James Bryce Bryce.

The book of history. A history of all nations from the earliest times to the present, with over 8,000 illustrations (Volume 9) online

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Online LibraryJames Bryce BryceThe book of history. A history of all nations from the earliest times to the present, with over 8,000 illustrations (Volume 9) → online text (page 39 of 55)
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enchantment of the East. When King Louis
himself had taken the Cross he begged in
vain the Abbot Bernard to inflame the
masses with his powerful oratory.

In the meanwhile, however, various noble
and ignoble motives brought many thou-
sands together from France alone. As in
the First Crusade, the difficulty of feeding
and disciplining so large a number was the;
main cause of the enormous losses. Irt
Nicaea, Louis, with his ill-disciplined army
met the haughty and much weakened
German Emperor, Conrad III., who was
regarded with suspicion by Byzantium
Conrad, however, fell ill, and soon returned
as an uninvited guest to Constantinople,
with the greater part of his remaining
troops ; the others were deserted by the
French and put to the sword by the Seljuks.
Instead of conquering Edessa, Louis
hastened to Jerusalem to do penance.
There he met Conrad in April, 1148, who


had been ordered to return to Byzantium,
and the -two kings resolved to march upon-
Damascus. Strengthened by North German
and English pilgrims, their army numbered
some 50,000 men. However, when the
siege of the great town proved fruitless,
Conrad returned home in September, 1148,
and Louis in the spring of 1149.

The Third Crusade, of 1189-1192, which
brought the rulers of England, Germany,
and France into the Holy Land, and
ended the life of the Emperor Frederic I.,
was the work of Pope Clement III. He
had reconciled the quarrel between Richard
Lionheart and Philip II. Augustus, and
induced the Hohenstauffen, who were
again on good terms with the papacy, to

export and import trade to the rising
commercial powers of his country. This
dream, which reminds us of the projects
of Bonaparte in 1798, soon vanished.

Notwithstanding the resistance of the
Mamelukes and their " Greek fire." Louis
captured Damietta in 1249, Dut was cut ff
from his army and taken prisoner in the
Nile delta on the retreat from el-Mansura.
He and some of his nobles were able to
buy their freedom for the enormous sum
of one million besants (2,000,000) ; the
common people were forced to choose
between apostasy and death. Louis
spent four years in Syria, calculating upon
divisions among the Mohammedans and
reinforcements from Europe. At length


make the Crusade. The diplomacy of the
French king on this occasion has been
already examined.

Zeal for Christianity may have been the
motive actuating St. Louis IX. when he
undertook the Sixth Crusade, in 1248, at
the head of numerous nobles and their
retainers. He spent the winter of 1248-
1249 i n Cyprus in uncertainty concerning
the object of his expedition, and was induced
by an embassy of Christian Mongols to
make his adventurous attempt upon Egypt.
He immediately considered the possibility
of founding a French empire upon the ruins
of the local Ayubite government, of con-
quering Syria from this base, and so of
securing for the dangerous feudal nobility
of France a new sphere for ambition and
enterprise, and opening a new area for


he returned home with a few faithful fol-
lowers. The flower of the nobility had
perished in this wearisome adventure. Pre-
viously the enthusiasm for the Crusade had
fallen so low that Louis had caused crosses
to be sewn upon the coats of his vassals to
pledge their participation in the Crusade
by this deceit ; desire to see the wonders
of the East now disappeared entirely.

Once more, in 1270, Louis undertook the
Crusade known as "the Seventh. Its object,
the conversion of the Emir of Tunis, may
have attracted him no less than the
thought of extending the South Italian
kingdom of his brother, Charles of Anjou,
to African soil. After spending some
weeks in Africa, with little or no fighting,
Louis, like many of his near relatives, fell
a victim to the climate on August 25th.




pHARLES THE GREAT had organised

^ the ecclesiastical affairs of his wide

realm in an autocratic spirit, and had

made laws as he pleased ; he had also been

supreme over the papacy and the Church.

After his death the weakness of the later

Carolihgians had benefited the

n e ?*i ge t episcopal power in France, and

lf had also enabled the papacy to

the P&pacy J r>

strengthen its position. By

means of the forged decretals the attempt
was made to reduce the independent
bishops to feudal subservience. The
bishops, however, retained their independ-
ence, and, with the abbots, continued to
be elected by the free choice of the clergy.
From the outset the Capets had at-
tempted, with the help of the bishops, to
sever their ecclesiastical connection with
Rome, and for this purpose they had found
powerful allies in Arnulf of Orleans and the
synod of 991. The kings, however, had to
defend the justice of their actions against
both the ecclesiastical and the secular
nobility, hence any permanent co-opera-
tion on the part of the episcopate and the
temporal power was out of the question. At
the same time the Cluniac reform, which
speedily dominated the French clergy,
paved the way for the papal claims to
supremacy, both in ecclesiastical and
secular affairs. Of the two swords which
then symbolised the spiritual and temporal
powers, the one might be given to the king
by the head of the Church only as a fief,
and under the condition of complete obedi-
ence. Until the second half of the eleventh
century the episcopate remained no less
independent than the crown

Princes who r , ,.

D . in matters of domestic policy,
Robbed , , , , J '

*t f*i t even though these were of an

the Church ,

ecclesiastical nature. As in the

times of Charles Martel, the princes appro-
priated the property of the Church, while
domestic disturbances and the struggles
with the Northmen constantly forced the
abbeys and monasteries to place them-
selves under the protection of the king.


It was Gregory VII. who first enabled
the papal power to rise in France, as in
Germany, at the expense of the secular
power. This Pope governed the French
Church through his legates, and secured
the right of appointing bishops and abbots.
He opposed the usurpation of Church pro-
perty by the princes. The French mon-
archy was unable to make head against
the refractory nobles, and the monarchs
were in general too weak^ to oppose their
energetic adversary with' .any success.
After Gregory's death the papacy attained
further power, notwithstanding the pre-
carious character of its success, owing to
the great Crusading movement, which
derived its origin and its stimulus from
Rome. King Philip I. of France was at
that time obliged to yield to Rome on the
question of his marriage in order to avert
the papal interdict. His successor 'was
thrown upon the side of the Pope through

his marriage connections and
The Pope s i j- T

_ . j* owing to the general feeling in

favour of Rome manifested by
Procession , . , ,, . ... J

his clergy in the investiture

quarrel, in which the Pope opposed the
appointment of clergy by secular rulers.
At the Council of Troyes, held in the pre-
sence of Pope Paschal II., a resolution was
passed that every layman who conferred
investiture upon a priest should be subject
to deprivation no less than the recipient.
The journey of the Pope to Troyes was
almost a triumphal procession, and in the
monastery of Cluny he was received like
an ambassador from heaven.

Meanwhile the royal power increased,
and as the disappointments of the Crusades
diminished the prestige of the Pope and
the Church, the rulers even of France
were able to contemplate the possibility
of recovering their old independence in
ecclesiastical affairs. In this struggle
Philip Augustus proved an energetic
pioneer. He had submitted to Pope
Innocent III. on the question of his
marriage, as his realm was laid under an


interdict ; he had enjoyed the alliance of
the papacy for a time in the course of his
policy against England. At the same time
he was careful to see that bishops and
abbots performed their feudal obligations,
that the rights of patronage held by the
laity over ecclesiastical foundations re-
mained unimpaired, and that the courts-
Christian never encroached upon secular
jurisdiction. On his reconquest of the
English possessions he secured a legal
definition of the rights of the feudal lords
as against the Church, and insisted upon
their observance by the clergy. Upon
property which passed to the Church by
purchase or presentation he levied a
mortmain tax, to compensate for the loss
of reliefs and wardships which ensued
when property passed into the hands
of a deathless tenant ; he also exacted a
tax in lieu of the jus spoliorum from
benefices that fell vacant, and maintained
all the other rights of the temporal power,
or sold them at a high price.

The ecclesiastical policy of Louis IX. was
penetrated entirely by his own ideas.
Under his protection was formed an
alliance of French nobles hostile to the
_, Church, led by the Duke of

Iobles Burgundy and the Counts of
Brittany and Angouleme.
These feudatories revolted
against the aggressions of the ecclesiastical
courts in secular affairs, and also against the
demands to which France, under various
pretexts, was subjected by the papacy
in 1246. Their argument was that the
French nobility had been impoverished by
the acts of the clergy, and that the Church
should therefore return to its original
condition of poverty and purity. Excom-
munication and interdict were to be
respected only with the consent of the chief
of the alliance . Here we may trace the after-
effects of the teaching of the Waldenses.

These menacing resolves against Rome
were passed at a moment when Pope
Innocent IV. was staying on the
frontier in Lyons, which was then part
of the empire, and at a time, moreover,
when this Pope had secured the zealous
support of the French clergy against the
Emperor Frederic II. in the council of
1245. Louis himself did his best to pre-
vent the extortions to which Innocent
subjected the French clergy in his efforts
to provide resources for the struggle against
the Hohenstauffen. From the very outset
of his reign he was a zealous champion of

the Church

the independence of the French Church.
In an ordinance of 1229 he had established
the liberties et immunities of the Church,
and had thus raised a barrier against the
ecclesiastical and financial encroachments
of Rome ; ten years later he subjected the
clergy to the jurisidiction of the state
courts in civil cases, and limited the power
-~ B of excommunication, which was

The Pope s ~ , , ,

D one of the Pope s chief

rower ., .. ,

Curtailed wea P ons ; at the same time he
regulated the process of election
to prelacies and their transference within
the French Church, and prohibited arbi-
trary exactions on the part of Rome.
The so-called " Sanction Pragmatique " of
1268, which was long regarded as the
foundation stone of the later national
Gallic Church, is a forgery of the fifteenth
century, and does not concern us.

Though long deferred by both parties,
the struggle between the Curia and the
French monarchy became inevitable upon
the accession of Philip the Fair, an auto-
cratic and at the same time diplomatic
ruler ; at that moment Pope Boniface
VIII. (1294-1303) revived the claims
which Gregory VII. and Innocent III. had
asserted. Boniface had entered Rome
with great splendour on January 25th,
1295, and had then been crowned, after
obliging his predecessor, Celestine V., to
abdicate. This interloper had retained
his position from July 5th to December
I3th, 1294, and was kept in prison by
Boniface till his death, on May igth, 1296.
Boniface added a second circle to his tiara,
as a sign that the Pope was the representa-
tive both of the ecclesiastical and of the
secular powers. He ordered the Greek
Church to appoint no patriarch without
his consent. In the year 1300 he arranged
the great jubilee celebration, which brought
many thousands of pilgrims to Rome to
lay their gifts at the feet of the apostle.
Meanwhile, however, the political horizon
had become clouded ; the crisis began with
political difficulties, in which
Boniface attempted to act as the
overlord of the princes, and was
accentuated by ecclesiastical
complications. The Pope attempted to
conclude the war between Philip and
England, which had lasted since 1293, by
arranging an armistice and obliging both
kings to do penance by a pilgrimage to
the Holy Land ; a similar penance had
been appointed by Innocent III. The two
enemies declined to agree to either project,



and Philip, though a firm supporter of the
faith of his time, proudly declared to the
papal legates the independence of his

Boniface forthwith issued the papal Bull
" Clericis laicos " on February 25th, 1296, in
which he threatened with excommunica-
tion all princes who exacted taxes from the
, . ... clergy, and any of the clergy

OttlS . ^^^ p a j ( J J n fai s wa y 1^ pJ-Q.

Boniface P Sed tO de P five the En g lish

and especially the French,

kings of the means for carrying on war.
The prohibition was naturally disregarded
by both monarchs, and hostilities were
continued notwithstanding the armistice
imposed by the Pope, and extended until
the year 1298.

Diplomacy, however, was able to secure
a reconciliation. In a quarrel between
Naples and Aragon for the possession of
Sicily, Boniface supported Philip's brother,
Charles of Valois, and also canonised
Philip's grandfather, Louis IX. A French
embassy, which was sent to Orvieto,
apparently composed all differences and
abandoned the Colonna. The war between
France and England was decided by Boni-
face in favour of Philip, who retained his
possessions by a decision of June 27th,
1298, " issued not as a judge but as a
friendly mediator " ; the two kings had
previously determined upon an armistice
until January 5th, 1300 at Vive St.
Bavon on October gth, 1297 and only
gave the Pope an opportunity of finally
holding out the olive branch.

However, after the expiration of the
armistice Philip inspired Charles of Valois
to attack Flanders again at the beginning
of 1300, while he extended his truce with
England to November 3oth, 1302. In
general he let no opportunity slip of
rousing the anger of the Pope. He appro-
priated episcopal fiefs to the crown the
comte of Melgueil and the vicornt6 of
Narbonne he supported the citizens of
Wh . Lyons against their archbishop,
Po e was disregarding the rights of the
o* Patient em pi re > an d in several cases
oppressed the French superior
clergy and their possessions. The Colonna,
who had been deprived of their possessions
and offices by Boniface, met with a most
friendly reception from Philip ; he also made
a close alliance with King Albert I., whom
the Pope had refused to recognise, as he
was the murderer of his predecessor. We
should be inclined to wonder at the gentle


patience of the Pope under all this irrita-
tion did we not know the extent to
which his position was endangered in
Rome itself. Boniface had incurred the
most bitter hostility of the adherents of the
fugitive Colonna, and was by no means
certain of the fidelity of the ruling Orsini.
upon whom he was dependent to an
undesirable extent ; in the college of
cardinals there was a party which disputed
the legality of his election. His opposition
to the Aragonese supremacy in Sicily
led him steadily back to France.

Philip also avoided an open breach,
although his two most famous jurists, the
chancellor Peter Flotte and the privy
councillor William of Nogaret, eagerly
advised this step. A South Frenchman,
whose father had fallen a victim to the
Inquisition, William had, though originally
a cleric, the strongest personal reasons
for opposing the supreme representative
of the Church. He was a capable professor
of jurisprudence at the University of
Montpellier, and could perform excellent
service to his king in the war of pamphlets
which now began between Rome and Paris ;
at this moment in 1300 he was sent
Tk r^k k A to tne PP e by Philip with

Hoes of* S6Cret instructions > of which
opeso we learn only from the latter

Pope Boniface , J , ,

and apparently exaggerated

reports of Nogaret. It was his business to
pacify the Pope upon the question of the
agreement with Albert I., and this agree-
ment was to promote the peace of the
Church and the welfare of the Holy Land ;
Boniface was thus to be confirmed in his
cherished hopes of a Crusade.

In the following year the Pope sent to
Paris the Bishop of Pamiers, Bernard of
Saisset, to discuss the question of this
Crusade, the affairs of Flanders, and the
interference of Philip with the French
Church. Saisset adopted a haughty
attitude, and after his return to his
bishopric he was prosecuted by the state
council at Senlis, which sat under the
presidency of Peter Flotte, and thrown
into prison. Boniface proceeded to issue
the Bulls " Salvator mundi " (Redeemer
of the world) and " Ausculta fili " (Hear,
O son). In the first he declared that all
the privileges conceded to the king were
null and void, and in the second he claimed
the supremacy over all states and princes,
even in secular affairs. At the same time
he demanded the release of his legate,
whereas Philip had insisted that this


bishop should be deprived of all his
spiritual privileges. Boniface also sum-
moned all the French bishops to a council
at Rome on November ist, 1302, to discuss
" the reform of France and the improve-
ment of its king."

The Bull " Ausculta fili " was turned to
clever account by Philip's jurists ; they
issued it in shortened and sterner form with
the initial words "deum time" (fear God),
but concealed the true composition, and
proceeded to burn their own falsification in
solemn conclave. At the same time Philip
summoned the three estates of the
kingdom on April 8th, 1302, forbade
his clergy to take part in the council,
deprived the disobedient of their posses-
sions, and sent a threatening embassy to
the Pope in November. On November
i8th, 1302, Boniface issued another
appeal, " Unam sanctam " (one holy
Church), in which he strongly emphasised
his claims to supremacy over all secular
rulers ; and in 1303 he sent his ultimatum
to Philip in twelve articles. The French
king returned an indefinite answer and
prepared to employ force after Nogaret,
at a council of March I2th, had accused
. the Pope of the worst

* , "' ' ,, crimes and heresies, and
had advised the king to

of the Pope ,

summon a general council
which should judge the Pope guilty.

Meanwhile Nogaret and three of Philip's
emissaries had proceeded to Italy with
powers which were purposely unlimited,
had provided supplies of money in
Florence, and had induced Sciarra Colonna,
the Pope's deadly enemy and his armed
retainers to make an attack upon Boniface,
who was then staying in Anagni. This
attempt took place on September 7th.
1303 ; the accounts of it are very various,
and it has been exaggerated for party
purposes, but Boniface defended the
dignity of his high office. The Pope was
a prisoner for two days, and was saved
by Nogaret from death, only that he
might be brought to France. However,
the inhabitants of Anagni liberated him
on September gth. Boniface returned to
Rome on September i8th, but died on
October I2th, 1303, in consequence of an
old complaint and the excitement of the
previous five weeks.

His successor, Benedict XI., was Pope
for barely nine months (1303-1304), and
with difficulty maintained his ground
against Philip. The king proposed that

the dead Boniface should be declared
a heretic by the sentence of a council, and
suggested as a meeting-place Lyons, which
was close to his own kingdom. He had
previously interfered with the prerogatives
of the Church by sending a committee
to examine the prisons of the Inquisition
in Southern France and liberating all
p , prisoners without distinction ;

De P >ndenc as Nogaret was a member of
the committee, their duties were

on France , , , ,. ,' , .,,

no doubt discharged with great
thoroughness. The new Pope opposed the
process against his predecessors and did
not summon the council ; at the same
time he removed the excommunication
which had been laid on Philip and the
royal family, and revoked the measures
'of Boniface against the king and the
French clergy subject to him. However,
the participants in the attack of Anagni,
including Nogaret, were excommunicated.
The papacy became entirely dependent
upon France when the Archbishop of Bor-
deaux, Bertrand del Got, was, on June
5th, 1305, appointed Pope by Philip's
influence in return for binding promises ;
he established himself first in Lyons and
afterwards, from 1309, in Avignon, which
belonged to the Angevin dynasty of Naples.
This second successor of Boniface VIII.,
who was known as Clement V., was a
clever diplomatist and intriguer, but
greatly wanting in personal energy. In
1308 he secretly opposed the nomination of
Philip's brother as king of Germany, while
in Italy he attempted to embroil Henry
VII., the newly appointed ruler of Germany,
with the Neapolitan Angevins ; at Philip's
orders, however, he was obliged to pro-
hibit their advance upon Rome. He also
played a double part in the process against
the order of Knights Templar, in the
guilt of which Philip hoped to involve
his confederate. This order had risen
from a very modest origin ; in 1119 it
had been founded by eight French knights

at Jerusalem, and had now

w *^ * n gained great power and enor-

tr -K. mous wealth; it also had

. Knights abandoned the mle of the

order, which had been drawn up in 1128
by Bernard of Clairvaux in conjunction with
the first Grand Master, Hugh of Payens.

The strict morality of the order was
broken down by the growth of pride and
voluptuousness and a general disobedience
towards the Grand Master, who could
decide important matters only with the



consent of the majority of the " general probable that the noble caste within

chapter" or assembly of the brothers of the order was morally and spiritually

the order. It was necessary for the degenerate for the most part,

knights to give proof of noble birth, and The proposed process was begun as

only priests acting as lay brothers could follows. During a conference with

belong to the citizen class ; hence a Clement V. at Lyons, in November, 1305,

system of caste was introduced within Philip first proposed to proceed against

the order which destroyed its real signi- the order, promised the Pope to under-

ficance. In the struggles with the Saracens take a Crusade, and also threatened to

it had often displayed a suspicious luke- resume the process against the dead

warmness and had agreed to truces of a Boniface ; the threat was intended to

doubtful advantage for the Christian force, and the C rusade to induce, the Pope

cause. By the fall of Jerusalem in 1187 to take aciton against the order, which

and again in 1244 tne order
had been driven from its
first centre, on the site of
Solomon's former temple
whence the name Templar
and after the loss of the
Holy Land the island of
Cyprus had become the
centre of the order, though
it was widely spread in
France and other countries.
In France it possessed wide
lands and influential con-
nections, which had long
aroused the envy and sus-
picion of King Philip. To
these causes were added
political and personal dis-

Rightly or wrongly, the
order had gained a reputa-
tion for heresy and idolatry.
The knights were supposed
to be coquetting with
Mohammedan and sec-
tarian religious opinions ;
hence was secured the
desired pretext for attack-
ing them under the cloak


he hated. Clement actually
invited the Grand Masters
of the orders of St. John and
the Temple to come to France
for a discussion upon the
Crusade. It was not, how-
ever, until August 24th, 1307,
that he issued permission for
an ecclesiastical inquiry into
the supposed misdeeds of
the order. Philip's adviser,
Nogaret, who now also plays
the part of advocatus diaboli,
had meanwhile secured the
evidence of former Templars,
who had either been expelled
from the order or had left it,
and handed them over to
the Inquisitor of France,
William Imbert, who was
also Philip's confessor, on

Online LibraryJames Bryce BryceThe book of history. A history of all nations from the earliest times to the present, with over 8,000 illustrations (Volume 9) → online text (page 39 of 55)