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William of Champeaux, now Bishop of Chalons. The two
divines pointed out to Henry that the King of France, who
did not employ investiture, had as complete a hold over
his bishops as the Emperor, and that his father-in-law, Henry
of England, who had yielded the point, was still lord over
his feudal vassals, whether clerks or laymen. For the first
time perhaps, the subject was discussed between the two
parties in a reasonable and conciliatory spirit. Before the
king and the divines parted, it was clear that a compromise
on the lines of the English settlement was quite practicable.

On 2oth October 1119, Calixtus n. opened his council at
Reims. Louis vi. of France, who had married the Pope's
niece, was present, and the gathering of prelates council of
was much more representative than usual. Next Reims, ing.
day the Pope went to Mouzon, a castle of the Archbishop


146 European History, 918-1273

of Reims, hoping to meet the Emperor. But their agents
haggled about details, and mutual suspicion threatened to
break off all chance of agreement. Deeply mortified, and
Breakdown ^ho 111 having seen the Emperor, Calixtus
of the went back to the council, where the old decrees

negotiations. a g a j nst s i mO macs and married clerks -were re-
newed, and where a canon forbidding laymen to invest
a clerk with a bishopric or abbey was passed. But this
canon marked a limitation of the Pope's claim. While
Hildebrand had absolutely forbidden all lay investiture,
Calixtus was content to limit the prohibition to the in-
vestiture with the spiritual office. Yet^before the council
separated, the excommunication of Emperor_and Antipope
was solelnnly renewed. An agreement seemed to be furthei;
off than ever.

No Pope ever stood in a stronger position than Calixtus
when in February 1 1 20 he at last crossed the Alps. He was

Triumph of rece ' ve( ^ w ^^ P en arras by the Romans, and with
Calixtus in more than ordinary loyalty by the Normans of
Italy, xiao. the souttu The Antipope fled before him, and
was soon reduced to pitiful straits in his last refuge at Sutri.
At last he was captured, contemptuously paraded through
the Roman streets, and conveyed to prison, until, after peace
had been restored to the Church, he was released to end his
life obscurely in a monastery.

The Emperor saw that he had been too suspicious at
Mouzon, and again wished to retire with dignity from a con-
N odations ^ ct * n wn * c ^ ^' s prospects of complete triumph
renewed, had long utterly vanished. Things were now
going better in Germany. In 1121 a Diet was
held at Wurzburg, at which Henry made peace with Adal-
bert of Mainz and the Saxon rebels. It was agreed to
refer the investiture question to a German council under
the Pope's presidency, and direct negotiations with Rome
were renewed. The Pope's words were now exceedingly
conciliatory. ' The Church,' he said, ' is not covetous of

The Investiture Contest 147

royal splendour. Let her enjoy what belonged to Christ, and
let the Emperor enjoy what belonged to the Empire.'

On 8th September 1122 the council met at Worms. Cal-
ixtus, after some hesitation, did not attend himself, but sent
Lambert, Bishop of Ostia, as his legate. Lambert concordat of
was a citizen of Bologna, who had been arch- worms, ma.
deacon of his native town, and had learnt from its rival schools
of Canonists and Civilians [see pp. 217-220] the principles
involved in both sides of the controversy. He soon turned his
knowledge and skill to good account. The council lasted little
more than a week. The Emperor at first stood out for his rights,
but was soon persuaded to accept a compromise such as had
been suggested previously at Strasburg. On 23rd September
the final Concordat of Worms was ratified, which put an end
to the investiture strife^ Two short documents, of three
weighty" sentences ^ach, embodied the simple conditions
that it had cost fifty years of contest to arrive at. ' I,
Henry,' thus ran the imperial diploma, 'for the love of God,
the holy Roman Church, and of the lord Pope Calixtus, and
for the salvation of my soul, abandon to God, the holy
Apostles Peter and Paul, and to the holy Catholic Church all
investiture by the ring and the staff, and I grant that in all
the churches of my Empire there be freedom of election and
free consecration. I will restore all the possessions and
jurisdictions of St. Peter, which have been taken away since
the beginning of this quarrel. I will give true peace to the
lord Pope Calixtus and to the holy Roman Church, and I
will faithfully help the holy Roman Church, whenever she
invokes my aid.' The papal diploma was even shorter. ' I,
Calixtus, the bishop,' said the Pope, ' grant to Henry, Emperor
of the Romans, that the elections of bishops and abbots in
the kingdom of. Germany shall take place in thy presence
without simony or violence, so that if any discord arise, thou
mayst grant thy approbation and support to the most worthy
candidate, after the counsel of the metropolitan and his
suffragans. Let the prelate-elect receive from thee by thy

1 48 European History, 918-1273

sceptre the property and the immunities of his office, and let
him fulfil the obligations to thee arising from these. In other
parts of the Empire let the prelate receive his regalia six
months after his consecration, and fulfil the duties arising
from them. I grant true peace to thee and all who have
been of thy party during the times of discord.' l

Less clear in its conditions than the English settlement,

the Concordat of Worms led to substantially the same result.

The Empejor-fiave up the form of investiture,

Character _** ^*~~

of the and public opinion approved of the temporal lord

compromise. no i on g er trenching on the domain of the spirit-
uality by conferring symbols of spiritual jurisdiction. But the
Emperor might maintain that, if he gave up the shadow, he re-
tained the substance. The Henries had not consciously striven
for mere forms, but because they saw no other method of re-
taining their hold over the prelates than through these forms.
The Pope's concessions pointed out a way to attain this end in
a way less offensive to the current sentiment of the time. As
bishops and abbots, spiritual men could not be dependent
on a secular ruler. As holder of fiefs and immunities, the
clerical lord had no more right to withdraw himself from his
lord's authority than the lay baron. By distinguishing between
these two aspects of the prelate's position, the Concordat
strove to give Caesar^what^ was Caesar's and God what was
God's. The investiture quesuoii HfttS ucvei raised again. But
in its broader aspect the investiture question was only the
pretext by reason of which Pope and Emperor contended for
the lordship of the world, and sought respectively to trench
upon the sphere uf the other. The Concordat of Worms
afforded but a short breathing-space in that controversy
between the world-Church and the world-State between the
highest embodiments of the spiritual and secular swords that

1 The text of the Concordat of Worms, and many other German
constitutional documents, can be studied in Altmann and Bernheim's
useful Atugcwtihlte Urkunden zur Verfastungsgctchichte Deutschlands im

The Investiture Contest 149

was still to endure for the rest of the Middle Ages. Con-
temporary opinion, unapt to distinguish between shadow and
substance, ascribed to the Papacy a victory even Practical
more complete than that which it really won. triumph of
After all, it was the Emperor who had to yield the Church>
in the obvious question in dispute. The Pope's concessions
were less clear, and less definite. The age looked upon the
Concordat as a signal triumph for the Roman Church.
Henceforth the ideals of Hildebrand became part of the
commonplaces of European thought.

Neither Henry nor Calixtus long survived the Concordat
of Worms. Calixtus died at Rome in December 1124, having
previously held a council in the Lateran, where Deathof
the Concordat was confirmed, and a vast series Calixtus n.,
of canons drawn up to facilitate the establishment I124>
of the new order of things. He strove also to restore peace
and prosperity in Rome, which had long lain desolate and
ruinous as the result of constant tumults. Short as was his
reign, it could yet be said of him that in his days there was
such peace in Rome that neither citizen nor sojourner
had need to carry arms for his protection. He had not only
made the Papacy dominate the western world ; it even ruled,
if but for a time, the turbulent city that so often rejected
and maltreated the priest whom all the rest of the world

Henry v.'s end was less happy. The war had taught him
that the real ruler 01 Germany was not himself but the
feudal aristocracy. He planned, in conjunction

. J Last failures

with his English fatner-m-law, an aggressive attack an d death of
on Louis vi. of France, but he utterly failed to Henry v.,


persuade his barons to abandon their domestic
feuds for foreign warfare. He fought one purposeless cam-
paign as the ally of England. In May 1125 he died on his
way back, at Utrecht, saddened, disappointed, and worn out
before his time. He is one of the most unattractive of
mediaeval Emperors. Cold-blooded, greedy, treacherous,

1 50 European History ', 9 1 8- 1 273

violent, ambitious, and despotic, he reaped no reward from
his treasons, and failed in every great enterprise he undertook.
Yet despite his constant misfortunes, the strong, hard char-
acter of the last Salian Emperor did something to keep up the
waning fortunes of the Empire, and the unity of the German


(912-1095) l

The Macedonian Dynasty Constantine vn. and his Co-regents Condition
of the Eastern Empire in the Tenth Century The Conversion of the
Slavs Break-up of the Mohammedan East Period of Conquest and
Glory Nicephorus Phocas and John Zimisces The Russian War
Basil ii. and the Bulgarian War Decline of the Macedonian House
Zoe and Theodora Cserularius and the Schism of East and West Rise
of the Seljukians Contrast of Turks and Arabs Decline of the Eastern
Empire Manzikert Alexius Comnenus and his House The last phase
of the Eastern Empire.

SITUATED on the borderland that divided two civilisations,
the unchanging Eastern Empire represented the East to the
Latins and the West to the Arabs and Turks. During the
first half of the tenth century there was a strange Contrast
contrast between the East Roman state and the between the
rest of the world. In the West the Empire of Easter " f m '

pire and the

Charles the Great had fallen, and few could yet rest of the
see that a new order was gradually evolving out world -
of the chaos into which the world seemed plunged. In the
East the Caliphate had ceased to represent the political
unity of Islam. A process of strife and disintegration had
broken up the Mohammedan no less that the Latin world.
Between these two seething and troubled regions, the

1 The best English book on later Byzantine history is Finlay's History
of Greece, which covers the whole period. Oman's Byzantine Empire
('Story of the Nations') is a readable summary. Gibbon's Decline
and Fall must always be consulted. Schlumberger's Un Emperenr
byzantin au X e siic/e, Nictphore Phocas, and UEpoptc byzantine a la Jin
fa X' sifffe, present attractive aspects of the subject in a recent light.

152 Eu ropean History, 918-1273

Empire of Constantinople lived on its quiet, self-contained,
stationary, orderly life. No vital dangers from without
threatened its existence. Catholics and Mohammedans were
alike too busy with their own affairs to make serious attacks
upon its boundaries. The long-lived dynasty of the Mace-
donians continued to rule over a state that had little history.
The inglorious calm bore witness to a standard of civilisa-
tion, order, and prosperity that, with all its faults, could
be found nowhere else in the world.

Basil the Macedonian had founded, in 867, the ruling
house, which was to reign at Constantinople for a hundred
The and ninety years. The long reign of his weak

Macedonian and pedantic son, Leo vi., the Philosopher (886-
dynasty. gj2 ^ had atteste( i t ) ie care an( j stability with

which Basil had laid the foundations of the new dynasty.
Under Leo's son Constantine vn., Porphyrogenitus (912-
constantinc 959), the same quietude that had marked Leo's
vi i., 912-^59. t{ me continued with hardly a break. A boy of
seven when he was called to the throne, Constantine vn.
showed, as he grew up, such lack of firmness and practical
wisdom that his whole reign has been described as a long
minority. Co-regents did most of the work of governing.
For the first year his uncle, Alexander, Leo vi.'s brother,
acted as joint-emperor. For seven years after his death (913-
919) a commission of regency ruled, not too successfully, in
the name of the little Emperor. Severe defeats from Simeon,
king of the Bulgarians, made this rule unpopular. The grand
admiral Romanus Lecapenus now became successively the
prime minister, the father-in-law, the colleague, the master of
Romanu L, Constantine. In December 919 Romanus, already
919-945- Caesar, was crowned joint-emperor with his son-in-

law, and for twenty-five years he practically ruled the state as
he would. Though aged, weak, and incompetent, Romanus
managed to protect himself from numerous court conspiracies,
and hoped to secure the permanence of his influence by
associating three of his sons as colleagues in the Empire, and

1 54 European History, 918-1273

procuring for another the patriarchate of Constantinople.
But the quarrels of sons and father gave the friends of
Constantine a chance of removing them all. The sons of
Romanus drove their father into a monastery. The outraged
public opinion of the capital involved the sons in the same fate.
In 945, when already nearly forty years old, Constantine vu.
became Emperor in fact as well as in name.

Constantine was a shy, nervous, studious man, who had
amused himself, during his long exclusion from power, by
Sole rule of dabbling in nearly every science and art. He
Constantine painted pictures, composed music, designed
vu., 945-959- churches, and wrote books on such different
subjects as agriculture, veterinary science, history, geography,
tactics, politics, and court etiquette. Weak and hesitating
though he was, his good nature, amiability, love of justice
and moderation made him a respectable ruler

Condition of , ,. . .

the Empire for quiet times. Under him the consolidation
in the tenth o f t h e imperial despotism, under the hereditary

century. *., , , mi

rule of the Basihan house, was completed. The
suppression of the legislative power of the senate, and the
destruction of the old municipal system by Leo the Philosopher,
had removed the last barriers to the autocracy of the Emperor.
This despotism the well-drilled administrators carried out so
well on the traditional lines, that it was no great matter that
the Emperor himself was a bookish recluse. The Basilica, the
revised code of law in Greek, now assumed its final form,
and with the change which its introduction involved in the
language of the law courts and statutes, the Latin tongue
ceased to have any practical utility to the East Romans.
The works of Constantine give us a picture of the Empire of
his time. In his longest book he dwells with loving care on
the elaborate and pompous court etiquette which environed
the majesty of the Emperor, and struck awe into the hearts of
the barbarians. In a more summary manner he wrote ' On
the administration of the Empire,' and 'On the Themes' into
which it was divided. In the latter book he described not

The Eastern Empire and the Seljukian Turks 155

merely the actual Empire, but districts like Sicily and Crete,
which had long fallen into the hands of the Saracen, or, like
the interior provinces of the Balkan peninsula, had been
absorbed by Slavs and Bulgarians.

Asia Minor was now the chief stronghold or the Eastern
Empire. The population had been recruited by Christian
refugees from the Mohammedan lands farther
east, and had therefore become more decidedly
Oriental, but it was strenuous, industrious, and warlike. The
whole of the peninsula was included in the Empire, save the
south-eastern district of Cilicia between the Taurus and the
sea. But the loss of Tarsus was more than compensated for by
the inclusion of a larger portion of western Armenia within the
Empire, by reason of the Armenians, despite their obstinate
adherence to the Monophysite heresy, seeing in incorpora-
tion with the Empire their only chance of salvation from
Islam. ' In the Balkan peninsula the districts The Balkan
actually ruled by the Emperor were much less Peninsula,
extensive. The western and central parts were still ' Slavonia,'
and even the Peloponnesus was largely peopled by Slavonic
tribes, at best tributary, and often practically independent.
But the settlement of the Magyars in Pannonia (895) had
pushed the Bulgarians more to the south, and now not only
were the lands between Danube and Rhodope The
Bulgarian, but this nation encroached largely Bulgarians,
on the Slavs in the lands south of the Balkans. The result
left little for the Romans save long strips of coast territory.
Nowhere in Europe did their power penetrate far inland.
Adrianople was at best Uie border town of the Greeks. A
few miles inland from Thessalonica the Bulgarian rule began.
The Bulgarians separated the theme of Hellas, which included
Thessaly and the lands south down to Attica, from the themes
of Nicopolis and Dyrrhachium that crept along the coast of
Epirus. Scattered scraps of islands and coastlands in Dalmatia
almost connected the Empire with its Venetian dependency.
The theme of Cherson included the south coast of the

156 European History, 918-1273

Crimea, but this outpost of Greek civilisation was hardly more
directly ruled from Constantinople than Venice itself. The
lesser islands were still Greek, but Cyprus alone of the great
islands remained under the Empire, and that was soon lost.
In south Italy there only remained the misnamed
theme of Lombardy, including the heel of the
boot, of which the capital was Bari, and the theme of Calabria,
cut off from its neighbour province by the Lombard princes
of Salerno, who held the low-lying grounds at the head of
the Gulf of Taranto. Such a widely scattered dominion was
hard to rule and harder to defend. But each theme was
under the government of a strategos, who subordinated the
civil to the military administration. A large standing army
of mercenaries largely Norsemen well drilled and equipped,
enabled the Greeks to cultivate their fields and carry on their
commerce in peace. The trade between east and west was
still entirely in Greek hands. Even an exhaustive fiscal system
could not cut off these sources of wealth. But if the Greek
Emperors taxed unwisely and unmercifully, they helped com-
merce by upholding the integrity of the coinage. The gold
Byzants of the Emperors were the common medium of ex-
change among merchants, and, amidst all the vicissitudes of
palace revolutions, were never seriously depreciated in value.
The manufactures of Greece still commanded the markets,
constant!- Constantinople was still the greatest city in the
nopie. world, and excited the astonishment of all the bar-
barians who visited it. Its administration, poor-law system, and
philanthropic organisations anticipated much that we are apt
to regard as exclusively modern. Liutprand, the Lombard
bishop, has left a record of the profound impression made on
him by its wonders. Even in the twelfth century, when its
splendours were somewhat decayed, it was still unique. The
Franks of the Fourth Crusade could not believe that there
was so rich a city, until they saw its high walls and strong
towers, gorgeous palaces, lofty churches, and vast extent.
Though Thessalonica was also a famous place of trade, the

The Eastern Empire and the Seljukian Turks 157

interests of the capital were becoming so great as to absorb
unduly those of the provinces. This was partly counteracted
by the growth of a great landholding aristocracy, which
approached the character of the feudal noblesse of the west,
save that it never attained any political influence over the cen-
tralised despotism of the Basileus. Nor were the Letters and
arts and literature forgotten. Constantine vn.'s Arts -
example was followed by a crowd of men of letters, and
the labour of compilers like Suidas have preserved for us
much of what we know of more ancient times. A new school
of romance writers showed more original genius. Painting,
architecture, and all the arts wonderfully revived.

Constantinople now became again a source of civilisation
to ruder peoples. The Servians and other Slavs called upon
its help to protect them from the terrible Simeon The Con _
of Bulgaria. In the ninth century, Methodius version of
and Cyril had converted the Southern Slavs^io
Orthodox Christianity. In the tenth, Greek missions, radiat-
ing from the great monasteries on Mount Athos, secured the
Christianising of Bulgaria. In the next century, the distant
Russians received their faith from the same source. Thus
Slavonic Europe became for the most part Orthodox rather
than Catholic. Never was the influence of Constantinople
more widely felt than in carrying out this great work.

The restful if inglorious age of Leo the Philosopher and
Constantine Porphyrogenitus gave the Greek Empire time to
recruit its energies for the more stirring times of their suc-
cessors. From 959 to 1025 a period of conquest and military
glory followed upon the quiet times that we have described.
Before the change came over the spirit of the Eastern Empire,
the best chances of aggression in west and north had slipped
unnoticed away. During the reigns of Leo and Constantine,
the Saxon kings of the Germans were building up a great
state in Germany and Italy, and before long the growing
material prosperity of Italy was to raise up commercial rivals
who ultimately tapped the very springs of Byzantine trading

158 European History, 918-1273

supremacy. The consolidated and Christianised states of the
barbarians on the north were less likely to send out bands of
conquerors and marauders, but were harder to conquer than
their heathen and savage fathers. But the east was sinking
into worse confusion than ever. The old political and religious
unity of Islam was a thing of the past. What spirit now re-
changes in rnained to the Mohammedan world was to be found
the Moham- in North Africa under the Fatimite Caliphs of
Cairoan, or in Spain under the Ommeyad Caliphs
of Cordova. While tfie~se rebels and schismatics still showed
some remnants of the old conquering energy of Islam, the
orthodox Abbasside Caliphs of Bagdad were sunk in indolence
and decay. Their provinces successively revolted. The
Bowides, sons of a Persian fisherman, captured Bagdad in
945, and ruled Persia and lower Mesopotamia for more than
a century as the Emirs-ul-Omra of the puppets that they still
allowed to pretend to act as successors of the Prophet. In
Egypt and southern Syria, the Ikshidites, a Turkish dynasty,
now established themselves. But the only Mohammedan
power that now actually met the Eastern Empire on its south-
eastern frontier was that of the Hamdanides, who about 930
occupied northern Mesopotamia and afterwards conquered
northern Syria and Cilicia. This dynasty split into two and
was represented by the Ameers of Aleppo and Mosul. The
new Mohammedan states were all the precarious creations of
adventurers' swords, and were generally at war with each other.
The divisions of the east gave the Emperors at Constanti-
nople the opportunity which their predecessors had neglected
Romanutii., in the west. Under the son and successor of
959-963- Constantine vn., Romanus 11. (959-963), the work

of reconquest began. Crete since the ninth century had been
occupied by Spanish Moors, and had been the centre of
piratical attacks on Greek commerce, that had threatened the
Conquettof prosperity of the islands of the ^Egean and the
Crete. regularity of the food-supply of the capital. Even
Leo and Constantine had made feeble efforts to subdue the

The Eastern Empire and the Seljukian Turks r 5 9

corsairs, but their expeditions against Crete had been utter
failures. In 960 Romanus n. sent Nicephorus Phocas with
a strong force to atone for the blunders of his predecessors.
Within a year the capture of the Saracen stronghold of

Online LibraryT. F. (Thomas Frederick) ToutThe empire and the papacy, 918-1273 → online text (page 13 of 45)