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and lastly, on Christmas day, 858, was declared patri-
arch.

Pope Nicholas took part with Ignatius and excom-
municated Photius, reproaching him chiefly with



Photius. 205

having passed in so short a time from the state of a
layman to the dignity of a bishop. To this Photius
replied, with reason on his side, that St. Ambrose,
governor of Milan, and scarcely in fact a Christian,
had with still greater rapidity passed from the one
to the other state, and joined the episcopal dignity
with that of governor , and accordingly excommuni-
cated the pope in his turn, declaring him deposed
from his pontifical function. He then took the title
of ecumenical patriuvch and openly accused the bish-
ops of the West, who were in the pope's commun-
ton, of heresy. The principal objection he brought
against them was the holding the procession from
the Father and the Son. "A set of men," says he in
one of his letters, " sprung out of the darkness of
the West, have corrupted all things by their ignor-
ance ; and to put the finishing hand to their impiety,
have dared to add new words to the sacred symbol
authorized by all the councils, by saying, that the
Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Father alone,
but from the Son, also, which is at once renouncing
all Christianity."

By this passage, and several others of the like
kind, we may perceive the superiority the Greek
Church affected in all things over that of the Latins.
They pretended that the Romish Church was
indebted for everything to the Greek, even for the
names of their customs, ceremonies, mysteries, and
dignities. Baptisms, the eucharist, liturgy, diocese,
parish, bishop, priest, deacon, monk, church, all was



206 Ancient and Modern History.

Greek ; and they looked upon the Latins as so many
ignorant scholars, who had rebelled against their
masters.

The other subjects of anathema were, that the
Latins made use of unleavened bread in the euchar-
ist ; that they ate eggs and cheese in Lent ; and that
their priests did not shave their beards. Strange rea-
sons these for creating a breach between the eastern
and western churches !

But every impartial person must allow that Pho-
tius was not only the most learned of any of the
churchmen of those times, but likewise a great
bishop. He followed the conduct of St. Ambrose;
for when Basilius, who had murdered the emperor
Michael, presented himself to communicate in the
church of St. Sophia, he told him with a loud voice
" that he was not worthy to approach the holy mys-
teries, who had his hands yet stained with the blood
of his benefactor." Photius did not find a Theodo-
sius in Basilius: that tyrant did an act of justice
from a motive of revenge ; he deposed Photius and
reinstated Ignatius in the patriarchal chair. Rome
took advantage of this conjuncture to call, in 869,
the eighth ecumenical council at Constantinople,
composed of three hundred bishops. The pope's
legates presided there, but not one of them knew
a word of Greek, and very few of the bishops under-
stood Latin. Photius was, by the general voice,
declared an intruder, and condemned to do public
penance. The names of the five patriarchs were



Photius. 207

signed before that of the pope, which was very
extraordinary : for as the legates held the first place,
they were undoubtedly entitled to sign the first. In
all this session there was not a word mentioned of
the disputes which then divided the two churches:
their whole aim was to depose Photius.

A short time after, the true patriarch, Ignatius,
dying, Photius had the skill to get himself reinstated
by the emperor Basilius. Pope John VIII. received
him into his communion, acknowledged him as patri-
arch, wrote to him, and notwithstanding he had
been publicly anathematized by the eighth ecumen-
ical council, the pope sent legates to another council
at Constantinople, in which Photius was declared
innocent by four hundred bishops, three hundred of
whom had before signed the sentence of condemna-
tion, and the very legates of the same see of Rome
who had concurred in anathematizing him were
now the instruments of annulling the decree of the
eighth ecumenical council.

How surprisingly do things change with mankind !
and how frequently does that become truth, accord-
ing to particular times and circumstances, which
but a little before was false ! " Whosoever shall not
acknowledge the authority of Photius," cried the
legates of John VIII., in full council, " let his lot be
with Judas." " Long life to our patriarch, Photius,
and to Pope John," replied the council.

Moreover, at the end of the acts of this council
we find a letter from the pope to this learned patri-



208 Ancient and Modern History.

arch, wherein he says : " We think after the same
manner as yourself ; we hold for transgressors of the
word of God, and rank with Judas, all those who
have added to the symbol, that the Holy Ghost pro-
ceeds from the Father and the Son ; but we think
that it is best to use lenity towards them, and only
to exhort them to renounce their blasphemy."

It is evident, then, that the Roman and Greek
churches thought differently at that time to what
they do now. It happened afterwards that Rome
adopted the procession from the Father and the
Son ; and it even fell out that, in the year 1274, when
Michael Palaeologus was applying for a new crusade
against the Turks, and sent his patriarch and chan-
cellor to the second council of Lyons, they both
joined with the council in singing in Latin, qui ex
patre filioque procedit. But the Greek Church
returned to its former opinion, and again seemed to
depart from it in the transient union which it made
with Pope Eugenius IV. Let mankind from hence
learn to tolerate the opinions of each other: here
we have seen differences and disputes upon a funda-
mental point, without either raising disturbances in
the state, or bringing any one to the dungeon or the
stake.

Those who blame Pope John VIII. for the con-
cession he made to the patriarch Photius do not suf-
ficiently consider that this pontiff stood in need at
that time of the assistance of the emperor Basilius.
A king of Bulgaria, named Bogoris, overcome by the



Photius. 209

artifices of his wife, embraced the Christian religion,
after the example of Clovis and King Egbert. It
now became a question on which patriarchate this
new Christian province was to depend. Constanti-
nople and Rome disputed it with each other: the
decision rested with the emperor Basilius. This was,
in some measure, the occasion of that condescension
which the bishop of Rome showed towards him of
Constantinople.

We must not forget that there were cardinals in
this council, as well as in the preceding one. This
was a title then given to all priests and deacons who
assisted the metropolitans with their advice: Rome
had them as well as the other churches. They were
of some consideration even at that time : but did not
sign till after the bishops and abbots.

The pope, both in his letters and by his legates,
gave the title of holiness to the patriarch Photius:
the other patriarchs are likewise in this council called
popes. This is a Greek appellation, and common
to all priests ; but by degrees it has become the dis-
tinguishing title of the metropolitan of Rome.

Pope John VIII. seems to have managed with
great prudence ; for when his successors, on having
a dispute with the Greek empire, adopted the eighth
ecumenical council of 869, and rejected that which
had absolved Photius, the peace established by John
was presently broken. Photius inveighed loudly
against the Church of Rome, upbraiding it with
heresy in relation to the article filioque procedit, the
Vol. 24 14



2io Ancient and Modern History.

eating- of eggs in Lent, the using of unleavened
bread in the eucharist, and several other customs.
But the grand point of division was the primacy.
Photius and his successors wanted to be the first
bishops of Christendom, and could not bear that a
bishop of Rome, a city which they looked upon as
barbarous, separated by rebellion from the empire,
and a prey to any one who thought it worth while
to take possession of it, should hold precedency over
the bishop of the imperial city. The patriarch of
Constantinople, at that time, reckoned all the
churches of Sicily and Apulia in his district; and
when the holy see came under a foreign dominion
it lost at the same time its patrimonial and metro-
politan rights in those provinces. The Greek Church
held that of Rome in great contempt. The sciences
flourished in Constantinople, but in Rome every-
thing fell to decay, even to the Latin tongue itself ;
and though possessed of more knowledge than any
other part of the West, yet the little learning they
had bore a strong tincture of the unhappiness of the
times. The Greeks now took ample revenge for the
superiority the Romans had exercised over them
from the time of Lucretia and Cicero to that of Cor-
nelius Tacitus. They never mentioned the Romans
but in the most contemptuous manner. Bishop Luit-
prand, who was sent on an embassy to Constanti-
nople by the Othos, relates that the Greeks, when they,
spoke of St. Gregory the Great, called him by no
other name than Gregory the Dialogist ; as his dia-



Photius. 211

logues, in truth, seem to be the productions of a very
weak genius. But time has changed the face of
affairs. The popes have become powerful sover-
eigns, Rome the centre of politeness and the fine
arts, and the Latin Church learned ; while the patri-
arch of Constantinople is at present a slave, or, at
best, the bishop of a people in slavery.

Photius, whose life was a scene rather of adversity
than glory, was deposed by the intrigues of a party
at court and died miserably: however, his succes-
sors adhered to his pretensions and supported them
with vigor.

Pope John VIII. finished his life in a still more
wretched manner ; for if we believe the annals of
Fulda, he was beaten to death with hammers. The
ensuing times will show us the pontifical seat fre-
quently bathed in blood, and Rome the principal,
but, at the same time, the most pitiable object of all
other nations.

The western church was not as yet disturbed by
dogmatical disputes. We barely hear of a trifling
contest raised in 814, by one John Godescald, relat-
ing to predestination and grace; and I shall take
little notice of a kind of epidemic folly with which
the people of Dijon were seized in 844, on occasion
of one St. Benignus, who, they say, caused convul-
sions in those who paid their devotions at his tomb.
I should not take any notice, I say, of this piece of
popular superstition, had it not been revived of later
times with great fury, and under almost the same



212 Ancient and Modern History.

circumstances. It seems as if the same follies
were destined to make their appearance again
at stated times on this great theatre of the world:
but then good sense is found the same at all times,
and nothing has been more wisely said on the mod*
ern miracles lately performed at the tomb of a cer-
tain deacon of Paris, than what was said by a bishop
of Lyons in 844, relating to those of Dijon : " This
is a strange sort of saint surely, who maims those
who pay their addresses to him. I should think that
miracles ought to be performed rather for curing
diseases than inflicting them."

But these trifles in no wise disturbed the peace ot
the West; and theological disputes were in those
times held for nothing, because no one thought of
growing great by them. They had more weight
indeed in the East, because the prelates of that
church never being admitted to any share of seculat
government, studied to make themselves of conse-
quence by the war of the pen. There is yet another
reason to be given for the theological calm which
reigned in the West namely, the ignorance of the
clergy, which was at least productive of this one
good, amidst the numberless evils of which it wa*
otherwise the cause.



The Western Empire. 213



CHAPTER XXII.

THE STATE OF THE WESTERN EMPIRE TOWARDS THE
END OF THE NINTH CENTURY.

THE empire of the West existed now only in name.
Arnould, Arnold, or Arnolf, a bastard son of Carlo-
man, made himself master of Germany; but Italy
was divided between two lords, both of the blood
of Charlemagne, by the mother's side. The one of
these was named Guy, duke of Spoleto, the other
Berengarius or Berenger, duke of Friuli. Both these
lords had been invested with these duchies by
Charles the Bald, and both made pretensions to the
empire as well as to the kingdom of France. Arnold
on his side, in quality of emperor, looked upon
France as belonging to him of right; while that
kingdom, rent from the empire, was divided between
Charles the Simple, who lost it, and King Eudes,
great uncle to Hugh Capet, who usurped it.

But there was yet another pretender to the empire,
namely, one Bozo, or Bozon, king of Aries. Now at
that time, Formosus, the insignificant bishop of
unhappy Rome, dared not to refuse the sacred unc-
tion to whomsoever was strong enough to demand
it. Accordingly he conferred the crown on this
Guy, duke of Spoleto. The very next year, 894, he
did the same for Berengarius, who was then the con-
queror : and not long after he was again obliged to
crown Arnold, who came in person, and laid siege



214 Ancient and Modern History.

to" Rome, which he took by assault. The equivocal
oath which Arnold received from the Romans proves
that even at that time the popes pretended to the sov-
ereignty of Rome. The form of the oath was as
follows : " I swear by the holy mysteries, that, sav-
ing my honor, the laws of my country, and the fidel-
ity I owe to my lord Formosus, the pope, I will be
true and faithful to the emperor Arnold."

The popes at that time in some measure resembled
the caliphs of Bagdad, who were revered by all the
Mahometan states, as the heads of their religion;
but yet had no other privilege left them than that of
bestowing the investiture of kingdoms on those who
demanded them sword in hand : but there was this
difference between the one and the other, that the
caliphs were fallen from their authority, whereas
the popes were every day rising in theirs.

In reality there was no longer an empire, either
in right or in fact. The Romans, who had submitted
themselves to Charlemagne with universal assent,
would not, however, acknowledge bastards, foreign-
ers, and persons who were hardly masters of the
smallest part of Germany.

The Roman people, in the midst of their humilia-
tion, and intermixture with foreigners, still pre-
served, as they do to this day, that secret haughtiness
which is ever the consequence of former grandeur.
They could not bear that the Bructeri, the Chatti, and
the Marcomanni should call themselves descendants
from their Caesars, nor that the banks of the Main



The Western Empire. 215

and the rude forests of Hercynia should be made the
centre of the empire of Titus and Trajan.

It produced an equal mixture of indignation and
contempt at Rome, when it was known that after
the death of Arnold, in 900, his son Hiludovic, whom
we call Louis, had been created emperor of the
Romans at three or four years of age, in a sorry
village called Forchheim, by a few German barons
and bishops. This child was never reckoned among
the emperors, though looked upon in Germany as the
person who was to succeed to the empire of Charle-
magne and the Caesars ; and indeed it was a strange
sort of Roman Empire, which had not a foot of coun-
try between the Rhine and the Meuse ; neither pos-
sessed France, nor Burgundy, nor Spain, nor yet any
part of Italy ; nor had even a single house in Rome
that could properly be said to belong to the emperor.

From the time of this Louis, the last German
prince of the bastard blood of Charlemagne, and
who died in 912, the Roman Empire, now confined
to Germany, was in the same condition as France, a
country wasted by foreign and domestic wars, and
governed by a prince chosen by faction, and obeyed
with reluctance.

All governments have their revolutions: there
could not be a more amazing one than that which
raised those savage Saxons, who were treated by
Charlemagne as the Helots of old were by the
Lacedaemonians, which raised these people, I say,
in the space of one hundred and twelve years, to



2i 6 Ancient and Modern History.

that dignity which was now lost to the family of
their conqueror. Otho, duke of Saxony, after the
death of Louis, by his interest and credit, placed the
crown on the head of Conrad, duke of Franconia;
and after the death of Conrad, the son of Henry the
Fowler, son of Duke Otho of Saxony, was elected
emperor. These elections were made in 919 by the
conjunction of the several great men who had made
themselves hereditary princes in Germany, and the
bishops, together with the principal citizens of the
towns of the empire, who were called in upon the
occasion.

CHAPTER XXIII.

THE GERMAN EMPIRE AND ITS FIEFS.

FORCE, which does everything in this world, gave
Italy and the two Gauls to the Romans. The Bar-
barians usurped these conquests from them. Char-
lemagne's father usurped the two Gauls from the
kings of the Franks. The governors under the
descendants of Charlemagne, usurped in their turns
whatever they could. The kings of Lombardy had
already established fiefs in Italy, which served as
models for all the dukes and counts from the time
of Charles the Bald; and, by degrees, what were
at first only governments, came now to be heredi-
tary rights. The bishops of several large sees,
already very powerful by their dignity, had but one
step further to take in order to become princes;



The German Empire. 217

and this step they were not long in taking. This
gave rise to the temporal power of the bishops of
Mentz, Cologne, Trier, Wiirzburg, and a number
of others both in Germany and France. The arch-
bishops of Rheims, Lyons, Beauvais, Langres, and
Laon laid claim to the royalties, or kings' rights.
This assumed power of the clergy did not last long
in France; but in Germany it has been confirmed
for a considerable time. In short, even abbots at
length became princes : witness the abbots of Fulda,
of St. Gall, of Kempten, Corbie, etc., who became
petty kings, in the very place where not above four-
score years before, they had, with their own hands,
cleared the lands which had been bestowed on them,
by the charitable proprietors, for their subsistence.
All those lords, dukes, counts, marquises, bishops,
and abbots paid homage to the sovereign. The
origin of this feudal right has long been the subject
of inquiry. It may be supposed that it has no other
than the ancient custom which has prevailed among
all nations, of the stronger imposing a homage and
tribute on the weaker. We know that the Roman
emperors afterwards gave away lands in perpetuity,
on certain conditions; and we have several
instances of this, in the lives of Alexander Severus,
and the emperor Probus. The Lombards were the
first who erected duchies to be held in fief of their
kingdom. Spoleto and Benevento were hereditary
dukedoms under the kings of Lombardy.

Before the time of Charlemagne, Taffillo held the



2i 8 Ancient and Modern History.

dukedom of Bavaria on condition of homage ; and
this dukedom would have gone to his descendants,
if Charlemagne, after conquering this prince, had
not dispossessed both the father and the children.

The consequence of this was, that there were few
free towns in Germany, therefore little or no trade ;
and of course not much riches: nay, some of the
towns had not even walls to defend them : and this
state, which might have been so powerful, was now
become so weak, through the number and division
of its masters, that the emperor Conrad was obliged
to promise a yearly tribute to the Hungarians,
Huns, or Pannonians, a people who had been so
well kept within bounds by Charlemagne, and were
afterwards so humbled by the emperors of the house
of Austria ; but at that time they seemed to be the
same they had been under the famous Attila. They
ravaged Germany and the frontiers of France : they
made incursions into Italy through Tyrol, after hav-
ing plundered Bavaria, and then returned loaded
with the spoils of the many nations they had over-
run.

It was in the reign of Henry the Fowler, that
Germany began to emerge a little from its chaos.
Its boundaries were then the river Oder, Bohemia,
Moravia, Hungary, the banks of the Rhine, the
Scheldt, the Moselle, and the Meuse; and Pomer-
ania and Holstein were its barriers towards the
north.

Henry the Fowler must undoubtedly have been a



The German Empire. 219

prince most worthy of reigning. Under him we
find the German lords, before so divided, were
united. The first fruits of this union were, about
929, the shaking off of the tribute which had been
paid to the Hungarians; and a signal victory
gained over this nation, which before appeared so
formidable. Henry caused most of the cities of
Germany to be encompassed with walls. He insti-
tuted militias ; and some say that he was the
inventor of certain military games, which gave the
first idea of tournaments. In short, under him Ger-
many began to recover herself ; but we do not find
that she pretended to be the Roman Empire. Henry
the Fowler had been consecrated by the archbishop
of Mentz; but neither a legate from the pope, nor
any deputy from the people of Rome, assisted at the
ceremony. It seems as if Germany, during all this
reign, had utterly forgotten Italy.

But it was otherwise under the reign of Otho the
Great, whom the German princes, bishops, and
abbots, unanimously elected emperor on the death
of Henry, his father, in 936. The acknowledged heir
of a powerful prince, who has been the founder or
restorer of a kingdom, is always more powerful
than his father, if he be not wanting in courage and
resolution; for he enters upon a career which is
already opened for him, and begins where his pred-
ecessor had ended. Thus Alexander went farther
than his father Philip, Charlemagne than Pepin, and
Otho the Great far surpassed Henry the Fowler.



220 Ancient and Modern History.



CHAPTER XXIV.

OTHO THE GREAT IN THE TENTH CENTURY.

OTHO, who restored a part of the empire of Charle-
magne, like him propagated the Christian faith in
Germany, by conquest. In 948 he obliged the
Danes, by force of arms, to pay him a tribute, and
to receive baptism, which had been preached to
them above a century before, and which was now
utterly abolished among them.

These Danes or Normans, who had conquered
Neustria and England, and overrun France and
Germany, received law from Otho. He established
bishops in Denmark, who were at that time subject
to the archbishop of Hamburg, metropolitan of the
barbarous churches founded afterwards in Holstein,
Sweden, and Denmark. The whole of Christianity
consisted then in making the sign of the cross. This
prince likewise subdued Bohemia, after an obstinate
war. From his time, Bohemia and Denmark were
reputed provinces of the empire; but the Danes
quickly shook off their yoke.

Otho was now become the most considerable
monarch of the western hemisphere, and the arbiter
of princes: and so great was his authority at that
time, that Louis the Foreigner, king of France, son
of Charles the Simple, the descendant of Charle-
magne, having come to a council of bishops held by



Otho the Great.

Otho, near to Mentz, in 948, delivered himself in
the following words, which are to be found in the
collection of acts of that council.

" I was acknowledged and consecrated king, by
the suffrages of all the lords and noblesse of the
kingdom of France ; notwithstanding which, I have
been treacherously driven from my dominions by
Hugh, who has detained me as a prisoner, during a
whole year, without my being able to obtain my
liberty, otherwise than by ceding to him the city of
Laon, which was the only town I had left for my
Queen Gerberga to hold her court with the rest of
my household. If I am accused of any crime that
appears to deserve such treatment, I am ready to
acquit myself by the judgment of a council, and
agreeable to the orders of King Otho; or else by
single combat."

This remarkable and important speech serves at
once to prove several things, namely: the great
power of Otho ; the weakness of France ; the prac-
tice of single combats, and the established custom
of bestowing crowns, not according to hereditary
right, but by the suffrages of the lords and great
men of the nation: a custom soon after utterly
abolished in France.


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