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Hermann Marcus Kottinger.

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fostered the boy's propensity for pleasures, and permitted him to
live in the company of immoral young men. Declared already of
age when but fifteen years old, he used the Saxons in a rude and
unjust manner. They applied to Pope Gregory for redress. The
Pope menacing him with anathemas, summoned him to come to
Rome, as if he had been his judge. In return, Henry convoked
some German Bishops, who should pronounce sentence against the
Pope ; they did so, and declared that Gregory had forfeited the
Papal See. The Pope promulgated the anathema against the
Bishops, and also against Henry, declared him to have forfeited
his royal dignity, and dispensed the Germans with the oath of
allegiance due to Henry. Most of the German Princes, then, de-
clared to the King that, as long as he remained excommunicated,
they would not acknowledge him as their King, and that, if he



31

were not absolved of the anathema within a year, they would
proceed to another election.

In this critical moment Henry at last resolved to go to Rome
He had much trouble to raise the money necessary for the journey.
Nobody but his faithful wife, whom he had often grieved, his little
son, and one common servant, accompanied him. As his enemies
had obstructed all passes through the Alps, he had to travel on
detours, in the winter season, over the mountains, which were
covered with snow and ice. He achieved the voyage under many
dangers. As he arrived in Italy, forthwith many Bishops and
Princes gathered around him, because they were dissatisfied with
the Pontiff, and offered him their assistance ; but Henry had be-
come so dejected that he did not dare to accept their proposals.

Gregory, who had already started for Germany, in order to
manage there Henry's trial, learning of his arrival, looked fast for
a shelter with his friend Matilde, Countess of Toscane, and went
in her castle Canossa. Here Henry had to stay (1077) between
the second and third wall of the castle, in penitentials and bare-
footed, during three days, from morning until evening, not allowed
to take the least food, and he had to beseech Gregory to dispense
with the anathema. Finally the Pope granted the dispense through
the intercession of Matilde and other powerful friends ; but he
must abstain from government until the German sovereigns should
decide that he could continue to be their King. These had
elected indeed a new King, Rodolf of Suabia.

But the people did not forsake Henry; the citizens of the towns
and the peasants flocked to him, and he resisted bravely his adver-
sary with their aid. The legates of the cunning Pope meanwhile
assured both parties of the favor of their master. But as Henry
lost a battle, the Pope inflicted again the anathema on him, and
sent Rodolf a crown. But in a second battle Rodolf received a
fatal wound, of which he died.

Henry now went again to Italy, no more as a penitent, but at
the head of an army, in order to chastise his enemy. He besieged
Rome, and appointed an anti-Pope. In the spring of the next
year he conquered the city, and was anointed as Emperor by the
latter. Gregory still defended himself in the angels' citadel.



32

The Duke of Puglia, though, released him, and conducted him
safely to Salerno ; but here, in a foreign place, he felt forsaken, and
precipitated from the summit of his power. Before his death he
again excommunicated Henry. One of his successors repeated the
anathema. Beside, the Emperor had to struggle against other ad-
versaries, to which even his sons joined. At last the helpless man
died (iio6y But the implacable priests grudged also the defunct
his rest ; twice he was buried, and twice pulled out of the grave,
because loaded with the curse of anathema, until the Pope re-
voked it ; then Henry's son buried the corpse once more.

§ 15. Frederick L— Arnold of Brescia— Frederick II.— The

Albigenses-

At that time an Italian priest, Arnold of Brescia, an ingenious
and high-principled man, conceived the intention to re-establish
the primitive simplicity of the Church. According to it, the
clergy ought not to possess civil power, but only to apply them-
selves to their spiritual vocation. He wanted also the secular
power of the Popes to be abolished ; beside, he would deliver
Italy from the government of the German Emperors. ' His gigan-
tic design elicited enthusiasm in the whole country, except from
the clergy ; the Popes excommunicated him ; Arnold fled to the
quiet valleys of Switzerland, where he obtained a safe asylum.
Meanwhile the Romans held a meeting, renounced allegiance to '
the Pope, and declared themselves free. Arnold returned to Rome
(i 145), accompanied by large bands he had engaged in Switzer-
land. The Romans expelled the Pope, and imitating ancient
Rome, elected a Senate, Consuls, and Tribunes of the people.
But Emperor Frederick I. came with an army to Italy, subbued the
the revolted towns, forced his entrance into Rome, and vanquished
the inhabitants of the city. Arnold had again taken to flight, and
kept himself hidden. The Pope summoned the Emperor to get
the heretic delivered to him. Frederick liked to obey him so
much better, because he hated Arnold too as the friend of the
people. His spies soon ferreted him out. In a dark night Arnold
was dragged to Rome, and immediately burnt (1155). His mem-
ory was highly venerated by the Romans.



33

Frederick 21., too, found the Popes to be his adversaries. As he
deferred a crusade he had promised to make he was excommuni-
cated by Gregory IX., and the anathema was repeated, as he,
though outlawed, finally started on it. While he was combatting
the Turks in Palestine, the Pope devastated his Italian States.
Therefore Frederick turned his arms against him (1230), routed his
soldiers, and compelled him by force to retract the promulgated
anathema.

As Frederick would deprive the Lombards of their liberties, the
Pope hurled the threefold anathema against him. The Emperor
invaded the Papal dominions, conquered them almost all, and pre-
vented a Council, which was contrived for his ruin, by taking the
Bishops who traveled there, prisoners. To such heavy blows the
almost centennary Pope succumbed. But an other quite as re-
doubtable champion. Innocent IV., soon replaced him. Not
being secure in Rome, he fled to Lyons in France, and held there
the mentioned synod. He reiterated the anathema (1245), dispensed
Frederick's subjects with the oath of allegiance, declared all his
dominions forfeited, and summoned the Germans to elect another
King. Soon two Kings rose against Frederick. These kept his
arms busy in Germany, while the Lombards in Italy continued to
combat with great efforts. He died during this war, and the
Lombards finally obtained their freedom (1250).

At that time in France the harmless sect of Albigenses arose,
called so from the town of Alby. From their leader, Peter Wald,
who was a merchant, they were also named Waldenses. They re-
jected the baptism, the Catholic doctrine of the Lord's Supper, the
Popes, Bishops, indulgences and the purgatory; they censured
the vices of the clergy, and took a peaceable, charitable course of
life. Pope Innocent III. established an Inquisition Tribunal, and
commanded to preach a crusade against them, as one of the in-
quisitors was murdered (1207). The Count of Toulouse, who was
suspected to have instigated the foul deed, was forced to participate
in the crusade, and to fight his own subjects. Whole towns and

villages were destroyed, and their inhabitants extirpated by fire,
sword and rope. Alone in the town of Beriers 20,000 persons,
withorit any regard to age or sex, were killed, and 7,000 of them
burned in a church.



34

§ 16. Crusades (1096— 1300)— The First Capture of Jerusalem.

Already since Emperor Constantine many Christians made pil-
grimages to the grave of Jesus, and to the graves and monuments
of the Apostles and other Saints of the Primitive Church;
for they imagined that, partly by the merits of those Saints,
partly on account of the great hardships they had to suffer
during the long journey, they could more easily obtain
the grant of their prayers, and especially the pardon of their sins.
As long as Palestine was a dominion of the Arabs, the pilgrims
could there mostly perform the acts of their devotion unmolested.
But when the Seldschouks (a Turkish tribe) possessed that coun-
try, they were often robbed, ill-treated, and even killed. These
persecutions first suggested to the mind of Gregory VII. the idea
of conquering Palestine, and he only wanted a longer life for the
execution of his project. That was reserved .for Urban II. He
found an excellent tool for it in Peter of Amiens. This fanatic
hermit who had long lived in Palestine, delivered to the Pope a
letter from the Patriarch of Jerusalem, in which the distress of
the Christians was represented, and the Occident implored for
help. Bare-footed, on ass-back, and with a crucifix in his hand,
he passed through Italy, France and Germany, and in the name of
Jesus, who, as he asserted, had appeared to him in the vestibule of
the temple, he summoned the Christians to deliver the holy coun-
tries from the infidels. The Pope himself discussed in the Councils
at Piacenza and Clermont the merit to help the Oriental Christians,
most impressively. It was resolved to make war upon the enemies
of their creed. Crying: "God wills it!" the assembled crov/ds
fastened a red cross on their shoulders, whereof they got the name
*' Crusaders."

Y\x^\., Peter the He ?-mit ^x\di Walter the Pemiiless, a poor knight,
started with some hundred thousands, and, murdering and pil-
laging, passed through Germany, where they killed especially the
Jews, and moved through Hungary to Greece. The most of them
were dispatched during their march by the inhabitants of these
countries. The rest were quickly shipped by the Greek Emperor
to Asia Minor, where they also perished miserably ; only Peter
saved himself with a small troop, and fled back to Constantinople



35

Then the well organized main army, counting 600,000 men,
began its march, led by the valiant Godfrey of Bouillon. They
reached Asia safely; but here want, danger and combat commenced
also for them. The Crusaders were in an unknown country, and
had to deal with warlike, courageous enemies ; nay, the Greeks
themselves, by whom they were hated, being confessors of Popery,
became their traitors, and often led them astray on purpose. The
siege of the towns was protractive; hunger and disease destroyed
thousands. So it happened that the Crusaders did not arrive in
Syria before two years. Here they besieged Antioch for nine
months. Famine was raging. JVTany, and Peter himself, took to
flight : but the latter was overtaken and brought back to the camp.

Finally, the army reached Jerusahm; but it had dwindled down
to 60,000 men. There it had to struggle again with hunger; be-
sides, water was very scarce, for the enemies had obstructed all
fountains far and near. Moreover, the country being destitute of
woods, blockading machines were wanting, and the Seldschouks
defended the city with the courage of desperadoes. Nevertheless,
after five weeks, it was taken by treachery (14th of July, 1099).
Godfrey was among the first who scaled the walls The victors
committed a horrible slaughter of the enemies. Crying again :
"God wills it!" they massacred every one; not even the babes
were spared. Down the stairs of the mosque drizzled the blood of
10,000 butchered Saracens. The Jews had to share the same fate;
they were driven into the synagogue and there burned. With the
fury of cannibals, the bellies of many were cut open in order to
see whether they had not devoured any coin. In this way 40,000
or according to other reports 70,000 persons were killed in one
day. The Crusaders then passed through the blood-stained streets
to the sepulchre of Jesus, who had enjoined meekness upon his
followers, and entuned anthems of praise to his honor. They
elected Godfrey King of Jerusalem ; but he refused to accept this
honor in a place where the founder of his religion had walked in
humility ; he called himself modestly the protector of the holy
sepulchre.



36

§ 17. Continued— The Three Next Following Crusades— Emir

Saladin.

The war against the Mohammedans was continued ; several
principal crusades were yet waged against them. Emperor Con-
rad III., and Louis VII. , King of France, were the leaders in the
second. Saint Bernard had instigated them to it, predicting its
happy success; but of 200,000 crusaders, almost all perished.
Bernard was smart enough to attribute the sinister issue of their
enterprise to their sins.

The third crusade was caused by Rainold, a knight of Antioch,
namely : A Mohammedan caravan pilgrimed to Mecca. With
it was also the mother of the celebrated Saladin, Emir of Egypt,
who ruled this country, and had also conquered Tripolis, Tunis
and Syria. Rainold surprised the pilgrims, plundered them, and
killed the companions of Saladin 's mother. The Emir demanded
satisfaction for that hostile deed from Guido, King of Jerusalem ;
as it was refused, he waged war on him, defeated his army totally at
Tiberias (1187), and took him prisoner, with many other noblemen.
But he released the King generously from captivity, when he had
promised by oath not to take up arms against him ; only Rainold
received the death blow. Jerusalem was besieged and surrendered ;
baladin did not stain his victory by wanton cruelty. Nobody was
killed ; the captives were permitted for a ransom to go free with
their property ; and those who were unable to raise it were dis-
missed without pay. Finally he distributed almost the whole sum
of the collected ransom among those who had no money to pay
their fare.

Saladin 's generosity did not touch the feelings of the Christian
sovereigns; the most powerful of them made preparations for a
a new campaign. First, Emperor Frederick I. set out with 100,000
warriors (1189). He vanquished, indeed, the Seldscliouks at
Iconium, in Asia Minor, in a bloody battle; but as he was crossing
the river Saleph, on horseback, he was drowned in the rapid
billows. His army, too, perished miserably by disease.

One year later, Richard Lion-hearted (Caur de Lion), King of
England, l^hilip August, King of France, and Leopold, Duke of
Austria, set out marching. But national hatred disunited them.



37

Their sole joint exploit was the conquest of Acre (Ptolemais) in
Syria. Richard ordered Leopold's flag to be torn from the house
he had taken possession of, and to be trampled in the mire. Pro-
voked by this insolence, Leopold and Philip left the army of the
crusaders and returned home. The besieged had capitulated
by promising a ransom ; when Saladin did not pay it in the
preconcerted time, Richard commanded the prisoners to be cruelly
slaughtered. Meanwhile, neither was he able to conquer Jerusalem;
he obtained for the Christians only the right to visit the city un-
opposed. Then he, too, started on his return. To his great
personal valor he was indebted for the surname "Lion-Hearted."
At his return he was still unfortunate enough to be taken prisoner
by Duke Leopold, who delivered him to the Emperor. He must
suffer a long time in the dungeon, and redeem his freedom with an
enormous sum of money.

Soon after Richard's departure the noble-minded Saladin died
(1193). Before his death he distributed alms among Christians
and Mussulmans, without any distinction of their religion. He
was so poor when he died that the expenses of the funeral had to
be paid with a borrowed sum of money.

§ 18. Concluded— Tho Best of the Crusades— Frederick 11. —
Louis IX.— Effects of the Crusades!

The next important Crusade was undertaken by Emperor Fred-
erick II. He had vowed it when he was crowned. His troops
were to this end assembled in Italy, but the most of them succumbed
to an epidemic disease, which also attacked the Emperor. There-
fore he was obliged to defer the promised Crusade. However, he
was excommunicated by Gregory IX., and the anathema was re-
peated, as he really set out after one year (1228), without having
been absolved of it. Scarcely had he landed in Syria when the
priests got ashore, too, and here also published the Papal curse.
Thereby dissensions arose which divided the army. Frederick
therefore concluded a truce with Sultan Kamel (1229), by virtue
of which the latter ceded Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and the
tract which leads to these towns from the sea. Now the Emperor
entered Jerusalem joyfully, and put himself the crown on his head.



38

as no priest dared to do it for him. Immediately the Patriarch
here also promulgated the interdict. Frederick got the priests
who sided with that, whipped and driven away ; then he returned
to Europe, in order to chastise the Pope also. Fifteen years after
this Jerusalem was again lost.

Louis IX., King of France, yet endeavored to support the
tottering cause of the Christians. He had received the surname
of the Saint for his piety, which conformed to the taste of his age,
and was, therefore, much praised. He marched the highest noble-
men of France, and many thousand soldiers to Egypt. First he
was favored by fortune ; he conquered the fortified town of
Damiette, but as he advanced farther he was so entangled by the
many canals and branches of the Nile that he was obliged to sur-
render his whole army (1248), to return to Damiette, and give a
ransom of 800,000 pieces in gold to be paid for the prisoners.
Fortunately the Sultan was killed by his enemies, who set Louis
free because his courage induced them to respect him. He re-
turned home, and found that during his absence his dominion had
been laid waste by internal enemies. Notwithstanding the unfor-
tunate termination of his Crusade, he enterprised a second, against
Tunis (1270), in order to fight the Saracens from that side; but
he lost by the pest his army and life. Twenty years later also
Ptolemais (Acre), the last place the Christians yet possessed in the
Orient, was torn from their dominion.

Between these greater Crusades many smaller happened.
Even women and children undertook several. Such an one was
ventured by 30,000 boys (1213). Priests were their leaders.
They had flattered the children by the illusion that God would
work a miracle, in order to help them over the Mediterranean Sea ;
that he would separate its waters and lead them with dry feet
through it, as he once had led the Israelites through the Red Sea.
Most of the children miserably perished during the march ; the
rest were sold in Egypt into bondage.

Europe lost by the Crusades about seven million men, and Pal-
estine was nevertheless gone. Most of the Christians engaged in
the Crusades from fanaticism, excited by the priests, especially by
the Popes. Many others were allured by other vile motives ) for



39

the Popes promised the Crusaders the release of their debts, and
the indulgence of all, even the darkest sins and crimes. However,
these wars had also good effects. By them Arabian culture was
diffused through Europe, the knowledge of nations and countries aug-
mented, the power of the hierarchy concussed, the chain of feudalism
in many places broken, ^nd the sense of freedom awakened. Many
serfs received liberty, as their lords took the cross, either alone or
accompanied by them. Commerce, especially^ was by the Crusades
advanced. Entire fleets sailed from Venice, Genoa, Pisa, and
other maratime towns of Italy, to those distant countries, carrying
their armies, arms and provisions, and on their return brought the
merchandise of Persia and Hindoostan to Europe. By such a
commerce they acquired great riches and power. Beside, the
Crusades diminished the number of the noble families, because
many noblemen died by them.

§ 19. The State of the Church— Anathema— Interdict.

True, in Europe the Slaves, Hungarians and Russians, and in
Asia the Tartarian tribes were converted to Christianity ; but its
doctrine and spirit remained unknown to them, for they yet stood
on the lowest degrees of civilization. They were driven to the
rivers, and aspersed with water ; then they were baptized and called
Christians- Their Princes who had accepted the Christian faith
before them, commanded them to follow their example, and they
thoughtlessly obeyed them.

The Roman Bishops and the Patriarchs of Constantinople
mutually nourished hatred and jealousy; both strove after the
supremacy of the Church. By degrees they gave vent to manifest
hostilities. They hurled the anathema upon each other ; finally
they cut off all communication. The Roman Church separated
from the Greek, and the Pope became the head of the former.

In Rome and the other Churches of Italy, the Latin language
was primitively employed in the divine service, because it was the
native language of the country ; by and by it was also adopted by
other countries, and finally its use ordered for the whole Occidental
Church. The chaffering with relics and indulgences, and the num-
ber of Church festivals increased. During the Crusades whole



40

ships were freighted in Palestine with holy earth, as they called it,
and this earth was sold to the Christians of Europe. Every Church
wanted to get the relic of a Saint. Feet, teeth, heads of such
Saints were purchased at high rates. Most of the relics were
spurious, frequently taken from the bodies of criminals, or arti-
ficially counterfeited. In the Cathedral of St Jago, in Spain, a
head was exhibited which was told to be that of St. James, and
after his decapitation, to have swum to Spain. With the infidels
and heretics, as they called them, they dealt most cruelly. The
Jews, too, were often very severely persecuted.

The most dreadful weapons of the clergy were the anaihefnay
the inter did, and the Inquisition Tribimal.

The afiathema deprived a man of the enjoyment of all ecclesi-
astic, civil and natural rights. He was excluded from the Com-
munion with the Church, was not allowed to assist in the divine
service, nor to have intercourse with other Christians. He was
unfit to make contracts ; the laws did neither protect his property
nor person ; none were obliged to keep their word to him. His
children could dispense with their duty of respect and obedience.
Even his life was at the mercy of every murderer ; every one had
a right to kill him. His life was not safe neither in the company
of his friends nor his family ; nay, it was held to be a meritorious
act to kill such a man.

By the interdict XhQ divine service was suspended in entire coun-
tries. Then no church-bell sounded ; the altars were unclothed,
even the church doors locked, the marriages contracted on the
graves, all public amusements interdicted, even greetings forbidden.
The hair and beard were to be left unshorn, the use of meat was
entirely prohibited, and the dead were usually not buried in con-
secrated grounds, but either interred in some other place, or
thrown away to feed dogs and birds of prey. These punishments
usually were inflicted on Princes, who would not com[)ly with the
caprices and ambitious designs of the Bishops and Popes.

§ 20. Continued— The Inquisition Tribunal.

The Inquisition Tribunal, this infamous pillory of Popery, was in-
stituted by Gregory IX. against the Albigenses (1229), and soon
after directed airainst all heretics. He committed it to the Order



4.1

of the DoQiinicans. The objects of this Tribunal were not only
heresies, but also pretended services^ and even philosophic, politi-
cal and mathematic doctrines. So e. g,, Galileo was put in its
dungeon, because he had taught the theorem that the earth revolves
around the sun.

The Courts of the Tribunal were horrid castles, where the prison-
ers were tortured in subterranean chambers, in order to extort from
them the confessions which they refused to make spontaneously.
At the first degree of torture the tormentors raised them high in
the air, and then suddenly let them fall again to the ground. At
the second degree their mouth was forcibly opened, some cloth put
on its opening, and through it a great quantity of water was poured
into their throat. Thereby in the unfortunate victims the sensation
of choking arose. At the third degree their feet were slowly roast-
ed over a coal-fire.

The penalties of the sentenced were confiscation of property,
service on the galleys, life-long imprisonment and combustion.
Many of the rich were judged guilty only for the reason that their
impeachers and Judges longed for their treasures. The combustion
was in Spain called Auto da Fe (judicial decree of faith). On the


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Online LibraryHermann Marcus KottingerThe youth's liberal guide for their moral culture and religious enlightenment → online text (page 13 of 28)