T. F. (Thomas Frederick) Tout.

The empire and the papacy, 918-1273 online

. (page 9 of 45)
Online LibraryT. F. (Thomas Frederick) ToutThe empire and the papacy, 918-1273 → online text (page 9 of 45)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


The. .Church was not yet in so sound a position. She had
outlived the worst brutalities of the tenth century, but the
fierce, lawless, grasping baron, who feared neither God nor
man, was still an element to be reckoned with. The revived
lay-power tended of itself to correct the worst abuses. The.
Empire had, as we have seen, reformed the Papacy. But if
the Church was to live, it could not owe its life to the
patronage or goodwill of outside reformers. The Church
must reform itself.

""""Signs of such a purification of the Church from within had
long been manifest, but the little band of innovators found it
no easy task to preach to a world that knew no law but the
law of the stronger. As ever in the Middle Ages, a nw
monastic movement heralded in the work of reformation. (As
the Carolingian reformation is associated with Benedict of
Aniane, so is the reformation of the eleventh century
associated with the monks of Cluny. \

In Qifl Duke William the Pious of Aquitaine founded a
.new monastery at Cluny, in French Burgundy, a few miles
from the bishop's town of Macbn. .tie appointed The earl
Berno, a noble Burgundian, as its head, and pro- history of
cured for it absolute immunity from all external
ecclesiastical jurisdiction save that of the Roman See. (Berno
strove to establish a complete and loyal observance of the
rule of St. Benedict, and the piety and earnestnegytf bi'g m^nVc
soon attracted attention, wealth, followers. Corrupt old com-
munities or new foundations sought the guidance~oF the pro-
tection of the abbots of Cluny. But the Benedictine system
was limited to a single house, and afforded no room for the
crowd of disciples who wished to attach themselves to the
model monastery. Odo, the second abbot (927-941), started
the memorable monastic reformation _



years, waS embodied in the * (Jonsuetudines Cluniacenses,"
and the ' Congregation of Cluny.' By it a plan was found for

PERIOD II. G



98 European History, 9 1 8- 1 27 3

combining formal adherence to the strict rule of St. Benedict
with the practical necessity of maintaining the rule of Cluny
over its dependent communities. If under the old system
a new house were formed under the direction of a famous
monastery, the new establishment, when it had received
its constitution, parted company from its parent stock,
and, like a Greek colony, became independent and self-
governing. The Cluniacs. -presented this^by regarding the
daughter communities as parts of themselves. In_whatSfc
ever part of Christendoin a monastery on Cluniac Ijnes
The Con- was established, it was still in law a part of
gregation the great Burgundian convent. Its head was
of ciuny. the arch . ab bot, the abbot of Cluny. What local
self-government was necessary was delegated to a prior, who
was appointed by the abbot of Cluny, to whom he was
responsible. From timejo tirqe th.e dependent



sent representatives to the periodical chapters . that -met
Cluny, under the presidency of the abbot. By this means a
unity of organisation, a military discipline, a control over
weak brethren, and a security was procured, which was im-
possible under the Benedictine rule. When each monastery
was as independent for all practical purposes as a modern
Congregational chapel, it was impossible, in an age when
public opinion hardly existed, to reform a lax community, and
it was difficult for an isolated flock of unwarlike men to
protect themselves from feudal violence or the equally fierce
hostility of the secular clergy. Besides unity of organisation,
the control exercised over the whole order of Cluny gave
the brethren unity of purpose, doctrine, and jjolicy.

Brought under the immediate jurisdiction of Rome, at
a time when monastic immunities from episcopal autho-
rity had not become common, the Cluniacs taught from
the beginning a high doctrine as to the power of the
apostolic see. They saw that the great danger to religion
was in the feudalisation of the Church. Bishops were in
danger of becoming barons in mitres. Kings looked upon



The Cluniac Reformation 99

prelates as officials bound to do them service, and patrons
sold benefices to the highest bidder. Monasteries were
often in danger of absolute secularisation. So corrupt and
lax were even the better sort of regulars that the Saxon monk
Widukind, the historian of his people, naively complains
of the ' grave persecution ' which beset the poor religious of
his time, and laments the erroneous doctrines of some bishops
who maintained that it was better that there should be a few
ascetic regulars than houses filled with negligent monks,
forgetting, as he innocently adds, that the tares and the
wheat were ordered to grow up together until the harvest
time. The chief dangers of the Church were simony and the
marriage of clerks. To keep the Church apart from the
world seemed to the Cluniac leaders the only possible way
ofsecuring a better state of things. Their ideal was the
separation of the Church from the State, and the reorganisa-
tion of the Church under discipline such as could only be
exercised by the Pope, who was to stand to the whole Church
as the abbot of Cluny stood to each scattered Cluniac
priory the one ultimate source of jurisdiction, the universal
bishop, appointing and degrading the diocesan bishops as
the abbot made and unmade the Cluniac priors. The bishop,
the secular priest, even the monk, had no rights of his
own that were not ultimately derivative from

.... . Hierarchical

the unique source of ecclesiastical authority, an d Papal
the chair of St. Peter. The Forged Decretals ide *isof

Cluny.

supplied convenient arguments for such a system.
The necessities of the times supplied a sort of justification
for it. Feudal anarchy made it natural for good men
to identify the secular power with the works of darkness,
and regard the ecclesiastical power as alone emanating
from God. ( After-ages were to show that the remedy was
almost as bad as the disease, and that there was as much
danger of secular motives, greed for domination, for wealth
and influence in the uncontrolled exercise of ecclesiastical
authority, as in the lay power that they dreaded. But the



IOO European History, 918-1273

early Cluniacs had faith in their principles, and sought in
realising them to promote the kingdom of God on earth.
They lived holy and self-denying lives in an age of brutal
violence and lust. A moral and an intellectual reformation
preceded and prepared the way for the ecclesiastical reform-
ation that was preached from Cluny with the fervour of
a new gospeb

' Under the influence of the reformed clergy, study and
Wrning again became possible to a large class. | The mon*
astic and cathedral schools beyond -the Alps became the
centres of ardent study of philosophy, theology, and science.
In Italy grammarians expounded the classics, and civilians
commented upon the Roman law. The career of Gerbert is
but typical of that of a large number of others. The Lombard
Lanfranc, and the Burgundian Anselm, took the new culture
over the Alps to the Norman monastery of Le Bee, and^
prepared the way for the new birth oj learning in. -the
twelfth century. Nor did the monastic reformation stop with
New orders the Congregation of Cluny. In Italy in particular,
in Italy. where a swarm of new orders arose, extreme ascetic-
ism and utter self-renunciation stood in strange contrast to
the violence, greed, and profligacy that marked Italian life as
a whole. Romuald of Ravenna, the spiritual director of
Otto in., lived the life of a hermit, and gathered round himself
great bands of solitaries from whom sprang the
order of Camaldoli, so called from an inaccessible
spot in the Apennines, near Arezzo, where one of Romuald's
troops of followers had settled. A monk of this order, Peter
Damiani, soon took a very foremost part in the religious
reformation of Italy, and first made the enthusiastic anchorites
minister to the spread of the new hierarchical ideal. Not far
from the hermits of Camaldoli, John Gualbert, a Tuscan
lord, established the strict ccenobitic order of
*' Vallombrosa. The same influence spread all over
Europe, and penetrated into even the most conservative
cloisters of the followers of St. Benedict. The faith, zeal, and



The Cluniac Reformation IOI

enthusiasm of the champions of the new order carried every-
thing before it. Under Henry in. the reformers had won
over the Emperor himself to their cause. The Henry in.
strong arm of the king had purified the Papacy won over
and handed over its direction to men of reforming
the new school. But though willing to use P artv -
the help of the secular arm to carry out their forward
policy, the Cluniac reformers never swerved from their con-
viction that lay interference with the spiritual power lay at the
very root of the worst disorders of the time. /Even when
accepting the favours of the great Emperor, they never lost
sight of the need of emphasising the independence or -the
spirituality. However needful was the imperial sword to free
the Papacy from the Tusculan tradition, and to put down
the lazy monk and the feudalist bishop, they saw clearly that
it stood in the way of the full realisation of their dreams.

After the synod of Sutri, a whole series of German Popes
was nominated by the Emperor, and received by the Church
with hardly a murmur, though the young deacon The Gerrnal
Hildebrand, soon to become the soul of the new reforming
movement, attached himself to the deposed Pope8t
Gregory vi. and accompanied him on his exile. But to most
of the reformers the rude justice of Sutri seemed a just if
irregular solution of an intolerable situation. The puritan
zeal of the German. Popes seemed the best result oTTrle
alliance of the Emperor and the reforming party. The first
two reigned too short a time to be able to effect much, leaving
it to Leo ix., the third German Pope, to permanently identify
the papal throne with the spirit of Cluny.

On the death of Damasus, the Romans called upon
Henry in., who was then at Worms, to give them another Pope
The,_Ejnrjeror^chose for tjjis_jx>st his cousin Leoix.,
Bruno, the brother "of Conrad of Carinthia, the 1048-1054.
sometime rival of Conrad the Salic, and the son of the elder
Conrad, uncle of the first of the Salian emperors. Despite
his high birth, Bruno had long turned from politics to the



I O2 European History, 918-1273

service of the Church, and had become the ardent disciple
of The school of Cluny. As bishop of Toul, he had governed
his diocese with admirable care and prudence, and his great
influence had enabled him to confer many weighty services,
both on Henry and his father in Lorraine. When offered the
Papacy by his kinsman, Bruno accepted the post only on the
condition that he should be canonically elected by the clergy
and people of Rome. Early in 1049 he travelled over the
Alps in the humble guise of a pilgrim. He visited Cluny on
his way to receive spiritual encouragement from his old
teachers for the great task that lay before him. He there
added to his scanty following the young monk Hildebrand,
whose return to the city in the new Pope's train proclaimed
that strict hierarchical ideas would now have the ascendency
at the Curia. Joyfully flepted by the "Rnn^rjg^ firnnn
assumed the title of Leo ix. For the short five years of
his pontificate, he threw himself with all his heart into a
policy of reformation. In an Easter Synod in Rome (1049),
stern decrees were fulminated against simony and clerical
marriage. But the times were not yet ripe for radical cure,
and Leo was compelled to depart somewhat from his original
severity. He soon saw that the cause he had at heart would
not be best furthered by his remaining at Rome, and the special
characteristic of his pontificate was his constant journeying
through all Italy, France, and Germany. During these
travels Leo was indefatigable in holding synods, attending
ecclesiastical ceremonies, the consecration of churches, the
translation of the relics of martyrs. His ubiquitous energy
made the chief countries in Europe realise that the Papacy
was no mere abstraction, and largely furthered the centralisa-
tion of, the whole Church system under the direction of the
Poge. /Wherever he went, decrees against simony and the
marriage of priests were drawn up. In Germany, Henry in.
gave him active support.) In France he excited the jealousy
of King Henry I. Invited to Reims by the archbishop for
the consecration of a church, he summoned a French



The Cluniac Reformation 103

synod to that city. Alarmed at this exercise of jurisdic-
tion within French dominions, Henry i. strove to prevent
his bishops' attendance by summoning them to follow him
to the field. Only a few bishops ventured to disobey their
king, but a swarm of abbots, penetrated by the ideals of
Cluny, gave number and dignity to the Synod of Reims,
and did not hesitate to join the Pope in excommunicating
the absent bishops. The restless Leo sought to revive the
feeble remnants of North African Christianity, and began the
renewed troubles with the Eastern Church, which soon led
to the final breach with the Patriarch Caerularius [see page
167], The all-embracing activity of Leo led to his active
interference in southern Italy, where the advent of a swarm
of Norman adventurers had already changed the whole com-
plexion of affairs.

Early in the eleventh century, southern Italy and Sicily
were still cut off from the rest of Europe, and, as in
the days of Charlemagne, were still outposts both of the
Orthodox and Mohammedan East. Sicily had southern
been entirely Saracen since the capture of Syra- Ita 'y and

or Ti j / / -\ rni i Sicily in the

cuse in 877 [see Period i. pp. 460-461]. Though Eleventh
the predatory hordes, which landed from time to Century.
time on the mainland of Italy, had failed to establish per-
manent settlements, the various attempts ot the Eastern Em-
perors to win back their former island possession had proved
disastrous failures. In southern Italy the Catapan or governor
of the Greek Emperors still ruled over the 'theme of Lom-
bardy' from his capital of Bari, but in the tenth century, the
Lombard Dukes of Benevento, Salerno, and Capua won back
much of the ground that had been lost by their ancestors.
The transient successes of Otto n. (981-2), had done some-
thing to discourage Greeks and Saracens alike, despite the igno-
minious failure that ultimately led to his flight [see pages 38-39].
In the early years of the eleventh century, southern Italy was
still divided between Greeks and Lombards, and the growing
spirit of Catholic enthusiasm made the Orthodox yoke harder



104



European History ', 918-1273



to bear by those subjects of the theme of Lombardy who
were Italian rather than Greek in their sympathy. Between
ion and 1013 Meles, a citizen of Bari, a Catholic of
Lombard origin, took advantage of a Saracen inroad to
revolt against the Eastern Emperor. Driven into exile by
the failure of his attempt, he sought all over southern Italy



_,A yi$& r <$j* ^Mi.'.i'ele



.

//?; >. A.4j? fr'SlV^

>,^^ J ^^ <



"1$# %Ai,ERNbi -~
/

.



JCAe data mart Uie jtroyren
o/ the Aorwan Con7t: except
Ihote. o/ batll



SOUTH ITALY

BEFORE THE



NOBMAN CONQUEST



Eatlem Kmpirc maritJ
Lombard /'< Ai> ,,
Saracen {and* >>

poftcttiun* itn<ltrUnc<l




for allies to recommence the struggle. The fame of the
The first Normans as soldiers was already known in the
coming south of Italy, and chance now threw Meles in

of the

Normans, the way of some Norman warrior-pilgrims, whom

1017- devotion to the Archangel had taken to the

sanctuary of St. Michael, in Monte Gargano, in imitation of

which a Neustrian bishop had some generations before set up

the famous monastery of St. Michael in Peril of the Sea.



Italy in the Eleventh Century 105

Meles proposed to the pilgrim leader, Ralph de Toeny,
that he should join with him against the Greeks. Pope
Benedict vui. encouraged the enterprise, and the adventurous
Normans greedily welcomed the opportunity. In 1017, Meles_
and his northern allies won a victory over the- Greeks at
Civitate in the Capitanata. 'This victory,' sang the Norman
rhyming chronicler, William of Apulia, 'mightily increased the
courage of the Normans. They saw that the Greeks were
cowards, and that, instead of meeting the enemy face to face,
they only knew how to take refuge in flisrht.'

J J Meles and

Other Normans flocked from their distant home Ralph of
on the report of rich booty and fair lands to be Toen y-
won on easy terms in Apulia. But they despised their enemy
too much, and in 1019 a battle fought on the historic field
of Cannae annihilatedjhe HjtleJ^oimaa-feafld. Meles and
Ralph hastened over the Alps, in the hopes of interesting
Henry n. in their cause. Even the death of Meles was
not fatal to the fortune of his allies. Some survivors
from Cannae took service with the princes of Capua and
Salerno, and the abbot of Monte Casino. They were mere
mercenaries, and willingly sold their swords to the highest
bidder. When Henry n. made his transient appearance in
southern Italy in 1022 [see page 50], he found his chief
obstacle in the new Greek fortress of Troja, obstinately de-
fended by some valiant Normans in the pay of their old foe
the Catapan.

nthprj^orm^g nnw flnrkft4-tr? \\\? Irrml of pr-rmV Among
these was a chieftain named Ranulf, who joined Sergius,
Prince of Naples, a vassal of the Greeks, in his war against
the Lombard prince Pandulf of Capua. In reward for his
services Ranulf received one of the richest districts of the
Terra di Lavoro, where he built in 1030 a town named
Ajversa, the first Norman settlement in Italy. Foundation
This foundation makes a new departure in Nor- of Aversa,
man policy. The Normans no longer came to I03 '
Italy as isolated adventurers willing to sell their swords to the



1 06 European History, 918-1273

highest bidder. By much the same arts as those by which
their brethren later got hold of the fairest parts of Wales
and Ireland, the adventurers strove to carve feudal states
for themselves out of the chaos of southern Italy. Whilst
cleverly utilising the feuds that raged around them, they
pursued their interests with such dexterity, courage, and
clear-headed selfishness, that brilliant success soon crowned
their efforts. Conrad 11. sojourned at Capua in 1038, de-
posed Pandulf and confirmed Ranulf in the possession of
Aversa, which he erected into a county owing homage to the
Western Emperor. Three of the twelve sons of the Norman
lord, Tancred of Hauteville, now left their scanty patrimony in
the Cotentin and joined the Normans in Italy. Their names
The sons of wcre William of the Iron Arm, Drogo, and Hum-
Tancredof phrey. In 1038 they joined the Greeks under
Hauteville. George Maniaces in an attempt to expel the
Mohammedans from Sicily. Messina and Syracuse were
captured, but an affront to their companion-in-arms Ardouin
drove the Normans back to the mainland in the moment of
victory, and led them to wreak their vengeance on the Greeks
by a strange compound of violence and treachery. Ardouin
their friend took the Greek pay and became governor of
Melfi, the key of Apulia. He proposed to the Normans that
he should deliver Melfi to them, and make that a starting-
point for the conquest of Apulia, which he proposed to
divide between them and himself. The northerners accepted
Conquest of his proposals. In 1041 Melfi was delivered into
Apulia, 1041-2. their hands, and a long war broke out between
them and their former allies. By shrewdly putting Adenulfus,
the Lombard Duke of Benevento at the head of their armies,
the Normans got allies that were probably necessary in the
early years of the struggle. But they were soon strong
enough to repudiate their associate. The divisions of the
Greeks further facilitated their task. In 1042 William of the
Iron Arm was proclaimed lord of the Normans of Apulia,
with Melfi as the centre of his power.



Italy in the Eleventh Century 107

In 1046 William of Apulia died, and Drogo, his brother,
succeeded him. ^Henry in., then in Italy, recognised Drogo
as Count of Apulia, while renewing the grant of Aversa
to another Ranulf. He also urged the Normans to drive out
of Benevento the Lombards, who after the spread of the
Norman power were making common cause with the Greeks.
About this time a fourth son of Tancred of Haute- Rob ert
ville came to Italy, where he soon made himself the Guiscard.
hero of the Norman conquerors. Anna Comnena, the literary
daughter of the Emperor Alexius, describes Robert Guiscard
as he appeared to his enemies. ' His high stature excelled
that of the most mighty warriors. His complexion was ruddy,
his hair fair, his shoulders broad, his eyes flashed fire. It is
said that his voice was like the voice of a whole multitude, and
could put to flight an army of sixty thousand men.' A poor
gentleman's son, Robert was consumed by ambition to do
great deeds, and joined to great bravery and strength an
extraordinary subtlety of spirit. His surname of Guiscard is
thought to testify to his ability and craft. Badly received by
his brothers in Apulia, he was reduced to taking service with
the Prince of Capua against his rival of Salerno. Events
soon gave him an opportunity of striking a blow for himself.
/ Meanwhile, a formidable combination was forming against
the Normans. Argyrus, son of Meles, had deserted his father's
policy and came from Constantinople, as Patrician and Cata-
pan (Governor), with special commissions from the Leo IX turns
Emperor. Unable to persuade_the^ Norrjaans to against the
take service with the Emperor against the Persians, Normans -
he soon waged war"openly against them, and procured the
murder of Count Drogo in 1051, but was soon driven to take
refuge in Bari. Meanwhile Leo ix. had become Pope, and
his all-absorbing curiosity had led him to two journeys into
southern Italy, where he persuaded the inhabitants of Bene-
vento to accept the protection of the Holy See againsf the
dreaded Northmen. It looked as if the Eastern and Western
Empires were likely to combine with the Papacy and the



1 08 European History \ 918-1273

Lombards to get rid of the restless adventurers. In 1053
Henry HI. granted the duchy of Benevento to .the Roman
Church, and Leo hurried from Hungary to southern-Italy to
enforce his claims on his new possession. .

In May 1053 Leo ix. reached Monte Casino. (There soon

flocked round him a motley army, drawn together from every

j f district of central and southern Italy and eager

Civitate, tO Uphold the Holy Father aprai^fl thft >far:>ti

I0 53- usurpers 7)but the few hundred Germans, who had

followed the Fop>e over the Alps, were probably more service-
able in the field than the mixed multitude of Italians. The
Normans, abandoned by their allies, united all their scanty
forces for a decisive struggle. The armies met on i8th
June near Civitate (Civitella) on the banks of the Fortore,
the place of the first Norman victory in Italy. The long-
haired and gigantic Germans affected to despise their
diminutive Norman foes, and the fiercest fight was fought
between the Pope's fellow - countrymen and Humphrey
of Hauteville, the new Count of Apulia, who commanded
the Norman right. There the Norman horse long sought
in vain to break up the serried phalanx of the German
infantry. But the left and centre of the Normans, led respec-
tively by Richard, the new Count of Aversa, and Robert
Guiscard, easily scattered the enemies before them, and,
returning in good time from the pursuit, enabled Humphrey
to win a final victory over^ the Germans. Lgo ix. barely
escaped with his llbertyTrom the fatal field. Peter Damiani
and the zealots denounced him for his unseemly participation
in acts of violence, and the object which had induced him to
depart fronrhis sacred calling had been altogether unfulfilled.
Peace C He retired to Benevento, where he soon came to an
between the understanding with the Normans^jfiving them jiis
t)TessiD



apostohc t)TessiDg and abisp
Pope. blood-guiltiness. } Even in the moment of victory

the Normans had shown every -respect-torthj head of tha-^
Church, and self-interest now combined with enthusiasm to



Italy in the Eleventh Century 109

make them his friends. But Leo entered into no formal
treaty with them. He remained at Benevento, carefully
watching their movements and corresponding with Constan-
tine Monomachus in the hope of renewing the league against
them. But his dealings with the Greek Empire soon broke



Online LibraryT. F. (Thomas Frederick) ToutThe empire and the papacy, 918-1273 → online text (page 9 of 45)