Oliver J. (Oliver Joseph) Thatcher.

A short history of mediæval Europe online

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cia came to Rome, and was soon the most influential per-
son in the city. He had been born at Brescia and had
therefore come into contact with the ideas of the Pataria,
especially in regard to the marriage of the clergy. He had
been in France and had heard the theories of the great
heretic Abelard, and, having adopted them, wished to put
them into practice. He was made a priest and drawn to
Rome soon after the revolution of 1143. His programme
was somewhat extensive. His sympathies were wiih the
common people as against the nobility. He was filled
with the idea which had cropped out at various times in
the Church, and was soon to become a central reforming
principle of St. Francis, i.e., the sinfulness of property.
He declared that the land should not be held by the rich,
but should be common property. Everyone had the right
to the use of a certain amount of land. Since individual
possession is sinful, the Church, of course, should be with-
out property. But he went a step farther, and declared
that the individual also should live in poverty. He at-
tacked the clergy for their crimes and worldliness. It was
to him a mark of the deepest corruption of the clergy that
/they had so great a share in the administration of civil
' affairs. " Clergymen with property, bishops with regalia.



TJic Papacy and the Empire 153

and monks with possessions could not be saved." The
Church needed a thorough reform, and he was wise enough
to see that the beginning should be made with the Pope.
Arnold demanded that the Church give up all her posses-
sions and live in poverty, which, he said, was the law of
Christ. Fired by his preaching the mob began to sack the
monasteries. If it was wrong for the clergy to have prop-
erty, they ought to be deprived of it at once !

In 1 1 54 Nicholas Breakspeare, the only Englishman
who has ever occupied the chair of St. Peter, was elected
Pope and took the name of Hadrian IV. He boldly took Hadrian iv..
up the struggle with the republican party in the city. He
got possession of the Vatican quarter, and intrenched him-
self there. He put the city under the interdict, and re-
moved it only when Arnold was exiled. By losing Arnold,
the city lost its best leader.

It was at this juncture that Frederick Barbarossa came Frederick I. in
into Italy. The Pope went to meet him, made charges
against Arnold, and demanded his death. The republican
party also sent an embassy to Frederick to tell him that the
people of Rome Avere the source of the imperial power and
were willing to make him Emperor if he would take an
oath to respect the rights of the city and her officials, and
pay them a large sum of money. Frederick was enraged at
their insolence, and told them that Karl the Great and
Otto I. had acquired the imperial title by conquest ;
Rome's power was a thing of the past ; her glory and
authority had passed to the Germans ; it was not for a
conquered people to dictate terms to their master. Hadri-
an IV., however, was willing to make better terms with
Frederick. He agreed to crown him Emperor on condi-
tion that Frederick restore him to his place in Rome and
deliver Arnold into his power. Frederick was thereupon
crowned, the city was reduced to subjection, and Arnold



1 54 A SJiort History of McdicBval Europe

taken prisoner, and, at the command of Hadrian, burned at
the stake as a heretic.

The relations between Frederick and Hadrian had not
been ahogether satisfactory. At their first meeting Fred-
erick had refused to hold the stirrup of the Pope because,
as he said, it was not the custom for the king to do so.
Hadrian was enraged at this, and would not give Frederick
the kiss of peace. The quarrel was finally patched up, but
only temporarily. The claims of Pope and Emperor were
so conflicting that there could be no lasting peace be-
tween them.
The BesaiK^on The Besangon episode showed the temper of the two
episo e. 1157. pjjj-^jgg ^^^ indicated the speedy outburst of the storm. The
Archbishop Eskil of Lund had been in Rome, and while on
his return homeward through Burgundy was seized, robbed,
beaten, and imprisoned. x\lthough Frederick was informed
of this, he made no attempt to set him free or to punish
those who had committed the outrage. One reason for this
indifference was to be found in the fact that Frederick was
very angry at Eskil because he was supporting the ambition
of the Scandinavian Church to become independent — an
ambition at the bottom of which was, of course, national
feeling. Frederick also wished to show his displeasure
Avith the treaty which had just been made between the
Pope and William of Sicily, in which the Emperor's
rights had been entirely disregarded. While Frederick was
at Besangon (October 24-28, 1157) two legates appeared
from the Pope bearing a letter in which the Emperor was
roundly rebuked for his neglect. When they first pre-
sented themselves before Frederick they delivered the
greetings of the Pope and the cardinals, adding that the
Pope greeted him as a father, the cardinals, as brothers.
This form of salutation was regarded as strange, but was not
resented by Frederick. On the following day they were



The Papacy and the Empire 155



formally received by the Emperor, and laid before him
Hadrian's letter. After rebuking Frederick for his indif-
ference, the Pope confesses that he does not know the cause
of it. Hadrian feels that he has not offended in any respect
against Frederick ; on the contrary, he has always treated
him as a dear son. Frederick should recall how, two years
before, his mother, the Holy Roman Church, had received
him and had treated him with the greatest affection, and, by
gladly conferring upon him the imperial crown, had given
him the highest dignity and honor. " Nor are we sorry,"
he continued, " that we fulfilled your desires in all things ;
but even if your Excellence had received greater fiefs (bene-
ficia) from our hands, if that were possible, in considera-
tion of the great services which you may render to the
Church and to us, we should still have good grounds for
rejoicing." The reading of the letter produced the wild-
est sort of scene. Never before had the Empire been thus
openly called a fief of the Papacy. The princes about
Frederick angrily remonstrated with the legates for making
such claims. To this one of them replied by asking,
" From whom then did the Emperor receive the P2mpire,
if not from the Pope ? " The question almost cost him his
life, for the hot-blooded Otto von Wittelsbach rushed upon
him and would have slain him but for the interference of
the Emperor. The legates were ordered to return at once
to Italy, and were not permitted to proceed farther on the
business of the Pope.

Whether Hadrian meant that l)cneficium should be vm-
derstood as fief or not, is really of small consequence. The
important thing was that he plainly treated the imperial
crown as if it were something entirely within his power to
give or withhold. This was little less offensive to Freder-
ick than the word fief, because it was his belief that the
imperial crown was attached to the C.crman crown. The



156 A SJiort History of MedicBval Europe



The

Emperor's

manifesto.



Hadrian's
explanation.



king of Germany had a right to the imperial crown, the
Pope merely had the right to crown him.

Frederick then published a manifesto to his people, re-
counting the claims of the Pope as contained in the letter,
and in opposition to these declared that he had received
the imperial crown from God alone through the election
by the princes. Jesus had taught that the world was to be
ruled by two swords, the spiritual and the temporal. Peter
had commanded that all men should fear God and honor
the king, therefore, whoever said that the Empire was a fief
of the Papacy was opposed to St. Peter and guilty of lying.

Hadrian IV. then wrote an open letter to the clergy of
Germany, expressing surprise and indignation at the turn
affairs had taken. It was a most diplomatic letter, written
for the purpose of winning the German clergy to his side.
Some of them, however, were true to their Emperor, and
wrote Hadrian a letter in which they embodied the answer
of Frederick. It was of the same tenor as his manifesto,
and claimed that the Empire was not a beneficium (fief) of
the Pope, but that Frederick owed it to the favor (bene-
ficium) of God. Frederick was also still angry about the
picture which the Pope had had made representing Lothar
on his knees receiving the crown from the Pope. The
Pope, he said, was trying to make an authoritative principle,
basing it simply upon a picture. Hadrian now saw that
he had gone too far, and wrote a letter to Frederick in
which he explained that "beneficium" was composed of
" bono" and " facio," meaning not " fief," but a "kind
deed " or " favor. " By " contulimus ' ' he had meant only
" imposuhmisy Hadrian succeeded in quieting Frederick,
but the battle had been merely put off; it was not ended.

Frederick next turned his attention to the cities of Lom-
bardy, which for a hundred years or more had been left to
take care of themselves. They had improved the time by



The Papacy and the Empire 157



developing an independent municipal government. Milan
was first reduced. It was agreed, however, that the city-
should continue to elect its officials, but that the Emperor
should have the right to confirm them. Another diet was The second

, , , . IT-. 1- -ni • 1 ii Roncaelian

announced to be held in the Roncaghan Plain, and the ^iet. ^
cities were ordered to send their officials to it. It was
Frederick's wish to break down the independent spirit of
the cities. It was during his stay in Italy that Frederick
had come into contact with the lawyers of Bologna, and
learned from them the leading ideas of Roman Law. An-
cient customs were revived, and Frederick renewed his
claims to the regalia (that is, to the duchies, counties,
marches, the office of consul, the right to coin money, col-
lect taxes, customs, duties, etc.). He declared that in the
future all the important officers of the city would be ap-
pointed by him and the people should approve them.
Representatives of all the cities helped frame the rights of
the Emperor and agreed to observe them. He proceeded
to put his claims into force. He sent his representatives
throughout the country to establish in every city his offi-
cials. In Milan this caused an uprising, and the gates were
closed against the Emperor's messengers. Frederick laid
siege to the city (April, 11 59), which held out nearly three
years. In February, 1162, it could resist no longer. The
people tried in every way to appease Frederick, but he re-
mained deaf to their entreaties. The walls of the city were Milan
razed, the inhabitants driven out, and many of the nobility 1162^°^^^ '
kept as hostages.

In the meanwhile the quarrel had broken out afresh be-
tween the Pope and the Emperor. In 11 59 Hadrian made
sweeping demands of Frederick in regard to the possession
of the lands of Matilda, the collection of feudal dues by
Frederick from the papal estates, and the full sovereignty
in Rome. The Emperor, of course, refused these demands,



158 A SJiort History of ]\Icdia;val Europe

and the Pope prepared for the struggle. He sought help
from Roger of Sicily, and the Greek Emperor, and in-
trigued with the cities of Lombardy. In 11 59 Hadrian
died, and the cardinals thereupon elected the man who had
acted as the spokesman of Hadrian at Besangon, Roland
Alexander III. Bandinelli, who assumed the name of Alexander III. He
now took up the quarrel and spent his time endeavoring to
find allies. Frederick, however, set up an anti-pope, and
was so successful in his opposition to Alexander III. that
the Pope was compelled to leave Rome and seek a refuge
in France (1161). Frederick seemed to have won the day.
His officials were in all the cities ; Milan was destroyed
and the Pope an exile. But his very success was the cause
of his defeat ; he had borne himself as an Emperor of the
old school. His absolutism was tyranny to the cities, and
hence they were eager to find some way of avenging them-
selves. The head of the opposition was Alexander III.
In 1 165 he returned to Rome, excommunicated the Em-
peror, and released his subjects from their oath of alle-
giance to him. Alexander was a diplomat and a dema-
gogue ; he was hostile to the independence of the Lombard
cities, but because they could help him he sought their
alliance. For nearly fifteen years this able man led the
opposition to Frederick, and the victory over the Emperor
was due in a large measure to his ability and efforts. The
next year (1166) Frederick went again into Italy with a
large force to punish the rebels and to put the new anti-
pope, Paschalis, in the chair of St. Peter. After a siege
he took Rome. Paschalis was established as Pope and a
few days later recrowned Frederick and his wife in St.
Peter's. A pest broke out shortly afterward and Frederick,
alarmed at the great mortality among his troops, hastened
back to Germany. As fast as he retreated the cities behind
him revolted, and he barely escaped with his life. The



The Papacy and the Empire 159

cities now entered into the famous Lombard League (i 167). The Lombard
Milan was rebuilt by the aid of them all, and assumed the ^^sue, n 7.
leading position in the league. Pavia still remained true
to the Emperor, but to keep it in check the league founded
a new city on the border of its territory and named it
Alexandria in honor of the Pope. It was not till 11 74
that Frederick was in a position to reenter Italy. Then
the Emperor himself laid siege to Alexandria while some
of his troops overran Tuscany and Umbria. Alexandria
was very strong and the siege lasted for months. Over-
tures of peace were made, and, as winter was approaching,
Frederick withdrew to Pavia. Again and again he called
on the German princes to come to his assistance, but Henry
the Lion thought it an excellent opportunity to humble
the Emperor and refused to assist him. In May, 11 76,
the troops of the league attacked Frederick at Legnano, Legnano,
and won a decisive victory. It was even thought for "^ "
awhile that the Emperor had lost his life in the battle.
Frederick realized the situation ; he had been beaten, and
was therefore ready to make peace on the cities' terms.
He met Alexander III. in Venice (i 177) and made a truce
for six years. He confessed his wrong deeds and begged
the Pope to remove the ban from him. Six years later, at
Constance, the treaty of peace was signed which granted the The Treaty of
cities substantially all that they had demanded. The over- -^^^.j,. ' '
lordship of the Emperor was recognized, but it was merely
nominal, and the independence of the cities was practically
admitted. It was a bitter himiiliation for Frederick, but
he could not escape it. Being pressed in C.ermany by the
Guelf family he needed the support of the Pope and there
was nothing for him to do except to abide by the decision
reached by the war.

A crisis was reached in the struggle between the Ghibel-
line and the Guelf families in 11 76, when Henry the Lion



i6o A Short History of Mediceval Europe

refused to help Frederick in his war against the Lombard
League. After returning to Germany, Frederick proceeded
to punish him. He cited Henry to appear before him,
and on Henry's refusal, deposed and banished him. Henry
resisted, but was defeated in battle and begged for mercy.
Frederick permitted him to retain his private estates.

Although Frederick had not been able to conquer Sici-
ly, he provided for its annexation by marrying his son,
Henry VL, to Constance, heiress to the crown of that coun-
try. The Pope foresaw that this marriage would greatly
strengthen the Empire, and so he renewed hostilities, in
which he was aided by the Archbishop of Cologne and
other German princes. In the meantime the news reached
the west that Jerusalem had fallen into the hands of the
Saracens, and, according to the ideas of the times, its re-
covery was regarded as the most pressing business of the
hour. Clement UL was willing to make almost any con-
The Crusade ccssions if he could enlist Frederick for a crusade. An
o re enc . ^gj-ggj^ent was made in which Frederick seemed to have
won the victory. He was now ready to go on the crusade.
He placed the management of affairs in Germany in the
hands of Henry VL, who took the title of king of the Ger-
mans, and set out in the spring of 1189. Henry the Lion
refused to accompany him and was banished for three
years. An account of this crusade will be given in another
place. Frederick died by drowning in one of the moun-
tain streams of Cilicia, June 10, 11 90.
In Italy the In Italy Alexander III. found that, although he had over-

spoils divided, ^^^^^g Frederick, he had not won the whole victory for him-
self. He was unable to unite all Italy under his own au-
thority. The cities of Lombardy and the kingdom of
Sicily secured their own advantages and went on their way
of independence. During the struggle with Frederick there
had been several anti -popes established by the Emperor.



The Papacy and the Empire i6i

The schism was ended in 1 178 by the surrender of Calixtus
III., who found it impossible to sustain himself after the
Emperor had made peace with Alexander. To guard
against disputed elections in the future, it was decreed in
the Lateran Synod of 11 79, that whoever should receive the
votes of two-thirds of the Cardinals should be regarded as
the duly elected Pope. There was nothing said about the
Emperor's right to confirm the election, nor was any part
accorded the people and clergy of Rome. The whole mat-
ter is in the hands of the Cardinals from this time on.

Alexander III. deserves great credit from the papal point The high posi-

-, . . r- TT- tion of Alexan-

of view for the work of his pontificate. His power was rec- der III,
ognized all over the west as that of no Pope before him
had been. His immediate successors were unable to main-
tain all the advantages he had won. Before the end of the
century Innocent III., the most imperial of all the Popes,
was to appear, and realize all that previous Popes had
dreamed of ; but before him there was to be another strug-
gle in Rome. The independent spirit of the people of the
city reasserted itself, and Lucius III. (i 181-85) and Urban
III. (1185-87) spent most of their pontificates in exile.
Clement III. (i 187-91) succeeded in regaining the mastery
in Rome, and all power was made over to him. The Poi^e
had seldom been so secure in the city before. But a new
danger was threatening. The marriage of Henry VI. with
Constance of Sicily might, at any moment, lead to the es-
tablishment of the imperial power in the south, and the ad-
dition of Sicily and all the southern part of Italy to the
Empire. The Pope would then be between two fires.

The first days of the reign of Henry VI. were filled with iionry VI.,
anxiety. Henry the Lion broke his royal word and at-
tacked Henry VI. as soon as Frederick had set out for the
east. The news of the death of William, king of Sicily,
soon reached Germany, and a few days later the sad news of



i62 A Sliort History of McdicBval Europe

the death of Frederick was received. Henry VI. made
peace with Henry the Lion, made provision for the govern-
ment in Germany during his absence, and hastened into
Italy. He was crowned at Rome and went on to Sicily to
secure the possession of that kingdom ; but the people of
Sicily had elected Tancred king, and Henry was unable to
accomplish anything there. The outlook was indeed dark,
for there were powerful enemies allied against him. The
combination of Richard the Lion Heart of England, the
Guelf family in Germany with Henry the Lion at its head,
and Tancred in Sicily would probably be able to break the
power of the Hohenstaufen. But fortunately for Henry
VI., Richard was taken prisoner on his way home from his
crusade and delivered into his hands. The son of Henry
the Lion fell in love with a cousin of the Emperor, and in
order to obtain her hand, made peace with him. Henry the
Lion, now an old man, gave up the struggle and retired to
his estates, and Henry VI. was able in a second campaign
to get complete possession. of Sicily.

In his ambitious schemes Henry VI. had no regard
for the Pope. He seized the lands of Matilda (Tuscany),
for which the Pope put him under the ban ; but not in the
least frightened by this, Henry continued his efforts to get
possession of all Italy. He is said at this time to have
Bold plans of planned the complete destruction of the papal state by
Henry VI. adding it to his own territory. He also turned now to try
his fortune in the east. He planned a crusade, the real ob-
ject of which was first of all the conquest of Constantinople.
The Greek Empire was, indeed, in a chaotic condition, and
he hoped to win its crown and establish himself in Constan-
tinople, from which vantage-point he might easily carry on
the war against the Saracens. Lie went first to Sicily in
order to put down a revolt and punish those Avho were
hostile to him, intending then to proceed against Constan-



The Papacy and the Empire 163

tinople, but died there after a very brief illness (1197),
leaving a son, Frederick II., only three years old. His
great plans and hopes were destroyed, and the Empire was
thrown back into the anarchy caused by a contested imperial
election. At the same time Innocent III. became Pope, a
man of strong will and great ability, full of theocratic ideas
and the desire to realize them.

Innocent III. (i 198-12 16) represents the last and highest innocent ill..
stage in the development of the Papacy. He was a jurist, his pro- ' '
trained in the schools of Paris and Bologna. He looked at g'"amme.
everything from the jurist's point of view, and endeavored
to reduce to a legal form and basis all the claims of the
Papacy. He was not personally ambitious, but fully per-
suaded that he was acting in accordance with the best in-
terests of the Church, and even with the plans of God in
everything that he did. He believed that the government
of the world was a theocracy, and that he himself was the
vicar of God on earth. He pushed to the extreme the ideas
of the supremacy of the Papacy over all rulers, and actually
realized them in many respects. His programme may be
summed up under the following heads : i. The Pope must
be absolute master in Italy, which must therefore be freed
from the control of all foreigners ; hence the Empire must
not be allowed to unite any part of the peninsula to itself;
the papal state must be strengthened ; the political factions
in the city must be kept out of power. 2. All the states of
the west must be put under the control of the Papacy; neither
king nor Emperor may be independent of the Pope, but must
submit to him in all things. 3. The Church in the east,
and the Holy Land must be recovered from the Moslems,
and the Greek Church purified of its heresy and reunited to
tlie Church of the west ; all heretics must be destroyed ;
the law and worship of the Church must be made to conform
to papal ideas.



164 A Short History of Mediceval Europe

In Sicily the young king, Frederick II., was among ene-
Innocent and mics, and when his modier died, Innocent was made his guar-
iisvvarc. dian. He performed his duties toward the boy with great

conscientiousness, supplying him with the ablest teachers,
giving him the best education possible, caring for his in-
terests in Sicily, and protecting him against his rebellious
subjects.

In Germany there was a contested election, which Inno-
Philip of cent was asked to settle. Philip of Suabia, after trying in

?i97-iLo8, and vain to Secure the election of his nephew, Frederick II.,
Otto IV., ^^,^ himself made king by a large number of princes. The

II97-I215. O J C i.

Guelf family, however, elected one of their number, Otto
IV. Innocent III. decided in favor of Otto, because, as
he said, Otto was the proper person for the office and de-
voted to the Church, while Philip was a persecutor of the
Church. Philip had declared that he would defend his
claim to all the possessions of the Empire, while Otto IV.
had taken an oath that he would not interfere with the
papal claims, but would defend all the possessions of the
Papacy. Civil war ensued. After defeating Otto and mak-
ing himself master of Germany, Philip was murdered
(1208), and Otto, being now without a rival, was recognized
throughout Germany.

Otto IV., however, now that he had secured the crown,


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Online LibraryOliver J. (Oliver Joseph) ThatcherA short history of mediæval Europe → online text (page 13 of 25)