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Title: A Source Book for Mediaeval History - Selected Documents illustrating the History of Europe in the Middle Age
Author: Thatcher, Oliver J., 1857-1937, McNeal, Edgar Holmes, 1874-1955
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Source Book for Mediaeval History - Selected Documents illustrating the History of Europe in the Middle Age" ***

file was produced from images of public domain material
generously made available by The Online Library of Liberty.)





_Copyright, 1905, by_ CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

Printed In the United States of America


The use of original sources in the teaching of mediæval history is still
hampered by the scarcity of material adapted to the needs of the
student. This situation is sufficient excuse for the publication of a
new book of translations of important mediæval documents, if such a book
does more than reedit old material--if it presents, along with the usual
and familiar sources, documents not elsewhere translated or brings
together documents not otherwise easily accessible. We believe the
present work does that, and that it also makes the use of this material
more practicable by giving fuller notes and explanations than has
usually been attempted.

Our purpose in general has been to present material touching only what
may be called the most important matters (persons, events, movements,
institutions, and conditions) of the whole mediæval period. We have not
tried to make a complete source-book for the period, but only to offer
in usable form illustrative material which may be of service to both
teacher and student in general or information courses. Each document is
meant to illustrate or illumine one particular thing. While it may throw
light on many other things, the teacher should be warned not to attempt
to deduce from these few documents the whole history and life of the
Middle Age.

We are fully aware that in the choice of documents we shall not please
all. Many of the documents here given are clearly essential and must be
found in such a book as we have tried to make. Concerning all such there
can be no question. As to the others, there are hundreds of documents
which would serve our purpose quite as well as those we have used,
perhaps even better. In making our selections we have been guided by a
great variety of considerations which it would be useless to enumerate.
While another would have made a different selection, we believe that the
documents which we present really illustrate the matter in question, and
therefore will be found satisfactory. With this we shall be quite
content. The necessity of selection has also led us to omit the
political history of France and England. We felt that we could properly
leave out English documents, because there are already several excellent
collections of English sources, such as those of Lee, Colby, Adams, and
Stephens, etc. In regard to France we were in doubt for some time, but
the desire to keep the size of the book within certain limits at length
prevailed. We hope, however, to atone for this omission by publishing
soon a small collection of documents relating exclusively to France.

It will be observed that we have made use chiefly of documents, quoting
from chronicles only when it seemed absolutely necessary. An exception
to this general principle is found in section I, where a larger use of
chronicles was rendered necessary by the lack of documentary sources for
much of the period covered; but it is perhaps unnecessary to apologize
for presenting selections from the important histories of Tacitus,
Gregory, Einhard, and Widukind. In the matter of form (translation,
omissions, arrangements, notes, etc.), we were guided by considerations
of the purpose of the book. The style of most of the documents in the
original is involved, obscure, bombastic, and repetitious. A faithful
rendition into English would often be quite unintelligible. We have
endeavored to make a clear and readable translation, but always to give
the correct meaning. If we have failed in the latter it is not for want
of constant effort. We have not hesitated to omit phrases and clauses,
often of a parenthetical nature, the presence of which in the
translation would only render the passage obscure and obstruct the
thought. As a rule we have given the full text of the body of the
document, but we have generally omitted the first and last paragraphs,
the former containing usually titles and pious generalities, and the
latter being composed of lists of witnesses, etc. We have given a
sufficient number of the documents in full to illustrate these features
of mediæval diplomatics. All but the most trivial omissions in the text
(which are matters rather of form of translation) are indicated thus:
... Insertions in the text to explain the meaning of phrases are
inclosed in brackets [  ]. Quotations from the Bible are regularly given
in the words of the Authorized Version, but where the Latin (taken from
the Vulgate) differs in any essential manner, we have sometimes
translated the passage literally.

Within each section the documents are arranged in chronological order,
except in a few cases where the topical arrangement seemed necessary. We
believe that the explanatory notes in the form of introductions and
foot-notes will be found of service; they are by no means exhaustive,
but are intended to explain the setting and importance of the document
and the difficult or obscure passages it may contain. The reference to
the work or the collection in which the original is found is given after
the title of practically every document; the meaning of the references
will be plain from the accompanying bibliography. The original of nearly
all the documents is in Latin; some few are in Greek, Old French, or
German, and in such cases the language of the original is indicated.

It is impossible, of course, to give explicit directions as to the use
of the book, other than the very obvious methods of requiring the
student to read and analyze the documents assigned in connection with
the lesson in the text-book, and of making clear to him the relation of
the document to the event. It may be possible also for the teacher to
give the student some notion of the meaning of "historical method";
_e.g._, the necessity of making allowance for the ignorance or the bias
of the author in chronicles, or the way in which a knowledge of
institutions is deduced from incidental references in documents.
Suggestions of both sorts will be found in the introduction and notes.
The teacher should insist on the use of such helps as are found in the
book: notes, cross-references, glossary, etc. Groups of documents can be
used to advantage in topical work: assigned topics worked up from
authorities can be illustrated by documents selected from the book;
_e.g._, imperial elections, papal elections, the Normans in Sicily,
history of the Austrian dominions, Germans and Slavs on the eastern
frontier, relations of the emperors and the popes before the investiture
strife, etc.



Section I. The Germans and the Empire to 1073                    1-81

    1. Selections from the Germania of Tacitus, _ca._ 100           2
    2. Procopius, Vandal war                                       11
    3. Procopius, Gothic war                                       12
    4. The Salic law, _ca._ 500                                    14
    5. Selections from Gregory of Tours                            26
    6. The coronation of Pippin, 751                               37
    7. Einhard's Life of Karl the Great                            38
    8. The imperial coronation of Karl the Great, 800              48
    9. General capitulary about the _missi_, 802                   48
   10. Selections from the Monk of St. Gall                        51
   11. Letter of Karl the Great to Baugulf, 787                    55
   12. Letter of Karl about the sermons of Paul the Deacon         56
   13. Recognition of Karl by the emperors at Constantinople, 812  57
   14. Letter of Karl to emperor Michael I, 813                    58
   15. Letter to Ludwig the Pious about a comet, 837               59
   16. The Strassburg oaths, 842                                   60
   17. The treaty of Verdun, 843. Annales Bertiniani               62
   18. The treaty of Verdun. Regino                                63
   19. The treaty of Meersen, 870                                  64
   20. Invasion of the Northmen, end of the ninth century          65
   21. Invasion of the Hungarians, _ca._ 950                       65
   22. Dissolution of the empire. Regino                           66
   23. The coronation of Arnulf, 896. Regino                       69
   24. Rise of the tribal duchies in Germany, _ca._ 900. Saxony    69
   25. Rise of the tribal duchies. Suabia                          70
   26. Henry I and the Saxon cities                                71
   27. The election of Otto I, 936                                 72
   28. Otto I and the Hungarians, 955                              75
   29. The imperial coronation of Otto I, 962                      78
   30. The acquisition of Burgundy by the empire, 1018-32.
         Thietmar of Merseburg                                     79
   31. The acquisition of Burgundy. Wipo, Life of Conrad II        79
   32. Henry III and the eastern frontier, 1040-43                 80

Section II. The Papacy to the Accession of Gregory VII, 1073  82-131

   33. Legislation concerning the election of bishops,
         fourth to ninth centuries                                 83
   34. Pope to be chosen from the cardinal clergy                  84
   35. The Petrine theory as stated by Leo I, 440-461              85
   36. The emperor gives the pope secular authority, 554           86
   37. Letter from the church at Rome to the emperor at
         Constantinople, _ca._ 650                                 87
   38. Letter from the church at Rome to the exarch of
         Ravenna, _ca._ 600                                        89
   39. Gregory I sends missionaries to the English, 596. Bede      92
   40. The oath of Boniface to Gregory II, 723                     93
   41. Letter of Gregory II to emperor Leo III, 726 or 727         95
   42. Gregory III excommunicates iconoclasts, 731                101
   43. Letter of Gregory III to Karl Martel, 739                  101
   44. Promise of Pippin to Stephen II, 753, 754                  102
   45. Donation of Pippin, 756                                    104
   46. Promise of Karl to Adrian I, 774                           105
   47. Letter of Karl to Leo III, 796                             107
   48. Karl exercises authority in Rome, 800                      108
   49. Oath of Leo III before Karl, 800                           108
   50. Oath of the Romans to Ludwig the Pious and Lothar, 824     109
   51. Letter of Ludwig II to Basil, emperor at
         Constantinople, 871                                      110
   52. Papal elections to be held in the presence of the
         emperor's representatives, 898                           113
   53. Oath of Otto I to John XII, 961                            114
   54. Otto I confirms the pope in the possession of his
         lands, 962                                               115
   55. Leo VIII grants the emperor the right to choose
         popes, 963                                               118
   56. Letter of Sylvester II to Stephen of Hungary, 1000         119
   57. Henry III deposes and creates popes, 1048                  121
   58. Oath of Robert Guiscard to Nicholas II, 1059               124
   59. Papal election decree of Nicholas II, 1059                 126

Section III. The Struggle between the Empire and the
               Papacy, 1073-1250                              132-259

   60. Prohibition of simony and marriage of the clergy, 1074     134
   61. Simony and celibacy; Roman council, 1074                   134
   62. Celibacy, 1074                                             135
   63. Celibacy, ninth general council in the Lateran, 1123       135
   64. Prohibition of lay investiture, 1078                       136
   65. Dictatus papæ, _ca._ 1090                                  136
   66. Letter of Gregory VII commending his legates, 1074         139
   67. Oath of the patriarch of Aquileia to Gregory VII, 1079     140
   68. Oath of Richard of Capua to Gregory VII, 1073              140
   69. Letter of Gregory VII to the princes wishing to
         reconquer Spain, 1073                                    142
   70. Letter of Gregory VII to Wratislav, duke of Bohemia, 1073  143
   71. Letter of Gregory VII to Sancho, king of Aragon, 1074      143
   72. Letter of Gregory VII to Solomon, king of Hungary, 1074    144
   73. Letter of Gregory VII to Demetrius, king of Russia, 1075   145
   74. Letter of Gregory VII to Henry IV, 1075                    146
   75. Deposition of Gregory VII by Henry IV, 1076                151
   76. Letter of the bishops of Germany to Gregory VII, 1076      153
   77. First deposition and excommunication of Henry IV by
         Gregory VII, 1076                                        155
   78. Agreement at Oppenheim, 1076                               156
   79. Edict annulling the decrees against Gregory VII, 1076      157
   80. Letter of Gregory VII concerning the penance of Henry IV
         at Canossa, 1077                                         157
   81. Oath of Henry IV                                           160
   82. Countess Matilda gives her lands to the church, 1102       160
   83. First privilege of Paschal II to Henry V, 1111             161
   84. Second privilege of Paschal II to Henry V, 1111            163
   85. Concordat of Worms, 1122. Promise of Calixtus II           164
   86. Concordat of Worms. Promise of Henry V                     165
   87. Election notice, 1125                                      166
   88. Anaclete II gives title of king to Roger of Sicily, 1130   168
   89. Coronation oath of Lothar II, 1133                         169
   90. Innocent II grants the lands of Countess Matilda to
         Lothar II, 1133                                          170
   91. Letter of Bernard of Clairvaux to Lothar II, 1134          171
   92. Letter of Bernard of Clairvaux to Conrad III, 1140         172
   93. Letter of Conrad III to John Comnenus, 1142                173
   94. Letter of Wibald, abbot of Stablo, to Eugene III, 1150     174
   95. Letter of Frederick I to Eugene III, 1152                  176
   96. Answer of Eugene III, 1152                                 178
   97. Treaty of Constance, 1153                                  178
   98. Stirrup episode, 1155                                      180
   99. Treaty of Adrian IV and William of Sicily, 1156            181
  100. Letter of Adrian IV to Frederick I, 1157                   183
  101. Manifesto of Frederick I, 1157                             186
  102. Letter of Adrian IV to Frederick I, 1158                   187
  103. Definition of regalia, 1158                                188
  104. Letter of Eberhard, bishop of Bamberg, 1159                190
  105. Letter of Alexander III in regard to disputed papal
         election of 1159                                         192
  106. Letter of Victor IV, 1159                                  194
  107. Account given by Gerhoh of Reichersberg, _ca._ 1160        196
  108. Preliminary treaty of Anagni, 1176                         196
  109. Peace of Constance, 1183                                   199
  110. Formation of the duchy of Austria, 1156                    202
  111. The bishop of Würzburg becomes a duke, 1168                203
  112. Decree of Gelnhausen, 1180                                 205
  113. Papal election decree of Alexander III, 1179               207
  114. Innocent III to Acerbius, 1198                             208
  115. Innocent III grants the pallium to the archbishop of
         Trnova, 1201                                             208
  116. Innocent III to the archbishop of Auch, 1198               209
  117. Innocent III commands all in authority to aid his
         legates, 1198                                            210
  118. Innocent III to the king of Aragon, 1206                   211
  119. Innocent III to the French bishops, 1198                   211
  120. Innocent III forbids violence to the Jews, 1199            212
  121. Innocent III to the archbishop of Rouen, 1198              213
  122. Innocent III forbids laymen to demand tithes from the
         clergy, 1198                                             213
  123. Oath of the prefect of Rome to Innocent III, 1198          214
  124. Oath of John of Ceccano to Innocent III, 1201              215
  125. Innocent III to the archbishop of Messina, 1203            216
  126. Innocent III to the English barons, 1206                   217
  127. Innocent III to Peter of Aragon, 1211                      218
  128. Innocent III grants the title of king to the duke of
         Bohemia, 1204                                            218
  129. Innocent III to the English barons, 1216                   219
  130. Innocent III decides the disputed election of Frederick,
         Philip of Suabia, and Otto, 1201                         220
  131. Treaty between Philip of Suabia and Philip II of France,
         1198                                                     227
  132. Alliance between Otto IV and John of England, 1202         228
  133. Concessions of Philip of Suabia to Innocent III, 1203      228
  134. Promise of Frederick II to Innocent III, 1213              230
  135. Promise of Frederick II to resign Sicily, 1216             232
  136. Concessions of Frederick II to the ecclesiastical
         princes, 1220                                            233
  137. Decision of the diet concerning new tolls and mints, 1220  236
  138. Frederick II gives a charter to the patriarch of
         Aquileia, 1220                                           237
  139. Statute of Frederick II in favor of the princes, 1231-32   238
  140. Treaty of San Germano, 1230. Preliminary agreement         240
  141. Papal stipulations in treaty of San Germano                242
  142. Letter of Gregory IX about the emperor's visit, 1230       244
  143. Papal charges and imperial defence, 1238                   245
  144. Excommunication of Frederick II, 1239                      254
  145. Current stories about Frederick II. Matthew of Paris       256

Section IV. The Empire, 1250-1500                             260-308

  146. Diet of Nürnberg, 1274                                     260
  147. The German princes confirm Rudolf's surrender of Italy,
              1278-79                                             263
  148. Revocation of grants of imperial lands, 1281               265
  149. Electoral "letter of consent," 1282                        265
  150. Letter of Rudolf to Edward I of England, 1283              266
  151. Decree against counterfeiters, 1285                        267
  152. The beginning of the Swiss confederation, 1290             267
  152 a. Edict of Rudolf, in regard to Schwyz, 1291               269
  153. Concessions of Adolf of Nassau to the archbishop of
         Cologne, 1292                                            270
  154. The archbishop of Mainz confirmed as archchancellor of
         Germany, 1298                                            276
  155. Declaration of the election of Henry VII, 1308             277
  156. Supplying of the office of archchancellor of Italy, 1310   278
  157. The law "Licet juris," 1338                                279
  158. The diet of Coblenz, 1338. Chronicle of Flanders           281
  159. The diet of Coblenz. Chronicle of Henry Knyghton           282
  160. The Golden Bull of Charles IV, 1356                        283
  160 a. Complaint of the cities of Brandenburg to
           Sigismund, 1411                                        306
  160 b. Sigismund orders the people to receive Frederick of
           Hohenzollern as governor, 1412                         307

Section V. The Church, 1250-1500                              309-340

  161. Bull of Nicholas III condemning heretics, 1280             309
  162. Bull "Clericis laicos" of Boniface VIII, 1298              311
  163. Boniface VIII announces the jubilee year, 1300             313
  164. The bull "Unam sanctam" of Boniface VIII, 1302             314
  165. The conclusions of Marsilius of Padua, 1324                317
  166. Condemnation of Marsilius of Padua, 1327                   324
  167. Beginning of the schism; manifesto of the revolting
         cardinals, 1378                                          325
  168. The University of Paris and the schism, 1393               326
  169. Council of Pisa declares itself competent to try
         popes, 1409                                              327
  170. Oath of the cardinals, council of Pisa, 1409               328
  171. Council of Constance claims supreme authority, 1415        328
  172. Reforms demanded by the council of Constance, 1417         329
  173. Concerning general councils, council of Constance, 1417    331
  174. Bull "Execrabilis" of Pius II, 1459                        332
  175. William III of Saxony forbids appeals to foreign
         courts, 1446                                             333
  176. Establishment of the university of Avignon, 1303           334
  177. Popular dissatisfaction with the wealth of the church,
         _ca._ 1480                                               336
  178. Complaints of the Germans against the pope, 1510           336
  179. Abuses in the sale of indulgences, 1512                    338

Section VI. Feudalism                                         341-387

  180. Form for the creation of an "antrustio" by the king        342
  181. Form for suspending lawsuits                               343
  182. Form for commendation                                      343
  183. Form for undertaking lawsuits                              344
  184. Form for gift of land to a church                          345
  185. Form for precarial letter                                  346
  186. Form for precarial letter                                  347
  187. Form for precarial letter                                  347
  188. Form for gift of land to be received back and held
         in perpetuity for a fixed rent                           348
  189. Treaty of Andelot, 587                                     348
  190. Precept of Chlothar II, 584-628                            350
  191. Grant of immunity to a monastery, 673                      351
  192. Form for grant of immunity to a monastery                  352
  193. Form for grant of immunity to a secular person             352
  194. Grant of immunity to a secular person, 815                 353
  195. Edict of Chlothar II, 614                                  355
  196. Capitulary of Kiersy, 877                                  355
  197. Capitulary of Lestinnes, 743                               357
  198. Capitulary of Aquitaine, 768                               357
  199. Capitulary of Heristal, 779                                358
  200. General capitulary to the missi, 802                       358
  201. Capitulary to the missi, 806                               358
  202. Capitulary of 807                                          359
  203. General capitulary to the missi, 805                       359
  204. Capitulary of 811                                          359
  205. Capitulary of Worms, 829                                   360
  206. Capitulary of Aachen, 801-813                              360
  207. Agreement of Lothar, Ludwig, and Charles, 847              360
  208. Capitulary of Bologna, 811                                 361
  209. Homage                                                     363
  210. Homage                                                     364
  211. Homage                                                     364
  212. Homage                                                     364
  213. Homage                                                     364
  214. Homage of Edward III to Philip VI, 1329                    365
  215. Feudal aids                                                367
  216. Feudal aids                                                367
  217. Feudal aids, etc                                           367
  218. Homage of the count of Champagne to the duke of
         Burgundy, 1143                                           368
  219. Homage of the count of Champagne to Philip II, 1198        369
  220. Homage of the count of Champagne to the duke of
         Burgundy, 1200                                           371
  221. Letter of Blanche of Champagne to Philip II, 1201          371
  222. Letter of Philip II to Blanche                             372
  223. Homage of the count of Champagne to the bishop of
         Langres, 1214                                            372
  224. Homage of the count of Champagne to the bishop of
         Châlons, 1214.                                           373
  225. Homage of the count of Champagne to the abbot of St.
         Denis, 1226                                              373
  226. List of the fiefs of the count of Champagne,
         _ca._ 1172                                               374
  227. Sum of the knights of the count of Champagne               375
  228. Extent of the domain lands of the count of
              Champagne, _ca._ 1215                               377
  229. Feudal law of Conrad II, 1037                              383
  230. Feudal law of Frederick I for Italy, 1158                  385

Section VII. Courts, Judicial Processes, and the Peace        388-431

  231. Sachsenspiegel                                             391
  232. Frederick II appoints a justiciar and a court
         secretary, 1235                                          398
  233. Peace of Eger, 1389                                        399
  234. Ordeal by hot water                                        401
  235. Ordeal by hot iron                                         404
  236. Ordeal by cold water                                       406
  237. Ordeal by cold water                                       408
  238. Ordeal by the barley bread                                 409
  239. Ordeal by bread and cheese                                 410
  240. Peace of God, 989                                          412
  241. Peace of God, 990                                          412
  242. Truce of God, 1035-41                                      414
  243. Truce of God, _ca._ 1041                                   416
  244. Truce of God, 1063                                         417
  245. Peace of the land, Henry IV, 1103                          419
  246. Peace of the land for Elsass, 1085-1103                    419
  247. Decree of Frederick I concerning the peace, 1156           422
  248. Peace of the land for Italy, Frederick I, 1158             425
  249. Perpetual peace of the land, Maximilian I, 1495            427
  250. Establishment of a supreme court, 1495                     430

Section VIII. Monasticism                                     432-509

  251. The rule of St. Benedict, _ca._ 530                        432
  252. Oath of the Benedictines                                   485
  253. Monk's vow                                                 485
  254. Monk's vow                                                 485
  255. Monk's vow                                                 486
  256. Monk's vow                                                 486
  257. Written profession of a monk                               486
  258. Ceremony of receiving a monk into the monastery            488
  259. Offering of a child to the monastery                       489
  260. Offering of a child to the monastery                       489
  261. Commendatory letter                                        489
  262. Commendatory letter                                        490
  263. General letter                                             490
  264. Letter of dismissal                                        490
  265. Rule of St. Chrodegang, _ca._ 744                          491
  265 a. Origin of the Templars, 1119                             492
  266. Anastasius IV grants privileges to the Knights of
         St. John, 1154                                           494
  267. Innocent III to the bishops of France; simony in the
         monasteries, 1211                                        496
  268. Innocent III grants the use of the mitre to the abbot
         of Marseilles, 1204                                      497
  269. Rule of St. Francis, 1223                                  498
  270. Testament of St. Francis, 1220                             504
  271. Innocent IV grants friars permission to ride on
         horseback, 1250                                          508
  272. Alexander IV condemns attacks on the friars, 1256          508
  273. John XXII condemns the theses of John of Poilly, 1320      509

Section IX. The Crusades                                      510-544

  274. Origen, Exhortation to martyrdom, 235                      510
  275. Origen, Commentary on Numbers                              511
  276. Leo IV (847-855); indulgences for fighting the heathen     511
  277. John II; indulgences for fighting the heathen, 878         512
  278. Gregory VII calls for a crusade, 1074                      512
  279. Speech of Urban II at the council of Clermont, 1095.
         Fulcher of Chartres                                      513
  280. Speech of Urban II. Robert the Monk                        518
  281. Truce of God and indulgences proclaimed at the
         council of Clermont                                      521
  282. Ekkehard of Aura, Hierosolimita; the first crusade         522
  283. Anonymi Gesta Francorum, 1097-99                           523
  284. Eugene III announces a crusade, 1145                       526
  285. Otto of St. Blasien; the third crusade, 1189-90            529
  286. Innocent III forbids the Venetians to traffic with
         the Mohammedans, 1198                                    535
  287. Innocent III takes the king of the Danes under
         his protection, 1210                                     537
  288. Innocent III announces a crusade, 1215                     537

Section X. Social Classes and Cities in Germany               545-612

  289. Otto III forbids the unfree classes to attempt to
              free themselves, _ca._ 1000                         545
  290. Henry I frees a serf, 926                                  546
  291. Henry III frees a female serf, 1050                        547
  292. Recovery of fugitive serfs, 1224                           548
  293. Rank of children born of mixed marriages, 1282             549
  294. Frederick II confers nobility, _ca._ 1240                  549
  295. Charles IV confers nobility on a "doctor of
         both laws," 1360                                         550
  296. Law of the family of the bishop of Worms, 1023             551
  297. Charter of the ministerials of the archbishop of
         Cologne, 1154                                            563
  298. The bishop of Hamburg grants a charter to
         colonists, 1106                                          572
  299. Privilege of Frederick I for the Jews, 1157                573
  300. The bishop of Speyer grants a charter to the Jews, 1084    577
  301. Lothar II grants a market to the monastery of Prüm, 861    579
  302. Otto I grants a market to the archbishop of Hamburg, 965   580
  303. Otto III grants a market to count Berthold, 999            581
  304. Merchants cannot be compelled to come to a market, 1236    581
  305. Market courts to be independent of local courts, 1218      582
  306. Otto I grants jurisdiction over a town to the abbots
         of New Corvey, 940                                       582
  307. The ban-mile, 1237                                         583
  308. Citizens of Cologne expel their archbishop, 1074           584
  309. People of Cologne rebel against their archbishop, 1074     585
  310. Confirmation of the "immediateness" of the citizens of
         Speyer, 1267                                             586
  311. Summons to an imperial city to attend a diet, 1338         587
  312. Grant of municipal freedom to a town, 1201                 587
  313. Extension of the corporate limits of the city of
         Brunswick, 1269                                          588
  314. Decision of the diet about city councils in
         cathedral towns, 1218                                    589
  315. Frederick II forbids municipal freedom, 1231-32            590
  316. Breslau adopts the charter of Magdeburg, 1261              592
  317. The Schoeffen of Magdeburg give decisions for
         Culm, 1338                                               602
  318. Establishment of the Rhine league, 1254                    604
  319. Peace established by the Rhine league, 1254                606
  320. Agreement between Hamburg and Lübeck, _ca._ 1230           609
  321. Agreement between Hamburg and Lübeck, 1241                 610
  322. Lübeck, Rostock, and Wismar proscribe pirates, 1259        610
  323. Decrees of the Hanseatic league, 1260-64                   611
  324. Decrees of the Hanseatic league, 1265                      612
  325. Henry II grants Cologne merchants privileges in
         London, 1157                                             612
  Bibliography                                                    613
  Glossary                                                        615



The documents in this section are intended to illustrate the history of
the Germans from the period before the migrations to the beginning of
the struggle between the empire and the papacy, 1073. The historical
development of this period resulted in the formation of the Holy Roman
Empire, as the form of government for western Europe. The civilization
of the Middle Age was in the main the result of the union of Roman and
German elements. This union was brought about by the invasion of the
Roman empire by the tribes of German blood that lay along and back of
the frontier of the empire. It is important, therefore, to understand
the character of the German race and institutions, which are illustrated
by nos. 1 to 4. The leaders and organizers of the Germans after the
settlement were the Franks, who under the Merovingian and Carolingian
lines of rulers united the German tribes and bound them together in one
great state. This movement is shown in nos. 5 to 14. In this development
the life of Karl the Great (nos. 7 to 14) is of especial importance,
because of the permanent result of much of his work, particularly his
organization of the government (nos. 7 to 9), and his founding of the
empire by the union of Italy and Germany (nos. 8, 13, and 14). The
dissolution of his vast empire, resulting in the formation of France as
a separate state, and in the appearance of the feudal states, is shown
in nos. 15 to 22. In the rest of the documents the history of Germany
and Italy, the real members of the empire, is followed. Of this the
important features are: the continued connection of Germany with Italy
(nos. 23 and 29), resulting in the restoration of the empire by Otto I;
the feudal organization of Germany (nos. 24, 25, and 27); and the
increase of the German territory toward the east (nos. 26, 28, 32). This
brings the history down to the accession of Henry IV, with whom begins
the long conflict between the empire and papacy which is treated in
section III.

1. Selections from the Germania of Tacitus, _ca._ 100 A.D.

The _Germania_ of the Roman historian Tacitus (54-119 A.D.) is a
treatise on the manners, customs, and institutions of the Germans of his
time. It is one of the most valuable sources of knowledge of the
condition of the Germans before the migrations. These sources are mainly
of two kinds: the accounts of contemporary writers, chiefly Roman
authors; and the documentary sources of the period of the tribal
kingdoms, particularly the tribal laws, such as the laws of the Salic
Franks (see no. 4), Burgundians, Anglo-Saxons, etc. It will be evident
to the student that the sources of both kinds fall short of realizing
the needs of historical trustworthiness: the first kind, because the
Roman authors were describing institutions and customs which they knew
only superficially or from a prejudiced point of view; the second,
because the laws and documents of the tribal period reflect a stage of
development which had changed considerably from the primitive stage.
Conclusions in regard to the conditions of the Germans in the early
period are based on the careful criticism of each single document and on
a comparison of each with all the others. Some indication of this method
is suggested in the notes to nos. 1 and 4. Even at best the results are
subject to uncertainty. The _Germania_ of Tacitus is the clearest and
most complete of the sources of the first type, but it is not free from
obscurity. Since there are numerous editions of it, we have not thought
it necessary to refer to any particular one.

5. The land [inhabited by the Germans] varies somewhat in character from
one part to another, but in general it is covered with forests and
swamps, and is more rainy on the side toward Gaul and bleaker toward
Noricum and Pannonia. It is moderately fertile, but not suited to the
growing of fruit trees; it supports great numbers of cattle, of small
size, however.

6. Iron is not abundant, as appears from the character of the weapons of
the inhabitants; for they rarely use swords or the larger spears;
instead they carry darts with small, narrow heads, which they call
_frameæ_. But these are so sharp and so easily handled that they are
used in fighting equally well at a distance and at close quarters....
The number of warriors is definitely fixed, one hundred coming from each
district, and the warriors are known by that name [_i.e._, hundred]; so
that what was originally a number has come to be a name and a title.{1}

7. Kings are chosen for their noble birth;{2} military leaders for their
valor. But the authority of the king is not absolute, and the
war-leaders command rather by example than by orders, winning the
respect and the obedience of their troops by being always in the front
of the battle.... These troops are not made up of bodies of men chosen
indiscriminately, but are arranged by families and kindreds, which is an
added incentive for bravery in battle. So, also, the cries of the women
and the wailing of children, who are taken along to battle, encourage
the men to resistance.

8. It is said that on more than one occasion broken and fleeing ranks
have been turned back to the fight by the prayers of the women, who fear
captivity above everything else.... They believe that women are
specially gifted by the gods, and do not disdain to take council with
them and heed their advice.

11. [In the assemblies of the tribe,] minor affairs are discussed by the
chiefs, but the whole tribe decides questions of general importance.
These things, however, are generally first discussed by the chiefs
before being referred to the tribe. They meet, except in the case of a
sudden emergency, at certain fixed times, at the new or the full moon,
for they regard these as auspicious days for undertakings. They reckon
the time by nights, instead of by days, as we do.... One evil result
arising from their liberty is the fact that they never all come together
at the time set, but consume two or three days in assembling. When the
assembly is ready, they sit down, all under arms. Silence is proclaimed
by the priest, who has here the authority to enforce it. The king or the
leader speaks first, and then others in order, as age, or rank, or
reputation in war, or eloquence may give them the right. The speakers
depend rather upon persuasion than upon commands. If the speech is
displeasing to the multitude, they reject it with murmurs; if it is
pleasing, they applaud by clashing their weapons together, which is the
kind of applause most highly esteemed.{3}

12. Criminals are also tried at these assemblies, and the sentence of
death may be decreed. They have different kinds of punishments for
different crimes; traitors and deserters are hanged on trees, cowards
and base criminals are sunk in the swamps or bogs, under wicker
hurdles.... There are penalties also for the lighter crimes, for which
the offenders are fined in horses or cattle. Part of the fine goes to
the king or the state, and part to the person injured or to his
relatives. In this assembly they also choose leaders to administer the
law in the districts and villages of the tribe, each of them being
assigned a hundred companions from the tribe to act as counsellors and

13. They go armed all the time, but no one is permitted to wear arms
until he has satisfied the tribe of his fitness to do so. Then, at the
general assembly, the youth is given a shield and a sword by his chief
or his father or one of his relatives. This is the token of manhood, as
the receiving of the toga is with us. Youths are sometimes given the
position of chiefs because of their noble rank or the merits of their
ancestors; they are attached to more mature and experienced chiefs, and
think it no shame to be ranked as companions. The companions have
different ranks in the company, according to the opinion of the chief;
there is a great rivalry among the companions for first place with the
chief, as there is among the chiefs for the possession of the largest
and bravest band of followers. It is a source of dignity and of power to
be surrounded by a large body of young warriors, who sustain the rank of
the chief in peace and defend him in war. The fame of such a chief and
his band is not confined to their own tribe, but is known among foreign
peoples; they are sought out and honored with gifts in order to secure
their alliance, for the reputation of such a band may decide a whole

14. In battle it is shameful for the chief to allow any one of his
followers to excel him in courage, and for the followers not to equal
their chief in deeds of valor. But the greatest shame of all, and one
that renders a man forever infamous, is to return alive from the fight
in which his chief has fallen. It is a sacred obligation of the
followers to defend and protect their chief and add to his fame by their
bravery, for the chief fights for victory and the companions for the
chief. If their own tribe is at peace, young noble chiefs take part in
the wars of other tribes, because they despise the peaceful life.
Moreover, glory is to be gained only among perils, and a chief can
maintain a band only by war, for the companions expect to receive their
war-horse and arms from the leader, ... and the means of liberality are
best obtained from the booty of war.{5}

16. The Germans do not dwell in cities, and do not build their houses
close together. They dwell apart and separate, where a spring or patch
of level ground or a grove may attract them. Their villages are not
built compactly, as ours are, but each house is surrounded by a clear

21. It is a matter of duty with them to take up the enmities of their
parents or kinsmen, as well as the friendships, but these feuds are not
irreconcilable; the slaying of a man may be atoned for by the payment of
a fixed number of cattle, and the kindred of the slain man all share in
the price of atonement. This practice of compounding manslaughter is of
advantage to the public weal, for such feuds may become very dangerous
among a free people.{6}

26. The arable lands, according to the number of cultivators, are
occupied in turn by all the members of the community, and are divided
among them according to the quality [of the lands].{7} The extent of the
land gives ample opportunity for division; the arable fields are changed
every year, and there is plenty of land left over.{8}

The following section is condensed from chapters 27 to 46.

27-46.{9} Such is the account I have received of the origin and the
customs of the Germans as a whole; we must now undertake a discussion of
the separate tribes. The divine Julius [Cæsar] says in his book that the
Gauls had once been a more powerful and prosperous people than the
Germans. So it is not impossible that they may have at some time even
invaded Germany. For the Helvetians once dwelt in Germany between the
Hercynian forest and the Rhine and Main rivers, while the Boii inhabited
lands still farther within Germany, as is shown by the name Boihaem
[Bohemia] which still clings to their former place, now inhabited by
another people. The Treveri and the Nervii lay claim to German origin,
as if to repudiate connection with the indolent Gauls. The inhabitants
of the Rhine bank, the Vangiones, Treboci, and Nemetes, are undoubtedly
of German blood; and the Ubii also, although they have become a Roman
colony and have taken the name of Agrippenses from their founder. Of all
the tribes along the lower Rhine the chief are the Batavi, who dwell
mainly on an island in the mouth of the Rhine. They were a portion of
the Chatti, but left their homes as the result of a domestic quarrel and
entered the Roman empire. They still retain, however, their old honor
and dignity as allies, not being subject to taxation or to any public
duties except that of war. Beyond the Agri Decumates are the Chatti,
whose territory borders on the Hercynian forest. Next to the Chatti,
descending the Rhine, are the Usipii and Tencteri; their neighbors, it
is said, were formerly the Bructeri, who have been driven out and their
place taken by the Angrivarii and Chamavi. Back of the Angrivarii and
the Chamavi [to the south] are the Dulgubnii and Chasuarii; in front [to
the north] are the Frisii, who are divided into two parts, the greater
and lesser Frisii. They dwell along the shores of the ocean north of the
Rhine. Next are the Chauci, and on the boundaries of the Chauci and the
Chatti [to the east], the Cherusci. The Cimbri dwell in the same region,
on the shores of the ocean.

We come next to the Suebi. They are not a single tribe, as the Chauci or
Tencteri, for example; they include a great many tribes, each one with
its own name, but all called in common Suebi. The Semnones claim to be
the most ancient and the noblest of the Suebi. They inhabit a hundred
districts and consider themselves, because of their number, the most
important tribe of the Suebi. On the other hand, the Lombards are known
for the small number of their members, but they are secure from conquest
by their more powerful neighbors by reason of their courage and their
experience in war. Then come the Reudigni, Aviones, Angli, Warini,
Eudoses, Suardones, and Nuitones. Then, following along the Danube, the
Hermunduri; then the Naristi, Marcomanni, and Quadi. The Marcomanni
drove the Boii out of their land, which they now inhabit. Back of these
tribes lie the Marsigni, Cotini, Osi, and Buri. The Marsigni and the
Buri have the same language and worship as the Suebi; but the fact that
the Cotini speak a Gallic language and the Osi a Pannonian would
indicate that they are not German tribes. A continuous mountain range
divides Suebia in this region; beyond it lie many races, of whom the
greatest is that of the Lugii, a name applied to several tribes, the
Harii, Helveconæ, Manimi, Elisii, Nahanarvali. Beyond the Lugii are the
Gutones. The tribes of the Suiones inhabit a land situated in the midst
of the ocean [Scandinavia], and are famous for their fleets. Beyond the
Suiones is that dreary ocean which is believed to encircle the whole
world. On the right [east] shore of the Suebian Sea [the Baltic] dwell
the Aestii, a people that have the same customs and manners as the
Suebi, but speak a language more like that of the inhabitants of
Britain. The land of the Suiones is continued by that of the Sithones.
This is the end of Suebia. I am uncertain whether to assign the Peucini,
Veneti, and Fenni to the German or Sarmatian race, although the Peucini,
called by some Bastarnæ, have the same language, worship, and sort of
houses as the Germans.

{1} In the tribal laws and other documents of the tribal period a
district called the "hundred" actually appears as the division of the
county (see no. 4, introductory note). Tacitus uses the term here as a
division of the tribe, but the original tribe in several instances
appears as a county of the larger tribal kingdom, among the Franks and
Anglo-Saxons, at least. The origin of the hundred as a territorial
district suggested in this passage by Tacitus is probably the correct
one: the whole tribe was divided for military purposes into companies of
about one hundred men; then when the tribe settled on the land which had
been conquered, the lands were distributed to the hundreds, and the
districts thus formed came to bear that name.

{2} The existence of a noble class, _i.e._, a number of families having
higher social rank and special consideration and privileges, is vouched
for by all the sources. The origin of the class and the extent of the
privileges which they enjoyed in this primitive time are uncertain. The
king was chosen usually from one noble family, but not by strict

{3} The general assembly was composed of all the freemen of the tribe.
All public business, that is, affairs in which the whole tribe was
concerned, was conducted here, including the making of war and peace,
the election of the king and chief officials, etc. It would appear from
what Tacitus says that the assembly had jurisdiction in the graver
offenses and in cases of appeal from the hundred-court.

{4} These leaders were probably the officials who presided over the
hundred-court, the assembly of the freemen of the hundred, which was the
regular court of justice. We find such an official mentioned in several
of the tribal laws; in the Salic and the Alamannian law he is called the
"centenarius," and in the Anglo-Saxon laws the "hundredes-ealdor." The
hundred companions of the official mentioned by Tacitus were probably
the whole body of the freemen of the hundred. They attended the
hundred-court and had a share in rendering the decision.

{5} The chief with his band of followers is found in many primitive
warlike societies. The various traditions of the German tribes are full
of references to this institution. Famous warriors would gather about
them a band of young men eager for reputation and experience. These
bands would form the élite of the army when the whole tribe went to war,
but would also conduct warlike enterprises on their own account. The
viking raids of the Northmen were instances of this practice. It not
infrequently happened that the success of private bands would lead the
whole tribe to follow and settle on the land which they had begun to
conquer, as in the traditional account of the conquest of Britain by the
Angles and Saxons.

{6} The obligation of following up the blood-feud is a common feature
of primitive society. It forms the basis of many of the popular tales
and traditions of the German people. The law attempted to make the
kindred of the slain man give up the feud in return for the payment of a
fixed sum by the slayer of his kin, but the attempt was not always
successful. The sum paid is known as the _wergeld_ and is mentioned in
all the tribal laws (see no. 4, title XLI and note).

{7} The form of land-holding among the early Germans has been the
subject of much study and investigation. Chapters 16 and 26 of Tacitus
have been discussed and commented on at great length by many scholars
and no absolute agreement has been reached in regard to the
interpretation of them. The above translation is as literal and
untechnical as we could make it, but it is not free from objection. It
would seem to mean that the land of the tribe was held by small groups
or communities dwelling in little farming villages and cultivating the
land assigned them. The land in the time of Tacitus was probably owned
in common by the community and apportioned equally among the
householders for the purpose of cultivation, and then redistributed at
regular periods, once a year according to Tacitus.

{8} In order to understand the conditions of German life as described
by Tacitus, the student would do well to pick out, bring together, and
classify all that he says in different places about the important
features of their life: (1) the king, his election, powers, etc.; (2)
the assemblies, their composition, procedure, authority; (3) the
officials; (4) manners and customs.

{9} The chapters devoted to the enumeration and description of the
separate tribes have been summarized, the purpose being to show the
location and the names of the tribes in the time of Tacitus; the student
should compare these with the situation as shown by a map of Europe at
the time of the migrations. Note that very few of these names appear at
the time of the migrations; this is because most of the tribes had lost
their identity before that time, being united into larger groups, or
absorbed by other peoples, as by the Huns, Romans, etc. Of the tribes
mentioned before the Suebi, most were later united into the
confederations of the Franks, Alamanni, and Saxons; thus the Chatti,
Chamavi, Chasuarii, etc., are found among the Franks; the Tencteri,
Usipii among the Alamanni; the Chauci, Cherusci, Angrivarii among the
Saxons. The Frisii remained in the same region and were finally added to
the Frankish kingdom by Karl Martel; their name still exists in the
Friesland of modern Holland. The Ubii were settled by M. Agrippa on land
near Cologne, the Roman town Colonia Agrippina. The Agri Decumates or
"tithe lands" were the territory contained within the triangle formed by
the upper Rhine, the upper Danube, and a line of fortifications, called
the _Limes_. This advanced frontier was established by Trajan (98-117).
The territory received its name from the fact that the colonists who
settled there paid a tithe or tenth of the produce to the state as rent.
Under the name Suebi, Tacitus classes a great many tribes, some of whom
are not even of German race. The real nature of the Suevic Confederation
is a matter of great uncertainty. Some of the tribes mentioned by
Tacitus under this head appear later; the Semnones are conjectured to be
the tribe later known as the Suevi, who joined the Vandals in their raid
and remained in northern Spain until conquered by the West Goths; the
Lombards remained a separate tribe and moved south into Pannonia and
then into Italy; a portion of the Angli joined the Saxons in their
invasion of England; the rest were apparently united with the Warini in
the Thuringian kingdom, the principal tribe of which was the Hermunduri;
the Marcomanni and the Quadi, perhaps with some other tribes, composed
the later Bavarians; the Lugii, or Lygians, are mentioned by later Roman
writers as among the Germans who threatened the Danube frontier, but the
name disappeared after that; the Gutones are the Goths; the Suiones and
Sithones are Scandinavian Germans; the Peucini are the same as the
Bastarnae, who were given lands on the Danube by Emperor Probus
(276-282); the Veneti are the Wends, a Slavic tribe; the Fenni, the
modern Finns.

2. Procopius, Vandal War. (Greek.)

Procopius, in Corpus Scriptorum Historiæ Byzantinæ.

This and the following number are taken from the writings of Procopius,
a Roman official and historian who lived about 500 to 560 A.D., and had
a personal share in the wars of Justinian against the East Goths and
Vandals. The earlier parts of his histories are drawn largely from

I, 2. During the reign of Honorius [395-423] in the west the barbarians
began to overrun the empire.... The invaders were mainly of the Gothic
race, the greatest and most important tribes being the East Goths, the
Vandals, the West Goths, and the Gepidæ.... These tribes have different
names, but in all other respects they resemble one another very closely;
they all have light complexions, yellow hair, large bodies, and handsome
faces; they obey the same laws and have the same religion, the Arian;
and they all speak the same language, Gothic. I am of the opinion,
therefore, that they were originally one people and have separated into
tribes under different leaders. They formerly dwelt beyond the Danube;
then the Gepidæ occupied the land about Sirmium on both sides of that
river, where they still dwell.

The first to move were the West Goths. This tribe entered into an
alliance with the Romans, but later, since such an alliance could not be
permanent, they revolted under Alaric. Starting from Thrace, they made a
raid through all of Europe, attacking both emperors.

[Alaric sacks Rome.] Soon after, Alaric died, and the West Goths, under
Athaulf, passed on into Gaul.

3. Under the pressure of famine, the Vandals, who formerly dwelt on the
shores of the Mæotic Gulf [Sea of Azof], moved on toward the Rhine,
attacking the Franks. With them went the Alani.... [Crossing the Rhine
into Gaul] they proceeded down into Spain, the most western province of
the Roman empire, and settled there under their king, Godegisel,
Honorius having made an agreement with him by which the Vandals were to
be allowed to settle in Spain on condition that they should not plunder
the land.

At that time the greatest Roman generals were Boniface and Aëtius, who
were political rivals.... Boniface sent secretly to Spain and made an
agreement with Gunderich and Geiserich, the sons and successors of
Godegisel, whereby they were to bring the Vandals into Africa, and the
three were to divide the rule of Africa among themselves, mutually
supporting one another in case of attacks from outside. Accordingly the
Vandals crossed the strait at Gades and entered Africa, while the West
Goths moved forward from Gaul into Spain after them. [Gunderich dies,
leaving Geiserich sole ruler of the Vandals; Geiserich quarrels with
Boniface and drives him out of Africa, ruling the whole territory with
his Vandals.]

5. Geiserich now got together a large fleet and attacked Italy,
capturing Rome and the palace of the emperor. The usurper Maximus was
slain by the populace and his body torn to pieces. Geiserich took back
to Carthage Eudoxia, the empress, and her two daughters, Eudocia and
Placidia, carrying off also an immense booty in gold and silver. The
imperial palace was plundered of all its treasures, as was also the
temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, including a large part of the roof, which
was made of bronze, heavily plated with gold....

3. Procopius, Gothic War. (Greek.)

Procopius, in Corpus Script. Hist. Byz.; Muratori, Scriptores, I, i,
247 f.

I, 1. While Zeno [474-491] was emperor in Byzantium, the west was ruled
by Augustus, whom the Romans called Augustulus, because of his youth.
The actual government was in the hands of his father Orestes, a most
able man. Some time before this, as a result of the reverses which they
had suffered at the hands of Attila and Alaric, the Romans had taken the
Sciri, Alani, and other German tribes into the empire as allies. The
renown of Roman arms had long since vanished, and the barbarians were
coming into Italy in ever-increasing numbers, where they were actual
masters under the false name of allies (_federati_). They continually
seized more and more power, until finally they demanded a third of all
the lands of Italy. When Orestes refused to grant this they slew him.
Then one of the imperial officers, Odovaker, also a barbarian, promised
to secure this for them if they would recognize him as ruler. In spite
of the power which he thus acquired, Odovaker did not attack the emperor
[Romulus Augustulus], but only forced him to retire to private life. He
then gave the barbarians the third of the lands which they had demanded,
thus binding them more closely to him, and ruled over Italy unopposed
for ten years.

About this time the East Goths, who had been allowed to settle in
Thrace, rose against the emperor under their king, Theoderich. He had
been brought up at Byzantium, where he had been given the rank of a
patrician, and had even held the title of consul. The emperor Zeno, a
master in diplomacy, persuaded Theoderich to invade Italy and attack
Odovaker, with the chance of winning the whole west for himself and the
East Goths.... Theoderich seized on this opportunity eagerly, and the
whole tribe set out for Italy, taking along with them in wagons their
women and children and all their movables.... Odovaker hastened with an
army to oppose this invasion, but was defeated in several battles, and
finally shut up in Ravenna.... After the siege had lasted for about
three years both parties were willing to come to terms, the Goths being
weary of the long siege and the soldiers of Odovaker being on the verge
of starvation. So, through the efforts of the bishop of Ravenna, a
treaty was made according to which Theoderich and Odovaker were to rule
the city jointly. This treaty was kept for a short time, but finally
Theoderich treacherously seized Odovaker at a banquet to which he had
invited him, and had him put to death. He then won over to him all his
enemies, and from that time on ruled over Goths and Italians unopposed.
Theoderich never assumed the name or dignity of emperor, being content
to be known as king, as the barbarians call their rulers. In fact,
however, the subjects bore the same relation to him as to an emperor. He
dispensed justice with a strong hand, and rigidly enforced the law and
kept peace. In his time the land was protected from the attacks of
neighboring barbarians, and his might and his wisdom were famous far and
wide. He allowed his subjects neither to suffer nor to commit wrongs;
his own followers were given only the lands which Odovaker had taken for
his supporters. Thus Theoderich, although he bore the title of a tyrant,
was in fact a righteous emperor.... He loved the Goths and the Italians
equally, recognizing no difference between them, contrary as this may
seem to human nature.... After a reign of thirty-seven years, he died
lamented by all his people.

4. The Salic Law.

In the period before the migrations, each of the German tribes had its
primitive code of laws. This law was not put in writing, but was held in
memory; it was not based on abstract reasons of right and justice, but
grew up out of practice and custom. The migrations and the development
of tribal kingdoms on Roman soil brought about important changes in the
public and private life of the Germans, partly the result of changed
conditions, partly the direct influence of Roman manners and
institutions. One result was that the old unwritten customary laws were
codified and published in written form. These codes, called the _Leges
Barbarorum_, or laws of the barbarians, form an important historical
source, for of course they reflect the new conditions in which the
Germans found themselves after their settlement. Some of them show the
influence of Roman law and institutions in a marked degree; others are
more purely Germanic. They were in most cases written in Latin, although
the Angles and Saxons in England published their early codes in Old
English or Anglo-Saxon. One of the oldest and at the same time one of
the most purely German in character is the law of the Salic Franks,
called in Latin, _Lex Salica_; it was probably written about the year
500, in the reign of Chlodovech (481-511). In the most authentic form it
contains sixty-five chapters, or "titles," most of which are composed of
several sections. The title usually has a heading, as: XVII. _De
vulneribus_ (Concerning wounds).

The parts translated are intended to illustrate: (1) the character of
the tribal laws in general, and (2) certain important institutions and
customs of the Franks. Certain features of the Salic law are common to
nearly all of the German laws; these are suggested here for the
convenience of the reader.

1. The code contains mainly private law. Most of the law is taken up
with a scale of fines and compensations for injury, damage, and theft,
as in the case of injuries, titles XVII and XXII. This is characteristic
of most of the German codes; they are concerned with private and not
with public or administrative law.

2. The law makes minute specification of injuries. Note that the
different injuries are carefully described and particular fines given
for each, as in titles XVII and XXIX. This feature is found in most of
the codes and is characteristic of a primitive stage of legal conception
and a barbarous state of society. The important function of primitive
law is the settlement of differences between individuals to prevent
personal reprisals, so the various injuries that are apt to occur are
specified and provided with special fines.

3. A large part of the procedure takes place out of court, and is
conducted by the individuals concerned. So in title I, 3, the plaintiff
summons the defendant in person; in title L, 2, the creditor tries to
collect the amount fixed by the court; in title XLVII the whole process
of tracing and recovering stolen property, except the last stage, is
conducted out of court. This also is a common feature of Germanic law;
the objection, common among uncivilized peoples, to the state's
interference with private affairs of the individual operates here to
restrict the function of the law to the simple decision of the case.

4. All the German laws provide for the payment of the _wergeld_. The
origin of this is doubtless to be found in the underlying conception of
primitive law referred to in paragraph 2. The purpose being to put an
end to private revenge, which would mean continual private war, the law
prescribes the amount to be paid to the kindred of the slain man, and
they must on receipt of that give up the blood-feud. (See no. 1, ch. 21,
and note.) In many of the codes different values are assigned to
different classes of people, as here in title XLI.

The public institutions of the Franks are referred to in the law only
incidentally, the law being concerned, as has been said, mainly with
private matters, and taking for granted a knowledge of public law.
Following is a brief statement of the form of government, administration
of justice, etc. The state ruled by the king of the Salic Franks was
composed of several small tribes, originally independent (see no. 1,
notes 1 and 9), but now incorporated into a single state. The kingdom
was divided into counties, some of which correspond to the former
independent tribes, and some to old Roman political divisions. The
county was governed by a representative of the king, an official who is
called in the Salic law by the German title _grafio_ (modern German
"Graf"), and in later documents by the Latin title _comes_ (count). The
judicial system was based on the division of the county known as the
hundred (see no. 1, note 1), the assembly of the freemen of the hundred
being the regular public court. It was presided over by the
"hundred-man," in the Salic law called either _centenarius_, which means
simply hundred-man, or _thunginus_, a word of uncertain meaning. The
function of the _grafio_, the representative of the king in the county,
was mainly executive; he was appealed to only when every other means of
forcing the delinquent to obey the law or the decision of the court had
failed, but he has no part in the trial of cases. See title L, 3, for an
instance of the function of the _grafio_.

I. _Legal Summons._{10}

1. If anyone is summoned to the court and does not come, he shall pay
600 denarii, which make 15 solidi.{11}

3. When anyone summons another to court, he shall go with witnesses to
the house of that person, and if he is not present the summoner shall
serve notice on his wife or his family that he is legally summoned.

{10} This title illustrates what is said in the introduction about the
process out of court. The person who has a cause for legal action
against another, goes himself to the house of his antagonist and summons
him before witnesses. The law steps in, however, and forces the one who
is summoned to come to court under penalty. See also title LVI.

{11} The monetary system of the Salic law was taken from the Romans.
The basis was the gold solidus of Constantine, 1/72 of a pound of gold.
The small coin was the silver denarius, forty of which made a solidus.
This system was adopted as a monetary reform by Chlodovech, and the
statement of the sum in terms of both coins is probably due to the
newness of the system at the time of the appearance of the law.

XVII. _Wounds._

1. If anyone is convicted of trying to kill another, even though he
fails, he shall pay 2,500 denarii, which make 63 (62-1/2) solidi.

2. If anyone is convicted of shooting a poisoned arrow at another, even
though he misses him, he shall pay 2,500 denarii, which make 63 solidi.

3. If anyone wounds another in the head, so that the brain appears and
the three bones which lie above the brain are uncovered, he shall pay
1,200 denarii, which make 30 solidi.

4. If anyone wounds another between the ribs or in the abdomen, so that
the wound can be seen and extends to the vitals, he shall pay 1,200
denarii, which make 30 solidi, besides 5 solidi for the healing.

5. If anyone wounds another so that the blood falls to the ground, he
shall pay 600 denarii, which make 15 solidi.

6. If a freeman strikes another freeman with a club, so that the blood
does not flow, he shall pay 120 denarii, which make 3 solidi, for each
blow, up to three.

7. If the blood does flow, he shall pay as much for each blow as if he
had wounded him with a sword.

8. If anyone strikes another with the closed fist, he shall pay 360
denarii, which make 9 solidi; that is, 3 solidi for each blow up to

9. If anyone is convicted of trying to rob another on the highroad, even
though he fails, he shall pay 2,500 denarii, which make 63 solidi.

XXIX. _Injuries._

1. If anyone destroys the hand or the foot of another, or cuts out his
eye, or cuts off his nose, he shall pay 4,000 denarii, which make 100

2. If the injured hand hangs loose and useless, he shall pay 2,500
denarii, which make 63 (62-1/2) solidi.

3. If anyone cuts off the thumb or the great toe of another, he shall
pay 2,000 denarii, which make 50 solidi.

4. If the thumb or the toe hangs useless, he shall pay 1,200 denarii,
which make 30 solidi.

5. If he cuts off the second finger, by which the bowstring is drawn, he
shall pay 1,400 denarii, which make 35 solidi.

6. If he cuts off the rest of the fingers (that is, the other three) at
one blow, he shall pay 50 solidi.

7. If he cuts off two of them, he shall pay 35 solidi.

8. If he cuts off one of them, he shall pay 30 solidi.

XLI. _Manslaughter._{12}

1. If anyone is convicted of killing a free Frank or a barbarian living
by the Salic law, he shall pay 8,000 denarii, which make 200 solidi.

2. If he has put the body in a well, or under water, or has covered it
with branches or other things for the purpose of hiding it, he shall pay
24,000 denarii, which make 600 solidi.{13}

3. If anyone kills a man in the king's trust, or a free woman, he shall
pay 24,000 denarii, which make 600 solidi.

4. If he kills a Roman who was a table-companion of the king, he shall
pay 12,000 denarii, which make 300 solidi.

6. If the slain man was a Roman landowner, and not a table-companion of
the king, he who slew him shall pay 4,000 denarii, which make 100

7. If anyone kills a Roman _tributarius_, he shall pay 63 solidi.

{12} The fine for slaying a man is the _wergeld_ referred to in the
introduction. It was paid to the kin of the slain man by the slayer or
his kin. The _wergeld_ has different values for different classes; note
the classes in the Salic law, particularly the position of the persons
in the royal service, the importance of which must have been of
comparatively recent origin, and the position of the Roman population.
The freeman of the Frankish tribe has a _wergeld_ of 200 solidi, the
free woman three times that, 600 solidi; the Roman _possessor_, or free
landowner, 100 solidi; the Roman _tributarius_, who cultivated the land
of another at a fixed rent, and was regarded as less than a freeman,
62-1/2 solidi. If the freeman was in the king's trust, that is, in the
service of the king and probably bound to him by a special oath (these
men are also called _antrustiones_; see nos. 180 and 189), his _wergeld_
was three times that of the ordinary freeman, 600 solidi; that of the
Roman who was a table-companion of the king, a relation similar to that
of the man in the king's trust, was also tripled, 300 solidi.

{13} The fact of concealment is the distinguishing mark between murder
and manslaughter.

XLV. _The Man who Removes from One Village to Another._{14}

1. If anyone desires to enter a village, with the consent of one or more
of the inhabitants of that village, and a single one objects, he shall
not be allowed to settle there.

3. But if anyone settles in another village and remains there twelve
months without any one of the inhabitants objecting, he shall be allowed
to remain in peace like his neighbors.

{14} This title throws some light on the original character of the
village community. The village was in origin probably a group of
kindred, and new-comers were admitted only by the consent of all the
householders. Moreover, as much of the land was still held in common by
the village--the wood, pasture, and meadow--the admission of a new
member concerned all the householders.

XLVII. _The Tracing of Stolen Goods._

If one has recognized a slave, or a horse, or an ox, or anything of his
own in the possession of another, he is to "send him to the third
hand."{15} And he in whose hands the thing was recognized is to swear
[to his own innocence]; and if both parties [_i.e._, the rightful owner
and the man in whose possession it was found] dwell on this side of the
Loire and the Carbonaria,{16} a term of forty days shall be set within
which all are to be summoned who have had any part in the affair, who
have sold or exchanged or perhaps given in payment the article. That is,
each one is to summon the man from whom he got it. And if anyone of
these has been summoned and legal hindrance has not kept him away, and
he does not come within the appointed term, then the one who had
dealings with this delinquent is to bring three witnesses to the fact
that he had summoned him and three more to the fact that he had obtained
the property from him legally and in good faith; if he does this he is
clear of suspicion of theft. But he who would not come and against whom
the witnesses have borne testimony, shall be held to be the thief of the
man who recognized his own, and he [the thief] shall return the price to
the man who dealt with him and shall pay the lawful compensation to the
man who recognized his own.{17} All these things are to be done in that
court to which he is answerable in whose hands the stolen thing was
first recognized and with whom the process started. But if he in whose
hands it was recognized dwells beyond the Loire or the Carbonaria the
time allowed shall be eighty days.

{15} The expression _mittat eum in tertia manu_ has been interpreted in
various ways; it means apparently either that the possessor is to place
the article in question in the hands of a third disinterested party who
is to hold it until the case has been tried, or that he is to refer the
claimant to the "third party"; that is, the man from whom he obtained

{16} A much-discussed phrase, which has been used to show that the
Salic law belongs to a period after the Frankish control had extended
beyond the Loire. The word in the text (_ligere_) has also been taken to
mean the river Leye, but this is not generally accepted. The Carbonaria
(German, _Kohlenwald_) was a large forest in what is now Belgium.

{17} The form of statement is rather confusing, but the process is
fairly clear. The burden of proof lies on the man in whose possession
the stolen article is found, and he must clear himself by producing the
man from whom he got it. This shifts the responsibility to the latter,
who in turn must produce the man from whom he obtained it, and so on
back until the person is reached who obtained the article illegally, and
so is not likely to obey the summons to appear in court. Then the last
man in the chain before the thief proves his innocence of bad faith by
showing that he bought the article publicly and so obtained it in good
faith, and that he had served notice on the delinquent in the present
process. Inasmuch as legal sales were held publicly before witnesses, it
is fairly certain in this way that the guilt will be located. The man in
whose possession it was found then restores the article to its owner,
and receives back the price he paid for it from the man from whom he got
it; and this repayment is repeated in each case until the thief is
reached; the man who dealt with him has a legal action for recovery of
the price against the thief, while the owner has also an action for the
recovery of damages.

L. _The Given Pledge._

1.  If a free man or a letus{18} has given pledge [that is, made a
solemn promise at the court] to another, then he to whom the pledge was
given shall go to the house of the other within forty nights,{19} or
whatever period was set, with witnesses or with such as can estimate the
price.{20} And if the delinquent will not redeem the pledge given, he
shall be held liable for 15 solidi above the amount for which he had
given pledge.

2.  If still he will not pay, the complainant shall summon him to the
_mallus_, and thus he shall proceed to have him constrained by law: "I
ask thee, _thunginus_, to constrain by law this my debtor who has given
me a pledge and is in my debt." And he shall state how much the debt is.
Then the _thunginus_ shall say: "I constrain this man by law, in
accordance with the Salic law." Then he to whom the pledge was given
shall give notice that the delinquent can neither pay nor give pledge of
payment to any other until he has fulfilled what he promised him [the
creditor]. And straightway on that day before the sun sets he shall go
with witnesses to the house of the debtor and ask him to pay the debt.
If he will not, let the sun set upon him.{21} Then when the sun has set,
120 denarii, which make 3 solidi, are added to the amount owed. And this
thing is to be done three times in three weeks, and if on the third
summons he will not pay all this, then 360 denarii, which make 9 solidi,
are to be added to the debt, that is, 3 solidi for every summons and
setting of the sun.

The next two sections are now generally regarded as a later
addition--_i.e._, the first two are supposed to belong to an early
period, while the last two belong to the period when the _grafio_, the
royal representative, had acquired executive functions within the
county. If this is so, then sections 3 and 4 have replaced certain older
sections which must have completed the process described in sections 1
and 2; there must have been a further stage in which the delinquent was
finally forced to pay, perhaps the process described in title LVI, by
which a delinquent can be outlawed if he is still contumacious.

3. If anyone refuses to redeem his promise within the lawful term, then
he to whom he gave the pledge shall go to the _grafio_ of the county
within which the debtor lives, and shall lay hold on the staff and say:
"_Grafio_, this man has given pledge to me and I have given lawful
notice of his indebtedness and have sued him before the _mallus_ in
accordance with the Salic law. I pledge myself and my fortune that you
may safely and lawfully lay hands on his property." And he declares for
what cause and to what amount the pledge had been given. Then the
_grafio_ shall take with him seven suitable _rachinburgii_{22} and go to
the house of him who gave the pledge and say: "You, who are here
present, pay this man of your own free will that for which you gave him
pledge. Choose two men, whomsoever you will, who together with these
_rachinburgii_ shall assess from your goods the amount you ought to pay.
And so shall you make good what you owe according to legal value." But
if he, being present, will not heed, or if he is absent, then the
_rachinburgii_ shall take from his goods a value equal to the amount
which he owes, and of that amount two parts shall go to him who brought
suit, and the third part the _grafio_ shall take for himself as
_fredus_,{23} if the _fredus_ for this case has not already been paid.

4. If the _grafio_ has been appealed to and legal hindrance or his
master's [the king's] business has not detained him, and he neither goes
himself nor sends a representative, he shall be punished with death or
he may redeem himself with his possessions.

{18} The term _letus_ is used of a class of population whose position
was between that of the free man and that of the slave; a similar class
is found among nearly all the Germanic tribes. They were perhaps
descendants of conquered peoples that had been incorporated into the
tribe; they did not own land, but cultivated the land of others on terms
of a fixed rental in produce and services. Thus while not free, their
position was above that of the slaves, since they might acquire
possessions and profits above the rent paid, while the earnings of the
slave belonged in theory entirely to the master.

{19} The regular interval between the meetings of the hundred-court or

{20} The use of appraisers, referred to here and elsewhere, indicates
that fines and debts were paid regularly in kind, and that money was
still an unfamiliar convenience.

{21} That is, the delinquent is to be given the full legal day, and
when that has passed with the setting of the sun, the penalty is
incurred. It is interesting to notice the same feature in the law of the
XII Tables, which was apparently merely the primitive tribal law of the
early Romans reduced to written form. There, in the first table, the
description of a public court process ends with the sentence: "Sol
occasus suprema tempestas esto"--sunset is to be the latest hour [of the
legal day].

{22} _Rachinburgii_ is the name generally used in the law for the board
of judges, seven in number, who are chosen at every hundred-court to
render the judgment (see title LVI). Here, however, the term is used for
appraisers who apparently are not connected with the _rachinburgii_ of
the hundred-court.

{23} The _fredus_ is that portion of the fine which goes to the state,
apparently as compensation for executing the sentence. It furnished a
part at once of the royal revenues and of the salary of the _grafio_,
since half went to him and half to the royal treasury.

LII. _Property that has been Loaned._

If one has loaned anything of his goods to another, and that person will
not restore it to him, he shall sue for it in this way: He shall go with
witnesses to the house of him to whom he loaned his property and serve
this notice on him: "Since you will not restore to me my goods which I
have loaned to you, you may keep them until the following night, in
accordance with the Salic law."{24} And if still he will not restore
them, let the sun set on him.{25} If he still will not restore them, the
owner is to give him a space of seven nights, and at the end of these
seven nights he shall serve notice as before that he may keep them till
the following night, in accordance with the Salic law. If then he will
not restore them, at the end of another seven nights he is to go with
witnesses again and ask him to pay what he owes. If he will not pay, let
the sun set on him. But when the sun has set on him three times, for
each time 120 denarii (which make 3 solidi) are to be added to the
original amount of the debt. And if still he will neither pay nor give
pledge of payment, he is to be held liable to him who loaned him the
goods for 600 denarii (which make 15 solidi) above the original debt and
above the 9 solidi which accrued through the three summons.

{24} This is to give the man legal and public notice and to allow him a
full day's time in which to obey. The guilt is incurred, therefore, at
sunset of the following day.

{25} See title L, note 21.

LIV. _The Slain Grafio._

1. If anyone kills a _grafio_{26} he shall pay 24,000 denarii, which
make 600 solidi.

2. If anyone kills a _sacebaro_,{27} or an _obgrafio_ who is a king's
slave, he shall pay 12,000 denarii, which make 300 solidi.

{26} For the position of the _grafio_, see introduction. His _wergeld_
is seen to be the same as that of the freeman in the king's service, and
may indeed be regarded as a special instance of the general case of a
man employed in the royal service.

{27} The _sacebaro_ and the _obgrafio_ are apparently subordinate
officials of the _grafio_. They were probably not infrequently unfree
persons, as they are here.

LVI. _He who refuses to come to Court._

If anyone refuses to come to court or to do what the _rachinburgii_ have
commanded, that is, to give pledge for payment, or for the ordeal, or
for anything which the law requires, then the complainant is to summon
him to the presence of the king. And twelve witnesses, being sworn in
turn by threes, shall say: [the first three] that they were present when
the _rachinburgius_ condemned him to undergo ordeal or to give pledge
for payment, and that he had not obeyed. The second three are to swear
that they were present on the day when the _rachinburgii_ [again]
condemned him to clear himself by ordeal or by paying the fine; that is,
that, forty nights from the first day, the sun set on him in the
_mallberg_{28} again, and that he would in no way obey the law. Then the
complainant is to summon him before the king, in fourteen nights [after
the last _mallus_], and three witnesses are to swear that they were
present when he summoned him and the sun set on him. If he will not
come, then these nine witnesses, having sworn, are to say what we have
said above. Likewise, if he will not come [to the king's court] on that
day, let the sun set on him, and there shall be three witnesses who were
present when the sun set.{29} If the complainant has done all these
things, and he who was summoned refuses to come to any court, the king
shall put him outside of his protection [_i.e._, outlaw him]. Then the
criminal and all his goods are liable. And whoever shall feed him or
give him hospitality, even if it be his own wife, shall be held liable
for 600 denarii, which make 15 solidi, until he shall have paid all that
has been imposed on him.

{28} _Mallberg_ or _malloberg_ is the place where the _mallus_ or
public court is held, and is here used as equivalent to the court.

{29} The process described from the end of the first sentence to this
point is supposed to have taken place before the summons to the king's
court mentioned in that first sentence; this is shown by the statement
that there are to be twelve witnesses at the king's court, these twelve
witnesses appearing in the passage as follows: three each for the two
public trials in the _mallus_, three for the summons to the king's court
fourteen days after the second trial, and three for the first session of
the king's court; these delays having been granted and the delinquent
not appearing at the second session of the royal court, he is there
finally outlawed.

5. Selections from the History of the Franks, by Gregory of Tours.

M. G. S. S. 4to, rerum mer., I.

By the end of the fifth century, the Roman government in the west had
practically come to an end and most of the territory was occupied by
German tribes. The confederated tribes living along the middle and lower
Rhine began to be called Franks about 200 A.D. For the next two
centuries, the Roman garrisons had great difficulty in keeping them out
of northern Gaul. With the weakening and final withdrawal of these
garrisons in the beginning of the fifth century, the Franks spread over
northern Gaul and by about 450 had occupied the land as far south as the
river Somme. Under Chlodovech the confederated tribes, which still had
their own kings, were united under his single rule, and the other
inhabitants of Gaul--Romans, Alamanni, West Goths, and Burgundians--were
absorbed or reduced to dependence. The work of Chlodovech was carried on
by his sons and grandsons with the conquest of the Burgundians,
Thuringians, Bavarians, etc. Then came the civil wars among the
descendants of Chlodovech which prevented further advance until the rise
of the house of Karl the Great.

There are few documents or chronicles for the history of the Franks
during the fifth to the seventh centuries. The only connected account is
that of Gregory, bishop of Tours from 573 to 594. His position made him
one of the most influential men of his time and he was well acquainted
with the contemporary events which he narrates. The earlier part of his
work is, of course, less reliable, because he depended upon tradition.

II, 9. It is not known who was the first king of the Franks.... We read
in the lists of consuls that Theodomer, king of the Franks, son of a
certain Richemer, and his mother Ascyla were slain by the sword. They
say also that afterward Chlogio, a brave and illustrious man of that
race, was king of the Franks and had his seat at Dispargum, on the
boundary of the Thuringians. In the region [about Tours], as far south
as the Loire, dwelt the Romans; beyond the Loire the Goths held sway,
while the Burgundians, who followed the heresy of Arius, dwelt across
the Rhône, on which is situated the city of Lyon. Chlogio sent spies to
the city of Cambrai{30} to spy out the situation and report to him. Then
he seized the city and dwelt there a short time, occupying the land as
far as the Somme. Some assert that king Merovech, whose son was
Childerich,{31} belonged to the line of Chlogio....

27. After the death of Childerich his son Chlodovech ruled in his stead
[481]. In the fifth year of his reign, Syagrius, son of Ægidius, was
ruling in Soissons as king of the Romans,{32} where the said Ægidius had
held sway. Now Chlodovech and his relative Ragnachar advanced against
Syagrius and challenged him to battle; and the latter eagerly accepted
the challenge. But in the course of the conflict Syagrius, seeing that
his army was defeated, turned and fled from the field, seeking safety
with king Alaric at Toulouse.{33} Then Chlodovech sent to Alaric,
ordering him to surrender Syagrius, on pain of being himself attacked;
and Alaric, fearing to incur the wrath of the Franks, as is the habit of
the Goths, gave over Syagrius bound to the messengers of Chlodovech.
Then Chlodovech had him thrown into prison, and, after seizing his
kingdom, had him secretly slain....

28. Now Gundevech, of the line of the persecuting king, Athanaric, was
king of the Burgundians.{34} He had four sons, Gundobad, Godegisel,
Chilperic, and Godomar. Gundobad slew his brother Chilperic, and drowned
Chilperic's wife by tying a stone about her neck and throwing her into
the water. He also condemned Chilperic's two daughters to exile; of
these the older was Chrona, who became a nun, and the younger was
Chlothilde.... Chlodovech sent an embassy to Gundobad demanding the hand
of Chlothilde in marriage, and Gundobad, fearing to refuse him,
surrendered her to the messengers of Chlodovech, who bore her
straightway to the king....

30. The queen [Chlothilde] continually urged Chlodovech to abandon his
idols and accept the true God. She was not successful, however, until
finally, when he was waging war on the Alamanni,{35} he was compelled by
necessity to accept that which he had formerly refused. For in the
course of the battle, when the two armies were engaged in fierce
struggle, it happened that the army of Chlodovech was on the verge of
utter rout, and seeing this the king raised his eyes to heaven, and
cried: "Jesus Christ, thou whom Chlothilde doth call the son of the
living God, who dost comfort those in travail and give victory to those
that believe in thee, I now devoutly beseech thy aid, and I promise if
thou dost give me victory over these mine enemies and if I find thou
hast the power which thy believers say thou hast shown, that I will
believe in thee and be baptized in thy name. For I have called on my own
gods and they have failed to help me; therefore I believe they have no
power, since they do not come to the aid of their worshippers. I call
now upon thee; I desire to believe in thee, that I be not destroyed by
mine enemies." And as soon as he had cried thus, the Alamanni turned and
fled. And when they saw that their king was slain they surrendered to
Chlodovech, saying: "Let not thy people perish further, we beseech thee,
for we are thine."

31. ... Then the king demanded that he should be the first to be
baptized by the bishop. So the new Constantine advanced to the font, to
be cleansed from the old leprosy of his sin, and from the sordid stains
of his past life, in the water of baptism. As he approached the font,
the saint of God addressed him in these fitting words: "Bow thy head,
Sigambrian;{36} adore what thou hast burned, burn what thou hast
adored." ... Then the king having professed his belief in omnipotent God
the Trinity, was baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit, and was anointed with the holy oil with the sign of the cross of
Christ. And more than 3,000 of his army were baptized also....

32. The brothers Gundobad and Godegisel were at this time ruling the
land about the Rhône and the Saône and the province of Marseilles. They,
as well as their people, were Arian. And when war was on the point of
breaking out between them, Godegisel, who had heard of the conquests of
Chlodovech, sent to him secretly, saying: "If you will give me aid in
overthrowing my brother, so that I may kill him in battle or drive him
from the kingdom, I will pay you such yearly tribute as you shall
demand." Chlodovech accepted the conditions gladly and promised to send
aid to Godegisel whenever he should require it. At the time appointed,
Chlodovech advanced with his army against Gundobad. When Gundobad,
ignorant of the treachery of Godegisel, learned of the approach of
Chlodovech, he sent to his brother, saying: "Come to my aid, for the
Franks are coming against me to seize my kingdom. Let us unite to
withstand this enemy, lest if we remain divided, each of us should
suffer the fate of the other nations." And Godegisel replied that he
would bring his army to the aid of his brother. Thus the three armies
advancing at the same time, came together at Dijon, and Godegisel and
Chlodovech joined forces and defeated Gundobad. Gundobad, seeing the
treachery of his brother, which he had not before suspected, turned and
fled along the bank of the Rhône until he came to Avignon....

35. Now when Alaric, king of the Goths, saw that Chlodovech was
conquering many nations, he sent to him and said: "If it please my
brother, let us unite our interests under the protection of God." And
Chlodovech, agreeing, came to him, and they met on an island in the
Loire, near the town of Amboise in the vicinity of Tours. There they
held a conference, and ate and drank together, and separated in peace,
having exchanged vows of friendship. But already many of the Gauls
[under Alaric] were greatly desirous of being under Frankish rule.

37. Then Chlodovech said to his followers: "It causes me great grief
that these Arians{37} should hold a part of Gaul. Let us go with the aid
of God and reduce them to subjection." And since this was pleasing to
all his followers, he advanced with his army toward Poitiers.... And
Chlodovech came up with Alaric, king of the Goths, at Vouillé, about ten
miles from Poitiers.... There the Goths fled, according to their custom,
and Chlodovech gained a great victory with the aid of God. And
Chloderic, the son of Sigibert the Lame, aided him in this battle.

40. Now while Chlodovech was staying at Paris, he sent secretly to the
son of Sigibert, saying: "Behold now your father is old and lame. If he
should die his kingdom would come to you and my friendship with it." So
the son of Sigibert, impelled by his cupidity, planned to slay his
father. And when Sigibert set out from Cologne and crossed the Rhine to
go through the Buchonian forest [in Hesse, near Fulda], his son had him
slain by assassins while he was sleeping in his tent, in order that he
might gain the kingdom for himself. But by the judgment of God he fell
into the pit which he had digged for his father. He sent messengers to
Chlodovech to announce the death of his father and to say: "My father is
dead, and I have his treasures, and the kingdom as well. Now send
messengers to me, that I may send to you whatever you would like from
his hoard." Chlodovech replied: "I thank you for your kindness, and beg
you merely to show my messengers all your possessions, after which you
may keep them yourself." And when the messengers of Chlodovech came, the
son of Sigibert showed them the treasures which his father had
collected. And while they were looking at the various things, he said:
"My father used to keep his gold coins in this little chest." And they
said: "Put your hand down to the bottom, that you may show us
everything." But when he stooped to do this, one of the messengers
struck him on the head with his battle-axe, and thus he met the fate
which he had visited upon his father. Now when Chlodovech heard that
both Sigibert and his son were slain, he came to that place and called
the people together and said to them: "Hear what has happened. While I
was sailing on the Scheldt river, Chloderic, son of Sigibert, my
relative, attacked his father, pretending that I had wished him to slay
him. And so when his father fled through the Buchonian forest, the
assassins of Chloderic set upon him and slew him. But while Chloderic
was opening his father's treasure chest, some man unknown to me struck
him down. I am in no way guilty of these things, for I could not shed
the blood of my relatives, which is very wrong. But since these things
have happened, if it seems best to you, I advise you to unite with me
and come under my protection." And those who heard him applauded his
speech, and, raising him on a shield, made him king over them. Thus
Chlodovech gained the kingdom of Sigibert and his treasures and won over
his subjects to his own rule. For God daily overwhelmed his enemies and
increased his kingdom because he walked uprightly before him and did
that which was pleasing in his sight.

41. Then Chlodovech turned against Chararic. For when he was waging war
against Syagrius, this Chararic, although Chlodovech had asked him for
aid, had kept out of the struggle and had given him no help, waiting to
see the issue, that he might then make friends with the victor. On this
account, Chlodovech was angry with him and attacked him. When he had
succeeded in seizing Chararic and his son by treachery, he caused their
heads to be shaved and ordered Chararic to be ordained a priest and his
son a deacon. It is said that when Chararic was lamenting his
humiliation, his son replied: "These twigs were cut from a green tree,
which is not all dead; they will come out again rapidly when they begin
to grow. Would that he who did this thing might as quickly perish." But
when it was reported to Chlodovech that they planned to let their hair
grow again and slay him, he ordered their heads to be cut off, and thus
by their death acquired their realm and treasures and subjects.

42. ... Then Chlodovech made war upon his relative, Ragnachar [king of
the region about Cambrai]. And when Ragnachar saw that his army was
defeated, he attempted to flee, but his own men seized him and his
brother Richar and brought them bound before Chlodovech. Then Chlodovech
said: "Why have you disgraced our family, by allowing yourself to be
taken? It would have been better for you to have been slain." And
raising his battle-axe he slew him. Then turning to the brother of
Ragnachar, he said: "If you had aided your brother he would not have
been taken;" and he slew him with the axe also.... Thus by their death
Chlodovech took the kingdom and treasures. And many other kings and
relatives of his, who he feared might take his kingdom from him, were
slain, and his kingdom was extended over all Gaul.{38} ...

43. And after this he died at Paris and was buried in the basilica of
the holy saints which he and his queen, Chlothilde, had built. He passed
away in the fifth year after the battle of Vouillé, and all the days of
his reign were thirty years.

III, 1. Now Chlodovech being dead, his four sons, Theodoric, Chlodomer,
Childebert, and Chlothar, received his kingdom and divided it
equally.{39} ...

[Chlodomer was slain in an attack on the Burgundians, and his mother,
Chlothilde, took his sons, Theodoald, Gunther, and Chlodoald, under her

18. But while Chlothar was staying at Paris, Childebert, perceiving that
his mother Chlothilde loved the sons of Chlodomer greatly, was stirred
with envy and with the fear that they might be restored to the kingdom
of their dead father by aid of the queen-mother. So he sent secretly to
his brother, king Chlothar, saying: "Our mother is keeping the sons of
our dead brother Chlodomer, and intends to restore them to his kingdom;
come now to Paris and advise with me as to what shall be done; whether
their hair shall be cut off and they shall thus be made like the common
people, or whether we shall slay them and divide the kingdom of our
brother between us." Chlothar was delighted with these words and
hastened to Paris. Now Childebert had caused the rumor to be spread
among the people that the two kings were coming together to consider the
establishing of the children on the throne of their father. And after
they had met they sent word to the queen, who was dwelling in the same
city, saying: "Send the children to us that we may place them on the
throne." And she, rejoicing and thinking no evil, sent them the
children.... But when the children had left her they were immediately
seized and separated from their servants and imprisoned by themselves.
Then Childebert and Chlothar sent a certain Arcadius, their messenger,
to the queen with a pair of shears and a naked sword. And when he came
he showed both to the queen and said: "Your sons wish to know your will
in regard to the boys; whether they should be shorn of their locks and
live, or be slain." The queen, terrified and distracted at the message
and especially at the sight of the shears and the sword, said in the
bitterness of her heart and not knowing what she was saying: "If they
are not to reign, I would rather see them dead than shorn of their
locks." ... And when the messenger brought back this reply, Chlothar
immediately seized the oldest boy by the arm and throwing him on the
floor slew him with his dagger. But when he shrieked, his young brother
threw himself at the feet of Childebert and clinging to his knees cried:
"Save me, dearest uncle, that I be not slain like my brother." And
Childebert, the tears raining down his face, said to his brother:
"Brother, I pray you grant me the life of the boy; I will give you
anything you ask in exchange for his life, only do not slay him." But
Chlothar, reviling him, said: "Cast him from you, or you shall die for
him. You are the instigator of this business, and do you so soon
repent?" At this Childebert cast the boy from him, and Chlothar thrust
the dagger into his side and slew him as he had slain his brother. ...
Of the boys one was ten and the other seven years old. But the third
boy, Chlodoald, escaped by the aid of certain powerful persons;
rejecting a worldly kingdom, he turned to God, and became a priest,
cutting off his hair with his own hands. And Childebert and Chlothar
divided the kingdom of Chlodomer between them.

[After the death of his brothers, Chlothar united the whole Frankish
kingdom under his single rule (558-61). He left four sons, Charibert,
Gunthram, Chilperic, and Sigbert, who divided the kingdom among

IV, 27. Now when Sigbert saw that his brothers had taken wives of lowly
rank, he sent an embassy to Spain and sought the hand of Brunhilda,
daughter of king Athanagild [king of the West Goths]....

28. When Chilperic heard of this, although he already had several wives,
he sought the hand of Galeswintha, sister of Brunhilda, promising that
he would leave his other wives, if he should be given a wife of royal
rank. Athanagild, believing the promise of Chilperic, sent him his
daughter Galeswintha with rich gifts, as he had already sent Brunhilda.
And when she came to king Chilperic, he received her with great honor
and was married to her; and he loved her greatly, for she brought rich
treasures with her. But great strife was caused by the love of Chilperic
for Fredegonda, with whom he had formerly lived. Galeswintha complained
to the king of the indignity offered to her and said that she had no
honor in his house, and she begged him to keep the treasures which she
had brought with her and let her depart alone to her own land. But the
king attempted to placate her with soft and deceitful words. Finally he
ordered her to be slain by a servant, and she was found dead in her
bed.... And Chilperic, having mourned her death, after a few days
married Fredegonda.{40}

{30} Chlogio died in 457. The advance of the Franks to the Somme was
made easy by the depopulation of the land through two centuries of
border raids and by the withdrawal of the garrisons.

{31} The tomb of Childerich, father of Chlodovech, was discovered at
Tournai in 1653. In it were found along with the body, coins, a seal,
remnants of a purple mantle, covered with the famous golden bees which
Napoleon appropriated and wore, etc.

{32} Ægidius and Syagrius, whom Gregory calls kings of the Romans, were
probably Roman military commanders who still held out in Gaul in the
name of the emperor. Syagrius held the territory between the Somme and
the Loire.

{33} Alaric II, king of the West Goths, 485-507. At this time the
strength of the West Gothic kingdom was apparently in southern Gaul with
the capital at Toulouse. After the defeat of Alaric and the acquisition
by the Franks of most of the land north of the Pyrenees, the kingdom of
the West Goths was practically confined to Spain.

{34} The Burgundians were an East German people related to the Goths.
They had moved south and west from near the Vistula and had settled on
the Main and Rhine about Worms somewhere about 400. At the time of the
invasion of Attila they fought with the Romans against him and suffered
severely. They were then allowed by the Romans to settle just within the
boundaries of the empire in modern Savoy. From here they later overran
and occupied the valleys of the Rhône and Saône. Like all the German
tribes except the Franks, the Burgundians had been converted to the
Arian form of Christianity, which was regarded by the west as a heresy.
Owing to the efforts of the popes and the catholic clergy some of the
Burgundians had been converted to the orthodox faith, among them the
princess Chlothilde, the wife of Chlodovech. Chlodovech's conversion to
Catholic Christianity was of great assistance to him in his conquest of
the heretical German kingdoms, since the sympathies of the Roman
population were with him.

{35} The Alamanni were a confederation of tribes who had occupied the
Agri Decumates (see no. 1, Tacitus, note 9) during the century 300-400,
and had then spread over the Rhine into the territory of modern Elsass.

{36} Sigambrian--the Sigambri or Sycambri were one of the early tribes
that made up the Frankish confederation. It is used here as synonymous
with Frank.

{37} The hostility between the West Goths and the conquered Roman
provincials, among whom they settled, was kept alive by religious
differences. The dissatisfaction of the Roman population and their
leaning to the Franks after the conversion of this tribe were of great
aid to Chlodovech in his wars with the West Goths and Burgundians. The
same religious differences explain also to some extent the failure of
the East Goths and the Vandals to build permanent states in the
territory which they occupied. On the other hand, the West Goths in
Spain did later become Roman Catholics and enjoyed a longer existence.

{38} Chlodovech was originally king of only one of the numerous tribes
of the Frankish confederation, but was the natural leader in war of the
whole body. We have three kings mentioned by name by Gregory, Sigebert,
Chararic, and Ragnachar, but he speaks also of "many other kings and
relatives of Chlodovech." The result of these assassinations was the
union of all the Franks under the rule of the house of Chlodovech.

{39} The division of the kingdom of Chlodovech among his sons was fatal
to the peace of the land and to the development of a permanent
government. The strife broke out almost immediately, as appears from the
account in ch. 18, and was continued in the later generations, among the
sons and grandsons of Chlothar.

{40} The murder of Galeswintha was the immediate occasion for the
outbreak of the long civil war between the two queens, Fredegonda and
Brunhilda, and their husbands and descendants. The incidents need not be
followed; the war involved numerous murders and assassinations and
resulted in the weakening of the monarchy, the rise of the mayors of the
palace, and the independence of the outlying portions of the empire,
such as Aquitaine, Bavaria, Alamannia, etc., under native rulers.

6. The Coronation of Pippin, 751.

Einhard's Annals, M. G. SS. folio, I, pp. 137 f.

One of the most important results of the civil wars and weakening of the
monarchy in the later Merovingian period was the rise to power of the
mayor of the palace. The mayor of the palace was originally the chief
servant of the king's household. As the king used his private servants
in the administration of public affairs the chief servant became
eventually the chief public official. In the eastern Frankish kingdom
(Austrasia) this office, like many other offices in this period, had
become hereditary in the hands of one of the great families. The last
stage of the civil war (see no. 5, note 40) was fought out really
between the mayors of the palaces of Austrasia and Neustria, and
resulted in the permanent triumph of the Austrasian house. The actual
power and the wise administration of the mayors of this house were in
striking contrast to the weakness and the inefficiency of the last
Merovingian kings, and this was the chief reason for the change in
succession related in this passage. The appeal to the pope and his
favorable report on the contemplated change, and the later attack upon
the Lombards by Pippin at the pope's instance, are the first steps in
the formation of a connection between the kings of the Franks and the

Anno 749. Burchard, bishop of Würzburg, and Fulrad, priest and chaplain,
were sent [by Pippin] to pope Zacharias to ask his advice in regard to
the kings who were then ruling in France, who had the title of king but
no real royal authority. The pope replied by these ambassadors that it
would be better that he who actually had the power should be called

750 [751]. In this year Pippin was named king of the Franks with the
sanction of the pope, and in the city of Soissons he was anointed with
the holy oil by the hands of Boniface, archbishop and martyr of blessed
memory, and was raised to the throne after the custom of the Franks. But
Childerich, who had the name of king, was shorn of his locks and sent
into a monastery.

753.... In this year pope Stephen came to Pippin at Kiersy, to urge him
to defend the Roman church from the attacks of the Lombards.{41}

754. And after pope Stephen had received a promise from king Pippin that
he would defend the Roman church, he anointed the king and his two sons,
Karl and Karlmann, with the holy oil. And the pope remained that winter
in France.

{41} For the papal account of this, see no. 44.

7. Einhard's Life of Karl the Great.

Einhard, Vita Karoli Magni; M. G. SS. folio, II, pp. 443 ff.

Einhard, who lived about 770 to 840, was a scholar, and a member of the
court and the circle of Karl the Great. His biography of Karl is the
most reliable and intimate account of the life and the character of the
emperor that we possess.

3. After ruling as king of the Franks for fifteen years, Pippin died at
Paris, leaving two sons to succeed him, Karl and Karlmann.... Karlmann,
however, died after two years of joint rule, and Karl became king of all
the Franks.

5. The first of his wars was that against the duke of Aquitaine,{42}
which was begun but not completed by his father. Karl had asked his
brother to aid him in this undertaking, but Karlmann had failed to send
the help which he had promised. Karl, however, undertook the war alone
and carried it through successfully. Hunold, who had tried to recover
the duchy of Aquitaine after the death of Waifer, was driven out of the
province and forced to take refuge in Gascony. But Karl advanced across
the Garonne, threatening Lupus, the duke of Gascony, with war unless he
should surrender the fugitive. Thereupon Lupus not only gave up Hunold,
but acknowledged the authority of Karl over his own duchy as well.

6. After the pacification of Aquitaine and the death of his brother,
Karl made war on the Lombards in response to the prayer of Adrian,
bishop of Rome. His father Pippin had also attacked the Lombards in the
time of king Aistulf, at the request of pope Stephen, ... but had been
content with besieging Aistulf in Ticino and securing pledges that he
would restore the places which he had taken and would never renew his
attack upon Rome. Karl went further: he overthrew Desiderius, king of
the Lombards, and drove his son Adalgisus out of Italy; restored to the
Romans their possessions; defeated a new rising under Radegaisus, duke
of Friuli; and subjugated all of Italy, making his son Pippin king.{43}

7. Then Karl returned to the attack which he had been making upon the
Saxons{44} and which had been interrupted by the Lombard invasion. This
was the longest and most severe of all his wars, for the Saxons, being
barbarians and pagans like most of the tribes in Germany, were bound by
the laws neither of humanity nor of religion. For a long time there had
been continual disturbances along the border, since there was no natural
barrier marking the boundary between the two races, except in a few
places where there were heavier forests or mountains. So the Franks and
the Saxons were accustomed to make almost daily raids on the territory
of each other, burning, devastating, and slaying. Finally the Franks
determined to put an end to this condition of affairs by conquering the
Saxons. In this way that war was begun which was waged continually for
thirty-three years, and which was characterized by the most violent
animosity on both sides, although the Saxons suffered the greater
damage. The final conquest of the Saxons would have been accomplished
sooner but for their treachery. It is hard to tell how often they broke
faith; surrendering to the king and accepting his terms, giving hostages
and promising to accept the Christian faith and abandon their idols, and
then breaking out into revolt again. This happened in almost every year
of that war, but the determination of the king could not be overcome by
the difficulties of the undertaking nor by the treachery of the Saxons.
He never allowed a revolt to go unpunished, but immediately led or sent
an army into their territory to avenge it. Finally after all the
warriors had been overthrown or forced to surrender to the king, he
transplanted some ten thousand men with their wives and children, from
their home on the Elbe, to Gaul and Germany, distributing them through
these provinces. Thus they were brought to accept the terms of the king,
agreeing to abandon their pagan faith and accept Christianity, and to be
united to the Franks; and this war which had dragged on through so many
years was brought to an end.

9. While this long war was going on, the king also made an expedition
into Spain, leaving garrisons behind to hold the Saxons in check.
Crossing the Pyrenees with a large army he conquered all the cities and
fortresses in the region and returned safely with his whole army, except
for those that were slain by the treachery of the Basques. For when the
army was coming back through the passes of the Pyrenees, strung out in a
long line of march because of the narrowness of the defiles, the Basques
made a sudden attack upon the rear-guard, which was protecting the
wagons and baggage of the army. The place was well suited to an
ambuscade, being thickly wooded and very steep; the Basques suddenly
rushed down from the heights where they had been hiding and fell upon
the rear-guard and destroyed it to the last man, seizing the baggage and
escaping under cover of the approaching night.... In this attack were
slain Eggihard, the king's seneschal, Anselm, count of the palace, and
Hrotland, the warden of the marches of Brittany, along with many others.
Up to the present time this attack has not been avenged, for the enemy
dispersed so quickly that it was impossible to find them or to discover
who were guilty.{45}

10. Karl also conquered the Bretons, a people dwelling in the remote
western part of Gaul, along the shores of the ocean.... Then he again
invaded Italy, this time marching through Rome to Capua, a city of
Campania, and forcing the submission of Aragaisus, duke of Beneventum.

11. His next expedition was against Bavaria, which was soon reduced to
subjection. This war was caused by the insubordination of duke Tassilo,
whose wife, a daughter of Desiderius, urged him on to avenge the
overthrow of her father. Tassilo made an alliance with the Huns, his
neighbors, and prepared to attack the king. Karl, incensed at such
presumption, immediately led an army in person to Bavaria, encamping on
the river Lech, which separates Alamannia and Bavaria. Before invading
the province he sent an embassy to the duke, who, seeing the
hopelessness of attempting to oppose the king, immediately made his
submission, offering hostages (among them his son Theodo) and swearing
never again to revolt. Thus this war, which in the beginning threatened
to be a serious affair, was brought to a rapid and successful
conclusion.{46} But the king later summoned Tassilo to his presence and
kept him a prisoner, not permitting him to return to his duchy; and from
that time on the province was not ruled by a duke, but was divided into
counties over which Karl placed counts of his own choosing.

12. This rebellion having been put down, the king next made an attack
upon a tribe of the Slavs, whom we call the Wiltzi, in their own tongue,
Welatabi.... The cause of this war was the attacks which the Welatabi
were making upon the Abodriti, who were formerly allies of the Franks,
and their refusal to desist from these attacks at the command of the
king. There is a great gulf [Baltic Sea] extending east from the western
ocean [Atlantic], whose length is unknown, but whose width nowhere
exceeds one hundred miles, and is in many places narrower. Many tribes
dwell along its shores: on the northern shore and in the islands, the
Danes and the Swedes, whom we call Northmen; on the southern shore, the
Slavs and the Aisti, and other tribes, among whom are these Welatabi.
These latter were defeated in a single campaign and have never dared to
revolt again.

13. The greatest of all the wars of Karl except the Saxon war, was that
against the Avars and the Huns.... The king himself led one expedition
against them into Pannonia, where they dwelt, but intrusted the later
ones to his son Pippin and to the dukes and counts of the neighboring
regions. The war lasted for eight years, and the bloody character of it
is shown by the fact that to-day Pannonia is uninhabited and the site of
the Khan's palace is a desert, containing no trace of former human
habitation. The whole nobility of the Huns was destroyed in the course
of this war, and all the treasure of the Avars carried away by the
Franks.{47} ...

14. ... His last war was waged against the Danes or Northmen. Beginning
with small piratical raids, they had grown so bold that they attacked
the shores of Gaul and Germany with large fleets, and their king,
Godfrid, planned the conquest of Germany itself. He already claimed the
Frisians and Saxons as his subjects, and had subjected the Abodriti and
made them tributary. He even boasted that he would shortly proceed to
Aachen and attack Karl himself. And indeed there was real danger that he
might undertake this, but he was slain by one of his own followers and
the danger passed.

15. These are the wars waged by this mighty king during the forty-seven
years of his reign. Through his conquests the kingdom of the Franks as
he had received it from his father Pippin was almost doubled in area.
When he came to the throne it included only a part of Gaul and of
Germany; in Gaul, that part bounded by the ocean [Atlantic], the Rhine,
the Loire, and the Balearic Sea [Mediterranean]; in Germany, that part
bounded by the Rhine, the Danube, the land of the Saxons, and the Saale,
... with the overlordship of Bavaria and Alamannia. Karl added by his
wars Aquitaine and Gascony; the Pyrenees and the land south to the Ebro;
... all of Italy as far south as lower Calabria; ... Saxony, which forms
a considerable part of Germany; ... Pannonia and Dacia; Istria,
Liburnia, and Dalmatia, except the maritime cities which were allied
with the emperor of Constantinople; and, finally, all the barbarous
tribes inhabiting Germany, between the Rhine, the Danube, the Vistula,
and the ocean [Baltic], ... of whom the most important are the Welatabi,
the Sorabi, the Abodriti, and the Bohemians.

16. The glory of his reign was also greatly enhanced by his alliances
and friendships with foreign kings and peoples. Thus Aldefonso, king of
Gallicia and Asturia,{48} was his ally, and spoke of himself by letters
and ambassadors as the man of Karl. The kings of the Scots also were
wont to address him as master, calling themselves his subjects and
servants, of which expressions there are evidences in letters still
existing which they have written to him. He was also in close relations
with Aaron [Haroun-al-Raschid],{49} king of the Persians, who ruled
almost all of the east outside of India, and who always expressed the
greatest friendship and admiration for Karl. On one occasion, when Karl
sent an embassy with gifts for the holy sepulchre of our Lord and
Saviour, he not only permitted them to fulfil their mission, but even
made a present of that holy spot to Karl, to rule as his own. And when
the embassy of Karl returned, it was accompanied by ambassadors from
Aaron, bearing presents of fine robes, spices, and other eastern
treasures. A few years before he sent to Karl at his request an elephant
which was the only one he at that time possessed. The emperors of
Constantinople, Nicephorus, Michael, and Leo, were his friends and
allies and sent many embassies to him. Even when they suspected him of
desiring to seize their empire, because he took the title of emperor,
they nevertheless entered into alliance with him, to avoid a rupture.

25. He was very eloquent and could express himself clearly on any
subject. He spoke foreign languages besides his own tongue, and was so
proficient in Latin that he used it as easily as his own language. Greek
he could understand better than he could speak.... He was devoted to the
study of the liberal arts and was a munificent patron of learned men.
Grammar he learned from Peter, an aged deacon of Pisa; in the other
studies his chief instructor was Alcuin, a Saxon from England, also a
deacon, and the most learned man of his time. With him he studied
rhetoric, dialectic, and especially astronomy.... He tried also to learn
to write, keeping tablets under the pillow of his couch to practise on
in his leisure hours. But he never succeeded very well, because he began
too late in life.{50}

28. His last visit to Rome was made because the Romans had attacked and
injured pope Leo, tearing out his eyes and tongue, and had thus forced
the pope to call on the king for aid. And having come to Rome to restore
the church which had greatly suffered during the strife, he remained
there all winter. It was during this time that he received the title of
emperor and Augustus, to which he was at first so averse, that he was
wont to say that he would never have entered the church on that day,
although it was a great feast day [Christmas], if he had foreseen the
plan of the pope. But his great patience and magnanimity finally
overcame the envy and hatred of the Roman emperors [of the east], who
were indignant at his receiving the title. This he did by sending them
frequent embassies and addressing them in his letters as brothers.{51}

29. After he became emperor he undertook a revision of the laws of his
empire, which were very defective, for the Franks had two laws [Salic
and Ripuarian] differing in many points from one another. But he was
never able to do more than to complete the various laws with a few
additional sections and cause all the unwritten laws to be put into
writing. He also wrote down for preservation the ancient German songs,
in which the wars and adventures of old heroes are celebrated. He began
also to make a grammar of his native tongue....

30. ... While he was spending the winter in Aachen, he was taken with a
severe fever, which the Greeks call pleurisy, and died there on Tuesday,
the fifth of the Kalends of February [January 28], in the seventy-second
year of his age and the forty-seventh of his reign.

31. On the same day his body was prepared for burial and borne to the
church of the Virgin Mary, which he had founded, in the midst of the
lamentation of all his people, and there laid to rest. Over his tomb was
erected an arch, covered with gold, and having his image and this
inscription on it: "Under this tomb lies the body of Karl, the great and
orthodox emperor, who greatly increased the kingdom of the Franks and
ruled gloriously for forty-seven years. He died when over seventy years
of age, in the year of our Lord 814, the 7th indiction, on the fifth of
the Kalends of February."

{42} In the late Merovingian period the outlying parts of the kingdom
had become practically independent under native rulers, called dukes.
One of the first things undertaken by the rulers of the new line was the
reduction of these great provinces to subjection as a necessary step in
the restoration of the central authority. Much was accomplished in this
direction by the mayors, Pippin the Younger (688-714) and Karl Martel
(714-741), who attacked the Frisians, the dukes of Aquitaine, Bavaria,
and Alamannia. But the work had to be done over and over, and indeed was
never permanently accomplished. In Aquitaine Pippin the Short, king from
751 to 768, had several conflicts with the dukes of Aquitaine, Hunold
and his son Waifer. This is the struggle which Karl brought to an end as
here related.

{43} Pippin had begun his war upon the Lombards for the purpose of
freeing the papal domains from their attacks. The Lombards had conceived
the ambitious plan of possessing all Italy, and under their kings
Liutprand, Aistulf, and Desiderius had begun to carry it out by
attacking the exarchate of Ravenna and the lands held by the pope.
Pippin had forced Aistulf to give up his conquests (chiefly the
exarchate) and had given that territory to the pope (see no. 45). Karl
was called into Italy to defend the pope against a new attack by
Desiderius, and put a definite end to this danger by conquering the
Lombard kingdom and adding it to his own rule. This is a further stage
in the connection between the popes and the emperor, between Germany and

{44} The war against the Saxons and their conquest practically
completed the unification of the German tribes on the continent, there
remaining outside of the empire of Karl only the Scandinavian peoples in
the north and the Angles and Saxons in England. By the conquest of the
Saxons a vigorous race of pure German blood was added to the empire;
their addition tended to increase the differences between the German and
the Gallic portions of the empire, which was the natural basis of the
division between France and Germany. The Saxons in the tenth and
eleventh centuries were perhaps the chief race of the German kingdom,
furnishing the rulers from the accession of Henry I in 919 to the death
of Henry II in 1024. Karl's insistence upon the conversion of the Saxons
to Christianity is in line with the policy of his predecessors to
Christianize all the Germans.

{45} The chief interest of this passage lies in the fact that it is the
historical basis of the great French epic, the _Chanson de Roland_.
Einhard mentions the death of three men in this attack as of special
note; one of them was Hrotland, count of the mark of Brittany, the
Roland of the poem.

{46} The overthrow of Tassilo, duke of Bavaria, is a part of the policy
of Karl to reduce the great duchies to control. In order to keep these
outlying provinces in subjection and to govern them efficiently Karl
divided them into counties over which he placed officials dependent
directly upon himself and not upon a duke. This policy was carried out
in Alamannia, Aquitaine, and Saxony as well, the purpose being to
prevent the formation of independent power in the large divisions of the
empire. It was successful under Karl, but later the civil wars among his
descendants gave opportunity for the rise of similar great rulers in the
same provinces (see nos. 24 and 25).

{47} The Avars had come into Europe in the middle of the sixth century,
along the Danube. After the Lombards moved into Italy the Avars occupied
the whole Danube valley from Vienna to the mouth of the river. The
kingdom of the Khan of the Avars probably included the remnants of the
Hunnish empire and of the German tribes that had been subject to the

{48} The kingdom of Gallicia and Asturia was one of the small Christian
states in Spain composed of the former inhabitants that had retreated in
large numbers to the mountains in the north and west at the time of the
Mohammedan invasion (711-720). From these regions they later slowly won
back the land from the Mohammedans.

{49} Haroun-al-Raschid was Caliph of the Mohammedan world from 786-809,
with his capital at Bagdad. His caliphate is the golden age of the
Mohammedans reflected in the "Arabian Nights." The connection of Karl
with Haroun and especially the negotiations mentioned here in regard to
Jerusalem gave rise to the later legends concerning the crusades of

{50} The reign of Karl is sometimes spoken of as the Carolingian
Renaissance, because of the revived interest in letters and learning
that took its impulse from the court of Karl. Here was the famous
"palace school" that included such persons as Alcuin, Angilbert,
Einhard, Peter of Pisa, Paul the Lombard, etc. The results of the
movement were seen in the writings of the time: Einhard's Annals and
Vita; the History of the Lombards, by Paul; the poems and letters of
Angilbert, etc.; in the formation of the monastery and cathedral
schools, and the better learning of the monks and clergy; in the
attempts of Karl to revise the texts of the Scriptures and to make new
text-books; and in the theological discussions of the ninth century.
Evidences of this movement are seen also in some of the letters of Karl
that are translated below.

{51} See the note on the coronation of Karl, no. 8. The statement of
Einhard that Karl was displeased at this action of the pope has caused
considerable discussion; the reason probably was that he was unwilling
to arouse the ill-will of the eastern emperors, who would undoubtedly
regard the assumption of the imperial crown by Karl as an infringement
of their authority and position. See also nos. 13 and 14.

8. The Imperial Coronation of Karl the Great, 800.

Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, II, 7.

Since 476 there had been no emperor in the west, and the emperor at
Constantinople had lost control of that part of the Roman empire. The
west, however, still regarded itself as a part of the one great empire.
The coronation of Karl the Great in 800 is the famous _translatio
imperii_, the transfer of the empire, by which according to the papal
theory the crown of the Roman empire was taken by the pope from the
emperors at Constantinople, and conferred upon the king of the Franks.
From this point of view it was the final act in the rebellion of the
popes from the control of the emperors of the east. From the point of
view of Frankish history, it was the culmination of the connection
between the popes and the king of the Franks begun with the coronation
of Pippin (see no. 6 and note).

After this, on Christmas day, all gathered together in the aforesaid
church of St. Peter and the venerable pope crowned Karl with his own
hands with a magnificent crown. Then all the Romans, inspired by God and
by St. Peter, keeper of the keys of heaven, and recognizing the value of
Karl's protection and the love which he bore the holy Roman church and
the pope, shouted in a loud voice: "Long life and victory to Karl, the
pious Augustus crowned of God, the great and peace-bringing emperor."
The people, calling on the names of all the saints, shouted this three
times, before the holy confession of St. Peter, and thus he was made
emperor of the Romans by all. Then the pope anointed Karl and his son
with the holy oil.

9. General Capitulary about the Missi, 802.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 1, no. 33; Altmann und Bernheim, no. 2.

The attempts of Karl to create a permanent central government are
reflected in the great amount of legislation which has come down to us
from his reign. This legislation is mainly in the form of capitularies,
_i.e._, edicts or instructions, covering a wide range of subjects and
interests. The general capitulary of the year 802, a portion of which is
translated here, was issued by Karl after his imperial coronation and
his return from Italy. It embodied a great number of instructions to his
officials and subjects in regard to their relation to him in his new
capacity as emperor. The publication and the enforcement of these
instructions were intrusted to the _missi_, who appear now for the first
time as regular officials of the empire. These officials were chosen
from the counsellors, officials, and great men of the court, both
ecclesiastic and secular, and were assigned to definite districts, two
_missi_ to each district. The districts were large administrative
divisions of the empire including many counties (the regular divisions),
and the two _missi_ were to travel through the district assigned to
them, looking into the general condition of the people, the
administration of local officials, the condition of the royal lands,
etc. They held four public courts a year in their district, at which
they heard complaints, tried cases, etc. They had authority to control
the regular officials and to depose them if necessary. They were
supposed to report to the emperor the condition of the empire and to
refer to him such cases as they were not able to decide. By means of
these officials Karl kept in closer touch with, and maintained a firmer
hold upon, the various parts of his empire than was possible merely by
his own oversight over the counts, and at the same time avoided the
other danger of creating independent rulers in the large districts, by
changing the _missi_ every year.

1. Concerning the representatives sent out by the emperor. The most
serene and Christian emperor, Karl, chose certain of the ablest and
wisest men among his nobles, archbishops, bishops, abbots, and pious
laymen, and sent them out through his realm, and through these, his
representatives, he gave his people rules to guide them in living
justly. He ordered these men to investigate and to report to him any
inequality or injustice that might appear in the law as then
constituted, that he might undertake its correction. He ordered that no
one should dare to change the prescribed law by any trickery or fraud,
or to pervert the course of justice for his own ends, as many were wont
to do, or to deal unjustly with the churches of God, with the poor or
the widows and orphans, or with any Christian man. But he commanded all
men to live righteously according to the precepts of God, and to remain
each in his own station and calling; the regular clergy to observe the
rules of monastic life without thought of gain, nuns to keep diligent
watch over their lives, laymen to keep the law justly without fraud, and
all, finally, to live together in perfect peace and charity. And he
ordered his _missi_, as they desired to win the favor of Almighty God
and keep the faith which they had promised him, to inquire diligently
into every case where any man complained that he had been dealt with
unjustly by anyone, and in the fear of God to render justice to all, to
the holy churches of God, to the poor, to widows and orphans, and to the
whole people. And if any case arises which they can not correct and
bring to justice with the aid of the local counts, they are to make a
clear report of it to the emperor. They are not to be hindered in the
doing of justice by the flattery or bribery of anyone, by their
partiality for their own friends, or by the fear of powerful men.

2. The oath of fidelity to the emperor. He has also commanded that every
man in his kingdom, clergyman or layman, who has already taken the oath
of fidelity to him as king, shall now renew it to him as emperor; and
that all persons over twelve years of age who have not yet taken the
oath shall do so now. The nature and extent of the promise should be
made known to all, for it includes not only, as some think, a promise of
fidelity to the emperor for this life, and an engagement not to bring
any enemy into the kingdom nor to take part in or conceal any infidelity
to him, but includes all the following:

3. First, that each one shall strive with all his mind and strength on
his own account to serve God according to the commandments and according
to his own promise, for the emperor is not able to give the necessary
care and oversight to all his people.

4. Second, that no one shall ever wrongfully claim, take, or conceal
anything that belongs to the emperor, such as lands or slaves, by
perjury or fraud, or through partiality or bribery; and that no one
shall take or conceal fugitive serfs from the royal lands, by perjury or

5. That no one shall do any violence or harm to the holy churches of
God, to widows and orphans, or to strangers; for the emperor, after God
and his saints, is constituted their special protector....

10. Selections from the Monk of St. Gall.

Monachus Sangallensis, M. G. SS. folio, II, pp. 731 ff.

The following documents, nos. 10-12, are intended to illustrate the
interest and activity of Karl in the revival of learning in his realm.
See also no. 7, Einhard's Life of Karl, ch. 25. The disappearance of
classical culture in the west through the disorders incident upon the
decline of the Roman empire, the migrations, and the civil wars of the
Merovingian period, was shown not only in the general ignorance among
the common people, but also in the decline of learning and culture in
the church. The selection from the Monk of St. Gall throws light upon
the palace school of Karl and his court, the other numbers illustrate
the interest of Karl in the education of the clergy and the reformation
of the church services. The Monk of St. Gall is the unknown author of a
chronicle account of the life and times of Karl, written in the latter
part of the ninth century. It contains many tales and stories which are
popular and in part legendary, showing how the figure of Karl was being
magnified in the imagination of posterity.

I, 2. When Albinus (Alcuin), who was an Englishman, learned of the great
favor with which Karl received wise men, he took ship and came over to
him. This man was the most learned of all men of recent times in the
holy writ, being the pupil of the learned priest Beda, who was the
greatest commentator on the scriptures since St. Gregory [I]. Karl kept
him at his side continually until his death, save for occasions when the
emperor was at war. The emperor was always desirous of being known as
the pupil of Alcuin. He also gave him the monastery of Tours to serve as
a source of revenue during his own absence and as a place where Alcuin
might live and instruct the scholars who sought him. His teaching bore
such fruit among the Gauls and Franks that they approached the ancient
Romans and Athenians in learning.

3. Now when the most victorious Karl after a long absence returned to
Gaul he ordered the boys whom he had intrusted to Clement to come to him
and show him their letters and verses. And the youths of lowly birth
showed him writings adorned with all the graces of learning, beyond what
had been expected, but the youths of noble rank presented trivial and
worthless specimens. Then the wise Karl, imitating the justice of the
eternal judge, separated the youths into two divisions and placed those
who had done well on his right hand and addressed them thus: "Receive my
thanks, children, for you have been zealous in obeying my orders and in
improving yourselves. Strive now to perfect yourselves, and I will give
you the best bishoprics and monasteries, and will ever hold you in my
favor." Then turning a severe countenance upon those on his left hand,
and striking terror into their hearts with his piercing eye, he hurled
these ironical words at them in a voice of thunder: "You nobles, you
sons of prominent men, you delicate and handsome youths! Relying on your
birth and wealth, and caring nothing for our commands or for your own
improvement, you have neglected the study of letters, and have indulged
yourselves in pleasures and idleness and empty games." Then, lifting up
his august head and raising his unconquered right hand to heaven, he
thundered forth at them with his usual oath: "By the King of heaven, I
care little for your noble birth and your beauty, though others may
admire you for them; know this, that unless you straightway make up for
your former negligence by earnest study, you need never expect any favor
from the hand of Karl."

28. Such peace as the mighty emperor Karl was able to secure, he was not
content to spend in idleness, but devoted it to the service of God. Thus
he undertook to build, in Germany, a church after his own plan, which
should surpass the ancient buildings of the Romans.... The oversight he
intrusted to a certain abbot, not knowing his cunning. But whenever the
emperor was absent, the abbot would allow some of the laborers to
purchase their release for money, but those who were unable to pay for
this, or who were not permitted to leave by their masters, he oppressed
with continual tasks, as the Egyptians once oppressed the people of God,
so that they had scarcely any rest. By this means he gathered together
an immense treasure of gold and silver and silken hangings.... Suddenly
he was informed that his house was on fire. Hastening home he broke
through the flames into the chamber where he kept the chests of gold.
Seizing two of these, one on each shoulder (for he was not satisfied
with saving just one), he tried to escape by the door. But a great beam,
burned in two by the fire, fell upon him and killed him, his body being
destroyed by terrestrial flames, but his soul despatched to that fire
which was not kindled by mortal hands [the flames of hell]. Thus the
judgment of God watched over the interests of Karl, whenever the cares
of the empire prevented him from looking after them himself.

II, 1. Adalbert told me about the defenses of the Huns [Avars]. "The
land of the Huns," he said, "was surrounded with nine rings.... The
distance from the first to the second ring was as far as from Zürich to
Constance; the outer ring was composed of oak, beech, and pine trees,
and was twenty feet across and twenty feet high, the space in between
the trees being filled with stones and clay, and the outer surface
covered with thick sod.... Within these [the first and second] rings the
villages were so arranged that the voice of a man could be heard from
one to another.... The distance from the second to the third ring was
ten German miles, which equal forty Italian miles, and so on to the
ninth, although, of course, each succeeding ring was narrower [contained
less land] than the one preceding it. The fortifications and dwellings
within each ring were so situated that a signal from a horn could be
heard from any one of them. In this defense the riches of the west had
been gathered together for more than two hundred years.... but the
victorious Karl was able in eight years so completely to conquer the
Huns, that not a trace of them is left."

9. Aaron [Haroun] recognized by this incident the might of Karl, and
spoke [to Karl's ambassadors] these words of praise: "Now I understand,
how true are the things which I have heard about my brother Karl; how he
is accustomed by his ceaseless efforts and unwearied striving to make
everything under the sun serve as a means of discipline for his body and
his mind. What can I send back that will be worthy of him who has so
honored me? If I should give him the land of Abraham which was given to
Joshua, he would not be able to defend it, because of its distance from
him; or if he determined in his magnanimity to defend it, I fear that
the neighboring provinces would revolt in his absence from the Frankish
rule. Nevertheless I will try to equal him in generosity by this means:
I will give him authority over that land, and I will act as his
representative in it; he may send ambassadors to me when it pleases him
or is convenient for him, and he will find that I am the most faithful
defender of the incomes of that land."{52}

{52} Notice the popular or legendary character of these stories. They
are just such tales as would grow up among the people around a figure
like that of Karl. Compare the stories of the conquest of the Avars and
the embassy to Haroun in Einhard (no. 7, chs. 13 and 16), with the same
stories here. The circumstantial details are in all probability added by
popular tradition.

11. Letter of Karl the Great to Baugulf, Abbot of Fulda, 787.

Jaffé, IV, pp. 343 ff.

Karl, by the grace of God king of the Franks and the Lombards and
patricius of the Romans, sends loving greeting in the name of omnipotent
God to abbot Baugulf, and to the household of monks committed to his
charge. Know that we, with the advice of our faithful subjects, have
regarded it as important that in the bishoprics and monasteries of our
realm those who show themselves apt in learning should devote themselves
to study, in addition to their regular duties as monks. For as the
observance of monastic rules promotes good morals and character, so also
the practice of teaching and learning develops a pure and agreeable
style. Let those who seek to please God by living uprightly, seek to
please Him also by speaking correctly. For it is written: "By thy words
thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned"
[Matt. 12:37]. For although well-doing is more important than knowledge,
nevertheless knowledge must precede action.... We have been led to write
of this, because we have frequently received letters from monks in which
they make known to us what they are praying for, and in these letters we
have recognized correct sentiments, but an uncouth style and language.
The sentiments inspired in them by their devotion to us they could not
express correctly, because they had neglected the study of language.
Therefore we have begun to fear lest, just as the monks appear to have
lost the art of writing, so also they may have lost the ability to
understand the Holy Scriptures; and we all know that, though mistakes in
words are dangerous, mistakes in understanding are still more so.
Therefore we urge you to be diligent in the pursuit of learning, and to
strive with humble and devout minds to understand more fully the
mysteries of the Holy Scriptures. For it is well known that the sacred
writings contain many rhetorical figures, the spiritual meaning of which
will be readily apprehended only by those who have been instructed in
the study of letters. And let those men be chosen for this work who are
able and willing to learn and who have the desire to teach others. And
let this be done in the spirit in which we have recommended it. For we
desire that you, as becomes your station, shall be both devout and
learned, both chaste in life and correct in speech. Thus when anyone
shall be moved by your reputation for devotion and holiness, and shall
desire to see you, he may be both edified by your appearance and
instructed by your learning, which shall appear in your reading and
singing; and so he may go away rejoicing and giving thanks to God. Do
not fail to send copies of this letter to all your suffragans and
fellow-bishops and all the monasteries, if you desire our favor.

12. Letter of Karl the Great in Regard to the two Books of Sermons
Prepared by Paul the Deacon, _ca._ 790.

Jaffé, IV, pp. 372 f.

Karl, by the aid of God king of the Franks and Lombards and patricius of
the Romans, to the clergy of his realm.... Now since we are very
desirous that the condition of our churches should constantly improve,
we are endeavoring by diligent study to restore the knowledge of letters
which has been almost lost through the negligence of our ancestors, and
by our example we are encouraging those who are able to do so to engage
in the study of the liberal arts. In this undertaking we have already,
with the aid of God, corrected all the books of the Old and New
Testament, whose texts had been corrupted through the ignorance of
copyists. Moreover, inspired by the example of our father, Pippin, of
blessed memory, who introduced the Roman chants into the churches of his
realm, we are now trying to supply the churches with good reading
lessons. Finally, since we have found that many of the lessons to be
read in the nightly service have been badly compiled and that the texts
of these readings are full of mistakes, and the names of their authors
omitted, and since we could not bear to listen to such gross errors in
the sacred lessons, we have diligently studied how the character of
these readings might be improved. Accordingly we have commanded Paul the
Deacon,{53} our beloved subject, to undertake this work; that is, to go
through the writings of the fathers carefully, and to make selections of
the most helpful things from them and put them together into a book, as
one gathers occasional flowers from a broad meadow to make a bouquet.
And he, wishing to obey us, has read through the treatises and sermons
of the various catholic fathers and has picked out the best things.
These selections he has copied clearly without mistakes and has arranged
in two volumes, providing readings suitable for every feast day
throughout the whole year. We have tested the texts of all these
readings by our own knowledge, and now authorize these volumes and
commend them to all of you to be read in the churches of Christ.

{53} Paul the Deacon was a Lombard scholar and clergyman who after the
fall of the Lombard kingdom was invited to the court of Karl and became
one of his circle. Paul is the author of the only detailed history of
the Lombards.

13. Recognition of Karl by the Emperors at Constantinople, 812.

Annales Laurissenses et Einhardi, M. G. SS. folio, I, p. 199.

The following passages throw light upon the statement of Einhard (no. 7,
ch. 28) in regard to the relation of Karl with the eastern emperors
after his imperial coronation. We know from other sources that Karl
wished to acquire the title of emperor and that he had already entered
into negotiations with the empress Irene looking to a peaceful
acquisition of it, before the pope gave him the crown. He was apparently
not satisfied with his position until he obtained recognition from the
emperors in the east, whom he still regarded as the legal successors of
the Roman emperors.

The emperor, Nicephorus, after winning many notable victories in Moesia,
fell in battle against the Bulgarians, and his son-in-law Michael was
made emperor. He received the ambassadors in Constantinople whom Karl
had sent to Nicephorus and dismissed them, sending back to Karl with
them his own ambassadors, Michael, a bishop, and Arsaphius and
Theognostus, commanders of the imperial body-guard, to confirm the
treaty which had been proposed in the time of Nicephorus. They came to
the emperor at Aachen and received a copy of the treaty from him in the
church of Aachen. In their address to him on this occasion, which they
delivered in Greek, they called him emperor and _basileus_. They then
proceeded to Rome on their way back, and received a copy of the treaty
from the pope in the church of St. Peter, the apostle.

14. Letter of Karl to Emperor Michael I, 813.

Jaffé, IV, pp. 415 f.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Karl, by the grace of
God emperor and Augustus, king of the Franks and the Lombards, to his
dear and honorable brother, Michael, glorious emperor and Augustus,
eternal greeting in our Lord Jesus Christ. We bless and praise our Lord
Jesus Christ with all our heart and strength for the ineffable gift of
his kindness, with which he has enriched us. For he has deigned in our
day to establish that peace between the east and the west, which we have
long sought for and have always desired, and, in answer to the daily
prayers which we have offered to him, has unified the holy immaculate
catholic church throughout the whole world and given it peace. We speak
of this peace as if it had been already brought about, for we have done
our part, and we are sure you are willing to do yours. We put our trust
in God who has ordained that this matter, the making of peace between
us, should be carried out; for he is faithful and true, giving his aid
to all who are engaged in good works, and he will bring to perfection
this work which we have begun. Desiring now to bring about this
consummation, we have sent you our legates, Amalhar, venerable bishop of
Trier, and Peter, abbot of the monastery of Nonantula, to receive from
the holy altar by your hands a copy of the treaty of peace, bearing the
signatures of your priests, patriarchs, and nobles, just as your
legates, Michael, venerable metropolitan, and Arsaphius and Theognostus,
commanders of the royal body-guard, received the copy from us, with our
signature and the signatures of our priests and nobles....

15. Letter to Ludwig the Pious Concerning the Appearance of a Comet,

Jaffé, IV, pp. 459 f.

The dissolution of the empire of Karl the Great began in the reign of
his son and successor, Ludwig, with the disintegration of the public
service and the attacks of Northmen and Slavs on the frontier. The
invasions of the Northmen are mentioned by Einhard as occurring in the
last days of Karl (no. 7, chapter 14). In the reigns of Ludwig and his
successors the invaders continually ravaged the shores of Gaul and
northern Germany and added materially to the distress of the period.
This letter refers in its last part to one of these raids, but it is
interesting chiefly as an illustration of the mental attitude of the men
of its age.

It is believed by almost all the ancient authorities that the appearance
of new and unknown heavenly bodies portends to wretched mortals direful
and disastrous events, rather than pleasant and propitious ones. The
sacred scriptures alone tell of the propitious appearance of a new star;
that is, that star which the wise men of the Chaldæans are said to have
seen when, conjecturing from its most brilliant light the recent birth
of the eternal king, they brought with veneration gifts worthy the
acceptance of so great a lord. But the appearance of this star which has
lately arisen is reported by all who have seen it to be terrible and
malignant. And indeed I believe it presages evils which we have
deserved, and foretells a coming destruction of which we are worthy. For
what difference does it make whether this coming danger is foretold to
the human race by man or angel or star? The important thing is to
understand that this appearance of a new body in the heavens is not
without significance, but that it is meant to forewarn mortals that they
may avert the future evil by repentance and prayers. Thus by the
preaching of the prophet Jonah the destruction of the city, which had
been threatened by him, was deferred because the inhabitants turned from
their iniquities and evil lives.... So we trust that merciful God will
turn this threatened evil from us also, if we like them repent with our
whole hearts. Would that the destruction which the fleet of the Northmen
is said to have inflicted upon this realm recently might be regarded as
the sufficient occasion for the appearance of this comet, but I fear
that it is rather some new distress still to come that is foretold by
this terrible omen.

16. The Strassburg Oaths, 842.

Nithard, III, 5; M. G. SS. folio, II. pp. 665 ff.

The occasion of these oaths was the alliance between the two brothers,
Ludwig the German and Charles the Bald, against their brother Lothar.
Lothar had been defeated at the battle of Fontenay, 841, by his
brothers, who then made this league. The oaths are given in this form by
Nithard, the historian of the later Carolingians, who was the son of
Angilbert and Bertha, the daughter of Karl the Great. The _lingua
romana_ and the _lingua teudisca_ are the vulgar languages respectively
of the followers of Charles the Bald and Ludwig the German, that is, of
the inhabitants of France and of Germany. The appearance of a Latin
dialect as the language of the inhabitants of the western kingdom
indicates that the Roman elements had after all survived in Gaul and
were absorbing the German elements; the formation of two languages
mutually exclusive in the two portions of the empire suggests a fairly
advanced stage of differentiation between the German and the French
parts. But the chief interest of this document is in the field of
language study. The _lingua romana_ shows an early stage in the
development of French from Latin, while the _lingua teudisca_ is one of
the earliest forms of Old High German. The _lingua romana_ shows the
process by which the French language grew out of Latin; note that
inflectional endings have largely disappeared, and case is shown by the
use of prepositions, and that phonetic changes (changes of vowels and
consonants) have also taken place. Some of the words are good Latin,
others are very nearly modern French, and still others stand midway
between Latin and French. Most of the words in the _lingua teudisca_ can
be identified with modern German words. Note that each leader took the
oath in the language of the followers of the other, in order that his
brother's followers might understand him. So Ludwig the German speaks in
the _lingua romana_ and Charles the Bald in the _lingua teudisca_.

So Ludwig and Charles came together at Argentaria, which is called
Strassburg in the common tongue, and there took the oaths which are
given below, Ludwig speaking in the _lingua romana_ and Charles in the
_lingua teudisca_.... Ludwig, being the elder, took the oath first, as

Pro deo amur et pro christian poblo et nostro commun salvament, d'ist di
in avant, in quant deus savir et podir me dunat, si salvaraeio cist meon
fradre Karlo et in aiudha et in cadhuna cosa, si cum om per dreit son
fradra salvar dist, in o quid il mi altresi fazet, et ab Ludher nul
plaid numquam prindrai, qui meon vol cist meon fradre Karle in damno

When Ludwig had finished, Charles took the oath in the _lingua

In godes minna ind in thes christânes folches ind unsêr bêdhero
gehaltnissî, fon thesemo dage frammordes, sô fram sô mir got geuuiczi
indi mahd furgibit, sô haldih thesan minan bruodher, sôso man mit rehtu
sînan bruodher scal, in thiu thaz er mig sô sama duo, indi mit Ludheren
in nohheiniu thing ne gegango, the mînan uuilon imo ce scadhen uuerdhên.

Literal translation of the _lingua romana_, the _lingua teudisca_ being
the same with the names changed:

"By God's love and by this Christian people and our common salvation,
from this day forth, as far as God gives me to know and to have power, I
will so aid this my brother Charles in each and every thing as a man
ought to aid his brother, in so far as he shall do the same for me; and
I will never have any dealings with Lothar that may by my wish injure
this my brother Charles."

And this is the oath which the followers of each took in their own

_Lingua romana_:

Si Lodhuuigs sagrament, que son fradre Karlo iurat, conservat, et Karlus
meos sendra de suo part non los tanit, si io returnar non l'int pois: ne
io ne neuls, cui eo returnar int pois, in nulla aiudha contra Lodhuuuig
nun li iv er.

_Lingua teudisca_:

Oba Karl then eid, then er sînemo bruodher Ludhuuuîge gesuor, geleistit,
indi Ludhuuuîg mîn hêrro then er imo gesuor forbrihchit, ob ih inan es
iruuenden ne mag: noh ih noh thero nohhein, then ih es iruuenden mag,
uuidhar Karle imo ce follusti ne uuirdhit.

Literal translation of the _lingua romana_, the same as the other with
names changed:

"If Ludwig keeps the oath which he swore to his brother Charles, and
Charles, my lord, on his part does not keep it, if I cannot prevent it,
then neither I nor anyone whom I can prevent shall ever defend him
against Ludwig."

17-18. The Treaty of Verdun, 843.

17. Annales Bertiniani.

M. G. SS. folio, I, p. 440.

The treaty of Verdun is the division of the empire among the three sons
of Ludwig the Pious, Lothar, Ludwig the German, and Charles the Bald. It
recognized the failure of the attempt of Karl to weld western Europe and
the German tribes into one state and marks the beginning of the states
of Germany and France. The student should follow on a map the line
described in the treaty. The long narrow strip which composed the
northern portion of the kingdom of Lothar had no elements of cohesion,
geographically, racially, or politically. So it became the debatable
land over which the two neighboring states of Germany and France have
ever since fought. The fate of this middle territory may be glanced at
in anticipation: The extreme northern portion came to the empire in 870
and formed the duchy of Lotharingia, but it fell apart into little
feudal territories practically independent of the empire and finally
became separate as the Netherlands; the central portion also broke up
into small territories, part of which remained in the empire, as the
Palatinate of the Rhine, and the great Rhine bishoprics; part, like
Elsass and Lorraine, vacillated between France and Germany; the southern
portion became the kingdoms of upper and lower Burgundy, then the united
kingdom of Burgundy or Arles, and then after the acquisition of that
kingdom by the empire, broke up into small territories, part going to
Germany, part to France, and part becoming independent.

Charles met his brothers at Verdun and there the portions of the empire
were assigned. Ludwig received all beyond the Rhine, including also
Speier, Worms, and Mainz on this side of the Rhine; Lothar received the
land bounded [by that of Ludwig on the west, and] by a line following
along the lower Rhine, the Scheldt, and the Meuse, then through Cambrai,
Hainault, Lomme, including the counties east of the Meuse, to where the
Saône flows into the Rhône, then along the Rhône to the sea, including
the counties on both sides of the Rhône; the rest as far as Spain, went
to Charles.

18. Regino.

M. G. SS. folio, I, p. 568.

Anno 842 (843). The three brothers divided the kingdom of the Franks
among themselves; to Charles fell the western portion from the British
ocean to the Meuse; to Ludwig, the eastern portion, that is, Germany as
far west as the Rhine, including certain cities and their counties east
of the Rhine to furnish him with wine; to Lothar, who, as the oldest,
bore the title of emperor, the part in between, which still bears the
name of Lotharingia, and all of Provence and the land of Italy with the
city of Rome.

19. The Treaty of Meersen, 870.

M. G. LL. folio, I, p. 516; Altmann und Bernheim, no. 4.

The northern portion of the kingdom of Lothar was divided on his death
(855) between two of his sons, Lothar and Charles, the other, Louis,
taking Italy. Charles died in 863 and Lothar in 869; thereupon their
uncles, Charles the Bald and Ludwig the German, divided that territory
between them by the treaty of Meersen, the preliminaries of which are
given here. See a map for the line of the division.

In the year of the incarnation of our Lord 870, the third indiction, the
day before the nones of March [March 6], in the 32d year of the reign of
the glorious king Charles [the Bald], in the palace of the king at
Aachen, this agreement was made between him and his brother Ludwig.

Count Ingelram, for king Charles.

I promise for my lord that my lord, king Charles, will permit his
brother, king Ludwig, to have such portion of the kingdom of Lothar as
they two or their representatives may decide upon as just and equitable.
Charles will never molest him in his possession of that portion or of
the kingdom which he held before, if Ludwig on his side will keep the
same faith and fidelity toward him, which I have promised for my lord.

Count Leutfrid, for king Ludwig.

I promise for my lord that my lord, king Ludwig, will permit his
brother, king Charles, to have such portion of the kingdom of Lothar as
they two or their representatives may decide upon as just and equitable.
Ludwig will never molest him in his possession of that portion or of the
kingdom which he held before, if Charles on his side will keep the same
faith and fidelity toward him, which I have promised for my lord.

20. Invasions of Northmen at the End of the Ninth Century.

Annals of Fulda, M. G. SS. folio, I, pp. 398 ff.

See introductory note to no. 15 for the nature of these invasions. The
chronicle accounts in this and the next document illustrate very well
the necessity which lay upon the local officials of defending the
country against invaders. The particular feature of the events narrated
here is the participation of the ecclesiastical lords, archbishops and
bishops, in these warlike enterprises. This was due to the fact that the
ecclesiastical lords were great landholders and exercised all the
functions of secular officials.

Ad annum 883. The Northmen, ascending the Rhine, plundered and burnt
many villages. Liutbert, archbishop of Mainz, with a small band of
troops, attacked them and, after killing many of them, recovered much of
the booty which they had taken. Cologne [which had been burnt by the
Northmen, 881] was rebuilt, except its churches and monasteries, and its
walls with their gates and towers were restored.

Ad annum 885. The Northmen entered the territory about Liège, collected
all kinds of provisions, and prepared to spend the winter there. But
Liutbert, archbishop of Mainz, and count Heimrih, with others, fell upon
them suddenly, killed many of them, and drove the others into a small
stronghold. They then seized the provisions which the Northmen had
collected. The Northmen, after enduring a long siege, during which they
suffered from hunger, finally fled from the stronghold by night.

21. Invasion of the Hungarians, _ca._ 950.

Thietmar of Merseburg, II, 27; M. G. SS. folio, III, pp. 752 f.

Michael, bishop of Regensburg, after governing his diocese well for some
years, gathered his troops and joined the other Bavarian nobles in
resisting an invasion of the Hungarians. In the battle which followed,
our troops were defeated. One of the bishop's ears was cut off, and
after receiving many other wounds he was left for dead on the field. One
of his personal enemies had fallen at his side, and, by feigning death
when the Hungarians searched the battle-field, he escaped with his life.
When he saw that he was alone with the bishop whom he hated, he seized a
lance and tried to kill him. But the bishop, having recovered
consciousness, was able to defend himself, and, after a fierce struggle
with his enemy, succeeded in striking him down. After a long and
perilous journey the bishop found his way back to Regensburg, greatly to
the joy of his flock. All his clergy welcomed him as a bold warrior, his
flock honored and cherished him as an excellent pastor, and his wounds
and maiming redounded to his honor.

22. Dissolution of the Empire.

Regino, M. G. SS. folio, I, pp. 590 ff.

The empire divided in 843 was for a brief period reunited under Karl the
Fat from 884-887. But the failure of Karl either to enforce his
authority in the empire or to protect its boundaries led to his
deposition and to the definite division of the empire into small
kingdoms under local rulers. Arnulf, an illegitimate son of Karlmann,
the brother of Karl the Fat, became king of Germany; in France, as early
as 879, Provence or lower Burgundy had elected a local count, Boso, as
king; in 888, after the deposition of Karl the Fat, most of the French
nobles elected Odo, duke of Francia, who belonged to the family of the
counts of Paris, as their king, while upper Burgundy chose its own ruler
in count Rudolf, and Aquitaine still held out under its duke for the
young Charles the Simple, grandson of Charles the Bald. In Italy Charles
the Bald, Ludwig, and Karl the Fat had attempted in vain to assert the
authority of the emperor there, and Italy went its own way and became
the field of battle between rival claimants for the crown, both of them
local Italian nobles. Thus by 888 there were, including Aquitaine, six
separate kingdoms, Germany, Italy, France, Aquitaine, Provence, and

Anno 879. Boso, on hearing of the death of Louis [the Stammerer], set
out from Provence and undertook to seize the whole of Burgundy. And
after he had won over several bishops to his cause by threats and
persuasion, he proceeded to Lyon and there was anointed king over the
Burgundian realm by Aurelian, the metropolitan of Lyon, and the other
bishops. He ignored the young sons of Louis, treating them as
illegitimate because their mother had been disgraced and put away at the
order of Charles [the Bald]. But these youths, Louis and Carlman, were
raised to the throne by abbot Hugo and the other nobles, and warred
against Boso all their lives. Not only they but also the other kings of
the Franks hated him for his usurpation, and made their dukes and
vassals promise that they would try to overthrow and slay him.

Anno 887. In this year there died at Orleans abbot Hugo, who had held
and ruled manfully the duchy [of Robert the Strong, _i.e._, Francia],
and the duchy was given by the emperor to Robert's son, Odo, who had
been up to that time count of Paris, and who, together with Gozlinus,
bishop of Paris, had protected that city with all his might against the
terrible onslaughts of the Northmen....

In the month of November on St. Martin's day [November 11, 887], Karl
[the Fat] came to Tribur and held a general diet. Now when the nobles of
the kingdom saw that the emperor was failing not only in bodily
strength, but in mind also, they joined in a conspiracy with Arnulf, son
of Karlmann, to raise him to the throne, and they fell away from the
emperor to Arnulf in such numbers that after three days scarcely anyone
was left to do the emperor even the services demanded by common
humanity.... King Arnulf, however, gave Karl certain imperial lands in
Alamannia for his sustenance, and then, after he had settled affairs in
Franconia, he himself returned to Bavaria.

Anno 888. After the death of Karl the kingdoms which had obeyed his rule
fell apart and obeyed no longer their natural lord [_i.e._, Arnulf], but
each elected a king from among its own inhabitants. This was the cause
of many wars, not because there were no longer any princes among the
Franks fitted by birth, courage, and wisdom to rule, but because of the
equality of those very traits among so many princes, since no one of
them so excelled the others that they would be willing to obey him. For
there were still many princes able to hold together the Frankish empire,
if they had not been fated to oppose one another instead of uniting.

In Italy one portion of the people made Berengar, son of Everhard,
markgraf of Friuli, king, while another portion chose as king Guido, son
of Lambert, duke of Spoleto. Out of this division came so great a strife
and so much bloodshed that, as our Lord said, the kingdom, divided
against itself, was almost brought to desolation [Matt. 12:25]. Finally
Guido was victorious and Berengar was driven from the kingdom....

Then the people of Gaul came together, and with the consent of Arnulf,
chose duke Odo, son of Robert, a mighty man, to be their king.... He
ruled manfully and defended the kingdom against the continual attacks of
the Northmen.

About the same time, Rudolf, son of Conrad, the nephew of abbot Hugo,
seized that part of Provence between the Jura and the Pennine Alps
[Upper Burgundy], and in the presence of the nobles and bishops, crowned
himself king. ... But when Arnulf heard of this he advanced against
Rudolf, who betook himself to the most inaccessible heights and held out
there. All his life Arnulf, with his son Zwentibold, made war on Rudolf,
but could not overcome him, because he held out in places where only the
chamois could go and where the troops of the invaders could not reach

23. The Coronation of Arnulf, 896.

Regino, M. G. SS. folio, I, p. 607.

Arnulf regarded himself as the successor to Karl the Great and attempted
to exercise some real authority over the whole empire. This appears in
his relations to Odo of France, to the kings of the Burgundies, and to
the claimants in Italy. The expedition which he undertook to Italy in
order to end the disorders there resulted in his receiving the imperial

Anno 896. A second time Arnulf went down into Italy and came to Rome,
and with the consent of the pope stormed the city. This was an
unheard-of thing, not having happened since Brenno and the Gauls
captured Rome many years before the birth of Christ.{54} The mother of
Lambert, whom he had left to defend the city, fled with her troops.
Arnulf was received into the city with the greatest reverence by pope
Formosus and was crowned emperor by him before the altar of St. Peter.
But as he returned from Rome he was seized with an illness that troubled
him for a long time.

{54} Not true; see no. 2, for the sack of Rome by Alaric, 410, and by
Geiseric, 455.

24, 25. Rise of the Tribal Duchies in Germany, _ca._ 900.

24. Saxony.

Widukind, History of the Saxons, I, c. 16; M. G. SS. folio. III, p.

In the beginning of the tenth century we find Germany divided into five
great duchies, Lotharingia, Franconia, Saxony, Bavaria, and Suabia. The
boundaries of the last four corresponded pretty closely to the
boundaries of old German tribes: Franks, Saxons, Bavarians, and
Alamanni. The attempt of Karl to weld the various German tribes into one
state was successful during his reign, but that period was too brief to
extinguish the tribal feeling, and his weak successors, occupied with
schemes of selfish aggrandizement, abandoned his larger policy. During
the later Carolingian period the impotence of the central government put
the burden of ruling upon the local officials, who under the weak rule
of Ludwig the Child usurped the title of duke in each of the large
divisions. This usurpation was successful largely because the people in
each duchy regarded their new duke as the representative of tribal
unity. In Saxony and Bavaria the counts of the marks took the position
of leaders of the nobles and people of the whole provinces against the
invasions of Slavs and Hungarians, and were rewarded by the fidelity and
allegiance of the duchy. In Franconia and Suabia the same position was
won by local officials, but in these cases it was as the result of
struggles between rival families for supreme position in the duchy. The
references in documents to these events are very meager, but it will be
observed that dukes of Saxony, Bavaria, Franconia, Suabia are mentioned
in these passages.

The last of the Carolingian emperors of the East Franks was Ludwig [the
Child], son of Arnulf.... This Ludwig married Liudgard, sister of Bruno
and the great duke Otto, and soon after died. These men, Bruno and Otto,
were the sons of Liudolf.... Bruno ruled the duchy of all Saxony, but
perished with his army in resisting an incursion of the Danes, thus
leaving the duchy to his younger and far abler brother Otto. Ludwig the
Child left no son, and all the people of Franconia and Saxony tried to
give Otto the crown. But he refused to undertake the burden of ruling,
on the ground that he was too old, and by his advice Conrad, duke of
Franconia, was anointed king.

25. Suabia.

Annales Alamannici, M. G. SS. folio, I, pp. 55 f.

Anno 911. Burchart, count and prince of the Alamanni, was unjustly slain
by the judgment of Anselm, and his sons Burchart and Udalrich were
driven out and his possessions and fiefs divided among his enemies....

Anno 913. In this year Conrad the king attacked the king of Lotharingia.
A conflict arose between Conrad and Erchanger [a count palatine in
Suabia]. The Hungarians break into Alamannia; on their return Arnulf
[duke of Bavaria] and Erchanger, with Berthold and Udalrich, attack and
defeat the Hungarians. In this year peace is made between the king and
Erchanger, and the king marries the sister of Erchanger.

Anno 914. Conrad again comes into Alamannia. Erchanger attacks bishop
Salomon and captures him. In the same year Erchanger is captured by the
king and exiled. Immediately the young Burchart [son of Burchart] rebels
against the king and devastates his own fatherland.

Anno 915.... Erchanger returns from exile and attacks Burchart and
Berthold and conquers them at Wallwis, and is made duke of the Alamanni
[duke of Suabia].

26. Henry I and the Saxon Cities, 919-36.

Widukind, I, 35; M. G. SS. folio, III, p.432.

Henry, duke of Saxony, king of the Germans, 919-936, was the first king
of the Saxon house. He was also the first king of the Germans to accept
the feudal state and to attempt to build up a government on that basis.
He did not revive the imperial claims on Italy, but devoted himself to
strengthening his own authority in Saxony, to defending the frontiers of
the kingdom, and to creating a German state. This selection is from the
history of the Saxons written by Widukind, a monk in the monastery of
New Corvey, who wrote in the latter part of the tenth century. The
passage illustrates the relations of the Germans to the Slavs on the
east and the origin of the Saxon cities. The Slavs had moved as far west
as the Elbe, occupying the lands left vacant by the Germans after the
migrations. Much of this territory was gradually recovered by the
Germans from the time of Henry. Here we see the capture of the city of
Brandenburg and the reduction of Bohemia. Following the conquest came
the establishment of the marks and the colonization and Germanizing of
the land.

It lies beyond my power to relate in detail how king Henry, after he had
made a nine years' truce with the Hungarians, undertook to develop the
defenses of his own land [Saxony] and to subdue the barbarians; and yet
this must not be passed over in silence. From the free peasants subject
to military service he chose one out of every nine, and ordered these
selected persons to move into the fortified places and build dwellings
for the others. One-third of all the produce was to be stored up in
these fortified places, and the other peasants were to sow and reap and
gather the crops and take them there. The king also commanded all courts
and meetings and celebrations to be held in these places, that during a
time of peace the inhabitants might accustom themselves to meeting
together in them, as he wished them to do in case of an invasion. The
work on these strongholds was pushed night and day. Outside of these
fortified places there were no walled towns. While the inhabitants of
his new cities were being trained in this way, the king suddenly fell
upon the Heveldi [the Slavs who dwell on the Havel], defeated them in
several engagements, and finally captured the city of Brandenburg. This
was in the dead of winter, the besieging army encamping on the ice and
storming the city after the garrison had been exhausted by hunger and
cold. Having thus won with the capture of Brandenburg the whole
territory of the Heveldi, he proceeded against Dalamantia, which his
father had attacked on a former occasion, and then besieged Jahna and
took it after twenty days.... Then he made an attack in force upon
Prague, the fortress of the Bohemians, and reduced the king of Bohemia
to subjection.

27. The Election of Otto I, 936.

Widukind, II, 1, 2; M. G. SS. folio, III, pp. 437 ff.

This passage is also taken from Widukind. It shows the ceremony of
election and coronation in the tenth century. Note the steps in the
process: (1) designation by his father, at which time the son was
probably accepted by an assembly of the nobles; (2) election by the
general assembly after the death of the father; the general assembly at
this period probably consisted only of nobles and high ecclesiastics;
(3) elevation to the throne by the feudal nobles, a survival of the
ancient ceremony of raising the king on the shield by the warriors of
the tribe; (4) presentation to the people by the bishops, and
acceptance; (5) solemn coronation and anointing by the archbishops.

1. After Henry, the father of his country and the greatest and best of
kings, had died, all the people of the Franks and the Saxons chose for
their king his son Otto, whom Henry had already designated as his
successor, and they sent out notices of the coronation, which was to
take place at Aachen. ... And when all were assembled there, the dukes
and the commanders of the soldiers and other military leaders raised
Otto upon the throne, which was erected in the portico adjoining the
church of Karl the Great, and giving him their hands and promising him
their fidelity and aid against all his enemies, they made him king
according to their custom. Meanwhile the archbishop of Mainz and the
clergy and people awaited him within the church. And when he approached
the archbishop met him, ... and went with him to the centre of the
church; ... then turning to the people ... he said: "I bring you Otto,
chosen by God, designated by our lord Henry, and now made king by all
the princes; if this choice pleases you, raise your right hands." At
this, the whole people raised their right hands to heaven and hailed the
new ruler with a mighty shout. Then the archbishop advanced with the
king, who was clothed with a short tunic after the Frankish custom, to
the altar, on which lay the royal insignia, the sword and belt, the
cloak and armlets, the staff with the sceptre and diadem. The primate at
this time was Hildibert, a Frank by birth and a monk by training. He had
been brought up and educated at the monastery of Fulda, and finally was
made archbishop of Mainz.... Now when there had arisen a dispute as to
who should consecrate the king (for the honor was claimed by the
archbishops both of Trier and of Cologne, the former because his see was
the oldest and had been founded, as it were, by St. Peter, and the
latter because Aachen was in his diocese),{55} the difficulty was
settled by both of them yielding with all good will to Hildibert.

The archbishop, going up to the altar, took up the sword and belt and,
turning to the king, said: "Receive this sword with which you shall cast
out all the enemies of Christ, both pagans and wicked Christians, and
receive with it the authority and power given to you by God to rule over
all the Franks for the security of all Christian people." Then taking up
the cloak and armlets he put them on the king and said: "The borders of
this cloak trailing on the ground shall remind you that you are to be
zealous in the faith and to keep peace." Finally, taking up the sceptre
and staff, he said: "By these symbols you shall correct your subjects
with fatherly discipline and foster the servants of God and the widows
and orphans. May the oil of mercy never be lacking to your head, that
you may be crowned here and in the future life with an eternal reward."
Then the archbishops Hildibert of Mainz and Wicfrid of Cologne anointed
him with the sacred oil and crowned him with the golden crown, and now
that the whole coronation ceremony was completed they led him to the
throne, which he ascended. The throne was built between two marble
columns of great beauty and was so placed that he could see all and be
seen by all.

2. Then after the Te Deum and the mass, the king descended from his
throne and proceeded to the palace, where he sat down with his bishops
and people at a marble table which was adorned with royal lavishness;
and the dukes served him. Gilbert, duke of Lotharingia, who held the
office by right, superintended the preparations [_i.e._, acted as
chamberlain], Eberhard, duke of Franconia, presided over the
arrangements for the king's table [acted as seneschal], Herman, duke of
Suabia, acted as cupbearer, Arnulf, duke of Bavaria, commanded the
knights and chose the place of encampment [acted as marshal].{56}
Siegfrid, chief of the Saxons, second only to the king, and son-in-law
of the former king, ruled Saxony for Otto, providing against attacks of
the enemy and caring for the young Henry, Otto's brother.

{55} In the time of Leo IX (1048-1054) this quarrel was settled in
favor of the archbishop of Cologne because Aachen was in his diocese.

{56} The famous banquet of Otto has been made much of by many authors
to show the power of Otto over the great dukes. It is doubtful, however,
if much importance should be attached to this. The great offices of the
court in Germany were ceremonial and titular, and since they did not
become important departments of the public service, as they did in
France and England, they were allowed to remain in the hands of the
great dukes. The serving of the dukes at the banquet cannot be made to
prove their subservience to Otto; Otto's method of controlling the dukes
was to put his own relatives in those positions. The four offices of the
seneschal, cupbearer, chamberlain, and marshal are the court positions
of the later secular electoral princes (see no. 160), the count palatine
of the Rhine, the king of Bohemia, the elector of Saxony, and the
margrave of Brandenburg. These princes on the breaking up of the tribal
duchies succeeded to the position of first rank among the nobles, which
had been held by the tribal dukes.

28. Otto I and the Hungarians.

Widukind, III, chs. 44 ff; M. G. SS. folio, III, pp. 457 f.

The Hungarians appear on the borders of the empire about the end of the
ninth century. From that time they are a continual source of trouble to
the kings of Germany. Arnulf had made an alliance with them against the
Slavs; the reigns of Ludwig the Child and Conrad I had suffered from
their attacks, and Henry I had succeeded in forcing them to make a
truce. Otto then defeated them in the battle of the Lechfeld (955),
which is narrated here, after which they settled in the region where
they are found to-day.

44. While Otto was in Saxony, ambassadors of the Hungarians came to him,
under the pretext of the old alliance and friendship, but in reality, it
was supposed, in order to discover the outcome of the civil war in which
Otto had been engaged. After he had entertained them and sent them away
with gifts, he received a message from his brother, the duke of Bavaria,
saying: "Lo, the Hungarians are overrunning your land, and are preparing
to make war upon you." As soon as the king heard this, he immediately
marched against this enemy, taking with him only a few Saxons, since the
rest were occupied at that time with a conflict against the Slavs. He
pitched his camp in the territory of the city of Augsburg and was joined
there by the army of the Franconians and Bavarians and by duke Conrad
with a large following of knights. Conrad's arrival so encouraged the
warriors that they wished to attack the enemy immediately. Conrad was by
nature very bold, and at the same time very wise in council, two things
which are not usually found in the same man. He was irresistible in war,
whether on foot or on horseback; and was dear to his friends in peace as
well as in war. It now became apparent through the skirmishes of the
advance posts that the two armies were not far apart. A fast was
proclaimed in the camp, and all were commanded to be ready for battle on
the next morning. At the first gleam of dawn they all arose, made peace
with one another, and promised to aid first their own leaders and then
each other. Then they marched out of the camp with standards raised,
some eight legions in all. The army was led by a steep and difficult way
in order to avoid the darts of the enemy, which they use with great
effect if they can find any bushes to hide behind. The first, second,
and third lines were composed of Bavarians led by the officers of duke
Henry, who himself was lying sick some distance from the field of
battle--a sickness from which he died not long after. The fourth legion
was composed of Franconians, under the command of duke Conrad. The king
commanded the fifth line. This was called the royal legion and was made
up of selected warriors, brave youths, who guarded the standard of the
angel, the emblem of victory. The sixth and seventh lines were composed
of Suabians, commanded by duke Burchard, who had married the daughter of
the brother of Otto [Hedwig, daughter of Henry]. The eighth was made up
of a thousand chosen warriors of the Bohemians, whose equipment was
better than their fortune; here was the baggage and the impedimenta,
because the rear was thought to be the safest place. But it did not
prove to be so in the outcome, for the Hungarians crossed the Lech
unexpectedly, and turned the flank of the army and fell upon the rear
line, first with darts and then at close quarters. Many were slain or
captured, the whole of the baggage seized, and the line put to rout. In
like manner the Hungarians fell upon the seventh and sixth lines, slew a
great many and put the rest to flight. But when the king perceived that
there was a conflict going on in front and that the lines behind him
were also being attacked, he sent duke Conrad with the fourth line
against those in the rear. Conrad freed the captives, recovered the
booty, and drove off the enemy. Then he returned to the king,
victorious, having defeated with youthful and untried warriors an enemy
that had put to flight experienced and renowned soldiers.

46. ... When the king saw that the whole brunt of the attack was now in
front ... he seized his shield and lance, and rode out against the enemy
at the head of his followers. The braver warriors among the enemy
withstood the attack at first, but when they saw that their companions
had fled, they were overcome with dismay and were slain. Some of the
enemy sought refuge in near-by villages, their horses being worn out;
these were surrounded and burnt to death within the walls. Others swam
the river, but were drowned by the caving in of the bank as they
attempted to climb out on the other side. The strongholds were taken and
the captives released on the day of the battle; during the next two days
the remnants of the enemy were captured in the neighboring towns, so
that scarcely any escaped. Never was so bloody a victory gained over so
savage a people.

29. The Imperial Coronation of Otto I, 962.

Continuation of Regino; M. G. SS. folio, I, p. 625.

The coronation of Otto is regarded as the restoration of the Holy Roman
Empire. From the time of the coronation of Arnulf (896) (see no. 23) to
Otto's first expedition, 951, the German kings had been too much
occupied at home to interfere in Italy. During these years Italy had
been the scene of a long struggle for the crown, in which the papacy had
taken part as a secular power. The result was feudal anarchy in Italy
and the degradation of the papacy. The desire to restore order in Italy,
to revive the old imperial claims, and to reform the papacy, led Otto to
accept the invitation of the pope and to make a second expedition which
ended in the coronation. Otto thus revived the Carolingian policy which
had been handed on by Arnulf. The union of Germany and Italy to form the
mediæval empire was made certain by this coronation. The kings of
Germany were pledged to the maintenance of their authority in Italy, a
policy which caused them to waste in Italy the strength and the
opportunity which they should have used to build up a German state.

Anno 962. King Otto celebrated Christmas at Pavia in this year [961],
and went thence to Rome, where he was made emperor by pope John XII with
the acclamation of all the Roman people and clergy. The pope entertained
him with great cordiality and promised never to be untrue to him all the
days of his life. But this promise had a very different outcome from
what was anticipated by them.

(Otto leaves Rome to attack Berengar, who claimed to be king of Italy,
and his sons Adalbert and Guido.)

963.... In the meantime pope John, forgetting his promise, fell away
from the emperor and joined the party of Berengar, and allowed Adalbert
to enter Rome. When Otto heard of this he abandoned the siege [of San
Leo] and hastened with his army to Rome. But pope John and Adalbert,
fearing to await his arrival, seized most of the treasures of St. Peter
and sought safety in flight. Now the Romans were divided in sympathy,
part favoring the emperor because of the oppressions of the pope, and
part favoring the papal cause; nevertheless, they received him in the
city with the proper respect, and gave hostages for their complete
obedience to his commands. The emperor having entered Rome, called
together there a large number of bishops and held a synod; it was
decided at this synod that he should send an embassy after the pope to
recall him to the apostolic seat. But when John refused to come, the
Roman people unanimously elected the papal secretary Leo [VIII] to fill
his place.

30-31. The Acquisition of Burgundy by the Empire, 1018-1032.

30. Thietmar of Merseburg.

M. G. SS. folio, III, p. 863.

The kingdom of Burgundy or Arles was formed by the union of the two
small kingdoms of Provence and Upper Burgundy, the beginning of which is
told in Regino (see no. 22). The result of the acquisition of Burgundy
was not to increase the territory of Germany, but to add another kingdom
to the empire, which now included Germany, Italy, and Burgundy.

VIII, 5. Now I shall break off the relation of these negotiations in
order to tell of the good fortune which lately befell our emperor, Henry
[II]. For his mother's brother, Rudolf, king of Burgundy, had promised
him his crown and sceptre in the presence and with the consent of his
wife and his step-sons and all his nobles, and now this promise was
repeated with an oath. This happened at Mainz in the same year
[February, 1018].

31. Wipo, Life of Conrad II.

M. G. SS. folio, XI, pp. 263 ff.

8. Rudolf, king of Burgundy, in his old age ruled his realm in a
careless fashion and thereby aroused great dissatisfaction among his
nobles. So he invited his sister's son, the emperor Henry II, to come to
him, and he designated him as his successor and caused all the nobles of
his realm to swear fealty to him.... Now after the death of Henry
[1024], king Rudolf wished to withdraw his promise, but Conrad [II],
desiring to increase rather than to diminish the empire and to reap the
fruits of his predecessor's efforts, seized Basel in order to force
Rudolf to keep his promise. But queen Gisela, the daughter of Rudolf's
sister, brought about reconciliation between them.

29. In the year of our Lord 1032, Rudolf, king of Burgundy, died, and
count Odo of Champagne, his sister's son, invaded the kingdom and had
already seized many castles and towns, partly by treachery and partly by
force. ... In this way he gained a large part of Burgundy, although the
kingdom had been promised under oath a long time before by Rudolf to
Conrad and his son, king Henry. But while Odo was doing this in
Burgundy, emperor Conrad was engaged in a campaign against the Slavs....

30. In the year of our Lord 1033, emperor Conrad, with his son, king
Henry, celebrated Christmas at Strassburg. From there he invaded
Burgundy by way of Solothurn, and at the monastery of Peterlingen on the
day of the purification of the Virgin Mary [February 2] he was elected
king of Burgundy by the higher and lower nobility, and was crowned on
the same day.

32. Henry III and the Eastern Frontier, 1040 to 1043.

Lambert of Hersfeld, Annals, M. G. SS. folio, V, pp. 152 f.

The expansion of Germany to the east was slow and unstable. Poles,
Bohemians, and Hungarians refused to remain tributary, but took every
opportunity to rebel against the Germans. We give a few passages from
Lambert's Annals to show that Henry III was aware of the policy
bequeathed him by his predecessors, although he was not very successful
in his efforts to carry it into effect.

Anno 1040. King Henry [III] led an army into Bohemia, but suffered heavy
losses. Among others, count Werner and the standard bearer of the
monastery of Fulda were slain.

Peter, king of Hungary, was expelled by his people. He fled to Henry and
asked his aid.

1041. King Henry entered Bohemia a second time and compelled their duke,
Bretislaw, to surrender. He made his territory tributary to Henry.

Ouban, who had usurped the crown of Hungary, invaded Bavaria and
Carinthia (Kaernthen) and took much booty. But the Bavarians united all
their forces, followed them, retook the booty, killed a great many of
them, and put the rest to flight.

1042. King Henry made his first campaign against Hungary, and put Ouban
to flight. He went into Hungary as far as the Raab river, took three
great fortresses, and received the oath of fidelity from the inhabitants
of the land.

1043. The king celebrated Christmas at Goslar, where the duke of Bohemia
came to see him. He was kindly received by the king, honorably
entertained for some time, and at length sent away in peace. Ambassadors
came to him there from many peoples, and among them those of the Rusci,
who went away sad because Henry refused to marry the daughter of their
king. Ambassadors also came from the king of Hungary and humbly sued for
peace. But they did not obtain it, because king Peter, who had been
deposed and driven out by Ouban, was there and was begging for the help
of Henry against Ouban.


The chief purpose of the documents offered in this section is to
illustrate the growth of the papal power and the development of the
conflicting claims of the empire and the papacy. The organization of the
church was a matter of slow growth, and at first the bishop of Rome
actually exercised ecclesiastical authority in a decisive way only in
his own diocese. But by 1073 the organization of the church was so
developed that the supremacy of the pope over the church and
ecclesiastical affairs in the west was in a fair way of becoming an
accomplished fact. He had secured the sole right to be called pope,
universal, and apostolic.

The growth of his temporal power is even more clearly marked. At the
time of Constantine the bishop of Rome had no temporal authority. But
gradually he acquired power over temporal matters and exercised various
secular and even imperial prerogatives, until Gregory VII found it easy
to formulate and put forth the claim that the pope was master of the
emperor and the real ruler of the world even in temporal things. Before
1073 there was occasional friction between the empire and the papacy,
but this did not develop into a real and definite struggle for world
supremacy until Gregory VII became pope.

Selections are here given to illustrate (1) the election of bishops, and
especially the early election of the bishop of Rome, nos. 33, 34, 37,
38; (2) the chief means by which the pope acquired recognition of his
ecclesiastical headship in the west, that is, his missionary work, nos.
35, 39, 40; (3) the rebellion of the pope against the rule of the Greek
emperors, nos. 41, 42; (4) the acquisition of land and of temporal
authority by the pope, nos. 36, 43-46, 54; (5) the development of
specific conflicting claims of pope and emperor regarding the election
and consecration of the pope, the creation and coronation of the
emperor, and the exercise of functions which had been regarded as
imperial, nos. 47-53, 55-59.

33. Legislation Concerning the Election of Bishops, Fourth to the Ninth

Corpus Juris Canonici. Dist. LXIII, c. vi, vii, and i.

In the election of the clergy, especially of the bishops, it was some
centuries before the theory and the practice of the church entirely
agreed. In theory the laity should have nothing to do with the election
of the clergy, but in fact, they have, at various times and in different
degrees, exercised authority over such matters. Thus, for instance, the
people of Rome had a part in the election of their bishop; the emperors
at Constantinople, at first in person, later through the exarch at
Ravenna, confirmed his election; Karl the Great and his successors named
the bishops of Germany; Otto I and Henry III made and unmade bishops of
Rome. This state of affairs lasted well into the eleventh century. The
church strove more and more to free itself from all outside influence,
while the emperors struggled to retain their control of it.

The Corpus Juris Canonici (Body of Canon Law), which consists chiefly of
decisions of church councils and of papal decrees and bulls, is the code
of laws by which the church is governed. Frequent additions were made to
it until Gregory XIII (1572-85) prepared a standard edition of it. It
has been republished a great many times. For the sake of brevity we have
made use of a few of its chapters here instead of the longer originals
from which they are taken.

C. vi. Laymen have not the right to choose those who are to be made

(From the Council of Laodicæa, fourth century.)

C. vii. Every election of a bishop, priest, or deacon, which is made by
the nobility [that is, emperor, or others in authority], is void,
according to the rule which says: "If a bishop makes use of the secular
powers to obtain a diocese, he shall be deposed and those who supported
him shall be cast out of the church."

(From the third canon of the second council at Nicæa, 787, quoting the
30th canon of the Apostolic Constitutions; Mansi, XVI, 748.)

C. i. No layman, whether emperor or noble, shall interfere with the
election or promotion of a patriarch, metropolitan, or bishop, lest
there should arise some unseemly disturbance or contention; especially
since it is not fitting that any layman or person in secular authority
should have any authority in such matters.... If any emperor or
nobleman, or layman of any other rank, opposes the canonical election of
any member of the clergy, let him be anathema until he yields and
accepts the clear will of the church in the election and ordination of
the bishop.

(From the twenty-second canon of the eighth synod of Constantinople,
869; Mansi, XVI, 174 f.)

34. The Pope must be Chosen from the Cardinal Clergy of Rome, 769.

Enactment of a Latin council held by Stephen III, 769, Cor. Jur. Can.,
Dist. LXXIX. (See also Mansi, XII, 719.)

C. iii. It is necessary that our mistress the holy Roman Catholic church
be governed properly, and in accordance with the precedents established
by St. Peter and his successors, and that the pope be chosen from the
cardinal priests or cardinal deacons. C. iv. No one, whether layman or
clergyman, shall presume to be made pope unless he has risen through the
regular grades{57} at least to the rank of cardinal deacon or has been
made a cardinal priest.

{57} The grades are given as follows in the Cor. Jur. Can., Dist.
LXXVII, c. i. The candidate for the office of bishop must first have
been doorkeeper (_ostiarius_), then reader (_lector_), then exorcist
(_exorcista_), then consecrated as an acolyte (_acolythus_), then
subdeacon (_subdiaconus_), then deacon (_diaconus_), then priest
(_presbyter_), and then if he is elected he may be ordained bishop. The
law expressed in chap. iii, so thoroughly in the interests of the
ambitious clergy of Rome, was not long observed, for it frequently
happened that the bishop of some other city was chosen pope. But it was
in accord with previous legislation. The church had early declared
against the removal of a clergyman from one congregation to another.
Thus the council of Nicæa, 325, in its fifteenth canon (cf. Hefele,
Conciliengeschichte, I, pp. 418 f), "forbids bishops, priests, and
deacons to move from one town (congregation) to another, because such a
practice is against the rule of the church and has often caused
disturbances and divisions between congregations. If any bishop, priest,
or deacon disobeys this command and removes to another congregation, his
action shall be illegal, and he shall be sent back to the congregation
which he was serving."

35. The Petrine Theory as Stated by Leo I, 440-61.

Migne, 64.

Leo I (440-61) made frequent use of the Petrine theory. In brief this
theory is that to Peter as the prince of the apostles was committed the
supreme power over the church. To him the keys were intrusted in a
special manner. In this consisted his primacy, his superiority over the
other apostles. This primacy or first rank he communicated to his
successors, the bishops of Rome, who, by virtue of being his successors,
held the same primacy over the church and over all other bishops as
Peter held over the other apostles. The passage on which this theory is
based is found in Matt. 16:18 f: "And I say unto thee, That thou art
Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it. 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."

We offer the following detached passages from the works of Leo I to
illustrate his conception of the theory.

Col. 628. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, caused his
truth to be promulgated through the apostles. And while this duty was
placed on all the apostles, the Lord made St. Peter the head of them
all, that from him as from their head his gifts should flow out into all
the body. So that if anyone separates himself from St. Peter he should
know that he has no share in the divine blessing.

Col. 656. If any dissensions in regard to church matters and the clergy
should arise among you, we wish you to settle them and report to us all
the terms of the settlement, so that we may confirm all your just and
reasonable decisions.

Col. 995. Constantinople has its own glory and by the mercy of God has
become the seat of the empire. But secular matters are based on one
thing, ecclesiastical matters on another. For nothing will stand which
is not built on the rock [Peter] which the Lord laid in the foundation
[Matt. 16:18].... Your city is royal, but you cannot make it apostolic
[as Rome is, because its church was founded by St. Peter].

Col. 1031. You will learn with what reverence the bishop of Rome treats
the rules and canons of the church if you read my letters by which I
resisted the ambition of the patriarch of Constantinople, and you will
see also that I am the guardian of the catholic faith and of the decrees
of the church fathers.

Col. 991. On this account the holy and most blessed pope, Leo, the head
of the universal church, with the consent of the holy synod, endowed
with the dignity of St. Peter, who is the foundation of the church, the
rock of the faith, and the door-keeper of heaven, through us, his
vicars, deprived him of his rank as bishop, etc. [From a letter of his

Col. 615. And because we have the care of all the churches, and the
Lord, who made Peter the prince of the apostles, holds us responsible
for it, etc.

Col. 881. Believing that it is reasonable and just that as the holy
Roman church, through St. Peter, the prince of the apostles, is the head
of all the churches of the whole world, etc.

Col. 147. This festival should be so celebrated that in my humble person
he [Peter] should be seen and honored who has the care over all the
shepherds and the sheep committed to him, and whose dignity is not
lacking in me, his heir, although I am unworthy.

36. The Emperor Gives the Pope Authority in certain Secular Matters.

The Pragmatic Sanction of Justinian, 554; M. G. LL. folio, V, p. 175.

One of the chief effects of the invasions of the barbarians was an
increased lawlessness and disorder throughout the territory in which
they settled. The administration of justice was seriously disturbed by
their presence in the country, and the machinery of government was, to a
certain extent, destroyed by them. Under these circumstances the clergy,
by virtue of their office and character, were looked on as
representatives of law, order, and justice, and they were quite
naturally given a voice in the administration of justice and in the
general management of affairs. The selections from the pragmatic
sanction, which Justinian issued in 554, show in part the use which he
made of the bishop of Rome to restore and secure order and good
government in Italy after the long, destructive, and demoralizing wars
which he waged with the East Goths.

§ 12. The bishops and chief men shall elect officials for each province
who shall be qualified and able to administer its government, etc.

§ 19. That there may be no opportunity for fraud or loss to the
provinces, we order that, in the purchase and sale of all kinds of
produce [grain, wine, oil, etc.] and in the payment and receipt of
money, only those weights and measures shall be used which we have
established and put under the control of the pope and of the senate.

37. The Emperor has the Right to Confirm the Election of the Bishop of
Rome, _ca._ 650. A Letter from the Church at Rome to the Emperor at
Constantinople, Asking him to Confirm the Election of their Bishop.

Liber Diurnus, no. 58, Rozière's edition, pp. 103 ff; Von Sickel's
edition. pp. 47 ff.

For a long time the emperor at Constantinople had exercised the right of
confirming the election of the bishop of Rome. No one could be ordained
and consecrated pope until his election had been confirmed by the

The _Liber Diurnus_ is a collection of letters or formulas which were
used by the papal secretaries as models in drawing up the pope's
letters. This particular collection was in use at the papal court from
about 600 to 900 A.D. When it became necessary to write to the emperor
at Constantinople to secure his confirmation of the election of a bishop
of Rome, a secretary would copy this letter, inserting the proper names
in the appropriate places and making such other changes in its wording
as might be necessary to fit the particular case.

Although God himself has brought about such harmony and unity in the
election of a successor to the pope who has just died that there is
scarcely one that opposes it, it is necessary that we humbly pour out
the prayers of our petition to our most serene and pious lord who is
known to rejoice in the harmony of his subjects and graciously to grant
what they unite in asking. Now, when our pope (name), of blessed memory,
died, we all agreed in the election of (name), venerable archdeacon of
the apostolic see, because from his early youth he had served in this
church and had shown himself so able in all things that on the score of
his merits he deserved to be put at the head of the government of the
church; especially since he was of such a character that with the help
of Christ and by constant association with the aforesaid most blessed
pope (name), he has attained to the same high merits with which his
predecessor (name), of blessed memory, was graced; with his eloquence,
he stirred within us a desire for the holy joys of heaven; so we
confidently believe that what we have lost in his predecessor we have
found again in him. Therefore, with tears, all your servants beg that
you, our lord, may deign to grant our petition and accede to our wishes
concerning the ordination of him whom we have elected, and, to the glory
of the realm, authorize his ordination; that thus, after you have
established him over us as our pastor, we may constantly pray for the
life and government of our lord the emperor to the omnipotent Lord and
to St. Peter, over whose church, with your permission, a worthy governor
is now to be ordained.

Signatures of the clergy:

I, (name), by the mercy of God, priest of the holy Roman Church, have
signed this our action regarding (name), venerable archdeacon of the
holy apostolic see, our pope elect.

Signatures of the laity:

I, (name), your servant, have with full consent signed this our action
regarding (name), venerable archdeacon of the holy apostolic see, our
pope elect.

38. A Letter from the Church at Rome to the Exarch at Ravenna, Asking
him to Confirm the Election of their Bishop, _ca._ 600.

Liber Diurnus, no. 60, Rozière's edition, pp. 110 ff; Von Sickel, pp.
50 ff.

As is clear from the preceding number, the confirmation of the election
of the bishop of Rome was in the hands of the emperor. His residence was
at Constantinople, but he was, of course, not always to be found there.
Because of his distance from Rome it might take several months to secure
his confirmation. Such delays interfered with the administration of the
office and were very burdensome to the Romans because the pope had a
large share in the government of the city. Until their new bishop was
confirmed the government of the city was almost at a standstill. So, in
the seventh century, the emperor, at the request of the Romans,
commissioned his exarch at Ravenna to act for him in this matter.

To the most excellent and exalted lord (may God graciously preserve him
to us for a long life in his high office), (name), exarch of Italy, the
priests, deacons, and all the clergy of Rome, the magistrates, the army,
and the people of Rome, as suppliants, send greeting.

Providence is able to give aid and to change the weeping and groaning of
the sorrowing into rejoicing, that those who were recently smitten down
with affliction may afterward be fully consoled. For the poet king, from
whose prophetic heart the Holy Spirit spoke, has said: "Weeping may
endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" [Ps. 30:5]. And
again, giving thanks to God, he sings of the greatness of his mercies,
and says: "Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast
put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness: to the end that my
glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent" [Ps. 30: 11-12]. For
he careth for us [1 Peter, 5:7] as that chosen vessel [Peter] and our
confession of faith declare. For the things which were causing sadness
He has changed to rejoicing and has mercifully given aid to us, unworthy
sinners. Now, our pope (name) having been called from present cares to
eternal rest, as is the lot of mortals, a great load of sorrow oppressed
us, deprived, as we were, of our guardian. But because we hoped in God,
He did not permit us long to remain in this affliction. For after we had
spent three days in prayer that He would deign to make known to all who
was worthy and should be elected pope, with the aid of his grace which
inspired our minds, we all came together in the accustomed manner; that
is, the clergy and the people of Rome, the nobility and the army, as we
say, from the least to the greatest; and the election, with the help of
God and the aid of the holy apostles, fell upon the person of (name),
most holy archdeacon of this holy apostolic see of the church of Rome.
The holy and chaste life of this good man, beloved of God, was so
pleasing to all that no one opposed his election, and no one dissented
from it. Why should not men unanimously agree upon him whom the
incomparable and never failing providence of God had foreordained to
this office? For without doubt this had been determined on in the
presence of God. So, solemnly fulfilling God's decrees and confirming
the desires of our hearts with our signatures, we have sent you our
fellow-servants as the bearers of this writing, (name), most holy
bishop, (name), venerable priest, (name), regionary notary, (name),
regionary subdeacon, (names), honorable citizens, and from the most
flourishing and successful army of Rome, (name), most eminent consul,
and (names), chief men, tribunes of the army, together most earnestly
begging and praying that you may approve our choice. For he who has been
unanimously elected by us, is, so far as man can discern, above
reproach. And therefore we beg and beseech you to grant our petition
quickly, because there are many matters arising daily which require the
solicitous care and attention of a pope. And the affairs of the province
and all things connected therewith also need and are awaiting some one
to control them. Besides we need some one to keep the neighboring enemy
in check, a thing which can be done only by the power of God and of the
prince of the apostles, through his vicar, the bishop of Rome. For it is
well known that at various times the bishop of Rome has driven off our
enemies by his warnings, and at others he has turned them aside and
restrained them with his prayers; so that by his words alone, on account
of their reverence for the prince of the apostles, they have offered
voluntary obedience; and thus they whom the force of arms had not
overcome have yielded to papal threats and prayers.

Since these things are so, again and again we beseech you, our exalted
lord, with the aid and inspiration of God, to perform the duty of your
imperial office by granting our request. And we, your humble servants,
on seeing our desires fulfilled, may then give unceasing thanks to God
and to you, and with our spiritual pastor, our bishop, enthroned on the
apostolic seat, we may pour out prayers for the life, health, and
complete victories of our most exalted and Christian lords, (names), the
great and victorious emperors, that the merciful God may grant manifold
victories to their royal courage, and cause them to triumph over all
peoples; and that God may give them joy of heart because the ancient
rule of Rome has been restored. For we know that he whom we have elected
pope can, with his prayers, influence the divine Omnipotence; and he has
prepared a joyful increase for the Roman empire, and he will aid you in
the government of this province of Italy which is subject to you, and he
will aid and protect all of us, your servants, through many years.

Signatures of the clergy:

I, (name), humble archpriest of the holy Roman church, have with full
consent subscribed to this document which we have made concerning
(name), most holy archdeacon, our bishop elect.

And the signatures of the laity:

I, (name), in the name of God, consul, have with full consent subscribed
to this document which we have made concerning (name), most holy
archdeacon, our bishop elect.

39. Gregory I Sends Missionaries to the English, 596.

Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English, Bk. I, chs. 23 and 25.

The pope secured recognition of his supremacy largely because much of
the west was Christianized through his efforts. The mission established
by Augustine in England was one of the most important missionary
undertakings of the pope because it succeeded in making England Roman
Catholic. And not only that, but after the conversion of England,
Englishmen were largely instrumental in Christianizing many parts of
Europe and in subjecting them to the bishop of Rome. Thus it was an
Englishman, Boniface, who organized the church in Germany and put it
under papal control. By English and German missionaries the barbarians
to the north and east of Germany, that is, the Danes, Norwegians,
Swedes, Poles, Bohemians, and Hungarians, were Christianized and made
tributary to the pope.

23. ... Gregory was divinely led to send Augustine, the servant of God,
and with him several other pious monks to preach the word of God to the

25. ... So Augustine and the servants of Christ who were with him came
into Britain. At that time Ethelbert was king in Kent. He was a powerful
king and had extended the boundaries of his realm to the Humber river,
which separates the English of the north from those of the south. On the
east shore of Kent there is a small island called Thanet, about large
enough for 600 families, according to the English way of reckoning....
Here Augustine, the servant of the Lord, landed with his companions,
who, it is said, numbered about forty. At the suggestion of the pope,
they brought with them some Franks as interpreters. They sent word to
Ethelbert that they had come from Rome, bearing good tidings which would
surely bring to all who obeyed them eternal joy in heaven and a kingdom
without end with the true and living God. The king ordered them to
remain where they were and to be supplied with food until he should make
up his mind what to do with regard to them. For he already knew about
Christianity. Indeed his wife, Bertha, of the royal family of the
Franks, was a Christian. Her family had consented to her marriage with
Ethelbert only on the condition that she should be permitted to remain
faithful to her religion, and, to aid her in this, they had sent with
her a bishop named Liudhard.

After some days the king came to Thanet and ordered Augustine and his
companions to come to him.... At the command of the king they sat down,
and after they had preached the word of God to the king and his
companions, he responded as follows: "Beautiful indeed are your words
and the promises which you make. But because they are new and untried I
cannot accept them and desert those things which I and all the English
have held for so long. However, since you are strangers and have come so
far, and since I see that you desire to share with us those things which
you think are true and best, we do not wish to offend you. On the
contrary, we extend to you our gracious hospitality and will supply you
with the necessities of life. And you may also preach, and convert to
your faith as many as you can." And he gave them a dwelling-place in
Canterbury, which is the chief city of his kingdom.

40. The Oath of Boniface to Pope Gregory II, 723.

Migne, 89, cols. 803 ff.

Although the Franks accepted Christianity in 496, they had made little
progress in ecclesiastical discipline and in the knowledge of Christian
doctrine. Heathen beliefs and practices were mixed with their
Christianity, and the clergy were ignorant and undisciplined. The
influence and authority of the pope did not extend to them. Boniface was
an Englishman, a monk, and a devoted supporter of the doctrine of papal
supremacy. He spent his life as a missionary among the Germans and
gained the title of the "apostle of Germany." From 715 to his death in
754 he labored with untiring zeal to convert them and to attach them to
Rome. He visited Rome several times to secure the pope's consent and
blessing on his work, and bound himself by an oath to labor for the
advancement of papal interests. He established bishoprics which became
famous, such as Würzburg, Eichstädt, and Erfurt, and monasteries, such
as Fritzlar, and Fulda. By his efforts the German church was bound
firmly to Rome and the pope's authority established over the church in

The pope required the newly elected bishops of his diocese to take an
oath to be obedient and true to him. The unity of the church was to be
secured by the obedience of all to one head, that is, the pope. So when
the Lombards were converted to the orthodox faith the pope required
their bishops to take the same oath to him as did the bishops of his
diocese. Their oath is, with the exception of a few phrases, identical
with this oath of Boniface. That is, the pope regarded Lombardy and
Germany as having the same relation to him as did his own diocese about

I, Boniface, by the grace of God bishop, promise thee, St. Peter, prince
of the apostles, and thy vicar, blessed pope Gregory, and his
successors, through the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the inseparable
Trinity, and on this thy most holy body, that I will hold the holy
Catholic faith in all its purity, and by the help of God I will remain
in unity with it, without which there is no salvation. I will in no way
consent to anyone who acts against the unity of the church, but, as I
have said, I will preserve the purity of my faith and give my support to
thee [St. Peter] and to thy church, to which God has given the power of
binding and loosing, and to thy vicar, and to his successors. And if I
find out that any bishops are acting contrary to the ancient rules of
the holy fathers, I will have no communion or association with them, but
I will restrain them as far as I can. But if I cannot restrain them I
will report it at once to my lord the pope. And if I shall ever in any
way, by any deceit, or under any pretext, act contrary to this my
promise, I shall be found guilty in the day of judgment, and shall
suffer the punishment of Ananias and Sapphira, who presumed to try to
deceive thee about their possessions and to lie to thee. This text of my
oath, I, Boniface, unworthy bishop, have written with my own hand, and
have placed it over the most holy body of St. Peter; before God as my
witness and judge, I have taken this oath, which also I promise to keep.

41-42. The Rebellion of the Popes against the Emperor.

41. Letter of Pope Gregory II to the Emperor, Leo III, 726 or 727.

Migne, 89, cols. 521 ff.

From the days of Constantine the Great the emperors assumed and actually
exercised extensive authority over the church, presuming even to dictate
in matters which concerned the doctrine and practice of the church.
Since the emperor often supported doctrines which the bishop of Rome
held to be heretical, the relations between him and the pope became more
and more strained. The harsh way in which the emperors treated the popes
who resisted them angered the papal adherents. There were other reasons
also why the rule of the emperor was disliked in Rome, and so it soon
came about that the people of Rome, and even of central Italy, looked
upon the pope as the head of the opposition to the emperor and heartily
supported him when he rebelled against the Greek rule.

The emperors met with increasing resistance when they interfered with
the bishop of Rome. Pope Vigilius (547-554) was humiliated and deposed
by Justinian and died in exile. Because Martin I (649-655) resisted the
emperor in a doctrinal matter, Constans II (642-668) had him brought as
a prisoner to Constantinople (653) and afterward exiled him to the
Crimea. But Sergius I (687-701) successfully resisted the emperor and
escaped arrest and deposition because the people of central Italy
supported him and threatened to revolt if the emperor should seize and
carry away their pope.

The struggle about the use of images gave the popes an opportunity to
rebel and assert their complete independence of the emperor. In 726 the
emperor, Leo III, began to condemn the presence and use of images in the
churches. He met with great resistance, especially in the west, where
pope Gregory II vigorously defended the images. There followed a heated
controversy, in the course of which the pope laid down the principle
that the emperor has no authority in ecclesiastical matters. In the
letter here given Gregory II asserts his independence and practically
excommunicates the emperor. And Gregory III published a general
excommunication of all iconoclasts, as those who destroyed images were
called. The emperor was of course included in this excommunication.
Peace was never again established between the pope and emperor, and the
rebellion of the west was consummated in 800 when pope Leo III crowned
Karl the Great emperor.

We have received the letter which you sent us by your ambassador
Rufinus. We are deeply grieved that you should persist in your error,
that you should refuse to recognize the things which are Christ's, and
to accept the teaching and follow the example of the holy fathers, the
saintly miracle-workers and learned doctors. I refer not only to foreign
doctors, but also to those of your own country. For what men are more
learned than Gregory the worker of miracles, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory
the theologian, Basil of Cappadocia, or John Chrysostom--not to mention
thousands of others of our holy fathers and doctors, who, like these,
were filled with the spirit of God? But you have followed the guidance
of your own wayward spirit and have allowed the exigencies of the
political situation at your own court to lead you astray. You say: "I am
both emperor and bishop." But the emperors who were before you,
Constantine the Great, Theodosius the Great, Valentinian the Great, and
Constantine the father of Justinian, who attended the sixth synod,
proved themselves to be both emperors and bishops by following the true
faith, by founding and fostering churches, and by displaying the same
zeal for the faith as the popes. These emperors ruled righteously; they
held synods in harmony with the popes, they tried to establish true
doctrines, they founded and adorned churches. Those who claim to be both
emperors and priests should demonstrate it by their works; you, since
the beginning of your rule, have constantly failed to observe the
decrees of the fathers. Wherever you found churches adorned and enriched
with hangings you despoiled them. For what are our churches? Are they
not made by hand of stones, timbers, straw, plaster, and lime? But they
are also adorned with pictures and representations of the miracles of
the saints, of the sufferings of Christ, of the holy mother herself, and
of the saints and apostles; and men expend their wealth on such images.
Moreover, men and women make use of these pictures to instruct in the
faith their little children and young men and maidens in the bloom of
youth and those from heathen nations; by means of these pictures the
hearts and minds of men are directed to God. But you have ordered the
people to abstain from the pictures, and have attempted to satisfy them
with idle sermons, trivialities, music of pipe and zither, rattles and
toys, turning them from the giving of thanks to the hearing of idle
tales. You shall have your part with them, and with those who invent
useless fables and babble of their ignorance. Hearken to us, emperor:
abandon your present course and accept the holy church as you found her,
for matters of faith and practice concern not the emperor, but the
pope,{58} since we have the mind of Christ [1 Cor. 2:16]. The making of
laws for the church is one thing and the governing of the empire
another; the ordinary intelligence which is used in administering
worldly affairs is not adequate to the settlement of spiritual matters.
Behold, I will show you now the difference between the palace and the
church, between the emperor and the pope; learn this and be saved; be no
longer contentious. If anyone should take from you the adornments of
royalty, your purple robes, diadem, sceptre, and your ranks of servants,
you would be regarded by men as base, hateful, and abject; but to this
condition you have reduced the churches, for you have deprived them of
their ornaments and made them unsightly. Just as the pope has not the
right to interfere in the palace or to infringe upon the royal
prerogatives, so the emperor has not the right to interfere in the
churches, or to conduct elections among the clergy, or to consecrate, or
to administer the sacraments, or even to participate in the sacraments
without the aid of a priest; let each one of us abide in the same
calling wherein he is called of God [1 Cor. 7:20]. Do you see, emperor,
the difference between popes and emperors? If anyone has offended you,
you confiscate his house and take everything from him but his life, or
you hang him or cut off his head, or you banish him, sending him far
from his children and from all his relatives and friends. But popes do
not so; when anyone has sinned and has confessed, in place of hanging
him or cutting off his head, they put the gospel and the cross about his
neck, and imprison him, as it were, in the sacristy or the treasure
chamber of the sacred vessels; they put him into the part of the church
reserved for the deacons and the catechumens; they prescribe for him
fasting, vigils, and praise. And after they have chastened and punished
him with fasting, then they give him of the precious body of the Lord
and of the holy blood. And when they have restored him as a chosen
vessel, free from sin, they hand him over to the Lord pure and
unspotted. Do you see now, emperor, the difference between the church
and the empire? Those emperors who have lived piously in Christ have
obeyed the popes, and not vexed them. But you, emperor, since you have
transgressed and gone astray, and since you have written with your own
hand and confessed that he who attacks the fathers is to be execrated,
have thereby condemned yourself by your own sentence and have driven
from you the Holy Spirit. You persecute us and vex us tyrannically with
violent and carnal hand. We, unarmed and defenseless, possessing no
earthly armies, call now upon the prince of all the armies of creation,
Christ seated in the heavens, commanding all the hosts of celestial
beings, to send a demon upon you;{59} as the apostle says: "To deliver
such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit
may be saved" [1 Cor. 5:5]. Do you see now, emperor, to what a pitch of
impudence and inhumanity you have gone? You have driven your soul
headlong into the abyss, because you would not humble yourself and bend
your stubborn neck. When a pope is able by his teaching and admonition
to bring the emperor of his time before God, guiltless and cleansed from
all sin, he gains great glory from Him on the holy day of resurrection,
when all our secrets and all our works are brought to light to our
confusion in the presence of his angels. But we shall blush for shame,
because you will have lost your soul by your disobedience, while the
popes that preceded us have won over to God the emperors of their times.
How ashamed we will be on that day, that the emperor of our time is
false and ignominious, instead of great and glorious. Now, therefore, we
exhort you to do penance; be converted and turn to the truth; obey the
truth as you found and received it. Honor and glorify our holy and
glorious fathers and doctors who dispelled the blindness from our eyes
and restored us to sight. You ask: "How was it that nothing was said
about images in six councils?"{60} What then? Nothing was said about
bread or water, whether that should be eaten or not; whether this should
be drunk or not; yet these things have been accepted from the beginning
for the preservation of human life. So also images have been accepted;
the popes themselves brought them to councils, and no Christian would
set out on a journey without images, because they were possessed of
virtue and approved of God. We exhort you to be both emperor and bishop,
as you have called yourself in your letter. But if you are ashamed to
take this upon yourself as emperor, then write to all the regions to
which you have given offence, that Gregory the pope and Germanus the
patriarch of Constantinople are at fault in the matter of the images
[that is, are responsible for the destruction of the images],{61} and we
will take upon ourselves the responsibility for the sin, as we have
authority from God to loose and to bind all things, earthly and
celestial; and we will free you from responsibility in this matter. But
no, you will not do this! Knowing that we would have to render account
to Christ the Lord for our office, we have done our best to convert you
from your error, by admonition and warning, but you have drawn back, you
have refused to obey us or Germanus or our fathers, the holy and
glorious miracle-workers and doctors, and you have followed the teaching
of perverse and wicked men who wander from the truth. You shall have
your lot with them. As we have already informed you, we shall proceed on
our way to the extreme western regions, where those who are earnestly
seeking to be baptized are awaiting us. For although we have sent them
bishops and clergymen from our church, their princes have not yet been
induced to bow their heads and be baptized, because they hope to be
received into the church by us in person. Therefore we gird ourselves
for the journey in the goodness of God, lest perchance we should have to
render account for their condemnation and for our faithlessness. May God
give you prudence and patience, that you may be turned to the truth from
which you have departed; may he again restore the people to their one
shepherd, Christ, and to the one fold of the orthodox churches and
prelates, and may the Lord our God give peace to all the earth now and
forever to all generations. Amen.

{58} Note the plain statement that the emperor has no authority in
ecclesiastical matters. Observe also the general tone of the whole

{59} This is equivalent to the excommunication of the emperor. But as
Gregory's authority was not recognized in Constantinople, his
excommunication of the emperor would not be observed.

{60} The first six general councils of the church here referred to were
(1) Nicæa, 325; (2) Constantinople, 381; (3) Ephesus, 431; (4)
Chalcedon, 451; (5) Constantinople, 553; (6) Constantinople, 681.

{61} The text of this passage, as Migne has it, is perhaps corrupt; its
meaning, at any rate, is obscure. We have given the only reasonable
interpretation that seemed possible. Apparently the pope agrees to
assume the responsibility for the destruction of images in the past, if
only the emperor will accept the papal view and cease from his
opposition to images in the future.

42. Gregory III Excommunicates all Iconoclasts, 731 A.D.

Mansi, XII, cols. 272 f; Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, I, p. 416.

See introductory note to no. 41.

The pope [Gregory III] made a decree in the council that if anyone, in
the future, should condemn those who hold to the old custom of the
apostolic church and should oppose the veneration of the holy images,
and should remove, destroy, profane, or blaspheme against the holy
images of God, or of our Lord Jesus Christ, or of his mother, the
immaculate and glorious Virgin Mary, or of the apostles, or of any of
the saints, he should be cut off from the body and blood of our Lord
Jesus Christ. And all the clergy present solemnly signed this decree.

43. The Pope, Gregory III, Asks Aid of the Franks against the Lombards,
739. A Letter of Gregory III to Karl Martel.

Jaffé, IV, p. 14.

When the pope was attacked by the Lombards he found himself without
protection. Aside from the fact that the Greek emperor was wholly
occupied in the east, the pope was in rebellion against him and so could
not expect aid from him. Under these circumstances there was nothing to
do but seek help from the Franks. But Karl Martel was a friend of the
Lombards and so, although the pope appealed to him more than once, Karl
declined to give him aid and to interfere in the affairs of Italy.

Pope Gregory to his most excellent son, Karl, sub-king.

In our great affliction we have thought it necessary to write to you a
second time, believing that you are a loving son of St. Peter, the
prince of apostles, and of ourselves, and that out of reverence for him
you would obey our commands to defend the church of God and his chosen
people. We can now no longer endure the persecution of the Lombards, for
they have taken from St. Peter all his possessions, even those which
were given him by you and your fathers. These Lombards hate and oppress
us because we sought protection from you; for the same reason also the
church of St. Peter is despoiled and desolated by them. But we have
intrusted a more complete account of all our woes to your faithful
subject, our present messenger, and he will relate them to you. You, oh
son, will receive favor from the same prince of apostles here and in the
future life in the presence of God, according as you render speedy aid
to his church and to us, that all peoples may recognize the faith and
love and singleness of purpose which you display in defending St. Peter
and us and his chosen people. For by doing this you will attain lasting
fame on earth and eternal life in heaven.

44-46. The Acquisition of Land by the Pope.

44. Promise of Pippin to Pope Stephen II, 753-54.

Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, I, pp. 447 ff.

The Lombards entered Italy in 568 and soon established themselves in the
valley of the Po. For some years the boundary line between them and the
Byzantine possessions, that is, the lands still held by the emperor,
ran, roughly speaking, from Monselice (near Padua) west to Mantua, then
southwest to Reggio, then northwest to Parma, then southwest to Berceto
in the Apennines. But after Authari (583-90) became king of the Lombards
he renewed the war of conquest which had been interrupted for a few
years. He and his successors conquered the Byzantine possessions bit by
bit and added them to the Lombard kingdom. In this way Lombardy was
slowly enlarged and the Byzantine land, which was called the "province
Italy" (Italia provincia), was correspondingly reduced in size. Success
made the Lombard kings more ambitious and led them to plan the conquest
of all Italy. A great step forward was taken in 749 when Aistulf took
Ravenna, drove out the exarch, and put an end to the Byzantine rule in
central Italy. Tuscany, which was separated from Liguria by a line from
Luna to Berceto, was already in their hands, and Corsica, after
suffering several invasions, had finally been occupied by them in the
eighth century. Venice, Istria, and the duchies of Rome, Spoleto, and
Benevento were next attacked, but they united to resist their common
enemy, and put themselves under the protection of the pope. Under these
circumstances Stephen II (752-757) saw an opportunity to unite all these
provinces and to make himself their political head. He determined to try
to succeed to the power of the emperor in Italy. He accordingly went to
France and secured the promise from Pippin to give him all the
above-named territories and to force the Lombards to withdraw from them
into the territory which they had first occupied. See no. 6. It was an
ambitious plan which Stephen II formed, but he could not carry it into
effect. Pippin fulfilled his promise only in part, and the pope was
content with a few cities and the promise of Aistulf that he would never
again attack any of the territories named in Pippin's promise.
Desiderius (756-774), however, did not keep the promise which Aistulf,
his predecessor, had given, but made war on the duchy of Rome. Adrian I
(772-795) called on Karl the Great to come to his aid. Karl came, and,
while spending Easter (774) at Rome, at the earnest request of Adrian,
renewed the promise of his father. But Karl did not keep this promise
which had been so solemnly made. Contrary to the wishes of the pope he
made himself king of the Lombards and thereby inherited the ambitions,
pretensions, policy, and interests of the Lombard kings. The situation
was changed. To Karl, as well as to the dukes of Benevento and Spoleto,
and to the people of Istria, an increase in the power of the pope was no
longer a desirable thing. So Karl refused to keep his promise. Adrian
angrily protested. But Karl was deaf to protests and threats. Their
relations were consequently strained for some time, but eventually they
made a compromise. Karl gave him certain Tuscan cities and some taxes
from the rest of Tuscany and from Spoleto. For nearly 200 years the
promise of Pippin lost all importance, until it was renewed in 962 by
Otto I, who incorporated it in his famous gift to John XII. See no. 54.

When the king learned of the approach of the blessed pope, he hastened
to meet him, accompanied by his wife and sons and nobles, and sent his
son Charles and certain of the nobles nearly one hundred miles in
advance to meet the pope. He himself, however, received the pope about
three miles from his palace of Pontico, dismounting and prostrating
himself with his wife and sons and nobles, and accompanying the pope a
little distance on foot by his saddle as if he were his esquire. Thus
the pope proceeded to the palace with the king, giving glory and praise
to God in a loud voice, with hymns and spiritual songs. This was on the
sixth day of the month of January, on the most holy festival of the
Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ. And when they were seated in the
palace the pope began to beseech the king with tears to make a treaty
with St. Peter and the Roman state{62} and to assume the protection of
their interests. And the king assured the pope on his oath that he would
strive with all his powers to obey his prayers and admonitions and to
restore the exarchate of Ravenna and the rights and territories of the
Roman state, as the pope wished....

The aforesaid king Pippin, after receiving the admonitions and the
prayers of the pope, took leave of him and proceeded to the place called
Kiersy,{63} and called together there all the lords of his kingdom, and
by repeating to them the holy admonitions of the pope he persuaded them
to agree to fulfil his promise to the pope.

{62} Rome is evidently regarded as the possession of St. Peter. In that
case the administration of its government is in the hands of the pope,
who is the vicar of St. Peter on earth.

{63} The meeting at Kiersy took place April 14, 754.

45. Donation of Pippin, 756.

Duchesne, Liber Pont., I, p. 454.

See introductory note to no. 44.

The most Christian king of the Franks [Pippin] despatched his counsellor
Fulrad, venerable abbot and priest, to receive these cities, and then he
himself straightway returned to France with his army. The aforesaid
Fulrad met the representatives of King Aistulf at Ravenna, and went with
them through the various cities of the Pentapolis and of Emilia,
receiving their submission and taking hostages from each and bearing
away with him their chief men and the keys of their gates. Then he went
to Rome, and placed the keys of Ravenna and of the other cities of the
exarchate along with the grant of them which the king had made, in the
confession of St. Peter,{64} thus handing them over to the apostle of
God [Peter] and to his vicar the holy pope and to all his successors to
be held and controlled forever. These are the cities: Ravenna, Rimini,
Pesaro, Conca, Fano, Cesena, Sinigaglia, Forlimpopoli, Forli with the
fortress of Sussubium, Montefeltre, Acerreagium, Monte Lucati, Serra,
San Marino, Bobbio, Urbino, Cagli, Lucioli, Gubbio, Comacle; and also
the city of Narni, which in former years had been taken from the duchy
of Spoleto by the Romans.

{64} The grave of St. Peter is under the high altar of St. Peter's in
Rome. In front of the grave and on the same level with it is a large
open space to which one descends by a flight of steps. This open space
in front of the tomb is called the "confession of St. Peter."

46. Promise of Charles to Adrian I, 774.

Duchesne, Liber Pont., I p. 498.

See introductory note to no. 44.

Now on Wednesday the aforesaid pope [Adrian] came to the church of St.
Peter the apostle, with all his officials, both ecclesiastical and
military, and held a conference with the king and earnestly besought,
admonished, and exhorted him by his paternal love to fulfil the promise
which his father, Pippin, the former king, and he himself [that is,
Karl], along with his brother Karlmann and all the officials of the
Franks, had made to St. Peter and to his vicar the holy pope, Stephen
II, of blessed memory, when he went to France; that is, to give to St.
Peter and to all his vicars certain cities and their territories in the
province of Italy to be held forever. And when the king had caused them
to read to him that promise which had been made at Kiersy in France, he
and his officials ratified all its provisions. And of his own will and
gladly the aforesaid Karl, the most excellent and truly Christian king
of the Franks, ordered another promise of the gift, an exact copy of the
former, to be drawn up by Etherius, his chaplain and notary, in which he
granted to St. Peter the same cities and their territories, and promised
that they would be handed over to the pope according to the designated
boundaries as they were contained in that gift; that is, Corsica, and
from Luna to Suriano, thence over the Apennines to Berceto, thence to
Parma, thence to Reggio, and thence to Mantua and Monselice; and besides
the whole exarchate of Ravenna as it was of old, and the provinces of
Venetia and Istria, as well as the duchies of Spoleto and Benevento. And
when the grant had been drawn up and signed with his own hand, Karl
caused all the bishops, abbots, dukes, and counts to sign it also. And
placing it first on the altar of St. Peter, and then within his holy
confession, the king of the Franks and his officials gave it thus to St.
Peter and to his vicar the holy pope Adrian, promising with a solemn
oath that they would observe everything contained in that grant. And
this most Christian king of the Franks caused Etherius to draw up a copy
of this grant and placed it himself upon the body of St. Peter, under
the gospels which are kissed there, that it might be a perpetual
testimonial of the gift and an eternal memorial of his name and of the
Frankish kingdom. And the king took with him other copies of the same
grant that were made by the notary of the holy Roman church.

47. Karl the Great Declares the Pope Has Only Spiritual Duties, 796.
Letter of Karl to Leo III.

Jaffé, IV. pp. 354 [ff].

Karl the Great had a keen sense of his authority and position, and
resented any action which seemed to him an infringement of his
prerogatives. Adrian I had offended him by presuming to approve and
publish the acts of the council of Nicæa, 787, without waiting for
Karl's authorization. By this letter to the pope, Leo III, Karl made it
plain to him that his duties were only spiritual.

Karl, by the grace of God king, of the Franks and Lombards, and
patricius of the Romans, to his holiness, pope Leo, greeting.... Just as
I entered into an agreement with the most holy father, your predecessor,
so also I desire to make with you an inviolable treaty of mutual
fidelity and love; that, on the one hand, you shall pray for me and give
me the apostolic benediction, and that, on the other, with the aid of
God I will ever defend the most holy seat of the holy Roman church. For
it is our part to defend the holy church of Christ from the attacks of
pagans and infidels from without, and within to enforce the acceptance
of the catholic faith. It is your part, most holy father, to aid us in
the good fight by raising your hands to God as Moses did [Ex. 17:11], so
that by your intercession the Christian people under the leadership of
God may always and everywhere have the victory over the enemies of His
holy name, and the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified
throughout the world. Abide by the canonical law in all things and obey
the precepts of the holy fathers always, that your life may be an
example of sanctity to all, and your holy admonitions be observed by the
whole world, and that your light may so shine before men that they may
see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven [Matt.
5:16]. May omnipotent God preserve your holiness unharmed through many
years for the exalting of his holy church.

48. Karl the Great Exercises Authority in Rome, 800.

Einhard's Annals, M. G. SS. folio, I, p. 188.

The title of patricius of Rome was somewhat vague and it is impossible
to say exactly how much actual authority attached to it. But it is
evident from Karl's conduct that he regarded himself as responsible for
the government of Rome. The passage from Einhard's Annals shows that
Karl was the supreme authority in legal matters there. He acted as judge
even in the case of the pope. There was no one willing to make a formal
charge against Leo, and hence he might have been declared innocent. But
he was not willing to receive that sort of acquittal. So of his own
accord he took an oath to his innocence.

Anno 800. The day before Karl reached Rome pope Leo came to Nomentum to
meet him. Karl received him with great honor and they dined together.
The pope preceded Karl to Rome, and the next morning took his stand,
with the bishops and all the clergy of the city, on the steps of St.
Peter's to receive Karl when he should come. ... Seven days later Karl
called a public meeting, in which he made known the reasons why he had
come to Rome. He then devoted himself every day to the accomplishment of
the things which had called him to the city. Of these he began with the
most important as well as the most difficult, namely, the investigation
of the crimes with which the pope was charged. As there was no one who
was willing to prove the truth of those charges, Leo took the gospels in
his hand, and, in the presence of all the people, mounted the pulpit in
St. Peter's, and took an oath that he was innocent of the crimes laid to
his charge.

49. The Oath of Pope Leo III before Karl the Great, 800.

Jaffé, IV, pp. 378 [ff].

See introductory note to no. 48.

Most beloved brethren, it is well known that evil men rose up against me
and wished to do me harm and accused me of grave crimes. And now the
most clement and serene king, Karl, has come with his priests and nobles
to this city to try the case. Therefore, I, Leo, bishop of the holy
Roman church, neither judged nor coerced by anyone, do clear and purge
myself from these charges before you in the sight of God, who knows my
secret thoughts, and of his holy angels, and of St. Peter, in whose
church we now stand. I swear that I neither did these wicked and
criminal things of which my enemies accuse me, nor ordered them to be
done, and of this God is my witness, in whose presence we now stand and
into whose judgment we shall come. And I do this in order to clear
myself of these suspicions, and not because it is commanded in the
canons, or because I desire to impose this practice as a precedent upon
my successors or brothers and fellow-bishops.

50. The Oath of the Romans to Ludwig the Pious and Lothar, 824.

Altmann und Bernheim, no. 35.

The emperor, Ludwig the Pious, intrusted the government of Italy to his
oldest son, Lothar. In order to keep control of the papal elections,
Lothar compelled the Romans to take the following oath:

I, (name), promise in the name of the omnipotent God and on the four
holy gospels and on this cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and on the body
of most blessed Peter, prince of the apostles, that from this day I will
be faithful to our lords, the emperors, Ludwig [the Pious] and Lothar,
all my life, according to my strength and understanding, without any
fraud or deceit, in so far as this shall not violate the oath of
fidelity which I have sworn to the pope. And I promise that according to
my strength and understanding I will not permit a papal election to take
place in any way except canonically and legally, and that he who may be
elected pope shall not with my consent be consecrated until, in the
presence of the emperor's ambassadors and of the people, he takes such
an oath as pope Eugene{65} did that he will rule without any change.

{65} Eugene II (824-827) was then pope. The text of the oath which he
had sworn to Lothar is not preserved. But we may infer its contents from
the expression "that he will rule without any change."

51. The Emperor Admits the Right of the Pope to Confer the Imperial
Title. Passages from a Letter of Ludwig II, Emperor, to Basil, Emperor
at Constantinople, 871.

Bouquet, VII, pp. 572 [ff].

Although the Greek emperor, Michael, recognized Karl the Great as
emperor in the west (see nos. 13-14), some of his successors took a
different view of the matter and declared the emperors in the west
usurpers. Basil had written to Ludwig II saying that the latter was not
emperor and therefore should not assume the title. Ludwig replied with
some vigor, advancing various arguments in his own favor. The student
should examine this letter to discover (1) the objections which Basil
had made, and (2) the arguments by which Ludwig II refuted them.

Among other things, Ludwig said he had a right to the title of emperor:

Because all the patriarchs and all men of every rank, except you alone,
have, of their own accord, addressed us as such whenever they have
written to us. And besides, our uncles [Charles the Bald and Ludwig the
German], glorious kings, willingly call us emperor. And they do so, not
out of regard for our age, for they are older than we, but because of
the anointing and consecration by which, with God's will, we were
advanced to this high office through the laying on of the hands of the
pope, and because, at God's command, we have the government of the Roman

We are much surprised that you should say we are laying claim to a title
which is new to our family. For that cannot be a new title which was
held by our grandfather. And he did not usurp it, as you say he did, but
he received it at the command of God, by the decision of the church, and
through the anointing and laying on of the hands of the pope....

It is absurd that you should say I have not inherited the imperial name,
and that my race is not worthy to have such a dignity. Even my
grandfather inherited it from his father. Why is not my race worthy of
producing an emperor, since emperors have been chosen from among the
Spaniards and Isaurians and Khazars? For surely you cannot say that
those nations are more renowned than the Franks either in religion or in
courage.... To your statement that we do not rule over even all of
France, here is a brief answer: We surely do rule over all France, since
we certainly have what they have, with whom we are one in flesh and
blood and one spirit through the Lord.

You wonder that we are called emperor of the Romans instead of emperor
of the Franks. But you ought to know that if we were not emperor of the
Romans we could not be emperor of the Franks. For we have received this
name and dignity from the Romans, whose people and city, the mother of
all the churches of God, we have received, in accordance with God's
will, to govern, to defend, and to exalt, and from her our family
received the authority, first, to rule as kings, and, afterward, as
emperors. For the rulers of the Franks were first called kings and
afterward those who were anointed with holy oil by the popes to this
office were called emperors. Karl the Great, our grand-grandfather,
having been anointed in this way, because of his great piety, was the
first of our race and family to be called emperor and to be the anointed
of the Lord. How much greater right have we to the imperial title,
therefore, than the many who have been made emperor without any
religious ceremony or holy rite being performed by a pope, being elected
only by the senate and people of Rome, who had no regard for such holy
rites? And some have been made emperor by even less authority, being
proclaimed by the army, and others by women, and others in still other

Now, if you blame the Roman bishop for what he did [in crowning Karl the
Great], you must also blame Samuel, because, after anointing Saul, he
rejected him and anointed David to be king. But it will be easy to
answer anyone who shall make even one complaint against the pope [for
having anointed Karl the Great as emperor]. If you will search the pages
of the Greek annals and see what the bishops of Rome had to endure from
their enemies, and yet received no protection from you, and even what
they had to endure from you and your people, you will find many things
which will prevent you from blaming them. But these external matters
were of little importance compared with the efforts of the Greeks to
destroy the church by their many heresies. So, very properly, the
bishops of Rome deserted the apostate Greeks--for what concord hath
Christ with Belial? [2 Cor. 6:15]--and joined a people which clung to
God and brought forth the fruits of his kingdom. For "God is no
respecter of persons," as the great apostle said, "but in every nation
he that feareth him is accepted with him" [Acts 10:34, 35]. Therefore,
since this is so, why do you make it a reproach to us who have the
imperial crown that we are born of the Franks, when in every nation he
that feareth God is accepted with him? Theodosius the elder [379-395]
and his sons, Arcadius and Honorius, and Theodosius the younger, son of
Arcadius, were Spaniards, and yet we do not find that anyone blamed
Theodosius or objected to him because he was a Spaniard, and not a
Roman, or tried to prevent his sons from succeeding to the position and
honor of their father, as you now try to do, as if the race of the
Franks did not belong to that inheritance concerning which the Father
speaks to the Son, saying: "Ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen
for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy
possession" [Ps. 2:8]. And in another place: "For them that honor me I
will honor" [1 Sam. 2:30]. And there are many other such sayings.

Therefore, my dearest brother, cease to be contentious in this matter
and to listen to flatterers. For the race of the Franks has brought
forth the most abundant fruits to the Lord, not only in believing
quickly, but also in converting others to the faith. But the Lord spoke
of you when he said: "The kingdom shall be taken from you and given to a
nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" [Matt. 21:43]. For as God was
able of stones to raise up children unto Abraham [Matt. 3:9], so from
the hardness of the Franks he was able to raise up successors to the
Roman emperors. ... And as Christians, through faith in Christ, are the
seed of Abraham, and the Jews, through lack of faith, ceased to be sons
of Abraham, so also we, through our correct belief, that is, through our
orthodoxy, received the government of the Roman empire, and the Greeks,
because of their heresy, ceased to be emperors. They deserted not only
the city which was the seat of the empire, but even the Roman people,
and moved to other parts [that is, Constantinople], and have even lost
the Latin tongue.

52. The Pope Enacts that Papal Elections must Take Place in the Presence
of the Emperor's Representatives. Enactment of a Roman Synod Held by
John IX, 898.

Cor. Jur. Can., Dist. LXIII, c xxviii; M. G. LL. folio, II, parte sec.,
p. 158.

The election of a pope was often attended with violence on the part of
Roman factions, which, under the leadership of various noble families,
sought to elect one of their own party. John IX recognized that the
emperor was the only one who could prevent these abuses and so enacted
that all papal elections should take place in the presence of the
emperor's representatives.

Since the holy Roman church, over which in accordance with God's will we
preside, on the death of a pope often suffers violence from many
persons, because the pope is elected without the knowledge of the
emperor, and hence the emperor does not send messengers, as canonical
custom and practice require that he should, who may be present and
prevent all disturbances during the election, we decree that when a pope
is to be elected, the bishops{66} and all the clergy shall come together
and the election shall take place in the presence of the senate and
people. And the one thus chosen shall be consecrated in the presence of
the emperor's messengers.

{66} More than thirty bishops took part in the election of Stephen VI,
896, although there were but seven cardinal bishops. Hence this probably
means all the bishops of the whole diocese of Rome, not simply the seven
cardinal bishops. It is apparent therefore that in the ninth century the
cardinal clergy had not yet secured any special prerogative in the
election of a pope. Many think that this enactment was made in 816
instead of 898.

53. The Oath of Otto I to John XII, 961.

M. G. LL. 4to, IV, 1, no. 10.

Although the pope needed the help of the king of the Germans, and was
willing to confer upon him the title of emperor, yet he was afraid that
Otto might assume too much authority and deprive the papal office of
much of its power. He accordingly attempted to secure his position by
demanding the following oath of Otto. It will be observed that Otto did
not take the oath in person but sent his representative to take it for
him. It was, nevertheless, binding on Otto. However, it did not prevent
him from afterward deposing John and putting another pope in his place.

I, Otto, king, cause my representative to promise and swear to you, pope
John, in my name, by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and by this piece
of the life-giving cross and by these relics of the saints, that, if I
shall come to Rome with the consent of God, I will exalt the holy Roman
church and you, her ruler, to the best of my ability. And you shall
never by my wish, advice, consent, or instigation, suffer any loss in
life or in limb, or in the honor which you now have or which you shall
have obtained from me. I will never make laws or rules in regard to the
things which are under your jurisdiction or the jurisdiction of the
Romans without your consent. I will restore to you all of the lands of
St. Peter that shall have come into my hands; and I will cause the one
to whom I shall have committed Italy to rule in my absence{67} to swear
to you that he will always aid you according to his ability in defending
the lands of St. Peter.

{67} In accordance with imperial theory, Otto, as emperor, would rule
over Italy. He agrees to protect the pope "in the things which are under
his jurisdiction," but that does not mean that the pope had jurisdiction
in all things. The supreme authority is the emperor, to whom the pope,
as well as all other bishops and princes of Italy, are subject.

54. Otto I Confirms the Pope in the Possession of his Lands, 962.

M. G. LL. 4to, IV, 1, no. 12; Altmann und Bernheim, no. 36.

In order to secure his possessions, John XII persuaded Otto I to confirm
his rights to them. In section 15 Otto reserves his imperial rights,
thus furnishing another proof that he was sovereign over the lands which
the pope held. By comparing this document with the donations of Pippin
and of Karl the Great (nos. 45 and 46), the growth of the papal land
claims will be apparent.

In the name of omnipotent God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We,
Otto, by the grace of God emperor and Augustus, together with our
glorious son, king Otto, promise and pledge to thee, St. Peter, prince
of apostles and keeper of the keys of heaven, and through thee to thy
vicar, pope John XII, the following possessions, as his predecessors
have held and possessed them up to the present time; namely, (1) the
city of Rome with its duchy, and its neighboring villages and
territories, highland and lowland, shores and ports; (2) all the cities,
towns, fortresses, and villages of Tuscany; that is, Porto, Civita
Vecchia, Ceri, Bieda, Marturianum, Sutri, Nepi, Gallese, Orte,
Polimartium, Ameria, Todi, Perugia, with its three islands, the larger
and the smaller, and Pulvensis, Narni, and Otricoli, with all the
territories belonging to the aforesaid cities; (3) the whole exarchate
of Ravenna with all the cities, towns, and fortresses which our
predecessors the most excellent emperors, Pippin and Karl, conferred on
St. Peter and your predecessors by a deed of gift; namely, the city of
Ravenna and the district of Emilia, including the following towns:
Bobbio, Cesena, Forlimpopoli, Forli, Faenza, Imola, Bologna, Ferrara,
Comacle, Adria, and Gabello, with all the territories and islands by
land and sea which belong to the aforesaid cities; (4) likewise also the
Pentapolis; that is, Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Sinigaglia, Ancona, Osimo,
Humana, Iesi, Forum Sempronii, Montefeltre, Urbino, and the territory of
Balneum, Cagli, Lucioli, and Gubbio, with all the territories belonging
to the aforesaid cities; (5) likewise the whole Sabine territory as it
was granted to St. Peter by our predecessor, emperor Karl, by a deed of
gift; (6) likewise in Lombard Tuscany the fortress of Felicitas, and the
towns of Orvieto, Bagnorea, Ferento, Viterbo, Orcle, Marca, Toscanella,
Soana, Populonia, and Roselle, with all their suburbs and villages and
all their territories, towns, and boundaries; (7) and likewise from
Luna, with the island of Corsica, to Suriano, thence over the Apennines
to Berceto, thence to Parma, thence to Reggio, thence to Mantua and
Monselice, together with the provinces of Venetia and Istria and all the
duchies of Spoleto and Benevento, and the church of St. Christina which
is situated on the Po about four miles from Pavia; (8) and likewise in
Campania, Sora, Arce, Aquino, Arpino, Teano, Capua; (9) likewise the
patrimonies under your power and sway, such as the patrimonies of
Benevento, Naples, and upper and lower Calabria, and also of the island
of Sicily, if God shall give it unto our hand; (10) likewise the cities
of Gaeta and Fondi with all their belongings; (11) moreover we offer to
thee, St. Peter, the apostle, and to thy vicar, pope John and his
successors, for the salvation of our own soul and the souls of our son
and our parents, the following cities and towns from our own lands;
namely, Rieti, San Vittorino [on the Aterno], Furco, Norcia, Balua,
Marsi, and besides the city of Teramne. (12) All the aforesaid
provinces, cities, towns, fortresses, villages, territories, and
patrimonies, we now grant to thee, St. Peter, and through thee to thy
vicar, our spiritual father, pope John, and his successors to the end of
the world, for the salvation of our own soul and the souls of our son,
our parents, and our successors, and for the preservation of the whole
Frankish people; and we grant them in such a way that the popes shall
possess them in their own right and government and control. (13)
Likewise, by this agreement we confirm all the gifts which king Pippin
and emperor Karl voluntarily gave to St. Peter, the apostle, and also
the rents and payments and taxes which were paid annually to the king of
the Lombards from Tuscany and the duchy of Spoleto, as is contained in
the aforesaid donation and as was agreed upon between pope Adrian of
blessed memory and the emperor Karl, when the same pope surrendered to
the emperor his claims on the provinces of Tuscany and Spoleto on
condition that the aforesaid taxes should be paid each year to the
church of St. Peter, the apostle. But in all this our authority over
these provinces and their subjection to us and to our son are not in any
way diminished. (14) We therefore confirm your possession of all the
things mentioned above in this document; they shall remain in your right
and ownership and control, and no one of our successors shall on any
pretext take from you any part of the aforesaid provinces, cities,
towns, fortresses, villages, dependencies, territories, patrimonies, or
taxes, or lessen your authority over them. We will never do so, nor
allow others to do so, but we will always defend the church of St. Peter
and the popes who rule over that church in their possession of all these
things, as far as in us lies, that the popes may be able to keep these
things in their control to use, enjoy, and dispose of. (15) In all this
there shall be no derogation of our power or of the power of our son and
our successors.

55. Leo VIII Grants the Emperor the Right to Choose the Pope and Invest
all Bishops, 963.

Cor. Jur. Can., Dist. LXIII, c. xxiii; Migne, 134, cols. 992 ff.

Otto I, after the rebellion of John XII, deposed him and caused a layman
to be made pope, who took the title Leo VIII. The new pope then issued a
decree, the essence of which is contained in the following document. It
shows how determined Otto was to assert his imperial authority and is
important as a statement of the imperial theory. Leo VIII is regarded as
an anti-pope by the Roman church, because, according to the papal
theory, Otto had no power to depose a pope. John XII was the legal pope
and there could be no other until he died.

In the synod held at Rome in the Church of the Holy Saviour. Following
the example of blessed pope Adrian, who granted to Karl, victorious king
of the Franks and Lombards, the dignity of the patriciate and the right
to ordain the pope and to invest bishops, we, Leo, bishop, servant of
the servants of God, with all the clergy and people of Rome, by our
apostolic authority bestow upon lord Otto I, king of the Germans, and
upon his successors in the kingdom of Italy forever, the right of
choosing the successor of the pope, and of ordaining the pope and the
archbishops and bishops, so that they shall receive their investiture
and consecration from him, with the exception of those prelates whose
investiture and consecration the emperor has conceded to the pope or the
archbishops. No one, no matter what his dignity or ecclesiastical rank,
shall have the authority to choose the patricius or to ordain the pope
or any bishop without the consent of the emperor, and that without
bribery; and the emperor shall be by right both king [of Italy] and
patricius [of Rome]. But if anyone has been chosen bishop by the clergy
and people, he shall not be consecrated unless he has been approved by
the aforesaid king and has received his investiture from him....

56. The Pope Confers the Royal Title. A Letter of Pope Sylvester II to
Stephen of Hungary, 1000.

Migne, 139, cols. 274 ff.

Previous to this time, it was considered the emperor's right to confer
the royal title and to elevate a person to the rank of king. Here, for
the first time in the history of the papacy, a pope confers the royal
title, thereby intrenching on the imperial prerogative. Otto III, who
was then emperor, did not resist this papal infringement of his rights.
Later popes were not slow to see the value of this act as a precedent
(see nos. 69, 72, 128), and exercised the right to confer titles and
dignities as they pleased. This act of Sylvester II is, therefore, an
important milestone in the history of the development of the papal

Sylvester, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to Stephen, king of
the Hungarians, greeting and apostolic benediction. Your ambassadors,
especially our dear brother, Astricus, bishop of Colocza, were received
by us with the greater joy and accomplished their mission with the
greater ease, because we had been divinely forewarned to expect an
embassy from a nation still unknown to us.... Surely, according to the
apostle: "It is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of
God that showeth mercy" [Rom. 9:16]; and according to the testimony of
Daniel: "He changeth the times and the seasons; he removeth kings and
setteth up kings; he revealeth the deep and secret things; he knoweth
what is in the darkness" [Dan. 2:21, 22]; for in him is that light
which, as John teaches, "lighteth every man that cometh into the world"
[John 1:9]. Therefore we first give thanks to God the Father, and to our
Lord Jesus Christ, because he has found in our time another David, and
has again raised up a man after his own heart to feed his people Israel,
that is, the chosen race of the Hungarians. Secondly, we praise you for
your piety toward God and for your reverence for this apostolic see,
over which, not by our own merits, but by the mercy of God, we now
preside. Finally, we commend the liberality you have shown in offering
to St. Peter yourself and your people and your kingdom and possessions
by the same ambassadors and letters. For by this deed you have clearly
demonstrated that you already are what you have asked us to declare you
[_i.e._, a king]. But enough of this; it is not necessary to commend him
whom God himself has commended and whose deeds openly proclaim to be
worthy of all commendation. Now therefore, glorious son, by the
authority of omnipotent God and of St. Peter, the prince of apostles, we
freely grant, concede, and bestow with our apostolic benediction all
that you have sought from us and from the apostolic see; namely, the
royal crown and name, the creation of the metropolitanate of Gran, and
of the other bishoprics. Moreover, we receive under the protection of
the holy church the kingdom which you have surrendered to St. Peter,
together with yourself and your people, the Hungarian nation; and we now
give it back to you and to your heirs and successors to be held,
possessed, ruled, and governed. And your heirs and successors, who shall
have been legally elected by the nobles, shall duly offer obedience and
reverence to us and to our successors in their own persons or by
ambassadors, and shall confess themselves the subjects of the Roman
church, who does not hold her subjects as slaves, but receives them all
as children. They shall persevere in the catholic faith and the religion
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and strive always to promote it.
And because you have fulfilled the office of the apostles in preaching
Christ and propagating his faith, and have tried to do in your realm the
work of us and of our clergy, and because you have honored the same
prince of apostles above all others, therefore by this privilege we
grant you and your successors, who shall have been legally elected and
approved by the apostolic see, the right to have the cross borne before
you as a sign of apostleship,{68} after you have been crowned with the
crown which we send and according to the ceremony which we have
committed to your ambassadors. And we likewise give you full power by
our apostolic authority to control and manage all the churches of your
realm, both present and future, as divine grace may guide you, as
representing us and our successors. All these things are contained more
fully and explicitly in that general letter which we have sent by our
messenger to you and to your nobles and faithful subjects. And we pray
that omnipotent God, who called you even from your mother's womb to the
kingdom and crown, and who has commanded us to give you the crown which
we had prepared for the duke of Poland, may increase continually the
fruits of your good works, and sprinkle with the dew of his benediction
this young plant of your kingdom, and preserve you and your realm and
protect you from all enemies, visible and invisible, and, after the
trials of the earthly kingship are past, crown you with an eternal crown
in the kingdom of heaven. Given at Rome, March 27, in the thirteenth
indiction [the year 1000].

{68} The title "apostolic king of Hungary" is still used by the emperor
of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

57. The Emperor, Henry III, Deposes and Creates Popes, 1048.

Annales Romani; in Watterich, Pontificum Romanorum Vitae, I, pp. 73

The papacy having again fallen under the control of Roman factions,
there were three men claiming to be pope. The emperor regarded it as his
duty as well as his right to decide who was the true pope, and came to
Italy for that purpose. He not only deposed the three contesting popes
and named another, but so long as he lived he controlled the papal

Now when the report of this incredible controversy had reached the ears
of Henry, by the grace of God most invincible emperor, he set out for
Italy with a great force and an immense army. And when he came to the
city called Sutri, he called to him pope Gregory and the clergy of Rome
and decreed that a great synod should be held in the holy church of
Sutri. And after he had tried the case canonically and justly and had
made the rights of the matter plain to the holy and religious bishops
according to the canons, he condemned with perpetual anathema John,
bishop of Sabina, to whom they had given the name Silvester, John the
archpresbyter, whom they called Gregory, and the aforesaid pope
Benedict. Then he proceeded to Rome with so great a following that the
city could not hold it. Henry, by the grace of God pious and benign
king, called together the multitude of the Roman people and the bishops
and abbots and the whole Roman clergy in the basilica of St. Peter, and
held there a holy and glorious synod; and on the day before Christmas he
appointed an excellent, holy, and benign pope, who took the name of
Clement. And on Christmas day the aforesaid king was crowned by the holy
and benign pope, and the whole city of Rome rejoiced and the holy Roman
church was exalted and glorified because so dangerous a schism had at
length by the mercy of God been ended. And then the most serene emperor,
perceiving the desire of the whole Roman people, as they had expressed
it to him, placed on his own head the band with which the Romans from of
old had been wont to crown their _patricii_. And the pope and the clergy
and the Romans granted him the right to create popes and such bishops as
have regalian rights; and it was further agreed that no bishop should be
consecrated until he had received his investiture from the hand of the
king. And just as pope Adrian had confirmed these things by a charter,
so also they, by a charter, gave, confirmed, and put in the power of
Henry and his successors the patriciate and the other rights as stated

Now after the king had returned to his own realm, pope Clement sat upon
the apostolic throne nine months and sixteen days, and then left the
terrestrial for the celestial kingdom.

Then the Roman people, assembled together, sent messengers to king Henry
with a letter beseeching him, as servants beseech their lord, or
children their father, to appoint for them a chaste and benign man of
godly life as shepherd of the holy Roman church and of the whole world.
Now when Benedict, the former pope, learned of the death of Clement (for
he was staying at Tusculum), he succeeded in winning over a part of the
Roman people by bribery and again usurped the pontificate. But when the
ambassadors of the Romans came to the king, he received them in his
palace with great honor and gave them many gifts; then, calling together
a great assembly of bishops, abbots, counts, margraves, and other
princes, according to the decrees of the holy fathers, he chose a pope
who should be pleasing to God and the whole people.

The ambassadors of the Romans returned to Rome, preceding the new pope,
Damasus. But the good pope himself changed his route and betook himself
to Italy. Now when he had come to the margrave Boniface, who had
assisted the aforesaid pope Benedict to seize the papal throne, the
margrave addressed him in these cunning words: "I cannot go on to Rome
with you, because the Romans have restored the former pope, and he has
regained the power which he had formerly, and has made peace with them.
Therefore I cannot go to Rome, especially as I am now an old man." When
the holy pope heard this, he returned and told all these things to the
emperor. When the king heard it, he recognized the shrewdness and
cunning of the margrave, and addressed him by letter, as follows: "Since
you have restored to the pontificate a pope who was canonically deposed,
and have been led by your love of gain to hold our empire in contempt,
understand now that, unless you mend your ways, I will come quickly and
make you mend against your will, and I will give the Roman people a pope
worthy in the sight of God." Then Boniface, seeing that his rebellion
would profit him nothing, drove Benedict from the papal throne by his
ambassador and went to Rome with pope Damasus. ... And Damasus held the
pontificate twenty-three days and then died, and Leo was enthroned in
the Roman see by the emperor and his nobles.

{69} Apparently this was a reënactment of the grant of Leo VIII to Otto
I, 963. See no. 55.

58. The Pope Becomes the Feudal Lord of Southern Italy and Sicily, 1059.
The Oaths of Robert Guiscard to Pope Nicholas II, 1059.

Baronius, Annales, anno 1059, §§ 70 and 71.

Southern Italy and Sicily had been allowed to take care of themselves.
The Greek emperor had not been able to retain his hold on them, and the
German emperor, while claiming them, had never succeeded in extending
his power over them. A handful of adventurous Normans had established
themselves on the mainland and had assumed the title of counts. Their
ambition grew with their fortune; they desired a higher title than count
and wished to increase their possessions. So they turned to the pope and
asked him to confer upon them the title of duke, and to give them his
blessing in their proposed conquest of Sicily, which was in the hands of
the Mohammedans. In granting the request of these Normans, the pope
assumed the lordship over southern Italy and Sicily, to which he had no
right, and thereby put forth claims which conflicted with those of both
emperors. For more than two centuries the possession of southern Italy
and Sicily was the ground for a bitter struggle between the popes and
the German emperors.

The importance of this event is seen when we consider that the long
struggle between the papacy and the empire was about to begin. The pope
had little besides his spiritual weapons (excommunication, interdict)
with which to oppose the emperor. But in Robert Guiscard he secured a
powerful vassal who was to render him great military aid against the

§ 70. I, Robert, by the grace of God and of St. Peter duke of Apulia and
Calabria, and with their aid to be duke of Sicily [that is, when I shall
have conquered it], in confirmation of the gift and in recognition of my
oath of fidelity, promise that from all the lands which I hold under my
own sway, and which I have never conceded that anyone from beyond the
mountains{70} [Alps, that is, Germany] holds, I will pay annually for
each yoke of oxen 12 denarii of the mint of Pavia to you, my lord,
Nicholas, pope, and to all your successors, or to your or their legates.
And this payment shall be made at the end of the year on easter day. I
bind myself and my heirs and my successors to pay this sum to my lord,
Nicholas, pope, and to your successors. So help me God and these holy

§ 71. I, Robert, by the grace of God and St. Peter duke of Apulia and
Calabria, and by the aid of both to be duke of Sicily, from this hour
forth will be faithful to the holy Roman church and to you, my lord,
Nicholas, pope. I will have no share in any counsel or act intended to
deprive you of life or limb, or to capture you by any fraud. Any secret
plan which you may reveal to me with the command not to tell it I will
not wittingly publish to your hurt. I will always aid with all my might
the holy Roman church to acquire the regalia and possessions of St.
Peter, and to hold them against all men. I will aid you to hold in
security and honor the papal office, the land of St. Peter, and the
government. I will not try either to usurp or to seize it, nor will I
devastate it without your permission or that of your successors, except
only that land which you or your successors may give me. I will
earnestly strive to pay at the appointed time the sum agreed on from the
land of St. Peter which I may hold. I put all the churches, with their
possessions, which are in my lands, under your authority, and I will
defend them according to my oath of fidelity to the holy Roman church.
And if you or your successors shall die before I do, according as I
shall have been advised by the better cardinals, the clergy of Rome, and
the laity, I will do all that I can that a pope may be elected and
ordained to the honor of St. Peter. All the above written things I will
observe with true faithfulness to the holy Roman church and to you. And
this oath of fidelity I will observe to those of your successors who may
confirm to me the investiture which you have granted me. So help me God
and these holy gospels.

{70} Robert here denies that the German emperor has any right to Sicily
and southern Italy. He had never held them, and hence they were not a
part of his empire.

59. The Papal Election Decree of Nicholas II, 1059.

Scheffer-Boichorst, Die Neuordnung der Papstwahl durch Nicholas II, pp.
14 ff; Docberl, III, no. 4 a.

Henry III (1039-56) deposed and appointed popes as he pleased (see no.
57). But with the spread of Cluniac ideas, there grew up a party in the
church which strove with increasing energy and clearness of purpose to
make the church self-governing and independent of all lay influence. Its
aim was to unify and organize the government of the church by putting
all ecclesiastical power in the hands of the pope, who should rule the
church through a hierarchy of archbishops and bishops. Of this party,
which was called hierarchical, the archdeacon, Hildebrand, was the head.
It took advantage of the opportunity offered by the youth of Henry IV
and the weak rule of the regent, his mother Agnes, to establish a way by
which the pope might be elected by the clergy instead of being appointed
by the emperor. The document by which this was done is know as the
election decree of Nicholas II (1059-61) and was enacted in a council at
Rome in 1059. Since 1048 Hildebrand had been the power behind the papal
throne, and with rare skill he had directed the policy of each
successive pope. He had been able to do much toward accomplishing the
purpose of this party. But at the death of Stephen IX in 1058 a faction
of the Roman nobility, known as the Tusculan party, threatened to
overturn all that the hierarchical party had accomplished. While
Hildebrand was absent from Rome on a mission to Germany, Stephen IX died
and the Tusculan party set up one of its own members as pope, who called
himself Benedict X. The cardinals who attempted to resist this election
were persecuted and compelled to flee. When Hildebrand heard of this he
hastened to call a council at Siena. This council, which was composed
chiefly of five cardinal bishops, deposed Benedict X and elected
Gerhard, bishop of Florence, pope, who assumed the name of Nicholas II.

According to this decree the election of a pope consisted of the five
following parts: (1) The seven cardinal bishops chose the pope. Although
their choice was supposed to be final it must (2) be confirmed by the
other cardinal clergy. (3) Then the rest of the clergy and the people of
Rome must express their consent. (4) The election was then reported to
the emperor, who was expected to confirm it, and then (5) the pope elect
was consecrated as pope and enthroned in the chair of St. Peter by the
cardinal bishops. This latter part of the ceremony must, of course, take
place at Rome. The decree does not say what shall be done if the other
clergy or the emperor should refuse to confirm the choice of the
cardinal bishops.

There were those who demanded that the emperor be permitted to approve
or reject the candidate before the election took place. As precedents in
favor of this they referred to the long list of popes who had been
either nominated or appointed by various emperors. The part which the
emperor was to have in the election of a pope is not stated in the
decree, but section 4 shows plainly that Nicholas and Henry had come to
an agreement on that subject, and from other sources we know what its
terms were. This agreement was limited to Henry alone, for each of his
successors must secure his share in the papal election by demanding it
of the pope.

This decree seems to justify certain irregularities or peculiarities in
the election of Nicholas himself and hence may be said to have an
apologetic character. (1) His election took place not in Rome, but in
Siena. (2) He was not a member of the church in Rome, but was bishop of
Florence. (3) It was chiefly the cardinal bishops who elected him. (4)
Since the Tusculan party held Rome it was some time before he could be
consecrated and enthroned, but in the meanwhile he exercised papal

The cardinal bishops had already acquired certain prerogatives over the
other cardinal clergy. They alone, besides the pope, could say mass at
the high altar in St. John's in Lateran; they represented the pope
during his absence from Rome; they consecrated and enthroned the pope;
they assisted the pope in anointing and crowning the emperor; and
without their consent the pope could not bestow the pallium upon an
archbishop. By this decree they now acquire the new and important right
of nominating the pope. But this high prerogative they were not able to
retain permanently. From 1050 to 1100 they succeeded in depriving the
other cardinal clergy of much of their power and influence. They were
the chief advisers of the popes. In accordance with the terms of this
decree they elected Alexander II (1061-73) (the election of Gregory VII
(1073-85) was somewhat irregular), Victor III (1086-87), and Urban II
(1087-99). But the other cardinal clergy were not content to be thus
thrust down; they struggled successfully against the growing power of
the cardinal bishops and finally regained the right which had once been
theirs. The election of Paschal II (1099-1118) was made by all the
cardinal clergy, not by the cardinal bishops alone, and afterward the
election of a pope was the concern of all the cardinal clergy.

The original of this decree is lost and the copy which has come down to
us is slightly imperfect, as there are omissions in it. Some one
representing the imperial party, not satisfied with the share which it
gave the emperor in the papal election, changed it to suit the demands
of his party. It is now known that this imperial form of the decree is a

In section 2 the quotation from Leo I (440-461) is meant in a general
way to justify the prerogative here attributed to the cardinal bishops,
and especially their right to consecrate and enthrone the pope.

In the name of the Lord God, our Saviour Jesus Christ, in the 1059th
year from his incarnation, in the month of April, in the 12th indiction,
in the presence of the holy gospels, the most reverend and blessed
apostolic pope Nicholas presiding in the Lateran patriarchal basilica
which is called the church of Constantine, the most reverend
archbishops, bishops, and abbots, and the venerable presbyters and
deacons also being present, the same venerable pontiff by his apostolic
authority decreed thus concerning the election of the pope: "Most
beloved brothers and fellow-bishops, you know, since it is not hidden
even from the humbler members, how after the death of our predecessor,
Stephen of blessed memory, this apostolic seat, which by the will of God
I now serve, suffered many evils, how indeed it was subjected to many
serious attacks from the simoniacal money-changers, so that the column
of the living God seemed about to topple, and the skiff of the supreme
fisherman [Peter] was nearly wrecked by the tumultuous storms.
Therefore, if it pleases you, we ought now, with the aid of God,
prudently to take measures to prevent future misfortunes, and to provide
for the state of the church in the future, lest those evils, again
appearing, which God forbid, should prevail against it. Therefore,
fortified by the authority of our predecessors and the other holy
fathers, we decide and declare:

"1. On the death of a pontiff of the universal Roman church, first, the
cardinal bishops,{71} with the most diligent consideration, shall elect
a successor; then they shall call in the other cardinal clergy [to
ratify their choice], and finally the rest of the clergy and the people
shall express their consent to the new election.

"2. In order that the disease of venality may not have any opportunity
to spread, the devout clergy shall be the leaders in electing the
pontiff, and the others shall acquiesce. And surely this order of
election is right and lawful, if we consider either the rules or the
practice of various fathers, or if we recall that decree of our
predecessor, St. Leo, for he says: 'By no means can it be allowed that
those should be ranked as bishops who have not been elected by the
clergy, and demanded by the people, and consecrated by their
fellow-bishops of the province with the consent of the metropolitan.'
But since the apostolic seat is above all the churches in the earth, and
therefore can have no metropolitan over it, without doubt the cardinal
bishops perform in it the office of the metropolitan, in that they
advance the elected prelate to the apostolic dignity [that is, choose,
consecrate, and enthrone him].

"3. The pope shall be elected from the church in Rome, if a suitable
person can be found in it, but if not, he is to be taken from another

"4. In the papal election--in accordance with the right which we have
already conceded to Henry and to those of his successors who may obtain
the same right from the apostolic see--due honor and reverence shall be
shown our beloved son, Henry, king and emperor elect [that is, the
rights of Henry shall be respected].

"5. But if the wickedness of depraved and iniquitous men shall so
prevail that a pure, genuine, and free election cannot be held in this
city, the cardinal bishops with the clergy and a few laymen shall have
the right to elect the pontiff wherever they shall deem most fitting.

"6. But if after an election any disturbance of war or any malicious
attempt of men shall prevail so that he who is elected cannot be
enthroned according to custom in the papal chair, the pope elect shall
nevertheless exercise the right of ruling the holy Roman church, and of
disposing of all its revenues, as we know St. Gregory did before his

"But if anyone, actuated by rebellion or presumption or any other
motive, shall be elected or ordained or enthroned in a manner contrary
to this our decree, promulgated by the authority of the synod, he with
his counsellors, supporters, and followers shall be expelled from the
holy church of God by the authority of God and the holy apostles Peter
and Paul, and shall be subjected to perpetual anathema as Antichrist and
the enemy and destroyer of all Christianity; nor shall he ever be
granted a further hearing in the case, but he shall be deposed without
appeal from every ecclesiastical rank which he may have held formerly.
Whoever shall adhere to him or shall show him any reverence as if he
were pope, or shall aid him in any way, shall be subject to like
sentence. Moreover, if any rash person shall oppose this our decree and
shall try to confound and disturb the Roman church by his presumption
contrary to this decree, let him be cursed with perpetual anathema and
excommunication, and let him be numbered with the wicked who shall not
arise on the day of judgment. Let him feel upon him the weight of the
wrath of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and let him
experience in this life and the next the anger of the holy apostles,
Peter and Paul, whose church he has presumed to confound. Let his
habitation be desolate and let none dwell in his tents [Ps. 69:25]. Let
his children be orphans and his wife a widow. Let him be driven forth
and let his sons beg and be cast out from their habitations. Let the
usurer take all his substance and let others reap the fruit of his
labors. Let the whole earth fight against him and let all the elements
be hostile to him, and let the powers of all the saints in heaven
confound him and show upon him in this life their evident vengeance. But
may the grace of omnipotent God protect those who observe this decree
and free them from the bonds of all their sins by the authority of the
holy apostles Peter and Paul."

I, Nicholas, bishop of the holy Catholic and apostolic church, have
subscribed this decree which has been promulgated by us, as said above.
I, Boniface, by the grace of God bishop of Albano, have subscribed. I,
Humbert, bishop of the holy church of Silva Candida, have subscribed. I,
Peter, bishop of the church of Ostia, have subscribed. And other bishops
to the number of seventy-six, with priests and deacons.

{71} The seven cardinal bishops were those of Palæstrina, Porto, Ostia,
Tusculum, Silva Candida, Albano, and Sabina.


60-64. Prohibition of Simony, Marriage of the Clergy, and Lay
Investiture, 1074-1123.

According to Roman ideas religion and its ministers were a part of the
state and hence under the control of the government. When Constantine
made Christianity a legal religion the state took the same attitude
toward the new religion that it had toward the old. The emperor assumed
control over the Christian clergy, and the view soon prevailed that they
were officials of the state. Their duties, which were at first purely
spiritual, were soon extended to secular matters. For obvious reasons
the bishops were given an oversight over the administration of justice.
During the invasions of the barbarians the secular functions of the
bishops were greatly increased. Karl the Great made constant use of the
bishops in the administration of his realm. By the tenth century many
bishops were intrusted to a large extent with the secular government of
their dioceses and so were full-fledged officials of the state.
Attendance on diets was required of all officials, and eventually it was
required only of officials. So it came about that the bishops especially
formed an important part of the diet. Because of their learning they
were indispensable to the emperor in conducting the affairs of his court
and government; they naturally became his chief advisers. The bishops,
then, have two sets of functions, the one spiritual, the other secular.

Through bequests and gifts from various sources the clergy, and
especially the bishops and chief abbots, became great landholders. Many
gave to the clergy for religious reasons, such as the salvation of their
souls. But the emperors had still other motives: because of their office
as emperor they were bound to build up the church; they felt it to be
their duty to reward and to strengthen the clergy who were their
faithful officials; and, furthermore, since they frequently met with
opposition from the lay nobility, they thought it advisable to build up
a strong ecclesiastical nobility to serve as a check upon the former.

As all other offices and relations became feudalized, so all the clergy
underwent the same process. The bishops became the vassals of the
emperor, and sustained the same feudal relations to him as did the lay

Since the bishops were both the officials and vassals of the emperor, it
is certain that he would insist on having a voice in their election.
Although the laws of the church did not permit this, nevertheless we
find that from Karl the Great to Henry III all the emperors exercised
the right of naming or appointing the bishops. Although at the time no
objection was made to this action of the emperors, a new party had now
arisen in the church which condemned it as simoniacal. This new party
had its origin in the monastery of Cluny, from which it took its name.
It was famous for the great reforms which it was trying to bring about.
Now it was a part of the Cluniac programme that the church should be
freed from all lay influence and that all ecclesiastical offices should
be filled not by lay appointment but by election by the clergy
(canonical election). Thus they gave simony a new meaning by declaring
that every election which was not canonical was simoniacal. For simony
was originally only the purchase or sale of any ecclesiastical office,
but as the church, under the influence of this Cluniac party, developed
her laws regarding canonical election and investiture, it came to be
applied to every form of election and investiture other than canonical.
The emperors had not only appointed the bishops, but they had also
inducted them into their office. The induction into office was called
investiture. Without it no one could fill the office to which he had
been elected. To symbolize the power of the office the emperor presented
the bishop with certain objects, such as a ring and a staff, which
represented his spiritual authority over his diocese, and with a
sceptre, which represented his temporal authority. The Cluniac party
opposed all lay investiture and insisted that all the clergy should
receive the symbols of their power from the church. But since the
emperor's temporal interests were so largely involved, he could not
yield to the Cluniac demands without great loss of power. He could not
tamely surrender to the pope the control of the bishops and their broad
lands. Nor was it probable that the nobility would give up their rights
(as patrons, etc.) to appoint the local clergy and to invest them with
their office. So the struggle over investiture was long and bitter.

Lay investiture had already been prohibited by Nicholas II in the
Lateran synod of 1059 but no steps had been taken to enforce the
prohibition. Gregory VII renewed the prohibition and made it one of the
prominent parts of his programme.

Although the opinion had long prevailed in the church that the celibate
life, or chastity, was more holy than the married life, and therefore
more becoming in the clergy, yet it was not uncommon for clergymen to
marry. The Cluniac party regarded this state of affairs as especially
blameworthy, and demanded that all the clergy be required to take the
vow of perpetual chastity. In this, as in other respects, Gregory VII
endeavored to carry out the Cluniac programme and so exerted himself to
suppress clerical marriage, or, as the Cluniac party called it, clerical

The following documents, nos. 60-64, illustrate the legislation of the
church in regard to simony, celibacy, and investiture.

60. Prohibition of Simony and of the Marriage of the Clergy, 1074 A.D.

Sigebert of Gembloux, ad annum 1074; M. G. SS. folio, VI, p. 362.

Pope Gregory [VII] held a synod in which he anathematized all who were
guilty of simony. He also forbade all clergy who were married to say
mass, and all laymen were forbidden to be present when such a married
priest should officiate. In this he seemed to many to act contrary to
the decisions of the holy fathers who have declared that the sacraments
of the church are neither made more effective by the good qualities, nor
less effective by the sins, of the officiating priest, because it is the
Holy Spirit who makes them effective.

61. Simony and Celibacy. The Roman Council, 1074.

Mansi, XX, p. 404.

Those who have been advanced to any grade of holy orders, or to any
office, through simony, that is, by the payment of money, shall
hereafter have no right to officiate in the holy church. Those also who
have secured churches by giving money shall certainly be deprived of
them. And in the future it shall be illegal for anyone to buy or to sell
[any ecclesiastical office, position, etc.].

Nor shall clergymen who are married say mass or serve the altar in any
way. We decree also that if they refuse to obey our orders, or rather
those of the holy fathers, the people shall refuse to receive their
ministrations, in order that those who disregard the love of God and the
dignity of their office may be brought to their senses through feeling
the shame of the world and the reproof of the people.

62. Celibacy of the Clergy. Gregory VII, 1074.

Mansi, XX, p. 433; Corpus Juris Can., Diet. LXXXI, e. xv.

If there are any priests, deacons, or subdeacons who are married, by the
power of omnipotent God and the authority of St. Peter we forbid them to
enter a church until they repent and mend their ways. But if any remain
with their wives, no one shall dare hear them [when they officiate in
the church], because their benediction is turned into a curse, and their
prayer into a sin. For the Lord says through the prophet, "I will curse
your blessings" [Mal. 2:2]. Whoever shall refuse to obey this most
salutary command shall be guilty of the sin of idolatry. For Samuel
says: "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as
iniquity and idolatry" [1 Sam. 15:23]. Whoever therefore asserts that he
is a Christian but refuses to obey the apostolic see, is guilty of

63. Action of the Ninth General Council in the Lateran Against the
Marriage of the Clergy, 1123 A.D.

Densinger, p. 106; Hefele, V, p. 194.

We forbid priests, deacons, and subdeacons to live with wives or
concubines, and no woman shall live with a clergyman except those who
are permitted by the council of Nicæa, viz.: mother, sister, aunt, or
others of such sort that no suspicion may justly arise concerning them.

64. Prohibition of Lay Investiture, November 19, 1078.

Jaffé, II, p. 332; Doeberl, III, no. 5 a.

Since we know that investitures have been made by laymen in many places,
contrary to the decrees of the holy fathers, and that very many
disturbances injurious to the Christian religion have thereby arisen in
the church, we therefore decree: that no clergyman shall receive
investiture of a bishopric, monastery, or church from the hand of the
emperor, or the king, or any lay person, man or woman. And if anyone has
ventured to receive such investiture, let him know that it is annulled
by apostolic authority, and that he is subject to excommunication until
he has made due reparation.

65. Dictatus Papæ, _ca._ 1090.

Jaffé, II, p. 174; Doeberl, III, no 6.

Until recently the _Dictatus Papæ_ was supposed to have been written by
Gregory VII, but it is now known to have had a different origin. In 1087
cardinal Deusdedit published a collection of the laws of the church,
which he drew from many sources, such as the actions of councils and the
writings of the popes. The _Dictatus_ agrees so clearly and closely with
this collection, that it must have been based on it; and so must be
later than the date of its compilation, 1087. It seems evident that some
one, while reading the collection of Deusdedit, wishing to formulate the
papal rights and prerogatives, expressed them in these twenty-seven
theses. Although they were not formulated by Gregory himself, there is
no doubt that they express his chief principles.

1. That the Roman church was established by God alone.

2. That the Roman pontiff alone is rightly called universal.

3. That he alone has the power to depose and reinstate bishops.

4. That his legate, even if he be of lower, ecclesiastical rank,
presides over bishops in council, and has the power to give sentence of
deposition against them.

5. That the pope has the power to depose those who are absent [_i.e._,
without giving them a hearing].

6. That, among other things, we ought not to remain in the same house
with those whom he has excommunicated.

7. That he alone has the right, according to the necessity of the
occasion, to make new laws, to create new bishoprics, to make a
monastery of a chapter of canons, and _vice versa_, and either to divide
a rich bishopric or to unite several poor ones.

8. That he alone may use the imperial insignia.

9. That all princes shall kiss the foot of the pope alone.

10. That his name alone is to be recited in the churches.

11. That the name applied to him belongs to him alone.

12. That he has the power to depose emperors.

13. That he has the right to transfer bishops from one see to another
when it becomes necessary.

14. That he has the right to ordain as a cleric anyone from any part of
the church whatsoever.

15. That anyone ordained by him may rule [as bishop] over another
church, but cannot serve [as priest] in it, and that such a cleric may
not receive a higher rank from any other bishop.

16. That no general synod may be called without his order.

17. That no action of a synod and no book shall be regarded as canonical
without his authority.

18. That his decree can be annulled by no one, and that he can annul the
decrees of anyone.

19. That he can be judged by no one.

20. That no one shall dare to condemn a person who has appealed to the
apostolic seat.

21. That the important cases of any church whatsoever shall be referred
to the Roman church [that is, to the pope].

22. That the Roman church has never erred and will never err to all
eternity, according to the testimony of the holy scriptures.

23. That the Roman pontiff who has been canonically ordained is made
holy by the merits of St. Peter, according to the testimony of St.
Ennodius, bishop of Pavia, which is confirmed by many of the holy
fathers, as is shown by the decrees of the blessed pope Symmachus.

24. That by his command or permission subjects may accuse their rulers.

25. That he can depose and reinstate bishops without the calling of a

26. That no one can be regarded as catholic who does not agree with the
Roman church.

27. That he has the power to absolve subjects from their oath of
fidelity to wicked rulers.

Section 1 means that the Roman church received the primacy over the
whole church directly from Christ. Section 8 is based on the forged
Donation of Constantine, according to which the emperor gave the pope
the right to use the imperial insignia. In section 11 it is not clear
what name is meant. It may be "universal" as in section 2. The bishop of
Rome claimed the exclusive right to call himself pope, apostolic, and
universal. Papa or pope was at first the common title of all priests,
and is still so in the Greek church. But in the course of time it was
limited in the west to the bishop of Rome. "Apostolic" was at first
applied to all bishops, but eventually the bishop of Rome claimed the
exclusive right to it and forbade all other bishops to use it. Since the
bishop of Rome was the head of the whole church he was the only one who
could call himself "universal." The right of ordaining, section 14, that
is, of raising to the clerical rank, belonged to each bishop, but he
could exercise it only in his own diocese. But the bishop of Rome had
the whole world for his diocese, and hence he could ordain any one, no
matter to what bishopric he belonged. In explanation of section 23 the
following passage from pope Symmachus (498-514) is offered (Hinschius,
"Decretales," p. 666). "We do not judge that St. Peter received from the
Lord with the prerogative of his chair [that is, with his primacy] the
right to sin. But he passed on to his successors the perennial dower of
his merits with his heritage of innocence. Who can doubt that he who is
exalted to the height of apostolic dignity is holy?"

66. Letter of Gregory VII to all the Faithful, Commending his Legates,

Migne, 148, col. 392.

It had not been uncommon for the popes to send their legates on missions
to various parts of the world, but Gregory VII made a far more frequent
use of them than any of his predecessors. He practically ruled the
church through them and demanded that they be received and obeyed by
all. This letter shows his general attitude on the matter, the authority
he gave them, and the reception which he expected them to have.

Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to all the faithful
subjects of St. Peter, to whom these presents come, greeting and
apostolic benediction.

You see that wickedness is increasing and that the wiles of the devil
are prevailing in the earth, that Christian charity has grown cold and
religious zeal has almost disappeared within the church. But since we
cannot be everywhere present in person to attend to all these matters,
we have sent to you two beloved sons of the holy Roman church, Geizo,
abbot of St. Boniface, and Maurus, abbot of St. Sabba, who shall
represent us to you and have authority to do in our name whatever may be
to the advantage of the church. Remember therefore that saying of the
gospel: "He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you
despiseth me" [Luke 10:16]. As you care for the friendship and for the
favor of St. Peter, whose messengers they are, receive them with the
proper reverence and kindness, and obey them in all matters which may
arise as part of their mission or through the exigencies of the
situation among you. If it becomes necessary or expedient for the
legates to separate and go to different regions, each one of them shall
be received and obeyed as our representative.

67. Oath of the Patriarch of Aquileia to Gregory VII, 1079 A.D.

Mansi, XX, p 525.

Gregory VII required an oath of fidelity from all bishops. By comparing
the oath of Boniface to Gregory II (no. 40) and the oath of Richard of
Capua (no. 68) with this oath of the patriarch of Aquileia, interesting
light will be thrown on the theory and practice of Gregory VII.

From now henceforth I will be faithful to St. Peter and to pope Gregory
[VII] and to his successors who shall be elected by the better
cardinals. Neither in counsel nor in deed will I do anything to cause
them to lose their life, or limb, or the papacy, or that they be taken
prisoner through any treacherous trick. To whatsoever synod they, either
in person or by messenger or by letter, may call me, I will come and I
will obey them according to the law; or if I shall not be able to come,
I will send my representative. I will aid and defend them in holding and
defending the papacy and the regalia of St. Peter, saving the duties of
my position. If they, either in person or by messenger or by letter,
shall intrust me with a secret, I will not knowingly reveal it to anyone
to their harm. I will treat with honor a papal legate, whether coming
[from Rome] or going [back to Rome], and I will give him my aid whenever
he needs it. I will not wittingly associate with any whom the pope has
excommunicated. Whenever I shall have been called on I will aid the
Roman church with my military forces. All these duties I will perform
unless I shall have been excused from them.

68-73. Gregory VII Exercises Secular Authority.

68. The Oath of Fidelity which Richard, Prince of Capua, Swore to
Gregory VII, 1073.

Migne, 148, col. 304.

Gregory VII, in accordance with his political pretensions, endeavored to
compel all rulers of the Christian world to acknowledge his supremacy
over them. He made the broadest claims to the proprietorship of all
kingdoms, duchies, counties, etc., and tried to compel all rulers of
every rank to take an oath of vassalage to him and to receive their
lands from him as fiefs. Nos. 68-73 illustrate this feature of his

I, Richard, by the grace of God and St. Peter prince of Capua, from this
time forth will be faithful to the holy Roman church, to the apostolic
see, and to you, pope Gregory. I will have no share in any plan or any
deed to injure you in life or limb or to make you captive. Any plan
which you may confide to me, wishing it to be kept secret, I will never
divulge consciously to your injury. I will faithfully aid you and the
holy Roman church to keep, acquire, and defend the regalia and the
possessions of St. Peter against all men and I will assist you to hold
the papacy and the lands of St. Peter in peace and honor. I will never
attempt to attack, seize, or devastate any lands without the express
permission of you or your successors, except such lands as you or your
successors may have given to me. I promise to pay to the Roman church
the legal tribute from the lands of St. Peter, which I hold or shall
hold. I will surrender to your authority all the churches which are in
my lands, with all their goods, and I will defend them in their fidelity
to the holy Roman church. I will swear fidelity to king Henry whenever I
shall be commanded to do so by you or your successors, always saving my
fidelity to the holy Roman church. If you or any of your successors
shall die before I do, I will support the better part of the cardinals
and the clergy and the people of Rome in the election and establishment
of a new pope to the honor of St. Peter. I will keep all the above
promises to you and to the holy Roman church in good faith, and I will
keep my oath of fidelity to your successors who shall be ordained popes,
if they are willing to confirm the investiture which you have conferred
upon me.

69. Letter of Gregory VII to the Princes Wishing to Reconquer Spain,

Migne, 148, cols. 289 f.

See introductory note to no. 68.

Gregory, pope elect, to all the princes desiring to go into Spain,
perpetual greeting in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We suppose you know that the kingdom of Spain belonged of old to St.
Peter, and that this right has never been lost, although the land has
long been occupied by pagans. Therefore the ownership of this land
inheres in the apostolic see alone, for whatever has come into the
possession of the churches by the will of God, while it may be alienated
from their use, may not by any lapse of time be separated from their
ownership except by lawful grant. Count Evolus of Roceio, whose fame you
must know, wishes to attack that land and rescue it from the heathen.
Therefore we have granted him the possession of such territory as he may
win from the pagans by his own efforts or with the aid of allies, on
conditions agreed upon by us as the representative of St. Peter. You who
join him in this undertaking should do so to the honor of St. Peter,
that St. Peter may protect you from danger and reward your fidelity to
him. But if any of you plan to attack that land independently with your
own forces, you should do so in a spirit of devotion and with righteous
motives. Beware lest after you have conquered the land you wrong St.
Peter in the same way as the infidels do who now hold it. Unless you are
prepared to recognize the rights of St. Peter by making an equitable
agreement with us, we will forbid you by our apostolic authority to go
thither, that your holy and universal mother, the church, may not suffer
from her sons the same injuries which she now suffers from her enemies,
to the loss not only of her property, but also of the devotion of her
children. To this end we have sent to Spain our beloved son, Hugo,
cardinal priest of the holy Roman church, and he will inform you more
fully of our terms and conditions.

70. Letter of Gregory VII to Wratislav, Duke of Bohemia, 1073.

Migne, 148, cols. 299 f.

See introductory note to no. 68.

Gregory, etc., to Wratislav, etc. We give thanks to omnipotent God that
you have been led by your devotion and reverence for the apostles Peter
and Paul, princes of the apostles, to receive our legates with kindness
and treat them with the graciousness which is becoming to your majesty.
Receive the assurance of our good-will in return for this evidence of
your fidelity. It has not been usual for papal legates to visit your
land; this, however, is partly the fault of your forefathers, as well as
of our predecessors, for the dukes of Bohemia should have requested the
pope to send them legates. But some of your subjects have regarded our
sending of legates as an innovation, and have treated them with
contempt, forgetting the word of God: "He that receiveth you receiveth
me" [Matt. 10:40]; "and he that despiseth you despiseth me" [Luke
10:16]. So in failing to show due reverence to our legates, they have
not so much despised them, as they have despised the word of truth....

71. Letter of Gregory VII to Sancho, King of Aragon, 1074.

Migne, 148 col. 339.

See introductory note to no. 68.

Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to Sancho, king of
Aragon, greeting and apostolic benediction.

We received your gracious letter with great joy, because of the evidence
which it contained of your fidelity to the princes of the apostles,
Peter and Paul, and to the holy Roman church. But indeed even if we had
not received your letter we should have been well aware of your fidelity
through the report of our legates. By enforcing the observances of the
Roman form of service in the churches of your kingdom you have shown
that you are a true son of the Roman church and that you bear the same
friendship to us that former kings of Spain have borne to the Roman
pope. Be firm and constant in the faith and complete the good work which
you have begun; then the blessed St. Peter, whom our Lord Jesus Christ
has made ruler over the kingdoms of this world, will bring to pass the
desires of your heart and will make you victorious over your enemies,
because of the trust which you have placed in him....

72. Letter of Gregory VII to Solomon, King of Hungary, 1074.

Migne, 148, col. 373.

See introductory note to no. 68.

Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to Solomon, king of
Hungary, greeting and apostolic benediction.

Your letter was late in reaching us because of the delay of the
messenger, but when it did come we were displeased with it because its
terms were offensive to St. Peter. For the kingdom of Hungary, as you
can learn from your own princes, belongs of right to the holy Roman
church, having been offered and surrendered to St. Peter with all its
rights and powers by the former king Stephen. And when the emperor Henry
[II] of blessed memory, attacked the kingdom in the defense of the honor
of St. Peter and captured the king, he forwarded to the grave of St.
Peter the lance and crown, the insignia of kingship. But we hear that
you have accepted the kingdom as a fief from the king of the Germans,
thereby infringing the rights and the honor of St. Peter and acting in a
manner incompatible with the virtue and character of a king. If you wish
to have the favor of St. Peter and our good will, you must correct your
faults; you know yourself that you cannot hope for justice, that,
indeed, you cannot reign any length of time, unless you admit that you
hold the sceptre of your kingdom from the pope and not from the king. As
far as God shall give us strength, we will never through fear or
affection or any personal consideration consent to the diminishing of
the honor of him whom we serve. But if you are willing to mend your ways
and act as a king should, you may easily win the love of your mother,
the holy Roman church, and our friendship in Christ.

73. Letter of Gregory VII to Demetrius, King of the Russians, 1075.

Migne, 148, col. 425.

See introductory note to no. 68.

Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to Demetrius, king of
the Russians, and to his wife, the queen, greeting and apostolic

Your son has visited us at Rome, and has asked that we invest him with
the kingdom of the Russians in the name of St. Peter. He has given
sufficient evidence of his fidelity to St. Peter, and has assured us
that he is acting with your consent in making the petition. We have felt
justified in granting his petition because of your consent and of the
devotion which he has evidenced; therefore we have conferred upon him in
the name of St. Peter the government of your kingdom. We pray that St.
Peter may protect you and your kingdom and all your possessions by his
intercession with God, that he may cause you to hold your kingdom in
peace, glory, and honor, all your days, and that at the end of this life
he may obtain for you an eternal glory with the King of Heaven. We shall
always be ready to grant your request whenever you call upon us in any
righteous cause. In regard to this matter of the investiture and other
affairs not mentioned in this letter, we have sent you these legates,
one of whom is a well-known and faithful friend of yours. Treat them
kindly out of reverence for St. Peter, whose legates they are; listen to
them and believe without hesitation whatever they may say on our behalf.
Do not allow them to be hindered in the discharge of any of the duties
with which we have intrusted them, but give them your faithful
assistance. May omnipotent God illumine your soul and lead you through
this temporal life to his eternal glory.

74-81. Conflict between Henry IV and Gregory VII.

74. Letter of Gregory VII to Henry IV, December, 1075.

Jaffé, II, pp. 218 ff; Doeberl, III, no. 7.

Gregory VII met with vigorous opposition from the German clergy as well
as from the king when he attempted to enforce his laws against simony
and the marriage of the clergy. In a synod at Rome, 1075, Feb. 24-28,
Gregory excommunicated five of Henry's intimate advisers for the sin of
simony. Henry refused to recognize the validity of this excommunication,
and, regardless of papal protests, persisted in his policy of disposing
of bishoprics (Milan, Fermo, Spoleto, for example) as he chose. Gregory
determined to proceed to extreme measures. He sent messengers to Henry,
bearing this letter (no. 74) in which he defended his decrees against
simony and the marriage of the clergy, and announced his determination
to hold fast to them and to compel the whole world to accept them. He
also intrusted an oral message to the bearers of the letter to the
effect that if Henry did not mend his evil life, and drive his
excommunicated counsellors from his court, Gregory would not only
excommunicate him but also depose him.

Henry's answer to this message and letter was given at a national synod
at Worms, Jan. 24, 1076. This synod deposed Gregory and informed him of
their action by two letters, one by Henry (no. 75), and the other by the
German bishops (no. 76). Gregory replied by excommunicating and deposing
the king (no. 77).

Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to Henry, the king,
greeting and apostolic benediction--that is, if he shall prove obedient
to the apostolic see as a Christian king should.

We have sent you our apostolic benediction with some hesitation, knowing
that we must render account to God, the severe judge, for all our acts
as pope. Now it is reported that you have knowingly associated with men
who have been excommunicated by the pope and the synod. If this is true,
you know that you cannot receive the blessing either of God or of the
pope until you have driven them from you and have compelled them to do
penance, and have yourself sought absolution and forgiveness for your
transgressions with due penance and reparation. Therefore, if you
realize your guilt in this matter, we counsel you to confess straightway
to some pious bishop, who shall absolve you with our permission,
enjoining upon you suitable penance for this fault, and who shall
faithfully report to us by letter, with your permission, the character
of the penance prescribed.

We wonder, moreover, that you should continue to assure us by letter and
messengers of your devotion and humility; that you should call yourself
our son and the son of the holy mother church, obedient in the faith,
sincere in love, diligent in devotion, and that you should commend
yourself to us with all zeal of love and reverence--whereas in fact you
are constantly disobeying the canonical and apostolic decrees in
important matters of the faith. For, to say nothing of the rest, in the
case of Milan, concerning which you gave us your promise through your
mother and through our fellow-bishops whom we sent to you, the event has
shown how far you intended to carry out your promise [that is, not at
all] and with what purpose you made it. And now, to inflict wound upon
wound, contrary to the apostolic decrees you have bestowed the churches
of Fermo and Spoleto--if indeed a church can be bestowed by a
layman--upon certain persons quite unknown to us; for it is not lawful
to ordain men before they have been known and proved.

Since you confess yourself a son of the church, you should treat with
more honor the head of the church, that is, St. Peter, the prince of the
apostles. If you are one of the sheep of the Lord, you have been
intrusted to him by divine authority, for Christ said to him: "Peter,
feed my sheep" [John 21:16]; and again: "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" [Matt. 16:19]. And since we, although an unworthy
sinner, exercise his authority by divine will, the words which you
address to us are in reality addressed directly to him. And although we
only read or hear the words, he sees the heart from which the words
proceed. Therefore your highness should be very careful that no
insincerity be found in your words and messages to us; and that you show
due reverence, not to us indeed, but to omnipotent God, in those things
which especially make for the advance of the Christian faith and the
well-being of the church. For our Lord said to the apostles and to their
successors: "He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you
despiseth me" [Luke 10:16]. For no one will disregard our admonitions if
he believes that the decrees of the pope have the same authority as the
words of the apostle himself. For if our Lord commanded the apostles out
of reverence for the seat of Moses to observe the sayings of the scribes
and Pharisees who occupied that seat, then surely the faithful ought to
receive with all reverence the apostolic and evangelical doctrine
through those who are chosen to the ministry of preaching.

Now in the synod held at the apostolic seat to which the divine will has
called us (at which some of your subjects also were present) we, seeing
that the Christian religion had been weakened by many attacks and that
the chief and proper motive, that of saving souls, had for a long time
been neglected and slighted, were alarmed at the evident danger of the
destruction of the flock of the Lord, and had recourse to the decrees
and the doctrine of the holy fathers; we decreed nothing new, nothing of
our invention [that is, against simony and the marriage of the clergy];
but we decided that the error should be abandoned and the single
primitive rule of ecclesiastical discipline and the familiar way of the
saints should be again sought out and followed. For we know that no
other door to salvation and eternal life lies open to the sheep of
Christ than that which was pointed out by him who said: "I am the door,
by me if any man enter in he shall be saved, and find pasture" [John
10:9]; and this, we learn from the gospels and from the sacred writings,
was preached by the apostles and observed by the holy fathers. And we
have decided that this decree--which some, placing human above divine
honor, have called an unendurable weight and an immense burden, but
which we call by its proper name, that is, the truth and light necessary
to salvation--is to be received and observed not only by you and your
subjects, but also by all princes and peoples of the earth who confess
and worship Christ; for it is greatly desired by us, and would be most
fitting for you, that, as you are greater than others in glory, in
honor, and in virtue, so you should be more distinguished in devotion to

Nevertheless, that this decree may not seem to you beyond measure
grievous and unjust, we have commanded you by your faithful ambassadors
to send to us the wisest and most pious men whom you can find in your
kingdom, so that if they can show or instruct us in any way how we can
temper the sentence promulgated by the holy fathers without offence to
the eternal King or danger to our souls, we may consider their advice.
But, even if we had not warned you in so friendly a manner, it would
have been only right on your part, before you violated the apostolic
decrees, to have asked justice of us in a reasonable manner in any
matter in which we had injured or affected your honor. But it is evident
in what you have since done and decreed how little you care for our
warnings or for the observance of justice.

But since we hope that, while the long-suffering patience of God still
invites you to repent, you may become wiser and your heart may be turned
to obey the commands of God, we warn you with fatherly love that,
knowing the rule of Christ to be over you, you should consider how
dangerous it is to place your honor above his, and that you should not
interfere with the liberty of the church which he has deigned to join to
himself by heavenly union, but rather with faithful devotion you should
offer your assistance to the increasing of this liberty to omnipotent
God and St. Peter, through whom also your glory may be amplified. You
ought to recognize what you undoubtedly owe to them for giving you
victory over your enemies, that as they have gladdened you with great
prosperity, so they should see that you are thereby rendered more
devout. And in order that the fear of God, in whose hands is all power
and all rule, may affect your heart more than these our warnings, you
should recall what happened to Saul when, after winning the victory
which he gained by the will of the prophet, he glorified himself in his
triumph and did not obey the warnings of the prophet, and how God
reproved him; and, on the other hand, what grace king David acquired by
reason of his humility, as well as his other virtues.

Finally, in regard to those matters in your letter which we have not yet
touched upon, we will not give a definite answer until your ambassadors,
Rapoto, Adelbert, and Wodescalc, and those whom we have sent with them,
shall return to us and shall make known more fully your intention in
regard to the matters which we committed to them to be discussed with
you. Given at Rome, the 6th of the Ides of January, the 14th indiction.

75. The Deposition of Gregory VII by Henry IV, January 24, 1076.

M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 47 ff; Doeberl, III, no. 8 b.

See introductory note to no. 74.

Henry, king not by usurpation, but by the holy ordination of God, to
Hildebrand, not pope, but false monk.

This is the salutation which you deserve, for you have never held any
office in the church without making it a source of confusion and a curse
to Christian men instead of an honor and a blessing. To mention only the
most obvious cases out of many, you have not only dared to touch the
Lord's anointed, the archbishops, bishops, and priests; but you have
scorned them and abused them, as if they were ignorant servants not fit
to know what their master was doing. This you have done to gain favor
with the vulgar crowd. You have declared that the bishops know nothing
and that you know everything; but if you have such great wisdom you have
used it not to build but to destroy. Therefore we believe that St.
Gregory, whose name you have presumed to take, had you in mind when he
said: "The heart of the prelate is puffed up by the abundance of
subjects, and he thinks himself more powerful than all others." All this
we have endured because of our respect for the papal office, but you
have mistaken our humility for fear, and have dared to make an attack
upon the royal and imperial authority which we received from God. You
have even threatened to take it away, as if we had received it from you,
and as if the empire and kingdom were in your disposal and not in the
disposal of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ has called us to the government
of the empire, but he never called you to the rule of the church. This
is the way you have gained advancement in the church: through craft you
have obtained wealth; through wealth you have obtained favor; through
favor, the power of the sword; and through the power of the sword, the
papal seat, which is the seat of peace; and then from the seat of peace
you have expelled peace. For you have incited subjects to rebel against
their prelates by teaching them to despise the bishops, their rightful
rulers. You have given to laymen the authority over priests, whereby
they condemn and depose those whom the bishops have put over them to
teach them. You have attacked me, who, unworthy as I am, have yet been
anointed to rule among the anointed of God, and who, according to the
teaching of the fathers, can be judged by no one save God alone, and can
be deposed for no crime except infidelity. For the holy fathers in the
time of the apostate Julian did not presume to pronounce sentence of
deposition against him, but left him to be judged and condemned by God.
St. Peter himself said: "Fear God, honor the king" [1 Pet. 2:17]. But
you, who fear not God, have dishonored me, whom He hath established. St.
Paul, who said that even an angel from heaven should be accursed who
taught any other than the true doctrine, did not make an exception in
your favor, to permit you to teach false doctrines. For he says: "But
though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you
than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" [Gal.
1:8]. Come down, then, from that apostolic seat which you have obtained
by violence; for you have been declared accursed by St. Paul for your
false doctrines and have been condemned by us and our bishops for your
evil rule. Let another ascend the throne of St. Peter, one who will not
use religion as a cloak of violence, but will teach the life-giving
doctrine of that prince of the apostles. I, Henry, king by the grace of
God, with all my bishops, say unto you: "Come down, come down, and be
accursed through all the ages."

76. Letter of the Bishops to Gregory VII, January 24, 1076.

Codex Udalrici, no. 162; M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 44 ff; Doeberl, III,
no. 8 a.

See introductory note to no. 74.

Siegfried, archbishop of Mainz, Udo, bishop of Trier, William, bishop of
Utrecht, etc. [a list of names of bishops, twenty-six in all], to
brother Hildebrand.

At first when you made yourself pope we thought it better to ignore the
illegality of your action and to submit to your rule, in the hope that
you would redeem your bad beginning by a just and righteous government
of the church, although we realized even then the enormity of the sin
which you had committed. But now the lamentable condition of the whole
church shows us only too well how we were deceived in you; your violent
entrance into office was but the first in a series of wicked deeds and
unjust decrees. Our Lord and Redeemer has said, in more places than we
can well enumerate here, that love and gentleness are the marks of his
disciples, but you are known for your pride, your ambition, and your
love of strife. You have introduced worldliness into the church; you
have desired a great name rather than a reputation for holiness; you
have made a schism in the church and offended its members, who before
your time were living together in peace and charity. Your mad acts have
kindled the flame of discord which now rages in the churches of Italy,
Germany, France, and Spain. The bishops have been deprived of their
divine authority, which rests upon the grace of the Holy Spirit received
through ordination, and the whole administration of ecclesiastical
matters you have given to rash and ignorant laymen. There is nowhere in
the church to-day a bishop or a priest who does not hold his office
through abject acquiescence in your ambitious schemes. The order of
bishops, to whom the government of the church was intrusted by the Lord,
you have thrown into confusion, and you have disturbed that excellent
coördination of the members of Christ which Paul in so many places
commends and inculcates, while the name of Christ has almost disappeared
from the earth; and all this through those decrees in which you glory.
Who among men is not filled with astonishment and indignation at your
claims to sole authority, by which you would deprive your fellow-bishops
of their coördinate rights and powers? For you assert that you have the
authority to try any one of our parishioners for any sin which may have
reached your ears even by chance report, and that no one of us has the
power to loose or to bind such a sinner, but that it belongs to you
alone or to your legate. Who that knows the scriptures does not perceive
the madness of this claim? Since, therefore, it is now apparent that the
church of God is in danger of destruction through your presumption, we
have come to the conclusion that this state of things can no longer be
endured, and we have determined to break our silence and to make public
the reasons why you are unfit and have always been unfit to rule the
church as pope. These are the reasons: In the first place, in the reign
of emperor Henry [III] of blessed memory, you bound yourself by oath
never to accept the papacy or to permit anyone else to accept it during
the life of that emperor or of his son without the consent of the
emperor. There are many bishops still living who can bear witness to
that oath. On another occasion, when certain cardinals were aiming to
secure the office, you took an oath never to accept the papacy, on
condition that they should all take the same oath. You know yourself how
faithfully you have kept these oaths! In the second place, it was agreed
in a synod held in the time of pope Nicholas [II] and attended by 125
bishops, that no one, under penalty of excommunication, should ever
accept the papacy who had not received the election of the cardinals,
the approbation of the people, and the consent of the emperor. You
yourself proposed and promoted that decree and signed it with your own
hand. In the third place, you have filled the whole church with the
stench of scandal, by associating on too intimate terms with a woman who
was not a member of your family [the countess Matilda]. We do not wish
to base any serious charge on this last accusation; we refer to it
because it outrages our sense of propriety. And yet the complaint is
very generally made that all the judgments and acts of the papacy are
passed on by the women about the pope, and that the whole church is
governed by this new female conclave. And finally, no amount of
complaint is adequate to express the insults and outrages you have
heaped upon the bishops, calling them sons of harlots and other vile
names. Therefore, since your pontificate was begun in perjury and crime,
since your innovations have placed the church of God in the gravest
peril, since your life and conduct are stained with infamy; we now
renounce our obedience, which indeed was never legally promised to you.
You have declared publicly that you do not consider us to be bishops; we
reply that no one of us shall ever hold you to be the pope.

77. The First Deposition and Excommunication of Henry IV by Gregory VII,

Greg VII. Reg., III, no. 10 a; Jaffé, II, pp. 223 ff; Doeberl, III, no. 9.

See introductory note to no. 74.

St. Peter, prince of the apostles, incline thine ear unto me, I beseech
thee, and hear me, thy servant, whom thou hast nourished from mine
infancy and hast delivered from mine enemies that hate me for my
fidelity to thee. Thou art my witness, as are also my mistress, the
mother of God, and St. Paul thy brother, and all the other saints, that
thy holy Roman church called me to its government against my own will,
and that I did not gain thy throne by violence; that I would rather have
ended my days in exile than have obtained thy place by fraud or for
worldly ambition. It is not by my efforts, but by thy grace, that I am
set to rule over the Christian world which was specially intrusted to
thee by Christ. It is by thy grace and as thy representative that God
has given to me the power to bind and to loose in heaven and in earth.
Confident of my integrity and authority, I now declare in the name of
omnipotent God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that Henry, son of the
emperor Henry, is deprived of his kingdom of Germany and Italy; I do
this by thy authority and in defence of the honor of thy church, because
he has rebelled against it. He who attempts to destroy the honor of the
church should be deprived of such honor as he may have held. He has
refused to obey as a Christian should, he has not returned to God from
whom he had wandered, he has had dealings with excommunicated persons,
he has done many iniquities, he has despised the warnings which, as thou
art witness, I sent to him for his salvation, he has cut himself off
from thy church, and has attempted to rend it asunder; therefore, by thy
authority, I place him under the curse. It is in thy name that I curse
him, that all people may know that thou art Peter, and upon thy rock the
Son of the living God has built his church, and the gates of hell shall
not prevail against it.

78. The Agreement at Oppenheim, October, 1076.

M. G. LL. 4to, IV, I, nos. 64, 65; Codex Udalrici, nos. 145,155;
Doeberl, III, no. 12.

Various parts of Germany were already in revolt against Henry IV, and
the immediate effect of the papal excommunication was to strengthen the
rebellious party. Being almost deserted, Henry found himself unable to
refuse the demands of the rebels. He agreed to submit to Gregory in all
things, and rescinded the edicts by which he had deposed him. He also
called on all his subjects to submit to the pope (no. 79).

Promise of king Henry to pope Hildebrand, also called Gregory.

In accordance with the advice of my subjects, I hereby promise to show
henceforth fitting reverence and obedience to the apostolic office and
to you, pope Gregory. I further promise to make suitable reparation for
any loss of honor which you or your office may have suffered through me.
And since I have been accused of certain grave crimes, I will either
clear myself by presenting proof of my innocence or by undergoing the
ordeal, or else I will do such penance as you may decide to be adequate
for my fault.

79. Edict Annulling the Decrees Against Pope Gregory.

Cf. reference to no. 78.

Henry, by the grace of God king, to the archbishops, bishops, margraves,
counts, and to his subjects of every rank and dignity, greeting and good
will. Our faithful subjects have convinced us that in our recent
controversy with pope Gregory we were led astray by certain evil
counsellors. Therefore we now make known to all, that we have repented
of our former actions and have determined henceforth to obey him in
everything, as our predecessors were wont to do before us, and to make
full reparation for any injury which we may have inflicted upon him or
his office. We command all of you to follow our example and to offer
satisfaction to St. Peter and to his vicar, pope Gregory, for any fault
you may have committed, and to seek absolution from him, if any of you
are under his ban.

80. Letter of Gregory VII to the German Princes Concerning the Penance
of Henry IV at Canossa, _ca._ January 28, 1077.

Greg. VII. Reg., IV, nos 12, 12 a; Jaffé, II, pp. 256 ff: Doeberl, III,
no. 13.

At Oppenheim Henry IV had been temporarily deposed. He sent away his
counsellors who had been excommunicated, gave up all participation in
the affairs of government, laid aside all the royal insignia, and
withdrew to the city of Speier, which he was not to leave until the
matter was adjusted by the pope, who was to come to Germany and hold a
diet in February, 1077. But Henry did not keep his word. Fearing that he
would be permanently deposed if the pope should come to Germany and sit
with his rebellious subjects in judgment on him, he determined to
forestall matters by going to see the pope in Italy. So he fled from
Speier and hastened as rapidly as possible into Italy. He came to
Canossa, where he humbled himself before Gregory and received
absolution. It was at least a diplomatic triumph for Henry, because he
had kept the pope from coming to Germany and uniting with his rebellious
nobles, who would have labored hard to secure the permanent deposition
of Henry. The final decision of the matter was indeed left to the pope
and the diet which was to be held in Germany, but the pope did not go to
Germany, and Henry was able to point to the fact that he had received
papal absolution. The oath which Gregory VII required of Henry is given
in no. 81.

Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to all the archbishops,
bishops, dukes, counts, and other princes of the German kingdom,
defenders of the Christian faith, greeting and apostelic benediction.

Since you have made common cause with us and shared our perils in the
recent controversy, we have thought it only right that you should be
informed of the recent course of events, how king Henry came to Italy to
do penance, and how we were led to grant him absolution.

According to the agreement made with your representatives we had come to
Lombardy and were there awaiting those whom you were to send to escort
us into your land. But after the time set was already passed, we
received word that it was at that time impossible to send an escort,
because of many obstacles that stood in the way, and we were greatly
exercised at this and in grave doubt as to what we ought to do. In the
meantime we learned that the king was approaching. Now before he entered
Italy he had sent to us and had offered to make complete satisfaction
for his fault, promising to reform and henceforth to obey us in all
things, provided we would give him our absolution and blessing. We
hesitated for some time, taking occasion in the course of the
negotiations to reprove him sharply for his former sins. Finally he came
in person to Canossa, where we were staying, bringing with him only a
small retinue and manifesting no hostile intentions. Once arrived, he
presented himself at the gate of the castle, barefoot and clad only in
wretched woollen garments, beseeching us with tears to grant him
absolution and forgiveness. This he continued to do for three days,
until all those about us were moved to compassion at his plight and
interceded for him with tears and prayers. Indeed, they marvelled at our
hardness of heart, some even complaining that our action savored rather
of heartless tyranny than of chastening severity. At length his
persistent declarations of repentance and the supplications of all who
were there with us overcame our reluctance, and we removed the
excommunication from him and received him again into the bosom of the
holy mother church. But first he took the oath which we have subjoined
to this letter, the abbot of Cluny, the countess Matilda, the countess
Adelaide, and many other ecclesiastic and secular princes going surety
for him. Now that this arrangement has been reached to the common
advantage of the church and the empire, we purpose coming to visit you
in your own land as soon as possible. For, as you will perceive from the
conditions stated in the oath, the matter is not to be regarded as
settled until we have held consultation with you. Therefore we urge you
to maintain that fidelity and love of justice which first prompted your
action. We have not bound ourself to anything, except that we assured
the king that he might depend upon us to aid him in everything that
looked to his salvation and honor.

81. The Oath of King Henry.

Cf. reference to no. 80.

See introductory note to no. 80.

I, Henry, king, promise to satisfy the grievances which my archbishops,
bishops, dukes, counts, and other princes of Germany or their followers
may have against me, within the time set by pope Gregory and in
accordance with his conditions. If I am prevented by any sufficient
cause from doing this within that time, I will do it as soon after that
as I may. Further, if pope Gregory shall desire to visit Germany or any
other land, on his journey thither, his sojourn there, and his return
thence, he shall not be molested or placed in danger of captivity by me
or by anyone whom I can control. This shall apply to his escort and
retinue and to all who come and go in his service. Moreover, I will
never enter into any plan for hindering or molesting him, but will aid
him in good faith and to the best of my ability if anyone else opposes

82. Countess Matilda Gives All her Lands to the Church, 1102.

M. G. LL. 4to, IV, 1, p. 654, no. 444.

The countess Matilda supported the papacy in its claims of temporal
sovereignty, and, when she died, left it all her lands. The emperors did
not recognize the validity of the legacy, and declared that she had no
right to give away what belonged to the empire. The quarrel about these
lands was often renewed.

In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity.... In the time of Gregory
VII, in the Lateran palace, in the chapel of the holy cross, in the
presence of [witnesses],... I, Matilda, by the grace of God countess,
for the salvation of my soul and the souls of my parents, gave to the
church of St. Peter and to Gregory VII all my possessions, present and
future, by whatever title I may hold them. I gave all my lands in Italy
and Germany, and I had a document drawn up to that effect. But now the
document has disappeared, and I fear that my gift may be questioned.
Therefore, I, countess Matilda, again give to the church of Rome,
through Bernard, cardinal and legate of the same holy church of Rome,
just as I did in the time of Gregory VII, all my possessions, present
and future, in both Italy and Germany, by whatever right I hold them,
for the salvation of my soul and the souls of my parents. All these
possessions, which belong to me, with all that pertains to them, in all
their entirety, I give to the said church of Rome, and by this deed of
gift I confirm the church in the possession of them. As symbols and
evidences that I have surrendered these lands I have given a knife, a
knotted straw, a glove, a piece of sod, and a twig from a tree....

83. The First Privilege which Paschal II Granted to Henry V, February
12, 1111.

M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 68 ff; Doeberl, III, no. 20 a.

In the struggle about the election and investiture of bishops, which was
begun by Gregory VII, Henry V pursued the same policy as his father,
Henry IV. He was so vigorous in pushing his claims that Paschal II
(1099-1118) yielded and in 1111 decreed that the high clergy should give
up all their fiefs and temporal offices, and exercise only spiritual
functions. But this action met with a storm of opposition. The bishops
refused to give up their temporal possessions, and resisted with such
determination that Paschal was compelled to cancel his agreement with
Henry V. But the king would not be denied. He brought such pressure to
bear on the pope that he made a complete surrender and granted Henry the
control of the elections of bishops and the unconditional right to
invest them with their office (no. 84).

Paschal, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his beloved son
Henry, and to his successors forever.

Priests are forbidden by the scriptures and by the canons of the church
to occupy themselves with secular affairs or to attend the public
courts, except in the exercise of their office, such as the saving of
the souls of the condemned or the assisting of the injured. In regard to
this St. Paul says: "If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to
this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church" [1
Cor. 6:4]. But in your kingdom bishops and abbots regularly attend the
courts and perform military service, which duties necessarily bring them
into contact with rapine, sacrilege, and violence. The ministers of the
altar are made ministers of the royal court, and are given cities,
duchies, marks, mints, and other offices to hold and to rule. As a
result an unbearable custom has arisen that bishops elect cannot be
consecrated until they have been invested with office by the king.
Simony and worldly ambition have thereby become so prevalent that men
are sometimes placed in control of the episcopal properties who have not
been elected bishops; and are sometimes invested with them while the
true bishops are still alive. Our predecessors, pope Gregory VII and
pope Urban II, of blessed memory, were impelled by the many evils
resulting from this practice to condemn lay investiture in several
councils, decreeing that those who obtained ecclesiastical offices by
these means should be forced to surrender them and that those who
conferred the investiture should be excommunicated. This was based on
the chapter of the apostolic canons which reads: "If a bishop makes use
of the secular powers to obtain a diocese, he shall be deposed and those
who supported him shall be cast out of the church." [See no. 33.]
Following their example, we have confirmed the present decree, which has
been passed by a council of bishops.

All the royal offices and benefices which belonged to the empire in the
time of the emperors Karl, Ludwig, and your other predecessors, and
which are now held by the church, we order to be restored to you. We
forbid any bishop or abbot, under pain of anathema, to hold any of these
regalia; that is, cities, duchies, marks, counties; rights of minting,
markets, or tolls; offices of advocate or hundred-man; estates which
belong to the empire, with any of their appurtenances, the right to hold
castles or to do military service. They shall not henceforth have
anything to do with these regalia, except at the request of the king.
And our successors are forbidden to disturb this arrangement or to
molest you or any of your kingdom in the peaceful possession of the

On the other hand, we decree that the churches shall have absolute
control of their free-will offerings and their private possessions,
which is in keeping with the promise which you made in your coronation

For it is necessary that the bishops be free from secular duties that
they may give their time to the care of their flocks, and not be too
long absent from their churches; as St. Paul says of the bishops: "They
watch for your souls, as they that must give account" [Heb. 13:17].

84. The Second Privilege which Paschal II Granted to Henry V, April 12,

M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 72 ff; Doeberl, III, no. 20 b.

See introductory note to no. 83.

Paschal, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his beloved son,
Henry, by the grace of God king of the Germans and emperor of the
Romans, Augustus, greeting and apostolic benediction. It is the will of
God that your kingdom should be closely bound to the holy Roman church.
Your predecessors obtained the crown and empire of the Roman world
because of their wisdom and virtue; you also have been exalted to that
dignity by the will of God working through us. And so we confer upon you
the prerogatives which our predecessors granted to former emperors. By
this document we concede to you the right of investing the bishops and
abbots of your kingdom with the ring and the staff, if their election
has been conducted canonically and without simony or other illegality.
After their investiture they are to be consecrated in due canonical form
by their bishops. If the clergy and people elect a bishop or an abbot
without first gaining your consent, he shall not be consecrated until
you have invested him with his office. The right of consecrating such
bishops and abbots as have received investiture from you shall belong to
the archbishops and bishops of your kingdom. For your predecessors
endowed the churches of their realm with so many benefices from their
own lands and offices that it became necessary for them to control the
elections of bishops and abbots, and to put down the popular
disturbances that frequently arose in these elections.

As a result of this concession you ought to be the more zealous in the
defence and in the enrichment of the church of Rome and the other
churches of God. If any person, ecclesiastic or layman, shall knowingly
violate this decree, he shall be accursed and deprived of his office and
rank. But may God reward those who keep it, and grant that you may rule
happily to his honor and glory. Amen.

85-86. Concordat of Worms, 1122.

85. The Promise of Calixtus II.

M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 75 ff; Doeberl, III, no. 21 a.

The victory won by Henry V over Paschal II (no. 84) was of short
duration because the Cluniac party refused to submit. They renewed the
struggle with great bitterness. The contest lasted to 1122, when a
compromise was agreed upon. In general it may be said that the
compromise was a sensible one, in that the king was recognized as having
the right to invest the bishops with their fiefs and secular authority,
while the pope was to invest them with their spiritual office and
authority. This settlement of the principle did not entirely end the
struggle, because, in the first place, neither party observed it
perfectly, and, besides, it occasionally happened that there was some
doubt as to how the principle was to be applied.

Calixtus, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his beloved son,
Henry, by the grace of God emperor of the Romans, Augustus.

We hereby grant that in Germany the elections of the bishops and abbots
who hold directly from the crown shall be held in your presence, such
elections to be conducted canonically and without simony or other
illegality. In the case of disputed elections you shall have the right
to decide between the parties, after consulting with the archbishop of
the province and his fellow-bishops. You shall confer the regalia of the
office upon the bishop or abbot elect by giving him the sceptre, and
this shall be done freely without exacting any payment from him; the
bishop or abbot elect on his part shall perform all the duties that go
with the holding of the regalia.

In other parts of the empire the bishops shall receive the regalia from
you in the same manner within six months of their consecration, and
shall in like manner perform all the duties that go with them. The
undoubted rights of the Roman church, however, are not to be regarded as
prejudiced by this concession. If at any time you shall have occasion to
complain of the carrying out of these provisions, I will undertake to
satisfy your grievances as far as shall be consistent with my office.
Finally, I hereby make a true and lasting peace with you and with all of
your followers, including those who supported you in the recent

86. The Promise of Henry V.

M. G. LL. folio, II, p. 76; Doeberl, III, no. 21 b.

In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity.

For the love of God and his holy church and of pope Calixtus, and for
the salvation of my soul, I, Henry, by the grace of God, emperor of the
Romans, Augustus, hereby surrender to God and his apostles, Sts. Peter
and Paul, and to the holy Catholic church, all investiture by ring and
staff. I agree that elections and consecrations shall be conducted
canonically and shall be free from all interference. I surrender also
the possessions and regalia of St. Peter which have been seized by me
during this quarrel, or by my father in his lifetime, and which are now
in my possession, and I promise to aid the church to recover such as are
held by any other persons. I restore also the possessions of all other
churches and princes, clerical or secular, which have been taken away
during the course of this quarrel, which I have, and promise to aid them
to recover such as are held by any other persons.

Finally, I make true and lasting peace with pope Calixtus and with the
holy Roman church and with all who are or have ever been of his party. I
will aid the Roman church whenever my help is asked, and will do justice
in all matters in regard to which the church may have occasion to make

All these things have been done with the consent and advice of the
princes whose names are written below: Adelbert, archbishop of Mainz;
Frederick, archbishop of Cologne, etc.

87. Election Notice, 1125.

Jaffé, V, pp. 396 ff; Doeberl, IV, no. 1.

On the death of a king of Germany, it was the duty of the archbishop of
Mainz, as archchancellor of Germany, to call a diet for the purpose of
electing his successor. He did this by writing a letter in practically
the same terms to each of the important men of the kingdom who were
members of the diet. These letters were then delivered by special
messengers. The diet which met in response to this call in 1125 elected
Lothar of Saxony. The tone of the letter reveals the fact that Adelbert
of Mainz was inclined rather to the side of the pope. The "yoke of
servitude" which was oppressing the church was the imperial control
which Henry V had exercised over the ecclesiastical elections.

Adelbert, archbishop of Mainz; Frederick, archbishop of Cologne;
Udalric, bishop of Constance; Buco, bishop of Worms; Arnold, bishop of
Speier; Udalric, abbot of Fulda; Henry, duke of Bavaria; Frederick, duke
of Suabia; Godfrey, count palatine; Berengar, count of Sulzbach, along
with the other princes, ecclesiastical and secular, who were present at
the funeral of the late emperor, send their greeting and most faithful
services to their venerable brother, Otto, bishop of Bamberg.

After the burial of our late lord and emperor, we who were there present
thought it expedient to counsel together in regard to the condition of
the state. We were unwilling to make any definite plans, however,
without your presence and advice, and so we determined to call a diet to
meet at Mainz on St. Bartholomew's Day [August 25], hoping that this
decision would meet your approval. It is our thought that the princes
should meet then and take the necessary action in regard to the serious
problems that confront us: the general state of the kingdom, the
question of a successor, and other matters. In thus calling a diet
without first gaining your approval, we have not meant to infringe in
any way upon your rights or to arrogate to ourselves any peculiar
authority in this matter. We ask you to bear in mind the oppression of
the church in these days and to pray earnestly that in the providence of
God this election may result in the freeing of the church from its yoke
of servitude and in the establishing of peace for us and for our people.
You are instructed to declare a special peace for your lands, to be kept
during the time of the diet and four weeks thereafter, so that all may
come and return in perfect security; and to come to the diet yourself in
the customary manner, that is, at your own expense and without
inflicting any burden upon the poor of the realm.

88. Anaclete II Gives Roger the Title of King of Sicily, 1130.

Watterich, Pont. Rom. Vitæ, II, pp. 193 ff; Doeberl, IV, no. 4.

The Norman adventurers in southern Italy were successful beyond all
expectation. In 1059 Nicholas II made a duke of Roger Guiscard (see no.
58). He and his successors labored hard to advance the interests of
their family, and in 1130 Roger, duke of Sicily, had the satisfaction of
receiving the royal title from Anaclete II. There had been a disputed
papal election that year, and Anaclete II, one of the rival claimants,
needed all the help he could get. So he bought the support of Roger,
giving him in return the title of king.

It is fitting that the pope should generously reward those that love the
Roman church. And so, because of the labors and services of your father
and mother, and because of your own efforts in behalf of the church, we
have given and granted to you, Robert, by the grace of God duke of
Sicily, and to your son Robert and your other children and heirs, the
crown of Sicily, Apulia, and Calabria, and of all the lands given by us
or our predecessors to your ancestors, Robert Guiscard and Robert his
son, dukes of Apulia. You shall have and hold this kingdom, which shall
take its name from the island of Sicily, with all the royal authority
and dignity forever. We also grant that you and your heirs may be
anointed and crowned by the archbishops of your lands whom you choose
for that purpose, assisted by such bishops as you may desire. We hereby
renew all gifts, concessions, and authority conferred upon you and upon
your predecessors, Robert Guiscard, Robert his son, and William, dukes
of Apulia, to be held and possessed by you forever. We give and grant to
you and to your heirs the principality of Capua in its full extent as
held now or in the past by the prince of Capua; we confer upon you the
lordship over Naples and its dependencies, and the right to demand aid
from the inhabitants of Benevento against your enemies. At your request
we also grant to the archbishop of Palermo and to his successors the
right to consecrate the three bishops of Syracuse, Girgenti, and
Catania, on the condition that the authority and possessions of these
churches shall not be in any way diminished by the archbishop and the
church of Palermo. We reserve our decision as to the consecration of the
other two bishops of Sicily for more mature deliberation. We have
granted all the above concessions on the condition that you and your
heirs take the oath of fidelity to us and to our successors at a place
agreed upon by both parties, and that you and your heirs shall pay a tax
of 600 "schifates" [a gold coin] a year to the Roman church upon

89. The Coronation Oath of Lothar II, June 4, 1133.

M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 82 ff; Doeberl, IV, no. 6 a.

Every king, on his coronation as emperor, was required to take an oath
to the pope, the character of which may be seen from the oath of Lothar.

This is the oath which king Lothar swore to pope Innocent in the time of
the schism of the son of Pierreleone. The oath was taken by Lothar on
the day of his imperial coronation before he received the crown, and was
administered by Cencio Frangipani in the presence of the Roman nobles,
before the basilica of the Holy Saviour, which is also called the
basilica of Constantine.

I, king Lothar, promise and swear to you, pope Innocent, that I will
never injure you or your successors in any way or place you in danger of
captivity. I further promise to defend the honor of the papacy, and to
restore the regalia of St. Peter which I may have in my possession, and
to aid you in recovering such as may be held by any other persons.

90. Innocent II Grants the Lands of the Countess Matilda as a Fief to
Lothar II, 1133.

Theiner, Cod. Dom. Temp., I, 12; Doeberl, IV, no. 6 c.

Matilda, countess of Tuscany, espoused the cause of the pope, and, on
her death, willed all her lands to him. The emperor refused to
acknowledge the validity of this will, declaring that her holdings were
feudal, and hence must revert to the crown, because they could not be
disposed of without imperial consent. [See no. 82.] Lothar here gives up
the imperial claim to them and yields them to the pope, but receives
them back as a fief. The question was not thereby settled forever,
because later emperors refused to be bound by the action of Lothar, and
renewed the imperial pretensions. These lands were a fruitful source of
contention between the popes and the emperors. This document, as here
given, is probably an abstract of two documents, (1) the one by which
the lands were conferred on Lothar, and (2) that by which they were
later transferred to Lothar's son-in-law, Henry, duke of Bavaria.

(The document begins with a general exordium, setting forth the common
interests of papacy and empire, recalling the services of Lothar in
behalf of the church, and stating the obligation of the pope to reward
such services.)

It is on these considerations, therefore, that we now grant you by our
apostolic authority the allodial lands which the countess Matilda
formerly gave to St. Peter. In the presence of our brothers, the
archbishops, bishops, and abbots, and princes and barons, we now confer
them upon you by the investiture of the ring, on the following
conditions: you shall pay 100 pounds of silver annually to us and to our
successors; after your death the property shall revert unimpaired and
without hindrance to the possession of the holy Roman church; we and our
brothers shall always have safe-conduct and suitable entertainment
whenever we pass through or visit the land; and, finally, your
representative in the government of the land shall take an oath of
fidelity to St. Peter and to the pope.

Because of our love for you we graciously concede this land on the same
conditions to your son-in-law, Henry, duke of Bavaria, and his wife,
your daughter. It is further stipulated that the duke shall do homage to
us and take an oath of fidelity to St. Peter and to the pope; and that
after their death the land shall revert to the possession of the Roman
church, as said above. In all this there shall be no derogation of the
rights and ultimate ownership of the holy Roman church.

91. Letter of Bernard of Clairvaux to Lothar II, 1134.

Migne, 182, cols. 293 ff; Doeberl, IV, no. 7.

In 1130 there was a disputed papal election. Innocent II, on being
driven from Rome by his rival, Anaclete II, went to France, where he
enlisted Bernard of Clairvaux in his favor. Through the efforts of
Bernard the kings of France and Germany were persuaded to support him.
Lothar led an army into Italy, established Innocent in Rome, and
received the imperial crown. He failed, however, to conquer Roger, who
had been made king of Sicily by the antipope, Anaclete II (see no. 88).
Bernard wrote this letter to congratulate Lothar on his success in
Italy, to urge him to renew the war on Roger because he was still
supporting the antipope, and to rebuke Lothar for opposing some decision
of the pope in regard to a trouble that had arisen in the church at

To Lothar, by the grace of God emperor of the Romans, Augustus, Bernard,
called abbot of Clairvaux, sends his blessing, if the prayer of a sinner
is of any avail.

Blessed be God, who has chosen you and exalted you for a horn of
salvation unto us, to the glory of his name, the restoration of the
empire, the preservation of his church in this evil time, and the
working of his salvation in the midst of the earth. For it is by his
will that you are daily growing in strength, in honor, and in glory. And
when you recently undertook the hazardous expedition to Rome to secure
the peace of the empire and the liberty of the church, it was by his aid
that you were able to carry it through successfully, obtaining the crown
of the empire without the aid of a large army. But if the earth trembled
and was silent before that little band, think what great terror will
strike the hearts of the enemy when the king shall proceed against him
in the greatness of his power. Moreover, the justice of your cause, nay,
more, a double necessity, will inspire you. It is not my duty to incite
princes to war; but it is the duty of the defender of the church to ward
off all danger of schism; it is the duty of the emperor to recover his
crown from the Sicilian usurper. Just as that Jew [that is, Anaclete II]
rebelled against Christ when he seized the papal chair, so anyone who
would make himself king in Sicily rebels against Cæsar.

But if we are commanded to render unto Cæsar the things which are
Cæsar's and unto God the things which are God's, why is it that you have
permitted the church of God in Toul to be robbed, especially as Cæsar
profits not thereby? ... For it is said that you have interfered with
the pope in his efforts to bring the oppressors of that church to
justice. I beseech you to act more circumspectly and to recall your
intercession and let justice take its course, before that church be
destroyed to its foundations. I am a poor person, but a faithful
subject, and if I seem importunate it is because of my fidelity. Greet
my lady the empress for me in the love of Christ.

92. Letter of Bernard to Conrad III, 1140.

Migne, 182, no. 183; Doeberl, IV, no. 11.

Because Roger of Sicily had supported the antipope, Bernard had urged
Lothar to make war on him. [See no. 91.] But Innocent had, in the
meantime, without consulting the emperor, made a treaty with Roger and
won his support by also granting him the royal title (1139). Conrad III
was offended by this and protested against it. Conrad declared that the
kingdom which Roger held, that is, Sicily and southern Italy, was a part
of the empire, and therefore the pope had no right to recognize Roger as
king there. Conrad regarded Roger as a usurper. He wrote a letter to
Bernard complaining of the action of the pope. But Bernard had changed
his sentiments since Roger had espoused the cause of Innocent and had
received papal confirmation. In a somewhat curt manner he tells Conrad
to obey the pope.

I, unworthy person that I am, have received your letter and greeting
with gratitude and devotion. The complaints of the king are ours also,
especially in regard to the usurpation of the Sicilian.

I have never desired the disgrace of the king nor the diminution of his
realm; my soul hates such as do desire these things. But I read: "Let
every soul be subject unto the higher powers; whosoever resisteth the
power, resisteth the ordinance of God" [Rom. 13:1, 2]. Hearken to this
admonition, I pray you, and show such reverence to St. Peter and to his
vicar as you wish to be shown to you by the whole empire. There are
certain other matters which I have thought better not to put in writing;
perhaps it would be better to speak of them to you personally when I see

93. Letter of Conrad III to the Greek Emperor, John Comnenus, 1142.

Otto Fris. Gesta Frid., I, c. 25; M. G. SS. folio, XX; Doeberl, IV, no.

Although the German and Greek emperors had not adjusted their
conflicting claims to southern Italy and Sicily (see no. 58,
introductory note), they were agreed in regarding the Normans as
usurpers and a common enemy. In order to destroy them the emperors
determined to make common cause against them, as is apparent from the
following letter. John Comnenus, wishing to strengthen the alliance with
Conrad, asked him to choose some German princess for his son, Manuel.
Conrad chose his sister-in-law, Bertha von Sulzbach, who, at the time of
her marriage with Manuel, assumed the name Irene.

Conrad, by the grace of God emperor of the Romans, Augustus, to John, by
the same grace emperor of Constantinople, greeting and fraternal love.

As our predecessors, the Roman emperors, made friendship with your
predecessors and established the honor and glory of the kingdom of the
Greeks, we desire to do the same; and as they defended it, so we will
defend it. It is known of all men that your new Rome [Constantinople] is
the daughter of our Rome, the root from which have come your branches
and fruits. Therefore we are determined to maintain toward you the
attitude of a kind mother to her daughter, all the more that we perceive
in you a desire to act as a dutiful daughter. We two should have the
same interests, the same friends, and the same enemies, on land and sea.
Anyone who fails to honor the daughter shall have occasion to know and
fear the strength of the mother, be he Norman or Sicilian, or any other.
For we have not forgotten the attacks which our enemy has made upon our
own empire. With the help of God, we shall repay to every one according
to the measure of his guilt. Then the whole world shall see how easily
those who have dared to rebel against us both are overwhelmed and cast
down; for if we cut his wings, we shall, as it were, take the enemy
flying, and cut out of his heart that arrogance which has caused him to
revolt against us. It is our firm purpose to maintain friendly relations
toward you, and we are sure you hold the same purpose toward us, all the
more now that we are bound together by the approaching marriage of your
son and the sister of our wife, the empress....

94. Letter of Wibald, Abbot of Stablo, to Eugene III, 1159.

Jaffé, I, p. 372; Doeberl, IV, no. 24 a.

The following letter shows (1) the mismanagement of the affairs of a
great monastery, (2) the troubles which might arise in connection with
the election of an abbot, (3) the influence which Conrad III exercised
on such elections, and (4) the method of procedure in elections. It will
be remembered that the concordat of Worms was now in force.

To his reverend father and lord, pope Eugene, Wibald [abbot of Stablo],
sends his reverence and respect.

Our beloved brother Henry, abbot of Hersfeld, who had also been placed
in charge of the abbey of Fulda, was called from this earth by God soon
after our lord Conrad returned from his expedition to Jerusalem. The
king was prevented from immediately settling the affairs of the
monastery of Fulda by the evil state into which its affairs had fallen
and by the violence of party strife within it. This delay was
unfortunate, because the king was not able either to recover its
possessions which had been squandered or to provide for the performance
of the spiritual functions of the church, that is, the care of souls.
Therefore we and our brothers, the abbot of Eberach and other clergymen,
urged upon him the necessity of settling its affairs as soon as
possible. Finally he came to Fulda on the 5th of April and held a diet
there, which was attended by your venerable sons, the archbishop of
Bremen, and the bishops of Würzburg and Halberstadt, and many secular
princes and nobles. Among other things, the king sought their advice in
regard to the affairs of Fulda, seeking to reach a settlement by which
he might render unto God the things which are God's and unto Cæsar the
things which are Cæsar's. After a long and fruitless debate ... the king
said that a certain man had been suggested to him as being of good
character and holy reputation. This man, it was said, had been
successful in the administration of a small monastery, which had
prospered under his rule both spiritually and materially, and there was
no reason for doubting that he was well fitted by his zeal and ability
to govern the monastery of Fulda. If they voted to elect this man, he
was sure that the monastery would recover its former honor and dignity
under his wise and mild administration. All those present were delighted
with this speech, as showing the interest of the king in the welfare of
the church, and the matter was reported by some of us to those who had
the authority to elect the abbot. They in turn were rejoiced at this
turn of the affair and begged to be told the name of the man. And when
it was told to them they proceeded to elect him as their abbot. This man
is Mainward, abbot of Deggingen, ... who has ruled that monastery for
eight years and has been very successful in his administration. We
beseech you to confirm his election, for he is recommended by those who
know him best, and his election took place without his knowledge, and
indeed against his will. We believe that by confirming his election and
giving him your benediction you will do much to heal the wounds of the
distressed congregation of Fulda. We ourselves bear witness that all the
brothers of the congregation have promised obedience and devotion to
their abbot elect.

May God keep you safe and unharmed to rule his holy church.

95. Letter of Frederick I to Eugene III, Announcing his Election, 1152.

Jaffé, I, Wibaldi Epp., no. 372; Doeberl, IV, no. 25 a.

During the Middle Age there were many constitutional questions which had
not been decided. On many points no theory had been formulated, and the
practice varied. Thus it had not been clearly determined how far the
pope might control the election of the German king. In 1125 Lothar had
asked the pope to confirm his election; Frederick I merely informs the
pope of his election and tells him the policy which he intends to
pursue. Eugene III "approves" his election, but does not use the more
technical word, "confirm."

To his most beloved father in Christ, Eugene, pope of the holy Roman
church, Frederick, by the grace of God king of the Romans, Augustus,
[sends] filial love and reverence.

... Following the custom of the Roman emperors, we have sent to you as
ambassadors, Eberhard, venerable bishop of Bamberg, Hillo, bishop elect
of Trier, and Adam, abbot of Eberach, to notify you of our election and
of the condition of the church and the realm.

After the death of Conrad, king of the Romans, all the princes of the
kingdom came together at Frankfurt, and on the day of their assembling
elected us king. The princes displayed complete harmony in this election
and the people received it with the greatest approval and delight. Five
days later, just after the middle of Lent, we were anointed at Aachen by
your beloved sons, the archbishop of Cologne, and other venerable
bishops, and were raised to the throne with their solemn benediction.
And now that we have been invested with the royal authority and dignity
by the homage of the secular princes and the benediction of the bishops,
we intend to assume the royal character, as set forth in our coronation
oath; namely, to love and honor the pope, to defend the holy Roman
church and all ecclesiastical persons, to maintain peace and order, and
to protect the widows and the fatherless and all the people committed to
our care. God has established two powers by which this world should be
ruled, the papacy and the empire; therefore we are prepared to obey the
priests of Christ, in order that, through our zeal, the word of God may
prevail during our time, and that no one may disobey with impunity the
laws of the holy fathers or the decrees of the councils, and that the
church may enjoy her ancient honor and dignity and the empire be
restored to its former strength. We know that you were greatly
distressed at the death of our uncle and predecessor Conrad, but we
assure you, beloved father, that we have succeeded him not only in the
kingdom, but also in the love which he bore you. We undertake his work
of defending the holy Roman church, and we intend to carry on the plans
which he made for the honor and liberty of the apostolic see. Your
enemies shall be our enemies, and those that hate you shall suffer our

96. Answer of Eugene III, May 17, 1152.

Jaffé, I, Wibaldi Epp., no. 382; Doeberl, IV, no. 25 e.

See introductory note to no. 95.

Eugene, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his beloved son in
Christ, Frederick, illustrious king of the Romans, greeting and
apostolic benediction.

We have received the messengers and the letter which you sent to inform
us of your election by the unanimous vote of the princes.... We give
thanks unto God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift, for this
good news, and we heartily approve your election. We are confident that
you intend to take upon yourself the fulfilment of the promise which
your uncle and predecessor, Conrad, gave to us and to the holy Roman
church. We, on our part, shall labor for your advancement and
exaltation, as is the duty of our office. We have sent you an
ambassador, who will disclose to you our purpose and intention. In the
meantime, we admonish you to bear in mind your oath to defend the church
and the clergy of God, to keep peace and order, and to protect the
widows and the fatherless, and all your people, that those who obey you
and trust in you may rejoice, and that you may win glory with men and
eternal life with the king of kings.

97. Treaty of Constance, 1153.

Jaffé, I, Wibaldi Epp., no. 417; Doeberl, IV, no. 27 a.

The situation of the pope was precarious. In the first place, the Romans
had rebelled against him and his rule, and had set up a government of
their own. Since 1143 he had been compelled to spend most of his time
outside of the city. In the second place, Roger of Sicily was in
rebellion against him and threatened the papal lands with invasion from
the south. And lastly, the Greek emperor was now following a vigorous
policy to secure land in Italy. The pope was in sore need of help,
especially against the Romans and Normans. Hence he insisted that
Frederick should promise to aid him, as well as not to make peace with
his enemies without papal consent. Frederick wished the imperial crown,
and the papal blessing and support. He was planning the conquest of the
Normans, whose territory he regarded as a part of the empire. But in
this agreement it will be observed that nothing is said about who owns
Sicily and southern Italy, nor is it stipulated that the pope shall not
make terms with the Normans without the emperor's consent. Frederick
feared that the pope, who wished to gain control of the Greek church,
might make terms with the Greek emperor and help him in his efforts to
regain a foothold in Italy.

In the name of the Lord, amen. This is a copy of the agreement and
convention made between the pope, Eugene III, and Frederick, king of the
Romans, by their representatives; on the part of the pope: cardinals
Gregory of Santa Maria in Trastevere, Ubald of San Prassede, Bernard of
San Clemente, Octavian of Santa Cecilia, Roland of San Marco, Gregory of
Sant Angelo, Guido of Santa Maria in porticu, and Bruno, abbot of
Chiaravalle; on the part of the king: Anselm, bishop of Havelberg;
Hermann, bishop of Constance; Udalrich, count of Lenzburg; Guido, count
of Guerra, and Guido, count of Bianderati.

The king will have one of his ministerials to swear for him that he will
not make a peace or a truce either with the Romans or with Roger of
Sicily without the consent of the pope. The king will use all the power
of his realm to reduce the Romans to subjection to the pope and the
Roman church. He will protect the honor of the papacy and the regalia of
St. Peter against all men to the best of his ability, and he will aid
the church in recovering what she has lost. He will never grant any land
in Italy to the king of the Greeks, and will use all his power in
keeping him out. All these things the king promises to observe and to do
in good faith.

The pope, on his part, promises on his apostolic faith, with the consent
of the cardinals, that he will ever honor the king as the most dearly
beloved son of St. Peter, and that he will give him the imperial crown
whenever he shall come to Italy for it. He will aid the king in
maintaining and increasing the honor of his realm, as his office
demands. If anyone attacks the honor or the authority of the king, the
pope at the request of the king will warn him to make satisfaction, and
will excommunicate him if he refuses to heed the warning. The pope will
not grant any land in Italy to the king of the Greeks, and will use all
the resources of St. Peter to drive him out if he invades that land. All
these things shall be observed in good faith by both parties, unless
they are changed by mutual consent.

98. The Stirrup Episode, 1155.

Watterich, Pont. Rom. Vitæ, II, pp. 327 ff.

This account of the stirrup episode illustrates the growing pretensions
of the papacy, the temper of both Frederick I and the new pope, Adrian
IV, and the importance which the Middle Age attached to matters of

The king [Frederick] advanced with his army to the neighborhood of Sutri
and encamped in Campo Grasso. The pope, however, came to Nepi, and on
the day after his arrival was met there by many of the German princes
and a great concourse of clergy and laymen, and conducted with his
bishops and cardinals to the tent of the king. But when the cardinals
who came with the pope saw that the king did not come forward to act as
the esquire of the pope [_i.e._, to hold his stirrup while he
dismounted], they were greatly disturbed and terrified, and retreated to
Civita Castellana, leaving the pope before the tent of the king. And the
pope, distressed and uncertain what he should do, sadly dismounted and
sat down on the seat which had been prepared for him. Then the king
prostrated himself before the pope, kissing his feet and presenting
himself for the kiss of peace. But the pope said: "You have refused to
pay me the due and accustomed honor which your predecessors, the
orthodox emperors, have always paid to my predecessors, the Roman popes,
out of reverence for the apostles, Peter and Paul; therefore I will not
give you the kiss of peace until you have made satisfaction." The king,
however, replied that he was not under obligations to perform the
service. The whole of the following day was spent in the discussion of
this point, the army in the meantime remaining there. And after the
testimony of the older princes had been taken, especially of those who
had been present at the meeting of king Lothar and pope Innocent (II),
and the ancient practice had been determined, the princes and the royal
court decided that the king ought to act as the esquire of the pope and
hold his stirrup, out of reverence for the apostles, Peter and Paul. On
the next day the camp of the king was moved to the territory of Nepi, on
the shores of lake Janula, and there king Frederick, in accordance with
the decision of the princes, advanced to meet the pope, who was
approaching by another way. And when the pope came within about a
stone's throw from the emperor, the emperor dismounted and proceeded on
foot to meet the pope, and there in the sight of his army he acted as
the pope's esquire, holding his stirrup for him to dismount. Then the
pope gave him the kiss of peace.

99. Treaty between Adrian IV and William of Sicily, 1156.

Watterich, Pont. Rom. Vitæ, II, pp. 352 ff; Doeberl, IV, no. 34.

By this document the long struggle between the popes and the kings of
Sicily was brought to an end. The terms of the treaty were very
favorable to the pope, but William retained as privileges certain things
which were in other countries generally regarded as belonging to the
pope. For the effects of this treaty on the relations between Adrian IV
and Frederick I, see no. 100, introductory note.

In the name of the Lord, the eternal God, and of our Saviour, Jesus
Christ, amen. To Adrian, by the grace of God, pope of the holy Roman
church, his most beloved lord and father, and to his successors,
William, by the same grace king of Sicily, duke of Apulia, and prince of

(Introduction reviewing the differences between the pope and the king
of Sicily, and relating the course of the negotiations.)

We agree, therefore, to this treaty of peace as drawn up by the
representatives of both of us.

1. Concerning appeals to the pope. In Apulia and its dependencies and in
Calabria, appeals in ecclesiastical matters which cannot be settled by
the regular ecclesiastics of those lands may be made freely to Rome. If
it seems advantageous or necessary to transfer priests from one church
to another, this may be done with the consent of the pope. The Roman
church shall have the right to consecrate and to make visitations
throughout our whole realm. The Roman church shall have the right to
hold councils in any of the cities of Apulia or its dependencies or
Calabria, except that a council may not be held in any city in which the
king is staying, without his consent. The Roman church shall have the
right to send its legates into Apulia and its dependencies and into
Calabria, but those legates shall not waste the possessions of the
churches to which they are sent. The Roman church shall have the same
right of consecration and visitation in the island of Sicily.... The
Roman church shall have in Sicily all the rights which it has in other
parts of our kingdom, except the right of hearing appeals and sending
legates, which shall be exercised only at the request of the king.

2. Concerning those churches and monasteries which have been in dispute
between us. You and your successors shall have in them the rights which
you exercise in other churches of our lands, which are accustomed to
receive their consecration and benediction from the Roman church, and
these churches shall pay the legal taxes to the Roman see.

3. Concerning elections. The clergy shall elect a suitable person,
keeping his name secret until they have notified you. The name shall
then be reported to us, and we will give our consent to the election,
unless the person is one of our enemies or a traitor, or for some other
good reason is displeasing to us.

4. You shall confer upon us and upon our son Roger, and our heirs, the
kingdom of Sicily, the duchy of Apulia, and the principality of Capua,
with all the lands which belong to them as follows: Naples, Salerno, and
Amalfi, with their dependencies; Marsia and all that we hold beyond
Marsia; and all the other possessions which we now hold, or which have
been held by our predecessors. You promise, moreover, to aid us in good
faith to hold them against all men.

5. In consideration of these concessions, we have taken the oath of
fidelity to you and to your successors and to the Roman church, and the
oath of liege homage to you. Two copies of this oath have been made, one
of which has been signed and sealed by us and given into your keeping,
and the other sealed by you and given to us. We agree also to pay an
annual tribute of 600 "schifates" for Apulia and Calabria, and 500 from
Marsia.... You agree to grant all these things also to our heirs and
successors, on condition that they do homage to you and your successors,
and keep the promises which we have made to you....

100-102. The Besançon Episode, 1157.

100. Letter of Adrian IV To Frederick, September 20, 1157.

Ragewin, Gesta Friderici, III, ch. 9; M. G. SS. folio, XX; Doeberl, IV,
no. 35a.

Frederick I had been deeply offended by the treaty which Adrian IV made
with William of Sicily (no. 99), because it had been made without his
consent, and without in any way considering the claims which the emperor
laid to Sicily. In making the treaty of Constance (no. 97) Frederick had
undoubtedly been outwitted by the papal diplomacy. He had been led to
promise not to make peace with the Normans without the consent of the
pope. He apparently took it for granted that the pope was bound in the
same way not to make peace with the Normans without the imperial
consent, although it was not stipulated in the agreement. While
Frederick had promised certain definite things, the pope's promise was
couched in general terms. He had promised to "aid the king in
maintaining and increasing the honor of his realm as his office demands.
If anyone attacks the honor or the authority of the king, the pope will
warn him to make satisfaction," etc. The pope denied that William of
Sicily was "attacking the honor or authority of the king" because the
lands which William held did not belong to Frederick; they were the
property of the pope himself, and therefore he might make terms with
William without consulting Frederick. Frederick complained that the pope
had acted in bad faith in making peace with William, and that he had
broken the treaty of Constance. The pope, however, maintained that he
had in no way infringed the treaty, and that Frederick had no grounds
for complaint. This is the general background for the Besançon episode,
the chief features of which will be clear from the following documents.

Adrian, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his beloved son
Frederick, illustrious emperor of the Romans, greeting and apostolic
benediction. We wrote to you a few days ago recalling to your mind that
execrable crime which was recently committed in Germany and expressing
our grief that you had allowed it to go unpunished. For our venerable
brother, Eskil, archbishop of Lund, on his return from the apostolic
seat, was seized and made captive in your land by certain impious and
wicked persons, who even threatened him and his companions with drawn
swords and subjected them to dishonor and indignity.

Not only are these facts well known to you, but the report of them has
spread to the most distant regions. It was your duty to avenge this
wicked deed and to draw against its perpetrators the sword intrusted to
you by God for the punishing of evil-doers and the protection of good
men. But it is reported that you have palliated this offence and allowed
it to go unpunished, so that those who committed the sacrilege are
unrepentant and believe that they have done this with impunity. We are
entirely at a loss to understand this negligence of yours, for our
conscience does not accuse us of having offended you in any way. Indeed
we have always regarded you as our most beloved son and as a Christian
prince established by the grace of God upon the rock of the apostolic
confession. We have loved you with sincere affection and have always
treated you with the greatest kindness. You should remember, most
glorious son, how graciously your mother, the holy Roman church,
received you last year, how kindly she treated you, and how gladly she
conferred upon you the imperial crown, the highest mark of dignity and
honor; how she has always fostered you on her kindly bosom, and has
always striven to do only what would be pleasing and advantageous to
you. We do not regret having granted the desires of your heart; nay, we
would be glad to confer even greater benefits (_beneficia_) upon you, if
that were possible, because of the advantage and profit that you would
be able to confer upon the church of God and upon us. But the fact that
you have allowed this terrible deed, which is an offence against the
church and the empire, to go unpunished has made us fear that you have
been led by evil counsellors to imagine that you have some grievance
against your mother, the holy Roman church, and against us. In regard to
this matter and other important affairs, we have sent you these legates,
two of the best and dearest of those about us, namely, our beloved sons,
Bernard, cardinal priest of Santa Clara, and Roland, chancellor and
cardinal priest of San Marco, men conspicuous for their piety, wisdom,
and honesty. We beseech you to receive them honorably and kindly, to
treat them justly, and to give full credence to the proposals which they
make, as if we were speaking in person.

101. Manifesto of the Emperor, October, 1157.

Ragewin, Gesta Friderici, III, ch. 11; M. G. SS. folio, xx; Doeberl,
IV, no. 35 b.

God, from whom proceeds all authority in heaven and in earth, has
intrusted the kingdom and the empire to us, his anointed, and has
ordained that the peace of the church be preserved by the imperial arms.
Therefore it is with great sorrow that we are forced to complain to you
of the head of the church which Christ intended should reflect his
character of charity and love of peace. For the actions of the pope
threaten to produce such evils and dissensions as will corrupt the whole
church and destroy its unity, and bring about strife between the empire
and the papacy, unless God should intervene. These are the
circumstances: We held a diet at Besançon for the purpose of considering
certain matters which concerned the honor of the empire and the security
of the church. At that diet legates of the pope arrived, saying that
they came on a mission that would redound greatly to the honor and
advantage of the empire. We gave them an honorable reception on the
first day of their arrival, and on the second day, as is the custom, we
called together all the princes to listen to their message.... Then they
delivered their message in the form of a letter from the pope, of which
the general tenor was as follows: the pope had conferred the imperial
crown upon us and was willing to grant us even greater fiefs
(_beneficia_). This was the message of fraternal love which was to
further the union of the church and the empire, and bind them together
in the bonds of peace, and to inspire the hearts of its hearers with
love and fidelity for both rulers! Not only were we, as emperor,
incensed by this false and lying statement, but all the princes who were
present were so enraged that they would undoubtedly have condemned the
two priests to death off-hand had they not been restrained by our
presence. Moreover, we found in their possession many copies of that
letter, and blank forms sealed by the pope to be filled out at their
discretion, with which they were intending to spread this venom
throughout the churches of Germany, as is their custom from of old, and
to denude the altars, rob the houses of God, and despoil the crosses.
Therefore, in order to prevent their further progress, we compelled them
to return to Rome by the way they had come. We hold this kingdom and
empire through the election of the princes from God alone, who by the
passion of his Son placed this world under the rule of two swords;
moreover, the apostle Peter says: "Fear God, honor the king" [1 Pet.
2:17]. Therefore, whoever says that we hold the imperial crown as a
benefice from the pope resists the divine institution, contradicts the
teaching of Peter, and is a liar....

102. Letter of Adrian IV to the Emperor, February, 1158.

Ragewin, Gesta Friderici, III, chs. 22, 23; M. G. SS. folio, xx;
Doeberl, IV, no. 35 e.

Ever since we were called by the will of God to the government of the
universal church, we have tried to honor you in every way, in order that
your love and reverence for the apostolic seat might daily increase.
Therefore we were greatly astonished to learn that you were incensed at
us and that you had treated with such scant respect the legates ... whom
we had sent to you for the purpose of learning your wishes. We are
informed that you were enraged because we used the word _beneficium_, at
which surely the mind of so great a person as yourself should not have
been disturbed. For although with some that word has come to have a
meaning different from its original sense, yet it ought to be taken in
the sense in which we have used it and which it has had from the
beginning. For _beneficium_ comes from _bonum_ and _factum_, and we used
it to mean not a _feudum_ (fief), but a "good deed," in which sense it
is used throughout the holy Scriptures; as when we are said to be guided
and nourished by the _beneficium_ of God, which means not the "fief,"
but the kindness of God. You surely admit that in placing the imperial
crown upon your head we performed an act that would be regarded by all
men as a "good deed." Moreover, if you misunderstood the phrase "we
conferred the imperial crown upon you," and distorted it from its
ordinary meaning, it could only be because you wished to misunderstand
it or because you accepted the interpretation of persons who wished to
disturb the peace existing between the church and the empire. For we
meant by the words "we conferred" no more than "we placed," as we said
above. In ordering the recall of the ecclesiastics whom we sent to make
a visitation of the churches in Germany according to the right of the
Roman church, you must surely recognize that you acted unwisely, for if
you had any grievance you should have informed us, and we would have
undertaken to satisfy your honor. Now by the advice of our beloved son
Henry, duke of Bavaria and Saxony, we have sent you two legates, our
brothers Henry, cardinal priest of San Nereo and Sant Achilleo, and
Hyacinth, cardinal deacon of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, both wise and
honorable men, and we urge you to receive them honorably and kindly, and
to accept the message which they deliver as coming from the sincerity of
our heart; so agreeing with them through the mediation of our son the
duke, that no discord may remain between you and your holy mother, the
Roman church.

103. Definition of Regalia or Crown Rights, Given at the Diet Held on
the Roncalian Plain, 1158.

M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 111 f; Doeberl, IV, no. 37 a.

The rights of the crown were called "regalia." When Frederick I went
into Italy (1158) he found that the royal rights had been usurped by the
cities and nobles. At the diet which he held on the Roncalian plain he
consulted lawyers who had been trained in the law of Justinian, and
asked them what the imperial rights in Italy were. Their decision, which
is here given, was largely influenced by their study of the Roman law.
The account which Ragewin (IV, 7) gives of this diet is as follows:
"Frederick then examined into the matter of the royal jurisdiction and
the regalia, which for a long time had been lost to the empire because
they had been usurped and the kings had neglected to recover them. The
bishops, the nobles, and the cities, since they could find no excuse for
retaining these rights, resigned them to the emperor. Milan was the
first to surrender them. When the emperor asked what these rights were,
the decision was given that they were the right to appoint dukes,
marquises, counts, and consuls [in the cities]; to coin money; to levy
tolls; to collect the _fodrum_ [a tax in provisions for the support of
the emperor and his army when passing through the territory]; to collect
customs and harbor dues; to furnish safe-conducts; to control mills,
fish-ponds, bridges, and all the water-ways, and to demand an annual tax
not only from the land, but also from each person."

These are the regalian rights or rights of the crown: Arimanniæ,{72}
public roads, navigable rivers and those which unite to form navigable
rivers, harbors, and the banks of rivers; tolls, coinage, profits from
fines and penalties; ownerless and confiscated lands, and the property
of those who have contracted incestuous marriages or have been outlawed
for crimes mentioned in the Novellæ of Justinian; rights of conveyance
on direct routes and cross-roads{73} (angariæ and parangariæ), and the
prestation of ships;{74} the special taxes for the royal expedition; the
appointment of officials for the administration of justice; mines; royal
palaces in the customary cities; the profits of fisheries and
salt-works; the property of those who are guilty of offence against the
majesty of the emperor; half the treasure discovered in places belonging
to the emperor or dedicated to religious purposes, and all of it if the
finder was aided by the emperor.

{72} Arimanniæ: Taxes paid by those who held certain lands or estates
which had once been held by the _arimanni_, or free Lombards.

{73} When the emperor travelled he had the right to demand conveyances
of various kinds from the people of the territory through which he was
passing. Angariæ were conveyances for the "direct roads"; parangariæ,
conveyances for the "cross-roads." By "direct roads" are meant the chief
roads; in Italy, those which led directly to Rome, and along which the
emperor must pass when going to Rome. The "cross-roads" were the less
important roads, which ran at right angles to the direct roads.

{74} In the same way the emperor had the right to demand ships for the
transport of himself and his men.

104. Grounds for the Quarrel between Adrian IV and Frederick I. Letter
of Eberhard, Bishop of Bamberg, to Eberhard, Archbishop of Salzburg,

Ragewin, Gesta Frid., IV, c. 34; M. G. SS. folio, XX; Doeberl, IV, no.

Although the stirrup episode and the Besançon episode were ended without
a rupture between Frederick and Adrian, the fundamental question between
them was not yet settled. Frederick continued to act in accordance with
his ideas of what his office demanded, thus giving deep offence to the
pope. The various matters in which the pope felt that Frederick had
offended are set forth in this letter. They involve the deeper question
of supremacy. The relations between the pope and emperor were becoming
more and more strained. Although Frederick had previously refused to
consider the propositions of the commune of Rome, he now received their
ambassadors courteously. The people of the city wished to obtain his
recognition of their government. Since the pope was obdurate Frederick
threatened to make common cause with the rebellious city, hoping, no
doubt, that Adrian would thereby be compelled to sue to him for terms.

To his reverend father and lord, Eberhard, archbishop of Salzburg,
Eberhard, by the grace of God bishop of Bamberg.

... That perilous time seems near at hand when strife shall arise
between the king and the pope. The cardinals Octavianus and William,
former archdeacon of Pavia, were sent by pope Adrian to the emperor with
a message which began with a conciliatory introduction but which
contained most vexatious matter. For instance, they said: the emperor
must not send ambassadors to the city of Rome without the consent of the
pope, as all the magisterial power in Rome and all the regalian rights
there belong to St. Peter; the _fodrum_ must not be collected from the
papal estates except at the time of the imperial coronation; Italian
bishops should take only the oath of fidelity to the emperor and not the
oath of homage [see no. 214]; bishops shall not be required to entertain
the ambassadors of the emperor in their palaces; the following
possessions, belonging of right to the Roman church, must be restored:
Tivoli, Ferrara, Massa, Fiscaglia, all the lands of the countess
Matilda, all the land from Aquapendente to Rome, the duchy of Spoleto,
and the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. The emperor was willing to do
justice in these matters if the pope would give him justice in return
[that is, the emperor was willing to submit each matter to trial and
abide by the decision, if the pope would do the same], but the cardinals
were only empowered to receive justice and not to give it, for they said
that they could not bind the pope. The emperor on his part then made the
following complaints: that the treaty of Constance had not been kept by
the pope in the matter of his promise not to make peace with the Greeks,
the Sicilians, or the Roman people without the consent of both parties
[see no. 97]; that cardinals were sent through Germany without the
emperor's consent, and that they entered the palaces of bishops who
possessed regalian rights from the emperor; that the pope heard unjust
appeals; and many similar matters. The emperor agreed that the pope
should be notified of these demands by the aforesaid cardinals, but the
pope refused to send other cardinals empowered to treat of these things,
as the emperor had requested. In the meantime ambassadors came from the
Roman people to make a treaty of peace with the emperor, and were
favorably received and dismissed with honor. The emperor is about to
send ambassadors both to the pope and to the city of Rome; if possible,
he will make a treaty of peace with the pope, but if this fails, he will
ally himself with the Romans....

105-107. The Disputed Papal Election of 1159.

105. Letter of Alexander III about his Election, 1159.

M. G. SS. folio, XVIII, pp, 28 f; Doeberl, IV, no. 39 a.

When Adrian IV died, 1159, the quarrel between him and the emperor had
reached such a pitch of bitterness that he was about to excommunicate
Frederick. But there was a party in the college of cardinals which was
heartily supporting the emperor against the pope. The members of this
German party, as it was called, had opposed the treaty which Adrian had
made with William of Sicily (see no. 99) and had sympathized with
Frederick in the Besançon episode and in his later contentions with the
pope (see nos. 100-102). They believed that the pope was transcending
his powers, and usurping authority which belonged to the emperor alone.
But this German party, of which Octavian was the head, was hopelessly in
the minority. When the cardinals met to elect a successor to Adrian IV,
it was not able to secure the unanimous election of its candidate. Two
popes were elected, and a schism ensued which lasted for seventeen
years. Alexander III was very clever and succeeded in uniting all of
Frederick's enemies against him. Under the pope's leadership and by his
diplomacy, the Lombard league was formed. It completely defeated the
emperor at Legnano, 1176 (see nos. 108-109). We give first a letter of
Alexander III, which contains an account of his election. Then Victor's
letter follows (no. 106). And finally a brief account of the election by
Gerhoh of Reichersberg is given (no. 107).

Alexander, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his venerable
brothers, Syrus, archbishop of Genoa, and his suffragans, greeting and
apostolic benediction.

The eternal and unchangeable will of the Creator provided that his holy
and immaculate church from its very foundation should be ruled by one
pastor and governor, to whom all prelates should be obedient. As members
are united to one head, so they should be joined to him in perfect unity
and never separate themselves from him. And Christ, who confirmed the
faith of his disciples by saying: "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto
the end of the world" [Matt. 28:20], will without doubt keep his promise
to his church which he put under the control of his apostle [Peter]. And
although his church, like the little boat of St. Peter, may sometimes be
tossed about by the waves, he will preserve it in safety.

Three false brothers have gone out from us, but they were not of us,
and, transforming themselves into angels of light, although they are
servants of Satan, they are trying to rend and tear the church, the
seamless robe of Christ, which he, in the person of the Psalmist, prayed
might be delivered from the lion's mouth, and from the sword and from
the power of the dog [Ps. 22:20]. Nevertheless Christ, the founder and
head of the church, is carefully guarding her, his only spouse, and he
will not permit the little boat of St. Peter to suffer shipwreck,
although it may often be tossed about by the waves.

Our predecessor, Adrian IV, of blessed memory, died September 1, while
we were at Anagni, and his body was brought to Rome and honorably buried
in the customary manner in St. Peter's Church, on September 4. Nearly
all the cardinals were present, and after the burial they began to take
steps to elect his successor. After three days of discussion all the
cardinals except three elected us, although we are not sufficient for
this burden and not worthy of so high an office. The three who opposed
our election were Octavian, John of St. Martin's, and Guido of Crema.
God is our witness that we are telling the exact truth when we say that
all the others unanimously elected us, and the other clergy and the
people of Rome assented to it. But two, John and Guido, voted for
Octavian and stubbornly insisted on his election. The prior of the
cardinal deacons was putting the papal mantle on us in the customary
manner, although we were reluctant to receive it because we saw our
insufficiency for the high office. When Octavian saw this he was almost
beside himself with rage, and with his own hands snatched the mantle
from our neck and took it away. This caused a great tumultuous outbreak.
Some of the senators were present and saw it, and one of them, inspired
by the spirit of God, snatched the mantle from the hands of Octavian,
who was now raging. Then Octavian, with angry face and fierce eye,
turned to one of his chaplains who had come prepared for this, upbraided
him, and ordered him hastily to fetch him the mantle which he had
brought with him. The mantle was brought without delay, and while all
the cardinals were trying to get out of the room, Octavian removed his
hat, bowed his head, and received the mantle from his chaplain and
another clergyman. And because there was no one else there, he had to
assist them himself to put it on him. But the condemnation of God was
seen in the fact that he put the mantle on with the wrong side in front.
Those who were present saw it and laughed. And as he was of a crooked
mind and intention, so the mantle was put on crooked as an evidence of
his condemnation. When this was done, the doors of the church, which had
been closed, were opened and bands of armed men with drawn swords
entered and made a great noise. But they had been hired by Octavian to
do this. And because that pestilential Octavian had no cardinals and
bishops he surrounded himself with a band of armed knights....

106. Letter of Victor IV to the German Princes, 1159.

Ragewin, Gesta Frid., IV, ch. 60; M. G. SS. folio, XX; Doeberl, IV, no.
39 b.

See introductory note to no. 105.

Victor, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his venerable
brothers, the patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, and his dear sons, the
abbots, dukes, marquises, counts, and other princes, and the imperial
family who are connected with the most holy court of Frederick, the most
serene and unconquered emperor of the Romans, greeting and apostolic

We believe that you cannot have forgotten how sincerely we have loved
the empire and how we have labored in support of its honor and dignity.
And now that we have been elevated to a higher dignity we wish to do
even more for you and the empire. We therefore confidently beseech you,
for the reverence which you have for St. Peter and for your love to us,
to ask the emperor to take immediate steps to come to the aid and
protection of the empire, which God has committed to him, and of the
church of God, the bride of Christ, of which God has made him advocate
and defender. If he does not, there is danger that his malicious enemies
may prevail in this great struggle, and the little boat of St. Peter be
overwhelmed by winds and storms, and the imperial dignity be humiliated.

We wish to inform you that under the Lord's guidance we have been
elected pope. After our predecessor, Adrian IV, of blessed memory, had
gone the way of all flesh and been buried in the church of St. Peter, we
all came together to elect his successor. After long discussion and
mature deliberation, God graciously inspired our brothers, the cardinal
bishops, priests, and deacons of the holy Roman church, and the other
clergy of Rome, to elect us. The people of Rome asked for our election
and the senators and other nobles assented to it. We were canonically
elected and then elevated to the throne of St. Peter. And on the first
Sunday in October we were consecrated and received the full power of our

We humbly beseech you to aid us with your prayers to Him from whom come
all power and dignities. Now the former chancellor, Roland, who was
bound by oath in a conspiracy against the church of God and the empire
in support of William of Sicily, had himself thrust into the papal
office twelve days after we were elected. Such a thing had never been
heard of before. If he should send you letters, you should refuse to
receive them, because they are full of lies and he is a schismatic and a
heretic. Pay no attention whatever to his letters.

107. The Account of the Election as Given by Gerhoh of Reichersberg,
_ca_. 1160.

Doeberl, IV, no. 39 d.

See introductory note to no. 105.

When Adrian IV died, all the cardinal clergy of the holy Roman church
met to elect his successor. A secret ballot was taken and the result
announced. It was found that a majority of the cardinals had voted for
Roland, the chancellor of Adrian IV. A few had voted for Octavian, and
some also for _Magister_ Bernard. Since there could not be three popes,
the majority tried to persuade the minority to give up their candidates
and make the election of Roland unanimous. Those who had voted for
Bernard then deserted him and some of them joined the party of Roland.
The others said that they had no preference but would support either
Octavian or Roland, provided the election of either were unanimous, and
the church should not be divided on account of it. The number of
cardinals who supported Octavian, or were willing to support him if
elected, was seven. But a much larger number supported Roland. The
majority then tried hard to persuade these seven to unite in electing
Roland, and won over all but three of them. Two of these, John of Pisa,
and Guido of Crema, were very contentious and declared that they would
never desert Octavian. So they with the bishop of Tusculum made Octavian

108. The Preliminary Treaty of Anagni between Alexander III and
Frederick I, 1176.

Kehr, Vertrag von Anagni. in Neues Archiv, XIII, pp. 109 ff; Doeberl,
IV no. 46 a.

The quarrel between the pope and emperor increased in bitterness. At the
same time the Italian cities rebelled against Frederick and joined the
pope. The Lombard league was formed and at Legnano, 1176, the emperor
was utterly defeated. He then sent ambassadors to the pope at Anagni to
discuss the terms of a treaty of peace. They agreed on the following
articles which were afterward incorporated in the peace of Venice, 1177.
The final treaty was made in 1183 and is called the treaty of Constance
(see no. 109).

1. The emperor and the empress, and their son, king Henry, and all the
princes promise to accept pope Alexander III as the catholic and
universal pope, and to show him such reverence as their predecessors
were wont to show to his predecessors.

2. The emperor promises to keep peace faithfully with pope Alexander and
his successors and with the whole Roman church.

3. All the regalia and other possessions of St. Peter as held by the
Roman church in the time of pope Innocent II, which have been seized by
the emperor or his allies, shall be restored to pope Alexander and to
the Roman church, and the emperor engages to aid the church in retaining
possession of them.

4. The emperor restores to the pope and to the Roman church the control
of the office of prefect of the city of Rome; the pope shall see to it
that justice shall be done the emperor when he has occasion to seek his
rights in the city.

5. All vassals of the church won over by the emperor to his side during
the late quarrel, shall be released from their allegiance to him and
restored to the pope and to the Roman church.

6. The emperor will restore to the pope and to the church the lands of
the countess Matilda as they were held by the church in the time of the
emperor Lothar and king Conrad and the present emperor Frederick.

7. The pope and the emperor will mutually aid one another in maintaining
the honor and the rights of the empire and the church.

8. Everything unjustly taken from the churches by the emperor or his
followers during the schism shall be restored to them.

9. The emperor will make peace with the Lombards on the terms to be
agreed upon by representatives appointed for this purpose by the emperor
and the pope and the Lombards. In case any difficulty arises in the
course of these negotiations which the representatives cannot settle, it
shall be decided by the majority of the special commissioners to be
appointed for this purpose by the emperor and the pope in equal numbers.

10. The emperor will make peace with the king of Sicily and with the
emperor of Constantinople and with all the allies of the pope, and he
will not take revenge for any wrongs which they may have committed in
assisting the Roman church.

11-22. Articles referring to individuals and lesser details.

23. Pope Alexander and the cardinals on their part make peace with the
emperor and the empress and their son, king Henry, and all their party.
This, however, shall not prejudice those rights of controlling and
judging ecclesiastical persons which are herein surrendered to the pope
and to the Roman church, nor the rights of the Roman church over the
lands of St. Peter now withheld by other persons, nor the special
exceptions made in this document in favor of the pope and the Roman
church, on one side, and the emperor and the empire, on the other.

24. The pope and the cardinals will take their oath to keep this peace,
the oath to be drawn up in writing and signed by the cardinals.

25. The pope shall immediately call together as large a council as
possible, and with the cardinal bishops and other clergy who may be
present, shall excommunicate all who break this peace. Afterward he
shall do the same in a general council.

26. Many of the nobles of Rome and the great vassals of Campania shall
also take oath to keep this peace.

27. The emperor and the princes of the empire will also take their oaths
to keep this peace, the oath to be drawn up in writing and signed by the
emperor and the princes.

28. If the pope should die first, the emperor and his son, king Henry,
and the princes shall observe these terms of peace with his successors
and all the cardinals and the whole Roman church, and with the Lombards
and the king of Sicily and all the allies of the church. If the emperor
should die first, the pope and the cardinals and the Roman church shall
observe these terms with the empress Beatrice, and her son, king Henry,
and with all the German people and their allies, as written above.

29. In the meantime the emperor shall not attack the land of St. Peter,
whether held by the pope in person or by the king of Sicily or other
vassals of the pope.

30. If the negotiations for peace are broken off by either side before
they are completed, which God forbid, truce shall be kept for three
months after the notification of withdrawal.

109. The Peace of Constance, January 25, 1183.

Muratori, IV, pp. 307 ff; M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 175 ff; Doeberl, IV,
no. 51 c.

See introductory note to no. 108.

In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity. Frederick, by divine
mercy emperor of the Romans, Augustus, and Henry VI, his son, king of
the Romans, Augustus....

1. We, Frederick, emperor of the Romans, and our son Henry, king of the
Romans, hereby grant to you, the cities, territories, and persons of the
league, the regalia and other rights within and without the cities, as
you have been accustomed to hold them; that is each member of the league
shall have the same rights as the city of Verona has had in the past or
has now.

2. The members of the league shall exercise freely and without
interference from us all the rights which they have exercised of old.

3. These are the rights which are guaranteed to you: the _fodrum_,
forests, pastures, bridges, streams, mills, fortifications of the
cities, criminal and civil jurisdiction, and all other rights which
concern the welfare of the city.

4. The regalia which are not to be granted to the members of the league
shall be determined in the following manner: in the case of each city,
certain men shall be chosen for this purpose from both the bishopric and
the city; these men shall be of good repute, capable of deciding these
questions, and such as are not prejudiced against either party. Acting
with the bishop of the diocese, they shall swear to inquire into the
questions of the regalia and to set aside those that by right belong to
us. If, however, the cities do not wish to submit to this inquisition,
they shall pay to us an annual tribute of 2000 marks in silver as
compensation for our regalia. If this sum seems excessive, it may be

5. If anyone appeals to us in regard to matters which are by this treaty
admitted to be under your jurisdiction, we agree not to hear such an

6. The bishops, churches, cities, and other persons, clerical and lay,
shall retain possession of the property or rights which have been
granted to them before this war by us or by our predecessors, the above
concessions excepted. The accustomed dues for such holdings shall be
paid to us, but not the tax.

7. Such possessions as we have granted to members of the league, inside
or outside of cities, shall not be included among those regalia for
which taxes are to be paid to us.

8. All privileges, gifts, and concessions made in the time of the war by
us or our representatives to the prejudice or injury of the cities,
territories, or members of the league are to be null and void.

9. Consuls of cities where the bishop holds the position of count from
the king or emperor shall receive their office from the bishop, if this
has been the custom before. In all other cities the consuls shall
receive their office from us, in the following manner: after they have
been elected by the city they shall be invested with office by our
representative in the city or bishopric, unless we are ourselves in
Lombardy, in which case they shall be invested by us. At the end of
every five years each city shall send its representative to us to
receive the investiture.

10. This arrangement shall be observed by our successor, and all such
investitures shall be free.

11. After our death, the cities shall receive investiture in the same
way from our son and from his successors.

12. The emperor shall have the right of hearing appeals in cases
involving more than 25 pounds, saving the right of the church of Brescia
to hear appeals. The appellant shall not, however, be compelled to come
to Germany, but he shall appeal to the representative of the emperor in
the city or bishopric. This representative shall examine the case fairly
and shall give judgment according to the laws and customs of that city.
The decision shall be given within two months from the time of appeal,
unless the case has been deferred by reason of some legal hindrance or
by the consent of both parties.

13. The consuls of cities shall take the oath of allegiance to the
emperor before they are invested with office.

14. Our vassals shall receive investiture from us and shall take the
vassal's oath of fidelity. All other persons between the ages of 15 and
70 shall take the ordinary oath of fidelity to the emperor unless there
be some good reason why this oath should be remitted.

15. Vassals who have failed to receive investiture from us or to render
the services due for their fiefs, during the war or the truce, shall not
on this account lose their fiefs.

16. Lands held by _libelli_ and _precariæ_ shall be held according to
the customs of each city, the feudal law of Frederick I to the contrary

17. All injuries, losses, and damages which we or our followers have
sustained from the league or any of its members or allies are hereby
pardoned, and all such transgressors are hereby received back into our

18. We will not remain longer than is necessary in any city or

19. It shall be permitted to the cities to erect fortifications within
or without their boundaries.

20. It shall be permitted to the league to maintain its organization as
it now is or to renew it as often as it desires.

110. The Formation of the Duchy of Austria, 1156.

Wattenbach, Die ost. Freiheitsbriefe; Doeberl, IV, no. 31 a.

The nobles of Germany early showed the desire to free themselves from
the control of the emperor and to acquire independence at the expense of
the crown. The document by which Frederick I created the duchy of
Austria out of the Bavarian east mark and gave it to his uncle, Henry,
contains some concessions which tended to weaken the crown. Instead of
binding the new duke closely to the crown and compelling him to render
services commensurate with his high position, the emperor excused him
from attending diets which were not held near his lands, and from
military service except in the lands which adjoined his. He also gave
the duke the complete administration of justice in his territory. Other
princes were not slow to demand similar privileges, and the crown was
gradually stripped of its powers and prerogatives. See nos. 136, 139,
153, 160. The duchy of Austria, created by this grant, came into the
possession of the Hapsburg family, and formed the centre of the Hapsburg
lands, the present Austro-Hungarian empire. See no. 150.

In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity. Frederick, by divine
mercy emperor of the Romans, Augustus. ... Know all our faithful
subjects, present and future, that with the aid of him who sent peace on
earth, we have been able to settle the long quarrel between our beloved
uncle Henry, duke of Austria, and our beloved nephew, Henry, duke of
Saxony, over the possession of the duchy of Bavaria. This was
accomplished at the diet of Regensburg on the day of the Nativity of the
blessed Virgin Mary in the presence of many pious catholic princes. This
is the way in which the settlement was reached: The duke of Austria
resigned the duchy of Bavaria into our hands, and we immediately granted
it in fief to the duke of Saxony. Then the duke of Bavaria [Henry of
Saxony] surrendered to us the mark of Austria with all its rights and
all the fiefs which the former margrave Luitpold held of the duchy of
Bavaria, and we have made the mark of Austria a duchy with the consent
of the princes, Wadislaus, duke of Bohemia, putting the motion and the
other princes agreeing to it. This was done in order that our beloved
uncle should not lose in rank by the transfer. We have now granted the
duchy of Austria in fief to our uncle Henry and to his wife Theodora,
decreeing by this perpetual edict that (1) they and their children after
them, whether sons or daughters, shall hold and possess it by hereditary
right. If our uncle and his wife should die without children, they may
leave the duchy by will to whomsoever they desire. (2) We decree also
that no person, great or small, shall presume to exercise any of the
rights of justice within the duchy, without the consent and permission
of the duke. (3) The duke of Austria does not owe any services to the
empire, except to attend, when summoned, such diets as may be held in
Bavaria. (4) He is not bound to join the emperor on any campaign except
such as may be directed against parts of the kingdom neighboring to

111. The Bishop of Würzburg is made a Duke, 1168.

Bresslau, Diplomata Centum, no. 72; Doeberl, IV, no. 44.

The old duchy of Franconia disappeared with Conrad II (1024-39). The
Staufer, who inherited the family lands of Conrad II, called themselves
dukes of Rothenburg, and not of Franconia. A large part of the original
duchy went to make up the bishoprics of Mainz, Bamberg, and Würzburg. In
time the bishops of Würzburg put forth the claim that they had received
the ducal office in Franconia. In a diet at Würzburg, 1168, Herold, the
ambitious bishop of Würzburg, presented some forged documents to
Frederick I to prove that the bishops of Würzburg were also dukes and
had ducal authority in the duchy of Würzburg, which was identical with
the bishopric. Frederick was deceived by these forgeries and confirmed
the bishop in his usurped title and authority. The bishops of Würzburg
now received the highest jurisdiction over their territory.

In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity. Frederick, by the mercy
of God emperor of the Romans, Augustus.... Be it known to all the
faithful subjects of God and of our empire, both present and future,
that we held a diet at Würzburg recently, where with the aid of God we
were able to reconcile the differences which had arisen among the
princes of Saxony. At that diet also Herold, venerable bishop of
Würzburg, attended by his whole chapter and by a large following of
freemen and ministerials, besought us to confirm by our imperial
authority the jurisdiction over the church and duchy of Würzburg, which
has belonged to his predecessors since the time of Karl the Great. We
always delight to grant the reasonable requests of suppliants, and we
have no wish to disturb the arrangements made by former emperors, unless
there is some need of correction. In this case it is apparent that the
settlement made by the former emperors is just, and that the lands have
been held unquestioned for a long time by the church and the duchy of
Würzburg. Therefore, influenced by the fidelity and devotion of the
bishop and by the intercessions of the chapter of his church, whose
devotion to him has touched our heart, we give and grant to the
venerable bishop Herold and to his successors forever the jurisdiction
and right of administering justice in the whole bishopric and duchy and
all its counties; that is, the right to punish cases of rapine and
incendiarism, to exercise authority over freeholds, fiefs, and vassals,
and to inflict capital punishment. By our imperial authority expressed
in this perpetual decree, we forbid any person, ecclesiastical or
secular, to exercise any jurisdiction in these matters within the
bishopric and duchy of Würzburg and its counties; except that the counts
should have jurisdiction within their counties over those freemen who
are known as _bargaldi_. If anyone acts contrary to this he is guilty of
violating the decrees of former emperors, the rights of the church of
Würzburg, and this our decree. We also forbid anyone to create
hundred-courts or appoint _centgrafs_ (hundred-courts) within this
bishopric and duchy and its counties, except by the grant of the
bishop-duke of Würzburg. Further, we have destroyed the castle of
Bamberg, which has been the cause of so much trouble to the church and
the whole province, and have given the hill upon which it stood to the
church of Würzburg, forbidding the erection of a castle or fortification
again upon it. We have destroyed also the castle of Frankenberg, which
menaced the neighboring monastery of Amerbach and imperilled the peace
of the church of Würzburg, and have given it under similar conditions to
that church.

112. Decree of Gelnhausen, 1180.

Heinemann, Cod. Anhalt., no. 1 c; Doeberl, IV. no. 5O.

As early as 953 Bruno, archbishop of Cologne, received the ducal
authority over Lothringen. This gave him the power to hold local diets
and to summon both the bishops and secular nobles to attend them. The
Gelnhausen decree, so named because it was published in a diet held at
Gelnhausen, is important because it contains an official account (1) of
the trial of Henry the Lion, and (2) of the partition of the duchy of
Saxony. The archbishop of Cologne now receives the ducal authority over
a part of the duchy of Saxony. There is here a good illustration of the
policy which Frederick I followed of weakening the great duchies by
dividing them.

In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity. Frederick, by divine
mercy emperor of the Romans, Augustus....

Know all faithful subjects of the empire, both present and future, that
Henry, former duke of Bavaria and Westphalia, has oppressed the churches
of God and the nobles of the empire by seizing their lands and violating
their rights, has refused to obey our summons to present himself before
us and has therefore incurred the ban, and even after that has continued
to injure the churches and nobles. Now therefore on account of the
injuries which he has inflicted upon these persons, and on account of
the contempt which he has so often shown to us, and especially on
account of his violation of feudal law, in that he refused to obey the
three summonses to present himself before us, he has been judged
contumacious and by the unanimous sentence of the princes in the diet
held at Würzburg has been deprived of the duchies of Bavaria,
Westphalia, and Engria [that is, Bavaria and Saxony] and of all the
fiefs which he held of the empire, and these territories have been
restored to our control.

Now by the advice of the princes we have divided the duchy of Westphalia
and Engria [Saxony] into two parts and have conferred that part which is
included in the dioceses of Cologne and Paderborn upon our beloved
prince, Philip, archbishop of Cologne, because of his conspicuous
merits, and of his labors and expenditures for the crown. We have given
and granted this territory to the church of Cologne with the counties,
advocates, rights of safe-conduct, domains, farms, fiefs, ministerials,
serfs, and all other things which belong to that duchy; and we have
solemnly invested the aforesaid Philip by the banner [flag] of the
empire with that portion of the duchy which is given to his church. This
was done by the decision of all the princes of the diet, and with the
public consent of our relative, duke Bernard, to whom we have given the
other part of the duchy of Westphalia and Engria....

113. Papal Election Decree of Alexander III, 1179.

Watterich, Pont. Rom. Vitæ, II, pp. 644 f; Doeberl, IV, no. 49.

Disputed elections might easily take place, because there was no clear
law governing them. It was not the majority of the cardinals who could
elect, but those of the "better and wiser counsel." No matter how small
the number of cardinals who might vote for a particular candidate, he
could easily claim to be elected because he could say that his
supporters were of the "better and wiser counsel." To prevent such
occurrences, Alexander III decreed that the votes of two-thirds of the
cardinals were necessary to elect.

Concerning the election of the pope. Although our predecessors have
issued decrees intended to prevent disputed elections in the papacy,
nevertheless, the unity of the church has frequently been imperilled by
the wicked ambition of men. We have decided with the advice of our
brothers and the approval of the council that something further must be
done to prevent this evil. Therefore we have decreed that when the
cardinals cannot come to a unanimous vote on any candidate, that person
shall be regarded as pope who receives two-thirds of the votes, even if
the other one-third refuse to accept him and elect a pope of their own.
If anyone who has been elected by only a third of the cardinals shall
presume to act as pope he and his followers shall be excommunicated and
deprived of all ecclesiastical rank; they shall not be allowed to take
communion, unless it be extreme unction, and unless they repent they
shall have their part with Dathan and Abiram [Num. 16], whom the earth
swallowed alive. No one who has been elected by less than two-thirds,
shall presume to act as pope, and if he does he shall suffer the same
penalty. This decree shall not be to the prejudice of the canon law or
of the practice in other churches where the voice of the majority is
declared to be decisive in elections, because any dispute arising in
these churches can be settled by appeal to higher authority. The Roman
church requires a special law, because there is in her case no higher
authority to appeal to.

114-115. Supremacy of the Papal Power.

114. Innocent III to Acerbius, 1198.

Migne, 214, col. 377.

Innocent III here gives an interesting statement of the theory of papal
supremacy and of the relations existing between papacy and empire.

Innocent III to Acerbius, prior, and to the other clergy in Tuscany. As
God, the creator of the universe, set two great lights in the firmament
of heaven, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to
rule the night [Gen. 1:15,16], so He set two great dignities in the
firmament of the universal church, ... the greater to rule the day, that
is, souls, and the lesser to rule the night, that is, bodies. These
dignities are the papal authority and the royal power. And just as the
moon gets her light from the sun, and is inferior to the sun in quality,
quantity, position, and effect, so the royal power gets the splendor of
its dignity from the papal authority....

115. The Use of the Pallium. Innocent III to the Archbishop of Trnova
(in Bulgaria), 1201.

Migne, 215, col. 294.

To the honor of omnipotent God, and of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of
the blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, and of pope Innocent and of the
Roman church, as well as of the church committed to you, we give you the
pallium. It was first placed on the tomb of St. Peter, from which place
we have taken it to send it to you. It is the symbol of the full power
of the bishop's office. You shall wear the pallium only when you
celebrate mass in the churches of your own diocese on the following
days: Christmas, St. Stephen's, Circumcision, Epiphany, Purification of
the Virgin Mary, Palm Sunday, Thursday and Saturday of Passion week,
Easter Sunday, Monday after Easter, Ascension of our Lord, Pentecost,
the three feasts of St. Mary, the birthday of John the Baptist, the
feast days of all the apostles, All Saints' day, and when a church is to
be dedicated, or bishop consecrated, or clergy ordained, on the
principal feast days of your own church, and on the anniversary of your

The bishop of Rome alone always wears the pallium when celebrating mass
because he has the plentitude (fullness) of ecclesiastical power, which
is symbolized by the pallium. Others wear it only on certain days, and
in that diocese over which they have received ecclesiastical authority,
because they are called to have authority over only a part of the
church, and not over all of it [as the pope is].

116-118. The Punishment of Heretics.

116. Innocent III to the Archbishop of Auch in Gascony, 1198.

Migne, 214, col. 71.

Many heresies were appearing in various parts of Europe, and Innocent
III made special efforts to suppress them. The three following documents
illustrate the means by which he hoped to destroy them. These letters
are directed to Spain and to Gascony, where the Albigensian heresy was

The little boat of St. Peter is beaten by many storms and tossed about
upon the sea, but it grieves us most of all that, against the orthodox
faith, there are now arising more unrestrainedly and with more injurious
results than ever before, ministers of diabolical error who are
ensnaring the souls of the simple and ruining them. With their
superstitions and false inventions they are perverting the meaning of
the Holy Scriptures and trying to destroy the unity of the catholic
church. Since we have learned from you and others that this pestilential
error is growing in Gascony and in the neighboring territories, we wish
you and your fellow bishops to resist it with all your might, because it
is to be feared that it will spread and that by its contagion the minds
of the faithful will be corrupted. And therefore by this present
apostolical writing we give you a strict command that, by whatever means
you can, you destroy all these heresies and expel from your diocese all
who are polluted with them. You shall exercise the rigor of the
ecclesiastical power against them and all those who have made themselves
suspected by associating with them. They may not appeal from your
judgments, and if necessary, you may cause the princes and people to
suppress them with the sword.

117. Innocent III Commands all in Authority to aid his Legates in
Destroying Heresy, 1198.

Migne, 214, col. 142.

See introductory note to no. 116.

In order to catch the little foxes which are destroying the vineyard of
the Lord [Song of Sol. 2:15], and to separate heretics from the society
of the faithful, we have sent to you our beloved son and brother,
Rainerius, who, by the divine aid, is powerful in both word and deed,
and with him our beloved son and brother, Guido, who fears God and is
devoted to works of love. We ask, warn, exhort, and for the forgiveness
of your sins command you to receive them kindly and render them
assistance against the heretics by giving them advice and aid. We have
ordered Rainerius to go on into Spain on certain important
ecclesiastical matters, and so we order all archbishops and bishops to
use, at the command of Guido, the spiritual sword against all heretics
whom he shall name to you. And we order the laymen to confiscate their
goods and drive them out of your territories, and thus separate the
chaff from the wheat. Moreover to all who faithfully and devoutly aid
the church in preserving the faith in this time of great danger which is
threatening her, we grant the same indulgence of sins as to those who
make a pilgrimage to the churches of St. Peter or of St. James.

118. Confiscation of the Property of Heretics. Innocent III to the King
of Aragon, 1206.

Migne, 215, col. 915 f.

See introductory note to no. 116.

Since according to the gospel, the "laborer is worthy of his hire" [Luke
10:7], and in another place it is said, "Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth
of the ox that treadeth out the corn" [1 Cor. 9:1], it is certainly even
more fitting that a proper reward should be given those who, zealous for
the divine law, labor to destroy the little foxes which are ruining the
vineyard of the Lord [Song of Sol. 2:15]; we mean those who are
endeavoring to pervert the Christian faith. Their reward should be all
the greater, because if these foxes are killed the vineyard will be able
to bear much greater fruit in works of piety. Led by such
considerations, we concede to you, by this present writing, the right to
reserve for your own use all the movable as well as immovable goods of
heretics and of their supporters, of which you are able to get

119. Innocent III Commands the French Bishops to Punish Usury, 1198.

Migne, 214, col. 376.

The code of Justinian permitted the taking of interest, but the Biblical
view of the matter prevailed and in the Middle Age to accept interest in
any form on loans was usury. The church often renewed her prohibitions
of the custom, but was unable to abolish it. Finally in the sixteenth
century the distinction was made between a reasonable and just rate of
interest, which was permissible, and an excessive rate, which was
declared to be usury, and therefore prohibited.

We believe that you know how pernicious the vice of usury is, since, in
addition to the ecclesiastical laws which have been issued against it,
the prophet says that those who put their money out at interest are to
be excluded from the tabernacle of the Lord [Ps. 15:5]. And the New
Testament, as well as the Old, forbids the taking of interest, since the
Truth [Christ] himself says: "Lend, hoping for nothing again" [Luke
6:35]. And the prophet says: "Thou shalt not receive usury or increase"
[Ezek. 18:17]. We command you all by this apostolical writing not to
permit those who are known as usurers to clear themselves by any
subterfuge or trick when they are charged with the crime.

120. Innocent III Forbids Violence to the Jews, 1199.

Migne, 214, col. 864.

During the Middle Age the Jew received no protection from the law. It
took no account of him. He was compelled to pay for the permission to
live in a Christian state or in a Christian town. Such a permission was
often revoked at the will of the government (emperor, duke, bishop, city
council, etc.), and the Jews were then plundered by the government or
the mob, and made to pay well to have the permission renewed. Although
the government often robbed them, they had more to fear from the
fanaticism and covetousness of the mob, against which the government was
generally helpless to protect them. The more enlightened of the clergy
tried to shield them, but generally without success. This document gives
an idea of the ways in which they were commonly molested, as well as of
the enlightened humanity of Innocent III. See also nos. 299, 300.

... We decree that no Christian shall use violence to compel the Jews to
accept baptism. But if a Jew, of his own accord, because of a change in
his faith, shall have taken refuge with Christians, after his wish has
been made known, he may be made a Christian without any opposition. For
anyone who has not of his own will sought Christian baptism cannot have
the true Christian faith. No Christian shall do the Jews any personal
injury, except in executing the judgments of a judge, or deprive them of
their possessions, or change the rights and privileges which they have
been accustomed to have. During the celebration of their festivals, no
one shall disturb them by beating them with clubs or by throwing stones
at them. No one shall compel them to render any services except those
which they have been accustomed to render. And to prevent the baseness
and avarice of wicked men we forbid anyone to deface or damage their
cemeteries or to extort money from them by threatening to exhume the
bodies of their dead....

121. Innocent III to the Archbishop of Rouen, 1198.

Migne, 214, col. 93.

It was not uncommon for clergymen to hold livings or benefices (receive
an income) from different churches at the same time. In such cases, they
of course found it impossible to live in all the parishes from which
they received money or support. And some clergymen, although supported
by some church, cared little for their clerical duties and evaded them
by living in some other parish. This letter to the archbishop of Rouen
represents a part of the reforming work of Innocent III. He endeavored
to correct these abuses, as is apparent from this letter.

Since it is written that whoever does not work shall not eat [2 Thess.
3:10], we believe it wrong that clergymen do not serve those churches
from which they have their livings. You have informed us that certain
canons of the church of Rouen receive incomes and livings from the
church, but do not live there, as they should, and that the church of
Rouen is thereby unjustly deprived of the services of the clergy whom
she supports. Therefore we grant your petition, venerable brother in
Christ, and by our apostolic authority give you full power to use
ecclesiastical discipline to compel them to live in their churches, as
the law and custom of the church require.....

122. Innocent III to a Bishop, Forbidding Laymen to Demand Tithes of the
Clergy, 1198.

Migne, 214, col. 433 f.

This letter does not differ materially from the bull "Clericis laicos,"
no. 162. See the introductory note to it.

Since it is improper and contrary to reason that laymen, who are bound
to pay tithes to the clergy, should presume to extort tithes from them,
to the utter confusion of the established order of things, we grant your
petition, and give all the monasteries, churches, and clergy of your
diocese the permission to refuse to pay any tithes which may be demanded
of them by laymen, no matter under what pretext such a demand may be
made. And if laymen, contrary to this writing, shall attempt to collect
such tithes by violence, you shall put them under ecclesiastical
interdict and deprive them of the right to appeal.

123-125. The Secular Power of Innocent III.

123. The Prefect of Rome Takes the Oath of Fidelity to the Pope, 1198.

Migne, 214, cols. 18 and 529.

Innocent III attempted to build up a system of papal government in all
the lands which he claimed. This document shows how his authority in
Rome was recognized. No. 124 is an illustration of the oath which he
required of the local princes in Italy who held lands from him. No. 125
is offered as an evidence of his government in Sicily.

The next day after the coronation of Innocent III, Peter, prefect of the
city of Rome, in the consistory of the Lateran palace, publicly took the
oath of fidelity to Innocent and his successors, against all men, and
received from the pope a robe as the symbol of his investiture, with the
prefecture. And then he did Innocent liege homage and the pope gave him
a silver cup as the sign of his favor.

The oath. In the name of Christ. I, Peter, prefect of the city, swear
that the land which the pope has given me to govern, I will govern to
the honor and profit of the church. I will neither sell, nor hire out,
nor enfeoff, nor pawn, nor alienate in any other way, any part of it. I
will carefully find out and maintain all the rights of the Roman church,
and I will endeavor to recover those rights which she has lost; and when
I have recovered them, I will preserve and defend them as long as I
shall hold this office. I will guard the roads and administer justice. I
will give diligent zeal and attention to the guarding of the defences in
order that they may be guarded well and to the honor of the church and
in accordance with her wishes. I will neither change nor cause to be
changed those who have charge of the fortresses, nor will I introduce,
or cause to be introduced, others into the fortresses, contrary to the
command of the pope. The faithful subjects and vassals of the pope, who
live on the patrimony of the church, I will not permit to take the oath
of fidelity and homage to me without the special command of the pope.
Nor shall any of them be required to be faithful to me except during my
governorship. In the territory committed to me I will not cause any
strongholds to be built without the command of the pope. I will give a
faithful account of my governorship whenever the pope may demand it. And
I will freely resign my office whenever the pope or the holy Roman
church may command me to do so. All these things I swear that I will
faithfully observe without fraud, to the best of my ability, the command
of the pope being supreme in all things. So help me God and these holy
gospels of God.

124. John of Ceccano's Oath of Fidelity to Innocent III, 1201.

Migne, 217, col. 286.

See introductory note to no. 123.

In the fourth year of the pontificate of Innocent III, in the papal
palace at Anagni, a nobleman, John of Ceccano, took an oath of fidelity
to pope Innocent for Ceccano and for all the land which he holds. The
oath was taken in the presence of cardinal bishops, priests, and
deacons; there were present also many other clergy and nobles of Anagni
and of other places, as well as the knights of John of Ceccano. And he
admitted that he held Ceccano and all the rest of his land from the
Roman church. And this was his oath:

I, John of Ceccano, swear that from this hour on I will be faithful to
St. Peter, the Roman church, and my lord pope Innocent and his
successors. I will have no share in any counsel or deed, either by word
or act, to deprive them of life or limb or to capture them by fraud. Any
plan which they may reveal to me either in person or by messenger or by
letter I will not wittingly make known to their hurt. If I learn of an
impending injury to them I will prevent it if possible; if I cannot
prevent it I will inform them of it either in person or by letter or by
messenger, or I will tell it to some person who, I believe, will tell
them of it. I will aid them in defending Ceccano and all the land which
I hold, and the other regalia of St. Peter which they hold. If they have
lost any regalia, I will aid them in recovering, keeping, and defending
it against all men. These things I will keep in good faith, without
fraud or deceit. So help me God and these holy gospels.

After these things he put his hands into the hands of the pope and did
him liege homage. And the pope graciously gave him a silver cup overlaid
with gold. And afterward, in the same year, the same pope, because of
his faithfulness and services of John of Ceccano and his ancestors, gave
him the castle of Sitense as a fief.

125. Innocent III Commands the Archbishop of Messina to Receive the
Oaths of Bailiffs in Sicily, 1203.

Migne, 215, col. 55.

See introductory note to no. 123. This document is an evidence that the
government of Sicily was administered by the pope. According to the
Constitutions of Sicily, 1231, the bailiffs had jurisdiction over
thefts, the use of false weights and measures, and the less important
civil cases.

Knowing your orthodoxy and your faithfulness we do not hesitate to
commit to your charge those things which will advance the honor of
the apostolic see. Accordingly, by this apostolic writing, we command
you to demand and receive, in our name, the bailiff's oath from all
counts, barons, citizens, and others who have not yet taken it.

126. Innocent III Commands the English Barons to pay their Accustomed
Scutage to King John, 1206.

Migne, 217, col. 248.

Innocent III presumed to dictate to the whole Christian world in all
matters, temporal as well as spiritual. The following documents, nos.
126-129, are offered merely to illustrate by a few specific cases the
authority which he assumed. They explain themselves.

Innocent .... to his beloved sons, the great nobles, barons, and knights
in England, greeting and apostolic benediction. Our most dear son, John,
the illustrious king of England, has informed us that, although your
ancestors were accustomed from ancient times to pay the king scutage for
the baronies which they held from him, and although you yourselves have
paid this scutage up to very recent times, you have now arbitrarily
refused to pay scutage for the army which he led last year into Poitou.
In order that your king's plans may not be interfered with by such
action, we earnestly admonish and exhort you, and by this letter we
command you to pay promptly and without further resistance or objection
the said scutage in accordance with your obligation. For without
judicial procedure he cannot be despoiled of this scutage because his
ancestors and he have been accustomed to receive it, and besides,
provided his right to it is admitted, he is ready to hear any just
complaints that may be made to him about it.

127. Innocent III to Peter of Aragon, 1211.

Migne, 216, col. 404 f.

See introductory note to no. 126.

Since you say that while you were still a minor you did yourself great
damage by making grants which now involve a large part of your income,
and that, although you are very poor, you incur heavy expenses in
fighting the enemies of Christianity [that is, the Mohammedans in
Spain], I hereby give you the authority to revoke all the grants you
made during your minority; but with this proviso, that if you wish to
revoke any grants which you made to churches or to other places which
are put to a religious use, such revocations shall be passed on by an
ecclesiastical judge.

128. Innocent III Grants the Title of King to the Duke of Bohemia, 1204.

Migne, 215, col. 333 f.

See introductory note to no. 126 and to no. 56.

Although there have been many in Bohemia who have worn a royal crown,
yet they never received the papal permission to call themselves king in
their documents. Nor have we hitherto been willing to call you king,
because you were crowned king by Philip, duke of Suabia, who himself had
not been legally crowned, and therefore could not legally crown either
you or anyone else. But since you have obeyed us, and, deserting the
duke of Suabia, have gone over to the illustrious king, Otto, emperor
elect, and he regards you as king, we, at his request and out of
consideration of your obedience, are willing hereafter to call you king.
Now that you know why this favor has been granted you, strive to shun
the vice of ingratitude. And show that you have deserved our favor which
we have so graciously shown you, and try also to retain it. See to it
that you are solemnly crowned by Otto as soon as possible.

129. Innocent III Rebukes the English Barons for Resisting King John of
England, 1216.

Migne, 217, col. 245 f.

See introductory note to no. 126.

Innocent, etc., to his beloved sons, the magnates and barons of England,
greeting and apostolic benediction.

We are gravely troubled to learn that a quarrel has arisen between our
most beloved son, John, king of England, and some of you, about certain
questions that have recently been raised. Unless wise counsel prevails
and diligent measures are taken to end this quarrel, it will cause
injury. It is currently reported that you have rashly made conspiracies
and confederacies against him, and that you have insolently,
rebelliously, presumptuously, and with arms in your hands, said things
to him, which, if they had to be said, should have been said humbly and
submissively. We utterly condemn your conduct in these matters. You must
no longer try, by such means, to hinder the king in his good plans. By
our apostolic authority we hereby dissolve all conspiracies and
confederacies that have been made since the quarrel between the crown
and the church began, and forbid them under threat of excommunication.
We order you to endeavor by clear proofs of humility and devotion to
placate your king and to win his favor by rendering him those customary
services which you and your ancestors have paid him and his
predecessors. And in the future, if you wish to make a request of him,
you shall do it, not insolently, but humbly and reverently, without
offending his royal honor; and thus you will more readily obtain what
you wish. We ask and beseech the king in the Lord and command him, in
order to obtain forgiveness of his sins, to treat you leniently, and
graciously to grant your just petitions. And thus you yourselves may
rejoice to know that he has changed for the better, and on this account
you and your heirs may serve him and his successors more promptly and
devotedly. We ask, and, by this apostolic writing, command you to bear
yourselves in such a way that England may obtain the peace she so
earnestly longs for, and that you may deserve our aid and support in
your times of trouble.

130. Decision of Innocent III in Regard to the Disputed Election of
Frederick II, Philip of Suabia, and Otto of Brunswick, 1201.

Reg. d. Innoc. III. p. super neg. Rom. imp., no. 29;
Huillard-Bréholles, I, 70-76; Böhmer-Ficker-Winkelmann, no. 5724 a;
Doeberl, V, no. 8.

At the death of Henry VI, 1197, his brother, Philip of Suabia, tried to
persuade the princes to elect the infant son of Henry, Frederick, as
king. While some were in favor of this, others refused on the ground
that it would be ruinous to elect a child king. They offered the crown
to Philip, but he refused it because he was unwilling to appear to be
false to his little nephew. In spite of Philip's persistent refusal a
party of the princes elected him. The Guelf party elected Otto, son of
Henry the Lion. Under these circumstances Innocent III declared that it
was his right as pope to decide the disputed election. His reasons for
deciding in favor of Otto are given in the following document.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

It is the business of the pope to look after the interests of the Roman
empire, since the empire derives its origin and its final authority from
the papacy; its origin, because it was originally transferred from
Greece by and for the sake of the papacy, the popes making the transfer
in order that the church might be better protected; its final authority,
because the emperor is raised to his position by the pope who blesses
him, crowns him, and invests him with the empire. Henry [VI] recognized
this truth in respect to our predecessor, pope Celestine of blessed
memory, for although for a little while after he had received the crown
from the pope, he refused to admit this, later he came to his senses and
besought the pope to invest him with the golden mantle of the empire.
Therefore, since three persons have lately been elected king by
different parties, namely, the youth [Frederick II], Philip, and Otto,
so also three things must be taken into account in regard to each one,
namely: the legality, the suitability, and the expediency of his

In respect to the youth, the son of emperor Henry, at first glance it
does not seem lawful to oppose his election, because it was supported by
the oaths which his father received from the princes before his death.
For although that oath may have been extorted from them by force,
nevertheless it is not thereby rendered void; in the case of the oath
which the children of Israel swore to Gibeon, they decided that,
although it had been secured by fraud, it ought still to be kept.
Moreover, if the oath of the princes was originally extorted from them,
the emperor later recognized his sin, and released them from their oath,
sending back the letters in which they promised to elect his son; then
the princes, in the emperor's absence, of their own accord elected his
son, and almost all of them promised him fidelity and some did him
homage. Therefore it does not appear that they may lawfully break that
oath. It does not seem proper for us to deprive him of his kingdom,
because he has been intrusted to our guardianship and protection, and
moreover it is written: "Defend the fatherless" [Ps. 82:3]. It does not
seem expedient to oppose him, because, when the youth shall arrive at
years of discretion and shall learn that he was deprived of his kingdom
by the pope, not only will he not show us reverence, but even as far as
he is able he will attack the church, and withhold from her the
allegiance and dues which she should receive from the kingdom of Sicily.
On the other hand, there are good reasons why it should be lawful,
fitting, and expedient to oppose his election. It is lawful because the
oaths of the princes were illegal, and the election was unwise. For they
elected as emperor a person unsuited not only to that, but to any other
office, for he was then scarcely two years old and was not yet baptized.
It appears then that such illegal and unwise oaths should not be kept.
The case of the oath sworn to Gibeon does not apply, for that oath could
be kept without working injury to the people of Israel, while the
observance of these oaths will not only injure one race, but will cause
great loss and damage to the church and the whole Christian people. Nor
can it be said that these oaths are legal if interpreted according to
the intention of the princes who swore them. They meant that if they
elected him emperor, he was not to rule immediately, but later when he
came of age. But how then could they judge of his fitness to rule? Might
he not turn out to be so foolish and simple as to be utterly unworthy
even less honor? Suppose that they meant he should rule only when he was
fitted to, and that in the meantime his father should govern the state.
But later an event occurred which the princes had not thought of, and
which made it neither right nor possible for the princes to keep their
oaths; that is, the sudden death of the father. Now since the empire
cannot be governed by a deputy, and an emperor cannot be elected for a
temporary term, and since the church neither wishes nor is able to do
without an emperor, it is lawful to elect some one else. It is not
fitting that he should rule. For how can he rule who is himself under
the rule of others? How can he protect the Christian people who is
himself under the tutelage of others? It is no sufficient answer to this
to say that it was to our guardianship that he was intrusted, because
this was done not that we might give him the empire, but that we might
hold the kingdom of Sicily for him. The Scripture says: "Woe to thee, oh
land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning"
[Eccles. 10:16]. It is not expedient that he should become emperor,
because thereby the kingdom of Sicily would be united with the empire to
the danger of the church; for, to say nothing of other dangers, he
would, like his father before him, be unwilling to prejudice the dignity
of the empire by taking the oaths of fidelity and homage to the pope for
the kingdom of Sicily. And it is no answer to this to say that he would
later oppose the church if we deprived him of the empire, for it is not
we who are depriving him of his empire, but his uncle [Philip] who has
attempted to seize not only the empire, but his maternal possessions as
well, while we have been defending them for him at great expense and
with great labor.

As to Philip, it does not seem lawful to oppose his election. In
deciding the legality of elections, account has to be taken of the zeal,
the rank, and the number of the electors. It is not easy to determine
the zeal, but, in respect to the other considerations, it is clear that
Philip was elected by many princes of high rank, and that many others
have since given him their support. Therefore his election seems to be
legal, and not to be opposed. It would seem also that it is not proper
for us to oppose his election, for we would appear thereby to be taking
revenge for our injuries, if, because his father [Frederick I] and his
brother [Henry VI] persecuted the church, we should persecute him and
visit upon him the punishment incurred by the sins of others; whereas
our Lord has said: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do
good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use
you" [Matt. 5:44]. It would seem also not to be expedient to oppose his
election. To oppose a man so strong in wealth and supporters is like
battling with the torrent with the bare arms. We would only make an
enemy of him and create even greater strife in the church. We ought
rather to seek peace and pursue it, which we could do by supporting him.
But on the other hand it seems lawful to oppose his election, for he was
excommunicated lawfully and in solemn form by our predecessor. Lawfully,
because he had seized the lands of St. Peter [Tuscany], and ravaged and
burned them, refusing to make satisfaction after being warned to do so
once and again by our brothers; in solemn form, for it was done at mass
in the church of St. Peter on a great feast-day, and he himself
recognized the validity of the excommunication by sending a messenger to
us to beseech absolution, and by having himself absolved later after his
election, by our legate, although contrary to our commands. So it is
evident that he was elected while under sentence of excommunication, and
some believe that he is not yet released from it. For in giving him
absolution, the former bishop of Sutri did not observe the conditions
laid down by us; namely, that Philip should first release the archbishop
of Salerno from captivity, and should then be freed from the necessity
of coming to Rome for absolution if he would take oath publicly to obey
us in respect to the deeds for which he had been excommunicated, and
then only should be given absolution. But the bishop of Sutri attempted
to absolve him secretly while the said archbishop was still a prisoner,
and without requiring any oath at all; for which disobedience he was
deprived of his bishopric by us and ended his days in a monastery.
Moreover, since we have frequently excommunicated Markwald and all other
German and Italian supporters of Philip, Philip himself, the author of
their sins, is surely subject to the same sentence. Moreover, it is
notorious that he swore fidelity to the youth [Frederick], and yet has
seized his kingdom and tried to seize the empire; therefore he is guilty
of perjury. It is objected that we have already declared such oath to be
illegal, and that he is not guilty of perjury in not keeping it, because
we have said it ought not to be kept. But even if the oath was unlawful,
he should not have broken it on his own authority, but should first have
consulted us, after the example of the children of Israel, in the case
of the oath which they swore to Gibeon; for although the oath had been
won from them by fraud they did not break it of their own accord, but
decided to consult the Lord. Moreover since whatever is done against the
conscience leads to hell (according to the words of the apostle:
"Whatsoever is not of faith is sin" [Rom. 14:23]), and since Philip
excuses himself in this matter by saying that he would not have taken
the kingdom if he had not known that otherwise some other persons would
have seized it, it is clear that he believed he ought to have kept the
oath, and that in violating it he went against his own conscience. So it
seems that we ought to oppose him and resist his attempt to hold the
empire, since he is legally under excommunication and is guilty of
perjury. It appears also that we may properly oppose his election, for
by his succession, brother will be succeeding brother, just as formerly
son succeeded father when Frederick handed on the crown to his son
[Henry VI] and Henry tried to do the same for his son [Frederick II];
and thus the empire tends to become hereditary, the abuse becoming law
by long custom. Also it appears expedient to oppose him, for he is a
persecutor, and of a race of persecutors, and if we do not oppose him
now we shall be arming our enemy against ourselves.

As for Otto, at first it does not seem lawful to favor him, because he
was elected by only a few electors; it does not seem fitting, because we
should have the appearance of supporting him out of hate to another; it
does not seem expedient, because in comparison to the other his party is
small and weak. But there are better reasons on the other side. In the
first place, the rank of the electors and the fitness of the candidate
must be considered, as well as the number of electors; and Otto was
elected by as many or more of those princes that have the best right to
elect the emperor, and is himself much better fitted to rule than is
Philip. Then again the Lord visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the
children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate him;
that is, upon those that continue in the evil way of their fathers, and
Philip has certainly persisted in the wicked persecution of the church
which his father began. Finally, although we ought not to return evil
for evil, but ought rather to bless them that curse us, yet we should
not return good for injury to those who persist in their wickedness or
put weapons in the hands of those who rage against us, for God himself
exalted the lowly to overthrow the mighty. Therefore it is lawful,
proper, and expedient for the pope to favor the election of Otto.

Far be it from us that we should defer to man rather than to God, or
that we should fear the countenance of the powerful, since, according to
the apostle, we should abstain not only from evil, but also from all
appearance of evil [1 Thess. 5:22]. For it is written: "Cursed be the
man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm" [Jer. 17:5]. On the
foregoing grounds, then, we decide that the youth should not at present
be given the empire; we utterly reject Philip for his manifest
unfitness, and we order his usurpation to be resisted by all. As to the
rest, we have commanded our legate to persuade the princes either to
choose some suitable person or to refer the matter to us for final
decision. If they cannot come to a decision, since we have waited long,
have frequently urged them to agree, have instructed them as to our
desires by letters and legates [we shall take the matter into our own
hands], that we may not seem to foster discord, and that we may say with
Hezekiah: "There shall be peace and truth in my days" [Is. 39:8], and
that we may not be forced, like Peter, to deny the truth, which is
Christ, by following afar off, to see the end [Matt. 26:58]. But since
the affair will not brook delay, and since Otto is not only himself
devoted to the church, but comes from devout ancestors on both sides (on
his mother's side from the kings of England, and on his father's from
the dukes of Saxony, all of whom were faithful servants of the holy see,
especially his great-grandfather the emperor Lothar, who twice came down
to Apulia on behalf of the papacy and died in the service of the Roman
church), therefore we decree that he [Otto] ought to be accepted and
supported as king, and ought to be given the crown of the empire, after
the rights of the Roman church have been secured.

131. Treaty between Philip, King of Germany, and Philip II, King of
France, 1198.

M. G. LL. 4to, IV, 2, no. 1.

About 1200 Europe was divided into two hostile camps, as is apparent
from this and the following number. They also show the parties to this
struggle which culminated in the battle of Bouvines, 1214.

Philip, by the grace of God, king of the Romans, Augustus. Let all men
know that because of the love which existed between our father,
Frederick [I] and our brother, Henry [VI], emperors of the Romans, and
Philip, king of France, and for the sake of peace, and for the public
good, we have made the following peace with the said Philip, king of

(1) We will aid him especially against Richard, king of England, and his
nephew, Otto [IV], and Baldwin of Flanders, and Adolf, archbishop of
Cologne, and against all his other enemies. We will aid him in good
faith and without treachery, whenever the opportunity is offered, if it
is not against our honor.

(2) If any of our subjects wrongs him, or his kingdom, we will warn him
to make reparation within forty days after we hear of it. If we are in
Italy, the bishop of Metz shall warn him. If he does not make good the
damage which he has inflicted on the king or his realm within the forty
days, the said king may take vengeance on him and we will aid him to do

(3) We will not keep in our realm any vassal, whether lay or cleric, of
the king of France, contrary to the will of the said king.

(4) The said king, whenever he wishes, may take vengeance on the count
of Flanders, by attacking the lands of the said count which he holds in
the empire, whether they are fiefs or allodial lands.

(5) We promise in good faith that, if we learn that anyone is trying to
injure the king of France or his realm, we will try to prevent him from
doing so. If we cannot, we will inform the king of France about it....

132. Alliance between Otto IV and John of England, 1202.

M. G. LL. 4to, IV, 2, no. 25.

See introductory note to no. 131.

John, by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of
Normandy and Aquitaine, count of Anjou, etc. ... We wish all to know
that, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have made a league with
our beloved nephew, Otto, by the grace of God illustrious king of the
Romans, Augustus, for the purpose of guarding and defending his empire
and his rights, and of giving him faithful counsel and aid in
maintaining his rights. By this league all quarrels and differences
which existed between us have been settled and we have mutually pardoned
each other....

133. Concessions of Philip of Suabia to Innocent III, 1203.

Migne, 217, col. 295 ff; M. G. LL. folio, II, p. 208.

In the beginning of the war between Philip of Suabia and Otto IV, it
seemed that Philip would easily be the victor. But things began to go
against him and toward the end of 1202, he secretly sent messengers to
the pope to see what terms he could secure. Innocent was at least
willing to negotiate and sent Martin to him to discuss the situation. In
the presence of Martin, Philip drew up the concessions which he was
willing to make. These concessions were not sufficient for Innocent,
and, besides, Otto IV began to have greater success in the field against
Philip. So Innocent repudiated what Martin had done and gave his support
to Otto again. But the success of Otto was brief. In 1204-5, Philip
began to prevail over Otto, who soon found himself without support. Then
Innocent, deserting Otto for his more successful rival, renewed the
negotiations with Philip. In 1208 they agreed to a treaty, but its terms
were not made public, and the negotiations were not entirely completed
when Philip was murdered.

I, Philip, king of the Romans, Augustus, etc. Before Martin,
Camaldolensian prior, and brother Otto, monk of Salem, came to me to
negotiate about making peace with the church, I had already vowed to God
and to his saints to go across the sea to liberate the land of promise
from the cruelty of the Gentiles [Turks]; and again after they came and
told me of the peace negotiations and of the concessions which the pope
was willing to make, I vowed and promised to God and to his saints and
to the said prior and brother, representatives of the pope, that, at a
suitable time, in good faith and without fraud, I would go on a crusade,
to the support of the church and of the empire, and do all I could to
liberate the said land. The following persons were witnesses of my vow:
Diethelm, bishop of Constance, etc. Besides, I promised that I would do
all the following things: I will restore to all churches all the
possessions which my predecessors, or I, have unjustly seized or held,
and I will no longer disturb them in their possessions. I will cease
from all the abuses which my predecessors have practised toward the
church, as for example, when a bishop or abbot dies, I will not seize
his possessions [_spolia_]. I will permit the elections of bishops and
other prelates to take place in a canonical way, and I surrender control
in spiritual matters to the pope. With the help of the pope I will
endeavor, as far as my imperial office will permit, to subject all
independent monasteries to some one of the regular orders, such as the
Cistercian, Camaldolensian, or Premonstratensian. And I will try to
compel the clergy as well as the monks to lead a decorous life, such as
is becoming to their profession. As far as I can, I will compel
advocates and patrons of churches to cease from oppressing the churches
with exactions, such as _angariæ_ and _parangariæ_.{75} If God shall
subject the empire of the Greeks to me or to my brother-in-law, I will
subject the Greek church to the Roman church. I will always be a
faithful and devoted son and defender of the Roman church. I will make a
general law and cause it to be observed always and everywhere in my
empire that whoever shall be excommunicated by the pope shall be under
the ban of the empire. Furthermore, in order that this league of peace
and friendship between the pope and me may be observed forever, and that
all grounds for suspicion may be removed, and that he may always be to
me a most gracious father and I a most faithful son to him, I will give
my daughter to his nephew in marriage, and any other members of my
family, male or female, I will cause to be joined in marriage to members
of his family, as the pope may desire. I will make full satisfaction to
God and to the church for all my offences, as the pope may command.
These things were done in the presence of the bishop of Constance, etc.

{75} See no. 103, note 73.

134. Promise of Frederick II to Innocent III, 1213.

Migne, 217, cols. 301 ff.

The powerful personality of Innocent III impressed itself deeply on the
young king, Frederick II. The boy was truly devoted to Innocent, who was
his guardian, and was willing to do whatever the pope required of him.
In 1213 he wrote the following letter to Innocent in which he concedes
practically everything for which the popes had been struggling. If the
emperor had kept these promises, there would have been no further
contest between the papacy and the empire. But as he grew older, and
became conscious of his position, and learned what the imperial claims
were, he gradually reasserted them and so renewed the conflict which
ended in the destruction of his family.

In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity. Frederick II, etc.... To
you, most holy father, and to all your successors, and to the holy Roman
church, who has been a true mother to us, with a humble heart and devout
spirit we will always show all obedience, honor, and reverence, such as
our ancestors, catholic kings and emperors, have shown your
predecessors. And in order that our devotion to you may be shown to be
greater than theirs we will pay you greater obedience, honor, and
reverence than they did. Wishing therefore to abolish that abuse which
some of our predecessors are said to have practised, we grant that the
election of bishops may be free and canonical, so that he whom the whole
chapter, or the majority of it, may elect may be established over the
vacant church, provided there is nothing in the canon law against his
election. Appeals in all ecclesiastical matters may freely be made to
Rome, and no one shall attempt to interfere with them. We also will
cease from that abuse which our predecessors practised, and will no
longer seize the property [_spolia_] of deceased bishops or of vacant
churches. Jurisdiction in all spiritual matters we yield to you and the
other bishops, that those things which are Cæsar's may be rendered to
Cæsar, and those which are God's to God. Moreover we will give our best
help and aid in the destruction of heresy. We grant to the Roman church
the free and undisturbed possession of all those lands which she has
recovered from our predecessors who had despoiled her of them. If there
are any such lands which she has not yet succeeded in recovering, we
will, with all our strength, aid her to recover them; and if any of them
shall fall into our hands we will freely restore them to her. In this we
understand that the following lands are included: All the land from
Radicofano to Ceperano, the march of Ancona, the duchy of Spoleto, the
land of the countess Matilda, the county of Bertinoro, the exarchate of
Ravenna, the Pentapolis, with the other lands lying adjacent to them, as
described in many documents given by kings and emperors from the time of
Ludwig, in which it is said that these lands shall belong forever to the
jurisdiction and control of the Roman church. And whenever we shall be
called by the pope to come and receive the imperial crown or to render
any service to the church, we will receive from them _fodrum_ and other
entertainment only as the pope shall give his consent. As a devoted son
and catholic prince we will aid the Roman Catholic church to keep and
defend the kingdom of Sicily and all other rights which she

135. Promise of Frederick II to Resign Sicily After his Coronation as
Emperor, 1216.

Migne, 217, cols. 305 f; M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 228 f; Böhmer-Ficker,
no. 866; Doeberl, V, no. 13 b.

The pope had with difficulty succeeded in maintaining his ownership of
Sicily. Now a new danger was threatening. He feared that, if Sicily
should be held by the emperor, it would lead to the revival of the
imperial claims to Sicily. In order to prevent this he persuaded
Frederick II to promise that as soon as he should be crowned emperor he
would resign Sicily to his little son, Henry.

To his most holy father in Christ, Innocent, bishop of the holy Roman
church, Frederick, by the grace of God and of Innocent king of the
Romans, Augustus, and king of Sicily, offers due obedience in all
things, and reverence with filial subjection.

Desiring to provide for the welfare of both the Roman church and the
kingdom of Sicily, we firmly promise that as soon as we shall be crowned
emperor we will release from our paternal authority our son Henry, whom
we, at your command, have had crowned king [of Sicily], and we will
entirely relinquish all the kingdom of Sicily on both sides of the
strait [of Messina] to be held by him from the Roman church alone, just
as we have held it from her. From that time we will neither regard nor
call ourselves king of Sicily, but until our son becomes of age we will
have the kingdom ruled by some suitable person who shall in all respects
be subject to the Roman church, because the government of that kingdom
is known to belong to her. We promise to do this because, if we should
become emperor and at the same time be king of Sicily, it might be
inferred that the kingdom of Sicily belonged to the empire. And such an
inference would do injury to the Roman church as well as to our heirs.
In order that this our promise may be carried into effect we have caused
a golden seal to be affixed to this document.

136. Concessions of Frederick II to the Ecclesiastical Princes of
Germany, 1220.

M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 236 f; Böhmer-Ficker, no. 114; Doeberl, V, no.

Frederick II had agreed that Sicily and Germany should never be held by
the same person, but in 1220 he was scheming to have his son Henry [VII]
elected and crowned king of Germany. Now Henry [VII] was already king of
Sicily. If he were to be elected king of Germany, he would, in
accordance with his father's oath, be compelled to resign the crown of
Sicily. But this Frederick did not intend that he should do. Frederick's
pretext for having his son made king of Germany was that he could not go
on a crusade without leaving his son as king to care for the government
of Germany in his absence. His real purpose was to evade his oath to the
pope and secure both crowns in the possession of his family. In spite of
the protests of the pope, Frederick secured the election and coronation
of his son. He bought the aid of the German clergy by granting them
large regalian rights. These concessions which he made to the clergy
bought their support for the moment and made it impossible for the pope
to proceed to extreme measures against him for having his son crowned
king of Germany, contrary to his oath. The policy which Frederick
followed here was ruinous to the German crown. He made of each
ecclesiastical prince a little king in fact, though not in name, thus
stripping the crown of its rights and powers. For the logical and
ruinous effects of this policy on the royal power, see the Golden Bull,
no. 160.

In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity. Frederick II, by the
grace of God king of the Romans, Augustus, and king of Sicily.

We bear in grateful remembrance the fidelity of the ecclesiastical
princes to us, and their help in raising us to the empire, and
supporting us in that station, and in electing our son Henry as king,
and we propose to promote their interests as they have promoted ours,
and to support them as they have supported us.

Therefore since certain injurious customs, or rather abuses, have grown
up during the long conflicts of the empire (which now by the favor of
God have ceased), in the way of new tolls, the minting of coins which
led to confusion by their similarity to existing coins, private wars of
advocates, and other evils without number, we now remove these abuses by
the following decrees:

1. We promise that we will never henceforth lay claim to the personal
property of a prelate at his death [the right to the _spolia_], but
that, if a prelate dies intestate, his possessions shall go to his
successors, and that no layman shall lay claim to them on any pretext
whatsoever. If the prelate made a will it shall be valid in the law.

2. We will never grant any new tolls or new mints within the territory
or jurisdiction of any one of the princes except by his consent and
desire. We will preserve and defend the ancient tolls and mints which
have been granted to their churches, neither infringing these rights
ourselves nor permitting anyone else to do so. We forbid anyone to
cheapen or confuse the coinage of the princes by making coins of similar

3. We will never admit to citizenship in our cities the subjects of any
of the ecclesiastical princes, who have left the services of their lord
for any cause. We desire that the same consideration be shown by the
ecclesiastical princes to one another, and by the lay princes to the

4. We forbid advocates to injure the property of churches committed to
their care. If they do so they shall restore the damage twofold, and pay
100 marks of silver to the royal treasury as a fine.

5. If the vassal of any of the ecclesiastical princes has been convicted
of offence against his lord by feudal law and has been ejected from his
fief, we will protect the lord in his retention of the fief, and if he
wishes to give the fief to us we will accept it without regard to the
love or hate of anyone. If the fief of an ecclesiastical lord has become
vacant by the above process or by the death of the holder, we will never
lay claim to it unless it is given to us by the will and desire of the
lord, and we will defend him in his possession of it.

6. If any of the ecclesiastical princes has excommunicated anyone and
has notified us of this by word of mouth or letter or by reliable
messengers, we will refuse to have any dealings with the excommunicated
person. Such a person shall be deprived of his rights before the law,
this deprivation not freeing him from the obligation of answering the
accusations against him, but destroying his right to bear testimony or
give judgment, or to bring suit against others.

7. And since the secular sword is intended to support the spiritual
sword, we declare that our ban shall follow upon the excommunication
pronounced by an ecclesiastical prince, if the excommunicated person is
not absolved within six weeks; the ban of the empire shall not be
revoked until the excommunication is withdrawn.

8. We have promised also to support and defend the princes by our
authority in all cases, and they have promised on their faith to aid us
to the best of their ability against any man who resists our authority.

9. We decree also that no buildings, castles, or cities shall be erected
upon ecclesiastical lands through the interests of the advocate or
through any other pretext. If such are erected without the consent of
those to whom the lands belong they shall be destroyed by the royal

10. Following the example of our ancestor, the emperor Frederick of
blessed memory, we forbid any of our officials to claim jurisdiction in
the matter of tolls, mints, or other rights, in any of the cities of the
ecclesiastical princes, except during the time of the public diet and
eight days before and eight days after. During that time the officials
of the emperor shall exercise jurisdiction in accordance with the
customs of the city and the laws established by its prince. If we come
into any of their cities at any other time, we will not exercise any
rights in it, but the authority of the prince or the lord of the city
shall continue unimpaired.

11. Finally, since the acts of men are wont to sink into oblivion
through the lapse of time, we hereby decree that these benefits and
privileges shall be perpetually granted to the churches, and that our
successors shall preserve them and enforce them on behalf of the

137. Decision of the Diet Concerning the Granting of new Tolls and
Mints, 1220.

M. G. LL. folio, II, p. 237; Böhmer-Ficker, no. 1118; Doeberl, V, p.

The ecclesiastical princes promptly demanded that the emperor's
concessions to them (no. 136) be put into force. To illustrate the
effect of his grant, we give two documents, one in response to
complaints about some new tolls established by the count of Gelder, the
other to the patriarch of Aquileia who had presented a long list of
grievances for redress. Frederick revoked the charter which he had given
the count of Gelder and gave the patriarch a charter confirming him in
the possession of many regalian rights (no. 138). This latter document
shows that the patriarch was in the possession of a high degree of
sovereignty. It also throws light on the movement in the cities, which
were throwing off the rule of their lords and establishing local
self-government (see section X).

Frederick, etc. We wish all to know that while we were holding a diet at
Frankfort the following decision was rendered with the consent of the
princes, namely: That we have not the right to empower anyone to
establish new tolls or mints to the damage or disadvantage of another.
Since we have heard many complaints about the tolls and mint which the
count of Gelder has established, as he says, with our permission, we
inform you all that we do not grant him the permission for these tolls
and this mint. We forbid him to interfere in any way with the tolls at
Arnheim, or Oesterbeke, or Lobith, or in any other place on the Rhine,
or with any mint. We do this regardless of the fact that he says he has
our permission, and regardless of any letters, from us or any of our
predecessors, which he may have.

138. Frederick II Gives a Charter to the Patriarch of Aquileia, 1220.

Böhmer-Ficker, no. 1252; Doeberl, V, pp. 150 ff.

See introduction to no. 137.

Frederick II, etc.... We wish all to know that in a full diet a decision
was rendered by our princes that (1) the patriarch of Aquileia has the
authority to take whatever action he wishes in regard to establishing a
market in any of the cities, towns, villages, and in all other places,
where he has jurisdiction. (2) He may put under the ban any of his
subjects, and also release them from it. (3) The cities, towns, and
villages, which are under his jurisdiction, have no right to elect their
rulers, or consuls, or rectors, contrary to the will of the patriarch.
(4) No city, commune, or organization of any kind, whether lay or
cleric, over which the said patriarch has jurisdiction, has the right to
interfere with the bishopric after the death of the bishop, or with any
of the things which belong to the bishopric. (5) No one has the right to
establish new tolls, mints, or markets, in the lands over which the
patriarch has jurisdiction, without his consent. (6) No one shall build
mills on any of the streams without his consent. (7) No official shall
confer freedom on anyone, or sell or alienate any vineyards, fields,
meadows, roads, or anything else which belongs to the regalia, without
the patriarch's consent. (8) The Venetians have no right to levy a tax
on the lands or anything else belonging to the patriarch, or to compel
his vassals to take an oath of fidelity to them. (9) No one under the
jurisdiction of the patriarch, whether free, vassal, or ministerial, has
the right to make a league or alliance without the consent of the
patriarch. If any such league is made, it is invalid and the parties to
it shall be proscribed. (10) No one has the right to establish new
cities, towns, or markets, on land which is under the jurisdiction of
the patriarch, without his consent.

139. Statute of Frederick II in Favor of the Princes, 1231-2.

M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 291 ff; Böhmer-Ficker, no. 1965; Doeberl, V,
no. 17.

Henry [VII], being a mere child when he was crowned, was under the
control of regents until 1229, when he began to rule in his own name.
But he fell under the influence of princes who persuaded him to grant
them many regalian rights. When Frederick II came into Germany, 1231,
the princes asked him to confirm the grants which his son had made them.
He consented to do so and the following document was given them. Like
the grant to the ecclesiastical princes in 1220, it diminished the
rights of the crown and increased the independence of the princes.

In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity. Frederick II, by divine
mercy emperor of the Romans, Augustus, king of Jerusalem, king of

(Introduction stating the occasion for the statute, which confirms the
grants of his son Henry.)

1. No new castles or cities shall be erected by us or by anyone else to
the prejudice of the princes.

2. New markets shall not be allowed to interfere with the interests of
former ones.

3. No one shall be compelled to attend any market against his will.

4. Travellers shall not be compelled to leave the old highways, unless
they desire to do so.

5. We will not exercise jurisdiction within the ban-mile of our cities.

6. Each prince shall possess and exercise in peace according to the
customs of the land the liberties, jurisdiction, and authority over
counties and hundreds which are in his own possession or are held as
fiefs from him.

7. Centgrafs shall receive their office from the prince or from the
person who holds the land as a fief.

8. The location of the hundred court shall not be changed without the
consent of the lord.

9. No nobleman shall be amenable to the hundred court.

10. The citizens who are known as _phalburgii_ [_i.e._, persons or
corporations existing outside the city, but possessing political rights
within it] shall be expelled from the cities.

11. Payments of wine, money, grain, and other rents, which free peasants
have formerly agreed to pay [to the emperor], are hereby remitted, and
shall not be collected henceforth.

12. The serfs of princes, nobles, ministerials, and churches shall not
be admitted to our cities.

13. Lands and fiefs of princes, nobles, ministerials, and churches,
which have been seized by our cities, shall be restored and shall never
again be taken.

14. The right of the princes to furnish safe-conduct within the lands
which they hold as fiefs from us shall not be infringed by us or by
anyone else.

15. Inhabitants of our cities shall not be compelled by our judges to
restore any possessions which they may have received from others before
they moved there.

16. Notorious, condemned, and proscribed persons shall not be admitted
to our cities; if they have been, they shall be driven out.

17. We will never cause any money to be coined in the land of any of the
princes which shall be injurious to his coinage.

18. The jurisdiction of our cities shall not extend beyond their
boundaries, unless we possess special jurisdiction in the region.

19. In our cities the plaintiff shall bring suit in the court of the

20. Lands or property which are held as fiefs shall not be pawned
without the consent of the lord from whom they are held.

21. No one shall be compelled to aid in the fortifying of cities unless
he is legally bound to render that service.

22. Inhabitants of our cities who hold lands outside shall pay to their
lords or advocates the regular dues and services, and they shall not be
burdened with unjust exactions.

23. If serfs, freemen subject to advocates, or vassals of any lord,
shall dwell within any of our cities, they shall not be prevented by our
officials from going to their lords.

140-142. Treaty of San Germano, 1230.

140. The Preliminary Agreement.

Huillard-Bréholles, Hist. Dipl. Fred. II, III, pp. 210 f;
Böhmer-Ficker, no. 1799; Doeberl, V, no. 16 d.

The chief cause of the first quarrel between Frederick and the pope was
Frederick's refusal to keep his vow to go on a crusade. In 1215, on the
day he was crowned king, he vowed to make a crusade, and again in 1220,
when crowned emperor, he renewed the vow. For various reasons he several
times put off going. Each time the pope was deeply disappointed, but
eventually accepted the emperor's excuses. Again in 1225 he renewed his
vow and set the time of his departure in August, 1227. But the pope had
lost confidence in Frederick, as well as his patience. He stipulated
that if the emperor did not keep his word, he should be excommunicated.
Frederick sailed Aug. 8, 1227, but returned to land two days later. On
this account Gregory IX excommunicated him, Sept. 29, 1227. Frederick
published an apology for his conduct and called a crusade to take place
the following May. Without seeking to have the excommunication removed,
he sailed in June, 1228. For this the pope renewed the excommunication.
While Frederick was absent in Palestine, his imperial vicar in Italy
came into actual conflict with the papal officials about matters of
government. When Frederick returned from Palestine in 1230, the pope was
hardly prepared to carry on the war. So through the intercession of
various princes the peace of San Germano was brought about. The
preliminary agreement is found in no. 140. The papal stipulations are
contained in no. 141. In order to convince the pope of his good
intentions and to renew friendly relations with him, Frederick made him
a visit soon after the peace was established. The pope wrote a friend an
account of this visit, which is found in no. 142.

In the name of the Lord, amen. Bertold, patriarch of Aquileia; Eberhard,
archbishop of Salzburg; Siegfied, bishop of Regensburg; Leopold, duke of
Austria and Styria; Bernard, duke of Carinthia; Otto, duke of Meran; by
the grace of God princes of the empire. Know all people by this writing
that our mother the holy Roman church, and our lord, Frederick, emperor
of the Romans, Augustus, king of Jerusalem and Sicily, have agreed to
enter into negotiations for the purpose of discovering some means by
which the cities of Gaeta and Sant' Agatha and other cities of Sicily
which have gone over to the church may be restored to the empire without
detracting from the honor of the church. The time within which these
negotiations shall be completed is limited to one year, and the church
promises to do all in her power to discover the means of arranging the
transfer within that time. If, however, no agreement is reached within
the year, the church and the empire are to appoint each two
representatives who shall try to reach a settlement. If they are unable
to agree, they shall choose a fifth person, and the majority shall
decide. The emperor has caused Thomas, count of Acerra, to swear for him
that he, the emperor, will not molest the said lands and persons nor
permit them to be molested during the course of the negotiations, and
that he will accept the terms agreed upon by the holy Roman church and
the emperor or by their respective representatives. Know also that the
emperor has pardoned the Germans, Lombards, Tuscans, Sicilians, French,
and all others who adhered to the church party against him, and has
caused the count of Acerra to swear for him that he will never molest
them nor allow them to be molested on account of the assistance which
they gave the Roman church against him, but that he will keep true peace
with them and with the church. The emperor also remits all sentences,
decrees, and bans issued by him or by anyone else because of this
quarrel. He promises also that he will not invade or waste the lands of
the church in the duchy [of Rome] or the march [of Ancona], as set forth
in other documents under the imperial seal. We have pledged ourselves on
the holy gospels to see to it that the emperor does not violate these
conditions. If he does, after allowing him a certain time to make
satisfaction (namely: three months in Sicily, four months in Italy, and
five months outside of Italy), we will assist the church at her request
against him until he shall make satisfaction. If the emperor fails to
appoint representatives or prevents them from going to the conference,
we will hold ourselves bound to assist the church, as said above. But if
the church refuses to appoint representatives or prevents them from
attending the conference we shall not be bound by this oath.

141. Papal Stipulations in the Peace of San Germano, 1230.

Huillard-Bréholles, III, pp. 218 f; Böhmer-Ficker, no. 1817; Doeberl,
pp. 66 f.

See introductory note to no. 140.

We, John, by the grace of God Sabine bishop, and Thomas, cardinal priest
of the title of Santa Sabina, legates of the apostolic see, by the
authority of the pope, make the following demands of the emperor. 1. He
shall not prevent free elections and confirmations in the churches and
monasteries of the kingdom. 2. He shall make satisfaction to the counts
of Celano and to the sons of Rainald of Aversa, according to the terms
of the agreement, in those things for which the church became security.
3. Likewise he shall make satisfaction to the Templars and Hospitallers
and other ecclesiastical persons, for the property which he has taken
from them, and the injuries and losses which he has inflicted upon them,
and the terms of this satisfaction shall be fixed later by the church.
4. Likewise for eight months from the day of his absolution he shall
furnish suitable persons under oath as security to the church. The
church will name these persons from among the princes, counts, and
barons of Germany, and the communes of Lombardy, Tuscany, the mark, and
Romagnola, and the marquises, counts, and barons of those territories,
and they shall stand as security to the church for the conduct of the
emperor. If he does not obey the commands of the church, or breaks the
peace, or seizes or devastates the land of the church or of her vassals,
they shall aid the church against him. The church will not proceed
against him at once if he commits a wrong. But if he is in the kingdom
of Sicily, he may have three months; if he is in Italy, he may have four
months; if he is outside of Italy, he may have five months, in which to
make good any wrong he may do. Those who are security for the emperor
shall give the church sealed documents containing their promise to aid
her. The emperor shall, within fifteen days, send a messenger to the
papal court to receive the names of those whom the church wishes as
security. All the above things are stipulated. But we leave it to his
honor to fulfill all that he has promised about the crusade, and to obey
the church in this matter. If through preoccupation or inattention we
have omitted anything which we should have included in the above
stipulations, the pope shall have the right to add it.

They also declared that the pope wished to be reimbursed for all the
expenses to which the church had been put outside of the kingdom in
preserving her liberties and the patrimony of St. Peter.

The legates also pronounced a sentence of excommunication on the emperor
which should go into effect at once if the emperor should fail to
observe any of the above stipulations....

142. Letter of Gregory IX about the Emperor's Visit to him after the
Peace of San Germano, 1230.

Huillard-Bréholles, III, p. 228; Böhmer-Ficker-Winkelmann, no. 6818;
Doeberl, V, no. 16 f.

See introductory note to no. 140.

Gregory, etc. Since we know that you, as an especially dear son, are
pleased to hear good news about us, we have determined to inform you by
letter of the good fortune which has befallen us in the last few days.
The other day [Sept. 1] our most dear son in Christ, the illustrious
emperor of the Romans [Frederick II], came with great pomp and a
magnificent retinue to visit us. He manifested a devotion which was
truly filial. His humility before us and his reverence for us as the
vicar of St. Peter, the prince of the apostles, were as great as any of
his predecessors have shown to any of ours. As an evidence of his favor
and of his attitude toward us, the next day after his arrival he came to
see us in our own home, not with imperial ceremony, but, as it were, in
the simplicity of a private person. He took dinner with us and we were
surprised and delighted with his kindness and devotion. The day was
rendered joyful and memorable by the pleasure which we both received
from taking dinner together. After dinner we talked and laughed about
all sorts of matters, and we discovered that he was quite ready to obey
our wishes in all respects, in regard both to religious matters and to
the patrimony of St. Peter. By this we were greatly comforted in the
Lord, and we thought that we ought to let you, first of all, share in
our comfort and joy. We hope you will make this known to all those about
you. We command you to make it known to our subjects in Campania and to
encourage them to remain faithful to St. Peter and to us. Strengthen
them as much as you can, and urge them to be constant and courageous. As
we have told you of the promises of Frederick, we shall keep you
informed of the way in which he fulfils them.

143-144. The Final Struggle between Gregory IX and Frederick II.

143. Papal Charges and Imperial Defence, 1238.

Huillard-Bréholles, V, p. 249; Böhmer-Ficker, no. 2401; Doeberl, V, no.
22 e.

The peace of San Germano was not kept long. The fundamental principles
of pope and emperor conflicted with each other. No peace between them
could be lasting so long as the primary question of supremacy was not
settled. Frederick soon began to put forth imperial claims in various
matters, and the pope resisted them. The struggle grew more and more
bitter and they both came into such a state of mutual exasperation and
irritation that any trifle brought forth long complaints and sharp
reproofs. Of the many vigorous documents which concern their final break
we give only two. Gregory wrote to certain bishops ordering them to take
the emperor to task on a long list of charges. They did so, and the
emperor refuted them, charge by charge. These papal charges and imperial
denials are given first. Gregory was not convinced by the emperor's
answers. The document by which he excommunicated Frederick is given in
no. 144.

To the most holy father in Christ, Gregory [IX] by the grace of God
pope, his devoted bishops of Würzburg, Worms, Vercelli, and Parma,
humbly commend themselves and offer due and sincere reverence.

We reverently received your letter in which you ordered us to
remonstrate with our lord the Roman emperor [Frederick II] about certain
matters, a list of which was enclosed in your letter. Although we
hesitated to do so because we are his subjects and were not sure that he
would patiently receive our remonstrances, nevertheless we reverently
went to him and set forth all the things which were contained in your
letter to us and also in the large number of letters which you had
written to him. God who rules and directs the hearts of kings as he will
brought it about that he granted us an audience and listened to our
words with great readiness and humility. He also called together the
venerable archbishops of Palermo and Messina, the bishops of Cremona,
Lodi, Novara, and Modena, and the abbot of San Vincenzo, and a great
number of friars, both Dominicans and Franciscans, and in the presence
of us all he responded to each one of the charges in their order as is
set forth below. And in accordance with your command, we send you a
faithful statement of his answers.

1. _The papal charge._ The churches of Monreale, Cefalu, Catania, and
Squillace, and the monasteries of Mileto, Santa Eufemia, Terra Maggiore,
and San Giovanni in Lamæ, have been robbed of almost all of their
possessions. Likewise nearly all bishoprics, churches, and monasteries
have been unjustly deprived of their liberties and prerogatives. _The
emperor's answer._ In regard to the complaints of the churches, which
are stated in a general way, orders have been given that certain things,
done in ignorance, should be corrected at once; and others have already
been corrected by our faithful messenger and notary, William de Tocco.
He was sent especially for this purpose and he was ordered to go first
to the papal court, and, after consultation with the archbishop of
Messina, to follow his counsel in revoking all the things which he found
were done unjustly. He had scarcely entered the kingdom when he found
certain lands in the possession of members of the imperial family
[ministerials]. He dispossessed them and restored the lands to their
former owners. If he should find any lands were held illegally by the
emperor, he was ordered to restore them to their owners. And when the
pope learned of what he had done he approved the emperor's action in
sending him and the diligence of the messenger. Since the kingdom is
divided into several provinces, the messenger has not yet been able to
go through them all. Hence his work is not yet done, and there are still
some things to be corrected. In regard to the church of Monreale, the
emperor declared that it had not suffered anything through him, unless
it wished to hold him responsible for the devastations committed by the
Saracens who had ravaged its lands. But they recognize neither the
emperor nor the church. Nor had they spared anyone or anything. They had
devastated the land clear up to the walls of the church, and they had
spared no Sicilian. In fact, they had left scarcely a Christian alive in
all that territory. The emperor declares that with great difficulty and
expense he has exterminated them from Sicily. If he has done the
churches a wrong in this, it is at least his only one. Nor has he tried
to injure them.

In regard to the church at Cefalu, the emperor said that he had done no
wrong, because the kings of Sicily have always held the castle of
Cefalu, which is a strong citadel in the mark of the Saracens, and
commands the sea. In the days of Innocent III the bishop of Cefalu had
got possession of it, not legally but through an uprising. But Innocent
ordered his legate who was then in Sicily caring for the interests of
Frederick, who was still a child, to take the castle from the bishop and
have it kept for Frederick until he should come of age. It has not been
restored to the bishop nor should it be, because he has no right to it.
Even if he had a right to it, it should not be restored to him, because,
according to common report, he is a forger, a homicide, a traitor, and a
schismatic. Therefore even if he had a right to it, it should not be
restored to him. In the same way he said he was innocent of the charges
about the church of Catania, unless he were held responsible for the
conduct of some of the men from the imperial domain, who, in time of
war, had gone to Catania to find a place that was secure and fertile.
The emperor said that he had recalled them to his domains by a general
edict of the realm, by which the counts, barons, and other men of the
realm recalled the men belonging to their domains, no matter where they
should find them, whether on the lands of the church or in the imperial
cities. Besides, in regard to these things, the statute was passed and
the time set at the request of the pope, as is clear from the letters of
the patriarch of Antioch and the archbishops of Palermo and Messina.
Likewise the emperor said that an equitable trade had been made with the
churches of Mileto and Santa Eufemia, and with the abbot and monks of
Terra Maggiore. This trade had been made with the permission of their
clergy and their convents, according to the legal form, and they to-day
hold and possess the things which they received in exchange. But the
village of San Severo was not wholly the property of the abbot of Terra
Maggiore, for another had certain rights there which he held as a fief
from the empire. It was justly condemned and destroyed, because the men
of that place in the time of an uprising had killed Paul de Logotheta,
the bailiff of the emperor, and seized the cattle of the emperor. And
yet the abbot and his monastery had received some land in exchange for
their share of this village which had been destroyed. In accordance with
a legal decision the place called Lamæ has been fortified by the abbot
of San Giovanni Rotundo, and according to both the civil and canon law,
suit about it must be brought against him in the imperial court.

2. _The papal charge._ The possessions, both movable and immovable,
which had been taken from the Templars and Hospitallers, have not been
restored to them in accordance with the terms of the agreement which was
made. _The emperor's answer._ It is true that by a legal process and in
accordance with an ancient law of the kingdom of Sicily, fiefs and
"burgher lands" have been taken from the said orders. But they had
received those lands from those who were invading the kingdom and waging
war on the emperor. Besides they furnished the king's enemies with
horses, arms, food, and wine, and all kinds of provisions, while
refusing to aid the emperor who was still a minor. But other fiefs and
burgher lands have been restored to them which they had acquired before
the death of William II [king of Sicily], or for which they had a grant
from some one of our predecessors. And some burgher lands which they had
bought have been taken from them in accordance with an ancient law of
Sicily, that without the king's consent no burgher lands shall be given
to the said orders or left to them as a legacy; but if such lands are
given them, they are bound to sell them within a year, a month, a week,
and a day, to some of the citizens. This law was passed long ago,
because if they were permitted to buy and accept burgher lands they
would in a short time possess the whole kingdom of Sicily, which they
like better than any other part of the world. And this law is valid
beyond the sea.

3. _The papal charge._ He does not permit vacant bishoprics and other
churches to be filled, and on this account the liberty of the church is
in danger and the true faith is perishing, because there is no one to
preach the word of God and care for souls. _The emperor's answer._ The
emperor wishes and desires that vacant bishoprics and other churches be
filled, but without infringement on the privileges and rights which his
predecessors have held. He has insisted less than his predecessors on
his privileges, and he has never opposed the filling of the vacant

4. _The papal charge._ In regard to taxes and exactions which are
extorted from churches and monasteries contrary to agreement. _The
emperor's answer._ Taxes and dues are assessed on the clergy and
ecclesiastical persons, not because of their ecclesiastical property,
but because of their fiefs and other possessions. And this is in
accordance with the common law and is practised everywhere all over the

5. _The papal charge._ That prelates do not dare proceed against
usurers, because of an imperial edict. _The emperor's answer._ The
emperor has published a new general law against usurers, in accordance
with which they are condemned, and action may be brought against all
their possessions. And this law is read before all prelates, and they
are not prevented by it from proceeding against usurers.

6. _The papal charge._ That clergymen are seized, imprisoned,
proscribed, and killed. _The emperor's answer._ He knows nothing about
any clergymen who have been seized and imprisoned, except that some have
been condemned by the decision of prelates, according to their crimes.
These have been surrendered to the imperial officials who have seized
them. He knows nothing about clergymen who have been proscribed except
that some have been charged with the crime of _lèse majesté_ and have
been proscribed from the kingdom. He knows nothing about any clergymen
who have been slain except those who were slain by other clergymen. The
church of Venusa is mourning the death of its prelate who was killed by
one of his monks. In the church of San Vincenzo one monk killed another.
But the monks and the clergy commit such crimes with impunity, and it is
the fault of the church that they escape all canonical punishment.

7. _The papal charge._ Churches which are consecrated to the Lord are
profaned and destroyed. _The emperor's answer._ He knows nothing of such
churches, unless the pope means the church of Luceria; but it is said to
have fallen down of itself because of its great age. And the emperor
will not only permit it to be rebuilt, but he will give a good sum to
the bishop for its reconstruction.

8. _The papal charge._ That he does not permit the church of Sorana to
be rebuilt. _The emperor's answer._ He will permit the church of Sorana
to be rebuilt, but not the town. It shall not be rebuilt as long as he
lives, because it was destroyed in accordance with a legal decision.

9. _The papal charge._ That contrary to the agreement those who had
supported the church in the time of struggle between the pope and
emperor have been robbed of their goods and driven out of the country.
_The emperor's answer._ Those who adhered to the church in the time of
the struggle against the emperor are living in security in the kingdom,
except those who held some office and are afraid that they will be
compelled to give an account of it, and some others who have left the
kingdom to escape civil and criminal charges. The emperor will permit
them to come back in safety if they will give an account of their
conduct in office and respond to those who have entered suit against
them. But he will do nothing against them for having adhered to the
church. If the pope complains that the treaty of peace has not been
kept, let him remember that contrary to its terms and to the judgment of
nearly all the friars, he is holding the city of Castella. For keeping
this city to the detriment of the empire he is receiving money, although
the emperor has expended more than 100,000 silver marks in aiding him
against the Romans. From this the church has received great advantages,
for land has been taken from the Romans and restored to the church and
her liberties have been recovered and reformed in Rome through the help
of the emperor.

10. _The papal charge._ That he has seized and now holds imprisoned the
nephew of the king of Tunis who wished to come to the pope to receive
baptism. _The emperor's answer._ That the nephew of the king of Tunis
was fleeing from Barbary to Sicily, not to receive baptism, but to
escape his uncle who was threatening him with death. He is not held
captive but is going about freely in Apulia, and although he is often
urged to be baptized, he steadfastly refuses. If however he wishes to be
baptized, the emperor will receive him with rejoicing. He has already
expressed himself in regard to this to the archbishops of Palermo and

11. _The papal charge._ That the church is humiliated and insulted by
the fact that Peter Saraceno, her faithful subject, and friar Jordan are
held captive. _The emperor's answer._ Peter Saraceno has been seized
because he is an enemy and detractor of the emperor. He has attacked the
emperor in Rome as well as elsewhere. He did not come on the business of
the king of England, but he carried a letter of the king in order that
if he were arrested we might be led to spare him. But we did not heed
this letter because the king did not know what snares this man had
prepared for us. In regard to the friar Jordan, although he had defamed
the emperor in his sermons, the emperor neither seized him nor ordered
him to be seized. But because some of the emperor's faithful subjects
knew the friar's character and his trickery, and so were sure that if he
stayed in the mark of Treviso and in Lombardy, he would injure the cause
of the emperor, the emperor caused him to be set free and would have
given him over to the archbishop of Messina, if he had been willing to
submit to the said archbishop.

12. _The papal charge._ The emperor had stirred up sedition in Rome
against the church with the purpose of driving out the pope and his
cardinals, and, contrary to the privileges and rights of the pope, to
destroy the ecclesiastical liberties. _The emperor's answer._ The
emperor denies that he stirred up the sedition in Rome. But he has his
faithful subjects in Rome just as his predecessors, the Roman emperors
and kings of Sicily, had had. And sometimes at the election of senators,
the attempt was made to injure his subjects. Under these circumstances
he had assisted his subjects in their defence, and he would do so as
often as it should be necessary under similar circumstances. But when
the election of a senator took place harmoniously, there was no rioting,
as can be proved by the testimony of the archbishops of Palermo and

13. _The papal charge._ That the emperor had ordered his subjects not to
permit the papal legate, the bishop of Preneste, to pass through their
territory. _The emperor's answer._ The emperor had never even dreamed of
giving such an order, although he might justly have done so, because the
bishop was his enemy. Although he had been sent by the pope as a
religious man on a religious errand, he had nevertheless at the command
of the pope, as he said, in a treacherous and wicked manner led a large
part of Lombardy to revolt against the emperor and had done all he could
to incite the Lombards to rebellion.

14. _The papal charge._ The cause of the crusade is delayed by him
through the quarrel which he has with certain Lombards, although the
church is ready to use all her powers to secure proper satisfaction from
the Lombards for what they have done against the emperor, and the
Lombards themselves are ready to make satisfaction. _The emperor's
answer._ He had often referred that matter to the church, but he had
never received any satisfaction. For the first time, the Lombards were
condemned to furnish 400 knights. But instead of sending them to aid the
emperor, as they should, the pope used them to make war on the emperor.
The second time, they were condemned to furnish 500 knights, but the
pope declared that they should not be sent to the aid of the emperor,
but that they should be sent on the crusade under the control and
protection of the pope and the church. But not even this was done. The
third time, at the request of the cardinals, the Sabine bishop and
_Magister_ Peter of Capua, the affair was again referred to the pope
exactly as the pope desired. But afterward the matter was never
mentioned again until the pope learned that the emperor, having been
deceived so many times about it, was preparing to lead an army from
Germany into Italy. And then the pope at once begged that the matter be
referred to him again. And although the emperor had so often been
deceived in submitting it to the pope, he nevertheless was willing to
submit it to him once more, but a time limit was set and it was
stipulated that it should be decided to the honor of the emperor and to
the advantage of the empire. But the pope was not willing to accept
these conditions, as may be proved by his letter, although he now says
that he was ready to decide the case in accordance with the rights and
honor of the empire. From this it is apparent that the pope's letters
are contradictory to each other. And let the pope not pretend that the
emperor, in trying to restore the rights of the empire in Italy, injured
the prospects of the crusade, for the letters which the emperor wrote in
answer to the kings of the world and to the crusaders in France, who had
chosen him as their leader, will show that he took charge of the crusade
and did not neglect it. He also wrote that he wished to conduct the
whole matter in accordance with the advice of the church.... Finally,
the emperor declared that since he had been absent from the kingdom and
did not know the exact condition of things, if anything had been done
injurious to the church, and had not yet been corrected, he would order
it to be set entirely right, and also because of the great general good
which would come if there were harmony between him and the church, he
would give the church any reasonable security that he would act in
harmony with her, and use all his powers and means for the honor and
advancement of the Christian church and for the preservation of her

144. The Excommunication of Frederick II, 1239.

Huillard-Bréholles, Hist. Dipl., I, pp. 286 ff;
Böhmer-Ficker-Winkelmann, no. 7226 a; Doeberl, V, no. 22 f.

See introductory note to no. 143.

1. By the authority of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and of the
blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we
excommunicate and anathematize Frederick, the so-called emperor, because
he has incited rebellion in Rome against the Roman church, for the
purpose of driving the pope and his brothers [the cardinals] from the
apostolic seat, thus violating the dignity and honor of the apostolic
seat, the liberty of the church, and the oath which he swore to the

2. We excommunicate and anathematize him because he ordered his
followers to prevent our brother, the venerable bishop of Preneste, the
legal legate, from proceeding on his mission to the Albigenses, upon
which we had sent him for the preservation of the Catholic faith.

3. We excommunicate and anathematize him because he has not allowed the
vacancies in certain bishoprics and churches to be filled, thereby
imperilling the liberty of the church, and destroying the true faith,
because in the absence of the pastor there is no one to declare unto the
people the word of God or to care for their souls....

4. We excommunicate and anathematize him because the clergy of his
kingdom are imprisoned, proscribed, and slain, and because the churches
of God are despoiled and profaned.

5. We excommunicate and anathematize him because he has not permitted
the church of Sorana to be rebuilt.

6. We excommunicate and anathematize him because he has seized the
nephew of the king of Tunis and kept him from coming to the Roman church
to be baptized.

7. We excommunicate and anathematize him because he has imprisoned Peter
Saraceno, a Roman noble, who was sent as a messenger to us by the king
of England.

8. We excommunicate and anathematize him because he has seized the lands
of the churches of Ferrara, Pigogna, and Bondenum, and the dioceses of
Ferrara, Bondenum, and Lucca, and the land of Sardinia, contrary to the
oath which he swore to the church.

9. We excommunicate and anathematize him because he has occupied and
wasted the lands of some of the nobles of his kingdom which were held by
the church.

10. We excommunicate and anathematize him because he has robbed the
churches of Monreale, Cefalu, Catania, Squillace, and the monasteries of
Mileto, Santa Eufemia, Terra Maggiore, and San Giovanni in Lamæ.

11. We excommunicate and anathematize him because he has robbed many
bishoprics, churches, and monasteries of his kingdom of almost all their
goods through his unjust trials.

12. We excommunicate and anathematize him because he has not entirely
restored to the Templars and Hospitallers the property of which he had
despoiled them, as he agreed to do in the treaty of peace.

13. Because he has extorted taxes and other payments from the churches
and monasteries of his kingdom contrary to the treaty of peace.

14. We excommunicate him and anathematize him because he has compelled
the prelates of churches and abbots of the Cistercian and of other
orders to make monthly contributions for the erection of new castles.

15. We excommunicate and anathematize him because he has treated the
adherents of the papal party as if they were under the ban, confiscating
their property, exiling them, and imprisoning their wives and children,
contrary to the treaty of peace.

16. We excommunicate and anathematize him because he has hindered the
recovery of the Holy Land and the restoration of the Roman empire.

We absolve all his subjects from their oaths of fidelity to him,
forbidding them to show him fidelity as long as he is under
excommunication. We shall admonish him again to give up oppressing and
injuring the nobles, the poor, the widows and orphans, and others of his
land, and then we shall proceed to act ourselves in the matter. For all
and each of these causes, in regard to which we have frequently
admonished him to no purpose, we excommunicate and anathematize him. In
regard to the accusation of heresy which is made against Frederick, we
shall consider and act upon this in the proper place and time.

145. Current Stories about Frederick II.

Selections from Matthew of Paris, Chronica Majora; Rolls Series, III,
pp. 520 f, p. 527; IV, pp. 474, 634 f; V, pp. 99 f.

A few passages from the chronicle of Matthew of Paris are offered to
illustrate the character of Frederick and to throw a little light on the
great struggle between him and the pope. The last paragraph is
particularly interesting because it indicates that the pope was becoming
conscious that he was meeting with national opposition. But he evidently
misjudged the strength of it. For after overcoming the empire, the
papacy was to succumb to the French king and be subservient to him for
seventy years. And the national opposition was to grow until it
culminated in the great rebellion which has had many stages but has
finally ended in the complete destruction of the temporal power of the

It was about this time [1238] that evil reports became current, which
blackened the reputation of the emperor Frederick. It was said that he
questioned the catholic faith and that he had made statements that
showed not only that he was weak in the faith, but that he was indeed a
heretic and a blasphemer. It is not right even to repeat such things,
but it is reported that he said there were three impostors who had
deceived the people of their time for the purpose of gaining control of
the world, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, and that he made certain absurd
remarks about the eucharist. It is incredible that any sane man should
have uttered such terrible blasphemy. His enemies also said that he
believed more in the religion of Mohammed than in that of Jesus Christ,
and that he kept certain Saracen women as his concubines. There was a
common complaint among the people that the emperor had for a long time
been allied with the Saracens, and that he was more friendly with them
than with Christians. His enemies, who were always trying to blacken his
character, attempted to prove these statements by many evidences;
whether or not they have sinned in doing this, He alone knows who knows
all things.... In this year [1239], while the emperor was spending the
winter in Italy, he recovered certain important islands in the
Mediterranean just off the shore of Pisa, the most important acquisition
being the greater and more valuable part of the island of Sardinia,
which belonged to the patrimony of St. Peter. The emperor, however,
asserted that it belonged of old to the empire, that it had been taken
from the empire illegally by occupation and other wrongful measures and
that he now restored it to the empire. He said: "I have sworn, as is
known to all the world, to recover the dispersed parts of my empire; and
I shall give my best efforts to carrying out my oath." So he sent his
son [Enzio], in spite of the prohibition of the pope, to receive in his
name that portion of the island that had surrendered to him ... [1245].
When Frederick heard that the pope had deposed him, he was terribly
enraged, and could scarcely contain himself for his wrath. Looking
fiercely on those who sat around him, he thundered forth: "That pope has
deposed me in his synod and has taken away my crown. Was there ever such
audacity; was there ever such presumption? Where are the chests that
contain my treasure?" And when these were brought and opened before him
at his command, he said: "See now whether my crowns are lost." Then
taking one of them and putting it on his head, he stood up, with a
threatening look, and spoke out in a terrible voice from the bitterness
of his heart: "I have not yet lost my crown, nor shall the pope and all
his synod take it from me without a bloody struggle. And has his
presumption been so boundless that he has dared to depose me from the
empire, me, a great prince, who have no superior, indeed no equal? So
much the better for my cause; for before this I was bound to obey him,
and to do him reverence, but now I am absolved from any obligation to
love or reverence him or even to keep peace with him." ... [1247]. When
Frederick heard of the acts of the papal legate in Germany, he was
bitterly enraged and sought everywhere for a means of wreaking vengeance
upon the pope. It was feared by some wise and thoughtful men that
Frederick in his wrath might turn apostate, or call in to his aid the
Tartars from Russia, or give the Sultan of Babylon, with whom he was on
the most friendly terms, the chance to overrun the empire with his pagan
hosts, to the destruction of all Christendom.... [1250]. Frederick
attempted to make peace with the pope, ... but the pope replied that he
would not restore the emperor to his former position on any such easy
terms, since he had been deposed and condemned by the general council of
Lyon. And some asserted that the pope desired above all else utterly to
crush Frederick, whom he called the great dragon, in order that he might
then destroy the kings of England and of France and the other Christian
kings (whom he spoke of as kinglets and little serpents), after he had
overawed them by making an example of Frederick, and thus be able to rob
them and their prelates at his pleasure.


146. Diet of Nürnberg, 1274.

M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 399 ff; Altmann und Bernheim, no. 12.

When Rudolf was elected king in 1273, he found that he had a crown but
no income. For during the interregnum (1254-73) the German princes, both
lay and clerical, had seized all the crown lands and revenues. Rudolf
was glad to be king, but his private income was not sufficient to
support his new dignity. Besides, he was of a miserly disposition, and
was bent on getting all out of the office that he could, or at least on
making the office pay for itself. So he demanded the surrender of the
lands and revenues which had been seized. But no one was willing to give
them up. Since Rudolf was compelled to enter suit against each one, it
was necessary to have some disinterested person to act as judge in all
such cases. The diet decided that this office of judge belonged to the
count palatine.

As soon as the judge was decided on, Rudolf asked what he should do in
regard to these lands, and he was told that he must recover them.
Ottokar, king of Bohemia, had himself been a candidate for the crown,
and now refused to acknowledge the election of Rudolf. The diet decided
what should be done in the matter, and instructed Rudolf how he should
proceed against him.

Paragraphs 5-9 reveal to a certain extent the troubled condition into
which Germany had been brought by the interregnum.

1. During the meeting of the diet at Nürnberg, the princes came together
as a public court of justice, in the presence of the most serene lord,
Rudolf, king of the Romans, and attended by a large following of counts
and barons and a great multitude of nobles and common people. And first
the king asked them for a decision on the following question: who should
be judge in cases which involve imperial or fiscal property, and other
offences against the king or the realm, and in which the king of the
Romans makes accusation against a prince of the empire. It was decided
by all the princes and barons who were present that the count palatine
of the Rhine has, and has had from of old, the right to act as judge in
cases where the emperor or king accuses a prince of the empire.

2. The aforesaid count palatine then took his place as judge and the
king asked for a decision on this question: what might and should the
king do in regard to the property, now held by others, which the former
emperor Frederick [II] had held and possessed in peace and quiet before
he was deposed by the princes, and in regard to other imperial property
wrongfully withheld from the empire. It was decided that the king ought
to lay claim to such property and recover it; and that if anyone should
resist the king in his attempt to recover his own, he should use his
royal power to overcome this illegal resistance to authority and to
preserve the rights of the empire.

3. The king asked, in the second place, what the law was in the case of
the king of Bohemia, who had wilfully allowed more than a year and a day
to elapse from the day of the coronation [of Rudolf] at Aachen without
seeking to be invested with his fiefs by the king of the Romans. It was
decided by all the princes and barons that whenever anyone, by his own
neglect or contumacy and without just excuse, failed to seek investiture
of his fiefs within a year and a day, all his fiefs were forfeited by
the mere lapse of time.

4. In the third place, the king asked them how he should proceed to
punish the contumacy of the king of Bohemia. It was decided that the
count palatine of the Rhine should send a freeman to summon the king of
Bohemia to appear before the count palatine at a certain place and on a
certain day, which should be six weeks and three days from the day when
the decision was rendered, and to answer the accusation of contumacy
brought against him by the king. If the freeman who was chosen to carry
the summons swore that he did not dare appear before the king of Bohemia
or enter his lands because he had good grounds to fear personal injury,
it would then be sufficient for the diet to pass an edict summoning the
king of Bohemia and for the count palatine to proclaim this summons
publicly in the city or town of his that was nearest to the kingdom of
Bohemia. To allow this matter to be settled in an orderly way, however,
eighteen days in addition to the original six weeks and three days were
to be allowed for the answer to the summons, so that the king of Bohemia
should appear before the count palatine at Würzburg nine weeks from the
19th of November, that is, on the 20th of January; otherwise he should
be proceeded against according to the law.

5. It was decided also that the king of the Romans ought to take
cognizance of all civil and criminal cases arising on and after the day
of his coronation, and of all civil cases (_i.e._, those involving
inheritances, fiefs, possessions, and property) arising even before his
coronation, if they had not been settled by decision of the court, by
compromise, or by some amicable agreement.

6. In regard to wrongs which date from the quarrel between the empire
and the papacy in the days of the emperor Frederick (seizure of
property, injuries, and damages committed by one party against the
other), the king proposes to confer with the pope and to try to reach
some agreement with him that shall be just to both parties.

7. The king urges and requests all those who have seized or burned or
destroyed the property of others during the time from the death of
emperor Frederick to the coronation of the king [_i.e._, Rudolf], to
make compensation and come to some amicable agreement with those whom
they have injured; and he also requests the injured not to refuse to
accept such arrangement. If the parties cannot agree, the king will
himself decide the cases. This does not refer, however, to public
plunderers of churches and holy places, or to those who have made open
war, all of whom are to be brought to justice immediately. Likewise all
cases pending before the king or his officials ought to be settled
within a reasonable time.

8. It was decided also that summonses and decrees issuing from the court
or from royal officials should be written and sealed with the seal of
the judges, and that such documents should be in themselves sufficient
evidence of the fact of the summons without further proof, and that not
more than six coins of Halle or their equivalent should be exacted for
the serving of the summons.

9. The king also notified all advocates who had used their office as a
pretext for oppression to come to some agreement with those whom they
had injured, and not to exact or demand in the future more than is due
from those for whom they act as advocates. Otherwise they will be
brought to trial for their injustice.

10. He also decreed that _phalburgii_{76} should not be allowed to live
in any imperial city.

{76} For the meaning of this term see no. 139, paragraph 10.

147. The German Princes Confirm Rudolf's Surrender of all Imperial
Claims in Italy, 1278-79.

M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 421 f.

Rudolf saw clearly that the policy which the German kings had followed
with regard to Italy had led to their ruin. He determined to give up
this fatal policy, and to devote himself to the acquisition of lands and
power in Germany. Accordingly he acknowledged all the papal claims in
Italy, thus surrendering all for which the emperors had fought for the
last 200 years. Contenting himself with what seemed obtainable, he
gracefully acknowledged the defeat and failure of his predecessors, and
struck out a new policy for himself (see no. 150). The princes confirmed
his agreement with the pope by this document. Notice that the princes
use the figures of the two luminaries and the two swords, accepting the
papal interpretation (see no. 114).

We, the princes of the empire, to all to whom these presents come. The
holy Roman church has always borne a special love for Germany, and has
given her a name which in secular affairs is above the name of every
other power on earth [_i.e._, the name of the empire]; she has
established the princes in Germany, like rare and beautiful trees in a
garden, watering them with her special favor, and they [the princes],
supported by the church, have brought forth wonderful fruit; namely, the
ruler of the empire who is produced by the election of the princes. He
[the emperor] is that lesser luminary in the firmament of this world
which shines by the reflected light of the great luminary, the vicar of
Christ. He it is who draws the material sword at the command of the
pope, to support the spiritual sword which the shepherd of shepherds
uses to guard his sheep, and he wields it to restrain and correct
evil-doers and to aid the good and the faithful. Now we desire that all
occasion of dissension and strife should be avoided, that the two swords
should work together for the reformation of the whole world, and that
we, the princes, who are bound to support both the church and the
empire, should be recognized as lovers of peace. Therefore we approve
and ratify all concessions, renewals, and new grants made by our lord
Rudolf, by the grace of God king of the Romans, Augustus, to our most
holy father and lord, pope Nicholas III, and to his successors, and to
the Roman church; in particular, the fidelity, obedience, honor, and
reverence to be paid to the popes and to the Roman church by the
emperors and kings of the Romans; the possessions, honors, and dignities
of the Roman church; including all the land from Radicofano to Ceperano,
the march of Ancona, the duchy of Spoleto, the lands of the countess
Matilda, the city of Ravenna, the Emilia, with the cities of Bobbio,
Cesena, Forlimpopoli, Forli, Faenza, Imola, Bologna, Ferrara, Comacle,
Adria, Gabello, Rimini, Urbino, Montefeltre, the territory of Balneum,
the county of Bertinoro, the exarchate of Ravenna, the Pentapolis, Massa
Trabaria, and the adjacent lands of the church, with all the boundaries,
territories, islands, land, and water, belonging to the aforesaid
provinces, cities, territories, and places; also the city of Rome and
the kingdom of Sicily, including its possessions on the mainland and on
the island of Sicily; also Corsica and Sardinia, and all other lands and
rights belonging to the church....

148. Revocation of Grants of Lands Belonging to the Imperial Domain,

M. G. LL. folio, II, p. 435; Altmann und Bernheim, no. 14.

Rudolf's efforts to secure the crown lands which had been seized during
the interregnum (see introductory note, no. 146) were not successful.
The princes often voted that he should recover them, but each one
refused to give up those which he himself held. In spite of his
continued efforts, Rudolf was unable to regain any large part of them.

We, Rudolf, by the grace of God, etc., by this document, declare and
publicly proclaim that while we were holding court in a regular diet at
Nürnberg, a decision was rendered and all our princes, nobles, and other
faithful subjects who were present agreed to it. This decision was that
all gifts of imperial lands and possessions confirmed or made in any way
by Richard the king, or his predecessors in the Roman empire since the
sentence of deposition was passed on Frederick II shall be invalid, and
are hereby revoked, except those that shall be approved by a majority of
the electoral princes.

149. An Electoral "Letter of Consent," 1282.

Stillfried und Maerker, Monumenta Zollerana, II, p. 138; Altmann und
Bernheim, no. 15.

The power of the electors as well as the weakness of the crown after
1273 are shown by the fact that the electors compelled the king to
secure their express and written consent before taking any important
action. By this means the electors hoped to control the policy of the
king and to make their own positions secure. If what the king proposed
to do was not to their interest, they made him pay well for their
consent. We give here an interesting example of these "letters of

Werner, by the grace of God archbishop of Mainz, etc. Desiring always to
comply promptly with the wishes of our most serene lord, Rudolf, king,
etc., we entirely and freely give him our permission to grant as a fief
the villages of Lenkersheim, Erlebach, and Brucke, with all their
belongings, to Frederick, the burggrave of Nürnberg, whenever he wishes.

150. Letter of Rudolf to Edward I, King of England, Announcing his
Intention of Investing his Sons with Austria, etc., 1283.

Rymer, Foedera, II, p. 259.

Rudolf's chief policy was the aggrandizement of his family. By all
possible means he endeavored to acquire lands in such a way that they
would remain in the possession of his family, no matter who should be
elected as his successor. This document is interesting as throwing light
on his ambitious foreign relations, but it is still more important
because it speaks of a great event in the good fortunes of the Hapsburg
house, namely: the acquisition of the duchies of Austria, Styria, and
Carinthia, the territorial basis for its future greatness. See no. 110,
for the origin of the duchy of Austria.

To the magnificent prince, Edward, by the grace of God king of England
and our dearest friend, Rudolf, by the same grace king of the Romans,
Augustus, a perpetual increase of love and friendship. Although the
Emperor of the eternal empire, the creator of all things, has stricken
our heart with an incurable wound in the death of our beloved son
Hartmann, by whose marriage our two houses were to be bound together in
an eternal bond of friendship, yet, for our part, his death has not put
an end to our friendship for you, as we are eager to demonstrate in
every way. Therefore we have thought it right to inform you that we are
prospering in all things, and have been successful in securing the
consent of the electors to our plans for raising our sons to the rank of
princes and investing them with the duchies of Austria, Styria, and

151. Decree against Counterfeiters, 1285.

M. G. LL. folio, II, p. 446.

Since so many individuals, cities, and monasteries had the right to coin
money, it was impossible to keep effective control of the coinage. It
was inevitable that it would in the course of time be debased. During
the interregnum this abuse seems to have grown rapidly.

Rudolf, etc., to all the faithful subjects of the holy Roman empire to
whom these presents come, grace and every good thing. In the court over
which we presided, held at Mainz on the day of the blessed Virgin
Margaret, we asked the princes, counts, nobles, ministerials, and other
faithful subjects of our empire who were present, what should be the
penalty for coiners of false money, for those who pass false money or
knowingly have it in their possession, and for the lords who protect
such persons in their castles. It was decided that the coiner of false
money should be decapitated; that he who passed false money or knowingly
had it in his possession should lose his hand, and that the lord who
protected a coiner of false money should suffer the same penalty as the

152. The Beginning of the Swiss Confederation, 1290.

Kopp, Urkunden zur Geschichte der eidgenössischen Bünde, no. 19.

The Swiss confederation had its beginning in the following league which
the three forest cantons, Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden, made in 1290. It
is in itself, however, a renewal of a still older league, the history of
which is unknown to us. This document reveals the fact that these
cantons were not entirely independent, but were subject to some external
power. For instance, they did not choose or create their own judges, but
received them from some one whom they recognized as their lord. The next
document, no. 152 a, shows that unfree men, probably ministerials, had
been put over them as judges.

In the name of the Lord, amen. It is a good thing for the public utility
if communities agree to preserve order and peace. Therefore let all know
that the men of the valley of Uri, and the community of the valley of
Schwyz, and the commune of those who live within the mountains of the
lower valley [Unterwalden], considering the dangers that threaten them,
and in order to be better able to defend themselves and their
possessions, have, in good faith, promised mutually to assist each other
with aid, counsel, and support, and with their persons as well as their
possessions, with all their power and with their best effort, within the
valley and without, against each and all who may try to molest, harm, or
injure any of us in our persons or in our possessions. Each commune
promised to aid the others whenever it should be necessary, and at its
own expense to assist the others in repelling the attacks of their
enemies and in avenging their injuries. The three cantons took oath that
they would do these things without treachery.

We hereby renew the ancient agreement which has existed among us. (1)
Each man, according to his condition, shall be bound to obey his lord
and to serve him in the proper manner. (2) We unanimously promise,
decree, and ordain that in the aforesaid valleys we will not receive any
judge who has bought his office in any way, or who is not an inhabitant
of the valley. (3) If a dispute arises among us, the more prudent among
us shall meet and settle it as seems best to them. If anyone refuses to
accept their decision we will all assist in enforcing it. (4) Above all,
we decree that whoever treacherously and without good reason kills
another shall be taken and put to death, unless he can prove his own
innocence and a grave offence of the other. If the murderer runs away,
he shall never be permitted to return to the valley. All who receive or
protect such a malefactor shall be driven out of the valley until the
people agree to permit them to return. (5) If anyone, by day or night,
secretly and maliciously burns the house of another, he shall never
again be regarded as a citizen of the valley. And if anyone protects or
defends such a malefactor within the valley, he shall make proper
satisfaction to him whose house was burned. (6) If anyone seizes the
property of another, his own possessions, if they are in the valley,
shall be seized for the purpose of rendering just satisfaction to him
whose property was taken. (7) No one shall take the property of another
as a pledge [security], unless he is bondsman for him, or the latter is
clearly his debtor, and then only with the special permission of the
judge. (8) Each one must obey his judge, and, if necessary, must tell
the name of the judge before whom he must answer. (9) If anyone resists
the decision of the judge and thereby causes damage to another, we are
all bound to assist in compelling him to make proper satisfaction to him
whom he has injured. (10) If war [feud] or a quarrel arises between any
of us, and one of the parties refuses or neglects to secure its justice
or to render satisfaction, we are all bound to defend the other party.

As an evidence that these statutes shall be binding forever this present
document was made at the request of the aforesaid inhabitants and sealed
with the seals of the three communities.

Done in the year of our Lord 1290, at the beginning of August.

152 a. Edict of Rudolf, Forbidding Judges of Servile Rank to Exercise
Authority in Schwyz, 1291.

M. G. LL. folio, II, p. 457.

The free peasants of the Swiss cantons had a serious ground of complaint
in the fact that feudal lords made use of their ministerials in the
administration of justice. Being themselves freemen, the peasants of
Schwyz objected to being tried and judged by men of unfree rank, as the
ministerials were. See nos. 296 and 297.

Rudolf, by the grace of God king of the Romans, Augustus, to all the
freemen of Schwyz, his beloved subjects, grace and every good thing. We
regard it as unfitting that any person of servile condition should be
made a judge over you. Therefore, by our royal authority expressed in
this letter, we decree that no one of servile condition shall ever in
the future exercise the authority of a judge over you.

153. Concessions of Adolf, Count of Nassau, to the Archbishop of Cologne
in Return for his Vote, 1292.

Ennen, Wahl des Königs Adolf von Nassau, pp. 56 ff; Altmann und
Bernheim, no. 16.

Candidates for the royal crown in Germany were compelled to practise
bribery in the most open and shameless manner. Each elector was
determined to get as much as he could for his vote, in one way or
another, and so demanded a great variety of things from the candidate.
We give the agreement which Adolf, count of Nassau, was compelled to
make with the archbishop of Cologne in 1292. Of course he had to pay, or
at least promise to pay, something to each of the other electors. An
analysis of each paragraph will make clear the advantages which the
archbishop sought to obtain from Adolf in return for his vote.

The archbishop of Cologne had followed a policy of territorial
expansion. The great commercial interests of his city made it desirable
that it should control the water-way to the sea and, if possible, a part
of the coast-line. So Siegfried attempted to get possession of the lands
which lay to the north and northwest, between Cologne and the sea. This
brought him into conflict with the dukes of Brabant, and led to a war.
In the battle of Worringen, June 6, 1228, the archbishop was defeated,
taken prisoner, and held as a captive for eleven months. During his
captivity his enemies took many of his possessions from him. In addition
to these misfortunes the people of Cologne rebelled against him, and
seized his castles, lands, and revenues. When he was finally released
from captivity, he found himself in a bad plight. He was without troops,
his castles were either destroyed or in the hands of his enemies, and
the gates of his city were closed against him. This explains many of the
things which he demanded of Adolf.

Otto "with the arrow," the margrave of Brandenburg (d. 1309), received
his title in a curious way. He made war on the archbishop of Magdeburg,
and in a battle was struck on the head with an arrow. The point of the
arrow could not be removed, but remained in his head for more than a
year. On this account he was afterward called Otto "with the arrow."

We, Adolf, by the grace of God count of Nassau, etc. Long before the
empire was made vacant by the death of Rudolf, king of the Romans, we
had vowed to God to go on a crusade, if it were possible, and to render
a pleasing service to God for the remission of our sins. Now we could do
much more for the honor of God and the recovery of the holy land, if we,
although unworthy, were elected king of the Romans. Since our reverend
father, Siegfried, archbishop of Cologne, is laboring for our election
and will vote for us, of our own free will and accord we promise and
bind ourselves by our word of honor and by our oath to do the following

(1) If we are elected king of the Romans, we will protect and defend the
church and all ecclesiastical persons in all their rights and liberties,
and if damage is done them, we will endeavor to make it good. And we
promise this especially of the church of Cologne, which has now for a
long time been suffering from her heavy losses and misfortunes.

(2) Even if the other electors do not vote for us, we will accept the
election at the hands of the archbishop of Cologne, and we will never
give up the right to the crown which his vote gives us.

(3) And because the empire cannot prosper if the holy church of Cologne,
which has suffered so many losses and misfortunes, is not first restored
by the aid of the empire, we promise and of our own free will and accord
bind ourselves by our word of honor and by our oath that if the
archbishop votes for us, we will surrender to him and to his successors
and to the church of Cologne the fortresses and strongholds, Cochem,
Wied, Landskrone, Sinzig, Duisburg, and Dortmund, in order that he may
better defend and preserve the right of the realm and of the empire in
those parts, and also the rights of the church of Cologne, against their
enemies and opponents. We will free these places from the claims of
those who now hold them, and we will give them, with all their rights,
income, jurisdiction, tolls, and belongings, to be held and possessed by
the said archbishop and his successors and the church of Cologne as long
as we live. And we will never demand them, or any part of their income,
of the archbishop as long as we live. We grant all their income, tolls,
and profits during our reign to the archbishop in return for his
services in holding them against our enemies and those of the empire. We
reserve for ourselves only the free right to enter the said places
whenever it may be necessary.

(4) The said archbishop and the church of Cologne had pawned their
castles, Leggenich, Wied, Waldenburg, Rodenburg, and Aspel, to count
Adolf de Monte for a certain sum of money in order to liberate the
archbishop from captivity; but the Roman church had ordered the said
count under threat of excommunication and interdict to restore freely
and entirely the said castles to the archbishop and his church and had
commissioned Rudolf, the late king of the Romans, to see that he did so.
We promise therefore that we will compel count Adolf and his heirs to
surrender the said castles and the village of Deutz to the archbishop
and his church without any loss and without the payment of any money.

(5) We also promise to restore to the said archbishop the advocacy and
jurisdiction in Essen, and the manors of Westhoven, Brakel, and
Elnenhorst, and we guarantee to him the peaceable possession of them.

(6) We also promise to maintain the archbishop and his successors in the
possession of the castles Wassenberg and Leidberg, and we will aid them
against the duke of Brabant and the count of Flanders and all others who
may attempt to invade and seize these possessions.

(7) If the archbishop or his successors and the church of Cologne wish
at their own expense to rebuild the castles, Worringen, Ysenburg, Werl,
Minden, Ravensberg, Volmarstein, Hallenberg, and the other castles of
the church of Cologne which were destroyed during the captivity of the
archbishop, we promise to resist all violence offered them while doing
so, and we will use our royal power against those who try to prevent
them from rebuilding them.

(8) We also promise to confirm the archbishop in the possession of the
tolls at Andernach and Rheinberg, and we will renew all the grants which
have been made by emperors and kings to the said church.

(9) We also promise to restore to the archbishop and the church of
Cologne the castle and possessions at Zelten, of which the archbishop
was deprived during his captivity by the count of Veldenz.

(10) We also promise to compel the citizens of Cologne to make the
proper satisfaction to the archbishop and the church of Cologne for
their offences against the archbishop. They have now been excommunicated
a year and a day and their offence is notorious, and if they do not make
the proper satisfaction to the archbishop, we will, at the request of
the archbishop and the church of Cologne, proscribe the citizens and
confiscate their property. And we will labor with all our might and at
our own expense to aid the archbishop and his successors and the church
of Cologne against the citizens and all who aid them. We will not cease
to make war on them nor will we make a peace, truce, or agreement with
them without the consent of the archbishop, and in such matters we will
follow his wishes.

(11) We also promise that if the citizens submit to the archbishop, or
are subjected by him, we will not in any way interfere in the affairs of
the city, nor will we require an oath of fidelity and homage from the
citizens, because the city belongs completely to the archbishop and he
has jurisdiction over it in all matters both spiritual and temporal.

(12) We also promise to renew and confirm to the archbishop and the
church of Cologne their protection of the monastery of Corvey, which was
granted them by Rudolf, king of the Romans, and we will recover for the
church of Corvey all the castles and strongholds which have been
violently taken from her.

(13) We promise to give the archbishop and the church of Cologne 25,000
silver marks toward defraying the necessary expenses which he and the
church of Cologne are bound to have in performing the services which
they owe to the empire.

(14) In order to secure the observance of these promises, we agree to
get the castles, Nassau, Dillenburg, Ginsberg, and Segen, with the full
consent of count Henry, his wife, and his brother, Emicho, and also
Braubach, Rheinfels, Limburg, and the castle and town of Velmar, with
the consent of their lords and their heirs, and we will put all these
places into the hands of the archbishop, his successors, and the church
of Cologne, to be held at our expense. We will name fifty nobles and
knights as good and legal security, and if the archbishop wishes, we
will go into Bonn with these fifty nobles within fifteen days, and we
will not leave Bonn until each and all of these promises have been
fulfilled, or security given that they will be fulfilled to the
satisfaction of the archbishop.

(15) We also agree that if we act contrary to these our promises, or
fail to give the archbishop security, we shall thereby be deposed and we
shall lose the kingdom to which we have been elected, and in that case
we will renounce all claims upon the realm which we acquired by the
election. And the electors shall proceed to elect another king, if the
archbishop thinks it best.

(16) We will not demand the coronation, or consecration, or
installation, in Aachen from the archbishop, nor in any way trouble him
about it until we have given him full security that we will do all that
we have promised.

(17) We likewise cancel the debt which the archbishop owes us on account
of the tolls at Andernach, which he had pawned to us.

(18) We further promise to call before our court the trial which is
pending between the archbishop and the count of Nassau for the recovery
of losses and damages, and we will decide it according to the desire of
the archbishop.

(19) We also promise to seek the favor and friendship of Otto "with the
arrow," the margrave of Brandenburg, for the archbishop and the church
of Cologne, as well as the favor of count Otto of Everstein.

(20) If the children of the late William, brother of Walram, who is now
count of Jülich, bring suit or make war on the present count, Walram,
for the possession of the county and other possessions, we will assist
count Walram. And we will aid him against the duke of Brabant, the count
of Flanders, and others who may make war on him.

(21) We will give the said count Walram the town of Düren as long as we

(22) The office of _Schultheiss_ of Aachen, with all the rights of that
office, we will give to whomsoever the archbishop may choose.

(23) Rudolf, king of the Romans, was in debt to the father of the said
count, Walram, and had given him his note. In regard to this debt we
will consult our friends and the archbishop, and we will do what is
right and in some way satisfy the count.

(24) We also promise that so long as we live we will be favorable and
friendly to the archbishop and the church of Cologne, and we will aid
them against their enemies, and, without the consent of the archbishop
and his successors, we will never take the counts of Monte and Marka, or
the duke of Brabant, or other enemies of the church of Cologne into our
counsel and confidence.

(25) In testimony of this we have affixed our seal to this writing.

(26) We, John, lord of Limburg; Ulric, lord of Hagenau; Godfrey of
Merenberg, and John of Rheinberg, at the command of count Adolf, have
sworn and promised that we will compel the said count Adolf to fulfil
each and all of these promises without treachery and fraud. And we have
affixed our seals to this document.

(27) Besides we, Adolf, promise under threat of the aforesaid
punishments, that we will not enfeoff anyone with the duchies of Austria
and Limburg, which have reverted to the crown, nor will we make any
disposition of them without the express and written consent and
permission of the archbishop.

154. The Archbishop of Mainz is Confirmed as Archchancellor of Germany,

De Guden, Codex Diplom., I, pp. 904 f; Altmann und Bernheim, no. 18.

The archbishop of Mainz had long been the archchancellor of Germany, but
nearly all the duties of the office were performed by others. Although
his office had become a sinecure, he wished to retain it, because of the
dignity which the title gave him, as well as the income of it. The
archbishop of Mainz had been a determined opponent of the Hapsburg party
in 1292, and again in 1298, when Adolf was deposed, he was not at first
favorable to the candidacy of Albert. He may have feared that Albert, in
a spirit of revenge, would attempt to deprive him of his office, or at
least of some of its perquisites.

Albert, by the grace of God, king, etc. We remember with gratitude how
ably and faithfully Gerhard, the venerable archbishop of Mainz, labored
to elect us king and supported us after we were elected. For this we
surely ought not only to protect him and his church in their liberties,
rights, and prerogatives, but also to show him still greater kindness
and favors. We therefore declare that the aforesaid archbishop and all
his successors in the archbishopric are and ought to be archchancellors
of the holy empire in Germany. And we faithfully promise and bind
ourselves by this document to maintain, defend, and protect the said
archbishop and his successors in the rights, honors, dignities, and
liberties which belong to them because of their office as
archchancellor. That is, they shall always receive a tenth of all the
money which we collect from the Jews, and they shall always appoint the
chancellor to take their place [and do the work of their office], and
they shall have all the profits accruing from this office, whether the
said archbishops are actually present at our court or not.

155. Declaration of the Election of Henry VII, 1308.

M. G. LL. folio, II, p. 491; Altmann und Bernheim, no. 19.

This document shows the last step in the election of a German king.
After all the electors had discussed the candidates and expressed their
choice, the count palatine of the Rhine may be said to have cast the
vote of the whole body of electors for the candidate upon whom they had

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, amen. The kingdom and
the empire of the Romans having become vacant by the death of Albert,
king of the Romans, of blessed memory, notices were sent to all who have
the right to vote in the election of a new king of the Romans, and on
the day set all those who have any part in it were present and agreed to
proceed to the election. And after each of the electors had declared his
choice it appeared that all had given their votes for Henry, count of
Luxemburg, agreeing upon him and naming him as king-elect, because they
were confident from what they knew of his merits and his fidelity that
he would defend and foster the holy Roman and universal church in her
spiritual and temporal interests and would govern wisely the empire with
the aid of God. Now, therefore, I, Rudolf, count palatine of the Rhine,
for myself and my coelectors, by the authority which they have specially
conceded to me do elect this Henry, count of Luxemburg, king of the
Romans, advocate of the holy Roman and universal church, and defender of
widows and orphans, and I invoke upon him the grace of the Holy Spirit.

156. The Supplying of the Office of the Archchancellor of Italy, 1310.

Lacomblet, Urkundenbuch für die Geschichte des Niederrheins, III, p.
70; Altmann und Bernheim, no. 20.

The archbishop of Cologne as archchancellor of Italy wished to enjoy the
honors and revenues of his office, but the work connected with it was
done by some one else. For some reason he did not wish to go into Italy
with the king. So Henry VII confirmed him in his rights, and excused him
from accompanying him.

Henry, by the grace of God king of the Romans, Augustus, to all present
and future subjects of the holy Roman empire, grace and every good
thing.... Henry, venerable archbishop of Cologne, archchancellor of the
empire for Italy and our very dear prince, has excused himself from
accompanying us across the Alps, whither, God willing, we are shortly
going, because he is so occupied with our affairs here and with the
interests of the empire and of his own church. Therefore, at his
request, we have appointed a suitable person to accompany us in his
place, and to exercise the office of chancellor in Italy for him,
guarding the seals and performing such other duties as the office may
require. We have also granted to the archbishop as a special grace,
because of his conspicuous merits, that the honor, authority, and
profits of the office shall belong entirely to him and to his church of
Cologne. He whom we have put in charge of the office shall perform the
duties of the chancellor in Italy in the place of the archbishop, and
all persons shall obey him in all matters regarding the rights and
revenues belonging to the archbishop of Cologne and shall appear before
him at the accustomed place and time.

157. The Law "Licet Juris" of the Diet of Frankfort, August 8, 1338.

Altmann und Bernheim, no. 27.

John XXII had declared, in his struggle with Ludwig the Bavarian, that
he had the right to confer the imperial crown, and to administer the
empire during a vacancy. His broad claims offended the German people and
led to a spirited but brief exhibition of national sentiment. The
electors met at Rense, 1338, and emphatically declared that the imperial
crown was not in any way dependent on the will of the pope, but that he
whom they elected king of Germany was thereby made emperor without any
action on the part of the pope. A few days later a diet was held at
Frankfort, and the decision of the electors at Rense was enacted as a
law. But it must be said that the electors themselves nullified it by
appealing to the pope for aid when they deposed Ludwig and elected
Charles IV (1346-7).

Both the canon and the civil law declare plainly that the dignity and
authority of the emperor came of old directly from the Son of God, that
God has appointed the emperors and kings of the world to give laws to
the human race, and that the emperor obtains his office solely through
his election by those who have the right to vote in imperial elections
[the electors], without the confirmation and approval of anyone else.
For in secular affairs he has no superior on earth, but rather is the
ruler of all nations and peoples. Moreover, our Lord Jesus Christ has
said: "Render unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's, and unto God the
things which are God's." Nevertheless, certain persons, blinded by
avarice and ambition, and totally ignorant of the Scriptures, have
distorted the meaning of certain passages by false and wicked
interpretations, and on this basis have attacked the imperial authority
and the rights of the emperors, electors, and other princes and subjects
of the empire. For they wrongfully assert that the emperor derives his
position and authority from the pope, and that the emperor elect is not
the real emperor until his election is confirmed and approved, and he is
crowned by the pope. These false and dangerous assertions are clearly
the work of the ancient enemy of mankind, attempting to stir up strife
and discord, and to bring about confusion and dissensions among men.

In order to prevent this we now declare by the advice and with the
consent of the electors and other princes of the empire, that the
emperor holds his authority and position from God alone, and that it is
the ancient law and custom of the empire that he who is elected emperor
or king by the electors of the empire, thereby becomes true king and
emperor of the Romans, and should be obeyed by all the subjects of the
empire, and has full power to administer the laws of the empire and to
perform all the functions of the emperor, without the approval,
confirmation, authorization, or consent of the pope or any other person.

Therefore, we decree by this perpetual edict that the emperor elected by
the electors or a majority of them is to be regarded and considered by
all to be the true and lawful emperor, by reason of the election alone;
that he is to be obeyed by all subjects of the empire; and that he has,
and all must hold and assert that he has, the complete imperial power of
administration and jurisdiction. If anyone contradicts these decrees and
decisions or any one of them, or agrees with those who contradict them,
or yields obedience to the commands, letters, or instructions of
opponents of these decrees, we hereby deprive him and declare him to be
deprived, by virtue of his act and of this law, of all fiefs which he
holds of the empire, and of all favors, jurisdiction, privileges, and
immunities which have been granted to him by us or by our predecessors.
Moreover, we declare that he is guilty of offence against the majesty of
the emperor, and subject to the penalties incurred by this offence.

158-159. The Diet of Coblenz, 1338.

158. Chronicle of Flanders. (French.)

Böhmer, Fontes rerum Germanicarum, I. pp. 190 f.

The name of the empire was still something to conjure with, although it
was little more than a name. Not only had the emperors long since ceased
to exercise any authority over the nations of Europe, but they had also
become mere figure-heads in Germany and Italy. Ludwig of Bavaria was not
only cowardly and ineffectual, but he was also without the means
necessary to secure a vigorous forcible government in Germany. Even the
thought of his disposing of the French crown, or interfering effectively
in the affairs of France, was absurd. These two documents show that the
idea of the worldwide empire lived on, and illustrate the way in which
otherwise sensible men could make use of it when it suited their
purpose. Edward III, who was just beginning the Hundred Years' War, was
seeking allies against France. In securing an alliance with the emperor
and the appointment as imperial vicar in the Netherlands, his purpose
was to acquire the right to call on the nobles of that territory to aid
him in his war.

How the emperor, wearing the imperial insignia, held a diet.

The Saturday before the Nativity of our Lady, in September of the year
of grace 1338, the electoral princes of Germany came together at
Coblenz, and there they held a diet, placing the emperor, Ludwig of
Bavaria, upon a throne twelve feet high. The emperor wore a robe of
changeable silk, and over it a mantle, and broad fanons on his arms. He
wore a stole, crossed on his breast like that of a priest and richly
embroidered with his arms; and on his feet he wore shoes made of the
same cloth as his robe. On his head he wore a round mitre surmounted by
a heavy golden crown; the crown was covered with flowers worked in gold,
and in the front was a cross of gold which overtopped the flowers. He
wore white silk gloves on his hands and precious rings on his fingers.
In his right hand he held a golden globe surmounted by a cross, and in
his left a sceptre. At the right of the emperor sat the margrave of the
East Mark and of Meissen, to whom the emperor gave the globe to hold.
The king of England sat beside the emperor on a lower throne, clad in a
scarlet robe, on the breast of which a castle was embroidered. At the
left of the emperor sat the margrave of Jülich, to whom the emperor gave
the sceptre to hold. Two steps below the emperor sat the electoral
princes of the empire. Sire de Kuck, representing the duke of Brabant,
stood behind the emperor, about two feet above him, holding a naked
sword. And the emperor, seated on the throne and holding a diet,
proclaimed to all by the words of his own mouth that he had created the
king of England his vicar and lieutenant.

159. Chronicle of Henry Knyghton.

Böhmer, Fontes rerum Germanicarum, I, pp. 191 f.

See introductory note to no. 158.

When the emperor learned of the approach of king Edward, he set out from
his place to meet him, and after travelling four days he met him near
Coblenz, receiving him there with great honor. Two richly decorated
thrones were set up in the market-place, and on these the emperor and
the king sat. There were present in attendance four dukes, three
archbishops, six bishops, and thirty-seven counts, besides a great
number, estimated by the heralds at 17,000, of barons, baronets,
knights, and others. The emperor held in his right hand the imperial
sceptre, and in his left the golden globe as a symbol of world-wide
authority. A certain knight held a drawn sword above his head. And the
emperor in the presence of the people gathered there proclaimed to all
the crimes, disobedience, and wickedness of the king of France. And
after he had declared that the king of France had broken his faith to
the emperor, he published a decree of forfeiture against him and his
followers. Then the emperor made king Edward his vicar and gave him
authority over the land from Cologne to the sea, presenting him with a
charter of this in the sight of all the people.

On the next day the emperor and the king of England and their nobles
assembled in the cathedral, and the archbishop of Cologne said mass. And
after mass the emperor and all his nobles swore to aid the king of
England and to maintain his quarrel against the king of France with
their lives for seven years, if the war between the said kings should
last so long. They also swore that all the nobles in the territory from
Cologne to the sea would come at the summons of the king of England to
join him in an attack upon the king of France at any place and at any
time set by him. If any one of them should fail to obey the king of
England in these matters, all the other nobles of northern Germany would
attack and destroy him. These affairs having been arranged and settled,
the king of England received the grant of authority and returned to

160. The Golden Bull of Charles IV, 1356.

Altmann und Bernheim, no. 29.

Various things had led the emperors to follow the policy of conferring
crown rights upon their princes. In order to carry out their Italian
policy the Hohenstaufen had sacrificed the power of the crown in Germany
(see nos. 110-112, 136, 138, 139), and after the interregnum the
electors pillaged the crown at every opportunity (see nos. 149, 153).
The result was that the crown was stripped of authority, while the
princes had developed almost complete sovereignty in their lands.
Charles IV, in the Golden Bull, attempted to fix as in a constitution
the actual rights and status of the princes. He saw that Germany was no
longer a monarchy, but a federation of princes.

Although from 1273 the number of electors was fixed at seven, it was not
always clear who these seven were. Thus in 1313 two men claimed to
possess the electoral vote of Saxony, and two others, that of Bohemia.
Charles IV made provisions to prevent the recurrence of such a situation
by attaching the electoral vote to the possession of certain lands (see
chaps. VII, XX, and XXV). Charles IV was himself king of Bohemia, and,
knowing that it was hopeless to attempt to restore the German kingship,
he exerted himself in the Golden Bull to secure for Bohemia all the
advantages possible.


(Published at Nürnberg, January 10, 1356.)



1. We decree and determine by this imperial edict that, whenever the
electoral princes are summoned according to the ancient and praiseworthy
custom to meet and elect a king of the Romans and future emperor, each
one of them shall be bound to furnish on demand an escort and
safe-conduct to his fellow electors or their representatives, within his
own lands and as much farther as he can, for the journey to and from the
city where the election is to be held. Any electoral prince who refuses
to furnish escort and safe-conduct shall be liable to the penalties for
perjury and to the loss of his electoral vote for that occasion.

2. We decree and command also that all other princes who hold fiefs from
the empire by whatever title, and all counts, barons, knights, clients,
nobles, commoners, citizens, and all corporations of towns, cities, and
territories of the empire, shall furnish escort and safe-conduct for
this occasion to every electoral prince or his representatives, on
demand, within their own lands and as much farther as they can.
Violators of this decree shall be punished as follows: Princes, counts,
barons, knights, clients, and all others of noble rank, shall suffer the
penalties of perjury, and shall lose the fiefs which they hold of the
emperor or any other lord, and all their other possessions; citizens and
corporations shall also suffer the penalty for perjury, shall be
deprived of all the rights, liberties, privileges, and graces which they
have received from the empire, and shall incur the ban of the empire
against their persons and property. Those whom we deprive of their
rights for this offence may be attacked by any man without appealing to
a magistrate, and without danger of reprisal, for they are rebels
against the state and the empire, and have attacked the honor and
security of the prince, and are convicted of faithlessness and perfidy.

3. We also command that the citizens and corporations of cities shall
furnish supplies to the electoral princes and their representatives on
demand at the regular price and without fraud, whenever they arrive at,
or depart from, the city on their way to or from the election; those who
violate this decree shall suffer the penalties described in the
preceding paragraph for citizens and corporations. If any prince, count,
baron, knight, client, noble, commoner, citizen, or city shall attack or
molest in person or goods any of the electoral princes or their
representatives, on their way to or from an election, whether they have
safe-conduct or not, he and his accomplices shall incur the penalties
above described, according to his position and rank.

4. If there should arise any enmity or hostility between two electoral
princes, it shall not be allowed to interfere with the safe-conduct
which each is bound to furnish to the other on the occasion of the
election, under penalty of being declared guilty of perjury, and being
deprived of his vote for that occasion, as described above.

5. If any other princes, counts, barons, knights, clients, nobles,
commoners, citizens, or cities are at war with any electoral prince or
princes, they shall nonetheless be bound to furnish to them and their
representatives escort and safe-conduct for the journey to and from the
election, under the same penalties. In order to render the observance of
the above demands more certain, we desire and instruct all electoral and
other princes, and all counts, barons, nobles, cities, and corporations
to bind themselves by oaths and written promises to observe them. If
anyone refuses to do this, he shall incur the penalties above described,
according to his rank and station.

6. If any electoral prince violates any of the above or following laws
of the empire, he shall be excluded by his fellow-electors from their
body, and shall be deprived of his vote and his electoral dignity, and
of his right to hold fiefs of the empire. If any other prince of any
rank or station, or any count, baron, or noble who holds fiefs of the
empire, or any of their successors to their fiefs, is guilty of a
similar crime, he shall not be invested with the fiefs which he holds of
the empire, nor be able to receive a fief from any other lord, and he
shall incur the above penalties, according to his rank.

7. The above rules apply to escorts and safe-conduct in general, but we
have thought it well to indicate also the neighboring lands which should
furnish escort and safe-conduct in each separate case to each elector.

8. To the king of Bohemia, the chief cup-bearer of the empire, the
following should furnish escort and safe-conduct: the archbishop of
Mainz, the bishops of Bamberg and Würzburg, the burggrave of Nürnberg,

9. To the archbishop of Cologne, archchancellor of the empire for Italy,
the archbishops of Mainz and Trier, the count palatine of the Rhine, the
landgrave of Hesse, etc.

10. To the archbishop of Trier, archchancellor of the empire for Gaul
and the kingdom of Arles, the archbishop of Mainz, the count palatine of
the Rhine, etc.

11. To the count palatine of the Rhine, the archbishop of Mainz.

12. To the duke of Saxony, archmarshall of the empire, the king of
Bohemia, the archbishops of Mainz and Magdeburg, the bishops of Bamberg
and Würzburg, the margrave of Meissen, the landgrave of Hesse, the
abbots of Fulda and Hersfeld, the burggrave of Nürnberg, etc. These
shall also furnish escort and safe-conduct to the margrave of
Brandenburg, the archchamberlain of the empire.

13. We wish and command that each electoral prince should give due
notice to those from whom he intends to require safe-conduct, of his
journey and of the route by which he intends to go; and he should make a
formal demand upon such persons for safe-conduct, in order that they may
be able to make fitting preparations.

14. The above decrees concerning safe-conduct are to be understood to
mean that any person, whether expressly named or not, from whom
safe-conduct is demanded on the occasion of the election, must furnish
it in good faith within his own lands, and as much farther as he can,
under the penalties described above.

15. It shall be the duty of the archbishop of Mainz to send notice of
the approaching election to each of the electoral princes by his
messenger bearing letters patent, containing the following: first, the
date on which the letter should reach the prince to whom it is directed;
then the command to the electoral prince to come or send his
representatives to Frankfort on the Main, three months from that date,
such representatives being duly accredited by letters bearing the great
seal of the prince, and giving them full power to vote for the king of
the Romans and future emperor. The form of the letter of notification
and of the credentials of the representatives are appended to this
document, and we hereby command that these forms be used without change.

16. When the news of the death of the king of the Romans has been
received at Mainz, within one month from the date of receiving it the
archbishop of Mainz shall send notices of the death and of the
approaching election to all the electoral princes. But if the archbishop
neglects or refuses to send such notices, the electoral princes are
commanded on their fidelity to assemble on their own motion and without
summons at the city of Frankfort within three months from the death of
the emperor, for the purpose of electing a king of the Romans and future

17. Each electoral prince or his representatives may bring with him to
Frankfort at the time of the election a retinue of 200 horsemen, of whom
not more than 50 shall be armed.

18. If any electoral prince, duly summoned to the election, fails to
come or to send representatives with credentials containing full
authority, or if he or his representatives withdraws from the place of
the election before the election has been completed, without leaving
behind substitutes fully accredited and empowered, he shall lose his
vote in that election....



1. (Mass shall be celebrated on the day after the arrival of the
electors. The archbishop of Mainz administers this oath, which the other
electors repeat:)

2. "I, archbishop of Mainz, archchancellor of the empire for Germany,
electoral prince, swear on the holy gospels here before me, and by the
faith which I owe to God and to the holy Roman empire, that with the aid
of God, and according to my best judgment and knowledge, I will cast my
vote, in this election of the king of the Romans and future emperor, for
a person fitted to rule the Christian people. I will give my voice and
vote freely, uninfluenced by any agreement, price, bribe, promise, or
anything of the sort, by whatever name it may be called. So help me God
and all the saints."

3. After the electors have taken this oath, they shall proceed to the
election, and shall not depart from Frankfort until the majority have
elected a king of the Romans and future emperor, to be ruler of the
world and of the Christian people. If they have not come to a decision
within thirty days from the day on which they took the above oath, after
that they shall live upon bread and water and shall not leave the city
until the election has been decided.

4. Such an election shall be as valid as if all the princes had agreed
unanimously and without difference upon a candidate. If any one of the
princes or his representatives has been hindered or delayed for a time,
but arrives before the election is over, he shall be admitted and shall
take part in the election at the stage which had been reached at the
time of his arrival. According to the ancient and approved custom, the
king of the Romans elect, immediately after his election and before he
takes up any other business of the empire, shall confirm and approve by
sealed letters for each and all of the electoral princes, ecclesiastical
and secular, the privileges, charters, rights, liberties, concessions,
ancient customs, and dignities, and whatever else the princes held and
possessed from the empire at the time of the election; and he shall
renew the confirmation and approval when he becomes emperor. The
original confirmation shall be made by him as king, and the renewal as
emperor. It is his duty to do this graciously and in good faith, and not
to hinder the princes in the exercise of their rights.

5. In the case where three of the electors vote for a fourth electoral
prince, his vote shall have the same value as that of the others to make
a majority and decide the election.



In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity, amen. Charles by the
grace of God emperor of the Romans, Augustus, and king of Bohemia.... To
prevent any dispute arising between the archbishops of Trier, Mainz, and
Cologne, electoral princes of the empire, as to their priority and rank
in the diet, it has been decided and is hereby decreed with the advice
and consent of all the electoral princes, ecclesiastical and secular,
that the archbishop of Trier shall have the seat directly opposite and
facing the emperor; that the archbishop of Mainz shall have the seat at
the right of the emperor when the diet is held in the diocese or
province of Mainz, or anywhere in Germany except in the diocese of
Cologne; that the archbishop of Cologne shall have the seat at the right
of the emperor when the diet is held in the diocese or province of
Cologne, or anywhere in Gaul or Italy. This applies to all public
ceremonies: court sessions, conferring of fiefs, banquets, councils, and
all occasions on which the princes meet with the emperor for the
transaction of imperial business. This order of seating shall be
observed by the successors of the present archbishops of Cologne, Trier,
and Mainz, and shall never be questioned.



1. In the imperial diet, at the council-board, table, and all other
places where the emperor or king of the Romans meets with the electoral
princes, the seats shall be arranged as follows: On the right of the
emperor, first, the archbishop of Mainz, or of Cologne, according to the
province in which the meeting is held, as arranged above; second, the
king of Bohemia, because he is a crowned and anointed prince; third, the
count palatine of the Rhine; on the left of the emperor, first, the
archbishop of Cologne, or of Mainz; second, the duke of Saxony; third,
the margrave of Brandenburg.

2. When the imperial throne becomes vacant, the archbishop of Mainz
shall have the authority, which he has had from of old, to call the
other electors together for the election. It shall be his peculiar right
also, when the electors have convened for the election, to collect the
votes, asking each of the electors separately in the following order:
first, the archbishop of Trier, who shall have the right to the first
vote, as he has had from of old; then the archbishop of Cologne, who has
the office of first placing the crown upon the head of the king of the
Romans; then the king of Bohemia, who has the priority among the secular
princes, because of his royal title; fourth, the count palatine of the
Rhine; fifth, the duke of Saxony; sixth, the margrave of Brandenburg.
Then the princes shall ask the archbishop of Mainz in turn to declare
his choice and vote. At the diet, the margrave of Brandenburg shall
offer water to the emperor or king, to wash his hands; the king of
Bohemia shall have the right to offer him the cup first, although, by
reason of his royal dignity, he shall not be bound to do this unless he
desires; the count palatine of the Rhine shall offer him food; and the
duke of Saxony shall act as his marshal in the accustomed manner.



1. During the vacancy of the empire, the count palatine of the Rhine,
archseneschal of the empire, by reason of his principality and office,
shall exercise the authority of the future king of the Romans in the
Rhine lands, in Suabia, and in the region of the Frankish law; this
includes the right to present to ecclesiastical benefices, to collect
revenues and incomes, to invest with fiefs, and to receive the oath of
fidelity in the name of the emperor. All of these acts, however, must be
confirmed and renewed by the king of the Romans after he is elected. The
count palatine shall not have the right to invest the princes of the
empire with fiefs which are called _Fahnlehen_,{77} the investiture and
conferring of which is reserved to the king of the Romans in person. The
count palatine is expressly forbidden to alienate or mortgage the
imperial lands during the period of his administration. The duke of
Saxony, archmarshal of the holy empire, shall exercise the same
authority during the vacancy of the empire for the region of the Saxon
law, under the same conditions as expressed above.

2. The emperor or king of the Romans must appear before the count
palatine of the Rhine, when he is cited by anyone, but the count
palatine shall try such cases only at the imperial diet when the emperor
or king is present.

{77} In the investiture of a vassal with a fief certain symbols were
used. Among other articles that were used in this way when investing the
secular tenants-in-chief was the spear, to which it became customary to
affix a small standard or flag, as a symbol of the regalia which were
conferred with the fief. Eventually this was the only symbol used in
such cases, and hence the secular fiefs which were held directly from
the king came to be called "Fahnlehen," or "flag fiefs."


(Repeats the statements about the priority of the king of Bohemia among
the secular princes.)



1. ... It is known and recognized throughout the world, that the king of
Bohemia, the count palatine of the Rhine, the duke of Saxony, and the
margrave of Brandenburg, by virtue of the principalities which they
possess, have the right to vote in the election of the king of the
Romans along with their coelectors, the ecclesiastical princes, and that
they with the ecclesiastical princes are the true and legal electoral
princes of the holy empire. In order to prevent disputes arising among
the sons of these secular electoral princes in regard to the electoral
authority and vote, which would be productive of delays dangerous to the
state and other evils, we have fixed the succession by the present law
which shall be valid forever. On the death of one of the secular
electoral princes his right, voice, and vote in the election shall
descend to his first-born son who is a layman; if the son has died
before this, to the son's first-born son who is a layman. If the
first-born lay son of the elector has died without legitimate lay sons,
by virtue of the present law the succession shall go to the elector's
next oldest lay son and then to his heirs, and so on according to the
law of primogeniture. In case the heir is under age the paternal uncle
of the heir shall act as guardian and administrator until the heir comes
of age, which shall be, in the case of electoral princes, at eighteen
years. Then the guardian shall immediately surrender to him the
electoral vote and authority and all the possessions of the electorate.

2. When any electorate falls vacant for lack of heirs, the emperor or
king of the Romans shall have the power to dispose of it, as if it
reverted to the empire, saving the rights, privileges, and customs of
the kingdom of Bohemia, according to which the inhabitants of that
kingdom have the right to elect their king in case of a vacancy.



Our predecessors, the emperors and kings of the Romans, have conceded to
our ancestors, the kings of Bohemia, and to the kingdom and crown ...
that no prince, baron, noble, knight, client, citizen, or other person
of the kingdom, of any station, dignity, rank, or condition, should be
cited, haled, or summoned before any tribunal outside of the kingdom, or
before any judge except the king of Bohemia and the judges of his court.
We hereby renew and confirm this privilege, custom, and concession by
our royal authority and power, and decree that no one of the aforesaid,
prince, baron, noble, knight, client, citizen, or peasant, or any other
person, shall be required to appear or answer before any tribunal
outside of the kingdom of Bohemia, in any case, civil, criminal, or



We decree, by this present law, that our successors, the kings of
Bohemia, and all the electoral princes, ecclesiastical and secular,
shall hold and possess with full rights, all mines of gold, silver, tin,
copper, iron, lead, or other metals, and all salt works, both those
already discovered and those which shall be discovered in the future,
situated within their lands, domains, and dependencies. They shall also
have authority to tax Jews, the right to collect tolls already in force,
and all other rights which they or their predecessors have possessed to
the present day.



1. We also decree that our successors, the future kings of Bohemia,
shall possess and exercise in peace the rights of coinage of gold and
silver, in all parts of their dominions and of the lands belonging to
their subjects, in such form and manner as they may determine: a right
which is known to have belonged to our predecessors, the former kings of

2. We also grant to the future kings of Bohemia forever the right to
buy, purchase, or receive as gift or in payment, any lands, castles,
possessions, or goods from any princes, magnates, counts, or other
persons; such lands and property to remain, however, in their former
legal status, and to pay the customary dues and services to the empire.

3. We extend this right by the present law to all the electoral princes,
ecclesiastical and secular, and to their legal heirs, under the same
conditions and form.



1. We decree also that no count, baron, noble, vassal, burggrave,
knight, client, citizen, burgher, or other subject of the churches of
Cologne, Mainz, or Trier, of whatever status, condition or rank, shall
be cited, haled, or summoned to any authority before any tribunal
outside of the territories, boundaries, and limits of these churches and
their dependencies, or before any judge, except the archbishops and
their judges.... We refuse to hear appeals based upon the authority of
others over the subjects of these princes; if these princes are accused
by their subjects of injustice, appeal shall lie to the imperial diet,
and shall be heard there and nowhere else....

2. We extend this right by the present law to the secular electoral
princes, the count palatine of the Rhine, the duke of Saxony, and the
margrave of Brandenburg, and to their heirs, successors, and subjects



... It has been decided in the general diet held at Nürnburg with the
electoral princes, ecclesiastical and secular, and other princes and
magnates, by their advice and with their consent, that in the future,
the electoral princes shall meet every year in some city of the empire
four weeks after Easter; this year they are to meet at that date in the
imperial city of Metz; on that occasion, and on every meeting
thereafter, the place of assembling for the following year shall be
fixed by us with the advice and consent of the princes. This ordinance
shall remain in force as long as it shall be pleasing to us and to the
princes; and as long as it is in effect, we shall furnish the princes
with safe-conduct for that assembly, going, staying, and returning....



We hereby decree and determine that the liberties, jurisdiction, rights,
honors, and authority of the electoral princes, ecclesiastical or
secular, or of any one of them, ought not to be and shall not be in any
way diminished by any privileges or charters of rights, graces,
immunities, customs, etc., granted or to be granted by us or our
predecessors to any person of whatsoever rank, station, or dignity, or
to any city, town or territory, even if it is expressly stated in such
privileges and charters that they are not revocable. In so far as any
such privileges do diminish the liberties, jurisdiction, rights, honors,
or authority of the said electoral princes, we hereby revoke them and
decree by our imperial authority that they are to be regarded as revoked
and void.



In many regions it is becoming the practice for vassals and feudatories
to renounce and resign verbally and without due notice the fiefs and
benefices which they hold of their lords, and then to declare themselves
free from their allegiance and to seize the fiefs under pretext of war.
Therefore we decree hereby that such renunciation shall not be valid
unless it is genuine and made with the condition that the fiefs and
benefices shall revert immediately to the lords from whom they are held;
those who have renounced their allegiance shall never disturb or molest
their lords in the possession of these fiefs. Any subject violating this
decree shall lose his fiefs and benefices, shall be branded with infamy,
and placed under the imperial ban; no one shall ever give him a fief or
a benefice, and any grant or investiture made to him shall be void.



We reprobate, condemn, and declare void all detestable and illegal
conspiracies, confederations, and societies, which are or shall be made
by cities or by persons of any rank or station, under color of any
pretext whatever, inside or outside of cities, between city and city,
person and person, or city and person, without the consent of the lords
of the persons or territories; for it is well known that such
conspiracies are declared illegal and void by the laws of our
predecessors, the august emperors. We except from this condemnation such
confederations and leagues as are entered into by princes, cities, and
others for the preservation of the peace of their lands; these shall
remain in force until we have decreed otherwise. If any person shall
violate this decree and the ancient laws against conspiracies, besides
incurring the regular penalties he shall be branded with infamy and
shall be fined ten pounds of gold; cities and corporations guilty of a
similar crime shall be fined 100 pounds of gold, half of which shall go
to the imperial treasury, and half to the lord of the district, and they
shall be deprived of the liberties and privileges which they have
received from the empire.



The complaint has frequently been made of late that certain citizens and
subjects of princes, barons, and other lords, in order to escape from
their proper subjection, have had themselves received as citizens in
other cities, and thus, while dwelling in the lands, cities, towns, or
regions of the lords whom they have deserted, they claim to enjoy the
liberty and immunity of the other cities, and to be freed from the
lord's authority, because of that citizenship; these are the persons who
are called in the vulgar tongue in Germany "pfahlburghers." Now since
fraud and deceit cannot constitute a legal defense for any one, we
hereby decree by our imperial authority and by the advice of the
electoral princes, ecclesiastical and secular, that from this day forth
within all the lands of the empire such citizens shall not enjoy the
rights and liberties of the cities, unless they have actually moved into
them and established their homes there, making their real residence and
domicile in the cities and bearing their share of the debts, burdens,
and municipal taxes. If any such persons are or shall be admitted into
cities contrary to this edict, the admission shall be void of effect,
and the persons shall not profit by the laws and liberties of those
cities, in spite of any laws, privileges, and customs to the contrary,
all of which, as far as they contradict this decree, we declare to be
void; and the lords shall retain their rights over the persons and goods
of their subjects who have deserted them in this manner. Those who
receive the subjects of other lords on these terms contrary to our law,
and who do not drive them away within one month after receiving notice
of their presence, shall be fined for each such violation, 100 pounds of
gold, half of which shall go to the imperial treasury and half to the
lords of the deserters.



If any person renounces his allegiance or alliance without due notice
and in a place where he does not have his residence, even if he thinks
he has just grounds, we declare that he shall not have the right to
inflict injury or violence upon those from whom he has in this manner
withdrawn. And since fraud and deceit cannot constitute legal defence,
we hereby declare that renunciation of this sort from the society or
association of any lord or person shall not be valid, and may not be
used as pretext for making war, unless the renunciation has been
announced to those who are concerned personally or publicly in the place
where they have their regular residence, three full days before, and the
notification can be proved by good witnesses. Whoever shall make war on
another without making renunciation in this form, shall be branded with
infamy, just as if he had never made any renunciation, and he shall be
punished as a traitor by all judges. We forbid and condemn also all
unjust wars and strife, all unjust burning, wasting, and rapine, all
unusual and unjust tolls and exactions for safe-conduct, under penalties
fixed by the laws of the empire.



"To you, the illustrious and magnificent margrave of Brandenburg,
archchamberlain of the holy empire, our fellow-elector and dear friend,
we give notice by these presents of the approaching election of the king
of the Romans, and we summon you according to the duty of your office to
come to that election at the regular place within three months from ----
---- (date), or to send one or more representatives or agents with
sufficient authority, in order to consider with your fellow-electors and
agree upon the choice of a king of the Romans and future emperor; to
remain there until the election is completed; and to do such other
things as are required by the laws of the empire in this matter.
Otherwise, in spite of your absence, we shall proceed with our
fellow-electors to carry out the aforesaid business, as the authority of
the imperial laws empowers us."



We (name), by the grace of God (title), (office) of the holy empire. Be
it known to all by these presents ... that we have constituted our
faithful subjects (names) our true, legal, and special representatives
and agents, to treat with our fellow-princes and electors,
ecclesiastical and secular, and to agree and decide with them concerning
a suitable person to be elected king of the Romans; to be present,
deliberate, name, consent to, and elect the king of the Romans and
future emperor in our name and for us; and to take the necessary, due,
and accustomed oaths upon our soul, in regard to the aforesaid things;
to appoint substitutes to do any and all things which may be necessary,
useful, or convenient to the aforesaid consideration, nomination,
deliberation, and election, and to do anything which we would be able to
do if we were present in person at the election, even if these things be
special and peculiar things not mentioned specifically in the above. We
will accept and ratify everything done by the aforesaid representatives
or their substitutes.



It is known that the right of voting for the king of the Romans and
future emperor inheres in certain principalities, the possessors of
which have also the other offices, rights, and dignities belonging to
these principalities. We decree, therefore, by the present law that the
electoral vote and other offices, dignities, and appurtenances shall
always be so united and conjoined that the possessor of one of these
principalities shall possess and enjoy the electoral vote and all the
offices, dignities, and appurtenances belonging to it, that he shall be
regarded as electoral prince, that he and no other shall be accepted by
the other electoral princes and admitted to participation in the
election and all other acts which regard the honor and advantage of the
holy empire, and that no one of these rights, which are and ought to be
inseparable, shall ever be taken from him. And if through error or by
any other means any decision or sentence is issued by any judge against
the present law, it shall be void.



We have defined above the location of the seats of the ecclesiastical
electors in the council, at the table, and on other occasions, when the
emperor meets with the electoral princes, but we have thought it well to
indicate also the order of precedence in procession and march. Therefore
we decree by the present imperial edict that whenever the emperor or
king of the Romans meets with the electoral princes, and the insignia
are borne before him in procession, the archbishop of Trier shall march
directly before the emperor or king, no one being between them except
the bearers of the insignia; and when the emperor or king marches
without the insignia the archbishop shall immediately precede him. The
other two archbishops [of Mainz and Cologne] shall march on either side
of the archbishop of Trier, their position on the right or the left
being determined by the region in which the ceremony is held, as
described above.



We also determine by the present decree the precedence among the secular
electoral princes as follows: When the electoral princes march in
procession with the emperor or king of the Romans in any of the
ceremonies of the imperial diet and the insignia are borne before him,
the duke of Saxony shall precede the emperor or king, marching between
him and the archbishop of Trier, and bearing the imperial or royal
sword; the count palatine of the Rhine shall march at the right of the
duke of Saxony with the imperial globe, and the margrave of Brandenburg
at the left with the sceptre; the king of Bohemia shall follow
immediately behind the emperor or king.



When the mass is celebrated in the presence of the emperor or king, the
archbishops of Mainz, Trier, and Cologne, or any two of them, being
present, the archbishops shall perform the services on the different
days in turn in the order of their consecration, each one on his day
officiating in the confession which is said before the mass, in the
presenting of the gospel to be kissed, in the giving of peace after the
_Agnus Dei_, in the benedictions after the mass and before meals, and in
returning thanks after meals. Each archbishop on his day should invite
the other archbishops to participate in the services, to set a good
example to men by honoring one another.


(Published at Metz. December 25, 1356.)


1. If any person shall have joined in a conspiracy or taken oath to join
in a conspiracy with any other persons, princes, knights, or private
persons, to slay one of the electoral princes of the holy empire, he
shall be judged guilty of offence against the majesty of the emperor,
and shall be executed, and all his goods shall be forfeited to the royal
treasury; for we regard the electoral princes as members of our own
body, and visit offences against them with the same severity as against
ourself. [The rest of the chapter is devoted to the effects of the
confiscation and attainder upon children and heirs of criminals, etc.]


If it is proper that the integrity of the ordinary principalities should
be preserved, for the better securing of justice and peace for the
subjects, it is even more important that the great principalities of the
electoral princes should be kept intact in their domains, honors, and
rights. Therefore we determine and decree by this imperial edict that
the lands, districts, fiefs, and other possessions of the great
principalities, namely, the kingdom of Bohemia, the palatinate of the
Rhine, the duchy of Saxony, and the mark of Brandenburg, should never
under any circumstances be separated, divided, or dismembered. In order
that they may be preserved in their integrity, the first-born son in
each case shall succeed to them, and shall exercise ownership and
dominion in them, unless he be incapacitated for ruling by reason of
imbecility, or other notorious defect. In that case, he shall not be
allowed to inherit, but the succession shall go to the nearest male lay
heir on the paternal side.


1. On the day of the imperial diet, all the electoral princes shall
proceed to the imperial palace about the first hour, and shall assist
the emperor or king in donning the insignia; then they shall proceed on
horseback to the place of the diet with the emperor or king, preserving
the order of precedence indicated above. The archchancellor of the
kingdom in which the diet is held shall bear the seals of the empire or
kingdom upon a silver staff; the secular princes shall bear the sceptre,
globe, and sword, as indicated above; the German and Lombard crowns
shall be borne, in this order, by princes of inferior rank named for
this office by the emperor, immediately before the archbishop of Trier,
who precedes the emperor, now wearing the imperial crown.

2. The empress or queen, clad in her insignia, shall also proceed to the
place of the diet with her officials and ladies, taking her place behind
the emperor or king and behind the king of Bohemia, who follows
immediately after the emperor or king.



1. After the emperor or king is seated on his throne, the duke of Saxony
shall appear before the place of the diet on horseback with a silver
staff and a silver measure, each of the value of twelve marks in silver,
and shall fill his measure with oats from a heap that has been placed
before the building in which the diet is held. This heap of oats shall
be as high as the breast of the horse on which he rides. He shall then
give this measure of oats to the first servant that approaches. Then he
shall thrust his staff into the heap of oats and go away, and the
vice-marshal, the count of Pappenheim, or in his absence the marshal of
the court, shall distribute the oats. After the emperor or king has
taken his place at the table the ecclesiastical electors, supported by
other prelates, shall stand before the table and one of them shall
pronounce the blessing, according to the order of precedence established
above; after the benediction the chancellor of the court shall present
the seals to the archbishops, and they shall bear them to the emperor,
all three touching with their hands the staff on which they are
suspended, the archchancellor of the kingdom in which the diet is held
marching in the middle and the other two on either side of him. They
shall lay the seals reverently before the emperor or king, who shall
immediately return them to the archbishops. The archchancellor of the
kingdom in which the diet is held shall wear the great seal of the
empire about his neck during the dinner and until he returns to his
abode. The staff, which shall be of silver of the value of twelve marks,
and the seals, shall be handed over to the chancellor of the court. The
archbishop who bears the great seal shall return this also to the
chancellor of the court by one of his own servants, mounted on a horse
which shall be presented to the chancellor of the court as a perquisite
of his office and as a token of the love of the archchancellor.

2. The margrave of Brandenburg, the archchamberlain of the empire, shall
approach on horseback, bearing water in silver basins of the value of
twelve marks, and a beautifully embroidered napkin, and shall dismount
and offer the emperor or king water to wash his hands.

3. The count palatine of the Rhine shall approach on horseback, bearing
four silver dishes, each of the value of three marks, filled with food,
and shall dismount and carry them in and place them on the table before
the emperor or king.

4. Then the king of Bohemia, the archcupbearer of the empire, shall ride
up, bearing a silver cup or goblet, of the value of twelve marks, filled
with wine and water mixed, and shall dismount and offer the goblet to
the emperor or king to drink.

5. When the offices have been performed by the secular electoral
princes, the vice-marshal, the count of Falkenstein, shall receive the
horse and the silver basins of the margrave of Brandenburg; the master
of the kitchen, the count of Nortemberg, shall receive the horse and the
dishes of the count palatine of the Rhine; the vice-cupbearer, the count
of Limburg, shall receive the horse and the goblet of the king of
Bohemia; the vice-marshal, the count of Pappenheim, shall receive the
horse, the staff, and the measure of the duke of Saxony. If these
officials are not present, the ordinary officials of the court shall
receive these gifts in their places.


(Description of the banqueting table, etc.)


1. We have learned from records and traditions, that it has been the
custom in the past to hold the election of the king of the Romans in
Frankfort, the coronation in Aachen, and the first diet in Nürnberg;
therefore we decree that in the future these ceremonies shall be held in
these places, unless there shall be some legitimate obstacle....



(Special fees paid by the princes to these officials.)


(Requiring the secular electors to learn the Italian and Slavic

160 a and 160 b. The Acquisition of the Mark of Brandenburg by the
Hohenzollern Family, 1411.

160 a. The Cities of the Mark Make Complaints to Sigismund, 1411.

Magdeburger Schöppenchronik, edited by Janicke, in Chroniken der
deutschen Städte, VII, pp. 331 f.

The importance of the acquisition of the mark of Brandenburg by a member
of the Hohenzollern family could not at that time have been foreseen.
The mark, being a great sandy marsh, did not seem a valuable possession,
and the nobles, especially the great von Quitzow family, were
devastating it with their feuds. The cities, here as everywhere else in
Germany, were for order and peace. It seems to have been due in part to
their complaints and appeals to Sigismund that he chose the able and
vigorous Frederick of Hohenzollern, burggrave of Nürnberg, as governor
of the mark. This was an important event in the fortunes of the
Hohenzollern family. Frederick and his successors managed their affairs
so well that Brandenburg became the basis on which the power of the
family was built up.

In the same year that Jost, the margrave, died, the king of Hungary,
Sigismund, who had been elected king of the Romans, sent messengers to
the cities of the old and new marks to Magdeburg and ordered them to
come to Berlin on the Sunday of Midlent to hear his will concerning
them. The king's representatives, John Waldaw, _præpositus_ of the
church at Berlin, and Wend von Eylenburg, met the aldermen of the cities
at Berlin at the appointed time and asked them: "Since Jost, the
margrave, is dead and the king is the hereditary lord of the land, are
you willing to recognize his lordship over you and to support him?" And
the aldermen answered him that they were. The cities and the nobles of
the land were then ordered to come to Hungary and do homage to the king
on the next St. Walpurgis day (May 1). The cities sent representatives
from among their aldermen, but none of the nobles of the land came
except Jaspar Gans von Putlitz. They did homage to the king and remained
with him so long that they did not reach home until St. James's day
(July 25). They complained to the king about the wretched condition of
the land and its troubles, and especially about the von Quitzows and
certain other nobles and their supporters who controlled the land by
means of the castles of which they had got possession, and who were
doing great damage to the land and were carrying on war with the
neighboring lords and their lands. They besought the king to take
measures to prevent such war, violence, and damage. The king then said
to the aldermen that he himself could not come into the mark because he
had been chosen king of the Romans, and he must therefore endeavor to
rule the realm and to restore unity to the church [_i.e._, end the
schism]; but he would send them a governor who would be able to help
them. He then named the noble prince, Frederick, burggrave of Nürnberg,
as the governor of the mark. This rejoiced the aldermen very much and
restored their confidence. They were well pleased, and left the king and
joyfully returned home.

160 b. Sigismund Orders the People of the Mark to Receive Frederick of
Hohenzollern as their Governor, 1412. (German.)

Riedel, Codex Diplomaticus Brandenburgensis, III, p. 178.

We, Sigismund, etc. Dear and faithful subjects: We hereby inform you
again that we have made the noble Frederick, burggrave of Nürnberg, our
dear uncle, counsellor, and prince, the head and governor of the whole
mark of Brandenburg. We have given him letters to that effect. And when
your representatives came to Ofen and did homage to us on behalf of the
nobles and cities of the mark we orally commanded them to receive the
said Frederick. Therefore we again strictly command you to receive him
without any delay or opposition and to render him the homage which you
owe us as your hereditary margrave, and pay homage to him according to
the instructions which are contained in the letters which we have given
him. He will confirm and renew all your liberties, rights, good customs,
and charters, and preserve their validity just as I have done. Given at
Ofen, 1412, etc.


161. Bull of Nicholas III Condemning all Heretics, 1280.

Bullarium Romanum, III, ii, pp. 26 f.

In spite of the vigorous efforts of the popes to destroy heresy (see
nos. 116-118) and all that the inquisitors could do, heresies increased.
This bull of Nicholas III shows that more vigorous measures were being

Nicholas, etc. We hereby excommunicate and anathematize all heretics,
the Cathari, Patareni, the Poor Men of Lyon, Passageni, Josepheni, the
Arnoldists, Speronists, and all others by whatever name they may be
called. (1) When condemned by the church, they shall be given over to
the secular judge to be punished. Clergymen shall be degraded before
being punished. (2) If any, after being seized, repent and wish to do
proper penance, they shall be imprisoned for life. (3) We condemn as
heretics all who believe the errors of heretics. (4) We decree that all
who receive, defend, or aid heretics, shall be excommunicated. If anyone
remains under excommunication a year and a day, he shall be proscribed.
(5) He shall not be eligible to hold a public office, or to vote in the
election of officials. (6) His word shall not be accepted. (7) He can
not serve as a witness nor can he make a will. (8) He shall not succeed
to an inheritance. (9) He cannot bring suit against anyone, but suit may
be brought against him. (10) If he is a judge, his sentences shall be
invalid, and he shall not be permitted to hear cases. (11) If he is an
advocate, he shall not be permitted to perform the duties of his office.
(12) If he is a notary, the documents which he draws up shall be invalid
and condemned with him. (13) If he is a clergyman, he shall be deposed
from his office and deprived of every benefice. (14) Those who associate
with the excommunicated shall themselves be excommunicated and properly
punished. (15) If those who are suspected of heresy can not prove their
innocence, they shall be excommunicated. If they remain under the ban of
excommunication a year, they shall be condemned as heretics. (16) They
shall have no right of appeal. (17) If judges, advocates, or notaries
serve them in an official way, they shall be deprived of their office.
(18) The clergy shall not administer to them the sacraments, nor give
them a part of the alms. If they do, they shall be deprived of their
office and they can never be restored to it without the special
permission of the pope. Whoever grants them Christian burial shall be
excommunicated until he makes proper satisfaction. He shall not be
absolved until he has with his own hands publicly dug up their bodies
and cast them forth, and no one shall ever be buried in the same place.
(19) We prohibit all laymen to discuss matters of the catholic faith. If
anyone does so, he shall be excommunicated. (20) Whoever knows of
heretics, or those who are holding secret meetings, or those who do not
conform in all respects to the orthodox faith, shall make it known to
his confessor, or to someone else who will bring it to the knowledge of
the bishop or the inquisitor. If he does not do so, he shall be
excommunicated. (21) Heretics and all who receive, support, or aid them,
and all their children to the second generation, shall not be admitted
to an ecclesiastical office or benefice. If any such have been admitted,
their admission is illegal and invalid. For we now deprive all such of
their benefices forever, and they shall never be admitted to others. If
parents with their children have been freed [from excommunication], and
their parents afterwards return to the heresy, their children are, by
their parents' act, again brought under excommunication.

162. The Bull "Clericis Laicos" of Boniface VIII, 1298.

Tosti, Histoire de Boniface VIII, I, pp. 395 ff.

In theory all ecclesiastical persons and possessions were immune from
secular taxation, but the pope frequently permitted temporal rulers to
levy a tax on them for the aid of the state in times of public
necessity. At the command of the pope such taxes had been assessed (1)
to carry on the crusades (the Saladin tithe), (2) to make war on
Frederick II, (3) to put down the heresy of the Albigenses, (4) to
resist Peter of Aragon when he attacked Sicily, etc. It frequently
happened that the large sums raised for the crusades went into the
king's treasury, and were spent for other things. The kings, especially
of England and France, found this a very convenient way of raising
money. The immediate cause of the publication of this bull was the heavy
assessments which the kings of England and France had just made on their
clergy. Boniface recognized that the immunities and liberties of the
church were thereby being destroyed. In spite of the protests of both
pope and clergy, neither king restored the money or ceased to levy
taxes. New names for them were so skilfully invented, and such arguments
were used, that the clergy could not refuse to pay without seeming to be
disloyal and unpatriotic. Boniface VIII issued this bull to put a stop
to the taxation which he regarded as the pillaging of the churches. It
must be observed that the pope does not prohibit such taxes altogether.
He preserves his authority and the immunities of the church by retaining
the right to sanction whatever taxes may be assessed on the clergy and
the possessions of the church.

The kings of both England and France were engaged in policies which
necessitated large expenditures, and hence they were in need of money.
Besides, they were trying to centralize all authority in their hands and
consequently found these ecclesiastical immunities a great obstacle in
their way. We have here an evidence that the national governments had
begun their long struggle against the temporal authority of the pope,
for the question as to whether the king may tax the church and clergy
was one phase of this struggle.

It is said that in times past laymen practiced great violence against
the clergy, and our experience clearly shows that they are doing so at
present, since they are not content to keep within the limits prescribed
for them, but strive to do that which is prohibited and illegal. And
they pay no attention to the fact that they are forbidden to exercise
authority over the clergy and ecclesiastical persons and their
possessions. But they are laying heavy burdens on bishops, churches, and
clergy, both regular and secular, by taxing them, levying contributions
on them, and extorting the half, or the tenth, or the twentieth, or some
other part of their income and possessions. They are striving in many
ways to reduce the clergy to servitude and to subject them to their own
sway. And we grieve to say it, but some bishops and clergy, fearing
where they should not, and seeking a temporary peace, and fearing more
to offend man than God, submit, improvidently rather than rashly, to
these abuses [and pay the sums demanded], without receiving the papal
permission. Wishing to prevent these evils, with the counsel of our
brethren, and by our apostolic authority, we decree that if any bishops
or clergy, regular or secular, of any grade, condition, or rank, shall
pay, or promise, or consent to pay to laymen any contributions, or
taxes, or the tenth, or the twentieth, or the hundredth, or any other
part of their income or of their possessions, or of their value, real or
estimated, under the name of aid, or loan, or subvention, or subsidy, or
gift, or under any other name or pretext, without the permission of the
pope, they shall, by the very act, incur the sentence of
excommunication. And we also decree that emperors, kings, princes,
dukes, counts, barons, _podestà_, _capitanei_, and governors of cities,
fortresses, and of all other places everywhere, by whatever names such
governors may be called, and all other persons of whatever power,
condition, or rank, who shall impose, demand, or receive such taxes, or
shall seize, or cause to be seized, the property of churches or of the
clergy, which has been deposited in sacred buildings, or shall receive
such property after it has been seized, or shall give aid, counsel, or
support in such things either openly or secretly, shall by that very act
incur the sentence of excommunication. We also put under the interdict
all communities which shall be culpable in such matters. And under the
threat of deposition we strictly command all bishops and clergy, in
accordance with their oath of obedience, not to submit to such taxes
without the express permission of the pope. They shall not pay anything
under the pretext that they had already promised or agreed to do so
before the prohibition came to their knowledge. They shall not pay, nor
shall the above-named laymen receive anything in any way. And if the
ones shall pay, or the others receive anything, they shall by that very
act fall under the sentence of excommunication. From this sentence of
excommunication and interdict no one can be absolved except in the
moment of death, without the authority and special permission of the

163. Boniface VIII Announces the Jubilee Year, 1300.

Tosti, Histoire de Boniface VIII, II, pp. 467 f.

Boniface, bishop, etc. We know that in times past generous indulgences
and remissions of sins have been granted those who should come to the
illustrious churches of the prince of the apostles [St. Peter's in
Rome]. Our office requires us to desire and most gladly to procure the
salvation of all, and so, regarding all such remissions and indulgences
as valid, by our apostolic authority we confirm, approve, and renew
them, and reinforce them with this present writing. In order therefore
that the most blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, may be more highly
honored in that the faithful devoutly visit their churches, and that
those who do so may feel that they are filled with spiritual gifts, we,
through the mercy of omnipotent God and trusting in the merits and
authority of his apostles [Peter and Paul], at the advice of our
brethren and in the fulness of our apostolic power, grant the fullest
and broadest forgiveness of all their sins to all who, during the whole
of this 1300th year, and to all who, in every hundredth year to come,
shall reverently come to these churches and truly repent and confess. We
decree that those Romans who wish to participate in this indulgence
shall visit these churches at least once a day for thirty days, either
consecutively or at intervals, and all who are not Romans shall visit
them in the same way for fifteen days. But the more devoutly and
frequently anyone visits them, the more surely will he deserve and
obtain the indulgence.

164. The Bull "Unam Sanctam" of Boniface VIII, 1302.

Raynaldus, anno 1302, sec. 13; Revue des Questions Historiques, vol.
46, pp. 255 f.

Boniface VIII had become involved in a bitter struggle with Philip IV of
France over the question of sovereignty. Boniface went so far as to
summon the French clergy to a council at Rome for the purpose of
dictating a settlement of all the disorders in France. In reply to this,
Philip IV assembled his states-general and assured himself of the almost
unanimous support of his people against the pope, and sent him an
embassy with a refusal and a warning. The pope was not disconcerted by
this, but plied the ambassadors with the most extravagant statements of
his secular power. On the heels of this he published this famous bull,
_Unam sanctam_, which is the classic mediæval expression of the papal
claims to universal temporal sovereignty. It is an excellent example of
mediæval reasoning.

The true faith compels us to believe that there is one holy catholic
apostolic church, and this we firmly believe and plainly confess. And
outside of her there is no salvation or remission of sins, as the
Bridegroom says in the Song of Solomon: "My dove, my undefiled is but
one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her
that bare her" [Song of Sol. 6:9]; which represents the one mystical
body, whose head is Christ, but the head of Christ is God [1 Cor. 11.3].
In this church there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" [Eph. 4:5].
For in the time of the flood there was only one ark, that of Noah,
prefiguring the one church, and it was "finished above in one cubit"
[Gen. 6:16], and had but one helmsman and master, namely, Noah. And we
read that all things on the earth outside of this ark were destroyed.
This church we venerate as the only one, since the Lord said by the
prophet: "Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of
the dog" [Ps. 22:20]. He prayed for his soul, that is, for himself, the
head; and at the same time for the body; and he named his body, that is,
the one church, because there is but one Bridegroom [cf. John 3:29], and
because of the unity of the faith, of the sacraments, and of his love
for the church. This is the seamless robe of the Lord which was not rent
but parted by lot [John 19:23]. Therefore there is one body of the one
and only church, and one head, not two heads, as if the church were a
monster. And this head is Christ and his vicar, Peter and his successor;
for the Lord himself said to Peter: "Feed my sheep" [John 21:16]. And he
said "my sheep," in general, not these or those sheep in particular;
from which it is clear that all were committed to him. If therefore
Greeks or anyone else say that they are not subject to Peter and his
successors, they thereby necessarily confess that they are not of the
sheep of Christ. For the Lord says in the Gospel of John, that there is
one fold and only one shepherd [John 10:16]. By the words of the gospel
we are taught that the two swords, namely, the spiritual authority and
the temporal are in the power of the church. For when the apostles said
"Here are two swords" [Luke 22:38]--that is, in the church, since it was
the apostles who were speaking--the Lord did not answer, "It is too
much," but "It is enough." Whoever denies that the temporal sword is in
the power of Peter does not properly understand the word of the Lord
when he said: "Put up thy sword into the sheath" [John 18:11]. Both
swords, therefore, the spiritual and the temporal, are in the power of
the church. The former is to be used by the church, the latter for the
church; the one by the hand of the priest, the other by the hand of
kings and knights, but at the command and permission of the priest.
Moreover, it is necessary for one sword to be under the other, and the
temporal authority to be subjected to the spiritual; for the apostle
says, "For there is no power but of God: and the powers that are
ordained of God" [Rom. 13:1]; but they would not be ordained [i.e.,
arranged or set in order; note the play on the words] unless one were
subjected to the other, and, as it were, the lower made the higher by
the other. For, according to St. Dionysius, it is a law of divinity that
the lowest is made the highest through the intermediate. According to
the law of the universe all things are not equally and directly reduced
to order, but the lowest are fitted into their order through the
intermediate, and the lower through the higher.{78} And we must
necessarily admit that the spiritual power surpasses any earthly power
in dignity and honor, because spiritual things surpass temporal things.
We clearly see that this is true from the paying of tithes, from the
benediction, from the sanctification, from the receiving of the power,
and from the governing of these things. For the truth itself declares
that the spiritual power must establish the temporal power and pass
judgment on it if it is not good. Thus the prophecy of Jeremiah
concerning the church and the ecclesiastical power is fulfilled: "See, I
have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root
out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and
to plant" [Jer. 1:10]. Therefore if the temporal power errs, it will be
judged by the spiritual power, and if the lower spiritual power errs, it
will be judged by its superior. But if the highest spiritual power errs,
it can not be judged by men, but by God alone. For the apostle says:
"But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged
of no man" [1 Cor. 2:15]. Now this authority, although it is given to
man and exercised through man, is not human, but divine. For it was
given by the word of the Lord to Peter, and the rock was made firm to
him and his successors, in Christ himself, whom he had confessed. For
the Lord said to Peter: "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be
bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be
loosed in heaven" [Matt. 16:19]. Therefore whosoever resisteth this
power thus ordained of God, resisteth the ordinance of God [Rom. 13:2],
unless there are two principles (beginnings), as Manichæus pretends
there are. But this we judge to be false and heretical. For Moses says
that, not in the beginnings, but in the beginning [note the play on
words], God created the heaven and the earth [Gen. 1:1]. We therefore
declare, say, and affirm that submission on the part of every man to the
bishop of Rome is altogether necessary for his salvation.

{78} This is an example of scholastic reasoning. While obscure, it
seems to be a general argument for, or explanation of, the existence of
order in the universe.

165. Conclusions Drawn by Marsilius of Padua from his "Defensor Pacis."

Marsilius of Padua, Defensor Pacis, Part III, ch. ii; Goldast,
Monarchia Sancti Romani Imperii, II, pp. 309 ff.

The _Defensor Pacis_ is a treatise on politics written by Marsilius, or
Marsiglio, a canon of the church of Padua, in 1324. His authority is the
_Politics_ of Aristotle, which Marsilius knew from a Latin summary
current in the Middle Age. From this as a basis he constructs a
political theory and tests the existing institutions by it. The work is
divided into three parts; the first two form a diffuse essay, and the
last is a summary of his arguments in the form of forty-two
_conclusiones_, which are translated here, because they give in a
concise form the essential points of his theory. As regards the
political situation of his own time, the general tendency of the
treatise is imperial and anti-papal; it was used by Ludwig IV [the
Bavarian] in his conflict with the Avignon popes. Hence it was regarded
by the papal party as unorthodox and heretical. In the bull of John
XXII, 1327, five statements were selected and condemned as heresies (see
no. 166). His views on the origin and nature of the state are
Aristotelian: the state is a perfected community existing for the good
of the people; the supreme power resides in the body of the citizens,
who make the laws, and choose the form of government, etc. The prince
rules by the authority of the whole body of citizens. To this body
Marsilius gives the name _legislator_. The elective monarchy is the form
of government preferred by Marsilius, whose ideal state thus corresponds
in theory with the holy Roman empire. His views on the relation of the
state and the church are very different from the views common in the
Middle Age. The supreme institution is the state which has established
the priesthood or the church to look after the spiritual welfare of its
citizens. Hence the state has the right to control the church, but the
church has not the corresponding right to control the state. The
treatment of the church in itself is also interesting. Marsilius attacks
the Petrine theory and the whole papal structure. All bishops are equal
in religious authority, deriving their power immediately from Christ. If
one priest or bishop is placed over another it is for the purpose of
organization, and the authority of the superior is derived from the
state. He also asserts that within the church the supreme authority is
not the pope, but the general council of Christians.

Conclusion 1. The one divine canonical Scripture, the conclusions that
necessarily follow from it, and the interpretation placed upon it by the
common consent of Christians, are true, and belief in them is necessary
to the salvation of those to whom they are made known.

2. The general council of Christians or its majority alone has the
authority to define doubtful passages of the divine law, and to
determine those that are to be regarded as articles of the Christian
faith, belief in which is essential to salvation; and no partial council
or single person of any position has the authority to decide these

3. The gospels teach that no temporal punishment or penalty should be
used to compel observance of divine commandments.

4. It is necessary to salvation to obey the commandments of the new
divine law [the New Testament] and the conclusions that follow
necessarily from it and the precepts of reason; but it is not necessary
to salvation to obey all the commandments of the ancient law [the Old

5. No mortal has the right to dispense with the commands or prohibitions
of the new divine law; but the general council and the Christian
"legislator"{79} alone have the right to prohibit things which are
permitted by the new law, under penalties in this world or the next, and
no partial council or single person of any position has that right.

6. The whole body of citizens or its majority alone is the human

7. Decretals and decrees of the bishop of Rome, or of any other bishops
or body of bishops, have no power to coerce anyone by secular penalties
or punishments, except by the authorization of the human "legislator."

8. The "legislator" alone or the one who rules by its authority has the
power to dispense with human laws.

9. The elective principality or other office derives its authority from
the election of the body having the right to elect, and not from the
confirmation or approval of any other power.

10. The election of any prince or other official, especially one who has
the coercive power,{80} is determined solely by the expressed will of
the "legislator."

11. There can be only one supreme ruling power in a state or kingdom.

12. The number and the qualifications of persons who hold state offices
and all civil matters are to be determined solely by the Christian ruler
according to the law or approved custom [of the state].

13. No prince, still more, no partial council or single person of any
position, has full authority and control over other persons, laymen or
clergy, without the authorization of the "legislator."

14. No bishop or priest has coercive authority or jurisdiction over any
layman or clergyman, even if he is a heretic.

15. The prince who rules by the authority of the "legislator" has
jurisdiction over the persons and possessions of every single mortal of
every station, whether lay or clerical, and over every body of laymen or

16. No bishop or priest or body of bishops or priests has the authority
to excommunicate anyone or to interdict the performance of divine
services, without the authorization of the "legislator."

17. All bishops derive their authority in equal measure immediately from
Christ, and it cannot be proved from the divine law that one bishop
should be over or under another, in temporal or spiritual matters.

18. The other bishops, singly or in a body, have the same right by
divine authority to excommunicate or otherwise exercise authority over
the bishop of Rome, having obtained the consent of the "legislator," as
the bishop of Rome has to excommunicate or control them.

19. No mortal has the authority to permit marriages that are prohibited
by the divine law, especially by the New Testament. The right to permit
marriages which are prohibited by human law belongs solely to the
"legislator" or to the one who rules by its authority.

20. The right to legitimatize children born of illegitimate union so
that they may receive inheritances, or other civil or ecclesiastical
offices or benefits, belongs solely to the "legislator."

21. The "legislator" alone has the right to promote to ecclesiastical
orders, and to judge of the qualifications of persons for these offices,
by a coercive decision, and no priest or bishop has the right to promote
anyone without its authority.

22. The prince who rules by the authority of the laws of Christians, has
the right to determine the number of churches and temples, and the
number of priests, deacons, and other clergy who shall serve in them.

23. "Separable"{81} ecclesiastical offices may be conferred or taken
away only by the authority of the "legislator"; the same is true of
ecclesiastical benefices and other property devoted to pious purposes.

24. No bishop or body of bishops has the right to establish notaries or
other civil officials.

25. No bishop or body of bishops may give permission to teach or
practice in any profession or occupation, but this right belongs to the
Christian "legislator" or to the one who rules by its authority.

26. In ecclesiastical offices and benefices those who have received
consecration as deacons or priests, or have been otherwise irrevocably
dedicated to God, should be preferred to those who have not been thus

27. The human "legislator" has the right to use ecclesiastical
temporalities for the common public good and defence, after the needs of
the priests and clergy, the expenses of divine worship, and the
necessities of the poor have been satisfied.

28. All properties established for pious purposes or for works of mercy,
such as those that are left by will for the making of a crusade, the
redeeming of captives, or the support of the poor, and similar purposes,
may be disposed of by the prince alone according to the decision of the
"legislator" and the purpose of the testator or giver.

29. The Christian "legislator" alone has the right to forbid or permit
the establishment of religious orders or houses.

30. The prince alone, acting in accordance with the laws of the
"legislator," has the authority to condemn heretics, delinquents, and
all others who should endure temporal punishment, to inflict bodily
punishment upon them, and to exact fines from them.

31. No subject who is bound to another by a legal oath may be released
from his obligation by any bishop or priest, unless the "legislator" has
decided by a coercive decision that there is just cause for it.

32. The general council of all Christians alone has the authority to
create a metropolitan bishop or church, and to reduce him or it from
that position.

33. The Christian "legislator" or the one who rules by its authority
over Christian states, alone has the right to convoke either a general
or local council of priests, bishops, and other Christians, by coercive
power; and no man may be compelled by threats of temporal or spiritual
punishment to obey the decrees of a council convoked in any other way.

34. The general council of Christians or the Christian "legislator"
alone has the authority to ordain fasts and other prohibitions of the
use of food; the council or "legislator" alone may prohibit the practice
of mechanical arts or teaching which divine law permits to be practiced
on any day, and the "legislator" or the one who rules by its authority
alone may constrain men to obey the prohibition by temporal penalties.

35. The general council of Christians alone has the authority to
canonize anyone or to order anyone to be adored as a saint.

36. The general council of Christians alone has the authority to forbid
the marriage of priests, bishops, and other clergy, and to make other
laws concerning ecclesiastical discipline, and that council or the one
to whom it delegates its authority alone may dispense with these laws.

37. It is always permitted to appeal to the "legislator" from a coercive
decision rendered by a bishop or priest with the authorization of the

38. Those who are pledged to observe complete poverty may not have in
their possession any immovable property, unless it be with the fixed
intention of selling it as soon as possible and giving the money to the
poor; they may not have such rights in either movable or immovable
property as would enable them, for example, to recover them by a
coercive decision from any person who should take or try to take them

39. The people as a community and as individuals, according to their
several means, are required by divine law to support the bishops and
other clergy authorized by the gospel, so that they may have food and
clothing and the other necessaries of life; but the people are not
required to pay tithes or other taxes beyond the amount necessary for
such support.

40. The Christian "legislator" or the one who rules by its authority has
the right to compel bishops and other clergy who live in the province
under its control and whom it supplies with the necessities of life, to
perform divine services and administer the sacrament.

41. The bishop of Rome and any other ecclesiastical or spiritual
minister may be advanced to a "separable" ecclesiastical office only by
the Christian "legislator" or the one who rules by its authority, or by
the general council of Christians; and they may be suspended from or
deprived of office by the same authority.

{79} In regard to the "legislator," Marsilius cites Aristotle as
follows: "The legislator or the effective cause of the law is the
people, the whole body of the citizens, or the majority of that body,
expressing its will and choice in a general meeting of the citizens, and
commanding or deciding that certain things shall be done or left undone,
under threat of temporal penalty or punishment."

{80} "Coercive" or "coactive" power is the power, residing in the ruler
or the officials of the state and derived from the "legislator," to
compel observance of the laws or decrees of the state by force or threat
of penalty. A coercive judgment is a judgment given by an official who
has the power to enforce his decisions. Marsilius maintains that
coercive power and coercive judgments are the prerogatives of the state
and cannot be exercised by the church.

{81} "Separable" offices of the clergy, according to Marsilius, are
those functions commonly exercised by the clergy, which are not
essentially bound up with their spiritual character. The terms essential
and non-essential are used as synonymous respectively with inseparable
and separable. The essential or inseparable powers of the clergy are
"the power to bless the bread and wine, and turn them into the blessed
body and blood of Christ, to administer the other sacraments of the
church, and to bind and to loose men from their sins." Non-essential or
separable functions are the government or control of one priest over
others (_i.e._, the offices of bishop, archbishop, etc.), the
administration of the sacraments, etc., in a certain place and to a
certain people, and the administration of temporal possessions of the
church. In respect to their separable functions the clergy are under the
control of the state.

166. Condemnation of Marsilius of Padua. 1327.

Densinger, p. 141.

The following sentences taken from Marsilius of Padua and John of Jandun
were condemned by John XXII, 1327. See introductory note to no. 165.

(1) When Christ ordered the coin which was taken from the fish's mouth
to be paid to the tax collector, he paid tribute to Cæsar; and he did
this not out of condescension or kindness, but because he had to pay it.
From this it is clear that all temporal powers and possessions of the
church are subject to the emperor, and he may take them as his own.

(2) That St. Peter had no more authority than the other apostles, and
was not the head over the other apostles; and that Christ left behind no
head of the church, and did not appoint anyone as his vicar.

(3) That the emperor has the right to make and depose popes and to
punish them.

(4) That all priests, whether pope or archbishop or simple priest, are,
in accordance with the appointment of Christ, of equal authority and

(6) That the whole church together can not punish any man with coactive
punishment, without the permission of the emperor.

The above articles are contrary to the holy scriptures and hostile to
the catholic faith and we [John XXII] declare them to be heretical and
erroneous, and the aforesaid Marsilius and John [of Jandun] to be open
and notorious heretics, or rather heresiarchs.

167. The Beginning of the Schism. The Manifesto of the Revolting
Cardinals. Aug. 5, 1378.

Baluzius, Vitæ Paparum Avenioneosium, I, pp. 468 ff.

At the death of Gregory XI in 1378, the cardinals elected Bartholomew,
archbishop of Bari, who took the title Urban VI. He soon announced that
he would not remove his court to Avignon, as many of the cardinals
wished him to do, but would remain in Rome. For various reasons the
cardinals of the French party became more and more displeased with Urban
and soon rebelled against him and deposed him. After publishing a
manifesto, in which they defended their action, they elected Robert of
Geneva, who called himself Clement VII. The manifesto is long and full
of invective and generalities, but contains very little argument and few
facts. We give only the essential part of it.

... After the apostolic seat was made vacant by the death of our lord,
pope Gregory XI, who died in March, we assembled in conclave for the
election of a pope, as is the law and custom, in the papal palace, in
which Gregory had died.... Officials of the city with a great multitude
of the people, for the most part armed and called together for this
purpose by the ringing of bells, surrounded the palace in a threatening
manner and even entered it and almost filled it. To the terror caused by
their presence they added threats that unless we should at once elect a
Roman or an Italian they would kill us. They gave us no time to
deliberate but compelled us unwillingly, through violence and fear, to
elect an Italian without delay. In order to escape the danger which
threatened us from such a mob, we elected Bartholomew, archbishop of
Bari, thinking that he would have enough conscience not to accept the
election, since every one knew that it was made under such wicked
threats. But he was unmindful of his own salvation and burning with
ambition, and so, to the great scandal of the clergy and of the
Christian people, and contrary to the laws of the church, he accepted
this election which was offered him, although not all the cardinals were
present at the election, and it was extorted from us by the threats and
demands of the officials and people of the city. And although such an
election is null and void, and the danger from the people still
threatened us, he was enthroned and crowned, and called himself pope and
apostolic. But according to the holy fathers and to the law of the
church, he should be called apostate, anathema, Antichrist, and the
mocker and destroyer of Christianity....

168. The University of Paris and the Schism, 1393.

D'Achery, Spicilegium, I, pp. 777 f.

In 1393 the king of France asked the University of Paris to devise a way
of ending the schism. In response to this request, each member of the
faculty was asked to propose in writing the way which seemed best to
him, and to advance all the possible arguments in its favor. A
commission of fifty-four professors, masters, and doctors was then
appointed to examine all the proposed ways and means. After mature
deliberation this commission proposed three possible ways of ending the
schism and drew them up in writing and forwarded them to the king. They
discussed at some length the relative advantages and disadvantages of
each way. Their letter to the king is a long one. We give only three
brief extracts from it, to show the three ways which they proposed.

The first way. Now the first way to end the schism is that both parties
should entirely renounce and resign all rights which they may have or
claim to have to the papal office....

The second way. But if both cling tenaciously to their rights and refuse
to resign, as they have done up to now, we would propose the way of
arbitration. That is, that they should together choose worthy and
suitable men, or permit such to be chosen in a regular and canonical
way, and these shall have the full power and authority to discuss the
case and decide it, and if necessary and expedient, and approved by
those who according to the canon law have the authority [that is, the
cardinals], they may also have the right to proceed to the election of a

The third way. If the rival popes, after being urged in a brotherly and
friendly manner, will not accept either of the above ways, there is a
third way which we propose as an excellent remedy for this sacrilegious
schism. We mean that the matter shall be left to a general council. This
general council might be composed, according to canon law, only of
prelates, or, since many of them are very illiterate, and many of them
are bitter partisans of one or the other pope, there might be joined
with the prelates an equal number of masters and doctors of theology and
law from the faculties of approved universities. Or if this does not
seem sufficient to anyone, there might be added besides one or more
representatives from cathedral chapters and the chief monastic orders,
in order that all decisions might be rendered only after most careful
examination and mature deliberation.

169. The Council of Pisa Declares it is Competent to Try the Popes.

Raynaldus, anno 1409, sec. 71.

There was no recognized legal machinery in the church by which the
schism could be ended, and there was no emperor, as in the days of
Innocent II, who was willing to end it by force. It was decided to leave
the matter to a general council, but there was some doubt as to (1)
whether a council could be legally called by anyone except a pope, and
(2) whether the council was legally empowered to cite the two papal
claimants before it and decide the case between them. Finally a council
was called by the cardinals; it met at Pisa and proceeded first to
assert its legality and authority. The conciliar movement, begun by this
council, was foreshadowed in earlier documents. See nos. 165 and 168.

This holy and general council, representing the universal church,
decrees and declares that the united college of cardinals was empowered
to call the council, and that the power to call such a council belongs
of right to the aforesaid holy college of cardinals, especially now when
there is a detestable schism. The council further declared that this
holy council, representing the universal church, caused both claimants
of the papal throne to be cited in the gates and doors of the churches
of Pisa to come and hear the final decision [in the matter of the
schism] pronounced, or to give a good and sufficient reason why such
sentence should not be rendered.

170. An Oath of the Cardinals to Reform the Church. Council of Pisa,

Raynaldus, anno 1409, sec. 71.

In the great councils of Pisa and Constance there were two parties, the
one in favor of reforming the church at once and ending the schism
afterwards (that is, by electing another pope), and the other in favor
of first electing the pope and then carrying out the reform under his
direction. The latter party was victorious, but before proceeding to the
election, each cardinal was compelled to take an oath that, if elected,
he would not dissolve the council until a thorough reform of the church
was brought about.

We, each and all, bishops, priests, and deacons of the holy Roman
church, congregated in the city of Pisa for the purpose of ending the
schism and of restoring the unity of the church, on our word of honor
promise God, the holy Roman church, and this holy council now collected
here for the aforesaid purpose, that, if any one of us is elected pope,
he shall continue the present council and not dissolve it, nor, so far
as is in his power, permit it to be dissolved until, through it and with
its advice, a proper, reasonable, and sufficient reformation of the
universal church in its head and in its members shall have been

171. The Council of Constance Claims Supreme Authority, 1415.

V. d. Hardt, II, p. 98.

See introductory note to nos. 168, 169.

This holy synod of Constance, being a general council, and legally
assembled in the Holy Spirit for the praise of God and for ending the
present schism, and for the union and reformation of the church of God
in its head and in its members, in order more easily, more securely,
more completely, and more fully to bring about the union and reformation
of the church of God, ordains, declares, and decrees as follows: And
first it declares that this synod, legally assembled, is a general
council, and represents the catholic church militant and has its
authority directly from Christ; and everybody, of whatever rank or
dignity, including also the pope, is bound to obey this council in those
things which pertain to the faith, to the ending of this schism, and to
a general reformation of the church in its head and members. Likewise it
declares that if anyone, of whatever rank, condition, or dignity,
including also the pope, shall refuse to obey the commands, statutes,
ordinances, or orders of this holy council, or of any other holy council
properly assembled, in regard to the ending of the schism and to the
reformation of the church, he shall be subject to the proper punishment;
and unless he repents, he shall be duly punished; and if necessary,
recourse shall be had to other aids of justice.

172. Reforms Demanded by the Council of Constance, 1417.

V. d. Hardt, IV, p. 1452.

The reforming party in the council of Constance had been defeated in its
attempt to fix the order of business which the council should follow. As
in the council at Pisa, it had been determined that the pope should be
elected first and then the reform be worked out. The leaders of the
reform party were fearful that no reform would be accomplished, and so
as a kind of compromise and as a last desperate effort they succeeded in
having the council enact that reforms should be made in the following
eighteen points.

The holy council at Constance determined and decreed that before this
holy council shall be dissolved, the future pope, by the grace of God
soon to be elected, with the aid of this holy council, or of men
appointed by each nation, shall reform the church in its head and in the
Roman curia, in conformity to the right standard and good government of
the church. And reforms shall be made in the following matters: 1. In
the number, character, and nationality of the cardinals. 2. In papal
reservations. 3. In annates, and in common services and little services.
4. In the granting of benefices and expectancies. 5. In determining what
cases may be tried in the papal court. 6. In appeals to the papal court.
7. In the offices of the _cancellaria_, and of the penitentiary. 8. In
the exemptions and incorporations made during the schism. 9. In the
matter of commends. 10. In the confirmation of elections. 11. In the
disposition of the income of churches, monasteries, and benefices during
the time when they are vacant. 12. That no ecclesiastical property be
alienated. 13. It shall be determined for what causes and how a pope may
be disciplined and deposed. 14. A plan shall be devised for putting an
end to simony. 15. In the matter of dispensations. 16. In the provision
for the pope and cardinals. 17. In indulgences. 18. In assessing tithes.

The following notes explain the various points of the reform program:
1. Various cardinals were frequently charged with luxurious living and
even with grave immorality. For some time French cardinals had been in
the majority. The demand was now made that all nations should have an
equal representation in the college of cardinals. 2. The popes
arbitrarily reserved the right to appoint to the richest livings, and
their appointees had to pay well for their appointments. 3. Annates were
(1) the income for a year, collected from every living or benefice when
it became vacant by the death of the holder; (2) the income of a
bishopric for a year, paid by the newly elected bishop. Under "common
services and little services" were included various other payments, in
addition to the annates, which every newly elected bishop was expected
to pay the pope. 4. The pope strove to increase the number of benefices
and livings to which he might appoint. It was not uncommon to sell the
"expectation" to a benefice; that is, while the holder of a benefice was
still alive the right or expectation of succeeding him in his benefice
at his death was sold to some one. 5. The popes wished to increase the
number of cases or trials that could be tried only in the papal court.
There was no clear principle to determine which cases must be tried in
the papal court, and which not. There were certain costs connected with
every trial, and hence such trials were a source of income to the papal
court. 6. So many appeals were made to Rome by those who had lost their
cases at home or who feared they would lose them, that the papal court
was overwhelmed with work and could not try them promptly. Appeals to
Rome were often made to gain time and to defeat justice. 7. The
"cancellaria" was the office in which the papal secretaries wrote the
bulls, letters, etc., of the pope. The penitentiary was the office "in
which are examined and delivered out the secret bulls, graces, and
dispensations relating to cases of conscience, confession, and the
like." 8. By exemptions is meant the freeing of a monastery from the
jurisdiction of the bishop in whose diocese the monastery is situated.
"Incorporation" is the depriving a parish church of its income and
giving it to another church. 9. A "commend" is the granting of a
benefice temporarily on the condition that a certain sum be paid for it
annually. 10. The pope must confirm the election of all bishops, abbots,
etc. 11. At the death of a bishop the pope claimed the income of his
bishopric until his successor was elected. The same is true of
monasteries and many ecclesiastical benefices.

173. Concerning General Councils. The Council of Constance, 39th
Session, October 9, 1417.

V. d. Hardt, IV, p. 1435.

The conciliar idea was that a general council, since it represented the
whole church, was the highest authority in the church, to which even the
pope must submit. The promoters of this idea planned to have a general
council meet at regular intervals.

A good way to till the field of the Lord is to hold general councils
frequently, because by them the briers, thorns, and thistles of
heresies, errors, and schisms are rooted out, abuses reformed, and the
way of the Lord made more fruitful. But if general councils are not
held, all these evils spread and flourish. We therefore decree by this
perpetual edict that general councils shall be held as follows: The
first one shall be held five years after the close of this council, the
second one seven years after the close of the first, and forever
thereafter one shall be held every ten years. One month before the close
of each council the pope, with the approval and consent of the council,
shall fix the place for holding the next council. If the pope fails to
name the place the council must do so.

174. Pius II, by the Bull "Execrabilis," Condemns Appeals to a General
Council, 1459.

Densinger, p. 172.

In the great struggle with the councils the pope had come out
victorious. He had successfully resisted all attempts to make any
important changes in the administration of the church, or to introduce
the reforms which were so loudly called for. Although the council at
Basel had brought the conciliar idea into disrepute, there were many who
still called for a general council as the only means of securing the
reforms which were demanded. Pius II condemned and prohibited all such

The execrable and hitherto unknown abuse has grown up in our day, that
certain persons, imbued with the spirit of rebellion, and not from a
desire to secure a better judgment, but to escape the punishment of some
offence which they have committed, presume to appeal from the pope to a
future council, in spite of the fact that the pope is the vicar of Jesus
Christ and to him, in the person of St. Peter, the following was said:
"Feed my sheep" [John 21:16] and "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth
shall be bound in heaven" [Matt. 16:18]. Wishing therefore to expel this
pestiferous poison from the church of Christ and to care for the
salvation of the flock entrusted to us, and to remove every cause of
offence from the fold of our Saviour, with the advice and consent of our
brothers, the cardinals of the holy Roman church, and of all the
prelates, and of those who have been trained in the canon and civil law,
who are at our court, and with our own sure knowledge, we condemn all
such appeals and prohibit them as erroneous and detestable.

175. William III of Saxony Forbids Appeals to Foreign Courts, 1446.

Schilter, De libertate ecclesiarum Germaniæ, pp. 808 ff.

At this time secular rulers were everywhere growing in power, and
centralizing the authority in their own hands, which led them to try to
diminish the power of the clergy. This document shows the legal
confusion which then existed, caused in part by the usurpations which
the ecclesiastical courts practiced. Following the examples of the kings
of England and France, William III, duke of Saxony, limited
ecclesiastical courts to their proper jurisdiction and forbade the
clergy to try secular cases. As a sovereign power he also forbade all
appeals to foreign courts, which of course included the pope.

My country suffers dishonor, and great loss and injury, in that many of
its inhabitants resort to foreign courts. Be it known that we have
decreed that hereafter no inhabitant of our country shall summon or sue
another before any foreign court, ecclesiastical or secular, for any
matter whatsoever. If the case is ecclesiastical and legally comes under
the jurisdiction of an ecclesiastical court, the plaintiff shall bring
it before some ecclesiastical court in our country, and be content with
the decision rendered there. There shall be no appeal to a foreign
court. If the case is secular, it shall be brought and pleaded before
the secular court where the defendant belongs. It shall be tried before
that court under whose jurisdiction the case falls, and the plaintiff
shall be content with the decision rendered. If any inhabitant of our
land is not content with the decision, but appeals to a foreign court in
any way, he shall be held to be an outlaw. He shall be banished for life
and never be permitted to return to this country; and anyone may attack
him and his property without any hindrance, because he is an outlaw....
We and our subjects have for a long time been annoyed and troubled
beyond measure by the ecclesiastical judges who hear cases which do not
belong under their jurisdiction. For although they are only
ecclesiastical judges, they hear ecclesiastical and secular cases. And
very often they render unjust decisions. The effect of this is the
spread of unbelief among the people, who neglect and dishonor God and
the holy church. The glory of God and the honor of the church demand
that this abuse be stopped. We will therefore do all we can to have the
princes and prelates who have jurisdiction in our land reform their
ecclesiastical courts. For these ecclesiastical courts shall refuse to
hear secular cases and try only ecclesiastical cases. We forbid all
persons in our land to summon, sue, or denounce another on a secular
charge before an ecclesiastical court....

176. Papal Charter for the Establishment of the University of Avignon,

Bullarium Romanum, III, ii, pp. 101 f.

It was regarded as the exclusive right of the pope to establish a
university, or _studium generale_, as it was called. We give the
document by which he established the University of Avignon as a sample
of these numerous papal establishments. It contains a clear and
interesting account of the examinations and the conferring of the
Master's degree.

The city of Avignon for many reasons is eminently suited and fitted to
become the seat of a university. Believing that it would be for the
public good if those who cultivate wisdom were introduced into the city,
and that they would in time bear rich fruit, by this document we grant
that a university may be established there, in which Masters
[_magistri_] may teach, and scholars freely study and hear lectures, in
all faculties. And when those who study in the university attain a high
degree of knowledge, and ask for the permission to teach others, we
grant that they may be examined in the canon and civil law, and in
medicine, and in the liberal arts, and that they may be decorated with
the title of Master in those faculties. All who are to be promoted to
this honor shall be presented to the bishop of Avignon. He shall call
together all the Masters in the faculty concerned, and without any
charge he shall examine the candidates to discover their learning,
eloquence, manner of reading [lecturing], and the other things which are
required in those who are to be made Doctors or Masters. He shall then
consult the Masters about the examination and they shall vote on the
question of granting the degree [that is, decide whether the candidate
passed the examination or not]. But their vote shall be kept secret, and
the bishop shall never tell how they voted on the question. Those whom
he finds fit, he shall approve, and grant them the permission to teach
others. But those whom he finds are not fit, he shall refuse without
fear or favor. If the bishopric of Avignon is vacant, the candidates
shall present themselves to the _præpositus_ of the church, who shall
examine them and approve them in the way prescribed for the bishop.

Those who are examined and approved in Avignon and receive the license
to teach, shall thereafter have the full and free right to read and
teach everywhere, in that faculty in which they have been approved,
without further examination or approval by anyone else.

In order that such examinations may be properly held, we command that
all Masters who wish to read in the University of Avignon shall, before
beginning their work there as teachers, take a public oath that they
will come in person to all the examinations whenever called, and that
they will, _gratis_ and without fear or favor, faithfully give the
bishop their judgment about the examination, in order that those who are
worthy may be approved, and those who are unworthy may be rejected.
Those who refuse to take this oath shall not be permitted to read in the
university, or to be present at the examinations, or to share in any of
the advantages or benefits of the university.

In order that the Doctors [teachers] and scholars of the university may
be able to devote themselves freely to their studies, and to make good
progress in them, we grant that all who are in the university, whether
teachers or scholars, shall have all the privileges, liberties, and
immunities which are generally granted to teachers and scholars of other

177. Popular Dissatisfaction that the Church had so much Wealth, _ca._

Goldast's Reichssatzung, p. 280.

We give a brief passage from an unknown author to illustrate the growing
dissatisfaction of the common people that the church had so much wealth.
It betrays a dangerous temper of mind. In the light of this the
suppression of monasteries and the seizure of ecclesiastical property
which was carried out on so large a scale in the sixteenth century does
not seem strange.

It is as clear as day that by means of smooth and crafty words the
clergy have deprived us of our rightful possessions. For they blinded
the eyes of our forefathers, and persuaded them to buy the kingdom of
heaven with their lands and possessions. If you priests give the poor
and the chosen children of God their paternal inheritance, which before
God you owe them, God will perhaps grant you such grace that you will
know yourselves. But so long as you spend your money on your dear
harlots and profligates, instead of upon the children of God, you may be
sure that God will reward you according to your merits. For you have
angered and overburdened all the people of the empire. The time is
coming when your possessions will be seized and divided as if they were
the possessions of an enemy. As you have oppressed the people, they will
rise up against you so that you will not know where to find a place to

178. Complaints of the Germans against the Pope, 1510.

Gebhardt, Gravamina gegen den Römischen Hof, pp. 83 f.

This is a brief list of the complaints made by the Germans in 1510 and
presented to Julius II. Most of them, it will be observed, are concerned
with the financial burdens with which the Germans felt that they were

(1) That popes do not feel bound to observe the bulls, agreements,
privileges, and letters which have been issued by their predecessors,
but often dispense with, suspend, and revoke them at the request of
people even of low birth. (2) That the pope sometimes refuses to confirm
the canonical election of bishops. (3) That the pope sometimes rejects
the election of _præpositi_ [provosts], although made by chapters which
have paid a high price for the right to elect. ... (4) That the better
benefices and higher offices are reserved for the cardinals and the
chief officials of the papal court. (5) That an unlimited number of
expectancies are granted, and many are given for the same office to
different persons. And many expectancies are sold to one and the same
person. From this practice, lawsuits arise daily, which cause all
concerned to incur heavy expenses. For if a man buys an expectancy, he
will probably never get the office, but he will surely become involved
in a lawsuit about it which will cost him a great deal of money. On this
account the proverbial saying has arisen: "If anyone obtains an
expectancy from Rome, let him lay aside one or two hundred gold coins,
for he will need them in his lawsuit about it." (6) Even when a
bishopric is several times within a few years made vacant by death, the
pope without any mercy demands the prompt and full payment of the
annates. And sometimes when the pope creates new offices and enlarges
his court, more is demanded as annates than is just.... (7) Churches are
given to members of the papal court, some of whom are better fitted to
be mule drivers than pastors. (8) Old indulgences are revoked and new
ones sold, merely to raise money, although the laymen are thereby made
to murmur against their clergy. (9) Tithes are collected under the
pretext that a war is to be made against the Turks, but nothing of the
kind is ever done. (10) Cases which could easily be settled in Germany,
since there are good and just judges there, are indiscriminately called
before the papal court at Rome. St. Bernard, in writing to Eugene III,
severely criticised this practice.

179. Abuses in the Sale of Indulgences, 1512.

Fr. Myconius, Geschichte der Reformation.

Several references have been made to the need of a reform in the matter
of indulgences. Cardinal Raymond, papal legate in 1503, complained that
the agents who sold indulgences were actuated only by the basest motives
of gain and were thoroughly dishonest. Myconius (his German name was
Mecum) was a Franciscan monk who became a Protestant.

We have thought it best to give first a statement of the doctrine of
indulgences in order that the abuses in their sale may be more clearly

"It is the catholic doctrine that when a sin is forgiven its punishment
is not necessarily at the same time remitted. Through the power of the
keys the eternal punishment is remitted, but generally there remain
temporal punishments which must be satisfied either in this world by
means of good works, or in the next by enduring punishment in purgatory.
The Bible, by examples as well as by statements, teaches that with the
removal of the eternal guilt and punishment, the temporal punishment is
not always remitted. Adam and Eve, after committing sin, repented and
were justified by God, but they were driven out of Paradise and
compelled to endure infinite misfortunes, and even death itself, as a
punishment of their sin. We are taught the same by the example of the
Israelites who were pardoned for their sin of murmuring through the
prayers of Moses, but, as a punishment for their sin, were excluded from
the promised land and perished in the wilderness.... From this it is
seen that the Bible demands not only the conversion of the heart, but
also that we render satisfaction by enduring temporal punishment for the

"This satisfaction which we must render [_i.e._, this temporal
punishment which we must endure] is a part of the sacrament of penance,
and must be imposed on us by the minister of penance [_i.e._, the
priest]. The doctrine of indulgences is inseparably connected with that
of satisfaction. By indulgence is meant a remission of the temporal
punishment made by a priest by means of the application of the treasure
of the church. The treasure of the church is the whole sum of the merits
of Jesus Christ ... in addition to all the good works or merits of all
the saints.... In the church, as St. Thomas Aquinas well says, some have
done greater penance than the measure of their sins demanded. Others
have suffered with patience many unjust tribulations, with which they
would have expiated the temporal punishments of many more sins than they
have committed. [All such good works in excess of what they needed to
make satisfaction for their own sins are called works of supererogation,
and being meritorious, their merit is added to the treasure of the
church and may, at the discretion of the church, be applied to the
benefit of others who are lacking in such good works.] One of the ways
in which the church distributes this common possession (treasure of
merits) is by means of indulgences."--From the _Theologia Dommatica_ of
Prof. Dati, vol. iii, Chap. XXIX, Florence, 1893.

Anno 1512. Tetzel gained by his preaching in Germany an immense sum of
money which he sent to Rome. A very large sum was collected at the new
mining works at St. Annaberg, where I heard him for two years. It is
incredible what this ignorant and impudent monk used to say.... He
declared that if they contributed readily and bought grace and
indulgence, all the hills of St. Annaberg would become pure massive
silver. Also, that, as soon as the coin clinked in the chest, the soul
for whom the money was paid would go straight to heaven.... The
indulgence was so highly prized that when the agent came to a city the
bull was carried on a satin or gold cloth, and all the priests and
monks, the town council, schoolmaster, scholars, men, women, girls, and
children went out in procession to meet it with banners, candles, and
songs. All the bells were rung and organs played. He was conducted into
the church, a red cross was erected in the centre of the church, and the
pope's banner displayed....

Anno 1517. It is incredible what this ignorant monk said and preached.
He gave sealed letters stating that even the sins which a man was
intending to commit would be forgiven. He said the pope had more power
than all the apostles, all the angels and saints, even than the Virgin
Mary herself. For these were all subject to Christ, but the pope was
equal to Christ. After his ascension into heaven Christ had nothing more
to do with the management of the church until the judgment day, but had
committed all that to the pope as his vicar and vicegerent.


Feudalism, as the prevailing order of society, socially, economically,
and politically, makes its appearance toward the end of the tenth
century. During the disorders consequent upon the disintegration of the
empire of the Carolingians (see nos. 15-25) the government failed to
supply protection and security, and ceased to act as a bond to hold men
together. As a result, certain local, private elements of society, which
were very generally diffused throughout that empire, were raised to the
rank of public political institutions. It is our purpose to illustrate
the origins and growth of feudalism, and the characteristic features of
the feudal state. The elements which lay at the basis of the feudal
system may be classified under three heads: (1) The personal dependence
of one man upon another; (2) dependent tenure of land, in which the
holder and user of the land was not the owner, but held it of or from
another; (3) the possession by private persons or corporations of
extensive sovereign rights over their lands and tenants. These elements
were present in various degrees and forms in the German tribes before
the migrations and in the later Roman empire, but it will be sufficient
for our purpose to show the existence and the character of these
elements in the tribal kingdoms and the Frankish kingdom under the
Merovingians, for in these states the German and Roman people and
institutions were united to form the society of the Middle Age. Then we
shall attempt to illustrate the growth and development of these elements
in the late Merovingian and in the Carolingian periods, and finally the
characteristic features of society in the feudal age. The difficulty in
illustrating the situation from public documents will be readily
understood; it is due to the fact that these institutions were only
partly legal or public, and to the fact that the makers of the laws took
for granted a knowledge of the institutions and did not think it
necessary to describe or explain them. It is hoped, however, that the
notes to the passages translated will make clear their meaning and

180-197. Origins.

180-183. Personal Dependence.

In the documents of the tribal kingdoms and Merovingian kingdom (_ca._
500-700) there are many evidences of the importance for society of the
dependence of one man upon another, and of the fact that this relation
was superseding in importance the relation of the private man to the
state. On the one hand, men became dependents and retainers of the king
and the great officials and lords for mutual advantages, the superior
gaining the prestige that came with the possession of a large following,
and the dependents gaining employment under and connection with the
great persons of the state. On the other hand, poor land-owners, or
persons without lands of their own, commended themselves to landlords
for the purpose of receiving protection and support. In both cases the
personal dependence was connected with the holding of land, for the king
or great lord frequently gave land to his followers, while the poor man
who commended himself to another usually did it for the purpose of
acquiring land to cultivate; this side of the relation, however, will be
seen more clearly under the next section.

180. Form for the Creation of an Antrustio by the King.

Marculf's Formulæ, I, no. 18; M. G. LL. 4to, V, p. 55.

Most of the following documents are taken from books of formulæ; that
is, collections of forms of documents made by various persons to serve
as examples for the drawing up of charters, etc. They were probably made
from actual documents by leaving out the names and inserting _ille_
(such an one) or similar expressions. The formulæ of Marculf were
written at the end of the seventh century. We quote them from the
edition in the _Monumenta Germaniæ_, Leges, vol. v, giving only the
pages in that volume after the first reference.

It is right that those who have promised us unbroken faith should be
rewarded by our aid and protection. Now since our faithful subject
(name) with the will of God has come to our palace with his arms and has
there sworn in our hands to keep his trust and fidelity to us, therefore
we decree and command by the present writing that henceforth the said
(name) is to be numbered among our _antrustiones_.{82} If anyone shall
presume to slay him, let him know that he shall have to pay 600 solidi
as a wergeld for him.

{82} The position of the _antrustio_ is explained in the note to the
Salic law, XLI, no. 4. See also the reference to the _leudes_ in no.

181. Form for the Suspending of Lawsuits.

Marculf, I, no. 23; p. 57.

One great advantage that the dependent possessed was the support and
influence of his lord in judicial trials and other matters of the sort.

Know that we have ordered the apostolic man (name) [a bishop] or the
illustrious man (name) [a secular official or lord] to go to a certain
place, and we now command that as long as he is away all his lawsuits,
and those of his clients and dependents and people that live within his
jurisdiction, are to be suspended. Therefore we decree and order by the
present writing that until he returns all his cases and those of his
clients, both those who go with him and those who stay on his lands, and
of his people who live within his jurisdiction, shall be suspended, and
afterwards he shall do justice to everyone and receive justice from

182. Form for Commendation. Middle of Eighth Century.

Formulæ Turonenses, no. 43; p. 158.

Notice the reason given by the person who commends himself, the effects
of commendation on both parties, and the binding nature of the
agreement. The reason alleged (extreme poverty) is probably a mere form
of speech, and was not present in each actual instance of commendation.

To my great lord, (name), I, (name). Since, as was well known, I had not
wherewith to feed and clothe myself, I came to you and told you my wish,
to commend myself to you and to put myself under your protection. I have
now done so, on the condition that you shall supply me with food and
clothing as far as I shall merit by my services, and that as long as I
live I shall perform such services for you as are becoming to a freeman,
and shall never have the right to withdraw from your power and
protection, but shall remain under them all the days of my life. It is
agreed that if either of us shall try to break this compact he shall
pay -- solidi, and the compact shall still hold. It is also agreed that
two copies of this letter shall be made and signed by us, which also has
been done.

183. Form by which the King Allows a Powerful Person to Undertake the
Cases of a Poor Person.

Marculf, i, no. 21; pp. 56 f.

Our faithful subject, (name), with the will of God has come to us and
told us that he is not able on account of his weakness to defend or to
prosecute his cases before the court. Therefore he has besought us to
allow the illustrious man (name) to take up his cases for him, both in
the local court and in the royal court, whether he prosecutes or is
prosecuted, and he has commended his affairs to him in our presence by
the staff. Therefore we command, in accordance with the desire of both
parties, that the aforesaid man (name) may undertake the cases of the
other (name), and that he shall do justice for him and for all his
possessions, and get justice for him from others; this shall be so, as
long as both desire it.

184-188. Dependent Tenure of Land.

Absolute ownership of land was giving place to possession of land owned
by others than the holder. The greater landlords (the king, the church,
and the great officials and lords) sought to acquire cultivators for
their lands, while the poorer land-owners and the persons without lands
of their own sought a means of livelihood or protection. The usual form
was the benefice or the precarium. The benefice was the name applied
generally in this time to land the use of which was granted by the owner
to others for a term of years, for life, or in perpetuity. The
_precarium_ was a form of the benefice, the name being technically
applied to lands thus granted in response to a letter of request or
prayer (_litteræ precariæ_). It will be seen from the documents that the
lands were usually those that had been given originally by the poor
land-holder to the greater landlord and then received back as benefice
or _precarium_. The reason was undoubtedly in many cases the desire of
the owner to come under the protection of the greater landlord. The king
also gave land to his followers and officials, either to bind them to
him or to reward them for services; it is probable, although not
certain, that these lands, in part at least, were held only for life or
a term of years, on condition of services or faithfulness, and so were
in a sense benefices.

184. Form for the Gift of Land to a Church to be Received back by the
Giver as a Benefice.

Marculf, II, no. 3; pp. 74 ff.

... I, (name), and my wife, (name), in the name of the Lord, give by
this letter of gift, and transfer from our ownership to the ownership
and authority of the monastery of (name), over which the venerable abbot
(name) presides, and which was founded in the honor of (name) by (name)
in the county of (name), the following villas{83} (name), situated in
the county of (name), with all the lands, houses, buildings, tenants,
slaves, vineyards, woods, fields, pastures, meadows, streams, and all
other belongings and dependencies, and all things movable and immovable
which are found in the said villas now or may be added later; in order
that under the protection of Christ they may be used for the support and
maintenance of the monks who dwell in the aforesaid monastery. We do
this on the condition that as long as either of us shall live we may
possess the aforesaid villas, without prejudice to the ownership of the
monastery and without diminution of the value of them, except that we
shall be allowed to emancipate any of the slaves that dwell on the lands
for the salvation of our souls. After the death of both of us, the
aforesaid villas with any additions or improvements which may have been
made, shall return immediately to the possession of the said monastery
and the said abbot and his successors, without undertaking any judicial
process or obtaining the consent of the heirs.

{83} The term _villa_, as used in these documents, means a domain or
estate with a group or village of dependent cultivators.

185. Form for a Precarial Letter.

Marculf, II, no. 5; pp. 77 f.

To our lord and father in Christ, the holy and apostolic bishop (name),
I (name), and my wife (name). It is well known that we have given in the
name of the Lord our villa of (name), situated in the county of (name),
in its entirety and with all that we possessed there, by a letter of
gift to the church of (name), founded in the honor of (name), and that
you have received it on behalf of the said church. And in response to
our petition you have granted that as long as we or either of us shall
live we shall hold the said villa as a benefice with the right of
usufruct,{84} with the understanding that we shall not diminish its
value in any way or alienate anything that belongs to it, but shall hold
it without prejudice to the ownership of the said church or bishop.
Therefore we have written this precarial letter in witness that our
possession shall not work any prejudice to your ownership or any injury
to the said villa; but that we only have the use of it during our lives,
and that after we are dead you shall immediately recover it with all the
additions and improvements which we may have made, by virtue of this
precarial letter, which shall be renewed every five years, and without
requiring any judicial process or obtaining the consent of the heirs;
and that thereafter you shall hold it forever, or do with it whatever
may seem to you to be to the best interests of the said church.

{84} To hold land with the right of usufruct or to have the usufruct of
land, means to hold, use, and enjoy the products of land the ownership
of which belongs to another. Thus a benefice is a form of usufruct. It
corresponds practically to modern long lease, which is sometimes
expressed in our legal usage as lease for 99 years, etc.

186. Form of Precarial Letter.

Marculf, II, no. 39; pp. 98 f.

To our lord and father in Christ, the holy and apostolic bishop (name),
I (name), and my wife (name). Since you have permitted us, as long as we
or either of us shall live, to hold the land (name) belonging to your
church (name), which (name) gave to the said church for the salvation of
his soul, therefore for this permission and for the salvation of our
souls we have given this other place (name), to belong to the said
church and to you and your successors after we are both dead. This we
have done on the condition that as long as we live we may possess the
said places, both that which you have permitted us to use and the one
which we have given you for the salvation of our souls, with the right
of usufruct, without diminishing its value or prejudicing the rights of
your church; and that after we are dead the said places shall
immediately revert to your ownership by virtue of this precarial letter,
without requiring any renewal of the letter, and in spite of any
opposition from our heirs or from anyone else.

187. Form of Precarial Letter.

Formulæ Bituricenses, no. 2; p. 169.

To the lords (names), we (name), and (name). It is well known that our
father lived on your lands and made a precarial letter to you for them,
which we now renew and sign, humbly beseeching you to allow us to remain
on the same lands.{85} In order that our possession of the lands may not
prejudice the rights of you and your successors in them, we have
deposited with you this precarial letter, agreeing that if we ever
forget its terms, or ever refuse to obey you or your agents in anything
which you command, or ever assert that this is not your land, we may be
punished according to the severity of the law as wicked violators of
your rights, and may be driven from the lands without judicial sentence.

{85} This and the following document are instances of a very common
practice; the heirs of the holder of a precarium took it over on the
same terms. The result was that the relation tended to become permanent,
and a regular class of dependent land-holders grew up. Notice also the
subjection of the holders of the precarium to the grantors, in this case
secular lords.

188. Gift of Land to be Received back and Held in Perpetuity for a Fixed

Formulæ Augienses, B, no. 8; pp. 352 f.

The first part of the form, including the original gift of the land, is
omitted in the original, but may be supplied from a preceding number.

I do this on the condition that as long as I live I may hold the said
lands for the said rent, and that my children and their posterity may do
the same forever.

189. Treaty of Andelot, 587.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, I, no. 6; Gregory of Tours, IX, ch. 20.

This is a treaty between two of the Merovingian kings, Gunthram of
Burgundy and Childebert II of Austrasia. It forms an incident in the
civil war begun between Sigebert and Chilperic; see no. 5, Gregory of
Tours, IV, ch. 28, and note.

It illustrates the practice of the kings of giving land to their
followers and officials. This was very important in the creation of a
landed aristocracy. See the remarks above in regard to the nature of
these gifts (introductory note to nos. 184-188).

In accordance with the treaties made between Gunthram and Sigebert of
blessed memory, it is likewise agreed that those _leudes_,{86} who after
the death of Chlothar I first gave their oaths to Gunthram and then
later removed to other parts, are to be made to return from the places
where they are now dwelling. It is also agreed that those who, after the
death of Chlothar I, gave their oaths to Sigebert and then removed to
other parts are in a similar manner to be made to return. Likewise
whatever the aforesaid kings bestowed or with the consent of God wished
to bestow upon churches or upon their faithful subjects, shall remain in
the possession of the churches or subjects. And whatever shall be
restored in this way to the subject of either king, legally and justly,
shall be held by that person as his own.... And let each one possess in
security whatever he has received through the munificence of preceding
kings, to the time of the death of Chlothar I of blessed memory, and if
anything has been taken from the faithful subjects since that time, it
shall be restored to them from this moment.... Likewise it is agreed
that neither of the kings shall entice away the _leudes_ of the other or
receive them; but if some of the _leudes_ believe they are justified in
leaving their king by reason of injuries done to them, they are to be
compensated for their injuries, and made to return....

{86} The _leudes_ are evidently the personal dependents of the king,
that is, _antrustiones_. They were probably given land by the king.
Notice the other references in the treaty to persons holding land from
the "munificence" of the king. The same thing is referred to in nos.
190, 193, 194.

190-194. Grants of Immunity.

In the feudal age practically every landlord exercised over his lands
and tenants rights and authority which are now regarded as sovereign
rights belonging to the state. This was due in the main to the practice
of the Merovingian and Carolingian kings of granting immunity to the
churches and the great landlords, a practice which naturally grew with
the increasing weakness of the monarchy and the growth of the power of
the nobles. A grant of immunity operated to exclude the public officials
from lands, which were then in theory under the immediate control of the
king. In the late Merovingian period the weakness of the kings and the
disorganization of the public administration left the control of
immunity domains really in the hands of the landlords. The holder of
land covered by a grant of immunity thus came to represent the state to
the people on his lands. He established courts for the trial of cases
arising among his tenants or represented them before the public courts;
he was also frequently given the right to collect the taxes, revenues,
tolls, etc., from the lands of people, which would otherwise go to the
royal treasury. Most of the grants of immunity which have come down to
us are in favor of church lands, but they were also granted to secular
lords. The churches preserved their documents better than secular
persons did.

190. Precept of Chlothar II, 584-628.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 1, no. 8.

Notice the references to immunity, to grants of land to "churches and
powerful persons" (lords and officials), and the implied right of such
landlords to appoint judges for trial of cases among their tenants
(private jurisdiction).

11. We grant to the churches the taxes from the fields and pastures and
the tithes of swine, so that no collector or titheman shall enter the
lands of a church to gather such dues for the royal treasury. Public
officials shall not demand any services from the churches of clergymen
who have acquired immunity from our father or grandfather.

12. Whatever has been given to churches or to clergymen or to any person
through the munificence of our aforesaid predecessors of blessed memory
is to belong to them in all security.

14. The property of churches, priests, and of the poor who cannot
protect themselves, shall be under the protection of public officials
until their cases can be brought to the king and justice be done; only
in so far, however, as it shall not infringe on the rights of immunity
which have been granted by former kings to any church or powerful person
or to anyone else, for the keeping of peace and the preservation of

19. Bishops and powerful persons who have possessions in various regions
shall not appoint travelling judges or any judges except such as belong
to the county in which they serve.

191. Grant of Immunity to a Monastery, 673.

M. G. DD. folio, I, pp. 30 f; Altmann und Bernheim, no. 112.

Childeric, king of the Franks, illustrious man.... We have commanded it
to be made known to all that the venerable and pious abbot Berchar came
to us and asked us to grant him a certain place in the forest of Vervo
in Gascony, in which he might build a monastery, and to give him
material and resources by which he might construct a monastery there and
establish a congregation of monks. Now the request of this great man
pleased us and we granted him what he asked. Then having built his
monastery ... in the honor of Sts. Peter and Paul and the other saints,
he besought us, in order to make secure the whole undertaking, to bestow
complete immunity upon the monastery. Therefore, we, moved to this by
the kindness which Heaven has shown to us, have hearkened to the prayer
of this man ... and with the consent of our bishops and nobles do now
concede entire immunity over the whole possessions of this monastery ...
for the peace of our kingdom and for the reverence which we have for
this religious place. We command that no public official of any
authority shall presume to enter the lands of this monastery ... for the
purpose of hearing cases, of seizing securities, of collecting taxes, of
demanding entertainment, or of extorting tolls from cities or markets;
nor shall he presume to exact any taxes or payments whatever, but the
monks shall rule and possess, both in our time and in the future, all
the property of this monastery in all places and lands, where they have
possessions, as aforesaid, without being subject to the entrance of
officials or to exactions on the part of the royal treasury....

192. Form of a Grant of Immunity to a Monastery.

Marculf, I, no. 3; pp. 43 f.

We believe that our reign will best be rendered memorable, if we bestow
suitable benefits on churches (or whatever you wish to insert here),
with pious purpose, and if we secure these benefits under the protection
of God by putting them in writing. Therefore, be it known to you that we
have granted the request of that apostolic man, the bishop of (name),
for the salvation of our souls; namely, that no public official may
enter the lands which his church holds now, by our gift or by the gift
of anyone else, or which his church may receive in the future, for the
purpose of trying cases, or collecting taxes; but that the said bishop
and his successors shall hold the said lands in the name of the Lord
with full immunity. We decree therefore that neither you nor any of your
subordinates or successors, nor any other public official shall presume
to enter the lands of the said church for the purpose of trying cases,
of collecting taxes or revenues, or receiving entertainment or seizing
supplies or securities. All the taxes and other revenues which the royal
treasury has a right to demand from the people on the lands of the said
church, whether they be freemen or slaves, Romans or barbarians, we now
bestow on the said church for our future salvation, to be used by the
officials of the church forever for the best interests of the church.

193. Form by which the King Granted Lands with Immunity to Secular

Marculf, I, no. 14; pp. 52 f; Altmann und Bernheim, no. 113.

Those who from their early youth have served us or our parents
faithfully are justly rewarded by the gifts of our munificence. Know
therefore that we have granted to that illustrious man (name), with
greatest good will, the villa called (name), situated in the county of
(name), with all its possessions and extent, in full as it was formerly
held by him _or_ by our treasury. Therefore by the present charter which
we command to be observed forever, we decree that the said (name) shall
possess the villa of (name), as has been said, in its entirety, with
lands, houses, buildings, inhabitants, slaves, woods, pastures, meadows,
streams, mills, and all its appurtenances and belongings, and with all
the subjects of the royal treasury who dwell on the lands, and he shall
hold it forever with full immunity from the entrance of any public
official for the purpose of exacting the royal portion of the fines from
cases arising there; to the extent finally that he shall have, hold, and
possess it in full ownership, no one having the right to expect its
transfer, and with the right of leaving it to his successors or to
anyone whom he desires, and to do with it whatever else he wishes.

194. Grant of Immunity to a Secular Person, 815.

Altmann und Bernheim, no. 114.

In the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Ludwig, by divine
providence emperor, Augustus. Be it known to all our subjects, present
and future, that our faithful subject, John, has come to us and
commended himself to us, and has besought us to confirm to him the
possession of lands [described] which he and his sons and their men have
cleared and occupied. He has shown us the charter which he received from
our father Karl the Great. We have consented to do this and have done
even more; we have given him certain villas [named] with their extent
and dependencies ... granting that he and his sons and his posterity may
hold them in peace and security. No count, _vicarius_, or their
subordinates, or any other public official shall presume to judge or
constrain any persons living on those lands, but John and his sons and
their posterity shall judge and constrain them....

195-208. Growth of the Feudal Elements During the Late Merovingian and
the Carolingian Period.

The elements which we have just described and illustrated were
essentially private in their nature. They assumed, however, political
importance in the threatened dissolution of society, due to the failure
of the public government. In a period when the state was unable to give
adequate protection to the common individual, that person naturally
regarded his allegiance to his real protector, his lord or landlord, as
of more importance to him than his relation to the state. The natural
tendency of powerful persons to increase their power over their
dependents and their independence of higher authority was given its
opportunity by the weakness of the monarchy and the central government.
The four centuries from 550-950 were in the main a period of disorder,
interrupted, of course, by the period of Carolingian strength, including
the reigns of Karl Martel, Pippin, and Karl the Great. During these four
centuries the existing feudal elements developed and hardened into a
system of society, and two new features were added: the feudalizing of
offices, and the connection of land-holding with military service. These
are so characteristic of the feudal age that their origin is illustrated

195-196. The Feudalizing of Public Offices.

By this is meant the practice of inheritance of office and the union in
one person of the characteristics of an official and a great landlord.
Thereby the local officials of the king, such as the counts, tended to
form an hereditary landed nobility, the office being held usually by the
great landed family of the county. It is obvious that this tendency
would grow in a period when the monarchy and the central government was
weak, the king either being unable to restrain the powerful local
officials or else granting them these privileges in order to retain
their support. It is obvious also that the local officials would strive
to increase their private advantages--possession of land, and personal
authority over the inhabitants of their lands or districts--at the
expense of their public position as representatives of the king. So in
the feudal period in France, Italy, and Germany (in the last named the
development was much slower), the titles duke, margrave (marquis),
count, etc., ceased to have an official significance and became the
titles of a landed aristocracy.

195. Edict of Chlothar II, 614.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 1, no. 9.

12. No one from another province or region shall be made judge [count]
in any county; so that if a count has done injury to anyone he may be
forced to make good the injury from his own possessions.

The count, like the _grafio_ of the Salic law, was originally a servant
of the king sent into the county to look after the king's interests
there. It appears from this document that the counts were now appointed
from among the land-owners of the county.

196. Capitulary of Kiersy, 877.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 2, no. 282.

The capitulary of Kiersy was published by Charles the Bald, just before
he left France for Italy, and was intended to regulate the affairs of
the kingdom, which was entrusted to his son during his absence. It shows
how completely the practice of inheritance of land and office had
developed during the Carolingian period. The office, position, and lands
of counts, vassals of the king, and vassals of ecclesiastical and
secular lords were regarded as hereditary by this time.

3. If a count whose son accompanies us shall die during our absence, our
son with the advice of our faithful subjects shall appoint one of the
near relatives of the deceased count to govern the county with the aid
of the officials of the county and the bishop in whose diocese it is,
until we are notified of the case and have an opportunity to give the
son of the count his father's honors. But if the deceased count shall
leave a minor son, that son shall govern the county with the aid of the
officials and the bishop in whose diocese it is, until the death of the
said count has been brought to our notice and we endow the son with his
father's honors. But if the count shall not leave a son, our son with
the advice of our faithful subjects shall appoint someone to govern the
county with the aid of the officials of the county and the bishop, until
our commands in respect to it are made known. And no one shall feel
aggrieved, if we give the county to another than the one who governed it
up to the time of our appointment. The same procedure shall be observed
in regard to our vassals; and the bishops, abbots, and counts of our
kingdom, and our other faithful subjects, shall do the same toward their

197-202. The Military Obligation of the Holder of Land.

The connection of military service with the holding of land and with
noble character is one of the characteristic features of the feudal
system. The feudal noble was regularly the holder of a fief on terms of
allegiance and military service to his superior. In the Germanic tribes
military service was obligatory on every freeman, but there was also a
fighting élite, or aristocracy, composed of the chiefs and their
followers (see no. 1, Tacitus, chapters 13 and 14). The military
obligation of the freeman remained in theory during the Merovingian and
Carolingian periods, but in practice it was connected rather with the
possession of land and was performed largely by the lords and their
followers. Towards the end of the Merovingian period, much of the land
was in the possession of the church and was escaping from public burdens
because of immunity. Karl Martel found it necessary to increase the
military strength of the kingdom; the particular occasion is supposed to
have been the need of horsemen to meet the Arab invasion. He accordingly
forced the churches to give portions of their lands to secular persons
who could perform military service, and the holders of these lands were
required to bring a troop of mounted warriors to the army. Such lands
were held on terms of military service to the state and as _precaria_
from the church. The same conditions were then attached to lands held
from the king, and the term benefice--used in the earlier period of
lands held from another in general--now came to be applied technically
to lands held from the king or superior on condition of performing
military service, usually on horseback. The number of mounted soldiers
the holder of a benefice had to furnish of course varied with the size
of his holding. The great lords raised the necessary troops by giving
portions of their lands to their retainers on condition that the
retainers should accompany them to war. So the obligation to perform
military service was attached also to the small estates held not
directly from the king, but from a great lord. We give here references
to the appropriation of church lands, to the relation of the holder of
the lands to the church and to the king, and to the extension of the
name and practice to other than church lands.

197. Capitulary of Lestinnes, 743.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 1, no. 11.

This is a capitulary of Carlmann, the brother of Pippin. It is the
earliest case which has come down to us of appropriation of church lands
for the purpose referred to.

2. Because of the threats of war and the attacks of certain tribes on
our borders, we have determined, with the consent of God and by the
advice of our clergy and people, to appropriate for a time part of the
ecclesiastical property for the support of our army. The lands are to be
held as _precaria_ for a fixed rent; one solidus, or twelve denarii,
shall be paid annually to the church or monastery for each _casata_
[farm]. When the holder dies the whole possession shall return to the
church. If, however, the exigency of the time makes it necessary, the
prince may require the _precarium_ to be renewed and given out again.
Care shall be taken, however, that the churches and monasteries do not
incur suffering or poverty through the granting of _precaria_. If the
poverty of the church makes it necessary, the whole possession shall be
restored to the church.

The whole capitulary, of which paragraph 2 is translated, is concerned
with ecclesiastical matters; accordingly only the interests of the
church in the military benefice is explained here. The relation of the
holder to the state comes out in other documents. Notice the express
reason given for the appropriation, and the relation of the holder to
the church from which the land was held.

198. Capitulary of Aquitaine, Pippin, 768.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 1, no. 18.

5. Whoever holds a benefice from us shall be careful and diligent in its
management; otherwise he shall lose the benefice, but retain his own

11. All secular persons who hold church lands shall hold them as

Paragraph 5 refers to lands held from the king. Notice the distinction
made between such land and land held in full ownership. Paragraph 11
repeats the provision made in the preceding number, that lands held from
the church as benefices are to be regarded as _precaria_; this is found
in a number of capitularies of this period, suggesting that the holders
were apt to forget their obligation to the church and to treat the land
as their own property.

199. Capitulary of Heristal, 779.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 1, no. 20.

14. (Lombard form.) Laymen who hold lands from churches as benefices by
the command of the king, are to continue to hold them unless the king
orders them restored to the churches.

200. General Capitulary to the Missi, 802.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 1, no. 33.

Part of this capitulary is also translated as no. 9. This and the
following document illustrate the holding of royal benefices, and the
difficulty in making the holders perform their duties. It was part of
the duty of the _missi_ to look after the royal benefices.

6. No man shall lay waste a benefice in order to improve his own

201. Capitulary to the Missi, 806.

M. G. LL. 4to II, 1, no. 46.

6. We have heard that counts and other men who hold benefices from us
have improved their own property at the expense of the benefices, and
have made the serfs on the benefices labor on their own land, so that
our benefices are waste and those dwelling on them in many places suffer
great evils.

7. We have heard that some sell the benefices which they hold from us to
other men in full ownership, and then, having received the price in the
public court, they buy back the lands as allodial lands. This must not
be done, for those who do this break the faith which they promised us.

202. Capitulary Concerning Various Matters, 807.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 1, no. 49.

3. Concerning the Frisians, we command that our counts and vassals who
hold benefices, and all horsemen in general, shall come to our assembly
prepared for war.

203-208. Effect of the Carolingian Organization on the Growth of

Karl the Great succeeded in reducing the great dukes to subjection (see
no. 7, Einhard, ch. 5 and 11, and notes), and enforcing obedience to law
in general throughout his empire, but he did not interfere with the
immunity rights of churches and lords over the inhabitants of their
lands or with dependence of vassals and tenants on the great
land-owners. Indeed, his attempt to reduce everything to law and system
resulted in completing and fixing these relations. The following
passages illustrate the increased dependence of the lower orders and the
greater and more complete authority of the powerful persons in the

203. General Capitulary to the Missi, 805.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 1, no. 44.

16. Concerning the oppression of poor freemen: that they are not to be
unjustly oppressed by more powerful persons on any pretext, and forced
to sell or give up their property.

204. Capitulary of 811.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 1, no. 73.

This and the preceding document illustrate the attempts of the great
lords to round out their domains and increase the number of their
dependent tenants by forcing poor free land-owners to give up their
lands and become tenants.

2. Poor men complain that they are despoiled of their property, and they
make this complaint equally against bishops and abbots and their agents,
and against counts and their subordinates.

205. Capitulary of Worms, 829.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 2, no. 193.

6. Freemen who have no lands of their own, but live on the land of a
lord, are not to be received as witnesses, because they hold land of
another; but they are to be accepted as compurgators, because they are
free. Those who have land of their own, and yet live on the land of a
lord, are not to be rejected as witnesses because they live on the land
of a lord, but their testimony shall be accepted, because they have land
of their own.

Notice the effect that dependent tenure of land is having on the legal
status of freemen.

206. Capitulary of Aachen, 801-813.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 1, no. 77.

16. No one shall leave his senior, after he has received from him the
value of a solidus, unless his senior attempts to kill him, to beat him
with a club, to violate his wife or his daughter, or to take his
hereditary possession from him.

207. Agreement of Lothar, Ludwig, and Charles, 847.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 2, no. 204.

2. We decree that every freeman shall accept whatever senior he wishes
in our kingdom, from among us and our faithful subjects.

3. We command that no man shall leave his senior without good cause, and
that no lord shall receive a man who has left his senior, unless it be
in accordance with the customs of our predecessors.

4. Every subject of each one of us shall go to war or other necessary
expedition with his senior, unless the kingdom is invaded and all the
subjects are called out in mass to repel it, which is called _landwehr_.

208. Capitulary of Bologna, 811.

M. G. LL. 4to, II, 1, no. 74.

5. If any man who holds a benefice of the king shall release his subject
from going to war with him or shall refuse to allow him to go and fight
with him, he shall lose his benefice.

7. Concerning the vassals of the emperor who serve him in the palace,
and have benefices. It is decreed that those who remain at home with the
emperor shall not keep their tenants with them, but shall let them go to
war with the count of the county.

The name senior is used in Carolingian documents for the lord who has
authority over dependent tenants and vassals. Notice in the two
documents preceding that the subjects of a lord are bound to him by law,
and that they go to war, not with the general levy under command of
public officials, but with their fellows of the same lands under command
of the senior.

209-228. The Feudal System in its Definite Form.

The elements already described became the system of society and
government in the states which in the ninth and tenth centuries
developed from the empire on its dissolution. The system gradually
became settled and organized, the feudal kingship developed to give it a
head, and it took the form recognized as the feudal system.

The features to be noticed are the relation of the vassal to his lord,
the position of the king, and the economic organization of the land and
the obligations of the cultivators to the landlords. The origin and
growth of these features in the earlier age have been shown in nos.
180-208; it only remains to show how they were organized in the feudal

The vassal was bound to the lord of whom he held a benefice or fief by
the oath of fidelity and homage. He also owed his lord certain services
of noble character, the chief of which was military service. This was
not perpetual service, but was limited by law or custom, usually
consisting of 40 days' active service, and a certain amount of guard in
the castle of the lord or in the castle which the vassal held as a fief
of the lord. Aids or money payments were also paid by vassals on certain
occasions, such as the marriage of the lord's oldest daughter, the
knighting of the lord's oldest son, and the captivity of the lord. The
lord had also certain rights over his vassals, which were frequently
commuted for money: wardship, the right of guardianship of minor heirs,
and the management and use of the fiefs during the minority; marriage,
the right to choose or be consulted in the choice of a husband for
female holders of fiefs; relief, the right to exact a certain payment
from the heir when he succeeded to a fief; escheat, the right of taking
back the fief into his own possession upon the failure of heirs, etc.
These rights and payments have their origin in the personal dependence
of the vassal upon the lord. They were occasional and did not form a
part of the regular income of the lord, although they might be worth
considerable at times. The regular income of the lord came from his
domain lands, the lands which were not let out in fief, but which were
cultivated by tenants or serfs, and which supplied the lord with money,
resources, and services.

The authority of the king in the feudal state was very limited. This was
due chiefly to the fact that each lord exercised practically sovereign
rights over his lands and dependents. The feudal king was in origin one
of the great feudal lords (cf. in France, Hugh Capet, duke of Francia;
and in Germany, Henry I, duke of Saxony), who was chosen by the great
lords and became their overlord. He had the same rights on his own
domains as any feudal lord, but had only the authority of an overlord
over his great vassals. He had no direct control over the vassal of his
vassal, but could reach such an one only indirectly through that
person's immediate superior. The holders of great domains exercised not
only jurisdiction over the tenants on their lands, but possessed also
other sovereign rights, such as the right of coinage, of collecting
tolls and taxes, etc.

The basis of the economic life of the feudal age was the cultivation of
land. Commerce, trade, and organized industry did of course exist during
the Middle Age, but they were non-feudal in spirit and grew up outside
of and in spite of feudalism. Land was organized in domains or estates,
containing each a group of cultivators forming a community or little
village. These cultivators held their land from the landlord on very
complex terms of rent and services. Rents were paid in money or in a
portion of the produce of the land. In each village the lord had a
house, and a farm (manor-farm or head farm) which was worked by personal
serfs and by the services owed by tenants. Aside from rents and services
the lord possessed certain rights over his tenants, which were a source
of revenue. The chief of these were: justice, the right to hold courts
on his lands for the trial of cases arising among the tenants, and to
levy and collect the fines; banalities (banvin, etc.); the right to sell
his own wine, grain, etc., a certain number of days before the tenants
could sell theirs (this he frequently released for a certain tax); the
rights of market, mill, bake-oven, etc., which were owned by the lord,
and from which he received tolls (these were frequently let out to other
persons for an annual rent). A great lord, as a count or duke, would own
a great many such domains, and would have a house or castle and farm in
each one, and an agent or representative to care for his interests in
the domain. Nobles of the lowest rank, as the knight or chatelain, might
own only two or three, or even a single domain.

209-217. Homage, Investiture, Aids, etc.

209. Homage.

Boutillier, Somme rurale, I, 18.

These documents illustrate the form of feudal practices after the system
had become fairly well fixed. Most of the passages are from
_Coutumiers_, codes or digests of feudal law and practice, of which
there were a great many in the Middle Age. Some of the famous ones are:
in England, those of Bracton and Littleton; in France, the
_Établissements de St. Louis_, _Coutumes de Beauvaisis_, by Beaumanoir,
and several provincial customs, as the _Coutumes_ of Normandy, of Anjou,
etc. Most of the references were taken from Du Cange, Glossarium,
_Hominium_. See no. 180, for an early form of homage.

The man should put his hands together as a sign of humility, and place
them between the two hands of his lord as a token that he vows
everything to him and promises faith to him; and the lord should receive
him and promise to keep faith with him. Then the man should say: "Sir, I
enter your homage and faith and become your man by mouth and hands
[_i.e._, by taking the oath and placing his hands between those of the
lord], and I swear and promise to keep faith and loyalty to you against
all others, and to guard your rights with all my strength."

210. Homage.

Coutume de la Marche, art. 189.

The manner of doing homage to another is as follows: The man who wishes
to enter the homage and fealty of a lord should humbly request the lord
to receive him into his faith; his head should be uncovered, and the
lord may be seated if he wishes; the vassal should take off his belt and
sword, and should kneel and say the words of homage, etc.

211. Homage.

Ancienne coutume de Normandie, art. 107.

The form of homage is as follows: The vassal who holds by noble tenure
reaches out his hands and places them between the hands of his lord and
says, etc.

212. Homage.

Bracton, De legibus et consuetudinibus Angliæ, II, 35.

The tenant [vassal] should place his clasped hands between the hands of
the lord; by this is signified, on the part of the lord, protection,
defense, and guarantee; on the part of the vassal, reverence and

213. Homage.

Tabularium Campaniæ, cited by Du Cange, Glossarium, _Ligius_.

I, John of Toul, make known that I am the liege man of the lady
Beatrice, countess of Troyes, and of her son, Theobald, count of
Champagne, against every creature, living or dead, saving my allegiance
to lord Enjorand of Coucy, lord John of Arcis, and the count of
Grandpré. If it should happen that the count of Grandpré should be at
war with the countess and count of Champagne on his own quarrel, I will
aid the count of Grandpré in my own person, and will send to the count
and the countess of Champagne the knights whose service I owe to them
for the fief which I hold of them. But if the count of Grandpré shall
make war on the countess and the count of Champagne on behalf of his
friends and not in his own quarrel, I will aid in my own person the
countess and count of Champagne, and will send one knight to the count
of Grandpré for the service which I owe him for the fief which I hold of
him, but I will not go myself into the territory of the count of
Grandpré to make war on him.{87}

{87} This is a good illustration of the confusion of the feudal
relation in practice. The vassal held land in this case from four lords,
to all of whom he did homage and owed allegiance and military service.
It was the usual practice for the vassal to do _liege_ homage to one of
the lords, who was his chief or liege lord, and to whom he owed service
first of all. Notice the compromise arrived at in this case. For
distinction between liege homage and simple homage see also no. 214, and
no. 218, introductory note.

214. Homage of Edward III of England to Philip V of France, 1329.

Froissart, Chronicle, I, ch. 24. (Lettenhove's edition, II, pp. 227

The king of England was received by the king of France with great honor,
and he and his company remained there at Amiens fifteen days, during
which many conferences were held and many ordinances drawn up. It seems
to me that on that occasion king Edward did homage in words, but did not
place his hands in the hands of the king of France, nor did any of his
princes, prelates or representatives do so for him. By the advice of his
council king Edward refused to proceed further until he had returned to
England and had examined the ancient charters in order to determine the
manner in which the kings of England had done homage to the kings of
France.... At last the king of England wrote letters patent, sealed with
his great seal, in which he acknowledged the sort of homage that he
ought to pay to the king of France. This is the form of that letter:

Edward, by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland, and duke
of Aquitaine, etc. Know that when we did homage to our beloved lord and
cousin, Philip, king of France, at Amiens, he insisted that we should
acknowledge that our homage was liege homage, and that in it we should
expressly promise to be faithful and true to him. We would not agree to
this at the time, because we did not know whether we owed him liege
homage or not. Accordingly we did homage in general terms, saying that
we entered into his homage in the same manner as our predecessors, the
dukes of Guienne, had formerly entered into the homage of the kings of
France. But now having found what that manner was, we acknowledge by the
present letter that the homage which we paid to the king of France at
Amiens was, is, and ought to be held to be liege homage; and that we owe
him loyalty and fidelity as duke of Aquitaine, peer of France, count of
Ponthieu, and count of Montreuil; and we hereby promise him such loyalty
and fidelity. In order that similar disputes may not occur in the
future, we promise for ourselves and for future dukes of Aquitaine that
homage shall be performed in the following manner: The king of England
as duke of Aquitaine shall put his hands within the hands of the king of
France, and the person who speaks for the king of France shall say to
the king of England as duke of Aquitaine: "You become the liege man of
my lord the king of France as duke of Aquitaine, and peer of France, and
you promise to keep faith and loyalty to him? Say yea." And the king of
England, or the duke of Guienne, or their successor, shall say "Yea."
Then the king of France shall receive the king of England, as duke of
Guienne, by mouth and hands [see no. 209], saving their other rights.
Moreover, when the said king of England does homage to the king of
France for the counties of Ponthieu and Montreuil, he shall put his
hands in the hands of the king of France for those counties, and the
person who speaks for the king of France shall say, etc....

215. Feudal Aids.

Ancienne coutume de Normandie, I, 3, ch. 25.

The chief aids of Normandy are so called because they are rendered to
chief lords [_i.e._, to lords who receive liege homage]. It is the
custom in Normandy to pay three aids ... first, for the knighting of the
lord's oldest son; second, for the marriage of the lord's oldest
daughter; third, for the ransom of the lord.

216. Feudal Aids.

MS. of the Chamber of Accounts, Paris; cited from Du Cange, Glossarium,

In the chatelainerie [territory dependent on a castle] of Poitou and
that region, according to the custom of the land, those who hold fiefs
pay five aids to the lord: for the knighting of the lord's son, for the
marriage of the lord's oldest daughter, for the rachat{88} of the lord's
fief, for the crusade, and for the ransom of the lord from the hands of
the Saracens.

{88} Rachat, see no. 228, Troyes, note 2.

217. Feudal Aids, etc.

From Magna Charta, 1215.

In the first part of Magna Charta, John promises to give up the abuses
of feudal law which he had practiced. Thus he had exacted exorbitant
payments from heirs for inheritance of fiefs (reliefs); he had forced
widows and female heirs under his wardship to marry his favorites and
supporters, or had exacted heavy fines if they refused; he had levied
unjust aids and services, and a heavy scutage, or payment for exemption
from military service.

2. If one of our knights or barons or other tenants-in-chief [_i.e._,
direct vassals] who hold by military service shall die and shall leave
an heir who is of age, the heir shall receive his father's fiefs by
paying only the ancient relief; namely, the heir or heirs of an earl
shall pay 100 pounds for the whole earldom; the heir or heirs of a
knight shall pay 100 solidi for the whole fief of the knight; and those
who inherit smaller holdings shall pay smaller reliefs according to the
ancient custom.

3. But if the heir of any of our tenants-in-chief is under age and is
under our ward, he shall have his fiefs when he comes of age without
relief or fine.

8. No widow shall be forced to marry unless she wishes to; but she must
give security that she will not marry without our consent, if she holds
of us, or without the consent of her lord, if she holds of another.

12. No scutage or aid shall be exacted in our kingdom, unless by the
common consent of the realm, except for the ransom of our body, the
knighting of our oldest son, and the marriage of our oldest daughter;
and these shall be levied at reasonable rates.

218-228. The Feudal System in Practice, Illustrated by the County of

Actual conditions under the feudal system will, it is thought, be best
illustrated by showing in some detail the workings of the system in a
single important case. The following documents are taken from the great
French collection of documents called "Documents inédits sur l'histoire
de France"; two volumes are devoted to the county of Champagne and
contain all the important documents relating to the growth and formation
of the feudal territory of Champagne, the relation of the counts to
their overlords on the one hand, and to their vassals on the other, and
the organization of the lands retained by the counts as domain lands,
_i.e._, cultivated by tenants for the count and not let out in fief. The
county of Champagne is chosen because it is one of the best examples of
the formation of a great feudal territory, and because the two volumes
referred to form the most complete as well as most accessible collection
of illustrative material for the feudal _régime_ in its practical

218-225. Homages Paid by the Count of Champagne.

218. Homage to the Duke of Burgundy, 1143.

Documents inédits. Champagne, I, p. 466.

The count of Champagne held his lands from several overlords; the ones
mentioned in the following documents are: the king of France, the duke
of Burgundy, the bishops of Langres and Châlons, and the abbot of St.
Denis; he also held parts of his lands from the emperor, the archbishops
of Sens and Rheims, and the bishops of Auxerre and Autun. This plurality
of superiors is characteristic of most of the great domains. The great
fiefs came under the control of one lord by various means, inheritance,
marriage, purchase, subinfeudation, etc. The great lord endeavored to
complete his control of a whole region by becoming the feudal holder of
all the land in the region. Since holding by feudal tenure, including
homage, etc., was the regular method of acquiring land in the feudal
system, it was used as a form of contract, and the personal subjection
and dependence was in many cases a mere form. In cases like that of the
count of Champagne the holder did homage to all the lords from whom he
held lands, but could not of course observe complete allegiance to each
one. So one of the superiors was recognized as his chief and liege lord,
and to him the holder did _liege homage_ (see no. 213, note). Notice
that the count of Champagne pays _liege_ homage to the king of France,
who is his chief lord.

Be it known to all men, present and future, that count Theobald of
Blois{89} did homage to Odo, duke of Burgundy, at Augustines, and
acknowledged that he held the abbey of St. Germain at Auxerre, Chaourse,
the castle of Maligny with all its dependencies, the castle of Ervy with
all its dependencies, the county of Troyes, the city of Troyes, and
Château-Villain, as fiefs from the duke.

{89} The territory of the count of Champagne included the counties of
Blois, Troyes, Champagne, and Brie, and the holder was called by these
different titles at various times.

219. Homage to Philip II of France, 1198.

Documents inédits, Champagne, I, pp. 467 f.

Philip, by the grace of God king of France. Be it known to all men,
present and future, that we have received our beloved nephew, Theobald,
count of Troyes, as our liege man, against every creature, living or
dead, for all the lands which his father, count Henry, our uncle, held
from our father, and which count Henry, the brother of Theobald, held
from us. Count Theobald has sworn to us on the most holy body of the
Lord and on the holy gospel that he will aid us in good faith, as his
liege lord, against every creature, living or dead; at his command the
following persons have sworn to us that they approve of this and will
support and aid him in keeping this oath: Guy of Dampierre, Gualcher of
Châtillon, Geoffroy, marshal of Champagne, etc. [vassals of the count of
Champagne]. If count Theobald fails in his duty to us and does not make
amends within a month from the time when they learn of it, they will
surrender themselves to us at Paris, to be held as prisoners until he
makes amends; and this shall be done every time that he fails in his
duty to us. We have sworn with our own hand that we will aid count
Theobald against every creature, living or dead; at our command the
following men have sworn that they approve of this and will support and
aid us in keeping this oath: Pierre, count of Nevers, Drogo of Mello,
William of Galande, etc. [vassals of the king]. If we fail in our duty
to count Theobald, and do not make amends within a month from the time
when they learn of it, they will surrender themselves to him at Troyes
to be held as prisoners there until we make amends; and they shall do
this every time that we fail in our duty to him.... We have also agreed
that our beloved uncle, William, archbishop of Rheims, and the bishops
of Châlons and Meaux, may place those of our lands that are in their
dioceses under interdict, as often as we fail in our duty to count
Theobald, unless we make amends within a month from the time when they
learn of it; and count Theobald has agreed that the same archbishop and
bishops may place his lands under an interdict as often as he fails in
his duty to us, unless he makes amends within a month from the time when
they learn of it.{90}

{90} Notice the securities given by each party; a suggestion that the
oath alone was not always sufficiently binding.

220. Homage to the Duke of Burgundy, 1200.

Documents inédits, Champagne, I, p. 468.

We, Odo, duke of Burgundy, make known to all men, present and future,
that we have received our relative and faithful subject, Theobald, count
of Troyes, as our man for the land which his father, count Henry, held
of our father, Hugo, duke of Burgundy, just as his father, count Henry,
was the man of our father. We have promised count Theobald that we and
our heirs will guarantee that land to him and his heirs against every
creature, living or dead, and will aid him and them in good faith with
all our power to hold that land in peace and quiet.

221, 222. Agreement between Blanche of Champagne and Philip II, 1201.

221. Letter of Blanche.

Documents inédits, Champagne, I, p. 469.

Notice the rights of wardship and marriage exercised by the lord in this
case. The counts of Champagne claimed to be hereditary counts palatine
of France (see nos. 223 and 225); notice, however, that the king of
France does not use the title in speaking of the countess.

I, Blanche, countess palatine of Troyes. Be it known to all, present and
future, that I have voluntarily sworn to my lord, Philip, king of
France, to keep the agreements contained in this charter....

I have voluntarily sworn that I will never take a husband without the
advice, consent, and wish of my lord, Philip, king of France, and that I
will place under his guardianship my daughter and any child of whom I
may be pregnant from my late husband, count Theobald. In addition, I
will turn over to him the fortresses of Bray and Montereau, and give him
control of all the men who dwell there and all the knights who hold
fiefs of the castles, so that if I break my promise to keep these
agreements, all the aforesaid men shall hold directly of my lord,
Philip, king of France; and they shall all swear to aid him even against
men and against every other man or woman. The lord of Marolles shall put
himself and his castle also under the control of the king, and similarly
all the knights who hold fiefs of Provins, and all the men of Provins,
and all the men of Lagny and Meaux, and all the knights who hold fiefs
of these places.... I will do liege homage to my lord, Philip, king of
France, and I will keep faith with him against all creatures, living or

222. Letter of the King.

Documents inédits. Champagne, I, p. 470.

In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity, amen. Philip, by the
grace of God king of France. Be it known to all, present and future,
that we have received Blanche, countess of Troyes, as our liege woman,
for the fief which our beloved nephew and faithful subject, Theobald,
former count of Troyes, held from us.... We have sworn to her that we
will keep the agreements written in this charter in good faith, as to
our liege woman; namely, that we will protect and nourish her daughter
whom she has placed in our ward, in good faith and without deceit, and
that we will not give her in marriage until she reaches the age of
twelve years. After she has reached that age, we will provide her with a
husband in accordance with the desires and advice of ourself, our
mother, the lady Blanche, and the barons whose names are written here,
or of the persons who hold their fiefs, if they have died. These are the
barons: William, archbishop of Rheims; Odo, duke of Burgundy; Guy of
Dampierre; Gualcher of Châtillon, etc.

223. Homage to the Bishop of Langres, 1214.

Documents inédits. Champagne, I, p. 472.

I, Blanche, countess palatine of Troyes, make known to all who see these
presents that while my beloved lord, William, bishop of Langres, was at
Troyes on certain business, I besought him, if he was willing, to
receive there the homage of my beloved son, count Theobald. He replied
that the homage ought to be made only at Langres, but that, as a favor
to me and out of love to my son, he would receive it at Troyes, in order
that I might be spared the journey, saving his rights and the rights of
the church of Langres, and the rights of my son. Accordingly he received
the homage of my son at Troyes, and I conceded and concede that this
shall work no prejudice to the rights of the church of Langres, or the
bishop, but that the rights of the bishop and of my son shall remain

224. Homage to the Bishop of Châlons, 1214.

Documents inédits, Champagne, I, p. 474.

Gerard, by the grace of God bishop of Châlons, to all who see these
presents, greeting and sincere love in the Lord. Know that when our
beloved son and faithful subject, Theobald, count of Champagne, came to
us at Cherville, we were ill, and so he did homage at St. Memmie. Now in
order that this may not work prejudice to future counts of Champagne, we
acknowledge and bear witness that homage ought to be done at Cherville
or elsewhere in the march [_i.e._, frontier], where the bishops of
Châlons and the counts of Champagne are wont to come together for
conference and the transaction of business.

225. Homage to the Abbot of St. Denis, 1226.

Documents inédits, Champagne, I, p. 476.

Peter, by the grace of God abbot of St. Denis, to all who see these
presents, greeting in the Lord. Know that the noble man, Theobald, count
palatine of Champagne and Blois, did homage to us for the castle of
Nogent-sur-Seine and its dependencies, in the same manner as Milo of
Châlons, former lord of that castle, who held it as a fief from the
church of St. Denis. With the advice and consent of our chapter we have
granted that the said count shall be bound to appear only in our court
in matters pertaining to that fief.

226. List of the Fiefs of Champagne, about 1172.

Documents inédits. Champagne, I, pp. 22 ff.

These documents illustrate the relation of his vassals to the count of
Champagne. They are taken from a register of the fiefs and vassals of
the count of Champagne, drawn up about 1172. There are many instances of
such registers or inventories in the feudal age; the relations of lord
and vassals were apt to become confused and subject to dispute. The
particular purpose of the register in this case was to determine the
number of knights owing military service to the count of Champagne, and
the amount of service owed by each one.


  Count of Rethel, liege homage.
  Count of Grandpré, liege homage.
  Count of Roucy, liege homage.
  Count of Chiny.
  Roger of Rozoy, for the fief of Chaourse. Roger of Rozoy, his son
    [did homage].{91}
  Lord of Montmort, liege homage. Guy of Montmort [did homage]. He
    holds in fief the rights of the forest of Vassy and many other
  Hugo of Oisy, a year's guard.
  Gaulcher of Châtillon, guard and liege homage.
  The sons of Guy of Châtillon, a year's guard and liege homage,
    etc., etc.


  Count of Soisson. His fief is thirty pounds of the tolls and taxes
    of Château-Thierry.{92}
  Lord of Pierrefonds.
  Lord of Nesles, Fresnes, and Roiglise.
  Lord of Braisne.
  Lord of Bazoches is liege man of the count after the bishop of
    Soissons,{93} and owes three months' guard. For Coulonges and the
    forest as far as Ste. Gemme [his fief].
  André de Ferté, liege homage and a year's guard.
  Bartholomé de Thury, liege homage and a year's guard. His fief is at
    Thury, Coulombs, and Chacrise, etc., etc.


  Count of Vermandois.
  Count of Beaumont.
  Bishop of Beauvais, for the fief of Savignies.
  Bochard of Montmorency. His fief is at Marly and Ferrières.
  Lord of Crécy-en-Brie. For Crécy and many other fiefs.
  Lord of Montjay.
  Viscount of La Ferté, liege homage and guard. For his holdings at
    Gandelus, Fresnes, La Ferté-Gaucher, La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, and
    Lizy, and their dependencies, except the fief which he holds of the
    bishop of Meaux and the abbot of St. Faron.
  Theobald of Crespy. For Bouillancy, etc., etc.

{91} This expression means apparently that the person named did the
homage and performed the services for the holder of the fief, as his

{92} Here is a case where the fief of a vassal is a portion of the
revenues of the lord. As already noted, holding by feudal tenure was the
regular form of contract in the feudal age; it was used not only in
regard to the holding of land, but also for the acquisition of other
possessions, as a sum of money, etc.

{93} The bishop of Soissons is the liege lord of the lord of Bazoches.

227. Sum of the Knights [who owe Service to the Count of Champagne].

Documents inédits, Champagne, I, pp. 73 f.

This table occurs at the end of the register of the fiefs of the count
of Champagne of which the preceding number is a part. It is the sum of
the knights who owe regular military service to the count, and is also
therefore the number of knights whom the count should bring in answer to
royal summons to war.

   From La Ferté                            58
        Bar-sur-Aube                       117
        Rosnay                              79
        Saint-Florentin                     42
        Ervy                                39
        Villemaur                           27
        Vitry and dependencies             159
        Bussy-le-Château                    25
        Mareuil-en-Brie                     84
        Montfélix                           24
        Épernay                             40
        Châtillon and Fismes               160
        Oulchy                              62
        Château-Thierry                     86
        Meaux                              149
        Coulommiers                         68
        Montereau                           29
        Chantemerle                         34
        Bray-sur-Seine                      83
        Provins                            265
        Payns                               42
        Pont-sur-Seine                      42
        Sézanne and Lachy                   85
        Vertus                              61
        Troyes and Isle-Aumont             135
        Méry-sur-Seine                      21
        The great fiefs                     20
      Whole sum of the knights           2,030
      [Correct total                     2,036]

228. Extent of the Lands of the County of Champagne and Brie, about

Documents inédits, Champagne, II, pp. 9 ff.

This is an inventory of the domain lands of the count of Champagne, made
to determine the revenues, possessions, and rights of the count, and the
obligations and dues of the tenants and serfs. They were determined by
the examination of certain trustworthy inhabitants of each domain or
village. The result was arranged according to bailiwicks (large
administrative districts), and domains or villages. Thus the cases given
here are taken from the four villages of Troyes, Nogent, Pont, and
Séant, in the bailiwick of Troyes. The student should notice the rights
of the lord (justice, banvin, rachat, mainmort, markets, tolls, etc.);
the revenues from the lands; the position of the prévôt (the lord's
agent in the village), whose services are paid by allowing him to
collect and keep part of the revenues. Note also that in this age many
of the rights of the lord are commuted for money or let out to others
for an annual rent; this was a common tendency of the later feudal age,
when the lord came more and more to appreciate the advantages of ready
money over services and rents in produce.


1. Troyes.

The count has at Troyes pure and mixed justice in Troyes and all
jurisdiction over all persons,{94} except the men who have charters of
privilege and the men who live on the lands of churches which have
jurisdiction over their men by charter or long usage.

Fines in cases coming under the high justice are levied at the will of
the count according to the character of the crimes and the custom of the
city. They are not estimated here. Escheat and confiscation of goods for
the great crimes, such as killing, theft, rapine, heresy, etc., belong
to the high justice. The prévôt has 20 solidi of the fines which are
levied, and 60 solidi of the escheats. Besides these the prévôt has no
share in these fines, but they go to the count.

Fines for cases coming under the low justice are levied according to the
custom of Troyes....

The count also has the right of mainmort by which he takes all the goods
of men who die without children or heirs who should succeed, and all the
goods of low-born men who die without children....

The count also has within the district of Troyes the right of
rachat,{95} which the widows of noble holders of fiefs must pay if they
wish to marry again. The rate of the rachat has been decided to be equal
to the income of the fief for a year. The prévôt has no share in the

The count also has the markets of St. John, which begin on the first
Tuesday two weeks after the day of St. John the Baptist and end about
the day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. They are now estimated to
be worth 1,000 pounds,{96} besides the fiefs of the holders of the
markets which are worth 13 pounds. This market is called the
"hot-weather fair" (_la foire chaude_).

He also has the markets of St. Rémy, called the "cold-weather fair" (_la
foire froide_). They begin on the day after All Saints' day and last
until a week before Christmas. They are estimated to be worth now about
700 pounds....

The count also has the house of the German merchants where cloth is
sold.... It is sold or rented out at the fairs of St. John and St. Rémy,
and is estimated to be worth 400 pounds a year, deducting the expenses.

The count also has the stalls of the butchers ... which are held from
the count for an annual rental, paid half on the day of St. Rémy, and
half on the day of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin. The count
also has jurisdiction in cases arising in regard to the stalls of the

He also has the hall of the cordwainers [shoemakers], where shoes are
sold on Saturday; it is situated next to the stalls of the butchers. It
is held from the count for an annual rental, paid at the above-mentioned

The count and Nicholas of Bar-le-Duc have undivided shares in a house
back of the dwelling of the prévôt, which contains 18 rooms, large and
small. The rooms are rented for an undivided rent of 125 solidi, of
which half goes to the said Nicholas....

The count and the said Nicholas have undivided shares in seventeen
stalls for the sale of bread and fishes. They are now rented for 18
pounds and 18 solidi....

{94} Justice was divided into high and low, or into high, middle, and
low justice. These distinctions were not everywhere the same, but in
general high justice meant jurisdiction over cases the penalty for which
was death or mutilation, and low justice, or middle and low justice, the
jurisdiction over less serious crimes. The same general difference was
understood by pure and mixed justice. When the lord is said to have "all
the justice, high and low," or "pure and mixed justice," it is meant
that he has complete jurisdiction over his subjects in all cases.

{95} Rachat is the sum paid by the new holder of a fief at the time of
his entrance into the fief; it is about the same as the relief (see no.
217, § 2, and introductory note to nos. 209-228). Here it refers to the
sum which the widow of a vassal of the count must pay when she
remarries, not for the privilege of remarrying, but for the right to
take the fief with her to her new husband.

{96} Note the great value of the markets to the count. Troyes was not a
small village, but a city of some importance, and the market rights were
worth a good deal. This is a good illustration of the seignorial or
feudal control of cities, against which the citizens continually
struggled. (See nos. 308, 309.)

4. Nogent-sur-Seine.

The count has a house there and the orchard that goes with it, which the
count retains for himself [_i.e._, has not let out in fief].

According to the statement under oath of Pierre of Pampeluna [etc.], the
count has also all the justice, except that which is held by others by
charter or long usage....

Escheat and confiscation of goods come under the high justice, and the
prévôt has the same rights in fines and escheats as in the case of
Troyes [see above]. The smaller fines from cases belonging to the high
justice are estimated as belonging to the office of the prévôt.

The count also has the market hall and the toll from the markets and the
village, every day in the week. They are estimated at 80 pounds.

He also has the banvin, which lasts a whole month, beginning on the day
after Easter. It is valued at 30 pounds.

The count also has the right over the streams of Noe and Vileure....

5. Extent of the domain of Pont-sur-Seine, determined by the statements
of Pierre Molventre, Th. Coichard, and Robert of Besançon, who were
sworn to speak the truth.

The count has a house there, and has all the justice in the village and
the chatelainerie, except that which is held by others by charter or
long usage. The high and low justice is exercised as described in the
chapter on Troyes. The jurisdiction exercised by the prévôt is estimated
to be worth 100 pounds a year, the jurisdiction over the fiefs at 14
pounds, 10 solidi, and the jurisdiction over the clergy at 26 solidi, 8

These are the dues collected by the prévôt:

Taxes and toll from the market, and 18 solidi of the ancient small tax.
Also the _lods et ventes_,{97} which are now estimated at 42 pounds.

The banvin, which lasts for 15 days, beginning about the day of St. Mary
of Magdala, when the count wishes to exercise it; it is worth about 60
solidi when the count wishes to sell it. The monks of St. Étienne have
the same banvin, but they are not allowed to sell it unless the count
sells his.

The rents from the inhabitants of Villeneuve, now worth 60 solidi. The
prévôt takes half, and the other half goes to the canons of the church
of Provins. Each farm also pays 12 denarii and a measure of oats, half
to the count (the prévôt does not take this) and half to the said

The count also has the following rents and _lods et ventes_:

_Lods et ventes_ from the house of Robert of Besançon, and 12 solidi
rent; the same from the house of Claude and 10 solidi rent; the same
from the house of Ordinetus the serf, and 25 solidi rent....

He also has from Saint-Martin-de-Bossenay 5 solidi of the small tax,
_lods et ventes_, three hens a year, and 15 measures of oats....

The count also has from Le Châtelot, near Villeneuve, seven hens a year,
and five measures of oats to be paid on Christmas, and they belong to
the office of the prévôt....

Hugo of Villeneuve, clergyman, Renerius, his brother, the prévôt of the
village, Pierre Florie, Pierre Fromerit, former prévôt, and Hugo
Florion, say on their oath that the count has the right of escheat from
all who die in the village without heirs....

{97} _Lods et ventes_ were payments made to the lord when the farm
changed hands. The holder in these cases had the right to sell or rent
his holding subject to the payment of _lods et ventes_. It may be
compared to rachat or relief in the case of fiefs.

6. Extent of Séant, determined by the statements of Theobald the bailly,
Ithari le Paalier, Felicité Huilliet, Guillot le Convert, and Milauti
Veitu, sworn to speak the truth.

They said on their oaths that Henry, king of Navarre of blessed memory,
bought the village of Séant, with its men, lands, woods, domains, and
appurtenances, from the lord of Montmorency, with the dowry of lady
Blanche his wife, now the wife of lord Edmund, son of the king of
England, paying for it 6,500 pounds Tours.{98} The said lady Blanche has
a house there and all the justice, high and low, within the boundaries
of Séant....

The lord of Montmorency had and the lady Blanche has 20 _journata_{99}
of land in the place known as the clearing of Forni, 10 _journata_ in
the clearing of John of Pont, 10 _journata_ in the clearing of Pierre
Courbe, and 5 _journata_ in the clearing of Val de Laroi. In all, 45
journata, which are equal to about 42 arpents.

The lady also has the land tax from all the clearings; these are in
meadows and contain about 250 arpents.

The lady also has the land taxes from the great field of Séant; this tax
is divided into twelve parts, of which the abbeys of Valle Lucenti,
Pontigny, and Dillo have five parts, and the lady the other seven....

The lady also has rents, customs, and taxes from the following men:

Theobald the bailly is the man of the lady Blanche and holds of her in
fief five of the eight parts of the bake-oven of Séant;{100} the other
three parts are held by Adelicia and her children. The said Theobald
also has a farm from the countess, for which he pays 5 solidi, 1
denarius rent, and a measure of wine, a hen, a loaf of bread, and three
measures of oats.

The children of Bertelon are men of the countess and hold land of her at
a rent of 11 measures of oats and the taille.{101}

The children of Baudonnet are men of the countess and hold land of her
at a rent of 12 denarii and a measure of oats, and the taille....

{98} An illustration of the acquisition of a fief by purchase. All the
rights of the former holder went with the land to the new holder.

{99} _Journatum_ is a measure of land, literally the amount which could
be cultivated in a day. Probably in this case the lord had allowed some
of his tenants to clear and reduce to cultivation part of his waste
lands, on condition that he be given a portion of the cleared land from
each tenant as payment for the permission.

{100} Note that the village bake-oven, which the lord originally erected
and from which he collected tolls, has been let out as a fief and is now
in the possession of two families of tenants.

{101} The _taille_, poll tax.

229, 230. The Attempt of the King to Control the Feudal Nobles.

229. The Feudal Law of Conrad II, 1037.

M. G. LL. 4to, IV, 1, no. 45; Doeberl, III, no. 1.

The feudal king naturally was not content with his restricted authority
under the feudal régime and attempted to assert his right as head of the
state to enforce general laws for the whole realm. When the king was
strong and able, he could do this to some extent, but when he was weak,
his commands received little attention. In the reigns of Conrad II and
Frederick I, in Germany, the monarch was able to control his great
vassals and enforce obedience to his laws. But the triumph of the
papacy, allied with the great nobles of Germany, over the emperor was
fatal to the development of a strong monarchy, and after the death of
Frederick II the feudal lords became independent princes. See the
progressive concessions to princes, nos. 136, 139, 153, 160. In France
the monarchy became absolute by acquiring, in accordance with feudal
law, actual possession of all the great fiefs. In England, the conflict
between the king and the feudal lords gave opportunity for the rise of a
representative system of government, which was used sometimes by the
king to control the lords (as in the cases of Henry I and Henry II),
sometimes by the great lords to control the king (John and Henry III).
Thus the feudal system, under different conditions, resulted in France
in an absolute monarchy, in England in a constitutional monarchy, and in
Germany in a weak central government and a kingdom composed of many
practically independent principalities.

In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity. Conrad, by the grace of
God emperor of the Romans, Augustus.

(1) Know ... that we have ordained and established that no knight of a
bishop, abbot, margrave, count, or of anyone else, who holds a benefice
from the royal or from church lands, shall be deprived of his benefice
unless he has been convicted of a crime by his peers, according to the
laws of our ancestors. This applies to both our great vassals and their

(2) If a conflict shall have arisen between a great vassal and his
knight, and the peers shall have judged that the knight should lose his
benefice, and if the knight alleges that he was condemned unjustly, he
shall keep his benefice until both parties have come into our presence,
where the case shall be settled justly. But if the great vassal is not
able to get the peers of the accused to give judgment, the accused shall
hold his benefice until he and his overlord and the peers shall have
come before us. In such cases, the party who appeals shall notify the
other party to the suit, six weeks before he sets out to the royal
court. This applies to our great vassals as well.{102}

(3) But cases between lower vassals shall be tried before their lords or
before our missi.

(4) We ordain also that when any knight, either of a great vassal or of
a rear-vassal, dies, his son shall have his benefice. If he does not
leave a son, but a son of his son survives, this grandson shall receive
his benefice, observing the custom of great vassals by giving horses and
arms to his lord.{103} But if the knight leaves neither son nor
grandson, but a brother or a half-brother on the father's side, that one
shall have the benefice, if he is willing to become the knight of the
lord of that benefice.

(5) Moreover, we forbid that any lord should trade the benefice which
his knight holds, or dispose of it in any way without the knight's
consent. And no one shall dare to take from his knight the lands which
he holds by proprietary right or as a libellum or precarium.{104}

(6) The _fodrum_ from the castles which was paid to our ancestors shall
be paid to us, but we will not require any which was not paid to them.

{102} Note the right of the vassal to be tried by a court of his peers,
_i.e._, a court composed of the other vassals of the same lord; and also
the right of appeal claimed for the court of the king.

{103} This is an old form of relief.

{104} Feudal tenure of land was not the only form known in the Middle
Age. Other more ancient forms still existed in exceptional cases; as
here: land held by proprietary right, that is, allodial possessions that
had never been feudalized; land held as libellum or precarium, which are
about the same. A libellum was a piece of land held by one person from
another for a term of years, for life, or with the right of inheritance,
for a fixed rent, the _libellus_ being the charter or grant. _Libellum_,
_precarium_, usufruct, and _emphyteusis_, are forms of land-holding
known to the later Roman law, and differing one from the other only very

230. The Feudal Law of Frederick I for Italy, 1158.

Ragewin, Gesta, IV, ch. 10; M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 113 f; Doeberl, IV,
no. 37 c.

Frederick, by the grace of God emperor of the Romans, Augustus, to all
the faithful subjects of our empire....

At the diet of Roncaglia, where we held a court of justice, as was the
custom of our ancestors, the princes of Italy, the rulers of the church,
and other faithful subjects made complaint that their vassals were in
the habit of pawning or selling the fiefs and benefices which they held
of them without their consent. Thereby the princes were deprived of the
services due them from these fiefs and the dignity and the revenues of
the empire were diminished. Having taken counsel with the bishops,
dukes, margraves, counts, palatines, and other nobles, we therefore
decree by this edict that no one henceforth shall sell or pawn or devise
by will or in any way dispose of his fief or any part of it without the
consent of the lord from whom he holds it. The emperor Lothar commanded
under similar circumstances that such things should not be done in the
future; we, however, hereby declare void not only future alienations of
this sort, but also all illegal alienations that have already been made;
the purchaser of the fief in such cases shall have an action at law
against the seller for the recovery of the price, without regard to the
length of time that has elapsed since the transaction. And as some
resort to fraudulent sales and transfers under the form of free
investiture after receiving the purchase price, we declare that such
fictitious sales are void and condemn both seller and purchaser to the
loss of the fief, which shall revert to the lord. Any lawyer who draws
up such a contract knowingly shall be deprived of his office and lose
his hand and be stigmatized with infamy. If any person over fourteen
years of age, who has inherited a fief, fails through his own negligence
to seek investiture for it from his lord within a year and a day, he
shall lose the fief and it shall revert to the lord. If any vassal
refuses to obey the summons of his lord to accompany him on an imperial
expedition, or fails to come at the time set, or to send a suitable
person in his place or to give half the revenue of the fief [as
compensation for his service], he shall lose the fief and it shall
revert to the lord.{105}

Duchies, marks, and counties may not be divided.{106} Any other fief may
be divided if the co-heirs desire, but on the following conditions:
Everyone who holds a part of the fief shall swear fidelity to the
overlord; no vassal shall have more than one lord for one fief; and the
lord shall not transfer the fief to another lord without the consent of
the vassal. Vassals shall be responsible to the lord for the conduct of
their sons; if the son of a vassal offends the lord, the father, on pain
of losing his fief, shall compel him either to make satisfaction to the
lord for his fault or to leave his household. If the son refuses to
obey, he shall not be allowed to inherit the fief on his father's death
unless he has made satisfaction. Vassals shall in a similar manner be
responsible to their lord for the conduct of their vassals, and all
their dependents.

In case of a controversy between two vassals of the same lord in regard
to a fief, the matter shall be tried and decided by the lord. In case of
a controversy between a vassal and his lord, it shall be decided by a
court of peers of the vassal, sworn on their oath of fidelity to do
justice in the case.

We also decree that in every oath of fidelity the fidelity to the
emperor shall be excepted by name.

{105} Notice the attempt of the king to enforce his authority in
military matters over the vassals of his vassals. In strict feudal law
the rear-vassal was responsible only to his immediate lord for the
fulfillment of his duties, but the king generally claimed authority over
them in matters in which the welfare of the state was concerned, as in
the matter of military service in public wars.

{106} In Germany the great lords retained for a long time in theory
their character of public officials and their fiefs were regarded as
administrative districts of the state. Hence the idea that they were
indivisible, a character which still adhered to the lands of the
electoral princes in later times (see no. 160, Golden Bull, ch. XX).


It is not our purpose to give a complete account of all the mediæval
courts, nor to show fully their mutual connection. Because of the great
difficulties of the subject and the lack of suitable documents we name
only the most important courts and offer a few passages to illustrate
them. It is not that such documents are scarce that we have presented so
few of them; but they contain so much that would require long
explanations that they would demand far more space than we felt could
properly be given to this subject. The materials which we offer
illustrate the courts for the most part after 1100, but they throw light
on those of the earlier period. In many other documents contained in
this book there are references to courts and judicial processes which
the student should carefully observe.

I. The royal court. According to mediæval theory the king was the judge
in the whole realm. He had jurisdiction over all things. But because he
could not be present everywhere and hear all cases, he appointed men
(dukes, counts, etc.) to act as judges in his place. But they merely
represented him. So whenever the king in his travels comes to a place,
he at once replaces the local judge and all the machinery for the
administration of justice. Since he was present in person, he needed no
one to represent him. Eventually the great princes refused to receive
him into their palaces because of the heavy expense in entertaining him
and his numerous retinue, so his journeys as judge into their
territories gradually ceased. In 1220 Frederick II agreed that he would
exercise his rights as judge in the cities of the bishops only during
the diets which he should hold in them and a week before and a week
after. (See no. 136, par. 10.) He soon ceased to travel as judge, and
after 1250 acted as judge only in and during the diets which he held.

Since in theory all judges and courts merely represented the king, he
had the right to call before himself any case, no matter where it was
pending. This was called the _jus evocandi_, the "right of calling."
Rudolph of Hapsburg and his successors granted both princes and cities
exemption from this. In the Golden Bull (no. 160, chs. VIII and XI)
Charles IV renounced all right to call any of the subjects of the
electoral princes before his court. These exemptions were gradually
extended to all the princes, imperial cities, bishops, and other
territorial lords, until in 1487 the crown completely lost its _jus

In the same way everyone had the right to appeal to the king, against
the decision of any court. But in time the king surrendered this also in
the same way to the electoral princes and agreed never to receive
appeals from any of their subjects. See no. 160.

Frederick II found it impossible to attend to all the business of the
royal court, and so in 1235 appointed a justiciar to represent him in
all minor cases. See no. 232, par. 28. He also made provision for
keeping complete records of the imperial court, and appointed a court
secretary and put him under the control of the justiciar. See no. 232,
par. 29.

II. The county courts. The county was composed of several districts
called hundreds. Each hundred had its court, which was always held in
the same place. The count received his authority as judge from the king,
and with it the right to inflict the king's ban or fine of sixty
shillings. The count went about from one court place to another, holding
three courts a year in each place. This regular court was in session
three days. If the business of the court could not be attended to in
these three days, the count announced another court to be held a few
weeks later. All the freemen of the hundred in which the court was held
were bound to be present at it. The courts of the count were called the
greater courts (_judicia majora_) and had jurisdiction over property,
criminal actions of a serious character, and suits to recover serfs. The
lower or hundred courts (_judicia minora_, see nos. 139, §7; no. 231, I,
58) had jurisdiction over cases involving debts, chattels, and trespass.
These lower courts were presided over by judges of inferior rank called
_Schultheissen_, _Gografen_, or hundred-counts, who were either
appointed by the count or elected by the people. They merely represented
the count, and could not inflict the king's ban.

The counts were at first regarded as officials of the king, but under
the influence of feudalism they became vassals and received their
judgeships as fiefs.

III. Courts on the royal domain. All who lived on the crown lands, or
royal domain, as they were called, were exempt from the county courts.
The king appointed an official to administer justice to them. He was
called an advocate and his office an advocacy. His position was similar
to that of the count in the county courts. He presided over the _judicia
majora_, and appointed _Schultheissen_ to preside over the _judicia

IV. Courts on the lands of bishops and abbots. All those who lived on
the lands of bishops and abbots who held directly from the king, were
also exempt from the county courts. They were under the jurisdiction of
the bishop or abbot, who appointed an advocate to preside over the
higher courts, and _Schultheissen_ to preside over the lower. These
courts were quite like those on the royal domain.

V. The sovereign courts of the princes. The dukes received their
jurisdiction with their fiefs, and in theory their courts did not differ
from those of the counts. But they had a different development. For the
dukes steadily developed toward sovereignty in their territories, and in
1231 many of them got complete exemption from the royal jurisdiction
(see no. 139).

The duke of Austria was the first one to secure such complete exemption
(1156); see no. 110. The Golden Bull (chaps. VIII and XI) shows that all
the electors had acquired complete exemption and were sovereigns in
their territories in the administration of justice.

VI. The courts of great landholders. Every great landholder, having a
large number of vassals, held a court for the trial of all questions
which arose between him and his vassals, or among his vassals. Since he
also had jurisdiction over all the tenants and serfs on his lands, he of
course held courts for them, which were similar to those described in
III and IV. They are very similar also to the manorial courts in

VII. For the courts of the ministerials see nos. 297, 231, III, 42.

VIII. Ecclesiastical courts. There were also ecclesiastical courts which
were presided over by clergymen, such as bishops, abbots, cathedral
provosts, archbishops, etc. They tried all cases which involved offenses
against the laws of the church.

IX. As the cities secured the right to govern themselves, they also in
many cases got jurisdiction over themselves. In the documents in section
X there are many references to courts and judicial processes in the
cities. From the explanations given here the student will be able to
understand at least their chief features.

X. Arbitration. Since the courts and the machinery for administering
justice proved to be inefficient, it became common, especially among the
cities, to create a commission of arbitration to settle all quarrels in
a peaceable manner. See no. 319.

In German courts the judge was really only the presiding officer. The
decision was rendered by the people who were present or by the
_Schoeffen_. Generally some particular person had the right to propose
the verdict (cf. no. 297, §5). At the proper time the judge asked him
what decision he wished to propose. Then the others present might agree
with the proposed verdict or offer another in its stead.

In cases where there were no witnesses the accused was compelled to
bring one or more of his relatives, friends, or neighbors, who swore
that they believed that he was telling the truth. They were called his

_Schoeffe_, pl. _Schoeffen_, were the permanent judges of the hundred
court. They were instituted by Karl the Great to take the place of the
temporary _rachinburgii_ of the Salic law (see note 22). There were
generally twelve of them in each county, and seven must be present
before a court could be legally opened. They gave the decision in
certain courts, and in so far they may be compared to our modern jury.
They held their office for life. In the German cities the board of
_Schoeffen_ played a very important part in the administration of

_Schoeffen_ free, or _Schoeffenbar_ free, were all the free-born. They
were eligible for the office of _Schoeffe_.

The _Pfleghaften_ were the free peasants who owned lands but because
they did not render military service were compelled to pay an army tax.
The payment of this tax was regarded as an evidence that they were not
completely free, and hence their position was lower than that of the
freemen who rendered military service for their lands.

The _Landsassen_ were, like the _leti_ (see note 18), essentially serfs,
attached to the soil, and paying fixed rent and services.

The _Bauermeister_ was at the head of the peasants of a village or
district and acted as judge in certain cases when no other judge was at

231. Sachsenspiegel.

Following the revival in the study of the Roman law and the connection
of Germany with Italy under the Staufer, Roman law was being introduced
into Germany, where it naturally tended to replace the customary law,
which was for the most part unwritten. The desire of the Saxons to
preserve their own law and to prevent the uncertainty that would
necessarily soon arise in it led them to attempt to codify it. Eike von
Repkau, a nobleman, undertook the task of reducing their customs to
writing. He called his book or code, which was written between 1215 and
1276, the _Sachsenspiegel_, that is, the mirror in which the Saxon law
is seen.

I, 2. Every Christian man who has attained his majority is bound to
attend the ecclesiastical court in the bishopric in which he lives three
times a year. Three classes of people are exempt from this: The
_Schoeffenbar_ free shall attend the court of the bishop; the
_Pfleghaften_ shall attend the court of the _præpositus_ of the
cathedral, and the _Landsassen_ shall attend the court of the

They shall also all attend the civil courts. The _Schoeffenbar_ free
shall attend the burggrave's court [also called the advocate's court]
every eighteen weeks. In it judgment is given under the king's ban. If a
court is called to meet after the close of the regular court, all the
_Pfleghaften_ shall attend it to try all cases involving misdeeds. This
attendance is all that the judge may require from them.

The _Pfleghaften_ shall attend the court of the _Schultheiss_ which is
held every six weeks, to try cases concerning their possessions.

The _Landsassen_ who have no property shall attend the court of the
_Gograf_ which is held every six weeks. In the courts of the _Gograf_
and of the burggrave the _Bauermeister_ shall make complaint of all
whose duty it is to attend the court but do not do so. And he shall ask
an investigation about all cases which involve bloody wounds, abusive
speech, the drawing of swords in a threatening manner, and all kinds of
misdeeds, provided no suit has been entered about them.

I, 53. If anyone does not attend court when it is called, or fails to
prove his case when he has brought suit, or challenges a man and is
defeated, or does not come promptly to court, or disturbs the court by
word or deed, or fails to pay a debt when the court has given judgment
against him, he shall pay the judge his fine. In every case in which one
party secures "damages" from another, the convicted party must also pay
the judge his fine. And even in many cases in which no damage is
involved, the judge may assess his fine....

No one is fined twice for the same offence, unless he breaks the peace
on a holy day. In that case he pays two fines, one to the ecclesiastical
court and one to the civil court, and he pays damages besides to him
whom he has injured.

I, 58. If the people choose a _Gograf_ for a long period, the count or
the margrave shall invest him with his office.... When the count comes
into the district of the _Gograf_, the latter loses all his authority
and cannot hold court [because his superior, whom he merely represents,
is present]. In the same way when the king comes into the territory
which is under the jurisdiction of the count, the count loses all his
authority and cannot hold court. And this is true of all courts. In the
presence of the king all other judges lose their authority and the king
must try all cases. A count is the same as a judge, according to old
German ideas.

II, 3. If a man is challenged to a duel who was not warned of it before
he came to court, he shall have time, according to his rank, to prepare
himself for it. The _Schoeffenbar_ free shall have six weeks, other
freemen and ministerials fifteen days. But for all other things that are
laid to a man's charge he shall answer at once, and either admit or deny
his guilt.

II, 12. No man may render a decision in a case to which his lord, his
vassal, or his friend is a party, if it involves their life or honor.
_Schoeffenbar_ free men may render decisions in all cases, but no one
may render decisions in their cases unless he is of the same rank as
they.... If a man objects to a decision after it is rendered, he may
appeal to the higher judge and then to the king. In case an appeal is
made, the judge shall send his messengers who understand the case to the
king. The messengers shall be freemen, and the judge shall pay all their
expenses while on the journey. They shall have enough bread and beer,
and three dishes for dinner and a cup of wine. Their servants shall have
two dishes. He shall give five sheaves for each horse every day, and
shoes for their forefeet. As soon as they learn that the king is in
Saxony they shall go to him and bring back his decision within six

If the man who made the appeal loses it, he shall pay the judge his
fine, and all the expenses of his messengers to the king, and damages to
the man against whose decision he appealed....

If a judge asks a man to render a decision, and the man is in doubt and
cannot make up his mind about it, he may refuse to give a decision, and
the judge shall ask someone else for a decision.... If a man proposes a
decision and someone who is present objects to it and proposes another,
the judge shall accept that decision which receives a majority of the
votes of those present.

II, 13. A thief shall be hung. If a theft takes place by day in a villa
[village] and the object stolen is worth less than three shillings, the
_Bauermeister_ may pass judgment on the thief the same day. He may
punish him in his hair and skin,{107} or fine him three shillings. This
is the highest sum for which the _Bauermeister_ may try [_i.e._, not
more than three shillings]. But he cannot try the case the next day. But
in cases involving money, or movable goods, or false weights and
measures, and cheating in the sale of victuals, he may assess higher
fines. Murderers, and all who steal horses from the plow, or grain from
the mill, or rob churches or cemeteries, and all who are guilty of
treason, or arson, or who make gain out of information entrusted to them
by their lord, shall be broken on the wheel.

If anyone beats, seizes, or robs another, or burns his house, or does
violence to a woman, or breaks the peace, or is taken in adultery, he
shall have his head cut off. Whoever conceals a thief or stolen property
or aids a thief in any way, shall be punished as a thief. Heretics,
witches, and poisoners shall be burnt.

If a judge refuses to punish a crime, he shall be punished as if guilty
of it himself. No one is bound to attend his court or submit to his
judgment if he has refused to grant him justice.

II, 27. If a man refuses to pay bridge or ferry toll, he shall be made
to pay it fourfold. If he refuses to pay toll on the frontier, he shall
be fined thirty shillings. This is the toll for ferries: For coming and
going, four foot-passengers shall pay a penny; a man on horseback, a
half-penny; a loaded wagon, four pence. The toll for bridges is half
this. No toll shall be collected from anyone except at bridges and
ferries.... An empty wagon pays half as much as a loaded one.... If
anyone leaves the road and drives over cultivated land he shall pay a
penny for each one of his wheels and make good the damage he has done.
If on horseback, he shall pay half a penny besides the damage.

II, 28. If anyone cuts another's wood, or mows his grass, or fishes in
his streams, he shall pay a fine of three shillings and make good the
damage besides. If he fishes in another's fish-pond, or cuts down trees
which have been planted, or fruit-trees, or if he takes the fruit from a
tree, or cuts down trees which mark boundaries, or removes stones which
have been set up to mark boundaries, he shall pay a fine of thirty
shillings.... Whoever by night steals wood that has been cut, or grass
that has been mown, shall be hung. If he steals them by day, he shall be
punished in his "hair and skin." A fisherman may use the bank as far as
he can step from his boat.

III, 26. The king is the common judge everywhere. The _Schoeffenbar_
free man cannot be called before a foreign court to fight a duel. But he
must answer in the court in whose jurisdiction he is.

III, 33. Every man has the right to be tried before the king. And every
man must respond if suit is brought against him before the king....

III, 42. Do not be surprised that I have said nothing about the law of
the ministerials. It is so varied that no one could ever come to the end
of it. For under every bishop, abbot, and abbess, there are ministerials
who have their special code of laws, and so I cannot set them all down

III, 52. The king is elected as judge in all cases concerning property,
fiefs, and life. But he cannot be everywhere, nor judge all cases, and
so he gives _Fahnlehen_ [flag-fiefs] to the princes [_i.e._, with
jurisdiction over them], and counties to counts with the power to
appoint _Schultheissen_, so that they can act as judges in the king's

III, 53. For every case a judge receives a fine but not damages. For no
one receives damages but the man who brings the suit. And the judge
cannot be both judge and a party to the suit.

III, 55. No one but the king can act as judge over the princes.

III, 60. The emperor enfeoffs all ecclesiastical princes with their
fiefs using the sceptre as a symbol, and all secular princes with their
_Fahnlehen_ using a flag as a symbol. A _Fahnlehen_ must not be vacant a
year and a day. Wherever the king is, the mint and tolls of that place
are surrendered to him during his stay there. And the local court is
closed because he is the judge [and the local judge merely represents
him]. While he is present all cases must be tried before him. The first
time the king comes into the land [_i.e._, after his election], all
prisoners must be brought before him, and he shall decide whether they
shall be set free or tried....

III, 63. Constantine the Great gave pope Silvester the secular fine of
fifty shillings in addition to his ecclesiastical authority, in order
that he might use both secular and ecclesiastical means to compel people
to obey and do right. So the two courts, the ecclesiastical and the
secular, should aid each other, and each should punish all who resist
the other....

III, 64. If the king summons the princes to render military service to
the empire, or to come to a diet, and informs them of it by means of
letters bearing his seal six weeks before the time set, they must obey
and go to the king if he is in Germany. If they do not go, they shall
pay a fine. The princes who have _Fahnlehen_ pay 100 pounds. All others
pay twelve pounds. A nobleman who does not come pays his duke ten
pounds.... Those who are under a count or imperial advocate pay him
sixty shillings, if he has the king's ban. No one but the king can grant
the king's ban.

III, 69. In courts where the judge may inflict the king's ban, neither
the judge nor the _Schoeffen_ shall wear caps or hats or any covering on
the head, or gloves. But they may wear mantles on their shoulders. They
shall not carry weapons [in court]. They shall fast until they pass
judgment on every man, whether he is a German or Wend. No one except
them shall pass judgment. They shall sit while passing judgment.

III, 70. In courts where the judge has no authority to inflict the
king's ban, any man may give the decision, or be a witness....

{107} Punishment in the "hair and skin" was especially cruel. The guilty
one was flogged and his hair was wound about a stick which was then
turned around and around until the hair was all pulled out. For some
offences the hair was closely cut instead of being pulled out, which
was, of course, much more humane. Long hair was worn by freemen as a
mark of their rank.

232. Frederic II Appoints a Justiciar and a Court Secretary, 1235. From
the Peace of the Land which was Proclaimed at Mainz, 1235.

Altmann und Bernheim, no. 103.

(28).... We wish that all cases over which we cannot preside in person
shall be tried by a man of approved character and good reputation, who
shall be placed over the courts in our stead. And except in those cases
which we reserve for our decision his judgment shall be final. We decree
therefore that our court shall have as justiciar a free man, and he
shall hold the office at least a year if he judges justly. He shall
preside over the court every day except on Sundays and other holy days,
and he shall administer justice to all litigants except to the princes
and to other high persons in cases which touch their persons, rights,
honor, fiefs, possessions, and inheritances, and the most important
cases. All such cases we reserve for our judgment. This justiciar shall
not fix the time for the more important cases which come before him
without our special command. He shall not proscribe the guilty nor
release from proscription. This we reserve for ourselves. He shall take
oath that he will not receive anything for his decision, and that he
will not be influenced by love, or hatred, or beseechings, or money, or
fear, or favor, but according to his conscience, in good faith, without
fraud or treachery, he will judge according to what he knows or believes
to be right. We grant him all the fees which come from the absolution of
those who have been proscribed, provided their cases were tried before
him. We do this that he may be free to judge as he wishes, and may not
find it necessary to receive gifts from anyone. He shall not remit the
fine of anyone, in order that men may fear proscription.

(29) He shall have a special notary who shall keep the names of those
who are proscribed, and of those who brought suit against them, an
account of the case itself, and the day on which the proscription took
place; also the names of those who are absolved from proscription, and
of those who brought suit against them, and the day they were freed from
proscription; also the names of those who stand as security for them,
and where they live, and also an account of any other security which the
man to be absolved is required to furnish for the satisfaction of the
one who brought suit against him. All letters and documents concerning
suits shall be sent to him. He shall devote all his time to this, and
shall have no other work to do at the imperial court. He shall keep a
list of those who are denounced as dangerous, and when anyone is freed
from suspicion, he shall take his name from the list.... He shall be a
layman, because a clergyman is not permitted to write judgments which
involve the shedding of blood, and also in order that if he does wrong
in his office he may be punished properly. He shall take an oath to
conduct himself faithfully and legally in his office....

233. Wenzel Creates a Commission to Arbitrate all Differences, 1389.
From the Peace of Eger, 1389. (German.)

Altmann und Bernheim, no. 107.

(2) We, king Wenzel, have made an agreement with the electors, princes,
counts, lords, and the cities, and all who are parties to this league of
peace, in regard to robbery, murder, arson, illegal seizure of persons,
and quarrels which may arise between those who are party to this peace,
that a commission shall be appointed to judge all cases of infraction of
the peace, and the decision of this commission, or of a majority of it,
shall be binding on all concerned. The electors, princes, counts, and
lords shall name four of these commissioners, and the cities shall name
four. And we will appoint a man to be president of this commission. If
any member of this peace is injured by anyone, the case shall be brought
before the president of the commission. Within fourteen days he shall
call the commission to meet in one of the four cities, Würzburg,
Neustadt, Bamberg, or Nürnberg, as seems best to him. And the decision
of this commission, or a majority of it, shall be binding, and they may
call on the nearest lords, cities, officials, and judges, to aid them
against the one who has broken the peace and inflicted the damage. And
they shall be bound to aid them until the damage has, in the judgment of
the commission, been made good.

(5) These nine men who form the commission shall swear on the holy
relics that they will faithfully act as judges for rich and poor alike.

(10) If a war or quarrel arises between the lords and the cities who are
in this peace, it shall be reported to the president and members of the
commission. And both parties shall submit to the decision which the
commission, or a majority of it, shall render in the case. If anyone
refuses to submit to their decision, all the members of this league of
peace shall aid the commission in enforcing it.

234-239. Ordeals or Judgments of God.

M. G. LL. 4to, V, pp. 599 ff. Ordines judiciorum Dei.

The appeal to the judgment of God in legal cases was an old Germanic
practice. There is evidence that the settlement of cases by lot, and by
judicial combat or duel, was common in the earliest times. In the Salic
and other laws there are references to the ordeal by hot water, etc.
After the introduction of Christianity and the growth of the influence
of the priest, the various ordeals were conducted by the church. The
casting of lots and the judicial combat were opposed by the church, the
one because it was inseparably connected with heathen rites, and the
other because of its violence. Accordingly the church introduced other
forms, some of which are illustrated here. The ordeal was ordinarily
resorted to when the regular rules of evidence were not satisfied, as
when one party could not furnish the required number of compurgators, or
was accused of perjury, etc. The ordeal might be used either to
determine which of two persons was in the wrong, or to test the guilt or
innocence of a single accused person. The commonest forms were: (1) The
ordeal of the sacrament, in which the accused took the sacrament, the
expectation being that if he were guilty the consequences would be
fatal; (2) the ordeal of the cross, in which the two persons stood with
arms outstretched in the form of a cross, and the one whose arms fell
first was regarded as guilty; (3) the ordeal by hot water; (4) the
ordeal by hot iron, in which the accused either carried a piece of hot
iron in his hand a certain distance or walked barefoot over pieces of
hot iron; (5) the ordeal by cold water; (6) the ordeal by the bread and
cheese; (7) the ordeal by the suspended bread, or psalter, in which the
object suspended was expected to turn around if the accused person was
guilty; (8) the judicial combat, which was not favored by the church,
but which was very commonly used among the noble class.

234. Ordeal by Hot Water.

Pp. 612 ff.

(1) When men are to be tried by the ordeal of hot water, they shall
first be made to come to church in all humility, and prostrate
themselves, while the priest says these prayers:

First prayer. Aid, O God, those who seek thy mercy, and pardon those who
confess their sins....

(2) After these prayers, the priest shall rise and say the mass before
all the men who are to be tried, and they shall take part in the mass.
But before they take the communion, the priest shall adjure them in
these words: I adjure you, by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, by your
Christianity, by the only begotten Son of God, whom you believe to be
the Redeemer of the world, by the holy Trinity, by the holy gospel, and
by the relics of the saints which are kept in this church, that you do
not come to the holy communion and take of it, if you have done this
offence, or consented to it, or if you know who committed it, or
anything else about it.

(3) If they all keep silence and no one makes any confession, the priest
shall go to the altar and take communion, and then give it to the men;
but before they take it he shall say: Let this body and blood of our
Lord Jesus Christ be today a trial of your guilt or innocence.

(4) After the mass the priest shall go to the place where the ordeal is
to be held, bearing with him the book of the gospels and a cross, and he
shall say a short litany. After the litany he shall exorcise the water
before it becomes hot, as follows:

(5) I exorcise thee, water, in the name of omnipotent God, and in the
name of Jesus Christ, his Son, our Lord, that you may become exorcised
and freed from the power of the enemy and the wiles of the devil; so
that, if this man who is about to put his hand in you is innocent of the
crime of which he is accused, he may escape all injury through the grace
of omnipotent God. If he is guilty either in deed or knowledge of the
offence of which he is accused, may the power of omnipotent God prove
this upon him, so that all men may fear and tremble at the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with God.

(6) Prayer. Lord Jesus Christ, who art a just judge, strong and patient,
plenteous in mercy, by whom all things are made, God of gods, Lord of
lords, who didst come down from the bosom of the Father for us and our
salvation, and wast born of the Virgin Mary; who by thy passion on the
cross didst redeem the world; who didst descend into hell and there
didst bind the devil in the outer darkness, and free by thy great power
the souls of all the just who suffered there for the original sin; we
beseech thee, O Lord, to send down from heaven thy Holy Spirit upon this
water, which is now hot and steaming from the fire, that through it we
may have a just judgment upon this man. O Lord, who didst turn the water
into wine in Cana of Galilee as a sign of thy power, who didst lead the
three children Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego, through the fiery
furnace without harm, who didst free Susanna from the false accusation,
who didst open the eyes of the man born blind, who didst raise Lazarus
after four days from the tomb, who didst reach out thy hand to Peter as
he was sinking in the sea, we, thy suppliants, beseech thee not to have
regard for the errors in our prayer, but to make known to us before all
men thy true and righteous judgment; so that if this man who is accused
of fornication, _or_ theft, _or_ homicide, _or_ adultery, _or_ any other
crime, and who is about to put his hand into the hot water, is not
guilty of that crime, thou wilt so guard him that no harm or injury
shall happen to that hand.

(7) Omnipotent God, we, thy unworthy and sinful servants, again beseech
thee to make manifest to us thy true and righteous judgment, so that
this man, who is accused and is about to undergo the ordeal, is guilty
of that crime, by act or consent, because of the instigation of the
devil or through his own cupidity or pride, and expects to escape or to
circumvent the ordeal by some trick, his guilt may be made known upon
him by thy power, and may be shown upon his hand, in order that he
himself may be brought to confession and repentance, and that thy holy
and righteous judgment may be made manifest to all people.

(8) [Another exorcism of the water.]

(9) Then the priest takes off the garments of each of the men and
clothes them in the clean robes of an exorcist or deacon, makes them
each kiss the gospel and cross of Christ, and sprinkles them with holy
water. Then he makes them each take a drink of the holy water, saying to
each one: I give you this water as a trial of your guilt or innocence.
Then the wood is placed under the caldron and lighted, and when the
water begins to get hot the priest says these prayers:

(10) In the name of the holy Trinity. God the just Judge, etc. [Similar
to §6 above.]

(11) Let us pray. God, who didst free St. Susanna from the false
accusation; God, who didst rescue St. Thecla from the arena; God, who
didst free St. Daniel from the lions' den, and the three children from
the fiery furnace: free now the innocent, and make known the guilty.

(12) The man who is to undergo the ordeal shall say the Lord's prayer
and make the sign of the cross; then the caldron shall be taken from the
fire, and the judge shall suspend a stone in the water at the prescribed
depth in the regular manner, and the man shall take the stone out of the
water in the name of the Lord. Then his hand shall be immediately bound
up and sealed with the seal of the judge, and shall remain wrapped up
for three days, when it shall be unbound and examined by suitable

235. Ordeal by Hot Iron.

Pp. 615 f.

(1) First the priest says the prescribed mass; then he has the fire
lighted, and blesses the water and sprinkles it over the fire, over the
spectators, and over the place where the ordeal is to be held; then he
says this prayer:

(2) O Lord, our God, the omnipotent Father, the unfailing Light, hear
us, for thou art the maker of all lights. Bless, O God, the fire which
we have sanctified and blessed in thy name, thou who hast illumined the
whole world, that we may receive from it the light of thy glory. As thou
didst illumine Moses with the fire, so illumine our hearts and minds
that we may win eternal life.

(3) Then he shall say the litany....

(4) The prayers....

(5) Then the priest approaches the fire and blesses the pieces of iron,
saying: O God, the just judge, who art the author of peace and judgest
with equity, we humbly beseech thee so to bless this iron, which is to
be used for the trial of this case, that if this man is innocent of the
charge he may take the iron in his hand, _or_ walk upon it, without
receiving harm or injury; and if he is guilty this may be made manifest
upon him by thy righteous power; that iniquity may not prevail over
justice, nor falsehood over truth.

(6) O Lord, the holy Father, we beseech thee by the invocation of thy
most holy name, by the advent of thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and by
the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to bless these pieces of
iron to the manifestation of thy righteous judgment, that they may be so
sanctified and dedicated that thy truth may be made known to thy
faithful subjects in this trial. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

(7) Omnipotent God, we humbly beseech thee that in the trial which we
are about to make, iniquity may not prevail over justice, nor falsehood
over truth. And if anyone shall attempt to circumvent this trial by
witchcraft or dealing with herbs, may it be prevented by thy power.

(8) May the blessing of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit descend
upon these pieces of iron, that the judgment of God may be manifest in

(9) Then this psalm shall be said on behalf of the accused: Hear my
prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry....

(10) Prayer: Hear, we beseech thee, O Lord, the prayer of thy
suppliants, and pardon those that confess their sins, and give us pardon
and peace.

(11) Then those who are to be tried shall be adjured as follows: I
adjure you (name), by omnipotent God who made heaven and earth, the sea,
and all that in them is, by Jesus Christ his Son, who was born and
suffered for us, by the Holy Spirit, by the holy Mary, the Mother of
God, and by all the holy angels, apostles, martyrs, confessors, and
virgins, that you do not yield to the persuasions of the devil and
presume to take the iron in your hand, if you are guilty of the crime of
which you are accused, or if you know the guilty person. If you are
guilty and are rash enough to take the test, may you be put to confusion
and condemned, by the virtue of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the sign
of his holy cross. But if you are innocent of the crime, in the name of
our Lord Jesus Christ and by the sign of his holy cross, may you have
faith to take this iron in your hand; and may God, the just Judge, keep
you from harm, even as he saved the three children from the fiery
furnace and freed Susanna from the false accusation; may you go through
the ordeal safe and secure, and may the power of our Lord be made
manifest in you this day.

(12) Then he who is about to be tried shall say: In this ordeal which I
am about to undergo, I put my trust rather in the power of God the
omnipotent Father to show his justice and truth in this trial, than in
the power of the devil or of witchcraft to circumvent the justice and
the truth of God.

(13) Then the man who is accused takes the sacrament and carries the
iron to the designated place. After that the deacon shall bind up his
hand and place the seal upon it. And until the hand is unwrapped
[_i.e._, at the end of three days] the man should put salt and holy
water in all his food and drink.

236. Ordeal by Cold Water.

Pp. 618 f.

(1) When men are to be put to the ordeal [of cold water], the process
should be as follows: They shall be brought to the church, and the
priest shall say the mass and the men shall take part in it. Before they
take the communion, the priest shall adjure them thus:

(2) I adjure you, men, by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, by your
Christianity, by the only begotten Son of God, by the holy Trinity, by
the holy gospel, and by the relics that are kept in this church, that
you do not presume to take communion, or to come to the altar if you
have committed this crime, or have consented to it, or if you know the
guilty person.

(3) If they all keep silence and no one confesses, the priest shall go
to the altar and give them the communion. Then he shall say to them: May
this body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ be today a trial of your
guilt or innocence.

(4) After the mass, the priest shall take water that has been blessed
and shall go to the place of the ordeal. When they come there the priest
shall give the men this water to drink, and shall say: May this water be
a trial of your guilt or innocence. Then he shall adjure the water in
which they are to be cast, and then shall take off the clothes of the
men and make each one of them kiss the holy gospel and the cross of
Christ. Then he shall sprinkle each of them with holy water and shall
cast them one by one into the water. The priest and those who are to be
tried should have fasted before the trial.

(5) Adjuration of the man who is to undergo the ordeal: I adjure you
(name), by the invocation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the ordeal of
cold water. I adjure you by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, by the
inseparable Trinity, by our Lord Jesus Christ, by all the angels and
archangels, by the dreadful day of judgment, by the four evangelists,
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, by the twelve apostles, by the twelve
prophets, by all the saints of God, by the principalities and powers, by
the dominions and virtues, by the thrones of the cherubim and seraphim,
by the three children, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego, by the 144,000
who suffered for the name of Christ, by the baptism in which the priest
gave you the new birth, that if you have seen or known anything about
this theft, if you have had anything to do with it, if you have received
it in your house, or consented to it, or if your heart is hardened, your
heart may be melted, and the water may not receive you; may witchcraft
not prevail, but may the truth be made manifest. We beseech thee, our
Lord Jesus Christ, give us a sign, so that if this man is guilty, the
water may not receive him; do this to thine honor and glory, by the
invocation of thy name, that all may know that thou art our Lord, who
livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and
ever. Amen.

(6) Prayer over the water. We humbly beseech thee, O Lord Jesus Christ,
to give us a sign, that if this man is guilty in any way of the crime of
which he is accused the water may not receive him, but he may float, and
not sink in the water. Do this, O Lord Jesus Christ, to thine honor and
glory by the invocation of thy holy name, that all may know that thou
art the true God, and that there is no other God beside thee, who livest
and reignest with God the Father in unity with the Holy Spirit forever
and ever. Amen.

(7) Omnipotent God has established this ordeal, and it is righteous.
Pope Eugene has ordained that it should be used throughout the whole
world by all bishops, abbots, counts, and all Christians, for it is
proved by many to be just and righteous. Therefore it has been decreed
by them that no one may clear himself by placing his hand on the altar
or on the relics, or by swearing on the bodies of the saints.

237. Ordeal by Cold Water.

P. 689.

The following paragraph is taken from another ordeal by cold water which
is otherwise similar to the one just given; it illustrates more minutely
the way in which the accused was immersed.

(6) On the staff which is placed between the arms of the man shall be
written: Behold the cross of God, let his adversaries flee. The lion of
the tribe of Judah, the root of David, hath prevailed to make a
righteous judgment + [sign of the cross]. May St. John the Baptist bless
this water. On it shall also be written the gospel: In the beginning;
and the benediction: Lord God.{108}

{108} An illustration, from an old manuscript of one of the collections
of forms for ordeal, shows how the person was bound in this case. The
illustration represents the ordeal as taking place from a boat. The
man's knees are shown drawn up to his chin; a staff is under the bend of
the knees and his arms are passed under the staff. His hands are bound
at the wrist with a rope which is held by other persons in the boat. He
was probably drawn out by the rope if he sank in the water.

238. Ordeal by the Barley Bread.

P. 691.

(1) First the priest prepares himself with the deacon, and then blesses
the water; and the deacon prepares the barley flour which he mixes with
the holy water and bakes, both of them saying during the process the
seven penitential psalms, the litany, and the following prayers [certain
prayers follow].

(2) Prayer over the bread. O God, who didst reveal the wood of the true
cross on Mount Calvary, where Christ was betrayed by Judas (for God gave
over his Son to be betrayed by Judas), reveal to us by the judgment of
the barley bread whatever we ask in thy name.

(3) After the bread is baked the priest shall take it and place it
behind the altar and shall say the mass for that day. After the mass he
shall mark the bread with the sign of the cross, and shall place an iron
rod in the centre of the cross, with a hook at the top to suspend it by.
The priest shall keep this bread by him and use it until it spoils. When
anyone is accused of theft, or fornication, or homicide, and is brought
before the priest, the priest shall take the bread and give it to two
Christian men, and they shall hang it by the hook between them, and the
priest shall say the following adjuration. And if the man is guilty, the
bread will revolve around; if he is not guilty, the bread will not move
at all.

(4) Adjuration over the barley bread. I adjure thee, barley bread, by
God the omnipotent Father, etc., that if this man or woman has
committed, consented to, or had any part in this crime, thou shalt turn
around in a circle; if he is not guilty, thou shalt not move at all. I
adjure thee, barley bread, by the Mother of God, by the prophet Hosea,
and the prophet Jonah, who prophesied unto Nineveh, by Lazarus, whom God
raised from the dead, by the blind man, to whom the Lord restored his
sight, by all the monks and canons and all laymen, by all women, and by
all the inhabitants of heaven and earth, forever and ever, amen.

239. Ordeal by Bread and Cheese.

P. 630 f.

(1) Lord God omnipotent, holy, holy, holy. Holy Father, the invisible
and eternal God, maker of all things; holy God, ruler of mortals and
immortals, who dost see and know all things, who triest the hearts and
the reins; O God, I beseech thee, hear the words of my prayer, that this
bread and cheese may not pass the jaws and the throat of him who has
committed the theft.

(2) Before the mass is begun and before the cheese is cut with the
knife, while it is still whole, these words should be written round
about it: "His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent
dealing shall come down upon his own pate" [Ps. 7:16].

(3) Then bread and cheese to the weight of nine denarii shall be given
to each man. The bread shall be of barley and unleavened; the cheese
shall be cheese made in the month of May of the milk of ewes. While the
mass is being said, those who are accused of the theft shall be in front
of the altar, and one or more persons shall be appointed to watch them
that they do not contrive any trick. When the communion is reached the
priest shall first take the communion of the body of Christ, and then
shall bless the bread and cheese, which has been carefully weighed out
as above, and shall immediately give it to the men. The priest and the
inspectors shall watch them carefully and see that they all swallow it.
After they have swallowed it, the corners of the mouth of each shall be
pressed to see that none of the bread and cheese has been kept in the
mouth. Then the rest of the mass shall be said.

240-250. Documents on the Peace of God, the Truce of God, and the Peace
of the Land.

One of the worst features of the feudal age was the prevalence of
private warfare. This was due to the warlike character of the feudal
institutions, to the jealous insistence of the feudal nobles on their
right to fight out their own quarrels without appeal to law, and to the
weakness of the king in the feudal state. Continuous private war not
only meant violence, oppression, and outrage for the weaker members of
society; it also hindered or prevented any advance in civilization for
the whole society. The first steps to overcome this condition were taken
by the church, which was usually to be found in that age on the side of
peace and order. The earliest form was the peace of God, proclaimed by
provincial synods. Several of these appeared at the end of the tenth
century. These forbade all violence and oppression under ecclesiastical
penalty, on the ground that they were contrary to the spirit of
Christianity. The peace of God did not attain any lasting success, for
the turbulent nobles could not be made to give up fighting entirely.
Then the church attempted to mitigate at least these evils, by means of
the truce of God. In the truce of God, violence was forbidden on certain
days and during certain periods. In origin the truce of God was
proclaimed by the clergy of a certain diocese or archdiocese for the
people of their district, but later it was sometimes adopted by the
emperor or king for the whole land. The truce was to last from vespers
or sunset on Wednesday to sunrise on the following Monday of every week,
and also for certain whole periods. It will be seen from the documents
that these days and periods had a religious significance, which is
further evidence that the church regarded the keeping of the peace as a
religious rather than a political duty. The means of enforcing the truce
were ecclesiastical penalties, penance, anathema, excommunication, etc.
The peace of the land has a different origin and character. In the
empire of Karl the Great, the right to enforce the keeping of the peace
belonged to the emperor, and in theory this had never been given up by
the later kings and emperors. It was on this right that the emperors
based their authority to proclaim the peace of the land. In appearance
the great peaces of Frederick I and Frederick II were imperial edicts,
but in fact they depended very largely for their authority upon the
acceptance and agreement of the nobles (see nos. 245, 246). In some
cases the peace of the land was proclaimed for a province (see no. 246),
in others it was for the whole empire. The peace was usually proclaimed
for a certain length of time. In some cases the form of the truce of God
was preserved in the peace of the land, as in no. 246. The documents on
the peace of the land belong in a way under section III, but it was
thought better to bring them together here, because they interrupt the
general historical movement of the quarrel, and because they form a
subject by themselves.

240. Peace of God, Proclaimed in the Synod of Charroux, 989.

Huberti, Gottesfrieden und Landfrieden, I, p. 35.

Following the example of my predecessors, I, Gunbald, archbishop of
Bordeaux, called together the bishops of my diocese in a synod at
Charroux, ... and we, assembled there in the name of God, made the
following decrees:

1. Anathema against those who break into churches. If anyone breaks into
or robs a church, he shall be anathema unless he makes satisfaction.

2. Anathema against those who rob the poor. If anyone robs a peasant or
any other poor person of a sheep, ox, ass, cow, goat, or pig, he shall
be anathema unless he makes satisfaction.

3. Anathema against those who injure clergymen. If anyone attacks,
seizes, or beats a priest, deacon, or any other clergyman, who is not
bearing arms (shield, sword, coat of mail, or helmet), but is going
along peacefully or staying in the house, the sacrilegious person shall
be excommunicated and cut off from the church, unless he makes
satisfaction, or unless the bishop discovers that the clergyman brought
it upon himself by his own fault.

241. Peace of God, Proclaimed by Guy of Anjou, Bishop of Puy, 990.

Huberti, Gottesfrieden, I, pp. 123 f.

In the name of the divine, supreme, and undivided Trinity. Guy of Anjou,
by the grace of God bishop [of Puy], greeting and peace to all who
desire the mercy of God. Be it known to all the faithful subjects of
God, that because of the wickedness that daily increases among the
people, we have called together certain bishops [names], and many other
bishops, princes, and nobles. And since we know that only the
peace-loving shall see the Lord, we urge all men, in the name of the
Lord, to be sons of peace.

1. From this hour forth, no man in the bishoprics over which these
bishops rule, and in these counties, shall break into a church, ...
except that the bishop may enter a church to recover the taxes that
are due him from it.{109}

2. No man in the counties or bishoprics shall seize a horse, colt, ox,
cow, ass, or the burdens which it carries, or a sheep, goat, or pig, or
kill any of them, unless he requires it for a lawful expedition.{110} On
an expedition a man may take what he needs to eat, but shall carry
nothing home with him; and no one shall take material for fortifying or
besieging a castle except from his own lands or subjects.

3. Clergymen shall not bear arms; no one shall injure monks or any
unarmed persons who accompany them; except that the bishop or the
archdeacon may use such means as are necessary to compel them to pay the
taxes which they owe them.

4. No one shall seize a peasant, man or woman, for the purpose of making
him purchase his freedom, unless the peasant has forfeited his freedom.
This is not meant to restrict the rights of a lord over the peasants
living on his own lands or on lands which he claims.

5. From this hour forth no one shall seize ecclesiastical lands, whether
those of a bishop, chapter, or monastery, and no one shall levy any
unjust tax or toll from them; unless he holds them as _precaria_ from
the bishop or the brothers.

6. No one shall seize or rob merchants.

7. No layman shall exercise any authority in the matter of burials or
ecclesiastical offerings; no priest shall take money for baptism, for it
is the gift of the Holy Spirit.

8. If anyone breaks the peace and refuses to keep it, he shall be
excommunicated and anathematized and cut off from the holy mother
church, until he makes satisfaction; if he refuses to make satisfaction,
no priest shall say mass or perform divine services for him, no priest
shall bury him or permit him to be buried in consecrated ground; no
priest shall knowingly give him communion; if any priest knowingly
violates this decree he shall be deposed.

{109} The meaning of this exception is not clear in the original.
Apparently it is put in to preserve the right of the bishop over the
churches and the clergy of his diocese, and to prevent any of the lower
clergy from citing the decree in restraint of episcopal control; so also
the exception in paragraph 3.

{110} This exception is intended to preserve the rights of the emperor
and others on lawful expeditions to take what they need for the journey.

242. Truce of God, made for the Archbishopric of Arles, 1035-41.

M. G. LL. 4to, IV, 1, no. 419.

This is the earliest truce of God extant (except for the doubtful case
of the council of Elne, 1027), and it is preserved only in the form of a
communication recommending it to the clergy of Italy.

In the name of God, the omnipotent Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Reginbald, archbishop of Arles, with Benedict, bishop of Avignon,
Nithard, bishop of Nice, the venerable abbot Odilo [of Cluny], and all
the bishops, abbots, and other clergy of Gaul, to all the archbishops,
bishops, and clergy of Italy, grace and peace from God, the omnipotent
Father, who is, was, and shall be.

1. For the salvation of your souls, we beseech all you who fear God and
believe in him and have been redeemed by his blood, to follow the
footsteps of God, and to keep peace one with another, that you may
obtain eternal peace and quiet with Him.

2. This is the peace or truce of God which we have received from heaven
through the inspiration of God, and we beseech you to accept it and
observe it even as we have done; namely, that all Christians, friends
and enemies, neighbors and strangers, should keep true and lasting peace
one with another from vespers on Wednesday to sunrise on Monday, so that
during these four days and five nights, all persons may have peace, and,
trusting in this peace, may go about their business without fear of
their enemies.

3. All who keep the peace and truce of God shall be absolved of their
sins by God, the omnipotent Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, and the
Holy Spirit, and by St. Mary with the choir of virgins, and St. Michael
with the choir of angels, and St. Peter with all the saints and all the
faithful, now and forever.

4. Those who have promised to observe the truce and have wilfully
violated it, shall be excommunicated by God the omnipotent Father, and
His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, from the communion of all the
saints of God, shall be accursed and despised here and in the future
world, shall be damned with Dathan and Abiram and with Judas who
betrayed his Lord, and shall be overwhelmed in the depths of hell, as
was Pharaoh in the midst of the sea, unless they make such satisfaction
as is described in the following:

5. If anyone has killed another on the days of the truce of God, he
shall be exiled and driven from the land and shall make a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem, spending his exile there. If anyone has violated the truce of
God in any other way, he shall suffer the penalty prescribed by the
secular laws and shall do double the penance prescribed by the canons.

6. We believe it is just that we should suffer both secular and
spiritual punishment if we break the promise which we have made to keep
the peace. For we believe that this peace was given to us from heaven by
God; for before God gave it to his people, there was nothing good done
among us. The Lord's Day was not kept, but all kinds of labor were
performed on it.

7. We have vowed and dedicated these four days to God: Thursday, because
it is the day of his ascension; Friday, because it is the day of his
passion; Saturday, because it is the day in which he was in the tomb;
and Sunday, because it is the day of his resurrection; on that day no
labor shall be done and no one shall be in fear of his enemy.

8. By the power given to us by God through the apostles, we bless and
absolve all who keep the peace and truce of God; we excommunicate,
curse, anathematize, and exclude from the holy mother church all who
violate it.

9. If anyone shall punish violators of this decree and of the truce of
God, he shall not be held guilty of a crime, but shall go and come
freely with the blessing of all Christians, as a defender of the cause
of God. But if anything has been stolen on other days, and the owner
finds it on one of the days of the truce, he shall not be restrained
from recovering it, lest thereby an advantage should be given to the

10. In addition, brothers, we request that you observe the day on which
the peace and truce was established by us, keeping it in the name of the
holy Trinity. Drive all thieves out of your country, and curse and
excommunicate them in the name of all the saints.

11. Offer your tithes and the first fruits of your labors to God, and
bring offerings from your goods to the churches for the souls of the
living and the dead, that God may free you from all evils in this world,
and after this life bring you to the kingdom of heaven, through Him who
lives and reigns with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and
ever. Amen.

243. Truce of God for the Archbishoprics of Besancon and Vienne, _ca._,

M. G. LL. 4to. IV, 1, no. 421.

1. We command all to keep the truce from sunset on Wednesday to sunrise
on Monday, and from Christmas to the octave of [_i.e._, week after]
Epiphany [Jan. 6], and from Septuagesima Sunday [third Sunday before
Lent] to the octave of Easter [the Sunday after Easter].

2. If anyone violates the truce and refuses to make satisfaction, after
he has been admonished three times, the bishop shall excommunicate him
and shall notify the neighboring bishops of his action by letter. No
bishop shall receive the excommunicated person, but shall confirm the
sentence of excommunication against him in writing. If any bishop
violates this decree he shall be in danger of losing his rank.

3. And since a threefold cord is stronger and harder to break than a
single one, we command bishops mutually to aid one another in
maintaining this peace, having regard only to God and the salvation of
their people, and not to neglect this through love or fear of anyone. If
any bishop is negligent in this regard, he shall be in danger of losing
his rank.

244. Truce for the Bishopric of Terouanne, 1063.

M. G. LL. 4to. IV, 1, no. 422.

Drogo, bishop of Terouanne, and count Baldwin [of Hainault] have
established this peace with the cooperation of the clergy and people of
the land.

Dearest brothers in the Lord, these are the conditions which you must
observe during the time of the peace which is commonly called the truce
of God, and which begins with sunset on Wednesday and lasts until
sunrise on Monday.

1. During those four days and five nights no man or woman shall assault,
wound, or slay another, or attack, seize, or destroy a castle, burg, or
villa, by craft or by violence.

2. If anyone violates this peace and disobeys these commands of ours, he
shall be exiled for thirty years as a penance, and before he leaves the
bishopric he shall make compensation for the injury which he committed.
Otherwise he shall be excommunicated by the Lord God and excluded from
all Christian fellowship.

3. All who associate with him in any way, who give him advice or aid, or
hold converse with him, unless it be to advise him to do penance and to
leave the bishopric, shall be under excommunication until they have made

4. If any violator of the peace shall fall sick and die before he
completes his penance, no Christian shall visit him or move his body
from the place where it lay, or receive any of his possessions.

5. In addition, brethren, you should observe the peace in regard to
lands and animals and all things that can be possessed. If anyone takes
from another an animal, a coin, or a garment, during the days of the
truce, he shall be excommunicated unless he makes satisfaction. If he
desires to make satisfaction for his crime he shall first restore the
thing which he stole or its value in money, and shall do penance for
seven years within the bishopric. If he should die before he makes
satisfaction and completes his penance, his body shall not be buried or
removed from the place where it lay, unless his family shall make
satisfaction for him to the person whom he injured.

6. During the days of the peace, no one shall make a hostile expedition
on horseback, except when summoned by the count; and all who go with the
count shall take for their support only as much as is necessary for
themselves and their horses.

7. All merchants and other men who pass through your territory from
other lands shall have peace from you.

8. You shall also keep this peace every day of the week from the
beginning of Advent to the octave of Epiphany and from the beginning of
Lent to the octave of Easter, and from the feast of Rogations [the
Monday before Ascension Day] to the octave of Pentecost.

9. We command all priests on feast days and Sundays to pray for all who
keep the peace, and to curse all who violate it or support its

10. If anyone has been accused of violating the peace and denies the
charge, he shall take the communion and undergo the ordeal of hot iron.
If he is found guilty, he shall do penance within the bishopric for
seven years.

245. Peace of the Land Established by Henry IV, 1103.

M. G. LL. folio, II, p. 60; Doeberl, III, no. 18.

In the year of the incarnation of our Lord 1103, the emperor Henry
established this peace at Mainz, and he and the archbishops and bishops
signed it with their own signatures. The son of the king and the nobles
of the whole kingdom, dukes, margraves, counts, and many others, swore
to observe it. Duke Welf, duke Bertholf, and duke Frederick swore to
keep the peace from that day to four years from the next Pentecost. They
swore to keep peace with churches, clergy, monks, merchants, women, and
Jews. This is the form of the oath which they swore:

No one shall attack the house of another or waste it with fire, or seize
another for ransom, or strike, wound, or slay another. If anyone does
any of these things he shall lose his eyes or his hand, and the one who
defends him shall suffer the same penalty. If the violator flees into a
castle, the castle shall be besieged for three days by those who have
sworn to keep the peace, and if the violator is not given up it shall be
destroyed. If the offender flees from justice out of the country, his
lord shall take away his fief, if he has one, and his relatives shall
take his patrimony. If anyone steals anything worth five solidi or more,
he shall lose his eyes or his hand. If anyone steals anything worth less
than five solidi, he shall be made to restore the theft, and shall lose
his hair and be beaten with rods; if he has committed this smaller theft
three times, he shall lose his eyes or his hand. If thou shalt meet
thine enemy on the road and canst injure him, do so; but if he escapes
to the house or castle of anyone, thou shalt let him remain there

246. Peace of the Land for Elsass, 1085-1103.

M. G. LL. 4to, IV, 1, no. 429; Doeberl, III, no. 22 b.

Be it known to all lovers of peace that the people of Elsass with their
leaders have mutually sworn to maintain perpetual peace on the following

1. All churches shall have peace always and everywhere. All clergy and
women, merchants, hunters, pilgrims, and farmers while they work in the
fields and on their way to and from their labor, shall have peace.

2. They have sworn to keep the peace especially on certain days and
during certain seasons; namely, from vespers on Wednesday to sunrise on
Monday of every week, on the vigils{111} and feast days of the saints,
on the four times of fast,{112} from Advent to the octave of Epiphany,
and from Septuagesima Sunday to the octave of Pentecost. In these times
no one shall bear arms except those on journey. All public enemies of
the royal majesty shall be excluded from the benefits of this peace.

3. If anyone of those who have sworn to maintain this peace shall commit
any crime against one of the others, on one of these days, such as
robbing, burning, seizing, or committing any other violence on his lands
or in his house, or beating him so as to bring blood, he shall suffer
capital punishment, if he is a freeman, and shall lose his hand, if he
is a serf.

4. If anyone conceals a violator of the peace or aids him to escape, he
shall suffer the penalty of the guilty person.

5. If anyone unjustly accuses one of those who have sworn to keep the
peace of having violated it, or calls out the forces of the peace
against him, through malice or anger, he shall suffer the penalty
described above.

6. If anyone who dwells in the province has been accused of violating
the peace, he shall clear himself inside of seven days by the testimony
of seven of his peers, if he is a freeman or a ministerial; but if he
belongs to a lower rank in the city or country, he shall clear himself
by the ordeal of cold water.

7. If anyone steals anything of the value of a siclum [a coin of unknown
value] or two, he shall lose his hair and his skin; if he commits the
theft a second time, or steals anything worth five sicla or more, he
shall lose his hand; if he commits a theft a third time, he shall be

8. Those who are called to attend the expedition of the emperor or one
made to maintain the peace, shall go at their own expense for three
days. If the expedition takes longer than that, they may levy fodder for
their horses and food for themselves, but may take only grass,
vegetables, apples, wood, and the implements of the hunt.

9. Draught horses, vineyards, and crops shall always be under the peace,
except that a traveler may take enough from the public road to feed his

10. Whatever anyone held by any right of ownership or possession before
the peace was decreed, he shall still hold by the same right.

11. If anyone has withdrawn from this sworn agreement to keep the peace,
or confesses that he swore to it falsely, and wishes still to remain in
the territory, he shall promise with seven sureties that he will keep
the peace. If he refuses to promise or if he in any way opposes the
peace, he shall either be subject to the penalties of this decree, or
shall leave the land.

12. All the authors of the peace should be on their guard to prevent
rash or unwise action in enforcing it.

13. The younger men should be persuaded or even forced to swear to keep
the peace, for they are especially apt to neglect its provisions.

14. Priests should watch diligently that this useful and holy peace be
not disregarded by the members of their congregations, and should
admonish their people every Sunday to keep it, as is decreed by pope
Leo; and the beginning of the peace of God should be announced at
vespers of every Wednesday with the ringing of bells.

{111} The vigil is the day before the saint's day.

{112} Certain days of fast in the four seasons, observed in the first
week of March, the second week of June, the third week of September, and
the fourth week of December.

247. Decree of Frederick I Concerning the Keeping of Peace, 1156.

M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 101 ff.; Doeberl, IV, no. 32.

Frederick, by the grace of God emperor of the Romans, Augustus, to the
bishops, dukes, counts, margraves, and all others to whom these presents
come, his grace, peace, and love.... We desire that every person shall
have his rights, and we command by our royal authority that peace, so
long desired and so necessary to the whole land, be kept throughout all
parts of our realm. The following sections show how the peace is to be
kept and preserved:

1. If anyone kills a man within the territory covered by this peace, he
shall suffer capital punishment, unless he can prove by judicial combat
that he did it in self-defence. But if it is well known that he did it
with malice and not in self-defence, he shall not be allowed to escape
death, by appealing to the judicial combat, or by any other means. If a
violator of the peace flees from justice, his movable property shall be
confiscated by the judge and his heirs shall succeed to his patrimony,
if they swear that the violator of the peace shall never with their
consent receive anything from it. But if the heirs do not take this
oath, they shall lose the inheritance and the count shall give it to the
royal treasury and receive it back as a fief.

2. If anyone wounds another within the territory covered by the peace,
he shall lose his hand and forfeit his property as above, unless he can
prove by judicial combat that he did it in self-defence. The judge shall
apply the law strictly against him and his property.

3. If anyone seizes another and beats him without drawing blood or pulls
out his hair or beard, he shall pay ten pounds as compensation to the
one whom he injured, and twenty pounds to the judge as fine. If anyone
reviles another without cause, he shall pay ten pounds for the injury
and ten pounds to the judge as a fine. If anyone has to give pledge to a
judge for more than twenty pounds, he shall put his property in pawn
with the judge, and shall redeem it by paying the amount within four
weeks; if he fails to redeem it within that time, his heirs may receive
it by paying twenty pounds to the count within six weeks; otherwise the
count shall give the property over to the royal treasury, and shall
receive it back as a fief from the king, after paying those who have
claims against it for damages.

4. If one of the clergy has been accused of violating the peace and has
been convicted and proscribed, or if he has sheltered a violator of the
peace, and has been convicted of these things before his bishop on
sufficient testimony, he shall pay twenty pounds to the count, and make
satisfaction to the bishop according to the canons. But if the clergyman
refuses to obey, he shall lose his rank and his ecclesiastical benefice,
and shall be placed under the ban of the empire.

5. If a judge has followed a violator of the peace with the "hue and
cry" to the castle of any lord, the lord of the castle shall turn him
over to justice. If the man lives in the castle and is conscious of his
guilt and fears to appear before the judge, the lord of the castle shall
hand over the man's movables to the judge under oath, and shall never
receive the man again in his castle. If the man does not live in the
castle, the lord shall send him out of his castle in security [that is,
the lord is not bound to deliver him to the judge, but shall give him a
chance to escape], and the judge and the people shall continue to pursue

6. If two men contend for the possession of a fief, and one of them
presents as a witness the man who invested him with it, the count shall
accept his testimony, for the giver of the fief ought to be able to
recognize his own gift; and if the man can prove by trustworthy
witnesses that he held the fief legally and not by violence, he shall
hold it without further controversy. If it is proved that he got it by
violence, he shall pay double the fine for violence and shall be
deprived of the fief.

7. If three or more men contend for the possession of the same fief and
each one offers as a witness the man who he asserts invested him with
the fief, the judge who tries the case shall choose two men of good
repute who dwell in the same province, and shall make them tell under
oath which man has held the fief legally and without violence, and that
man shall hold the fief in peace and security without further
controversy, unless some other person can claim it justly from him.

8. If a peasant accuses a knight of violating the peace, the knight
shall swear that he did it not of his own will, but in self-defence, and
shall clear himself with three compurgators.

9. If a knight accuses a peasant of violating the peace, the peasant
shall swear that he did it not of his own will, but in self-defence, and
he shall choose whether he will clear himself by judgment either of
court trial or ordeal, or by the testimony of six witnesses chosen by
the judge.

10. If a knight has been accused by another knight of violating the
peace, and wishes to put it to the trial by judicial combat, he shall
not be allowed to fight his accuser unless he can prove that he and his
ancestors were lawful knights by birth.

11. Immediately after the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, each count shall
choose seven men of good repute, and shall determine with their advice
and according to the character of the season the price at which grain
shall be sold in each province; if any person during that year sells a
measure of grain at a price higher than the one they have fixed, he
shall be considered a violator of the peace, and shall pay thirty pounds
for every measure that he sold above the price.

12. If a peasant bears arms, such as a spear or a sword, the judge of
the district shall either confiscate the arms or fine him twenty solidi
for carrying them.

13. A merchant who is travelling through the country on business may
carry a sword bound to his saddle or on his wagon, but he shall use it
only to defend himself from thieves, and not against innocent persons.

14. No one shall spread nets, snares, or other traps for any animals
except bears, wolves, and boars.

15. No knight shall bear arms to the count's court, unless requested to
do so by the count. Public thieves when convicted shall suffer the
established penalty.

16. If anyone has made illegal use of his office of advocate or any
other benefice, and has been warned by his lord to desist, but has not
done so, he shall be deprived of his advocacy or benefice by regular
judicial procedure. If he attempts to recover his advocacy or benefice
by violence he shall be regarded as a violator of the peace.

17. If anyone steals anything of the value of five solidi or more, he
shall be hanged; if less than five solidi, he shall be beaten with rods
and have his hair cut off with scissors.

18. If the ministerials of any lord are at war with one another, the
count or the judge of the district shall enforce the law against them.

19. If a traveller wishes to feed his horse, he may take with impunity
whatever he can reach by standing on the road and feed it to his horse.
Anyone may take grass or green twigs for his use, if he does it without
unnecessary destruction.

248. Peace of the Land Declared by Frederick I in Italy, 1158.

Ragewin, Gesta, IV, ch. 10; M. G. LL. folio, II, pp. 112 f.; Doeberl,
IV, no. 37 b.

Frederick, by the grace of God emperor of the Romans, Augustus, to all
his subjects. We hereby command all our subjects to keep the peace, as
it is decreed in this edict. The dukes, margraves, counts, and all
vassals and public officials, together with the common people between
the ages of 18 and 70, shall take an oath to keep the peace and to aid
the officials in enforcing it. These oaths shall be renewed at the end
of every five years.

1. If anyone has a grievance against another on any ground, he shall
seek justice from his lawful judge.

2. Fines for the breach of peace shall be as follows: for a city, 100
pounds of gold; for a town, 20 pounds of gold; for dukes, margraves, and
counts, 50 pounds of gold; for the immediate vassals of the emperor and
the greater rear-vassals, 20 pounds of gold; for the other vassals and
all other violators of the peace, 6 pounds of gold, and these shall also
be forced to make good the injury according to the law.

3. Violence and theft shall be punished according to the law; homicide
and bodily injury and all crimes shall also be punished according to

4. If judges and magistrates appointed by the emperor or his
representative neglect to do justice or to punish violations of the
peace, they shall be compelled to make good the damage and to pay the
legal fine for breach of peace, and in addition they shall pay special
fines to the royal treasury: the higher officials, 10 pounds of gold,
and the lower officials, 3 pounds of gold. Those who are too poor to pay
these fines shall be punished with blows, and shall be prohibited from
dwelling within fifty miles of their former homes during a period of
five years.

5. We hereby prohibit all associations and sworn leagues in city or
country, whether between city and city, or between person and person, or
between city and person. All such associations that now exist are hereby
declared void, and every member is liable to a fine of 1 pound of gold.

6. Bishops are commanded to visit all violators of this decree in their
dioceses with ecclesiastical censure, until they make satisfaction.

7. Protectors of malefactors and receivers of stolen goods shall be
punished with the same fine as the criminals.

8. If anyone refuses to take the oath to keep the peace, or disobeys
this decree, his goods shall be confiscated and his house destroyed.

9. We condemn and forbid all illegal exactions, especially against the
church, an abuse which is of long standing. All such exactions levied in
the future shall be repaid in double.

10. Contracts voluntarily made by minors on oath, which do not affect
their own property, shall be valid; but all promises extorted by force
or fear shall be void, especially promises not to complain of wrong or

11. If anyone sells his allodial lands, he shall not sell the authority
and jurisdiction of the emperor over them; sales made with these
provisions are void.

249. The Perpetual Peace of the Land Proclaimed by Maximilian I, 1495.

Altmann und Bernheim, no. 110.

For various reasons the government had found it impossible to secure the
peace of the land. One reason was that there was no effective and
satisfactory machinery for punishing offenders, administering justice,
and settling disputes. Maximilian not only forbade all private warfare,
but also created a supreme court to try all offenders and to make it
unnecessary for a man to take the law into his own hands.

We, Maximilian, etc. (1) From the time of the publication of this peace,
no one, no matter of what rank or position, shall carry on a feud
against another, or make war on him, or rob, seize, attack, or besiege
him, or aid anyone else to do so. And no one shall attack, seize, burn,
or in any other way damage any castle, city, market town, fortress,
village, farmhouse, or group of houses, or in any way aid others to do
such things. No one shall receive those who do such things into his
house, or protect them, or give them to eat or drink. But if anyone has
a ground for complaint against another, he shall summon him before the
court. For the command is now given that all such matters must hereafter
be tried before the supreme court.

(2) We hereby forbid all feuds and private wars throughout the whole

(3) All, of whatever rank or position, who disobey this command, shall,
in addition to other punishments, be put under the imperial ban, and
anyone may attack their person or their property without thereby
breaking the peace. All their charters and rights shall be revoked, and
their fiefs shall be forfeited to their lord. And so long as the guilty
one lives, the said lord shall not be bound to restore it to him or to
his heirs.

(4) In case this peace is broken and violence is done to anyone, whether
elector, prince, prelate, count, lord, knight, city, or anyone else, no
matter of what rank or position, secular or ecclesiastical, and the
guilty ones are not known, but suspicion rests on anyone, those who were
injured may make complaint against the suspected ones, and summon them,
and compel them to clear themselves by oath of the crimes of which they
are suspected. If any of the suspected ones refuse to clear themselves
in this way, or refuse to come at the appointed time, they shall be
considered guilty of having broken the peace, and they shall be
proceeded against in accordance with the terms of this document. But the
one who summons them shall give them a safe-conduct to come and to
return to their homes. If it is impossible to deliver the summons to
them in person, it shall be posted in a few places which they are known
to frequent. If, contrary to this peace, anyone is attacked or robbed,
all those who are present and see it, or learn of it in any way, shall
take action against the offender with as much earnestness and promptness
as if it concerned them alone.

(5) No one shall in any way aid or protect such peace-breakers, or
permit them to remain in his territory or lands, but he shall seize them
and begin proceedings against them and give aid to anyone who makes
complaint against them....

(6) If such peace-breakers have such protection or are so strong that
the state must interfere and make a campaign against them, or if anyone
who is not a member of the peace breaks the peace or aids those who have
broken it, charges shall be made by the injured, or by the presiding
judge of the supreme court, to us or to our representatives and to the
annual diet, and aid shall be sent at once to those who have been
attacked. If through war or anything else it is impossible to hold the
diet, we give the presiding judge of the supreme court the authority to
call us and the members of the diet together in any place where we, or
our representatives, can meet and take whatever measures are necessary.
But nevertheless the presiding judge and the whole court shall not cease
to prosecute all such peace-breakers with all the legal means possible.

(7) There are many mercenaries in the land who are not in the service of
anyone, or who do not long remain in the service of those who hire them,
or their masters do not control them as they should, but they go riding
about the country seeking to take advantage of people and to rob. We
therefore decree that such men shall no longer be tolerated in the
empire, and wherever they are found they shall be seized and examined
and severely punished for their evil deeds, and all that they have shall
be taken from them, and they shall give security for their good conduct
by oath and bondsmen.

(8) If any clergyman breaks this peace, the bishop who has jurisdiction
over him shall compel him to make good the damage which he has done, and
his property shall be taken for this purpose. If the bishops are
negligent in this matter, we put them as well as the peace-breakers
under the ban, and deprive them of the protection of the empire, and we
will in no way defend them or protect them in their evil-doing. But they
may clear themselves of suspicion in the same way as laymen.

(9) During this peace no one shall make an agreement or treaty with
another which shall in any way conflict with this peace. We hereby annul
all the articles of such agreements or treaties which are contrary to
this peace, but the rest of such agreements or treaties shall remain in
force. This peace is not intended to interfere in any way with existing
treaties. Without the consent of those who have been injured we will not
free from the ban anyone who has through an offence against the peace
been proscribed, unless he clears himself in a legal way.

(10) We command you ... to observe this peace in all points, and to
compel all your officials and subjects to observe it, if you wish to
avoid the punishments of the imperial law and our heavy disfavor.

(11) We hereby annul all grants, privileges, etc., which have been
granted by us or our predecessors, which in any way conflict with this

(12) This peace is not intended to annul any of the laws of the empire
or commands which have already been issued, but rather to strengthen
them and to command that all men shall hereafter observe them.

250. The Establishment of a Supreme Court to Try Peace-breakers, 1495.

Datt, Volumen rerum Germanicarum novum, sive de pace imperii publica,
p. 876.

We, Maximilian, etc., have, for good and sufficient reasons, established
a general peace of the land throughout the Roman empire and Germany, and
have ordered it to be observed. But it cannot be enforced without the
proper support and protection. Therefore at the advice of the electors,
princes, and the general diet held here at Worms, for the common good,
and for the honor of us and of the supreme court of the holy Roman
empire, we have issued the following laws and regulations in regard to
it. We will appoint a presiding judge of this court. He may be either a
layman or a clergyman, a count or a nobleman. And we will elect sixteen
assistant judges [who shall give the decision]. They shall all be
elected at this diet. They shall all be Germans of good character and of
good degree of knowledge and experience, and at least half of them shall
be trained in the law and the other half shall be noblemen of the rank
of knight at least. The decision of the sixteen shall be final. In case
of a tie the presiding judge shall have the deciding vote. Nothing shall
prevent them from giving a just and legal decision. The presiding judge
and the sixteen shall have no other business, but they shall devote
themselves wholly to the work of this court. They shall not be absent
from the sessions of the court without special permission. The sixteen
shall get such permission from the presiding judge, and he from the
sixteen. But never more than four of them shall be absent from the court
at the same time. Neither the presiding judge nor the sixteen shall
leave the city in which the court is in session except for the most
weighty reasons. If the presiding judge is for a long time prevented by
illness or other weighty reason from holding court, he shall, with the
consent of the sixteen, give one of the sixteen, preferably a count or
nobleman, the authority to represent him. And even if four or less of
the sixteen are absent, the others shall have the power to try cases and
render decisions as if they were all present. But in cases in which
electors, princes, or those of princely rank are concerned, the
presiding judge must preside in person. But if he cannot do so, he may,
with the consent of the others, name a person to preside in his
stead.... We will, with the advice of the princes and of the diet which
shall meet that year, fill all vacancies which may occur in this court.
If the presiding judge dies without appointing some one to preside in
his stead, the sixteen shall elect some one to take his place, so that
the court may not be idle until the next diet assembles. They shall
elect a count or nobleman to this office; and he shall fill this office
until the next diet meets, at which time we will appoint a new presiding


251. The Rule of St. Benedict. About 530.

Edited by E. Woelfflin.

Monasticism arose in Egypt and western Asia, where the climate was such
that those who lived out-of-doors suffered very little from the
inclemency of the weather. The first monks were true hermits, each one
living quite alone. Very little shelter was necessary; a tree, an
overhanging rock, a small cave, would offer quite enough protection
against the weather. But as the movement spread to countries where there
was more rain and the winters were colder their manner of life was
necessarily modified. They began to live together in houses, but at the
same time attempted to preserve as much of the hermit life as possible.
Although under the same roof, the monks avoided life in common. Each one
had his own room or cell, prepared his own food, and was as far as
possible separated from his fellow monks. But the mere fact that they
lived under one roof made certain rules necessary, and they had to have
regulations to protect themselves against impostors. And if they had
rules, there must be some one to enforce them. So in a natural way every
monastery came to have an organization and certain officials. Since each
monastery had its own regulations or rule, there was the widest
divergence among them. By making a rule which was eventually adopted in
all Greek monasteries, Basil the Great (d. 379) brought about uniformity
without introducing any important changes.

Monasticism was introduced into the west toward the middle of the fourth
century and spread rapidly. Here, too, each monastery made its own rule.
Some of these rules achieved a local reputation and were adopted by
several monasteries. But they were all eventually superseded by the rule
of St. Benedict, which by fortunate circumstances came to be regarded in
the west as the only proper monastic rule.

The loose organization of the monasteries had permitted many abuses to
creep in (cf. ch. 1). The rule of St. Benedict was intended to correct
these. Probably the worst of these abuses was the instability of the
monks. This was due to the fact that they were not compelled to take a
vow to remain in the monastery. Neither were their vows regarded as
perpetually binding, or at least there was no means of compelling them
to keep their vows, or of punishing them if they broke them. If any monk
grew tired of the monastic life or found it irksome, he might leave the
monastery and either enter another, or lead a vagabond sort of existence
by wandering from one place to another (cf. ch. 1). In this way he could
escape all the rigors of the rule and free himself from all discipline.
It was not uncommon for monks to leave the monastery and go back to a
life in the world. St. Benedict put an end to these abuses by requiring
each monk to take a vow to remain forever in the same monastery, and by
making all the vows of a monk perpetually binding: "Once a monk always a

An important change was made in monasticism in the west by introducing
the common life. In consequence of this all traces of the hermit life
disappeared. The monks slept in a common room and ate in a common
refectory. The monk spent all his time in the company of his fellow
monks. Privacy was entirely unknown to him.

The rule of St. Benedict owes its popularity chiefly to the fact that
Gregory I (590-604) was a Benedictine monk and gave the rule his
support. St. Augustine, whom he sent as a missionary to England, was
also a Benedictine, and carried the rule with him. So it was quite
natural that it should have been the rule of all monasteries in England.
St. Boniface, an Englishman, considered it a part of his reform to
introduce the Benedictine rule into all the monasteries of Germany. Its
fame and success soon led to its adoption in all the monasteries of the

The rule is worthy of careful study because for several centuries it
governed the lives of thousands of monks who, by their piety, their
works of charity in caring for the sick and giving shelter to
travellers, their learning, their industry, their practice of
agriculture, architecture, and other industrial and fine arts,
influenced the lives of millions of laymen and advanced them in
civilization. The student should note: (1) The extensive acquaintance of
the monks with the Bible as shown in the large number of quotations from
it and the amount of it which must be read by them in their services;
(2) the character of an ideal abbot; (3) an ideal monk and the good
works and virtues which he was required to practise (cf. chaps. 4, 5,
and 6); (4) the administration of the monastery, which was characterized
by a judicious mixture of democratic and monarchical principles, and a
high degree of flexibility, so many things being left to the judgment of
the abbot; (5) the amount of time devoted to work, reading, and
meditation; and (6) the fact that the majority of monks were laymen and
not priests.

The first edition of the rule was written probably about 530. But it
received some additions and changes were made in it by Benedict himself
before his death, which took place in 543, or soon after. The exact date
of his death is unknown. The rule was the basis for all the reforms in
monasticism for several centuries. The new orders which were founded for
the most part merely increased its ascetic features and made additions
which were calculated to keep the monks up to the high standard of
asceticism set for them.

The great influence of the rule of St. Benedict seemed to justify us in
offering the whole of it. No other document presents so well as it the
ideals of the monkish life. The documents which follow it illustrate
some of the forms and ceremonies spoken of in the rule, the rise of the
military-monkish orders and their extensive privileges, the founding of
one of the great orders of friars, and the opposition to them on the
part of the parish or secular clergy. A few documents are also given
which throw a certain side-light on the history of the orders.

Ch. 1. _The kinds of monks._--There are four kinds of monks. The first
kind is that of the cenobites [that is, those living in common], those
who live in a monastery according to a rule, and under the government of
an abbot. The second is that of the anchorites, or hermits, who have
learned how to conduct the war against the devil by their long service
in the monastery and their association with many brothers, and so, being
well trained, have separated themselves from the troop, in order to wage
single combat, being able with the aid of God to carry on the fight
alone against the sins of the flesh. The third kind (and a most
abominable kind it is) is that of the sarabites, who have not been
tested and proved by obedience to the rule and by the teaching of
experience, as gold is tried in the furnace, and so are soft and pliable
like a base metal; who in assuming the tonsure are false to God, because
they still serve the world in their lives. They do not congregate in the
Master's fold, but dwell apart without a shepherd, by twos and threes,
or even alone. Their law is their own desires, since they call that holy
which they like, and that unlawful which they do not like. The fourth
kind is composed of those who are called _gyrovagi_ (wanderers), who
spend their whole lives wandering about through different regions and
living three or four days at a time in the cells of different monks.
They are always wandering about and never remain long in one place, and
they are governed by their own appetites and desires. They are in every
way worse even than the sarabites. But it is better to pass over in
silence than to mention their manner of life. Let us, therefore, leaving
these aside, proceed, with the aid of God, to the consideration of the
cenobites, the highest type of monks.

Ch. 2. _The qualities necessary for an abbot._--The abbot who is worthy
to rule over a monastery ought always to bear in mind by what name he is
called and to justify by his life his title of superior. For he
represents Christ in the monastery, receiving his name from the saying
of the apostle: "Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we
cry, Abba, Father" [Rom. 8:15]. Therefore the abbot should not teach or
command anything contrary to the precepts of the Lord, but his commands
and his teaching should be in accord with divine justice. He should
always bear in mind that both his teaching and the obedience of his
disciples will be inquired into on the dread day of judgment. For the
abbot should know that the shepherd will have to bear the blame if the
Master finds anything wrong with the flock. Only in case the shepherd
has displayed all diligence and care in correcting the fault of a
restive and disobedient flock will he be freed from blame at the
judgment of God, and be able to say to the Lord in the words of the
prophet: "I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have
declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation" [Ps. 40:10]; but "they
despising have scorned me" [Ezek. 20:27]. Then shall the punishment fall
upon the flock who scorned his care and it shall be the punishment of
death. The abbot ought to follow two methods in governing his disciples:
teaching the commandments of the Lord to the apt disciples by his words,
and to the obdurate and the simple by his deeds. And when he teaches his
disciples that certain things are wrong, he should demonstrate it in his
own life by not doing those things, lest when he has preached to others
he himself should be a castaway [1 Cor. 9:27], and lest God should
sometime say to him, a sinner: "What hast thou to do to declare my
statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing
that thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee" [Ps.
50:16, 17], or "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's
eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" [Matt.
7:3]. Let there be no respect of persons in the monastery. Let the abbot
not love one more than another, unless it be one who excels in good
works and in obedience. The freeman is not to be preferred to the one
who comes into the monastery out of servitude, unless there be some
other good reason. But if it seems right and fitting to the abbot, let
him show preference to anyone of any rank whatsoever; otherwise let them
keep their own places. For whether slave or free, we are all one in
Christ [Gal. 3:28] and bear the same yoke of servitude to the one Lord,
for there is no respect of persons with God [Rom. 2:11]. For we have
special favor in His sight only in so far as we excel others in all good
works and in humility. Therefore, the abbot should have the same love
toward all and should subject all to the same discipline according to
their respective merits. In his discipline the abbot should follow the
rule of the apostle who says: "Reprove, rebuke, exhort" [2 Tim. 4:2].
That is, he should suit his methods to the occasion, using either
threats or compliments, showing himself either a hard master or a loving
father, according to the needs of the case. Thus he should reprove
harshly the obdurate and the disobedient, but the obedient, the meek,
and the gentle he should exhort to grow in grace. We advise also that he
rebuke and punish those who neglect and scorn his teaching. He should
not disregard the transgressions of sinners, but should strive to root
them out as soon as they appear, remembering the peril of Eli, the
priest of Siloam [1 Sam. chaps. 1-4]. Let him correct the more worthy
and intelligent with words for the first or second time, but the wicked
and hardened and scornful and disobedient he should punish with blows in
the very beginning of their fault, as it is written: "A fool is not
bettered by words" [cf. Prov. 17:10]; and again "Thou shalt beat him
with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell" [Prov. 23:14].

The abbot should always remember his office and his title, and should
realize that as much is intrusted to him, so also much will be required
from him. Let him realize how difficult and arduous a task he has
undertaken, to rule the hearts and care for the morals of many persons,
who require, one encouragements, another threats, and another
persuasion. Let him so adapt his methods to the disposition and
intelligence of each one that he may not only preserve the flock
committed to him entire and free from harm, but may even rejoice in its

Above all, the abbot should not be too zealous in the acquisition of
earthly, transitory, mortal goods, forgetting and neglecting the care of
the souls committed to his charge, but he should always remember that he
has undertaken the government of souls of whose welfare he must render
account. Let him not be troubled about the poverty of his monastery,
since it is written: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" [Matt.
6:33]; and again, "For there is no want to them that fear him" [Ps.
34:9]. Let him know that those who undertake the care of souls must be
ready to render an account of them. So he must make a reckoning to God
on the day of judgment for all the souls according to the number of the
brothers under his charge, and of his own soul as well. Therefore, while
he keeps in mind the account which he must render of the sheep committed
to him, and guards the interests of others, he is also solicitous for
his own welfare; and while he administers correction to others by his
preaching, he also frees himself from sin.

Ch. 3. _Taking counsel with the brethren._--Whenever important matters
come up in the monastery, the abbot should call together the whole
congregation [that is, all the monks], and tell them what is under
consideration. After hearing the advice of the brothers, he should
reflect upon it and then do what seems best to him. We advise the
calling of the whole congregation, because the Lord often reveals what
is best to one of the younger brothers. But let the brethren give their
advice with all humility, and not defend their opinions too boldly;
rather let them leave it to the decision of the abbot, and all obey him.
But while the disciples ought to obey the master, he on his part ought
to manage all things justly and wisely. Let everyone in the monastery
obey the rule in all things, and let no one depart from it to follow the
desires of his own heart. Let no one of the brethren presume to dispute
the authority of the abbot, either within or without the monastery; if
anyone does so, let him be subjected to the discipline prescribed in the
rule. But the abbot should do all things in the fear of the Lord,
knowing that he must surely render account to God, the righteous judge,
for all his decisions. If matters of minor importance are to be
considered, concerning the welfare of the monastery, let the abbot take
counsel with the older brethren, as it is written: "Do all things with
counsel, and after it is done thou wilt not repent" [Ecclesiasticus

Ch. 4. _The instruments of good works._--First, to love the Lord God
with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the strength,
and then his neighbor as himself. Then not to kill, not to commit
adultery, not to steal, not to covet, not to bear false witness, to
honor all men, and not to do to another what he would not have another
do to him. To deny himself that he may follow Christ, to chasten the
body, to renounce luxuries, to love fasting. To feed the poor, to clothe
the naked, to visit the sick, to bury the dead, to offer help in
trouble, to comfort the sorrowing. To separate himself from the things
of the world, to prefer nothing above the love of Christ, not to give
way to anger, not to bear any grudge, not to harbor deceit in the heart,
not to give false peace, not to be wanting in charity. Not to swear,
lest he perjure himself; to speak the truth from the heart. Not to
return evil for evil. Not to injure others, but to suffer injuries
patiently. To love his enemies. Not to return curse for curse, but
rather to bless; to suffer persecution for righteousness' sake. Not to
be proud, nor drunken, nor a glutton, nor given to much sleeping, nor
slothful, nor complaining, nor slanderous. To put his hope in God; when
he sees anything good in himself to ascribe it to God, and when he does
any evil, to ascribe it to himself. To fear the day of judgment, to be
in terror of hell, to yearn with all spiritual longing for eternal life,
and to keep ever before his eyes the thought of approaching death. To
guard his acts in every hour of his life, to remember that God seeth him
in every place, to crush down with the aid of Christ the evil thoughts
arising in his heart and to confess them to his spiritual superior. To
keep his mouth from evil and vain talk, not to love much speaking, not
to speak vain and frivolous words, not to love much and loud laughter.
To listen gladly to holy reading, to pray frequently, to confess daily
in prayers to God his past sins with tears and groaning, and to keep
himself free from those sins afterward. Not to yield to the desire of
the flesh, to hate his own will, to obey the commands of the abbot in
all things, even if the abbot (which God forbid) should himself do
otherwise than he preaches, remembering the word of the Lord: "What they
say, do; but what they do, do ye not." Not to wish to be called holy
before he is so, but rather to strive to be holy that he may be truly so
called; to obey the commandments of God in his daily life, to love
chastity, to hate no one, not to be jealous or envious, not to be fond
of strife, to avoid pride, to reverence his elders and cherish those
younger than himself, to pray for his enemies through the love of
Christ, to agree with his adversary before the going down of the sun,
and never to despair of the mercy of God.

Lo, these are the implements of the spiritual profession. If they have
been constantly employed by us night and day, and are reckoned up and
placed to our credit at the last judgment, we shall receive that reward
which the Lord himself has promised: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath
prepared for them that love him" [1 Cor. 2:9]. But these graces must be
exercised in the cloister of the monastery by strict adherence to the
vows and obedience to the rule.

Ch. 5. _Obedience._--The first grade of humility is obedience without
delay, which is becoming to those who hold nothing dearer than Christ.
So, when one of the monks receives a command from a superior, he should
obey it immediately, as if it came from God himself, being impelled
thereto by the holy service he has professed and by the fear of hell and
the desire of eternal life. Of such the Lord says: "As soon as he heard
of me, he obeyed me" [Ps. 17:44]; and again to the apostles, "He that
heareth you, heareth me" [Luke 10:16]. Such disciples, when they are
commanded, immediately abandon their own business and their own plans,
leaving undone what they were at work upon. With ready hands and willing
feet they hasten to obey the commands of their superior, their act
following on the heels of his command, and both the order and the
fulfilment occurring, as it were, in the same moment of time--such
promptness does the fear of the Lord inspire.

Good disciples who are inspired by the desire for eternal life gladly
take up that narrow way of which the Lord said: "Narrow is the way which
leadeth unto life" [Matt. 7:14]. They have no wish to control their own
lives or to obey their own will and desires, but prefer to be ruled by
an abbot, and to live in a monastery, accepting the guidance and control
of another. Surely such disciples follow the example of the Lord who
said: "I came not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me"
[John 6:38]. But this obedience will be acceptable to God and pleasing
to men only if it be not given fearfully, or half-heartedly, or slowly,
or with grumbling and protests. For the obedience which is given to a
superior is given to God, as he himself has said: "Who heareth you,
heareth me" [Luke 10:16]. Disciples ought to obey with glad hearts, "for
the Lord loveth a cheerful giver" [2 Cor. 9:7]. If the disciple obeys
grudgingly and complains even within his own heart, his obedience will
not be accepted by God, who sees his unwilling heart; he will gain no
favor for works done in that spirit, but, unless he does penance and
mends his ways, he will rather receive the punishment of those that
murmur against the Lord's commands.

Ch. 6. _Silence._--Let us do as the prophet says: "I said, I will take
heed to my ways that I sin not with my tongue; I will keep my tongue
with a bridle. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace even from good"
[Ps. 39:1, 2]. This is the meaning of the prophet: if it is right to
keep silence even from good, how much more ought we to refrain from
speaking evil, because of the punishment for sin. Therefore, although it
may be permitted to the tried disciples to indulge in holy and edifying
discourse, even this should be done rarely, as it is written: "In a
multitude of words there wanteth not sin" [Prov. 10:19], and again:
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue" [Prov. 18:21]. For it is
the business of the master to speak and instruct, and that of the
disciples to hearken and be silent. And if the disciple must ask
anything of his superior, let him ask it reverently and humbly, lest he
seem to speak more than is becoming. Filthy and foolish talking and
jesting we condemn utterly, and forbid the disciple ever to open his
mouth to utter such words.

Ch. 7. _Humility._--Brethren, the holy Scripture saith: "And whosoever
shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself
shall be exalted" [Matt. 23:12]. Here we are shown that all exaltation
is of a piece with pride, which the prophet tells us he avoids, saying:
"Lord, my heart is not haughty nor mine eyes lofty, neither do I
exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I
have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of its
mother; my soul is as a weaned child" [Ps. 131:1,2]. Therefore,
brethren, if we wish to attain to the highest measure of humility and to
that exaltation in heaven which is only to be gained by lowliness on
earth, we must raise to heaven by our deeds such a ladder as appeared to
Jacob in his dream, whereon he saw angels ascending and descending. For
the meaning of that figure is that we ascend by humility of heart and
descend by haughtiness. And the ladder is our life here below which God
raises to heaven for the lowly of heart. Our body and soul are the two
sides of the ladder, in which by deeds consistent with our holy calling
we insert steps whereby we may ascend to heaven.

Now the first step of humility is this, to escape destruction by keeping
ever before one's eyes the fear of the Lord, to remember always the
commands of the Lord, for they who scorn him are in danger of hell-fire,
and to think of the eternal life that is prepared for them that fear
him. So a man should keep himself in every hour from the sins of the
heart, of the tongue, of the eyes, of the hands, and of the feet. He
should cast aside his own will and the desires of the flesh; he should
think that God is looking down on him from heaven all the time, and that
his acts are seen by God and reported to him hourly by his angels. For
the prophet shows that the Lord is ever present in the midst of our
thoughts, when he says: "God trieth the hearts and the reins" [Ps. 7:9],
and again, "The Lord knoweth the thoughts of men" [Ps. 94:11], and again
he says: "Thou hast known my thoughts from afar" [Ps. 139:2], and "The
thoughts of a man are known to thee" [Ps. 76:11]. So a zealous brother
will strive to keep himself from perverse thoughts by saying to himself:
"Then only shall I be guiltless in his sight, if I have kept me from
mine iniquity" [Ps. 18:23]. And the holy Scriptures teach us in divers
places that we should not do our own will; as where it says: "Turn from
thine own will" [Ecclesiasticus 18:30]; and where we ask in the Lord's
Prayer that his will be done in us; and where it warns us: "There is a
way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of
death" [Prov. 14:12]; and again, concerning the disobedient: "They are
corrupt and abominable in their desires" [Ps. 14:1]. And we should
always remember that God is aware of our fleshly desires; as the prophet
says, speaking to the Lord: "All my desire is before thee" [Ps. 38:9].
Therefore, we should shun evil desires, for death lieth in the way of
the lusts; as the Scripture shows, saying: "Go not after thy lusts"
[Ecclesiasticus 18:30]. Therefore since the eyes of the Lord are upon
the good and the wicked, and since "the Lord looked down from heaven
upon the children of men to see if there were any that did understand
and seek God" [Ps. 14:2], and since our deeds are daily reported to him
by the angels whom he assigns to each one of us; then, surely, brethren,
we should be on our guard every hour, lest at any time, as the prophet
says in the Psalms, the Lord should look down upon us as we are falling
into sin, and should spare us for a space, because he is merciful and
desires our conversion, but should say at the last: "These things hast
thou done and I kept silence" [Ps. 50:21].

The second step of humility is this, that a man should not delight in
doing his own will and desires, but should imitate the Lord who said: "I
came not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me" [John
6:38]. And again the Scripture saith: "Lust hath its punishment, but
hardship winneth a crown."

The third step of humility is this, that a man be subject to his
superior in all obedience for the love of God, imitating the Lord, of
whom the apostle says: "He became obedient unto death" [Phil. 2:8].

The fourth step of humility is this, that a man endure all the hard and
unpleasant things and even undeserved injuries that come in the course
of his service, without wearying or withdrawing his neck from the yoke,
for the Scripture saith: "He that endureth to the end shall be saved"
[Matt. 10:22], and again: "Comfort thy heart and endure the Lord" [Ps.
27:14]. And yet again the Scripture, showing that the faithful should
endure all unpleasant things for the Lord, saith, speaking in the person
of those that suffer: "Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long;
we are counted as sheep for the slaughter" [Ps. 44:22]; and again,
rejoicing in the sure hope of divine reward: "In all things we are more
than conquerors through him that loved us" [Rom. 8:37]; and again in
another place: "For thou, O God, hast proved us; thou hast tried us as
silver is tried; thou broughtest us into the net, thou laidst affliction
upon our loins" [Ps. 66:10 f]; and again to show that we should be
subject to a superior: "Thou hast placed men over our heads" [Ps.
66:12]. Moreover, the Lord bids us suffer injuries patiently, saying:
"Whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other
also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat,
let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a
mile, go with him twain" [Matt. 5:39-41]. And with the apostle Paul we
should suffer with false brethren, and endure persecution, and bless
them that curse us.

The fifth step of humility is this, that a man should not hide the evil
thoughts that arise in his heart or the sins which he has committed in
secret, but should humbly confess them to his abbot; as the Scripture
exhorteth us, saying: "Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him"
[Ps. 37:5]; and again: "O, give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good;
for his mercy endureth forever" [Ps. 106:1]; and yet again the prophet
saith: "I have acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I
not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and
thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin" [Ps. 32:5].

The sixth step of humility is this, that the monk should be contented
with any lowly or hard condition in which he may be placed, and should
always look upon himself as an unworthy laborer, not fitted to do what
is intrusted to him; saying to himself in the words of the prophet: "I
was reduced to nothing and was ignorant; I was as a beast before thee
and I am always with thee" [Ps. 73:22 f].

The seventh step of humility is this, that he should not only say, but
should really believe in his heart that he is the lowest and most
worthless of all men, humbling himself and saying with the prophet: "I
am a worm and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of all people"
[Ps. 22:6]; and "I that was exhalted am humbled and confounded" [Ps.
88:15]; and again: "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I
might learn thy statutes" [Ps. 119:71].

The eighth step of humility is this, that the monk should follow in
everything the common rule of the monastery and the examples of his

The ninth step of humility is this, that the monk should restrain his
tongue from speaking, and should keep silent even from questioning, as
the Scripture saith: "In a multitude of words there wanteth not sin"
[Prov. 10:19], and "Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth"
[Ps. 140:11].

The tenth step of humility is this, that the monk should be not easily
provoked to laughter, as it is written: "The fool raiseth his voice in
laughter" [Ecclesiasticus 21:23].

The eleventh step of humility is this, that the monk, when he speaks,
should do so slowly and without laughter, softly and gravely, using few
words and reasonable, and that he should not be loud of voice; as it is
written: "A wise man is known for his few words."

The twelfth step of humility is this, that the monk should always be
humble and lowly, not only in his heart, but in his bearing as well.
Wherever he may be, in divine service, in the oratory, in the garden, on
the road, in the fields, whether sitting, walking, or standing, he
should always keep his head bowed and his eyes upon the ground. He
should always be meditating upon his sins and thinking of the dread day
of judgment, saying to himself as did that publican of whom the gospel
speaks: "Lord, I am not worthy, I a sinner, so much as to lift mine eyes
up to heaven" [Luke 18:13]; and again with the prophet: "I am bowed down
and humbled everywhere" [Ps. 119:107].

Now when the monk has ascended all these steps of humility, he will
arrive at that perfect love of God which casteth out all fear [1 John
4:18]. By that love all those commandments which he could not formerly
observe without grievous effort and struggle, he will now obey naturally
and easily, as if by habit; not in the fear of hell, but in the love of
Christ and by his very delight in virtue. And thus the Lord will show
the working of his holy Spirit in this his servant, freed from vices and

Ch. 8. _Divine worship at night_ [vigils].--During the winter; that is,
from the first of November to Easter, the monks should rise at the
eighth hour of the night; a reasonable arrangement, since by that time
the monks will have rested a little more than half the night and will
have digested their food. Those brothers who failed in the psalms or the
readings shall spend the rest of the time after vigils (before the
beginning of matins) in pious meditation. From Easter to the first of
November matins shall begin immediately after daybreak, allowing the
brothers a little time for attending to the necessities of nature.

Ch. 9. _The psalms to be said at night._{113}--During the winter time,
the order of service shall be as follows: first shall be recited the
verse ["Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O God,"
Ps. 70:1]; then this verse three times: "O Lord, open thou my lips and
my mouth shall show forth thy praise" [Ps. 51:15]; then the third psalm
and the Gloria, the 94th Psalm responsively or in unison, a hymn, and
six psalms responsively. After this the abbot shall give the benediction
with the aforesaid verse, and the brothers shall sit down. Three lessons
from the gospels with three responses shall then be read from the
lecturn by the brothers in turn. The first two responses shall be sung
without the Gloria, but in the third response which follows the last
reading the cantor shall sing the Gloria, the monks rising from their
seats at the beginning of it to show honor and reverence to the holy
Trinity. Passages are to be read from the Old and New Testaments in the
vigils, and also the expositions of these passages left by the accepted
orthodox Catholic fathers. After the three readings and the responses,
six psalms with the Halleluia shall follow, then a reading from the
epistles recited from memory, and the usual verses, the vigils
concluding with the supplication of the litany, "Kyrie eleison."

{113} The numbering of the psalms in the authorized version differs from
their numbering in the Vulgate. We have followed the numberings of the
latter in those passages of the Rule in which the psalms for the
services are given. But in quotations from the psalms we have followed
the translation as well as the numbering of the authorized version,
except occasionally when the translation in the authorized version does
not give the sense required by the context of the Rule. In these cases
we have translated the Latin of the Vulgate. The following table gives
the corresponding numbers in each version:

   Authorized Version.     Vulgate.
      1- 10                 1- 10
     11-113                10-112
    114-115               113
    116                   114-115
    117-146               116-145
    147                   146-147
    148-150               148-150

In the Vulgate there are two psalms having the same number 10.

Ch. 10. _The order of vigils in summer._--From Easter to the first of
November the above order of worship shall be observed, except that the
reading shall be shortened because of the shorter nights; that is, in
place of the three lessons, one lesson from the Old Testament shall be
recited from memory, with the short response. The rest of the service
shall be observed as described above, so that the number of psalms read
shall never be less than twelve, not counting the 3d and the 94th.

Ch. 11. _The order of vigils on Sunday._--On Sunday the brothers shall
rise earlier than on other days. The order of service in the vigils of
Sunday shall be as follows: first, six psalms and the verse are to be
said as described above; then the brothers, sitting down, shall read in
order from their seats four lessons from the gospels, with responses,
and in the fourth response the cantor shall sing the Gloria, at the
beginning of which all shall rise to show reverence. After the lessons
six other psalms shall be said responsively and the verse; then four
more lessons shall be read with the responses as before; then three
canticles chosen from the prophets by the abbot shall be sung with the
Halleluia; then after the verse and the benediction of the abbot, four
other lessons shall be read from the New Testament in the same order as
above, and after the fourth response the abbot shall begin the hymn "We
praise thee, O Lord" (Te Deum laudamus), following it with a lesson from
the Gospel, during which all rise to show reverence and honor to God.
After the reading all shall respond "Amen," and the abbot shall begin
the hymn: "It is a good thing to praise the Lord"; then the abbot shall
give the benediction, and the matins shall be begun. This order of
service is to be observed on all Sundays, winter and summer, unless it
should happen, which God forbid, that the brethren are late in rising,
in which case the readings and responses may be shortened. But care
should be taken that this does not happen, and if it does, he whose
negligence caused the delay should make satisfaction to God for his
fault by doing penance in the oratory.

Ch. 12. _The order of matins on Sunday._--In the matins on the Lord's
day the order of service shall be as follows: first, the 66th Psalm in
unison, then the 50th Psalm with the Halleluia, then the 117th and the
62d Psalms, the _Benedictiones_ [that is, Dan. 3:52-90], and the
_Laudes_ [that is, Pss. 148, 149, 150], a lesson from Revelation recited
from memory, a response, a hymn, the usual verse, and a song from the
Gospel, concluding with the litany, and the benediction.

Ch. 13. _The order of matins on week days._--On week days the order of
service in the matins shall be as follows: first, the 66th Psalm recited
somewhat slowly as on Sunday, in order that all may be in their places
in time to join in the 50th Psalm, which is to be recited responsively;
then two psalms for the day according to this schedule: on Monday, the
5th and the 35th; on Tuesday, the 42d and the 56th; on Wednesday, the
63d and the 64th; on Thursday, the 87th and the 89th; on Friday the 75th
and the 91st; and on Saturday, the 142d and the song from Deuteronomy
[33:1-43], the last being divided by two Glorias. On other days, the
songs from the prophets are to be sung, each on its proper day,
according to the custom of the Roman church. Then shall follow the
lauds, a lesson from the epistles recited from memory, the response, a
hymn, the verse, and a song from the Gospel, concluding with the litany
and the benediction. At the close of matins and vespers every day, the
superior shall recite the Lord's prayer in the hearing of all, because
of the quarrels which are apt to occur among the monks; so that the
brethren, in their hearts uniting in the petition, "Forgive us our
trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us," may cleanse
their hearts from sins of this sort. In other services, the last part of
the prayer, "Deliver us from evil," shall be said responsively by all.

Ch. 14. _The order of vigils on Saints' days._--On Saints' days and on
all feast days, the order of service shall be the same as that for
Sunday as described above, except that the psalms and responses and
readings belonging to the particular day shall be used.

Ch. 15. _The occasions on which the Halleluia shall be said._--From
Easter to Pentecost the Halleluia shall be said with the psalms and
responses. From Pentecost to the beginning of Lent in the vigils of the
night the Halleluia shall be said only with the last six psalms; on
Sundays, except in Lent, the Halleluia shall be said also with the songs
at matins, prime, terce, sext, and nones, but at vespers the songs shall
be said responsively. The responses shall not be said with the Halleluia
except during the season from Easter to Pentecost.

Ch. 16. _The order of divine worship during the day._--The prophet says:
"Seven times a day do I praise thee" [Ps. 119:164]; and we observe this
sacred number in the seven services of the day; that is, matins, prime,
terce, sext, nones, vespers, and completorium; for the hours of the
daytime are plainly intended here, since the same prophet provides for
the nocturnal vigils, when he says in another place: "At midnight I will
rise to give thanks unto thee" [Ps. 119:62]. We should therefore praise
the Creator for his righteous judgments at the aforesaid times: matins,
prime, terce, sext, nones, vespers, and completorium; and at night we
should rise to give thanks unto Him.{114}

{114} There were eight services to be held every day. The night service
was called vigils and was held some time between midnight and early
dawn, perhaps as early as 2 A.M. in summer, and as late as 4 or 5 in
winter. The first service of the day was called matins. It followed
vigils after a short interval. It was supposed to begin about daybreak,
which is also an indefinite expression and not a clearly fixed moment.
The service of prime began with the first period of the day, terce with
the third, sext with the sixth, and nones with the ninth. Vespers, as
its name indicates, began toward evening. Completorium, or compline, was
the last service of the day and took place just before the monks went to

These designations of time are necessarily very inaccurate and
indefinite. Beginning with sunrise the day was divided into twelve equal
periods which were numbered from one to twelve. Beginning with sunset
the night was divided in the same way. The day periods would, of course,
be much longer in summer than in winter. As their methods of measuring
time were primitive and inaccurate we must not suppose that the services
took place exactly and regularly at the same hour every day.

Ch. 17. _The number of psalms to be said at these times._--We have
already described the order of psalms for the nocturnal vigils and for
matins; let us now turn to the other services. At prime, three psalms
shall be said separately, that is, each with a Gloria, the verse, "Make
haste, O God, to deliver me," and the hymn for the hour being said
before the psalms; then one lesson from the Epistles shall be read, then
the verse, the "Kyrie eleison," and the benediction. At terce, sext, and
nones the same order shall be observed: first the prayer (that is, the
verse, "Make haste, O God," etc.), the hymn for the hour, the three
psalms, the lesson, the verse, the "Kyrie eleison," and the benediction.
If the congregation is large, the psalms shall be said responsively; if
small, they shall be said in unison. At vespers four psalms shall be
said responsively, then shall follow the lesson, the response, the hymn
for the hour, the Ambrosian hymn, the verse, the song from the Gospel,
the Litany, the Lord's prayer, and the benediction. At completorium,
three psalms shall be said in unison, then the hymn for the hour, the
lesson, the verse, the "Kyrie eleison," the benediction, and the

Ch. 18. _The order in which these psalms shall be said._--All the
services of the daytime shall begin with the verse "Make haste, O God,
to deliver me; make haste to help me, O God," followed by the Gloria and
the hymn for the hour. The order in which the psalms are to be read in
these services is as follows: at prime on Sunday, four sections of the
118th Psalm, and at the other services on Sunday, terce, sext, nones,
three sections each of the same psalm; at prime on Monday, three psalms,
the 1st, 2d, and 6th; so on through the week to Sunday again, three
psalms being said at each prime in the order of arrangement to the 19th,
the 9th and the 17th being divided into two readings. In this way vigils
on Sunday will always begin with the 20th psalm. At terce, sext, and
nones on Monday, the nine sections of the 118th psalm which remain shall
be said three at each service, thus reading the whole 118th Psalm on the
two days, Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday the nine psalms from the 119th
to the 127th shall be read three at each of the services of terce, sext,
and nones. This order of psalms, and the regular order of hymns,
lessons, and verses is to be observed throughout the week, and on Sunday
the reading shall begin again with the 118th psalm. At vespers four
psalms are to be read daily, from the 109th to the 147th, leaving out
those that are prescribed for the other services (from the 117th to the
127th, the 133d, and the 142d). As this does not make the required
number of psalms, three for each day, the longer ones shall be divided,
namely, the 138th, the 143d, and the 144th; and the 116th, being very
short, shall be read with the 115th. The rest of the service of vespers,
the lesson, the response, the hymn, the verse, and the song, shall be
observed as already described. At completorium, the same psalms shall be
read each day, namely, the 4th, the 90th, and the 133d. All the rest of
the psalms, not thus arranged for, shall be divided equally among the
seven nocturnal vigils, the longer ones being divided, making twelve
readings for each night. If this particular order of the psalms is not
satisfactory, it may be changed; but in any case, the whole psalter with
its full number of 150 psalms should be completed every week, and should
be begun again from the first at the vigils on Sunday. Monks who read
less than the whole psalter with the customary songs during the course
of the week are assuredly lax in their devotion, since we are told that
the holy fathers were accustomed in their zeal to read in a single day
what we in our indolence can scarcely accomplish in a whole week.

Ch. 19. _The behavior of the monks in the services._--We know of course
that the divine presence is everywhere, and that "the eyes of the Lord
look down everywhere upon the good and the evil," but we should realize
this in its fulness, especially when we take part in divine worship.
Remember the words of the prophet: "Serve the Lord in all fear" [Ps.
2:11], and again "Sing wisely" [Ps. 47:7], and yet again, "In the sight
of the angels I will sing unto thee" [Ps. 138:1]. Let us then consider
how we should behave in the sight of God and his angels, and let us so
comport ourselves in the service of praise that our hearts may be in
harmony with our voices.

Ch. 20. _The reverence to be shown in prayer._--When we have any request
to make of powerful persons, we proffer it humbly and reverently; with
how much greater humility and devotion, then, should we offer our
supplications unto God, the Lord of all. We should realize, too, that we
are not heard for our much speaking, but for the purity and the
contrition of our hearts. So when we pray, our prayer should be simple
and brief, unless we are moved to speak by the inspiration of the
spirit. The prayer offered before the congregation also should be brief,
and all the brothers should rise at the signal of the superior.

Ch. 21. _The deans of the monastery._--In large congregations certain
ones from among the brothers of good standing and holy lives should be
chosen to act as deans and should be set to rule over certain parts
under the direction of the abbot. Only persons to whom the abbot may
safely intrust a share of his burdens should be selected for this office
and they should be chosen not according to rank, but according to their
merits and wisdom. But if any one of the deans shall be found in fault,
being perhaps puffed up by his position, he should be reprimanded for
his fault the second or third time, and then if he does not mend his
ways he should be deposed and his place given to a worthier brother. The
same treatment should be accorded the _præpositi_.

Ch. 22. _How the monks should sleep._--The monks shall sleep separately
in individual beds, and the abbot shall assign them their beds according
to their conduct. If possible all the monks shall sleep in the same
dormitory, but if their number is too large to admit of this, they are
to be divided into tens or twenties and placed under the control of some
of the older monks. A candle shall be kept burning in the dormitory all
night until daybreak. The monks shall go to bed clothed and girt with
girdles and cords, but shall not have their knives at their sides, lest
in their dreams they injure one of the sleepers. They should be always
in readiness, rising immediately upon the signal and hastening to the
service, but appearing there gravely and modestly. The beds of the
younger brothers should not be placed together, but should be scattered
among those of the older monks. When the brothers arise they should
gently exhort one another to hasten to the service, so that the sleepy
ones may have no excuse for coming late.

Ch. 23. _The excommunication for lighter sins._--If any brother shows
himself stubborn, disobedient, proud, or complaining, or refuses to obey
the rule or to hearken to his elders, let him be admonished in private
once or twice by his elders, as God commands. If he does not mend his
ways let him be reprimanded publicly before all. But, if, knowing the
penalty to which he is liable, he still refuses to conform, let him be
excommunicated [that is, cut off from the society of the other monks],
and if he remains incorrigible let him suffer bodily punishment.

Ch. 24. _The forms of excommunication._--The nature of the
excommunication and discipline should be suited to the extent of the
guilt, which is to be determined by the abbot. If the brother is guilty
of one of the lighter sins, let him be deprived of participation in the
common meal. The one who has been thus deprived shall not lead in the
psalms and responses in the oratory or read the lessons; he shall eat
alone after the common meal; so that, for example, if the brothers eat
at the sixth hour, he shall eat at the ninth, and if the brothers eat at
the ninth hour, he shall eat at vespers. This shall be continued until
he has made suitable satisfaction for his fault.

Ch. 25. _The excommunication for the graver sins._--For graver sins the
brother shall be deprived of participation both in the common meal and
in the divine services. No brother shall speak to him or have anything
to do with him, but he shall labor alone at the work assigned to him as
a penance, meditating on the meaning of that saying of the apostle: "To
deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that
the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ" [1 Cor.
5:5]. And he shall eat alone, receiving his food in such measure and at
such time as the abbot shall determine. No one meeting him shall bless
him, and the food which is given him shall be unblessed.

Ch. 26. _Those who consort with the excommunicated without the order of
the abbot._--If any brother shall presume to speak to one who has been
excommunicated, or shall give a command to him, or have anything
whatever to do with him, except by the order of the abbot, he shall be
placed under the same sort of excommunication.

Ch. 27. _The abbot should be zealous for the correction of those who
have been excommunicated._--The abbot should exercise the greatest care
over erring brothers; as it is written: "They that be whole need not a
physician, but they that are sick" [Matt. 9:12]. So the abbot should use
all the means that a wise physician uses: he should send secret
comforters, wiser and older brothers, who will comfort the erring one,
and urge him humbly to make amends, as the apostle says: "Comfort him,
lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with too much sorrow" [2
Cor. 2:7], and again "Charity shall be confirmed in him" [2 Cor. 2:8].
Let him also be prayed for by all. It should be the greatest care of the
abbot that not one of his flock should perish, using to this end all his
wisdom and ability, for he is set to care for sick souls, not to rule
harshly over well ones. Let him be warned in this matter by the words of
God spoken to the evil shepherds of Israel through the prophet: "Ye did
take that which ye saw to be strong, and that which was weak ye did cast
out" [cf. Ezek. 34:3 f]. Let him rather follow the example of the good
shepherd, who, leaving his ninety and nine, went out into the mountains
and sought the one sheep which had gone astray; who, when he found it,
had compassion on its weakness, and laid it on his own sacred shoulders
and brought it back to the flock.

Ch. 28. _Those who do not mend their ways after frequent
correction._--If any brother has been frequently corrected and
excommunicated, and still does not mend his ways, let the punishment be
increased to the laying on of blows. But if he will not be corrected or
if he attempts to defend his acts, then the abbot shall proceed to
extreme measures as a wise physician will do; that is, when the
poultices and ointments, as it were, of prayer, the medicines of
Scripture, and the violent remedies of excommunication and blows have
all failed, he has recourse to the last means, prayer to God, the
all-powerful, that He should work the salvation of the erring brother.
But if he still cannot be cured, then the abbot shall proceed to the use
of the knife, cutting out that evil member from the congregation; as the
apostle says: "Put away from among yourselves that wicked person" [1
Cor. 5:13]; "If the unbelieving depart, let him depart" [1 Cor. 7:15];
that the whole flock be not contaminated by one diseased sheep.

Ch. 29. _Shall brothers who have left the monastery be received
back?_--If a brother has left the monastery or has been cast out for his
own fault, and shall wish to be taken back, he shall first of all
promise complete reformation of that fault, and then shall be received
into the lowest grade in the monastery to prove the sincerity of his
humility. If he again departs, he shall be received back the third time,
knowing, however, that after that he shall never again be taken back.

Ch. 30. _The manner of correction for the young._--The forms of
punishment should be adapted to every age and to every order of
intelligence. So if children or youths, or those who are unable to
appreciate the meaning of excommunication, are found guilty, they should
be given heavy fasts and sharp blows for their correction.

Ch. 31. _The cellarer._--The cellarer of the monastery, chosen from
among the congregation, should be wise, sedate, and sober; he should not
be gluttonous, proud, quarrelsome, spiteful, indolent, nor wasteful; he
should fear God, since he acts in a way as the father of the monastery.
He should be careful of everything, doing nothing except by the order of
the abbot, and observing all the commands laid upon him. He should not
rebuke the brothers roughly; if any brother is unreasonable in his
demands, he should yet treat him reasonably, mildly refusing his request
as being improper. He should make his service minister to his own
salvation, remembering the words of the apostle: "They that have used
the office well, purchase to themselves a good degree" [1 Tim. 3:13]. He
should have special care for the sick, for children, for guests, and for
the poor, seeing that he will certainly have to give a reckoning of his
treatment of all these on the day of judgment. He should look after all
the utensils of the monastery as carefully as if they were the sacred
vessels of the altar, and he should be careful of the substance of the
monastery, wasting nothing. He should be neither avaricious nor
prodigal, conducting his office in moderation under the commands of the
abbot. Above all he should conduct himself humbly; if he is not able to
furnish what is asked for, he should at least return a pleasant answer,
as it is written: "A good word is above the best gift" [Ecclesiasticus
18:16]. He should take charge of everything intrusted to him by the
abbot, and should not interfere in what is prohibited to him. He should
see to it that the brothers always have the regular amount of food, and
he should serve it without haughtiness or unnecessary delay, remembering
the punishment which the Scripture says is meted out to those who offend
one of these little ones. In large congregations, the cellarer should
have assistants, with whose aid he may be able to fulfil the duties
committed to him without unnecessary worry. He should, moreover, so
arrange the work in his department that the distribution of food and the
other details may come at convenient hours, and may not disturb or
inconvenience anyone.

Ch. 32. _The utensils and other property of the monastery._--The
possessions of the monastery in the way of utensils, clothes, and other
things should be intrusted by the abbot to the charge of certain
brothers whom he can safely trust, and the various duties of caring for
or collecting these things should be divided among them. The abbot
should keep a list of these things, so that he may know what is given
out or taken back when the offices change hands. If any one of these
brothers is careless or wasteful of the goods of the monastery which are
intrusted to him, he should be reproved and if he does not reform he
should be subjected to discipline according to the rule.

Ch. 33. _Monks should not have personal property._--The sin of owning
private property should be entirely eradicated from the monastery. No
one shall presume to give or receive anything except by the order of the
abbot; no one shall possess anything of his own, books, paper, pens, or
anything else; for monks are not to own even their own bodies and wills
to be used at their own desire, but are to look to the father [abbot] of
the monastery for everything. So they shall have nothing that has not
been given or allowed to them by the abbot; all things are to be had in
common according to the command of the Scriptures, and no one shall
consider anything as his own property. If anyone has been found guilty
of this most grievous sin, he shall be admonished for the first and
second offence, and then if he does not mend his ways he shall be

Ch. 34. _All the brothers are to be treated equally._--It is written:
"Distribution was made unto every man as he had need" [Acts 4:35]. This
does not mean that there should be respect of persons, but rather
consideration for infirmities. The one who has less need should give
thanks to God and not be envious; the one who has greater need should be
humbled because of his infirmity, and not puffed up by the greater
consideration shown him. Thus all the members of the congregation shall
dwell together in peace. Above all let there be no complaint about
anything, either in word or manner, and if anyone is guilty of this let
him be strictly disciplined.

Ch. 35. _The weekly service in the kitchen._--The brothers shall serve
in their turn in the kitchen, no one being excused, except for illness
or because occupied in work of greater importance; thus all shall learn
charity and acquire the greater reward which is the recompense for
service. Assistants shall be allowed to the weak, that they be not too
greatly burdened in the service, and shall also be provided for all, if
the size of the congregation or the conditions of the place make it
necessary. In large congregations, the cellarer shall be excused from
service in the kitchen, as also those who, as we have already indicated,
are engaged in more important labors; but all the others shall serve in
their turn. The one who goes out of office at the end of the week,
should do all the cleaning on Saturday, and should wash the towels on
which the monks dry their hands and their feet, and both he and the one
who succeeds him shall wash the feet of all the brothers. The one who is
leaving shall turn over the utensils of the service properly cleaned to
the cellarer, who shall then consign them to the one who succeeds,
keeping account of what he gives out and what he receives back. Those
who are engaged in this service shall be allowed a piece of bread and a
cup of wine an hour before the time of the common meal, so that they may
serve the brethren during the meal without inconvenience or cause for
complaint; but on holy days they shall fast until after the mass. On
Sunday, immediately after matins, the outgoing and the incoming cooks
shall kneel in the oratory and ask for the prayers of all the brothers.
The one who has finished his service for the week shall say this verse
three times: "Blessed art thou, O Lord God, who hast aided and consoled
me," and then shall receive the benediction; the one who is entering on
the service shall say: "Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to
help me, O God": this shall be repeated three times by all, and then he
shall receive the benediction and enter upon his duties.

Ch. 36. _The care for brothers who are ill._--Above all, care should be
taken of the sick, as if they were Christ himself, as he has said: "I
was sick, and ye visited me" [Matt. 25:36]; and again, "Inasmuch as ye
have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it
unto me" [Matt. 25:40]. But the sick should consider that the service
performed for them is done to the honor of God, and should not make it a
burden for the brothers who attend them. Those who labor in this
service, on their part, should endure it patiently, because it redounds
to their greater reward. The abbot should make it his especial care that
no one suffers neglect. A special room shall be assigned to the sick,
and they shall be given pious, diligent, and careful attendants. The
sick should also be allowed the use of baths as often as seems
expedient, a thing which is to be accorded to the young and strong more
rarely. Those who are sick or weak are, moreover, to be permitted to eat
meat to strengthen them, but when they have recovered they shall abstain
from it in the usual manner as the others. The abbot should see to it
also that the sick are not neglected by the cellarer or the other
servants, for their negligence will be placed to his account, if he is
not diligent in correcting them.

Ch. 37. _The aged and children._--Special regard and consideration is
due to human nature in the extremes of life, old age and childhood, and
yet this must be regulated by the rule. Their weakness shall always be
taken into consideration, and the strict requirements of the rule in
regard to food may be relaxed for them, so that they may anticipate the
regular hours of eating.

Ch. 38. _The weekly reader._--There should always be reading during the
common meal, but it shall not be left to chance, so that anyone may take
up the book and read. On Sunday one of the brothers shall be appointed
to read during the following week. He shall enter on his office after
the mass and communion, and shall ask for the prayers of all, that God
may keep him from the spirit of pride; then he shall say this verse
three times, all the brethren uniting with him: "O Lord, open thou my
lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise;" then after receiving
the benediction he enters upon his office. At the common meal, the
strictest silence shall be kept, that no whispering or speaking may be
heard except the voice of the reader. The brethren shall mutually wait
upon one another by passing the articles of food and drink, so that no
one shall have to ask for anything; but if this is necessary, it shall
be done by a sign rather than by words, if possible. In order to avoid
too much talking no one shall interrupt the reader with a question about
the reading or in any other way, unless perchance the prior may wish to
say something in the way of explanation. The brother who is appointed to
read shall be given the bread and wine before he begins, on account of
the holy communion which he has received, and lest so long a fast should
be injurious; he shall have his regular meal later with the cooks and
other weekly servants. The brothers shall not be chosen to read or chant
by order of rotation, but according to their ability to edify their

Ch. 39. _The amount of food._--Two cooked dishes, served either at the
sixth or the ninth hour, should be sufficient for the daily sustenance.
We allow two because of differences in taste, so that those who do not
eat one may satisfy their hunger with the other, but two shall suffice
for all the brothers, unless it is possible to obtain fruit or fresh
vegetables, which may be served as a third. One pound of bread shall
suffice for the day, whether there be one meal or two. If the monks are
to have supper as well as dinner, the cellarer shall cut off a third of
the loaf of bread which is served at dinner and keep it for the later
meal. In the case of those who engage in heavy labor, the abbot may at
his discretion increase the allowance of food, but he should not allow
the monks to indulge their appetites by eating or drinking too much. For
no vice is more inconsistent with the Christian character; as the Master
saith: "Take heed to yourselves lest at any time your hearts be
overcharged with surfeiting" [Luke 21:34]. A smaller amount of food
shall be given to the youths than to their elders, and in general the
rule should be to eat sparingly. All shall abstain from the flesh of
four-footed beasts, except the weak and the sick.

Ch. 40. _The amount of drink._--"Each one has his own gift from God, the
one in this way, the other in that" [1 Cor. 7:7], so we hesitate to
determine what others shall eat or drink. But we believe that a
half-measure of wine a day is enough for anyone, making due allowance,
of course, for the needs of the sick. If God has given to some the
strength to endure abstinence, let them use that gift, knowing that they
shall have their reward. And if the climate, the nature of the labor, or
the heat of summer, or other conditions make it advisable to increase
this amount, the superior may do so at his own discretion, always
guarding, however, against indulgence and drunkenness. Some hold,
indeed, that monks should not drink wine at all. We have not been able
in our day to persuade monks to agree to this; but all will admit that
drink should be used sparingly, for "wine maketh even the wise to go
astray" [Ecclesiasticus 19:2]. Where wine is scarce or is not found at
all because of the nature of the locality, let those who live there
bless God and murmur not. In any case, let there be no murmuring because
of the scarcity or the lack of wine.

Ch. 41. _The time of meals._--From Easter to Pentecost, the brethren
shall dine at the sixth hour and have supper in the evening. From
Pentecost on through the summer, they shall fast on Wednesday and
Friday{115} until the ninth hour, unless they are laboring in the fields
or find the heat of the summer too oppressive; on the other days of the
week they shall dine at the sixth hour. But if the monks are working out
of doors, or are oppressed with the heat, the abbot may at his
discretion have dinner served every day at the sixth hour. In this, as
in all matters, the abbot shall have regard for the souls of the
brethren, that they be not given cause for grumbling. From the middle of
September to the beginning of Lent, they shall dine at the ninth hour,
and during Lent, toward evening. The time for the evening meal shall be
so fixed that the brethren may eat without the aid of lamps; and indeed
all the meals are to be eaten by daylight.

{115} In the early church Wednesdays and Fridays were fast-days, because
Christ was believed to have been born on a Wednesday and he died on a

Ch. 42. _Silence is to be kept after completorium._--The monks should
observe the rule of silence at all times, but especially during the
hours of the night. This rule shall be observed both on fast-days and on
other days, as follows: on other than fast-days, as soon as the brothers
rise from the table they shall sit down together, while one of them
reads from the Collations or the lives of the fathers or other holy
works. But the reading at this time shall not be from the Heptateuch or
from the books of the Kings, which are not suitable for weak intellects
to hear at this hour and may be read at other times. On fast-days the
brethren shall assemble a little while after vespers, and listen to
readings from the Collations. All shall be present at this reading
except those who have been given other duties to be done at this time,
and after the reading of four or five pages, or as much as shall occupy
an hour's time, the whole congregation shall meet for completorium.
After completorium no one shall be allowed to speak to another, unless
some unforeseen occasion arises, as that of caring for guests, or unless
the abbot has to give a command to some one; and in these cases such
speaking as is necessary shall be done quietly and gravely. If anyone
breaks this rule of silence he shall be severely disciplined.

Ch. 43. _Those who are late in coming to services or to meals._--When
the signal is given for the hour of worship, all should hasten to the
oratory; but they shall enter gravely, so as not to give occasion for
jesting. The service of God is to be placed above every other duty. At
vigils, those who do not come in until after the Gloria of the 94th
Psalm ("O come, let us sing unto the Lord"), which, as we have indicated
above, is to be said slowly and solemnly, shall be held to be tardy.
Such a one shall not be allowed to take his accustomed place in the
choir, but shall be made to stand last or in a place apart such as the
abbot may have indicated for the tardy. There he may be seen by the
abbot and all the brothers, and after the service he shall do public
penance for his fault. The purpose of placing him last or in a place
apart from the others is to make his tardiness conspicuous, so that he
may be led through very shame to correct this fault. For if those who
come late are made to stay outside of the oratory, some of them will go
back and go to bed again, or at least sit down outside and spend the
time of service in idle talk, thus giving a chance to the evil one. Let
them come inside that they may not lose all the service, and in the
future not be tardy. At the services in the daytime, he who does not
come in until after the verse and the Gloria of the first psalm, shall
stand in the last place as already described, and shall not be allowed
to take his own place in the choir until he has made amends, unless the
abbot shall give him permission, reserving his penance for a later time.
At the common meal all shall stand and say a verse and a prayer, and
then sit down together. He who comes in after the verse shall be
admonished for the first and second offense, and if he is again tardy
after that he shall not be allowed to share the common meal, but shall
be made to eat alone, and his portion of wine shall be taken away until
he makes satisfaction. Those who are not present at the verse which is
said at the end of the meal shall be punished in the same way. And no
one shall eat or drink anything except at the appointed hours. If any
one refuses to eat when food is offered to him by the superior, he shall
not be allowed to do so later when he wishes it, unless he has made
satisfaction for his fault.

Ch. 44. _The penance of the excommunicated._--The one who has been
excommunicated for grievous sins from both the divine services and the
common meal shall do penance as follows: During the hour of worship, he
shall lie prostrate at the door of the oratory, with his head on the
ground at the feet of all as they come out. He shall continue to do this
until the abbot has decided that he has made reparation for his sin.
Then after he has been admitted again into the oratory, he shall fall at
the feet, first of the abbot and then of all the other brothers, and
shall beg them all to pray for him; then he may be permitted to take his
own place in the choir or such other position as the abbot shall
designate. But he shall not be allowed to lead in the psalms or the
reading or any other part of the service until the abbot gives him
permission. At the end of the service each day he shall prostrate
himself upon the ground in the place where he was standing, until the
abbot decides that his penance has been accomplished. Those who for
lesser faults have been excommunicated from the table only, shall
continue to do penance in the oratory until the abbot gives them his
blessing and says: "It is enough."

Ch. 45. _The punishment of those who make mistakes in the service._--If
anyone makes a mistake in the psalm or the response or the antiphony or
the reading, he shall make satisfaction as described. But if he is not
humbled by this and by the rebukes of his elders, and refuses to admit
that he has erred, he shall be subjected to heavier punishment for his
obstinacy. Children shall be whipped for such offences.

Ch. 46. _The punishment for other sins._--When a brother has committed
any fault in any of his work, in doors or out, such as losing or
breaking anything, or making a mistake of some sort, he shall go
immediately to the abbot and make satisfaction, confessing his fault
before the whole congregation. If he fails to do this and leaves the
mistake to be found out and reported by another, he shall be severely
punished. But if it be a secret sin, he may confess it privately to the
abbot alone or to such spiritual superiors as may be able to cure such
errors without making them public.

Ch. 47. _The manner of announcing the hour of service._--The signal for
the hour of worship both in the daytime and at night, shall be given by
the abbot or by some diligent brother to whom he has intrusted that
duty, so that everything may be in readiness for the service at the
proper time. The abbot shall appoint certain ones to lead in the psalms
and the antiphonies after him; only those, however, shall be allowed to
read or chant who are able to edify the hearers. These shall be
appointed by the abbot, and shall perform their part gravely and humbly
in the fear of the Lord.

Ch. 48. _The daily labor of the monks._--Idleness is the great enemy of
the soul, therefore the monks should always be occupied, either in
manual labor or in holy reading. The hours for these occupations should
be arranged according to the seasons, as follows: From Easter to the
first of October, the monks shall go to work at the first hour and labor
until the fourth hour, and the time from the fourth to the sixth hour
shall be spent in reading. After dinner, which comes at the sixth hour,
they shall lie down and rest in silence; but anyone who wishes may read,
if he does it so as not to disturb anyone else. Nones shall be observed
a little earlier, about the middle of the eighth hour, and the monks
shall go back to work, laboring until vespers. But if the conditions of
the locality or the needs of the monastery, such as may occur at harvest
time, should make it necessary to labor longer hours, they shall not
feel themselves ill-used, for true monks should live by the labor of
their own hands, as did the apostles and the holy fathers. But the
weakness of human nature must be taken into account in making these
arrangements. From the first of October to the beginning of Lent, the
monks shall have until the full second hour for reading, at which hour
the service of terce shall be held. After terce, they shall work at
their respective tasks until the ninth hour. When the ninth hour sounds
they shall cease from labor and be ready for the service at the second
bell. After dinner they shall spend the time in reading the lessons and
the psalms. During Lent the time from daybreak to the third hour shall
be devoted to reading, and then they shall work at their appointed tasks
until the tenth hour. At the beginning of Lent each of the monks shall
be given a book from the library of the monastery which he shall read
entirely through. One or two of the older monks shall be appointed to go
about through the monastery during the hours set apart for reading, to
see that none of the monks are idling away the time, instead of reading,
and so not only wasting their own time but perhaps disturbing others as
well. Anyone found doing this shall be rebuked for the first or second
offence, and after that he shall be severely punished, that he may serve
as a warning and an example to others. Moreover, the brothers are not to
meet together at unseasonable hours. Sunday is to be spent by all the
brothers in holy reading, except by such as have regular duties assigned
to them for that day. And if any brother is negligent or lazy, refusing
or being unable profitably to read or meditate at the time assigned for
that, let him be made to work, so that he shall at any rate not be idle.
The abbot shall have consideration for the weak and the sick, giving
them tasks suited to their strength, so that they may neither be idle
nor yet be distressed by too heavy labor.

Ch. 49. _The observance of Lent._--Monks ought really to keep Lent all
the year, but as few are able to do this, they should at least keep
themselves perfectly pure during that season, and to make up for the
negligence of the rest of the year by the strictest observance then. The
right way to keep Lent is this: to keep oneself free from all vices and
to spend the time in holy reading, in repentance, and in abstinence.
During this season, therefore, we should add in some way to the weight
of our regular service, by saying additional prayers or giving up some
part of our food or drink, so that each one of us of his own will may
offer some gift to God in addition to his usual service, to the
rejoicing of the Holy Spirit. Let each one then make some sacrifice of
his bodily pleasures in the way of food or drink, or the amount of
sleep, or talking and jesting, thus awaiting the holy Easter with the
joy of spiritual desire. But the abbot should always be consulted in
regard to the sacrifice to be made, and it should be done with his
consent and wish; for whatever anyone does contrary to the wish of the
spiritual father will not be imputed to him for righteousness, but for
presumption and vainglory. So let everything be done in accordance with
the wish of the abbot.

Ch. 50. _The observance of the hours of worship by brothers who work at
a distance from the monastery or are on a journey._--Those who are at
work so far from the monastery that they cannot return for service (the
question of fact shall be decided by the abbot) shall nevertheless
observe the regular hours, kneeling down and worshipping God in the
place where they are working. So also those who are on the road shall
not neglect the hour of worship, but shall keep it as best they can.

Ch. 51. _Those who are sent on short errands._--If a brother has been
sent on an errand with instructions to return the same day with an
answer, he shall not presume to eat outside of the monastery unless he
has been told to do so by the abbot; and if he does, he shall be

Ch. 52. _The oratory of the monastery._--The oratory should be used as
its name implies: that is, as a place of prayer; and for no other
purpose. When the service is over, let all go out silently and
reverently, so that if any brother wishes to pray there in private he
may not be disturbed by others. And when anyone wishes to pray there
privately let him go in quietly and pray, not noisily, but with silent
tears and earnestness of heart. No one else shall be allowed to remain
in the oratory after the service, lest, as we have said, they disturb
those who desire to pray there.

Ch. 53. _The reception of guests._--All guests who come to the monastery
are to be received in the name of Christ, who said: "I was a stranger
and ye took me in" [Matt. 25:35]. Honor and respect shall be shown to
all, but especially to Christians and strangers. When a guest is
announced the superior and the brothers shall hasten to meet him and
shall give him the kindest welcome. At meeting, both shall say a short
prayer and then they shall exchange the kiss of peace, the prayer being
said first to frustrate the wiles of the devil. The manner of salutation
shall be humble and devout; he who offers it to a guest shall bow his
head or even prostrate his body on the ground in adoration of Christ, in
whose name guests are received. The way to receive a guest is as
follows: immediately on his arrival he shall be conducted to the oratory
for prayer, and then the superior or some brother at his order shall sit
down and read from the holy Scriptures with him for his edification.
After he has been thus received, every attention shall be shown to his
comfort and entertainment. The abbot may break his fast to dine with a
guest, unless the day be an especially solemn fast; but the brothers
shall keep the regular fasts. The abbot shall offer the guests water for
their hands, and together with all the brothers shall wash their feet,
all repeating this verse at the end of the ceremony: "We have thought of
thy loving kindness, O Lord, in the midst of thy temple" [Ps. 48:9].
Peculiar honor shall be shown to the poor and to strangers, since it is
in them that Christ is especially received; for the power of the rich in
itself compels honor. The abbot shall have a special cook for himself
and the guests of the monastery, so that the brothers may not be
disturbed by the arrival of guests at unusual hours, a thing always
liable to occur in a monastery. Two well-qualified brothers shall be
appointed to this office for the year, and shall be given such help as
they may need, that they may not have occasion to complain of the
service. But when they have nothing to do in this service, they shall be
assigned to other tasks. It shall be the rule of the monastery that
those who have charge of certain offices shall have assistants when they
need them, and shall themselves be assigned to other tasks when they
have nothing to do in their own offices. The guest chamber, which shall
contain beds with plenty of bedding, shall be placed under the charge of
a God-fearing brother. No one shall venture to talk to a guest or to
associate with him; and when a brother meets one, he shall greet him
humbly, and ask his blessing, but shall pass on, explaining that it is
not permitted to the brothers to talk with guests.

Ch. 54. _Monks are not to receive letters or anything._--No monk shall
receive letters or gifts or anything from his family or from any persons
on the outside, nor shall he send anything, except by the command of the
abbot. And if anything has been sent to the monastery for him he shall
not receive it unless he has first shown it to the abbot and received
his permission. And if the abbot orders such a thing to be received, he
may yet bestow it upon anyone whom he chooses, and the brother to whom
it was sent shall acquiesce without ill-will, lest he give occasion to
the evil one by his discontent. If anyone breaks this rule, he shall be
severely disciplined.

Ch. 55. _The vestiarius [one who has charge of the clothing] and the
calciarius [one who has charge of the footwear]._--The brothers are to
be provided with clothes suited to the locality and the temperature, for
those in colder regions require warmer clothing than those in warmer
climates. The abbot shall decide such matters. The following garments
should be enough for those who live in moderate climates: A cowl and a
robe apiece (the cowl to be of wool in winter and in summer light or
old); a rough garment for work; and shoes and boots for the feet. The
monks shall not be fastidious about the color and texture of these
clothes, which are to be made of the stuff commonly used in the region
where they dwell, or of the cheapest material. The abbot shall also see
that the garments are of suitable length and not too short. When new
garments are given out the old ones should be returned, to be kept in
the wardrobe for the poor. Each monk may have two cowls and two robes to
allow for change at night and for washing; anything more than this is
superfluous and should be dispensed with as being a form of luxury. The
old boots and shoes are also to be returned when new ones are given out.
Those who are sent out on the road shall be provided with trousers,
which shall be washed and restored to the vestiary when they return.
There shall also be cowls and robes of slightly better material for the
use of those who are sent on journeys, which also shall be given back
when they return. A mattress, a blanket, a sheet, and a pillow shall be
sufficient bedding. The beds are to be inspected by the abbot
frequently, to see that no monk has hidden away anything of his own in
them, and if anything is found there which has not been granted to that
monk by the abbot, he shall be punished very severely. To avoid giving
occasion to this vice, the abbot shall see that the monks are provided
with everything that is necessary: cowl, robe, shoes, boots, girdle,
knife, pen, needle, handkerchief, tablets, etc. For he should remember
how the fathers did in this matter, as it is related in the Acts of the
Apostles: "There was given unto each man according to his need" [Acts
2:45]. He should be guided in this by the requirements of the needy,
rather than by the complaints of the discontented, remembering always
that he shall have to give an account of all his decisions to God on the
day of judgment.

Ch. 56. _The table of the abbot._--The table of the abbot shall always
be for the use of guests and pilgrims, and when there are no guests the
abbot may invite some of the brothers to eat with him. But in that case,
he should see that one or two of the older brothers are always left at
the common table to preserve the discipline of the meal.

Ch. 57. _Artisans of the monastery._--If there are any skilled artisans
in the monastery, the abbot may permit them to work at their chosen
trade, if they will do so humbly. But if any one of them is made proud
by his skill in his particular trade or by his value to the monastery,
he shall be made to give up that work and shall not go back to it until
he has convinced the abbot of his humility. And if the products of any
of these trades are sold, those who conduct the sales shall see that no
fraud is perpetrated upon the monastery. For those who have any part in
defrauding the monastery are in danger of spiritual destruction, just as
Ananias and Sapphira for this sin suffered physical death. Above all,
avarice is to be avoided in these transactions; rather the prices asked
should be a little lower than those current in the neighborhood, that
God may be glorified in all things.

Ch. 58. _The way in which new members are to be received._--Entrance
into the monastery should not be made too easy, for the apostle says:
"Try the spirits, whether they are of God" [1 John 4:1]. So when anyone
applies at the monastery, asking to be accepted as a monk, he should
first be proved by every test. He shall be made to wait outside four or
five days, continually knocking at the door and begging to be admitted;
and then he shall be taken in as a guest and allowed to stay in the
guest chamber a few days. If he satisfies these preliminary tests, he
shall then be made to serve a novitiate of at least one year, during
which he shall be placed under the charge of one of the older and wiser
brothers, who shall examine him and prove, by every possible means, his
sincerity, his zeal, his obedience, and his ability to endure shame. And
he shall be told in the plainest manner all the hardships and
difficulties of the life which he has chosen. If he promises never to
leave the monastery [_stabilitas [pg 474] loci_] the rule shall be read
to him after the first two months of his novitiate, and again at the end
of six more months, and finally, four months later, at the end of his
year. Each time he shall be told that this is the guide which he must
follow as a monk, the reader saying to him at the end of the reading:
"This is the law under which you have expressed a desire to live; if you
are able to obey it, enter; if not, depart in peace." Thus he shall have
been given every chance for mature deliberation and every opportunity to
refuse the yoke of service. But if he still persists in asserting his
eagerness to enter and his willingness to obey the rule and the commands
of his superiors, he shall then be received into the congregation, with
the understanding that from that day forth he shall never be permitted
to draw back from the service or to leave the monastery. The ceremony of
receiving a new brother into the monastery shall be as follows: first he
shall give a solemn pledge, in the name of God and his holy saints,
of constancy, conversion of life, and obedience (_stabilitas loci_,
_conversio morum_, _obedientia_);{116} this promise shall be in writing
drawn up by his own hand (or, if he cannot write, it may be drawn up by
another at his request, and signed with his own mark), and shall be
placed by him upon the altar in the presence of the abbot, in the name
of the saints whose relics are in the monastery. Then he shall say:
"Receive me, O Lord, according to thy word, and I shall live; let me
not be cast down from mine expectation" [Ps. 119:116]; which shall be
repeated by the whole congregation three times, ending with the "Gloria
Patri." Then he shall prostrate himself at the feet of all the brothers
in turn, begging them to pray for him, and therewith he becomes a member
of the congregation. If he has any property he shall either sell it all
and give to the poor before he enters the monastery, or else he shall
turn it over to the monastery in due form, reserving nothing at all for
himself; for from that day forth he owns nothing, not even his own body
and will. Then he shall take off his own garments there in the oratory,
and put on the garments provided by the monastery. And those garments
which he put off shall be stored away in the vestiary, so that if he
should ever yield to the promptings of the devil and leave the
monastery, he shall be made to put off the garments of a monk, and to
put on his own worldly clothes, in which he shall be cast forth. But the
written promise which the abbot took from the altar where he placed it
shall not be given back to him, but shall be preserved in the monastery.

{116} The vows which a monk had to take are found in chap. 58 and in
nos. 252-257. They are differently stated but may be summed up as
follows: (1) _stabilitas loci_, stability of place, steadfastness; that
is, he took a vow never to leave the monastery and give up the monastic
life; (2) _conversio morum_, conversion of life; that is, to give up all
secular and worldly practices and to conform to the ideals and standards
of the monastic life; (3) observance of the rule; (4) obedience, that
is, to the abbot and to all his superiors; (5) chastity; and (6)
poverty. The last three are generally meant when "monastic vows" are
spoken of.

Ch. 59. _The presentation of children._--If persons of noble rank wish
to dedicate their son to the service of God in the monastery, they shall
make the promise for him, according to the following form: they shall
bind his hand and the written promise along with the consecrated host in
the altar-cloth and thus offer him to God. And in that document they
shall promise under oath that their son shall never receive any of the
family property, from them or any other person in any way whatsoever. If
they are unwilling to do this, and desire to make some offering to the
monastery for charity and the salvation of their souls, they may make a
donation from that property, reserving to themselves the usufruct during
their lives, if they wish. This shall all be done so clearly that the
boy shall never have any expectations that might lead him astray, as we
know to have happened. Poor people shall do the same when they offer
their sons; and if they have no property at all they shall simply make
the promise for their son and present him to the monastery with the host
before witnesses.{117}

{117} See nos. 259, 260.

Ch. 60. _Priests who wish to live in the monastery._--If a priest asks
to be admitted into the monastery, he shall not be immediately accepted.
But if he persists in his request, let it be made clear to him that he
shall have to obey the whole rule, and that the regular discipline will
not be relaxed in his favor; as it is written "Friend, wherefore art
thou come?" [Matt. 26:50]. The abbot may assign him the place nearest
himself, and may give him authority to pronounce the benediction or
officiate at the mass, but the priest shall not presume to do any of
these things, except by the authority of the abbot, for he is subject to
the rule as all the others, and should indeed set an example to them by
his humility. And when an ordination or other ceremony is held in the
monastery, the priest shall occupy in the service the place which he
holds as a monk, and not that which he would have as a priest. Members
of other clerical grades [deacons, etc.] may also be received into the
monastery as ordinary monks, if they wish to enter; but they shall be
made to promise obedience to the rule and never to leave the monastery.

Ch. 61. _The reception of strange monks._--If a monk from a distant
region comes to the monastery and asks to be received, accepting the
conditions and the customs of the place without fault-finding, he shall
be welcomed and entertained as long as he wishes to stay. And if he
humbly suggests certain faults and possible improvements in the conduct
of the monastery, the abbot shall consider his suggestions carefully,
for he may have been sent there by God for that very purpose. If he
expresses a wish to remain permanently in that monastery, he may be
admitted to membership immediately, ample opportunity having been given
to discover his real character while he was a guest. The one who has
been discovered during this time, however, to be wicked or unreasonable,
shall not only be refused admission to the monastery as a member, but
shall be plainly told to depart, that the congregation may not be
contaminated by his evil example. Those who are worthy, on the other
hand, shall not only be received at their request, but may be urged to
stay as a good example for the rest, since we all serve the same Lord
and Master wherever we may be. The abbot may even advance such a one to
a higher grade if he thinks best, for it is in his power to promote not
only monks, but priests and other members of the clergy, if their
character and manner of life make it expedient. But the abbot should be
careful that he does not receive into his congregation monks from other
monasteries who have left without the consent of their abbot, or the
usual commendatory letters;{118} as it is written: "Do not unto others
what ye would not that they should do unto you" [Luke 6:31].

{118} See nos. 261-264.

Ch. 62. _The ordaining of priests in the monastery._--When the abbot
wishes to ordain a priest or a deacon for the service of the monastery,
he shall choose one of his own congregation who is worthy to exercise
such an office. And that brother shall not be elated because of his
ordination, nor presume to exercise his office except by the command of
the abbot; he should rather obey the rule the more carefully because of
his calling, that he may grow in grace. Except for his right to
officiate at the altar, he shall occupy the same position as before his
ordination, unless he is promoted to a higher grade for his merits. He
shall be subject to the authority of the deans and _præpositi_ of the
monastery as the rest, for his priestly office ought to incline him to
greater obedience, rather than to resistance to authority. But if he is
rebellious and refuses to submit even after frequent admonitions from
the abbot, he may be handed over to the bishop of the diocese for
correction. If after that he persists in his flagrant sin, refusing
utterly to obey the rule, he shall be cast out of the monastery.

Ch. 63. _Ranks among the monks._--There shall be different ranks among
the monks, the rank of each being determined by the length of his
service, by the character of his life, or by the decision of the abbot.
But in this matter the abbot shall be careful not to give offence to any
of his congregation, nor to use his power unjustly, for God will surely
demand a reckoning of all his acts and decisions. These differences in
rank are to be observed by the brothers in their daily life, each one
having his own position in the choir, and his own turn at the confession
and communion and in leading the psalms. But these differences shall not
be based solely upon age, for we are told that Samuel and Daniel while
still youths were made judges over priests; but rank shall ordinarily be
determined by the time of entrance upon the monastic life, except in the
case of promotions and degradations which the abbot may have made for
cause. Thus, for example, one who was admitted as a monk at the second
hour of the day shall be the inferior of the one admitted at the first
hour. But in the case of children the discipline necessary to their
welfare shall not be disturbed for this consideration. The proper
attributes of inferiors are honor and reverence for those above them;
and of superiors, love and affectionate care for those below them. This
distinction shall be observed in addressing one another; thus an
inferior shall be addressed as brother, and a superior as "nonnus" [that
is, tutor or elder], as a sign of paternal reverence. But the abbot,
since he is the representative of Christ, shall be addressed as "lord"
and "abbot" [that is, father], not for his own exaltation, but for the
honor and reverence which are due to Christ; and on his part, he shall
always so conduct himself as to merit the honor which is shown to him.
When two brothers meet, the inferior shall ask the other for his
blessing. The inferior shall always rise and offer his superior his
seat, and shall remain standing until the other bids him be seated; as
it is written: "In honor preferring one another" [Rom. 12:10]. The
children and youths are to be given their own places at the table and in
the oratory, for the sake of preserving discipline, and indeed they
shall be under strict discipline in all circumstances, until they have
arrived at an age of discretion.

Ch. 64. _The ordination of the abbot._--The election of the abbot shall
be decided by the whole congregation or by that part of it, however
small, which is of "the wiser and better counsel."{119} And he shall be
chosen for his meritorious life and sound doctrine, even if he be the
lowliest in the congregation. But if the whole congregation should agree
to choose one simply because they know that he will wink at their vices,
and the character of this abbot is discovered by the bishop of the
diocese or by the abbots and Christian men of the neighborhood, they
shall refuse their consent to the choice and shall interfere to set a
better ruler over the house of God. If they do this with pure motives in
zeal for the service of God they shall have their reward; just as, in
neglecting to do so, they shall surely be guilty of sin. The one who is
ordained should realize that he has assumed a heavy burden and also that
he will have to render an account of his office to God. He should
understand that he is set to rule for the profit of others and not for
his own exaltation. He must be learned in the divine law, that he may
know how and be able to bring forth things new and old [Matt. 13:52]. He
shall be chaste, sober, and merciful, and always prefer mercy to
justice, as he hopes to receive the same treatment from God. He should
love the brothers, but hate their sins. He should exercise his authority
to correct with the greatest prudence, lest, as it were, he should break
the vase in his efforts to remove the stains. Let him remember in this
regard that he himself is frail, and that "A bruised reed is not to be
broken" [Is. 42:3]. We do not mean that he is to allow vices to
flourish, but that he should exercise charity and care in his attempts
to root them out, adapting his treatment to each case, as we said above.
Let him strive to make himself loved rather than feared. He should not
be violent nor easily worried, nor too obstinate in his opinions; he
shall not be too jealous or suspicious of those about him, else he shall
never have any peace of mind. His commands shall be given with foresight
and deliberation, and he shall always examine his decisions to see
whether they are made with regard for this world, or for the service of
God. He shall profit by the warning of St. Jacob, where he says: "If I
overdrive my flocks, they shall die all in one day" [cf. Gen. 33:13]. He
should rule wisely, using discretion in all things; so that his
administration may be such that the strong shall delight in it, while
the weak are not offended by it. Above all, he should obey the rule in
everything. Then, at the end of a good ministry, he shall receive that
reward which the Lord has promised in the parable of the good servant:
"Verily, I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his
goods" [Matt. 24:47].

{119} See introductory note to no. 113.

Ch. 65. _The præpositus of the monastery._--The ordination of
_præpositi_ has been a frequent source of trouble in the monastery, for
some of them have acted as if they were second abbots, and by their
presumption have aroused ill-feeling and dissensions in the
congregation. This occurs especially where the _præpositus_ is ordained
by the bishops and abbots from whom his own abbot has received his
ordination. Herein is found the cause of the whole trouble, for the
_præpositus_ is led to believe himself freed from the control of the
abbot because of his equal ordination. Thence arise envying, quarrels,
dissensions, and disturbances; for, the abbot and the _præpositus_ being
opposed to one another, the congregation is divided into factions, to
the peril of their souls. They who ordain them in this way are
responsible for these evils. Accordingly we believe it better, for the
sake of the peace of the monastery, that the abbot rule his congregation
without a _præpositus_, intrusting the management to deans, as we have
already suggested; because where several are employed with equal
authority, no one can become unduly exalted. But sometimes the
circumstances seem to require the services of a _præpositus_, or else
the whole congregation humbly petitions the abbot to appoint one. Then,
if he wishes, he may, with the advice of the brothers, choose one and
ordain him himself. The _præpositus_ shall have charge only of such
affairs as the abbot may intrust to him, doing nothing without his
consent; for his position calls for greater obedience because of the
greater trust committed to him. But the wicked _præpositus_ who acts
presumptuously or refuses obedience to the rule shall be admonished for
his fault at least four times; after that, if he persists in his evil
ways, he shall be subjected to the discipline provided in the rule; and
finally he shall be deposed from his office, and a worthier brother put
in his place. And if he refuses to submit quietly and to take his old
place in the congregation, he shall be cast out of the monastery. But
the abbot should examine his own motives to see that he is not actuated
by envy or jealousy, for he must render account to God for all his acts.

Ch. 66. _The doorkeeper of the monastery._--The door of the monastery
shall be kept by an aged monk, one who is able to perform the duties of
that position wisely and whose age will prevent him from being tempted
to wander outside. He shall have his cell near the door to be always at
hand to answer to those who knock. Everyone who knocks shall receive a
ready response, the doorkeeper welcoming him with thanks to God for his
coming and giving him his blessing. If he needs an assistant he shall be
given the services of one of the younger brothers. If possible, the
monastery should contain within its walls everything necessary to the
life and the labors of the monks, such as wells, a mill, bake-oven,
gardens, etc., so that they shall have no excuse for going outside.

This rule shall be read often before the whole congregation, that no
brother may be able to plead ignorance as an excuse for his sin.{120}

{120} From this last sentence it is thought that this was at one time
the end of the rule, and that all the chapters which follow were added
at a later date.

Ch. 67. _Brothers who are sent on errands._--Those who are about to
leave the monastery on errands, shall ask for the prayers of the abbot
and the whole congregation while they are away; and this petition shall
be added to the last prayer at every service during their absence.
Likewise, at the end of every service on the day when they return, they
shall prostrate themselves on the floor of the oratory and ask all the
brothers to pray for them, because of the sins which they may have
committed while out on the road, sins of seeing or of hearing or of
speech. And no one of them shall venture to relate to the others
anything that he saw or heard while out in the world, for herein lies
the greatest danger of worldly contamination. If anyone shall do this he
shall be disciplined according to the rule. Those who wander outside of
the monastery without the permission of the abbot or go anywhere or do
anything at all contrary to his commands shall also be punished.

Ch. 68. _Impossible commands._--If a brother is commanded by his
superior to do difficult or impossible things, he shall receive the
command humbly and do his best to obey it; and if he finds it beyond
human strength, he shall explain to the one in authority why it cannot
be done, but he shall do this humbly and at an opportune time, not
boldly as if resisting or contradicting his authority. But if after this
explanation the superior still persists in his demands, he shall do his
best to carry them out, believing that they are meant for his own good,
and relying upon the aid of God, to whom all things are possible.

Ch. 69. _No one shall defend another in the monastery._--No monk shall
presume to come to the defence of another who has been reprimanded by
his superior, even if the two are bound by the closest ties of
relationship, for such actions give rise to the evils of insubordination
and breach of discipline. If anyone violates this rule, he shall be
severely punished.

Ch. 70. _Monks shall not strike one another._--Monks should avoid
especially the sin of presumption. Therefore, we forbid anyone to
excommunicate or to strike his brother, unless by the authority directly
given him by the abbot. When sinners are to be punished it shall be done
before the whole congregation, for the example to the rest. Children and
youths under fifteen years shall be subject to the discipline and
control of all the brothers, but this, too, shall be exercised in reason
and moderation. Any brother who of his own authority shall venture to
strike one over that age, or who shall abuse the children unreasonably,
shall be punished according to the rule; for it is written: "Do not unto
others as ye would not that they should do unto you."

Ch. 71. _Monks are mutually to obey one another._--Not only should the
monks obey the abbot; they should also obey one another, for obedience
is one of the chief means of grace. The commands of the abbot and of the
other officials shall always have precedence over those of any persons
not in authority, but next to them the younger brothers should give
loving and zealous obedience to the commands of their elders. If anyone
refuses to do this, resisting the commands of a superior, he shall be
corrected for his fault. Whenever a brother has been reprimanded by his
abbot or by any superior for a fault of any sort, or knows that he has
offended such a one, he shall immediately make amends, falling at the
feet of the offended, and remaining there until he has received his
forgiveness and blessing. And the one who refuses to humble himself in
this way shall be punished with blows, being even cast out of the
monastery if he persists in his stubbornness.

Ch. 72. _The good zeal which monks should have._--There are two kinds of
zeal: one that leads away from God to destruction, and one that leads to
God and eternal life. Now these are the features of that good zeal which
monks should cultivate: to honor one another; to bear with one another's
infirmities, whether of body or mind; to vie with one another in showing
mutual obedience; to seek the good of another rather than of oneself; to
show brotherly love one to another; to fear God; to love the abbot
devotedly; and to prefer the love of Christ above everything else. This
is the zeal that leads us to eternal life.

Ch. 73. _This rule does not contain all the measures necessary for
righteousness._--The purpose of this rule is to furnish a guide to the
monastic life. Those who observe it will have at least entered on the
way of salvation and will attain at least some degree of holiness. But
he who aims at the perfect life must study and observe the teachings of
all the holy fathers, who have pointed out in their writings the way of
perfection. For every page and every word of the Bible, both the New and
the Old Testament, is a perfect rule for this earthly life; and every
work of the holy catholic fathers teaches us how we may direct our steps
to God. The Collations, the Institutes, the Lives of the Saints, and the
rule of our father, St. Basil, all serve as valuable instructions for
monks who desire to live rightly and to obey the will of God. Their
examples and their teachings should make us ashamed of our sloth, our
evil lives, and our negligence. Thou who art striving to reach the
heavenly land, first perfect thyself with the aid of Christ in this
little rule, which is but the beginning of holiness, and then thou mayst
under the favor of God advance to higher grades of virtue and knowledge
through the teaching of these greater works. AMEN.

252. Oath of the Benedictines.

Jaffé, IV, p. 365.

The following documents, nos. 252-264, are examples of the various vows,
letters, and other documents mentioned in the rule. As the titles
explain their character, no further word of introduction seems

The promise of the monks to obey the rule of St. Benedict.

I, (name), in the holy monastery of the blessed martyr and confessor,
(name), in the presence of God and his holy angels, and of our abbot,
(name), promise in the name of God that I will live all the days of my
life from now henceforth in this holy monastery in accordance with the
rule of St. Benedict and that I will obey whatever is commanded of me.
I, (name), have made this promise and written it with my own hand and
signed it in the presence of witnesses.

253. Monk's Vow.

Migne, 66, col. 820.

I, brother Gerald, in the presence of abbot Gerald and the other
brothers, promise steadfastness in this monastery according to the rule
of St. Benedict and the precepts of Sts. Peter and Paul; and I hereby
surrender all my possessions to this monastery, built in the honor of
St. Peter and governed by the abbot Gerald.

254. Monk's Vow.

Migne, 66, col. 820.

I, brother (name), a humble monk of the monastery of St. Denis in
France, in the diocese of Paris, in the name of God, the Virgin Mary,
St. Denis, St. Benedict, and all the saints, and of the abbot of this
monastery, do promise to keep the vows of obedience, chastity, and
poverty. I also promise, in the presence of witnesses, steadfastness and
conversion of life, according to the rules of this monastery and the
traditions of the holy fathers.

255. Monk's Vow.

Migne, 66, col. 820.

I, brother (name), in the presence of the abbot of this Cistercian
monastery built in the honor of the ever blessed Virgin Mary, mother of
God, and in the name of God and all his saints whose relics are kept
here, do hereby promise steadfastness, conversion of life, and
obedience, according to the rule of St. Benedict.

256. Monk's Vow.

Migne, 66, col. 821.

I hereby renounce my parents, my brothers and relatives, my friends, my
possessions and my property, and the vain and empty glory and pleasure
of this world. I also renounce my own will, for the will of God. I
accept all the hardships of the monastic life, and take the vows of
purity, chastity, and poverty, in the hope of heaven; and I promise to
remain a monk in this monastery all the days of my life.

257. The Written Profession of a Monk.

Migne, 66. col. 825.

It was my earnest desire to become a monk, but when I applied for
admission to this monastery, I was told it would not be granted until I
had been tried and proved. So I was at first received only as a guest;
after remaining in that position for several days, I was accepted as a
novice to serve a period of probation. During this period I was under
the charge of one of the older monks. He first explained to me all the
hardships and difficulties of the life of a monk, and after I had
promised steadfastness in these conditions, he said: "If you ever draw
back after giving your solemn promise to obey the rule, you are not fit
for the kingdom of God. You will be driven from the doors of the
monastery in the old garments in which you were first admitted; for as
you put off the world and your worldly garments when you became a monk,
so you shall be made to put them on again to be cast out, remaining
thenceforth a slave of the world to the contempt of all the righteous."
But I took courage, saying with David: "By the words of thy lips, I have
kept me from the paths of the destroyer" [Ps. 17:4], for I knew that if
I shared the sufferings of Christ I should also share his glorious
resurrection. Comforting myself with these thoughts, I promised that I
would keep all these commandments, as I hoped for eternal life. Having
thus convinced the father of my determination, I was accepted as a
novice and made to serve a novitiate of a year, during which time the
rule was read to me three times, each time with the admonition: "This is
the law under which you have expressed your desire to live; if you are
able to obey it, enter; if not, depart a free man." My year of novitiate
being completed and my mind fully made up after this long and careful
deliberation, I now earnestly pray you with tears to receive me into
your congregation. Therefore I promise, as I hope for salvation, with
the aid of God to observe the rule in all things, and to obey the abbot
and my superiors; I become a bondsman to the rule, that I may gain
eternal liberty. From this day forth I will never leave the monastery
nor withdraw my neck from the yoke of this service, which I have
accepted freely and of my own will after a year of deliberation. I
solemnly promise steadfastness (_stabilitas loci_), conversion of life,
and perfect obedience. In witness thereof I have made this promise in
writing, in the name of the saints whose relics are preserved here, and
in the name of the abbot, and I now present it. This document, signed
with my own hand, I now place upon the altar, whence it shall be taken
and kept forever in the archives of the monastery.

258. The Ceremony of Receiving a Monk into the Monastery.

Migne, 66, cols. 829 ff.

After the novice has made his oral profession, the abbot puts on the
robe in which mass is to be said. Then, after the offertory, the abbot
examines the novice as follows:

The abbot asks: "Brother (name), do you renounce the world and all its
vain and empty shows?" The novice replies: "I do."

The abbot: "Do you promise conversion of life?" The novice: "I do."

The abbot: "Do you promise perfect obedience to the rule of St.
Benedict?" The novice: "I do."

The abbot: "And may God give you his aid."

Then the novice, or someone for him, reads his written promise, and
places it first upon his head and then upon the altar. Then he
prostrates himself upon the ground with his arms spread out in the form
of a cross, saying the verse: "Receive me, O Lord," etc. During the
"Gloria patri," the "Kyrie, eleison," the "Pater noster," and the
litany, the novice remains prostrate before the altar, until the end of
the service. And the brothers in the choir shall kneel while the litany
is being said. Then shall be said the prayers for the occasion as
commanded by the fathers. Immediately after the communion and before
these prayers, the new garments, which had been folded and placed before
the altar, shall be blessed, being touched with holy oil and sprinkled
with water which has been blessed by the abbot. After the mass is
finished, the novice, rising from the ground, puts off his old garments
and puts on the robes which have just been blessed, while the abbot
recites: "Exuat te Dominus," etc. Then the abbot and after him all the
brothers in turn give the new member the kiss of peace. He shall keep
perfect silence for three days after this, going about with his head
covered and receiving the communion every day.

259. Offering of a Child to the Monastery.

Migne, 66, col. 842.

I dedicate this boy, in the name of God and his holy saints, to serve
our Lord Jesus Christ as a monk, and to remain in this holy life all his
days until his final breath.

260. Offering of a Child to the Monastery.

Migne, 66, col. 842.

The dedication of children to the service of God is sanctioned by the
example of Abraham and of many other holy men, as related in the New and
Old Testaments. Therefore, I, (name), now offer in the presence of abbot
(name), this my son, (name), to omnipotent God and to the Virgin Mary,
mother of God, for the salvation of my soul and of the souls of my
parents. I promise for him that he shall follow the monastic life in
this monastery of (name), according to the rule of St. Benedict, and
that from this day forth he shall not withdraw his neck from the yoke of
this service. I promise also that he shall never be tempted to leave by
me or by anyone with my consent.

261. Commendatory Letter.

Migne, 66, col. 859.

To the venerable abbot (name), of the monastery of (name), abbot (name),
of the monastery of (name), sends greeting and the holy kiss of peace.
We present herewith our brother (name), whom we have sent to you with
letters of dismissal and recommendation. We commend him to you and
beseech you to take him into your monastery, because our monastery has
become impoverished through various reverses. (Or this) We dismiss him
from his service in this monastery and free him from his vow of
obedience to us, in order that he may serve the Lord under your rule.

262. Commendatory Letter.

Migne, 66, col. 859.

To the reverend father in Christ; or:

To the pious and illustrious (name); or:

To the abbot (name), abbot (name) sends greeting in the Lord. Know that
our pious brother (name), has earnestly besought us to write a
commendatory letter, recommending him to your care so that he may serve
the Lord under you in your monastery. We have granted his prayer and
given him this letter, by which we free him from his vow of obedience to
us and commend him to you, giving you the right to receive him into your
monastery, if he applies within one month from this date, after which
time this letter shall not be valid. This is to show that he has not
been expelled from our monastery for evil conduct, but has been
permitted to leave us and go to you, on account of his great desire to
serve the Lord under your rule.

263. General Letter.

Migne, 66, col. 859.

To all bishops and other ecclesiastics and to all Christian men: Know ye
that I have given permission to this our brother (name), to live
according to the rule wherever he shall desire, believing it to be for
the advantage of the monastery and the good of his soul.

264. Letter of Dismissal.

Migne, 66, col. 859.

This our brother (name), has desired to dwell in another monastery where
it seems to him he can best serve the Lord and save his own soul. Know
ye, therefore, that we have given him permission by this letter of
dismissal to betake himself thither.

265. The Regular Clergy. Prologue of the Rule of St. Chrodegang, Bishop
of Metz, for His Clergy, _ca._ 744.

Holstenius Codex Regularum, etc., II, p. 96.

We give here only a part of the rule of St. Chrodegang, bishop of Metz,
because it makes clear the purpose for which the rule was composed. It
was for the clergy and not for the monks. The rule itself consists of a
number of paragraphs prescribing in detail the life of the clergy who
were to live together with their bishop. This action of St. Chrodegang
was not altogether new. St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo in Africa, it is
said, had all the clergy of his city live with him in a common house
very much after the fashion of monks in a monastery. His example may
have had some influence, but it was not generally imitated. The
immediate purpose of St. Chrodegang in compelling the clergy of his
diocese to live with him was to reform them. They differed little in
life and morals from the laymen and were no doubt sadly in need of a
reform. They were now deprived of much of their independence. They ate
at a common table, slept in a common dormitory, observed common hours of
prayer and work, and in general lived a "common life." They were
clergymen, not monks, although they lived in nearly all respects as
monks, and their house, or canonry, was conducted quite like a
monastery. They were called by various names, such as regular clergy,
canons regular, regular canons, etc. Other bishops imitated St.
Chrodegang and in time it came to be regarded as the only proper way for
the clergy to live. The Cluniac reforming party supported the idea with
all its power and the regular clergy was soon organized into orders,
chief of which was that of the Premonstratensians, which was established
about 1120.

There were of course many priests whose parishes and churches were so
far from the cathedral that they could not live with their bishop and
continue to perform their parish duties. They lived in the world and
hence were called the "secular clergy." The orders of regular canons
despised them and heaped abuse on them, chiefly because they did not
live according to a rule. The orders of regular canons soon became rich,
and tended to indolence and luxury. They were beset by the same
temptations as the monks, and their history does not differ materially
from that of the monkish orders.

If the authority of the 318 holy fathers [the council of Nicæa, 325] and
of the canons were observed, and the bishops and their clergy were
living in the proper way, it would be quite unnecessary for anyone so
humble and unimportant as we to attempt to say anything about this
matter [that is, the way in which the clergy should live], which has
been so well treated by the holy fathers, or to add anything new to what
they have said. But since the negligence of the bishops as well as of
their clergy is rapidly increasing, a further duty seems incumbent on
us. And we are certainly in great danger unless we do, if not all we
should, at least all we can, to bring our clergy back to the proper way
of living.

After I had been made bishop of Metz [743] and had begun to attend to
the duties of my pastoral office, I discovered that my clergy as well as
the people were living in a most negligent manner. In great sorrow I
began to ask what I ought to do. Relying on divine aid and encouraged by
my spiritually minded brethren, I thought it necessary to make a little
rule for my clergy, by observing which they would be able to refrain
from forbidden things, to put off their vices, and to cease from the
evil practices which they have so long followed. For I thought that if
their minds were once cleared of their vices, it would be easy to teach
them the best and holiest precepts.

265 a. Military-monkish Orders. The Origin of the Templars, 1119.

William of Tyre, bk. xii, chap. 7. Bongars, Gesta Dei per Francos, p.
819 f.

The Middle Age had two ideals, the monk and the soldier. The monk was
the spiritual, the soldier the military hero. The military-monkish
orders, whose members were both monks and soldiers, represent a fusion
of these two ideals. Several other orders were formed in imitation of
the Templars, such as the Hospitallers, soon after 1119; the German
order, 1190; the Sword Brothers, 1202; the order of Bethlehem; the order
of Calatrava, 1158; the order of Alcantara, 1156; and the Cavalleria de
St. Iago de la Spada, 1161. The fact that all these orders arose on the
borderland between Christians and Mohammedans, that is, in Palestine and
in Spain, would indicate their close connection with the spirit of the

In the same year [1118-19] certain nobles of knightly rank, devout,
religious, and God-fearing, devoting themselves to the service of
Christ, made their vows to the patriarch [of Jerusalem] and declared
that they wished to live forever in chastity, obedience, and poverty,
according to the rule of regular canons. Chief of these were Hugo de
Payens and Geoffrey of St. Omer. Since they had neither a church nor a
house, the king of Jerusalem gave them a temporary residence in the
palace which stands on the west side of the temple. The canons of the
temple granted them, on certain conditions, the open space around the
aforesaid palace for the erection of their necessary buildings, and the
king, the nobles, the patriarch, and the bishops, each from his own
possessions, gave them lands for their support. The patriarch and
bishops ordered that for the forgiveness of their sins their first vow
should be to protect the roads and especially the pilgrims against
robbers and marauders. For the first nine years after their order was
founded they wore the ordinary dress of a layman, making use of such
clothing as the people, for the salvation of their souls, gave them. But
in their ninth year a council was held at Troyes [1128] in France at
which were present the archbishops of Rheims and Sens with their
suffragans, the cardinal bishop of Albano, papal legate, and the abbots
of Citeaux, Clairvaux, and Pontigny, and many others. At this council a
rule was established for them, and, at the direction of the pope,
Honorius III, and of the patriarch of Jerusalem, Stephen, white robes
were appointed for their dress. Up to their ninth year they had only
nine members, but then their number began to increase and their
possessions to multiply. Afterward, in the time of Eugene III, in order
that their appearance might be more striking, they all, knights as well
as the other members of a lower grade, who were called serving men,
began to sew crosses of red cloth on their robes. Their order grew with
great rapidity, and now [about 1180] they have 300 knights in their
house, clothed in white mantles, besides the serving men, whose number
is almost infinite. They are said to have immense possessions both here
[in Palestine] and beyond the sea [in Europe]. There is not a province
in the whole Christian world which has not given property to this order,
so that they may be said to have possessions equal to those of kings.
Since they dwelt in a palace at the side of the temple they were called
"Brothers of the army of the temple." For a long time they were
steadfast in their purpose and were true to their vows, but then they
forgot their humility, which is the guardian of all virtues, and
rebelled against the patriarch of Jerusalem who had assisted in the
establishment of their order and had given them their first lands, and
refused him the obedience which their predecessors had shown him. They
also made themselves very obnoxious to the churches by seizing their
tithes and first-fruits and plundering their possessions.

266. Anastasius IV Grants Privileges to the Knights of St. John
(Hospitallers), 1154.

Migne, 188, cols. 1078 ff.

... In accordance with your request, and following the example of our
predecessors of blessed memory, Innocent [II, 1130-43], Celestine [II,
1143-44], Lucius [II, 1144-45], and Eugene [III, 1145-53], we take under
the protection of St. Peter and of the apostolic see your hospital and
house in Jerusalem, and all the persons and possessions belonging
thereto. And we decree and command that all your goods and possessions,
present and future, which are used for supplying the needs of the
pilgrims and of the poor, whether in Jerusalem or in other churches or
cities, from whatever source they may be acquired, shall remain
unmolested in the hands of you and of your successors. You shall have
the right to build houses and churches and lay out cemeteries on
whatever lands may be given to your house in Jerusalem, provided that no
damage is thereby done to neighboring monasteries and religious houses
which already exist. And you may build chapels and lay out cemeteries
for the use of pilgrims on whatever lands you may acquire. We further
decree that your tax collectors shall be under the protection of St.
Peter and of us, and wherever they may be no one shall dare attack them.
We decree that if any member of your fraternity dies in a territory
which is under the interdict, he shall not be denied a Christian burial
unless he has been excommunicated by name. If any of your members, when
sent out as tax collectors, come to a city, fortress, or village, which
is under the interdict, they may, once a year, open the churches in such
a place and hold divine services in them.

Since all your possessions should be used only to supply the needs of
the pilgrims and of the poor, we decree that no one, either lay or
cleric, shall presume to levy tithes on the income which you receive
from lands cultivated at your own expense. No bishop shall have the
right to pronounce the sentence of interdict, suspension, or
excommunication in your churches. If a general interdict is put on those
lands in which you are living, you shall have the right to hold divine
services in your churches, provided that all those who are
excommunicated by name be excluded, the doors of the churches closed,
and no bells rung. In order that nothing may be lacking for the care and
salvation of your souls and that you may have the advantages and
blessings of the sacraments and divine services, we grant you the
privilege of receiving into your mother house [at Jerusalem], as well as
into all your dependent houses, all the clergy and priests who may ask
for admission, provided that you first inquire into their character and
ordination, and, secondly, that they are not already members of some
other order. Even though their bishops do not give their consent, you
have, nevertheless, our consent to receive all such clergy, and they
shall not be subject to anyone outside of your order except the bishop
of Rome. You may receive laymen, provided that they are freemen, into
your order to assist in caring for the poor. No man who has been
received into your order, having taken its vows and assumed its dress,
shall ever be permitted to desert and go back to the world. Nor shall
any member be permitted to lay aside the dress of the order and go into
another order or to any other place without the permission of the
brothers and of the master of the order. No person, whether lay or
cleric, shall have the right to receive and harbor any such deserters.
You shall have your altars and churches consecrated, your clergy
ordained, and your other ecclesiastical matters attended to by the
bishop of the diocese [in which you may happen to be], provided that he
is in the favor and communion of the Roman church, and he shall not wish
to charge you anything for these services. Otherwise, you may secure the
services of any catholic bishop. When you, who are now the master of the
order, die, the brothers shall have the right to elect your successor.
We confirm all the possessions which the order has, or may acquire, on
both sides of the sea [that is, in Asia and in Europe]....

In 1162, Alexander III granted the same privileges to the Templars.

267. Innocent III Orders the Bishops of France to Guard against Simony
in the Monasteries, 1211.

Migne, 217, col. 198.

In spite of numerous reforms the character of the monks had declined.
The hard and strenuous life of the early monks had given way to one of
luxury and comfort. Men were no longer impelled to seek admission to the
monasteries by the same irresistible religious impulse which in the
earlier centuries had filled the monasteries to overflowing and made the
monks models of piety. The monasteries had become rich and offered a
life of ease to all who should enter them. The monks became aristocratic
and mercenary, refusing to receive applicants who could not pay a
considerable sum of money. In spite of the fact that monasteries were
generally exempt from the control of the local bishop, and directly
under the pope, Innocent III empowers the French bishops to interfere in
the monasteries to correct this abuse.

Innocent ... to his venerable brothers, the archbishops and bishops in
France, greeting and apostolic benediction. We have often heard from
many persons that the damnable custom, or rather abuse, which has
already been condemned, has grown to such a degree in the monasteries,
nunneries, and other religious houses in France that no new member is
received into them except on the payment of money, so that all become
guilty of simony. Lest we should seem to favor this sin by paying no
heed to these complaints which have so often been made, we command you
by this writing each one to visit all the monasteries in his diocese
once a year and to forbid them to receive anyone on the payment of
money, and we order you to repeat this prohibition in your synods. In
regard to those who may disobey this prohibition, you may inflict on
them whatever punishment you may think best, granting them no right of

268. Innocent III Grants the Use of the Mitre to the Abbot of
Marseilles, 1204.

Migne, 217, col. 132.

The mitre was the headdress which bishops wore on important occasions.
Like the pallium it was conferred on them by the pope and symbolized
their high spiritual authority. Occasionally the pope granted its use to
some abbot whom he wished especially to honor. Hence we have the
expression, "a mitred abbot."

Innocent etc. ... to the abbot of Marseilles.... Because your