ALTHOUGH it had emancipated itself from the constitutional framework of the Eastern Empire, the Papacy had little cause to rejoice in its newly won "freedom." The position of the Pope as the lord of the Duchy of Rome drew the Roman nobility conspicuously to the fore: it now demanded a share in the making of the Pope and the "election" of Constantine (II), himself a soldier, and the subsequent tumultuous scenes brought forth a vigorous opposition party under the able leadership of Christophorus. 1 The Council held at Rome in April 769 in which many Frankish bishops 2 as well as of course still more Italian bishops participated, proceeded to the condemnation of Constantine (II) 3 and, what is more important for us, to the promulgation of an election decree. This election decree was later to serve as the model on which a better known Papal election decree was built. The synodists of 769 laid down that no layman must partake in the election of a Pope -- only clerics were allowed to vote, whilst all the laymen were permitted to do was to salute the thus elected Pope as the "lord of all." 4
This election decree, however, lacked proper backing. And the subsequent history of Papal elections and consecrations and the ever-
1. Whom we have already met as a possible author of the Donation of Constantine.
2. Those of Sens, Mainz, Tours, Lyons, Bourges, Narbonne, Rheims, Amiens, Langres, Worms, Wurzburg, and so forth.
3. The treatment which Constantine received at the episcopal hands of the synodists was very cruel indeed, even by contemporary standards.
4. MGH. Concilia, ii. no. 14, p. 86: "Decernimus, ut nulli unquam laicorum sive ex manu armata vel ex aliis ordinibus praesumant inveniri in electione pontificis, set a cunctis sacerdotibus atque proceribus ecclesiae et cuncto clero ipsa pontificalis electio proveniat. Et postquam pontifex electus fuerit et in patriarchium deductus, tunc optimates militiae vel cunctus exercitus et cives honesti atque universa generalitas populi huius Romanae urbis ad salutandum eum sicut omnium dominum properare debent." This is alsoin the Coll. canon. of Deusdedit , ii. 161, cf. also Gratian, Dist. lxxix, cap. 4.
increasing military influence of the Roman nobility made it imperative for the Papacy to appoint an effective protector, a protector who was to guarantee the "freedom" of Papal elections and thereby also to guarantee the authority of the newly elected Pope. In course of time this need for protection was to lead to a number of special arrangements made in the ninth century which were to enshrine in documentary form the defence and protection of the Roman Church and herewith of the Pope himself.
None was better qualified for this office than the Frankish "patricius Romanorum." Whilst the father had refused to bear the title, the son adopted it, certainly from 774 onwards. The intimate connexion between the Roman Church and the Frankish Church no less than the strengthening of the bonds between it and the Frankish monarchy in the two decades since Ponthion, were not without effects upon the mind of Charlemagne. The acceptance of the title and office of "patricius Romanorum" by Charlemagne is, we think, the effect, not of any political consideration on his part, but of his purely religious views. To him "Romanitas" and "Christianitas" were tautological expressions. Romanism for Charlemagne was not a historical-political term, but had an exclusively religious connotation: it signified the contrast to "Graecism," to that kind of faith which was not Roman-directed. Romanism simply meant Latin Christianity -- that Christian faith which was directed and orientated by the Roman Church. The Bonifacian work, its concomitant close association with Roman-Papal organization, the spreading of the characteristically Roman liturgies and their prayers, the religious orientation of the Frankish domains towards Rome, led to a complete amalgamation of Christian and Roman elements. This Roman ferment in that eighth-century Christianity of the Franks was of decisive importance, because "Christianitas" and "Romanitas" became virtually indistinguishable. 1 It is assuredly no coincidence that Charlemagne requested Adrian I for an "authentic" copy of the sacramentary which the great Gregory had created. 2 It is furthermore significant that at this time also the Benedictine Rule
1 Cf. also the observations of G. Ermini, "Tradizione di Roma e unitá giuridica europea" in Archivio della R. Dep. Romana di storia patria, lxvii, 1944, especially pp. 46-51. A number of new Ordines were composed in this eighth century by the Franks, cf. ( Andrieu's) nos. xv-xviii, xxii, xxv, xxvii-xxxB.
2 On this see G. Tellenbach, SB. Heidelberg, 1935, p. 24: "Es scheint im ganzen Frankenreich grosser Eifer geherrscht zu haben, sich eine Abschrift von diesem echten römischen Ritus darstellenden Buch zu verschaffen." Cf. furthermore Th. Klauser, "Die liturgischen Austauschbeziehungen, etc." in Hist. Jb., liii ( 1933), p. 178, and P. E. Schramm, Die Anerkennung Karls d. Grossen, p. 21.
with its typically Roman features spread so rapidly through Frankish and newly conquered lands. Not less significant is it that a copy of the canonical collection of Dionysius Exiguus in the expanded and modified form given by Adrian I was personally handed to Charlemagne by the Pope in 774. 1
All these vehicles of Romanist transmission effected the imperceptible, though significant orientation towards Rome in all things that mattered most, namely, in those of religion and its cult. The old Roman formulae were repeated, the old Roman liturgical prayers were said and spoken by the Franks who might not always have fully grasped the intrinsic meaning of these prayers. The prayer that was originally in the Leonine Sacramentary 2 went in its original form and with the entreaty for the Roman security into the Frankish sacramentaries. 3 In other prayers the amalgamation of "Christianitas" and "Romanitas" went so far that the original term "Romanus" was exchanged for "Christianus." Thus, for example, in the Gelasian sacramentary 4 the reference to the "Romani" was altered in the Frankish sacramentaries to "Christiani." 5 In yet another of the prayer texts, contained in the Gelasian Sacramentary of the eighth century 6 for a copy of which
1. See F. Maassen, Geschichte der Quellen, i. 441 ff.; Fournier-Le Bras, Histoire des collections canoniques, i. 95-6. The Dionysio-Hadriana also spread quickly, see Maassen, op. cit., pp. 465 ff.; Fournier-Le Bras, op. cit., i. 97. The acrostic and dedicatory poem offering the collection to Charlemagne renders the words: "Domino excell. filio Carulo magno regi Hadrianus papa." The poem is printed also by Duchesne in his edition of the Liber Pontificalis, i. 516 and by Maassen, pp. 965-7. On the other canonical collection, the Quesnelliana, also copied several times in Frankish lands ( PL. lvi. 358-747), cf. W. Levison, "Neue Bruchstücke der Quesnellschen Sammlung" in Papsttum & Kaisertum ( Festschrift Paul Kehr), pp. 138-45 and Fournier and Le Bras, i. 27. It was used by Pippin in his Capitulare of 755, see Maassen, p. 494, and M. Andrieu, op. cit., iii. pp. xxxviif.
2. Sacramentarium Leonianum, ed. C. Feltoe, no. 375, p. 77; see Tellenbach, Texts, no. 13: Omnipotens semper Deus Romanis auxiliare principibus ut tua virtute roboratis, omnis hostilitas nec viribus possit praevalere nec fraude. Nostris quaesumus, domine, propitiare temporibus, ut tuo munere dirigantur et Romana securitas et devotio Christiana." On the Good Friday prayer for the "imperium Romanum" see Tellenbach, loc. cit., and W. Levison, England & the Continent, Oxford, 1946, pp. 122-3. 3. See especially Tellenbach, loc. cit., at text 13, p. 59, where the Frankish sources will be found.
4. Sacramentarium Gelasianum, ed. H. A. Wilson, no. 729, and no. 275; Tellenbach , Text no. 7. 5. "Deus, servientium tibi fortitudo regnorum, propitius Romani (in Frankish sources: Christianorum) nominis esto principibus, ut quorum tibi subjecta est humilitas eorum ubique excellentior sit potestas."
6. Sacramentarium Gelasianum saeculi octavi: cf. P. de Puniet, "Le sacramentaire Gelasien de la collection Phillips" in Ephemerides Liturgicae, xliii ( 1929), pp. 91 ff.; 281 ff.; Tellenbach, loc. cit., p. 19.
Pippin had already asked the Pope, we find the amalgamation still more pronounced. The original prayer for security of the "Romani fines" was changed into one for security of the "Christianorum Romani fines."
Deus . . . pax a tua pietate concessa Romanos fines -- Christianorum Romanos fines -- ab omni hoste faciat esse securos.
In short, the Romanization of the Western mind by virtue of these diverse channels, led to the ideological conflation of Romans and Christians.
Set against this background it is perhaps understandable that Charlemagne should have had no hesitation in adopting the title and in playing the role of the "patricius Romanorum." When "Romanus" equalled "Christianus," there was indeed no obstacle to prevent his assuming that role which virtually meant no more than that of a military defender of the "Romans," that is the "Christians," a role which in fact he was accustomed to play in any case. What the title meant to him was that his protective function naturally embraced also those Romans who were the epitome of all the Romans in the world, that is, the geographical Romans: they were merely the Christians, as it were, in a condensed and crystallized form. And it was in his function as "patricius Romanorum," in his function as a protector of the Church of Rome, that he not only confirmed the "donation" of his father, but also added a considerable part of Italy to the territories which his father had "restored" to their rightful owner, the Church of Rome.
The biography of Adrian I informs us of the details of this "donation" as well as of the solemn reception given by the Pope: Charlemagne 1 was received with all the honours due to the former exarch, now transformed into the "patricius Romanorum." 2 According to Adrian's biographer, 3 on the Wednesday following Easter, 6 April 774, Charlemagne ordered his chaplain and notary Etherius to draw up two copies of the "donation," the one to be handed to the Pope, the other
1. Liber Pontificalis, i. 497, lines 6-7:"Ipse vero a Deo institutus benignissimus Carolus magnus Francorum rex et patricius Romanorum."
2. Lib. Pont., loc. cit., lines 8 ff. According to E. Kantorowicz, Laudes regiae, Berkeley, 1946, p. 75-6, Charlemagne's entry into Rome "had a decidedly messianic note"; it may have been that the antiphon which was customary on such occasions, the Ecce mitto angelum meum greeted Charlemagne also: the symbolic meaning of this antiphon is that as the Lord at His coming is preceded by a messenger, so shall the emperor at his advent be preceded by an angel, see Kantorowicz, loc. cit. For the antiphon see Consuetudines Farfenses, quoted by Kantorowicz, op. cit., p. 72, note 27 (MGH. SS. xi. 547).
3. Lib. Pont. i. 498.
to be deposited at the Confession of St Peter. This instrument was drawn up and modelled on that made twenty years earlier. 1 Charlemagne conceded to St Peter, and vowed that he would hand over to the pontiff, the territories enumerated, that is, Luna (near Specia), Parma, Reggio, Mantua, Monteselice, the "exarchate of Ravenna," the whole of Venetia and Istria; Corsica, the duchies of Spoleto and Benevento. 2 Although the biographer does not speak of a restitution but of a concession of territory, Einhard, on the other hand, considered the transaction as a "restitution" of stolen territory. This witness tells us that Charlemagne would not rest before he had subdued Desiderius and expelled him, nor before all the robbed territories were restored to the Romans. 3
It seems clear that the Easter transaction of 774 had the same character as its precursor of twenty years earlier: in each case the transaction concerned "restoration" of property, stolen by the Lombards from its legitimate owner, the Roman Church. The test here as there lies in the transfer of property that was not in the hands of the Lombards -in our case, Venetia and Istria, to mention only the two most conspicuous examples. For both Venetia and Istria were still Byzantine and therefore belonged to the empire. The insistent demands of the Pope put to Charlemagne for the implementation of the "donation"
1. Lib. Pont. i. 498, lines 13-17: "Cumque ipsam promissionem, quae Franca in loco qui vocatur Carisiaco fact est, sibi relegi fecisset, conplacuerunt illi et eius judicibus omnia quae ibidem erant adnexa. Et propria voluntate, bono ac libenti animo, aliam donationis promissionem ad instar anterioris ipse antedictus precellentissimus et revera christianissimus Carulus Francorum rex adscribi jussit per Etherium, religiosum ac prudentissimum capellanum et notarium suum."
2. Lib. Pont. i. 498, lines 17-22: "Ubi concessit easdem civitates et territoria b. Petro easque prefato pontifici contradi spopondit per designatum confinium, sicut in eadem donatione continere monstratur, id est: a Lunis cum insula Corsica, deinde in Suriano, deinde in monte Bardone, id est, in Verceto, deinde in Parma, deinde in Regio; et exinde in Mantua atque Monte Silicis, simulque et universum exarchatum Ravennantium, sicut antiquitus erat, atque provincias Venetiarum et Istria; necnon et cunctum ducatum Spolitinum seu Beneventanum." On the interpretation of this most important passage see Duchesne, Lib. Pont., Introduction, pp. ccxxxiv-ccxli; Th. Sickel, Das Privilegium Ottos I, pp. 132-7 (who denies the veracity of this statement); A. Dove, "Corsica und Sardinien etc." in SB. Munich, 1894, pp. 230 ff.; E. Caspar, Pippin und die Römische Kirche, pp. 82 ff.; A. Brackmann, Gött. Gel. Anz., 1918, pp. 419 ff.; E. E. Stengel, "Die Entwicklung des Kaiserprivilegs für die römische Kirche" in Hist. Z., cxxxiv ( 1926), pp. 231 ff.; L. Halphen, op. cit., pp. 108-10. The literature about this passage is abundant and not of direct concern to us.
3. Einhard, Vita Karoli, cap. 6, p. 7 (ed. Holder-Egger): "Karolus . . . non prius destitit quam et Desiderium regem . . . in deditionem susciperet . . . omnia Romanis erepta restitueret." A few lines later, p. 8 : "Res a Langobardorum regibus ereptae Adriano Romanae ecclesiae rectori restitutae."
of 6 April 774, show us the rift between the Pope's intentions and the king's actions, a rift that seems to have become particularly clear after Charlemagne's assumption of the title "Rex Langobardorum" on 5 June 774. 1 What is, moreover, very characteristic of these many letters sent by the Pope, is the emphasis on the function of the Roman Church as the "spiritualis mater" of the king and the emphasis on his duty of protecting his spiritual mother -- for this reason, if for no other, he ought to be a fighter "pro justitiis beati Petri exigendis." 2 The prospect of appropriate reward is not omitted in these Papal letters: if he fulfilled his promises the king would exalt the Roman Church and herewith the universal Church, and thereby the orthodox Christian faith would be preserved. 3
The exaltation by Charlemagne of the Roman Church is in fact the dominant theme in all these numerous Papal appeals to the Frankish king. In one of his communications the Pope goes even so far as to remind Charlemagne of the exaltation of the Roman Church by the Emperor Constantine: he is held up to the Frank as the model, for he had exalted the Church through his grant and had bestowed upon the Pope these parts of the West, so that the "sancta Dei ecclesia" might flourish and blossom forth. "Et pro hoc petimus eximiarn precellentiam vestram, ut in integro ipsa patrimonia beato Petro et nobis restituere jubeatis." 4 Divers emperors, Adrian I claims, patricians and other Godfearing men had conceded to St Peter and the apostolic Roman Church territories, such as Tuscany, Spoleto, Corsica, and so forth, and "of these transactions we have the documents in our Lateran archives." 5
1. See, for instance, the bitter and ironical tone in the Pope's letter, Codex Carolinus, no. 49, p. 568, lines 25 ff. (exeunte 774), and also no. 53, p. 575 (anno 775). On the interpretation of Charlemagne's conduct after 774, see Dove, loc. cit., pp. 187 ff.
2. Codex Carolinus, no. 56, p. 581, lines 25-6.
3. Codex Carolinus, no. 55, p. 579, lines 9 ff.: "Unde et copiosum a vobis suscipi prestalamus fructum, ut, sicut coepisti, bonum. opus perficias tuisque temporibus sancta Dei ecclesia multo amplius exaltata permaneat, quatenus omnipotens Dominus, intercedente b. Petro principe apostolorum, dignarn vobis remunerationem tribuat et in coelestibus regnis cum sanctis et electis post huius vitae longevitatem perenniter exaltandurn vos recipiat. Per te enim, bone, victoriosissime rex, praefata sancta universalis Dei ecclesia de inimicorurn impugnationibus erepta magno, ut dictum est, triumphat gaudio et orthodoxa Christianorum. fides vestro, praesidio in pristino venerationis statu permanet inmutilata." In Cod. Car., no. 56, p. 581, lines 32-3 Adrian says Charlemagne had "offered" the Duchy of Spoleto "protectori vestro b. Petro principi apostolorum per nostram mediocritatem pro animae vestrae mercede."
4. Cod. Car., no. 60, p. 587, lines 27-8 (anno 778).
5. Cod. Car., no. 60, p. 587, lines 18 ff.: "Sed et cuncta alia, quae per diversos
Hence Charlemagne should imitate the great emperor Constantine who had exalted the Church under Silvester so enormously and who had given the Roman Church the "potestas" over these Western parts of the world. 1
Even though the Pope's territorial ambitions remained largely unfulfilled, 2 the Papal creations of Pippin, Charles's son, as "King of Italy," and of Louis as "King of Aquitaine," when there was no precedent for these offices and for Papal conferments of royal dignity and function, should be appraised adequately as regards their symbolic significance. 3 Taken in conjunction with the creation of the Carolingian "patricius Romanorum" by Stephen II, these actions throw into clear relief the steady continuity of Papal doctrine and plainly herald the much more significant act on Christmasday 800. Ponthion, Kierzy, Pavia, the creation of the "patricius Romanorum," Charlemagne's donation, the creation of the Italian and Aquitanian kings -- these are powerful preparatory steps culminating in the creation of Charlemagne as "Imperator Romanorum." It is as if the Papal theme gained momentum towards the closing years of the eighth century. 4
imperatores, patricios etiam et alios Deum timentes pro eorum animae mercede et venia delictorum in partibus Tusciae, Spoletio seu Benevento atque Corsica simul Savinense patrimonio b. Petro . . . concessa sunt . . . vestris temporibus restituantur."
1. Cod. Car., no. 60: "Et sicut temporibus b. Silvestri Romani pontificis a sanctae recordationis piissimo Constantino, magno imperatore, per eius largitatem sancta Dei catholica et apostolica Romana ecclesia elevata atque exaltata est et in potestatern in his Hesperiae partibus largiri dignatus, ita et in his vestris felicissimis temporibus atque nostris sancta Dei ecclesia, id est, b. Petri apostoli, germinet atque exultet et amplius quam amplius exaltata permaneat, ut omnes gentes, quae haec audierint, edicere valeant 'Domine, salvum fac regem, et exaudi nos in die, in qua invocaverimus'; quia ecce novus Christianissimus Dei Constantinus imperator his temporibus surrexit, per quem omnia Deus sanctae suae ecclesiae beati apostolorum principis Petri largiri dignatus est."
2. It is not our task to go into the details of Charlemagne's refusal to meet all the Papal requests; suffice it to say that he demanded production of the documents to which the Pope had referred and which were supposed to contain the "donations." His request was refused. For details see E. Caspar, "Das Papsttum unter fränkischer Herrschaft" in Z. f. Kirchengeschichte, 1935, p. 158.
3. Both were anointed by the Pope, see Annales Regni Francorum, ed. G. Waitz, ad a. 781, p. 56: "Et duo filii supradicti domini Caroli regis uncti sunt in regem a supradicto pontifice, hi sunt domnus Pippinus et domnus Hludowicus reges, domnus Pippinus rex in Italiam, et domnus Hludowicus rex in Aquitaniam."
4. Cf. also the observation of K. Hampe, "Italien u. Deutschland im Wandel der Zeiten" in Hist. Z., cxxxiv ( 1926), p. 202: "Der Papst war es, der zur Vollendung seiner eigenen Ablösung von Byzanz den römischen Kaisertitel darauf propfte. Damit wurde das eigentümlich antiquierte, auf einer Fiktion beruhende Gebilde des mittelalterlich-römischen Kaisertums geschaffen."
For we must bear in mind that during the Pontificate of Leo III there were some very specific signs pointing to great changes. It will be recalled that, according to the Liber Diurnus, the newly elected Pope was to announce his election to the emperor or, in order to save time, to the exarch at Ravenna, so as to obtain imperial confirmation of the election. But when Leo III became Pope, there was no longer an exarch nor did the Papacy consider itself as part of the Roman empire. Yet Leo III sent a "decretalis cartula" to Charlemagne immediately after his election. We hold that the reason why the deed of the election was despatched, was not indeed to adhere to an obnoxious system -the requirement of imperial confirmation was of course fundamentally inimical to the Papal point of view -- but in order to utilize this old rule for quite a different purpose: the Papacy thereby implied clearly the role for which the Frankish king was destined -- that of an emperor, for it was the emperor (or on his behalf the exarch) who had to give imperial confirmation to the Papal election. But whilst the purpose of notification was previously to obtain imperial confirmation, the pur? pose now was, we consider, to implement the duty of the protector of the Roman Church and of the Pope. The notification was to serve as the signal to the "patricius Romanorum" that a new Pope had assumed his office, who is now to be protected by the patrician. 1
Furthermore, Adrian I had disregarded the rule laid down by Justinian 2 that all documents, including therefore Papal ones, must be dated according to imperial years. 3 Leo III definitely abandoned this prescription of Justinian, but substituted in a document issued on 20 April 798, the regnal years of Charlemagne's rule in Italy for the imperial years (of the Eastern emperor). 4 The idea behind this innovation was the same as in the case of notification: it was to indicate the role for which the Frankish king was destined. 5
1. In view of the events in his Pontificate this notification seems particularly significant. But Leo was not the first Pope who announced his election to a Frankish king; the first to do so was Paul I in 757, see Codex Carolinus, no. 12; for Constantine (11) see Cod. Car., no. 44. For details see Cambridge Hist. J., xi ( 1953), pp. 114 ff., and F. Gutmann, Die Wahlanzeigen der Päpste, Marburg, 1931, p.19.
2. Nov. xlvii, cap. x.
3. See R. L. Poole, "Imperial influences on Papal documents" in Proc. Brit. Acad., viii ( 1917), p. 240; idem, "Lectures on the history of the Papal chancery", p. 38; A. Menzer, "Die Jahresmerkmale in den Datierungen der Papsturkunden" in Rdmische Quartalschrift, xl ( 1932), pp. 27 ff. Adrian I was "a bold innovator" (p. 62 ), because he introduced the dating according to pontifical years.
4. See A. Brackmann, Germania Pontificia, i. no. 7, p. 8; Poole, loc. cit., p. 241; Menzer, art. cit., pp. 48-51
5. In this context mention must be made of Adrian I's striking his own coins
The plan of Charlemagne to erect a Second Rome at Aix-la-Chapelle was an additional motive for Leo III to expedite matters in the direction in which they had already been moving. This plan of Charlemagne was revealed to him on the occasion of his visit to Paderborn in the summer of 799. Expelled by the Romans Leo sought to implore the help of the protector, the "patricius Romanorum." We shall have an opportunity to make some observations on what may be called Charlemagne's imitative rivalry with the Eastern emperor, but for the moment it must suffice to state that the residence of the Frank at Aix was largely modelled on the residence of the Eastern emperor, who lived in "New Rome" and, moreover, had at hand his chief priest, the patriarch. According to Charlemagne, the "Old Rome" was to be transplanted to Aix: next to the minster and the "sacrum palatium" which was the residence of the Frankish king, there was a third building, the "Lateran." 1 Like Constantinople, Aix was to be the Second Rome: the Lateran is in fact the "house of the pontiff" in Einhard's description. 2 And the court poet tells us of the "coming Rome" -- "ventura Roma" -- which Charlemagne is about to erect at Aix. 3 It was the secunda Roma. 4
which showed his effigy instead of the emperor's: the old imperial coins were discarded; on this see W. Ohnsorge, Das Zweikaiserproblem, p. 20, and P. E. Schramm , Anerkennung, p. 14. A portentous sign post was also the famous Lateran mosaic in the triclinium, the great ceremonial hall, which was made in the first years of Leo's Pontificate; the picture showed St Peter handing the standard to Charlemagne, and the pallium to Leo; on the picture see Duchesne in Lib. Pont. ii. p. 34, note 14; Tellenbach, loc. cit., p. 32, note 5; S. Heldmann, Kaisertum Karls d. Gr., 184-5; G. Lähr, Die konstantinische Schenkung, p. 11; Schramm, Anerkennung, p. 26; and H. Fichtenau, art. cit. (infra, note 2), p. 41, note 207. The picture is in Schramm, Die deutschen Kaiser und Könige in Bildern, Table 4a-b; a description will be found ibid., vol. i, pp. 27 - 9. Cf. also infra p. 101 n. 4.
1. See especially C. Erdmann, "Das ottonische Reich" in Deutsches Archiv, iv ( 1943), p. 418; idem, Forschungen zur Ideenwelt des Frühmittelalters, Berlin, 1951, p. 23; cf. also Chron. Moissiacense, MGH. SS. i. 303: "Fecit ibi et palatium, quod nominavit Lateranis"; see also "Capitulare monasticum" in MGH. Capit. i. 344: "domo Aquisgrani palatii, quae Lateranis dicitur"; cf. furthermore MGH. Concilia, ii. no. 40, p. 464) note 1, and no. 56, p. 705.
2. Einhard, Vita, cap. 32, p. 32: "domus pontificis." Cf. Erdmann, art. cit., pp. 418 ff., and op. cit., p. 24; also H. Fichtenau, "Byzanz und die Pfalz" in MIOG., lix, 1951, pp. 135, 43-4.
3. The poem (MGH. Poetae Lat., i. 366ff.) was written (see Erdmann, op. cit., p. 21) in 799: "Stat pius arce procul Karolus loca singula signans, altaque disponens venturae moenia Romae." Charlemagne was to be the father of Europe and Leo the pastor: "Rex pater Europae et summus Leo pastor in orbe. "(vv. 97, 504).
4. "Rex Karolus, Caput orbis, amor populique decusque Europae venerandus apex, pater optimus, heros, augustus (!), sed et urbe potens, ubi Roma secunda tore novo, ingenti, magna consurgit ad alta mole, tholis muro precelsis sidera
When Leo III implored the help of Charlemagne, the latter's intentions cannot have remained hidden from the Pope. Did not in fact everything point to a most uncomfortable exchange of Byzantium for Aix? Was this exchange not a repetition of the set-up which the Papacy had hoped to relegate to the past? Did not Charlemagne's exhortation to the Pope have an ominous ring: he should lead an honest life, respect the canons, guide the Church religiously and diligently and fight simony -- when this is compared with Justinian's view on the functions of the priesthood? 1 What other role but that of an archpriest was the Pope to play in the scheme of things devised by the Frank? For the king's task was the effective strengthening, consolidating, propagating and preserving the faith -- the Pope's task was to support the king in this duty by praying for him like Moses did with elevated hands.
The Carolingian idea of a Second Rome at Aix, we hold, was one of the most severe challenges which the Papal programme had to meet. For if this scheme of things had gone through, the foundations of the Papal theme would have been sapped. European Christianity drawing its life blood from Romanism and nurtured by the Church of Rome, would have been deprived of its strongest and most attractive foundations. To have acquiesced in this plan of Charlemagne would have been a betrayal of all the Church of Rome stood for. 2 And had not the instrument been carefully prepared, though primarily as a weapon against the East? The Donation of Constantine was precisely the handle by which the emancipation of the Papacy from the clutches of the Eastern emperor could be effected: and the threatening clutches of the Frankish king were a sufficient justification for employing the same
tangens," quoted by Erdmann, op. cit., p. 22, who drew attention to the significance of this poem. Cf. also Fichtenau, art. cit., p. 39 and note 198; p. E. Schramm, Anerkennung Karls d. Gr., pp. 33-4; and W. Hammer, "The New or Second Rome in the Middle Ages" in Speculum, xix ( 1944), p. 56, who also refers to, and quotes part of, another's poem which depicts the important position of the new capital, the New Rome. Never again was Aix-la-Chapelle praised in this manner (p. 57 ). Alcuin referred "Secunda Roma" to Constantinople, see Erdmann, op. cit., p. 22, note 9.
1. MGH. Epp. iv. no. 92, p. 135f.; cf. also ibid., no. 93, p. 138, and Justinian Nov. vi. pr.
2. We can but subscribe to the brilliant thesis of Erdmann, op. cit., p. 26: "Aber dieser Aachener Lateran war für Leo ein schlechter Trost. Ihm musste es auf den Sitz in Rom selbst ankommen, weil er sonst die geistigen Grundlagen seiner Stellung aufs schwerste kompromittierte; das hat sich noch ein halbes Jahrtausend später zu Avignon aureichend erwiesen." Cf. also Fichtenau, Das karolingische Imerium, Zürich, 1949, p. 79. Cf. also G. Ladner in Die Welt al, Geschichte, xi ( 1951), p. 145.
weapon against him. The "vacancy" in the Empire provided the pretext; Leo's trial by Charlemagne two days before Christmas provided the additional stimulus for the momentous action on Christmas Day -- for the transfer of the empire from the Bosphorus to the Tiber, by making the Frank the Imperator Romanorum. The historic significance of the act is only heightened when this twofold objective is appraised: the coronation was aimed against the Empire as well as against the Frankish king. The seat of the Empire was where the Pope wished it to be -- the seat of the Roman Empire was Rome, not Constantinople, not Aix-la-Chapelle. 1
It was a magnificent political and symbolic device which Leo adopted. 2 There can be no doubt that the initiative lay in Papal hands: the act was well prepared -- the Romans knew exactly what they had to shout, 3 although no Pope had ever crowned an emperor in Rome. 4 The accounts in the official Papal book 5 and in the Frankish
1. The bold, not to say, fantastic plan of Leo III to arrange a marriage between the recently widowed Charlemagne and the widow Irene, should not be dismissed as a piece of fabulous invention, cf. P. E. Schramm, Anerkennung, p. 59; also F. L. Ganshof in Moyen Age, Iv ( 1949), p. 166, note 3. For the plan itself see Theophanes , Chronographia, ed. C. de Boor, i. 475, who mentions the plan twice (800 and 802); Heldmann, op. cit., 376 f.; F. Dölger, in Der Vertrag von Verdun, p. 217; W. Ohnsorge, op. cit., pp. 20, 26; idem, "Renovatio Regni Francorum"" in Festschrift zur Feier des 200 jährigen Bestandes des Staatsarchivs, ed. L. Santifaller , Vienna, 1952, ii. 308, note 4: this plan originated "natürlich" in the head of the Pope; H. Fichtenau, op. cit., pp. 85-6, and H. Beumann in Stengel Festschrift, Munster, 1952, p. 160. Had this marriage succeeded, East and West would have been united and by virtue of this union the claim to Papal primacy over the Eastern Church would have come nearer to its realization, provided always that Charlemagne was the emperor of the Romans. In a way, Leo's plan might well be considered a peaceful forerunner of Gregory VII's plan to bring about the realization of the Roman primatial claim over the Eastern Church; cf. infra p. 306.
2. We entirely agree with W. Ohnsorge's characterization of Leo III as "ein Mann von überragender Geistesbedeutung," see Die Konstantinische Schenkung, Leo III und die Anfänge der kurialen Kaiseridee in Sav. Z. Germ. Abt., lxviii ( 1951), p. 98.
3. E. Eichmann, Kaiserkrönung, i. 26: "Die Römer wussten genau, was sie zu rufen hatten"; also p. 28. Cf. also A. Dumas in DHE. xii. 439: "Evidemment cette cérémonie avait été preparée à l'avance, car chacun des participants connaissait le rôle qu'il devait jouer. Tous les actes s'en droukrent conformément au rituel qui était en usage à Byzance pour le couronnement de l'empereur."
4. Duchesne, Lib. Pont. ii. 38, note 34: "Les anciens empereurs d'Occident n'ont jamais été couronnés par le Pape."
5. Lib. Pont. ii. 7: "Post haec, advenientem diem Natalis domini nostri Iesu Christi in jamdicta basilica b. Petri apostoli, omnes iterum congregati sunt. Et tunc venerabilis et almificus praesul manibus suis propriis pretiosissima corona coronavit eum. Tunc universi fideles Romani videntes tanta defensione et dilectione quam erga s. Romanam ecclesiam et eius vicarium habuit, unanimiter altisona voce, Dei nutu. atque b. Petri clavigeri regni coelorum, exclarnaverunt:
annals 1 are substantially the same: because the Pope had put the crown on Charlemagne's head, the Romans acclaimed him, in accordance with the previous arrangements, "imperator Romanorum." This acclamation by the Romans was to announce publicly the meaning of the Papal act. Charlemagne became, by virtue of the Pope's action, "imperator Romanorum"; but he also had to be designated and named as such in a public manner by the Romans present. That all this must have been carefully arranged, goes without saying: these previous arrangements, however, appear in the official Papal accounts as the spontaneous inspiration of the Romans. Because the Romans -- we follow the account -- saw how much Charlemagne defended and loved the Roman Church and its vicar, they unanimously in a raised voice exclaimed, at the bidding of God and of St Peter: "To Charles, the most pious Augustus crowned by God, the great and peace loving emperor, life and victory." It is plain that the "spontaneous inspiration" was well planned and need not detain us.
It is not, however, without significance that the Romans witnessing the act with their own eyes, acclaim Charlemagne as "a Deo coronatus." And it is as a result of divine and Petrine inspiration that they shout thus. The significance of this lies in that the whole ceremony is presented as the working of the divine will -- it is not the Pope who crowned the Frank, but God Himself. "a Deo coronatus."
If we wish to understand this, we must keep in mind that, according to the Papal standpoint, there was no difference at all between the function of the newly created emperor and that of the patrician of the Romans: he was the protector and defender of the Roman Church. In both of our sources this vital point breaks through. The Liber Pontificalis declares that out of recognition for Charlemagne's defence of the Roman Church the Romans had acclaimed him emperor; according to the Frankish annals the patrician became absorbed in the emperor. 2 And this is exactly what the Papal book also says: "et
'Karolo, piissimo Augusto a Deo coronato, magno et pacifico imperatori, vita et victoria.' Ante sacram confessionem b. Petri apostoli, plures sanctos invocantes, ter dictum est; et ab omnibus constitutus est imperator Romanorum."
1. Annales Regni Francorum, ed. cit., p. 112: "Ipsa die sacratissima natalis Domini, cum rex ad missam ante confessionem b. Petri apostoli ab oratione surgeret, Leo Papa coronam capiti eius imposuit et a cuncto Romanorum populo adclamatum est: Carolo augusto, a Deo coronato magno et pacifico imperatori Romanorum, victoria et vita. Et post laudes ab apostolico more antiquorurn principum adoratus est atque ablato patricii nomine imperator et augustus est appellatus." Italicized words are from the Frankish laudes. 2. "Ablato patricii nomine imperator et augustus appellatus." This is also the
ah omnibus constitutus est imperator Romanorum." This means that the patrician was now acclaimed or called -- as the Frankish annals have it -- or was "set up" as "emperor of the Romans" because the Pope had crowned him: Papal action preceded the acclamation -- the Romans acclaimed the thus crowned Frank an "imperator" who had as a consequence of the Papal coronation been raised from the office of patrician of the Romans to the dignity of the empdror of the Romans. The constitutive act was that of the Pope: the acclamation derives its meaning from the Papal act: the Papal act is announced to the world. The patrician wears no crown; the emperor does, and he wears it because the Pope has imposed it: the crowned emperor is acclaimed.
The "vacancy" on the imperial throne -- and we take note that the increase of the indications pointing to fundamental changes coincides with Irene's rule as empress -- provided the pretext for transforming an office into a dignity: 1 the office of the patrician was transformed into the dignity of Roman emperorship. Functionally, however, nothing changed, as far as Papal intentions went: whether patrician or emperor his function was defence and protection of the Roman Church. Constitutionally, however, there was a radical change for there was now an emperor of the Romans where previously there had been none -- the consequence was the emergence of the "problem of the two (Roman) emperors." 2 Charlemagne's coronation was, so to speak, the final and solemn and public act by which the Papacy emancipated itself from the constitutional framework of the Eastern Empire. 3 There remains to be answered the question, By what authority did the Pope proceed in the manner in which he did?
opinion of F. Dölger, "Europas Gestaltung im Spiegel der fränkisch-byzantinischen Auseinandersetzung" in Der Vertrag von Verdun, ed. Th. Mayer, 1943, p. 215-16: "eine Verwandlung des 'patricius Romanorum' in einen 'imperator Romanorum'."
1. One might be tempted to find a parallel between the vacant exarchy of Ravenna (leading to the creation of the "patricius Romanorum" in 754) and the vacant imperial throne (leading to the creation of the "imperator Romanorum").
2. It is the great merit of W. Ohnsorge to have drawn attention to this problem which he presents in his work Das Zweikaiserproblem, Hildesheim, 1947. The forces at work are not quite adequately assessed by K. Jäntere, Die römische Weltreichsidee, pp. 332 ff. Cf. now for an excellent characterization of the period the study of H. Löwe, "Von Theoderich dem Grossen zu Karl dem Grossen" in Deutsches Archiv, ix ( 1952), pp. 353 ff., especially pp. 379 ff.
3. Cf. already Fustel de Coulanges, Histoire des institutions politiques (vol. vi: Les transformations), Paris, 1892, 312: "Le couronnement de Charles comme empereur est, de la part du pape, une rupture avec Constantinople."
If we keep in mind that according to the accepted doctrine all power comes from God; if we recall that ideologically there was no difference between the famous Gelasian statement and the Donation of Constantine; if we consider the function which, in the Papal view, the (secular) Ruler was to play -- if we duly appraise all this, it will not be too difficult to realize that the Pope acted not only as the mediator between God and man in imposing the crown -- hence Charlemagne is "a Deo coronatus" -- but also as the dispenser of the highest available dignity and power (potestas), of Roman emperorship. In fact, the dignity and power conferred by the Pope could be no other but a conceptually universal one: the Roman Church being the epitome of universal Christianity, can confer through the Pope only a universal Christian power: and the only universal power that was available at the time was that designated by the title "emperor of the Romans." Moreover, although the imperial crown was in Constantinople, it was there on sufferance by the Pope ( Silvester): not only was there no emperor now, but those emperors who had been there before, were not worthy being called Roman-Christian emperors. For - we try to follow Papal reasonings -- these emperors had in fact constantly infringed the -- for the Papacy -- most vital principle, that of the principatus of the Roman Church. With particular reference to this point Gelasius had declared that the emperor held his empire as a trust, as a beneficium, from God: but by demonstrably setting aside the divinely instituted Papacy, the Eastern emperors had misused their trust -- hence the Pope considered himself entitled to withdraw his consent which by implication he had given to Constantine's taking his crown to Constantinople.
The emperors in the East, although ostentatiously styling themselves Roman emperors, had, by virtue of their opposition to the Roman Church, forfeited their claim to be Christian emperors. They were considered -- as later terminology will have it -- unsuitable emperors, and the Papacy therefore was, always provided that the Donation was efficacious, entitled to transfer Roman emperorship from Constantinople to Rome: the Donation was the basis upon which Leo could proceed. This is nothing extraordinary, for, as we pointed out, the Donation was originally intended to be employed as a weapon against the East, so as to effect the emancipation of the Papacy from the Eastern constitutional framework. And the possibility of a withdrawal of Roman emperorship from the East was as much inherent in the document as the Papal consent to Constantine's taking the crown thither. 1
1 It is interesting to note that Ansgar in his Vita Willehadi (archbishop of
Gelasius had maintained that Christ was "Rex" and "Sacerdos" 1 the "potestas regalis" -- signifying the "Rex" -- and the "auctoritas sacrata pontificum" -- signifying the "Sacerdos" 2 -- were united in Him, but "by a marvellous dispensation" He had distinguished between the function of the priest and that of the king. It was Christ's own act: Christian imperial power therefore originated in Christ. There was no possibility of asserting that the Pope conferred imperial power: until his position as the Vicar of Christ was fully developed there was indeed no possibility for him to combine -- like Christ -"potestas regalis" and "auctoritas sacrata"; therefore, there was also no possibility of conferring imperial power or of withdrawing it. 3 This defect was made good by the Donation: as a consequence of Constantine's grant, the Pope disposed of the crown, the external symbol of imperial power. And in this capacity Leo III acted on Christmas Day 800. 4 Had not his predecessor, Adrian I, declared that the Roman Church was the "caput totius mundi," 5 an obvious allusion to Gelasius's "mundus" -- and was it not the same Adrian who quoted the Donation? 6 The "mundus" could be nothing else but Christendom,
Bremen, ob. 789) speaks of a translation of dominion from East to West, although this translation was effected by the Romans: "Temporibus ipsius (Karoli) per electionem Romani populi in maxima . . . concilio ad Francorum translatum est dominium", MGH. SS. ii. 381, lines 39 ff.
1. Tract. IV, quoted supra p. 25 n. 2.
2. Ep. 12, c. 2.
3. For Innocent III cf. infra p. 343 n. 2, 443 n. 5, RNI. 62.
4. The mosaic in the Lateran's triclinium might be adduced to support this view, if it were possible to ascertain with certainty that the right-side picture did in fact show how Christ handed the imperial standard to Constantine and the keys to Silvester. This right-hand picture was reconstructed in 1625 (see Schramm Table 4b, op. cit., supra p. 95) but although it is very likely that the reconstructed picture corresponds to the original, there is no certainty about it. The left-hand picture shows St. Peter handing the pallium to Leo and the standard to Charlemagne. It may be that this standard is the one which Leo despatched to Charlemagne with his "decretalis cartula," reported in the Annales Regni Francorum, ed. cit., p. 98. For a possible, though not entirely convincing explanation, see C. Erdmann, "Kaiserliche und päpstliche Fahnen im hohen MA" in Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen trchiven, xxv ( 1934), pp. 11 ff.; and Schramm, Anerkennung, pp. 26-7. The book by G. Ladner, Die Papstbildnisse des Altertums und Mittelalters, Cittá del Vaticana, 1941, was not accessible to me. The attractive suggestion of H. Beumann in Stengel Festschrift, p. 159, that the mosaic, like the Donation itself, looks towards the East, has very much in its favour. Cf. also Cl. Schwerin in Koschaker Festschrift, Weimar ( 1939), iii. 332, note 41.
5. Cod. Car., no. 94, p. 636, line 5.
6. See the quotation supra p. 93. He had also written to Charlemagne, Cod. Car. no. 68, p. 597, lines 23 ff.: "Spiritalis mater vestra, s. apostolica et catholica Romana ecclesia, per vestra a Deo protecta laboriosa certaraina relevata exultat,
of which the Roman Church was the epitome and head: Charlemagne should conquer the Barbaric nations; 1 he in fact was already hailed as the Christian Ruler, 2 Christian, because the spiritual son of the Roman Church. The Empire in the East, though so ostentatiously calling itself Roman and Christian, could not justify these appellations -- Leo took the step which was, from the point of view of Papal doctrine, wholly understandable. The Roman Church being the "caput" of the (Christian) universe ("Mundus") creates through the Pope a universal (Christian) protector who alone deserves the dignity of an "emperor of the Romans." This is his dignity -- his function is that of a protector and defender, in the Roman-Papal sense: the principatus of the Roman Church over the ideational universal entity, the corpus Christi (the universal Church), can be exercised through the agency of an ideational universal potestas, the emperor of the Romans.
The reaction of Charlemagne to this event was spontaneous, natural and as understandable as the Popes action was. If he had known of the Papal plan, he would not have entered the church, although it was so high a feast day, his biographer Einhard reports. 3 Charles's whole
a templo sancto b. Petri fautoris vestri: 'Confirma hoc, Deus, quod operatus es in nobis' crebro orantibus in vobis triumphum; et mandat cotidie virtutem suam per b. Petrum apostolorum principem, vobis subjiciens omnes barbaras nationes, dilatans atque amplius exaltans in toto orbe terrarum vestrum splendidissimum. regnum."
1. Cod. Car. no. 94, p. 636, and no. 72, p. 603, lines 1 ff.: "Et pro hoc nempe certe facti estote: quia, quantum caput totius mundi, eandem sanctam Romanam ecclesiam eiusque rectorem simulque pontificem amplectendo seu fovendo honorabiliterque glorificando diligitis, tantum vos b. Petrus apostolorum princeps inconcussos facit triumpbos bic et in futuro victores super omnes regnare reges."
2. Cf. also Notker, quoted infra note 3 at end.
3. Einhard, Vita Karoh, ed. Holder-Egger, cap. 28, p. 28: "Quo tempore imperatoris et augusti nomen accepit. Quod primo in tantum aversatus est, ut adfirmaret se eo die, quamvis praecipua festivitas esset, ecclesiam non intraturum, si pontificis consilium praescire potuisset." As is well known, the passage has aroused a good deal of controversy, but we might recall the statement of Dove, Ausgewählte Aufsätze, Leipzig, 1925, i. 19: "Demgegenüber muss man mit Einhard's Zeugnis doch endlich einmal vollen Ernst machen und herauslesen, was drin steht, nämlich dass Karl nicht bloss aus irgendeinem Grunde durch die Form dieser Weihnachtsüberraschung unangenehm betroffen war, sondern dass er die Sache selbst, die sich freilich nicht rückgängig machen liess, eine Zeitlang unwillig ertragen hat." Despite the eloquent pleading of F. L. Ganshof, The imperial coronation of Charlemagne, Glasgow, 1949, p. 22, for the historical veracity of the Annales Laureshamenses (MGH. SS. i. 38, cap. 24), their full trustworthiness cannot be accepted; they contain, however, a grain of truth, see
political programme was based upon the conception that the Roman Empire was in the East: Leo's action cut right across all Charles had stood for: according to Papal intentions Charles was the "imperator Romanorum." Against the Papal idea of an exclusive and universal Roman emperor -- and only a Roman emperor could be considered universal-- there stood Charlemagne's idea of a co-existence of the two empires, there stood his idea of parity and equality with the Eastern emperor, who was the legitimate Roman emperor. 1 Thoroughly Frankish orientated as he was, the historical-political concept of a Roman empire meant nothing to him: that Empire in the East was the legal and constitutional Roman Empire, the disposal of which could not lie in Papal hands. Objection to emperorship Charlemagne did not and could not raise -- but objections to Roman emperorship he did raise.
Charlemagne's basic theme and intention was to live on a footing of equality and parity with the Eastern emperor. What the latter was in the East, he desired to be in the West. His reaction to Leo's action was wholly political. The ideology of Roman emperorship never appealed to him; the historic, cultural and political appeal made no impression on him; 2 realistically inclined as he was he envisaged a partition of the world into two equal empires, of which the Eastern one was the Roman
infra p. 116. Cf. also the characterization of this source by L. Halphen, op. cit., p. 132: "Il y aurait, pensons nous, quelque naïveté i tenir pour exacte dans son ensemble la thèse qui vient d'être rapportée. Elle réponde visiblement à un souci d'apologie, qu'explique sans doute le désir de menager les susceptibilités du gouvernmentbyzantin"; E. Amann, L'épogue carolingienne, Paris, 1947, p. 162, and S. Heldmann, op. cit., p. 15. Above all, the report is not borne out by the subsequent conduct of Charlemagne, whilst Einhard's is fully supported by Charlemagne's actions and conduct after 800. Even so, the account in the Ann. Laur. leaves no doubt about the Papal initiative:
"Quia tunc cessabat a parte Graecorum nomen imperatoris, et femineum imperium apud se abebant, tunc visum est ipso apostofico Leoni et universis sanctis patribus qui in ipso concilio aderant, seu reliquo christiano populo, ut ipsum Carolum regem Franchorum imperatorem nominate debuissent . . . ideo justum eis esse videbatur, ut ipse cure Dei adjutorio et universo christiano populo petente ipsum nomen aberet. Quorum petitionem ipse rex Karolus denegare noluit, sed . . . ipsum nomen imperatoris cure consecratione (?) domni Leonis papae suscepit." Cf.
also Notker (the monk of St Gall) in his Gesta Karoli, i. cap. 26 (MGH. SS. ii. 743, lines 12 ff: "Tunc sanctus ille ( Leo), divinam constitutionem secutus, ut qui jam re ipsa rector et imperator plurimarum erat nationum, nomen quoque imperatoris Caesaris et Augusti apostqlica auctontate gloriosius assequeretur, invictum Karolum Romam venire postulavit."
1. This is convincingly shown by W. Ohnsorge, in the work already quoted. Cf. also G. Ostrogorsky, Gesch. d. byz. Swates, pp. 127-8.
2. Ohnsorge, op. cit., p. 23: "Karl fühlte sich als Frankenkönig trod wollte die Grösse seines Frankenreiches; alles Römische war ihm gleichgültig, wenn nicht verhasst." Against this thesis is H. Beumann, "Romkaiser und fränkisches Reichsvolk"
Empire, and his was the Christian empire or, as some of his contemporaries called it, Europa. 1 But apart from this purely political objection, there was also the strong religious objection which made Charlemagne view the Eastern Empire as not orthodox, as not properly Christian. The book composed under his supervision contains some very caustic observations on the subject 2 and the whole pompous Eastern ceremonial was as intensely disliked by the Frank as was the artificial Eastern Roman Empire ideology: unburdened by Roman tradition Charlemagne viewed the whole Eastern set-up as the result of a moribund, degenerated megalomania. 3
Yet despite Charlemagne's aversion from the oppressive and unreal superstructure that overlaid the Roman Empire (in the East), there were very many features in his government which showed his imitative rivalry with the East: an imitative rivalry that was prompted by his desire to be an equal of the Eastern basileus. In a way one might indeed speak of Charlemagne as an ?s?ßa??e?´?, 4 a Ruler who was
Reichsvolk" in Festschrift E. E. Stengel, pp. 164 ff. It is perhaps an oversimplification to say that Charlemagne "never really understood the full significance of the imperial dignity", F. L. Ganshof, "Charlemagne" in Speculum, xxiv ( 1949), p. 526. Cf. also the pertinent observations of E. Rota, "La consacrazione imperiale di Carlo Magno" in Studi in onore di Enrico Besta, Milan, 1939, iv. 178 ff.
1. C. Erdmann, Forschungen zur politischen Ideenwelt des Frühmittelalters, p. 25, refers to Cnarlemagne's letter to the emperor (MGH. Epp. iv. 556), according to which there was to be a grouping of two empires, an "orientale et occidentale imperium." See above all the comprehensive study of F. Dölger, "Europas Gestaltung im Spiegel der fränkisch-byzantinischen Auseinandersetzung" in Der Vertrag von Verdun, ed. Th. Meyer, Leipzig, 1943, pp. 203-73. Cf. also P. E. Schramm , Anerkennung, p. 62; H. E. Feine, Kirchliche Rechtsgeschichte, Weimar, 1951, i. 200: "Parität des fränkischen mit dem byzantinischen Kaisertum."
2. Obviously alluding to the Eastern emperor's claim that he was like an apostle (?sapóst????) Charlemagne says that between the emperor and the apostle there is as much distance as between saints and sinners, see his Libri Carolini ( Capitulare de imaginilus), ed. H. Bastgen, iv. 20, p. 212, lines 12-15. It was Eastern arrogance to say "quo et Deum sibi conregnare et se divos (!) nuncupare praesumunt . . . insania est . . . Quis sanae mentis tale quid protulerit", p. 142, lines 40 ff.; cf. also i. 1, p. 8, and preface, p. 5: "Contra cuius errores ideo scribere compulsi sumus." Cf. also i. 2, p. 14; iv. 5, p. 180, lines .23 ff. The Vatican MS of this book was in fact used by Charles, see W. von den Steinen, "Karl d. Gr. und die Libri Carolini" in Neues Archiv, xlix ( 1932), pp. 207-80 and D. de Bruyne, "La composition des Libri Carolini" in Revue Bénédictine, xliv ( 1932), pp. 217 ff. The Libri were never published, see L. Wallach, "Charlemagne's 'De litteris colendis' and Alcuin" in Speculum, xxvi ( 1951), p. 301 and note 70.
3. Cf. also the observations of H. Fichtenau, "Byzanz und die Pfalz" in MIOG. lix ( 1951), p. 13.
4. So Schramm, Anerkennung, p. 32.
basileus-like. 1 But the policy of parity and equality pursued by Charlemagne would have been thrown overboard, had he accepted the Papal action with all its implications. For by so doing he would have stepped into the place of the -- according to him -- legitimately constituted emperor of the Romans" who was in the East: acceptance of the Papal plan would have entailed an entire re-orientation of his aims and policy. And it may even have been that the various manifestations of Charlemagne's imitative rivalry confirmed the Papacy in its belief that he might not be averse to the rise in his status: indeed a serious miscalculation on the part of Pope Leo III.
There was thus no desire on the part of Charlemagne to play the role of the one "emperor of the Romans." This refusal explains otherwise inexplicable formulae and titles adopted by the Frank after his coronation. These formulae stand in closest proximity to the role which he did play. This role was none other than that of the true monarch in the West, of the monarch ruling over that entity which was called Europa by some, and the Imperium Christianum by others, and also Imperium Romanum by still others: they are all tautological expressions meaning one thing only -- the empire under Charlemagne's rule was that entity which was held together by the Christian faith as expounded by the Roman Church. 2 It was this element that was meant
1. Ohnsorge, op. cit., p. 21: the Greek court was, despite all his fundamental aversion, always an object of comparison, example and stimulus to Charles. Only a few of such imitative manifestations can here be mentioned. On the model of the Eastern chancery practice Charles introduced the golden seal next to the earlier waxen seal, Schramm, loc. cit.; in imitation of the Eastern practice the appellation of "sacer" for the court emerged, Schramm, ibid., with further literature; the manner of dating documents would also point to an imitation of Eastern practices, see F. Dölger in Byzantinische Zeitschrift, 1936, pp. 173ff.; on the Eastern model the chancellor signs on behalf of Charles and uses red ink, see Dölger, "Rom in der Gedankenwelt der Byzantiner" in Z. f. Kirchengeschichte, lvi ( 1937), pp. 6ff.; the introduction of the Trinity invocation in his documents also belongs to the category of imitation, see Dölger, "Die Kaiserurkunde der Byzantiner" in Hist. Z., clix ( 1939), p. 250, note 1; perhaps the most telling manifestation of this imitative rivalry was Charles's plan of his residence at Aachen, the "sacrum Palatium." The term itself was borrowed from the East, see Fichtenau, art. cit., p. 13; there is every indication that the Byzantine palace, the Chrysotriklinos, served as a model for Charles's residence as planned, about which see especially Fichtenau, art. cit., pp. 7-25, here also a description of the Chrysotriklinos on the basis of the available material. The appointment of Louis as emperor in 813 by the father was one more sign of this imitative rivalry. This politically conditioned rivalry found a counterpart in the cultural imitation of Greek elements, about which see B. Bischoff"Das griechische Element in der abendländischen Bildung des MA" in Festschrift f. F. Dölger, 1951, pp. 27-55.
2. Cf. also Rota, art. cit., p. 106: "Il concetto politico si fonde in perfetta identid con il concerto refigioso."
to give that vast empire its coherence; it was this element that makes Charlemagne's adoption of those inexplicable formulae and titles understandable.
To Charlemagne the Christian-Roman faith was of paramount governmental importance. His empire was, so to speak, the concrete realization of the Christian idea. He was indeed hailed as the one whom God Himself had raised to the government of the Regnum Europae. 1 In poetic transfiguration the Frank is made "rex pater Europae" or the "apex Europae." 2 And it seems that, because he was the true monarch of Europa, he was credited with the Vicariate of Christ, 3 or with that of St. Peter who possesses the keys of heaven. 4 It is not therefore surprising that the official book to which we already have referred, the Libri Carolini, speaks of Charlemagne exercising government over the "regnurn sanctae ecclesiae": 5 the "kingdom of the Church" was Europe. The importance of this concept lies in its negative aspects: the Eastern Empire does not belong to the Europe governed by Charlemagne. 6 We repeat therefore that this entity which was called Europa was that body politic which received its cementing bond from the Christian faith as expounded by the Roman Church. Europa and ecclesia are, within this conceptual framework, identical: they constitute the political expression of the union of all Latin Christians, that is, the union of all "Romani."
Over this Europa the Frank rules as the monarch: he was the "rector of the Christian people" as the Council of 794 made so perfectly plain. He was to be the "lord and father, king and priest, the governor of all
1. Cathwulf, soon after the Lombard conquest, in MGH. Epp. iv. 503: "Ipse (scil. Deus) te exaltavit in honorem gloriae regni Europae."
2. See the quotations by Erdmann, op. cit., p. 21; there is some possibility that Einhard himself was the author of these expressions, see Erdmann note 5, p. 21; Cf. also Vita Willehadi, MGH. SS. ii. 381, lines 39 ff.: "Quem . . . catholica Europae . . . suscepit ecclesia."
3. Cathwulf, loc. cit., p. 502: "Memor esto, ergo semper, rex mi, Dei regis tui cum timore et amore, quod tu es in vice illius: super omnia membra eius custodire et regere, et rationern reddere in die judicii, etiam. per te. Et episcopus est in secundo loco, in vice Christi tantum est."
4. Theodulf of Orleans, Carmina, no. 32, in MGH. Poetae Lat., i. 524: "Teque sua voluit fungire ille vice / coeli habet hic claves, proprias te jussit habere / Tu regis ecclesiae, nam regit ille poli / Tu regis eius opes clerum populumque gubernans / hic te coelicolas ducet ad usque choros." With this should be compared some of the Eastern episcopal expressions coined for the Eastern emperors, supra p. 16 n. 5.
5. Ed. cit., p. 3, preface.
6. See also F. Döger, in Der Vertrag von Verdun, p. 203: there was an "Europabegriff jedoch immer unter Ausschluss des byzantinischen Balkangebietes."
Christians." 1 The aggregate of all (Latin) Christians formed a "city," a "civitas", which appears to have been the concrete manifestation of St. Augustine City of God. 2 The universal Church was the union of all (Latin) Christians and governed by the Frank. 3 The appearance of fullness of royal power as reflected in Charlemagne's government prompted Alcuin to state that "divine power had armed the king with two swords and placed one in the right, and the other in the left hand." 4 It was this appearance of true monarchic power, we hold, which gave rise to statements according to which Charlemagne held the vicariate of Christ or functioned as the vice-gerent of Christ, 5 who also himself sometimes identified his decisions with the will of God. 6
1. MGH. Concilia, ii. no. 19, p. 142, lines 13-14: "Sit dominus et pater, sit rex et sacerdos. Sit omniurn Christianorum moderantissimus gulernator." The Eastern emperors termed themselves and were termed "Romanorum gubematores," see Beumann, art. cit., p. 168, note 1; here also the instance in which St Boniface ( 745-6) used the verb "gubernare" in the address: "inclita Anglorurn imperii sceptra gubemanti Aethilbaldo regi." (MGH. Epp. iii. no. 73, p. 340). Cf. also the following note, and Bishop Waldheri's (of London) designation of Theodore's successor, in 705: "Berctvaldo totius Brettaniae gubemacula regenti," quoted by W. Levison, England & the Continent, p. 248, note 6 ( Haddan & Stubbs, Councils & eccles. documents, iii. 274). I have not seen Ganshof's contribution to the Misc. A. de Meyer, 1946. About the Popes using the term, see supra p. 12. n. 2.
2. Alcuin, MGH. Epp. iv. 327: ". . . civitatem pretioso sanguine Christi constructam regere atque gubernare."
3. Alcuin, MGH. Epp. iv. 242: "Universalis ecclesia, quae sub . . . dominationis vestrae imperio conversatur."
4. Alcuin, MGH. Epp. iv. 171, pp. 281-2: "His duobus gladiis vestrarn venerandam excellentiarn dextra levaque divina armavit potestas, in quibus victor laudabilis et triumphator gloriosus existis." Cf. also no. 136, pp. 205 - 10. It is rather doubtful whether Alcuin understood the symbol of the two swords in the manner in which it was understood later. Cf. also infra 117 and L. Lecler, "L'argument des deux glaives" in Recherches de science religieuse, xxi ( 1931), pp. 299-300; here also the purely scriptural interpretation of earlier times, pp. 300 - 5. See now also W. Levison, "Die mittelalterliche Lehre von den beiden Schwertern" in Deutsches Archiv, ix ( 1952), pp. 14-42.
5. Smaragdus, Via regia, c. 18 (PL. cii. 958): "Fac quicquid potes pro persona quam gestas, pro ministerio regali quod portas, pro nomine Christiani, quod habes, pro vice Christi, quafungeris." Cf. also ibid., col. 933: "Deus omnipotens te, o clarissime rex . . . dignanter in filium adoptavit (!): constituit te regem populi terrae, et proprii filii sui in coelo fieri jussit haeredem." See also Sedulius Scotus, De rectoribus christianis, c. 1 (ed. S. Hellmann, p. 22): "Quid enim sunt christiani populi rectores nisi ministri omnipotentis?" and c. 19, p. 86: "Oportet enim Deo amabilem regnatorem quem divina ordinatio tamquam vicarium suum in regimine ecclesiae esse voluit, et potestatern ei super utrumque ordinem praelatorum et subditorum tribuit, ut singulis personis ea quae justa sunt, decernat."
6. Cf. Charlemagne's letter discovered in a Munich palimpsest and quoted by W. Levison, op. cit., p. 95, note 1; the letter is written to Adrian I: "Cor enim regis in manu Dei consistere credimus nutuque illius huc illucque verti. Ideoque non nostro arbitrio, sed Dei credimus esse pastorale illi culmen concessum."
Considering Europa as a body politic whose constituent element was the Christian faith as expounded by the Roman Church, it was not consequently surprising that Charlemagne was hailed as the "rector of true religion," as the archiepiscopal and episcopal synodists of the Council of 813 declared. 1 What all these expressions amounted to was that contemporaries saw in the Frank the embodiment of the true monarch who autonomously governs Europa which as we know, was nothing else but the Latin Christian body politic. The government of the monarch -- and not merely that of a king -- affects all spheres of political and social -- and religious life: monarchic government means that every aspect which is politically or socially or religiously important for the well-being of the body politic under the monarch's rule, must be an item of the monarch's government. In practical terms, therefore, it was Charlemagne's function as monarch -- as the "rector populi Christiani" -- that made him function as legislator on all sorts of matters, such as liturgy, religious instruction, baptism, ecclesiastical and monastic discipline, feast days, sacraments, and so forth. 2 And for the government of a professedly Christian body politic it was, moreover, essential that only suitable ecclesiastical officers, that is bishops and archbishops, were appointed by the monarch; nor was it of any lesser importance for the proper working of this Europa that its monarch convoked, or presided over, councils composed of the high ecclesiastics, although the councils themselves were merely consultative organs. 3 Whatever decrees were passed by a synod had to be submitted to the monarch for approval. 4 In short, monarchic government expressed itself in the effective shaping, through the medium of the law, of all items which concerned the proper functioning of the body politic: and none was of greater importance than the religious item which was the foundation and the cementing element of that vast body politic.
The reference is to the bishopric of Pavia conferred on Abbot Waldo of Reichenau, Levison, loc. cit. The biblical reference is to Prov. xxi. 1.
1. Council of Mainz, MGH. Conc. ii, no. 36, p. 259.
2. For details see L. Halphen, op. cit., pp. 213ff. For liturgical "reforms" cf. also E. Bishop, "The liturgical reforms of Charlemagne" in Downside Review, 1919, pp. 1-16; and for all general aspects see Carlo de Clercq, La ligislation religieuse de Clovis a Charlemagne, Louvain, 1936, pp. 158.
3. Cf. p. Hinschius, Kirchenrecht, iii. 549.
4. There is a striking resemblance between Justinian and Charlemagne's legislation, about which see also J. de Ghellinck, Mouvement théologique, 2nd ed., Paris, 1948, p. 19. H. Rahner, Abendländische Kirchenfreiheit, p. 238, calls Charlemagne the Frankish Justinian.
Hence the imperative need for the monarch to focus his legislative attention on this aspect. 1
The significance of this legislative activity on the part of Charlemagne lies in that certain doctrinal matters which appeared to the "rector populi christiani" as sufficiently important, were given the halo of an enforceable decree, the halo of law, of a binding rule. This is in fact the effluence of the true monarch's function, namely, to govern, and to govern by law: but what items are to be made the subject of the law, must be left to him. In other words, as true monarch Charlemagne could not and did not concede to the Pope what was technically called jurisdictional primacy. Since it included legislation, the concession of jurisdictional primacy would have meant that Latin Christianity, that Europa, was governed by two heads: that there was not a monarchy but a diarchy. 2 What Charlemagne did concede was what was technically called magisterial primacy. The exposition of the Christian faith was the task of the Pope-but what items of this Roman-expounded faith were to become a binding rule, a law, that was an issue that fell into the competency of him who actually governed, into the competency of the monarch. Charlemagne was convinced that true apostolic doctrine came from the Church of Rome -- and not from that in Constantinople -- but by doctrine alone it was not possible to govern: what was necessary for governmental purposes was that doctrine became an essential part of governmental machinery, that is, became the subject of law. And the conception of monarchic government precluded legislation by anyone else but by the monarch, by Charlemagne. Not each and every doctrine propounded by the Roman Church needed to be raised to the level of a law; only those which the monarch of the Christian people considered suitable and necessary for the proper functioning of the body politic that was, according to his conception, entrusted to his care. The Pope's function in this scheme of things was that of a metropolitan within the empire. 3
Only a few of the instances in which Charlemagne shows his acknowledgement of the magisterial primacy of the Roman Church can
____________________ 1. Cf. also H. Brunner, Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte, Leipzig, 1892, ii. 318: "Die kirchliche Gesetzgebung ist Königsrecht" (my italics). See also Hinschius, iii. 712. 2. Cf. also U. Stutz, in H. E. Feine, Kirchliche Rechtsgesckichte, i. 199: there was no room for a "Rechtsprimat" of the Pope. 3. See the last will of Charlemagne of 811, in Einhard, Vita, cap. 331, p. 33, where Rome ranks as the first metropolitan church followed by that of Ravenna and Milan: "Nomina metropoleorum ad quas eadem eleimosina sive largitio facienda est, haec sunt: Roma, Ravenna, Mediolanum, Forum Julii, Gradus, Colonia, Mogontiacus . . ." Cf. also F. L. Ganshof, "Charlemagne" in Speculum, xxiv
here be given. The Libri Carolini stress the supremacy of the Roman Church over all other churches; its superiority is not founded on conciliar decrees, but on Christ Himself; only those Church fathers should be followed whose writings the Roman Church had approved, hence its advice should be adhered to by all the faithful. To Adrian I Charlemagne wrote that the exposition of dogma should be the guiding principle of the Pope's office. 1 It is Roman liturgy which is firmly established by Charlemagne, not because of its inherent superiority, but because of its Roman origin. 2 The clerics should be dressed according to "Roman custom." 3 It was the Roman rite of baptism which was to become the rule. 4 These examples could be multiplied; what they all make clear is that Charlemagne emphasizes the Roman substance of his "ecclesiastical" legislation, but at the same time they make abundantly clear that the term "Roman" had no historical-political meaning; "Roman" indicated nothing else than the connexion with the Church of Rome. The term had a purely religious connotation and denoted, in its negative aspect, the antithesis to "Greek." 5
The Frankish Ruler, then, was the embodiment of the monarchic idea, namely, that one only governed the body politic which was in its
(1949), p. 524: the Pope "became more or less the first of his bishops." The preamble of his first "Capitulate" (which, amongst other things, forbade the bearing of arms by clerics) is quite characteristic: "Apostolicae sedis hortatu, ornniumque fidelium nostrorum et maxime episcoporum ac reliquorum sacerdoturn, consultu servis Dei per omnia omnibus armaturam portare vel pugnare . . . omnino prohibemus," MGH. Capit. i. 44, no. 19.
1. MGH. Poet. Lat., i. 92, verse 20: "Ecclesiamque Dei dogmatis arte regas." This was written in the dedication of the ornamental copy of the Psalter which Charlemagne had sent to Adrian I.
2. See the Capitulare of 789, MGH. Capit. i. 61; cf. also ibid. 235 and MGH. Epp. iv. 542 f., no. 30. The Sacramentarium Gregorianum was sent to Charlemagne by Adrian I and was kept in the palace at Aix; it was supplemented by Alcuin, for details see H. A. Wilson, The Gregorian Sacramentary under Charles the Great, Cambridge, 1918.
3. MGH. Capit., i. 64, no. 23, cap. 24: "De calciamentis secundum Romanum. usum." Prayers were to be said "secundurn Romanum usum," ibid., p. 109, cap. 2. Candidates for the priesthood must know the "divinum officium secundum ritum Romanum," ibid., p. 234, cap. 7; etc. About the pronunciation of Latin see F. Lot in Bulletin du Cange, vi ( 1931), pp. 144ff.
4. Council of Mainz, MGH. Concilia, ii. 261, No. 36, cap. 4: "Sacramenta itaque baptismatis volumus . . . ita concorditer atque uniformiter in singulis parochiis secundum Romanum ordinem inter nos celebretur." Cf. also the questionnaire sent to the archbishop of Milan, Odilbert, concerning baptism: Odilbert should inform Charlemagne"de symbolo quae sit eius interpretatio secundum Latinos," MGH. Capit. i. 247, no. 125.
5. We think that this may also explain Charlemagne's attitude in the vexed iconoclastic question. The proposed solution of this problem, so it appears to us,
substance Christian. And in this capacity he also functioned as the supreme autonomous protector of the "populus Christianus." It was his function as protector to see that the Christian people were guided and ruled according to the "orthodox" faith; that they were spared heretical infections; that the Christian faith, in short, was protected effectively. Viewing protection from this aspect, it is understandable how Charlemagne considered the conquest of the "barbarian" nations as an item of protection, for thereby he exalted the Church universal and herewith consolidated Latin Christianity. But, again, just as he was autonomous in his function as the monarch, so was he autonomous in his complementary function as a protector. That is to say, the decision as to when, and how, and where to act as a protector was to be left to him as the supreme "rector populi christiani." Charlemagne, by virtue of personifying the monarchic idea, was the protector in the Germanic-royal sense par excellence. 1
The Old Testament, the mastery of which was perhaps the hallmark of the Frankish theologians surrounding Charlemagne, may help us in finding the key to those formulae and titles to which we have already alluded. If we keep in mind the role Papally allocated to Charlemagne, namely, that of the "imperator Romanorum" -- a role which we must always bear in mind was exclusively political -- and if we set this
was too much tainted with "Greek" (i.e. Nicaean) ideology to be palatable to Charlemagne and his theologians. And it is not without significance that the most vituperative observations on the Eastein-Greek ideology appeared in the Libri Carolini which dealt with the iconoclastic problem.
1. In a way one might indeed speak of Charlemagne as "a king who had almost directly descended from the Old Testament," E. Kantorowicz, Laudes regiae, Berkeley, 1946, p. 56. In the intimacy of his circle he was apostrophized "David," and the "regnum Davidicum" was the political expression of supreme monarchy modelled on the Old Testament, Kantorowicz, p. 57. And in this sense he could indeed be spoken of as the "New Moses," the "New David," the priestly king, see Kantorowicz, pp. 56-7. We should bear in mind, however, that the Eastern emperor was also addressed as "David," see Th. Schnitzler, in Analecta Gregoriana, xvi ( 1938), p. 109. On the meaning of the term "Rex-Sacerdos" see infra 156. H. Fichtenau, art. cit., p. 29, note 144, draws attention to the rebus in the poem of Paulus Diaconus: MGH. Poet. Lat. i. 52, no. 14: the DD was the usual abbreviation for David. Cf. also the letter of Alcuin (referred to by Fichtenau, loc. cit.) MGH. Epp. iv. 84, no. 41, where David, Christ and Charlemagne and the government of the "populus christianus" are brought into close relationship. For further examples of Alcuin addressing Charlemagne as David, see e.g., no. 25, p. 67, line 3; no. 72, p. 115, line 7 ("Domnus meus David"); no. 118, p. 173, line 21 ("mi David"); no. 145) p. 231, line 23 ("Davidica gloria" and "Davidica sapientia"); no. 229, p. 372, line 15 ("dulcissime David"); etc. Cf. also editorial note at p. 67, note 3. On the earlier cryptographic influences exercised by St Boniface on the continent, esp. Fulda, see W. Levison, op. cit., pp. 137-8, 290-4.
allocated role against Charlemagne's policy and aims concerning the East and his function in the West, namely, that of the true monarch, it will become clear that the inscription chosen for Charlemagne's seal after his coronation -- Renovatio Romani imperii -- was an exquisitely selected way out of the impasse created by the Papal action on Christmas Day 800. One can but marvel at the ingenuity of the Frankish theologians in their attempt to devise a formula which, on the one hand, was not to affront the Pope and, on the other hand, was to assuage the suspicions of the East, and yet do justice to Charlemagne's own conceptions. This formula had nothing to do with a "renovation" or "restoration" of the Roman Empire, if "Roman Empire" was to designate a political concept. But we know that Charlemagne considered the Roman Empire (in the political sense) to be legitimately and constitutionally situated in the East.
The formula was taken from the Old Testament, where we read that Samuel renovavit imperium. 1 Here as there the term has a religious connotation. In Charlemagne's inscription on his seal 2 the imperium is qualified as Romanum: it is the Christian empire, the Imperium Christianum, of which Alcuin had written before and was to write afterwards. 3 The Papal action was interpreted in a purely religious sense. Charlemagne attributed to the coronation the meaning of a "renovation" or "restoration" of the true Roman-Christian empire by the Pope. The Empire in the East was Roman in the political sense; the empire in the West was Roman in the religious sense. This interpretation of the coronation by Charlemagne tallied of course with his political programme of a parity between the orientale and the occidentale imperium. 4 This latter empire is that entity, the cementing bond of which is the Christian faith as expounded by the Church of Rome. That entity, and some, as we have seen, called it Europa, formed the effective and concrete union of all Latin Christians: it was the regnum
1. Eccl. us, xlvi. 16. The late E. Eichmann, Kaiserkrönung, i. 113, note 15, was the first to draw attention to this biblical origin of the phrase; cf. also H. Fichtenau , Das karolingische Imperium, p. 308, note 88.
2. Cf. the facsimile in P. E. Schramm, op. cit., ii. Table 7a-e.
3. See also the pertinent observations of Ganshof, op. cit., p. 14: "That `christian empire' is the whole of the territories submitted to Charlemagne's authority and inhabited by the `populus christianus' which is the community spiritually dependent on Rome." Here also the references to Alcuin's geographical limitations of the imperium christianum, MGH. Epp. iv, nos. 174, 177, 178, 1851, 202, 217, 234. Cf. also E. Caspar, art. cit., p. 218 f.; and W. Levison, op. cit., pp. 121-29, 124-5.
4. About the two empires see supra p. 104 and see also Eccl. us, xlvii. 23: "Faceres imperium bipartitum."
Europae, now reborn as imperium Romanum. The term "Roman empire" in Charles's inscription is therefore purely religious and has nothing in common with the political term, except its name. 1 It was conceived by him as the empire of the Romans (= Latin Christians) and adopted in order to meet the Pope half-way. But in so doing he rendered the coronation harmless and adjusted it to his own conceptual framework.
In the centre of the seal we find the picture of a city gate and underneath written the word ROMA. This, we think, bears out the interpretation of the inscription Renovatio Romani imperil. The city gate is overshadowed by a large cross in the background which can mean one thing only, the Church of Rome. The city gate leads into the City of God. 2 Here again, Charlemagne gave the coronation the meaning which harmonized with his own conceptions of his empire, namely, an entity which derives its cementing substance from the Church of Rome: in this sense indeed he could speak of an imperium Romanum, because this empire had no connection at all with the historical-political concept of the Roman Empire. But he was not an emperor of the Romans, and he never styled himself thus, because this was considered by him a purely technical and political term which he refused to accept. 3 His empire was still the regnum Europae, that entity which stood, precisely because of its religious substance, in contrast to the Roman Empire in the East.
The situation created by the Pope's action was no doubt one that required some adroitness in adjusting Charlemagne's official title. This title was to bring out, on the one hand, his equality with the East,
1. The usual interpretation is that the (political) Roman empire is restored by Charlemagne, e.g. L. Levillain, "Le couronnement imperial de Charlemagne" in Revue d'histoire de l'église de France, xviii ( 1932), pp. 13 ff.; G. Tellenbach, "Germanentum & Reichsgedanke"" in Hist. J.B., lxix, 1949, pp. 129-33; also H. Beumann, art. cit., pp. 168, 172: "Bekenntnis zur Tradition des antiken Römerreiches."
2. Cf. Einhard famous passage, in his Vita, cap. 24, p. 25: "Legebantur ei historiae et antiquorum res gestae. Delectabatur et in libris sancti Augustini, praecipueque his qui de civitate Dei praetitulati sunt." Cf. also H. X. Arquilliére, L'augustinisme politique, p. 116 and also L. Halphen, op. cit., p. 214.
3. Cf. again Einhard, cap. 28, p. 28. The East became so suspicious that they considered military steps against Charlemagne, but he addressed them as "Brothers" (and not as "sons" which would have been the address, if he had acquiesced in the Papally allocated role of an "emperor of the Romans"). See Einhard: "Vicitque eorum (scil. 'Romanorum imperatorum') contumaciam magnaminitate, qua eis procul dubio longe praestantior, erat mittendo ad eos crebras legationes et in epistolis fratres eos appellando." Cf. also F. Dölger in Der Vertrag von Verdun, p. 22, and W. Ohnsorge, op. cit., pp. 28-9.
and on the other hand, his function as the monarch of the Roman-Christian empire. Had he accepted the Pope's plan, he would have called himself imperator Romanorum, for as such he was acclaimed and as such the Pope wished him to appear. But this designation had to be avoided, because it was the title used by the Eastern emperors. 1
The title which appeared on 29 May 801 for the first time (in a document issued near Bologna) 2 and which he kept for the rest of his reign was:
Karolus serenissimus augustus; a Deo coronatus magnus pacificus imperator Romanum gubernans imperium, qui et per misericordiam Dei rex Francorum et Langobardorum.
It is clear that this title evades the designation of Charles as "imperator Romanorum" and instead has "imperator Romanum gubernans imperium." The "Roman empire" in this title is of course nothing else but Latin Christendom, that entity which, although, according to Charlemagne, renovated by Leo's action, he alone governed: he governed it in the same manner in which his Eastern colleague did, namely on the monarchic level. The designations of earlier emperors upon which indeed he might have alighted on the occasion of his visit to Ravenna in May 801 3 may very well have stood as models, as their terminology fitted exactly the meaning which Charlemagne wished them to have. 4
In short, the action on Christmas Day 800 could not be undone. It had to be given a meaning which could not possibly offend the Pope, was designed to assuage the East, and yet did full justice to Charlemagne's own conceptions. Distinguished as "emperor crowned by God" it was he who governed (gubernans), 5 but the formula of the title does not omit to drive home that his position as a monarch, as
1. For this see especially P. Classen, "Romanum gubernans imperiurn" in Deutsches Archiv, ix ( 1952), pp. 113-17. The work of V. Laurent was not accessible to me. The Eastern emperors stressed from now on the title Basileus ton Romaion, giving the Frank the title Basileus ton Fraggon.
2. DK. 197.
3. See the important article by P. Classen, loc. cit., pp. 105-12. Classen also refers to Justinian's wording in the arenga of his decree, in Cod. I. xvii. 1: "Deo auctore nostrum gubernantes imperium, quod nobis a coelesti majestate traditurn est, et bella feliciter peragimus . . ." Cf. also Theodosius in Cod. Just., I. i. 1: ". . . populos, quos clementiae nostrae regit imperium."
4. Cf. also Schramm, Anerkennung, p. 56.
5. The verb "gubernare" in the title was extremely well chosen to convey what Charlemagne wished to convey. We recall that the Eastern emperors were styled and styled themselves "Romanorum gubernatores" and on the other hand
one who actually governed, was due to his being king of the Franks and the Lombards "per misericordiam Dei." This kingship was the real source and basis of his power. 1 Negatively expressed, his position as European monarch was not derived from the coronation, but from the undeniable fact that he was the king of the Franks and of the Lombards. This, in our opinion, is the meaning of the somewhat tortuous and cumbersome imperial title.
Let us briefly sum up, so as to bring the differences between Leonine and Caroline conceptions into clear relief. For Leo III the overriding idea was to complete the Papacy's emancipation from the Eastern constitutional framework by creating the Frankish king the "emperor of the Romans." Technically, the "imperator Romanorum" was universal, at least conceptually: the "imperator Romanorum" was the only available designation of rulership which denoted universality of dominion in an ideational sense. 2 The Papacy, by virtue of the Roman Church being the epitome of universal Christianity, cannot confer any other dignity but a universal one. The conceptions and actions of the eighth-century Papacy were entirely logical and consistent. The Eastern emperors, on their part, assuming Charles's role to be that of an "imperator Romanorum" -- from their point of view they could not imagine any other emperor but one of the Romans -- gave the coronation the same meaning which Leo wished it to have; hence to them Charles was an usurper who tried to take away their empire. 3
Charlemagne himself had been styled a "gubernator" of all Christians (= Romans), see supra p. 107, so that here again the aim at parity and equality is detectable. In parenthesis it should be remarked that the title "augustus imperator" and the following "Romanum gubernans imperium" are not tautological. "Imperator" means the dignity conferred upon him by the Pope -- an event that could not be wiped cut -- whilst the subsequent "Romanum gubernans imperium" refers to the territory over which he as monarch rules.
1. In so far Beumann, art. cit., p. 168, is right when he says that this formula "enthalt also eine Spitze gegenüber dem päpstlichen Krönungsanspruch"; cf. also E. Caspar, art. Cit., p. 262.
2. For this see especially C. Erdmann, Forschungen, cit., pp. 1-2, pointing to the Rome-free emperors, such as the Russian Czar, the emperador of Brazil, the German Kaiser, the emperor of Mexico, the emperor of India, etc. None of them was a Roman emperor, hence none of them claimed universality of dominion, such as was inherent only in the Roman emperor.
3. Cf. Einhard, cap. 16, p. 17: "Imperatores etiam Constantinopolitani (1) Niciforus, Michahel et Leo, ultro amicitiam et societatern eius (scil. Caroli) expetentes, conplures ad eum misere legatos. Cum quibus tamen propter susceptum a se imperatoris nomen et ob hoc eis, quasi qui imperium eis eripere vellet, valde suspecturn foedus firmissimum statuit . . ." Of a little later date is Notker in his Gesta Karoli, i. cap. 26 (MGH. SS. ii. 743, lines 26 ff.): ". . . ne, sicut tunc fama ferebat, Karolus insperato veniens regnum illorurn suo subjugaret imperio."
For this way of thinking Charlemagne had no understanding. He was a Realpolitiker. To him an ideational universal rulership meant nothing: as a monarch he governed, and he governed a concrete, clearly definable and defined entity. His conceptions were firmly rooted in the realities of political life: his conceptions were based upon territory, that is, on territory over which his government exercised real, as distinct from imaginary, control. Universal emperorship, such as was contained in the dignity of the "imperator Romanorum" was a conception entirely alien to him. He therefore conceived -- ideologically not quite correctly -- the government of the "imperator Romanorum" to be just as much territorially confined as his own government was. His "imperium Romanum" was a territorial conception: it was Europe, ideologically and religiously nurtured by the Church of Rome, but monarchically governed by him. He was indeed "imperator Romanum gubernans imperium." The difference between Leo's and Charles's conceptions therefore lies in that the former considered the Roman emperor on the political plane of an ideational universality, as a means of translating the principatus of the Roman Church into reality. The latter thought of the Roman empire on the religious plane of a strictly limited territorial confine, limited by the extent of Latin Christendom. Charlemagne's imperium Romanum pre-portrayed the later medieval societas christiana : it was the imperium christianum.
Charlemagne's assumption of the title "imperator" can be understood only in regard to his overriding ambition to be on a footing of equality and parity with the Eastern emperor. As we have said in the beginning of this section, objection to emperorship as such he did not have; he objected to Roman emperorship, as his somewhat lengthy title reveals all too plainly. 1 Indeed, the suggestion of his assuming emperorship might well have originated in Alcuin who must have been perfectly familiar with the Anglo-Saxon usage of the title and who
1. This, we believe, is the kernel of truth in the account of the Annales Laureshamenses when their author speaks of the "emperor" without any qualification and in the absolute sense. In so far there is no discrepancy between the Annales and Einhard. The discrepancy concerns the qualifications of emperorship and here Einhard's straightforward testimony is entirely supported by Charles's own conduct. What Charles objected to, according to Einhard, was the "name" of the emperor conferred upon him by the Pope, see the passage quoted supra p. 102 and immediately continuing Einhard says that the Roman emperors were indignant about the supposed role of Charlemagne (cf. also cap. 16, supra p. 115), although he bore their ill-will with patience: "Invidiam tamen suscepti nominis, Romanis (!) imperatoribus super hoc indignantibus, magna tulit patientia,"cap. 28, p. 28; then follows Einhard's statement about Charles's addressing the Eastern emperors as "Brothers."
might well have transported the title to the court of Charlemagne. 1 Charlemagne's "imperator" did not denote universality of dominion. 2
A chapter on Charlemagne would not give a faithful picture if it did not at least allude to the one or the other symptom which heralded a time radically different from his own. It is Alcuin who invites our attention. We have already cast doubt upon the interpretation which at first sight might be put on his addressing Charlemagne as the possessor of the two swords. There is, as far as this statement of Alcuin goes, really nothing to suggest that he expressed with it anything more than fullness of royal power. On the other hand, it seems that Alcuin was quite clear in his mind about the true function of a king in a Christian society, although his views are expressed rather cautiously. In one of his letters he adopts the Isidorian point of view according to which the king wields the sword merely for the sake of suppressing evil: his function is, so to speak, negative. Sacerdotal power, on the other hand, symbolizes life, and not, as its counterpart, death: for sacerdotal power has the key to eternal beatitude. 3 It is a weighty statement on the part of one who was so intimately connected with him who was hailed as the "rector of Christian religion" and addressed as the Rex-Sacerdos.
No less significant is Alcuin's view on the pending trial of Leo III. It will be recalled that the great forgery made during the Pontificate of Symmachus ( ca. 501) contained the stipulation that the Supreme Pontiff could not be tried, since the pupil was not above the master. 4 Before Charlemagne sat in judgment over Leo in December 800, Alcuin had written to his friend Arn of Salzburg pointing out the inadmissibility of trying a Pope: he protested against the trial and said: 5
If I remember rightly I have read in the canons of St. Silvester that a bishop can be accused only on the testimony of 72 witnesses . . . and I also read in
1. For this see E. E. Stengel, "Kaisertitel und Souveränitätsidee" in Deutsches Archiv, iii ( 1939), pp. 16 ff., 25 ff., also Levison, op. cit., pp. 121-2, 124-5.
2. All the evidence goes to show "dass er kein römischer Kaiser sein wollte," C. Erdmann, op. cit., p. 27.
3. See the letter written in 802, MGH. Epp. iv. no. 255, p. 413: "Divisa est sacerdotalis atque regalis potentia. Illa, portat clavem in lingua coelestis regni, ista gladium ad vindictam reorum. Sed multo praestantior potestas, quae vivificat quarn illa, quae occidit, quia melior est vita quam mors, melior est eterna beatitudo quam jocunditas."
4. The reference is to the Constitutum Silvestri, cap. iii: Mansi, ii. 623: "Non damnabitur praesul nisi in LXXIL. Neque praesul summus judicabitur a quoquam, quoniam scriptum est: Non est discipulus super magistrum." The Constitutum Silvestri purported to originate in Silvester's Pontificate. On the Gelasian influence see supra p. 27 n. 6.
5 MGH. Epp. iv. 296. Cf. also E. Caspar, art. cit., pp. 223-4.
other canons that the Apostolic See must not be judged but that it judges everyone.
When then in actual fact Charlemagne did sit in judgment over Leo at Christmastide 800, the episcopal participants of the synod-the trial was conducted in the manner of a synod 1 -- declared, obviously paraphrasing the forged canon:
We do not venture to judge the Apostolic See, which is the head of all churches, for by it and its Vicar we all are judged; this see, however, is not judged by anyone as it also is the old custom. 2
These are indeed weighty words and warnings which as so much else in this period, had purely theoretical value, but which nevertheless constituted the very faint heraldings of another time, a time which Charlemagne had so materially and powerfully assisted in bringing about.
1. Caspar, art. cit., p. 226.
2. Liber Pontificalis, ii. 7: "Nos sedem apostolicam, quae est caput omnium ecclesiarum, judicare non audemus. Nam ab ipsa nos omnes et vicario suo judicamur, ipsa autem a nemine judicatur quemadmodum et antiquitus mos fuit." MGH. Epp. iv. 296. Cf. also E. Caspar, art. cit., pp. 223-4. In his oath of purgation Leo himself said this: "Ego Leo pontifex sanctae Romanae ecclesiae, a nemine judicatus neque coactus, sed spontanea mea voluntate purifico et purgo me in conspectu vestro coram Deo et angelis eius . . . non quasi in canonibus inventum sit, aut quasi ego hanc consuetudinem aut decretum in sancta ecclesia successoribus meis necnon et fratribus et coepiscopis nostris inponam," MGH. Epp. v. no. 6, p. 64. There is now a somewhat lengthy account by H. Adelson and R. Baker, on "The Oath of Purgation of Leo III in 800" in Traditio, viii ( 1952), especially pp. 57 ff., 67-76.
The Frankish Ethos after Charlemagne
THE debt which medieval Europe owed to Charlemagne's conceptions is a memorial to his statecraft, political acumen and deep religiosity. His empire was the political expression of Latin Christendom. His empire was the apotheosis of the idea that all Latin Christians form one body politic: it was the imperium christianum, and since to him Christianity was equivalent with Latin or Roman Christianity, this empire could legitimately be called imperium Romanum. But, and this is the vital point, the government of this body lies in the hands of the monarch. The element that gave that empire its unitary complexion was that of the Christian faith as expounded by the Roman Church: this element is as essential to Charlemagne's imperial ideas as it is to the later form of the societas christiana. On the other hand, however fundamental was the emphasis of Charlemagne on the magisterial primacy of the Roman Church, it was of equally fundamental importance to his system of government that the jurisdictional-legislative primacy of the Roman Church was implicitly denied. In its origin this empire was thoroughly Frankish-Germanic; in its substance it was thoroughly religious and therefore in this sense Roman.
To insist on the magisterial primacy of the Roman Church and at the same time to deny its jurisdictional primacy, is certainly possible as a temporary expedient: but there is little doubt that this arrangement bore all the germs of its inner destruction in itself. 1 The same observation can be made as regards the conception of the empire: its Frankish-Germanic origins, roots and bases were bound to come into conflict
1. It is from a different angle that Fustel de Coulanges viewed the situation: "Les Carolingiens furent écrasés par la haute idée qu'ils se firent de leur pouvoir. Commander au nom de Dieu, vouloir régner par lui et pour lui quand on n'est qu'un homme, c'est s'envelopper d'un réseau d'inextricables difficultés. L'ideal en politique est toujours dangereux. Compliquer la gestion des intérêts humains par des théories surhumaines, c'est rendre le gouvernment presque impossible," Histoire des institutions politiques, cit., p. 233.
with its Roman substance. In fact, the Frankish-Germanic origin of the empire accounts for the denial of the Roman jurisdictional primacy: Charlemagne's government was the prototype of monarchic rule, the very natural continuation of the old Teutonic monarchy. It was this Teutonic and monarchic form of government which militated against the acknowledgment of Rome's jurisdictional and legislative primacy, for there cannot be two monarchs, i.e. a diarchy, ruling one and the same entity. But the infusion into this body, of the Roman substance, even if only in the form of a religious orientation towards the Roman Church, brought an alien element into this entity. The conflict of the later ages centred precisely in the irreconcilability of the conceptions of this Romanism and Teutonism.
The bequest of Charlemagne -- the orthodoxus imperator, as the inscription on his tomb had it -- was of a twofold nature. On the one hand, he was, and was taken as, the model of the monarch -- not of a mere king or emperor, but of a monarch who autonomously governs the political entity allegedly entrusted to him by God. In his function as a monarch he must be unimpeded by any considerations or regard for any other power: the teachings of the Roman Church are enforceable, not because the Roman Church had given them the force of law, but because the monarch, Charlemagne, in his autonomous function surrounded certain magisterial expressions of the Roman Church with the halo of an enforceable rule. The idea of monarchy was one of the bequests of Charlemagne: and functionally, the monarch was the supreme protector. Just as he alone qua monarch considers himself functionally qualified to judge when to issue laws and upon what matters, so also it is he alone who considers himself functionally qualified to know when and how to protect those in need of protection. The monarch's protection is consequently autonomous. The conceptions of monarchy and of protection are complementary and thoroughly Teutonic and royal.
On the other hand, Charlemagne's bequest was the Romanism which was, to him, nothing more nor less than the Christian faith as expounded by the Roman Church: "Romanitas" and "Christianitas" were to Charlemagne tautological expressions. But, as we have seen, the term "Roman" lent itself to a purely religious as well as a purely historical-political interpretation. In the one sense, Romanism meant that the substratum of the empire was the Roman-Papal faith; in the other sense, Romanism meant that the substratum of the empire was, not the Roman-Papal faith, but the ancient imperial Roman idea of rulership, in which sense the Germanic Rulers were historically to continue the old Roman emperorship. The one kind of Romanism was Christian and spiritual; the other was a historical-political idea and secular.
It may seem paradoxical that the secular brand of Romanism was rejected by Charlemagne, whilst the Papacy, on the other hand, interpreted Romanism in the historical-political sense. But this paradox is only apparent. For we should keep in mind the conceptions underlying all Papal actions. These conceptions centred in the conception of the Ruler's function within the corpus Christi, within the congregation of the faithful. Now the Roman Church was the epitome of this corpus: the Roman Church contained in its bosom everything which was dispersed and diffused throughout the Christian world. Hence, if this epitome of a universal entity confers through the Pope emperorship, it can be only a universal one, and the only kind of emperorship which was universal was Roman emperorship: it is conferred by the Pope, therefore it is derivative; it is not autonomous: this Papally created universal emperor is conceived entirely on a teleological plane. Genetically and chronologically, the Roman emperor had grown out of the patrician of the Romans; ideologically, the emperor arose out of the Pauline, Gelasian and Isidorian views. Protection and defence of the Roman Church and herewith of the universal Church being the "finis," the "telos," the raison d'être of the Roman emperor, the historical-political conception of Romanism was, logically enough, interlocked with Papal ideology.
Functionally, then, there was no difference between the patrician and the emperor, according to the Papal point of view. But, as we said before, the patrician's was an office. This office was transformed into the dignity of emperorship. The creation of the emperor was the creation of a universal protector -- because a universal entity was to be protected -- with the title of "emperor of the Romans." The parallelism between Stephen II and Pippin on the one hand, and Stephen IV and Louis I on the other hand, is indeed striking: in the former case the Papal unction signified the creation of the king, although he had been king before, for the particular purpose of defence and protection; in the latter case the combination of unction and coronation in one act signified the creation of the Roman emperor, although Louis had been emperor before, for the special purpose of defence and protection. The emperor thus created obtains the dignity of a universal Ruler, though by no means conceived on an autonomous basis by Papal doctrine.
That is why Stephen IV brought the crown of Constantine with him to Rheims and that was the view on the emperor's function as classically expressed in this same century by John VIII that the emperor was an advocatus, an adjutor.
There is therefore no paradox at all in the Papacy's interpreting Romanism in the historical-political sense: only in this way the Papacy could obtain an effective protector on a conceptually universal scale. The creation of the Roman emperor by the Papacy was the visible transplantation of the abstract Pauline, Gelasian and Isidorian ideas into a concrete and tangible framework.
On the other hand, the successors of Charlemagne -- and we may well include most of the medieval emperors -- embraced the historical-political concept of Romanism, thereby not only deviating from Charlemagne, but also, which is more important, giving that concept of Romanism a meaning that was at variance with the genesis of the idea. The reason for this eager acceptance of the historical-political Romanism by the Rulers was, quite apart from such intangible and elusive considerations as "the glory that was Rome," because this dignity designated the highest available dignity of rulership: it was conceived to be the high-water mark of political power, in its essence universal and incorporating all the characteristic features of true monarchical form of government. Thus far there was no difference between the Frankish conception of monarchy and the ancient historical Roman idea of monarchy. Both were essentially autonomous. In a way one might say that the Frankish conception was refined and sublimated by adopting the Roman conception. The differences, however, emerge at once when due credit is given to the function which the Papally created Roman emperor was to play: it was precisely the opposite to what the emperors imagined, for they were made (and sometimes later also unmade) emperors for the protection of the Roman Church. They conceived Roman emperorship on the monarchic and autonomous level, instead of on the functional one: mistakenly they attributed to the Papally created Roman emperor autonomous rulership. Seen from another angle, the difference is the same as the one which we witnessed as regards the Roman-Papal idea of protection and its Teutonic-royal counterpart. In each case the difference was that between appearance and reality.
Precisely because Charlemagne had written on his banner that the Roman faith was the cementing bond of his empire, the quite unprecedented upsurge of sacerdotal, i.e. hierocratic manifestations in the second decade of the ninth century becomes accessible to understanding. It was through the insistence of Charlemagne that the spiritual element of the faith was the substratum of his empire that the "sacerdotium" in his empire was given a standing, appropriate enough, it is true, and yet ultimately destructive to the monarchic form of imperial government. In the numerous councils of the early ninth century the "sacerdotium" showed, how in a Christian society which Charlemagne's empire was supposed to embody, the régime of the dead emperor was one that could not stand up to a serious examination. It was, in other words, a régime that, according to intellectual and sacerdotal élite of the early ninth century, was inappropriate to the conception of Christian society.
In considering the Frankish ethos in the first decades of the ninth century due prominence must be given to the character of the Carolingian Renascence, so powerfully stimulated by the orthodoxus imperator himself. It was a purely Latin Renascence confined to the resuscitation of Latin and patristic works, and one of the effects of this Carolingian Renascence was an accentuated and accelerated impregnation of the Frankish-Western mind with Roman Latinity. 1 Moreover, the diffusion of Roman law principles at that time, again greatly enhanced by Charlemagne himself, contributed its share to the steeping of the contemporary mind with characteristically Roman features. The clergy itself had of course always lived "secundum legem Romanam," and with the concomitant increase of sacerdotal influence this legal feature was of not inconsiderable importance in facilitating the passage from religious Romanism to its secular historical counterpart.
The intellectual and literary background of this Carolingian Renascence could not and did not produce anything like a Laienethik. What principles were set forth, broadcast and even partially applied were those of the educated and learned classes, wholly constituted by the sacerdotal members of the Church. And it is not the least symptomatic feature of the effects of this Renascence that its bearers in the ninth century styled Charlemagne "Pharao," the oppressor of his
1. Cf. the pertinent observations by the late P. Koschaker, Europa und das Römische Recht, pp. 36, 60.
people (Radbert) or depicted the rider on the equestrian statue of Charlemagne as a tyrant (Walafrid Strabo). 1 It is, moreover, also characteristic of the temper of the time that Charlemagne's immediate successor, Louis I, was wholly under the spell of the great forerunner of Cluny, Benedict of Aniane. Benedict became the true regent. 2 That Louis himself had shown a marked predilection for monasticism from his early youth onwards, 3 only partly explains the overpowering influence of Benedict of Aniane. The susceptibility of Louis I to Romanism in both its kinds is, no doubt, partly also the effect of his father's reign. 4
Louis I himself bears witness to the prevailing conceptions and at the same time heralds the tone of later generations. To him the body of the believers in Christ, Christian mankind, forms one body -- the old Pauline theme -- within which he functions as a member but which membership imposes upon him the duty to eradicate evils within this corpus. 5
1. For details see H. Fichtenau, Das Karolingische Imperium, cit., pp. 255-6, 333-4.
2. Fichtenau, op. cit., 222: "Benedict wurde zum eigentlichen Regenten". Cf. also L. Halphen, op. cit., pp. 228-9.
3. Fichtenau, op. cit., 212 f.
4. For our purposes it is not necessary to go into details of Benedict's programme. His influence especially on the Diet of Aix-la-Chapelle in 816, is noticeable, at least as far as the decrees of that Diet relate to the need of purifying the monastic order from alien elements. In effect this meant the emancipation of the monks from contemporary society, the creation of an exclusive organization which was to live under its own laws and rules. This is his Concordia Regularum a fusion of all sorts of monastic rules prevalent in the Frankish kingdom, but based largely on St Benedict Rule, see PL. ciii. 701 ff..
Benedict's explanation of the canons, his exposition of patristic literature, his collection of books, his gathering around him of scholars of repute, and so forth, are indeed remarkable achievements, even if they are not as unique as they are sometimes held to be. His symbolism is also characteristic of the scholar as well as of his time: the three parts of the altar correspond to Trinity; the seven chandeliers represent symbolically the sevenfold graces of Holy Spirit, and so on; cf. Vita s. Benedicti, PL. ciii. 351-2, and on Benedict himself see H. v. Schubert, Geschichte der christl. Kirche im Frühmittelalter, cit., pp. 615 ff.; Fichtenau, op. cit., 214 ff.; Ph. Schmitz, s.v. in DHE. viii. 177-88; D. Knowles, Monastic Order in England, pp. 25-7 (here also further literature);
H. Dörries, "Die geistigen Voraussetzungen und Folgen der karolingischen Reichsteilung" in Der Vertrag von Verdun, ed. Th. Mayer, pp. 163 f., and S. Dulcy, La régle de S. Benoit d' Aniane et la réforme Monastique á l'epoque carolingienne, Nimes, 1935.
5. See MGH. Capitularia, no. 173, p. 356, lines 13 ff.:
"Quapropter nos ob amorem et honorem Dei ac Domini nostri Jhesu Christi et ob exaltationem sanctae matris nostrae catholicae ecclesiae, quae est corpus eius in qua et nos membrum ipsius per bona opera effici cupimus, consuetudinem pravam et valde reprehensibilem . . . abolere cupientes . . . statuimus et decrevimus, ut abhinc in futurum . . ."
Cf. also the preface to no. 137, pp. 273-5.
This corporate conception of the universal Church which still has only a mystical head in the person of Christ, is the fundamental theme of Papal as well as of imperial standpoints. It is the theme which determines the course of medieval political doctrines.
The impetus which the religious Romanism had given to the awakening of hierocratic thought manifested itself so clearly in the councils. They are indeed a faithful reflexion of the ethos dominating the intellectual and cultural circles. On the whole, the decrees of these numerous councils say extraordinarily little that is new. But this is beside the point. What is to the point, however, is that they put forward the proper hierocratic theme with the help of declarations which were formerly purely theoretical: the synodists cull from all sorts of repositories precisely those statements which assume a particularly great significance in their time. What was formerly said, so to speak, in vacuo and what had mere theoretical significance, now becomes a matter of practical politics. Moreover, in that they incorporated, and as often as not copied their sources, the decrees of these councils can be considered as the vehicles which transmit old material to later generations: besides their importance as mirrors of the prevailing contemporary ethos, these councils and decrees function also as the incubators of the hierocratic programme. 1 It is St Augustine, St Jerome, Gregory I, Prosper, Isidore and a number of old councils which form the backbone of the great councils, notably those in the second and third decades.
If we were to give a general heading to all these councils it would perhaps be: the proper ordering of society within the [Catholic] Christian corpus. The synodists stress the role which the sacerdotal members of the Church have to play within this corpus of [Catholic] Christian mankind. They emphasize the functional qualifications of the "sacerdotes" in so far as they alone are qualified to orientate and to direct this corporate society. But because this is their function in the Christian body politic, the second main theme arises, namely the need for a purified sacerdotal order. The first theme prompted the stressing of the fundamental differences between the two ordines which make up the whole Christian corpus; the second theme prompted the reliance on Charlemagne's own legislation concerning the living, education and morality of the clerics.
The accentuation on the "ordo sacerdotalis" by the Council at Aix in 816 2 is perhaps the most significant feature of its decrees. In order to
1. Cf. e.g., the many decrees of these councils which went into Gratian Decretum, see the list in MGH. Concilia, ii. 885 ff.
The decrees of this council together with the Rule laid down by Bishop
prove the significance of the sacerdotal order, the synodists rely almost wholly on Isidore of Seville's book on the ecclesiastical offices. On the authority of Isidore they declare that tonsure has a twofold meaning: the tonsured cleric has the "sacerdotium regnumque ecclesiae" and consequently the Petrine statement on the royalty of priesthood is applicable to the tonsured clerics alone. 1 Ordination, moreover, confers upon the cleric the power to bind and to loose and also the power to teach "in toto orbe" and "per toturn mundum" 2 -- to teach, that is, what is, and what is not, Christian. Christ, according to the synodists of Aix, "est verus dux populorum" since He is the mediator between God and man. The sacerdotal order begins with St. Peter by virtue of the Petrine commission, and it is this which constitutes the cleavage between the sacerdotal and the lay orders; it is also the Petrine commission which gives the sacerdotal order its functional qualification in a [Catholic] Christian society. These same synodists of Aix in 816 are, consequently, very much concerned with the purifying of the sacerdotal order Since only a purified order can be considered adequate for the functions which its members have to fulfil in a Christian society. 3
Whilst this council was almost exclusively concerned with the role of the sacerdotal order and the need for purifying the order itself, the Council held at Paris in 825 busied itself with a different theme. The council was prompted by the letter which the Eastern emperors had written to Louis I and in which they had expressed the hope that Louis would side with them in the question of image worship. 4 In a rather
Chrodegang of Metz (about 760) ( PL. lxxxix. 1097 ff.) were to be the model for numerous statutes of medieval cathedral and collegiate chapters. These statutes are only partially edited. For the subject itself see H. E. Feine, Kirchfiche Rechtsgeschichte, cit., pp. 166-7, 317-21; D. Knowles, Monastic Order, cit., p. 26, and above all L. Santifaller's works, see now also his observations in Oesterreichisches Archiv f. Kirchenrecht, iv ( 1953), pp. 86-7, with further literature.
1. MGH. Conc., ii. 318, lines 36-8: "Utrumque signum exprimitur in capite clericorum, ut impleatur etiam corporis quadam similitudine quod scriptum est, Petro apostolo perdocente 'Vos estis genus electum, regale sacerdotium." The reference is to I Pet. ii. 9 and Isidore De ecclesiasticis officiis, ii. 4. The application of the Petrine text to the clerics only is significant and foreshadows later hierocratic thought, cf. e.g., Hugh of St Victor infra p. 440.
2. MGH. cit., p. 323, cap. 9.
3. This applies also to the Capitula canonum, caps. 38-113 and to the Regula canonicorum, caps. 114 ff. The significance of the council's decrees lies also in that the usual canonical norms of the Western Church were now also applicable to the Frankish Church which, by virtue of its peculiar Teutonic development, had sometimes tended to disregard these norms which were valid everywhere in Europe, cf. Fichtenau, op. cit. 223.
4. MGH. Concil. ii. no. 44, pp. 475 ff.
provocative manner the writers of this letter call themselves "Michahel et Theophilus, fideles in ipso Deo, imperatores Romanorum," addressing their communication to the king of the Franks and of the Lombards who is "called their emperor." 1 The letter itself is noteworthy for the terminology indicative of the underlying ideas; for instance, the Pope is referred to as "papa antiquae Romae"; 2 the emperors themselves are "orthodoxi imperatores"; Christ Himself had called them "ad imperii dignitatem," and so forth. And Louis's step is equally significant: he declined to pronounce on the matter of images, but instead asked the Pope to permit the holding of a council which was to be composed of Frankish ecclesiastics: this council was to give the verdict on the question of images. 3
The synodists of Paris, 825, draw a neat line between the "orientalis ecclesia" 4 and the Church centred in Rome which the Easterners so contemptuously called "Old Rome." The insertion of long extracts from the Legenda s. Silvestri 5 in these decrees is noteworthy, as also is the strong affirmation of the primatial position of the Roman Church. They address the Pope as "the first arbiter amongst men" -- "primus in hominibus arbiter" 6 -- who had been placed in the Apostolic Chair by God Himself as the Vicar of the apostles. 7 In their address to the Pope the synodists declare that he bears a special name "in toto orbe terrarum," namely "universalis papa." 8 Nor do they omit to stress the unique Petrine commission. But a critical appreciation of this council will no doubt take into account that it was primarily concerned with a matter that was of importance to, and provoked by, the East.
The Council held at Rome in 826 under the presidency of the Pope viewed the needs of the time from yet another angle. Aix had emphasized the internal, moral purifying needs of the sacerdotal order: Rome laid stress on the proper education of the sacerdotal members of the Church. For they alone are functionally qualified to teach, that is, to permeate the "populus Dei" with [Catholic] Christian tenets, but the presupposi-
1. "Glorioso regi Francorum et Langobardorum, et vocato eorum imperatori." 2. MGH. Concil. ii. no. 44, p. 479, line 36.
3. Epistola ad Eugenium directa: MGH. Concil. ii, no. 44, p. 534, lines 15 ff.; see also p. 522, lines 40 ff.
4. They also speak of the "imperium orientalium Romanorurn," p. 521, line 43.
5. MGH. Concil. ii. no. 44, p. 485, cap. 2.
6. MGH. ConciL. ii. no. 44, p. 522, lines 9-10.
7. MGH. Concil. ii. no. 44, p. 522, lines 10 ff.:
"Quem Deus omnipotens in sede apostolica collocare eorumque vicarium eidem sanctae suae ecclesiae dare dignatus est.
8 MGH. Concil. ii. no. 44, p. 522 lines 12 ff.
tion for this is proper training and education, for without this "quomodo populus Dei doceri possit?" 1 What Charlemagne had so recently decreed for the priests, was now decreed by this Roman synod. Moreover, ordination not only provides the functional qualification for teaching, but also for the administration of the divine mysteries, 2 two aspects of the sacerdotal order which mark it off so clearly from its lay counterpart; two aspects which are also of fundamental importance to the functioning of Christian society. This Roman council not only legislatively laid down the visible gulf between the two orders, as, for instance, was shown in the prohibition that no layman must enter certain parts of the church during mass, 3 but also began to legislate on a number of topics which were of direct concern to lay people: the decrees dealing with matrimonial matters, though not propounding any new point of view -- on the contrary, the decree concerned with divorce still adheres to the old doctrine according to which the wife's fornication constituted a valid ground for divorcing her 4 -- show clearly the unobtrusive transition from pure doctrine to the legal "non licet." 5 Other decrees containing prohibitions against Sunday work 6 or dealing with the propriety of conduct on feast days 7 are further such indications of the part played by conciliar decrees in regulating social life. Not the least significant of these is that which makes it a duty of the bishop to appoint his own "advocatus" for his diocese: the bishop, in other words, must appoint his own protector, "lest the bishops, whilst attending to human pursuits, lose their eternal salvation." 8
1. MGH. Concil. ii. 556, cap. 6, line 27.
2. MGH. Concil. ii. 557, cap. 7: "Itaque sacerdotes et ministri Christi, qui inter gradus clericorum ordinati existunt, debito officio secundum Deum et doctrinam Patrum in omnibus conversentur, eruditi existentes in divinis libris, valeantque se conspicere et alios emendando docere, ut quibus commissa sunt divina tractare misteria prudenter atque decenter cum Dei timore sua valeant ministeria adimplere, ut Deo, cui assistunt, profecto placere possint. Cavendum quippe est, ut non ineruditi ad ministerium Christi vel inliterati, ut decet, accedant . . ."
3. MGH. Concil. ii. 581, cap. 23: "Nulli laicorum liceat in eo loco, ubi sacerdotes reliquive clerici consistunt, quod presbyterium nuncupatur, quando missa celebratur, consistere."
4. MGH. Concil. ii. 582, cap. 36: "Nulli liceat excepta causa fornicationis adhibitam uxorem relinquere et deinde aliam copulare."
5. See esp. MGH. Concil ii. 583, cap. 37.
6. MGH. Concil. ii. 580, cap. 30.
7. MGH. Concil. ii. 581-2, cap. 35.
8. MGH. Concil ii. 575, cap. 19: "Debet ergo unusquisque eorum (scil. episcoporum) tam pro ecclesiasticis quam etiam pro propriis suis actionibus excepto publico videlicet crimine, habere advocatum non malae famae suspectum, sed bonae opinionis et laudabilis artis inventum, ne dum lucra humana adtendunt, aeterna perdant."
The Council held at Paris in 829 must detain us a little longer. Of all the numerous Frankish councils this is the one of greatest importance, since it propounds in decree form a number of highly pregnant doctrines which may, at the time, have been of purely theoretical value, but which nevertheless show us what great strides the hierocratic theme had made as a consequence of Charlemagne's conceptions. Influenced very largely as this council was by no lesser authority than Bishop Jonas of Orleans, it sets forth in its very first chapters the correct view of the nature of contemporary society. The unitary principle, the corporate nature of Christendom, and the distribution of appropriate functions within the Christian corpus -- these are the main themes dealt with by the Parisian synodists of 829. 1
The idea of unity dominates the council: the Christians form one body in Christ; the whole universal Church is one body whose mystical head is Christ himself. It is highly significant when these synodists express these fundamental ideas with the help of the Pauline declarations. Their second chapter has this heading:
Quod universalis sancta Dei ecclesia unum corpus eiusque caput Christus Sit. 2
The corporate view of the nature of Christian society entails, on the one hand, the close integration and division of functions and, on the other hand, resulting therefrom the different grading of the members composing the corpus. In other words, with the help of Pauline statements, the synodists emphasize the teleological principle underlying the working of the Christian body politic. The profound Pauline declaration is here quoted fully: "Since we have many members in one body, not all have the same functions." 3 Immediately afterwards the synodists quote St Paul's further statement in which he had also laid down the teleological principle, namely, that the proper functioning of the corporate body of Christians is guaranteed by all its members being orientated and directed by the head which is Christ. 4 The whole corpus receives its purpose and aim through being nourished in all its joints and bands from the head; thus it is a closely knit and integrated entity which will fulfil the purpose given to it by the head, if all the members function in consonance with the office allocated to them.
1. The council like its predecessor of four years earlier, was convoked by Louis: all the four councils of 829 ( Paris, Lyons, Toulouse, and Mainz) were summoned specifically by his orders, see MGH. Concil. ii. 596-7, where the convocation order is printed.
2. MGH. Concil. ii. 610.
3. Rom. xii. 4.
4. Col. ii. 19; MGH. Concil. ii. 610.
The universal Church which is the "corpus Christi" 1 consists, according to the synodists, of the two orders, the sacerdotal and lay. These two orders are represented by two individuals, the sacerdotal and laical persons:
Principaliter igitur totius sanctae Dei ecclesiae corpus in duas eximias personas, in sacerdotalem videlicet et regalem, sicut a sanctis patribus traditum accepimus, divisum esse novimus. 2
These two individuals symbolically represent the two orders and the synodists quite correctly perceive the significance of Gelasius's statement in this context that in this body politic the sacerdotal person has not only "auctoritas," but also greater weight since he has to render an account for the doings of the regal person on the Day of Judgment. 3
The invocation of Gelasius's statement necessarily leads the synodists to the Isidorian view of the auxiliary function of the king, or as they style it, of the king's "ministry." The king's "ministerium" consists of ruling the "populus Dei" with equity and justice, so that peace and concord are achieved. 4 Naturally, the nature of equity and that of justice, in a Christian society, can be determined only by a recourse to Christian principles: it is the function of the "sacerdotes" to decide therefore what is equity and justice, because they alone are functionally qualified to pronounce upon these ideas. The raison d'être of a regal person, in a Christian society, is, as Isidore had stated, to fortify and to strengthen ecclesiastical discipline; the synodists quote at length the Isidorian passage in which he had declared that what the word of the priests could not achieve, the power of the prince would do "per disciplinae terrorem." The purpose of the king's exercising "terror" is to prevent injustice. 5 The king's function, considered from this point of view, is therefore negative, repressive -- in a word auxiliary to the function of the priests. The king is the watch-dog who keeps peace and order within the body of Christians and by virtue of this function he is the defender and protector of the weak and defenceless members of
1. MGH. Concil. ii, cap. 2.
2. MGH. Concil. ii, cap. 3, p. 610, lines 33-5.
3. They continue: "De qua re Gelasius Romanae sedis venerabilis episcopus ad Anastasium imperatorem ita scribit: 'Duo sunt, quippe, . . .'"
4. MGH. Concil. ii. 2, pp. 651-2: "Quid sit proprie ministerium regis. Regale ministerium specialiter est populum Dei gubernare et regere cum equitate et justitia et, ut pacem et concordiam habeant, studere".
5. MGH. Concil. ii. 2, pp. 651-2: "Ipsius enim terror et studium huiuscemodi, in quantum possibile est, esse debet primo, ut nulla injustitia fiat."
this body of Christians, of the clerics, of the individual churches, of the widows and orphans -- in short his protective hand is to give security to those who are not in a position to provide security for themselves.
It is, moreover, significant -- although of purely theoretical value at the time -- that the synodists adduce the Old Testament statement "Per me reges regnant" 1 and that they link this up with another Pauline declaration: "Non est potestas nisi a Deo." 2 These views, when once the Pope's vicariate of Christ was fully developed, will become of crucial importance. What the synodists are anxious to emphasize is the moral-religious complexion of the king's ministry. Because he functions as an auxiliary organ, he has not only no autonomous standing in a Christian society -- the significance of the biblical "Per me reges regnant" will then become obvious -- but he must also orientate his governmental action according to the purpose and nature of his society. The purpose and nature of this corpus being Christian, the Ruler's function is to subordinate himself and his government to the task of fulfilling the divine will in this society. This divine will, however, is known only through the sacerdotal order: the "sacerdotes" are the "divinae voluntatis indices" and therefore the "duces fidelis populi"; 3 they are the "exemplum aliis et condimentum salutis." 4 The functional qualification of the sacerdotal order for laying down the proper way of living in a Christian society, is the effluence of their unique power to bind and to loose. 5 Views like these, when explicitly addressed to an emperor, had a decidedly significant ring, especially when the power of the keys is joined with Constantine's alleged declaration at the Council of Nicaea to the assembled bishops: "God has established you as priests and has given you power to judge us; rightly therefore we are judged by you, but you cannot be judged by man." 6
1. Prov. viii. 15-16.
2. Rom. xiii. 1; Concil., loc. cit., and cap. 5, p. 655.
3. The synodists quote from Julianus Pomerius De vita contemplativa, ii. 2, cap. 9, p. 673.
4. MGH. Concil, i. 38, p. 636, line 29. Cf. also ii. 9, p. 673, again quoting Pomerius:
"dispensatores regiae domus, quorum arbitrio in aula regis aeterni dividuntur gradus et officia singulorum".
5. MGH. Concil. ii, cap. 8, p. 673.
6. MGH. Concil. ii, cap. 8, p. 673: "Deus constituit vos sacerdotes et potestatem vobis dedit de nobis quoque judicandi; et ideo nos a vobis recte judicamur, vos autem non potestis ab hominibus judicari." See also i. 19, p. 625. The passage in fact is taken from Rufinus, Hist. EccL, i. 2 or from Gregory I "Reg." v. 36 = MGH. Epp. i. 318. The employment of the same quotation by Gregory VII is in his Reg. iv. 2; viii. 21; ix. 37. In reviewing the Frankish time the
The function of the Ruler, as the synodists had delineated it -negative, repressive, auxiliary -- made them quote the "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's" 1 without thereby detracting from the role which the sacerdotal order alone was qualified to play in a Christian society: in these things which they considered to fall within the purview of the Ruler's function, he could demand obedience. They by no means wish to say that the Ruler has autonomous standing: what he has is "potestas" which is confined to those governmental actions that are related to the purpose of society and to the Ruler's properly auxiliary, repressive function. Since "Caesar" functions in an auxiliary capacity, he does not begin to function thus until the word of the priest has proved inadequate: he does not bear the sword in vain. It is only for particular purposes that he has been given the sword -to ensure the efficacy of the priestly word -- and in order to fulfil this purpose he must be rendered obedience by his subjects. So long as he fulfils this supplementary function, he is a legitimate Ruler. Nevertheless we should bear in mind that, according to the synodists, the Ruler had received his supplementary function from Christ, and therefore their invocation of Christ's dictum could have but little practical value at the time -- for the proper scope of the "things which are Caesar's" is thereby not determined -- but when once the Pope's vicariate of Christ was fully developed, Christ's dictum was then readily capable of proper and practical application to the Ruler in a Christian society. For the synodists, the saying of Christ served as the biblical support for the intended reduction of royal power. The expression "things of Caesar" is nothing else but the shell which contains the Pauline and Isidorian substance.
This synod of Paris ( 829) shows the great stimulus which Charlemagne's ideas had bequeathed to the Frankish intelligentsia. The bishops assembled there set forth a quite advanced hierocratic programme. What we miss in all their decrees is any reference to Papal power and authority. It is as if the Pope did not exist for them. They
late E. Eichmann, Acht und Bann, p. 24, said this: Richtunggebend in dieser ecclesia universalis ist das sacerdotium, welches den göttlichen Willen kennt, interpretiert, verkündet. Nach den von dem sacerdotium verkiündeten göttlichen Lehren, "jure ecclesiastico," hat der König das Reich zu lenken; er hat seine Gewalt von Gott zur Freude der Guten, zum Schrecken der Bösen. Da er die Gewalt der kirchlichen Vermittlung dankt, muss er sie im Sinne derjenigen fiffiren, welche sie ihm gegeben haben. . .
1. Matt. xxii. 21.
still adhere to the point of view that they as bishops are the vicars of the apostles or of St Peter himself as they declare in their address to Louis: "cuius vicern indigni gerimus." 1 What they propound is pure episcopalism -- hierocratic thought without its Papal ingredient. Or as they say, they aim at episcopal liberty. 2 A good many of the points which they made would have received greater poignancy had they not omitted to take into account the basic element of the Papal theme, namely, that the Petrine commission is applicable to the Pope alone. Nevertheless, there can be no legitimate doubt that this episcopalhierocratic set of ideas served as a powerful buttress for the development of the Papal theme. 3 And it was barely twenty years later that Rome and Rheims coalesced.
The characteristically episcopal theme without the Papal element appears to have been typical of the Frankish ethos in the decades following Charlemagne's death. On the one hand, the very brisk conciliar activity in the 20s and 30s of the ninth century showed the great impulse which the "ecclesiastical" party had been given; indeed, it is hard to imagine anywhere else in contemporary Europe such lively ecclesiastical-political discussions going on as in these councils whose theme was, as we have said, the proper ordering in a Christian society and the role which the sacerdotal order was to play in it. The recourse to Pauline statements is therefore very significant: the universalist conception of the corporate nature of Christian society necessarily leads to the frequent quotation of the "unum corpus sumus in Christo." The aim of all these councils, notably those of Paris and Aix ( 836) 4 was to demonstrate the unity of the Christian body, and this unitary principle could not, indeed, be better expressed than by this and other Pauline statements. For instance, in his speech at the Council of Kierzy in 838, the deacon of Lyons, Florus, gave a warning against the dangers inherent in dividing the "corpus Christi" by again soliciting support from St Paul's declarations: 5 Christ and His body are one; 6 Christ is the "caput et vertex ecclesiae" from which the universal body of
____________________ 1. Concil. ii. 8, p. 673, lines 7-8. Cf. also their preface, p. 608, lines 4 ff.
2. See ii. 27, p. 680, line 11: "episcopalis libertas." On this cf. also Fichtenau, op. cit., 261. 3. The decrees were handed to Louis as the demands of the episcopacy of the whole empire in August 829: MGH. Capitularia, ii. no. 196, pp. 26-51 ( Relatio episcoporum).
4. MGH. Concil. ii. 705-67.
5. Concil. ii. 771, lines 26 ff.
6. "Rursus caput et corpus Christurn et ecclesiam unum Christum esse contestans dicit (scil. Paulus)"; Concil. ii. 771, lines 32 f; I Cor. xii.12.
believers receives nourishment. 1 There is a "mirabilis unitas Domini Iesu et corporis eius . . ." 2 In short, every one of the councils was concerned with the unity of the whole Christian body -- universality and unity based upon the corporateness of Christian society are the main tenets of these councils.
But on the other hand, the mystical head of this corporate entity is Christ. The Papal claim to headship of this body had not yet apparently made a deep impression on the Frankish intelligentsia, at least as far as its members expressed themselves in conciliar decrees and speeches. It is the hierocratic standpoint of episcopal provenance that is presented to us in these documents. Nor is it different in the literary products of the time, such as the book written by Bishop Jonas of Orleans. 3 This book is merely a re-statement of the decrees of the Paris council of 829 and ideologically adds virtually nothing. 4 It is nevertheless significant of the ethos of the time that these ecclesiastical-political ideas form the subject of a treatise such as Jonas's was. It is in fact one of the first written in Europe on a purely political theme. 5
The functions which councils and writers attributed to the members of the sacerdotal order in the matter of guiding and shaping contemporary Christian society, of necessity prompted them, as we have seen, to reduce royal power to that of a mere auxiliary organ. The functions of the king in a Christian society are indeed necessary, but they are on a level quite different from those of the priests. The latter alone are functionally qualified to orientate the "corpus Christi," namely universal Christendom. It is, consequently, not surprising that the prevalent system of proprietary churches came under a sharp attack by some Frankish intellectuals. For this system was in fact the precise opposite to what the Frankish intelligentsia considered to be the right ordering
1. Concil. ii. 772, lines 7 ff.: "Christus enim Iesus caput et vertex ecclesiae, et idcirco ad vitae aeternae commercium illi conectitur et cohaeret et in illum tota concurrit in ecclesia, ut fonte caphis totum corpus irrigetur et vivat . . .", followed by the citation of Ephes. iv. 15-16.
2. Concil. ii. 772, lines 26-7.
3. Jonas of Orleans, De institutione regia, ed. J. Reviron, in his Les idées politicoreligieuses d'un évêque du ix siècle, Paris, 1930.
4. He was the draftsman of the decrees, see Reviron, op. cit. 33.
5. Cf. also H. X. Arquillière, L'augustinisme politique, p. 98, note 4. In the book itself the episcopal theme, the role of the sacerdotal order and the unitary principle based on the corporate nature of Christian society, are treated in almost literal agreement with the Paris decrees of 829, see esp. pp. 134, 136, 137, ed. cit. Msgr. Arquillière, op. cit., 102, commenting on Jonas, observes: "En somme, le pouvoir séculier n'est qu'un prolonguement necéssaire de l'autorité écclesiastique. C'est le bras séculier"; and p. 101: "Le roi represente la force, mise au service de l'église."
in a Christian society. 1 We may select Agobard of Lyons as an illustration of this reaction. 2
To Agobard it is axiomatic that a violation of "canons" constitutes an action against God Himself and against the whole body of Christians; 3 a transgression of "canons" is also an action that endangers the faith itself. 4 For the "canons" were made "Deo auctore" and there can be no excuse whatsoever for their violation. And the "canons" which the archbishop of Lyons has in mind are those concerning church property. By violating these "canons" lay people turn ecclesiastical goods to their own private use. 5 The spread of Christianity, Agobard holds, entailed that emperors, kings, bishops and other potentates began to erect churches and to endow them with goods and treasures, 6 but at the same time Rulers had issued decrees and bishops had promulgated canons intended to protect these goods which were "res
1. For the ideology of the proprietary church system, cf. infra 232,243. One of the first to raise his voice appears to have been Bishop Wala in his memorandum for the Diet to be held in the winter 828-9 at Aix, see Vita Walae, MGH. SS. ii. 548-9, and P. Radbert Epitaphium Arsenii, in PL. cxx. 1557- 1650, also edited by E. Dümmler, in Abhandl. der preuss. Akad. d. Wiss., 1900, pp. 18 ff., esp. pp. 62 ff., where Wala asks the -- for the emperor -- awkward question: By what authority does he give away ecclesiastical property and ecclesiastical dignity? It is a weighty question which laical ideology will never answer satisfactorily. It is as if the Investiture Contest had cast its shadows back into the ninth century, cf. also H. Dörries, in Der Vertrag von Verdun, ed. Th. Mayer, p. 158. Some of Wala's statements also remind of the situation in the late fifth century. For instance, he says to the emperor ( SS. ii. 548): "In divine things you should not hold forth beyond what is needed . . . you know that the whole Church is administered by the two orders;" -- "procul dubio his duobus totius ecclesiae status administratur ordinibus." He continues: "Habeat igitur rex rempublicam libere in usibus militiae suae ad dispensandum; habeat et Christus res ecclesiarutn quasi alteram rempublicam," ibid., p. 548.
2. There is a very good study on the background to Agobard's literary products by J. A. Cabaniss, "Agobard of Lyons", in Speculum, xxvi ( 1951), especially pp. 55, 63 ff.
3. MGH. Epp. v. no. 5, p. 167, cap. 4, lines 29 ff.: "Receptum est non aliud esse agere cuiquam adversus canones quam adversus Deum et adversus cius universalem ecclesiam."
4. MGH. Epp. v, no. 5, p. 167, cap. 4, lines 31 f.: "Neque sensum est umquam a quibusque fidelibus ut talia statuta absque periculo religionis violarentur."
5. MGH. Epp. v,no. 5, p. 167, cap. 4, lines 17 ff.: ". . . contra vetitum et contra canones tractant et in usus proprios expendunt homines laici."
6. MGH. Epp. v, no. 5, p. 167, cap. 4, lines 19 ff.: "Postquam enim diffusa est ecclesia Dei toto orbe terrarum et coepit exaltari ac magnificari per omnes regiones et nationes, coeperuntque templa erigi a fidelibus imperatoribus ac regibus atque episcopis vel ceteris potentibus, ditarique rebus et thesauris ornari, fuit enim consequens, ut principum providentia leges promulgarentur et episcoporum canones statuerentur de rebus sanctificatis, id est, sacris locis deputatis, qualiter tuerentur ab improbis, tuerentur a gubernatoribus vel expenderentur."
sanctificatae" because they were assigned to "sacris locis." The gist of episcopal legislation, according to Agobard, was the prohibition of alienation of property once assigned to a church or sacred place. The episcopal decrees fixing the sacrosanct character of this property "firmati sunt spiritu Dei, consensu totius mundi, obedientia principum, consonantia scripturarum." 1
Agobard held that the whole institution of the proprietary churches was a blatant violation of the principle that these goods should be removed from the control of the unordained members of the Church. Once a church had been built, it and the ground upon which it was erected, could not form the subject of a legal transaction: a transaction of that kind was nothing less than invasion, usurpation, theft and sacrilege on the part of the layman who disposed of churches by appointing his clerics. 2 His point of view, he is anxious to stress, does not infringe upon the biblical tenet: "Provide neither gold nor silver nor brass in your purses." 3 For the land and goods assigned to a church become by virtue of this assignment divine things which are thereby entirely removed from the disposition by laymen. One must distinguish between theft committed on private, public and divine things. When even the first two constitute a crime, and the second kind of theft constitutes a sacrilege even according to imperial laws, how much more sacrilegious in character must be the third kind of theft. "Apud nos specialiter sacrilegii nomine censetur." 4 This crime is committed by giving, accepting or retaining ecclesiastical property. 5 What a Ruler has a right to is the exaction of taxes and customs duties. Church property, so far from being the subject of laical transaction, should not even be administered by lay people; the "sacerdotium" should itself, through the medium of suitable clerics or monks, administer its own property. 6 Lay individuals should be the protectors, and not the administrators, of what they wrongly regard as their privately owned
1. MGH. Epp. v, no. 5, p. 167, cap 4, lines 26 ff. For similar statements during the Investiture Contest see infra p. 410.
2. MGH. Epp. v, no. 5: see esp. p. 169, cap. 10, lines 43 ff.; p. 170, cap. 12, lines 40 ff.; p. 172, cap. 15, lines 9 ff.; p. 174, cap. 18, lines 7 ff.
3. Matt. x. 9.
4. MGH. Epp. v, no. 5, p. 174, cap. 18, lines 9-10: "adeo immane scelus esse manifestum est."
5. MGH. Epp. v, no. 5, p. 174, cap. 18, lines 12-13.
6. MGH. Epp. v, no. 5, p. 174, cap. 19, lines 26 ff.:
"Ex laicis denique non solum possessores sacrarum rerum, sed nec dispensatores fieri permittunt, quin potius oeconomos de proprio clero eligi precipiunt et agros, vineas atque mancipia ad usum tribui nonnisi clericis monachis peregrinisque concedunt."
churches. 1 But it took more than 200 years before this demand for a change of the "dominium" into the "patronatus" was realized.
In a letter entitled "De privilegiis et jure sacerdotii" Agobard is equally bitter about the "domestic chaplains" appointed by lay persons. 2 He denounces those clerics who take up clerical positions as a result of laical appointments -- such a cleric, Agobard holds, cannot be a "bonus clericus, qui cum talibus hominibus dehonestari nomen et vitam suam ferret." 3 For the lay lord who appoints a cleric does not appoint him "propter religionis honorem," as it is only too clearly seen that the cleric is not held in high esteem by the entourage of the lay lord. 4 In a sarcastic vein Agobard says that a lay lord may well ask somebody to ordain "unum clericionem, quem mihi nutrivi de servis meis propriis" which request of course should be unheeded. 5 Agobard explicitly included in his attacks on the proprietary churches also the episcopal and abbatial owners of churches. 6
Nevertheless, it would seem that in view of this fundamental opposition to the idea of proprietary churches the ruling of the Roman synod of 826 to which we have already referred, appears particularly odd. In its twenty-first chapter this synod laid down:
A monastery or an oratory, as long as they are erected canonically, must not be removed from the proprietor who is allowed to hand it over to a cleric from his diocese so that divine service may be held there, after the diocesan bishop has been requested to give his consent. 7
Two observations about this decree must be made. Firstly, there is a great difference between the rulings of a Roman synod presided over by a Pope ( Eugenius II) and any other synod: the authority attributed to the former was of considerably higher standing than that of the
1. Cf. also P. Imbart de la Tour, "Les paroisses rurales dans l'ancienne France" in Revue Historique, lxvii ( 1898), pp. 29-30; Fichtenau, op. cit., 233.
2. MGH. Epp. v, no. 11, pp. 203-4.
3. MGH. Epp. v, no. 11, pp. 203-4, lines 32 ff.
4. MGH. Epp. v, no. 11, pp. 203-4, lines 35 ff.
5. MGH. Epp. v, no. 11, p. 204, lines 1 ff. The attitude of the Paris council of 829 was much more moderate, cap. 22, p. 627.
6. Ep. no. 5, P. 178, cap. 29: "Quicumque . . . noverit omnino non haec nos de soils laicis dicere, sed etiam de episcopis, abbatibus sive quibuslibet clericis, qui aliud faciunt de saepe dictis rebus sacris quam quod faciendum est."
7. MGH. Concil. ii. 576, cap. 21: "De monasterio vel oratorio quod a proprio domino soli edificatum est: monasterium vel oratorium canonice constructum a dominio constructoris invito non auferatur liceatque illi id presbytero cui voluerit, pro sacro officio illius dioceseos et bonae auctoritatis dimissoriae cum consensu episcopi, ne malus existat, commendare, ita ut ad placita et justam reverentiam ipsius episcopi oboedienter sacerdos recurrat."
latter. It is assuredly a sign of statesmanship to take into account the realities of the situation, and in view of the widespread system and in view of the facts of the political situation at that time (826), it would have been unwise to proceed to an outright condemnation of the institute. But a littérateur, even though of the standing of Agobard, had greater liberty in denouncing certain features and practices than a provincial council. Secondly, in assessing this decree one should bear in mind that the proprietor's freedom of clerical appointments was restricted, since the decree stipulated that the local bishop's consent must be obtained. Mention therefore must be made in this context of the imperial decree issued three years later, according to which the penalty for appointing a cleric without episcopal consent entailed outlawry for the owner of the church. 1
As a harbinger of the fusion between the Roman Papacy and the Frankish clergy, we may classify Abbot Walafrid Strabo. He wrote his tract between 840 and 842. 2 Whilst, as far as we can see, the councils, speeches and literary products of the time pay no attention to the function and authority of the Pope and make the bishops the vicars of all the apostles or of St Peter alone, Walafrid Strabo, on the other hand, perceives the need to base episcopal power upon a firmer foundation than his contemporaries have done. For he squarely bases episcopal authority and, in fact, all the hierarchical offices upon the Petrine commission as the tenet was understood by Papal doctrine: he thus makes the Pope the apex of the whole sacerdotal hierarchy. It seems, moreover, that he was more interested in this point than in the relationship between the sacerdotal officers and their lay counterparts.
Walafrid's conception of the organic and corporate nature of the Christian body politic is as axiomatic to him as to his contemporaries. 3 This unitary and universal corpus has its two orders ex utriusque ordinis conjunctione et dilectione una domus Dei construitur, unurn corpus Christi efficitur, 4
1. See the Capitulate of Worms, 829, in MGH. Capitularia, ii. 12, cap. 1: "De his qui sine consensu episcopi presbyteros in ecclesiis suis constituunt vel de ecclesiis eijidunt et ab episcopo vel a quolibet misso dominico admoniti obedire noluerint, ut bannum nostrum rewadiare cogantur et per fideijussores ad palatium nostrum venire jubeantur; et tunc nos decernamus utrum nobis placeat, ut aut illum bannum persolvant aut aliam harmiscaram sustineant."
2. Libellus de exordiis et incrementis rerum ecclesiasticarum, ed. in MGH. Capitularia, ii. 474 ff.; about the date see p. 473.
3. See esp. MGH. Capitularia, ii. 479, cap. 6.
4. MGH. Capitularia, ii. 516, cap. 32, lines 16 ff.
and his main attention is focused on the hierarchical ordering, that is, the sacerdotal organism, or what he calls the "spiritualis respublica universalis ecclesiae." 1 Nor is it the least interesting feature of Walafrid's argumentation that in demonstrating the hierarchical grading of the sacerdotal order -- from the "summus pontifex" downwards -- he constructs an entire parallelism between the hierarchical grades of the and the "imperium." The Pope is paralleled by the Caesars of ancient times who held "totius orbis monarchiam": the Pope, by virtue of the Petrine commission is raised to the apex of the universal Church. 2
Comparetur ergo papa Romanus augustis et caesaribus. 3
The patriarchs correspond to imperial patricians; the archbishops correspond to the kings, metropolitans to dukes, the abbots to military tribunes, the "chorepiscopi" to the "missi" of the counts, and so on down to the lowest ecclesiastical grade.
Walafrid's tract marks an important stage in the development of the hierocratic theory. It bears witness to the realization on the part of some contemporaries that not only a strict hierarchical ordering is necessary, but also that this hierocratic order is instituted from a central agency, the Roman Church. Just as all imperial officers derive their existence from Caesar, in the same way the ecclesiastical officers derive theirs from the supreme pontiff. The consideration underlying this postulate was naturally none other than the function which the sacerdotal order within the universal Church was to play. Being the directive organ of the whole corpus of Christians -- and not merely of the Frankish Christians -- the sacerdotal order must necessarily be directed by a central organ which is at the same time also the guarantor of unity. The proper working and functioning of the corpus of Christians presupposes the execution of the unitary principle by the hierarchical subordination of the sacerdotal order to the guarantor of unity -- the Roman Church and herewith the Pope.
There can hardly be a better test of the conception of the corporate nature of Christian society in the ninth century than the effects which
1. MGH. Capitularia, ii. 514, line 32. On Wala Respublica see supra p. 135 n. 1.
2. MGH. Capitularia, ii. 515, lines 3-5: "Ita summus pontifex in sede Romana vicem beati Petri gerens totius ecclesiae apice sublimatur."
3. MGH. Capitularia, ii. 515, lines 16-17.
excommunication decreed by the ecclesiastical authority produced. The later canonistic and political doctrine of the effects of excommunication are clearly foreshadowed in this century. 1 In this sphere we witness very much the same phenomenon which we noticed in the purely ideological realm: old material is adduced and quoted and thus given a new lease of life, but this old material had, when originally propounded, a purely theoretical value, whilst, by virtue of the changed circumstances, it now begins to display practical effects. 2
In the early Frankish period excommunication did not seem to have had any effects in the so-called civil sphere. If we take the decrees of the Council of Verneuil of 755 as an example, it becomes clear that the excommunicate is excluded only from participating in certain activities: he must not enter a church; must not eat or drink with any other Christian; must not accept any gifts nor join in prayers with others nor have contact with Christians. 3 Those who are excommunicated by a synod, must be shunned by "all the peoples of the Church." 4 A further effect of such excommunication is that those who have contact with an excommunicate, are themselves excommunicated. 5
The basic idea of a corporate communion of all Christians could not lead to any other view but to that according to which excommunication was the effective exclusion from membership of this communion: the excommunicate is thus deprived of any standing within the corporate body of Christians. Excommunication displayed effects in every sphere that was considered relevant to the working and functioning of this body. Those individuals who defy episcopal orders for satisfaction "are to be cut out of the body of the universal Church": "tamquam putrida ac desperata membra ab universalis ecclesiae corpore dissecandi." 6 Excommunicate persons are unable to do military service or
1. See esp. E. Eichmann, Acht und Bann, pp. 14, 25-6, against Hinschius and others. Cf. now also G. de Vergottini, Studi sulla legislatione imperiale di Frederico II in Italia, Milan, 1952, especially pp. 47 ff.
2. The bases of excommunication were mainly the first and second decrees of the Council of Carthage, 419 (incorporated in Gratian IV. i. 1); cf. also Eichmann, op. cit., loc. cit.
3. MGH. Capitularia, i. 35, cap. 9.
4. MGH. Concilia, ii. 201, cap. 16: ". . . omnino observare debemus, ut qui ab universali synodo pro certis criminibus excommunicatus fuerit, ante emendationem et conversationem non suscipiatur ab aliquo, non episcopus, non presbyter, non diaconus, non laicus et nullus omnino de populis ecclesiae."
5. MGH. Concilia, ii. 201, cap. 16: "Et si quis ante emendationem cum tali communicaverit, juxta canones antiquos excommunicetur cum illo Usque ad correctionem et ad emendationem vitae suae."
6. Council of Pavia, 850, MGH. Capit., ii. 120, cap. 12.
fulfil any public office. 1 In other words, they are excluded from the court of the emperor and from all courtly dignities. 2
Since the function of the Ruler was auxiliary and since he as a Christian was expected to assist the sacerdotal order in the direction and orientation of the corpus of Christians, the bishop was entitled to call upon the civil magistrate if he wished to make a recalcitrant individual conform to ecclesiastical discipline. The bishop, together with the count, could order the individual "ut jussionibus episcopi sui obediens existat"; 3 if this should have been of no avail, the individual was to be outlawed by the king and in case of persistency, excommunication followed. 4 But even without preceding episcopal request the Ruler was entitled to outlaw certain individuals who had made themselves guilty of a crime which was such only by virtue of an ecclesiastical decree, as for instance, usury; in this case 5 the emperor made a norm of ecclesiastical laws his own, but without specific mandate or admonition on the part of the bishop. 6 As a last resort excommunication will be decreed. 7 The same observation can be made as regards the refusal to pay tithes. 8
On the other hand, there is no evidence to support the contention that punishments imposed by the king for the violation of his laws displayed any effects anywhere else but in the strictly limited and confined royal sphere. In other words, outlawry inflicted by the king for transgressions of his decrees, does not entail exclusion from the corpus of Christians. This is nothing else but the practical application of the idea that what matters in a Christian society is not the law of the emperor, but the law of those who are functionally qualified to direct this society. Their laws have effects throughout the length and breadth of Christian society, whilst the king's laws and their effects are limited, that is, limited to the scope of his power.
1. MGH. Capit., ii. 120, cap. 12: "Nullo militiae secularis uti cingulo nullamque reipublicae bent administrare dignitatem."
2. Cf. also the Convention of Soissons of 853, Capit. ii. 266, cap. 10: "excommunicationem ecclesiasticam et motum indignationis regiae."
3. "Capitulare Olonnense" of 825, Capit. i. 327.
4. Capit. i. 327: "Si vero assensum non dederit, bannum nostrum nobis persolvat. Quod si adhuc contumax perstiterit, tunc ab episcopo excommunicetur." A. Nissl, Der Gerichtsstand des Clerus im Fränkischen Reich, Innsbruck, 1886, p. 35, note 3, refers to a letter of St Boniface, written to the Pope in which he complained of heretical priests who had been condemned to degradation and incarceration in a monastery, but who had refused to go into prison; Boniface asks the Pope "ut per litteras vestras mandare curetis duci Carlomanno, ut mittatur (scil. sacerdos) in custodiam, ut semina satani latius non seminet."
5. See Capit. cit., p. 327, cap. 5.
6. Cf. also Eichmann, op. cit., p. 18.
7. Cf. the Convention of Lothar and Louis of 851, Capit. ii, 73, cap. 5.
8. Council of Worms of 829, Capit. ii. 13, cap. 7.
It is of course true that these views had little practical value in the ninth century. But to them we can justifiably apply what we have said about the purely theoretical value of literary and conciliar expressions. They all serve as powerful incubators of a programme: they are vehicles which not only transmit old material to later times, but which also attempt to apply and to adapt this material to circumstances which had little in common with those which had first given rise to certain fundamental statements. But this, we think, is an observation which does not only apply to this topic.
This survey of the Frankish ethos will have shown that as a result of Charlemagne's own religious conceptions -- and despite his own monarchic government -- hierocratic forces were released which were from now onwards to give European society its particular "ecclesiastical" complexion. The basic tenet of this hierocratic view was the conception of the community of Christians as one closely knit organic entity -- a corpus within which the members fulfilled certain functions in consonance with the purpose and character of this society. This being a Christian corpus, priestly ordination was the criterion which conferred a functional qualification of rulership, of directing and guiding this corpus. Those members of the corpus who were not thus distinguished, though still fulfilling important functions, were not functionally qualified to rule, that is, to direct and orientate this corpus. The "sacerdotium" alone was thus qualified -- the "regnum" alone was qualified to enforce with the help of the sword -- "per disciplinae terrorem" -the word of the "sacerdotes." This assistance of the "regnum" to the "sacerdotium" was fundamental to the working of the whole Christian corpus. By laying down some general principles obtaining in a Christian society, the Frankish intelligentsia made later European society its debtor. Nevertheless, we ought to be clear about the defect which this episcopalist hierocratic theme showed, namely, its lack of orientation towards the Roman Church and the Pope. Even so, this Frankish set of ideas was to prove a very powerful medium for the development of the conception of Christian society. The implementation of the true Papalist theme was considerably facilitated by this receptivity and preparation of the soil. The vigorous assertions of the Papal-hierocratic theme by contemporary Popes, especially Gregory IV and Leo IV, could and did without difficulty lead to the merging of Papal and episcopal views -- could and did lead to the confluence of Rome and Rlieims.
Symbolism in Coronation Ceremonies of the Ninth Century
T HE reception by Charlemagne of Pope Leo III at Paderborn was not apparently distinguished by an elaborate ceremonial: the king's dignitaries gathered around him without any distinction about their clerical or laical status. The reception, seventeen years later, by Louis the Pious of Pope Stephen IV at Rheims, was marked by a careful ceremonial arrangement: the earlier informal manner was dropped; instead, the clerical dignitaries were ranged in a straight line on Louis's right-hand side, whilst on his left-hand side there stood his magnates. 1
The motive for Stephen's journeying to Rheims was to crown the son of Charlemagne emperor, although he had already become emperor three years earlier, in 813. The significance of the Papally performed imperial coronation in 816 was threefold. Firstly, there was the emphasis on the Roman and Petrine origin of the imperial crown; secondly, it was the first Papal ceremony which combined unction with actual coronation; thirdly, the Romans themselves were excluded from the creation of an emperor. All this, to be sure, was due to the initiative of the Pope himself. For, according to contemporary reports, as soon as Stephen IV became Pope, he notified Louis that he desired to meet
1. Ermoldus Nigellus, In honorem Hludovici Caesaris, ii. verses 211 ff. (SS. ii. 482 = MGH. Poetae Lat. ii. 30); H. Fichtenau, Das karolingische Imperium, p. 224. A beginning of the separation of the estates could be already witnessed three years earlier when, at the council of Mainz, they sat in different groups, as the synodists themselves say: MGH. Concilia, ii. no. 36, p. 259: "Convenit in nobis de nostro communi collegio clericorum seu laicorum tres facere turmas, sicut et fecimus." The one estate comprised the episcopal and abbatial participants, the other the dukes, counts and judges, pp. 259 - 60. Cf. also the council held at Aix-la-Chapelle in 802, Conc. ii, no. 29, p. 230, and see also Charlemagne decree, Capitularia, i. 161, c. 1, where he ordered the separation of the clerical and abbatial and ducal elements each of which he was to address separately.
him. 1 Upon the arrival of the Pope at Rheims -- the day seems to have been a Thursday 2 -- Louis dismounted from his horse and prostrated himself three times before the Pope. This threefold proskynesis corresponded to the Byzantine ceremonial 3 and the new facet was that it was rendered to the Pope alone, and not to a king or emperor. 4 The ceremony of prostration must have been previously arranged, and symbolically foreshadowed the significance of the Pope's functions. No less meaningful was the Pope's greeting to the king, after the latter had arisen and had himself extended his welcome to the Papal visitor: 5 Stephen's greeting formula changed the text of Kings slightly:
Benedictus sit Dominus Deus noster, qui tribuit oculis nostris videre secundum David. 6 The significance lies in the allusion to the ceremony of anointing. The coronation itself took place on the following Sunday before mass. 7 After the prayers the Pope on receipt of the usual gifts from Louis exclaims:
Roma tibi, Caesar, transmittit munera Petri
Digna satis digno, conveniensque decus.
Thereupon the Pope orders a most precious crown to be brought which crown turns out to be that formerly worn by Emperor Constantine:
1. Thegan, Vita Hludowici Imperatoris, MGH. SS. ii. 594:
"Dirigens legatos suos ad supradictum principem, nuncians ei, ut libenter eum videre voluisset in loco ubicumque ei placuisset. Quod audiens, magno tripudio repletus coepit gaudere, et statim jussit missos suos obviam ire sancto pontifici cum salutationibus magnis et servitia praeparare." See furthermore Annales Regni Fancorum, ad 816, p. 144: "Duobus post consecrationem suam exactis mensibus quam maximis poterat itineribus ad imperatorem venire contendit, missis interim duobus legatis, qui quasi pro sua consecratione imperatori suggerent."
We should also bear in mind that Stephen was the first Pope since the political picture in Europe had so radically changed: an arrangement concerning the actual protection to be given to a newly elected Pope, was highly desirable. The outcome was the Ludovicianum, about which see Cambridge Hist. Journal, xi ( 1953), pp. 114-28.
2. Cf. Vita Hludowici, MGH. SS. ii. 620-21.
3. See Eichmann, Kaiserkrönung, i. 41.
4. Eichmann, loc. cit., who also draws attention to DP. 9.
5. With the words of Ps. cxviii. 26.
6. Thegan, loc. cit., p. 594, lines 10-11. I Kings i. 48: "Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel, qui dedit hodie sedentem in solio meo, videntibus oculis meis."
7. So Thegan and Ermoldus; the Vita Hludowici says that the coronation took place during mass: "Inter missarum celebrationem."
8. Ermoldus, verses 423 ff., p. 486. Before he says: "Inchoat, et cunctis monitans dat jussa silendi, ore benigna refert haec pius orsa pio."
Tum jubet adferri gemmis auroque coronam,
Quae Constantini Caesaris ante fuit. 1
The step initiated by Leo III was now concluded by Stephen IV. He brings the crown of Constantine with him from Rome, 2 and this crown is the gift of St Peter to Louis. The Pope as vicar of St Peter is merely the bearer of the Petrine gift. The Papal blessing of the crown -- a ceremony borrowed from the East 3 -- is the Pope's own personal contribution, as also is his blessing of Louis himself, which is followed by the anointing ceremony -- the first such Papal ceremony to be performed on an emperor in Europe. The final act is the placing of the crown on Louis's head. 4 The development of Papal intervention is straight and clear: first the Papal unction of Pippin as "patricius Romanorum," then the liturgically meaningless coronation of Charlemagne as "imperator Romanorum," and lastly the fusion of unction and coronation.
Moreover, whilst during Charlemagne's coronation the Romans were made to play some part in the act, at the ceremony at Rheims they were conspicuously absent: the crown is the gift of St Peter and hence at the disposal of St Peter's vicar; for the Romans there was no more room. Indeed, the Pope's wish to exclude the Romans from partaking in the envisaged ceremony constituted an additional and a strong motive for Stephen's undertaking the journey. 5
The prayer said by Stephen after the blessing of the crown and of Louis himself, makes interesting reading:
O Christ, Ruler of the empire of the world and Master of the ages, you have willed that Rome be the head of the earthly globe, grant our prayers . . . 6 Rome, therefore, by divine ordinance, is to be the head and the centre of the world -- not Constantinople, Aix-la-Chapelle, or Rheims. In
1. Ermoldus, verses 425-6.
2. Cf. also Thegan, loc. cit., p. 594: "Coronam . . . quam secum adportaverat."
3. See Eichmann, i. 43.
4. Thegan, p. 594: "Et in proxima die dominica in ecclesia ante missarum solempnia coram clero et omni populo consecravit eum et unxit eum ad imperatorem et coronam auream mirae pulchritudinis cum pretiosissimis gemmis ornatam, quam secum adportaverat, posuit super caput eius."
5. The agreement which the Pope wished to conclude with Louis was to guarantee imperial protection against the Romans: this was the Ludovicianum.
6. Ermoldus, verses 429 ff.: "Qui regis imperium mundi saeclumque gubernas / Qui Romae censes orbis habere caput / Exaudi, praecibusque meis, peto, flecte benignam / Christe, aurem; votis rex pie quaeso fave. / Adjuvet Andreas, Petrus, Paulusque, Johannes / Atque Maria Dei mater opima pii; / Induperatorem hunc Hludowicum tempora longa / Servate; abscedant tristia cuncta procul. / Prospera cuncta date, nec non peto noxia longe / Pellite; sit felix, sitque potensque diu."
this we find expressed the ancient Papal idea that the "ecclesia Romana" was the epitome of the whole of Christendom: and here the city of Rome acquires the function of the headship of the whole world: the city of Rome is the epitome of the whole Christian world. The emphasis on the Petrine character of the Papal gifts, notably the crown of Constantine, was naturally very apt to endorse the identity between the "imperium Romanum" and the "imperium Christianum." These gifts were despatched by "Roma" which was, so to speak, the custodian of Constantine's donations to St Peter. The iridescent character of "Roma" as the one-time head of a (universal) empire and as the Petrine city is well brought out in the statement:
Roma, tibi Caesar, transmittit munera Petri. 1
And the placing of the Constantinean crown on Louis's head by the Pope is accompanied by the following Papal declaration:
Hoc tibi Petrus ovans cessit, mitissime, donum. 2
The circle is closed: the imperial crown because in the possession of St Peter is disposed of by his vicar: it is St Peter who, through the instrumentality of his vicar, confers imperial dignity: it is St Peter who makes the Roman emperor.
The main differences between the act of 800 and that of 816 are obvious. There no liturgical ceremony, merely a simple action devoid of religious meaning although performed in a church; here a fully fledged liturgical ceremony. The former act was largely borrowed from the Byzantine rite; the latter combined Byzantine and Frankish and Papal rites. The essential features of the act of 800 were copied from Byzantium (the preliminaries in the form of consultation with senate and army: here with the assembled prelates and the Roman people, followed by acclamation and adoration), but disappeared at the ceremony sixteen years later. If the one chronicle reporting the adoration of Leo III is true, 3 it would have been the first and last adoration ren-
1. The late Father Eichmann, op. cit., i. 45, drawing attention to the Roman spirit that can be observed at Rheims said: "Beachtenswert ist der römische Geist, der das Gebet durchweht: es ist Gotteswille, dass Rom das Haupt des Erdkreises, des Imperiums, sei; nicht Aachen, oder Reims. Der universalistische Zug, der diese Krönung hindurchzieht, ist unverkennbar." See furthermore, C. Erdmann, Forschungen zur politischen Ideenwelt, p. 75: "Das Wesentliche an der Feier war danach die Betonung der römischen und petrinischen Herkunft der Krone."
2. Ermoldus, verse 449, p. 486.
3. Annales Regni Francorum, ad 801, p. 112, ed. cit.: "Post laudes ab apostolico more antiquorum principum adoratus est." The Liber Pontificalis says nothing about Leo's adoration, which silence in itself would not of course prove that no adoration was rendered by Leo.
dered by a Pope to a Western emperor. Moreover, if the one report about the "laudes" at Rheims is true, they had no constitutive character. 1 Neither at Constantinople nor at Rome was the emperor anointed, and this feature constitutes the most essential difference between Rheims and its Roman predecessor.
Even if Stephen had not volunteered the information of the provenance of the crown, the act of 816 presents itself as the perfect translation of Papal doctrine centring in the Pope's function as a monarch, into visible reality. The conflation of the Cesarean Roma and the Petrine Roma was paralleled by the conflation of sacerdotal and regal powers in the person of the Pope. This combination was also expressed in the order of ceremonial procedure: the unction precedes the coronation. In the ceremony of the unction the Pope acts as a "sacerdos" and only the Pope could do this. In the ceremony of the coronation the Pope acts as "rex," and, again, only the Pope himself could do so, since to no one else had Constantine entrusted the crown of the Roman empire. If the Pope wished, he could have worn it, but he humbly refused it and left its use to Constantine -- and he handed it now to Louis. 2 Unction and coronation were combined into one act, of which the former was of Frankish, the latter of Byzantine, origin. This combination of the hitherto quite separate actions 3 was to be of crucial importance for the rest of the Middle Ages. Before disposing of the crown, the Pope "consecrated" through unction the king and "unxit eum ad imperatorem." 4 This act, not the coronation, was really the vital religious part of the ceremony and gave it its liturgical meaning. The Pope's function as a "sacerdos" was indisputable, and in the ingenious utilization of the purely spiritual unction (hitherto reserved for royalty alone) for imperial coronations, lies the true and deep significance of Rheims. Henceforward unction and coronation remained indissolubly linked as the two essential parts of one ceremony.
1. Ermoldus, verses 480 ff.; see also Eichmann, op. cit., i. 29 ff.
2. Eichmann, i. 46: "Der Papst, der fortlebende Petrus, hat die Krone, die er nach dem Willen des grossen Kaisers 'pro honore beati Petri' tragen sollte, freudig an Ludwig abgetreten."
3. The Eastern emperors were not anointed. Cf. the report of Theophanes, writing about 810, and ridiculing the (by him) invented unction of Charlemagne in 800: "from head to feet the Pope oiled him in," see his Chronographia, ed. de Boor , i. 473; see also the translation from the original Greek into Latin by Anastasius Bibliothecarius in his famous letter, MGH. Epp. vii. 384: "coronavit . . . perungens oleo a capite usque ad pedes."
4. See Thegan, p. 594, line 16: "coram clero et omni populo consecravit eum et unxit eum ad imperatorem, et coronam auream . . . posuit super caput eius."
We should not forget, however, that the unction of the emperor demonstrated to the world the superiority which the Western emperors enjoyed when comparing themselves with their Eastern colleagues. For the latter's creation as emperors was not ecclesiastical, but purely mundane -- the religious ceremony following it was only declaratory, not constitutive. Here in the West, the emperor was anointed by the supreme "sacerdos." Moreover, we can perhaps still better appraise the significance and imaginative courage of the Pope's utilization of unction for imperial coronations, when we bear in mind that not even he as a bishop, nor anyone else in Rome, was anointed: the liturgical act of anointing sacerdotal members of the Church was unknown in ninth-century Rome and was not introduced there until more than a hundred years later. 1
The symbolic combination of the "Sacerdos" and "Rex" in the person of the Pope was also suitably accompanied by the change of name that was now given to the Papal residence. This residence had already changed its name once before, from the "episcopium" to the "Patriarchium Lateranense." But now in or about 813 the latter name transformed itself not merely into a "Palatium," but also into a "Sacrum Palatium." 2 Whilst the "sacrum" character of the palace was to designate the sacerdotal function of the Pope, the characterization of his residence as a "Palatium" was to convey his imperial-regal function. The basis of this metamorphosis was the Donation of Constantine, according to which the Emperor Constantine had made as a gift to the Pope the "palatium imperii nostri Lateranense," so that this "palatium" should excel all other palaces in the whole world. 3 And the further purpose of this gift was that the Pope should have his residence "ad imitationem imperii nostri." Indeed, this Papal symbolism, so exquisitely shown in the ceremony at Rheims and in the contemporaneous change of title of the Papal residence, was to remain a potent factor in the development of the Papal idea itself.
1. About 920 from the Gallican liturgy; on this see esp. E. Eichmann, "Königsund Biscbofsweihe" in SB. Bayr. Ak., 1928, pp. 37 ff., also Kaiserkrönung, i. 81; Eisenbofer, Liturgik, pp. 289 f.; G. Ellard, Ordination Anointings in the Western Church Lefore 1000 AD., pp. 74 ff. Cf. also supra p. 67.
2. See especially K. Jordan, "Die Entstehung der römiscben Kurie" in Say. Z., Kan. Abt., 1939, pp. 100-1, notes 2-5; also E. Caspar, Geschichte des Papsttums, ii. 629 ff.;idem, "Das Papsttum unter fränkischer Herrschaft" in Z. f. Kirchengeschichte, lii ( 1935), pp. 139 ff.; R. Elze, "Das Sacrum Palatium Lateranense" in Studi Gregoriani, iv. 27 ff.; see also infra p. 326.
3. "Quod omnibus in toto orbe terrarum praefertur atque praecellit palatiis."
We may pause here and ask ourselves,what was the meaning of imperial unction? Its immediate predecessor was the Frankish royal unction which was modelled on Old Testament prototypes. 1 The conception underlying the anointings in the Old Testament was that the prophet by virtue of his knowledge of the divine will, symbolically appoints a king of his people. The procedure that became the model for the medieval unctions was that laid down in the Old Testament when God ordered Samuel to look amongst the sons of Jesse for a king of Israel as a successor of Saul. 2 David, having been fetched from the pastures, was anointed by Samuel to whom God said: "Anoint him; for this is he." 3 And it was from this day that the spirit of the Lord lived in David. 4
There are two sides to the unction, both of which are as important in the Old Testament as they are in the Frankish and Papal ceremonies. There is the constitutive aspect of unction. The Jews desired a king so that they would be like all the other nations, 5 and it is in this context that royal unctions made their appearance: Saul was anointed, 6 David was twice anointed,7 Solomon's unction was similar 8 to that of Absalom, 9 Joas, 10 Jehoahaz. 11 The common featureof all these kings was that, because they were anointed, they were held to have been divinely appointed, and hence were legitimate rulers of the Jewish people; in this capacity they had the duty of safeguarding their dynasty and of maintaining peace and order amongst the Jews. The ceremony of anointing consists in the prophet's pouring olive oil from the horn of oil over the head of the king. 12 It is this act alone which makes, which creates the king: thereby he becomes "dux populi." 13 He is constituted as the divinely installed and appointed ruler: he is the Lord's anointed,
1. For this see especially E. Müller, "Die Anfänge der Königssalbung im Mittelalter" in Hist. Jahrb., lvi ( 1938), pp. 317 ff.; Eichmann, SB. cit., passim; M. M. David , Le Serment du Sacre du XI6 au XV sièle, pp. 24 ff. (offprint from Revue de moyen âge latin, vi ( 1950)), and Eichmann, op. cit., i. 78 f.
2. I Kings, xvi. 1.
3. I Kings, xvi. 12.
4. I Kings, xvi.13: "and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward."
5. I Kings, viii. 20.
6. I Kings, ix. 16, etc.
7. I Kings, xvi. 3; and II Kings, v. 3 and 17; xii. 7.
8. III Kings, i. 34 and 45.
9. II Kings, xix. 10.
10. II Paral, xxiii. 11.
11. IV Kings, xxiii. 30.
12. I Kings, x. 1, and xvi. 13.
13. II Kings, vi. 21: "Dixitque David . . . et praecepit (scil. Dominus) mihi, ut essem. dux super populum Domini in Israel."
the Christus domini. 1 By virtue of having received unction the external status of the Ruler was raised.
The other aspect of the unction concerns the internal side: whilst externally the anointed becomes king, internally he becomes a prophet: "and the spirit of God came upon him and he prophesied amongst them." 2 Since God's spirit is in him, the king enters into an intimate relationship with God, that of son and father. 3 It is this internal kinship between David and God which transforms his whole being into something fundamentally different from what it was before unction. "God gave him another heart" 4 and consequently, the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord. 5
This elevated position of the Lord's anointed, the christus domini, explains the divine protection which he enjoys: "Nolite tangere christos meos." 6 The unction does not exclude the possibility of the king's being expelled, as the case of Saul proved. 7 The divine appointment includes therefore the possibility of withdrawal of the specific functions conferred on the anointed -- and just as the divine appointment was made through the instrumentality of the prophet, so also could the prophet, knowing the divine will, withdraw the previously conferred functions from the anointed. 8
These essential features of unction had been adopted by the Franks. 9 In obvious dependence on the Old Testament the king was anointed on the head. 10 The Papal adoption of this Frankish rite finds its effortless explanation in that, according to the Papal view the ruler was to symbolize the "caput orbis" 11 whereby "orbis" signified the "orbis
1. I Kings, xxiv. 7, 11 (6, 10); xxvi, 9. 16.
10 See also L. Duchesne, Origines du culte chrétien, Engl. transl. of the 5th ed., p. 375, note 3, with a reference to Amalarius of Metz, De eccles officiis, ii. 14.
11 Cf. also E. Eichmann, op. cit., i. 81.
2. I Kings, x. 10; cf. also x. 6.
3. II Kings, vii. 14: "I will be his father and he shall be my son."
4. I Kings, x. 9.
5. Prov., xxi. 1.
6. Ps. civ (cv), 15; cf. also I Kings, xxiv. 6, 7; xxvi. 9, 16; II Kings, i. 14, 16.
7. I Kings, i. 21.
8. For some other details see also Ph. Dom Oppenheim, "Die sakralen Momente in der deutschen Herrscherweihe" in Ephemerides Liturgicae, lviii ( 1944), pp. 46-7.
9. Frankish bishops were anointed on their hands, see M. Andrieu, "L'onction des mains dans le sacre épiscopal" in RHE. xxvi ( 1930), pp. 343-7; idem, "La cartière ecclésiastique des papes" in Revue des sciences religieuses, xxi ( 1947), pp. 102-5. The anointing of the bishop's head appears for the first time in the Sacramentary of Gellone which was written (according to the late A. Wilmart, "Le copiste du sacramentaire de Gellone au service du chapitre de Cambrai" in Revue Bénedictine, xlii ( 1930), pp. 210 ff.) between 770 and 780; see on this also G. Ellard, Ordination Anointings, cit., pp. 30, 31.
headship in the specific Papal sense, namely the supreme and specially appointed protector. The "Christian world," in other words, had been symbolically given its ruler, its Old Testament king. The king of the Old Testament had now advanced from his position of a king of the Jews to that of a king of the (Roman) Christians. The identification of the "imperium christianum" with the "imperium Romanum" was naturally of great help in this symbolic conferment of supreme ruler dignity. The "imperium Romanum" was the political term for the "imperium christianum." As the successor of the prophet in the Old Testament the Pope anoints the supreme king now ruling over the (Roman) Christians; as the successor of Constantine the Pope confers the (at least in an ideational sense) universal Roman emperorship upon the anointed. This, we hold, is the symbolic explanation of the combination of the act of unction with that of coronation at Rheims in October 816.
The ideological significance of Louis I's unction can best be understood if the historical antecedents of this unction are taken into account. It will be recalled that the unction of Pippin by Stephen II expressed the idea of the king being made the "patricius Romanorum": the exaltation and protection of the Roman Church was the specific purpose of Pippin's unction. 1 The same idea we meet with Paul I when he declared 2 that God had appointed Pippin as the "defensor" of His Church and the visible means by which this appointment was carried out was by unction. 3 There is therefore no reason to suppose that the unction of October 816 had not the same significance as that of its predecessors. Whilst therefore the function of Charlemagne as "imperator Romanorum" absorbed his function as a "Patricius Romanorum," his "imperator" position was derived from an act that was devoid of liturgical meaning. But now, the combination of unction with coronation sanctified the "imperator" himself.
In other words, the missing religious and liturgical link between the "patricius Romanorum" and the "imperator Romanorum" was now supplied by the unction of the emperor. As regards the purpose of unction there was not of course any difference between the "patricius"
1. For this see supra p. 73.
2. MGH. Epp. iii. 513.
3. The declaration of the synodists assembled at Chelsea, in 787, who designated Offa as christus Domini (c. 12), should also be adduced in this context: with specific reference to the king's unction they declare that he owes obedience to the bishops because they have the power of the keys and of binding and loosening, see cap. 11, in Haddan & Stubbs, Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents, iii. 452-3. This appears to be the earliest reference to an English unction.
and the "imperator": in each case unction took place so as to make the anointed a protector and defender of the Roman Church. The difference lay in another field: the "patricius" was an officer, no more and no less; the "imperator" was a dignity symbolizing conceptually universal rulership: and linked with unction Papally performed, this dignity was considered divinely conferred. 1 But we cannot strongly enough emphasize that as regards the functions which according to Papal views, either "patricius" or "imperator" was to fulfil, there was no difference at all. 2 The promotion of the "patricius" to an "imperator" is understandable, we think, if it is set against the Eastern background. The statement of Louis II in 871, writing to the Eastern emperor, entirely bears out our interpretation: Frankish kings, he wrote, were now Roman emperors, because they had been anointed by the Roman pontiff for the specific purpose of protection and defence of the Roman Church. 3
The Papacy by anointing the "imperator" created, not just a mere defender, but an imperial defender of the Roman Church: by virtue of his elevation to emperorship, he is functionally the specific protector and defender of the Roman Church, and herewith he is also the protector and defender of all the Romans (= Latin Christians): defence and protection of the Roman Church, the epitome of Latin Christendom, entails necessarily defence and protection of the universal Church. Moreover, unction provides a very special link between the emperor and the Pope. As Nicholas I maintained in this same century, unction constituted a "spiritualis proximitas," 4 or as it was later said there was a "spiritualis conjunctio" between Pope and emperor. This is the transference of the Old Testament idea of the fathership and sonship. 5 The emperor becomes the "specialis filius Romanae ecclesiae," or the "unicus filius," and the idea of the Pope's fatherhood -- thrown against the characteristic Roman background - assumes a still greater significance in its relation to the emperor. A son of the universal Church
1. See infra section III.
2. In this context the protection sought by the Pope and considered to be sufficiently guaranteed in the Ludovicianum assumes a particular significance: the emperor has now the duty of protecting the newly elected Pope and of defending him even, if necessary, against the Romans. For details see Cambridge Hist. J., cit., pp. 115-7.
3. MGH. Epp. vii. 389, lines 8-10; also infra p. 217.
4 MGH. Epp. vii., in his letter to the Bulgars.
5. Cf. II Kings, vii. 14: "Ego ero ei in pattern, et ipse erit mihi in filium." Ps. ii. 7: "Filius meus es tu: ego hodie genui te." Ps. lxxxviii. 27: "Ipse invocabit me: Pater meus es tu, Deus meus et susceptor salutis meae."
through unction he enters into a very specific and most intimate kinship with the Pope: he becomes the latter's "special" or "unique" son. Leo IV declared in 852 that the emperor became an "heir of the Roman Church" and as such he was outside the disciplinary powers of any ecclesiastic except the Pope. The emperor, Leo IV held, had been "elected" by God and thus was anointed by the Pope who for this reason severely took the great Hincmar to task for having excommunicated Lothar. 1 Indeed, because unction makes the emperor the Lord's anointed, he is directly responsible to the Pope. The idea underlying these views is that of the mediatory rule of the Pope, of his Vicariate of the divinely instituted St. Peter. For God had anointed the emperor through the instrumentality of the Pope. 2 Symbolically, this was to lead directly to the solemn act of the Pope's adopting the emperor by suitable and appropriate signs. 3
The conferment of imperial dignity was consequential upon the unction performed by the Pope. A universal dignity such as that contained in Roman emperorship could be conferred only by a universal power. Thus far, as we hope to show later, the medieval (Roman) emperor surpassed all other rulers in excellence and dignity; he was also privileged in that he was not subjected to censure by anyone other than the Pope. 4 But on the other hand, the emperor assumed a "servi-
1. See MGH. Epp. v. p. 605 to Lothar himself. "In unctum Domini, quem sedes apostolica benedictionis oleo publice consecravit, sibique proprium heredem fecit, anathematis jaculum contra omnem, non solum divinam, imo humanam institutionem inferre praesumpsit . . . mandamus, ut . . . neque contra vos, quem Deus sibi principem et imperatorem elegit, et per manus summi et apostolici pontificis sanctificatum benedictionis oleum super vestrum caput effudit, clam vel publice audeat aliquam quocumque tempore anathematis vel aliam injuriae inferre jacturam." In his letter to the Frankish episcopacy, ibid., p. 604, Leo IV sharply remonstrates against Hincmar's action which violates "divinas pariter et humanas constitutiones."
2. For Stephen II's identical expressions concerning Pippin's unction as King, see supra p. 84 n. 1.
3. The enfolding ceremony and so forth, see infra p. 257. The adoption as a "filius" was not without value to the emperors themselves, as Lothar testified in his letter to Adrian II ( 868): MGH. Epp., vi., p. 240, but it was also of advantage to the Popes themselves as regards the episcopal hierarchy. Reference must be made to the exemption of monasteries from episcopal jurisdiction: the Papal privileges exempting the monks from diocesan jurisdiction spoke of the latter as the Popes' "filii speciales et proprii," cf. e.g., John XIX's privilege of exemption for Cluny, PL. cxli, col. 1136 in 1024; for all details see E. Eichmann, "Das Exkommunicationsprivileg des Kaisers" in Sav. Z., Kan. Abt., i ( 1911), pp. 186-7. This was an important aspect of the extension of Papal control.
4. Cf. esp. Eichmann, loc. cit., pp. 181-94; idem, "Die Adoption des deutschen Königs durch den Papst", ibid., xvi ( 1916), pp. 301 ff.
tium," namely the protection of the Roman Church. The privileged position of the emperor was the application of the biblical "Nolite tangere christos meos." 1
In the ceremony of unction the Pope acts as a mere instrument of God's will. This is the gist of the theory of unction as set forth by John VIII in this same ninth century. "Dominus Deus unxit eum," John VIII declares 2 in 877, referring to Charles the Bald: Christ through the Pope's instrumentality had made Charles an emperor and constituted him a prince of the people. 3 Furthermore, Charles was anointed "ad imitationem scilicet veri regis Christi filii sui, Domini nostri." 4 What Christ possessed by nature, the emperor now possessed by grace, John VIII maintained -- "quod ipse possidet per naturam, iste consequeretur per gratiam" -- and it was he himself who bestowed this grace upon the emperor. The anointed therefore becomes Christlike, in so far as he obtains the regal powers of Christ through the medium of the Pope who is basically "Rex" and "Sacerdos." He becomes "vicar of the King of kings" because the function of Christ as true king is transferred to the anointed emperor. He is a new or second David: "rex et propheta." 5 Hence the anointed becomes "sanctus," sacratus" or "sacer," because he represents the "typus Christi" or the "figura. Christi" in His regal function.
It is, in view of these conceptions, very understandable that contemporaries -- and also later generations - regarded the anointed emperor on a level no different from that of a bishop. Berengar's court poet writes that the unction will make the emperor a "sacerdos," and
1. Ps. civ (cv). 15. H. Fichtenau, Das Karolingische Imperium, p. 305, note 46, refers to the "Capitulare" of Kierzy, 858: MGH. Capitularia, ii. 439, which states:
"Qui infideliter et contumaciter in unctum qualemcumque domini manum mittit, dominum christorum Christum contemnit." Fichtenau rightly calls this the "social" effect of unction.
2. Mansi, xvii. App. col. 172. A slight, but inessential amplification of this passage is in Deusdedit Coll. canonum, ed. W. v. Glanvell, p. 439.
3. Mansi, loc. cit.: "Secundum priscam consuctudinem solemniter ad imperii Romani sceptra proveximus et augustali nomine decoravimus, ungentes eum oleo extrinsecus, ut interioris quoque spiritus sancti unctionis monstraremus virtutem . . . Christum hunc oleo laetitae delibatum extrinsecus faciens, et principem populi sui constituens."
4. Cf. Acts, x. 38: "Jesum a Nazareth, quomodo unxit eum. Deus, spiritu sancto et virtute." The phraseology "ad imitationem veri regis Christi" may have been suggested by the Donation of Constantine which had: "ad imitationem imperii nostri."
5. Cf. Archbishop Odilbert's "Responsum" to Charlemagne: MGH. Capit. i., no. 126, p. 247: "David sanctum imitantes qui pro se populi salute in typo nostri exhibuit redemptoris."
an Italian bishop writes to Berengar himself that "imperii principem sacerdotem vocari non est dubium," 1 because "ex uno cornu olei sacerdotes et reges sanctificari manifestum est." The view that by virtue of his being anointed the emperor becomes a priest seemed to be particularly tenacious, as the later conflicts only too clearly showed. This idea of the king's being a "sacerdos" was naturally greatly fostered by the exercise of those functions which were (later) considered exclusively sacerdotal. Charlemagne himself is of course a particularly good example. But this attribution of sacerdotal functions to the emperor rested upon merely external resemblances between him and a bishop.
The imperial unction did not confer what is technically called a "character indelebilis." Neither the Bible nor medieval practice would lend support to this view: Saul was to see David anointed and Louis I himself had to experience the lack of a "character indelebilis" in his Papal unction. Furthermore, although in both the imperial and episcopal unctions the oil, namely the chrism, is poured over the head, the most obvious difference between the emperor and the bishop is that the "impositio manuum" is omitted in the imperial ceremony. This, and the further omission of another essential feature of episcopal consecration, namely the placing of the gospel book on the shoulders (the neck), leave no room for doubt that, objectively, the emperor was not to become a "sacerdos." The "impositio manuum" is the intrinsic part of episcopal consecration: and the gospel book opened up and resting on the neck 2 symbolizes the teaching capacity of the bishop: both the "impositio manuum" and the gospel book give the bishop the "cura animarum -- precisely the feature which was absent in the case of an imperial "consecration." Moreover, the anointing of the head of the bishop is accompanied by the appropriate liturgical prayer of the consecrators, whilst there is no corresponding prayer -- "unguatur et consecretur caput tuum" -- in the case of the emperor's anointing. 3 In both cases, however, it is still the same matter which is used, namely
1. See P. E. Schramm, "Die Krönung etc." in Sav. Z., Kan. Abt., xxv ( 1935), p. 257, note 1; Eichmann, op. cit., i. 107.
2. This goes back to a time long before the eighth century, see Liber Diurnus, form. 57, p. 47; also OR. IX. No.4 (PL. lxxviii. 1006).
3. The anointing of the bishop's head seems to have come into use (within Frankish domains) in the early ninth century, cf. G. Ellard, op. cit., pp. 74-5. The appropriate liturgical prayer at the episcopal anointing was the "Veni, creator spiritus." For details see also P. Battifol, "La liturgie du sacre des évêques dans l'évolution historique" in RHE. xxiii ( 1927), pp. 733-63; also E. Eichmann, "Königsund Bischofsweihe" in SB. Munich, 1928, fasc. 6; idem, op. cit., i. 82 f.; cf. also H. Fichtenau, op. cit., p. 65 and p. 306, note 58.
chrism. Nevertheless, despite the obvious lack of the proper sacerdotal qualifications -- the "cura animarum" -- the ascription of sacerdotal functions to the anointed emperor signified in contemporary opinion no less and no more than that the emperor, by virtue of having been anointed, was entitled to perform such acts as were appropriate to a "sacerdos." That is to say, he was credited, not indeed with the specific administration of divine mysteries, but with the rightful performance of those actions which were in fact the effluence of sacerdotal qualifications: conferment of ecclesiastical offices notably of episcopal ones, convocation of councils and the chairmanship in them, the pronouncement of legally binding decrees for the sacerdotal members of the Church, the trial of clerics, and so forth. "Cura animarum" was indeed conceded to the anointed bishop, but this had no practical importance in the life of the social organism. What had practical importance was the action taken, and this action taken by the emperor, was based upon his supposed sacerdotal character. He acted as if he had been a "sacerdos."
A further presupposition for the exercise of "sacerdotal" functions was the conception of true monarchy. Ruling over an entity which was substantially Christian makes it imperative that the ruler-the monarch -- takes care of precisely those features which are essential for Christian life; in practice this entailed the appointment and control of those who administered to the divine mysteries. As a monarch he alone rules; as a monarch he alone claims the right to turn into a binding and enforceable rule of action, into the law, what the epitome of Christianity, the Roman Church, teaches. The ascription of the "sacerdos" quality to the "Rex" signified the denial of the Pope's jurisdictional primacy. The king as the monarch can not tolerate another monarch besides himself. The monarch alone is entitled to endow the teaching with enforceability - a diarchy, for understandable reasons, was rejected. The "sacerdos" function in the "Rex" concerned the exercise of governmental functions in a Christian society: but this function went no further than purely organizational, jurisdictional and administrative matters. Only in this sense may we speak of a Rex-Sacerdos.
This monarchic form of government could be exercised effectively so long as the basis of the king's authority was not laid bare: this involved for the monarch the embarrassing question "By what authority?" And when once this question was broached, the monarch ceased to be a monarch and became a mere king charged with the fulfilment of certain specified duties.
It is difficult to over-estimate the powerful precedential character of the coronation of 816. 1 The idea of a co-emperorship (Mitkaisertum), it is true, was not at once abolished, for in the following year, 817, Louis I crowned his son, Lothar I, emperor. But on the occasion of the latter's Italian sojourn he was specifically requested by the Pope to come to Rome for Easter 823. It is not without interest to note that Lothar had already decided to leave Italy when the Papal request reached him. 2 The purpose of the invitation can have been none other than to perform the same ceremony on the son which the father had undergone seven years earlier; and the purpose of the coronation was to be the solemn creation of a specific protector and defender of the Roman Church. 3 The initiative came, for understandable reasons, from the Pope -- "rogante Paschale papa" -- but the place of the coronation was not Rheims, but Rome. 4 What was begun at Rheims, was developed at Rome: the coronation was performed at the main altar of St. Peter's. This church was henceforward the right and proper place for imperial coronations. Moreover, whilst in 816 there was no handing over of imperial insignia, at Rome the emperor received a sword from the hands of the Pope. 5 The sword is the symbol of physical strength; it furthermore symbolizes the protection of him who has conferred it, the Pope it is for this purpose that the emperor receives this symbol of strength.
1. No lesser authority than Bonizo of Sutri considered Louis I's coronation as the first imperial coronation of a Frank; see his Liber ad Amicum, MGH. Likelli de Lite, i. 577: "Quo mortuo (scil. Carolo) Ludoicus ei successit, eius filius, vir mitissimus, qui primus omnium Francorum regum imperiali sublimatus est dignitate." The coronation of Charlemagne is not even mentioned.
2. Annales Regni Francorum, ad 823, pp. 160f.: "Hlotharius vero, cum secundum patris jussionem in Italia justitias faceret, et jam se ad revertendum de Italia prepararet, rogante Passchale papa, Romam venit." Cf. also Vita Hludowici, MGH. SS. ii. c. 36, p. 627: "Cum . . . ad patrem de reditu cogitaret, rogatu Paschalis papae Romam imminente sancti paschae solempnitate adiit."
3. Which was, in view of the Roman situation, advisable. This stands in close proximity to the "pacta" (the Ludovicianum and the Lotharianum of the following year, 824) which were the documentary basis of imperial protection.
4. Ann. Reg. Franc., ibid., p. 161: "(Hlotharius) honorifice ab illo susceptus in sancto paschati die apud sanctum Petrum et regni coronam et imperatoris atque augusti nomen accepit." Vita Hludowici, p. 627: "Ab eodem papa clarissima ambitione susceptus, ipso sancto die apud b. Petrum diadema imperiale cum nomine suscepit augusti." Cf. also Vita Walae, ii. 17, in MGH. SS. ii. 563 f.
5. See Vita Walae, ii. 17, p. 564, lines 6 ff.: "Unde quia coram sancto altare et coram sancto corpore beati Petri, principis apostolorum, a summo pontifice vestro -- this is Lothar's report to his father, Louis I -- ex consensu et voluntate
This symbolic handing over of the sword -- it is for the first time that we read of it in connexion with an imperial coronation -- has very deep symbolic significance. The Old Testament makes no mention of a royal sword as a distinguishing sign of kingship, although the very last book of the Old Testament in its very last chapter has a passage which may not have been without influence. Here 1 we read that Jeremiah the prophet had given a sword to the army commander, Judas Machabaeus, designating it as a "holy sword a gift from God," with which the enemies of Israel should be expelled. 2 At the same time we should keep in mind that the sword was also a characteristic Roman symbol; it formed an essential part of the Roman emperor's equipment as he functioned as the supreme commander of the army. Lastly, there is the well-known Pauline statement that the Ruler "beareth not the sword in vain." 3 The very deep significance of the coronation of 823 lay in that this Pauline statement was transformed symbolically, and the manner in which this transformation took place, was by the visible conferment of the sword. 4
Although utilizing the characteristic Roman symbol of "imperatorial" power, the Papacy gave the symbol itself an entirely different meaning. The conferment signified that the emperor received the "physical strength" from the Pope, for the specific purpose of defence and protection. What Isidore of Seville expressed in abstract terms, what St. Paul had dogmatically asserted, was now moulded into the unmistakable language of visible symbolism. The profound teleological principle underlying St. Paul's description of the Ruler as " a revenger to execute wrath upon him who doeth evil," is here clothed in a symbolic and visible act. The function of the Ruler is the extermination of evil and for this he receives the sword. The decision of what is, and what is not, evil in a [Catholic] Christian society must necessarily be left to those who are functionally qualified to pronounce upon it, namely the "sacerdotium" or for the sake of convenience the Pope.
benedictionem lionorem et nomen suscepi imperialis officii, insuper diademata capitis et gladium ad defensionem ipsius ecclesiae et imperii vestri. . ."
1. II Machab. xv. 16.
2. "Accipe sanctum gladium, munus a Deo, in quo dejicies adversarios populi mei Israel."
3. Rom. xiii. 4
4. Cf. also Cl. Schwerin, "Zur Herkunft des Schwertsymbols" in Festschrift Paul Koschaker, Weimar, 1939, iii. 324 ff., especially pp. 346-8: the sword symbol was not of Germanic, but of Roman-ecclesiastical origin. About the "spata sancti Petri" cf. ibid., pp. 332, 335. About Paul I supra p. 68 n. 5.
The auxiliary function of the emperor -- clearly suggested in St. Paul and Isidore -- is brought out in all succinctness and conciseness in the coronation ceremony. The "minister of God" as St Paul characterized the Ruler, will in course of time become the minister of the Pope, when once the technical concept of the Pope's vicariate of Christ, that is, of his role as mediator, is fully developed. The emperor's function is of a negative kind, the suppression of evil, and this is merely the a-political expression of his function as a protector and defender: in this function lies his whole raison d'être, but thereby was also opened up the road to his "demotion" from a monarch to a mere king, who is charged with the specific duty of protection.
The sword thus conferred is not a simple sword, but one that is sacred and hallowed by virtue of the Pope's conferring it. 1 And just as the unction was performed by the Pope acting as the instrument of God, so was the sword handed to the emperor by the Pope as an execution of the divine will. The earlier "patricius Romanorum" had no outward symbol of his function; the emperor from now onwards was given this symbol "ad defensionem ecclesiae et imperii." That the conception of the emperor's function as a protector in the way in which Papal doctrine envisaged it, did not tally with the imperial conception of protection, is in no need of further comment: the one conception entailed control by the Papacy, the other control of the Papacy. Moreover, since the Roman-inspired and Roman-directed faith is the substratum of the empire, the defence of the universal Church is at the same time a defence of the empire: the identity of "imperium christianum" and "imperium Romanum" could not lead to any other view but that expressed in Lothar's report. Yet the term defence does not only apply to the suppression of evil within the "imperium," but applies also outside it. For defence includes also (once again we have recourse to Agobard of Lyons as a witness) the subjugation of "barbarous nations so that they may embrace the faith and widen the frontiers of the kingdom of the faithful." 2
The next coronation, that of 850 when Louis II was crowned emperor, shows the advance which the Papal theme had made: it was now the father, Lothar I, who had sent his son Louis II to Rome in
1. That is, incidentally, the reason of why the emperor or king was later entitled to enter the church "cinctus cum gladio," because his sword was sacred, see for all these details Eichmann, op. cit., ii. 103.
2. The emperor as "caput orbis" should "adversus barbaras nationes dimicare, ut eas fidei subjugaret, ad dilatandum terminum regni fidelium," Agobard, Apologeticus pro filiis Ludovici, in MGH. SS. xv. 275 f.
order to be crowned; 1 no longer was it necessary for the Pope to issue an invitation. Moreover, this coronation alone was constitutive, since Louis II had not been made an emperor by his father. 2 At Easter 850 Leo IV anointed and crowned him emperor. 3 That he also received the sword, we know from Nicholas I who also shows us the intimate connexion between St Peter, his vicar, and the symbolic transfer of the sword. 4
But there is one more aspect of this coronation 850 which demands our attention. We recall that the Donation of Constantine made Constantine explain the reason of his removing the capital. This could now be taken as a prohibition for an emperor to reside in Rome. When the Romans suggested to Louis II that he should take up his imperial residence at Rome, he turned their suggestion down "ob reverentiam beatorum apostolorum." Whether this refusal was Papally inspired or whether Louis II himself acted in the spirit of the Donation, cannot be decided. 5 It is nevertheless worthy of remark that the same emperor in other ways implemented the ordinances of Constantine. According to the latter, the emperor should hold the reins of the Papal horse as a token of his obsequiousness, that is, he should perform the "officium stratoris" (as distinct from the "officium strepae," the holding of the stirrup). The biography of Nicholas I tells us that Louis II had performed this "officium stratoris"; what is more, he performed this service when the Pope was already sitting in his saddle: as soon as Louis saw the Pope, he ran towards him and led the Papal horse the length of an arrow-shot. 6 Louis II seems to have been a true imitator of Constantine.
1. See Annales Bertiniani, ed. G. Waitz, p. 38. "Lotharius filium suum Romam mittit, qui a Leone papa honorifice susceptus et in imperatorem unctus est."
2. Louis had six years earlier been anointed and crowned as king of the Lombards by Sergius II, see Liber Pontificalis, ii. 88; he was also given a sword. See also Halphen, op. cit., 340 ff., 397.
3. Chron. Salernitanum, MGH. SS. iii. 519: "Oleo unctionis est unctus coronaque prorsus suo capite septus et ab omnibus imperator augustus est nimirum vocatus." See also Ann. Bert., loc. cit.
4. For this see infra p. 197 f.
5. See Libellus de imperatoria potestate in urbe Roma, MGH. SS. iii. 721 f.
6. Liber Pontificalis, ii. 152, lines 19 ff.: "Augustus obvius in adventum eius (scil. papae) occurrit frenumque Caesar equi pontificis suis manibus apprehendens pedestri more quantum sagittae jactus extenditur, traxit . . . imperator equo descendit equmque pontificis iterum ut supra meminimus, traxit." Eichmann, ii. 288, observes: "Der Dienst ist losgelöbst von einem wirklichen Bedürfnis: der Papst sitzt ja bereits zu Pferde und bedarf einer Hilfe nicht. Es ist also ein reiner Ehrendienst, der demonstrativ erwiesen wird. Nach dem gemeinsamen Mahl wird die Szene wiederholt. Und nur ein Zügel-, kein Bügeldienst wird erwähnt; auch das Constitutum Constantini kennt letzteren nicht."
Seventy-five years after Charlemagne's coronation, and again on a Christmas Day, the second Charles was solemnly crowned by John VIII. This coronation embodied all the features of the previous coronation ceremonies, and added one more decisive element: Papal designation and nomination of the emperor. The death of Louis II provided the opportunity. Since he died without male heirs, his successor according to the law of the time, and also according to the wish of the late Louis, should have been Louis the German. 1 But the Pope, John VIII, having consulted his counsellors and the "Roman senate," offered the imperial crown to Charles the Bald: he was called upon because it was hoped that he would provide security for the Christian people and exalt the Roman Church -- Papal doctrine could hardly have been better summarized than in these few words. The offer to Charles in fact resulted from the solicitude of the Pope to provide a successor for Louis II. 2
The imperial crown which Charles the Bald received on Christmas Day 875, three months after the Papal offer had been made, was conferred "through the privilege of the apostolic see." 3 Two years later, the same Pope in his great speech at Ravenna gives us a little more insight into Papal thought. He had "elected and confirmed" Charles II who "through divine inspiration" had already been designated by Nicholas I: it was this "inspiratio coelestis" which was the basis of John's offer to Charles. The Pope appears merely as the mouthpiece of the divine will. In a way one might say that the emperor is "pre-
1. For details see P. E. Schramm, Der König Yon Frankreich, Weimar, 1939, pp. 32 ff.; Eichmann, op. cit., i. 51; Halphen, op. cit. 417 ff.
2. MGH. Epp. vii. Ep. 59, p. 311, written in September 875, hence very shortly after the news of Louis's death must have reached Rome; also incorporated in Deusdedit Coll. can. iv. 182, p. 487 ed. cit.: "Igitur, quia, sicut Domino placuit, Hludowicus gloriosus imperator defunctus est ( 12 August 875) cum nos, qui in loco eius propitia divinitate succedere debuisset, cum fratribus nostris et inclito Romano senatu concorditer tractaremus, devotione et fide tua ad medium deducta, hanc multi dignis preconfis efferre ceperunt. Cuius et nos non solum nostris diebus, sed etiam b. papae Nicholai tempore reminiscentes excellentiam tuam ad honorem et exaltationem sanctae Romanae ecclesiae et ad securitatem populi Christiani eligendam esse speravimus." See also MGH. Capitularia, ii. 348: "Dominus Johannes apostolicus et universalis papa primo Romae elegit atque sacra unctione constituit . . ."
3. Ep. 7, p. 321, lines 34-5: "Per apostolicae sedis privilegium cunctorum favoribus approbatum sceptris imperialibus sublimavit." Cf. also PL. cxxvi. 658: "Carolus rex, adiens limina apostolorum Petri et Pauli honorifice a nobis exceptus, postquam solemniter vota regia persolvisset ad sepulchrum b. Petri, die nativitatis Domini in ecclesia ipsius b. Petri . . . dignitatem imperialem per impositionem manuum nostrarum adeptus est."
elected" into his emperorship by God 1 and the Papal decision transforms the "pre-election" into a final election. The emperor is "desideratus, optatus, postulatus a nobis et a Deo vocatus et honorificatus"; the Pope promotes the king to the -- at the time -- highest accessible dignity. 2 And when once the Pope emerges as the constitutionally established "vicar of God" or "of Christ," the Donation could be dispensed with as a basis of the Papal function. 3 Charles the Bald himself embraces the Papal point of view in the most telling manner when he adopts for his seal the inscription: "Renovatio imperii Romanorum. et Francorum." The Roman and Frankish empires are renovated through the Papally performed coronation. This, indeed, is a resounding victory for the Papal theme. Charles's Papal creator leaves us in no doubt about the functions which the Ruler of the renovated Roman and Frankish empires has to fulfil: not protection in the old Teutonic-royal sense, but protection and defence in the Roman-Papal sense. The emperor was a patronus, defensor and adjutor. 4
John VIII's reference to his consultation with the Roman senate warrants an observation. One must not read into his statement that he consulted the Roman senate, the view that the senate had any constitutive function in the creation of the emperor. On the one hand, the Roman senate was a euphemistic term for the Roman aristocracy, and on the other hand, John himself tells us in his Ravenna speech that the whole Roman people, the "gens togata," had assented to his "election" of Charles. 5 No constitutive role was attributable to the Romans in 800 nor seventy-five years later. What they did, was to
1. Eichmann, op. cit., i. 53: "Vorwahl."
2. See Mansi, xvii, App. col. 172 f.: "Et quia pridem apostolicae memoriae decessori nostro papae Nicolao idipsum (Carolum) jam inspiratione coelesti revelatum fuisse comperimus, elegimus hunc merito et approbavimus una cum annisu et voto omnium fratrum et coepiscoporum nostrorum . . . secundum priscam consuetudinem . . . proveximus et augustali nomine decoravimus"; Charles did not ask for the imperial crown, "sed tamquam desideratus, optatus, postulatus a nobis et a Deo vocatus et honorificatus, ad defendendam religionem et Christi utique servos tuendos humiliter et obedientia accessit . . . promptus ad ipsius promotionem et hoc per sacerdotum Domini manus ministrorum eius officium, sicut David et Salomon . . ."
3. Eichmann, op. cit., i. 54, says that John acted as the "Papstkaiser des Constitutum Constantini"; cf. also Biehlmayer-Tüchle, Kirchengeschichte, ii. 59: the Pope as the "alleinberechtigte Kaisermacher."
4. Ep. 48, p. 46, lines 16 ff.: "Nam superna vos majestas sanctae suae ecclesiae nobis commissae patronum invictum, defensorem potentem et strenuum adjutorem concessit . . . quasi vindicem Dei habeamus ministrum." This letter was written to Charles the Bald in 877. The echo of the Pauline statement is obvious. See also the two letters quoted, infra, p. 224 n. 3. 5. See Mansi, xvii. App. cols. 172-3.
approve of the "election," namely the decision of the Pope. 1 The attribution of a constitutive role to the Romans in the making of an emperor and the assumption of the Papal role in the creation of an emperor are incompatible.
The significance of this reference to the Romans lies in a different field. Although the "emperor of the Romans" was the title of the highest available dignity of rulership, its essential ingredient was power and its effective exercise. But this presupposed that the thus "elected" emperor actually exercised some power over the Romans in the geographical sense: the Romans in this sense were merely the epitome of all the Romans. What sort of emperor of the Romans would this be who had no shadow of (royal) power over the (geographical) Romans? It is, we think, this essential ingredient of imperial dignity which accounts for John VIII's reference to his consultation with the Romans; it is this ingredient, too, which explains the later "Rex Romanorum" who in fact had developed out of the "Rex Italicorum," who in his turn had developed out of the "Rex Langobardorum." Seen from the point of view of the emperor title, the actual exercise of power over the Lombards (Italici, Romans) manifested itself in the "Rex Romanorum" : the king of Italy (= Romans) 2 was the preliminary to the fully fledged emperor of the Romans. 3
Considering the function which was attributed to the Papally created emperor -- the function of a patronus, adjutor and defensor 4 -- John's insistence on the necessity of his approval of the person of the emperor
1. The same feature emerges at Ravenna where the people say to the Pope "quem amastis et amamus; quem dilexistis diligimus; quem elegistis eligimus . . . quod in eo . . . gessistis . . . sequimur," Mansi, loc. cit.
2. The Regnum Italicum is referred to by John several times. Cf. Ep. 59, p. 54, lines 6 ff.: "Quapropter tam pro ecclesiasticis quibusdam necessitatibus quam pro statu et pro correctione reipublicae auctoritate apostolica decrevimus reverendorum fratrum et co-episcoporum nostrorum Italici regni universale, id est, totius provinciae, advocate concilium"; Ep. 247, p. 217 : ". . . Karolomannus gloriosus rex istius Italici regni"; Ep. 24, p. 287, lines 14 ff.: ". . . episcopis et comitibus Italici regni." For the actual ceremonial at coronations of these kings see E. Eichmann, "Zur Geschichte des lombardischen Krönungsritus" in Hist. JB., xlvi ( 1926), pp. 522-4; here also, p. 523, the proof of the direct application of the Egbert Pontifical to these Italian coronations.
3. A precedent was Louis II's coronation as king of the Lombards in 844. See the account in the Lib. Pont., ii. 89, lines 5 ff.: "Tunc almificus pontifex (Sergius II) manibus suis ipsum Hludovicum, imperatoris filium, oleo sancto perungens, regali ac pretiossissima coronavit corona regemque Langobardorum perfecit." Cf. also the account in the Annales Prudentii, MGH. SS. i. 440, lines 20 ff.: "Hludovicum pontifex Romanus unctione in regem consecratum cingulo decoravit." It seems that the royal sword was handed over for the first time on this occasion, cf. Eichmann, art. cit., p. 518.
4. See supra p. 162 n. 4
is logical and consistent. 1 The death of Charles the Bald provided him with the opportunity of making his ideas on this point quite clear, ideas which flow from the conception of the emperor as the organ wielding the sword for the sake of the protection of Christianity. Having heard of the attempts of Italian magnates to elect a king -- after Karlmann's departure in 879--John writes to the archbishop of Milan to say that the magnates must not accept anyone as their king without Papal approval and consent. "Nullurn absque nostro consensu regem debetis recipere." 2 For the king whom they wish to elect, must be approved by the Pope, since he will become emperor:
Nam ipse, qui a nobis est ordinandus in imperium, a nobis primum atque potissimum debet esse vocatus et electus. 3
It can readily be seen that the Pope as true emperor-maker would not suffer an imperial candidate to be forced upon him. He alone was in a position to judge whom he was going to "ordain" and he alone was to decide who would be an emperor suitable for the fulfilment of the functions as a patron and assistant. 4 Herein we may see the germs of the later Papal examination and confirmation of the emperor-elect. 5
Karlmann incapacitated, and no longer possible as a suitable patron and assistant, the Papstkaiser John VIII turned to Count Boso with the intention of creating him emperor. John adopted Boso as his son 6 and his designation fell for the first time upon a ruler who did not belong to the Carolingian dynasty. The adoption of Boso was the outward, formal and ceremonial symbol of his having been found suitable by the Pope.' 7
1. E. Eichmann, "Die rechtliche und kirchenpolitische Bedeutung der Kaisersalbung im MA." in Festschrift f. G. v. Hertling, Munich, 1913, p. 267, points out that this Papal claim to the right of approbation was to expand to the Papal right of confirmation of the emperor on the analogy of episcopal procedures.
2. Ep. 163, p. 133, lines 33-4.
3. Ep. 163, p. 133, lines 34-5. It is not quite correct when A. Kroener, Wahl und Krönung der deutschen Kaiser und Könige in Italien, Freiburg, 1901, p. 19, says that John claimed to decide the royal appointment first, "da der König von Italien zugleich Kaiser sei." Cf. also Eichmann, op. cit., ii. 56.
4. It may not be quite correct when the late Eichmann said: "Wenn wir alle these Momente zusammenfassen, so haben wir in Johann VIII den Papstkaiser der Donatio Constantini," see "Die Adoption des deutschen Königs durch den Papst" in Say. Z., Kan. Abt., vii ( 1916), p. 309. John's view can be explained also by the ideology underlying the Donation, which, as we have seen, was not an invention of the forger.
5. The questions put to the emperor-elect are in Ordo C; cf. also Gregory VII infra p. 288 and Innocent III in RNI. 62.
6. Ep. 110, p. 102, lines 20-1: "Bosonem gloriosum principeni per adoptionis gratiam filium meum effech." Cf. also MGH. Capit. ii. 368.
7. Ep. 94, p. 89, lines 10 ff.: "Bosonem principem . . . permissu Dei ad majores
Boso was dropped, and Charles III was crowned emperor by John VIII in 881. 1 On the occasion of this coronation John VIII produced an imperial crown from the jewel rooms of St Peter's. 2 Although John did not enjoy complete freedom in making Charles III an emperor -he had already been king of Italy for the last two years -- the Pope never let the initiative slip from his hands. 3 The shadowy Carolingian empire under Charles III received its particular stamp from this imperial coronation. 4
Stephen V acted entirely within the framework provided by Papal ideology and precedent which was so amply supplied by his predecessor, John VIII. The adoption of Wido, Duke of Spoleto, as the "son of the Roman Church" signified his designation as a Roman emperor. The first emperor who was not a Carolingian, was crowned on 21 February 891. 5 And Pope Formosus made Wido's son, Lambert, first a co-emperor and after the death of his father, sole emperor. But at the same time, emperor-maker as Formosus was, he also designated Arnulf and crowned him emperor at St. Peter's on 22 February 896, after Lambert had been dropped. Once again constrained by circumstances the Papacy under John IX, abandoned Arnulf and confirmed Lambert's emperorship. The vehicle by which this confirmation was carried out was that of a repetition of the unction on Lambert in the Roman synod of 898. 6 Lambert's death in the same year provided the Papacy with
exclesioresque gradus modis omnibus salvo honore nostro promovere nichilominus desideramus." Cf. again Eichmann, art. cit. (note 4), p. 303 : the Pope speaks like a "Weltherrscher, der sich einen Mitregenten an die Seite setzt." For further examples of adoption, ibid., pp. 303 - 5.
1. For this see Ep. 224, p. 199 ; Ep. 257, p. 225 ; Ep. 260, p. 230.
2. Erchanberti Breviarium Regum Francorum, MGH. SS. ii. 330: "Clementissimus Carolus . . . a pontifice Romano de thesauro sancti Petri apostoli corona capiti imposita ad imperium consecratus, et augustus Caesar appellatus, nunc divina clementia favente pacatissimum regit imperium, domina Richarta simul cum eo ad regni consortium ab eodem apostolico sublimata."
3. The angling for an emperor whose function was that of a "patronus" or "adjutor" of the Roman Church, is understandable only from the point of view of the very real danger presented by the Arabs in Southern Italy. At no other time, perhaps, was this function of the emperor understood in such real terms as at the time of John VIII. For an excellent discussion of this aspect of John's Pontificate see F. E. Engreen, "Pope John VIII and the Arabs" in Speculum, xxi ( 1946), pp. 318-30.
4. Cf. R. Holtzmann, Geschichte der sächsischen KaiserTeit, Munich, 1943, p. 12, and L. Halphen, op. cit., pp. 446-54. The oath of Charles III heralded the oaths taken by later emperors.
5. Cf. MGH. Capit. ii. 194; Flodoardus, Hist. Ece. Rem., MGH. SS. xiii. 557: Eichmann, op. cit., i. 59.
6. See Mansi, xviii. 221; for details cf. Halphen, op. cit., pp. 475 - 81.
yet another opportunity to "make" an emperor in the person of Louis III of Burgundy, and when Berengarius, the effective ruler of Italy, had expelled Louis, John X crowned Berengar emperor in 915. Berengar was the last Roman emperor before the coronation of Otto I on 2 February 962.
The Age of Pseudo-Isidore
THE idea of unity embracing all Latin Christians (Romans) in one entity which had all the appearance of a universal union of mankind, was seriously jeopardized by the conflicting aims and aspirations of Charlemagne's successors, the successors of him who had given the idea of (European) unity such pronounced form. The emperor had been the guarantor of the unity of his empire which was virtually identical with the extent of Latin Christendom, virtually co-terminous with the Roman-directed universal Church. The third and fourth of the decadesninth century show that the Pope succeeds the emperor as the unifying organ: the Roman Church alone will guarantee the unity of the universal Church, for which the unity of the Roman empire is an indispensable presupposition. Moreover, hierocratic conceptions as expressed in the conciliar manifestations of this period and Papal conceptions begin to coalesce in these decades.
The revolt against Louis I which was on the point of breaking out by early in 833 1 gave Gregory IV precisely the handle whereby the authority of the Roman Church could be demonstrated in a most conspicuous manner. 2 It is true that the Pope was to be found in the camp of the rebellious Lothar 3 but it would be quite misleading to deduce therefrom that he was merely the tool of the rebels, as Lothar's enemies would have it. The interpretation of the Pope's motive for his journey across the Alps, namely, that he wished to be a peacemaker between
1. For factual details see L. Halphen, op. cit., pp. 277ff.
2. Gregory IV's order to Louis to take back his wife, Judith, should be considered in this context. As far as we can see this was the first Papal order issued to an emperor in a matrimonial affair: the Pope uses "jubere" towards Louis. See Thegan, Vita Hludowici (MGH. SS. ii. 598), cap. 37, lines 8-9: "Supradicta conjux venit ibi obviam ei (scil. imperatori) quam honorifice suscepit, jubente Gregorio Romano pontifice cum aliorum episcoporum justo judicio."
3. See, for instance, Nithard, Historia (MGH. SS. ii. 652-3); Annales Bertiniani, ad a. 833; Pascherius Radbertus, Epitaphium Arsenii, ed. A. Dümmler, in Abhandlungen d. Preuss. Akad., 1900, p. 81 (ii. 14).
father and sons, is certainly nearer to the truth. 1 For peace within the empire was necessary for achieving unity. In his function as Pope Gregory IV considered himself fully justified in attempting to settle a dispute which vitally concerned the empire itself. In other words, the unity of the empire was jeopardized by the filial revolt: the guarantor of this unity was the Pope.
Two documents of this Easter time 833 are of especial interest to us; the one is written by Agobard of Lyons, the mentor of the conciliar views which propounded the hierocratic theme so manifestly, and the other was written by the Pope himself. Agobard addressed himself to Louis. 2 The emperor's order to Agobard to join him in his court is flatly refused: instead Agobard joins the Pope, for "the Pope's advent is most reasonable and opportune." 3 Fortified by statements from Pelagius I, 4 Leo I 5 and Anastasius 6 Agobard lifts the whole quarrel between father and sons onto a higher plane altogether. According to him, the quarrel not merely creates disunity within the empire, but, what is much more important to Agobard, affects the unity of the "ecclesia" itself. Empire and Church universal are thus expressions of one and the same entity, according to Agobard: who then should be better qualified to settle a dispute affecting the unity of the universal Church than the Pope, hence his appearance is sufficiently reasonable and opportune. He who strives for the unity of the Church, acts as Christ's lieutenant, 7 and Pope Anastasius had reminded the emperor "ut constitutis apostolicae sedis obtemperet (scil. imperator)." 8 Knowing the emperor more as an "amator regni coelestis quam terreni," Agobard appeals to him to save the unity of the Church. 9
The second document is doubly revealing, for on the one hand it shows us the main points made by the "old" imperial party, and on the other hand it contains the salient Papal-hierocratic elements in a summarized form. The episcopal adherents of Louis I 10 operated with the old Frankish tenet that the universal Church is headed by the
1. So, for instance, the interpretation by the Vita Hludowici Imperatoris, c. 48 ( MGH. SS., ii. 635).
2. MGH. Epp. v, no. 16, pp. 226 ff.
3. Satis rationabilis et oportunus est eius adventus, MGH. Epp. v, no. 16, p. 227, lines 35-6.
4. J. 939: Mansi, ix. 716.
5. J. 407: ep. x, c. I.
6. J. 744: Thiel, p. 616.
7. Ep. Cit., p. 227, lines 29-30.
8. Ep. Cit., p. 227, line 30.
9. See c. 7, p. 228.
10. The letter of the Pope is addressed to the bishops as a reply to their grievances against the Pope's interference; their letter is not preserved, but we can reconstruct it from the Papal reply: MGH. Epp. v, no. 17, pp. 228 ff.
emperor, and therefore the sacerdotium, as part of the universal Church, is subjected to imperial commands. Accordingly, the Pope, too, is subjected to imperial authority, since the leadership of the universal Church is not his. He is, logically enough, called the "Brother" of the bishops and as an equal of theirs has no right to issue any orders to them. They would have joyfully joined his company, had there not been an imperial order to the contrary. And it was the imperial command which determined their attitude; a Papal command could never override an imperial command. They counsel the Pope to subject himself to the emperor, instead of undermining the sacerdotal office by attempting to give orders. If he were to do as they advised him to do, they would then receive him with all the honours due to him, otherwise they would break off relations with him and would depose him. 1
The only astonishing feature of this episcopal protest is that its draftsmen were so completely oblivious of the radically changed temper of the time. In countering the episcopal arguments the Pope has ample opportunity to set forth the Papal theme trenchantly. The very first lines of the letter manifest its tenor and trend: he, the Pope, was not their brother; on the contrary, homage and respect due to a father had to be shown to him. 2 Papal orders must be obeyed: he had commanded them to join him and they had refused sheltering behind an imperial order. 3 But these are reprehensible words, the Pope angrily remarks -- "quae verba reprehensibilia sunt -- on two grounds. A Pontifical order is no less sacred than an imperial one -- "quam illa (jussio) quam dicitis imperialem" -- and secondly, the episcopal way of reasoning is utterly opposed to the truth -- "quia veritate caret, quod dicitis illam praevenisse," for whenever Pontifical and imperial orders clash, the latter must be disregarded: "non enim illa (jussio) praevenit, sed nostra, id est, pontificalis." The Pope's orders concern the government of the souls. The contrast between the Pontifical "regimen animarum" and the imperial "regimen temporale" unmistakably reveals Gregory's point of view. The idea behind his statement
1. This follows clearly from the wording of the letter, p. 231, lines 30 ff.: "Illud vero quod minari vos cognoscimus periculum gradus, quis explicare poterit . . ." The threat of deposition is also reported by the Vita Hludowici, ed. cit., c. 48, p. 635; cf. also Epitaphium Arsenii, ed. cit., p. 84.
2. Ep. cit., p. 228, lines 32 ff.: "Romano pontifici scribentes contrariis eum in praefatione nominibus appellastis, fratrem videlicet et papam, dum congruentius esset solam ei paternam reverentiam exhibere."
3. Ep cit., P. 228, lines 35 ff.: "Adventu quoque eius comperto, laetari vos dicitis, credentes omnibus principi scilicet subjectis profuturum, et optasse: occursurn vestrurn nobis non negandurn, nisi sacra jussio imperialis praeveniret."
Neque ignorare debueratis maius esse regimen animarum, quod est pontificale quam imperiale, quod est temporale 1
is that the Pontifical government of souls is in itself sufficient to effect the proper direction of Louis's empire. The "regimen animarum" when applied to the concrete dispute, emerges here as a definite "political" measure: it focuses attention on the character and substance of the empire -- Papally conferred -- as a predominantly spiritual entity. Differently expressed: the direction of souls will ensure the proper working of the whole body; the imperial "regimen temporale" is viewed in the function of an auxiliary organ in the Isidorian sense. In this theocentrically orientated society the Papal reasoning was bound to penetrate the minds even of his episcopal opponents: the Pope could safely side-step the specific episcopal grievances.
Gregory IV elaborates these points in his letter. He puts into the mouth of Gregory Naziazenus statements which the latter never made, but because they illustrate the Pope's way of reasoning, they are all the more interesting on this account. 2 The acceptance of the [Catholic] Christian faith subjects everyone including emperors to the sacerdotal power -"lex Christi sacerdotali vos (scil. imperatores) nostrae subicit potestati" -- and to sacerdotal tribunals: "atque istis tribunalibus subdit." 3 For Christ had given the priests "potestas," that is, a "principatus" so manifestly more perfect than the imperial power. 4 It would run counter to the idea of justice if the flesh were to dominate the spirit, if the terrestrial were to oppress the celestial, if human matters were to be preferred to divine matters. They, the bishops, as true "sacerdotes," that is, as the administrators of the divine [Catholic] cult -- and not of a mere human cult -- should heed these words, since the emperor is only one sheep of the flock of Christ and as such he is committed to the supreme pastor, 5 to the occupant of Peter's chair, to him who "locum beati Petri tenet," and reverence, respect and homage must be paid to him for the sake of the chair itself. "Honoranda est cathedra pontificalis et propter cathedram sedens in illa." 6
1. Ep. Cit., p. 228, lines 4o-1. One might be inclined to see the hand of Agobard at work: cf. A. Hauck, Kirchengeschichte, ii. 516; Halphen, op. cit., 281.
2. About the misquotation see Dümmler's note, p. 229, note 1; the quotation is supposed to come from Gregory Oratio xvii.
3. Ep. cit., p. 229, lines 2 ff.: "Sic enim ipsis imperatoribus loquitur (Gregorius) dicens. . ."
4. "Dedit enim et nobis potestatem, dedit principatum multo perfectiorem principatibus vestris."
5. Ep. cit., p. 229, lines 6 ff.
6. Ep. Cit., p. 229, lines 5 ff.
The theme of the episcopalists that the Pope had no right to touch matters concerning their own dioceses, unless he did this with their consent -- the logical conclusion from their point of view since they regarded the Pope as their brother -- is met by Gregory IV in a manner that manifests one of the most cherished programmatic points of the hierocratic system. "You say that I have no right to act, or to arrange anything in your dioceses, and that I cannot excommunicate anyone against your will" 1 -- but he is impervious to this way of reasoning. His axiom is the unity of the whole body of believers, of the universal Church, and this unity is alone guaranteed by the "cathedra pontificalis," hence the function of the Pope as a peacemaker. 2 For it is in the function of a peacemaker -- "legatione fungimur pacis" -- that he crossed the Alps. The body of believers must not be divided, as surely it would be, if the episcopal opponents had their way: but they should bear in mind that this body is Christ's Church, from which neither the Germanic nor the Gallic Church can be separated. The guarantee for the unity of this one "ecclesia Christi" lies in obedience to the Roman Church. 3 The theme underlying this Papal remonstration is the insistence on hierarchical subordination of the episcopacy: without this subordination there can neither be a proper functioning of the whole corpus of believers nor the necessary exercise of Papal authority. Unity of the whole body is guaranteed, according to the Roman Church, by its supreme authority. We should take note, however, that the Pope expressly states that the headship of the Church belongs to Christ, and that he ascribes to himself only a Petrine vicariate, not a vicariate of Christ. There is as yet no suggestion of the Pope functioning "vice Christi," that is, functioning on behalf of Christ Himself Who heads the corpus of believers.
The phraseology chosen by the Pope (or by Agobard) to express his contempt for imperial orders -- "illa (jussio) quam dicitis imperialem" -- is prophetic and defines by implication the emperor's proper function within the body of believers, within the universal Church. These words reflect the Papal esteem of the emperor. Nevertheless, the loyal adherence of the Western emperors to the Roman empire concept was, from the Papacy's point of view, potentially very useful, as the outgoing ninth century was only too clearly to show.
1. Ep cit., p. 231, lines 4 ff.
2. Cf. also the rhetorical question: "Quare mihi contrarii cum ecclesiis vestris debetis in legatione pacis et unitatis, quod Christi donum et ministerium est?", Ep. cit., p. 231, lines 8 ff.
3. Ep. cit., p. 231, lines 16-23.
But this adherence could also, at least theoretically, be usefully exploited against the East: the age of Nicholas I and Adrian II was to demonstrate this usefulness. The potentialities of Gregory's statements, we must repeat, were no less prophetic for the West: they foreshadow the view that the "regimen animarum" is crucial and at the same time a sufficiently great force to orientate society. Transposed onto the plane of government, the maxim of Gregory IV is that those alone who are functionally qualified are entitled to orientate society: hence the "regimen temporale" in this society, is inferior to the "jussio pontificalis." This is the as yet uncouth expression of the regulative or directive principle in Christian society.
It may not be unprofitable to illustrate the permeation of contemporary thought with Papal-hierocratic principles by some examples 1 chosen from the imperial, episcopal and Papal quarters.
The emperor, Lothar, writes to the Pope 2 requesting him to confer the pallium on Hincmar. The Arenga of this letter is extraordinarily revealing: the apostolic see is not merely the head of all the churches, but is the foundation and head of all Christian life and sanctity "in the whole world" -- "in universo orbe." 3 Every question, every matter, every cause touching ecclesiastical points, should be referred to the Roman Church, because it is the mother of religion and the fountain head of equity. 4 This imperial communication is a strong endorsement of the jurisdictional primacy of the Roman Church, precisely that primacy which Charlemagne had refused to recognize. Nevertheless, it would be erroneous to say that in Lothar's opinion the jurisdictional
1. In appraising the climate of this time, we should not omit to point out that this was also the period which saw so many able theologians at work. This intellectual élite numbered men like Claudius, Hrabanus Maurus, Hincmar, Gottschalk, Walafrid Strabo, Paschasius Radbertus, Christian of Stablo, Heiric of Auxerre, Servatus Lupus of Ferrières, Regino of Prüm, Symphorianus, Amalarius of Metz, Johannes Scotus, Prudentius of Troyes, Ratramnus of Corbie, etc. Due importance should also be given to the "burning zeal for liturgy" resulting in a great number of liturgical refinements and reforms in this ninth century, about which see Th. Klauser, "Die liturgischen Austauschbeziehungen etc." in Hist. Jb. liii ( 1936), pp. 184-5, especially Amalarius.
2. MGH. Epp. v, no. 46, p. 609.
3. MGH. Epp. v, no. 46, p. 609, lines 24 ff.: "Sedem apostolicam, quae per beatissimum apostolorum principem in universo orbe, quaqua versum religio christiana diffunditur, caput et fundamentum est sanctitatis."
4. MGH. Epp. v, no. 46, p. 609, line 27 f.: "Omnes quasi ad matrem religionis, fontenique recurrerent aequitatis."
primacy of the Roman Church comprised also non-ecclesiastical matters: for this view there is no warrant in his letter. This endorsement of the Papal jurisdictional power in sacerdotal matters by the emperor, is a sign of the advance which the Papal theme had made in the quarter, in which, prima facie, most resistance would have been expected.
The other quarter, the Frankish episcopacy, is equally indicative of the trends of the time. Assembled at Paris in 849, the bishops issue a Synodica to the Breton duke Nomenojus, upon whom they pour bitter recriminations: by refusing obedience to the Pope, the duke had shown his contempt for the whole of Christianity. For the Pope had been given by God the primacy in the whole world. 1 Disobedience to the Pope entails a "perturbatio populi christiani." 2 The theme underlying this Synodica is the conception of Christendom as one body: and the unity of this one body is particularly susceptible to injury if the head of this body is refused obedience. For the whole of Christendom -- the universal Church -- is affected by everything that affects the Pope who has the "primatus in omni orbe terrarum." The "Pax Christiana" 3 is guaranteed by the Pope alone, and he who shows disrespect to the Pope disturbs the "Pax christiana." These are the opinions of Frankish bishops expressed at the very same time which saw the Pseudo-Isidorian forgers at work. The Pope is no mere head of the sacerdotium, but head of "omnis orbis terrarum."
Whilst these bishops were concerned with the unity of the corpus of Christians, others assembled five years earlier at Diedenhofen ( 844) pronounce upon the government of this corpus, of this universal Church, in a manner which shows the total eclipse suffered by the governmental ideology of Charlemagne. There was no longer, according to these synodists, a unitary combination of regal and sacerdotal powers in a mere king or emperor: this unitary combination was only to be found in Christ Who had decreed that His Church was to be governed by Pontifical authority and by regal power.
Bene nostis, ab illo, qui solus merito et rex et sacerdos fieri potuit, ita ecclesiam dispositam esse, ut pontificali auctoritater et regali potestate gubernetur. 4
1. Mansi, xiv. 923D: "Omnem laesisti christianitatem, dum vicarium b. Petri apostolicum, cui dedit Deus primatum in omni orbe terrarum, sprevisti. . ."
2. Mansi, xiv. 924B.
3. Mansi, xiv. 925 A.
4. MGH. Capit. ii. 114, no. 227. Cf. also the letter of the synod of Kierzy (anno 858) in MGH. Capit. ii. 440, lines 39 ff.: "(Christus) qui solus rex fieri potuit et sacerdos, et in coelum ascendens suum regnum, id est, ecclesiam, inter pontificalem auctoritatem et regiam potestatem gubernandum disposuit" (c. 15). See also the synod held at Fimes in 881., Mansi, xvii. 537.
The different functions are distributed by Christ Himself, and the synodists are careful to repeat the Gelasian contrast between "auctoritas" and "potestas." The mystical head of this one corpus was still Christ, and hence the allocation of the different functions -- of "auctoritas" and "potestas" -- within this corpus was Christ's own disposition. Again, there was as yet no suggestion that the same combination of powers was in the hands of a vicar of Christ. Only when this stage was reached, that is to say, when the conception of a mystical headship of Christ gave way to a corporal, vicarious headship, the Gelasian principle became capable of full and practical realization.
Nevertheless, in the same year 844 in which the synodists had gathered at Diedenhofen, there was written a joint letter by the archbishop of Sens and the count of Vienne. This letter 1 deserves some remark, because in it the idea of the functional qualification of the priests-epitomized in the Gelasian "auctoritas" -- shows itself in that it is stated that kings should implement or cause to be implemented what the pontiffs teach. The ancient antithesis of "discere-docere" reappears here in the garb of the antithesis "implere-docere," that is, that the (Christian) kings, if they aspire at this dignity, should act as the pontiffs teach.
Rex regum idemque sacerdos sacerdotum, qui solus potuit ecclesiam regere quam redemit . . . potestatem suam ad eandem gubernandam ecclesiam in sacerdotes divisit et reges, ut, quod sancti docerent pontifices, et ipsi implerent et impleri facerent devotissimi reges. 2
It seems hardly possible to surpass this concise statement: if the full jurisdictional and legislative power of the Roman Church is brought to bear upon this declaration, the whole hierocratic scheme is here expressed in a nutshell.
The Pope himself -- Leo IV -- fully availed himself of the opportunity of giving and making the last binding decision in matters concerning the ecclesiastical hierarchy -- and here the difference between him and his namesake, the third Leo, some fifty years earlier becomes manifest. 3 Moreover, in his letter to Louis II, Leo IV brings out the function of the Roman Church as the epitome of all Christendom and as the organ responsible for everything that affects the universal
1. MGH. Epp. vi. 72 (Servatus Lupus: Ep. 81). The letter was written to the archbishop of Lyons, ca. 844.
2. Ep. cit. p. 73, lines 6-10.
3. MGH. Epp. v, no. 12, p. 591; no. 35, p. 604; nos. 3 and 4, pp. 586-7; no. 10, p. 589; no. 22, p. 599; no. 37, p. 605, etc.
Church. The reason for his accepting supreme pontifical authority was that he be enabled to take care of all that occurs in the world.
Ut nostis, ideo pontificatus culmen suscepimus, ut de omnibus quae in mundo sunt, curam et sollicitudinem habeamus. 1
It is he in fact who is responsible to God for remedying evils: if he were to fail in this Papal duty he would have to render an account for it. 2 The whole Christian world is committed to him, and not merely the ecclesiastical hierarchy. The claim to frontierless exercise of Papal authority -- "quaecumque regio" -- heralds the Nicholean Pontificate. In short, the Roman Church is the epitome, the crystallization, and the concentrated embodiment of Christendom. It is only as a specific application of this tenet that Leo IV appointed Alfred the Great a "Consul" in 853 and, on the imperial model, adopted him as "quasi spiritalis filius." 3 The successor of the "Consul Dei" appoints a "Consul" on his own authority: not incongruously Leo IV may be likened to an heir of both the "Consul Dei" and the Roman emperors. Hand in hand with this goes Leo's insistence on the universally binding character of the "regulae decretalium" issued by the Roman pontiff. Roman judgments and decrees admit of no other law, and if ecclesiastical tribunals cannot find a solution to a concrete problem, they are ordered to refer the case to the Roman Church. 4
The tenet of the functional qualification of the sacerdotium is of particular concern to Leo IV. The "sacerdotes" within the Christian "orbis terrarum" assume specific functions owing to their qualifications as the "sors Domini." Hence they are removed from the jurisdiction of the ordinary tribunals. For the ecclesiasticus ordo," consisting of the "episcopis et clericis ordinatis" 5 attends to "divinis negotiis" 6 and consequently in this body of believers this "ordo" is raised above the ordinary lay people. We recall that Alcuin had deemed it fitting to quote the (forged) Constitutum Silvestri when he referred to the
1. Ep. 10, p. 589.
2. Ep. 10, p. 589, lines 23 ff.: "Quod nisi faceremus et malum, quod sive aput vos sive aput quamcumque regionem perpetratum valemus agnoscere, auctoritate apostolica emendare dissimulamus, de manibus nostris hoc altissimus requirere non ornittet."
3. Ep. 31, p. 602, to Ethelwulf: "Filiurn vestrurn Erfred, quem hoc in tempore ad sanctorum apostolorum limina destinare curastis, benigne ne suscepimus, et quasi spiritalem filium consulatus cinguli honore vestimentisque, ut mos est Romanis consulibus, decoravimus, eo quod in nostris se tradidit manibus."
4. Ep. 16, cap. 14, pp. 595-6.
5. Ep. 16, p. 594, lines 12-13.
6. Ep. 16, p. 593, line 23.
impending trial of the third Leo before Christmas 800. And we find the same quotation in the letter of the fourth Leo: accusations against bishops can proceed only on the testimony of seventy-two suitable witnesses. 1 But this principle is extended by Leo IV to ecclesiastical goods and possessions: they are the property of the individual church and hence of the universal Church and are therefore removed from lay disposition. 2
These statements of fundamental principles may not have had all the desired effect at the time, but there can be no gainsaying their precedential character. It was these -- and similar -- manifestations of the Papal point of view which, as a consequence of having been incorporated in collections, assumed the nature of an "auctoritas." It is no wonder that Gratian made nine excerpts from this one letter of Leo IV.
It is very much the same ideology which appears in the confirmation of privileges for Corbie, issued by Leo IV's successor, Pope Benedict III. 3 The Arenga of this privilege points to the function of the Roman Church as the "caput et princeps" of the whole Christian body: to the pontiff as the vice-gerent of St Peter was committed by Christ the principatus over the whole body of the Church -- "Christus totius ecclesiae committens principatum": the authority of this overlordship lay in the Petrine commission. 4 None of the faithful can doubt that the Roman pontiff is responsible for all the believers in Christ, for the whole body constituting the universal Church. 5 His authority extends "circa universalis ecclesiae corpus per totius orbis latitudinem diffusae." 6 It is not the least interesting feature of this letter that Benedict III
1. Ep. 16, pp. 593-4, quoting canon iii of the Const. Silv.: "sicut nobis tradidit b. Silvester et Romana sancta tenere videtur ecciesia."
2. Ep. 16, p. 595, cap. 10: "Eas possessiones vel praedia, quae justo titulo ad sacrosanctas pertinere videntur ecclesias, vel sub ecclesiastico jure tenentur, indignum est, ut a quibusdam laicis alienentur. Quippe tribuentibus proficit ad mercedem, alienantibus vero scimus exinde provenire delictum." It was precisely this principle which was to play a great role in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, see infra pp. 408 ff.
3. J. 2663, of 7 October 855: PL. cxxix. 1001ff.
4. J. 2663, of 7 October 855: PL. cxxix, col. 1001D: "Cum Romanae sedis pontificem constet omnium ecclesiarum Christi caput atque principatum fatur 'Tu es Petrus . . .'"
5. "Cunctatio nulli fidelium relinquitur . . . et omnium in Christo credentium saluti, paci atque quieti prospicere nos oporteat, ut et quae prava sunt corrigantur et quae rata roborentur, quae corrupta sunt restaurentur, quae autem integra conserventur."
6. Cf. also col. 1002: "Igitur cum apostolicae sollicitudinis universalis ecclesiae credita sit dispensatio et pro cunctorum fidelium statu perpetuas nostrae sollicitudinis vigilias pretendere conveniat. . ."
apparently welcomes the opportunity to weave into the texture of the Arenga his ideas about the special place which the emperor occupies in the scheme of things: his care for the Gallican churches is prompted by the fact that they form an integral part of the empire, which itself is constituted by Italy and the Frankish provinces. 1 And it is in the same context and Arenga that Benedict III announces the principle which can have validity only in a Christian society, namely, that the prince's laws should be endorsed by apostolic authority. The implication is clear: the prince, if he wishes to rule legitimately within the universal Church, must subject his laws to pontifical authorization. Then the words of Christ will be fully applicable to that prince "He that receiveth you, receiveth me" 2 as also in the opposite case will other words of Christ be applied: "He that despiseth you, despiseth me." 3 There is no difference between the synodists of Diedenhofen ( 844) and Benedict III: the former's demand that the prince should implement the teachings of the pontiffs, is stated by the latter's declaration that the prince should submit his laws to pontifical authorization. The echo of the Gelasian axiom seems manifest: "Imperatores Christiani subdere debent exsecutiones suas ecclesiasticis praesulibus." 4
Perhaps the most characteristic feature of the Papal-hierocratic theme had always been its conservatism and reliance on tradition. More often than not, it was a genuine conservatism and a genuine tradition that distinguished the architects of this programme. But there were successful attempts to create a conservatism and a tradition by either antedating documents and ascribing them to earlier authors or by forging documents altogether and dating them in the far distant past in order to be safe enough to escape a check. The most conspicuous example of creating a conservatism and a tradition is provided by that circle to which the three great and not uninfluential forgeries owe their origin.
1. J. 2663, of 7 October 855: PL. cxxix, col. 1002D: "Quandoquidem utramque provinciam unius imperii sceptrum non dividit et Romanae dignitas ecclesiae una turn terreno principatu utriusque provinciae regnum communi jure disponit."
2. Matt. x. 40.
3. Luke, x. 16: "Aestimantes terrenae reipublicae rectores tunc se feliciter imperare, si suis sanctionibus apostolica confederantur auctoritas, quamdum in nobis suscipiunt ac venerantur, ilium se suscipere gratulantur, qui discipulis suis loquitur 'qui vos recipit, me recipit.' Hinc econtrario contemptoribus ait: 'Qui vos spernit, me spernit.'"
4. Ed. Thiel, p. 293.
All three -- the Capitula Angilramni, Pseudo-Isidore, and Benedictus Levita -- attempt to give the hierocratic point of view the halo of antiquity. Many of the decrees incorporated in them contain absolutely nothing new: what the forgers did was to clothe a particular hierocratic and already virtually accepted tenet in the garb of an ancient decree. Others were of an indubitably genuine provenance, whilst a third group of decrees -- and they are the true forgeries -- contain certain hierocratic tenets for which no warrant could be found in previous genuine documents. It is this last group which merits a few words.
Collections of this kind, as are the three products under discussion, imply the possibility that their authors had a fair chance of their works being accepted by contemporaries. To undertake all this labour of collecting and inventing documents, if there were little prospect of acceptance, would be hardly more than an exercise in mental gymnastics. To judge by the numerous manuscripts of these forgeries still extant, the assumption is not unwarranted that their authors sensed the climate of the time correctly. By forging documents they clothed the one or the other hierocratic idea in the language of a decree issued by a second- or third-century Pope. What the forgers did not invent was ideology; what they did forge was the decree which was to "prove" this ideology. Moreover, the great currency which these products, especially Pseudo-Isidore and Benedictus Levita, gained, was not only due to the receptiveness of the soil for the views set forth in them, but also to their character as handy reference books. What had been dispersed in all sorts of -- for contemporaries -- more or less inaccessible repositories, now became easily available: it was all so conveniently gathered into one volume. 1 The atmosphere of the time pervaded as it was with hierocratic ideas, together with the character of these products as useful reference works, account largely for the immediate influence which they exercised. Lastly, these great forgeries symbolize, so to speak, the coalescence of Rome and Rheims. Precisely because they had originated quite independently of the Papacy, these products of the Frankish intelligentsia were to become the natural allies of the Papacy. Exactly one hundred years after Stephen's journey to the Frankish kingdom, the ecclesiastical intelligentsia of this kingdom repaid the debts it owed to the Papacy by presenting it with these collections of materials. Perhaps they were the most welcome gifts the Papacy had ever received.
1. That is what Pseudo-Isidore himself says in the opening paragraph ( Hinschius , Decretales Pseudo-Isidorianae, p. 17 ):
"Compellor a multis tam episcopis quam reliquis servis Dei canonum sententias colligere et uno in volumine redigere et de multis unum facere."
A very short survey of these three great forgeries ( made between 845 and 852 ) may be profitable. We survey them by beginning with the Capitula Angilramni. They are alleged to have been sent by Pope Adrian I in 785 to Angilram, Bishop of Metz. The aim behind this allegation was to stamp these decrees with pontifical Roman authority. This allegation could be made all the easier as Charlemagne himself had received in 774 a canonical collection from the Pope, the Dionysio Hadriana. The main purpose of our collection seems to have been to make accusations against bishops as difficult as possible and to have bishops tried by the ecclesiastical court only. Of course, the claim here set forth in legal form, is nothing new. In the first years of Louis I's reign Theodulf of Orleans had said very much the same 1 when he declared that he was not subject to a royal tribunal, but only to Papal jurisdiction; 2 and the decrees of the synod at Aix-la-Chapelle in 836 had laid down that indictments against bishops must be made before a council, and must be tried and proved there. 3 What this forger attempted to do was to pretend that the decrees emanated from the Roman Church which issued them and declared at the same time that the divine ordering prevented a trial of bishops by secular tribunals. 4 Furthermore, the forger transformed earlier conciliar decrees concerning the personality of the accusers of a bishop, into Papal decrees: the decree of the Council of Chalcedon laid down personal blamelessness on the part of the accuser of a bishop as a presupposition for a lawful prosecution; this emerges in the forger's Capitula too. 5 What is important is that the synod which is to try a bishop must be convoked by the ecclesiastical superior. 6 The forger's insistence on strict hierarchical ordering is
1. MGH. Poetae Lat. i. 566, verse 65 f.: "Esto: forem fassus, cuius censura valeret, Dedere judicii congrua frena mihi? Solius illud opus Romani praesulis extat, cuius ego accepi pallia sancta manu."
2. See preceding note.
3. MGH. Concilia, iii. 718, which decree is literally borrowed from Jonas of Orleans's tract, cap. 2.
4. Hinschius, ed. cit., p. 757, cap. 1: "Dei ordinationem accusat in qua constituuntur qui episcopos accusat vel condemnat, dum minus spiritualia quam terrena sectatur." But cf. Isidore Sententiae, iii. 39, no. 2.
5. Hinschius, ed. cit., p. 758, cap. 3, and Concil. Chalced. cc. 17, 21. "Placuit ut semper primo in accusatione clericorum fides et vita blasphemantium. perscrutetur. Nam fides omnes actus hominis debet praecedere, quia dubius in fide infidelis est." Cf. also IV Concil. Toletanum, c. 64.
6. Hinschius, ed. cit., p. 758, cap. 4. The whole is taken from the letter attributed to Felix I: Pseudo-Isidore, p. 200 f., cc. viii-xiv. Furthermore, Cap. Angilramni,
entirely in line with the dictates of the hierocratic programme. 1 It is in this context that he stresses the primacy of the Roman Church. On the one hand, a provincial synod must be cancelled if Papal vicars so demand it, 2 but, on the other hand, any laws contrary to the canons and decrees of the Roman pontiff or to "boni mores" are null and void. 3 The Pope himself is immune from any sort of accusation and judgment, the forger declares, by borrowing the forged and identical stipulation of one of the Symmachan products. 4 It will be agreed that the Capitula contain extraordinarily little that was not known before: but it will also be agreed that the crispness of these decrees gives them the appearance of true legal enactments.
Pseudo-Isidore is designed to serve as a hand book which contains the literal transcriptions of documents from the earliest Christian times onwards. The basic structure of this collection was that of the old Hispana. 5 The first of the three parts of the work consists of "decretals" issued by pre-Constantinean Popes and shows most blatantly the labour of the forgers: all the sixty decretals are forged. The second part is only to a small extent the work of the forgers: it contains older forgeries as well as genuine material. Perhaps the most complicated part is the third and last beginning with the (forged) Constitutum Silvestri: in this part genuine and spurious material is rather skilfully blended. Altogether there are more than one hundred forged or falsified Papal letters in this work. Whilst therefore the Capitula Angilramni constituted, so to speak, a legal summary of the hierocratic theme, Pseudo-Isidore is supposed to give the full references and the
cc. 18-22, p. 762. For the question whether this forger was identical with that of Pseudo-Isidore, see Hinschius, pp. clviii-clxxxii.
1. Cf. also preceding note.
2. Hinschius, ed. cit., p. 765, cap. 39: "Ut provincialis synodus retractetur per vicarios urbis Romae episcopi, si ipse decreverit."
3. Hinschius, ed. cit., p. 764, cap. 36: "Constitutiones contra canones et decreta praesulum Romanorum vel bonos mores nullius sunt momenti."
4. Hinscbius, ed. cit., p. 766, cap. 51: "Neque praesul summus a quoquam judicabitur, quia dicente domino non est discipulus super magistrum." This is in cap. iii of the Constitutum Silvestri (also in Pseudo-Isidore, p. 449; Mansi, ii. 623).
5. On the Hispana see Fournier-Le Bras, Histoire des coll. can., i. 66 f.; H. E. Feine , Kirchliche Rechtsgeschichte, pp. 82, 148; the work was wrongly attributed to Isidore of Seville.
full text of the relevant source material, in short the pièces justificarives. 1
At the outset of our brief analysis of Pseudo-Isidore we must emphasize again that the work contains very little new material. It could be passed over in silence, were it not that it exercised great influence on later Papal generations as well as on canonists. It was to become the pantheon of all Papal prerogatives. What Pseudo-Isidore did was to mould hierocratic tenets -- hitherto vaguely floating about -- into concrete Papal pronouncements bearing the stamp of apostolic and early Christian antiquity. The work of these forgers was tendentious, designed to set forth a programme in the cloak of the "law."
Throughout Pseudo-Isidore the paramount theme is that of the functional qualification of the priests in a [Catholic] Christian society. They alone can function, by virtue of their qualifications, as the directing organs of the Christian corpus. The priests are the true leaders of the whole body of Christians. They function as the "lieutenants of Christ" -- "sacerdotes vice Christi legatione unguntur," Pope Evaristus is made to say. 2 They are the chosen people of Christ -- "in sorte Domini electi" 3 -because He Himself had selected them: "ad glorificandum se et divina mandata seminanda . . . eos Dominus elegit." 4 In fact, the priests are the vicars of Christ within the universal body of Christians: "Christi vicarii sunt sacerdotes, qui vice Christi legatione funguntur in ecclesia." 5 They are divinely pre-ordained. 6 Pope Melchiades is made to refer to the alleged declaration of Constantine in the Council of Nicaea when he exclaimed "Vos a nemine dijudicari potestis, quia solius Dei judicium reservamini: dii etenim vocati estis." 7 By not according to
1. For details of modern literature, see H. Schubert, Geschichte der Kirche im Frühmittelalter, p. 537; A van Hove, Prolegomena, pp. 305-6; Fournier-Le Bras, Histoire des collections canoniques, i. 137; H. E. Feine, Kirchliche Rechtsgeschichte, p. 153. Cf. also E. H. Davenport, The False Decretals, Oxford, 1916.
2. Hinschius, ed. cit., ep. 2, c. 4, p. 90; cf. also Clement, ep. 3, c. 57, p. 53 ; see also idem, p. 52, c. 56 ("qui sacerdotio domini fruimini"); furthermore, Anacletus, ep. 2, c. 22, p. 79 ; Alexander, ep. 1, c. 3) p. 95, and p. 97, c. 5; Anterus, p. 155, c. 7, etc. Pope Anacletus is made to say, ep. 1, c. 3, p. 68 : "Injuria sacerdotum ad Christurn pertinet, cuius vice funguntur"; ep. 2, c. 21, p. 77 : "Quoniam injuria eorum ad Christurn pertinet, cuius legatione funguntur." The source of these expressions may have been Gregory I, see supra p. 39 (cf., however, II Cor. v. 20).
3. Pope Urban, p. 143, c. 1.
4. Clement, p. 43, c. 39.
5. Eusebius, ep. 3, c. 17, p. 239. Cf. Gregory I supra p. 39.
6. Fabianus, ep. 2, C. 16, p. 163 : "Deus ergo, fratres, ad hoc preordinavit vos et omnes, qui summo sacerdotio funguntur."
7. Melchiades, p. 248, c. 11; for Gregory I's statements see supra p. 39 f.
the priests, the salt of the earth, 1 the place that is due to them in a Christian society, proper reverence is not shown to Christ. 2 For the clerical order alone knows the "divina mandata," whilst the lay members of the universal Church are devoted to carnal things only.
The proper ordering within a Christian society demands, consequently, that clerical persons are exempted from the control and jurisdiction of the inferior lay people; accusations against clerics by lay persons are inadmissible, since inferiors must not accuse superiors. A pupil cannot accuse, still less judge, his master; nor can a lay prince accuse or judge a cleric. 3 How could a lieutenant of Christ be accused or judged by those people who form the "plebs." 4 Having the functional qualifications for directing Christian society the members of the clerical order should not only abstain from "omnes huius vitae occupationes," but also treat lay jurisdiction with contempt.
Of particular interest and importance are Pseudo-Isidore's pronouncements concerning the virtually sacrosanct position of the episcopacy. "Episcopi a Deo sunt judicandi," Pope Pius is made to say. 5 They must be tried by the ecclesiastical tribunal only, but must never be accused by the "vulgus." 6 The proper tribunal is the synod, and yet, this assembly is devoid of any jurisdictional power unless summoned by the Pope. 7 These ideas stand in close proximity to the strict hierarchical grading of the sacerdotal order itself, a theme which is so incessantly repeated. This sacerdotal hierarchy has its apex in the Roman Church. The primacy of the Roman Church is, next to ecclesiastical freedom from lay jurisdiction, the most vital principle with which Pseudo-Isidore operates. 8 In a most specific sense the Roman Church
1. Clement, ep. 1, c. 26, p. 38 ; cf. Matt. v. 13, 14, 16; xv. 14.
2. Anacletus, ep. 2, c. 24, p. 79.
3. See, for instance, Clement, ep. 1, c. 31, p. 40 ; c. 42) p. 45, etc.
4. Evaristus, ep. 2, c. 9, p. 91 ; Pontianus, ep. 1, c. 3, p. 147 ; Anacletus, ep. 2, c. 22, p. 78 ("perverted individuals"); Fabianus, ep. 12, c. 13, p. 162 ; Eusebius, ep. 2, c. 9, p. 234 ; Julius, c. 18, p. 473. Lay people on equal footing with "violatores sepulchri, incestuosi, homicidae, perjuri, adulteri, de bellis fugientes," Stephen, ep. 1, c. 2, p. 186.
5. Ep. 1, c. 4, p. 117.
6. Evaristus, ep. 2, c. 9, p. 91 : "Non est itaque a plebe vel vulgaribus hominibus arguendus vel accusandus episcopus"; Calixtus, ep. 1, c. 3, p. 136.
7. See preface, p. 19, c. 8, and Marcellinus, decr. i, P. 224, and decr. ii, p. 228, c. 10: "Synodum ergo absque huius sanctae sedis auctoritate episcoporum . . . non potestis regulariter facere, neque ullum episcopum, qui hanc appellaverit apostolicam sedem dampnare antequam hinc sententia finitiva procedat."
8. But cf. Fournier-Le Bras, op. cit., i. 133: "On a dit, bien à tort, que l'idée dominante d'Isidore était Vexaltation de l'autorité; du Saint-Siège. Ce qui est vrai, c'est qu'il poursuit avant tout la restauration de l'indépendance, de l'autorité
epitomizes all that is contained in the sum total of all the other churches. In fact, Christianity as such is epitomized in the Roman Church. All Christian life is derived from its epitome. 1 By Christ's commission St. Peter became the "caput totius ecclesiae." 2 Moreover, all the superior status accorded to the clerics, applies to the Roman Church in a concentrated manner: it is the Church of him who was "cephas." The lay parts of the Christian body assume a mere passive role in this scheme of things. For the "ecclesia" being identical with [Catholic] Christendom, must be ruled by the Roman Church and the sacerdotal hierarchy. "Caput enim ecclesiae Christus est; Christi vicarii sacerdotes sunt, qui vice Christi legatione funguntur in ecclesia." 3 It is only logical for PseudoIsidore to claim that the proper tribunal for all Christians is the ecclesiastical tribunal. 4
Pseudo-Isidore's other basic view is the organic conception of the Christian body. He knows of Leo I's view 5 but makes Pope Julius propound this theme. 6 This Christian corpus includes both the clerical and lay Christians, and "although there are many members in the one body of Christ, not all members have the same functions": but "we all are one body in Christ." It is the organically and closely knit union of this one body -- the "connexio totius corporis" -- which makes necessary an integration of functions 7 and in a very special sense makes imperative the hierarchical gradation of the sacerdotal members of this body. Priests have all the same ordo, but they have not all the same potestas. Hence the proper functioning of the corpus presupposes dis-
et du prestige de l'épiscopat. S'il exalte le Siège Apostolique, c'est sans doute pour rendre hommage à la vieille tradition ecclésiastique et romaine, mais sourtout parce que, ayant compris que l'épiscopat ne peut s'ppuyer avec sécurité sur le souverain séculier, il cherche á lui donner un point d'appui très solide dans le domaine purement spirituel."
1. Cf., for example, Pius I, p. 116, c. 1, quoting Col ii. 19: "Caput, ex quo totum corpus per nexum et conjunctionem ministratum et constructum crescit in augmentum Dei."
2. Marcellus, p. 223, c. 1.
3. Eusebius, ep. 2, c. 3, p. 230 ; and ep. 3, c. 17, p. 239.
4. The apostolic saying is here applied in a far more general way than it was originally intended: "Quaecumque ergo contentiones in Christianos hortae fuerint, ad ecclesiam deferrantur et ab ecclesiasticis viris terminentur," Marcellinus, ep. 2, c. 3, p. 221 ; see furthermore Alexander, ep. 1, c. 4, p. 95 : "Christianorum causas ad ecclesias deferri et ibidem terminari"; Anacletus, ep. 1, c. 16, p. 74 : ". . . sacerdotali judicio terminari."
5. He incorporates the whole of Leo I's Ep. 14 in his collection, pp. 618-20; the relevant passage is c. 10, p. 620.
6. J. + 159: Pseudo-Isidore, pp. 456 ff.
7. Cf. also Pius I, p. 116, c. I; Col. ii. 19.
tribution of offices, so however that the Roman Church obtains "principatum totius ecclesiae," Pseudo-Isidore makes Julius say anticipating Leo I. 1 The organic conception of the Christian body -"ecclesia, quae est corpus eius (scil. Christi)" 2 -- together with the necessity for strict monarchical rulership of this one body 3 produces, according to Pseudo-Isidore, the further consequence that the lower placed churches partake in some way in the power of the Roman Church, from which they receive their existence. 4 Here it cannot be denied that Pseudo-Isidore makes a certain advance, for he extends -on the basis of the organic conception -- the principle which Leo I had laid down for one particular case, that of his own vicar: PseudoIsidore generalizes this principle and makes Pope Vigilius say that the Roman Church "reliquis ecclesiis vices suas credidit largiendas, ut in parte sint vocatae sollicitudinis, non in plenitudine potestatis." 5 This plenitude of power is the Pope's alone, for, on the model of the incorporated Donation of Constantine, the Pope combines both royal and sacerdotal functions in his own person: he is, as Felix II is made to say, "quasi totius orbis caput." 6
Whilst Pseudo-Isidore's aim was to show, by the literal transcription from Papal (and conciliar) sources, the right order of living, the canon of life in a Christian society, his contemporary Benedictus Levita pursued the same aim by collecting royal and imperial decrees. Whilst, furthermore, Pseudo-Isidore pretended to work on the basis of Isidore, Benedictus Levita pretended to continue the work of the abbot of St Wandrille, Ansegisus, who had collected (by about 829) the Frankish capitularia issued between 789 and 826. 7 This Pseudo-Ansegisus of
1. Julius, P. 461, and also anticipating Gelasius, Ep. 14, c. 9, Thiel, p. 367.
2. Euticianus, c. 5, p. 210.
3. Conflating Leo I's Ep. 14, c. 10, with Rom. xii. 5, he makes Calixtus say, p. 136, c. 1: "Non decet enim membra a capite dissidere, sed juxta sacrae scripturae testimonium omnia membra capud sequantur."
4. Vigilius, p. 712, c. 7: "a qua omnes ecclesias principium sumpsisse nemo recte credentium ignorat."
5. Leo I's statement was: "Vices enim nostras ita tuac credimus caritati ut in partem sis vocatus sollicitudinis, non in plenitudinern potestatis," Ep. 14, p. 619, preface. This was written by Leo I to his vicar, Anastasius of Thessalonica, about which see supra p. 8 ; on Pseudo-Isidore's extension see G. Tellenbach, Libertas, p. 166. The letter of Vigilius is genuine, except cap. 7, where the extension is forged, see Hinschius, p. cv.
6. Felix II, c. 13, p. 489.
7. They are printed in Mansi, xvii. 698-800; PL. xcvii. 490-590; and MGH. Leges, i. 256-325.
Benedictus Levita -- the author's name is as much a pseudonym as that of Isidore Mercatus ( Pseudo-Isidore ) -- was to prove that the hierocratic theme was set forth by royal and imperial capitularia, hence it is the exact opposite number of Pseudo-Isidore. The collection contains 1721 chapters of which only about a quarter is genuine; the oldest genuine law is one of King Childebert of 596, and the most recent a capitulare of 829; in this genuine mass there is also a good deal of Roman law. 1 In the preface the author reveals that his collection is destined to serve the interests of the clergy as well as those of the whole Christian people. 2
Naturally, the role of the Papacy also assumes major proportions in this work. The secular laws, the Capitularia, are proper norms of conduct, according to Benedictus Levita, because they had been confirmed by apostolic authority, 3 and for this reason they are binding on the whole Christian people. The function of the Pope as the supreme judge in a Christian body was given particular prominence in this collection. Old tenets were here reshaped and expressed in far more decided language than they originally were. 4 The universally binding character of Papal decrees is given equal prominence. 5 No synod is legitimate unless approved by the Pope. 6 The magisterial primacy of the Roman Church is, for understandable reasons, one more prominent
1. Cf. M. Conrat, in Neues Archiv, 1899, pp. 341 ff., and the introduction to MGH. Leges, ii. 19-31. For a description and analysis see E. Seckel, "Studien zu Benedictus Levita in Neues Archiv, xxvi-xli, 1900-31, and Sav. Z., Kan. Abt., 1934-5; cf. also Fournier-Le Bras, op. Cit. i. 202-9.
2. Preface, P. 40, lines 14-16: ". . . ea, quae sequuntur, ad sanctae Dei ecclesiae servorumque eius atque totius Christiani populi, utilitatem sunt conscripta capitula."
3 Preface, p. 40, lines 7-8: "Ut cognoscant omnes haec praedictorum principum (scil. Carolimanni et Pippini) capitula maxima apostolica auctoritate fore firmata."
4. ii. 64, which is a transformation of c. iii of the Council of Sardica, cf. Seckel, vol. xxxiv. 376 ff. See furthermore, ii. 401 = Sardicum, c. iv = iii. 103; Sard. c. vii = iii. 173. In this process of transformation the original text is often changed beyond recognition. Cf. e.g., iii. 315 (forged): "Placuit, ut si episcopus accusatus appellaverit Romanum pontificem, id statuendum, quod ipse censuerit"; the same in Additio, iv. 27, where it is rendered "ex edictis synodalibus sub Theodosio imperatore." On the various modifications of texts see Fournier-Le Bras, op. cit., i. 160-2.
5. ii. 341: "(Rubric) Ut nullus apostolicas sanctiones temerare praesumat. Ita unanimes divinis apostolicis constitutionibus serviatis, ut in nullo patiamini pia canonum decreta violari." Repeated iii. 244. Cf. also i. 85.
6. ii. 381: "Auctoritas ecclesiastica atque canonica docet non debere absque sententia Romani pontificis concilia celebrare"; iii. 341: "Ut provincialis synodus retractetur per vicarios urbis Romanae episcopi, si ipse decreverit." Cf. also iii. 478.
point. 1 In the emphasis of these cardinal tenets Benedictus Levita pursues the same aim as Pseudo-Isidore and with as little originality as the latter.
Since this collection was one of Frankish secular laws and since these, particularly those of Charlemagne, had dealt so largely with a number of topics which Papal legislation had not touched and which were nevertheless important for the shaping of Christian society, we find a very great number of regulations allegedly repeating, modifying or re-enacting decrees concerning the payment of tithes; 2 service on Sundays and holidays; 3 penance; 4 instruction by priests; 5 delivery of sermons; 6 pastoral care; 7 illegality of usury; 8 ordination of clerics; 9 and so forth. These regulations are supplemented by those relating to accusations against clerics and particularly against bishops -- the point of vital interest to the contemporary clerical party. 10
Whilst in all this the forger did not contribute anything new -- on the whole his work stands on a far lower level than that of PseudoIsidore -- he nevertheless makes one point which deserves special mention. This point concerns the inalienability and inviolability of ecclesiastical property. In this Benedictus Levita did not invent anything new, but rounded off, so to speak, a legislative development whose beginning was witnessed in the councils of the second and third decades of his century. The council at Paris, 829, had touched upon this delicate point 11 and seven years later in the council at Aix-laChapelle the principle of inviolability and inalienability of ecclesiastical property was made the subject of a decree. 12 Benedictus Levita raises this principle to a higher level when he declares in several forged decrees that whatever has been given for the service of clerics has become divine property, whether it be fields, bridges, books, buildings, rivers, vestments, clothing, parchments, in short all mobile and immobile goods. 13 Any infringement of this so widely conceived ecclesias-
1. i. 35, p. 48, esp. lines 31 ff.
2. i. 45, 51, 88, 101, 154, etc.
3. ii. 188 ff.
4. i. 117 ff.
5. i. 4; ii. 174.
6. i. 95; 299.
7. i. 57, 169; ii. 176; iii. 132.
8. i. 38.
9. i. 40.
10. E.g., i. 36, 187; ii. 307, 357 ff., 381, 403; iii. 84-91, 107-12. Not all of these decrees are spurious, some are in literal agreement with the Council of Carthage, some with that of Toledo IV, and others again with that of Chalcedon, for details see Seckel, vol. xxxv, PP. 474 ff.
11. MGH. Concilia., i. p. 675, and the Relatio episcoporum, cap. 196, see also supra p. 136.
12. See MGH. Conc., p. 718 f., c. 8, and also the letter of Jonas of Orleans, ibid., PP. 730ff.
13. ii. 89; ii. 407: "Quicquid a fidelibus offertur, sive in mancipiis sive in agris, vineis, silvis, pratis, aquis aquarumque decursibus, artificiis, libris, utensilibus,
tical property is consequently a sacrilege, the penalty for which is excommunication, 1 loss of all dignities, 2 and stigmatization and punishment as murderer, thief and church robber 3 by the secular tribunals. 4
One more observation seems warranted. Episcopal freedom was the battle cry of Pseudo-Isidore, as it was that of Benedictus Levita. But the latter goes a little further than the former when, obviously reechoing the relevant declarations of the synodists of Paris, 829, 5 he declares that Constantine had given the lead by saying that emperors can be judged by bishops, but not bishops by emperors. 6 This alleged statement by Constantine is the basis of Benedictus Levita's forged declaration of Pippin in which he said:
Praecipimus atque jubernus ne forte, quod absit, aliquis circa episcopos leviter aut graviter agat, quod ad periculum totius imperii nostri pertinet. 7
The claim to absolute episcopal freedom is based upon the unique function which the bishops fulfil in a Christian society, that is, the binding and loosing committed to them by St Peter. 8 It is this aspect
petris, aedificiis, vestimentis, pollibus, lanificiis, pecoribus, pasenis, membranis, mobilibus et immobilibus, vel quaecumque de his rebus, quae ad laudem. Dei fiunt vel ad supplementum sanctae Dei ecclesiae eiusque sacerdotibus atque ornatum priestare possunt, domino ecclesiaeque suae a quibuscumque ultro offeruntur, Domino indubitanter consecrantur et ad jus pertinent sacerdotum. Et quia Christum et ecclesiam unam personam esse veraciter agnoscimus, quaecumque ecclesiae sunt, Christi sunt; et quae ecclesiae vel in supradictis vel in quibuscumque speciebus sive pollicitationibus sive pignoribus, sive scriptis, sive corporalibus rebus offeruntur, Christo offeruntur; et quae ab ecclesia eius quocumque commento alienantur vel tolluntur, sive alienando sive vastando sive invadendo sive minorando sive diripiendo, Christo tolluntur."
See also ii. 370, 426-8.
1. ii. 134-6; iii. 265, 409.
2. ii. 428: ". . . omnes honores, quos habere videbatur, perdat."
3. iii. 142.
4. Cap. cit.: "Quod si quis fecerit, tam nostris quam et successorum nostrorum temporibus, poenis sacrilegii subjaceat, et a nobis atque successoribus nostris nostrique judicibus vel comitibus sicut sacrilegus et homicida vel fur sacrilegus legaliter puniatur et ab episcopis nostris anathematizetur, ita ut mortuus etiam sepultura et cunctis Dei ecclesiae precibus et oblationibus careat."
5. See supra p. 131.
6. i. 315: "Imperator episcopis ait: 'Deus, inquit, constituit vos sacerdotes, et potestatem vobis dedit de nobis quoque judicandi. Et ideo nos a vobis recte judicamur, vos autem non potestis ab hominibus judicari . . . vos etenim vobis a Deo dati estis dii. Et conveniens non est, ut homo judicet deos.'" See also Gregory I, supra p. 39; the council of Aix-la-Chapelle, p. 179, and Pseudo-Isidore, supra p. 181; also Gregory VII, infra pp. 289ff.
7. i. 315.
8. i. 315: "Et ut omnes cognoscant nomen, potestatem, vigorem et dignitatem sacerdotalem, quod ex verbis Domini facile intelligi potest, quibus beato Petro, cuius vicem episcopi gerunt, ait: 'Quodcumque ligaveris . . .'"
of functional qualification in a Christian world order which makes Benedictus Levita insert another chapter wherein the position of the secular power is made clear:
Nam et episcopos et sacerdotes, quibus omnis terra caput inclinat, per quos et nostrum pollet imperium, admodum honorari et venerari omnes monemus. 1
And he adds:
Detractio sacerdotum ad Christum pertinet, cuius vice legatione funguntur in ecclesia.
The position of the king or emperor within the Christian body is made clear also in the imperial decree in which obedience to the bishops is made the king's or emperor's duty, whilst there is no corresponding duty on the part of the bishops to obey the emperor's decrees. 2 It is therefore perfectly logical when we read that imperial laws in opposition to ecclesiastical canons and Papal decrees are null and void. 3
Lex imperatorum non est supra legem Dei, sed subtus. 4
As we have said before, these forgeries do not excel in inventing new ideas: what they did was to give certain fundamental theses, already largely accepted, a historical twist and foundation. The chief value of these products, especially Pseudo-Isidore, lay in their character as handy reference works, which made time-consuming search and research unnecessary. No doubt, the authors of these products were not unskilful in giving certain ideas a sharper and more accentuated form than they previously might have had. What in particular the author (or authors) of the Pseudo-Isidoriana attempted to set forth was the canon of right living in a Christian society: as the preface to the work points out, the term "canon" denotes the norma recte vivendi," 5 and to lay down this right way of living was the author's intention, prompted no doubt by existing conditions, namely the visible decay of the once held universal empire. The idea underlying this motive of the author was the conception of society as a Christian body politic -- the
1. i. 322.
2. i. 375.
3. iii. 346; this is in agreement with Capitula Angilramni, cap. 36.
4. Additio iii. 18.
5. See preface, ed. cit., cap. 3, p. 17 : "Canon autem graece, latine regula nuncupatur. Regula autem dicta quod recto ducit, ne quando atiorsum trahit. Alii dixerunt regulam dictam vel quod regat, vel quod normam recte vivendi praebeat, sive quod distortum pravumque quid corrigit." This passage is in fact copied from the genuine Hispana.
ideational union of Christian mankind was not the Roman Empire, but the universal Church conceived as an empire: the imperium Romanum was to be supplanted by the imperium Christianum governed by its functionally qualified members. The powerful help which Pseudo-Isidore gave to later Papal generations, particularly of the Humberfine-Hildebrandine period, is undeniable. Rheims supplied convenient handbooks to Rome.
[ Continue to Ch.VII ]