it was decreed and confirmed that it was more fitting to fight with the sword than with the pen, and better to submit to death than to turn one's back to the enemy. Thy own army has experienced the truth of this." In my heart I said: "And may they (the Saxons) soon have occasion to show how warlike they are!"
On this same day, after midday, he ordered me to meet him on his return from the palace, although I was so weak and changed that the women who, before when they met me, called out in astonishment "Mana,1 mana," now, pitying my misery, beat their breasts with their hands and said: "Poor sick man." What then, raising my hands to Heaven, I wished him, -- Nicephorus, namely, as he approached -- and ye who were absent: oh that it might be fulfilled! But ye may well believe me, he made me laugh not a little, for he sat on an impatient and unbridled horse -- a very little man on a very big beast. My mind pictured to itself one of those dolls which your Slavonians tie on to a foal, allowing it then to follow its mother without a rein.
After this I was led back to my fellow citizens and fellow inmates five lions, into the aforesaid hated abode; where, during a space of three weeks I was treated to the conversation of no one save my companions. On account of which my mind pictured to itself that Nicephorus wished never to let me go, and my Unbounded sadness brought on one illness after another, so that I should have died had not the Mother of God, by her prayers, obtained my life from the Creator and His Son; as was shown to me not through a fancied but through a true vision.
During these three weeks, then, Nicephorus had his camp outside of Constantinople, in a place that is called "At the Fountains" ; and thither he ordered me to come. And, although I was so weak that not only standing but even sitting seemed a heavy burden to me, he compelled me to stand before him with uncovered head; a thing which was entirely wrong in my state of ill health. And he said to me: "The envoys of thy king Otto who were here before thee in the preceding year promised me under oath -- and the wording of the oath can be produced -- that he would never in any way bring scandal upon our empire. Dost thou wish for a worse scandal than that he calls himself emperor, that he usurps for himself the provinces of our empire? Both of these things are unbearable; and if both are insupportable, that especially is not to be borne, nay, not to be heard of, that he calls himself emperor. But if thou will'st confirm what they promised our majesty will straightway dismiss thee happy and rich." This, moreover, he said not in order that I might expect ye to observe the engagement, even if in my foolishness I had made it; but he wished to have in hand something that he might show in time to come to his praise and to our shame.
I answered him: "My most holy master, most wise as he is and full of the spirit of God, foreseeing this which thou dost desire, wrote me instructions which he also signed with his seal lest I should act counter to them: to the effect that I should not transcend the bounds which he set for me." -- Thou knowest, my august master, what I relied upon when I said this. -- "Let these instructions be produced, and whatever he shall order, will be confirmed by an oath from me to thee. But as to what the former envoys, without the order of my master, promised, swore or wrote, -- in the words of Plato: 'the guilt is with the wisher, the god is without fault.' "
After this we came to the matter of the most noble princes of Capua and Benevento, whom he calls his slaves, and on account of whom an inward grief is troubling him. "Thy master," he said, "has taken my slaves under his protection; if he will not let them go and restore them to their former servitude, he must do without our friendship.
They themselves demand to be taken back under our rule; but our imperial dignity refuses them, that they may know and experience how dangerous it is for slaves to fall away from their masters and to flee slavery. And it is more becoming for thy master to give them over to me as a friend, than to renounce them to me against his will. Indeed they shall learn, if my life holds out, what it is to deceive their lord; what it is to desert their servitude. And even now, as I think, they feel what I say, -- our soldiers who are beyond the sea having brought it to pass!"
To this he did not permit me to reply; but, although I desired to go away, he ordered me to return to his table. His father sat with him, a man, it seemed to me, a hundred and fifty years old. Before him, as before his son, the Greeks call out with hymns of praise -- nay, with blatancies -- that God may multiply his years. From this we can gather how foolish the Greeks are; how fond of such glory; how adulatory; how greedy. For, not only to an old man but to an utterly worn-out graybeard, they wish what they know for certain that nature itself will not grant. And the worn-out graybeard rejoices that that is wished to him which, as he knows, God will not grant him; and which, if He did, would be to his disadvantage and not to his advantage. And Nicephorus, if you please, could rejoice at being called the prince of peace, and the morning star! To call a weakling strong, a fool wise, a short man tall, a black man white, a sinner holy, -- is, believe me, not praise but contumely. And he who rejoices in having strange attributes called after him, rather than those that are rightly due to him, is altogether like those birds whose eyes the night illumines, the day blinds.
But let us return to the matter in hand. At this meal, -- a thing that he had not done before -- he ordered to be read with a loud voice a homily of St. John Chrysostom on the Acts of the apostles. At the end of this reading, when I sought permission to return to you, nodding affirmatively with his head, he ordered my persecutor to take me back to my fellow citizens and co-denizens, the lions. When this had been done I was not received by him until the thirteenth day before the Calends of August ( July 20), but was diligently guarded lest I might enjoy the discourse of any one who might indicate to me his actions. Meanwhile he ordered Grimizo, Adalbert's messenger, to come to him and bade him return with the imperial fleet. This consisted of twenty four Chelandian, two Russian, and two Gallic ships; -- I do not know if he sent others which I did not see. The bravery of your soldiers, my masters and august emperors, does not require to be encouraged by the weakness of their adversaries, although this has often been the case with other nations; the hindmost of which, and the weakest in comparison, have struck down the Greek bravery and made it tributary. For just as it would not intimidate ye if I announced that they were very strong and comparable to the Macedonian Alexander, so also I do not put courage into ye when I narrate their weakness, true as it is. I wish ye might believe me, and I know ye will believe me, that ye with four hundred of your warriors can slay that whole army, if ditches or walls do not prevent. And over this army, in scorn of ye, as I think, he has placed in command a sort of man -- a sort of, I say, because he has ceased to be a male and was not able to become a female. Adalbert has sent word to Nicephorus that he has eight thousand knights in armour, and says that, if the Greek army helps him, he can, with them, put ye to flight or annihilate ye. And he asks your rival to send him money, that he may the more readily induce his troops to fight.
Now, however, my masters,
Hark to the wiles of the Greeks, and from one single example Learn all.
Nicephorus gave that slave, to whom he had entrusted the army which he had brought together and hired, a considerable sum of money to be disposed of as follows: if Adalbert, as he had promised, should join him with seven thousand and more knights in armour, then he was to distribute among them that sum; and Cono, Adalbert's brother, with his and the Greek army was to attack ye; but Adalbert was to be diligently guarded in Bari, until his brother should come back having gained the victory. But if Adalbert when he came should not bring with him so many thousands of men, he ordered that he was to be taken, bound, and given over to ye when ye came; moreover that the money which was destined for him, Adalbert, should be paid over into your hands! Oh what a warrior, oh what fidelity. He wishes to betray him for whom he prepares a defender; he prepares a defender for him whom he wishes to destroy. Towards neither is he faithful, towards both untrue. He does what he did not need to do, he needed to do what he has not done. But so be it, he acted as one might expect from Greeks! But let us return to the matter in hand.
On the fourteenth day before the Calends of August ( July 19) he dismissed that motley fleet, I looking on from my hated abode. On the thirteenth day, moreover ( July 20), on which day the flippant Greeks celebrate with theatrical plays the ascension of the prophet Elias, he ordered me to go to him and said: "Our imperial majesty thinks to lead an army against the Assyrians, not as thy master does, against followers of Christ. Already last year I wished to do this, but hearing that thy master intended to invade the territory of our empire, letting the Assyrians go, we turned our reins against him. His envoy, the Venetian Dominicus met us in Macedonia, and, with much labour and exertion, induced us to return, affirming to us with an oath that thy master would never think of such a thing, much less do it. Return therefore," -- when I heard this I said to myself, "Thank God!" -- " and announce this and this to thy master; if he give me satisfaction, return hither again."
I answered: "If thy most holy majesty shall command me quickly to fly to Italy, I know for certain that my master will fulfil what thy majesty wishes, and I will joyfully return to thee." In what spirit I said this did not, alas, remain hid from him. For, smiling, he nodded his head and ordered me, as I was adoring him to the ground, and was going away, to remain outside and come to his meal, which smelt strongly of garlic and onions and was filthy with oil and fish-juice. On this day I brought it about through many prayers that he deigned to accept my gift, which he had often scorned.
As we were sitting at his long narrow table, which was covered for some ells -- for the most part, however, uncovered -- he made merry over the Franks, under which name he included the Latins as well as the Germans; and he asked me to tell him where the city of my bishopric was situated and in what name it rejoiced. I said, " Cremona, quite near to the Eridanus (Po), the king of the rivers of Italy. And since thy imperial majesty hastens to send Chelandian ships there, may it be of advantage to me to have seen and known thee! Grant peace to the place, that at least by thy favour it may continue to exist, since it cannot resist thee." But the sly fellow saw that I said this ironically, and with submissive mien promised that he would do this; and he swore to me by virtue of his holy empire, that I should suffer no ill, but should prosperously and quickly arrive at the port of Ancona with his Chelandian ships. And this he swore to me, striking his breast with his fingers.
But mark how impiously he had sworn. These things were said and done on the thirteenth day before the Calends of August ( July 20) on the second day of the week (Monday); from which day, until the ninth day, I received no supplies from him. And this was at a time when the famine in Constantinople was so great that for three gold pieces I was not able to provide a meal for my twenty five companions and the four Greek guards. On the fourth day of that week Nicephorus left Constantinople to march against the Assyrians.
On the fifth day his brother called me before him and addressed me as follows: "The holy emperor has gone forth and I have remained at home to-day at his command. Tell me, then, now, if thou dost desire to see the holy emperor, and if thou hast any thing which thou hast not yet imparted." I answered him: "I have no reason for seeing the holy emperor or for narrating any thing new; I ask this alone, that, according to the promise of the holy emperor, he allow me to cross on his Chelandian ships to the port of Ancona." On hearing this, -- the Greeks are always ready to swear by the head of another -- he began to swear that he would do so by the head of the emperor, by his own life, by his children whom God, according as he spoke truly, was to preserve. When I asked him: "When ?" he answered: "As soon as the emperor is gone; for the 'delongaris' in whose hand all the power over the ships rests, will see to thee when the holy emperor goes away." Deceived by this hope, I went away from him rejoicing.
But two days after, on Saturday, Nicephorus had me summoned to Umbria, which is a place eighteen miles from Constantinople. And he said to me: "I thought that thou wert come hither, as a distinguished and upright man, in order altogether to accede to my demands and to establish a perpetual friendship between me and thy master. But as, on account of thy hardness of heart, thou art not willing to do this: at least bring about this one thing, which thou may'st with perfect right do; -promise, namely, that thy master will lend no aid to the princes of Capua and Benevento, my slaves whom I am about to attack. Since he gives us nothing of his own, let him at least give up what is ours. It is a well-known thing that their fathers and grandfathers gave tribute to our empire, and that they themselves shall shortly do the same, -- for that the army of our empire will labour."
I answered him: "Those princes are nobles of the first rank and vassals of my master; and, if he see that thy army attacks them, he will send to them aid which will enable them to annihilate thy forces and to take away those two provinces which are thine beyond the sea." Then, swelling like a toad and very angry: "Go away," he said; "by myself, by my parents who engendered me such as I am, I will make thy master think of other things than of protecting rebellious slaves."
As I was going away, he ordered the interpreter to invite me to table; and summoning the brother of those two princes, and Bysantius of Bari, he ordered them to give vent to gross insults against yourselves and against the Latin and the Teuton race. But as I was going away from the foul meal, they sent word to me secretly through messengers and swore that what they had growled out had been said not of their own will, but because of the wishes and threats of the emperor. But Nicephorus himself asked me at that meal if ye had parks and if in your parks ye had wild asses and other animals. When I had answered him that ye had parks and animals in the parks, but no wild asses, he said: "I will take thee into our park and thou wilt be surprised to see its size and to look at the wild asses." I was led therefore into a park which was rather large, hilly and fruitful, but not at all pleasing to the view; and as I was riding along with my hat on and the marshal of the court saw me from afar, he quickly dispatched his son to me to say that it was wrong for any one to be with his hat on where the emperor was and that I must wear the Teristra. I answered: "With us the women wear hoods and veils; the men ride with their hats on. And you have no right to compel me here to change the custom of my country, considering that we permit your envoys who come to us to keep to the custom of theirs. For with long sleeves, swathed, spangled, with long hair, clad in tunics down to their ankles, they ride, walk and sit at table with us; and, what to all of us seems too disgraceful, they alone kiss our emperors with covered heads." -- "May God not allow it to be done any longer" I said to myself. -- "Thou must turn back, then," he said.
As I did this there met us, herded together with goats, the so-called wild asses. But why, I ask, wild asses? Our tame ones at Cremona are the same. Their colour, shape and ears are the same; they are equally melodious when they begin to bray; they resemble each other in size, have the same swiftness, and are equally pleasant food for wolves. When I saw them I said to the Greek who was riding with me: "I never saw the like in Saxony.""If," he said, "thy master shall be friendly to the holy emperor, he will give him many such; and it will be no little glory to him himself to possess what no one of his distinguished predecessors has ever seen." But believe me, my august masters, my brother and fellow bishop, master Antony (of Brixen) can furnish ones that are not inferior, as is witnessed by the markets which are held at Cremona; and there they walk about not as wild asses but as tame ones. But when my escort had announced the above words to Nicephorus, he sent me two goats, and gave me permission to go away. On the following day he himself started towards Syria.
But mark now why he led his army against the Assyrians. The Greeks and Saracens have books which they call the Visions of Daniel; I would call them Sibylline Books. In them is found written how many years each emperor shall live; what things, whether peace or war, are to happen during his reign; whether fortune is to be favourable to the Saracens, or the reverse. And so it reads, that, in the time of this Nicephorus, the Assyrians will not be able to resist the Greeks, and that he, Nicephorus, will only live seven years; and that after his death an emperor shall arise worse than he -- only I fear that none such can be found -- and more unwarlike; in whose time the Assyrians shall so prevail, that they shall bring all the regions as far as Chalcedon, which is not far from Constantinople, under their sway. For both peoples have regard for their favourable seasons; and from one and the same cause the Greeks press on encouraged, and the Saracens, in despair, make no resistance; awaiting the time when they themselves may press on, and the Greeks, in turn, may not resist.
Hippolytus, indeed, a certain Sicilian bishop, wrote similarly concerning your empire and our people -- I call "our people," namely, all those who are under your rule; -- and would that it were true what he prophesied concerning the present times. The other things have hitherto come to pass as he foretold, as I have heard from those who know these books. And of his many sayings I will mention one. For he says that now the saying is to be fulfilled: "The lion and his whelp shall together exterminate the wild ass." The interpretation of which is, according to the Greeks: Leo -- that is, the emperor of the Romans or Greeks -- and his whelp, -- the king, namely, of the Franks -- shall together in these days drive out the wild ass -- that is, the African king of the Saracens. Which interpretation does not seem to me true, for this reason, that the lion and the whelp, although differing in size, are nevertheless of one nature and species or kind; and, as my knowledge suggests to me, if the lion be the emperor of the Greeks, it is not fitting that the whelp should be the king of the Franks. For although both are men, as the lion and the whelp are both animals, yet they differ in habits as much -- I will not say alone as one species from another -- but as rational beings from those who have no reason. The whelp differs from the lion only in age; the form is the same, the ferocity the same, the roar the same. The king of the Greeks wears long hair, a tunic, long sleeves, a hood; is lying, crafty, without pity, sly as a fox, proud, falsely humble, miserly, and greedy; lives on garlic, onions, and leeks, and drinks bath-water. The king of the Franks, on the contrary, is beautifully shorn; wears a garment not at all like a woman's garment, and a hat; is truthful, without guile, merciful enough when it is right, severe when it is necessary, always truly humble, never miserly; does not live on garlic, onions and leeks so as to spare animals and, by not eating them, but selling them, to heap money together. Ye have heard the difference; do not be willing to accept their interpretation, for either it refers to the future, or it is not true. For it is impossible that Nicephorus, as they falsely say, can be the lion and Otto the whelp, and that they together shall exterminate any one. For "sooner mutually changing their bounds shall the Parthian exile drink the Araris, or the German the Tigris," than that Nicephorus and Otto shall become friends and close a treaty with each other.
Ye have heard the interpretation of the Greeks; hear now that of Liutprand, bishop of Cremona. For I say -and not alone do I say, but I affirm -- that if the prophecy is to be fulfilled in the present time, the lion and the whelp are the father and the son, Otto and Otto, unlike in nothing only differing in age, -- and that they together shall, in this present time, exterminate the wild ass Nicephorus; who not incongruously is compared to the wild ass on account of his vain and empty glory, and on account of his incestuous marriage with his fellow god-parent and mistress. If now that wild ass shall not be exterminated by our lion and his whelp -- by Otto and Otto, the father, namely, and the son, the august emperors of the Romans -- then that which Hippolytus wrote will not have been true; for that former interpretation of the Greeks is entirely to be discarded. But oh blessed Jesus, eternal God, the Word of the Father -- who dost speak to us, unworthy as we are, not by voice but by inspiration -- may'st Thou be willing to see in this sentence no other interpretation than mine. Command that that lion and that whelp may exterminate and bodily humble this wild ass; to the end that, retiring into himself, subjecting himself to his masters the emperors
Basilius and Constantine, his soul may be saved at the Day of the Lord!
But the astronomers prophesy alike concerning yourselves and Nicephorus. Truly wonderful, I say. I have spoken with a certain astronomer who truly described thy form and habits, most illustrious master, and that of thy august namesake; and who related all my past experiences as if they were present. Nor were the names mentioned of any of my friends or enemies concerning whom I thought of asking him, but that he could tell me their appearance, form and character. He foretold all calamity that has happened to me on this journey. But may all that he said to me be false, I only ask that one thing alone be true -that which he foretold ye would do to Nicephorus. Oh may it come to pass! Oh may it come to pass! And then I shall feel that the wrongs I have suffered are as nothing at all.
The aforesaid Hippolytus writes also that not the Greeks but the Franks shall put an end to the Saracens. Encouraged by which prophecy the Saracens, three years ago, engaged in battle near Scylla and Charybdis in the Sicilian waters, with the patrician Manuel, the nephew of Nicephorus. And when they had laid low his immense forces they took his own self and beheaded him and hung up his corpse. And when they had captured his companion and colleague, who was of neither gender, they scorned to kill him; but having bound him and kept him to pine in long imprisonment, they sold him for a price at which no mortals who were sound in their heads would have bought him. And with no less spirit, encouraged by this same prophecy, they shortly after met the general Exachontes. And when they had put him to flight, they destroyed his army in every way.
Another reason also compelled Nicephorus at this time to lead his army against the Assyrians. For at this time, by the will of God, a famine had so laid waste all the land of the Greeks, that not even two Pavian sextares could be bought for a piece of gold: and this in the very realm of plenty, as it were. This misfortune, the field mice aiding him, Nicephorus increased by collecting for himself, at the time of harvest, whatever corn there was any where; giving a minimum price to the despairing owners. And when he had done this on the side towards Mesopotamia, where the supply of grain on account of the absence of the mice was greater: the amount of corn that he had equalled the amount of the sands of the sea. When, therefore, on account of this vile transaction, famine was everywhere shamefully raging, he brought together eighty thousand men under pretext of a military expedition; and he sold to them, during one whole month, for two gold pieces what he had bought for one. These, my master, are the reasons which compelled Nicephorus now to lead his forces against the Assyrians. But what sort of forces? I ask. Truly, I answer, not men, but only images of men; whose tongue only is bold, but whose right hand is frigid in war. Nicephorus did not look for quality in them, but only for quantity. How perilous this is for him he will learn to his sorrow, when the multitude of unwarlike ones, brave only on account of numbers, shall be put to rout by a handful of our men who are skilled in war -- nay, thirsting for it.
When ye were besieging Bari only three hundred Hungarians seized five hundred Greeks near Thessalonica and led them into Hungary. Which attempt, inasmuch as it succeeded, induced two hundred Hungarians in Macedonia, not far from Constantinople, to do the like; of whom forty, when they were retreating incautiously through a narrow pass, were captured. These Nicephorus, freeing them from custody and adorning them with most costly garments, has made his body guard and defenders -- taking them with him against the Assyrians. But what kind of an army he has ye can conjecture from this, -- that those who are in command over the others are Venetians and Amalfians!
But no more of this! Learn now what happened to me. On the sixth day before the Calends of August ( July 27), I received at Umbria, outside of Constantinople, permission from Nicephorus to return to ye. And when I came to Constantinople, the patrician Christophorus, the eunuch who was the representative of Nicephorus there, sent word to me that I could not then start to return because the Saracens at that time were holding the sea and the Hungarians the land -- I should have to wait until they retired. Both of which facts, oh woe is me, were false! Then wardens were placed over us to prevent my. self and my companions from going out of our habitation. They seized and slew or put in prison the poor of Latin race who came to me to beg alms. They did not permit my Greek interpreter to go out even to buy supplies -- but only my cook, who was ignorant of the Greek tongue and who could speak to the vendor, when he bought of him, not with words but by signs of his fingers or nods of his head. He bought for four pieces of money only as much as the interpreter for one. And when some of my friends sent spices, bread, wine and apples, -- pouring them all on the ground, they sent the bearers away overwhelmed with blows of the fist. And had not the divine pity prepared before me a table against my adversaries, I should have had to accept the death they arranged for me. But He who permitted that I should be tempted, mercifully granted then that I should endure. And these perils tried my soul at Constantinople from the second day before the Nones of June ( June 4), until the sixth day before the Nones of October ( Oct. 2) -- one hundred and twenty days.
But, to increase my calamities, on the day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary the holy mother of God, there came -- an evil augury for me -- envoys of the apostolic and universal pope John, through whom he asked Nicephorus "the emperor of the Greeks" to close an alliance and firm friendship with his beloved and spiritual son Otto "august emperor of the Romans." Before the question as to why this word, this manner of address, sinful and bold in the eyes of the Greeks, did not cost its bearer his life -- why he was not annihilated before it was read, I, who, in other respects, have often shown myself enough of a preacher and with words enough at my command, seem dumb as a fish! The Greeks inveighed against the sea, cursed the waves, and wondered exceedingly how they had been able to transport such an iniquity and why the yawning deep had not swallowed up the ship. "Was it not unpardonable," they said, "to have called the universal emperor of the Romans, the august, great, only Nicephorus: 'of the Greeks' ; -- a barbarian, a pauper: 'of the Romans' ? Oh sky! Oh earth! Oh sea!""But what," they said, "shall we do to those scoundrels, those criminals? They are paupers, and if we kill them we pollute our hands with vile blood; they are ragged, they are slaves, they are peasants; if we beat them we disgrace not them, but ourselves; for they are not worthy of the gilded Roman flail and of such punishments. Oh would that one were a bishop, another a margrave! For sewing them in sacks, after stinging blows with whips, after plucking out their beards or their hair, they would be thrown into the sea. But these," they said, "may continue to live; and, until the holy emperor of the Romans, Nicephorus, learns of this atrocity, they may languish in narrow confinement."
When I learned this I considered them happy because poor, myself unhappy because rich. When I was at home, my desire was to excuse my poverty; but placed in Constantinople, fear itself taught me that I had the wealth of a Crsus. Poverty had always seemed burdensome to me -- then it seemed welcome, acceptable, desirable; yes, desirable, since it keeps its votaries from perishing, its followers from being flayed. And since at Constantinople alone this poverty thus defends its votaries, may it there alone be considered worth striving after!
The Papal messengers, therefore, being thrown into prison, that offending epistle was sent to Nicephorus in Mesopotamia; whence no one returned to bring an answer until the second day before the Ides of September ( Sept. 12). On that day it came, but its import was concealed from me. And after two days -- on the eighteenth day, namely, before the Calends of October ( Sept. 14) -- I brought it about by prayers and gifts that I might adore the life-giving and salvation-bringing cross. And there in the great crowd, unnoticed by the guards, certain persons approached me, and rendered my saddened heart joyful through stolen words.
But on the fifteenth day before the Calends of October ( Sept. 17), as much dead as alive, I was summoned to the palace. And when I came into the presence of the patrician Christophorus -- the eunuch, receiving me kindly, rose to meet me with three others. Their discourse began as follows: "The pallor in thy face, the emaciation of thy whole body, thy long hair, and thy beard -- flowing, contrary to thy custom -- show that there is immense grief in thy heart because the date of thy return to thy master has been delayed. But, we pray thee, be not angry with the holy emperor nor with us. For we will tell thee the cause of the delay. The Roman pope -- if indeed he is to be called pope who has held communion and worked together with the son of Alberic the apostate, with an adulterer and unhallowed person -- has sent letters to our most holy emperor, worthy of himself, unworthy of Nicephorus, calling him the emperor 'of the Greeks,' and not 'of the Romans.' Which thing beyond a doubt has been done by the advice of thy master."
"What do I hear?" I said to myself. "I am lost; there is no doubt but what I shall go by the shortest way to the judgment-seat."
"Now listen," they continued, "we know thou wilt say that the pope is the simplest of men; thou wilt say it, and we acknowledge it.""But," I answered, "I do not say it."
"Hear then! The stupid silly pope does not know that the holy Constantine transferred hither the imperial sceptre, the senate, and all the Roman knighthood, and left in Rome nothing but vile minions -- fishers, namely, pedlars, bird catchers, bastards, plebeians, slaves. He would never have written this unless at the suggestion of thy king; how dangerous this will be to both -- the immediate future, unless they come to their senses, will show.""But the pope," I said, "whose simplicity is his title to renown, thought he was writing this to the honour of the emperor, not to his shame. We know, of course, that Constantine, the Roman emperor, came hither with the Roman knighthood, and founded this city in his name; but because you changed your language, your customs, and your dress, the most holy pope thought that the name of the Romans as well as their dress would displease you. He will show this, if he lives, in his future letters; for they shall be addressed as follows: ' John, the Roman pope, to Nicephorus, Constantine, Basilius, the great and august emperors of the Romans!" And now mark, I beg, why I said this.
Nicephorus came to the throne through perjury and adultery. And since the salvation of all Christians pertains to the care of the Roman pope, let the lord pope send to Nicephorus an epistle altogether like to those sepulchres which without are whited, within are full of dead men's bones; within let him show to him how through perjury and adultery he has obtained the rule over his masters; let him invite Nicephorus to a synod, and, if he do not come, let him hurl the anathema at him. But if the address be not as I have said, it will never reach him.
But to return to the matter in hand. When the princes I have mentioned heard from me the aforesaid promise concerning the address, not suspecting any guile: "We thank thee," they said, "oh bishop. It is worthy of thy wisdom to act as mediator in so great a matter. Thou art the only one of the Franks whom we now love; but when at thy behest they shall have corrected what is evil, they also shall be loved. And when thou shalt come to us again thou shalt not go away unrewarded."
I said to myself: "If I ever come back here again, may Nicephorus present me with a crown and a golden sceptre!"
"But tell us," they continued, "does thy most holy master wish to close with the emperor a treaty of friendship through marriage?"
"When I came hither he wished it," I said, "but since, during my long delay, he has received no news; he thinks that you have committed a crime, and that I have been taken and bound; and his whole soul, like that of a lioness bereft of her whelps, is inflamed with a desire through just wrath to take vengeance, and to renounce the marriage and to pour out his anger upon you."
"If he attempts it," they said, "we will not say Italy, but not even the poor Saxony where he was born -- where the inhabitants wear the skins of wild beasts -- will protect him. With our money, which gives us our power, we will arouse all the nations against him; and we will break him in pieces like a potter's vessel, which, when broken can not be brought into shape again. And as we imagine that thou, in his honour, hast bought some costly garments, we order thee to bring them before us. What are fit for thee shall be marked with a leaden seal and left to thee; but those which are prohibited to all nations except to us Romans, shall be taken away and the price returned."
When this had been done they took away from me five most costly purple stuffs; considering yourselves and all the Italians, Saxons, Franks, Bavarians, Swabians -- nay, all nations -- as unworthy to be adorned with such vestments. How unworthy, how shameful it is, that these soft, effeminate, long-sleeved, hooded, veiled, lying, neutralgendered, idle creatures should go clad in purple, while you heroes -- strong men, namely, skilled in war, full of faith and love, reverencing God, full of virtues -- may not! What is this, if it be not contumely? "But where," I said, "is the word of your emperor, where the imperial promise? For when I said farewell to him, I asked him up to what price he would permit me to buy vestments in honour of my church. And he said: 'Buy whatever ones and as many as thou dost wish;' and in thus designating the quantity and the quality, he clearly did not make a distinction as if he had said 'excepting this and this.' Leo, the marshal of the court, his brother, is witness; Enodisius, the interpreter, John, Romanus, are witnesses. I myself am witness, since even without the interpreter, I understood what the emperor said."
"But," they said, "these things are prohibited; and when the emperor spoke as thou sayest he did, he could not imagine that thou would'st even dream of such things as these. For, as we surpass other nations in wealth and wisdom, so also we ought to surpass them in dress; so that those who are singularly endowed with virtue, should have garments unique in beauty."
"Such a garment can hardly be called unique," I answered, "when with us the street-walkers and conjurers wear them."
"Where do they get them?" they asked.
"From Venetian and Amalfian traders," I said, "who, by bringing them to us, support themselves from the food we give them."
"Well, they shall not do so any longer," they said.
"They shall be closely examined, and if any thing of this kind shall be found on them they shall be punished with blows and shorn of their hair."
"In the time of the Emperor Constantine, of blessed memory," I said, "I came here not as bishop but as deacon; not sent by an emperor or king but by the margrave Berengar; and I bought many more and more precious vestments, which were neither looked at nor viewed by the Greeks nor stamped with lead. Now, having become a bishop by the mercy of God, and being sent by the magnificent emperors Otto and Otto, father and son, I am so insulted that my vestments are marked after the manner of the Venetians; and, as they are being transported for the use of the church entrusted to me, whatever seems of any worth is taken away. Are you not weary of insulting me, or rather my masters, for whose sake I am derided? Is it not enough that I am given into custody, that I am tortured by hunger and thirst, that I could not return to them, being detained until now, -- without, to fill the measure of their disrespect to them, my being robbed of my own things? Take away from me at least only what I have bought; leave me those things that have been given me as a gift by my friends!"
"The emperor Constantine," they said, "was a mild man, who always stayed in his palace, and by such means as this made the natives friendly to him; but the emperor Nicephorus, a man given to war, abhors the palace as if it were the plague. And he is called by us warlike and almost a lover of strife; nor does he make the nations friendly to him by paying them, but subjects them to his rule by terror and the sword. And in order that thou may'st see what is our opinion of thy royal masters, all that has been given to thee of this colour, and all that has been bought shall revert to us by the same process."
Having done and said these things they gave to me a letter written and sealed with gold to bring to ye; but it was not worthy of ye, as I thought. They brought also other letters sealed with silver and said: "We judge it unseemly that your pope should receive letters from the emperor; but the marshal of the court, the emperor's brother, sends him an epistle which is good enough for him -- not through his own poor envoys but through thee -to the effect that, unless he come to his senses, he shall know that he shall be utterly confounded."
When I had received this, they let me go, giving me kisses which were very sweet, very loving. But as I went away they sent me a message right worthy of themselves but not of me -- to the effect, namely, that they would give me horses for myself personally and for my companions, but none for my luggage. And thus, being very much annoyed, as was natural, I had to give to my guide as pay, objects of the worth of fifty pieces of gold. And as I had no means of retaliating upon Nicephorus for his ill deeds, I wrote these verses on the wall of my hated habitation, and upon a wooden table:
False is Argolian faith, be warned and mistrust it O Latin;
Heed thee and let not thine ear be lent to the words that they utter.
When it will help him the Argive will swear by all that is holy!
Lofty, with windows tall, ornate with varying marble,
This dwelling, deficient in water, admits the sun in its confines,
Fosters the bitterest cold, nor repels the heat when it rages.
Liutprand a bishop I, from Cremona a town of Ausonia,
Hither for love of peace to Constantinople did journey;
Here I was kept confined throughout the four months of the summer.
For before Bari's gates had appeared the emperor Otto,
Striving to take the place by flame alike and by slaughter.
Thence, by my prayers induced, he hastens to Rome, his own city,
Greece meanwhile having promised a bride for the son of the victor.
O had she ne'er been born, and I had been spared this grim journey;
Safely avoiding the wrath that Nicephorus since has poured on me --
He who prohibits his stepchild from wedding the son of my master!
Lo, the day is at hand, when war, impelled by fierce furies,
Wildly shall rage o'er earth's limits, should God not see fit to avert it.
Peace which is longed for by all, because of his guilt will be silent!
After writing these verses, on the sixth day before the Nones of October ( Oct. 2), at the tenth hour, I entered my boat with my guide, and left that once most rich and flourishing, now half-starved, perjured, lying, wily, greedy, rapacious, avaricious, vain-glorious city; and after fortynine days of ass-riding, walking, horse-riding, fasting, thirsting, sighing, weeping, groaning, I came to Naupactus, which is a city of Nikopolis. And here my guide deserted me after placing us on two small ships, and committing us to two imperial messengers who were to bring me by sea to Hydronto. But since their orders did not include the right of levying from the Greek princes, they were everywhere repulsed; so that we were not supported by them, but they by us. How often did I revolve within me that verse of Terence: "They themselves need help whom thou dost choose to defend thee."
On the ninth day before the Calends of December, then ( Nov. 23), we left Naupactus and I arrived at the river Offidaris in two days -- my companions not remaining in the ships, which could not hold them, but advancing along the shore. From our position on the river Offidaris we looked over to Patras, eighteen miles distant, on the other shore of the sea. This place of apostolic suffering, which we had visited and adored on our way to Constantinople, we now omitted -- I confess my fault -- to visit and adore. My unspeakable desire, my august lords and masters, of returning to ye and seeing ye was the cause of this; and if it had not been for this alone, I would, I believe, have forever perished.
A storm from the south rose against me -- madman that I was, -- disturbing the sea to its lowest depths with its ragings. And when it had continued to do this for several days and nights: on the day before the Calends of December ( Nov. 30) -- on the very day, namely, of His passion -- I recognized that this had happened to me of my own fault. Trouble alone taught me to give ear to its meaning. Famine, indeed, had begun to violently oppress us. The inhabitants of the land thought to kill us, in order to take our goods from us. The sea, to hinder our flight, was raging high. Then, betaking myself to the church which I saw, weeping and wailing, I said: "Oh holy apostle Andrew, I am the servant of thy fellow fisherman, brother and fellow apostle, Simon Peter; I have not avoided the place of thy suffering or kept away from it through pride; the command of my emperors, the love of them, urges me to return home. If my sin has moved thee to indignation, may the merit of my august masters lead thee to mercy. Thou hast nothing to bestow on thy brother; bestow something on the emperors who love thy brother by putting their trust in Him who knows all things. Thou knowest with what labour and exertion, with what vigils and at what expense -- snatching it from the hands of the godless -- they have enriched, honoured, exalted, and brought back to its proper condition, the Roman church of thy brother the apostle Peter. But if my works cast me into peril, let their merits at least free me; and let not those whom thy aforesaid brother in the faith and in the flesh, Peter the chief apostle of the apostles, wishes to have rejoice and prosper, be saddened by this -- that is, through me whom they themselves had sent!"
This is not, oh my masters and august emperors, this is not flattery. I tell ye truly, and I do not sew pillows under my arms -- the thing, I say, is true: after two days, through your merits the sea became calm and so tranquil, that when our sailors deserted us, we ourselves sailed the boat to Leucate -- a hundred and forty miles, namely -suffering no danger or discomfort, except, a little at the mouth of the river Acheloi, where its current running down rapidly is beaten back against the waves of the sea.
How then, most mighty emperors, will ye repay the Lord for all that which for your sakes He did to me. I will tell ye how God wishes this and demands this to be done. And although He can do it without ye, He wishes nevertheless that ye shall be His instruments in this matter. For He himself furnishes what shall be offered unto Him -keeps what He demands from us, in order to crown His own work. Pay attention then, I beg. Nicephorus, being a man who scorns all churches, on account of the wrath in which he abounds towards ye, has ordered the patriarch of Constantinople to raise the church of Hydronto to the rank of a bishopric, and not to permit any longer, throughout all Apulia and Calabria, that the divine mysteries be celebrated in Latin, but to have them celebrated in Greek. He says that the former popes were traders and that they sold the Holy Spirit -- that Spirit by which all things are vivified and ruled; which fills the universe; which knows the Word; which is co-eternal, and of one substance with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, without beginning, without end, for ever true; who ( Christ) is not valued at a fixed price, but is bought by the clean-hearted for as much as they hold Him to be worth. And so Poly- euctus, the patriarch of Constantinople, wrote a privilege for the bishop of Hydronto to this effect: that he should by his authority have permission to consecrate bishops in Acerenza, Tursi, Gravina, Matera and Tricarico: which, however, evidently belong to the diocese of the lord pope. But why need I say this when, indeed, the church of Constantinople itself is rightly subject to our holy catholic and apostolic church of Rome. We know -- nay, we have seen -- that the bishop of Constantinople did not use the pallium except with the permission of our holy father. But when that most godless Alberic, -- whom cupidity, not by drops, but, as it were, by torrents, had filled -- usurped for himself the Roman city, and held the lord pope like his own slave in his dwelling, the emperor Romanus made his own son, the eunuch Theophylactus, patriarch. And since the cupidity of Alberic was not hidden from him, he sent to him very great gifts, bringing it about that, in the name of the pope, letters were sent to the patriarch Theophylactus, by the authority of which he and his successors alike might use the pallium without permission from the popes. From which vile transaction the shameful custom arose that not only the patriarchs but also the bishops of all Greece should use the pallium. How absurd this is, I do not need to make clear. It is therefore my plan that a sacred synod be held, and Polyeuctus be summoned to it. But if he be unwilling to come and to amend the faults that have been mentioned above, then let that be done which the holy canons shall decree. Do ye in the mean. time, most potent emperors, continue to labour as ye have done; bring it about that, if Nicephorus be unwilling to obey us when we arrange to proceed against him canonically, he will hear ye, whose forces this half-corpse will not dare to meet. This, I say, is what the apostles, our masters and fellow fighters, wish us to do. Rome is not to be despised by the Greeks because Constantine went away from it; but rather to be the more cherished, venerated and adored for the reason that the apostles, the holy teachers Peter and Paul, came thither. But may what I have written concerning this suffice until, being snatched from the hands of the Greeks, through the grace of God and the prayers of the most holy apostles I may come to ye. And then it may not weary me to say what it burdens me now here to write. Now let us return to the matter in hand.
On the eighth day before the Ides of December ( Dec. 6) we came to Leucate, where, by the bishop of that place -a eunuch, as by other bishops everywhere, we were most unkindly received and treated. In all Greece -- I speak truly and do not lie -- I found no hospitable bishops. They are at the same time poor and rich; rich in gold, with which they play from full coffers; poor in servants and implements. Alone they seat themselves at their bare little tables, placing before themselves their ship-biscuit; and then not drinking, but sipping their bath-water from a very small glass. They themselves sell and buy; they themselves close and open their doors; they are their own stewards, their own ass-drivers, their own "capones" -- but ha! I was going to write "caupones," but the thing itself is so true that I was compelled to write the truth even when I did not wish to -- for really, I say, they are "caupones" -- that is, eunuchs -- which is against the ecclesiastical law; and they are also "capones," that is, tavern keepers; which is also against the canons. One can say of them:
Lettuce doth end the meal that with lettuce hath had its beginning,
Lettuce, which too was wont to close the meals of their fathers. 1
I would consider them happy in their poverty if this were an imitation of the poverty of Christ. But nothing impels them to this save sordid gain and the cursed thirst for gold. But may God spare them! I think they do this because their churches are tributary. For the bishop of Leucate swore to me that every year his church had to pay to Nicephorus a hundred pieces of gold; and in like manner the other churches, more or less, according to their means. How wicked this is is demonstrated by the acts of our most holy father Joseph; for when he, in the time of famine, made all Egypt tributary to Pharaoh, he permitted the land of the priests to be free from tribute.
1 V. Martial, Ep. xiii.
Leaving Leucate, then, on the nineteenth day before the Calends of January ( Dec. 14), and navigating ourselves -since, as we said above, our sailors had fled -- on the fifteenth ( Dec. 18) we came to Corfu; where, before we had left the ship, a certain war-commander met us -Michael by name, a Chersionite, born in the place called Cherson. He was a hoary-headed man, jovial faced, goodnatured in his discourse, always pleasantly laughing; but, as it afterwards turned out, a devil at heart -- as God showed to me even then by clear enough proofs, if only my mind could then have understood them. For at the very time when, with a kiss, he was wishing me the peace that he did not bear in his heart, all Corfu -- a great island, namely -- trembled; and not only once but three times on the same day did it tremble. Four days later, moreover, -- namely on the eleventh day before the Calends of January ( Dec. 22) -- while, sitting at table, I was eating bread with him who was treading me under foot, the sun, ashamed at such an unworthy deed, hid the rays of his light, and, suffering an eclipse, terrified that Michael, but did not change him.
I will explain, then, what I had done to him for the sake of friendship, and what I received from him by way of reward. On my way to Constantinople I gave to his son that most costly shield, gilded and worked with marvellous art, which ye, my august masters, gave to me with the other gifts to give to my Greek friends. Now, returning from Constantinople, I gave the father a most precious vestment; for all of which he gave me the following thanks: Nicephorus had written that, at whatever hour I should come to him, without delay he should place me on a Greek ship and send me to the chamberlain Leo. He did not do this; but detained me twenty days and nourished me not at his own but at my expense; until an envoy came from the aforesaid chamberlain Leo, who rated him for delaying me. But because he could not bear my reproaches, laments, and sighs, he went away and handed me over to a man so sinful and utterly bad that he did not even permit me to buy supplies until he had received from me a carpet worth a pound of silver. And when, after twenty days, I did go away from there, that man to whom I had given the carpet ordered the ship's master, after passing a certain promontory, to put me ashore and let me die of hunger. This he did because he had searched my baggage to see if I had any purple vestments concealed, and, when he had wanted to take one, I had prevented him. Oh ye Michaels, ye Michaels, where have I ever found so many of you and such ones! For my keeper in Constantinople gave me over to his rival Michael -- a bad man to a worse, the worse one to a rascal. My guide was also called Michael -- a simple man, indeed, but one whose saintly simplicity harmed me almost as much as the wickedness of the others. But from the hands of these little Michaels I came into thine, O great Michael -half hermit, half monk! I tell thee and I tell thee truly; the bath will not avail thee, in which thou dost assiduously get drunk for love of St. John the Baptist! For those who seek God falsely, shall never merit to find Him!
(The manuscript containing Liutprand's report breaks off here suddenly.)
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