R. W. (Robert Warrand) Carlyle.

A history of mediæval political theory in the West online

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tion.2 We do not enter into any discussion of Hincmar's



^ Hincmar of Rheims, De Institutione
Carolomanni, 5 : ** Qualiter autem con-
sensu principis terns, qui res eoclesi-
asticas divino judicio ad tuendas et
defensandas suscepit, electione oleri ac
plebis quisque ad ecclesiasticum regi-
men absque uUa venalitate provehi
debeat, et Dominus in Evangelio, et
sacri canones aperte demonstrant
dicente Domino: *Qui non intrat per
ostium in ovile ovium, sed ascendit
aliunde, iUe fur est et latro.'^'

^ Hincmar of Rheims, Ep. ziz. :
c. L "* Ut sicut sacrse leges et regulae
preecipiunt, archiepiscopis et episcopis
collimitanearum dioeceseon electionem
conoedere dignemini, ut undecunque,
secundum f ormam regularem electionis,
episcopi talen eligant, qui et sanctee
Eccleeise utilis, et regno proficuus, et
vobis fidelis ac devotus co-operator ez-
istat : et consentientibus dero et plebe
eum vobis adducant, ut secundum



ministerium vestrum res et facul-
tates Ecclesise, quas ad defendendum
et tuendum vobis Dominus oommen-
davit, suse dispositioni oommittatis, et
cum consensu ac letteris vestris eum
ad metropolitanum episcopum ac co-
episcopos ipsius dioceseos qui eum
ordinare debent, transmittaUs, et sic
sine scandali macula ad sanctum sacer-
dotium provehatur.' . . .

''c iii. Nam si quod a quibusdam
dicitur, ut audivi, quando petitam
apud Tos electionem conoeditis, ilium
debent episcopi, et derus, ac plebe
eligere, quem vos vultis, et quem
jubetis (quse non est divinse legis
electio, sed humanse potestatis eztorsio),
si ita est, ut did a quibusdam audivi,
ille malignus spiritus, qui per serpen-
tem primes parentes nostroe in para-
diso decepit et inde illos ejedt, per
tales adulatores in auree vestras hsec
sibilat; quia hoc in Scriptura tam



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CHAP. XXI.] AUTHORITIES OP CHURCH AND STATE. 269



position with regard to the part of the metropolitan and the
other bishops of the province in the election of a bishop : it is
enough for us to observe that Hincmar clearly admits the place
of the secular ruler, but as clearly also is anxious that this
should be defined and limited.

A position very similar to that of Hincmar is represented
by the little treatise " De ElectionibusJ RniftCinyewHa," written
by Florus^^iacfinus, a writer of the ninth century. Here also ^
it is candidly admitted that in certain kingdoms the custom
prevailed that a bishop should be consecrated after the prince
had been consulted, and Florus admits that this custom tends
to peace and tranquillity, but he emphatically denies that it
is necessary to a proper consecration.^ Florus maintains that



veteris quam Novi Testamenti non
continetur, neque in catholiconim
dictis, vel satcris canonibus, nee etiam
in legibus a Christianis imperatoribus
et regibus promulgatis hoc scriptum
vel decretum invenitur, sed talia dicta
infemus evomuit. Christus enim per
apostolum loquens, talem jubet eligere :
'qui potena sit exhortari in doctrina
sacra et iis qui contradicunt revincere.'
Et si quis contra hoc loquitur, iniquita-
^ tern contra Dominum loquitur et inter
blasphemes a Sancto Spiritu com-
putatur. Sic enim atavus vester
Carolus et abavus Ludovicus impera-
tores intellexerunt, et ideo in primo
libro capitulorum suorum promulgav-
erunt scribentes. * Sacrorum,' inqui-
unt, 'canonum non ignari, ut in Dei
nomine sancta Ecclesia suo liberius
potiatur honore, assensum ordini eccles-
iastico prsebemus, ut scilicet episcopi
per electionem cleri et populi secundum
statuta canonum, de propria dioecesi,
remota personarum et munerum ac-
ceptione ob vitse meritum et sapientise
donum eligantur, ut exemplo et
verbo sibi subjectis usquequaque
prodesse valeant.' . . . Et sacri
canones dicunt, 'Primum enim iUi
(quin clerici uniuscujusque Ecdesiae)
reprobandi sunt, ut aliqui de alienis
Ecclesiis merito prseferantur.' Et



item, * Ut episcopi, judicio metropolit-
anorum et eorum episcoporum qui
circumcirca sunt, provehantur ad
ecclesiasticam potestatem ; hi, videlicet
qui plurimo tempore probantur tam
verbo fidei quam rectse conversationis
exemplo.' Attendendum est igitur
qualiter hoc imperiale capitulum sacris
regulis et antiquorum imperatorum
legibus congruat, ostendens quoniam,
sicut et leges et regulad dicunt, in
electione episcopi assensio regis sit, non
electio, in episcoporum vero exsecu-
tione sit electio, sicut et ordinatio."

^ Florus Diaconus, De Electionibus
Episcoporum iv. : " Quod vero in qui-
busdam regnis postea consuetude ob-
tinuit, ut consultu principis ordinatio
fieret episcopalis, valet utique ad cum-
ulum fratemitatis, propter pacem et
concordiam mundanse potestatis ; non
tamen ad complendam veritatem vel
auctoritatem sacrse ordinationis, quae
nequaquam regio potentatu, sed solo
Dei nutu, et Ecclesiae fidelium con-
sensu, cuique conferri potest. . . .
Unde graviter quilibet princeps delin-
quit, si hoc suo beneficio largiri posse
existimat, quod sola divina gratia dis-
pensat ; cum ministerium suae potes-
tatis in hujusmodi negotium peragendo
adjungere debeat, non prseferre. . . .

'^viL Quae omnia non ideo dicimus.



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270 POLITICAL THEORY OP NINTH CENTURY. [part nr.

the true requirements for a proper appointment are the election
of the clergj and the whole people of the diocese, and con-
secration by the lawful number of bishops ;^ and he urges that
for nearly four hundred years from the time of the apostles
no consent was asked from the secular power, and that even
after the emperor was Christian this liberty for the most part
continued.'

The position of Hincmar and Florus is not quite identical.

' Hincmar looks upon the consent of the prince as normally

necessary for the appointment of a bishop; Florus considers

this as a legitimate custom of some kingdoms, but not as being

C universal custom, and still less does he admit it to be of
niversal obligation. But they agree in admitting that, as a
matter of fact, the secular ruler has a considerable power with
regard to ecclesiastical appointments, while they are both con-
cerned to correct any exaggerated conception of this.



quaai poteetatem principum in aliquo
minuendam putemus, vel contra religi-
08um morem regni aliquid sentiendum
persuadeamus ; Bed ut darissime de-
monstretur, in re hujusmodi divinam
gratiam sufficere, humanam Tero poten-
tiam nisi illi consonet, nihil valere.
Quapropter in sacris canonibus Patrum,
ubi plurimse causae commemorantur
sine quibus epiaoopalis ordinatio irrita
habenda est, de hac re nihil inTcnitur
insertum."

^ Id., L: "Manifeetum est om-
nibus qui in Eoclesia Dei sacerdotale
offidum administrant, quse sunt ilia
quse in ordinatione episcopali, et
saonnrum canonorum auctoritas, et
consuetudo ecdesiastica, juxta dis*
positionem divinse legis et tradilaonem
apostolicam jubeat obeervari. Videli-
oet ut pastore defuncto, et sede
vacante, unus de dero Ecdesiso, quern
communis et coucots ejusdem deri et
totius plebis consensus elegerit, et
publico decreto oelebriter ac solem-
niter designaverit, legitimo episoo-
porum numero consecratus, locum
deoedentis antistitis rite Taleat ob-



tinere ; nee dubitetur diyino judicio
eb dispoeitione firmatum, quod ab
Ecclesia Dei tarn sancto ordine
et legitima obaervatione fuerit cde-
bratum."

* Id., iiL : *' Juxta hsec Terba beati
Cypriani, ordinatoe fuisse c<Hi8tat,
et legitime pnefuisse universo populo
deinceps omnes Ecdesiarum Dd anti*
stites, absque uUo consultu mundanse
potestatis, a temporibus apostolorum,
et postea per annos fere quadrin-
gentos. Ex quo autem Chrbtiani
prindpee esse coeperunt, eamdem
episcoporum ordinaticmibus eoded-
asticam libertatem ex parte maxima
permansisse, manifesta rajtio declarat.
Neque enim fieri potuit, cum unus
Imperator orbis terrsB monarchiam
obtineret, ut ex omnibus latiasimis
mundi partibus, Asise viddioet, Europeo
et A£ric», omnes qui (nrdinandi orant
Episoopi ad ejus oognitionem de-
duoerentur. Sed fuit semper integra
et rata ordinaUo, qnam sancta
E ocl e sia juxta traditionem apoetd-
icam et rdigiosse obserrationis formam
odebravit."



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GHAP. XXI.] AUTHORITIES OF CHURCH AND STATE. 271



It is perhaps necessary to say a word about the theory f -
of the relation^ofjhfijeimperor to the papal elections. We may
begin by observing that Floras Diaconus "assumes that the
consent of the civil power is never asked for in this case.^
Whether such a statement can be taken as accurately rep-
resenting the relations of the emperor to the papal elections
in the ninth century is doubtful. The" Paatttm- Hlndosdci
Ri pumJaschf^li fontifice" of 817 does, indeed, agree with
this m its careful provision that no one is to interfere with,
the election of a Pope, but that it is to be left in the hands"
of the Eomans, and that they are freely to elect him whom
the divine inspiration and the intercession of St Peter suggest.'
Only after the consecration is an ambassador to be sent to
Lewis or his~ successor to arrange for the continuance of
friendship and peace between the Emperor and the Pope.^
The terms of Lothair's *1 GpjiStitutiQ^BomaBat" -QlJ32i are so
far in agreement with this. It reiterates the provision of theZ^
Pactum, that no one is to take part in the election of a /
Pope except the Eomans themselves.^ There is in existence,



^ Id. vi. : " Sed et in Romana Ecclesia
usque in prsesentem diem cemimus abe-
que interrogatione Prinoipia solo dis-
positionis judicio et fidelium suffragio,
legitime pontifices consecrari ; qui etiam
omnium regionum et civitatum qu» illi
Bubjectse sunt, juxta antiquum morem,
eadem libertate ordinant atque con-
stituunt sacerdotes ; nee adeo quis-
quam absurdus est, ut putet min-
orem illic sanctificationis divinam esse
gratiam, eo quod nulla mundanae
potestatis comitetur auctoritas."

» M. G. H. Leg., sect. ii. vol. i. No. 172 :
<<£t quando divina vocatione hujus
sacratissimse sedis pontifex de hoc
mundo migraverit, nullus ex regno
nostro, aut Francus aut Longobardus
aut de qualibet gente homo sub nostra
potestate constitutus, licentiam habeat
contra Romanes, aut publico aut private
veniendi vel electionem faciendi ; nul-
lusque in civitatibus vel territoriis ad
ecclesise beati Petri apostoli potestatem
pertinentibus aliquod malum propter



hoc facere presumat. Sed liceat
Romanis cum omni veneratione et
sine qualibet perturbatione honorifi-
cam suo pontifici exibere sepulturam,
et eum quern divina inspiratione et
beati Petri intercessione omnes Romani
uno consilio atque conoordia sine aliqua
promissione ad pontificatus ordinem ele-
gerint sine qualibet ambiguitate vel
contradictione more canonico con-
secrari. Et dum consecratus fuerit,
legati ad nos vel ad successores nostros
reges Francorum dirigantur, qui inter
nos et illos amicitiam et caritatem ac
pacem socient, sicut temporibus pie
recordationis domni Karoli attavi
nostri, seu donmi Pipini avi nostri
vel etiam donmi Earoli imperatoris
genitoris nostri consuetude erat
faciendi."

« M. G. H. Leg., sect. iL vol. L
No. 161 : " 3. Volumus ut in electione
pontifids nullus prsesumat venire,
neque liber neque servus, qui aliquod
impedimentum faciat illis solummodo



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272 POLITICAL THEORY OF NINTH CENTURY. [part iy.

however, a form of oath, supposed to be of this time, required
of all those who were to take part in the papal election : this
not only makes the electors swear allegiance and fidelity to
the emperor, but also includes a provision that he who is
elected is not to be consecrated until he has taken such an
oath in the presence of the " missus " of the emperor as that
taken by Pope Eugenius. From a passage in "^i^nharfl'^ Anyala
for 827, it would appear that on the death of Valentinus, his
successor, Gr^ory IV., was elected, but not consecrated until
the ambassador of the emperor had come and examined into
the character of the election.^ It must, however, be noticed
that these documents, and especially the '' Pactum," while they
are probably genuine in substance, are probably not all
authentic in detail

Our examination of these matters will, we think, have
served to bring out suflSciently clearly the fact that, whatever
might be the theory of the division of functions between the
^ secular and the spiritual powers, (^e secular _pqggr did in
practice certainly tend to exercise a very consi derable authon ty
even io^ the strictly sjjiritual sphere. We may say that the
foundation of the whole situation, as far as theory is concerned,
lies in this, that it is the duty of the civil ruler to care for the



Romanis, quibus antiquitus fuit oon-
suetudo conoessa per constitutionem
sanctorum patrum eligendi pontificem.
Quod si quia coutra banc jussionem
nostram facere prsesumpserit, exilio
tradatur."

^ M. Q. H. Leg., sect. H. voL L No.
161. Form of oath to the emperor
to be taken by electors to the Papacy,
which seems to belong to the time of
Pope Eugenius : " Promitto ^o iUe per
Deum omnipotentem et per ista sacra
quattuor evangelia et per banc cruoem
domini nostri Jesu Christi et per corpus
beatissimi Petri principis apostolorum,
quod ab hac die in futurum fideUs ero
dominis nostris imperatoribus Hludo-
wico et Hlothario diebus vitse mese,
juxta yires et inteUectum meum, sine
fraude atque malo ingenio, salva fide



quam repromisi domino apostolico ; et
quod non cons^itiam ut aliter in hac
sede Romana fiat electio pontificis nisi
canonice et juste, secundum vires et
inteUectum meum ; et iUe qui electus
fuerit me consentiente consecratus
pontifez non fiat, priusquam tale
sacramentum f aciat in prsesentia missi
domini imperatoris et populi, cum
juramento, quale dominus Eugenius
papa, sponte pro conserratione omnium
&ctum habet per scriptum."

The editor cites, to illustrate this,
from Einhard's Annals for 827 : "2.
. . . quo defuncto (».«., Pope Valen-
tinus) Qregorius (IV.) electus, sed non
prius ordinatus est quam legatus im-
peratoris Romam venit et electionem
populi qualis esset examinavit."



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CHAP. XXI.3 AUTHORITIES OF CHURCH AND STATE. 273

wellbeing of the Church, and to interfere when he sees that
^ the Church is, for any reason, being badly administered or
falling into corruption. We can see how this conception
naturally gives rise to the theory that it is the king's duty to
see to the regular meeting of synods, and thus gives him
necessarily a share in the legislative, as well as the adminis- id
trative, control of the Church. It is easy also to see how this
conception of the responsibility lying upon the king to see
that justice and righteousness prevailed in the Church as well
as elsewhere, might lead to a considerable ambiguity in his
relation to the discipline of the Church. The relations of the
empire to the Papacy in the causes of Leo III. and Leo lY.
are but the final examples of a tendency to look to the civil
power to set things right in the Church, when there was no
one else who could act. And, finally, the tendency to subject
ecclesiastical appointments to some control on the ptlrt of the
civil ruler, while it has many other political and social rela-
tions, may also be regarded in part at least as illustrating the
same conception, that the secular power has its own responsi-
bility for the good order of the Church, and has therefore
necessarily something to say with regard to the persons to
whom the government of the Church is to be intrusted.

We have said enough, we think, to make it clear that in
the ninth century the theory of a strict duality of authority
in society does not prevent the civil power from acting very
frequently in the sphere of the ecclesiastical, and that this
intervention is not only tolerated in practice, but is to a
considerable extent justified in theory.

We must now consider the other side of the subject, the/^
extent to which the ecclesiastical authority intervened in civil
affairs, and the character and conditions of this interference.
We may begin by observing that if the king or emperor is
by some writers styled the Vicar of Grod, the same title, is
also claimed for the bishops.^ Hrab^nua^^aurus calls the ^ '
priests or bishops the vicars of the prince of shepherds in

^ M. O. H. Leg., sect. ii. vol. iL 83 : *' Nob autem Dei judicio sui ab illo
No. 298, Concilium Meldeose Parisiense, vicarii constituti," &c

VOL. I. S



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274 POLITICAL THEORY OF NINTH CENTURY. [part iv.

the Church of God, and warns them to be determined i^ainst
the proud and contumacious, to be careful that no earthly
power terrifies them in their rule of souls, and no worldly
blandishments soften their rigour.^

What is more important than this title of Vicar of God, it is
certain that the people of the ninth century were perfectly
clear that the ecclesiastic is bound to correct and reprove
persons of every rank and degree, — to use against them, if
necessary, the severest penalties of the Church. A very strong
phrase is used by a synod held in 859, which expresses this
very directly and forcibly: the bishops are exhorted to be
united in their ministry and holy authority, and with mutual
counsel and help to rule over and correct kings and the great
ones of the earth, and the whole people committed to them in -
the Lord.* The same view is very strongly expressed by many
writers. A^guiB^xhorts the priest to declare the Word of Gk)d,
and the prince to obey.^ Jonas of .Orleans quotes that passage
from the history of Bufinus, discussed in an earlier chapter,
r in which Constantino is represented as saying to the bishops
that God has made them the judges of all, and that they
cannot be judged by any.* The same passage is quoted by the
bishops in that address to Lewis the Pious which we have
already frequently cited.^ There is, therefore, nothing that
\we should regard as new, when we find the pseudo-Isidorian
^ Decretals using very strong language about the subjection of

^ M. G. H. Ep., v., Epistolarum tatem unitiBintetmutuoconsilioatque

Fuldensium Fragmenta, 20, 0. iv. : auzilio regee regnorumque primores,

" RabanuB inquit : Quomodo in Christi atque populum sibi commissum in

saoerdotibuB discreta debet esse pietas Domino regant et corrigant."

erga condigne poenitentes, ita debet et ' M. Q. H. Ep., iv., Alcuin, Ep.

fortiB esse constantia contra superbos 18: "Illorum est, id est^ sacerdotum,

atque contumaces. Nee debet ulla verba Dei non tacere. Vestrum est,

terrena potestas terrere rectorem o principes, humiliter oboedire, dili-

animarum nee mollire secularibus genter implere." Cf.-Ep. 108: '*Kt

blandimentifl ngorem Christi pontifi- sis obediens servis .Dei, -qui te de

cum, qui vicarii principis pastorum in mandatis ejus ammoneant."

ecclesia Dei esse videntur. ... In * Jonas of Orleans, *'De- Instit.,

Epistola ad Humbertum episcopum." Laic," u. 20. See p. '4 77.

^ M. Q. H. Leg., sect. iL voL ii. ° M. G. H. Leg., sect. iL voL iL

Ko. 299, Synodus apud Saponarias No. 196, Episoop. ad Hlud. Imp.

habita,2: "EpiM^pinamque secundum Relatio, 22.
illorum ministerium ac saoram auctori-



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CHAP. XXI.] AUTHORITIBS OF CHURCH AND STATE. 275

princes to bishops. In his 39th Decretal letter Clement is ?
represented as saying that all princes of the earth are to obey J *
the bishops, to submit to them and help them, and that those |
who oppose them, unless they repent, are to be put out of
the Church.^

The political theory of the ninth century, then, very clearly
recognises that there is an authority in the Church which ex- ) ^
tends over all persons, even the most exalted in society. It will
be useful to consider more closely the relation of the civil order
and the civil rulers to the law and discipline of the Church.
We have already examined the treatment in Hincmar's
work, * DeOrdine Palatii,' of the relation of the king to the
Iftw pf_the State; we have seen that Hi ncmar expresses the
general view of the ninth cen^tury .when l^maintaina. that
these laws are binding upon the king.* Hincmar -gees on to i^^
say that much more. must the Jdng .Qbey_ tjm.. diyijoto. JajLai*
There is a system of divine law in the Church to which all '
men owe their obedience. We do not wish to enter into so
complicated a subject as that of the gradual formation of the
body of Church law : to do so would take us very far away
from our proper topic. It will here suflSce if we point out
that by the ninth century there were in existence and cir-
culation in Western Europe collections _of_Church regulations
on doctrine and discipline, and these regulations were looked
upon as havings in some sense a divine authority. There are
some words in Hincmar's treatise *Pro Ecclesise Libertatum

gf^ione ' which may very well benbafeen as representative
of theaRitude of the ninth century towards these laws. This
is the treatise written by Hincmar in the early stages of the
quarrel between Charles the Bald and Hincmar's nephew,
Hincmar, Bishop of Laon. Hincmar at first sided wholly with

^ Pseudo - Isidore, ClemeDt, Dec. liminibus ecdesiae alienos eese prse-

xzxix. : " Omnes principes terrse et cipiebat."

•cunctos homines eis obeedire et capita ' See p. 233.

sua Bubmittere eorumque adjutores ' M. Q. H. Leg., sect. iL voL ii.

ezistere prsecipiebat. . . . Omnes ergo Hincmar of Rheims, De Ordine Pal*

qui eis contradicent, ita damnatos atii, 9 : " Multo minus autem regi, vel

et infames usque ad satisfactionem cuilibet inquocunqueordine contra leges

xnonstrabat, et nisi converterentur a divinas licet agere per contemptum. "



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276 POLITICAL THEORY OF NINTH CENTURY. [part iv.

his nephew, and wrote this treatise to protest against the royal
action, which at first he looked upon as an outrageous inter-
ference with ecclesiastical prerogative. A vassal of the Bishop
of Laon had complained to Charles of his treatment by the
bishop, and Charles had summoned the bishop to appear and
to answer before his courts. When he did not appear, Charles
put his property under the ban. Hincmar of Rheims protests
against such action as being wholly improper and even scandal-
ous, and quite contrary to the canons and the laws. He quotes
St Leo as saying that the canons were enacted by the Spirit
of God, and confirmed by the reverence of the whole world,
and were established by men who now reign with God in
heaven and still work miracles on the earth.^

We think that these words are highly characteristic of the
general attitude of men in the ninth century towards Church
; law. No one, we think, doubted that in some sense all men of
all ranks were bound to obey it. Earlier in the century Ago-
bajaLofJjyona had used phrases jimiter to^ those otJixoiimBX^
Agobard is writing of the proceedings of the bishops at Attigny
and Compi^gne, and represents himself as making a speech in
which he discussed the nature and authority of the canons of
the Church. In former times, he said, the holy bishops had
^ come together and decreed that the canons must be preserved
inviolate, inasmuch as they had been confirmed by the Spirit of
God, the consent of the whole world, the obedience of princes,
the agreement of Scripture, and that from that time it had
been an accepted doctrine that any action against the canons
was an action against God Himself, and against His universal
Church, and that they could not be violated without danger
to religion.^ A little earlier in date still we find a letter

^ Hincmar of Rheims, Pro EccL Lib. adhuc nobiscum in constitutionibus

Defen., i: '^Etquisoculumsimplicem, yivant' : sed et legibus, quibua una

id eat, rectam intentionem, quam in cum eisdem sacris canonibus moder-

vobis nescit, putabit : ubi factum atur Eoclesia, constat adversum ? "
Domino contrarium, et inimicum sacris ' M. Q. H. Ep., v. ; Agobard, Ep., v.

canonibus, sicut beatus Leo scribit, c 4 : '* CJonvenerunt episcopi, yiri sancti,

' Spiritu Dei ccmditis et totius mundi quibus tunc babundabat eoclesia, statu-

reverentia consecratis, quorum con- erunt inlibatos oonservari debere sacroe

ditores in ccelo cum Deo regnantes,* canones, qui firmati sunt spiritu Dei,

et in terns miraculis coruscantes, consensu totius mundi, oboedientia



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CHAP. XXI.] AUTHORITIES OF CHURCH AND STATE. 277



/



by 8ipg«rn,](^ Bift>^o p of Aquileia, mutilated unfortunately and
only partly comprehensible, in which we have a very emphatic
exhortation to Charles the Great on the duty of obeying the
canons. In spite of the fragmentary state in which it has



Online LibraryR. W. (Robert Warrand) CarlyleA history of mediæval political theory in the West → online text (page 29 of 34)