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Title: The Rise of the Mediaeval Church - And its Influence on the Civilization of Western Europe - from The First to the The Thirteen Century
Author: Flick, Alexander Clarence
Language: English
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                           THE RISE OF THE

                           MEDIAEVAL CHURCH



                          THIRTEENTH CENTURY




                            BURT FRANKLIN
                           New York, N. Y.



  Who through his numerous scholarly monographs has earned the foremost
  place among American Church historians, both at home and abroad,



  To whom both the Old and the New World are profoundly indebted for his
  scholarly labours, and from whose inspiration in public lectures and
  private conferences this work derived much that is best in it,



The educational value of any subject depends primarily upon its own
intrinsic value. The teaching of Church history for ten years as a
regular course in liberal arts, side by side with the "orthodox" courses
in history, has demonstrated beyond question that this subject can be
made at once very popular and very valuable. It has proved its right to
exist as a cultural subject. Yet the lack of intelligent information,
even among educated people, concerning the history of the Christian
Church, both in early and modern days, is simply appalling.

The comparatively recent revival of interest in Church history has given
birth to many general Church histories from English and American
scholars. Numerous translations of discriminating and painstaking German
authors are also available. A large number of intensive monographs has
likewise appeared. But all these texts are written for classes in
theological schools. Not a single Church history suitable either for
regular college work, or for popular reading, is available; and yet all
the standard courses in history are provided with up-to-date texts and
illustrative material.

This work is intended to meet the need I have felt in my own classes,
and have heard expressed from fellow teachers and laymen, for a simple
account of the evolution of the old Church minus all theological and
dogmatic discussions. The purpose has been to show the origin of the
Christian Church, its development in organisation, the forces which
produced the Papacy, and the marvellous, formative influence of the
Roman Church upon the civilisation of Western Europe. To that end the
principal lines of development are emphasised at every point, while the
subordinate influences have been minimised. Causes and results,
continuity and differentiation, and unity have been constantly kept in

The subject-matter of this volume was worked out during a prolonged
residence in Europe. Most of that time was spent in Germany under the
inspiration of the foremost authorities in Church history, among whom
may be mentioned Professor Nippold of Jena, Professor Loofs of Halle,
Professor Hauck of Leipzig, and particularly Professor Harnack of
Berlin. The work of the lecture-room and seminar was supplemented by
investigation in the Royal Library of Berlin, the Vatican Library at
Rome, the National Library at Paris, and the Library of the British
Museum. The materials thus gathered were further organised and
elaborated in a course of lectures on Church history given in Syracuse

The references in the text and the bibliographies at the end of chapters
are given, so far as possible, to English sources. It is believed that
the exclusion of a pedantic list of foreign works will make the work
more useful. It is hoped that the student will be induced to go to the
library, the laboratory of the historian, and there by extensive and
intensive reading supplement the text.

Should this volume prove to be of service, it will be followed by two
companion volumes--one on the Reformation and another on the modern
Church. It is further planned to publish a source-book on Church history
to supplement the texts.

My indebtedness to books and men is so great that it would be impossible
to enumerate them here. While all sources have been laid under tribute,
special obligation is felt to many monographs and intensive studies.

                                              ALEXANDER C. FLICK.




  THE STUDY OF CHURCH HISTORY                                        1

     OUTLINE: I.--Present status of history in college work.
     II.--Ecclesiastical history excluded since the Reformation by
     political history. III.--New view of the Mediæval Church and
     its influence. IV.--Renaissance of interest in Church history.
     V.--Pedagogical value and treatment of Church history.


  GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY ON CHURCH HISTORY                            12

     OUTLINE: I.--Primary materials. II.--Secondary materials.
     III.--Sketch of the writing of Church history. IV.--Most
     important collections of primary sources. V.--Most important
     general Church histories. VI.--Dictionaries and encyclopedias.
     VII.--Atlases and chronologies. VIII.--Text-books.



     OUTLINE: I.--The ancient world. II.--Condition of the
     civilised world at the time Jesus came. III.--How the
     condition of the world prepared the way for Christianity.


  APOSTOLIC AGE                                                     52

     OUTLINE: I.--Origin of the Christian Church. II.--Spread of
     the Apostolic Church. III.--Organisation of the Early Church.
     IV.--Conclusions. V.--Sources.


  THE ROMAN CHURCH AND PETER'S PRIMACY                              71

     OUTLINE: I.--Planting of the Church in Rome and its
     organisation there. II.--The two opposing views of the Petrine
     theory. III.--Proofs advanced for the Petrine theory.
     IV.--Evidence given against the Petrine theory. V.--Historical
     conclusions. VI.--Sources.



     OUTLINE: I.--Religious persecutions before the Christian era.
     II.--Christians first persecuted by the Jews. III.--Causes and
     motives of persecution by the Roman government. IV.--Number
     and general character of the persecutions. V.--Results of
     persecutions. VI.--Sources.



     OUTLINE: I.--Condition of the Empire in 300. II.--How
     Constantine became Emperor. III.--Constantine's conversion to
     Christianity. IV.--Constantine's favours to Christianity.
     V.--Constantine's character. VI.--Constantine's historical
     significance. VII.--Sources.


  THE COUNCIL OF NICÆA AND ITS RESULTS                             131

     OUTLINE: I.--Diversion of Christian thought in the early
     Church. II.--The Arian controversy. III.--The Council of Nicæa
     and its actions. IV.--Later history of Arianism. V.--Sources.


  RISE OF THE PAPACY                                               148

     OUTLINE: I.--Favourable conditions when the Christian era
     began. II.--Forces at work up to 313. III.--Description of the
     Roman Church in 313. IV.--Growth of the Papacy from 313 to
     604. V.--Condition of the Papacy at the close of this period,
     604. VI.--Sources.


  RISE OF THE PAPACY (_Continued_)                                 164


  MONASTICISM                                                      198

     OUTLINE: I.--Importance of the institution of monasticism.
     II.--Antecedents and analogies. III.--Causes of the origin of
     Christian monasticism. IV.--Evolution of Christian
     monasticism. V.--Spread of group monasticism from the East to
     the West. VI.--Development of monasticism in Western Europe.
     VII.--Opposition to monasticism. VIII.--Results and influences
     of monasticism. IX.--Sources.



     OUTLINE: I.--Extent of Christianity under Gregory the Great.
     II.--Character of missionary work from the sixth to the tenth
     century. III.--Conversion of the British Isles.
     IV.--Conversion of the Franks. V.--Conversion of the Germans.
     VI.--Conversion of Scandinavia. VII.--Planting of the Church
     among the Slavs. VIII.--Efforts to convert the Mohammedans.



     OUTLINE: I.--Relation of the Greek and Roman Churches before
     325. II.--Effect of the Arian Controversy on the situation.
     III.--The history of image worship. IV.--Character and results
     of the Iconoclastic Controversy. V.--Final separation.
     VI.--Resemblances and differences between the two churches.


  CAROLINGIAN EMPIRE                                               289

     OUTLINE: I.--Church and state before Constantine. II.--Church
     and state from Constantine to 476. III.--Period of the
     Ostrogothic rule (476-552). IV.--Reunion of Italy with the
     Eastern Empire. V.--Alliance between the Papacy and the
     Franks. VI.--Restoration of the Empire in the West in 800.
     VII.--Effect of the rise of national states on the Church.



     OUTLINE: I.--What were the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals?
     II.--Condition of Europe when the Decretals appeared.
     III.--Purpose of the forgery. IV.--Character and composition.
     V.--Time, place, and personality of authorship.
     VI.--Significance and results. VII.--Nicholas I. and papal
     supremacy. VIII.--Decline of spirituality in the Church.


  NINTH CENTURY                                                    347

     OUTLINE: I.--Organisation of the papal hierarchy. II.--Moral
     condition of the clergy and laity. III.--Great activity and
     wide influence of the Church. IV.--The ordeals and the Church.
     V.--Church discipline: excommunication and interdict, and
     penance. VI.--Worship; the mass; preaching; hymns. VII.--The
     sacraments. VIII.--Relics and saints. IX.--Sources.


  THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE AND THE PAPACY                             384

     OUTLINE: I.--Decline of the Empire under the later Carolingians.
     II.--Preparations to restore the Empire on a German basis.
     III.--Otto the Great creates the Holy Roman Empire. IV.--Holy
     Roman Empire attains its height under Henry III. V.--Results
     of the creation of the Holy Roman Empire. VI.--Sources.



     OUTLINE: I.--Decline of the Papacy after Nicholas I.
     (858-867). II.--Reform efforts before the time of Hildebrand.
     III.--The youth and education of Hildebrand. IV.--The
     Hildebrandine Popes. V.--Sources.


  GREGORY VII. AND HIS WORK                                        445

     OUTLINE: I.--Condition of the Church in 1073. II.--Election of
     Hildebrand as Pope. III.--Gregory VII.'s matured papal theory
     and reform ideas. IV.--His efforts to realise his ideals.
     V.--The investiture strife. VI.--Conclusions. VII.--Sources.


  THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CRUSADES                                 476

     OUTLINE: I.--The rise and spread of Mohammedanism.
     II.--Positive and negative causes of the Crusades.
     III.--Character and description of the Crusades. IV.--Results
     and influences of the Crusades. V.--Sources.


  RISE OF THE MENDICANT ORDERS IN THE CHURCH                       510

     OUTLINE: I.--Monasticism before the Crusades. II.--Effect of
     the Crusades on monasticism. III.--Origin of the begging
     orders. IV.--Rise and influence of the Dominicans. V.--Origin
     and power of the Franciscans. VI.--Wide-spread results of
     mediæval monasticism. VII.--Sources.


  INNOCENT III. AND THE CHURCH AT ITS HEIGHT                       544

     OUTLINE: I.--Antecedent preparation for this period.
     II.--Career of Innocent III. up to 1198. III.--Innocent III.'s
     plans and ideals as Pope. IV.--Condition of Europe at the
     close of the twelfth century. V.--Innocent III. makes himself
     the political head of Europe. VI.--Innocent III.'s efforts to
     root out heresy and reform the Church. VII.--Innocent III.'s
     character and the general results of his pontificate.


  THE MEDIÆVAL CHURCH AT ITS HEIGHT                                569

     OUTLINE: I.--Characteristics of the thirteenth century.
     II.--Territorial extent and wealth of the Church.
     III.--Organisation of the papal hierarchy completed. IV.--The
     legal system of the Church. V.--The official language and
     ritual of the Church. VI.--The sacramental system. VII.--The
     employment of art. VIII.--The Church moulded the civilisation
     of Europe. IX.--Sources.

  INDEX                                                            607




     OUTLINE: I.--Present status of history in college work.
     II.--Ecclesiastical history excluded since the Reformation by
     political history. III.--New view of the mediæval Church and
     its influence. IV.--Renaissance of interest in Church history.
     V.--Pedagogical value and treatment of Church history.

Half a century ago a prominent educator observed: "There is something
remarkable in the actual condition of the study of Church history. While
it seems to be receiving more and more cultivation from a few of us, it
fails to command the attention of the educated public in the same
proportion. We are strongly of the opinion that beyond the requisitions
of academical and professional examination there is very little reading
of Church history in any way."[1:2] Only twenty-five years ago Professor
Emerton, upon taking the chair of ecclesiastical history in Harvard
University, could say with truth: "There are to-day not more than half
a dozen colleges in the country where any adequate provision for an
independent department of history has been made."[2:1] At the present
time, happily, the condition so much deplored in the last quotation has
been remedied to a very large degree. Every great university in America
has a well-organised faculty of history and allied subjects, while a
large majority of the smaller institutions of higher education have
regularly organised departments of history with instructors,
well-trained at home or abroad, who devote all their time to the

But, notwithstanding these facts, the statement made about Church
history still remains essentially true. The political, industrial,
educational, and social sides of history have been emphasised by the
creation of new departments with new courses of study, and by the
writing of many text-books, monographs, and general treatises.
Professorships of sociology, political economy, political science,
constitutional law, education, and literature have been created in
unprecedented numbers. Ecclesiastical history, on the contrary, has been
all but ignored. Even in Germany, where the greatest strides have been
made in the subject, it is still relegated to the theological faculty,
though the number of philosophical students selecting it often exceeds
that of the theological--a very significant fact. In America it would be
difficult to point out more than a very few universities or colleges
where a chair in Church history is put on an equality with chairs of
other branches of history or of correlated subjects. Its proper place,
in both scholastic and popular estimation, is in the theological
seminary, and there it has always remained as a "professional" study.
Even in this restricted sense, however, its intrinsic worth has placed
it among the most important courses in the curriculum, and has given it
a standing beyond "professional" circles. Some of America's greatest
scholars have contributed powerfully, through the class-room, lectures,
and books, to give Church history its rightful place both as a
"professional" and as a "liberal" branch of learning.

Until Luther led the great reformatory schism in the sixteenth century,
all historians, crude and unscientific though much of their work was,
recognised the necessary union of political and ecclesiastical history.
The Venerable Bede began his celebrated history not with the coming of
Abbot Augustine and his monks, but with the landing of Cæsar and his
Roman cohorts. As modern civilisation crept over western Europe and
crossed the mighty deep to Columbia's shores, carrying with it the
revolutionising Teutonic conception of the national state with its new
duties and relationships, the tendency was to magnify the political and
social sides of history at the expense of the religious. The hatreds and
misunderstandings of the Reformation, though doing something to rectify
the "orthodox" history of the old Church, really put members of the old
organisation wholly on the defensive, and checked for centuries anything
like a genuinely sympathetic and scientific study of the old Church by
Protestant historians. With Neander, that sympathetic Christian of
Jewish descent, and the scholarly Gieseler, a new era opened. The
growing doctrine of the separation of Church and state accentuated the
breach between political and religious history. The early crude
conception of specialisation also separated sacred from profane
history, and turned the former over wholly to the theologian. Secular
historians took the position of Napoleon when invited to enter the Holy
City: "Jerusalem does not enter into the line of my operations."

At last the Church historian and the civic historian have joined hands,
and look each other in the face. They see that their aim is essentially
common: to know the truth about the past. This search for truth for its
own sake is purely modern--almost contemporaneous. Formerly, history was
written to justify or disprove some theory of political or
ecclesiastical polity, or to glorify some dynasty, sect, party, or hero,
or to vindicate some hypothesis or set of ideas. The historian was not a
searcher for truth, but a lawyer with a cause to plead. It is generally
realised now that the historian, whether he deals with the state, the
Church, society, education, or industry, is working an important part of
the field of general history. A knowledge of each one of these
institutions is necessary to supplement and explain any or all of the

This institutional interdependence seems to be generally recognised now.
"The web of history," said Professor Hatch in beginning his great work
at Oxford, "is woven of one piece; it reflects the unity of human life,
of which it is the record. We cannot isolate any group of facts and
consider that no links of causation connect them with their predecessors
or their contemporaries. Just as Professor Freeman insists on the
continuity of history, so I wish to insist on its solidarity."[4:1] The
mutual labours of scholars in correlating fields have revolutionised
our historical knowledge of the early and later Middle Ages. A multitude
of controverted points have vanished like ghosts. We see the old Church
now as we never saw it before. The Catholic Church and the mediæval
papacy were the greatest of the creations of the first fifteen centuries
of the Christian era. The mediæval Church was not exclusively a
religious organisation. It was more of an ecclesiastical state. It had
laws, lawyers, courts, and prisons. If not born into it, all the people
of western Europe were at least baptised into it. It levied taxes on its
subjects. Standards of patriotism and treason were more sharply defined
than in the modern state.[5:1] The evolution of this great organisation
is the central fact of the first thirteen centuries after Christ. It
aimed to control the whole life of its subjects here and to determine
their destiny hereafter. Well may our greatest American Church
historian, Henry C. Lea, ask: "What would have been the condition of the
world if that organisation had not succeeded in bearing the ark of
Christianity through the wilderness of the first fifteen

The history of Europe, then, after the Roman period must be looked at
through the eyes of the Church. The character and works of that great
institution must first be studied, not pathologically but
sympathetically. The historian, if honest, dare not show a "lack of
appreciation of the service rendered to humanity by the organisation
which in all ages has assumed for itself the monopoly of the heritage of
Christ."[5:3] He must recognise the fact that "ecclesiastical history is
simply the spiritual side of universal history."[6:1] "The value of a
science depends on its own intrinsic merits," says Alzog.[6:2] When the
great Teacher commanded from the Mount of Olives, "Go ye into all the
world and preach the gospel," that mount became the pivot on which the
whole world's history has turned.

     If the Christian religion be a matter, not of mint, anise, and
     cummin, but of justice, mercy, and truth; if the Christian
     religion be not a priestly caste, or a monastic order, or a
     little sect, or a handful of opinions, but the whole
     congregation of faithful men dispersed throughout the world;
     if the very word which of old represented the chosen "people"
     is now to be found in the "laity"; if the biblical usage of
     the phrase "ecclesia" literally justifies Tertullian's
     definition: _Ubi tres sunt laici, ibi est ecclesia_; then the
     range of the history of the Church is as wide as the range of
     the world which it was designed to penetrate.[6:3]

The great difficulty with the study of Church history in the past has
been that teachers treated it wholly from a theological standpoint. That
may have been proper when the subject was viewed as a narrow
"professional" study only. A new and better conception of the subject,
however, as a part of the pregnant history of humanity, has brought with
it a higher estimation of its value as a cultural study. All that can be
claimed for historical studies in general can be claimed for it: mental
discipline, broad culture, a view of practical life, enlarged sympathies
and lessened prejudices, a truer conception of duty, and a saner
estimate of the significance of current events. In addition it may be
ventured that no subject can be of greater vital importance to the
student for the very reason that it deals with the most important of all
subjects. In order to do the most good as a liberal branch of learning,
Church history must be taught not as theology or dogma, but as a
powerful civilising institution like the state or the school. Then it
will be true that "neither can the profane historian, the jurist, the
statesman, the man of letters, the artist, nor the philosopher safely
neglect the study of Church history."[7:1] For each one of these
persons, as well as the minister, needs that "pragmatic view" of all the
changes and developments of the Christian Church and the influence it
has exerted on all other human relations.[7:2]

Within the last few years, however, there has been a noticeable
awakening of interest in Church history both within and without college
walls. The indefatigable labours of a few men like Henry C. Lea, who has
given us a series of invaluable monographs on the history of the old
Church, have had much to do with the new status of Church history.
Universities are already recognising courses in Church history offered
by divinity schools as "liberal arts" electives for undergraduate and
postgraduate study. The writers of recent text-books on general history,
as well as in particular fields, recognise the revolution and try to
make amends for the sin of omission by giving the Church a prominence
never recognised before by secular historians.[7:3] Publishers have felt
the popular pulse and, consequently, "Studies" and "Epochs" covering
the whole range of Church history have appeared in cheap and popular
form from the pen of scholar and compiler. Foreign works have been
translated. Journals devoted to the study of Church history have been
established. Lectureships have been created and endowed. Societies have
been organised to further the work. Convenient editions of the "sources"
are appearing. Everywhere there seems to be a reaction in favour of this
misunderstood and neglected subject. An army of scholars is at work
digging valuable material out of old monasteries, royal archives,
private libraries, cemeteries and churches, catacombs, and every
conceivable place of concealment. These labours are being rewarded by
rich discoveries of valuable materials, which are immediately critically
edited by competent hands and printed in translations suitable for all
students. Huge collections of these sources are appearing in most of the
European countries.[8:1]

The most significant evidence of reaction, however, lies in the fact
that the most recent courses offered on the Middle Ages in our leading
universities are essentially courses in Church history. The name matters
little so long as students approach the instructive history of western
Europe from the right standpoint. Thus, at length, has come the
fulfilment of the prophecy of Professor Koethe (d. 1850), made many
years ago: "It is reserved to future ages, and in a special sense to the
institutions of learning, to give to Church history its proper place in
the curriculum of studies. When its nature and importance come to be
fully known and appreciated it will be no longer limited to one

The best pedagogical methods must be applied to Church history in order
to obtain the best results. To that end these practical suggestions are

1. Emphasis ought to be laid on ideas back of events rather than on the
events themselves.

2. The important ought to be distinguished from the unimportant at every
step. Athanasius and Augustine are worthier subjects of study than
Flavian and Optatus. The invasion and conversion of the Teutons are more
important than disputes over Easter or the shape of the tonsure.

3. Original sources ought to be used so far as possible. History should
be studied "from the sources of friend and foe, in the spirit of truth
and love, _sine ira et studio_."[9:1]

4. Both Protestant and Catholic secondary authorities ought to be read
on every important controverted point.

5. Origins ought to be studied with special care.

6. Transition periods rather than crises ought to be given the most

7. Biographies of epoch-making men like Constantine, Gregory the Great,
Charlemagne, Hildebrand, St. Francis, Innocent III., etc., ought to be
carefully considered.

8. Causes and results ought to be closely worked out and

9. The continuity of the Church as a great force in the world ought to
be ever kept in mind.[9:3]

10. Differentiation ought to be thoughtfully noted through the ages.

11. The unity of history--the influence of the Church upon every other
institution--ought to be followed from one transitional period to

12. The sympathetic attitude ought to be taken at all times in judging
men and movements. The student ought to stand in the centre of the
circle so that he may see all points of the circumference--all persons,
all events, all parties, all creeds, all sects, all shades of
opinion--and see their true historical relations.


   1.--Bright, W., _The Study of Church History_. In _Waymarks of
          Church History_. N. Y., 1894.

   2.--Cave, A., _Introduction to the Study of Theology_. Edinb.,
          1885, 421 _ff._

   3.--Collins, W. E., _The Study of Ecclesiastical History_. N.
          Y., 1903.

   4.--Coxe, A. C., _Institutes of Christian History_. Chicago,

   5.--De Witt, J., _Church History as a Science, as a Theological
          Discipline, and as a Mode of the Gospel_. Cinc., 1883.

   6.--Foster, F. H., _The Seminary Method of Original Study in the
          Historical Sciences_. N. Y., 1888.

   7.--Gwatkin, H. M., _The Meaning of Ecclesiastical History_.
          Camb., 1891.

   8.--Hatch, E., _An Introductory Lecture on the Study of
          Ecclesiastical History_. Lond., 1885.

   9.--Hitchcock, R. D. _The True Idea and Uses of Church History_.
          N. Y., 1856.

  10.--Jortin, J., _The Use and Importance of Ecclesiastical
          History_. _Works_, vii., 405-454. Lond., 1772.

  11.--Lea, H. C., _Studies in Church History_. Introd. Phil.,

  12.--McGiffert, A. C., "The Historical Study of Christianity."
          _Bibliotheca Sacra_, Jan., 1893, 150-171.

  13.--Robinson, J. H., _Sacred and Profane History_. In _An. Rep.
          Am. Hist. Assn._ 1899, i., 527.

  14.--Smith, H. B., "Nature and Worth of the Science of Church
          History." _Bibliotheca Sacra_, vol. vii., 1851, 412. See
          _Faith and Philosophy_, Edinb. and N. Y., 1877, 49-86.

  15.--Smyth, E. C., _Value of the Study of Church History in
          Ministerial Education_. Andover, 1874.

  16.--Stanley, A. P., _Three Introductory Lectures on the Study of
          Ecclesiastical History_. In _History of the Eastern
          Church_. Lond. and N. Y., 1884, 17-76.

See the introductions of the Church histories of Schaff, Gieseler,
Alzog, Moeller, Kurtz, Hase, Döllinger, and Hergenröther.


[1:1] Reprinted from _The Methodist Review_, Jan., 1905.

[1:2] _Bib. Rep._, vol. xxvi.

[2:1] _Unit. Rev._, vol. xix.

[4:1] Hatch, _An Introductory Lecture on the Study of Ecclesiastical
History_, London, 1885. Comp. Gwatkin, _The Meaning of Ecclesiastical
History_, Cambridge, 1891.

[5:1] Maitland, _Canon Law in the Church of England_, London, 1898, 100,

[5:2] Lea, _Studies in Church History_, p. iii.

[5:3] _Ibid._

[6:1] Gwatkin, _The Meaning of Ecclesiastical History_, 8.

[6:2] Alzog, _Universal Church History_, i., § 13.

[6:3] Stanley, _Eastern Church_, Introduction, 25.

[7:1] Alzog, i., 32.

[7:2] Gieseler, _Ecclesiastical History_, sec. 3 and 7.

[7:3] Examine recently published texts like Emerton, _Mediæval Europe_,
Robinson, _History of Western Europe_, Munro, _A History of the Middle
Ages_, etc.

[8:1] The _Monumenta_ in Germany, the _Rolls Series_ in England, etc.

[9:1] Schaff, _Church History_, preface.

[9:2] Mace, _Method in History_, 27-39.

[9:3] Freeman, _Methods of Historical Study_, Lond. and N. Y., 1886.



     OUTLINE: I.--Primary materials. II.--Secondary materials.
     III.--Sketch of the writing of Church history. IV.--Most
     important collections of primary sources. V.--Most important
     general Church histories. VI.--Dictionaries and encyclopedias.
     VII.--Atlases and chronologies. VIII.--Text-books.

All our information about the origin, life, and growth of the Christian
Church comes from the revelation of evidence which is termed sources.
These sources are partly original, or primary, and partly secondary. For
the student of history both kinds of sources have a definite character
and value, and are, therefore, of peculiar interest. Some knowledge
about the scope and nature of the sources is necessary for an intelligent
view of any field of history. At the same time it is clear that any
person presuming to pose as an authority on a given phase of history
must not only be thoroughly acquainted with the varied contributions of
all secondary works, but must also be a master of the character and
worth of all first-hand materials.

The primary sources are simply the records and remains left by the
people who lived at any given time. Such materials, it will be readily
seen, give the nearest and truest account of the ideas, feelings,
motives, and beliefs, as well as of the deeds and actions, of man. An
original source is, therefore, merely a source back of which one cannot
go for historical information. It is apparent, consequently, that the
primary sources are the more important because they are the very
foundations of history. "No documents, no history," tersely declared
Langlois. The primary sources put us in vital connection with the
thoughts, doings, and institutions of past times. In them one sees
reflected the spirit of the age. Every line, every word, is a
revelation. The student is led to feel history, to actually know men and
women of the past, and thus to comprehend our own civilisation in the
earlier periods of its evolution. The primary sources cannot be accepted
and assigned their true value, however, until their authenticity and
genuineness are determined, and the element of personal equation is
taken into account. Even then final judgment can never be absolute.

For the sake of giving a clear conception of the range of the primary
sources the following classification may be of assistance:

A.--Written sources of the subjoined kind:

    I.--Public official documents:

     1. Acts of councils and synods.

     2. Letters, bulls, briefs, rescripts, and regests of popes,
          patriarchs, and bishops.

     3. Confessions of faith.

     4. Liturgies, hymns, etc.

     5. Church canons and laws, and monastic rules.

     6. Decrees and letters of kings, nobles, and civic assemblies.

     7. Laws of states.

   II.--Private writings of personal actors and observers:

     1. The Apostles.

     2. Church fathers.

     3. Heretics and reformers.

     4. Heathen.

     5. Chroniclers and historians.

     6. Missionaries.

     7. Clergy and laity.

  III.--Inscriptions on churches, public buildings, tombs,
          monuments, coins, seals, etc.

B.--Unwritten sources of the following character:


     1. Churches and baptisteries.

     2. Tombs and monuments.

     3. Civic edifices.

     4. Private dwellings.


     1. Sculpture--images and emblems.

     2. Painting and fresco.

     3. Mosaics.

     4. Ecclesiastical vestments and ornaments.

     5. Church furniture and vessels.

  III.--Rites and ceremonies.

   IV.--Oral traditions.

The secondary sources are those that are compiled from a study of the
original sources, or from other secondary works, or from both, as is
more likely to be the case. This class of material is very abundant, and
varies greatly in character and value because of the striking difference
in authorship, style, and purpose. It is always necessary, therefore,
carefully to discriminate the wheat from the chaff and to be able easily
to recognise the "earmarks" of a reliable authority. Many of the works
produced by modern scientific scholarship are excellent in every
respect, and, in many fields of historical study, absolutely
indispensable. Secondary sources may be divided as follows:

A.--Written works:


     1. General treatises based upon either primary sources, or
          secondary materials, or both.

     2. Encyclopedias and dictionaries.

     3. Monographs, essays, and articles.


     1. Novels.

     2. Poetry.

     3. Drama.


    I.--Oral traditions and reports.

   II.--Transmitted rites and ceremonies.

  III.--Works of art copied from originals.

The earliest account of the history of the Christian Church extant is
the New Testament. The "Memoirs" of Hegesippus, a converted Jew of the
second century, is the first known effort to record the growth of the
Church, but all his books are lost.[15:1] Eusebius, the Greek bishop,
called the "Father of Church history," wrote a comprehensive
_Ecclesiastical History_ to 324. Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, each
after his own ideal, continued the narrative of Eusebius. Rufinus
translated the work of Eusebius into Latin and continued it to 395,
while Epiphanius translated Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret into Latin
and brought the record to 518. Theodorus and Evagrius were also
continuators of these early works. Sulpicius Severus, a Gallic monk of
noble birth, penned a fabulous chronicle of little worth.

The Middle Ages produced little of real value in the field of Church
history. The chronicles represent the best output. A few scholars of the
Eastern Church, the Byzantine historians, the annalists of the Latin
Church, and several specialists like Gregory of Tours and the Venerable
Bede, complete the list. The lives of saints, however, abound.

The fierce controversial spirit of the Reformation produced two
monumental works. Matthias Flacius, aided by other Protestant scholars,
in the _Magdeburg Centuries_, sought to reveal the whole disreputable
career of the old Church. This keen voluminous work of the Reformers
called forth from the learned Italian, Baronius, a powerful defence of
the Roman Church in his _Ecclesiastical Annals_. Bossuet, a Frenchman,
in his _Discourse on Universal History_, made a severe attack on
Protestantism, while Tillemont, a Gallic nobleman of Jansenist faith,
wrote critically and with more moderation. In Germany, Hottinger,
Spanheim, and Arnold vindicated the Reformation. Following the earlier
age of fierce theological controversy, Semler, Henke, Schmidt, Hume, and
Gibbon wrote in a very rationalistic style and spirit.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, German scholars have led
the world in their contributions to Church history. The great Mosheim
made a pronounced improvement in the writing of Church history and
introduced the modern scientific method. He was not alone the most
learned theologian of his age in Germany, but was critical in the best
sense, honest and impartial. His disciple, Schroeckh, wrote a work of
forty-five volumes of considerable value. Gieseler improved on
Mosheim's method and wrote an ideal outline of Church history with full
citations to all the known sources. Neander, "a giant in learning, and a
saint in piety," gave the world an epoch-making _General History of the
Christian Religion and Church_ (1825-52). His writings and his ideals
have influenced nearly every Church historian since his death, when it
was said, "The last of the Church Fathers has gone." Among his immediate
pupils are Hagenbach, Kurtz, Guericke, Niedner, and Semisch.

Baur founded the celebrated "Tübingen School" and did some excellent
work in the Ante-Nicene period. Strauss, Zeller, Schenkel, Rothe, and
Nippold are the most prominent among his followers.

The names of other German historians who have laboured in this domain of
knowledge are so numerous that only a few of the most prominent will be
mentioned. Chief among the Protestants are Hase, Gfroerer, Ebrard,
Herzog, Moeller, Müller, Loofs, Hauck, and Harnack; among the Roman
Catholic writers are Stolberg, Katerkamp, Döllinger, Alzog, Pastor,
Hefele, Hergenröther and Janssen.

Although British scholarship has not devoted itself so zealously to the
writing of Church history, yet some excellent contributions have been
made by such men as Pusey, Keble, Newman, Waddington, Milman, Stanley,
Stubbs, Robertson, Greenwood, Vaughan, Perry, Lingard, Creighton,
Gwatkin, Tozer, Hatch, and Orr.

American interest in the field of Church history is largely the product
of the last thirty years. Most conspicuous among the contributors are
Smith, Lanson, Shedd, Schaff, Fisher, Sheldon, Dryer, Hurst, Newman,
McGiffert, and Henry C. Lea.

At the present time in every Christian country a corps of well-trained
scholars are devoting their lives to nearly every phase of Church
history, and the outlook is most gratifying.

The literature on Church history, taken as a whole, is perhaps more
voluminous than that on any other phase of history. The use of the
sources is, in consequence, at the very outset a problem of selection.
It is apparent, therefore, that the following brief lists are not meant
to be exhaustive. Only the most valuable collections of original
documents, and also the most reliable books of a secondary character are
included. Special care has been taken to mention all useful collections
of sources in the English language. At the conclusion of each chapter
will be found references to the sources on special topics.


A.--Official Documents:

  I.--In English:

     1.--Brett, T., _Collection of the Principal Liturgies_.
          Lond., 1838.

     2.--Fulton, J., _Index Canonum_. N. Y., 1892.

     3.--Gee, H., and Hardy, W. J., _Documents Illustrative of
          English Church History_. N. Y., 1896.

     4.--Hammond, C. E., _Liturgies, Eastern and Western_. Lond.,

     5.--Henderson, E. F., _Select Historical Documents of the
          Middle Ages_. Lond. and N. Y., 1892.

     6.--Neale, J. M., _The Liturgies of St. Mark, St. James, St.
          Clement, St. Chrysostom, and St. Basil_. 2 vols. Lond.,

     7.--Neale, J. M., and Webb, B., _The Symbolism of Churches
          and Church Ornaments_. Lond. and N. Y., 1893.

     8.--Ogg, F. A., _Source-Book of Mediæval History_. N. Y.,

     9.--Palmer, W., _Origines Liturgicæ_. 2 vols. Lond., 1845.

    10.--Roberts and Donaldson, _Ante-Nicene Christian Library_.
          Vol. xxiv. Edinb., 1872.

    11.--Robinson, J. H., _Readings in European History_. Vol. i.
          Boston, 1906.

    12.--Schaff, P., _The Creeds of Christendom_. 3 vols. N. Y.,

    13.--Swainson, C. A., _The Greek Liturgies_. Lond. and N. Y.,

    14.--Thatcher and McNeal, _A Source Book for Mediæval History_.
          N. Y., 1907.

    15.--University of Penn., _Translations and Reprints of
          Original Sources of European History_. Phil., 1894 to

    16.--Winer, G. B., _Comparative View of the Doctrines and
          Confessions of Christendom_. Edinb., 1887.

   II.--In Foreign Languages:

    1.--Councils and Synods:

       (1).--Binius, S., _Concilia Generalia et Provincialia Græca
          et Latina_. 4 vols. Best ed., Cologne, 1606.

       (2).--Labbé, P., _Concilia_. 18 vols. Paris, 1671. Carried
          by others to 1727.

       (3).--Hardouin, J., _Conciliorum Collectio_. 12 vols. Paris,

       (4).--Mansi, G. D., _Sacrorum Conciliorum Nova et Amplissima
          Collectio_. 31 vols. Flor., 1759-98. Most complete
          collection to 1509. New edition now out.

      2.--Bulls, Acts, Briefs, Rescripts, and Regests:

       (1).--_Bullæ Diversorum Pontificum a Joanne XXII. ad
          Julium III. ex Bibliotheca Ludovici Gomes._ Rome, 1550.
          This is the oldest collection, but it contains only
          fifty documents.

       (2).--Cherubini made the first comprehensive collection of
          bulls and briefs from Leo I. to 1585. It is known as the
          _Magnum Bullarium Romanum_.

       (3).--Maynardus, _Bullarium Magnum_. 19 vols. Luxemb.,
          1739-68. Contains bulls from Leo I. to Benedict XIV.

       (4).--Coquelines made a similar collection at Rome in 14
          vols., 1733-48. Barbarini added 6 more vols. Rome, 1835.

       (5).--Tomassetti has made the latest collection of bulls
          from Leo I. to the nineteenth century. 25 vols. Turin,

       (6).--The best collections of early papal briefs were made
          by Coustant, Paris, 1721; Schoenemann, Götting., 1796;
          Thiel, Braunsberg, 1867-8.

       (7).--Jaffé, P., _Regesta Pontificum Romanorum_ (to 1198).
          Ber., 1881-88. 2 vols.

       (8).--Potthast, A., _Regesta Pontificum_. (1198 to 1304).
          Ber., 1873. 2 vols.

       (9).--Kehr, _Regesta Pontificum Romanorum_ (to 1198).
          Berlin, 1906-7. 2 vols.

      (10).--The _Liber Pontificalis_ gives the history of the
          popes down to the end of the ninth century. Duchesne's
          ed. the most complete. Rome, 1886-92. Mommsen's ed.

      (11).--Mirbt, C., _Quellen zur Geschichte des Papsttums_. 2d
          ed., 1903.

    3.--Creeds, Liturgies, and Hymns:

       (1).--Walch, C. W. F., _Bibliotheca Symbolum Vetus_.
          Lemgo., 1770.

       (2).--Niemeyer, A. H., _Collectio Confessionum in Ecclesiis
          Reformatis Publicatarum_. Leipz., 1840.

       (3).--Kimmel, E. J., _Monumenta Fidei Ecclesiæ Orientalis_.
          Jena, 1843-50. 2 vols.

       (4).--Heurtley, C. A., _Harmonia Symbolica_. Oxf., 1858.

       (5).--Denzinger, H. J. D., _Enchiridion Symbolorum et
          Definitionum_. Wurzb., 1888. 6th ed.

       (6).--Caspari, C. P., _Quellen zur Geschichte des
          Taufsymbols und der Glaubensregel_. Christiania, 1866-75.
          3 vols. Revised in 1879.

       (7).--Hahn, A., _Bibliothek der Symbole und Glaubensregeln_.
          Berlin, 1877. 2d ed.

       (8).--Durandus, W., _Rationale Divinorum Officiorum_. (About
          1290). Many eds. Last at Naples, 1866.

      (10).--Renaudot, E., _Liturgiarum Orientalium Collectio_.
          New ed., Paris, 1847. 2 vols.

      (11).--Muratori, L. A., _Liturgia Romana Vetus_. Venice,

      (12).--Assemani, J. A., _Codex Liturgicus Ecclesiæ Universæ_.
          Rome, 1749-66. 13 vols.

      (13).--Weale, W. J. H., _Bibliotheca Liturgica_. Lond., 1886.

      (14).--Delisle, L., _Mémoire sur d'anciens Sacramentaires_.
          Paris, 1886.

    4.--Laws and Canons:

       (1).--Richter, L. A., _Corpus Juris Canonici_. Leipz.,
          1833. 2 vols.

       (2).--Friedberg, E., _Corpus Juris Canonici_. Leipz.,
          1876-82. Best ed.

       (3).--Migne, _Patrologia Latina_. Contains many ancient

       (4).--Haenel, _Theodosian Code_. Bonn, 1842. 6 vols.

       (5).--Krueger, _Justinian Code_. Ber., 1877.

       (6).--Moser, J. J., _Corpus Juris Evang. Ecclesiæ_. Zur.,
          1737. 2 vols.

    5.--Decrees and Acts of Civic Authorities:

       (1).--Pertz, et al., _Monumenta Germaniæ Historica_. Ber.,
          1819 to present.

       (2).--Muratori, _Scriptores Rerum Italicarum_. Milan,
          1723-57. 25 vols. From 500 to 1500.

       (3).--_Thesaurus Veterum Inscriptionum._ Milan, 1739-42. 4

       (4).--_Corpus Juris Civilis._ Good ed. by Kriegel Brothers,
          Leipz., 1833-40. Best ed. by Mommsen, Ber., 1895. 3 vols.

B.--Private Writings of Contemporaries:

    I.--In English:

     1.--Roberts and Donaldson, _Ante-Nicene Christian Library_.
          25 vols. Edinb., 1864-72, 1897.

     2.--Coxe, A. C., _Ante-Nicene Fathers_. 10 vols. Buf.,

     3.--Pusey, et al., _A Library of the Fathers of the Holy
          Catholic Church_. 48 vols. Oxf., 1839-85.

     4.--_The Publications of the Parker Society._ 53 vols. Camb.,
          1840-55. For English Church.

     5.--Schaff, et al., _Select Library of the Nicene and
          Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church_. 14 vols.
          Buf., 1886-90. First series.

     6.--Schaff and Wace, _Select Library of the Nicene and
          Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church_. 14 vols.
          Lond. and N. Y., 1890-94.

     7.--Bohn, _Antiquarian Library_. 36 vols. Lond., 1847, etc.

         _Classical Library._ 107 vols. Lond., 1848, etc.

         _Ecclesiastical Library._ 15 vols. Lond., 1851, etc.

     8.--Foxe, _Acts and Monuments_. Townsend ed. Lond., 1843.

     9.--Lightfoot, _The Apostolic Fathers_. Lond., 1889.

   II.--In Foreign Languages:

     1.--Canisius, H., _Antiquæ Lectiones_. 2d ed., 1725. 7 vols.

     2.--Combefis, F., _Græco-Lat. Patrum Bibliotheca Auctarium
          Novum_. 2 vols. Paris, 1648.

         _Bibliotheca Græcorum Patrum Auctarium Novissimum._ 2 vols.
          Paris, 1672.

         _Bibliotheca Patrum Concoinatoria._ 8 vols. New ed. Paris,

     3.--D'Achery, J. L., _Veterum aliquot Scriptorum qui in Galliæ
          Bibliothecis delituerant, maxime Benedictinorum
          Spicilegium_. 13 vols. Paris, 1655-77. New ed., 1723.

     4.--Du Pin, L. E., _Bibliothèque Universelle des Auteurs
          Ecclésiastiques_. 47 vols. Paris, 1686-1704. Several
          later editions.

     5.--Martène, E., _Veterum Scriptorum et Monumentorum Collectio
          Nova_. Rouen, 1700.

     6.--Montfauçon, B. de, _Collectio Nova Patrum et Scriptorum
          Græcorum_. Paris, 1706. 2 vols.

     7.--Muratori, L. A., _Rerum Italicarum Scriptores_. Mil.,
          1723-51. 25 vols. New ed. now being published, ed. by

     8.--Ceillier, R., _Histoire Générale des Auteurs Sacrés et
          Ecclésiastiques_. New ed., Paris, 1858-69. 16 vols.

     9.--Bouquet, M., _Scriptores Rerum Gallicarum et Francilarum_.
          New ed., Paris, 1869-77. To date 23 vols.

    10.--Gallandi, A., _Bibliotheca Veterum Patrum Antiquorumque
          Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum_. 14 vols. Venice, 1765-81.
          380 authors.

    11.--Routh, M. J., _Reliquiæ Sacræ_. 5 vols. Oxf., 2d ed.,

    12.--Pertz, et al., _Monumenta Germaniæ Historica_. Ber., 1819
          to present.

    13.--Niebuhr, et al., _Scriptores Historiæ Byzantinæ_. Bonn,
          1828-55. 48 vols.

    14.--Migne, J. P., _Patrologiæ Cursus Completus_. Paris,
          1844-66. 222 vols. of Latin Fathers and 166 vols. of
          Greek Fathers.

    15.--Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland from
          the Roman Invasion to Henry VIII. Lond., 1858-90. 210
          vols. (Rolls series).

    16.--Academy of Vienna, _Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiæ Latinæ_. 17
          vols. Vienna, 1867-95.

    17.--Jaffé, P., _Bibliotheca Rerum Germanicarum_. 1864-73. 6

    18.--Graffin, P., _Patrologia Syriaca_. Paris, 1895. 2 vols.

    (19).--_Die Griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten
          drei Jahrhunderte._

    (20).--_Bibliothèque de Théologie Historique._ Paris, 1906
          _ff._ (To be completed in 60 vols.)


    I.--In English:

     1.--Northcote, J. S., _Epitaphs of the Catacombs_. Lond.,

     2.--Bingham, J., _Antiquities of the Christian Church_. Oxf.,
          1855. 10 vols. Very valuable.

     3.--Guericke, H. E. F., _Manual of the Antiquities of the
          Church_. Lond., 1851.

     4.--Bennett, C. W., _Christian Archæology_. N. Y., 1888.

     5.--Rushforth, G. McN., _Latin Historical Inscriptions_. Oxf.,

   II.--In Latin:

     1.--_See Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum._ Best ed. by Mommsen
          under Berlin Academy. 1862 to date 11 vols.

     2.--Boeckh, P. A., _Corpus Inscriptionum Græcarum_. Ber.,

     3.--Le Blant, E., _Inscriptions chrét. de la Gaule_. Paris,
          1856-65. 2 vols.

     4.--Hübner, E., _Inscriptions Hispan. Christ._ Ber., 1871.

         _Inscrip. Brit. Christ._ Ber., 1876.

     5.--De Rossi, J. B., _Inscriptiones Christianæ Urbis Romæ
          Septimo Sæculo Antiquiores_. Rome, 1861.

     6.--Fabretti, A., _Corpus Inscriptionum Italicarum_. Turin,
          1867-77. 2 vols. Three supplements. Flor., 1800.

     7.--_L'Epigraphie Chrestienne en Gaule et dans l'Afrique._
          Paris, 1890.


A.--Before the Reformation:


     1.--Hegesippus, a Christian Jew in Asia Minor (2d cent.),
          wrote a Church history in five books. Based on
          traditions. Only fragments preserved. See _Ante-Nic.
          Lib._, viii., 762-5. See Eusebius.

     2.--Eusebius (d. 340), "Father of Church History," wrote a
          history of Church to 324. Valuable storehouse. Various
          Eng. translations. That by McGiffert, N. Y., 1890, in
          _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, i., is the best.

     3.--Socrates (d. 408), a lawyer, continued Eusebius to 439.
          Bohn. _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, ii.

     4.--Sozomen (d. 400), a lawyer, continued Eusebius to 423.
          _Ibid._ Bohn.

     5.--Theodoret (d. 457), a bishop, aimed to complete Socrates
          and Sozomen. _Ibid._ Bohn.

     6.--Evagrius (d. 537), a lawyer, continued Theodoret. Bohn.
          Bagster, _Eccles. Historians_.

     For other Greek historians, lost or not in English, see Alzog,
          i., § 17; Schaff, i., 29.

   II.--Latin--to the Reformation:

     1.--Rufinus (b. 345), a priest, translated Eusebius and added
          an inaccurate history of the Arians (318-395). Preface
          only in Eng. _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, iii., 565.

     2.--Severus (b. 363), a Gallic priest, wrote the history of
          the world to 400. Good for Gaul. _Ib._, xi., 71-122.

     3.--Orosius (5th cent.), a Spanish priest, wrote a world
          history to 416. Used as a text-book in Middle Ages. Bohn.

     4.--Cassiodorus (d. 562), a statesman and abbot, compiled a
          Church history from Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret.
          This is the famous "Tripartite History." It served as a
          text-book throughout the Middle Ages. Not in Eng. See
          Migne, _Patrologia_, lxix., and Hodgkin, _The Letters of

     5.--Gregory of Tours (d. 594), a bishop, wrote a valuable
          history of the Frankish Church. Not in Eng.

     6.--Venerable Bede (d. 735), "Father of English Church
          History," wrote a history of the English Church to 731.
          Many Eng. eds.

     7.--Paul Warnefried (d. 799), a Lombard monk wrote a History
          of the Langobards. Tr. by Foulke, U. of Pa. _Transl. and
          Rep._ Phil. 1907.

     8.--Haymo (d. 853), bishop of Halberstädt, abridged Rufinus
          and added notes of his own. Not in Eng.

     9.--Anastasius (d. 886), abbot and papal librarian at Rome,
          compiled a Church history from the Greek writers. Not in

    10.--Flodoard (d. 966), a bishop, wrote a history of the
          Church of Rheims to 948. Not in Eng.

    11.--Luitprand (d. 972), bishop of Cremona, wrote a chronicle
          and a report of his embassy to Constantinople. See Pertz,
          _Mon. Ger._, iii., 264; Henderson, _Hist. Docs. of the M.
          A._, 441.

    12.--Adam of Bremen (d. 1076), a canon, wrote the only reliable
          history of the Scandinavian Church from 788 to 1076. Not
          in Eng.

    13.--Orderic Vital (d. 1142), abbot in Normandy, wrote a Church
          history to 1142. Best work of the Middle Ages. In Eng.,
          Bohn. Vols. 27, 28, 30, 36.

    14.--Ptolemy of Lucca (d. 1312), a Dominican, and papal
          librarian, wrote a Church history to 1312. Not in Eng.

    15.--St. Antoninus (d. 1459), archbishop of Florence, wrote the
          largest mediæval work from the creation to 1457. Not in

    16.--Laurentius Valla (d. 1457), an Italian critic and scholar,
          wrote a history of the Church. Denounced the "Donation of
          Constantine" as a forgery. Work full of doubt. Not in

    17.--Nicholas of Cusa (d. 1464), a cardinal, was a radical
          critic in his early days but temperate in later life. His
          works not in Eng.

    18.--John of Tritenheim (d. 1516) was among the first
          historians to write from the sources. Not in Eng.

    19.--Albert Cranz (d. 1517), a canon of Hamburg, wrote "The
          Metropolis," a critical history of the Church in northern
          Germany from 780 to 1504. Not in Eng.

B.--Roman Catholic historians after the Reformation:


     1.--Baronius (d. 1607), a cardinal, wrote _Annales
          Ecclesiastici_ in 12 fol. vols. The work of 30 years.
          Invaluable. Not in Eng. Written to refute the Protestant
          _Magdeburg Centuries_. Continued from 1198 to 1566 by
          Raynaldus, to 1571 by Laderchi, to 1584 by Theiner. Pagi
          made valuable corrections. Best defence of the mediæval

     2.--Caspar Saccarelli wrote _Historia Ecclesiastica_ to 1185.
          Pub. in Rome, 1771-96, in 25 quarto vols.

     3.--Muratori (d. 1750) made a valuable collection of Italian
          historians and original documents from 500 to 1500. Not
          in Eng.

     4.--Mansi (d. 1769) edited a valuable and very complete
          edition of the councils. Not in Eng.

     5.--Orsi (1761), a Dominican cardinal, wrote a Church history
          for the first six centuries. Continued by others to the
          Council of Trent. Not in Eng.

     For other Italian historians see Alzog, i., 49.


     1.--Natalis Alexander (d. 1724) wrote a clear, deep Church
          history to 1600. Its Gallican spirit put it in the Index
          till corrected.

     2.--Abbé Fleury (d. 1723) wrote a Church history to 1414 in 20
          vols. from the sources. Continued to 1595 by Fabre. First
          3 vols. pub. in Eng. at Oxf., in 1842.

     3.--Bossuet (d. 1704), the bishop of Meaux, wrote a
          "_Discourse on Universal History_." In Eng. Continued by
          Cramer, a German Protestant.

     4.--Tillemont (d. 1698), a nobleman and priest, wrote fine
          biographies to 516 from the sources. An excellent piece
          of work in 16 vols.

     5.--Du Pin (d. 1719) furnished a biographical and
          bibliographical Church history to the 17th century.

     6.--Ceillier (d. 1763) wrote a similar work but more complete
          and valuable.

     7.--Darras (d. 1872). _A General History of the Catholic
          Church._ Transl. by Spaulding. 4 vols. Not reliable.


     1.--Count Leopold von Stolberg (d. 1819), an ex-Protestant,
          wrote a Church history to 430 in 15 vols. Kerz continued
          it in 30 more vols. to 1192 and Brischar in 9 more vols.
          to 1245.

     2.--Theodore Katerkamp (d. 1834), a professor at Munster, and
          a friend of Stolberg, wrote a history to 1153.

     3.--Locherer (d. 1837), a professor at Giessen, produced a
          very liberal work up to 1073.

     4.--Döllinger (d. 1890), a professor in Munich, was the most
          learned historian of the Catholic Church in the 19th
          cent. Was excommunicated for refusing to accept the
          Vatican decrees (1871). Most of his many works have been
          translated into Eng.

     5.--Hefele (d. 1893), a professor at Tübingen and a bishop,
          wrote _History of the Councils_ to 1447. An excellent
          piece of work. Completed by Hergenröther. In Eng.

     6.--Gfrörer (d. 1861) began his learned Church history as a
          rationalist (1841) and continued it from 1056 on as a

     7.--Hergenröther (d. 1890), cardinal and keeper of the papal
          archives at Rome, wrote a general history of the Church
          which is very partisan.

   IV.--English and American:

     1.--Newman (d. 1890), an English cardinal, wrote _The Arians
          of the Fourth Century_ (1883), _Church of the Fathers_,
          and many other historical works.

     2.--Allies, _The Formation of Christendom_. Lond., 1882-91. 7

     3.--Spalding (1872), an American prelate, wrote _The History
          of the Protestant Reformation_, 2 vols., 1860, and edited
          Darras's _General History of the Catholic Church_. (1868)

     4.--Gibbons (b. 1834), cardinal in the U. S., wrote _Faith of
          Our Fathers_ and other historical works.

C.--Protestant Church Historians:


     1.--Matthias Flacius Illyricus (d. 1575), with ten educated
          Protestant scholars, produced the _Centuriæ
          Magdeburgenses_, covering 13 centuries in 13 vols., to
          justify the Reformation. Controversial.

     2.--Hottinger (d. 1664) wrote a partisan history to 16th cent.
          in 9 vols. Not original.

     3.--Spanheim (d. 1649) worked out a history from the sources
          to 16th cent. Aimed at Baronius. Eng. transl.

     4.--Arnold (d. 1714) wrote an _Impartial History of the Church
          and of Heretics_ to 1688. "Learned, but fanatical."

     5.--Mosheim (d. 1755) wrote _Institutes of Ecclesiastical
          History_. Marks an epoch in the writing of Church
          history. Several Eng. transls.

     6.--Schröckh (d. 1808) wrote large work in 45 vols. on epoch
          plan, to end of 18th cent. Rich in historical material.

     7.--Henke (d. 1809) wrote a general history in a very
          rationalistic style.

     8.--Neander (d. 1850), professor in Berlin, the "Father of
          Modern Church History," wrote _A General History of the
          Christian Religion and Church_ to 1430. Based on the
          sources. Several Eng. transls. Torrey's the best.

     9.--Gieseler (d. 1854), professor in Göttingen, wrote a
          history from the sources to 1648. Various Eng. transls.

    10.--Baur (d. 1860), professor in Tübingen, produced a
          _History of the Christian Church_ in 5 vols. In Eng.

    11.--Hagenbach (d. 1874), professor in Basle, wrote a general
          history of the Church in 7 vols. In Eng.


     1.--Chastel (d. 1886), professor at Geneva, wrote a complete
          history of the Church in 5 vols.

     2.--D'Aubigné (d. 1872), professor at Geneva, wrote a general
          history of the Reformation in 13 vols. In Eng.

     3.--Renan, E. (d. 1892), was educated for the Catholic
          priesthood, but he early gave up that calling and devoted
          himself to history and literature. He produced many works
          of great value on early Church history.


     1.--Gibbon (d. 1794) devoted twenty years to his history of
          the _Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_. To 1453.
          Still very valuable. Best ed. by Bury. Lond., 1896.

     2.--Milner (d. 1797) wrote a _History of the Church of Christ_
          in popular form.

     3.--Dean Waddington (d. 1869) penned six "high and dry" vols.
          on the Church.

     4.--Robertson (d. 1882), professor in King's College, London,
          wrote a _History of the Christian Church_ to 1517. Fairly
          well done from the sources.

     5.--Milman (d. 1868), among other works, wrote the _History
          of Latin Christianity_ to 1455 in 8 vols. Excellent.

     6.--Dean Stanley (d. 1881) has given us histories of the
          Eastern Church and Jewish Church in a pure, plain style.

     7.--Creighton (d. 1901), has written the best _History of the
          Papacy from the Great Schism to the Sack of Rome_. 6
          vols. Invaluable.


     1.--Smith (d. 1877), professor in Union Theological Seminary,
          worked out the history of Christianity in 16
          chronological tables, (1860).

     2.--Shedd (d. 1894), professor in Union Theological Seminary,
          wrote a _History of Christian Doctrine_ in 2 vols. 1863.

     3.--Schaff (d. 1893), professor in Union Theological Seminary,
          a disciple of Neander, wrote, in addition to other works
          of value, a _History of the Christian Church_. To the
          Reformation. 7 vols. Excellent. Vol. 5, by D. S. Schaff.

     4.--Sheldon (b. 1845) has written an excellent history of
          doctrine and also of the Church. 5 vols. 1896.

     5.--Allen (d. 1908) wrote _Christian History in Three Great
          Decades_ in 3 vols. 1883.

     6.--Fisher (b. 1827), professor in Yale, has produced several
          valuable books on Church history.

     7.--White (d. 1885) wrote _Eighteen Christian Centuries_.

     8.--Lea (b. 1825) has written invaluable monographs on the
          _Inquisition_, _Indulgences_, _Celibacy_, etc., which
          have given him a world-wide reputation.

     9.--Other Americans who are doing good work in Church history
          are: Jackson, Hurst, Baird, Thompson, Mombert, Gillett,
          Storrs, Taylor, Clark, Emerton, Bigelow, West, Fulton,
          Jacobs, Newman, Zenos, Dexter, McGiffert, Dryer,
          Faulkner, etc.




     1.--Abbott and Conant, _Dictionary of Religious Knowledge_.
          N. Y., 1875.

     2.--Benham, _Dictionary of Religion_. Lond. and N. Y., 1887.

     3.--Blunt, _A Dictionary of Doctrinal and Historical
          Theology_. Lond. and Phil., 2d ed., 1891.

     4.--Blunt, _A Dictionary of Sects, Heresies, Ecclesiastical
          Parties, and Schools of Religious Thought_. Lond. and
          Phil., 2d ed., 1886.

     5.--Buck, _A Theological Dictionary_. Lond., 1847.

     6.--Cheyne and Black, _Encyclopædia Biblica_. 4 vols. N. Y.,

     7.--Eadie, _The Ecclesiastical Cyclopædia_. Lond., 1847.

     8.--_Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge._ Phil., 1870.

     9.--Farrar, _An Ecclesiastical Dictionary_. Lond., 1853.

    10.--Gardner, _The Christian Cyclopedia_. Lond., 1854.

    11.--Hastings, _A Dictionary of the Bible_. N. Y. and

    12.--Herzog, _A Protestant, Theological, and Ecclesiastical
          Encyclopædia_. 2 vols. Phil., 1858-60.

    13.--Hook, _A Church Dictionary_. N. Y., 1875.

    14.--Hook, _Ecclesiastical Biography_. 4 vols. Lond., 1845.

    15.--Jackson, _Concise Dictionary of Religious Knowledge and
          Gazetteer_. N. Y., 1893.

    16.--McClintock and Strong, _Cyclopædia of Biblical,
          Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature_. 10 vols. N.
          Y., 1867-81. 2 sup. vols. 1884-86.

    17.--Marsden, _A Dictionary of Christian Churches and Sects_. 2
          vols. Lond., 1891.

    18.--Sanford, _A Concise Encyclopædia of Religious Knowledge_.
          N. Y., 1891.

    19.--Schaff-Herzog, _Encyclopædia of Religious Knowledge_. 3
          vols. N. Y., 1891.

         _The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopædia of Religious Knowledge._
          Revised by S. M. Jackson. N. Y. and Lond., 1908 _ff._ In
          12 vols.

    20.--Shipley, _A Glossary of Ecclesiastical Forms_. Lond.,

    21.--Smith and Cheetham, _A Dictionary of Christian
          Antiquities_. 2 vols. Bost., 1875-80.

    22.--Smith and Wace, _A Dictionary of Christian Biography,
          Literature, Sects, and Doctrines_. 4 vols. Bost.,

    23.--Stanton, _An Ecclesiastical Dictionary_. N. Y., 1861.

    24.--Wolcott, _Sacred Archeology_. Lond., 1868.


     1.--Addis and Arnold, _A Catholic Dictionary_. N. Y., 1884.

     2.--Gillow, _Dictionary of English Catholic Biography and
          Bibliography_. (1534-1884.) 6 vols. Lond., 1887-94.

     3.--Gibbings, _Index Expurgatoris_. Lond., 1837.

     4.--Butler, _Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Saints_.
          12 vols. Lond., 1866.

     5.--Berington, _The Faith of Catholics_. 3 vols. Lond., 1846.

     6.--_The Catholic Encyclopedia._ N. Y., 1907 ff. (To be
          completed in 15 vols.)

     7.--Thein, _Ecclesiastical Dictionary_, 1905.

  III.--Jewish and Mohammedan:

     1.--_The Jewish Encyclopedia._ 12 vols. N. Y., 1902-5.

     2.--_Encyclopedia Islam._ 3 vols. 1908.



     1.--Hauck, _Herzog's Real-Encyklopädie für protestantische
          Theologie und Kirche_. 1896 ff.

     2.--Lichtenberger, _Encyclopédie des Sciences Religieuses_.
          Paris, 1872-82. 13 vols.


     1.--Aschbach, _Allgemeines Kirchen-Lexicon_. Frankf.,
          1846-50. 4 vols.

     2.--Wetzer und Welte, _Kirchen Lexicon_. Freib., 1847-56. 12

     3.--Hergenröther und Kauler. _Kirchenlexikon oder Encyklopädie
          der Katholischen Theologie und ihrer
          Hilfswissenschaften._ Freib., 1880-1895. 10 vols.

C.--Consult standard secular encyclopædias like Britannica, Johnson,
International, etc.



     1.--Koeppen, A. L., _The World in the Middle Ages_. N. Y.,

     2.--Sprüner, _Historico-Geographical Hand Atlas_. Lond., 1861.

     3.--Wiltsch, J. E. F., _Handbook of the Geography and
          Statistics of the Church_. 2 vols. Lond., 1859-69.

     4.--McClure, C. E., _Ecclesiastical Atlas_. Lond., 1888.

     5.--Freeman, E. A., _Historical Geography of Europe_. Lond.,
          1881. 2 vols. New ed. 1904.

     6.--Labberton, R. H., _New Historical Atlas and General
          History_. N. Y., 1890.

     7.--Riddle, J. E., _Ecclesiastical Chronology_. Lond., 1840.

     8.--Tarner, G. E., _Concise Tabular View of the Outlines of
          Christian History_. Lond., 1890.

     9.--Smith, H. B., _History of the Church in Chronological
          Tables_. N. Y., 1875.

    10.--Woodward and Gates, _Encyclopædia of Chronology_. N. Y.,

    11.--Dow, E. W., _Atlas of European History_. N. Y., 1907.


     1.--Putzger, F. W., _Historischer Schul-Atlas_. Leipz., 1903.
          Anglicised now. Excellent.

     2.--Droysen, H., _Allgemeine historische Handatlas_. Leipz.,

     3.--Weidenbach, _Calendarium Hist. Chron. Medii et Novi Ævi_.
          Reg., 1855.

     4.--Grotefend, G. A., _Handbuch des Hist. Chr. des
          Mittel-Alters_. Hanov., 1872.



     1.--Allen, _Outlines of Christian History_. Bost., 1885. 3

     2.--Blackburn, _History of the Christian Church_. Cin., 1879.

     3.--Butler, _An Ecclesiastical History_. Phil., 1868-72. 2

     4.--Fisher, _History of the Christian Church_. N. Y., 1887.

     5.--Foulkes, _A Manual of Ecclesiastical History_. Oxf., 1851.

     6.--Gieseler, _A Text-Book of Church History_. N. Y., 1868-79.
          5 vols.

     7.--Green. _Handbook of Church History_. N. Y., 1904.

     8.--Guericke, _A Manual of Church History_ (to 1073). And.,
          1872. 2 vols.

     9.--Hardwick, _A History of the Christian Church_. Lond.,
          1861-65. 2 vols.

    10.--Hase, _A History of the Christian Church_. N. Y., 1870.

    11.--Hurst, _A History of the Christian Church_. N. Y., 1897. 2

    12.--Jennings, _A Manual of Church History_. N. Y., 1887-8. 2

    13.--Knight, _A Concise History of the Church_. Lond., 1888.

    14.--Kurtz, _Church History_. N. Y., 1888. 3 vols.

    15.--Moeller, _History of the Christian Church_. Lond., 1902. 3

    16.--Moncrief, _A Short History of the Christian Church_.
          Chicago and N. Y., 1902.

    17.--Mosheim, _Institutes of Ecclesiastical History_. Last ed.,
          Bost., 1902. 3 vols.

    18.--Newman, _A Manual of Church History_. Phil., 1902-3. 2

    19.--Schaff, _History of the Christian Church_. N. Y., 1884-92.
          7 vols.

         Vol. v., by D. S. Schaff, N. Y., 1908.

    20.--Smith, _The Student's Manual of Ecclesiastical History_.
          N. Y., 1879.

    21.--Schubert, _Outlines of Church History_. Lond., 1907.

    22.--Sohm, _Outlines of Church History_. Lond., 1895.

    23.--Waddington, _A History of the Church_. Lond., 1835. 3

    24.--Zenos, _Compendium of Church History_. Phil., 1900.


     1.--Alzog, _A Manual of Universal Church History_. Lond.,
          1888-90. 3 vols.

     2.--Birkheuser, _History of the Catholic Church from its First
          Establishment to our own Times_. 7th ed., 1905.

     3.--Brueck, _History of the Catholic Church_. N. Y., 1886.

     4.--Döllinger, _Manual of Church History_. Lond., 1840-42. 4

     5.--Gilmartin, _Manual of Church History_. Lond., 1890-2. 2

It is a matter of deep regret that such excellent books by Catholic
writers like Hergenröther, Kraus, Möhler, Funk, etc., have not yet been
translated into English.


   1.--Adams, C. K., _A Manual of Historical Literature_. N. Y.,

   2.--Cave, A., _Introduction to Theology_. Edinb., 1886.

   3.--Crooks, G. R., and Hurst, J. F., _Literature of Theology_.
          N. Y., 1896. Pt. iii.

   4.--Darling, J., _Cyclopædia Bibliographica_. 3 vols. Lond.,

   5.--Donaldson, J., _A Critical History of Christian Literature_.
          3 vols. Lond., 1864-6.

   6.--Dowling, J. G., _An Introduction to the Critical Study of
          Ecclesiastical History_. London, 1832.

   7.--Fisher, J. A., _A Select Bibliography of Ecclesiastical
          History_. Bost., 1885.

   8.--Fortescue, G. K., _Subject Index of the Modern Works Added
          to the Library of the British Museum in the Years
          1881-1900_. 3 vols. 1902-1904.

   9.--Hurst, J. F., _Literature of Theology_. N. Y., 1896. Pt.
          iii., p. 186.

  10.--Kruger, G., _History of Early Christian Literature in the
          First Three Centuries_. N. Y., 1897.

  11.--Malcom, H., _Theological Index_. Phil., 1870.

  12.--Poole, W. F., _Index to Periodical Literature_ (1802 to

  13.--Schaff, P., _Theological Propædeutics_. N. Y., 1893.

  14.--Sonnenschein, W. S., _The Best Books_. Lond., 1896.

  15.--Tibbals, C. F., _Thesaurus of the Best Theological,
          Historical, and Biographical Literature_. N. Y., 1891.


[15:1] Extracts in Eusebius, _Ecclesiastical History_ and in _Ante-Nic.
Ch. Fathers_ (Chr. Lit. ed.), viii., 762.



     OUTLINE: I.--The ancient world. II.--Condition of the
     civilised world at the time Jesus came. III.--How the
     condition of the world prepared the way for Christianity.

The ancient world included the many independent tribes surrounding the
Mediterranean Sea and spreading into the interior. This independence was
institutional. Each tribe had its own government, laws, and customs; its
own religion and gods; its own ideals of education; its own commercial
and industrial methods. But all these diversities of life and thought
were broken down by the ascendancy of Rome. The independent laws, gods,
and institutions fell before the onward march of those of the Mistress
of the World.

When Jesus was born, the Roman Empire extended from the Euphrates to the
Atlantic, and from the African desert to the Danube, Rhine, and Weser.
It formed a wide fringe around the Mediterranean Sea, included the best
parts of three continents, and had a population of 100,000,000.[40:1]
The Empire was called "the world." Roman law was predominant throughout
the provinces as well as at Rome, but local usages were tolerated.
Citizenship had become so widely extended that the different peoples
began to feel themselves a single race, bound together by one Emperor,
one government, and one code of laws.

The era of the boyhood of Jesus was one of comparative peace, since
there was no important war after the naval battle of Actium (31
B.C.).[41:1] Hence the industries of the Empire prospered greatly.
Across the Mediterranean as the great highway, up and down the rivers,
and along the incomparable Roman roads, an enormous trade was carried on
between the colonies and the capital, Rome.[41:2] Factories thrived in
every direction and commerce flourished. Showers of wealth fairly fell
upon the Eternal City.

The trade of the Empire was carried on in Latin, the official language
of the Empire for law and war. Greek was also a universal tongue, but
used more especially for art, science, philosophy, education, and
religion.[41:3] Cicero complained: "Greek is read in almost all nations.
Latin is confined by its own natural boundaries." Hebrew and other
tongues were sectional. The literature of the opening century of the
Christian era, however, was largely in Latin,[41:4] which had been
fertilised by Greek culture.

Education had made far greater progress in this old world than is
generally thought. Judea,[41:5] Greece,[41:6] and Rome[42:1] had
excellent systems of education, though differing much in purpose and in
subjects studied. Pronounced schools of philosophy grew up. Art,
comparatively little developed among the Jews, culminated with the
Greeks, and from them was transplanted to Rome. Travel, always
liberalising and educational, was widespread among scholars, tradesmen,
soldiers, and public officials. All these factors had produced a
superior intelligence and general culture throughout the Empire.

The religious condition of the Empire was very significant. The Roman
religion, a mixture of Grecian and Etrurian religions[42:2]--of
licentiousness and puritanism--was alone legal over the whole
Empire.[42:3] The Emperor, as Pontifex Maximus, was head of the
religion. Worship, however, had become mere form--even priests ridiculed
the gods. Cicero declared: "One soothsayer could not look another in the
face without laughing," and "even old women would no longer believe
either in the fables of Tartarus or the joys of Elysium." This loss of
faith engendered skepticism and superstition, and gave magicians and
necromancers a wide patronage. The best men in Rome were demanding
reformation, and were longing for and predicting a new era. Cicero
prophesied: "There shall no longer be one law at Rome, and another at
Athens; nor shall it decree one thing to-day, and another to-morrow;
but one and the same law, eternal and immutable, shall be prescribed for
all nations and all times, and the God who shall prescribe, introduce,
and promulgate this law shall be the one common Lord and Supreme Ruler
of all."[43:1]

The Grecian religion,[43:2] so closely resembling the Roman, was of
course tolerated in the Empire. The gods were ideal Greeks with virtues
and vices magnified. They were born, had passions, senses, and bodies
like men, but never died. They committed crimes, had troubles, and were
given to wrath, hatred, lust, cruelty, perjury, deception, and adultery,
yet were omnipotent and omniscient.[43:3] While the conception of Zeus,
as the father of the gods, ruled by fate, had a vague idea of monotheism
in it, still the Greek religion lacked the Christian conception of sin
and righteousness, for with the Greeks sin was only a folly of the
understanding--even the gods sinned. Small wonder then that Plato
banished the gods from his ideal republic.[43:4] Pindar, Eschylus, and
Sophocles also urged loftier views of the gods, and preached a higher
morality.[43:5] With the Roman conquest national honour and patriotism
died out, and superstition, infidelity, refined materialism, and
outright atheism came in. The best hearts were longing for a new and
purer religion, and were ready to accept it when it came.

The Jews,[44:1] intensely religious, with several thousand years of
spiritual history back of them, divided the known world into the
followers of the true God and the heathen idolaters. Even they were
separated into factions:

(1) The Pharisees,[44:2] numbering 6000, stoical casuists, rigidly
orthodox, prone to analyse the Mosaic law to death, intensely patriotic,
and bitter against all non-Jewish tendencies, were very popular, guided
public worship, and controlled the Jews in politics.

(2) The Sadducees,[44:3] rationalistic and skeptical, were aristocratic
Epicureans who rejected oral traditions, and denied resurrection,[44:4]
angels,[44:5] and an all-ruling, foreknowing Providence. They formed a
smaller political party in opposition to the Pharisees, held many
priestly offices, were in league with the Romans, and therefore had less
influence with the people.[44:6]

(3) The Essenes,[44:7] a mystic brotherhood of 4000 whose purpose was to
attain holiness, received their ideas from eastern Theosophists; lived
communal lives on the shores of the Dead Sea; took the Old Testament
allegorically; wore a white dress; were over-scrupulously clean for the
purpose of purification; and rejected animal food, bloody sacrifices,
oaths, slavery, and marriage. They had little to do with politics; were
forerunners of Christian monasticism; and may have influenced the ideas
of Jesus.[45:1]

(4) The Samaritans,[45:2] in origin half Jewish and half heathen
Babylonian, practised their reformed Judaism about Gerizim under an
established Levitical priesthood. They rejected all Scriptures but the
Pentateuch, held pure Messianic expectations, looked with favour upon
Christianity, and were bitterly hated by the orthodox Jews.[45:3]

(5) The Zealots, led by Judas of Galilee, a sort of a nationalistic
party, were imbued by a very materialistic conception of the hope of
Israel. They sprang from the Pharisees and followed them in religious
things. They confidently expected the realisation of the kingdom of God,
the Messiah, and a new Israel. In their patriotic zeal they did not
hesitate to use the sword and dagger to drive out their Roman foes in
order to realise their dreams for a purely Jewish kingdom. Their
followers came mostly from the lowest classes.[45:4]

(6) The common people accepted the Pharisees, in a general way, as
leaders. They believed in tradition and in the resurrection, but they
were prone to neglect the law and formalism so stoutly insisted upon by
the scribes. This class of Jews had a vital, living fellowship with God,
and might be called pietists. Such characters as Simeon and Anna,
Zachariah and Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary, and most of those influenced
by John's call to repentance were of this class. They stood for the pure
religion of the early prophets, and in a way opposed the sacerdotalism
of the Jewish Church. They were in a spiritual and ethical mood to
accept the great teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, and were consequently
his first converts. While they constituted the majority of the Jews, and
were scattered all over the Roman Empire yet they were not organised as
a political party. To these Christianity meant a great and much needed

The moral condition of the Empire, east and west, makes a dark picture
as drawn by such men as Paul,[46:2] Seneca,[46:3] Tacitus,[46:4]
Juvenal, Persius, and Sallust. "The world is full of crimes and vices"
moaned Seneca. Foreign conquest and plunder brought in their wake
luxury, sensuality, cruelty, and licentiousness. Slavery was fostered;
infanticide tolerated; marriage lax, and divorce shamefully common.
Amusements became bloody and brutal; 20,000 lives were sacrificed in one
month to appease the populace, who cared only for "panem et circenses."
The stern virtue and morality of old Greece and Rome were dead. The huge
Empire was a giant body without a soul going to final destruction.

It is evident, then, that forces both positive and negative were at work
to prepare the civilised world for the reception of Christianity:

(1) The universal Empire of Rome was a positive groundwork for the
universal empire of the Gospel. The imperial organisation suggested a
form of organisation for the Church, so that Latin Christianity was
simply Rome baptised. The unity of the Empire afforded concrete
illustration of God's spiritual kingdom, and implied fatherhood and
brotherhood.[47:1] Imperial toleration of harmless provincial religions
protected Christianity, and thus enabled it to get a foothold before
persecution came. Universal peace also was a boon to the Christian

The flourishing commerce, the good roads uniting the Empire, the
extensive travel, and the various military expeditions all made the
spread of new ideas easier and quicker.

(2) Pagan theology became a stepping-stone to Christian theology.[47:2]
The decay of polytheism, because of its unspiritual and unsatisfying
character, made spiritual monotheism acceptable. Pagan temples, priests,
and rites made the conception of, and the transition to, Christianity
easier. Even the low moral condition and widespread skepticism strongly
emphasised the need of a better religion.

(3) The schools of the Empire prepared men's minds for an intellectual
consideration of the new faith, though not necessarily for its adoption.
The Greek and Latin tongues were excellent mediums for propagating the
new doctrines. Greek particularly was excellent for the expression of
abstract and lofty truth, and the Old Testament had been translated into
it more than two centuries before Jesus.[48:1] Grecian eloquence became
the model for sacred oratory. The philosophy of Plato and Aristotle
formed the scientific basis for Christian theology. The spiritual
flights of Plato,[48:2] the religious reflections of Plutarch, and the
moral precepts of Seneca were all used as arguments of revealed
religion. Even pagan art, with its love for the beautiful, was early
employed to give material expression to Christian ideas.

(4) The Jews, scattered over the world,[48:3] befriended by Julius
Cæsar, given legal status as a sect by Augustus, expelled in vain by
Tiberius and Claudius, spread a knowledge of the living God over the
whole Empire before Christ appeared. Synagogues were numerous, and many
Gentiles became converts to monotheism.[48:4] These converts were the
first to accept the teachings of Jesus, and in this way formed the
_nuclei_ of the Christian Church.

Thus Jerusalem the Holy City, Athens the city of culture, and Rome the
city of power, combined to prepare the world so that the matchless
ethical and religious teaching of Jesus of Nazareth could capture the
hearts and heads of men, replace the national religions, and become
realised in the outward forms and inward beliefs of the Christian
Church, which was soon to exercise a controlling power in the civilised




     1.--_Old Testament._

     2.--_Old Testament Apocrypha._ Transl. by E. C. Bissell, N.
          Y., 1865-80.

     3.--Josephus (37-103 A.D.), _Antiquities_, and _The Jewish
          War_. Various eds. Whiston the standard.

     4.--Philo Judæus (20 B.C.-40 A.D.), _Works_. Transl. by C. D.
          Yonge. In Bohn, Lond., 1854-5. 4 vols.

     5.--_The Talmud._ Transl. by Bodkinson and revised by Wise, N.
          Y., 1896.

     6.--Lardner, _Jewish and Heathen Testimonies_. _Works_, vii.,
          Lond., 1788.



       1.--The classics. Bohn Lib. Excellent. Fine transl. by W.
          H. Appleton, Bost., 1893.

       2.--Polybius (204-122 B.C.), _Histories_. Transl. by E. S.
          Schuckburgh. 2 vols. Lond., 1889.

       3.--Strabo (62 B.C.-24 A.D.), _Geography_. Transl. by
          Falconer and Hamilton, Lond., 1890. 2 vols. Bohn Lib.


       1.--Virgil (70-19 B.C.), _Works_. Bohn Lib., 1894; Morley
          Univ. Lib., 1884.

       2.--Horace (65-8 B.C.), _Works_. Transl. by Lonsdale and
          Lee, Lond., 1873. Best complete Eng. ed. is by Wickham. 2
          vols. Oxf., 1887, 1892.

       3.--Livy (59 B.C.-17 A.D.), _Works_. Bohn Lib., 1850.
          Transl. by Stephenson, Lond., 1883-90.

       4.--Ovid (43 B.C.-17 A.D.), _Works_. Bohn Lib. Transl. by H.
          T. Riley, Lond., 1852.

       5.--Lucan (39-65 A.D.), _Pharsalia_. Transl. by H. T. Riley,
          Lond., 1853. Bohn Lib.

       6.--Seneca (3-65 A.D.), _Works_. Transl. by T. Lodge, Lond.,
          1620. Bohn Lib. has partial list.

       7.--Pliny (61-115 A.D.), _Works_. Transl. by Milmoth and
          Bosauquet, Lond., 1878.

       8.--Tacitus (54-119 A.D.), _Works_. Bohn Lib., 1848. 2 vols.
          Transl. by Church and Brodribb, Lond., 1877.

       9.--Juvenal (47-130 A.D.), _Works_. Bohn Lib. Transl. by
          Strong and Leeper, Lond., 1882.

      10.--Suetonius (75-160 A.D.), _Lives of the Twelve Cæsars_.
          Bohn Lib., 1855. Transl. by C. Whibley, Lond., 1899. 2


     1.--_New Testament._ (27 canonical books).

     2.--_New Testament Apocrypha._ In _Ante-Nic. Christ. Lib._,
          vol. 16.

     3.--Justin Martyr (103-164 A.D.), _Apologies_. _Ib._, vol.
          ii., 1-84; Am. ed., vol. i.

     4.--Tertullian (104-216 A.D.), _Apology_. _Ante-Nic. Christ.
          Lib._, xi., 53-140. Several other transls.

     5.--Minicius Felix (?), _Octavius_. _Ibid._, xiii.

     6.--Eusebius (d. 340), _The Evangelical Preparation_. Transl.
          by H. Street, Lond., 1842.

     7.--St. Augustine (d. 430), _The City of God_. _Nic. and
          Post-Nic. Fathers._ Buf., 1886-90. ii., 16-621. Other



     1.--Breed, D. R., _A History of the Preparation of the World
          for Christ_. N. Y., 1893.

     2.--Döllinger, J. J. I., _The Gentile and the Jew_. Lond.,
          1862. 2 vols.

     3.--Fisher, G. P., _Beginnings of Christianity_. N. Y., 1877.

     4.--Hardwick, C., _Christ and Other Masters_. Lond., 1875. 2

     5.--Hausrath, A., _History of the New Testament Times_. Lond.,
          1895. 4 vols.

     6.--Maurice, F. D., _Religions of the World_. Lond. and Bost.,

     7.--Pressensé, De E., _Religions before Christ_. Edinb., 1862.

     8.--Shahan, J. T., _The Beginnings of Christianity_. N. Y.,

     9.--Trench, R. C., _Christ the Desire of all Nations_. Camb.,

    10.--Uhlhorn, G., _Conflict of Christianity with Heathenism_.
          Lond., 1880.

    11.--Wernle, P., _The Beginnings of Christianity_. Lond., 1908.
          2 vols.


    Alzog, i., § 24-31. Backhouse, E., _Early Ch. Hist._, ch. 1.
    Baur, i., 1-43. Blunt, J. H., _Key to Ch. Hist._, ch. 1.
    Bouzique, i., Intr. Burton, E., _Lects. on Eccles. Hist._ (to
    3d cent.). Catterille, H., _Genesis of the Ch._, ch. 1.
    Cheetham, ch. 1. Cox, H., _First Cent. of Christianity_, i.,
    chs. 1-10. Darras, i., ch. 1. Döllinger, _Hist. of the Ch._,
    i., ch. 1, sec. 1-2. Duff, ch. 1-6. Farrar, F. W., _Early Days
    of Christianity_, bk. i., ch. 1. Fisher, pd. i., ch. 1.
    Gibbon, i.-ii. Gieseler, i., sec. 8-19. Gilmartin, i., sec.
    2-3. Guericke, pp. 21-28. Hase, 13-23. Hurst, i., 61-87.
    Jackson, F. J. F., _Hist. of the Christ. Ch._ (to 461), ch. 2.
    Janes, L. G., _A Study of Prim. Christ._, chs. 1-2. Killen,
    ch. 1. Kurtz, i., sec. 6-12. Milman, _Hist. of Christ._ (to
    4th cent.), ch. 1. Milner, i., cent. i. Moeller, i., 26-48.
    Mosheim, 11-30. Neander, i., 1-69. Robertson, bk. i., ch. 1.
    Schaff, i., ch. 1. Waddington, ch. 1.


[40:1] Mommsen, v., chs. 11-12; Merivale, i., ch. 1; iv., ch. 39;
Liddell, ii., ch. 71; Bury's Gibbon, i., chs. 1-3; Finlay, i., ch. 1.

[41:1] 1 Tim. ii., 2. Epictetus wrote: "Cæsar has promised us a profound
peace; there are neither wars, nor battles, nor great robberies, nor
piracy."--_Dis._, iii., 13.

[41:2] Lewin, _Life and Epistles of St. Paul_. Lond., 1878. Bergier,
_Histoire des Grands Chemins de l'Empire Romain_.

[41:3] Merivale, iv., ch. 41.

[41:4] The chief writers were: Ovid, d. 17; Livy, d. 17; Lucan, d. 65;
Seneca, d. 65; Pliny, d. 115; Tacitus, d. 119; Juvenal, d. 130.

[41:5] Schürer, ii., § 22; Graetz, i., ch. 20.

[41:6] Plato, _Protagoras_, tr. by Jowett; Aristotle, _Politics_, bk. 8,
tr. by Jowett; Mahaffy, _Old Greek Ed._; St. John, _The Hellenes_, bk.
2, ch. 4; Davidson, _Aristotle_, bk. 1, ch. 4; _The Nation_, March 24,
1892, pp. 230-231; Zeller, _Socrates and the Socratic Schools_, ch. 3;
Capes, _University Life in Ancient Athens_, ch. 1; Newman, _Hist.
Sketches_, ch. 4; Thirlwell, _Hist. of Greece_, i., ch. 8.

[42:1] Döllinger, _Gentile and Jew_, ii., 294-296; Kirkpatrick, _Hist.
Develop. of Super. Instr._; _Am. Jour. of Ed._, xxiv., 468-470.

[42:2] Gieseler, i., § 11.

[42:3] Döllinger, _Gentile and Jew_, i., bk. 7.

[43:1] _About the Republic_, iii., 6; Virgil, _Eclogues_, iv., 4-10; 13,
14; Lactantius, _Divine Inst._, vi., 8; Suetonius, _Life of Vesp._, ch.
4; Tacitus, _Histories_, v., 13.

[43:2] Gladstone, _Gods and Men of the Heroic Age_; Tyler, _Theol. of
the Greeks_; Cocker, _Christ and Greek Philos._; Niebuhr, _Stories of
Gr. Heroes_; Berens, _Myths and Legends of Anc. Gr._; Taylor, _Anc.
Ideals_; Parnell, _Cults of the Gr. States_; Ely, _Olympus_; Francillon,
_Gods and Heroes_; Grote; Curtius; Thirlwell.

[43:3] Read _Iliad_, _Odyssey_ and Hesiod, _Theogeny_.

[43:4] _Concerning the Republic_, ii.

[43:5] Adam, _The Religious Teachers of Greece_, Edinb., 1908. Baur,
_The Christian Element in Plato_, Edinb., 1861; Hatch, _The Greek
Influence on Christianity_. Hibbert Lectures, 1888.

[44:1] Schürer, _Hist. of Jewish People_; Milman, _Hist. of the Jews_;
Stanley _Lect. on Hist. of Jewish Ch._; Ewald, _Hist. of Jewish People_;
Edersheim, _Prophecy and Hist. in Rel. to the Messiah_; Kent, _Hist. of
Heb. People_; Graetz, _Hist. of Jews_; Newman, _Christianity in its
Cradle_. See Josephus for full account.

[44:2] _Jewish Encyc._ See Josephus, _Antiq._, XIII., x., 5, 6; v., 9;
XVII., ii., 4; XVIII., i., 2.

[44:3] _Jewish Encyc._ See Josephus, _Antiq._, XIII., v., 9; x., 6;
XVIII., i., 3; _Wars_, II., viii., 14.

[44:4] Matt. xxii., 23; Mark xii., 18; Luke xx., 27; Josephus, _Antiq._,
XVIII., i., 4.

[44:5] Acts xxiii., 8.

[44:6] It must be remembered that Nicodemus, Gamaliel, and others came
from this class.

[44:7] _Jewish Encyc._

[45:1] Josephus; Philo; Pliny; Lightfoot, _Ep. to Gal._; Schürer, ii.,
188; _Jewish Encyc._

[45:2] _Jewish Encyc._

[45:3] John iv., 4; viii., 48; Luke ix., 52, 53; x., 25-37.

[45:4] Josephus, _Antiq._, XVIII., i., 1-6; Rhees, _Life of Jesus_;
_Jewish Encyc._ Hastings, _Dict. of the Bible_.

[46:1] Schürer, _Jewish People_, div. II., ii., 154-187; Wendt,
_Teachings of Jesus_, i., 33-89; Graetz, _Hist. of the Jews_, ii.,
122-123, 140-147; Edersheim, _Life and Times of Jesus_, i., 160-179;
Rhees, _Life of Jesus_, sec. 13; Mathews, _Hist. of N. T. Times_, ch.

[46:2] Rom. i., 18-32.

[46:3] _De Ira_, I., ii., c. 8.

[46:4] _Politica_, I., ii., c. 2-18.

[47:1] Tacitus felt a common humanity when he wrote: "Homo sum; humani
nihil a me alienum puto." Cicero and Virgil expressed like ideas. In the
Middle Ages it was even said that Virgil in the Fourth Eclogue
prophesied the advent of Jesus. See _Princeton Rev._, Sept. 1879, 403

[47:2] Ackerman, _The Christian Element in Plato_; Cocker, _Christianity
and Greek Philosophy_; Hatch, _Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon
the Christian Church_; Addis, _Christianity and the Roman Empire_,
22-25; Farrar, _Seekers after God_; Davidson, _The Stoic Creed_, N. Y.

[48:1] The Septuagint version, 284-247 B.C.

[48:2] Ackerman, _The Christian Element in Plato_.

[48:3] Josephus and Strabo. Gieseler, i., § 17.

[48:4] Apion, ii., 10, 39.



     OUTLINE: I.--Origin of the Christian Church. II.--Spread of
     the Apostolic Church. III.--Organisation of the Early Church.
     IV.--Conclusions. V.--Sources.

The Christian Church has both an internal and an external side--a soul
and a body. Thoughts, feelings, and beliefs constitute the inner Church,
the creed. These, in turn, aided by physical conditions, determine the
outward organisation of the Church. In a broad sense the Church was a
product of certain forces already in the world at the opening of the
Christian era, which were utilised by the believers in the teachings of
Jesus. From pagan and Jewish sources contributions were made to both the
form and content of the Christian Church in the following ways:

1. The Jews[52:1] gave in ideas: (a) a belief in Jehovah as God, (b) the
conception of sin, (c) a consciousness of the need of repentance and
reconciliation, (d) the doctrine of immortality, (e) the conception of
Heaven and Hell, (f) angels and the devil, (g) miracles, (h) the Old
Testament as God's word, and (i) the Sabbath. To the form of the
Christian Church they suggested: (a) the synagogue, (b) officials like
the elders, (c) ceremonies, (d) feasts,[53:1] and (e) organisation.[53:2]

2. The pagans contributed in ideas: (a) Greek philosophy and
culture,[53:3] (b) concepts of morality,[53:4] (c) the idea of absolute
sovereignty, and (d) universality.[53:5] In form they gave: (a)
local organisations like the democratic Hellenistic guild or
municipality,[53:6] or the numerous Roman social or religious
associations known as _collegia_ and _sodalitia_ (especially the
_collegia funeraticia_), and the general organisation of the
Empire[53:7]; (b) rites and ceremonies; (c) the evening meal,[53:8] (d)
festivals like Easter and Christmas; (e) the use of images, and (f)
architecture, painting, and ornamentation.

3. The real founder of the Church, however, was Jesus Christ. He
supplied the fundamental ideas of: (a) the universal fatherhood of God,
(b) the divine sonship of the Saviour of the world, (c) the brotherhood
of man, and (d) the ethical law of self-sacrifice. He created the
Church: (a) by choosing twelve Apostles, by teaching them and by
commissioning them to continue the work; (b) by winning a number of
converts to His doctrines; (c) by leaving certain sacraments for His
followers--Catholics say seven; most Protestants, two. But He left no
written Church constitution giving the details of organisation. The
work of Jesus and His immediate followers in founding the Church is
described in the New Testament. Broadly, then, the Church of Jesus
Christ is composed of all the believers in the teachings of Jesus,
although differing greatly in interpretation and in organisation.[54:1]

From Jerusalem the Apostles and disciples of Jesus spread his teachings
to Syria, Asia Minor, Africa, Greece, and Rome. From these fields the
propagation was continued until by the time of Constantine every point
within and some places without the Empire were reached. "Throughout
every city and village," enthusiastically exclaimed Eusebius, "churches
were quickly established and filled with members from every
people."[54:2] The fruitful labours of Paul and Timothy were explained
thus: "And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased
in numbers daily."[54:3] Other Apostles were, no doubt, equally active
in various parts of the Empire. The "Christians"--a term of derision
first used by the heathen of Antioch,[54:4]--numbering 500 in 30
A.D.,[54:5] grew to 500,000 by 100 A.D.,[54:6] and increased to
30,000,000 by 311 A.D.[54:7]--a growth almost unparalleled in the
world's religious history. They included all the social classes in the
Empire from slave to Emperor, though the great middle class was in all
probability most numerously represented.[55:1]

The causes for this marvellous growth[55:2] are found in: (a) the
revolutionary teachings of Jesus, particularly the idea of immortality,
which was very vague in heathen minds, and the law of love and
self-sacrifice; (b) the miraculous powers attributed to the first
Christians; (c) the purer and austerer morality of the early Christians;
(d) the unity and discipline of the Church, making it a powerful
organisation within the Empire; (e) the preparation and ripeness of the
Empire for Christianity, and (f) the subjective vividness of the
constant presence of Jesus with the early Christians, as explained by
Paul, and their zealous propagandism.

The results of this new life, brought into the world so dramatically,
must be measured in terms of all subsequent history.[55:3] Every
institution in the Empire was modified by this new spiritual force[55:4]
so that as old pagan imperial Rome gradually fell, new Christian Rome
took its place to rule all western Europe for more than a thousand years
in every sphere of human activity and endeavour.

The exact form of the organisation of the early Christian Church is
extremely difficult to determine, because of the lack of sufficient
positive authority in the New Testament and in patristic literature. The
Acts of the Apostles and the letters of Paul and others to the first
Christian communities tell nearly all any one can know about the origin
and organisation of the Apostolic Church. From these sources it is clear
that Jesus left certain great teachings, and many devoted believers in
those truths. After His departure, the Apostles, not limited to
twelve,[56:1] receiving authority directly from the Master,[56:2] like
the prophets of old, spread the new pregnant faith over the world,
organised their converts according to individual ideas and local
needs,[56:3] and practically monopolised all direction of the
Church.[56:4] With the increase of these Christian societies in size and
numbers, came the necessity of appointing local officers, or of having
them elected by the "brethren." In this way, at an early date, began the
outward organisation of the Church. The development of the Jewish
Kingdom of God into the Ecclesia of the Christians was a comparatively
easy transition, especially for the Jewish converts.

Next to the Apostles in point of time, but not authority, in the
Biblical account, came the deacons. At Jerusalem the Apostles had the
"brethren" select "seven men of honest report" to minister to the poor
and unfortunate, and to wait on the table in the daily love-feasts.[56:5]
They were installed by "laying on of hands." This democratic example
apparently was followed elsewhere.[56:6] Both sexes were eligible.[56:7]
The high qualifications for the office suggest its importance.[56:8]

St. Paul tells us that the earliest Christian communities found
it necessary to have some organisation, hence they chose bishops,
or overseers, and presbyters, or elders. But throughout the New
Testament the words elder, presbyter, and bishop seem to be used
interchangeably.[57:1] The qualifications for the offices were the same.
Bishops and elders are never joined together like bishops and deacons as
if they were two distinct classes of officers. Timothy, for example,
appoints bishops and deacons; Titus, elders and deacons. Paul sends
greetings to bishops and deacons at Philippi, but omits all mention of
elders and presbyters because, presumably, they were included in the
conception of bishops.[57:2] In his pastoral epistles he describes all
Church officers, but mentions only two classes, bishops or elders, and
deacons.[57:3] Peter, who calls himself "also an elder," urges the
elders to "tend the flock of God" and to "fulfil the office of
bishop."[57:4] Even Clement of Rome uses bishop and presbyter
interchangeably as late as 95 A.D.[57:5] Irenæus (d. 190) and Tertullian
(d. 220), however, were conscious of a distinct division and

That the official titles, bishop and presbyter or elder, were used from
early apostolic days, all must admit, for the New Testament evidence is
unmistakable. But perplexity and doubt arise at once when an attempt is
made to determine the resemblances and differences in their duties and
powers. The term elder, or presbyter, may have been used merely to
designate the personal relation of the most highly respected members to
the congregation, while the name bishop, or overseer, may have been the
official designation of leadership. Indeed some scholars, like Hatch and
Harnack, believe that the functions of presbyters and bishops were
distinct and different from the beginning. They assert that the college
of presbyters assumed the leadership, or government proper, of the
Christian community, with jurisdiction and disciplinary power, while the
bishops had charge of the administration of the Church, including
worship and finance, and were also largely occupied with charitable
work, in co-operation with the deacons, such as care for the sick, the
poor, and strangers. According to this view each congregation was
organised with three sets of officers, namely, deacons, presbyters, and
bishops, from the very outset. Gradually, however, an amalgamation took
place. The bishops, with their practical information, received seats and
votes in the presbytery and finally came to fill the office of

It seems more probable, on the contrary, that these two titles simply
signify the twofold origin of the early Christians, namely, from the
Jews and the pagans. The word presbyter is of Hebraic derivation, while
bishop is a pure Greek term. Consequently the tendency developed to use
presbyter wherever the Hebrew element predominated, and, on the other
hand, to employ bishop for Greek communities. It was but natural, too,
that these two terms should come to signify the same thing and should
come to be used interchangeably.

The derivation of these terms is not clear.[59:1] Both presbyter and
bishop appear to have been in use in Syria and Asia Minor to designate
officers of municipal and private corporations. In Grecian civic
organisations, the word bishop or superintendent was likewise commonly
used. Then there were the well-known elders of the Jewish
synagogue,[59:2] and the senators of Roman municipalities--in fact a
universal respect for seniority existed in the old world. It was very
natural, therefore, that the Christians should adopt the known forms,
names, and offices of those organisations with which they were
familiar.[59:3] This method of procedure is precisely the one followed
over the world to-day in propagating any idea through organised effort.

These elders were apparently organised into boards, or councils, for the
purpose of better furthering the interests of the Church. They were not
teachers at first so much as the administrators, or business managers,
of the general concerns of the Church.[59:4] They helped to enact
ordinances[59:5]; discussed important questions with the Apostles and
assisted them in every possible way; enforced discipline[59:6]; settled
disputes between Christians; and prayed for the sick and anointed

The first Christians, eagerly awaiting the literal second coming of
Christ, and imbued with great enthusiasm for the Gospel, did not feel
the need of an elaborate constitution. But in time, as numbers
increased, as severe persecution fell upon the Christians, and as the
original fervour and spirituality decreased with the conversion of so
many pagans, it became necessary to develop a regular system of Church
government, which would more effectively meet the new conditions. The
fact of differentiation in organisation is easily established, because
the earliest and later forms may be determined with reasonable accuracy,
but the transitional process is much more difficult of comprehension.
This evolution, however, appears to have taken this course:

1. The board of presbyters, at least in the larger congregations,
naturally and logically developed a head with a priority in rank. The
office of president was universal in contemporary Jewish associations,
and in Roman and Greek organisations. The creation of a chairman of the
administrative body became a political necessity to expedite business,
and to enforce discipline in the Christian societies. Moreover there was
the example of the Apostles, who actually designated officers to
continue their work (a) of teaching the true doctrines,[60:1] (b) of
organising new churches, (c) of ordaining deacons and elders, and (d) in
acting as head of the whole congregation.[60:2] Hence this change was
natural, imperative, and easy; but the transition must have been gradual
and must have lacked uniformity.

2. The president of the board of presbyters came, in course of time, to
have a recognised supremacy in power as well as in rank, and the title
of bishop was gradually restricted to his high office. After the death
of the Apostles more duties devolved upon the president of the council,
and it was in the course of things that the special word bishop, _i.
e._, overseer or superintendent, should be applied to him. By the second
century, at least, if not indeed before, the differentiation had begun
and from that time on it can be plainly traced in the Church Fathers.
Jerome states that at Alexandria until the middle of the third century
the presbyters elected one of their number as president and called him
bishop.[61:1] Hilarius says: "Every bishop is a presbyter, but not every
presbyter a bishop; for he only is bishop who is the primate among the
presbyters."[61:2] Examples, secular and ecclesiastical, were not
lacking to warrant the change: (a) the Old Testament priesthood, (b)
Christ and his Apostles, (c) the Apostles and their appointees, (d) the
Emperor and his officials. The bishop soon professed to occupy the place
of an Apostle instead of Christ as earlier, hence arose the idea of an
"Apostolic seat" and "Apostolic succession."[61:3] He represented
Christian unity of doctrine and discipline, and ruled over a recognised
territory--first a single church, then a city, then a province. From the
bishop it was only another step to the archbishop, the metropolitan, the
patriarch, and the Pope.

3. The position of the presbyter changes, likewise, from that of the
highest officer in the Church to one subordinate (a) to the board of
elders and then (b) to the bishop. This distinction once made between
bishop and presbyter, there was a tendency for the bishops to usurp
more and more power, while the presbyters opposed it. The third century
is full of these quarrels.[62:1] Here began the conflict between the
principles of monarchy and aristocracy in the Church. Soon, from acting
as a member of a council, the presbyter came to act alone under the
bishop--_i. e._, the presbyter became a priest, just as the president
became a bishop. Presbyters also assumed new functions: (a) "ministry of
the word" and (b) "ministry of the sacraments." New detached communities
were ruled not infrequently by single presbyters under the city bishop.
Indeed it seems that from the outset the smaller and weaker Christian
communities were ruled by single elders.

4. The status and functions of the deacon likewise were altered. At
first he visited the sick and unfortunate, collected and disbursed alms,
and reported on discipline. Stephen taught; Philip baptised. With the
growth of Christian civilisation, however, institutions of
relief--hospitals, orphanages, infant asylums, almshouses, poorhouses,
guest-houses, etc.--took the place of the earlier personal ministrations
of the deacons. Each institution had its own head, not necessarily a
deacon. From being distributors of alms, therefore, the deacon first
became an assistant of the bishop,[62:2] and later the chief helper of
the priest in the administration of the sacraments. With the
multiplication of the duties of this office came the archdeacons and

5. The many duties incident to a complex organisation gradually produced
a new set of subordinate officials--the minor orders: (a) lectors to
read the Scriptures in public and to keep the books, (b) acolytes to
assist the bishops, (c) exorcists to pray for those possessed of evil
spirits, (d) janitors to care for the buildings and preserve order, (e)
precentors to conduct public praise service, (f) catechists to instruct
the catechumens, (g) interpreters to translate the Scripture

6. The clergy came to be distinct from the laity--a sacerdotal class was
developed. In the early Church the priesthood was universal, _i. e._,
laymen as well as Church officers could preach, baptise, administer the
sacraments, and exercise discipline. The relation of clergy to laity was
merely that of leadership as in non-Christian organisations.
"Ordination" simply meant appointment, and was used in civic
installations, while "laying on of hands" was only a symbol of prayer
and even used by the Jews for secular affairs.

Gradually, however, the tendency to put the Church officials above the
laity grew stronger until something akin to the Old Testament idea of
the priesthood was revived. By the fourth century the Church officers
had lost their primitive character and had become a separate class
mediating between God and man. The causes of this separation are not
difficult to see, namely: (a) the peculiar duties of the Church
officials tended to give them a distinct character; (b) the persecutions
to which the Roman government subjected them threw them into conspicuous
relief; (c) the legalisation of Christianity bestowed upon them a
distinct civil status, made them immune from public burdens like taxes
and military service, exempted them from civil courts, and permitted
them to acquire property; and (d) the rise of asceticism forced the
clergy to observe a code of morals different from that of the laity,
demanded celibacy, originated the badge of the tonsure, and created

The laity were early organised in congregations. Membership in the
Church was open to all believers in Jesus. The election of officers was,
for the most part, democratic. The life of each congregation was
socialistic and communistic. All possessions were sold for the common
good and to create a common fund for the needy.[64:1] The members
enjoyed a common evening meal and their common love-feast which was to
them the highest act of worship.[64:2] Disobedience, or infidelity,
might be punished by private admonition, public correction, and in
stubborn cases excommunication.[64:3] But after the first century these
communistic-democratic societies were gradually replaced by a
hierarchical organisation with new or modified institutions. The
monarchio-episcopal principle of church government was gradually evolved
but, nevertheless, much of the primitive democracy remained. This
evolution in the government of the Church may be clearly seen by the end
of the second century.

From this discussion these conclusions may be drawn:

1. The New Testament does not furnish a satisfactory model for any one
distinct organisation of the Christian Church.

2. In the New Testament, however, are found the germs from which sprang
deacons, priests, bishops, metropolitans, patriarchs, and popes.

3. The elements from which the Church was organised already existed in
large measure in human society. Hence the Church, in its outward form,
had a natural historical growth and was influenced by (a) the Jewish
synagogue, (b) Greek municipalities, (c) the Roman government, (d) local
needs, and (e) the conditions of the times. The animating principle and
causal inspiration was Christianity.

4. Christian society, like human society, was subject to constant change
which is easily detected. The form of organisation, originally
democratic, was gradually changed by the force of circumstances until it
became monarchial and at the same time the officers underwent a similar




     1.--Josephus, _Jewish War_, _Against Apion_, _Autobiography_,
          Whiston ed.

     2.--Philo Judæus. _Works._ 4 vols. Bohn Lib., 1854-55.

     3--_Talmud._ Transl. by Rodkinson; rev. by Wise, N. Y., 1896.


     1.--Lucan, Pliny, Tacitus, Suetonius. See Chap. III. of this

     2.--Celsus (c. 178 A.D.), _Against the Christians_. Transl. by
          Lardner, Lond., 1830.

     3.--Porphyry (d. 306), _Against the Christians_. _Ib._

     4.--Julian (d. 363), _Against the Christians_. _Ib._ Also
          Transl. by Nevins, Lond., 1873. _Works._ Bohn Lib., 1888.
          Transl. by Duncombe, Lond., 1784. _Public Letters._
          Transl. by Chinnock, Lond., 1901.


     =1.--New Testament= (27 canonical books).

     =2.--New Testament Apocrypha.= Schaff, i., 188. Transl. in
          _Ante-Nic. Christ. Lib._, vol. xvi.

       1.--_Acts._ Transl. by Phillips, Lond., 1876.

       2.--_Epistles_--6 by Paul and 8 by Seneca.

       3.--_Apocalypses_--of the Apostles.

     =3.--Apostolic Fathers:=

       1.--Clement of Rome (97?), _Epist. to the Ch. of Corinth_.
          Best ed. by Lightfoot, _Apost. Fathers_, N. Y. 1891.

       2.--Ignatius (d. 70-115), _Epistles_ (7). _Ib._ See Killen.

       3.--Barnabas(?), _Epistle_. Lightfoot; Cunningham.

       4.--Polycarp (d. 156), _Epistle_. Lightfoot; Jackson.

       5.--Papias (d. 153?), _Fragments_. Lightfoot; Hall.

       6.--Shepherd of Hermas(?). Lightfoot; Hoole.

       7.--_Didache_(?). Hoole; Hitchcock.

     =4.--Post-Apostolic Fathers:=

       1.--Justin Martyr (d. 164?), _Works_. _Ante-Nic. Christ.
          Lib._, ii.; Am. ed., i.

       2.--Irenæus (d. 202?), _Works_. _Ib._, v., ix.; Am. ed., i.;
          _Fathers of the Holy Cath. Ch._, ch. 42.

       3.--Hippolytus(?), _Works_. _Ante-Nic. Christ. Lib._, ii.,
          130; vi., 15-403.

       4.--Victor (d. 200?), _Works_. _Ib._, xviii., 388-434.

       5.--Tertullian (d. 230?), _Works_. _Ib._, i., 408; ii., 25;
          iii., 118; xi., 53-140; xviii.; Am. ed., iii.-iv.

       6.--Origen (d. 254?), _Works_. _Ib._, ii., 1-3; x.; Am. ed.,

       7.--Cyprian (d. 258?), _Works_. _Ib._, viii.; xiii., 1-264;
          Am. ed., v.

       8.--Dionysius of Alexandria (d. 264?), _Works_. _Ib._, xx.,

       9.--Tatian (d. 166?), _Works_. _Ib._, iii., 1-46; Am. ed.,

      10.--Eusebius, _Eccl. Hist._ in _Nic. and Post-Nic.
          Fathers_. 1. Other translations.


       1.--_Apostolic Constitutions._ _Ante-Nic. Christ. Lib._,
          xvii. Am. ed., vii.

       2.--O'Leary, L. E., _Apostol. Const. and Cognate Documents_,
          N. Y., 1906.

       3.--_Apostolical Canons._ Tr. by R. C. Jenkins. Lond., 1856.
          See Harnack, _Sources of the Apostolic Canons_. Lond.,

       4.--Conybeare, F. C., _The Apology and Acts of Apollonius
          and other Monuments of early Christianity_. N. Y., 1894.

       5.--Lardner, N. _Jewish and Heathen Testimonials_. In his
          _Works_, vii.-ix.



     1.--Allies, T. W., _The Formation of Christendom_, 4 vols.
          Lond., 1895.

     2.--Anderdon, W. H., _Fasti Apostolici_. Lond., 1884.

     3.--Anson, A. J. R., _The Church: its Organisation in the Time
          of the Apostles_. Lond., 1886.

     4.--Barnes, A., _Organisation and Government of the Apostolic
          Church_. Phila., 1854.

     5.--Bartlett, J. V., _The Apostolic Age_. N. Y., 1900.

     6.--Baumgarten, M., _The Acts of the Apostles_. 3 vols. N. Y.,

     7.--Capes, J. M., _The Church of the Apostles_. Lond., 1886.

     8.--Catterille, H., _The Genesis of the Church_. Edinb., 1872.

     9.--Colman, L., _Ancient Christianity_. Phila., 1853.

    10.--Cox, H., _The First Century of Christianity_. Lond.,

    11.--Cutts, E. L., _Notes of Lessons on the Church in the New
          Testament_. N. Y., 1892.

    12.--Davidson, S., _The Ecclesiastical Polity of the New
          Testament_. Lond., 1855.

    13.--Dobschütz, E. von, _The Early Christian Communities_. N.
          Y., 1903. _Christian Life in the Primitive Church._ N.
          Y., 1904.

    14.--Döllinger, J. J. I., _The First Age of Christianity and
          the Church_. 2 vols. Lond., 1877.

    15.--Fairbairn, A. M., _Christianity in the First Century_.
          Lond., 1883.

    16.--Falconer, J. W., _From Apostle to Priest_. Edinb., 1900.

    17.--Farrar, F. W., _The Early Days of Christianity_. N. Y.,

    18.--Fisher, G. P., _Beginnings of Christianity_. N. Y., 1888.

    19.--Giles, J. A., _Apostolical Records of Early Christianity_.
          Lond., 1886.

    20.--Harnack, A., _The Expansion of Christianity in the First
          Three Centuries_. Lond., 1904-1905. 2 vols.

    21.--Hatch, E., _Growth of Church Institutions_. Lond., 1887.
          _Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon the Church._
          Lond., 1890. _Organisation of the Early Churches._ Lond.,

    22.--Hausrath, A., _The Time of the Apostles_. 4 vols. Lond.,

    23.--Hinds, S., and Newman, J. H., _History of the Christian
          Church in the First Century_. Lond., 1862.

    24.--Hort, F. J. A., _The Christian Ecclesia_. Lond., 1897.

    25.--Jacob, G. A., _Ecclesiastical Polity of the New
          Testament_. N. Y., 1874.

    26.--Janes, L. G., _Study of the Primitive Church_. Bost.,

    27.--Lightfoot, J. B., _Apostolic Fathers_. N. Y., 1891.
          _Dissertations on the Apostolic Age._ N. Y., 1892.

    28.--Maurice, J. F. D., _Lectures on Ecclesiastical History_.
          Camb., 1854.

    29.--McGiffert, A. C., _History of Christianity in the
          Apostolic Age_. N. Y., 1891.

    30.--Merivale, L. A., _Christian Records_. Lond., 1857.

    31.--Miller, E., _The Priesthood in the Light of the New
          Testament_. Lond., 1876.

    32.--Neander, A., _Planting and Training of the Christian
          Church by the Apostles_. N. Y., 1856.

    33.--Orr, J., _Neglected Factors in the Study of the Progress
          of Christianity_. N. Y., 1899. _The Early Church: its
          History and Literature._ N. Y., 1901.

    34.--Palmer, R., _The Catholic and Apostolic Church_. Lond.,

    35.--Pressensé, E. De, _Early Days of Christianity_. 4 vols. N.
          Y., 1873-8.

    36.--Pryce, J., _Notes on the History of the Early Church_.
          Lond., 1892.

    37.--Ramsay, W. M., _The Church in the Roman Empire_. N. Y.,

    38.--Reichel, C. P., _The Origins of the Church_. Dub., 1882.

    39.--Renan, E., _Origins of Christianity_. Lond., 1888.

    40.--Ropes, J. H., _The Apostolic Age in the Light of Modern
          Criticism_. N. Y., 1906.

    41.--Row, C. A., _Apostolical Christianity_. Lond., 1881.

    42.--Schaff, P., _History of the Apostolic Church_. N. Y.,

    43.--Simcox, W. H., _The Beginnings of the Christian Church_.
          Lond., 1881.

    44.--Slater, W. F., _Faith and Life of the Early Church_.
          Lond., 1892.

    45.--Stanley, A. P., _Apostolic Age_. Oxf., 1874.

    46.--Tarrant, W. G., _Beginnings of Christendom_. Lond., 1893.

    47.--Taylor, I., _Ancient Christianity_. Lond., 1844.

    48.--Thatcher, O. J., _History of the Apostolical Church_. N.
          Y., 1893.

    49.--Thiersch, H. W. J., _History of the Christian Church in
          the Apostolic Age_. Lond., 1852.

    50.--Vaughan, C. S., _The Church of the First Days_. 3 vols.
          Lond., 1864.

    51.--Vedder, H. C., _Dawn of Christianity_. Phila., 1894.

    52.--Watson, R. A., _Apostolic Age_. Lond., 1894.

    53.--Weizsacker, C., _The Apostolic Age_. 2 vols. N. Y., 1894.
          _Antiqua Mater._ Lond., 1887.

    54.--Wernle, P., _The Beginnings of Christianity_. N. Y., 1902.


    Alzog, i., 117-160. Backhouse, pt. i., ch. 1, 2. Baur, ii.,
    16-61. Blunt, i., ch. 2-5. Bouzique, i., ch. 1, 2. Bright, W.,
    ch. 1. Burton, ch. 8. Butler, ch. 2, 4, 5. Chantrel, ch. 1, 2.
    Cheetham, ch. 2, 4, 7, 8. Coxe, ch. 2. Crooks, ch. 3, 10, 18.
    Cunningham, lect. 1, 2. Dehorbe, ch. 28-32. Döllinger, J. J.
    I., i., ch. 1, sec. 4, 5; ch. 3, sec. 1-4. Duff, 79, 105, 108,
    110, 120, 139, 157, 226, 260, 304, 396. Fisher, pd. i., ch. 2;
    pd. ii., ch. 1, 2. Fitzgerald, i., 63-75, 118-129. Foulkes,
    ch. 1, 2. Gieseler, sec. 25-30. Gilmartin, i., ch. 4.
    Guericke, 106-139. Hase, 24-41. Hore, ch. 1, 2. Hurst, i.,
    61-149. Jackson, ch. 3, 10. Jennings, i., ch. 1, 2. Killen,
    sec. 3, ch. 3. Kurtz, i., 22-36, 52-64. Mahan, bk. i., ch. 11;
    bk. ii., ch. 48. Milman, bk. i., ch. 1. Moeller, i., 62-68.
    Neander, i., sec. 2, 3. Newman, A. H., pd. i., ch. 1-3.
    Robertson, bk. i., ch. 8. Schaff, i., 187-217, 432-506. Sikes,
    ch. 2.


[52:1] _Jewish Encyc._; Sorley, _Jewish Christians and Judaism_, London,
1881; Bettany, _History of Judaism and Christianity_, London, 1892; _A
History of Jews in Rome, B.C. 160-A.D. 604_, London, 1882; Toy, C. H.,
_Judaism and Christianity_, Boston, 1891.

[53:1] Moeller, i., 69.

[53:2] Moeller, i., 55, 66.

[53:3] Kurtz, Sec. 7, No. 4.

[53:4] See Cicero, Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. Read Baur,
i., 10-17, Kurtz, Sec. 7, No. 2; _cf._ Foucard, _Les associations relig.
chez les Grecs_, Paris, 1873.

[53:5] Kurtz, Sec. 7, No. 5.

[53:6] Hatch, 26-39; Kurtz, Sec. 17, Nos. 2, 3; Moeller, i., 66.

[53:7] Tertullian, _Apol._, ch. 38, 39; _cf._ Mommsen, _De collegiis et
sodal. Rom._, Kil., 1843.

[53:8] Xenophon, _Memorabil._, iii., 14; Athenæus, _Deipnos_, vii., 7,
68, p. 365a; Fouard, _St. Peter_, 363.

[54:1] 1 Cor. i., 2. Illustration of this variation is found in the fact
that Calvinists and most Protestants believe the Church to be an
invisible organisation, while Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and
oriental Christians hold it to be visible.

[54:2] Euseb., bk. ii., ch. 3.

[54:3] Acts xvi., 5; _cf._ Acts ii., 47.

[54:4] Euseb., bk. ii., ch. 3; _cf._ Acts xi., 26.

[54:5] Gieseler, i., 72.

[54:6] Schaff, i., 196.

[54:7] Orr, _Neglected Factors_, 23-91. Schaff, 197, gives only

[55:1] Orr, _Neglected Factors_, 95-163.

[55:2] See Gibbon's "famous infamous," ch. 15.

[55:3] Church, R. W., _Civilisation before and after Christianity_, N.
Y., 1872.

[55:4] See the works of Troplong, Schmidt, Uhlhorn, Lecky, Brace,
Milman, Pressensé, etc.

[56:1] 1 Cor. ix., 1, 5; xii., 28, 29; xv., 5, 7; Rom. xvi., 7.

[56:2] 1 Cor. xi., 23; xii., 3-8; 2 Cor. x., 8; xiii., 10; Gal. i., 8,
9, 12; Eph. iv., 11.

[56:3] Acts xiv., 23; Tit. i., 5.

[56:4] Acts ii., 42; iv., 35, 37; v., 2.

[56:5] Acts vi., 1-6.

[56:6] Phil. i., 1; 1 Tim. iii., 8; iv. 14.

[56:7] Rom. xvi., 1.

[56:8] Acts vi., 1-6; 1 Tim. iii., 8-13.

[57:1] Acts xv., 23; xvi., 4; xx., 17, 28; Phil. i., 1; 1 Tim. iii.;
iv., 14; v., 17-19; Tit. i., 5-7; James v., 14; Clement, _To Corinth_,
xlii., 44. _Cf._ Rev. iv., 4; v., 5, 6; vii., 11, 13.

[57:2] Phil. i., 1.

[57:3] 1 Tim. iii., 1-13; v., 17-19; Tit. i., 5-7; Heb. xi., 2.

[57:4] 1 Pet. v., 1-2.

[57:5] _To Corinth_, ch. xliii. The Didache and Shepherd of Hermas offer
additional testimony on this point.

[59:1] See various dictionaries of the Bible.

[59:2] Ex. xxiv., 1; Num. xi., 16; Gen. l., 7-8; Lev. iv., 15; Deut.
xxi., 19; 1 Sam. xvi., 4; Ezra v., 5; Psalm cvii., 32; Ezek. viii., 1;
Acts iv., 8; Matt. xxi., 23; xxvii., 1; Luke xxii., 66.

[59:3] Hatch, 62-66.

[59:4] Hatch, 69-73; Acts xx., 28-31; 1 Pet. v., 1; 1 Tim. v., 17.

[59:5] Acts xvi., 4.

[59:6] Acts xx., 29-31, 35; Tertullian, _Apol._, 39.

[59:7] James v., 14.

[60:1] 1 Tim. i., 3.

[60:2] Tit. i., 5.

[61:1] _Ep._ 146, _Ad Evangelum_; _cf._ _Ep._ 82 and 84. _Apost.
Const._, iii., c. 11.

[61:2] _1 Ep. to Timoth._, c. 3.

[61:3] Hatch, 106-109.

[62:1] Neander, i., 192, 193.

[62:2] Hatch, 54.

[63:1] Euseb., vi., 43; Neander, i., § 2; Kurtz, i., § 34; Alzog, i., §
83; Moeller, i., 234.

[64:1] Acts ii., 44, 45.

[64:2] Acts ii., 42, 46.

[64:3] Mat. xviii., 15-18; Tit. iii., 10; 1 Cor. v., 5.



     OUTLINE: I.--Planting of the church in Rome and its
     organisation there. II.--The two opposing views of the Petrine
     theory. III.--Proofs advanced for the Petrine theory.
     IV.--Evidence given against the Petrine theory. V.--Historical
     conclusions. VI.--Sources.

Reports concerning the teachings and labours of Jesus must have early
reached Rome.[71:1] A perpetual stream of strangers and provincials
flowed into Rome from every quarter of the Empire, hence every new
creed, theory, and organisation was soon known in the capital.[71:2]
Roman merchants, sailors, soldiers, or public officials, or the Jews, or
the Greeks, might have carried news of the new sect to the heart of
imperial power. Tertullian mentions the legend that Emperor Tiberius
sought to include Jesus among the Roman gods, but his plan was
frustrated by the Roman Senate.[71:3] Eusebius declared that this same
ruler, "being obviously pleased with the doctrine," threatened "death to
the accusers of the Christians."[71:4] It seems reasonable to conclude,
then, that Christianity, soon after its birth, was introduced into the
Eternal City.

It appears clear, too, that Christian converts were early won in Rome,
or else migrated thither from other parts of the Empire. It is not at
all improbable that many of these early Christians in the capital were
Jews.[72:1] Paul said that upon his arrival in Italy he "found brethren"
at Puteoli and that a week later Christians came out of the city of Rome
to greet him.[72:2] It is also quite probable that these various
Christian communities in Italy had already created loose local
organisations. Paul, during his prolonged stay in Rome, undoubtedly
converted many to the new faith and laboured to perfect their Church
organisation.[72:3] The magnificent work done by this Apostle in
promulgating the new faith throughout western Europe was sealed by a
martyr's death at Rome.[72:4]

It appears, also, that the Apostle Peter laboured at Rome, probably
after Paul, and completed the organisation of the Church. Tradition
likewise gives him a martyr's crown. The Roman Church, therefore,
founded by two Apostles and nourished by their heroic blood, was a
double apostolic seat. This unusual origin, coupled with the fact of
location in the heart of the world, together with a hundred other
causes, made the Roman Church very conspicuous from the first and
enabled it to become the determining factor in Western civilisation for
fifteen hundred years. Under these circumstances it was but natural that
the head of the Roman Church should come to have superior respect,
primacy in rank, and leadership in power, first in Italy, and then
throughout western Europe.

The mother Church in Rome was imbued with great missionary zeal, and
spread the new faith with extraordinary rapidity. In 64 A.D. the
Christians in Rome, according to the heathen historian Tacitus,
constituted a "huge multitude."[73:1] By 250 the Roman bishop ruled over
forty-six presbyters, seven deacons, seven sub-deacons, forty-two
acolytes, and fifty readers, exorcists, and porters.[73:2] The
Christians in Rome, a city of possibly one million, numbered at least
fifty thousand as estimated by Gibbon[73:3] and possibly three times
that many as reckoned by later investigators.[73:4] Optatus, Bishop of
Mileve in Numidia, asserted that in 300 there were forty churches in the
Eternal City. While possibly a few churches may have been planted in
western Europe independently, just as in Rome, still, in general,
Christianity was disseminated throughout western Europe and the western
part of northern Africa through the apostolic organisation in the
capital city. Paul may have even made a visit to Spain.[73:5] Bede says
that King Lucius asked the Roman bishop in 156 to send missionaries to
Britain[73:6] and Tertullian confirmed the declaration.[73:7] In France
a church was planted at Lyons in 177 and another at Vienne.[73:8] In the
third century, asserts Gregory of Tours, seven Roman missionaries went
to Gaul and there became seven bishops with subordinate churches. The
famous St. Denis of Paris was one of these pioneers.[74:1] Christianity
was likewise early carried into Germany (cis-Rhenana)[74:2] and across
the Mediterranean to north-western Africa.[74:3] It is a matter of no
great surprise, therefore, to see the Roman Church revered as the great
mother Church of the West. Paul speaks of the faith of Rome as
"proclaimed throughout the whole world."[74:4]

The process of Church organisation at Rome was no doubt quite similar to
that described in the preceding chapter, with this difference, however,
that the episcopal system was either present from the time Peter and
Paul appointed a successor, or at least began very early. Through his
presbyters, or priests, the Bishop of Rome at first ruled over a number
of separate communities in the city. As the faithful spread the gospel
beyond the walls, churches were organised in the villages and
jurisdiction over them became vested in priests sent out by the bishops.
In time, however, the churches in the chief centres of population
demanded bishops of their own; they were appointed, or elected, under
influence from Rome, and, consequently, acknowledged allegiance to the
Roman See. There is incontrovertible evidence that by the fourth century
every city in Italy had a bishop. The village bishops naturally looked
to the city bishops for assistance and advice. The city bishops
similarly depended upon the bishop in the capital of the province, and
the provincial bishop in like manner recognised the superiority of the
bishop in the capital of the Empire. Thus the power of the Roman bishop
was gradually extended first over Italy and then over western Europe.
The consciousness of a unity of belief, unity of interest, and unity of
purpose developed comparatively early among the churches. A name for
this unity is first found in Ignatius and was the Universal or Catholic
Church.[75:1] Before long the Bishop of Rome was to claim, by divine
appointment and arrangement, sovereign jurisdiction over the great

The classes won to the new faith in the city of Rome through the zeal of
the Roman Christians included representatives from the slave to the
imperial family. The earliest converts may have been the Jews, who were
quite numerous in the Eternal City, and who best understood the
significance of Christianity. The hope and faith and love of the new
teaching appealed powerfully to the lowest social classes--the wretched
slave and the impoverished freedman.[75:2] The need and the truth of
this lofty, universal creed also won adherents from the great creative
middle class--including not only the educated but also the soldiers,
tradespeople, farmers, imperial officials, and skilled workmen. In fact
the marvellous vitality and the unparalleled growth of Christianity in
Rome can be explained satisfactorily only upon the supposition that the
representation of this class was very great.[75:3] From the nobility
converts were likewise secured and even in the Emperor's household
followers were found.[76:1] In short, the whole social and moral
structure of Rome was leavened by the new ideas.

Along with this unparalleled growth of the power of the Roman bishop was
created the Petrine theory destined to have a powerful effect on the
history of the Church. Since an inquiry into this theory has a peculiar
significance for the Roman Catholic, the Greek Catholic, and the
Protestant, it is necessary to consider the subject rather carefully
from the standpoint of both its advocates and opponents.

The Roman Catholic belief is that Jesus came to organise His Church on
earth; that He appointed Peter to be his successor and head of the
Church; that Peter went to Rome, established the Church there in the
great capital city, laboured as its head twenty-five years, and died
there as a martyr; that Peter transmitted his leadership and primacy to
the Bishop of Rome, whom he appointed as his successor, and who in turn
transferred it to succeeding popes; that the Roman Church, therefore, is
the only true Church, and that these contentions are conclusively proved
from the Bible, the Church Fathers, traditions, and monuments.[76:2]

The Greek Catholic view coincides with Rome in asserting the divine
origin of the Church. A certain honourable primacy is conceded to the
Apostle Peter; and to his successors at Rome, as patriarchs of the West,
is granted a kind of supreme leadership in the Church. But the
patriarchs of the East are put on an equality with the Pope of Rome, and
thus the extreme claims of the Petrine theory are denied.

Protestant opinion on the other hand takes two forms:

1. The pro-Petrine view, held chiefly by the Episcopalians, maintains
that Jesus turned His Church over to all His Apostles; that upon their
death they transmitted their leadership to succeeding bishops; that
Peter was in Rome and, with Paul, helped to organise the Church there,
and appointed a successor through whom apostolic power has been
transmitted to all bishops appointed by the Bishop of Rome, or by his
appointees, where it now resides; that bishops and their successors
appointed by Apostles other than Peter have just as much power as the
Bishop of Rome, because the fruits of Peter's work are merely the most
marked, but not necessarily the only divine or the most divine; that
adequate proofs of this position are found in history, the Church
Fathers, and the Scriptures.

2. The anti-Petrine view, taken by most Protestants, asserts that Jesus
left no Church organisation; that he did not appoint Peter as his
successor; that whatever leadership Peter had, came from his temperament
and natural ability; that there is no positive proof of Peter's being in
Rome, consequently he could not have founded the Church there and named
a successor; that therefore the Roman Catholic Church is not the only
true Church, and that abundant proof of this position can be supplied.

It may be well now to examine the proof offered in support of the
Petrine theory under the four following heads:

1. _Peter's primacy._ Jesus said to Peter, "Thou art Peter, and upon
this rock I will build my Church; . . . And I will give unto thee the
keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth
shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall
be loosed in heaven."[78:1] No such words were addressed to any other
Apostle, hence Peter is the foundation-stone of the Church. Just as God
changed Abram's name to Abraham, when he called him to be the father of
a mighty nation, so Jesus gave Peter a new name.[78:2] Peter was chosen
to be present with James and John on important occasions, like the
healing of the daughter of Jairus[78:3]; the glorification of
Jesus[78:4]; the struggle in Gethsemane[78:5]; and on all these
occasions Peter is named first in the record. He likewise was the first
to whom the risen Christ appeared.[78:6] Before His ascension Jesus gave
Peter charge over His whole fold--laity, priests, and bishops,--when He
commanded, "Feed my sheep," and twice repeated, "Feed my lambs."[78:7]
These facts are sufficient, it is believed, to warrant the belief that
Jesus appointed Peter to be the head of His Church.

2. _Peter's exercise of his primacy._ Next to Jesus, he stands head and
shoulders above all the other Apostles in his activity. The first twelve
chapters of Acts are devoted to him. His name always comes first in the
lists of Apostles, and Judas Iscariot's last.[79:1] He performed the
first recorded miracle,[79:2] and was the first to address the Jews in
Jerusalem, while the other Apostles stood around to see three thousand
converted.[79:3] He was first to win converts from both the Jews[79:4]
and from the Gentiles,--Cornelius and his friends.[79:5] He was the
first to inflict ecclesiastical punishment on offenders.[79:6] He fought
the first heretic in the Christian Church.[79:7] He made the earliest
apostolic visitation of the churches.[79:8] When a successor to Judas
was chosen, Peter alone spoke, and the other Apostles silently acted on
his advice.[79:9] In the council of Jerusalem Peter first spoke, when
the disputes ceased and "all the multitude kept silence"; even James
obeyed.[79:10] James was beheaded by Herod, but no tumult resulted.
Peter was imprisoned about the same time, and the whole Church was
aroused about it.[79:11] St. Paul himself plainly admitted Peter's
pre-eminence.[79:12] These deeds clearly indicate, it is contended, that
Peter consciously exercised the primacy bestowed upon him, and that his
fellow Apostles recognised it.

3. _Peter's visit to Rome, and martyrdom there._ Peter's First Epistle,
addressed from "Babylon," naturally interpreted, proves that he wrote
it in Rome.[80:1] Clement of Rome (96 A.D.) said, "Let us set before our
eyes the good Apostles,--Peter, who endured many labours, and having
borne his witness, went to the appointed place of glory," etc.[80:2]
Ignatius of Antioch (115), in a letter to the Romans, mentions Peter as
having exhorted them. Papias (130) interpreted 1 Peter v., 13 to mean
Rome.[80:3] Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth (170), wrote Soter, Bishop of
Rome, about the common activity of Peter and Paul in Italy.[80:4]
Irenæus (190) wrote, "Matthew . . . published his Gospel while Peter and
Paul were preaching at Rome, and founding the Church there."[80:5]
Clement of Alexandria (200) said that Peter, "the elect, the chosen one,
the first of the disciples," preached at Rome.[80:6] Tertullian (200)
positively asserted Peter's presence in Rome, and is the first to
describe the manner of his death, in Nero's reign.[80:7] Origen (250)
declared that Peter was the great foundation of the Church, and that "at
last, having arrived in Rome, he was crucified, head downward, having
himself requested that he might so suffer."[80:8] Commodion (250) named
Peter and Paul as Neronian martyrs; and Caius, a Roman presbyter (250),
makes a like assertion.[80:9] Cyprian (d. 258) was the first to call
Rome the _locum Petri_, while Hippolytus recorded Peter's conflict with
Simon Magnus at Rome.[81:1] The Muratorian Canon referred to the
"passion of Peter" in close connection with Paul's journey to
Rome.[81:2] Peter of Alexandria (306) believed Peter was crucified
there, and Lactantius accepted it as undoubted.[81:3] "The Doctrine of
Addai" (fourth century) of the Syriac Church mentioned the "Epistles of
Paul which Simon Peter sent us from the City of Rome."[81:4] Eusebius,
using all previous testimony, made the most complete and convincing
statement, which caps the climax of the overwhelming proof.[81:5] The
"Deposito Martyrum" gave the report of the removal of the two Apostles'
bodies in 258 to the catacombs. Jerome (d. 420) added the information
that Peter laboured twenty-five years in Rome before his

4. _Peter as the first Pope in Rome._ With the establishment of Peter's
primacy and his presence in Rome, it is certainly warrantable to
conclude that he perfected the organisation of the Church there and
served as its head until his death, when he appointed a successor.
Clement (96) and Ignatius (115), Dionysius (170) and Irenæus (190),
Commodion (250) and Lactantius (d. 330), all in speaking of Peter and
Paul as founders of the Roman Church, always name Peter first. Ignatius
spoke of the "presidency" of the Roman Church under Peter, and
Tertullian (b. 160) asserted that Jesus gave the keys to Peter, the
"Bishop of Bishops" at Rome, and through him to the Church. Origen (d.
254) called Peter "the Prince of the Apostles" and "the great foundation
of the Church." All the earliest lists of Popes began with Peter and
indicate the transmission of his power.[82:1] Cyprian (d. 258) gave the
complete statement of the primacy of the Roman bishop and the unity of
the Church through Peter and Jesus.[82:2]

This sums up, essentially, all the proofs offered in support of the
Petrine theory, and constitutes, it must be confessed, a powerful and
consistent case.

It is necessary now, in the next place, to look at the evidence offered
in opposition to the Petrine theory. For the sake of clearness, this
evidence will be given under the four heads just employed:

1. _Peter's primacy._ The famous passage, "Thou art Peter," etc.,
correctly interpreted, does not warrant a belief in Peter's primacy.
"Peter" may mean "rock" ("cephas"), but it here refers to Christ, not
Peter, or to Peter's confession, just made,[82:3] or to Peter's faith,
or to Peter merely as a type of all the Apostles.[82:4] Furthermore the
commission to "bind" and to "loose" and the promise connected with it
were not intended exclusively for Peter but for all the Apostles[83:1];
Peter stood only for a type.[83:2] The change of Peter's name does not
carry with it any special significance. Peter himself never mentioned
his primacy in his speeches or writings,[83:3] and nowhere else in the
New Testament is it distinctly stated or recognised by others. Whatever
natural capacity for leadership Peter may have possessed, it cannot be
proved that he received an official primacy. Such a position would have
conflicted likewise with the supremacy of Jesus.

2. _Peter's exercise of his primacy._ The numerous instances where Peter
took the lead, or acted, or spoke first,[83:4] or where his name heads
lists of Apostles,[83:5] merely show that he was a man of impulsive,
aggressive character, who would and did naturally take the lead in
powers common to all the Apostles. At the council of Jerusalem Peter did
not preside, as he would have done if he was the recognised "Prince of
the Apostles," but only made the first speech.[83:6] Paul would not have
rebuked Peter to his face about some very important points had Peter
been the recognised head of the Church.[83:7] Peter was a coward,
braggart, and traitor, and was reproved again and again by Jesus
Himself,[83:8] who would not have chosen such a person to be the head of
the Church. There is not a single reference in the New Testament to
show that Peter ever attempted to exercise a primacy over his
companions. He called himself a fellow "elder."[84:1]

3. _Peter's presence in Rome._ There is not a syllable in the New
Testament to warrant the conclusion that Peter was in Rome. Inference
alone makes "Babylon"[84:2] the Eternal City. On the contrary, there are
implications in the Scriptures that he was not in Rome. Paul in his
Epistle to the Romans greeted all his friends, but said not a word about
Peter. This would clearly indicate that Peter had not been in Rome
before this Epistle was written, nor at the time it was written. Again
in letters written from Rome, Paul is strangely silent about Peter's
presence. The claim rests wholly upon tradition, therefore, and that is
far from conclusive. There is a significant silence from the time of 2
Peter until that of Clement (96). Clement, to be sure, mentions Peter's
martyrdom; but it is only by inference that the place is Rome. Not until
well on in the second century did the legend about Peter's connection
with Rome begin to circulate, and not until the third century did
Tertullian assert positively that Peter was martyred in Rome under Nero.
After that the assertion was generally accepted over the Church as a

4. _Peter as the first Roman Pope._ This, of course, is precluded by the
want of adequate evidence of Peter's presence and labours in Rome.

The evidence adduced here ends with the sweeping denial of every claim
of the Petrine theory.

Having now stated the two sides of the question here still remains the
duty of making the historical summary from the sources available,
namely, both the canonical and apocryphal books of the New Testament,
and the traditional evidence in the Church Fathers. The New Testament,
as the most important source of information, reveals Peter's
birthplace,[85:1] occupation,[85:2] marriage,[85:3] call by Jesus,[85:4]
and elevation to apostleship.[85:5] It shows the conspicuous leadership
of Peter in the apostolic college--indeed, a primacy which Jesus Himself
recognised,--yet leaves the character of that primacy and the power to
transfer it to a successor open to question. The New Testament evidence
does not give any clue to Peter's movements after Paul's notice of him
in Galatians ii. except the reference in 1 Peter, which naturally, but
not literally, interpreted might indicate that he was in Rome (Babylon).
It likewise affords very scanty grounds, therefore, for believing that
Peter first established the Church in Rome, or that he was the first
Bishop of Rome, or that he conferred his power upon a successor.

Traditional evidence, on the contrary, is more favourable to Peter's
presence in Rome. No one can possibly doubt that the Petrine theory was
generally believed in western Christendom at least after the third
century. Prior to the third century, there are many streams of testimony
which converge in positive support of at least a portion of the Petrine

1. The official lists and records of the Roman Church, some of which
must rest upon earlier sources, accept the whole question as proved and
recognised generally.

2. The transference of Peter's remains to a new resting place in 258
shows that the tradition was definite and unquestioned early in the
third century.

3. The writings of Caius, Origen, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian
indicate that the theory was accepted in Asia, Alexandria, Carthage, and
Rome at the same period.

4. A passage from Irenæus, who probably used the official documents in
Rome and who may have known St. John and his companions, carries the
legend back to the second century.

5. The testimony of Dionysius of Corinth (d. 165), Papias, and Ignatius
(d. 114) carries the belief back through the second to the first

6. The clear testimony of Clement of Rome makes a connecting link at the
close of the first century.

Hence when the various pieces of evidence--the official sources, the
monumental testimony, and the writings of the early Fathers,--which are
independent and consistent, are combined they form a solid body of
proof, which is practically irresistible, that Peter was in Rome.
Likewise the absolute absence of any rival tradition from other cities
adds greatly to the probability.

Peter's presence and death in Rome may be admitted as an established
fact. If in Rome, whether one year or twenty-five years, Peter, with his
aggressive nature, with his marked ability for leadership, and with his
capacity for organisation, must have had a great deal to do with the
establishment of the Roman Church, either jointly with Paul, or
independently of him. Nor does it seem to be a misuse of the law of
historical probabilities to assert that Peter, either with Paul or
without him, appointed a bishop for the Church of Rome and transferred
to that bishop his apostolic authority. From these facts, based almost
entirely upon traditional evidence, coupled with the peculiar primacy
conceded to Peter in the New Testament by his fellow Apostles, gradually
developed the Petrine theory with all its sweeping claims.

The admission of the belief that the Petrine theory is founded on
certain established facts, and not merely on fancies and myths, does not
carry with it the recognition of all the assertions which form a part of
that theory. Peter's unique leadership in the apostolic college, his
activity in founding the Roman Church, and his naming of a successor,
who in time became the Pope, may all be granted without carrying with it
the necessity of accepting the assertion that Christ chose Peter to be
the head of a definite, divinely-planned Church and that Peter,
conscious of that great mission, went to the capital of the Roman
Empire, and there organised the only true Church on earth.




     1.--=New Testament= (27 canonical books).

     2.--=New Testament Apocrypha= (see Chap. III).

     3.--=Church Fathers:=

       1.--Clement of Rome. _Ante-Nic. Christ. Lib._, i., ch. 5;
          iii., ch. 12 ff.; Am. ed., ix.

       2.--Ignatius. _Ib._, i., 137 ff., 449 ff.

       3.--Papias. _Ib._, i., 441 ff.

       4.--Dionysius of Corinth (d. 178?). Euseb., ii., 25.

       5.--Clement of Alexandria (d. 218?), _Miscellanies_.
          _Ante-Nic. Christ. Lib._, iv., 355; xii., 326, 379, 451,
          452; Am. ed., ii.

       6.--Irenæus. _Ib._, i., 261; Am. ed., i.

       7.--Tertullian. _Ib._, ii., 408; xv., 25; xviii., 118; Am.
          ed., iii., iv.

       8.--Origen. _Ib._, xxiii., 1-3; Am. ed., iv.

       9.--Hippolytus. _Ib._, ix., 130.

      10.--Peter of Alexandria (d. 311). _Ib._, xiv., 305, 318.

      11.--Caius of Rome (210?). Euseb., ii., 25; iii., 28; v., 28;
          vi., 20. _Ante-Nic. Fathers_, v.


     1.--Eusebius, _Eccl. Hist._ Many eds.

     2.--Socrates, _Eccl. Hist._ _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, ii.,

     3.--Theodoret, _Letters_. No. 86. _Ib._, iii., 282.

     4.--Josephus and Philo. See Chap. IV.

     5.--Heathen writers like Lucan, Pliny, Tacitus, Suetonius,
          Celsus, Porphyry, and Julian. See Chaps. III. and IV.



     1.--Allies, T. W., _St. Peter: His Name and His Office_.
          Lond., 1895.

     2.--Allmatt, C. F. B., _Cathedra Petri_. Lond., 1884. _Was St.
          Peter Bishop of Rome?_ Lond., 1887.

     3.--Barnes, A. S., _St. Peter in Rome and His Tomb in the
          Vatican Hill_. Lond., 1900.

     4.--Berington and Kirk, _Faith of the Catholics_. 3 vols. N.
          Y., 1885.

     5.--Birks, H. A., _Studies in the Life and Character of St.
          Peter_. Lond., 1887.

     6.--Bright, W., _The Roman See in the Early Church_. Lond.,

     7.--Brown, J. H., _Peter the Apostle never in Rome_. Lond.,

     8.--Bruce, A. B., _Training of the Twelve_. N. Y., 1871.

     9.--Darby, W. A., _St. Peter at Rome_. Lond., 1872.

    10.--Ellendorf, J., _St. Peter: Was He ever at Rome and a
          Bishop of the Church of Rome?_ Lond., 1887.

    11.--Fouard, C., _St. Peter and the First Years of
          Christianity_. N. Y., 1892.

    12.--Gallagher, M., _Was the Apostle Peter ever at Rome?_ N.
          Y., 1894.

    13.--Green, S. G., _The Apostle Peter: His Life and Letters_.
          Lond., 1873.

    14.--Hatch, E., "Peter," _Encyc. Brit._

    15.--Hodder, E., _Simon Peter: His Life_. Lond., 1893.

    16.--Kenrick, F. P., _The Primacy of the Apostolic See
          Vindicated_. Phil., 1855.

    17.--Lightfoot, J. B., _St. Peter in Rome_. _Clement_, ii.,
          481. Lond., 1890.

    18.--Littledale, R. F., _The Petrine Claims_. N. Y., 1889.

    19.--Livius, T., _St. Peter, Bishop of Rome_. Lond., 1902.

    20.--Murphy, J. N., _The Chair of St. Peter_. Lond., 1888.

    21.--Puller, F. W., _The Primitive Saints and the See of Rome_.
          Lond., 1900.

    22.--Ramsay, W. M., _The Church in the Roman Empire_. Lond.,

    23.--Rivington, L., _The Primitive Church and the See of St.
          Peter_. N. Y., 1894.

    24.--Robins, S., _Against the Claims of the Roman Church_.
          Lond., 1853.

    25.--Robinson, C. S., _Simon Peter: His Life and Times_. 2
          vols. Lond., 1890-5.

    26.--Ryberg, A. V., _Roman Legends about the Apostles Paul and
          Peter_. Lond., 1898.

    27.--Simon, T. C., _The Mission and Martyrdom of St Peter_.
          Lond., 1852.


    Alzog, i., 117-133. Backhouse, 76, 229. Bartlett, 297 ff., 364
    ff. Blunt, i., 10, 24, 28, 43, 45. Bouzique, i., ch. 1. Brock,
    ch. 2, 3. Cheetham, ch. 2, § 5; ch. 4, § 5. Cox, i., ch. 10,
    11. Darras, i., ch. 1-3. Döllinger, _First Age_, i., 71-83;
    ii., 115, 145; _Hist. of Ch._, i., ch. 3, § 4. Duff, ch. 7.
    Farrar, bk. ii., ch. 5-11. Fisher, 18, 20, 23, 26, 43, 57,
    106. Gibbon, ch. 9, 10. Gieseler, i., § 27. Giles, ch. 16.
    Gilmartin, i., ch. 2, pp. 28, 29. Greenwood, i., ch. 1-3.
    Hase, 30. Hurst, i., 104-106, 325. Jackson, ch. 3, 11.
    Jennings, i., ch. 1. Killen, § 1, ch. 10. Kurtz, i., 45.
    Mahan, bk. i., ch. 8. Milman, i., ch. 1. Milner, i., cent. 1,
    ch. 12. Moeller, i., 345. Neander, _Planting_, etc., i., bk.
    iv., ch. 2; _Ch. Hist._, i., 84, 203, 211. Pressensé, _Early
    Years of Christ._ 10 ff., 64, 176. Renan, _The Apostles_, ch.
    6. Robertson, bk. i., ch. 8, p. 160. Schaff, _Apost. Age_, bk.
    i., ch. 4; _Ch. Hist._, pd. i., ch. 4. Stanley, _Apost. Age_,
    1-5, 56-114. Walpole, ch. 1-3.


[71:1] Moeller, i., 67, 75; _cf._ Acts xviii., 1-3.

[71:2] Gibbon, i., 579.

[71:3] _Apol._, 5; Suetonius, _Life of Claudius_, 25.

[71:4] Euseb., ii., c. 2.

[72:1] Shortly before the Christian era the Jews were so numerous that
8000 could sign a petition to the Emperor.--Josephus, _Antiq._, xvii.,
c. 11.

[72:2] Acts xxviii., 14-16; Ramsay, _St. Paul_, ch. 15.

[72:3] Acts xxviii., 24, 30, 31.

[72:4] Euseb., ii., c. 22.

[73:1] _Annals_, xv., 44.

[73:2] Euseb., vi., c. 43.

[73:3] Gibbon, i., ch. 15.

[73:4] Orr, _Neglected Factors_, 39.

[73:5] Rom. xv., 24; _Muratorian Fragment_; Clement of Rome, _To
Corinth_, c. 5; Alzog, i. 125; Kurtz, i., 44.

[73:6] _Eccl. Hist._, c. 4.

[73:7] _Against Jud._, c. 7.

[73:8] Euseb., v., c. 1.

[74:1] _Annales Francorum._

[74:2] Irenæus, _Against Her._, i., c. 10.

[74:3] Tertullian, _Apol._, c. 37; Cyprian, _Ep._, 71, 73; Augustine,
_On Bap._, ii., c. 13.

[74:4] Rom. i., 8.

[75:1] The pagan writer Celsus was familiar with this idea as early as
161 A.D.

[75:2] But nothing could be farther from the truth than Gibbon's
statement that the Christians were won "almost entirely" from the "dregs
of the populace." See Orr, _Neglected Factors_.

[75:3] Ramsay in his _Church in the Roman Empire_, 57, goes so far as to
say that the new faith "spread at first among the educated more rapidly
than among the uneducated." This statement, however, is probably an
exaggeration. See an excellent discussion in Orr, _Neglected Factors_,
95-163; Merivale, _The Romans under the Empire_, ch. 54.

[76:1] Phil. iv., 22; Lightfoot, _Philippians_, 171 ff.; Howson, _St.
Paul_, ch. 26; Weizäcker, _Apost. Age_, ii., 132; Harnack, _Princeton
Rev._, 1878, p. 257; Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, iii., c. 18.

[76:2] Alzog, i., §§ 48, 52, 53; Berington and Kirk, ii., 1-113;
Gibbons, _Faith of Our Fathers_; _Cath. Encyc._

[78:1] Matt. xvi., 18, 19. In Syro-Chaldaic, the tongue probably used by
Jesus, "Peter" means "rock" or "cephas." The only parallel in modern
languages is in French: "Tu es Pierre, et sur cette pierre," etc. _Cf._
John i., 42.

[78:2] John i., 42.

[78:3] Mark v., 37; Luke viii., 51.

[78:4] Matt. xvii., 1; Mark ix., 2; Luke ix., 28.

[78:5] Matt. xxvi., 37; Mark xiv., 33.

[78:6] Luke xxiv., 12, 34; _cf._ John xx., 2-10; Weizäcker, i., § 3.

[78:7] Luke xxii., 31-32; John xxi., 15-18.

[79:1] Matt. x., 2-4; Mark iii., 16-19; Luke vi., 14-16; Acts i., 13.

[79:2] Acts iii., 1-12.

[79:3] Acts ii., 14-41.

[79:4] Acts ii., 41.

[79:5] Acts x.

[79:6] Acts v., 1 ff.

[79:7] Acts viii., 21.

[79:8] Acts ix., 32.

[79:9] Acts i., 13-26.

[79:10] Acts xv., 6-12.

[79:11] Acts xii.

[79:12] Gal. i., 18; ii., 11.

[80:1] 1 Peter v., 13. St. John everywhere in his Apocalypse calls Rome
Babylon: xiv., 8; xvii., 18.

[80:2] _1 Ep. to Corinth_, Sec. 5.

[80:3] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, ii., c. 15; iii., c. 39.

[80:4] _Ib._, ii., c. 25.

[80:5] _Against Heresy_, iii., 3, No. 2.

[80:6] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, vi., c. 14.

[80:7] _De Præsc. Hæret._ c. 36.

[80:8] _Cf._ Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, iii., c. 1.

[80:9] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, ii., c. 25.

[81:1] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, ii., c. 13, 14.

[81:2] James, _Apocr. Anecdota_, ii., p. x.

[81:3] _Inst. Div._, iv., 21.

[81:4] Cureton, _Ancient Syriac Docs._, 33.

[81:5] _Eccl. Hist._, ii., c. 14, 15, 17, 25; iii., 21, 31; v., 6.

[81:6] For passages from later writers consult Lipsius, 236, Ramsay,
Harnack, Farrar, Lightfoot, McGiffert, Schaff, Renan, Neander, Lea,
Kurtz, Hase, Moeller, etc.

[82:1] Hegesippus made a list of bishops in Rome in the time of Anicetus
(155-168) but it is now lost (Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, iv., c. 22).
Eusebius used that list, and also gave two lists of his own in Greek
with Peter as the first (_Chronicon_, ii.; _Eccl. Hist._, v., c. 6). The
first Latin list is the _Catalogus Liberianus_ (352?), based upon
earlier lists. St. Augustine (_Ep._ 53) and Optatus (_Donatist Schism_,
ii., 3) both give Latin lists. These lists show how early the whole
Church recognised the importance of the succession of Roman bishops. The
list made out by Irenæus in the time of Bishop Eleutherus (174-189)
gives Peter and Paul as the joint founders of the Church.

[82:2] _Epistles_ 43, 5; 55; 59, 7 and 14; 71, 3; 73, 7; 75, 17;
_Ante-Nic. Fathers_, v., 263-596; Robinson, _Readings_, i., ch. 4.

[82:3] Matt. xvi., 16.

[82:4] Lightfoot, _Clement_, ii., 481-490; Hort, _Ecclesia_, 16.

[83:1] Matt. xviii., 18.

[83:2] John xxi., 15-18; Luke xxii., 31, 32.

[83:3] _Cf._ Acts; 1 Pet. 1-3; 2 Pet.

[83:4] Acts i., 13-26; ii., 14-41; iii., 1-12; x.; xv., 7-12, etc.

[83:5] Matt. x., 2; xvii., 1; xxvi., 37; Mark iii., 16; v., 37; ix., 2;
xiv., 33; Luke vi., 14; viii., 51; ix., 28; Acts i., 13.

[83:6] Acts xv., 1-11.

[83:7] Gal. ii., 11-14.

[83:8] Luke xxii., 31; John xiii., 36-38; Matt. xvi., 23, etc.

[84:1] 1 Pet. v., 1. See 2 John i., 1; 3 John i., 1.

[84:2] 1 Pet. v., 13.

[84:3] _Cf._ Lipsius for a full discussion of the so-called "Simonian

[85:1] John i., 44.

[85:2] Matt. iv., 18; Mark i., 16-20.

[85:3] Matt. viii., 14; Mark i., 29-31; Luke iv., 38.

[85:4] Matt. iv., 18; xix., 27; Mark i., 16; John i., 35, 40, 51; Luke
v.; xviii., 28.

[85:5] Mark iii., 13-19; Luke vi., 12-16.



     OUTLINE: I.--Religious persecutions before the Christian era.
     II.--Christians first persecuted by the Jews. III.--Causes and
     motives of persecution by the Roman government. IV.--Number
     and general character of the persecutions. V.--Results of
     persecutions. VI.--Sources.

Religious persecution originated long before the Christian era began--in
fact it runs through the whole history of religion. In Rome all citizens
were required by law to conform to the Roman religion so that the gods
would protect the state. Refusal brought punishment, but always on
political grounds.[91:1] Foreign religions which were either harmless or
helpful were often adopted, or at least tolerated.[91:2] Those, however,
which were dangerous to public morality, social order, or political
security, and which were not tolerant of other religions, were severely
treated by the Roman government. This was the Roman legal principle of
procedure in the case of every such religion,[91:3] hence when
Christianity appeared, Rome had already developed a distinct policy
which first tolerated and then persecuted it.

Persecution came to the Christians first from the Jews. Had not these
deserters of their fathers' faith precipitated Roman hatred upon the
Jews which resulted in persecution, expulsion, and loss of freedom and
independence?[92:1] Might not the Jewish religion be greatly weakened if
this proselyting continued? Hence the Christians were persecuted
individually and in masses.[92:2] The Jews sought in every possible way
to incite the Roman authorities against the hated Christians.[92:3] This
resulted in an irreparable breach between the two sects. The Christians
were brought into greater prominence, and the Romans even sought to
protect them from the Jewish fanatics.[92:4] At the same time a greater
Christian zeal was aroused, and thus the spread of the new faith was

The Roman government tolerated the Christians at the outset, because
they were regarded as a harmless sect of Jews, whose work was quiet and
unobtrusive.[92:5] The significance of Christianity was not understood,
nor the marvellous spread of the faith noticed. Indeed Roman hostility
to the Jews led at first to personal and official protection of the
supporters of the new faith, until the Jewish War in 70 A.D.

The Roman policy soon changed, however, from that of indifference, or
protection, to persecution. The causes for this change are: (1) The
political science of the Roman Empire, and (2) the inherent character of

Ethically the Roman state embodied the highest good, hence all human
good depended upon the integrity and security of the state. That
principle subordinated the religious to the political, and made the
Emperor the head of all recognised religions. Roman law upheld this
theory, as clearly stated by Cicero: "No man shall have for himself
particular gods of his own; no man shall worship by himself new or
foreign gods, unless they are recognised by the public laws."[93:1]
Julius Paulus, a Roman citizen, stated the idea thus: "Whoever
introduces new religions, the tendency and character of which are
unknown, whereby the minds of men might be disturbed, should, if
belonging to the higher rank, be banished; if to the lower, punished
with death." Gaius said of forbidden associations: "Neither a society,
nor a college, nor any body of this kind, is conceded to all persons
promiscuously; for this thing is regulated by laws, or codes of the
Senate, and by imperial constitutions."[93:2] Hence from a legal
standpoint Christianity was illegal, because it introduced a new
religion not admitted into the class of _religiones licitæ_. "You are
not permitted by the law," was the taunt of pagans.[93:3] To organise
churches and to hold unlicensed meetings were violations of Roman law.
Might they not easily serve as covers for political plots? Mæcenas
advised Augustus: "Worship the gods in all respects in accordance
with the laws of your country, and compel all others to do the same.
But hate and punish those who would introduce anything whatever alien
to our customs in this particular . . . because such persons, by
introducing new divinities, mislead many to adopt foreign laws. Hence
conspiracies and secret combinations--the last things to be borne in a
monarchy."[94:1] Roman citizens, therefore, who turned Christian were
criminals, outlaws, bandits, and traitors; consequently the best
Emperors, those who felt called upon to enforce the law for the weal of
the Empire, those who wished to restore the vigour and power of old
Rome, sought to exterminate them, while the worst rulers were mostly
indifferent, and in some instances tolerant.

Christianity, inherently, was opposed to the whole governmental, social,
and religious systems of Rome in the most offensive and uncompromising
manner. It advocated one God for all men, one universal kingdom, one
brotherhood of all men, and one plan of salvation. It was world-wide,
above the Emperor, and advocated a non-Roman unity. The Christians were
subjects of God's kingdom first, and the Emperor's next; and when Rome
spurned this secondary allegiance they ceased to feel themselves Romans
at all.[94:2] They refused the duties of loyal citizens, held no
offices, objected to military service,[94:3] and refused to sacrifice
to the honour of the Emperor.[95:1] "Does not the Emperor punish you
justly?" asked Celsus. "Should all do like you he would be left
alone--there would be none to defend him. The rudest barbarians would
make themselves masters of the world." Furthermore the Christians
claimed the exclusive possession of divine knowledge and called all
forms of pagan worship idolatrous.[95:2] Christianity itself was
intolerant of all other religions. Was not Christianity the only true
faith? How then could the Christians compromise with false faiths, or
concede to them any truth, or any right to exist?[95:3] Hence it was
inevitable, and Christians were keenly conscious of the fact, that a
conflict should arise between Christianity and the Roman Empire, before
the universal dominion of the world could come. The efforts of imperial
officers to compromise matters, by insisting on mere outward conformity,
met with little success.

The attack made by paganism on Christianity came first from Roman
philosophers, scholars, and statesmen for all sorts of motives. Some
desired popular favour, others were sincere, still others sought to win
imperial approval. Many, no doubt, even though they had no longer any
heart for the ancient faith, yet could not bear to see it abolished.
They would agree with Cæcilius that "Since all nations agree to
recognise the immortal gods, although their nature or their origin may
be uncertain, I cannot endure that any one swelling with audacity and
such irreligious knowledge should strive to dissolve or weaken a
religion so old, so useful, so salutary."[96:1] Tacitus called
Christians "haters of mankind," and assailed their religion as a
"destructive superstition."[96:2] Suetonius denounced the new faith as a
"poisonous or malignant superstition." Others scoffed at these odd
devotees as "dangerous infidels," "enemies of Cæsar and of the Roman
people," and "a reprobate, unlawful, desperate faction." Priests, driven
on by duty and possibly fearing the loss of their offices, added their
sacred voices to the popular clamour.[96:3] Merchants and artists, whose
livelihood depended upon the sale of their products and wares to pagan
temples and worshippers, raised their voices against the new sect
"without altars, without temples, without images, and without
sacrifices."[96:4] Then the populace, incited by the above-named
classes, took up the opposition and soon spread the wildest

Christians were also declared to be responsible for every disaster like
war, famine, fire, pestilence, flood, earthquakes, death of prominent
persons, etc. The gods, angered at the presence of such persons, sent
these dire calamities[96:6] on the atheists, who denied the many gods
and worshipped but one, and who discarded all images--even that of the
Emperor.[96:7] Did they not adore the wood of a cross and worship the
head of an ass?[97:1] Did they not refuse to conform to all religious
observances and festivals? Who but dangerous conspirators would hold
their meetings in secret at night? These anarchists who refused all
civic service[97:2]; these social revolutionists who broke up family
ties,[97:3] set slave against master, taught robbery under the guise of
equality, refused to enjoy the social games and festivals, and
interfered with business; these cannibals who ate the flesh and drank
the blood of their infants, the offspring of their incestuous and
adulterous carousals--what punishment could be too severe for such
degenerates? Were they not a Jewish sect which had deserted the faith of
their fathers, and which could command respect neither for age nor

The occasion for the inevitable war between the Roman sword and the
Christian cross was popular hatred and ridicule, and the frequent
outbreaks of the mobs. The fundamental cause was political necessity,
for the Christians were guilty of _crimen læsæ majestatis_, high
treason. Christianity in the Roman Empire was somewhat like anarchy
to-day in the United States in its relation to the state. The technical
charges made against the Christians were: (1) introducing a _religio
illicita_, for which the penalty was death or banishment; (2) committing
_læsa majestas_, for which the penalty was loss of social rank,
outlawry, or death by sword, fire, or wild beasts; (3) being guilty of
_sacrilegium_, for which the penalty was death by crucifixion, the ax,
or wild beasts; (4) practising magic, for which the penalty was
crucifixion, or exposure to wild beasts in the circus.

Both the number and character of the persecutions seem to be
misunderstood. The Church Fathers and many later historians magnify the
number, fierceness, and duration of the persecutions, and the number
killed.[98:1] On the contrary it seems that considerable time elapsed
before the Christians were noticed by the government, which then
proceeded against them with caution and reluctance and punished them in
comparative moderation.[98:2] The Church enjoyed many seasons of rest
and peace. The number of Christians killed during the entire period of
persecution was comparatively small.[98:3] The persecutions varied with
the whims and feelings of each Emperor--the best rulers like Trajan,
Marcus Aurelius, Decius, and Diocletian, feeling the necessity of
upholding the law, were the most energetic persecutors, while the worst
Emperors were indifferent, or even favourable. The early persecutions
were only spasmodic outbreaks and limited; the later ones were general.
There is no reason for giving ten as the number of the persecutions--nor
for comparing them with the ten plagues of Egypt.

The first persecution occurred in Rome under Nero in 64 A.D.[99:1] Some
historians contend that the Neronian persecution fell upon the Jews,
whom Tacitus, writing fifty years after the event, erroneously calls
Christians.[99:2] Others maintain that the Jews, through court
influence, shifted the punishment from themselves to the
Christians.[99:3] Recent scholars, however, are inclined to accept the
literal narrative of Tacitus.[99:4] According to his version of the
situation, the persecution was accidental--a device of Nero to divert
the suspicion directed against himself of having burned Rome--and local,
that is, it did not extend to the provinces. A few Christians were
tortured and compelled to confess themselves guilty of incendiarism and
to give the names of others, and that led to the punishment of an
"ingens multitudo" as Nero's scapegoats.[99:5] As a punishment for their
alleged crime of incendiarism and "hatred for the human race," they were
covered with the skins of wild beasts and torn to pieces by the dogs in
the circus, crucified by day, and burned as torches by night.[100:1]
Paul, in all likelihood, fell a victim to this persecution and the Roman
Church has always believed that Peter also perished at this time.[100:2]

As a result, the attention of the Roman government was directed to these
"haters of the human race," and they became branded as outlaws and
brigands. Popular fury ran riot. A precedent was established, both in
Rome and the provinces, for punishing Christians for the name
alone.[100:3] Nevertheless sympathy was won for them, they secretly
increased in numbers, and were compelled to adopt a better organisation
in order to resist oppression. Above everything else the striking
difference between the Kingdom of God and the Empire of Cæsar was
strongly marked on the Christian conscience.

After Nero's persecution, under the Flavian Emperors (68-96), there was
a standing law against Christianity, like that against brigandage, but
it was only occasionally enforced.[100:4] There is no positive proof of
persecution under Vespasian (69-79). Titus (79-81), however, continued
the policy of Nero.[100:5] Under Domitian (81-96) there was increased
severity in both Rome and the provinces. This may have been occasioned
in part by the fact that as a result of the Jewish War all toleration
for the Jews was withdrawn. Christians were now classed with the hated
Jews. Flavius Clemens, the Emperor's cousin, was executed and his
beautiful wife Domitilla was banished.[101:1] Many others were killed,
compelled to fight wild beasts in the arena, or at least lost their
property.[101:2] It was even reported that Domitian planned to have all
the relatives of Jesus slain in order to prevent the rise of a possible
rival in the east.[101:3]

Of "the Five Good Emperors" (96-180) who succeeded the Flavian rulers,
three continued the policy of persecution. The first, Nerva (96-98), was
tolerant to the Christians. The next Emperor, Trajan (98-117), one of
the best Emperors, was not a wanton persecutor,[101:4] but felt it to be
his duty to uphold the laws and religion of the Empire.[101:5] He was
really the first Emperor to proceed against Christianity from a purely
legal point of view. By this time Christianity was clearly recognised as
a distinct sect and its real significance appreciated. His policy may be
clearly seen in his correspondence with Pliny, the governor of Bithynia
(112).[101:6] No doubt his views were influenced by Tacitus and Pliny,
who regarded Christianity as a "bad and immoderate superstition." Still
under Trajan persecution was limited to Bithynia, Jerusalem, and
Antioch, although Christianity had been formally proscribed everywhere,
together with all secret societies. His attitude was the model for
persecutions of the second century and later.[102:1]

Hadrian (117-138), who apparently judged Christianity rather trivially,
issued the famous rescript which forbade riotous proceedings, on the one
hand, and malicious information against the Christians on the other: "If
any one, therefore, accuses them and shows that they are doing anything
contrary to the laws, do you pass judgment according to the crime. But,
by Hercules! if any one bring an accusation through mere calumny, decide
in regard to his criminality and see to it that you inflict
punishment."[102:2] Hadrian's adopted son and successor, Antoninus Pius
(138-161), a wise, upright ruler, interfered to protect Christians at
Athens and Thessalonica. His edict, given in Eusebius, is probably
spurious, though the spirit may be correct.[102:3] Marcus Aurelius
(161-180), an educated Stoic and an excellent Emperor, encouraged
persecution against those guilty of "sheer obstinacy." Public calamities
had again aroused the mob against the Christians. The imperial decree,
"not fit to be executed even against barbarous enemies," authorised the
use of torture to discover Christians and to compel them to recant, and
also ordered the confiscation of property. This order to seek out
Christians, and not await formal complaints, seems to mark a new step
in imperial legislation. Still persecution was not general, but confined
to Lyons and Vienne in southern Gaul, and to Asia Minor.[103:1]

The period from 180 to 249 saw no essential changes.[103:2] Persecutions
were merely local, and depended more upon provincial feeling and the
character of the governor, than on the Emperor. Some of the Emperors
were friendly to the new religion, others quite hostile. Commodus
(180-193), dissolute, timid, and cruel, was friendly to the Christians
owing, probably, to the influence of his favourite concubine, Marcia,
who may have been a Christian.[103:3] Septimus Severus (193-211), an
able soldier, was indifferent to the new faith up to 202, when he issued
a rescript forbidding pagans from becoming Christians, and enforced the
old Trajan law with considerable severity.[103:4] Caracalla (211-217)
and Heliogabalus (218-222), two of the most contemptible Roman rulers,
both tolerated Christianity. The former recalled banished Christians;
the latter sought to merge Christianity into his own elective system of
religion. Alexander Severus (222-235) actually gave Christianity a place
in his cosmopolitan faith, had a bust of Jesus set up in his private
chapel, allowed churches to be built, and protected the Christians.
But Christianity was not legalised. On the contrary, Ulpian, the great
jurist, collected for public use in case of need all the imperial laws
against the new faith.[104:1] Maximinus the Thracian (235-238), a
coarse, brutal, military leader, ordered that all officers of the
churches should be "put to death as responsible for the gospel
teaching."[104:2] Philip the Arabian (244-248) was reported to be a
Christian--at all events Christians were not punished during his

The last period of persecution (249-311) was characterised by civil and
moral decline in the Empire and by the amazing growth of Christianity,
which had become bold and aggressive. It must either be exterminated, or
else adopted as the state religion. Hence the Emperors, who sought to
restore the old power and splendour of ancient Rome, showed the greatest
severity. Decius (249-251) issued the first edict of universal
persecution (250) as a political necessity.[104:4] Local officials,
under the threat of severe penalties, were required to compel all
Christians to conform to the state religion. Christians might flee, but
their property was confiscated and their return meant death. The
inquisitorial process was employed and penalties were severe, especially
for the leaders.[104:5] Decius declared that he would rather hear of the
rise of a rival Emperor than of the appointment of a Roman
bishop.[105:1] Valerian (253-260) was said at first to be "mild and
friendly toward the men of God,"[105:2] but public disasters and the
advice of his friends led him to renew the persecutions, so he issued an
edict in 257 commanding Christians to conform to the state religion on
pain of banishment. The assembly of Christians was forbidden,[105:3] and
the bishops were banished. The next year he promulgated a second decree
more sanguinary than that of Decius, because it condemned all bishops,
priests, and deacons to death.[105:4] Gallienus (260-268) recalled the
exiled Christians, restored their church property, and forbade further
persecution,[105:5] but Aurelian (270-275) ordered the old laws enforced
with renewed vigour.[105:6] His death, however, prevented the execution
of the order; and thus the Christians had about forty years of peace.

Under Diocletian (284-305), a warrior statesman, occurred the last,
longest, and harshest persecution.[105:7] It was mildest in the West and
worst in Syria and Egypt, and endured ten years. This Emperor,
apparently, took up the sword very reluctantly. In 287 he issued a
decree against the Manichæans in Egypt which was a general condemnation
of Christianity. In 295 all soldiers were ordered to sacrifice on pain
of expulsion, or, in obstinate cases, execution. In 303 Christians were
accused of burning the imperial palace at Nicomedia and suffered
accordingly. An imperial edict commanded the churches to "be razed to
the ground, the Scriptures destroyed by fire," Christian officials
degraded, Christian servants enslaved, bishops imprisoned and forced to
sacrifice, and torture employed to compel Christians to conform.[106:1]
Everywhere these laws were executed, Eusebius says, with great severity
until checked by the edict of limited toleration by Galerius and his
co-regents in 311,[106:2] and stopped by the decree of complete
toleration granted by Constantine in 313[106:3] after a glorious
struggle of 250 years.

The results of the persecutions were very marked and have been both
exaggerated and ignored:

1. The growth of Christianity was helped rather than hindered.
Persecution advertised the new belief and won sympathy. It created an
intense devotion to the cause, proved the truth of the religion, and
made a martyr's crown desirable. Tertullian exclaimed: "Go on! rack,
torture, grind us to powder; our members increase in proportion as you
mow us down. The blood of Christians is their harvest seed. Your very
obstinacy is a teacher. For who is not incited by a consideration of it
to enquire what there is in the core of the matter? And who, after
having joined us, does not long to suffer?" The period of persecution
ended with a conquest of the Emperor and a large part of the Empire. The
victory was thus a double one.

2. The organisation of the Church was effected. Persecution forced the
Church to organise itself more efficiently, produced responsible
leaders, who were forced to direct the struggle against Rome and who, as
a result, were given pre-eminence by special punishment, and developed
the monarchio-episcopal system. The extraordinary development of the
power of the Bishop of Rome, in particular, was influenced to a far
greater degree than is ordinarily taken into account. Much emphasis has
been laid on the fact that that epoch of outlawry ended by the adoption
of Christianity by the Empire. A much more important result, however, is
found in the fact that Christianity, for weal or woe, adopted the Roman

3. The Church was kept purer in belief and more united in form. The
spiritual was magnified over the temporal. Common oppression joined
Christians in common sympathy. The differences between Christianity and
paganism were emphasised. With death over their heads the Christians
thought little of life here but much of that hereafter and regulated
their lives accordingly. Still the growing consciousness that the Church
was a world-wide institution must have been powerfully stimulated. With
the evolution of the idea of Christian unity appeared the conspicuous
leadership of the Roman Church. Irenæus (d. 202) could declare that it
was "a matter of necessity that every church should agree with this
church, on account of its pre-eminent authority." Tertullian (c. 220)
also recognised the distinction of the Roman Church, though later he
questioned the validity of the Petrine claim. It was left to Cyprian (d.
258) to give the first complete account of the Universal or Catholic
Church in his work on the _Unity of the Church_.

4. Persecution produced a group of extraordinary literary defenders like
the apologists, controversialists, and letter writers, and helped to
develop the fundamental, orthodox Christian doctrine. It also produced
much legendary poetry; and out of this baptism of blood was created the
heroic age of the Church, based partly on fact and partly on fiction.

5. The forms of worship were modified, the worship of saints and relics
was originated, and the priesthood was sanctified and set above the

6. An example was furnished for later persecutions of the pagans,
Mohammedans, Jews, and heretics.




    1.--=New Testament.=

    2.--=Church Fathers.=

       1.--Clement, _Ep. to Cor._, ch. 5-7. Lightfoot, Lond.,

       2.--Justin Martyr, _1 Apol._, ch. 5, 24, 31, 52. _2 Apol._,
          ch. 2, 8. _Dialog. with Trypho_, ch. 110. _Ante-Nic.
          Lib._, ii., 1, 2, 79.

       3.--Athenagoras, _Plea for the Christians_, ch. 1-4, 12, 31.
          _Ib._, ii., 375.

       4.--Minucius Felix, _The Octavius_. _Ib._, 451-571.

       5.--Severus, _Sacred Hist._, ii., ch. 28-33. _Nic. and
          Post-Nic. Fathers_ xi.

       6.--Tertullian, _To Scapulam_, ch. 4. _Ib._, ii., 49-51.
          _Apology_, ch. 2-16. _Ib._, 55-84.

       7.--Lactantius, _Divine Institutes_, v., ch. 1, 9, 11.
          _Ib._, xxii., 92, 93, 98, 99. _About the Death of
          Persecutors_, ch. 4, 7. _Ib._, xxii., 167, 168, 170.

       8.--Origen, _Against Celsus_, i., ch. 3. _Ib._, x., 400.

       9.--Cyprian, _Epistle 80_; _To Demetrianus_, ch. 17. _Ib._,
          viii., 436.

      10.--Irenæus, _Fragments_, ch. 13. _Ib._, x., 164, 165.

      11.--Hippolytus, _Christ and Antichrist_, ch. 56, 60. _Ib._,
          ix., 34, 35.

      12.--Eusebius, _Eccl. Hist._ Various eds.


     1.--Tacitus, _Annals_, xi., 15; xv., 38-44.

     2.--Juvenal, _First Satire_, verse 155 ff.

     3.--Suetonius, _Hist. of the Twelve Cæsars_. Tiberius, ch. 36;
          Claudius, ch. 25, 5; Nero, ch. 16, 38; Domitian, ch. 12.

     4.--Dion Cassius, _Hist. of Rome_. Xiphilin's _Abridgment_ in
          Eng. 2 vols. 1704.

     5.--Pliny, _Letters_, x., 96, 97. Transl. by Lewis, Lond.,

     6.--Aurelius, _Meditations_, xi., 3. Bohn, 1869.

     7.--Celsus, _Against the Christians_. Eng. transl., Lond.,

     8.--Lucian, _The Death of Perigrinus_. Transl. by Tooke.
          Lond., 1820.


       1.--Univ. of Penn., _Translations and Reprints_, iv., No.

       2.--Foxe, _Acts and Monuments_, i.



     1.--Addis, W. E., _Christianity in the Roman Empire_. Lond.,

     2.--Baring-Gould, _Lives of the Saints_. N. Y., 1873-7.

     3.--Bigg, _The Church's Task under the Roman Empire_. Lond.,

     4.--Butler, A., _Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Saints_.
          Dub., 1866.

     5.--Carr, A., _The Church and the Roman Empire_. Lond., 1886.

     6.--Casy, J., _Trials and Triumphs of the Church._ Dub., 1899.

     7.--Castelloe, B. F. C., _The Church and the Catacombs_.
          Lond., 1894.

     8.--Croke, A. D., _The Church and the Roman Empire_. Lond.,

     9.--Döllinger, J. J. I., _Hippolytus and Callistus_. Edinb.,
          1876. _First Age of Christianity._ Lond., 1877.

    10.--Gregg, J. A. F., _The Decian Persecutions_. Edinb., 1897.

    11.--Hardy, E. G., _Christianity and the Roman Government_.
          Lond., 1894.

    12.--Healy, P. J., _The Valerian Persecution_. N. Y., 1905.

    13.--Lightfoot, J. B., _St. Clement of Rome_, i., 69-81.
          _Ignatius_, i., 69.

    14.--Mason, A. J., _The Diocletian Persecution_. Lond., 1876.

    15.--Newton, R., _Heroes of the Early Church_. Lond., 1889.

    16.--Oxenham, H. N., _Studies in Ecclesiastical History and
          Biography_. Lond., 1884. 27-56.

    17.--Perram, A. F., _Stories about the Early Christians_.
          Lond., 1887.

    18.--Pressensé, E. de, _The Martyrs and Apologists_. N. Y.,
          1873. i., ch. 2-14.

    19.--Ramsay, W. M., _The Church in the Roman Empire_. N. Y.,

    20.--Rankin, J., _The First Saints_. Lond., 1893.

    21.--Renan, E., _Marcus Aurelius_. _Antichrist._

    22.--Spence, H. D. M., _Early Christianity and Paganism_. N. Y.
          and Lond., 1902.

    23.--Steere, E., _Persecutions of the Early Church_. Lond.,

    24.--Uhlhorn, G., _The Conflict of Christianity with
          Heathenism_. N. Y., 1879.

    25.--Watson, F., _Defenders of the Faith_. Lond., 1888.

    26.--Workman, H. B., _Persecution in the Early Church_. Lond.,


    Alzog, i., sec. 48, 64-70. Backhouse, pt. 2, ch. 2-8.
    Bartlett, ch. 2. Baur, ii., 215-221. Bouzique, i., ch. 3.
    Burton, ch. 2, 5, 7-11, 13, 16, 17. Butler, ch. 6-8. Chantrel,
    ch. 3. Cheetham, ch. 3, sec. 1. Clarke, ch. 1, 2. Coxe, ch. 2,
    sec. 27. Croke, ch. 1-10. Crooks, ch. 14. Darras, i., ch.
    1-14. Döllinger, i., ch. 1, sec. 9, 10. Duff, ch. 11, 13, 15,
    16, 22-25, 30. Fisher, pd. 2, ch. 1. Foulkes, ch. 1-3.
    Gieseler, i., 119. Gilmartin, i., ch. 5. Guericke, 77-102.
    Hase, 42-55. Hore, ch. 3. Hurst, i., 161-179. Jackson, ch.
    2-3. Jennings, i., ch. 2-3. Knight, ch. 2-5. Kurtz, i., sec.
    21, 22. Merivale, 6-8. Milman, bk. i., ch. 1. Milner, i.,
    cent. 2-4. Moeller, i., 74, 82, 159, 190. Neander, i., 86.
    Newman, i., 147. Robertson, bk. i., ch. 1-3, 5-7. Schaff, ii.,
    31 ff.


[91:1] Hardy, 1-18.

[91:2] Examples: Cybele, Bellona, Magna Mater.

[91:3] Examples: Cult of Isis excluded from Rome 58 B.C. (Tertullian,
_Apol._). Temples of Isis and Serapis destroyed 50 B.C. (Dion Cassius,
xi., 47). Repeated measures later. Jews expelled from Rome.

[92:1] Neander, i., 89; Fisher, 30. Caligula, it seems, expelled the
Jews from Rome; Claudius (41-54) first forbade their assembling (Dion
Cassius, 60, 6) and then sought to drive them out of the capital
(Orosius, _Hist._, 7, 6.)

[92:2] For individuals like Stephen, Acts vii., 58; James, Acts xii., 2;
Peter, Acts iv.; xii., 3; Paul, Acts ix., 23, 24; xiv., 5, 19; xvii.,
13; xxiii., 12; xvi., 23; xxii., 24. For masses see Acts viii., 1-4;
Acts xxvi., 10-12; Clement, _Recognitions_, i., ch. 53, 71; Justin
Martyr, _1 Apol._, ch. 36; _Dialogue with Trypho_, ch. 16, 39, 96, 115.

[92:3] Hurst, i., 153.

[92:4] Acts, xviii., 14, 15; xxi., 31, 32; xxiv., 1-27; xxv., 14; xxvi.,
32; Uhlhorn, 238.

[92:5] Origen, _Against Celsus_, iii., 1-3.

[93:1] _Concerning Laws_, i., pt. 2, ch. 8. This was also the ancient
principle of the XII. Tables.

[93:2] Bk. iii., ch. 4, par. 1.

[93:3] See Tertullian and Celsus.

[94:1] Address reported by Dion Cassius.

[94:2] Ramsay, 356.

[94:3] Uhlhorn, _Conflict of Christ. with Heathenism_, 231.

[95:1] Uhlhorn, _Conflict of Christ. with Heathenism_, 234.

[95:2] Gibbon, ii., bk. 3, ch. 16.

[95:3] Uhlhorn, 224; Moeller, i., 81.

[96:1] _Octav._, c. 8.

[96:2] _Annales_, xv., c. 44.

[96:3] Alzog, i., 257.

[96:4] Acts xix., 24 ff.; Pliny, _Ep._, x., 97; Neander, i., 92.

[96:5] For a detailed statement of the accusations read the apologies of
Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Tertullian, and Origen.

[96:6] Cyprian, _To Demetrianus_, 1; Origen, _Against Celsus_, iii., ch.
16; Tertullian, _Apol._, ch. 40; _To Nations_, 9; Alzog, i., 261.

[96:7] Justin Martyr, _Apol._, i., ch. 6, 13, 17; Arnobius, _Against
Gentes_, iii., ch. 28.

[97:1] A crucifix with the head of an ass and body of a man was actually
dug up in Rome and is now exhibited in a museum there. In Tertullian's
day there was circulated a picture of a man with the ears of an ass,
clothed in a toga, holding a book, and with these words beneath: "The
God of the Christians" (_Apol._, 16; _Ad. Nat._, 11, 14; Tacitus,
_Hist._, v., 3). In the Palace of the Cæsars a rough sketch of a
crucified man with an ass's head was found (_Hist. Photographs_, No.
107, Oxf., 1870; _Univ. Quart._, July, 1879, p. 338).

[97:2] Origen, _Against Celsus_, viii., ch. 75; _Apol._, ch. 29, 35, and
39; Tertullian, _Concerning Idol._, ch. 17; _De Cor. Mil._, i., c. 15.

[97:3] _Cf._ Luke, xxi., 16.

[97:4] Hence all the hatred and prejudice of the Romans for the Jews
were turned against the Christians. Gibbon, ii., 6; Gieseler, i., p.

[98:1] Origen declared that the number of Christian martyrs was small
and easily counted. _Celsum_, c. 3.

[98:2] Gibbon, ii., ch. 16; Uhlhorn, 234, 235.

[98:3] Moeller, i., 193.

[99:1] Tacitus, _Ann._, xv., 44. It seems to be very probable that
persecutions by the Roman government occurred earlier than this. 1 Pet.;
Rev. ii., 13; xx., 4.

[99:2] Schiller, Lipsius, and Hausrath.

[99:3] Notably Merivale.

[99:4] Hardy, Uhlhorn, Ramsay, Allard, and Harnack.

[99:5] E. Th. Klette, _Nero and the Christians_, who relies for his
conclusions on sources prior to Tacitus, repudiates the scapegoat
theory. He contends that Nero, influenced by Jewish intrigue, publicly
punished the Christians as Christians and because of the popular
suspicions against them, so as to make it appear that the burning of
Rome was due to the wrath of the gods.

[100:1] Juvenal, _Sat._, i., 155 ff.; Seneca, _Ep._, 14; Clement, _To
Corinth_, 6; Euseb., ii., c. 25; Orosius, vii., c. 7. _Cf._ Ramsay, _Ch.
in Rom. Emp._ 226 ff.

[100:2] Sulp. Severus, _Chron._ ii., c. 29; _Transl. and Rep._, iv., 6.

[100:3] Mommsen, Sandy, Hardy, Ramsay.

[100:4] Mommsen, v., 523 n.

[100:5] Sulp. Severus, _Chron._, ii., c. 30, 6; _Transl. and Rep._, iv.,

[101:1] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, iii., c. 18; Dion Cass., lxvii., c. 14.;
Suet., _Dom._, c. 15; _Transl. and Rep._, iv., 6.

[101:2] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, iv., 26.

[101:3] Hegesippus, quoted in Eusebius, _Eccl. Hist._, iii., c. 20;
Tertullian; Clement of Rome, _1st Epistle_.

[101:4] Melito of Sardica (c. 170), Lactantius, Eusebius, and the
mediæval writers generally held that he was rather favourable to

[101:5] Gieseler, Aubé, Overbeek, Uhlhorn, Keim and Renan held that
Trajan began a new era unfavourable to Christians but Lightfoot, Hardy,
and Ramsay explain it on the ground of political expediency.

[101:6] Pliny wrote sixty letters to Trajan and Trajan made forty-eight
replies. These have all been translated into English. Read letters 96
and 97. See _Transl. and Rep._, iv., No. 1, p. 8.

[102:1] For an excellent discussion of the significance of the Trajan
prosecutions, see Ramsay, _Ch. in Rom. Emp._, 190-225.

[102:2] Authenticity of this document is doubted by Baur, Klein,
Lipsius, Overbeek, Aubé, McGiffert, etc., but defended by Ramsay,
Lightfoot, Mommsen, Allard, Funk, Ranke, Uhlhorn, Moeller, etc. See
_Transl. and Rep._, iv., No. 1, p. 10.

[102:3] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, iv., c. 13, 26; Tertullian; Harnack,
article on Pius in Herzog-Hauck, _Real Encyc._

[103:1] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, v., c. 1; _Transl. and Rep._, iv., No. 1,
p. 11.

[103:2] This period saw seventeen different Emperors.

[103:3] See Eusebius on this reign, _Eccl. Hist._, v., c. 9-24.

[103:4] Clement of Alexandria wrote: "Many martyrs are daily burned,
crucified, and beheaded before our eyes." Origen's father was among
them. At Scillite in Numidia 200 suffered. _Transl. and Rep._, iv., No.
1, p. 20. At Carthage two young women were given to wild beasts.
Tertullian refers to other persecutions. Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, vi., c.
1, 7.

[104:1] Moeller, i., 191.

[104:2] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, vi., c. 28; Origen, _On Martyrdom_.

[104:3] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, vi., c. 34.

[104:4] The text of this decree has been lost. Two later decrees were
issued--the first exiling Church officers, the second condemning them to
death. See Gregg, _The Decian Persecution_.

[104:5] Read Cyprian, _Concerning the Lapsed_, iii., c. 8, for the most
vivid account; _Transl. and Rep._, iv., No. 1, p. 21.

[105:1] Cyprian, _Ep. to Antonian_.

[105:2] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, vii., c. 10; Gregg, _The Decian

[105:3] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, vii., c. 11.

[105:4] Cyprian, _Ep._, 81; _Transl. and Rep._, iv., No. 1, 20, 22, 23.

[105:5] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, vii., c. 13 ff.

[105:6] _Transl. and Rep._, iv., No. 1, p. 26.

[105:7] Mason, _The Persecution of Diocletian_.

[106:1] _Transl. and Rep._, iv., No. 1, p. 26; Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._,
viii.-x.; Uhlhorn, 407.

[106:2] _Transl. and Rep._, iv., No. 1, p. 28; Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._,
viii., 17.

[106:3] _Transl. and Rep._, iv., No. 1, p. 29.



     OUTLINE: I.--Condition of the Empire in 300. II.--How
     Constantine became Emperor. III.--Constantine's conversion to
     Christianity. IV.--Constantine's favours to Christianity.
     V.--Constantine's character. VI.--Constantine's historical
     significance. VII.--Sources.

To understand the great changes that took place in the Christian Church
under Constantine, it is necessary to keep distinctly in mind both the
status of Christianity, on the one hand, and the general conditions of
the Empire, on the other.

In territorial extent the Empire still formed a huge fringe around the
Mediterranean Sea and had lost but little of its vastness under Trajan
(98-117). Under Diocletian (284-305) the Empire became an undisguised
oriental despotism. The administration was divided between two Augusti,
each of whom had an associate, called Cæsar. This division of rule, with
its increased expense, aroused much jealousy and discontent, and greatly
weakened the Empire. As many as six rival Emperors appeared at once, and
out of the rivalry emerged Constantine the Great as the sole ruler of
the Empire. Wars with the Persians in the east and with the barbarians
on the north accelerated the declining political morality. At the same
time social classes became more marked, and moral standards lower.
Schools were neglected, literature became superficial, poetry lost its
voice, and oratory declined. Paganism, largely a form of patriotism and
national festivity, still numbered many adherents, but it was not deeply
rooted in their hearts.

Christianity, in the face of outlawry and severe persecution, had spread
steadily and marvellously, and particularly among the substantial people
of the Empire.[113:1] It is difficult to estimate the number of
Christians because few records were left and the number of real
believers was much larger than the professed adherents. The earlier
estimates are probably too low. After more careful investigation,
30,000,000 may be safely given as indicating the numerical strength of
the new creed.[113:2] When Constantine the Great appeared, therefore,
old pagan Rome was declining, while a new Christian Rome was rapidly
rising. Christianity would undoubtedly have gained the victory sooner or
later had Constantine not appeared as its champion.

Constantine was born about 274 at Naïssus, in Upper Moesia. His father
was Constantius Chlorus, a nephew of Emperor Claudius, the conqueror of
the Goths, who was selected as Cæsar of the West possibly because of his
imperial connection. His mother was Helena, the daughter of an
innkeeper, and not the fabled English princess. She was only a
concubine, who, however, was made a legal wife after the birth of
Constantine.[113:3] She was a Christian, it seems, and no doubt taught
the new faith to both her husband and son.[114:1]

Constantine's education was gained mostly in court circles and on the
battle-field. As a boy he was instructed in the schools of Drepanum in
Cilicia, his mother's birthplace, later changed to Helenapolis. Little
is known about this phase of his training, and there are reasons for
believing that it was not very comprehensive. In 292, when Constantine
was eighteen, his father became Cæsar of the West, divorced his mother,
and sent him to be educated as a sort of hostage at the court of
Diocletian at Nicomedia. There he acquired his preliminary military
training and political education. With Diocletian he made an expedition
to Egypt _via_ Palestine (296) and the next year joined Galerius in a
campaign against the Persians. He soon won a reputation as a bold
warrior, and became a popular leader. Indeed his superior ability
aroused the jealousy of Galerius, who purposely exposed him to the
gravest dangers, thus hoping to get rid of him. After his military
success, he was made tribune of the first rank. Skilled in the art of
politics at the court of the Eastern rulers, and having won his spurs in
battle, he expected to be elevated to the office of Cæsar, when
Diocletian resigned in 305, but was defeated by Galerius, who succeeded
Diocletian as Augustus, and chose his own nephew as Cæsar. This was a
keen disappointment to young Constantine.[114:2]

In 305, Constantius Chlorus succeeded Maximian, who had resigned by
agreement with Diocletian, as Augustus of the West, and, since there
was no reason why an Augustus should leave his son as hostage at the
court of an equal, he demanded the return of Constantine. Galerius
reluctantly consented, but before the official permit was executed,
Constantine, fearing treachery, fled at night, maimed the post-horses to
prevent pursuit, and reached Boulogne just in time to go with his father
to Britain.[115:1]

After an easy conquest of Britain, Constantius Chlorus died at York
(July, 306), having named his son as his successor, whereupon the
soldiers immediately saluted Constantine as Augustus.[115:2] Although
this was the ancient practice, and Constantine was eligible for the
office both by heredity and by preparation, still, constitutionally, the
nomination rested with Galerius, who, enraged at the usurpation, and
also at Constantine's shrewd diplomatic letter, allowed him only the
title of Cæsar.[115:3] No man in the Empire was better fitted by age,
appearance, previous training, and ability, for the higher office.
Backed by his army, Constantine continued his father's policy to defend
the Gauls against the Franks and Germans, and to develop the prosperity
of the country. He married Maximian's daughter (307) as a diplomatic
precaution and was recognised by him as Augustus. Meanwhile Maxentius,
the son of Maximian, who, discovered in conspiracy, had committed
suicide, had assumed the imperial purple at Rome and now took his
father's death as a pretext for war against Constantine.[115:4]
Encouraged by a Roman embassy, Constantine at once hastily marched
toward Rome and at Milvian Bridge defeated his rival, who was drowned in
the Tiber (312). Constantine was now sole Emperor of the West. In 324
Licinius was defeated in the East and Constantine had become Emperor of
the united Roman Empire.

Constantine's connection with Christianity marks a new epoch in the
history of the Church. Under him the new faith was legalised,
emancipated, protected, and given lands and buildings. Constantine's
mother, who was a Christian, probably gave him his first favourable
impressions of the outlawed religion. As a boy he must have heard it
discussed as a topic for both light and serious conversation. At the
court of Diocletian and Galerius he saw the edict of persecution
proclaimed in 303 and must have witnessed the action of Christians under
martyrdom, noticed their marvellous growth in the face of outlawry and
punishment, and perhaps came to look with some favour upon their
teachings. When he succeeded his father as Emperor of the West, he
continued his father's policy of toleration and let Diocletian's edict
of persecution fall as a dead letter.[116:1]

Tradition tells us that Constantine was converted to Christianity
suddenly by a miracle. One day, during the conflict with Maxentius at
Milvian Bridge, he and his whole army saw a bright cross in the heavens
with this inscription in Greek on it: "In this sign, conquer." In a
dream that night Christ appeared to him and commanded him to use the
emblem of the cross as his battle ensign, and promised him victory in
consequence. Constantine immediately had the costly _labarum_ made to
be carried before his army and with it at Milvian Bridge, ten miles from
Rome, he vanquished his foe.[117:1]

Three theories have been proposed to explain the spectacle of the cross:
1. That it was a genuine miracle, supported by the following facts: (a)
Eusebius, who gives us the first account, had all the evidence directly
from Constantine himself under oath; (b) Constantine's whole army
"witnessed the miracle and put the emblem on their shields"[117:2]; (c)
Socrates says the original standard could still be seen in his
day.[117:3] The older historians all upheld the miracle, although few
scholars to-day take that view.[117:4] 2. That it was a natural
phenomenon coloured by Constantine's imagination, or an optical
illusion, or a dream.[117:5] 3. That it was a pious fraud, deliberately
invented either by Constantine, or by Eusebius.[117:6] Whatever the
theories may be, the fact remains that for some reason Constantine
invoked the aid of the Christian's God, and carried the Christian emblem
in front of his troops to one victory after another until he became sole
ruler of the Empire. If it was merely experimenting with the name and
cross of Jesus, the experiment brought convincing belief, for the sacred
emblem was employed in all later military campaigns.

The triumph over Maxentius at Milvian Bridge was a great victory for
Christianity. Constantine had a statue of himself with a cross in his
hands set up in Rome. An inscription on it stated that through
Christianity the glory and freedom of Rome had been restored.[118:1]
Henceforth Constantine extended imperial aid and protection to the
Christians and a new era was opened in the history of the Christian
Church. He endowed and enlarged Christian churches in Rome and later
elsewhere[118:2]; he wrote letters in behalf of Christians in
Africa[118:3]; he made Christian bishops, like Hosius, Lactantius, and
Eusebius, his trusted political advisers; and he enacted laws legalising
the new faith and protecting its adherents.

The edict of limited toleration passed by Galerius in 311, in
conjunction with Constantine and Licinius, was very unsatisfactory. The
Christians might rebuild their churches but were required to pray for
the Emperor.[118:4] A decided preference was shown to paganism since no
person was free to leave his own religion and join another. This was a
great hardship, for many Romans were Christians at heart and were only
waiting for permission to join the new Church openly.[118:5] To meet the
new conditions and to afford the needed relief, Constantine, jointly
with Licinius, in 313 issued the Edict of Milan, the Magna Charta of
religious liberty. It was promulgated in Greek and Latin over the whole
Empire as imperial law. It did not make Christianity the state religion,
as is generally asserted, but only legalised it, and popularised it. Now
people could and did openly desert the old and join the new faith.
Persecutions were forbidden under severe penalties. Exiles were
recalled. Confiscated property was restored with compensation to the
possessor. All Romans were exhorted to worship the Christian God. This
famous edict was significant, because it put Christianity on an equality
with paganism; gave it opportunity for public organisation, thus paving
the way for the Catholic hierarchy already begun; and marks a new era in
the history of the Christian Church, because at last a great Roman
Emperor and his conquering army had taken up the sword in defence of
persecuted Christianity.[119:1]

The proclamation of emancipation and protection was followed by other
acts which clearly show that Constantine meant to favour and control the
new religion. The Christian clergy were exempted from military and
municipal duties[119:2]--a favour already enjoyed by pagan priests and
even Jewish rabbis (March, 313). The Church Council of Arles was
convoked (314). The emancipation of Christian slaves was facilitated
(315). Various customs and ordinances offensive to Christians were
abolished (316). Bequests to churches were legalised (321). The
cessation of civic business on Sunday was enjoined, but as a "dies
Solis" (321).[120:1] The heathen symbols of Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, and
Hercules were removed from imperial coins (323). In defeating Licinius
(324), a bitter reactionist, Constantine felt that he was waging war in
behalf of Christianity.[120:2] In 324 Constantine issued a general
exhortation to all Romans to embrace the new creed for the common weal.
The highest dignities were opened to Christians. Gifts and remission of
taxes enriched their churches. A craze for buildings led to the erection
of churches at various sacred spots in the Holy Land, at Nicomedia, in
Constantinople, in Rome, and elsewhere. Fifty costly manuscripts of the
Bible were ordered prepared for the leading churches. The Council of
Nicæa was held in 325, the Arian schism healed, and the first written
creed given the Church. Finally, by divine command, as it was said,
Constantine removed his capital from old pagan Rome to Byzantium, the
new Christian Rome, which was renamed Constantinople (326). This left
Christianity in the West, already strong and active, to organise itself
under the guidance of the Bishop of Rome, and powerfully aided the
evolution of the papal hierarchy. In the East, under imperial
protection, the spread and organisation of the popular belief was

Paganism was still legal, however; its institutions were not attacked
and the privileges of its priests were confirmed. Nevertheless the
triumphs of Christianity were all won at the expense of paganism. As the
new faith arose the old sank, yet not without many a desperate and even
noble effort to persist. Individual cults which were either immoral or
offensive, like that of Venus in Phœnicia, Æsculapius at Ægæ, and the
Nile-priests at Heliopolis, were prohibited.[121:1] Private haruspices
were forbidden. There is even some evidence of a general edict against
sacrifices.[121:2] All of these things indicate the passing away of the
old order and the birth of the new.

Opinion about Constantine's character takes two extreme views. On the
one hand it is held that in 312 Constantine, like Paul, was miraculously
converted to Christianity and that from that day forth he was a saint
incarnate. Eusebius, and later panegyrists like Mosheim, are responsible
for this picture. To this day the Greek churches celebrate his memory as
St. "Equal of the Apostles." On the other hand it is asserted that he
was nothing but a shrewd politician, able to read the signs of the
times, who assumed an outward connection with Christianity solely for
political expediency. Zosimus, a pagan historian, gives the worst
account, ascribing to him the basest motive for every deed. Keim calls
him a political trickster, and Burckhardt styles him a "murdering
egoist" and "politischer Rechner" without a spark of Christianity.[121:3]

Was Constantine a Christian? The query is a difficult one to answer
because ten men would each give a different definition of the essentials
of a Christian. The favourable evidence will be considered first.
Constantine's activity in behalf of the new religion, already mentioned,
shows at least his sympathy for it and no doubt his belief in it. His
imperial laws, improving woman's condition, mitigating slavery,
abolishing crucifixion as a method of punishment, and caring for the
unfortunate, breathe forth the spirit of Christian justice and
humanity.[122:1] He tried to convert his subjects to Christianity
through Christian governors in the provinces, by letters and sermons, by
rewarding towns for converting temples into churches, and by conforming
to Christian worship. He diligently attended divine services, had a
stated hour and place for prayer, fasted, kept Easter vigils with great
devotion, and even invited his subjects to hear him preach on the folly
of paganism and about the truth of Christianity. He exerted every effort
to make Constantinople a Christian city--churches replaced altars, the
imperial palace was adorned with biblical scenes,[122:2] gladiatorial
combats were prohibited, and the smoke of public sacrifice never rose
from the hills of New Rome.[122:3] The imperial treasury was lavishly
used to support Christianity.[122:4] Constantine's sons were given a
Christian education. He believed in the efficacy of baptism, even though
he did postpone it to the end of his life--a common practice to wash
away all sins. Besides he wished to be baptised in the river Jordan
where Jesus himself was baptised. In 337 he was received into the Church
as a catechumen, promised to live worthily as a follower of Jesus, was
baptised, and wore the white baptismal robe till he died.[122:5]

The unfavourable evidence submitted leads to the conclusion, held by
some historians, that Constantine's conversion was not genuine, but due
to hypocrisy, superstition, or policy. He retained the title Pontifex
Maximus, head of the old religion. The Edict of Milan protected paganism
and he continued that policy. After defeating Maxentius at Milvian
Bridge he had his triumphal arch erected. The original inscription said
that he triumphed over his rival by the favour of Jupiter. But these
words were later erased and the neutral phrase "instinctu Divinitas"
substituted.[123:1] In Rome he restored pagan temples and said: "You who
consider it profitable to yourselves, continue to visit the public
altars and temples and to observe your sacred rites."[123:2] Even in
Constantinople temples were erected to the gods. The laws of 319 show
that sacrifice still existed--at least in private houses.[123:3] Pagan
emblems were continued on imperial coins till 330. Constantine, as
Pontifex Maximus, continued to attend the sacred games connected with
the pagan religion,[123:4] and even used pagan rites along with
Christian to dedicate his new capital.[123:5] In 321 he ordered that
when lightning should strike the imperial palace, or any public
building, the soothsayers should be consulted to determine the cause as
of old. The same year he employed heathen magic to heal diseases, to
protect crops, to prevent rain and hail, etc.[123:6] He retained many
pagans at court and in public office, and was very intimate with pagan
philosophers like Sopater.[124:1] In no document did he formally
renounce paganism and declare himself a Christian. He was guilty of
weakness and crimes inconsistent with a Christian life. He was vain,
suspicious, despotic, and gained his ambitious ends through bloody wars.
He was undoubtedly guilty of murdering Licinius, his brother-in-law,
contrary to a sacred pledge; Licinius, the younger, his nephew, a boy of
eleven; Crispus, his eldest son, on the ground of treasonable
conspiracy; and Fausta, his wife, for adultery.[124:2] To wipe away
these sins, and many others, he accepted at the close of his life the
Christian rite of baptism. After his death the Senate voted to place him
among the gods.[124:3]

After weighing all evidence, these historical conclusions may be drawn:

1. Constantine was primarily a statesman, and wisely used both paganism
and Christianity to unite his Empire and to build up his autocratic
power. He was Pontifex Maximus, not alone of paganism, but of all
religions.[124:4] The grateful Christians heartily granted that
leadership. Up to 323 he kept the two religions equally balanced, but to
do so he was forced to favour Christianity most. After 323 he depressed
paganism and exalted Christianity. Toward the end of his life he showed
a tendency to forcibly suppress the old religion.

2. Constantine was a Christian, but not as a result of a miracle at
Milvian Bridge. His conversion was a gradual result of many influences.
Training at his Christian mother's knee, paternal instruction, his
youthful observations at the Eastern imperial court, a growing belief in
monotheism, his discontent with the faith of his fathers and a proneness
toward sun-worship, and his religious philosophy, which led him to look
at Christianity as a system of thought rather than a life creed--a law,
not a faith--a world-force of purity and simplicity--all these factors
produced within him a growing comprehension of the truth, power, and
beauty of Christianity. The cross in the sky and the consequent
victories led to a conviction that God had selected him as the champion
of the new creed, "the bishop of bishops." Contact with the leading
Christians in the Empire, men of heart and brains, greatly increased his
admiration for Christianity and interest in it. Just when he became a
Christian no one can say, but that he died a sincere believer one can
hardly doubt.[125:1]

3. He was a product of his age. He was actuated by both religious and
political motives and was not merely an artful politician. It was not an
easy thing to be a Roman Emperor and at the same time a Christian. He
was guilty of grave crimes, but they were the result of gusts of
passion, like those of Peter the Great, and not of constitutional
depravity. Nor do these sins appear so enormous when considered in the
light of his long, useful career, the dynastic difficulties confronting
him, and the morality of many Christian leaders of the day. It must not
be forgotten that he was a converted heathen, that the Christian code
had not yet become the moral code, and that the integrity of the Empire
stood above family ties and even religious demands.

4. He made his age the beginning of a new era. He enabled Christianity
to become the moulding spirit of Western civilisation. He was the first
representative of that theoretical Christian theocracy which makes the
Church and state two sides of God's government on earth. The Church and
state were to remain united throughout all the succeeding ages to the
present time. Even Protestant nations adopted the principle. Among the
most noteworthy exceptions to-day are the United States, Italy, and, but
recently, France. He founded the Byzantine Empire and bears the same
relation to the East that Charles the Great does to the West. He gave
the Church its first unity in organisation, its first universal council,
and its first written creed. He stamped his own character on his age and
made it greater and happier. He has continued to live through succeeding
centuries by reason of what he was and what he did. For all these
reasons, judged by achievement, the world unites in calling him "the

5. Historically, Constantine's significance lies not in the fact that he
was a Christian, personally, but that he for the first time endowed the
new religion with that worldly power which made it for over one thousand
years the most powerful moral, social, and political agency the world
has seen. Constantine the Great was succeeded by Charles the Great, and
he in turn by Otto the Great. On the ruins of the Christianised Roman
Empire arose the Roman Empire of the Germans, and in this the work of
Constantine was really completed. Not until the Reformation and the
Modern Age did the cry arise that the work of Constantine must be

Constantine's three sons and successors continued his policy. Laws were
passed favourable to Christianity. Paganism was still tolerated, but the
tendency to suppress it had developed into a fixed policy. Sacrifices
were forbidden on pain of death and confiscation in 352.[127:1] The
persecuted, in turn, became the persecutors. "Emperors!" one of the
Christian leaders advised, "the temples must be overthrown and utterly
destroyed in order that the pernicious error may no longer pollute the
Roman world. The Supreme God has committed the Government to you, so
that you may cure this cancer." Pagan temples were converted into
Christian churches. Unity of worship and unity of imperial rule were
declared to be essential. Pagan opposition to religious unity under the
Emperor was now interpreted as treason just as Christianity was so
regarded before 311. Thus identified with the Empire, Christianity
became the popular dominant faith. Rome and Alexandria alone clung to
the old gods.[127:2]

Under Julian (361-363), a nephew of Constantine the Great, paganism made
one last supreme effort for mastery. The reaction was inspired by
Neo-Platonism, by the personal devotion of Julian to the classical
faith, and by the hope of securing a stronger imperial unity through the
supremacy of paganism. Julian did not openly persecute Christianity, but
treated it very much as Constantine did paganism. Had he lived longer,
nevertheless, harsher measures might have been employed. He seemed to
feel that he was swimming against the tide, however, and fell in battle
against the Persians (363) saying, "Thou hast conquered,

Julian's sudden death with one stroke precipitated the decline and fall
of paganism. His successor, Jovian (363-364), a Christian, restored
Christianity to imperial and popular favour.[128:2] The legal toleration
of all religions continued under Valentinian I. (d. 375) and Valens (d.
378). Emperor Gratian (375-383) began the repression of paganism in the
West, and Valentinian II. (383-392) continued it, while Theodosius I.
(378-395) pursued the same policy in the East, and forcibly suppressed
paganism.[128:3] The edict of 380 constituted Christianity the exclusive
religion of the whole Empire. "We command all who read this law to
embrace the name of Catholic Christians, deciding that all other idiots
and madmen should bear the infamy attaching to their heretical opinions,
and as they will first meet with the penalty of divine vengeance, so
they will afterwards receive that condemnation at our hands which the
Heavenly Judge has empowered us to administer."[128:4] The new faith had
won a famous victory. Even the old Roman Senate, the last refuge of
paganism, voted that the religion of Jesus was true.




     1.--Eusebius, Life of Constantine. Nic. and Post-Nic.
          Fathers_, i., 472. Edited by McGiffert. Best edition.
          _Church History._ _Ib._

     2.--Socrates, _Ecclesiastical History_. _Ib._, ii., bk. 1,

     3.--Sozomen, _Ecclesiastical History_. _Ib._, ii., bk. 1, 4.

     4.--Theodoret, _Ecclesiastical History_. _Ib._, iii., bk. 1,

     5.--Lactantius, _Death of Persecutors_. _Ante-Nic. Christ.
          Lib._, xxi., 485; xxii., 186 _ff._

     6.--Evagrius, _Ecclesiastical History_. Bohn, _Eccl. Lib._,

     7.--St. Athanasius, _Works_. _Fathers of the Holy Cath. Ch._,
          viii., xiii., xix. _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, iv., 2d

     8.--St. Basil, _Letters_. _Ib._, viii., 109.

     9.--St. Augustine, _Sermons on the New Testament_. _Fathers of
          the Holy Cath. Ch._, lv., ch. 12.

    10.--St. Chrysostom, _Homilies_. _Ib._, xxi., ch. 11; _Nic.
          and Post-Nic. Fathers_, ix., 1st ser.

    11.--St. Ambrose, _Letters_, No. 21, 23. _Fathers of the Holy
          Cath. Ch._, xlv.

    12.--St. Cyril, _Catechetical Lectures_. _Ib._, xiv., ch. 22;
          _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, vii., 2d ser.


     1.--Zosimus, _History_. Transl. by J. Davis, Lond., 1814.

     2.--Emperor Julian, _Letters_. Transl. by E. J. Chinnock.
          Lond., 1901. _Sovereign Sun_ and _Mother of the Gods_, in
          King, _Julian the Emperor_. Lond., 1888.


     1.--Henderson, _Select Historical Documents of the Middle
          Ages_. Bohn Lib., 1892, p. 319.

     2.--Univ. of Penn., _Translations and Reprints_. iv., No. 1,
          2; vi., No. 4.

     3.--Robinson, _Readings in European History_, i., 21.



     1.--Carr, A., _The Church and the Roman Empire_. Lond., 1886.

     2.--Chawner, W., _The Influence of Christianity upon the
          Legislation of Constantine the Great_. Lond., 1874.

     3.--Cutts, E. L., _Constantine the Great_. Lond., 1881.

     4.--Fletcher, J., _Life of Constantine the Great_. Lond.,

     5.--Gwatkin, H. M., _Studies of Arianism_. Camb., 1882. _The
          Arian Controversy._ N. Y., 1889.

     6.--Hardy, E. G., _Christianity and the Roman Government_.
          Lond., 1894.

     7.--Newman, J. H., _The Arians of the Fourth Century_. Lond.,

     8.--Saunders, G., _The State of the Christian Community before
          and after Constantine_. Glasg., 1882.

     9.--Smith and Wace, _Dictionary of Christian Biography_. Art.
          on Constantine.


    Allen, ch. 1-2. Alzog, i., § 96-100. Backhouse, pt. 2, ch. 10.
    Baur, ii., 225-228. Blunt, i., ch. 6. Bouzique, i., ch. 3;
    ii., ch. 1. Bright, 60 _ff._, 310. Butler, ch. 23-26.
    Cheetham, pt. ii., ch. 1. Coxe, ch. 3. Croke, ch. 12-16.
    Darras, i., pd. 2, ch. 1-2. Döllinger, ii., ch. 1, sec. 1.
    Duff, ch. 31, 37. Fisher, pd. 3, ch. 1. Foulkes, ch. 4.
    Gibbon, ch. 17-25. Gieseler, div. 3, pd. 2, ch. 1, sec. 75-77.
    Gilmartin, i., ch. 10. Guericke, sec. 61-63. Hase, sec. 93-95.
    Hore, ch. 5. Hurst, i., 410-426. Jackson, ch. 12-16. Jennings,
    i., ch. 4. Knight, ch. 6. Kurtz, i., § 42-43. Mahan, bk. 2,
    ch. 10. Milman, bk. 1, ch. 2. Milner, i., cent. 4, ch. 2-3.
    Moeller, i., 296-308. Mosheim, ii., 454-481. Neander, ii.,
    1-32. Newman, i., 305-319. Robertson, bk. 2, ch. 1. Schaff,
    ii., 1-37. Stanley, 281.


[113:1] Orr, _Neglected Factors_, 95-163; Ramsay, _Ch. in Rom. Emp._,

[113:2] Orr, _Neglected Factors_, 23-91.

[113:3] Zosimus, ii., 8; St. Ambrose, Migne, iii., 1209. For the fable
about the English princess read Geoffrey of Monmouth and Pierre de
Langloft. This tale was used by Baronius. It must be remembered that
concubinage was a state recognised by Roman law, and was by no means in
itself a sign of depravity.

[114:1] Eusebius, _Life of Constantine_, iii., ch. 47, leads one to
believe that Constantine converted his mother to Christianity. _Cf._
Hamza Ispaheus, p. 55.

[114:2] Lactantius, _Death of Persecutors_, ch. 24.

[115:1] Zos., ii., 8; Euseb., _Life of Const._, i., ch. 121.

[115:2] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, viii., ch. 13; _Life of Const._, ii., ch.

[115:3] Lactantius, _Death of Persecutors_, ch. 25. Galerius recognised
Severus as Augustus of the West.

[115:4] Galerius meanwhile was induced to recognise Constantine as
Augustus in 308.

[116:1] Lactantius, _Death of Persecutors_, ch. 24; Euseb., _Life of
Const._, i., ch. 14, 16, 17, 27.

[117:1] Euseb., _Life of Const._, i., ch. 28-31; Sozomen, i., ch. 3;
Socrates, i., ch. 2; Lactantius, _Death of Persecutors_, ch. 44.

[117:2] Euseb., _Life of Const._, i., ch. 28; Sozomen, i., ch. 3.

[117:3] Socrates, i., ch. 2.

[117:4] Döllinger; J. H. Newman; Guericke, Uhlhorn, etc.

[117:5] Supported by best modern critical writers like Schroeck,
Neander, Gieseler, Mansi, Milman, Keim, Heinicken, Schaff, Harnack, etc.
For like examples see Whymper, _Scrambles among the Alps_, ch. 22;
Gieseler, i., § 56; Stanley, 288; Peary, _Narrative of an Attempt to
Reach the North Pole_, 99, 100; Seymour, _The Cross in Tradition_, 103

[117:6] This theory is defended by Gibbon, Lardner, Waddington,
Burckhardt, Hoornbeeck, Thomasius, Arnold, etc. They seem to ignore all

[118:1] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, ix., ch. 9; _Life of Const._, i., ch. 40.
The triumphal arch was not set up till 315.

[118:2] Euseb., _Life of Const._, i., ch. 42.

[118:3] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, x., ch. 5, 7.

[118:4] Ibid., _Eccl. Hist._, viii., 17; edict given in _Transl. and
Reprints_, iv., No. 1, p. 28. _Cf._ Lactantius, ch. 34, 35.

[118:5] Neander, ii., 12, 13.

[119:1] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, x., 5. The Edict of Milan is given in
_Transl. and Reprints_, iv., No. 1, p. 29. It is thought by some that
the Edict of Milan refers to an edict issued by Constantine in 312 but
now lost. That possibility seems very doubtful. _Cf._ Lactantius, ch.

[119:2] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, x., ch. 7; Sozom., i., 9; Cod. Theod.,
xvi., 2, 1, 2, 3.

[120:1] Cod. Justin., iii., tit. 12, 1, 3.

[120:2] Moeller, i., 298. He at once issued edicts of toleration for
Christians in the East. Euseb., _Life of Const._, ii., ch. 24 _ff._

[121:1] Euseb., _Life of Const._, iii., ch. 55, 56, 58; iv., ch. 25, 37,

[121:2] _Ibid._, ii., ch. 44, 45; iii., ch. 56, 58; iv., ch. 25.

[121:3] For further opinions of like character read Brieger, Flasch,
Baur, etc.

[122:1] Sozom., i., 8; Cod. Theod. and Cod. Justin are full of these

[122:2] Euseb., _Life of Const._, iii., ch. 3, 49; iv., ch. 15.

[122:3] _Ibid._, ii., ch. 44, 45; iii., ch. 48; iv., ch. 24.

[122:4] _Ibid._, ii., ch. 45; iii., 33-39, 41, 42, 43, 48, 58; iv., 28,

[122:5] Brooks, _Date of the Death of Constantine_; Euseb., _Life of
Const._, iv., 62-64.

[123:1] Dyer, _City of Rome_, 312.

[123:2] Cod. Theod., xii., i., 21; v., 2; Neander, ii., 20.

[123:3] _Ibid._, 19.

[123:4] Cod. Theod., ix., 16, 1, 2; Zos., ii., ch. 29.

[123:5] Zos., ii., ch. 31; Moeller, i., 299.

[123:6] Neander, ii., 20, 21.

[124:1] Euseb., _Life of Const._, ii., ch. 44.

[124:2] This last charge is now discredited by some authorities.

[124:3] Eutropius, _Breviarium_, x., 4.

[124:4] Euseb., _Life of Const._, iv., ch. 24.

[125:1] Cutts, _Const. the Great_, 419.

[126:1] See Cutts, _Const. the Great_, 128.

[127:1] Cod. Theod., xvi., 10, 4.

[127:2] Gieseler, i., § 75.

[128:1] Negri, _Julian the Apostate_, 2 vols., N. Y., 1905; King,
_Julian the Emp._, Lond., 1888; Gardner, _Julian, Philosopher and Emp._,
N. Y., 1895; Rendall, _The Emperor Julian_, Lond., 1879; Sozom., vi., 2;
Theodoret, iii., 25.

[128:2] Sozom., vi., 3.

[128:3] Cod. Theod., xvi., 10, 12.

[128:4] Cod. Justin, i., 1, 1.



     OUTLINE: I.--Diversion of Christian thought in the early
     Church. II.--The Arian controversy. III.--The Council of Nicæa
     and its actions. IV.--Later history of Arianism. V.--Sources.

Early Christianity was characterised by a remarkable intellectual
activity, which was chiefly theological and philosophical. Speculative
discussions were rife, particularly in the East, where the different
philosophical systems were prominent. Jesus left no definite creed,
which all could understand alike.[131:1] The Ante-Nicene period was full
of sharp and bitter theological and ecclesiastical antagonisms. Such an
epoch of dissension and division the world was not to witness again
until the dawn of the Protestant Revolt.

Christian converts came from Judaism, and from various types of
paganism, hence at the very outset there was a tendency to create two
distinct types of Christianity--the Jewish and the non-Jewish. This lack
of unity and uniformity was clearly seen and sneered at by the pagan
scholars.[131:2] This was Origen's significant explanation:

     Seeing that Christianity appeared an object of veneration to
     men, and not to the labouring and serving classes alone, but
     also to many among the Greeks who were devoted to literary
     pursuits, there necessarily originated sects, not at all as a
     result of faction and strife, but through the earnest desire
     of many literary men to enter more profoundly into the truths
     of Christianity. The consequence was, that understanding
     differently those things which were considered divine by all,
     there arose sects, which received their names from men who
     admired Christianity in its fundamental nature, but from a
     variety of causes reached discordant views.

Among the heretical sects of the Ante-Nicene period were:

1. The Ebionites,[132:1] who were Judaising Christians as shown in the
book of Acts and the Pauline Epistles. They desired to be both Jews and
Christians, and ended by being neither. They soon divided up into many
sects.[132:2] They lived in and about Palestine for the first three
centuries of the Christian era. They believed that God made the world
and gave the Mosaic law, which was still essential to salvation; that
Jesus was the Messiah, though not divine, only a great man like Moses
and David; but they denounced Paul and heroised James and Peter. They
observed the Jewish Sabbath, retained the rite of circumcision, and
observed the law. In the minds of the great body of orthodox Christians
they were regarded as heretics.

2. The Gnostics[132:3] embraced various factions, mostly pagan converts
to Christianity, which flourished in Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt
chiefly during the second century. Their ideas can be traced back to
Philo's Jewish-Alexandrian philosophy, to Buddhism and Zoroastrianism,
and to the old Egyptian religion. Knowledge, above all else, was the one
thing desired. Believing in the inherent evil of matter, they sought to
account for a bad world without compromising God. Jehovah of the Old
Testament was rejected as the Supreme Being. They cast aside all the New
Testament except the Pauline Epistles and parts of the Gospels. They
professed to apprehend the divine mysteries. Some advocated asceticism,
and others gave the utmost license to the flesh. All believed in the
idea of the evolution of the world, through Christ, to an ideal state.
Although denounced as heretics, they left a marked influence on
Christianity. Gnosticism was so speculative, however, that it gave rise
to many leaders and creeds.

3. The Manichæans[133:1] accepted Gnosticism minus true Christianity and
adopted Oriental dualism under Christian names. Manichæism originated
with Mani about 238 in Persia and spread westward over the Christian
Church. Its leading principle was absolute dualism--a kingdom of light
and one of darkness in eternal opposition, yet brought together by a
sort of pantheism. Christianity was accepted, but explained in terms of
this dualism. The Old Testament was wholly rejected as well as parts of
the New. The elevated priesthood celebrated the secret rites of baptism
and communion with solemn pomp, lived as ascetics, possessed no
property, and abstained from wine and animal food. This system, claiming
to be true Christianity, had a marked influence on both the doctrines
and organisation of the Church.[134:1]

4. The Monarchians[134:2] denied the doctrine of the Trinity, but were
divided into a number of groups. The Alogoi in the second century
rejected all of the Apostle John's works and denied the eternity of the
Logos as a person of the Godhead. Theodatus, a leather dealer of
Byzantium, went to Rome in 190 and taught that Jesus was a "mere man"
till baptism gave him divine attributes. Paul of Samosata, Bishop of
Antioch, was excommunicated in 269 for advocating the doctrine that the
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one person, God. He maintained that
Jesus was a divinely begotten man exalted to divine dignity by the Holy
Spirit or Logos--an attribute of God. Praxeas of Asia Minor visited Rome
about 195 and later preached in Carthage. He held that the Father and
Christ were one and attributed the "Passion" to God, hence his party
were called the Patripassians. Sabellianism was simply another form of
this heresy and helped to precipitate the Arian controversy.

In addition to these four heretical sects there were three distinct
reactionary and reforming parties:

1. Montanism[135:1] originated, like so many radical movements, in Asia
Minor (150?). Montanus professed to have received a message from the
"Paraclete" to reform the growing worldliness and the lax ecclesiastical
discipline of the Church. Montanists denounced the innovations
introduced into the Church, and sought to return to the simpler and
purer doctrines and organisation of the early Church. They preached a
universal priesthood of all believers. In exalting virginity, widowhood,
and martyrdom, in professing a contempt for the world with all its
excesses, and in insisting upon an arbitrary holiness, Montanism was a
force paving the way for ascetic Christianity. They accepted all the
fundamental principles of the Church, but professed to receive special
divine revelations from the "Paraclete," as the Holy Ghost was called.
They lived in constant expectation of the coming of the end of the
world. Tertullian was their greatest apologist. But both the Christian
hierarchy and the imperial power were turned against these reforming
puritans. Under Justinian Montanism disappeared (532).

2. The Novatianists[135:2] withdrew from the Church protesting against
the readmission of those who through fear deserted the Church in the
Decian persecution (249-251). They were strong in North Africa and Asia
Minor, and continued until the sixth century, absorbing most of the
Montanists. In doctrine and organisation they did not differ from the
regular Church, but only on the question of discipline. They also laid
unusual stress on the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. Their churches
were still found in the fifth century in Rome till closed by Innocent I.

3. The Donatists[136:1] grew out of the Montanist opposition to laxity
and innovation in the Church and Novatian strictness of discipline. The
Donatists denounced the Christians who during the Diocletian persecution
delivered up the Scriptures, and tried to drive them out of the Church.
The party centred in Carthage and was led by Bishop Donatus. They
believed in ecclesiastical purism, held the Church to be an exclusive
society of saved sinners, emphasised inner holiness as a qualification
of membership, asserted the necessity of baptismal regeneration and
infant baptism, said unholy priests could not administer the sacraments,
advocated rigid discipline, resisted the union of Church and state, and
were organised as a hierarchy. They were very active in the early
part of the fourth century, and attempted to secure the support of
Constantine. He decided against them and tried to quiet them. Emperor
Julian favoured them, but Augustine sought their overthrow. Finally the
Vandals swept them away.

The Arian controversy was a natural product of the early differences
about the nature of the Godhead and was distinctly connected with the
Ebionites, Gnostics, Montanists, and Sabellians. In the Eastern
speculation about the mystery of the Holy Trinity, one faction of
theorists tended to "refine the Deity into a mental conception"; another
to "impersonate Him into a material being." Between these extremes arose
the discussion about "the nature and relation between the Father, Son,
and Holy Ghost."[137:1] Tertullian and Origen both attempted to solve
the problem. Dionysius of Alexandria (260), in a contest with the
Sabellians, is reported to have declared: "The Son of God is a work and
a creature, not appertaining to Him by nature, but as regards His
essence, as foreign to the Father as the husbandman to the vine . . .
For as a creature, he did not exist before he was produced."[137:2]
Dionysius of Rome, backed up by a synod, repudiated that proposition and
clearly stated the orthodox Trinitarian view. Origen widened the breach
by asserting the eternal divinity of Christ, but at the same time
maintaining also His subordination to the Father as a "secondary God."
The conflicting schools of theology at Alexandria and Antioch were ready
to take sides in the controversy, which reached a crisis at the end of
the third century, when all theological thought was focused on this one

The controversy broke out in Alexandria in 318.[137:3] Bishop Alexander
in a public address insisted on the interpretation of the eternity of
the Son. Arius, a presbyter, charged the bishop with Sabellianism, which
advocated an undivided Godhead, and held that Christ was a creature of
God, hence not coexistent and eternal.[138:1] He and his followers held
that God alone was eternal; that He created the Son, or Logos, by His
_fiat_, hence the Son is different in essence and finite; that the Son
was created before time was and in turn made the universe and rules it;
that the Son is Logos in soul, stands between God and man, and is to be
worshipped as the most exalted of creatures, the creator and ruler of
the world, and the Redeemer of men. It was contended that all these
propositions could be proved beyond dispute from the Bible.[138:2]

Alexander, in a personal interview, sought to stop Arius,[138:3] who was
an old priest in control of the most influential church in the city,--a
proud, learned, ambitious, and fascinating man,[138:4] who, defeated in
his candidacy for the arch-episcopacy of Alexandria,[138:5] began to
foment social and religious circles by attacking Alexander. Failing to
quiet him, Alexander called a synod to discuss the disputed points, but
Arius seemed to carry the day and continued his agitation. Then the
bishop commanded Arius and his followers to renounce their
"impiety."[138:6] Refusing to obey, Arius was called before a local
council in 320 and there excommunicated.[138:7] But Arius now spread his
views all the more zealously by conversation, by letters, by sermons,
and later, while an exile, in a poetic work called _The Banquet_. His
doctrines pleased the wide-spread rationalism, and hence became very
popular. They were put into popular songs and sung everywhere, and
became the chief topic of conversation in all social circles. Arius,
however, was forced to flee[139:1] to Palestine and thence to Nicomedia,
while Alexander drew up his encyclic to all Christian Bishops
(323)[139:2] giving the history of the controversy and defending the
Trinitarian position.

The eastern part of the Empire broke up into two powerful parties: the
Arians and the Trinitarians or Athanasians. "In every city bishops were
engaged in obstinate conflict with bishops and people rising against
people."[139:3] Theology became mere technology. Staunch partisans came
forth as champions on both sides--Eusebius, the Church historian,
Eusebius, the Bishop of Nicomedia, Chrysostom, Theodore, and Ephraëm
stood for Arianism; while Athanasius, Marcellus, Basil, Cyril, and Blind
Didymus became Alexander's supporters. In a short time the whole Eastern
Church became a "metaphysical battle-field." Finally both sides appealed
to Constantine, who, viewing the contest as a war of words, wrote a
common letter and sent it by his court-bishop to both leaders in which
he said that the quarrel was childish and unworthy such churchmen; that
moreover it was displeasing to him personally, hence they were asked to
stop it.[139:4] When this imperial request failed, Constantine summoned
the Council of Nicæa to settle the dispute.[139:5]

The Council of Nicæa was summoned by the Emperor for the summer of 325.
Constantine's purpose in convening it was to settle by compromise or
otherwise religious disputes which might easily become a political
danger to the Empire. It was the first universal council of Christendom.
Of the two thousand persons in attendance more than three hundred were
bishops.[140:1] All of the thirteen provinces in the Empire except
Britain were represented.[140:2] All the West, however, sent but six
representatives--good proof that the Arian controversy was an Eastern
question. The Bishop of Rome was too old to go so he sent two presbyters
to represent him.[140:3] Even a few pagan philosophers were attracted to
the Council, and actually took part in the discussions.[140:4]

In organising the Council the bishops were seated according to
rank.[140:5] Discussions occurred for some time before Constantine
arrived. Then the Emperor entered "as a messenger from God, covered with
gold and precious stones, a magnificent figure, tall and slender, and
full of grace and majesty." He opened the Council with these words:
"When I was told of the division amongst you, I was convinced that I
ought not to attend to any business before this; and it is from the
desire of being useful to you that I have convened you without delay;
but I shall not believe my end to be attained until I have united the
minds of all, until I see that peace and that union reign amongst you
which you are commissioned as the anointed of the Lord to preach to
others."[141:1] He took part in the deliberations also and acted as the
real head of the Council, though the Spanish Bishop Hosius probably
served as the spiritual president.[141:2] Only bishops or their
accredited proxies had a vote.

Three distinct parties immediately appeared in the Council: (1) The
Arians led by Arius. Twenty bishops with Eusebius of Nicomedia at their
head constituted the voting party. (2) The Semi-Arians were led by
Eusebius of Cæsarea, the Church historian. They had a majority and were
inclined partly to the Arians and partly to the orthodox side. (3) The
Trinitarians, or orthodox party, led by Alexander, Hosius, Macarius,
Marcellus, and Athanasius. At the outset they were in the minority, but
soon came to control the Council.

Unfortunately the authentic minutes of the transactions are not now
extant,[141:3] if indeed they ever existed. The Arians, it appears, came
to the Council confident of victory because the Emperor's sister
Constantia was an avowed Arian, and he himself was supposed to be a
sympathiser, since so many scholars about him upheld the doctrine. But
when Arius presented his creed signed by eighteen eminent names, it
created an uproar, the creed was seized and torn to pieces, and its
doctrines repudiated. All the signers but Arius and two bishops then
abandoned the project. Eusebius of Cæsarea came forward at this juncture
with an old Palestine creed as a compromise.[142:1] It acknowledged the
divine nature of Jesus. The Emperor favoured it, and the Arians were
willing to accept it, but Athanasius was suspicious and demanded so many
changes that when, after two months of solemn discussion, the amended
creed was passed,[142:2] Eusebius, the originator, hesitated to sign it.
This was a grand triumph for the orthodox party. The Emperor required
all bishops to subscribe to it.[142:3] The Semi-Arians did so under
protest. Arius and two Egyptian bishops[142:4] refused and were banished
to Illyria.[142:5] Arius was publicly excommunicated and his writings
ordered burned. The business of the Council concluded, Constantine
dismissed it with a splendid feast which Eusebius likened to the kingdom
of Heaven.[142:6]

The results of Nicæa were very significant:

1. The Church was given its first written creed, the Nicene Creed--the
basis of all later creeds, Greek, Latin, and Evangelical.[142:7] This
was the first official definition of the Trinity and has continued to be
the orthodox interpretation. The Nicene Creed contains all the cardinal
Christian doctrines. It was universally proclaimed as imperial law.

2. Church canons were enacted--the West accepts twenty, the East
more--which constitute the basis for the canon law of the Middle
Ages.[143:1] These canons indicate the burning questions in the Church
at that time.

3. The method of calculating the date for Easter, which differed in
Eastern churches and Western churches, was determined.[143:2]

4. This Council, guided, as was believed, by the Holy Ghost, acted as
the infallible, sovereign power of the Church and set precedents which
later conflicted with the supreme power claimed by the Pope.

5. The development of the papal hierarchy was stimulated. The Bishop of
Rome was recognised as the only Patriarch in the West.[143:3] He was
soon forced to be the recognised champion of orthodoxy.

6. The Council of Nicæa marks the beginning of the breach between the
East and the West which resulted in the first great schism in

7. The law of celibacy was almost imposed on the Church.[143:4]

8. Interference in the most vital concerns of the Church was recognised
as an imperial prerogative. The Emperor called the Council, presided
over its proceedings, acted as mediator between contending factions,
forced the Nicene Creed on the Church, fixed the day for celebrating
Easter, and approved the first ecclesiastical canons.

9. The various heresies and schisms of the time were condemned. This
action threw into prominent relief throughout the Empire the powerful
party of orthodox Catholics, who henceforth were to control the
destinies of the Church in both its internal and external organisation
and evolution.

The condemnation of Arianism was only a temporary victory. Soon
Constantine himself was won over by the Arians, invited Arius to his
court, and ordered Athanasius, who meanwhile had become Bishop of
Alexandria (328), to reinstate Arius in his parish. Athanasius refused
to do so, and was condemned and deposed by the councils of Tyre (334)
and of Constantinople (335), and exiled by the Emperor to Treves in
Gaul. Arius died before he could be recalled (336). Constantine II.
restored Athanasius to his see (338), but his brother Constantius and
his Arian friends deposed him again (339). Athanasius then fled to Pope
Julius at Rome (339), who laid his case before a Western council (341)
which vindicated both his creed and his rights. This supreme appellate
power assumed by the Bishop of Rome is significantly prophetic.

To heal the Arian conflict, which was again active--this time between
the East and the West,--the Council of Sardica was called in 343. The
Roman party controlled it, reconfirmed the Nicene Creed, and adopted
twelve new canons. The Arians refused to take part and held a rump
council. The result was a wider separation of the East and the
West.[144:1] Under Constantius, however, the Arian party grew stronger,
held the three Arian councils of Sirmium (351), Arles (353), and Milan
(355), forced their decrees upon the whole Church, exiled Hosius,
Hilary, and Lucifer, drove Athanasius, who had meanwhile once more
returned to his office (346), out of his see, and even deposed Pope
Liberius[145:1] and elected an Arian Pope, Felix II., in his place. Thus
the Arian party seemed triumphant East and West.

But the Arians soon split into bitter factions and began to destroy
themselves. Under Emperor Julian they lost imperial favour and saw the
Nicene party tolerated. The orthodox faction was thus able to gradually
re-win power in the West and South. Theodosius the Great (379-395)
externally completed the Nicene conquest of the whole Empire through an
imperial edict (380) and by calling the second general Council of
Constantinople (381), which ratified the Nicene Creed in a revised form
and passed seven additional canons.[145:2] But Arianism lingered long
within the Empire, especially among the Teutons, who were slow to accept
the Roman faith--the Vandals in 530, the Burgundians in 534, the Suevi
in 560, the Goths in 587, and the Longobards in 600.[145:3] It also
reappeared again and again in the later heresies on down to the present




     1.--Eusebius, _Life of Constantine_. _Nic. and Post-Nic.
          Fathers._ 2d ser., i., bk. 2, 3. _Church History._
          _Ib._, i.

     2.--Athanasius, _Works_. 2d ser., _ib._, iv. _Fath. of the
          Holy Cath. Ch._, viii., xiii., xix. Bright, W.,
          _Orations_. Oxf., 1873.

     3.--Socrates, _Ecclesiastical History_. _Nic. and Post-Nic.
          Fathers._ 2d ser., ii., bk. 1, ch. 8 _ff._

     4.--Sozomen, _Ecclesiastical History_. 2d ser., _ib._, ii.,
          bk. 1, ch. 17 _ff._

     5.--Theodoret, _Ecclesiastical History_. 2d ser., _ib._, iii.,
          bk. 1, ch. 1-13.

     6.--Philostorgius, _Epitome of Ecclesiastical History_. Bohn,
          _Eccl. Lib._, ii., 429-528.


     1.--Percival, H. R., _The Seven Ecumenical Councils_. In
          _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, 2d ser., xiv. N. Y., 1900.

     2.--Pusey, E., _The Councils of the Church_ (to 381).

     3.--Fulton, J., _Index Canonum_. N. Y., 1892.

     4.--Lambert, W., _Canons of the First Four General Councils_.
          Lond., 1868.

     5.--Hammond, W. A., _The Six Œcumenical Councils_. Oxf.,

     6.--Bright, W., _Notes on the Canons of the First Four General
          Councils_. N. Y., 1892.

     7.--Mitchell, E. K., _Canons of the First Four General
          Councils_. Univ. of Pa., _Transl. and Repr._, iv.

     8.--Chrystal, J., _Authoritative Christianity_. Jersey City,
          1891. Vol. i.

     9.--Schaff, P., _The Creeds of the Greek and Latin Churches_.
          Lond., 1877, ii., 28, 29, 57-62, 66.

    10.--Lumby, J. R., _The History of the Creeds_. Lond., 1880.
          Vol. ii.

    11.--Howard, G. B., _Canons of the Primitive Church_. Lond.,



     1.--Boyle, I., _Historical View of the Council of Nicæa_. N.
          Y., 1856.

     2.--Bright, W., _Waymarks of Church History_. Lond., 1894, 56

     3.--Bull, G., _Defence of the Nicene Faith_. 1685. Transl. in
          _Lib. of Anglo-Cath. Theol._ Lond., 1851.

     4.--Dorner, I. A., _History of the Doctrine of the Person of
          Christ_. Edinb., 1861-3. 5 vols.

     5.--DuBose, W. P., _The Ecumenical Councils_. N. Y., 1897.

     6.--Dudley, T. W., _History of the First Council of Nicæa_.
          Bost., 1880.

     7.--Gwatkin, H. M., _Studies in Arianism_. Camb., 1882. _The
          Arian Controversy._ N. Y., 1889. Ch. 1, 2.

     8.--Hefele, C. J., _History of the Church Councils_. Edinb.,
          1882-3. Bk. ii., ch. 1, 2.

     9.--Kaye, J., _Some Account of the Council of Nicæa_. Lond.,

    10.--Neal, J. M., _History of the Holy Eastern Church_. Lond.,

    11.--Newman, J. H., _The Arians of the Fourth Century_. N. Y.,

    12.--Stanley, A. P., _History of the Eastern Church_. N. Y.,

    13.--Swainson, C. A., _The Nicene and Apostolic Creeds_. Lond.,

    Note.--See Chap. VII. for additional works.


    Adeney, ch. 1. Allies, v., ch. 37-39. Alzog, i., § 110-112.
    Backhouse, pt. 11, ch. 11, 12. Bartlet, ch. 9. Baur, ii.,
    112-120. Bouzique, ii., ch. 1. Butler, ch. 24. Cheetham, pt.
    2, ch. 10, 11. Coxe, ch. 2, sec. 15; ch. 3, sec. 10-14.
    Crooks, ch. 21-23. Darras, i., pd. 2, ch. 1. Döllinger, i.,
    ch. 2; ii., ch. 3, 4; iii., ch. 2, sec. 2, 3. Duff, ch. 33,
    34, 35. Fisher, 104, 119, 130. Fleury, bk. 21. Foulkes, ch. 4.
    Gibbon, ch. 21. Gieseler, i., sec. 81-84. Gilmartin, i., 16.
    Guericke, sec. 81-93. Harnack, _Dogma_, iv., ch. 1. Hase, sec.
    102-104. Hore, ch. 4. Hurst, i., 431 _ff._ Jackson, ch. 11-16.
    Jennings, i., ch. 4. Kurtz, i., § 49. Mahan, bk. iv., ch. 1-6.
    Milman, i., bk. 1, ch. 2. Milner, i., cent. 4, ch. 3, 4.
    Moeller, i., 331-337. Neander, ii., 403 _ff._ Newman, i., pd.
    3, ch. 2, p. 323. Robertson, bk. 2, ch. 1. Schaff, iii.,
    616-689. Stoughton, pt. 2, ch. 1.


[131:1] Epiphanius, ch. 29, 30, 53.

[131:2] Notably Celsus, who declared that the Christians "were divided
and split up into factions, each individual desiring to have his own

[132:1] Irenæus, i., ch. 26; Hippolytus, ix., ch. 13-17; Epiphanius, ch.
29, 30, 53; Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, iii., ch. 27; Schaff, ii., 420;
Neander, i., 341; Moeller, i., 97; various histories of dogma and

[132:2] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, iii., ch. 27.

[132:3] Irenæus, _Against Heresies_; Hippolytus, _Refutation of all
Heresies_; Tertullian; Origen; Epiphanius; Gieseler, i., 129; ii., 442;
Moeller, i., 129; King, _The Gnostics and their Remains_; Neander, i.,
566; Mansel, _The Gnostic Heresies_; Baur, i., 185; Bright, _Gnosticism
and Irenæus_.

[133:1] Archelaus in _Ante-Nic. Lib._; Epiphanius, 66; Augustine in
_Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, 1st ser., iv.; Pressensé, _Her. and Chr.
Doctrine_; Gieseler, i., 203; Schaff, ii., 498; Moeller, i., 289;
Neander, i., 478; Mozley, _Manichæans_; histories of dogma and

[134:1] Augustine, the greatest Latin Father, was a Manichæan for many
years, as some maintain.

[134:2] See _History of Doctrine_ by Fisher, Shedd, Sheldon, Hagenbach,
Baur, Loofs, and Harnack; Dorner, _The Person of Christ_; Conybeare,
_The Key of Truth_; encyclopedias.

[135:1] Tertullian; Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, v., ch. 14-18; Epiphanius,
_Heresy_, 48, 49; Sozomen, ii., 32; Pressensé, _Heresy and Chr. Doctr._,
101; Mossman, _Hist. of Early Chr. Ch._, 401; Neander, i., 508; Schaff,
ii., 405; Moeller, i., 156; De Sayres, _Montanism_; Uhlhorn, _Conflict
of Christ'y with Heathenism_; Baur, i., 245; ii., 45; Ramsay, 434;

[135:2] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, vi., ch. 43, 45; vii., ch. 8; Cyprian,
_Ep._, 41-52; Socrates, iv., 28; Neander, i., 237; Gieseler, i., 254;
Moeller, i., 263; encyclopedias.

[136:1] Augustine in _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, iv.; Hefele, i.-ii.;
Neander, ii., 214; Schaff, iii., 360; various works on history of
doctrine; encyclopedias.

[137:1] Milman, _Hist. of Christ._, i., 65.

[137:2] The Bishop of Rome held a synod in which these ideas were
denounced and the orthodox view upheld.

[137:3] For the controversy see the histories of Eusebius, Socrates,
Sozomen, Theodoret, and Philostorgius; Epiphanius, _Heresy_, 69;
Athanasius; Hilary; Basil; Ambrose; Augustine; the two Gregories and
Rufinus; Newman, _Arians in the Fourth Cent._; Gwatkin, _Studies of

[138:1] Socrates, i., ch. 5.

[138:2] Harnack, _Hist. of Dogma_, pt. ii., ch. 7.

[138:3] Socrates, i., 6. See Neander, ii. 403; Schaff, ii., 616; Gibbon,
ch. 21; Stanley, _Lect._, 2-3; Moeller, i., 382; Kurtz, i., 317.

[138:4] Socrates, i., 5; ii., 35.

[138:5] Theodoret, i., 4; _cf._ Philostorgius, i., 3.

[138:6] See two letters in Socrates, i., 6.

[138:7] _Ibid._

[139:1] Theodoret, i., 5.

[139:2] _Ibid._

[139:3] Euseb., _Life of Const._, iii., ch. 4.

[139:4] Euseb., _Life of Const._, ii., ch. 64-72; Socrates, i., 7.

[139:5] Euseb., _Life of Const._, iii., 6.

[140:1] Historians disagree about the number; Eusebius gives 250;
Theodoret, 300; Milman, 323; Döllinger, 318; Gwatkin, 223; etc.

[140:2] Gwatkin, 21.

[140:3] Euseb., _Life of Const._, iii., 7; Socrates, i., 14; Sozomen,
i., 17; Milman, i., 99.

[140:4] Socrates, i., 8; Sozomen, i., 17, 18.

[140:5] Euseb., _Life of Const._, iii., ch. 10.

[141:1] Euseb., _Life of Const._, iii., 12; Theodoret, i., 7; Hefele,
_Hist. of the Ch. Councils_, 280, 281.

[141:2] Hefele, i., 281; Moeller, i., 336, suggests Eustathius of
Antioch and Alexander of Alexandria.

[141:3] No minutes in the modern sense were kept. After measures were
agreed upon they were signed and thus promulgated. See Hefele, i., 262.

[142:1] Theodoret, i., 12; _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, 2d ser., xiv.,

[142:2] The Nicene Creed of the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Anglican
churches is not this one but "the baptismal creed of the Church of
Jerusalem" enlarged in 362-373.

[142:3] The Latin list of names numbers 228, though the original Greek
lists certainly had more. Hefele, i., 296.

[142:4] Sozomen, i., 9, 21; Theodoret, i., 7, 8.

[142:5] Sozomen, i., 21; Socrates, i., 9.

[142:6] Euseb., _Life of Const._, iii., 15.

[142:7] Univ. of Pa., _Transl. and Rep._, iv., No. 2; Schaff, iii., 631;
Fulton, _Index Canonum_.

[143:1] Univ. of Pa., _Transl. and Rep._, iv., No. 2. Cf. Hefele, i.,
355 ff.

[143:2] Excellent discussion of the whole question in Hefele, i., sec.

[143:3] About 350 the canons were interpolated so as to give the Bishop
of Rome a primacy.

[143:4] Socrates, i., ch. 11; Sozomen, i., 23; Schaff, ii., 411; Hefele,
i., 435.

[144:1] Hefele, ii.

[145:1] Pope Liberius was reinstated, after the death of Felix II., on
subscribing to the Arian articles.

[145:2] Univ. of Pa., _Transl. and Rep._, iv., No. 2, p. 11; _Nic. and
Post-Nic. Fathers_, 2d ser., xiv., 163.

[145:3] See Hodgkin, _Italy and her Invaders_.



     OUTLINE: I.--Favourable conditions when the Christian era
     began. II.--Forces at work up to 313. III.--Description of the
     Roman Church in 313. IV.--Growth of the Papacy from 313 to
     604. V.--Condition of the Papacy at the close of this period,
     604. VI.--Sources.

To see how a handful of outlawed, persecuted Christians in Rome became
the omnipotent hierarchy of the Middle Ages is to comprehend the most
marvellous fact in European history. But when the conditions and forces,
which produced this wonderful organisation, are clearly understood, the
miracle becomes a natural and an inevitable product.

In the first century of the Christian era Rome was the heart and
mistress of the world.[148:1] The Apostle Paul gloried in having
introduced Christianity into the great metropolis.[148:2] The Roman
Empire had developed an imperial and provincial system of government
which was to serve as the model for the organisation of the Christian
Church. This decaying Empire, after a futile contest with Christianity,
was to become its servant. The mighty Catholic Church was little more
than the Roman Empire baptised. Rome was transformed as well as
converted. The very capital of the old Empire became the capital of the
Christian Empire. The office of Pontifex Maximus was continued in that
of Pope. The deeply religious character of the Romans on the one hand,
and the inadequate and degenerate religion which they held on the other,
were positive and negative forces enabling the Christian Church to make
rapid conquests in territory and numbers. Even the Roman language has
remained the official language of the Roman Catholic Church down through
the ages. Christianity could not grow up through Roman civilisation and
paganism, however, without in turn being coloured and influenced by the
rites, festivities, and ceremonies of old polytheism. Christianity not
only conquered Rome, but Rome conquered Christianity. It is not a matter
of great surprise, therefore, to find that from the first to the fourth
century the Church had undergone many changes. During the first half of
the third century the hierarchical scheme of Church government appeared
to reach a very advanced stage of organisation. Cyprian gives us the
boldest and broadest claim of the Bishop of Rome to the heirship of
Peter. By the fourth century the hierarchical and monarchial principles
were fully developed, and the Papacy had begun its wonderful career.

The leading forces operating to develop the Roman hierarchy up to 313
will now be indicated.

1. The fundamental factor which first attracts attention in the
consideration of this problem is the obvious advantage in location. In
the origin of the civilisation of Western Europe three cities have been
conspicuous for their contributions--Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome.
Jerusalem, the sacred city, gave Christianity to the West and through
the West to the world. Athens, the city of culture, bequeathed
philosophy, art, ideals, and science to the Romans, and through them to
the Celts, Teutons, and all peoples. Rome, the city of power, overthrew
Jerusalem, took Athens captive, received the contributions of both as
her right, and on the ruins of both built up her universal sovereignty.
The rise of Rome to world dominion is one of the deepest mysteries in
history. Rome possessed the matchless capacity of appropriating
everything on earth that would contribute to her greatness. When Jesus
appeared to give the world Christianity, Rome was the centre of all
power and influence.

Rome was in the highest degree adapted to spread civilisation abroad.
From Rome influences could be sent out into the world which could not
possibly have emanated from Jerusalem or Athens. In fact anything
connected with Rome assumed, in consequence, an importance by virtue of
Rome's greatness that no other part of the world could give.
Christianity in its cosmopolitan character resembled Rome and was drawn
thither irresistibly as the best centre for propagandism. Hence, from
the outset, the Roman Christian Church was a church of world-wide
importance and power, and her bishop the most influential. Out of the
ruins of political Rome, arose the great moral Empire in the "giant
form" of the Roman Church. In the marvellous rise of the Roman Church is
seen in strong relief the majestic office of the Bishop of Rome.[150:1]

2. In addition to the favourable location and extraordinary opportunity
that site gave, the fact that the Church, planted in Rome and there
organised by Peter and Paul, was thus established on a double apostolic
foundation gave to the Bishop of Rome a respected and commanding
position from the very outset.[151:1] No other church west of the
Adriatic could claim such a distinguished origin. It was both easy and
logical, therefore, to make the Bishop of Rome not only a commanding
leader in the universal Church, but more particularly the conspicuous
head of the Church of the West.[151:2]

3. The theory about Peter's primacy,[151:3] asserted certainly as early
as the second century and generally accepted in the third century, gave
an indelible character to both the person and office of the Bishop of
Rome, and elevated him high above all other officers in the Church. The
actual _belief_ in this theory, a fact which cannot be questioned, made
possible the realisation of the papal hierarchy. It seems to be an
actual fact, likewise, that before the end of the second century the
pontiffs of Rome had assumed a title implying a jurisdiction over the
whole Christian world as successors and representatives of Peter, the
Prince of Apostles. Irenæus said: "Because, therefore, of her apostolic
foundation, and the regular succession of bishops, through whom she hath
handed down that which she received from them [the Apostles], all
churches, that is, all the faithful around her and on all sides, must on
account of her more powerful pre-eminence resort to this church, in
which the tradition, which is from the Apostles, is preserved."[151:4]
Tertullian, after he had joined the heretical Montanists, accused the
Bishop of Rome of assuming the titles of "Pontifex Maximus" and "Bishop
of Bishops."[152:1] He complains also that the "Supreme Pontiff" was in
the habit of quoting the decisions of his predecessors as conclusive on
all disputed questions, and that he furthermore claimed that he himself
sat in the chair of St. Peter. These charges show how early the Petrine
claims were made and recognised.[152:2]

4. The missionary zeal of the Roman Church soon led to the formation of
a number of suburban branches and within a comparatively short period to
the spread of Christianity throughout Italy and to other sections of
Western Europe.[152:3] These local churches naturally looked to the head
of the Church in the great capital for assistance and instruction, and
were willing to acknowledge his jurisdiction and pretensions. The
episcopal organisation of the Church in the West, which was probably
present from the beginning,[152:4] made the transition to the hierarchy
comparatively simple. At Rome the process may be more plainly traced
than in connection with any other church.

5. The persecutions of the Christians[152:5] centred in Rome and,
consequently, made the Bishop of Rome a conspicuous leader, with social
and political, as well as religious duties, whose office was frequently
sanctified by martyrdom. The persecutions helped to emphasise the
necessity of a better organisation on a monarchio-episcopal basis. That
organisation became very exclusive,[153:1] and made a responsible head
imperative. Who else but the Bishop of Rome could meet the demands? To
him was given, by general consent in the West, the headship of the
Church and he began to act as the conscious Pope of Christendom.

6. The Bishop of Rome was the only official organ of communication
between the East and West. He was the sole Patriarch of all the united
West, while the East had four Patriarchs,[153:2] and the sixth canon of
the Council of Nicæa confirmed his jurisdiction as an "ancient custom."
From Clement (95), whose writings are the earliest of any Bishop of Rome
preserved, onward, he speaks in an authoritative tone, not only to the
churches of Carthage, Italy, and Gaul, but also to Greece, Asia Minor,
Palestine, and Alexandria. Notwithstanding the fact that Alexandria and
Antioch also claimed Peter for their founder, yet not one of the four
patriarchates attempted to contest Rome's claim to priority of

7. The head of the Roman Church was the champion of orthodoxy and kept
the Western Church free from schism. The Church of Rome stood
consistently for purity in doctrine and steadfastly opposed that
Oriental mysticism which polluted the Eastern churches with a host of
heretic and theosophic jugglers. Epiphanius gives a list of forty-three
distinct heresies in his day. It was no easy matter for the Church of
Rome to faithfully combat all these theological vagaries and point out
the straight but narrow way. As a reward of her fight for the simple
gospel-truth the provincial churches bestowed upon her their affection,
confidence, and obedience. They frequently referred for their own
guidance to her spiritual experience, in deference and respect they
sought her counsels, they watched her course with anxiety and faithfully
imitated it, and all these things gave her a singular spiritual
influence and authority in this early period, which was not unlike the
political power exercised by the city of Rome. Again and again the
Bishop of Rome was requested to pass judgment on the various heresies.

8. After the apostolic days, the multitudes who embraced Christianity
seemed in many instances to lack the original fervour and spirituality.
Hence to control the erring, to correct the heretical, to expel those
who brought disgrace to the society, and to protect the faithful, it
became necessary to develop some more efficient form of
government.[154:1] The Roman model of imperial and local government
naturally suggested itself and was either consciously or unconsciously
imitated. The gradual transformation of the Bishop of Rome into the Pope
of Rome was the product.

9. In the apostolic days the practice generally prevailed of referring
all civil, as well as ecclesiastical, disputes between Christians to the
arbitrament of their superior ecclesiastical officials. St. Paul even
went so far as to forbid his converts to resort to the pagan
tribunals.[154:2] This work devolved upon the bishop, as a matter of
course, who acted, however, rather with paternal authority and through
moral influence, than in accordance with fixed Church law. Thus special
duties were laid upon the Bishop of Rome because of his superior rank
and extended jurisdiction.

So rapidly did his prerogatives develop that he was early recognised
both East and West as, practically, a court of appeal. About 95 A.D.,
Clement of Rome wrote letters of remonstrance and admonition to settle a
wrangle in the church at Corinth, and so respected were these epistles
that for a century they were publicly read in the churches. About the
year 150 one Marcian was excommunicated by his bishop and appealed to
Rome for admission to communion. The petition was refused but it shows
the influence of the Bishop of Rome. Polycarp of Smyrna showed at least
a dutiful deference in going to Rome to lay before Bishop Anicetus (152)
the disputed paschal question. When the East and the West were divided,
about 190 A.D., upon the proper day for celebrating Easter, Bishop
Victor of Rome assumed the authority to decide on the correct day and
insisted that all Christendom conform to his decision. The Eastern
churches refused to obey him, it is true, but the Council of Nicæa
enforced universal conformity to the day chosen by Victor.[155:1] When
Fortunatus and Cyprian of Carthage quarrelled over the former's claim to
the title of bishop, Fortunatus appealed to the Bishop of Rome,
Cornelius, for official recognition. Cornelius assumed the right to
remonstrate with Cyprian and to demand an explanation of his conduct.
Cyprian repudiated foreign jurisdiction in the domestic affairs of the
African Church, but at the same time recognised Rome as "the chair of
Peter--that principal Church whence the sacerdotal unity takes its
rise."[156:1] In 252, two Spanish bishops, Basileides and Martialis,
were deposed for misconduct by a synod of their province. They appealed
to Stephen, Bishop of Rome, who peremptorily ordered that both be
reinstated.[156:2] The bishops of Gaul applied to Stephen for advice as
to what to do with Marcian, the Bishop of Arles, who had embraced
Novatianism.[156:3] In the West, it seems, therefore, that practically
all disputes and misunderstandings were referred to the recognised head
of the Church for advice and settlement. Again and again the Eastern
Patriarchs appealed to the Patriarch of the West for support and his
support was usually decisive. Likewise the various factions in the many
Eastern schisms strove for favourable decisions from the Roman Bishop.
In 260 Bishop Dionysius of Rome called the Patriarch of Alexandria to
account for false doctrines. Even a Roman Emperor, Aurelian (270),
declared that no one, not appointed by the "bishops of Italy and Rome,"
should remain in the See of Antioch.[156:4] As a result of these
appeals, the power and authority of the Roman Bishop were magnified so
that, gradually, he came to claim this exercise as his right, and, in
addition, precedents were set which were to become ecclesiastical laws
in the next period.[156:5]

10. The idea of one Catholic Church seems to have resulted from the
intense struggle against the various forms of heresy, which had divided
the early Christians into sects somewhat like the various Protestant
denominations of to-day. This conception of ecclesiastical unity and
universality had two sides: doctrine and ceremony. To teach the true
doctrine and to perpetuate sacramental unity the priesthood was created.
The persecutions emphasised the fundamental doctrines which united all
Christians and made them conscious of this unity of belief. In order to
enforce this uniformity the Bishop of Rome exercised the power of
excommunication. Victor took it upon himself to excommunicate the Bishop
of Ephesus and his fellow-officials for refusing to conform to the mode
of celebrating Easter in the West (190). Irenæus emphasised the
necessity and value of a spiritual unity in the Church,[157:1] and to
"the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church" of Rome
he conceded the most accurate apostolic tradition.[157:2] He declared
that it was "a matter of necessity that every church should agree with
this Church, on account of its pre-eminent authority."[157:3] Tertullian
spoke of the Catholic Church as if its eternal unity were a common
concept.[157:4] It was left to Cyprian, however, to boldly hold up the
occupant of the See of Rome as the representative of both the organised
and the sacramental unity of the Church beyond which there could be no
salvation. In his book on the _Unity of the Church_, Cyprian asked:

     He that abideth not in the unity of the church, doth he
     believe that he holdeth to the faith? He that struggleth
     against and resisteth this church, he that deserteth the Chair
     of St. Peter, upon which the church is founded, can he have
     any assurance that he is in the church? . . . Likewise . . .
     Paul teacheth the sacrament of unity saying: "There is one
     body and one spirit and one hope of our calling; one Lord, one
     faith, one baptism, one God." . . . The episcopate is indeed
     one . . . the church also is one . . . there is also but one
     head and one source. . . . Whoever is excluded from the church
     . . . is severed from the promises of the church. . . . He is
     a stranger, an outcast, and enemy. He cannot have God for his
     father, who hath not the church for his mother. . . . He that
     doth not hold this unity doth not hold the law of God . . . he
     partaketh not of life or of salvation.[158:1]

The power of excommunication to preserve the doctrinal unity and purity
of the Church implied some share in appointment and administration. From
the very beginning, no doubt, the Bishop of Rome had ordained all
provincial bishops, and few matters of great importance had been
transacted without his consent or approval.[158:2]

The same tendencies and influences that led to the evolution of the
bishop in the early local churches for the sake of order and efficiency,
produced a centralisation of power in the universal Church. With the
growth of the idea that the Church had an outward organisation developed
the conscious need of a supreme bishop who could rule the Church
somewhat as the Emperor ruled the state. That such a unifying authority
was generally understood to exist by the time of Cyprian seems very
clear from contemporary testimony. But it took two hundred and fifty
years to develop that leadership. There were not wanting, either, on all
sides evidences of earlier local independence. The rise of the Papacy
was the logical culmination of the episcopal system. It must be
remembered that by the time of Bishop Cyprian the Church had undergone a
series of wonderful changes. The Church had spread outwardly until the
whole Empire was covered and included all ranks. The Church had come to
be naturalised in the Empire and was gradually compromising with
conditions. Some conception of the part Christianity was to play in the
world began to dawn on men's minds. The ascendency of the See of St.
Peter was regarded, therefore, quite generally as a necessity.

11. The centralisation of wealth in Rome rendered the Church there the
wealthiest in Christendom. These riches were lavishly used, during the
first three hundred years, to aid the poorer communities.[159:1] Such
favours could not be solicited, or received, without an appreciable
sacrifice of independence on the part of the recipients. Ignatius,
considering the munificence of the Roman Church, and wishing to confer
some special distinction, calls her "the fostering mistress of

12. From the time of Peter to Constantine the Great, thirty-two bishops
occupied the chair of the Prince of Apostles. The number and character
of the members of the Roman Church led to the selection of the ablest of
the Western Christians to occupy that important office. These successive
bishops, from the weight of their personal influence, transmitted a
gradually increasing power. The labours of a few of these remarkable
men who filled the Roman See, like Clement, Victor, Callistus, and
Stephen, helped powerfully to lay the foundations for the Papacy.
Clement's attitude was "almost imperious." Victor in his presumption on
the Easter question, Zephyrinus on the assumption of his proud title of
Pontifex Maximus and Bishop of Bishops, Callistus concerning lapsed
heretics, and Stephen on the baptism of heretics, were all guilty of
"hierarchical arrogance."[160:1] Cyprian (d. 258) looked upon Rome as
the _Cathedra Petri_ and the Roman Church as the head of the universal
Church.[160:2] Thus it may be accepted as an established fact that the
Bishop of Rome was generally accepted as Peter's successor, at least in
the West, when Emperor Constantine legalised the Christian religion and
made it free to complete its organisation and to carry on its
propagandism openly. He also increased the wealth and power of the Roman
See and made its bishop the undisputed head of the Western Church. At
the same time, in removing his capital to Constantinople, Constantine
permitted the Roman Bishop to assume imperial prerogatives and
encouraged the completion of the Church organisation after the imperial

A comparison of the Church in 313 with the Apostolic Church reveals the
fact that many pronounced changes and developments had occurred. In
extent the Roman Church had spread from the Eternal City over the entire
Italian peninsula and then to Spain, France, England, Germany, and
Africa, and numbered perhaps 10,000,000 members. In organisation the
Church had changed from a democracy to an absolute monarchy, from many
local centres of authority to one great world power based on an
imperial hierarchy, from communism to paternalism, from decentralisation
to centralisation, from apostolic simplicity to worldly grandeur, and
from a spiritual organisation to one largely political. The spiritual
shepherd of the flock at Rome had come to claim and to exercise superior
prerogatives over Western Europe and to serve the Roman Emperor as
virtually his spiritual adviser. In wealth and culture, too, the Church
had become a powerful social, industrial, and educational factor.

In institutions, rites, and ceremonies, as well as in organisation, the
Church of the third and fourth centuries was very different from that of
the first. A pompous ritualism with suggestions of image worship had
been introduced.[161:1] Great emphasis had come to be laid upon the
sanctity and power of holy water,[161:2] sacred relics and places,
pilgrimages, and the use of the cross.[161:3] The development of new
ideas in reference to the merit of external works resulted in asceticism
and a celibate priesthood, fanatical martyrdom, indiscriminate
almsgiving, and various patent methods for spiritual benefits. At the
same time the number of Church festivals had greatly increased and now
included Easter, Pentecost, Epiphany, and various saints' days.[161:4]

These new ideas and practices naturally gave the priest the lofty
position of mediator between God and man. A differentiation in the
ministry gradually crept in as an outcome of the hierarchical spirit.
The Bishop of Rome was elevated above all bishops as God's chosen
representative on earth. The bishops were exalted above all the
presbyters or priests. The priests in turn held a position far superior
to the subordinate officials, who had now come to include sub-deacons,
readers, acolytes, precentors or cantors, janitors, exorcists,[162:1]
and other officials of minor importance.[162:2] These under officers
likewise were cut off from the laity by a pronounced gulf.[162:3]

To conduct the general affairs of the Church, synods and councils of the
clergy came into existence as early as the second century.[162:4] Roman
or Greek assemblies may have suggested the form of the synod, though it
is more probable that they sprang spontaneously out of the needs of the
Church. These meetings at first were irregular and very informal and
resulted either in resolutions with no binding force on the dissentient
minority, or in a letter. There were four classes of councils: (1.) The
synod of a single diocese which probably existed from the beginning.
(2.) The provincial council of the bishops of several dioceses. This
type began early in the second century. (3.) General councils consisting
of the bishops of several provinces. (4.) Universal councils
representing the whole Church. When Constantine gave Christianity legal
recognition, councils became more common for the purpose of formulating
common rules and dogmas, as for instance Arles (314). After the Council
of Nicæa in 325 the validity of earlier decisions was recognised and
given the force of imperial law. Thus had the councils changed in a few
years from local to general, from recommending to sovereign

Paralleling this remarkable evolution in the organisation of the Church
was a marked departure from the simplicity and purity of the early
Christian life on the part of both clergy and laity. The "Apostolical
Constitutions," the "Canons of the Holy Apostles," and the decrees of
the councils of Elvira (306), Arles (314), Neo-Cæsarea (314), and Nicæa
(325) all reveal the worldliness of the clergy in the laws passed
against their engaging in worldly pursuits, frequenting taverns and
gambling houses, accepting usury, habits of vagrancy, taking bribes, and
immorality. Because the multitude of pagan converts were carrying their
ideas and practices into the Church, many corrective measures were
enacted against this degeneration. The licentiousness of the clergy
became a still more crying sin among the laity, for it was unreasonable
to expect the rank and file to be better than their leaders.


[148:1] Acts xix., 21; xxiii., 11; xxv., 11; xxviii., 14 _ff._

[148:2] Rom. i., 8.

[150:1] Gregorovius, i., 5.

[151:1] Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, i., 104, 107.

[151:2] The East had four Patriarchs: Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria,
and Constantinople.

[151:3] See Chap. VI.

[151:4] _Against Heresies_, iii., c. 3.

[152:1] _On Modesty_, § 1.

[152:2] Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, i., 107-108.

[152:3] Gibbon, i., 579 _ff._ See Chap. V.

[152:4] Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, i., 175.

[152:5] See Chap. VII.

[153:1] Origen said: "_Extra hanc domum_, i.e., _extra ecclesiam nemo
salvator_." _Hom._ 3.

St. Cyprian of Carthage asked: "Do they that are met outside of the
Church of Christ think that Christ is with them when they meet? . . . It
is not possible for one to be a martyr who is not in the church." _Unity
of the Church_, ch. 13, 14.

[153:2] Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, Alexandria, and, later,
Constantinople. The four early patriarchates were of apostolic

[153:3] Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, i., 193.

[154:1] Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, i., 164, 165.

[154:2] 1 Cor. vi., 1, 13.

[155:1] See Smith and Cheetham, _Dict. of Christ. Antiq._, for a full
discussion of the paschal controversy.

[156:1] Cyprian, _Ep._ 49, 55. Greenwood, i., 168, thinks this quotation
a later interpolation.

[156:2] Cyprian, _Ep._ 68.

[156:3] _Ibid._, _Ep._ 67.

[156:4] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, vii., 30.

[156:5] It must be remembered that Rome had no monopoly of these appeals
and that her decisions were not always accepted in these early days.
_Cf._ Greenwood, i., 171 _ff._

[157:1] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, v., 23-25.

[157:2] Irenæus, _Against Heresy_, iii., 3.

[157:3] _Library of Ante-Nic. Fathers_, v.

[157:4] _Ibid._, xv.

[158:1] _Library of Ante-Nic. Fathers_, viii.

[158:2] Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, i., 192.

[159:1] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, iv., 23; vii., 6.

[159:2] _To Corinth_, Ep. i., c. 44.

[160:1] Schaff, iii., 351.

[160:2] _Ep._, 43: 5; 55: 8; 59: 14; _Lib. of Ante-Nic. Fathers_, viii.

[161:1] _Apost. Const._, viii., 6-15; Alzog, i., §§ 92, 93.

[161:2] _Apost. Const._, viii., 28.

[161:3] Alzog, § 95.

[161:4] _Ibid._, § 93.

[162:1] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, vi., 43.

[162:2] Alzog, i., 393.

[162:3] Hatch, _Org. of the Early Christ. Churches_, 143 _ff._

[162:4] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, v., 16; Tertullian, _De Jejunus_, 13;
Cyprian, _Ep._ 75; Hatch, _Org. of the Early Christ. Churches_, 169,

[163:1] _See_ Hefele, _Hist. of Ch. Councils_, i., § 1-17.



The growth of the Papacy from 313 to 604 was very marked and may be
traced with little difficulty. In fact from the fourth century onward
the proofs that papal supremacy was both asserted and recognised are so
numerous that it is only necessary to select typical cases and
illustrations. Certain formative influences and forces noticeable in the
period prior to 313 were continued into the later epoch and will be
considered in order here.

1. The missionary zeal of the Roman Church accomplished wonders. By the
fourth century Spain and Gaul had sufficient Christians to warrant the
division of the territory into bishoprics. Some of the Gallic bishops
were imbued with a remarkably active spirit of propagandism, notably,
St. Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers (350-66), who fought the Arians
incessantly; Honoratus, Bishop of Arles, who inspired others to labour;
St. Martin, Bishop of Tours, called the "Apostle to the Gauls," and St.
Denis, Bishop of Paris, who suffered martyrdom for the cause. Similar
workers were found in Spain. About the same time Celtic missionaries
from the north were working southward to join the work spreading
northward from Rome. Columba laboured among the Scots and Picts; Aidan,
in Northumbria; Columbanus, with the Burgundians; Gallus, in
Switzerland; and Amania and Kilian in Thuringia. From Rome went forth
the famous missionary expedition to England under Augustine (596), which
succeeded in winning the Anglo-Saxons to a belief in the Roman faith and
to a recognition of Roman authority.

In return a counter-wave of missionary activity spread from England back
to the continent, led by Wilfrid in Friesland; Willibrord around
Utrecht; the Ewald brothers among the Saxons; Swidbert on the Ems and
Yssel; Adelpert in Holland; and Boniface, the "Apostle to the Germans,"
among various Teutonic tribes. This widespread missionary work resulted
in eventually bringing all Western Europe under the subjection of the
Roman Church. Thus new blood, a more primitive enthusiasm, and an
intense devotion were called to her service, and all powerfully aided
the rise of the Papacy.

2. The continued orthodoxy of the Western Church made it a pillar of
strength, and gave its head a commanding position in dealing with heresy
and schism. To him, more than ever, did people East and West look for
final decisions in disputed matters of doctrine,[165:1] and contested
cases of jurisdiction, rank, territory, and authority. St. Jerome in
eloquent words besought the "Sun of righteousness--in the West" to teach
him the true doctrine because "here in the East all is weed and

3. The claim of the Bishop of Rome to appellate jurisdiction, which had
been exercised more or less from an early date, received a sweeping
confirmation and a new impetus in 347 through the Council of Sardica.

In 340, Athanasius, the Patriarch of Alexandria, the champion of
orthodoxy, appealed to Julian I. from an unjust decision against him in
the episcopal courts of the East. Julian I. called a council, to which
he invited the Eastern bishops, who refused to attend, reversed the
decision,[166:1] and completely acquitted Athanasius. He wrote a strong
letter of reproof to the Arians in which he asserts Rome's canonical
supremacy in initiating conciliar proceedings against ecclesiastical
offenders.[166:2] The Council of Sardica confirmed the resolutions of
the Roman Synod.[166:3]

It was decreed that any bishop, who might feel himself aggrieved by an
unfair trial, could have the judges write to the Bishop of Rome asking
for a new trial at which, if it seemed wise, priests representing the
Bishop of Rome could be present.[166:4] Meanwhile, pending the trial, no
successor to the office of the accused could be named. This action made
the Bishop of Rome referee to decide, however, not the case itself, but
whether there ought to be a new trial. The right was conferred "in
honour of the memory" of St. Peter and hence it was soon claimed as an
inherent prerogative of the apostolical See of the West. Later on it was
positively asserted that these canons gave an appeal to the Church of
Rome in all episcopal cases. Whatever the original intent may have been,
the fact remains that this new power was an important factor in the
evolution of papal supremacy. The Pope was given a power previously
possessed exclusively by the Emperor.[167:1] In 378, Emperor Gratian
added civic sanction to the judicial authority of the Bishop of Rome by
compelling accused bishops to go to Rome for trial.[167:2] Ultimate
appellate jurisdiction was definitely assigned to the Pope by Emperor
Valentinian III. in 445, when, of his own motion, causes could be called
to Rome for papal decision.[167:3] Emperor Gelasius (496) approved in
very positive terms the judicial supremacy of the Bishop of Rome.[167:4]
And Gregory the Great (604) assumed it as an indisputable fact that
every bishop is subject to the See of Peter.[167:5]

After this period cases were continually referred to Rome for
adjustment. St. Basil, Archbishop of Cæsarea, appealed to Damasus I.,
the latter part of the fourth century, for protection. In 398 the
Emperor ordered Flavian of Antioch to proceed to Rome for trial. He
refused to go, but compromised with the Pope. St. John Chrysostom, the
Patriarch of Constantinople, and head of the whole Eastern Church, early
in the fifth century, appealed to Innocent I. against the persecutions
of Empress Eudoxia and for restoration to his see.[167:6] Apiarius, a
priest of Africa, appealed to Pope Zosimus against the censure of his
bishop in 416. The Pope vindicated the priest against his bishop, and
ordered the latter either to revoke the censure or to appear at Rome
for trial.[168:1] St. Augustine's letter to Pope Celestine in 424 shows
that it was a common thing to refer disputes to Rome for
settlement.[168:2] Both St. Cyril and the Nestorians appealed to Pope
Celestus, who decided in favour of St. Cyril. Theodoret, the Church
historian, when condemned by the Council of Ephesus in 449, appealed to
Leo I., who asserted that he could hear appeals from any source as a
court of first and last resort.[168:3] These appeals, and many other
similar cases, which could be cited both East and West,[168:4] show the
growing power of the Roman Pope, and enabled him to make real the theory
of his supremacy. To enable the successor of St. Peter to adjudicate
cases more easily, vicars were appointed in various parts of the papal
empire to decide finally on all cases, not reserved by the Pope. This
arrangement greatly enlarged papal jurisdiction by encouraging and
facilitating appeals.

4. The removal of the capital of the Empire from Rome to Constantinople
in 330, left the Western Church, practically free from imperial power,
to develop its own form of organisation. The Bishop of Rome, in the seat
of the Cæsars, was now the greatest man in the West, and was soon forced
to become the political as well as the spiritual head. To the Western
world Rome was still the political capital--hence the whole habit of
mind, all ambition, pride, and sense of glory, and every social
prejudice favoured the evolution of the great city into the
ecclesiastical capital. Civil as well as religious disputes were
referred to the successor of Peter for settlement. Again and again,
when barbarians attacked Rome, he was compelled to actually assume
military leadership. Eastern Emperors frequently recognised the high
claims of the Popes in order to gain their assistance. It is not
difficult to understand how, under these responsibilities, the primacy
of the Bishop of Rome, established in the pre-Constantine period, was
emphasised and magnified after 313. The importance of this fact must not
be overlooked. The organisation of the Church was thus put on the same
divine basis as the revelation of Christianity. This idea once accepted
led inevitably to the mediæval Papacy. The priesthood came, in
consequence, to assume all the powers of the great Founder. The Mosaic
forms, as well as the Roman Empire, suggested convenient models and
authoritative examples for the new structure. It is not difficult to
detect in the oligarchical Church polity of the fourth and fifth
centuries a yearning for unity. It was but natural, therefore, that Rome
should boldly take the remedy into her own hands and pose as the
authorised representative of the visible unity demanded by the Christian
world. The position Rome had already attained and the worthy part played
in the organisation and spread of the gospel gave her a superior
advantage, and enabled, nay compelled, her bishop to become the one
high-priest, the "universal bishop."

5. In the fourth and fifth centuries the Petrine theory was generally
accepted by the Church Fathers East and West.[169:1] The theory had
become a dogmatic principle of law founded upon historical facts.
Optatus, the African Bishop of Mileve (c. 384), strongly asserted the
visible unity of the Church and the immovable _Cathedra Petri_, with
the Roman Bishop as Peter's successor.[170:1] Ambrose of Milan (d. 397)
gave the Bishop of Rome the same position in the Church that the Emperor
had in the Empire,[170:2] and recognised him as the great champion of
orthodoxy, but at the same time called Peter's primacy one of confession
and faith, not of rank. He put Paul on an equality with Peter. Jerome
(d. 419) recognised the Pope as the successor of Peter and said,
"Following none but Christ, I am associated in communion with . . . the
chair of Peter. On that rock I know the Church to be built."[170:3]
Innocent I. (414) made a magnificent defence of the theory. Augustine
(d. 430), the greatest of the Latin Fathers, admitted the primacy of
Peter and recognised the Roman Bishop as his successor.[170:4] In his
remarkable book, the _City of God_, he did more than all the Fathers to
idealise Rome as the Christian Zion. Maximus of Turin (d. 450) and
Orosius (d. 5th century) bore similar testimony. The Greek Fathers
uniformly spoke of Peter in lofty terms as the "Prince of Apostles," the
"Tongue of the Apostles," the "bearer of the keys," the "keeper of the
kingdom of Heaven," the "Pillar," the "Rock," _et cetera_, but they held
generally that Peter's primacy was honorary, and that he transferred his
power to both the Bishop of Antioch and the Bishop of Rome.[170:5] But
these modifications of the Petrine theory did not arrest the evolution
of the papal power. The important historical fact to be taken into
account is, that the _belief_ in the supremacy of St. Peter's successor
was quite generally recognised and accepted.

6. The growth of conciliar prerogatives tended to advance the
development of papal authority. The Council of Nicæa (325) gave the
Western Church the Nicene Creed, practically made the Bishop of Rome its
defender, and recognised him as the sole Patriarch of the West with ten
provinces as his diocese.[171:1] The Council of Sardica (343), in
reality only a local Western body, decreed that deposed bishops might
appeal to the Bishop of Rome for a new trial, that vacant bishoprics
could not be filled till his decision was received, and that he could
delegate his power to a local synod. This gave him a kind of appellate
and revisory jurisdiction in the case of deposed bishops even in the
East.[171:2] It is claimed that this was a new grant for a specific case
and in deference to Pope Julian alone. This power was confirmed by
Emperors Valentinian I. (364-375) and Gratian (375-383).[171:3] In this
manner the Roman Popes were furnished the opportunity to claim universal
jurisdiction. The Council of Aquileia (381) begged Emperor Gratian to
protect "the Roman Church, the head of the whole Roman world and that
sacred faith of the Apostles."[171:4] The African councils of Carthage
and Mileve (416) sent their actions against Pelagius to Innocent I., for
his approval. The councils of Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451) gave
the Bishop of Rome a primacy in rank and honour, which he soon made a
primacy in power.[172:1] The latter body recognised the necessity of
obtaining the Pope's confirmation to insure legality. Here again the
Bishop of Rome had usurped a prerogative claimed by Constantine and his
successors. Later the Popes called most of the councils, presided over
them in person or through legates, and confirmed their proceedings in
order to give them legality.

7. The power of excommunication, an authority inherent in all societies,
was early developed and exercised by the Roman Bishop. This right was
clearly recognised in the New Testament.[172:2] The power of
excommunication was originally put into the hand of the local bishops.
They expanded the biblical precepts into a penal code, and assumed the
right to act as judges and to pronounce censure or final
excommunication. The apostolic constitutions and canons reveal a direct
substitution of the authority of the bishops for that of Christ in these
particulars. Excommunication, for the first three centuries of the
Christian era, was looked upon as a remedial and corrective measure to
prevent a breach of discipline, disobedience, and heresy. It is a
significant fact, therefore, that the Roman bishops, by the third
century, claimed the power to put out of communion, not only
individuals, but whole communities, who did not conform to Roman usages
and beliefs, even though the sentence could not always be enforced.
Innocent I., imbued by the lofty idea of the prerogatives of his office,
did not hesitate to pronounce sentence of excommunication against the
heretics, Pelagius and his pupil Cœlestius.[173:1] Thus the right of
universal censure grew and Rome came to have her own officers to execute
the law.

8. From the fifth century onward the title of "papa" or "pope" was
unvaryingly used by the bishops of Rome. This title is an abbreviation
of the words "pater patrum"--father of fathers--and was at first given
as a title of respect to ecclesiastics generally. In the Eastern
churches it has continued to the present day, and in the Roman Church
the general use of "father" may be regarded as the continuation of a
variation of the original word. The next step in the early Church was
the restriction of the term "papa" as a special title for bishops. By
the fourth century it had been gradually reserved for the metropolitans
and patriarchs. After the fifth century it was claimed and borne as the
badge of the supreme rank of the successor of St. Peter among the
churches of Christendom. Not until 1073, however, did Gregory VII.
formally prohibit the assumption of the title by other ecclesiastics.
This unique transfer of a distinction first from all to a few, and then
from a few to one, indicates a concentration of rank, dignity, and power
in the one thus distinguished. A term, originally one of filial respect
and reverence, becomes one of authority. The name and the office react
on each other.

9. The letters of the Roman bishops gradually came to be regarded in the
Western Church as apostolic ordinances, and laid the foundation for the
vast ecclesiastical legal system.[173:2] Siricius (384-398) wrote the
first decretal which had the force of law.[173:3] A typical
illustration of the character and power of papal letters is seen in the
commanding communication of Pope Celestine sent in 428 to the bishops of
Vienne and Narbonne concerning ceremonial abuses in their provinces.
"Inasmuch," he wrote, "as I am appointed by God to watch over the whole
Church, it is my duty everywhere to root out evil practices and to
substitute good ones; for my pastoral superintendence is restrained by
no bounds, but extends to all places where the name of Christ is known
and adored."[174:1] The Gallic churches received this pronouncement
without a whisper of disapproval. The Council of Chalcedon (451)
accepted a letter from Leo I., settling a disputed point in
theology.[174:2] Gelasius I. (494) instructed Emperor Anastasius on the
superiority of the spiritual over the temporal power.[174:3] The
decretals of Gregory the Great spoke with a bold, undisputed

10. The Edict of Milan in 313 did not make Christianity the state
religion, but merely put it on a legal equality with paganism. It was
not long, however, until this new status enabled Christianity to
outstrip its old rival and actually become the constitutional faith.
State patronage prepared the way for a conscious and natural adaptation
and assimilation of forms of imperial polity. Accordingly the admonition
of the early period assumed the tone of mandates; interferences, whether
for advice or arbitration, took the character of appeals, rescripts, and
ordinances; and the model of discipline and ritual for all churches
emanated from Rome.

11. Constantine, fully aware of the pre-eminence and power of the Roman
Church, took special pains to bestow upon it his imperial munificence.
The Bishop of Rome was transferred from a humble dwelling to a spacious
palace, possibly to the Lateran, owned to this day by the Pope.
Confiscated property was restored and money donated. Splendid churches
were erected.[175:1] With grateful hearts the Christians gladly accepted
the sovereignty of the Emperor. As Roman citizens there was no
conception in their minds of the spiritual government of the Church
independent of the imperial power. When Constantine called councils like
Arles and Nicæa, heard appeals, made appointments, and legislated for
the Church it was all accepted as a matter of course. The Church of Rome
gained obviously more than any other spiritual body-corporate of the
Christian world. This advantage, coupled with the wide-reaching claims
set forth for at least two centuries, carried her by a mighty leap far
above all other churches and made her head, in theory and fact, if not
in name, the Pope. Thus all the contentions of the Petrine claim of
ecclesiastical government fell into a natural harmony with the plans of
the Empire. The rise of provincial churches corresponded to the
provincial system of the Empire. The elevation of the Bishop of Rome to
a primacy over all churches created a counterpart to the Emperor. The
union of the Empire and Papacy was not only easy and natural--it was

12. No sooner did the Church rise from persecution to a great world
power than the necessity was felt everywhere of some central authority
to preserve its unity. The divisions in the Arian controversy clearly
revealed that need. The Emperor, in a way, sought to meet the
requirement, but, when he failed, he called the Council of Nicæa to
serve that end. A universal council might be of great service in a
crisis but it could not easily be in perpetual session. The Roman Church
saw its chance at this juncture and embraced every opportunity to pose
as the supreme unifying power in Christendom. It was a long and not
always an easy struggle, but the effort was at length successful. It was
not long after the day of Constantine that it may be said that the
Church had gained control of the Empire. That conquest gave the Church
an unprecedented pre-eminence. In this movement the Church of Rome
played the leading role. The next great problem was to enable the Pope
to get control of the Church and in this way wield absolute sway over
the Christianised Empire, or, to state it the other way, over the
imperialised Church.

Nothing seems clearer, after taking into account all the factors, than
that the rise of papal power was a natural, logical, historical process
which began with the planting of the Church in Rome. Numerous incidents
mark the different stages of development to show that every new
assumption of papal prerogative was disputed and contested. Indeed
nothing more distinctly marks the growth of papal authority than the
fact that these protests were so numerous and so widely scattered.

In the beginnings of ecclesiastical organisation bishops enjoyed and
exercised an equality of power and rank. The persistence of this idea
may be seen long after the period of Constantine. But hierarchical
tendencies began very early and are very conspicuous in connection with
Rome. In the opening decades of the history of the Church it was
customary for Christians eminent in station or piety to address letters,
advisory or hortatory, to other churches on general points of creed or
discipline, or on special local questions. Thus wrote Clement of Rome,
Polycarp, Ignatius, and others. Not infrequently churches appealed to
prominent bishops for assistance and advice. Often one bishop would
censure another for the manifestation of unwarranted assumptions. Thus
Irenæus reprehended Victor for excommunicating the heretical bishops of
Asia and did it as an equal.[177:1] Tertullian, after he joined the
heretical Montanists, scornfully denies the powers claimed by the Bishop
of Rome by asking, "How comes it that you take to yourself the attribute
of the Catholic Church?" He answers by denying the whole Petrine
theory.[177:2] Hippolytus, Bishop of Pontus, in a controversy with
Calixtus I., shows how the claim of the Bishop of Rome was denied in the
beginning of the third century.[177:3] Origen also repudiated the
Petrine claims.[177:4] While the great Cyprian did so much to create the
concept of the one Catholic Church under the leadership of Rome, yet, at
the same time, he strongly asserted episcopal equality and

This important historical fact must never be forgotten in considering
the rise of the Papacy, namely, that the change was not directly from
democracy to monarchy, but from democracy indirectly through oligarchy
to monarchy. In addition to the instances of episcopal equality and
independence already given, the Apostolic Canons in canon 35 ordered
each province to determine for itself which one of its churches should
hold the primacy. This idea persisted long after the time of Constantine
and, indeed, the Council of Antioch in 341 repeats the rule as if
recognising a long established regulation. The Council of Nicæa in 325,
while assigning the highest rank to the Apostolic Sees of Rome,
Alexandria, and Antioch, at the same time reserved to every province the
rights of its own church. In the second universal council held in 381 at
Constantinople, when the great provinces of the Church were defined and
the honourable primacy of Rome clearly asserted, no interference was
allowed with the autonomy of the provincial churches.

In the West, however, local autonomy and provincial primacy were not so
much emphasised as in the East. Rome and St. Peter's successor residing
there early established a predominance over Spain, Gaul, and Britain. In
Africa, Carthage for the most part obeyed Rome, and in Italy, Ravenna
and Milan occasionally showed stubborn resistance.

13. The civil government naturally approved a system of Church polity
which was in harmony with that of the state. It is no surprise,
therefore, that imperial edicts supported the lofty position of the
Bishop of Rome.[178:1] Did he not represent the Church of the great
Empire and the faith of the Emperor himself? Besides it was always
easiest to deal with him as a representative of the entire Church. In
fact there was a sentiment in the Church that it was much better to
carry on all business with imperial authorities through him. To this end
the Council of Sardica in 347 decreed that all prelates visiting Rome
for the purpose of obtaining civic favours should present their
petitions through the Bishop of Rome.[179:1] Theodosius (380) commanded
that all subjects "should hold that faith which the divine Peter, the
Apostle, delivered to the Roman Bishop."[179:2] Valentinian III. (445)
commanded all bishops to recognise the Bishop of Rome as their leader in
both judicial and administrative matters.[179:3] Later Emperors lavished
on the Roman Church wealth, immunities, and exemptions which greatly
enhanced its power and magnified the importance of its head.[179:4]

Justinian, in a decree of 532, declared that he had been very diligent
in subjecting all the clergy of the East to the Roman See. He also
expressed a firm resolution never to allow any business affecting the
general welfare of the Church to be transacted, without notifying the
head of all the churches.[179:5] Such a positive and sweeping assertion
by such a powerful ruler shows the height to which papal power had
climbed by the sixth century. Pope John II. was highly pleased with the
useful acknowledgment of Justinian, complimented him on his "perfect
acquaintance with ecclesiastical law and discipline," and added:
"preserving the reverence due the Roman See, you have subjected all
things unto her, and reduced all churches to that unity which dwelleth
in her alone, to whom the Lord, through the Prince of the Apostles, did
delegate all power; . . . and that the Apostolic See is in verity the
head of all churches, both the rules of the fathers and the statutes of
the princes do manifestly declare, and the same is now witnessed by your
imperial piety."[180:1]

The emancipation of the Church and the great inflow of wealth and pagan
converts wrought a woeful change in its character and habits. A heathen
historian declared that candidates would stoop to any means to secure
the pontifical office because "the successful candidate gains the
opportunity of fattening upon the oblations of matrons; of being
conveyed about in stall-carriages; of appearing in public in costly
dresses; of giving banquets so profuse as to surpass even royal
entertainments."[180:2] The Fathers of the Church like Hilary, Jerome,
and Basil deplored the vices, thus rebuked, in terms of even greater

14. The barbarian invasions on the whole strengthened both the spiritual
and temporal supremacy of the Holy See. They gave the death blow to
paganism in Rome.[180:3] Once converted to Roman Christianity, the
Germans became the staunch supporters of the papal hierarchy and enabled
the Pope to enforce his prerogatives in the West.[180:4] Backed by these
sturdy Teutons, the Pope became the most powerful individual in
Christendom and soon declared his independence of the Byzantine court.

15. Another factor of no small moment was the extraordinary ability of
some of the successors of St. Peter. Among them were men of commanding
leadership, men of brains and faith, fearless administrators, aggressive
judges, and men conscious of the tremendous part the Papacy was destined
to play in the world's history. Conscious of their own power, and
standing on their lofty assumptions, they took advantage of every
condition and circumstance to increase their authority and prerogatives.
Thus the office of the Bishop of Rome continually grew in power and
jurisdiction. Julian I. (337-352), the supporter of Athanasius, held
lofty ideas of his power as Pope[181:1] and gave his famous decision on
the eucharist in the Council of Sardica (343).[181:2] Damascus
(366-384), staunch defender of orthodoxy and champion of celibacy,
insisted on the recognition of his jurisdiction over East Illyricum,
and, as a warm friend of Jerome, established the authority of the
Vulgate.[181:3] Siricius (385-398) upheld the jurisdiction of the Holy
See and issued the first decretal now extant.[181:4] In legislating
about discipline and abuses in the Spanish Church his words were
intended to convey universal authority on baptism, marriage, and
celibacy. Speaking in conscious virtue of the authority of the Apostolic
See he said: "We bear the burdens of all that are heavy laden; nay,
rather the blessed Apostle Peter bears them in us, who, as we trust, in
all things protects and guards us, the heirs of his administration."

Innocent I. (402-417) accepted, as a matter of unquestioned right, all
that had been claimed by his predecessors, and surpassed all of them by
the wide range of his pretensions. He sought to obliterate all
distinction between advice and command. He spoke in a dogmatic and
imperative tone on all questions pertaining to doctrine, discipline, and
government in the Church of the West. "It is notorious to all the
world," he said, "that no one save St. Peter and his successors have
instituted bishops and founded churches in all the Gauls, in Spain,
Africa, Sicily, and the adjacent islands."[182:1] Nor did the West deny
the maternity of Rome. Consequently he asserted complete jurisdiction
over Illyria, assumed that the African churches were dependent upon the
See of Rome, formulated fourteen rules for the Gallic bishops, settled
controversies in Spain, and manifested a lofty attitude toward the
churches of the East. He played a prominent part in repelling the
attacks of the barbarians on Rome.[182:2] He was the first to claim a
general prerogative, as "the one single fountain-head which fertilises
the whole world by its manifold streamlets," to revise the judgment of
provincial synods[182:3] and thus to legislate by his own fiat for the
whole Church. As the great guardian of orthodoxy, he condemned Pelagius
and excommunicated him. "Unstained in life, able and resolute, with a
full appreciation of the dignity and prerogatives of his see, he lost no
opportunity of asserting its claims; and under him the idea of universal
papal supremacy, though as yet somewhat shadowy, appears already to be
taking form."

"The first Pope in the proper sense of the word" was Leo I., called the
Great (440-461). "In him the idea of the Papacy . . . became flesh and
blood. He conceived it in great energy and clearness, and carried it out
with the Roman spirit of dominion so far as the circumstance of the time
at all allowed."[182:4] Before his elevation to the Papacy in 440 very
little is known about Leo. His place of birth, nationality, and early
education are all shrouded in obscurity. For ten years prior to his
election, Leo was perhaps the most prominent man in Rome and noted for
his learning and piety. While absent on a civil mission in Gaul, he was
chosen Pope. At that time the Empire was in a very weak condition.
Women, surrounded by their court of eunuchs and parasites, ruled at
Constantinople and Ravenna. Barbarians were pressing in from all sides.
Heresies rent the East and ignorance was fast covering the West. Western
Christendom must be consolidated and disciplined so that it could meet
the crudeness and heresy of the powerful invaders and overcome both. The
See of St. Peter must replace the tottering imperial power. The law of
Rome must once more be obeyed over the Empire, but this time as the
ecclesiastical law. Leo was the only great man in Church or state, so
the burden was thrust upon his shoulders.

Leo possessed those qualifications which made him the master spirit of
his age and the "Founder of the mediæval Papacy." Lofty in his aims,
severe and pure in life, of indomitable courage and perseverance,
inspired by a fanatical belief in the Petrine theory, uncompromisingly
orthodox, the great first theologian in the Roman Chair, he made the
first clear-cut exposition of the extreme limits and prerogatives of the
mediæval Papacy.[183:1] He asserted and exercised the superabounding
power of the Pope to regulate every department of Church government
without any human limitations. Driven on by a dream of the universal
dominion of Rome and Christianity, a great orator who swayed the Romans
at will, he acted as a resolute Christian monarch conscious of his
divine mission. Possessed of a capacity for complex rule, an
extraordinary organiser and administrator, he used all his ability to
make Christianity and the Papacy the one great world power. Twice he
saved Rome from the barbarians, once in 452 when Attila, King of the
Huns, was persuaded to withdraw without attacking the city, and again in
455 when the Vandal leader, Genseric, was induced to spare the capital
from fire and murder. He drove heresy out of Italy and suppressed it in
Spain. He forced the African Christians to submit to his authority
(443), regained the papal power lost in East Illyria, compelled the
Gallic bishops to obey his mandates,[184:1] and even asserted his
supremacy over the Eastern Church. Through a legate he presided over the
fourth ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, guided its theological
discussions, and was "the finisher of the true doctrine of the presence
of Christ."

Pope Leo laid the greatest possible emphasis upon the fact that there is
one God, one Church, one universal bishop, one faith, and one
interpreter of that faith, and that the recognition of this basic fact
alone could bring unity and efficiency to Christendom. He very wisely
cultivated a close alliance with the state and secured from Valentinian
III. the promulgation of an imperial edict in 445, which raised him to
the exalted position of "spiritual director and governor" of the
Universal Church. Thus the Pope would issue his laws for the Church,
just as the Emperor did for the Empire.

After Leo the Great, who died in 461, no important Pope filled the Chair
of St. Peter until the time of Gregory I., called the Great (590-604).
If Leo drew the outline of the mediæval Papacy, Gregory made it a living
power. He issued the first declaration of independence and assumed
actual jurisdiction over the whole Western Church. His high ideal was
completely realised so that even Gibbon calls his pontificate the most
edifying period of Church history.[185:1]

Gregory I. was born at Rome in 540 of a rich, pious, senatorial family.
His great-grandfather was Pope Felix II. (483-492). His father was a
wealthy lawyer and senator. His mother and two aunts were canonised. He
was very well educated for that period as a "saint among the saints" as
John the Deacon, his biographer, declared. In grammar, rhetoric, and
logic he was second to none in Rome.[185:2] He studied law preparatory
to public life and was well versed in the inspiring history of Rome and
in current events. At thirty he was a distinguished senator and three
years later Emperor Justin II. made him Prætor of Rome.

From his mother Gregory inherited a profound religious temperament,
hence he naturally became imbued with the ascetic religious ideas of the
age. The monastic crusade of the West, now at its height, found him a
willing convert. Upon his father's death, Gregory used his vast wealth
for charity and for founding seven monasteries. Persuaded by his pious
mother, he himself became a monk in 575. Selling all his costly
furniture, fine clothes, and jewels for the poor, he turned his own
house into a monastery and almost killed himself by his vigorous fasts
and ascetic vigils. Soon he gained great fame as a monk, was chosen
abbot, founded six monasteries in Sicily and enforced a tyrannical

Gregory was a man of too great ability, however, to be penned up in a
monastery; consequently Pope Benedict called him to his court as one of
the seven deacons of Rome. In 579 he was sent, as a papal nuncio, to
Constantinople to reconcile the Emperor and the Pope and to unite the
Eastern and Western churches, while at the same time he was instructed
to solicit military aid against the troublesome Lombards. For six years
he remained at Constantinople on this mission and gained much fame as a
theologian and diplomat. Although he failed to reunite the two branches
of the Christian Church, he did bring about an amicable understanding
between the Pope and the Emperor and got some help against the Lombards.
In a discussion with the Patriarch of Constantinople over the nature of
the body after resurrection, Gregory won a signal victory. During his
stay in the East he wrote his renowned work _Magna Moralia_. In 585 he
returned to Rome, resumed his duties as abbot, became a popular
preacher, and was recognised generally as the most able man in the

When Pope Pelagius II. died in 590, the western part of Europe was in a
very critical condition. The Teutonic barbarians had overrun the Empire
from England around to Constantinople, destroying or burying nearly all
that was best in the civilisation of old Rome. Justinian, to be sure,
had recaptured Rome in 556, and it was to remain nominally under
imperial rule until the time of Charles the Great (800), but the
Emperor's hold on the West was limited and precarious. His
representative, the exarch, lived mostly at Ravenna. The Pope, however,
acknowledged the sovereignty of the Emperor both in theory and practice.
As a result of the weakness and inactivity of the exarch, nearly all
Italy lay prostrate before the fierce Lombards, and no efficient help
came from the East.

The city of Rome was in a miserable condition. The Tiber had overflowed
its banks and had swept away the granaries of corn, thus entailing
famine and starvation. A dreadful pestilence had swept away thousands,
among them the Pope himself. In a letter, Gregory compared the Roman See
to an old shattered ship, letting in the waves on all sides, tossed by
daily storms, its planks rotten and gnawed by rats--almost a
wreck![187:1] An imperial organisation was needed to give Latin-Teutonic
Europe the highest type of an organised, Christian civilisation under
one law and one faith, and thus to preserve for future generations the
best that was in old Greece and Rome, as well as the best that was in
the Germans. "It is impossible to conceive what had been the confusion,
the lawlessness, the chaotic state of the Middle Ages, without the
mediæval Papacy."[188:1] A man of heart, power, and lofty purpose--a
ruler who saw the opportunity and need of the Christian Church in
Western Europe, who felt her new impulses, and who could guide her
through a crucial period to a great and useful career--such a man the
Roman senate, clergy, and people believed that they had found in the
monk Gregory. He alone could save them from Teutonic anarchy, on the one
hand, and from Roman decay on the other.

Although elected Pope unanimously by the senate, clergy, and people of
Rome, Gregory did not want the office. He felt unworthy of it and feared
its duties might lure him to worldliness--hence he fled the city and
wrote the Emperor beseeching him not to confirm the election. But the
Roman prefect intercepted the letter and sent instead a petition urging
the confirmation. Gregory was captured at last and forcibly consecrated
Supreme Pontiff. He was the best qualified man in all Christendom for
the place. He represented the best in Rome and the best in Christianity.
His comprehensive policy, his grasp of fundamental issues, his political
training, his capacity for details, made him the man for the hour. He
merged the office of Roman Emperor and Christian bishop into essentially
one and thus became the real founder of the mediæval Papacy. His
pontificate, therefore, was an era in the history of the Church.

Gregory's policy was to uphold and extend the Petrine theory to the
utmost, although personally refusing the title of "Universal Bishop." He
censured the ambitious Patriarch of Constantinople for assuming that
title and wrote to John of Syracuse: "With regard to the church of
Constantinople, who doubts that it is subject to the Apostolic See?
. . . The Apostolic See is the head of all churches."[189:1] To the
Patriarch of Alexandria he wrote: "In the preface of the epistle . . .
you have thought fit to make use of a proud title, calling me Universal
Pope. But I beg your most sweet Holiness to do this no more."[189:2]
Again he exclaimed: "Whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is
Antichrist."[189:3] Gregory meant to exercise as much autonomy as
possible in ruling the West but, at the same time, to submit to imperial
authority in all instances of conflicting claims.[189:4] He planned to
unify and purify the Church and to extend Christianity over the known

Under Gregory's able management papal power was consolidated and made
supreme in Western Europe. He systematised papal theology, and perfected
and beautified the Church liturgy until it took three hours to celebrate
the mass.[189:5] He regulated the calendar of festivals. He checked
heresies by driving Manichæism and Arianism out of Italy, Spain, and
Gaul, and even advised the persecution of African Donatists (591). The
Jews, however, were tolerated and efforts made to convert them. To get
rid of simony he personally refused all presents and abolished all fees
in his court. From priest to bishop he corrected the clergy and urged
upon them celibacy.[190:1] He restored discipline throughout the Church
and patronised all sorts of charity. He fought paganism fiercely by
denouncing the Roman classics and even boasting of his own ignorance of
them,[190:2] while at the same time he sent missionaries over most all
of Western Europe. Monasticism, which he himself had adopted with all
his heart, he encouraged and improved by restoring the early rigid
discipline; by separating monks and clergy; by restricting admission to
religious houses to persons above the age of eighteen years; by
insisting on a probation of two years; by condemning deserters to life
imprisonment; and by favouring the Benedictine Rule as the model. The
papal court was reorganised, and clergy were substituted for boys and
secular adults to attend the Pope. Even some efforts were made to check
the European slave-trade.

In administrative power Gregory was perhaps inferior to Leo I. The
Church was very wealthy, owning lands by this time all over Western
Europe and in Africa. The Pope had to rule these vast estates as a
mighty landlord. Subdeacons were his agents. Tenants were controlled
politically as well as religiously. The surplus income was given to the
clergy, papal domestics, monasteries, churches, cemeteries, almshouses,
and hospitals. On the first of every month he distributed to the poor
corn, wine, cheese, vegetables, oil, fish, meat, clothes, and money. The
country was full of tramps and poor clergy; these he provided for and
also supported impoverished nobles.[190:3] His letters are full of
items about law-suits, disputes over weights and measures, collection of
rents, emancipation of slaves, marriage of tenants, produce accounts,
and a multitude of other affairs.

In addition to these multitudinous duties, he was virtual King of Italy.
He denounced the corrupt exarch and drilled the Romans for military
defence, though he always laboured for peace. He held the haughty
Lombards in check and converted them to Christianity. He extended his
authority over Africa, Spain, Gaul, England, and Ireland and even
claimed jurisdiction over the East. He was the first Pope to become in
act and in influence, if not in name, the temporal sovereign of the
West. He paved the way for Hildebrand and Innocent III.

In culture Gregory was a true son of an age of credulity and
superstition. He believed all the current tales about ghosts, miracles,
and supernatural manifestations. The linen of St. Paul and his
bondage-chains, he declared genuine and possessed of miracle-working
power.[191:1] To the converted Visigothic King in Spain he sent a key
made from Peter's chain, a piece of the true cross, and some hairs from
the head of John the Baptist. Indeed this was a practice which he
followed in the case of many of his friends whom he desired to
especially favour.[191:2] The "monuments of classic genius" he despised,
asserting that it was his wish to be unknown in this world and glorified
in the next. He very severely censured the profane learning of a bishop
who taught grammar, studied the Latin poets, and pronounced Jupiter and
Christ in the same breath. It was his constant habit, on the other
hand, to enforce upon all Christians--clergy and laity alike--the great
duty of reading the Bible. Still his own literary work was rather
voluminous. He wrote 850 letters--more than all his 69 predecessors
together--on all topics and to all Christendom. In addition he produced
his _Magna Moralia_,[192:1] some homilies, a book on pastoral rule, and
liturgical treatises. His productions are below mediocrity and he cannot
compare with Leo I. as a critic, expositor, or original thinker. He had
but a slight knowledge of Greek and knew no Hebrew, nor did he possess a
deep acquaintance with the Church Fathers. Yet for that age he was a
cultured man and enjoyed a high reputation for piety and learning, and
spoke to unborn generations.

"By his writings and the fame of his personal sanctity, by the
conversion of England and the introduction of an impressive ritual,
Gregory the Great did more than any other Pontiff to advance Rome's
ecclesiastical authority."[192:2] His virtues and faults, his simplicity
and cunning, his pride and humility, his ignorance and his learning--all
were suited to the times and made him "the greatest of all the early
Popes."[192:3] He closes the period of the Church Fathers and opens the
Middle Ages. For 150 years there were no material acquisitions of
ecclesiastical power, hence the history of the Papacy becomes very
uninteresting and comparatively unimportant.[192:4]

When Gregory the Great closed his remarkable career (604) the Papacy of
the Middle Ages had been born and in form resembled the Empire.[193:1]
The head of the Church was known as "Pope." Because of his peculiar
personal holiness he could be judged by none,[193:2] though himself
judge of all. The hierarchy of officers had been practically
completed.[193:3] The laity was distinctly cut off from the clergy, and
deprived of powers exercised in the first and second centuries. The
election of the clergy had changed from a democratic to an aristocratic
process. There was a marked evolution in rites and ceremonies. Art and
music were now employed. The mass gradually became the powerful,
mysterious centre of all worship, while public worship became imposing,
dramatic, theatrical. Festivals were multiplied almost without number.
The worship of martyrs and saints[193:4] became so widespread and
popular that a "calendar of saints" was formed. Pilgrimages grew to be
very numerous and the use of relics[193:5] developed such a craze that
the fathers, councils, Popes, and at last the Emperor himself sought to
check it. Religious pageants were multiplied and the use of images and
pictures of saints were encouraged in the churches. The Virgin Mary was
exalted to the eminence of divinity. In imitation of the court-calendar,
loftier titles of spiritual dignity were adopted or invented for the
higher ecclesiastics. The dogma of the "unity of outward representation"
had acquired not merely a material and visible, but also a sacramental,
character. Thus the Church was the only channel of spiritual graces,
hence union with the Church was absolutely indispensable to salvation.
The Church had become immensely wealthy in lands, buildings, and
furniture. This corrupting familiarity with secular affairs was early
seen and denounced. St. Chrysostom sharply rebuked the bishops who "had
fallen to the condition of land-stewards, hucksters, brokers, publicans,
and pay-clerks." The Council of Chalcedon ordered the bishops to appoint
land-stewards to look after their estates.[194:1]



   1.--_New Testament._

   2.--_New Testament Apocrypha._

   3.--Church Fathers. See Chap. X.

   4.--Acts of the Councils. See Chap. IX.

   5.--_Roman Civil Law._ Various English translations.

   6.--_Canon Law._ Various collections. Best by Richter, 2 vols.,
          Leip. 1839. No English translation.

   7.--_Apostolical Constitutions._ Various English translations.
          Best in _Ante-Nic. Christ. Lib._, vol. 17. _Cf._ Harnack,
          _Sources of the Apostolic Canons_. Lond., 1895.

   8.--_Apostolic Canons._ Various English translations.

   9.--Leo I., _Epistles to Flavian_. Transl. by C. A. Heurtley.
          Oxf., 1885. _Letters and Sermons._ _Lib. of Nic. and
          Post-Nic. Fathers_, xii.

  10.--Gregory I., _Book of Pastoral Rule and Selected Epistles_.

  Bibliographical note:--Unfortunately the best collections of
          materials have not been put into English, like:
          1.--Mirbt, _Quellen zur Geschichte des Papsttum_. Leipz.,
          1895. 2.--Hardouin, _Acta Conciliorum_. Paris, 1815. 12
          vols. 3.--Mansi, _Collectio Sacrorum Conciliorum_. Flor.
          & Ven., 1759-98. 31 vols. 4.--Jaffé, _Regesta Pontificum
          Romanorum_. Leipz., 1881-8. 2 vols.



     1.--Allies, T. W., _The Holy See from Leo I. to Gregory I._
          Lond., 1888.

     2.--Balzani, U., _Early Chronicles of Italy_. Lond., 1883;

     3.--Barry, W., _The Papal Monarchy_. N. Y., 1901.

     4.--Bigg, _Church's Task under the Roman Empire_. Oxf., 1905.

     5.--Borrow, I., _The Pope's Supremacy_. New ed. Lond., 1859.

     6.--Bower, A., _History of the Popes_. Phil., 1844. 3 vols.

     7.--Bright, W., _The Roman See in the Early Church_. Lond.,

     8.--Brock, M., _Rome: Pagan and Papal_. Lond., 1883.

     9.--Bryce, J., _The Holy Roman Empire_. Many eds. Last ed.
          Lond. and N. Y., 1904.

    10.--Creighton, M., _History of the Papacy_. Bost., 1882-94.
          Vol. i.

    11.--Dudden, _Gregory the Great_. Lond. and N. Y., 1905. 2

    12.--Duff, D., _The Early Church_. N. Y., 1891.

    13.--Gasquet, _A Life of Pope Gregory the Great_. Lond., 1904.

    14.--Gore, C., _Leo the Great_. Lond., 1878.

    15.--Gosselin, J. E., _Power of the Pope during the Middle
          Ages_. Lond., 1853.

    16.--Greenwood, T., _Cathedra Petri_. Lond., 1859-72. Vols.

    17.--Hussey, R., _Rise of the Papal Power_. Lond., 1863.

    18.--Kellett, F. W., _Pope Gregory the Great and his Relations
          with Gaul_. N. Y., 1890.

    19.--Kenrick, F. P., _The Primacy of the Apostolic See_. 7th
          ed. Balt., 1855.

    20.--Lea, H. C., _Studies in Church History_. Phil., 1883.

    21.--Legge, A. O., _Growth of the Temporal Power of the
          Papacy_. Lond., 1870.

    22.--Littledale, R. F., _The Petrine Claims_. Lond., 1889.

    23.--Mann, H. K., _Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle
          Ages_. Lond., 1906.

    24.--Manning, H. E., _The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus
          Christ_. N. Y., 1880.

    25.--Meyrick, T., _Lives of the Early Popes_. Lond., 1878-80. 2

    26.--Milman, H. H., _Latin Christianity_. Lond., 1840. Several

    27.--Murphy, _The Chair of Peter_. Lond., 1888.

    28.--Pennington, A. R., _Epochs of the Papacy_. Lond., 1881.
          Ch. 1.

    29.--Platina, B., _Lives of the Popes_. Lond., 1893.

    30.--Rainy, R., _The Ancient Catholic Church_ (to 451).

    31.--Riddle, J. E., _History of the Papacy_. Lond., 1854.

    32.--Rivington, L., _The Roman Primacy_ (430-451). Lond., 1899.

    33.--Snow, T. B., _St. Gregory the Great_. Lond., 1892.

    34.--Soechi, B., _Lives of the Popes to Gregory VII._ Lond.,

    35.--Tardini, C., _The Popes of Rome and the Popes of the
          Oriental Churches_. Lond., 1871. Ch. 4.

    36.--Wilkes, G. A. T., _History of the Popes from Linus to Pius
          IX._ Lond., 1851.


    Adams, _Civ._, ch. 4. Adeney, ch. 11. Allies, _Peter's Rock_,
    vol. iv., ch. 32-34, 38, 42, 47. Alzog, i., § 87, 130. Butler,
    ch. 44, 50. Cheetham, ch. 9, § 4. Coxe, Lect. 3, § 23. Crooks,
    ch. 28. Darras, i.-ii. Döllinger, ii., ch. 5. Duff, 63, 108,
    249, 341, 557, 605. Fisher, 105-108, 157-160. Fitzgerald, i.,
    235-264; ii., 1-28. Foulkes, 105, 328, 348, 368, 382.
    Gieseler, i., § 68, 69, 91-94. Gilmartin, i., ch. 21.
    Gregorovius, i. Hase, § 128-130. Hurst, i., 325 _ff._ Kurtz,
    i., 264-274. Mahan, bk. 3, ch. 4. Milman, bk. 1, 2. Milner,
    ii., cent. 4, ch. 17; cent. 6, ch. 5-8. Moeller, i., 340-355.
    Neander i., § 2; ii., § 2. Robertson, bk. 2, ch. 6, p. 303.
    Schaff, pd. 2, ch. 4, § 50-53; pd. 3, ch. 3, § 26; ch. 5, §
    60-64; pd. 4, ch. 4.


[165:1] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 118.

[165:2] Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, i., 232.

[166:1] It must be said, however, that the Eastern Patriarchs refused to
recognise the decision. Gieseler, i., 382; Milman, i., 130. _Cf._
Socrates, ii., 15 _ff._

[166:2] Hard., _Concil._, i., p. 610 _ff._

[166:3] Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, i., 205.

[166:4] Can. 4, 5, 7.

[167:1] The Council of Sardica was not recognised, however, either by
the churches of the East or of Africa.

[167:2] Mansi, iii., 624.

[167:3] Cod. Theod. _Novell._, tit. xxix., Suppl., p. 12; Robinson,
_Readings_, i., 72. The same power was conferred by the Council of
Chalcedon (451) on the Bishop of Constantinople. _Canon_ 9.

[167:4] _Ep._ 13; Robinson, _Readings_, i., 72.

[167:5] _Ep._ 9.

[167:6] Greenwood, i., 270-279.

[168:1] Hard., _Concil._, i., 947.

[168:2] _Ep._ 209.

[168:3] _Ep._ 4, c. 5.

[168:4] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 139.

[169:1] Berington and Kirk, _Faith of Catholics_, ii., 1-112.

[170:1] Migne, xi.; Optatus, lib. ii., c. 2, 3; lib. vii., c. 3. Mileve
is in Numidia.

[170:2] _De Excidio Satyri_, i., 47; Mansi, _Concil._, iii., cal. 622.

[170:3] Jerome, _Ep._ 15, 146; Greenwood, i., 232.

[170:4] _Ps. contra Don._; _Ep._ 178; Greenwood, i., 296.

[170:5] Ignatius, _Martyrs_, n. 4; Hom. ii. in _Principium Actorum_, n.
6, iii., p. 70; Theodoret, _Ep._ 83, 113, 116; Cyril, _Ep. ad Coelest._

[171:1] Canon 6; Gieseler, i., 378. Later an interpolation made canon 6
read: "Rome has always held the primacy." First used at Chalcedon in

[171:2] Canons 3, 4, and 5; Mansi, iii., 23; Sardica was not a universal

[171:3] Milman, i., 101. _Cf._ Hefele, i., 539; Greenwood, i., 239, 240.

[171:4] Mansi, _Concil._, iii., cal. 622.

[172:1] Gieseler, i., 385, 395, 396; Schaff, iii., 313.

[172:2] Matt. xvi., 19; xviii., 18; 1 Cor. v., 3-5; 2 Cor. vi., 14, 17;
Rom. xvi., 17; Gal. i., 8, 9; Tit. iii., 10; 1 Thess. iii., 6, 14, 15.

[173:1] Hard., _Concil._, i., 1025.

[173:2] Gieseler, i., 382; Milman, i., 129.

[173:3] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 68.

[174:1] Bower, i., 383.

[174:2] _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, 2d ser., xii., 70, Letter 43.

[174:3] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 72.

[174:4] _Ibid._, 73.

[175:1] Lateran, Vatican, St. Paul, St. Agnes, St. Lawrence, and St.

[177:1] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, v., 24.

[177:2] _On Modesty_, in _Lib. of Ante-Nic. Fathers_, xviii.

[177:3] Hippolytus, _Refutation of Heresies_, ix., 7.

[177:4] Greenwood, i., 109.

[177:5] _Ibid._, 121 _ff._

[178:1] Boyd, W. K., _Eccles. Edicts of the Theodos. Code_, N. Y., 1906.

[179:1] Can. 9. Later the same procedure was adopted at Constantinople.

[179:2] Cod. Theod., c. 16.

[179:3] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 72.

[179:4] Greenwood, i., 324.

[179:5] Cod. Justin., i., tit. 2.

[180:1] Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, ii., 137.

[180:2] Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. xxvii., c. 3.

[180:3] Gieseler, i., 219; Schaff, iii., 68, 69.

[180:4] Hutton, W. H., _The Church and the Barbarians_, N. Y., 1906.

[181:1] _Apolog. contra Arian_, 21-26; Euseb., Soc., and Soz.

[181:2] Smith and Wace, iii., 532.

[181:3] _Ibid._, i., 783.

[181:4] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 68.

[182:1] Hard., _Concil._, i., 995.

[182:2] Milman, i., 143, 4.

[182:3] _1st Epist._, ii., ch. 3; Lea, _Studies in Ch. Hist._, 133;
Hard., _Concil._, i., 1025.

[182:4] Smith and Wace, iii., 652; _Post-Nicene Fathers_, xii.;
Greenwood, i., bk. 2, ch. 4-6; Milman, i., bk. 2, ch. 4; Schaff, iii.,

[183:1] Thatcher and McNeal, _Source-Book of Med. Hist._, No. 35. _Nic.
and Post-Nic. Fathers_, 2d ser., xii., contains his life and letters.
See sermon by Leo I. on Peter's leadership in Robinson, _Readings_, i.,
69; Orr, _Source Book_, § 10.

[184:1] Hilary, Archbishop of Arles, was excommunicated and Emperor
Valentinian III. was induced to uphold the action. Greenwood, i., 351

[185:1] Gibbon, _Decline and Fall_, iv., 421; _Nicene and Post-Nicene
Fathers_, 2d ser., xii., contains Gregory's letters and sermons; Gregory
of Tours; Bede; Snow, _St. Gregory the Great_; Barmby, _Gregory the
Great_; Hutton, _Church of the Sixth Century_; Neander, iii., 112;
Hallam, 328.

[185:2] Gregory of Tours, x., 1.

[186:1] Soon many poetical tales were imputed to him. It was said a new
stomach was given him so he could fast. An angel visited him disguised
as a sailor. Milman, ii., 45. Read Bede for the story which led to the
conversion of the Anglo-Saxons. For his treatment of the monk Justus see
Milman, i., 432. _Cf._ Montalembert, ii., 84-87; _Dict. Christ. Biog._,
ii., 779.

[187:1] _Epistle_ v. in _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, xii., 74.

[188:1] Milman, ii., 44.

[189:1] _Ep._, ix., 12; xiii., 45.

[189:2] _Ep._, viii., 30; ix., 12.

[189:3] Milman, ii., 72; _Ep._, vii., 31.

[189:4] Milman, ii., 81.

[189:5] He created the Gregorian chant, instituted singing schools,
minutely described the ceremonies, prescribed the variety and change of
garments, and laid down the order of processions. The duties of priests
and deacons were outlined and their parishes defined.

[190:1] _Ep._, iii., 34, 50.

[190:2] _Ep._, xi., 54.

[190:3] It was also reported that he fed 3000 virgins.

[191:1] _Epistle_ xxx. in _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, xii., 154.

[191:2] _Ibid._, 82, 130, 243.

[192:1] This was an exposition of the Book of Job, _Ep._ 49.

[192:2] Bryce, 150.

[192:3] Adams, _Civ. of M. A._, 230.

[192:4] Hallam, 329.

[193:1] Gieseler, i., 382; Milman, i., 128.

[193:2] Hefele, iii., 20. In the early Church "pope," or "papa" or
"abba," was applied to all clergy. Schaff, iii., 300. "Pope" is still
used for all priests in the Greek Church and "father" in the Latin
Church. See Cyprian, _Ep._, viii., 1.

[193:3] Stewards, secretaries, nurses, and undertakers were regarded as
being in a sense members of the lower clergy. Schaff, iii., 262.

[193:4] For biblical authority see Luke xv., 10; Rev. viii., 3, 4.

[193:5] Began in the second century.

[194:1] Hard., _Concil._, ii., 612.



     OUTLINE: I.--Importance of the institution of monasticism.
     II.--Antecedents and analogies. III.--Causes of the origin of
     Christian monasticism. IV.--Evolution of Christian
     monasticism. V.--Spread of group monasticism from the East to
     the West. VI.--Development of monasticism in Western Europe.
     VII.--Opposition to monasticism. VIII.--Result and influences
     of monasticism. IX.--Sources.

Monasticism, the story of which is one of the strangest problems in
Church history and is enshrouded in legend, originated outside the
Church, but soon became the dominant factor in the Church. It was not
the product of Christianity so much as an inheritance--an adopted child.
It supported the orthodox faith,[198:1] upheld the papal theory,
monopolised ecclesiastical offices, helped to mould the Church
constitution, and supplied the great standing army of the Popes. It was
a determining factor in European civilisation. The monk was the ideal
man of the Middle Ages. He stood for the highest morality and best
culture of that period. As a missionary he planted the Church over
Western Europe. He stood between the laity and the hierarchy, as the
friend of the former and the champion of the latter. He created the
system of public charity and had a marked influence on industry and
agriculture. Before long a monk sat in the chair of St. Peter and
sought to rule the Church. The first series of great ecclesiastical
reforms was produced by the hermits in the fourth century, the
Benedictines in the sixth, the Clugniacs in the eleventh, and the
Begging Orders in the thirteenth. Monasticism, therefore, was a very
important institution in the rise of the Church.

Monasticism originated in antiquity and was based on a general principle
broader than any creed. It grew out of that mystical longing for an
uninterrupted inner enjoyment of the soul--out of a passion for
self-brooding, and out of an abnormal view of the seclusion necessary
for the cultivation of the true religious life, which would save the
soul from sin. It was simply an effort to explain the riddle of
existence and to comprehend the true relations of God, man, and the
world. Every great religion has expressed itself in some form of
monasticism. Centuries before Jesus there were monks and crowded
convents among the Hindoos. The sacred writings of the ancient Hindoos
(2400 B.C.) reveal many legends about holy hermits, and give ascetic
rules.[199:1] Buddha, who founded his faith possibly six centuries B.C.,
enjoined celibacy on his priests.[199:2] Alexander the Great found
monasticism flourishing in the East. In Greece the "Pagan Jesuits," the
Pythagoreans, were a kind of ascetic order.[199:3] Plato, with his
powerful appeal for the ideal life, had a marked influence upon the
ascetic views of the early Christians, and Neo-Platonism became a
positive force in Christendom during the third and fourth centuries.
The priestesses of Delphic Apollo, Achaian Juno, and Scythian Diana were
virgins.[200:1] In Judea the ancient Nazarites[200:2] afford an example.
The Essenes seem to be the direct forerunners of Christian
monasticism.[200:3] In addition there were conspicuous individual
examples in Jewish history like that of Elisha, Elijah, Samuel, and John
the Baptist.[200:4] In Rome the name of vestal virgin was a proverb. In
Egypt, the priests of Serapis were ascetics,[200:5] the priestesses of
Ceres were separated from their husbands,[200:6] and the Therapeutæ were
rigid monks who lived about the time of Jesus.[200:7]

These influences and examples, coupled with Platonic philosophy, and the
interpretation put upon the teachings and lives of Jesus and His
Apostles, produced Christian monasticism. Jesus Himself was unmarried,
poor, and had not "where to lay his head." He commanded the rich young
man to sell his property for the poor,[200:8] and said: "Take no thought
for the morrow what ye shall eat and what ye shall drink, or wherewithal
ye shall be clothed." St. John and probably other Apostles were
celibates.[200:9] The Apostles likewise taught that following Jesus
meant "forsaking father, mother, brethren, wife, children, houses and
lands."[201:1] They urged Christians to crucify the flesh, and
disparaged marriage,[201:2] and they too were poor and homeless like
their Master.[201:3]

The supreme question asked by earnest Christians in all ages has been
this: "What is the true, the ideal Christian life?"[201:4] At every step
of her progress the Church has given a different answer to the important
query. Yet in all this divergent opinion there is plainly seen one
common conviction. To live in the service of God, in the religious
denunciation of the world, and in the abnegation of the joys of
life--that is the universal reply. In the early Church this position was
very strongly emphasised and led, in consequence, to the rise of
monasticism. Hence it may be said that the monastic ideals simply
expressed the highest ideals of the Church, and the history of
monasticism becomes a vital part of the history of the mediæval Church.

It must be remembered, too, that the old belief that the Church was
poor, pure, and wholly spiritual until the time of Constantine is a
false tradition. The secularisation and materialisation of the Church
was so noticeable as to cause complaint as early as the third century.
The Church Fathers unanimously deplore the precocious decay of the
Christian world.[201:5] To the minds of many, therefore, the only way to
escape the damning effects of contamination with the Roman world, the
only way to elude the evils in the Church itself, and the only sure way
of leading the ideal Christian life was to flee from villages and cities
to the mountains and deserts. "They fled not only from the world, but
from the world within the Church." When Christianity was drawn from the
catacombs to the court of the Cæsars, it lost its power to regenerate
souls. That memorable alliance hindered neither the ruin of the Empire,
nor "the servitude and mutilation of the Church."[202:1] Associated with
the power that so long sought to destroy her, the Church was brought
face to face with the tremendous task of transforming and replacing the
Empire. At the same time the Church made a desperate attempt, though in
vain, to keep alive the spiritual torches of apostolic Christianity. The
solution of that great problem, however, was left to the monks.

The philosophy which prevailed among many of the early Christians held
that the material world is all evil, and that the spiritual world is the
only good. Gnosticism, which permeated Christendom in the second
century, declared that the body is the seat of evil and hence that it
must be abused in order to purify the soul within.[202:2] Montanism
advocated an excessive puritanism, and prescribed numerous fasts and
severities, which paved the way for asceticism. Other groups of
Christian philosophers exercised similar influences.[202:3] The Church
itself commended fasting and other practices for the cultivation of
spiritual benefit. Celibacy of the clergy gradually became the rule. As
a result the belief soon developed that the surest way to gain eternal
joys in heaven was to turn away from the transitory pleasures of earth.
Christianity in the first and second centuries was the gospel of
renunciation and resurrection. The next logical step was to make the
body as miserable as possible here--sort of a pious sacrifice--in order
to make the soul happier hereafter. To die that one might really live,
to find one's life in losing it--that became the supreme purpose of
earthly existence. The most eminent of the early Fathers commended
asceticism, particularly fasting and celibacy, and many likewise
practised it. It is easy to feel that the air was charged with ascetic
ideals. The literature, the philosophy, and the religion of the day all
pointed out narrow paths that led to holiness. As a result there were
many ascetics of both sexes, although they were bound by no irrevocable

The persecutions of Christians by the Roman government forced many to
flee for safety to the deserts and mountains.[203:2] Thus Paul of Thebes
and St. Anthony fled in the Decian persecutions about the year 250. When
persecution ceased, martyrdom had become such a holy act, and such a
short, easy road to a sainted, eternal life, that the most devout
resolved that since they could not die as martyrs, they would at least
live as martyrs. The mildness of the climate in Egypt and Palestine,
where the small amount of food and clothing needed for subsistence was
easily procured, made those regions the birthplace of monasticism. The
growth of worldliness in the Church, with the increase of numbers and
wealth, gave rise to many cries for reform. The legalisation and, along
with it, the paganisation of the Church gave birth to much that was
bitterly denounced. The union of the Church and state was the
climax--the Church was no longer the "bride of Christ," it was held, but
the mistress of a worldly ruler. Hence monasticism turned its back not
only on the world but also on the Church. To understand it, therefore,
it must be viewed as the first great reformation in the Church--a desire
to return to simple, pure, spiritual, apostolic Christianity.[204:1]

Christian monasticism did not begin at any fixed time or place. It was
slowly evolved as a curious mixture of heathen, Jewish, and Christian
influences. The whole Church had an ascetic aspect during the apostolic
age, hence endurance, hardihood, and constant self-denial were required
of its members. But for one hundred and fifty years no proofs of a
distinct class of ascetics can be found within the Church, except,
perhaps, the order of widows, devoted to charity, supported by gifts
from the faithful, and sanctioned by the Apostles.[204:2] In the second
century, however, a class of orthodox Christians, who desired to attain
Christian perfection, were called "abstinents" or "ascetics." They
withdrew from society but not from the Church, renounced marriage and
property, fasted and prayed, and eagerly sought a martyr's death.[204:3]
The belief that the end of the world was near no doubt did much to
emphasise the necessity of preparing for the day of judgment. By the
third century the Christian literature, philosophy, and theology were
tinged with asceticism. Cyprian, Origen, Hieracus, Methodius,
Tertullian, and others taught the efficacy of asceticism in one form or
another and, to some extent, practised it themselves,[205:1] but always
within the Church. The heretical sects became still more prominent in
their reverence for austerities and even outdid the orthodox in
practice.[205:2] This first stage of asceticism was neither organised,
nor absolutely cut off from the Church.

The product of this wide-spread ascetic agitation was the creation of a
new type, namely, anchoretism, or hermit life, about the middle of the
third century. This was the second phase of monastic evolution. It
appeared first in Egypt about the fourth century, where the physical
conditions were most suitable, in the home of the Therapeutæ and
Serapis monks, the stronghold of heresy and paganism, the birthplace
of Neo-Platonism amid a people famous for fanaticism. The Decian
persecution in 250 was, apparently, the immediate occasion for
its birth. Anthony of Alexandria, and Ammon were the earliest
representatives of this new form of asceticism. Paul of Thebes, however,
is now generally believed to be a pious romance from the pen of Jerome,
but he may still be viewed as typical.

Anthony (251-356), the "patriarch of the monks," was the real founder of
anchoretism. He early sold his estate for the poor, gave his sister to a
body of virgins, and cut himself off from the world by retiring to a
desert in order to devote his life to spiritual things. He lived as a
strict hermit till a great age, gained a world-wide fame, had many
visitors seeking spiritual guidance, and won many converts to
monasticism. Soon the wildest tales were told about his divine powers.
Before he died Egypt was full of hermits, and some were found in
Palestine. Athanasius wrote his biography, which was read over all
Christendom and scattered seeds of anchoretism everywhere--a book which
influenced the thought of the age. Ammon had a settlement of possibly
5000 hermits at Mount Nitria in Lower Egypt and was almost as renowned
as Anthony, his great contemporary.[206:1]

The example of these illustrious characters drew thousands of both the
curious and the sincere to Egypt.[206:2] Whole congregations, led by
their bishops, withdrew to the desert for salvation.[206:3] Priests fled
from the obligations of their office.[206:4] By the fourth century that
land was full of hermits. Their life was of a negative character,
founded on abstinence and bodily abuse--a holy rivalry of self-torture
and suicidal austerities. These practices may be divided into four
classes: dietetic, sexual, social, and spiritual.

(1) From a dietetic standpoint the hermits either fasted, or ate the
simplest foods, or consumed the smallest quantities. Thus the renowned
Isidore of Alexandria never ate meat, and often at the table would burst
into tears for shame at the thought that he who was destined to eat
angel's food in Paradise should have to eat the material food of
animals. Macarius ate but once a week. His son lived three years on five
ounces of bread a day and seven years on raw vegetables. Alos boasted
that up to his eighteenth year he never ate bread. Symeon ate but once
daily and in fast time not at all. Heliodorus often fasted seven days at
a time. In Mesopotamia a group of hermits lived on grass.[207:1]

(2) Sexually the hermits believed either in absolute virginity or in

(3) The social and domestic vagaries of anchoretism assumed many forms.
The hermits fled from the society of the world; deserted friends and
family; courted the company of wild beasts[207:2]; lived in caves,
dried-up wells, swamps, rude huts, tombs, and on the summits of solitary
columns, or wandered about without fixed homes.[207:3] A monk named
Akepsismas lived sixty years in the same cell without seeing or speaking
to any person and was finally shot for a wolf. Some hermits wore no
clothing,[207:4] and thus exposed the body to the broiling sun and to
biting insects. Macarius, to atone for killing a gnat, lay naked six
months in a swamp and was so badly stung that he was mistaken for a
leper.[207:5] Others wore hair shirts, carried heavy weights suspended
from the body, slept in thorn bushes, against a pillar, in cramped
quarters, or deprived themselves altogether of sleep. Many never washed
their faces nor cared for their hair, beards, teeth, and nails. With
them filthiness seemed to be next to godliness. Anthony and Hilarion
scorned either to cut or to comb their hair except at Easter, or to wash
their hands and faces. St. Abraham never washed his face for fifty
years--yet his biographer proudly says, "His face reflected the purity
of his soul." Theodosius like a second Moses, had a stream of water
burst from a rock that his thirsty monks might drink. One wicked fellow,
overcome by a pitiable weakness for cleanliness, took a bath, when, lo!
the stream dried up. Thereupon the frightened and repentant monks
promised never to insult heaven by using water for that purpose again,
and after a year of waiting a second miracle gave them a fresh supply.

(4) A sincere desire for spiritual improvement expressed itself in
various practices. Prayer was perhaps the most common means to that end,
and it was believed that number and duration counted the most. Paul the
Simple repeated three hundred prayers a day and counted them with
pebbles. A certain famous virgin added four hundred to that number
daily. Some spent all day and others all night in prayer. Meditation and
contemplation were generally employed. Preaching and singing were common
forms of religious activity. Studying and writing engaged those of a
more scholarly bent of mind.

Out of this unorganised anchoretism there grew, by the latter part of
the third century, a crude form of group monasticism. This was the third
stage in the progress of monastic life. Such renowned hermits as St.
Anthony in Upper Egypt, Ammon at Mount Nitria, Joannes in Thebaid,
Macarius in the Scetische Desert, and Hilarion in the Gaza Desert each
had a coterie of imitators imbued with a common purpose and with a
profound respect for their leader; but no uniform rules governed them
at first. As time passed, however, the necessity of regulating the
various relations of so many became apparent.[209:1] The organisations
of the Essenes and Therapeutæ may have served as models. At Mount Nitria
the monks by common arrangement lived in separate cells, but had a
dining room and a chapel for all.[209:2] Pachomius (282-346), a
converted heathen soldier, of little education, a pupil of Palæmon for
twelve years, created the first monastic rule and organised at Tabenna
on the Nile the first monastic congregation (322), while his sister
formed the first convent at Tabenisi. This first walled monastery had
many cells built to accommodate three monks in each. Membership was
guarded by three years' probation on severe discipline. The monks met in
silence for one daily meal and wore white hoods so as not to see each
other. They prayed thirty-six times daily, worked with their hands
indoors and out, and wore over their linen underclothes white goat skins
day and night. They were ruled by "priors" chosen on merit from the
twenty-four classes of monks.[209:3] At the head of the whole system
stood an abbot.[209:4] When Pachomius died (346) he had established nine
cloisters with 3000 monks. He called them all together twice a year, and
paid them annual visits. By 400 the monks numbered 50,000.[209:5] The
great Athanasius visited Tabenna to inspect the system and to study the
operation of this epoch-making rule.

From Tabenna organised monasticism spread over Egypt and then to nearly
every province in the Roman Empire by the end of the fourth
century.[210:1] In the Holy Land laboured Hilarion,[210:2]
Epiphanius,[210:3] Hesycas,[210:4] the Bethlehem brothers,[210:5]
Ammonius,[210:6] Silvanus, and Zacharias. Jerome, the celebrated Church
Father, with Paula, a rich Roman widow, left Rome for the East. After
studying monasticism in Egypt they located at Bethlehem (386). There
Jerome studied the Scriptures and ruled a large crowd of monks, while
Paula became the head of a convent for girls. Melania built a convent on
the Mount of Olives and ruled fifty virgins (375). Goddana and Elias
laboured on the lower Jordan.

In Asia Minor laboured, conspicuous among many, Eustathius who first
prescribed a monastic dress, Basil the Great (c. 379) who originated the
monastic vow,[210:7] the famous Nilus (c. 430), and the hated hermit
Marcus (c. 431). Syria was renowned for at least a dozen hermits, the
most celebrated being Simeon Stylites (c. 459),[210:8] the pillar saint.
From Egypt and Asia the institution spread to Greece and became quite
general by the fourth century. The most famous cloister was that of
Studium (460) at Constantinople. The islands of the Adriatic and Tuscan
Sea were soon covered with monasteries swarming with monks.[210:9]

The fourth and most important step is found in the development of the
institution in western Europe.

Athanasius, a hero and oracle to the Western Church, on a tour to Rome
in 340, carried with him from Egypt two specimens of hermits.[211:1] His
_Life of Anthony_ was soon translated into Latin. The West had already
heard about the institution, and many individuals had visited the most
celebrated hermits in Egypt. After 340 many men and women began to give
enthusiastic support to the new institution. Eusebius (c. 370) lived by
rule with his clergy under one roof at Vercelli in northern
Italy.[211:2] Ambrose fostered it in and around Milan.[211:3] Paul of
Nola (c. 431) lived in Campagna. Conspicuous examples were found among
the Roman virgins and widows.[211:4] Marcella in Rome turned her palace
into a convent.[211:5] Paula and her whole family lived as ascetics. The
widow Lea was an active worker.[211:6] Melania devoted her fortune to
the cause. Many of the nobles of Rome likewise became converts to the
new idea.[211:7] Jerome and Rufinus were conspicuous examples of those
devotees who by precept and practice soon popularised monasticism
throughout Italy. Convents for both sexes were soon founded.[211:8] From
Rome Augustine carried the institution back to north-western Africa.
When Cassian (c. 448) left Egypt and planted two monasteries at
Marseilles, he found monks already in France. Martin, the Bishop of
Tours, turned his episcopal palace into a monastery, and at his death
(400) 2000 monks followed him to the grave.[212:1] Poitiers, Lyons, and
Treves, together with the bordering mountains, were soon scenes of
monastic activity. Donatus, an African monk, early carried the new faith
to Spain where it soon became so popular that by 380 a synod forbade
priests dressing as monks. Athanasius, who lived at Treves as an exile,
probably introduced it into Germany. The British Isles had a flourishing
system long before the mission of Augustine. By the fifth century,
therefore, monasticism had been firmly planted over all western

Although western monasticism was an offspring of the eastern type, yet
the child differed much from the parent. Anchoretism gained but little
foothold in the West because of climatic and ethnic differences. The
group type was dominant in the West, and extremes and excesses were
absent. No pillar saints and other conspicuous fanatics were found
there.[212:3] Western monasticism was a more practical system, an
economic factor, a powerful missionary machine, an educational agency,
and the pioneer of civilisation. It was not a negative force, but very
aggressive and made history. It led all the great reform movements. It
was uniform in spirit, though widely divergent in form. In some cases
monks were under abbots each with his own rule; others had no fixed
abode--and many of them were tramps of the worst description, living on
their holy calling.[213:1] Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, and many other
Fathers have left sufficient complaints about the growing monastic
disorders. The need of a common rule, therefore, was generally felt in
order to unify the highly varied, and in part highly doubtful forms of

Early efforts were made to meet that need. Jerome translated the rule of
Pachomius into Latin and it was used in parts of Italy. Rufinus brought
the rule of Basil the Great to Rome and it was adopted in southern Italy
and in Gaul. The rule of Macarius was at least known in the West.
Cassian (c. 448) was the first, however, to write out for the cruder
western institution a detailed constitution (c. 429). He had studied
monasticism in Egypt and drew up a very complete rule which covered all
the essential phases of cloister life. It was used in many cloisters
till the ninth century. During this early unorganised period Popes,
councils, and even secular powers often tried to control and regulate

The great organiser and unifier of western monasticism, however, was St.
Benedict (d. 543), "the patriarch of the monks of the west."[213:2] Born
of rich parents at Nursia in 480, he was sent to Rome to complete his
education. There he became disgusted with the vice about him, fled from
college, family, and fortune, and at the age of sixteen, retired to a
cave at Subiaco thirty miles from Rome. He became a severe ascetic, wore
a hair shirt and a monk's dress of skins, rolled in beds of thistles to
subdue the flesh, and chose to be ignorant and holy rather than educated
and wicked. His fame soon attracted disciples and he established twelve
monasteries, with a dozen monks and a superior in each, but all under
his own supervision. Later he left Subiaco and went to Monte Cassino
where he spent the closing years of his remarkable career. Monte Cassino
became the capital of western monasticism.

To control his monks Benedict drew up in 529 the "Holy Rule,"[214:1]
which became the basis for all western monastic orders and was a rival
of St. Basil's rule in the East. The "Holy Rule" was the product of
Benedict's own sad experience as hermit, cenobite, and superior, and
also of his observations concerning the monastic laxness which he saw on
all hands. It consists of a prologue and chapters on seventy-three
governmental, social, moral, liturgical, and penal subjects. The whole
spirit and aim of the Rule were constructive and reformatory. It
provided for an organisation monarchial at the top and democratic at the
bottom. Each monastery had an abbot elected for life by all the monks to
rule the monastery in the place of Christ. The abbot chose the prior and
deans, on the basis of merit, with the approval of the monks, but minor
officials were named directly by the abbot. The important business
affairs of the monastery were conducted by the abbot in consultation
with all the monks, but minor matters required only the advice of the
superior officers. Admission was open to all ranks and classes of men
above eighteen on an equal footing after one year's probation. The two
fundamental principles in this constitution were labour and obedience.
Indolence was branded as the enemy of the soul. Each candidate had to
take the vow of obedience and constancy to the order; chastity and
poverty of course being implied. A monk's day was minutely regulated,
according to the seasons, and consisted of an alternation of manual
work, study, and worship, with short intervals for food and rest. Labour
was thus regulated in the monastery somewhat as in an industrial
penitentiary. The frugal meal was eaten in silence while some edifying
selection was read. The monks had to renounce the world and give all the
fruits of their labours to the monastery.

Obedience was regarded as the most meritorious and essential condition
of all. Monasticism meant a generous sacrifice of self and implied a
surrender of the will to a superior. The monk must obey not only the
abbot but also the requests of his brethren. Monks were treated as
children grown up. They could not own property--not even the smallest
trifles; they were not allowed to walk abroad at will; if sent away,
they could not eat without the abbot's permission; they could not
receive letters from home; and they were sent to bed early. Once in the
order the vow of stability prevented withdrawal. A violation of any of
the regulations entailed punishment: private admonition, exclusion from
common prayer, whipping, and expulsion.

This Rule, all things considered, was mild, flexible, and general; with
order, proportion, and regularity, yet brief, concise, and well tempered
to the needs of western Europe[215:1]; hence like Aaron's rod it soon
swallowed up the other rules in use. Before 600 it was supreme in Italy.
In 788 the Council of Aachen ordered it and no other to be used
throughout the kingdom of Charles the Great. In the ninth century it
superseded the Isidore rule in Spain. It embraced likewise the Columban
rule in western Europe and by the tenth century prevailed everywhere.
Under it the Benedictines had a remarkable history. At one time they had
37,000 monasteries and altogether produced 24 Popes, 200 cardinals, 4000
bishops, and 55,505 saints.[216:1] The Benedictine monasteries differed
from later monastic bodies in the fact that they were quite independent
of each other and had no common head. After the thirteenth century they
were surpassed by the Begging Orders and devoted themselves mostly to
literary pursuits, soon becoming "more noted for learning than piety."
Their edition of the Church Fathers is a monument of scholarly
industry.[216:2] The order still exists, chiefly in Austria and Italy,
and is noted mostly for its classical learning. They boast of 16,000
distinguished writers.

These early monasteries were like swarming bees in planting monastic
societies in every part of western Europe. The passion grew until it
became a veritable madness which seized the pious and lawless alike.
Popes like Gregory I. praised the institution and promoted its interest
in every possible way. Even kings like Carloman of the Franks, Rochis of
the Lombards, great statesmen like Cassiodorus, and others voluntarily
became monks. Louis the Pious, the Roman Emperor, was prevented from
that course only by his nobles.[216:3] The monk was the leader and
pattern of the Middle Ages. Every father was ambitious to have his son
enter that holy calling. To the quiet and peaceful abode of the
monastery, therefore, went not only the pious, but the student, those
who disliked the soldier's life, the disconsolate, the disgraced,
the disappointed, the indolent, and the weary. And this powerful
organisation was utterly under the control of the great Roman Bishop and
his subordinates.

The remarkable growth of monasticism brought great wealth and political
power, which were used in large measure to strengthen the Church. Kings
and nobles made large grants of lands--especially Charles the Great and
Louis the Pious. Besides many monks brought their possessions as gifts
to the monastery and not infrequently powerful abbots took lands by
force. Monasticism thus gradually became secularised and also
feudalised. Monasteries were often used as prisons for deposed kings,
criminals, and clergy convicted of crime. The abbots were virtually
secular lords who ruled as local sovereigns, claimed immunity from tolls
and taxes, went hunting and hawking, and even fought at the head of
their troops. As a result the office of abbot became a coveted prize,
for the younger and the illegitimate sons of nobles.[217:1] What effect
this secularisation had upon the high ideals may be easily seen. Soon
only certain ceremonies distinguished the monks from the secular clergy.

The monks as such belong to the laity. Monasticism was viewed as a lay
institution as late as the Council of Chalcedon (451)[217:2] when the
legal authority of the bishop over the monks of his diocese was
recognised. The monks were called _religiosi_ in contrast to the
_seculares_, the priests. The monks were the "regulars" who formed the
spiritual nobility and not the ruling class in the hierarchy. They
formed another grade in the hierarchy between the clergy and the laity.
But after the fifth century the difference became less marked. Since
monasticism was considered the perfection of Christian life, it was
natural to choose the clergy from the monks. Gregory the Great was the
first monk to be elected Pope. Monasteries were the theological
seminaries to supply priests for the Church, hence the ignorant clergy
looked up to the educated monks. Still monks at first, because not
ordained, could not say mass nor hear confession. Each monastery kept a
priest or an ordained monk to fulfil these duties. Abbots were usually
in priestly orders.[218:1] In time, however, monks assumed the dress of
priests and became ambitious for priestly powers,[218:2] especially
after the Council of Chalcedon, backed by the state, gave bishops
jurisdiction over cloisters. Often monasteries applied to the Pope for
independence from episcopal jurisdiction and were taken under the
immediate protection of the Bishop of Rome. By the sixth century monks
were classed in the popular mind with the clergy. In 827 a council at
Rome ordered that abbots should be in priests' orders. Monks now began
to sit in and to control Church synods, and to exercise all the rights
of the secular clergy, even to having parishes,[218:3] and thus became
powerful rivals of the established priesthood.

The crystallisation of ascetic ideals into monastic institutions was
attacked by heathenism and did not meet the unanimous approval of
Christendom. Before Constantine the pagans denounced the hermits because
they were guilty of the treasonable act, from a Roman view, of fleeing
from social and civic duties. After Constantine, when monasticism became
the "fad," it was assailed by the aristocratic pagan families, who lost
sons, and especially wives and daughters, in the maelstrom of
enthusiasm, because it broke family ties and caused the neglect of
obvious responsibilities. Julian, the imperial pagan reactionist, called
it fanaticism and idolatry. Pagan poets like Libanus and Rutilius
denounced it as an institution "hostile to light."

Within Christendom hostility came from Christian rulers like Valens,
because monasticism withdrew civil and military strength from the state,
when all was needed against the barbarians, and because it encouraged
idleness and unproductiveness instead of useful activity and heroic
virtue[219:1]; from Christians of wealth and indulgence who felt rebuked
by the earnestness, poverty, and holy zeal of an ascetic life; from the
clergy who did not comprehend the significance of monasticism[219:2];
and from the liberal party in the Church who took a saner view of
salvation and ethics. Jovinian (d. 406), like Luther, first a monk and
then a reformer, held these five points according to Jerome: (1) that
virgins, widows, and wives are all on an equality if good Christians;
(2) that thankfully partaking of food is as efficacious as fasting; (3)
that spiritual baptism is as effectual in overcoming the devil as
baptism; (4) that all sins are equal; (5) that all rewards and
punishments will be equal. Jerome answered him and Pope Siricius
excommunicated him and his followers as heretics (390).[220:1] Helvidius
of Rome denounced the reverence for celibacy and declared that the
marriage state was as holy as that of virginity. Again Jerome wielded
his intellectual cudgel.[220:2] Bonasus, Bishop of Sardica, was
excommunicated for holding the same view (389). Vigilantius, an educated
Gallic slave, a disciple of Jovinian, attacked the necessity of
celibacy, denied the efficacy of virginity, opposed fasting and torture,
ridiculed relics, objected to candles, incense, and prayers for the
dead, and doubted miracles. He was a Protestant living in the fifth
century.[220:3] He too was assailed by Jerome and put under the papal
ban.[220:4] Ærius of Sebasta, a presbyter, called into question the need
or value of fasts, prayers for the dead, the inequality of rank among
the clergy, and the celebration of Easter and of course was outlawed by
the Church.[220:5] Lactantius declared that the hermit life was that of
a beast rather than a man and treasonable to society. But all these loud
outcries against the monks were branded as heresy and drowned in
counter-shouts of praise.

When the results and influences of monasticism are carefully weighed, it
is seen that the good and evil "are blended together almost
inextricably." These diametrically opposite effects are perplexing and
astonishing. Conspicuous among the positive results are the following:

1. _Religious._ The effort to save pure Christianity from the
secularised state-Church by carrying it to the desert or shutting it up
in a monastery, produced the first great reform movement within the
Christian Church. "It was always the monks who saved the Church when
sinking, emancipated her when becoming enslaved to the world, defended
her when assailed."[221:1] Monasticism was, therefore, a realisation of
the ideal in Christianity. In no small sense it likewise paved the way
for the Reformation of the sixteenth century. The monastic conquest of
Christianity left in its train higher ideals of a holy Christian life
and a keener religious enthusiasm, and emphasised the necessity of
humility and purity. Likewise monasticism, through its aggressive
missionary efforts, completed the overthrow of heathenism in the Empire
and in its stead planted the true faith over western Europe. The monks
were the fiercest champions of orthodoxy, and the intellectual giants of
that age, like Jerome and St. Augustine, were in their ranks. The monk
rather than the priest was the apostle of the Middle Ages who taught men
and nations the simple Christian life of the Gospel. In monasticism were
developed the germs of many humanitarian institutions through which
Christianity expressed itself in a most practical manner. The monastery
offered a home to the poor and unfortunate, and gave hope and refuge to
both the religious invalid, who was sick of the world, and to the
religious fanatic. The Papacy, too, was supported and strengthened in a
thousand different ways by monasticism, and the whole religious history
of the Middle Ages was coloured by it.

2. _Social._ Monasticism tended to purify and regenerate society with
lofty ideas. It became an unexcelled machine for the administration of
charity. It fed the hungry, cared for the sick and dying, entertained
the traveller, and was an asylum for all the unfortunates. It helped to
mitigate the terrors of slavery. It inculcated ideas of obedience and
usefulness. It advocated and practised equality and communism, and it
tutored the half-civilised nations of western Europe in the arts of

3. _Political._ In its organisation and practical life it kept alive
ideas of democracy. From the ranks of the monks came many of the best
statesmen in the various European governments. Monastic zeal had much to
do in saving the Roman Empire from utter destruction at the hands of the
barbarians and in helping to preserve imperial ideas until the rough
Teutons were Latinised in their legal and political institutions. In
addition the monks helped to form the various law codes of the German
tribes, put them into written form, and took an active part in many
forms of local government. In many an instance they saved the
unprotected vassal from the tyrannical noble.

4. _Educational._ In the monasteries the torches of civilisation and
learning were kept burning during the so-called Dark Ages. The first
musicians, painters, sculptors, architects, and educators of Christian
Europe were monks. They not only established the schools, and were the
schoolmasters in them, but also laid the foundations for the
universities. They were the thinkers and philosophers of the day and
shaped the political and religious thought. To them, both collectively
and individually, was due the continuity of thought and civilisation of
the ancient world with the later Middle Ages and with the modern period.

5. _Industrial._ Not only did the monks develop the various arts such as
copying and illuminating books, building religious edifices, painting,
and carving, but they also became the model farmers and horticulturists
of Europe. Every Benedictine monastery was an agricultural college for
the whole region in which it was located. By making manual labour an
essential part of monastic life, labour was greatly ennobled above the
disreputable position it held among the Romans.

The negative effects of monasticism were by no means lacking and may be
stated here under the same institutional headings:

1. _Religious._ In making "war on nature" the ascetics made war also on
God. They aimed not too high religiously but in the wrong direction.
They exaggerated sin and advocated the wrong means to get rid of it.
They took religion away from the crowded centres of population, where it
was most needed, to the desert or monastery. Thus an abnormal,
unwholesome type of piety was created. In replacing faith by works the
monks thus gave birth to a long list of abuses in the Church, and in
nourishing an insane religious fanaticism they entailed many grave
evils. From one point of view monasticism became a "morbid excrescence"
of Christianity and tended to degrade man into a mere religious machine.
At the same time the doctrine of future rewards and punishments reached
an abhorrent evolution. The awful pangs of hell, the terrific judgments
of God, and the ubiquitous and wily devil of the monks' vivid
imagination sound strange to a modern mind. But the gravest error in
the monastic system was the false and harmful distinction so clearly
drawn both in theory and practice between the secular and the religious.
The modern world easily harmonises the two.

2. _Social._ Monasticism disrupted family ties and caused the desertion
of social duties on the ground of a more sacred duty. It lowered respect
for the marriage state by magnifying the virtue of celibacy. In making
the monk the ideal man of the Middle Ages, it advocated social suicide.
All natural pleasures and enjoyments of life were labelled sinful.
Practices, which were little more than superstitions, were advocated.
Society in general was demoralised because monasticism failed to
practise its own teachings.

3. _Political._ By inducing thousands, and many of them men of
character, ability, and experience, to desert their posts of civic duty,
the state was weakened and patriotism forgotten. The monk "died to the
world" and abjured his country. Monasticism aided powerfully in
developing the secular side of the papal hierarchy and soon came to
exercise a large amount of political power itself. The monks frequently
became embroiled in social disputes and military quarrels, and thus
incited rather than allayed the fiercer brute passions of men.

4. _Cultural._ By holding the education of the people in their hands the
monks had a powerful weapon for evil as well as good. In making the monk
the ideally cultured man a false standard was set up and certain
fundamentals in education ignored. Secular learning was not generally
encouraged. The supreme end of all their education was not to produce a
man, but a priest.

5. _Industrial._ Thousands withdrew from the various lines of
industrial activity, some to obtain the higher good, but many to enter
as they supposed a life of ease and idleness. Much of the good that was
done in the earlier days was negatived by the begging friars later.

Of these two sets of influences which predominated? That both were
powerful no one can doubt. All things considered, however, it must be
said that monasticism, as it developed in the West, fulfilled a genuine
need and performed an important service for Christian civilisation. St.
Benedict not only presented a satisfactory solution of the grave dangers
threatening this institution as a force in the evolution of the mediæval
Church, but with his organised army of devoted, obedient followers, he
met the barbarian hosts invading the Roman Empire and gradually won them
to adopt and in due course of time to practise the Christian code.
Indeed it is difficult to imagine how the Church could have forged its
course so triumphantly through all the breakers, trials, and
vicissitudes of this crucial epoch--how its jurisdiction could have been
extended so rapidly and so effectively to all parts of western Europe
and to some points in the East and in northern Africa--how its great
humanising, spiritualising, and edifying influences could have been so
persistent and at the same time so efficient--how the simple,
fundamental truths of the Gospel as set forth in the Apostolic Church
could have been handed on to the later ages--had not the growth of
monasticism been regulated and utilised. Therefore, next to the
evolution of that magnificent organisation of the Papacy, as a creative
factor in the rise of the mediæval Church, must be placed organised,
western monasticism.




     1.--_Old Testament._

     2.--Josephus, _Antiquities_, i., bk. 15, ch. 10, sec. 4-5; bk.
          18, ch. 1, sec. 5; ii., bk. 2, ch. 8, sec. 2-11.

     3.--Philo, _Contemplative Life_. Bohn, _Eccl. Lib._, 1855,
          iv., 1-21.


     1.--_New Testament._

     2.--_New Testament Apocrypha._

     3.--Eusebius, _Church Hist._, ii., ch. 17. _Nic. and Post-Nic.
          Fathers_, i. Several other eds.

     4.--Socrates, _Church Hist._, i., 13; iv., 23 _ff._ _Ib._, ii.
          Other eds.

     5.--Sozomen, _Church Hist._, i., 12-14; iii., 14; vi., 28-34.
          _Ib._, ii.

     6.--Theodoret, _Church Hist._, ch. 33. _Ib._, iii. Bohn Lib.

     7.--Evagrius, _Life of St. Anthony_. Bohn Lib., 1851.

     8.--Palladius, _Historia Lausiaca_. Ed. by Butler, _Texts and
          Studies_. Camb., 1898.

     9.--_Concerning the Ascetic Life._ Not in Eng.


     1.--Sulpicius Severus, _Dialogues_, i.-iii. _Nic. and
          Post-Nic. Fathers_, 2d ser., xi., pt. 11.

     2.--Athanasius, _Life of Anthony_. _Ib._, iv., 195-221.

     3.--Ambrose, _Concerning Virgins_. _Ib._, x., 360. _Letters_,
          No. 63. _Ib._, 457.

     4.--Augustine, _The Work of Monks_. _Fathers of the Holy
          Catholic Church_, xxii., 470-516.

     5.--Cassian, _Institutes_. _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, 2d
          ser., xi. _Cœnobia_, _Ib._ _Conferences_, _Ib._

     6.--Jerome, _Life of St. Paul the First Hermit_. _Ib._, vi.,
          299-318; _Letters_, No. 22, 130. _Ib._

     7.--Gregory the Great, _Letters_. _Ib._, xii.; _Life and
          Miracles of St. Benedict_. Ed. by Luck, Lond., 1880.

     8.--Rufinus, _History of Monks_. Not in Eng.

     9.--Cassiodorus, _Dissertation on Monasticism_. Not in Eng.
          _Letters._ Ed. by Hodgkin, Oxf., 1886.


     1.--_Apostolic Canons._ See Ch. IX. of this work.

     2.--_Apostolic Constitutions._ _Ib._

     3.--Henderson, _Select Histor. Docs. of the M. A._, 274-314.

     4.--Univ. of Neb., _Europ. Hist. Studies_, ii., No. 6.

     5.--Univ. of Pa., _Translations and Reprints_, ii., No. 7.



     1.--Allies, T. W., _The Monastic Life from the Fathers of the
          Desert to Charlemagne_. Lond., 1896.

     2.--Browne, E. G. K., _Monastic Legends_. Lond.

     3.--Butler, A., _Lives of the Saints_. Lond., 1833, 2 vols.
          Balt., 1844, 4 vols.

     4.--Day, S. P., _Monastic Institutions_. Lond., 1865.

     5.--Dill, S., _Roman Society in the Last Century of the
          Western Empire_. N. Y., 1904.

     6.--Fosbroke, T. D., _British Monachism_. 3d ed. Lond., 1843.

     7.--Fox, S., _Monks and Monasticism_ (Eng.). Lond., 1848.

     8.--Hardy, H. S., _Eastern Monachism_. Lond., 1864.

     9.--Harnack, A., _Monasticism: Its Ideals and Its History_.
          1886. Tr. by Gillett, N. Y. Lond., 1895.

    10.--Hill, O. T., _English Monasticism_. Lond., 1867.

    11.--Jameson, Mrs. A., _Legends of the Monastic Orders_. Lond.,
          1850. Rev. ed. Bost., 1896.

    12.--Kingsley, C., _The Hermits: Their Lives and Works_. Lond.,

    13.--Lea, H. C., _History of Sacerdotal Celibacy_. Phil., 1884.
          3d ed. N. Y., 1907. 2 vols.

    14.--Lechner, D. P., _Life and Times of St. Benedict_. Lond.

    15.--Littledale, R. F., _Monachism_. Encyc. Brit.

    16.--Montalembert, Count de, _Monks of the West_. New ed.
          Lond., 1896. 7 vols.

    17.--Northcote, J. S., _Celebrated Sanctuaries of the Madonna_.
          Lond., 1868.

    18.--Ruffner, H., _Fathers of the Desert_. N. Y., 1850. 2 vols.

    19.--Smith, I. G., _Christian Monasticism_ (4th-9th cent.).
          Lond., 1892.

    20.--Wishart, A. D., _Short History of Monks and Monasticism_.
          Lond., 1900.


    Adams, _Civ. of M. A._ Adeney, ch. 13. Alzog, ii., 114-121.
    Butler, _Ch. Hist._, ch. 34-35. Brown, _Stoics and Saints_,
    ch. 5-6. Cheetham, ch. 12, sec. 3-4. Church, _Begin. of M.
    A._, 48, 58. Clarke, _Events and Epochs_, ch. 3-4. Coxe, Lect.
    3, sec. 3. Cunningham, _West. Civ._, ii., 37-40. Darras, i.,
    636; ii., 34, 35, 121, 387; iii., 43. Döllinger, ii., ch. 5,
    sec. 9; iii., ch. 4, sec. 6. Draper, _Intel. Develop. of
    Europe_. Fisher, 111, 113, 114, 115, 116, 175, 234.
    Fitzgerald, i., 215-227. Foulkes, 88, 93, 150-151, 221, 243,
    349. Gibbon, ch. 37. Gieseler, ii., ch. 4, sec. 95-97.
    Gilmartin, i., ch. 9, 22, 45. Hase, sec. 132-136. Hurst, i.,
    ch. 30-31. Jennings, i., ch. 6. Kurtz, i., 248-258, 503-509.
    Lecky, _Hist. of Europ. Morals_, ii., ch. 4. Mahan, bk. 4, ch.
    12. Maitland, _Dark Ages_. Milman, i., bk. 1, ch. 2; bk. 3,
    ch. 1; ii., bk. 3, ch. 6. Milner, i., cent. 4, ch. 5. Moeller,
    i., 355-377. Mosheim, bk. ii., cent. iv., ch. 3, § 13.
    Neander, ii., 262. Newman, i., 451. Putnam, _Books and their
    Makers_, i. Robertson, bk. 2, ch. 6, sec. 4. Schaff, iii.,
    147. Zenos, 104, 154, 171.


[198:1] Jerome, _Ep._, 15.

[199:1] The Hindoo monks exhausted their minds in devising means of

[199:2] Lea, _Sac. Celib._, 24; _Laws of Manu_, bk. 6., st. 1-22. See
Hardy, _Eastern Monasticism_, Lond., 1850.

[199:3] The disciples of Pythagoras were called cenobites. Montalembert,
i., 215.

[200:1] Lea, _Sac. Celib._, 24.

[200:2] Numb. vi., 1-21.

[200:3] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, v., 15; Porphyry, _De Abstinentia_, iv.,
11; Edersheim, ch. 3; Döllinger, _Gentile and Jew_, ii., 330. See p. 44,

[200:4] Isa. xxii., 2; Dan. ix., 3; Zech. xiii., 4; 2 Kings i., 8; iv.,
10, 39, 42. _Cf._ Heb. xi., 37, 38; _Expositor_, 1893, i., 339.

[200:5] Schaff, ii., 390.

[200:6] Lea, _Sac. Celib._, 24.

[200:7] Eusebius, ii., 17; Philo, _Contemp. Life_, bk. 1; _Jewish Quart.
Rev._, viii., 155; _Baptist Rev._, Jan., 1882, p. 36 _ff._; see _Jewish
Encyc._; Döllinger, ii., 335.

[200:8] Matt. xix., 21; Luke xviii., 22; Mark x., 21.

[200:9] Tertullian held that all the Apostles except Peter were

[201:1] Mark x., 29, 30.

[201:2] Paul, especially 1 Cor. vii.; Lea, _Sac. Celib._, 25.

[201:3] Texts quoted as favourable to monasticism: Acts ii., 44; iv.,
32; xv., 28, 29; 1 Cor. vii., 8; iv., 3; Matt. xix., 12, 21; xxii., 30;
Rev. xiv., 4; Luke xx., 35; Mark x., 29, 30.

[201:4] Harnack, _Monasticism_, 10.

[201:5] Montalembert, i., bk. 1.

[202:1] Montalembert, i., 188.

[202:2] Lightfoot, _The Colossian Heresy_.

[202:3] Marcionites, Valentinians, Abstinents, Apotoctici, Encratites,

[203:1] Cyprian, _Ep._, 62.

[203:2] Euseb. _Eccl. Hist._, vi., 42.

[204:1] Harnack, _Monasticism_, 65.

[204:2] 1 Tim. v., 3-14. _Cf._ Acts ix., 39, 41.

[204:3] Justin Martyr observed that Christians were commencing to
abstain from flesh, wine, and sexual intercourse. He, with Ignatius and
others, lauds celibacy as the holiest state.

[205:1] Celibacy was habitually practised by some; others devoted their
lives to the poor. Many converts like Cyprian sold their possessions for
the needy. Still others like Origen mutilated themselves.

[205:2] Irenæus, _Against Heresy_, i., 24; Epiphanius, _Heresy_, 23.

[206:1] Rufinus, _Concerning Ascetic Life_, 30; Socrates, iv., 23;
Sozomen, i., 14. See Montalembert, i., 227.

[206:2] Augustine, _Confessions_, viii., 15.

[206:3] Harnack, _Monasticism_, 27.

[206:4] _Ibid._, 47.

[207:1] Sozomen, vi., 33; Tillemont, _Mem._, viii., 292.

[207:2] Severus, _Dialogues_, i., 8.

[207:3] Evagrius, _Ch. Hist._, i., 13, 21; ii., 9; vi., 22; Theodosius,
_Philoth._, 12, 26; Nilus, _Letters_, ii., 114, 115; Gregory of Tours,
viii., 16.

[207:4] Augustine, _City of God_, i., xiv., ch. 51.

[207:5] Tillemont, _Mem._, viii., 633.

[209:1] The rule of St. Oriesis is little more than a mystical praise of

[209:2] Socrates, iv., 23; Sozomen, i., 14.

[209:3] Gwatkin, _Arianism_.

[209:4] Sozomen, iii., 14.

[209:5] Hergenröther, 452.

[210:1] Theod., _Hist. Rel._, 30; Augustine, _De Mor. Eccl._, i., 31.

[210:2] Sozomen, iii., 14; vi., 32.

[210:3] A follower of Hilarion. Made bishop of Cyprus in 367.

[210:4] Sozomen, vi., 32.

[210:5] _Ibid._, vi., 32.

[210:6] Eusebius, viii., 13; Socrates, iv., 36; Sozomen, vi., 38.

[210:7] Sozomen, vi., 32.

[210:8] Theodoret, _Hist. Eccl._, ch. 26.

[210:9] Smith, _Rise of Christ. Monast._, 48.

[211:1] Augustine, _De Mor. Eccl._, p. 33. He had been in Gaul in 337
and 338.

[211:2] Ambrose, _Letters_, 63, 66.

[211:3] Augustine, _Confessions_, viii., 15.

[211:4] Montalembert, i., 291-300.

[211:5] Jerome, _Letter_ 127.

[211:6] Jerome, _Letter_ 23.

[211:7] Montalembert, i., 291; Jerome, _Letter_ 26.

[211:8] Jerome, _Letter_ 96.

[212:1] Sulpic, Severus, _Life of St. Martin_.

[212:2] See Ozanam, _Hist. of Civ. in the 5th Cent._

[212:3] Mosheim, bk. ii., cent. 5, part 2, ch. 3, § 12, tells of a
German fanatic who built a pillar near Treves and attempted to imitate
the career of Simeon Stylites, but the neighbouring bishops pulled it

[213:1] Cassian, _Inst._, ii., 2; St. Benedict, _Rule_, ch. 1; Jerome,
_Ep._, 95.

[213:2] Gregory I., _Dialogues_, bk. ii. See Montalembert, i., bk. 4.

[214:1] Henderson, 274, _Rule of our most Holy Father Benedict_, Lond.,
1886; Ogg, _Source Book_, § 11.

[215:1] Doyle, _The Teaching of St. Benedict_, Lond., 1887.

[216:1] Lea, _Sac. Cel._, 116. See _Cath. Encyc._

[216:2] Stephen, _Essays in Eccl. Biog._, 240.

[216:3] It was boasted that no less than twenty Emperors and forty-seven
kings cast aside their crowns to become Benedictine monks, while ten
Emperors and fifty queens entered convents, but it is impossible to
discover them.

[217:1] Milman, iii., 88.

[217:2] Schaff, iii., 173.

[218:1] The vast amount of legislation on this point is very indicative.

[218:2] Gregory, _Letter_ v., 1; i, 42.

[218:3] This right was prohibited in the 11th and 12th centuries, but
Innocent III. granted the permission in certain cases.

[219:1] Cod. Theodos., xii., 1, 63.

[219:2] See the works of Sulpicius Severus for attacks on the monks in
Gaul and Spain.

[220:1] _Against Jovinian_ (392).

[220:2] The attack is found in two works, _Against Helvidius_ (383) and
his _Apology_.

[220:3] Gilly, _Vigilantius and His Times_, Lond., 1844. See Jerome's

[220:4] _Against Vigilantius_ (406).

[220:5] Epiphanius, _Heresies_, 75.

[221:1] Harnack, _Monasticism_, 65.



     OUTLINE: I.--Extent of Christianity under Gregory the Great.
     II.--Character of missionary work from the sixth to the tenth
     century. III.--Conversion of the British Isles.
     IV.--Conversion of the Franks. V.--Conversion of the Germans.
     VI.--Conversion of Scandinavia. VII.--Planting of the Church
     among the Slavs. VIII.--Efforts to convert the Mohammedans.

From the outset the Christian Church was imbued with a most intense and
burning general missionary zeal. The command came in very distinct terms
from the Master himself.[229:1] But there was no recognised principle of
propagandism and no special organisations to carry on the work. Each
Christian felt the individual obligation to win his fellows to the new
faith. Separate churches no doubt naturally felt the necessity of some
corporate action to convert the heathen in the neighbourhood. Prayers,
indeed, for the conversion of the heathen were early made an integral
part of the liturgies of the Church, East and West.[229:2] The actual
diffusion of Christianity, however, proceeded in a special sense from
the evangelical labours of the individual bishops[229:3] and the
clergy. In fact missionary work was regarded as one of their specific
duties handed down from the Apostles. With the development of the
organisation of the Church and the appearance of patriarchs arose the
thought that it was the duty of these powerful centres to carry on
missionary activity in foreign fields. Monasticism was early utilised
for this important work. It must never be forgotten that the aggressive
evangelising efforts of the early Church were mainly those of the West,
and here is seen another powerful factor in the rise of the mediæval

The conception early developed in the Church that the spread of God's
Kingdom on earth was a warfare. That idea was founded on the words of
Jesus,[230:1] on the assertions of the Apostles, and on the sacrifices
of the early martyrs. Monasticism made this conviction peculiarly
personal. The organised Church asserted it on every occasion. The
conversion of the barbarians was viewed, in a broad sense, as an
invasion and a conquest. It was a campaign with all western Europe as
its field. In time it covered six centuries or more. The generals, the
able strategists, were the competent and zealous Roman pontiffs, and the
subordinate officers were emperors, kings, princes, bishops, and abbots.
The army was that great host of devoted monks, of consecrated priests,
and earnest Christian laymen. The weapons in the hands of these
conquerors were Christian love and sympathy. They were driven on by an
irresistible zeal for saving souls. They were clothed in the power of
poverty, austerity, suffering, obedience, and self-denial. The conflict
was one which, in its outcome, was to shape the destiny of the world.

The man above all others who was carried away by this dream of duty for
the Church militant in winning those outside the true Church to
membership, was the monk-Pope, Gregory the Great. Pagan Rome had failed
to make a complete and permanent conquest of the barbarians. Christian
Rome, inspired by this master spirit, was to succeed in conquering both
the bodies and the souls of the barbarians, and to use them for her own

When Gregory the Great died in 604, Christendom practically covered the
Roman Empire and at certain points extended beyond it. Those who bore
the name Christian included Jews, Romans, Greeks, Celts, and Germans.
The Christian world was already divided into two great branches--the
Eastern, or Greek Church, and the Western, or Roman Church,--which were
becoming more and more pronounced in their differences.

The Christian missionary work, from the sixth to the twelfth century,
must be viewed broadly as a process of civilisation, since the
missionaries carried with them intellectual light, as well as spiritual
truth, and paved the way for law and justice. They opened up channels
through which the higher ideals and better institutions of the south
might work northward to revolutionise agriculture, trade, social life,
and general economic conditions. "The experience of all ages," said
Neander, "teaches us that Christianity has only made a firm and living
progress, where from the first it has brought with it the seeds of all
human culture, although they have only been developed by

Mediæval conversion to Christianity was, as a rule, tribal, or national,
rather than individual, or personal, and consequently it took some time
before satisfactory fruitage was noticeable in the lives of the people.
But it was a great victory to substitute the Christian for the pagan
ideal. The agencies employed to carry out this process of conversion
were: (1) missionaries, mostly Latin, Celtic, English, German, Greek,
and Slavic monks; (2) the sword in the hands of a stern ruler; (3) the
marriage of Christian women to pagan kings and princes; and (4) the
recognised superiority of Christianity, Christian institutions, and
Christian nations. It must be borne in mind, likewise, that some of the
German tribes settled in the very heart of Christendom where Christian
influences could operate directly and immediately.

The earliest successful conversion of the Teutons was to Arianism. That
work was begun at least as early as the time of Constantine, because a
Gothic bishop sat in the Council of Nicæa (325). Bishop Ulfilas (d.
381), the "Apostle to the Goths," called by Constantine the Great "the
Moses of the Goths,"[232:1] translated the Bible into Gothic[232:2] and
won his countrymen to Arianism. St. Chrysostom in 404 established in
Constantinople a school for the training of Gothic missionaries.[232:3]
The Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Burgundians, and Vandals all embraced that
faith. But the fervent and more aggressive missionary zeal of Rome
gradually replaced Arianism in western Europe with orthodox
Christianity--the Burgundians in 517, the Suevi in 550, the Visigoths
in 587, the Lombards, the last stronghold of Arianism in the West, in
the eighth century.

The unparalleled missionary activity of the Roman Church was due of
course primarily to religious enthusiasm, but other causes must also be
taken into account. As a matter of self-preservation to protect herself
from the inveterate paganism of the ancient world, on the one hand, and
from the torrent of barbaric invaders, on the other, the conflict was
thrust upon Rome and she must conquer or perish. Again the development
of the hierarchy along the lines of the Petrine theory made it
imperative that Rome should win and rule the West. The wise policy of
winning kings first and nations afterwards was simply adopted from Roman
imperial practice but it was eminently successful. It likewise enabled
the Pope of Rome to control all missionary enterprise from his
ecclesiastical capital, and to employ it for the further extension of
the papal prerogative.

The results of the spread of Christianity over the Græco-Roman world
have already been considered. That conquest decidedly modified the
Apostolic Church in organisation, in ceremony, and in doctrine, and laid
the foundations for the Roman and Greek Churches. The Romanised,
monasticised Christian Church over which Gregory the Great ruled reveals
the product of all these early influences. The conversion of the Teutons
to Roman Christianity marks another new epoch not only in the history of
the Church, but also in the history of the world. Just as from the
Apostolic Church emerged the Roman Church with its pronounced
differences, so from the Roman Church evolved the Teutonic-Roman Church,
which in turn was strikingly unlike its prototype in several
particulars. The Germanised Roman Church declared its absolute
independence of the Eastern Emperor and launched out on a new world
career. The product of all these elements was the mediæval Church which
stood for primitive Christianity modified first by a growth covering
five centuries through a stratum of Roman civilisation, and secondly for
seven centuries through a superimposed stratum of Germanic civilisation.

When the pagan Franks began their conquest of Gaul (486), they
encountered a civilisation that was nominally Christian. Their king,
Clovis, married Clotilda, a Christian princess, the daughter of the
Burgundian king[234:1] (493). She no doubt laboured with her lord and
master to induce him to embrace her faith. He permitted his child to be
baptised in accordance with the Christian rite and tolerated Christian
priests and monks as a matter of policy, but that was all. At length in
a battle with the stubborn Alemanni, Clovis, hard-pressed, prayed to the
Christian God and promised to turn Christian himself in exchange for
victory. His foes fled and left him conqueror. True to his vow, Clovis,
after receiving instruction from Bishop Remigius of Rheims, was baptised
on Christmas day 496 and with him 3000 warriors. This important event,
"the first step toward the world-historical union of Teutonic
civilisation with the Roman Church,"[234:2] paved the way for Charles
the Great, and made possible a Christian France. This event was a
significant victory for the Nicene Creed and for the Pope of Rome.
Orthodoxy and Roman dominion now advanced side by side with Frankish
conquests until both became absolutely independent of the imperial
power in the East.[235:1]

The Romans abandoned the island of Britain in 409 for ever. About 450
the pagan kinsmen of the Franks, namely the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and
Frisians, crossed to Britain and there found the Christian Church
already planted.[235:2] They drove it back to Wales, Ireland, and
Scotland, or crushed it out altogether. The Christian Celts, who were
thus treated, made no effort at first to convert their heathen
conquerors.[235:3] That was left to missionaries from Rome under the
leadership of the monk Augustine. Bede, the venerable Church historian,
tells the pious tale of how Gregory the Great, before being made Pope,
saw in the slave market of Rome some boys "of a white body and fair
countenance" and forthwith became so deeply interested in them and their
land that he begged the Pope to send him as missionary to
Britain.[235:4] The Romans, it is said, refused to allow him to go, and
soon honoured him with the tiara of St. Peter. As Pope, however, he
carried out his intention by sending Augustine, a Benedictine abbot,
with forty monks and Gallic interpreters and with letters and a library
of sacred literature, to England in 596 to begin the work.[235:5]

Now it happened that Ethelbert, the King of Kent, had married Bertha, a
Christian princess from Paris, who had been permitted to take a Gallic
bishop with her to England. Thus the way had been already opened for the
favourable reception of the monks under the guidance of Augustine, which
led in 597 to the conversion of Ethelbert at Canterbury, and with him
nominally the whole kingdom of Kent. At the first Christmas festival
Ethelbert and 10,000 of his subjects were baptised. Thus Roman
Christianity became at once the established state Church and "everywhere
the bishop's throne was set up side by side with the king's."[236:1]
Augustine, as a reward for his successful services, was soon made the
first archbishop of England[236:2] and proceeded to organise the Church
by sending to Rome for more helpers, by appointing bishops and priests
to particular fields of labour, by purifying pagan temples and
dedicating them to Christian services, and by repairing and building
Christian churches and monasteries. As a result of the sincere,
practical measures adopted by Augustine, thousands were soon won to the
new faith and Christianity was permanently replanted in the British
Islands. The work, so well begun, was continued until Sussex, the last
kingdom of the heptarchy, in 604, embraced the popular religion. Pope
Gregory the Great took a keen interest in this grand triumph and made it
contribute to the glory of the Roman Church.[236:3]

The monks sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great soon came to see
that the Celtic Church differed from theirs in many respects. Augustine
himself, having concluded an alliance between Ethelbert and the Roman
See, held several conferences with the Christian Celts in order to
accomplish the most difficult task of their subjugation to Roman
authority. These differences were largely ritualistic and disciplinary.
The Celtic Christians celebrated Easter according to the calculation of
Sulpicius Severus, while the Romans had another mode of computing the
proper day.[237:1] The Celts appealed to St. John, the Romans to St.
Peter.[237:2] The Celtic Church might be called a monastic Church, since
the abbot ruled over the bishop.[237:3] The Celts shaved the front of
the head from ear to ear as a tonsure, while the Romans shaved the top
of the head leaving a "crown of thorns."[237:4] The Celts permitted
their priests to marry, the Romans forbade it. The Celts used a
different mode of baptism from that of the Romans, namely, single
instead of trine immersion. The calendar for all movable festivals was
not the same. The Celts held their own councils and enacted their own
laws, independent of Rome. The Celts used a Latin Bible unlike the
Vulgate, and kept Saturday as a day of rest, with special religious
services on Sunday.[237:5] Notwithstanding these variances, which do
not seem to be at all on the fundamentals, there were many doctrinal and
constitutional resemblances. Both churches were orthodox; both used a
Latin ritual[238:1]; both had developed an episcopal organisation; both
believed in monasticism; and both were actively engaged in missionary
work. Nevertheless the British Christians looked with much disfavour
upon the Augustine mission to convert their pagan conquerors and

King Ethelbert in 602 arranged a conference of British and Roman bishops
on the Severn in Essex.[238:2] At that gathering Augustine with
unreasonable rigour and haughtiness demanded conformity; the Britains
refused to surrender their independence. To settle the matter Augustine
proposed that an appeal be made to a miracle. Accordingly a blind
Anglo-Saxon was brought in. The Celtic clergy prayed over him in vain.
Whereupon Augustine knelt and prayed, and immediately the blind man was
restored to sight,[238:3] but the Celts refused to accept that act as
final without the consent of a larger representation in the synod. The
next year, therefore, a second council was held at which the persistent
Augustine once more demanded conformity to Roman practices and the
recognition of papal supremacy, and also requested missionary
co-operation, but the Britains, displeased with Augustine's narrow
dogmatism and apprehensive of the loss of their freedom, refused to
submit. "As you will not have peace with brethren," said the stern Roman
monk, "you shall have war from foes; and as you will not preach unto
the English the way of life, you shall suffer at their hands the
vengeance of death."[239:1] When, ten years later, a wholesale Saxon
massacre of British Christians occurred, in which possibly a thousand
priests and monks were slaughtered and many churches and monasteries
destroyed, further conferences were at an end for fifty years.

It was not until 664 that the famous Council of Whitby was called by
King Oswy of Northumbria in which Bishop Colman and Bishop Cedd,
renowned Celtic divines, defended the British Church; while Bishop
Agilbert, and Wilfred, the greatest English ecclesiastic of his time,
championed Rome. In the discussion about the correct day for Easter, it
was asserted by Wilfred that St. Peter held "the keys to the kingdom of
Heaven." The king then asked Colman and the monks with him whether that
was true, and they were forced to confess that it was. Consequently,
feeling that it was safer to be on the side of Peter, the "doorkeeper,"
the king decided in favour of the Church of Rome.[239:2] This was a very
significant victory for the See of St. Peter, because papal supremacy
was now recognised in the British Isles, and likewise for the future of
England, because it opened up a channel through which Roman Christian
civilisation flowed into the British Isles to influence to a greater or
less degree every institution in that country and, later, through the
great empire which England was to build up to carry those cultural
influences around the world. The work of cementing the Latin and Celtic
churches in England into one was completed by Theodorus, the Archbishop
of Canterbury (d. 690), and the Venerable Bede (d. 735). Ecclesiastical
unity hastened political unity in England[240:1] and developed a common
civic life among the divided peoples of the British Isles.[240:2]

Christianity had early spread from Britain to Ireland. The labours of
St. Patrick[240:3] (d. 493) and the work of St. Bridget, the "Mary of
Ireland" (d. 525), have become classics. The Anglo-Saxon invasion drove
many Christians to Ireland in the fifth and sixth centuries, so that by
the seventh century Ireland had become the "Island of Saints" and the
whole island was Christianised. Many famous monasteries were planted,
and an intense missionary zeal had sent to Scotland, North
Britain,[240:4] France, Germany, Switzerland, and northern Italy many
representatives of the Celtic Church.

In 629, Pope Honorius exhorted the Irish Church to conform to the Roman
Easter day. A Celtic deputation was then sent to Rome and, upon
returning home, reported in favour of the Latin system, which was
adopted first in southern Ireland in 632, then in northern Ireland in
640, and by 704 was generally observed. The Norman Conquest, in 1066,
made the union of Ireland with Rome as well as with England more
complete; but it was left to Henry II., who conquered Ireland in 1171,
to give finality to the dependence of Ireland on Rome religiously and on
England politically.

Christianity was planted in Scotland during the Roman period.[241:1] An
Irish colony, converted by St. Patrick, settled there in the fifth
century. The labours of St. Ninian (sixth cent.), the work of St.
Kentigern (d. 603), and the activity of St. Columba (d. 597) completed
the conversion of the country. St. Columba was a famous Irish
missionary, who went to Scotland in 563, there converted the king of the
Picts and founded many churches. He made his headquarters on the small
island of Iona on which was planted a monastery famous as a school for
missionaries, as the centre of educational activity, and as the Rome of
the Celtic Church.[241:2] For centuries the Celtic Church maintained its
independence in Scotland, but gradually gave way to the better organised
and more aggressive Roman Church, though the Culdees were not absorbed
until 1332.[241:3]

The enthusiasm of the Celtic and English Christians soon attained such
proportions that it overflowed and swept back upon the continent like a
mighty tidal wave. The great pioneer in that movement was Columbanus. He
was born in Leinster about 543 and received his monastic education at
Bangor. At the age of forty he conceived the idea of preaching the
Gospel to the pagan German tribes. With twelve young companions he
crossed over to France where they remained several years, teaching the
faith. Then they went to Burgundy where King Gontran persuaded them to
build a monastery. For twenty years Columbanus laboured in the wild
Vosges Mountains, planted the three famous monasteries of Anegray,
Luxeuil, and Fontaines. Luxeuil virtually became the "monastic capital
of France."[242:1] He gave his monks a stringent rule, borrowed from the
rigid discipline of the Celtic monasteries, and he clung to the peculiar
rites and usages of his mother Church. His influence was strongly felt
and an army of disciples gathered around him. From his mountain home he
sent forth reformatory waves that covered all Europe, and posed as sort
of a spiritual dictator of the whole Church.

Another result of his influence was to incite the enmity of the Gallican
clergy and the Burgundian court. In 602, he was arraigned before a
Frankish synod, but he ably defended his life and his beliefs. This
affront led him to appeal to Pope Gregory the Great in several
interesting letters. At last, in 610, he was banished from the
Burgundian kingdom never to return. He went to Tours, Nantes, Metz, up
the Rhine valley, and into Switzerland where he remained three years
engaged in active missionary work until forced to leave by Burgundian
influence. Crossing the Alps into Lombardy he received an honourable
welcome from King Agilulf and was given a site for the celebrated
monastery of Bobbio where, in 615, he passed away in peace. To him must
be given the credit of opening up Europe to England and Ireland as an
excellent field for foreign missions.[243:1]

Gallus,[243:2] an Irish companion of Columbanus, called the "Apostle of
Switzerland," laboured among the Alemanni and Swabians. His monastery of
St. Gall became one of the great centres of learning in the Middle Ages.
He died in 645. Three other Irish monks of note worked in Germany.
Fridolin founded a monastery on the Rhine near Basle. Trudbert went into
the Black Forest and became a martyr to the cause. Kylian, the "Apostle
of Franconia," went to Würzburg where he met with considerable success
but lost his life.

The English were early drawn into this ardent missionary impulse. More
missionaries were sent to Europe in the seventh and eighth centuries
from England than go to-day to foreign fields.[243:3] Willibrord,[243:4]
a native of Northumberland, educated in Ireland, embarked in 690 with
seven assistants for Frisia at the mouth of the Rhine. The native prince
was Radbod, an uncompromising pagan. Acting on the advice of Pepin of
France he went to Rome and was invested with the bishopric of Utrecht.
He then evangelised parts of Frankish Frisia, after which he visited
Denmark. After a zealous career of half a century he died in 740. Other
Englishmen followed in his wake. Adelbert laboured in the north of
Holland, Werenfrid near Elste, and Wiro among the natives of Guldres.
The Ewald brothers were slain by the savage Saxons.[244:1] Wulfram, the
Bishop of Sens, made excellent headway among Radbod's Frisians.[244:2]
Indeed the zeal of these northern missionaries might have planted the
Celtic Church firmly on the continent, had they not been so sadly
deficient in capacity for organisation and had the Pope of Rome not been
so zealously watchful.

Roman colonies on the Rhine in the third and fourth centuries first
carried Christianity into Germany. In the Council of Arles (314) there
were present a bishop and a deacon from Cologne, and a bishop from
Treves. By the fifth century Christianity had been spread by
Severinus,[244:3] an Italian monk, into Bavaria along the Danube.

It was really left to St. Boniface,[244:4] the "Apostle of Germany," to
organise and unify the work already done, and to subject the Christian
Church in Germany planted by his predecessors, to Rome. He was a most
remarkable character and played an important part in the
Christianisation of the Teutonic peoples. Born in 680 in Devonshire,
England, of noble Saxon family, he early entered the monastery at
Exeter, where he received an excellent education for that day. He soon
evinced a longing for the life of a monk. His father gave his consent
reluctantly, and he assumed monastic vows in a monastery near
Winchester. He became a famous preacher and expounder of Scripture, and
at the age of thirty was ordained priest. He now felt called upon to
carry the Gospel to the land of his ancestors. Consequently in 716, with
two or three fellow-monks as companions, he crossed from London to
Frisia to begin his missionary labours as the successor of Willibrord,
whose successes had been largely reversed. Radbod, the baptised Frisian
king, had backslid when he learned that his pagan forefathers were among
the damned. He declared that he preferred "to be there with his
ancestors rather than in heaven with a handful of beggars."[245:1] Hence
he had devastated the Christian churches and monasteries, and was now at
war with Charles Martel. King Radbod met Boniface, but refused to permit
him to preach, so Boniface returned to England without having
accomplished anything.

Notwithstanding the failure of this first enterprise, Boniface left
England again in 718 and for ever; and now went through France to Rome
to obtain papal sanction for his future missionary work. Pope Gregory
II. formally commissioned him as missionary to the German tribes (719).
Armed with that letter and many precious relics, he started north the
following spring to his field of labour. First, he went to Thuringia and
Bavaria, regions already partly Christianised, but at this time
considerably disorganised, and demanded their submission to Rome; then,
learning of King Radbod's death (719), he hastened to Frisia, where he
laboured for three years with Willibrord, who had meantime returned to
continue his labours. In 722 he passed through Thuringia and entered
Hesse where, within a short time, he converted two local chiefs together
with many thousands of their followers. A foothold was thus secured by
Rome in the pagan world of Germany and never again lost.

These successes led the Pope to recall Boniface to Rome to receive
directions concerning conditions in Germany. After exacting from him a
confession of faith in the Trinity, and binding him by an oath ever to
respect papal authority,[246:1] the Supreme Pontiff created him
missionary bishop in 723. Boniface then returned to Germany with a code
of laws for the Church, and with letters of introduction to Charles
Martel and to other influential persons who might aid him. He was aware
that little could be done without the assistance of that powerful ruler
and wrote: "Without the protection of the Prince of the Franks, I could
neither rule the people of the Church, nor defend the priests or clerks,
the monks or handmaidens of God; nor have I the power to restrain pagan
rites and idolatry in Germany without his mandate and the awe of his
name."[246:2] Hence he attached himself for awhile to the court of the
Frankish ruler before he began the work so near his heart. Hesse and
Thuringia, Christianised nominally by Celtic missionaries and
consequently under no episcopal authority, refused to recognise papal
jurisdiction. To awe them into submission, Boniface cut down their
gigantic sacred oak at Geismar and from it, subsequently, built a chapel
to St. Peter. The people were convinced and received the new faith.
With the aid of Charles Martel, the assistance of the pope, and the
help of English missionaries who joined him, Boniface completed his
conquest of that region, filled it with churches and monasteries, and
extended papal rule over it. Schools were established, learning and a
higher civilisation began to flow in from England and Rome, and the dark
days of paganism were gone.

As a reward for his labours, Pope Gregory III., who received the papal
crown in 731, raised Boniface in 732 to the dignity of missionary
archbishop. This new authority enabled him to coerce refractory bishops
who thwarted his efforts. Five years later, Boniface made his third and
last visit to Rome, not now as an obscure missionary but with a great
retinue of monks and converts. Once more returning to Germany with
authority, he organised the Church in Bavaria (739) and thus curtailed
ecclesiastical lawlessness by creating four bishoprics: Salzburg,
Friesingen, Passau, and Regensburg. In the year 742, continuing the work
of organisation begun so well in Bavaria, he succeeded in creating in
central Germany the bishoprics of Würzburg, Buraburg, Erfurt, and
Eichstädt. To organise the Church and regulate ecclesiastical affairs,
he held numerous synods. At the same time, he laboured hard to enforce
celibacy, to restore Church property alienated by rulers, and to
suppress heresy. In 743, he was made archbishop of Mainz, with
jurisdiction over a region from Cologne to Strassburg and from Coire to
Worms, and now sought to complete the work of consolidating the German
Church. By this time, he had become not only the head of the Church in
Germany, but was recognised as a powerful factor in political matters.
It is even reported that he crowned Pepin at Soissons (752).[248:1] The
great monastery of Fulda was founded (744) and it was destined to become
the head of the Benedictine institutions in Germany. Having appointed
Lull as his successor at Mainz, he resigned in 754, returned a third
time to Frisia as a missionary, and there was slain in 755 as a martyr
to the Christian cause. Boniface did more than any other one individual
to carry Christianity to the German peoples and to tie the Church of
Germany firmly to the papal throne. He was a civiliser and law-giver as
well as a Roman missionary.[248:2] After the Apostle Paul he was
probably the most eminent in missionary endeavour.

His work was continued by his disciple Willibald (b. 700), a relative, a
pilgrim to Rome and the Holy Land, and a Benedictine monk, who was made
bishop of Eichstädt (741). He called his brother, sister, and others
from England as missionaries into Germany. He founded Benedictine
monasteries, and it is thought by some that he wrote a biography of his
great leader (d. 781). Gregory, an abbot of Utrecht, a Merovingian
prince converted by Boniface, worked with his master and took charge of
the Frisian mission after his death (755). Sturm, the first abbot of
Fulda (710-779),[248:3] a Bavarian nobleman educated by Boniface, had
his teacher's bones buried at Fulda and served for years as a missionary
among the Saxons (d. 779). Charles the Great gave him support and

Another means used to convert the Germans was the sword. This was
especially true of the Saxons, a sturdy, defiant, warlike people, who
lived in Hanover, Oldenburg, and Westphalia.[249:1] They were the last
to accept Christianity, because they hated the Franks and far-off Rome.
Fruitless efforts to convert them had been made by the Ewald brothers,
Suidbert, and others. The work was left, however, for Charles the Great,
who consumed thirty-three years in subjecting them to Christian rule
(772-805).[249:2] This was done only after five thousand inhabitants had
been massacred at Verdun, ten thousand families had been exiled in 804,
and bloody laws were enacted against relapse into paganism. This new
type of missionary work, which was a radical departure from the
apostolic method, can be excused, perhaps, only when we take into
consideration the moral standards of the age and the motives of Charles
the Great. The best men of the time, however, like Alcuin vehemently
opposed this method. After Charles had subjected the Saxons, he
established among them eight bishoprics, Osnabrück, Münster, Minden,
Paderborn, Verdun, Bremen, Hildesheim, and Halberstädt.

The Prussians, located to the north-eastward of the Saxons along the
Baltic, stubbornly resisted efforts to Christianise them. Adelbert,
Bishop of Prague (997), and his successor, Bruno, were both massacred by
them. At length, a Cistercian monk, who was appointed the first bishop
of Prussia in the twelfth century, made some headway among them, but was
soon compelled to withdraw. Then followed the crusade of the Teutonic
Order (1230-1280) in which the methods of Charles the Great were
employed and with the same results.

Christianity was first introduced into Denmark in the sixth and seventh
centuries through raids on Ireland, commerce with Holland, and the story
of the "white Christ." Willibrord was the first missionary.[250:1] When
he was expelled from Friesland in 700 he went to Denmark, where he was
received with favour by King Yngrin, organised a church, and bought
thirty boys to be educated as missionaries. St. Sebaldus,[250:2] the son
of a Danish king, was a product of this early missionary effort. Charles
the Great ruled part of Denmark, carried on extensive trade with the
people, located churches in Holstein and at Hamburg, and planned to
convert all the Danes.[250:3] Louis the Pious, appealed to by King
Harold Klak[250:4] to settle a family feud, sent Archbishop Ebo of
Rheims and Bishop Halitgar of Cambray to Denmark in 822. Ebo made
several journeys, later preached extensively, won many converts,
baptised them, and built a church at Welnau. When, in 826, King Harold
Klak fled to the Emperor for aid, he, together with his whole family and
train, was converted and baptised at Ingelheim. Upon returning, the King
took with him Ansgar, a Frank born at Amiens (800), who had been early
trained as a missionary teacher and preacher, and who was to win the
title of "Apostle of the North." He laboured in Denmark with some
success, but in 829 was expelled, when Harold Klak was once more driven
out, and went to Sweden until he was elected bishop of Hamburg in 831
with all Scandinavia as his see. In 846, Bremen was united to Hamburg
and Ansgar was made archbishop. He soon succeeded in planting
Christianity and with it monasticism in Denmark. His successor,
Archbishop Rimbert (865-888), continued the spread of Christianity
undisturbed; and his successors Adalgar (888-909), Unni (909-936), and
Adaldag (936-988), had a comparatively clear field. The last of these
saw the consecration of four native bishops, an increase in the
possessions of the Church, and an organised struggle against heathenism.
When the Danes made a conquest of England, the results were seen in the
conversion of King Swen, a zealous worker for the Church, and his son
Canute (1019-1035), who completed his father's work with the aid of
English missionaries. So strong was the Church in Denmark by the twelfth
century that a separate archbishop was appointed. The supremacy of the
Roman Church was recognised.

The conversion of the Northmen has an interesting history.[251:1] The
political situation in the tenth century opened the way for the
introduction of Christianity. Hakon the Good, educated in England as a
Christian, conquered and united all Norway, converted his followers,
called over priests from England, and sought to force Christianity upon
all his people, but in this failed. The sons of Eric, also Christianised
in England, wrested the throne from Hakon the Good in 961, and likewise
tried to uproot paganism, but they, too, were unsuccessful. Olaf, of
romantic career, was called in 995 to rule. He, likewise, waged a
crusade in behalf of Christianity and with such success that when he
died in 1000, it had been permanently established. Olaf the Saint
(1014-1030), however, completed the Christianisation of Norway and put
it under the protection of the Archbishop of Bremen-Hamburg.[252:1]

As early as the eighth century, Culdee anchorites were accustomed to
retire to Iceland from Scotland. In the ninth century Norwegians began
to flee thither from the tyranny of their kings. Most of these emigrants
were pagans, but one Norwegian convert in Saxony persuaded Bishop
Frederick to go with him to Iceland where the bishop remained four
years, but made little impression. Thougbrand journeyed thither in the
tenth century, but likewise largely failed in his efforts. After the
conversion of Norway, however, the intimate relations with Iceland soon
produced different results. Christianity spread so rapidly that in 1000
the Christian religion was made the state religion. The first church
built on the island was from timber sent by Olaf the Saint.[252:2]

Greenland was discovered and colonised by the bold Icelander, Eric the
Red, in 986, and Eric's son was sent over by Olaf to plant the Christian
Church there in 1000. The Church flourished there for four hundred years
until disrupted by the Esquimos. About the year 1000 Vinland was
discovered and thus the Gospel was known on the coast of New England
five centuries before Columbus appeared.[253:1]

Like the Danes, the Swedes learned of Christianity through wars and
conquests, and commercial relations. Björn, the Swedish King, asked
Louis the Pious to send him Christian missionaries. Accordingly in 829
Ansgar, expelled from Denmark, went to Sweden where he laboured two
years with some success. Five years later he sent Gautbert and Nithard
to Sweden with a number of priests, but the pagan uprising killed all
the priests and soon swept away all traces of Christianity. In 848
Ansgar made a pompous visit to Sweden again with costly presents and
letters, and reopened the field for missionary work. By the eleventh
century, the King of Sweden and his sons were baptised, and the work was
pushed with renewed vigour, although it was not until the middle of the
twelfth century that the conversion of Sweden was completed.

In the time of Charles the Great, the Slavs were located along the
eastern side of his Empire; the Wends along the Baltic Sea between the
Elba and the Vistula; the Poles along the Vistula; the Russians behind
the Poles; the Czechs in Bohemia; and the Bulgarians back of the Danube
and Balkan Mountains. Charles the Great had attempted to force the Wends
to accept Christianity, but with no success. Otto the Great conquered
them and likewise sought to convert them. He located bishoprics at
Havelburg, Oldenburg, Meissen, Merseburg, and Zeitz, and an
archbishopric at Magdeburg in 968 with Adalbert as the first archbishop.
Reaction began in the time of Otto II., under the leadership of
Mistiwoi, an apostate Christian, in which churches and monasteries were
burned, and priests and monks killed (983).[254:1] Later, Gottschalk,
his grandson, an educated Christian monk, angered at the murder of his
father (1032), led an anti-Christian crusade, but was defeated and then
repented and ever after laboured hard to establish Christianity. The old
bishoprics were restored and new ones created at Razzeburg and
Mecklenburg; five monasteries were built; missionary work was
encouraged; the liturgy was translated into Slavic; and the Church in
that region became wealthy and powerful. But the heathen party, in a
general uprising, killed Gottschalk and his old teacher (1066),
destroyed the churches and monasteries, and once more slew the priests
and monks. The final Christianisation of the Wends, therefore, did not
take place until the middle of the twelfth century.

Charles the Great subjugated the Moravians, directed the Bishop of
Passau to establish a mission among them, secured the conversion of
their chief, Moymir, and founded the bishoprics of Olmütz and Nitra.
Louis the German deposed Moymir on suspicion of treason and elevated
Radislaw to power, but he soon turned against his benefactor and
defeated him, formed an independent Slavic kingdom on the eastern
boundary of Germany, and sent for Greek missionaries, two of whom,
Cyrillus and Methodius, brothers and educated monks, were sent by the
Greek Emperor Michael III. in 863.[254:2] Cyrillus understood the Slavic
tongue and invented an alphabet and translated the liturgy into Slavic.
He preached and celebrated service in the language of the people, and
had a most able assistant in Methodius. They were very successful in
their labours and built up a national Slavic Church. The German priests
who had been labouring there for some time were driven out, and with
them disappeared the Latin liturgy. Seeing their great success, Pope
Nicholas I., in 868, invited them to Rome and won them to a friendly
arrangement. There Cyrillus died in 869 but Methodius was returned as
the Roman Archbishop of Pannonia. The Pope agreed both to the use of
Slavic in the mass and to the independence of the Slavic Church under
papal control. Ten years later Methodius made a second visit to Rome and
a second agreement was entered into, satisfactory to both Rome and
Moravia. He died before the ninth century ended, and before the close of
the tenth century the Latin Church had replaced the Slavic. The expelled
Slavic priests fled to Bulgaria to build up a new Church.

Neither Charles the Great, nor his son Louis, was able to conquer the
Bohemians. When Bohemia became a dependency of Moravia, however, the way
was opened for the introduction of Christianity. The Bohemian Duke
Borziway and his family were converted, but reaction followed under
Boleslav the Cruel. Otto I. in 950 completely defeated Boleslav,
recalled the priests, and rebuilt the churches. The bishopric of Prague
was established in 973, and under Archbishop Severus (1083) general laws
were enforced concerning Christian marriage, observance of the Sabbath,
and morality. The Latin language and the Roman ritual prevailed in the
Bohemian Church.[255:1]

The first missionaries to Poland were Slavic, perhaps Cyrillus and
Methodius. With the break-up of the Moravian kingdom, many nobles and
priests fled to Poland and were kindly received. In 965 a Bohemian
princess married Duke Mieczyslav and took priests with her. The Duke was
converted and baptised and paganism was destroyed by force. The Church
was then organised on the Latin-German model, and German priests were
introduced. The first Polish bishopric was established at Posen subject
to the Archbishop of Magdeburg. But it was to take many additional years
before Roman Christianity was firmly established.

The Bulgarians, Slavic in institutions, but not in origin, captured
Adrianople in 813 and carried away many Christian prisoners, among whom
was the bishop himself, who began the conversion of their captors. In
861 a Bulgarian princess, returning from captivity in Constantinople as
a Christian missionary to her own people, converted her brother, the
Duke Bogoris. This work was supplemented by Methodius, who was sent
there in 862 to help on the good work, and by other Greek missionaries
who followed him. In 865 the baptised Duke of Bulgaria wrote to Pope
Nicholas I. for Roman missionaries and asked one hundred and six
questions about Christian doctrines, morals, and ritual. The Pope sent
two bishops and elaborate answers to the questions,[256:1] but the Greek
faith finally predominated.

The Magyars, who entered Europe in the ninth century and in 884 settled
near the mouth of the Danube, finally located in present Hungary. They
first learned of Christianity at the Byzantine court. In Hungary,
however, they came in touch with the Roman missionaries. Otto the Great
compelled them to receive missionaries from the Bishop of Passau. When
Prince Geyza married a Christian princess, their conversion was rapid
and complete. Adalbert of Prague visited the country and made a great
impression. King Stephanus (997) made Christianity the legal religion,
enforced the German ecclesiastical system, formed ten bishoprics,
located an archbishopric at Grau on the Danube, built churches, schools,
and monasteries, and received a golden crown from Pope Sylvester II. in
1000 as "His Apostolic Majesty."[257:1]

The Russians claimed St. Andrew for their apostle but probably actually
learned of Christianity from Constantinople in the ninth century.
Photius, in 867, told the Pope that the Russians were already
Christians. A church was built at Kieff on the Dnieper, the Russian
capital, and in 955 the grand-duchess, Olga, journeyed to Constantinople
and was baptised. Grand-Duke Vladimir, the grandson of Olga, established
Christianity at one sweep when he married Anne, the daughter of Emperor
Basil and was baptised at his wedding in 988. Churches, schools, and
monasteries spread rapidly all over the country, but the Greek Church
instead of the Roman was firmly planted there, and in 1325, Moscow
became the Russian Rome.[257:2]

While the Roman Church was winning new subjects all over northern and
central Europe; she was losing nearly as much in territory and numbers
in Africa and Spain. This loss was due to the rise of a rival religion
in Arabia which bid fair to outstrip Christianity in the race for world

Mohammedanism, shortly after its birth (622), began to threaten
Christianity. After having driven the Christian Church from northern
Africa, the followers of Islam overthrew the Visigothic power in Spain
(711) and then swarmed across the Pyrenees to overrun most of France.
The very existence of Christendom was at stake, and the future of Europe
hung in the scales and might have been very different, had not Charles
Martel with his stalwart Christian knights in the bloody battle of Tours
(732) checked the advance of the crescent and forced its adherents to
hastily retrace their steps. The califate founded at Cordova (756)
continued as a standing menace for more than six centuries. Meanwhile
Moslem corsairs scoured the Mediterranean, seized Sicily, and from that
vantage point sought to make a conquest of Italy venturing at times to
the very gates of Rome.

The contest between the faithful of these two religions, continued for
centuries and attained its climax in the crusades. The followers of each
faith sought to either conquer or exterminate the other. This form of
missionary work was like that employed by Charles the Great against the
Saxons and Otto the Great against the Slavs. The repeated assaults of
Frankish rulers, Spanish princes, and Norman warriors in Italy were
finally successful and Islam was thrust back into Africa, but only to
enter Europe by way of Constantinople.

In sharp contrast to these harsh methods, there are not a few instances
of devout Christians labouring in love among the followers of the
Prophet to save their souls. Conversions to Christianity were not
infrequent in Spain, Italy, Egypt, and the East.[259:1] The Franciscans
and Dominicans both laboured heroically among the followers of the
Prophet to teach them the higher and better faith.[259:2]

Notwithstanding the fact that Christianity spread so rapidly throughout
the Roman Empire, yet it must be remembered that more than twelve
centuries were to circle away before the cross was carried to all
European peoples and planted among them. The problem was as difficult as
that encountered to-day in Africa, Asia, and the islands of the seas. By
the twelfth century all Europe, except Lapland and Lithuania had been
won to Christianity. If the number of Christians approximated 30,000,000
at the death of Constantine, the number at the time of Pope Innocent
III. in 1200 may have been 200,000,000 who came within the direct or
indirect jurisdiction of the Christian Church. The sweeping control of
the Roman Church gathered under her broad ægis possibly 100,200,000.
Through these missionary activities, therefore, the successor of St.
Peter had extended his actual sway until it included all of western and
central Europe with a population as large as that of the Empire of Cæsar
at the birth of Christ.

This unprecedented increase in dominion and subjects carried with it a
corresponding change in the power, duties, wealth, and opportunity of
the Papacy. The Pope of Rome became the greatest force in the West and
one of the greatest in the world. The hierarchy was necessarily
extended and elaborated. The number of officers, both locally and in the
ecclesiastical court at Rome, was greatly increased. The rapid addition
of so many sturdy recruits to the Roman Church, carried on for
centuries, gave the Western Church a pronounced ascendency over the
Eastern Church. Papal prerogatives, which were little more than
assertions in the early period, became realities. As a result of these
heroic and persistent missionary efforts, the mediæval Church, at the
end of the missionary period, had attained its highest power.

A stream is coloured and influenced in its purity by the soil and rock
through which it flows. An institution is modified by the peoples
through whom it passes. It is not a matter of surprise to the historical
student, in consequence, to see the Christian Church reflecting the
civilisation through which it grew. Christianity may easily be reduced
to the fundamental Gospel principles taught by Jesus, but in that pure,
simple form it was not spread over the world and perpetuated.
Originating on Jewish soil, it never outgrew the Jewish tinge. During
the post-apostolic period it was powerfully modified by the classical
philosophy of Rome, Greece, and Alexandria. In post-Constantinian times
the multitudes of heathen converted to Christianity introduced heathen
modifications and compromises. The spread of the Church to Teutonic
soil, there to encounter a sturdy barbarism in most intimate relations,
produced modifying influences which can easily be seen in the history of
the Church. The Germanic contribution was to prove to be one of the most
important and influential forces in the whole history of the Church,
because it created, in a large sense, modern civilisation and the
modern Church.

This period of zealous missionary endeavour among the Celtic and
Teutonic tribes was a great pioneer movement. Far too little attention
has been paid to it by historians and, consequently, comparatively small
credit has been granted to it as a force in the evolution of our
institutions to-day. It is impossible to conceive what would have been
the history of Europe and the civilisation she has planted around the
earth had not Christianity entered at this epoch to lay the foundations.
Every institution would have developed differently and the world would
certainly not be what it is to-day.



    I. ENGLAND, IRELAND, AND SCOTLAND. See Gross, _Sources and
          Lit. of Eng. Hist._

     1.--Gildas (d. 570), _Works_. Transl. by J. A. Giles. Bohn

     2.--Bede (d. 735), _Ecclesiastical History of England_.
          Various eds.

     3.--Neimius (d. 9th cent.). _History of the Britons_ (to 642).

     4.--Ethelwerd (d. 988), _Chronicle_ (to 959). _Ib._

     5.--Asser (d. 909), _Life of Alfred_ (to 893). _Ib._

     6.--Geoffrey (d. 1154), _British History_ (to 688). _Ib._

     7.--Henry of Huntingdon (d. 1155), _History of England_. _Ib._

     8.--Florence of Worcester (d. 1118), _Chronicle_. _Ib._

     9.--Earle, J., _Two of the Saxon Chronicles_. Lond., 1865.

    10.--Plummer, C., _Two of the Saxon Chronicles_. Lond., 1889.

    11.--Giles, J. A., _Patres Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ_. Lond., 1843-8.
          19 vols. Works of thirteen Fathers. Parts in Eng.

    12.--The _Pipe Rolls_. Lond., 1884-1900. 24 vols.

    13.--_English Historical Society Publications._ Lond., 1838-50.
          27 vols.

    14.--Mason, A. J., _The Mission of St. Augustine to England
          according to the Original Documents_. Camb., 1897.

    15.--Haddan, A. W., and Stubbs, W., _Councils and
          Ecclesiastical Documents relating to Great Britain and
          Ireland_. Lond., 1869-71. 3 vols. Some transl. and fine
          Eng. notes.

    16.--Johnson, J., _A Collection of the Laws and Canons of the
          Church of England_ (to 1519). Oxf., 1850.

    17.--Foxe, J., _Acts and Monuments_. Lond., 1563. Best ed. by
          Pratt and Stoughton. Lond., 1877. 8 vols.

    18.--Gee, H., and Hardy, W. J., _Documents Illustrative of
          English Church History_. Lond., 1896.

    19.--Colby, C. W., _Selections from the Sources of English
          History_. Lond. and N. Y., 1899.

    20.--Lee, G. C., _Leading Documents of English History_. Lond.,

    21.--Stevens, H. M., and Adams, G. B. _Select Documents of
          English Constitutional History_, N. Y., 1901.

    22.--Univ. of Pa., _Translations and Reprints_, ii., No. 7.


     1.--Masson, G., _The Early Chroniclers of France_. Lond.,

     2.--Gregory of Tours, _Ecclesiastical of the Franks_. Univ. of
          Pa. Tr. announced.


     1.--Boniface, _Works_. A few letters translated in preface of
          Giles, _Patres Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ_.

     Bibliographical note:--Much valuable material for England has
          not yet been translated into English. For France, Spain,
          Germany, Scandinavia and the Slavic lands practically all
          the material is in Latin. Some of the chief sources are:
          Pertz, _Monumenta_; Mansi, _Sacrorum_; Migne,
          _Patrologiæ_; Niebuhr, _Corpus Byzantinæ_; Jaffé,
          _Monumenta_ and _Regesta_; Potthast, _Regesta_; Bolland,
          _Acta_; Pelzel and Dabrowsky, _Rerum Bohemic._; Hübner,
          _Inscriptiones Britanniæ Christianæ_.



     1.--Aikman, J. L., _Cyclopædia of Christian Missions_. Lond.,

     2.--Allen, J. R., _Monumental History of the Early British
          Church_. Lond., 1889.

     3.--Bliss, E. M., _Encyclopædia of Missions_. N. Y., 1891. 2

     4.--Briggs, F. W., _Missions: Apostolic and Modern_. Lond.,

     5.--Burkitt, F. C., _Early Christianity outside of the Roman
          Empire_. Camb., 1899.

     6.--Charles, Mrs. R., _Early Christian Missions in Ireland,
          Scotland and England_. Lond., 1893.

     7.--Choules, J. O., and Smith, T., _Origin and History of
          Missions_. Bost., 1842. 2 vols.

     8.--Hole, C., _Early Missions to and within the British
          Isles_. Lond., 1888. _Home Missions in the Early Mediæval
          Period._ Lond., 1889.

     9.--Kingsmill, J., _Missions and Missionaries_. Lond., 1853.

    10.--Maclear, G. F., _Apostles of Mediæval Europe_. Lond.,
          1869. _History of Christian Missions during the Middle
          Ages._ Camb., 1863.

         _Conversion of the Celts._ Lond., 1879.

         _Conversion of the Slavs._ Lond., 1879.

         _Conversion of the English._ Lond., 1879.

         _Conversion of the Northmen._ Lond., 1879.

    11.--Merivale, C., _Conversion of the West_. N. Y., 1879. 5
          vols. _The Conversion of the Roman Empire._ Boyle Lect.
          Lond., 1864. _The Conversion of the Northern Nations._
          Boyle Lect. Lond., 1865.

    12.--Newell, E. J., _St. Patrick_. Lond., 1878.

    13.--Smith, F., _The Origin and History of Missions_. Bost.,

    14.--Smith, G., _Short History of Christian Missions_. N. Y.,

    15.--Smith, R. T., _The Church in Roman Gaul_. Lond., 1878.

    16.--Smith, T., _Mediæval Missions_. Edinb., 1880.

    17.--Snow, T. B., _St. Gregory the Great_. Lond., 1892.

    18.--Summers, W. H., _Rise and Spread of Christianity in
          Europe_. N. Y., 1894.

    19.--Taylor, A. T., _How Christianity Conquered the Roman

    20.--Walrond, T. F., _Christian Missions before the
          Reformation_. Lond., 1873.

    21.--Wyse, J., _Missionary Centres of the Middle Ages_. Lond.,


    Adeney, ch. 8. Alzog, ii., ch. 1. Anderson, J., _Scot. in Early
    Chr. Times_. Butler, ch. 46-49. Cheetham, ch. 14. Coxe, Lect.
    2, sec. 28-30; Lect. 4, sec. 1-3. Crooks, ch. 31. Darras, i.,
    54, 269, 329, 333-336, 399; ii., 254. Döllinger, ii., ch. 2;
    iii., ch. 1. Foulkes, ch. 5-10. Fisher, 45 _f._, 145 _f._, 163.
    Gieseler, 2d pd., sec. 107, 108, 122-126, 134; 3d pd., sec. 16,
    37-40, 44. Gilmartin, i., ch. 24-26. Godkin, _Hist. of Hung._
    Godwin, _Hist. of Fr._ Greene, _Hist. of M. A._ Guericke, sec.
    65-68. Hardwick, ch. 1, 5, 9, 13. Hase, sec. 148-156. Hore, ch.
    6, 8. Hurst, i., 556-599, 619. Kurtz, i., 397-401, 440-482;
    ii., 1-13. Mahan, bk. 4, ch. 12. Masson, _Early Chroniclers of
    Fr._ Milman, i., bk. 3, ch. 2; ii., bk. 4, ch. 3-5. Moeller,
    i., 535-541. Neander, iii., 1-84, 271-346. Pressensé, bk. i.,
    ch. 1. Robertson, bk. 2, ch. 13. Schaff, pd. 3, ch. 1, pd. 4,
    ch. 3.


[229:1] Matt. xxviii., 19, 20.

[229:2] Ignatius, _Letter to the Ephesians_, ch. 10. See Smith and
Cheetham, art. on "The Heathen."

[229:3] An illustration of what must have been a common practice is
found in the case of Eusebius, the Bishop of Vercelli, who made his
cathedral church the centre of a wide missionary field.

[230:1] Matt. x., 34.

[231:1] Neander, _Light in Dark Places_, 417.

[232:1] Philostorgius, _Eccl. Hist._, ii., 5.

[232:2] To do that Ulfilas had to invent an alphabet. Whether he
translated the whole Bible or only a part of it is unknown, since only
fragments of his work have come down to us. See Schaff, _Companion to
the Greek Testament_, N. Y., 1883, 160; Sozomen, _Eccl. Hist._, ii., 6;
Philostorgius, _Eccl. Hist._, ii., 5; Scott, _Ulfilas, Apostle to the
Goths_, Lond., 1885.

[232:3] Theodoret, _Eccl. Hist._, v., 30.

[234:1] On the conversion of the Burgundians, see Socrates, _Eccl.
Hist._, ii., 30.

[234:2] Richter, 36, n. 6; Bouquet, iv., 49. See Ogg, _Source Book_, §

[235:1] Perry, _Franks_, 488.

[235:2] Bede, i., 47; Lingard, i., 46; Haddan and Stubbs, i., 22-26;
Pryce, _Anc. Brit. Ch._, 31; Tertullian, _Against Judæos_, 7; Gildas;
Ogg, _Source Book_, § 8. The early history of the British Church is
obscure. By the second century the Gospel had spread through the
southern parts of the island. Three British bishops attended the Council
of Arles, 314, and others were present at the Council of Sardica in 347
and the Council of Rimini in 359.

[235:3] Bede, i., 22.

[235:4] _Ibid._, ii., ch. 1.

[235:5] Bede, i., 25. See _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, 2d ser., xii.,
_Epistles_; Haddan and Stubbs, iii., 5; Cheney, _Readings in Eng.
Hist._, N. Y., 1908, 46-52; Ogg, _Source Book_, § 9; Thorne, _Chronicles
of St. Augustine's Abbey_; Stanley, _Memorials of Canterbury_. See
Allies, _Hist. of Ch. in Eng._

[236:1] Bede, i., 26. See Green, _Short Hist. of Eng. People_, ch. 1, §

[236:2] He went over to Arles, France, to be consecrated. Bede, i., 27.

[236:3] Bede, i., 32.

[237:1] Until about seventy-five years previous Rome herself had used
the same method of calculation. Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian monk, who
instituted the practice of dating events from the birth of Christ,
invented the new method the latter part of the fifth century. See Cutts,
_Aug._, 132.

[237:2] Skene, ii., 9; Killen, _Eccl. Hist. of Ire._, i., 57.

[237:3] Bede, iii., 5.

[237:4] Bede, v., 21. The Greeks shaved the head completely. See Cutts,
_Aug._, 136.

[237:5] Bellesheim, _Hist. of Cath. Ch. in Scot._, Edinb., 1887-89, 4
vols., i., 86.

[238:1] Warren, _Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Ch._, Lond., 1881.

[238:2] Haddan and Stubbs, iii., 40.

[238:3] This incident is regarded as an interpolation in Bede's History.
Hook, _Archbishops of Canterbury_, i., 68, 69.

[239:1] Bede, ii., 2.

[239:2] _Ibid._, iii., 25, 26.

[240:1] Greene, _Short Hist. of Eng. People_, ch. 1, § 1. _Cf._ Love,
_Early Eng. Ch. Hist._, Lond., 1893, p. 94.

[240:2] Hunt, _Eng. Ch. in M. A._, Lond., 1889; Ingram, _Eng. and Rome_,
Lond. and N. Y., 1892; Newell, _Hist. of Anc. Brit. Ch._, Lond., 1887;
Alexander, _The Anc. Brit. Ch._, Lond., 1889; Cathcart, _The Anc. Brit.
and Irish Churches_, Phil., 1893; Soames, _The Lat. Ch. during
Anglo-Sax. Times_, Lond., 1848.

[240:3] Todd, _St. Patrick the Apostle of Ireland_, Dub., 1864; Sherman,
_Loca Patriciana_; Wright, _The Writings of St. Patrick_, Lond., 1889,
2d ed., 1894; Stokes, _Tripartite Life of St. Patrick_, Lond., 1887;
Cusack, _Life of St. Patrick_; De Vinne, _Hist. of Irish Prim. Ch._, N.
Y., 1870; Killen, _Eccl. Hist. of Ire._, Lond., 1875; Stokes, _Ireland
and the Celtic Ch._, Lond., 1886; Olden, _The Ch. of Ireland_, Lond.,
1892; Sanderson, _St. Patrick and the Irish Ch._, N. Y., 1895.

[240:4] Bede, iii., 13, 19, 21.

[241:1] Haddan and Stubbs, ii., 103; Forbes, _The Kalendars of Scottish
Saints_; Robertson, _Statuta Ecclesia Scoticanæ_; Cunningham, _Ch. Hist.
of Scot._; McLaughlin, _The Early Scot. Ch._; Reeves, _Life of St.
Columba_; Skene, _Keltic Scot._

[241:2] Adamnan, _Life of St. Columba_ (ed. by Reeves and Skene); Smith,
_Columba_; Duke of Argyle, _Iona_; Montalemb., iii., 99; _Transl. and
Reprints_, ii., No. 7; Skene, ii., 52.

[241:3] Calderwood, _Hist. of Kirk of Scot._, Edinb., 1842-49, 8 vols.;
Gordon, _Eccl. Chron. for Scot._, Glasg., 1867, 4 vols.; Lightfoot,
_Leaders in the Northern Ch._, Lond., 1890; Dowden, _The Celtic Ch. in
Scot._, Lond., 1894.

[242:1] Montalembert, ii., 463.

[243:1] Univ. of Pa., _Transl. and Rep._, ii., No. 7; see Maclear,
_Apostles of Med. Europe_, 57-72. His life and works are in Migne, vol.

[243:2] Migne, vol. 113. See _Dict. of Christ. Biog._

[243:3] Smith, _Mediæval Missions_, 112.

[243:4] Migne, vol. 101. See _Dict. of Christ. Biog._

[244:1] Bede, v., 10.

[244:2] Mabillon, iii., 341-348; Maclear, _Apostles of Med. Europe_,

[244:3] See _Dict. of Christ. Biog._

[244:4] His original name was Winfried. At the wish of Pope Gregory II.
he changed it to Boniface in 723. See Cox, _Life of Boniface_, Lond.,
1853; Hope, _Boniface_, Lond., 1872.

[245:1] Discredited by Rettberg, _Kircheng. Deutschl._, ii., 514.
Mabillon, iii., 341, gives an interpolated life. See Maclear, _Apostles
of Med. Europe_, 104.

[246:1] This oath was similar to that taken by Italian bishops. Neander,
v., 64-67.

[246:2] Jaffé, _Mon. Magunt._, 157.

[248:1] Rettberg and modern scholars deny the tradition.

[248:2] J. A. Giles edited the works of Boniface in 2 vols., in 1844.
His disciple Willibald of Mainz wrote his life. Pertz, _Mon._, ii., 33.
Maclear, _Apostles of Med. Europe_, ch. 8. One of his sermons, on "Faith
and the works of love," is given in translation in Neale, _Mediæval

[248:3] A famous monastery founded by Boniface.

[249:1] Bede, v., 10.

[249:2] In 785, two of the most powerful Saxon chiefs, Wittekind and
Abbio, submitted to baptism with Charles the Great as sponsor.

[250:1] Bede, v.

[250:2] The patron saint of Nuremberg.

[250:3] Jaffé, _Mon. Alc._, Ep. 13.

[250:4] Denmark at this time was divided into many petty kingdoms.

[251:1] Maclear, _The Conversion of the Northmen_. Merivale, _Conversion
of the Northern Nations_.

[252:1] _Heimskringla: Chronicle of the Norse Kings._ Tr. by Laing,
Lond., 1844, rev. ed. by Anderson, Lond., 1889, 4 vols. Also tr. by
Morris and Magnusson, Lond., 1891, 2 vols. New ed. by York Powell. See
Carlyle, _The Early Kings of Norway_, Lond., 1875, and Boyesen, _The
Story of Norway_, N. Y. and Lond., new ed., 1890.

[252:2] The complete record of these early days is given in the _Biskupa
Sogar_, ed. by Prof. Vigfusson, and pub. by the Icelandic Lit. Soc., 2
vols., 1858-61. See Elton, _Life of Laurence, Bishop of Halar_, Lond.,
1890; Maccall, _The Story of Iceland_, Lond., 1887.

[253:1] See Winsor, _Nar. and Crit. Hist. of Am._, i.

[254:1] Seized with remorse Mistiwoi tried to make amends, but his
subjects abandoned him. He passed the remaining days of his life in a
Christian monastery.

[254:2] Tozer, _The Ch. and the East. Emp._, ch. 7.

[255:1] There are practically no original sources in English concerning
the Slavic missions. Pelzel and Dabrowsky, _Rerum Bohemic. Scriptores_,
contains most of the documents.

[256:1] Mansi, _Coll. Concil._, xv., 401-434; Harduin, _Coll. Concil._,
v., 353-386.

[257:1] Thwrocz, _Chronica Hungarorum_ in _Scriptores Rerum
Hungaricarum_, Vienna, 1746-8, i.

[257:2] The best collection of sources is Stritter, _Memoriæ populorum
olim ad Danubium_, etc., Petropoli, 1771, 4 vols.; Karmasin, _Hist. of
Rus._; Mouravieff, _Hist. of the Ch. of Rus._, Oxf., 1862; Stanley,
_Lects. on the E. Ch._, ix.-xii., Lond., 1862.

[259:1] Muir, _Annals of Early Califate_; Oakley, _Hist. of Saracens_;
Condé, _Dominion of Arabs in Spain_; Freeman, _Hist. and Conquest of

[259:2] See Chap. xxi.



     OUTLINE: I.--Relation of the Greek and Roman Churches before
     325. II.--Effect of the Arian Controversy on the situation.
     III.--The history of image worship. IV.--Character and results
     of the Iconoclastic Controversy. V.--Final separation.
     VI.--Resemblances and differences between the two churches

Rome conquered Greece by military force (146 B.C.); meanwhile Greece
made a more thorough conquest of Rome by ideas. While there were many
significant differences in language, customs, education, and
institutions, yet religiously they were united in a twofold way: (1) by
a common paganism, and (2) by Christianity. The East was philosophical,
contemplating, metaphysical, and keen in discrimination; the West was
practical, legal, and aggressively conservative. This difference in
temperament was destined to have marked historical results.[265:1] While
the West produced the mediæval Church, the East remained comparatively
stationary. When the seat of Roman empire was removed from the Eternal
City to Constantinople in 330, it appeared as if the eastern world had
again become triumphant.

A divergence between the churches of the East and the churches of the
West, can be detected in the Christian philosophy and Christian theology
from the beginning. The differences became more pronounced as the years
passed by. The Arian Controversy (see Ch. IX.) produced the first crisis
in the breach between Roman and Greek Christianity. The victory won by
the West over the East was only temporary, however, because in the end
the powerful state was arrayed on the side of the Eastern Church. The
adoption of the "filioque" clause to the Nicene Creed by the Western
Church, gave mortal offence to the Greeks. The doctrine of purgatory was
another irreconcilable difference. Theoretically the Church was still
united: (1) in the Emperor who ruled both wings of the old Empire; (2)
in the Pope who pretended to rule over the East and the West; and (3) in
the fundamental Christian principles. While there were still many
resemblances, the differences were also becoming well marked in Church
polity and organisation, in dogma, in rites and ceremonies, in
monasticism, and in missionary activity.

Among the matters in dispute was the growing differentiation of opinion
on the question of the marriage of the clergy. The Roman Church was much
more strict in the enforcement of celibacy. The two churches refused to
agree on the same universal councils, and, of course, as a result,
accepted an unequal number of canons as valid. Neither could they agree
on the proper day for celebrating Easter. There were also many minor
differences in reference to such trivial things as the tonsure, the
beard, priestly garments, and Lent. Another stumbling-block was set up
when the dispute arose over the sacramental bread in the eucharist. In
the ninth century the Western Church departed from the earlier practice
of using fermented bread and insisted on the unleavened bread as in the
Jewish passover.

The second crisis in the separation arose in connection with the
Iconoclastic dispute. In the ancient religions, image worship appeared,
but usually in the second stage of development. Max Müller contends that
in India "the worship of idols is a secondary formation, a later
degradation of the more primitive worship." The ancient Persians had no
images.[267:1] The same was true of the ancient Greeks.[267:2] The
earliest statue in Rome, that of Diana, was between 577 and 534
B.C.[267:3] The old Germans had neither temples nor images of their
invisible gods.[267:4] Among the Jews, too, reference to images seemed
to point to a later period of their history.[267:5] From the time of the
Maccabees, however, a strong antipathy to images of all kinds
developed.[267:6] Hence Origen asserted of the Jews that "there was no
maker of images among their citizens; neither painter, nor sculptor was
in their state."[267:7] The Jewish Christians, therefore, were imbued
with a strong dislike to all images. Many heathen converts, likewise,
fully appreciating the great difference between the Gospel and the
idolatrous religion which they had forsaken, had the same feeling.
Consequently, it may be said that the early Christians universally
condemned all heathen image worship and all customs connected with it.
The adoration of the reigning Emperors was especially denounced.[268:1]
Christians were at first too poor and obscure to adorn their meeting
places with art. In fact, the pagans accused them of having "no altars,
no temples, no known images."

There is evidence, however, that the use of images by the Christians
began comparatively early and that it was more marked in the art-loving
East than in the West. Irenæus (2d cent.) says that a secret sect, the
Gnostics, "possess images, some of them painted, and others formed of
different kinds of material. . . . They crown their images and set them
up along with the images of the philosophers."[268:2] But these Gnostics
were heretics. Emperor Alexander Severus (222-235) had images of several
characters of Scripture including Jesus, in his _Lararium_. But he was a
pagan. The catacombs of the second, third, and fourth centuries are
covered with paintings of sacred emblems, such as the lamb, olive
branch, Christ carrying the cross, anchor, ship, fish, sower, cross,
Christ with the lost sheep on his shoulder, bottle of wine, and other
representations.[268:3] These emblems were used in the first instance in
private houses. The first undisputed proof of the use of art in public
worship among the orthodox is found in a decree of the Synod of Elvira,
Spain, in 306, that "pictures ought not to be placed on a church lest
that which is worshipped and adored be painted on walls."[268:4]
Tertullian (b. 150) says that the communion cup usually bore a
representation of the Good Shepherd.[269:1] He likewise says that the
formation of the cross with the hand was very common. "At every journey
and movement, at every coming in and going out, at the putting on of our
clothes and our shoes, at baths, at meals, at lighting of candles, at
going to bed, at sitting down, whatever occupation employs us, we mark
our forehead with the sign."[269:2] Clement of Alexandria early in the
third century mentions the dove, fish, ship, lyre and anchor as suitable
emblems for Christian signet rings.[269:3] Constantine had the cross set
up beside his own statue, in 312, after the defeat of Maxentius.[269:4]
He also had a costly cross in his palace[269:5] and had the emblem
engraved on the arms of his soldiers.[269:6] Before the middle of the
fourth century, Bible manuscripts were beautifully illuminated and
illustrated. This evidence shows that the use of images in worship began
in the second century and increased with the growth of the Church until
by the fourth century it was a marked institution in Christendom. There
were three distinct phases of its development: (1) the use of the cross;
(2) the employment of emblems and symbols; (3) the appearance of
portraiture and pictorial images.

The growth of image worship from the fourth to the eighth centuries was
due to certain explainable causes. The victory of Christianity under
Constantine brought a wholesale conversion of pagans to the new faith,
wealth, power, and extraordinary activity in building churches. What was
more natural than that the architectural and artistic ideas of the day
should be employed in beautifying them? The Christian Emperor himself
set the example of using sacred pictures by embellishing his new capital
with religious representations, such as Daniel in the Lion's Den and
Christ as the Good Shepherd. Constantine's successors in showering their
favours upon the Christians, cultivated this practice. It must be
remembered, too, that Christianity had become more material and worldly
than it was in the Apostolic Age. The conversion of the masses to
Christianity was merely nominal and external. What was more natural than
that they should bring with them their pagan ideas and love for show and
ostentation, and that they should clamour for a material representation
of their new faith?

Following popular opinion and obeying private demands, the clergy
themselves became champions of the use of images. In the West, Pope
Gregory the Great gave his official sanction to the institution. Along
with the use of images grew up, out of the spiritual worship of saints
and martyrs, the worship of their relics and their images, and
pilgrimages to the scenes of their labours. The ignorance and
superstition of the period supplied an excellent atmosphere for this
marvellous evolution. It appears, then, that the Christian Church,
planted in the home of paganism, supported largely by converts from
paganism, in a barbarous, credulous age such as that, naturally
developed and abused the use of art in worship.

Poetry, music, painting, sculpture, and architecture all are
unquestionably legitimate handmaids of religion and may be made most
serviceable. But the use of images for ornament, instruction, and
enjoyment is one thing; the worship of images is quite another thing.
In the Middle Ages only a few lofty souls here and there took the true
view. Pictures were put into churches not as objects of art, but as aids
and objects of worship. The pictures were reverently kissed, bows and
prostrations were made before them, candles and lamps were used to
illuminate them, and incense was burned to honour them.

During this period, we have a number of excellent illustrations of image
worship. Constantine used art to beautify his new capital in the East,
and particularly to adorn his palace. Constantia, his sister, asked
Eusebius for an image of Jesus.[271:1] The veneration of the cross
became especially pronounced after its adoption by Constantine, and it
was used in all religious ceremonies as an emblem of the victory of
Jesus over sin and the devil. According to Jerome the sign of the cross
was made, as it is to-day, in witness to written documents.[271:2]
Emperor Julian (361) taunted the Christians thus: "Ye worship the wood
of the cross, making shadowy figures of it on the forehead, and painting
it at the entrance to your houses." St. Chrysostom (b. 347) wrote:

     The sign of universal execration, the sign of extremest
     punishment, has now become the object of universal longing and
     love. We see it everywhere triumphant. We find it in the
     houses, on the roofs and the walls; in cities and villages; on
     the markets, the great roads and in the deserts; on mountains
     and in valleys; on the sea, on ships; on books and on weapons;
     on wearing apparel; in the marriage chamber; at banquets; on
     vessels of gold and silver; in pearls; in pictures on the
     walls and on beds; on the bodies of brute animals that are
     diseased; on the bodies of those pestered by evil spirits; in
     the dances of those going to pleasure; in the associations of
     those that mortify their bodies.[272:1]

Nilus, a disciple of Chrysostom, permitted the use of the cross and
pictoral Bible stories in the churches, but opposed images of Jesus and
the martyrs.

Churches began to be decorated in the fourth century, and in the fifth
paintings and mosaics were introduced. Constantine had "symbols of the
Good Shepherd" placed in the forums of Constantinople.[272:2] The Holy
Ghost was commonly represented as a dove over the altar or the
font.[272:3] The Nestorian Controversy and the Eutychian discussion
helped to introduce pictures of the blessed Virgin and the Holy Child,
Jesus. St. Cyril advocated the use of images in the fifth century so
clearly that he has been called the "Father of image worship." By the
fifth century, churches[272:4] and Church books, palaces and huts, and
cemeteries were covered with images of Christ and the saints painted by
the monks, while representations of the martyrs, monks, and bishops were
found everywhere. Even pictures of the Trinity were in common use. In
the East, women decorated their dresses with personal images and
pictures, such as the marriage feast of Cana, the sick man who walked,
the blind man who saw, Magdalene at the feet of Jesus, and the
resurrection of Lazarus. Portraits of Peter and Paul covered the walls
at Rome. Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Epiphanius, Gregory the Great, and
many others of the Fathers, testified to the widespread employment of
images both for public and for private worship. The ceremony of kissing
the image, of burning incense to it, of bowing before it, and of praying
to it, was gradually developed and became very marked in the sixth
century. The climax, however, was reached in the eighth century when the
paint was literally scraped off the images and put into wine to make it
holier, and when the consecrated bread was laid upon the image for a
special blessing.[273:1]

When the portrait phase of image worship developed, pictures of
miraculous origin were produced and superstitious practices began to
abound. Not a few pictures of sacred characters were attributed to Luke.
Others were described as "the God-made images, which the hand of man
wrought not." It was but a short step to attribute miracles and cures to
these images of divine origin.[273:2] To the wonder-working pictures was
ascribed motion, speech, and action. Out of such conditions direct
idolatry could easily develop.

The theory of the educated concerning images differed very much from
that of the ignorant. The images were worshipped by the masses because
it was believed that such worship drew down the saint into the image, an
idea which came from the pagan belief concerning the statues of Jupiter
and Mercury. Leontius, Bishop of Neapolis, near the end of the sixth
century, said: "The images are not our gods; but they are the
representations of Christ and his saints, which exist and are venerated
in remembrance and in honour of these, and not as ornaments of the
church."[273:3] To a hermit who asked for some pious symbols, Pope
Gregory the Great sent a picture of Jesus and images of the Virgin Mary,
St. Peter, and St. Paul, with this admonition:

     I am well aware that thou desirest not the image of our
     Saviour that thou mayest worship it as God, but to enkindle in
     thee the love of Him whose image thou wouldst see. Neither do
     we prostrate ourselves before an image as before a deity, but
     we adore Him whom the image represents to our memory as born
     or seated on the throne; and according to the representation,
     the correspondent feelings of joyful elevation, or of painful
     sympathy, are excited in our breasts.[274:1]

Images were put into churches "only to instruct the minds of the
ignorant." Again, he explained the use of images thus: "It is one thing
to worship a picture and another to learn from the language of a picture
what that is which ought to be worshipped. What those who read learn by
means of writing, that do the uneducated learn by looking at a

The most eloquent of all the apologists of images, John of Damascus,
gave this explanation:

     I am too poor to buy books and I have no leisure for reading.
     I enter the church choked with the cares of the world. The
     glowing colours attract my attention and delight my eyes like
     a flowering meadow; and the glory of God steals imperceptibly
     into my soul. I gaze on the fortitude of the martyr and the
     crown with which he is rewarded, and the holy fire of
     emulation kindles within me and I receive salvation.[274:3]

It must be remembered that, however clearly the teachers of the Church
might see the difference between the right use of images to instruct the
unlettered and to excite a spiritual feeling, on the one hand, and a
superstitious worship of images, on the other, the ignorant masses did
not make the distinction in either thought or practice, and therein lay
the great abuse.

From the death of Gregory the Great in 604 until the outbreak of the
Iconoclastic Controversy in 716, twenty-five Popes ruled in Rome. With
several exceptions they were ecclesiastics of no historical importance.
To say that they lost nothing of the ground gained by Gregory the Great
is to say much for them. But in addition they made some progress in the
evolution of the mediæval Church. On this question of the use of images
in worship they uniformly continued the policy of Gregory the Great.

Opposition began as early as the use of images. Irenæus in the second
century (167) denounced the practice.[275:1] Tertullian (192), quoting
the second of the Ten Commandments, severely denounced all use of images
as sinful.[275:2] Clement of Alexandria (192) took the same view.[275:3]
Origen also based his opposition to the practice upon the Jewish
interpretation.[275:4] Minucius Felix (220) argued that man was the
image of God, hence there was no need of any artificial
representations.[275:5] Lactantius (303) held that since the spirit of
God could be seen everywhere, His image "must always be
superfluous."[275:6] Arnobius (303) took the same view.[275:7]
Christians were told to carry God and His Son in their hearts and not
to attempt to procure their images. The Spanish Synod of Elvira (306)
excluded images from the churches.[276:1] The early Fathers, taken
altogether, looked with but little favour upon the misuse of images in
worship. Eusebius, in replying to the request from Constantia for an
image of Christ, wrote a famous letter in opposition to the practice
which virtually became the platform of the Iconoclastic party.[276:2]
St. Augustine (393) declared that "It is unlawful to set up such an
image to God in a Christian temple."[276:3] Epiphanius (d. 402) with his
own hands tore down a curtain which had an image on it in a little
village church in Palestine. This seems to be the first act of
Iconoclasm.[276:4] Asterius (d. 410), Bishop in Pontus, opposed wearing
Bible pictures on clothing and told his people to wear the image of
Christ in their hearts.[276:5] Xenius (end of sixth century), the
Monophistic Bishop of Hierapolis, destroyed the images of the angels in
his church and hid those of Jesus.[276:6] In 518, the clergy of Antioch
complained to the Patriarch of Constantinople that their Patriarch had
melted down the images of gold and silver hung over the font and the
altar.[276:7] Serenus, Bishop of Marseilles, early in the seventh
century, threw the images out of his churches. Pope Gregory the Great
praised him for his zeal, but still justified the use of images.[276:8]
The Jews and the Mohammedans in the seventh century fiercely assailed
the Christian veneration of images as idolatry. This crystallised the
Iconoclastic elements of opposition into a party. Finally, in the eighth
century, the secular head, Leo III., the Isaurian (716-741), championed
the Iconoclastic cause. His son, Constantine V. (741-775), carried it
forward. The Synod of Constantinople in 754 officially condemned the use
of images,[277:1] and this marks the climax of the movement.

It was not long now before there appeared in Christendom two distinct
parties: (1) The Iconolatræ, or image worshippers, who were composed of
the leading churchmen like Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople, and
John of Damascus in the East; the monks, the common clergy, and the
masses of the common people in the East, and Pope Gregory II. and the
powerful Church of the West. (2) The Iconoclasti, or image breakers, who
included the Emperor and his civil officers; his army, made up mostly of
barbarians and Asiatic heretics[277:2]; a few churchmen like Anastasius,
who succeeded the deposed Germanus, actuated by political motives; and
the Carolingian rulers in the West.

The conflict was begun by Leo III., the Isaurian, a soldier of fortune,
who through ability as a warrior had won the imperial crown,--a powerful
ruler in falling Greece,--active, sincere, illiterate, honest, despotic,
and unwise. Ambition to convert the Jews, Mohammedans, and Montanists
made him feel keenly the sting of their sarcastic attacks on
images.[277:3] One of his advisers, Beser, was a converted Mohammedan,
who had held numerous interviews with Islam leaders. As a zealous
supporter of the Catholic Church, Leo no doubt sincerely desired to
restore the primitive simplicity of Christian worship. As monarch and
priest, he believed himself called upon by God to root out idolatry. He
was undoubtedly a noble puritan in his purposes and motives and called
himself a second Josiah.

In 726, he issued the first edict against images, authorising their
destruction[278:1] and the next year the exarch promulgated it in
Ravenna and the West. This was opposed by the patriarch, Germanus, and
most of the clergy; hence, it was enforced only in a few places where
the bishops supported the Emperor. The following incident will
illustrate the popular indignation. Imperial officers were sent to
destroy a fine image of Jesus above the bronze gate of Constantinople,
which the people regarded with unusual reverence. A ladder was put up
and a soldier mounted it to take the figure down. A crowd of women
watching the act begged that the image might be given to them. Instead,
the soldier struck the figure in the face with a hatchet. The women were
enraged, pulled down the ladder, and killed the soldier. The Emperor
sent troops to quell the tumult and to carry off the image, and in its
place he had a cross set up with these words on it: "The Emperor could
not suffer a dumb and lifeless figure of earthly materials, smeared over
with paint, to stand as a representative of Christ. He has, therefore,
erected here the sign of the cross."[278:2]

Pope Gregory II., upon receipt of the edict, called a synod at Rome to
consider it (726). The synod condemned the Iconoclastic heresy and
confirmed the use of images.[279:1] In 727, the Pope wrote his first
letter to the Emperor.[279:2] It was arrogant and dogmatic, without tact
or persuasiveness. It was full of the most ludicrous historical
blunders, and gave some fantastic interpretations of the Bible. In it,
the Pope justified the use of images, threatened the Emperor with the
power of the West, and told him that his portrait, once honoured
throughout Italy, had been destroyed everywhere. In the second letter,
the Pope plainly told the Emperor: "Doctrines are not the business of
the Emperor, but of the bishops." He declared furthermore that the whole
world was cursing the Emperor. "The very children mock thee! Go into a
school and say 'I am an enemy of images'; the scholars will hurl their
tablets at your head."[279:3] John of Damascus aimed two brilliant and
powerful orations at the Emperor in which is found perhaps the best
defence of image worship. He declared that the pictures were the "books
of the unlearned."[279:4] The professors of the University at
Constantinople declared their opposition to the edict.[279:5] The
inhabitants of Greece used the edict as an occasion for rebellion to
secure fiscal and administrative reforms, and even went so far as to
proclaim a rival Emperor.

Leo met all this opposition firmly. The Patriarch Germanus was deposed
(730) while Anastasius was put in his place, and the various outbreaks
were at once subdued with a strong hand. An effort was made to either
capture or kill the Pope. The University of Constantinople was closed
and the professors arrested; the Greek rebels were defeated and their
leaders beheaded; and an effort was made to stop the popular John of
Damascus. Leo then promulgated his second edict in 730 for the complete
abolition of image worship. Anastasius, the puppet patriarch, at once
countersigned the edict, and thus gave it ecclesiastical sanction. In
the East it was generally enforced. All images were removed from the
churches and burned; the painted walls were whitewashed over; only the
cross and the crucifix were left; but still the Iconolatræ were far from
being subdued. Meanwhile opposition in the West grew stronger. Gregory
III., the last Pontiff to be confirmed in his election by the Eastern
Emperor, called a council and excommunicated all Iconoclasts.[280:1] In
revenge, Leo sent a fleet against the Pope, which was wrecked, and also
extended the rule of the Patriarch of Constantinople over papal
territory in Greece and southern Italy. This action led the Pope to
begin negotiations with Charles Martel,[280:2] and that opened a new
chapter in the rise of the mediæval Church and in the world's history.

In 741, Leo was succeeded by his son, Constantine V., only twenty-two
years of age, a ruler and general of ability, but of low tastes and vile
habits. He became a zealous persecutor of image worship, an idol of the
Iconoclasts, and won the victory for their party. His policy was to
continue his father's work. Consequently in 754, he called a universal
council in Constantinople. Although it was the largest assembly ever
held up to that time, 338 bishops being present, yet neither the Pope,
nor the patriarchs of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem sent
representatives. Hence, it was not recognised as œcumenical. The use
of images and pictures was condemned as idolatry, and even the crucifix
was put under the ban. "The godless art of painting" was proscribed, and
the leaders of the image worshippers, Germanus, John of Damascus, and
George of Cyprus, were anathematised.[281:1] Backed up by these
measures, the Emperor resolved to root out the evil for ever. All images
were ordered destroyed; all pictures were taken out of the Church books;
all paintings on the church walls were removed; churches were decorated
with trees, fruits, and the chase; transgressors were cruelly punished;
and the citizens of Constantinople had to take an oath never again to
worship an image.[281:2]

The contest was renewed under Empress Irene (780-802), a young,
beautiful, ambitious, wicked Grecian, who favoured image worship. First,
she proclaimed toleration to both parties; then denied it to the
Iconoclasts. The highest civil dignities were given to the clergy and
monks; and the Patriarch of Constantinople became her prime minister. At
their suggestion, no doubt, she called the Council of Nicæa in 787 to
undo the work of the Council of Constantinople (754). There were present
375 bishops, and Pope Hadrian sent two representatives, but the three
eastern patriarchs were unable to send proxies, so two eastern monks
were appointed to sit and vote for all the patriarchs.[282:1] The
decrees of the Council of Constantinople were nullified because
heretical, and the Iconoclasts anathematised. Then image worship was
defined and authorised.[282:2] Many Iconoclastic bishops were induced to
renounce their heresy, and were freed from the ban. Finally, an image
was brought into the council and fervently and reverently kissed by all
present, after which the council adjourned.

Leo the Armenian, who seized the throne in 813, was unfriendly to
images. He called a synod of Constantinople in 815 in which the acts of
the second Council of Nicæa (787) were nullified. He forbade the
lighting of lamps and burning of incense before the images and had them
elevated in the churches out of the reach of the people in order to
prevent their worship. But Leo's widow, Theodora, restored the usages.
Thus, after a long, bitter struggle, images were finally restored in the
churches with great pomp and ceremony in 842. The "Festival of
Orthodoxy" is still celebrated on February 19th in the Greek Church.

After the great victory had been won for images, both the Latin and the
Greek Churches continued their use. The puritanical Iconoclastic
Controversy was in a certain sense the forerunner of the ruthless
destruction of paintings and statues in England, Holland, and Germany
during the Reformation. The Council of Trent passed finally on the
doctrine and use of images in the Catholic Church.[282:3]

As a result of this controversy, the Eastern Church was greatly weakened
through dissensions, checked in the growth of its organisation, robbed
of its independence, made a mere tool of the state, reformed and
purified even though image worship finally prevailed because it was
better understood, and compelled to recognise the power of the Pope.

The Western Church, on the other hand, was forced to define the right
and wrong use of images and was weakened somewhat by a schism like that
in the Eastern Church, because the Frankish Church opposed the worship
of images East and West. Pepin had the subject discussed in a synod near
Paris (767), in which sat legates from Rome and Constantinople. It was
decided that "images of saints made up or painted for the ornament and
beauty of churches might be endured, so long as they were not worshipped
in an idolatrous manner." Charles the Great, aided by Alcuin, published
the Caroline books denouncing all abuses in the worship of images,
though tolerating them for ornamentation and devotion.[283:1] The cross
and relics, however, were commended (790).[283:2] The synod of
Frankfort, held in 794, rejected the recommendations of the seventh
œcumenical Council of Nicæa and condemned image worship.[283:3] A
synod of Paris in 827 renewed the action of 794.[283:4] These doctrines
were continued by Agobard of Lyons, Claudius, Bishop of Turin, the
Waldenses in Piedmont, and the Lollards in England.[283:5]

Furthermore, the controversy enabled the Pope of Rome to declare his
universal supremacy in more sweeping terms than ever and to make it
good in the West. The rise of the Papacy, as the dominating force in the
Church of the West, made the rupture inevitable and permanent. The
series of protests in the East against the assumptions of the See of
Rome prevented any complete and absolute recognition of the supremacy of
the chair of St. Peter. As the years passed, the Eastern Church saw that
independence could be secured against the sweeping imperial claims of
Rome only by a declaration of total separation. The relations between
the East and West were likewise affected in another sense, because they
were separated politically when Charles the Great became Emperor of the
West (800), and were separated religiously when the allegiance of the
Pope was transferred from the eastern authority to the newly created
western Emperor.

The growing estrangement between the Greek and Roman Churches, which had
its origin in a fundamental difference in character, temperament, and
ideas, became conspicuous in the fourth century, reached an incurable
stage in the ninth century, and culminated in the eleventh century. Pope
Nicholas I. in 863 deposed Photius from the office of Patriarch of
Constantinople. Photius, in the counter synod held in 867, returned the
compliment by deposing the Pope for heresy and schism.[284:1]

The gulf between the East and West became practically irreparable when
Nicholas I., standing firmly on the Petrine theory and backed up by the
Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, wrote to Emperor Michael:

     You affirm that you and your predecessors have been accustomed
     to command us and ours; we utterly deny it. . . . The Roman
     Church encompasses and comprehends within herself, she being
     in herself the universal church, the mirror and model of that
     which she embraces within her bosom. Moreover, this vessel was
     shown to Peter alone, and he alone was commanded to kill and
     eat; as in like manner, after the resurrection, he alone of
     all the apostles received the divine command to draw to the
     shore the net full of fishes. And if unto us he committed that
     identical commission--which is verily and indeed so
     committed--to embrace in our paternal arms the whole flock of
     Christ, is it to be believed that we surrender to you any one
     of those sheep whom he hath given into our keeping?[285:1]

In 1054, the Pope excommunicated the patriarch and his whole Church for
censuring the faith of Rome. The courtesy was solemnly returned by
Constantinople against the Roman Church. Other eastern patriarchs
adhered to the See of Constantinople and the rupture was complete. The
sack of Constantinople by Latin Christians in the fourth crusade
(thirteenth century) widened the breach. At the Council of Lyons, 1274,
delegates of the Eastern Empire abjured the schism, by receiving the
Nicene Creed with "filioque" in it and by swearing to conform to the
Roman faith and to accept the supremacy of the Pope, but the eastern
patriarchs refused to do so. When, in 1439 at the Council of Florence,
the Eastern Emperor and churchmen signed a compact of reunion, they were
induced to acknowledge the Pope as the "successor of Peter the chief of
the apostles, and the vicar of Christ, the head of the whole Church, and
father and teacher of all Christians, to whom plenary power was given
by our Lord Jesus Christ to feed, rule, and govern the universal
Church." Other differences were patched up. The Pope, for his part,
agreed to induce the rulers of the West to go to the defence of the East
against the Turks, but failed to make his promise good. The people of
the East were sorely disappointed and forced the repudiation of the
agreement. In 1453, however, Constantinople fell a prey to the
Mohammedan Turks, and the strength of the Eastern Church was broken. In
modern times, papal absolutism and eastern stagnation have prevented the

In conclusion, the differences and resemblances between the Greek and
Roman Churches to-day might be stated. The Greek Church rejects the
filioque in the Latin creed; repudiates the immaculate conception of the
Virgin Mary (1854), and denies the infallibility of the Roman Pope
(1870). All the clergy are "popes" in the Greek Church and the lower
clergy are permitted to marry. The Greek Church gives and the Roman
Church withholds the communion wine from the laity. The Greek Church
uses leavened, and the Roman Church unleavened bread in the Eucharist.
The Greek Church holds to the trine immersion in baptism, repetition of
Holy Unction in illness, and infant communion. There is a difference in
rites of worship, in language, in art, in architecture, and in the
vestments employed. But both hold the fundamentals in the Nicene Creed;
both accept all the doctrinal decrees of the seven œcumenical
councils from 325 to 787; both practise image worship[286:2]; both
accept the mediæval doctrine against which the Reformation protested;
both believe in tradition and the Bible; both believe in the seven
sacraments; both teach transubstantiation; both offer masses for the
dead and the living; both sanction priestly absolution; both have three
orders of ministry; both are episcopally organised on a hierarchical
basis; both have rites and ceremonies that are identical, or at least
similar. All things considered, therefore, it seems that the
resemblances are far more striking than the differences.

From now on, interest in Church history centres in the Roman Church of
western Europe. The undignified quarrel over images gave the Pope an
occasion to declare his absolute independence of eastern imperial rule.
That fact gave a new bent to the Roman Church, forced upon it a more
genuine unity, compelled it to devote all its energies to the great
problems in the West, and enabled it to attain its acme under Innocent
III. in the thirteenth century. Had the unsatisfactory relationship with
the Eastern Church not been severed the history of the mediæval Church
in western Europe would have been very different. The separation must be
regarded, therefore, as a factor of no small moment in that process.
While the effective missionary efforts, having their source and purpose
in Rome, were winning all western Europe to a recognition of the Pope's
sovereignty, it was very essential that he should completely accomplish
his independence of Constantinople so that he would have a free hand to
work out the problems of the Western Church.



  1.--See Chapter IX.

  2.--John of Damascus, _On Holy Images_, Transl. by M. H. Allies.
          Lond., 1898. See _Nic. and Post-Nic. Fathers_, ix., ch.

  3.--Thatcher and McNeal, _A Source Book for Mediæval History_. N.
          Y., 1905.



     1.--Bury, I. B., _A History of the Later Rom. Emp._ Lond.,
          1889. 2 vols.

     2.--Finlay, G., _History of the Byzantine and Greek Empires
          from 716 to 1453_. Lond., 1854.

     3.--Hefele, C. J., _History of the Councils_, v., 260. Edinb.,

     4.--Howard, G. B., _The Schism between the Oriental and
          Western Churches_. Lond., 1892.

     5.--Neal, J. M., _History of the Holy Eastern Church_. Lond.,

     6.--Oman, C. W. C., _Story of the Byzantine Empire_. N. Y.,

     7.--Stanley, A. P., _Lectures on the History of the Eastern
          Church_. Lond., 1883.

     8.--Tozer, H. F., _The Church and the Eastern Empire_. N. Y.,

     9.--Wells, C. L., _The Age of Charlemagne_. N. Y., 1898.


    Adeney, ch. 9. Alzog, ii., ch. 5, p. 138 _f._, 322 _f._ Blunt,
    i., ch. 9. Bouzique, i., ch. 2. Brock, ch. 12-23. Butler, ch.
    36, 51, 52, 53. Coxe, Lect. 4, sec. 5. Darras, ii., 310, 324,
    464. Döllinger, iii., ch. 2, sec. 2, 3, 8, 9. Fisher, 63, 117,
    158. Foulkes, 264 _f._ Gibbon, ch. 49, 60. Gieseler, ii., 172,
    199-208. Gilmartin, i., ch. 33. Guericke § 37, 73. Hardwick,
    ch. 7. Hase, sec. 140. Hore, ch. 7, 10, 11. Hurst, i.,
    510-525. Jennings, i., ch. 8. Kurtz, i., 403-412. Milman, ii.,
    ch. 7-9. Milner, i., 445-446. Moeller, ii., 13-17, 127, 222.
    Mosheim, bk. 3, cent. 8, pt. 2, ch. 3. Neander, ii., 283-296;
    iii., 198. Newman, i., 386, 423. Robertson, bk. 3, ch. 4, 7.
    Schaff, sec. 100-106.


[265:1] Tozer, _The Ch. and the East. Emp._, 172.

[267:1] Herodotus, bk. 1, 132; Strabo, 732.

[267:2] Schoemann, _Griech. Alterthümer_, ii., 197; see Alex., _Strom._,
i., ch. 5, § 28; ch. ii., § 77.

[267:3] Preller, _Roman Mythology_, i.; Plutarch, _Numa_, c. 8; Aug.,
_City of God_, iv., ch. 31.

[267:4] Grimm, _Teutonic Myth._, i., 104.

[267:5] Ex. 20:4, 5; 25:18-20; 26:1; 32:4; 36:35; Deut. 4:15-18; 5:8, 9;
32:17; Gen. 31:19; Judg., 17:5; 18:30; Hos. 3:4; Zach. 10:2; 2 Kings
13:24; 1 Sam. 19:13, 16; Lev. 17:7; Ps. 106:37; 1 Kings 6:23, 32, 35;
Isa. 40:44; 30:22; Joseph., _Antiq._ xv., 8, 12; xviii., 3, 1.

[267:6] Joseph., _Antiq._, xv., ch. 8, § 1-2; _Jewish Wars_, i., ch. 33,
§ 2-3.

[267:7] _Against Celsus_, iv., 31.

[268:1] Rev. 15:2.

[268:2] _Her._ i., ch. 25, 6; Aug., _Her._ ch. 7.

[268:3] Northcote and Brownlow, _Roma Sotteranæ_; Northcote, _Epitaphs
of the Catacombs_.

[268:4] Hefele, i., 151.

[269:1] _De Pud._, 7, 10.

[269:2] _De Cor. Mil._, c. iii.; _Ad. Uxor._, ii., 5.

[269:3] _Paed._, iii., 11, § 59.

[269:4] Euseb., _Eccl. Hist._, ix., 9.

[269:5] Euseb., _Life of Const._, iii., 49.

[269:6] Sozomen, _Eccl. Hist._, i., 8.

[271:1] See Book iv., Letter 30.

[271:2] _Comm. on Ezek._, ix., 4.

[272:1] _Contra Judae. et Gentil._, § 9; see Neander, ii., 286.

[272:2] Euseb., _Life of Const._, iii., 49.

[272:3] Kugler, _Handbook of Painting_.

[272:4] Smith and Cheetham, art. on "Images," p. 816 _ff._

[273:1] _Imper. Decr. de Cultu Imag._, 618, ed., Goldast, Frankf., 1608.

[273:2] Greg. of Tours, _Mirac._, i., 22, 23; _Apol._ in Act 4, _Conc.
Nic._, ii.; Labb. vii., 240.

[273:3] _Apol._ in _Act 4_, _Conc. Nic._, ii.; Labb., vii., 237.

[274:1] Book ix., Letter 52.

[274:2] _Epist. ad eund._, ix., 9. See _Ep._, vii., 111.

[274:3] _On Holy Images_, ii., 747.

[275:1] _Adv. Her._, i., c. 25, § 6.

[275:2] _De Spect._, c. 23; _Adv. Herm._, c. 1; _De Idolatr._, c. 4.

[275:3] _Pratrept._, c. 4, § 62; _Strom._, vii., c. 5, § 28.

[275:4] _Adv. Celsus_, iv., § 31; viii., § 17.

[275:5] _Octav._, c. 9.

[275:6] _Instit._, ii., c. 2; _Epit._, c. 25.

[275:7] _Adv. Gent._, iii.

[276:1] Can. 36; Mansi, ii., 264. See Hefele, i., 151.

[276:2] _Dict. of Christian Biog._, 198; Mansi, xiii., 313.

[276:3] _De Fide et Symbolo_, c. 7.

[276:4] Migne, ii., 517-527.

[276:5] Kurtz, i., 364.

[276:6] Fleury, l., xxx., 18.

[276:7] _Ib._, l., xxx., 39. See Smith and Cheetham, art "Images."

[276:8] Bk. xi., Ep. 13. Read Neander, iii., 199 ff.

[277:1] These images were mosaics, frescoes, and movable flat icons like
those found in the East to-day. It is very unlikely that statues were
used in this early period.

[277:2] Finlay, i., 387; ii., 27-29.

[277:3] In 722 he ordered the Jews and Montanists to be baptised by

[278:1] Hefele, iii., 376.

[278:2] Neander, iii., 213.

[279:1] Mansi, xii., 267.

[279:2] Thatcher and McNeal, _A Source Book for Mediæval History_, No.
41; _Dict. of Christ. Biog._, art. on Leo III.; Mansi, xii., 960.

[279:3] Mansi, xii., 959; Hefele, iii., 389-404. Milman quotes this
letter as the first, ii., bk. 4, ch. 7.

[279:4] _Orat._, ii., § 10.

[279:5] Finlay, ii., 36.

[280:1] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 42.

[280:2] _Ibid._, No. 43.

[281:1] The Greek Church regards this as the seventh œcumenical
council. Finlay, ii., 57.

[281:2] Hefele, iii., 421.

[282:1] Neander, iii., 228; Hefele, iii., 460, 549; Schlosser, 279.

[282:2] Mansi, xiii., 378; Hefele, iii., 486.

[282:3] Session xxv., Dec., 1563; Schaff, _Creeds_, ii. See _Cath.

[283:1] See Smith and Cheetham, art. on "Images," for brief extracts in
English; Mombert, ch. 12.

[283:2] Schaff, iv., § 104; Neander, iii., 233; Gieseler, ii., 66;
Hefele, iii., 694.

[283:3] Gieseler, ii., 67; Hardwick, 78.

[283:4] Mansi, xiv., 415; Hefele, iv., 41.

[283:5] Schaff, iv., § 105.

[284:1] See Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, iii., 348-423; Milman, bk. v.,
ch. 4; Neander, iii., 553-586; Gieseler, ii., 216. The Sources are given
in Mansi, xvi., and Hardouin, v.-vi.

[285:1] This remarkable letter is given in full in Baronius, ed. by
Pagi, ann. 867, note to § 4. Parts are translated in Greenwood,
_Cathedra Petri_, iii., 364-371.

[286:1] Howard, _Schism between the Orthodox and West. Churches_, Lond.,

[286:2] The Eastern Church uses only the "icon," a flat representation.



     OUTLINE: I.--Church and state before Constantine. II.--Church
     and state from Constantine to 476. III.--Period of the
     Ostrogothic rule (476-532). IV.--Reunion of Italy with the
     Eastern Empire. V.--Alliance between the Papacy and the
     Franks. VI.--Restoration of the Empire in the West in 800.
     VII.--Effect of the rise of national states on the Church.

By the theory of the Roman constitution, the Emperor was not only an
autocrat in all political matters, but was also the Pontifex Maximus of
religions[289:1]; consequently, all foreign religions must conform to
the constitution or else perish as illegal. The political philosophy of
early Christianity in reference to the Roman Empire was not very clearly
defined. Jesus taught charity and love, gave the Golden Rule as the law
of life, but apparently was indifferent as to civil government. He took
no part in political discussions; said "My kingdom is not of this
world"; disparaged worldly power and wealth, and advised the rich young
man: "Sell all thou hast and give it to the poor." He did recognise the
duty of tribute to the state, however, saying "Render unto Cæsar the
things that are Cæsar's," but did little more. The Apostles continued
the teachings of Jesus, emphasised equality and brotherhood; organised
the Church on a communistic, democratic basis; and were likewise
indifferent to wealth and property. They too, recognised the state and
its essential institutions. Slaves were told to obey their
masters.[290:1] Paul was very particular to explain the obligation of
Christians to the state and said: "Let every soul be subjected unto the
higher powers. For there is no power but of God."[290:2] He advised the
payment of taxes as a just requisition.[290:3] And he himself, when
arrested for disturbing the peace, appealed to Rome.[290:4] Peter
likewise advised Christians to obey "every ordinance of man for the
Lord's sake; whether it be to the king as supreme; or unto governors, as
unto them that are sent by him."[290:5]

The early Church Fathers made no additions to the political science of
Jesus and his Apostles. Apparently no questions of seriously conflicting
allegiance arose during the whole of the first century. As individuals
these early Christians no doubt performed all the duties and paid all
the contributions demanded by the Empire. From a strictly legal
standpoint, however, the Church was not incorporated among the
recognised cults, that is, it was not, like Judaism, a "religio licita."
Nevertheless, it was not disturbed for some years.[290:6] Things must
have gone along, for the most part, in a customary manner. Pliny's
letter to Trajan (about 111) describes the Christians in Bythinia as
law-abiding. With the rapid territorial and numerical increase of
Christianity, the state was forced to take cognisance of it and the
inevitable conflict occurred. The Christians refused to conform to Roman
worship and persecution resulted. Persecution in time produced, on the
part of many Christians, a refusal to perform the duties of civil and
military service, but it cannot be proved that such hostility was
universal. Indeed there is much evidence to show a general disposition
to compromise with imperial demands.[291:1]

With respect to the general duty of obeying the law of the Empire the
Fathers of the ante-Constantine period were quite unanimous in their
approval. In fact they boasted of their political loyalty and denied all
accusations to the contrary. Justin Martyr said that "wherever we are we
pay the taxes and the tribute imposed . . . as we were instructed to do
by Him," and "while we worship God alone in all other matters, we
cheerfully submit ourselves to you, confessing you to be the kings and
rulers of men." Irenæus asserted: "we ought to obey powers and earthly
authorities, inasmuch as they are constituted not by the devil, but
God." These passages, and many others, which are undoubtedly typical,
show that it was the persuasion of the Church that conformity was a
general obligation. That this fealty was appreciated is seen in the fact
that the Church, at least in the time of Emperor Alexander Severus
(222), was permitted to own lands, to erect churches, to elect officers
openly, and to send officials to court.[291:2] It was not, however,
until 312 that these rights were legalised. One must never lose sight
of the fact that it was both very easy and very natural for the clergy
and the people to accommodate themselves to the new order of things, and
to recognise in these new relationships a reproduction of the theocratic
constitution of God's subjects under the old covenant. Indeed it was
practically impossible for the masses who came to march under the cross
in those days to conceive of a Church without some relation to the
state. To-day to a modern man's eyes appears only the antagonism between
the Church and state.

There was a most striking contrast, from the standpoint of political
science, between the Roman and Christian religions. The Roman Emperor
identified religion with the state; Christianity separated God from
Cæsar. The Roman religion was restricted to earth; Christianity made the
world to come the most important part of life. The Roman religion was
only for Romans; Christianity was as wide as the world. Roman paganism
fell and the Roman Empire perished, but Roman Christianity, clothed in
their form, arose on their ruins to rule the world for more than a
thousand years.[292:1]

Constantine legalised Christianity, but thereby subjected it to the
state. He had no idea whatever of surrendering to it any of his
autocratic prerogatives. He became virtually the Pontifex Maximus[292:2]
of his new religion by controlling those who performed the sacred rites,
and by defining its faith, discipline, organisation, policy, and
privileges. He enacted legislation for Christianity just as his
predecessors had for paganism. The Church recognised its subjection to
the Emperor without a complaint and permitted him to appoint and depose
its officers, to call and dismiss synods and councils, like Arles (314)
and Nicæa (325), and almost to replace the Holy Ghost itself in
determining the proceedings.[293:1] This marked a revolution in the
relation of the Church to the Empire, for each made a conquest of the

It has been customary for Church historians quite generally to
characterise the union of the Church and state under Constantine as an
unmitigated curse that gave birth to a multitude of evils in the Church
which led directly to the Reformation. That contention is one-sided and
unfair. Whether the Church and state be regarded as both divine, or both
human, or one human and the other divine, the historical fact remains
that their union was absolutely necessary and inevitable. When all the
forces and factors of the time are carefully and duly considered, it is
impossible to conceive of any other solution of the problem in the
fourth century.[293:2] That the union did paganise and materialise the
Church no one can deny,[293:3] but in compensation the Empire was
Christianised and spiritualised. The resultant was mediæval Christianity
and the ecclesiastical Empire. The Church, without the strength it
received from the state, could not have met the barbarians of the North,
the Mohammedans of the South, and the heretics within, and successfully
conquered the first, held the second in check, and subdued the third.
Much of what we enjoy to-day along the lines of culture, law, and
religion is due in great measure to that alliance. After the time of
Constantine the Church becomes such a vital and integral part of the
life of Europe that history for a thousand years must be viewed through
the eyes of the Church and estimated by her standards.

In the two centuries which intervened between the time of Constantine
and that of Justinian, imperial legislation directly affecting the
Church in all its institutions made rapid progress. The successors of
Constantine continued his policy. Imperial sanction was necessary for
the validity of every important act in connection with the Church.
Councils were called and dismissed in the name of the sovereign, and
their proceedings were not valid without his approval. At the Council of
Tyre (335), a portion of the bishops appealed to the Emperor's
commissioner to settle the dispute about the Arian question, but he
declared that the question must be submitted to his imperial master for
final decision since it was his province to legislate on all matters
concerning the Church.[294:1] Constantius vetoed a portion of the canons
of Remini (360).[294:2] The Emperors Theodosius II. and Valentinian III.
likewise rebuked the Council of Ephesus (431), and dictated its
procedure.[294:3] The Council of Chalcedon (451) was also told to hurry
up its work because the imperial commissioners present were needed in
state affairs.[294:4] During this period, however, it is possible to
detect pretensions on the part of the Bishop of Rome to the right to
call and preside over councils.[294:5] Here began the conflict over
ecclesiastical sovereignty which was to end in a complete victory for
the Roman Church.

The later Emperors similarly exercised the right to decide all disputed
points of doctrine, discipline, and elections. They nominated, or at
least confirmed, the most influential metropolitans and patriarchs. Thus
in 377, the Emperor's representative decided between two rival claimants
to the apostolic see of Antioch.[295:1] Again, the Roman prefect decided
between two rival claimants to the chair of St. Peter, Ursinus and
Damasus, in favour of the latter, and punished adherents of the
former.[295:2] When rival Popes appealed to Honorius, he appointed a
temporary Pope until he could examine into the case. Then he decided in
favour of Boniface I. and issued an edict to prevent the recurrence of
such a state of affairs.[295:3] The Emperor was the court of last appeal
in all ecclesiastical cases. This was recognised by a council of Rome
held by Ambrose in 378, which requested of Emperor Gratian that when a
Roman bishop was accused, he might always be tried by the imperial
council.[295:4] The best evidence, however, of the subordination of the
spiritual to the temporal authority in this period is found in the
legislation. The whole field of Church government and ecclesiastical
life and all the relations, duties, morals, and acts of the clergy are
covered in the civil laws of the time. Even heresy was put to flight by
imperial edict.[295:5]

During the period of Ostrogothic rule in Italy from 476 to 552, the
Roman Church made a few weak efforts to assert her independence. We
find, for instance, a Roman synod, held in 502, resolving that no layman
has a right to interfere in Church matters. But the Arian Ostrogothic
rulers declared that they had succeeded to the Roman Empire's power over
the Church. Indeed the Theodosian Code was practically incorporated in
the Visigothic Code in 506 by Alaric II. Consequently, Odoacer issued a
decree forbidding the alienation of Church property. Theodoric in 498
decided between two rival claimants to the Papacy, Symmachus and
Lawrence, giving the former the papal chair and the latter a
bishopric.[296:1] When a synod was called later to try Symmachus (501),
it was convened in Theodoric's name. Theodoric even appointed a
"visitor" to reform the abuses in the Church. He sent Pope John I. to
the eastern Emperor on an embassy, and on his return, dissatisfied with
his work, threw him into prison, where he died. Athalaric instructed
Pope John II. how to prevent simony in episcopal and papal

Under Justinian the Great (527-565), who by conquest reunited Italy with
the eastern Empire in 552, the Popes and the Western Church were again
subjected to the eastern rule. Like the Patriarch of Constantinople the
Pope was now the nominee of the Emperor and could be removed at the
pleasure of the prince. Sylverius, made Pope by the Arian Goth
Theodatus, was therefore deposed and exiled by the Emperor's successful
general, Belisarius, and a new Pope was chosen. Vigillus, a favourite of
the Empress, installed as Pope by Belisarius (537), was peremptorily
summoned to Constantinople to answer for his conduct. There a synod was
called, and he was excommunicated. His successor, Pelagius I., was
apparently appointed directly by the Emperor. Justinian, like
Constantine, exercised the right to legislate for every phase of Church
life.[297:1] His theory was that "human and divine authority," that is
civic and ecclesiastical law, "combining in one and the same act,"
formed "one true and perfect law for all."[297:2] He meant to exercise a
spiritual power very much like the temporal power he wielded. Hence he
insisted that the election of a Pope in Rome by the clergy, senate, and
people should not be valid until confirmed by him. This practically
reduced the Pope of Rome to the position of eastern bishops. The
organisation of the Church was guarded and regulated.[297:3] The
property of the Church was protected. The jurisdiction of the clergy was
clearly defined and minutely regulated as an extension of civil power.
In all cases the Emperor was the court of final decision.

This arbitrary interference with the affairs of the Western Church by
the imperial authority at Constantinople brought the papal hierarchy to
the brink of ruin. The clergy were alarmed at this invasion of the
sacred canons of the Council of Chalcedon, and the unity of the Western
Church, which had been so strong for several centuries, was seriously
threatened. The clergy of Gaul "silently withdrew from, or boldly
renounced their communion with Rome; the Illyrian episcopacy prepared to
follow their example"; and Africa became defiant.[298:1] Even the
Italian provinces like Venetia and Liguria became disaffected. Pope
Pelagius I., indebted to the Emperor for his office, was forced to beg
the intervention of the secular arm to compel the ecclesiastical rebels
to continue true to their allegiance to the See of Peter. Sorrowful
indeed was this spectacle to those who could recall the palmy days of
Leo the Great, Felix, Gelasius, and Hormisdas, who had imposed their
will on all ecclesiastics, had planted the banner of Roman supremacy in
every corner of Christendom, and had even imposed their laws on princes.
But it must be remembered that the theory on which Roman leadership
rested had not been assailed, and was soon to reassert itself.

In the election of a Pope in 577, the Roman clergy resumed their
independence and ventured to consecrate and to inaugurate a successor
without even waiting for imperial license. Hence Pelagius II. was the
first independently elected Pontiff since the Byzantine conquest of
Italy. He reasserted the universal primacy of the Bishop of Rome in a
bold tone, and declared that anything done without papal authority was
null and void.[298:2] Meanwhile the disaffection in the West had given
way to pronounced loyalty to Rome.

Even Pope Gregory the Great did not question the supremacy of the
temporal power. He acknowledged the Emperor as his "earthly master" and
said that God had given the ruler dominion even over the
priesthood.[299:1] When Emperor Maurice renewed an old edict prohibiting
monasteries from receiving soldiers as monks (593), Gregory timidly
objected, but quieted his conscience by saying: "What am I but a worm
and dust thus to speak to my masters? . . . I have done what was my duty
in every particular; I have obeyed the Emperor and have not hushed in
silence what I felt to be due to God."[299:2] He attempted, however to
carry out the spirit of the law.[299:3] But Gregory the Great was
willing to compromise the substantial prerogatives of his office. As the
subject of the Emperor, he could yield a point. As Pope he stood as firm
as a rock, yet was too wise to provoke a disruption which could bring
nothing but injury to the unity and power of the Church.

Popes, like patriarchs, were required to keep an "agent" at the eastern
court. The Emperors continued to insist on the right to confirm all
papal elections, and, of course, this practically put the election into
their hands, as is shown by the elevation of so many "agents" to the
papal throne, viz., Vigillus, Pelagius I., Gregory the Great, Sabinian,
etc. The Popes, on their installation, were expected to pay tribute to
the eastern Emperor.[299:4] Even in questions of doctrine, the Emperor
might enforce his will by exiling an obstinate Pope, as in the case of
Martin I. (655).

During the period from 552 to 800, the papal power was growing stronger
all the time, and only awaited a favourable opportunity to issue a
declaration of independence. The Italians hated both the Greeks and
Lombards as foreign masters. Between the two stood the Pope as the only
representative of Italian nationality and the sole champion of Italian
independence. The Papacy was in theory democratic, and celibacy made a
dynasty impossible. The occasion for a declaration of independence was
the Iconoclastic Controversy; the leaders were Gregory II. and Gregory
III., who formally excommunicated Emperor Leo and his hierarchy; and the
new ally to make the independence good was the family of Pepin in Gaul
and Germany. After 772, the papal documents do not bear the name of the
eastern Emperor.[300:1]

The seventh and eighth centuries in European history reveal the elements
of religious and political life in a state of incessant and violent
fermentation. Sudden changes took place in the relative position of
nations. The old Empire was disintegrating and new kingdoms were
appearing. During this period of political transformation, the Church
was the only system that persisted in the old channel that it had
created for itself. The Papacy, though not yet an acknowledged kingdom
in the world, still stood among the political powers as a self-existent
organisation, exercising an influence over princes and subjects. The
governments were isolated, divided, anarchical. In the Church alone was
there unity, order, method, organisation, and supreme purpose. There
alone was found facility of communication and cordial interchange of
views. The Popes of Rome kept up a constant intercourse with all nations
from Asia to the Atlantic and constituted the one recognised unifying
force in Europe standing for the highest ideals of the age along all

Up to this period the See of Rome had gone far toward establishing an
ecclesiastical monarchy. Every principle of an unlimited religious
autocracy had been asserted and to a considerable extent established.
The outward machinery for this spiritual absolutism had been created and
partially put in motion. But many obstacles to the smooth working of the
system were still encountered. Chief among these impediments was the
strong arm of the eastern Empire. Until the fetters of political
dependence were broken, the Papacy could never accomplish its great

Hitherto the Church of Rome had assumed a political headship on many
occasions, but it was the result of some accidental emergency and soon
disappeared. Nevertheless the experience gained in this exercise of
secular authority created an ambition on the part of the Roman Pontiffs
for political independence, furnished precedents for future claims, and
led the Italians to believe that the head of the Church could give them
efficient government in temporal affairs as well as spiritual. The great
problem before the successors of St. Peter at this time was how to
manage the ecclesiastical ascendency already gained over the Western
Church, so as to render it serviceable in securing that political
self-existence so essential not only to maintain the ground already won
but also to realise their high hopes in other directions. At this
juncture a combination of external causes, unparalleled in the world's
history, came in to favour the emancipation of the Papacy from the last
feeble bonds of a nominal dependency and to permit of the assumption of
temporal sovereignty virtually if not in recognised title. This meant
the realisation of the mediæval Church.

Emperor Leo's attempt to abolish the worship of images in Christendom
provoked a rebellion in Italy headed by the Pope. Luitprand, seeing his
opportunity as King of the Lombards, fell on the exarchate as the
champion of images and on Rome as the supposed ally of the Emperor. The
Pope, perilously placed between a heretic and an invader, appealed for
help to a Catholic chief across the Alps who had just saved Christendom
by defeating the Mohammedans on the field of Poitiers. Gregory III.
excommunicated the eastern Emperor and begged Charles Martel to hasten
to the succour of the Holy Church. Here the Roman Pontiff leads a
political revolt against his legitimate sovereign and appeals to a
foreign power to make the revolt successful. The Bishop of Rome has
stepped into the position of a temporal prince with the political future
of Italy in his hands.

The alliance of the Papacy with the Franks marks a new epoch not only in
Church history, but in the history of western Europe. These Franks
settled in northern France about 250, and began to Germanise the Celtic
and Romanic races and institutions found there. But the current of Roman
civilisation was so strong that the Franks were swept into it before
they realised it. Under Clovis, they were converted directly to Roman
Christianity.[302:1] With the aid of the Roman Christians, he was able
to conquer the Arian princes of the western Goths, Burgundians, and
Bavarians. He and his successors gave the Church much property,
acquiesced in the papal claims, and helped to extend the papal power
throughout the West, though they ruled the bishops and clergy as their
vassals.[303:1] Clovis, himself, convoked synods and enacted Church
laws. Later rulers followed these precedents.[303:2] Thus the way was
prepared for a successful alliance between the Frankish ruler and the

The house of Pepin was to play an important part in this new
arrangement. In 622, Pepin of Laudon, a zealous champion of
Christianity, was made mayor of the palace in Austrasia. Pepin of
Herstal, grandson of the first Pepin, became in 688 a mayor of the
palace for all France (d. 714). He succeeded in making the office
hereditary in his family. A series of infant kings[303:4] made the mayor
virtually king. Pepin viewed the Church as a powerful ally, and fostered
missionaries. Under him, twenty bishoprics were founded, and the Church
secured large territorial possessions.[303:5]

Charles Martel, after a contest of four years, succeeded to his father's
office in 718. He ruled France with the hand of a master, Christianised
the Frisians on the north by force, aided Boniface, the apostle of the
Germans, defeated the Saracens at the battle of Tours (732), and drove
them back into Spain.[303:6] On the death of Theodoric IV. (737),
Charles ruled the Franks directly without setting up another puppet
king. Pope Gregory III. in 739 sent him the keys of St. Peter's grave,
with the offer of the sovereignty of Rome and Italy in return for aid
against the Lombards.[303:7] This proffered alliance was refused, but
Charles offered to mediate between the Pope and the Lombards.[304:1] He
dealt with Church endowments as with any other part of the royal domain.
He gave to his liege Milo the archbishoprics of Rheims and Treves, and
to his nephew Hugh the archbishoprics of Rouen, Paris, and Bayeau with
several abbeys. When he died in 741, "he divided his kingdom between his
sons"--a proof that not only the office of mayor of the palace, but also
that of king, had become practically hereditary in his family; yet
Charles Martel had never assumed the title of king.

The actual alliance of the Pope with the Franks was consummated with
Pepin the Short. The occasion for the compact was the Iconoclastic
Controversy in the East, and the change of dynasty in the West. Pepin
the Short accepted what Charles Martel had refused. He ruled Neustria,
while Carloman, his brother, ruled Austrasia (741-747). When Carloman
became a monk (747), Pepin was left as the sole ruler of all France, but
still under a phantom Merovingian king. In 751, with the consent of the
Franks in their annual assembly, two churchmen were sent to Rome to ask
Pope Zacharias, acting in the capacity of an international arbiter,
whether the real king ought not to take the name of king. The Pope
answered in the affirmative, and thus authorised the usurpation.[304:2]
Thus a new prerogative of the Holy See came into active existence. The
next year the assembly of Soissons elected Pepin and his wife King and
Queen of France. Childeric III., the Merovingian weakling, was shorn of
both his royal hair and his royal crown, and shut up in a monastery.
Boniface in all probability then anointed the head appointed by the
Pope to wear the French crown.[305:1]

Through this alliance, the Pope expected to make the declaration of
independence from the eastern Empire good, to increase and extend papal
power in the West, to establish a precedent for deposing and enthroning
kings--a significant thing for the future,--and to gain material help
against the Arian Lombards who were threatening Rome.[305:2] In 753,
Pope Stephen II., who succeeded Zacharias (752), fled to France from the
Lombards to implore aid from Pepin against them. In sack-cloth and
ashes, he threw himself at the King's feet and would not rise until his
petition was granted.[305:3] The Pope himself now solemnly anointed
Pepin and his family with royal power, at St. Denis, and made him and
his two sons patricians of Rome.[305:4] After that Pepin called himself
"by the grace of God, King of the Franks."

Pepin repaid the Pope by making two excursions into Italy against the
Lombards. He took an army to Italy in 754, defeated the Pope's enemies,
and compelled them to sign a treaty respecting the rights and territory
of the Roman See, but the Franks had scarcely recrossed the Alps before
the promises were broken. Pepin, therefore, entered Italy a second time
(755), called thither by the famous letter purporting to be from St.
Peter himself.[306:1] The Lombard power was effectually broken. The
towns and lands of the exarchate and Romagna, claimed by both the
Lombards and the eastern Emperor, were given to the Pope.[306:2] This is
the famous "Donation of Pepin" by which his envoy laid the conquest of
twenty-two cities at the shrine of St. Peter, and thus began the
temporal power of the Pope.[306:3] The act of donation is lost.[306:4]
The Pope had owned tracts of land all over the Empire before, but now he
becomes through this gift a temporal sovereign over a large part of
Italy known as the "Patrimony of St. Peter," or the "States of the
Church," which continued until 1870, when it was absorbed into the new
kingdom of Italy. This act changed the whole later history of the
Papacy[306:5] and provoked a long controversy with the secular powers of
Europe. Pepin continued to labour to build up the Church in France by
restoring confiscated Church property,[306:6] by undertaking needed
reforms in discipline and organisation,[306:7] and by giving material
assistance and valuable relics to many religious foundations.

This alliance between the most powerful representative of the Germanic
world and the leader of Roman Christendom in the West was one of the
most eventful coalitions in the history of Europe.[307:1] It was the
event upon which all mediæval history turned. It created a new political
organisation in western Europe with the Pope and German Emperor at the
head. For centuries, it affected every institution in western Europe.
After Pepin, each new Pope sent a delegation with the key and flag of
Rome and the key of St. Peter's tomb to the Frankish rulers for
confirmation of the election and to give the king the oath of
allegiance. Thus, the strongest western king assumed the same
prerogative over the Church which the eastern Emperor had exercised.
Pepin's policy was followed by Charles the Great, the German Emperors,
the Austrian Emperors, Napoleon the Great, and Napoleon III.

The next important step in the relations between Church and state was
the restoration of the Roman Empire in the West in 800 by Charles the
Great,[307:2] the son of Pepin. Charles was born in 742, and received
the education of a warrior. At the age of twelve, he was anointed king,
with his father and brother, by Pope Stephen II. (754). As a boy, he
participated in military expeditions and gained considerable renown for
his ability, his independence, and his prowess. When his father died in
768, he ruled jointly with his brother Carloman, whom he apparently
hated very bitterly, and with whom he quarrelled continually, until 771,
when Carloman died and Charles assumed his rule as King of all the

The first problem which engaged his attention was to strengthen and
extend his kingdom. This he accomplished by almost incessant military
expeditions, of which he made fifty-three. His domain was extended
north, east, and south. The Bretons were subdued on the north; the
Saxons on the east were conquered after cruelly murdering 4000
prisoners, laying waste their land with fire and sword, and
transplanting 10,000 families elsewhere in Germany and in Gaul.[308:1]
The Slavs beyond the Saxons,[308:2] the Bavarians in the south-east, the
Saracens and Basques in the south,[308:3] the Avars in Pannonia,[308:4]
and the Lombards in Italy, were all subjugated. The result of this
military activity was that Charles ruled over France, nearly all of
Italy, a large part of Germany, Holland and Belgium, and a corner of
Spain. Then by shrewd marriage alliances, he cemented these conquests.
He married his dukes and counts to the princesses of powerful lords and
kings, and he personally took as his wife, in turn, a Lombard, a
Swabian, an east Frankish, an Alemannian princess, and even proposed
marriage to the eastern Empress. He assumed the crown of Lombardy in
773. All parts of this vast realm were held together by a complete
system of royal laws regulating the whole life of his people even in the
minutest details.[308:5]

Charles, as "Patrician of Rome," was no less active in religious lines.
He inherited the alliance with the Papacy and continued it. He protected
the Church against the Saracens in Spain, the pagans to the north and
east, the Arian Lombards in Italy, and the eastern Emperors. After
freeing the Papacy from the Lombards in 774, 781, and 799, he renewed
the "Donation of Pepin" and made some valuable additions.[309:1] He
viewed the Pope, however, as merely the chief bishop in his realm. In
796 Pope Leo III. sent him the key and flag of Rome and the key of St.
Peter's tomb as tokens of submission; and three years later the same
Pope fled to Charles for safety and succour. He reformed and reorganised
the Church in his kingdom and made himself its real head. He carried on
the missionary labours of Boniface by converting the Saxons at the
sword's point, and by forcing Christianity upon the Avars. He preached
to the whole hierarchy, held Church councils, and even admonished the
Pope. He refused to champion the Pope's cause in the Iconoclastic
Controversy, but took a sane middle ground with a leaning toward
iconoclasm. In a council at Frankfort, he presided, and had the council
legislate on discipline and even on dogma (794).[309:2]

The career of Charles as Emperor of the Roman Empire in the West
(800-814) must now be considered.[309:3]

Many causes seemed to be operating to open up this new field for his
masterly ability. A woman, having put out the eyes of her son, was
ruling in the East, contrary to the Roman constitution. Charles had
carved out an Empire with his sword and was undisputed master of the
West. He was the recognised Emperor in power, if not in name. He had
become the defender of the Church and the protector of the Pope. To
assume the imperial crown was not nearly so radical or unnatural an
act, then, as it might seem. In 799, when Pope Leo III. fled from the
Roman mob to Charles at Paderborn, Charles gave him royal entertainment,
promised aid, notified his Frankish diet of his intentions (Aug., 800),
crossed the Alps with an army, and entered Rome in joyous triumph (Nov.,
800).[310:1] There he held a solemn synod in St. Peter's to investigate
the causes of the riot which had driven the Pope out, and also the
charges made against him. The Pontiff was freed of all guilt.[310:2]

The reward for Charles's friendly protection soon came. On Christmas
eve, 800, while he was kneeling in prayer before the altar of St. Peter,
the Church being crowded with the clergy, soldiers, and common people,
the Pope suddenly put a golden crown upon the king's head, while the
Romans shouted: "To Charles Augustus, crowned by God, great and pacific
Emperor of the Romans, life and victory." The Pope then adored him as
Emperor Augustus by bowing the knee as his first subject. The drama was
concluded by anointing Charles and his son Pepin with the sacred

Whether or not this was a surprise to Charles is a disputed question. He
pretended to be greatly surprised, even angered, at the Pope's trick,
and declared that he would not have gone to Church had he known of
it.[310:4] There seems to be little doubt about its being premeditated
by the Pope. The probability is that no surprise was ever more carefully
prearranged on both sides. It is easy to imagine the possibility of its
being planned out at Paderborn over the wine cups and venison stews. It
was very clearly a fine piece of acting on the part of both the Pope and
the king. Certainly every act of the two men for some time previous
pointed directly and unmistakably to that result.[311:1] If we can
believe Charles's own repeated assertions, the exact time and manner may
have been unknown to him, but for years, perhaps as early as 785,
Charles had spoken of the possibility. Alcuin, the great confidant of
Charles in educational and religious matters, knew of the plan before
800. It had naturally often been suggested to the king by his own
officers and nobles and most likely urged by the Popes themselves.[311:2]
In fact the history of both the Frankish dynasty and the Papacy for some
years had been steadily tending to this result as a climax.

The coronation itself was significant for many reasons. Constitutionally
it made the Pope and Charles traitors to the eastern Emperor. Charles
apparently realised this, and, again being a widower, proposed marrying
Irene, the eastern Empress, in order to unite the two parts of the
Empire and thus avoid trouble.[311:3] But so frequently had the Pope and
the Romans broken their allegiance to the East, that this act was not
generally viewed as a rebellion. Furthermore, they assumed that they
stood upon the lofty ground of right in making the transfer. Henceforth,
in the western lists of Emperors, Charles was made to follow Constantine
VI. as the sixty-eighth successor of the first Roman Cæsar.[311:4] In
812, the eastern Emperor was induced to recognise his western brother's
imperial title. The old Roman Empire was now restored in the West on a
Germanic rather than a Roman basis, a fact which revealed the new and
decisive Germanic element in the West. Both the Emperor and the Pope
were benefited beyond measurement by the change, and it is difficult to
say which the more. A Frankish ruler and his family had become the
successors of the Cæsars. The Pope assumed that he had created the
Emperor and henceforth insisted upon the necessity of papal consecration
to the validity of imperial power.[312:1] The Pope had received a
powerful defender and a master who laboured unceasingly to build up the
Church. The foundation was laid for the two rival theories of the
relation of Church and state, viz., the papal theory and the imperial
theory. Henceforth, both Pope and Emperor have a new meaning and a
different career. A new chapter in mediæval history and in European
civilisation was introduced. Christmas 800 "was the most important day
for the next thousand years of the world's history."[312:2]

The results of the rule of Charles as Emperor (800-814) will now be

1. _Religious._ As Emperor, Charles regarded himself, like the early
Cæsars, as the head of the Church. Hence he spent the winter of 800-801
in settling religious affairs in Italy. He insisted on rigid obedience
in the hierarchy and the subjection of all ecclesiastical authority to
the imperial will. "The Church had to obey him, not he the Church." The
Pope was his chief bishop in his capital city, but always treated with
filial respect and consideration. The bishops were his sworn vassals,
like counts. The appellate power of Rome was never once used during his
rule. He held the appointment of the higher clergy in his own hands,
though after 803, he permitted the appearance of a popular
election.[313:1] He issued edicts on Church matters with as much
authority as in purely secular affairs. In fact, in his laws the
political and religious are so blended that they can hardly be
separated.[313:2] His conception of the relation of the Church and state
has played a vital part in the history of Europe down to the present
time. That relationship was stated by Charles in these words: "It is my
bounden duty, by the help of the divine compassion, everywhere to defend
outwardly by arms the Holy Church of Christ against every attack of the
heathen and every devastation caused by unbelievers, and inwardly to
defend it by the recognition of the general faith. But it is your duty,
Holy Father, to raise your hands to God, as Moses did, and to support my
military services by your prayers."[313:3] It is very evident that in
his mind the old Roman idea of the relation of Church and Empire was
dominant. The connection of Church and state, which Constantine founded,
he established on a firmer basis. The initiative and decision of all
ecclesiastical cases were in his hands.[313:4] He called Church councils
and presided over them just as he summoned his privy council. The
council of Arles (813) sent him its canons to be changed and ratified
at will.[314:1] Discipline, faith, and doctrine all came within his
jurisdiction. He even put _filioque_ into the Nicene Creed against the
Pope's remonstrances (809).[314:2] In short, he organised, systematised,
and controlled the Church in all its branches as a necessary part of his
theocracy.[314:3] He ruled as a David, or a Josiah rather than an
Augustus or a Constantine. Churchmen of ability held seats in the civil
assemblies and were given important political positions. The Church was
forced to contribute soldiers and money to maintain the Empire,[314:4]
although the clergy themselves in 801 were forbidden to participate in
military life. At the same time, he gave the Church for the first time
the legal right to collect tithes, bestowed rich gifts, and endowed
monasteries, splendid churches and cathedrals. No wonder a satirical
priest complained that the power of Peter was confined to heaven, while
the Church militant was the property of the king of the Franks.

The Pope and clergy gladly acquiesced in the usurpation of Charles as
they did in that of Constantine and even gave him the papal title of
"Bishop of Bishops" and "David." The grateful Pope Adrian in a council
of fifty-three bishops gave him the right to name successors for the
Holy See.[314:5] This was little more, however, than the transference to
Charles of a right exercised by all the eastern Emperors. Stephen IV.
decreed that no Pope could be elected save in the presence of imperial
delegates (815).[314:6] Pope Paschal III. had the great patron of the
Church canonised. Even the Patriarch of Jerusalem recognised him as the
head of Christendom and sent him the keys of the Holy Sepulchre on Mount
Calvary and the flag of the city.[315:1]

2. _Political._ Charles clearly differentiated between his office as
king and as Emperor. In recognition of his new dignity, he laid aside
his German royal costume, and donned the Roman imperial tunic, chlamys,
and sandals.[315:2] He ordered that "every man in his whole realm be he
clergyman or be he layman, shall renew to him as Emperor the vow of
fidelity previously taken to him as king," and that "those who have not
yet taken the former vow, shall now do likewise, even down to boys
twelve years of age" (802).[315:3] Rome was the capital of his Empire;
Aachen, of his German kingdom. He divided his Empire among his three
sons as kings, but the death of two of them left Louis both king and
Emperor.[315:4] The Empire which he carved out with the sword was now
unified and ruled by imperial law instead of tradition and custom. His
Empire embraced all western continental Europe except central and
southern Spain and southern Italy. It included Germans as well as
Romans, Slavs, Celts, and Greeks, and was held together by an imperial
army.[315:5] It united the Teutonic civilisation with the Romanic on a
Christian basis. It was divided into twenty-two archbishoprics.

Charles, as the new Constantine of the West, was the absolute sovereign
of this realm. His laws covered every detail in the whole life of his
people.[316:1] Bishops were forbidden to keep falcons; nuns must not
write love letters; the kind of altar pieces used in Churches was
specified; priests were not to wear shoes in divine services. A pure
life was ordered for monks. Instructions were given to farmers for
feeding hens and roosters; the kind of apples to be grown was
prescribed; wine-presses and not feet-presses were to be used. Even the
prices of food and of clothes were regulated by law--a fur coat, it was
decreed, should sell for thirty shillings, a cloth coat for ten
shillings.[316:2] The Empire was divided into districts and marks, ruled
over by imperial "missi" and counts, who executed their master's
will.[316:3] Yet notwithstanding these magnificent and successful
efforts to thwart the Teutonic tendencies to localisation, each tribe
was permitted to retain its own laws, its hereditary chiefs, and its
free popular assemblies of freemen.

Charles never recognised the validity of the papal theory of the right
of the Pope to crown and depose kings by virtue of his own coronation in
800. When he associated his son Louis with him in rule (813), Louis
entered the Church with the king's crown already upon his head. Charles
then ordered him to take the royal crown off and put on an imperial
crown which lay on the Church altar. Neither the Pope's presence nor his
sanction was asked. After Charles's death, however, the Pope carried the
crown of Constantine to Germany and coronated Louis with it (816), and,
before that time, his biographer does not call him Emperor.[317:1]

3. _Educational._ The reign of Charles the Great stands out as the sun
between the intellectual night that preceded and the daylight that
followed his rule.[317:2] He employed the Church as the best means for
furthering the education of his Empire. The clergy and monks became the
teachers and writers; the monasteries and churches were used as the
seats of learning--the schoolrooms and schoolhouses. He issued important
educational laws which practically created a very crude public school
system and required all boys to have a general elementary education. His
purpose was to make good Christians and good subjects.[317:3] The centre
of his whole educational system was his famous "Court School," the very
heart of Christian culture in Europe. In it, called from every section,
were the leading scholars, divines, poets and historians of Europe. In
addition to helping to educate the young princes of the country, they
engaged in important literary activities. They compiled a German
grammar, collected old German songs and minstrels, corrected the Latin
Bible, wrote the Caroline books, collected manuscripts, revived the
classics, and studied the Church Fathers.[317:4]

A careful analysis of the character of Charles the Great shows that he
was a sincere Christian and faithful churchgoer, a great almsgiver and
very kind to the poor, and a man who devoted his life to the upbuilding
of a Christian civilisation.[318:1] Yet he was guilty of deeds which a
higher conception of Christian morals condemns as un-Christian. He
sacrificed thousands of lives to his passions and ambitions; for thirty
years he waged a war of extermination against the Saxons and murdered
more than 4000 prisoners in cold blood. Like Mohammed, he made his
motto, submission to Christianity or death. Christians of that day, for
the most part, pronounced his policy right, although some of the
greatest, like Alcuin, denounced it. He had nine wives and concubines,
and, like Henry VIII. of England, had little conscience in disposing of
them. He was not highly cultured, yet he spoke Latin with ease and knew
some Greek. When an old man, he learned to write and deserves great
credit for the manner in which he encouraged education. He cultivated
the society of the most cultured men in Europe and from them imbibed
much. At meals he had read the heroic deeds of his ancestors, or some
work of the Church Fathers like Augustine's _City of God_. As a warrior
and statesman, only Alexander the Great, Julius Cæsar, and Constantine
before his day can be compared with him. He was the first and greatest
of all the German Emperors. Since his time, only Otto the Great, Peter
the Great, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon the Great, have any claim
to rank as his peers. The Moses of the Middle Ages, he left an indelible
stamp of his genius on Germany and France, continues to be the only
common hero of both of these great nations, and through them modified
the whole western world.[318:2]

Eight years before his death, Charles the Great made his three sons
kings.[319:1] This act would have proved fatal to the Empire. Charles
must have known from the writings of Gregory of Tours, the dangers of
such an arrangement. The division made among his sons was unnatural,
because it lacked unity in race and territory, but the death of Charles
and Pepin, the eldest and second sons, prevented imperial suicide.
Charles the Great then solemnly crowned the surviving son, Louis, as
Emperor in 813. Louis the Pious (814-840) sought to preserve both the
Carolingian practice of division and the integrity of the Empire. At
Aachen, in 817, to prevent the Empire's being "broken by man lest
thereby a scandal, to the Holy Church might arise," Louis made his
eldest son, Lothair, co-Emperor, and, with the consent of the people,
crowned him.[319:2] The younger sons were made kings but _sub seniore
fratre_. Their territorial districts were clearly defined and elaborate
instructions were given about their various relations.[319:3] In 819,
Louis married again and soon a fourth son, Charles the Bald, appeared to
complicate matters (823). Louis then made a new division of the Empire
in order to provide for the new claimant.[319:4] A long list of
territorial changes, and disgraceful, ruinous, internecine wars

Louis the Pious died in 840, and was succeeded by Lothair as sole
Emperor. His brothers, Louis and Charles (Pepin was now dead), rebelled
against him and forced him to restrict his possessions to Italy and a
narrow strip running from Italy to the North Sea (843). But Lothair,
tired of the cares of this life retired to a monastery in 855 after
dividing his imperial territory among his three sons.

As a result of the Carolingian policy of division, the Empire so
skilfully constructed by Charles the Great, was almost destroyed.
Division of rule meant division of resources. The successors of Charles
the Great were men of inferior ability. His son, Louis the Pious, was a
weak, easily influenced ruler and completely under the thumbs of the
clergy. He made some noble efforts to reform the court, but only aroused
the enmity of the aristocracy. Lothair, Louis II., and Charles the Bald
were Emperors of as short-sighted a policy and of as little ability.
Civil wars were almost incessant; nobles held in subjection by the great
Charles reasserted their independence; the Northmen,[320:1] Slavs,
Hungarians[320:2] and Saracens began to make disastrous inroads;
imperial laws were disregarded; and by the end of the ninth century, the
Empire of Charles the Great was little more than an empty title hardly
worth fighting for.[320:3]

Another significant result of the decline of the Carolingian Empire was
the rise of modern states. By the treaty of Verdun in 843,[320:4] Louis
the German (d. 876) was given Germany east of the Rhine; Charles the
Bald (d. 877) received what is approximately France of to-day; and
Lothair as Emperor (d. 855) was left Italy and a narrow strip to the
North Sea with the two capitals in it. To confirm the treaty of Verdun,
Louis and Charles with their followers, took the famous Strassburg
oaths.[321:1] Louis and the French army took the oath in Latin; Charles
and the Germans took it in German; and this is the first recognition in
Europe of differences of race and language as a basis for political
action.[321:2] The treaty of Meersen[321:3] in 870 completed the
separation of Italy, Germany, and France by dividing the "strip of
trouble" given to Lothair in 843. Here was the beginning of mediæval and
modern France, Germany, and Italy. The Carolingian Empire virtually
ended with Charles the Fat (888). Disintegration soon divided Europe
among a multitude of petty feudal sovereigns with warring policies and

Ecclesiastically, the Papacy was immediately strengthened. The supremacy
of the state over the Church, which Charles the Great established and
which Louis the Pious had inherited, but did not use to much
advantage,[321:5] was removed. This release from secular control
furnished an excellent occasion and opportunity for the rapid growth of
the papal theory which culminated in the lofty claim of Pope Nicholas I.
to independence of imperial control and supremacy over it. Again and
again the Pope was called upon to act as arbitrator in the disputes and
wars. The power of bishops and metropolitans was likewise increased and
for a similar reason, but the general decline in civilisation carried
the Church inevitably with it. The anarchy and confusion which resulted,
formed an excellent cover for the promulgation of the Pseudo-Isidorian
Decretals. Ultimately the Papacy was weakened by the decline of the
Empire and the rise of national states, because there was a tendency to
create national churches and to set up kings who questioned the Pope's
claim to political supremacy. Indirectly it led to the Protestant



   1.--_New Testament._

   2.--_New Testament Apocrypha._

   3.--The Church Fathers. See Chap. X.

   4.--Henderson, _Historical Documents of the Middle Ages_. Bohn.

   5.--Univ of Penn., _Translations and Reprints_, iv., No. 1, 2;
          v., 4, 5.

   6.--Eginhard, _Life of Charles the Great_. Tr. by S. E. Turner.
          N. Y., 1880.

   7.--Robinson, _Readings in European History_, vol. i.

   8.--Thatcher and McNeal, _Source Book for Mediæval History_.

   9.--Ogg, _Source Book of Mediæval History_.

  10.--_Theodosian Code._

  11.--_Justinian Code._

  Bibliographical Note:--Nearly all the important sources for a
          study of this subject are in Latin. Among them are,
          Mansi, _Sacrorum Conciliorum_; Jaffé, _Regesta
          Pontificum_; _Corpus Juris Canonici_; _Corpus Juris
          Civilis_; Pertz, _Monumenta Historica Germania_; Niebuhr,
          _Corpus Byzantinæ_; Migne, _Patrologia_; Potthast,
          _Bibliotheca Historica Medii Ævi_.



     1.--Allies, T. W., _Church and State as Seen in the Formation
          of Christendom_. Lond., 1882.

     2.--Armitage, W., _Sketches of the Church and State in the
          First Eight Centuries_. Lond., 1888.

     3.--Bryce, _The Holy Roman Empire_. Var. eds.

     4.--Bury, J. B., _The Later Roman Empire_. Edinb., 1889. 2

     5.--Carr, A., _The Church and the Roman Empire_. Lond., 1887.

     6.--Church, R. W., _Relations between Church and State_.
          Lond., 1881. _Beginnings of the Middle Ages._ Lond.,

     7.--Croke, A. D., _History of the Church under the Roman
          Empire_ (to 476). Lond., 1873.

     8.--Cutts, E. L., _Charlemagne and His Times_. Lond., 1878.
          _Union of Church and State._ Lond., 1881.

     9.--Emerton, E., _Introduction to the Middle Ages_. Bost.,
          1888. _Mediæval Europe._ Bost., 1894.

    10.--Fisher, H. A. L., _The Mediæval Empire_.

    11.--Geffcken, H., _Church and State_. Lond., 1877. 2 vols.

    12.--Gibbon, E., _Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_. Var.

    13.--Gierke, O., _Political Theories of the Middle Ages_.
          Lond., 1900.

    14.--Greenwood, A. D., _Empire and Papacy in the Middle Ages_.
          Lond., 1896.

    15.--Greenwood, T., _Cathedra Petri_. Lond., 1859-72. 5 vols.

    16.--Gregorovius, F. A., _Rome in the Middle Ages_. Lond.,

    17.--Gosselin, J. E. A., _Power of the Pope During the Middle
          Ages_. Lond., 1853.

    18.--Hardy, E. G., _Christianity and the Roman Government_.
          Lond., 1893.

    19.--Hodgkin, T., _Italy and Her Invaders_. Oxf., 1892-9.
          _Charles the Great._ Lond., 1896. _Theodosius._ Oxf.,
          1889. _Theodoric._ N. Y., 1891.

    20.--Hussey, R., _Rise of the Papal Power_. Lond., 1863.

    21.--Hergenröther, J. A. G., _The Catholic Church and the
          Christian State_. Lond., 1876. 2 vols.

    22.--James, G. P. R., _History of Charlemagne_. Lond., 1832.

    23.--Lea, H. C., _Studies in Church History_. Phil., 1869.

    24.--Mann, H. K., _The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle
          Ages_. Lond., 1905.

    25.--Manning, H. E., _The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus
          Christ_. Lond., 1862.

    26.--Mombert, J. I., _History of Charles the Great_. N. Y.,

    27.--Oman, C. W. C., _The Dark Ages_ (476-918). Lond., 1893.

    28.--Pressensé, E. de, _History of Church and State_. Lond.,

    29.--Tozer, H. F., _The Church and the Eastern Empire_. Lond.,

    30.--Wells, C. L., _The Age of Charlemagne_. N. Y., 1897.

    31.--Workman, H. B., _Church of the West in the Middle Ages_.
          Lond., 1898.


    Alzog, ii., 92-104, 184. Butler, ch. 30, 31, 55, 56, 57.
    Chantrel, pd. 3, ch. 1. Cheetham, ch. 9. Crooks, ch. 24, 33.
    Döllinger, i., ch. 1, sec. 9-10; ii., ch. 5, sec. 1; iii., ch.
    4, sec. 1. Dunning, 131-160. Fisher, 161, 168, 244. Gieseler,
    i., 191-204, 419; ii., 71, 119, 153, 220, 237. Gilmartin, i.,
    ch. 31-32. Guericke, i., sec. 69; Guizot, i., ch. 7-12.
    Hardwick, ch. 6, sec. 2. Hase, 134-146, 171-173. Hurst, i.,
    161-180, 325-341, 410, 427, 473-495. Jennings, i., ch. 6, 8.
    Kurtz, i., 235-247, 483-488. Leavitt, ch. 1-12. Mahan, bk. 4,
    ch. 13. Milman, ii., 4, 130, 429; iii., 1-109. Moeller, ii.,
    1-2, 84-93, 99-108. Mosheim, bk. 3, pt. 2, ch. 2, sec. 7-13.
    Neander, iii., 1-112, 174-195; v., 117-132, 144. Robertson,
    i., 294-297, 486, 517; ii., 122-149. Robinson, ch. 4, 6, 7, 8.
    Schaff, ii., 90; iii., 203-264.


[289:1] Justinian, _Inst._, i., ii., 6.

[290:1] Eph. vi., 5; Col. iii., 22; Tit. ii., 9; 1 Pet. ii., 18.

[290:2] Rom. xiii., 1-7; _cf._ Heb. xiii., 17; 1 Pet. ii., 13.

[290:3] Rom. xiii., 6-7.

[290:4] See Tertullian, _Lib. ad Scap._, for a later recognition of the
divine right theory.

[290:5] 1 Peter ii., 13, 14.

[290:6] Tertullian, _Apol._, c. 5 and 26.

[291:1] Tertullian, _Apol._, c. 34; c. 42; _De Corona Milit._, c. 11;
_De Idololatria_, c. 17. See Milman, bk. ii., ch. 7.

[291:2] Milman, ii., 231; Gibbon, ch. 16.

[292:1] Ranke, _Hist. of the Popes_.

[292:2] The title was used down to the time of Gratian in 380.

[293:1] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 15.

[293:2] See Schaff, iii., § 13.

[293:3] _Ibid._, § 22, 23.

[294:1] Harduin, i., 543; Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 13 _ff._

[294:2] Cod. Theod., lib. xvi, tit. ii., 1, 15.

[294:3] Harduin, i., 1538.

[294:4] _Ib._, ii., 559.

[294:5] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 15.

[295:1] Theodoret, v., 3.

[295:2] Socrates, iv., 29.

[295:3] Goldast, _Const. Imp._, iii., 587; Harduin, i., 1238.

[295:4] Harduin, i., 842.

[295:5] The laws relating to the Church passed between the time of
Constantine and the promulgation of the Theodosian Code in 438 are
mostly contained in the sixteenth book of that code. The laws passed
between 438 and 534 are found in the Justinian Code which was published
in revised form in that year. See Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 16.

[296:1] Goldast, iii., 95, 615.

[296:2] Cassiodorus, _Varior._, ix., 15.

[297:1] These laws are found in the Justinian Code and in the Novellæ,
and cover the period from 534 to 565. Excellent translation by Moyle,
Oxf. 1889.

[297:2] Novellæ, 42.

[297:3] The 134th Novella is a small code in itself.

[298:1] Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, ii., 163.

[298:2] Baronius, _Ann._, 587, § 5.

[299:1] Bk. ii., letters 62, 65.

[299:2] Bk. iii., letter 65. Comp. bk. v., letter 40. Greenwood,
_Cathedra Petri_, ii., 233.

[299:3] Bk. vi., letter 2.

[299:4] Anastasius, _Biblioth._, No. 81.

[300:1] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 31.

[302:1] See Ch. XII.

[303:1] Hardwick, _Hist. Christ. Ch. in M. A._, 54.

[303:2] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 84-87.

[303:3] Richter, 36.

[303:4] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 120.

[303:5] Bede, v., 10; Migne, vols. 86-88.

[303:6] Waitz, iii., 23, note 3.

[303:7] _Cf._ Thatcher and McNeal, No. 43.

[304:1] Richter, i., 200.

[304:2] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 120; Ogg, _Source Book_, § 14; Pertz,
i., 136.

[305:1] Ogg, _Source Book_, § 14; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 6.

[305:2] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 122.

[305:3] Pertz, i., 293; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 44.

[305:4] _Ib._, No. 6; Robinson, _Readings_, i., 122; Migne, lxxi., 911.
The title of "patrician" was introduced by Constantine. It was the name
of a rank, not of an office, and was next to that of Emperor and consul.
Hence it was usually conferred upon governors of the first class, and
even upon barbarian chiefs whom the Emperor might wish to win. Thus,
Odoacer, Theodoric, and Clovis had all received the title from the
eastern court. Later it was even given to Mohammedan princes. It was
very significant now that the Pope assumed the imperial right to confer
it, because it was plainly an illegal usurpation. It made Pepin
practically the viceroy of Italy and the protector of the Papacy. (See
Smith and Cheetham.)

[306:1] Migne, lxxxix., 1004; see Robinson, _Readings_, i., 122;
Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, iii., 388.

[306:2] Muratori, iii., 96; Migne, cxxviii., 1098.

[306:3] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 45. (Baronius, _Ann._, 755; Migne,
cxxviii., 1099.) See Wiltsch, _Geog. and Statistics of the Ch._, i.,

[306:4] Gibbon, ch. 59.

[306:5] See "Donation of Constantine" in Henderson, 319.

[306:6] Waitz, iii., 364.

[306:7] Pertz, _Leg._, i., 24; Mansi, xii.; Migne, xcvi., 1501.

[307:1] Adams, _Mediæval Civilisation_, 127.

[307:2] The best account of Charles the Great in English is Mombert's.

[308:1] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 129; Ogg, _Source Book_, § 16, 17. See
Mombert, ch. 3, 4.

[308:2] Mombert, ch. 11.

[308:3] _Ibid._, ch. 5.

[308:4] _Ibid._, ch. 7.

[308:5] See Waitz. Ogg, _Source Book_, § 18, 19.

[309:1] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 46; Wiltsch, _Geog. and Statistics of
the Ch._, i., 265; Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, ii., 415.

[309:2] See Thatcher and McNeal, No. 47.

[309:3] Döllinger, _Empire of Charles the Great_.

[310:1] _Cf._ Thatcher and McNeal, No. 48.

[310:2] _Ibid._, No. 49. Robinson, _Readings_, i., 131.

[310:3] _Ibid._, i., 134. Thatcher and McNeal, No. 48; Ogg, _Source
Book_, § 20; Mombert, ch. 14.

[310:4] Eginhard, § 28.

[311:1] Muratori, ii., 312; Waitz, iii., 174, note.

[311:2] Döllinger, _Empire of Charles the Great_.

[311:3] See Thatcher and McNeal, No. 13, 14. Bryce, 61-62.

[311:4] Waitz, iii., 184, note.

[312:1] Ludwig II. was led to admit that right in 871. Thatcher and
McNeal, No. 51, 52.

[312:2] Döllinger, _Empire of Charles the Great_.

[313:1] Gratian, _Decret._, Dist. 63, Can. 22; Lea, _Stud. in Ch.
Hist._, 81, 89, 90.

[313:2] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 63.

[313:3] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 47.

[313:4] _Hincmari Inst. Reg._, ch. 34 and 35.

[314:1] Harduin, iv., 1006.

[314:2] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 64-65.

[314:3] Bryce, _Holy Rom. Emp._, 65.

[314:4] Ogg, _Source Book_, § 22; Robinson, _Readings_, i., 136.

[314:5] This is now regarded by some authorities as a forgery. Lea,
_Stud. in Ch. Hist._

[314:6] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 38; Gratian, _Decret._, Dist. 63,
Can. 28.

[315:1] _Ann. Laur._, 188.

[315:2] Milman, _Hist. of Lat. Christ._, ii., 459.

[315:3] Emerton, _Med. Europe_, 7; Robinson, _Readings_, i., 140.

[315:4] Charta Divisionis, 806.

[315:5] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 135-137.

[316:1] _Translations and Reprints?_ Henderson, 189.

[316:2] Lecky, ii., 259.

[316:3] Ogg, _Source Book_, § 21; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 9; Robinson,
_Readings_, i., 139.

[317:1] Eginhard, _Ann._, 813. Read the case of Louis and Lothair 817.
Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 42.

[317:2] Ogg, _Source Book_, § 23; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 10, 11, 12.

[317:3] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 144, 145; _Transl. and Reprints_;
Mullinger, _Schools of Charles the Great_.

[317:4] Mombert, ch. 10.

[318:1] Ogg, _Source Book_, § 15; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 7; Mombert,
ch. 6.

[318:2] See Eginhard for the best pen picture of the personal appearance
and habits of this wonderful man. Robinson, _Readings_, i., 126.

[319:1] Louis, the youngest, had Aquitaine, Gascony, Septimania,
Provence, and a part of Burgundy. Pepin, the second son, had Italy,
Bavaria, Almania, and a part of the Alpine country. Charles, the eldest,
received all the rest--old France, Thuringia, Saxony, and Frisia.

[319:2] Henderson, 201.

[319:3] Emerton, 18, 19.

[319:4] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 50.

[320:1] Ogg, _Source Book_, § 27; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 15, 20;
Robinson, _Readings_, i., 150-155, 157, 163.

[320:2] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 21.

[320:3] Ogg, _Source Book_, § 26, 28; Robinson, _Readings_, i., 158.

[320:4] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 17, 18; Ogg, _Source Book_, § 25.

[321:1] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 16; Ogg, _Source Book_, § 24; Robinson,
_Readings_, i., 433.

[321:2] Emerton, _Med. Europe_, 26-28.

[321:3] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 19.

[321:4] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 22, 23, 24, 25.

[321:5] He did insist, however, upon his dominion over Rome and over the
Pope as his vassal. Pope Stephen IV. at once caused the Romans to swear
fealty to the Emperor and ordained that the consecration of the Pope
must take place in the presence of the imperial ambassadors. His son
Lothair was crowned Emperor in Rome and repeatedly repaired thither to
protect the Holy See. Another son, Louis, was also anointed king by Pope
Sergius in Rome. This act strengthened the papal claim to control
elections to secular power. In 871 Louis II. acknowledged his divine
right to imperial rule to be derived from papal sanction. Another step
was taken when the council of Aix-la-Chapelle deposed Emperor Lothair



     OUTLINE: I.--What were the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals?
     II.--Condition of Europe when the Decretals appeared.
     III.--Purpose of the forgery. IV.--Character and composition.
     V.--Time, place, and personality, of authorship.
     VI.--Significance and results. VII.--Nicholas I. and papal
     supremacy. VIII.--Decline of spirituality in the Church.

The Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals[326:1] were a curious collection of
documents, both genuine and forged, which appeared in western Europe
about the middle of the ninth century under the name of Isidore
Mercator, to give the Church a definite, written constitution. They were
a stupendous forgery--the most audacious and pious fraud ever
perpetrated in the history of the Church--worked out with admirable
skill and consummate ingeniousness. Forgery was a common thing in those
days, and it was generally believed that all things which upheld the
doctrines and prerogatives of the Church of God were allowable.[326:2]

When these false letters appeared, the Empire of Charles was falling to
pieces under his wrangling grandsons. Anarchy and confusion were
rampant; might was the only recognised law. Feudalism with its
decentralising influences was rapidly prevailing throughout Europe. The
Church also reflected this sad state of affairs. The Pope was reduced to
a vassal of the Emperor. Metropolitans were in league with the political
rulers and even helped to plunder the bishoprics and oppress the
priests. The bishops were masterly secular princes and landed nobles;
hence their persons had lost their sanctity, and they were persecuted by
their archbishops and robbed by their sovereigns. The Bishop of Lyons
wrote: "No condition of man whether free or unfree is so insecure in the
possession of his property as the priest. . . . Not only the estates of
the Church, but even the churches themselves are sold." The lower clergy
suffered from the tyranny and lawlessness of the day; the laity were
similarly demoralised. The synod of Aachen in 836 protested against the
contempt into which the clergy had fallen with the ungodly laity. The
age, too, was not critical. In fact, it was an impious thing to
disbelieve anything connected with the Bible, the Church, or with sacred
tradition. It was an era of superstitions and legends. No period,
therefore could have been better adapted than that for the promulgation
of such a magnificent system of fabrications.

There are divergent theories as to the purpose of these falsified
epistles: (1) Some maintain that the sole object was to give the Church
a constitution of a definite form and character. (2) Others hold that
the intention was to present unquestionable proof of the papal theory of
supremacy by filling in the fatal gap between the time of Jesus and
Constantine. It was dangerous to make the origin of the Church
dependent upon an Emperor's fiat; hence, it was necessary to elevate
the See of Rome by clothing the Pope with antiquity, spiritual majesty,
and supreme authority.[328:1] Venerable Rome was made to furnish the
necessary documents from St. Peter onward to supplement the Bible and
the Church Fathers with manufactured tradition. (3) Still others assert
that the object was to give the Church a general code of discipline in
the anarchy and confusion of the time.[328:2] (4) Most scholars believe,
however, that the real motive was to free the bishops from their
dependence upon the state, upon the metropolitans, and upon the
provincial synods which were under the control of the rulers.[328:3]

The motive for the publication of this code of decretals is thus stated
by the authors themselves:

     Many good Christians are reduced to silence, and compelled to
     bear the sins of others against their own better knowledge,
     because they are unprovided with documents by which they might
     convince ecclesiastical judges of the truth of what they know
     to be the law; seeing that though what they allege may be
     altogether right, yet it is not heeded by the judges unless it
     be confirmed by written documents, or by recorded decisions,
     or made to appear in the course of some known judicial

The object of the compilation may be found also in these words:

     We have likewise inserted the decretal epistles of certain
     apostolic men--that is, of Clement, Anacletus, Evaristus, and
     others who are their successors, indeed as many as we have
     been able to find, down to Pope Sylvester; after these we
     have annexed the rest of the decretals of the Roman prelates
     down to Gregory the Great, together with certain epistles of
     that pontiff; in all which, by virtue of the dignity of the
     Apostolic See, resides an authority equal to that of the
     councils; so that, the discipline of the ecclesiastical order
     being thus by our labours reduced and digested into one body
     of law, the holy bishops may be instructed in the entire "rule
     of the fathers"; and thus obedient ministers and people may be
     imbued with spiritual precedents, and be no longer deceived by
     the practices of the wicked. For there are many who by reason
     of their wickedness and cupidity bring accusations against the
     priests of the Lord, to their great oppression and ruin.
     Therefore the Holy Fathers did institute laws, which they
     called holy canons, which, however, the evil-minded have often
     made the instruments of unjust charges, or even possessed
     themselves of the goods of the innocent.

The canons were insufficient to meet the evils of the day. Some remedy
must be found of equal if not greater authority. The decretals of the
Roman Pontiffs were seized for this holy purpose. Many such decretals
were known to the Church. But there was a fatal hiatus of two centuries
and a half after the founding of the See of Peter. That chasm must be
bridged over by documents which would prove that the divine headship of
Peter was consciously exercised by all his successors. With such
indisputable evidence the supremacy of Rome would be established beyond
question, and the entire hierarchy would be benefited. The ascendancy of
the Church over the state would be established. Papal sovereignty would
be acknowledged. Episcopal independence of secular control would be

The sources of the Isidorian Decretals, now satisfactorily determined,
were: the writings of the Church Fathers, particularly Rufinus (d. 410);
the works of Cassiodorus (b. 470); Jerome's Vulgate; the _Liber
Pontificales_; the general theological literature down to the ninth
century; various collections of laws like _Breviarium Alaricianum_, the
_Lex Visigothorum_, and the Frankish capitularies; the genuine archives
of the Church like papal letters and decretals, Church canons, and
minutes of Church councils; the correspondence of Archbishop Boniface
(d. 754); and the forgeries.

Before this collection appeared there had been several others formed in
the Western Church:[330:1]

1. Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian, who lived at Rome as a monk in the
sixth century, made a collection of the fifty Apostolic Canons; decrees
of the Eastern and African Church councils from 375 to 451; and letters
of Popes from 314 to 498. This collection was used by Charles the Great
as a basis in part for the Frankish laws.

2. Isidore of Seville, early in the seventh century, made a second
collection, very much like the first one just described.

3. Then Isidore Mercator, about the middle of the ninth century put out
a third collection which embraced those by Exiguus and Isidore of
Seville and included all the forgeries. This last collection opens with
a preface, then has a spurious letter from Aurelius to Damasus, and a
forged answer; a selection from the fourth council of Toledo; a list of
councils; and two spurious letters from Jerome to Damasus, with replies.
After these documents the collection proper begins. It consists of three
parts. The first includes the fifty Apostolic Canons; fifty-nine
spurious decretals from Clement to Melchiades (90-314); a treatise _On
the Primitive Church and the Council of Nicæa_; and the spurious
"Donation of Constantine."[331:1] The second part opens with a genuine
quotation from the Spanish collection of the decretals of the Greek,
African, Gallic, and Spanish councils down to 683. The third part also
begins with a quotation from the _Hispania_ and then gives the decretals
of the Popes from Sylvester (d. 335) to Gregory II. (d. 731), of which
thirty-five are forged and others contain many interpolations; and,
finally, the _Capitula Angilramni_.

Evidences of fraud are to be found in the uniformity of language, the
impurity of style, the use of words of a late origin for an earlier
period, many clumsy anachronisms, the total absence of all proof of the
authenticity of the early decretals, the evident effort to meet
contemporary prejudice, and the fact that there is no knowledge of the
existence of the forged letters until incorporated in this collection.
Many absurdities also appear: for instance, Roman bishops of the second
and third centuries write in Frankish Latin of the ninth century in the
spirit of post-Nicene orthodoxy and about the mediæval relationship of
the Church and state. These early bishops quote the Vulgate of Jerome as
amended under Charles the Great. Pope Victor (202) writes a letter to
Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria (383) about a second-century
controversy. Pope Anacletus speaks of patriarchs, metropolitans, and
primates long before they arose. Pope Melchiades, who died in 314,
mentions the Nicene Council which was held in 325. Pope Zephyrinus (218)
appeals to the laws of Christian Emperors before Constantine was born.

Just how soon they were discovered to be forgeries, is a question that
has aroused considerable discussion. Pope Nicholas I. must have known
that they were false, but they suited his purpose so well that he
sanctioned them. Some of the Latin bishops saw through the forgery, but,
for various reasons, kept silent. A few of the Frankish bishops
denounced them and objected to their reception as law. Even Hincmar,
although he did so much to establish them, declared them to be spurious
and called them a "mouse-trap" and a "cup of poison with the brim
besmeared with honey." The synod of Rheims in 991 opposed the Isidorian
principles. Stephen of Tournai (d. 1203) called them into question.
Peter Comester in his _Historia Scholastica_ (twelfth century) granted
the ingeniousness of the author. Dante alluded to the fiction and
grumbled about the "Donation of Constantine" in these words:

     Ah, Constantine! of how much ill the cause--
     Not thy conversion, but those rich domains
     That the first wealthy Pope received of thee.[332:1]

Nicholas of Cusa questioned their authenticity.[332:2] Chancellor Gerson
of the University of Paris, boldly asserted that the Papacy was founded
on fraud.[332:3] Marsiglio of Padua[332:4] and Wiclif took the same
view. Johannus Turrecrenta was skeptical about them.[332:5] Erasmus
pronounced against them. The authors of the _Magdeburg Centuries_
conclusively proved in detail their fraudulent character. Calvin took
the same view,[333:1] and De Moulin and Le Conte helped to establish the
fact of forgery. David Blondel, a Reformed divine, made the exposure
unquestionable against the attempted vindication of the Jesuit, Torres.
Still since it is so difficult to separate the true from the false,
their influence was perpetuated beyond this period. It was not an easy
thing for an infallible Church to abandon ground once assumed. The
fruits of the forgery could not be surrendered. Catholic and Protestant
historians alike now agree, however, that they were for the most part

There has been a wide divergency of view as to the place, time, and
authorship. A few earlier scholars[333:2] held that they originated in
Rome. This is now rejected by all modern scholars, because their arrival
in Rome is almost exactly known. One year Pope Nicholas I. is ignorant
of them, the next he asserts their authenticity.[333:3] They were
probably carried to Rome by Rathod in 864.[333:4] Many contemporaries
believed that they came from Spain as the work of Isidore of Seville,
but it is generally acknowledged now that they were created in the
Frankish Empire because the language swarms with Gallicisms, the style,
phrases, and words are of the Frankish period, and the frequent use of
the correspondence of Boniface shows that the archives of Mayence were
consulted. It is probable that the first collection was made at Mayence,
and the later and larger collection may have been made at Rheims.

In matter of time, they seem to have been an evolution beginning with
the collection of Dionysius Exiguus in the sixth century, increased by
Isidore of Seville in the seventh century, amplified by Isidore Mercator
(Pseudo Isidore) with forgeries in the ninth century, and appeared in
their final form in the eleventh century.[334:1] Their frequent
contradiction and disregard of well-known history suggests a composition
covering years. Some of the forgeries were undoubtedly used by Charles
the Great, and the Donation of Constantine is perhaps still
older.[334:2] Passages from the Council of Paris held in 829 are
literally quoted, hence the collection by Isidore Mercator must have
been made after that date. On the other hand, the collection was used in
857 by the French synod of Chiersy,[334:3] in 859 by Hincmar of Rheims,
and in 865 by Pope Nicholas I.[334:4] The conclusion can be drawn, then,
that the collection of Isidore Mercator must have appeared sometime
between 829 and 857. Furthermore, the frequent complaint about
ecclesiastical disorders, the deposition of bishops without trial,
frivolous divorces, and frequent sacrilege, best fit the period of civil
war and confusion among the grandsons of Charles the Great.

There is likewise divergence of opinion as to the authorship. The name
of the compiler, Isidore Mercator, led to the early erroneous belief
that Isidore of Seville, the eminent canonist, was the author; and,
consequently, when the mistake was established, the author was dubbed
"Pseudo Isidore," a name used to the present day. Scholars differ widely
in their efforts to identify this "Pseudo Isidore" and suggest
Benedictus Levita, a deacon of Mayence, whose _capitularium_ of 847
agrees in certain passages with the decretals[335:1]; Rathod of
Soissons[335:2]; Otgar, Archbishop of Mayence (d. 847), who led the
clerical rebellion against Louis the Pious[335:3]; Ebo, Archbishop of
Rheims, also a clerical rebel against the Emperor[335:4];
Riculfus,[335:5] Archbishop of Mayence (784-814); and Aldrich.[335:6]
The authorship, it is apparent, is not established beyond question.
Indeed there are many reasons for believing that these documents were
the product not of a single individual, but of a joint effort. The
constant repetitions, the frequent contradictions, the lack of unity,
the differences in style and phrases suggest this conclusion. It is
quite probable that the leading churchmen in Germany and France in the
middle of the ninth century shared the authorship.[335:7] Gieseler holds
that Riculfus (784-814) brought the genuine Isidorian collections from
Spain, that Otgar enlarged and corrupted them at Mayence (826-847), that
Benedictus Levita copied them; and this may have been the case.

They were eagerly received by the Church, and for various reasons Pope
Nicholas I. (853-867) gave them papal sanction and used them to extend
his power. He led the Church to believe that they were among the most
venerable and carefully preserved documents of the papal archives.
Backed up by them, he asserted his jurisdiction over both East and West;
in fact, the whole world. To the eastern Emperor he wrote, "We by the
power committed to us by our Lord through St. Peter, restore our brother
Ignatius to his former station, to his see [at Constantinople], to his
dignity as patriarch and to all the honours of his office."[336:1] At
the same time he exalted the power of excommunication and used it to
humble both princes and prelates; he forced Lothair II. to restore his
divorced wife; he humbled the great Hincmar by reinstating the deposed
Bishop Rathod of Soissons; he subjected both metropolitans and bishops
to his rule; he deposed the archbishops of Cologne and Trier and made
the Pope ubiquitous through the system of legates. Well could the old
chronicler say: "Since the days of Gregory I. to our own time, sat no
high priest on the throne of St. Peter to be compared to Nicholas. He
tamed kings and tyrants, and ruled the world like a sovereign. To holy
bishops and the clergy he was mild and gentle; to the wicked and
unconverted a terror, so that we might truly say a new Elias arose in

     It is evident [wrote the great forerunner of Hildebrand] that
     Popes can neither be bound nor unbound by any earthly power,
     nor even by that of the Apostle if he were to return upon
     earth; since Constantine the Great has recognised that the
     pontiffs held the place of God on earth, the Divinity not
     being able to be judged by any man living. We are then
     infallable and whatever may be our acts, we are not
     accountable for them but to ourselves.[336:2]

This is generally held to be spurious now, but the spirit of it may be
said to be true. The archbishops eagerly accepted the decretals because
they hoped to profit by their doctrines. Instead, however, through them
they were subjected to the Pope and largely lost their independence.
They were gladly received by the bishops, since by them they hoped to
gain independence both of the tyrannical metropolitans and of the state.
They were welcomed by the lower clergy and laity in general without a
question because they came from a source so high in authority as the
Pope and the bishops.

These forged decretals gave the Papacy a definite constitution; the
Petrine theory was now proved by indisputable historical evidence--the
ideal Papacy was made a fact from the very first. In fact the charge
given by Peter to Clement, when the primate Apostle transmitted his
power to a successor, is found in very characteristic language. The
powers and relations of the whole dogmatic hierarchy from top to bottom
were defined. The Popes from St. Peter on were made the parents and
guardians of the faith of the world, and the legislators for it, and
also the supreme judges in all cases of justice. In short this
constitution logically completed the Petrine theory. The metropolitans
were curtailed in their prerogatives and subjected to the Pope.
Metropolitan courts were reduced to committees of inquiry. All original
jurisdiction in ecclesiastical causes was transferred to Rome. No
metropolitan could call a synod now without the Pope's consent. The
metropolitans' power over the bishops was greatly decreased and they
were separated from the Pope by newly created primates. The bishops, in
their turn, as ambassadors of God were made independent of both the
state and the metropolitans, but subjected to the Pope. Peter and the
other Apostles furnished the example for this arrangement. All episcopal
cases were taken out of secular courts[337:1]; all secular cases could
be carried to episcopal courts[338:1]; all laymen as well as lower
clergy were excluded from episcopal synods. Bishops were made
practically immune by the great difficulty of bringing accusations. In
the trial of a bishop, the accuser had to have seventy-two duly
qualified witnesses and if he failed to prove his case he and not the
bishop was liable to punishment. At any time the bishop could break off
proceedings by appealing the case directly to the Pope. The priesthood
was definitely separated from the laity as the _familiares Dei_. They
were the _spiritales_; the laity the _carnales_.[338:2] Priests were
also freed from secular control and placed above it. They, in like
manner, enjoyed certain immunities which made it no easy matter to
proceed against them.

At the same time, the relations of Church and state were defined more
clearly. Ecclesiastical power was now held to be supreme over secular
power and that change was a pronounced revolution. "All the rulers of
earth," it was dogmatically affirmed, "are bound to obey the bishop and
to bow the neck before him."[338:3] Imperial control of the Church,
exercised for eight centuries, was declared to be a usurpation which
entailed disputes and wars. The state was represented as unholy, the
Church as holy. That proposition struck the sword of justice out of the
hand of the temporal prince and removed the clergy from the reach of the
secular law. Clergy were freed from political courts and the laymen were
excluded, in theory at least, from participation in Church legislation.
In short these decretals carried the papal theocracy far beyond any
claims made up to that time by the Popes themselves. It was left to
Gregory VII. and Innocent III. to make the claim a living reality.

These decretals formed a part of the _Corpus Juris Canonici_ for six
hundred years and supplied a complete set of laws concerning Church
lands, usurpation and spoliation, ordinations, sacraments, fasts,
festivals, relics of the cross and of the Apostles, schism and heresy,
the use of holy water and the chrism, the consecration of churches, the
blessing of the fruits of the field, sacred vessels, garments, etc. In
this way society was influenced and modified in all its ramifications.
Both the civil and ecclesiastical polity of Europe was affected for
centuries to follow. Over and over again they were quoted to prove papal
omnipotence against temporal authority. For the purpose of illustration,
the decretals were replete with personal incidents and had in them many
beautiful axioms of sincere and vital religious truth. The whole tone of
the composition was pious and reverential. Pope, bishop, and lower
clergy all gained by this shrewd and specious defence of the Papacy. The
priesthood actually constituted the Church.

In this period of ignorance and lawlessness, while the Empire
established by Charles the Great was disintegrating, the Papacy rapidly
forged to the front as the champion of united Christendom; and to this
end the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals contributed powerfully. How much was
contributed that was actually new may be a question. Whether the history
of the Church would have been the same had they not appeared is a
disputed point. Whether the Pope without them could have become the
greatest ruler of western Europe by the middle of the ninth century is
not clear. Whether the Papacy would have had a world-wide political
interest from this time on without them is a question still unsettled.

Nothing better illustrates the immediate fruits of the Pseudo-Isidorian
Decretals than the pontificate of Nicholas I. In the year 858 he was
unanimously chosen Pope by the Emperor, and the clergy and people of
Rome. He had been the friend and minister of Sergius II. and Leo IV.
amid all their dangers and difficulties. His trying experiences
qualified him for the responsible office. His personal qualities had won
him many friends. Consequently there was general rejoicing when, in the
presence of the Emperor and the Romans, he was inaugurated. Three days
after the solemnity, the Emperor Louis II. entertained Pope Nicholas I.
at a state-banquet and then withdrew a short distance from the city
walls to receive the return-visit on the following day. As the Pope,
escorted by the clergy and nobility, approached the imperial camp, Louis
met him, dismounted from his horse, and conducted the Pope's palfrey the
length of a bow-shot, after the ordinary custom of a bridle-groom. A
sumptuous feast was then served in the imperial tents, and the Emperor
again escorted Nicholas a like distance on his return. The Pontiff, on
parting, descended from his horse, embraced Louis, and kissed him. "And
thus," says the chronicler, "they lovingly took leave of each other."

This imperial self-humiliation had beneath it a purpose. Louis II. hoped
to extend his dominion beyond the borders of Italy, to which his
brothers had reduced him, and desired the assistance of Rome. Nicholas
I. was not averse to meddling in worldly affairs. Backed up by the false
decretals, with precedents created by his sainted predecessors, with
political confusion and secular wrangling as his ally, with his own
boldness and clear intellect as his guides, he plunged into mundane
affairs without hesitation. Ability and opportunity won for him one
success after another. The first conquest he made was in humiliating the
Italian primates of Milan, Aquileia, and Ravenna, and in making the
Italian clergy directly dependent upon Rome. Emperor Louis II. was
forced to bow to papal authority in this matter, although hitherto the
creation of new bishoprics had rested with the temporal lord.

Again when the bishopric of Hamburg was destroyed by the Normans, King
Louis of Germany translated the dispossessed Bishop Anschar to Bremen.
Now the Archbishop of Cologne claimed jurisdiction over Bremen and
declared that the temporal power could not dismember an ecclesiastical
jurisdiction. Both parties agreed to refer the case to Rome. Nicholas I.
confirmed the separation and ratified the transference of Anschar.
Charles the Great would have settled the case himself. Another victory
was thus won in the name of Pseudo-Isidore. The policy of breaking down
all interposition between the successor of Peter and the episcopacy had
been clearly set forth.

A test of this principle came in the case of Hincmar, the able and
powerful Archbishop of Rheims. In 861 he summarily suspended Rathod,
Bishop of Soissons, for disobeying the sentence of a provincial synod in
reinstating a priest whom he had unjustly expelled. Rathod at once
appealed to the Pope and asked permission of Hincmar to go to Rome to
present his suit. Hincmar refused the request and called Rathod before a
second synod for contempt, when he was degraded from his office and
imprisoned in a monastery. Once more Rathod made a touching appeal to
Nicholas I.[342:1] who forthwith rebuked Hincmar and ordered him to
restore Rathod to his see, and to send him to Rome. King Charles the
Bald was ordered, "by his love to God and his duty to the Holy See," to
see that the order was enforced. Both Hincmar and Charles refused and
Rathod remained a prisoner for two years. Papal power was on trial, but
Nicholas I. was equal to the situation. At last Charles was persuaded to
intervene. Rathod was released and sent to Rome, but was not reinstated
in his bishopric. The Pope reinstated him to office. To prove his
authority he quoted the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, which the Frankish
clergy had framed to insure their own independence.[342:2] Hincmar
remonstrated, but in the end was forced to apologise and obey. "Thus,"
complained Hincmar, "was a criminal, solemnly deposed by the unanimous
judgment of five ecclesiastical provinces of this realm, reinstated by
the Pope, not by ordinary canonical rule, but by an arbitrary act of
power, in a summary way, without inquiry, and against the consent of his
natural judges." Metropolitan independence was crushed, the royal power
was forced to obey by the awful threat of excommunication, and papal
supremacy was triumphant. Truly a new epoch had appeared in the rise of
the mediæval Church, when the Pope could proudly declare that "the
privileges of the Holy See are the panoply of the Church and title-deeds
of him who is the supreme lord of the priesthood for the government of
all in authority under him and for the comfort of every one that shall
suffer wrong or injury from subordinate powers"[343:1]; that "the
action of synods, general or provincial, might be peremptorily arrested
by a simple appeal to Rome . . . at any stage of the proceeding"; that
every bishop must give lawful obedience to the "King of Bishops"; and
that "any one, without exception of person, who shall disobey the
doctrine, mandates, interdicts, or decretals, published by the Apostolic
Bishop on behalf of the Catholic faith, the discipline of the Church,
the correction of the faithful, the reformation of evil-doers, and the
discouragement of vice, let him be accursed."[343:2]

In dealing with the schismatic, heretical Eastern Church, however, all
careful reserve vanished and without fear or caution the Roman Pontiffs
assert their prerogatives in a clear, decisive, and peremptory tone. In
the Photian schism at Constantinople, Nicholas I. assumed the right to
decide which of the two claimants to the patriarchate was legitimate. To
Photius, who had secured the office by imperial aid, the Roman pontiff
wrote a letter which up to that time was unsurpassed for supreme papal

     Our Lord and Saviour . . . established the foundations of his
     church upon the Rock Peter. . . . Now upon this foundation the
     appointed builders have from time to time heaped many precious
     stones, till by this unwearied diligence the whole building
     has been perfected into indissoluble solidity. . . . Since
     this church of Peter is the head of all churches, it is
     imperative upon all to adopt her as their model in every
     matter of ecclesiastical expediency and institution. . . .
     From her all synods and all councils derive their power to
     bind and to loose.[343:3]

The pontificate of Nicholas I., who died in 867, marks the acme of
papal power during this period. The history of the Western Church,
controlled by Rome, during the latter part of the ninth and the tenth
century, covers a period of unparalleled corruption and debility--"a
death-sleep of moral and spiritual exhaustion." The Papacy as a
constructive spiritual force almost disappears from view. The lofty
ideas of Leo I., Gregory I., and Nicholas I.--their magnificent
ambitions for the Church, their imperial rule, and their commanding,
aggressive spirit--all disappeared. The causes may be found in weak,
wicked, worldly Popes, in anarchy and political confusion in Italy, and
in feudalism. The Church was reaping the reward of a close alliance with
the state. All the gains made by the Church during this epoch were of a
secular character. The moral and spiritual powers of Latin Christianity
lay dormant beneath a mass of corruption, self-seeking, and worldly
passions which covered them and nearly extinguished them. The marvellous
vitality of the organisation of the Church alone saved her from
disintegration in that period of decentralisation. The spirit of the
Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, from this standpoint, had become the saviour
of the Church. The next force that appeared in western Europe to rescue
the Church from the low state of spiritual degeneration to which she had
fallen was, strange to say, the Holy Roman Empire under the guidance of
another mighty German ruler.



  1.--Roberts and Donaldson, _Ante-Nicene Christian Library_, ix.,
          pt. 2, p. 144 _ff._ Has letters of six Popes.

  2.--Schaff, _Ante-Nicene Fathers_, viii., 601.

  3.--Henderson, _Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages_,
          319. Contains the Donation of Constantine.

  Bibliographical Note:--There is no complete collection of these
          False Letters in English. Migne, _Patrologiæ_, cxxx.,
          contains the first complete collection. The famous
          letters of Pope Nicholas I. are in vol. cxix. The latest
          and best collection is by Hinschius, Leip., 1863.



    1.--Döllinger, J. J. I., _Fables Respecting the Popes in the
          Middle Ages_. N. Y., 1872.

    2.--Greenwood, T., _Cathedra Petri_. Lond., 1859. Bk. vii.,

    3.--Janus (Döllinger), _The Pope and the Council_. 1869.

    4.--Lea, H. C., _Studies in Church History_. Phil., 1883. Pp.

    5.--Lee, G. C., _Hincmar_. Balt., 1897. _Am. Soc. of Ch.
          Hist._, viii.

    6.--Newman, J. H., _Essays, Critical and Historical_. Lond.,
          1888. II., 271-5; 320-35.

    7.--Oman, C., _The Dark Ages_. Lond., 1893.

    8.--Prichard, J. C., _Life and Times of Hincmar_. Lond., 1849.

    Bibliographical Note:--The best special discussions are not in
          English. Among them are, Blondel, _Pseudo-Isidorus et
          Turrianus Vapulantes_. Geneva, 1628; Theiner, _De
          Pseudoisidor. canonum collectione_. Bres., 1826; Kunst,
          _De Fontibus et Consilio Pseud. collect._ Gött., 1832;
          Wasserschleben, _Beiträge zur Geschichte der falschen
          Dekretalen_. Bres., 1844; Weizsäcker, _Hinkmar und
          Pseudoisidor_, 1858; Schrörs, _Hincmar Erzbischof von
          Rheims, sein Leben und sein Schriften_. Freib., 1884;
          Phillips, _Kirchenrecht_. Reg., 1845.


    Adams, 234. Allen, 50. Alzog, ii., 194-211. Butler, ch. 61-62.
    Coxe, lect. 5, sec. 4-6. Creighton, i., 12. Crooks, 331.
    Darras, iii., 18. Döllinger, iii., ch. 4, sec. 7. Emerton, 76.
    Fisher, 24, 169. Fitzgerald, ii., 28-54. Foulkes, ch. 7.
    Gieseler, ii., 324. Gilmartin, i., ch. 37. Greenwood, iii.,
    ch. 6, 7. Hase, 184. Hurst, i., 494. Jennings, i., ch. 8.
    Kurtz, i., 511. Milman, iii., 58, 190. Milner, ii., 190.
    Moeller, ii., 160-164. Mosheim, i., 187, 414, 420. Neander,
    vi., 101, 110, 117, 122, 128. Robertson, bk. 4, ch. 1. Schaff,
    iv., 266-273. Sheldon, ii., 122.


[326:1] A decretal, in the strict canonical sense, is an authoritative
rescript of a Pope given in reply to some question propounded to him,
just as a decree is an ordinance enacted by him, with the advice of his
clergy, but not drawn from him by previous inquiry. See Gieseler, pd. 2,
ch 3; _Cath. Encyc._

[326:2] Janus, _The Pope and the Council_; Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._,

[328:1] Theiner.

[328:2] Moehler.

[328:3] Kunst, Wasserschleben, Döllinger, Moeller, Hatch.

[330:1] Other collections had been made in the East. See Smith and
Cheetham, art. on "Canon Law."

[331:1] Henderson, 319.

[332:1] _Inferno_, bk. xix., 112-118.

[332:2] _De Concordia Catholica_, bk. iii., 2.

[332:3] _De Reform. Eccl._, c. 5.

[332:4] _Defensor Pacis_, ii., c. 28.

[332:5] _Sum. Eccl._, vol. ii., 101.

[333:1] _Institutes_, iv., 7, 11, 20.

[333:2] Febronius, Eichorn, Theiner, Röstell, Luden.

[333:3] Mansi, xv., 694.

[333:4] Kurtz, i., 82.

[334:1] Niedner, p. 397.

[334:2] Hardwick, _Church History_, 148, note.

[334:3] _Mon. Ger._, i., 452.

[334:4] Mansi, xv., 694.

[335:1] Blondel, Kunst, Walter, Densiger.

[335:2] Phillips, Gfrörer.

[335:3] Ballareni, Gieseler, Wasserschleben.

[335:4] Weizsäcker, Von Noorden, Hinschius, Richter, Boxman.

[335:5] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 48.

[335:6] Döllinger.

[335:7] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 49.

[336:1] Schaff, iv., 275.

[336:2] De Cormenin, _Hist. of the Popes_, 248.

[337:1] Alex., _Ep._, i., ch. 5; Felix, _Ep._, ii., ch. 12.

[338:1] Anacletus, _Ep._, i., ch. 4; Marcellinus, _Ep._ ii., ch. 3.

[338:2] Kurtz § 86, ii., No. 2.

[338:3] Clement, _Ep._, 1.

[342:1] Baronius, _Ann._, 863.

[342:2] Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, bk. vii., ch. 2.

[343:1] Bouquet, vii., 391.

[343:2] Pertz, i., 462.

[343:3] Greenwood, _Cathedra Petri_, bk. vii., ch. 6.



     OUTLINE: I.--Organisation of the papal hierarchy. II.--Moral
     condition of the clergy and laity. III.--Great activity and
     wide influence of the Church. IV.--The ordeals and the Church.
     V.--Church discipline--excommunication and interdict--and
     penance. VI.--Worship--the mass--preaching--hymns. VII.--The
     sacraments. VIII.--Relics and saints. IX.--Sources.

The Roman Catholic Church, based on the Bible and tradition, satisfying
the religious needs of the age, and moulded by the historical forces of
the period, changed from the democratic, apostolic Church to the
powerful monarchial hierarchy of the Middle Ages, by a natural,
historical process. The Pope, the Bishop of Bishops, stood at the head
of the well organised hierarchy as the source of faith, the supreme
law-giver, the distributor of justice, the resort of last appeal, and
the grantor of offices, honour, and favours. He came to hold the balance
of power in the world-politics and claimed supremacy in secular affairs.
To enforce his will he had an army of priests and monks, the sanctity
and prestige of Peter's Chair, and the formidable weapons of
excommunication and interdict. To assist him in his multitudinous
duties, an extensive papal court had been gradually built up.

Just below the Pope in the hierarchy came the archbishops, or primates,
or metropolitans.[348:1] After the third century, the term metropolitan
in the East meant the bishop who lived in the capital of a province. The
Council of Nicæa recognised the office and gave the metropolitan the
right to ordain bishops.[348:2] The Council of Antioch clearly defined
the jurisdiction of the metropolitan.[348:3] He ruled the suffragan
bishops, conducted episcopal elections, confirmed and ordained bishops,
called and presided over annual episcopal synods. Somewhat later he came
to exercise the right of deciding appeals.[348:4] Gradually the name and
prerogatives were extended to the West, where about the seventh century
the metropolitans were very powerful,[348:5] but by degrees they lost
their power when secular princes, like the Merovingian kings, usurped
their functions. Even the bishops adopted the short-sighted policy of
preferring to have their superior at Rome instead of in their own
province. Under the Carolingians, especially Charles the Great, and the
Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, however, they regained something of their
earlier prestige. But they were subjected to the direct control of the
Pope and existed as useful intermediaries between Rome and the ordinary
bishops. In that limited sphere of activity, however, there were still
many important duties left to the metropolitan of the Middle Ages. As
early as the sixth century the Pope at Rome, as patriarch, claimed the
right to sanction the election of a metropolitan by the clergy of the
province, and bestowed the "pallium" upon the candidate. The
metropolitans, it must be remembered, were not generally separated from
archbishops in the early history of the Church. When the differentiation
did evolve, the archbishop became superior to the metropolitan.

The title archbishop was unknown in the Church before the fourth
century. At first it was used as a sign of honour without implying
superior jurisdiction over bishops. Perhaps Athanasius first used it in
speaking of Bishop Alexander of Alexandria. Then Gregory Nazianzen
applied it to Athanasius himself. Soon it came to be used in connection
with the bishops of the most important sees in the East. Liberatus gave
all the patriarchs the title of archbishops. The Council of Chalcedon
even applied the name to the mighty patriarchs of Rome and
Constantinople. When the Empire was divided into dioceses, which in turn
were subdivided into provinces, an exarch or vicar was placed in the
capital of each diocese. In conscious imitation, the Church established
ecclesiastical exarchs or patriarchs in these local capitals. Archbishop
was a common title for this office. The archbishop ordained the
metropolitans, convened diocesan synods, received appeals from the
metropolitan and his provincial synod, and enforced discipline in his
diocese. In the West in the seventh century Isidore of Seville ranked
the archbishop higher than the metropolitan. The precise distinction
between the two offices, however, was not very clear and, finally, was
lost entirely. These officers usually sided with the secular authorities
against the Pope and tended to favour the organisation of national
Churches with patriarchs at their head. They attempted likewise to
subject the bishops and priests to their rule and thus curtail the power
of the Pope. The Popes, however, saw the danger and sought to avert it
by appointing several archbishops in each country, and bestowing upon
one of them the title of "primate" with the delegated powers of the Holy
See. Thus England had the archbishops of Canterbury, the oldest (seventh
century) and most important,[350:1] and of York (eighth century).
Germany was ruled by the archbishops of Mayence, who was "primus" and
who served as imperial chancellor until the time of Otto the
Great,[350:2] Trier (eighth century), Cologne (eighth century), Salzburg
(eighth century), Hamburg-Bremen (ninth century), and Magdeburg (tenth
century).[350:3] France possessed the archbishops of Rheims, who was
recognised as primate,[350:4] Aix, Aux, Bordeaux, Bourges, and Rouen. In
Italy the Pope had a continual struggle with the archbishops of Milan,
who claimed as their founder the apostle Barnabas, Aquileia, and
Ravenna. The use of the title primate does not come into ordinary use,
it seems, until after the appearance of the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals.

Next in the hierarchy came the bishops. They resented, as a general
rule, the pretensions of both the metropolitans and the archbishops and
recognised the Pope as their friend and superior. Since all western
Europe was divided up into episcopal dioceses, with one bishop in each
diocese, they were both very numerous and very powerful, particularly
in local affairs.

For the first five centuries of the Christian era the election of
bishops in the Church followed one general pattern. The neighbouring
bishops nominated while the local clergy and laity approved the election
and gave the requisite testimony of character. But with the evolution in
the organisation of the Church, and as a result of the close alliance
with the state, a series of important changes occurred. (1) With the
rise of the metropolitans there appeared a new factor in the selection
of a bishop. The metropolitan usually conducted the election, and
confirmed and ordained the candidate. This came to be regulated by
Church canons. (2) With the ascendancy of the state over the Church the
selection of bishops was practically transferred to the laity. At times
Emperors alone nominated. After the sixth century, the right of royal
assent was generally acknowledged. It was but a short step to convert
that secular assumption into a right of nomination. Thus the ruling
power had come to control the election of bishops quite generally
throughout the mediæval Church. Among the chief qualifications for the
office were, in addition to a good character, an age limit of fifty
years, ordination as priest, or at least as deacon, and membership in
the local clergy. But these requirements were often broken and waived.

The bishop occupied an office of arduous duties and grave
responsibilities. It might be said that he was the powerful ruler of his
province. He administered all the Christian sacraments. He enforced
discipline. He received all income and offerings, and managed all the
ecclesiastical business of his diocese. He exercised the power of
ordination and confirmation, and thus perpetuated the Christian
ministry. He did all the formal preaching and by visitation kept an
oversight of the whole Church under his care. He was the natural medium
of communication to and from his people and clergy. He was also an
important factor in the local synod and served as the ecclesiastical
judge of his district. All such matters as liturgy, worship, alms,
dedication of churches, patronage, and protection of minors, widows, and
the unfortunate came under his jurisdiction. Nor did his cares end here.
Through the synod he helped to rule the province and through the general
council he participated in the government of the Church at large.

The bishops controlled the priests, who were found in every section of
Christendom in the sixth century, and who came into vital touch with the
masses of the laity. As early as the third century, indeed, all churches
began to conform to a single type. The independence of the presbyter of
the early Church disappeared with the rise of the episcopal system. The
subordination of the priest became, by the sixth century, complete. This
result was inevitable because of the rise of the synodal system, the
assimilation of the organisation of the Empire, and the development of
the parochial system, which subdivided the diocese into smaller sections
in the hands of priests.[352:1] The priests administered the sacraments
to the people to whom they were the very bread of life and the means of
salvation, heard them in their confessions, inflicted penances and gave
them counsel, baptised their children, confirmed them, watched over all
their deeds on earth, closed their eyes in death, and prepared them for
the world to come, and even through prayers and masses interceded for
their forgiveness in purgatory. Working side by side with the priests
were the countless monks and nuns fairly swarming over western Europe,
who also came into intimate touch with the masses. They were the
teachers and preachers of the common people. In the hands of these
priests and monks rested almost entirely the humane and charitable
institutions of the Middle Ages. The true religion of Jesus was likewise
in their hands rather than in the hands of the higher clergy.

At the bottom of the hierarchical pyramid were the laity, who by the
twelfth century included all the people of western Europe, except a
portion of Spain. Both canon law and imperial law forbade their
performing any sacerdotal functions and ordered them "to be obedient to
the order handed down by the Lord."

From the standpoint of morality,[353:1] this period was one of
pronounced contrasts. Christian virtues and heathen vices, the strictest
asceticism and the grossest sensuality, tyranny and crude democracy, all
existed side by side with apparently no serious conflicts. It was an age
of anarchy, confusion, lawlessness, immorality, and highway robbery on
land and sea, accompanied by boldness, chivalry, and heroism. In the
East, the Church had to contend with "the vices of an effete
civilisation and a corrupt court." In the West, many of the old Roman
vices were continued and even invigorated by fresh barbaric blood. It
would be difficult to imagine anything more corrupt than the Merovingian
court.[353:2] Of the whole period Gibbon declares that it would be
impossible "to find anywhere more vice or less virtue."

The people at this time might be called more religious than moral. A
little piety would cover a multitude of sins in the eyes of even the
best. A whole life of wickedness and evil-doing was all wiped out and a
home in heaven assured by the building of a church, monastery, shrine,
or hospital, or by deeding property to the Church, or by doing some
pious deed. An exaggerated belief in the supernatural and miraculous was
universal. A physical hell, heaven, devil, and angels were just as real
to the people as the earth, day and night, the sun and moon, and the
seasons. The worship of saints and relics was very common, and
particularly in favour with the most wicked. The seventh century had
more saints than any preceding, except possibly the fourth. Under these
circumstances, it was not uncommon to find good used as a cloak for evil
and the greatest apparent sanctity united with the worst

The clergy led society and set moral standards which the masses followed
without question. They embraced all social ranks from the sons of kings
to the sons of slaves. Politically they shared with the kings and nobles
the rule of the people. The upper clergy had huge estates like the
landed nobles, and were, in fact, recruited largely from the younger
sons of noblemen. The clergy were everywhere immune from taxation and
military service. Charles the Great and his successors gave them all the
privileges granted by the Eastern Emperors from Constantine on. They
could not be tried or sued before civil courts, but had their own
tribunals. They were supported by the income from landed estates, gifts
from the pious, and legally established tithes. Morally, they were as a
rule superior to their flocks, although there are many disgraceful
exceptions. Europe was cursed at this time with tramp priests without
churches who swarmed over Europe demanding a livelihood because of the
sanctity of their office. Contrary to law, bishops wore swords and lost
their lives on battle-fields--even Popes engaged in warfare.[355:1]
Drunkenness was not infrequent among the clergy and licentiousness was a
common complaint against them.[355:2] The minutes of Church synods are
full of censures and punishments for clerical sins and vices like
fornication, intemperance, avarice, hunting and hawking, gambling,
betting, attending horse races, going to theatres, keeping houses of
prostitution, and others.[355:3] Celibacy was the prescribed rule of the
West, but many of the clergy were either married or lived with
mistresses. Hadrian II. was married before he became Pope and his
son-in-law murdered both the Pope's wife and daughter (868).[355:4] But
there were of course many noteworthy examples of purity in all ranks of
the clergy. Married laymen upon entering the priesthood or a convent
gave up their wives. The lowest depths, perhaps, were reached in the
tenth and eleventh centuries, when even the Popes themselves, who should
have stood for all that was best, set the example for the greatest evil.
Reform did not appear until the coming of the monastic order of Clugny,
the German Emperors, and the Hildebrandine Popes.

The Church, however, during this trying, formative period was the moral
ark of safety for Europe. It fought vice and encouraged virtue. It was
the only promoter of education and culture. It taught the Apostles'
Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, and along with them
were learned lessons of faith and duty. It emphasised both the need and
importance of prayer, fasts, charity, pity, hospitality, and other
virtues. Its ideals were always high--far above the masses of the Church
members--though in practice the clergy did not always conform to the
ideals. The Church was the one great light that pointed the people of
this epoch to a brighter day and a better civilisation. The sanctity of
the home life for the laity and of celibacy for the priests was
asserted. Divorce was seldom permitted.[356:1] Woman's position and
property rights were advanced. The Virgin Mary was constantly extolled
as the incarnation of womanly purity, love, and devotion. Much wise and
ennobling legislation on the subject of marriage was enacted. There are
many instances, too, where the head of the Church, or one of his
officers, bravely protected injured innocence, even against kings.
Polygamy, concubinage, secret marriage, the marriage of relatives, and
marriage with Jews, heathen, or heretics were forbidden.[356:2]

The Church inherited the patristic conception of Rome in regard to
slavery. Jesus had made no direct reference to the social organisation.
St. Paul, however, spoke of the relations of slave and master.[356:3]
"The world into which Christianity was born recognised slavery
everywhere."[357:1] The early Church tolerated slavery, but emancipation
was held to be an act of Christian charity[357:2]; hence converted
Christians often freed their slaves on baptism.[357:3] The Church
Fathers recognised the institution of slavery as a moral wrong
established on a legal basis, but called Christian slaves brothers.
Lactantius told Constantine that slaves were brothers in Jesus.[357:4]
Ambrose suggested that the slave might be even superior to his
master.[357:5] Augustine held that slavery was a sin which originated in
the Noachian curse, but that Christ's sacrifice freed slaves,
consequently the curse would disappear.[357:6]

The mediæval Church, inheriting the patristic view, sought not to
abolish slavery, but to ameliorate it. Masters were requested,
therefore, to provide spouses for their slaves.[357:7] Prayers were
offered up constantly for the removal of their hardships.[357:8] They
were granted all the Church feast and fast days.[357:9] Among the
Christians there were many acts of manumission.[357:10] Constantine and
his successors enacted many laws favourable to slaves.[357:11] The
barbarian invasion, however, postponed for a thousand years the general
emancipation of slaves. The Church itself was a slave-owner and slaves
were found on the lands of convents, bishops, and Popes.[358:1] Even
one of the Popes, Calistus, had been a slave.[358:2] But at the same
time the Church was always an asylum for slaves and sought to protect
them from cruel masters. Gregory the Great declared that all slaves held
by Jews were free[358:3] and also emancipated heathen slaves upon
turning Christian.[358:4] Thus both by precept and example the Church
was the one great force paving the way for the gradual abolition of

The Church, as the great advocate of peace and order, strove to abolish
family feuds, blood-revenge, and private wars by substituting legal
action and legal penalty against the author of crime.[358:6] The synod
of Toledo in 693 forbade duels and private feuds.[358:7] The synod of
Charroux in 989 and the Bishop of Puy in 990 proclaimed the "Peace of
God."[358:8] The synod of Poitiers in 1004, in proclaiming the "Peace of
God," decided that law should replace force in determining questions of
justice. The synod of Limoges in 1031 issued an interdict against bloody
feuds. The Church everywhere sought to have disputes settled by fines
rather than fighting, by arbitration rather than litigation, by
witnesses rather than by duels. The efforts of the Church in this era of
lawlessness, of wanton bloodshed, and of insecurity of property, to
maintain peace and to secure justice form one of the most glorious
chapters in her remarkable career. The Popes wrote letters and published
encyclicals to recommend vows and habits of concord to all Christian
nations. Great councils were called to spread abroad ideas of amity and
brotherly love. The clergy preached it and enthusiastic monks went from
village to village to proclaim it in the name of the "Prince of Peace."
A veritable crusade of peace swept over Europe, and denounced war as
anti-Christian. Brotherhoods of the Peace of God were formed to curb the
militant feudal barons and to protect commerce, agriculture, women,
children, travellers, strangers, and holy clerks. When the whole
ecclesiastical machinery of the Church, with its power to withhold
salvation gained through the holy sacraments and with its mighty weapons
of excommunication and interdict, was wielded in behalf of peace, it was
a force that could not easily be resisted.[359:1] To the Church,
therefore, must be given the credit of making the first determined
effort to limit, if not to abolish, the ravages of private war.

The famous "Truce of God," which originated in Aquitania in 1033, marks
a new era.[359:2] Private war was the curse of the Middle Ages and the
Church made an effort to check the evil. According to its provisions,
bishops and abbots were to see to it that all feuds should cease from
Wednesday evening till Monday morning. The penalty for violating the
truce was at first excommunication, but later expulsion from a
bishopric, loss of a benefice or property, severance of the right hand,
decapitation, scalping, and other punishments were added. Archbishop
Raimbald of Arles with other bishops and abbots asked the Church in
Italy in 1041 to adopt the "Truce of God."[360:1] Pope Nicholas II.
(1059) and Alexander II. (1068) made public proclamation of the peace,
and, as a result of all these endeavours, it soon spread over
France,[360:2] Italy,[360:3] Burgundy, Spain, and Germany.[360:4] Rulers
were not slow to sanction and to enforce these peace measures. Emperor
Henry IV. issued an edict in 1085 to enforce the "Truce of God" under
frightfully severe penalties.[360:5] Pope Urban II. in the Council of
Clermont, held a decade later, made it the general law of the
Church.[360:6] The time was extended to the periods between Advent and
Epiphany, Ash Wednesday and Easter, Ascension Day and Pentecost.[360:7]
Various festivals and vigils were also included. If strictly enforced
the "Truce of God" would have given Christendom peace for about 240 days
out of the year. Its operation was preceded by the ringing of bells. The
first Lateran Councils (1121, 1139, 1179) confirmed it and made it a
part of the _Corpus Juris Canonici_. The "Truce of God" later helped to
produce the "land peace" in various parts of the Empire.[360:8]

The Church sanctioned and used the "judgment of God" or the ordeal as a
better means of obtaining justice than by war.[361:1] This process of
justice was not new, but had prevailed in the Orient and among the Celts
and Teutons. It rested on this fundamental principle that the accused is
guilty until he proves himself innocent and that God, as the source of
justice, will protect the innocent. "Let doubtful cases," ran a
Carolingian capitulary, "be determined by the judgment of God. The
judges may decide that which they clearly know, but that which they
cannot know shall be reserved for divine judgment. He whom God has
reserved for His own judgment may not be condemned by human means."

There were four different kinds of ordeals: by water, by fire, by
battle, and by some sacred emblem.[361:2] The ordeal by hot water was
the oldest form in Europe.[361:3] It typified the deluge and hell.
Hincmar of Rheims appears to have recommended it first. The accused was
compelled, with naked arm, to find a stone or ring in a kettle of
boiling water, or merely to thrust his arm into it. If his arm was
scalded he was guilty, if not, innocent.[361:4] The ordeal by cold water
was probably introduced by Pope Eugenius II. (824-827). The theory was
that pure water will not receive a criminal, hence it was believed that
the guilty would float and the innocent sink. The accused, therefore,
was bound and thrown into the water, but held by a rope with which to
pull him out.[361:5]

The ordeal by fire was performed either by hot iron or stones, or by a
pure flame of fire. The accused was compelled to walk barefooted over
six or twelve red-hot ploughshares, or to carry a piece of red-hot iron
in his bare hand nine feet or more. The unburned, of course, were
innocent.[362:1] Or the accused was asked to stick his hand into a
flame, or walk with bare feet and legs through the fire.[362:2]

The battle ordeals were very old and widespread in Europe although not
introduced into England until the Norman Conquest. They were used for
both personal and international disputes. The right to contest was
usually restricted to free men, but the young, sick, old, female, and
clergy could furnish substitutes. Here again God, the Judge in all these
cases, gave victory to the innocent.[362:3] The Church regarded this
form of ordeal with disfavour. Both councils and Popes declared boldly
against it. Innocent II., Alexander III., Clement III., Celestine III.,
and Innocent III. were outspoken in their opposition. It was expressly
forbidden the clergy to engage in these combats without special license.
Christian burial was even refused to those who fell in such combats.
Civil law enforced the ecclesiastical opposition and thus gradually
secured the elimination of the evil. This ordeal did not die out until
the sixteenth century.

The sacred ordeals had to do with religious emblems. In the ordeal of
the cross both the accused and the defendant stood before a cross with
uplifted arms while special divine service was performed, or the arms
were extended in the form of a cross. The arms of the guilty person
dropped first. Pepin first used it for divorce cases (752). Charles the
Great extended it to territorial disputes (806). Louis the Pious
abolished it in 816 because it brought the holy symbol into disrepute.
The eucharist was likewise employed to protect the innocent and punish
the guilty. The synod of Worms in 868 enjoined it upon bishops and
priests accused of murder, adultery, theft, and sorcery. In the trial
the eucharist was swallowed with this adjuration from the priest: "May
this body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ be a judgment to thee this
day." In the famous encounter of Hildebrand and Henry IV. at Canossa,
the Pope challenged the Emperor to undergo this ordeal, but the wily
German refused.[363:1] A use was also made of relics for similar
purposes--a test that was probably of ecclesiastical origin. The accused
placed his hands on the sacred relics and made an oath of his innocence.

The Church played a very conspicuous part in all these ordeals. Church
councils sanctioned them[363:2] and the clergy favoured them.[363:3] Not
infrequently they were used to further the interests of the Church and
to punish heretics. Priests usually prepared the contestants by fasts,
prayer, and special service, presided over the trial, and pronounced
judgment in God's name. This method of securing justice, however,
provoked considerable opposition within the Church. As early as the
sixth century Bishop Avitus of Vienne opposed the battle ordeal in the
Burgundian Code. St. Agobard of Lyons (d. 840) wrote two enlightened
treatises against the duel and the whole system of the ordeal.[364:1]
Occupants of St. Peter's Chair like Leo IV., Nicholas I., Stephen VI.,
Sylvester II., Alexander II., Alexander III., Celestine III., Honorius
III., all condemned the institution.[364:2] The famous fourth Lateran
Council held under Innocent III. in 1215 forbade the use of religious
ceremonies in these trials and thus practically abolished the
institution. Secular rulers also sought to end the practice.
Unfortunately, the Inquisition, which employed methods somewhat similar
to the ordeal, followed too closely in its wake.

Perhaps the most important service of the Church to the civilisation of
the Middle Ages was the extensive cultivation of charity, "the queen of
the Christian graces."[364:3] Both the example and teachings of Jesus
served as a model and were supplemented by the words and work of the
Apostles, particularly Paul. In the early Church charity was a cardinal
principle.[364:4] At first the remnants of the eucharistic feasts were
employed as sources of relief to the poor and needy; later free-will
offerings given to the bishop and collections taken in the churches were
employed to the same end. Usually seven deacons distributed these
contributions to the poor, sick, and needy in each congregation.[364:5]

In Rome the organisation of charity was begun comparatively early. The
parish was introduced in the third century and in the fourth century
Pope Anastasius divided Rome into fourteen "regions" and in them founded
and endowed deaconries. Gregory the Great in the sixth century created
seven districts in Rome ruled over by seven deacons and an archdeacon,
built a hospital in each district, controlled by a deacon and a steward
for the poor, sick, and orphans; and formed thirty parishes with
thirty-six priests. He sold his extensive possessions and gave the
proceeds to charity. Many of the great Fathers of the Church made
similar sacrifices and never wearied of enjoining the duty of charity on
Christians. The churches of Rome had large estates, especially in
Sicily. One third of their income was given quarterly to
charities.[365:1] Pope Gregory the Great also made monthly distributions
of food to the poor, and each day sent part of his meals to feed the
needy at his door. This model arrangement for charitable purposes in the
capital of Christendom was copied quite extensively elsewhere and
enlisted the services of thousands of priests, monks, and nuns in all
sections of western Europe.

After Constantine legalised Christianity, charity became institutional
and endowed, first in the East, then to the westward.[365:2] Perhaps the
first public hospital was founded in Rome by Fabiola, a Roman lady, in
the fourth century. St. Pammachus established another in the Eternal
City. Paulinus built one in Nola. Still others were planted in Naples,
Sicily, and Sardinia. Poorhouses, orphanages, and homes for the aged
were likewise begun in this early period. As Christianity was spread
over Europe by the missionary monks these charitable institutions were
planted by it to help and comfort thousands in this period of war,
famine, and pestilence, and to remain as the choicest heritage to the
modern from the mediæval Church. In theory, mediæval charity was made
one of the chief acts of piety, the most certain means of salvation, and
perhaps emphasised too much the benefits to the donor and to his dead
relatives, rather than to the worthy recipient.

Church discipline originated in the "power of the keys" and in the
control of the sacraments. In the early Church it was a "purely
spiritual jurisdiction."[366:1] After Constantine, however, it touched
the civil and social status of the delinquents. During the entire Middle
Ages it was a tremendous power because it was believed that the Church,
ruled by the divinely appointed Pope and his army of ecclesiastics, was
the "dispenser of eternal salvation" and that exclusion from her
communion without repentance incurred eternal damnation. Discipline was
administered either directly by the Pope or by the bishops and their
representatives, the archdeacons, or in each congregation by the priest.
Civil authorities aided the Church in enforcing discipline. Charles the
Great ordered the bishops to hold annual public synodical courts to try
cases of incest, murder, adultery, robbery, theft, and other vices
contrary to God's laws.[366:2] The clergy and laity alike were
investigated. Seven irreproachable synodal judges from each congregation
reported to the synod on the state of morals and religion.[366:3]
Similar synods were held in Spain and England and soon came to be
common throughout Europe. The ordinary penalties inflicted were fines,
fasting, pilgrimages, scourging, imprisonment, and deeds of charity.
Obstinate cases incurred excommunication. The penalties inflicted on the
clergy were more severe than those on the laity.[367:1] About the same
time developed the practice by which the priest heard the
confessions[367:2] of his flock and doled out the punishment for their
private offences. But by the ninth century confession to a priest had
not yet become compulsory.

The most severe punishment on the individual was excommunication.[367:3]
It could be pronounced by the Pope against a layman, either king or
common man, or against a bishop or priest; or by a bishop against a
layman or a priest. Its operation was direct and its effects severe. It
cut the excommunicate off from the sacraments which alone could insure
his salvation and subjected him to temporal punishments. As long as he
was under the ban, he was a social outcast, like an outlawed criminal or
a dangerous wild beast, debarred from all social greetings, food,
shelter, and all intercourse. To kill him was not murder and he was left
to die in lonely starvation. By the secular law, too, he lost all civil
rights, could be seized and thrown into prison, and forfeited to the
state all his property.[367:4] His whole family, likewise, were subject
to the same disabilities.[367:5] If a king, his subjects were all
released from allegiance to him. He was consigned to everlasting
punishment, often with the most terrific curses, which were frequently
written down with sacred wine and ink. This terrible fate dangled over
the head of every member of the Church, dead as well as alive, but, of
course, it followed only after the proof of guilt had been established
in a careful, formal trial and after earnest entreaties to repent had
been made. The theory, however, was too often abused.[368:1] With
sincere repentance the punishment ceased and absolution followed.[368:2]

There are examples almost without number of the employment of
excommunication, but a few conspicuous examples will suffice to show its
operation. Ambrose in 383 excommunicated Maximus for murdering Gratian,
the Emperor.[368:3] Gregory the Great excommunicated Archbishop Maximus
of Salona and forced him to repentance (600).[368:4] The Archbishop of
Sens (seventh century) launched the curse against unknown robbers of his
church.[368:5] Pope Benedict VIII. excommunicated the despoiler of the
monastery of St. Giles.[368:6] There were very many cases against kings,
criminals, heretics, etc., and the punishment was even applied to
animals. Thus in 975 the Archbishop of Treves excommunicated the
annoying sparrows. Caterpillars which were ravishing the diocese of Laon
were put under the ban in 1120 by the bishop. Even St. Bernard, on an
occasion which may have been justifiable, pronounced an anathema in 1121
on a swarm of flies which bothered him while he was making a pious
speech.[369:1] Not only was this ecclesiastical cudgel used with the
most telling effects in enforcing the law of the Church upon the
disobedient and unbelieving, but it was not infrequently abused for
personal revenge and spite or for other low motives.[369:2]

The interdict was another form of punishment, issued by a Pope or a
bishop, against a city, diocese, district, or country, and involved the
innocent along with the guilty. It had a counterpart among the barbarian
tribes which made the family responsible for the crimes of individual
members. This may have been its origin, for the Church adopted the same
idea in applying excommunication to the barbarians. It began in a mild
form as early as the fifth century, but ere long was a common
punishment. The city of Rouen was put under the interdict in 586 for the
murder of its bishop.[369:3] The Bishop of Laon in 869 pronounced the
interdict on his diocese, but Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims removed it.
The synod of Limoges enforced the "Truce of God" in 1031 by this
means.[369:4] Gregory VII. applied it to the province of Gnesen to
punish King Boleslaw II. for the crime of murder, and Alexander II. in
1180 thus afflicted all Scotland because the ruler expelled a papal
bishop. Innocent III. in 1200 suspended it over France, because of the
marital faithlessness of Philip Augustus, and for six years enforced it
in England (1208) to humble King John. Its operation was very severe.
All religious worship was suspended, the churches were closed, priests
refused to perform marriage and burial ceremonies, the people were
ordered to fast as in Lent and were forbidden to shave or cut their
hair.[370:1] Only the sacraments, of baptism and extreme unction could
be administered and then always behind closed doors. Penance and the
eucharist could be extended alone to the mortally sick. All inhabitants
of the afflicted region were ordered to dress in mourning, fast, and act
in humility. Church bells were tolled at certain hours in the day, when
all people were to fall upon their knees in prayer for the removal of
the causes of the interdict. With such thunderbolts as the
excommunication and interdict in the hands of the great High Priest of
the Church, which could be hurled at will against any individual or
people, and when the people blindly and unquestionably submitted to
them, it can be seen how the power of the Papacy was augmented and the
subjection of the clergy and laity alike increased.

The mass was the very centre of all Church worship. Pope Gregory I.
established its mediæval form. The celebration of the mass was the
bloodless sacrifice of Christ to God for the world's sins, a
reconciliation of heaven and earth, of benefit to the living and to the
pious dead. It is no wonder then that the mass was celebrated several
times daily with the greatest ritualistic pomp and display. Masses for
the dead, too, became popular as the doctrine of purgatory
developed[370:2] and were usually celebrated as solitary masses. Lullus
even ordered masses and fasts in order to obtain good weather.[370:3]
The dogma of transubstantiation while generally held had not yet become
Church law. Church worship throughout western Europe was conducted in
Latin, and consequently was little understood by the masses of the

Although preaching was not a necessary part of the regular Church
service, still it was not an unusual feature. Pope Gregory I. frequently
preached with great earnestness, although his successors did not follow
his example. Bishops were required to preach, but their negligence was
proverbial.[371:1] The priests were commanded to explain to their people
the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the nature of the
sacraments. The models recommended were the homilies,[371:2] and the
sermons of Gregory I.[371:3] The vernacular was used of course in all
preaching and cathedral instruction.

The Church hymns of this period reflect the Christian life and worship.
In the Latin Church the hymns are divided into three periods: the
patristic epoch to Gregory I. (d. 604); the mediæval epoch to Damiani
(d. 1073); and the classical epoch to 1300. These Latin hymns possess
much fervour and some genius, and have a very pronounced character. Most
of them were inspired by the Blessed Virgin and next in favour came the
saints. There were many beautiful products like _Te Deum
Laudamus_.[371:4] In the early churches no organ was used.[371:5] Pope
Vitalian (657-672) probably first employed one, while Pepin and Charles
the Great both received presents of this instrument from the East. After
the eighth century it was generally used during the Middle Ages.[372:1]
Church bells gradually came into use after the time of Constantine and
were very numerous during this period.[372:2]

The origin of the term sacrament is not very clear. The Latin
_sacramentum_ meant the military oath of allegiance and the early
Fathers apparently used it in that sense.[372:3] It was also spoken of
as _mysterium_ in the New Testament.[372:4] _Sacramentum_ was thus early
united with _mysterium_ to denote the solemn, instructive, semi-secret,
external religious rites of worship. Augustine's definition, "the
visible form of invisible grace," or "a sign of a sacred thing," has
become classic and was accepted for centuries. The number of sacraments
was an evolution. Tertullian mentions but two, the eucharist and
baptism. Cyprian spoke of a third, confirmation. The Vulgate apparently
added a fourth, marriage.[372:5] Augustine mentioned the Lord's Supper
and baptism particularly as sacraments but used the word in many other
applications. The old "sacramentaries" of the eighth century and later
extend the word sacrament to a great variety of rites such as blessing
of the holy water, dedicating churches, etc., and have prayers and
benedictions for the same. Robanus Maurus (d. 856) advocated four and
Paschasius Rodbertus (d. 865) two sacraments, while Dionysius
Areopagite believed in six and Peter Damiani (d. 1072) enumerated
twelve. Hugh of St. Victor (d. 1141) asserted that there were thirty,
but Peter Lombard (d. 1164) and Thomas Aquinas (1274) fixed on seven as
the number, though they were not officially adopted by the Church until

The sacraments were the means of grace and spiritual food for the soul.
They met the child at birth in baptism, accompanied him in life, and
closed his eyes with extreme unction in death.

The most important of the sacraments was the eucharist. This solemn
festival seems to have been at first a regular meal, probably the
principal meal of the day in each family, at which the commemorative
breaking of bread and partaking of the cup was a part. Subsequently,
however, the local congregation met on this common basis. Certain abuses
which resulted[373:1] led to the early separation of the agape, or
love-feast, from the ministration of the eucharist of the bread and
wine. Henceforth the eucharist became a distinct institution celebrated
soon with solemn pomp by the priesthood alone. It was regarded as the
symbol of unity among believers and of communion with the Deity. It
became the test of Christian fellowship and membership. In the hands of
the mediæval priesthood, it was a most effectual power, since the Church
could withhold it and thus make those deprived of it outcasts certain of
eternal damnation. Because of its grave importance, the Church made
participation frequent and obligatory--and even administered it to
infants and to the dead. In the early Church the eucharist was
celebrated every Lord's Day and on the anniversaries of the martyrs.
Later it was offered every day and after the time of Leo the Great
several times a day as a daily sacrifice for daily sins. The celebration
of the eucharist was called the mass--the culmination of all Christian
worship--to which, however, only those fully initiated into Church
membership were admitted.[374:1]

Baptism was likewise a very important sacrament. Although there is no
evidence that Jesus ever performed the rite, still the New Testament
shows that the Apostles and evangelists did.[374:2] Immersion and
sprinkling were both early employed. The priest of course performed the
rite, though in cases of urgency any person using the proper formula
could do so. The effects produced by baptism were: regeneration; the
infusion of sanctifying grace; the gifts of faith, hope, and charity;
the remission of all sin, both original and actual, and also of all
penalty due to sin, both temporal and eternal. Because of the great
efficacy and the indelible character imparted by this sacrament, also
its absolute necessity to salvation, it was common for catechumens to
postpone the rite until the end of life drew near--as did Constantine
the Great--for then it would wipe away all past records. Elaborate
ceremonies in connection with baptism early developed. Candidates for
the rite, called catechumens, were forced to undergo a long course of
instruction. They could not witness the mysteries of the eucharist, but
were dismissed after the response and genuflections. After baptism,
which was administered usually on great Church festivals, especially
Whitsunday, the catechumens were received, given Christian name, turned
to the west to renounce the "devil and his works," exorcised by the
priest, anointed with holy oil, and instructed in the fundamentals of
Christian doctrine. Often an entire day was consumed in these
ceremonies. The act of baptism with consecrated water was performed at
the entrance to the church and usually the baptised received a white
garment in token of his purity.[375:1] Beautiful baptisteries were early
built either within the church or very near to the entrance.

In the Apostolic Church baptism was invariably connected with the
imposition of hands.[375:2] Later, however, the two acts were separated.
The laying on of hands in point of time came soon after the rite of
baptism.[375:3] All priests could baptise, while only the bishops could
perform the ceremony which gradually developed into the sacrament of
confirmation. The permanent separation of baptism and confirmation did
not occur, it seems, until the thirteenth century. The rite of baptism
was ordinarily performed only in special baptismal churches and at
certain stated periods. In popular opinion the baptised were placed
under the protection and consecration of the divine power. The rite also
signified subjection to the Church.

Penance was a sacrament and a pronounced institution of the Church of
the Middle Ages. The New Testament has in it but little on the subject
of discipline.[376:1] In the early Church penance was exclusively
spiritual, was not compulsory but had to be sought, occurred but once,
was extended only to baptised communicants, always followed public
confession before the whole congregation, and varied with the offence.
The penitents removed all ornaments from their persons, dressed in
sackcloth, the men shaved their heads and faces and the women wore
dishevelled hair, put ashes on their heads, abstained from baths and all
normal pleasures, and lived on bread and water. They were divided into
four classes: (1) The weepers, who could only stand at the church doors
and beg for prayers. (2) The hearers, who could enter the church for the
scripture lesson, but had to leave before the eucharistic service began.
(3) The kneelers, who could witness the first part of the eucharistic
office and then departed with the catechumens. (4) The standers, who
could remain during the whole service but were not permitted to

Out of these earlier conditions, penance came to be regarded as a
sacrament instituted by Jesus for removing sins committed after baptism
but involving contrition of heart and private confession to a priest as
prerequisites,[376:2] and for the performance of good works, such as
fasting, almsgiving, pilgrimages, endowing institutions of the Church,
self-flagellation, etc. The priest then solemnly absolved the penitent.
The Middle Ages produced regular "penitential books,"[376:3] that is, a
code of penalties for sins like drunkenness, fornications, avarice,
perjury, murder, heresy, idolatry, and other crimes. These regulations
were compiled from the Church Fathers, the Church synods and councils
down to the seventh century, and other collections of authoritative
sources. Nearly every diocese had its own special penitential code, but
the general character and spirit were essentially the same all over the
Church. Out of the system of penance grew the practice of indulgences,
which was simply the substitution of a payment in money for the penance.
Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury is usually credited with originating
the principle of penance and the institution of indulgences,[377:1] but
the system did not gain prominence until the time of the

Ordination was the sacrament of the hierarchy by which baptised persons
were consecrated to perform the duties of priesthood. Like baptism it
conferred an indelible character, hence could not be repeated. The
sacrament of extreme unction was at first merely the use of consecrated
oil to heal the sick.[377:3] But before long such veneration was
bestowed upon the holy oil that as early as the fourth century people
broke into the churches and stole the oil out of the lamps in order to
use it for the working of miraculous cures. It was employed not alone by
the priests, but by all Christians. It did not really become a sacrament
until the time of Peter Lombard. Marriage was also held to be a
sacrament, through which the priesthood controlled legitimacy,
inheritance, and the validity of wills.

Out of pagan idolatry, hero-worship, and the veneration for the martyrs
of the early Church grew both the practice of saint-worship and the use
of relics. The day of the martyr's death was made a festival and the
place of his burial was sanctified. It was believed that the martyrs had
the power to intercede with the Divine Powers for the answer of prayers.
Churches and shrines were built over the tombs of the martyrs, or their
bones were carried into churches. These relics were thought to possess
miracle-working power. Those places not blessed with relics felt it to
be a great disadvantage, consequently imported the remains of martyrs
and saints to meet the need. Regular calendars of saints appeared and
children were named after them with the expectation of lifelong
protection and assistance from the patron.

By the fourth century it was believed that the blessed martyrs, through
communion with our Lord, shared in his attributes of omnipresence and
omniscience. Prayers in behalf of the saints changed to prayers to them
for help. This transition was particularly easy for those who were won
from paganism because they were already accustomed to similar practices.
A festival of All Saints was instituted by Pope Boniface IV. in 610,
when the Pantheon was dedicated as a Christian church, though it was not
commonly observed until the ninth century, when Louis the Pious made it
general in the Empire. The festival of All Souls supplemented it in the
tenth century and became very popular. Every day in the calendar was
dedicated to one saint or more. Down to the tenth century individuals
renowned for some pious deed or for some suffering on account of the
Christian faith were exalted to sainthood by the voice of the people
with the consent of the bishop. Later, however, the bishops nominated
the saints and the Pope conferred the honour. The first instance of
papal canonisation was that of Ulrich, the Bishop of Augsburg, by John
XV. in 973. Pope Alexander III. (1170), in the period when the Papacy
was becoming all-powerful, seized this great prerogative into his own
hands.[379:1] Each nation, district, city, and individual church had its
saint. The fame of the saints was perpetuated by legend, hymn, painting,
sculpture, and the sacred edifices built to their memory and honour.
Consequently the tales and beliefs connected with the saints produced
most of the literature of the Middle Ages--the poetry, the song, the
history, and the subject of common thought, conversation, and feeling.

Closely connected with saint-worship was the universal use of sacred
relics and a belief in their miraculous power. The dominant interest of
popular piety circles around the saints and their relics. The relics in
the church were the greatest treasure of the community, and the
reliquary was the choicest ornament of the private room of the lady, in
the knight's armory, in the king's hall, and in the bishop's palace. The
use of relics and images developed comparatively early in the life of
the Church.[379:2] By the time of Constantine the practice was common
and approved by the Fathers. In fact, so wild were the people of the
West for relics that imperial law had to prohibit the cutting of the
corpses of martyrs into pieces for sale.[380:1] The great Ambrose
refused to consecrate a church which had no relics. When the Pantheon
was dedicated by Pope Boniface IV. twenty-eight cartloads of bones of
martyrs were transferred to that building from the various
cemeteries.[380:2] The seventh œcumenical council of Nicæa (787)
forbade bishops to dedicate a church without sacred relics under penalty
of excommunication. Traffic in relics became a regular business. St.
Augustine reproved the wandering monks for selling bogus relics. Gregory
the Great refused to send relics of St. Paul to the Empress of
Constantinople, yet he very jealously distributed the filings of the
chain of St. Peter. The relics increased until western Europe was full
of them and every community had miracle-working wonders--the products of
excessive piety, fraud, and credulity. All Christians believed in relics
for it was an impious thing to doubt. The wood of the true cross "grew
into a forest"; the nails were very numerous; at Sens was found the rod
of Moses; at Aachen the swaddling clothes of Jesus; at other points a
feather plucked from the wing of the angel Gabriel, the tears of Jesus,
the milk of the Virgin, the emblems of the Passion, a piece of wood from
the temple which St. Peter intended to build on the Mount of Olives; and
the bones, hair, teeth, and garments of saints without number. These
relics were employed to convert the heathen,[380:3] to heal diseases, to
ward off danger,[380:4] to punish the wicked, to protect the innocent,
and to bring good luck and general blessing.

The worship of Mary the Mother of Jesus became very pronounced after
the fourth century. Tertullian put Eve and Mary alongside of Adam and
Jesus. She was called the Blessed Virgin and the Mother of God. The
festival of the Annunciation held in the fifth century soon led to the
festival of the Purification of Mary, or the Candlemas of Mary. About
the end of the sixth century developed the feast of the Ascension of
Mary, to be followed the next century by the celebration of the birthday
of Mary. High above all the saints and martyrs was the rapturous
adoration of the "Queen of Heaven." After Gregory the Great the Virgin
played a constantly increasing part in the Church of the West. Churches
were erected in her honour everywhere and every church had at least a
chapel consecrated to Our Lady.

Hell, heaven, and purgatory were very real indeed to the mediæval mind.
Their location, form, and inhabitants were known exactly through
mediæval credulity. Devils and angels were in constant communication in
one way or another with the inhabitants of earth. All these forces and
influences formed the mediæval mind and produced the mediæval



  1.--The Church Fathers. See Chap. X.

  2.--The Acts of Church Councils. See Chap. IX.

  3.--The Early Church Historians. See Chap. XIII.

  4.--Gee, H., and Hardy, W. J., _Documents Illustrative of English
          Church History_. Lond., 1896. I., 59.

  5.--Henderson, E. F., _Select Historical Documents of the Middle
          Ages_. N. Y., 1892.

  6.--Ogg, _Source Book_.

  7.--Robinson, J. H., _Readings_, i.

  8.--Thatcher and McNeal, _Source Book_.

  9.--Univ. of Penn., _Translations and Reprints_.

  Bibliographical Note:--The original sources for this phase of the
          history of the Church are nearly all in Latin: 1.--Migne,
          _Patrologia_. 2.--Mansi, _Sacrorum Conciliorum
          Collectio_. 3.--Pertz, et al., _Monumenta Germaniæ
          Historica_. 4.--Muratori, L. A., _Rerum Italicarum
          Scriptores_. Med., 1723-51. 28 vols. 5.--Jaffé,
          _Bibliotheca rerum Germanicarum_. 6.--Watterich,
          _Pontificum Romanorum_. 7.--Duchesne, _Le Liber
          Pontificalis_. 8.--Bouquet, M., _Rerum Gallicarum et
          Francicarum Scriptores_. Paris, 1868 _ff._ 23 vols.
          9.--_Rerum Historica Britannica_. Lond., 1858 _ff._
          10.--Jaffé, _Regesta Pontificum Romanorum_.
          11.--Potthast, A., _Regesta Pontificum Romanorum_
          (1198-1304). 12.--Pflugh-Harttung, J. v., _Acta
          Pontificum Romanorum Inedita_. Tub., 1881. Stutg.,
          1884-8. 13.--Mirbt, _Quellen zur Geschichte des



     1.--Andrews, W., _Curiosities of the Church_. Lond., 1891.

     2.--Balmes, J., _European Civilisation: Protestantism and
          Catholicism Compared in their Effects on the Civilisation
          of Europe_. Lond., 1849.

     3.--Baring-Gould, S., _Curious Myths of the Middle Ages_.
          Lond., 1869.

     4.--Bethune-Baker, J. F., _The Influence of Christianity on
          War_. Camb., 1888.

     5.--Brace, C. J., _Gesta Christi_. Lond., 1886.

     6.--Buckle, H. T., _History of Civilisation in England_. N.
          Y., 1878. 3 vols.

     7.--Cox, G. W., and Johns, E. H., _Popular Romances of the
          Middle Ages_. Lond., 1880. 2 vols.

     8.--Cunningham, _The Growth of the Church in its Organisation
          and Institutions_. Lond., 1886.

     9.--Cutts, E. L., _Scenes and Characters of the Middle Ages_.
          Lond., 1872.

    10.--Döllinger, J. J. I., _Fables Respecting the Popes of the
          Middle Ages_. N. Y., 1872.

    11.--Hatch, E., _The Growth of Church Institutions_. N. Y.,

    12.--Lacroix, P., _Manners, Customs, and Dress of the Middle
          Ages_. Tr. N. Y., 1874. _Military and Religious Life in
          the Middle Ages._ Lond., 1879.

    13.--Lea, H. C., _Studies in Church History_. Phil., 1869.
          _Superstition and Force._ Phil., 1871. _Sacerdotal
          Celibacy._ Bost., 1884. _Auricular Concession and
          Indulgences._ Phil., 1896. 3 vols.

    14.--Lecky, W. E. H., _European Morals_. N. Y., 1877. (To 9th

    15.--Lewis, _Paganism Surviving in Christianity_. N. Y., 1892.

    16.--Maitland, S. R., _The Dark Ages_. Lond., 1845.

    17.--Marshall, _Penitential Discipline of the Primitive

    18.--Poole, R. L., _History of Mediæval Thought_. Lond., 1872.

    19.--Trench, R. C., _Lectures on Mediæval Church History_. N.
          Y., 1878.

    20.--Walcott, M. E. C., _Traditions and Customs of Cathedrals_.
          Lond., 1872.


    Adams, _Civ._, ch. 3. Addis, ch. 7. Adeney, ch. 11, 12. Alzog,
    ii., 111-118, 243-256, 257-292. Bouzique, ii., ch. 2, 3.
    Butler, ch. 32, 33, 36-39, 58, 60, 64. Cheetham, ch. 13. Coxe,
    lect. 1-4. Döllinger, ii., ch. 5, sec. 11-20; iii., ch. 4, sec.
    2, 3, 5, 7. Fisher, 110, 155, 175. Foulkes, ch. 5-11. Gieseler,
    ii., 310, 318, 420, 431-446. Gilmartin, i., ch. 12-15, 36, 40.
    Guericke, sec. 76-80. Kurtz, i., 352-396, 496-514, 516-526.
    Milman, bk. 3, ch. 5. Moeller, ii., 111-121, 210-221, 292-320,
    321-345. Neander, ii., 661-678; iii., 91-106, 123-141, 425-456.
    Pennington, ch. 2. Robertson, ii., 186-244, 493-546. Schaff,
    iv., 326-355, 379-470, 571-581, 621.


[348:1] Hatch, _Growth of Church Institutions_, Lond., 1887, 121; Smith
and Cheetham, art. on "Metropolitan."

[348:2] Canon VI. See IV. See also Canon XIX of Council of Antioch.

[348:3] Canon IX.

[348:4] Cod. Justin, i., 4, 29.

[348:5] Guizot, _Hist. of Civ. in Fr._, ii., 46.

[350:1] See article on Theodore Torens in _Dict. of Nat. Biog._

[350:2] Boniface (d. 735) was the greatest.

[350:3] Hauck, _Kircheng. Deutschl._, ii.

[350:4] This office was held by Hincmar (d. 882), the greatest man of
his time. Prichard, _Life and Times of Hincmar_, 1849; Noorden,
_Hincmar, Erzbischof von Rheims_, 1863.

[352:1] Hatch, _Growth of Church Institutions_, contends that the parish
was of German origin, and not Roman.

[353:1] _Acta Sanctorum_; Greg. of Tours, _Hist. of France_; _Mon.
Ger._; Mansi; Harduin; Hefele, iii., iv.; Lecky; Guizot; Balmes.

[353:2] Greg. of Tours; Milman; Lecky; Hallam; Gibbon.

[354:1] Butler, _Lives of Saints_; Lecky.

[355:1] Schaff, iv., 331.

[355:2] Greg. of Tours.

[355:3] Hefele, iii., 341.

[355:4] _Ibid._, iv., 323.

[356:1] See the effort of Nicholas I. to protect the divorced wife of
King Lothair. Greenwood, bk. vii., ch. 4.

[356:2] Lecky, ii., 335; Schaff, iv., 333; Brace, ch. 11.

[356:3] Philem. 10-21; 1 Tim. vi., 1-2; Eph. vi., 5-7; Col. iii., 22;
Tit. ii., 9; 1 Pet. ii., 18.

[357:1] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 524.

[357:2] Lactantius, _Inst. Div._, vi., 12; _Apostolic Constitutions_,
iv., 9.

[357:3] Baronius, _Ann._, 284, No. 15.

[357:4] _Inst. Div._, v., 14, 15.

[357:5] _De Joseph Patriarch._, ch. iv., § 20, 21.

[357:6] _City of God_, xix., 15.

[357:7] _Apostolic Constitutions_, viii., 38.

[357:8] _Ibid._, viii., 13, 19.

[357:9] _Ibid._, 39.

[357:10] Sozomen, i., 9.

[357:11] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 542.

[358:1] Gregory I., _Ep._, x., 66; ix., 103.

[358:2] Hefele, iii., 611. Slaves and serfs were admitted to priesthood.
Leo I. objected to the practice (letter 4).

[358:3] See letters of Gregory I., iv., 9, 21; vi., 32; vii., 24; ix.,
36, 110.

[358:4] For a statement of his attitude toward slavery and for an
example of his manumission, see book vi., letter 12; book viii., letter

[358:5] Balmes; Brace, ch. 21; Schaff, iv., 334; Lecky, ii., 66.

[358:6] Brace, ch. 12.

[358:7] Hefele, iii., 349.

[358:8] Thatcher and McNeal, Nos. 240, 241.

[359:1] Brace, ch. 13.

[359:2] Hefele, iv., 698; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 242.

[360:1] Ogg, _Source Book_, § 39.

[360:2] Thatcher and McNeal, Nos. 240-244.

[360:3] _Ibid._, No. 248.

[360:4] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 187; Thatcher and McNeal, Nos.
245-250; _Transl. and Rep._, i., No. 2.

[360:5] Migne, cli., 1134; Henderson, 208.

[360:6] Munro, _Urban and the Crusaders_; _Transl. and Rep._, i., No. 2,
p. 8.

[360:7] Thatcher and McNeal, _cf._ Nos. 243 and 244. Hefele, iv., 696.

[360:8] Fisher, _Med. Europe_, i., 201; Thatcher and McNeal, Nos.

[361:1] Lea, _Superstition and Force_.

[361:2] Ogg, _Source Book_, § 33.

[361:3] Lea, _Superstition and Force_, 196. There are references to this
form in the Salic Law.

[361:4] Greg. of Tours, quoted in Lea, 198; Thatcher and McNeal, No.

[361:5] For cases, see Lea, 228, 229; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 236, 237.

[362:1] Lea, 201; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 235.

[362:2] Peter Ingens and the monk Savonarola were examples. Lea, 209.

[362:3] Lea, 75-174, gives cases.

[363:1] For other cases, see Lea; Thatcher and McNeal, Nos. 238, 239.

[363:2] Mainz, 880, Tribur, 895, Tours, 925, Auch, 1068, Grau, 1095,

[363:3] Hincmar, Burckhardt of Worms, Gregory VII., Calixtus II.,
Eugenius II., St. Bernard, etc.

[364:1] Given in Migne, civ., 113, 250.

[364:2] Read Lea, 272.

[364:3] Lecky, ii., 84; Uhlhorn, _Christ. Char. in the Anc. Ch._, bk.

[364:4] Chastel, _Historical Studies in the Influence of Charity_. Tr.,
Phil., 1857.

[364:5] Schaff, ii., 374; Justin Martyr, _Apol._, i., ch. 67.

[365:1] Milman, ii., 117.

[365:2] Smith and Cheetham, _Dict. of Christ. Antiq._, art. "Hospitals."

[366:1] Matt. xviii., 15-18.

[366:2] Gieseler, ii., 55.

[366:3] Moeller, ii., 115.

[367:1] Milman, i., 551.

[367:2] See _Cath. Encyc._ for the origin of the confessional.

[367:3] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 236.

[367:4] _Ibid._, 296, 416.

[367:5] _Ibid._, 393.

[368:1] Lea, 264, 266, 303, 343, 345, 347, 362, 382, 421.

[368:2] The anathema was used in a sense and manner similar to
excommunication. See _Cath. Encyc._ for an excellent discussion.

[368:3] Lea, 282.

[368:4] _Ibid._, 298.

[368:5] _Ibid._, 303.

[368:6] _Ibid._, 337; Schaff, iv., 377.

[369:1] Lea, 428.

[369:2] _Ibid._, 416; Gregory the Great, bk. ii., Letter 34.

[369:3] Greg. of Tours, bk. viii., ch. 31.

[369:4] Gieseler, ii., 199, n. 12; Hefele, iv., 693-695; Schaff, iv.,

[370:1] Harduin, vi., 885.

[370:2] Gregory I. is usually credited with introducing this mass.

[370:3] Moeller, ii., 113.

[371:1] Hefele, iii., 758, 764; iv., 89, 111, 126, 197, 513, 582; Mansi,
xiv., 82.

[371:2] _Mon. Ger. Scrip._, vi.-ix., 45-187; Wattenbach, _Deutschl.
Geschichtsq._, i., 134.

[371:3] Hefele, iii., 745.

[371:4] Stephenson, _Latin Hymns of the An.-Sax. Church_; Trench,
_Sacred Latin Poets_; Chandler, _Hymns of the Prim. Ch._; Mant., _Anc.
Hymns from the Rom. Breviary_; Cazwell, _Lyra Catholica_; Neale,
_Mediæv. Hymns_; Schaff, _Christ. in Song_.

[371:5] This is the practice of the Greek Church to-day, and also in
several Protestant bodies.

[372:1] Hopkins and Rimbault, _The Organ, its Hist. and Const._, 1855.
See art. in Smith and Cheetham.

[372:2] See art. in Smith and Cheetham.

[372:3] Tertullian, _Ad. Mort._, iii.; Vulgate iii., 16; Rev. i., 20;
xxviii., 7.

[372:4] Rom. xvi., 25; 1 Cor. xiii., 2.

[372:5] Eph. v., 22.

[373:1] 1 Cor. ch. xi.

[374:1] The catechumens, pagans, and heretics were not admitted. From
the words used in dismissing the catechumens, when the mysteries were
about to be celebrated,--_Ite, missa est_,--probably arose the use of
the word "mass."

[374:2] Acts ii., 38-41; viii., 16, 37, 38; xix., 3-5; Matt. xxviii.,

[375:1] This robe, after being worn for some time, was frequently hung
up in the church after the ceremony to remind the baptised one of his
new status.

[375:2] Acts viii., 12-17, xix., 5, 6.

[375:3] Council of Elvira (306), canon 38. See Tertullian for one of the
earliest explanations.

[376:1] Matt. xviii., 17, 18; 1 Cor. v.; 2 Cor. ii., 6-10.

[376:2] Mansi, _Coll. Concil._, xiv., 33d canon of Council of Chalons

[376:3] The best known of these books was compiled under the direction
of Theodore, the Archbishop of Canterbury (669-690). It is given in
Haddan and Stubbs, iii., 173. The Venerable Bede also made a similar
collection. _Ibid._, 326. See quotations in Schaff, iv., 374. See
Marshall, _The Penitential Discip. of the Prim. Ch._, Lond., 1814; new
ed. in _Lib. of Cath. Theol._, Oxf., 1844.

[377:1] Haddan and Stubbs, iii., 371.

[377:2] See Green, _Indulgences_, etc., Lond., 1872, and Gibbings, _The
Taxes of the Apost. Pen._, Dub., 1872.

[377:3] See Mark vi., 13; Jas. v., 14, 15; Tertullian, _Ad. Scap._, 4;
Chrysostom, _Hom._, 32.

[379:1] Mabillon, _Act. St. Benedict_, v., Pref.; Mansi, xix., 169-179.

[379:2] See Chap. XIV. for a full account of the origin of

[380:1] Cod. Theod., ix., 17, 7.

[380:2] This statement is given in Baronius.

[380:3] Lea, _Stud. in Ch. Hist._, 305.

[380:4] Greg. of Tours, bk. i., ch. 84.



     OUTLINE: I.--Decline of the Empire under the later
     Carolingians. II.--Preparations to restore the Empire on a
     German basis. III.--Otto the Great creates the Holy Roman
     Empire. IV.--Holy Roman Empire attains its height under Henry
     III. V.--Results of the creation of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Empire created by Charles the Great rapidly declined under the later
Carolingians. The causes for this dissolution were:

1. The principle of division of rule, which was practised before the
time of Charles the Great, and endorsed by him, produced five divisions
of the Empire within thirty years. This was fatal to stability and

2. The disintegration of the Empire into national states resulted from
the growing differences of race, language, institutions, and

3. Powerful feudal dukedoms arose such as Bavaria on the Danube, the
barrier against the East; Swabia on the upper Danube and Rhine;
Franconia on the Rhine and Main north of Swabia; Saxony on the Ems,
Weser, and Elbe north of Franconia; Burgundy, a kingdom south-west of
Swabia; Aquitania in southern France; Brittany in north-western France;
Normandy in northern France; and others.

4. The rulers who succeeded Charles the Great were, as compared with
him, men of very inferior ability.

5. The poor roads made it almost impossible to keep in touch with all
parts of the wide Empire. The well-built roads of the Romans had
generally fallen into decay, simply because there was no longer a corps
of trained engineers to keep them up.

6. The scarcity of money likewise prevented the ruler from securing the
services of a great body of able officers, and also made it impossible
for him to support a standing army to enforce his will everywhere.

7. The barbarian invasions from the east and the north brought in the
Northmen, Slavs, and the Hungarians, while the Saracens were attacking
Italy and southern France.[385:1]

Before the ninth century closed, the territorial unity of the Empire of
Charles the Great was broken up. Charles the Bald (875-877) ruled France
as king, held Italy as Emperor, and sought to gain control of Germany
but was prevented by death from doing so. Charles the Fat (881-888) held
Germany as king, controlled Italy as Emperor, and was invited to assume
the French crown because Charles the Simple, a weak-minded boy of six,
could not cope with the marauding Northmen. Charles the Fat, the last
legitimate East Frankish male descendant of Charles the Great, accepted
the proffered throne (885) and thus reunited all the parts of the Empire
of Charles the Great except Burgundy. But Charles the Fat was too weak
to hold the reins of government over so vast an area. He bought off the
Northmen by a disgraceful treaty (886) to the disgust of the French, was
driven out of Italy (887), and then, deposed and deserted by his German
subjects, he crawled off to an unregrettable death on his Swabian
estates (888).[386:1] This was the last union of France and Germany
under one ruler until Napoleon the Great carved out his vast Empire in
western Europe.

When the line of the Carolingian rulers, called into existence by papal
coronation in 800, ended with the death of the last legitimate
descendant in the male line, Charles the Fat, in 888, a new problem
confronted western Europe. The right of appointing a new Emperor
reverted to Rome and the Pope. The Empire of Charles the Great fell
asunder and from it emerged four kingdoms.[386:2] West France chose Odo
of Eudes as king. East France, or Germany, elected Arnulf. The kingdom
of Burgundy was divided between two rival rulers. Italy, except the
southern part which was still loyal to Constantinople, was also divided
between the parties of Berengar of Friuli[386:3] and Guido of
Spoleto.[386:4] The former was chosen king by the estates of Lombardy,
the latter was crowned Emperor by the Pope Stephen VI. and not long
afterwards, to insure the permanency of the imperial title in his
family, had his son Lambert crowned co-Emperor in 894 by Pope

Of all the various knights who appeared in different parts of the
Empire immediately after 888, the strongest and most able was Arnulf, a
bastard nephew of Charles the Fat, but a warrior of renown, who was
raised on the East Frankish throne by the disgusted nobles in 888. A
descendant of Charles the Great, he was, for a very brief period, looked
upon as the head of the Carolingian Empire. Odo of Eudes, the Count of
Paris, placed his royal crown in the hands of Arnulf and received it
back as a royal vassal. Berengar of Italy also did homage to Arnulf and
received his kingdom as a fief. Soon, however, local kings set up by the
people arose and Arnulf restricted his rule to Germany and Italy.[387:1]
He defeated the predatory Northmen, checked the inroads of the warlike
Magyars, and by storming Rome compelled the Corsican Pope Formosus to
crown him as Emperor (896).[387:2] Then he turned his attention to the
boy Emperor in Italy, the Duke of Spoleto, but was smitten by disease
and hastened back to Germany (d. 899).[387:3] Italy was thus left to
sixty years of tumult and anarchy. With the death of his son, Louis the
Child, in 911, the Carolingian dynasty passed away in Germany. In 987
the powerful French barons set aside the Carolingian heir and elected
Hugh Capet, the Duke of France, as king of the feudal monarchy and the
Archbishop of Rheims crowned him.[387:4] The Carolingian Empire was at
an end. For more than half a century now the imperial crown was a
reward in the Pope's hands to be bestowed upon this or that Italian
noble for "value received."[388:1]

The first half of the tenth century seemed to be the very nadir of
political order and conscious culture. It is almost impossible for a
modern mind to comprehend the torrents of barbaric destruction sweeping
in over western Europe from all sides. As compared with the Teutonic
invasion of the Roman Empire five centuries before, the onslaught was
more sudden and fiercer while the internal resistance was much more
poorly organised and consequently weaker. For several centuries these
forces had been gathering. Charles the Great had held the torrent in
check. But not long after the dissolution of his Empire the onslaught
began. The merciless Saracens roamed the Mediterranean Sea as its
masters, laid waste the Christian seacoast towns, and even sacked Rome
itself, the seat of Empire and Christian rule. The Danes and Northmen
swept the North Sea, the English Channel, the Atlantic coast, and
pierced France and Germany by their rivers, almost to the heart,
killing, robbing, and taking captives. They even boldly passed Gibraltar
into the Mediterranean and fell upon Provence and Italy, where they left
an indelible impression.

Meantime on land the Slavic barbarians, the Wends, the Czechs, and the
Obotrites, rebelled against the German yoke and threatened the whole
north-eastern border of the Empire. Behind them were the Poles and
Russians. Farther south came the unruly Hungarian tribes which "dashed
over Germany like the flying spray of a new wave of barbarism, and
carried the terror of the battle-axes to the Apennines and the
ocean."[389:1] These blows from all sides knocked out the foundations of
the imperial structure, already weakened to the point of dissolution by
internal decay, and it fell. As a result reliance for protection on a
common defence and imperial organisation was abandoned. Feudalism
replaced the Empire. The strong built fortress castles, the weak became
their vassals. Local authorities--counts, dukes, lords, bishops, and
abbots--saw new duties and new opportunities. They took a firmer hold,
converted a delegated into an independent power, a personal into a
territorial jurisdiction. Recognition of a distant, weak imperial or
royal authority was only nominal and feeble at that. The grand dream of
a mighty, universal Christian Empire was being rapidly lost in the
decentralising forces, and in the increasing localisation of all powers.
During this period of weakness and confusion, the mediæval Church,
instead of standing forth as the source of strength and intelligence,
instead of making further gains of a political and ecclesiastical
character for the See of St. Peter, seemed to fall into "a death-sleep
of moral and spiritual exhaustion."[389:2] The Papacy as a religious
organisation almost disappears from view. The commanding spirits of
Gregory the Great and of Nicholas the Great were utterly forgotten. The
victories gained through the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals were not
followed up. A really great Pope at this time might easily have realised
all the dreams of Innocent III., but none such wore the papal tiara.

With the death of Louis the Child (911), Germany was confronted by a
serious problem.[390:1] Would the powerful German dukes set up
independent kingdoms? Or would they invite Charles the Simple, the
genuine Carolingian sovereign of France, to include Germany in a
reunited Frankish empire? Or would they create a German monarchy on an
independent basis? The German nobles met at Forchheim to consider the
situation. Charles the Simple was not even thought of--a significant
fact, because it showed that the imperial idea was at a low ebb in
Germany. The instinct of nationality was beginning to be felt. The
nobles urged the beloved and honoured old Duke of Saxony, Otto, to
accept the crown of a feudal monarchy, but he declined and urged the
election of Conrad of Franconia. Conrad accepted the responsible honour
and was crowned and anointed by the Archbishop of Mainz without
reference to the papal power. His reign (911-918) was filled with wars
against the powerful dukes who objected to the rigid enforcement of his
royal rights and the consequent curtailment of their prerogatives. The
clergy, on the contrary, upheld the king because they clearly saw that
their interests would be best cared for by a simple, strong government.
When Conrad died (918) he had made little headway toward the creation of
a powerful centralised monarchy.[390:2]

The nobles of Saxony and Franconia met in 919 and chose Henry, the son
of Conrad, Duke of Saxony, as king (919-936).[390:3] To the Archbishop
of Mainz, who wanted to crown him, Henry said: "Enough for me that I am
raised so far above my sires as to be chosen and called king through
the grace of God and your devotion; let the sacred unction and crown be
for better men than I." Had he seen too much of kings crowned and ruled
by priests? At least his action pleased the whole assembly. By wise
concessions he forced Swabia and Bavaria to accept him as king and rewon
Lorraine as a part of the German kingdom. He thrust back the terrible
Magyars, conquered the Danes, and humbled the Bohemians. He reformed and
reorganised the military system and protected the kingdom by building
fortified towns along the northern and eastern frontiers. When he died
all the German people were under one rule, peace reigned throughout the
kingdom, feudalism had received a check, trade was flourishing, the
position of the freemen was improved, and the German kingdom had been
established on a firm basis independent of the Empire. But death alone,
perhaps, prevented him from claiming the imperial crown.[391:1]

Under Otto the Great, however, the old Empire was to revive and become
very active, but on a German foundation. The traditions of the
Carolingian house, the Italian puppet Emperors, the Papacy, and the law,
philosophy, theology, and education of the day all helped to keep the
idea of Empire alive.[391:2] Otto, born in 912, was the son of the Saxon
king Henry I. and Matilda, who traced her descent to Charles the Great.
He spent his youth at the court and in the wars of his father, and was
regarded as haughty, overbearing, and ambitious. He married Edith, the
daughter of the King of the Anglo-Saxons (929).

When Henry I. died in 936 the nobles and bishops met at Aachen in the
old cathedral and formally elected Otto I. as King of Germany. As Otto
entered the cathedral a few weeks later to be coronated the Archbishop
of Mainz cried out: "The man chosen by God, nominated by our master
Henry, and declared king by all the princes." He was then crowned,
anointed, and girded with the royal sword by the Archbishop. In the
coronation festival that followed the German dukes for the first time
acted as the king's servants. The coronation was very significant
because it showed Otto's attitude toward the Church, indicated the lofty
position of the royal crown and the subjection of the dukes, revealed
the possibility of a strong, united German kingdom under right
management, and proved the popularity and opportunity of Otto I. as King
of the Germans.[392:1]

Otto took Charles the Great as his model and sought to transform the
loose federal state of his father into a strong, compact monarchy by
reducing the power of his vassals. By quelling the various rebellious
dukes Otto made them his own appointees, and was recognised as the
master of the German nation. The name "Deutsch" began to be applied to
his subjects and their tongue. He manifested no less activity in foreign
affairs as is shown in his invasion of France to compel homage from Hugh
the Great, his son-in-law; in his conquest of the Slavs between the Elbe
and the Oder; and in his reduction of the unstable Danes to submission.

Otto was ready now to give his attention to Italian affairs. Adelaide,
the beautiful young widow of the son of King Hugh of Provence, had
refused to marry Adalbert, the son of Berengar II., King of Lombardy,
hence was cast into prison and cruelly treated. She escaped with the
aid of the Bishop of Reggio and appealed to the mighty German sovereign
for deliverance.[393:1] Otto, touched with chivalrous sympathy, and
seeing an opening for the realisation of imperial ambitions, marched
with a great force into Lombardy (951). Berengar was forced to hold his
kingdom as a vassal of the German crown. Otto, a widower at this time,
then married his fair protégée. Civil war in Germany compelled him to
give up his journey to Rome, however, and instead to return home. Otto's
son, Ludolph, who feared that his father's recent marriage with the fair
widow might deprive him of the German crown, plotted with the old
Archbishop of Mainz and discontented German nobles, to secure the
throne. The resulting war involved the whole kingdom and shook Otto's
power and ability to the roots. The approach of a common foe, however,
the terrible Magyars, led the nation to rally around Otto. In the
decisive battle of Lechfeld (955) the Huns were effectively checked and
began to settle the lands which they still occupy.[393:2] Otto was now
unquestionably the most powerful monarch in Europe. Such rulers as Louis
IV. of France and the King of Burgundy sought his friendship and aid.
His own people began to call him "The Great."

The way seemed to be open at last for the realisation of Otto's imperial
dreams. He was a descendant of Charles the Great in the female line. He
was the complete master of a large part of the Empire with the northern
capital in it. He had already taken the crown of Lombardy. On the
battlefield of Lechfeld (955) his victorious troops saluted him as
"Imperator Augustus, Pater Patræ."[394:1] He had likewise proved himself
a most worthy champion of the Church by allowing the Church to crown
him; by enriching the German Church, giving it a better organisation,
and subjecting it to his will; and by labouring zealously to convert the
heathen on his borders.[394:2]

Italian affairs called him thither a second time. Berengar after
recovering his throne was ruling as a tyrant in the north and had
violated a portion of the patrimony of St. Peter. Mohammedan corsairs
were devastating the south. The rest of Italy was full of anarchy and
desolated by the feuds of a crowd of petty nobles most of whom were
scrambling for the imperial crown. A row of inferior Popes had brought
the Papacy itself into disrepute. Thus the solicitations of his family,
the approval of his people and nobles, the cry of the oppressed
Italians, the expectation of the nobility, and the request of Pope John
XII. and influential churchmen, all impelled him to realise his own

Therefore, in 957, Otto sent Ludolph with a large force against
Berengar. The Crown Prince died in the midst of victory. Then Otto had
his little son crowned as Otto II. in 961 and crossed the Alps with a
big army. All resistance vanished before this new Charles the Great. In
a general diet of the Lombard kingdom Berengar was deposed and at Pavia
the German monarch was formally crowned "King of Italy." Early in 962 he
triumphantly entered the Eternal City. The Pope gave him hearty
greeting, held services of thanksgiving, and gave a great feast in his
honour. On the following Sunday the imperial coronation occurred in the
church of St. John Lateran.[395:1] The King promised to protect and
defend the Church[395:2]; the Pope to be an obedient subject of the
Emperor; and the people to choose no future Pope without Otto's consent.
Otto was then anointed by the Pope, the imperial crown was put on his
brow, the imperial robe was adjusted, and the imperial sword was buckled
on while the populace shouted "Long live Otto, Emperor Augustus." The
head of that race which Charles the Great had converted by the sword had
revived the Empire, the policy, and the traditions of that renowned

The papal policy of Emperor Otto I. was soon revealed. He granted to the
Church the most famous and the most important "constitution" since that
of Lothair (824) in which all the grants of Pepin, Charles the Great,
and Louis the Pious were confirmed and the rights of the Emperor in
papal elections clearly defined.[395:3] Otto had no sooner reached
northern Italy to subdue the irrepressible Berengar and his sons,
however, than Pope John renounced his allegiance to his new master,
conspired with Berengar, and even incited the heathen Magyars to invade
Germany.[395:4] The Emperor refused to believe these plots until
confirmed by his own messengers and even then excused the young Pontiff
by remarking: "He is only a boy; the example of good men will reform
him."[395:5] He then hastened to Rome to begin that work.

Pope John at once sent legates to Otto promising amendment and accusing
the Emperor of having broken his solemn promise. Otto excused his
actions and, after the custom of the age, challenged the Pope to settle
the dispute either by the wager of a solemn oath or by the ordeal of
battle. Both offers were refused and Otto took Rome. John "seized most
of the treasures of St. Peter and sought safety in flight."[396:1] Otto,
at the request of the Roman clergy and people, called an ecclesiastical
council in St. Peter's to try him (963). John XII. was proved guilty of
the whole category of mediæval crimes: celebrating mass without
communing himself, ordaining a bishop in a stable, accepting bribes for
ordination, consecrating a ten-year-old bishop, neglecting the repair of
churches, being guilty of adultery and incest, making the Lateran a
brothel, going out hunting with the nobles, putting out the eyes of his
own godfather, Benedict, cruelly murdering the archdeacon John, setting
fire to houses like Nero, wearing the armour of a warrior in Rome,
drinking to the devil's health, neglecting matins and vespers, never
signing himself with the cross, and even invoking the aid of Venus,
Jupiter, and other demons when gambling.

Thrice John was summoned to appear before the council in order to clear
himself of the charges. At the request of the council the Emperor wrote
a letter addressed to the "Pontiff and Universal Pope John" asking him
to appear:

     Having arrived in Rome on the service of God, and having
     inquired of your sons the bishops and clergy, and of the
     people of your Church, why you have forsaken them, such
     scandalous and obscene things have been reported to us
     concerning you, that if the like had been told us of a common
     mountebank we should have hesitated to repeat them. But that
     you may not be wholly ignorant of what it is that is said of
     you, we will specify a few of these things only; for if we
     would enumerate all, the daylight would fail before we would
     make an end of writing. Know, then, that you are accused--not
     by individuals but by the unanimous voice of clergy and
     laity--of homicide, sacrilege, perjury, and incest. It is also
     said of you, that in your sports you have called upon the
     names of Jupiter, Venus, and other demons of the old world. We
     therefore do earnestly entreat your paternity that you delay
     not to return to Rome, and to purge yourself from these
     heinous crimes, and if perchance you should stand in fear of
     the rude multitude, we are ready to pledge our oath that
     nothing contrary to canonical rule and order shall be done
     against you.[397:1]

But the fiery young Pope contemptuously replied: "John, bishop, the
servant of all the servants of God, to all the bishops: We hear that you
design to elect a new Pope. If you do, in the name of Almighty God I
excommunicate you and forbid you to confer orders or to celebrate mass."
In a spicy answer Otto asked John to mend both his Latin and his morals,
and promised him a safe conduct to the council, but "the Pope was gone
out hunting" and did not receive it. The council then formally deposed
John as a "monster of iniquity" and unanimously chose the papal
secretary, a layman, as Pope Leo VIII.[397:2] Thus the new Emperor had
deposed one Pope, by what must certainly be pronounced an illegal
method, and had elected another--a power never claimed by Charles the
Great.[398:1] This, apparently, was Otto's interpretation of his oath to
protect the Holy See. The ancient relation of the Empire to the Papacy
was thus re-established.

The Romans, fickle as usual, soon wearied of a German yoke, and, at a
favourable opportunity, broke out in furious rebellion against the
Emperor and his Pope, but were subdued with terrible revenge. When at
length Otto left Rome to capture Berengar's son Adalbert, they at once
attacked the defenceless Pope and recalled John XII., who wreaked sweet
and cruel vengeance on the leaders of the imperial faction. An
obsequious synod reversed all the decrees of deposition. When John XII.
was killed in crime, the Romans, without consulting the Emperor as they
had promised, at once elected Pope Benedict V. Once more Otto appeared
before Rome with a huge army to assert his rights and to enforce his
policy. The city surrendered, the new Pope begged for mercy, and was
banished to Germany. Leo VIII. was recalled. "When I drop my sword, I
will drop Leo," boasted the Emperor. The Emperor's sword had come to be
the basis of papal power. A Church council was summoned and declared
that the Emperor had a full right to the kingdom of Italy, that he could
name his successor, and that the election of a Pope must accord with his
will. After that great victory Otto returned to Germany, where his
approval was soon asked for the election of Leo VIII.'s successor, the
respectable John XIII. Again the customary rebellion against the new
occupant of St. Peter's chair recalled Otto to Rome. There he remained
five years and won a distinct victory for both his papal, and his
imperial policy.

Otto's foreign policy as Emperor was not unlike that of his great
predecessor, Charles the Great, and his renowned successor, Napoleon the
Great, namely, to unite the East and the West. The hand of an eastern
princess was wooed for himself but without success.[399:1] His son
proved a better lover and married the ambitious Theophano (972).[399:2]
The Empire was extended by conquests. Lotharingia was won without war.
The restoration of the West Franks to the Empire was attempted. Burgundy
became a vassal kingdom.[399:3] The Danes, Slavs, and Magyars were held
in subjugation. An effort was made by Otto to extend his sway over
southern Italy.

Like Charles the Great, Otto gave considerable attention to education.
Germany, at that time being on the frontier, was inferior in culture to
Italy, Spain, France, and England. Otto, who knew the Frankish and
Slavic dialects, attempted to learn Latin late in life. He attracted a
number of educated men and celebrated wits to his court such as
Widukind, the historian; Ratherius, the theologian; Luitprand, the
humourist and diplomat; Gerbert, the omniscient scholar; Archbishop
Bruno, Otto's brother and a great classical scholar; and John of Gorz,
the grammarian and Bible student.[399:4] Learning was not appreciated,
however, and these scholars were looked upon with jealousy and

The resemblances and differences between Otto the Great and Charles the
Great were very striking. Both were Teutons--one a Frank, the other a
Saxon. Both as kings carved out the foundations for an Empire with the
sword. Both were coronated as Emperor at Rome by the Pope and posed as
champions of the Church. Both assumed the Italian crown. Both used the
same method in propagating Christianity among the heathen on their
borders. Both assumed the right to rule the Church from Pope to priest.
Both subjected the powerful nobles and established an absolute, personal
government, though Otto's position in Germany and Europe was less
commanding and less autocratic than his predecessor's. Both produced an
intellectual renascence. Both deserve to be called the "Great." But
neither their kingdoms nor their Empires were coterminous, though their
capitals were identical, namely, Rome and Aachen. Otto's Empire was
founded on narrower geographical limits, hence had a less plausible
claim to be the heir of Rome's universal dominion. Charles tried one
Pope, while Otto deposed two and had his own candidates elected. Otto
took more pains to preserve his Empire than Charles. Otto's Empire was
less ecclesiastical and also less Roman. Charles ruled all the Franks
and Italy, Otto only the Eastern Franks and Italy. Charles ruled over
Latin Christendom, while Otto only a portion of it. Charles was head of
the "heerban"; Otto of a feudal state. Otto produced no great
capitularies like Charles. Otto's Empire was less splendid, but more
peaceful, prosperous, and lasting, because placed on a better social
basis. Otto's own life and court were on a far loftier plane than was
true of Charles, yet Charles was both the greater warrior and the
greater statesman. The Roman Empire of Charles after one hundred and
fifty years was revised as the Holy Roman Empire of Otto. The latter was
substantially as well as technically the continuation of the former.

Otto I., before making his journey to Rome in 961, had his son Otto II.
crowned King of Germany at Aachen.[401:1] Six years later (967) he was
coronated at Rome as Emperor. He was educated by Ekkehard of St. Gall,
the court chaplain, in literature, history, and science, and by Count
Huodo in knightly accomplishments. For the age his moral character was
exceptionally high and he possessed refined, scholarly tastes. In 971 he
married Theophano, a royal princess of the Eastern Empire.[401:2] When
Otto I. died in 973 in the Saxon monastery at Memleben, Otto II., at the
age of eighteen, became sole king and Emperor for ten years.

Otto II. continued his father's domestic policy of breaking down the
power of the German dukes. In foreign affairs he subdued the rebellious
Danes (974), held the Bohemians in check, invaded France and took
Lorraine (978), subjected Poland to German rule (979), and attempted to
drive the Greeks and Saracens out of southern Italy; but his early death
prevented the fulfilling of his threat to reunite Sicily with the

His papal policy was a continuation of that of his father. When the
papal usurper Boniface VII. imprisoned and strangled Pope John XIII. and
then fled with the Church treasures to Constantinople (974), young Otto
set Benedict VII. on the chair of St. Peter and assured him a quiet
reign for nine years. Upon the Pope's death (983) the youthful Emperor
elevated the Bishop of Pavia to the papal throne as John XIV. When Otto
II. died at the premature age of twenty-eight in Verona after "a short
and troubled reign,"[402:1] Boniface VII. returned from the East to
Rome, murdered the Pope, and reassumed the papal tiara unresisted. The
usurper died in eleven months, however, and then the cowardly Romans
avenged themselves on his dead body.[402:2]

Otto II. left behind him a son of three and a very active widow. The
young heir to the honours and burdens of the German crown and to the
imperial throne likewise had his mind filled with the glorious history
of Greece and the Eastern Empire by his Grecian mother. John the Greek
inspired within him a love for the classics. Bernard, a German monk,
gave him a monastic education which showed itself during the remainder
of his life. Gerbert, a Clugniac monk, the greatest scholar of his day,
taught him history, literature, rhetoric, and science, and fired him
with a holy, ascetic zeal to become a great, just Christian Emperor.

During Otto III.'s minority (983-996) the government was wielded by his
mother Theophano (984-991) and his grandmother Adelaid (991-996). At the
age of sixteen the last of the Ottomans, half Saxon and half Greek, the
plaything of women, scholars, and monks, the pious young dreamer of a
world Empire, started for Rome to be crowned Emperor (996). His father
had had him elected king at Verona in 983 and coronated at Aachen. On
his way now to the Eternal City, accompanied by a coterie of German
nobles and churchmen, he stopped at Pavia to receive the homage of the
Lombard princes. At Ravenna a messenger from the Roman clergy, senate,
and people announced the death of Pope John XV. and asked Otto to name a
successor--a very significant fact. The young ruler appointed his cousin
and court chaplain, Bruno, who became the first German Pope. Bruno was
only twenty-four, but noted for his piety, austere morals, and fiery
temper. He hastened to Rome and was installed with great joy as Gregory
V. "The news that a scion of the imperial house, a man of holiness, of
wisdom and virtue, is placed upon the chair of Peter," wrote Abbo of
Fleury to a friend, "is news more precious than gold and costly
stones."[403:1] This was the first instance where a northerner, a
German, was elevated to the See of St. Peter. A few weeks after the
papal coronation Otto entered Rome and received the imperial crown from
the youthful Pontiff. He held a council to settle Church affairs and
called a diet of civil authorities to settle the government and then
returned to Germany.

Within a year, however, a rebellion in Rome against Gregory V. recalled
Otto III. (997). The Pope had fled to Pavia, called a council, and
excommunicated the leader of the insurrection, Crescentius. An anti-Pope
had been elected, John XVI., formerly the Emperor's teacher and a court
favourite. Otto reached Rome with a large army, caught the fleeing papal
usurper, deposed him, put out his eyes, cut off his nose and ears, and
sent him through the streets of Rome on an ass. Crescentius was
beheaded, and with him a dozen conspirators.[404:1] Gregory V. was
restored to his dignity only to die within a year (999). As his
successor Otto chose Gerbert, his old teacher, who became Sylvester II.,
the idealist and reformer.[404:2]

Otto III. was occupied a great deal with dreams about a world Empire. He
inherited from his mother the ambition to rule the East and from his
father the right to rule the West. His teachers inspired him with a
desire to become the Christian Emperor of the world with the Pope as his
chief assistant, and coloured his whole career by giving him a monastic
view of life. He made frequent visits to sacred shrines where he
remained weeks at a time. In Rome he built his palace purposely beside a
monastery. The idea of a holy crusade to Jerusalem was in his mind. He
felt called upon to reform the Papacy, which he enriched by large grants
and strengthened by privileges, and he selected most of his chief
officials from the churchmen. He called himself the "servant of Jesus
Christ" and the "servant of the Apostle."

After having taken Rome and appointed two Popes, Otto attempted to put
his imperial fancies into practice. Rome was made his permanent
residence and capital from which to rule the world as "Emperor of the
Romans." On the Aventine a great palace was built--a thing not even
thought of by Charles the Great. The ceremonies of the Byzantine court
were introduced--a long retinue of servants, an imperial guard, and a
very formal etiquette. The young ruler refused to eat with his nobles
and loved to sit proudly on a gaudy throne arrayed in costly purple
while his servants meekly satisfied every whim. He likewise aped the
Roman Emperors in magnifying the office of patrician and city prefect,
by calling himself "Consul" and by thinking of reviving the senate.
Dreaming of conquests beyond the seas, he appointed a naval prefect.
Germany and Italy were united under one chancellor and each ruled with
troops from the other. Germany,[405:1] Lombardy, Greece, Naples, and the
rest of the world were to be reduced to subject provinces of the
restored Empire. To receive the sacred sanction of his most renowned
predecessor, Charles the Great, for these mighty ideas, Otto III. opened
his tomb in the cathedral at Aachen in the year 1000 and from the body
of the powerful Teuton carried away holy relics.[405:2]

Early in 1000 the turbulent Romans broke out in a fresh rebellion and
the world Empire was destroyed about as easily as a child's house of
blocks. Besieged for three days in his palace, Otto at last addressed
the discontented mob in these words:

     Are you my Romans? For you I left my country and my friends.
     For love of you I have sacrificed my Saxons and all the
     Germans, my blood. I have adopted you as my sons; I have
     preferred you to all. For you I have had stirred up against me
     the envy and hatred of all. And now you have rejected your
     father; you have destroyed my friends by a cruel death; you
     have excluded me whom you should not exclude, because I will
     never suffer those to be exiled from my affections whom I
     embrace with paternal love.[406:1]

Soon he fled from Rome never to return, and tried to raise an army in
Germany but failed. The Germans refused to sacrifice their blood and
wealth for a useless chimera and even threatened to elect a new king.
Then he appealed to Italy for assistance, but Venice alone promised aid
and that was small. Otto III.'s universal rule dwindled to the little
mountain of Paterno--like Napoleon's St. Helena--and there he died in
1002 in the arms of the faithful Sylvester II. at the age of 22,
childless and deserted, and his body was carried over the Alps to rest
by the side of Charles the Great. And the youthful Pope survived the
young Emperor just a twelvemonth.

The direct line of Otto the Great was at an end. Henry II., the Saint,
who was in Otto III.'s service in Rome (1001) and received the royal and
imperial insignia at the young Emperor's death pending a new election,
claimed the German throne as the next in descent.[406:2] By satisfactory
promises to the lay and secular princes he defeated his rivals and was
crowned German King at Mainz (1002).

In his political policy Henry II. followed in the path already formed.
He subdued the strong internal foes in Germany, pacified the
neighbouring peoples, provided for the union of Burgundy with Germany,
assumed the iron crown of Lombardy, and accepted the imperial crown at
Rome in 1014. His ecclesiastical policy was very pronounced. He was a
devout and ascetic champion of the Papacy and stood stoutly for reforms
such as the abolition of simony, the denunciation of the marriage of
priests and the correction of monastic abuses. He urged the enforcement
of these necessary changes through a general council and laboured for
peace. In all these endeavours he had the sincere co-operation of Pope
Benedict VIII. The bishopric of Bamberg was created during this rule.

Conrad II. (1024-1039) aimed to build up a powerful centralised Germany
and through it to rule the Empire. Though compelled to fight formidable
internal conspiracies all his life, yet he succeeded in making the crown
the recognised and respected authority in Germany. Like Otto I. he used
the lesser nobles to curb the power of the greater nobles. He forced
obedience to his royal laws everywhere. To perpetuate his rule and to
establish the principle of kingly heredity he had his son and heir,
Henry III., crowned and coronated at Aachen (1028). Since political
power depended largely upon landed wealth Henry III. received both the
Duchy of Bavaria (1029) and the Duchy of Swabia (1038).

The foreign policy of Conrad II. was equally wise. He made friends of
the powerful King Canute and his Danes by marrying Henry III. to
Canute's daughter. The Polish King was reduced to a vassal duke and
Bohemia and Lucatia were won back, while the Bulgarians were effectually
held in check. He assumed the crown of Burgundy, which became an
integral part of Germany (1032) and gave the crown to his son (1038).
Early in his rule (1026) Conrad had entered Italy and assumed the iron
crown of Lombardy. Then he made his way to Rome in 1027 on Easter day
and was there crowned Emperor by Pope John XIX. in the presence of a
great multitude of Romans and Germans. Through the Normans he then
extended his imperial sway over southern Italy, but ten years later he
was forced to make a journey to Rome to reconquer that part of his

In Germany Conrad II. ruled the clergy with a rod of iron, filled
bishoprics for purely political ends, and used the Church to build up
his royal powers. In Lombardy he won over the clerical party at that
time hostile to the Pope, and thus smoothed his march to Rome. In John
XIX. he found one of the worst examples of the utter worldliness into
which the successors of Peter could degenerate. John XIX. before his
election had been only a business man, but he was a brother of the
presiding Pontiff Benedict VIII., and a member of the powerful Tusculan
family. By dint of money[408:1] he won the office and in one day was
hurried through all the clerical orders and installed into power (1024).
Hoping for a powerful ally, John XIX. had invited Conrad II. to Rome. A
great Lateran Synod followed the coronation of Conrad II. on Easter
day,[408:2] but apparently nothing was said about reforms in the Church,
although badly needed. When Conrad died in 1039 the German Empire had
reached its pinnacle of greatness. No sovereign since Charles the Great
had exercised such powers, for the German and Italian princes were
subject to the imperial crown and the clergy were dependent upon it.

Henry III. (1029-1056) came to the German throne with brighter prospects
than any of his predecessors. What a field for an Alexander, a Cæsar, or
a Napoleon! What an opportunity to cut Germany loose from the Empire
and make her the greatest power in Europe! The Polish monarchy was
falling to pieces; Hungary was rent by the pagan and Christian parties;
Canute's northern empire had broken down; Italy, chronically subdivided,
was awaiting a master; and the young king was also Duke of Bavaria,
Franconia, and Swabia. Hindesheim, a contemporary, declared that no one
in the Empire mourned the loss of Conrad because such better things were
expected of his son, one of the most highly cultured young men of the

Henry III. continued the policy of Otto I. by seeking to increase the
power of the crown at the expense of the petty rulers. Hence duchies
were given to his relatives or to loyal vassals. The lesser nobility and
the commons were used to counteract the influence of the lords and
princes. His reign, in consequence, was disturbed by no serious
insurrections. The border states were subdued--Bohemia in 1041 and
Hungary in 1044.[409:2] To keep the peace and put down feuds the Truce
of God was proclaimed in 1041 throughout Germany. All feuds were to
cease from Wednesday eve till Monday morning and absolution from sin was
the reward for keeping the Truce.[409:3] Those who purposely broke it
were penalised. Burgundy extended it to the periods between Advent and
Epiphany, and from Septuagesima to the first Sunday after Easter. Henry
III. soon made himself master of Italy and like many a predecessor
assumed the iron crown of Lombardy and then established his supremacy
over the Normans in the south. Out of a rule of seventeen years he
spent but sixty-four weeks in Italy. In 1046 he was coronated Emperor
at Rome and made Patrician.

Like Charles the Great and Otto the Great Henry III. assumed the
headship of the Church. The Papacy, at that time, was a three-headed
monster which needed a Hercules to slay it. Benedict IX., another member
of the Tusculum family, elected Pope when a boy of eighteen (1033), had
led a life of indescribable crime and, in consequence, had been driven
from the city (1044) but returned and in 1046 held the Vatican.[410:1]
Sylvester III. was elected anti-Pope when Benedict IX. was driven out
and lived in St. Peter's. Gregory VI. literally bought the papal throne
of Benedict IX. (1045) for 1000 pounds of silver and bribed the people
into approval. He took up his residence at St. Maria Maggiore.[410:2]
Learning of these disorders, Henry III. went to Italy and in 1046 held
the Council of Sutri in which Gregory VI. acknowledged his guilt,
divested himself of his papal insignia and begged forgiveness. Benedict
IX. and Sylvester III. were declared usurpers, simoniacs, and intruders,
hence they were deposed. Benedict IX. hid himself for future trouble,
Sylvester III. returned to his bishopric and Gregory VI. was sent into
exile in Germany. The Bishop of Bamberg, a German, was chosen Pope in a
council held in Rome and assumed the title of Clement II. (1046) and
immediately coronated Henry III. and his wife with the imperial
honours.[410:3] This is the beginning of a series of German Popes who
were to do much to purify and strengthen the Church. Before Henry died
three such Popes were elected. Clement II. soon assembled a council in
Rome to extirpate simony and to that end had several canons enacted. But
his reign of less than a year, was too short to accomplish much. Henry
III. died in 1056 with his great Empire full of trouble from border wars
and rebellious nobles. The Empire was on the wane and his son took up a
crown of difficulties.

On Germany the effects of the creation of the Holy Roman Empire were
very marked. It established the recognised right of the German King to
wear the Italian and imperial crowns and made Aachen, Milan, and Rome
the coronation cities. It tended to weaken the allegiance of the Germans
to their king when he became Emperor and spent most of his time,
together with German wealth and blood, in Italy. It fused the German
King and the Roman Emperor into a product different from either and
effected the whole subsequent history of both Germany and the Empire.
The two systems were very different: one was centralised, the other
local; one rested upon a "sublime theory," the other grew out of
anarchy; one was ruled by an absolute monarch, the other by a limited
monarch; one was based on the equality of all citizens, the other
founded on inequality. As a result of the fusion both offices lost and
won certain attributes and the product was a "German Emperor" who was
the necessary head of feudalism which became so deeply rooted that it
took ages to throw it off. To help on the process of disintegration Otto
the Great allowed the five great duchies to be subdivided and thus
created a second order of nobility and greatly increased the number of
nobles. In short Germany was weakened, impoverished, divided, and
stunted. The denationalisation of Germany was continued until 1870.
What might not have been the splendid career of Germany had Otto the
Great and his successors devoted their time and talent to the creation
of a powerful German national state as did the French and English kings?
It must be added, however, that this peculiar relation with Italy opened
the way for learning, art, and a more refined civilisation in the North
and that, in turn, Germany became the schoolmaster of Poland and Bohemia
and perpetuated the language, literature, and law of Rome.

On Italy the Holy Roman Empire left a deep and permanent impression. It
gave Italy a long line of foreign rulers who seldom cared much for her
real interests and only sought to exploit her for selfish ends. It
prevented the establishment of a powerful national state as a republic,
or as a monarchy, under some native noble, or a Pope, until 1859. On the
contrary it encouraged decentralisation and local division of the
people. Italy became the scene, cause, and victim of countless wars and
invasions by foreign rulers; or of innumerable local contests which
sapped the nation of all strength and ambition.

On the Empire the results were plainly seen. The Empire of the Cæsars
and of Charles the Great was revived on a German basis with a German
Emperor and kept alive till 1806 when Napoleon dealt it a death-blow.
Its earlier extent and later claims were never realised. It was forced
into a continual struggle for its existence with the Italian republics
and German dukes, with the Papacy, and with the national states of
Europe. The three theories about the relation of the world-empire to the
world-church received final development.

1. The Holy Empire, or ideal theory, united the Church and the state,
the cross and the sceptre, to attain their legitimate boundaries,
namely, the world. Hence the Papacy and the Empire were but two sides of
the same thing and their two heads co-operated to rule the same regions
and peoples, but in different spheres. The Pope ruled the souls of men;
the Emperor their bodies; but both were necessary, equal, and
established by God. It was a confusion of these two powers and ideas
that produced such mediæval anachronisms as churchmen who were worldly
princes with large estates, who led their flocks to war, and who became
the prime ministers of kings; and secular rulers who appointed Church
officials and called and presided over councils. This was the theory
held by dreamers and theorists, but it was never realised.

2. The papal theory made the Pope alone God's representative on earth
and maintained that the Emperor received his right to rule from St.
Peter's successor. For historical proof of the genuineness of this
position attention was called to the power of the keys, the Donation of
Constantine, the coronation of Pepin, the restoration of the Empire in
the West. Such figures as the sun and the moon, the body and the soul,
etc., were used with telling effect by the clerical party who advanced
this theory. It was upheld by Nicholas I., Hildebrand, Alexander III.,
Innocent III., and culminated with Boniface VIII. at the jubilee of 1300
when, seated on the throne of Constantine, girded with the imperial
sword, wearing a crown, and waving a sceptre, he shouted to the throng
of loyal pilgrims: "I am Cæsar--I am Emperor."

3. The imperial theory put the Emperor above the Pope as God's
vice-regent on earth and reduced the Pope to the position of chief
bishop in the Empire. It was held that historical evidence to support
this position could be found in the Jewish theocracy; the words of Jesus
and the apostles about civil power; the seniority of the Empire over the
Papacy; the attitude of Constantine and later Emperors; the work of
Charles the Great, Otto the Great, and their illustrious successors.
This theory was defended by the Emperors, kings, civil lawyers, and
members of the imperial party.

So far as the Papacy was concerned the Holy Roman Empire created a rival
world-ruler with whom for five hundred years the Popes were in almost
endless strife. Under powerful rulers like Otto the Great the Papacy was
subjected to the Empire more absolutely than in the day of Charles the
Great. Under the great German Emperors much was done to reform the
Church and to advance its interests and influence in the world. Each
Emperor took a coronation oath to defend and protect the Church against
heretics, schismatics, infidels, pagans, and all other enemies, and that
obligation was as a rule faithfully and loyally kept. But all things
considered was the Papacy stronger or weaker, better or worse, for the
creation of the Holy Roman Empire? Does the fact that the Papacy
declined with the decay and death of the Empire suggest a necessary
dependence of the former on the latter?



    I.--IN ENGLISH: The materials available in English are scarce
          and very unsatisfactory. A few documents will be found
          in the following:

     1.--Balzani, U., _Early Chronicles of Italy_. Lond., 1883.

     2.--Henderson, _Select Historical Documents of the Middle

     3.--Ogg, _Source Book of Mediæval History_.

     4.--Robinson, _Readings in European History_, i., ch. 12.

     5.--Thatcher and McNeal, _A Source Book for Mediæval History_.

     6.--Univ. of Penn., _Translations and Reprints_.

   II.--IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES: The primary sources not in English
          are very extensive.[415:1] The chief collections are:

     1.--Altmann, W., and Bernheim, E., _Ausgewählte Urkunden zur
          Erläuterung der Verfassungsgeschichte Deutschlands im
          Mittelalter_. Berl., 1891.

     2.--Baronius, _Annales_, vols. xiii.-xix. Luca, 1738. 35 vols.

     3.--Boehmer, J. F., _Fontes rerum Germanicarum_. Stuttg.,
          1843-68. 4 vols.

     4.--_Die Geschichtsschreiber der deutschen Vorzeit._ 2d ed.
          Berl. and Leipz., 1885 _sqq._ 90 vols.

     5.--Doeberl, M., _Monumenta Germaniæ selecta ab a. 768 usque
          ad a. 1250_. Munch., 1889-90.

     6.--Jaffé, P., _Bibliotheca rerum Germanicarum_. Berl.,
          1864-73. 6 vols. _Regesta Pontificum Romanum_ (to 1198).
          Berl. 1851.

     7.--Lehmann, H. O., _Quellen zur Deutschen Reichs-und
          Rechtsgeschichte_. Berl., 1891.

     8.--Mansi, _Sacrorum Conciliorum Collectio_, xviii.

     9.--Migne, vol. 142. Glaber, _Historia sui temporis_.

    10.--Mirbt, _Quellen zur Geschichte des Papsttum_.

    11.--Muratori, _Rerum Italicarum Scriptores_. Med., 1723-51. 28

    12.--Pertz, et al., _Monumenta Germania Historica_, 1826 _ff._

    13.--Pflugh-Harttung, _Acta Pontificum Romanorum_. Tub.,
          1881-8. 3 vols.

    14.--_Scriptores rerum Germanicarum in usum Scholarum._
          Hanover, 1840 ff. 42 vols.

    15.--Stumpf, K. F., _Die Kaiserurkunden des X., XI., und XII.,
          Jahrhunderts Chronologisch verzeichnet_. Innsb., 1865-83.

    16.--Waitz, G., _Urkunden zur Deutschen Verfassungsgeschichte
          im 11 und 12 Jahrhundert_. Keil, 1886.



     1.--Bryce, J., _The Holy Roman Empire_. Rev. ed., 1904.

     2.--Döllinger, J. J. I., _The Empire of Charles the Great and
          His Successors_. Lond., 1894.

     3.--Dunning, W. A., _History of Political Theories_. N. Y.,
          1901. Vol. i.

     4.--Emerton, E., _Mediæval Europe_. Bost., 1896.

     5.--Fisher, H. A. L., _The Mediæval Empire_. Lond., 1898. 2

     6.--Gierke, O., _Political Theories of the Middle Ages_.
          Camb., 1900.

     7.--Greenwood, A. D., _Empire and Papacy in the Middle Ages_.
          Lond., 1896.

     8.--Greenwood, T., _Cathedra Petri_. Lond., 1859-72. 6 vols.

     9.--Gregorovius, F., _History of the City of Rome in the
          Middle Ages_. Lond., 1903. Vol. iii.

    10.--Lea, H. C., _Studies in Church History_.

    11.--Maitland, S. R., _The Dark Ages_. 2d ed. Lond., 1845.

    12.--Oman, C., _The Dark Ages_. Lond., 1898.

    13.--Tout, T. F., _The Empire and the Papacy_. Lond., 1898.

    14.--Turner, S. E., _Sketch of the Germanic Constitution_. N.
          Y., 1888. 26-80.

    Bibliographical Note:--Some of the best books on this subject
          are in German. So far no translations have appeared.
          Among many may be mentioned:--Dresdner, _Kultur- und
          Sittengeschichte der italienischen Geistlichkeit_ 1890.
          2.--Giesebrecht, W. V., _Geschichte der deutschen
          Kaiserzeit_. Braun., 1895. i.-ii. 6 vols. 3.--Hauck, A.,
          _Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands_. Leip., 1887-1900. Vol.
          iii. 4.--_Jahrbücher der Deutschen Geschichte._ Berlin,
          1862 ff. 5.--Langen, _Geschichte der römischen Kirche_.
          Vol. iii. 6.--Richter, G., and Kohl, H., _Annalen der
          Deutschen Geschichte im Mittelalter_. Halle, 1873-90.
          7.--Waitz, G., _Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte_. Kiel,
          1844 _ff._ 8 vols. 8.--Watterich, _Pontificum romanorum
          vitæ ab aequalibus conscriptae_. 1862. 2 vols.


    Adams, ch. 7, 8, 10. Alzog, ii., 107-111. Butler, ch. 31,
    55-57, 62. Chantrel, ch. 3. Coxe, Lect. 4, sec. 20-25. Crooks,
    ch. 33. Darras, ii., 358, 580. Döllinger, iii., ch. 4, sec. 1;
    ch. 5, sec. 2-3. Fisher, pd. 5, ch. 2; pd. 6, ch. 2. Gibbon,
    ch. 49. Gieseler § 21, 22, 24, 27. Gilmartin, i., 31. Hallam,
    ch. 1, pt. 1; ch. 3, pt. 1. Hardwick, ch. 4, sec. 2; ch. 10,
    sec. 2. Hase, sec. 170-192. Hore, ch. 12. Kurtz, i., 436-438,
    483-495, ii., 25-52. Milman, bk. 5, ch. 7, 11, 12, 13.
    Moeller, pd. 2, ch. 2. Mosheim, cent. 9, 10. Neander, pd. 4, §
    2. Schaff, pd. 4, ch. 4.


[384:1] See Strassburg oaths (842), and treaties of Verdun (843) and
Meersen (870). Given in Thatcher and McNeal, No. 16-19; Ogg, § 24.

[385:1] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 158 _ff._; Thatcher and McNeal, No.
20, 21.

[386:1] Pertz, i., 405.

[386:2] See Thatcher and McNeal, No. 22.

[386:3] He was a great-grandson of Charles the Great through his mother
Gisela, a daughter of Louis the Pious.

[386:4] He was by birth a Neustrian Frank and also claimed descent from
Charles the Great. He had large estates in Lorraine as well as central

[386:5] Pope Formosus had a rather checkered career. He was Bishop of
Porto and papal legate. John VIII. had excommunicated him for political
motives. Marinus restored him to power. He was the first Pope to be
elevated from another see to that of Rome. Moeller, ii., 172.

[387:1] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 22.

[387:2] _Ibid._, No. 23.

[387:3] Emerton, _Med. Europe_, 94.

[387:4] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 195; Ogg, § 29.

[388:1] Bryce, _Holy Rom. Emp._, ch. 6, p. 83.

[389:1] Bryce, _Holy Rom. Emp._, 79.

[389:2] Greenwood, bk. viii., ch. 1.

[390:1] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 245.

[390:2] _Saxon Chronicle_, quoted in Emerton, _Med. Europe_, 102.

[390:3] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 247.

[391:1] Bryce, _Holy Rom. Emp._, 77; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 26.

[391:2] Bryce, _Holy Rom. Emp._, ch. 7.

[392:1] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 27; Robinson, _Readings_, i., 249.

[393:1] Pertz, iv., 328, 330.

[393:2] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 28.

[394:1] Pertz, iii., 459.

[394:2] Hauck, _Kircheng. Deutschl._, i., 69.

[395:1] Bryce, 88. Fisher, _Med. Emp._, i.; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 29.

[395:2] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 53.

[395:3] _Mon. Ger. Hist. Leges_, ii., 177; Watterich, i., 675; Thatcher
and McNeal, No. 54.

[395:4] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 253.

[395:5] Luitprand, _Hist. Ottonis_, ch. 5.

[396:1] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 29.

[397:1] Greenwood, bk. viii., 477; Gregorovius, _Rome in M. A._, bk.
vi., 346.

[397:2] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 55.

[398:1] Greenwood, bk. viii., 483.

[399:1] Henderson, _Select. Hist. Docs._, 442, gives the highly amusing
account of the ambassador Luitprand.

[399:2] Bryce, ch. 9.

[399:3] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 30, 31.

[399:4] Maitland, _Dark Ages_, 499.

[399:5] Hauck, iii., 333. Archbishop Bruno was thought to be in league
with the devil. William of Hirschau wrote an elaborate apology for
classical learning as an appendix to his work on astronomy.

The trick played by Henry II. on Bishop Meinwerk of Paderborn
illustrates the prevailing ignorance of Latin. Henry II. had "fa" erased
from the mass for the dead. The Bishop did not understand Latin so
offered up a prayer for he and she mules.--Fisher, _Med. Emp._, ii., 90.

[401:1] Uhlriz, _Otto II. und Otto III._; _Jahrb. d. Deutsch. Reiches_.

[401:2] Bryce, ch. 9; Henderson, 442.

[402:1] He was buried in St. Peter's and is the only German Emperor
sleeping on Roman soil.

[402:2] Milman, _Lat. Christ._, iii., 189; Greenwood, bk. viii., 497.

[403:1] Mabillon, _Act. Ord. St. Benedict_, vi., 30; Robinson,
_Readings_, i., 259.

[404:1] Milman, ii., 481.

[404:2] See Chap. XVIII.

[405:1] Thacher and McNeal, No. 289.

[405:2] Hodgkin, _Italy and her Invaders_, viii., 273; Mombert, _Charles
the Great_, 485.

[406:1] Fisher, _Med. Emp._, ii., 203; Mombert, _Charles the Great_.

[406:2] Henry II. was the great-grandson of Otto I.

[408:1] Glaber, I., i., ch. 4.

[408:2] Rudolph, King of Burgundy, and Canute, King of England and
Denmark were both present at the coronation.

[409:1] Steindorff, _Jahrb. d. Deutsch. Reichs unter Heinrich III._

[409:2] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 32.

[409:3] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 242, 243.

[410:1] Schaff, iv., 298; Milman, ii., 505.

[410:2] Muratori, iii., 2, p. 345; Hefele, iv., 707; Giesebrecht, ii.,

[410:3] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 57.

[415:1] See Potthast, _Wegweiser_.



     OUTLINE: I.--Decline of the Papacy after Nicholas I.
     (858-867). II.--Reform efforts before the time of Hildebrand.
     III.--The youth and education of Hildebrand. IV.--The
     Hildebrandine Popes. V.--Sources.

Nicholas I., through the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, had raised the
Church above the state, made the Pope supreme in the Church, and
inaugurated needed reforms.[418:1] From Nicholas I. to Hildebrand
(867-1049), for about two centuries, the Popes as a rule were men of
very ordinary ability and education. Many of them gained the papal
office by crime, or force, or bribery, and used it for corrupt purposes.
Most of the fifty Popes and six anti-Popes of this period were Italians.
The chair of St. Peter was far more political and worldly than
spiritual. The latter part of the ninth century Rome saw twelve Popes
elected in twenty-three years. Hadrian II. (867-872), an ex-married man
with a family, connected with many a domestic scandal,[418:2] succeeded
Nicholas I., and defended the papal pretensions with ability and
dignity. Then followed John VIII. (872-882), an active, passionate,
shrewd prelate, who was killed by a relative covetous of the papal
throne with its wealth and influence. Stephen VI. (896-897) in revenge
caused the body of Formosus, his predecessor, to be exhumed, clad in
pontifical robes, seated on the pontifical throne, tried by a synod,
deposed as a usurper, the fingers with which the pontifical blessing was
given cut off, and thrown into the Tiber. He, himself, was cast into
prison and there strangled to death (897).

During the tenth century the Papacy was a reflection of the chaotic,
anarchistic condition of the state, the demoralisation and depravity of
society, and the ignorance, superstition, and crime of the day.[419:1]
The head of the Church had lost all dignity and independence, and the
office had become a prey to greed, force, and intrigue. Most of the
Popes ended their careers in deposition, prison, or murder. The
Marquises of Tuscany and the Counts of Tusculum ruled the city of Rome
and dictated the election of Popes for more than half a century.
Three bold, beautiful, wealthy Roman women,--Theodora and her two
daughters--Marozia and Theodora--filled the chair of St. Peter with
their lovers and their bastards.[419:2] This period has been given the
significant name of pornocracy. John X. (914-928), the first
warrior-Pope, lead an army against the Saracens and defeated them. He
was imprisoned and murdered by the wicked Marozia (928). John XII.
(955-963) was governor of Rome and frequently appeared dressed as a
soldier.[419:3] The Papacy was openly bought and sold for money.
Benedict VIII. and John XIX. were both indebted for their elevation to
acknowledged bribery, and the latter was only a layman when elected but
in one day passed through all the requisite clerical degrees and thus
qualified for the high office. The most conspicuous case was that of
Gregory VI. who paid one thousand pounds in silver for the empty
honour.[420:1] The office of the Papacy practically became hereditary.
Laymen as well as churchmen were elected. Benedict IX. (1033-1045)
ascended the papal throne at the age of ten and thought of marrying in
order to transmit his infamous rule.[420:2]

The higher clergy in this period of disorder were for the most part
secular princes. They ruled large tracts of land, possessed and
exercised royal prerogatives, and were granted immunities and privileges
such as market rights, coinage, tolls, feudal judicature, etc.
Furthermore they assumed secular titles and offices. The leading
statesmen of the day were chosen from the clergy. Louis the Infant made
the Abbot of Corvey a count (900), and gave the Bishop of Tours the same
title (902). Henry I. made the Bishop of Tule also the Duke of Tule
(928).[420:3] Otto I. gave his own brother, the Archbishop of Köln, the
duchy of Lorraine and made him Count of Brandenburg and Magdeburg. Otto
III. and Henry III. also made many such grants to churchmen. These
higher clergy were married in many cases, or lived with mistresses, and
had families. After the time of Otto I. they began to counteract the
power of the nobles, hence they were made more and more dependent upon
kings, who claimed the right to appoint them, who invested them with
their power, and to whom they swore allegiance. They appeared at the
court of the king like nobles, and in the event of war led their troops
in person to the battlefield. Depositions for alleged disloyalty were
very common. As the bishops became more involved in secular affairs they
naturally neglected their spiritual duties. Simony crept in as a
consequence and was shamefully practised. Often the worst fitted instead
of the best prepared persons were given the coveted sinecures. It was
but natural that the moral example set by the Pope should reveal itself
in the lives of the clergy.

Greedy hands were raised against the monasteries, and their rich lands
were frequently given as fiefs to laymen.[421:1] The abbots began to
strive for worldly reputation and power. Hence the old discipline was
neglected, and disorders and excesses of all kinds prevailed among the
monks and nuns.[421:2] The common priests and monks were probably better
as a rule than either Popes or bishops, still in too many cases they
were prone to follow the example set by their superiors. The laity were
undoubtedly on a lower moral and intellectual plane than the
priesthood.[421:3] Consequently few complaints were made by them against
the sins and crimes of Popes, bishops, abbots, and priests. The
denunciation of flagrant abuses and the cry for reform, as far as there
was any, came from the better clergy. Of the eighty councils held in
France during the eleventh century, every one denounced the lawlessness
of the laity and the unchastity and simony of the clergy.[422:1]

The manifold corruptions of the tenth century and the first part of the
eleventh produced a clergy that had almost forfeited its spiritual
character. Religion was a cloak for immorality, for licentious
self-indulgence, and for corruption and venality which can scarcely be
equalled in the entire history of the Christian Church. It was a matter
of common notoriety that France and Germany were addicted, almost equal
to Italy, to a shameless traffic in ecclesiastical offices and

The most startling picture of the condition of the clergy comes from the
pen of Desiderius, Abbot of Monte Cassino, who later became Pope Victor

     The Italian priesthood, and among them most conspicuously the
     Roman pontiffs, are in the habit of defying all law and all
     authority; thus utterly confounding together things sacred and
     profane. During all this time the Italian priesthood, and none
     more conspicuously than the Roman pontiffs, set at naught all
     ecclesiastical law and authority. The people sold their
     suffrages for money to the highest bidder; the clergy, moved
     and seduced by avarice and ambition, bought and sold the
     sacred rights of ordination, and carried on a gigantic traffic
     with the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Few prelates remained
     untainted with the vile pollution of simony; few, very few,
     kept the commandments of God, or served him with upright
     hearts; following their chiefs to do evil, the great
     sacerdotal herd rushed headlong down the precipice into the
     quagmire of licentiousness and profligacy: priests and
     deacons, whose duty it was to serve God with clean hands, and
     with chaste bodies to administer the sacraments of the Lord,
     took to themselves wives after the manner of the laity; they
     left families behind them, and bequeathed their ill-gotten
     wealth to their children; yea, even bishops, in contempt of
     all shame and decency, dwelt with their wives under the same
     roof--a nefarious and execrable custom, prevailing, alas! most
     commonly in that city where the laws, thus shamefully set at
     naught, first issued from the sacred lips of the Prince of the
     Apostles and his holy successors.[423:1]

When Otto III., the last of the Saxon Emperors, died, the Papacy had
become, apparently, merged in the state. The initiative of the Pope in
all important matters seemed to flow from imperial rather than
pontifical prerogative. The arbitrary erection of all sorts of
ecclesiastical foundations, the unquestioned secular appointment to the
highest offices in the Church, and the legislation by the state in
ecclesiastical affairs, all point to a closer fusion of the two powers
than since the year 476. But there was no deliberate intention to
encroach upon ecclesiastical right. The alliance was reciprocally
advantageous. There could be no Emperor without a Pope, and no Pope
without an Emperor. The causes for this ascendancy of the temporal power
were: (1) the decay of ecclesiastical organisation and discipline; (2)
the disruption of society and the confusion of political matters in
Italy and Europe generally; (3) the rise of the power and ambition of
the German sovereigns; (4) the social demoralisation of the age--the
wide-spread incontinence, perjury, venality, rapine, bribery, theft, and
murder which infected the Church to its heart's core. Until these
humiliating and devitalising forces were remedied, the Church could not
hope to attain independence.[423:2]

Several distinct efforts at reform were made before the time of
Hildebrand, first by the German Emperors and secondly by the German
Popes. Henry the Fowler (918-936) declared that he would abolish simony
but failed to do so. Otto the Great (936-973) deposed the criminal Pope
John XII., elected Leo VIII. in his place, and honestly intended to
improve the Papacy. Otto III. (983-1002), a great religious enthusiast,
desired to reform the Church through good Popes. Hence he chose Bruno, a
man of piety and morality, as the first German Pope, and then appointed
Gerbert renowned for sanctity and learning. Henry II., called the Saint
(1002-1024), was the first genuine imperial reformer. He opened a
campaign in Germany against simony and the marriage of the clergy. He
reformed the monasteries by destroying or uniting small monasteries, by
abolishing abuses, and by confiscating lands. With the King of France he
agreed to hold a great council at Pavia to cure the evils in the Church
both north and south of the Alps (1023). Notwithstanding these efforts
little real reform was accomplished. Henry III. (1039-1056), thoroughly
imbued with Clugniac zeal for reformation, had Leo IX. hold a big synod
at Mainz (1049) in which simony was denounced, marriage of the clergy
condemned, and local prelates ordered to abolish both evils. Personally
this ruler was wholly free from simony and waged an unrelenting war
against the abuse both in Italy and in Germany.[424:1] He deposed three
bishops for sins and crimes. He appointed a series of Clugniac puritans
to the papal chair[424:2] and thus paved the way for Hildebrand.

The German Popes were very active in reformatory efforts. Gregory V.
(996-999), who was Bruno[425:1] of the royal house of Germany, appointed
by Otto II., renowned for piety and of unblemished character, assumed a
lofty, dignified attitude as Pope and soon made his power felt in
Europe. He purified the papal court as far as possible and suppressed
the independence of the French clergy, but died too soon to realise his
hopes of reformation.

Gerbert, or Sylvester II. (999-1003),[425:2] born of poor parents, was
educated as a teacher first in the Clugniac cloister of Aurillac and
then taken by Count Borrel of Barcelona to Spain, where he studied
mathematics and the natural sciences in the Mohammedan schools. There
Bishop Hatto took a fancy to him and invited him to go to Rome where
Pope John XIII. noticed him and recommended him to Otto the Great (971).
The Emperor sent him to Rheims to be instructed in logic (972). The
Archbishop Adelbert of Rheims soon made him a teacher in the cathedral
school. There he taught the writings of Aristotle, the Latin classics,
and the sciences. Boethius was his favourite author and science his
"darling study." He had many pupils from far and near and gained great
fame for his scholarship.[425:3]

In those days nearly every great man was drawn into the Church, not
alone because his services were needed, but also for the reason that in
that field were the greatest opportunities for advancement. Otto III.,
therefore, made Gerbert Abbot of Gabbia, but he soon resigned the
position (982). Nine years later he was chosen Archbishop of Rheims
(991).[426:1] In this new office he was kept very busy. He had a council
pass an edict which was practically a declaration of independence.[426:2]
He formed a confession of faith which was not considered orthodox.[426:3]
His severe code of morals offended the looser clergy and aroused the
jealousy of others. Consequently a party was organised against him
composed of the clergy, Emperor, and Pope; and the papal legate held a
court in Germany which deprived him of his episcopal functions.[426:4]
Thus driven from office, he joined the court of Otto III. to cast his
spell over that young idealist. In 996 he went with him down to Italy
where he was soon elevated to the Archbishopric of Ravenna and invested
with the insignia of his office by Gregory V. (998). Upon the death
of Gregory V., in 999 Otto III. elevated him to that important
office[426:5] as Sylvester II. He surrendered his heretical ideas and
became the great forerunner of Hildebrand in attacking simony, in
denouncing clerical abuses, in subjecting the higher clergy to his will,
and in compelling obedience from the secular powers. To Stephen of
Hungary he gave a king's crown and made him primate (1000).[426:6] He
suggested the crusades and laboured with Otto III. for the realisation
of the world Empire. After his death in 1003 he soon became the subject
of all sort of wild legends.

Benedict VIII. (1012-1024) was elevated to the Papacy as a reform Pope
by Henry II. and the German party, though he was not a German. He
belonged to the Clugniac reform party and was a brave, independent Pope
who joined the Emperor in assailing simony and in sanctioning the
celibacy of the clergy. Clement II. (1046-1047) was made Pope by Henry
III. after deposing three rival Popes. He held a Roman synod which
condemned simony for the future, forbade the practice by churchmen, made
the penalty for disobedience excommunication, and endeavoured to
eradicate the evil in Italy and Germany.[427:1]

The reform efforts of the Popes were supplemented by the reforming
monastic orders. St. Nilus (910-1005), a Greek born in Calabria, after
his wife's death in 940 entered the monastery of St. Mercurius, where he
soon gained renown for his tortures, piety, and studies. Becoming
disgusted with the monastic practices, he left the convent and wandered
about as a hermit, taking St. Anthony as his model. His fame soon spread
abroad so that when he made a pilgrimage to Rome he was greatly honoured
there and even consulted by Gregory V. and Otto III. It was not long
before he gained a large following of ascetics in Italy and with them
founded several cloisters which were models of lofty zeal and

Another monk of this period imbued with the desire for reformation
within the Church was St. Dunstan (924-988), the son of a West Saxon
noble, educated in the monastic school of Glastonbury, and trained at
court.[427:3] He early adopted the life of a monk, became a hermit,
studied the Scriptures and made bells, and was given to prayers and
visions. Appointed Abbot of Glastonbury in 945, he began to reform the
monastic life by restoring the early purity and simplicity. Becoming too
much absorbed in the politics of his day and thereby coming under the
displeasure of the king, he was banished to Flanders in 956 where he
first learned of St. Benedict's rule. Two years later, however, he was
recalled to England and soon appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. Then he
went to Rome to receive the pallium and, returning to his native land,
put himself at the head of the reform party. He sought to replace the
seculars by monks, to introduce the Benedictine rule, to enforce
celibacy, to prevent concubinage, to require all priests to learn
trades, and to forbid the clergy to hunt, hawk, play dice, get drunk,
and scold.

The monastery of Clugny grew out of the urgent need of monastic reform.
It was founded in 910 by Duke William of Aquitaine to honour Peter and
Paul and was put under the immediate control and direction of the
Pope.[428:1] Bruno (d. 927) was made the first abbot. He was a
Burgundian who had already gained renown as a monastic leader. A
modified St. Benedict's rule was introduced into the new monastery which
absolutely forbade the possession of private property, prohibited the
eating of quadrupeds, enforced a silence which resulted in the
development of a sign language, required psalm singing and Bible
reading, and demanded unquestioned obedience. Before Bruno's death six
cloisters had been founded. Odo (927-941), a pupil and follower of
Bruno, succeeded him.[428:2] He was a man of great energy and unusual
spirituality, and outlined the literary work of the order. From Pope
John XI. he obtained the permit to unite more cloisters under his rule
and to accept monks from unreformed monasteries. Before his death he had
restored the ancient cloister life in countless monasteries over France
and in Italy. Under succeeding abbots, Aymar (941-948), Majola
(948-994), Odilo (994-1048), and Hugh (1048-1109), reforms were extended
to German cloisters and to English monasteries; social and economic
reformatory results were produced; the Truce of God was promulgated; and
the reform spirit was spread throughout the Church, particularly in
reference to simony, celibacy, and concubinage, and uncanonical marriage
of the laity. At its height Clugny ruled over two thousand monasteries
and produced such Popes as Hildebrand, Urban II., and Pascal II. After
the thirteenth century the order began to decline and finally the French
Revolution swept it out of existence.[429:1]

The Camaldolites grew out of an Italian reform movement independent of
Clugny though no doubt related to it.[429:2] It came into existence at
the end of the tenth century when the Clugniac movement had already
reformed many of the Italian monasteries. The fundamental idea of this
order was to reform the monastic evils of Italy by reviving the
strictest form of ascetic life. The hermit, Simeon, St. Dominicus of
Foligno, and St. Nilus were worthy, inspiring examples. Traditions of
the Greek monastic fathers still lingered in southern Italy and in the
Apennines land may have had some influence. St. Romould, born at
Ravenna in 950 of a rich noble family, was the real founder. After
leading a gay youth, at the age of twenty, he entered a Benedictine
monastery to atone for his father's sin in murdering a relative, which
crime he witnessed with his own eyes. He intended to remain only forty
days but stayed three years, yet found no peace for his soul. Then he
turned hermit, practised the severest tortures to defeat the devil,
travelled from place to place, gained great fame, had a crowd of
followers wherever he went, organised them and appointed a leader, and
then moved on to a new field of labour. As his life drew near its close,
he retired to Camaldoli in the Apennines, and hence the name of the
place was given to his order (1018). To govern these little bands St.
Benedict's rule, modified by eastern asceticism, was used. The monks
lived in single cells, but had a common meeting place for worship and
for eating. Wine and meat were forbidden, and all days except Thursday
and Sunday were fast days. The monks were barefooted and went about in
silence with hair and beard uncut, performing the duties of farmers and
makers of nets and baskets. Some of the more ascetic lived for years
without leaving their cells. They were the first to use assistants as
servants. St. Romould had a great influence on his age and was called a
prophet and a miracle worker. He induced men like the Doge of Venice to
take up the monastic life and was visited by the young Otto III. (999).
He sent missionaries to Russia and Poland, and went himself to Hungary
with twenty-four monks, but was compelled by illness to return to Italy.
He preached with great power against the immoral, simoniacal, and wicked
clergy, the monastic abuses, simony, and the marriage of churchmen.
After his death in 1027, his work was carried on by his disciples and
the order has lived on through the varying vicissitudes of succeeding

The Vallombrosians originated in Tuscany in 1040 as an outgrowth of the
Camaldolian reform movement. St. John Gualbert, the scion of a noble
Florentine family, was the founder. Sent by his father to kill the
murderer of his brother, he spared his life, when he made the sign of
the cross with his arms. On his return to Florence, entering the little
Church of San Miniato to pray before an image of Jesus, the figure
nodded its head in approval of his act of mercy. As a result in 1038 he
became a monk and soon joined St. Romould. Two years later he determined
to found an order of his own at Vallombrosa. Followers enough came to
begin his organisation and they were put under St. Benedict's rule
modified to meet his ideas. Candidates were put on a year's probation
and members were divided into three classes,--the religious, the serving
brethren, and the laity. When he died in 1073, seven cloisters had been
established in Italy, and when the founder was made a saint in 1193 they
numbered sixty.

The monastery of Hirshau was established in the Black Forest of
Germany.[431:2] William of Bavaria began the reformation there in 1065
by freeing the monastery from secular control, drawing up a constitution
for it on reform lines, patterning its policy after the Clugniac
movement, and introducing lay brethren. From Hirshau reformation spread
over a large part of Germany, and these reform cloisters strongly
supported the lofty programme of Gregory VII.[432:1]

Peter Damiani was born in Ravenna of poor parents in 1006 and early left
an orphan. As a boy he had a hard life, but was educated by a brother at
Ravenna, Faenza, and Parma. Then he became a teacher and gained wealth
and fame as an instructor in grammar and rhetoric at Ravenna. Suddenly
at the age of twenty-nine resolving to become a monk, he entered a
monastery at Fonte Avellano where he excelled the old monks in
intemperate tortures, studied the Scriptures and preached, and wrote a
biography of St. Romould. At the age of thirty-seven he was chosen abbot
and then introduced St. Romould's Benedictine rule, which made fasting
and torture a regular system. Each psalm was to be recited accompanied
by one hundred lashes on the bare back and the whole psalter with one
thousand five hundred lashes. This practice soon became a regular craze
and was taken up later by the Dominicans, the Franciscans, and the
Flagellants. He permitted his monks to read the Scriptures and the
Fathers, encouraged them in performing hand work, but cut them off
wholly from the world. He soon became the recognised leader of the
reform party in Europe. He denounced his age as worse than that of Sodom
and Gomorrah; demanded a reformation of monasteries, of all the clergy,
and of the Church in general; dedicated his life to a crusade against
simony and marriage of the clergy; and condemned in the clergy the
practice of bearing arms as Leo IX. did in driving back the Normans
(1053). Damiani was too big a man to remain in obscurity, hence he
became Bishop of Ostia and in 1058 was made Cardinal. In the papal
court he was a very prominent personage, serving as legate on many an
important mission, and in 1061 was almost chosen Pope. He was the
spiritual counsellor and censor of seven Hildebrandine popes, and called
himself the "Lord of the Pope" and Hildebrand's "Holy Satan." He won the
confidence of Henry III. and exercised great control over Henry IV. He
died in 1072 just a year before Hildebrand became Pope.[433:1]

Next to Peter Damiani both in time and importance comes Hildebrand. From
the scanty sources concerning his youth it is known that he was born in
Tuscany at Saona about 1020 of parents in humble circumstances. His
father's name was Bonizo, but whether he was of Teutonic or Roman race,
or whether his occupation was that of a carpenter, a farmer, or a
goatherd, are unsettled questions. His mother is unknown, but she had a
brother who was Abbot of St. Mary's on the Aventine in Rome and one of
the twenty churchmen who helped the Pope celebrate mass. To that uncle's
monastery in the Eternal City young Hildebrand was early sent and there
studied Latin, rhetoric, mathematics, music, dialectics, and the Church
Fathers. There too he became imbued with the venerableness of Holy Rome
and the sacred authority of the Chair of St. Peter, so that in the
stormy days of his old age he could write that St. Peter had nourished
him from childhood. Under these surroundings it was but natural that he
should decide to be a monk. Soon he was driven to ascetic severities,
probably by the corruptions and abuses thrust upon him from all sides.
In this monastery he met such men as Odilo, Abbot of Clugny, leader of
the reform movement in France, who was accustomed to make St. Mary's his
stopping place when in Rome; Archbishop Laurentius of Amalfi, who may
have taught him the classics; and Archpresbyter John Gratian, a teacher
in St. Mary's, who later purchased the papal crown and became Pope
Gregory VI.

Abbot Odilo, favourably impressed with the young monk's ability and
piety, took him to Clugny, where he completed his studies, practised the
severe discipline of the Benedictines, and became grave and puritanical.
The life of a monk probably affected Hildebrand as later it did Luther.
He seems to have travelled some in Germany--perhaps even visited the
court of Henry III. for his order. He may have completed his novitiate
at Clugny. From this reform atmosphere Hildebrand returned to Rome when
three Popes were claiming the apostolic seat and the Papacy was in its
depths of humiliation. Gregory VI., one of the trio, Hildebrand's old
teacher, who had bought the office for 1000 pounds in silver, made the
young monk his chaplain. Soon he saw the German Emperor, Henry III.,
come to Rome, hold a council, depose the three Popes, exile his master
to a German monastery, and in 1046 elect a new Pontiff. True to his
unfortunate friend, Hildebrand followed him to Germany to see him die in
1048 of a broken heart and then, apparently, he returned to

Pope Clement II., raised to the papal chair by Henry III. (1046), died
within a year and Damasus II. followed him in twenty-three days. The
Roman people then prayed the Emperor to name a new papal sovereign and
he chose his cousin Bruno Pope in the Diet of Worms in 1048 and had him
assume the pontifical insignia. This was a new method of election and
certainly a dangerous precedent. Bruno was a German, born at Alsace in
1002, well educated and at twenty-four elected Bishop of Toul. He joined
the Clugniac reform party and enforced reformation in his diocese. He
served the German king on several delicate secular missions,
particularly to Burgundy and France, and gained a reputation as a good,
clever, honest, brave, devout man. When elected to this high office he
was a matured man, handsome, tall and stately, with a strong frank face,
and was a general favourite. As a pilgrim he had often gone to Rome and
was familiar with the conditions there. His biographer said of the
times: "The World lay in wickedness; holiness had disappeared; justice
had perished; truth had been buried; Simon Magnus lorded it over the
Church, whose bishops and priests were given to luxury and
fornication."[435:1] In Rome the churches were neglected and in ruins,
sheep and cattle went in and out of the broken doors, and the monks and
clergy were steeped in immorality.[435:2]

Bruno asked Hildebrand, who appears to have been at the Diet of Worms,
to go with him to Rome, but that austere monk replied, "I cannot
accompany you because, without canonical institution, and by the royal
and secular power alone, you are going to seize upon the Roman Church."
If that statement is correct, it shows Hildebrand's ideas of the
relation of Church and state twenty-five years before he became Pope.
Bruno was persuaded, put off the papal robes, and declared that he would
not accept the papal crown save by the free election of the Roman
clergy and people. Then the two started for Rome as barefooted pilgrims
and many a legendary tale has grown up about that journey, which took
two months. At length reaching Rome, these two pious churchmen were
heartily welcomed by the Romans and Bruno was chosen Pope in a great
gathering in 1049 and coronated as Leo IX.

With Leo IX. began that new policy of reformation and purification of
which Hildebrand was the genius and Innocent III. executor. The spirit
of the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals and of Clugny were to be united and to
predominate. To reform the curia was the first step of the new Pope. He
did this by surrounding himself with good men like Hildebrand, Peter
Damiani, Cardinal Humbert, and Archbishop Halimand of Lyons. His next
move was to abolish the flagrant evils in the Church such as simony, the
violation of celibacy, unjust tithing of the laity, uncanonical
marriages of the laity, and lay investiture. These various reforms were
to be inaugurated through Church synods, such as the annual Easter
synods in Rome, national synods, and local synods. Leo IX. presided over
eleven of these synods in person and travelled incessantly through
Italy, France, and Germany to enforce the reforms, to root out heresy,
to settle disputes, to make appointments, and to manage Church affairs.
To enforce his measures in southern Italy he led an army of Italians and
Germans against the Normans in 1053, but was defeated and taken
prisoner, whereupon he put all the Normans under the ban. They begged
their sacred captive to remove the dreaded curse but he refused until
they should kiss his feet and recognise the rights of the Church. When
he died in 1054, beloved by all Christendom, he had accomplished more
in the way of reformation than any Pope since Nicholas I. and he left
behind him a new religious enthusiasm soon to be felt all over

Leo IX. had entrusted papal affairs to Hildebrand until a new Pope
should be elected, hence all eyes were on him and his friends wanted to
make him Supreme Pontiff. But he saw the time was not ripe for his work
and refused. Hildebrand then headed a delegation to ask the Emperor
Henry III. to confirm the nomination of Gebhard, Bishop of Eichstädt, a
friend and relative. After the imperial nomination at Mainz, Gebhard
went to Rome, was there elected in due canonical form as Pope Victor II.
(1055), and immediately took up Hildebrand's sweeping reform
policy.[437:2] Formerly he had advocated a national Church and was a
master of Clugniac politics. Now, however, he accepted the papal theory
in its entirety. With the Emperor he held a council at Florence which
forbade the alienation of Church property, enacted rules of discipline,
and determined matters of doctrine.[437:3] To cure abuses of the French
clergy he sent Hildebrand to France, who succeeded in humbling the
bishops guilty of simony.[437:4] Victor II. himself held a council at
Tours to discuss the imperial claims of Ferdinand the Great of Spain and
Henry III. of Germany, thus assuming that it was his prerogative to act
in the capacity of arbiter. He went to Germany in 1056 to see Henry III.
die, to hold the centrifugal forces in check in behalf of Henry IV., and
to thwart the ambition of Mamno of Cologne and Adelbert of Bremen to
establish a northern patriarchate. The following year he returned to
Italy and there soon died (1057), beloved throughout all Christendom.

Five days after the death of Victor II. the Romans, not waiting for the
return of Hildebrand, who was still absent on papal business, chose
Cardinal Frederick of Lorraine Pope and jubilantly inaugurated him
(Aug. 2, 1057). The new Pontiff, who took the name of Stephen IX., was
an old enemy of Henry III., had been made Cardinal and Chancellor by
Leo IX., had been sent to Constantinople to heal the breach between
the East and the West (1054), and had been appointed Abbot of Monte
Casino (1057).[438:1] Since he was elected without the consent of
the German imperial party, Hildebrand, elevated to the dignity of
cardinal-archdeacon, was sent north to appease the Queen Regent. Stephen
IX. manifested his sincere desire to carry forward the work of
reformation. Allied with him to accomplish this work were Hildebrand,
the greatest man in Rome, and Damiani, the leader of the reform party,
whom he appointed Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia. This trio no doubt would
have made great headway in the reform propagandism had not the Pope died
so soon (Mar. 29, 1058). Before death stilled his tongue, however, he
made his court promise not to elect a successor without the advice of
Hildebrand, who was still absent in Germany.

The party of nobles in Rome, not heeding the wishes of Stephen IX.,
immediately elected as Pope Benedict X., and every friend of reform was
driven from the city. Hildebrand upon returning to Rome secured the
elevation of Gerhard, Bishop of Florence, to the papal chair and
inaugurated him without difficulty, whereupon Benedict X. surrendered
and was pardoned, though degraded and confined for life within the
precincts of St. Maria Maggiore.[439:1] The new Pope, Nicholas II.,
practically allowed Hildebrand to dictate his policy. First he sought to
free the Church from imperial domination and to elevate it above the
state. The death of Henry III. (1056) and the coronation of his son of
six as Henry IV. removed a powerful barrier to that object. Germany was
divided into an imperial and anti-imperial party. In this condition
Italian influence could be used as the determining factor in German
politics, hence the states of Italy were forced to recognise the
over-sovereignty of the Pope.

In the next place Nicholas II. endeavoured to regulate the papal
elections so as to prevent a repetition of the election of Benedict X.
and at the same time to eliminate the influence of the Emperor. The
Lateran Council held April 13, 1059, attended by the Pope and one
hundred and thirteen bishops,[439:2] many abbots, and a vast concourse
of priests and deacons, after condemning Benedict X., prohibiting
simony, denouncing lay investiture, and decreeing celibacy to be the law
of the Church, created the College of Cardinals.[439:3] The election of
the Pope was now put into the hands of the Roman cardinal-bishops,[439:4]
who were to submit their nominee to the lower clergy and the people for
approval. This practically excluded both the Roman nobles and the Roman
Emperor. This edict was the greatest revolution ever attempted in the
hierarchy. It was an effort to give the Papacy a constitution which
would make it independent. An election by any hands but the cardinals'
could now be called unconstitutional or uncanonical. And any person who
attempted to resist or impugn the regulation was to be smitten with an
awful curse:

     Let him be damned by anathema and excommunication, and be
     counted among the impious in the resurrection of condemnation;
     may the wrath of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and the fury of
     the Apostles Peter and Paul, whose Church he shall dare to
     disturb, be poured out upon him in this life and in the life
     to come; may his habitation be made desolate, so that there
     may be none to inhabit his tents; may his children be made
     orphans, and his wife a widow; he and his sons; and may he beg
     his bread, and be driven out of his habitation; may the usurer
     consume his substance, and the stranger reap the fruit of his
     labours; may the world be at war with him, and all the
     elements array themselves against him; and may the merits of
     all the saints at rest confound him, and even in this life
     hold the sword of vengeance suspended over him.[440:1]

The history of the cardinals is very interesting. The word cardinal
seems to come from _cardo_, a hinge, and contains the idea of principal
or important.[440:2] The term was early applied to the priests of the
first dioceses in Rome and in 308 there were twenty-five in the Eternal
City. Under Gregory I. (604) the word was plainly and commonly used.
Stephen IV. in 771 extended the title to suburban dioceses. Anastasius'
life of Leo III. (died 816) seems to indicate the germs of a College of
Cardinals. It was not, however, until the time of Nicholas II. that the
institution was definitely created. The number of cardinals varied
greatly--thirty in the twelfth century, seven in the thirteenth century,
twenty-four by the act of the Council of Basle, thirteen in 1516,
seventy-six in 1559, and finally Sixtus V. fixed the number once for all
at seventy to correspond with the seventy elders of Israel.[441:1] The
number, however, was seldom complete.

The paternal solicitude and indefatigable labours of Nicholas II. for
the restoration and maintenance of the unity and authority of the Church
met with unexpected success. All western Europe, even distant countries
like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland, felt the firm hand of this
strong Pope. In Milan Peter Damiani humbled the mighty archbishop and
lesser ecclesiastics to repentance for simony and immorality. Robert
Guiscard, King of the Normans, acknowledged papal suzerainty.[441:2]
From many standpoints he must be accounted the greatest Pope between
Gregory the Great and Gregory VII.

The death of Nicholas II. (1061) gave the College of Cardinals an
opportunity to employ the new method of electing the Pope. Hildebrand
first sent Cardinal Stephen as a messenger to the Empress Regent to
secure her approval of the election, but she refused to receive him
because she felt that the royal prerogatives had been encroached upon by
the Lateran Council and besides she hoped to carry out her own plans of
election. Hildebrand, after waiting some time, resolved to take the
initiative and summoned the College of Cardinals. The right of the
young king was tacitly waived and a new Pope called Alexander II.
elected. The Empress called a counter-council at Basle in which the
regulation creating the College of Cardinals was revoked, the election
of Alexander II. was declared null, and in his place the Bishop of Parma
was made Pope Honorius II. The German Pope attempted to take Rome by
force (April, 1062), did gain an entry, but was soon defeated by Godfrey
of Tuscany and forced to flee. A civil revolt in Germany soon led to the
recognition of Alexander II. and the Empress Regent sought absolution
from him and shortly afterwards entered a Roman convent. The continued
quarrel between these two rival claimants of St. Peter's Seat gave a
momentary check to reformation in the Church. But the battle over papal
election had been won. The Church was no longer ruled by the state.
Truly could it be said of Hildebrand "he found the Church a handmaid and
left her free." The contest over simony, lay investiture, and celibacy,
however, remained to be carried on by the great successor of Alexander
II. It was this same Pope Alexander II. who gave William of Normandy the
right to assume the crown of England, for which he exacted a yearly
tribute. He also appointed the archbishops for England. Lanfranc of
Canterbury ably seconded the reformatory exertions of the Pope and set
himself firmly against the sale of benefices and the unchastity of the
clergy. Nicholas II. likewise declared that papal bulls had the same
force as acts of councils--the first expression of that kind. Peter
Damiani was sent into France to correct the morals of the clergy and to
enforce discipline in the Church. Later he made a similar trip to
Germany. Had not death claimed Nicholas so soon (Apr. 21, 1073) he
would probably have carried out his intentions to reform the wicked
young German king, who was called to Rome to answer for his conduct,
and to punish his councillors, whom he did excommunicate. He bequeathed
that difficult work, however, to one more able than he for its

Charles the Great and Otto the Great both called councils in Rome to try
Popes. But now the Pope has attained such a pre-eminence that he cites
the Emperor to appear before him to justify his conduct. Verily the
Papacy, with the aid of Damiani and Hildebrand, had got out of the
quagmire which almost engulfed it in the tenth and the eleventh
centuries. At the same time the imperial right to choose Popes, which
had so long been exercised and which had been recognised again and again
by the Popes themselves, was taken out of the Emperor's hands and
entirely controlled by the Roman cardinals.



   1.--Henderson, E. F., _Select Historical Documents of the
          Middle Ages_. N. Y., 1892.

   2.--Gee, H., and Hardy, W. J., _Documents Illustrative of
          English Church History_. Lond., 1896.

   3.--Neale, J. M., _Mediæval Preachers_. Lond., 1856.

   4.--Thatcher and McNeal, _Source Book for Mediæval History_. N.
          Y., 1905.

   Bibliographical Note:--The primary material for this subject is
          practically all in Latin. The most valuable collections
          are: Migne, _Patrologia_, vols. 119-145; Pertz,
          _Monumenta_; Mansi, _Sacrorum Conciliorum_; _Rolls
          Series_; Muratori; _Bouquet_.



     1.--Baring-Gould, S., _Lives of the Saints_. Lond., 1897-8.
          15 vols.

     2.--Bowden, J. W., _Life and Pontificate of Gregory VII._ 2
          vols. Lond., 1840. I., 73-283.

     3.--Bryce, J., _The Holy Roman Empire_. Various eds. Rev. ed.,

     4.--Butler, A., _Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Saints_.
          Dub., 1866. 12 vols.

     5.--Fisher, H., _The Mediæval Empire_.

     6.--Greenwood, A., _The Empire and the Papacy in the Middle

     7.--Greenwood, T., _Cathedra Petri_. Ch. 4.

     8.--Greisley, Sir R., _Life and Pontificate of Gregory VII._
          Lond., 1832. Introduction.

     9.--Lea, H. C., _History of Sacerdotal Celibacy_. Rev. ed.

    10.--Maitland, S. R., _The Dark Ages_. Lond., 1889.

    11.--Montalembert, Count de, _The Monks of the West_. Lond.,
          1896. 7 vols.

    12.--Stephens, W. R. W., _Hildebrand and His Times_. N. Y.,

    13.--Villemain, A. F., _Life of Gregory VII._ Lond., 1874. 2

    14.--Vincent, M. R., _The Age of Hildebrand_. N.Y., 1896.


    Adams, ch. 10. Allen, ii., ch. 3. Alzog, ii., 228-241.
    Bouzique, ii., bk. 3, ch. 1. Butler, ch. 63-65. Creighton, i.,
    ch. 1, pp. 11-16. Döllinger, iii., ch. 3, sec. 2-3; ch. 5.
    Emerton, ch. 7. Fisher, pd. 5, ch. 3. Foulkes, ch. 11.
    Gieseler. Gilmartin, i., ch. 41, 42. Guericke. Hase, sec.
    177-180. Hurst, i., 473, 701, 739, 753. Jennings, i., ch. 10;
    ii., ch. 11. Kurtz, sec. 92, 96, 97, 98. Milman, ii., bk. 5,
    p. 409. Milner, cent. 9, ch. 3; cent. 11, ch. 2; cent. 12,
    cent. 13. Moeller. Neander, iii., 346-456. Newman. Riddle,
    ii., ch. 4, 5. Robertson, bk. 4, ch. 6; bk. 5, ch. 1. Schaff,
    pd. 4, ch. 4, sec. 63-66. Tout, ch. 5.


[418:1] See Chapter XVI.

[418:2] The Pope's wife was still living at the time of his election.
His daughter, a maiden of forty, was abducted by the son of Bishop
Aresenius. When threatened with punishment, the abductor murdered the
Pope's wife and daughter. See Schaff, iv., 277.

[419:1] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 245.

[419:2] Alzog, ii., § 187; Hefele, iv., 575; Gregorovius, iii., 282;
Pertz, v., 297; Migne, vol. 136, 827, 852; Robinson, _Readings_, i.,

[419:3] See Chapter XVII.

[420:1] See Chapter XVII.

[420:2] Jaffé, 50; Hefele, iv., 707.

[420:3] Bömer, _Regesta_, v., 3. See Hauck, iii., 57-59. But it must be
remembered that among these wicked Popes there appeared here and there a
Pope distinguished for purity of life. Such were John IX. (898-900),
Benedict IV. (900-903), Anastasius III. (911-913), Leo VI. (928-929).

[421:1] Gieseler, ii., 332.

[421:2] Mansi, xviii., 270.

[421:3] Alzog, ii., § 200.

[422:1] Alzog, ii., § 200.

[423:1] Greenwood, bk. ix., ch. 3.

[423:2] _Ibid._, bk. x., ch. 1.

[424:1] Read his address to the Council of Pavia in Fisher, _Mediæval
Empire_, ii., 68. _Cf._ Greenwood, bk. ix., ch. 3, 4.

[424:2] Clement II., Damascus II., Leo IX., Victor II. Thatcher and
McNeal, No. 57.

[425:1] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 259.

[425:2] Migne, vol. 139, p. 85; Olleris, _Œuvres de Gerbert_.

[425:3] _Mon. Ger. Hist._, ii., 561.

[426:1] _Mon. Ger. Hist._, iii., 658.

[426:2] Milman, ii., 491.

[426:3] _Ibid._

[426:4] Milman, ii., 493; Schaff, iv., 290.

[426:5] Milman, ii., 496.

[426:6] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 56.

[427:1] Mansi, xix., 625.

[427:2] Migne, vol. 120, p. 9-166; _Mon. Ger. Hist._, iv., 616; Neander,
iii., 420; Butler, _Lives of the Saints_.

[427:3] Hook, _Lives of Archbishops of Canterbury_; Green, _Conquest of
England_; _Dictionary of National Biography_; Milman, bk. viii, ch. 1;
Butler, _Lives of the Saints_; Lea, _History of Sacerdotal Celibacy_.

[428:1] Henderson, 329; Ogg, § 42.

[428:2] Maitland, _Dark Ages_.

[429:1] Duckett, _Charters and Records Illust. of the Eng. Foundations
of the Ancient Abbey of Clugny_ (1077-1534).

[429:2] Migne, vol. 144, p. 953; Mabillon, iii., iv.

[431:1] Mabillon, _Ann. Ord. Benedict._, iii., iv., gives his life by
Peter Damiani; Sachur, _Die Cluniozenser bis zur Mitte des 11th Jahrh._;
Heimbucher, _Die Orden u. Kongregat. der Kath. Kirche_.

[431:2] _Mon. Ger. Hist._, xii., 209.

[432:1] Giseke, _Die Hirschauer während des Investiturstreites_, 1883.

[433:1] Migne, vol. 144, p. 145; Vagler, _Peter Damiani_; Neukirch, _Das
Leben des Peter Damiani_; Neander, iii., 382, 397; Hefele, iv.; Cooper,
_Flagellation and the Flagellants_; Schaff, iv., 787.

[434:1] _Cf._ Greenwood, bk. ix., ch. 4.

[435:1] Bruno, _Vita S. Leonis IX._

[435:2] Mansi, xix., 705.

[437:1] A large number of legends soon sprang up about Leo IX.

[437:2] Bonizo, ii., 804; Muratori, iv., 403.

[437:3] Harduin, vi., 1039.

[437:4] _Ibid._; Bonizo, 806.

[438:1] Greenwood, bk. x., ch. 1, p. 156.

[439:1] Greenwood, bk. x., ch. 1, p. 160.

[439:2] Henderson, 361.

[439:3] Mansi, xix., 898.

[439:4] Bowden, i., 200; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 59; Henderson, 361;
Alzog, § 190.

[440:1] Greenwood, bk. x., ch. 1, pp. 162, 163.

[440:2] Alzog, § 194.

[441:1] Bull _Postquam_, 1585.

[441:2] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 58.



     OUTLINE: I.--Condition of the Church in 1073. II.--Election of
     Hildebrand as Pope. III.--Gregory VII.'s matured papal theory
     and reform ideas. IV.--His efforts to realise his ideals.
     V.--The investiture strife. VI.--Conclusions. VII.--Sources.

In 1073 the Church had been raised from the lowest condition to a
comparatively high moral plane by the imperial reforms, the labours of
earnest German Popes, the Clugniac reformation, and the Hildebrandine
Popes. The papal crown was no longer the plaything of a Roman noble, nor
the tool of the German Emperor, but had become largely independent of
both and a mighty power in Europe. This change was due to the character
of the Emperors and Popes, to the religious enthusiasm of the age, to
the political confusion in Germany, and to the labours of Hildebrand,
particularly in creating the College of Cardinals. A positive reform
movement had also been started in the Church, but it remained to be
continued and completed. The time, therefore, seemed ripe for the work
of a great Pope like Hildebrand.

For twenty-five years Hildebrand had been the power behind the papal
throne. He had largely moulded the policy of eight successive Popes, he
was the recognised champion of reformation in the Church, he had
developed the constitution of the Papacy, he had managed the finances of
Rome, he had become the greatest statesman and the shrewdest churchman
in Europe, and he had formed a powerful party to champion his ideas.

Alexander II. breathed his last April 21, 1073. Hildebrand directed that
the next three days should be devoted to fasting, charity, and prayer,
while the dead Pontiff was being interred, after which the regular
election of a Pope would follow. The next day the funeral rites were
being celebrated in the old church of St. John Lateran. The ancient
structure was crowded to overflowing and Hildebrand, as archdeacon, was
conducting the services, when suddenly a cry burst forth from the crowd,
"Hildebrand, Hildebrand shall be our Pope. St. Peter chooses our
Archdeacon Hildebrand." Rushing to the pulpit, Hildebrand implored
silence, but his voice was drowned in the uproar.

Then Cardinal Hugo came forward, and said:

     Well know ye, beloved brethren, that since the days of the
     blessed Leo, this tried and prudent archdeacon has exalted the
     Roman See and delivered this city from many perils. Wherefore,
     since we cannot find any one better qualified for the
     government of the Church, or the protection of the city, we,
     the bishops and archbishops, with one voice elect him as
     pastor and bishop of your souls.

The crowd approved by shouting, "It is the will of St. Peter. Hildebrand
is Pope."[446:1] Then the cardinals led the popular favourite,
protesting still and in tears, to the throne of St. Peter, and invested
him with the scarlet robe and the tiara as Gregory VII. Like Charles the
Great in 800, Gregory VII. pretended to be greatly surprised at this
election, which certainly was irregular, if not uncanonical, because the
customary three days had not yet elapsed, the people had nominated and
the cardinals had ratified--a complete reversal of the decree of
1059,--and the Emperor had not been consulted at all.

Hildebrand immediately assumed all the duties of his office, but at the
same time wrote to Henry IV. stating all the circumstances attending his
election and saying that he would refuse consecration until the Emperor
should approve of his elevation.[447:1] The assertions that he asked
Henry IV. not to confirm his election and that he threatened to punish
the king if made Pope are very improbable.[447:2] Henry IV. was in a
dilemma. He knew that Hildebrand had robbed him of the rights enjoyed by
his father and predecessors; consequently the German nobles and
simoniacal bishops urged him to annul the election and thus nip the
violence of Hildebrand in the bud. He realised the strength of the
Hildebrandine party, on the other hand, and feared the results of an
open rupture with it in the unsettled condition of Germany. The
diplomatic move of Hildebrand, however, seemed to offer a way for
surrender under the garb of victory. Therefore Henry sent a trusted
representative to Rome to demand an explanation of the illegal election
of the Pope. Hildebrand simply stated that the office had been thrust
upon him and that he had refused inauguration until the Emperor should
consent to his election. Hence the Emperor was forced to confirm the
action and forthwith sent his chancellor to witness the installation
(June 30th) of Gregory VII.[447:3]

The papal philosophy of Gregory VII. was based upon the
Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals. His conception of the Pope is summed up in
the famous _Dictatus Papæ_ in which he makes the successor of St. Peter
God's representative on earth, the absolute sovereign of the Church, and
the supreme feudal lord of the world.[448:1] This ideal he sought to
realise in every particular. The clergy, according to his theory, were
wholly dependent upon the Pope's will and must be absolutely free from
every vice and worldly influence in order that they might labour only to
save men's souls. Hence, he believed in the great need of reformation
and in the correction of all abuses. The laity, from Emperor to slave,
were entirely subjected to the Pope and his clergy in both temporal and
spiritual matters, and therefore must render absolute obedience to the
commands of the Church. In his reform policy as Pope, Gregory showed
himself more hostile than ever against the crying evils of simony and
the marriage or concubinage of the clergy. But twenty-five years of
effort to cure these evils in the Church had taught him that the real
cause of all the other evils was the subjection of the clergy to secular
power. The solemn denunciations of simony by the Lateran councils were
_nil_ as long as kings and nobles offered each ecclesiastical office for
sale to the highest bidder. It was useless to order the clergy to give
up their luxurious habits and live in ascetic purity as long as they
were tools of a licentious aristocracy. Therefore the papal ax must be
laid at the very root of the evil, namely, lay investiture and the
secular control of the clergy.

In his first efforts to realise his lofty ideal, Gregory VII. desired to
unite all Christendom under the suzerainty of the Pope and through this
submission to conquer the world for God. On the very day of his
consecration (April 30th) he sent Cardinal Hugo to Spain to replace the
Gothic with the Roman ritual and thus to secure Spain as a papal
fief.[449:1] A few days later he journeyed in person to southern Italy
to secure renewal of the submission of the Normans. When Guiscard
refused to comply with his demands, the Pope called on William of
Burgundy for troops. Finally he had the Council of Rome excommunicate
Guiscard and all his followers and thus forced their fealty.[449:2] He
assumed feudal authority in Bohemia.[449:3] The Patriarch of Venice was
sent to Constantinople to restore the friendly relations between the
Greek and Roman churches.[449:4] He compelled the Italian nobles to
swear to him the oath of allegiance.[449:5] He corrected the church of
Carthage,[449:6] attempted to win over Swen, the King of Denmark, and
forbade the King of Norway to interfere in Danish affairs.[449:7] He
treated the King of Hungary as a vassal and rebuked him for recognising
the King of Germany as his overlord.[449:8] Between the Duke of Poland
and the King of Russia he mediated and had the latter go to Rome to be
crowned.[450:1] He forced the French King to promise obedience.[450:2]
He voluntarily sought to act as arbiter between the German King and the
Saxons.[450:3] He demanded Peter's pence from William the Conqueror. The
pence was paid, but the oath of loyalty was refused. "I have not nor
will I," said William, "swear fealty which was never sworn by any of my
predecessors to yours."[450:4] He wrote an open letter to Christendom
advocating a general crusade against the Mohammedans.[450:5] He asserted
his right to end war and to dictate the terms of peace.[450:6] He
declared it to be his duty to compel all rulers to govern their people
in righteousness on pain of deposition.[450:7] In short, no region was
too remote or too barbarous not to come within his idea of
ecclesiastical unity and of papal suzerainty.[450:8]

As soon as elected Gregory VII. began to purify the Church by urging the
bishops to enforce the laws against simony and celibacy which had been
practically dead letters.[450:9] The King of France was called to
account for his simoniacal practices and under threat of excommunication
forced to promise reformation.[450:10] Early in 1074 a great reform
council was summoned to meet in Rome.[450:11] Four famous reform decrees
were enacted: (1) Churchmen guilty of simony were forbidden to
officiate in religious services. (2) Buyers of church properties were
ordered to restore them and the traffic was prohibited for the future.
(3) Priests guilty of marriage or concubinage were debarred from
exercising clerical functions. Their blessings would be curses and their
prayers sins. This was opposed to "once a priest always a priest." Later
Wycliffe, Luther, and other reformers used this same idea with telling
effect. (4) Laymen were commanded not to receive ministrations from
clergymen guilty of violating these ordinances. Altogether these reform
measures were the most radical yet passed. These revolutionary edicts
were sent to the archbishops of the various countries with instructions
to put them into immediate execution. A special delegation was sent to
Henry IV. to inform him of the results of the council. It was headed by
the Empress Agnes, Henry's mother, now a nun.[451:1] A solemn pledge was
secured from the German King to execute the reform measures and to
dismiss the five councillors, who had been put under the ban by
Alexander II.

It will now be necessary to see how these reforms were received in
the various countries. Celibacy will be considered first.[451:2]
Historically this institution runs back through the Christian era to the
Jewish period. Jewish priests married, but were forbidden to marry
harlots, profane women, or widows.[451:3] The New Testament contains no
absolute prohibition of marriage. The Apostles married[451:4]--even
Peter--and the leaders of churches were advised to take unto themselves
wives,[452:1] but many passages were soon interpreted to favour
celibacy.[452:2] The renunciation of all worldly enjoyments and the
exaltation of the ascetic life above the social led to voluntary vows of
celibacy as early as the second century. It was not long until the
Church came to believe that the unmarried condition was the better for
the clergy.[452:3] This belief soon developed a contempt for marriage;
and the Popes Calixtus I. (221) and Lucius I. (255) are said to have
forbidden the marriage of priests. In 385 the Bishop of Rome enjoined
celibacy on all the clergy, and Innocent I., Leo the Great, and
succeeding Popes followed the same policy. In the fourth century Church
councils took up the question, and the East and the West began to
diverge on the subject. All over western Europe councils and synods
approved celibacy and sought to force it upon the Church over and over
again. Civil law stepped in to confirm these papal and synodical

In 1073, although celibacy had been the law of the Church for a thousand
years, it had never been universally enforced. The Hildebrandine Popes
and the Clugniac reformers had made strenuous efforts to execute the
reform edicts but had largely failed. In Italy, nearly all the clergy
were married in Naples, while Lombardy, Florence, and Ravenna championed
the institution; even in Rome itself the clergy were largely married.
The sixty wardens in St. Peter's had wives. In Germany a majority of the
clergy were opposed to celibacy and, consequently, they were ready to
join the Emperor against the Pope. In France the Norman bishops lived
openly with their wives and families and the common priests of course
followed their leaders. This was the situation which the new Pontiff was
called upon to face.

Gregory VII. saw that to realise his theocracy the Church must have an
open, democratic, priestly caste. Marriage would make that caste
exclusive and hereditary, hence corrupt and worldly, and would thus
cripple the Church from priest to Pope.[453:1] He believed that the
enforcement of celibacy would cut the clergy free from the state and wed
them to the Church. They would live with the Church as her protectors
and not with the world. The Church would be both their bride and their
heir. Hence he had the severe measure of 1074 passed and was resolved to
enforce it all over Christendom. But the endeavour to execute this
radical canon--to destroy an institution which many justified on both
moral and natural grounds--to rend asunder ties of the tenderest nature
on earth--"to make wives prostitutes and children bastards"--to break up
families--was strongly resisted all over Europe.

In Germany the Pope was called a heretic and a madman for setting up
such an insane dogma against the teaching of St. Paul. To make men live
like angels was childish, it was declared, and would plunge the clergy
into worse habits. The churchmen declared that they would be men and
give up their priestly offices sooner than desert their families.
Several of the bishops headed the anti-celibacy party and openly defied
the Pope to enforce his law. The Archbishop of Mainz, as primate, called
a council at Erfurt. When he read the decree he was greeted with howls
and threats, and nearly lost his life. Other bishops who tried to
promulgate the act were treated in a similar manner. The threats of
Gregory availed nothing.[454:1] The laity, however, probably incited by
the Pope, made several outbreaks against the married priests, but
without any decisive results, and the evil went on. In France the
opposition exceeded that in Germany. A Paris synod repudiated the decree
and an abbot who defended the Pope was beaten, spit upon, and dragged to
prison.[454:2] The Archbishop of Rouen attempted to enforce celibacy but
was stoned and compelled to flee.[454:3] The Pope fairly foamed with
anger in letters to the French prelates,[454:4] but the hated edict was
not enforced. In England the Pope made no special effort to enforce this
reform measure.[454:5] Lanfranc held a council to reform the Church, but
nothing further was done.[454:6] In Spain the papal legate was menaced
and outraged by the clergy, when he tried to enforce celibacy.[454:7] In
Hungary there was shown the same refusal to conform to the new order of
things.[454:8] In Italy, Guiscard, the Norman ruler, led the
anti-celibacy party in the south and prevented the execution of the
order. In Lombardy, Florence, and Ravenna the hostility was very fierce.
Milan defiantly quoted St. Ambrose as authority for a married
priesthood.[454:9] Even in Rome itself the decree was executed only with
the greatest difficulty. But in the face of all this opposition Gregory
did not waver. Many of the reform party likewise laboured incessantly
with him to cure the evil. Ultimately, but not in his life time, the
principle he fought for was to dominate.

Simony, one of the most wide-spread evils of the Middle Ages, originated
with Simon Magnus who wished to buy the power of the Holy Spirit with
money.[455:1] The term was gradually extended in its meaning from the
buying or selling of the power of ordination to the purchase or sale of
any ecclesiastical office or privilege. As early as the third century a
rich matron bought the bishopric of Carthage for her servant.[455:2]
This evil practice slowly grew in the Church, until Charles the Great
made Church offices objects of eager desire to the worldly, then the
crime spread to a fearful extent. The feudalisation of the Church made
the evil very common from the Pope to priest and even gave it the
appearance of legality.[455:3] Conrad II. openly offered bishoprics and
abbeys for sale to the highest bidders.[455:4] In the time of Hildebrand
the papal office itself was openly bought and sold. His own teacher,
Gregory VI., had purchased the empty honour for one thousand pounds of
silver. Archbishops purchased their sinecures and in turn compensated
themselves by selling minor benefices to their subordinates. Bishoprics
and abbacies were commonly sold to the highest bidders by the kings and
nobles. The most ordinary ecclesiastical positions and even
consecrations to the priesthood were sold. So wide-spread indeed was the
practice that it was generally viewed as normal and legitimate.[455:5]

Opposition to the evil early appeared and, from the fourth century,
councils and synods denounced it. In 829 the Council of Paris asked the
King to destroy "this heresy so detestable, this pest so hateful to
God."[456:1] All of the good Popes from Gregory I. to Gregory VII.
attacked the abuse. Even the Emperor Henry III. attempted to root it
out.[456:2] The _corpus juris canonicis_ supplemented by the civil law
made it a crime and designated the penalties. Priests were to be
deprived of their benefices and deposed from orders; monks were to be
confined in stricter monasteries; and laymen were to be subjected to
penance. Every reformer and reform movement began by making an attack on
simony. But simony was too deeply rooted as a part of the social,
political, and religious world to be materially affected before the time
of Gregory VII., who knew that it would be impossible to realise his
earthly theocracy so long as this sin demoralised and secularised the
clergy, and subjected them to worldly control. The edict of 1074,
therefore, threw down the gauntlet and declared war.[456:3] This had
often been done before, but Gregory now attacked the chief sinners in
selling Church offices, namely, the King of France, who gave excuses and
promised amendment,[456:4] and the King of Germany, who confessed his
sin and declared his intention to repair the evil.[456:5] But this edict
like that prohibiting celibacy was not enforced simply because the
secular rulers and the clergy alike were infected with the disease. The
Pope resolved, therefore, to wage the war in person and to strike at
the very source of all simony. For success he relied upon the
thunderbolts of his office.

The investiture strife next engaged the attention of Gregory VII. and
tested his power and ability to the utmost. Lay investiture, like so
many other practices in the Church, had its origin back in the formative
period of the ecclesiastical organisation. Under the Roman Empire the
Emperor exercised much power in the appointment of Popes and
bishops.[457:1] The Merovingians and the Carolingians, following the
earlier precedents, both exercised the right of nominating bishops in
the Frankish kingdom.[457:2] Under Charles the Great and his
descendants, prelates became identified with barons--the hierarchical
governors of the Church with the feudal dignitaries of the
Empire,--hence arose the universal custom of ratifying the episcopal
elections by regal investiture. The bishop, or abbot, when elected, gave
pledges of fidelity and devotion and later paid the feudal fee. The king
then invested him with the emblems of the office, namely, the sacerdotal
ring signifying his marriage to the Church, and the pastoral staff
indicating his protection of his flock. Then he was consecrated by the
metropolitan. When the bishop died, the ring and staff were returned to
the king, or to the local secular authority. In Germany the bishoprics
and abbacies almost ceased being ecclesiastical and became little more
than political divisions of the kingdom. They bore the same relation to
the sovereign as did the secular feudal fiefs. The holders had the
rights of coinage, toll, market, and jurisdiction; they attended court
and exercised military powers like nobles. By the time of Hildebrand
the vast ecclesiastical states all over Europe were feudalised and kings
and nobles controlled the appointment of all bishops and abbots. The
higher clergy were recruited mostly from the worldly nobility, who
united their religious with their civil duties. This lay investiture was
the cause of the wide-spread, brutalising sin of simony and must be
annihilated if the Church was to be purified, and to fulfil her high
mission on earth.[458:1] The French king and the favourites of Henry IV.
had filled their pockets through the most notorious simoniacal

Before the time of Hildebrand, simony, but not lay investiture, had been
attacked. In 1063 a Roman synod forbade the clergy receiving churches
from the laymen. Milan and the German court in 1068 came into collision
about the appointment of a bishop. Hildebrand, immediately upon his
election, found occasion to praise Anself for refusing installation from
Henry IV. In 1075 he called a council at Rome and had this famous
revolutionary decree passed:

     If any one shall from henceforth receive any bishopric or
     abbey from any layman, let him not be received among the
     bishops or abbots, nor let the privilege of audience be
     granted him as to a bishop or abbot. We, moreover, deny to
     such person the favour of St. Peter and an entrance into the
     Church, until he shall have resigned the dignity which he has
     obtained both by the crime of ambition and disobedience which
     is idolatry. And similarly do we decree concerning the lesser
     dignities of the Church. Also if any Emperor, Duke, Marquis,
     Count, secular person or power, shall presume to give
     investiture of any bishopric or ecclesiastical dignity let
     him know himself to be bound by the same sentence.[459:1]

This edict was immediately sent to all the bishops of the Empire and no
doubt all over Christendom. It began the struggle which rent both the
Empire and the Church into two hostile parties and continued long after
Gregory VII. died in exile. It was unquestionably revolutionary, because
Pope after Pope had recognised the right of investiture by laymen and
the matter was generally treated as authorised by public law.[459:2]

The Pope opened the skirmish through the council by citing many bishops
from Germany, England, France, and Italy to answer to him for
ecclesiastical offences, chiefly simoniacal; by continuing the curse
laid on Robert of Apulia; by threatening the King of France with
interdict, unless he repented and made reparation; by deposing the
bishops of Pavia, Turin, and Piacenza; by treating the German prelates
with unusual severity; in repeating the excommunication of the German
King's ministers; and in putting under the ban the bishops of Speyer and
Strassburg and the Archbishop of Bremen.

The conflict centred about Henry IV., who entirely disregarded the law
of lay investiture.[459:3] He looked upon investiture as a royal
prerogative, hence he invested the Bishop of Liege (July, 1075),
appointed his chaplain Archbishop of Milan against the Pope's nominee
(Sept., 1075), named a Bishop of Bomberg without consulting Gregory
VII.,[459:4] chose the Abbot of Fulda (Dec., 1075) and also for
Lorsch,[460:1] disposed of the churches of Fermo and Spolita in the same
way, and reached the climax when he attempted to force his own candidate
into the archiepiscopal seat of Cologne.[460:2] Gregory viewed these
acts as an infraction of the King's promises and as showing contempt for
the law of the Holy See and its prerogatives. Hence he summoned the
Archbishop of Milan to Rome to answer for his intrusion.[460:3] After
the next appointments were made by the King (Dec., 1075), he wrote a
stern letter of admonition to the king.[460:4] Finally, after the
Cologne affair, the Pope cited the king to answer for his sins at Rome
before a certain date or "Be cut off from the body of the Lord and be
smitten with the curse of the anathema." The legates who carried this
information to the king were insultingly dismissed.[460:5]

Henry IV., backed up by the German clergy and nobility and joined by the
anti-sacerdotal and anti-reform parties in Italy, felt powerful enough
to defy the command of the Pope.[460:6] To offset the summons to Rome
Henry called the Diet of Worms (Jan. 25, 1076), at which twenty-four
bishops and two archbishops were present. Cardinal Hugo, who had helped
to make Hildebrand Pope but who was now under the ecclesiastical ban,
brought forged complaints from Italy and read a false life of Gregory
VII. The Emperor and the bishops renounced their allegiance to the Pope
and formally impeached him on seven grave charges ranging from the
grossest licentiousness to the assumption of the functions of God
Himself.[461:1] The king immediately sent letters announcing this action
to the prelates and cities of Lombardy, where the news was received with
joy; to the Romans calling upon them to expel "The enemy of the Empire,"
"The false Monk Hildebrand," the "Usurper of the Holy See"; and to the
Pope himself to whom the letter was delivered in the very Lateran
Council to which the king had been summoned.

The royal herald addressed the Pope in these words: "My lord, the King,
and the bishops of the Empire, do by mouth command you, Hildebrand,
without delay to resign the Chair of Peter, for it is unlawful for you
to aspire to so lofty a place without the royal consent and
investiture." Incensed by this insolent address, the lay attendants of
the Pope would have drawn their swords upon the herald had the Pope not
covered him with his mantle.[461:2] When the tumult had subsided Gregory
spoke to the council in these words:

     Let us not, brethren, disturb the Church of God by noise and
     tumult. Doth not the holy scripture teach us to expect
     perilous times--seasons in which men shall be lovers of
     themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers,
     disobedient to fathers, unthankful, unholy, not rendering
     obedience to their teachers? . . . The word of God calleth to
     us, "It must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man
     by whom the offence cometh." And unto us it is said, in order
     to instruct us how we ought to demean ourselves in the sight
     of our enemies: "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the
     midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless
     as doves." And what though at this very time the forerunner of
     anti-Christ hath risen up in the Church, yet we, under the
     instructions of the Lord and of the holy fathers, have long
     since learned how duly to combine both these virtues.[462:1]

The council now amidst the greatest indignation urged the Pope to depose
the insolent king and to put him and his accomplices under the ban. The
king was formally excommunicated and his subjects absolved from all
allegiance to him.[462:2] The churchmen who acted as the king's tools
were likewise outlawed and a letter to "all defenders of the Christian
faith" announced the curse laid on Germany.[462:3] This was the first
instance of the deposition of a king by a Pope and was based on the
false decretals and the assumption that this power was an undoubted
prerogative of the Chair of St. Peter.[462:4] As a result of this action
both Germany and Italy were divided into two great parties, the papal
and the imperial. Hoping to save himself by a counter blow,[462:5] Henry
had one of his bishops pronounce an excommunication and anathema upon
Gregory and induced a servile synod at Pavia to reiterate the curse.
Civil and ecclesiastical discord broke out throughout the Empire.
Disaffected nobles took this occasion to conspire against the king, and
to plot with the papal party. Prelates fell over each other in their
eagerness to desert the outlawed ruler and to seek reconciliation with
the Pope. The German papal party held a great convention (Oct. 14, 1076)
at Tribur on the Rhine. The king was in camp just across the river at
Oppenheim with his army. The Pope sent his representatives to purify the
convention and to guide the proceedings. All the sins of the age were
charged against the king and all allegiance to him was renounced, while
it was declared that the crown would be forfeited within a year unless
the king obtained absolution. He was ordered to retire to Speyer as a
private gentleman until the question was settled and the Pope was urged
to hasten to Germany to pass sentence on the royal head.

Henry saw that the tide was against him and resolved to follow the one
course open to him, namely, to throw himself at the feet of the Pope and
beg forgiveness. He dismissed his court and his ministers, publicly
repudiated every act against the Holy See, promised satisfaction to the
Pope and reformation,[463:1] begged a permit to visit Rome to sue for
pardon, and started for Italy in 1077 to meet the Pope. His accomplices,
probably at his suggestion, took the same course but by another route.
Meanwhile the Pope was hastening northward to Germany. With excellent
tact and courage Henry made his way over the Alps in the midst of a very
severe winter into northern Italy, where he was given a hearty welcome,
and then hastened on to Canossa, a strong castle belonging to the
Countess Matilda where the Pope had broken his journey. Meanwhile the
companions and ministers of Henry who had fallen under the papal
displeasure outstripped the king and, with naked feet and clothed in
sackcloth, presented themselves to the Pope, humbly imploring pardon
and absolution from the terrible anathema. With some hesitation, the
Pope granted their petition. After a brief penance, the penitents were
dismissed with an injunction not to hold any communication with the
king, until he should in like manner have been released from the bonds
of the Church.

With his natural impetuosity Henry resolved to have the humiliating
scene over with as soon as possible. To plead his case he had secured
the good offices of his mother-in-law, several powerful noblemen, the
Abbot of Clugny, and a few other influential orthodox members of the
papal party. He had even persuaded the Countess Matilda to induce the
Pope to give his case a merciful consideration. The Pope's severity was
softened by the entreaties coming from so many persons, and it was
finally agreed that the king should appear before the Pope on a certain
day; that he should fully admit his guilt; that he should express
sincere repentance for the insults he had heaped upon this successor of
St. Peter; that he should profess full contrition for all his sins and
crimes; and that he should promise to atone for all former vices by
obeying papal commands in the future and by submitting to such
conditions as the Pope should impose. Henry accepted these terms and
prepared for the act of shame and humiliation.

On the stated day he appeared before the outer gate of the castle of
Canossa, was admitted into the outer court and told to divest himself of
every vestige of royalty. He was then dressed in a garment of sackcloth
and stood in the outer court barefooted and fasting from morn till

     And thus [says the biographer of Hildebrand] for three entire
     days, he ceased not, with much weeping and many supplications,
     to implore the apostolic commiseration, until the bowels of
     all the spectators yearned with compassion, so that with tears
     in their eyes they earnestly besought the pontiff to have
     mercy--nay, even so that they exclaimed against the stern
     severity of the man of God as smacking of cruelty: then at
     length, overborne by the solicitations of all around him, he
     resolved to admit the penitent into the bosom of the Church;
     but only upon terms which should either crush him effectually,
     or for the remainder of his days convert him into the passive
     instrument of the papal policy.[465:1]

The stipulations of absolution accepted by Henry were: (1) That he
should appear for trial before an imperial synod to answer all charges,
and that if proven innocent should retain his crown; but if by the laws
of the Church he should be proved guilty he would surrender all claims
to the throne. (2) That until the trial, he should lay aside royalty and
perform no active government. (3) That until acquitted he should collect
no more taxes than was absolutely necessary for the sustenance of his
family. (4) That all contracts with his subjects should be invalid until
after the trial. (5) That he should dismiss from his service all
councillors designated by the Pope. (6) That if freed of guilt, he
should promise obedience and aid in reforming the Church. (7) That the
violation of any of these terms would _ipso facto_ invalidate the
absolution.[465:2] Then followed the solemn act of absolution and the
sacerdotal purgation which was taken by the Pope but declined by the
king. The king was then admitted to communion and sumptuously feasted
by the Pope, after which he was dismissed to rejoin his followers
awaiting him at the castle gate. The trying ordeal of Canossa was over.
The mighty Pope of small, wiry stature and physically weak had
compelled, by the sheer force of the spiritual weapons in his hands, the
powerful German ruler to humbly bow before him and beg forgiveness and
absolution. Apparently it was a great victory for the Pope, but the
sequel makes the result look like a defeat.[466:1]

Henry's humiliation alienated his Lombard adherents. By opposing Rome he
had lost one kingdom; by submitting to Rome he was about to lose
another. No sooner was he beyond the castle walls of Canossa with the
heavy curse removed from his head than he began to plot to remove the
effects of his apparently disgraceful defeat. From now on the king
becomes the aggressive champion of secular supremacy, while the Pope
assumes the defensive. A trap was laid to catch the Pope at the Council
of Mantua and he was practically held as a prisoner at Canossa.
Meanwhile Henry openly violated his agreement, by assuming the rule of
Lombardy, and denounced the Pope in strong terms. The rebellious princes
in Germany, urged on by the papal party and taking advantage of this
situation, called the convention of Forscheim, and there elected Rudolph
of Swabia as King of Germany. He promised to abolish simony, to renounce
the right of investing bishops, and to recognise the law of heredity, so
was crowned March 26, 1077. Under these circumstances Henry IV.,
supported by the Lombard party and the strong imperial party in Germany,
returned to his kingdom to regain his crown through civil war. Gregory
VII., hoping to profit by the situation, demanded that both kings refer
their cause to him as arbiter and, finally, when Henry proved obstinate,
in a council held at Rome in 1080 the Pope renewed the excommunication
of Henry, and again deposed him.[467:1] The German crown was bestowed by
apostolic authority upon Rudolph. In the same council the edict against
lay investiture was renewed in a harsher spirit than ever. War to the
knife was now inevitable. Rigid party lines were again formed. Henry
gradually recovered his mastery of Germany. The German clergy in June,
1080, blaming Gregory VII. for the ruinous civil war, once more
retaliated by deposing the Pope.[467:2] A council held at Brescia the
same year elected Clement III. as anti-Pope. Gregory's efforts to raise
up allies were all in vain. Henry IV. laid siege to Rome with a big army
and at last after a long struggle was master of it. Clement III. was
installed as Pope and on Easter Day, 1084, Henry IV. received as his
reward the imperial crown. Gregory VII., defeated by the German warrior
and rescued from the Eternal City with difficulty by the trusty Normans,
withdrew to Salerno to die with the curse of the Emperor on his lips,
saying: "I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in
exile" (May 25, 1085).

Gregory VII. was a man of unquestionable ascetic purity. The charges
made against him by his enemies are probably untrue. His relations with
Matilda, Beatrice, and Empress Agnes were of the purest character. In
his efforts and ideas he was undoubtedly sincere and firmly believed
that he really was the representative of God on earth. It must be
remembered, however, that his conceptions of veracity, justice, honour,
and charity were those of a mediæval despot. He was one of the greatest
politicians of the Middle Ages, but a policy man controlled by the
loftiest purpose. To attain his ecclesiastical ideal, policy and
principle were one and he almost acted as though the end justified the
means. After Charles the Great and Otto the Great before him and
Innocent III. after him he had the greatest organising mind of the
Middle Ages. Few other men can compare with him. He comprehended the
grand _Civitas Dei_ of Augustine and through the false decretals he
attempted to create the great universal papal theocracy in which the
state should be subject to the Church, the Church purified and subjected
to the Pope, and the whole Church ruled by _Lex Christi_. Nature endowed
him with an indomitable will, a restless energy, a clear perception, a
dauntless courage, an imperious temper, an instinct for leadership, a
stern inflexible disposition, a haughty insolent bearing, and a power to
draw and to repulse. These native talents were intensified by monastic
education which taught him both the virtue and necessity of obedience,
trained him to subordinate all affections, opinions, and interest to the
one great object, and made him a true child of the mediæval Church with
the highest ideas of her prerogatives and mission on earth. The
churchman completely swallowed up the man.

Hildebrand was a wily religious autocrat and not a theologian or a
moralist. His ideas came from Augustine and Pseudo-Isidore. His
Christianity was based on tradition and historical evolution rather than
on the Bible. He denounced simony and advocated celibacy, but not on
moral grounds so much as because of his sincere conviction about their
effect on his great ecclesiastical machine. The Church to him was a
grand secular power, resting on spiritual foundations, which had to
employ worldly means against the other secular powers. Europe was a
chessboard and with the hand of a skilled master he moved kings, queens,
knights, and bishops. His schemes were worthy of the plotter--his
courage became defiance in danger--his forces were handled with
consummate skill--his fatal thrusts were driven home with his teeth
clenched--if he seemed to yield it was only to gain a greater advantage.
As Pope he was over all, the source of all law, judged by none, and
responsible to God alone. Under this conviction, intensified as the
years passed, he lived in perpetual conflict, and died a refugee from
the capital of his great ecclesiastical Empire.

Napoleon once said: "Si je n'etais Napoleon, je voudrais être Gregoire
VII." There were many points of resemblance between these two great
characters. Both were of obscure birth and low origin. Both possessed
the same indomitable character and threatening ambition. Both were
reformers. Gregory established a hierarchy which still lives; Napoleon
created an administration which still survives. Gregory wanted to make
the Church the master of the world; Napoleon, France. Gregory made the
_Lex Christi_ the basis of all; Napoleon, the revolution. Both wanted to
make feudal vassals of the world's rulers. Both had an indomitable
enemy--Henry IV. and England. Both used the power of excommunication.
Gregory had his Canossa; Napoleon his Moscow. Italy was invaded and Rome
sacked; France was invaded and Paris taken. Salerno and St. Helena in
each case closed the drama.

Gregory VII. was the creator of the political Papacy of the Middle Ages
because he was the first who dared to completely enforce the
Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals. He found the Pope elected by the Emperor,
the Roman clergy, and the people; he left the election in the hands of
an ecclesiastical College of Cardinals. He found the Papacy dependent
upon the Empire; he made it independent of the Empire and above it. He
declared the states of Europe to be fiefs of St. Peter and demanded the
oath of fealty from their rulers. He found the clergy, high and low,
dependent allies of secular princes and kings; he emancipated them and
subjected them to his own will. He reorganised the Church from top to
bottom by remodelling the papal curia, by establishing the College of
Cardinals, by employing papal legates, by thwarting national churches,
by controlling synods and councils, and by managing all Church property
directly. He was the first to enforce the theory that the Pope could
depose and confirm or reject kings and Emperors. He attempted to reform
the abuses in the Church and to purify the clergy. Only partial success
attended these efforts, but triumph was to come later on as a result of
his labours. His endeavour to realise his theocracy was grand but
impracticable as proved by its failure. It was like forcing a dream to
be true; yet Innocent III. almost succeeded in western Europe a little
more than a century later. The impress of Gregory VII.'s gigantic
ability was left upon his own age and upon all succeeding ages.

The strife over lay investiture was carried on by the successors of
Gregory VII. Victor III. (1086-1087) renewed the investiture decrees but
died too soon to accomplish anything. Urban II. (1088-1099), imbued
with the zeal and ability of Hildebrand, drove Henry IV. out of Italy
and had his son, Conrad, crowned King of Italy (1093). Pope Urban gave
all his strength to the crusading mania and made little progress with
the Hildebrandine reform. Paschal II. (1099-1118), a Clugniac monk and
cardinal under Gregory VII., renewed the excommunication of Henry IV.,
and plotted with Henry V. to induce him to revolt against his father
(1104) and thus to force him to surrender his crown. The aged Henry IV.
died under the awful curse of the Church and at war with this traitorous
son. Paschal II. took up the question of lay investiture, likewise, and
had the practice condemned in the Council of Troyes (1107) and
promulgated the prohibition all over Christendom. Henry V. was forced to
abjure investiture before he could again receive his imperial crown from
papal hands. At length in 1111 Paschal II. entered into an arrangement
with Henry V., who had appeared before Rome with a large army, by which
the Pope promised that clerical princes in the Empire should give up all
temporal rights and possessions received since the time of Charles the
Great. The Church and its clergy were to live on the tithes and the
gifts of pious persons. The Emperor, for his part, agreed to surrender
all claim to nomination, election, and investiture, and to guarantee to
the Papacy the full enjoyment of all its possessions and rights. This
agreement was fair and just, though the German clergy objected to such a
wholesale change without their consent. The compact was publicly
proclaimed in St. Peter's before the imperial coronation of Henry V.
(Feb. 12, 1111)[471:1] and aroused a great tumult. Therefore Henry V.
repudiated the treaty, captured the Pope, carried him together with the
cardinals off as prisoners, and wrung from him ignoble terms of peace
(Apr. 12th) which stated that the clerical princes in Germany were to
retain all their possessions, that the Emperor was to have the full
right of investiture, but without simony, and that the higher clergy
were to consecrate the nominees after their investiture.[472:1] At the
same time Paschal crowned Henry and promised never to excommunicate him.
After the Pope's release, he had a Roman synod repudiate the treaty and
of course the excommunication of the Emperor followed (1112) and civil
war was continued.

Calixtus II. (1119-1124), a Clugniac monk of the royal Burgundian house,
settled the perplexing question of lay investiture in 1122 by the
Concordat of Worms.[472:2] The Pope agreed (1) that the election of
bishops and abbots in Germany should occur in the Emperor's presence and
without simony or violence; (2) that the Emperor should decide all
disputed elections and enforce his decisions; (3) that the Emperor
should invest with the lance and receive homage; (4) that bishops or
abbots consecrated in Italy or Burgundy should also be invested by the
Emperor and render homage within six months; (5) and that papal aid
should be given to the Emperor whenever requested. The Emperor for his
part promised (1) to surrender all investiture through the ring and the
staff to the Church; (2) to grant "canonical elections and free
consecration" in all churches in the Empire; (3) to restore "all the
possessions and regalia of St. Peter" to the Holy Roman Church; (4) to
secure the return of property held by others; (5) and to give the Pope
all needed aid and justice.[473:1] The concordat was in character,
therefore, a compromise. It spared both the Emperor and the Pope the
humiliation of defeat because now both made the appointment--one
politically, the other spiritually. The Emperor retained but half of his
former rights, yet could control the elections. The Pope gained "the
ring and staff," yet fell far short of what Gregory VII. had demanded.
The document was full of ambiguity and who was victor--Pope or
Emperor--has been a much disputed question. The concordat lasted down
through the centuries as the basis for settling all these appointments
until the dissolution of the Empire in 1806. It was frequently violated
by both Emperor and Pope, but on the whole gave general satisfaction and
determined many menacing disputes. It was modified by Lothair in 1183 so
as to permit the Emperor to send a delegate to the election.



  1.--Colby, C. W., _Selections from the Sources of English
          History_. N. Y., 1899, No. 14, 16.

  2.--Finch, G., _A Selection of the Letters of Hildebrand_. Lond.,
          1853. 40 important letters.

  3.--Gee, H., and Hardy, W. J., _Documents Illustrative of English
          Church History_. Lond., 1896.

  4.--Henderson, E. F., _Select Historical Documents of the Middle
          Ages_. N. Y., 1892.

  5.--Lee, G. C., _Leading Documents of English History_. Lond.,
          1900. Sec. 50, 51, 52, 57.

  6.--Ogg, F. A., _Source-Book of Mediæval History_. N. Y., 1908.

  7.--Robinson, J. H., _Readings in European History_. I., 266-290.

  8.--Thatcher and McNeal, _A Source Book for Mediæval History_,



     1.--Bowden, J. W., _Life and Pontificate of Gregory VII._
          Lond., 1840. 2 vols.

     2.--Greenwood, T., _Cathedra Petri_. IV., 139-609. Lond.,

     3.--Greisley, Sir R., _The Life and Pontificate of Gregory
          VII._ Lond., 1832.

     4.--Gurney J. H., _Four Ecclesiastical Biographies_. Lond.,

     5.--Lea, H. C., _Sacerdotal Celibacy in the Christian Church_.
          New ed.

     6.--McMichael, N., _Hildebrand and His Age_. Edinb., 1853.

     7.--Schefer, G. L. I., _Historical Notice of the Life and
          Times of Pope Gregory VII._ Lond., 1851.

     8.--Stephen, Sir J., _Essays on Ecclesiastical Biography_.
          Lond., 1867.

     9.--Stephens, W. R. W., _Hildebrand and His Times_. N. Y.,

    10.--Villemain, A. F., _Life of Gregory VII._ Lond., 1874. 3

    11.--Vincent, M. R., _The Age of Hildebrand_. N. Y., 1897.


    Adams, _Civ. dur. M. A._, 240 _ff._, 267, 393, 414. _Med.
    Civ._, 82 _ff._ Allen, ii., ch. 3. Alzog, ii., 253-336,
    342-367, 481-510. Bryce, ch. x. Butler, ch. 70-72. Creighton,
    i., 16. Crooks, ch. 33. Darras, iii., 107 _ff._ Döllinger,
    iii., pd. 4, ch. 2, sec. 1. Emerton, ch. 8. Fisher, pd. 6, ch.
    1. Fitzgerald, ii., 54-67. Foulkes, ch. 2. Gibbon, v., 61,
    477; vi., 426. Gieseler, ii., sec. 23; iii. Gilmartin, ii.,
    ch. 1-3. Gregorovius, bk. vii., ch. 5, 6. Hallam, ii., ch. 5.
    Hardwick, ch. 6, sec. 1; ch. 10, sec. 1. Hase, sec. 181.
    Hurst, i., ch. 37. Jennings, ii., ch. 11. Knight, ch. 12.
    Kurtz, sec. 94, 96, 101. Milman, iii., 140 _ff._ Moeller, ii.,
    255-265. Mosheim, cent. 9, pt. 2, ch. 2. Neander, iv., 82, 86,
    123, 131, 134, 146, 194, 206, 233. Platina, _Lives of Popes_,
    ii., 1-12. Ranke, _Hist. of Pap._, i., 29 _ff._ Riddle, ii.,
    ch. 4, 5. Robertson, bk. 5, ch. 1, 2. Robinson, ch. 13. Tout,
    _Emp. and Pap._, ch. 5, 6. Wilkes, _Hist. of Popes_. Workman,
    ch. 4.


[446:1] Muratori, iii., 304.

[447:1] Greenwood, bk. x., p. 249.

[447:2] Bonizo, 311.

[447:3] The assumption of the name Gregory VII. was a blow at imperial
power, because Henry III. had deposed Gregory VI., Hildebrand's old

[448:1] Emerton, 242; Henderson, 366; Robinson, i., 274; Thatcher and
McNeal, No. 69; Ogg, No. 45. It is now pretty clearly established that
the _Dictatus_ was written about 1087 by Cardinal Deusdedit.

[449:1] Lib., i., 7, 64; iv., 28; Bowden, i., 334; Thatcher and McNeal,
No. 69, 71.

[449:2] Lib., i., 46, 47; Harduin, vi., 1260, 1521; Johnson, _Normans in

[449:3] Lib., i., 45; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 70.

[449:4] Lib., i., 18.

[449:5] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 67, 68.

[449:6] Lib., i., 22, 23.

[449:7] Lib., vi., 13.

[449:8] Lib., ii., 13, 63; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 72.

[450:1] Lib., ii., 73, 74; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 73.

[450:2] Lib., i., 35; ii., 5, 18, 32; v., 17.

[450:3] Lib., i., 39.

[450:4] Lee, 121; Colby, 37; Freeman, _The Norman Conquest_.

[450:5] Lib., i., 49; ii., 31.

[450:6] Lib., i., 39; ii., 70; vi., 13, 14.

[450:7] Lib., ii., 51, 57; iii., 8.

[450:8] Lib., ii., 51.

[450:9] Lib., i., 30.

[450:10] Lib., i., 35, 36, 75.

[450:11] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 60, 61, 62.

[451:1] Lib., i., 85.

[451:2] Lea, _History of Celibacy_.

[451:3] Levit. xxi. 7, 8, 13; Exod. xix., 15.

[451:4] Mat. viii. 14; 1 Cor. ix., 5.

[452:1] 1 Cor. ix., 5.

[452:2] 1 Cor. vii., 38.

[452:3] Hermas, i., Vis. 2, ch. 3; _Ign. to Polyc._, ch. 5.

[453:1] Pertz, _Leg._, ii., 561; Labbe, ix., ann. 937.

[454:1] Lib., ii., 29, 40; iii., 4.

[454:2] Mansi, xx., 437; Mabillon, vi., 805.

[454:3] Mansi, xx., 441.

[454:4] Lib., ii., Ep. 5, 18, 32.

[454:5] Lib., i., 70, 71.

[454:6] Harduin, vi., 1555.

[454:7] _Ibid._, vi., 1605.

[454:8] Mansi, xx., 758, 760.

[454:9] Greenwood, iv., 434.

[455:1] Acts iii., 18.

[455:2] Gibbon, ii., 457.

[455:3] Bowen, i., 289.

[455:4] Greenwood, iv., 277.

[455:5] Bowen, i., 289.

[456:1] Harduin, iv., 1302.

[456:2] _Cf._ Fisher.

[456:3] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 60, 61; Robinson, _Readings_, i., 275;
Henderson, 365.

[456:4] Lib., i., Ep. 9, 11, 35, 75.

[456:5] Lib., i., 29, 30.

[457:1] See Chapter XIV.

[457:2] Greenwood, i., 484, 485.

[458:1] Lib., i., Ep. 92, 119; ii., 12, 18.

[458:2] Greenwood, iv., 281.

[459:1] Harduin, vi., 1551; Pertz, viii., 412; Lib., iii., 367;
Henderson, 365.

[459:2] Greenwood, iv., 244, 245.

[459:3] Henry's humble letter of 1073 should be borne in mind. Bowen;
i., 340.

[459:4] Pertz, v., 219.

[460:1] Pertz, v., 236, 237.

[460:2] _Ibid._, v., 241.

[460:3] Lib., iii., Ep. 8; Greenwood, iv., 362.

[460:4] Lib., iii., Ep. 10; Greenwood, iv., 365; Bowen, ii., 75; Ogg,
No. 46; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 74; Henderson, 373.

[460:5] Greenwood, iv., 365 to 369; Pertz, v., 241; Robinson,
_Readings_, i., 276; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 74; Henderson, 367.

[460:6] Greenwood, iv., 371; Bowen, ii., 81; Henderson, 372; Robinson,
_Readings_, i., 279; Ogg, No. 47.

[461:1] Pertz, ii., 44; Mansi, xx., 466; Greenwood, iv., 379; Henderson,
373; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 76.

[461:2] Muratori, iii., 334.

[462:1] Bowen, ii., 101; Greenwood, iv., 385.

[462:2] Bowen, ii., 108; Greenwood, iv., 386; Harduin, vi., 1566;
Thatcher and McNeal, No. 77; Henderson, 376; Robinson, _Readings_, i.,
281; Ogg, No. 48.

[462:3] Henderson, 380; Bowen, ii., 110; Greenwood, iv., 388; Lib.,
iii., Ep. 6.

[462:4] Greenwood, iv., 389.

[462:5] Henderson, 377.

[463:1] Henderson, 384; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 78.

[465:1] Henderson, 385; Robinson, _Readings_, i., 282; Thatcher and
McNeal, No. 80.

[465:2] Henderson, 385; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 81; Ogg, No. 49.

[466:1] Pertz. v.; Bowen, ii., 161; Greenwood, iv., 411.

[467:1] Greenwood, iv., 507; Henderson, 388.

[467:2] Henderson, 391, 394.

[471:1] Henderson, _Hist. Docs. of the M. A._, 405; Matthews, p. 61;
Thatcher and McNeal, No. 83, 84.

[472:1] In 1115 the famous donation of Matilda was made.

[472:2] Henderson, _Hist. Docs. of the M. A._, 408; Thatcher and McNeal,
No. 85, 86; Robinson, _Readings_, i., 292; Ogg, No. 50.

[473:1] At the great Lateran council of 1123 this Concordat of Worms was



     OUTLINE: I.--The rise and spread of Mohammedanism.
     II.--Positive and negative causes of the Crusades.
     III.--Character and description of the Crusades. IV.--Results
     and influences of the Crusades. V.--Sources.

Mohammedanism,[476:1] like Judaism and Christianity, had its origin in
the Semitic race. Its birthplace was in Arabia, a desert region. The
time of its appearance was the seventh century, and its founder was

The condition of Arabia at Mohammed's birth (_c._ 570) must be
understood in order to have an intelligent comprehension of this new
religion. Politically the Arabs were united in a very loose sort of
confederacy. The real government was in the hands of tribal chiefs.
Although a prey to Greek and Persian influences, yet the hardy Arabians
had never been conquered. They were divided into wandering tribes with
practices and customs characteristic of tribal relations. Few cities
were found among them and many of the conveniences of civilisation known
to peoples of fixed habitations were lacking. Through trading, begging,
and robbing these Arabs had developed a cosmopolitan spirit and
liberality. They monopolised the overland trading routes; carried on an
extensive industry in raising sheep, horses, and camels; cultivated
fruit-growing to some extent; and were very fond of holding great fairs
at which their possessions were exhibited and bartering carried on.
Educationally the Arabs were a very superior people. Arabia was the home
of the alphabet and of numbers, and had developed a perfect language.
The people had an intense love for poetry and the eloquence of their
leaders was of high order. From the Greeks they had received a knowledge
of the natural and abstract sciences. Of all the peoples therefore in
western Asia the Arabs were perhaps the most highly civilised and the
most progressive.

Complete religious liberty and toleration were permitted among the
Arabs, hence Jews, Christians, Fire-worshippers, and Star-worshippers
were found among them. The Jews were very numerous especially in Medina.
The Christians found in Arabia were either the descendants of those
heretical sects driven from the Roman Empire in the fierce controversies
of the fourth and fifth centuries,[477:1] or monks and hermits who were
still found there in large numbers.[477:2] But Christianity made little
impression upon the Arabs. It appears in fact never to have fully
satisfied any of the Eastern peoples--at least no branch of the Semitic
race has ever taken kindly to it.

The Arabic religion was something of a mixture between monotheism and
idolatrous polytheism. Every house had its own idol and every tribe had
its special deity, but above all these particular gods stood the
universal god, Allah, by whom the holiest oaths were sworn, in whose
name treaties were made, and yet who was worshipped least and last.
Mecca was the religious capital, having been selected by Hagar and
Ishmael, and was the home of the Kaaba, built by Abraham and his son
Ishmael, containing the famous Black Stone.[478:1] A well organised
priesthood, monopolised by the Koraish tribe, conducted worship and
performed the sacred rites, which were accompanied by a rather elaborate
ceremony. Great religious feasts were numerous, particularly in the
"holy months." By the seventh century the Arabic religion was in a very
low condition. It resembled the decrepid and effete Roman and Greek
religions in the later days of their existence. There arose everywhere,
consequently, a cry for reformation, or for a substitution, and this
demand soon crystallised into a reform party, which rejected polytheism
and preached asceticism while holding fast to a belief in Allah. It is
quite possible that the members of this party received both their
inspiration and their ideas from the Christian hermits. They were called
the Hanifs or Puritans. This wide-spread desire for reformation
indicates that Arabia was ripe for a religious revolution and that the
times were ready for the great work of Mohammed.

In the holy city of Mecca in 570 Mohammed was born. He was connected by
blood with the Koraish tribe and from this source may have inherited
certain pronounced religious tendencies. Orphaned at six and reared by
an uncle, who was a trader, he made extensive travels of a business
character throughout western Asia. In this way he gained a cosmopolitan
education, had a wider outlook on the world than was customary, and may
have come into close touch with Judaism and Christianity. At the age of
twenty-five he entered the service of a rich widow, Chadijah, and later
married her though she was fifteen years his senior. Her wealth brought
him into prominence and gave him a commanding social and industrial
position. In his own behalf, now, he made several extensive commercial
trips. One of Chadijah's cousins was a Hanif and, like the Hanifs and
hermits in general, he was a zealous missionary. Mohammed soon fell
under the influence of him and other Puritans and soon joined these
ascetic reformers. He often retired to the mountains for prayer and
ascetic practices and the religious fermentation in his soul in a short
time produced an explosion. He early became subject to fits,--whether
epileptic, cataleptic, or hysterical is unknown,--and in these swoons
professed to have had religious visions. In one of these the angel
Gabriel appeared to him and communicated the new faith, the sum of which
was: "There is but one God and Mohammed is his prophet."

Thus fired with a mighty mission, he began to denounce the old religion
and to propagate the new (610). His first convert was his faithful wife;
then his bosom friend, Abubekr, received the faith and next his adopted
son, Ali. With this trio of stanch believers back of him, he continued
his public preaching of the message which had come to him in Mecca, the
very heart of Arabian idolatry. When his uncle and benefactor, Abu
Taleb, tried to persuade him to desist the brave fanatic answered:
"Spare your remonstrances; if they should place the sun on my right
hand and the moon on my left they should not divert me from my course."
His converts increased among his own family and friends and also among
the poor of Mecca. His activity and radical statements aroused the
enmity of the Koraish priests who sought to either expel him or to slay
him. They soon forced him to depart from Mecca and to carry on his
propagandism among the neighbouring villages. At length, realising that
a price was set on his head, he escaped in 622 to Medina. This is called
the Hegira, or Flight, and marks the beginning of the Mohammedan

Medina at this time was in need of a strong ruler, so Mohammed was given
an enthusiastic reception and was soon recognised as the head of both
church and state. With this new power came a change in the method of
propagating the new religion, namely, from persuasion to the sword. Just
what the reasons for this change were it is not easy to say; perhaps the
leading motive was that of revenge. At first he began to lead marauding
expeditions against the merchant caravans of Mecca. Soon he became the
prophet warrior of the Arabs and professed to have orders from Allah to
make war upon all idolators.[480:1] With this taste of blood and power
Mohammed's character and religion both were changed. His military
enterprises were almost invariably successful. By 630 he had captured
Mecca and through the great battle of Taif he made himself master of all
Arabia. He consolidated his religion and instituted laws to govern his
people, and finally died at Mecca in 632.

Mohammed was one of the unique characters of earth. Agreeable, true to
his friends, very simple in his domestic relations, he was deeply
religious and certainly at first a sincere reformer. His soul was full
of poetry and his intellect at times was frenzied and insane. When he
changed his method of spreading the new faith after the Hegira, it was
not due to hypocrisy, nor to the charge made that he became an impostor,
but can be explained as the outcome of a new situation and new
influences which changed both his views and his methods. Certain it is
that neither he nor any of his devoted followers for a moment questioned
the reality of the revelation which came to him, nor of the leadership
to which he was called. Although influenced by many of the evils of his
age such as deceit, revenge, and sensuality, still he must be viewed as
an honest revolutionist whose influence has changed the history of the
whole world.[481:1]

There are certainly many striking resemblances between Christianity and
Mohammedanism. Both believe in the one eternal God; both accept the Old
Testament; both believe in a revealed religion; both accept the
historical person of Jesus; both believe in the doctrine of immortality;
and both hold in common many of the highest moral virtues. Because of
these resemblances to Judaism and Christianity it has been claimed that
Islam is chiefly a transfusion of these two older religions into Arabian
forms.[481:2] Just how far Mohammed was consciously and unconsciously
influenced by these two faiths, with the chief tenets of which he was
certainly acquainted, cannot be positively stated. From a Christian
standpoint, however, Mohammedanism has a darker side. Polygamy is
permitted, though regulated, and the marriage ties are exceedingly
loose; consequently, woman occupies a very degraded position. Slavery is
practised and encouraged. Islam commands war on all unbelievers and the
intolerant spirit which this engenders is perhaps the darkest blot on
that faith. When a comparison between the resemblances and differences
is made, however, the former seem to far outnumber the latter.

The spread of Mohammedanism is one of the most remarkable things in
history. The means used for this propagation was the sword and the
justification is found in these words: "The sword is the key of heaven
and hell; a drop of blood shed in the cause of Allah, a night spent in
arms, is of more avail than two months of fasting or prayer; whosoever
falls in battle, his sins are forgiven and at the day of judgment his
limbs shall be supplied by the wings of angels and cherubim." Idolators
were to be slain unmercifully, but Jews and Christians were given a
limited toleration under tribute upon submission. Before his death (632)
Mohammed had subdued all of Arabia. Under his successors a conquest was
made of Palestine (637), Syria (638), and Persia (710) in Asia. To the
westward in Africa Egypt was taken (647) and by 707 all northern Africa
was captured; and from there the movement spread inland. Europe was
invaded through Spain as early as 711 and the new faith was carried up
to northern France where the Mohammedans were repulsed in 732 in the
decisive battle of Tours. Meanwhile, as early as 672, an attack was made
upon Constantinople, but it proved unsuccessful. Islands in the
Mediterranean were taken and Italy was harassed for two centuries (9th
to 11th). Sicily was seized (827), Rome invaded (846), a colony planted
at Bari (871), Salerno besieged (873), Beneventum and Capua attacked
(874), and the Eternal City sacked by Saracens under a Norman leader as
late as 1085. In the eleventh century the Saracens still held southern
Spain and all northern Africa while the Seljukian Turks had defeated the
Saracens and had taken possession of the Holy Land. Thus "Mohammed, with
a sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, erected his throne on
the ruins of Christianity and of Rome."[483:1] The Bible and the Koran
divided the world into two parts, separated by the Mediterranean but
touching at the extremities. A conflict between these two great world
forces, each one imbued with a fanatical desire to spread its teaching,
was inevitable.

The Crusade movement was in a certain sense the high-water mark of the
conflict. The causes of the Crusades were both positive and
negative:--the latter will be taken up first and enumerated.

1. The spread of Islam and the consequent terror and hatred aroused in
the Christians, as shown in Spain, France, Italy, and the Eastern
Empire, produced a feeling in Europe that this great foe could be
checked and thrust back only by the union of all European nations in a
great holy war against their oppressors. This feeling was intensified by
the fact that many Christians had been captured and sold into slavery.

2. The fall of the Holy Land, with all its sacred places, into the hands
of the "infidels," first the Saracens and then the Turks, called forth a
cry of horror and a vow of revenge from all Christendom. Roman paganism
had followed the Roman conquest to Palestine early in the Christian era.
By the fourth century, however, the cross had triumphed over polytheism
and Christian Emperors and pious persons erected splendid churches on
the holy places. Constantine and his mother Helena built churches over
the cave where Jesus was born, over the tomb where he was buried, and in
other sacred spots. It was not long until the location of every place in
the life of Jesus from his birth to his death was marked by a little
shrine, or a chapel, or a costly church. At the same time many valuable
relics were discovered such as the true cross and those of the two
thieves, the lance, the sponge, the cup, the crown of thorns, the basin
in which the disciples' feet were washed, the stone on which Jesus stood
before Pilate, the manger in which Jesus was born, and many others. It
was not long until there was a comparatively large Christian population
in Palestine made up of the native Christians, the hermits and their
followers, and the devout pilgrims who fairly swarmed to the Holy Land
from all parts of Europe. The Persian King Chosroes II. in 611 captured
Jerusalem, destroyed many churches, put ninety thousand Christians to
death, and carried off the true cross. But Heraclius in 628 defeated the
Persians, recovered the true cross and restored it to the Holy City

The Saracens in 637 made a conquest of Palestine. These Mohammedans
manifested a peculiar reverence for Jerusalem and gave the Christians
perfect freedom on condition that the church bells should merely toll
not ring, that converts to Islamism should be unmolested, and that the
Christians should pay tribute, have a distinct name and language,
acknowledge the political sovereignty of the Caliph, use no saddles and
bear no arms, build no new churches, and remove the cross from the
outside of the church buildings. Under these restrictions the Christians
lived in comparative security until Hakam, the mad Sultan of Egypt, in
1010 attempted to destroy Christianity in Jerusalem by razing the
churches, killing many of the followers of Christ, levying a tax on all
pilgrims, and through these acts inciting persecutions of the Jew in
Europe where it was believed that he was responsible for this change.
Jerusalem was captured in 1076 by the Seljukian Turks who destroyed the
churches; robbed, insulted, and killed the Christians; replaced the
lawful toll by extortion; brutally interrupted the sacred services; and
dragged the holy patriarch through the streets by the hair and put him
in a dungeon with the expectation of securing a ransom.

3. The enthusiasm for pilgrimages rapidly increased from the fourth to
the twelfth century. This manifestation of religious reverence appears
to have characterised all peoples at some stage of their religious
history. Jerome says that Christians began to make pilgrimages to
Jerusalem directly after the ascension. The desire to visit the scenes
of the Saviour's life spread like a contagion--it became the mania of
the Middle Ages--so that by the eleventh century a constant stream of
pilgrims was going to and from the Holy Land. The journey was made by
individuals[485:1] called "Palmers" who carried a staff, wallet, and
scallop shell and for whom there was a special ceremony conducted by the
local priest or the bishop both at departure and home-coming; by groups
of monks, or of pupils under a teacher; and by whole multitudes such as
the band of three thousand in 1054 and seven thousand in 1064. Among the
pilgrims were found all classes--kings and beggars, male and female,
priests and laity. They went either by routes overland or by sea. They
were protected by laws and were cared for in institutions along the way.
Through the endowment by pious individuals hospitals were built along
the more popular routes. Monasteries served as hotels. The pilgrims were
free from tolls and were granted many other privileges.[486:1] Charles
the Great had them protected within his Empire and had a large hotel
built for their accommodation at Jerusalem. It was believed by the
faithful that such a pilgrimage had the efficacy of expiating all sin as
a penance. A bath in the river Jordan was called a second baptism. The
pilgrim who had braved all the hardships of a trip to the land of the
Lord was upon his return a privileged character in the community. His
shirt was sacredly preserved to be used for his shroud.

4. In addition to the hardships and difficulties of travel the pilgrim
from the seventh to the eleventh century was subjected by the Mohammedan
authorities to taxation and many indignities. Under the Turks after the
eleventh century, robbery, cruelties of all sorts, and even murder with
torture were common experiences. The report of these persecutions
produced a marked effect on western Europe,--on the clergy, the ignorant
and credulous laity, and the nobles and kings.[486:2]

5. The mercenary hope of reward offered by a Crusade against the
Mohammedans was another powerful cause.[486:3] Merchants hoped to open
up new fields for commerce and trade.[487:1] Kings and princes expected
to win rich provinces from the Turks. The Eastern Emperor desired to
drive off a dangerous foe and to regain his lost domains in Asia Minor.
The Pope and the bishops hoped to subject the Eastern Church in
Palestine to the See of St. Peter. Merchants wished to recover the very
lucrative trade with the East which had been lost through the Turkish
conquests. Debtors and criminals desired to receive relief and pardon or
to obtain wealth in plundering the "infidels." Sinners thought of
obtaining complete pardon for past sins[487:2] and privileges for the

6. The militant spirit of the age and the love of war were aroused to
fever heat by an unquenchable thirst for the blood of the enemies of
Christianity.[487:3] Charles Martel and Charles the Great had set an
example in the relentless warfare waged by them against the Mohammedans.
After their time the Spanish nobles and kings kept up the good fight in
heroic military expeditions. Otto the Great followed the example of
Charles the Great in subduing the heathen of his frontiers by the sword.
This spirit was aroused to almost ungovernable control by the many
reports of cruelty reported on all sides by the returning pilgrims.

7. The credulity and superstition of western Europe were an important
factor in producing the Crusades. The wildest legends were circulated
concerning the barbarities and inhumanities of the Mohammedans, the
miracles and deeds of valour, as well as the shameless abuses, in the
Holy Land. The "signs" of God's approbation of the Crusades, it was
believed were to be seen on every hand. Out of this same atmosphere grew
up the shameless traffic in relics which was rampant in Europe and
approved by the Church.[488:1] Relics from the Holy Land, associated in
one way or another with the career of Jesus, were very numerous and of
very great value. The Turkish conquest had had the effect of reducing
the quantity of relics, but of increasing the price demanded.

Among the positive causes operating to produce the Crusades were:

1. The sincere zeal manifested by the Popes to extend the true
faith.[488:2] Sylvester II. in 999 sounded the first trumpet calling
upon the warriors of all Christendom to recover the Holy City of
Jerusalem, but Pisa alone made some predatory incursions on the Syrian
coast.[488:3] Gregory VII. wrote a circular letter to "all Christians"
in 1074 urging them to drive the Turks out of Palestine.[488:4] He
planned to rule the Eastern Church, pledged fifty thousand troops
himself, and offered to lead the army in person, but the Norman Robert's
eastern excursion (1081-1085) was the only fruit.[488:5] Victor III.
preached a crusade in 1087 and promised a remission of sins to all who
should take part, but he apparently had not yet struck the true
crusading chord, for Pisa, Genoa, and Venice alone conducted a piratical
expedition against the African coast. It was left to Urban II. to
successfully launch the Crusade movement in 1095. He took advantage of
the crusading spirit already abroad in Europe and called the Council of
Piacenza (Italy), which was attended by four thousand clergy, thirty
thousand laity, and envoys from the Eastern Emperor. In an eloquent
address the Pope favoured a Crusade, but although many vows were taken,
the enthusiasm did not seem sufficient to warrant the beginning of the
undertaking.[489:1] Consequently another council was called to meet at
Clermont in France about six months later. Urban himself was a Frenchman
and believed that an appeal to his own people would meet with more
success. There was a mighty throng at Clermont. After devoting seven
days to Church affairs, the Pope closed the council by preaching his
famous sermon in the open air to the impatient multitude. In its results
this speech surpassed all others in the history of the world.[489:2]
Swayed by its influence the whole multitude shouted, "God wills it! God
wills it!" Then they rushed away to seize all the red cloth they could
lay their hands on from which crosses were made to be sewed upon the
bosoms of those who took the vow to wrest away from "The wicked race"
the Holy Sepulchre. Knights and foot soldiers of all ranks now turned
their attention to aid their fellow-Christians in the East and to punish
the insolent Turks. August 15, 1096, was the day set for the Crusade.
The Bishop of Pui, was made the Pope's legate and Raymond, Count of
Toulouse, was appointed to lead the laity.[490:1] The general absolution
of all sins was promised; the "Truce of God" was proclaimed and general
immunity and indulgence was given to debtors, criminals, and
serfs.[490:2] Urban II. continued his travels and everywhere addressed
the people urging them to join in the pious movement. His work must be
regarded as the immediate cause of the Crusade.

2. The intense religious enthusiasm which had possessed Europe for two
centuries, touching all classes and degenerating into fanaticism, was
the fundamental cause. Chivalry made the Crusade a holy duty to the
Church and furnished the noblest examples of devotion. The powerful
reform spirit in the Church, growing out of Clugniac asceticism and the
Hildebrandine reformation, was an important factor in the movement. The
personal labours of some individuals supplemented the work so well
started by Pope Urban II. Conspicuous among these was Peter the Hermit,
who was formerly credited with having originated the whole Crusade
movement, but who was never in Palestine before the Crusades, did not
incite Urban, did not speak at Clermont, and did not stir up all Europe.
His work was limited to a few months and to a small part of southern
France, where he rode through the country on an ass carrying before him
a great crucifix and dramatically appealing to the feelings of the
people. His influence upon other parts of France, however, must have
been considerable and he deserves much credit for having helped to call
together the first army. Another enthusiast who laboured to spread the
movement was Robert d'Arbrissel.[491:1] In the Second Crusade this work
was performed largely by Bernard of Clairvaux.

3. Thousands in Europe, actuated by honest motives such as the hope of
securing spiritual benefits, the wish to expiate sins, the desire to
extend Christianity, the yearning to convert the Mohammedans, and the
determination to overthrow a grave enemy to western civilisation and
progress, gave their means and their lives to this sacred undertaking.
The cries for help which came from the Christians in Jerusalem and from
the Eastern Emperor fell on sympathetic ears. All of these forces and
causes, operating in various ways, produced the most remarkable
manifestation of military power coupled with religious fervour which
Europe had yet witnessed. It seemed as if Mohammedanism itself had
spread the contagion of its own fanaticism to the followers of the
Prince of Peace.[491:2]

In time the Crusades covered approximately two centuries from 1096 to
1291. They directly affected all Europe, northern Africa, and western
Asia. They occurred in an age when Europe was decentralised politically
by feudalism; imbued religiously with the ardour and ideals of
Hildebrand; industrially almost wholly undeveloped; educationally
ignorant and credulous; and socially controlled by monasticism and
chivalry. In the Crusades there was an arrayal of pan-Christianity
against pan-Mohammedanism, or European civilisation _versus_ Asiatic
civilisation. The Crusades were, broadly speaking, one great movement,
with a series of waves, which held the world's destiny in its results
and which was a natural manifestation of the civilisation of the day
both from the Christian and the Mohammedan sides. The purpose of the
movement was primarily to wrest the Holy Land from the Mohammedans and
to restore it to Christianity. But a great variety of secondary purposes
and motives, both good and bad, induced people to co-operate in the
enterprise. The devout, the romantic, the adventurous, the discontented,
the mercenary, the criminal, and the sinner, all took part but for
different reasons. From the standpoint of the primary purpose, the
Crusades were a failure; but viewed from their effects on civilisation
they were a success. It is difficult to reduce them to any specific
number, though for the sake of clearness they may be divided into four
major Crusades[492:1] and four minor Crusades,[492:2] with an
unclassified children's Crusade. The idea of a Crusade had been
developed by the conflict with the Moors in Spain, the heathen Saxons,
the pagan Slavs, and various heretical sects; and it was employed, after
the Crusades ended, in European history for some centuries to come.

The Council of Clermont met in November, 1095, and immediately
thereafter enthusiastic preparations were begun for the First
Crusade.[492:3] From March to June of the following year, the rabble
vanguard was collecting in France and along the Rhine--a motley crowd of
peasants, artisans, vagabonds, and even women and children, all
fanatically intent upon rescuing the Holy Sepulchre two thousand miles
away and confident that God would protect them on the way and grant them
victory.[493:1] This miscellaneous throng was entirely lacking in
leadership and organisation. It broke up into a number of divisions
united only by their common zeal and similar purpose. Walter the
Penniless at the head of fifteen thousand, among whom were only eight
horsemen, appears to have led the band. After encountering many
difficulties in Hungary and overcoming grave dangers in Bulgaria, they
at length arrived at Constantinople. Peter the Hermit with forty
thousand Crusaders separated from Walter at Cologne, and followed the
course of the Danube. The Hungarians almost annihilated these pious
robbers so that Peter with difficulty escaped with but one fifth of his
followers and reached Constantinople only through the protection
afforded them by the Eastern Emperor. Emico, Count of Leiningen,
conducted twenty thousand Germans, and Gotschalk, the monk, had about
fifteen thousand.[493:2] On the heels of these various advanced
divisions followed a rabble of two hundred thousand among whom were
three thousand mounted knights. This unorganised vanguard was apparently
well received in Constantinople by Emperor Alexius, who hurried them
across the Bosphorus only to meet their destruction at the hand of
Sultan David in front of Nicæa. Peter the Hermit and with him a band of
three thousand were fortunate enough to escape.

Meanwhile the main body of the Crusaders was collecting, mostly in
France, because the other nations of Europe were either preoccupied or
had little enthusiasm for the movement. The leaders were nobles and not
kings.[494:1] From the north went forth Godfrey of Bouillon, a wise and
brave man who with his brothers Eustace and Baldwin led thirty thousand
foot and ten thousand horse from France and Germany; Hugh the Long,
brother of Philip I.; Robert of Normandy, son of William the Conqueror;
Robert of Flanders, "the sword and the lance" of the Crusades; Stephen
of Chartres, the richest prince of France; and a large number of minor
nobles. From the south came Bohemond, the son of Robert Guiscard,
already experienced in eastern warfare; Tancred, a cousin of Bohemond,
the model knight and hero of the movement; Raymond of Toulouse, old in
war, brave, greedy, and proud, who led one hundred and sixty thousand
foot and horse; Adhemar, Bishop of Pui, the first bishop to take the
cross and the official representative of the Pope; and many subordinate
noblemen. This vast multitude, estimated at one million Crusaders,
chiefly French, represented the flower of western Europe. Whole
families, especially of the nobles, arranged to join the undertaking.
This immense throng was organised on feudal lines. The dukes, counts,
and barons were the overlords and rulers and divided the army into
parts. Under them served the knights on horseback and clothed in their
long coats of mail. They supplied the military spirit and imbued the
common people with a holy zeal. Each knight was accompanied by his
squire and a squad of warriors. Four different routes were taken by the
Crusaders: (1) Hugh, the Roberts, and Stephen went from the Alps to
Apulia, where they were met and blessed by the Pope, then separated, and
made a scramble by land and sea for Constantinople. Hugh was held as
prisoner by Emperor Alexius until he recognised the feudal sovereignty
of the Eastern Emperor. (2) Godfrey traversed Germany, Hungary, and
Bulgaria and reached Constantinople at Christmas time, 1096, where he
made a compact with Alexius. (3) Bohemond took the sea route to the
eastern capital. He was incensed at the compromise made by his
colleagues with the Eastern Emperor, but was finally won over by
bribery. (4) Raymond, the last to set out, went _via_ Lombardy,
Dalmatia, and Slavonia, but was greatly hindered by the hostility of the
natives incited by Alexius, to whom Raymond, upon learning of his
treachery, refused homage.

The policy of the Eastern Emperor Alexius in dealing with the Crusaders
appears to have been a double one. He had called on the West for aid
against the Turks and was answered by an armed horde that threatened to
sweep away his very throne. He had easily rid himself of the rabble
vanguard by sending them to their doom in Asia Minor. He was determined
now, if possible, to impede the march of these new forces toward
Constantinople. Not succeeding in that he attempted to compel them to
swear fealty to him and then to use them to drive back the Turks and to
restore his lands. He was a master diplomat and politician and soon
hurried the Crusaders across the Bosphorus. They laid siege to Nicæa and
in June, 1097, it fell. After the battle of Dorylæum (July 4, 1097),
Antioch was captured in June, 1098. In July of the following year (1099)
came the storming of Jerusalem and its capture with the accompanying
massacre of the Mohammedans and Jews. The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem was
created and Godfrey was elected Defender of the Holy Sepulchre. With him
was left a guard of defence consisting of two hundred knights and two
thousand archers. A comparatively small number of Crusaders, who had
survived the hardships of the three years' campaign, then returned

The occasion and cause of the Second Crusade was the fall of Edessa in
1145 into Mohammedan hands. Jerusalem was next threatened by the Moslems
and was in grave danger of meeting a similar fate. The western
Christians, inspired by thrilling accounts of the survivors of the First
Crusade, and actuated by the usual variety of motives, were eager to
imitate the earlier heroes. Great enthusiasm was aroused through the
preaching of St. Bernard[496:2] (b. 1091-d. 1153), the son of a
Burgundian knight slain in the First Crusade, and a fanatic in ascetic
severities, who, when Edessa fell, had been commissioned by the Pope to
preach a Crusade. His fiery addresses, kindling a crusading mania in
France and Germany, were supplemented by a letter from Pope Eugenius
III. to western Christendom.[496:3] The leaders of the Second Crusade
were Louis VII. of France and Conrad III. of Germany, who rallied their
forces at Mainz and Ratisbon. Conrad III. took the old route through
Hungary and crossed to Asia without entering Constantinople, because he
suspected the duplicity of the Eastern Emperor. After him came the
French over the same ground. Nothing was accomplished, however, and
after a miserable failure the monarchs with their few survivors returned

The occasion for the Third Crusade was the capture of Jerusalem in 1187
by Saladin, the bravest and most honoured of all the Saracen rulers.
Once more Europe was aroused to a pitch of pious frenzy.[497:1] The
leadership of the enterprise was assumed by Richard I. of England,
Philip Augustus of France, and Frederick Barbarossa of Germany. In
England Richard I. prepared for the undertaking by selling tithes, royal
dignities, and lands; by robbing the Jews; by taxing all classes[497:2];
and by even threatening to sell the city of London. Equal zeal was shown
in France and Germany. Richard and Philip with one hundred thousand men
took the sea route from Marseilles and Genoa, while Frederick took the
usual overland route. Frederick Barbarossa met his death in this pious
undertaking and this led to the failure of the German effort. The
estrangement of Richard and Philip resulted, after the fall of Acre,
July 12, 1191, in the return of Philip to France. Richard alone remained
and succeeded in 1192 in concluding a truce with Saladin by which
Christian pilgrims were permitted to visit the holy places with safety
and comfort.[497:3]

The Fourth Crusade was due largely to the personal influence of
Innocent III.[498:1] Additional causes were the abortive effort of
Emperor Henry VI. (1196-1197) and the preaching of the priest Fulk, of
Neuilly. The leaders of the movement at the outset were French nobles,
who lacked money with which to finance the enterprise and therefore made
a contract with the Venetians who agreed to supply ships and food for a
stipulated sum.[498:2] But when the Crusaders reached Venice, being
unable to raise the amount agreed upon, the Venetians proposed that in
lieu of the payment the Crusaders assist in reducing to submission the
rebellious city of Zara. That was accomplished in November, 1202, in the
face of papal opposition, and then the expedition moved on to the
capture and sack of Constantinople in April, 1204. The Latin Empire of
Constantinople was then created and a Venetian elected as patriarch, but
the Holy Land was not even reached. Of all the Crusades this appears to
have been the most mercenary and the least fruitful of results.[498:3]

Of the minor Crusades the fifth was inspired by the zeal of Pope
Innocent III.; the sixth was due to the ambition of Emperor Frederick
II.; the seventh was occasioned by the fall of Jerusalem and the pious
enthusiasm of Louis IX.[498:4]; and the eighth resulted from the vow of
Louis IX. and a dream of Prince Edward. The leaders of these later
Crusades were all kings. The fifth and seventh resulted in defeat and
failure in Egypt; the sixth captured Jerusalem and a few other cities;
the eighth recovered Nazareth and secured a treaty favourable to
Christians. The end of the Crusade period practically came when in 1291
Acre, the last city held by the Christians, was captured by the
Mohammedans. The later Popes of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and
fifteenth centuries repeatedly called upon Christendom to arm against
the Moslems. Several of the kings of France even took the cross and
proclaimed Crusades, but it was done usually only to squeeze a tax out
of the people. The Crusades had failed after millions in life and money
had been lost. The people at length lost faith in the movement. Crusades
in Europe, not so dangerous as those against the Holy Land, were
declared to be as efficacious as those of a more hazardous character.
The rise of national states kept kings and subjects occupied at home.
International relations made it dangerous for countries to send huge
armies abroad. There had come about a gradual decline of fanatical
crusading zeal--"The flame of fanaticism had slowly burned out." The
religious needs were now satisfied by the relics, Gethsemanes, Via
Dolorosas, and Calvaries found in Europe. The sale of indulgences made
it unnecessary to go to Jerusalem to win religious peace for sinful
souls. The marvellous development of Europe in every direction caused
her to forget all about the Holy War and left no surplus energy for such
far-away undertakings. The warrior became the trader.

The failure of the Crusade movement was due to many influences. There
was an utter lack of organisation and the various movements seemed
lawless and mob-like, due perhaps to the feudalistic basis. The able
leaders were too few and the frequent petty quarrels among those in
command demoralised the forces. The common good was sacrificed in too
many cases to personal, political, and commercial greed. The struggle
between the German Emperor and the Pope prevented concerted action on
the part of Europe. The treachery and inactivity of the Eastern Emperor
had much to do with the final outcome. The difficulty of colonising so
large an area and of absorbing the Mohammedan population, or of even
controlling it, was an important factor in the result. Then, too, the
strength and activity of the Mohammedan forces, an element usually
overlooked, played no small part. As time passed the gradual
indifference and the loss of interest in the enterprise account for the
unfortunate ending.

The Crusades are not so important because of the character of the
movement, but because of the significance of their results and
influences.[500:1] Perhaps the most important results were along
religious lines. Temporarily the Latin Church was extended to the Holy
Land and Constantinople, while the Pope was made the head of united
Christendom, although ultimately the breach between the Greek and Latin
churches was widened and never again effectually healed. The Crusade
movement enabled Innocent III. to largely attain the ideal of Hildebrand
as absolute master of Christendom. The longest, bloodiest, and most
destructive religious war in all history was originated by the head of
the Church. Through the power thus gained the Pope was able to make
himself the dictator of Emperors, kings, and nobles. As never before he
regulated the life of all Europe for two centuries and created a
religious enthusiasm which sanctioned all his acts and pretensions. The
wealth of the Church was multiplied through the foreclosing of countless
mortgages; through large gifts from the living and the dying; and
through conquests of lands and cities. Many innovations were introduced
into the Church. The legatine power of the Pope was developed; bishops
_in partibus in fidelium_ were appointed in the East and after the
failure of the Crusades fled to Rome where they were made
vicar-generals; the sale of indulgences became a regular traffic;
heretics in Europe were dealt with by crusades and the Inquisition; and
the Mohammedan idea of salvation was introduced. The Crusades brutalised
the Church and developed the spirit of intolerance, bigotry, and
persecution. For two hundred years the deeds of the Crusaders were
sanctioned by the Pope as pleasing to God. The persecution of Jews in
Europe was somewhat common and apparently approved of by the
Church.[501:1] Certain it is that the Pope ordered crusades in Europe
against heretics, like the Albigenses, and instituted the Inquisition to
suppress them; against pagans in the north-east; and against one
refractory prince by another.

Superstition and credulity were increased and the traffic in relics was
something enormous. "The Western world was deluged by corporeal
fragments of departed saints." "Every city had a warehouse of the dead."
A belief in the miraculous and in the number of miracles was greatly
increased. The worship of saints and of images became so wide-spread and
general that there was a veritable craze for the shrines of saints and
pilgrimages in Europe were greatly multiplied. Through the Crusades
monasticism and chivalry were combined to form new religious orders like
the Hospitalers, Templars, and Teutonic Knights. A marked effect was
left upon the theology of the Middle Ages. The "Suffering Christ"
developed, as is seen in the pictures and crucifixes, because hundreds
of thousands had seen where Christ was born and crucified and hence had
excited the imagination of western Europe. The Crusades led likewise to
a reformation within the Church by producing a general intellectual
awakening, by sanctioning many abuses which soon produced a reaction,
and by leading to a denunciation of all the corruption of the Church
developed through its wealth and power. This reformation was carried on
largely by the Franciscans and Dominicans. Mohammedanism was prevented
from making further aggressions on Europe for nearly four centuries and
many Christians came to regard that faith more sympathetically, if not
with some degree of respect, for the Koran was translated into Latin in
the middle of the twelfth century.[502:1]

Politically the Crusades settled the question whether Europe or Asia
should rule the world. They failed to free the Holy Land, but did free
Europe from Islam. They established the western rule in the East at
least temporarily, first in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099-1291)
and secondly in the Latin Kingdom of Constantinople. They prolonged the
life of the Eastern Empire three hundred and fifty years and taught the
Greeks to use the Latin methods of warfare. For a time at least they
subjected the political powers of Europe to the Papacy under Innocent
III., but a reaction soon followed. They helped the rise of national
states on a monarchial basis. Kings were able to emphasise national
unity and to increase their power and popularity by leading Crusades in
person. Many powerful feudal lords, who divided sovereign power with the
king, were killed or returned impoverished and were unable to recover
their power. Patriotism was developed and national hatreds accentuated.
The abolition of private wars through the "Truce of God" promoted the
growth of nationality. By the close of the period Spain, France, and
England were well on their way toward the rise of a national state,
while even Germany and Italy felt the yearnings of nationality. The
Crusades tended to overthrow feudalism by the death of so many feudal
lords; by detaining some of the most powerful as rulers in the East; by
causing the loss of property through unredeemed mortgages; by the
increasing power of kings; by the rise of free cities; by the
emancipation of serfs and vassals; by the formation of standing armies;
and by the new civilisation which resulted. Since the Crusades were
European movements against a common foe, a new meaning was given to
international relations. For two hundred years after the close of the
holy wars Europe was blessed with international peace. The respect and
hatred of each nation for the others were strengthened by the
associations and quarrels of kings and peoples. The estrangement between
the Eastern Empire and the West became more pronounced. Many important
changes were made in the art and practice of war.[503:1] There was a
marked revival of the study of law as a result of the creation of law
colleges and court lawyers soon became numerous and powerful. The
freedom of the common people was promoted by the overthrow of the
feudal system; by the growth of free towns and cities which usually
formed an alliance with the crown against the nobles; and by the
emancipation from serfdom which resulted from assuming the cross. The
kings, as a matter of self-interest, championed the cause of the common
people. Louis VII. of France (1131-1180) declared that all men had "A
certain natural liberty, only to be forfeited through crime." Bologna in
1256 gave liberty to all within her walls because "None but the free
should dwell in a free city." Florence in 1280 followed the example of
Bologna. Louis X. in 1315 enfranchised all since "By the law of nature
all ought to be free." And Philip VI. (1293-1350) made the same
declaration "In the name of equality and natural liberty." A similar
wave was felt in England.[504:1] The House of Commons, created in
England in 1295, marks the beginning of representative government and in
1302 the third estate was given a voice in France.

Intellectually western Europe was far behind the Greeks and Arabs in
education, culture, literature, science, and art, hence intercourse for
two hundred years with these peoples made a marked difference in
European civilisation. The minds of the Crusaders were liberalised by
seeing different peoples, lands, customs, and civilisations often
superior to their own. The fanatical hate and bigotry of the early
Crusades were modified by coming to know the Mohammedan religion and the
eastern ideas.[504:2]

The knowledge of the West was increased in geography and led indirectly
to travels eastward by Marco Polo and westward by Columbus, Magellan, De
Gama, and others; in sociology, trade, agriculture, and manufacturing;
in political science; in mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry,
zoölogy, medicine and drugs; in literature by bringing back traditions
about great events like the fall of Troy, tales of heroes like Solomon
and Alexander the Great, reports about crusading deeds of valour, an
infinite number and variety of miracles, saintly tales, and pious acts,
and Greek books like Aristotle and Arabic poetry translated into Latin;
in art and architecture by carrying Eastern styles and types to western
Europe. The Crusaders preserved the monuments of Greek learning from
destruction at the hands of the Turks until western Europe was advanced
enough to receive and appreciate them, though, as a rule, the Crusaders
disdained the language and literature of both Arabs and Greeks. The
Latin language was again diffused over Greece and Palestine. Indirectly
the Crusades produced the Renaissance.

The social results, while not so immediate and pronounced, were
nevertheless very important. The destruction of feudalism tended to
break down social barriers and draw social extremes more closely
together; to abolish many social abuses; and to improve the social
condition of the masses. The rise of free cities tended to associate
social equality with municipal liberty. Through the Crusades serfs were
emancipated by assuming the cross; by being made day labourers in the
absence of free men; and by passing into the hands of free cities, the
Church, or the king. At the same time social distinctions and barriers
were weakened by making all Crusaders members of a common army under the
Pope and by the common enthusiasm, experiences, dangers, and long
continued association of all classes. Chivalry, too, was developed in
its best form and through it originated many of our noblest social
virtues and sentiments. The wealth, the luxuries, and the ornamental and
useful arts brought from the East added greatly to the comfort and
happiness of the West. Through this movement many valuable charitable
institutions were likewise created. It must not be forgotten, however,
that the death of hundreds of thousands in these holy wars left sorrow
and poverty in many homes and filled western Europe with widows and
orphans. The debtor and criminal classes were given a chance to gain
wealth and salvation in a popular cause and eagerly embraced the
opportunity. The Crusades also gave rise to such great socialistic
movements as the begging orders, the Pastoraux led by the Hungarians in
1251, the Flagellants (1259), and the Albigenses.[506:1]

Industrially the material welfare of stagnant western Europe was
increased by the great impulse given to trade and by the widening of
commercial relations. Through trading with the East, acting as the
mediums of distribution for northern and western Europe, and supplying
the needs of the Crusaders, cities like Venice, Pisa, and Genoa became
immensely rich. The cities of Germany, France, and England in turn
became secondary centres of trade. The Hanseatic League was formed in
the thirteenth century. Manufacturing received a strong impetus;
shipbuilding flourished, and factories for armour and arms and leather
and cloth goods sprang up. These new branches of industry were found
chiefly in the free cities where they were controlled by the guilds.
Agriculture and horticulture were much improved by new plants, grains,
and fruits from the East and by the importation of such useful aids as
the windmill and the mule. Fortunes were lost by the nobles and amassed
by the Church, the Jews, the free cities, and the kings. The coinage
system was improved and banking appears to have been for the first time
introduced. The militant spirit of the nation was aroused and for two
centuries war was made the chief occupation of Europe.[507:1]



     1.--_Chronicles of the Crusades._ Bohn, _Antiq. Lib._, Lond.,

     2.--_Early Travels in Palestine._ _Ib._

     3.--_Marco Polo's Travels._ _Ib._

     4.--Roger of Hovenden, _Annals of English History_ (to 1201).

     5.--Roger of Wendover, _Flowers of History_ (to 1235). _Ib._

     6.--Matthew Paris, _English History_ (1235-1273). _Ib._

     7.--Matthew of Westminster, _Flowers of History_ (to 1307).

     8.--William of Malmesbury, _Chronicles of the Kings of
          England_ (to Stephen). _Ib._

     9.--Henderson, E. F., _Select Historical Documents of the
          Middle Ages_. N. Y., 1892.

    10.--Univ. of Penn., _Translations and Reprints_, i., No. 2
          and 4; iii., No. 1.

    11.--_Palestine Pilgrim Text Society._ Lond., 1897 _ff._ 14

    12.--Pinkerton, J., _A General Collection . . . of Travels_.
          Lond., 1808-14, 17 vols.

    13.--William of Tyre, _Godeffray of Boloyne or the Siege and
          Conquest of Jerusalem_. Tr. by W. Caxton, 1481. Ed. by M.
          N. Colvin. Lond., 1893.

    14.--Purchas, S., _A Supplement of the Holy Land Story_ (from
          Wm. of Tyre). Lond., 1625.

    15.--Archer, T. A., _The Crusade of Richard I._ (1189-92). N.
          Y., 1888.

    16.--Robinson, _Readings in European History_, i., ch. 15.

    17.--Thatcher and McNeal, _Source Book of Mediæval History_,

    18.--Ogg, _Source Book of Mediæval History_, N. Y., 1908.



     1.--Archer, T. A., and Kingsford, C. L., _The Crusades_. N.
          Y., 1894.

     2.--Balzani, U., _The Popes and the Hohenstauffen_. Lond.,

     3.--Conder, C. R., _The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem_
          (1099-1291). Lond., 1897.

     4.--Cox, G. W., _The Crusades_. N. Y., 1879.

     5.--Douglas, A. M., _The Heroes of the Crusades_. Bost., 1889.

     6.--Dutton, W. E., _History of the Crusades_. Lond., 1877.

     7.--Frith, H., _Story of the Crusades_. N. Y., 1885.

     8.--Gibbon, E., _History of the Crusades_ (1095-1216). Lond.,

     9.--Gray, G. E., _The Crusade of the Children in the
          Thirteenth Century_. N. Y., 1870.

    10.--Heeren, A. H. L., _Essay on the Influence of the

    11.--Keeling, A. E., _The Nine Famous Crusades of the Middle
          Ages_. Lond., 1889.

    12.--Keightley, T., _The Crusades_. 2 vols. Lond., 1847.

    13.--Lane-Poole, _Saladin and the Fall of the Kingdom of
          Jerusalem_. N. Y., 1898.

    14.--Ludlow, J. M., _The Age of the Crusades_. N. Y., 1897.

    15.--Merrill, G. E., _Crusades and Captives_. Bost., 1890.

    16.--Michaud, J. P., _History of the Crusades_. 3 vols. N. Y.,

    17.--Mills, C., _History of the Crusades_. Lond., 1828.

    18.--Mombert, J. I., _A Short History of the Crusades_. N. Y.,

    19.--Neal, J. M., _Stories of the Crusades_. Lond., 1848.

    20.--Oman, C. W. C., _The Art of War in the Middle Ages_.
          Lond., 1885.

    21.--Pears, E., _The Fall of Constantinople_. N. Y., 1886.

    22.--Perry, G. G., _History of the Crusades_. Lond., 1872.

    23.--Porter, W., _A History of the Knights of Malta_. Lond.,

    24.--Proctor, G., _History of the Crusades_. Phil., 1854.

    25.--Storrs, R. S., _Bernard of Clairvaux_. N. Y., 1892.

    26.--Sybel, H. von, _History and Literature of the Crusades_.
          Lond., 1861.

    27.--Winslow, M. E., _The Fate of the Innocents: a Romance of
          the Crusades_. Phil., 1889.


    Adams, _Civ. dur. M. A._, ch. 11. _Med. Civ._, ch. 9. Allen,
    ii., ch. 4. Alzog, ii., 371-376. Ameer Ali, _Short Hist. of
    Saracens_, 320, 359. Bryce, 164, 191, 205, 301, 326, 341.
    Chantrel, per. 4, ch. 1, 2. Coxe, lect. 5, sec. 12-14.
    Creighton, ch. 1. Darras, iii., 137, 162, 243, 299, 330, 346,
    357, 370, 394, 397. Döllinger, iii., per. 4, ch. 2; iv., per.
    4, ch. 3. Emerton, ch. 11. Fisher, 186, 188, 191, 193, 194,
    196, 201, 225, 230, 231. Foulkes, ch. 11. Gibbon, v., ch. 58;
    vi., ch. 59-61. Gieseler, iii. Gilmartin, ii., ch. 8, 9.
    Greenwood, bk. xi., ch. 4, 5; bk. xiii., ch. 5. Gregorovius.
    Guizot, _Hist. of Fr._, ch. 16, 17. _Hist. of Civ._ Hase, sec.
    183, 187, 190. Hore, ch. 14. Hurst, i., ch. 43. Knight, ch.
    13-16. Kurtz, ii., 14-20. Milman, bk. vii., ch. 6; bk. ix.,
    ch. 7; bk. x., ch. 3. Moeller, ii., 245, 248. Mosheim, bk.
    iii., pt. 1, ch. 2. (11th cent.); bk. iii., pt. 1, ch. 1 (12th
    cent.); bk. iii., pt. 1, ch. 1 (13th cent.). Neander, iv., 51,
    59, 103, 123-128, 152. Robertson, iv., 47, 194, 380, 385, 412;
    v., 132, 211, 241; vi., 59, 81. Robinson, ch. 15. Tout, _Emp.
    and Papacy_, ch. 7, 8, 13, 15, 19.


[476:1] Gilman, _The Saracens_; Ameer Ali, _Life and Teachings of
Mohammed_ and _A Short History of the Saracens_; Muir, _Life of
Mohammed_ and _Annals of the Early Caliphate_; Lane-Poole, _Speeches and
Table Talk of the Prophet Mohammed_; Gibbon, v., ch. 50, 51; various
eds. of the Koran.

[477:1] Among these sects were Arians, Sabellians, Ebionites,
Nestorians, Eutychians, Monophysites, Marianites, and Collyridians.

[477:2] The Bible had probably been translated into Arabic before the
Koran appeared. Gibbon, ch. 50.

[478:1] Muir, ii., 18, 35; Burckhardt, _Travels_, 136.

[480:1] Koran, _Sura_ ii., 189, 214; xvii., 4-7.

[481:1] Ockley, _Hist. of the Saracens_; Bahador, _Essays on the Life of
Mohammed_; Prideaux, _Life of Mahomet_; Bush, _Life of Mohammed_; Smith,
_Mohammed and Mohammedanism_; Bate, _Studies in Islam_; Stobart, _Islam
and its Founder_; Rodwell, _The Koran_; Palmer, _The Koran_; Sale, _The
Koran_; etc.

[481:2] _Quarterly Review_, Oct., 1869.

[483:1] Gibbon, ch. 50.

[485:1] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 336.

[486:1] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 337-340.

[486:2] Cutts, _Scenes and Characters of the Middle Ages_; Milman, bk.
vii., 224.

[486:3] Indulgences for fighting heathen had been offered long before
this time. See Thatcher and McNeal, No. 276, 277.

[487:1] Cunningham, _Western Civilisation_, ii., 108.

[487:2] See Thatcher and McNeal, No. 274, 275.

[487:3] Lecky, _Hist. of European Morals_, ii., 248; Oman, _The Art of
War in the Middle Ages_.

[488:1] _Revue de l'orient Latin_, 1897, 6-21.

[488:2] Burr, _The Year One Thousand and the Antecedents of the
Crusades_, _Am. Hist. Rev._, vol. vi.

[488:3] Duchesne, iii., 28th letter; Bouquet, ex 426; Muratori, iii.,

[488:4] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 278.

[488:5] Lib., i., 49; ii., 31-37; Jaffé, _Man. Greg._, i., 18, 46, 49;
ii., 3, 31, 37.

[489:1] Mansi, 801-815; Muratori, iii., 353; _Mon. Ger._, v., 161; xii.,
394; Jaffé, _Reg._, i., 677.

[489:2] Mansi, xx., 815-919; Jaffé, _Reg._, i., 681. Three versions of
the speech may be found in U. of P. _Transl. and Reprints_, ii., No. 2,
4-5; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 279, 280; Robinson, _Readings_, vol. i.,

[490:1] _Hist. Occid._, iv., 16; Sybel, 228.

[490:2] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 281.

[491:1] Potthast, _Bib. Hist._, ii., 550.

[491:2] _Hist. Occid._, iv., 12, 13, 135; _Mon. Ger._, v., 161; xx.,
248; xxi., 56.

[492:1] Major Crusades:

     (1) 1096-1099--led by knights of France and the Normans.

     (2) 1147-1149--led by kings of France and Germany.

     (3) 1189-1192--led by kings of France, England, and Germany.

     (4) 1202-1204--led by French nobles and the Doge of Venice.

[492:2] Minor Crusades:

     (1) 1216-1220.

     (2) 1228-1229.

     (3) 1248-1254.

     (4) 1270-1272.

[492:3] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 282, 283; Robinson, _Readings_, i.,
316; Ogg, § 52.

[493:1] Ogg, § 52.

[493:2] Giesebrecht, iii., 656.

[494:1] Gibbon, ch. 58.

[496:1] Ders, _Med. Topog. of Palestine_; Condor, _The Latin Kingdom of
Jerusalem_. See letters of Crusaders in Robinson, _Readings_, i., 321;
_Transl. and Reprints_, i., No. iv.; Ogg, § 53.

[496:2] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 330; Mabillon, _Life and Letters of
St. Bernard_.

[496:3] Storrs, _Bernard of Clairvaux_; Morison, _The Life and Times of
St. Bernard_; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 284; Robinson, _Readings_, i.,

[497:1] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 285.

[497:2] Henderson, _Hist. Docs. of the Mid. Ages_, 135.

[497:3] Richard had a very romantic adventure in returning to England.
For his prowess see Colby, _Source Book_, 68-70.

[498:1] Henderson, _Hist. Docs. of the Mid. Ages_, 337; _Transl. and
Rep._, iii., No. 1.

[498:2] _Transl. and Rep._, iii., No. 1, pp. 6-17.

[498:3] Pears, _The Fall of Constantinople_; Oman, _Byzantine Empire_;
Finlay, _Hist. of Greece_; Gibbon, ch. 60; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 286,
287, 288; Robinson, _Readings_, i., 338.

[498:4] Perry, _St. Louis_; Davis, _The Invasion of Egypt in A. D. 1241
by Louis IX._

[500:1] Guizot, _Hist. of Civ. in Europe_, Lect. 8; Kitchin, _Hist. of

[501:1] Neubauer and Stern, _Hebraische Berichts über die
Judenverfolgungen während des Kreuzzüge_.

[502:1] The results of the Crusades ought to be viewed also from the
Mohammedan side.

[503:1] Oman, _Art of War in the Middle Ages_.

[504:1] Stubbs, ii., 128.

[504:2] Prutz, _Kulturgesch. der Kreuzzüge_; Draper, _Intel. Develop. of
Europe_, ch. 11, 13, 16.

[506:1] Lea, _Hist. of the Inq._, i., 269, 272.

[507:1] The results of the Crusades may with profit be classified as (1)
positive and negative, (2) direct and indirect, (3) immediate and
remote, and (4) permanent and transitory.



     OUTLINE: I.--Monasticism before the Crusades. II.--Effect of
     the Crusades on monasticism. III.--Origin of the begging
     orders. IV.--Rise and influence of the Dominicans. V.--Origin
     and power of the Franciscans. VI.--Wide-spread results of
     mediæval monasticism. VII.--Sources.

The rise of monasticism[510:1] and the monastic reformation[510:2] have
already been considered. The spirit of the Clugniac and Hildebrandine
reformation was projected into the twelfth and thirteenth centuries
through new monastic orders.

1. The order of Grammont, founded by Stephen of Tigerno in 1073 with the
sanction of Gregory VII., spread rapidly over France as a reform
society. The order lived under an oral rule until 1143, when it was
written out by Stephen of Lisiac. Revised under Innocent III., the rule
lasted until the seventeenth century. The order included more lay than
spiritual brethren, also had three women's cloisters, and was generally
recognised as a reform organisation.[510:3]

2. The Carthusians, founded at Chartreuse near Grenoble in 1084 by Bruno
of Cologne, were peculiarly ascetic. They still boast that their order
is the only one never reformed.

3. The order of Fontevraud, founded for both monks and nuns in 1093 by
Robert of Arbrissel in Poitou, sent its members through the country
preaching penance and practising rigidly ascetic lives.

4. The Cistercians, founded at Citeaux near Dijon in Burgundy in 1098 by
Robert of Molesme, a Benedictine abbot, who, despairing of reforming the
loose and frivolous life of the old order, resolved to found a new one
for the purpose of leading a life of austere asceticism. The order
spread rapidly and reached its culmination in the thirteenth century,
when its cloisters numbered eight hundred.[511:1] In opposition to the
wealthy monasteries about them, the Cistercians had unpretentious
buildings, simple furniture, plain clothing, no pictures, images, or
decorations, and a brief, unpretentious ritual. The greatest man in the
order was St. Bernard[511:2] and under his leadership heretics like
Abélard, Arnold of Brescia, and the Cathari were crushed, and the Second
Crusade was preached.[511:3]

5. The order of Prémontré founded by St. Norbert in 1121--the only
German originator of a monastic order after Bruno and who was converted
from a rich worldly canon to a pious monk,--combined the life of monk
and canon, soon spread through all countries, and had at one time a
thousand abbeys for males and five hundred for females. The rules were
those of Augustine, the religious practices were as severe, flesh was
altogether forbidden as food, and fasts and scourgings were frequent.
Norbert dressed himself in plain sheep skins and walked about barefooted
among the poor people preaching and teaching. In 1126 he was appointed
Archbishop of Magdeburg, where he carried on the reforms so dear to his

6. The Gilbertines, an order originated in 1148 by Gilbert, an English
ecclesiastic of noble origin, and intended at first for women only but
later opened to men, planted many cloisters throughout England with
poorhouses, hospitals, and orphanages attached.[512:1]

7. The Celestines, founded by Pope Celestine V. in 1294, spread over
Italy, France, and the Netherlands.

8. The Humiliati, founded by John Oldratus, a nobleman of Milan (died
1159), included men and women in the same house. This order was the
outgrowth of the pietistic-socialistic movement in northern Italy and
was a pronounced forerunner of the begging orders.

9. The Serviten, founded in 1233 at Florence by seven devotees who
consecrated themselves to the Virgin Mary, spread to France, the
Netherlands, and Germany and in 1424 was given the privileges of a
begging order.

The Crusades produced two new forms of monasticism--the military orders
and the convents of women established on the basis of useful activity
and not idle contemplation. The military orders were a peculiar union of
monk and knight whose purpose was, through charity and war, to protect
pilgrims to the Holy Land, to care for the sick and to feed and house
the tired and hungry.

1. The order of St. John had its origin in a hospital founded in 1065 at
Jerusalem for sick pilgrims of both sexes by Maurus, a rich man of
Amalfi. A master and lay brethren conducted it. In 1099, after the
victory of the First Crusade, many knights joined it, hence to the
hospital duties was now added armed protection for pilgrims. Soon a new
and larger hospital was built near the church of St. John the Baptist
from which the order was named. In 1121 Raymond de Puy gave the
brotherhood a fixed rule which required the vows of monasticism, ascetic
practices, and the duty of armed protection.[513:1] The order had two
thousand members by 1160 and had received great wealth from Popes,
princes, and private persons. Soon many affiliated branches were planted
on land and on islands of the sea. In the thirteenth century the total
income of the order was eighteen times as great as that of the King of
France. After 1187 the order withdrew to Ptolemais and kept up the
contest with the Saracens for a century when in 1291 it again withdrew
first to the Isle of Cyprus, then in 1309 to the Isle of Rhodes, and,
finally, in 1350 to the Isle of Malta where it remained until disbanded
in 1797 by Napoleon.

2. Two companions of Godfrey of Bouillon in 1118 united with seven other
knights to protect and guide pilgrims to the Holy Land. To the three
monastic vows which they took was added a fourth, namely, to fight the
"infidels." King Baldwin II. gave them a residence in the Temple of
Solomon, hence the order came to be called the Templars.[513:2] The
membership soon increased and a rule was drawn up. St. Bernard
championed the order and Pope Honorius II. favoured it. Burghers soon
joined the knights, but the hospital duties were obscured by the feats
of arms. They withdrew in 1291 to Cypress and then to France where
through royal and papal favours they soon numbered twenty thousand
knights and possessed vast wealth. Under Philip IV. of France they were
disbanded and robbed in 1307.

3. The Teutonic Knights date from the Third Crusade and derived their
name from a German hospital founded in 1128 at Jerusalem, which fell in
1187. The intense sufferings at the siege of Acre in 1190 led some of
the German merchants to revive the work of the hospital by making tents
out of the sails of their ships and caring for the sick. In 1200 these
hospital attendants organised themselves as a military order, adopted
monastic vows, promised to help the sick and wounded, bound themselves
to fight the Mohammedans and pagans, and were soon favoured by the Pope
and Emperor. At first the members were all Germans of honourable birth
but later priests and burghers were admitted. The order became powerful
and wealthy and in 1237 absorbed the order of Brothers of the Sword. The
order removed first to Venice in 1291, and then to Marienburg in 1309 to
wage a crusade against the pagan Prussians. Napoleon in 1809 suppressed
the order. In Spain to fight the Moors were organised the order of
Calatrava, the order of Aleontera, and the order of Montesta. In
Portugal appeared the order of Christ and the order of Avis.

The hospital orders without military service arose in the West and were
brotherhoods of common people patterned after the order of St. John and
patronised by Popes:

1. The order of Cross Bearers arose in 1160 at Bologna and in 1238 in

2. The order of Anthony was endowed by a French noble and authorised by
Urban II. in 1095 at Clermont.

3. The order of the Holy Ghost was founded at Montpellier in 1170 and
regularly organised by Innocent III. in 1198.

4. The order of St. Lazarus probably began in the Holy Land and in the
twelfth century spread over the West.

5. The order of the Trinity was created by a priest and a hermit and
chartered in 1198 by Innocent III.

6. The order of Knights of Emancipation was formed in 1228 to free
Christian slaves.

7. The Bridge Brothers were pledged to build and protect bridges for
pilgrims as well as to care for the sick.

8. Various associations of women were attached to both classes of orders
to serve in poorhouses and hospitals as nurses and assistants of all

This rapid multiplication of orders and their marvellous increase of
wealth was followed by equally rapid degeneration and decay, so that the
original purpose of the monastic organisation was lost after a few
generations. The Popes granted them many exemptions. The members of
these various orders became more estranged from the humbler classes and
were in consequence unpopular, suspected, and hated. The vows of poverty
were eluded; the narrow cell became a grand cloister; the deserts became
parks, and the hermits, princely abbots; and the inmates of the
monastery changed into a worldly aristocracy under a religious name. The
promise of chastity was forgotten, the abbeys became centres of
corruption and the nunneries almost houses of prostitution.[515:1]
Monasticism resembled feudalism in which the abbot and his monks lived
riotously and waged war upon their neighbours. Such men as Gilbert, the
Abbot of Gemblours, confessed with shame that monachism had become an
oppression and a scandal--a hissing and a reproach to all men.[516:1]
St. Bernard said in 1147 of the region of the Count of Toulouse.

     The churches are without people, the people are without
     priests, the priests without the reverence due them, and the
     Christians without Christ. The churches are regarded as
     synagogues, the sanctuary of the Lord is no longer holy; the
     sacraments are no longer held sacred; feast days are without
     solemnity; men die in their sins and their souls are hurried
     to the dread tribunal, neither reconciled by penance nor
     fortified by the holy communion.[516:2]

Furthermore the state and the nobility stepped in and attempted to
control the monastic system and particularly the appointment of
abbots.[516:3] The obligation of obedience to superior authority seemed
to be utterly disregarded.

The old form of monasticism, at its best, thought only of the salvation
of its own members and not of the world. Here, then, was an opportunity
for a great revolution and also a crying need for it. Everywhere
monasteries were rapidly obtaining exemptions from the bishops and
subjecting themselves to the successor of St. Peter. While this
strengthened the Pope, it stimulated conventual degeneracy, relaxed
monastic discipline, denationalised monasticism, aroused popular
hostility, and spread the report that a little gold would purchase any
privilege.[516:4] Under these conditions it was perhaps natural that the
inmates of monasteries were frequently recruited from the worst and
most vicious classes. Such motives as sickness, poverty, crime, mortal
danger, dread of hell, and desire of heaven would not furnish the best
class of devotees.[517:1] In one French cloister the inmates were all
professional highway robbers. Furthermore, the name monk was rendered
still more despicable by the crowds of tramps palming themselves off as
monks. Bearded, tonsured, and dressed in the religious habit, they
swarmed throughout all parts of Christendom, begging, stealing,
deceiving, and peddling false relics, and were often taken in crime and
slain without mercy.[517:2] The secular priests hated the monks and the
people mistrusted and despised both.[517:3] The intense speculative
spirit of the age tended to create disbelief in the Church and to
produce new sects which the Papacy tried in vain to suppress by force.
The secular clergy were also in bad condition--the upper clergy wealthy,
powerful, immoral, and worldly; the lower clergy characterised by sloth
and incapacity. The need of reformation was generally recognised, but
who would do it? "The Church had made no real effort at internal reform;
it was still grasping, licentious, covetous, and a strange desire for
something--they knew not exactly what--began to take possession of men's
hearts and spread like an epidemic from village to village and from land
to land."[517:4] Heresy, likewise, was making rapid strides and was
propagated by sects whose austere lives and serviceable conduct were
popular because in such a striking contrast to those of the monks and

The general purpose of the begging orders, which grew out of these
conditions, was (1) to reform the Church from within and not by
revolution; (2) to avoid the evils and corruptions of wealth by making
poverty an object of admiration and sanctification; (3) to send their
members out to save the Church and the world instead of shutting them up
in monasteries for the selfish purpose of saving their own souls; (4) to
supervise the whole system and to keep the order in a harmonious working
condition by a rigidly organised monarchial government; and (5) to set
on foot a great reformatory home movement which would win the Church
away from the corrupting idols back to a purer and more primitive
Christianity.[518:1] The two prominent begging orders were both Romanic
in origin and not Germanic.

The way for the begging orders was partially prepared by antecedent
reformers and orders. Conspicuous among the individuals who were
forerunners of St. Francis and St. Dominic was (1) St. Bernard
(1091-1153) who advocated poverty and denounced the abuses of his day.
(2) Arnold of Brescia (_c._ 1100-1155), a priest and follower of
Abélard, assailed the Pope's temporal power, attacked the wealth of the
clergy, urged the secularisation of ecclesiastical property, and led a
popular revolt in Rome for a republic. He was hanged, burned, and his
ashes were thrown into the Tiber.[518:2] (3) Gerach of Reichersberg
(1093-1169), a German monk and canon of Augsburg, left his position
disgusted at the irregularity of the lives of the canons, went to Rome
in 1125, and was officially appointed by Honorius II. to reform the
canonry. As the head of the canonry of Reichersberg (1132) he became an
active and rigorous reformer.[519:1] (4) Foulques de Neuilly (died
1202), an obscure, ignorant priest, whose mighty conviction of the sins
of the world and the Church made him a great preacher, was licensed by
Innocent III. as a missionary. He converted thousands from wayward
lives, reclaimed lost women and founded a convent for them at Paris,
denounced the clergy without mercy, and struck at every evil in the
Church. His reformation, however, was lost in the crusading zeal and he
himself helped to preach the Fourth Crusade.[519:2]

Among the movements laying the foundations for the begging orders were
(1) the "Poor Men," or Arnoldists, who were founded in Italy after the
death of Arnold of Brescia[519:3]; (2) the "Poor Men of Lyons"[519:4];
and (3) the "Poor Catholics," who were founded by Duran de Husce, a
Spaniard and disciple of St. Dominic. These "Poor Catholics" based their
organisation on poverty and self-abnegation, sought to convert heretics,
and were approved by Innocent III. although fought by the clergy. They
appear to have been lost in the forcible effort to exterminate
heresy.[519:5] (4) The Beghards and Beguins were founded in the
Netherlands about 1180. At first companies of women were formed in the
Belgian cities to care for the sick, to perform other acts of charity,
and to aid the widows and orphans of the Crusaders. They lived together
in a common house, led a pious life according to a few simple rules,
but took no vows. They were called Beguins. Early in the thirteenth
century similar companies of men were formed and called Beghards.
Members could leave the order at will, marry or enter any occupation
after leaving. These orders had their own little houses, each one
distinct in its organisation, which were frequently endowed by rich
burghers. The inmates were also given to hand labour and did not neglect
education, although their chief work was soul saving and charity. They
spread rapidly from the Netherlands to Germany, to France, to Italy, and
to Bohemia and Poland. As these associations increased, their members
began to wander through the countries, begging and performing acts of
mercy. After the middle of the thirteenth century, charges of heresy
were made against them and they were persecuted by the Church.[520:1]
(5) The Carmelites, one of the mendicant orders, according to its
legendary history was founded by Elijah on Mount Carmel. The first
disciples were Jonah, Micah, and Obadiah; and the wife of Obadiah was
the first abbess. Even Pythagoras, Mary, and Jesus were considered
members. The real origin, however, seems to lie in the fact that Phocas,
a Greek monk from Patmos, in 1185 saw the ruins of a monastery on Mount
Carmel and there an association of hermits was formed. The Patriarch of
Jerusalem in 1209 gave the association a rule and in 1224 this rule was
confirmed by Honorius III. The order played an active part during the
Crusades until 1238, when it was removed to Sicily and later to England
and France, where it followed the custom and became a mendicant order in

The founder of the Dominicans, or Black Friars, was Dominic de Guzman,
born in 1170 in old Castile of noble ancestry. Many miraculous tales
were told about his mother and his infancy.[521:1] At the age of seven
he was given over to his uncle, who was archpresbyter at Gumyel de Ycan.
At the age of fourteen he entered the University of Palencia,[521:2]
where he remained ten years as a "laborious, devout, abstemious"
student. Theology was his chief subject and he became a distinguished
theologian. While a student, it was said that he sold his clothes to
feed the poor in a time of famine, and on another occasion he offered to
redeem a sad woman's brother from slavery by taking his place. At the
age of twenty-four (1194), after having studied ten years at the
University, he became a canon of the Bishop of Osma, where he helped to
introduce the rules of St. Augustine. Soon he was made sub-prior of the
chapter, became very active in ecclesiastical affairs, excelled in
asceticism, which was inspired no doubt by reading Cassian's famous work
on monasticism, and became a zealous and eloquent missionary among the
Mohammedans and Jews of the neighbourhood.

In 1203 he went with the Bishop of Osma to southern France to secure a
bride for the King's son. In this diplomatic venture they were
successful, but the bride died before she could go to Spain. Here it was
that Dominic got his first view of the aggressive Albigensian
heretics.[521:3] From southern France he accompanied the Bishop of Osma
to Rome, where the bishop begged Innocent III. to permit him to go as a
missionary to the Huns, or the Saracens, but the request was refused.
The task of converting the heretics of southern France had been
intrusted to the Cistercians, but they had utterly failed to accomplish
it. As Dominic and the bishop were returning to France, they met at
Montpellier three of these Cistercian abbots, who had been sent out by
the Pope to superintend the duties intrusted to their order. The pomp
and splendour of the abbots called forth this bold rebuke from Dominic:
"It is not by the display of pomp and power, cavalcades of retainers and
richly houseled palfreys, nor by gorgeous apparel, that the heretics win
proselytes; it is by zealous preaching, by apostolic humility, by
austerity and seeming holiness. Zeal must be met by zeal, humility by
humility, false sanctity by real sanctity, preaching falsehood by
preaching truth."[522:1] The abbots were advised to send out for the
great work men who were imbued with apostolic poverty and zeal. The
abbots accepted the advice and joined Dominic and his companion in their
new conception of missionary work, but apparently their labours were
checked in 1208 by the crusade waged against the Albigenses.

During the efforts to exterminate these revolters against the faith and
authority of Rome, there are two accounts of the activity of
Dominic,--first, that that he was a fiery leader of the crusading
parties, and, secondly, that he strongly denounced the war. The
probability seems to be that he lived quietly in his monastery at
Prouille endeavouring to convert the heretics without taking part in
the war.[523:1] Whatever the fact may have been however, so far as the
historical sources go, for the next eight years his life is a blank. No
doubt he was wisely planning for the future. In 1206 the Bishop of
Toulouse presented "to Dominic of Osma the church of St. Mary's of
Prouille and the adjacent land to the extent of thirty feet" for the use
of his women converts, who at first were nine noble ladies for whom he
drew up a monastic rule. The convent soon became wealthy and
influential. At the close of the war in 1214 Dominic, now forty-four
years old, had made but little progress. His converts were few, his
influence small, but the seeds were being sowed which would return a
rich harvest. His character at this time reveals a man of earnest,
resolute purpose; of deep, unalterable conviction; full of burning
faith; kind of heart and ever cheerful; of winning manner and charitable
beyond reason; yet given to scourgings and vigils till nature was nearly

Through the gift of Peter Cella, a rich man of Toulouse, Dominic founded
in 1214 the monastery of St. Rouen near Toulouse which was the home of
the Inquisition for over a hundred years. There he gathered some devout
souls about him and they began to live like monks. The Bishop of
Toulouse gave them one sixth of the tithes for their work. This was the
beginning of the great Dominican order. The next step was to get papal
sanction for the new organisation and for this purpose Dominic went with
the Bishop of Toulouse to Rome. Innocent III., won through a
dream,[524:1] consented to sanction the order provided some known rule
should be adopted. Consequently Dominic organised his monks according to
the canons regular of St. Augustine, which was Dominic's own order. That
rule, however, was almost immediately modified to meet the boundless
plans and scope of the work which held Dominic captive. A grand master
was put at the head of the order as absolute ruler and under him were
provincial priors, elected during good behaviour. The friars were held
to implicit obedience, as soldiers of Christ, but poverty was not at
first a part of the rule. It was adopted only after the Franciscans had
made it so attractive (1220). At stated times general and provincial
assemblies were to be held to further the prosperity of the order.

Dominic now wisely took up his residence at Rome, where he was made
court preacher, lived in the papal palace, and guided the activities of
his new order. Honorius III. in 1216 sanctioned the needed changes in
the rule, authorised the monks to preach and hear confessions
everywhere, and took the order under his special protection.[524:2]
Dominic's little band of sixteen followers--among whom were an
Englishman, a German, and some Spaniards--were sent out into the world
to begin the strenuous life of service. Laymen and ecclesiastics of all
ranks hastened to join the order. When the second general assembly was
held at Bologna in 1221 there were present representatives from sixty
convents and eight provinces, representing Spain, France, England,
Hungary, Poland, and Italy. This same year a secular organisation for
both men and women called "The Soldiers of Jesus Christ" was organised
to convert the laymen, to fight heretics, and to win unbelievers. The
members had a distinct dress and special rites and services.[525:1]
Dominic died in a monastery at Bologna in 1221 and twelve years later
was canonised.

A new constitution was adopted by the Dominicans in 1228 and revised and
completed in 1241 and 1252. Members of the order devoted themselves
exclusively to preaching, soul saving, fighting heresy, and in educating
the people in the true faith. From the schools founded by the order came
most of their recruits. They were the model preachers of the Middle Ages
and the keenest theologians of the day, producing such men as Peter
Lombard and Thomas Aquinas. Among their numbers were found popes,
cardinals, and famous doctors. The first Dominican to wear the papal
tiara was Innocent V. in 1276, and he was succeeded by three others. The
first cardinal to be chosen from their ranks was Hugh of Vienne in 1243,
and he was followed by fifty-nine more. Among the famous doctors of the
order were Albertus Magnus, Meister Echart, Johan Tauler, Henry Suso,
Savonarola, Las Casas, and Vincent Ferrier. The Dominicans could boast
of more than eight hundred bishops, one hundred and fifty archbishops,
and the number of martyrs belonging to their order between 1234 and 1334
was thirteen thousand three hundred and seventy. So influential did they
become and so dangerous to the prerogatives of the clergy[525:2] that
Innocent IV. (1254), Boniface VIII. (1300), and Clement VIII. (1311)
were forced to curtail their privileges. In 1228 the first Dominican
monk occupied a chair in the University of Paris and in 1230 another was
added and from this time on they attempted to monopolise learning in the
University. Scholasticism was largely the product of their minds. They
were very active in missionary work and in 1245 they were sent to the
Tartars by Innocent IV.; in 1249 to Persia by Louis IX.; in 1272 to
China by Gregory X.; and they laboured among the Jews and Saracens
in Spain, and in Poland, Denmark, Sweden, and Russia. They built
monasteries and churches; and art and architecture are deeply indebted
to them for many of the finest specimens produced in Europe.[526:1] The
history of theology, philosophy, and science until the Renaissance and
Reformation is little more than a petty controversial rivalry between
them and the Franciscans.

The founder of the Franciscans, or Minorites, or Grey Friars, was
Francis of Assisi. He was born in 1182 at Assisi of a rich mercantile
family. He received a little learning from the parish priest, but
manifested no love for school instruction. He knew Latin and learned
some French while with his father on business in France. It was early
determined that he should be educated for business. Reports concerning
his early character show that he was cheerful and kind-hearted, careless
and indifferent to work, vain and fond of fine clothes, prone to join
comrades in dissipating carousals, and too fond of squandering his
father's money in banquets for his friends.[526:2]

At the age of twenty Francis joined a war party against Perugia. He was
taken captive and held for a year in prison and this seemed to sober him
somewhat. Two serious illnesses led him to change his life and a series
of visions determined his conduct (1208). He boldly and suddenly
deserted his worldly companions and started out passionately on the path
of self-denial. He was now twenty-six years of age. He declared that
poverty should be his bride, and resolved to go to Rome to throw all his
possessions on the altar of St. Peter. Upon his return journey he joined
a gang of beggars and exchanged his clothes for the filthiest rags among
them. Next he appropriated a quantity of his father's goods and sold
them, together with the horse, to restore the church of St. Damiani.
Then he hid a month in a cave and when he returned looking wild and
haggard he was hooted and stoned in the streets. His father, alarmed and
angered at his acts called him before the Bishop to force him to give up
his patrimony. Francis stripped off all his clothing but his hair shirt
and the Bishop covered him with an old cloak. Surrendering his
inheritance and even his very clothing to his father he exclaimed:
"Peter Bernardone was my father; I now have but one father, He that is
in heaven." This was the keynote of his whole life.[527:1] From now
henceforth he was consecrated to mendicancy, wandered about in a
hermit's attire, devoted himself to the lepers, helped restore with his
own hands four ruined churches, and resolved to work out his own
salvation in loving service for the weak and needy--an evidence of his
genuine conversion and a thing radically different from the Christianity
of that period. One day in February, 1209, the text rang in his ears:
"Provide neither gold nor silver nor brass in your purses, neither scrip
for your journey, neither two coats nor shoes nor staff, for the
labourer is worthy of his hire."[528:1] These strong words, coming from
the priest who was celebrating mass in one of the little churches which
Francis had helped to rebuild, pierced him like a revelation. "This is
what I want," he cried; "this is what I was seeking; from this day forth
I shall set myself with all my strength to put it in practice."
Accordingly he threw away his wallet, staff, and shoes, and put on a
rough grey tunic of coarse woollen cloth, girt by a hempen cord, and
went barefooted through the land preaching repentance.[528:2] He lived
now as a follower of the living Jesus,--"like the birds of the
air,"--and his childish simplicity and radiating face made him beloved
by the poor and a comfort to the troubled and sick.[528:3]

Francis did not have in mind at first the institution of a brotherhood;
his ideal was rather the solitary ascetic preaching repentance to a
world of sin, and his strange, fervoured piety soon made him famous in
the neighbourhood of Assisi. Gradually kindred spirits joined him and
begged to share his mission. Bernard of Quintavalle was the first to ask
to be associated with him, and in order to learn God's will Francis
opened the Bible at random and read Matthew xix., 21; vi., 8; xvi., 24.
Others came until his disciples numbered eight. He received them and put
them under vows of poverty and preaching. The time had now come to
evangelise the world. These disciples were sent out in pairs to the four
points of the compass, with these words:

     Go and preach two by two. Preach peace and patience; tend the
     wounded and relieve the distressed; reclaim the erring; bless
     them which persecute you and pray for them that despitefully
     use you. Fear not because you are small and seem foolish. Have
     confidence in the Lord who has vanquished the world. Some will
     receive you and many proud will resist you. Bear all with
     sweetness and patience. Soon the wise and noble will be with
     us. The Lord hath given me to see this--I have in my ears the
     sounds of the languages of all peoples who will come to
     us--French, Spanish, German and English. The Lord will make us
     a great people even to the end of the earth.

Upon their reuniting, four more were added to their number and Francis
gave them a rule of which poverty was the basic principle and chastity
and obedience were necessary requirements.

Papal confirmation was the next step. This Francis sought in 1210 from
Innocent III. in a friendly interview at Rome.[529:1] The Pope in doubt
submitted the question to the cardinals and it was carried in favour of
Francis. His rule was approved orally and the members thus came under
the spiritual authority of Rome and were authorised to receive the
tonsure and to preach the word of God. A second rule less severe than
the first was drawn up and approved by Honorius III. in 1223, and it
remained the unaltered constitution of the Franciscan order.[529:2] The
organisation according to this rule provided for a General Minister at
the head, provincial ministers, and brethren, or minorities. Applicants
were required to sell all their possessions for the poor, to promise to
live according to the gospel, and to take the absolute vows of chastity,
obedience, and poverty. Each monk was to have two gowns of vile cloth
which were to be patched as long as possible. No shoes were to be worn
except when absolutely necessary. All but the sick had to walk. No money
could be received save for the poor and the needy. All who were able
were compelled to labour and thus earn their food and clothing.
"Brethren," said Francis, "know that poverty is the special path of
salvation, the inciter to humility, and the root of perfection."[530:1]
A very simple ritual with one daily mass and but little music was

Francis sent his disciples out over the whole world to preach his
gospel, while he continued the simplicity of his earlier life, living in
a little hut with a ground floor, preaching to and converting whole
multitudes who came to hear and to see him, and continuing his acts of
mercy and love. He founded a convent of women called the "Clarisses" or
"Poor Clares," who became almost as famous as the "Poor
Brothers."[530:2] In 1221 he established the "Brothers and Sisters of
Penitence," a lay order whose members, though living under a rule,
retained their social position and employments, but bound themselves to
abstain from all worldly dissipations like dancing, theatre-going, and
secular festivals, and to live godly lives.[530:3] This was a very
sensible arrangement because by it Francis enlisted all classes in
sympathetic co-operation.[530:4] Impelled by missionary zeal Francis
journeyed not only throughout Italy but to Illyria, Spain, and with
twelve brethren even went to the distant Holy Land, where he not only
converted thousands to Christianity, but even attempted to win the
Sultan himself. Failing in this he returned to Italy.[531:1] In his
relations with Rome Francis was the truest son of the Church and formed
an army trained in piety and absolute obedience which the Pope used
later to great advantage. For himself, however, he demanded freedom to
live and to act after his own heart. His life was spared to see his
order cover the world, but at length worn out by his labours and
consuming zeal he died in 1226 naked and in poverty.[531:2] After his
death it is said that the five wounds of the Saviour, called the
"stigmata," were found on his body.[531:3] He was canonised in 1228 by
Gregory IX.

Few persons in the world's history have stamped their character and
influence upon their age in a more marked manner than did St. Francis.
His life is hallowed by countless miracles and it is not always easy to
separate myth from truth. But a careful study of his career reveals the
fact that he felt the unity of the universe in God and preached it to
man in love and charity as a genuine religious philosopher. With an
unparalleled ardour and spiritual industry, he taught every one that the
salvation of a human soul comes through self-sacrifice. He and his
followers aimed to realise the simplicity of Christ and his apostles.
"No human creature since Christ has more fully incarnated the ideal of
Christianity than Francis."[531:4] His chief happiness was in
ministering to the needs of his fellow creatures. "The perfection of
gladness," he said "consists not in working miracles, in curing the
sick, expelling devils, or raising the dead; nor in learning and
knowledge of all things; nor in eloquence to convert the world, but in
bearing all ills and injuries and injustices and despiteful treatment
with patience and humility." Through his insane, extravagant asceticism
there shines forth a patience, humility, and depth of love necessary to
oppose the pride and cruelty of his age. He inculcated the gospel of
cheerfulness and declared that gloom and sadness were the deadly weapons
of Satan. He had a poetic soul, was passionately fond of animals and
flowers--called them his brothers and sisters--and preached some
beautiful sermons to the trees, the fish in the streams, the
birds,[532:1] and the posies. He wrote some rugged and touching
verse--"The first broken utterances of a new voice which was soon to
fill the world."[532:2] "Of all saints St. Francis was the most
blameless and gentle. Francis was emphatically the saint of the people,
of a poetic people, like the Italians."[532:3] In many ways he was the
forerunner of Dante. In prayer, in picture, and in song, the worship of
St. Francis vied with that of Jesus. In story and legend he soon
outstripped Christ.

It was in 1219 that St. Francis sent his disciples out to evangelise the
world. Those who went to Germany and Hungary were regarded as heretics
and roughly treated. In France at first they were mistaken for Cathari
and an appeal was made to the Pope concerning them. Five suffered
martyrdom in Morocco. They soon spread to all parts of the world and
many of them perished as martyrs in the cause they had espoused. When
St. Francis held his first chapter in 1221 three thousand members[533:1]
were present and Provincial Masters had been appointed in all European
countries. In 1260 there were thirty-three provinces, one hundred
eighty-two guardianships, eight thousand monasteries and two hundred
thousand friars. The order has produced five Popes and many cardinals,
bishops, theologians, writers, and poets.

A comparison of the two founders and their orders reveals some
interesting facts. Both leaders were born about the same time, St.
Dominic being the older by twelve years. Both were of Romance
origin--one of noble, the other of ignoble birth. The early life of each
was wholly dissimilar in disposition, education, and relation to the
Church. The causes operating to make them reformers were very different.
St. Dominic dreamed of an aggressive, skilfully-trained body of
preachers of simple life to convert the heretics and to instruct the
orthodox, thus keeping them firm. St. Francis on the other hand made
poverty the first Christian grace and sought to lead all men back to
Jesus as the great model. One laboured for doctrinal orthodoxy, the
other for personal piety. Both applied to Innocent III. about the same
time for a permit to found a new order and both were successful. Each
order in its purpose was reformatory and in the monastic world
revolutionary.[533:2] In organisation the two orders were essentially
the same: each had a governor-general at Rome, provincial governors in
the provinces, priors or guardians over single cloisters, which were
simply "homes" and not convents in the old sense and demanded a certain
type of life for the members. The vows were essentially the same,
although the Franciscans originated and the Dominicans adopted that of
poverty. Both orders devoted themselves to preaching and to saving

Education, art, morality, and religion of the later Middle Ages were in
a large measure moulded by the influence of these two organisations.
Both had great scholars, preachers, teachers, higher clergy, and popes.

     Whenever in the thirteenth century we find a man towering
     above his fellows, we are almost sure to trace him to one of
     the mendicant orders. Raymond of Pennaforte, Alexander Hales,
     Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventura, Roger Bacon, and
     Duns Scotus are names which show how irresistibly the men of
     highest gifts were glad to seek among the Dominicans or
     Franciscans their ideal life.[534:1]

The Franciscans were realists and Scottists; the Dominicans, nominalists
and Thomists. The Franciscans believed in the immaculate conception; the
Dominicans denied it. Both came into conflict with the secular clergy.
They could not say mass, but were very popular confessors and thus
tended to deprive the clergy of support and revenues and even threatened
to supersede the old ecclesiastical system. Women and the pious as a
rule upheld the begging orders, while the state, the soldiers, and the
men took the part of the clergy. In both, the individual was compelled
to remain poor, while the society became dangerously rich. The
Dominicans were aristocratic; the Franciscans democratic.

Each order borrowed something from the other: St. Francis took St.
Dominic's idea of itinerant preachers; St. Dominic adopted St. Francis's
plan of poverty. Both became quickly popular and both had exemptions and
privileges showered upon them by Rome.[535:1] Their members could not be
excommunicated by any bishop and were exempt from all local jurisdiction
save that of their own order.[535:2] They had a right to live freely in
excommunicated lands. Being directly responsible to the Pope alone, they
were used by him to raise money, to preach crusades, to sell
indulgences, to execute excommunications, to serve as spies and secret
police, and to act as papal legates on all kinds of missions. In
addition to practically usurping and monopolising the functions of
preaching and confession and granting absolution, they were finally
permitted to celebrate mass on portable altars.[535:3] In return for
these privileges each order gave the Pope a vast army which overran
Europe in his name. Both orders helped to carry on the work of the
Inquisition.[535:4] Both laboured incessantly in the missionary field
and from the thirteenth century onward they were the great missionary
pioneers in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. Both had a tertiary order
of laymen which went far to remove the barrier between the ecclesiastic
and the people. From this comparison it will be seen that the
Franciscans and Dominicans were much more alike than unlike in their
origin, leaders, aims, methods, and results. After the thirteenth
century both departed from their original ideals, became corrupt,
worldly, and very unpopular.

A third begging order was created in 1243, when Pope Innocent IV.
authorised the organisation of a band of Italian monks under the rule of
St. Augustine. Lanfranc Septala of Milan was made general of the order
and provincial rulers were appointed for Italy, Spain, France, and
Germany. Under Alexander IV. in 1256 they assumed the rights and duties
of a mendicant order and in 1287 they were taken under the particular
protection of the Pope. They soon spread rapidly over western Europe and
by the fifteenth century covered forty-two provinces, had two thousand
monasteries, and thirty thousand monks. It was this order which young
Martin Luther entered in 1505 at Erfurt.

No better summary of the general results of the begging orders has ever
been made than that of Lea when he says:

     The Mendicants came upon Christendom like a revelation--men
     who had abandoned all that was enticing in life to imitate the
     Apostles, to convert the sinner and unbeliever, to arouse the
     slumbering sense of mankind, to instruct the ignorant, to
     offer salvation to all; in short to do what the Church was
     paid so enormously in wealth and privileges and power for
     neglecting. Wandering on foot over the face of Europe, under
     burning suns or chilling blasts, rejecting alms in money but
     receiving thankfully whatever coarse food might be set before
     the wayfarer, or enduring hunger in silent resignation, taking
     no thought for the morrow, but busied eternally in the work of
     snatching souls from Satan, and lifting men up from the sordid
     cares of daily life, of ministering to their infirmities and
     of bringing to their darkened souls a glimpse of heavenly
     light--such was the aspect in which the earliest Dominicans
     and Franciscans presented themselves to the eyes of men who
     had been accustomed to see in the ecclesiastic only the
     sensual worldling intent solely upon the indulgence of his

            *       *       *       *       *

     In the busy world of the 13th century there was then no agency
     more active than that of the Mendicant Orders, for good and
     for evil. On the whole perhaps the good preponderated, for
     they undoubtedly aided in postponing a revolution for which
     the world was not yet ready. Though the self-abnegation of
     their earlier days was a quality too rare and perishable to be
     long preserved, and though they soon sank to the level of the
     social order around them, yet their work had not been
     altogether lost.[537:2]

The degeneration which soon crept into both orders was not allowed to
increase without efforts of reformation. Within fifty years after the
death of St. Francis, Bonaventura, the governor-general who succeeded
him, complained that the vow of poverty had broken down, that the
Franciscans were more entangled in money matters than the older orders
and that vast sums were lavished on costly buildings. He declared that
the friars were idle, lazy beggars given to vice and so brazen that they
were feared as much as highway robbers. He said further that they made
undesirable acquaintances and thus gave rise to grave scandals, and that
they were too greedy of burial and legacy fees and thus encroached upon
the parochial clergy. St. Francis himself had been compelled to resign
his generalship on account of the abuses and offered to resume it only
on condition of reformation.[537:3] The second general, Elias, the
shrewdest politician in Italy, was removed by Pope Gregory IX. It was
high time therefore that a high-minded reformer like Bonaventura
appeared, for by a series of steps the Franciscans changed from a body
of pietists to a band of the boldest swindlers. As preaching and
soul-saving died out, the begging propensities were developed. As early
as 1233 Gregory IX. told the Dominicans that their poverty should be
genuine and not hypocritical.[538:1] The wide use of the friars by the
Pope for political purposes still further diverted them from their
spiritual functions and tended to make them worldly.

As a result the Franciscans soon broke into two parties: (1) The
liberals who were not averse to dropping the vow of poverty and
imitating the older monastic orders were very strong. (2) The reform
party who desired to adhere rigidly to the preaching and practice of St.
Francis were probably a minority and were weakened by subdivisions. One
faction of the strict party was called Spirituales,[538:2] and in turn
was represented by the Cæsarins who revolted against the public activity
of Elias and were punished as rebels; the Celestines who were permitted
to exist as a separate order by Pope Celestine V. in 1294, and were
later denounced as heretics; the congregation of Narbonne which was
formed in 1282; the Clarenins who were accused of heresy in 1318; and
the congregation of Philip of Nyarca which was formed in 1308. A second
reform element within the rigid party were the Fratricelli, authorised
by Celestine V., who became revolutionists, repudiated the Papacy, left
the Church, joined the Beghards, thought that they were possessed with
the Holy Spirit and were exempt from sin, and repudiated the sacraments
of the Church. They were condemned as heretics and the Inquisition was
turned against them in Italy, Sicily, and southern France, but they
lasted until the Reformation. Later reform factions among the
Franciscans were the Capuchins (1526), Minims (1453), Observants (1415),
and Recollects. These internal reformers failed to change the order
because the rule of St. Francis was utterly incompatible with social
life in any form.

For three centuries the Franciscans and Dominicans practically ruled the
Church and state. They filled the highest civil ecclesiastical
positions; they taught authoritatively in the universities and churches;
they maintained the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiffs against kings,
bishops, and heretics; and they were to the Church before the
Reformation what the Jesuits were after the Reformation. The Mendicants
increased so rapidly however that they soon became a burden to the
Church and the people. Hence in 1272 Gregory X. in the Council of Lyons
suppressed the "extravagant multitude" by reducing them to four orders:
the Dominicans, the Franciscans, the Carmelites, and the Augustinians.



   1.--Gerard de Frachet, _Lives of the Brethren_.

   2.--Eales, S. J., _Letters of St. Bernard_. Lond., 1888.

   3.--Bonaventura, _The Life of St. Francis of Assisi_. Lond.,

   4.--Brewer and Howlett, _Monumenta Franciscana_.

   5.--Eccleston, _Arrival of the Friars in England_. Ed. by Brewer
          and Howlett in _Pub. Rolls Ser._, 1882.

   6.--_Legend of St. Francis by the Three Companions._ Tr. by E.
          G. Salter. Lond., 1902.

   7.--Brother Leo of Assisi, _S. Francis of Assisi, Mirror of
          Perfection_. Tr. by S. Evans. Lond., 1898.

   8.--_The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi._ Tr. by T. W.
          Arnold. Lond., 1898. Several other translations.

   9.--_Legends of St. Francis._ Cath. Penny Lib. Lond., 1901.

  10.--_Manual of the Third Order of St. Francis._

  11.--_Third Order._ Tr. by J. G. Adderley and C. L. Marson.
          Lond., 1902.

  12.--Parenti, P., _Commercium or My Lady's Poverty_. Tr. by

  13.--The Franciscan Fathers, _Spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, or
          Maxims for Every Day in the Year_. Dub., 1888.

  14.--_Works of the Seraphic Father, St. Francis of Assisi._ Tr.
          by a Religious of the Order. Lond., 1890.

  15.--Brother Leo of Assisi, _The Mirror of Perfection_. Tr. by
          Countess De La Warr. Lond., 1902.

  16.--Robinson, _Readings in European History_, i., 387, 391, 392.

  17.--Thatcher and McNeal, _A Source-Book for Mediæval History_,
          498, 504, 508.

  18.--Ogg, A. F., _The Source-Book of Mediæval Europe_. N. Y.,




     1.--Alemany, T., _Life of St. Dominic with a Sketch of the
          Dominican Order_. N. Y., 1887.

     2.--Drane, A. T., _The Spirit of the Dominican Order_. Lond.,
          1896. _The History of St. Dominic._ Lond., 1891. _The
          Life of St. Dominic._ Lond., 1891.

     3.--Guirand, J., _Saint Dominic_. Tr. by Kath. de Mattos.
          Lond., 1901.

     4.--Herkless, J., _Francis and Dominic and the Mendicant
          Orders_. Lond., 1901.

     5.--Fletcher, W. D. G., _The Black Friars of Oxford_. Oxf.,

     6.--Lacordaire, H. D., _Life of Saint Dominic._ Lond., 1883.

     7.--_Short Lives of Dominican Saints._ Lond., 1901.


     1.--Adderley, J., _Francis, the Little Poor Man of Assisi_.
          Lond., 1600. Has Rule of St. Francis.

     2.--Baring-Gould, _Lives of the Saints_.

     3.--De Chérancé, F. L., _Saint Francis of Assisi_. Tr. by R.
          F. O'Connor. Lond., 1880.

     4.--Cotton, A. L., _A Sketch of the Life of St. Francis of
          Assisi_. Lond., 1885.

     5.--Douglass, Cap., _Brother Francis, or Less than the Least_.
          Lond., 1901.

     6.--Faber, F. W., _The Life of St. Francis of Assisi_. 2 vols.
          Lond., 1853-4.

     7.--Lear, H. L. S., _Life of Francis of Assisi_. N. Y., 1888.

     8.--Leon, Father, _Lives of the Saints and Blessed of the
          Three Orders of St. Francis_. 5 vols. Taunton, 1885-8.

     9.--_The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi; and a Sketch of the
          Franciscan Order_, by a Religious of the Order. N. Y.,

    10.--Little, W. J. K., _St. Francis of Assisi, his Times, Life
          and Work_. Lond., 1897.

    11.--Luther, M., _Preface to a Book of Selections from the
          Legends of St. Francis_. Brighton, 1845.

    12.--Le Monnier, Abbe Leon, _History of St. Francis of Assisi_.
          Tr. by a Franciscan Tertiary. Lond., 1894.

    13.--Muzzy, D. S., _The Spiritual Franciscans_. Wash., 1907.

    14.--Oesterley, W. O. E., _St. Francis of Assisi_. Lond., 1901.

    15.--Oliphant, Mrs. M. O., _Francis of Assisi_. Lond., 1870.

    16.--Sabatier, P., _Life of St. Francis of Assisi_. Tr. by
          Louise S. Houghton. N. Y., 1894.

    17.--Westlake, N. H. J., _On the Authentic Portraiture of S.
          Francis of Assisi_. Lond., 1897.

    18.--Vernet, Abbe Felix, _The Inner Life of St. Francis of
          Assisi_. Tr. by Father Stanislaus. Lond., 1900.


     1.--Browne, E. G. K., _Monastic Legends_. Lond.

     2.--Brown, J. B., _Stoics and Saints_. Glasg., 1893.

     3.--Butler, _Lives of the Saints_.

     4.--Day, S. P., _Monastic Institutions_. Lond., 1865.

     5.--Fosbroke, T. D., _British Monachism_.

     6.--Fox, S., _Monks and Monasticism_. Lond., 1848.

     7.--Gasquet, F. A., _Notes on Mediæval Monastic Libraries_.
          Yevil, 1891. _Sketches of Mediæval Monastic Life_. Yevil,

     8.--Griffin, _Grandmont; Stories of an Old Monastery_. N. Y.,

     9.--Harnack, A., _Monasticism: Its Ideals and Its History_.
          Lond., 1901.

    10.--Hill, O. T., _English Monasticism_. Lond., 1867.

    11.--Jameson, Mrs. A., _Legends of the Monastic Orders_. Lond.,

    12.--Jessopp, A., _The Coming of the Friars_. N. Y., 1889.

    13.--Lea, H. C., _History of the Inquisition_. 3 vols. _History
          of Sacerdotal Celibacy_. Phil., 1884. 3d ed. 2 vols. N.
          Y., 1907.

    14.--Maclear, _History of Christian Missions in the Middle

    15.--Montalembert, Count de, _Monks of the West_. 7 vols.
          Lond., 1861-7.

    16.--Wishart, A. D., _Short History of Monks and Monasticism_.
          N. Y., 1900.


    Alzog, ii., 507-522. Adams, _Med. Civ._, 401. Cutts. Darras,
    ii., 121 _ff._; iii., 337 _ff._ Döllinger, ch. 23-24. Fisher,
    pd. 6, ch. 6. Fitzgerald, ii., 54-106. Foulkes, 398. Gieseler,
    § 67-72. Gilmartin, i., ch. 45; ii., ch. 9-10, 11-13, 14.
    Hase, sec. 204-211. Hore, ch. 14. Hurst, i., 805 _ff._
    Jennings, ii., ch. 12-13. Kurtz, ii., 64-67. Milman, v., bk.
    9, ch. 9-10. Moeller, ii., 404 _ff._ Neander, pd. 5, sec. 2,
    pt. 5, 268 _ff._ Robertson, bk. 5, ch. 7, 13. Tout, ch. 9, 18.
    Workman, ch. 7-8.


[510:1] See Ch. XI.

[510:2] See Ch. XVIII.

[510:3] Migne, vol. 204, pp. 1005-1046.

[511:1] Milman, _Lat. Christ._, bk. viii., ch. 4.

[511:2] Mabillon, _Life and Letters_, 2 vols.; Ogg, § 43, 44.

[511:3] Storrs, _Bernard of Clairvaux_; Eales, _St. Bernard_; Eales,
_The Works of St. Bernard_, 4 vols. See Chap. XX.

[512:1] _Dict. of Nat. Biog._

[513:1] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 266. Privileges granted by Anastasius
IV. in 1154.

[513:2] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 265a.

[515:1] Lea, _Hist. of Sacer. Celib._

[516:1] Lea, _Hist. of the Inq._, i., 39, 53, 54.

[516:2] _Ibid._, i., 70.

[516:3] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 267.

[516:4] Lea, _Hist. of the Inq._, i., 35.

[517:1] Lea, _Hist. of the Inq._, i., 36, 37.

[517:2] _Ibid._, i., 37, 38.

[517:3] _Ibid._, i., 34.

[517:4] _Ibid._, i., 268.

[518:1] Sabatier, 28 _ff._

[518:2] _Mon. Ger._, xx., 537; Jaffé, i., 404; Hausrath, _Arnold of
Brescia_; Franke, _Arnold of Brescia_; Gregorovius, _Rome in M. A._

[519:1] Migne, 193, 194; _Mon. Ger._, iii., 131-525; Wattenbach,
_Geschichtsquellen_, ii., 308, 520.

[519:2] Lea, _Hist. of the Inq._, i., 244.

[519:3] _Ibid._, i., 75.

[519:4] See Chap. XVIII.

[519:5] Lea, _Hist. of the Inq._, i., 246.

[520:1] Mosheim, _The Beghards and Beguins_. In 1311 Clement V.
suppressed both orders.

[521:1] Milman, _Lat. Christ._, bk. ix., 250. See Drane, _Hist. of St.
Dominic_, Lond., 1891, who narrates all these legends as true.

[521:2] Afterwards transferred to Salamanca.

[521:3] It is related that at Toulouse, Dominic's host was an
Albigensian and that the young religious enthusiast spent the night in
converting him.

[522:1] Milman, _Lat. Christ._, bk. ix., 242.

[523:1] The Inquisition was not organised until 1215. See Drane, 109;
Lea, _Hist. of the Inq._, i., 300.

[523:2] Lea, _Hist. of the Inq._, i., 250.

[524:1] In the dream the Pope saw the great Roman Church about to fall
had not Dominic upheld it.

[524:2] Conway, _Frachet's Lives of the Brethren_.

[525:1] The "Soldiers of Jesus Christ" later became the "Order of
Penance" and is now known as "The Third Order." There are many editions
in English of the _Tertiary Daily Manual_.

[525:2] Moeller, ii., 412 _ff._

[526:1] Jameson, _Legends of Monastic Orders as Represented in the Fine

[526:2] Sabatier, 8.

[527:1] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 387.

[528:1] Matt. x., 7-10.

[528:2] Sabatier, 70.

[528:3] See Ogg, § 63.

[529:1] Matthew of Paris, ed. by Watson, 340.

[529:2] Henderson, _Hist. Docs._, 344; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 269.

[530:1] Lea, _Hist. of Inq._, vol. i., 264. See his curious prayer to

[530:2] Read the legend of St. Clara in Butler, _Lives of Saints_.

[530:3] Milman, iv., 270.

[530:4] Maclear, _Hist. of Christ. Missions in the M. A._, ch. 16.

[531:1] Milman, iv., 267.

[531:2] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 270; Robinson, _Readings_, i., 392;
Ogg, § 64, gives the will of St. Francis.

[531:3] See Sabatier, 443 _ff._, Hase, and other authorities.

[531:4] Lea, _Hist. of Inq._, i., 260. See Jessopp, _The Coming of the
Friars_, 47 _ff._

[532:1] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 391.

[532:2] Read his "Song of Creation" in Mrs. Oliphant's Biography.

[532:3] Milman, iv., 268, 269.

[533:1] Moeller, i., 405.

[533:2] Lea, _Hist. of Inq._, i., 273.

[534:1] Lea, _Hist. of Inq._, i., 266.

[535:1] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 271, 272, 273. _Cf._ No. 268.

[535:2] Lea, _Hist. of Inq._, i., 274.

[535:3] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 271, 272, 273.

[535:4] _Ibid._, 299.

[537:1] Lea, _Hist. of Inq._, i., 266.

[537:2] _Ibid._, i., 304.

[537:3] _Ibid._, 295.

[538:1] See letter of Innocent III., about monastic simony in 1211.
Thatcher and McNeal, No. 267.

[538:2] Muzzy, _The Spiritual Franciscans_.




I.--Antecedent preparation for this period. II.--Career of Innocent III.
up to 1198. III.--Innocent III.'s plans and ideals as Pope.
IV.--Condition of Europe at the close of the twelfth century.
V.--Innocent III. makes himself the political head of Europe.
VI.--Innocent III.'s efforts to root out heresy and reform the Church.
VII.--Innocent III.'s character and the general results of his
pontificate. VIII.--Sources.

Many antecedent forces prepared the way for the ascendency of the Church
under the greatest of all the Popes, Innocent III. The promulgation of
the Petrine theory and its development for many centuries afforded the
fundamental groundwork upon which the Church at its height was built.
The Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals furnished the constitutional basis for
the work of this master Pope and their most complete realisation
culminated under his rule. The Hildebrandine reformation, inspired by
the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, was largely attained under Innocent III.
The reorganisation of the College of Cardinals tended to purify papal
elections. The administrative reforms of Hildebrand restored order in
the Church and subjected the councils and clergy to the Pope. The moral
reforms attempted sought: (1) to enforce clerical celibacy and, although
a failure immediately, ultimately were successful; (2) to abolish
simony--a task that was left for the great Innocent; (3) and to
annihilate lay investiture which was partly successful in the Concordat
of Worms formed in 1122. Gregory VII. had sought also, to subject the
state to the Church. Some of his successors, notably Urban II., Pascal
II., Calixtus II., and Alexander III.,[545:1] strove valiantly to
realize this same purpose. The complete realisation of all these hopes,
however, was left for Innocent III.

Innocent III. was born in 1160 at Anagni and bore the name Lothario. He
was the fourth son of a rich noble Italian family named Conti.[545:2]
His father was Count Trasimundo of Segni and his mother belonged to the
noble Roman Scotti family which had given the Church nine Popes and
thirteen cardinals. It is not unreasonable to believe, therefore, that
the young Lothario inherited from his ancestors both a capacity and a
desire for an important position in the Church. His education was the
best obtainable at that day and was begun under the direction of two
cardinal uncles. He was sent to Rome to one of the schools attached to
all the churches and there received his elementary education and
likewise his preparation for the university. When properly qualified he
entered the University of Paris where he studied philosophy and theology
under the celebrated Peter of Corbeil. While there he probably visited
England in order to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Thomas à Becket.
From Paris he was sent to Bologna University where he studied civil law
and especially canon law, then a very popular subject. He mastered the
whole system of decretal lore and made it his guide for the rest of his
life. In 1181 he returned to Rome, a university graduate, only
twenty-one years of age, yet celebrated for his theological and legal

Everything pointed him toward a career in the Church--his character, his
birth as the youngest son of a noble, his family connections with the
Church, his education, and his natural inclination. It is no surprise,
consequently, to learn that upon his return to the Eternal City he was
made a canon of St. Peter's (1181). Gregory VIII. (1187), promoted him
to the office of subdeacon and Clement III. (1190), his maternal uncle,
made him cardinal-deacon. He now became the chief papal adviser, was a
recognised leader in the College of Cardinals, though only twenty-nine
years of age, and was generally known as a second Hildebrand. Upon the
election of Pope Celestine III. (1191-1198), the leader of a rival
party, the young churchman deserted practical church work and church
politics to devote himself to study and literary work. He wrote several
books of importance which reveal his deep and extensive culture, his
ascetic spirit resembling that of Hildebrand and Luther, his lofty
ideals of the Papacy, and his mediæval theology.[546:1]

Celestine III. died January 8, 1198, urging the cardinals to elect his
nephew John, Cardinal of St. Paul's, as his successor. But the sacred
college at once unanimously elected Cardinal Lothario, the youngest of
their number, only thirty-seven, as Pope and saluted him as Innocent
III. His ability and life had marked him out for several years as the
next occupant of St. Peter's See. Being only in deacon's orders he was
first advanced to the priesthood (Feb. 21) then consecrated bishop and
crowned Pope with an elaborate ceremony of installation (Feb.

Innocent III. came to the papal chair with a belief in man's utter
depravity and in the Pope's power to pardon all sin and to remit all
penances. After his election, but before coronation, he declared:

     As God . . . hath set in . . . the heavens two great lights,
     the greater to rule the day, the lesser to rule the night, so
     also hath He set up in His Church . . . two great powers: the
     greater to rule the day, that is the souls; the lesser to rule
     the night, that is the bodies of men. These powers are the
     pontifical and royal: but the moon, as being the lesser body,
     borroweth all her light from the sun both in the quantity and
     quality of the light she sends forth, as also in her position
     and functions in the heavens. . . . The royal power borrows
     all its dignity and splendour from the pontifical.[547:2]


     the Lord hath fashioned His Church after the model of the
     human body placing the Roman Church at the head, thereby
     subjecting, in obedience to himself and her, all churches as
     members of the one body . . . but the Church without the Pope
     were a body without a head.[547:3]

His whole policy was summed up in a remarkable consecration sermon from
Luke 12:42:

     Who is this steward? It is he to whom the Lord Omnipotent
     said, Thou are Peter, etc. This foundation cannot be shaken
     . . . for Christ himself is on board; . . . Christ is the rock
     upon which the Holy See is founded; . . . this chair is not
     established by man but by God alone. . . . Therefore I fear
     not, for I am that steward whom the Lord hath placed over His
     household to give them their meat in due season. . . .
     Therefore my desire is to serve, not to rule. . . . As the
     Lord's steward . . . I must be established in the faith. . . .
     But faith without works is dead. My works, therefore, must be
     wise as well as faithful. . . . The high-priest of the Old
     Testament was the type and pattern of the Pope. . . . I am he
     whom the Lord hath placed over His household; yet who am I
     that I should sit on high above kings and above all princes?
     For of me it is written in the prophets (Jer. 1:10): This
     steward is the viceroy of God, the successor of Peter; he that
     standeth in the midst between God and man. He is the judge of
     all, but is judged by no one . . . Now His Household is the
     whole church and this household is one . . . out of which, if
     anyone remain, he and all his shall surely perish in the

The germs of these ideas were found in the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals.
They were formulated by Hildebrand and it now became the passionate
purpose of Innocent III. to realise them in their entirety. To that end
he adopted Hildebrand's reform program to abolish abuses and corruptions
of all sorts, to enforce celibacy, to subject the clergy to the head of
the Church, and to make the Church supreme above the state.

The situation in Europe at the close of the twelfth century was such as
to aid Innocent in his great plans. The Crusades, now in progress for a
century, had aroused a terrific religious enthusiasm, enriched the
Church, increased the Pope's power, weakened rival secular authority,
and paved the way for the successful realisation of Hildebrand's ideals
by Innocent III. The Papacy was well established. Its dogmas were
expressed in canon law, its machinery was completed, and its right to
exist as a state resting upon a territorial basis was recognised. In the
Empire Henry VI. had died in 1197, Naples was ruled by a child, the
Guelphs and Ghibellines were at war in the Lombard cities and the whole
Empire was distracted and almost reduced to anarchy by the rival
claimants to the imperial throne. In France Philip Augustus, a
tyrannical ruler, ambitious to overthrow the English king, greedy to
swallow up the larger fiefs, was on the throne. He had divorced his
Danish wife and had remarried. At this time he was violently opposed by
both the nobles and the people. In Spain the lack of a strong central
power led to quarrelling among the rival kings and compelled the Pope to
interfere. In England the brutal, boisterous, immoral Richard I. died in
1199 and was succeeded by the tyrannical and feeble King John who was at
war with his own nobles. In the East the Slavic nations were ready to
accept Roman rule while the Eastern Empire was tottering and ready to
fall. In general parties in all countries were crying out to the Pope
for assistance. All Europe was ripe for just such a man as Innocent III.
with just such a policy.

The first step in Innocent's plan was to make himself the political head
of Europe. In Italy he first made himself absolute sovereign of Rome by
removing all vestiges of imperial rule. The senators and the prefect,
who held their commissions from the Emperor, were required to take oaths
to him as their sovereign.[549:1] The imperial judges were also
replaced by his own appointees. By persuasion or tactful diplomacy he
gained a mastery over the warring Roman nobles. From Rome he gradually
extended his sway over the rest of Italy. He was made regent of
Frederick II., the youthful son of Henry VI.,[550:1] now King of Sicily.
He forced the Tuscan cities to recognise his suzerainty[550:2] instead
of that of the German Emperor, and subdued the March of Ancona and the
Duchy of Spoleto.[550:3] He posed as the champion of Italian
independence and liberty against foreign rule. His leadership was
generally recognised and he was called "The Father of His Country."
"Innocent III. was the first Pope who claimed and exercised the rights
of an Italian Prince."[550:4] When Emperor Otto IV. ceded all the lands
claimed by the Papacy under grants from former rulers, an indisputable
title to the papal states was established.

In Germany, before the imperial throne was made vacant by the death of
Henry VI. (1197), the princes had been persuaded to choose his infant
son, Frederick, King of the Romans. But the election had been set aside,
and now the imperial crown was claimed by two rival claimants: Otto of
Brunswick and Philip of Hohenstaufen, a brother of Henry VI. The civil
war which ensued in Germany between these rival claimants gave Innocent
III. his opportunity. Both claimants appealed to the Pope, but Otto was
the more submissive. The Pope assumed the function of arbiter and issued
a famous bull favouring Otto.[550:5] Otto promised on oath protection
of the possessions and rights of the Roman Church, and obedience and
homage such as pious Emperors had formerly shown towards the Chair of
Peter (1201). Still victory did not come to Otto and the Pope, until
after ten years of civil strife followed by the assassination of Philip.
In 1208 Otto was coronated by Innocent in St. Peter's, Rome, but was
soon caught in deeds of treachery to the Pope and excommunicated and
deposed (1210), and died forgotten seven years later.

Frederick of Sicily was anxious to become King of Germany and also
Emperor. The Hohenstaufen party in Germany invited him to visit them and
in this Frederick was encouraged by Innocent III. Frederick made some
important concessions to the Holy See[551:1] (1213), was victorious in
Germany, and was crowned Emperor at Aachen after the Lateran Council in
1215. After a most remarkable career he died, however, a rebel against
the Church (1250). When death smote down Innocent III., he had created
two Emperors, he was recognised as lord paramount over the Empire, and
he ruled personally over a larger domain in the Empire than any
preceding Pope.

In France Philip Augustus had been excommunicated by Pope Celestine III.
(1196) for having divorced his wife, a Danish Princess in order to
marry, with the sanction of the French clergy, Mary, the daughter of the
Duke of Bohemia. Immediately after his election and before his
coronation, Innocent III. took up this case. He ordered Philip to put
away his concubine and to take back his lawful wife under the threat of
pronouncing his children bastards and of putting his land under an
interdict. Since the king turned a deaf ear to these demands, the Pope
excommunicated him, declared France under an interdict,[552:1] and
punished the French bishops. As a result Philip was compelled to submit,
and agreed to take back his wife and to restore confiscated Church
lands. This was a great and significant victory for the Pope.

In Spain the King of Leon had married a cousin contrary to canon law.
The Pope immediately annulled the marriage. The king refused at first to
give up his wife, but was forced to submission by excommunication.[552:2]
The Kings of Navarre and Castile were compelled to make peace and to
unite against the Saracens. Portugal was declared a fief of the Holy See
and the king was commanded to hurry up the payment of tribute.[552:3]
The King of Aragon was crowned by the Pope at Rome as a feudal

In England King John, who had succeeded Richard I. in 1199, had
embittered against him nobles, clergy, and common people by extortions
and tyrannical acts of all sorts. He aroused the wrath of Innocent III.
by making a treaty of peace with Philip Augustus of France, while
that ruler was still under the ban for repudiating his first wife
and marrying another. John had likewise boldly ousted the Bishop of
Limoges, confiscated his lands, and revived the Constitutions of
Clarendon.[552:5] Innocent III. immediately called John to account for
these misdemeanours[552:6] and forced the stubborn king to promise to
make a crusade to atone for his sins. The Pope demanded the immediate
reinstatement of the Bishop of Limoges in his office and lands.[553:1]
He treated the Constitutions of Clarendon as if they had been repealed
and waited for his opportunity to humble the haughty English ruler.

In 1205 (July 13), Hubert the Archbishop of Canterbury died. That same
night the monks of the Cathedral elected their sub-prior as archbishop
and hurried him off to Rome for papal confirmation. King John, backed by
the suffragan bishops of the diocese, appointed and invested the Bishop
of Norwich as archbishop and he also started for Rome to get the papal
sanction. Here was the opportunity for which Innocent III. was looking.
Both elections were declared void and the fifteen monks of Canterbury
were brought to Rome where they were forced to choose Cardinal Stephen
Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury.[553:2] The Pope consecrated Langton
to the new office and demanded King John's approval. John's rage was
unbounded. He impeached the monks for treason and expelled them from
England on pain of death. He confiscated the property of the see and the
chapter of Canterbury and told the Pope bluntly that he would never
permit the illegally elected stranger to set foot on English soil. The
Pope first threatened the king with an interdict, which merely produced
angry and obstinate counter threats from John, and then in 1208 actually
published the interdict.[553:3] The king retaliated by seizing Church
property, abusing the clergy, exiling the bishops, and confiscating the
estates of their relatives.

Determined to humble the stubborn monarch, Innocent III. in 1210
formally excommunicated John and deposed him from the kingship.[554:1]
The English crown was given to Philip II. of France who at once prepared
an army to invade England. At the same time John's followers deserted
him and in this desolation he was compelled to accept humiliating terms
of unconditional surrender.[554:2] He agreed to reinstate all prelates
to office and property; to pay a full indemnity to all laity and clergy,
eight thousand pounds being paid down as a guarantee; to make the Pope
arbiter about all sums of restitution; to give the Pope all right to
Church patronage in England; to reverse all outlawries; and to surrender
his crown and kingdoms of England and Ireland to the Pope and then to
receive them back as the sworn vassal of Rome, paying therefore the
annual sum of one thousand marks of silver.[554:3]

When the English barons wrested from the stubborn king the great Magna
Charta in 1215,[554:4] Pope Innocent III. championed the cause of the
king, his vassal, against the barons. He called a council, annulled the
Magna Charta, issued a manifesto against the barons, and ordered the
bishops to excommunicate them.[554:5] He suspended Archbishop Langton
from office for siding with the barons against the king and directly
appointed the Archbishop of York. At the same time Prince Louis
of France, who had invaded England with an army, was summarily
excommunicated for having entered a domain of the Holy See. As a result
of the Pope's policy King John of England became a suppliant vassal of
Rome, the English clergy were subjected to the Pope, the resources of
England were put at the Pope's command, the nobles and the people were
thwarted in their efforts to check John in his tyranny, and Magna Charta
was declared illegal though not invalidated.

In the East the Latin rulers in Palestine and at Constantinople were
papal vassals. The Pope asserted his supremacy over the Eastern Empire
in refusing to restore the Isle of Cyprus and in demanding a council to
heal the schism.[555:1] Leo, King of Armenia, threw both his church and
his kingdom into the Pope's arms for protection.[555:2] Bulgaria was won
away from the Greek Church and her king was given a crown independent of
the Eastern Empire.[555:3] Hungary was treated as a vassal kingdom and
papal protection was extended to her king.

In the North the King of Norway had been slain by a priest who then
compelled the bishops in 1184 to crown him king. Innocent III. took up
the case and appointed the King of Denmark and the Archbishop of Norway
a court to try the murderer on the charge of having forged papal bulls
to favour his coronation. His supporters were excommunicated, he himself
was put under the ban, and all places giving him shelter were
interdicted. Even the Bishop of Ireland was rebuked for having
permitted his clergy to communicate with the "accursed apostate." The
Pope reorganised the northern churches and tied the clergy to St.
Peter's Chair. In Poland the archbishop was censured for neglecting to
draw the spiritual sword in favour of Duke Bolesas who had been ill
treated by his subjects. The Duke of Holland, a faithful vassal, was in
turn assisted against his rebellious subjects.

No occupant of St. Peter's Chair was more sincerely impressed with the
beauty and necessity of rescuing the Holy Land from the infidels than
Innocent III. He sent preachers all over Europe to stir up a holy war.
He laboured incessantly to pacify and unite all rulers under his
guidance in this great enterprise. He attempted to eliminate the
mercenary character of the crusade by forbidding the Venetians to
traffic with the Mohammedans.[556:1] But he strove in vain to prevent
the secular diversions and consequent failure of the Fourth Crusade.
When the crusaders in fulfilment of their bargain with the
Venetians,[556:2] left Venice to attack Zara, a Christian city, he
threatened them with excommunication. After the deed was done, however,
he granted conditional pardon.[556:3] The capture of Constantinople was
likewise censured but in the end lauded,[556:4] although he strongly
urged the crusaders to fulfil their original vow.[556:5] So skillfully
did he manipulate affairs that both Greek and Latin Emperors recognised
his overlordship, the Greek Church was subjected to Rome, and the
appointment of the Patriarch of Constantinople was in his hands.

Since this phase of the fourth crusade fell so far short of its original
aim, Innocent summoned the Lateran Council in 1215 to proclaim an ideal
crusade for June 1, 1216.[557:1] The Pope intended to direct the
movement in person or by legates. The usual privileges were granted to
crusaders and a variety of financial regulations were published
authorising the clergy to sell or mortgage Church lands for three years
in order to raise necessary funds; urging kings, nobles, cities, and
rural districts to contribute money and men, and levying a tax on the
cardinals and the head of the Church. In addition the Pope contributed
out of his private possessions thirty-three thousand pounds of silver
and a large ship. A truce for four years was enjoined on all Christian
princes on pain of excommunication and interdict. Through the untimely
death of the Pope, however, while he was going to persuade Pisa to join
in the crusade, the crusade did not mature, but later the Popes were not
slow in claiming the leadership granted in this instance by the council
to Innocent III.

In no direction did Innocent III. accomplish more than in his
uncompromising attack on heresy. It must never be forgotten that heresy
was the greatest crime of the Middle Ages. God had planted His Church on
earth, appointed the Pope as vice-gerent, and prescribed laws and dogmas
in the Bible and the canons to govern the Church. Any violation of these
laws, or disbelief in the dogmas, was heresy. Consequently, heresy was
treason against both the Church and God. A heretic was like a man with
a dangerous, infectious disease. Not only was he himself in mortal
danger, but he might inoculate the whole community and carry it too,
down to perdition. It was the duty of the Church, therefore, to get rid
of that diseased person either by curing him through recantation, or
ending his power for evil by death.

The existence of heresy parallels the whole history of the Church and
suggests a universal mental attribute. The causes for the remarkable
growth of heresy are to be found in the departure of the Church from its
earlier teachings and practices, in the failure of the Church to make
its theory and practice harmonise,[558:1] in the remnants of earlier
doctrines and heresies, and in the mental awakening of the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries[558:2] due to the crusades and other
influences.[558:3] Among the leading heretics of this period were:

1. Tanchelm, who carried on a heretical movement in Flanders
(1108-1126), teaching the historical origin of the hierarchy, the
pollution of the Eucharist in the hands of a bad priest, the illegality
of tithes and the congregational view of church government.[558:4]

2. Eon de l'Etoile in Brittany who declared that he was the son of God
sent to reform the Church (1145-1148).[558:5]

3. Pierre de Bruys who preached in Vallonise until he was burned
(1106-1126), declaring infant baptism useless, offerings, prayers, and
masses for the dead of no avail since each one would be judged by his
own merits, churches unnecessary, the use of the cross idolatry, the
Eucharist a mere historical incident and the Papacy with its hierarchy
of officials a blatant fraud.[559:1]

4. Henry of Lausanne who deserted his monastery and became a reformer in
various districts in France (1116-1147). He rejected the invocation of
saints, taught asceticism, denounced the vice of the clergy, discarded
the Eucharist, denied the sanctity of the priesthood, declared tithes to
be illegal, opposed attendance at Church, and aroused an intense zeal
for purity and piety. Whole congregations left their churches and joined
him. At last the Church secured his arrest and condemnation to
imprisonment for life, but he appears to have died shortly after.[559:2]

5. Arnold of Brescia, a pupil of Abelard, who travelled in various parts
of Italy, France, and Germany, denouncing infant baptism, rejecting the
Eucharist, assailing the wealth of the Church, lashing the vices of the
clergy, and organising associations of "Poor Men" until he was finally
hanged, then burnt, and his ashes thrown into the Tiber.[559:3]

6. Peter Waldo of Lyons, a rich but ignorant merchant, who from a study
of the New Testament was led, after providing for his family, to give
all his possessions to the poor.[559:4] He became an ardent preacher,
won converts, and sent them out as proselyting missionaries. He and his
followers refused obedience to Pope and prelates saying all good men
were priests, permitted women to preach, declared God and not man should
be obeyed, rejected masses and prayers for the dead as useless, denied
purgatory, assailed indulgences, advocated non-resistance, denounced war
and homicide, attacked all the vices of the day, and organised "The Poor
Men of Lyons" which order soon spread under the name Waldenses all over

7. The Catharists who appeared during the Middle Ages in Lombardy in the
eleventh century and soon spread over western Europe and became very
powerful. They were dualists believing in God and Satan, the spiritual
and the physical, the good and the bad. They held that Christ came to
overthrow Satan and that the Roman Church was the latter's seat. They
rejected the authority and doctrines of the Church and had a distinct
ritual of their own. Soon they broke up into different sects with
different names and were known in southern France as Albigenses.[560:2]

Innocent III.'s theory of the Papacy clearly indicated his duty about
heresy and the co-operation which he might demand of the secular
powers.[560:3] In the first year of his pontificate (1198) heretics were
offered the choice of recantation or death.[560:4] The clergy were
likewise ordered to mend their ways in order to remove the cause of
heresy.[560:5] Two Inquisitors-General were sent to Spain and France
where the clergy were directed to give them information about heresy,
and the rulers and laity were asked to help the "Persecution."[560:6] As
a result a number of heretics were put to death in Spain, southern
France, and Italy. The following year (1199) the Pope appointed an
additional Inquisitor-General for Italy and added a third for France
and Spain. They were all kept very busy.

In 1207 Innocent in person led a force against the heretics at Viterbo
in Italy. The heretics fled but their houses were torn down, their
property confiscated, and a search made for suspects. An edict was also
passed decreeing that heretics should be treated as outcasts, that they
should be seized and given up to secular rulers, that their property
should be confiscated, that their hiding places should be razed to the
ground, that their protectors or sympathisers should forfeit one fourth
of their property and be outlawed, and that rulers refusing to execute
the decree should be excommunicated.[561:1] The same year a similar
edict was issued against the heretics in southern France. To all who
executed the decree were offered indulgences like those given devout
visitors to the shrines of the Apostles Peter and James. On the other
hand those who aided heretics were to suffer the same punishment.[561:2]

Innocent appointed a fourth Inquisitor-General and sent him to the
French King to urge him to help exterminate the heretics. The powers of
the Inquisitors at the same time were enlarged. The Pope now decreed a
general war against "the enemies of God and man." The King of France was
called upon to draw the sword, while the nobles and people were summoned
to the new crusade with promises of the same indulgences as given to
those who went as soldiers to Palestine.[561:3] Count Raymond of
Toulouse was harshly excommunicated and deposed. This new holy war with
Simon de Montfort as leader, was preached amidst much enthusiasm. A
bloody war of extermination was carried on for some years in southern
France until the Albigenses were all but extinct. As a result, the
Pope's authority was greatly increased, Simon de Montfort was made Count
of Toulouse, while Raymond was exiled to England, the precedent for
using the crusading machinery against heretical regions was established,
and the Inquisition was founded. The Lateran Council in 1215 defined
heresy and formulated complete regulations for its suppression.[562:1]

Not only was Innocent III. a great defender of Church dogmas, a
master-organiser of the hierarchy, and an administrator without a peer
in Church history, but he was also a far-reaching and sincerely
intelligent reformer. The judicial reforms were necessary to round out
Innocent's theory of Church government. He claimed immediate, personal
jurisdiction over all "_causæ majores_," such as disputes of the clergy,
and all questions involving the interests of the Church or of churchmen.
Consequently, the power of secular rulers over the clergy was curtailed.
An appalling number of cases was sent for settlement to the curia at
Rome and cases there were decided with a speed and punctuality hitherto
unknown. Innocent III. personally "held court" three days each week,
heard all important cases and rendered the decisions.[562:2] On the
other hand unimportant cases were turned over to committees under his
eye. He insisted upon having honest judges all over Christendom for
minor cases and enforced his will by making an appeal to Rome simple,
easy, and inexpensive.[562:3] All bribes and gifts to judges were
strictly prohibited. The Lateran Council of 1215 modified the trial of
clerical offenders by insisting upon trial in the presence of the
accused, a clear statement of the charges, a list of witnesses for the
accused, and no appeal before the rendering of a decision in an inferior
court.[563:1] Innocent III. also took all treaties between nations under
the protection of the Church,[563:2] and insisted on acting as supreme
arbiter in all wars and civil feuds.[563:3]

The necessity of moral reformation was recognised by Innocent III. from
the beginning of his pontificate. From the year of his election he
endeavoured to abolish all those debilitating corruptions which
prevented the realisation of his ideal priesthood; namely, pluralism,
luxury, rapacity, pride, arrogance, and other evils. The clergy were
emphatically commanded to free themselves of these abuses and severe
orders were given to his legates to root out these evils.[563:4] In 1215
the Lateran Council was called for the "extirpation of vices, the
planting of virtues, the correction of abuses, and the reformation of
morals." All the clergy were urged to note the evils needing amendment
and to correct the same.[563:5] In a sermon opening this remarkably
representative council the Pope urged the clergy to reform themselves so
that they could the better lead their flocks aright.[563:6] Many
reformatory measures were enacted by this Council. Nepotism was
prohibited, monastic abuses were corrected; pluralities were forbidden;
the extravagant use of relics was curtailed; the extortions and simony
of the clergy were abolished and renewed stress was laid on the canons
of celibacy.[564:1]

The doctrinal changes instituted by Innocent III. were likewise
important. The dogma of transubstantiation was canonised by the Lateran
Council in 1215. Before that time there had been many and divergent
views concerning this important subject. The leading motive which
actuated Innocent in having this doctrine carefully defined was to
destroy heresy. In consequence of the new dogma the sacerdotal body was
elevated by being given a holier character while each individual priest
employed this new power as a badge of divine dignity. All discussion
about transubstantiation now ceased. Heresy was more clearly defined
than ever and the Inquisition was canonised. At the same time the unity
of the Church on its doctrinal side was given greater emphasis. The
canonical restrictions on marriage were relaxed. The earlier rigid law
had led to grave abuses, since the clergy annulled marriages and
bastardised the offspring while the laity made it an excuse for divorce
and licentious passion. The prohibition of marriage between the relative
of a second wife and a first was removed. The degree of consanguinity
and affinity was reduced from the seventh to the fourth canonical
degree. Secret marriages were prohibited. The publication of the bans
was made necessary. Confession and penitential satisfaction were
prescribed as obligatory at least once a year under the penalty of
excommunication. Physicians were likewise required to send all the sick
to the priest first to have their souls cured before any effort was
made to heal the body. The penalty for disobedience was exclusion from
the communion.

The administrative reforms of Innocent III. embraced a wide range of
measures. Honorary precedence was granted to the Patriarch of
Constantinople. Elections to vacancies in the Church were reduced to
three forms: (1) A committee of three of the electors was to take the
votes and to declare who had received "the greater and sounder" number;
(2) a committee was to be empowered to appoint for the whole body of
electors; (3) a choice was to be made by acclamation. All lay
interference was excluded, otherwise the election would be _ipso facto_
illegal. Papal confirmation and the right of revision were carefully
guarded. Pluralities were strictly prohibited. Tithes were given
precedence over all other taxes and dues, and the clergy were urged to
guard the property and to collect all monies of the Church.[565:1] The
right to transfer ecclesiastics was reserved to the Pope alone.[565:2]
Finally the Inquisition was instituted for the purpose of suppressing
heresy, of enforcing doctrines and ordinances, and of reforming the

Innocent III. as head of the great Church easily outranked every ruler
of his day and stands high among the greatest leaders of the Middle Ages
and of all ages. A contemporary describes him as "A man of wonderful
fortitude and wisdom--one who had no equal in his own day; whereby he
had been able to do acts of miraculous power and greatness." If
Hildebrand was the Julius, Innocent was the Augustus of the Papal
Empire. He seldom miscalculated--his clear intellect never missed an
opportunity--his calculating spirit rarely erred--and he combined
forbearance with vigour. "Order, method, unswerving resolution,
inexorable determination, undaunted self-assertion, patience, vigilance,
and cunning, all co-operating to the accomplishment of a single
well-defined object--and that object the unlimited extension of the
political power of the Pontiff of Rome--had achieved a signal triumph
over the irregular, the selfish, and the impulsive political opposition
of the secular powers."[566:1]

The moral character of his reign was variously viewed by contemporaries.
The English clergy generally disliked him and a writer of the day
asserted that his death, July 26, 1216, caused more joy than sorrow. St.
Luitgarde, the prioress of a Cistercian Convent in Brabant, said that in
a vision she had seen him in purgatory enveloped in flames for his
sins.[566:2] The crimes of ambition, cruelty, deceit and treachery were
charged against him as a shrewd political intriguer. The practical
charity and genuine humility of an earlier day--when he washed and
kissed the feet of twelve poor men taken from the street every
Saturday[566:3]--seemed to disappear in the multiplied duties of a world
ruler. His piety, honesty of purpose, and sincere conviction of his
great mission cannot be questioned. Yet for some reason the Church, for
which he did so much, has never seen fit to canonise this great Pope.

No other wearer of the papal tiara has left behind him so many results
pregnant with good and ill for the future of the Church. Under him the
Papacy reached the culmination of its secular power and prerogatives.
The principles of sacerdotal government were fully and intelligently
elaborated. The code of ecclesiastical law was completed and enforced.
All the Christian princes of Europe were brought to recognise the
overlordship of the successor of St. Peter. All the clergy obeyed his
will as the one supreme law. Heresy was washed out in blood. The
Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals and the dreams of Hildebrand had been
realised. Yet in this very greatness, wealth, and strength, were the
germs of weakness and disease which were eventually to overthrow the
great structure reared by Innocent III. and his predecessors.



     1.--Colby, C. W., _Selections from the Sources of English
          History_. Lond. and N. Y., 1899.

     2.--Gee, H., and Hardy, W. J., _Documents Illustrative of
          English Church History_. Lond., 1896.

     3.--Henderson, E. F., _Select Historical Documents of the
          Middle Ages_. N. Y., 1892.

     4.--Innocent III., _The Mirror of Man's Lyfe_. Lond., 1576.
          _The Droome of Doomsday._ Tr. by G. Gascoigne. Lond.,
          1576. _Bull of March 3, 1216._ Tr. by W. Beaumont. Lond.,

     5.--Lee, G. C., _Leading Documents of English History_. Lond.,

     6.--Ogg, F. A., _A Source-Book of Mediæval History_. N. Y.,

     7.--Robinson, J. H., _Readings in European History_, i., 338.

     8.--Thatcher and McNeal, _A Source-Book for Mediæval History_,
          496, 497, 535, 537.



     1.--Bower, A., _History of the Popes_, vi., 183 _ff._

     2.--Greenwood, T., _Cathedra Petri_, v., 321-668.

     3.--Gurney, J. H., _Four Ecclesiastical Biographies_. Lond.,

     Note:--There is no good biography of Innocent III. in English.
          Langen, Hurter, Delitzsch have excellent works in German,
          and Jorry and Luchaire in French.


    Adams, 354, 269, 393, 414. Allen, ii., 73, 80, 82, 90, 99,
    178. Alzog, ii., 411-421. Bryce, ch. 13. Butler, ch. 81, 82.
    Coxe, lect. 7, sec. 6. Creighton, i., 21. Crooks, ch. 34.
    Darras, iii., 311 _ff._ Döllinger, iv., ch. 3, sec. 3.
    Emerton, ch. 10. Fisher, pd. 6, ch. 3. Foulkes, 369, 398.
    Gibbon, vi., 36. Gieseler, ii., § 54. Gilmartin, ii., ch. 5-6.
    Gregorovius, bk. ix., ch. 1-3. Guizot, _Hist. of Fr._, ch. 18.
    Hallam, iii., ch. 6. Hardwick, ch. 10, sec. 1. Hare, ch. 13.
    Hase, sec. 192. Ingham, ch. 1. Jennings, i., ch. 13. Kurtz,
    sec. 96-109. Milman, bk. 9, ch. 1-10. Milner, iii., cent. 12,
    ch. 6. Moeller, ii., 275. Mosheim, cent. 11, pt. 2, ch. 2.
    Neander, iv., 173. Platina, ii., 68-73. Reichel, 242 _ff._
    Robertson, bk. 6, ch. 1. Robinson, ch. 14. Tout, ch. 14.


[545:1] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 105; Henderson, 420.

[545:2] Barry, _The Papal Monarchy_, 287, calls him "a Roman with
Northern blood in his veins."

[546:1] He wrote: _De contemptu mundi, sivi de miseria humanæ
conditionis_ (Migne, vol. 217. Part tr. in Greenwood, v., 349);
_Mysteriorum Evangelicæ Legis et Sacramenti Eucharistiæ_; _De
Quadrioartita Specia Nuptiorum_ (lost).

[547:1] Hurter, vol. i., 89-90; Greenwood, vol. v., 371.

[547:2] _Gesta Inn. III._, sec. ii., p. 3, 4.

[547:3] _Ep. Inn. III._, lib. i., ep. 117, 335.

[549:1] _Gesta_, sec. 8; Ep. i., 23, 577; Hurter, i., 125; Thatcher and
McNeal, No. 123.

[550:1] Greenwood, v., 376; Ep., i., 410. A papal bull declaring Sicily
a papal fief was accepted without opposition.

[550:2] _Gesta_, sec. ii.

[550:3] _Ibid._, sec. 9, 10.

[550:4] Creighton, i., p. 21.

[550:5] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 130.

[551:1] _Mon. Ger._, ii., 224; Greenwood, v., 510; Thatcher and McNeal,
No. 135, 136.

[552:1] Ogg, § 66.

[552:2] _Gesta_, sec. 58.

[552:3] Ep. i., 99, 249, 446.

[552:4] Greenwood, v., 456; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 118.

[552:5] Henderson, 11.

[552:6] Lee, _Source-Book of Eng. Hist._, sec. 66.

[553:1] Ep. v., 66.

[553:2] See Roger of Wendover's _Chronicle_, for facts about life of
Langton, and Hook, _Lives of Archbishops of Cant._, ii., 657.

[553:3] _Cf._ Roger of Wendover, _Chronicle_, tr. by Giles. Lee
_Source-Book_, sec. 67; Colby, No. 29.

[554:1] Lee, _Source-Book_, sec. 68, 69.

[554:2] _Ibid._, sec. 71.

[554:3] Greenwood, v., 587; Ep., xvi., 77; Lee, _Source Book_, sec. 72,
73, 74. Gee and Hardy, No. xxv.

[554:4] Roger of Wendover, _Chronicle_, tr. by Giles, ii., 304. Lee,

[554:5] Rymer, i., 135; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 129.

[555:1] _Gesta_, par. 60, 61; _Ep._, i., 353, 354.

[555:2] _Ibid._, 109, 110.

[555:3] _Ibid._, 68, 70.

[556:1] Thatcher and McNeal, No. 286.

[556:2] _Transl. and Reprints_, iii., No. 1, p. 2-8.

[556:3] _Gesta_, sec. 83, 85, 87.

[556:4] _Ibid._, sec. 89; _Ep._, vii., 164; _Transl. and Reprints_,
iii., No. 1, p. 20.

[556:5] _Gesta_, sec. 93.

[557:1] _Gesta_, sec. 98; Thatcher and McNeal, No. 288; Robinson,
_Readings_, i., 338.

[558:1] _Ep._, i., 494.

[558:2] See Munro, "The Ren. of the Twelfth Cent.," in _An. Rep. of Am.
Hist. Assoc._, 1906, i., 45.

[558:3] Lea, _Hist. of Inq._, i., ch. 2.

[558:4] _Ibid._, i., 64.

[558:5] _Ibid._, 66.

[559:1] Lea, _Hist. of Inq._, vol. i., 68.

[559:2] _Ibid._, 69.

[559:3] _Ibid._, 72.

[559:4] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 380.

[560:1] Lea, _Hist. of Inq._, i., 76.

[560:2] _Ibid._, 89; Robinson, _Readings_, i., 381.

[560:3] Robinson, _Readings_, i., 385.

[560:4] _Ep._, i., 94.

[560:5] _Ibid._, 79, 80.

[560:6] _Ibid._, 94.

[561:1] _Ep._, vol. ii., 335.

[561:2] _Ibid._, i., 94.

[561:3] _Ibid._, x., 149.

[562:1] Greenwood, v., 641, 644. Lea, _Hist. of Inq._, i., 314, 320.

[562:2] _Gesta_, sec. 41, 42.

[562:3] _Ep._, i., 335, 349, 399.

[563:1] Greenwood, v., 651.

[563:2] _Ep._, i., 130.

[563:3] _Gesta_, sec. 133.

[563:4] _Ep._, i., 79, 80.

[563:5] _Ibid._, xvi., 30-34. Lea, _Hist. of Inq._, i., 41, 46.

[563:6] Matt. Paris, an. 1215; Murat, vii., 893; Raynaldus, an. 1215.

[564:1] Lea, _Hist. of Sac. Celib._ By the thirteenth century celibacy
was generally recognised as a canon all over the Latin Church, but
secret alliances continued as an unmitigated evil.

[565:1] _Ep._, i., 205, 217, 250, 292, 294, 388, 416, etc.

[565:2] _Gesta_, sec. 34-45.

[566:1] Greenwood, v., 666.

[566:2] Raynaldus, an. 1216, sec. 11; Fleury, _H. E._, xvi., 426.

[566:3] _Gesta_, sec. 134.



     OUTLINE: I.--Characteristics of the thirteenth century.
     II.--Territorial extent and wealth of the Church.
     III.--Organisation of the papal hierarchy completed. IV.--The
     legal system of the Church. V.--The official language and
     ritual of the Church. VI.--The sacramental system. VII.--The
     employment of art. VIII.--The Church moulded the civilisation
     of Europe. IX.--Sources.

The thirteenth century was an age "of lofty aspirations unfulfilled,
of brilliant dreams unsubstantial as visions, of hopes ever looking
to fruition and ever disappointed. The human intellect awakened,
but as yet the human conscience slumbered, save in a few rare souls
who mostly paid in disgrace or death the penalty of their precocious
sensitiveness."[569:1] The thirteenth century left as a legacy to the
fourteenth century vast activity in intellectual progress, but a
spiritual desert. Society was harder, coarser, and more worldly than

Everywhere in western Europe the Church seemed to have attained the
extreme limits of its claims. The papal theory was triumphant. Temporal
rulers were everywhere subservient to the ecclesiastics. Locally the
clergy ruled the masses in morals and religion; they controlled
education and intelligence; and they practically settled all social and
industrial questions. At the same time the spirit of asceticism was
never more pronounced than in the early Cistercians, Carthusians,
Dominicans, Franciscans, and other orders. Mysticism stood like a
stone wall to stem the tide of worldliness, of wickedness, and of
disbelief.[570:1] When St. Bernard preached to the students at Paris on
the vanity of study and induced twenty of them to follow him into
the cloister at Clairvaux he was attempting a very significant
social revolution which culminated in St. Dominic and St. Francis.
Nevertheless, in the very face of the ascendancy of the Roman hierarchy
and notwithstanding the spiritual revival within the Church, there
appeared a vast amount of heresy, of irreverence, and of independence.
The spirit of individuality was abroad. Men became less obedient to
authority and began to doubt the truth of what was taught them. This
wide-spread distrust led to a shifting from one authority to another,
rather than an entire rejection of all authority.[570:2]

The wealth and power of the clergy and nobility had decreased; the
burghers had advanced to a position of influence and self-consciousness.
Guilds, the awakened spirit of nationality, and self-governing communes
were democratic factors to be taken into account. The rise of the lower
classes, and the consequent decline of the upper classes, show that a
new era is dawning over Europe. The bourgeois literature reveals a
mocking contempt for nobles and bishops alike. There was a great deal of
flippant wit which spared no topic and no individual. "God and the
devil, Aristotle and the Pope, canon and feudal law, Cistercians and
priests were held up to ridicule."[571:1] The subjects of popular songs
are no longer exclusively the virtues of asceticism and humility,
obedience to God and the feudal lord; but love of woman and the carnal
joys of life have become popular themes. Villains achieve paradise by
trickery. Men continually outwit Satan. A famous jongleur even shakes
dice with St. Peter, and beats him at the game. Verily a new chapter was
opening in the history of Europe.

Severe criticism of the iniquity and depravity of the clergy, their
greed for wealth and position, and particularly their contempt for their
sacred obligations, came from several sources.

(1) The best men in the Church, among whom are Popes, bishops, abbots,
priests, and monks. Their letters and sermons reveal flagrant abuses and
an earnest cry for reform.

(2) The acts of Church councils and synods show the general recognition
among the clergy of the presence of grave irregularities and evils, and
also a consciousness of their destructive tendencies.

(3) The general impression of selfishness and wickedness, which the
Church officials made, soon was reflected in the satirical poems of the
popular troubadours and by the sprightly versifiers of the

(4) The laity of course were not slow to understand conditions and
became scathing critics. These lay censors in many instances went far
beyond the clerical reformers. While the better clergy urged the
elimination of current abuses not one of them dreamed of denying the
fundamental doctrines of the Church or the efficacy of its ceremonies.
On the contrary, the lay leaders became very extreme. They declared that
the Church was the creation and home of the devil; that no one ought to
believe any longer that salvation came only through sacerdotal
ministrations; that all theatrical ceremonies were of no avail; that the
masses, relics, holy water, and indulgences were mere priestly tricks
for money-making purposes and not certain means of gaining paradise.
These extreme opponents of the Church soon gained followers all over
Christendom, from all social classes and on account of a great many

From the standpoint of ecclesiastical law, however, these drastic
critics who questioned the teachings of the Church, and proposed to
repudiate it, were guilty of the grave crime of heresy. The attempt to
crush the wide-spread heresies of the thirteenth century forms an awful
chapter in the history of the mediæval Church. The rise of the
Albigenses, the Waldenses, and other heretical sects forced the Church
to take drastic measures against these dangerous foes. Before the close
of the twelfth century secular rulers were induced to take measures
against heresy. In England Henry II. in 1166 ordered that no one should
harbour heretics, and that any house in which they were received should
be burned. In Spain the King of Aragon in 1194 decreed that any one who
should listen to the Waldensians, or even give them food, should have
his property confiscated and suffer death. These measures began a series
of merciless decrees which even the most enlightened rulers of the
thirteenth century passed against heretics and their abettors.[573:1]

The Church was not slow to utilise this power. A determination to
extirpate these dangerous heretics with the sword produced the crusade
against the Albigensians. The Inquisition was also organised to ferret
out secret heretics and to bring them before inquisitorial tribunals for
punishment. The unfairness of the trials and the heartless treatment of
suspects have rendered the name of the Inquisition infamous.[573:2]

From an early day the Church exercised a censorship over all
books.[573:3] The first specific instance was that of a synod of bishops
in Asia Minor about 150 A.D. which prohibited the _Acta pauli_. After
that the condemnation of books was not at all uncommon.[573:4] The first
papal Index was issued in 494 by Pope Gelasius I., who made a definite
catalogue of works prohibited. Councils condemned books as heretical,
while Popes prohibited their use, destroyed them, and punished those who
violated the law. This policy was continued throughout the Middle Ages.
Naturally the Church was just as desirous of getting rid of heretical
books as of suppressing the obnoxious authors.[573:5]

In territorial extent the Roman Church of the thirteenth century
included Italy and Sicily, Spain except the southern part, France,
Germany, Hungary, Poland, England, Ireland, and Scotland, Scandinavia
and Iceland, the Eastern Empire, though but temporarily, and Palestine
for a short period. In size, therefore, it surpassed the old Roman
Empire at its greatest height. The boundary lines of this great papal
Empire were widened still further by the zealous missionary work
encouraged by the Supreme Pontiff in Europe among the Slavs, Prussians,
Finns, and Mohammedans in Sicily and Spain; in Asia among the Tartars,
Mongols, and Moslems; in Africa among the Mohammedans[574:1]; in America
among the inhabitants of Iceland, Greenland, and "Vineland"--possibly
even on the New England coast. These fruitful labours were conducted
chiefly by the Franciscans and the Dominicans.

The wealth of the Church at this time consisted of lands and buildings;
Church furniture, utensils, and ornaments; and money derived from Church
lands, the sale of privileges, the gifts of the pious, tithes, and the
fees for various kinds of religious service. In the United States
churches must rely wholly upon voluntary support. It was not so with the
mediæval Church. The tithes were regular taxes and those persons upon
whom they were levied had to pay them just as taxes imposed by
governments must be paid to-day. Wide-spread complaint came from both
clergy and laity that these taxes were unjust. The Church actually owned
about one third of Germany, nearly one fifth of France, the greater part
of Italy, a large section of Christian Spain, a big portion of England,
perhaps one third, and important regions in Scandinavia, Poland, and
Hungary. The papal states in Italy, running diagonally across the
peninsula, were ruled by the Pope as a temporal prince. These extensive
territorial possessions together with the great wealth made the Church
the mightiest secular power in the world and put into the hands of the
Church thousands of lucrative sinecures, coveted and too often secured
by persons wholly unfitted for the spiritual functions of the office.
Through these extensive possessions the Church was beyond all question
the greatest economic and industrial power in Europe. The Church was led
to adopt feudalism and thus the Pope became the most powerful feudal
overlord in Europe. Furthermore, the Church, because of its vast domains
and enormous income, was enabled to support itself by its own perpetual
wealth. In consequence many evils and abuses sprang up,[575:1] or were
introduced, which led to the decline of the Church and the numerous
demands for reformation. It must be said, however, to the credit of the
Church that these resources were used to excellent advantage in
furthering charity of all sorts and in caring for the poor and

During this period the organisation of the papal hierarchy was
perfected. At the head stood the all-powerful and absolute Pope as God's
agent on earth; hence, at least in theory and claim, he was the ruler of
the whole world in temporal and spiritual affairs. He was the defender
of Christianity, the Church, and the clergy in all respects. He was the
supreme censor of morals in Christendom and the head of a great
spiritual despotism. He was the source of all earthly justice and the
final court of appeal in all cases. Any person, whether priest or
layman, could appeal to him at any stage in the trial of a great many
important cases. He was the supreme lawgiver on earth, hence he called
all councils and confirmed or rejected their decrees. He might, if he
so wished, set aside any law of the Church, no matter how ancient, so
long as it was not directly ordained by the Bible or by nature. He could
also make exceptions to purely human laws and these exceptions were
known as dispensations.[576:1] He had the sole authority to transfer
or depose bishops and other Church officers. He was the creator of
cardinals and ecclesiastical honours of all kinds. He was the exclusive
possessor of the universal right of absolution, dispensation, and
canonisation. He was the grantor of all Church benefices. He was the
superintendent of the whole financial system of the Church and of all
taxes. He had control over the whole force of the clergy in Christendom,
because he conferred the _pallium_,[576:2] the archbishop's badge of
office. In his hands were kept the terrible thunders of the Church to
enforce obedience to papal law, namely, excommunication and the

Excommunication meant for a private person that he was a social outcast,
excluded from all legal protection and deprived of the sacraments which
were "the life blood of the man of the Middle Ages." His property might
be confiscated without the possibility of recovery. Death and hell were
sure to be his doom if repentance and absolution did not occur. And
these same terrible results might even be extended to his descendants.
Excommunication for a king meant, in addition to the same treatment as a
private individual, the deprivation of all authority and the absolution
of subjects from all obedience. Excommunication was the greatest moral
power in all history and effective simply because the Christian opinion
of the age responded to it and enforced it. By its use the Pope
subjected to his will such powerful personages as Henry IV. of Germany,
Henry II. of England, Philip (IV.) Augustus of France, Frederick II. of
Germany, John of England, and countless lesser persons all over
Christendom.[577:1] The power of excommunication was exercised by
the Pope for the whole Church, by the bishop for his diocese, and
even by subordinate Church officials. The formula and ceremony for
excommunication were not uniform either in time or place but varied

The interdict was directed against a city, a region, or a kingdom. It
was used for the purpose of forcing a city or a ruler to obedience, as
for example the interdict laid on Rome in 1155, and that on England,
which lasted six years three months and fourteen days, to subdue the
obstinate King John; or to enforce the ban of excommunication[577:3]; or
to collect debts[577:4]; or to wreak vengeance for the death or
maltreatment of a son of the Church.[577:5] The interdict was proclaimed
in a papal bull and read by the clergy of the region affected to the
congregations every Sunday for some weeks before it went into operation.
Then all religious rites and sacraments ceased except baptism,
confession, and the viaticum.[577:6] All the faithful were ordered to
dress like penitents and to pray for the removal of the cause of the
curse. Thus the interdict resembled a raging pestilence and made a deep
impression on the ignorant masses. It practically stopped all civil
government, for the courts of justice were closed, wills could not be
made, and public officials of all kinds were forbidden to act. Naturally
it led to many very superstitious tales. For instance, the valley of
Aspe in Béarn was cursed for seven years and during that time it was
said that women bore no children, cattle gave no increase, and the land
produced no crops or fruit.[578:1]

The use of such powerful weapons as excommunication and interdict was
soon greatly abused. Popes and bishops employed this power out of spite,
or hatred or for ambitious ends.[578:2] Scheming rulers enlisted papal,
or episcopal, help of this sort to humble political rivals and
for purely secular ends such as enforcing laws and collecting
obligations.[578:3] In fact so wide-spread was the employment of these
powers that by the fourteenth century half of the Christians in Europe
were under the ban.[578:4] It was taught, moreover, that however illicit
or apparently unfair or unwarranted, still the ecclesiastical mandates
were to be obeyed. Hence Popes even granted the right not to be
excommunicated without good cause.[578:5] Before long these religious
curses degenerated to the point where they were applied to animals and
inanimate objects, of which there are many illustrations. For instance
two of St. Bernard's monks cursed the vineyard of a rival monk and it
became sterile until St. Bernard himself removed the blight.[579:1] A
certain priest, noticing that the fruit of a neighbouring orchard had a
stronger attraction for the children of his congregation than the divine
service, excommunicated the orchard, whereupon it remained barren until
the ban was taken off.[579:2] At the request of the farmers, the Bishop
of Comminges cursed the weeds in their fields with the desired
result.[579:3] St. Bernard, however, capped the climax of these
absurdities when he solemnly excommunicated the devil.[579:4] After the
thirteenth century the same weapons were used against leeches, rats,
grasshoppers, snails, bugs, and pests of all kinds. In fact as late as
1648 a similar formula was given based on the forty-ninth psalm and the
eleventh chapter of Luke.[579:5]

The efficacy of excommunication was likewise brought into service to
protect property. For instance the Archbishop of Campostella in the
twelfth century excommunicated any one who should steal or mutilate the
manuscript history of his diocese. The Abbot of Sens in 1123 cursed on
his death-bed any successor who should sell, lend, or lose any of the
twenty volumes in the abbey library. Clement III. encouraged Bologna
University by anathematising any person who should offer a higher rent
for rooms used by students or teachers. Later, copyrights were protected
by the same power and stolen property was recovered.[579:6] Letters
bestowing the power of excommunication were soon purchased and used for
all sorts of mercenary purposes.[579:7] John Gerson of the University
of Paris denounced Pope Martin V. for saying that as Pope he
congratulated himself because he was no longer in danger of
excommunication.[580:1] Gradually there came to be drawn up a list of no
less than one hundred sins which were _ipso facto_ followed by
excommunication. Many of these are of the most trifling character, like
that of collecting toll from a priest on crossing a bridge.[580:2] But
this evil was offset by the ease with which one could purchase

The papal court, or curia, by the thirteenth century included an
enormous number of persons both secular and ecclesiastic with all kinds
of duties. The financial section was in many ways the most important
one.[580:3] All members of the curia, which resembled the court of an
Emperor, were directly responsible to the Pope. The cardinals were the
most dignified and powerful members. Papal legates from the court
swarmed over all Europe commissioned with unlimited authority to execute
papal commands and to uphold papal claims. They ranged from primates to
petty priests and monks, were directly subject to the Pope, and were
feared and hated by the clergy and laity alike.

The College of Cardinals created in 1059 had come to play a marked rôle
in ecclesiastical affairs in addition to their original duties. Their
office ranked next to that of the Pope and they were called the "Holy
and Sacred College." Foreigners were first appointed as cardinals in the
thirteenth century. A distinct dress was assumed. The red hat was given
by Innocent IV. (1245); the purple robe was bestowed by Boniface VIII.
(1297); the white horse, red cover, and golden bridle were added by Paul
II. (1464); and the title of "Eminence" was created by Urban VIII.
(1630). These cardinals were shrewd politicians for the most part and
hence divided into French, German, and Italian parties. They secured
their appointments ofttimes through favouritism or nepotism, hence were
not always men of the most sterling worth. As members of the papal court
they lived at Rome and were supposed to be occupied with ecclesiastical
affairs in the capital or busy on important diplomatic missions. They
were easily won away, however, from their lofty duties by secular
princes and became involved in all sorts of questionable intrigues. It
is not a matter of surprise, therefore, to find the best men of the day
like Dante and Petrarch denouncing them in unmeasured terms.

Below the cardinals in the hierarchy came the metropolitans,
archbishops, and primates. The archbishops were the most numerous but
the lowest in rank. The metropolitans ranked next and were found in the
great cities. The primates had the highest rank but were comparatively
few. It is doubtful whether altogether the archbishops in the thirteenth
century numbered more than twenty-five. The primates, who had charge in
a general way of what might be called the national churches, confirmed
the election of bishops and archbishops in their dioceses, called and
presided over national synods, held the superior ecclesiastical courts,
performed the coronation ceremonies of kings and queens, and had general
control of their districts. The archbishops ruled over a distinct
province including several bishops, whose election and consecration they
superintended, called and presided over provincial synods, inflicted
censures and punishments on the bishops for breaches of discipline,
acted as court of appeal above the episcopal courts, and exercised
general oversight concerning all Church affairs of the districts. The
metropolitans, whose historical significance was practically lost by the
thirteenth century, had essentially the same office as that of
archbishop. Under the leadership of the higher ecclesiastics there was a
tendency to form national churches. The primates and archbishops
defended these national churches even against the Pope and frequently
sided with the kings against the supreme Pontiffs. In Germany they
helped elect the Emperor, played an important political rôle, and saved
Germany from ruin again and again.[582:1] In France and England they
were the trusted counsellors and advisers of the sovereign. Almost
without exception they came from the nobility and were large landed
proprietors as well as secular rulers.

The bishops, who came next in the scale of the hierarchy, were elected
originally by the people and the clergy but that right was gradually
usurped by the metropolitans and the secular rulers. The mitre and
crosier were the emblems of the episcopal office. The Concordat of Worms
in 1122 settled long disputes by giving both Pope and ruler a share in
the election. By the thirteenth century, however, the Pope had come to
have the upper hand in these ecclesiastical preferments. The total
number of bishops in the thirteenth century was approximately
700.[582:2] The duties of the bishop were both spiritual and temporal.
His office was one of the most important in the mediæval Church. He
ruled over a diocese of any number of parish churches, but had his own
especial church, which was called the cathedral, and usually surpassed
all other churches of the diocese in size and beauty. He saw to it that
public services were conducted in the proper manner. He overlooked the
administration of charity. He tried to secure efficient subordinates who
would fulfil all their duties, and he alone could ordain new priests or
degrade the old. He enforced discipline and canon law. He exercised the
rights of confirmation and holy orders, and consecrated _res sacræ_ like
churches and shrines. He usually supervised the monastic houses in his
diocese.[583:1] And he himself conducted religious services of a special
character in his cathedral or _domus dei_. He assumed judicial power
over his clergy and in case of misbehaviour punished them by deposition
or confinement in a cloister. He passed judgment on all questions of
marriage, wills, oaths, usury, and similar subjects. In general each
bishop, under the authority of the representative of St. Peter, was a
little pope over that section of the Church which was under his
jurisdiction[583:2] and he was regarded as the direct successor of the
Apostles. On the temporal side the bishop was a landlord, governed a
large estate, and performed those governmental duties which the king,
particularly in Germany, thrust upon him. He did not own the land, but
only used it. He himself was often a vassal, had a large number of
vassals and sub-vassals under him, collected feudal dues from his
inferiors, paid feudal tributes to his superiors, and was an integral
part of the feudal system. His installation to office was invariably
accompanied by the ceremony of feudal investiture. Indeed from many
standpoints he was more of a feudal lord than a churchman. It is easy to
see, therefore, what a powerful factor the bishop was in both secular
and ecclesiastical affairs, and how sweeping was his influence.

There were several deviations from the regular office of bishop. The
chor-bishop or "country bishop," who was little more than an assistant
of the city bishop, had gradually died out by the thirteenth
century.[584:1] The honorary bishop, or titular bishop, a title first
applied to missionary bishops, still existed in Europe but with no
regular diocese. The progress of Mohammedanism drove many regular
bishops away from their episcopal seats in Asia, Africa, and Spain. But
they were allowed to retain their titles and functions even though
deprived of their dioceses, and successors were regularly elected. Again
during the Crusades many bishoprics were established in the East.
Through the failure of the Crusades, however, these bishops lost their
dioceses, but they too were permitted to retain their titles in the hope
of eventually recovering their possessions. They likewise served as
assistants to bishops in western Europe and their successors were
regularly appointed by the Pope. They became very independent and often
caused the regular bishops much trouble. Efforts were made later to get
rid of them but without success.

Connected with each bishop's cathedral was a chapter which probably grew
out of the original college of presbyters who assisted the bishop in his
spiritual and secular duties. As time passed and the Church grew these
presbyters came to be attached to the cathedral as a distinct body of
the clergy. By the ninth century these clergy came to be known as a
chapter and consisted of either the "seculars," _i.e._, the clergy not
bound by monastic vows and living in separate houses, or the "regulars,"
_i.e._, the clergy living as monks in a common building. Thus the
chapter came to have a regular organisation with officers whose duties
were more or less clearly defined. At the head stood the bishop; then
the dean, the real acting head; and after him the precentor, or chanter,
who was a musical director; the chancellor, who had charge of the
education of younger members, the library, correspondence, and the
delivery of lectures and sermons; the treasurer, who was responsible for
the funds of the church, the sacred vessels, the altar furniture, and
the reliquaries; the sub-dean, the sub-chanter, and vice-chancellor; and
the archdeacons, whose number depended on the size of the diocese, who
executed episcopal orders, who acted as inspectors and had minor
judicial functions, and who became so independent and powerful that the
office was abolished in the twelfth century.[585:1] The remaining
members of the chapter were called canons or prebendaries. During the
absence of the canons their duties were performed by substitutes called

Each chapter had its own laws, endowments, fees, revenues, and
jurisdiction over lands. The chapters often came into open conflict with
the bishops[585:2] and tended to form alliances with Popes and rulers
against the episcopal authorities. It was not uncommon, either, to find
chapters practically independent of the bishops with members appointed
directly by the Pope. These bodies exercised great powers--they called
councils, they tried clerical cases, they even excommunicated, and as
little Colleges of Cardinals, usually at the king's suggestion, elected
bishops.[586:1] Membership in a chapter was regarded as a fat berth and
hence eagerly sought by leading families of nobility.

At the bottom of the hierarchical scale stood the priests who presided
over the parishes, which were divided into city, village, and rural
parishes, and were the lowest divisions of the Church. As a rule a
parish contained at least ten families and varied from that to a
considerable village, or a large section of a town. The appointment of
the priests was made by the "Patron" of the parochial church, _i.e._,
the person who owned the church property, whether a layman or a clerical
person. The appointee was confirmed by the bishop. Churches were thus
frequently handed about from one owner to another like any feudal
property and consequently the tendency was to secularise the priests as
well as the higher clergy. Seeing this evil the monastic orders sought
to reform the abuse by bringing priests under their control. The income
of the priest was derived from lands belonging to the parish church,
from tithes, and from contributions, but as a rule it was scarcely more
than enough to meet his scanty needs.[586:2] The priest was the only
Church officer who came continually into direct touch with the masses of
the people and, consequently, he it was who really controlled the
destiny of both their bodies and souls. In addition to conducting the
regular services, he could administer or withhold the sacraments so
necessary to salvation, and hence the destiny of all men rested in his
hands. He absolved, baptised, married, and buried his parishioners. He
monopolised the auricular confession and through it regulated the
conscience, determined conduct, and cured the soul of sin. If advice and
penance failed to keep the incorrigible sinner in the path of
righteousness, his case could be carried to the spiritual court of the
bishop, who had practically unlimited power. Each priest had not only
certain duties to perform, but also possessed distinct rights and
privileges, and a supernatural character which put him and his property
above the common level of humanity. No longer a citizen of a state, the
Church was his country, his home, and his family. No matter what crime
he committed, the secular power could not arrest him--only a religious
tribunal could try him and such bodies never shed human blood. Hence
punishments for misdemeanours were comparatively light.

The parish church was the unit of mediæval civilisation and the priest
was looked up to as the natural guardian of the community. He cared for
both the souls and bodies of his flock. In addition to using every
agency to induce his members to lead godly lives, it was his business to
see that no dangerous characters lurked in the villages--heretics,
sorcerers, or lepers.

The clergy were separated from the laity by a very pronounced
differentiation. The sacred character imparted to the priesthood by the
sacrament of ordination, the holy calling of the man of God who held in
his hands the power of spiritual life and death, and the enforcement of
the canon of celibacy after a bitter struggle of more than a century,
all tended to emphasise and magnify the wide gulf between the clergy and
the laymen. The sacerdotal office was most highly respected as the
certain avenue to social service, to fame, and to honour. It is no
surprise, therefore, to see men of all ranks entering the ministry of
the Church. For those of humble birth, the opportunity thus offered was
about the only means of promotion in Europe. Once in the Church, talent
and energy could always overcome lowly origin, and attain elevation to a
high place. The annals of the hierarchy are full of the examples of
those who rose from the meanest social ranks to the most commanding
positions. Many of the greatest and best Popes had that
experience.[588:1] Thus the Church constantly recruited its ranks with
vigorous fresh blood. Not even the lot of the prince was envied by the
priest. "Princes," asserted John of Salisbury, "derive their power from
the Church, and are servants of the priesthood." Honorius of Autun
wrote, "The least of the priestly