T. F. (Thomas Frederick) Tout.

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3 1 8 European History, 918-1 273

of Troja, made himself master of Sicily, and regent of the
young king. His death in 1202 removed the most dangerous
enemy of both Innocent and Frederick. But the war dragged
on for years in Apulia, especially after Diepold had slain
Walter of Brienne. The turbulent feudal barons of Apulia
and Sicily profited by this long reign of anarchy to establish
themselves on a permanent basis. At last Innocent sent his
own brother, Richard, Count of Segni, to root out the last of
the Germans. So successful was he that, in 1208, the Pope
himself visited the kingdom of his ward, and arranged for its
future government by native lords, helped by his brother,
who now received a rich Apulian fief. It was Innocent's
glory that he had secured for Frederick the whole Norman
inheritance. It was amidst such storms and troubles that
the young Frederick grew up to manhood.

In central and northern Italy, Innocent HI. was more

speedily successful than in the south. On Philip of Swabia's

return to Germany, Tuscany and the domains of

and the the Countess Matilda fell away from their foreign

inheritance j or( j an( j invoked the protection of the Church.

of Matilda. . .

The Tuscan cities formed themselves into a new
league under papal protection. Only Pisa, proud of her sea
power, wealth, and trade, held aloof from the combination.
It seemed as if, after a century of delays, the Papacy was going
to enjoy the inheritance of Matilda, and Innocent eagerly set
himself to work to provide for its administration. In the
north the Pope maintained friendly relations with the rival
communities of the Lombard plain. But his most immediate
and brilliant triumph was in establishing his authority over
Rome and the Patrimony of St. Peter. On his accession he
found his lands just throwing off the yoke of the German
The subjec- garrisons that had kept them in subjection during
tionofRome Henry vi. 's lifetime. He saw within the city
Patrimony of power divided between the Praefectus Urbis, the
st. Peter. delegate of the Emperor, and the Summus Senator,
the mouthpiece of the Roman commune. Within a month

Europe in the Days of Innocent III., 1198-1216 319

the Prefect ceased to be an imperial officer, and became the
servant of the Papacy, bound to it by fealty oaths, and receiving
from it his office. Within a year the Senator also had become
the papal nominee, and the whole municipality controlled by
the Pope. No less complete was Innocent's triumph over the
nobility of the Campagna. He drove Conrad of Urslingen
back to Germany, and restored Spoleto to papal rule. He
chased Markwald from Romagna and the march of Ancona
to Apulia, and exercised sovereign rights even in the
most remote regions that acknowledged him as lord.
If it was no very real sway that Innocent wielded, it at
least allowed the town leagues and the rustic nobility to go
on in their own way, and made it possible for Italy to work
out its own destinies. More powerful and more feared in
Italy than any of his predecessors, Innocent could contentedly
watch the anti-imperial reaction extending over the Alps, and
desolating Germany by civil war.

Despite the precautions taken by Henry vi., it was soon
clear that the German princes would not accept the hereditary
rule of a child of three. Philip of Swabia aban- i nnocent iii.
doned his Italian domains and hurried to and
Germany, anxious to do his best for his nephew.
But he soon perceived that Frederick's chances were hope-
less, and that it was all that he could do to prevent the un-
disputed election of a Guelf. He was favoured by the
absence of the two elder sons of Henry the Lion. Henry of
Brunswick, the eldest, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, was
away on a Crusade, and was loyal to the Hohenstaufen,
since his happy marriage with Agnes. The next son Otto,
born at Argenton during his father's first exile, had never
seen much of Germany. Brought up at his uncle Richard of
Anjou's court, Otto had received many marks of Richard's
favour, and looked up to the chivalrous, adventurous king as
the ideal of a warrior prince. Richard had made him Earl of
Yorkshire, and had invested him in 1196 with the county of
Poitou, that he might learn war and statecraft in the same

3 2O Eu rofiean History, 918-1273

rude school in which Richard had first acquainted him-
self with arms and politics. Even now Otto was not more
than seventeen years of age. Richard himself, as the new
vassal of the Empire for Aries and England, was

Election of

Philip of duly summoned to the electoral Diet, but his
swabia, representatives impolitically urged the claims of
Count Henry, who was ruled ineligible on account
of his absence. Thus it was that when the German magnates
at last met for the election, on 8th March 1 198, at Miihlhausen,
their choice fell on Philip of Swabia, who, mindful of the
third century Emperor, Philip the Arabian, took the title of
Philip ii.

Many of the magnates had absented themselves from the
Diet at Miihlhausen, and an irreconcilable band of partisans
Counter- refused to be bound by its decisions. Richard
election of o f England now worked actively for Otto, his

Otto of

Brunswick, favourite nephew, and found support both in the
June 1198. old allies o f the Angevins in the lower Rhine-
land and the ancient supporters of the house of Guelf.
Germany was thus divided into two parties, who completely
ignored each other's acts. Three months after the Diet of
Muhlliausen, another Diet met at Cologne and chose Otto of
Brunswick as King of the Romans. Three days afterwards
the young prince was crowned at Aachen.

A ten years' civil war between Philip n. and Otto iv. now
devastated the Germany that Barbarossa and Henry vi. had left
so prosperous. The majority of the princes remained firm to
Philip, who also had the support of the strong and homogene-
ous official class of ministeriales that had been the best helpers
of his father and brother. Nevertheless, Otto had enough of
a party to carry on the struggle. On his side was Cologne, the
great mart of lower Germany, so important from its close
trading relations in England, and now gradually shaking itself
free of its archbishops. The friendship of Canute of Denmark
and the old Guelf tradition combined to give him his earliest
and greatest success in the north. It was the interest of the

Europe in the Days of Innocent ///., 1 1 98- 1 2 1 6 321

baronage to prolong a struggle which secured their own inde-
pendence at the expense of the- central authority. Both
parties looked for outside help. Otto, besides his Danish
friends, relied on his uncle Richard, and, after his death, on
his uncle John. Philip formed a league with his namesake
Philip of France. But distant princes could do but little
to determine the result of the contest. It was of more
moment that both appealed to Innocent in., and that the
Pope willingly accepted the position of arbiter. 'The
settlement of this matter,' he declared, ' belongs to the
Apostolic See, mainly because it was the Apostolic See that
transferred the Empire from the East to the West, and ulti-
mately because the same See confers the imperial crown.' In
March 1201 Innocent issued his decision. 'We pronounce,'
he declared, ' Philip unworthy of Empire, and absolve all who
have taken oaths of fealty to him as king. Inasmuch as our
dearest son in Christ, Otto, is industrious, provident, discreet,
strong and constant, himself devoted to the Church and
descended on each side from a devout stock, we by the
authority of St. Peter receive him as king, and will in due
course bestow upon him the imperial crown.' The grateful
Otto promised in return to maintain all the possessions
and privileges of the Roman Church, including the inherit-
ance of the Countess Matilda.

Philip of Swabia still held his own, and the extravagance
of the papal claim led to many of the bishops as well as the
lay magnates of Germany joining in a declaration that no
former Pope had ever presumed to interfere in an imperial
election. But the swords of his German followers were a
stronger argument in favour of Philip's claims than the pro-
tests of his supporters against papal assumptions. As time went
on, the Hohenstaufen slowly got the better of the Guelfs. With
the falling away of the north, Otto's cause became distinctly
the losing one. In 1206 Otto was defeated outside the walls
of Cologne, and the great trading city was forced to transfer
its obedience to his rival. In 1207 Philip became so strong


322 European History ', 918-1273

that Innocent was constrained to reconsider his position, and
suggested to Otto the propriety of renouncing his claims.
But in June 1208 Philip was treacherously murdered at
Bamberg by his faithless vassal, Otto of Wittelsbach, to whom
he had refused his daughter's hand. It was no political
crime but a deed of private vengeance. It secured, however,
the position of Otto, for the ministeriales now transferred
their allegiance to him, and there was no Hohenstaufen candi-
date ready to oppose him. Otto, moreover, did not scruple
to undergo a fresh election which secured for him universal
recognition in Germany. By marrying Beatrice, Philip of
Swabia's daughter, he sought to unite the rival houses, while
he conciliated Innocent by describing himself as king ' by the
grace of God and the Pope.' Next year he crossed the Alps
to Italy, and bound himself by oath, not only to allow the
Papacy the privileges that he had already granted, but to
grant complete freedom of ecclesiastical elections, and to
support the Pope in his struggle against heresy. In October
1209 he was crowned Emperor at Rome. After ten years of
waiting, Innocent, already master of Italy, had procured for
his dependant both the German Kingdom and the Roman

Despite his preoccupation with Italy and Germany, the
early years of Innocent's pontificate saw him busily engaged in
innocent in upholding the papal authority and the moral
and Philip order of the Church in every country in Europe.
No consideration of the immediate interests of
the Roman see ever prevented him from maintaining his prin-
ciples even against powerful sovereigns who could do much
to help forward his general plans. The most conspicuous
instance of this was Innocent's famous quarrel with Philip
Augustus of France, when to vindicate a simple principle of
Christian morals he did not hesitate to abandon the alliance
of the ' eldest son of the Church ' at a time when the fortunes
of the Papacy were everywhere doubtful. Philip's first wife,
Isabella of Hainault, the mother of the future Louis vm.,

Europe in the Days of Innocent ///., 1198-1216 323

had died in 1190, just before her husband had started on
his Crusade. In 1193 Philip negotiated a second marriage
with Ingeborg, the sister of Canute vi., the power- Ingeborg
ful King of Denmark, hoping to obtain from his of Denms *.
Danish brother-in-law substantial help against England and
the Empire. Philip did not get the expected political
advantages from the new connection, and at once took a
strong dislike to the lady. On the day after the marriage
Philip refused to have anything more to do with his bride.
Within three months, he persuaded a synod of complaisant
French bishops at Compiegne to pronounce the marriage void
by reason of a remote kinship that existed between the two
parties. Ingeborg was young, timid, friendless, helpless,
and utterly ignorant of the French tongue, but King Canute
took up her cause, and, from her retreat in a French con-
vent, she appealed to Rome against the wickedness of the
French king and clergy. Celestine in. proved her friend,
and finding protestations of no avail, he finally quashed
the sentence of the French bishops and declared her the
lawful wife of the French king. But Philip persisted in
his repudiation of Ingeborg, and Celestine contented himself
with remonstrances and warnings that were utterly disre-
garded. In 1196 Philip found a fresh wife in Agnes of
Agnes, a lady of the powerful house of Andechs- Meran -
Meran, whose authority was great in Thuringia, and whose
Alpine lordships soon developed into the county of Tyrol.
Innocent at once proved a stronger champion of Ingeborg
than the weak and aged Celestine. He forthwith warned
Philip and the French bishops that they had no right to
put asunder those whom God had joined together. ' Recall
your lawful wife,' he wrote to Philip, ' and then we will hear all
that you can righteously urge. If you do not do this, no power
shall move us to right or left, till justice be done.' A papal
legate was now sent to France, threatening excommunication
and interdict, were Ingeborg not immediately reinstated in
her place. For a few months the Pope hesitated, moved no

324 European History, 918-1273

doubt by his Italian and German troubles, and fearful lest his
action against a Christian prince should delay the hoped-for
Crusade. But he gradually turned the leaders of the French
clergy from their support of Philip, and at last, in February
1200, an interdict was pronounced forbidding the public cele-
bration of the rites of the Church in the whole lands that
owed obedience to the King of France.

Philip Augustus held out fiercely for a time, declaring that
he would rather lose half his lands than be separated from

Agnes. Meanwhile he used pressure on his
diet over bishops to make them disregard the interdict, and
France, vigorously intrigued with the Cardinals, seeking

to build up a French party in the papal curia.
Innocent so far showed complacency that the legate he
sent to France was the king's kinsman, Octavian, Cardinal-
bishop of Ostia, who was anxious to make Philip's humilia-
tion as light as possible. His labours were eased by the
partial submission of Philip, who in September visited
Ingeborg, and promised to take her again as his wife, and so
gave an excuse to end the interdict. Philip still claimed
that his marriage should be dissolved ; though here again he

suddenly abandoned a suit which he probably
submission saw was hopeless. The death of Agnes of Meran
of PhiHp, m July I20I made a complete reconciliation less

difficult. Next year the Pope legitimated the
children of Agnes and Philip, on the ground that the sentence
of divorce, pronounced by the French bishops, gave the king
reasonable grounds for entering in good faith on his union
with her. Ingeborg was still refused the rights of a queen,
and constantly besought the Pope to have pity on her
forlorn condition. The Pope was now forced to content
himself with remonstrances. Philip declared that a baleful
charm separated him from Ingeborg, and again begged the
Pope to divorce him from a union, based on sorcery and witch-
craft. The growing need of the French alliance now somewhat
slackened the early zeal of Innocent for the cause of the

Europe in the Days of Innocent ///., 1198-1216 325

queen. But no real cordiality was possible as long as the

strained relations of Ingeborg and Philip continued. At

last in 1213, in the very crisis of his fortunes, R est it u tion of

Philip completed his tardy reconciliation with Ingeborg,

his wife, after they had been separated for twenty

years. Henceforth Philip was the most active ally of the


While thus dealing with Philip of France, Innocent enjoyed
easier triumphs over the lesser kings of Europe. It was
his ambition to break through the traditional

... \ t rn * e /~. The feudal

limits that separated the Church from the State, overiordship
and to bind as many as he could of the kings ofthe

/ T-. i -T-* f , i Papacy over

of Europe to the Papacy by ties of political Portugal,
vassalage. The time-honoured feudal superiority Aragon.and
of the Popes over the Norman kingdom of Sicily
had been the first precedent for this most unecclesiastical
of all papal aggressions. Already others of the smaller king-
doms of Europe, conspicuous among which was Portugal,
had followed the example of the Normans in becoming
vassals of the Holy See. Under Innocent at least three
states supplemented ecclesiastical by political dependence
on the Papacy. Sancho, King of Portugal, who had striven
to repudiate the former submission of Affonso i., was in
the end forced to accept the papal suzerainty. Peter, King
of Aragon, went in 1204 to Rome and was solemnly crowned
king by Innocent. Afterwards Peter deposited his crown on
the high altar of St. Peter's and condescended to receive
the investiture of his kingdom from the Pope, holding it as a
perpetual fief of the Holy See, and promising tribute to
Innocent and his successors. In 1213 a greater monarch
than the struggling Christian kings of the Iberian peninsula
was forced, after a long struggle, to make an even more abject
submission. The long strife of Innocent with John of Anjou,
about the disputed election to the see of Canterbury, was
fought with the same weapons which the Pope had already
employed against the King of France. But John held out

326 European History, 918-1273

longer. Interdict was followed by excommunication and
threatened deposition. At last the English king surrendered
his crown to the papal agent Pandulf, and, like Peter of
Aragon, received it back as a vassal of the Papacy, bound
by an annual tribute. Nor were these the only kings that
sought the support of the great Pope. The schismatic
princes of the East vied in ardour with the Catholic princes
of the West in their quest of Innocent's favour. King
innocent Leo of Armenia begged for his protection. The
and the Bulgarian Prince John besought the Pope to
monarchsof grant him a royal crown. Innocent posed as a
Europe. mediator in Hungary between the two brothers,
Emeric and Andrew, who were struggling for the crown.
Canute of Denmark, zealous for his sister's honour, was his
humble suppliant. Poland was equally obedient. The Duke
of Bohemia accepted the papal reproof for allying himself
with Philip of Swabia.

Despite his vigour and his authority, Innocent's constant
interference with the internal concerns of every country in
Europe did not pass unchallenged. Even the kings who
invoked his intercession were constantly in conflict with him.
Beside his great quarrels in Germany, France, and England,
Innocent had many minor wars to wage against the princes of
Europe. For five years the kingdom of Leon lay under inter-
dict because its king Alfonso had married his cousin, Beren-
garia of Castile, in the hope of securing the peace between the
two realms. It was only after the lady had borne five children
to Alfonso that she voluntarily terminated the obnoxious
union, and Innocent found it prudent, as in France, to legiti-
mise the offspring of a marriage which he had denounced as
incestuous. Not one of the princes of the Peninsula was
spared. Sancho of Navarre incurred interdict by reason of
his suspected dealings with the Saracens, while the marriage
of his sister with Peter of Aragon, the vassal of the Pope,
involved both kings in a contest with Innocent. Not only
did the monarchs of Europe resent, so far as they were

Europe in the Days of Innocent III., 1 198-1216 327

able, the Pope's haughty policy. For the first time the
peoples of their realms began to make common cause with
them against the political aggressions of the Papacy. The Papacy
The nobles of Aragon protested against King and the
Peter's submission to the Papacy, declared that Dangers of
his surrender of their kingdom was invalid, and innocent's
prevented the payment of the promised tribute. po lcy '
When John of England procured his Roman overlord's con-
demnation of Magna Carta, the support of Rome was of no
avail to prevent his indignant subjects combining to drive
him from the throne, and did not even hinder Louis of
France, the son of the papalist Philip IL, from accepting
their invitation to become English king in his stead. It was
only by a repudiation of this policy, and by an acceptance of
the Great Charter, that the Papacy could secure the English
throne for John's young son, Henry in., and thus continue
for a time its precarious overlordship over England. For
the moment Innocent's iron policy crushed opposition, but
in adding the new hostility of the national kings and the
rising nations of Europe to the old hostility of the declining
Empire, Innocent was entering into a perilous course of
conduct, which, within a century, was to prove fatal to one of
the strongest of his successors. The more political the papal
authority became, the more difficult it was to uphold its
prestige as the source of law, of morality, of religion. Inno-
cent himself did not lose sight of the higher ideal because
he strove so firmly after more earthly aims. His successors
were not always so able or so high-minded. And it was as
the protectors of the people, not as the enemies of their
political rights, that the great Popes of the eleventh and
twelfth centuries had obtained their wonderful ascendency
over the best minds of Europe.

The coronation of Otto iv. did not end Innocent's troubles
with the Empire. It was soon followed by an open breach
between the Pope and his nominee, from which ultimately
developed something like a general European war, between

328 European History, 918-1273

a league of partisans of the Pope and a league of partisans

of Otto. It was inevitable that Otto, as a crowned Emperor,

should look upon the papal power in a way very

Quarrel of ,._ . ' ' , .

innocent different from that in which he had regarded it,
with otto iv., w hen a faction leader struggling for the crown.
Then the support of the Pope was indispensable.
Now the autocracy of the Pope was to be feared. The
Hohenstaufen ministeriales^ who now surrounded the Guelfic
Emperor, raised his ideals and modified his policy. Henry
of Kalden, the old minister of Henry vi., was now his closest
confidant, and, under his direction, it soon became Otto's
ambition to continue the policy of the Hohenstaufen. The
great object of Henry vi. had been the union of Sicily with the
Empire. To the alarm and disgust of Innocent, his ancient
dependant now strove to continue Henry vi.'s policy by
driving out Henry vi.'s son from his Sicilian inheritance.
Otto now established relations with Diepold and the other
German adventurers, who still defied Frederick 11. and the
Pope in Apulia. He soon claimed the inheritance of Matilda
as well as the Sicilian monarchy. In August 1210 he occu-
pied Matilda's Tuscan lands, and in November invaded
Apulia, and prepared to despatch a Pisan fleet against Sicily.
Innocent was moved to terrible wrath. On hearing of the
capture of Capua, and the revolt of Salerno and Naples, he
excommunicated the Emperor and freed his subjects from
their oaths of fealty to him. But, despite the threats of the
Church, Otto conquered most of Apulia and was equally
successful in reviving the imperial authority in northern Italy.
Innocent saw the power that he had built up so care-
fully in Italy crumbling rapidly away. In his despair he
Election of turned to France and Germany for help against
Frederick ii., the audacious Guelf. Philip Augustus, though
still in bad odour at Rome through his per-
sistent hostility to Ingeborg, was now an indispensable ally.
He actively threw himself into the Pope's policy, and French
and Papal agents combined to stir up disaffection against

Europe in the Days of Innocent III., 1198-1216 329

Otto in Germany. The haughty manners and the love of
the young king for Englishmen and Saxons had already
excited disaffection. It was believed that Otto wished to set
up a centralised despotism of court officials, levying huge
taxes, on the model of the Angevin administrative system of
his grandfather and uncles. The bishops now took the lead
in organising a general defection from the absent Emperor.
In September 121 1 a gathering of disaffected magnates, among
whom were the newly made King Ottocar of Bohemia and the
Dukes of Austria and Bavaria, assembled at Niirnberg. They
treated the papal sentence as the deposition of Otto, and
pledged themselves to elect as their new king Frederick of
Sicily, the sometime ward of the Pope. It was not altogether
good news to the Pope that the German nobles had, in
choosing the son of Henry vi., renewed the union of Germany
and Sicily. But Innocent felt that the need of setting up an
effective opposition to Otto was so pressing that he put out
of sight the general in favour of the immediate interests of the
Roman see. He accepted Frederick as Emperor, only stipu-
lating that he should renew his homage for the Sicilian crown,

Online LibraryT. F. (Thomas Frederick) ToutThe empire and the papacy, 918-1273 → online text (page 27 of 45)