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Title: The Empire and the Papacy 918-1273
Author: Tout, T. F. (Thomas Frederick)
Language: English
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                               THE EMPIRE
                               THE PAPACY


                       T. F. TOUT, M.A., D.Litt.


                              _PERIOD II_

                            _NINTH EDITION_

                    _34 KING STREET, COVENT GARDEN_

                         _All rights reserved_



The absence of any existing text-book, narrating with any approach to
fulness the history of the period with which this work is concerned,
induced the writer to think that the most useful course that he could
pursue would be to cover as much of the whole ground as his space
allowed. Finding that there was not room to treat all the aspects of
European history with the same fulness, the author resolved to limit
himself to the central struggle between the Papacy and the Empire, and
to the events directly connected with it. He has therefore only busied
himself with the affairs of Scandinavia, the Baltic lands, and the
Slavonic kingdoms of the East so far as they stand in direct relation to
the main currents of European history. The history of the Mohammedan
Powers has been treated in the same way, and even Christian Spain has
only been allowed a very small number of pages. This necessary
limitation has afforded more room for the main purpose of the writer,
which has been to narrate, with some amount of detail, the political and
ecclesiastical history of the chief states of Southern and Western
Europe, and in particular of Germany, Italy, France, and the Eastern
Empire. The expansion of the Latin and Catholic world at the expense of
both the Orthodox Greeks and the Mohammedans, stands so much in the
forefront of the history of the period that it could not be neglected,
though the writer has avoided treating the Crusades in much detail. Some
account of the general movements of thought and of the development of
the ecclesiastical system and of the religious orders seemed to him
necessary for the understanding even of the political history of a time
when everything was subordinated to the authority of the Church. He has,
however, endeavoured to bring this into some sort of connection with the
political history of the period, and has not felt it in his power to
enlarge upon the general history of civilisation in the way adopted by
the very valuable _Histoire Générale de l’Europe_, edited by MM. Lavisse
and Rambaud. He has, however, frequently availed himself of the help of
that book in his selection and arrangement of his facts, and would like
to refer his readers to it for such parts of the history as do not fall
within his scheme. He has indicated in notes at the beginning of the
various chapters some useful authorities in which readers will find a
more detailed account of various aspects of the time.

In conclusion, the writer must express his thanks to his wife, who has
helped him materially in nearly every part of the book, and has taken
the chief share in preparing the maps, tables, and index.

In preparing for fresh impressions such errors have been corrected as
the author has been able to find.

 MANCHESTER, _Dec. 1908_.


 CHAPTER                                                            PAGE
      I. INTRODUCTION,                                                 1

           ROMAN EMPIRE BY OTTO I. (919–973),                         12

           SAXON AND EARLY SALIAN EMPERORS (973–1056),                36

           AND THE EARLY CAPETIANS (929–1108),                        66

           ELEVENTH CENTURY,                                          96

     VI. THE INVESTITURE CONTEST (1056–1125),                        120


           (1095–1187),                                              177


      X. GERMANY AND ITALY (1125–1152),                              221

           CONFLICT BETWEEN PAPACY AND EMPIRE (1152–1190),           245

           GREATNESS OF THE CAPETIAN MONARCHY (1108–1189),           274


    XIV. EUROPE IN THE DAYS OF INNOCENT III. (1198–1216),            313

           CRUSADE, AND THE LATIN EMPIRE IN THE EAST (1095–1261),    336

    XVI. FREDERICK II. AND THE PAPACY (1216–1250),                   358


  XVIII. THE UNIVERSITIES AND THE FRIARS,                            428


     XX. THE GROWTH OF CHRISTIAN SPAIN,                              464

           (1250–1273),                                              478


      1. Germany under the Saxon and Swabian Emperors,                11
      2. Ecclesiastical Divisions of Germany,                         24
      3. France, showing the great fiefs,                             93
      4. South Italy before the Norman Conquest,                     104
      5. Middle Italy in the Eleventh Century,                       111
      6. The Eastern Empire in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries,     153
      7. The Crusading States in Syria in the Twelfth Century,       185
      8. Dominions of Saladin in 1193,                               196
      9. Possessions of the Guelfs in the days of Henry the Lion,    267
     10. France in 1189,                                             293
     11. The Latin Empire of Constantinople,                         347
     12. France and its neighbour lands in 1270,                     426
     13. Spain at the end of the Twelfth Century,                    476
     14. Spain at the end of the Thirteenth Century,                 477

                           GENEALOGICAL TABLES

      1. The Crescentii,                                              35
      2. The Saxon and Salian Emperors,                               65
      3. The Capetian Kings of France,                             94–95
      4. The House of Tancred of Hauteville,                         119
      5. The Macedonian Dynasty,                                     176
      6. The Early Kings of Jerusalem,                               197
      7. The Guelfs and the Hohenstaufen,                            244
      8. The House of Blois,                                         279
      9. The Comneni and Angeli,                                     356
     10. The Latin Emperors of Constantinople,                       357



 INDEX,                                                              497

                          BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

To the general modern authorities for French history for this period
must now be added the valuable new _Histoire de France_ edited by M.
Ernest Lavisse (Hachette), of which the three half-volumes covering this
period are now published. They are: _Les Premiers Capétiens (987–1137)_,
by Achille Luchaire, II. ii.; _Louis VII., Philippe Auguste, Louis
VIII._, by Achille Luchaire, III. i.; and _Saint Louis, Philippe le Bel,
les derniers Capétiens directs_, by Ch. V. Langlois, III. ii. A large
collection of facts covering the whole subject of this book will soon be
available in the relevant volumes of the Cambridge Mediæval History. The
maps in R. L. Poole’s _Oxford Historical Atlas_ are very valuable for
the elucidation of the historical geography of the period.

                               CHAPTER I

  General Characteristics of the Period—The End of the Dark Ages—The
    Triumph of Feudalism—The Revival of the Roman Empire and Papacy—The
    Struggles of Papacy and Empire—The Spread of Religion and
    Civilisation—The Crusades and the Latin East—The Growth of National

[Sidenote: The general characteristics of the period.]

It is a trite thing to say that all long periods of European history are
ages of transition. The old order is ever passing gradually away, and a
new society is ever springing up from amidst the ruins of the dying
system that has done its work. But the period with which this book is
concerned is transitional in no merely conventional sense. We take up
the story in the early years of the tenth century, when the Dark Ages
had not yet run their course. We end it in the closing years of the
thirteenth century, when the choicest flowers of mediæval civilisation
were already in full bloom. Starting at the end of a period of deep
depression and degradation, we have to note how feudalism got rid of the
barbarian invaders, and restored the military efficiency of Europe at
the expense of its order and civilisation. We learn how the revival of
the Roman Empire again set up an effective and orderly political power,
and led to the revival of the Church and religion, and the subsequent
renewal of intellectual life. But the Empire was never more than a
half-realised theory; and while the world had theoretically one master,
it was in reality ruled by a multitude of petty feudal chieftains. Thus
was brought about the universal monarchy of the Papacy, the Crusades,
the monastic revivals, the strong but limited intellectual renascence of
the twelfth century, and the marvellous development of art, letters, and
material civilisation that flowed from it. The conflict of Papacy and
Empire impaired the efficiency of both, and made possible the growth of
the great national states of the thirteenth century, from which the
ultimate salvation of Europe was to come. Turbulent as was the period
during which these great revolutions were worked out, it was one of
many-sided activity, and of general, but by no means unbroken, progress.
It was the time of the development and perfection of all the most
essential features of that type of civilisation which is called
mediæval. It was the age of feudalism, of the Papacy and Empire, of the
Crusades, of chivalry, of scholasticism and the early universities, of
monasticism in its noblest types, of mediæval art in its highest
aspects, and of national monarchy in its earliest form. Before our
period ends, the best characteristics of the Middle Ages had already
manifested themselves. Fertile as were the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries in their promise of later developments, they bore witness only
to the decline of what was most characteristic of the period that we now
have to consider.

Let us dwell for a moment on some of the leading features of this period
in a little more detail.

[Sidenote: The Dark Ages.]

We begin in a time of gloom and sorrow. The Carolingian Empire, which
had united the vigour of the barbarians with the civilisation of the
Roman world, had broken up. The sacred name of Emperor had been assumed
so constantly by weaklings that it had ceased to have much hold upon the
minds of men. The great kingdoms, into which the Carolingian Empire had
resolved itself, seemed destined to undergo the process that had
destroyed the parent state. The East Frankish realm—the later
Germany—was breaking up into its four national duchies of Saxony,
Franconia, Bavaria, and Swabia. The West Frankish realm was the prey of
the rivalry of the Carolings and the Robertians. The Middle Kingdom was
in still worse plight. Italy had fallen away under a line of nominal
Italian or Lombard kings, but the south was Greek or Saracen, and the
north was in hopeless confusion. The northern parts of the Middle
Kingdom, to which alone the name Lotharingia clung, were tending towards
their ultimate destiny of becoming a fifth national duchy of the German
realm, though their loyalty for the Carolingian house brought them more
than once back to the West Frankish kingdom. The lands between this
restricted Lotharingia and the Mediterranean had become the kingdom of
Arles or Burgundy by the union, in 932, of the two Burgundian states
that had grown up in the days of chaos. But of the six kingdoms which
now represented the ancient Empire, not one was effectively governed.
The administrative system of the Carolingians had altogether
disappeared. The kings were powerless, the Church was corrupt, the
people miserable and oppressed, the nobles self-seeking and brutal. The
barbarian invader had profited by the weakness of civilisation. The
restored Rome of Charlemagne, like the old Rome of Constantine and
Theodosius, was threatened with annihilation by pagan hordes. The
Norsemen threatened the coasts of the west; the Saracens dominated the
Mediterranean, captured the islands, and established outposts in
southern Gaul and Italy. The Slavs overran Germany. The Magyars
threatened alike Germany and Italy. Everywhere civilisation and
Christianity were on the wane.

Yet the darkest hour was already past when the tenth century had begun.
The feudal system had saved Europe from its external enemies. The feudal
cavalry and the feudal castle had proved too strong for the barbarians.
The Norse plunderers had gone home beaten, or had settled with Rolf in
Neustria, or with Guthrum in eastern England. [Sidenote: The end of the
Dark Ages.] The Saracens had been driven from Italy, and were soon to be
chased out of Provence. The Wends and the Magyars were soon to feel the
might of Henry the Fowler. The Saxon dukes were restoring the East
Frankish realm. The Robertians were getting the upper hand in France.
Even the consolidation of the two Burgundies made for unity. In the east
the Macedonian dynasty was ruling over the Greek Empire in uneventful
peace, and extending its sway to the farthest limits of Asia Minor. In
Spain the Christians had definitely got the better of the Moors. The
break-up of the Caliphate robbed Islam both of its political and
religious unity, and destroyed for the time its capacity for aggression.
[Sidenote: Feudalism.] The first gleams of a religious revival began
with the foundation of Cluny. But despite all these glimpses of hope,
the state of western Europe was still deplorable. The feudal nobles were
the masters of the situation. Their benefices were rapidly becoming
hereditary, their authority more recognised and systematic. But no
salvation was to be expected from a system that was the very abnegation
of all central and national authority. It was but little more than
organised anarchy when the west had to depend upon a polity that made
every great landholder a petty tyrant over his neighbours. The military
strength of feudalism had given it authority. Its political weakness was
revealed when the feudal baron had to govern as well as fight.

[Sidenote: The Holy Roman Empire.]

Feudalism was not long in undisputed possession of the field. From the
revival of the German kingdom by the Saxon kings sprang the Holy Roman
Empire of the German nation, beginning with the coronation of Otto the
Great in 962. Less universal, less ecclesiastical, less truly Roman than
the Carolingian Empire, the Empire of the Saxons and Franks was based
essentially upon the German kingship, yet was ever trying to outgrow its
limitations, and to claim in its completeness the Carolingian heritage.
Within a century of the coronation of Otto, the revived Empire included
in its sphere the German, Italian, Burgundian, and Lotharingian
realms—in short, all the Empire of Charles the Great, save the West
Frankish states, ruled since 987 by Hugh Capet and his descendants.
Moreover, the Empire had pushed forward the limits of Christianity and
civilisation in the barbarous north and east. It had extended its direct
rule over a wide stretch of marchlands. The Scandinavians, Wends, Poles,
Bohemians, and Hungarians all received the Christian faith from
missionaries profoundly impressed with the imperial idea, and their
conversion involved at least temporary dependence upon the power that
again aspired to be lord of the world. At home the Emperors checked and
restrained, though recognising and utilising, the feudal principle. In
their fear of the lay aristocracy, no less than in their zeal for
religion and order, they associated themselves closely with the work of
reforming the Church. But the restoration of religion soon involved the
restoration of Papacy and hierarchy, and thus they raised up the power
before which Emperors were finally to succumb. Yet the Empire did not
fall until it had kept central Europe together for nearly three
centuries, at a time when no other power could possibly have
accomplished the task. From the coronation of the Saxon to the fall of
the Hohenstaufen, the Holy Roman Empire had no small claim to the
lordship of the world.

[Sidenote: The Hildebrandine Reformation and the Papacy.]

The darkest hour of the State was the darkest hour of the Church. The
last faint traces of the Carolingian revival of religion disappeared
amid the horrors of Danish, Saracen, and Hungarian invasions. The
feudalism that saved Europe from the barbarians now began to infect what
remained of Christian life with its own ferocity, greed, and lust. The
spiritual offices of the Church were becoming heritable property,
dissociated from all effective spiritual duties. But amidst the turmoil
of feudal times, a few nobler spirits sought salvation from the
wickedness that lay thick around them in the solitude of the cloister.
Before the end of the tenth century, the Cluniac revival presented to
Europe an ideal of life very different from feudal militarism. In
alliance with the Empire, the Cluniacs restored religion in central
Europe, and missionaries, working in their spirit, spread the Gospel
beyond the bounds of the Empire among the barbarians of the north and
east. But from Cluny also came new theories of the province of the
Church, which soon brought religion into sharp conflict with the
temporal authority. When the power of the State lay almost in abeyance,
it was natural that the Church should encroach upon the sphere it left
vacant. From Cluny came the Hildebrandine Reformation, and from the
theories of Hildebrand sprang two centuries of conflict between Papacy
and Empire. [Sidenote: The struggles of Papacy and Empire.] The great
struggle of Popes and Emperors (the highest expression of the universal
struggle of the spiritual and temporal swords), was the central event of
the Middle Ages. It first took the form of the Investiture Contest, but
when the Investiture Contest had been ended by the substantial victory
of the Church, the eternal strife was soon renewed under other pretexts.
It inspired the contest of Alexander III. with Frederick Barbarossa, of
Thomas of Canterbury with Henry of Anjou, of Innocent III. with half the
princes of Europe, and the final great conflict between the successors
of Innocent and Frederick II. At last the Empire succumbed before the
superior strength of the Papacy. But the Hohenstaufen were soon
revenged; and, within two generations of the death of Frederick II., the
victorious Papacy was degraded from its pride of place by its ancient

[Sidenote: Religious and monastic revivals.]

From the triumphs of Hildebrand and his successors sprang the religious
revivals that enriched the Middle Ages with all that was fairest and
most poetical in the life of those times. The Cistercians and the
Carthusians revived the ideals of St. Benedict, with special precautions
against the dangers before which the old Benedictine houses had
succumbed. The orders of Canons Regular sought to unite the life of the
monk with the work of the clerk. They paved the way for the more
complete realisation of their ideal in the thirteenth century, when the
mendicant orders of Friars arose under Francis and Dominic. From the
monastic movement sprang a revival of spiritual religion and a renewed
interest in the world of thought and art. [Sidenote: Art.] The artistic
impulses of the time found their highest expression in the vast and
stern Romanesque minsters of the older orders, and in the epic
literature of the _chansons de geste_. The transition during the twelfth
century from Romanesque to Gothic architecture, and the parallel change
in vernacular literature from the epic to the romance, mark a new
development in the European spirit. Side by side with them went the
great intellectual renascence of the same momentous century. While an
Anselm sought to enlist philosophy in the service of the Church, an
Abelard began to question the very sources of authority. In Abelard the
intellectual movement outgrew its monastic parentage, and in his
conflict with Bernard the dictator of Christendom, the old and the new
spirit came into the sharpest antagonism. [Sidenote: Revival of
speculative activity.] The systematic schoolmen of later ages had
neither the independence of Abelard nor the limitation of Bernard.
Learning passed from monastic to secular hands, but the scholastic
philosophy was already enlisted on the side of the Church, and active as
was its intelligence, it henceforth worked within self-appointed limits.
Side by side with the revival of philosophy, came the work of Irnerius
and Gratian, the revival of the systematic study of Civil Law, and the
building up of the great structure of ecclesiastical jurisprudence.
[Sidenote: Law.] From the multiplication of students and studies sprang
the organisation of teachers and learners into the universities.
[Sidenote: The Universities.] From the ignorance and barbarism of the
tenth century, there is a record of continuous progress until the end of
our period. Yet the thirteenth century does not only illustrate the
crowning glories of the Middle Ages: it suggests new modes of thought
that indicate that the Middle Ages themselves are passing away. The
triumph of the Church bore with it the seeds of its own ruin, in the
world of thought as well as in the world of action.

[Sidenote: The Crusades and the Latin rule in the East.]

From the Hildebrandine revival sprang also the Crusades, and the
combination of the military and religious ideals of the Latin world in
the pursuit of a holy war for the recovery of Christ’s Sepulchre. The
Turkish advance was checked; the Eastern Empire was saved from imminent
destruction; and a series of Latin states in Syria and Greece extended
the scope of western influence at the expense of Orthodox and Mohammedan
alike. But the diversion of the Fourth Crusade to overthrow the Empire
of Constantinople indicates the high-water mark of the Latin Christian
power in the East; and the change in the current of western ideas made
the Crusades of the thirteenth century but vain attempts to restore a
vanished dream. Before the end of our period, the Christian domination
in the East had shrunk to the lordship of a few Greek islands. The
Palæologi brought back Byzantine rule to the Byzantine capital; and the
strongest kings of the West could not save the remnants of the Latin
states in Syria. The Mongol invasions threatened Christian and Saracen
alike. While the western prospects were so fair, in the East barbarism
was on the highway to ascendency.

[Sidenote: The Feudal Age.]

The failure of the Empire to rule the world led to a feudal reaction,
that was not least felt in the lands directly governed by the Emperors.
Our period witnesses both the triumph and the decay of feudalism. It is
the time when feudal ideas prevailed all over the western world,
following the Crusaders into the burning deserts of Syria, and the lands
of the Eastern Emperors. The Normans took feudalism to southern Italy
and Sicily, and developed the feudalism that they already found in
England. Even Scandinavia evolved a feudalism of its own, and the sons
and grandsons of the followers of William the Conqueror planted feudal
states side by side with the Celtic tribalism of Wales and Ireland. For
nearly four centuries the mail-clad feudal horseman was invincible in
battle, and the stone-built feudal castle, ever becoming more complex
and elaborate in structure, was impregnable except to famine. The better
side of feudal social ideals—chivalry, knighthood, honour, and
courtesy—did something to temper the brutality and pride of the average
baron, and found powerful expression in the vernacular literatures,
written to amuse nobles and gentry. But before our period ends, the days
of feudal ascendency were over. Hopeful of triumph in Germany, where the
German state suffered by its kings’ pursuit of the imperial vision,
feudalism found in Italy a powerful rival in strong municipalities
closely allied with the Church. In western Europe it was beginning to
give ground. The greater feudatories crushed their lesser neighbours,
and built up states that were powerful enough to stand by themselves.
The Church, though fitting itself into the feudal organisation of
society, could never repose simply on brute force. [Sidenote: The
Towns.] The towns, whose separate organisation was, in some parts of
Europe at least, as much the result of military, as of economic
necessities, became the centres of expanding trade and increasing
wealth. Within their strong walls they were able to hold their own, and
claim for themselves a part in the social system as well as baron or
bishop. But feudalism had at last met its master. With its decline
before the national spirit, we are on the threshold of modern times.

[Sidenote: The growth of national monarchies.]

The division of the Empire into local kingdoms, begun at the treaty of
Verdun, paved the way for the modern idea of a national state. The
Empire stifled the early possibilities of a German nation, and Empire
and Papacy combined to make impossible an Italian nation. But in France
other prospects arose. Through its virtual exclusion from the Empire,
France had been delivered from some very real dangers. The early
Capetians were shadows round which a mighty system revolved; but they
had a lofty theory and a noble tradition at their back, and the time at
last came when they could convert their theory into practice. Philip
Augustus made France a great state and nation. [Sidenote: Power passes
from Germany to France.] Under St. Louis the leadership of Europe passed
definitely from the Germans to the French—from the people ruled by the
visionary world-Empire to the people ruled by a popular and effective
national monarchy. The alliance between France and the Church, the
preponderance of French effort in the Crusades, the spread of the French
tongue and literature as the common expression of European chivalry, had
made the French nation famous, long before a large proportion of the
French nation had been organised into a French state. The Spanish
peoples acquired strong local attachments; the English became conscious
of their national life. Alfonso the Wise of Castile and Edward I. of
England rank with St. Louis and Philip the Fair. Even Frederick II. owed
his strength to his national position in Germany and Naples, rather than
to his imperial aspirations. Before our period ends, the national
principle had clearly asserted itself. Trade, art, literature, religion
began to desert cosmopolitan for national channels, and the beginnings
of the system of estates and representative institutions show that the
great organised classes of mediæval society aspired to share with their
kings the direction of the national destinies. The Empire had fallen;
the Papacy was soon to be overthrown; feudalism was decayed; the
cosmopolitan culture of the universities had seen its best days. It is
in the juxtaposition of what was best in the old, and what was most
fertile in the new, that gives its unique charm to the thirteenth
century. The transition from the Dark Ages to the Middle Ages had been
worked out. There were signs that the transition was beginning that
culminates in the Renascence and the Reformation.

[Illustration: GERMANY under the Saxon and Swabian Emperors]

                               CHAPTER II
                            I. (919–973)[1]

  The Transference of the German Kingship from the Franks to the
    Saxons—The Reign of Henry the Fowler—The Defence of the Frontiers
    and the Beginnings of the Marks—Otto I.’s Rule as German King—The
    Feudal Opposition and its Failure—The First and Second Civil
    Wars—The Reorganisation of the Duchies—The Marks established—Battle
    on the Lechfeld—Otto’s Ecclesiastical Policy—His Intervention in
    Italy and its Causes—Italy in the Tenth Century—Degradation of the
    Papacy—Theodora and Marozia—Alberic and John XII.—Otto’s Second
    Intervention in Italy—His Coronation as Emperor—His later Italian
    Policy—His Imperial Position and Death.

[Sidenote: Election of Henry the Fowler, 919.]

The death of Conrad I., in December 918 (see Period I. pp. 475–7), ended
the Franconian dynasty. In April 919 the Franconian and Saxon magnates
met at Fritzlar to elect a new king. On the proposal of Eberhard, Duke
of Franconia, and brother of the dead king Conrad, Henry, Duke of the
Saxons, called Henry the Fowler, was elevated to the vacant throne.
Henry had been already marked out for this dignity, both by the great
position of his house and nation, and by the wish of the last king. Yet
the voluntary abdication of the Franconian and the transference of the
monarchy to the Saxon forms one of the great turning-points in the
history of the German nation. The existence of a separate German state
had been already secured by the work of Louis the German and Arnulf of
Carinthia. Yet so long as the sceptre remained in the Carolingian hands,
the traditions of a mighty past overpowered the necessities of the
present. Down to the death of Conrad, the Franks were still the ruling
nation, and the German realm was East Frankish rather than German. The
accession of the Saxon gave the best chance for a more general
development on national lines. [Sidenote: The Saxon nation.] For of all
the five nations of Germany, the Saxons were the least affected by the
Carolingian tradition. Christianity was still less than a century old
with them, and formal heathenism still lingered on in the wilder moors
and marshes of the north. Roman civilisation was still but a sickly
exotic; and, free from its enervating influences, the Saxons still
retained the fierce barbaric prowess of the old Teutonic stock, while
the primitive Teutonic institutions, which were fast disappearing in the
south before the march of feudalism, still retained a strong hold amidst
the rude inhabitants of northern Germany. In the south the mass of the
peasantry were settling down as spiritless and peaceful farmers, leaving
the fighting to be done by a limited number of half-professional
soldiers. But among the Saxons every freeman was still a warrior, and
the constant incursions of heathen Danes and Wends gave constant
opportunities for the practice of martial habits. The old blood nobility
still took the leadership of the race. Not only were the Saxons the
strongest, the most energetic, and most martial of the Germans, but the
mighty deeds of their Ludolfing dukes showed that their princes were
worthy of them. It was only the strong arm of a mighty warrior that
could save Germany from the manifold evils that beset it from within and
without. The Ludolfings had already proved on many a hard-fought field
that they were the natural leaders of the German people. The dying
Conrad simply recognised accomplished facts, when he urged that the
Saxon duke should be his successor. The exhausted Franconians merely
accepted the inevitable, when they voluntarily passed over the hegemony
of Germany to their northern neighbours.

[Sidenote: Henry’s German policy.]

There were, however, insuperable limitations to the power of the first
Saxon king of the Germans. Henry the Fowler was little more influential
as king than as duke. There was no idea whatever of German unity or
nationality. The five nations were realities, but beyond them the only
ties that could bind German to German were the theoretical unities of
Rome—the unity of the Empire and the unity of the Church. From the
circumstances of his election and antecedents, Henry could draw no
assistance from the great ideals of the past, by which he was probably
but little influenced. He feared rather than courted the support of the
churchmen. When the Church offered to consecrate the choice of the
magnates by crowning and anointing the new king, Henry protested his
unworthiness to receive such sacred symbols.

Thus Germany became a federation of great duchies, the duke of the
strongest nation taking precedence over the others with the title of
king. Even this result was obtained only through Henry’s strenuous
exertions. His power rested almost entirely on the temporary union of
the Saxons and Franconians. The southern and western nations of Germany
were almost outside the sphere of his influence. Lotharingia fell away
altogether, still cleaving to the Carolings, and recognising the West
Frankish king, Charles the Simple, rather than the Saxon intruder. Henry
was conscious of the weakness of his position, and discreetly accepted
the withdrawal of Lotharingia from his obedience, receiving in return an
acknowledgment of his own royal position from Charles the Simple. Swabia
and Bavaria were almost as hard to deal with as Lotharingia. They had
taken no practical share in Henry’s election, and were by no means
disposed to acknowledge the nominee of the Saxons and Franconians. It
was not until 921 that Henry obtained the formal recognition of the
Bavarians, and this step was only procured by his renouncing in favour
of Duke Arnulf every regalian right, including the much-cherished power
of nominating the bishops. Henry was no more a real king of all the
Germans than Egbert or Alfred were real kings over all England. His
mission was to convert a nominal overlordship into an actual
sovereignty. But he saw that he could only obtain the formal recognition
necessary for this process by accepting accomplished facts, and giving
full autonomy to the nations. His ideal seems, in fact, to have been
that of the great West Saxon lords of Britain. He strove to do for
Germany what Edward the Elder and Athelstan were doing for England. It
is, from this point of view, of some political significance that Henry
married his eldest son Otto, afterwards the famous Emperor, to Edith,
daughter of Edward, and sister of Athelstan. Yet, like England, Germany
could hope for national unity only when foreign invasion had been
successfully warded off. The first condition of internal unity was the
cessation of the desolating barbarian invasions which, since the
break-up of the Carolingian Empire, had threatened to blot out all
remnants of civilisation. Saxony had already suffered terribly from the
Danes and Wends. To these was added in 924 a great invasion of the
Magyars or Hungarians, the Mongolian stock newly settled in the Danube
plains, and still heathen and incredibly fierce and barbarous. The
Magyars now found that the Bavarians had learnt how to resist them
successfully, so that they turned their arms northwards, hoping to find
an easier foe in the Saxons. [Sidenote: Invasion of barbarians checked.]
Henry, with his Franks and Saxons, had to bear the full brunt of the
invasion, and no help came either from Swabia or Bavaria. Henry had the
good luck to take prisoner one of the Hungarian leaders, and by
restoring his captive and promising a considerable tribute, he was able
to procure a nine years’ truce for Saxony. Two years later the Magyars
again swarmed up the Danube into Bavaria, but Henry made no effort to
assist the nation which had refused to aid him in his necessity.

Thus freed from the Magyars, Henry turned his arms against the Danes and
the Wends. In 934 he established a strong mark against the Danes, and
forced the mighty Danish king, Gorm the Old, to pay him tribute. He was
even more successful against the Slavs. In 928 Brennabor (the modern
Brandenburg), the chief stronghold of the Havellers, fell into his
hands, and with it the broad lands between the Havel and the Spree, the
nucleus of the later East Mark. [Sidenote: The defence of the frontiers
and the beginnings of the Marks.] But more important than Henry’s
victories were his plans for the defence of the frontiers. He planted
German colonists in the lands won from the barbarian. He built a series
of new towns, that were to serve as central strongholds, in the
marchland districts. The Saxon monk Widukind tells us how Henry ordered
that, of every nine of his soldier-farmers, one should live within the
walls of the new town, and there build houses in which his eight
comrades might take shelter in times of invasion, and in which a third
part of all their crops was to be preserved for their support, should
necessity compel them to take refuge within the walls. In return, the
dwellers in the country were to till the fields and harvest the crops of
their brother in the town. Moreover, Henry ordered that all markets,
meetings, and feasts should be held within the walled towns, so as to
make them, as far as possible, the centres of the local life. Some of
the most ancient towns of eastern Saxony, including Quedlinburg,
Meissen, and Merseburg, owe their origin to this policy. Henry also
improved the quality of the Saxon cavalry levies, teaching his rude
warriors to rely on combined evolutions rather than the prowess of the
individual horseman. So anxious was he to utilise all the available
forces against the enemy, that he settled a legion of able-bodied
robbers at Merseburg, giving them pardon and means of subsistence, on
the condition of their waging war against the Wends.

The effect of these wise measures was soon felt. Henry had laid the
foundation of the great ring of marks, whose organisation was completed
by his son. He had also inspired his subjects with a new courage to
resist the barbarian, and a new faith in their king. When the nine
years’ truce with the Hungarians was over, the Saxons resolved to fight
rather than continue to pay them a humiliating tribute. [Sidenote:
Henry’s triumph and death, 936.] A long series of victories crowned the
end of Henry’s martial career. He was no longer forced to strictly limit
himself to the defence of his own duchy of Saxony, and the southern
nations of Germany could honour and obey the defender of the German race
from the heathen foe, though they paid but scanty reverence to the duke
of the Saxons. Lotharingia reverted to her allegiance after the sceptre
of the western kingdom had passed, on the death of Charles the Simple,
from her beloved Carolings. Yet Henry never sought to depart from his
earlier policy, and still gave the fullest autonomy to Saxon, Bavarian,
and Lotharingian. He still lived simply after the old Saxon way,
wandering from palace to palace among his domain-lands on the slopes of
the Harz, and seldom troubling the rest of the country with his
presence. Yet visions of a coming glory flitted before the mind of the
old sovereign. He dreamed of a journey to Rome to wrest the imperial
crown from the nerveless hands of the pretenders, whose faction fights
were reducing Italy to anarchy. But his end was approaching, and the
more immediate task of providing for the succession occupied his
thoughts. His eldest son, Thankmar, was the offspring of a marriage
unsanctioned by the Church, and was, therefore, passed over as
illegitimate. By his pious wife Matilda, the pattern of German
housewives, he had several children. Of these Otto was the eldest, but
the next son, Henry, as the first born after his father had become a
king, was looked upon by many as possessing an equally strong title to
election. The king, however, urged on his nobles to choose Otto as his
successor. He died soon after, on 2nd July 936, and was buried in his
own town of Quedlinburg, where the pious care of his widow and son
erected over his remains a great church and abbey for nuns, which became
one of the most famous monastic foundations of northern Germany. ‘He
was,’ says the historian of his house, ‘the greatest of the kings of
Europe, and inferior to none of them in power of mind and body.’ But
Henry’s best claim to fame is that he laid the solid foundations on
which his son built the strongest of early mediæval states.

[Sidenote: Coronation of Otto I., 936.]

Otto I. was a little over twenty years of age when he ascended the
throne. While his father had shunned the consecration of the Church, his
first care was to procure a pompous coronation at Aachen. As strong a
statesman and as bold a warrior as his father, the new king was so fully
penetrated with the sense of his divine mission, and so filled with high
ideals of kingcraft, that it was impossible for him to endure the
limitations to his sway, in which Henry had quietly acquiesced. Duke
Eberhard of Franconia was the first to resent the pretensions of the
young king. He felt that he was the author of the sway of the Saxon
house, and resolved to exercise over his nation the same authority that
he had wielded without question in the days of King Henry. Meanwhile,
the death of Duke Arnulf of Bavaria gave Otto an opportunity of
manifesting his power to the south. [Sidenote: The attack on the
dukedoms, and the First Civil War, 938–941.] He roughly deposed Arnulf’s
eldest son, Eberhard, who had refused to perform him homage, and made
his younger brother Berthold duke, but only on condition that the right
of nominating to the Bavarian bishoprics, which had been wrung from the
weakness of Henry, should now be restored to the crown. Moreover,he set
up another brother, Arnulf, as Count Palatine, to act as a sort of
overseer over the new duke. But while Franconia and Bavaria were thus
deeply offended, Otto’s own Saxons were filled with discontent at his
policy. They resented Otto’s desire to reign as king over all Germany,
as likely to impair the dominant claims of the ruling Saxon race. They
complained that he had favoured the Franks more than the Saxons, and the
sluggish nobles of the interior parts of Saxony were disgusted that Otto
had overlooked their claims on his attention in favour of Hermann
Billung and Gero, to whom he had intrusted the care of his old duchy
along with the government of the Wendish marches. Thankmar, the bastard
elder brother, Henry, the younger brother who boasted that he was the
son of a reigning king, were both angry at being passed over, and put
themselves at the head of the Saxon malcontents. In 938, a revolt broke
out in the north. The faithfulness of Hermann Billung limited its
extent, and the death of Thankmar seemed likely to put an end to the
trouble. But Henry now allied himself with Duke Eberhard of Franconia;
and Duke Giselbert of Lotharingia, Otto’s brother-in-law, joined the
combination. A bloody civil war was now fought in Westphalia and the
Lower Rhineland. The army of Otto was taken at a disadvantage at
Birthen, near Xanten; but the pious king threw himself on his knees, and
begged God to protect his followers, and a victory little short of
miraculous followed his prayer. However, the rebels soon won back a
strong position, and the bishops, headed by Archbishop Frederick of
Mainz, intrigued with them in the belief that Otto’s term of power was
at an end. But the king won a second unexpected triumph at Andernach,
and the Dukes of Franconia and Lotharingia perished in the pursuit.
Henry fled to Louis, king of the West Franks, whose only concern,
however, was to win back Lotharingia from the eastern kingdom. At last
Henry returned and made his submission to his brother; but before long
he joined with the Archbishop of Mainz in a plot to murder the king.
This nefarious design was equally unsuccessful, and Henry, under the
influence of his pious mother, sought for the forgiveness of his injured
brother. At the Christmas feast of 941 a reconciliation was effected.
The troubles for the season were over.

[Sidenote: The reorganisation of the duchies.]

Otto now sought to establish his power over the nations by setting up
members of his own family in the vacant duchies. Franconia he kept
henceforth in his own hands, wearing the Frankish dress and
ostentatiously following the Frankish fashions. Over Lotharingia he
finally set a great Frankish noble, Conrad the Red, whom he married to
his own daughter, Liutgarde. The reconciled Henry was made Duke of
Bavaria, and married to Judith, the daughter of the old Duke Arnulf.
Swabia was intrusted to Otto’s eldest son, Ludolf, who in the same way
was secured a local position by a match with the daughter of the last
duke. But the new dukes had not the power of their predecessors. Otto
carefully retained the highest prerogatives in his own hands, and, by
the systematic appointment of Counts Palatine to watch over the
interests of the crown, revived under another name that central control
of the local administration which had, at an earlier period, been
secured by the Carolingian _missi dominici_.

[Sidenote: Its failure. The Second Civil War, 953.]

The new dukes soon fell into the ways of their predecessors. They
rapidly identified themselves with the local traditions of their
respective nations, and quickly forgot the ties of blood and duty that
bound them to King Otto. Henry of Bavaria and Ludolf of Swabia soon took
up diametrically different Italian policies, and their intervention on
different sides in the struggle between the phantom Emperors, that
claimed to rule south of the Alps, practically forced upon Otto a policy
of active interference in Italy. Ludolf was intensely disgusted that his
father backed up the Italian policy of Henry, and began to intrigue with
Frederick of Mainz, Otto’s old enemy. Conrad of Lotharingia joined the
combination. Even in Saxony, the enemies of Hermann Billung welcomed the
attack on Otto. At last in 953 a new civil war broke out which, like the
troubles of 938, was in essence an attempt of the ‘nations’ to resist
the growing preponderance of the central power. But the rebels were
divided among each other, and partisans of local separatism found it
doubly hard to bring about an effective combination. The restless and
turbulent Frederick of Mainz died during the struggle. Conrad and Ludolf
made their submission. A terrible Hungarian inroad forced even the most
reluctant to make common cause with Otto against the barbarians. But the
falling away of the dukes of the royal house had taught Otto that some
further means were necessary, if he desired to continue his policy of
restraining the ‘nations’ in the interest of monarchy and nation as a
whole. That fresh support Otto found in the Church, the only living
unity outside and beyond the local unities of the five nations.

[Sidenote: The organisation of the Marks.]

Even King Henry had found it necessary, before the end of his reign, to
rely upon ecclesiastical support, especially in his efforts to civilise
the marks. There the fortified churches and monasteries became, like the
new walled towns, centres of defence, besides being the only homes of
civilisation and culture in those wild regions. But King Henry had not
removed the danger of Wendish invasion, and the civil wars of Otto’s
early years gave a new opportunity for the heathen to ravage the German
frontiers. In the midst of Otto’s worst distress, Hermann Billung kept
the Wends at bay, and taught the Abotrites and Wagrians, of the lands
between the lower Elbe and the Baltic, to feel the might of the German
arms. His efforts were ably seconded by the doughty margrave, Gero, of
the southern Wendish mark. By their strenuous exertions the Slavs were
for the time driven away from German territory, and German rule was
extended as far as the Oder, so that a whole ring of organised
marchlands protected the northern and eastern frontiers. These marks
became vigorous military states, possessing more energy and martial
prowess than the purely Teutonic lands west of the Elbe, and destined on
that account to play a part of extreme prominence in the future history
of Germany. Owing their existence to the goodwill and protection of the
king, and having at their command a large force of experienced warriors,
the new margraves or counts of the marches, who ruled these regions,
gradually became almost as powerful as the old dukes, and, for the time
at least, their influence was thrown on the side of the king and
kingdom. Under their guidance, the Slav peasantry were gradually
Christianised, Germanised, and civilised, though it took many centuries
to complete the process. Even to this day the place-names in marks like
Brandenburg and Meissen show their Slavonic origin, and a
Wendish-speaking district still remains in the midst of the wholly
Germanised mark of Lausitz. To these regions Otto applied King Henry’s
former methods on a larger scale. Walled towns became centres of trade,
and refuges in times of invasion. Monasteries arose, such as
Quedlinburg, and that of St. Maurice, Otto’s favourite saint, at
Magdeburg. A whole series of new bishoprics—Brandenburg and Havelberg,
in the Wendish mark; Aarhus, Ripen, and Schleswig, in the Danish
mark—became the starting-points of the great missionary enterprise that
in time won over the whole frontier districts to Christianity. Hamburg
became the centre of the first missions to Scandinavia. Never since the
days of Charles the Great had the north seen so great an extension of
religion and culture. There was many a reaction towards heathenism and
barbarism before the twelfth century finally witnessed the completion of
this side of Otto’s work.

The Hungarians were still untamed, and, profiting by the civil war of
953, they now poured in overwhelming numbers into south Germany. But the
common danger was met by common action. On 10th August 955, Otto won a
decisive victory on the Lechfeld, near Augsburg, at the head of an army
drawn equally from all parts of Germany, and including among its leaders
Conrad the Red, the former Duke of Lorraine, who died in the fight.
[Sidenote: The battle on the Lechfeld, 955.] This crushing defeat damped
the waning energies of the Magyars, and the carrying out of the same
policy against them that had been so successful against their northern
neighbours resulted in the setting up of an east mark (the later
Austria), which carried German civilisation far down the Danube, and
effectually bridled the Magyars. In these regions Henry of Bavaria did
the work that Hermann Billung and Gero were doing in the north. The
final defeat of the barbarian marauders, and the wide extension of
German territory through the marks, are among Otto’s greatest titles to
fame. Moreover, Otto forced the rulers of more distant lands to
acknowledge his sovereignty. In 950 he invaded Bohemia, and forced its
duke, Boleslav, to do him homage. Nor did he neglect the affairs of the
more settled regions of the west. Already in 946 he had marched through
north France as far as the frontiers of Normandy, striking vigorous
blows in favour of the Carolingian Louis IV.—who had married his sister
Gerberga, Duke Giselbert’s widow—against his other son-in-law, Hugh the
Great, the head of the rival Robertian house [see page 69]. He also took
under his protection Conrad the Pacific, the young king of the Arelate.


  showing the growth of the provinces Magdeburg and Hamburg-Bremen.

In civilising the marks Otto had striven hard to use the Church to
secure the extension of the royal power. [Sidenote: Otto’s
ecclesiastical policy.] But the lay nobles were not slow to see that
Otto’s trust in bishops and abbots meant a lessening of their influence,
and resented any material extension of ecclesiastical power. The Saxon
chieftains—half-heathens themselves at heart—did their very best to
prevent the Christianisation of the Wends, knowing that it would
infallibly result in a close alliance between the crown and the new
Christians against their old oppressors. Even the churchmen of central
Germany watched Otto’s policy with a suspicious eye. Typical of this
class is Archbishop Frederick of Mainz, the centre of every conspiracy,
and the would-be assassin of his sovereign. If his policy had prevailed,
the Church would have become a disruptive force of still greater potency
than the dukedoms. But a new school of churchmen was growing up willing
to co-operate with Otto. His youngest brother, Bruno, presided over his
chancery, and made the royal palace as in Carolingian times the centre
of the intellectual life of Germany. Bruno ‘restored’ as we are told,
‘the long-ruined fabric of the seven liberal arts,’ and, like our
Alfred, was at the same time the scholar and the statesman. From his
efforts sprang that beginning of the general improvement of the German
clergy that made possible the imperial reformation of the Papacy.
Moreover, Bruno carried out a reform of discipline and of monastic life
that soon made Germany a field ripe to receive the doctrines that were
now beginning to radiate from Cluny to the remotest parts of the
Christian world. Side by side with the religious revival came the
intellectual revival that Bruno had fostered. Widukind of Corvey wrote
the annals of the Saxons; the abbess Hrotswitha of Gandersheim sang
Otto’s praises in Latin verse, and wrote Latin comedies, in which she
strove to adopt the methods of Terence to subjects chosen in order to
enhance the glories of religious virginity. The literary spirit touched
Otto himself so far that he learnt to read Latin, though he never
succeeded in talking it. Under Bruno’s care grew up a race of clerical
statesmen, far better fitted to act as Otto’s ministers than the lay
aristocracy with its insatiable greed, ruthless cruelty, and
insufferable arrogance. It now became Otto’s policy, since he had failed
to wrest the national duchies to subserve his policy, to fill up the
great sees with ministerial ecclesiastics of the new school. The highest
posts were reserved to his own family. His faithful brother, Bruno,
became Archbishop of Cologne, and was furthermore intrusted with the
administration of Lotharingia. Otto’s bastard son, William, succeeded
the perfidious Frederick as Archbishop of Mainz. Otto now stood forth as
the protector of the clergy against the lay nobles, who, out of pure
greed, were in many cases aiming at a piecemeal secularisation of
ecclesiastical property. The incapacity of a spiritual lord to take part
in trials affecting life and limbs had already led to each bishop and
abbot, who possessed feudal jurisdiction, being represented by a lay
‘Vogt’ (_advocatus_) in those matters with which he was himself
incompetent to deal. The lay nobles sought to make their ‘advocacy’ the
pretext of a gradual extension of their power until the bishop or abbot
became their mere dependant. But this course was not to the interest of
the crown. If the domains of the crown were to be administered by the
local magnates or to be alienated outright, if the jurisdiction of the
crown was to be cut into by grants of immunities to feudal chieftains,
it was much better that these should be put into spiritual rather than
into secular hands. Otto therefore posed as the protector and patron of
the Church. Vast grants of lands and immunities were made to the bishops
and abbots, and the appointment to these high posts, or at least the
investiture of the prelates with the symbols of their office, was
carefully kept for the king. The clergy, who in the days of Henry had
feared lest the king should lay hands on their estates, joyfully
welcomed Otto’s change of front. It was not clear to them as it was to
Otto, that the royal favour to the Church was conditional on the Church
acting as the chief servant of the State. Otto would brook no assertion
of ecclesiastical independence, such as had of old so often set bounds
to the empire of the Carolings. He desired to attach the Church to the
State by chains of steel; but he carefully gilded the chains, and the
German clergy, who were neither strong theologians nor sticklers for
ecclesiastical propriety, entered as a body into that dependence on the
throne which was to last for the best part of a century, and which was
in fact the indispensable condition of the power of the Saxon kings in
Germany. The unity of the Church became as in England the pattern of the
unity of the State, and in a land which had no sense of civil unity,
Saxon and Frank, Lorrainer and Bavarian were made to feel that they had
common ties as citizens of the Christian commonwealth.

[Sidenote: Resistance of William of Mainz.]

The first efforts of Otto towards the conciliation and subjection of the
clergy were surprisingly successful. He next formed a scheme of
withdrawing eastern Saxony and the Wendish march from obedience to the
Archbishop of Mainz, and setting up a new Archbishop of Magdeburg as
metropolitan of these regions. It was a well-designed device to give
further unity to those warlike and loyal regions upon which Otto’s power
was ultimately based. But his own son, Archbishop William, violently
opposed a scheme which deprived the see of Mainz of the obedience of
many of its suffragans. William’s representations to Rome induced the
Pope to take no steps to carry out Otto’s plan. The king was deeply
incensed, but the check taught him a lesson. He learnt that after all,
the German Church was not self-contained or self-sufficing. Over the
German Church ruled the Roman Pope. He could only ensure the obedience
of the German Church by securing the submission or the co-operation of
the head of the Christian world. So long as the Pope was outside his
power, Otto’s dream of dominating Germany through churchmen seemed
likely to end in a rude awakening. To complete this aspect of his policy
required vigorous intervention in Italy.

The condition of Italy had long been one of deplorable anarchy. After
the death of the Emperor Berengar in 924 had put an end to the best
chance of setting up a national Italian kingdom, things went from bad to
worse. The Saracens, having plundered its coasts, settled down in its
southern regions side by side with the scanty remnants of the Byzantine
power. Thus all southern Italy was withdrawn altogether from the sphere
of western influence. But in the centre and north things were far worse.
The inroads of the barbarians were but recently over, and had left their
mark behind in poverty, famine, pestilence and disorder. Great
monasteries like Subiaco and Farfa were in ruins. The Hungarians had
penetrated to the heart of central Italy. The Saracens from their
stronghold of Freinet, amidst the ‘mountains of the Moors’ of the
western Riviera, had devastated Provence, and had held possession of the
passes of the Alps. [Sidenote: State of Italy, 924–950.] If the growth
of feudalism, with its permanent military system and its strong castles,
had already repelled the barbarians, the price paid for deliverance was
the cutting up of sovereignty among a multitude of petty territorial
lords. The rising tide of feudal anarchy had almost overwhelmed the city
civilisation which had been, since Roman times, the special feature of
Italian life. A swarm of greedy feudal counts and marquises struggled
against each other for power, and a series of phantom Emperors reduced
to an absurdity the once all-powerful name of Cæsar. There was still a
nominal Italian or Lombard king, who claimed the suzerainty over all
northern and central Italy. But in their zeal for local freedom, the
Italians had encouraged quarrels for the supreme power. ‘The Italians,’
said Liutprand of Cremona, ‘always wish to have two masters, in order to
keep the one in check by the other.’ After the death of the Emperor
Berengar, in 924 [see Period I. pp. 463–7], Rudolf of Burgundy reigned
for nearly three years. On his fall in 926, Hugh of Provence was chosen
his successor, and held the name at least of king till his death in 946.
There then arose two claimants to the Italian crown—Lothair, son of Hugh
of Provence, and Berengar, Marquis of Ivrea, the grandson of the Emperor
Berengar. Neither was strong enough to defeat the other, and both looked
for help from the warlike Germans. It is however significant that they
sought support, not from the distant Saxon king, but from the
neighbouring dukes of Swabia and Bavaria, whose dominions extended to
the crest of the Alps. Lothair begged the help of Ludolf of Swabia,
while Berengar called in Henry of Bavaria. The latter gave the most
efficient assistance, and Lothair in despair was negotiating for help
from Constantinople when he was cut off by death (950), leaving his
young and beautiful widow, Adelaide of Burgundy, to make what resistance
she might to Berengar of Ivrea. But there was no chance of a woman
holding her own in these stormy times, and Adelaide was soon a prisoner
in the hands of the victorious marquis. She naturally looked over the
Alps to her German friends and kinsfolk, and both Ludolf and Henry,
already on the verge of war on account of their former differences as to
Italian policies, were equally willing to come to her assistance. Henry
now raised pretensions to the great city of Aquileia and the
north-eastern corner of the Italian peninsula. He now aspired, as the
protector of Adelaide, his former foe, to unite the Bavarian duchy with
the Italian kingdom. Ludolf, more active than his uncle, appeared in the
valley of the Po intent on a similar mission. Otto, ever on the watch to
prevent the extension of the ducal powers, saw with dismay the prospect
of his brother’s or son’s aggrandisement. He resolved by prompt personal
intervention to secure the prize for himself.

[Sidenote: Otto, King of Italy, 951.]

In 951, Otto successfully carried out his first expedition to Italy. He
met with no serious resistance, and on 23rd September entered in triumph
into Pavia, the old capital of the Lombard kings. Adelaide was released
from her captivity, and appeared in Pavia. Otto, who was now a widower,
forthwith married her, assumed the crown of Italy, and fruitlessly
negotiated with the Pope to bring about his coronation as Emperor. But
Otto soon crossed the Alps, leaving Conrad of Lorraine to carry on war
against Berengar. Next year, however, a peace was patched up. Berengar
was recognised as vassal king of Italy, with Otto as his overlord, and
the lands between the Adige and Istria—the mark of Verona and
Aquileia—were confirmed to Duke Henry, who thus drew substantial
advantage from his brother’s intervention. The revolt of Ludolf and
Conrad in 953 was largely due to their disgust at Otto’s vigorous and
successful defeat of their schemes.

[Sidenote: Position of the Papacy, 914–960.]

Nine years elapsed before Otto again appeared in Italy. Though he needed
the help of the Papacy more than ever, its condition was not one that
could inspire much hope. It was the period of the worst degradation into
which the Roman See ever fell. For more than a generation the Popes had
almost ceased to exercise any spiritual influence. The elections to the
Papacy had been controlled by a ring of greedy and corrupt Roman nobles,
conspicuous among whom was the fair but dissolute Theodora and her
daughters Marozia, wife of the Marquis Alberic I. of Camerino, and the
less important Theodora the younger. Imperialist partisans like
Liutprand of Cremona have drawn the character of these ladies in the
darkest and most lurid colours; but, allowing for monastic exaggeration,
it is hard to see how the main outlines of the picture can be untrue.
With all their vices, they did not lack energy. Pope John X. (914–928),
an old lover and partisan of Theodora, was not destitute of statecraft,
and did much to incite the Italians to drive away the Saracens of the
south; but, quarrelling with Marozia, he had to succumb to her second
husband, Guido, Marquis of Tuscany. After John’s death in prison in 928,
Marozia became mistress of Rome, and made and unmade Popes at her
pleasure. She married as her third husband, Hugh of Provence, the
nominal king of the Italians, and procured the election of her second
son, a youth of twenty, to the Papacy, under the name of John XI. About
932 her elder son, Alberic II., a strong, unscrupulous but efficient
tyrant, whose character found many parallels in later Italian history,
drove his father-in-law out of Rome, and reduced the city to some sort
of order under his own rule. His policy seems to have been to turn the
patrimony of St. Peter into an aristocratic republic, controlled by his
house, and leaving to the Pope no functions that were not purely
spiritual. He took the title of ‘Prince and Senator of all the Romans.’
He kept his brother, Pope John XI. (931–936), and the subsequent Popes,
in strict leading strings, and retained his power until his death in
954. His dreams of hereditary power seemed established when his young
son Octavian succeeded him as a ruler of Rome, and in 955 also ascended
the papal throne as John XII. [Sidenote: John XII., 955–964.] But the
new Pope, who thus united the ecclesiastical with the temporal lordship
of Rome, looked upon things purely with the eye of a skilful but
unscrupulous statesman. His great ambition was to make his house supreme
throughout middle Italy, and he soon found that King Berengar whose
claims grew greater now that Otto was back beyond the Alps, was the
chief obstacle in the way of carrying out his designs. He therefore
appealed to Otto for aid against Berengar. In 957 Ludolf of Swabia was
sent by his father to wage war against Berengar, but, after capturing
Pavia, Ludolf was carried off by fever, and Berengar then resumed his
successes. In 960 John sent an urgent appeal to Otto to come to his

Otto had, as we have seen, long felt the need of the support of the
Papacy in carrying out his schemes over the German Church. The
wished-for opportunity of effecting a close alliance with the head of
the Church was now offered by the Pope himself, and the monastic
reformers, disciples of Bruno, or of the new congregation of Cluny,
urged him to restore peace and order to the distracted Italian Church.
[Sidenote: Otto crowned Emperor, 962.] In 961 Otto procured the election
and coronation of Otto, his young son by Adelaide, as king of the
Germans. In August he marched over the Brenner at the head of a stately
host. On 31st January 962 he entered Rome. On 2nd February he was
crowned Emperor by John XII.

[Sidenote: Consequences of the revival of the Roman Empire.]

The coronation of Otto had hardly among contemporaries the extreme
importance which has been ascribed to it by later writers. Since the
fall of the Carolingians there had been so many nominal emperors that
the title in itself could not much affect Otto’s position. Neither was
the assumption of the imperial title the starting-point so much as the
result of Otto’s intervention in Italy. But the name of Roman Emperor,
when assumed by a strong prince, gave unity and legitimacy to Otto’s
power both over Germany and Italy. And in Germany no less than in Italy
there was no unity outside that which adhered to the Roman tradition.
Yet the imperial title made very little difference in the character and
policy of Otto. He never sought, like Charles the Great, to build up an
imperial administrative system or an imperial jurisprudence. Even in
Germany there was still no law but the local laws of the five nations.
And there was no effort whatever made to extend into Italy the rude
system on which Otto based his power in Germany. Still the combination
of the legitimacy of the imperial position with the strength of the
Teutonic kingship did gradually bring about a very great change, both in
Germany and Italy, though it was rather under Otto’s successors than
under Otto himself that the full consequences of this were felt. Yet
Otto was the founder of the mediæval ‘Holy Roman Empire of the German
Nation,’ and the originator of that close connection of Germany with
Italy on which both the strength and the weakness of that Empire
reposed. Modern Germans have reproached him for neglecting the true
development of his German realm in the pursuit of the shadow of an
unattainable Empire. The criticism is hardly just to Otto, who was
irresistibly led into his Italian policy by the necessities of his
German position, and who could hardly be expected to look, beyond the
immediate work before him, to far-off ideals of national unity and
national monarchy that were utterly strange to him and to his age. Otto
came into Italy to win over the Pope to his side. He looked upon his
Roman coronation as mainly important, because it enabled him to complete
his subjection of the German Church with the help of his new ally Pope

The first result of the alliance of Pope and Emperor was the completion
of the reorganisation of the German Church for which Otto had been
striving so long. The Pope held a synod at St. Peter’s, in which Otto’s
new archbishopric of Magdeburg was at last sanctioned. [Sidenote: Otto’s
motives.] But Otto, who looked upon the Pope as the chief ecclesiastic
of his Empire, was as anxious to limit Roman pretensions as he had been
to curb the power of the see of Mainz. He issued a charter which, while
confirming the ancient claims of the Papacy to the whole region in
middle Italy that had been termed so long the patrimony of St. Peter,
reserved strictly the imperial supremacy over it. He provided that no
Pope should be consecrated until he had taken an oath of fealty to the
Emperor. The Pope was thus reduced, like the German bishops, to a
condition of subjection to the state.

[Sidenote: Otto’s later Italian policy 962–973.]

Otto now left Rome to carry on his campaign against Berengar, who had
fled for refuge to his Alpine castles. John XII. now took the alarm, and
quickly allied himself with his old foe against his new friend. Otto
marched back to Rome, and in 963 held a synod, mostly of Italian
bishops, in which John was deposed for murder, sacrilege, perjury, and
other gross offences, and a new Pope set up, who took the name of Leo
VIII., and who was frankly a dependant of the Emperor. John escaped to
his strongholds, ‘hiding himself like a wild beast in the woods and
hills,’ and refusing to recognise the sentence passed upon him. The need
of fighting Berengar again forced Otto to withdraw from Rome. During his
absence the fickle citizens repudiated his authority, and called back
John. But hardly was the youthful Pope restored to authority than he
suddenly died in May 964. His partisans chose at once as his successor
Benedict V.

Otto now hurried back to Rome, and attended a synod, held by Leo VIII.,
which condemned Benedict and reaffirmed the claims of Leo. There was no
use in opposing the mighty Emperor, and Benedict made an abject
submission. Sinking on his knees before Otto, he cried, ‘If I have in
anywise sinned, have mercy upon me.’ He was banished beyond the Alps,
and died soon afterwards. His fall made patent the dependence of the
Papacy on Otto. A last revolt of the Romans was now sternly suppressed.
When Otto, flushed with triumph, marched northwards against Berengar,
Leo’s successor, John XIII., humbly followed in his train. The young
king Otto now crossed the Alps, and accompanied his father on a fresh
visit to Rome, where, on Christmas day 967, John XIII. crowned him as
Emperor. Henceforth father and son were joint rulers. Otto had done his
best to make both German kingdom and Roman Empire hereditary.

[Sidenote: Otto’s imperial position, 962–973.]

The last years of Otto’s reign were full of triumph. Secure in the
obedience of the Church, he ruled both Germany and Italy with an
ever-increasing authority. The Magdeburg archbishopric received new
suffragans in the sees of Zeiz, Meissen, and Merseburg. A new era of
peace and prosperity dawned. The German dukes were afraid to resist so
mighty a power. The division of Lotharingia into the two duchies of
Upper and Lower Lorraine which now took place was the first step in the
gradual process that soon began to undermine the unity of the
traditional ‘nations’ of the German people. Beyond his Teutonic kingdom
the kings of the barbarous north and east paid Otto an increasing
obedience. The marauding heathens of an earlier generation were now
becoming settled cultivators of the soil, Christian and civilised. Their
dukes looked up to Otto as an exemplar of the policy which they
themselves aspired to realise. The dukes of Poland and Bohemia performed
homage to Otto as Emperor. Ambassadors from distant lands, France,
Denmark, Hungary, Russia, and Bulgaria, flocked around his throne. He
intervened with powerful effect in the West Frankish kingdom. He aspired
to the domination of southern Italy, and, having won over to his side
the powerful Pandulf, prince of Capua and Benevento, he enlarged that
prince’s dominions and erected them into a mark to withstand the
assaults of the Arabs and Greeks of southern Italy. But while waging war
against the Mohammedans, Otto was anxious to be on good terms with the
Romans of the East. The accession of John Zimisces to the Eastern Empire
[see pages 161–162] gave Otto his opportunity. The new lord of
Constantinople offered the hand of Theophano, daughter of his
predecessor Romanus II., as the bride of the young Otto II., with Greek
Italy as her marriage portion. [Sidenote: Marriage of the young Otto and
Theophano, 972.] The Emperor welcomed the opportunity to win peacefully
what he had sought in vain to acquire by war. Early in 972 Theophano was
crowned by John XIII. at Rome, and immediately afterwards married to the
young Emperor. The gorgeous festivities that attended this union of East
and West brought clearly before the world the reality of Otto’s power.

Otto was now growing old, and had outlived most of his fellow-workers.
His brother Henry had died soon after the battle on the Lechfeld. His
bastard son William had already sunk into a premature grave. Now came
the news of the death of the faithful Hermann Billung. [Sidenote: Death
of Otto I., 973.] In the spring of 973 Otto went on progress for the
last time through his ancestral domains on the slopes of the Harz. Death
came upon him suddenly as he was celebrating the Whitsuntide feast in
his palace at Memleben. He was buried beside his first wife, the English
Edith, in his favourite sanctuary of St. Maurice of Magdeburg, raised by
his care to metropolitan dignity. His long and busy life had not only
restored some sort of peace and prosperity to two distracted nations,
but his policy had begun a new development of western history that was
to last nearly three centuries, and was to determine its general
direction up to the Reformation. He had built up a mighty state in an
age of anarchy. He had made Germany strong and peaceful, and the leading
power of Europe. He had subjected the Church and pacified Italy. Under
him the Roman Empire had again acquired in some real sense the lordship
of the civilised world.

                            THE CRESCENTII.

     |                                                        |
 Marozia _m._ (1) Alberic I., Marquis of Camerino          Theodora
              (2) Guido, Marquis of Tuscany             (the younger) (?)
              (3) Hugh, King of Italy                         |
     (1)          |           (1)                             |
      +-----------+------------+                              |
      |                        |                              |
  Alberic II.         Pope John XI.                  Crescentius I. (Duke)
    (_d._ 954)             (931–936)                        (981)
      |                                                       |
 Pope John XII. (Octavian)                        Crescentius II. (Patrician)
      (955–964)                                             (998)
                                                 Crescentius III. (Patrician)

                              CHAPTER III
                     SALIAN EMPERORS (973–1056)[2]

  The reign of Otto II.—Break-up of Bavaria—Projects of
    Crusade—War and Alliance with Greek Empire—The Reign of Otto
    III.—Regency of Theophano and Bavarian Revolt—Otto and the
    Bishops—Gerbert of Aurillac—Visionary Schemes of Otto—His
    failure—Reign of Henry II.—The two Conrads—Reign of Conrad
    II.—His Italian and Slavonic Policy—Union of Arelate and
    Empire—Fiefs declared Hereditary—Aribert—Reign of Henry
    III.—His Policy in the East, France, Germany, and Italy—Synod
    of Sutri—Death of Henry III.

[Sidenote: Otto II., 973–983.]

Otto II. was eighteen years of age when the death of his father made him
sole ruler. His education and surroundings gave his policy a very
different direction from that of Otto I. The elder prince was purely
German, and even in winning the imperial crown sought to subserve a
Teutonic object. His son, born and reared in the purple, Burgundian or
Italian on his mother’s side, and married to a Byzantine Emperor’s
daughter, took wider views. To Otto II. Italy was as important as
Germany, and his ambition was to weld the two realms together in a solid
imperial unity, while constantly keeping his eyes even beyond these two
kingdoms. To him the Emperor’s lordship of the world was a reality, and
he strove with all the force of an ardent, impetuous, and impulsive
nature to give effect to his ideal. But while Otto II.’s short reign
witnessed the Empire assuming a more universal character, it also saw
the first signs of that essential incompatibility between the position
of German king and Roman Emperor which, in after ages, was to bear such
bitter fruit.

Despite the quietness of Otto I.’s last years, the difficulties against
which the old Emperor had struggled still remained. The separatist
spirit of the national dukedoms still lived on in Bavaria, and had only
been temporarily glossed over by the good understanding between Otto I.
and Duke Henry. Judith, the widow of Duke Henry, now ruled Bavaria in
the name of her son Henry II., surnamed the Quarrelsome, while she
controlled Swabia through her influence on her daughter Hedwig, and
Hedwig’s aged husband, the Swabian Duke Burkhard. Otto II. saw the
danger of a close union between the two southern duchies, and, on
Burkhard’s death, invested his nephew Otto, Duke Ludolf’s son, with
Swabia. Judith and her partisans were instantly aroused. A new civil war
was threatened, in which the Bavarians did not scruple to call in the
help of the Bohemians and Poles. But the young Emperor’s vigorous
measures proved fatal to the attempted rebellion, and Otto took the
opportunity of his triumph to lessen the influence of the Bavarian dukes
by intrusting, to separate margraves, the east mark, on the Danube (the
later Austria), and the north mark between the Danube and the Bohemian
Forest. [Sidenote: Break-up of the Bavarian Duchy, 976–8.] The great
highland marchland of Carinthia and Carniola, with which still went the
Italian March of Verona, or Friuli, was constituted a seventh duchy. The
rest of the Bavarian duchy was consigned to the care of the faithful
Otto of Swabia. Judith was shut up in a convent. Henry the Quarrelsome
fled to Bohemia, whence he made subsequent unsuccessful attempts to
recover his position. Thus the Emperor triumphed, but he had simply to
do over again the work of his father. It was a thankless business, and
showed how insecure were the very foundations of the German kingdom. But
for the rest of his short reign Germany gave Otto but little trouble.
The extension of Christianity among Wends, Poles, and Bohemians gave
Magdeburg and Mainz new suffragans in the Bishops of Gnesen and Prague,
though renewed attacks on the marches soon taught Otto that the
Christianised Slavs were scarcely less formidable enemies than their
heathen fathers had been.

[Sidenote: War with France, 978.]

In 978 Otto marched with a great army almost to the walls of Paris to
avenge on the Carolingian king, Lothair, his attempt to withdraw
Lorraine from the imperial obedience [see page 70]. Few of his acts
bring out more clearly his imperial position than this long progress
through hostile territory. But Italy was the scene of Otto II.’s most
famous actions, and best illustrates his high conception of the imperial
dignity. Rome was, as usual, a constant source of trouble. A series of
insignificant Pontiffs succeeded John XIII.; but above them towered the
noble Roman, Crescentius, Duke of the Romans, perhaps the son of the
younger Theodora, Marozia’s sister, who aspired to renew the great part
played by Alberic II. [Sidenote: Crescentius at Rome, 980.] In 980 Otto
crossed the Alps for Italy, and on his approach the opposition was
shattered. In 981 he restored the Pope to Rome, whence he had fled from
fear of Crescentius, and forced Crescentius himself to withdraw into the
seclusion of a monastery, where a few years later he died. The need of
protection still kept the Papacy faithful to the imperial alliance.

Otto now assumed new responsibilities directly flowing from his position
as Emperor. The Mohammedan lords of Sicily had re-established themselves
in southern Italy, and threatened the march of Benevento. Otto marched
to the help of the Lombard Duke of Benevento. [Sidenote: Campaigns
against Greeks and Saracens, 981–982.] At the same time he sought to
make a reality of the cession of Greek Italy, the promised portion of
Theophano, but which, owing to the unwillingness of the Byzantines, had
never actually come into his hands. In 981 and 982 Otto carried on
successful war in southern Italy. A whole series of Greek towns—Salerno,
Bari, Taranto—fell into his hands. In the summer of 982 Otto traversed
the old road of Pyrrhus, along the Gulf of Taranto, and defeated the
Arabs at Cotrone (the ancient Croton), slaying Abul Cassim, the Ameer of
Sicily, in the fight. A few days later Otto fell into a Saracen ambush
as he pursued his route along the narrow road between the Calabrian
mountains and the sea. His army was almost destroyed, though he himself,
after a series of remarkable adventures, succeeded in eluding his

[Sidenote: Diet of Verona and projected Crusade, 983.]

Germans and Italians vied with each other in their efforts to restore
the Emperor’s preponderance. In 983 a remarkable Diet assembled at
Verona, in which the magnates of Germany and Italy sat side by side, to
show that the two realms constituted but one Empire. The spirit that a
century later inspired the Crusades first appeared in this remarkable
assembly. It was resolved to follow the Emperor on a holy war against
the Mussulmans. That the succession might be peacefully secured during
his absence the magnates chose as their future ruler the little Otto,
his three-years-old son by Theophano. Preparations were then made for
the war against Islam. But the rising commercial city of Venice, jealous
of the imperial policy, and already enriching itself by trade with the
enemies of the Christian faith, refused to supply the necessary ships
for an expedition against Sicily, the centre of the infidel power. Otto
sought to block up the land approaches to the recalcitrant town, but,
secure in her impregnable lagoons, Venice was able to defy the Emperor.
The news of a Wendish invasion now came from Germany; and the disturbed
condition of Rome again demanded Otto’s personal presence. There he
laboured with feverish earnestness to prepare for his mighty task; but
there he was smitten with a sudden and deadly disease, that carried him
off on 7th December 983. He was only twenty-eight years old. His body
was buried, as became a Roman Emperor, in the Church of St. Peter’s. The
difficulties which had proved almost too much for the strong and capable
grown man, were now to be faced, as best they might be, by his young
widow Theophano, the regent of the new lord of the world, a child
scarcely four years of age.

The German Empire rested almost entirely on the warlike character of its
head, and any failure of the central military power involved the gravest
evils. A wave of heathen reaction burst from the Wendish and Danish
lands into the very heart of the Saxon Empire. In the south, Islam,
excited by the threatened Crusade, menaced the centre of the Christian
world. It seemed as if the Empire of the Ottos was on the verge of
dissolution, when Henry the Quarrelsome, the deposed Duke of Bavaria,
came back, and, by claiming the regency from Theophano, added the
terrors of internal discord to those of barbarian invasion. [Sidenote:
Revolt of Henry of Bavaria, 984.] At first Henry made good progress,
and, advancing in his claims, began to covet the crown itself. The Dukes
of Poland and Bohemia paid him homage, and Lothair of France eagerly
supported him. It was more important that Henry had won over many of the
bishops, who, as the natural result of Otto I.’s policy, had the balance
of power in their hands. He also secured the person of the young Otto
III. But, as the Archbishop of Magdeburg favoured Henry, the lay nobles
of the Wendish mark, who hated their clerical supplanters, and
Archbishop Willegis of Mainz, who still looked with detestation on the
mushroom primacy on the Elbe, declared for Theophano. The adhesion of
the mass of the Saxon nation at last secured the victory of the Greek.
Henry was forced to submit, and was pacified by being restored to his
duchy of Bavaria.

[Sidenote: Regency of Theophano, 983–991.]

Otto III. owed his throne to the clergy. The influence of the bishops
kept Germany quiet during the regency of Theophano. The fall of the last
of the West Frankish Carolingians, and the accession of Hugh Capet in
987, prevented any further danger from the French side, while on the
east, the Margrave Eckhard of Meissen hurled back the Slavonic invaders,
and cleverly set the Bohemians and the Poles by the ears. Adelaide,
Otto’s grandmother, ruled Italy from the old Lombard capital of Pavia.
She was less fortunate than her daughter-in-law, with whom, moreover,
her relations were not cordial. Rome fell away almost altogether, so
that a French synod at Reims (995) was able, with good reason, to
denounce the scandals that degraded the Papacy, and to threaten that
France, like the east, might be provoked into breaking off all
connections with the See of Peter. John Crescentius, son of the man
driven by Otto II. into a cloister, renewed the policy of his father,
and, taking the name of Patrician, ruled over Rome with little

[Sidenote: Rule of the bishops and education of Otto, 991–996.]

Theophano died in 991. No new regent was appointed, but a council of
regency set up, prominent among its members being the Empress Adelaide,
Willegis of Mainz, Eckhard of Meissen, and Henry, Duke of Bavaria, son
and successor of Henry the Quarrelsome. The composition of this body was
a further proof of the extension of ecclesiastical influence. But an
even more significant indication of this was the fact that the young
king was brought up almost entirely under the direction of highly-placed
churchmen. Willegis of Mainz, and Bernward, Bishop of Hildesheim, the
future saint, were the two prelates most directly responsible for his
education. The result was that, though the young king spent his early
years amidst his fierce and half-barbarous Saxon subjects, he became
still less of a German than Otto II., and was possessed by ideals that
stand in the strongest contrast with those of his predecessors. Bernward
caused him to be schooled in the best culture of his time, and gave him
an abiding love of letters and learned men. He also strongly inspired
the quick-witted and sympathetic youth with the ascetic views and the
sacerdotal sympathies of the Cluniacs. Thus Otto became enthusiastically
religious, and ever remained a devout pilgrim to holy places and seeker
out of inspired anchorites and saints. Moreover, Otto inherited from
Theophano all the high Byzantine notions of the sacredness of the
Empire, and, seeking to combine the two aspects of his education, his
mind was soon filled with glowing visions of a kingdom of God on earth,
in which Pope and Emperor ruled in harmony over a world that enjoyed
perfect peace and idyllic happiness. Otto’s ideals were generous, noble,
and unselfish; but in the iron age in which he lived they were
hopelessly unpractical. The young king lived to become the ‘wonder of
the world’ and the ‘renewer of the Empire.’ But his early death came
none too soon to hide the vanity of his ambitions. At best, he was the
first of that long line of brilliant and attractive failures which it
was the special mission of the mediæval Empire to produce.

[Sidenote: Otto’s coronation at Rome, 996.]

In 996 Otto attained his legal majority, and crossed the Alps to seek
his coronation at Rome as Emperor. The king and his army marched as
though bound on a pilgrimage, or like the crusading hosts of a century
later. As they entered the Lombard plain, the news came that the Papacy
was vacant, and a deputation of Romans, tired of the tyranny of
Crescentius, begged Otto to nominate a new Pope. The young king at once
appointed his cousin, Bruno, grandson of Conrad the Red and Liutgarde,
daughter of Otto I., a youth of four-and-twenty, and a zealous champion
of the Cluniacs, who took the name of Gregory V. [Sidenote: Gregory V.,
996–999.] On 25th May 996, Otto was crowned by Gregory at Rome.

Pope and Emperor strove at once to embody their theories in acts. The
proceedings of the anti-papal synod of Reims were annulled; its nominee
to the see of Reims, Gerbert of Aurillac, was forced to yield up his
post to the worldly Arnulf that the synod strove in vain to depose. The
whole French episcopate bowed in submission before the new Pope, and
Gerbert soon repudiated his earlier teachings. The French king, Robert,
was visited with the severest censures of the Church for contracting a
marriage within the prohibited degrees. The holy Adalbert, the apostle
of Bohemia, but driven from his see of Prague by a pagan reaction, was
sternly ordered to return to his bishopric, or, if that were impossible,
to engage in a new mission to the heathen. Adalbert chose the latter
alternative, and his early death at the hands of the heathen Prussians
made him the protomartyr of the new order that Otto and Gregory were
striving to introduce. But while the two enthusiasts were busy in the
regeneration of the universe, they were unable to maintain themselves in
the very centre of their power. A new Roman rebellion brought back
Crescentius. [Sidenote: Fall of Crescentius, 998.] Only through the help
of the iron soldiery of the Saxon borders, headed by the valiant Eckhard
of Meissen, could Otto win back the Eternal City to his obedience. In
998 Rome surrendered, and Crescentius atoned for his rebellion on the

[Sidenote: Gerbert of Aurillac.]

An early death now cut off Gregory V., and Otto raised Gerbert of
Aurillac[3] to the papal throne. Gerbert was quite the most remarkable
man of his age. A poor Frenchman of obscure birth from the uplands of
the centre, he received his first schooling in a cloister at his native
Aurillac, where he took the monastic vows. Borrel, a pious Count of
Barcelona, made his acquaintance while visiting Aurillac on a
pilgrimage, and took him back with him to the Spanish march. There
Gerbert abode some years, and there he acquired that profound knowledge
of mathematics which had perhaps filtered into the march from the
Mussulman schools of Cordova, and which gave him in the unlearned north
a reputation for extraordinary learning, if not for magical skill. Ever
eager for knowledge, he accompanied his patron to Italy, and attracted
the notice of Otto I. Finally he settled down at Reims, attracted by the
fame of a certain archdeacon who taught in the cathedral school. The
good Archbishop Adalbero made Gerbert ‘scholasticus’ of the school at
Reims. Accompanying the archbishop to Italy, Gerbert received from Otto
II. the headship of Columban’s old abbey of Bobbio, and speedily
reformed its lax discipline. On Otto II.’s death, the angry monks drove
him away, and he went back to Reims and resumed his teaching as
‘scholasticus.’ He dominated the policy of the archbishop in the
critical years that saw the accession of Hugh Capet to the French throne
[see pages 70–71], but on Adalbero’s death was ungratefully passed over
by Hugh, whose interests procured the election of Arnulf, an unlearned
but high-born Carolingian, to the great see. A few years later, Arnulf
was deposed by the synod of 995, and Gerbert put in his place. But
Arnulf still claimed to be archbishop, and Gerbert went to Italy to
plead his cause with Gregory V. Finding his chances hopeless, he closely
attached himself to Otto III., with whom he had strong affinities in
character. Gerbert loved pomp and splendour, was attracted by Otto’s
high ideals, and was of a pliant, complaisant, and courtier-like
disposition. He was made Archbishop of Ravenna to compensate him for the
loss of Reims. When elevated to the Papacy, he chose to call himself
Sylvester II. As Sylvester I. had stood to the first Christian Emperor,
so would Sylvester II. stand to the new Constantine. Under him the close
alliance of Pope and Emperor was continued as fervently as during the
lifetime of Gregory V.

[Sidenote: Visionary schemes of Otto and Sylvester II., 999–1003.]

Otto’s plans grew more mystical and visionary. Rome, and Rome alone,
could be the seat of the renewed Empire, and Otto began the building of
an imperial palace on the Aventine on the site of the abode of the early
Cæsars. He abandoned the simple life of a Saxon etheling, which had been
good enough for his father and grandfather, and secluded his sacred
person from a prying world by all the devices of Byzantine
court-etiquette and Oriental exclusiveness. His court officials dropped
their old-fashioned Teutonic titles, and were renamed after the manner
of Constantinople. The chamberlain became the _Protovestiarius_, the
counsellor the _logothetes_, the generals were _comites imperialis
militiæ_, and their subordinates _protospatharii_. The close union of
the Pope and Emperor in a theocratic polity was still better illustrated
by the institution of the _judices palatii ordinarii_. They were of the
mystic number of seven, ecclesiastics by profession, and were to act as
supreme judges in ordinary times, but were also to ordain the Emperor (a
new ceremony to be substituted for coronation) and to elect the Pope.
But apart from its fantastic character, the whole policy of Otto
depended upon a personal harmony between Pope and Emperor. Even under
Otto himself this result could only be secured by the Emperor’s utter
subordination of his real interests to the pursuit of his brilliant but
illusive fancies.

[Sidenote: Opposition to Otto III. in Germany.]

Otto’s cosmopolitan imperialism soon brought him in collision with
Germany, and especially with the German Church. He set up a new
archbishopric at Gnesen in Poland, where reposed the relics of the
martyred Adalbert, and surrounded it with the mystical number of seven
suffragans. In the same way, Sylvester, in recognising Stephen, the
first Christian Duke of Hungary, as a king, established a Hungarian
archbishopric at Gran. These acts involved a recognition of the national
independence of Poland and Hungary. Wise as they were, they were
resented in Germany as being directly counter to the traditional Saxon
policy of extending German influence eastwards, by making the bishops
subject to the German metropolitans at Magdeburg and Salzburg. The
practical German bishops saw with disgust the Emperor giving up the very
corner-stone of the policy of Henry and Otto I. The deep differences of
sentiment came to a head in a petty dispute as to whether a new church
for the nuns of Gandersheim should be consecrated by Bernward of
Hildesheim, the diocesan, who favoured Otto’s fancies, or by the
metropolitan Willegis of Mainz, who bitterly lamented the outlandish
ideas of his old pupil. Sylvester upheld Bernward, but the German
bishops declared for Willegis, and paid no heed to the papal censures
that followed quickly on their contumacy. They refused even to be
present at the Councils in which Sylvester professed to condemn the
Archbishop of Mainz. The German clergy were thus in open revolt from
Rome, and they were, as we have seen, the leaders of the German nation.

[Sidenote: Breakdown of Otto’s system in Italy.]

While the outlook was thus gloomy in Germany, the march of events in
Italy gave but little encouragement to Pope and Emperor, and demanded
the personal presence of Otto, who had been forced to return to Germany
in the vain hope of appeasing the general opposition to his policy.
Before he crossed the Alps for the last time, Otto went to Aachen, and,
if we can believe one of his followers’ statement, visited the vaults
beneath the venerable palace-chapel to gaze upon the corpse of Charles
the Great, sitting as in life upon a throne, with crown on head and
sceptre in hand. When he reached the south, he found to his dismay that
lower Italy had fallen altogether from his obedience, and that even
Tivoli, in the immediate neighbourhood of Rome, had rebelled against
him. Otto made feverish efforts to restore his authority. He clamoured
for Byzantine help, and begged for a Byzantine wife. He paid a flying
visit to the Venetian lagoons, seeking for a fleet from the great Doge
Peter Orseolo. But worse news now reached him. Rome itself now rose in
revolt, and Otto, postponing in despair his warlike operations, could
only find consolation in visits to the holy Romuald in his inaccessible
island hermitage amidst the swamps of Ravenna, and in the practice of
penances, mortifications, and scourgings. Recovering his energy, he now
sought to obtain an army from Germany to procure, as in the old days,
the subjection of Italy; but it was the very moment of the crisis of the
Gandersheim struggle, and no German help was forthcoming. A sharp fever
now attacked Otto at the very moment of the collapse of all his plans.
He died on 23rd January 1002, at Paterno, near Rome, when only
twenty-two years old. [Sidenote: Death of Otto III., 1002.] With him
perished his lofty ambitions. He had made himself the wonder of the
world; but all that he had accomplished was to play the game of the high
ecclesiastical party. The tendency of his policy, like the latter
Carolings, was to subordinate the visionary Empire to the practical
Papacy, thus exactly reversing the ideas of the great Saxons, and
bringing out in its most glaring contrast the incompatibility of the
union of the German kingship with the imperial claims to universal
domination. Within a year Sylvester II. followed him to the tomb.

[Sidenote: Henry II., 1002–1024.]

For eighty years the Saxon kings and emperors had succeeded from father
to son, and even a minority had not broken down the tendency towards
heredity which seemed rapidly divesting the German kingdom of the
elective character which it had shared with the Empire itself. Otto
III.’s death without direct heirs now reminded the German magnates that
they still could choose their king, and, in the absence of any strong
claimant, there was a whole swarm of aspirants after the vacant dignity.
The friends of the Saxon traditions, which Otto III. had so violently
set at naught, hoped for the election of the brave and experienced
Eckhard of Meissen; but as Eckhard was travelling to the south to pursue
his candidature, he was murdered to satisfy a private revenge. His
removal secured the appointment of Henry, Duke of Bavaria, the son of
Henry the Quarrelsome, and the nearest kinsman of competent age and
position to the dead ruler. Thus the throne was retained in the hands of
the Saxon house, though it now was held by a branch that had long
attached itself to the traditions of its southern duchy. Bavarians,
Lorrainers, and Franks accepted Henry at once; the Saxons and Swabians
only after a short hesitation.

It was a great thing that the succession had been peaceably settled. Yet
the new king had neither the power nor the energy of the Ottos. Raised
to the throne by the great magnates, Henry II. never aspired to carry on
the despotic traditions of the earlier Saxon kings, but thought to rule
with the help of frequent Diets and Councils. He had more authority over
the Church, and his personal piety and zeal for good works, in which he
was well supported by his wife Cunigunde, procured for him in after
times the name and reputation of a saint, and in his own day kept him on
good terms with the clergy, though he was never their slave. He used his
bishops and abbots as instruments of his temporal rule, and
systematically developed Otto III.’s system of making the bishops and
abbots the local representatives of the imperial power by granting them
the position of Count over the neighbouring Gau. On one great matter he
gave much offence to the German bishops. [Sidenote: Henry II. and the
Church.] He set up a new bishopric at Bamberg in Franconia, laying in
1004 the foundations of its new cathedral, and conferring on it such
extensive privileges that every bishop in Germany was annoyed at the new
prelate holding a position next after the archbishops, while the
Archbishop of Mainz resented the merely nominal ties of obedience that
bound the Bishop of Bamberg to him as his metropolitan. Henry was a
friend of the Cluniac monks, and it was through his efforts that these
zealous Church reformers first got a strong position in Germany.

[Sidenote: Henry II. and the Slavs.]

Henry had no trouble with the Hungarians, whose great king, St. Stephen,
the founder of the settled Magyar state, was his brother-in-law and
friend. But it was among his chief cares to uphold the old Saxon
supremacy over the Slavs, which Otto III. had generously or
fantastically neglected. Poland was now a formidable state, and its Duke
Boleslav, who had become a terror to the marks before the death of Otto,
aspired to build up a strong Slavonic power, and drive back the Germans
over the Elbe. It was no longer the frontier warfare of the days after
Otto the Great’s victories. It was rather a stern fight between two
vigorous nations, in which Henry only won the upper hand after long and
costly efforts. Even at the last he was forced to hand over the mark of
Lausitz to the Poles, to be held as a fief of the German kingdom.
Henry’s laborious policy, his shrinking from great efforts, and his
fixed resolve to concentrate himself on little objects within his reach,
stand in the strongest contrast to the vast ambitions of his
predecessor. Yet, in his slow and determined way, Henry brought back the
German kingdom to a more national policy, and did much to restore the
havoc wrought by Otto’s vain pursuits of impossible ideals. As a German
king, he was in no wise a failure, though he raised the monarchy to no
new heights of power.

Henry’s success in Germany was closely connected with his failure in
Italy. Under his cautious rule the plans of Otto III. were quickly lost
sight of. On the death of Sylvester II., the Papacy fell back into its
old dependence on the local nobles. At first a third Crescentius, son of
Otto III.’s victim, assumed his father’s title of Patrician, ruled Rome
at his pleasure, and nominated two puppet Popes in succession. But a
stronger power arose, that of the Counts of Tusculum. Before long a
series of Tusculan Popes, set up by the goodwill of these powerful
lords, again degraded the Papacy, and threatened to deprive it of the
obedience and respect of Europe. [Sidenote: Henry II. and Italy.] It was
the same in the secular as in the spiritual sphere. Before the German
succession had been settled, Ardoin, Marquis of Ivrea, had got himself
elected King of Italy, and held his own for many years against the
partisans of Henry reinforced by German armies. In 1004 Henry went over
the Alps, and submitted to be elected and crowned king at Pavia, though
the Ottos had borne the Italian crown without condescending to go
through such formalities. Despite this Ardoin long maintained himself.
At last, in 1013, Henry went down to Italy again, and on 14th February
1014 received the imperial diadem from Pope Benedict VIII. But no
striking result followed this renewal of the Empire. Benedict, who was a
zealous partisan of the Count of Tusculum, now sought, by advocacy of
the Cluniac ideas, to maintain himself against an Antipope of the
faction of Crescentius. In 1020 Benedict visited Germany to consecrate
the cathedral of Bamberg, and signalised his visit by taking Henry’s
foundation under his immediate care. It seemed as if the old alliance of
Papacy and Empire were renewed. Next year Henry crossed the Brenner at
the head of a strong German army, which traversed all Italy, in three
divisions, commanded respectively by Henry himself, the Patriarch of
Aquileia, and the Archbishop of Cologne. But by the time the Lombard
dukes of Capua and Salerno had made their submission, and Henry was
marching through Apulia, a deadly sickness raged in his host and
compelled its immediate retreat. Next year Henry was back in Germany. It
is significant that the office of Count Palatine of Italy ceased to
exist during his reign. The Emperor was no longer an effective ruler of
the peninsula.

In the latter years of his life Henry attached himself still more
strongly to the Cluniac party, and, as with Otto III., his friendship
for foreign priests brought him into renewed conflict with the German
bishops. Aribo, Archbishop of Mainz, led the opposition to Henry and
Benedict. But just as the conflict was coming to a head, Benedict VIII.
died (1024). He was quickly followed to the grave by Henry himself. With
him perished the last king of the male stock of the Ludolfing dukes of
Saxony. His dull and featureless reign was but a tame conclusion to the
brilliant period of the Ottos.

[Sidenote: The two Conrads, 1024.]

The ecclesiastical differences that had troubled Germany during Henry
II.’s lifetime lay at the root of the party struggles that now raged
round the appointment of his successor. As in Henry’s case, there was no
specific candidate marked out by birth and special fitness for the
choice of the German nation. The bishops, led by Aribo of Mainz and
Burkhard of Worms, resolved to take full advantage of this freedom of
election to prevent the accession of any prince inclined, like the late
Emperor, to favour the spread of Cluniac ideas. They therefore urged the
claims of Conrad of Swabia. Conrad was the great-grandson of Conrad the
Red and his wife Liutgarde, Otto the Great’s daughter, and consequently
nephew of Pope Gregory V., and descended from the Ludolfings on the
female side. Though only the possessor of part of his rich family
estates in the Rhineland, Conrad had made a lucky marriage with the
widowed Gisela, Duchess of Swabia, the granddaughter of Conrad, king of
Arles, and a descendant of the Carolingians. This gave him the
guardianship of the young Duke Ernest of Swabia, Gisela’s son by her
former husband, and secured for him a leading position among the German
magnates. Conrad was a valiant and experienced warrior, and an
intelligent statesman, possessing a clear head and a strong will,
resolutely bent on securing practical objects immediately within reach.
He had persistently held aloof from the ecclesiastical policy of his
predecessor, with whom he had been more than once in open feud. He was
still more hostile to his cousin, Conrad, Duke of Carinthia, the son of
another Conrad, a younger brother of his father Henry, who, through the
caprice of their grandfather, had inherited the mass of the Rhenish
estates of Conrad the Red, usurping the position of the elder line. This
second Conrad was now the candidate of the Cluniac party against Conrad
of Swabia. But the great prelates were still all-powerful; despite the
opposition of the Lorrainers, among whom Cluniac ideas had gained a firm
hold, Conrad of Swabia was elected king. His path to the throne was made
smooth by the generosity of his rival, who, at the last moment,
abandoned his candidature, and voted for his cousin. [Sidenote: Conrad
II., 1024–1039.] Aribo of Mainz crowned Conrad in his own cathedral,
regardless of the claims of the rival Archbishop of Cologne, the
diocesan of Aachen, the proper place for the coronation. But Aribo
refused to confer the crown on Gisela, since the Church regarded her
marriage with Conrad as irregular by reason of their affinity. Pilgrim
of Cologne now saw his opportunity for making terms with the victor. He
gave Gisela the crown which Aribo had denied her. Thus Conrad entered
upon his reign with the support of all the leaders of the German nation.
The younger Conrad remained faithful to his old rival; while his younger
brother Bruno, who became Bishop of Toul, soon became one of the
greatest supports of the new dynasty.

[Sidenote: Italian policy.]

When Conrad II. became king, he found everything in confusion: but
within two years of his accession he had infused a new spirit and energy
into every part of his dominions. His first difficulty was with
Lorraine, whose two dukes had opposed his election, and now refused to
acknowledge its validity. They sought the help of King Robert of France,
whose weak support availed them but little. Conrad soon put down their
rebellion, and with almost equal ease quelled the revolt of his
ambitious and unruly step-son, Ernest of Swabia. Germany was thus
appeased, but Italy, where the imperial power had become very feeble in
the later part of the reign of Henry II., was still practically outside
Conrad’s influence. His authority was only saved from complete ruin by
the policy of the Lombard bishops, who saw in the Emperor their best
protection against the proud and powerful lay aristocracy, and
especially against the warlike margraves, who now aspired to renew the
part played by Ardoin of Ivrea. But conscious that they did not possess
sufficient strength to continue successfully a policy in which even
Ardoin had failed, the leaders of the north Italian nobility looked
elsewhere abroad for help to counterbalance the German soldiery of the
Emperor. When King Robert of France rejected their advances, they found
what they sought in William V., the Duke of Aquitaine and Count of
Poitou, an aged and experienced warrior, and a strong friend of the
Cluniacs, who hoped to find in Italy a suitable endowment for his young
son William. This was the first occasion in which the policy of calling
in the French to drive out the Germans was adopted by the Italians. But
the times were not yet ripe for the intervention of a French prince in
Italy. William crossed the Alps, but found that he could make but little
progress against the vigorous opposition of the Lombard bishops, headed
by Aribert of Milan, and tried to make up for his weakness in Italy by
uniting himself with the Lorraine rebels, and by stirring up an
anti-German party in the kingdom of Arles. But nothing came of his
elaborate schemes, and in 1025 he went home in disgust.

[Sidenote: Conrad’s imperial coronation, 1027.]

Early in 1026 Conrad crossed the Brenner, and in March received the
Lombard crown from Aribert in the cathedral of Milan. Pavia, the old
Lombard capital, shut its gates on the Emperor, who was thus unable to
be hallowed in the usual place. For a whole year Conrad remained in
northern Italy, and gradually forced his enemies to make their
submission. In the spring of 1027 the way to Rome at last lay open, and
on Easter Sunday Conrad was crowned Emperor by Pope John XIX. The
function was one of the most striking and memorable ceremonies in the
whole history of the mediæval Empire. It was witnessed by two
kings—Rudolf III., the last of the kings of Arles, and Canute of
Denmark, the conqueror of England and Norway, then at Rome on a
pilgrimage. But the clear head of Conrad was not in the least turned by
the mystic rite. Content that his twofold coronation gave him a firm
hold over Italy, he quickly recrossed the Alps and resumed his proper
work as a German king, taking good care that there should be no clashing
between his German and Italian interests. Before his return he visited
southern Italy, and ensured the obedience of the Lombard dukes, who
still guarded the frontier against the Greeks of Calabria.

On his return to Germany, Conrad felt that his power was sufficiently
secure to take steps towards retaining the Empire in his own family. In
1028, he persuaded the magnates to elect, and Pilgrim of Cologne to
crown, as his successor his eldest son, Henry, who was but ten years of
age. [Sidenote: Fall of Ernest of Swabia, 1030.] This act roused the
jealousy of the greater nobles, who found in Conrad’s son-in-law, Ernest
of Swabia, an eager champion of their views. Ernest again plunged into
revolt; and when pardoned, at the instance of his mother the Empress,
still kept up his close friendship with the open rebel, Werner of
Kyburg, Count of the Thurgau, a district including the north-eastern
parts of the modern Switzerland. In 1030 Conrad ordered Ernest to break
off from all dealings with his friend, and, as a sign of his repentance,
to carry out in person the sentence of outlawry and deprivation
pronounced against him. Ernest refused to give up Werner, whereupon
Conrad deprived him of his duchy. Bitterly incensed with his
father-in-law, the young duke left the palace, and wandered from court
to court, seeking help to excite a new rebellion. But Conrad was so
strong that neither foreign prince nor discontented German noble would
make common cause with Ernest. In despair he took to a wild robber life
of adventure, lurking with a few faithful vassals amidst the ravines and
woods of the Black Forest. Before the summer was out Ernest was
overpowered and slain. His commonplace treason and brigandage were in
after ages glorified in popular tales, that make his friend Werner a
model of romantic fidelity, and he himself a gallant and chivalrous
warrior. After his fall, Conrad reigned in peace over Germany.

[Sidenote: Hungary and Poland, 1030–1032.]

The inroads of the Hungarians and Poles now forced fresh wars on Conrad.
In 1030 he waged a doubtful contest against Stephen of Hungary. In the
succeeding years he obtained great successes against the Poles, winning
back in 1031 Lausitz and the other mark districts that Henry II. had
been forced to surrender to their king Boleslav, and compelling his
successor Miecislav, in 1032, to do homage to him for the whole of his
kingdom. But great as were Conrad’s successes in the east, they were
surpassed by his brilliant acquisition of a new kingdom in the west,
where in 1032 he obtained the possession of the kingdom of Arles.

[Sidenote: Union of the Arelate with the Empire, 1032.]

The kingdom of Arles or Burgundy had fallen into evil days. During the
long reigns of Conrad the Pacific (937–993) and Rudolf III. (993–1032)
all power had fallen into the hands of the territorial magnates, and now
the threatened extinction of the royal house seemed likely to plunge the
Arelate into worse confusion. Rudolf III. was old and childless, and had
long sought to make arrangements to prevent the dissolution of his
kingdom with his death. In 1007 he had concluded with Henry II., his
nephew, an agreement by which Burgundy was to fall on his death to the
German monarch, but the Burgundian nobles had more than once forced him
to renounce his treaty. An increasing sense of his powerlessness drew
Rudolf, who was Gisela’s uncle, more closely to Conrad II. He hurried to
Rome to be present at his coronation, and he trusted entirely to him for
protection against his turbulent nobility. The contract of succession
was renewed, and on Rudolf’s death, in 1032, Conrad entered into
possession of the Arelate. Count Odo of Champagne set himself up as a
rival and national king, but the German portions of the Arelate favoured
Conrad from the beginning. In 1033 he was chosen king, and crowned at
Ueberlingen, near Constance; and in 1034 Odo was forced into submission,
while Conrad triumphantly wore his crown at Geneva and received the
homage of the lords of Burgundy. Henceforward the kingdom of Arles was
indissolubly united with the Empire. Despite the small amount of power
which even the strongest Emperors could exercise in the Arelate, the
acquisition was one of no small importance. The Arelate was for the most
part a Romance land, and its union with the Empire made the Empire less
German, and, for some generations at least, prevented the natural
tendency to union between France and the Burgundian lands from being
carried out. Moreover, the acquisition of the Arelate, by virtue of a
contract of succession, increased the already strong tendency towards
hereditary monarchy in Germany and Italy. Again, Burgundy was the chief
home of the Cluniacs, and one very important consequence of its
absorption by Conrad was a gradual increase of Cluniac influence all
over the Empire. And most of all, the new-won kingdom was useful to the
Emperors as acting as a sort of buffer-state to protect Italy from
French interference. The attempt of William of Poitou had taught Conrad
the necessity of thus guarding the Italian frontier. For the next few
generations the acquisition of the Arelate made such projects more
difficult. Supplementing the final adhesion of Lotharingia to the
Eastern Kingdom, the lapse of the Arelate completed the absorption of
the ‘Middle Kingdom’ in the German Empire. Of the threefold partition of
Europe by the Treaty of Verdun in 843, only the ancient dominions of
Charles the Bald—France, in the narrower sense—were outside the powers
of the Emperor. Henceforth Conrad ruled not only all the lands that had
gone in 843 to Louis the German, but also over the districts that had
then fallen to the share of the Emperor Lothair. Two-thirds of the
Carolingian Empire were thus concentrated under Conrad.

[Sidenote: Feudal benifices declared hereditary.]

Ten years of Conrad’s rule had now brought the Holy Empire to a point of
solid prosperity that was seldom surpassed. But Conrad saw that there
were still great dangers inherent in his position, and foremost among
these was the smallness of the number of the feudal dignitaries with
whom he had direct legal dealings. There were no longer indeed the five
national dukedoms in their old united strength and dignity. There were
no longer dukes of Franconia; Lorraine was already divided into two
distinct duchies, of Upper and Lower Lorraine. Swabia was showing signs
of a similar tendency to bifurcation; Bavaria, after the rearrangement
of 976, was in a much less imposing position than under the Saxon
Emperors, and even in Saxony the margraves were a strong counterpoise to
the more imposing but not more powerful dukes. In the last generations
the more vigorous of the counts and margraves had shaken off their
dependence on the dukes, and aspired to stand in immediate relations
with the Emperor. Yet the whole drift of the time was towards feudalism,
and towards making a limited number of tenants-in-chief, whether dukes,
margraves or counts, the sole persons with whom the Emperor had any
direct relations. Secure in their own hereditary tenure of their fiefs
and allodial properties, the great lords of Germany claimed an absolute
control over all their vassals. The old tie of national allegiance that
bound every subject to his sovereign had fallen into neglect as compared
with the new link of feudal dependence of vassal on lord. The leading
tenants-in-chief considered that their powers over their vassals were so
absolute that it was the bounden duty of a tenant to follow his lord to
the field, even against his overlord. With the same object of
strengthening their own position, the great lords strove to prevent the
fiefs of their vassals from assuming that hereditary character which
they had already acquired in practice, if not in theory, for their own
vast estates.

Conrad showed a shrewd sense of self-interest in posing as the friend of
the lesser tenants against the great vassals of the crown. Whether he
also secured the best interests of Germany is not quite so clear. The
great vassals were strong enough to maintain order; the lesser
feudalists had neither their resources nor their traditions of
statecraft. It was too late to revive with any real effect the national
tie of allegiance, and the scanty means of an early mediæval king had
always made somewhat illusory great schemes of national unity. Conrad
did his best for the protection of the under-tenants by establishing for
them also that hereditary possession of their benefices which gave them
some sort of permanent position over against their overlords. This was
secured in Germany by a mere recognition of the growing custom of
heredity, though in Italy a formal law was necessary to attain the same
end. Another advantage won by Conrad by this action was that in securing
the recognition of the principle of heredity in every fief, he made a
long step towards securing the heredity of the crown. For Conrad, much
more distinctly than his Saxon predecessors, sought definitely to make
both the royal and imperial crown hereditary in his house. As a further
step towards breaking down the greater nobility, he strove to get rid of
the national duchies altogether. He persuaded the Bavarians to elect the
young King Henry as their duke, and, on the death of his last step-son,
gave Swabia also to his destined successor. On the death of his old
rival, Conrad of Carinthia, the great Carinthian mark was also handed
over to Henry. At the end of Conrad’s reign, Saxony and Lorraine were
the only duchies still held by independent princes. Like his
predecessors, Conrad used the bishops as the means of carrying on the
government and checking the growth of the lay aristocracy. Following the
example of the chief ecclesiastics, he encouraged the development of a
new class of hereditary _ministeriales_, who devoted their lives to the
service of the crown, and soon built up a new official body that enabled
his successors to largely dispense with the interested help of the
episcopate in carrying on the daily task of the administration of the

Conrad was so successful with this policy in Germany and Burgundy that
he desired to extend it to Italy. But the spirit of independence was
already deeply rooted south of the Alps, and the very prelates who had
called Conrad to help them against their lay rivals, now looked with
suspicion on a policy that deprived churchman and lay noble alike of
their cherished immunities. [Sidenote: Conrad’s strife with Aribert,
1036–1039.] Aribert of Milan had long aspired to a position of almost
complete independence. His dream was to make the see of St. Ambrose a
sort of North Italian patriarchate, and at the same time he wished to
combine with ecclesiastical ascendency an organised temporal power. His
twofold ambition was exactly that of the Papacy at a later period, and
for the moment Milan seemed stronger than Rome. The citizens of Milan,
more obedient to their bishops than the turbulent Romans, were zealous
partisans of Aribert; but the smaller nobles, who saw in the fulfilment
of his plans the destruction of their own independence, rose as one man
against him. Civil war broke out in Lombardy between the friends and
foes of Aribert. So dangerous was the outlook that in 1036 Conrad again
crossed the Alps in the hope of restoring peace in North Italy.

Aribert was summoned to a Diet at Pavia; but he loftily declared that he
would surrender no single right of the church of St. Ambrose, and was
soon in open war against the Emperor. Conrad saw his only chance of
overcoming the archbishop in winning over the smaller nobility to his
side. In 1037 he issued the famous edict which made fiefs hereditary in
Italy, thus doing for the south by a single stroke what gradual custom
and policy had slowly procured for the north. He also promised to exact
from his vassals no greater burdens than those already usually paid to
him. But these measures, though increasing the party of Conrad in Italy,
were not enough at once to overcome Aribert, who, secure in the hearty
support of the Milanese citizens, defied not only the threats of Conrad
but also the condemnation of Rome, which the Count of Tusculum, who then
occupied the papal throne, willingly put at the service of the Emperor.
In 1038 Conrad was forced by urgent business to recross the Alps,
leaving Aribert unsubdued. Next year he died suddenly at Utrecht. ‘No
man,’ says a Saxon annalist, ‘regretted his death.’ Yet if Conrad was
unpopular, he was singularly successful. Though he had failed to get the
better of Aribert, he had obtained his object in everything else that he
undertook. He left the royal authority established on such a solid basis
that his son, King Henry, already crowned King of Germany and Burgundy,
and already Duke of Bavaria and Swabia, now stepped into the complete
possession of his father’s power, as if he were already the heir of an
hereditary state. Henry III. was the first German king to succeed
without opposition or rebellion.

[Sidenote: Henry III., 1039–1056.]

Henry III. was now two-and-twenty years of age, and had been carefully
educated for his great position. Gisela had procured for him the best of
literary teachers, while Conrad himself had taken care that he should
excel in all knightly exercises, and go through a sound drilling in war,
law, and statecraft. He had already won martial glory against the Poles
and Hungarians, while he had acquired political experience as virtual,
if not formal, co-regent with his father. He was now able to take up his
father’s work, and while carrying it on essentially in the old lines, to
infuse it with a new spirit. For the gifted young king, though
inheriting to the full the practical wisdom of his father, soared far
above the cold self-seeking and hard selfishness of the least attractive
of the great German Emperors. Under his strong and genial rule, the Holy
Empire again became a great ideal, though it was now an ideal that had
little that was visionary or fantastic about it. The seventeen years of
his reign witnessed the culminating point of the power of the mediæval
Empire. Under him Germany effectively ruled the destinies of the world.
The early troubles that had attended the building up of the kingdom were
over. The later troubles that sprang from the struggle of the
ecclesiastical and temporal power had not yet begun.

A series of signal triumphs in the east first proclaimed to the world
the greatness of the new king. Poland, Bohemia, and Hungary were all
alike matters of concern to Henry. [Sidenote: Poland, Bohemia, and
Hungary made fiefs of the Empire.] But Poland, so mighty a few years
before, was distracted by civil strife, and attacked by the rising power
of Bohemia, now the strongest Slavonic state. It was a light matter for
Henry to retain Poland as a feudatory of the Empire. But it involved a
long struggle before Bohemia, under its warlike Duke Bretislav, could be
forced to accept the same position. It was Bretislav’s ambition to make
himself a king, and to secure for the Bohemian bishopric at Prague the
position of an archbishopric, so that a great Slavonic kingdom,
independent both in Church and State, might centre round the Bohemian
table-land. But Henry forced his way through the mountains of the border
and threatened Prague itself. In despair Bretislav did homage to him for
Bohemia and Moravia, and even for the outlying district of Silesia,
which he had conquered from the weak Polish monarchy and made an
integral part of the Bohemian kingdom. Even greater difficulties beset
Henry in Hungary, where a heathen reaction had set Aba, a member of the
hero race of Arpad, on the throne. In 1042 Henry invaded Hungary and
dethroned Aba, but the Hungarian king was soon restored, and it was not
until a third expedition in 1044 that Henry finally succeeded in
destroying his power. Aba’s defeat secured the complete triumph of the
German king. Peter, the new king of Hungary, performed homage to Henry,
thus making Hungary, like Poland and Bohemia, a fief of the Empire. In
1045 Henry visited Hungary, and received the submission of the Magyar
magnates. In pious gratitude for his victory Henry sent the gilded
lance, which Peter had given to him as an emblem of his dependence, as a
votive offering to the Papacy. A few years later another Arpad, Andrew,
dethroned the weak Peter, and gave a more national direction to the
fierce Magyar nation, though he was too conscious of Henry’s power to
break openly with him. With a row of vassal kingdoms extending to the
extremest eastward limits of Roman civilisation, the Holy Empire was
fast becoming in a very real sense the mistress of the world.

[Sidenote: Henry III. and France.]

With all his power, Henry could not hope to obtain from the princes of
the west the same formal acknowledgment of his supremacy that he had
wrested from the lords of the east. The France of Henry I. was indeed
feeble and helpless, but the early Capetian monarchy was still the
centre of a great system, and its feudatories, though constantly at war
with their king and with each other, would be likely to make common
cause against a German pretender to universal rule. Henry III. was
content to keep on friendly terms with his neighbours beyond the Rhine,
and, as a good means of securing French friendship, he chose a wife from
among the greater vassals of the Capetian throne. In 1043 he married
Agnes of Poitou, the youngest daughter of that Count William of Poitou
who, in his youth, had competed with Conrad the Salic for the crown of
Italy. Agnes exercised henceforth strong influence over her husband, and
in particular upon his ecclesiastical policy.

With the eastern kings paying him tribute and the monarch of the west
seeking his friendship, Henry had now leisure to improve the internal
condition of his dominions. Despite all that his predecessors had done,
Germany and Italy were still in the utmost disorder. [Sidenote: Henry
III. and Germany.] Conrad II.’s policy of encouraging the smaller
nobility had tended to increase the private wars and local feuds that
made existence so difficult and dreary for the simple freeman, and so
dangerous even to the great lord. Henry now made strenuous efforts to
restore peace to Germany. At a diet at Constance Henry solemnly forgave
all his enemies, and craved their forgiveness in turn, calling upon the
magnates to follow his example and lay aside their feuds with each
other. Some degree of success followed this appeal, especially as Henry
had partly abandoned his father’s policy of concentrating the national
duchies in his own hands. Germany was so vast that it could hardly be
effectively ruled from a single centre, and Henry hoped that henceforth
the dukes whom he set up would be faithful ministers, and not champions
of local independence.

Italy demanded Henry’s utmost care, and the critical position of the
Papacy closely connected his policy with his attitude towards the
Church. Since his marriage with Agnes, Henry had become more attentive
to the teachings of Cluny, and was keenly alive to the scandals which
still disgraced the Roman Church. No ecclesiastical reformation could be
complete which did not begin with the head of the Church, and it was
only by a great manifestation of his power that Henry could purify the
Papacy. [Sidenote: Henry III. and Italy.] The Counts of Tusculum still
kept their tight hold over the Roman Church, which had almost become
their hereditary possession. After two brothers—the reforming Benedict
VIII. (1012–1024) and the reactionary John XIX. (1024–1033)—had held in
turn St. Peter’s chair, a third member of the Tusculan house, their
nephew, Benedict IX., succeeded, despite his extreme youth, to the papal
throne (1033). His excesses soon gave occasion to universal scandal, and
in 1044 the Romans set up an Antipope in Sylvester III. Family influence
still upheld Benedict, but next year new troubles arising, he sold the
Papacy in a panic to a new pretender, who called himself Gregory VI.,
and who, despite his simoniacal election, soon attracted the reformers
around him by his zeal in putting an end to abuses. But Benedict soon
repented of his bargain, and sought to regain his position as Pope. The
result was that three rival claimants to the Papacy distracted Rome with
their brawls, and none of them had sufficient power to get rid of the

A synod assembled at Rome, and called on Henry III. to put an end to the
crisis. In 1046 he crossed the Alps, and held a Church Council at Pavia,
in which he issued an edict condemning simony. [Sidenote: Synod of
Sutri, 1046.] In December 1046 he held another synod at Sutri, near
Rome, where two of the three claimants to the Papacy were deposed. The
third claimant was deposed in a third synod held in Rome itself.
Suidgar, Bishop of Bamberg, was chosen Pope through Henry’s influence,
and enthroned on Christmas Day as Clement II., conferring on the same
day the imperial crown on Henry and Agnes. Accompanied by Clement, the
Emperor made a progress through southern Italy, which he reduced to
submission. Grave troubles on the Lower Rhine now brought Henry back to
Germany; yet even in his absence his influence remained supreme in
Italy. Clement II. died in 1048; but a whole succession of German Popes,
the nominees of the Emperor, were now accepted by the Romans with hardly
a murmur. The first of these—Damasus II., formerly Poppo, Bishop of
Brixen, died after a few weeks’ reign. His successor, the Emperor’s
kinsman, Bruno of Toul, took the name of Leo IX. (1048–1054). Short as
was his pontificate, the result of his work was epoch-making in several
directions. During the reign of his successor, Victor II. (1054–1057),
Henry III. paid his second and last visit to Italy, the results of which
we will speak of later. No sooner was he over the Alps than a rebellion
broke out in Bavaria that necessitated his immediate return. The
presence of the Emperor soon extinguished the revolt, but the rising
taught Henry the insecurity of his position, and he now sought to
conciliate his foes.

[Sidenote: Death of Henry III., 1056.]

In the summer of 1056 Henry held his court at Goslar, where he was
visited by Victor II.; but in September he fell sick, and had only time
to take further measures to secure his son’s succession, when death
overtook him, on 5th October, in the thirty-ninth year of his age. Under
him the mediæval Empire attained its apogee. Germany was now almost a
nation; Italy a submissive dependency; the Papacy had been reformed, and
the Church purified. A child of six years old was now called to the
throne, whose burden had been almost too heavy for his father. With the
accession of Henry IV. the decline of the Empire begins.


                          HENRY I., the Fowler, Duke of the Saxons,
                                   German King (919–936)
                                       _m._ Matilda
        |             |              |             |               |               |
     Thankmar       OTTO I.        Henry,        Bruno,         Gerberga,        Hedwig,
 (illegitimate)   (936–973)       Duke of    Archbishop of  _m._ 1. Giselbert,  _m._ Hugh
     _d._ 938    _m._ 1. Edith    Bavaria,      Cologne      Duke of Lorraine   the Great
                  of England    _m._ Judith,                  2. Louis IV.,
                 2. Adelaide,   daughter of                   King of West
                   widow of       Arnulf,                        Franks
                   Lothair,       Duke of
                   King of        Bavaria
                    Italy            |
                     |               +---------------------------+--------------+
   (1)         (2)   |                                           |              |
    +-----------+----+-----------+----------------+              |              |
    |           |                |                |          Henry II.,       Hedwig,
 Ludolf,     OTTO II.        Liutgarde,        William        Duke of     _m._ Burkhard,
 Duke of    (973–983)     _m._ Conrad the  (illegitimate),  Bavaria, the      Duke of
 Swabia   _m._ Theophano,  Red, Duke of     Archbishop of   Quarrelsome       Swabia
    |       daughter of      Lorraine           Mainz            |
  OTTO,    Romanus II.,        |                          +------+------+
 Duke of     Eastern           |                          |             |
 Swabia      Emperor           |                      HENRY II.,     Gisela,
                |              |                      the Saint      _m._ St.
                |              |                     (1002–1024)     Stephen
                |              |                    _m._ Cunigunde  of Hungary
            OTTO III.         Otto
           (983–1002)          |
                               |            |            |
                             Henry        Bruno        Conrad
                               |     Pope Gregory V.     |
                               |        (996–999)        |
                               |                         |
                               |                  +------+-------+
                               |                  |              |
                 Gisela,  _m._ CONRAD II.,    Conrad of        Bruno,
               Duchess of  |   the Salic      Carinthia,  Bishop of Toul,
                 Swabia    |  (1024–1039)     rival to      Pope Leo IX.
                    |      |                  Conrad II.    (1048–1054)
                 Ernest,   |
                 Duke of   |
                 Swabia    |
                       HENRY III.
            _m._ Agnes, daughter of William,
                    Count of Poitou
                       HENRY IV.
                     _m._ 1. Bertha
                 2. Praxedis of Russia
               |                   |                     |
            Conrad,             HENRY V.               Agnes,
          Anti-Cæsar,         (1106–1125)          _m._ Frederick,
           _d._ 1101    _m._ Mathilda of England   Duke of Swabia,
                                                   ancestor of the

                               CHAPTER IV
                         CAPETIANS, 929–1108[4]

  The last Carolingians—Hugh the Great—Election of Hugh Capet, and its
    results—The first four Capetians, Hugh, Robert II.,
    Henry I., Philip I.—The great Fiefs under the early
    Capetians—Normandy—Brittany—Flanders—Vermandois—Champagne and
    Blois—Anjou—Burgundy—Aquitaine and Poitou—Toulouse—Beginnings of
    French influence.

[Sidenote: The last Carolingian Kings of the West Franks.]

While the first great Saxon kings were reviving the power of their
eastern kingdom, the expiring Carolingian house still carried on an
unavailing struggle for the possession of the old realm of the West
Franks. Charles the Simple was the last Carolingian to exercise any real
authority in France. He had obtained a powerful ally by his concession
of Normandy to Rolf and his vikings. He had witnessed the revolt of the
Lotharingians from Germany to France, and had attained many successes
through their support. [Sidenote: Charles the Simple, 896–929.] Yet the
concluding years of his reign were troubled in the extreme, until he
succumbed before the formidable coalition of Robert, Count of Paris, the
brother of the dead King Odo, and the chief representative of the new
order, with his two mighty sons-in-law, Herbert, Count of Vermandois,
and Rudolf, Duke of Burgundy. [Sidenote: Robert, 922–923.] Robert got
himself crowned king in 922, but was slain in battle in 923, leaving his
famous son, Hugh the Great, too young to succeed to his disputed
kingdom. This left Rudolf of Burgundy as king of the Franks, or, rather,
of those who still resisted Charles the Simple [see Period I., pp.
503–5]. [Sidenote: Rudolf, 923–936.] When Charles died in prison in 929,
Rudolf had no longer a nominal rival. He reigned until his death in 936.
But his power was miserably weak, and real authority still resided with
the great feudatories, whose possessions had now become hereditary for
so long a time that they were now associated by close ties to the
districts which they ruled.

Hugh the Great was a man of very different calibre from his fierce
ancestors. Robert the Strong, the founder of the house, had been a
warrior pure and simple. His sons, Odo and Robert, the two dukes who had
in turn grasped the sceptre, had faithfully followed in his footsteps.
Wanting in policy and statecraft, they had been less powerful as kings
than as dukes. Hugh the Great, the first statesman of the Robertian
house, was a shrewd tactician, who saw that his fortunes could best be
established by playing a waiting game. [Sidenote: Policy of Hugh the
Great.] He heaped up treasure, and accumulated fresh fiefs, but on the
death of his Burgundian brother-in-law he declined the royal dignity,
preferring to exercise an unseen influence over a king of his own choice
to exposing himself to the certainty of exciting the jealousy of every
great lord in France, by raising himself above them as their king.

[Sidenote: Louis IV., 936–954.]

There was only one sacred family which every lord admitted to be above
himself. Even in its humiliation the Carolingian name was still one to
conjure with. As Hugh would not be king himself, he wisely fell back on
the legitimate stock of the West Frankish royal house. He turned his
eyes over the Channel, where Louis, son of Charles the Simple, and his
West Saxon queen, Eadgifu, daughter of Edward the Elder, was living
quietly at the court of his uncle Athelstan. Louis was only fifteen
years old, and was likely to be grateful to his powerful protector. He
was elected king by the Frankish lords, and duly crowned at Reims. In
memory of his exile he was called ‘Louis from beyond sea’
(_Ultramarinus_, _Outremer_). In the list of French kings he is reckoned
as Louis IV.

Hugh the Great was rewarded by the renewal in his favour of the title
‘Duke of the French,’ which had already been borne by his father Robert
in the days of Charles the Simple. This title suggested a power, half
military and half national, analogous to that held by the dukes of the
nations in Germany. [Sidenote: The Duke of the French.] But if this were
the case, Hugh’s power as duke would have probably been restricted to
‘Francia,’ a region which, in common speech, was now limited to the
Gaulish regions north of the Seine. It is not clear, however, that the
power of the Duke of the French had any territorial limitation other
than that of the limits of the West Frankish kingdom as prescribed by
the treaty of Verdun. Wherever Louis ruled as ‘king,’ Hugh wielded
authority as ‘duke.’ He was a permanent prime minister, a mayor of the
palace, a justiciar of the Anglo-Norman type, rather than a territorial
duke. Indeed, Hugh’s chief domains were not in ‘Francia’ at all. Despite
his possession of Paris, his chief fiefs were still in the cradle of his
house, the district between the Seine and Loire, to which the term
Neustria was now commonly applied. Here his authority stretched as far
westwards as the county of Maine, which he had obtained in his youth
from the weakness of Rudolf of Burgundy. Moreover, in the lack of all
central royal authority, half the chief vassals of the north had thought
it prudent to commend themselves to the mighty lord of Neustria, and,
with the Duke of Normandy at their head, had become his feudal
dependants. Hugh was no longer simply a great feudatory. Even in name,
he was the second man in Gaul. In fact, he was a long way the first.

The last Carolingians were in no wise puppets and do-nothings like the
last Merovingians. Louis IV. proved a strenuous warrior, with a full
sense of his royal dignity. He ruled directly over little more than the
hill-town of Laon and its neighbourhood, but he did wonders with his
scanty resources. He married a sister of Otto the Great, and with German
help was able to press severely his former patron. But Otto soon
withdrew beyond the Rhine, and Louis, deprived of his help, and ever
planning schemes too vast for his resources, was soon altogether at
Hugh’s mercy. In 946 he was driven out of Laon: ‘the only town,’ as he
complained, ‘where I could shut myself up with my wife and children, the
town that I prefer to my life.’ In his despair he laid his wrongs before
King Otto and a council of bishops at Ingelheim. Hugh prudently yielded
before the threatened thunders of the Church. He renewed his homage to
King Louis, and restored Laon to him. ‘Henceforth,’ says the chronicler,
‘their friendship was as firm as their struggles had formerly been
violent.’ When Louis died suddenly in 954, his thirteen-year-old son,
Lothair, was chosen king through Hugh’s influence. Two years later the
great duke died.

Hugh the Great’s son and successor was also named Hugh. He is famous in
history by the surname of ‘Capet,’ which he obtained from bearing the
cope of the abbot of St. Martin’s at Tours, but which, like most famous
surnames, has no contemporary authority. Brought up in his father’s
school, he was clear-headed, cunning, resourceful, and cold-blooded.
[Sidenote: Hugh Capet and King Lothair, 954–986.] He soon extended the
power of his house, establishing one of his brothers in Burgundy, and
marrying Adelaide, the heiress of Poitou, so as to be able to push
forward claims in the lands beyond the Loire. Both in policy and
resources he overmatched the young king Lothair, who tried as he grew up
to play his father’s part; but his means were too small, and he embarked
on contradictory policies which destroyed each other. His father had
relied upon the support of Otto I., but Lothair, tempted by the long
tradition of loyalty which bound Lotharingia to the Carolingian house,
sought to find a substitute for his dwindling patrimony in northern
France by winning domains for himself in that region. The strong Saxon
kings would not tolerate the falling away of Lorraine from their Empire.
Otto II. invaded France [see page 38] and vigorously punished the
presumptuous Carolingian. Henceforth Lothair had no support against the
subtle policy of the new Duke of the French. He even alienated Adalbero,
the famous Archbishop of Reims, and the last prominent ecclesiastical
upholder of the tottering dynasty, so that he repudiated the traditional
policy of his see, and allied himself with the duke and the Emperor.
Gerbert, the ‘scholasticus’ of Adalbero’s cathedral school, and the
author of his policy, established an alliance between Hugh Capet and
Otto III., and was soon able to boast that Lothair was but king in name,
and that the real king was Duke Hugh. After losing the support of the
Germans and of the Church, the Carolingians had absolutely nothing left
but their own paltry resources. Yet Lothair gallantly struggled on till
his death, in 986, after a nominal reign of thirty-two years. [Sidenote:
Louis V., 986–987.] His son, Louis V., who had reigned jointly with him
since 979, succeeded to his phantom kingship, and contrived to win over
Duke Hugh, at whose instigation he led an expedition into Poitou. But
Louis also quarrelled with Archbishop Adalbero, and alienated the
Church. Adalbero intrigued against him, and the prelate’s triumph was
hastened by Louis’ premature death in the hunting-field (987). He was
the last of the Carolingian kings.

[Sidenote: Election of Hugh Capet, 987.]

For a century the Robertian house had struggled with the house of
Charles the Great. Its premature triumph under Odo and Robert had put
off the final day of success. But the patient and shrewd policy of Hugh
the Great and Hugh Capet was at last rewarded with victory. Louis V.
left no son. His uncle Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, was his nearest
heir, but was in no position to push forward his pretensions. The pear
was at last ripe, and Hugh Capet had no longer any motive for avoiding
the semblance of the power, of which he had long enjoyed the reality.
Adalbero and Gerbert now showed great activity. Adalbero harangued the
barons and bishops on the duty that lay before them. ‘We know,’ he said,
‘that Charles of Lorraine has his partisans who pretend that the throne
belongs to him by hereditary right. But we believe that kingship is not
acquired by hereditary right, but that we ought only to raise to that
dignity the man who is marked out, not only by nobleness of birth, but
by wisdom, loyalty, and magnanimity.’ The magnates took the cue, and
elected Hugh king of the French. The Church ratified the choice of the
nobles by the solemn coronation of the new king at Noyon. The Duke of
the Normans and the Count of Anjou lent him the support of their arms.
The Emperor recognised Hugh, on condition that he waived all claims over

The revolution of 987 was easily accomplished, because the old order was
so nearly dead. It involved no striking change in form. The Capetian
kings posed as the lawful successors of the Carolingians: they had the
same conceptions of sovereignty, and followed the same principles of
government. [Sidenote: Its results.] Yet those are not far wrong who
regard the accession of Hugh as the starting-point of all later French
history. It is easy to exaggerate the nature of the change. It is unsafe
to make the change of dynasty a triumph of one race over another. It has
been the fashion to say that, with the last of the Carolingians,
disappear the last of the Teutonic conquerors of Gaul, and that their
power had passed on to the Romanised Celts whom they had ruled so long.
But there is no scrap of evidence to prove that the later Carolings were
different in tongue, ideas, or policy from the Robertian house. There
was no real national feeling in the tenth century, and, if there were,
no proof that the one house was more national than the other.
Nevertheless, the passing away of the line of Charles the Great does
complete the process which the Treaty of Verdun had begun. The Capetian
king had a limited localised power, a power that in due course could
become national; and if he looked back, like the Carolings, to the
traditions of imperial monarchy and order, he had no temptation to look
back, as the Carolings were bound to look back, to the imperial ideas of
universal dominion. He had no claim to rule beyond the limits ascribed
to the West Frankish kingdom in the Treaty of Verdun. He was king of the
French, the new Romance people that had grown up as the result of the
amalgamation of conquering Frank and conquered Roman. He spoke the
infant French tongue; his ambitions were limited to French soil; he
represented the new nationality that soon began to take a foremost place
amidst all the nations of Europe. But the triumph of the Capetian was
not even in anticipation a simple national triumph. It was only in after
ages, when France had become great, that she could look back and see in
his accession the beginnings of her separate national monarchy.
Personally, Hugh Capet was doubtless, like Harold of England some two
generations later, an embodiment of the new national character and
energy. But, less fortunate than Harold, he had time enough to live to
show how powerless was a national hero, amidst an order of society in
which the national ideal could have no place. He was rather the mighty
feudatory, raised by his own order to a position of pre-eminence to
represent the predominance of feudal ideas. The Carolings had fallen,
not because of their own weakness, and still less by reason of any want
of sympathy between them and the French nation. They were pushed out of
power because France had become so fully feudalised that there was no
room for an authority that had no solid basis of feudal support. France
had become divided among a series of great fiefs. None of these fiefs
fell to the ruling family, which was thus, as the result of the
preponderance of the feudal principle, deprived of revenue, army, lands,
and reputation. Hugh Capet inherited all that had kept the Carolingian
power alive so long; but in addition to that he could supplement the
theoretical claims of monarchy by right divine, by the practical
arguments drawn from the possession of one of the strongest fiefs. Thus
the new dynasty saved the monarchy by strengthening it with a great
fief. No doubt the feudatories acted unwisely in having a king at all.
But a nominal monarchy was part of the feudal system, and the barons
could console themselves by believing that in becoming king of the
French, Hugh still remained one of themselves. He was not surrounded
with the mystic reverence due to the descendants of Charlemagne. As
Harold, in becoming king of the English, did not cease to be earl of the
West Saxons, so Hugh, in ascending the French throne, was still in all
essentials the duke of the French. Harold and Hugh alike found but a
questioning obedience in the great earls and counts, who looked upon the
upstart kings as their equals. The Norman Conquest destroyed Harold
before it could be early demonstrated what a long step in the direction
of feudalism was made by his accession. Hugh Capet and his successors
had time to bear the full brunt of the feudal shock. The most powerful
of dukes proved the weakest of kings. It was only gradually that the
ceremonial centre, round which the cumbrous fabric of French feudalism
revolved, became the real heart of French national life. Yet, even in
the feeble reigns of the first four Capetian kings, it is plain that
France had begun a new existence. The history of the Carolingians is a
history of decline. The history of the Capetians is a story of progress.
While beyond the Rhine and Alps the continuance of the imperial theory
choked the growth of German and Italian national life, the disappearance
of these remnants of the past proved a blessing to Gaul. The history of
modern Europe is the history of the development of nationalities. That
history may be said in a sense to begin with the establishment of the
first of an unbroken dynasty of national kings over what was destined to
become one of the greatest of modern nations.

It is only with these limitations that the election of Hugh can be
regarded as a triumph either of feudalism or of nationality. But it is
entirely true that Hugh’s accession was the triumph of the Church.
Adalbero, and Gerbert working through Adalbero, really gave Hugh the
throne. Gerbert could truly boast that the Church had revived the royal
name after it had long been almost dead among the French. Amidst the
horrors of feudal anarchy, the sounder part of the Church still upheld
in monarchy the Roman tradition of orderly rule, and taught that the
king governed by God’s grace, because without a strong king the thousand
petty tyrants of feudalism would have no restraint upon their lust and
greed. But even this was an ideal far beyond the vision of the tenth
century; though in later generations it was to bear fruit. The immediate
results of Hugh Capet’s election were far different from its ultimate
results. The conditions upon which his brother magnates had elected him
king meant in practice that they should enjoy in their territories the
same power that he enjoyed on his own domain. Save his theoretical
pre-eminence, Hugh got very little from his royal title. The only
resources on which he could depend implicitly were those which he
derived from his own lands and vassals. There was no national
organisation, no royal revenue, and practically no royal army, as the
term of feudal service was too short to carry on a real campaign, even
if the king could have trusted his vassals’ levies. The royal title
involved responsibilities, but brought with it little corresponding

Struck by the contrast between their weakness and the commanding
position of later French kings, historians have dwelt with almost
exaggerated emphasis on the powerlessness of Hugh Capet and his first
three successors. Yet the early Capetians were not so feeble as they are
sometimes described. The French king was still the centre round which
the feudal system revolved. He had a store of legal claims and
traditions of authority, which at any favourable moment he could put
into force. He was the only ruler whose authority extended even in name
all over France. He inherited the traditions of the Carolingians and
Merovingians, and, rightly or wrongly, was regarded as their successor.
Moreover, the lay fiefs were, luckily for the monarchy, cut up by the
great ecclesiastical territories, over which the king stood in a better
position. Though feudal in a certain sense, the great Church dignitary
was never a mere feudalist. His power was not hereditary. On his death
the custody of the temporalities of his see passed into the royal hands,
and it was the settled royal policy to keep churches vacant as long as
possible. Only in a few favoured fiefs, like Normandy, Brittany, and
Aquitaine, did the _regale_ slip altogether into the hands of the local
dukes. Moreover, the disputes and the weakness of the chapters gave the
king the preponderating voice in elections. Even stronger was the royal
position in relation to the monasteries. The greatest abbeys throughout
France were ‘royal abbeys,’ over which the king possessed the same right
as over bishoprics. Weaker than the bishops, the abbots looked up even
more than the secular prelates to the royal support against the grasping
and simoniacal lay-lords. The king favoured the Cluniac reformers,
knowing that the more earnest the Churchmen, the more they would be
opposed to feudal influence. Thus it was that every great Church fief
was a centre of royal influence. Over the Church lands of central
France—the provinces of Sens, Reims, Tours, and Bourges—the early
Capetian was a real king. Even from the point of view of material
resources, the king was in every whit as favourable a position as any
one of his chief vassals. His own domains were large, rich, and
centrally situated. Though lavish grants to the chief monasteries, and
the need of paying for each step of their upward progress by
conciliating the feudal magnates, had eaten away much of the old
Robertian domain; though the great Counts of Anjou and Blois had
established themselves in virtual independence within the limits of the
domain of Hugh the Great, Hugh Capet still held the country between the
Seine and the Loire, including the county of Paris, Orléans and its
district, Senlis, Etampes, and Melun, with scattered possessions in more
distant places, Picardy, Champagne, Berri, Touraine, and Auvergne. Paris
was not as yet so important a place as it afterwards became, and it is
an exaggeration to make it the centre of his power. Hugh could only
conciliate his chief adviser and supporter, Bouchard the Venerable, the
greatest lord of the royal domain, and count already of Vendôme,
Corbeil, and Melun, by granting him his own county of Paris. The title
of ‘royal count’ of Paris suggested that Bouchard was a royal officer
rather than a simple feudatory, and after Bouchard had retired into a
monastery, the county of Paris was henceforth kept strictly in the
king’s hands. The second Capetian acquired with Montreuil-sur-Mer a
seaport near the English Channel. For a time the Capetians held the
duchy of Burgundy. Moreover, they were men of energy and vigour who made
the best of their limited resources. But their lot was a hard one. Even
in their own domains, between the Seine and Loire, the leading mesne
lords, lay and secular, exercised such extensive jurisdiction that there
was little room left for the authority of the suzerain. Besides the
task—as yet hopeless—of reducing the great vassals of the crown to
order, the Capetian kings had the preliminary task of establishing their
authority within their own domains. Even this smaller work was not
accomplished for more than a century. But, luckily for the kings, each
one of the great feudatories was similarly occupied. The barons of
Normandy and Aquitaine gave more trouble to their respective dukes than
the barons of the Isle of France gave to the lord of Paris. Power was in
reality distributed among hundreds of feudal chieftains. It was so
divided that no one was strong enough to really rule at all. France
suffered all the miseries of feudal anarchy, when every petty lord of a
castle ruled like a little king over his own domain. Yet it was
something that her contests were now between Frenchmen and Frenchmen.
Something was gained in the passing away of the barbarian invasions of
the tenth century.

[Sidenote: The first four Capetians. Hugh, 987–996.]

The details of the political history of the first four Capetian reigns
are insignificant, and need not be told at length. Hugh Capet reigned
from 987 to 996. He had little difficulty in obtaining general
recognition, even from the lords of the distant south. But he had some
trouble in upholding his claims against the Carolingian claimant,
Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, who received the powerful support of
the church of Reims, after Adalbero’s death, and continued for some time
to maintain himself in the old Carolingian fortress of Laon. Hugh
continued with wise policy to maintain his hold over the church of
Reims, and so to destroy the last possible stronghold of the
Carolingians. He did not even scruple to sacrifice the trusty Gerbert to
serve his dynastic ambitions. Within modest limits, the reign of the
founder of the new dynasty was a successful one.

[Sidenote: Robert II., the Pious, 996–1031.]

In the very year of his accession, Hugh provided for the hereditary
transmission of his power by associating his son Robert in the kingship.
On Hugh’s death Robert, already with nine years’ experience as a crowned
king, became sole monarch. He had been a pupil of Gerbert’s, and was
sufficiently learned to be able to compose hymns and argue on points of
theology with bishops. His character was amiable, his charity abundant;
he was of soft and ready speech, and amiable manners. He showed such
fervent devotion that he was surnamed Robert the Pious, and contributed
more than any other Capetian king to identify the Church and the
dynasty. He was not the weak uxorious prince that his enemies describe
him, but a mighty hunter, a vigorous warrior, and an active statesman.
He made constant efforts, both to enlarge his domain and establish his
authority over the great vassals. He kept up friendly relations with
Normandy. He married Bertha, widow of Odo I., Count of Chartres, Tours,
and Blois, his father’s worst enemy, in the hope of regaining the three
rich counties that had slipped away from the heritage of Hugh the Great.
But Bertha was within the prohibited degrees; and the Pope insisting
upon the unlawfulness of the union, Robert was excommunicated, and after
a long struggle gave her up. But in 1019, the establishment of Odo II.
of Blois, the son of Bertha by her former marriage, in the county of
Troyes, did something to avenge the lady’s memory. Robert’s third
marriage with Constance of Arles, the daughter of a Provençal lord, led
to several royal visits to his wife’s native regions which was a step
towards establishing Capetian influence in the south. But the men of
Robert’s own territories disliked the hard, greedy queen, and the clergy
in particular resented her introduction, into the court of Paris, of the
refined but lax southern manners. Robert’s most important exploit was
the conquest of Burgundy. His uncle, Duke Henry, had died without an
heir, and after a struggle of fourteen years’ duration, Robert got
possession of the great fief; but he soon granted it to his eldest
surviving son Henry, whom, faithful to his father’s policy, he had
crowned king in 1027. He twice went on pilgrimage to Rome, and was
offered the throne of Italy by the Lombard lords, who were opposed to
Conrad the Salic; yet he found much difficulty in chastising any petty
lord of the Orléanais or the Beauce, who chose to defy him.

[Sidenote: Henry I., 1031–1060.]

During the declining years of Robert II., Queen Constance exercised an
increasing influence. She wished to set aside the young king, Henry of
Burgundy, the natural heir, in favour of his younger brother Robert. But
the old king insisted on the rights of the first-born, and civil war
broke out between the brothers, though before long they united their
arms against their father. When King Robert died, the contest was
renewed; but finally Henry secured the throne for himself, and pacified
his younger brother by the grant of Burgundy, which thus went
permanently back to a separate line of rulers. Henry I.’s inauspicious
beginning lost some ground to the monarchy, which under him perhaps
attained its lowest point of power. But Henry, if not very wise, was
brave and active. Though his resources prevented any great expeditions,
he strove by a series of petty fights and sieges to protect his
frontiers against two of the strongest and most disloyal of his
vassals—the Count of Blois, and the Duke of Normandy. In neither case
was he successful. Odo II., after a long struggle, was able to establish
his power on a firm basis, both in Champagne and Blois. But after Odo’s
death in 1037, Henry managed to absorb some of his fiefs in the royal
domain, and scored a considerable triumph by transferring Touraine from
the overpowerful house of Blois to Geoffrey Martel, Count of Anjou. The
young duke, William of Normandy, who owed his throne to the support of
Henry, which had secured the defeat of the rebel barons at Val-ès-Dunes,
soon grew so powerful as to excite the apprehensions of his overlord. In
an unlucky hour, Henry broke the tradition of friendship that had so
long united Rouen and Paris. He twice invaded Normandy, but on both
occasions the future conqueror of England proved more than a match for
him. In 1054 Henry was defeated at Mortemer, and again, in 1058, at
Varaville. Another difficulty in the way of the monarchy was the fact
that Henry married late, and his health was already breaking up when the
eldest son, borne to him by his wife Anne of Russia, was still a child.
Nevertheless, in 1059, Henry procured the coronation of his
seven-year-old son Philip at Reims, and the great gathering of magnates
from all parts of France that attended the ceremony showed that the
succession to the throne was still an event of national interest. Yet
with all his weakness, Henry I. held firm to the ancient traditions of
the Frankish monarchy. When the reforming Pope Leo IX. held his synod of
Reims to denounce simony, Henry was so jealous of the Pope that he
prevented the French prelates from attending it. He watched with alarm
the results of the absorption of Lorraine and the kingdom of Arles in
the Empire, and boldly wrote to Henry III., claiming by hereditary right
the palace at Aachen, possessed by his ancestors, and all the
Lotharingian kingdom kept from its rightful owners by the tyranny of the
German king. It is significant that the weakest of the early Capetians
should thus pose against the strongest of the Emperors as the inheritor
of the Carolingian tradition.

[Sidenote: Philip I., 1060–1108.]

In 1060 Henry died, and the little Philip I. was acknowledged as his
successor without a murmur. During his minority, Count Baldwin V. of
Flanders held the regency, paying perhaps more regard to his interests
as a great feudatory, than to his duty to his ward. It was possibly
owing to this attitude that Baldwin allowed his son-in-law, William the
Bastard, to fit out the famous expedition which led to the conquest of
England, and thus gave one of the chief vassals of France a stronger
position than his overlord. The year after the battle of Hastings
Baldwin of Flanders died, and henceforward Philip ruled in his own name.
As he grew up, he gained a bad reputation for greed, debauchery,
idleness, and sloth. Before he attained old age he had become
extraordinarily fat and unwieldy, while ill-health still further
diminished his activity. Yet Philip was a shrewd man, of sharp and
biting speech, and clear political vision. His quarrel with the Church
was the result of his private vices rather than his public policy. As
early as 1073 he was bitterly denounced by Gregory VII. as the most
simoniac, adulterous, and sacrilegious of kings. But he gave most
offence to the Church when, in 1092, he repudiated his wife, Bertha of
Holland (with whom he had lived for more than twenty years), in favour
of Bertrada of Montfort, the wife of Fulk Réchin, Count of Anjou, whom
he married after a complaisant bishop had declared her former union
null. This bold step brought on Philip’s head not only the arms of the
injured Fulk, and of Bertha’s kinsfolk, but a sentence of
excommunication from Urban II. (1094). Though a way to reconciliation
was soon opened up by the death of Bertha, the Pope nevertheless
persisted in requiring Philip to repudiate his adulterous consort.
Philip never gave up Bertrada, and never received the full absolution of
the Church. Nevertheless, the war which he carried on against the Papacy
did not cost him the allegiance of his subjects, though to it was added
a long conflict with Gregory VII.’s ally, William the Conqueror. So weak
was he that he dared not prevent the holding of councils on French soil
at which he was excommunicated, and the great crusading movement
proclaimed. But Philip was more active and more shrewd than his
ecclesiastical enemies thought. He turned his attention with
single-minded energy towards the increase of the royal domain,
preferring the inglorious gain of a castle or a petty lordship to
indulging in those vague and futile claims by which his three
predecessors had sought in vain to hide their powerlessness. He took
possession of the lapsed fief of Vermandois, and, not being strong
enough to hold the district in his own hands, established there his
brother Hugh the Great, the famous crusading hero and the father of a
long line of Capetian counts of Vermandois, who were all through the
next century among the surest supports of the Capetian throne. Philip
also absorbed the Vexin and the Valois, thus securing important outworks
to protect his city of Paris from Normandy and Champagne. By his politic
purchase of Bourges, Philip for the first time established the royal
power on a solid basis south of the Loire. But the weak point of
Philip’s acquisitions was that he had not force sufficient to hold them
firmly against opposition. Hampered by the constant unfriendliness of
the Church, broken in health and troubled in conscience, he ended his
life miserably enough. Formally reconciled to the Pope before the end of
his days, he died in the habit of a monk, declaring that his sins made
him unworthy to be laid beside his ancestors and St. Denis, and humbly
consigning himself to the protection of St. Benedict. When the vault at
Fleury closed over his remains, French history began a new
starting-point. Philip I. was the last of the early Capetians who were
content to go on reigning without governing, after the fashion of the
later Carolingians. It was reserved for his successors to convert formal
claims into actual possessions. Nevertheless, the work of Philip set
them on the right track. In his shrewd limitation of policy to matters
of practical moment, and his keen insight into the drift of affairs, the
gross, profligate, mocking Philip prepared the way for the truer
expansion of France under his son and grandson. His reign is the bridge
between the period of the early Capetians and the more fruitful and
progressive period that begins with Louis VI.

[Sidenote: The great fiefs under the early Capetians.]

The history of the struggles of the Capetians and Carolingians, and of
the first faint efforts of the former house to realise some of the high
pretensions of the old Frankish monarchy, is only one side of the
history of France during the tenth and eleventh centuries. Divided as
was all the western world, there was no part of it more utterly divided
in feeling and interest than the kingdom of the West Franks. When the
early Capetians were carrying on their petty warfare in the regions
between Seine and Loire, or making their vain progresses and emphasising
their barren claims over more distant regions, half a score of feudal
potentates as able, as wealthy, and as vigorous as themselves were
building up a series of local states with foundations as strong, and
patriotism as intense, as those of the lords of Paris. The tenth and
eleventh centuries saw the consolidation of the provincial nationalities
of France, the growing up of those strong local states which play so
conspicuous a part in later mediæval French history, and which,
centuries after their absorption into the royal domain, continued to be
centres of keen local feeling, and are not crushed out of existence even
by modern patriotism and the levelling-up of the Revolution. Equally
important with their political influence was their influence on arts,
language, and literature. Into the details of this history it is
impossible to go; but without a general survey of the process, we should
lose the key to the subsequent history of France.

[Sidenote: Normandy.]

The first among the great fiefs of France to acquire a distinct
character of its own was Normandy, which since the treaty of
Clair-on-Epte in 911 had been handed over by Charles the Simple to Rolf
the Ganger and his Viking followers. The pirates gave up their wandering
life of plunder, became Christians, and tillers of the soil. Rollo
divided the lands of his duchy among his kinsfolk and followers. In one
or two generations, the descendants of the pirate chieftains became the
turbulent feudal aristocracy that held even their fierce dukes in check,
and found the little duchy too small a field for their ambition and
enterprise. For a time they retained their Norse character. In some
districts, especially in the Bessin and the Côtentin, the great mass of
the population had become Scandinavian in tongue and manners. Constant
relations with Norwegian and Danish kings kept alive the memory of their
old home. Harold Blue Tooth protected Duke Richard against Louis IV.
Swegen sought the help of the lord of Rouen in avenging the massacre of
St. Brice on the English. But the ready wit and quick adaptability of
the Scandinavian races could not long withstand the French influences
surrounding them. The constant friendly relations between the Norman
dukes and both the Carolingian and Capetian kings precipitated the
change. The dukes and barons of Normandy became French in tongue and
manners. But they became French with a difference. The French of Caen
and Rouen were more restless, more enterprising, more ambitious, and
more daring than the French of Paris and Orleans. The contemporary
chroniclers saw the importance of the distinction. ‘O France,’ says Dudo
of Saint-Quentin, ‘thou wert crushed to the earth. Behold, there comes
to thee a new race from Denmark. Peace is made between her and thee.
That race will raise thy name and thy power to the heavens.’ Nor was
this prophecy a false one. Despite its constant turbulence, Normandy
became filled with a vigorous local life that soon flowed over its own
borders. What the Normans could not teach themselves, they learnt from
wandering Italians or Burgundians. The Normans stood in the forefront of
all the great movements of the time. They upheld the Capetians against
the Carolingians. They became the disciples of Cluny, and from the
Norman abbey of Le Bec soon flowed a stream of culture and civilisation
that bade fair to rival Cluny itself. They covered their land with great
minsters, and wrote stirring _chansons de geste_ in their Norman dialect
of the French tongue. Yet they kept themselves so free of their
suzerain’s influence, that not even through the Church could the
Capetian kings exercise any authority in Normandy. Throughout the whole
province of Rouen, the Church depended either upon the local seigneur or
upon the Norman duke. They were the champions of the Hildebrandine
Papacy. They were foremost in the Crusades. Their duke, William the
Bastard, conquered England, and in the next generation his Norman
followers swarmed over Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Private Norman
adventurers attempted to found a kingdom in Spain, and set up a monarchy
in southern Italy strong enough to wrest Sicily from Islam [see pages
104–118]. Throughout the length and breadth of Europe, Norman warriors,
priests, and poets made the French name famous. With the activity of the
Normans first begins the preponderance of French ideas, customs, and
language throughout the western world.

[Sidenote: Brittany.]

The old Celtic tribal state of Brittany had been almost overwhelmed by
the Norman invasions, and had lost all its former prosperity. The most
sacred shrines of the vast crowd of the Breton saints were pillaged and
destroyed. At the best, the holy relics were transferred to Paris, to
Orléans, or some other safe spot, far away from the marauding pagan.
When Rolf got from Charles the Simple the duchy of Normandy, it is said
that he asked for fresh land to plunder, while his followers learnt the
arts of peace in their new home. In some vague way Charles granted him
rights of suzerainty over Brittany. The Normans harried the land for
another generation, and, as later in Wales and Ireland, many Norman
chieftains settled down in the more fertile eastern districts of Upper
Brittany. But a Celtic reaction followed. Led by Alan of the Twisted
Beard (_barbe torte_), the native Bretons rose against their oppressors
and made common cause with the Gallo-Roman peasantry against them. Alan
became the founder of the county (afterwards duchy) of Brittany, a state
half French and half Celtic, including besides ‘la Bretagne bretonnante’
of the western peninsula of Lower Brittany, the French-speaking lands of
the Lower Loire and the Vilaine, with the purely French town of Rennes
for its capital, and the equally French Nantes for its chief seaport.
But despite the differences of tongue and custom, there was an essential
unity of feeling in the new duchy, based on the disappearance both of
the Celtic tribal system and the Gallo-Roman provincial system in favour
of a feudalism that was common to Celt and Frenchman alike. Brittany,
despite its composite origin, retained and still retains a marked type
of local nationality, less active and energetic than the Norman, but
more dogged, persevering, and enduring. When Alan Barbe-torte died in
952, Brittany had become an organised feudal state.

[Sidenote: Flanders.]

The county of Flanders grew up in the flat country between the Scheldt
and the sea. Like Brittany, it had suffered terribly from Norman
invasions. Like Brittany, it was not homogeneous in language and custom.
In all the northern and eastern districts the Low Dutch tongue
prevailed, but in the south-east, round Lille and Douai, French was
spoken. Baldwin of the Iron Arm, a Carolingian official who became the
son-in-law of Charles the Bald, distinguished himself by leading the
Flemings to victory against the Normans, and obtained from his
father-in-law an hereditary supremacy over the whole district bounded by
the Scheldt, the North Sea, and the Canche, and therefore including the
modern Artois with the homage of great barons like the counts of
Boulogne and Saint-Pol. Four other Counts Baldwin continued their
ancestor’s exploits. Of these the most famous was Baldwin V., the uncle
and guardian of Philip I., and the father-in-law of William the
Conqueror. It was under Baldwin V. that the Flemish towns, whose strong
walls had served to shelter previous generations from the Viking
marauders, first enter upon their long career of political liberty and
industrial prosperity. When Baldwin V. died in 1067, the year after his
son-in-law’s establishment in England, mediæval Flanders had well begun
its glorious but tumultuous and blood-stained career. [Sidenote:
Vermandois.] To the south of Flanders lay the Vermandois, round its
chief town of Saint Quentin, and including the northern parts of the
restricted ‘Francia’ of the tenth century. We have seen the importance
of its counts in the days of the struggle of Carolingians and Capetians,
and the establishment of a Capetian line of counts of Vermandois in the
person of Hugh the Great, the brother of Philip I.

[Sidenote: Champagne and Blois.]

Champagne became the chief fief of north-eastern France. A special
feature in this district was the power of the bishops, and in
consequence the influence of the crown. The metropolitans of Reims
played a great local as well as a great national part. The bishops of
Châlons became counts of their cathedral city; the bishops of Troyes,
the local capital, only just failed in attaining the same end.
‘Everywhere,’ we are told, ‘the mighty oppressed the feeble, and men,
like fishes, swallowed each other up.’ In the course of the tenth
century a strong lay power arose in this district under the counts of
Troyes. During the tenth century the country was held by a branch of the
house of Vermandois. In 1019 it passed, as we have seen, to the house of
Blois. However, the power of the family was soon endangered by the
separation of Champagne and Blois under the two elder sons of Odo II.,
after his death in 1037.

The county of Blois, itself the original seat of the Capetians but
carved out of their dwindling domain in favour of a hostile house, had
already been united with that of Chartres. The establishment of the same
house in Troyes created a state which pressed upon Paris both from the
west, south, and east, and was frequently hostile to it. Before long,
this powerful line began to absorb the lesser feudatories of the eastern
marchland, and to make its influence felt even over the great
ecclesiastical dignitaries. After the county of Vitry was transferred
from the obedience of the Archbishop of Reims to the authority of the
counts of Troyes, the lords of the amalgamated fiefs assumed the wider
title of counts of Champagne, and became one of the greatest powers in
France. Against these gains the loss of Touraine was but a small one.
Odo’s grandson, Stephen, Count of Blois and Chartres (1089–1102), was
one of the heroes of the First Crusade, and the father, by his wife
Adela, daughter of William the Conqueror, of a numerous family in whose
time the house of Blois attained its highest prosperity. His second son,
Theobald (II. of Champagne and IV. of Blois, called Theobald the Great,
died 1152) reigned over both Blois and Champagne. His third son,
Stephen, acquired not only the counties of Mortain and Boulogne but the
throne of England. His fourth son, Henry, was the famous Bishop of
Winchester. Though Blois and Champagne again separated under different
lines of the house of Blois after Theobald’s death, their policy
remained united, and their influence was still formidable.

[Sidenote: Anjou.]

Like Blois, Anjou grew up out of the original domains of Robert the
Strong. Fulk the Red, who died in 941, and was rewarded with Anjou for
his prowess in resisting the Normans, was the first hereditary Count of
Anjou of whom history has any knowledge, though legends tell of earlier
mythical heroes and a witch ancestress, whose taint twisted into evil
the strong passions and high courage of the later representatives of the
race. Though their exploits are told in a somewhat romantic form, there
remains enough to enable us to form more individual impressions of the
fierce, wayward Angevin lords than of most of the shadowy heroes of
early feudalism. With Geoffrey Martel, great-grandson of Fulk the Red,
who died in 1060, the first line of the Counts of Anjou became extinct;
but his sister’s son Geoffrey the Bearded got possession of the county,
and became the ancestor of the famous line that later ages than their
own celebrated as the house of Plantagenet. His descendants grew in
dominions and influence. Touraine they had possessed since Henry I. had
transferred that county from the house of Blois to Geoffrey Martel. They
now turned their eyes on Maine, the border district that separated them
from the Normans. This brought about a long struggle between the Norman
dukes and the Angevin counts, which was not finally ended until Henry I.
of Normandy and England married his daughter, the widowed Empress
Matilda, to Geoffrey the Fair, from which marriage sprang the greatest
of the Angevins, Henry II. of England, Normandy and Anjou.

[Sidenote: Burgundy.]

The duchy of Burgundy was the last remaining great fief of the Capetians
in northern and central France. While various kingdoms, duchies, and
counties of Burgundy grew up, as we have seen, in the imperial lands
beyond the Saône and the Rhone, one Richard the Justiciar, famous like
all the founders of fiefs as a successful foe of the Norman marauders,
became, in 877, the first duke or marquis of that Burgundy which became
a French vassal state. His brother was Boso, founder of the kingdom of
Provence, his brother-in-law was Rudolf, king of Transjurane Burgundy,
and his son was Rudolf, king of the French. His sons succeeded him in
his rule, though for more than a century each successive duke received a
fresh formal appointment; and it was not until a junior branch of the
Capetian house began with Robert the Old (1032–1073), the younger
brother of King Henry I., that the hereditary duchy of Burgundy can be
said to have been definitively established.

[Sidenote: Aquitaine.]

South of the Loire the development of feudal states took even a more
decided form than in the north. In these regions feudal separation had
the freest field to run riot. There was still a nominal duke of
Aquitaine, who might be regarded as having some sort of vague authority
over the old Aquitania that was substantially synonymous with
south-western France; but neither in Gascony, nor Auvergne, nor in La
Marche, nor in the Limousin was any recognition paid to this shadowy
potentate. The duchy of Aquitaine seemed on the verge of sharing the
fate of the kingdom of France and disappearing altogether because it
stood outside the newly grown feudal system, when, like the kingdom of
France, it procured a new lease of life by being granted to a house
that, like the Robertians of Paris, possessed with great fiefs a firm
position in the new system. [Sidenote: Poitou.] In 928 Ebles, Count of
Poitou, received a grant of the duchy of Aquitaine, and in 951 William
Tow-head, his son by a daughter of Edward the Elder of Wessex, was
confirmed in his father’s possession by Louis d’Outremer. The county
that took its name from Poitiers was a substantial inheritance. It was
the marchland that divided north and south, but its main characteristics
were those of the north. Its uplands seldom permit the cultivation of
the vine, and its manners, like its climate and tongue, were northern.
As the dialects of Romance became differentiated, Poitou spoke, as it
still speaks, a dialect of the north French tongue, the _langue d’oil_.
Aquitaine proper spoke the southern _langue d’oc_, and differed in a
thousand ways from the colder, fiercer, ruder, more martial lands of the
north. But the infusion of fresh blood from Poitou saved the Aquitaine
duchy from extinction. Eight dukes of Aquitaine and counts of Poitou
reigned in succession to William Tow-head, seven of whom were named
William. Under this line county after county was gradually added to the
original fief of Poitou. At last all the Limousin, Auvergne, and parts
of Berri owned them as at least nominal lords. Gascony, in the lands
beyond the Garonne, had since 872 been ruled by a hereditary line of
dukes, whose favourite name was Sancho. [Sidenote: Gascony.] On the
extinction of this family, Gascony, with its dependencies, passed in
1062 to William VIII. of Poitiers, whose grandson William X., the last
of the male stock of the house of the Guilhems, died in 1137, leaving
the nominal overlordship over the swarm of seigneurs that ruled the
district between the Loire, the Pyrenees, and the Cevennes to his
daughter Eleanor, whose vast inheritance made Louis VII. of France and
Henry II. of England in succession successful suitors for her hand.
Under the fostering care of the Williams, Aquitaine had prospered in
civilisation and the arts; and their court at Poitiers, whose
magnificent series of Romanesque basilicas still attests the splendour
of their capital, became the centre of the earliest literary efforts of
the troubadours, the poets and minstrels of the _langue d’oc_, though
the southern tongue of the court was not the Poitevins’ native speech.

[Sidenote: Toulouse.]

To the east of Aquitaine the county of Toulouse became the nucleus of a
sort of monarchical centralisation that, by the beginning of the twelfth
century, had brought the French lands beyond the Aquitanian border, the
imperial lands between the Alps and the Rhone, and the old Spanish march
between the Pyrenees and the Ebro, to look to Toulouse as the source of
its intellectual and almost of its political life. The lands dependent
on the counts of Toulouse became emphatically the Languedoc, the region
where the Romance vernacular of southern Gaul was spoken with the
greatest purity and force. While the subjects of the dukes of Aquitaine
had the purity of their Gascon contaminated by the Basque of the
Pyrenean valleys, and the northern idiom of the lands beyond the Gironde
and Dordogne, the followers of the counts of Toulouse spoke the same
tongue as the Burgundian vassals of the count of Provence, or the fierce
marchers ruled by the counts of Barcelona. The tongue of Oc has as much
claim to be regarded as a language distinct from northern French, as
northern French has to be considered separate from Italian or Spanish.
It was the first Romance tongue that boasted of a strong vernacular
literature, and those who spoke it were the first Romance people to
attain either the luxuries or corruptions of an advanced civilisation.
Its spread over southern Gaul drew a deep dividing line between northern
and southern France that has not yet been blotted out. It gave the
subjects of the southern feudalists, like the counts of Toulouse and the
dukes of Aquitaine, a solidarity that made them almost separate nations,
like the Flemings or the Bretons. Its vast expansion between the Alps
and the Ebro bade fair to overleap the boundaries set by the Treaty of
Verdun, and set up in those regions a well-defined nationality strong
and compact enough to be a makeweight against the growing concentration
of the northern French under the Capetian kings. But the civilisation of
Languedoc flowered too early to produce mature fruit. We shall see how
in the thirteenth century it succumbed to the ruder spirit of the north.
Raymond I., the first hereditary count of Toulouse, died in 864. His
successors, with whom Raymond was ever the favourite name, continued to
grow in power until they had united all Languedoc early in the twelfth
century. Their hereditary hostility to the dukes of Aquitaine, no less
than the centrifugal tendencies of southern feudalism, which they could
at best but partially counteract, prevented their authority from
attaining wider limits.

Such was the France of the tenth and eleventh centuries—divided,
chaotic, anarchic, and turbulent, yet full of vigorous life and
many-sided activity. Its growth was slower, its exploits less dazzling
than those of contemporary Germany, though perhaps it was developing on
more solid and permanent lines. Even when Germany was still the chief
political centre of the west, the fame of the French warrior had
extended over all Europe. The alliance with the Church did much, the
prevalence of the Cluniac idea did more to bring this about. The
wanderings of the Normans first spread abroad the terror of the Frankish
name. The Crusades became an essentially Frankish movement, and made the
Frankish knight the type of the feudal warrior. But the concentration of
France into a great state followed very slowly on the growth of the
reputation of the individual Frenchman.

the Great Fiefs]


                              William of Blois.
                     Robert the Strong, Duke of the French.
                      |                              |
                     ODO,                         ROBERT,
                 King of the                   King of the
                 West Franks                   West Franks
                  (888–899).                    (922–923).
                                               Hugh the Great,
                                        Duke of the French (_d._ 956),
                                         _m._ Hedwig, daughter of
                                              Henry the Fowler.
                                            HUGH CAPET (987–996),
                                                  _m._ Adela.
                                                 ROBERT II.
                                            (The Pious--996–1031),
                                              _m._ (1) Rosala.
                                          (2) Bertha, daughter
                                                of Conrad, King
                                                of Arles, and
                                                widow of Odo I.
                                                of Blois.
                                          (3) Constance of Arles.
                     (3)                             |      (3)
                      |                                      |
             HENRY I. (1031–1060),                        Robert,
         _m._ Anne, daughter of Jaroslav,              Duke of Burgundy,
                Duke of Russia.                       Ancestor of the
                      |                          Capetian Dukes of Burgundy.
                      |                                |
              PHILIP I. (1060–1108),               Hugh the Great,
 _m._ (1) Bertha, daughter  (2)  Bertrada of       Count of Vermandois
       of Florence,          Montfort, divorced        |
     Count of Holland.          wife of                |
            |               Fulk le Réchin,            |
            |               Count of Anjou.            |
            |                      |                   |
         LOUIS VI.           +-----+-----+        Ralph, Count
 (The Fat--1108–1137),       |           |       of Vermandois.
 _m._ Adelaide, daughter  Philip.     Fleury.          |
     of Humbert II.,                           Isabella of Vermandois,
    Count of Maurienne.                          _m._ Philip of Alsace,
            |                                     Count of Flanders.
          |                  |            |          |              |
      LOUIS VII.           Henry,       Robert     Peter         Constance,
 (The Young--1137–1180),  Archbishop   of Dreux.     of   _m._ (1) Eustace,
 _m._ (1) Eleanor         of Reims.              Courtenay         Count of
          of Aquitaine.                                            Boulogne.
      (2) Constance                                            (2) Raymond
          of Castile.                                              V. of
      (3) Adela                                                    Toulouse.
          of Champagne.
          (1) |                  (2)                        (3)
         |         |         |         |          |                     |
       Mary,       |     Margaret,   Alice.   PHILIP II.              Agnes,
   _m._ Henry I.   |    _m._ Henry            (Augustus)    _m._ (1) Alexius
   of Champagne.   |     of Anjou            (1180–1223),            Comnenus.
                   |   (_d._ 1183).    _m._ (1) Isabella         (2) Andronicus
                   |                            of Hainault.         Comnenus.
                 Alice,                     (2) Ingeborg
            _m._ Theobald I.                    of Denmark.
               of Blois.                    (3) Agnes of Meran.
                                    |                    |            |
                            (1) LOUIS VIII.         (3) Philip,    (3) Mary,
                              (1223–1226),           Count of    _m._ Henry I.,
                          _m._ Blanche of Castile,   Boulogne.     Duke of
                              granddaughter                        Brabant.
                               of Henry II.
         |                 |               |                   |
      LOUIS IX.          Robert         Alfonse             Charles
     (St. Louis)      (_d._ 1250),    (_d._ 1271),        (_d._ 1285),
     (1226–1270),       Count of        Count of            Count of
    _m._ Margaret,       Artois,         Poitou,           Anjou and
   eldest daughter     _m._ Maud       _m._ Joan,       King of Sicily,
     of Raymond       of Brabant.     daughter of       _m._ Beatrice,
      Berengar,            |          Raymond VII.,     fourth daughter
      Count of             |            Count of      of Raymond Berengar
      Provence.            |            Toulouse.        of Provence.
         |                 |
         |         +-------+---------------------+
         |         |                             |
         |     Robert II.                     Blanche,
         |    (_d._ 1302).       _m._ (1) Henry I., King of Navarre
         |                                and Count of Champagne.
         |                            (2) Edmund, Earl of Lancaster.
     |           |      |      |         |          |       |        |
  PHILIP III.    |    Peter,   |      Isabella,     |       |      Agnes,
  (the Bold)     |   Count of  |  _m._ Theobald V.  |       |  _m._ Robert II.
 (1270–1285),    |   Alençon,  |    (the Young),    |       |     Duke of
 _m._ (1) Isabel |  _d._ 1284. |      King of       |       |     Burgundy.
  daughter of    |             |      Navarre       |       |
    James I.     |             |    and Count of    |       |
   of Aragon.    |             |     Champagne.     |    Margaret,
    (2) Mary,    |             |                    |  _m._ John I.,
   daughter of   |             |                    |    Duke of
   Henry III.,   |             |                    |    Brabant.
    Duke of      |             |                    |
    Brabant.     |             |                    |
       |         |             |                    |
       |       John,         Robert,             Blanche,
       |     Count of       Count of        _m._ Ferdinand of
       |      Nevers        Clermont,        la Cerda son of
       |     _d._ 1270.     _d._1318           Alfonso X.
       |                _m._ Beatrice of       of Castile.
       |                    Burgundy
       |               heiress of Bourbon.
       |                       |
       |                       +---------------------------------+
       |                                                         |
       | (1)                   (2)                               |
       +------------+-----------+--------------+                 |
       |            |           |              |                 |
   PHILIP IV.    Charles,     Louis,        Margaret,         Louis I.,
   (the Fair)    Count of    Count of    _m._ Edward I.    Duke of Bourbon
  (1285–1314),    Valois.    Evreux.                         (_d._ 1342),
  _m._ Joan of      |                                    (ancestor of House
    Navarre.        |                                        of Bourbon).
       |            |
       |            +-------------------------------------------------+
       |                                                              |
     +-+--------------+-------------+----------------+                |
     |                |             |                |                |
  LOUIS X.        PHILIP V.    CHARLES IV.        Isabella,       PHILIP VI.
 (1314–1316).    (1316–1322)   (1322–1328).    _m._ Edward II.    of Valois,
                                                                 King in 1328.

                               CHAPTER V

  End of the Dark Ages—Beginnings of the Cluniac Reformation—The
    Congregation of Cluny—Cluniac ideals—Camaldoli and Vallombrosa—Henry
    III. joins the Reformers—The German reforming Popes—Leo IX.—South
    Italy and Sicily in the Eleventh Century—The first coming of the
    Normans—Aversa—The sons of Tancred and the Conquest of Apulia—Robert
    Guiscard—Leo IX. and the Normans—Battle of Civitate—Early Career of
    Hildebrand—Nicholas II.—The Reform of Papal Elections—The Normans
    become Papal Vassals—Milan submits to Rome—Roger’s Conquest of
    Sicily—Feudalism in Southern Italy.

[Sidenote: End of the Dark Ages.]

The Dark Ages were well over by the middle of the eleventh century, and
after a century of anarchy, even feudalism had become a comparatively
tolerable form of government. The stronger military states had absorbed
their weaker neighbours, and, beyond the Alps at least, the
disintegrating tendency of feudal doctrine had received a decided check,
not only in the strong monarchy of the Germans, but even in the growth
of vigorous feudal potentates such as the margraves of the eastern
frontier of the Empire, the dukes of the Normans, and the counts of
Flanders or of Toulouse. There were again forces making towards order,
law, and peace. The state had been saved from absolute annihilation.

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

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

[Sidenote: The early history of Cluny.]

In 910 Duke William the Pious of Aquitaine founded a new monastery at
Cluny, in French Burgundy, a few miles from the bishop’s town of Macon.
He appointed Berno, a noble Burgundian, as its head, and procured for it
absolute immunity from all external ecclesiastical jurisdiction save
that of the Roman See. Berno strove to establish a complete and loyal
observance of the rule of St. Benedict, and the piety and earnestness of
his monks soon attracted attention, wealth, followers. Corrupt old
communities or new foundations sought the guidance or the protection of
the abbots of Cluny. But the Benedictine system was limited to a single
house, and afforded no room for the crowd of disciples who wished to
attach themselves to the model monastery. Odo, the second abbot
(927–941), started the memorable monastic reformation which, in a few
years, was embodied in the ‘Consuetudines Cluniacenses,’ and the
‘Congregation of Cluny.’ By it a plan was found for combining formal
adherence to the strict rule of St. Benedict with the practical
necessity of maintaining the rule of Cluny over its dependent
communities. If under the old system a new house were formed under the
direction of a famous monastery, the new establishment, when it had
received its constitution, parted company from its parent stock, and,
like a Greek colony, became independent and self-governing. The Cluniacs
prevented this by regarding the daughter communities as parts of
themselves. In whatsoever part of Christendom a monastery on Cluniac
lines was established, it was still in law a part of the great
Burgundian convent. [Sidenote: The Congregation of Cluny.] Its head was
the arch-abbot, the abbot of Cluny. What local self-government was
necessary was delegated to a prior, who was appointed by the abbot of
Cluny, to whom he was responsible. From time to time the dependent
communities sent representatives to the periodical chapters that met at
Cluny, under the presidency of the abbot. By this means a unity of
organisation, a military discipline, a control over weak brethren, and a
security was procured, which was impossible under the Benedictine rule.
When each monastery was as independent for all practical purposes as a
modern Congregational chapel, it was impossible, in an age when public
opinion hardly existed, to reform a lax community, and it was difficult
for an isolated flock of unwarlike men to protect themselves from feudal
violence or the equally fierce hostility of the secular clergy. Besides
unity of organisation, the control exercised over the whole order of
Cluny gave the brethren unity of purpose, doctrine, and policy.

Brought under the immediate jurisdiction of Rome, at a time when
monastic immunities from episcopal authority had not become common, the
Cluniacs taught from the beginning a high doctrine as to the power of
the apostolic see. They saw that the great danger to religion was in the
feudalisation of the Church. Bishops were in danger of becoming barons
in mitres. Kings looked upon prelates as officials bound to do them
service, and patrons sold benefices to the highest bidder. Monasteries
were often in danger of absolute secularisation. So corrupt and lax were
even the better sort of regulars that the Saxon monk Widukind, the
historian of his people, naïvely complains of the ‘grave persecution’
which beset the poor religious of his time, and laments the erroneous
doctrines of some bishops who maintained that it was better that there
should be a few ascetic regulars than houses filled with negligent
monks, forgetting, as he innocently adds, that the tares and the wheat
were ordered to grow up together until the harvest time. The chief
dangers of the Church were simony and the marriage of clerks. To keep
the Church apart from the world seemed to the Cluniac leaders the only
possible way of securing a better state of things. Their ideal was the
separation of the Church from the State, and the reorganisation of the
Church under discipline such as could only be exercised by the Pope, who
was to stand to the whole Church as the abbot of Cluny stood to each
scattered Cluniac priory—the one ultimate source of jurisdiction, the
universal bishop, appointing and degrading the diocesan bishops as the
abbot made and unmade the Cluniac priors. The bishop, the secular
priest, even the monk, had no rights of his own that were not ultimately
derivative from the unique source of ecclesiastical authority, the chair
of St. Peter. [Sidenote: Hierarchical and Papal ideals of Cluny.] The
Forged Decretals supplied convenient arguments for such a system. The
necessities of the times supplied a sort of justification for it. Feudal
anarchy made it natural for good men to identify the secular power with
the works of darkness, and regard the ecclesiastical power as alone
emanating from God. After-ages were to show that the remedy was almost
as bad as the disease, and that there was as much danger of secular
motives, greed for domination, for wealth and influence in the
uncontrolled exercise of ecclesiastical authority, as in the lay power
that they dreaded. But the early Cluniacs had faith in their principles,
and sought in realising them to promote the kingdom of God on earth.
They lived holy and self-denying lives in an age of brutal violence and
lust. A moral and an intellectual reformation preceded and prepared the
way for the ecclesiastical reformation that was preached from Cluny with
the fervour of a new gospel.

Under the influence of the reformed clergy, study and learning again
became possible to a large class. The monastic and cathedral schools
beyond the Alps became the centres of ardent study of philosophy,
theology, and science. In Italy grammarians expounded the classics, and
civilians commented upon the Roman law. The career of Gerbert is but
typical of that of a large number of others. The Lombard Lanfranc, and
the Burgundian Anselm, took the new culture over the Alps to the Norman
monastery of Le Bec, and prepared the way for the new birth of learning
in the twelfth century. Nor did the monastic reformation stop with the
Congregation of Cluny. [Sidenote: New orders In Italy.] In Italy in
particular, where a swarm of new orders arose, extreme asceticism and
utter self-renunciation stood in strange contrast to the violence,
greed, and profligacy that marked Italian life as a whole. [Sidenote:
Camaldoli.] Romuald of Ravenna, the spiritual director of Otto III.,
lived the life of a hermit, and gathered round himself great bands of
solitaries from whom sprang the order of Camaldoli, so called from an
inaccessible spot in the Apennines, near Arezzo, where one of Romuald’s
troops of followers had settled. A monk of this order, Peter Damiani,
soon took a very foremost part in the religious reformation of Italy,
and first made the enthusiastic anchorites minister to the spread of the
new hierarchical ideal. Not far from the hermits of Camaldoli, John
Gualbert, a Tuscan lord, established the strict cœnobitic order of
Vallombrosa. [Sidenote: Vallombrosa.] The same influence spread all over
Europe, and penetrated into even the most conservative cloisters of the
followers of St. Benedict. The faith, zeal, and enthusiasm of the
champions of the new order carried everything before it. Under Henry
III. the reformers had won over the Emperor himself to their cause.
[Sidenote: Henry III. won over by the reforming party.] The strong arm
of the king had purified the Papacy and handed over its direction to men
of the new school. But though willing to use the help of the secular arm
to carry out their forward policy, the Cluniac reformers never swerved
from their conviction that lay interference with the spiritual power lay
at the very root of the worst disorders of the time. Even when accepting
the favours of the great Emperor, they never lost sight of the need of
emphasising the independence of the spirituality. However needful was
the imperial sword to free the Papacy from the Tusculan tradition, and
to put down the lazy monk and the feudalist bishop, they saw clearly
that it stood in the way of the full realisation of their dreams.

[Sidenote: The German reforming Popes.]

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

[Sidenote: Leo IX., 1048–1054.]

On the death of Damasus, the Romans called upon Henry III., who was then
at Worms, to give them another Pope. The Emperor chose for this post his
cousin Bruno, the brother of Conrad of Carinthia, the sometime rival of
Conrad the Salic, and the son of the elder Conrad, uncle of the first of
the Salian emperors. Despite his high birth, Bruno had long turned from
politics to the service of the Church, and had become the ardent
disciple of the school of Cluny. As bishop of Toul, he had governed his
diocese with admirable care and prudence, and his great influence had
enabled him to confer many weighty services, both on Henry and his
father in Lorraine. When offered the Papacy by his kinsman, Bruno
accepted the post only on the condition that he should be canonically
elected by the clergy and people of Rome. Early in 1049 he travelled
over the Alps in the humble guise of a pilgrim. He visited Cluny on his
way to receive spiritual encouragement from his old teachers for the
great task that lay before him. He there added to his scanty following
the young monk Hildebrand, whose return to the city in the new Pope’s
train proclaimed that strict hierarchical ideas would now have the
ascendency at the Curia. Joyfully accepted by the Romans, Bruno assumed
the title of Leo IX. For the short five years of his pontificate, he
threw himself with all his heart into a policy of reformation. In an
Easter Synod in Rome (1049), stern decrees were fulminated against
simony and clerical marriage. But the times were not yet ripe for
radical cure, and Leo was compelled to depart somewhat from his original
severity. He soon saw that the cause he had at heart would not be best
furthered by his remaining at Rome, and the special characteristic of
his pontificate was his constant journeying through all Italy, France,
and Germany. During these travels Leo was indefatigable in holding
synods, attending ecclesiastical ceremonies, the consecration of
churches, the translation of the relics of martyrs. His ubiquitous
energy made the chief countries in Europe realise that the Papacy was no
mere abstraction, and largely furthered the centralisation of the whole
Church system under the direction of the Pope. Wherever he went, decrees
against simony and the marriage of priests were drawn up. In Germany,
Henry III. gave him active support. In France he excited the jealousy of
King Henry I. Invited to Reims by the archbishop for the consecration of
a church, he summoned a French synod to that city. Alarmed at this
exercise of jurisdiction within French dominions, Henry I. strove to
prevent his bishops’ attendance by summoning them to follow him to the
field. Only a few bishops ventured to disobey their king, but a swarm of
abbots, penetrated by the ideals of Cluny, gave number and dignity to
the Synod of Reims, and did not hesitate to join the Pope in
excommunicating the absent bishops. The restless Leo sought to revive
the feeble remnants of North African Christianity, and began the renewed
troubles with the Eastern Church, which soon led to the final breach
with the Patriarch Cærularius [see page 167]. The all-embracing activity
of Leo led to his active interference in southern Italy, where the
advent of a swarm of Norman adventurers had already changed the whole
complexion of affairs.


Early in the eleventh century, southern Italy and Sicily were still cut
off from the rest of Europe, and, as in the days of Charlemagne, were
still outposts both of the Orthodox and Mohammedan East. [Sidenote:
Southern Italy and Sicily in the Eleventh Century.] Sicily had been
entirely Saracen since the capture of Syracuse in 877 [see Period I. pp.
460–461]. Though the predatory hordes, which landed from time to time on
the mainland of Italy, had failed to establish permanent settlements,
the various attempts of the Eastern Emperors to win back their former
island possession had proved disastrous failures. In southern Italy the
Catapan or governor of the Greek Emperors still ruled over the ‘theme of
Lombardy’ from his capital of Bari, but in the tenth century, the
Lombard Dukes of Benevento, Salerno, and Capua won back much of the
ground that had been lost by their ancestors. The transient successes of
Otto II. (981–2), had done something to discourage Greeks and Saracens
alike, despite the ignominious failure that ultimately led to his flight
[see pages 38–39]. In the early years of the eleventh century, southern
Italy was still divided between Greeks and Lombards, and the growing
spirit of Catholic enthusiasm made the Orthodox yoke harder to bear by
those subjects of the theme of Lombardy who were Italian rather than
Greek in their sympathy. Between 1011 and 1013 Meles, a citizen of Bari,
a Catholic of Lombard origin, took advantage of a Saracen inroad to
revolt against the Eastern Emperor. Driven into exile by the failure of
his attempt, he sought all over southern Italy for allies to recommence
the struggle. [Sidenote: The first coming of the Normans, 1017.] The
fame of the Normans as soldiers was already known in the south of Italy,
and chance now threw Meles in the way of some Norman warrior-pilgrims,
whom devotion to the Archangel had taken to the sanctuary of St.
Michael, in Monte Gargano, in imitation of which a Neustrian bishop had
some generations before set up the famous monastery of St. Michael in
Peril of the Sea. Meles proposed to the pilgrim leader, Ralph de Toeny,
that he should join with him against the Greeks. Pope Benedict VIII.
encouraged the enterprise, and the adventurous Normans greedily welcomed
the opportunity. In 1017, Meles and his northern allies won a victory
over the Greeks at Civitate in the Capitanata. ‘This victory,’ sang the
Norman rhyming chronicler, William of Apulia, ‘mightily increased the
courage of the Normans. They saw that the Greeks were cowards, and that,
instead of meeting the enemy face to face, they only knew how to take
refuge in flight.’ [Sidenote: Meles and Ralph of Toeny.] Other Normans
flocked from their distant home on the report of rich booty and fair
lands to be won on easy terms in Apulia. But they despised their enemy
too much, and in 1019 a battle fought on the historic field of Cannæ
annihilated the little Norman band. Meles and Ralph hastened over the
Alps, in the hopes of interesting Henry II. in their cause. Even the
death of Meles was not fatal to the fortune of his allies. Some
survivors from Cannæ took service with the princes of Capua and Salerno,
and the abbot of Monte Casino. They were mere mercenaries, and willingly
sold their swords to the highest bidder. When Henry II. made his
transient appearance in southern Italy in 1022 [see page 50], he found
his chief obstacle in the new Greek fortress of Troja, obstinately
defended by some valiant Normans in the pay of their old foe the

Other Normans now flocked to the land of promise. Among these was a
chieftain named Ranulf, who joined Sergius, Prince of Naples, a vassal
of the Greeks, in his war against the Lombard prince Pandulf of Capua.
In reward for his services Ranulf received one of the richest districts
of the Terra di Lavoro, where he built in 1030 a town named Aversa, the
first Norman settlement in Italy. [Sidenote: Foundation of Aversa,
1030.] This foundation makes a new departure in Norman policy. The
Normans no longer came to Italy as isolated adventurers willing to sell
their swords to the highest bidder. By much the same arts as those by
which their brethren later got hold of the fairest parts of Wales and
Ireland, the adventurers strove to carve feudal states for themselves
out of the chaos of southern Italy. Whilst cleverly utilising the feuds
that raged around them, they pursued their interests with such
dexterity, courage, and clear-headed selfishness, that brilliant success
soon crowned their efforts. Conrad II. sojourned at Capua in 1038,
deposed Pandulf and confirmed Ranulf in the possession of Aversa, which
he erected into a county owing homage to the Western Emperor. Three of
the twelve sons of the Norman lord, Tancred of Hauteville, now left
their scanty patrimony in the Côtentin and joined the Normans in Italy.
Their names were William of the Iron Arm, Drogo, and Humphrey.
[Sidenote: The sons of Tancred of Hauteville.] In 1038 they joined the
Greeks under George Maniaces in an attempt to expel the Mohammedans from
Sicily. Messina and Syracuse were captured, but an affront to their
companion-in-arms Ardouin drove the Normans back to the mainland in the
moment of victory, and led them to wreak their vengeance on the Greeks
by a strange compound of violence and treachery. Ardouin their friend
took the Greek pay and became governor of Melfi, the key of Apulia. He
proposed to the Normans that he should deliver Melfi to them, and make
that a starting-point for the conquest of Apulia, which he proposed to
divide between them and himself. The northerners accepted his proposals.
[Sidenote: Conquest of Apulia, 1041–2.] In 1041 Melfi was delivered into
their hands, and a long war broke out between them and their former
allies. By shrewdly putting Adenulfus, the Lombard Duke of Benevento at
the head of their armies, the Normans got allies that were probably
necessary in the early years of the struggle. But they were soon strong
enough to repudiate their associate. The divisions of the Greeks further
facilitated their task. In 1042 William of the Iron Arm was proclaimed
lord of the Normans of Apulia, with Melfi as the centre of his power.

In 1046 William of Apulia died, and Drogo, his brother, succeeded him.
Henry III., then in Italy, recognised Drogo as Count of Apulia, while
renewing the grant of Aversa to another Ranulf. He also urged the
Normans to drive out of Benevento the Lombards, who after the spread of
the Norman power were making common cause with the Greeks. [Sidenote:
Robert Guiscard.] About this time a fourth son of Tancred of Hauteville
came to Italy, where he soon made himself the hero of the Norman
conquerors. Anna Comnena, the literary daughter of the Emperor Alexius,
describes Robert Guiscard as he appeared to his enemies. ‘His high
stature excelled that of the most mighty warriors. His complexion was
ruddy, his hair fair, his shoulders broad, his eyes flashed fire. It is
said that his voice was like the voice of a whole multitude, and could
put to flight an army of sixty thousand men.’ A poor gentleman’s son,
Robert was consumed by ambition to do great deeds, and joined to great
bravery and strength an extraordinary subtlety of spirit. His surname of
Guiscard is thought to testify to his ability and craft. Badly received
by his brothers in Apulia, he was reduced to taking service with the
Prince of Capua against his rival of Salerno. Events soon gave him an
opportunity of striking a blow for himself.

Meanwhile, a formidable combination was forming against the Normans.
Argyrus, son of Meles, had deserted his father’s policy and came from
Constantinople, as Patrician and Catapan (Governor), with special
commissions from the Emperor. [Sidenote: Leo IX. turns against the
Normans.] Unable to persuade the Normans to take service with the
Emperor against the Persians, he soon waged war openly against them, and
procured the murder of Count Drogo in 1051, but was soon driven to take
refuge in Bari. Meanwhile Leo IX. had become Pope, and his all-absorbing
curiosity had led him to two journeys into southern Italy, where he
persuaded the inhabitants of Benevento to accept the protection of the
Holy See against the dreaded Northmen. It looked as if the Eastern and
Western Empires were likely to combine with the Papacy and the Lombards
to get rid of the restless adventurers. In 1052 Henry III. granted the
duchy of Benevento to the Roman Church, and Leo hurried from Hungary to
southern Italy to enforce his claims on his new possession.

[Sidenote: Battle of Civitate, 1053.]

In May 1053 Leo IX. reached Monte Casino. There soon flocked round him a
motley army, drawn together from every district of central and southern
Italy and eager to uphold the Holy Father against the Norman usurpers;
but the few hundred Germans, who had followed the Pope over the Alps,
were probably more serviceable in the field than the mixed multitude of
Italians. The Normans, abandoned by their allies, united all their
scanty forces for a decisive struggle. The armies met on 18th June near
Civitate (Civitella) on the banks of the Fortore, the place of the first
Norman victory in Italy. The longhaired and gigantic Germans affected to
despise their diminutive Norman foes, and the fiercest fight was fought
between the Pope’s fellow-countrymen and Humphrey of Hauteville, the new
Count of Apulia, who commanded the Norman right. There the Norman horse
long sought in vain to break up the serried phalanx of the German
infantry. But the left and centre of the Normans, led respectively by
Richard, the new Count of Aversa, and Robert Guiscard, easily scattered
the enemies before them, and, returning in good time from the pursuit,
enabled Humphrey to win a final victory over the Germans. Leo IX. barely
escaped with his liberty from the fatal field. Peter Damiani and the
zealots denounced him for his unseemly participation in acts of
violence, and the object which had induced him to depart from his sacred
calling had been altogether unfulfilled. [Sidenote: Peace between the
Normans and the Pope.] He retired to Benevento, where he soon came to an
understanding with the Normans, giving them his apostolic blessing and
absolving them from their blood-guiltiness. Even in the moment of
victory the Normans had shown every respect to the head of the Church,
and self-interest now combined with enthusiasm to make them his friends.
But Leo entered into no formal treaty with them. He remained at
Benevento, carefully watching their movements and corresponding with
Constantine Monomachus in the hope of renewing the league against them.
But his dealings with the Greek Empire soon broke down owing to the
theological differences which the acute hostility of Leo and Michael
Cærularius now brought to a head. Leo gave up all hope of western help
when he fulminated the excommunication against Cærularius, which led at
once to the final split of Catholic and Orthodox. In the spring of 1054
he returned to Rome and died. His exploits and holy life had given him a
great reputation for holiness, and he was canonised as a saint. Even the
disaster of Civitate and the eastern schism did little to diminish his

[Sidenote: Victor II., 1054–1057.]

Leo IX.’s successor as Pope was another German, Gebhard, bishop of
Eichstädt, who took the name of Victor II. (1054–1057). He continued to
work on the lines of Pope Leo, though more in the spirit of a
politician. During Victor’s pontificate, Henry III. made his second and
last visit to Italy (1055). His presence was highly necessary.
[Sidenote: Henry III.’s last visit to Italy, 1055.] His strongest
Italian enemy, the powerful Marquis Boniface of Tuscany, was dead,
leaving an only daughter Matilda heiress of his great inheritance.
Boniface’s widow Beatrice soon found a second husband in Godfrey the
Bearded, Duke of Lower Lorraine, the chief enemy of Henry in Germany. In
this union there was a danger of the German and Italian opposition to
the Empire being combined. But the formidable league dissolved at once
on Henry’s appearance. Godfrey fled from Italy, and Beatrice and her
daughter were led into honourable captivity in Germany. Godfrey’s
brother Frederick, hitherto a scheming ecclesiastic, renounced the
world, and became one of the most zealous of the monks of Monte Casino.
But the death of the Emperor and the long minority that followed, soon
restored the power of the heiress of Boniface. The Countess Matilda,
powerful alike in Tuscany and north of the Apennines, became the most
zealous of the allies of the Papacy. [Sidenote: Position of the Countess
Matilda.] Her support gave that material assistance without which the
purely spiritual aims of the Papacy could hardly prevail. At the moment
when the Papacy had permanently absorbed the teachings of Cluny, it was
a matter of no small moment that the greatest temporal power of middle
Italy was on its side. It was a solid compensation for Leo’s failure
against the Normans.


[Sidenote: Hildebrand’s early career and character.]

We have now come to one of the real crises of history. The new spirit
had gained ascendency at Rome, and the great man had arisen who was to
present the papal ideal with all the authority of genius. Hildebrand of
Soana[6] was the son of a well-to-do Tuscan peasant; he had been brought
up by his uncle, abbot of the strict convent of St. Mary’s on the
Aventine, which was the centre of the Cluniac ideas in Rome, and where
he made his profession as monk. He became the chaplain of Gregory VI.
who, though he bought the Papacy with gold, had striven his best to
carry out the work of reformation. When deprived of his office at Sutri,
Gregory VI. had been compelled to retire to Germany with the Emperor.
Hildebrand, now about twenty-five years old, accompanied his master in
his exile. In 1048 the deposed Pope died, and his chaplain betook
himself to Cluny, where he remained for a full year, and where, he tells
us, he would have gladly spent the rest of his life. But in 1049 Leo IX.
passed through Cluny on his way to Rome, and Hildebrand was commanded to
accompany him. With his return to Rome his active career began. As papal
sub-deacon he reorganised the crippled finances of the Holy See, and
strengthened the hold of the Pope over the unruly citizens. As papal
legate he was sent to France in 1054 to put down the heresy of Berengar
of Tours. But the death of Leo recalled him to Italy, whence he went to
the Emperor at the head of the deputation that successfully requested
the appointment of Victor II. With this Pope he was as powerful as with
Leo. But Victor II. died in 1057, and Frederick of Lorraine left his
newly-won abbot’s chair at Monte Casino to ascend the throne of St.
Peter as Stephen IX. [Sidenote: Stephen IX., 1057–1058.] Though a zealot
for the ideas of Cluny, Stephen, as the head of the house of Lorraine,
was the natural leader of the political opposition to the imperial house
both in Germany and Italy. He made Peter Damiani a cardinal, and
zealously pushed forward the warfare against simony in Germany.
Stephen’s early death in 1058, when Hildebrand was away in Germany,
brought about a new crisis. The Counts of Tusculum thought the moment
opportune to make a desperate effort to win back their old influence.
They terrorised Rome with their troops, and brought about the irregular
election of one of the Crescentii, who called himself Benedict X. The
prompt action of Hildebrand preserved the Papacy for the reforming
party. He hurried back to Florence, and formed a close alliance with
Duke Godfrey of Lorraine, Stephen’s brother, against the nominee of
Tusculum. The stricter cardinals met at Siena and chose Gerhard, Bishop
of Florence, a Burgundian by birth, as orthodox Pope. Gerhard held
another synod at Sutri, where the Antipope was formally deposed.
[Sidenote: Nicholas II., 1058–1061.] Early in 1059 he entered Rome in
triumph. By assuming the name of Nicholas II., he proclaimed himself the
successor of the most successful and aggressive of Popes. As Archdeacon
of Rome, Hildebrand acted as chief minister to the Pope whom he had
made. Henceforth till his death he dominated the papal policy. While
previous reformers had sought salvation by calling the Emperor over the
Alps, Hildebrand had found in Duke Godfrey and his wife champions as
effective for his purpose on Italian soil. With the establishment of
Pope Nicholas, through the arms of Godfrey and Matilda, the imperial
alliance ceases to become a physical necessity to the reforming party in
Italy. Hildebrand had won for the Church her freedom. Before long he
began to aim at domination.

Nicholas II. ruled as Pope from 1058 to 1061. Within those few years,
three events were brought about which enormously strengthened the
position of the Papacy, already possessed of a great moral force by its
permanent identification with the reforming party, and the final
abasement of the unworthy local factions, that had so long aspired to
wield its resources. These events were the settlement of the method of
papal elections, the establishment of a close alliance between the
Papacy and the Normans of southern Italy, and the subjection of Lombardy
to the papal authority.

[Sidenote: Lateran Synod and reform in Papal elections, 1059.]

In 1059 Nicholas held a synod in the Lateran which drew up the famous
decree that set aside the vague ancient rights of the Roman clergy and
people to choose their bishop, in favour of the close corporation of the
College of Cardinals. The decree was drawn up in studiously vague
language, but put the prerogative voice into the very limited circle of
the seven cardinal bishops of the suburbicarian dioceses. These were to
add to themselves the cardinal priests and deacons, whose assent was
regarded as including that of clergy and people at large. A Roman clerk
was to be preferred if worthy, and Rome was to be the ordinary place of
election; but, if difficulties intervened, any person could be chosen,
and any place made the seat of election. The due rights of King Henry
and his successors to confirm their choice were reserved, but in terms
that suggested a special personal favour granted of his own goodwill by
the Pope to a crowned Emperor, rather than the recognition of an
immemorial legal right. The decree did not, as was hoped, save the
Church from schisms like those of Benedict X. Neither was the
pre-eminence of the suburbicarian bishops permanently maintained. But
henceforth the legal right of the cardinals to be the electors of future
Popes became substantially uncontested. It is not likely that this
involved any real change of practice. But in embodying custom in a
formal shape it gave subsequent efforts to set up Antipopes the
condemnation of illegality, and so stood the Papacy in good stead in the
troubles that were soon to ensue. The council also witnessed the abject
degradation of the Antipope and the recantation of the heretic Berengar
of Tours.

[Sidenote: The Normans become the vassals of the Pope, 1059.]

In the years that followed the battle of Civitate, the Normans had
steadily extended their power over Apulia and Calabria. But the south of
Italy is so rugged and mountainous that even the bravest of warriors
could only win their way slowly. In 1057 the valiant Count Humphrey
died, leaving his sons so young that he had been constrained to beg his
brother Robert to act as their protector. But the barons of Apulia
insisted that Robert should be their count in full succession to
Humphrey. Soon after Roger of Hauteville, the youngest of the twelve
sons of Tancred, left the paternal roof to share the fortune of his
brothers. ‘He was,’ says Geoffrey of Malaterra, ‘a fine young man, of
lofty stature and elegant proportions. Very eloquent in speech, wise in
counsel, and gifted with extraordinary foresight, he was gay and affable
to all, and so strong and valiant that he soon gained the good graces of
every one.’ [Sidenote: Roger of Hauteville.] Robert Guiscard received
Roger in a more brotherly spirit than had been shown on his own first
arrival by Drogo and Humphrey. He gave him a sufficient following of
troops and sent him to Calabria, where he soon established himself as
lord of half the district, though under his brother’s overlordship.
Meanwhile, Richard of Aversa had driven out the Lombards from Capua and
added it to his dominions. The Normans were still, however, not free
from danger from the Popes. Victor II. had disapproved of Leo IX.’s
policy, yet before his death he had become their enemy. Stephen IX.
formed various projects against them. But Hildebrand now turned Nicholas
II. to wiser counsels. In 1059 Hildebrand went in person to Capua and
concluded a treaty with Count Richard, who, as the ally of the monks of
Monte Casino, was the most friendly of the Norman chieftains to the
Church. Almost immediately the archdeacon returned to Rome with a strong
Norman escort, and soon after a Norman army spread terror among the
partisans of the Antipope. [Sidenote: Synod of Melfi.] In the summer of
1059 Nicholas himself held a synod in Melfi, the Apulian capital, where
he passed canons condemning married priests. After the formal session
was over, the Pope made Robert Guiscard Duke of Apulia and Calabria, and
‘future Duke’ of Sicily, if he should ever have the good luck to drive
out the infidels. [Sidenote: Robert, Duke of Apulia; and Richard, Duke
of Capua.] In return Robert, ‘Duke by the grace of God and of St.
Peter,’ agreed to hold his lands as the Pope’s vassal, paying an annual
rent of twelve pence for each ploughland. Richard of Capua, either then
or earlier, took the same oath. Thus the famous alliance between the
Normans and the Papacy was consummated, which by uniting the strongest
military power in Italy to the papal policy, enabled the Holy See to
wield the temporal with almost as much effect as the spiritual sword.
Thus the Papacy assumed a feudal suzerainty over southern Italy which
outlasted the Middle Ages. Within seven years of the Synod of Melfi, the
establishment of the Norman duke William the Bastard in England, as the
ally of the Pope, still further bound the most restless, active, and
enterprising race in Europe to the apostolic see.

[Sidenote: The Patarini in Lombardy.]

The Pope now intervened decisively in the long struggle between the
traditional and the strict parties in Lombardy, where the ancient
independence of the archbishops of Milan had long been assailed by the
Patarini or rag-pickers, as the reformers were contemptuously called.
Lovers of old ways in the north, with the Archbishop Guido of Milan at
their head, had long upheld clerical marriage as the ancient custom of
the Church of St. Ambrose. Peter Damiani was now sent as papal legate to
Milan to uphold the ‘rag-bags’ in their struggle. At a synod held in
Milan, the zealous monk made short work of the married clerks and of the
immemorial rights of the archbishop. Guido proffered an abject
submission and received a contemptuous restitution of his archbishopric.
The continuance of the friendship of Godfrey and Matilda secured middle
Italy, as the alliance with Normans and Patarini had secured the south
and the north. [Sidenote: Milan submits to Rome.] The strongest princes
of Gaul and Burgundy were on the zealots’ side. The imperialist prelates
of Germany, headed by Anno of Cologne, made a faint effort to stem the
tide, but the decrees fulminated by German synods against Nicholas and
his work were unknown or disregarded in Italy.

[Sidenote: Alexander II. 1061–1073.]

The untimely death of Nicholas in no wise altered the course of events.
The next Pope, Alexander II., was Anselm, Bishop of Lucca, who had
shared with Peter Damiani in the victory over the simoniacs and married
clerks in Lombardy. His appointment by the cardinals without the least
reference to King Henry IV. gave the greatest offence in Germany, and
brought to a head the growing tension between Empire and Papacy. A synod
at Basel declared Pope Alexander’s election invalid, and set up an
Antipope, Cadalus, Bishop of Parma, who had been the real soul of the
opposition to the Patarini in Lombardy. Honorius II. (this was the name
he assumed) hurried over the Alps, and in 1062 was strong enough, with
the help of the Counts of Tusculum, to fight an even battle with
Alexander’s partisans, and for a time to get possession of St. Peter’s.
But the factions that controlled the government of the young Henry IV.
could not unite even in upholding an Antipope, while the religious
enthusiasm, which the reforming movement had evoked, was ardently on the
side of Alexander. Condemned by Anno of Cologne and his party in
Germany, Honorius was rejected in 1064 by a council at Mantua.
Nevertheless, he managed to live unmolested and with some supporters
until his own death in 1072. His successful rival Alexander only
outlived him a year. It was then time for the archdeacon himself to
assume the responsible leadership of the movement which he had so long
controlled. In 1073 Hildebrand became Pope Gregory VII.

[Sidenote: Later triumphs of Robert Guiscard, 1068–1085.]

The reconciliation with the Papacy stood the Normans in good stead.
Henceforth they posed as the champions of Western Catholicism against
Eastern Orthodoxy and Islam. Though the Norman chieftains still wrangled
hotly with each other, the tide in south Italy had definitely turned in
their favour. In 1071 the capture of Bari, after a three years’ siege,
finally expelled the Greeks from Italy. The Lombard principality of
Salerno was also absorbed, and the greater part of the territories of
the dukes of Benevento, save the city and its neighbourhood, which
Robert Guiscard, much to his own disgust, was forced to yield to his
papal suzerain. We shall see in other chapters how Robert crossed the
Straits of Otranto and aspired to conquer the Greek Empire, how he came
to the help of Gregory VII. in his greatest need, and how his son
Bohemund took part in the first Crusade and founded the principality of
Antioch. When Robert died in 1085, all southern Italy acknowledged him
as its lord, save the rival Norman principality of Capua, the half-Greek
republics of Amalfi and Naples, and the papal possession of Benevento.

While Robert Guiscard was thus consolidating his power in the peninsula,
an even harder task was being accomplished by his younger brother Roger,
sometimes in alliance, and sometimes in fierce hostility with the Duke
of Apulia. The grant of Nicholas II. had contemplated the extension of
the Norman rule to Sicily. The divisions of the Mohammedan world had cut
off the island from the Caliphate of the Fatimites, and its independent
Ameers were hardly equal to the task of ruling the island and keeping in
order a timid but refractory population of Christian serfs. [Sidenote:
Roger’s conquest of Sicily, 1060–1101.] The increasing power of Robert
was fatal to the independence of Roger in Calabria, and he gladly
accepted the invitation of the discontented Christians of Messina to
deliver them from the bondage of the infidel. In 1060 Roger led his
first expedition to Sicily, which was unsuccessful. But early next year
he came again, and this time the dissensions of the Mohammedans in
Sicily enabled him to have friends among Saracens as well as Christians.
In the summer of 1061 Robert came to his help. Messina was easily
captured, and proved invaluable as the starting-point of later
expeditions. The infidels were badly beaten at the battle of
Castrogiovanni, and before the end of the year the standards of Roger
had waved as far west as Girgenti. The first successes were not quite
followed up. In 1064 the Normans were forced to raise the siege of
Palermo. The compact Mussulman population of Western Sicily opposed a
very different sort of resistance to the invaders from that which they
had experienced in the Christian East. But the process of conquest was
resumed after the capture of Bari had given Robert leisure to come to
his brother’s help. In 1072 Palermo was taken by the two brothers
jointly. Robert claimed the lion’s share of the spoil. Roger, forced to
yield him the suzerainty of the whole island, and a great domain under
his direct rule, including Palermo and Messina, threw himself with
untiring zeal into the conquest of the parts of the island that still
adhered to Islam. Thirty years after his first expedition, the last
Saracens were expelled from the rocky fastnesses of the western coasts,
and the inaccessible uplands of the interior. [Sidenote: The
feudalisation of Naples and Sicily.] The Normans took with them to Italy
their language, their manners, their art, and above all, their polity.
On the ruins of the Greek, Lombard and Saracen power, the Normans
feudalised southern Italy so thoroughly that the feudalism of Naples and
Sicily long outlasted the more indigenous feudalism of Tuscany or
Romagna. Freed from his grasping brother’s tutelage after 1085, Roger
ruled over Sicily as count till his death in 1101. We shall see how his
son united Sicily with Apulia in a single sovereignty, which has in
various shapes endured as the kingdom of Naples or Sicily, until the
establishment of a united Italy in our own days.


                         Tancred of Hauteville.
       |                  |               |              |            |
 William of the         Drogo,         Humphrey,       Robert     ROGER I.,
    Iron Arm,     Count of Apulia,  Count of Apulia,  Guiscard,   Count of
 Lord of Apulia,     _d._ 1051.       _d._ 1057.       Duke of     Sicily,
    _d._ 1046.                                         Apulia,    _d._ 1101.
                                                      _d._ 1085.        |
                                                         |            |
                            +----------------------------+            |
                            |                                         |
                          Roger,                                  ROGER II.,
                     Duke of Apulia,                           King of Sicily
                         _d._ 1111.                                and Duke
                            |                                     of Apulia,
                         William,                                 _d._ 1154.
                     Duke of Apulia,                                  |
                         _d._ 1127.                                   |
                |                            |                   |
              Roger,                      WILLIAM I.,        Constance,
         Duke of Apulia.                   the Bad,        _m._ HENRY VI.
                |                         _d._ 1166.       _d._ 1197.
         TANCRED of Lecce                     |                  |
         (illegitimate),                  WILLIAM II.,     FREDERICK II.
             _d._ 1194.                    the Good,          _d._ 1250.
                |                          _d._ 1189.
     +----------+---+------------+        _m._ Joanna,
     |              |            |        daughter of
 ROGER III.,  WILLIAM III.,    Albina,    Henry II.
  _d._ 1194.     deposed by  _m._ Walter  of England.
              Henry VI. in       of
                  1194.       Brienne.

                               CHAPTER VI
                  THE INVESTITURE CONTEST (1056–1125)

  Minority of Henry IV.—Regency of Agnes—Rivalry of Adalbert and
    Anno—The Saxon Revolt—Election of Gregory VII.—Beginnings of the
    Investiture Contest—Canossa and its results—Rudolf of Swabia and
    Guibert of Ravenna—The Normans and Gregory VII.—Victor III. and
    Urban II.—Last years of Henry IV.—Henry V. and Pascal II.—Calixtus
    II. and the Concordat of Worms—Death of Henry V.

While the Cluniac movement had at last attained ascendency over the best
minds of Europe, and a swarm of monastic reformers had prepared the way
for the great revival of spiritual religion and hierarchical
pretensions; while in Italy strong papalist powers, like the Countess
Matilda and the Normans of the south, had arisen to menace the imperial
authority, the long minority of Henry IV. sapped the personal influence
of Cæsar over Italy and brought about a lengthened period of faction and
weak rule in Germany. [Sidenote: The minority of Henry IV., 1056–1072.]
On Henry III.’s death, his son, Henry IV., was a boy of six. The great
Emperor’s power secured the child’s undisputed succession, but was too
personal, too military in its character to prove any safeguard against
the dangers of a long minority. Nor did the choice of ruler during Henry
IV.’s nonage improve the state of affairs. Henry III.’s widow, Agnes of
Poitou, a pious well-meaning lady, acted as regent for her son, but her
weakness of will and inconsistency of conduct gave full scope to
discontented nobles ready to take advantage of a woman’s sway.
[Sidenote: Regency of the Empress Agnes, 1056–1062.] The lay nobles
availed themselves of her helplessness to plunder and despoil the
prelates, while they complained that Agnes neglected their counsels for
those of low-born courtiers and personal favourites. After six years of
confusion the Empress was driven from power. Anno, Archbishop of
Cologne, a vigorous, experienced, and zealous prelate, full of ambition
and violence, joined himself with Otto of Nordheim, the newly appointed
Duke of Bavaria, Count Egbert of Brunswick, and some of the bishops, in
a well-contrived plot to get possession of the young king. [Sidenote:
Abduction of Henry by Anno of Cologne, 1062.] In May 1062 the three
chief conspirators visited the king at his palace of Saint Suitbert’s,
situated on an island in the Rhine, some miles below Düsseldorf, now
called Kaiserswerth. One day after dinner Anno persuaded the boy king to
inspect an elaborately-fitted-up barge. As soon as Henry had entered the
boat, the oarsmen put off and rowed away. Henry was soon frightened and
plunged into the water, but Count Egbert leapt in and rescued him. The
king was pacified by flattery and taken to Cologne. The crowd cried
shame on the treachery of the bishop, but Henry remained in his custody,
and Agnes made no serious attempt to regain her authority, but
reconciled herself with Anno and retired into a monastery. Anno proposed
to the magnates that the regency should be exercised by the bishop of
the diocese in which the king happened to be staying. By carefully
selecting the king’s places of abode, he thus secured the reality of
power without its odium. By throwing over the Antipope he procured the
support of the Hildebrandine party, and was likened by Peter Damiani to
another Jehoiada. But his pride and arrogance soon raised him up
enemies; and young Henry, who never forgave his abduction, bitterly
resented his tutelage.

[Sidenote: Rivalry of Adalbert of Bremen and Anno of Cologne,

Adalbert, Archbishop of Bremen, took the lead among Anno’s enemies. He
was a man of high birth, great experience, and unbounded ambition, an
old confidant of Henry III., and filled with a great scheme for making
his archbishopric a permanent patriarchate over the infant churches of
Scandinavia. He made himself personally attractive to the king, who
contrasted his kindness and indulgence with the austerity of Anno. By
Adalbert’s influence Henry was declared of age to govern on attaining
his fifteenth year in 1065. Henceforth Adalbert disposed of all the high
offices in Church and State, and growing more greedy as he became more
successful, excited much ill-will among the religious by plundering the
monasteries right and left. He appropriated to himself the two great
abbeys of Lorsch and Corvey, and sought in vain to propitiate his
enemies by allowing other magnates, including even his rival Anno, to
similarly despoil other monasteries. The king was made so poor that he
hardly had enough to live on. But Adalbert at least sought to continue
the great traditions of statecraft of Henry III., and showed more policy
and skill than the crowd of bishops who had previously shared power with
Anno. At last, in 1066, the nobles combined against Adalbert at a Diet
at Tribur, and Henry was roundly told that he must either dismiss
Adalbert or resign his throne. Adalbert retired to his diocese, and Anno
and Otto of Nordheim again had the chief control of affairs. But neither
party could rule with energy or spirit, and Henry, now nearly grown up,
showed no decided capacity to make things better. The young king was
tall, dignified, and handsome. He was affable and kindly to men of low
rank, with whom he was ever popular, though he could be stern and
haughty to the magnates, whose power he feared. He had plenty of spirit
and fair ability. But he had been brought up so laxly by Archbishop
Adalbert that he was headstrong, irresolute, profligate, and utterly
deficient in self-control. He never formulated a policy, and if he
championed great causes, he did so blindly and in ignorance. Married to
Bertha, daughter of the Marquis Odo of Turin, in 1065, he gave offence
both to her powerful kinsfolk and to the strict churchmen by refusing to
live with her, and talking of a divorce. He had now to put down open
rebellions. In 1069 the Margrave Dedi strove to rouse the Thuringians to
revolt, and in 1070 Otto of Bavaria, the most important of the dukes
surviving, after the death of Duke Godfrey of Lorraine in the previous
year, was driven into rebellion. So divided were the German nobles, so
helpless the German king, that instead of ruling the Italians, there
seemed every prospect of the Italians ruling them. In 1069 Peter Damiani
went to Germany as legate, and compelled Henry to reconcile himself with
Bertha. Peter was horrified at the unblushing simony of the German
bishops, and, on his report, Anno of Cologne and several other of the
greatest prelates of Germany were summoned to Rome and thoroughly
humiliated. Anno atoned for his laxity by his edifying discharge of the
meanest monastic duties in his own great foundation at Siegburg, but his
influence was gone and his political career was at an end. His fall
brought Adalbert back to some of his ancient influence. The death of the
Archbishop of Bremen in 1072 unloosed the last link that connected the
new reign with the old traditions.

[Sidenote: The Saxon Revolt, 1073–1075.]

Henry IV.’s reign now really began. A thorough Swabian, his favourite
ministers were Swabians of no high degree, and he had no faith in the
goodwill or loyalty of the men of the north. He had kept vacant the
Saxon dukedom. On every hill-top of Saxony and Thuringia he built strong
castles, whose lawless garrisons plundered and outraged the peasantry.
There was ever fierce ill-will between northern and southern Germany
during the Middle Ages. The policy of the southern Emperor soon filled
the north with anger, and the Saxon nobles prepared for armed
resistance. In 1073 Henry fitted out an expedition, whose professed
destination was against the Poles. It was believed in Saxony that his
real object was to subdue the Saxons and hand them over to the Swabians.
Accordingly in the summer of 1073 a general Saxon revolt broke out,
headed by the natural leaders of Saxony both in Church and State,
including the Archbishop of Magdeburg, the deposed Duke Otto of Bavaria,
and the fierce Margrave Dedi, already an unsuccessful rebel. The
insurgents demanded the instant demolition of the castles, the dismissal
of Henry’s evil counsellors, and the restitution of their lands that he
had violently seized. On receiving no answer they shut up Henry in the
strong castle of Harzburg, whence he escaped with the utmost difficulty
to the friendly cloister of Hersfeld. In the course of the summer the
rebels destroyed many of the new castles. The levies summoned for the
Polish campaign refused to turn their arms against the Saxons, and Henry
saw himself powerless amidst the general falling away. A meeting at
Gerstungen, where Henry’s friends strove to mediate with the rebels, led
to a suggestion that the king should be deposed. Only at Worms and in
the Swabian cities did Henry receive any real support. He gathered
together a small army and strove to fight a winter campaign against the
Saxons, but failed so completely that he was forced to accept their
terms. However, hostilities were renewed in 1075, when Henry won a
considerable victory at Hohenburg on the Unstrut, and forced the Saxons
to make an unconditional submission. Otto of Nordheim, the Archbishop of
Magdeburg, and the other leaders were imprisoned. On the ruins of Saxon
liberty Henry now aspired to build up a despotism.

[Sidenote: Election of Gregory VII. 1073.]

Hildebrand was now Pope. During the funeral service of Alexander II. at
St. John’s in the Lateran, a great shout arose from the multitude in the
church that Hildebrand should be their bishop. The cardinal, Hugh the
White, addressed the assembly. ‘You know, brethren,’ he said, ‘how,
since the time of Leo IX., Hildebrand has exalted the Roman Church, and
freed our city. We cannot find a better Pope than he. Indeed, we cannot
find his equal. Let us then elect him, who, having been ordained in our
church, is known to us all, and thoroughly approved by us.’ There was
the great shout in answer: ‘Saint Peter has chosen Hildebrand to be
Pope!’ Despite his resistance, Hildebrand was dragged to the church of
St. Peter ad Vincula, and immediately enthroned. The cardinals had no
mind to upset this irregular election, strangely contrary though it was
to the provisions of Nicholas II. The German bishops, alarmed at
Hildebrand’s reputation for severity, urged the king to quash the
appointment, but Henry contented himself with sending to Rome to inquire
into the circumstances of the election. Hildebrand showed great
moderation, and actually postponed his consecration until Henry’s
consent had been obtained. This Henry had no wish to withhold. On 29th
June 1073 Hildebrand was hallowed bishop. By assuming the name of
Gregory VII., he proclaimed to the world the invalidity of the
deposition of his old master at the Synod of Sutri.

[Sidenote: His character and policy.]

The wonderful self-control which the new Pope had shown so long did not
desert him in his new position. Physically, there was little to denote
the mighty mind within his puny body. He was of low stature, shortlegged
and corpulent. He spoke with a stammer, and his dull complexion was only
lighted up by his glittering eyes. He was not a man of much learning or
originality, and contributed little towards the theory of the papal or
sacerdotal power. But he was one of the greatest practical men of the
Middle Ages; and his single-minded wish to do what was right betokened a
dignity of moral nature that was rare indeed in the eleventh century.
His power over men’s minds was enormous, even to their own despite. The
fierce and fanatical Peter Damiani called him his ‘holy Satan.’ ‘Thy
will,’ said he, ‘has ever been a command to me—evil but lawful. Would
that I had always served God and St. Peter as faithfully as I have
served thee.’ Even as archdeacon he assumed so great a state, and lived
in such constant intercourse with the world, that monastic zealots like
Damiani were scandalised, and some moderns have questioned (though
groundlessly) whether he was ever a professed monk at all. Profoundly
convinced of the truth of the Cluniac doctrines, he showed a fierce and
almost unscrupulous statecraft in realising them that filled even Cluny
with alarm. His ideal was to reform the world by establishing a sort of
universal monarchy for the Papacy. He saw all round him that kings and
princes were powerless for good, but mighty for evil. He saw churchmen
living greedy and corrupt lives for want of higher direction and
control. Looking at a world distraught by feudal anarchy, his ambition
was to restore the ‘peace of God,’ civilisation, and order, by
submitting the Church to the Papacy, and the world to the Church. ‘Human
pride,’ he wrote, ‘has created the power of kings; God’s mercy has
created the power of bishops. The Pope is the master of Emperors. He is
rendered holy by the merits of his predecessor, St. Peter. The Roman
Church has never erred, and Holy Scripture proves that it never can err.
To resist it is to resist God.’ For the next twelve years he strove with
all his might to make his power felt throughout Christendom. Sometimes
his enthusiasm caused him to advance claims that even his best friends
would not admit, as when William the Conqueror was constrained to
repudiate the Holy See’s claims of feudal sovereignty over England,
which, after similar pretensions had been recognised by the Normans in
Sicily, Gregory and his successors were prone to assert whenever
opportunity offered. The remotest parts of Europe felt the weight of his
influence. But the intense conviction of the righteousness of his aims,
that made compromise seem to him treason to the truth, did something to
detract from the success of his statecraft. He was too absolute, too
rigid, too obstinate, too extreme to play his part with entire advantage
to himself and his cause. Yet with all his defects there is no grander
figure in history.

Gregory realised the magnitude of his task, but he never shrank from it.
‘I would that you knew,’ wrote he to the Abbot of Cluny, ‘the anguish
that assails my soul. The Church of the East has gone astray from the
Catholic faith. If I look to the west, the north, or the south, I find
but few bishops whose appointments and whose lives are in accordance
with the laws of the Church, or who govern God’s people through love and
not through worldly ambition. Among princes I know not one who sets the
honour of God before his own, or justice before gain. If I did not hope
that I could be of use to the Church, I would not remain at Rome a day.’
From the very first he was beset on every side with difficulties. Even
the alliance with the Normans was uncertain. Robert Guiscard, with his
brother Roger, waged war against Gregory’s faithful vassal, Richard of
Capua; and Robert, who threatened the papal possession of Benevento,
went so far that he incurred excommunication. Philip of France, ‘the
worst of the tyrants who enslaved the Church,’ had to be threatened with
interdict. A project to unite the Eastern with the Western Church broke
down lamentably. A contest with Henry IV. soon became inevitable. But
Gregory abated nothing of his high claims. In February 1075 he held a
synod at Rome, at which severe decrees against simony and the marriage
of clerks were issued. [Sidenote: The Synod of 1075, and the attack on
Simony and Lay Investiture.] The practice of lay investiture, by which
secular princes were wont to grant bishoprics and abbeys by the
conferring of spiritual symbols such as the ring and staff, had long
been regarded by the Cluniacs as the most glaring of temporal
aggressions against the spiritual power. This practice was now sternly
forbidden. ‘If any one,’ declared the synod, ‘henceforth receive from
the hand of any lay person a bishopric or abbey, let him not be
considered as abbot or bishop, and let the favour of St. Peter and the
gate of the Church be forbidden to him. If an emperor, a king, a duke, a
count, or any other lay person presume to give investiture of any
ecclesiastical dignity, let him be excommunicated.’ This decree gave the
signal for the great Investiture Contest, and for the greater struggle
of Papacy and Empire that convulsed Europe, save during occasional
breaks, for the next two centuries.

Up to the issue of the decree as to investitures, the relation between
Gregory and Henry IV. had not been unfriendly. Henry had admitted that
he had not always respected the rights of the Church, but had promised
amendment for the future. [Sidenote: The beginnings of the Investiture
Contest, 1075.] But to give up investitures would have been to change
the whole imperial system of government. He was now freed, by his
victory at Hohenburg, from the Saxon revolt. The German bishops, afraid
of the Pope’s strictness, encouraged his resistance, and even in Italy
he had many partisans. The Patarini were driven out of Milan, and Henry
scrupled not to invest a new archbishop with the see of St. Ambrose.
Even at Rome, Gregory barely escaped assassination while celebrating
mass. In January 1076 Henry summoned a German council to Worms.
[Sidenote: Council at Worms, 1076.] Strange and incredible crimes were
freely attributed to the Pope, and the majority of the German bishops
pronounced him deposed. Henry himself wrote in strange terms to the
Pope: ‘Henry, king not by usurpation but by God’s grace, to Hildebrand,
henceforth no pope but false monk,—Christ has called us to our kingdom,
while He has never called thee to the priesthood. Thou hast attacked me,
a consecrated king, who cannot be judged but by God Himself. Condemned
by our bishops and by ourselves, come down from the place that thou hast
usurped. Let the see of St. Peter be held by another, who will not seek
to cover violence under the cloak of religion, and who will teach the
wholesome doctrine of St. Peter. I, Henry, king by the grace of God,
with all of my bishops, say unto thee—“Come down, come down.”’

[Sidenote: Vatican Synod, 1076.]

In February 1076 Gregory held a great synod in the Vatican, at which the
Empress Agnes was present, with a great multitude of Italian and French
bishops. A clerk from Parma named Roland delivered the king’s letter to
the Pope before the council. There was a great tumult, and Roland would
have atoned for his boldness with his life but for the Pope’s personal
intervention. Henry was now formally excommunicated and deposed.
‘Blessed Peter,’ declared Gregory, ‘thou and the Mother of God and all
the saints are witness that the Roman Church has called upon me to
govern it in my own despite. As thy representative I have received from
God the power to bind and to loose in Heaven and on earth. For the
honour and security of thy Church, in the Name of God Almighty, I
prohibit Henry the king, son of Henry the Emperor, who has risen with
unheard-of pride against thy Church, from ruling Germany and Italy. I
release all Christians from the oaths of fealty they may have taken to
him, and I order that no one shall obey him.’

[Sidenote: Weakness of Henry’s position in Germany.]

War was thus declared between Pope and king. Though the position of both
parties was sufficiently precarious, Henry was at the moment in the
worst position for carrying on an internecine combat. He could count
very little on the support of his German subjects. Those who most feared
the Pope were the self-seekers and the simoniacs, whose energy was small
and whose loyalty less. The saints and the zealots were all against him.
The Saxons profited by his embarrassments to renew their revolt, and
soon chased his garrisons out of their land. The secular nobles, who saw
in his policy the beginnings of an attempt at despotism, held aloof from
his court. It was to no purpose that Henry answered the anathemas of
Gregory with denunciations equally unmeasured, and complained that
Gregory had striven to unite in his hands both the spiritual and the
temporal swords, that God had kept asunder. Hermann, Bishop of Metz, the
Pope’s legate in Germany, ably united the forces against him. At last,
the nobles and bishops of Germany gathered together on 16th October 1076
at Tribur, where the papal legates were treated with marked deference,
though Henry took up his quarters at Oppenheim, on the other bank of the
Rhine, afraid to trust himself amidst his disaffected subjects.
[Sidenote: Diet of Tribur, 1076.] Henry soon saw that he had no
alternative but submission. The magnates were so suspicious of him that
it needed the personal intercession of Hugh, Abbot of Cluny, to prevail
upon them to make terms with him at all. Finally a provisional agreement
was patched up, upon conditions excessively humiliating to Henry.
[Sidenote: Humiliation of Henry.] The barons refused to obey him until
he had obtained absolution from the Pope, who, moreover, had promised to
go to Germany in person and hold a council in the succeeding February.
Pending this, Henry was to remain at Speyer without kingly revenue,
power, or dignity, and still shut off by his excommunication from the
offices of the Church. If Henry could not satisfy the Pope in February,
he was to be regarded as deposed.

Abandoned by Germany, Henry abode some two months at Speyer, gloomily
anticipating the certain ruin to his cause that would follow the Pope’s
appearance in a German council. He realised that he could do nothing
unless he reconciled himself to Gregory; and, hearing good news of his
prospects in northern Italy, thought that his best course was to betake
himself over the Alps, where the Pope might well prove less rigorous, if
he found him at the head of a formidable band of Italian partisans. It
was a winter of extraordinary severity, but any risks were better than
inglorious inaction at Speyer. [Sidenote: Henry’s winter journey through
Burgundy and Lombardy, 1076–77.] Accordingly Henry broke his compact
with his nobles, and towards the end of December secretly set out on his
journey southward. He was accompanied by Bertha and his little son, but
only one German noble was included among his scanty following. He
traversed Burgundy, and kept his miserable Christmas feast at Besançon.
Thence crossing the Mont Cenis at the risk of his life, he appeared
early in the new year amidst his Lombard partisans at Pavia. But though
urged to take up arms, Henry feared the risks of a new and doubtful
struggle. Germany could only be won back by submission. He resolved to
seek out the Pope and throw himself on his mercy.

Gregory was then some fifteen miles south of Reggio, at an impregnable
mountain stronghold belonging to the Countess Matilda, called Canossa,
which crowned one of the northern spurs of the Apennines, and overlooked
the great plain. [Sidenote: Canossa, Jan. 1077.] He had sought the
protection of its walls as a safe refuge against the threatened Lombard
attack which Henry, it was believed, had come over the Alps to arrange.
The Countess Matilda and Hugh of Cluny, Henry’s godfather, were with the
Pope, and many of the simoniac bishops of Germany had already gone to
Canossa and won absolution by submission. On 21st January 1077 Henry
left his wife and followers at Reggio, and climbed the steep snow-clad
road that led to the mountain fastness. Gregory refused to receive him,
but he had interviews with Matilda and his godfather in a chapel at the
foot of the castle-rock, and induced them to intercede with the Pope on
his behalf. Gregory would hear of nothing but complete and unconditional
submission. ‘If he be truly penitent, let him surrender his crown and
insignia of royalty into our hands, and confess himself unworthy of the
name and honour of king.’ But the pressure of the countess and abbot at
last prevailed upon him to be content with abject contrition without
actual abandonment of his royal state. For three days Henry waited in
the snow outside the inner gate of the castle-yard, barefoot, fasting,
and in the garb of a penitent. On the fourth day the Pope consented to
admit him into his presence. With the cry ‘Holy father, spare me!’ the
king threw himself at the Pope’s feet. Gregory raised him up, absolved
him, entertained him at his table, and sent him away with much good
advice and his blessing. But the terms of Henry’s reconciliation were
sufficiently hard. He was to promise to submit himself to the judgment
of the German magnates, presided over by the Pope, with respect to the
long catalogue of charges brought against him. Until that was done he
was to abstain from the royal insignia and the royal functions. He was
to be prepared to accept or retain his crown according to the judgment
of the Pope as to his guilt or innocence. He was, if proved innocent, to
obey the Pope in all things pertaining to the Church. If he broke any of
these conditions, another king was to be forthwith elected.

[Sidenote: Results of Canossa.]

The humiliation of Henry at Canossa is so dramatic and so famous an
event that it is hard to realise that it was but an incident in the
midst of a long struggle. It settled nothing, and profited neither Henry
nor Gregory. Gregory found that his harshness had to some extent
alienated that public opinion on which the Papacy depended almost
entirely for its influence. Henry found that his submission had not won
over his German enemies, but had thoroughly disgusted the anti-papal
party in northern Italy, upon which alone he could count for armed
support. The Lombards now talked of deposing the cowardly monarch in
favour of his little son. But the future course of events rested after
all upon the action of the German nobles, who held their Diet at
Forchheim in March 1077. [Sidenote: Diet of Forchheim, March 1077.] To
this assembly Henry was not even invited; and for the present he
preferred remaining in Italy. The Pope also did not appear in person,
but was represented by two legates. The old charges against Henry were
brought up once more, and the legates expressed their wonder that the
patient Germans had submitted so long to be ruled by such a monster.
Without giving Henry the least opportunity of refuting the accusations,
it was determined to proceed at once to the choice of a new king. The
suffrages of the magnates fell on Duke Rudolf of Swabia. [Sidenote:
Rudolf of Swabia, Anti-Cæsar.] Before his appointment, Rudolf was
compelled to renounce all hereditary claim to the throne on behalf of
his heirs, and to allow freedom of election to all bishoprics. He was
then crowned at Mainz by Archbishop Siegfried.

The news of Rudolf’s election at once brought Henry back over the Alps.
He soon found that he now had devoted partisans in the land that had
rejected him when he was under the ban of the Pope. He was warmly
welcomed in Bavaria, in Burgundy, and especially in the great towns of
the Rhineland, always faithful to the imperial cause. [Sidenote: Civil
war between Rudolf and Henry, 1077–1080.] Rudolf’s own duchy of Swabia
rejected its duke in favour of the prince who had ever loved the
Swabians. Rebel Saxony was alone strongly on Rudolf’s side. Even the
Pope could not make up his mind to ratify the action of his legates and
accept Rudolf as king. For more than two years civil war raged between
Rudolf and Henry. It was substantially a continuation of the Saxon
revolt. At last, in January 1080, a decisive battle was fought at
Flarchheim on the banks of the Unstrut, in which Henry was utterly
defeated. [Sidenote: Battle of Flarchheim, 1080.] During all this time
Gregory had contented himself with offers of arbitration. Though Henry
practised lay investiture as freely as ever, it was not until after his
defeat that the Pope once more declared himself against him. Yielding to
the indignant remonstrances of Rudolf and the Saxons, he convoked a
synod at Rome in March 1080, where he renewed Henry’s excommunication,
and again deprived him of his kingdoms of Germany and Italy. [Sidenote:
Renewed excommunication and deposition of Henry, March 1080.] ‘Act so,’
said Gregory to the assembled prelates, ‘that the world shall know that
ye who have power to bind and to loose in heaven, can grant or withhold
kingdoms, principalities, and other possessions according to each man’s
merits. And if you are fit to judge in things spiritual, ought ye not to
be deemed competent to judge in things temporal?’ Rudolf was now
recognised as king, and another universal prohibition of lay
investitures was issued.

Gregory boasted that, before the next feast of SS. Peter and Paul, Henry
would have lost his throne and his life. But each fresh aggression of
the Pope increased his rival’s power. Henry now showed an energy and
vigour that contrasted strangely with his spiritless action three years
before. Both in Germany and Italy he found himself supported by
partisans as enthusiastic as those of the Pope. The bishops of Germany
declared for him, and the old foes of the Pope in Italy took courage to
continue the contest. [Sidenote: Guibert of Ravenna elected Antipope,
June 1080.] In June Henry met at Brixen the German and Italian bishops
who adhered to his side. This assembly declared Gregory deposed and
excommunicate, and elected Guibert, Archbishop of Ravenna as his

The new Antipope had in his youth served Henry III., and, as chancellor
of Italy, had striven to uphold the imperial authority during Henry
IV.’s minority. He had once been on friendly terms with Gregory, but had
quarrelled with him, and had for some time been the soul of the
imperialist party in north Italy. He was of high birth, unblemished
character, great abilities, and long experience. He assumed the title of
Clement III., and at once returned to Ravenna to push matters to
extremities against Gregory. The rash violence of the Pope had been
answered with equal violence by his enemies. There were two Popes and
two Emperors. The sword alone could decide between them.

[Sidenote: Battle on the Elster, and death of Rudolf, 15th October

Fortune favoured Henry and Clement both in Germany and Italy. On 15th
October 1080 a great battle was fought on the banks of the Elster, not
far from the later battlefields of Lützen. The fierce assault of Otto of
Nordheim changed what threatened to be a Saxon defeat into a brilliant
victory for the northern army. But Rudolf of Swabia was slain, and the
victorious Saxons wasted their opportunity while they quarrelled as to
his successor. It was nearly a year before they could agree upon Hermann
of Luxemburg as their new king. [Sidenote: Hermann of Luxemburg,
Anti-Cæsar.] Before this the back of the revolt had been broken, and
Henry, secure of Germany, had once more gone to Italy. Crossing the
Brenner in March 1081, he went on progress through the Lombard cities,
and abode with Pope Clement at Ravenna. Thence he set out for Rome,
meeting little resistance on his way save from the Countess Matilda.
[Sidenote: Henry’s visit to Italy, 1081.] The Normans of Naples, on
whose help Gregory had counted, made no effort to protect their
suzerain. In May Henry celebrated the Whitsun feast outside the walls of

Gregory did not lose his courage even with the enemy at his gate. The
Romans were faithful to him, and Henry, who saw no chance of besieging
the great city successfully, was forced to retreat northwards by the
feverish heat of summer. [Sidenote: War between Henry and Gregory,
1081–1084.] He retired to Lombardy, where his position was unassailable.
Next year he was back again before the walls of Rome, but the occupation
of Tivoli was his greatest success. In 1083 a third attack gave him
possession of the Leonine city, but even in this extremity Gregory would
listen to no talk of conciliation. ‘Let the king lay down his crown and
make atonement to the Church,’ was his answer to those who besought him
to come to terms. In the early months of 1084 Henry invaded Apulia and
kept in check the Normans, who at last were making a show of helping the
Pope. In March he appeared for the fourth time before Rome. This time
the Romans opened their gates, and Gregory was closely besieged in the
castle of St. Angelo. [Sidenote: Coronation of Henry by Guibert, 1084.]
A synod was hastily summoned, which renewed his deposition and
excommunication. On Palm Sunday, 1084, Guibert was enthroned, and on
Easter Day he crowned Henry Emperor at St. Peter’s.

[Sidenote: The Normans come to Gregory’s help, 1084.]

Gregory sent from the castle of St. Angelo an urgent appeal for help to
Robert Guiscard. During the troubles of the last few years, Robert’s
obligations to his suzerain had weighed very lightly upon him, but
Henry’s invasion of Apulia and the certain ruin of the Normans in Naples
if the Pope succumbed, at last brought him to decided action. Hastily
abandoning his Greek campaign, Robert crossed over to Italy, and in May
advanced to the walls of Rome with a large and motley army, in which the
Saracens of Sicily were a prominent element. Henry, who had no force
sufficient to resist, quitted Rome, and soon crossed the Alps. The
Romans tried in vain to defend their city from the Normans. After a four
days’ siege treason opened the gates. [Sidenote: Sack of Rome.] Rome was
ruthlessly sacked, whole quarters were burned down, hideous massacres
and outrages were perpetrated, and thousands of Romans were sold as
slaves. The Normans then marched home. Gregory could not remain in the
desolate city, and followed them to Salerno. The Antipope kept his
Christmas amid the ruins of Rome, but soon abandoned the city for his
old home at Ravenna. Gregory now fell sick at Salerno. The few faithful
cardinals strove to console him by dwelling on the great work which he
had accomplished. [Sidenote: Death of Gregory in exile, 1085.] ‘I set no
store by what I have done,’ was his answer. ‘One thing only fills me
with hope. I have always loved the law of God and hated iniquity.
Therefore I die in exile.’ He passed away on 25th May 1085. Less than
two months afterwards, Robert Guiscard died at Corfu.

For a year after Gregory’s death, the Papacy remained vacant. At last,
in May 1086, the cardinals, profiting by the Antipope’s return to
Ravenna, met at Rome and forced the Papacy on the unwilling Desiderius,
Abbot of Monte Casino. The new Pope (who assumed the name of Victor
III.), was a close friend of Gregory’s and strongly attached to his
ideals. [Sidenote: Victor III., 1086–1087.] But he was too old and too
weak to take up Hildebrand’s task, and three days after his election he
strove to avoid the troublesome dignity by flight to Monte Casino. Next
year he was with difficulty prevailed upon to return to Rome to receive
the tiara. But the partisans of the Emperor and of the Countess Matilda
fought fiercely for the possession of Rome, and Victor again retreated
to his monastery, where death ended his troubles three days after his
return (16th September 1087). Next time the cardinals fixed upon a Pope
of sterner stuff. Driven from Rome by the Antipope, they made their
election at Terracina on 12th March 1088. Their choice fell upon the son
of a baron of Champagne named Odo, who had lived long at Cluny as monk
and sub-prior, and then served the Roman Court as cardinal-bishop of
Ostia. [Sidenote: Urban II., 1088–1099.] Urban II. (this was the title
he took) was a man of ability and force of character, as ardent as
Hildebrand for the Cluniac ideals, but more careful of his means of
enforcing them than the uncompromising Gregory. He made closer his
alliance with the Normans, and, thanks to the help of Duke Roger, Robert
Guiscard’s son and successor, was able to return to Rome and remain
there for some months. But the troops of the Antipope still held the
castle of St. Angelo, and Urban soon found it prudent to retire. He
mainly spent the first years of his pontificate in southern Italy under
Roger’s protection.

Meanwhile, papalists and imperialists fought hard in northern Italy.
Germany was now tolerably quiet, and Henry could now devote his chief
energies to Italy, which he revisited in 1090. [Sidenote: Henry revisits
Italy, 1090.] But Urban united the German with the Italian opposition to
the Emperor by bringing about a politic marriage between the Countess
Matilda and the young son of Welf or Guelf, Duke of Bavaria, the
Emperor’s most powerful adversary in Germany. Despite this combination,
Henry’s Italian campaigns between 1090 and 1092 were extraordinarily
successful. Matilda’s dominions in the plain country were overrun, and
her towns and castles captured. But she held her own in her strongholds
in the Apennines, rejected all compromise, and prepared to fight to the
last. Henry met his first check when he was driven back in disgrace from
an attempted siege of Canossa.

[Sidenote: Conrad of Franconia, Anti-Cæsar, 1093.]

The papalists were much encouraged by Henry’s defeat. Soon after they
persuaded his son Conrad, a weak and headstrong youth, to rise in revolt
against his father. Half Lombardy fell away from father to son. Before
the year was out, Conrad received the Iron Crown at Milan, and Urban
ventured back to Rome. Worse was to follow. Henry’s second wife,
Praxedis of Russia (Bertha had died in 1087), escaped from the prison to
which her husband had consigned her, and taking refuge with the Countess
Matilda, gave to the world a story of wrongs and outrages that destroyed
the last shreds of the Emperor’s reputation. In high glee at the
progress of his cause, Urban set out on a lengthened progress that
reminds us of the memorable tours of Leo IX. [Sidenote: Urban’s Councils
at Piacenza and Clermont, 1095.] After a long stay in Tuscany, he
crossed the Apennines early in 1095, and held a great synod at Piacenza,
at which the laws against simony and married clerks were renewed, while
the Empress publicly declared her charges against Henry, and ambassadors
from the Eastern Emperor pleaded for help, against the growing power of
the Seljukian Turks. In the summer Urban crossed the Alps, and remained
for more than a year in France and Burgundy, being everywhere received
with extraordinary reverence. In November 1095 he held a largely
attended synod at Clermont in Auvergne. Not content with his quarrel
with the Emperor, he here fulminated excommunication against Philip I.
of France, on account of his adultery with Bertrada, Countess of Anjou.
But the famous work of the Council of Clermont was the proclamation of
the First Crusade. [Sidenote: The proclamation of the First Crusade,
1095.] Nothing shows more clearly the strength and nature of the papal
power than that this greatest result of the universal monarchy of the
Church should have been brought about at a time when all the chief kings
of Europe were open enemies of the Papacy. Henry IV. was an old foe,
Philip of France had been deliberately attacked, and William Rufus of
England was indifferent or hostile. But in the eleventh century the
power of even the strongest kings counted for very little. What made the
success of Urban’s endeavour was the appeal to the swarm of small feudal
chieftains, who really governed Europe, and to the fierce and
undisciplined enthusiasm of the common people, with whom the ultimate
strength of the Church really lay.

[Sidenote: Urban’s return to Italy, 1096.]

Flushed with his success at Clermont, Urban recrossed the Alps in
September 1096. Bands of Crusaders, hastening to the East, mingled with
the papal train as he again traversed northern Italy. Rome itself now
opened its gates to the homeless lord of the Church. In 1097 Henry IV.
abandoned Italy in despair. [Sidenote: Henry abandons Italy, 1097.] He
restored the elder Welf to the Bavarian duchy, and easily persuaded the
younger Welf to quit his elderly bride, and resume his allegiance to the
Emperor. Conrad was deprived of the succession, and his younger brother
Henry crowned king at Aachen on taking an oath that he would not presume
to exercise royal power while his father was alive.

[Sidenote: Urban II. in southern Italy, 1098.]

Urban was now triumphant, save that his Norman allies were once more
giving him trouble, and the castle of St. Angelo was still held for the
Antipope. He accordingly again visited southern Italy, and won over
Count Roger of Sicily, by conceding the famous privilege to Roger and
his heirs that no papal legate should be sent into their lands without
their consent, but that the lords of Sicily should themselves act as
legates within their dominions. [Sidenote: Synod at Bari.] In October
1098 the Pope held a synod at Bari, restored to Catholicism by the
Norman conquest in 1071. There, with a view to facilitating the Crusade,
the great point of difference between the Eastern and Western
Churches—the Procession of the Holy Ghost—was debated at length. Among
the prelates attending the council was Anselm of Canterbury, exiled for
upholding against William Rufus the principles which Urban had asserted
against the Emperor and the King of France. Urban, who had been politic
enough not to raise up a third great king against him by supporting
Anselm, atoned for past neglect by the deference he now showed to the
‘Pope of the second world.’ As the council broke up, the good news came
that the castle of St. Angelo had at last been captured. Urban returned
to Rome and devoted himself to the work of the Crusade. On 29th July
1099 he died suddenly. It was his glory that the struggle of Pope and
Emperor, which had absorbed all the energies of Gregory VII., sank
during his pontificate into a second place. [Sidenote: Death of Urban
II., 1099.] Though he abandoned no claim that Gregory had made, he had
the good fortune to be able to put himself at the head of crusading
Europe, while his opponent shrank into powerless contempt. Next year the
Antipope followed Urban to the grave. With Clement, the schism as a real
force died. Three short-lived Antipopes pretended to carry on his
succession until the death of the Emperor, but no one took them
seriously. With the flight of the last pretender in 1106, formal
ecclesiastical unity was again restored.

Driven out of Italy by his rebel son, Henry IV. found Germany equally
indisposed to obey him. Both north and south of the Alps, the real
gainers in the long struggle had been the feudal chieftains, and
Germany, like Italy, was ceasing to be a single state at all. [Sidenote:
Death of Conrad, 1101.] In 1101 the rebellious Conrad died at Florence,
bitterly regretting his treason. Henry’s main object now was to restore
peace to Germany, and to effect a reconciliation with the Church.
[Sidenote: Paschal II., 1099–1118.] But the new Pope, Paschal II.
(Rainerius of Bieda, near Viterbo, elected August 1099), renewed his
excommunication, and was as unbending as his predecessors. Before long
Paschal was able to extend his intrigues into Germany, and in 1104 the
young King Henry raised the Saxons in revolt against his father, and was
recognised as king by the Pope. [Sidenote: Revolt of the young King
Henry, 1104.] But the Emperor had no spirit left for a fresh contest. At
Coblenz he threw himself at his son’s feet, begging only that his own
child should not be the instrument of God’s vengeance on his sins. The
young king asked for forgiveness, and promised to give up his claims
when his father was reconciled with the Church. The Emperor trustfully
disbanded his soldiers, and was promptly shut up in prison by his
twice-perjured son. On 31st December 1105 he formally abdicated at
Ingelheim, and abjectly confessed his offences against the Church. He
was told that absolution could only come from the Pope in person, and
that it was a boon that he was allowed his personal freedom. He fled
from Ingelheim to Cologne, where the goodwill of the citizens showed him
that he still had friends. From Cologne he went to Aachen, and from
thence to Liége, whose bishop, Otbert, supported him. The Duke of
Lorraine declared himself for him, and help was expected from Philip of
France and Robert of Flanders. Henry now declared that his abdication
was forced on him, but offered any terms, compatible with the possession
of the throne, to get absolution from the Pope. [Sidenote: Death of
Henry IV. 1106.] But on 7th August 1106 he died at Liége, before the
real struggle between him and his son was renewed. The enmity of the
Church grudged rest even to his dead body. The Bishop of Speyer refused
to allow the corpse of the excommunicate to repose beside his ancestors
in the stately church which he himself had built, and for five years it
lay in an unconsecrated chapel.

[Sidenote: Henry V., 1106–1125.]

On 5th January 1106 Henry V. was crowned for the second time at Mainz.
The first months of his reign were disturbed by his father’s attempt to
regain power. When he was at last undisputed King of Germany, he found
that his cold-blooded treachery had profited him very little. The
Investiture Contest was still unsettled. Between 1103 and 1107 Anselm of
Canterbury, restored to his see by William Rufus’ death, had been
carrying on a counterpart of the contest with Henry I. of England. But
the personal animosities which had embittered the continental struggle
were absent, and the dispute did not, as abroad, involve the larger
questions of the whole relations of Church and State. It was easy,
therefore, to settle it by a satisfactory compromise. Yet at the very
moment when Henry had agreed to lay aside investiture with ring and
staff, the envoys of Henry V. were informing Paschal that their master
proposed to insist upon his traditional rights in the matter. The result
was that the continental strife was renewed with all its old bitterness.

For two years Henry was engaged in wars against Hungary and Bohemia. In
1110 he resolved to visit Italy to receive the imperial crown, and to
re-establish the old rights of the Empire. Besides a numerous army, he
took with him ‘men of letters able to give reasons to all comers’ for
his acts, among whom was an Irish or Welsh monk named David, who wrote,
at his command, a popular account of how the king had gone to Rome to
extract a blessing from the Pope, as Jacob had extorted the angel’s
blessing.[7] He found Italy too divided to offer effectual resistance.
The Countess Matilda was old, and Paschal was no great statesman like
Gregory or Urban. [Sidenote: Henry’s Roman journey. Paschal renounces
the Temporalities of the Church, 1111.] Early in 1111 the king’s army
approached Rome. The Pope, finding that neither the Romans nor the
Normans would help him, sent to Sutri to make terms. Even in his supreme
distress he would not give up freedom of elections or abate his
hostility to lay investitures; but he offered that if the king would
accept those cardinal conditions he would renounce for the Church all
its feudal and secular property. It was a bold or rash attempt to save
the spiritual rights of the Church by abandoning its temporalities,
lands, and jurisdictions. Henry naturally accepted an offer which put
the whole landed estates of the Church at his disposal, and reduced
churchmen to live on tithes and offerings—their spiritual sources of
revenue. Only the temporalities of the Roman see were to be excepted
from this sweeping surrender.

[Sidenote: Tumult at Henry’s Coronation.]

On Sunday, 12th February, St. Peter’s church was crowded to witness the
hallowing of the Emperor by the Pope. Before the ceremony began the
compact was read, and the Pope renounced in the plainest language all
intervention in secular affairs, as incompatible with the spiritual
character of the clergy. A violent tumult at once arose. German and
Italian bishops united to protest vigorously against the
light-heartedness with which the Pope gave away their property and
jurisdictions, while carefully safeguarding his own. The congregation
dissolved into a brawling throng. The clergy were maltreated, and the
sacred vessels stolen. The coronation was impossible. The king laid
violent hands on Pope and cardinals, and the mob in the streets murdered
any Germans whom they happened to come across. After three days of wild
turmoil, Henry quitted the city, taking his prisoners with him. After a
short captivity, Paschal stooped to obtain his liberty by allowing Henry
to exercise investitures and appoint bishops at his will. ‘For the peace
and liberty of the Church,’ was his halting excuse, ‘I am compelled to
do what I would never have done to save my own life.’ In return Henry
promised to be a faithful son of the Church. On 13th April Paschal
crowned Henry with maimed rites and little ceremony at St. Peter’s.
Canossa was at last revenged. Henry returned in triumph over the Alps,
and solemnly interred his father’s remains in holy ground at Speyer.

[Sidenote: Triumph of Henry over Paschal.]

Henry’s triumph made a deep impression on Europe. The blundering Pope
had betrayed the temporal possessions of the clergy, and the necessary
bulwarks of the freedom of the spiritual power. The event showed that
there were practical limits even to papal infallibility. Paschal was as
powerless to retreat from the position of Hildebrand, as he had been to
renounce the lands of all prelates but himself. The clergy would not
accept the papal decision. In France a movement to declare the Pope a
heretic was only stayed by the canonist Ivo of Chartres declaring that
the Pope, having acted under compulsion, was not bound to keep his
promise. The Italians gladly accepted this way out of the difficulty.
[Sidenote: Paschal repudiates his concessions.] Paschal solemnly
repudiated his compact. ‘I accept,’ he declared, ‘the decrees of my
master, Pope Gregory, and of Urban of blessed memory; that which they
have applauded I applaud, that which they have granted I grant, that
which they have condemned I condemn.’

Even in Germany Henry found that he had gained nothing by his
degradation of the Pope. The air was thick with plots and conspiracies.
His most trusted councillors became leaders of treason. [Sidenote:
Conspiracies against Henry in Germany.] Adalbert, Archbishop of Mainz,
his chief minister, formed a plot against him and was imprisoned. The
Saxons rose once more in revolt under their new Duke Lothair of
Supplinburg. Friesland refused to pay tribute. Cologne rose under its
Archbishop, and Henry found that he was quite unable to besiege it
successfully. The nobles who attended his wedding with Matilda of
England at Mainz, profited by the meeting to weave new plots. Next year
the citizens of Mainz shut up the Emperor in his palace while he was
holding a Diet, and forced him to release their Archbishop.

[Sidenote: Death of the Countess Matilda, 1115, and of Paschal II.,

Affairs in Italy were even more gloomy. In 1115 the Countess Matilda
died, leaving all her vast possessions to the Holy See. If this will had
been carried out, Paschal would have become the greatest temporal power
in Italy. Henry therefore crossed the Alps in 1116, anxious, if not to
save Matilda’s allodial lands, to take possession of the fiefs of the
Empire which she had held. In 1117 Henry occupied Rome and crowned his
young English wife Matilda. Even in his exile Paschal had not learnt the
lesson of firmness. He died early in 1118, before he had even definitely
made up his mind to excommunicate Henry.

[Sidenote: Gelasius II. (1118–1119).]

The new Pope, John of Gaeta, a monk of Monte Casino, who took the name
of Gelasius II., was forced to flee from Rome as the Emperor was
entering it. Henry now took the decisive step of appointing a Pope of
his own. Burdinus, Archbishop of Braga, was in some fashion chosen by a
few cardinals, and took the name of Gregory VIII. [Sidenote: The
Antipope Burdinus.] Gelasius at once excommunicated both Antipope and
Emperor. He soon managed to get back to Rome, whence, however, he was
again expelled by the malignity of local faction rather than the
influence of the Emperor. He now betook himself to Marseilles by sea,
and, after a triumphant progress through Provence and Burgundy, held a
synod at Vienne. On his way thence to Cluny he was smitten with
pleurisy, reaching the monastery with difficulty, and dying there on
18th January 1119.

Guy, the high-born Archbishop of Vienne, was chosen somewhat irregularly
by the cardinals who had followed Gelasius to Cluny. He had long been
conspicuous as one of the ablest upholders of Hildebrandine ideas in the
dark days of Paschal II. [Sidenote: Calixtus II. (1119–1124).] The son
of William the Great, Count of imperial Burgundy (Franche-Comté), he was
the kinsman of half the sovereigns of Europe. He was, moreover, a
secular (the first Pope not a monk since Alexander II.), and accustomed
to diplomacy and statecraft. He resolved to make an effort to heal the
investiture strife, and with that object summoned a council to meet at
Reims. [Sidenote: Negotiations for a settlement.] Henry himself was
tired of the struggle. He practically dropped his Antipope, and gave a
patient hearing to the agents of the Pope, who came to meet him at
Strasburg. These were Hugh, Abbot of Cluny, and the famous theologian,
William of Champeaux, now Bishop of Châlons. The two divines pointed out
to Henry that the King of France, who did not employ investiture, had as
complete a hold over his bishops as the Emperor, and that his
father-in-law, Henry of England, who had yielded the point, was still
lord over his feudal vassals, whether clerks or laymen. For the first
time perhaps, the subject was discussed between the two parties in a
reasonable and conciliatory spirit. Before the king and the divines
parted, it was clear that a compromise on the lines of the English
settlement was quite practicable.

[Sidenote: Council of Reims, 1119.]

On 20th October 1119, Calixtus II. opened his council at Reims. Louis
VI. of France, who had married the Pope’s niece, was present, and the
gathering of prelates was much more representative than usual. Next day
the Pope went to Mouzon, a castle of the Archbishop of Reims, hoping to
meet the Emperor. But their agents haggled about details, and mutual
suspicion threatened to break off all chance of agreement. [Sidenote:
Breakdown of the negotiations.] Deeply mortified, and without having
seen the Emperor, Calixtus went back to the council, where the old
decrees against simoniacs and married clerks were renewed, and where a
canon forbidding laymen to invest a clerk with a bishopric or abbey was
passed. But this canon marked a limitation of the Pope’s claim. While
Hildebrand had absolutely forbidden all lay investiture, Calixtus was
content to limit the prohibition to the investiture with the spiritual
office. Yet, before the council separated, the excommunication of
Emperor and Antipope was solemnly renewed. An agreement seemed to be
further off than ever.

[Sidenote: Triumph of Calixtus in Italy, 1120.]

No Pope ever stood in a stronger position than Calixtus when in February
1120 he at last crossed the Alps. He was received with open arms by the
Romans, and with more than ordinary loyalty by the Normans of the south.
The Antipope fled before him, and was soon reduced to pitiful straits in
his last refuge at Sutri. At last he was captured, contemptuously
paraded through the Roman streets, and conveyed to prison, until, after
peace had been restored to the Church, he was released to end his life
obscurely in a monastery.

[Sidenote: Negotiations renewed, 1121.]

The Emperor saw that he had been too suspicious at Mouzon, and again
wished to retire with dignity from a conflict in which his prospects of
complete triumph had long utterly vanished. Things were now going better
in Germany. In 1121 a Diet was held at Würzburg, at which Henry made
peace with Adalbert of Mainz and the Saxon rebels. It was agreed to
refer the investiture question to a German council under the Pope’s
presidency, and direct negotiations with Rome were renewed. The Pope’s
words were now exceedingly conciliatory. ‘The Church,’ he said, ‘is not
covetous of royal splendour. Let her enjoy what belonged to Christ, and
let the Emperor enjoy what belonged to the Empire.’

[Sidenote: Concordat of Worms, 1122.]

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

[Sidenote: Character of the compromise.]

Less clear in its conditions than the English settlement, the Concordat
of Worms led to substantially the same result. The Emperor gave up the
form of investiture, and public opinion approved of the temporal lord no
longer trenching on the domain of the spirituality by conferring symbols
of spiritual jurisdiction. But the Emperor might maintain that, if he
gave up the shadow, he retained the substance. The Henries had not
consciously striven for mere forms, but because they saw no other method
of retaining their hold over the prelates than through these forms. The
Pope’s concessions pointed out a way to attain this end in a way less
offensive to the current sentiment of the time. As bishops and abbots,
spiritual men could not be dependent on a secular ruler. As holder of
fiefs and immunities, the clerical lord had no more right to withdraw
himself from his lord’s authority than the lay baron. By distinguishing
between these two aspects of the prelate’s position, the Concordat
strove to give Cæsar what was Cæsar’s and God what was God’s. The
investiture question was never raised again. But in its broader aspect
the investiture question was only the pretext by reason of which Pope
and Emperor contended for the lordship of the world, and sought
respectively to trench upon the sphere of the other. The Concordat of
Worms afforded but a short breathing-space in that controversy between
the world-Church and the world-State—between the highest embodiments of
the spiritual and secular swords—that was still to endure for the rest
of the Middle Ages. Contemporary opinion, unapt to distinguish between
shadow and substance, ascribed to the Papacy a victory even more
complete than that which it really won. [Sidenote: Practical triumph of
the Church.] After all, it was the Emperor who had to yield in the
obvious question in dispute. The Pope’s concessions were less clear, and
less definite. The age looked upon the Concordat as a signal triumph for
the Roman Church. Henceforth the ideals of Hildebrand became part of the
commonplaces of European thought.

[Sidenote: Death of Calixtus II., 1124.]

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

[Sidenote: Last failures and death of Henry V., 1125.]

Henry V.’s end was less happy. The war had taught him that the real
ruler of Germany was not himself but the feudal aristocracy. He planned,
in conjunction with his English father-in-law, an aggressive attack on
Louis VI. of France, but he utterly failed to persuade his barons to
abandon their domestic feuds for foreign warfare. He fought one
purposeless campaign as the ally of England. In May 1125 he died on his
way back, at Utrecht, saddened, disappointed, and worn out before his
time. He is one of the most unattractive of mediæval Emperors.
Cold-blooded, greedy, treacherous, violent, ambitious, and despotic, he
reaped no reward from his treasons, and failed in every great enterprise
he undertook. Yet despite his constant misfortunes, the strong, hard
character of the last Salian Emperor did something to keep up the waning
fortunes of the Empire, and the unity of the German kingdom.

                              CHAPTER VII

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

Situated on the borderland that divided two civilisations, the
unchanging Eastern Empire represented the East to the Latins and the
West to the Arabs and Turks. During the first half of the tenth century
there was a strange contrast between the East Roman state and the rest
of the world. [Sidenote: Contrast between the Eastern Empire and the
rest of the world.] In the West the Empire of Charles the Great had
fallen, and few could yet see that a new order was gradually evolving
out of the chaos into which the world seemed plunged. In the East the
Caliphate had ceased to represent the political unity of Islam. A
process of strife and disintegration had broken up the Mohammedan no
less than the Latin world. Between these two seething and troubled
regions, the Empire of Constantinople lived on its quiet,
self-contained, stationary, orderly life. No vital dangers from without
threatened its existence. Catholics and Mohammedans were alike too busy
with their own affairs to make serious attacks upon its boundaries. The
long-lived dynasty of the Macedonians continued to rule over a state
that had little history. The inglorious calm bore witness to a standard
of civilisation, order, and prosperity that, with all its faults, could
be found nowhere else in the world.

[Sidenote: The Macedonian dynasty.]

Basil the Macedonian had founded, in 867, the ruling house, which was to
reign at Constantinople for a hundred and ninety years. The long reign
of his weak and pedantic son, Leo VI., the Philosopher (886–912), had
attested the care and stability with which Basil had laid the
foundations of the new dynasty. Under Leo’s son Constantine VII.,
Porphyrogenitus (912–959), the same quietude that had marked Leo’s time
continued with hardly a break. [Sidenote: Constantine VII., 912–959.] A
boy of seven when he was called to the throne, Constantine VII. showed,
as he grew up, such lack of firmness and practical wisdom that his whole
reign has been described as a long minority. Co-regents did most of the
work of governing. For the first year his uncle, Alexander, Leo VI.’s
brother, acted as joint-emperor. For seven years after his death
(913–919) a commission of regency ruled, not too successfully, in the
name of the little Emperor. Severe defeats from Simeon, king of the
Bulgarians, made this rule unpopular. The grand admiral Romanus
Lecapenus now became successively the prime minister, the father-in-law,
the colleague, the master of Constantine. [Sidenote: Romanus I.,
919–945.] In December 919 Romanus, already Cæsar, was crowned
joint-emperor with his son-in-law, and for twenty-five years he
practically ruled the state as he would. Though aged, weak, and
incompetent, Romanus managed to protect himself from numerous court
conspiracies, and hoped to secure the permanence of his influence by
associating three of his sons as colleagues in the Empire, and procuring
for another the patriarchate of Constantinople. But the quarrels of sons
and father gave the friends of Constantine a chance of removing them
all. The sons of Romanus drove their father into a monastery. The
outraged public opinion of the capital involved the sons in the same
fate. In 945, when already nearly forty years old, Constantine VII.
became Emperor in fact as well as in name.


[Sidenote: Sole rule of Constantine VII., 945–959.]

Constantine was a shy, nervous, studious man, who had amused himself,
during his long exclusion from power, by dabbling in nearly every
science and art. He painted pictures, composed music, designed churches,
and wrote books on such different subjects as agriculture, veterinary
science, history, geography, tactics, politics, and court etiquette.
Weak and hesitating though he was, his good nature, amiability, love of
justice and moderation made him a respectable ruler for quiet times.
[Sidenote: Condition of the Empire in the tenth century.] Under him the
consolidation of the imperial despotism, under the hereditary rule of
the Basilian house, was completed. The suppression of the legislative
power of the senate, and the destruction of the old municipal system by
Leo the Philosopher, had removed the last barriers to the autocracy of
the Emperor. This despotism the well-drilled administrators carried out
so well on the traditional lines, that it was no great matter that the
Emperor himself was a bookish recluse. The _Basilica_, the revised code
of law in Greek, now assumed its final form, and with the change which
its introduction involved in the language of the law courts and
statutes, the Latin tongue ceased to have any practical utility to the
East Romans. The works of Constantine give us a picture of the Empire of
his time. In his longest book he dwells with loving care on the
elaborate and pompous court etiquette which environed the majesty of the
Emperor, and struck awe into the hearts of the barbarians. In a more
summary manner he wrote ‘On the administration of the Empire,’ and ‘On
the _Themes_’ into which it was divided. In the latter book he described
not merely the actual Empire, but districts like Sicily and Crete, which
had long fallen into the hands of the Saracen, or, like the interior
provinces of the Balkan peninsula, had been absorbed by Slavs and

[Sidenote: Asia Minor.]

Asia Minor was now the chief stronghold of the Eastern Empire. The
population had been recruited by Christian refugees from the
Mohammedan lands farther east, and had therefore become more decidedly
Oriental, but it was strenuous, industrious, and warlike. The whole of
the peninsula was included in the Empire, save the south-eastern
district of Cilicia between the Taurus and the sea. But the loss of
Tarsus was more than compensated for by the inclusion of a larger
portion of western Armenia within the Empire, by reason of the
Armenians, despite their obstinate adherence to the Monophysite
heresy, seeing in incorporation with the Empire their only chance of
salvation from Islam. [Sidenote: The Balkan Peninsula.] In the Balkan
peninsula the districts actually ruled by the Emperor were much less
extensive. The western and central parts were still ‘Slavonia,’ and
even the Peloponnesus was largely peopled by Slavonic tribes, at best
tributary, and often practically independent. But the settlement of
the Magyars in Pannonia (895) had pushed the Bulgarians more to the
south, and now not only were the lands between Danube and Rhodope
Bulgarian, but this nation encroached largely on the Slavs in the
lands south of the Balkans. [Sidenote: The Bulgarians.] The result
left little for the Romans save long strips of coast territory.
Nowhere in Europe did their power penetrate far inland. Adrianople was
at best the border town of the Greeks. A few miles inland from
Thessalonica the Bulgarian rule began. The Bulgarians separated the
theme of Hellas, which included Thessaly and the lands south down to
Attica, from the themes of Nicopolis and Dyrrhachium that crept along
the coast of Epirus. Scattered scraps of islands and coastlands in
Dalmatia almost connected the Empire with its Venetian dependency. The
theme of Cherson included the south coast of the Crimea, but this
outpost of Greek civilisation was hardly more directly ruled from
Constantinople than Venice itself. The lesser islands were still
Greek, but Cyprus alone of the great islands remained under the
Empire, and that was soon lost. [Sidenote: Italy.] In south Italy
there only remained the misnamed theme of Lombardy, including the heel
of the boot, of which the capital was Bari, and the theme of Calabria,
cut off from its neighbour province by the Lombard princes of Salerno,
who held the low-lying grounds at the head of the Gulf of Taranto.
Such a widely scattered dominion was hard to rule and harder to
defend. But each theme was under the government of a _strategos_, who
subordinated the civil to the military administration. A large
standing army of mercenaries—largely Norsemen—well drilled and
equipped, enabled the Greeks to cultivate their fields and carry on
their commerce in peace. The trade between east and west was still
entirely in Greek hands. Even an exhaustive fiscal system could not
cut off these sources of wealth. But if the Greek Emperors taxed
unwisely and unmercifully, they helped commerce by upholding the
integrity of the coinage. The gold _Byzants_ of the Emperors were the
common medium of exchange among merchants, and, amidst all the
vicissitudes of palace revolutions, were never seriously depreciated
in value. The manufactures of Greece still commanded the markets.
[Sidenote: Constantinople.] Constantinople was still the greatest city
in the world, and excited the astonishment of all the barbarians who
visited it. Its administration, poor-law system, and philanthropic
organisations anticipated much that we are apt to regard as
exclusively modern. Liutprand, the Lombard bishop, has left a record
of the profound impression made on him by its wonders. Even in the
twelfth century, when its splendours were somewhat decayed, it was
still unique. The Franks of the Fourth Crusade could not believe that
there was so rich a city, until they saw its high walls and strong
towers, gorgeous palaces, lofty churches, and vast extent. Though
Thessalonica was also a famous place of trade, the interests of the
capital were becoming so great as to absorb unduly those of the
provinces. This was partly counteracted by the growth of a great
landholding aristocracy, which approached the character of the feudal
noblesse of the west, save that it never attained any political
influence over the centralised despotism of the Basileus. [Sidenote:
Letters and Arts.] Nor were the arts and literature forgotten.
Constantine VII.’s example was followed by a crowd of men of letters,
and the labour of compilers like Suidas have preserved for us much of
what we know of more ancient times. A new school of romance writers
showed more original genius. Painting, architecture, and all the arts
wonderfully revived.

[Sidenote: The Conversion of the Slavs.]

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

The restful if inglorious age of Leo the Philosopher and Constantine
Porphyrogenitus gave the Greek Empire time to recruit its energies for
the more stirring times of their successors. From 959 to 1025 a period
of conquest and military glory followed upon the quiet times that we
have described. Before the change came over the spirit of the Eastern
Empire, the best chances of aggression in west and north had slipped
unnoticed away. During the reigns of Leo and Constantine, the Saxon
kings of the Germans were building up a great state in Germany and
Italy, and before long the growing material prosperity of Italy was to
raise up commercial rivals who ultimately tapped the very springs of
Byzantine trading supremacy. The consolidated and Christianised states
of the barbarians on the north were less likely to send out bands of
conquerors and marauders, but were harder to conquer than their heathen
and savage fathers. But the east was sinking into worse confusion than
ever. The old political and religious unity of Islam was a thing of the
past. What spirit now remained to the Mohammedan world was to be found
in North Africa under the Fatimite Caliphs of Cairoan, or in Spain under
the Ommeyad Caliphs of Cordova. [Sidenote: Changes in the Mohammedan
East.] While these rebels and schismatics still showed some remnants of
the old conquering energy of Islam, the orthodox Abbasside Caliphs of
Bagdad were sunk in indolence and decay. Their provinces successively
revolted. The Bowides, sons of a Persian fisherman, captured Bagdad in
945, and ruled Persia and lower Mesopotamia for more than a century as
the _Emirs-ul-Omra_ of the puppets that they still allowed to pretend to
act as successors of the Prophet. In Egypt and southern Syria, the
Ikshidites, a Turkish dynasty, now established themselves. But the only
Mohammedan power that now actually met the Eastern Empire on its
south-eastern frontier was that of the Hamdanides, who about 930
occupied northern Mesopotamia and afterwards conquered northern Syria
and Cilicia. This dynasty split into two and was represented by the
Ameers of Aleppo and Mosul. The new Mohammedan states were all the
precarious creations of adventurers’ swords, and were generally at war
with each other.

[Sidenote: Romanus II., 959–963.]

The divisions of the east gave the Emperors at Constantinople the
opportunity which their predecessors had neglected in the west. Under
the son and successor of Constantine VII., Romanus II. (959–963), the
work of reconquest began. Crete since the ninth century had been
occupied by Spanish Moors, and had been the centre of piratical attacks
on Greek commerce, that had threatened the prosperity of the islands of
the Ægean and the regularity of the food-supply of the capital.
[Sidenote: Conquest of Crete.] Even Leo and Constantine had made feeble
efforts to subdue the corsairs, but their expeditions against Crete had
been utter failures. In 960 Romanus II. sent Nicephorus Phocas with a
strong force to atone for the blunders of his predecessors. Within a
year the capture of the Saracen stronghold of Chandax brought about the
complete conquest of the island. The Saracens were enslaved or expelled,
and missionary monks soon succeeded in winning back the Greek population
to the faith of their fathers, which many had been forced to reject for
the religion of their conquerors. Nicephorus followed up this great
triumph by attacking the Hamdanid Ameer of Aleppo. He crossed the Taurus
into Cilicia, and in another spirited campaign restored many strong
places to the Empire.

[Sidenote: Basil II., 963–1025, and Constantine VIII., 963–1028.]

In 963 Romanus II. was cut off prematurely, leaving his young widow
Theophano to act as regent for the two infant sons, Basil II. (963–1025)
and Constantine VIII. (963–1028) who now became joint-emperors. But the
triumphs of Nicephorus Phocas had won him such a position that in a few
months he associated himself with them in the Empire and married their
mother Theophano. By this ingenious combination of hereditary succession
with the rule of the successful soldier, the quiet transmission of power
was combined with the government of the fittest. [Sidenote: Nicephorus
Phocas, 963–969.] For six years Nicephorus Phocas (963–969) ruled the
Empire in the name of his two step-sons and soon procured for them new
triumphs. His first measure was to improve the condition of the army,
and with this object he piled up new taxes, and, almost alone among
Greek Emperors, stooped to debase the coinage. A fierce soldier in a
nation of monks and merchants, Nicephorus soon got into conflict with
the Church, as well as the trading class. He issued a sort of law of
mortmain to check the foundation of new monasteries, and kept important
sees vacant to enjoy their revenues. [Sidenote: Nicephorus’ military
reforms and quarrel with the Church.] At last in his zeal for war
against Islam, Nicephorus wished the Church to declare that all
Christians who died in war against the infidel were martyrs to the
Christian religion. The Patriarch replied that all war was unchristian,
and that a Christian who killed even an infidel enemy in war, deserved
to be denied the sacraments. The Emperor made himself hated by the mob
of the capital by suppressing the costly shows and amusements which the
court had hitherto provided for their diversion, while the officials
were scandalised at his disgust for the childish ceremonies that hedged
about his domestic life. Conscious of his unpopularity, he fortified his
palace and lived as much as he could in the camp, where he enjoyed
unbounded popularity with the soldiers.

[Sidenote: His conquests.]

In a series of vigorous campaigns against the Ameer of Aleppo, the
Emperor sought to consolidate his former efforts as general by winning
back all Cilicia and north Syria to the Empire. In 964 and 965 he
completed the conquest of Cilicia, sending the brazen gates of Tarsus
and Mopsuestia to adorn the imperial palace at Constantinople. In 965
Nicetas, one of his generals, reconquered Cyprus. In 968 Nicephorus
again took the field and overran northern Syria. Aleppo, the residence
of the Ameer, was easily captured; the Ikshidite realm, now on the verge
of dissolution, was overrun; Damascus paid tribute to avoid destruction;
and Antioch was captured by assault on a snowy night in winter.

[Sidenote: His western policy.]

While thus occupied with the east, Nicephorus did not neglect the west.
He projected the famous marriage between the future Emperor, Otto II.
and Theophano, the daughter of Romanus II. and his own step-daughter
[see page 34], hoping thus to strengthen the Byzantine power in south
Italy. But the terms of the alliance were hard to settle, and no
agreement could be arrived at during Nicephorus’ lifetime. Liutprand,
Bishop of Cremona, sent to negotiate the match, left Constantinople in
disgust, and vented his spleen in the famous, but not very flattering,
account of Constantinople and its court to which we have already
referred. Soon hostilities broke out between Otto the Great and
Nicephorus in southern Italy, without any very permanent results.
Nicetas, the conqueror of Cyprus, failed signally in an attempt to win
Sicily from the Saracens. There were wars with the northern barbarians
that produced equally little effect.

Nicephorus was a brave soldier, sprung from a stock of warlike
Cappadocian landowners, who changed few of his habits even on the
throne. He was cultured enough to write a book on the art of war, but he
had neither the policy or pliancy for the intrigues of a despotic
Oriental court. The uprightness he showed in preserving intact his
step-sons’ position as Emperors met with an evil requital from their
mother. Theophano hated and feared her stern, uncouth, unsympathetic
husband. She conspired with her lover, John Zimisces, nephew of
Nicephorus, a dashing cavalry soldier and the most capable of his
captains. On the night of 10th December 969 the Empress’s woman admitted
Zimisces and a select band of confederates into the castle. [Sidenote:
Conspiracy of Theophano.] They found the Emperor sleeping on the floor
after his soldier’s fashion, and promptly stabbed him to death. The
murderers at once proclaimed John Zimisces Emperor, and court and city
alike accepted the results of the despicable intrigue that had robbed
the Empire of its strongest man. [Sidenote: John I. Zimisces, 969–976.]
John I. Zimisces reigned from 969 to 976. The brutal treachery which
gained him the throne was somewhat atoned for by the energy and vigour
he displayed in the possession of power. He was mean enough to make
Theophano the scapegoat of his crime, and, instead of marrying her, shut
her up in a monastery. After this he did little that was not
commendable. By way of penance he devoted half his private fortune to
the poor peasantry round Constantinople, and to building a great
hospital for lepers. Like Nicephorus, he studiously respected the rights
of his young colleagues, the sons of Romanus II., and legitimatised his
rule by wedding their sister Theodora. The negotiations for the marriage
of the other sister, Theophano, with Otto the Saxon were now resumed and
completed in 972, Theophano taking with her to Germany Byzantine art and
the temporary friendship of east and west. [Sidenote: The Russian war.]
John abandoned the civil administration to the dexterous chamberlain
Basilius, and soon found in the Russian war an opportunity to revive the
exploits of his uncle. The valour of Rurik and his Vikings had, before
this, united the Slavs of the east into a single Russian state, of which
the centre was Kiev, and which, though constantly threatening the
Byzantine frontiers, had since the conversion of Olga, baptized at
Constantinople in the days of Constantine VII., began slowly to
assimilate Byzantine Christianity and civilisation. But Olga’s son
Sviatoslav (964–972) had refused to incur the ridicule of his soldiers
by accepting his mother’s religion. He was a mighty warrior who, in
alliance with the Hungarians, overran and conquered Bulgaria, and in 970
crossed the Balkans and threatened Adrianople. In 971 John Zimisces took
the field against him, and a desperate campaign was fought in the lands
between the Danube and the Balkans. Like true sons of the Vikings, the
Russians fought on foot in columns, clad in mail shirts and armed with
axe and spear. John’s army was largely composed of heavy cavalry, and
its most efficient footmen were slingers and bowmen. In two great
battles at Presthlava and Dorystolum (Silistria), Russians and Greeks
fought under conditions that almost anticipate the battle of Hastings,
and in both cases the result was the same. After long resisting the
fierce charges of the Greek horsemen, the close array of the Russians
was broken up by a hail of arrows and stones, and the lancers, returning
to the charge, rushed in and completed the discomfiture of the enemy.
After the second battle, Sviatoslav and the remnants of his host stood a
siege within Silistria, until a treaty was drawn up by which they
promised to go home, on being supplied with enough corn to prevent them
plundering by the way. For the future, they were to renew the old
commercial treaties and leave the Empire in peace. Intercourse between
Russia and Constantinople was quickly renewed, and henceforth Russian or
Norse mercenaries, the famous Varangians, began to form an important
part of the imperial armies. Thus the Empire was relieved from the
pressure of her most dangerous foe in the north, and again acquired the
command of the interior of the Balkan peninsula. Bulgaria, already
conquered by Sviatoslav, was reduced to obedience, while its titular
king lived as a pensioner at Constantinople. Flushed with these
brilliant successes, John again turned his arms against the Saracens of
Syria, who had won back many of Nicephoros’ conquests, including
Antioch. He reconquered Antioch, though only with great difficulty; his
capture of Edessa prepared the way for the occupation of the upper
valley of the Euphrates; and many holy relics passed from Moslem to
Orthodox custody. In the midst of his triumphs John died suddenly in
976, poisoned, it was said, by the crafty eunuch Basilius, who feared
that his wealth had excited the Emperor’s jealousy.

[Sidenote: Basil II.’s personal rule, 976–1025.]

Basil II. (976–1025), the elder of Constantine VII.’s sons, was now
twenty years of age when, under the guidance of Basilius he proceeded,
after his brother-in-law’s death, to govern as well as reign. But the
over-wealthy minister soon fell from power. Basil soon showed the same
austere Roman type of character as Nicephorus Phocas, and became a brave
soldier, a skilful general, and a capable administrator. His chief
object of internal policy was the repression of the great landholding
families of Asia, which were the only barrier left against the imperial
despotism; and, after a long struggle, he succeeded in accomplishing
their ruin. Under the legitimate Basilian Emperor, the military glories
of the fortunate adventurers were fully continued. [Sidenote: The
Bulgarian War.] The great event of his long reign is the Bulgarian war.
The occupation of Bulgaria by John I. was too rapid to be permanent,
and, except in the lands between the Danube and Balkans, had been merely
nominal. Under a new Bulgarian king, named Samuel, the unconquered
regions of the west made a long and determined effort for freedom. Even
the Slavs—the chief inhabitants of these regions—followed Samuel to the
field; and by fixing his capital first at Prespa and afterwards at
Ochrida, in the highlands bordering on Albania and Macedonia, he
threatened alike Dyrrhachium and Thessalonica. Year after year, Samuel’s
motley following plundered and devastated the rich plains of Thessaly
and Macedonia. Even in the north all the Greeks could do was to hold
Silistria, and a few fortresses, and keep a tight hold of the Balkan
passes. In 981 Basil first took the field in person, but his early
campaigns were but little successful. Samuel at last invaded southern
Greece; but though he devastated the Peloponnesus from end to end, he
failed to capture any of the larger cities (996). On his way back, he
was surprised by the Greek general Uranus, and escaped with infinite
difficulty and the complete destruction of his army. Basil now took the
offensive. In 1002 he captured Vidin, a triumph that resulted in the
gradual reconquest of Bulgaria proper. But Samuel still held out long in
the fastnesses of Mount Pindus. Bit by bit Basil won back the hill
castles that were the centres of the Slavo-Bulgarian power. At last, in
1014, Basil gained a decisive victory, taking prisoner some 15,000
Bulgarians. The grim Emperor put out the eyes of all his captives, save
that he spared one eye to every hundredth man, and sent the mutilated
wretches back to their king at Ochrida under the guidance of their
one-eyed leaders. Samuel, on seeing his subjects’ plight, fell senseless
to the ground, and died two days later. His brave son Gabriel continued
the contest, but was soon murdered by his cousin Ladislas, who usurped
the throne. In despair Ladislas took the bold step of besieging
Dyrrhachium, hoping thus to open communications with Basil’s enemies
beyond sea; but he perished in the siege, and with him fell the last
hopes of the kingdom of Ochrida. In 1018 the work of conquest was
completed, and Basil celebrated his victory by a splendid triumph at
Constantinople. The populace greeted the relentless conqueror with the
surname of ‘Slayer of the Bulgarians’ [βουλγαροκτόνος]. Basil then
turned his arms against the Armenians, but his success in pushing
forward his eastern frontier at the expense of a Christian kingdom did
not atone for the impolicy of weakening a natural ally against the
Mohammedans. Conscious perhaps of this, he prepared to divert his arms
against the infidel by a new expedition to Sicily. Death overtook him in
the midst of his preparations, when he was sixty-eight years old, and
had reigned for sixty-two years. No Emperor since Justinian had
succeeded so well in enlarging the bounds of the Empire. But with him
expired all the glories of the Macedonian dynasty.

[Sidenote: Sole rule of Constantine VIII., 1025–1028.]

Basil II. left no son, and his brother Constantine VIII. (1025–1028)
therefore became sole Emperor. Though nominal Emperor since 963,
Constantine had never taken any real part in political affairs, and he
was now too old and careless to change his habits. He lived like an
Oriental despot, secluded in his palace, amusing himself with musicians
and dancing-girls, while six favourite eunuchs of the household relieved
him from all cares of state. Great indignation was excited among the
nobles, but Basil II. had humbled them too thoroughly for them to take
any effective action. However, Constantine died in 1028, before he could
do much harm. He was the last man of the Macedonian house, and his only
heirs were his daughters Zoe and Theodora, under whose weak and
contemptible rule the Basilian dynasty came to an end.

[Sidenote: Zoe and her husbands. Romanus III., 1028–1034.]

From 1028 to 1054 the husbands and dependants of Zoe governed the
Byzantine Empire. First came Romanus III. (1028–1034), to whom she had
been married at her father’s death-bed. But Zoe was hard, greedy, and
self-seeking, and allowed her husband little real share of power. On his
death she married a handsome young courtier, Michael IV. the
Paphlagonian (1034–1041), who, though an epileptic invalid, did good
work against the Saracens before his early death in 1041. [Sidenote:
Michael IV., 1034–1041.] His brother John the Orphanotrophos [minister
of charitable institutions], a monk and a eunuch, who had procured
Michael’s marriage, conducted the internal government with great
dexterity and cunning, but the time of his rule marks an epoch of
deterioration in Byzantine finance. By constantly increasing the taxes,
and devising more arbitrary and oppressive methods for their collection,
he did much to sap the foundations of the industrial supremacy of the

[Sidenote: Michael V., 1041–1042.]

It was thought necessary always to have a male Emperor. When Michael IV.
died, Zoe, already more than sixty years of age, took three days to
decide whether she should wed a third husband or adopt a son. She chose
the latter course; but Michael V. (1041–1042), nephew of Michael IV.,
whom she raised to this great position, speedily proved ungrateful and
unworthy, and was deposed, blinded, and shut up in a monastery.
[Sidenote: Constantine IX., 1042–1054.] Having failed with her son, Zoe
chose as her third husband Constantine Monomachus (an hereditary
surname), who was soon crowned as Constantine IX. (1042–1054). The new
Emperor was an elderly profligate, who had only consented to wed Zoe on
condition that his mistress should be associated with her in the Empire.
Their rule was most disastrous. It saw the expulsion of the Greeks from
Italy by the Norman conquest of Apulia and Calabria. It saw the
consummation of the fatal policy of weakening Armenia, at a moment when
the rise of the Seljukian Turks was again making Islam aggressive. It
witnessed the impolitic imposition of taxes on the eastern subjects and
vassals, who had hitherto defended the frontiers with their swords, but
who henceforth were discontented or mutinous. It saw the final
consummation of the schism of Eastern and Western Churches.

The Synod of Constantinople in 867 [see Period I., pp. 453–4], following
upon the quarrel of Pope Nicholas I. and the Patriarch Photius, had
already brought about the open breach of the Orthodox East and the
Catholic West. [Sidenote: The Schism of the Eastern and Western
Churches.] Despite new rivalries between the Greek and Latin missions to
the Slavs and Bulgarians, efforts had been made from time to time to
heal the schism, and Basil II. negotiated with Rome, hoping to persuade
the Pope to allow ‘that the Church of Constantinople was œcumenical
within its own sphere, just as the Church of Rome was œcumenical
throughout Christendom.’ But in 1053 Michael Cærularius, the Patriarch
of Constantinople, foolishly shut up the Latin churches and convents and
wrote to the Latin bishops, bitterly reproaching them with their
schismatic practices, and taking new offence in the Latin use of
unleavened bread in the Eucharist. Mutual excommunications followed,
and, at the very moment when Christendom had most need of union, the
schism of East and West became inveterate.

[Sidenote: Theodora, 1054–1057.]

Zoe died in 1050, and Constantine IX. in 1054. On his death, Zoe’s
sister Theodora, the last of the Macedonians, became Empress. Though
old, she was strong and vigorous, and her long incarceration in a
cloister gave her monastic virtues that contrasted strangely with the
dissolute habits of Zoe. During her reign of three years the Empire
enjoyed at least peace and repose. Her death in 1057 ended not
ingloriously the famous dynasty that had since the days of Basil I. held
the imperial throne. A new period of trouble now sprang from disputed
successions and weak Emperors, at a time when the growth of the
Seljukian power threatened the very existence of the Empire.

[Sidenote: Rise of the Seljukian Turks.]

The Turkish or Mongol tribes of Central Asia had long troubled from time
to time the tranquillity of Europe. Among them were Attila and his Huns,
but these fierce marauders passed away without leaving any permanent
traces of their influence. Of the same stock were the Magyars, who, in
895, finally settled in Pannonia, and the Bulgarians, who, as we have
seen, had even earlier taken possession of a large part of the Balkan
peninsula. But the Magyars and Bulgarians by accepting Christianity made
themselves permanent members of the European commonwealth. While
Mongolian invasions such as these disturbed from time to time the peace
of eastern Europe, similar invasions had terrified all the civilised
nations of Asia as far as the Chinese frontier. But it was the Caliphate
in its decline that began to stand in the most intimate relations with
the Turks. The growing anarchy of the Arab Empire offered to the Turks a
career as mercenaries, and a field for plunder and devastation. As the
reward of their services, the Caliphs gave them what they could conquer
from the Christians on the eastern frontiers of the Empire. A large
Turkish immigration soon peopled the marches of the Caliphate with the
fierce warriors from the north. As the Caliphs declined in power, the
Turkish condottieri chieftains grew discontented with their pay, and set
up military despotisms on their own account. Many of the petty states
that grew out of the dissolution of the Caliphate had, like the
Ikshidites in Syria, Turkish lords, and were kept together by Turkish
arms. Early in the eleventh century the period of transition was over.
The Turks became converts to Islam, and religious enthusiasm bound
together their scattered tribes and directed their aims. A great Turkish
invasion plunged all Asia in terror. In the extreme east Turks or
Tartars established at Peking a Manchurian kingdom for northern China
(1004). In the very same year, Mahmoud of Ghazni set up a great Turkish
state in Afghanistan and India. A generation later, the Turks of the
house of Seljuk began to threaten the thrones of western Asia.

The fame of Seljuk, the founder of a united Turkish state in Central
Asia, is almost mythical. Under his son, the Seljukian house became
great by crossing the Oxus and effecting the conquest of Khorassan.
Under his grandson Togrul Beg, the Seljukians became the greatest power
in Asia. Togrul first broke up the power of the descendants of Mahmoud
of Ghazni, and then attacked the Bowides, and conquered Persia. In 1055
he crowned his career by the occupation of Bagdad, where he was welcomed
as the deliverer of the phantom Caliphs from the tyranny of their Bowide
Ameers, and was solemnly invested by them with their temporal power.
Henceforth Togrul, the Sultan of East and West, posed as the defender of
the faith, and the protector of the successor of Mohammed.

After the conquest of Bagdad, Togrul Beg attacked Armenia and threatened
the Byzantine frontiers. He died in 1063, and in the very next year Alp
Arslan, his nephew and successor (1063–1072), completed, by the capture
of Ani, the capital, the subjugation of the unhappy Armenians. The
Georgians were next enslaved; and, master of the Christian outposts of
the East Roman realm, Alp Arslan turned his arms against the Empire

The occupation of the rich plains of Asia in no wise changed the
character of the Turks. They remained as they had ever been, soldiers
and nothing more. Their old religions had died away as they came into
contact with Islam, and in embracing the Mohammedan faith they obtained
religious sanction for their ferocity and greed. But they never, like
the Arabs, entered into the spiritual side of the faith. They rather
received and retained the new religion, as a faithful soldier keeps the
word of command of his general. They had no eyes for the brilliant
fascination of Arab civilisation, such as was at that very time
attaining its highest perfection in Mohammedan Spain. They appropriated
what had gone before, but they never assimilated it or added anything of
their own. The statecraft of the Arabs had no more attraction for them
than the poetry, the romance, the lawgiving, the architecture, or the
busy commercial life of Semitic Asia. [Sidenote: Contrast between Turks
and Arabs.] When they had conquered they carelessly stood aside, and
contemptuously allowed their vassals to live on their old life, save
when, in occasional fits of fury, they taught that they were masters by
hideous violence or promiscuous massacres. But their hardiness won an
easy triumph over the soft and effeminate Arabs, and was soon to win
fresh laurels at the expense of the lax and corrupt Christians of the
East. It was a day of ill omen for East and West alike when the capture
of Bagdad made the Turkish soldier the type of Mohammedan conquest. In
the centuries when the Arab was the typical representative of Islam, the
desolation of Africa and Syria showed how great were the evils that
followed in the wake of Mohammedan conquest of Christian lands. But in
East and West alike the triumphs of the Turk were unmixed evils, and the
strife of East and West assumed a new aspect when a barbarous and
unteachable soldier, mighty only in destruction, became the chief agent
of Eastern advance. It was no longer the continuance of the struggle
between Eastern and Western civilisation that was as old as Marathon.
Henceforth it was a strife between the only possible civilisation and
the most brutal and hopeless barbarism. Yet the superior military
efficiency of the Turk put an irresistible weapon into his hands. Since
the days of Leo the Isaurian and Charles Martel, the relations of the
Eastern and Western worlds had been almost stationary. A new wave of
Eastern aggression now set in, to be followed in its turn by a period of
Western retaliation. The Seljukian attacks on Armenia and the Empire
brought about the Nemesis of the Crusades and the Latin kingdoms of the

[Sidenote: Decline of the Eastern Empire.]

The period of revolution and confusion that had followed the extinction
of the Basilian dynasty made the Empire little able to resist the
Turkish assault. It is as wearisome as unprofitable to tell in any
detail of the purposeless palace intrigues and provincial revolts, that
set up and pulled down Emperors in the dreary years that followed the
death of Theodora. The first successor of the last of the Macedonians
was of her own designation. [Sidenote: Michael VI., 1057.] Michael VI.,
surnamed Stratioticus (1057), was an aged and incompetent soldier, who
within a year succumbed to a revolt of the Asiatic nobles, who seated on
the throne one of the most powerful of their number, Isaac I., Comnenus
(1057–1059), but the hopes excited by him were rudely dispelled by a
disease that drove him into a monastery to die. [Sidenote: Isaac I.,
Comnenus, 1057–1059.] Another great Cappadocian magnate, Constantine X.,
Ducas (1059–1067), was now made Emperor. [Sidenote: Constantine X.,
Ducas, 1059–1067.] He was a pettifogging financier, who disbanded part
of his troops and disheartened the rest by miserable and disastrous
economies. In his reign the Seljukian assaults first became formidable.
On his death in 1067, his widow Eudocia acted as regent for their son,
the boy Emperor Michael VII. (1067–1078). [Sidenote: Michael VII.,
1067–1078.] Eudocia chose a second husband and co-regent in Romanus
Diogenes (1068–1071), a Cappadocian noble, who had won a high reputation
for brilliancy as a soldier, but lacked the prudence and policy
necessary to a general. [Sidenote: Romanus IV., Diogenes, 1068–1071.]
Romanus at once took the field against the Seljukian hordes, who were
now devastating Cappadocia with fiendish cruelty, and had just captured
Cæsarea and plundered the shrine of St. Basil. But the heavy Greek
cavalry, with their formal drill and slow traditional tactics, were only
a poor match for the daring valour and rapid movements of the swift
light horse that constituted the chief strength of the Turkish army. At
first Romanus won easy triumphs as the scattered bands of marauders
retreated before his troops, without risking a battle. Alp Arslan
changed his plans and lured Romanus into the Armenian mountains, where
he was suddenly attacked by the whole Seljukian power.

[Sidenote: Battle of Manzikert, 1071.]

The decisive battle was fought in 1071 at Manzikert, an Armenian town,
to the north of Lake Van, which the Sultan had captured in 1070, and
which Romanus now sought to reconquer. The Emperor had already many
difficulties from the mixed army of mercenaries, that had no heart for
the cause and a strong dislike to discipline. With great impolicy he
divided his army, and marched with but a fraction of it against
Manzikert. The city was soon retaken, but by this time the whole force
of the Seljuks had drawn near. It was the first pitched battle between
Turks and Greeks, and, having misgivings of the result, Alp Arslan
showed some willingness to treat. But Romanus impatiently prepared for
battle. The fight was long and fierce, until at last the bad tactics of
the Emperor and the treachery of some of his generals gave the Turks a
hardly won victory. The Greek army was destroyed, and Romanus was
wounded and made prisoner. The defeat is the turning-point of Byzantine
history. The hardy mountaineers of Cappadocia were unable to hold out
much longer. With the loss of the land which had given birth to
Nicephorus and Zimisces, to the Comneni, the Ducasii, and to Romanus
himself, the best part of the Empire surrendered to barbarism. Within a
few years all the interior of Asia Minor had become Turkish. In the very
year of Manzikert, the capture of Bari by the Normans cut off the last
town that had been faithful to the East Romans in Italy.

Alp Arslan magnanimously allowed Romanus Diogenes to ransom himself from
captivity, but the discredited soldier only returned to Constantinople
to be dethroned and imprisoned by John Ducas, uncle of Michael VII. His
eyes were put out so roughly that he died a few days later. With him
perished the last of the heroes of the Eastern Empire. Confusion and
weak rule at Constantinople facilitated the Turkish advance. Many
provinces revolted, and famine followed in the train of war. What
revenue still flowed in was spent upon court luxuries and popular games.
The Turks burnt the Asiatic suburbs of the capital, and in 1074 Michael
VII. made a treaty with Suleiman, the general of Malek Shah, who had now
succeeded Alp Arslan, by which he conferred on him the government of all
the imperial provinces which were actually in his possession. Suleiman
established himself at Nicæa, the most westerly of his conquests, and
soon assumed the state of an independent prince. In 1078 Michael was
dethroned, and meekly abandoned the Empire for the bishopric of Ephesus.
[Sidenote: Nicephorus III., 1078–1081.] His supplanter, Nicephorus III.
(1078–1081), was the most brutal, lustful, and helpless of all the
Emperors of this miserable time. Rebellions burst out on every side. At
last Alexius Comnenus, a shrewd and wily soldier, whose sword had long
protected the Emperor from other rebels, became a rebel himself. The
army declared for him and chose him Emperor, and the treachery of some
German mercenaries admitted him and his troops into the capital, which
was brutally sacked. Nicephorus was driven into a monastery, and Alexius
reigned in his stead.

[Sidenote: Alexius Comnenus, 1081–1118.]

With the new Emperor the worst troubles were over. Some sort of
hereditary succession reappeared, and the Comnenian dynasty long
occupied the throne of the Eastern Empire. But the Empire was reformed
on a narrower and less heroic mould. The ability of Alexius was partly
seen in his energy; but subtlety and deceit, which often took the shape
of self-defeating cunning, were his favourite weapons, and in his
dexterous pursuit of personal and family aims, he often lost sight of
broader issues. [Sidenote: The Comnenian dynasty and the transition to
the last phase of the East Roman Empire.] It was characteristic of the
later age of the Byzantine Empire that the founder of the new house
should have the dissimilar characteristics of courage and craft, and
that Alexius’ literary daughter, Anna Comnena, in eulogising her
father’s exploits, regards his courage and craft as equally laudable.
With him we enter that latest stage of East Roman history to which the
term ‘Byzantine’ may not unreasonably be applied as a term of reproach,
and which perhaps justifies the contempt with which Gibbon and the older
writers regarded all stages of East Roman history. The Empire became
more ‘Greek’ in the narrower sense, and with its restricted limits
became in a sense stronger by being more national and less cosmopolitan.
But it lived a smaller, meaner life. Henceforth it stood on the
defensive, equally afraid of the Turk in the east and the Frank in the
west. Its territory gradually fell away, its civilisation became as
stereotyped as that of China, its Church more superstitious and
ignorant, its people more slavish and degraded. It is no small praise to
Alexius and his successors that they had the skill to keep some sluggish
life in the inert mass, and, amidst the greatest difficulties, offer a
brave and constant resistance for two more centuries to the greatest
foes of civilisation that the world has seen in modern days.

[Sidenote: Alexius and the East.]

At home, the first years of Alexius’ reign were occupied in putting down
the nobles and restoring the centralised despotism of the Macedonians. A
whole series of rebellions was successfully suppressed, and order was
restored even to the finances, though at the price of an unwonted
depreciation of the currency that further imperilled the declining trade
of the Greeks. Another trouble was found in the growth of the fantastic
heresies of the Paulicians and Bogomilians, which Alexius stamped out
with the rigour of a monk. Meanwhile, Alexius fought hard against the
Seljukian Turks, and for the time prevented their further advance. But
the death of Malek Shah in 1092, and the struggles of his children for
the succession, did more to remove the terror of Turkish conquest than
the arms and diplomacy of Alexius. Alexius had also to fight against the
Slavs, and the Patzinaks of the north, and to face grave trouble from
the west. With the conquest of Bari in 1071, Robert Guiscard and his
Normans had absorbed the last of the Byzantine dominions in Italy.
[Sidenote: Alexius and Robert Guiscard.] Robert now resolved to cross
the Straits of Otranto and win fresh booty and dominions from a foe
that, since Manzikert and Bari, seemed predestined to speedy
destruction. Only fifteen years before, William the Norman had crossed
the English Channel and won a great kingdom from a warlike usurper. In
1081 another Norman duke crossed another narrow strait, and sought to
win the crown and kingdom of another successful soldier-prince. Robert
laid siege to Dyrrhachium [Durazzo], the chief centre of the Byzantine
power on the Adriatic, and Alexius hastened to its succour. The bad
generalship of the Greeks made easy the victory of the invaders. The
Varangian heavy-armed infantry of the imperial guard vigorously
withstood for a time the charge of the feudal cavalry from the west. But
as at Hastings the Norman archers broke up the enemy’s ranks, so that
the best troops of Alexius were defeated before the rest of the Greek
army could take the field. These latter were soon put to flight, and
Alexius rode off from the scene of his defeat. Dyrrhachium surrendered,
and the Normans crossed the mountains into Macedonia and Thessaly.
Italian politics [see pages 135–136] took Robert back to Italy, but his
son Bohemund efficiently filled his place. Alexius now called upon his
cunning to remedy the disasters that had arisen from his courage. By
avoiding general engagements and carrying on a destructive petty
warfare, he managed to wear out the Normans. In 1084 he brilliantly
raised the siege of Larissa, and Bohemund returned to Italy. In 1085 the
death of Robert Guiscard relieved Alexius of any immediate fear of
Norman aggression.

[Sidenote: The appeal for Western help.]

The war with the Normans had taught the Eastern Empire to know and to
fear the warriors of the West. Within ten years of the end of the
struggle with the Guiscards, Alexius sent envoys to the West imploring
Latin help against the Turks, and in 1095 his ambassadors appeared
before Urban II. Before long, East and West seemed likely to unite to
urge a holy war against the Turks. With the preaching of the First
Crusade a new epoch set in for the Byzantine Empire.


                         BASIL I., the Macedonian.
                                                 |                    |
 ROMANUS Lecapenus, _m._ 2. Zoe=1. _m._ LEO VI., the Philosopher  ALEXANDER
      (919–945).                |           (886–913).            (912–913).
                    CONSTANTINE VII., Porphyrogenitus
                ROMANUS II., _m._ 1. Theophano 2. _m._ NICEPHORUS Phocas
                     (959–963).    |                (963–969).
       |             |               |                   |
    Theophano     BASIL II.     CONSTANTINE VIII.     Theodora
   _m._ Otto II.   (963–1025).       (963–1028).  _m._ JOHN Zimisces
                                     |                 (969–976).
                   |                            |
                 ZOE(d. 1050).               THEODORA
          _m._ (1) ROMANUS III.             (1054–1056).
               (2) MICHAEL IV.
               (3) CONSTANTINE IX.

                              CHAPTER VIII

  Early Pilgrimages to Palestine—The Turkish Conquest—Causes of the
    Crusades—Urban II. and the Council of Clermont—Leaders of the
    First Crusade—Alexius and the Crusaders—Results of the
    Crusade—Organisation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and its dependent
    States—The Military Orders—Rise of the Atabeks—Fall of Edessa—The
    Second Crusade—Decline of the Kingdom of Jerusalem—Power of
    Saladin—Fall of Jerusalem.

[Sidenote: Early Pilgrimages to Palestine.]

The piety of the Middle Ages, ever wont to express its spiritual
emotions in concrete shape, had long found in pilgrimages to holy places
a favourite method of kindling its religious zeal and atoning for past
misdeeds. Of all pilgrimages, the most meritorious was that to the
sacred spots where Christ had lived His earthly life and where the
Christian faith first arose. From the days of St. Jerome, Jerusalem was
the chief centre of holy travel; and from the days of Helena, the mother
of Constantine, faithful Christians had sought to identify and
consecrate the exact places of the Lord’s birth, suffering, and
resurrection. A great Christian Basilica, built by Helena’s pious care,
marked the site of the Holy Sepulchre, and men believed that divine
agency had led to the discovery of the True Cross on which Jesus had
suffered. As long as the Roman Empire remained in its integrity,
pilgrimages to the Holy Land were safe and easy. Even the conquest of
Syria by the Caliph Omar did not make them impossible. A noble
mosque—the mosque of Omar—was built on the site of the Jewish Temple,
but the custody of the Holy Sepulchre and the other sacred spots
remained in Christian hands, and the places themselves were treated with
respect and reverence by the tolerant Arabs, to whom Jerusalem was a
city as venerable as to the Jew or Christian. All through the early
Middle Ages the swarm of pilgrims continued. The risks of the journey
through the lands of Islam increased the merit of the act. But with the
break-up of the great Caliphate, the holy places became for the first
time dangerous to the Christian wayfarer. In the second third of the
tenth century Jerusalem was ruled by the fanatical Ikshidites (934–969),
but in 969 the Fatimite Caliphs of Cairoan conquered Egypt and Syria,
and for a time pilgrimages again became easy. The Fatimites were
Shiites, and their dissensions from the orthodox Sunnites made them
perforce tolerant of other creeds. Only the mad Caliph El Hakim
(996–1021), who contemplated the destruction of the Holy Sepulchre,
stayed for a time the influx of the faithful. The religious revival that
flowed from Cluny, and the greater peacefulness of western Europe, led
to a vast throng of pilgrims during the seventy years that succeeded El
Hakim’s death. The fierce Fulk the Black of Anjou thrice visited the
holy places. Robert, Duke of Normandy, abandoned his son William to go
on pilgrimage in 1035. In 1064 Archbishop Siegfried of Mainz headed a
band of 7000 penitents to Jerusalem. The conversion of the Hungarians
under St. Stephen again opened up the land route through the Danube
valley and the Greek Empire, which men preferred to the stormy sea
swarming with Saracen pirates.

[Sidenote: The Turkish Conquest of Palestine.]

The growth of the Seljukian power again stopped the flow of Christian
pilgrims to Jerusalem. Here as elsewhere the Turkish period of conquest
marked the beginning of the worst of evils for the once Christian lands
of the East. Asia Minor, the centre of the East Roman Empire, became a
desolate waste ruled by Turkish plunderers. In 1076 the expulsion of the
Fatimites from Jerusalem left the custody of the holy city to the Turks.
The legend of Peter the Hermit expresses the indignation of western
Europe when the few wanderers who got back told terrible tales of wrongs
suffered and blasphemies witnessed from the infidel lords of the
Sepulchre of Christ. [Sidenote: Causes of the First Crusade.] But the
stories of pilgrims, though they did much to kindle the indignation of
Europe against Turkish rule in Palestine, did not of themselves account
for the movement to redeem it. The preaching of Peter the Hermit,
fruitful though it was, is not in authentic history the cause of the
First Crusade. The Crusades were the work of the Popes at the
instigation of the Eastern Emperor.

[Sidenote: The East and the West at the end of the eleventh century.]

Though, after the death of Malek Shah, the Seljukian monarchy split up
into many rival powers, the danger of Turkish advance was still great.
The direct rule of the Seljuks was henceforth limited to Persia, while
Sultans of Seljukian blood established themselves lords of Kerman,
Syria, and Roum. The Seljuks of Syria now ruled the Holy Sepulchre. The
descendants of Suleiman, the conqueror of Nicæa, carved out a separate
power in the inland parts of Asia Minor, called the kingdom of Roum
[_i.e._ Rome], whose capital Nicæa was not one hundred miles from
Constantinople, and whose limits extended to the waters of the Sea of
Marmora. Some fragments of the Armenian race profited by this break-up
to re-establish their freedom in the mountains of the Taurus. But Kilidj
Arslan, the Sultan of Roum, was almost as threatening to Alexius as Alp
Arslan had been to earlier Emperors. Fear of the lords of Nicæa, rather
than a zeal for the holy places, led Alexius to apply for help to the
West, and rouse the Westerns to defend the Greek Empire, by dwelling on
the desolation of Jerusalem.

There was no strong political power in western Europe to which Alexius
could appeal. The Empire was drifting asunder under the rule of Henry
IV., and France was hopelessly broken up into a mass of feudal states,
hardly recognising the authority of Philip I. The Roman Church alone was
sufficiently vigorous and representative to help him. Already Michael
VII. had sent similar requests to Gregory VII., who had caught eagerly
at the prospects of a holy war against the Turks, but the expulsion of
Islam was so united in his mind with the necessity of ending the Greek
and Armenian schisms, that it was not an unmixed evil to the Eastern
Empire that the Pope was too much occupied at home to embark seriously
upon the undertaking. Yet it is a fact of no small significance that
Gregory, who created the mediæval Papacy, was also the first Western to
whom a Crusade seemed a practicable thing. His ally, Robert Guiscard,
shared his eastern projects, but the campaign at Durazzo showed how
little the fierce Norman distinguished between the schismatic and the

[Sidenote: Urban II. and the Council of Clermont, 1095.]

Alexius’ envoys appeared before Urban II. at the Council of Piacenza,
and at Clermont a few months later the active French Pope preached with
extraordinary force and fervour a holy war against the infidel. The vast
crowd received the Pope with unmeasured enthusiasm. ‘It is the will of
God,’ resounded from churchman and layman alike the answer to Urban’s
appeal. Thousands pledged themselves to fight against Islam, and Urban
himself distributed the crosses which the armed pilgrims were to bear as
their special badge, and which gave the holy wars the name of Crusades.
Preachers, like Peter the Hermit, stirred up the passion of the
multitude, and before the lords and knights were ready, huge swarms of
poor pilgrims gathered together in northern France and the Rhineland,
under the leadership of Peter himself and of a French knight called
Walter the Penniless. These disorganised hordes either perished on the
long land journey through Hungary and Greece, or fell easy victims to
the first encounter with the Turks of Roum, but their misordered zeal
showed how the movement had touched the heart of Europe.

[Sidenote: The leaders of the First Crusade.]

The great kings of the West took no part in the First Crusade. The
Emperor and the King of France had incurred the papal anathema, the King
of England was a profligate blasphemer, and the Kings of Spain had
enough crusading work at their own gates. The highest class that was
affected by the Pope’s preaching was that of the feudal magnates of the
second rank, and especially the barons of France and the adjacent
French-speaking Lotharingia and Burgundy. These were the lands which had
been the chief home of the Cluniac movement, and this was the class to
which the Pope looked for allies in his struggle against the mighty
kings of the earth. The most dignified potentate to take the cross was
Raymond of Saint-Gilles, Count of Toulouse and Marquis of Provence, the
greatest of the lords of southern France. Of the north French magnates,
Hugh, Count of Vermandois, King Philip’s brother, was the highest in
rank and position. After him came Stephen, Count of Blois and Chartres,
the son-in-law of William the Conqueror, and the father of an English
king and of a line of Counts of Champagne and Blois. Robert, Duke of
Normandy, left the care of his dominions to his more astute brother, and
accompanied his brother-in-law. His cousin, Count Robert II. of
Flanders, the son of an old pilgrim to Jerusalem, followed in his
father’s footsteps. Of the princes of the Empire the most important was
Godfrey, Duke of Lower Lorraine, the son of the Count of Boulogne, and
Ida, sister of the Duke Godfrey of Lower Lorraine who had so zealously
supported the cause of Henry IV. In 1089 the Emperor had granted Godfrey
his uncle’s duchy, yet he is better known as Godfrey of Boulogne, and
still oftener, through a curious misnomer, as Godfrey of Bouillon. His
brothers Eustace and Baldwin, and his nephew Baldwin the younger,
followed him to the Crusade. But the strongest of the Crusaders was
Bohemund, the Italian Norman, the old enemy of Alexius Comnenus, who,
after his father Robert Guiscard’s death, being only possessed of the
little lordship of Otranto, hoped to win eastern lands for himself.
Other Crusaders besides Bohemund had an eye on possible principalities
to be conquered from the infidel. But with him went his nephew Tancred,
a more chivalrous character. No great number of the higher clergy went
on the Crusade. Conspicuous among them was the Pope’s legate, Adhemar of
Monteil, Bishop of Le Puy en Velay.

[Sidenote: Alexius Comnenus and the Crusaders.]

The Crusaders levied their followers in their own way, and went at
different times and in different directions to Constantinople, which
Bishop Adhemar had indicated as their meeting-place. As swarm after
swarm of mail-clad warriors marched through his dominions to his
capital, Alexius Comnenus became very anxious as to their attitude to
the Greek Empire. His hope had been to get an auxiliary Western force of
knights, but the vast throng of Frankish chivalry, that had obeyed Pope
Urban, alarmed him excessively, especially when he found his old enemy
Bohemund among them. There was real danger lest the Crusaders should
turn their arms against Constantinople instead of Nicæa and Antioch, and
realise by force Hildebrand’s ideal of a union of the churches, before
the attack was made on the infidel. Greed and religious zeal combined to
inspire them to turn against the opulent and schismatic capital. But the
craft and ingenuity of Alexius served him in good stead, and in the end
he persuaded all the leaders to take oaths of fealty to him, hoping thus
to retain the overlordship of any districts they might conquer from the
Turks. He then gave them facilities for crossing into Asia.

The Crusaders now entered into infidel ground. Nicæa, the capital of
Kilidj Arslan, was taken in June 1097, and next month the army of the
Sultan was defeated at Dorylæum. These successes secured Asia Minor.
After a long and painful march the Taurus was crossed, and in June 1098
Antioch was forced to surrender. [Sidenote: The march through Asia, and
the conquest of Jerusalem, 1097–1099.] Even after that the Christians
were in a sorry plight from famine, and were almost blockaded in their
new conquest by the army of Corbogha, Ameer of Mosul. The Bishop of Le
Puy died, and after his moderating influence was removed, disputes broke
out, especially between the Normans and the south French. Many of the
Crusaders, chief among whom was Stephen of Blois, went home in despair.
But the fancied discovery of the Holy Lance, with which the Roman
soldier had pierced the side of Christ, revived the fainting energies of
the Crusaders, though at first the Normans declared that the ‘invention’
was a fraud of a chaplain of Raymond of Toulouse. Corbogha was defeated
in a great battle, and at last the Christians entered the Holy Land. The
divisions of Islam facilitated their progress. A month after the capture
of Antioch, the Fatimites of Egypt had conquered Jerusalem, which
nevertheless resisted vigorously. Finally, on 15th July 1099, Jerusalem
was stormed and, amidst hideous scenes of carnage, the remnant of the
crusading army attained its goal. A new victory at Ascalon in August
secured southern Palestine from Egyptian assault.

[Sidenote: Results of the Crusade.]

The whole fate of the East seemed changed by the First Crusade. The
Sultanate of Roum was hemmed up in the central and eastern parts of Asia
Minor, while Nicæa and perhaps a third of Asia Minor went back to the
rule of Alexius. The little Armenian lordships of the Taurus grew into a
new Armenian kingdom in Cilicia, strong enough to keep Turks and
Saracens at bay. The Christians predominated in Syria, whence they soon
threatened both the Fatimites of Egypt and the Seljukian dynasty in
Persia. The Latin lordship of Edessa crossed the Euphrates, and formed
in the upper valley of that river a permanent check to the lords of
Mosul. Despite national jealousies, and the still deeper ill-will of
Catholic and Orthodox, Christianity had acted with wonderful unity of
purpose, while Islam could not forget its petty feuds even in the face
of the enemy. The exploits of Leo the Isaurian and Nicephorus Phocas
were more than outdone by Alexius and his Western allies. Never since
the days of Heraclius had the old limits of Rome’s power in the East
been so nearly maintained.

[Sidenote: The early difficulties of the Frankish conquerors.]

It remained to provide for the government of the conquered provinces.
All Syria was portioned among the victorious Latins. Godfrey of Boulogne
accepted the government of Jerusalem; but he refused to wear a crown of
gold in the city where Christ had worn a crown of thorns, and contented
himself with the modest title of Baron and Advocate of the Holy
Sepulchre. Bohemund, the Norman, ruled northern Syria as Prince of
Antioch, and Baldwin, brother of Godfrey, became Count of Edessa. But
these chieftains had at first so few followers that they held little
more than the cities and castles that they garrisoned. Up to Godfrey’s
death in 1100, the hold of the Christians on southern Syria was very
slight. Jaffa was their only port, and the road from Jaffa to Jerusalem
was beset with Saracen brigands, and marked by ruined villages and
unburied bodies. At Antioch, Bohemund was in even worse straits. In 1100
he was taken prisoner by the Turks, who next year besieged Antioch,
where Tancred with difficulty defended the Christian cause. Meanwhile a
new crusade, mostly from Aquitaine, Germany, and Italy, had been almost
annihilated in Asia Minor by long marches, thirst, hunger, and the arms
of the Turks. With the remnants, Raymond of Toulouse conquered Tripoli,
and established himself in middle Syria. Meanwhile Bohemund was
released, on an Armenian prince paying his ransom. He then joined with
Baldwin of Edessa on a distant expedition against Harran, but was badly
beaten and forced in despair to return to Europe, where he again
attacked his old enemy the Greek Emperor. Failing at a new siege of
Durazzo, Bohemund was forced to become the vassal of the Eastern
Basileus for Antioch. Baldwin of Edessa, a prisoner since the battle of
Harran, made terms with the Ameer of Mosul, and joined with him in
waging war against the Normans of Antioch. Yet, if the Crusaders were
divided, the infidels were equally at cross-purposes. A constant stream
of fresh pilgrims reinforced the scanty armies of the Latins, and their
military superiority, both in pitched battles and in building and
defending castles, stood them in good stead. Financial help came from
the keen-witted Italian traders of Pisa, Genoa, and Venice, who found in
the Latin conquests new outlets for their commerce, and who were now
winning the trade of the Levant from the Greeks. Baldwin of Edessa,
called after Godfrey’s death to succeed him at Jerusalem, did not share
his scruple against bearing the title of king, and showed such skill,
both as warrior and statesman, that he became in a very real sense the
founder of the kingdom of Jerusalem. Bit by bit the Saracens were
expelled from the open country, and within the generation succeeding the
First Crusade, an ordered political system was set up among the Latin
principalities of Syria.

Under Baldwin I. (1100–1118) the crusading state attained its limits and
its organisation. His nephew and successor, Baldwin II. (1118–1130),
called like his uncle from Edessa to Jerusalem, was also a man of
courage and character. Dying without sons, his daughter Millicent’s
husband, Fulk, Count of Anjou (1130–1143), became the next king. Under
him the Latin state reached its zenith, and gave him no reason to repent
his preference for his Eastern kingdom rather than his Western county.
After him, his son by his first wife, Geoffrey (the father of our Henry
II.), became Count of Anjou, while, unluckily for Jerusalem, his two
sons by Millicent, Baldwin and Amalric, were mere children. With them
the decline begins.


The crusading lords, accustomed only to the forms of government that
prevailed at home, reproduced in the Latin states of Syria the strict
feudalism of western Europe. Feudalism required a nominal head, and the
King of Jerusalem stood to the Latin princes as the King of early
Capetian France stood to his vassals, having outside his own dominions
nothing more than a vague supremacy over three great feudatories ruling
over substantially independent states. [Sidenote: Organisation of the
kingdom of Jerusalem and its dependent states.] The Prince of Antioch
and the Counts of Tripoli and Edessa thought they had made a great
concession in acknowledging his superiority at all, and were constantly
at war with each other and with their suzerain. But each of the four
Frankish princes had, like their Western counterparts, by no means
unrestricted authority, even within their own peculiar territories. All
four states were divided into fiefs, whose holders exercised the
regalian rights that seemed proper to a baron. Within the kingdom of
Jerusalem proper there were twelve such lordships, four of which were
the ‘great baronies’ of Jaffa-Ascalon, Kerak-Montreal, Galilee, and
Sidon. These in turn had their feudatories, and the powerful lordship of
Ibelin, though but a mesne tenancy, overshadowed the double county of
Jaffa and Ascalon. Beyond the royal domain, which centred round the
capital and the towns of Tyre and Acre, the Kings of Jerusalem had
little real authority. For the administration of their realm a customary
code grew up, which, in days when the Latin lordships had waned almost
to nothing, was embodied in the Assizes of Jerusalem, more valuable as
an ideal picture of a perfect feudal state than as a description of what
really prevailed at any one time in Syria. Being an artificial creation,
the Latin state was more fully feudal than the kingdoms of the West,
where the system had grown up naturally, and where there were still
survivals of older forms of polity. Each lord held by the tenure of
constant military service, and every effort was made to prevent the
accumulation of fiefs in the same hands lest it should diminish the
military forces of the kingdom. There were the usual feudal officers of
state, seneschal, constable, marshal, chamberlain, chancellor, and the
rest. There were the great feudal Council of the Realm, and local courts
presided over by hereditary viscounts. But the Franks were ever a small
minority of warriors, rulers, priests, and, in the towns, traders. The
priests and barons were practically all French or French-speaking, and
the tongue of northern France became the ordinary language of the Latin
East, while ‘Frank’ became the commonest name by which Greeks and Arabs,
Turks and Armenians, alike designated the Western settlers. It was a
proof of the commercial importance of the land that customs duties
became from the beginning a chief source of revenue. The only non-French
element was the Italian commercial colony, which lived in separate
quarters in the towns under governors and laws of its own. Venetians
settled largely in the kingdom of Jerusalem, where the Marseilles
merchants had exceptionally an enclosed factory of their own in the
capital. Genoese mainly occupied the fiefs of Antioch and Tripoli. Pisa
was already rather crowded out by her younger rivals. Through Italian
hands the commerce between West and East almost exclusively passed. In
the country, Syrian peasants, mainly of the Orthodox faith, tilled the
lands of their Latin and Catholic masters, and like the Mohammedans and
Jews, paid taxes from which the Franks were exempt. The paucity of
numbers of the Franks led to extreme care being devoted to building
castles and fortifying towns. The feudal stronghold became bigger,
harder to take, and more elaborate than ever it had been in the West,
and to this day there remain ruins of eastern castles that rival in
dignity and strength Coucy, Carnarvon, or Caerphilly. Even in the desert
beyond Jordan, the remnants of a vast fortress like Kerak shows how real
and solid was the crusading state. Side by side with the Latin state
went the Latin Church. Catholic bishops and priests were brought in
everywhere, and the various sects of Oriental Christians—Greeks,
Armenians, Nestorians, and the rest—shared in a common condemnation as
schismatics, though at first common interests and common enemies kept
the churches better together than might have been expected. Churches and
monasteries grew up beside the new castles. The Holy Sepulchre was soon
enclosed in a newer and grander sanctuary. The mediæval ideal—half
martial, half ascetic—never had so fair a chance of development as in
this land of Christians, forced to fight for their lives against Islam.
It found its most characteristic expression in the martial monasticism
of the military orders. For the present all looked well. Besides the
constant crowd of pilgrims, there was a permanent population growing
attached to its new home, which with strange quickness of sympathy, was
adopting the conditions of Eastern life, and not seldom intermarrying
with Syrians, Armenians, and Greeks. ‘God has poured the West into the
East,’ boasted the chronicler Fulcher of Chartres. ‘We who were Westerns
are now Easterns. We have forgotten our native land.’

[Sidenote: The Military Orders.]

When the Latin kingdom was still young, a knight from Burgundy, named
Hugh de Payens, made the journey to Jerusalem. Seeing that poor pilgrims
were still exposed to great hardships and dangers, he formed a society,
with eight knights like-minded with himself, devoted to the protection
of distressed wayfarers. [Sidenote: The Templars.] The grant of a house
near Solomon’s Temple led to the brethren being called the Knights of
the Temple, and so successful did the new movement become that St.
Bernard, then omnipotent in the Latin world, interested himself in it,
and drew up a rule for it, which, in 1128, was authorised by Honorius
II. It was a new departure in the history both of war and of religion.
The knights took the threefold monastic vow of poverty, chastity, and
obedience; and in time of peace ruled their life after the fashion of
the canons regular, that were becoming so popular in the West [see pp.
204–207]. Their main business of protecting pilgrims soon grew into a
general duty of war against the infidel. Ascetic, austere, living the
lives of monks, taught to regard hunting, games, and personal adornment
as frivolous and worldly, they were, as their panegyrist says, ‘lions in
war, lambs in the house.’ To Christians they were monks, to Islam they
were soldiers. ‘They bear before them a banner, half-white, half-black:
this they call Beauséant, because they are fair and friendly to the
friends of Christ, to His enemies stern and black.’

[Sidenote: The Knights of St. John.]

The needs of poor pilgrims had led the citizens of Amalfi to set up a
hospital at Jerusalem for their refreshment, in the days when Palestine
was still ruled by the Fatimite Caliphs. This institution, dedicated to
St. John the Baptist, was revived and reorganised by its master Gerard
after the Latin conquest. Gerards successor, Raymond of Le Puy, struck
by the success of the Templars, obtained about 1130 the Pope’s
permission to convert this charitable foundation into a military
brotherhood like that of Hugh de Payens. Before long the Hospitallers,
or Knights of St. John, vied with the Templars in their numbers, wealth,
and importance. At later times other military orders were founded, such
as the Teutonic Order [founded in 1197], the struggling little English
community of the Knights of St. Thomas of Acre [1231], and the three
famous military orders of Spain. But in the Holy Land no other order
ever took the position that was soon attained by the Templars and the
Knights of St. John. Enormous estates gradually accrued to them in every
country in Europe, and their houses in the West became recruiting
stations, whence a regular supply of knights and servitors, vowed to a
perpetual crusade, kept alive the forces of the Latin kingdom. A papal
grant of 1162 exempted the Templars from all ecclesiastical
jurisdiction, save that of the Grand Master and the Pope. Like Cluny or
Cîteaux, each order formed an organised unity, ruled in the last
instance by General Chapters, whose power controlled even that of the
Master of each order. In the East each order formed a new little state,
with castles, soldiers, revenues, and government of its own. Often in
conflict with the kings and each other, the two chief orders
nevertheless formed the most permanent and indestructible element in the
Latin kingdom. It was due to their well-drilled enthusiasm that the
Latin East could still hold its own against the Saracen and Turk.

[Sidenote: Rise of the Atabeks.]

The organisation of the Latin East was hardly completed when the period
of decline set in. Much of the success of the First Crusade had been due
to the antagonism of Turk and Arab, and the break-up of the Seljukian
kingdom. In the generation following, a new danger arose in the growth
of a consolidated Mohammedan state in Syria. Imad-ed-din Zangi was a
Turk whose father had been a trusted follower of Malek Shah, and who,
after a stormy youth, had been, in 1127, made governor, or Atabek, of
Mosul. In the course of the next fifteen years Zangi destroyed all the
rival Mohammedan powers in northern Syria and Mesopotamia, and then
turned his arms against Edessa, the remote crusading county that
encroached upon his territories and threatened his capital. Jocelin of
Courtenay, who ruled Edessa after Baldwin became King of Jerusalem,
opposed him by a vigorous resistance, but Jocelin’s son, Jocelin II.,
was a cowardly voluptuary, who left Edessa almost undefended. [Sidenote:
Fall of Edessa, 1144.] In 1144 Zangi conquered Edessa, and put the
Frankish garrison to the sword. The whole county was speedily overrun,
and the Latin East experienced its first great disaster.

[Sidenote: St. Bernard and the Second Crusade.]

The fall of Edessa filled Europe with alarm, and St. Bernard, then in
the plenitude of his influence, preached a new crusade with
extraordinary fervour, and won over the two foremost princes in
Christendom. Louis VII., King of France, had already taken the
Crusader’s vow to expiate an early crime of violence [see page 284], but
his barons, and his minister Suger, urgently dissuaded him. At Easter,
1146, St. Bernard appeared before a great gathering at Vézelai, and
amidst scenes that recalled the first enthusiasm at Clermont, all ranks
took the cross from the hands of the great Cistercian. After preaching
the crusade over northern France, Bernard went to Germany, and at
Christmas, in the cathedral at Speyer, overcame by his eloquence the
hesitation of Conrad III.

[Sidenote: Crusade of Conrad III.]

Two large armies were now equipped. Conrad and his Germans were first on
the march, and travelling by way of Hungary and Bulgaria, were well
received by the Greek Emperor, Manuel Comnenus, whose wife, Bertha of
Sulzbach, was Conrad’s sister-in-law. Unwilling to wait for the arrival
of the French, Conrad started at once to march by way of Nicæa and
Iconium to Syria, a route that led him through the heart of the kingdom
of Roum, where the light-armed Turkish horsemen perpetually assailed his
ill-disciplined and unwieldy squadrons, who were overwhelmed by the same
fate that befel the Crusaders of 1101 [September 1147]. A mere remnant
escaped with Conrad to Nicæa, where the French, under Louis VII., had at
last assembled. [Sidenote: Crusade of Louis VII.] To avoid the dangers
of the upland plateau, the French proceeded southward along the coast of
Asia Minor as far as Ephesus, whence they ascended the valley of the
Maeander into the interior, in order to avoid the rugged shores of Caria
and Lycia. They were at once exposed to constant Turkish attacks.
Conrad, who started with them on a second attempt, soon lost heart, and
returned to Constantinople. When the wearied army at last reached the
little port of Attalia in Pamphylia [February 1148], the leaders
resolved to borrow ships from the Greeks, and effect the rest of their
journey by sea. But so small a number of ships was forthcoming, that
only the knights were enabled to embark. The rest of the army was forced
to resume its dangerous land march, and few indeed ever reached their

In March 1148 Louis VII. and his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, landed at
Antioch with the little band of knights, that now alone represented the
two greatest military powers of Christendom. He hurried at once to the
south, where he was joined by Conrad III., who had now reached Acre by
sea. It was unwisely resolved to march against Damascus, though its
ruler was the chief enemy of Noureddin, Zangi’s son and successor, and
would have willingly stood aside had the attack been concentrated on the
conquerors of Edessa. As it was, Mosul and Damascus made common cause,
and the attack on the latter city proved an utter failure. Conrad at
once went home, and Louis followed him a year later. The result of the
Second Crusade was to promote the unity of Islam, and to divert the
enemy from the north to Jerusalem, where the Christian position was

The thirty years succeeding the Second Crusade were a period of fair but
somewhat stationary prosperity for the Latin East. The long minority of
Baldwin III. (1143–1163) was a great calamity in itself, but his mother,
Millicent, was a capable regent, and Baldwin, when he grew up, proved a
vigorous warrior both against the Egyptians and Noureddin, while his
affability, generosity, and bright ready wit made him the most popular
of all his line. By his marriage with Theodora, daughter of the Emperor
Manuel, Baldwin III. did something to promote active co-operation
between the Greeks and the Latins against Islam, and his death in 1163
was a great loss to the Latin kingdom. [Sidenote: The Kingdom of
Jerusalem between the Second and the Third Crusades.] Amalric I., his
brother (1163–1174), also married a Byzantine wife, and even visited
Constantinople. But with all his policy he failed to unite effectively
the Christian forces, or to check seriously the growth of the power of
Noureddin, and with his death the decline of the kingdom rapidly set in.
His son and successor, Baldwin IV. (1174–1185), began to reign as a boy
of twelve, and as he grew up proved a hopeless leper. On his death
another child, Baldwin V. (1185–1186), his sister Sibyl’s son by her
first husband, succeeded, but he died the next year. The crown was now
disputed between Guy of Lusignan, Sibyl’s second husband, and Raymond,
Count of Tripoli, who had acted as regent for the leper king. In the
short but sharp civil war that followed, the last hopes of the kingdom

A state ruled in turn by a leper, a child, and an intriguing woman was
in no fit state to carry on a perpetual struggle for existence, and the
disorders of the royal house were only typical of the disorganisation of
the realm. There was always a corrupt element among the Crusaders. A
momentary religious enthusiasm could not change the nature of the
criminals and desperadoes, who had sought a refuge in the East from the
errors they had committed in the West. But even the descendants of the
warrior saints lamentably degenerated under the fierce sun of Syria, and
the luxury and moral corruption of Oriental life. The best and bravest
perished in the ceaseless wars against the infidel, and the crusading
lordships were constantly diminishing in numbers, and too often a single
heiress, an imbecile or a minor, represented a great aggregation of
fiefs, formerly owned by many warriors able to make head personally
against the Turks. Things were almost worse with the Franks in the
towns, whose frequent intermarriage with native women led to a mixed
race called ‘Pullani,’ with Eastern habits and ways of thought. Under
these circumstances the military orders became indispensable. Their
castles were always commanded by grown men accustomed to affairs, and
from their numerous commanderies throughout Christendom came a
succession of warriors, whose strength had not been sapped by an almost
tropical climate.

The physical and moral decline of the Latins was made more fatal by
their divisions. The princes of Antioch and their Armenian neighbours
stood apart from the states of southern Syria, and the Greek Empire was
increasingly hostile. While Roger of Sicily repeated the policy of
Robert Guiscard and Bohemund, and the Italian allies of the Crusaders
robbed the Empire of its trade, real co-operation against Islam was
impossible. Within the crusading realm there was constant strife. The
Templars quarrelled with the Hospitallers, the French with the
Provençals, English, and Germans, and the Genoese with the Pisans and
Venetians. The new-comers from the West quarrelled with the older
settlers. Among the baronial houses hereditary feuds arose, as in every
feudal country. The purely feudal organisation of the kingdom made a
strong central power impossible, and nothing but a vigorous despotism,
like that of Henry II. in England, could have long kept the motley state
together. As time went on, the relations between the Franks and their
Eastern subjects grew worse, and neither the unwarlike Armenian nor the
slavish Syrian was of any avail to supplement their armies. It speaks
well for the energy of such parts of the polity as remained sound, that
a century was still to elapse before the crusading kingdoms entirely

The growth of a great Moslem monarchy in Syria was the last and worst of
the many misfortunes of the Latin Christians. After Zangi’s death in
1146, Noureddin had carried the power of the Atabeks to much loftier
heights. [Sidenote: Growth of the power of Saladin.] He captured
Damascus, and pushed his dominions to the sea-coast, thus isolating
Antioch from Tripoli and Jerusalem. In 1171 his general, Saladin,
conquered Egypt, and practically put an end to the schismatic Caliphate
of the Fatimites. Noureddin died in 1174, recognised even by the
Christians as a ‘just man, wise and religious, so far as the traditions
of his race allowed.’ His sons were quite unable to hold their own
against Saladin. Hence in a few years the lord of Cairo and Alexandria
soon became also the lord of Aleppo and Damascus. The Latins were
enclosed by a single united Moslem state, ruled by a generous soldier
and a crafty statesman.

After Guy’s coronation, most of the Frankish barons accepted him as
king, though Raymond of Tripoli, indignant at his usurpation, intrigued
with Saladin. Next year the pillage of a Mussulman convoy by the lord of
Kerak gave Saladin a pretext for proclaiming a holy war against the
Christians, and invading the kingdom of Jerusalem. [Sidenote: The Battle
of Hattin and the fall of Jerusalem, 1187.] On 4th July 1187 a great
battle was fought at Hattin, in which Saladin won a complete victory,
King Guy was taken prisoner, and the True Cross fell into the infidels’
hands. On 2nd October Jerusalem fell, and Tyre, Tripoli, and Antioch
alone succeeded in driving Saladin from their walls. Thus the great
kingdom of the Franks of Syria was reduced to a few towns near the
sea-coast, and a few sorely beleaguered castles. ‘The Latins of the
East,’ said William of Tyre, ‘had forsaken God, and God now forsook
them.’ Unless Europe made another such effort as Urban II. had made, the
crusading state would soon disappear altogether.

[Illustration: DOMINIONS of SALADIN at his death in 1193]



                       Godfrey the Bearded,
                Duke of Lower Lorraine, _d._ 1069,
      _m._ 1. Doda; 2. Beatrice, mother of Countess Matilda
                  |                         |
        Godfrey the Hunchback,             Ida,
        Duke of Lower Lorraine,     _m._ Eustace II.,
               _d._ 1076            Count of Boulogne
              |                       |                 |
     GODFREY OF BOULOGNE,       Eustace III.        BALDWIN I.,
 Duke of Lower Lorraine, and    of Boulogne    Count of Edessa and
 Baron of the Holy Sepulchre,                   King of Jerusalem
          _d._ 1100                                (1100–1118)


                             BALDWIN II.,
                         Cousin of Baldwin I.
                         _m._ FULK OF ANJOU
                     |                         |
                BALDWIN III.               AMALRIC I.
                (1143–1163)               (1163–1174)
      |                      |                                 |
 BALDWIN IV.               Sibyl,                          Isabella,
 (1174–1185)   _m._ 1. William of Montferrat   _m._ 2. CONRAD OF MONTFERRAT
                    2. GUY OF LUSIGNAN                      (1192)
                        (1186–1192)                 3. HENRY OF CHAMPAGNE
                             |                            (1192–1197)
                             |                      4. AMALRIC II. OF CYPRUS
                             |                            (1197–1205)
                            (1)                                |
                         BALDWIN V.                            |
                        (1185–1186)                            |
                    (2)                       (4)              |
                     |                         |
                   Mary,                  AMALRIC III.
           _m._ JOHN OF BRIENNE           (_d._ 1206)
                (_d._ 1250)

                               CHAPTER IX

  Aspects of the Hildebrandine Movement—The new Religious Orders—Bruno
    and the Carthusians—The Beginnings of the Cistercians and Robert of
    Molême—The Charter of Charity—The Canons Regular—Norbert and
    Prémontré—The Military Orders—Influence of St. Bernard—The
    Speculative Revival—Beginnings of Scholasticism—Abelard and his
    influence—Abelard and Bernard—Popular Heresies—Peter de Bruys—The
    Poor Men of Lyons—The Albigenses—The Legal Revival—Irnerius and the
    Civil Law—Gratian and the Canon Law.

[Sidenote: Various aspects of the Hildebrandine movement.]

With all their importance, the Crusades were only one aspect of the
great religious and intellectual movement that heralded the twelfth
century throughout the length and breadth of Western Europe, and was as
directly a result of the triumph of the Hildebrandine ideal as the new
theories themselves were an emanation from the Cluniac revival.
Beginning with the strenuous careers of Gregory VII. and Urban II., this
new spirit at once began to work powerfully on Europe, and reached its
height in the days of peace that succeeded the end of the Investiture

[Sidenote: The monastic revival.]

A monastic revival succeeded, as it preceded, the reformation of the
Papacy. At first the movement was on the old lines, and Cluny still
maintained its reputation, and increased its number of offshoots. But
the ‘Congregation of Cluny’ was too unelastic to be capable of
indefinite expansion, and its influence was perhaps widest felt in those
houses which adopted its ideal without giving up their ancient
Benedictine independence. [Sidenote: Hirschau.] Conspicuous among such
was Hirschau, a convent situated on the north-eastern slopes of the
Black Forest, in Swabia, where Abbot William introduced the rule of
Cluny in 1077, and which immediately became a centre of monastic
reformation in southern Germany, though the congregation of Hirschau
never attained the organisation or permanence of that of Cluny.

[Sidenote: Cluny.]

The weak point of the Cluniac system was that everything depended upon
the abbot. Under the unworthy Pontius (1109–1125), whom kinship to
Paschal II. had brought to the headship of Cluny at an exceedingly early
age, discipline declined, the old simplicity disappeared, and the abbot,
whose virtues were those of a feudal noble rather than a true monk,
wasted his energies in conflicts with the Bishop of Macon, who, in spite
of papal exemptions, strove to reform the declining house as diocesan.
But under the famous abbot, Peter the Venerable, Cluny again became a
power in Europe, though its old influence was never restored. Younger
houses, organised on newer lines, divided among themselves the reverence
once felt for it, and even Peter of Cluny was overshadowed by Bernard of

The times were still so stormy, and secular life so rough, that the
impulse which drove pious minds into the cloister was as strong as ever.
The feudal anarchy that still prevailed in France, perhaps continued to
give that country the leading part, both in spreading hierarchical ideas
and in bringing about further monastic revivals. [Sidenote: Further
development of the congregational idea.] The great question for the new
race of monastic reformers was how to keep up the spirit of the older
rule while avoiding its dangers. Cluny had not quite solved the problem,
though the congregational idea, the more disciplined austerity, and the
admission of _conversi_ or lay brothers, were steps capable of wider
development. How to avoid the wealth, pride, and idleness that came from
success was a still harder problem. The importance of the new orders
that arose in the end of the eleventh and the early years of the twelfth
century depended upon the skill with which the founders answered these
fundamental questions.

[Sidenote: Order of Grammont.]

The first new order was the order of Grammont. Its founder, St. Stephen,
an Auvergnat noble, settled in 1076 with a few companions at Muret,
north of Limoges, though after his death the house was removed to the
bleak granitic plateau of the neighbouring Grammont. A large number of
daughter houses grew up in Aquitaine, Anjou, and Normandy, all of which,
after the Cluniac fashion, were subject to the prior of Grammont. St.
Stephen’s wish was to follow no fixed definite system, but to be content
with the Gospel rules of poverty, humility, and long-suffering, and his
successors embodied this aspiration in a form of life which forbade the
order to possess land, cattle, or churches, to exclude seculars from its
services, and allowed it, if no alms came, to beg for sustenance. This
was a remarkable anticipation of the chief characteristic of the
mendicant orders of the thirteenth century, but it did not prevent the
early decay of these disorderly idealists. A stern fixed rule was
necessary to a mediæval monastery.

A happier fate attended St. Bruno, the founder of the Carthusians. A
German from Cologne, Bruno, became scholasticus of the famous chapter
school at Reims, where he numbered Urban II. among his disciples.
[Sidenote: The Carthusian Order and St. Bruno.] Driven with disgust from
Reims by the violence of Archbishop Manasses, he hid himself in a wild
mountain valley near Grenoble in Dauphiny, the site of the still famous
Grande Chartreuse, where he gathered round him a band of hermits living
in separate cells. Bruno was called to Rome by his old pupil Urban II.;
but the love of retirement soon took him to Calabria, where he founded
another Charterhouse, and died in 1101. Charterhouses now grew up,
though not very rapidly, all over Europe, and the order took its final
shape in the statutes of 1258. The possession of land, forbidden by
Bruno, was strictly limited, as were all other sources of wealth. Ruled
by a general chapter, the order followed up still further the idea of
the congregation. But the special characteristic of the Carthusians was
the union of the hitherto separated cœnobitic and eremitic ideals. The
Carthusian belonged to an order and convent, with its common church and
other buildings; but instead of living without privacy in common
dormitory and refectory, he lived in a separate cell a life of
meditation, study, and silence, while the _conversi_ practised
agriculture. The Carthusian life was novel; but the magnificent churches
and buildings of the order show that it took a deep root. Better than
many of the purely cœnobitic orders, the Carthusians maintained their
purity with few traces of the inevitable decay that beset most monastic
types when the enthusiasm of the founders had abated. Another order,
that of Fontevrault, founded by the Breton, Robert of Arbrissel (1100),
was distinguished by combining monasteries for men and women in one
establishment after the primitive plan, and by making the abbess
superior of the whole community, since Robert reverenced in her the
representative of the Virgin. Outside France this order had no great

The most important influence among the new orders undoubtedly fell to
the Cistercians, who rose rapidly from humble beginnings to a unique
position. In 1075 a monk named Robert founded a small convent at Molême
in northern Burgundy, where he strove to carry out with absolute
literalness and fidelity the rule of St. Benedict. [Sidenote: The
Cistercian Order and Robert of Molême.] The monks found the austerities
of their abbot so painful that they rebelled, and in 1098 Robert left
Molême in despair, accompanied by the few zealots, conspicuous among
whom was the Englishman Stephen or Harding. The little band settled down
at Cîteaux, between Dijon and Châlon, a desolate spot which derived its
name from the surrounding pools of standing water. There was founded the
famous abbey, which was to give its name to a new departure in monastic
history. At first the brethren lived in excessive poverty and isolation.
But the fame of their holiness gradually brought them adherents, and
from 1113, when the young Burgundian nobleman, Bernard of Fontaines,
applied for admission with thirty of his kinsmen, the growth of Cîteaux
was rapid. The monastery overflowed, and swarm after swarm of monks
established daughter houses elsewhere. In 1115 Bernard himself, whose
strong will and saintly character had won for him in two years a leading
position, led one of these migrations to Clairvaux, of which house he
became abbot. Stephen the Englishman was now abbot of Cîteaux, and
showed a capacity for organisation which soon made the single poor
monastery that he ruled the mother of a great order. In 1119 he obtained
Calixtus II.’s approval for the famous ‘Charter of Charity,’ the
constitution which he had devised for Cîteaux and its daughter houses.
[Sidenote: Carta Caritatis, 1119.] The movement soon spread like
wildfire, and hundreds of Cistercian monasteries were founded throughout

The leading characteristics of the Cistercians marked the new order
clearly off from its fellows. Starting from their first principle of
absolute asceticism, they pushed the doctrine of self-renunciation as
far as human capacity allowed. They rejected soft and costly garments,
lived on the plainest and simplest food, and would not tolerate
splendour even in their churches, where, instead of gold and silver
crosses, they contented themselves with painted wood. The very vestments
of their priests were of coarse stuff without gold, or silver, or costly
embroidery. Their churches and monasteries were built as simply as was
possible. Towers and belfries were rejected as useless luxuries.
Choosing for their abode remote valleys and wildernesses far from the
haunts of men, they carefully avoided the proximity to town-life, which
was a stumbling-block in the way of the older orders. Even the cure of
souls was prohibited as likely to lead the monks into the world and its
sins, and to celebrate Masses for money was denounced as simony. Thus
the old Benedictine rule was upheld, and the monk reminded that he was
no clerk but a pious recluse, whose business was to save his own soul.
For the occupation of the brethren labour was enjoined; and a large
number of _conversi_ carried on the hard agricultural work that soon
made the wilderness blossom like a garden, and filled with sheep the
downs and deserts. It thus resulted that the Cistercians, despite their
principles, had considerable influence in promoting the civilisation of
the regions in which they settled. The interconnection of their houses
made it easy for them to spread a tendency or an idea from land to land,
as when they transmitted the first rudiments of Gothic architecture from
its north French home to Italy.[12] While wealth and idleness were thus
kept at bay, elaborate efforts were made to keep watch over backsliders.
While the example of Cluny had led all the great monasteries to strive
to get from the Pope exemption from episcopal authority, Cîteaux
ostentatiously professed canonical obedience to the Bishop of Châlon,
and every daughter house was founded with the consent of the diocesan,
to whom its abbot submitted himself as a subject. Moreover, the
constitution sketched in the ‘Carta Caritatis’ provided within the order
itself means for perpetual visitation and reproof of weaker brethren,
that was far more effective than episcopal control. Like the Cluniacs,
the Cistercians formed a congregation over which the Abbot of Cîteaux
exercised the powers of a king. But an elaborate series of checks on the
abbot’s power imparted an aristocratic or popular element to the
government of the new order. The abbots of the four first daughters of
Cîteaux [La Ferté (founded 1113), Pontigny (1114), Clairvaux (1115), and
Morimond (1115)], and the General Chapter of the abbots of the order,
while liable to be visited and corrected by their superior, had the
power of correcting, administering, and depriving the head of the order
himself. The monasteries were to be visited yearly. Each new house was
affiliated to the earlier one from which it had sprung, and the
motherhouse exercised a special watchfulness over it. So different did
the Cistercians feel themselves from other regulars that they
significantly discarded the black garment of the Benedictines in favour
of a coarse white dress, from which they got the name of the white
monks. Their elaborate organisation gave them a corporate feeling and
unity of purpose to which few other orders could aspire. They represent
the last and most complete effort to give real effect to the ideal of
St. Benedict, by enjoining an austerity even beyond that of Benedict,
and by an elaborate organisation to which his rule for a single house
was quite a stranger.

Other new orders started on a different purpose. Various hospital
orders, which laid special stress on the care of the sick and suffering,
were set up for those who sought salvation in good works for the world,
rather than in isolation from human intercourse. But the great
contribution of the twelfth century towards bridging over the great gulf
between clerk and monk was the institution of the so-called Austin
Canons, or Canons Regular. [Sidenote: The Canons Regular.] It was agreed
that the higher life was the monastic life, and that the secular priest,
possessing private property, living in his own house and immersed in
worldly affairs, stood on a lower plane than the regular, but the cure
of souls was left to the secular clergy, and it was no part of the
Hildebrandine ideal to neglect the pastoral work of the Church. Hence
came a movement for reforming the secular clergy by making them live the
life of a monk, while they carried on the duties of a clerk. It was
impossible to enforce monastic life on the isolated and ignorant parish
clergy, among whom it was hard work enough to enforce the new obligation
of celibacy. The great colleges and cathedrals, served by many priests,
offered an easier and more fruitful field for reform.

In the fifth century St. Augustine of Hippo had sought to establish a
‘monastery of clerks in the bishop’s household.’ In the days of the
Carolingian reformation, Bishop Chrodegang of Metz had, in the spirit of
the great African father, set up a rule of life, by which canons of a
cathedral should live in common along with their bishops. In
Hildebrand’s days Peter Damiani appealed to the example of St. Augustine
as the ideal pattern for the cathedral clergy. Many chapters were
reformed, and from the twelfth century onwards a sharp distinction was
drawn between ‘regular canons,’ subject to a rule of life, and ‘secular
canons’ of the old-fashioned sort. The great property and the political
influence of the cathedral chapters made it hard to keep out of them
members of the great territorial families, who looked on their prebends
as sources of income, and who soon found a regular life too austere, so
that few cathedrals became permanently served by them. But new churches
of Regular Canons, where there were no secular traditions to interfere
with the strictness of their rule, began to rise up all over
Christendom. The general name of ‘Austin Canons’ suggested that the
whole of the class strove to realise the old ideal of St. Augustine.

Various congregations of Regular Canons were now set up, conspicuous
among which was that of the Victorines, whose abbey of St. Victor in
Paris became, as we shall see, a prominent centre of conservative
theology. But it was the establishment of the Premonstratensian
congregation by Norbert of Xanten which gave the Austin Canons so great
a position in Christendom that they almost rivalled the Cistercians in
popularity. [Sidenote: Norbert and the Premonstratensians.] Norbert was
a man of high family, who, after having held canonries of the
old-fashioned sort at his native town and at Cologne, gave up the world
and wandered as a preacher of penitence throughout Gaul, carefully
avoiding intercourse with clerks or monks. In 1120 he settled in a
desert place in the forest of Coucy, not far from Laon, where the bishop
was his friend, and established there a house of Canons Regular, calling
the spot Prémontré [Pratum Monstratum], in the belief that the site had
been pointed out to him by an angel. The rule of Prémontré soon became
famous, and its canons, clad in the white garment of the Cistercians,
showed, by their energy and zeal, that clerks bound by a rule could live
lives as holy as monks and do as much pastoral work as seculars. As an
‘order of clerks’ they exercised cure of souls, preached, taught, and
heard confessions, and where possible made their churches parochial. In
1126 Norbert became Archbishop of Magdeburg. Finding the secular chapter
utterly opposed to his policy, he planted a new colony of
Premonstratensians hard by in the collegiate church of St. Mary (1129).
Through his influence the Premonstratensians took the leading share in
the civilising and Christianising of the Slavonic lands beyond the Elbe.
In a later chapter we shall see how Norbert soon became the Emperor
Lothair’s chief adviser and helper. Before his death his order had
spread throughout Western Christendom. While Cîteaux had for its
ambition the perfection of an ancient system, Prémontré made a new
departure in religious history. Later regular orders have in nearly all
cases striven to carry out the ideal of Norbert, of combining the
religious life with that pastoral care, which to the older type of
monasticism was but a subtle and attractive form of that worldliness
which they were pledged to avoid. Within Norbert’s own lifetime the rule
of the Austin Canons received a very great accession to its strength.
[Sidenote: The Military Orders.] The military orders of the Latin East
all lived when at peace the life, and took the vows of Austin Canons,
while the older military orders of Spain [Calatrava, 1158, Alcantara,
1152] stood in close connection with the Cistercians. [See chapter xx.]

[Sidenote: Influence of the new orders on the life of the twelfth

The great development of new orders had a many-sided influence on the
character of the twelfth century. The monks and the Regular Canons were
everywhere the best servants of the Papacy, while their international
organisation was a new link between the national churches. The local
jealousy of Roman influence, the aspirations of the bishops to an
independent position, were energetically withstood by the enthusiasm of
the young orders. Their asceticism and zeal for good works won for them
the passionate attachment of the laity, and stimulated the sluggish
seculars to greater activity and holiness. Their influence over public
opinion was enormous. Not Louis of France or Conrad of Germany, but
Norbert of Magdeburg and Bernard of Clairvaux, were the real leaders of
European thought towards the middle of the twelfth century.

[Sidenote: St. Bernard.]

The practical authority of Norbert was mainly limited to Germany, but
the influence of Bernard, confined to no class or country, proved
something almost unique in the whole of Christian history. While Bernard
lived the simple and self-denying life of a Cistercian in his Burgundian
monastery, his activity took in the whole of Christendom. His
correspondence was enormous, his works numerous and varied, and his
authority hardly questioned. Through his influence the white robe of the
Cistercians became familiar in the remotest valleys of Christendom, and
the simple and struggling order, which he had joined but a few years
before, attained a world-wide celebrity. Every sort of dispute and
difference was brought before his tribunal. The rulers of Church and
State flocked to the rude huts of Clairvaux as to an oracle. In his
frequent journeys throughout France, the Rhineland and Italy, he was
welcomed as Pope or Emperor was never welcomed. It was Bernard who drew
up the rule for the Knights Templars, who ended the papal schism of
1130, and procured the recognition of Innocent II. as Pope. Innocent II.
set the example of deference to his authority which subsequent Popes
obsequiously continued, till at last a simple Cistercian became Pope
Eugenius III., merely because he was the friend of Bernard. Bernard
joined with Norbert in reprobating the rationalism that sprang from the
teaching of an Abelard or Gilbert de la Porrée or Arnold of Brescia, and
strove with sublime unreasonableness to put down the new questioning
spirit. More open heresy, like that of Peter de Bruys, found in him an
equally implacable foe. He upheld every doctrine of hierarchical power,
and scrupled not to rebuke kings and emperors if they gainsaid him. He
rekindled the crusading spirit when it seemed growing cool, and
persuaded the two greatest princes of Christendom to set forth on the
ill-fated Second Crusade. Stern, unyielding, rigid, dogmatic, blind to
all things which in his view did not immediately promote the kingdom of
God, Bernard represents the very triumph of the older monastic spirit
with its completeness of self-renunciation, its terrible asceticism, its
strange and almost inhuman virtues. Even in his own day, his spirit was
not that of the whole Church, and bold voices were found to lament his
obstinacy, his narrowness, his obscurantist hatred of secular learning.
But with all his faults he is a great and noble figure, and as the
supreme representative of a dying type, his career marks a transition to
a newer, brighter and more progressive world, than the gloomy realm over
which he had reigned so long as unquestioned sovereign. Yet it shows
that the days of brute force were over, when a simple monk, whose
singleness of purpose and zeal for righteousness were never so much as
questioned, could rule with such astounding power over the minds of men.
Even more than the authority of the great Popes, the power of Bernard
supplies a striking justification of the universal monarchy of the
Church of the twelfth century.

[Sidenote: The literary and speculative revival.]

From the religious revival there sprang a revived interest in literature
and speculation. Monastic life was strictly conservative, and the old
doctrine of Gregory the Great, that secular literature was unworthy the
attention of a good Christian, was the position of St. Bernard himself.
But the monks were at least interested in theology; and not even
Bernard’s influence could prevent pious souls from seeking in nature and
literature the justification of the ways of God to man. As the necessary
preliminary of theological study, the ‘seven arts’ of the old-fashioned
‘Trivium’ and ‘Quadrivium’ had again to be cultivated. [Sidenote: Its
relation to the monastic movement.] Monastic schools once more
stimulated the intellectual interest of Europe. Many of the greater
houses became centres of education. So far back as the tenth century
monks like St. Bruno of Cologne and Gerbert of Aurillac had restored the
Carolingian educational discipline, which had fallen into ruin in the
dark days of barbarian invasion and internal anarchy. German cloisters,
like St. Gallen and Reichenau, became famous for their learning. Cluny
forged the theories that Hildebrand wielded. Lanfranc of Bec made the
Norman monastery one of the great centres of dialectical and theological
study in northern Europe. Side by side with the cloister schools were
the schools of the great cathedrals, such as that of Reims, where
Gerbert taught. In these the teachers were partly seculars, and there
was perhaps more freedom and breadth of interests than in the purely
monastic academies. When the revival of speculation brought out
differences of opinion, Berengar, the scholasticus of the cathedral
school of Tours, used the weapon of logic to attack the newly formulated
doctrine of transubstantiation. It was Lanfranc, the monk of Bec, that
employed all the resources of his skill to demolish the arguments of the
hardy heretic. But though Berengar was first condemned by Leo IX. in
1050, it was not until 1078 that Gregory VII. practically settled the
controversy by insisting upon his complete retractation. So slow were
the methods against heresy in times when its danger was hardly realised.

[Sidenote: The transition to the scholastic philosophy.]

In the next generation two distinct tendencies present themselves.
Anselm of Aosta, Lanfranc’s successor alike at Bec and Canterbury,
defended the traditional position of the Church with a wider learning
and deeper insight than his predecessor. Anselm has been called both the
last of the fathers and the first of the schoolmen. But while his motive
was the same as that of the later schoolmen, his methods were somewhat
different, and his enduring fame is not for the acuteness of his
dialectic, so much as for his broad insight into the deeper problems of
philosophy and his anticipation of positions that were not fully taken
up until the reign of scholasticism was over. [Sidenote: Anselm and
Roscelin.] The Realism of which he was the upholder was part of the
earlier tradition of the ecclesiastical schools. Much more epoch-making,
though not in itself altogether original, was the Nominalism of
Roscelin, the true parent of scholastic philosophy. While Anselm only
saw in philosophy the way of justifying the Church’s teaching,
Roscelin’s logical nominalism led him to deny the possibility of the
Trinity in Unity and teach undisguised Tritheism. But he argued as a
logician and not as a divine, and in 1092 acquiesced in the recantation
which was presented to him by a council at Soissons. From the
controversies of Anselm and Roscelin all the later intellectual activity

Early in the twelfth century there were many schools and masters
scattered through central Europe and particularly in northern Gaul.
[Sidenote: Activity of the schools.] Of one of the least of these
schools and scholars it could be said that ‘clerks flocked from divers
countries to hear him daily; so that if thou shouldst walk about the
public places of the city and behold the crowds of disputants, thou
wouldst say that the citizens had left off their other labours and given
themselves to philosophy.’[13] There was no order or method in study.
Any one could teach who had learnt under an accredited master and had
received the Church’s licence. The students followed the masters, and
the centres of study fluctuated as reputations were made and destroyed.
But at this period there were three chief schools in northern France,
all closely connected with the cathedrals of the respective towns. The
teaching of Anselm of Laon (a scholar of St. Anselm) made that city a
great centre of theological lore. The dialectical renown of William of
Champeaux brought crowds of students to the cathedral schools of Paris.
The literary enthusiasm of the Breton Platonist, Bernard Sylvester, and
of his successor, William of Conches, made the cathedral school of
Chartres ‘the most abundant spring of letters in Gaul.’[14]

Peter Abelard (1079–1142), a Breton from Palais, near Nantes, was the
most striking manifestation of the new spirit. He was the eldest son of
a gentleman of good estate, but he early renounced his inheritance, and
devoted himself with extraordinary enthusiasm to study. He first learnt
dialectic under Roscelin at Loches, near Tours, and afterwards under
William of Champeaux at Paris. [Sidenote: Abelard and his influence.]
But his sublime self-confidence and acute sceptical intellect speedily
brought him into conflict, both with the novel Nominalism of Roscelin
and with the old-fashioned extreme Realism of William of Champeaux. He
soon despised and strove to supplant his masters. While William of
Champeaux taught with declining authority at the cathedral school, and
afterwards in the Abbey of St. Victor, his audacious disciple gathered
an opposition band of pupils round him in neighbouring towns, and
finally on the hill of Ste. Geneviève, where he became so famous, that
William retired in disgust to his bishopric of Châlons. Abelard’s
acuteness, rhetorical skill, and attractive personality, soon drew to
Paris crowds of students, who gave the city a unique position among the
schools of Europe. The Conceptualism, which he perhaps learnt from
Aristotle, seemed more scientific than Realism, and less revolutionary
than Nominalism. But it is not so much what he taught, as the spirit in
which he taught, that gave Abelard his position in history. His method
was essentially rationalistic. He based his orthodoxy on its
reasonableness. ‘A doctrine is not to be believed,’ he is reported to
have said, ‘because God has said it, but because we are convinced by
reason that it is so.’ Moved by religious zeal as well as greed for
applause, he went to Laon to study theology under Anselm, but very soon
came to despise his teacher, whom he denounced as a phrase-monger.
‘Anselm kindled a fire,’ he said, ‘not to give light but to fill the
house with smoke.’ He forsook the pretender’s school, and at once
proceeded to prove the audacious thesis that a man could learn theology
without a master. He was soon back at Paris, where his teaching
attracted greater crowds than ever, until the tragic conclusion of his
relations with Heloisa drove him to take the monastic vows at
Saint-Denis. Even in the cloister he was restless and insubordinate. He
published a treatise on the Trinity, which was denounced by the aged
Roscelin as savouring of Sabellianism, and burnt at a Council at
Soissons in 1121. He left Saint-Denis after rousing the fury of his
fellow-monks by demonstrating the unhistorical character of the
accredited legend of St. Dionysius the Areopagite, their imaginary
founder. After some years spent in his new monastery of the Paraclete in
Champagne, Abelard sought absolute retirement as abbot of St. Gildas de
Rhuys, in the wildest part of his native Brittany. [Sidenote: Abelard
and St. Bernard.] But he fled at last from the savage monks of St.
Gildas, and again appeared as a teacher in Paris. As the incarnation of
the new critical spirit, he had long been obnoxious to the stout
upholders of ecclesiastical tradition like Norbert and Bernard. Bernard
now denounced him, and induced the bishops, who registered his will, to
assemble in council at Sens to condemn his heresies (1141). Despairing
of justice from such a body, Abelard appealed to the Pope. But Innocent
II. was as much under Bernard’s influence as the French bishops, and
condemned him to lifelong confinement in a monastery. Abelard fell sick
at Cluny while on his way to Rome, and obtained from Peter the Venerable
a sympathy and kindness that stood in strong contrast to Bernard’s
inveterate hostility. He was received into the Cluniac fold, and made
some sort of recantation of his heresies. In 1142 he died at Châlon. The
spirit of his teaching did not die with him. [Sidenote: The Schools of
Paris.] The schools of Paris retained the fame with which he had first
invested them. While the Regular Canons of St. Victor made their abbey
the home of traditional theology tempered by mysticism, the secular
school of the cathedral retained the spirit of inquiry and criticism
which secured for it a permanence of influence that not even the
patronage of St. Bernard could give to the school of St. Victor. If the
stigma of heresy was attached to some of Abelard’s disciples, others
became lights of orthodoxy without any great departure from Abelard’s
doctrines. Arnold of Brescia, denounced by St. Bernard as the
armour-bearer of the Goliath of misbelief his master, incurred by his
rash entrance into politics the fate of a heretic who was also a rebel
[pages 239–243 and 250]. [Sidenote: Change in the character of
Scholasticism after Abelard.] But Peter the Lombard (died 1160), was not
only Abelard’s pupil, but a pillar of orthodoxy, bishop of Paris, and
author of that _Book of Sentences_ which was the accredited text-book of
all later scholasticism. Gilbert de la Porrée (died 1154), a disciple of
the humanistic school of Chartres, and bishop of Poitiers, was denounced
by St. Bernard as a heretic. In 1148 Pope Eugenius, a creature of
Bernard’s, presided at a council at Reims to deal with Gilbert’s errors.
But the very cardinals refused any longer to follow Bernard’s leading.
When Gilbert escaped uncondemned, the new theology had won its way to a
recognised position in the Church. With its wider diffusion, the new
learning lost the character of revolt which in Abelard’s time was
associated with it. It became more systematic, more specialised, less
original. The discovery of the whole of Aristotle’s _Organon_, in the
latter part of the century, crushed the critical spirit by the weight of
its authority. The conflict of studies drove out the liberal pursuit of
literature in favour of specialised dialectic and theology, while the
majority showed most favour to bread-winning studies like the canon and
civil laws. The dialectic of Paris prevailed over the humanism of
Chartres. But if some of the first freshness of the new birth was thus
lost, the end of the century saw the scholar class a recognised element
in the European commonwealth. So numerous were the ‘masters’ who taught
in the Paris schools that they formed themselves into guilds or
corporations, from which the germ of the University of Paris and of all
other transalpine universities grew.

Monasticism and philosophy combined to strengthen the Church, but the
spirit of revolt that had been conquered in the schools now took more
popular shapes. All through the eleventh century there were found
wandering teachers of strange doctrines. From the beginning of the
twelfth century definitively heretical sects were crystallising round
different principles of innovation. [Sidenote: Popular heresies.] For
more than twenty years an unfrocked priest, Peter de Bruys, taught with
powerful effect in Dauphiny and Provence. [Sidenote: Peter de Bruys.] He
was an enthusiast like the old Montanists, rejecting all forms,
discipline, and tradition, in favour of the living spirit, and
denouncing the sacerdotal system and many of the most treasured dogmas
of the Church. In 1137 or 1138, Peter was burnt alive at Saint-Gilles by
the mob, whose fury he had excited by making a bonfire of crosses and
pious emblems. But his followers kept together after his death, under
the guidance of Henry, an outcast monk of Cluny. Peter the Venerable
wrote against the Petrobrusians, and St. Bernard saw in the popularity
of the young sect the malign influence of the spirit of Abelard. ‘The
Catholic faith,’ he lamented, ‘is discussed in the streets and
marketplaces. We have fallen upon evil times.’ His energy secured the
conversion of many of the Petrobrusians. The remnant joined themselves
to the new sect of the Waldenses or Vaudois.

[Sidenote: Peter Valdez and the ‘Poor Men of Lyons.’]

Peter Valdez, a rich merchant of Lyons, gave up all his property, and
began about 1177 to wander about the country preaching repentance and
the imitation of the Apostles. He procured the translation of the Bible
into the vulgar tongue, and soon began to gather followers. After a few
years of toleration he was excommunicated in 1184 by Pope Lucius III.
Thus cut off from the orthodox, Peter joined the Petrobrusians and
became more frankly heretical. Before his death in 1197, his followers
were to be found in Bohemia, in Lorraine, in southern France, in Aragon,
and in northern Italy. These ‘Poor Men of Lyons,’ as they were called,
rejected all priestly ministration, and included in one sweeping
denunciation prayer for the dead, six of the seven sacraments, military
service, and property. But grave differences soon broke them up into
hostile sects. The Lombards sought to organise themselves separately
from the Church, while the French were content to remain a school within
the Church. The wise policy of later Popes allowed the more moderate to
combine their own way of thinking with acceptance of the Church’s
authority, and they remained for the most part humble-minded quietists,
whose highest aspiration was to live in peace.

Other sects assumed a more dangerous complexion than the Poor Men of
Lyons. From the eleventh century onwards, obscure bodies of heretics
appear under the names of Manicheans, Paulicians, Cathari, Bulgarians,
Patarini, and Publicani. Their strength was at first in the Rhineland,
whence they infected the north of France. Finally they found a more
sympathetic field in southern France, where heresy had long flourished
in various forms. The origin of these sects is obscure. [Sidenote: The
Manichean sect.] The ancient opinion that they were direct descendants
of the ancient Gnostics and Manichees cannot be upheld, and it is
difficult even to prove their affiliation with the Paulicians and
Bogomili of the Balkan peninsula, whose heresy had troubled the Eastern
Empire in the days of the Macedonian and Comnenian dynasties. Their
doctrines are as hard to define as their origin, and we have for the
most part to rely upon the statements of their enemies. But it is clear
that they represent neither a definite sect nor an organised body of
heretical doctrine. Like the early Gnostics, they indicate a vague
general tendency rather than any precise teaching, and differed widely
among each other. The more thoroughgoing of them were dualists like the
Manichees, believing that there existed two equal and co-eternal
deities, the one evil and the other good. The rest seem to have held the
modified dualism of the Bogomili, admitting the good principle to be the
only God, and the author of the New Testament, and regarding the evil
principle as a fallen spirit, the creator of the world, the source of
the Old Testament revelation, essentially the Demiurgus of the Gnostics.
The practical teaching of these heretics was as various as their
doctrine. They utterly despised all things of the flesh, and from this
contempt flowed moral doctrines both ascetic and antinomian. They
distinguished sharply between the elect and the reprobate. They rejected
the authority both of the Church and of the State. Instead of the
ordinary offices of the Church, they had a sort of spiritual baptism
called _Consolamentum_, which was reserved to the perfect believers.
Apart from their religious heresies, they were frankly hostile to the
whole order of society.

[Sidenote: The Albigenses.]

The south of France soon swarmed with these innovators, who took the
name of Albigenses, Albigeois, from one of their strongholds, the town
of Albi on the Tarn. Besides the avowed heresies, a general spirit of
revolt against the Church seized alike upon lords and people. Before the
end of the century, the Albigenses had obtained a firm hold over the
county of Toulouse and its dependencies, and defied the efforts of the
Church to root them out. Elsewhere the speculations of the twelfth
century had no very prolonged vitality. A few burnings of leaders, a
crusade of energetic preaching, and a dexterous effort to turn the
undisciplined zeal of the heretic into more orthodox channels, were
generally enough to prevent their further progress. The offspring of
vague discontent, twelfth century heresy took as a rule such vague and
fantastic shapes that it almost condemned itself. After all, the spirit
of Henry of Cluny or Peter Valdez was not very different from that of
Norbert or Robert of Arbrissel. But however ill-regulated, it was
another sign that the human mind had awakened from the sleep of the Dark
Ages. If the popular heretics could not reason, they could at least

[Sidenote: The revival of the study of law.]

We have still to deal with one of the great intellectual forces of the
twelfth century. The revival of the scientific study of law, which grew
up alongside the new birth of dialectic and philosophy, had almost as
powerful an influence as these studies in stimulating intellectual
interests, and had practical results of an even more direct and palpable
kind. The study of Roman Law had never been quite forgotten, especially
in Italy. The revival of the Roman Empire by the Ottos, the development
of the power of the secular state all over Europe, the growth of ordered
municipal government in southern Europe, and particularly in Italy, all
contributed to make this study more popular, more necessary, and more
universal. But side by side with the development of the civil power the
even greater growth of the ecclesiastical authority set up a law of the
Church in rivalry with the law of the State. The legal revival was thus
two-sided. There was a fresh interest in both the Civil Law, which Rome
had handed down, and in the Canon Law, which had slowly grown up in the
ecclesiastical courts The same age that witnessed the work of Irnerius
saw the publication of the _Decretum_ of Gratian.

[Sidenote: Irnerius and the revival of Civil Law.]

The early Middle Ages had an almost superstitious reverence for the
written law of Rome. Its decisions were still looked upon as eternal and
universally binding, even when practically it had been superseded by a
mass of fluctuating feudal custom. In Italy the elementary texts of the
Roman Law had always been studied, and its principles always upheld in
the courts. The eleventh century battle of Papacy and Empire became
before long a conflict of political principles and theories. Both sides
sought weapons in the legal treasures of ancient Rome. Accordingly the
eleventh century saw flourishing schools of law at Pavia, at Ravenna,
and perhaps at Rome. Early in the twelfth century the fame of Irnerius
led to the establishment of a still greater school of law at Bologna,
already the seat of flourishing schools of dialectic and literature, and
where the teaching of law had already been begun by Pepo. Irnerius was a
jurist in the service of the Countess Matilda, who, at her request,
lectured on the laws of Justinian, and particularly the Pandects, at
Bologna. The fact that he was afterwards in the service of Henry V.
shows that both the papal and imperial powers agreed in welcoming his
work. But with the appearance of Irnerius upholding the election of a
schismatic Pope in 1118, the new school of Civil Lawyers became frankly
imperialist, looking upon the law as furnishing an armoury of texts,
from which the divine rights and universal claims of the Roman Emperor
could be deduced, though also treating it as an intellectual discipline,
and almost as a literary exercise. Wealth, honour, and political
importance were showered on men, who possessed at once the key to
theoretical knowledge and to success in practical life. Even earlier
than at Paris, the law schools of Bologna became organised and
permanent. Before the end of the century, the crowds of mature foreign
students who flocked to hear the famous successors of Irnerius had set
up the student-university of Bologna, whose establishment is as much of
an epoch in the history of European thought as that of the university of
masters at Paris.

[Sidenote: The ‘Decretum’ of Gratian, and the growth of Canon Law.]

The Church had long had its own courts and its own law; but the victory
of the Hildebrandine system gave a new importance to the Courts
Christian and to the Canon Law which they upheld. It was the aim of the
Church reformers to draw a hard and fast line between Church and State,
and to bind together the scattered and often antagonistic corporations,
out of which the Church was constituted, into a single self-governing,
self-sufficing, independent body, of which the Pope was the absolute
monarch. All through the eleventh century efforts were made by leading
ecclesiastical lawyers to do for the law of the Church what was already
being done for the law of the State. Italy witnessed most of these
attempts, but the canonists of Germany and Gaul were not behindhand, and
the most famous of the early compilations, which appeared in 1115, was
the work of a north-French churchman, Ivo, Bishop of Chartres, a pupil
of Lanfranc of Bec. But these preliminary efforts were superseded by the
_Decretum_, or more accurately the _Concordantia discordantium Canonum_,
of Gratian, which probably appeared in 1142. Gratian was a monk of the
new order of Camaldoli, living in a convent at Bologna. The book which
he published was a text-book, the effort of a private student, with no
other authority than what it could command from its own merits. But its
merits were such that it swept all its predecessors out of the field,
and soon won something of the authority that belonged to a definite
codification of previous ecclesiastical jurisprudence. It appeared at
the right place and at the right moment. From that time onwards the
study of Canon Law stood side by side with that of the Civil Law at
Bologna, and the town of Irnerius and Gratian became the intellectual
centre of the great controversies of Church and State, which then
distracted Europe. Before long the Canon Law became as elaborate and
comprehensive a system as that Civil Law, which it copied, developed and
sometimes reacted against. The canonists became a band of specialists,
separated from the civilians on the one hand and the theologians on the
other. Just as the practical advantages of the study of Civil Law called
away the votaries of the unprofitable secular study of literature, so
did the practical uses of Canon Law divert active and ambitious
churchmen from the academic study of theology. Law became the attractive
science as well for ardent ecclesiastics as for men of the world. If it
involved less speculative activity than the studies it superseded, it
had the advantage of helping to bridge over the gulf between the little
world of isolated students and the broad world of everyday life. As the
revival of dialectic renewed men’s interests in abstract science, so did
the revival of law broaden men’s practical interests. If in the long-run
it gave weapons to Empire as well as to Papacy, the first result was to
complete the equipment of the hierarchy for the business of ruling the
world. While the civilian’s Empire was a theory, the canonist’s Papacy
was a fact. As living head of a living system, the Pope became a
constant fountain of new legislation for the Canon Law, while the Civil
Law remained as it had been in Justinian’s time, with little power of
adaptation to the needs of a changing state of society. [Sidenote: The
new movements strengthen the Church.] Stimulated by the religious
revival and the monastic movement, victorious over nascent heresy, yet
invigorated by the new activity of human thought, protected by the
enthusiasm which had brought about the Crusades, a state within the
state, with her own law, her own officers, and her own wonderful
organisation, the Church of the twelfth century stood at the very height
of her power, and drew fresh strength, even from the sources that might
well have brought about her ruin.

                               CHAPTER X
                    GERMANY AND ITALY, 1125–1152[15]

  Origin of the Hohenstaufen—Election of Lothair II. and consequent
    rivalry of Welf and Weiblingen—The reign of the Priests’
    Emperor—Norbert and Albert the Bear—Lothair and Italy—Roger unites
    Sicily and Naples—Honorius II.—Schism of Innocent II. and
    Anacletus—Lothair’s privilege to the Church—Election of Conrad
    III.—His contest with the Guelfs—The Eastward march of German
    civilisation—Final triumph of Innocent II.—Roger’s organisation of
    the Norman kingdom—Growth of municipal autonomy in northern and
    central Italy.

[Sidenote: Origin of the Hohenstaufen.]

Two thousand feet above the sea, on the very summit of one of the
northern outliers of the rugged Swabian Alp that separates the valley of
the upper Neckar from that of the upper Danube, stood the castle of
Hohenstaufen, that gave its name to the most gifted house that ever
ruled over the mediæval Empire. The hereditary land of the family lay
around, and a few miles east, nearer the Neckar valley, lies the village
of Weiblingen from which came the even more famous name of Ghibelline.
The lords of this upland region were true Swabian magnates, who were
gradually brought into greatness by their energy and zeal in supporting
the Empire. In the darkest days of his struggle with the Church, Henry
IV. had no more active or loyal partisan than Frederick of Büren or
Hohenstaufen, whom he married to his daughter Agnes, and upon whom he
conferred the duchy of Swabia. It was after the ancient fashion that the
new Duke of Swabia should find his chief enemy in the Duke of Bavaria.
But besides many a bitter feud with the papalist house of Welf or Guelf,
Frederick had to deal with no less formidable enemies within his own
duchy. The same disintegrating influences that were affecting all
Germany were at work in Swabia. Berthold of Zähringen, a mighty man in
the upper Rhineland, sought to attain the Swabian duchy by zealous
championship of the papal cause. After long fighting with the Staufer,
the lord of Zähringen was able to effect a practical division of the
duchy. In 1097 he was allowed all ducal rights in those Swabian lands
between Rhine and Alps, which in a later age became the centre of the
Swiss confederation. He did not lose even the title of duke, so that
with the Dukes of Zähringen as effective rulers of Upper Swabia, the
Hohenstaufen influence was limited to the north. The first Hohenstaufen
Duke of Swabia had, by the Emperor’s daughter, two sons, whose names
were Frederick and Conrad. [Sidenote: Frederick and Conrad.] These
nephews of Henry V. were always marked out by their uncle as his
successors. They inherited as a matter of course the private possessions
of the Salian house. They had already given proof that they were worthy
of a high destiny. Frederick, the elder, succeeded to his father’s duchy
of Lower Swabia. He was now thirty-five years old, strong, courageous,
ambitious, and well conducted. He had further strengthened his position
by marrying Judith, daughter of Henry the Black, the Guelfic Duke of
Bavaria (died 1126), a match which seemed likely to bridge over the
natural antagonism of the two great southern ‘nations’ of Germany.
Conrad, the younger brother, had obtained from his uncle the duchy of
Franconia. All south Germany might well seem united in support of
Frederick’s succession to the Empire. But the hierarchical party feared
lest the traditional attitude of the Staufer might imperil the triumph
of the Church. The feudal nobles were alarmed lest too vigorous a ruler
might limit their independence. The Saxons as ever were opposed to a
southern Emperor, likely to renew the Salian attack upon their national

[Sidenote: The Saxon Duchy and Lothair of Supplinburg.]

Saxony was still almost as vividly contrasted to the rest of Germany as
in the days when it gave Henry the Fowler and Otto the Great to save the
kingdom, that the last degenerate Frankish rulers had brought to the
verge of ruin. Despite many defeats and constant attacks, it was as
free, restless, strong and warlike as ever. In the later years of Henry
V.’s reign a new and vigorous duke had restored and reorganised its
fighting power. Lothair of Supplinburg was the son of that Count Gerhard
who had fallen in battle against Henry IV. on the banks of the Unstrut.
By his marriage with Richenza, niece of Egbert of Meissen, and
granddaughter of Otto of Nordheim, he had acquired the Saxon duchy,
which under his hands had lost nothing of its ancient character. While
the Dukes of Swabia had yielded the jurisdiction of the south to the
Dukes of Zähringen, while Franconia was hopelessly split between rival
houses, Lorraine divided between upper and lower Lorraine, and the
Margraves of the East Mark, who had already the power and were soon to
have the title of Dukes of Austria, had cut deep into the integrity of
the Bavarian duchy, while in all the duchies alike a swarm of counts and
barons had absorbed most of the effective attributes of sovereignty,
Saxony alone maintained its unity and independence. Whatever the
encroachments of the feudal principle, the Saxon duke still headed and
represented a nation proudly conscious of its greatness and fiercely
resentful of all southern influence. Lothair had grown old in long and
doubtful struggles against Henry V., and the Emperor had never ventured
to deprive his unruly subject of his duchy. The Duke had found his
position much strengthened, since the setting-up of a Danish
archbishopric at Lund in 1104 had barred the prospects of the Archbishop
of Bremen obtaining that northern patriarchate that Adalbert had of old
desired, and had in consequence destroyed the importance of the chief
ecclesiastical makeweight to his authority. He was no servile friend of
the hierarchy, but, after the Saxon fashion, he wished well to the
Church, as the best check upon the power of the imperialistic south.
Long experience had made him cautious, moderate, and politic. He was the
strongest noble in Germany.

[Sidenote: Election of Lothair II., 1125.]

In August 1125 the German magnates met together at Mainz to chose their
new king. The antagonism of the nations was so fierce that, while Saxons
and Bavarians encamped on the right bank of the Rhine, Swabians and
Franks took up their quarters on the opposite side of the stream. A
committee of forty princes, ten chosen from each of the four nations,
was set up to conduct the preliminary negotiations, and if possible, to
agree upon a candidate. Frederick of Swabia, Lothair of Saxony, and
Leopold of Austria were all proposed as candidates. The craft of
Adalbert of Mainz, as ever the foe of Henry V. and his house, prevented
the election of the Staufer, by representing to the princes that
Frederick’s choice would be interpreted as a recognition of an
hereditary claim. For the first time since the election of Conrad II.,
the magnates had a free hand, and they could not resist the temptation
to use it. Adalbert isolated Frederick by breaking up his new alliance
with the Guelfs. Conrad of Franconia was away on Crusade. The alliance
of Saxons and Bavarians, backed up by the skill of Adalbert, the zeal of
the Papalists and the enthusiasm of the Rhineland, led to the election
of Lothair.

[Sidenote: The reign of Lothair II., 1125–1138.]

Lothair II. reigned from 1125 to 1138. He was already sixty years old,
at his accession, but he ruled with energy and vigour. By marrying his
only daughter, Gertrude, to Henry the Proud, son of Duke Henry the
Black, he united his fortunes with those of the house of Guelf, and
prepared the way for that union of Saxony and Bavaria which had long
been the Guelfs’ dream. [Sidenote: The Hohenstaufen subdued.] In these
days the struggle of the rival families of Welf and Weiblingen, of Guelf
and Ghibelline, first brought out the famous antagonism that in later
times was extended over the Alps, and grew from a strife of hostile
houses to a warfare of contending principles, and finally degenerated
into the most meaningless faction fight that history has ever witnessed.

Lothair deprived Frederick of Swabia of part of the Salian lands
inherited from Henry V. This was the signal of war between Swabian and
Saxon, Weiblingen and Welf. In 1127 Conrad, the younger Hohenstaufen
brother, was set up as anti-king, and in 1128 crossed the Alps in quest
of the imperial crown and the heritage of the Countess Matilda. Milan
welcomed him, and crowned him with the Iron Crown. But the Pope,
Honorius II., excommunicated him, and he could make no way south of the
Apennines. Meanwhile King Lothair and his son-in-law, Henry the Proud,
took possession of the Rhenish towns that were the Hohenstaufen
strongholds, and devastated Swabia with fire and sword. In 1134
Frederick gave up the contest, and next year Conrad also made his
submission. Lothair showed politic magnanimity and left them their
hereditary possessions.

[Sidenote: Lothair and German Civilisation.]

In a Diet at Bamberg in 1135 Lothair proclaimed a general peace for
Germany. To Saxons and churchmen his reign was a golden age. ‘It is with
right,’ wrote a contemporary annalist, ‘that we call Lothair the father
of his country, for he upheld it strenuously and was always ready to
risk his life for justice’s sake.’ ‘He left behind him,’ said another,
‘such a memory that he will be blessed until the end of time: for in his
days the Church rejoiced in peace, the service of God increased, and
there was plenty in all things.’ He has been accused of sacrificing the
greatness of the Empire for the sake of immediate advantages. But there
is little evidence that he was ever false to the Concordat of Worms, and
it is hard to condemn a prince who, by accepting the ideas of the rights
of the Church that found favour at the time, was able to put down
domestic strife, and allow his people to advance in civilisation and

[Sidenote: The Slavs and the Danes.]

As the true heir of the Ottos, Lothair occupied himself with extending
German political supremacy and culture into Scandinavian and Slavonic
lands. His earlier efforts against the Bohemians were not successful,
but even before peace was restored in Germany, he forced King Niel of
Denmark and his son Magnus to do homage and pay tribute. He turned his
arms against the neighbouring Slavs, and brought back to his obedience
the chiefs of the Wagrians and the Abotrites. Duke Boleslav of Poland
recognised him as his lord, and agreed to hold Pomerania and Rügen as
fiefs of the Empire. Duke Sobeslav of Bohemia and King Bela II. of
Hungary referred their disputes to his arbitration. At his court were
seen the envoys of the Eastern Emperor and of the Venetians. Everywhere
his influence was recognised.

[Sidenote: Norbert and Albert the Bear.]

Lothair busied himself greatly with the revival of religion in his rude
Saxon duchy, and with the extension of Christianity and German political
influence amidst the heathens and half-heathens beyond the limits of his
Empire. Side by side with the soldiers of Albert the Bear, Margrave of
the North Mark, went the Christian missionaries and revivalists. At the
bidding of the Emperor, Norbert left Prémontré, and became Archbishop of
Magdeburg, and founded there a new house that became the second great
centre of Premonstratensian ideas. Through his influence secular canons
were removed from most of the cathedrals of eastern Saxony and the
Marches, and replaced by Premonstratensians. Norbert wished to make
Magdeburg the centre of missions to the East and a patriarchate over
Polish and Wendish Christianity. New bishoprics were founded in Poland
and half-heathen Pomerania, and the Polish Archbishop of Gnesen lost for
a time his metropolitical power. For a time the ideas of Adalbert of
Bremen were again in the ascendant, and the Pope restored the rights of
Bremen over Lund and the churches of Scandinavia. From Bremen Vicelin
brought Christianity to the conquered Wagrians and Abotrites. The
fortress of Siegburg, built by Lothair on the Trave, both assured his
supremacy and protected the famous monastery that grew up at its walls.

[Sidenote: Lothair and Italy.]

The alliance between Lothair and the Papacy did not involve the
abdication of any imperial rights in Italy, but the pressure of German
affairs put Italy somewhat in the background. A great series of changes
was now being brought about in Italy. In the north and centre the
communal revolution was, as we shall soon see, in full progress. In the
south the Norman power was being consolidated, while a fresh schism soon
distracted the Papacy.

[Sidenote: Union of Sicily and Apulia by Roger, Roger II., 1127.]

Since the conquest of Sicily from the Mohammedans by Roger, the youngest
brother of Robert Guiscard, the chief Norman lordship of southern Italy
had been divided between the two branches of the house of Tancred. Roger
ruled Sicily as its count until his death in 1101, when he was succeeded
by his son and namesake, Roger II., a child of four. Meanwhile the stock
of Robert Guiscard bore rule in Calabria and Apulia. Roger, son of
Robert, was Duke of Apulia from his father’s death in 1085 to his own
decease in 1111. His son and successor, William, was a weakling, and
upon his death without issue in 1127, the direct line of Robert became
extinct. Roger of Sicily had now long attained man’s estate, and had
shown his ability and energy in the administration of his county. After
his cousin’s death, he at once got himself accepted as Duke of Apulia
and Calabria by the mass of the Norman barons, and then directed his
resources towards conquering the states of southern Italy that were
still outside the power of his house. With the subjugation of the rival
Norman principality of Capua, and of the republics of Amalfi and Naples,
the unity of the later kingdom of Naples and Sicily was substantially

Since 1124 Lambert, Bishop of Ostia, the Bolognese lawyer who had ended
the Investiture Contest, had held the papal throne, with the title of
Honorius II., but he failed to show the decision of character necessary
to dominate the unruly local factions of Rome, or to resist the
usurpations of the Count of Sicily. [Sidenote: Honorius II., 1124–1130.]
The union of Apulia and Sicily threatened the Italian balance, but
Honorius strove in vain to form a league of Italian princes against
Roger. In 1128 he was forced to accept Roger as lord of Apulia. The
Norman soon scorned the titles of count and duke, which had contented
his predecessors, and soon had an opportunity of gratifying his ambition
to become a king.

[Sidenote: Schism of Innocent II. and Anacletus, 1130.]

On the death of Honorius II., the cardinals with due observance of all
proper forms, chose as their Pope Peter Pierleone, a former monk of
Cluny, who took the name of Anacletus II. But nothing could be less
Cluniac than this Cluniac Pope, the son of a Jewish banker who had
turned Christian, and made a great fortune at Rome during the
Investiture Contest. The house of Pierleone had taken a considerable
place among the great families of Rome, and one of the worst troubles of
Honorius II. had been its violent opposition to his rule. Peter had
shamelessly used his father’s money to buy over the majority, and the
worst and best motives led to the questioning of his election. The
houses of Corsi and Frangipani, who had had the ear of the last Pope,
were dismayed at the triumph of the head of the rival faction. The
strong hierarchical party had no faith in the Jewish usurer’s son.
Accordingly, five cardinals offered the Papacy to Gregory,
Cardinal-deacon of St. Angelo, who took the name of Innocent II., and
was at once hailed as the candidate of the stronger churchmen. But in
Rome he found himself powerless. He fled to Pisa, and thence to Genoa,
Provence, Burgundy, and France. Anacletus meanwhile reigned in Rome and
Italy, where, by granting the title of king to Roger of Sicily, he
secured the support of the Normans.

Anacletus and Innocent both appealed to Lothair. But the real decision
of their claims rested with Bernard of Clairvaux. Bernard had no faith
in the splendour and pride of Cluny, and showed little respect for the
forms of a papal election. He quickly perceived that the interests of
the hierarchy were involved in recognising Innocent, and with
characteristic enthusiasm declared for his cause, and soon won over
France and its king. Like Urban II., Innocent II. traversed France,
crowned Louis VII. at Reims, and presided over a synod at Clermont.
England, Castile, Aragon followed France in recognising him. Norbert
accepted eagerly the guidance of St. Bernard, and prevailed upon Lothair
to recognise Innocent.

[Sidenote: Lothair in Italy.]

Italy alone resisted, and Lothair crossed the Alps to win Italy for
Innocent, and receive from him the imperial crown. Germany took little
interest in his expedition, and the scanty band that followed him was
almost exclusively Saxon. Innocent availed himself of his coming to
return to Italy, and enter into the possession of the long-contested
inheritance of the Countess Matilda. In April 1133, Lothair and Innocent
entered Rome. But Anacletus held the Leonine city and the castle of St.
Angelo, and Innocent could only get possession of the Lateran, where he
crowned the Emperor on 4th June. [Sidenote: His coronation and issue of
privileges to the Church, 1133.] Four days later Innocent II. issued a
diploma of privilege to Lothair, in which the Pope, ‘not wishing to
diminish but increase the majesty of the Empire, granted the Emperor all
his due and canonical rights, and forbade the prelates of Germany laying
hands on the temporalities [regalia] of their offices, except from the
Emperor’s grant.’ An agreement was also arrived at with regard to the
inheritance of the Countess Matilda. Lothair consented to receive
Matilda’s fiefs from the Pope, and to pay tribute for them. At his death
they were to go to Henry of Bavaria, his son-in-law. By thus appearing
before the world as receiving from the Pope rights which he could well
claim as his own, Lothair secured for his family estates that might
otherwise have gone to the Hohenstaufen. But the Papalists were much
exalted at the submission of the Emperor. A German chronicler tells how
Innocent caused a picture to be painted, in which the Pope was
represented sitting on a throne, and the Emperor humbly receiving the
crown from his hands. Two insolent verses inscribed beneath it told how
the king had come to the gates of Rome, and had sworn to protect the
privileges of the city, and how he became the man of the Pope who gave
him the crown.[16]

[Sidenote: Lothair and the Normans of Sicily, 1136–7.]

Innocent had still much trouble with the Antipope, and his chief
supporter, Roger of Sicily. He soon withdrew from Rome to Pisa, where,
in 1134, he held a synod, which Bernard left Clairvaux to attend. But
not even the animating presence of the saint could make Anacletus and
Roger submit. Innocent was forced to continue at Pisa until, in 1136,
Lothair crossed the Alps a second time to help him. On this occasion the
Emperor came with an army, and St. Bernard’s fervid denunciations of the
Norman tyrant, who alone upheld to any purpose the schismatic cause,
gave the expedition the character of a crusade. Lothair performed
exploits, said Otto of Freising, in Calabria and Apulia such as no
Frankish king had done since the days of Charles the Great. He captured
some of the chief Norman towns, such as Bari and Salerno, while the
fleets of Pisa made precarious the communication between Calabria and
Sicily. Roger, after striving in vain to bribe the Emperor into retreat,
did not scruple to arm his Saracens against the two lords of the
Christian world. He retreated into the mountains of Calabria, while the
Pope and Emperor united in deposing him and conferring Apulia on
Reginald, a prominent Norman baron of that region. But at the moment of
victory Innocent and Lothair quarrelled. Both claimed to be the
suzerains of Apulia, and both claimed the sole right of investing the
new duke with his office. After a hot dispute, they agreed to hand over
jointly to Reginald the banner, which was the symbol of his dignity; but
before long Lothair hurried home, disgusted with his Papal ally, and
leaving Anacletus again in possession of Rome. The fatigues of war and
travel told upon him, and he died at a Tyrolese village on 4th December
1137, saved only by death from entering upon the footsteps of the Salian
enemies of the Church.

[Sidenote: Election of Conrad III., 1138.]

Henry the Proud, Duke of Bavaria, aspired to succeed his father-in-law,
having, besides large hereditary possessions, the duchies of Bavaria and
Saxony, while his enjoyment of the heritage of Matilda gave him an
equally important position in northern Italy and Tuscany. He boasted
that his authority stretched from the North Sea to the Mediterranean.
But the arrogance which gave him his nickname deprived him of personal
popularity, and his extraordinary resources made his accession disliked
by all who feared a strong monarchy, while the Church party, that had
procured the election of Lothair, was now alienated from him. The result
of all this was that the same circumstances that had led to Lothair’s
being made king in 1125, resulted, in 1138, in the rejection of his
son-in-law. Adalbero, Archbishop of Trier, a creature of Innocent II.,
played, in the vacancy of both Mainz and Cologne, the part which
Adalbert of Mainz had so cleverly filled on the previous occasion. He
summoned the electoral diet to meet in his own town of Coblenz. Though
Saxony and Bavaria sent no representatives, the magnates of Swabia and
Franconia gathered together at the appointed spot. Frederick, Duke of
Swabia, was no longer a candidate, but, on 7th March, his younger
brother, Conrad, the old enemy of Lothair, was chosen king.

[Sidenote: Contest of Conrad with the Guelfs.]

The struggle of Welf and Weiblingen soon broke out anew. Henry delivered
up the imperial insignia, and offered to acknowledge Conrad, if
confirmed in his possessions; but the new king would not accept these
terms, and before long deprived Henry of both his duchies. The margrave,
Albert the Bear, who, like Henry the Proud, claimed descent from the
Billung stock, was made Duke of Saxony, and Leopold of Austria, Conrad’s
half-brother, received Bavaria. Civil war inevitably followed. All
Saxony rallied round the Guelfs, and Albert was driven from his new
duchy. But in October 1139, Henry the Proud was carried off by a sudden
attack of fever, and a child ten years old succeeded. With the help of
his brother Frederick and the faithful Rhineland, Conrad invaded Saxony
in 1140, and won a victory at Weinsberg that secured him his throne, but
did not ensure the reduction of the Saxons. Next year the death of the
Austrian Duke of Bavaria made compromise more easy. In February 1142 a
treaty was signed at Frankfurt, by which the Saxons recognised Conrad as
king, and Conrad admitted the young Henry the Guelf to the duchy of
Saxony. Before long Gertrude, his mother, married Henry, the Count
Palatine, brother of Leopold of Austria, and another half-brother of
Conrad, who next year received his brother’s duchy of Bavaria. Thus the
great struggle ended in a compromise, in which, if Conrad retained the
throne, Saxony and Bavaria still remained under the influence of the
house of Guelf.

[Sidenote: The Second Crusade, 1147.]

Conrad was a gallant knight, liberal, attractive, and popular, but he
had little statecraft, and no idea how best to establish his position.
The preaching of the Second Crusade soon called him from the dull and
ungrateful work of ruling the Germans to adventures more attractive to
his spirit of knight-errantry. At Christmas 1146 he took the cross from
Bernard of Clairvaux in the cathedral of Speyer. Next spring he
proclaimed a general peace, and procured the coronation of his little
son Henry as joint king. Between 1147 and 1149 he was away from Germany
on Crusade. With him went his gifted nephew Frederick, who, in 1147, had
succeeded on the death of his father, the elder Frederick, to the Duchy
of Swabia. The Crusade was a failure, and the long absence of the
monarch still further increased the troubles of Germany.

[Sidenote: The eastward advance of the German kingdom.]

The crusading spirit rose so high under Bernard’s preaching that those
who could not follow Conrad to the Holy Land organised fresh Crusades
against the heathen who, despite the work of Norbert and Lothair, still
closely fringed the Empire on the east. The Saxons naturally took a
prominent share in this Crusade. But the rivalry of Albert the Bear and
Henry of Saxony, whom men now began to style Henry the Lion, prevented
any very immediate results flowing from these movements. Yet the
definitive conversion of Pomerania, and the acquisition by Albert of
Brandenburg, were important steps forward in the Germanisation of the
lands between Elbe and Oder. From the victories of Albert the Bear
begins the history of that Mark of Brandenburg, which in nearly every
after-age was to take so prominent a part in German history. In later
years, when the strong rule of Frederick Barbarossa kept local feuds
within bounds, Albert the Bear and Henry the Lion vied with each other
as pioneers of German civilisation in the north-east. At the moment it
was enough for Henry the Lion to consolidate his power in Saxony. When
Conrad came back from Syria he found that Count Welf, a kinsman of Henry
the Lion who had returned early from the Crusade, had raised a
rebellion. When this was suppressed, Henry the Lion again claimed
Bavaria and prepared for revolt. The young King Henry, in whose name the
country had been ruled during his father’s absence, now died
prematurely, and on 15th February 1152 Conrad followed him to the tomb.

Never did the affairs of Papacy and Empire run in more separate courses
than during the reign of Conrad III. While Europe as a whole paid
unquestioning obedience to the Papal power, the last period of the
Pontificate of Innocent II., and nearly the whole of the reigns of his
immediate successors, were occupied in sordid struggles with the Roman
nobility, with disobedient neighbours, and with rebellious vassals.
After the retreat of Lothair over the Alps, Innocent II. was again left,
in 1137, to contend against the Antipope and his partisans. His position
was, however, stronger than it had been, and he was able to maintain
himself in Rome, despite Anacletus’ continued presence in the castle of
St. Angelo. But the loss of the imperial presence was soon far more than
balanced by the arrival of a man whose support outweighed that of kings
and princes. In the spring of 1137 Bernard crossed the Alps, resolved to
make a last desperate effort to root out the remnants of the schism that
he had laboured against for seven years. He reached Rome, and instead of
falling back on his usual methods of violent and indiscriminate
denunciation, he prudently had recourse to private conferences with the
few despairing partisans of the schismatic Peter. There is perhaps no
more convincing testimony to Bernard’s powers of persuasion than his
victory over the rude Roman barons and greedy self-seeking priests, who
upheld the Antipope through family tradition or through fear of losing
their revenues. He had talked many of them over when the opportune death
of the Antipope in January 1138 precipitated his inevitable triumph. The
schismatics chose a new Antipope, who took the name of Victor IV., but
his policy was to negotiate terms of surrender, not to prolong the
division. In a few weeks Bernard persuaded him to surrender his dignity
to Innocent. Bernard at once returned to Clairvaux, the crowning work of
his life successfully accomplished.

[Sidenote: The Second General Lateran Council, 1139.]

In April 1139 Innocent II. consummated his triumph by holding a General
Council in the Lateran, which was attended by a thousand bishops. This
second Lateran Council was reckoned by the Westerns as the Tenth General
Council. It removed the last traces of the schism, and re-enacted more
formally the canons already drawn up in the Pope’s presence at the
Council of Reims of 1131. It is significant of the future that the
Council condemned the errors of Arnold of Brescia.

[Sidenote: Innocent II. and Roger II. of Sicily.]

Innocent thus restored the Papacy to its old position in things
spiritual, but not even St. Bernard could give him much help against
Roger of Sicily. After the quarrel of Pope and Emperor, the Norman king
speedily won back his position in Apulia and Calabria, and even at the
very end of the schism his influence had forced Monte Casino, the mother
of all Western monasticism, to acknowledge Anacletus. Spiritual weapons
were useless against Roger. No sooner, therefore, was the council over
than Innocent took the field in person against his rebellious vassal.
The fate of Leo IX. was speedily repeated. The papal army was no match
against Roger’s veterans, and Innocent, shut up in San Germano, was
forced to yield himself prisoner. Roger showed the head of the Church
the same respect which Robert had shown his predecessor. But the Pope
could only win back his liberty by confirming to the Norman all the
advantages which he had formerly wrested from the weakness of Anacletus.
The treaty of Mignano again restored the old alliance between the Papacy
and the Italian Normans. Roger did homage to Innocent for Sicily,
Apulia, and Capua. A great south Italian kingdom was thus definitely
legalised which, in the varied changes of subsequent history,
obstinately maintained its unity with itself and its separateness from
the rest of the peninsula.

[Sidenote: The organisation of the kingdom of Sicily under Roger II.,

Roger governed the state which he had founded with rare ability and
energy. He was a true Norman, and many features of his character suggest
a comparison between him and William the Conqueror. He now showed as
much capacity in statecraft as he had previously shown as a warrior.
Fierce, relentless, and unforgiving, he ruthlessly crushed the barons
that had profited by the period of struggle to consolidate their
independence, and built up a well-ordered centralised despotism, that
was able to give examples in the art of government to Henry of Anjou.
With rare sympathy and skill, he permitted the motley population of his
new kingdom to live their old lives under their old laws. The Saracens
of Sicily that had faithfully supported him in the days of his
adversity, continued in their former abodes, occupying separate
districts in the cities, worshipping without hindrance in their mosques,
and still governed in the petty matters of everyday life by their own
judges after the laws of Islam. The Byzantine Greeks, still numerous in
the towns of Calabria, enjoyed similar immunities for their schismatic
worship, and still followed the Roman law. Arabic and Greek were equally
recognised with Latin as official languages in the public acts, and
Roger’s coins bore Arabic devices. The court of the king took a
character of Eastern pomp and luxury that anticipated the times of
Frederick II. A Greek general led Roger’s armies, and a Greek churchman,
who wrote a book against the Roman primacy, shared with Arab physicians,
geographers, and astronomers the patronage of the Norman king. The very
monuments of art show the same strange juxtaposition of the stern
romanesque of Neustria with the mosaics of the Byzantines, and the
brilliant decorations of Arabic architects. Roger made Naples and Sicily
one of the best-governed states in Europe, and with the happy quickness
of sympathy and readiness to learn and borrow, which was the best mark
of the Norman genius, combined elements the most diverse and unpromising
into a happy and contented whole.

[Sidenote: Roger’s later wars.]

Despite his energy at home, Roger pursued an active external policy. He
remained a faithful but an unruly ally of the Papacy. Like Robert
Guiscard he turned his ambition against Constantinople, and Europe saw
the strange spectacle of Manuel Comnenus allied with Conrad III. in
withstanding the aggressions. But Roger’s most important wars were those
against the Saracens, whom he pursued into Africa. His first and most
permanent conquest was Malta, which remained until the sixteenth century
a part of the Sicilian realm. [Sidenote: Conquest of North Africa.] The
Mohammedan princes of North Africa recognised him as their lord and
opened their ports to his merchants. In 1146 his admiral conquered
Tripoli, and in 1148 Roger himself led a large expedition to Africa.
After the capture of Tunis, the whole coast line from Cape Bon to
Tripoli was subject to the Norman king, who boasted that the African
obeyed him as well as the Apulian, the Calabrian, and the Sicilian.
After a long reign, he died in 1154, with the reputation of one of the
greatest kings of his time.

[Sidenote: Growth of municipal autonomy in Lombardy.]

While southern Italy settled down into a well-ordered state, a very
different process was at work in the north, where the feudal nobility
had never been strong, and the towns had always been important. As the
contest between Papacy and Empire became chronic, the general tendency
was for the feudal nobility to uphold the Empire, and the townsmen the
cause of the Church. As in the days of the early Church, each Italian
town of any importance was the seat of a bishop, who became the natural
leader of the citizens in their struggle against the rustic nobility.
This tendency was particularly strong in Lombardy, where the logic of
facts and lavish grants of imperial privilege had conferred on the
bishops the power of the ancient counts, or had subordinated the
imperial officers under the episcopal authority. In Lombardy therefore
the municipal revolution broke out, though it soon spread to all
northern and central Italy.

The municipal government of Lombardy grew up gradually and almost
imperceptibly under the shade of the episcopal power. The townsfolk
became more numerous and more wealthy. The inland cities became great
seats of manufacturing industry, important market centres, or, like
Bologna and Padua, famous for their schools. The towns on or near the
sea found even greater prosperity through foreign trade. The necessity
of common action in business, no less than juxtaposition in common
residence behind strong walls, brought together the citizens in a common
unity of feeling. The very subordinate agents of the bishops’ power
supply the rudiments of a common organisation. The eleventh century very
commonly saw the citizens in revolt against their episcopal protectors.
Milan, when on the side of its archbishop, had been strong enough to
enable Aribert to wage war against the Emperor himself [see pages 58,
59]. In the next generation Milan and its archbishops were generally at
war. The quarrel of Pope and Emperor made it easy for the dexterous
townsmen to play the ecclesiastical and the temporal authority against
each other, and Popes and Emperors alike were prepared to bid heavily
for its support. Thus the ‘regalia,’ which the bishops had usurped from
the counts, passed in some way from them to the citizens. By the
beginning of the twelfth century the great towns of the north had become
self-governing municipalities.

At the head of the municipal organisation stood the _consuls_, the chief
magistrates of the town, varying widely in numbers, authority, and
method of appointment, but everywhere the recognised heads of the city
state. The consulate, which began in Italy towards the end of the
twelfth century, was in its origin a sworn union of the citizens of a
town bent upon obtaining for themselves the benefits of local autonomy.
Private, and often, like the North French _Commune_, rebellious in its
early history, the consulate in the end obtained the control of the
municipal authority. With its erection or recognition begins the
independent municipal organisation of the Italian cities.[17] Besides
the ruling consuls was a council, or _credentia_, of the ‘wise men’ of
the city, acting as a senate. Beyond these governing bodies was the
_communitas_, meeting on grave occasions in a common _parlamentum_ or
conference. The local life of the municipalities was intensely active,
but there were fierce jealousies and perpetual faction fights between
the different orders of the population. The even more violent local
hatred of neighbouring cities made common action almost impossible, and
led to constant bloody wars. But despite these troubles, the Lombard
cities grew in wealth, trade, numbers, and reputation.

[Sidenote: The Tuscan cities.]

The Tuscan cities followed at a distance the example of their northern
neighbours. It was their chief concern to wrest municipal privileges
from the feudal marquises, who had up to this point ruled town and
country alike. Even more conspicuously than the inland towns, the
maritime cities attained wealth and freedom. Pisa, Genoa, and Venice
obtained, as we have seen, a great position in the East from the time of
the First Crusade. While Venice stood apart, proud of its dependence on
the Eastern Emperor, the life of the other maritime cities was much the
same as that of the inland towns, save that it was more bustling,
tumultuous, and varied. Before the end of eleventh century, Pisa and
Genoa had driven the Saracens out of Corsica and Sardinia, and set up
their own authority in their stead.

The free, restless life of the Italian commune offered a splendid field
for the intellectual revival which we have traced in the preceding
chapter. Side by side with the development of Italian municipalities,
went the growth of the famous schools of Italy. The Italian scholars
were for the most part townsmen, laymen, and lawyers. While the students
north of the Alps became a little cosmopolitan aristocracy of talent,
living in a world of their own, and scarcely influenced by the political
life around them, the Italian students easily became politicians and
leaders of men. Abelard led no revolt save against the tyranny of
authority and teachers of obsolete doctrine. His chief Italian disciple
became the first educated popular leader known to the mediæval world.
With the influence of Arnold of Brescia the gulf between the new life of
action and the new life of speculation was bridged over.

Arnold of Brescia was born in the town from which he took his name. At
Paris he became an ardent disciple and personal friend of Abelard.
Returning to his native city, he became provost of a foundation of
Canons Regular, and a conspicuous influence both in the spiritual and
political life of the town. [Sidenote: Early life of Arnold of Brescia.]
He had the love of novelty, the restless vanity, the acute sceptical
intellect of his brilliant teacher. He preached that priests were to
live on the tithes and free offerings of the faithful, that bishops were
to renounce their ‘regalia,’ and monks their lands, and the laity only
were to rule the state. Under his leadership, Brescia, like the other
Lombard cities, cast off the bishop’s rule, but Innocent II. took up the
bishop’s cause, and, as we have seen, the Lateran Council of 1139
deprived Arnold of his benefice and banished him from Italy. He again
crossed the Alps, stood by the side of Abelard at the Council of Sens,
and returned to Paris, and taught at Abelard’s old school on Mont Ste.
Geneviève. But his doctrine of apostolic poverty was too extreme to
please the ambitious clerks who thronged the Paris schools, and he was
pursued by the inveterate malice of Bernard, who persuaded Louis VII. to
drive the heretic from France. Arnold retired to Zürich, whence he soon
wandered, preaching, through the valleys of upper Swabia, protected
against Bernard’s anger by the papal legate Cardinal Guido, his old
Paris comrade. The abbot of Clairvaux was furious with the cardinal.
‘Arnold of Brescia,’ he wrote, ‘whose speech is honey, whose doctrine
poison, the man whom Brescia has vomited forth, whom Rome abhors, whom
France drives to exile, whom Germany curses, whom Italy refuses to
receive, obtains thy support. To be his friend is to be the foe of the
Pope and God.’ In 1145 Arnold returned to Italy with Guido, and was
reconciled to the Church. With his arrival in Rome to work out his
penance, the last and greatest period of his career begins.

The end of the Pontificate of Innocent II. was marked by the beginning
of a fierce fight between the Pope and the city of Rome. The old Roman
spirit of opposition to the Pope had been revived by the long struggle
of the typically Roman Anacletus, and what had been accomplished in
Milan and Brescia seemed no impossible ideal for the Romans. [Sidenote:
The last years of Innocent II.] In 1143 the Romans, enraged at the
refusal of Innocent to destroy the rival city of Tivoli, set up a
Commune, at the head of which was a popular Senate, to exercise the
power hitherto in the hands of the noble consuls or the Pope himself.
[Sidenote: The Roman revolution.] Before long they chose as ‘Patrician’
Giordano Pierleone, a kinsman of Anacletus. Innocent II. died at the
very beginning of the struggle. [Sidenote: Celestine II., 1143–4, Lucius
II., 1144–5, and Eugenius III., 1145–1154.] His successor, Celestine
II., reigned only from September 1143 to March 1144, and was powerless
to withstand the Commune. The next Pope, Lucius II., put himself at the
head of the nobles, went to war against it, but was slain while
attempting to storm the Capitol (February 1145). This time the timid
cardinals went outside their own number, and chose Eugenius III., the
abbot of the Cistercian convent of Tre Fontane in the Campagna, a man
whose chief recommendation was the ostentatious patronage of St.
Bernard, and who was a simple and timid monk quite unversed in
statecraft. Immediately after his election Eugenius fled from Rome, and
after some temporising he crossed the Alps in 1147, leaving the Roman
republic triumphant. He remained absent till 1148, mainly engaged in
furthering the work of Bernard.

[Sidenote: Arnold of Brescia and Rome.]

Arnold of Brescia now abandoned his spiritual exercises and put himself
at the head of the Roman revolution. All Rome listened spellbound to his
eloquence while he preached against the pride and greed of the
cardinals, and denounced the Pope as no shepherd of souls, but a man of
blood and the torturer of the Church. His hope was now to free Rome
permanently from all priestly rule, to reduce the clergy to apostolic
poverty, and to limit them to their purely spiritual functions. Rome was
to be a free municipality subject only to the Emperor, who was to make
the city the centre and source of his power, like the great Emperors of
old. ‘We wish,’ wrote the Romans to Conrad III., ‘to exalt and glorify
the Roman Empire, of which God has given you the rule. We would restore
it as it was in the days of Constantine and Justinian. We have restored
the Senate. We strive with all our might that Cæsar may enjoy his own.
Come over and help us, for you will find in Rome all that you wish.
Settle yourself firmly in the City that is the head of the world, and,
freed from the fetters of the clergy, rule better than your predecessors
over Germany and Italy.’ But Conrad, intent on his crusading projects,
paid no heed to the Roman summons.

[Sidenote: Arnold of Brescia and St. Bernard.]

Bernard saw as keenly as Arnold of Brescia how the political influence
and wealth of the Church were in danger of overshadowing its religious
work. ‘Who will permit me to see before I die,’ he wrote to Eugenius,
‘the Church of God so ordered as it was in the old days, when the
Apostles cast their nets to fish for souls and not for gold and silver?’
But he recognised in Arnold’s policy an attack on the influence of the
Church, not merely an assault on its worldly possessions and dignities.
He carried on the war against Arnold with more acerbity than ever.
Eugenius again passed over into Italy to measure swords with the Roman
republic. When personal intercourse ceased, Bernard sent to the Pope his
book _De Consideratione_, in which he warned the Papacy to follow the
Apostles and not Constantine, and lamented the danger lest the avarice
of lordship and apostolate should prove fatal to it. It is strange how
nearly the arch-enemies Arnold of Brescia and Bernard approached each
other, both in their ideas and in their way of life. Both lived like
ascetics. Both hated the pomp and show of priestly dignity, and wished
to keep the Church apart from the world. Yet the pupil of Abelard was
the apostle of the lay spirit; and the last of the fathers was the
greatest pillar of that sacerdotal autocracy, whose dangers to spiritual
life he so fully realised.

Eugenius now accepted the new constitution of the City, and was content
to act as the spiritual chief of his diocese. But even on these
conditions a prolonged stay in Rome was impossible. In 1150 the conflict
was renewed. But the death of King Conrad, two years later, put an end
to the state of things that had prevailed since the end of the
Investiture Contest. Conscious that under his hands the imperial power
had suffered some diminution, Conrad on his death-bed bade his friends
pay no regard to the claims of his infant son, but secure the succession
to his well-tried nephew Frederick. The year after, Bernard of
Clairvaux, the wielder of the Church’s might, followed the king to the
tomb. We now enter into a new period, when the changed relations of
Church and State correspond to a mighty development of the economical
and industrial powers of the people of western Europe. The imperial
power was to be renewed, and, as in the days of the Saxon Emperors, was
to save the Papacy from its Roman enemies, only to enter again into
fierce conflict with it for the rule of the world. The quiet period,
during which each country was free to work out its own development, and
during which, in the absence of great rulers, the dominating influences
were those of the leaders and opponents of the new religious movement,
is succeeded by another period, when the chief interest again shifts
back to politics. The age of Bernard and Abelard is succeeded by the age
of Frederick Barbarossa and Henry of Anjou.


                  Welf IV.                                                       HENRY IV.,
        Duke of Bavaria, _d._ 1101.                                              _d._ 1106.
                     |                                                               |
        +------------+------------+                                                  |
        |                         |                                                  |
  Welf V., _d._ 1120,        Henry the Black,              Frederick of Büren, _m._ 1. Agnes. _m._ 2. Leopold III. of Babenberg,
 _m._ Countess Matilda.    Duke of Bavaria, _d._ 1126.       Duke of Swabia,         |                   Margrave of Austria.
                                  |                             _d._ 1105.           |
                                  |                      (1)                         |       (1)                   (2)            (2)
             +-----------------+--+---------+              +----------------------------------+---------------------+-------------+
             |                 |            |              |                                  |                     |             |
      Henry the Proud,       Welf VI.    Judith, _m._ 1. Frederick, _m._ 2. Agnes of      CONRAD III.       Henry Jasomirgott     Otto,
         _d._ 1139,         _d._ 1191.                 Duke of Swabia,      Saarbrücken.  (1138–1152).       Duke of Austria,   Bishop of
 _m._ Gertrude, daughter of    |                         _d._ 1147.                           |                    1156.        Freising.
  Lothair of Supplinburg.   Welf VII.            (1)        |       (2)                       |
         |                  _d._ 1167             +---------+--------+                 +------+------+
         |                                        |                  |                 |             |
         |                             FREDERICK I. (Barbarossa),    Conrad,         Henry,      Frederick of
   Henry the Lion,                             (1152–1190),      Count Palatine,   _d._ 1150.     Rothenburg,
 _m._ Matilda of England.              _m._ Beatrice of Burgundy.   _d._ 1195.                  Duke of Swabia,
         |                                         |                                               _d._ 1167.
         |                                         |
         +--------------------------+              +-----------+-------------------+-----------------+
         |                          |                          |                   |                 |
   OTTO IV., _d._ 1218.           William,                   HENRY VI.         Frederick,     PHILIP of Swabia,
 _m._ 1. Beatrice, daughter of      |                       (1190–1197),        Duke of          _d._ 1208.
         Philip of Swabia.   Otto the Child, first  _m._ Constance of Sicily.   Swabia,              |
      2. Mary, daughter of    Duke of Brunswick,                |              _d._ 1191.      +-----+-------------+
         Henry IV. of          and ancestor of           FREDERICK II.,                        |                   |
         Brabant.               later dukes.      _m._ 1. Constance of Aragon.             Beatrice,           Beatrice,
                                                       2. Iolande of Brienne.            _m._ Otto IV.    _m._ Ferdinand III.
                                                       3. Isabella, daughter of                               of Castile.
                                                            John of England.                                       |
         (1)                  (2)               (3)         (3)|                                              Alfonso X.
          +--------------------+----------------+--------------+--------------+-------------------+           of Castile
          |                    |                |              |              |                   |
        Henry,             CONRAD IV.         Henry,       Margaret,        Enzio,             Manfred,
      _d._ 1242.           1250–1254.       _d._ 1253.   _m._ Albert of    _d._ 1272           _d._ 1266
                               |                           Thuringia.   (illegitimate).     (illegitimate).
                           Conradin,                                                              |
                           _d._ 1268.                                                         Constance,
                                                                                      _m._ Peter III. of Aragon.

                               CHAPTER XI
                      AND EMPIRE (1152–1190).[18]

  Election and Policy of Frederick I.—Frederick and Adrian IV.—Fall of
    Arnold of Brescia—Frederick’s early German Policy—The Burgundian
    Marriage and the Diet of Besançon—Breach with the Papacy—Frederick’s
    Second Italian Journey—Diet of Roncaglia and Destruction of
    Milan—Alexander III. and the Antipopes—The Lombard League—Battle of
    Legnano—Peace of Constance—Frederick and Germany—Fall of Henry the
    Lion—Division of the Saxon Duchy—Union of Sicily with the Empire—The
    Lateran Council and the last days of Alexander III.—His
    Successors—Urban III. and Frederick—The Crusade and Death of
    Frederick—His Personality and Character.

[Sidenote: Election of Frederick I., 1152.]

‘It is the cardinal principle of the law of the Roman Empire,’ wrote
Otto of Freising, ‘that the succession depends not upon hereditary
right, but on the election of the princes.’ According to this precept
the magnates of Germany met in March 1152 at Frankfurt to appoint a
successor to Conrad III. Some of the barons of Italy attended the
assembly. ‘There were,’ wrote Otto, ‘two mighty houses in the Roman
Empire, one that of the Henrys of Weiblingen, the other that of the
Welfs of Altorf. The one was wont to furnish mighty emperors, the other
puissant dukes. These families, jealous of each other, had been long
accustomed to disturb the tranquillity of the commonwealth by their
feuds, but in the days of Henry V. Frederick, the duke, representative
of the royal stock, had married the daughter of Henry, Duke of the
Bavarians, the representative of the ducal family. The offspring of this
union was Duke Frederick, and the princes, regarding not only the energy
and valour of the young duke, but considering that he shared the blood
of both houses, and like a corner-stone could bind the two together,
chose him as their king that thus with God’s blessing he might end their
ancient quarrel.’

[Sidenote: Frederick’s policy.]

The new king was well worthy of the general confidence which he
inspired. Already thirty years of age, he had abundantly displayed rare
gifts both as a statesman and as a general. He had administered his
duchy of Swabia with energy and success. He had combined loyalty to his
uncle Conrad with friendship for his cousin Henry the Lion, and his
mediation had saved Duke Welf VI. in the time of his greatest disaster.
His exploits on the Crusade had spread abroad his fame, and the few
survivors who had reached home in safety recognised that they owed their
lives to his courage and policy. He was admired for his kingly bearing
and fair proportions, for the chivalry and generosity of his character,
for his independent attitude towards the Church, for the subtle policy
so rarely combined with the simple virtues of the hero of romance.

Frederick threw himself, with all the passionate ardour of his
character, into the difficult task of restoring the waning glories of
the Empire. For the thirty-seven years of life that remained to him, he
never faltered in his task. To him Germany and Italy were but two
sections of that Holy Roman Empire whose rights and dignities he strove
with all his might to uphold. ‘During all his reign,’ wrote a
chronicler, ‘nothing was nearer his heart than re-establishing the
Empire of Rome on its ancient basis.’ To him every right that had been
exercised by Justinian or Constantine, by Charlemagne or Otto the Great,
was literally his right as the lawful successor of these mighty rulers.
He has been very truly described as an ‘imperialist Hildebrand,’ and
Hildebrand himself had not a more lofty consciousness of his high
purpose and divine mission to establish God’s kingdom on earth. But he
was no dreamer like Otto, ‘the wonder of the world.’ He strove to
realise his lofty ideals with shrewd practical wisdom and businesslike
command of details. The great jurists of Bologna, who constantly stood
round his throne, not only taught him that the Emperor was lord of the
world, and that the will of the prince had the force of law, but
illustrated to the most minute detail the individual prerogatives of his
office. His German subjects re-echoed these sentiments, and his uncle,
Bishop Otto of Freising, taught that to the Emperor belonged the
protection of the whole world. When bitter experience showed him that
all his strength and all his faith were of little avail in setting up
again a polity which the age had outlived, he had perforce to
distinguish between his position as German King and Roman Emperor, and
apply one method in breaking down the turbulent feudalism of his
northern kingdom and another in checking the growing spirit of municipal
independence in the lands beyond the Alps. In Italy his path seemed
strewn with disasters, and even in Germany he obtained no very brilliant
success. But if he failed, his was one of the most magnificent failures
in history, a failure which did not prevent him from handing on his
power almost unimpaired to his son. With all his faults, Frederick
remains the noblest embodiment of mediæval kingship, the most imposing,
the most heroic, and the most brilliant of the long line of German
princes, who strove to realise the impracticable but glorious political
ideal of the Middle Ages.

Frederick from the first directed his attention to Italy, and in March
1153 concluded a treaty with the fugitive Eugenius III. at Constance. By
this he agreed to make no peace with Roger of Sicily without the
approval of the Curia, and to reduce the rebellious City to obedience to
the Pope, in return for the promise of the imperial crown and papal
support against his enemies. [Sidenote: The settlement of Germany,
1152–1154.] But Frederick was too wise to hurry across the Alps before
he was assured of the obedience of Germany, where from the moment of his
coronation he went on progress, receiving the homage of his vassals and
seeking to appease ancient feuds. The loyalty of Henry the Lion was
rewarded by the formal grant of the duchy of Bavaria, while Frederick’s
own duchy of Swabia was granted to his cousin Frederick of Rothenburg.
Berthold of Zähringen, a possible rival for this position, was
conciliated by his appointment as rector or viceroy in Burgundy. Henry,
Archbishop of Mainz, paid the penalty of his solitary opposition to
Frederick’s election by his deposition from his archbishopric on a
charge of wasting the lands of his see. Even beyond the limits of
Germany, the Scandinavian and Slavonic princes were taught that there
was again an Emperor, and the disputed succession to Denmark was settled
by Frederick’s mediation, and the king, Svend, who owed his throne to
Frederick’s action, submitted to become his feudal dependant. But after
two years the outlook in Italy became so threatening that Frederick was
compelled to leave his German work half undone and hurry across the Alps
with a small force hastily collected. [Sidenote: Frederick’s first
Italian visit, 1154–55.] Accompanied by Henry the Lion, and the Bavarian
palatine, Otto of Wittelsbach, and only 1800 knights, he crossed the
Brenner in October 1154 and appeared in the plain of Lombardy. He held
his Diet at Roncaglia near Piacenza, and received the homage of the
barons and cities of Italy. Milan held sullenly aloof, but small as was
Frederick’s following, the destruction of Tortona (Easter, 1155), an
ally of Milan, taught the Italians that the Emperor was to be feared.
After receiving the Lombard crown at Pavia, Frederick marched through
Tuscany to Rome.

The condition of the Papacy was still critical, though the persistence
of Eugenius III. had broken the back of the Roman opposition, and Arnold
of Brescia had already begun to lose influence among the fickle Romans.
But Eugenius III. had died on 8th July 1153, and his successor, the mild
Anastasius IV., dwelt continuously in Rome until his death, after a
reign of less than a year and a half, on 3rd December 1154. The next
Pope, Adrian IV., was the only Englishman who ever occupied the throne
of St. Peter. The son of a poor man, Nicholas Breakspear had adopted the
life of a wandering scholar, and had worked his way up to the headship
of the house of Canons Regular of St. Rufus, near Valence on the Rhone.
[Sidenote: Adrian IV., 1154–1159.] His stern rule excited the hostility
of the canons whose complaints to Eugenius III. first attracted the
Pope’s notice to him. In 1146 he was made cardinal-bishop of Albano, and
was soon afterwards sent on an important legation to Scandinavia, in the
course of which he freed the northern churches from their dependency on
Germany, by setting up the new archbishopric of Trondhjem. Soon after
his return he was elected to the Papacy. Adrian IV. was a man of high
character, sound learning, and kindly disposition. He fully felt the
responsibility of his great office, declaring that ‘the Pope’s tiara was
splendid because it burnt like fire.’ His pontificate began amidst
street-fights in which a cardinal was slain; but Adrian took the strong
measure of laying Rome under interdict, and the inconstant citizens,
whose gains were decreased by the refusal of pilgrims to visit a city
under the Pope’s ban, made their submission to him and drove out Arnold
of Brescia, who spent the short remainder of his life as a wandering
fugitive. But William, the new King of Sicily, devastated Campania, and
threatened to march on Rome. In his despair, Adrian renewed with
Frederick the Treaty of Constance, and went out to Nepi to meet him. The
good understanding was almost destroyed when Frederick refused to hold
the bridle of the Pope’s horse and assist him to dismount, and the
alliance was only renewed by Frederick’s submission, which was rendered
necessary by the sullen hostility of the Romans to Frederick and Adrian
alike. [Sidenote: Coronation of Frederick, 18th June 1155.] On 18th June
Adrian crowned Frederick Emperor in St. Peter’s, hastily and almost
secretly, for fear of the Romans, who, on hearing of it, rushed to arms.
Frederick could only hold his ground by hard fighting, and soon lack of
provisions forced him to flee from Rome, taking the Pope with him. The
fierce heat of the Italian summer had already decimated Frederick’s
little army, and he now resolved to recross the Alps, leaving Adrian to
his fate. [Sidenote: Death of Arnold of Brescia.] The only act of power
that had followed the reconciliation of Pope and Emperor was the
execution of Arnold of Brescia, who had been taken prisoner in Tuscany
by the Emperor, and having been handed over to the cardinals, was
condemned and executed as a heretic. His dead body was burnt at the
stake. ‘His ashes,’ says Otto of Freising, ‘were thrown into the Tiber,
that his relics might not be worshipped by the obstinate populace.’
Arnold’s work, the Roman Commune, lived after him, and Adrian, after the
Emperor’s departure, was forced to make terms with it.

[Sidenote: Troubles in Germany.]

On recrossing the Brenner, Frederick began anew the task of reconciling
Germany, which had been interrupted by his Italian journey. Fierce feuds
had burst out all over Germany, and in particular the quarrels of
Arnold, the new Archbishop of Mainz, with Hermann, Count Palatine of the
Rhine, had laid waste the Rhineland. The establishment of Henry the Lion
as Duke of Bavaria had been bitterly resented by Frederick’s uncle,
Henry of Austria, called, from his favourite oath, ‘Henry Jasomirgott,’
who still waged fierce war against his rival for the possession of his
former duchy. But the return of the Emperor was soon marked by good
results, and from the measures taken to appease the aggrieved
feudatories sprang a new departure in the territorial history of
Germany. In September 1156 he ended the rivalry of Henry the Lion and
Henry of Austria by investing the latter with Austria, erected into a
new duchy absolutely independent of Bavaria, and itself indivisible,
hereditary in the house of Babenberg even in the female line, and exempt
from many of the burdens usually imposed on the great fiefs. [Sidenote:
The Duchy of Austria established, 1156.] In the creation of the duchy of
Austria, Frederick prepared the way for the more sweeping changes in the
same direction which followed the fall of Henry the Lion in 1180.
Leaving the control of northern and eastern Germany to Albert the Bear
and the two Henrys, Frederick attempted to consolidate his own dynastic
power in the south-west. He punished the disorderly Count Palatine
Hermann for his attacks on Mainz, by depriving him of his possessions.
These he granted to his half-brother Conrad, his father’s son by his
second marriage, and already possessor of the hereditary Salic estates
round Worms, the Palatinate of the Rhine. Conrad united these two
districts to form a new territorial power, that had for its centre the
recently-founded castle and town of Heidelberg, and was the
starting-point of the later Palatinate. In 1156 Frederick married
Beatrice, the heiress of Renaud of Macon, Count of Burgundy.[19]
[Sidenote: Frederick’s marriage and Burgundian policy.] This match
immensely strengthened the imperial power in that Middle Kingdom where
it was always weak, and moreover materially extended the domains of
Frederick in that region where his influence was already strongest. His
direct sway now stretched from the Swabian uplands across the middle
Rhine to the Vosges, and thence south to the neighbourhood of Lyons.
Such an accession of power necessarily brought about the end of the
nominal Zähringen rectorate, but Frederick bought off Duke Berthold by
lands and privileges beyond the Jura. It was only by freely sacrificing
his sovereign rights that Frederick was able to persuade the magnates of
Germany to promise him such adequate support in his projected expedition
into Italy as would enable him to cross the Alps as a conqueror and not
as a suppliant. For the moment his policy seemed extremely successful.
Besides conciliating Germany, he had won back Burgundy. He had
conciliated Duke Vratislav of Bohemia, who had refused him homage, by
allowing him to crown himself king. He had forced King Boleslav IV. of
Poland to recognise his overlordship by a brilliant invasion that got as
far into Poland as Gnesen. Svend of Denmark was still his obedient
vassal. Henry II. of England wrote acknowledging in general terms the
supremacy of the Emperor over all his dominions. In his chancellor
Rainald of Dassel, he found a zealous and able chief minister. ‘In
Germany,’ wrote Ragewin, the continuator of Otto of Freising, ‘there was
now such an unwonted peace that men seemed changed, the land a different
one, the very heaven had become milder and softer.’ [Sidenote: Diet of
Besançon, 1157.] Frederick’s early glory culminated in the brilliant
Diet at Besançon, the chief town of his wife’s inheritance, in October
1157, where ‘all the earth,’ exclaimed Ragewin, ‘filled with admiration
for the clemency and justice of the Emperor, and moved both by love and
fear, strove to overwhelm him with novel praises and new honours.’ This
Diet witnessed a hot dispute between Frederick and the Papacy.

[Sidenote: Alliance of Adrian IV. and the Normans.]

Ever since Frederick’s sudden withdrawal from Rome, his relations with
Adrian IV. had been exceedingly strained. Both claimed to be lord of the
world, and neither could agree as to the respective limits of their
power. For a moment the common fear of the Italian communes and alarm at
the revolutionary heresy of Arnold might unite them in a temporary
truce. The pressing danger once over, they fell back into their natural
relations of watchful hostility. When Frederick withdrew from Italy, he
had neither reduced Rome to the obedience of the Pope, nor had chastised
the forays of the new King William of Sicily. Adrian soon found that he
would have to fight for his own hand. He cleverly formed a league with
the feudal barons of Apulia, who were ripe for revolt against their
overpowerful sovereign. He negotiated with the Greek Emperor, Manuel I.,
who was willing to fight William, if the Pope would grant him three
Neapolitan seaports. Alarmed at such a formidable coalition, William
became the Pope’s vassal, and received in return the investiture of
Apulia and Sicily. Adrian IV. thus renewed the policy of Leo IX. and
Innocent II., and now further strengthened himself by an agreement with
the Romans. By accepting the Roman Commune, he was allowed again to take
up his residence in the City. Without the least help from Frederick,
Adrian had turned the chief enemies of the Holy See into allies.

[Sidenote: Quarrel of Frederick and Adrian.]

Frederick bitterly resented the Pope’s alliances with William and the
Romans, which he regarded as breaches of faith. Adrian feared the
increased power of Frederick, and had a more tangible grievance in
Frederick’s imprisonment of the Swedish Archbishop of Lund, an old
friend of Adrian’s in the days of his northern mission. He accordingly
sent the most trusted of his advisers, Roland Bandinelli of Siena,
Cardinal and Chancellor of the Roman Church, to state his grievances to
the Emperor at the Diet of Besançon. [Sidenote: The Cardinal Roland at
Besançon.] Roland’s first salutation of the Emperor was threatening.
‘The Pope,’ he said, ‘greets you as a father and the cardinals greet you
as brothers.’ Frederick was irritated at the new and unheard-of claim of
the cardinals to rank as the equals of Cæsar. But he was still more
annoyed at the recitation of a papal letter, which boasted that the Pope
had conferred many benefits on the Emperor.[20] The Latin phrase
(_conferre beneficia_) used by Adrian might bear the technical sense of
granting a feudal benefice from a lord to a vassal, and Rainald the
Chancellor took care to translate it in that sense to the illiterate
magnates. The fiercest indignation burst out, which rose to fever heat
when Cardinal Roland answered the objectors by inquiring, ‘From whom
then does the Emperor hold the Empire if not from the Pope?’ In answer
to the Pope’s implied claim of feudal supremacy, the Emperor circulated
a declaration of his rights throughout the Empire. ‘The Empire is held
by us,’ he declared, ‘through the election of the princes from God
alone, who gave the world to be ruled by the two necessary swords, and
taught through St. Peter that men should fear God and honour the king.
Whosoever says that we received the imperial crown from the lord Pope as
a benefice goes against the Divine command and the teaching of Peter,
and is guilty of falsehood.’ Early next year Adrian was forced to
explain that he had used ‘beneficium’ in its general sense of ‘benefit’
and not in its feudal sense of ‘fief.’ A complete breach was thus
prevented, but the ill-will still smouldered on and soon found a chance
of bursting out again into flame.

[Sidenote: Frederick’s Second Italian Journey, 1158–1162.]

In July 1158 Frederick, at the head of a great army, crossed the Alps
for the second time. ‘The arrogance of the Milanese,’ he declared, ‘has
long caused them to raise their heads against the Roman Empire, and is
now disturbing all Italy. We have therefore resolved to turn against
them all the forces of the Empire.’ Lombardy was divided into two rival
leagues, which bitterly hated each other. While Brescia, Crema, Parma,
Piacenza, and Modena followed the league of Milan, Pavia headed a second
confederacy, which included Lodi, Como, and Cremona, which fearing the
power of Milan, gave its support to the Emperor. [Sidenote: Submission
of the Lombard Towns.] After a fierce resistance Milan also made its
submission, and promised to submit to the Emperor the ratification of
the appointment of their consuls.

Flushed with his easy triumph, Frederick held in November a second Diet
at Roncaglia. The most famous civilians of Bologna attended and declared
the imperial rights so vigorously that Frederick took their order under
his special protection, and gave doctors of laws the privileges of
knights. [Sidenote: Diet at Roncaglia.] It was announced that the
Emperor had resolved to take all his royal rights back into his own
hands. The pleasure of the prince had the force of law, and no length of
prescription could justify usurpation. But the Emperor was willing to
reinvest both the lay and ecclesiastical lords and the towns with rights
to which they had a lawful title. Nevertheless, the supreme magistrates
of the towns were to be in all cases appointed by the king with the
assent of the citizens. Instead of the aristocratic consulate, it was
henceforth a main object of Frederick’s policy to establish a _podestà_
as the supreme governor of each town. This representative of the
imperial power was generally a stranger, with no interest or sympathy in
the town that he ruled, and universally detested as an intruder and a
despot. Immediately after the dissolution of the Diet, Rainald of Dassel
and Otto of Wittelsbach went round to the various Lombard cities to set
up _podestàs_. Milan, disgusted at the Emperor’s ignoring the terms of
their former capitulation, refused to receive its _podestà_, and broke
into revolt. Other cities followed its example—one of which, Crema, was
carried by assault by Frederick after a terrible siege. Milan held out
for three years, and had to face the whole of Frederick’s power, until
at last famine forced it to open its gates. Frederick hardened his heart
to the prayers of the Milanese, and made a great favour of allowing them
their lives. [Sidenote: Revolt and destruction of Milan.] The chief men
of the city were kept as hostages; the walls and defences were
destroyed; and the ancient inhabitants were forbidden to dwell in the
open village that now represented the city of St. Ambrose, where a few
ancient churches, conspicuous among which was the Basilica of the patron
saint, alone arose amidst the ruins. The relics of the three Magi of the
East were secured by Rainald of Dassel for his own church at Cologne, of
which they have ever since remained the chief glory. The municipal
independence of Italy seemed extinct. The Emperor was king as well as

The Church witnessed with extreme alarm the growing fortunes of the
Emperor. Adrian IV. showed his ill-will by putting obstacles in the way
of the appointment of imperial nominees to vacant bishoprics, and
Frederick retaliated by reverting in his correspondence with the Pope to
a more ancient but less respectful form of address. In great disgust
Adrian encouraged Milan to resist, and got ready for an open breach. He
hoped to form an Italian league against the Emperor, and did not scruple
to invoke the aid of the schismatic Manuel against the orthodox
Frederick. But, on 1st September 1159, he was cut off by a sudden
illness in the midst of his preparations. The next Pope was that
Cardinal Roland whose zeal at Besançon had even outrun the zeal of
Adrian himself. [Sidenote: Alexander III. 1159–1181.] Roland assumed the
significant name of Alexander III.; and during his unusually long
pontificate of nearly twenty-two years, he continued his predecessor’s
policy with such energy that the strife of Pope and Emperor was soon
renewed with all its old intensity.

Frederick’s friends among the cardinals, finding themselves powerless to
oppose Alexander’s election, fell back on the old weapon of schism. On
the same day (7th September 1159) that the majority of the cardinals
elected Alexander, the imperialist minority of the Sacred College,
stirred up by the indefatigable Otto of Wittelsbach, declared that their
choice had fallen on the Cardinal Octavian, who assumed the name of
Victor IV. [Sidenote: The Antipope Victor IV.] Frederick returned from
the reduction of the Lombard cities to hold a council at Pavia to decide
between the rival claims, and boasted that he was following the examples
of Constantine, Charles, and Otto. Alexander utterly refused to submit
his claims to a body convoked under the sanction of the temporal sword.
‘No one,’ he declared, ‘has the right to judge me, since I am the
supreme judge of all the world.’ Though the synod of Pavia declared that
Victor was the canonical Pope, Alexander, driven out of Rome within a
few days of his election, was nevertheless looked up to as rightful
Bishop by the greater part of the Christian world. In 1160 a synod of
bishops subject to Louis VII. and Henry II. met at Toulouse and declared
for Alexander. But the lawful Pope upheld his position with great
difficulty in Italy. [Sidenote: Alexander in France.] During the first
three years of his pontificate he maintained his court at Anagni and
Terracina. In January 1162 he took ship to Genoa, whence after the fall
of Milan, a few weeks later, he fled to France. Secure of the friendship
of the two chief kings of the West, Alexander now quietly waited until
the time was ripe for his return to Italy. In 1163 he held a council at
Tours, within the dominions of Henry of Anjou, in which he
excommunicated the Antipope and his supporters, among whom Rainald of
Dassel, now Archbishop-elect of Cologne, was specially mentioned.

In 1162 Frederick returned to Germany; but not even the presence of the
Emperor could keep the German prelates firm in their adhesion to the
Antipope. Many of the clergy and most monks were on Alexander’s side, or
at least strove to avoid open hostility to Frederick by demanding a
General Council to heal the schism. The whole Cistercian and Carthusian
orders worked hard for Alexander’s interest, and many of their leaders
joined the growing band of Italian and German fugitives that swelled the
court of the exiled Pontiff in Gaul. The death of the Antipope during
Frederick’s third visit to Italy, in 1164, did not end the breach.
Rainald of Dassel procured the election of a new Antipope in the
Cardinal Guy of Crema, who styled himself Paschal III. [Sidenote: The
Antipope Paschal III.] In 1165 Frederick held a Diet at Würzburg, where
he promulgated the severest laws against the champions of Alexander,
while the Emperor and his barons bound themselves by oath never to
recognise Alexander or any of his followers as Pope. Rainald of Dassel
strove hard to bring over Henry of England to support the schismatic
Pope; but Henry, already involved in his struggle with Thomas of
Canterbury, was too prudent to confuse his local quarrel with his
primate with the general conflict of Pope and Emperor. The new Antipope
formally announced the canonisation of Charles the Great, and Frederick
went in great state to Aachen, where the bones of the great Emperor were
solemnly translated to a golden shrine, while Frederick adorned the
round Carolingian chapel with the magnificent candelabrum that is still
one of its chief ornaments. But in the same year (1165), Alexander III.
was encouraged, by the hostile attitude of the Lombards to Frederick, to
venture back into Italy, and by November was again in possession of
Rome, whence he fulminated excommunication against the Emperor.

[Sidenote: Renewal of the Town-leagues in Lombardy, 1164.]

Even after the fall of Milan, the north Italian cities still gave
Frederick trouble. In 1164 the towns of the March of Verona, among them
Verona, Vicenza, Padua, and Treviso, rose in revolt against their new
_podestàs_, and formed a league for the preservation of their liberties.
By holding in force the narrow gorge of the Adige to the north of Verona
(La Chiusa di Verona), they hoped to prevent the return of Frederick to
Italy by his usual route. Venice, already the open enemy of Frederick,
actively supported the league of Verona. On the news of Frederick’s
excommunication, the Lombard cities began to revive. Milan was rebuilt
and re-fortified, and the schismatic bishops were chased away. It was
high time for the return of the Emperor, and in November 1166 Frederick
entered upon his fourth Italian expedition. Fearing to fight the
Veronese league at Chiusa, he descended into Lombardy by the Val
Camonica. Open resistance seemed stifled by the enormous German host
that followed the Emperor; and Frederick, hurrying through the
disaffected district, marched straight on Rome. [Sidenote: Frederick’s
fourth Italian journey, 1167–1168.] After a fierce siege Frederick
captured Rome, and was again crowned by the Antipope Paschal (1st August
1167), while Alexander fled, disguised as a pilgrim, to seek shelter
with the friendly Normans at Gaeta. A terrible plague now swept away the
victorious army of Frederick, and the Lombard cities, profiting by his
misfortunes, formally renewed their league. Among the victims of the
pestilence were Rainald of Cologne, the indefatigable chancellor, and
the Emperor’s two cousins, Frederick of Rothenburg, Duke of Swabia, and
the warlike young Welf VII., son of Welf VI. of Bavaria. Frederick, with
the remnants of his army, had the utmost difficulty in effecting his
retreat to Lombardy. The Papalists boasted that God had cut off the host
of Frederick as of old He had destroyed the army of Sennacherib before
the walls of Jerusalem.

[Sidenote: The Lombard League, 1168.]

The Lombard league took its final shape in the beginning of 1168, when
Frederick was refreshing his exhausted forces at Pavia. The members
pledged themselves to aid each other against all those who would make
war against them, or would exact anything more from them than had been
customary. They also appointed rectors, chosen from among the consuls of
the several cities, for the management of federal affairs. Fear of the
Emperor had now destroyed even the jealousies of neighbouring and rival
cities, and the league now included all the towns of the northern plain,
from Milan to Venice, and from Bergamo to Bologna. Lodi itself now made
common cause with its old enemy Milan, and even the obstinate
imperialists of Pavia grudged to the beaten Emperor the protection of
its walls. All the approaches to the northern Alpine passes were blocked
by the confederate cities, and the Emperor could only get home by a long
detour through the uplands of Montferrat and Piedmont. In the spring of
1168 Frederick made his way to Susa, and thence over the Mont Cenis.
After his departure, new accessions increased the Lombard league, and
Alexander III. sent it his blessing. [Sidenote: Foundation of
Alessandria, 1168.] In the spring of 1168 the league founded a new city
in a marshy district, on the banks of the Tanaro, and called it
Alessandria in honour of its patron. Vast earthworks and a strong castle
made their creation an impregnable fortress, calculated to hold out as
long as provisions remained. The town soon prospered: the Pope erected
it into a bishopric, and settlers from all sides made it a busy centre
of trade. The foundation of Alessandria pushed the league’s territory
more to the westwards, into the region where the feudal potentates were
still strong, and where cities like Asti, Vercelli, Novara, were now
emboldened to join it. Moreover, the city protected the high road from
Milan to Genoa which gave Lombardy access to the sea, and blocked the
descent of German armies from the Burgundian passes as effectively as
the league had already blocked the northern valleys of the Alps.

[Sidenote: The Antipope Calixtus III.]

For the next six years the Lombard league was suffered to live in peace.
On the death of the Antipope Paschal in 1168, a new pretender was set
up, called Calixtus III. But for all practical purposes Italy was
independent of the Emperor. Frederick’s last partisans in north Italy,
the citizens of Pavia, and the Counts of Montferrat and Biandrate, were
constrained to submit to the league. In Germany the ecclesiastical
opposition grew under the guidance of the Archbishop of Salzburg, and
Alexander became more and more generally recognised. Renewed efforts to
win over Henry of Anjou to support the Antipope were unsuccessful, and
the humiliation of the English king after Becket’s murder was a lesson
to Frederick of the abiding might of the Church to control princes. The
growing power of Henry the Lion excited the fears of the smaller barons
and the jealousy of the Emperor. [Sidenote: Frederick’s fifth Italian
journey, 1174–1177.] But Frederick sought to avert the inevitable
conflict in order that he might revenge himself on the revolted
Lombards. Meanwhile his agents strove to gain friends for him in central
Italy, where the removal of all external control had fiercely divided
the towns of Tuscany and Romagna. In 1174 Frederick made his fifth
expedition to Italy. But the small army which he led in September over
Mont Cenis was mainly composed of his personal vassals, the stronger
princes remaining at home. Nevertheless, a revival of the imperial party
followed the reappearance of the Emperor in Italy. After destroying Susa
and capturing Asti, Frederick vigorously besieged the new city of
Alessandria—the city of straw, as the imperialists called it. Meanwhile
Christian, Archbishop of Mainz, won important successes for the Emperor
in Tuscany and Romagna, but failed at the siege of Ancona. The siege of
Alessandria lasted till April 1175, when the rectors of the league came
to its relief. Both armies prepared for battle at Montebello, but at the
very moment of the conflict negotiations were entered upon, at the
instance of the Cremonese. Yet Frederick would not accept the hard
conditions of the Lombards—the recognition of their liberties,
acknowledgment of Alexander as lawful Pope, and the incorporation of
Alessandria as a member of the league. The ‘Peace of Montebello’ was
accordingly broken, and both sides prepared to fight to the end.

[Sidenote: The battle of Legnano, 1176.]

Frederick drew fresh reinforcements from Germany for the campaign of
1176; but Henry the Lion refused to come, and a personal interview
between him and Frederick at Chiavenna did not induce him to change his
purpose. Nevertheless, with the help of his Italian friends, Frederick
was still at the head of a gallant army, while the warlike Christian of
Mainz kept the Normans in check by invading Apulia. The northern
campaign opened when Frederick left Pavia and joined the force, which
was now brought from Germany, at Como. His object now was to return with
his new troops to Pavia. But Milan blocked the direct road, and forced
the Emperor to make a circuit to the west. The Milanese anticipated this
movement by marching out of the city with their caroccio, hoping to cut
off the German host before it could reach Pavia. On 29th May the
confederates encountered the imperial army near Legnano, about seventeen
miles north-west of Milan, in the plain that stretches from the river
Olona westwards to the Ticino. The caroccio was put in the centre of the
army, and protected by a select band styled the ‘Company of Death,’ who
had sworn either to conquer or never return. The fierce charge of the
mail-clad German knights put to flight the knights of Lombardy, and
Frederick, who here commanded in person, fiercely assailed the infantry
grouped round the caroccio. For a moment the cause of the league seemed
undone. But the Emperor was unhorsed in the struggle, and the rumour
soon spread that he had fallen. The infantry in close array held their
own manfully, until the fugitive cavalry rallied and assailed the
Germans in flank. Before nightfall Frederick’s army was hopelessly
broken, and the Emperor gained Pavia, almost unattended, with the utmost
difficulty. But the citizen-soldiers went home, and did not follow up
their victory, and Cremona with other towns became so jealous of the
success of Milan that they prepared to make separate terms with the
Emperor. Frederick himself had grown weary of the struggle; and the
Archbishops of Cologne and Magdeburg, who had brought the last army from
Germany, declared that they would no longer support the Emperor, and
urged him to reconcile himself with Alexander. In October Frederick
reluctantly broke the ill-fated oath of Würzburg, and sent Christian of
Mainz and other German prelates to Anagni to conclude peace with the
Pope. He still hoped to detach Alexander from the Lombard cities, and
resume hostilities against them after he had been reconciled to the
Church. Alexander refused to betray either the cities or his older ally,
William of Sicily, and Frederick reluctantly brought himself to accept
the hard terms of the victors. In March 1177 Alexander and his cardinals
journeyed to Venice to be near the negotiations. [Sidenote: The Peace of
Venice, 1177.] It seemed as if all Italy were banded together against
the Emperor, and as if instead of resisting lawful authority, the papal
alliance represented an Italian national party banded together against
foreign invaders from beyond the Alps. Frederick yielded on all
substantial points. He was restored to the communion of the Church, and
on 24th July 1177 was suffered to enter Venice to make his submission to
Alexander. Frederick was conducted in great state to the Piazza, where
the Pope, surrounded by cardinals and prelates, waited for him in the
portico of St. Mark’s. ‘Then,’ says a contemporary, ‘he was touched by
the spirit of God, and, abandoning his imperial dignity, threw himself
humbly at the feet of the Pope.’ Alexander, with tears in his eyes,
raised his fallen enemy, and gave him the kiss of peace. It was exactly
a hundred years since Henry IV. had gone to Canossa.

In August the Peace of Venice settled the details of Frederick’s
reconciliation with the Papacy. All the lands usurped from the patrimony
of St. Peter were to be restored. The Pope and Emperor promised mutual
aid against each other’s enemies, and were lavish in vows of future
friendship. A truce was secured for the Lombards, the Normans, and even
for Manuel Comnenus, while the detailed conditions of a final settlement
were slowly adjusted under the mediation of the papal legate. [Sidenote:
End of the schism in the Papacy, 1178.] In August 1178 the Antipope
Calixtus renounced his pretensions, and, though a few obstinate
schismatics sought still to carry on the line of Antipopes, their
nominee was soon forced into a monastery. The permanent treaty with the
Lombards was finally signed on June 1183 at Constance. [Sidenote: Peace
of Constance, 1183.] By it the Emperor granted to the cities of the
Lombard league all the royal rights (_regalia_) which they ever had, or
at that moment enjoyed. The cities were allowed to build fortifications,
to continue their league, and make such other combinations as they
wished. They had complete jurisdiction over their own members, could
levy troops, coin money, and exercise practically all regalian rights.
The imperial _podestàs_ disappeared, and henceforth the _podestâ_ was
but a foreign judge called in by the citizens, in the hope that his
strangeness to local factions would make him an impartial magistrate.
The only clauses which upheld the supremacy of the Emperor stipulated
that the consuls should receive imperial confirmation, that a right of
appeal should lie to the imperial court, and that the Emperor should
still have a claim to receive the _fodrum_ as a contribution to his
military expenses. Such rights as thus remained to the Emperor were
henceforth exercised by legates and vicars, very careless of their
absent master. For all practical purposes, the Treaty of Constance made
the Lombard republics self-governing city-states. The barest
overlordship henceforth alone remained to him who in past generations
had aspired to be their effective master. The Empire was by no means
destroyed by this great blow, but henceforth Italy and Germany have each
their independent development.

[Sidenote: Frederick and Germany.]

After the peace, Frederick’s main occupation lay in Germany. During the
Emperor’s Italian troubles the power of Henry the Lion had gone on
increasing. In the north in particular, Henry had renewed the ancient
policy of extending the German race at the expense of the Slavs. Using
his Saxon duchy as the basis of his operations, he completed the
Germanisation of the lands between the Elbe, Baltic, and Oder, that,
despite the work of the Ottos, and Lothair and Albert the Bear, were
still largely Slavonic and heathen. So solid was his power, that
disasters in Italy, such as in the days of the Ottos, had led to a
Slavonic reaction in the north-east, had no influence in retarding the
march of German conquest. Before long, the vastness of Henry’s resources
and the stability of his policy threw the exploits of Albert the Bear
into the shade. In alliance with the young Valdemar I. of Denmark, Henry
carried to a completion the long process of the conquest of the
half-heathen tribes beyond the Elbe, and grudged his reluctant ally a
share in the spoils of war. The warlike Abotrites were at last subdued
and forced to profess Christianity, and the fortress and bishopric of
Schwerin was established by Henry in their midst, along with numerous
colonies of Saxons and Flemish settlers. [Sidenote: Henry the Lion and
the Marks.] Henry was as great a founder of towns as Otto the Great.
Lübeck, founded in 1143 by his dependant, Count Adolf of Holstein, and
the first German town on the Baltic, owed its existence to his energy.
The bishoprics of Mecklenburg and Pomerania claim him as their founder.
Cistercian and Premonstratensian missionaries crushed out the last
remnants of heathenism, and trade followed strong rule. In 1168 Henry
married Matilda, the daughter of Henry of Anjou, an alliance that
established a warm and permanent connection between the Guelfic house
and the English throne.

[Sidenote: Henry the Lion and his duchies.]

Henry the Lion sought to rule within his duchies with the same
autocratic power with which he governed his border conquests. The local
nobles and prelates saw in his policy a design against their franchises,
and combined to offer him a vigorous resistance. Albert the Bear, who
had never lost hope of regaining Saxony, opposed him even in the Marks.
In 1166 the princes of Saxony, headed by Rainald of Dassel and the
Archbishop of Bremen, went to open war against Henry, but the personal
intervention of the Emperor restored peace in the Diet of Würzburg. The
Lion’s northern allies were equally alarmed at his triumphs; and
Valdemar of Denmark, irritated by his requiring a share in the recent
Danish conquest of Rügen, became his enemy, but was soon obliged to
crave his forgiveness, and Valdemar’s son and successor, Canute VI.,
married Henry’s daughter Gertrude. In 1170 the death of the restless
Margrave Albert relieved Henry from the most dangerous of his opponents.
His position was now so strong that he was able, between 1170 and 1172,
to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where he was received with great
honour, and whence he brought back many relics, which he enshrined in
the stately churches at Brunswick of which he was the founder. Though
shorn of the East Mark by the creation of the new duchy of Austria,
Henry was still able to exercise almost as great an influence on the
Germanisation of the south-west as on the same process in the
north-east. It was the age of German colonisation, when, from the
overpeopled lands of the Netherlands and old Saxony, adventurers sought
a fresh home in the lands newly won to civilisation. German colonists in
Meissen and in the lands ruled by Czech and Magyar, owed their position
to Henry. In Bavaria itself he was the founder of the city of Munich.

It was inevitable that Frederick should look with suspicion upon so
powerful and restless a vassal, especially as, even before the Chiavenna
interview, Henry had ceased to take part in promoting the imperial
designs on Italy. But as long as Frederick’s main object was the
subjection of the Church and the Lombards, the support of Henry was
indispensable to him. However, after the Peace of Venice the condition
of affairs was altered. Henceforth the Emperor’s best hopes of success,
both in Germany and Italy, lay in the support of the great ecclesiastics
who had so long opposed Henry in Saxony. It was now Frederick’s policy
to strengthen his position in North Germany by alliances with the local
magnates, both ecclesiastical and lay, who were eager to join with the
Emperor in breaking down the power of their autocratic duke.

After the peace with the Church, Bishop Ulrich of Halberstadt, who had
been expelled as a partisan of Alexander, came back to his see. Henry,
who, during his absence, had administered the possessions of the
bishopric, refused to surrender them to him. Philip of Heinsberg,
Archbishop of Cologne, formed a close alliance with Bishop Ulrich. The
allies excommunicated the duke, and devastated his lands in Westphalia.
Meanwhile Frederick left Italy in the summer of 1178, and after
receiving the crown of the Middle Kingdom at Arles, reached Speyer in
October, where Henry the Lion visited him and complained bitterly of the
treatment he had received from the confederated bishops. [Sidenote: Fall
of Henry the Lion, 1180.] A Diet was summoned to meet at Worms in
January 1179, to consider the feud, but Henry did not appear, and the
elaborate complaints of his vassals remained unanswered. In the summer
the Emperor visited Saxony, but Henry again refused an interview at
Magdeburg, where new complaints were laid before the Emperor. A little
later, a private interview between king and duke led to no result. Henry
neglected the third and last opportunity of formally appearing before
Frederick, and despairing of the Emperor’s justice, devastated the Saxon
bishoprics with fire and sword, and called in his old enemies the Slavs
to invade German territory. In January 1180 a Diet was held at Würzburg.
For the fourth time Henry refused to appear, and the sentence of
banishment and the loss of his fiefs was given against him. Henry
declared that as a Swabian he had a right to be tried by the magnates of
Swabia alone, and strove to fight for his inheritance, but had little
success. He hoped great things from his foreign friends, but no help
came either from his father-in-law, Henry of England, his old ally,
Valdemar of Denmark, or his more recent associate, the young Philip II.
of France. In the summer of 1181 the Emperor easily conquered Saxony. In
November the once mighty duke was forced to crave pardon at Erfurt.
Frederick treated him kindly, and restored to him Brunswick, Lüneburg,
and most of his allodial possessions. But at the prayer of the assembled
magnates he reaffirmed his sentence of banishment, and of the
deprivation of his duchies. The exiled duke retired to Normandy and
England, where his father-in-law, Henry II., treated him with marked
consideration. By a pilgrimage to St. James of Compostella, he sought to
do penance for his violence to the churches. His political career seemed
at an end.

[Illustration: The possessions of the GUELFS in the days of HENRY THE

[Sidenote: Division of the Saxon duchy.]

The vacant duchies of the Guelfs were disposed of on conditions that
mark an epoch in the territorial development of Germany. Saxony, the
last stronghold of the sentiment of the ancient four peoples of Germany,
now underwent the same fate that had fallen to Bavaria earlier in
Frederick’s reign. The western parts, including the vast dioceses of
Cologne and Paderborn, were erected into the new duchy of Westphalia,
and granted to the Archbishop of Cologne, Frederick’s ally. The lands
between the Weser and the Elbe went to the chief of the lay enemies of
the Guelfic house. Bernard of Anhalt, the son of Albert the Bear,
received this district, along with the ducal title, but only on
condition that the counties and bishoprics that in Henry the Lion’s days
had been directly dependent on the Saxon duke, should henceforward hold
immediately of the Empire. In the south the aged Welf VI. had quite
withdrawn from politics, and Otto of Wittelsbach, Count-Palatine of
Bavaria, the strenuous upholder of Frederick’s policy in Italy, was
before long invested with the duchy of Bavaria, over which his
descendants still bear rule. The fall of the Guelfs, the one family
strong enough to rival the throne, compensated in some measure for
Frederick’s failures in Italy. By the partition of Saxony and Bavaria,
the last danger to the monarchy from the national duchies was removed.
[Sidenote: Diet of Mainz, 1184.] In the great Diet of Mainz, held in
1184, the glories of the Diet of Besançon were renewed, after which the
Emperor went over the Alps for his sixth and last visit to Italy. So
strong did Frederick still feel himself, that he yielded to the
importunities of Henry of England, and allowed Henry the Lion to return
to Germany.

[Sidenote: Union of Sicily with the Empire.]

Misfortunes followed Frederick’s fresh intervention in Italy. On his way
he concluded, at Augsburg, a treaty (October 1184), which ranks as the
greatest of his diplomatic triumphs. In 1169 his eldest son, Henry, had
been crowned King of the Romans at Aachen, when still a child. He was
now becoming his father’s active fellow-worker. By the Treaty of
Augsburg it was arranged that the young king should marry Constance of
Sicily, the daughter of King Roger, and the aunt and heiress of the
childless William II. From this sprang the ultimate union of the
Hohenstaufen with the Sicilian royal house, and the conversion of
southern Italy, hitherto the chiefest strength of the papal power, into
the strongest bulwark of the Swabian Empire. Nor was this Frederick’s
only success in Italy. [Sidenote: Revival of Frederick’s power in
Italy.] The league of northern cities had broken asunder after the fear
of his strong hand was removed. In 1181 the former imperialist
towns—Cremona, Pavia, Lodi, Bergamo, Como—separated themselves from the
confederation, and formed a league, bitterly opposed to Milan and her
allies. Frederick also took advantage of the feuds of Tuscany and
Bologna to build up a party there, and by lavish grants to Pisa and
Lucca he secured, though at vast cost, powerful friends in middle Italy.

[Sidenote: The Lateran Council, 1179. Death of Alexander III., 1181.]

The Papacy had lost the great man who had so long upheld its fortunes.
Alexander III.’s last important act was the assembling, in March 1179,
of the third General Council of the Lateran, where the law was
promulgated that a valid election to the Papacy required the votes of
two-thirds of the cardinals present in the conclave. He died on 30th
August 1181, full of years and honours. His five immediate successors
did not reign long enough to make any real mark, and were much hampered
by their strife with the Romans. Lucius III. (1181–1185) the first of
the series, was still Pope when Frederick paid his sixth visit to Italy.
[Sidenote: Lucius III., 1181–1185.] In November 1184 Pope and Emperor
met at Verona, where Lucius refused to consent to Frederick’s proposal
that his son, the young King Henry, should be crowned Emperor during his
own lifetime. Under Urban III. (1185–1187), Lucius’ successor, a new
quarrel between Pope and Emperor seemed imminent. [Sidenote: Urban III.,
1185–1187.] The immediate pretext of this was a double election to the
Archbishopric of Trier, where the imperialist choice of Rudolf of Wied
had been opposed by the appointment of the ambitious Archdeacon Folmar
by the hierarchical party. Urban III. consecrated Folmar archbishop, and
a powerful coalition against Frederick was formed, including besides
Folmar, Philip, Archbishop of Cologne, and Henry the Lion, but recently
back to his German estates, whose father-in-law, Henry of England, and
son-in-law, Canute VI. of Denmark, promised their assistance. [Sidenote:
Threatened renewal of quarrel between Empire and Papacy.] But Frederick
had still the upper hand, and his ancient enemies in Italy and Germany
were now foremost in supporting him. While Cremona joined the Pope,
Milan concluded a close alliance with the Emperor, and the marriage of
King Henry and Constance was celebrated within the walls of the once
rebellious city. After the marriage, a threefold coronation ceremony
took place, in which Frederick received the crown of Burgundy, Henry
that of Italy, and Constance the queen’s crown of Germany. Henceforth
the ancient title of Cæsar was revived in Henry’s favour, in the same
sense as that in which Diocletian had designated the Cæsar to be the
assistant and successor of the imperial Augustus. In Italy the young
Henry devastated the lands of the Papalists. In Germany, where the
bishops supported Frederick, Philip of Cologne, abandoned by his English
allies, was utterly defeated. Urban persisted in his opposition, and was
preparing to excommunicate the Emperor, when the fatal news of the
collapse of the Christian power in the East came as a thunderclap.
[Sidenote: Gregory VIII., 1187.] A few days later Urban died (20th
October 1187), and his successor Gregory VIII. (October-December 1187)
strove to unite Europe in a new Crusade, and dying after a few weeks,
the next Pope, Clement III. (1187–1191) removed the chief cause of the
dispute by depriving Folmar of his archbishopric, and by promising to
crown Henry. [Sidenote: Clement III., 1187–1191.] Henry the Lion atoned
for his new treason by a new exile. The younger son of Frederick,
Frederick, now received the duchy of Swabia, in succession to Frederick
of Rothenburg. Peace was thoroughly restored, and the power of the
Emperor established on a firmer basis than ever. In Italy order was
again secured. Since the death of Alexander III., the Popes had mainly
lived in northern Italy, but in 1188 Clement III. was restored to Rome.
His successor Celestine III. (1191–1198) lived peacefully in the
capital, but the Senate still ruled Rome and not the Pope.

[Sidenote: Crusade and death of Frederick, 1190.]

Once more master of Germany and Italy, the old Emperor showed his
imperial position in its most ideal aspect by putting himself at the
head of a great European movement. In 1187 Saladin conquered Jerusalem
from the Christians, and a mighty crusading impulse ran for a third time
throughout Europe. At Easter 1188, Frederick once more took the Cross,
and leaving the Cæsar Henry as regent, left Germany in May 1189. In June
1190 he perished in Cilicia, without having ever reached his goal.

[Sidenote: Frederick’s character.]

Ragewin, the biographer of Frederick, minutely describes his person and
character. His stature was not above the middle height, but his frame
was elegant and well proportioned. Flowing yellow hair curled over his
brow and almost concealed his ears, and his close-cropped reddish beard
gave him his familiar surname of Barbarossa. His eyes were clear and
bright, his nose well shaped, and his whole countenance joyous and
merry. His throat and neck were somewhat thick. His milk-white skin
easily reddened, not through anger but from modesty. His gait was firm
and regular, and his habit of body vigorous. His voice was clear and
full. He enjoyed excellent health but for chronic attacks of fever. He
was chaste, honourable, just and religious. He was assiduous at divine
worship, devout in his behaviour in church, and very respectful to the
clergy, regularly putting aside a tenth of his income for pious and
charitable objects. A mighty warrior, he only rejoiced in battle because
victory was the best means of assuring peace. He was zealous in his
attention to public business, and kept in his hands the whole strings of
his policy. He delighted in hunting, and was able to lay aside his royal
state in hours of recreation without loss of dignity. He was fond of
reading history, especially the story of his great predecessors in the
Empire. Speaking eloquently in German, he could understand Latin better
than he could talk it. Simple but never negligent in his personal
habits, he wore the ordinary German dress. He spent much money on
buildings, especially in restoring ancient palaces in Germany and Italy.
His greatest ambition was to restore the Roman Empire to its pristine
glory. During his reign both Germany and Italy enjoyed a prosperity and
peace to which they had long been strangers. Agriculture flourished:
commerce took a mighty impetus: the towns became wealthy and
self-governing, and secured for themselves as strong a position as the
barons and bishops within the political system of feudalism. A German
national literature attested the growth of German national
consciousness. The _Niebelungenlied_ took its modern form, and its
heroes, by their strange medley of chivalry and violence, well represent
the ideals of the age. The _Minnesinger_ began their songs, and the
rhymed _Kaisercronik_ brought home to all the mighty deeds of former
Emperors. In later times, when the seeds of disunion sown by the great
Emperor’s policy had brought forth their fruits, men looked back to the
age of Barbarossa with admiration and longing. A strange legend
ultimately grew that Frederick was not dead but sleeping, and that in
due time he would again appear to restore peace and justice, and again
realise in his own person the Kingdom of God on earth.

                              CHAPTER XII
                   CAPETIAN MONARCHY (1108–1189)[21]

  Contrast between French and German History—Character and Policy of
    Louis VI.—Suger—The Conquest of the Royal Domain—Louis VI.’s
    relations with Normandy, England, Blois, and Aquitaine—Louis VI.’s
    dealings with the Church and the Towns: Character of Louis VII.—The
    first ten years of his reign—Divorce from Eleanor of Aquitaine—Rise
    of Blois and Anjou—The Rivalry of Louis VII. and Henry II.—Progress
    of the Monarchy under Louis VII.—The early years of Philip
    Augustus—Death and defeat of Henry II.

[Sidenote: Contrast between the course of French and German History.]

While the imperial rulers of Germany lavished their resources on the
pursuit of impossible ideals, the kings of France worked up their way
from small beginnings to the possession of great power. In the beginning
of the twelfth century there could be no effective comparison between
the insignificance of Philip I. and the grandeur of Henry IV. even in
the moments of his worst difficulties. Before the century was out, the
power of Philip Augustus was worthy to rival that of Henry VI., and a
few years later triumphed in the field over all the forces of the German

[Sidenote: Character and policy of Louis VI.]

The reign of Louis VI. (1108–1137) marks the first and most important
stage in this development. The only son of Philip I. and Bertha of
Holland, Louis was born in 1081 and brought up in the abbey of
Saint-Denis, which he left in 1092, on receiving from his father the
investiture of the Vexin, where he learnt his first experience in war
and statecraft while defending his appanage against William Rufus. About
the end of the century he was associated with his father as
king-designate, and for the next eight years the premature infirmities
of Philip I. gave Louis a large share of power. On Philip’s death in
July 1108, he was at once crowned king at Orléans.

In person Louis was very like his father, with his great height, pale
face, and the excessive corpulence that neither constant activity in the
field nor unwearied labours in the chase could subdue, and which gave
him his almost contemporary surname of the Fat. Like his father also, he
was greedy and sensual. But with all his faults, he had acquired at
Saint-Denis the softness and mildness of disposition which was his most
essential characteristic. He was, moreover, just, loyal, and upright,
ever preferring to reach his aims by simple and direct means rather than
by craft and treachery. ‘A mighty athlete and an eminent gladiator,’ as
his biographer calls him, he was constantly engaged fighting from youth
upwards, and never abandoned his military habits, though at the age of
forty-six he was too bulky to be able to mount on horseback. His nobles
disliked him, as the Normans disliked Henry I., for his love of men of
low condition. He was no knight-errant, but a shrewd practical warrior,
ever bent on maintaining or increasing his power, and making the chief
object of his activity the abasement of the barons of the royal domain
and the protection of the poor and the weak from their high-handed
violence. He also carefully watched the overgrown power of the great
feudatories. Unlike his father, Louis kept on good terms with the
Church, posing as the protector of churchmen from the brutality and
greed of the lay baronage. He was ever mindful of the monks, and never
lost his love for the home of his youth. [Sidenote: Suger.] His famous
minister Suger became, in 1122, Abbot of Saint-Denis, and the relations
of king and minister went back to the days when Louis abode within the
great abbey where Suger, a boy like himself, was being prepared for the
religious vocation. A man of humble origin, small and mean appearance,
and with wretched health, but restless, indefatigable, clear-sighted and
politic, Suger’s brain suggested a subtle policy such as the rough
soldier-king delighted to follow. Suger accompanied his master in all
his travels, and kept so constantly at court that the zealots reproached
him with neglecting the administration of his abbey. In Louis’ later
years the influence of St. Bernard induced the statesman-monk to make
the reform of the discipline of Saint-Denis one of his main objects of
attention. But he never lost his influence over Louis, and to his
interest in the strong Church party must be largely attributed the
direction of Louis’ ecclesiastical policy. After the king’s death, Suger
wrote his biography, and gave us the clearest notion of the life and
work of the first Capetian king who approached greatness.[22]

[Sidenote: The conquest of the royal domain.]

There was a real danger of the hereditary domain of the Capetians
slipping away as completely from the control of the house of Capet as
the more remote regions which only acknowledged the king as suzerain.
The proprietor of the strong tower of Montlhéry could block the road
between Paris and Orléans, and the bishops and abbots of the Isle de
France, the most faithful supporters of the crown, had to witness the
constant aggressions of a swarm of petty tyrants. It was an everyday
thing for the local lord to take up his quarters in a monastery, with
his greedy following, steal the wine, corn, and cattle of the hosts, and
pollute the cloister with orgies and bloodshed. Conspicuous among these
high-born brigands were Hugh of Le Puiset, the tyrant of the rich plains
of La Beauce, and Thomas of Marle, a member of the house of Coucy, and
the cruellest and most able of the barons of the royal domains. Louis
VI. ever gladly responded to the complaints of a bishop or abbot against
a baronial oppressor. He led countless expeditions against the barons of
the Isle de France; expeditions which were individually unimportant, but
which in the aggregate completely revolutionised the position of the
monarchy within its domain. He was as a rule successful, though his task
was complicated by his insignificant enemies rallying to their support
more formidable foes, such as the King of England or the Count of Blois,
the most rebellious representatives of the great feudatories. Confident
of the support of the clerks, the townsfolk, and the lesser people, the
king was able, by his vigour and persistence, to crush the most
formidable of his enemies. Hugh du Puiset, after repeated defeats, was
forced to betake himself to the Holy Land. Thomas de Marle died a
defiant captive of the prince that he had so often disobeyed. Louis’
numerous campaigns kept clear the roads that united the royal towns,
such as Paris, Orléans, Bourges, Sens, Beauvais, Mantes, Etampes,
Senlis, Noyon, Montreuil. Before his death the baronage of the domain
had learnt that the king was no mere suzerain, but an effective ruler.
Moreover, Louis’ triumphs in war enabled him largely to dispense with
the disloyal assemblies of magnates who had claimed to direct his
policy. The power of the state fell into hands that Louis could trust,
like Suger and the bishops. Among laymen the barons were superseded by
warriors and men of business, whose whole occupation was in the royal
household. Three brothers of the family of Garlande had among the
knights of the court the same pre-eminence that Suger had among the
clerks; and the fourth Garlande, Stephen, though tonsured, succeeded two
of his brothers as royal seneschal, and was the only cleric who ever
held that knightly office.

The establishment of the royal authority over the royal domain was but
analogous to the process which was going on all over France, and making
the chief feudatories of the crown centres of stronger and better
organised patrimonies. [Sidenote: Louis VI. and the great feudatories.]
Each of the leading states of France had become more self-centred, more
concentrated within its own resources. As a natural consequence their
relations with each other and with the crown assumed a different
character. Each fief lived its own life apart, and followed a different
course of development. Of all the French kings Louis VI. had the least
frequent dealings with the great vassals of the crown. What relations he
had remind us rather of international than of domestic relations.

[Sidenote: Louis VI. and Henry I.]

In 1106 Henry I. of England became Duke of Normandy by the defeat of his
brother Robert at Tinchebrai, and Louis VI. had to contend for the
greater part of his reign against him. Before long, two strong
coalitions were formed under Louis and Henry. Louis supported the
rebellious barons of Normandy, who hoped to make Robert’s son, William
Clito, their duke, and ultimately found more powerful allies in Baldwin
VII. of Flanders and in Bertrada’s son by Fulk le Réchin, Fulk V., Count
of Anjou. After Baldwin’s death, Louis VI. secured the succession to
Flanders for Charles of Denmark, whose brief reign of peace, justice,
and benevolence secured for him the title of Charles the Good. Charles’s
murder in 1127 filled Europe with horror. Louis prevailed on the
Flemings to accept William Clito as their next count, and to him Thierry
of Alsace became a rival claimant. The Clito died in 1128 after
destroying his prospects by his folly, and Louis was now forced to
recognise Thierry. All through his reign he thus exercised a real
influence over the course of Flemish affairs.

                    GENEALOGY OF THE HOUSE OF BLOIS.

                              Herbert I., Count of
                              Vermandois and Troyes
                                    (_d._ 943).
           |                   |          |            |
      Albert, Count         Robert,    Herbert,    Liutgarde, _m._ Theobald I.,
      of Vermandois,       Count of    Count of               | the Old, first
     whose great-great-     Troyes      Troyes                |   hereditary
       granddaughter       (_d._ 968).   (_d._ 993).          |    Count of
     brought Vermandois                    |                  | Blois (_d._ 978).
          to Hugh                      Stephen I.             |
     of France (_d._ 1101).              of Troyes      Odo I., Count of Blois,
                                       (_d._ 1019).           (_d._ 995).
                    |                  |
               Theobald II.,        Odo II.,
              Count of Blois     Count of Blois,
                (_d._ 1004).         1004–1037;
                                Count of Troyes,
                   |                      |
              Stephen II.,        Theobald III., Count
            Count of Troyes,      of Blois, 1037–1089;
              (1037–1047).      I. of Troyes, 1047–1089
                                 (commonly called Count
                                 of Champagne after the
                                   acquisition of the
                                 Counties of Vitry and
                                  Bar-sur-Aube, 1076).
            |                 |                  |
          Odo II.           Hugh I.        Stephen of Blois,
       of Champagne,      of Champagne,        1089–1102,
         1089–1097.     1097–1125, _d._ in   _m._ Adela, daughter
                           Holy Land.        of William the
                        |                           |              |
              Theobald IV., the Great,          Stephen          Henry,
              of Blois, 1102–1152; II. of     of Boulogne,      Bishop of
                Champagne, 1125–1152.       King of England.   Winchester.
            |                  |                     |                |
 Henry I., the          Alice, or Adela,       Theobald V.,        William,
 Liberal, of             _m._ Louis VII.         the Good, of       Archbishop
 Champagne, 1152–1180,     of France.         Blois, 1152–1191,   of Rheims.
  _m._ Mary,daughter of          |              _m._ Alice, daughter
      Louis VII.       Philip II. of France.    of Louis VII.
            |                                            |
       +----+----------+------------+               +----+-----------+
       |               |            |               |                |
     Henry II.,      Mary,     Theobald III.  Louis of Blois,    Margaret,
     the Young,   _m._ Baldwin   of Champagne,   1191–1205.        who took
  of Champagne,   of Flanders,   1197–1201,         |           Blois to the
 1180–1197; King    Eastern     _m._ Blanche,     Theobald VI.,    houses of
  of Jerusalem,     Emperor.      heiress         the Young,    Avesnes and
    1192–1197,                  of Navarre.        of Blois,     Châtillon.
  _m._ Isabella of                    |            1205–1218.
    Jerusalem.                        |
                  Theobald IV., the Posthumous or the Great,
                   of Champagne, 1201–1253; King of Navarre,
                      |                                |
             Theobald V., the Young,           Henry III., the Fat,
            of Champagne and Navarre,        of Champagne and Navarre,
                    1253–1270.            1270–1274, _m._ Blanche of Artois.
                                  Joan (_d._ 1305), _m._ Philip IV. of France.

Henry of England was equally active on his side. Besides his Breton
vassals, he could rely upon the special enemies of Louis, the barons of
the Isle de France. He became a warm partisan of Thierry of Alsace, and
intrigued with the Flemish townsfolk, who were seldom on good terms with
their counts. [Sidenote: Louis VI. and the House of Blois.] Above all he
had the powerful support of his nephews, Theobald IV., Count of Blois,
surnamed the Great, and of his younger brother Stephen, who through his
wife had become Count of Boulogne, and was later to become King of
England. Theobald the Great was a much abler man than his brother, and
the most rancorous and persistent of Louis VI.’s foes among the leading
feudatories. In 1125 he once more united the counties of Blois and
Champagne, so that he could attack his suzerain both from the south and
from the east. But the most powerful combinations of twelfth century
diplomacy proved singularly weak when brought into action. Almost
ceaseless war was waged between Louis and Theobald, and the struggles of
Louis and Henry were only less constant. The desolating, unending,
purposeless, and unskilful warfare of the twelfth century was utterly
fruitless in results. It was enough for Louis that, despite some
defeats, he held his own fairly well.

[Sidenote: Louis VI. and Aquitaine.]

Before the end of Louis’ reign new complications ensued. In 1128,
finding the hostility of Anjou a chief obstacle in the way of his plans,
Henry I. married his widowed daughter and heiress, the Empress Matilda,
to Geoffrey, the son and heir of his old enemy Fulk of Anjou. The way
was thus prepared for the Angevin Empire of Henry II., though the
refusal of England to accept Matilda as Henry’s successor in 1135 seemed
for the moment to remove any imminent danger. While England received
Stephen, Geoffrey of Anjou established himself a few years later as duke
of Normandy. Soon after, Stephen’s brother, Theobald of Blois, made his
peace with Louis. Moreover, two years later Louis negotiated another
alliance that seemed to offer even greater prospects to the heir to the
French throne. On Good Friday 1137 William X., Count of Poitou and Duke
of Aquitaine, died on pilgrimage. He was the last male of his house, and
his daughter Eleanor succeeded peaceably to his great inheritance.
William had wished that his daughter should marry Louis the Young, the
eldest surviving son of his suzerain. In a few months the marriage was
effected. The vast domains of Eleanor in Poitou, Saintonge, and Guienne
at once doubled the domain of the crown, and made the young Louis
immediate lord of most of the great barons between the Loire and the
Pyrenees. But so long as the interests and feelings of south and north
were so absolutely different, it was no great gain to a king, who had
only just secured the overthrow of the feudal castles of the Seine and
Oise, to begin in his old age a similar but more hopeless struggle on
the Charente and the Dordogne.

[Sidenote: Louis VI. and the Church.]

While Philip I. kept both Rome and Cluny in check, his son became the
stalwart champion of the rights of the Church. It was his friendship for
the Church that conquered the Isle de France and made it possible for
Suger to serve two such different masters as Louis VI. and St. Bernard.
Louis VI. restored the strong alliance with the Papacy that prepared the
way for the time when the French king could boast that he was ‘the
eldest son of the Church.’ He ardently supported Innocent II. against
Anacletus, welcomed Innocent to his dominions, and attended the Council
of Sens in 1131. Nevertheless he did not scruple to show priests and
monks that he meant to be master in his own kingdom, making bishops as
well as barons respect the royal justice, and never relaxing his rights
over ecclesiastical appointments. Even when Suger was chosen abbot by
the over-zealous monks of Saint-Denis, who had neglected to wait for the
King’s authorisation to elect, Louis, though he confirmed the election,
put in prison the monks who brought him the news of their brethren’s
unconstitutional haste. Louis quarrelled with leading bishops like Ivo
of Chartres and Henry of Sens. Indignation at Louis’ treatment of his
bishops drew Bernard from his retreat to denounce a king who ‘persecuted
not so much bishops, as the zeal for justice, and the habit of religion
which he finds in them.’ But these examples of friction were
exceptional. If the clergy would but accept his authority, they could
have no better friend than Louis VI. And besides his alliance with the
Church, Louis VI. drifted gradually into an alliance with the lesser
people, which reminds us of the constant championship by the Norman
kings of England of the popular as against the feudal party. The better
peace that now prevailed throughout France made town life, trade and
commerce, possible on a larger scale than in the rough times of absolute
feudal anarchy. [Sidenote: The communal movement.] The communal movement
was now beginning in northern France, and though the king was far from
being, as the older historians make him, the ‘enfranchiser of the
communes,’ he was at least not fiercely hostile to the less
revolutionary sides of the new movement.[23] He issued a large number of
charters to towns and villages under ecclesiastical control, which,
though meant to help the Church, also tended to help forward the
municipal movement. Even more than this, his zeal to uphold sound
justice was an incalculable boon to his people. The simple peasants saw
in the good king a wonder-worker and a thaumaturgist, and were ready to
give almost divine honours to the prince whom they celebrated as ‘the

Ill health and anxiety wore out the health and spirits of Louis. His
last days were full of trouble. He desired to retire to the home of his
youth clad in the Benedictine garb, but he was too ill to be able to
realise his wish. He died at Paris almost in the odour of sanctity,
lamenting with his last breath that it was not the lot of man to combine
the energy of youth with the experience of age.

Louis VII., surnamed the Young, the eldest of the five sons that
Adelaide of Maurienne bore to her husband, had already, when a child
nine years old, been crowned at Reims by Innocent II. He was still in
his new Aquitanian domains when his father’s death gave him the
exclusive rule over France. [Sidenote: Character of Louis VII.] Suger
and the other ministers of the old king did their best to carry on still
further the policy which had so much improved the position of the French
monarchy. But Louis VII. was very unworthy to continue the work of his
strong and vigorous father. He is praised by the chroniclers for his
honesty, simplicity, and benevolence. He was a fair soldier, but his
love of peace made him reluctant to assume the sword, and his weakness
and indecision of character often led him into deceit and
double-dealing. The chief positive trait in his disposition was a rigid
and monastic piety, which kept his private life pure, but led to
scruples of conscience and hesitation in conduct that not a little
unfitted him for the rude tasks of kingship. The feudal party soon
realised his weakness, and Suger found that the work of Louis the Fat
had to be done over again. If the petty lords of the Isle de France were
still kept in check, the independent great vassals soon began to enlarge
their pretensions. It was a time of feudal reaction all over Europe. The
weak Stephen had succeeded Henry I., ‘the lion of righteousness,’ in
England. Conrad III., the slave of the Church, had replaced the capable
but limited Lothair of Supplinburg. Under Louis VII. the same tendencies
manifested themselves in France. It speaks well for Louis VI. and Suger
that it was a period of stagnation rather than of positive reaction in
the fortunes of the French monarchy.

[Sidenote: The first ten years of Louis VII., 1137–1147.]

The first ten years of Louis VII.’s reign were filled with petty and
purposeless wars. In his zeal to assert the rights of his wife, Louis
spent much time south of the Loire to the neglect of his more immediate
interests in northern France. Besides useful but not very fruitful
efforts to carry out in Eleanor’s domains the policy of his father in
the Isle de France, Louis led, in 1141, an expedition against the Count
of Toulouse, Alphonse Jordan, who had refused the homage claimed from
him to the Duke of Aquitaine. The city of Toulouse offered him a
vigorous and successful resistance, and the first direct action of a
descendant of Hugh Capet in Languedoc did not increase the prestige of
the royal power. Nor were affairs in the north much more favourable. All
his monastic virtues did not prevent him quarrelling with Innocent II.,
who had consecrated Peter de la Châtre to the archbishopric of Bourges
despite the strenuous efforts of the king to prevent his election
(1141). As Louis would not yield, Innocent excommunicated him, declaring
that he was a child who had to be taught the lesson of not resisting the
authority of the Church. Bernard re-echoed the thunders of the Pope,
though Suger remained true to his master. Graver danger set in when
Theobald of Champagne, who up to this point had remained on good terms
with Louis, took up the cause of Peter de la Châtre, and gave him a
refuge within his dominions. Louis indignantly went to war against
Theobald and invaded Champagne. In the course of the campaign that
ensued the king captured Vitry by assault. In the midst of the tumult
the church, packed with fugitive townspeople, was set on fire, and more
than a thousand men, women, and children were believed to have perished
in the flames. Louis, terribly shocked at the sacrilege and slaughter,
soon sought peace both with the Church and with Theobald, and allowed
Peter de la Châtre to take possession of his see. Vitry was restored to
Theobald, and Celestine II., who had now succeeded the truculent
Innocent, made no difficulty in absolving Louis (1144). But the massacre
at Vitry still weighed on the king’s conscience, and led him to seek
expiation by taking the crusader’s vow. In 1147 Louis and Eleanor set
out for the Second Crusade. The disasters and miseries of that fatal
expedition have been already chronicled [see pages 191–193]. [Sidenote:
The Second Crusade, 1147–1150.] In 1150, Louis came back humiliated and
defeated. During his absence the aged Suger had striven with all his
might to uphold the royal authority, though he had disapproved of the
king’s crusading project, and never ceased to urge upon him the
necessity of a speedy return. His fears were more than justified, for
all the spirits of disorder took advantage of Louis’ absence to disturb
the realm. It was proposed to depose Louis in favour of his brother
Robert, Count of Dreux. The return of the discredited king was quickly
followed by the death of Suger (1152). With him expired the last hope of
carrying on the work of national development at which he had so long
laboured. To the first great error of the Crusade Louis now added his
second mistake of repudiating his wife. In both cases the king put his
personal feeling above the interest of his house and realm. As his
absence on crusade led to a new wave of feudal anarchy, so his divorce
helped on the growth of the great Angevin power, which was, for the rest
of his life, to put an insurmountable obstacle in the way of the
development of the French monarchy.

[Sidenote: Divorce of Louis VII. and Eleanor of Aquitaine, 1152.]

The relations between Louis and Eleanor had long been strained. After
many years of barrenness, the two children which, as it was believed,
came to the pair as the result of the prayers of St. Bernard, were both
girls, and Louis ardently desired a son and successor. There was,
moreover, a strange contrast of character between the weak, pious, and
shifty king and the fierce, imperious, and ambitious queen. New grounds
of dispute arose during the Crusade, when Eleanor strove to divert the
French host from their projected march to Jerusalem in order that its
presence might support her uncle Raymond of Antioch in his schemes for
the aggrandisement of his principality. The relations of husband and
wife became so bad that Suger wrote imploring the king to conceal his
anger against the queen. After their return to France nothing but the
influence of Suger prevented a breach. Soon after his death, the
question of divorce was formally raised. St. Bernard, still omnipotent
over Louis’ mind, approved the step. In March 1152 a church council held
at Beaugency annulled the marriage on the ground of consanguinity.
Eleanor withdrew to her own dominions, which were now again separated
from the French crown. Anxious to do all in her power to spite her
former husband, she offered herself in marriage to young Henry of Anjou.
At Whitsuntide their marriage at Poitiers exposed the French monarchy to
the gravest danger. [Sidenote: The rise of the House of Blois.] So long
as the chief fiefs were held by separate and rival houses it was not
impossible for the crown to hold its own against them, but an
aggregation of several great fiefs into the same hands might easily set
up a rival power whose forces could overbalance the scanty strength of
the king. The union of Chartres, Blois, and Champagne under Theobald the
Great had been the gravest obstacle to the plans of Louis VI. The
establishment of Theobald’s younger brother in Boulogne, Normandy, and
England would have been even more dangerous but for the incompetence of
Stephen. Side by side with the union of several fiefs under the house of
Blois, was the union of Anjou, Maine, and Normandy, brought about by the
policy of Henry I. in marrying his daughter, the Empress Matilda, to
Geoffrey, the son of Fulk of Anjou. These two amalgamations neutralised
each other, when the accession of Stephen to England and Normandy
brought the old interests of Blois and Anjou into fierce antagonism, and
for a time neither side won a preponderating position over the other.
Though Matilda the Empress failed to conquer England, her husband
established himself in Normandy, and in 1144 received from Louis VII.
the formal investiture of the duchy. In 1149 Geoffrey and Matilda handed
over their Norman claims to their son Henry, now sixteen years old.
[Sidenote: The growth of Anjou.] In September 1151 the death of Geoffrey
made Henry Fitz-Empress (so the young prince was commonly described)
sole lord of Normandy, Anjou, Maine, and Touraine. Anjou now rapidly
prevailed over Blois. Young as he was, Henry had already a character and
a policy. After his marriage with Eleanor he had a position in France
far stronger than that of King Louis himself; from the Somme to the
Pyrenees, from the Bay of Biscay to the mountains of Auvergne, Henry and
Eleanor ruled directly or indirectly over the fairest half of France.
[Sidenote: The Empire of Henry II.] Two years later, the death of
Stephen made Henry King of England. In 1158 Henry added to his
possession the county of Nantes and re-enforced the old Norman claims of
overlordship over Duke Conan of Brittany. Later he secured the hand of
Constance, Conan’s daughter and heiress, for his second son Geoffrey,
who in 1171 peacefully succeeded his father-in-law as Duke of Brittany.
Henry was equally successful in realising the many pretensions of
Eleanor over the lands of south-western France. In 1158 Eleanor’s claims
to overlordship over the county of Toulouse led Henry to lead an
expedition against Count Raymond V., who had succeeded his father
Alphonse in 1148, and by his marriage with Constance, sister of Louis
VII., and widow of Eustace of Boulogne, King Stephen’s son, had united
himself against the Angevin with the houses of France and Blois. The
personal intervention of King Louis saved Raymond from absolute
submission, though the peace transferred Cahors and the Quercy from
Toulouse to the duchy of Aquitaine. In 1173 Henry accomplished his
purpose. Henceforth the county of Toulouse, with its dependencies the
Rouergue and the Albigeois, became, by Raymond’s submission, recognised
dependencies of Aquitaine. With equal energy Henry pressed his claims to
overlordship over Berri, where his aggressions were particularly
unwelcome by reason of the large strip of royal domain which ran from
Bourges southward. Henry also revived successfully the old Aquitanian
claim to the overlordship of Auvergne, while his alliance with the
rising house of Maurienne, now Counts of Savoy, gave him some command of
the upper Rhone valley and the chief passes over the Alps. The
extraordinary ability of Henry made his commanding position the more
formidable. He was no mere feudal chief like the Counts of Blois, but a
statesman capable of building up a mighty empire.

[Sidenote: Rivalry of Louis VII. and Henry II.]

After the consolidation of the Angevin Empire, Louis had to watch
narrowly the actions of a vassal more powerful than himself. Before long
war became almost chronic between him and Henry. It was not that
constant efforts were not made to secure peace and alliance. Henry
married his eldest son to Louis’ daughter, Margaret, receiving as her
marriage portion the long-coveted possession of the Vexin. In 1162 Louis
VII. and Henry again made common cause in favour of Alexander III.
against the Antipope [see page 257]. During his exile in France
Alexander frequented the dominions of Henry as much as he did those of
Louis. It was in Henry’s town of Tours that the council assembled that
excommunicated the Antipope. Henry seemed too strong to make direct
resistance of much avail.

Before long Henry II. fell into his quarrel with Archbishop Thomas of
Canterbury, which gave Louis an opportunity of adding to his rival’s
difficulties, by giving as much support as he could to his enemies.
After Thomas’s death Louis found an even better way of effecting this
purpose by forcing Henry to divide his dominions among his sons, and
then fomenting the discord that soon burst out between Henry and his
wife and children. In 1170 the young Henry, Louis’ son-in-law, was
crowned joint king with his father, after the French fashion. Geoffrey
was already Duke of Brittany, and in 1172 Richard, the third son, was
enthroned Duke of Aquitaine, and betrothed to Alice, Louis VII.’s
younger daughter. Louis soon persuaded the vain and weak Henry III.—so
he was often styled—to make common cause with him against his father. In
1173 a well-devised conspiracy burst forth against the power of Henry
II. [Sidenote: The War of 1173 and 1174.] The feudal party in England
and Normandy, the King of Scots, and Henry’s discontented vassals in
Britain, made common cause with Louis VII. and the younger King Henry
against the archenemy of the Capetian house. The vassals of France, who
feared Henry more than Louis, joined the confederacy, and at their head
were Geoffrey of Brittany and Richard of Aquitaine, and even Queen
Eleanor herself. Among Louis’ greater vassals Philip of Alsace (son of
Thierry of Alsace), Count of Flanders, entered into the league. So did
the sons of Theobald the Great—Henry the Liberal, Count of Champagne,
and Theobald V., the Good, Count of Blois, both married to Louis VII.’s
daughters. The representative of the younger branch of Blois, the Count
of Flanders’ brother, who ruled Boulogne as the husband of King
Stephen’s daughter Mary, also took up the hereditary policy of his
house. The good luck and the genius of Henry prevailed over Louis and
his associates, and in 1174 peace was patched up on conditions that left
matters much as they had been before the war. Eleanor of Aquitaine,
captured as she was endeavouring to escape to her divorced husband’s
court, was the chief sufferer. She was immured in a prison, from which
she hardly escaped during the rest of Henry II.’s life.

[Sidenote: Progress of the Monarchy under Louis VII.]

In the last seven years of his life Louis VII. made no sensible advance
against Henry II., but though beaten in the field, he had broken up the
unity of the Angevin power, and could still count upon the support of
the sons of his enemy. His reign ended as ingloriously as it had begun.
Nevertheless, the constant interest of the king in the policy of the
remotest parts of the monarchy was a step forward in the royal
operations. The intervention of Louis in Toulouse, in Auvergne, in
Burgundy, though not always successful, marked an advance over the
incuriousness and indifference of his father’s reign in matters not
directly concerning the domain. He even looked beyond his kingdom into
the Arelate, where Barbarossa’s coronation in 1178 was a source of
inquietude to him. Moreover, Louis VII.’s constant friendship for the
Church stood him in good stead in his dealings with his remoter vassals.
His pilgrimages to distant shrines, to St. James of Compostella, to the
Grande Chartreuse, and to the new shrine of St. Thomas at Canterbury,
spread his fame. The younger monastic orders, especially the Cistercians
and the Carthusians, were his enthusiastic friends, and the
unostentatious and timid support of a crowd of bishops and abbots gave
Louis VII.’s reign its peculiar position in history. The chronicler
tells us how, in Louis VII.’s days, war was rare, and the realm ruled
peacefully and strenuously; many new towns established, and ancient ones
increased; many forests were cut down; and divers orders of religion
marvellously multiplied in various parts of the land.

[Sidenote: Family, old age, and death of Louis VII.]

Louis VII. was thrice married. His first two wives brought him daughters
only. Eleanor of Aquitaine’s children, Mary and Alice, became the wives
of the two brothers, Henry of Champagne and Theobald of Blois. Constance
of Castile, Louis’ second wife, was the mother of Margaret, afterwards
wife of the young king, Henry III., and of another Alice, long betrothed
to his brother, Richard of Aquitaine. Fourteen days after Constance’s
death, Louis VII. married his third wife, Alice or Adela of Champagne,
sister of his sons-in-law, Henry the Liberal and Theobald the Good. For
five years they had no children, and Louis, fearing the division of his
kingdom between his daughters, longed earnestly for a son. He visited
Citeaux, and threw himself on his knees before the General Chapter that
was in session, and only rose when he had been assured that God would
soon answer his prayers. In August 1165 the long-wished-for son was born
at Paris, amidst heartfelt rejoicings, and was christened Philip, but
soon became known by the surnames ‘Godgiven’ and ‘Augustus.’ When Philip
was only fourteen years old, Louis VII. was stricken with paralysis. On
All Saints’ Day 1179, he was crowned joint-king at Reims by his mother’s
brother, Archbishop William of Blois. In September 1180 the old king
died, and Philip Augustus became sole King of France.

In the first ten years of the reign of Philip II., the fierce factions
that had raged round the death-bed of Louis VII. were continued. The
chief influences to which the boy-king was exposed were those of Philip
of Flanders, and of the house of Blois. Philip of Alsace had shown more
than the usual energy and skill of a feudal prince in his administration
of Flanders. He is celebrated in Flemish history as the founder of ports
and cities, the granter of charters of liberties, the maker of canals,
the cultivator of sandy heaths and barren marshes, the strong
administrator, the vigilant upholder of law, the friend and patron of
poets and romancers. He also laboriously built up a great family
connection, from which he hoped to establish a power such as might rival
the aggregated fiefs of Blois or Anjou, and might well have anticipated
the later unions of the Netherlands under the Bavarian and Burgundian
houses. [Sidenote: The early years of Philip Augustus, 1180–1189.]
Himself lord of Flanders and Artois, Philip became, by his marriage with
Isabella of Vermandois, the descendant of Hugh the Great the Crusader,
Count of Amiens and Vermandois. His nephew Baldwin was Count of
Hainault. His brother Matthew and his niece Ida were in succession Count
and Countess of Boulogne. Moreover, Philip was the most trusted
counsellor of the old age of Louis VII., and the godfather of Philip
Augustus. Just before Louis’ death his influence was confirmed by the
marriage of his niece, Isabella of Hainault, to the young king. Being
childless, he promised that after his death Artois should go to his
niece and her husband.

The house of Blois had hoped much from the accession of a king whose
mother was a Champenoise. But Philip of Flanders chased Adela of
Champagne from the court, and showed a fierce hostility to her brothers.
Theobald of Blois and Henry of Champagne were forced to make alliance
with their old enemy, Henry of Anjou. William of Reims, disgusted that
the Archbishop of Sens was called upon to crown the new queen, strove to
act once again the part played by Thomas of Canterbury when the younger
Henry was crowned by Roger of York. War seemed imminent between the two
Philips, and a strong coalition that included the houses of Blois and
Anjou, and a vast swarm of smaller feudatories, who rejoiced that the
reign of a boy of fifteen bade fair to give them a chance of striking an
effective blow against the power of their suzerain. But Philip of
Flanders pressed his advantages too far. A natural reaction from the
overbearing Count of Flanders soon drove King Philip towards his mother
and her family. Henry of Anjou’s mediation patched up peace between
Philip II. and his mother’s kinsfolk, and enabled him to shake off his
dependence on Philip of Flanders.

Peace did not last very long. For a short time Henry II. was on good
terms with the French king, and strove to persuade him to associate
himself with the declining fortunes of Henry the Lion, and swell the
coalition against Frederick Barbarossa. But Philip II. gave the deposed
Saxon no effective help, and before long the old relations were
restored. In 1183 Philip was again backing up the rebellious sons of
Henry II. against their father, though the sudden death of Henry, the
young king, quickly brought this struggle to an end. In the next year,
1184, Philip went to war against Philip of Flanders, who on the death of
his wife, Isabella of Vermandois, in 1183, had kept possession of her
lands, which Philip II. had declared forfeited. So fierce a struggle
seemed imminent that the Count of Flanders was glad to get the support
of the house of Blois, which had now again drifted into opposition to
the king. At the same time he called in the Emperor as a counterpoise
against his other suzerain. But Philip of Flanders was afraid to face
the great host which the French king now turned against him. He sought
the intervention of Henry II., who, in November 1185, personally
negotiated the peace of Aumâle, by which the Vermandois was added to the
royal domain, and the promise of Artois and the Somme towns at the
Count’s death was renewed. It was the first real triumph of the young
king’s reign.

[Illustration: FRANCE in 1189]

Flushed by his success against Flanders, Philip II. soon fell again into
hostilities against Henry II. He clamoured for the restoration of the
Vexin, the marriage portion of his sister Margaret, widow of Henry the
younger, but finally allowed it to remain in the English king’s hands as
the future portion for his other sister Alice, the promised bride of
Richard of Aquitaine. But he still intrigued actively with Henry’s
disloyal sons. In 1186 Geoffrey of Brittany went to Paris to plot new
designs against his father, but was cut off by fever when still the
French king’s guest. Projects of crusade delayed for a time the weaving
of the network of intrigue. But in 1189 Philip again found Richard at
war against his father. [Sidenote: Defeat and death of Henry II., 1189.]
A sharp campaign was fought, which resulted in the complete defeat of
Henry II., who on 4th July 1189 was forced to make a complete submission
at Colombières, and died two days afterwards. It was the second great
triumph of Philip’s reign. Though the Angevin heritage passed unimpaired
to Richard, the new king was not statesman long enough to keep together
so precarious an inheritance. Henceforth the advantage was increasingly
on Philip’s side. [Sidenote: The call to the Third Crusade, 1187–1189.]
The call to the Third Crusade postponed the inevitable struggle between
them. But the historian of France may well pause at the death of Henry
II. The period of struggling and waiting was now almost over. In the
later and more brilliant portion of his reign, the conqueror of Philip
of Alsace and Henry of Anjou had to gather in the fruits of his
victories. Yet the future position of France was already assured in the
year that saw the death of the most resourceful of her enemies.

                              CHAPTER XIII

  Europe in 1187—Preparations for the Third Crusade—Crusade and Death of
    Frederick Barbarossa—Destruction of the German Army—Crusade of
    Philip II. and Richard I.—Truce with Saladin—The Reign of Henry
    VI.—Henry’s Coronation and first Italian journey—First attack on
    Apulia—German troubles—Captivity of Richard I.—Conquest of Apulia
    and Sicily—The Hereditary Empire and the Conquest of the East—Death
    of Henry.

[Sidenote: The state of Europe after the fall of Jerusalem.]

In the second half of the twelfth century limits had already been set to
the worst forms of feudal anarchy, and strong and well-ordered states
ruled by powerful kings had replaced the chaos of the Dark Ages.
Frederick Barbarossa, if no effective lord of the world, exercised a
very real authority over Germany, and even over Italy. Louis VI. and
Louis VII. had put the resources of the French monarchy on a solid
basis, and Philip Augustus was now preparing the way for still greater
triumphs. Henry II. had bound together his vast but heterogeneous empire
so firmly that the power of Anjou was able to survive the blind
knight-errantry of his successor. Even in the remoter parts of Europe
the same tendency manifested itself towards the growth of strong
monarchies. The kingdoms of the east and north, barely redeemed from
barbarism, saw rulers like Valdemar of Denmark and Ottocar of Bohemia.
The kingdoms of divided Spain, the Norman dominion of Sicily, show the
universal drift of the tide. Even the greater feudatories of the larger
kingdoms were making themselves centres of an authority that was not far
from being national. States like Toulouse and Provence, representing the
growing national feeling of the south French nation; opulent and
manufacturing Flanders, cutting itself apart from France and Germany
alike, and even mere dynastic powers, like the house of Champagne and
Blois, show how authority was becoming concentrated into few hands. If
the unity of the German kingdom was still rather illusory, the dukes,
counts, and margraves, who ruled over its larger subdivisions, were
making themselves, like the great French feudatories, centres of a local
feeling and of a local order, which, in days when the strongest king’s
arm did not reach very far, were real securities for peace and

When the terrible news that Jerusalem was once more in the hands of the
infidel spread throughout Europe, the result of this development was
seen in the shape taken by the movement to re-establish the Christian
power in the East. In the eleventh century the Popes had preached,
organised, and directed the Crusades. A hundred years later the Papacy
had certainly not declined in influence. But it was no longer the only
strong power in Europe. Absolutely it was what it had been in the days
of Gregory and Urban. Relatively it was much less, since instead of a
Henry IV., or Philip I., or a William Rufus, it had to deal with a
Barbarossa, a Philip Augustus, a Henry of Anjou. Even the leadership of
the Church, as St. Bernard’s career shows, was not necessarily given to
the reigning Pope. While the First Crusade was the work of Urban II.,
and the Second Crusade sprang from the efforts of St. Bernard, the Third
Crusade was due to the prompt action of the great kings of Europe, and
above all to Frederick Barbarossa. In the First Crusade the leadership
of the Christian host fell to the lesser feudal princes, like the Count
of Toulouse or the Count of Flanders. In the Second Crusade the Emperor
and the King of France took the lead, but they went with insufficient
resources, and left their dominions in disorder and anarchy. In the
Third Crusade the three chief monarchs of Europe appeared at the head of
well-equipped and fairly disciplined armies. However little successful
they were, their failure was as much due to their taking with them on
their pilgrimage their Western rivalries, as to their military
insufficiency for their task. In each case they left their dominions
well cared for and well governed, and in no case did their long absence
from their homes stop the orderly development of their states.

The absorption of the Western monarchs on their own territorial
aggrandisement seemed for a time to lessen the force of the crusading
impulse, and certainly during the thirteenth century led to the gradual
decay of the crusading ideal. Europe was now breaking up slowly but
surely into the great nations of modern times, and was inevitably losing
a good deal of her consciousness of unity in the process. Even Frederick
Barbarossa, filled as he was with his dreams of reviving the power of
Rome, had been, as we saw, obliged to adopt a different policy in
Germany and Italy, and had attained his greatest successes in proportion
as he acted most fully as a German national king. To kings like Philip
Augustus and Henry of Anjou, the Empire was a mere name, and they were
conscious of no lord over them save God Himself. Such unity of feeling
as remained in Europe was rather the result of common chivalrous and
martial ideals, and the steady and persistent international influence of
the Catholic Church, than of any ideal unity of the Christian state
under the Roman Emperor. The kings of the West had too much work at home
to give them much leisure to look abroad. If ambition, restlessness, or
principle compelled them to take interest in the affairs of their
neighbours, they had not yet attained sufficient strength to make their
intervention a reality.

[Sidenote: Preparations for the Third Crusade, 1187–1189.]

It was harder to bring about a combined European movement in the days of
Barbarossa than it had been in the days of Urban II. But the news that
the infidel was once more lording it over the Holy Sepulchre so
profoundly stirred up the mind of Europe that all difficulties in the
way of continued action were rapidly surmounted, and within three years
of the fall of Jerusalem the best organised of the Crusades was already
started. The Papacy proved true to its noblest traditions. It was
universally believed that the fall, or the prospect of the fall, of the
Holy City had proved Urban III.’s death-blow. His successors, the
enthusiastic Gregory VIII. and the conciliatory Clement III., strove, at
great sacrifices, to heal the feuds of Pope and Emperor, and to assuage
the rivalries of the monarchs of Europe, so that all might turn their
resources to the Holy War. Within a few weeks of the receipt of the
fatal news, orders were issued from Rome, calling on the faithful to
unite to free Jerusalem from the infidel, enjoining public fasts and
prayers, and offering ample indulgences and spiritual encouragements to
such as would take the cross. The Cardinals talked of living on alms,
and devoting their property to the Crusade, while they wandered through
Europe, preaching the Holy War. Italy, so little moved as a rule by the
crusading impulse, and so accustomed to make a heavy profit from the
necessities of Northern and Western pilgrims, was all aglow with
enthusiasm. The first succour sent to the East came from a Norman fleet
from Naples and Sicily, which took up the work of Bohemund. William of
Sicily turned to the succour of Antioch and Tyre the army which he had
collected to attack Constantinople. Not much behind the Sicilians were
the Scandinavian peoples, who were now for the first time brought within
the range of the crusading movement. If Norway, torn asunder by civil
war, contributed but few Crusaders, thousands took the cross in Sweden
and Denmark. But the individual efforts of the smaller states soon
subordinated themselves to the action of the three greatest princes of
Europe. Richard of Aquitaine was the first of Western rulers to take the
cross in 1187. His father and Philip of France received the cross from
the Archbishop of Tyre in the early part of 1188. But though England and
France could agree to levy a ‘Saladin tithe,’ to equip the crusading
host, the hostility of their sovereigns postponed the Crusade until
after Henry II.’s death. When, in 1189, Philip Augustus and Richard Cœur
de Lion made themselves the leaders of the Third Crusade in the West,
Frederick Barbarossa, with his German host, was already on his march for
the East. Round these three monarchs groups the history of the Crusade.

[Sidenote: Crusade and death of Frederick Barbarossa, 1089–1191.]

Frederick Barbarossa was the first to start. In the spring of 1189, the
German Crusaders gathered together at Ratisbon. Great pains were taken
to provide money and equipment as well as men, and every precaution to
avoid the swarm of unarmed pilgrims and penniless fanatics, who had
destroyed the discipline and military efficiency of earlier crusading
armies. In May the German host started on the dangerous land route
through Hungary, Greece, and Asia Minor. The friendship of Bela III. of
Hungary made the first part of the journey easy. Much time was wasted
through the treachery of the Eastern Emperor, Isaac Angelus, yet Isaac
dared not face the open hostility of the Germans, and at last made his
submission. Winter was now at hand, and Frederick thought it prudent to
rest at Adrianople. In March 1190 the Germans resumed their march. April
saw them in Asia, on the borders of the kingdom of Roum, where Kilidj
Arslan proved as plausible and as treacherous as Isaac. But, like Isaac,
the Sultan feared provoking their direct hostility, and after many
delays and difficulties, the Christian army was allowed to proceed. By
June the Crusaders were descending the passes of the Taurus into
Cilicia, then part of the Christian kingdom of Armenia. On reaching the
banks of the Salef, the old Emperor, against the advice of his
followers, sought refreshment and the shortening of his journey by
swimming over the river. But the swift current swept him away, and the
sorrowful warriors could only rescue his lifeless body from the stream.

Up to this point the German expedition had been decidedly successful.
But the utter consternation that fell upon it after the Emperor’s death
did more for Islam than the tricks of Kilidj Arslan and the deserts and
defiles of Asia Minor. Many knights hastened to the coast and took ship
home. Duke Frederick of Swabia, Barbarossa’s second son, assumed the
command of the dispirited remnant, which, after resting a while in the
friendly land of the Armenians, entered Syria. [Sidenote: Destruction of
the German Army.] The reins of discipline were now hopelessly relaxed.
The army broke up into various bands, and the disconnected fragments
were so severely handled by the Saracens that German slaves were cheap
for many a day in every market of Syria. Duke Frederick at last reached
Antioch, where he buried the perishable parts of his father’s body in
the church of St. Peter. The plague now decimated the much tried host,
and only a miserable remnant followed Duke Frederick to join in the
siege of Acre. Before long the Duke of Swabia died, and the Germans were
now so utterly demoralised that they lost the sacred bones of their
Emperor, which they had preserved in the hope of giving them a worthy
tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The great German army was of
less account in Palestine than the scattered bands that came from Lower
Germany by sea and finally got to Acre after doing good service against
the Moors in Spain, or the little host that had sailed from Brindisi
under the Landgrave Louis of Thuringia, and also reached Syria in

The German Crusade had already been undone when the kings of France and
England met at Vézelai and marched thence to Marseilles. A gallant army
accompanied them, conspicuous among the leaders of which were Hugh, Duke
of Burgundy, Theobald V. of Blois (the son and successor of Theobald the
Great), Henry II., Count of Champagne (the Count of Blois’ nephew), and
Philip of Alsace, the aged Count of Flanders. [Sidenote: Crusade of
Philip Augustus and Richard I., 1190–1192.] In September 1190 both kings
had reached Sicily, where they passed the winter, detained by the
critical state of the island. William the Good had died in November
1189, and his throne should have passed to his aunt Constance’s husband,
the new king of the Romans, Henry VI. But the rule of the northerners
was not popular in Sicily. [Sidenote: Tancred of Sicily and Isaac of
Cyprus, 1189–1191.] Despite the efforts of Walter Archbishop of Palermo
to keep the Sicilian grandees true to their oaths, the national party,
headed by the chancellor Matthew, passed over Constance, and gave the
throne to Tancred, Count of Lecce, a young, vigorous, warlike, and
popular prince. Tancred was a bastard son of Duke Roger, King Roger’s
eldest son, who had died before his father. As the determined foe of the
Hohenstaufen, Richard bore no ill-will to Tancred, and, with a little
more statecraft, would have seen the wisdom of gaining his friendship.
But Richard often neglected policy for adventure, and was perhaps seized
by a wild desire to conquer Sicily. Tancred had rashly imprisoned King
William’s widow, Joanna, who was Richard I.’s sister, and had deprived
her of her dowry. On Richard’s arrival, King Tancred released the lady,
but still kept her lands. But Richard took Messina by storm, ‘quicker
than a priest could chant matins,’ and forced Tancred to surrender his
sister’s portion. He stayed in Sicily all the winter, and at the time of
the spring passage, Richard and Philip set sail for the Holy Land. On
the way Richard conquered Cyprus, then ruled by the Comnenian prince
Isaac, who was called Emperor of Cyprus, and had won an ill name for his
ill-concealed alliance with Saladin and his bad treatment of Frankish

[Sidenote: Capture of Acre, 1191.]

The affairs of the Christians in Palestine seemed utterly desperate. Guy
of Lusignan [see pp. 193–195], who had been released by Saladin on
promising to relinquish the crown, had been absolved from his oath by
the clergy, and now again called himself King of Jerusalem, though
Conrad of Montferrat held Tyre against him, and the Christians were
hopelessly divided. Nevertheless Guy, with the help of the first
Crusaders, had undertaken the siege of Acre, the most important of the
Saracen conquests after Jerusalem itself. But the Saracens, who came to
the relief of Acre, were themselves strong enough to besiege the
besiegers, who were soon in a terrible plight. The constant arrival of
fresh Crusaders, and the need of dividing Saladin’s army to deal with
Barbarossa, enabled Guy to hold his own until the spring of 1191, when
Saladin renewed his blockade. In despair Guy hurried to Cyprus and
begged for Richard’s help. Philip reached the camp in April, and Richard
early in June. Saladin now retired, and the siege of Acre was renewed.
In July the standard of the Cross again floated over its walls.

The Western army had taken with them to Palestine their national
jealousies, and the quarrels of the rival claimants for the throne of
Jerusalem brought these animosities to a crisis. Philip looked upon
Richard with deadly hatred as his most formidable rival, and Richard’s
insulting repudiation of his long-plighted faith to Alice, Philip’s
sister, and his marriage with Berengaria of Navarre at Cyprus, would
have irritated a colder man than the French king. Conrad of Montferrat
was urged by the great nobles of Palestine to claim the throne, since
Sibyl and her children were already dead, and Guy’s title to the throne
had entirely disappeared. [Sidenote: Rivalry of Guy of Lusignan and
Conrad of Montferrat.] Isabella, Sibyl’s younger sister, now repudiated
her husband, Henfrid of Toron, married Conrad, and transferred to him
her claims to the succession. While these disputes were raging the army
remained inactive, but at last a compromise was patched up by which Guy
kept the royal title but shared his power with Conrad, who was appointed
his successor. No sooner was this done than Philip Augustus started
home. Freed from his presence Richard marched against the infidel, and
performed prodigies of valour. But his army was breaking up through
sickness, death, and desertion. Many of the French had gone back with
Philip. The plague had carried off Theobald of Blois and Philip of
Alsace. Hugh of Burgundy, who died in Palestine in 1193, and Henry of
Champagne, were now the chief French Crusaders. Despite the arrangement
between Guy and Conrad their rivalry burst out afresh, and Conrad became
so strong that Richard acknowledged him king. Soon after, Conrad’s
murder by the emissaries of the ‘Old Man of the Mountain’ renewed the
troubles, though they were for a time satisfactorily settled when
Isabella, Conrad’s widow, married Henry of Champagne, who was now
accepted as king, both by the Crusaders and the Syrian Franks.
[Sidenote: Henry of Champagne King of Jerusalem, 1192.] Richard
magnanimously compensated Guy by handing over Cyprus, where the house of
Lusignan reigned as kings until the latter part of the fifteenth
century. At length the war with Saladin was renewed. But the Crusaders
were decimated with sickness and weary of their enterprise, while the
elaborate courtesies, now exchanged between the Christian and Mohammedan
armies, showed that the long intercourse of Frank and Saracen had
destroyed the bigotry and acerbity that had marked the earlier dealings
of the two hosts. [Sidenote: Truce with Saladin, and end of the Third
Crusade, 1192.] In September 1192 a truce was made by which Jaffa was
left in Christian hands and free access to Jerusalem was allowed to
pilgrims, though the Holy City remained ruled by the Mohammedans. In
October Richard left Palestine, and next year Saladin died. With the
passing away of the two mighty antagonists the great epoch of the
Crusades ended. Even before this the Third Crusade had shown that a
Europe, broken up into rival states, whose kings carried their
animosities with them even when they fought as soldiers of the Cross,
was less capable of upholding the Frankish power in the East than even
the tumultuous throngs of feudal chieftains and adventurers, who had
first established it. Yet the Third Crusade had given a new lease to the
Christian power in Syria. Acre now became what Jerusalem had been in the
twelfth century, and the Latin kingdom of Cyprus afforded a good basis
for future operations against the infidel, and bound the East and West
together as they had never been bound before. If the Third Crusade
marked the end of the heroic period, it made easy the regular flow of
bands of armed pilgrims, every spring and autumn passage, on which the
future destinies of the Latin East depended.

[Sidenote: Henry VI., 1190–1197.]

The short but most important reign of Henry VI. brings out clearly that
intimate interconnection of all Western and Eastern politics which the
Crusade had already strikingly illustrated. The puny frame and delicate
constitution of the young king stood in marked contrast to the physical
strength and vigour of his father. But his strong features expressed
sternness and determination, and his mental gifts and character were in
no wise inferior to those of Barbarossa. He was as good a general, as
active and strenuous a politician, as the old king. His policy shows a
daring originality to which his father could make no claim. But the
broader, nobler sides of Barbarossa’s character were but little
represented in that of his son. He carried out ambitious schemes with
cold-blooded selfishness, ruthless cruelty, and greedy treachery. Yet
his general objects were far-reaching, and not wanting in nobility, and
he ever showed a rare self-restraint. The inheritor of his father’s
great work, the husband of the heiress of Sicily, Henry had visions of a
power which was not limited to Germany and northern Italy. He dreamt of
an Empire as universal as the Empire imagined by Otto III. Like Otto, he
strove to make Italy rather than Germany the centre of his power. Like
Otto also, he reigned too short a time to carry out his ideals. But,
unlike Otto, he strove to realise his ambitions in a thoroughly
practical and masterly way. In his reign of eight years he had only one

[Sidenote: Return of Henry the Lion, 1190.]

From the moment that the departure of Barbarossa had left King Henry the
virtual ruler of Germany, grave difficulties encompassed his
administration. Henry the Lion returned, Lübeck opened its doors to its
founder, and was soon in a position to dispute the supremacy of Saxony
with the bishops and barons who had divided his ancient powers. In the
summer of 1190, the mediation of the Archbishops of Cologne and Mainz
concluded the Treaty of Fulda, by which the king allowed Henry the
Lion’s restoration, and gave him half the revenues of Lübeck. It was
worth while to buy off opposition when the news of the recognition of
Tancred by the Pope required Henry’s immediate presence in Italy to
vindicate the claims of his wife Constance to the Sicilian throne.
Hardly less alarming was the news of the long sojourn of Richard of
England in Messina, and of his treaty with the usurper Tancred. It
seemed as if Richard, the brother-in-law of Henry the Lion, and the
strenuous supporter of the Guelfs, was becoming the bond of union
between the enemies of the Hohenstaufen in northern Germany and southern
Italy. The news of Barbarossa’s death now further complicated the

[Sidenote: Henry VI.’s Coronation and first Italian journey, 1191.]

Early in 1191 Henry VI. crossed the Alps to Italy. The mutual rivalries
of the Lombard cities made it improbable that he would have much
difficulty with the north. He prudently sought the friendship of both
the rival leagues, whose feuds were now distracting Lombardy. He won the
support of Pisa and Genoa, which alone had fleets strong enough to
convey him to Sicily. In his anxiety to isolate Tancred, he strove to
conciliate Clement III., who had been allowed to live in Rome on the
condition of recognising the autonomy of the city. [Sidenote: Celestine
III., 1191–1198.] But in March 1191 the pacific Clement died, and his
successor, the Roman Cardinal Hyacinth, who took the name of Celestine
III., was a weak and petulant old man of more than eighty years of age,
who feared both the union of the Empire and Sicily, and an open breach
with Henry.

Henry demanded his coronation as Emperor, and Celestine strove to defer
it by postponing his own consecration as Pope. Henry now marched to the
neighbourhood of Rome, and took possession of Tusculum, which, in its
bitter hatred of the Romans, had implored for an imperial garrison. He
resolved to hasten his coronation by winning over the Romans, and with
that object he treacherously handed over Tusculum to them. The Romans
wreaked a hideous vengeance on their hated enemy. Tusculum was so
absolutely demolished that no later attempt was ever made to repeople
it. In later times Frascati, lower down the hill, became a populous
town; but the ruins of Tusculum still testify to the completeness of the
Romans’ vengeance. Henry’s stroke of policy met with immediate success.
On April 14th Celestine was consecrated, and next day he crowned Henry
and Constance.

[Sidenote: Failure of the attack on Apulia, 1191.]

Triumphant over the Papacy, Henry now marched against Tancred. At first
he was conspicuously successful, and Naples alone still held out for
Tancred. It was besieged by Henry on the land side, while the galleys of
Pisa and Genoa blocked all access to it by sea. The strenuous resistance
of Naples soon shattered the Emperor’s hopes. The Sicilian admiral,
Margarito, drove away the Pisans, and re-opened communication between
Naples and Sicily. The south Italian summer brought plague and fever
into the German host. A fierce national reaction against the Northerners
swept through southern Italy. Baffled and beaten, Henry raised the siege
and returned to Germany.

Henry of Brunswick, the eldest son of Henry the Lion, who had
accompanied the Emperor to Italy as a hostage, escaped from the imperial
camp, and established an alliance between Tancred and the Guelfs. During
the king’s absence in Italy, Henry the Lion had broken the Peace of
Fulda, and was waging war against his Saxon enemies. On the king’s
return to Germany, a struggle between the Guelfs and the Hohenstaufen
seemed inevitable. [Sidenote: Renewed German troubles, 1191–1194.]
However Henry VI. still made it his main object to conquer Naples and
Sicily, and Henry the Lion was too old and too fearful of fresh
banishment to risk everything once more. Accordingly, negotiations were
entered into between the two, and a reconciliation seemed likely to
ensue. But the German magnates were more afraid of the Guelfs than the
Emperor, and pressed him to go to war against Henry the Lion. [Sidenote:
The Saxon troubles and the Liége succession, 1192.] At last, in 1192,
Henry took the field against the Guelfs. A new complication followed.
There had been a disputed succession to the see of Liége, which had
given Henry a chance to annul the two rival elections, and appoint
Lothair of Hochstaden as bishop. It was a glaring violation of the
Concordat of Worms, and a direct defiance of the spiritual power. The
stronger of the wronged claimants, Albert of Brabant, appealed to the
Pope, and obtained his recognition. Unable to get hallowed as bishop by
his own metropolitan at Cologne, Albert went to Reims, to seek
consecration from a foreign prelate. Three knights, vassals of Liége and
servants of the Emperor, followed Albert to Reims, and murdered him, in
November 1192. A great sensation was created by the dastardly deed,
which in many ways recalled the murder of St. Thomas of Canterbury
twenty-two years before. But Henry managed to escape direct
ecclesiastical censure, though the murderers afterwards received fiefs
from him in Italy. [Sidenote: The revolt of the Rhineland, 1193.]
However, the barons of the Rhineland, already disaffected at Henry’s
masterful policy, and resenting his neglect of the magnates for his
faithful officials, took the opportunity to revolt, and, joining the
rebellious Guelfs, raised up a formidable opposition to the Emperor, and
talked of transferring the crown to their leader, the Duke of Brabant.
But fortune was on Henry’s side. At the same time as the news of the
rebellion came the joyful tidings that Richard of England, returning in
disguise from the Holy Land, had been captured by Leopold, Duke of
Austria, who brought a series of charges against him, and handed him
over to the Emperor. [Sidenote: Captivity and ransom of Richard I.,
1192–1194.] Philip of France, and John, Richard’s brother, pressed the
Emperor to keep the captive as long as he could, and Richard remained
more than two years in prison, but the delay was due to his
unwillingness to accept the hard conditions imposed upon him. At last
Richard was forced to agree to the Emperor’s terms, and in June 1193
purchased his release in the Treaty of Worms. Richard was forced to pay
a vast ransom and to renounce his alliance with Tancred. But the hardest
condition was the surrender of the English crown to the Emperor, which
in February 1194 Henry formally handed back to Richard as a fief of the
Empire. Some compensation was given to Richard’s wounded feelings by a
grant to him of the kingdom of Arles, which had some importance as a
fresh declaration of hostility against Philip of France. Moreover, Henry
cleverly used Richard to procure peace in Germany. Henry the Lion
yielded to his brother-in-law’s pleadings, and again made his
submission. Even the barons of the lower Rhine were not unmoved by his
appeals. Richard’s departure left Germany at peace with the Emperor, and
his ransom made easy a fresh expedition against Tancred.[25] Henry of
Brunswick, Henry the Lion’s eldest son, was married to a cousin of the
Emperor, Agnes, daughter of Conrad, Count Palatine of the Rhine, and the
Emperor’s uncle. The Emperor promised him the succession to the
Palatinate, and Henry promised to join in the Sicilian expedition. In
1195 Henry the Lion ended his long and turbulent career. The Emperor was
now free to turn his attention to Italy. His self-restraint and his good
luck had carried him over his difficulties in Germany. His greatest
merit was that, however proud he was of his mighty position, he never
left out of sight the necessity of subordinating all minor aims to his
desire to win Naples and Sicily. His moderation against Henry the Lion,
his reconciliation with Richard, his rejection of the tempting offers of
France, and his vast concessions to the German nobles, now attained
their object.

[Sidenote: Henry’s Italian policy, 1191–1194.]

During Henry’s absence in Germany, the imperial cause in Italy had
declined. Nevertheless Henry had kept up constant communications with
his Italian partisans, and had observed a very careful policy with
regard to the Lombards. He has often been accused of striving to restore
his father’s schemes of supremacy in Italy by violating the Treaty of
Constance and seeking again the abasement of the Lombards. But the
charge is no more just than the one of extravagant hostility against the
Guelfs. As a matter of fact, Henry strove to postpone all other troubles
in order to get his hands free to secure his wife’s inheritance. He saw
that Lombardy, after Constance, had fallen back into her ancient feuds,
and that two leagues, one headed by Milan, the other by Cremona, had
arisen, both equally indifferent to the Empire, and both equally willing
to invoke its aid to crush the local enemy. Henry strove to make
treaties with both confederacies, while he cheerfully replenished his
coffers from the treasuries of both Milan and Cremona, and did his best
to end the war. He established his brother Philip in Tuscany. Genoa and
Pisa again provided him with ships. The Norman kingdom, isolated from
its wonted allies, had to meet him single-handed, save for the timid
support of Celestine III.

Tancred prepared manfully for the struggle. He obtained in 1192 the
formal investiture of Apulia and Sicily from Celestine III. He procured
the coronation of his young son Roger as joint-king, and negotiated a
marriage for him with Irene, daughter of the Greek Emperor Isaac
Angelus. [Sidenote: Conquest of Apulia and Sicily, 1194.] He strenuously
and successfully held his own against the Emperor’s lieutenants. But all
his hopes were destroyed by the young King Roger’s death, and soon after
Tancred himself died. The national party set up his eldest surviving son
as King William III., but in May 1194 Henry again reached Italy, and
invaded the defenceless south. There was a mere show of resistance. By
November Palermo was in the hands of the Emperor, and on Christmas Day
he received the Sicilian crown in the cathedral. The young King William
was sent, blinded and mutilated, to die obscurely in a German convent.
The last upholders of the national power, including the Admiral
Margarito, soon perished in gloomy dungeons. The very family of Tancred
now secured its patrimonial possessions by a timely recognition of the
rival. At Easter 1195 Henry was able to return to Germany, leaving
Constance as regent, with the tried court official, Conrad of Urslingen,
now Duke of Spoleto, as her chief adviser. The officials from the lower
German nobility, who had served Henry so well in Germany, were intrusted
with the administration of his new inheritance, and soon abased the
great Norman houses.

[Sidenote: Henry’s triumph and further projects, 1194–1197.]

Never was an Emperor stronger since the days of Charlemagne. All Italy
was directly under his rule. The Pisan and Genoese fleets conquered
Corsica and Sardinia in his name. His troops occupied the patrimony of
St. Peter, and his officer Markwald of Anweiler was lord of Ancona and
Romagna. His alliance with the Roman Senate kept Celestine III. from
doing any mischief. Germany was obedient. The King of England was his
vassal, and the heir of the Guelfs his follower and supporter. To add to
his triumph, Constance, the day after his coronation at Palermo, bore
him the long-prayed-for heir, the future Frederick II., called Frederick
and Roger after his two famous grandfathers. Before long the kings of
the East sought his friendship and support. The Lusignan King of Cyprus
boasted that he was the vassal of the Latin Empire. The King of Armenia
received his ambassadors. Henry’s brother, Philip of Swabia, now made
Marquis of Tuscany and lord of the inheritance of the Countess Matilda,
married young Roger’s widow Irene, an alliance that made Isaac Angelus
the close connection of his Western rival. Three great ambitions
henceforth possessed Henry’s soul. He would make the Empire hereditary
in his own house, and unite for ever the German and the Sicilian
thrones. He would rule Europe from Italy as a centre. He would make
himself lord of the East, setting on foot a Crusade that would conquer
the schismatic Greeks, and establish the Latin power in the whole East
under his control. Wild as his schemes seemed, his extraordinary
successes made them not altogether visionary.

[Sidenote: The hereditary Empire.]

On returning to Germany, Henry sought to persuade the princes to agree
that the Empire, like the French monarchy, should henceforth descend
from father to son. At the Diet of Würzburg, in April 1196, more than
fifty of the princes agreed to his proposals. But the strenuous
opposition of Adolf, Archbishop of Cologne, and the conservative
magnates of Saxony taught Henry that it was no time to persevere in an
unpopular request. He contented himself for the moment with procuring
the election of the two-year-old Frederick Roger as German king at
Frankfurt, and in winning over many of the German nobles to his Eastern

Before the end of 1196 Henry was again in southern Italy. The very Pope
was now on his side. Celestine, delighted at the prospect of a new
Crusade, forbore to press Henry to discharge the long-deferred homage
which every Sicilian king had paid to the Papacy. During his absence the
tyranny of the German officials had proved too grievous to be borne, and
a formidable Sicilian conspiracy had been formed against them. Henry now
stamped out all opposition with incredible brutality and harshness.
Fresh from the hideous tortures of his victims, Henry now threw himself
with all his might into his schemes of Eastern conquest. The new Greek
Emperor, Alexius III., was summoned to surrender all provinces east of
Thessalonica as part of the Sicilian inheritance, and cheerfully agreed
to pay a heavy tribute to avert the threatened attack. Meanwhile a vast
swarm of German warriors had collected in Sicily and Apulia under the
pretence of the new Crusade. [Sidenote: The Conquest of the East.] In
September the first ships sailed from Messina to Acre. But in the moment
of the realisation of his ambitions a sudden fever cut down the great
Emperor. [Sidenote: Death of Henry VI., 1197.] On 28th September Henry
VI. died at Messina when he was only thirty-two years of age. Before his
ashes were laid beside his Sicilian ancestors in the cathedral at
Palermo, his brilliant schemes were hopelessly shattered.

                              CHAPTER XIV
          EUROPE IN THE DAYS OF INNOCENT III. (1198–1216)[26]

  Character and theories of Innocent III.—The Sicilian Succession and
    the Minority of Frederick II.—The Subjection of Rome and the
    Patrimony of St. Peter—Innocent and Germany—Rivalry of Philip of
    Swabia and Otto of Brunswick—Innocent and Philip Augustus—The Pope
    as Feudal Lord—Otto IV. and Frederick II.—The Crusades—Innocent’s
    Religious Position—The Lateran Council.

[Sidenote: Election of Innocent III., 1198.]

After the great Emperors came the great Pope. Within four months of the
death of Henry VI., Celestine III. had been succeeded by Innocent III.,
under whom the visions of Gregory VII. and Alexander III. at last became
accomplished facts, the papal authority attained its highest point of
influence, and the Empire, raised to such heights by Frederick
Barbarossa and Henry VI., was reduced to a condition of dependence upon

The new Pope had been Lothaire of Segni, a member of the noble Roman
house of Conti, who had studied law and theology at Paris and Bologna,
and had at an early age won for himself a many-sided reputation as a
jurist, a politician, and as a writer. The favour of his uncle, Clement
III., had made him Cardinal before he was thirty, but under Celestine
III. he kept in the background, disliked by the Pope, and himself
suspicious of the timid and temporising old man. But on Celestine’s
death on 8th January 1198, Lothaire, though still only thirty-seven
years of age, was at once hailed as his most fitting successor, as the
strong man who could win for the Church all the advantages that she
might hope to gain from the death of Henry VI. Nor did Innocent’s
Pontificate belie the promise of his early career.

[Sidenote: Character and theories of Innocent III.]

Innocent III. possessed a majestic and noble appearance, an unblemished
private character, popular manners, a disposition prone to sudden fits
of anger and melancholy, and a fierce and indomitable will. He brought
to his exalted position the clearly formulated theories of the canonist
as to the nature of the papal power, as well as the overweening
ambition, the high courage, the keen intelligence and the perseverance
and energy necessary to turn the theories of the schools into matters of
everyday practice. His enunciations of the Papal doctrine put claims
that Hildebrand himself had hardly ventured to advance in the clearest
and most definite light. The Pope was no mere successor of Peter, the
vicegerent of man. ‘The Roman pontiff,’ he wrote, ‘is the vicar, not of
man, but of God Himself.’ ‘The Lord gave Peter the rule not only of the
Universal Church but also the rule of the whole world.’ ‘The Lord Jesus
Christ has set up one ruler over all things as His universal vicar, and
as all things in heaven, earth and hell bow the knee to Christ, so
should all obey Christ’s vicar, that there be one flock and one
shepherd.’ ‘No king can reign rightly unless he devoutly serve Christ’s
vicar.’ ‘Princes have power in earth, priests have also power in heaven.
Princes reign over the body, priests over the soul. As much as the soul
is worthier than the body, so much worthier is the priesthood than the
monarchy.’ ‘The _Sacerdotium_ is the sun, the _Regnum_ the moon. Kings
rule over their respective kingdoms, but Peter rules over the whole
earth. The _Sacerdotium_ came by divine creation, the _Regnum_ by man’s
cunning.’ In these unrestricted claims to rule over Church and State
alike we seem to be back again in the anarchy of the eleventh century.
And it was not against the feeble feudal princes of the days of
Hildebrand that Innocent III. had to contend, but against strong
national kings, like Philip of France and John of England. It is
significant of the change of the times, that Innocent sees his chief
antagonist, not so much in the Empire as in the limited localised power
of the national kings. When Richard of England had yielded before Henry
VI., the national state gave way before the universal authority of the
lord of the world. But Innocent claimed that he alone was lord of the
world. The Empire was but a German or Italian kingdom, ruling over its
limited sphere. Only in the Papacy was the old Roman tradition of
universal monarchy rightly upheld.

Filled with these ambitions of universal monarchy, Innocent III.’s
survey took in both the smallest and the greatest of European affairs.
Primarily Innocent’s work was that of an ecclesiastical statesman, and
entrenched far upon the authority of the state. We shall see him
restoring the papal authority in Rome and in the Patrimony, building up
the machinery of papal absolutism, protecting the infant King of Sicily,
cherishing the municipal freedom of Italy, making and unmaking kings and
emperors at his will, forcing the fiercest of the Western sovereigns to
acknowledge his feudal supremacy, and the greatest of the Kings of
France to reform his private life at his commands, giving his orders to
the petty monarchs of Spain and Hungary, and promulgating the law of the
Church Universal before the assembled prelates of Christendom in the
Lateran Council. Nevertheless, the many-sided Pontiff had not less near
to his heart the spiritual and intellectual than the political direction
of the universe. He had the utmost zeal for the extension of the Kingdom
of Christ. The affair of the Crusade was, as we shall see, ever his most
pressing care, and it was his bitterest grief that all his efforts to
rouse the Christian world for the recovery of Jerusalem fell on deaf
ears. He was strenuous in upholding orthodoxy against the daring
heretics of Southern France. He was sympathetic and considerate to great
religious teachers, like Francis and Dominic, from whose work he had the
wisdom to anticipate the revival of the inner life of the Church. As
many-sided as strong, and successful as he was strong, Innocent III.
represents the culmination of the papal ideal of the Middle Ages, and
represents it worthily and adequately.

[Sidenote: Innocent III. and Italy.]

Even before Innocent had attained the Chair of Peter, the worst dangers
that had so long beset the successors of Alexander III. were over. After
the death of Henry VI. the Sicilian and the German crowns were
separated, and the strong anti-imperial reaction that burst out all over
Italy against the oppressive ministers of Henry VI. was allowed to run
its full course. The danger was now not so much of despotism as of
anarchy, and Innocent, like Hildebrand, knew how to turn confusion to
the advantage of the hierarchy.

[Sidenote: The Sicilian Succession and the minority of Frederick.]

No real effort was made to obtain for the little Frederick the crowns of
both Germany and Sicily. Constance, freed from her husband’s control,
sensibly changed her policy. Her keen sympathies with her father’s
inheritance had made her an unwilling spectator of the harshness and
cruelty of his German soldiers and ministers. While Philip of Swabia,
her brother-in-law, hurried to Germany to maintain, if he could, the
unity of the Hohenstaufen Empire, Constance was quite content to secure
her son’s succession in Naples and Sicily by renewing the homage due to
the Pope, by renouncing the ecclesiastical privileges which Urban II.
had once granted to Count Roger [see page 139], and promising a yearly
tribute. Having thus obtained the indispensable papal confirmation,
Constance ruled in Naples as a national queen in the name of the little
Frederick. She drove away the German bandits who had made the name of
her husband a terror to her subjects. Markwald of Anweiler left his
Apulian fiefs for Romagna. But the Pope joined with Constance in his
hostility to the Germans. Without Innocent III.’s strong and constant
support she could hardly have carried out her policy. Recognising in the
renewal of the old papal protection the best hopes for the independence
of Sicily, Constance, on her death in 1198, called on Innocent III. to
act as the guardian of her son. [Sidenote: Death of Constance, 1198.]
Innocent loyally took up her work, and struggled with all his might to
preserve the kingdom of Frederick against his many enemies. But the
contest was a long and a fierce one. No sooner was Constance dead than
the Germans came back to their prey. The fierce Markwald, driven from
Romagna by the papal triumph, claimed the regency and the custody of the
king. [Sidenote: Innocent’s guardianship and the expulsion of the
Germans.] The Saracens and Greeks of Sicily, still numerous and active,
joined the Germans. Walter, Bishop of Troja, chancellor of Sicily,
weaved deep plots against his master and his overlord. But the general
support of the Church gave Innocent a strong weapon. Roffrid, Abbot of
Monte Casino, a tried friend of Henry VI., declared for Innocent against
Markwald, who in revenge besieged the great monastery, until a summer
storm drove him baffled from its walls. But the purchased support of
Pisa gave Markwald the command of the sea, and Innocent had too many
schemes on foot and too little military power at his command to be able
to make easy headway against him. [Sidenote: Markwald and Walter of
Brienne.] At last Innocent had reluctant recourse to Count Walter of
Brienne, the French husband of Tancred’s daughter Albina, and now a
claimant for the hereditary fiefs of Tancred, Lecce and Taranto, from
which, despite Henry VI.’s promise, he had long been driven. For almost
the first time in Italian history, Frenchmen were thus called in to
drive out Germans. But it was then as afterwards a dangerous experiment.
Walter of Brienne and his small French following invaded Apulia, and
fought hard against Diepold of Acerra, another of King Henry’s Germans.
Meanwhile Markwald, now in open alliance with the Bishop of Troja, made
himself master of Sicily, and regent of the young king. His death in
1202 removed the most dangerous enemy of both Innocent and Frederick.
But the war dragged on for years in Apulia, especially after Diepold had
slain Walter of Brienne. The turbulent feudal barons of Apulia and
Sicily profited by this long reign of anarchy to establish themselves on
a permanent basis. At last Innocent sent his own brother, Richard, Count
of Segni, to root out the last of the Germans. So successful was he
that, in 1208, the Pope himself visited the kingdom of his ward, and
arranged for its future government by native lords, helped by his
brother, who now received a rich Apulian fief. It was Innocent’s glory
that he had secured for Frederick the whole Norman inheritance. It was
amidst such storms and troubles that the young Frederick grew up to

[Sidenote: Innocent and the inheritance of Matilda.]

In central and northern Italy, Innocent III. was more speedily
successful than in the south. On Philip of Swabia’s return to Germany,
Tuscany and the domains of the Countess Matilda fell away from their
foreign lord, and invoked the protection of the Church. The Tuscan
cities formed themselves into a new league under papal protection. Only
Pisa, proud of her sea power, wealth, and trade, held aloof from the
combination. It seemed as if, after a century of delays, the Papacy was
going to enjoy the inheritance of Matilda, and Innocent eagerly set
himself to work to provide for its administration. In the north the Pope
maintained friendly relations with the rival communities of the Lombard
plain. But his most immediate and brilliant triumph was in establishing
his authority over Rome and the Patrimony of St. Peter. On his accession
he found his lands just throwing off the yoke of the German garrisons
that had kept them in subjection during Henry VI.’s lifetime. [Sidenote:
The subjection of Rome and of the Patrimony of St. Peter.] He saw within
the city power divided between the Præfectus Urbis, the delegate of the
Emperor, and the Summus Senator, the mouthpiece of the Roman commune.
Within a month the Prefect ceased to be an imperial officer, and became
the servant of the Papacy, bound to it by fealty oaths, and receiving
from it his office. Within a year the Senator also had become the papal
nominee, and the whole municipality controlled by the Pope. No less
complete was Innocent’s triumph over the nobility of the Campagna. He
drove Conrad of Urslingen back to Germany, and restored Spoleto to papal
rule. He chased Markwald from Romagna and the march of Ancona to Apulia,
and exercised sovereign rights even in the most remote regions that
acknowledged him as lord. If it was no very real sway that Innocent
wielded, it at least allowed the town leagues and the rustic nobility to
go on in their own way, and made it possible for Italy to work out its
own destinies. More powerful and more feared in Italy than any of his
predecessors, Innocent could contentedly watch the anti-imperial
reaction extending over the Alps, and desolating Germany by civil war.

[Sidenote: Innocent III. and Germany.]

Despite the precautions taken by Henry VI. , it was soon clear that the
German princes would not accept the hereditary rule of a child of three.
Philip of Swabia abandoned his Italian domains and hurried to Germany,
anxious to do his best for his nephew. But he soon perceived that
Frederick’s chances were hopeless, and that it was all that he could do
to prevent the undisputed election of a Guelf. He was favoured by the
absence of the two elder sons of Henry the Lion. Henry of Brunswick, the
eldest, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, was away on a Crusade, and was
loyal to the Hohenstaufen, since his happy marriage with Agnes. The next
son Otto, born at Argenton during his father’s first exile, had never
seen much of Germany. Brought up at his uncle Richard of Anjou’s court,
Otto had received many marks of Richard’s favour, and looked up to the
chivalrous, adventurous king as the ideal of a warrior prince. Richard
had made him Earl of Yorkshire, and had invested him in 1196 with the
county of Poitou, that he might learn war and statecraft in the same
rude school in which Richard had first acquainted himself with arms and
politics. Even now Otto was not more than seventeen years of age.
[Sidenote: Election of Philip of Swabia, March 1198.] Richard himself,
as the new vassal of the Empire for Arles and England, was duly summoned
to the electoral Diet, but his representatives impolitically urged the
claims of Count Henry, who was ruled ineligible on account of his
absence. Thus it was that when the German magnates at last met for the
election, on 8th March 1198, at Mühlhausen, their choice fell on Philip
of Swabia, who, mindful of the third century Emperor, Philip the
Arabian, took the title of Philip II.

[Sidenote: Counter-election of Otto of Brunswick, June 1198.]

Many of the magnates had absented themselves from the Diet at
Mühlhausen, and an irreconcilable band of partisans refused to be bound
by its decisions. Richard of England now worked actively for Otto, his
favourite nephew, and found support both in the old allies of the
Angevins in the lower Rhineland and the ancient supporters of the house
of Guelf. Germany was thus divided into two parties, who completely
ignored each other’s acts. Three months after the Diet of Mühlhausen,
another Diet met at Cologne and chose Otto of Brunswick as King of the
Romans. Three days afterwards the young prince was crowned at Aachen.

A ten years’ civil war between Philip II. and Otto IV. now devastated
the Germany that Barbarossa and Henry VI. had left so prosperous. The
majority of the princes remained firm to Philip, who also had the
support of the strong and homogeneous official class of _ministeriales_
that had been the best helpers of his father and brother. Nevertheless,
Otto had enough of a party to carry on the struggle. On his side was
Cologne, the great mart of lower Germany, so important from its close
trading relations in England, and now gradually shaking itself free of
its archbishops. The friendship of Canute of Denmark and the old Guelf
tradition combined to give him his earliest and greatest success in the
north. It was the interest of the baronage to prolong a struggle which
secured their own independence at the expense of the central authority.
Both parties looked for outside help. Otto, besides his Danish friends,
relied on his uncle Richard, and, after his death, on his uncle John.
Philip formed a league with his namesake Philip of France. But distant
princes could do but little to determine the result of the contest. It
was of more moment that both appealed to Innocent III., and that the
Pope willingly accepted the position of arbiter. ‘The settlement of this
matter,’ he declared, ‘belongs to the Apostolic See, mainly because it
was the Apostolic See that transferred the Empire from the East to the
West, and ultimately because the same See confers the imperial crown.’
In March 1201 Innocent issued his decision. ‘We pronounce,’ he declared,
‘Philip unworthy of Empire, and absolve all who have taken oaths of
fealty to him as king. Inasmuch as our dearest son in Christ, Otto, is
industrious, provident, discreet, strong and constant, himself devoted
to the Church and descended on each side from a devout stock, we by the
authority of St. Peter receive him as king, and will in due course
bestow upon him the imperial crown.’ The grateful Otto promised in
return to maintain all the possessions and privileges of the Roman
Church, including the inheritance of the Countess Matilda.

Philip of Swabia still held his own, and the extravagance of the papal
claim led to many of the bishops as well as the lay magnates of Germany
joining in a declaration that no former Pope had ever presumed to
interfere in an imperial election. But the swords of his German
followers were a stronger argument in favour of Philip’s claims than the
protests of his supporters against papal assumptions. As time went on,
the Hohenstaufen slowly got the better of the Guelfs. With the falling
away of the north, Otto’s cause became distinctly the losing one. In
1206 Otto was defeated outside the walls of Cologne, and the great
trading city was forced to transfer its obedience to his rival. In 1207
Philip became so strong that Innocent was constrained to reconsider his
position, and suggested to Otto the propriety of renouncing his claims.
But in June 1208 Philip was treacherously murdered at Bamberg by his
faithless vassal, Otto of Wittelsbach, to whom he had refused his
daughter’s hand. It was no political crime but a deed of private
vengeance. It secured, however, the position of Otto, for the
_ministeriales_ now transferred their allegiance to him, and there was
no Hohenstaufen candidate ready to oppose him. Otto, moreover, did not
scruple to undergo a fresh election which secured for him universal
recognition in Germany. By marrying Beatrice, Philip of Swabia’s
daughter, he sought to unite the rival houses, while he conciliated
Innocent by describing himself as king ‘by the grace of God and the
Pope.’ Next year he crossed the Alps to Italy, and bound himself by
oath, not only to allow the Papacy the privileges that he had already
granted, but to grant complete freedom of ecclesiastical elections, and
to support the Pope in his struggle against heresy. In October 1209 he
was crowned Emperor at Rome. After ten years of waiting, Innocent,
already master of Italy, had procured for his dependant both the German
Kingdom and the Roman Empire.

[Sidenote: Innocent III. and Philip Augustus.]

Despite his preoccupation with Italy and Germany, the early years of
Innocent’s pontificate saw him busily engaged in upholding the papal
authority and the moral order of the Church in every country in Europe.
No consideration of the immediate interests of the Roman see ever
prevented him from maintaining his principles even against powerful
sovereigns who could do much to help forward his general plans. The most
conspicuous instance of this was Innocent’s famous quarrel with Philip
Augustus of France, when to vindicate a simple principle of Christian
morals he did not hesitate to abandon the alliance of the ‘eldest son of
the Church’ at a time when the fortunes of the Papacy were everywhere
doubtful. Philip’s first wife, Isabella of Hainault, the mother of the
future Louis VIII., had died in 1190, just before her husband had
started on his Crusade. [Sidenote: Ingeborg of Denmark.] In 1193 Philip
negotiated a second marriage with Ingeborg, the sister of Canute VI.,
the powerful King of Denmark, hoping to obtain from his Danish
brother-in-law substantial help against England and the Empire. Philip
did not get the expected political advantages from the new connection,
and at once took a strong dislike to the lady. On the day after the
marriage Philip refused to have anything more to do with his bride.
Within three months, he persuaded a synod of complaisant French bishops
at Compiègne to pronounce the marriage void by reason of a remote
kinship that existed between the two parties. Ingeborg was young, timid,
friendless, helpless, and utterly ignorant of the French tongue, but
King Canute took up her cause, and, from her retreat in a French
convent, she appealed to Rome against the wickedness of the French king
and clergy. Celestine III. proved her friend, and finding protestations
of no avail, he finally quashed the sentence of the French bishops and
declared her the lawful wife of the French king. But Philip persisted in
his repudiation of Ingeborg, and Celestine contented himself with
remonstrances and warnings that were utterly disregarded. [Sidenote:
Agnes of Meran.] In 1196 Philip found a fresh wife in Agnes, a lady of
the powerful house of Andechs-Meran, whose authority was great in
Thuringia, and whose Alpine lordships soon developed into the county of
Tyrol. Innocent at once proved a stronger champion of Ingeborg than the
weak and aged Celestine. He forthwith warned Philip and the French
bishops that they had no right to put asunder those whom God had joined
together. ‘Recall your lawful wife,’ he wrote to Philip, ‘and then we
will hear all that you can righteously urge. If you do not do this, no
power shall move us to right or left, till justice be done.’ A papal
legate was now sent to France, threatening excommunication and
interdict, were Ingeborg not immediately reinstated in her place. For a
few months the Pope hesitated, moved no doubt by his Italian and German
troubles, and fearful lest his action against a Christian prince should
delay the hoped-for Crusade. But he gradually turned the leaders of the
French clergy from their support of Philip, and at last, in February
1200, an interdict was pronounced forbidding the public celebration of
the rites of the Church in the whole lands that owed obedience to the
King of France.

[Sidenote: The Interdict over France, 1200–1201.]

Philip Augustus held out fiercely for a time, declaring that he would
rather lose half his lands than be separated from Agnes. Meanwhile he
used pressure on his bishops to make them disregard the interdict, and
vigorously intrigued with the Cardinals, seeking to build up a French
party in the papal curia. Innocent so far showed complacency that the
legate he sent to France was the king’s kinsman, Octavian,
Cardinal-bishop of Ostia, who was anxious to make Philip’s humiliation
as light as possible. His labours were eased by the partial submission
of Philip, who in September visited Ingeborg, and promised to take her
again as his wife, and so gave an excuse to end the interdict. Philip
still claimed that his marriage should be dissolved; though here again
he suddenly abandoned a suit which he probably saw was hopeless.
[Sidenote: Partial submission of Philip, 1201.] The death of Agnes of
Meran in July 1201 made a complete reconciliation less difficult. Next
year the Pope legitimated the children of Agnes and Philip, on the
ground that the sentence of divorce, pronounced by the French bishops,
gave the king reasonable grounds for entering in good faith on his union
with her. Ingeborg was still refused the rights of a queen, and
constantly besought the Pope to have pity on her forlorn condition. The
Pope was now forced to content himself with remonstrances. Philip
declared that a baleful charm separated him from Ingeborg, and again
begged the Pope to divorce him from a union, based on sorcery and
witchcraft. The growing need of the French alliance now somewhat
slackened the early zeal of Innocent for the cause of the queen. But no
real cordiality was possible as long as the strained relations of
Ingeborg and Philip continued. [Sidenote: Restitution of Ingeborg,
1213.] At last in 1213, in the very crisis of his fortunes, Philip
completed his tardy reconciliation with his wife, after they had been
separated for twenty years. Henceforth Philip was the most active ally
of the Papacy.

[Sidenote: The feudal overlordship of the Papacy over Portugal, Aragon,
           and England.]

While thus dealing with Philip of France, Innocent enjoyed easier
triumphs over the lesser kings of Europe. It was his ambition to break
through the traditional limits that separated the Church from the State,
and to bind as many as he could of the kings of Europe to the Papacy by
ties of political vassalage. The time-honoured feudal superiority of the
Popes over the Norman kingdom of Sicily had been the first precedent for
this most unecclesiastical of all papal aggressions. Already others of
the smaller kingdoms of Europe, conspicuous among which was Portugal,
had followed the example of the Normans in becoming vassals of the Holy
See. Under Innocent at least three states supplemented ecclesiastical by
political dependence on the Papacy. Sancho, King of Portugal, who had
striven to repudiate the former submission of Affonso I., was in the end
forced to accept the papal suzerainty. Peter, King of Aragon, went in
1204 to Rome and was solemnly crowned king by Innocent. Afterwards Peter
deposited his crown on the high altar of St. Peter’s and condescended to
receive the investiture of his kingdom from the Pope, holding it as a
perpetual fief of the Holy See, and promising tribute to Innocent and
his successors. In 1213 a greater monarch than the struggling Christian
kings of the Iberian peninsula was forced, after a long struggle, to
make an even more abject submission. The long strife of Innocent with
John of Anjou, about the disputed election to the see of Canterbury, was
fought with the same weapons which the Pope had already employed against
the King of France. But John held out longer. Interdict was followed by
excommunication and threatened deposition. At last the English king
surrendered his crown to the papal agent Pandulf, and, like Peter of
Aragon, received it back as a vassal of the Papacy, bound by an annual
tribute. Nor were these the only kings that sought the support of the
great Pope. The schismatic princes of the East vied in ardour with the
Catholic princes of the West in their quest of Innocent’s favour. King
Leo of Armenia begged for his protection. [Sidenote: Innocent and the
lesser monarchs of Europe.] The Bulgarian Prince John besought the Pope
to grant him a royal crown. Innocent posed as a mediator in Hungary
between the two brothers, Emeric and Andrew, who were struggling for the
crown. Canute of Denmark, zealous for his sister’s honour, was his
humble suppliant. Poland was equally obedient. The Duke of Bohemia
accepted the papal reproof for allying himself with Philip of Swabia.

Despite his vigour and his authority, Innocent’s constant interference
with the internal concerns of every country in Europe did not pass
unchallenged. Even the kings who invoked his intercession were
constantly in conflict with him. Beside his great quarrels in Germany,
France, and England, Innocent had many minor wars to wage against the
princes of Europe. For five years the kingdom of Leon lay under
interdict because its king Alfonso had married his cousin, Berengaria of
Castile, in the hope of securing the peace between the two realms. It
was only after the lady had borne five children to Alfonso that she
voluntarily terminated the obnoxious union, and Innocent found it
prudent, as in France, to legitimise the offspring of a marriage which
he had denounced as incestuous. Not one of the princes of the Peninsula
was spared. Sancho of Navarre incurred interdict by reason of his
suspected dealings with the Saracens, while the marriage of his sister
with Peter of Aragon, the vassal of the Pope, involved both kings in a
contest with Innocent. Not only did the monarchs of Europe resent, so
far as they were able, the Pope’s haughty policy. For the first time the
peoples of their realms began to make common cause with them against the
political aggressions of the Papacy. [Sidenote: The Papacy and the
people. Dangers of Innocent’s policy.] The nobles of Aragon protested
against King Peter’s submission to the Papacy, declared that his
surrender of their kingdom was invalid, and prevented the payment of the
promised tribute. When John of England procured his Roman overlord’s
condemnation of Magna Carta, the support of Rome was of no avail to
prevent his indignant subjects combining to drive him from the throne,
and did not even hinder Louis of France, the son of the papalist Philip
II., from accepting their invitation to become English king in his
stead. It was only by a repudiation of this policy, and by an acceptance
of the Great Charter, that the Papacy could secure the English throne
for John’s young son, Henry III., and thus continue for a time its
precarious overlordship over England. For the moment Innocent’s iron
policy crushed opposition, but in adding the new hostility of the
national kings and the rising nations of Europe to the old hostility of
the declining Empire, Innocent was entering into a perilous course of
conduct, which, within a century, was to prove fatal to one of the
strongest of his successors. The more political the papal authority
became, the more difficult it was to uphold its prestige as the source
of law, of morality, of religion. Innocent himself did not lose sight of
the higher ideal because he strove so firmly after more earthly aims.
His successors were not always so able or so high-minded. And it was as
the protectors of the people, not as the enemies of their political
rights, that the great Popes of the eleventh and twelfth centuries had
obtained their wonderful ascendency over the best minds of Europe.

The coronation of Otto IV. did not end Innocent’s troubles with the
Empire. It was soon followed by an open breach between the Pope and his
nominee, from which ultimately developed something like a general
European war, between a league of partisans of the Pope and a league of
partisans of Otto. It was inevitable that Otto, as a crowned Emperor,
should look upon the papal power in a way very different from that in
which he had regarded it, when a faction leader struggling for the
crown. [Sidenote: Quarrel of Innocent with Otto IV., 1210.] Then the
support of the Pope was indispensable. Now the autocracy of the Pope was
to be feared. The Hohenstaufen _ministeriales_, who now surrounded the
Guelfic Emperor, raised his ideals and modified his policy. Henry of
Kalden, the old minister of Henry VI., was now his closest confidant,
and, under his direction, it soon became Otto’s ambition to continue the
policy of the Hohenstaufen. The great object of Henry VI. had been the
union of Sicily with the Empire. To the alarm and disgust of Innocent,
his ancient dependant now strove to continue Henry VI.’s policy by
driving out Henry VI.’s son from his Sicilian inheritance. Otto now
established relations with Diepold and the other German adventurers, who
still defied Frederick II. and the Pope in Apulia. He soon claimed the
inheritance of Matilda as well as the Sicilian monarchy. In August 1210
he occupied Matilda’s Tuscan lands, and in November invaded Apulia, and
prepared to despatch a Pisan fleet against Sicily. Innocent was moved to
terrible wrath. On hearing of the capture of Capua, and the revolt of
Salerno and Naples, he excommunicated the Emperor and freed his subjects
from their oaths of fealty to him. But, despite the threats of the
Church, Otto conquered most of Apulia and was equally successful in
reviving the imperial authority in northern Italy.

[Sidenote: Election of Frederick II., 1212.]

Innocent saw the power that he had built up so carefully in Italy
crumbling rapidly away. In his despair he turned to France and Germany
for help against the audacious Guelf. Philip Augustus, though still in
bad odour at Rome through his persistent hostility to Ingeborg, was now
an indispensable ally. He actively threw himself into the Pope’s policy,
and French and Papal agents combined to stir up disaffection against
Otto in Germany. The haughty manners and the love of the young king for
Englishmen and Saxons had already excited disaffection. It was believed
that Otto wished to set up a centralised despotism of court officials,
levying huge taxes, on the model of the Angevin administrative system of
his grandfather and uncles. The bishops now took the lead in organising
a general defection from the absent Emperor. In September 1211 a
gathering of disaffected magnates, among whom were the newly made King
Ottocar of Bohemia and the Dukes of Austria and Bavaria, assembled at
Nürnberg. They treated the papal sentence as the deposition of Otto, and
pledged themselves to elect as their new king Frederick of Sicily, the
sometime ward of the Pope. It was not altogether good news to the Pope
that the German nobles had, in choosing the son of Henry VI., renewed
the union of Germany and Sicily. But Innocent felt that the need of
setting up an effective opposition to Otto was so pressing that he put
out of sight the general in favour of the immediate interests of the
Roman see. He accepted Frederick as Emperor, only stipulating that he
should renew his homage for the Sicilian crown, and consequently
renounce an inalienable union between Sicily and the Empire. Frederick
now left Sicily, repeated his submission to Innocent at Rome, and
crossed the Alps for Germany.

Otto had already abandoned Italy to meet the threatened danger in the
north. Misfortunes soon showered thick upon him. His Hohenstaufen wife,
Beatrice, died, and her loss lessened his hold on southern Germany. When
Frederick appeared, Swabia and Bavaria were already ready to welcome the
heir of the mighty southern line, and aid him against the audacious
Saxon. The spiritual magnates flocked to the side of the friend and
pupil of the Pope. In December 1212 followed Frederick’s formal election
and his coronation at Mainz by the Archbishop Siegfried. Early in 1213
Henry of Kalden first appeared at his court. Henceforward the important
class of the ‘ministeriales’ was divided. While some remained true to
Otto, others gradually went back to the personal representative of

[Sidenote: The papal and imperial leagues, 1213.]

Otto was now thrown back on Saxony and the lower Rhineland. He again
took up his quarters with the faithful citizens of Cologne, whence he
appealed for help to his uncle, John of England, still under the papal
ban. With English help he united the princes of the Netherlands in a
party of opposition to the Pope and the Hohenstaufen. Frederick answered
by a closer and more effective league with France. Even before his
coronation he had met Louis, the son of Philip Augustus, at Vaucouleurs.
All Europe seemed arming at the bidding of the Pope and Emperor.

John of England now hastily reconciled himself to Innocent, at the price
of the independence of his kingdom. He thus became in a better position
to aid his excommunicated nephew, and revenge the loss of Normandy and
Anjou on Philip Augustus. His plan was now a twofold one. He himself
summoned the barons of England to follow him in an attempt to recover
his ancient lands on the Loire. Meanwhile, Otto and the Netherlandish
lords were encouraged, by substantial English help, to carry out a
combined attack on France from the north. The opposition of the English
barons reduced to comparative insignificance the expedition to Poitou,
but a very considerable army gathered together under Otto, and took up
its position in the neighbourhood of Tournai. Among the French King’s
vassals, Ferrand, Count of Flanders, long hostile to his overlord
Philip, and the Count of Boulogne, fought strenuously on Otto’s side;
while, of the imperial vassals, the Count of Holland and the Duke of
Brabant [Lower Lorraine] were among Otto’s most active supporters. A
considerable English contingent came also, headed by Otto’s bastard
uncle, William Longsword, Earl of Salisbury. Philip himself commanded
the chivalry of France, leaving his son Louis to fight against John in
Poitou. On 27th July the decisive battle was fought at Bouvines, a few
miles south-west of Tournai. [Sidenote: Battle of Bouvines, 1214.] The
army of France and the Church gained an overwhelming victory over the
league which had incurred the papal ban, and Otto’s fortunes were
utterly shattered. He soon lost all his hold over the Rhineland, and was
forced to retreat to the ancient domains of his house in Saxony. His
remaining friends made their peace with Philip and Frederick. The
defection of the Wittelsbachers lost his last hold in the south of
Germany, and the desertion of Valdemar of Denmark deprived him of a
strong friend in the north. John withdrew from continental politics to
be beaten more decisively by his barons than he had been beaten in
Poitou or at Bouvines. By the summer of 1215, Aachen and Cologne had
opened their gates to Frederick, who repeated his coronation in the old
chapel of Charlemagne. Before Otto’s death in 1218 his power was
confined to Brunswick and the region of the Harz. [Sidenote: The fall of
the Guelfs and the triumph of Innocent.] His brother Henry delivered up
the imperial insignia to the conqueror, and received a confirmation of
his hereditary estates. In 1235 the establishment of the Duchy of
Brunswick-Lüneburg, in favour of the Guelfic house, secured for it a
permanent position among the territorial powers of northern Germany. The
higher aspirations of the descendants of Henry the Lion perished for
ever on the fatal field of Bouvines.

Frederick II. was now undisputed King of the Romans, and Innocent III.
had won another great triumph. By the Golden Bull of Eger (July 1213)
Frederick had already renewed the concessions made by Otto to the
Church, and promised obedience to the Holy See. In 1216 he pledged
himself to separate Sicily from the Empire, and establish his son Henry
there as king, under the supremacy of the Church. But like his other
triumphs, Innocent’s victory over the Empire was purchased at no small
cost. For the first time, a German national irritation at the
aggressions of the Papacy began to be distinctly felt. It found an
adequate expression in the indignant verses of Walter von der
Vogelweide, protesting against the priests who strove to upset the
rights of the laity, and denouncing the greed and pride of the
foreigners who profited by the humiliation of Germany.

[Sidenote: Innocent III. and the Crusades.]

Amidst all the distractions of Western politics, Innocent III. ardently
strove to revive the crusading spirit. He never succeeded in raising all
Europe, as several of his predecessors had done. But after great
efforts, the eloquent preaching of Fulk of Neuilly stirred up a fair
amount of enthusiasm for the crusading cause, and, in 1204, a
considerable crusading army, mainly French, mustered at Venice. It was
the bitterest disappointment of Innocent’s life that the Fourth Crusade
[see chapter xv.] never reached Palestine, but was diverted to the
conquest of the Greek Empire. Yet the establishment of a Catholic Latin
Empire at Constantinople, at the expense of the Greek schismatics, was
no small triumph. Not disheartened by his first failure, Innocent still
urged upon Europe the need of the holy war. If no expedition against the
Saracens of Syria marked the result of his efforts, his pontificate saw
the extension of the crusading movement to other lands. Innocent
preached the Crusade against the Moors of Spain, and rejoiced in the
news of the momentous victory of the Christians at Navas de Tolosa [see
chapter xx.]. He saw the beginnings of a fresh Crusade against the
obstinate heathen on the eastern shores of the Baltic. But all these
Crusades were against pagans and infidels. [Sidenote: Extension of the
crusading idea.] Innocent made a much greater new departure when he
proclaimed the first Crusade directed against a Christian land. The
Albigensian Crusade, which can more profitably be described when we deal
with the development of the French monarchy [see chapter xvii.],
succeeded in destroying the most dangerous and widespread popular heresy
that Christianity had witnessed since the fall of the Roman Empire, and
Innocent rejoiced that his times saw the Church purged of its worst
blemish. But in extending the benefits of a Crusade to Christians
fighting against Christians, he handed on a precedent which was soon
fatally abused by his successors. In crushing out the young national
life of southern France the Papacy again set a people against itself.
The denunciations of the German Minnesinger were re-echoed in the
complaints of the last of the Troubadours. Rome had ceased to do harm to
Turks and Saracens, but had stirred up Christians to war against
fellow-Christians. God and His Saints abandon the greedy, the
strife-loving, the unjust, worldly Church. The picture is darkly
coloured by a partisan, but in every triumph of Innocent there lay the
shadow of future trouble.

[Sidenote: Innocent III.’s religious position.]

Crusades, even against heretics and infidels, are the work of earthly
force rather than of spiritual influence. It was to build up the great
outward corporation of the Church that all these labours of Innocent
mainly tended. Even his additions to the Canon Law, his reforms of
ecclesiastical jurisdiction, dealt with the external rather than the
internal life of the Church. The criticism of James of Vitry, that the
Roman Curia was so busy in secular affairs that it hardly turned a
thought to spiritual things, is clearly applicable to much of Innocent’s
activity. But the many-sided Pope did not ignore the religious wants of
the Church. His Crusade against heresy was no mere war against enemies
of the wealth and power of the Church. The new tendencies that were to
transform the spiritual life of the thirteenth century were not strange
to him. He favoured the early work of Dominic: he had personal dealings
with Francis, and showed his sympathy with the early work of the poor
man of Assisi [see chapter xviii.]. But it is as the conqueror and
organiser rather than the priest or prophet that Innocent made his mark
in the Church. It is significant that, with all his greatness, he never
attained the honours of sanctity.

[Sidenote: The Fourth General Lateran Council, 1215.]

Towards the end of his life, Innocent held a General Council in the
basilica of St. John Lateran. A vast gathering of bishops, heads of
orders, and secular dignitaries gave brilliancy to the gathering and
enhanced the glory of the Pontiff. Enthroned over more than four hundred
bishops, the Pope proudly declared the law to the world. ‘Two things we
have specially to heart,’ wrote Innocent, in summoning the assembly,
‘the deliverance of the Holy Land and the reform of the Church
Universal.’ In its vast collection of seventy canons, the Lateran
Council strove hard to carry out the Pope’s programme. It condemned the
dying heresies of the Albigeois and the Cathari, and prescribed the
methods and punishments of the unrepentant heretic. It strove to
rekindle zeal for the Crusade. It drew up a drastic scheme for reforming
the internal life and discipline of the Church. It strove to elevate the
morals and the learning of the clergy, to check their worldliness and
covetousness, and to restrain them from abusing the authority of the
Church through excess of zeal or more corrupt motives. It invited
bishops to set up free schools to teach poor scholars grammar and
theology. It forbade trial by battle and trial by ordeal. It subjected
the existing monastic orders to stricter superintendence, and forbade
the establishment of new monastic rules. It forbade superstitious
practices and the worship of spurious or unauthorised relics. The whole
series of canons sought to regulate and ameliorate the influence of the
Church on society. If many of the abuses aimed at were too deeply rooted
to be overthrown by mere legislation, the attempt speaks well for the
character and intelligence of Pope and Council. All mediæval lawmaking,
civil and ecclesiastical alike, was but the promulgation of an ideal,
rather than the issuing of precepts meant to be literally executed. But
no more serious attempt at rooting out inveterate evils was ever made in
the Middle Ages than in this Council.

The formal enunciation of this lofty programme of reform brought
Innocent’s pontificate to a glorious end. The Pontiff devoted what
little remained of his life to hurrying on the preparations for the
projected Crusade, which was to set out in 1217. [Sidenote: Death of
Innocent III., 16th July 1216.] But in the summer of 1216 Innocent died
at Perugia, when only fifty-six years old. If not the greatest, he was
the most powerful of all the Popes. For nearly twenty years the whole
history of Europe groups itself round his doings.

                               CHAPTER XV
                LATIN EMPIRE IN THE EAST (1095–1261)[27]

  The Comnenian dynasty and Alexius I.—Decay of the Empire—The end of
    the Comneni—The Angeli—The mustering of the Fourth Crusade—The
    Conquest of Zara—The First and Second Captures of Constantinople—The
    Partition and Organisation of the Latin Empire—The Greek
    Revival—Rivalry of Constantinople and Thessalonica—The Latin
    Emperors—Michael Palæologus and the Fall of the Latin Empire—The
    Franks in the Peloponnesus.

[Sidenote: The Comnenian dynasty.]

The Comnenian dynasty, finally established by Alexius I. [see chapter
vii.], ruled for more than a century over the Roman Empire in the East.
We have already noticed the most stirring episodes of its external
history, in tracing the dealings of the Comnenian Emperors with the
Seljukian Turks, with the passing Crusaders, with the permanent Latin
garrison in Syria, and with the Norman rulers of Apulia and Sicily, who
strove to make southern Italy the starting-point for a Norman conquest
of the Balkan Peninsula. It remains now to describe briefly the internal
history of the Eastern Empire during the twelfth century, as a necessary
preliminary to the understanding of the collapse of the Greek power in

[Sidenote: Alexius I., 1081–1118.]

The combination of strength and duplicity, which constituted the
practical ability of Alexius Comnenus, had saved the Byzantine state
from the ruin with which it had been threatened. But the rescue of the
Empire had been accomplished at no small cost. The Crusaders had allowed
Alexius to resume possession of a large share of Asia Minor, but the
constant presence of Latins in the East was a permanent danger to him,
both from their superior military capacity and their fierce Catholicism.
The Eastern Empire sank into the condition of stagnation, which it was
to retain for the rest of its existence. The low cunning and trickery of
Alexius are glorified by his literary daughter Anna as the highest
resources of civilisation when face to face with the barbarian Franks.
Such methods might save the state, but they could hardly adapt it to
meet the new conditions which Western activity in the East had brought

[Sidenote: Internal decay of the Eastern Empire.]

The military danger of the Frankish powers was not the worst result of
the Crusades on the Byzantine Empire. Even more important was the
sapping of its sources of wealth and the decay of its commercial
prosperity, as the consequence of the development of the trade of the
Italian republics, like Pisa, Genoa, and Venice, who really reaped
nearly the whole material advantages of the Crusades. Acre and other
Syrian ports began to supersede Constantinople as the great
meeting-places of Eastern and Western trade. The skill and energy of the
Italian merchants transferred the commerce of the Levant from Greek to
Western hands. Since the loss of the rich agricultural districts of Asia
Minor, the commerce of Constantinople was the one really solid source of
Byzantine prosperity. The revenue of the imperial exchequer now began to
fall off, and the disastrous expedients of Alexius to restore it made
permanent ruin more certain. In the hope of making the Bosporus and
Golden Horn as attractive to the Italian traders as the waters of the
Levant, Alexius sought to entice the Venetians back to his ports by
giving them exemption from customs dues (1082). The Venetians were
established in a special quarter of Constantinople, exempt from the
jurisdiction of the Greek authorities, with its Catholic church, its
walls, and its magistrates. The Pisans had privileges less extensive but
still considerable. Such concessions made the Italians easily able to
undersell the native merchants and to establish their factories on an
almost independent basis. But it was unlikely that the shrewd Venetians
would be content with what they had got. Their settlement within the
Empire as traders only paved the way to the time when they aspired to
establish themselves as rulers. It was a strange turn to make arbiters
of the destiny of the Empire those Venetians who had in former times
protected themselves from Western Cæsars by parading their dependence on
the Emperor at Constantinople, and whose city bears to this day the
abiding impress of Byzantine art. The strong Comnenian Emperors
postponed the danger for a time, but when the Empire was again divided
between rival claimants, it was as natural to the Venetians as it was to
the English and French in India to take advantage of the decay of an
ancient but stagnant civilisation to turn from their factories and
counting-houses to play the part of conquerors and rulers.

It is one of the innumerable proofs of the vitality of the East Roman
system that this result came so slowly and succeeded so imperfectly. The
latter part of the reign of Alexius seemed to revive the former glories
of the Eastern Empire. The dynasty was firmly settled on the throne; the
foreign enemies driven away or reduced to insignificance; the internal
decay was too gradual to be readily perceived. On his death in 1118
Alexius handed on to his son an empire enlarged and peaceful. [Sidenote:
John II., 1118–1143.] John II. Comnenus (1118–1143), called John the
Good, was one of the best of Byzantine rulers. As vigorous a ruler and a
better soldier than his father, his private character, stainless in its
morals, was marked by qualities, such as frankness, generosity, and
mercy, which rarely adorned the throne of the Eastern Cæsars. He reigned
undisturbed by revolts or conspiracies, save those of his sister Anna,
the historian, and his brother Isaac, and these foes within his
household received from him a generous forgiveness that they did nothing
to deserve. John was mostly occupied in his constant campaigns on the
frontiers, fighting the Patzinaks of the lower Danube, the Hungarians
and the Servians in Europe, and the Seljukian Turks and the Armenians in
Asia. Master of Cilicia, he forced Raymond of Antioch to acknowledge his
supremacy. Only his death in Cilicia, due to an accident in the hunting
field, prevented his invasion of the Latin kingdom of Syria. Had he
seriously grappled with the reform of administration and the finances,
he might have inaugurated a new period of prosperity. But his effort to
shake off the commercial supremacy of Venice involved him in a long and
unsuccessful war with the rulers of the sea, which he was glad to end by
restoring the Venetians to their former privileges, and by recognising
them as lords of some of the Greek islands. Even as it was, John the
Good did much to arrest decay.

[Sidenote: Manuel I., 1143–1180.]

Manuel I. Comnenus (1143–1180), John’s son and successor, was a worthy
heir to the military talents of his father. But his violent passions
sullied his private life, and his extravagance, ostentation, and vanity
took away from the lustre of his domestic administration. He was one of
the most Western in temperament of all the Greek sovereigns. He was
proud of his prodigious personal strength, of his handsome person, and
of his skill in all chivalrous exercises. He was the only Greek Emperor
who could surpass the most famous knights of the West in the mimic war
of the tournament. He had the spirit of a knight-errant, suggesting
Richard Cœur de Lion rather than the sly and demure Oriental. When he
had safely extricated himself from the perils of the Second Crusade [see
page 192], he plunged into a series of wars in which he sought personal
glory rather than the welfare of his Empire. There were strange tales of
his wonderful personal adventures and hairbreadth escapes from Patzinaks
and Turks. He introduced Western tournaments into Constantinople, had a
truly Frankish ardour for crusading, re-armed his troops after the
Western fashion with ponderous shields and heavy lances, and eagerly
sought to connect himself by marriage with the great royal houses of the
West. His first wife Bertha—called Irene to satisfy Greek
susceptibilities—was a sister-in-law of the Emperor Conrad III., and his
second wife was a princess of Antioch. His daughter married in
succession the brother of the King of Hungary and the son of the Marquis
of Montferrat. His son, Alexius, was wedded to the daughter of Louis
VII. of France. His influence extended over all the Danubian states as
far as the German frontier. His wars, if not always politic, were often
successful. He defeated the strenuous attempts of King Roger of Sicily
and his son William the Bad [see page 236] to invade his Empire. He
waged a long and not inglorious war with Venice, and even when unable to
destroy her privileges did something to counterbalance them by calling
in rival Italian traders, such as the Genoese. When beaten by the
Seljuks, he was able to negotiate an honourable peace. But his
wastefulness brought the financial disorders to a crisis, and his utter
neglect of routine threw the obsolete administrative system into
confusion. Yet with all his faults he was a brilliant personality, and
with his death the good fortune of the Comnenian dynasty came to an end.

[Sidenote: Alexius II., 1180–1183.]

Alexius II. (1180–1183), the son of Manuel, was a boy twelve years old,
and his mother, Mary of Antioch, strove to carry on the government in
his name. Her incapacity gave an opening for intrigues of the members of
the royal house, and, two years later, Andronicus Comnenus, cousin of
Manuel, displaced the Empress and became the guardian of Alexius with
the title of Cæsar. [Sidenote: Usurpation of Andronicus, 1183–1185.] As
soon as he was secure of power, Andronicus murdered his ward, married
his widow, Agnes of France, and made himself sole Basileus. Andronicus
was a strong and brave soldier, but overweeningly ambitious, wantonly
cruel, and already infamous by a long career of brutality and treachery.
His success in gaining power was greater than his success in retaining
it. Rebellions broke out in the provinces. Cyprus shook itself free from
his rule under the local Emperor Isaac Comnenus, who finally succumbed
to Richard of England [see page 301]. Even the reign of terror which
marked his rule did not check the plots of the angry nobles. The Normans
again invaded Macedonia, and captured Thessalonica. So hateful did
Andronicus become that a very small incident sufficed to bring his power
to an end. During his absence from Constantinople, one of his ministers
ordered the arrest of an incapable and cowardly noble named Isaac
Angelus. Driven to despair at the prospect of the torments meted out for
Andronicus’ victims, Isaac plucked up courage to resist, and took refuge
in St. Sophia’s. The mob of Constantinople arose in revolt, declaring
that it would have ‘no more old men or men with forked beards as
Emperors.’ [Sidenote: End of the Comneni.] Andronicus hurried back, but
all classes deserted him. He was tortured to death by the mob, and Isaac
Angelus was declared his successor. With him the glorious house of
Comnenus ingloriously expired (1185).

[Sidenote: Isaac II., 1185–1195.]

The reign of Isaac Angelus ushered in a worse period of degradation.
Even the brutality of Andronicus had been in some measure redeemed by
its strength, but under his weak and contemptible successor the Empire
suffered from the worst results of incompetence. The Emperor lavished
his revenues in building churches and palaces, in collecting relics and
sacred icons, in ministering to the luxury and vanity of a crowd of
parasites and dependants. He put the administrative offices up for sale,
and allowed their purchasers to recoup themselves by oppressing the
provincials. His ten years’ rule was full of military disasters. The
imposition of a new tax was followed by the revolt of the Bulgarians,
who had lived as peaceful subjects of the Empire since their conquest,
two hundred years previously, by Basil II. [see pages 163–165]. In a
short time the whole of Bulgaria had shaken off the yoke of
Constantinople, and the mercenary arms of Conrad of Montferrat. The
efforts of Isaac, who took the field in person against the rebels, were
powerless to win back a warlike and united people. The loss of Bulgaria
was not the only humiliation of Isaac’s reign. We have already seen how
the Third Crusade dealt roughly with his power, how Frederick
Barbarossa, provoked by his treachery, forced him to make an abject
submission, and how Richard of England permanently turned Cyprus into a
feudal Frankish kingdom, utterly unconnected with the Empire. Isaac had
also to buy off the attacks of the Sultan of Roum by the payment of
tribute. In the midst of all these disasters his wretched government was
abruptly ended by a palace conspiracy, formed against him by his elder
brother Alexius, while he was absent engaged in the Bulgarian war. Isaac
hurried back to Constantinople, only to be deposed, blinded, and immured
in a monastery (1195).

[Sidenote: Alexius III., 1195–1203.]

Alexius III. Angelus (1195–1203), was as wasteful, as profligate, and as
incompetent as his brother, pillaging his subjects to reward the
conspirators who had helped him to the throne. Rebellions broke out in
the provinces, and the Venetians and Pisans fought out their feuds in
the streets of the capital. The efforts to reconquer Bulgaria proved
abortive, and the Turks of Roum again threatened the heart of the
Empire. The utter feebleness of the Byzantine power tempted the Emperor
Henry VI. to re-enact the part of Robert Guiscard and Roger. His death
postponed, without averting, the danger of Western conquest. Philip of
Swabia was the brother-in-law of the deposed Isaac, and welcomed his son
Alexius, when he escaped in a Pisan ship from his ill-guarded prison.
The Venetians, though loaded with privileges, clamoured for more. It was
just at the moment when the anarchy of Constantinople had reached its
height that the army of Crusaders, collected from all Europe by the zeal
of Innocent III. and the preaching of Fulk of Neuilly, appeared at
Venice, waiting to take ship thence in the vessels of the republic for
the Holy Land.

The golden age of the Crusades was now over. The difficulties that
limited the success of the Third Crusade now prevented even the
undertaking of a new one on the same grand lines. The long efforts of
Celestine III. to start a new Crusade had borne little fruit. [Sidenote:
The mustering of the Fourth Crusade, 1198–1202.] Fulk of Neuilly began
his preaching very soon after Innocent III.’s accession to the Papacy,
and the new Pope warmly supported him. But none of the great princes of
Europe responded to his call. It was not until 1201 that the beginnings
of a crusading army was gathered together under leaders more of the
status of the heroes of the First Crusade than of those of the Second or
Third. Theobald III., Count of Champagne, was not deterred by his
brother Henry’s death from striving to redeem his brother’s lost
kingdom. Among the lords of Champagne that attended him was his marshal,
Geoffrey of Villehardouin, who has left us a famous account of the
expedition. Among Theobald’s companions of high rank were his kinsman
Louis, Count of Blois, and his sister Mary, who accompanied her husband,
Baldwin IX., Count of Flanders, Baldwin’s brothers Eustace and Henry,
and Simon of Montfort, soon to become famous as the leader of the
Albigensian Crusade. Theobald of Champagne was appointed
general-in-chief, and it was resolved to attack Egypt, as the real
centre of the Ayoubite power. Early in 1201, ambassadors of the
Crusaders, conspicuous among whom was Villehardouin, appeared at Venice
to negotiate with the Republic as to their means of transport. After
lengthened negotiations a treaty was concluded between them and Henry
Dandolo, the blind and aged, but still ardent, subtle, and active Doge.
It was agreed that the Venetians should provide the necessary
transports, with provisions for a year, and a convoy of fifty galleys.
But in return, the Frankish Crusaders agreed to pay Venice the vast sum
of 85,000 marks of silver, and to divide all conquests and booty equally
between themselves and the Venetians. It was characteristic of the
Italian seafaring republics to drive hard bargains with the Crusaders,
and Dandolo had little concern for the Holy War, though he had infinite
zeal for the interests of Venice. As soon as the Crusaders began to
collect by the lagoons to embark for Egypt, he aspired to use them as
soldiers of the Republic rather than of the Church. The appearance of
the fugitive Alexius in Italy already suggested the idea of diverting
the expedition against Constantinople.

There were still long delays. The death of the Count of Champagne left
vacant the supreme command, and, after several attempts to fill it up,
the Crusaders appointed as their chief the North Italian Boniface of
Montferrat, brother of Conrad of Montferrat, and a scheming and
unscrupulous adventurer. He was soon approached by King Philip of
Swabia, who urged upon him the claims of the young Alexius, his kinsman.
The Hohenstaufen monarch and the Doge of Venice now combined to
recommend the Crusaders to undertake the restoration of Isaac Comnenus,
as a preliminary to their attack on the infidels. Even at this early
stage it is more than likely that the Venetians had formed a deliberate
design to divert the Crusade, and had perhaps even an understanding with
the Saracens to that effect.

[Sidenote: The capture of Zara, 1202.]

When the spring of 1202 came, the passage from Venice was still
unaccountably delayed. Many of the Crusaders had spent all their
resources during their long stay, and the leaders were quite unable to
pay the Venetians the huge sum they had promised. Dandolo now proposed
that they should acquit themselves of part of their debt by helping
Venice to conquer the maritime town of Zara, an old enemy of the
Republic, and the haunt of pirates that preyed on its trade. Zara
belonged to the King of Hungary, who had also taken the cross. But the
spirit of adventure and love of booty was stronger among the Franks than
zeal for the Holy War. Despite the protests of Simon of Montfort against
the turning aside of a crusading army to fight a Catholic and crusading
prince, it was agreed to accept Dandolo’s suggestion. In October, the
Crusaders at last left the Lido. In November Zara fell, after a short
siege, into the hands of the united Venetian and Frankish host. The Pope
vigorously denounced the forsworn soldiers of the Cross. But the
Venetians paid no heed, and the Franks very little, to his fulminations.
The season was now too late to make a start, and the army took up winter
quarters in Dalmatia. Alexius now appeared in person in the crusading
camp, and his glittering offers were greedily accepted. [Sidenote: The
Crusade turned against Constantinople, 1203.] Boniface of Montferrat
thought more of his own advantage than of the sacred cause. The pious
scruples of the Count of Flanders were finally allayed. In the early
summer of 1203, the Crusaders made sail for the Ægean. The fatal results
of the decay of the Greek marine now made themselves clearly manifest.
Alexius III. was the first ruler of Constantinople who had to defend his
capital, without having the command of the sea. With next to no
resistance, the Venetians and Franks passed through the Dardanelles, and
encamped at Scutari. The land-attack on Constantinople was beaten off,
but the Venetians, headed by the blind old Doge, stormed the sea-wall,
and burnt the adjacent ports of the city. The incapable and cowardly
Emperor fled in alarm to Thrace, whereupon the army took the blind Isaac
out of prison, and restored him to his throne, but invited his son
Alexius to share it with him (July 1203).

[Sidenote: First capture of Constantinople. Restoration of Isaac Angelus
           and Alexius IV., July 1203.]

The Crusaders had made an easy conquest, but their main feeling was one
of disgust that the premature surrender of the city had deprived them of
a chance of a richer plunder than their imaginations had ever conceived
before they saw the wonders of the New Rome. They settled down for the
next winter in the suburbs of the capital, while Isaac and Alexius IV.
left no stone unturned to satisfy their clamour for their pay. When the
Emperors were reduced, in their efforts to appease the Latins, to
plunder the churches of their jewels and reliquaries, and impose odious
taxes on their subjects, the mob of Constantinople, taught by the
success of recent revolutions to regard itself as all-powerful, rose in
revolt against them, and murdered all the Latins within reach. Isaac,
unnerved by captivity, died suddenly, it was said, of fright. [Sidenote:
Revolution in Constantinople. Alexius V., Feb. 1204.] Alexius IV. was
strangled. A strong and daring adventurer, Alexius Ducas, surnamed
Murzuphlus from his shaggy eyebrows, was proclaimed the Emperor Alexius
V. (February 1204). The house of Angelus thus quitted history even less
gloriously than the house of Comnenus.

[Sidenote: Second capture and sack of Constantinople, April 1204.]

It was but a revolution in the capital, and the provinces hardly
recognised the usurper. But Alexius V. threw a new energy into the
defences of Constantinople, and the Crusaders found that they must
either retire discomfited, or capture the city for a second time. After
two months of preparations, they advanced in April to the final assault.
This time they limited their attack to the sea-wall. The first effort
was a failure, but a few days later a second onslaught admitted them
into a corner of the city. There was still a chance for the Greeks, if
they had had courage to stubbornly defend the city street by street. But
the mercenary soldiers would not fight, and Alexius V., despairing of
further resistance, fled from the capital, though he soon fell into the
hands of the Crusaders, who put him to death. Constantinople now
belonged to the Franks, and a hideous three days of plunder, murder,
lust, and sacrilege, at last satisfied them for the moderation they had
been forced to show upon the occasion of the first conquest. The
priceless relics of ancient art were barbarously destroyed: the very
churches were ruthlessly pillaged, and the city of Constantine was
robbed for ever of that unique splendour that had made it for ages the
wonder of the world.


The cry of indignation, that had already broken out when the Crusaders
turned aside to besiege Zara, was renewed on their abandoning their
campaign against the infidel to conquer a Christian city. But the
feebleness of the opposition showed that the crusading spirit was dying,
and even Innocent III., who was bitterly grieved at the failure of the
Crusade, found consolation in the hoped-for collapse of the Greek
schism, and made his peace with the Latin conquerors of Constantinople.
[Sidenote: The partition and organisation of the Latin Empire,
1204–1261.] The victorious Westerns now proceeded to the division of the
spoil. The Venetians and the Franks still stood apart, jealously
watching over their respective interests. There was no longer any talk
of appointing a new Greek Emperor. It was agreed to elect from the
crusading host a Latin Emperor and Patriarch, and it was further
determined that the party that furnished the Emperor should yield to the
other the choice of the Patriarch. A college of six French prelates and
six Venetian nobles was set up to elect the Emperor. There was keen
rivalry for the post. Boniface of Montferrat, as general, seemed to have
an obvious claim, but the Venetians were unwilling to support the
candidature of an Italian prince, an ally of the Hohenstaufen. Refusing
the dangerous honour for their own duke, the Venetians declared for
Count Baldwin of Flanders, who was duly elected Emperor in May. The
papal legate crowned him in St. Sophia’s, and he was invested with the
purple buskins and all the other trappings of the Basileus of the
Romans. Thomas Morosini, a Venetian, was chosen Patriarch. But the
election of the heads of the Church and State was an easier business
than the division of the spoils amidst a whole swarm of greedy

Like the conquerors of Jerusalem after the First Crusade, the conquerors
of Constantinople set up a feudal state on the ruins of the Oriental
system that they had destroyed. The Emperor Baldwin was to be overlord
of all the Crusading chieftains, and was moreover to have as his domains
the capital, saving the Venetian quarter, the greater part of Thrace
with Adrianople, and the eastern islands of the Ægean, Samothrace, Cos,
Lesbos, Samos and Chios. Boniface of Montferrat was consoled for his
disappointment with the title of King of Thessalonica. He was still
strong enough to reject the offer of a patrimony in Asia which the
Latins had still to conquer, and to profess that he held Thessalonica in
his own right, independently of the Emperor of Romania. He established
himself in Macedonia and Thessaly. The Venetians had the lion’s share of
the plunder. They had henceforth a large slice of Constantinople with
the practical monopoly of the trade of the Empire. They also were
recognised as lords of most of the islands and coast lands, including
the Ionian islands, Eubœa, most of the Cyclades and some of the
Sporades, numerous settlements on the coasts of the Peloponnesus, and a
large domain north of the Corinthian Gulf, along Acarnania, Ætolia,
Epirus and Albania, where, however, they were not strong enough to
penetrate far into the interior. Crete they purchased from Boniface of
Montferrat. Dandolo, who assumed the title of _Despotes_, now styled
himself ‘lord of a quarter and half-a-quarter’ of the Empire. The minor
Frankish chiefs also received great fiefs. Louis of Blois became Duke of
Nicæa and of Nicomedia: Villehardouin became Prince of Achaia: Odo of La
Roche Lord of Athens, and there were counts of Thebes, dukes of
Philippopolis, and marquises of Corinth. Each feudatory had still his
fief to conquer as best he could, and the lords, to whom lands in Asia
were assigned, never obtained effective possession of their territories.
The more fortunate European barons could only enjoy their grants by
calling in the help of vassal chieftains, whose immunities left them
little more than a show of power outside their own domains. No feudal
state was ever strong, but no feudal state was ever so weak as the Latin
Empire in the East. It had to contend against all the characteristic
evils of feudalism, the infinite multiplication of the sovereign power,
the constant feuds of rival chieftains, the permanent jealousy of every
vassal of the power of his overlord. But it had special difficulties of
its own of a kind impossible to be got over. The magnates of the
expedition had cleverly manipulated the division of the spoils to their
own advantage, and the poorer Crusaders were bitterly discontented. A
comparison of the famous history of Villehardouin with the less well
known account of the Crusade by the simple Picard knight, Robert of
Clari, shows how bitterly the ‘poor knights’ resented the overbearing
conduct of the ‘great men,’ whose standpoint is represented by the
Marshal of Champagne. Moreover, Germans fought with Champenois and
Burgundians, North Italians with Flemings, and all with the Venetians.
Even if the Crusaders had been united, they were a mere handful of
adventurers. The Venetians, who had got for themselves the richest and
most accessible parts of the Empire, thought little of colonisation and
much of trade. Yet even the Venetians drew wealth from the richly
cultivated islands which now became the appanage, and were soon a chief
source of wealth, to the noblest houses of the island city. The Ionian
islands and Crete remained Venetian for many centuries; the interior
uplands were hardly Latin for two generations. It speaks well for the
prowess of the Frankish lords that they held their position so long as

There was no attempt at mixing between Latins and Greeks. The quick
sympathy that had made the Normans Italians in Sicily, English in
England, and Irish in Ireland, no longer remained with the Frankish
hosts. Their civilisation was too stereotyped, their ideas too stiff,
their contempt for their conquered subjects too profound. It was even
less possible for the Greeks to assimilate themselves with their
conquerors. The old-world civilisation of the Byzantine realm was
infinitely more hide-bound than the feudal system of the Franks. It was
impossible to combine French feudalism with Byzantine officialism. The
Greek despised the rude and uncultivated ‘barbarians’ who now ruled the
heritage of Rome. The Latin scorned the cunning and effeminate Eastern
who had succumbed so readily to his sword. It had been hard enough for
the Comneni to keep together the decaying fortunes of the Eastern
Empire. It was quite impossible for the French and Flemings to succeed
where they had failed.

[Sidenote: The Greek revival.]

The barrier of religion would have kept the Latins and Greeks asunder,
even if differences of nationality and civilisation had not proved
effective causes of separation. Despite the rejoicings of Innocent III.,
Orthodox and Catholic were more divided than ever, when the Filioque was
chanted by azymites in the choir of St. Sophia, and beardless Latins,
who regarded the Pope as the source of all ecclesiastical power, took
into their hands every Church dignity and possession, and branded their
rightful owners as schismatics. Orthodoxy and the pressure of the Latin
invaders united Greek national feeling as it had never been united
before. In the mountains of Albania and Epirus, the bolder Greeks fled
from the yoke of the conqueror, and maintained their independence
against any force that the Latins could bring to bear against them. A
bastard of the house of Angelus became Despot of Epirus. Even in Thrace
and in the Peloponnesus there were independent Greek States. Into Asia
the Crusaders hardly penetrated at all. Two brothers of the house of
Comnenus established the independence of distant Trebizond, and
dignified themselves, like Isaac in Cyprus, with the title of Emperor.
[Sidenote: Theodore I. Lascaris, 1204–1222.] Theodore Lascaris, a brave
soldier who escaped from the sack of Constantinople, proclaimed himself
Emperor at Nicæa, and ruled over the western parts of Asia Minor. It was
well for Greeks and Latins alike that the dissension and decay of the
Seljukians of Roum, and the pressure of Tartar invasion, deprived Islam
of its power of aggression. In Europe the Wallachio-Bulgarian kingdom
easily maintained its independence and enlarged its boundaries at the
expense of the crusading state. Nothing but the secure possession of the
great military position of Constantinople, and the command of the sea,
which the Venetian galleys still kept open for them, allowed the Latin
Empire to keep up a feeble existence for nearly sixty years.

[Sidenote: Rivalry of Constantinople and Thessalonica.]

From the very beginning the Latin settlers had to contend against
dissension within and invasion from without. Boniface of Thessalonica
married the widow of Isaac Angelus, Margaret of Hungary (called by the
Greeks Irene), and posed as an independent prince and the protector of
the Greek population. He refused homage to the Emperor, and war broke
out between the Flemings of Constantinople and the Lombards of
Thessalonica. No sooner were his pretensions rudely shattered than the
Emperor was called away to meet the danger of Bulgarian invasion.
Johanitsa, the tsar of the Bulgarians, turned his arms against the
Crusaders, and invaded Thrace. In April 1205, a decisive battle was
fought at Adrianople, when the simulated flight of the wild Bulgar
hordes drew the chivalry of the West to break up their solid ranks.
[Sidenote: Baldwin I., 1204–1205.] Thereupon the Bulgarians rallied, and
took advantage of the enemy’s disorder to inflict on them a complete
defeat. Louis of Blois was among the slain. Baldwin was taken prisoner
and murdered. The Marshal of Champagne, and Henry of Flanders, Baldwin’s
brother, almost alone survived of the Latin chieftains.

[Sidenote: Henry, 1206–1216.]

Henry of Flanders had already made some progress in the conquest of
Greek Asia, when the news of the Bulgarian invasion called him to defend
his brother’s throne. He was now recognised as Emperor. He was politic
as well as brave, and the Greeks themselves admitted that he ‘treated
the Romans as if they were his own people.’ But he could neither conquer
Asia, defeat the Bulgarians, nor even permanently conciliate his Greek
subjects; though his zeal for shielding them from Catholic persecution
drew upon him the thunders of the Vatican. He made a treaty with
Theodore Lascaris, which gave him at least a little corner of Asia. He
was the strongest of the Latin Emperors. But he profited by the even
greater weakness of the kingdom of Thessalonica. In 1207, Boniface of
Montferrat perished, like Baldwin, at the hands of the Bulgarians. The
Despot of Epirus took advantage of the minority of his infant son,
Demetrius, to extend his conquests. The Frankish lords of the kingdom
called in the Emperor Henry, who found some consolation for his
disappointments in the North, when he gave the law to the Peloponnesus
and the islands in a great Diet held in 1210, compelled the regent of
the young king to do him homage, and received the submission even of the
Venetian lords of the Archipelago, conferring on the great house of
Sanudo the Duchy of the Archipelago or the Cyclades. Even the Despot of
Epirus formally acknowledged his sovereignty. Henry died in 1216, and
with him perished the best hopes of the Latins in Greece.

[Sidenote: Peter of Courtenay, 1216–1219.]

Peter of Courtenay, Count of Auxerre, a grandson of Louis VI. of France,
and the husband of Iolande, sister of Baldwin and Henry, was now chosen
Emperor. He was in Europe at the time of his election, and hastened to
Constantinople to take possession of the Empire. He rashly chose to
disembark at Durazzo and follow the ancient Via Egnatia over the hills
to Macedonia and Thrace. When amongst the mountains, his little army was
overwhelmed by the Despot of Epirus, and he himself was captured, and
died in captivity. His wife, who had more prudently proceeded to
Constantinople by sea, now acted as regent for her young son Robert, the
next Emperor.

[Sidenote: Robert, 1219–1228.]

The reign of Robert of Courtenay marked the rapid decline of the Eastern
Empire. It witnessed the complete destruction of the Kingdom of
Thessalonica. In 1223, when King Demetrius was abroad, seeking in vain
Western help, Theodore Angelus took possession of his capital, and
henceforth ruled without a rival from the Adriatic to the Ægean; and,
like the lords of Nicæa and Trebizond, assumed the pompous style of
Emperor of the Romans. [Sidenote: Fall of Thessalonica, 1223.] John
Vatatzes, the successor of Theodore Lascaris at Nicæa, renewed the war
with the Latins of Constantinople. It seemed almost a race between the
two Theodores, as to which should first drive out the Latins. The domain
of Robert was reduced to Constantinople and its suburbs. He went to
implore help from the West, and died during his journey in 1228.

[Sidenote: Baldwin II., 1228–1261.]

Baldwin II. (1228–1261), the youngest of Peter of Courtenay’s sons, a
boy of eleven, was now proclaimed Emperor. John de Brienne, the ex-king
of Jerusalem [see chapter xix], was soon called in to hold the regency.
He married his daughter to Baldwin, was crowned joint-Emperor, and saved
his ward’s throne from the Greeks and Bulgarians. On John’s death in
1237, new perils beset the young Baldwin. The Latin state had had a few
years of breathing time through the rivalry of the Angeli of
Thessalonica and the house of Ducas, to which, after the death of
Theodore Lascaris, had passed the Empire of Nicæa. [Sidenote: Union of
Thessalonica and Nicæa.] John III. Ducas ended the strife in his own
favour by the conquest of Thessalonica in 1241. Henceforth, the Angeli
had to be contented with the title of Despot of Epirus, and were
confined to the uplands of the west. A single strong Greek power now
threatened Constantinople, both from the side of Asia and the side of
Europe. [Sidenote: John III. Ducas, 1222–1254.] Moreover, John III. was
a competent administrator, a good warrior, and an able financier.
Nothing but the mighty walls of Constantinople, which the Greeks had
vainly attempted to assault, and the Venetian command of the sea, now
saved the Latin Empire from immediate extinction. Baldwin II. spent most
of his long reign in the vain quest of Frankish assistance. He left his
son as a pledge to Western bankers, and sold the most precious relics of
Constantinople to St. Louis. He had to sell the lead of his palace-roof
to buy food, and warm himself by burning the wood of his outhouses. But
the death of John III. in 1254 prolonged the long agony of the Latin
Empire. Michael Palæologus, an ambitious and unscrupulous soldier,
became regent for the infant grandson of John III., and soon associated
himself with his ward as joint ruler. [Sidenote: Michael VIII.
Palæologus, 1259–1282.] In 1259 Michael was crowned Emperor at Nicæa,
and the rights of his little colleague were soon forgotten. But Michael
VIII. showed vigour and military capacity which went some way to justify
his usurpation. In 1261, he profited by the absence of the Venetian
fleet to make a sudden attack on Constantinople. [Sidenote: Conquest of
Constantinople, 1261.] The unlucky Baldwin could offer no effective
resistance. On 15th August, Michael entered in triumph the ancient
capital, and the Latin Empire perished, unwept and unhonoured.

[Sidenote: The revived Greek Empire, 1261–1453.]

The Venetians, alarmed to find that Michael had transferred their
privileges to their Genoese rivals, joined with the Franks of the
Peloponnesus in raising a cry for a Crusade against the victorious
Greeks, which was further preached by Pope Urban IV. Charles of Anjou,
who became King of Naples and Sicily in 1265, was willing, and seemed
eminently fitted, to carry out the old aggressive policy of the
Guiscards. But, though the proposal that he should lead a new Crusade
against the Orthodox frightened Michael into insincere proposals to buy
off Western opposition by ending the Greek schism, his submission had no
permanent result when the fear of a Crusade was removed. Michael never
ruled with the authority of the Macedonians or the Comneni, but his
careful measures of reforms, and his warlike capacity, started the Greek
Empire on the last stage of its career, which gave it nearly two
centuries more of existence before it succumbed to the Ottoman Turks.

[Sidenote: The Latins in Peloponnesus.]

The Latin power still partly continued in the islands and in the
Peloponnesus. Not only did the Venetians retain their grip on the
Archipelago and the coast, but the proximity of the sea enabled some of
the Franks of Southern Greece to continue to rule their principalities,
after Baldwin II. had been driven from his throne. They had as their
code of law the Assizes of Romania, a free adaptation of the famous
Assizes of Jerusalem. They even effected some sort of partial
amalgamation with their native subjects. Their churches and fortresses
long remained, as in Cyprus and Syria, the strongest witnesses of their
power. It was not till 1310 that the Dukes of Athens, of the house of
Brienne, succumbed, not to the Greeks, but to their own Catalan
mercenaries. The Princes of Achaia reigned even longer. The Venetians
saved both the Ionian islands and Crete alike from the Greeks and from
the Turks. To the end of the Middle Ages, titular dukes, princes, and
emperors of the Eastern world kept up the memory of one of the strangest
and most daring of Western conquests, but one which was useless to the
West, and only weakened the Christian East, at a time when the rise of
the Ottoman Turks required every effort to be made to stem the tide of
that barbarian conquest which was soon to prove fatal to Latin and Greek


                              |         |
                          ISAAC I.,    John.
                         1057–1059.     |
                                    ALEXIUS I.,
                                     _m._ Irene.
        |                         |                        |            |
      Anna,                   JOHN II.,                   Isaac.     Theodora.
 _m._ Nicephorus Bryennius.   1118–1143,                   |            |
                            _m._ Irene of                  |            |
                               Hungary.                    |            |
                                  |                        |            |
     +---------------+------------+                        |            |
     |               |                                     |            |
   Isaac,         MANUEL I.,                               |            |
 grandfather of   1143–1180,                               |            |
   Isaac,      _m._ 1. Bertha of                           |            |
 Emperor of            Sulzbach,   Louis VII.              |            |
  Cyprus.           2. Mary of     of France.              |            |
                       Antioch.        |                   |            |
                          |            |                   |            |
                     ALEXIUS II., _m._ 1. Agnes _m._ 2. ANDRONICUS I.,  |
                     1180–1183.   of France.          1183–1185.        |
                                                         |              |
                                                       Manuel.          |
                                                         |              |
                                                      Alexius,          |
                                                   founder of line      |
                                                   of Emperors of       |
                                                     Trebizond.         |
                   |            |                 |
              Andronicus.     John.             Michael,
                   |            |          Despot of Epirus,
                   |         Theodore,       founder of line
                   |         Emperor of      of Despots of
                   |        Thessalonica,       Epirus.
                   |         1214–1230.
   |                   |
 ALEXIUS III.,     ISAAC II., _m._ 1. Margaret _m._ 2. Boniface of Montferrat,
 1195–1203.        1185–1195,            of     |      King of Thessalonica,
                   1203–1204.         Hungary.  |            _d._ 1207.
                       |                        |
     +-----------------+                        |
     |                 |                        |
 ALEXIUS IV.,        Irene,                  Demetrius,
 murdered           _m._ Philip        King of Thessalonica,
 1204.              of Swabia.               dep. 1222.


                                               Louis VI. of France.
       Baldwin VIII., Count of Flanders.    _m._ heiress of Courtenay.
                       |                                |
        +--------------+--+-----------+                 |
        |                 |           |                 |
     BALDWIN I.         HENRY,     Iolande _m._ PETER of Courtenay,
 (IX. of Flanders),   1206–1216.            |       1216–1217,
     1204–1205.                             |       ob. 1218.
                              |                        |
                           ROBERT,                BALDWIN II.,
                          1218–1228.               1228–1261,
                                                   ob. 1273,
                                             _m._ Mary, daughter of
                                                JOHN OF BRIENNE,

                              CHAPTER XVI
              FREDERICK II. AND THE PAPACY[28] (1216–1250)

  Character and Policy of Frederick II.—His Work in Naples and
    Sicily—Frederick and Honorius III.—The Early Struggles of Frederick
    and Gregory IX.—Frederick’s Crusade and its Consequences—Peace of
    San Germano—Germany under Frederick—St. Engelbert and Henry
    VII.—German Civilisation under the Later Hohenstaufen—The Eastward
    Expansion of Germany—Livonia and Prussia—Frederick and the Lombard
    League—Battle of Cortenuova—Renewed Struggle with Gregory IX.—The
    Tartars—Innocent IV. and the Council of Lyons—Henry Raspe and
    William of Holland—The Italian Struggle—Frederick’s Plans for
    Ecclesiastical Revolution—Frederick’s Death.

[Sidenote: Character of Frederick II.]

Frederick II. was nearly twenty-two years old when the death of Innocent
III. allowed him to govern as well as to reign. He was of middle height,
and well proportioned, though becoming somewhat corpulent as he advanced
in age. He had good features and a pleasant appearance. His light hair,
like that of his father and grandfather, inclined towards redness, but
he ultimately became very bald. Despite his troubled childhood, passed
in solitude and gloom at the palace of Palermo, he had been carefully
educated. He became familiar with many tongues, and versed in many
literatures. The half-Greek, half-Arabic cultivation of Sicily had
thoroughly permeated a spirit in which keen rationalism and dreamy
mysticism were curiously interwoven. He had a true mediæval love for
dialectic. He delighted in geometry and in astronomy. He regulated his
public and private life by the predictions of his astrologers, among
whom Michael Scot held the first place. He was curious in natural
history, collecting a great menagerie of strange animals and studying
their habits and structure. The camels and dromedaries, employed in
carrying his baggage train, excited the wonder of the Italians, and his
elephant, a present from the Sultan of Egypt, was almost as famous as
the elephant of Charlemagne. In his concern for his own health he busied
himself with surgery and medicine, while his care for his animals turned
his interests towards veterinary science. He enjoyed hunting and
hawking, not only as a sportsman, but as a naturalist. He wrote a
treatise on falconry that attests his zoological and anatomical
knowledge. Yet with all his love of fresh air and exercise, he was a
valetudinarian who depended upon his physicians almost as much as upon
his astrologers, regulating his life and diet very carefully, and
indulging so frequently in baths that his enemies reproached him with
bathing on Sundays.

With advancing life Frederick’s personal habits grew more and more
oriental. He secluded his wives from the public gaze, keeping them under
the custody of eunuchs after the Eastern fashion, and maintaining at
Lucera a regular harem of concubines, the expenses of which were duly
entered in the public accounts of the realm. Though a respectable
strategist, Frederick was no warrior, taking small delight in feats of
physical skill, and having little of the rough vigour and determination
of his chivalrous contemporaries. But he was a subtle and almost a great
statesman, who sought to gain his ends by craft, duplicity, and
dexterity. Courteous, polished, and seductive in manner, he seemed to
belong to a different race from that of his rude Swabian and Norman
ancestors. His many-sided character, so full of contradictions, has
nothing of the homogeneity and simplicity of the warriors and statesmen
of the Middle Ages, but at one time reflects the astute and effeminate
oriental, and at another anticipates the accomplished and brilliant
despots of the Italian Renascence. His want of sympathy for the ideals
of his time comes out strongly in his dealings with the Church. He was
believed to have imbibed from his Arab and Jewish masters an utter
scepticism as to all religion. Moses, Mohammed, and Christ, he is
reported to have said, were three impostors who had deluded the world in
turn; and he is also alleged to have maintained that the soul perished
with the body. But if Frederick upheld these views before a select
circle, he was careful to submit himself to all the obligations of the
Church, and to prove his orthodoxy not only by the most formal and
positive denials of these charges, but also by a most sanguinary
persecution of heresy.

[Sidenote: Frederick’s policy in Naples and Sicily.]

Frederick’s character and policy can best be studied in his favourite
Sicilian and South Italian homes. Despite the protection of Innocent
III., he had had, as we have seen, the greatest difficulties in
maintaining his position both against the untamed descendants of the old
Arab lords of Sicily, and against the fierce and turbulent feudal
aristocracy that had come in with the Normans. The first years after
Innocent’s death were taken up with renewed struggles against the
Saracens in Sicily. It was not till after an almost constant fight
between 1221–1225 that Frederick succeeded in entirely effecting their
subjection. He then strove to divide his Arab subjects by transporting a
large number of them to the desolate town of Lucera on the mainland. The
ruined city was rebuilt on a magnificent scale for its infidel
inhabitants. Workers in steel and weavers of silk made Lucera wealthy
and prosperous, and the grateful Arabs showed unwavering fidelity to
their sympathetic conqueror. Frederick frequently visited Lucera, where
he delighted to live the very life of his oriental subjects. Frederick
looked upon the Arabs as most kings looked on the Jews. They were his
personal slaves and dependants, whom he protected the more since,
besides the commercial gifts, which they shared with the Hebrews, they
were doughty warriors, who were ever willing to fight for him in his
Italian wars. Moreover, their loyalty was superior to the terrors of the
papal ban, and their arms proved an admirable counterpoise to the fierce
Norman aristocracy, which, allying itself with the Papacy, sought to
break down the fabric of centralisation which the Sicilian kings had
established at its expense, and which Frederick now strove to elaborate
into a strong despotism. The constant feudal revolts were suppressed
with firm deliberation and cold-blooded cruelty. Hardly less formidable
to Frederick than the feudalists were the great cities such as Messina,
Syracuse, and Catania, whose liberties were also menaced by a policy
that concentrated all power in the monarch, and whose frequent
rebellions were another continued source of trouble. The same firm hand
that checked the nobles ultimately managed to triumph over the
disaffection of the citizens.

Victorious over Saracens, nobles, and townsmen alike, Frederick
skilfully played off one class or race against the others, and banished
from his court the turbulent leaders of the lay and spiritual
aristocracy. With the help of a handful of faithful prelates and barons,
and of a wider circle of lawyers, notaries, and royal dependants,
Frederick issued a series of laws for the government of Sicily and
Naples that frankly strove to abolish the feudal state in the interests
of autocracy. He resumed possession of the estates that had been carved
from the royal domain in the days of confusion. Like another Henry of
Anjou, he either destroyed the unauthorised castles, erected by the
feudal lords, or at least garrisoned them with royal troops under trusty
commanders. Private wars were forbidden under pain of death, and even
the judicial duel was only allowed in specified cases and under careful
precautions. Criminal jurisdiction was withdrawn from the nobles’ courts
and put in the hands of royal judges. Frederick even made it a merit
that he suffered the feudal tribunals to continue to exercise civil
justice. The towns were deprived of the right of choosing their
magistrates, and put under the rule of royal officials, while councils
of notables, chosen by the inhabitants, gave the magistrates some
insight into public opinion, or at least proved a convenient channel for
receiving the royal commands. The feudal prelates shared in the ruin of
their lay colleagues, and every churchman was forced to pay taxes, and
to abandon civil office. The Church courts saw their jurisdiction
limited and their privileges curtailed. The further growth of
ecclesiastical property was prevented by a severe law of mortmain.

A great administrative system grew up on the ruins of seignorial,
ecclesiastical, and municipal independence. All laws emanated directly
from the monarch. The _Magna Curia_, sitting at Capua, took supreme
cognisance of all judicial business, while the _Magna Curia Rationum_
occupied the position of the Angevin Exchequer. _Chamberlains_ looked
after the finance and the administration of the provinces, while
_Justices_, strangers to the districts in which they bore rule, tried
criminals and upheld peace and good order. Local _bailiffs_ cared for
the royal interests in the villages, and acted as judges in the first
instance, while the _Grand Justiciar_, the head of the Court of Capua,
made yearly perambulations of the provinces to control the local
machinery. Representative _General Courts_ anticipated by a generation
or more the system of estates of Northern Europe, and brought the
autocrat in touch with the needs of the chief orders of the community.

The arts and sciences flourished at the court of the brilliant and
enlightened young despot. In 1224 Frederick established the University
of Naples, and provided it with every faculty, ‘in order that those who
have hunger for knowledge may find within the kingdom the food for which
they are yearning, and may not be forced to go into exile and beg the
bread of learning in strange lands.’ It was the first university in
Europe established by royal charter, and, all through its history, the
rigid dependence of its teachers and students on the State deprived it
of that freedom which was necessary to play a real part in the history
of thought, though the fostering care of its master, which prohibited
his subjects from studying elsewhere, made it an efficient educational
instrument, and it had the honour of numbering among its earliest
disciples Thomas of Aquino. The more ancient school of medicine at
Salerno was revived through Frederick’s bounty, and no one was allowed
to practise the physician’s art within the realm without the licence of
the Salerno doctors. At Frederick’s accession, we are told, there were
few men of letters in Sicily. His largesse soon attracted to his court
doctors from every part of the world. The palace itself became a centre
of intellectual activity. Michael Scot translated for Frederick many of
the works of Aristotle. The famous mathematician, Leonard of Pisa, who
introduced Arabic numerals and Arabic algebra into the West, enjoyed the
sovereign’s patronage. Learned Jews and Arabs were as sure of
Frederick’s favour as the best of Catholics. Nor were the lighter and
more elegant arts forgotten. It is possible that Frederick himself wrote
Latin poetry. It is certain that his compositions in the vulgar tongue
mark the starting-point of the vernacular literature of Italy, and for
the first time gave a currency among the great and learned to the songs
of the Sicilian dialect that had hitherto only enjoyed the favour of the
poor and humble. Dante regarded Frederick as the father of Italian
poetry, and the example of the king and his court gave such vogue to the
Sicilian idiom that it was nearly a century before the vernacular poets
forsook it for the Tuscan. Frederick also loved the poets of Provence,
even if he did not also write verses in the tongue of the Troubadours.
He also favoured the speech of Northern France, and recognised its
general prevalence as the common language of knights and soldiers. His
ministers, headed by the famous Peter della Vigna, emulated his
activity, and his children, especially the bastard Manfred, strove,
amidst great difficulties, to continue his work. Frederick loved art so
well that he rifled Ravenna to adorn his palace at Palermo, and
collected jewels, plate, and costly furniture as well as manuscripts. He
was a great builder, and his summer palace at Foggia, where he loved to
dwell by reason of its proximity to the great forest of the Incoronata,
which was reserved for the royal hunting, was, with the still existing
castle of Castel del Monte, a striking example of the severe yet elegant
style which he had adopted.

[Sidenote: Frederick and Honorius III., 1216–1227.]

The successor of Innocent III. was Honorius III., a member of the noble
Roman house of Savelli. He was a gentle, earnest, mild-mannered man, who
had grown grey while discharging a monotonous round of financial
business in the papal Curia. He was neither a statesman nor a zealot,
yet he was a high-minded and religious prelate, and intent above all
things upon renewing the Crusades. He had been tutor of Frederick, and
wished him well. But though Honorius’ conciliatory temper gave the young
king ample opportunities for working out his Sicilian policy, there were
grave matters outstanding that could not but give rise to difficulties
between the Papacy and its former ward. Frederick had promised Innocent
III. to prevent the permanent union of the Empire and Sicily by
investing his young son Henry with his Italian kingdom, to be held as a
fief of the Papacy. He had also pledged himself to embark personally
upon a Crusade. As success strengthened his love of power and impatience
of external control, Frederick became unwilling to fulfil either of
these obligations. Honorius urged him repeatedly to depart for the East
to uphold the declining cause of the Cross. Frederick exhausted his
ingenuity in piling up excuses for delay, and the meek Pope was content
to accept them. At last, in April 1220, Frederick allowed his son Henry
to be elected King of the Romans, and therefore his successor in the
Empire as well as in Sicily. This was an impudent violation of his
plighted word and an open defiance of the Pope. He had the effrontery to
pretend to Honorius that the election had been made without his
knowledge, and in September he returned from Germany to Italy,
professing the utmost deference to the papal authority, and offering a
settlement of the long-outstanding dispute about the inheritance of the
Countess Matilda. He was now profuse in promises to the Pope and clergy.
In November 1220 the long-suffering Honorius crowned him Emperor at
Rome. The Pope, moreover, allowed him to keep Sicily for his lifetime,
on condition that he maintained therein a separate administration from
that of the Empire. In return for all this, Frederick again solemnly
took the Cross, and lavished concessions on the Church. He annulled all
laws hostile to the privileges of the clergy. He declared the Church
exempt from all taxes, and conferred on all ecclesiastical persons
absolute immunity from lay jurisdiction. He sacrificed the rights of the
municipalities in favour of the prelates, and he promised to lend the
whole force of the secular power to supplement the Church’s efforts for
the extirpation of heresy. If he hoped to shift on the towns and the
heretics some of the worst disabilities that he had imposed upon
himself, he had nevertheless seriously limited his authority and
hampered his Sicilian policy. It was not sound statecraft that promised
freely in the hope of being able to repudiate the concession when he had
obtained the end for which he affected to pay the price.

Frederick seemed at first in earnest about the Crusade, but he again
piled up delay upon delay. In 1221 Damietta was lost to the Christians
(see chapter xix.), and the Pope, who felt that Frederick was
responsible for this severe blow, mildly threatened him with
excommunication; but Frederick soon talked him over, and it was agreed
to postpone his Crusade until 1225. Though that term soon passed away,
Frederick now contracted his second marriage, with Iolande or Isabella,
daughter of John de Brienne, and the heiress of the kingdom of
Jerusalem. This match gave him a new and a more personal motive to
undertake the promised adventure. Meanwhile papal legates had stirred up
Germany with some purpose, and Hermann of Salza, Grand Master of the
Teutonic Order, won over many of the princes. The eager Pope at last
thought that Europe was again on the verge of making a real effort to
redeem the recent failures. But the organisation of Sicily lay nearer
the Emperor’s heart than the delivery of the Holy Sepulchre from the
infidel. The establishment of the Saracens at Lucera was a curious
comment on his crusading zeal, and directly threatened the neighbouring
papal territories with infidel invasion at the very moment when
Frederick was calling on the inhabitants of Spoleto, a fief of the Holy
See, to render him military service. The new laws promulgated for his
Southern dominions afflicted the clergy with severe disabilities, and
gave the lie direct to the promises made after Frederick’s coronation.
Moreover, in 1226 Frederick held a great diet at Cremona, where he
renewed the ancient imperial claims over Lombardy. In their alarm the
Lombard cities renewed their league, and blocked the roads by which the
imperial troops could cross over the Alps from Germany. Frederick put
the guilty cities under the imperial ban, and a German prelate declared
an interdict over their lands. Honorius at last lost all patience. He
pronounced the interdict invalid, and prepared to renew the ancient
league between the Papacy and the Lombard cities. Despite the incredible
forbearance of the Pope, the lying and chicanery of the Emperor had
wantonly provoked a rupture. The death of Honorius in March 1227
precipitated the inevitable renewal of the old contest of Papacy and

The next Pope was Ugolino, cardinal bishop of Ostia, a kinsman of
Innocent III., a man of the highest character, and an ardent upholder of
the great Pope’s ideas. He had long been known as the special patron of
St. Francis and St. Dominic (see chapter xviii.), and the most strenuous
foe of all sorts of heretics. [Sidenote: The first struggle between
Frederick and Gregory IX., 1227–1230.] Gregory IX. (this was the name he
assumed) was already a very old man. But the fire of youthful enthusiasm
still glowed within him, and his strong will and restless energy at once
brushed aside the specious excuses that had so long deceived his
predecessor. For the moment it seemed as if Frederick was at last in
earnest for the Crusade. Bands of German, Italian, and French warriors
gathered together in Apulia during the summer, and on 8th September
Frederick himself took ship at Brindisi for the Holy Land. But
pestilence had already decimated the crusading army, and after a few
days Frederick put back at Otranto, alleging that a sharp attack of
fever had necessitated his return. The Emperor soon recovered, but the
Landgrave of Thuringia, the commander of his army, now died, and many of
the survivors of the expedition went back to their homes. Frederick’s
excuses availed him little with Gregory IX. On 29th September the Pope
pronounced him excommunicate, and laid under interdict every spot
wherein he might chance to tarry. This was the signal for a violent
renewal of the ancient strife between Papacy and Empire. Gregory
denounced the Emperor in threatening manifestos, and swarms of Mendicant
Friars wandered throughout Italy, seeking to turn Frederick’s subjects
from their allegiance to the forsworn, grasping, and profligate Emperor.
Frederick did not shrink from the conflict. ‘No Roman Emperor,’ he
declared, ‘has ever been so badly treated by a Pope. The Roman Church is
so swollen with avarice that the goods of the Church will not suffice to
satisfy it, and it is not ashamed to disinherit and make tributary
emperors, kings and princes.’ For the moment Frederick was in the
stronger position. The Pope’s emissaries failed to turn either Italy or
Germany from its allegiance. The partisans of the Emperor stirred up a
tumult in Rome, and at Easter 1228 Gregory was forced to take flight to

[Sidenote: Frederick’s Crusade, 1228–1229.]

In June Frederick again took ship at Brindisi, and landed in September
in Acre. His wife, Isabella of Brienne, died before his embarkation, on
the birth of their son Conrad, but Frederick still claimed the crown of
Jerusalem. Gregory now forbade the excommunicate Emperor from
presumptuously undertaking the holy work, and commanded the faithful to
withdraw from his armies. As Frederick still persisted, the sentence of
excommunication passed because of his refusal to become a Crusader was
renewed because he went to the Holy Land without reconciling himself to
the Church. The Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Orders of the Temple and
the Hospital obeyed the papal command. But the rash violence of the Pope
overreached itself, and many Crusaders, conspicuous among whom was the
young Teutonic Order and its famous master, Hermann of Salza, did not
scruple to follow Frederick to battle. Public opinion blamed the Pope
for his rigour, and a contemporary said that Frederick was the victim of
Gregory, as Christ was the victim of Caiaphas. Though not unprepared for
battle, Frederick trusted more to negotiation than to his arms. Long
before his departure for Palestine, he had been conducting friendly
negotiations with El-Kamil, the Sultan of Egypt. In February 1229 he
concluded a ten years’ truce with the Sultan, by which Bethlehem,
Nazareth, and Jerusalem were restored to the Christians, on condition
only that the Mosque of Omar remained in Saracen hands. On Mid-Lent
Sunday Frederick took the crown of Jerusalem from the high altar of the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and placed it on his own head. But the
Patriarch cast an interdict over the Holy Places, and no priest could be
found to hallow the coronation by celebrating the offices of the Church.
Frederick gave fresh cause for scandal by visiting the Mosque of Omar.
He soon returned to Acre, and in June was back in Italy. Despite the
thunders of the Church, the excommunicate Emperor had done more for the
Christian cause than a generation of orthodox pilgrims. Hermann of Salza
declared with good reason that Frederick could have obtained still
better terms for the Christians had it not been for the hostility of
Pope and clergy.

During Frederick’s absence, Gregory had devastated Apulia with fire and
sword. His dead wife’s father, John de Brienne, the ex-king of
Jerusalem, acted as captain of the papal mercenaries against him. On
Frederick’s sudden reappearance, the papal troops were driven over the
frontier and the Patrimony of St. Peter itself threatened by the
victorious Emperor. Gregory found that his rashness had brought him into
an impossible position, and was glad to accept the mediation which
Hermann of Salza and Duke Leopold of Austria now proffered. [Sidenote:
The Peace of San Germano, 1230.] On July 23, 1230, peace was made
between Pope and Emperor at San Germano. In return for a promise to
protect the Pope’s dominions and a confirmation of the papal rights over
Sicily, Frederick was released from his excommunication. Soon after,
Pope and Emperor met at Anagni with Hermann of Salza as the only witness
of their conference. ‘The Pope,’ wrote Frederick, ‘has opened to me his
heart, and has calmed my spirit. I will remember the past no longer.’
‘The Emperor,’ wrote Gregory, ‘has come to seek me with the zeal of a
devoted son, and has shown to me that he is ready to accomplish all my
desires.’ Yet, despite these mutual protestations, the Treaty of San
Germano so little went to the root of the matter that it was little more
than a hollow truce. Both sides still watched each other with jealous
suspicion. However, the truce was kept for several years, since neither
Pope nor Emperor was ready to strike the decisive blow for power.

Frederick devoted the period succeeding the Treaty of San Germano to the
building up of his Southern despotism. His policy now became more
exclusively Italian. With the hope of getting help from the German
princes in carrying out his Southern schemes, he recklessly played into
their hands, and wantonly destroyed the well-ordered authority over his
Northern kingdom that he had inherited from his father and grandfather.
[Sidenote: Contrast between Frederick’s Italian and German policy.] His
German and Sicilian policies stand in the strongest contrast. While he
trampled down all feudal communities in the Norman kingdom in favour of
a centralised bureaucracy dependent upon himself, he threw to the winds
every monarchical and national tradition in Germany. There was something
of the wilfulness that is so characteristic of him in this strangely
twofold and contradictory action. It strikes at the very root of
Frederick’s claims to the higher statesmanship. Their only
reconciliation is the fact that the Emperor’s policy was but the policy
of the moment. So long as he could crush his papal enemy, he was utterly
careless of the general tendency of his work. The ruin of the
Hohenstaufen was already prepared for when Frederick bartered his German
kingship for an immediate triumph over his hated foe. It was all the
more certain, since the elaborate edifice that he imagined he was
building up in Italy was but a house erected on the sand.

[Sidenote: Government of St. Engelbert, 1220–1225.]

The long civil war between Frederick and Otto of Saxony had done much to
shake the authority of the German king and stimulate the development of
the feudal principle. A partial recovery was effected during the years
succeeding the collapse of the Guelf, when the wise rule of Engelbert,
archbishop of Cologne, contributed powerfully towards restoring the
prestige of the absentee sovereign. Like Barbarossa, Frederick sought to
rule by means of the German episcopate, but the bishops of his time were
no longer in the commanding position which the warlike prelates of the
twelfth century had held. The episcopal towns which they had once ruled
through their officials had become great centres of commerce and wealth,
and were rapidly advancing on the road to autonomy. The lay princes were
more independent, and even the _ministeriales_, who had played so
decisive a part in earlier struggles, were attaining an independent and
permanent position of their own as a lower aristocracy whose imperial
offices were becoming hereditary fiefs. There was not time enough for
Engelbert’s attempts at reformation to succeed. It was not until 1219
that the last partisans of the Guelfs tendered their submission. But
even before that, in 1216, Frederick had conferred on his four-year-old
son Henry the duchy of Swabia, and in 1220 he had procured, as we have
seen, his election as King of the Romans. He smoothed the way to this by
a formal alliance with the ecclesiastical princes, conferring upon them
a series of privileges that extended to them complete jurisdiction over
their fiefs.[29] In 1222 Henry was crowned king at Aachen by Engelbert,
who ‘cherished him as a son and honoured him as a master.’ Henceforth
the administration was carried on in the name of the young king.

Engelbert watched with a jealous eye the power of Valdemar II. of
Denmark, who had been allowed by Frederick to retain possession of
Nordalbingia and the extensive German districts which he had occupied,
when fighting as a partisan of Otto IV. But the German lords of the
conquered districts were averse to foreign domination, and, headed by
Count Henry of Schwerin, sought to restore their estates to their
fatherland. [Sidenote: Defeat of Valdemar of Denmark, 1223–1227.] In
1223 Henry of Schwerin had the good luck to take the King of Denmark
prisoner, and in 1225 Valdemar only obtained his release at the price of
renouncing Schwerin, Holstein, and his other German acquisitions.
Afterwards Valdemar sought to regain his losses, but in 1227 he was
defeated at the bloody battle of Bernhöved in Holstein, and was glad to
renew the conditions which he had accepted two years before. Henceforth
the Danes were confined to their own territories, and the chief
hindrance was removed to the expansion of the German power in the Baltic

Engelbert’s war against Denmark was the greatest evidence of his energy
and success. Before the struggle was over he was assassinated in 1225 by
a band of robber knights, who resented his strenuous maintenance of
public order. The Church honoured him as a martyr, and he was soon added
to the catalogue of saints. [Sidenote: Henry VII., King of the Romans,
1222–1235.] He left no competent successor, and the land fell into such
anarchy that a chronicler complained that Germany had become as bad as
Israel under the Judges, when there was no king, and every man did what
was right in his own eyes. The young Henry VII.—so Frederick’s son was
generally called—attained man’s estate in the midst of these
disturbances. He was a dissolute, capricious, feather-headed youth,
quite unable to uphold order or frame a clear and consistent policy.
Complaints of the disorders arising from his neglect soon crossed the
Alps to his father, but Frederick’s exhortations and remonstrances only
irritated his son against him without turning him from his evil ways.
Before long the growing differences between Frederick and Henry added a
new element of difficulty to the Emperor’s position. The King of the
Romans sought, so far as he could, to maintain a diametrically different
policy from that approved of by the Emperor. The last generation of the
‘ministeriales,’ utterly alienated from his father, abetted his designs
and gave them some coherence.

[Sidenote: Frederick’s Privileges to the Princes, 1231–1232.]

In 1231 Frederick forced Henry to promulgate at Worms a _Statutum in
favorem principum_, which in 1232 he personally confirmed at a diet at
Civitate in Friuli.[30] It was the elaboration and the generalisation of
his alliance twelve years earlier with the prelates. ‘Let every prince,’
declared the Emperor, ‘enjoy in peace, according to the approved custom
of his land, his immunities, jurisdictions, counties and hundreds, both
those which belong to him in full right, and those which have been
granted out to him in fief.’ It was a complete recognition of the
territorial supremacy of the great nobles, whether churchmen or laymen.
No new castle or city was to be set up within their dominions, even by
the Emperor. The hundreds men [_centumgravii_] were to act in their
name, and no new money was to be struck in any prince’s land that could
reduce the currency of his local mintage. The towns and the lesser
estates were to be depressed in their favour. The cities were not to
exercise jurisdiction outside the circuit of their walls, were not to
entertain _Pfahlbürger_, or harbour fugitives or the vassals of any
prince. It was a complete renunciation of the earlier policy of the
Hohenstaufen. But though powerful in securing the territorial supremacy
of the princes, Frederick’s law had little effect in checking the growth
of municipal autonomy. The greater cities were already getting rid of
their episcopal or baronial lords, and Frederick was quite unable to
check the flowing tide.

[Sidenote: Persecution of Heresy.]

In his shiftless way Henry tried to pose as the champion of the towns
and the lesser nobility, that was gradually evolving out of the ancient
official class, against the great feudalists whom his father so
obstinately favoured. Since Frederick wished to remain for the moment on
good terms with the Church, Henry ostentatiously took up an
anti-clerical attitude. He had favoured the savage persecutions of
heresy which Frederick had allowed Franciscan and Dominican inquisitors
to carry out in Germany as well as in Italy (see also chapter xviii.).
Conspicuous among them was the Franciscan, Conrad of Marburg, who
wandered ‘preaching and teaching’ all over Germany until 1233, when he
was assassinated. Henry now sought to end the persecution which he had
once favoured. But in 1234 a regular crusade was fought against the
Stedinger of the mouths of the Weser, who had refused to pay their
tithes. They were easily defeated, and those who escaped massacre
abandoned their homes and took shelter in Friesland.

Henry’s relations with Frederick had long been strained. In 1232 he
visited his father in Friuli, and was forced to renew his oaths of
obedience. But his blunders and follies crowned all his enterprises with
failure, and, after his father had been forced to disavow all
responsibility for his rash deeds, the young king strove to unite the
towns and the lesser nobles in revolt against the Emperor (1234).
[Sidenote: Revolt and Ruin of Henry, 1335.] In 1235 Frederick was
compelled to appear in Germany, where he easily put down his son’s
rebellion. The cities adhered for the most part to the Emperor, and the
‘ministeriales’ and lesser nobles were not strong enough to stand alone.
On the advice of the peace-loving Hermann of Salza, the young king made
his submission to his father. His punishment was perpetual imprisonment
in Apulia. In 1242, wearied with the restraint, he rode his horse over a
precipice, and perished.

[Sidenote: The Diet of Mainz and the English marriage, 1235.]

Never was Frederick’s power so strongly manifested as during his visit
to Germany in 1235. In the summer he celebrated at Worms his third
marriage, with Isabella of England, the sister of Henry III., and soon
afterwards held a numerously attended Diet at Mainz, where he published
a series of famous constitutions, in some of which he sought to extend
to Germany some of the principles that had for so long inspired his
Sicilian policy. He established a court justiciar [_justiciarius
curiæ_], who was to hold sessions of his court on all lawful days,
hearing all causes save the high matters which the Emperor reserved for
himself. This class included all the questions of dispute that might
arise between the great vassals. Frederick strove to limit private war
to cases where justice should be denied, and to raise up beside the
courts of the princes the imperial court which he had thus reorganised.
But at the same time he renewed the former privileges granted to the
princes, and thus made his reforms of no effect. The feudal magnates
were still to exercise every regalian right, the bishops were still to
keep a tight hold over their see towns, and the free municipalities were
still to renounce the protection of their ‘Pfahlbürger,’ and see their
independence circumscribed by the local grandees. The lesser nobility
soon succumbed before these blows, and the future of Germany was thus
intrusted to the great feudatories. A good illustration of this is the
circumstance that the ancient power of electing the kings passed away
from the general assembly of the barons to the limited circle of
magnates, who were later known as the seven electors. In the same
conciliatory spirit, those who had a hand in the revolt of King Henry
were fully pardoned, and special concessions to the more powerful
princes bound them individually to the imperial cause. Among these may
be specially mentioned the recognition of Otto of Lüneburg, the heir of
the Guelfs, as Duke of the new duchy of Brunswick (see also page 331).
Frederick’s friendship with the Guelfs, following closely upon his
alliance with England, clearly marks his departure from his ancestors’
policy. Even the towns were conciliated by the renewal of their
privileges. Only the Duke of Austria, the brother-in-law of Henry VII.,
still remained unappeased. He was proscribed in the diet of 1236 and his
territories invaded. But the Duke resisted so vigorously that Frederick,
who had before this returned to Italy, was forced once more to cross the
Alps. Early in 1237 the Emperor entered Vienna in triumph, though even
after this the stubborn duke held his own, and when peace was at last
made in 1239, he secured the full restitution of his estates.

[Sidenote: Conrad, King of the Romans, 1237.]

Frederick took with him to Vienna Conrad, his son by Isabella of
Brienne, then a boy of nine. The assembled princes declared that the
little Conrad was to be preferred to Henry, as David had been put in the
place of Saul. He was elected King of the Romans, and on Frederick’s
speedy return to Italy, the government of Germany was, for a second
time, carried on in the name of a boy-king. The troubles that had
disturbed the reign of Henry were now quickly renewed.

Notwithstanding the rapid diminution of the royal power, the age of
Frederick II. is one of no small moment in the development of German
civilisation, though little of the credit for it can be set down to the
absentee and incurious Emperor. But in truth the removal of the imperial
authority was not all loss. [Sidenote: German Civilisation under
Frederick II.] It had never been sufficient of a reality to secure for
all Germany permanent peace, and even in the days of the strongest of
German kings much of the merit of upholding order and civilisation had
belonged to the local potentates. Their complete recognition and the
full legalisation of their power now substituted a large number of small
local centres of authority for the one unifying power of the old German
king. German unity suffered, but national unity was a far-off ideal in
Northern Europe in the thirteenth century. The great development of
trade, wealth, law, literature, and civilisation showed that Germany was
far from being an absolute loser by the change of system. Unluckily the
power of these lesser rulers did not, as in France, prepare the way for
a strong monarchy when the time grew ripe for a single government.
Germany paid the penalty for her premature unity under her early kings
by her inability to set up a national authority when national states
became possible.

[Sidenote: Commerce and the Towns.]

Despite the hostility of emperor and princes, the towns more than held
their own. Great changes were coming over the commercial relations of
Europe. The volume of trade was much greater, and now flowed in channels
which gave Germany a larger share of the world’s traffic. The rich
products of the East now came from Venice over the Brenner, and either
went down the Lech to Augsburg and Nürnberg or descended the Rhine to
marts like Cologne, where the traders of the north and south met
together, and the cloth of Flanders or the wool of England, and the
wood, iron, and coarse products of the Baltic were bartered for the more
costly articles of luxury that had come over the Alps. Safe behind their
strong walls, the citizens could hold their own against prince or
emperor, while their interest in the maintenance of the public peace and
the safety of the roads and waterways attracted them to the side of any
powerful and peace-loving ruler. A few strong princes could keep better
order than a mass of robber-nobles levying endless tolls and exactions
on all goods passing through their territories. Even before the fall of
the Hohenstaufen the towns had not only escaped the direct rule of the
Emperor, but had gradually withdrawn themselves from the authority of
the neighbouring lords. The extension of the German race and power to
the East opened up for them new avenues for trade.

[Sidenote: Law.]

The development of local authorities was marked by the growth of local
codes of laws. The earliest code of German customary law, the
_Sachsenspiegel_, was drawn up before the fall of Henry VII., and
prepared the way for a series of similar collections of customs in the
second half of the thirteenth century. The towns followed the same
process, and it became the ideal of each community to attain the laws
which a more ancient and better established community already enjoyed.
For the East the customs of Magdeburg, for the North the laws of Lübeck,
which themselves were derived from those of Soest in Westphalia, became
the model on which the newer towns based their constitutions.

[Sidenote: Literature.]

Literature followed the direction of politics and law. The use of the
vernacular tongue spread as, side by side with the Latinised culture of
the clergy and the popular epics that had flourished at least since
Barbarossa’s days, the lay nobles and knights developed a literary
medium of their own. [Sidenote: The Minnesinger and the Romancers.] The
early part of the thirteenth century was the great period of the
Minnesinger, the knightly poets of love, whose polished and spontaneous
lyrics, inspired by the Troubadours of the Langue d’oc, celebrated
chivalrous devotion to beauty and romantic affection in terms that
showed how far society had outgrown the rudeness of the Dark Ages. Side
by side with them was the great school of romancers, influenced by
North-French models, who told to German ears the romances of Charlemagne
and Arthur. Lyrists like the Tyroler Walter von der Vogelweide, and epic
poets like Wolfram of Eschenbach and Gottfried of Strassburg, found
their best welcome at the courts of the more cultured princes, such as
Frederick of Austria and, above all, Hermann of Thuringia, whose castle
of the Wartburg, dominating his town of Eisenach, has an almost
legendary celebrity in their history. Little as he was in their land,
Frederick himself did not neglect to show his favour to the German
poets. But the fact that the impulse that inspired so much of their work
came from France showed that the Germany of the later Hohenstaufen was
not only losing its primacy in politics, but failed even to gain the
headship in thought and art. The German builders of Frederick’s age
continued to construct their churches on Romanesque lines, and the
‘French style’ of Gothic only came in very slowly and partially. The
fact that Germany possessed no university indicated her subordinate
position in the world of thought. Though one of the strongest of the
thirteenth century scholastics, Albert the Great, was a German, more of
his work was accomplished at Paris than at Cologne.

[Sidenote: The Expansion of Germany in the North and East.]

The extension of German influence over the North and East showed that
the spirit of the great Saxon and Frankish Emperors continued to inspire
the Germans of the thirteenth century. The triumph of St. Engelbert over
Valdemar of Denmark had restored German hegemony over the Baltic lands.
From it followed the commercial supremacy of Lübeck, the domination of
the Margraves of Brandenburg over the Slavonic Dukes of Pomerania, and
the extension of German influence beyond the Oder. [Sidenote: Decay of
the Slavonic States.] The ancient strength of the Polish monarchy
declined, and the Russian monarchy, which had been so powerful under
Saint Vladimir and Iaroslav the Great, split up even more hopelessly
than the more western Slavonic state. The only strong Slavonic power was
Bohemia, which all through the thirteenth century increased greatly in
importance under Ottocar I. (1197–1230), Wenceslas III. (1230–1253), and
Ottocar II. (1253–1278). But the Czech monarchs became so powerfully
attracted by German civilisation that they welcomed German merchants,
minstrels, priests, and knights, and were soon to profit by the growing
weakness of the German power to put themselves among the mightiest of
Teutonic states.

[Sidenote: The Livonian and Prussian Crusades.]

The decline of the Slavonic world left to itself the heathenism of the
East Baltic lands. From the Gulf of Finland to the borders of Germany
the savage and pagan Livonians, Esthonians, Lithuanians, and Prussians
still lived their old fierce lives, and it was not till early in the
thirteenth century that a pious missionary, named Christian, took up in
earnest the long-interrupted work of St. Adalbert, and became the first
bishop of the Prussians. A little before this Albert of Buxhöwden, a
canon of Bremen, set up the bishopric of Riga, which became the centre
of missionary effort among the heathen of Livonia. The result was that
Germany had the credit of bringing religion and civilisation to the race
that had escaped the nearer influence of Poles and Russians. In 1200
Bishop Albert of Riga established the order of Knights of the Sword, a
military brotherhood of the crusading type, specially destined to subdue
the heathens of the Livonian lands. More than twenty years later the
Prussians pressed Poland so severely that the latter country had to call
in German help. [Sidenote: The Knights of the Sword and the Teutonic
Knights.] The Teutonic Order, engaged for nearly a hundred years in the
Holy Land, had never obtained in that region the importance or the
wealth of the Temple or the Hospital. Hermann of Salza, the friend of
Frederick II., had convinced himself that the affairs of the Christians
in Syria were desperate, and even before Frederick’s crusade had shown
his willingness to transfer his main activity against the Prussians.
Frederick II. himself confirmed and enlarged the offers of the Polish
duke, and from 1230 onwards the Teutonic Knights were busily engaged
waging war in Prussia. Bit by bit the military monks overcame the
obstinate resistance of the heathen. Even more arduous was the struggle
of the Knights of the Sword in Livonia. But in both lands the discipline
of the few finally prevailed over the disorderly heroism of the
undisciplined barbarians. The two orders formed a close alliance, and
before the end of the century Livonia, Curland, and Prussia were
altogether in their power, leaving Lithuania alone as the last
resting-place of heathenism in Central Europe. Thus was effected the
last great expansion of Germany to the east. While the Knights of the
Sword remained a limited conquering class, powerless to prevent the
continuance of the native idiom and manners of their newly Christianised
subjects, Prussia gradually became almost as much Germanised as
Pomerania or Silesia. German traders followed the Teutonic warriors, and
in both lands a German burgher class supplemented the work of the ruling
aristocracy. Even in Poland German towns grew up everywhere. The Baltic
bade fair to become a German lake, and the Scandinavian powers shrank
back into insignificance and isolation.

[Sidenote: Breach between Frederick and the Lombard Cities, 1235.]

While the German race was working its way to fresh destinies with little
guidance from its nominal king, Frederick himself was again becoming
embroiled in the troubles of Italian and ecclesiastical politics. Even
in the quiet times that followed the Treaty of San Germano, the Lombard
cities had watched with alarm the despotic and anti-municipal policy of
the Emperor. So early as 1232 delegates from Lombardy renewed their
league, which was soon to be extended by the inclusion of the chief
towns of Romagna and the March. Other leagues grew up in Tuscany and
Umbria. Soon Frederick’s suspicions were excited, and his anger passed
all bounds when the North-Italian cities formed a close alliance with
the revolted King Henry, who found south of the Alps the civic support
that he had sought in vain to procure in Germany. Frederick at once
strove to set up some power antagonistic to the League. Faithful in
North Italy to his German policy, he saw in the feudal aristocracy his
best immediate support. Even under the shadows of the Alps the Italian
barons had not the strength and commanding position of the Teutonic
feudalists. But some of the more capable barons were able to extend
their authority by exercising influence over the cities, and chief among
these was the ancient house of Romano, German in its origin, and now
represented by the two brothers Eccelin and Alberic, who had established
themselves in Verona and Vicenza respectively. It was upon this bastard
feudalism of Italy, that owed half its importance to its capacity for
establishing civic tyranny, that Frederick henceforth chiefly relied. It
was a policy even more fatal to him than his alliance with the princes
in Germany. But for the moment it attained an equal success. After all,
feudal ruffians like Eccelin were better fighters than the ill-trained
militia of the Lombard cities.

In 1236 Frederick was back in Italy, and found a ready welcome from
Eccelin da Romano, who now aspired to appropriate the whole region
between the Alps and the Adige, and soon made himself lord of Padua and
Treviso. Recalled over the mountains by the Austrian troubles, Frederick
again appeared in Italy in 1237. But a small portion of his army came
from Germany. He relied for the most part on the Ghibelline barons of
Italy, on Eccelin and his following, and on his trusty Saracens from
Lucera. The Lombard League sought in vain to withstand his progress.
Frederick’s clever strategy soon out-generalled the civic host, and on
27th November 1237 the whole army of the League was signally defeated at
Cortenuova, half-way between Brescia and Milan. [Sidenote: Battle of
Cortenuova, 27th Nov. 1237.] Taken at a disadvantage, the valour of the
citizens was powerless to withstand the skill and discipline of the
imperial army. The Milanese abandoned their _carroccio_ in their flight,
and their Podestà, the Venetian Tiepolo, fell into the victor’s hands.
Frederick celebrated his success by a sort of Roman triumph through the
streets of Cremona, where his famous elephant, with its Saracen drivers
on its back, dragged the captured _carroccio_ of Milan through the town,
with the Podestà Tiepolo tightly bound to its standard-pole. Soon after,
Frederick married his daughter to Eccelin, and granted the dominion of
Sardinia to his bastard son Enzio, who had wedded the heiress of the
island. The majority of the cities desisted from the hopeless struggle
and made peace with the victor. Only a few irreconcilable Guelfic
strongholds, including Milan, Alessandria, Brescia, Piacenza, and
Bologna, persisted in withstanding the Emperor. They could again hope
for the support of the Pope, who now thought the time was ripe for
breaking with the Emperor.

[Sidenote: Gregory IX. as legislator and religious leader.]

During the years of peace Gregory IX. had busied himself with the
suppression of heresy, the organisation of the Inquisition, the
encouragement of the new orders of Mendicant Friars [see chapter
xviii.], the rekindling of the religious zeal of Europe, and his great
work of ecclesiastical legislation. In his war against the heretics he
had, as we have seen, the Emperor no less than the Mendicants as his
allies. He firmly identified the Papacy with the new religious movement
when he canonised Francis and Dominic and the Emperor’s kinswoman, St.
Elizabeth of Thuringia, the devoted disciple of Conrad of Marburg. With
the help of his penitentiary, Raymond of Pennaforte, he collected the
constitutions and decretals of earlier Popes in an official code of five
books, which was invested with exclusive authority in the courts and the
law-schools. Henceforth the Decretals of Gregory IX. stood side by side
with the Decretum of Gratian itself among the authoritative texts of the
Canon Law. It was, in a measure, an answer to the antagonistic
legislation of Frederick in Sicily. But all Gregory’s efforts could do
little to stop the progress of the Emperor, and he was further hampered
by the constant turbulence of the Romans, who more than once drove him
from their city. After the triumph at Cremona, Frederick significantly
sent the Milanese _carroccio_ to the Roman enemies of the Pope.
[Sidenote: Renewed breach between Gregory and Frederick, 1239.]
Gregory’s turn would come when the last of the Lombard cities had been
reduced. Frederick was already boasting of his intention to restore
Middle Italy to its obedience to the Empire. Accordingly Gregory openly
declared himself on the side of the Lombard League. Hermann of Salza
made his last efforts on behalf of peace, but his death soon removed the
one man whom both Pope and Emperor implicitly trusted. In March 1239
Gregory for a second time launched a bull of excommunication against
Frederick, and absolved his subjects from their allegiance.

The new contest between Pope and Emperor was waged with extraordinary
and almost unprecedented bitterness and violence. The Emperor reproached
the Pope for standing in the way of the repression of heresy in
Lombardy, and called upon all kings and princes to unite against the
greedy and self-seeking priest who sought to make the humiliation of the
Roman Cæsar the first step towards the abasement of all temporal
authority. The Pope answered by accusing Frederick of the most outspoken
blasphemy, of utter incredulity, and the most shameless profligacy. It
was significant that both Frederick and Gregory strove hard to get
public opinion on their side, and that neither failed to win over a body
of ardent supporters.

[Sidenote: Collapse of the German opposition.]

Gregory did his best to stir up a revolt in Germany. His legate proposed
the election of the King of Denmark, as King of the Romans in place of
Conrad; but, despite the adherence of the Duke of Austria and of other
discontented magnates, the scheme was shattered through the steady
devotion of the German episcopate to the young king. It was equally in
vain when Gregory offered the crown to Robert of Artois, St. Louis’
brother. The French nobles roundly told the Pope that even if the
Emperor deserved deposition, his deprivation could only be effected by a
General Council. Headed by the regent, Siegfried, Archbishop of Mainz,
the German clergy rejected the alliance of the Papacy, so that Frederick
was able to carry on his war against Gregory in Italy without the
distraction of a German revolt. Even the Mendicant preachers of the
papal sentence did little to turn German opinion away from the Emperor.

[Sidenote: Frederick’s successes in Italy.]

Frederick answered Gregory’s attacks by declaring the incorporation of
the March of Ancona and the Duchy of Spoleto with the imperial
dominions, and by absolving the inhabitants of those regions from their
fealty to the Pope. He turned from his Lombard enemies to invade the
papal territory, and made himself master of Ravenna and Faenza, and
before long of towns so near Rome as Foligno and Viterbo. Nothing but a
strange freak of fidelity on the part of the Romans to Gregory saved the
holy city from the Emperor’s advance. Secure for the moment in his
capital, Gregory strove to emphasise the solemnity of his ecclesiastical
censures by summoning a Council to Rome, to join with him in the
condemnation of the Emperor. But the Pope’s violence had alienated even
clerical opinion, and a mere handful of prelates answered his summons.
Frederick derided the packed Council, and refused safe-conducts to those
wishful to take part in it. Nevertheless a certain number of
North-Italian, French, and Spanish bishops and abbots collected together
in the spring of 1241 at Genoa, and the Pope, by lavish payments,
prevailed on the Genoese to provide a fleet to take them to Rome.
However, the seafaring towns, with Pisa at their head, were all on the
Emperor’s side, and an imperial fleet, superior in numbers and fighting
capacity, bore down upon the densely packed Genoese galleys near the
island of Giglio. After a show of resistance, the mass of the Genoese
fleet was captured. Most of the Spanish prelates escaped, but a crowd of
French and North-Italian ecclesiastics, including three archbishops and
the abbots of Cluny, Cîteaux, and Clairvaux fell, with the delegates of
the Lombard towns, into the hands of the imperialists. [Sidenote: The
capture of a General Council, 1241.] The prisoners were taken by Enzio
to Naples, ‘crowded together in oppression and bonds, and tormented by
hunger and thirst,’ until the prison wherein they were cast, ‘heaped
together like pigs,’ seemed a ‘welcome place of rest.’[31] Flushed with
this signal triumph, Frederick once more advanced upon Rome. This time
Gregory could not resist his progress. The enemy were at the gates when,
on 21st August, the aged Pontiff suddenly ended his long and stormy

[Sidenote: The Danger from the Tartars.]

When the rival heads of Christendom were thus fiercely contending for
supremacy, Europe was, for the first time since the tenth century,
menaced with the horrors of barbarian invasion. The great Tartar Empire,
which had already conquered China and threatened the whole Eastern
world, now found an easy victim in the divided principalities of Russia,
and poured its hordes of fierce warriors over the plains of Poland and
Hungary. Germany itself was now threatened by their advance, but Pope
and Emperor, though they reproached each other with indifference to the
danger, were unable to make even a truce to resist the common enemy. In
1240 the sack of Kiev by the Mongol chieftain Baty, grandson of Genghiz
Khan, led directly to the invasion of the West. The young King Conrad
armed Germany to meet the savage hosts of Baty. Luckily for Europe the
death of the Khan of All the Tartars called Baty back to Asia, and the
alarm of the Mongol fury passed away as quickly as it arose.

The triumph of Frederick was further assured by Gregory’s death. With
affected moderation Frederick withdrew for the moment to Naples, but a
mere handful of cardinals ventured to assemble in conclave. Their choice
fell upon Celestine IV., who died in a few weeks, before there was time
to consecrate him. For more than eighteen months the Holy See now
remained vacant, but finally, in June 1243, the cardinals agreed to
elect Sinobaldo Fiesco, a Genoese cardinal, who had been professor of
law at Bologna, and was reputed to be Ghibelline in his sympathies.
[Sidenote: Innocent IV. and the continuation of the struggle,
1243–1250.] But as Pope Innocent IV., the imperialist lawyer showed from
the first a stern determination to continue the policy of Gregory IX.
The saying attributed to Frederick, ‘I have lost a good friend, for no
Pope can be a Ghibelline,’ though probably never uttered, expressed the
facts of the case. Some hollow negotiations for a pacification were
entered upon, but soon broke down. Within a year of Innocent’s election,
Frederick’s Saracen hordes were again ravaging the Campagna. In June
1244 Innocent fled from Rome to Genoa, whence he crossed the Alps and
took up his abode in the free imperial city of Lyons. It shows the
weakness of Frederick in the Arelate that Innocent was able to live in a
town nominally subject to the Emperor as long as he chose. So safe did
the Pope feel himself that he summoned to Lyons the General Council
which, as Gregory IX. had already designed, should strengthen the papal
condemnation of the Emperor by the ratification of the prelates of

[Sidenote: The Council of Lyons and the deposition of Frederick, 1245.]

In June 1245 the Council assembled at Lyons. It was reckoned the
thirteenth General Council, according to the Roman computation, but even
the French refused to acknowledge it as such, and very few German
prelates ventured to attend its sessions. However, a fair attendance of
prelates was ensured, though the presence of a bishop like Grosseteste,
who, five years later, remonstrated before the Pope’s face against the
exactions of his agents and his abuse of his patronage, showed that
there was some spirit left among the fathers of the Council. Five
troubles, declared Innocent, grieved his spirit, and the calling of the
assembly was destined to relieve Christendom from them. Its business was
the protection of Christianity from the Tartars, the ending of the
schism between the Eastern and Western Churches, the extirpation of
heresy, the revival of the Crusades, and the condemnation of the
Emperor. In practice the last item absorbed all the energy of the
Council, though the presence of the fugitive Latin Emperor, Baldwin II.,
did something to make the fathers realise the sorry plight of Eastern
Catholicism and the need of uniting all sorts of Oriental Christians
against the Tartars and Turks. Frederick condescended to send as his
representative to the Council his chief justiciary, Thaddæus of Suessa,
but his condemnation was a foregone conclusion, and Thaddæus had
difficulty in obtaining a brief adjournment while he returned to Italy
to acquaint his master with the state of affairs at Lyons. Without
waiting for the arrival of Peter della Vigna, whom Frederick now
despatched to represent him, Innocent on 17th July pronounced in the
name of the Council the deposition of his enemy, both as regards the
Empire and his two kingdoms. ‘We order,’ added he, ‘those who have the
right of election within the Empire to proceed at once to a fresh
election. As regards Sicily, we ourselves will do all that is fitting,
after taking the advice of our brethren the cardinals.’

[Sidenote: Henry Raspe and William of Holland, anti-kings.]

The last hope of Christendom lay in the mediation of Louis IX., who saw
that the continued contest of Pope and Emperor was fatal to the
prospects of a great Crusade. The French king met Innocent at Cluny, and
Frederick offered to allow the archbishop of Palermo to thoroughly
investigate his orthodoxy. But nothing came of these projects, and the
blame of rejecting all compromise lay mainly at the door of the Pope.
The spiritual benefits first awarded to those who had assumed the Cross
to free the Holy Sepulchre were now offered to all who would take up
arms to carry out the Lyons sentence against the Emperor. In 1246 the
papal intrigues so far prevailed in Germany that four archbishops, a
considerable number of bishops, and a few temporal princes met together
and elected as King of the Romans Henry Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia,
the brother-in-law and persecutor of St. Elizabeth. The majority of the
Germans remained true to Frederick, though enough Crusaders flocked to
Henry’s standard to enable him to win a victory over his rival King
Conrad, near Frankfurt. ‘He shows us his back and not his face,’ boasted
Henry over his defeated enemy. ‘He fled as men are wont to fly who fight
with the Holy Empire.’ But next year Conrad turned the tables on Henry,
who fled home and died soon afterwards in the Wartburg. The imperial
crown now went begging for a time. ‘I will willingly fight the enemies
of the Church,’ declared King Haco of Norway, to whom it was offered,
‘but I will not fight against the foes of the Pope.’ At last the young
William, Count of Holland, was persuaded to accept election by the
papalists. But only one lay prince, the Duke of Brabant, William’s
uncle, associated himself with the bishops who assembled for the
choosing of the new monarch. For the rest of Frederick’s life a fierce
fight was fought between William and Conrad. Neither of the two could
succeed in crushing the other, and Germany gradually drifted into all
the worst horrors of feudal anarchy.

[Sidenote: Frederick’s visions of a lay Papacy and of an Ecclesiastical

Frederick remained in Italy, struggling with all his might against the
papal partisans, and holding his own so far that Innocent found it wise
to remain at Lyons. Now that all possibility of reconciliation with the
Church was cut off, Frederick threw prudence to the winds. He no longer
scrupled against soliciting the help of the heretical Cathari that still
swarmed all over Lombardy. Visions of power such as he had never
imagined in the days of his success now began to flit before his mind.
The apocalyptic visions of the Neapolitan seer, the abbot Joachim, began
to weigh upon his mystical temperament. Despite the canonisation of
Francis of Assisi and the enrolment of his followers under the banners
of the Papacy, there was still an undercurrent of revolutionary
religious feeling in Italy of the sort that afterwards found expression
in the risings of the Fraticelli. Of this opinion Frederick now began to
make himself the mouthpiece, hoping thus to be revenged upon his
enemies, and to win for himself that first position in the world to
which he conceived he was divinely called. He had long used the
Franciscan doctrine of Poverty as a weapon against the greedy political
Popes. ‘It is upon poverty and simplicity,’ he wrote in 1227, ‘that the
Primitive Church was built, in those days when she was the fruitful
mother of saints. No one may presume to lay other foundations for her
than those appointed by the Lord Jesus.’ He now worked out the same idea
in a manifesto addressed to all Christian princes. ‘God is our witness,’
he declared, ‘that our intention has always been to force churchmen to
follow in the footsteps of the Primitive Church, to live an apostolic
life, and to be humble like Jesus Christ. In our days the Church has
become worldly. We therefore propose to do a work of charity in taking
away from such men the treasures with which they are filled for their
eternal damnation.’ ‘Help us,’ he wrote later, ‘to put down these proud
prelates, that we may give mother Church more worthy guides to direct
her.’ But his only conception of ecclesiastical reform was the
absorption of the Church in the State. Even in their affliction the
Orthodox princes of the East seemed to him fortunate, since they had no
Pope or independent patriarchs to contend against. He now strove to
exclude all papal authority from Naples by condemning to the flames the
introducers of papal bulls and all who, under pretext of religion, spoke
or acted against his authority. He anticipated Henry VIII. in his effort
to abolish the papal power, and, like the great Tudor, condemned as
traitors or heretics all who denied his absolute supremacy over the
Church. More than that, Frederick proclaimed himself as worthy of the
adoration of his subjects, like the pagan Emperors of old. He claimed to
be a vicar of Christ, a lay pope, a Christian caliph—nay, an emanation
of the Divinity. Jesi, his birth-place, was the blessed Bethlehem where
Cæsar first saw the light, and Peter della Vigna was the apostle of the
imperial Messiah, the Peter who would never betray his master.

[Sidenote: The Italian struggle, 1245–1250.]

The contest was fought out fiercely with sword and fire. The Guelf and
Ghibelline towns were pillaging, burning and destroying each other.
Enzio, the son, and Eccelin, the son-in-law of Cæsar, strove to stamp
out in blood all Guelfic resistance in Northern Italy. Frederick of
Antioch, another bastard of Frederick’s, worked a similar reign of
terror in Tuscany. So well did Frederick’s fortunes go, that he dreamt
of crossing the Alps and marching to Lyons. In 1247 he was turned from
his bold purpose by the unexpected revolt of Parma. He hurried back from
Turin eager for revenge. Before long the dispersed partisans of Pope and
Emperor flocked to Parma, eager to defend or attack the city. [Sidenote:
The Revolt of Parma.] With all his energy, Frederick could only blockade
it on one side, and neither dearth of provisions nor the hideous cruelty
of the Emperor moved the Parmesans to think of surrender. At last in
despair Frederick built over against Parma a new city called Vittoria,
devastating the whole Parmesan territory to supply it with building
materials and fortifications. But in 1248 the Parmesans made a great
sally, won an unexpected victory, slaying the faithful Thaddæus of
Suessa, destroying utterly Frederick’s new city, and leading home spoil
the _carroccio_ of imperialist Cremona and the whole harem of the
Emperor, that had been unable to keep up with his rapid flight.

[Sidenote: Fall of Peter della Vigna and captivity of Enzio, 1247.]

Everything now went against Frederick. Despite the reign of terror
exercised in the South, plots and conspiracies multiplied, and the
Apulian barons rose in revolt. The blind rage of the suspicious despot
now fell on Peter della Vigna, his trusted confidant, who had long kept,
as Dante says, the two keys of Frederick’s heart. He was arrested on
charges of conspiring with the Pope to murder his master. His eyes were
cruelly torn out, and he sought his own death to avoid further torture.
In 1249 Frederick’s favourite son Enzio was defeated and taken prisoner
by the Bolognese at Fossalta, and spent the rest of his life in hopeless
captivity. But Frederick was not yet at the end of his resources. In
1250 fortune smiled once more on his cause. The Ghibellines of Lombardy
at last won the upper hand. Good news came from beyond the Alps of
Conrad’s triumphs over William of Holland. Frederick himself spent most
of the year at Foggia, surrounded by his faithful Saracens, in whom he
still placed his chief trust. [Sidenote: Death of Frederick, 1250.]
Towards the end of the year he started once more for the north, but he
was seized with a mortal illness before he had traversed many stages. He
took to his bed at Fiorentino, a hunting lodge a few miles short of
Lucera. An ancient prediction of his astrologers that he would die near
iron gates at a town called Flora further troubled his spirit. ‘This is
the spot,’ he said, ‘long ago foretold to me where I must die. The will
of God be done.’ He calmly drew up a will, bequeathing to Conrad both
the Empire and the kingdom, while his favourite bastard, Manfred, who
carefully ministered to his last hours, was to act as his regent in his
brother’s absence. On 19th December he died, either, as his friends
believed, calmly and religiously, clad in the white robe of the
Cistercians and reconciled to the Church by the Archbishop of Palermo,
or a prey to hideous despair and misery, as the Friars his enemies loved
to imagine. He was buried beside his Norman ancestors at Palermo, where
his tomb may still be seen. With him expired the Roman Empire as a real
claimant to any share of the rule of the world, though for another
generation faction raged more fiercely than ever as to the disposal of
its heritage. The Papacy had at last triumphed over the Empire. The
_sacerdotium_ had laid low the _regnum_, and all that remains of the
history of the world-strife of Pope and Emperor is to write its
epilogue. But the mystic followers of the abbot Joachim could not
believe that their hero, the all-powerful Emperor, was removed from the
world. ‘He shall resound,’ they cried, ‘among the people; he is alive,
and yet is not alive.’ But though many impostors arose in his name,
Frederick came not back to his disciples, nor did he leave behind him
any successor. The last of the great Emperors and the first of great
modern Kings, Frederick, with all his brilliant gifts, was but the most
dazzling of the long line of imperial failures. Though he filled so
large a part in the history of his own day, he left singularly little
behind him. Yet as we survey the horrors through which the generations
that succeeded him travelled slowly to the realisation of a brighter
future, we shall not think Dante wrong when he puts the golden age of
Italy in the time ere Frederick had been hounded to death by his
remorseless enemies.

                              CHAPTER XVII

  Home Policy of Philip Augustus—The Fall of the Angevins and the
    Conquest of Normandy and Anjou—The Albigensian Crusade—The
    establishment of Simon of Montfort in Toulouse, and the
    Reaction under Raymond VII.—The Relations of Philip and his
    People—Paris—Administrative Reforms—Death and Character of
    Philip—Reign of Louis VIII.—The Conquest of Poitou and the Renewal
    of the Albigensian Crusade—The Regency of Blanche of Castille and
    the Feudal Reaction—The Treaty of Meaux—Character of St. Louis—His
    Personal Government—The Settlement of the South and West—Battle of
    Saintes and Treaty of Lorris—Alfonse in Poitou and Toulouse—Charles
    in Anjou and Provence—Foreign Policy of St. Louis—His Relations to
    Pope and Emperor—France the Chief Power of Europe—Home Policy
    of St. Louis—The Administrative System—Baillages and
    Sénéchaussées—Enquesteurs—The Parliament of Paris—Finance, Coinage,
    Trade, Towns—Last Years and Death of St. Louis—The Position of

We have already dealt with the external history of France up to the time
of the battle of Bouvines. We have witnessed Philip Augustus’ early
struggles with Henry of Anjou, his participation in the Third Crusade,
his matrimonial difficulties, the struggle they involved him in with
Innocent III., and the subsequent league between himself and the great
Pope which contributed so powerfully towards the abasement of the
Guelfs. It remains now to speak of Philip Augustus’ reign as affecting
France itself, and to show how, by the defeat and disruption of the
Angevin monarchy, the royal domain was enormously extended, how by the
identification of the monarchical cause with the orthodox Crusade
against the Albigensian heretics the way was paved for the subjection of
the Langue d’oc to the Langue d’oil, and how the beginnings of the
centralised administration of the monarchy, and the establishment of the
first modern capital, increased the power of the French state, even more
than Philip’s conquests increased the extent of its dominions.
[Sidenote: Home policy of Philip Augustus, 1180–1223.] Under Philip’s
son, Louis VIII., and his grandson, Louis IX., the same principles of
external growth and internal organisation were still further worked out,
so that when the collapse of Frederick II. left vacant the hegemony of
Europe, the France of St. Louis was more than ready to step into the
place left empty by the fall of the Hohenstaufen.

[Sidenote: The Fall of the Angevins.]

With the return of Philip II. from the Crusade, the interrupted struggle
between France and the Angevin monarchy was at once resumed. Despite the
advantages which the blundering knight-errantry of Richard I. offered to
his more politic antagonist, Philip was not yet in a sufficiently strong
position to reap much fruit from his enemy’s mistakes. Richard’s new
castle of Chateau Gaillard blocked the way to the invasion of Normandy,
and the South was still a strange region to the King of Paris. In 1199
Richard perished in an obscure contest with a petty lord of the
Limousin, and Philip at once swooped down on Evreux and conquered it
with little difficulty. But very soon Philip’s quarrel with Innocent
III. made him glad to accept the proposals of John’s mother, the aged
Eleanor of Aquitaine, to revert to his ancient alliance with John. A
treaty was signed by which Philip’s son Louis was married to Blanche of
Castile, the daughter of King Alfonso VIII. and John’s sister Eleanor.
Evreux, with Philip’s other Norman conquests, were made over to the
bridegroom as the lady’s marriage portion. Before long, however, the
wilful and capricious tyranny of John created a widespread discontent in
his French dominions, of which Philip was skilful enough to avail
himself to the full. No sooner had the French monarch made a partial
peace with the Pope than he listened to the complaints of the barons of
Poitou, headed by the indignant Hugh of Lusignan, Count of La Marche,
whose betrothed, Isabella, the heiress of Angoulême, had been carried
off from him and wedded to the English King. In 1202 Philip summoned
John to answer before his suzerain’s court at Paris the complaints of
the Poitevin lords. The English King refused to appear, and was
sentenced in default to lose all his French fiefs. The murder of Arthur
of Brittany still further increased the ill-will felt against John, and
the death of Eleanor of Aquitaine soon afterwards deprived him of his
wisest counsellor. In the course of 1203–4 Philip gradually conquered
all Normandy, and the Norman barons, disgusted at John’s inactivity in
defending them, were gradually alienated from his side. Anjou, Touraine,
and Maine were won with even less difficulty. [Sidenote: The conquest of
Normandy, Anjou, and Poitou.] After Arthur’s death, Brittany passed over
from the Angevin to the Capetian obedience, and, after a brief period of
French occupation, a new line of Breton began in 1213 with Peter
Mauclerc, which, if not very faithful to France, at least acknowledged
no other overlord. After Eleanor’s death the personal loyalty of
Aquitaine to the house of the Guilhems was greatly relaxed, and before
1213 most of Poitou had passed over to Philip Augustus. It was John’s
wish to win back Poitou that led him to interfere actively in the
general European struggle that centred round the contest between his
nephew Otto and Frederick of Sicily. The victory of Bouvines assured for
Philip the permanent domination over Normandy, Maine, Anjou, Touraine,
and Poitou. Only the south of Aquitaine remained in the hands of John
and his successors. These enormous additions to the monarchy were, for
the most part, kept within the royal domain. Their acquisition was the
more significant because of the rapidity with which the barons and
people of the Angevin dominions accepted the rule of the King of France.
Even in England Philip’s triumph produced so little irritation that the
opposition to John cheerfully called in his son Louis to be their king
in the place of the hated tyrant.[33] Though, after John’s death, Louis
was forced in 1217 to return to France and renounce his English throne
in favour of the little Henry III., his presence in England, and the
long war that preceded and attended it, made impossible any real efforts
to win back the Angevin inheritance. [Sidenote: Louis in England.
1215–1217.] The fall of the English power in France first made possible
a real French nation united in common obedience to the Capetian
monarchs. It was no less vital in fostering a similar national life
beyond the Channel. Henceforth England and France were separate and
antagonistic though closely inter-related nationalities. Their common
destiny, which had begun with the Norman Conquest, was now rudely
shattered. The fragments of the Aquitanian heritage that still remained
faithful to its English dukes belonged to the feudal and
anti-monarchical South. All that England’s kings had once ruled in the
Langue d’oil was now transferred to Philip, who became henceforward not
only the supreme monarch, but the direct feudal lord of the most
vigorous and most patriotic regions that constituted his kingdom.

[Sidenote: Philip II. and the South.]

While Philip was thus conquering the Angevin North, a North-French
Crusade was indirectly preparing the way for the direct rule of the
Capetian kings over the South. There had long been three chief political
and intellectual centres of South French nationality. Two of these, the
duchy of Aquitaine and the county of Toulouse [see pp. 90–91], were
within the limits of the French kingdom. The third, the county of
Provence, was beyond the Rhone, and, as a part of the ancient Arelate,
subject to none save the Emperor. It was, however, a sufficiently
representative stronghold of Southern ideas for the term Provençal to be
used as an equivalent to the tongue and literature of Oc. At these three
courts chiefly flourished the subtle and exquisite literature of the
Troubadours, whose delicate lyrics first showed the literary capacity of
the vernacular Romance tongues, despite the limitations of their
subjects, and the rigid fetters of their metric forms. [Sidenote: The
Albigensian Heresy and the Troubadours.] The end of the twelfth century,
the age of Richard the Lion Heart, of Bertrand of Born, and of Bernard
of Ventadour, was the palmiest time in the history of the Troubadours,
and the most flourishing period of the brilliant, corrupt, stormy,
attractive civilisation of the Languedoc. The heresy, at once social and
religious, of the Albigenses [see pp. 216–217], took a deep hold in
these wild regions, where the fiercest acts of feudal violence and the
hot-house growth of a premature culture stood over-against each other in
the strangest contrast. While elsewhere the wild misbelief of the
twelfth century easily melted away before the steady influence of the
Church, in Languedoc and Provence alone it bade fair to become the faith
of a whole people. Toulouse and its neighbourhood were full of open foes
of Church and clergy; the barons of the land were either heretics
themselves, or favourers of heresy. The clergy were so unpopular that
when they went abroad they carefully concealed their tonsure. ‘I had
rather be a chaplain,’ became a popular form of speech in cases where a
good Christian had been wont to say, ‘I had rather be a Jew.’ ‘If Black
Monks,’ wrote the poet Peire Cardinal, ‘may win salvation of God by much
eating and by the keeping of women, White Monks by fraud, Templars and
Hospitallers by pride, Canons by lending money on usury, then for fools
I hold St. Peter and St. Andrew, who suffered for God such grievous
torments. Kings, emperors, counts, and knights were wont to rule the
world, but now I see clerks holding dominion over it by robbery, deceit,
hypocrisy, force, and exhortation.’[34] The freebooting barons took this
state of feeling as an excuse for laying violent hands on the property
of the Church. Moral excesses, wilder than the ordinary immorality of a
brutal age, became widespread. The whole land was filled with the tumult
and licence of a premature revolution.

[Sidenote: Raymond VI. of Toulouse.]

Since the absorption of Aquitaine within the Angevin dominions, the
court of Toulouse had become more important than ever as a centre of
Languedocian life. Raymond VI., the great-grandson of Raymond IV., of
Saint Gilles, the hero of the First Crusade, was then Count of Toulouse.
He was a prince of wide connections, extensive dominions, and
considerable personal capacity. Through his mother, Constance, daughter
of Louis VI., he was the first cousin of Philip Augustus. His marriage
with Joan of Anjou, the sister of Richard I. and John, had secured him
peace with his hereditary foe. He ruled not only over Toulouse and its
dependencies; as Duke of Narbonne he was lord of the Rouergue and the
great coast region that extended from the frontiers of Roussillon to the
right bank of the Rhone; as Marquis of Provence, he ruled over a fertile
portion of the Arelate on the left bank of the Rhone, extending farther
north than Valence, and including the important town of Avignon. He was
a notorious enemy of the clergy, and abettor of heretics, and only less
conspicuous in the same policy was his vassal Raymond Roger, Viscount of
Béziers. Feeble efforts had long been made by the Church to grapple with
the growing heresy, but the only response in Languedoc was fresh murders
of priests, and expulsions of bishops from their dioceses, and of abbots
from their monasteries. So far back as 1184 Lucius III. had ordered all
bishops to make inquiries as to the presence of heretics within their
jurisdictions, a step from which the earlier or Episcopal Inquisition
first arose. But little was actually effected until the accession of
Innocent III. marked the beginning of a more vigorous line of action. In
1198 two Cistercian monks were sent with the position of apostolic
legates to win back the Toulousan heretics to the Church. For years they
laboured incessantly, wandering and preaching throughout the land, and
their unwearied zeal soon led a small band of enthusiasts to join them
in their work. Innocent gave further powers to Peter of Castelnau, and
Amaury, abbot of Cîteaux. In 1206 accident further associated with them
the Spanish canon Dominic (see chapter xviii.), who for ten long years
preached with infinite perseverance, but little success, and carefully
kept himself free from share in the violent measures that ere long
supplemented the legitimate propaganda of orthodoxy.

[Sidenote: Murder of Peter of Castelnau, 1208.]

Peaceful means had availed little to win over the Albigenses. Accident
rather than design led Innocent III. to fall back on force as well as
persuasion. In 1207 Peter of Castelnau excommunicated Raymond VI. for
refusing to restore certain churches on which he had laid violent hands.
Like his father-in-law against Becket, Raymond spoke sharp words against
the meddlesome priest, and one of his knights, taking him at his word,
went to Saint-Gilles and murdered the legate in January 1208. This deed
of blood was soon amply avenged. Innocent III. deposed Raymond and
preached a Crusade against him and his heretic subjects, whom he
pronounced worse than Saracens. A twenty years’ struggle then began in
the South, which did not end until Languedoc lay ruined and helpless at
the mercy of the North.

[Sidenote: The Albigensian Crusade and Simon de Montfort.]

A swarm of North French warriors took the cross in obedience to the
papal appeal, though Philip Augustus prudently withheld from the whole
movement. Some of the greatest of his feudatories, including the Duke of
Burgundy, were there, while among the lesser lords, the unbending will
and fierce religious zeal of Simon, Count of Montfort, soon gave him the
claim for the first position among the leaders of the holy war, though
Abbot Amaury of Cîteaux, the Pope’s legate, directed the policy of the
whole expedition. Raymond quailed before the storm. He submitted himself
absolutely to the legate, paid a severe penance for his crime before the
abbey church of Saint-Gilles, surrendered his castles, and promised to
chastise the heretics that he had favoured. In June 1209 he was
absolved, and suffered to take the cross against his own subjects.

Raymond Roger of Béziers scorned to share in his overlord’s submission.
The full fury of the Crusaders was turned against him, and after fearful
bloodshed his dominions were overrun. After two refusals from greater
lords, the legate prevailed upon Simon of Montfort to accept the
territory of the heretic viscount, which the Pope had pronounced
forfeited. The Crusaders now went home, and the second act of the long
struggle began when Montfort began to govern the dominions which his
good sword and papal favour had won for him.

After the return of the Northern armies, the cowed Southerners again
plucked up courage, and Montfort soon found that he had to hold Béziers
and Carcassonne against the hostility of a whole people. The war now
assumed a political as well as a religious character, for Simon was
resisted not only by reason of his orthodoxy, but as a Northern
interloper who had made religious zeal a pretext for personal
aggrandisement. Before long Raymond VI. forgot his humiliation, and gain
took arms. As the result, a second Crusade was proclaimed in 1211, and
once more the South was deluged in blood. [Sidenote: Peter of Aragon and
the battle of Muret, 1213.] Peter II. of Aragon, a famous Crusader
beyond the Pyrenees, at last proposed his mediation, but so strongly did
the lust for Southern estates sharpen the religious zeal of the army of
the Church that, though Innocent III. was willing to accept his offers,
the French themselves insisted on continuing the Crusade. Irritated at
the rejection of his offer, Peter himself intervened on behalf of the
Count of Toulouse, but in 1213 he lost his army and his life at the
battle of Muret, where Montfort’s clever tactics won a decided victory.
This settled the fate of the South. Raymond VI. abandoned Toulouse, and
was glad to save his life by another abject submission. [Sidenote: Simon
de Montfort, Count of Toulouse.] Simon de Montfort became Count of
Toulouse and Duke of Narbonne. He divided his new territories amongst
Northern lords who stipulated to follow the ‘customs of France,’ that
is, of their own homes. It was even a favour that some of the less
guilty vassals, such as the Counts of Foix and Comminges, were allowed,
at the price of a complete humiliation, to receive back their lands as
his subjects. As a still greater favour a mere fragment of Toulouse and
the imperial marquisate of Provence were conferred on Raymond VII., the
son of the deposed Count, who was glad to abdicate in his favour. In the
midst of the storms of war, the heresy of the Albigenses was slowly
stamped out, and with it perished all that was most distinctive of
Languedocian civilisation. The stern, brutal, effective rule of the
Northern Count prepared the way for direct royal government. The
dependence of the South on the North had begun.

As the struggle proceeded, Philip Augustus gradually departed from his
careful policy of non-intervention. In 1213 he allowed his son Louis to
take the cross, and helped Montfort to destroy the feudal castles of the
South. Philip himself willingly invested Simon with the fief which his
sword had won. But in a very few years Raymond VII. strove to win back
for the house of Saint-Gilles its ancient position, and the Languedoc
rose enthusiastically in his favour. The younger Raymond was as orthodox
as Montfort, and under his influence the struggle became a mere
political contest. As such it waged with varying fortunes for more than
thirteen years. [Sidenote: The Languedocian reaction, Amaury de
Montfort, and Raymond VII.] Simon was slain in 1218 as he strove to
storm revolted Toulouse, and his eldest son, Amaury, who had few of his
great gifts, was soon hard pressed by the triumphant Raymond. In 1219
Louis of France again led a Crusade in his favour. The death of the
suspected Raymond VI. in 1222 was a further advantage to the Southern
cause. Amaury soon saw that his chances were hopeless. When the French
king died in 1223, Amaury had already offered to resign his claims in
favour of his suzerain.

Thus Philip Augustus by force and cunning made France a great State.
There was no longer any vassal of the crown whose power overshadowed
that of his sovereign, and the strongest feudatories of the monarchy now
found it prudent to be on good terms with their mighty overlord. To them
Philip was courteous and friendly. He had so much work to do in
absorbing his conquests that he might well leave his vassals a good deal
to themselves. [Sidenote: Philip II.’s dealings with barons, clergy, and
towns.] Yet he never neglected an opportunity for extending his power,
and systematically strove to establish direct relations with all the
tenants of his vassals whom he could draw within his reach. Over his own
tenants he exercised a constant and watchful superintendence. By the
perfection of the administration of his domains, and by the gradual
extension of the sphere of the royal courts, he was able to pose as the
protector of peace, the friend of the poor, and the champion of the
independence and integrity of the nation. The humiliated feudalists took
his pay and fought his battles. The conciliated clergy glorified his
liberality and piety. Yet all his friendship with Pope and prelates did
not prevent Philip from keeping a tight hand over the great dignitaries
of the Church. He forced the prelates to pay their full share of suit
and service. He strove to minimise the constant interference of the
papal authority, even when his interests and his principles forbade him
to openly set himself against it. He was a good friend to the townsmen.
He felt himself so strong that he could abandon the feeble and tentative
policy of his predecessors, and boldly strike an alliance with the
communes, though still discouraging the more revolutionary aspects of
the communal movement. He was thus able to put even cities outside his
domain under the royal protection. Nor did he content himself with
giving towns charters of liberties. He loved to strengthen their
fortifications, rebuild their walls, encourage their industries, and
protect their commerce. He encouraged foreign merchants to attend French
markets and purchase French goods. [Sidenote: Growth of Paris.] Under
his fostering care Paris, already a great city, became the first modern
capital of a centralised national state. He built a strong wall, taking
in the schools of the south bank of the Seine, the royal residence and
the cathedral in the island city, and the busy town of merchants and
manufactures that was soon to make the north bank of the Seine the
largest district of the capital. He ordered that the whole city should
be paved with hard and firm stones. In his days the University of Paris
received its first royal charters of privilege. Under him a crowd of
fair buildings, conspicuous among them the cathedral of the capital,
grew up in that new Gothic style that was soon to spread from the Isle
of France all over the Western world. As the seat of the most famous
schools north of the Alps, as the centre of the only centralised
continental monarchy, and as the special haunt of the traders of
Northern Gaul, Paris now took a unique place, not only among French
towns, but among the cities of Western Europe.

[Sidenote: Philip’s administrative reforms.]

Philip was a soldier and diplomatist rather than an administrator or a
legislator. His mission was to endow the monarchy with adequate force
rather than to organise it or to govern it after new fashions. Yet the
circumstances of his position compelled him to make new departures in
the administrative history of France, and thus to lay the foundation of
the system which was perfected by his famous grandson. The burdens
thrown upon the royal court were now such that they could no longer be
adequately discharged by casual assemblies of ignorant feudalists. The
delicate functions of the chief officers of state could no longer be put
into the hands of the baron in whose hands happened to lie the
hereditary sergeanty. Hence, under Philip, we observe a further
specialisation of an official class of knights and clerks whose skill
and training could supplement the haphazard and uncertain services of
the great barons. The system of administration that was enough for the
scanty domains of his predecessors would have broken down under the
responsibilities involved by the conquest of Normandy and Anjou, had not
Philip, before his departure for the Crusade, constituted a new class of
royal officials called _baillis_, who were to act as supervisors and
directors of the feudal provosts who had hitherto administered the royal
domain. Each bailli took charge of a large area of territory, within
which he held monthly assizes to render justice in the king’s name to
all his subjects. From time to time he appeared at Paris, where he
handed in an account of their administration, and paid into the
exchequer the sums levied by him in his provinces. But the growth of the
royal revenue was hardly commensurate with the increased strain on it,
and Philip found that success rather added to than diminished his
difficulties. [Sidenote: Character of Philip Augustus.] He was a
hot-tempered, strong, and active man, ‘easy to anger and easy to
appease,’ whose boisterous joviality, free living, and robust, vigorous
temperament did something to make him popular, but whose complete
personal impression it is hard to grasp, even in the scanty measure in
which it is safe to individualise the shadowy statesmen of the Middle
Ages. In his sudden gusts of passion he could be pitilessly cruel, but
he was more commonly to be condemned for his violence, his cunning, and
his unscrupulous way of overreaching his enemies. Yet his panegyrist
could say of him that he ‘loved justice as his own mother, strove to
exact mercy above judgment; was ever a follower of the truth, and
surpassed all kings in conjugal chastity.’ Such statements show that the
contemporary standard was not very high. But even after time had soured
Philip’s temper and brutalised his passions, he still laboured manfully
to the last. He was the first French king whose power was so firmly
established that there was no need for him to crown his son king in his
own lifetime. He was almost the only king of his age whose son worked
faithfully and ungrudgingly in his service, and was content to bide the
time when nature should call him to his father’s kingdom.

[Sidenote: Louis VIII., 1223–1226.]

Philip II.’s successor was already six-and-thirty years of age, a tried
soldier, a successful statesman, and a man whose private virtues far
outshone those of his father, though he was much less able. Louis
VIII.’s weak health and cold disposition made him the very opposite of
Philip. His piety, his chastity, his love of truth and justice, were
certain. Despite his poor physique, his personal prowess gave him the
surname of the Lion. He had been long schooled in the execution of his
father’s policy, and as king he had no wish but to carry it out still
further. Louis’ short reign of three years is therefore but a
continuation of the reign of Philip Augustus. His simple mission was to
gather the fruits of his predecessor’s labours. His whole reign was
occupied in turning to the profit of the crown the results of the
collapse of the Angevin power and of the triumph of the Albigensian

Despite the earlier conquests of Philip and Louis, the authority of the
crown was still but partially established over Poitou. Hugh of Lusignan,
though now step-father of the little Henry III., still played a
treacherous and ambiguous game, and for the moment again declared
himself on the French side. [Sidenote: The Conquest of Poitou.] Louis
assembled a great army at Tours and led it on a triumphant progress from
the Loire to the Dordogne. The regents of the English king did little
but enter into ineffective negotiations. Louis meanwhile took Niort,
Saint Jean d’Angely, and La Rochelle, after which the barons of the
Limousin, Saintonge, and Périgord made their submission to him. ‘Save
the Gascons, who dwell beyond the Garonne,’ boasted a French chronicler,
‘all the princes of Aquitaine now promised fealty to King Louis, and
then he went back to France.’

The renewal of the Albigensian Crusade now called Louis to the South.
Amaury de Montfort had already fled from his heritage, and had vainly
implored the help of Philip Augustus. Louis VIII. now showed the
fugitive greater consideration than his father had done. He had already
fought as a Crusader against the Southern heretics. His piety was
kindled by the renewed appeals of the legate of Honorius III., while the
helplessness of Amaury indicated that the results of success were bound
to fall to the crown. Early in 1226 Louis again took the cross, and
Raymond VII. was again excommunicated and deposed. Amaury abdicated his
rights in favour of the king. The clergy provided funds, and the
Catholic chivalry of the North soon flocked to the crusading banners.

[Sidenote: The revival of the Albigensian Crusade.]

In the early summer of 1226, Louis with his Crusaders marched southwards
down the Rhone valley, overrunning the marquisate of Provence. He met no
opposition until he approached Avignon, a city long known to be a hotbed
of heresy. The townsmen refused him a passage over the Rhone, and it was
therefore necessary to conquer the city before Languedoc could be
entered. After an obstinate struggle Avignon was captured, and Louis
continued his triumphal march up to the gates of Toulouse. But the
crusading army broke up before the capital of Raymond had surrendered.
The barons were tired of the long and weary marches, and sickness had
devastated the host. Louis himself was prostrated by sickness, and after
providing for the administration of his conquests hurried back to the
North. He had only reached Auvergne when he was carried off by a deadly
fever. He had done enough for the monarchy by the great march which had
first brought home to the Languedoc the majesty of the Capetian king.

[Sidenote: The Regency of Blanche of Castile and the feudal reaction,

A severe feudal reaction followed the unexpected death of Louis VIII. He
had left a numerous family by Blanche of Castile, but the eldest child,
who was crowned Louis IX. within three weeks of his father’s death, was
only twelve years of age, and it required all the skill and courage of
his mother to preserve for him even the semblance of authority. The
dispositions of her husband’s will did not make matters any better.
Breaking with the tradition of the early Capetians, Louis VIII. assigned
by his testament a large territorial appanage to each of his younger
children. Great slices were to be cut out of the royal domain that
Robert the second son might be Count of Artois, Alfonse the third Count
of Poitou, and Charles the youngest Count of Anjou and Maine. A new race
of feudal potentates was thus supplied from the bosom of the royal house
itself. The error involved in such a policy is one of the commonplaces
of history, and for the next two centuries the hostility to the crown of
younger branches of the Capetian family was often to prove almost as
formidable as that of the ancient separatist seigneurs. But the fault of
Louis has perhaps been unduly censured. Neither the resources of a
mediæval monarch, nor the conditions of the time, made it possible for
the king to permanently appropriate to himself an indefinite extent of
domain, nor to deprive his kinsmen of the state due to their exalted
birth. If the policy of Louis lost Artois to France for many centuries,
it made it possible for Alfonse and Charles to act as the most efficient
pioneers of the Capetian monarchy in the South. The rule of a royal
prince over his appanage was often the best transition from pure
independence towards complete incorporation with the monarchy.

A great feudal coalition soon formed against Blanche of Castile. She was
a foreigner, haughty and unsympathetic, and strong enough to excite
fierce personal antipathy. ‘A woman in sex she was,’ says Matthew Paris,
‘a man in counsel, worthy to be compared with Semiramis.’ The younger
members of the royal house, headed by Philip Hurepel, Count of Boulogne,
the legitimised son of Philip II. and Agnes of Meran, joined with his
kinsman Peter Mauclerc of Brittany, whose skill and courage soon made
him the head of the league. The persecuted Raymond of Toulouse plucked
up courage to unite himself with the coalition. Hugh of La Marche
deserted the falling cause of royalty, and again became friendly with
his step-son, Henry of England, who saw in the distress of the young
king a chance of winning back his lost territories in France. Theobald
IV. of Champagne, alone of the great feudatories, remained faithful to
the royal cause.

The barons demanded the reversal of the policy of the last two reigns,
and the restitution of their ancient rights. What power they were
willing to leave the crown was to be placed in the hands of Philip of
Boulogne, and the Spanish queen was to be sent back to her native
country. Blanche did not quail before the storm. She appealed from the
barons to the clergy and people. She secured the neutrality of Frederick
II., and the open support of Honorius III. By the rapidity and unity of
her movements she sought to break up the unwieldy and disorganised
levies of her opponents. When she could no longer hold her own in the
Isle of France, she went with her young son to Troyes, and threw herself
on the protection of the Count of Champagne. Having failed in the first
great blow, the feudal coalition slowly dissolved. It kept France in a
state of anarchy for several years, but it was not strong enough to do
more. Peter of Brittany strove hard to get English support, but it was
not until 1230 that the young Henry III. came to France, and then, after
an abortive march through Poitou, the English went home again, and the
feudalists were as far from success as ever. Next year Peter failed in
an intrigue to win over Theobald of Champagne to his side. He finally
strove to stir up a revolt against Theobald in favour of Alice, queen of
Cyprus, the daughter of Theobald’s uncle, Henry, king of Jerusalem. But
this also failed, and the queen of Cyprus renounced her claims. In 1234
Theobald attained the climax of his power by succeeding to the kingdom
of Navarre as the heir of his uncle Sancho. Philip of Boulogne was dead.
Peter of Brittany sullenly made his peace with the triumphant Castilian.
The monarchy of Philip Augustus had proved strong enough to survive a
minority and the rule of a foreign woman.

[Sidenote: The Treaty of Meaux and the extension of the royal domain to
           the Mediterranean, 1229.]

A notable result of the triumph of the crown was the settlement of the
question of Toulouse by a compromise that was all in favour of the
monarchy. The Albigensian Crusade had died away amid the storms of civil
war, and against so orthodox a prince as Raymond VII. it had never been
more than a sorry pretext for aggression. In 1229 Raymond concluded the
Treaty of Meaux with the regent, by which he retained, though on
humiliating conditions, a portion of his sovereignty. He yielded up to
the crown the duchy of Narbonne, the eastern part of his dominions, from
the Rhone to beyond Carcassonne, and was confirmed in his possession of
the county of Toulouse. He was, however, to rase the walls of his
capital and thirty other towns, to admit a royal garrison into the
castle of Toulouse, to wage war against the heretics, to provide
orthodox doctors to teach the true faith at Toulouse, and go on
pilgrimage to Palestine. He was to marry his daughter and heiress to
Blanche’s younger son Alfonse, and so secure to the Capetians the
ultimate succession to all his dominions. Another result of the treaty
was the organisation of a systematic effort to stamp out the last
remnants of the Albigensian heresy. [Sidenote: The Inquisition.]
Immediately after the treaty a systematic Episcopal Inquisition, such as
Lucius III. had contemplated in 1184, was set up in every diocese of
Languedoc. In 1233 it was supplemented by a Papal Inquisition,
established by Gregory IX. This latter gave unity to persecution by
overstepping the rigid diocesan limits. Its direction was given to the
followers of the same Dominic who had preached so long in vain in
Toulouse. But Gregory did not put his whole trust in the fires of the
inquisitors. At the same time that he created their grim tribunal, he
established the University of Toulouse, the first _studium generale_ set
up by papal bull, and thus gave wider currency to the orthodox teaching
which the care of Honorius had already established there. The faculty of
theology passed at once into Dominican hands, and the orthodox dialectic
of the schoolmen soon replaced the lay and lax culture of the
troubadours. Only in the county of Provence did the troubadours still
continue their songs. The independence of the South was at an end, and
the royal domain for the first time touched the Mediterranean. But the
greater sympathy now shown for the Southern people came out in the
reversal of Montfort’s rude efforts to introduce the customs of the

[Sidenote: Character of St. Louis.]

Louis IX.’s personal government began in 1235, when his mother laid down
the regency in his favour. Though nurtured amidst the storms of
rebellion, and exposed to all the temptations of one who was a king from
early boyhood, Blanche had so carefully provided for his education that
his simple, just, and straightforward disposition was allowed full scope
for its development. He early became an example of piety to all his
realm. He regularly frequented the canonical hours of the Church, rising
from his bed, like a monk, to attend matins at midnight, and again in
the early morning for prime. His fasts, his discipline, his rigid
self-denial, were beyond all ordinary measure. The length of his private
devotions exhausted the patience of his nobles, and even wearied his
confessor; but he told the barons that they wasted more time every day
in gambling and hunting, and shame compelled them to be silent. His
devotion was not merely one of outward forms. His fervent and exalted
piety shone through every action of his simple and well-ordered life. He
was the soul of honour and chastity. He ate and drank very sparingly,
always mixing his wine with water, and consuming whatever meats happened
to be set before him. Though on solemn occasions he was clad in gold and
rich stuffs, his ordinary garments were of simple cut and sober colour.
He detested oaths, violent and impure speech, idle gossip, lies, and
tale-bearing. His patience was unending, and his good temper unruffled.
His humility was extreme and quite without ostentation. His charity was
immense and unbounded. He was not only a great giver of alms and founder
of churches, monasteries, and hospitals. He daily fed the poor at his
table, and visited the sick and wretched at their own abodes. He washed
the feet of repulsive beggars and cripples. He did not shrink from
contact with the lepers. His simple enthusiasm for good works powerfully
affected the rough barons with whom he was brought into contact. ‘To see
or hear him,’ we are told, ‘brought comfort and calm to the most
troubled spirit.’

With all his piety and simplicity, there was nothing weak or puerile in
Louis’ character. His extreme asceticism had no touch of the gloomy
moroseness or inhumanity of the baser type of mediæval devotees. His
habits were as robust, as manly, as they were simple. He enjoyed
vigorous health. His tall, well-knit frame, bright, keen eye, fair
flowing hair, and good-humoured blonde face, made him the model of a
high-born knight. Not, perhaps, endowed with any high measure of
intellectual capacity, he had a firm will, a sane judgment, a shrewd
sense of his own limitations, and the strong common-sense that makes a
good man of affairs. He was pleasant and easy of access, delighting in
unrestrained intercourse with his friends, and reckless of the etiquette
and ceremony that were beginning to hedge even a feudal court. With all
his ambition to live a ‘regular’ life, he did not scorn the married
state nor neglect the softer domestic virtues, and his love for his
children caused him early to abandon a hope he at one time entertained
of entering a monastery. As a young man he delighted in the chase, in
well-trained hawks and high-mettled horses, and could entertain his
barons with sumptuous and regal hospitality. He was one of the bravest
of soldiers, preserving a rare coolness in the fierce hand-to-hand
struggle of a mediæval battle, and never losing hope or cheerfulness. He
was as good a king as he was a man, tenacious of all royal rights that
had been handed down from his forefathers, and constantly striving to
uphold his authority as the best guarantee of the peace and prosperity
of his people. He made his own the policy of his grandfather, though in
his hands it lost its original taint of fraud and violence. He was the
friend of the clerk, the friar, the monk, the simple knight, and the
burgess. He depressed the great feudalists the more completely since he
was scrupulous to allow them every power that law or custom recognised
to be theirs. He enlarged his dominions the more securely since his
scrupulous conscience forbade him taking unfair advantage even of his
enemy. He could withstand the aggressions of a greedy pope or a
self-seeking bishop the more effectively since his devotion to the
Church and his zeal for her just rights were patent to all men. He could
build up a new administrative system adequate for the government of his
vast realm since it was common fame that his motive was not
self-aggrandisement, but the well-being of his whole people. As a
Christian and as a man, as a statesman and as a warrior, he was the
exemplar of all that was best in his age. After his death he was raised
to the honours of sanctity, and subsequent ages have revered in St.
Louis the very ideal of a loyal knight and Christian king.

[Sidenote: The settlement of the South-west.]

The first care for the young king was the completion of the conquest of
the South-west. His way had already been made smooth for him. Raymond of
Toulouse, curbed by the Dominicans and the French garrison, was no
longer dangerous, and the greater part of his old dominions were ruled
by the royal seneschals of Beaucaire and Carcassonne. In 1237 his
heiress Joan was married to Louis’s brother, Alfonse, who, on his
father-in-law’s death, was thus destined to become Count of Toulouse.

Though Alfonse was thus nobly provided for, Louis’ strict fidelity to
his father’s will conferred upon him and his brothers the rich appanages
which the previous king had bequeathed to them in their cradles. In 1241
he held a great court at Saumur, where, clad in blue satin and red
mantle lined with ermine, he royally feasted with the chief barons of
France in the noble hall built by Henry of Anjou. [Sidenote: Alfonse,
Count of Poitou and Auvergne, 1241.] There he made Alfonse a knight, and
afterwards, taking him to Poitiers, invested him with the counties of
Poitiers and Auvergne. For the moment all was well. Hugh of Lusignan had
banqueted at Saumur, and had sworn fealty to Alfonse at Poitiers. But
before long his wife, the former queen of England, stirred him up to
resist his liege lord and fall back upon his ancient alliance with his
step-son. The Poitevin barons met at Parthenay, eager to oppose the
crown. ‘The French,’ they declared, ‘have always hated the Poitevins,
and will always continue to do so. They would fain trample us under
their feet, and use us more contemptuously than the Normans or the
Albigeois. In Champagne and Burgundy the king’s servants carry all
before them, and the nobles dare do nothing without their leave. We had
better die than live such a slavish life.’ A league was soon formed; the
English seneschal of Bordeaux sent immediate help. Even Raymond of
Toulouse ventured to revolt, and his subjects murdered inquisitors and
chased away the Dominican theologians of the University. All the old
spirits of disorder were aroused, and in 1242 Henry of England landed in
Saintonge with a considerable army, joyfully profiting by the
opportunity to vindicate his ancient claims to Poitou.

[Sidenote: Battle of Saintes, and final defeat of the English and
           Poitevins, 1242.]

Louis IX. was now forced to appear at the head of an army in the South.
In a short, one-sided campaign he carried all before him. He secured the
passage of the Charente by driving the Anglo-Poitevin host from the
bridge of Taillebourg, and on 22nd July won a decisive victory outside
the walls of Saintes. He pressed on to Blaye on the Gironde, where a
sudden sickness alone prevented him from crossing over to the siege of
Bordeaux. But he had gained all that he sought. Hugh of La Marche made a
humiliating submission, and his sons sought a freer and more adventurous
career with their half-brother in England. The Count of Toulouse yielded
before the seneschal of Carcassonne in time to avert a new Crusade.
[Sidenote: The Treaty of Lorris, and the final humiliation of Raymond
VII., 1243.] In 1243 the Peace of Lorris renewed the humiliating
conditions of the Treaty of Meaux. ‘Henceforth,’ says William of Nangis,
‘the barons no longer attempt to do anything against their king, the
Lord’s anointed, seeing clearly that the hand of the Lord was with him.’

[Sidenote: Alfonse of Poitiers, Count of Toulouse, 1249.]

Nothing now remained but to gather up the spoils. The careful
administration of Alfonse at Poitiers prepared the way for the direct
absorption of the lands between Loire and Garonne within the royal
domain. In 1249 the beaten Raymond VII. died, and his son-in-law quietly
succeeded to his heritage. Northern laws and manners gradually permeated
the South. The improvements of administration which St. Louis had
established in his domain were adopted by his intelligent brother. A
single parliament or high law court was created for all Alfonse’s fiefs,
and the South for the first time felt the advantages of law and order.
The Langue d’oc receded before the new court tongue of the Langue d’oil.
‘Bastides’ and ‘Villeneuves’ were set up as new centres of trade and to
diminish the importance and prosperity of the older separatist
towns.[35] Vast castles of the northern type kept down the disobedient.
Gothic minsters, like the cathedral of Limoges and the choir of
Toulouse, were reared by North French workmen side by side with the
indigenous Romanesque that had lingered as long in the South as in the
Rhineland. When Alfonse died without heirs in 1271, his counties of
Toulouse and Poitiers and his land of Auvergne quietly devolved on his
nephew Philip III.

There still remained the danger of the English dukes of Gascony, but
Henry III. was now Louis’ good friend and brother-in-law, and too
occupied in quarrels with his subjects to concern himself overmuch with
the affairs of Aquitaine. Henry remained, however, tenacious of his
rights, and the vigorous rule of his brother-in-law, Simon of Montfort,
the younger,[36] showed what a source of strength Aquitaine might become
in competent hands. Here St. Louis’ moderation and sense of justice
stood him in good stead, and led him to make one of the greatest
sacrifices ever made by a strong king in the interests of peace.
[Sidenote: The Treaty of Paris and the settlement with Henry III.,
1259.] He persuaded the English king to yield up his vain claims on
Normandy and Anjou in return for the cession of considerable districts
in the South, long conquered and quietly ruled by Louis’ seneschals. He
yielded at the moment ‘all the rights which he had in the three
bishoprics of Limoges, Cahors, and Périgueux, in fiefs and in domains,’
that is to say, the homages of the barons of those regions, for Louis’
domains there were insignificant. He also promised on the death of
Alfonse, to yield to Henry Saintonge south of the Charente, the Agenais,
and lower Quercy. The treaty was drawn up at Abbeville in 1258 and
finally sealed at Paris in the following year. It was the last act in
the long struggle for Normandy and Poitou, the legal limitation of the
English kings’ land in France to a small fragment of their Aquitanian
heritage. The good faith of St. Louis was not strictly followed by his
successor, and Edward I. found some difficulty in obtaining the cessions
promised on Alfonse’s death. At last, in the treaty of Amiens, 1279,
matters were compromised by the cession of the Agenais.[37] Future
disputes between the French kings and the Aquitanian dukes were in due
course to arise, but they turned on fresh questions. The loyalty of St.
Louis had entirely ended the ancient grounds of dispute between overlord
and vassal.

[Sidenote: The King and the northern feudalists. Appanages of the royal

No overwhelming growth of the royal domain in Northern France marked the
reign of Louis, but the vast acquisitions of Philip II. were quietly
absorbed, and their inhabitants became good Frenchmen. Four fiefs of the
first order now alone remained in the north, and only two of
these—Flanders and Brittany—retained a separatist character. Despite
their extension of power over the Pyrenees, the house of Blois-Champagne
was ever friendly to Louis, and his purchase of Macon had kept Burgundy
in check. No great harm to the central power followed, when in 1237
Louis made his brother Robert Count of Artois, and in 1245 his youngest
brother Charles became Count of Anjou and Maine, especially as, in the
latter case, Touraine, the ancient dependency of Anjou, was retained
within the royal domain. At the later date Louis also granted appanages
to his younger sons, Peter becoming Count of Alençon, and Robert Count
of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis. But the subsequent marriage of Robert to the
heir of Bourbon brought another great fief under the control of the
royal house. Charles’s early government of Anjou was vigorous and
successful, and did something to reconcile the ancient county to its
practical loss of independence. But Charles soon found a better sphere
for his energies in the imperial lands adjacent to the French kingdom.
He strove for a time to establish himself in the county of Hainault, as
the ally of Margaret of Flanders. He finally found a more fruitful field
in the Arelate, where he proved a worthy brother to Alfonse of Poitiers,
as the precursor of Northern influence over the South.

[Sidenote: Provence under Raymond Berengar V.]

The fall of Toulouse left the county of Provence the one great centre of
the South French national spirit. Though technically no part of the
French kingdom, it was one in language, manners, and sympathies with the
county of Toulouse, whose princes had indeed acquired possession of the
so-called March of Provence, between the Durance and the Isère. So long
as the Languedocian civilisation was strong, the hereditary animosities
of the Counts of Provence and the Counts of Toulouse did much to weaken
the political cohesion of two kindred peoples. In the face of the wave
of Northern aggression, signs were not wanting that the ancient feuds of
the courts of Aix and Toulouse were abating. Raymond Berengar V. had
been Count of Provence since 1209. By his marriage with Beatrix,
daughter of Thomas, Count of Savoy, he had established a close union
with the active and aggressive house that was beginning to make itself a
formidable power in the upper region of the ancient Arelate. But four
daughters only were the offspring of the union, and were not some
special precautions taken there was the danger lest Raymond Berengar
should be the last of his race to rule in Provence. [Sidenote: Marriages
of his daughters.] The astute Provençal looked out early for wealthy
husbands for his daughters. The eldest, Margaret, became the wife of St.
Louis himself in 1234. Two years later Eleanor, the second, was wedded
to Henry III. of England. The third, Sanchia, was espoused in 1244 to
Richard earl of Cornwall, the future King of the Romans. The youngest,
Beatrice, was the destined heiress of Provence, and everything depended
upon her choice of a husband. During the crisis of the struggle in the
south-west, Raymond VII. repudiated his Spanish wife and became a suitor
for the hand of Beatrice. Had such a union been accomplished, it would
have been easy to cheat Alfonse of Poitiers of the Toulouse succession,
and a brilliant prospect was opened out of a great national state in
southern Gaul, formed by the union of Toulouse and Provence, which would
have surrounded the royal Sénéchaussées of Beaucaire and Carcassonne,
and might well have proved strong enough to ward off the aggressions of
the northerners. But with the collapse of the English power at Saintes
and the submission of Raymond at Lorris, this glowing vision vanished
for ever. It was too late in the day to stem the tide that had already
overflowed. Raymond Berengar died in 1245, and soon after the marriage
of Beatrice to Charles of Anjou established a Northern court at Aix as
well as at Poitiers.

[Sidenote: Charles of Anjou, Count of Provence, 1245–1265.]

For the next twenty years (1245–1265) Charles of Anjou carried on in
Provence the same work that Alfonse had long been doing at Poitiers and
was soon to begin at Toulouse. The ablest, strongest, fiercest, and most
unscrupulous of the sons of Louis VIII., the new Count of Provence
thoroughly established Northern methods of government and Northern
ideals of life in the last home of the civilisation of the Troubadours.
Charles’s success was brilliant and lasting. The great churchmen, like
the archbishop of Arles, ceased to be temporal sovereigns. The feudal
nobles lost their independence when their leader, Barral des Baux,
despairing of holding his rock-built stronghold against his suzerain,
gave up his pursuit of feudal freedom and became one of Charles’s most
trusted ministers. The cities, which had hitherto vied with their
Italian neighbours in their love of absolute autonomy, saw their
municipal franchises destroyed when revolted Marseilles was starved into
submission, while the care Charles showed for its commercial interests
soon did something to reconcile the wealthy citizens to the loss of
their liberties. Master of every order of his subjects, Charles welded
all Provence together by the skilful execution of good laws. As a result
of his careful policy, he was gradually able to dispense with his
Northern followers and intrust administration and arms to his Provençal
subjects. The last of the Troubadours fled to the more congenial courts
of Aragon and northern Italy. The successes of Charles began that long
series of French aggressions on the Arelate, which only ceased when
Savoy itself became French less than forty years ago. This was the
natural and inevitable result of the development of the idea of
nationality and the decay of the imperial principle. As the Provençal
lands could not form a national state of their own, they ultimately
found their salvation in incorporation with the more vigorous
nationality of the Langue d’oil.

[Sidenote: Foreign Policy of St. Louis.]

The foreign policy of St. Louis was inspired by the same spirit of
justice and peace that regulated his dealings with his feudatories. We
have seen his watchful care of the just rights of the English king. His
Treaty of Corbeil of 1258, with James I., king of Aragon, was based on
the same principles as the Treaty of Paris with Henry III. [Sidenote:
His relations to Spain.] By it Louis renounced all rights over the
county of Barcelona, in return for James’s abandonment of his claims
over Foix and all lands north of Roussillon. By an almost nominal
concession, Louis thus broke the close tie between the kindred
civilisations north and south of the Pyrenees which, in the days of the
Albigensian Wars, had threatened to counterbalance the growing influence
of the French crown over the south. By the marriage of Louis’s eldest
son, Philip, to James’s daughter, Isabella of Aragon, the personal tie
between the two realms was made the stronger. Two daughters of Louis
were wedded to Spanish princes, one to the son of the king of Castile,
another to Theobald the Young, king of Navarre and count of Champagne.
Even the establishment of the most faithful of the great feudatories in
the little kingdom of Navarre helped, rather than hindered, the progress
of the French monarchy. The Champenois Joinville became the most
attached follower, the most enthusiastic biographer of St. Louis.

[Sidenote: Louis and the Empire.]

The long quarrel of Papacy and Empire gave ample opportunities for an
ambitious prince to draw profit to France from their dissensions. The
anti-clerical policy of Frederick II. afforded plenty of pretexts to so
pious a king as Louis for putting himself on the papal side and making
what annexations he could at the expense of Frederick’s weakness. But
though troubled by the Emperor’s ecclesiastical attitude, Louis did not
forget Frederick’s forbearance in the days when Blanche of Castile was
struggling single-handed against the feudal party, and he was by no
means satisfied with the rancorous attitude of the Papacy. He therefore
strove to take up a strict neutrality between Pope and Emperor. He
rejected the offer of the imperial crown which Gregory IX. made to
Robert of Artois. He refused to receive Innocent IV. when he fled from
Italy, and disregarded the deposition of the Emperor at Lyons. He strove
hard at Cluny to reconcile Innocent and Frederick. The only occasion
when he prepared to uphold the Pope was when it was believed that
Frederick was crossing Mont Cenis with a great army in full march for
Lyons. This judicious policy was especially pursued by him since he
realised that the essential condition of a new Crusade was the
friendship of Cæsar and the Pope. When the last chances of
reconciliation were ended, he went, in 1248, to Egypt, to fight
single-handed for the cause which he had at heart. On his return in
1254, he found Frederick dead and the Empire as good as destroyed. Yet
during the weary years of the Great Interregnum, he never, as we shall
see, departed from the ancient strictness of his policy. He had no wish
that his brother-in-law, Richard of Cornwall, should revive the ancient
alliance of England and Germany. He preferred to recognise Alfonso of
Castile, but he took no direct action to sustain his preference. The
position of Richard in Germany removed his last scruples about the
Sicilian inheritance. He allowed Charles of Anjou to accept in 1265 the
Sicilian throne, and marred his later policy by his undue deference to
his unscrupulous brother. The deviation of the Crusade of 1270 to Tunis
was the result of Charles’s wish to strengthen his Italian position.
Louis’s death was thus in a measure due to the influence of the prince
who had become the evil spirit of the French royal house.

[Sidenote: France the chief Power of Europe.]

Towards the end of his reign Louis was incontestably the first prince of
Europe. The collapse of the Hohenstaufen, the weakness of his English
brother-in-law, the position of his own brethren in the South and in
Italy; the degradation of the feudatories, all contributed to make the
power of Louis great, but the unique position which the French monarch
now held was due not so much to his authority and resources as to the
ascendency won by his personal character and virtues. His reputation for
impartiality and his recognised love of peace and justice made him the
natural arbiter in every delicate question, the general peace-maker in
every European quarrel. Louis’s arbitration between Henry III. and his
barons, if the least successful of his interventions, was but one
example of his activity in this direction, both with regard to foreign
princes and his own feudatories. It was too much to expect that even the
best of kings would decide otherwise than in favour of a brother monarch
against an aristocracy whose avowed object was the transference of the
royal authority to a committee of barons. It speaks strongly for Louis
that the English barons should ever have consented to submit to his

[Sidenote: Home Policy of St. Louis.]

The internal government of Louis IX. must now be considered. His
attitude towards the feudal barons has been already illustrated. The
narrowness of his vision and the justness of his character combined to
make it impossible for him to adopt an anti-feudal policy like that of
his grandson, Philip the Fair. He was the defender of all existing
lawful authority, but if he intervened to protect the oppressed barons
from the zeal of his too active officials, he more often used his
influence to make the barons exercise towards their dependants the same
rigid justice he was ever willing to manifest to them. His forbidding of
private war, the judicial duel, and the tournaments which were often
little better than thinly disguised war, were the result of his love of
peace and order; but they cut at the root of feudal ideas, with which
indeed any real measure of peace and order were almost incompatible.

[Sidenote: Louis and the Church.]

Louis’s relations to the Church bring out strongly the best sides of his
character. No king was ever so anxious to give the Church its due, and
to protect churchmen from grasping barons or greedy crown officials. He
regarded his rights of patronage and his custody of the temporalities of
vacant sees as sacred trusts, and he strove, so far as he could, to
prevail upon his barons to follow in his footsteps. Guided by the wise
counsels of William of Auvergne, bishop of Paris for the first twenty
years of his reign, he safeguarded the interests of the monarchy as well
as the interests of the Church. It was in his reign that the married
clerks engaged in commerce were, at Louis’s instance, abandoned to the
jurisdiction of the lay tribunals, and yet Louis more than once
associated himself with his barons in protesting against the growing
aggressions of the ecclesiastical courts. It was under Louis that the
French clergy first felt the weight of regular and systematic taxation.
The extraordinary favour which he showed to the Mendicants cost him
something of the good wishes of the secular clergy and of the older
orders. Franciscans and Dominicans were his chaplains and confessors,
his habitual companions, and the instruments even of his secular policy.
Their influence over him contributed towards the establishment of the
Mendicants in a strong position in the University of Paris, despite
violent secular opposition. Through the Mendicants Louis was ever
inclined to ally himself with the Pope against the secular clergy. Yet
that alliance had, as we have seen, its limits. The champions of
Gallican liberties in the fifteenth century were not altogether at fault
in regarding St. Louis as the first upholder of the national freedom of
the French Church. The so-called ‘Pragmatic Sanction of St. Louis’ is
indeed a forgery of the fifteenth century, but the hostility it
expresses to simony, to papal taxation, to the temporal claims of Rome
and the abuses of ecclesiastical elections, do not go far beyond his
practice. It was, however, quite impossible for a pious churchman of the
thirteenth century to formulate the doctrines of national independence
that were afterwards upheld by the fathers of Constance and Basel.

[Sidenote: Louis’s Administrative System.]

The greatest result of St. Louis’s home government was the enlargement
and definition of the administrative system which first sprang up as the
result of the expansion of the monarchy under Philip II. This arose from
the same necessities as the Anglo-Norman system, which had been
perfected by Henry of Anjou, and in many details presents remarkable
analogies to the polity already established beyond the Channel. The king
was the centre of the whole system. His advisers were no longer the
hereditary functionaries of the primitive monarchy. The royal household
(_l’hôtel du roi_) now consisted of a band of clerks and knights, the
chaplains, the scribes, the advisers and defenders of the king, and of
the subordinate servants, who discharged purely menial and domestic
functions. From the powerful body of clerks and knights of the household
sprang the official class which represented the monarchy throughout the
kingdom. Though many of the clerks were doubtless trained lawyers, the
ministers of St. Louis were far from showing that pettifogging and
litigious spirit that inspired king and household alike in the days of
Philip the Fair.

[Sidenote: Baillages and Sénéchaussées.]

All France was divided into great provinces, and at the head of each was
placed a royal official, called a _bailli_ in the north and a _sénéchal_
in the south, who roughly corresponded to, though they governed a
greater extent of territory than, the sheriffs of the English crown.
They nominated the provosts and inferior officers; they administered
justice; collected the royal revenue; and were charged with the
superintendence of the royal relations to the neighbouring feudatories
as well as with the administration of their own districts. [Sidenote:
Enquesteurs.] Their annual visits to the Exchequer connected them with
the central government, and a further link between the central and local
administration was found in the regular institution by St. Louis of
_enquesteurs_, the _missi dominici_, or the itinerant justices of the
Capetian monarchy, who, though casually employed by earlier kings, were
now made a permanent element in the administrative system.

[Sidenote: The Differentiation of the Royal Council.]

Under St. Louis a process of differentiation similar to that which had
evolved the Exchequer, Curia Regis, and other courts from the great
councils of the Anglo-Norman kings, divided into three bodies the royal
court of the Capetian kings. The _Grand Conseil_ became the
administrative and political assembly; the _Parlement_ grew into the
judicial mouthpiece of the crown; and _Maîtres des Comptes_ received and
regulated the royal revenue. While the political Council still followed
the king in the ceaseless wanderings of a mediæval sovereign, the
Parliament gradually settled down permanently at Paris. With the
elaboration of its organisation came an extension of its competence.
Churchmen and lawyers agreed in believing that the king was the sole
source of justice. Appeals to the king’s court became, under St. Louis,
the substitute for the trial by combat, which he abolished. Not only
were the inferior courts of the _baillage_ or _prévôté_ subordinate to
the king’s court. It became usual for appeals to be taken to Paris from
the highest courts of the greatest feudatories of the realm. The
doctrine of the _cas royal_, the plea reserved exclusively for the
cognisance of the crown, materially aided the extension of the
Parliament of Paris. [Sidenote: The Parliament of Paris and the
Extension of the Royal Jurisdiction.] Alfonse of Poitiers, as we have
seen, imitated in his own fief the example of his sovereign and brother.
The financial reforms of St. Louis, though important, were not so
radical as his judicial changes. The _Gens des Comptes_ in session at
the Temple in Paris prepared the way for the organisation of the
_Chambre des Comptes_ under Philip the Fair. But almost alone of
mediæval sovereigns, St. Louis was well able ‘to live of his own,’ and
the ordinary revenue of the crown left a surplus for his religious and
charitable foundations. [Sidenote: Finance and the Coinage.] Only the
rare great wars, and the two Crusades of the king, necessitated recourse
to exceptional taxation. Yet Louis was able to carry out a thoroughgoing
reform of the coinage, and carefully upheld the value and purity of the
circulating medium. In 1263 he issued an ordinance by which he gained
for the royal mints the monopoly of supplying the monetary needs of the
royal domain. Wherever no seignorial money was coined, there the royal
money was to circulate exclusively. All that was allowed to the
seignorial currency was that it should be accepted concurrently with the
king’s money in those fiefs where the lord had an established right of
mintage. It was, however, to be so struck that every one might see that
it plainly differed from the products of the mints of the crown. This
reform in itself was a great encouragement to trade. The protection of
the communes by the king, the sound peace which enabled merchants to buy
and sell without molestation, and the establishment of new towns,
especially in the south, all furthered the growth of commerce.
[Sidenote: The Towns and Trade.] The _ville_ of Carcassonne, whose plan
to this day preserves the right lines and measured regularity of an
American city, and which, with its Gothic churches and its busy
industries stands to this day in such vivid contrast to the desolate
_cité_ on the height, the witness of departed military glories, is an
example of the numerous class of _Villeneuves_ and _Villefranches_
founded by St. Louis in his newly won domains in the Languedoc. Louis’s
Christian zeal, no less than his hatred of usury, caused him to deal
with excessive rigour with the Jews. [Sidenote: Jews and Cahorsins.] He
was almost as intolerant of the Lombard and Cahorsin usurers, who had
now begun to rival with the Israelites in finance. One of the least
pleasing sides of the saint’s character was his cruel severity to
blasphemers, heretics, and unbelievers. The same zeal led St. Louis
twice to abandon France while he went on crusade. [See chapter xix.] But
neither his long sojourn in Egypt and Syria nor his death at Tunis
destroyed the effect of his work for his kingdom. Queen Blanche resumed
her vigorous rule of France as regent during Louis’s absence from 1248
to her death in 1253, the year before his return. [Sidenote: The
Pastoureaux.] The chief trouble Blanche had was with the strange popular
gathering of the _Pastoureaux_, which, assembled under the pretext that
shepherds and workmen were to supply the remissness of lords and knights
and rescue St. Louis from the Egyptians, soon became a wild carnival of
brigandage, which the regent had considerable difficulty in suppressing
(1251). In 1270 Philip the Bold, the saint’s dull, but pious, docile,
hard-fighting, and well-meaning son, succeeded as easily in the camp at
Tunis as he could have done in Paris itself. The work of St. Louis was
quietly and unostentatiously continued during the first years of Philip
III.’s reign. In his later years the baleful influence of Charles of
Anjou turned the heir of St. Louis to a more active and greedy policy
that prepared the way for the extraordinary success of Philip the Fair,
whose triumphant reign marks the end of the process that had begun with
the early Capetians.


                             CHAPTER XVIII

  The _Regnum_, the _Sacerdotium_, and the _Studium_—The Beginnings of
    the Universities—Their Organisation and their Spirit—Their
    Relations to the Church—The Introduction of Aristotle—Intellectual
    and Popular Heresy—St. Francis and the Minorites—St. Dominic and
    the Order of Preachers—Other Mendicant Orders—The Work of the
    Mendicants—Preaching and Pastoral Care—The Religious Revival—The
    Mendicants and the Universities—The Triumph of the Mendicants—The
    Great Scholastics of the Thirteenth Century and the Results of
    their Influence.

[Sidenote: Regnum, Sacerdotium, and Studium.]

From the unorganised schools of the twelfth century proceeded the
corporate universities of the thirteenth century. The same age that
witnessed the culmination of the idea of the ‘regnum’ under Barbarossa
and Henry VI. and the triumph of the ‘sacerdotium’ under Innocent III.,
saw the establishment of the ‘studium’ as a new bond of unity and
authority, worthy to be set up side by side with the Empire and the
Papacy themselves. The strong instinct for association that about the
same period led to the organisation of the Lombard League and the French
Communes, that united England under the Angevins and South Italy under
Frederick II., that set up merchant guilds in every urban centre and
gave fresh life to both the old and the new ecclesiastical societies,
brought about the organisation of the masters and scholars into the
universities which still remain as the most abiding product of the
genius of the Middle Ages. Just as the institution of knighthood had set
up a new cosmopolitan principle of union that bound together men of
different lands, wealth, and social station, in a common brotherhood of
arms, so did the establishment of the corporations of doctors and
scholars unite the subtlest brains of diverse countries and ranks in a
common professional and social life.

[Sidenote: The earliest universities.]

The earliest universities were, like Paris, associations of teachers,
or, like Bologna, clubs of foreign students. They had no founders, and
based their rights on no charters of king or pope, but grew up gradually
as a natural outcome of the wide spread of intellectual pursuits that
had followed upon the twelfth-century Renascence. The accident of the
abiding presence of a series of great teachers had made Paris the centre
of theological and philosophical study north of the Alps, and had given
the schools of Bologna a prestige that attracted to them students of the
civil and canon laws from every country in Europe. [Sidenote: Paris and
Bologna.] It was inevitable that sooner or later the accidental and
spasmodic character of the earlier schools should give way to systematic
organisation. The numerous teachers of arts and theology at Paris
gradually became a definite college or guild of doctors and masters,
with power to admit and to exclude new members of their profession, and
with an increasingly strong corporate spirit and tradition. Before the
death of Louis VII. a university, that is to say a corporation, of
masters, had replaced the individual schools of the age of Abelard.
Before the century was out Philip Augustus had given the infant
university its earliest privileges of exemption from the ordinary
municipal organisation. Before the middle of the thirteenth century, the
Faculties had been organised, the Four Nations and the Rectorate set up,
the authority of the Episcopal Chancellor reduced to a minimum, and the
universal acceptation of the teaching rights of the masters secured.
Kings and popes vied with each other in showering privileges on a
society that controlled with such absolute authority educated public
opinion. Moreover, the simple expedient of suspension of lectures or of
secession wrung by force the privileges not to be obtained by favour,
while a more permanent result of these academic secessions was the
creation of other universities, whose rivalry wholesomely stimulated the
energies of the teachers of the ancient centre. Bologna did for Italy
almost all that Paris did for the North, though the difference of the
circumstances of a free municipality and those of a great capital of a
national state affected both the organisation of the institution and the
character of the studies. Not the teaching masters but the well-to-do
and mature students themselves formed the corporations that were the
earliest form of the university of Bologna. The supreme importance of
legal studies was the outcome of the social, political, and intellectual
condition of Italy. [Sidenote: The multiplication of universities.] The
constant secessions that set up flourishing schools at Padua and Pisa,
and covered Italy with smaller universities, were helped by the
centrifugal tendency that had already become a marked feature of Italian
politics. Yet no mediæval university was in any sense a purely national
institution. It was the home of the Latinised, cosmopolitan, clerkly
culture that made the wandering scholar as much at home in a distant
city of a foreign land as in the schools of his native town. The
Studium, like the Regnum and the Sacerdotium, belonged to the old
cosmopolitan Roman order that knew nothing of the modern ideas of
national life and local states. Yet no local state that aspired to
civilised life could dispense with a ‘studium generale’ or university.
The great position of Angevin England made the English school at Oxford
the chief northern rival of Paris, from which perhaps it was the most
important secession. Thirteenth-century Spain celebrated its deliverance
from the Moor and its entrance into the Christian commonwealth by the
setting up of new learned corporations. It was a sign of the
dethronement of Germany from her ancient predominance that she had no
university till long after our period was over. So great were the
benefits of an organised general school that kings and popes began to
institute, deliberately, imitations of what had earlier grown up
spontaneously. Gregory IX. established the first university of papal
foundation at Toulouse, and Frederick II. the first university of royal
foundation at Naples. Alfonso VIII. of Castile not only conquered at Las
Navas de Tolosa, but strove, though to little purpose, to found the
first Spanish university at Palencia.

[Sidenote: The spirit of the universities.]

From the remotest parts of Europe eager students of every rank and
condition, from highest to lowest, from wealthiest to poorest, flocked
to the universities of repute. If many were chiefly eager for a career
and professional advancement, there were not wanting a few touched with
a higher spirit. The free life, the democratic equality of the teachers,
the unrestrained licence of the taught, if leading to constant
disorders, brought about a spirit of independence within the academic
band such as Europe had not witnessed since the fall of the Roman
Empire. This was the more important since the universities of the
thirteenth century were no mere abodes of recluse scholars, but
exercised a profound influence on every side of human activity. They
affected politics and statecraft nearly as much as they affected thought
and religion. It is with their influence on the State and the Church
that we are mainly concerned now.

[Sidenote: Relation of the universities to the Church.]

It was an all-important question what would be the relations of the
Studium to the Sacerdotium. The universities were in the long-run bound
to be either the friends or the foes of the existing order, which was so
intimately bound up with the ascendency of the Church. At first there
seemed to be little danger of rivalry. The reconciliation of orthodoxy
and free speculation, which had put the limited but safe activity of a
Peter Lombard in the place of the antagonistic ideas of a Bernard or an
Abelard, still continued during the period that saw the crystallisation
of the European schools into systematic corporations. If the Civilians
upheld a Barbarossa, the Canonists were equally strenuous in upholding
the universal bishopric of the Roman pontiff. North of the Alps every
scholar was a clerk with the privileges of clergy, and the Church alone
provided both the materials of thought and the worldly careers that were
open to scholars. If the Italian scholars were commonly laymen, the
spirit of the Italian schools was too averse to abstract speculation to
be likely to lead to formal heresy, and law was still, even in Italy,
the study through which churchmen rose to greatness. Yet it was by no
means clear, at the beginning of the century, that the intellectual
ferment which the universities had perpetuated would permit the
reconciliation of philosophy with theology, and of law with the
ecclesiastical order. [Sidenote: The introduction of Aristotle.] The
tradition of Greek thought had been revived before the twelfth century
was over, and the full knowledge of the ethical, physical and
metaphysical teachings of Aristotle did not come in a more Christian
shape when it was filtered through the imperfect translations and free
paraphrases through which Arabs and Jews had kept alive a perverted yet
stimulating version of the doctrines of the great Greek philosopher.
[Sidenote: Arab and Jewish influence.] The glories of the Arab and the
Jewish schools of Spain had already culminated in Averroes (_d._ 1198),
and Moses Maimonides (_d._ 1204), when they were made public to the
Latin world by scholars like the translators employed by Archbishop
Raymond of Toledo, and Frederick II.’s protégé, Michael Scot. The
increased intercourse between East and West, which resulted in the Latin
conquest of Constantinople, led before long to a better acquaintance
with Aristotelian texts and to Latin versions based upon the Greek

[Sidenote: Intellectual and popular heresy.]

The Moorish and Jewish doctors of Spain had endured persecution from the
orthodox Mohammedans for the boldness and freedom of their speculations.
The materialistic pantheism of Averroes was as famous as his
commentaries on Aristotle, and the introduction of the latter was soon
followed by the spread of the former. The doctrines of the Averroists
stimulated anew the popular heresies of the Cathari, who were now
fighting desperately against orthodoxy in Languedoc, and who still
filled Lombardy with enemies of the Church. The union of the popular
with the scientific heretics might well have led to a violent
revolution, especially since the changes involved in the rapid progress
of the age threatened social and economic disturbances that imperilled
the whole order of society. The ever-increasing wealth and political
power of the Church were blighting the best interests of religion. The
new orders of the twelfth century had lost their early fervour, and
proved almost as susceptible of corruption as their older brethren. The
dangers of an earlier age were renewed, and the schools that had long
been ‘secular’ in the mediæval sense bade fair to become secular in a
more modern signification of the term. A famous Paris master, Simon of
Tournai, boasted to those who had applauded his vindication of the
orthodox faith that he could demolish it with equal ease and
plausibility. In the early years of the thirteenth century Amalric of
Bena taught undisguised pantheism at Paris, and had a following of
enthusiastic and outspoken heretics, whose views were as wild and
revolutionary as those of any of the Albigenses. The false teaching of
Amalric was attributed to the influence of Aristotle and Averroes, and
in 1215 the papal legate Courçon drew up a body of statutes for the
Paris masters which prohibited the study of the physics and metaphysics
of Aristotle—a prohibition renewed later by Gregory IX.—‘until they have
been examined and purged from all heresy.’ In Italy, if there were less
speculative theology than in Paris, there was more popular heresy, and
more political opposition to the church that was also a state. The
dangerous mysticism of the abbot Joachim might well become a new source
of danger to the hierarchy. Despite all that Innocent III. had done his
successors still saw themselves face to face with imminent danger. But
the source from which salvation was to arise had already been revealed.
From the obscure labours of Francis and Dominic was soon to come not
only the reconciliation of the new philosophy with the old orthodoxy,
but a revival of spiritual religion, from which asceticism became mighty
to do good works, and in which the Church of the Middle Ages attained
its loftiest and purest ideals.

In 1182 was born at Assisi John Bernardone, more often known by the
nickname Francis, that is the Frenchman, which was given him by his
father, a wandering cloth merchant, who had travelled much in France and
loved its people. [Sidenote: St. Francis of Assisi, 1182–1226.] The
father was well-to-do, and ambitious that his gifted and attractive son
should play a great part in the world. But an overmastering religious
enthusiasm soon drew Francis from the revels and sports of the wealthy
youth of Perugia. He renounced friends, fortune, kinsfolk, and declared
that he had wedded the Lady Poverty, the fairest, richest, and purest of
brides. His glowing imagination and earnest spiritual longings saw all
things through the medium of a divine and ecstatic love. His
single-minded devotion to the poor and afflicted, his loving care for
the despised and neglected lepers, his holiness, pureness, and goodness
soon attracted round him a little band of followers. One day he took
them into a church, opened the gospels on the altar and read them the
words in which Christ bade His disciples sell all that they have and
give to the poor, and take no care of staff nor scrip, nor gold or
silver, nor bread nor clothes, but leave all and follow Him. [Sidenote:
Beginnings of the Ordo Minorum.] In these words, he told his followers,
lay all their life and rule. His one endeavour now became the literal
imitation of Christ’s life on earth. The doings of Francis and his
penitents excited lively opposition as well as unbounded admiration. But
in 1210 Francis and eleven companions travelled on foot to Rome, where
Innocent III., stranger though he was to their spirit, received them
kindly and permitted them to continue to uphold their simple rule of
absolute poverty and devotion to good works. The brotherhood grew in
numbers, and soon spread beyond the limits of Assisi and central Italy.
Francis himself went on missions to the heathen, and pleaded for
Christianity before the Sultan of Egypt. Francis called himself and
followers the Poor Men of Assisi, or the Order of Lesser Brethren (Ordo
Minorum); but the rope-girt grey frock that they wore caused the people
to call them the Grey Friars, while the prestige of the founder
frequently gave them the name of Franciscans. For years the fraternity
in no wise departed from its primitive simplicity. The simple mysticism
of Francis, his frank joyousness and cheerfulness, despite his constant
perils and rigid asceticism, his strange and forcible preaching, and his
utter indifference to all worldly power and influence, won an absolute
mastery over men’s hearts. He was not a man of learning: he was a simple
deacon, who never aspired to the priesthood: he was no organiser, and
had an absolute horror of the political forces that kept the Church so
absorbed in worldly cares. [Sidenote: The Rule of 1223.] The growing
support of great churchmen, the powerful favour of the zealous Cardinal
Ugolino, the future Gregory IX., the establishment of a fixed rule for
the order by Honorius III. in 1223, were evidence of the spread of the
founder’s ideas. Yet they gave Francis as much anxiety as satisfaction.
They involved the danger lest the simple gospel of love should be
overshadowed by formalism and officialism, lest the doctrine of absolute
poverty should be interpreted so as to become a snare to the brethren as
it had been to the older orders of monks. [Sidenote: Antagonistic
tendencies within the Franciscan Order.] The gentle saint retired to his
favourite chapels and shrines near Assisi, leaving to the energetic and
strenuous Elias of Cortona the uncongenial but necessary task of
organising the new society. Francis died in 1226, full of trouble as to
the future, and solemnly warning the brethren to add no glosses or
amplifications to the absolute simplicity of the rule which he had
prescribed for them. Two years later Gregory IX. made him a saint, and
laid the foundation of the great church at Assisi, where the art of
Giotto was later to commemorate his glories. But the absorption of the
Franciscan spirit to the service of the hierarchy had robbed it of much
that was most beautiful and characteristic. Later divisions within the
order long bore witness that the literal doctrines of the Testament of
St. Francis were still cherished by his more faithful followers. But a
great world-wide order could not be controlled by a few pious
aspirations and general exhortations to poverty. The work of Gregory and
of Elias was as necessary as the life and character of the founder
himself, if the Franciscan order were to maintain the place which it had
begun to fill in the life of the thirteenth century.

[Sidenote: St. Dominic, 1170–1221.]

Even before Francis had begun to preach poverty and good works to the
scattered towns and villages of central Italy, Dominic de Guzman had
begun his parallel but yet strangely different career. The son of a
mighty Castilian house, a man of learning, zeal, and fiery orthodoxy,
Dominic had become a regular canon of the cathedral chapter of Osma,
near which town he was born in 1170. The Premonstratensian ideal of
living like a monk and working like a clerk was never more fully
realised than by this young Spanish canon. Called almost by accident to
Languedoc, he resolved to devote his life to the winning over of the
Albigensian heretics to orthodoxy. Protected by the bishop of Toulouse,
he settled down in a house in that city, where he soon gathered around
himself a band of like-minded followers. He remained there during all
the storms of the Albigensian wars, and his little society flourished so
much that he sought to obtain for himself and his sixteen companions
recognition from the Pope as a new religious order specially devoted to
the conversion of heretics. But the decision of the Lateran Council of
1215 against the establishment of new orders stood in their way, and
Innocent III., though sympathetic, was contented to recommend them to
affiliate themselves to one of the recognised regular fraternities.
[Sidenote: The Preaching Brothers of Toulouse, 1216.] Of these,
Dominic’s own ‘rule of St. Austin’ best expressed his ideals, and in
1216 Honorius III. confirmed the adoption by the ‘Preaching Brothers of
St. Romanus of Toulouse’ of a modification of the Premonstratensian
rule. The first four years of the young brotherhood were full of
success. Affiliated communities sprang up in Spain, in Italy, and in
northern France, where the famous convent of the Jacobins was set up at
Paris on the south of the Seine, hard by the Orleans gate. In Rome
Dominic found a warm welcome and an establishment within the papal
palace, along with the pastoral care of the numerous courtiers and
domestics of the pontiff. Cardinal Ugolino was as zealous for Dominic as
for the Poor Man of Assisi, and was perhaps the means through which the
Spanish canon made the personal acquaintance of St. Francis. The result
of this intercourse was that Dominic was strongly impressed with the
holiness and beauty of the Franciscan cult of poverty, and resolved that
his order also should tread in the footsteps of Christ and the Apostles
after the method set forth by the Franciscans. [Sidenote: The Order of
Preachers becomes a Mendicant Order, 1220.] In 1220 the Order of
Preachers, as it was now called, took its final form by adopting the
doctrine of absolute corporate poverty as well as the life of mendicancy
which had become usual with the Franciscans. Dominic then went to
Bologna, to seek from the doctors there new support against the
heretics. In 1221 he died, and was buried at the house of his order in
that city. In 1234 Gregory raised him to the list of saints. Long before
this his followers were spread all over Europe, rivalling in zeal and
energy the Franciscans themselves. The Preaching Friars were called
Dominicans from their founder, while their plain but effective garb of a
short black cape, over a long white frock, led to their popular name of
the Black Friars.

[Sidenote: The Mendicant Ideal.]

The ideals of Francis and Dominic were widely different, but the methods
they adopted to secure them were almost identical. The man of
inspiration and love had won over the man of authority and order to his
ideal of absolute poverty; and Franciscans and Dominicans alike agreed
so to interpret the monastic vow of poverty that corporate as well as
individual possessions were utterly renounced. The early Franciscans had
neither houses nor churches. The Dominicans, faithful to their
Augustinian traditions, did not push the principles of St. Francis so
far as this, but contented themselves with ordaining that the houses of
the order should be simple, modest, and of lowly dimensions, and that
all ornaments should be reserved for their churches. Gradually, as the
spirit of Elias prevailed over the spirit of Francis, the Minorites also
had houses and churches of their own, and with the establishment of a
systematic conventual life, the isolated brother, working with his hands
for his bread, or depending, in his pious wanderings, on passing
charity, was replaced by an ordered band of Mendicant Friars, members of
a world wide order, controlled by an almost military discipline that
found its expression in the autocracy of the General of the order, and
in the annual assembling of a General Chapter, such as the Lateran
Council had imposed on all conditions of religious. Thus the Mendicants
pushed to further results the great principles of monastic reformation
which had already been worked out in the twelfth century. The world-wide
organisation and simplicity of life came from the Cistercians, and the
vindication of the freedom of the individual as against the excesses of
the cœnobitic ideal had belonged to the Carthusians. The combination of
the ‘religious’ life and the work of the ministry characterised the
Regular Canons. But the doctrine of absolute Poverty was all their own,
and calculated to save them from the dangers before which the new orders
had succumbed. The mysticism and love of the poor which had
characterised Francis left an enduring impression on his followers. No
less strong was the spirit of reasoned orthodoxy and the zeal for
popular preaching against heresy which adhered to the Order of Preachers
long after its founder had passed away. Francis aimed at the heart,
while Dominic appealed to the intellect, but the work of both
communities was social and evangelistic, and even when they most
differed in spirit they constantly overlapped each other in their
labours. Their convents were soon established in every part of
Christendom, and exercised the profoundest influence on every section of
the community.

So striking was the attraction of the Mendicant ideal that many other
attempts were made, besides those of Francis and Dominic, to embody its
principles. Even in the lifetime of the Poor Man of Assisi, his
influence had gone beyond his own immediate band of followers.
[Sidenote: Other Mendicant Orders.] So far back as 1212 the spirit of
Francis had driven Clara Scifi, a knight’s daughter in Assisi, to settle
down by the little chapel of St. Damian with a band of followers,
pledged to a poverty as absolute and a self-renunciation as complete as
that of the Minorites themselves. [Sidenote: St. Clare and the
Claresses.] If Cardinal Ugolino for a time imposed on these ‘poor
ladies’ a rigid form of the rule of Benedictine nuns, the earnest wish
of Francis himself procured from Honorius III., in 1224, the approval of
a plan of life by which the community was to adopt the principle of
absolute poverty (save in respect to cloister and garden), depend for
support upon freewill offerings, and promise special obedience to the
Pope, brother Francis, and their successors. The ‘Claresses’ or ‘Poor
Clares’ soon became numerous and did for the religious life of women
what St. Francis did for regular communities of men. A more sweeping
innovation was the establishment by St. Francis himself of lay
brotherhoods of penitents, affiliated to the Mendicant orders, and
living ordered and religious lives, yet untrammelled by vows and, unlike
the _conversi_ of earlier reforms, continuing in the exercise of their
worldly professions. [Sidenote: The Tertiaries.] In 1230 Gregory IX.
formally founded these communities as ‘brethren of the third order of
St. Francis.’ Similar societies of ‘Tertiaries’ were also affiliated to
the Dominicans. By their means the Mendicant ideal was still further
spread, and the great framework of affiliated societies established
which so closely connected the new orders with the religious life of the
time, and broke down the ancient breach between ‘religion’ and the
‘world.’ [Sidenote: The Carmelites.] Moreover, after the triumph of the
Franciscans and Dominicans, other Mendicant Orders were set up, and some
older brotherhoods brought into the Mendicant fold. Among the latter
were the communities of hermits on Mount Carmel, which in 1219 were
constituted by the Patriarch of Jerusalem as the Hermit Friars of Mount
Carmel, and received from Innocent IV. the stamp of a Mendicant order.
The white garb of the Carmelites gave them the popular name of the White
Friars. [Sidenote: The Austin Friars.] In 1250 Alexander IV. created the
Austin Friars out of several societies of Italian hermits, to whom he
prescribed a common rule and the Mendicant ideal. Carmelites and Austin
Friars took up a strong position all over Europe, almost vying with
Minorites and Preachers, and constituting with them the Four Orders of
Friars. Other mendicant societies, such as that of the Friars of the
Sack, were also set up, but in 1274 the second Council of Lyons
abolished all but the four recognised orders and forbade the formation
of new ones. [Sidenote: The Servites.] Nevertheless, the Servite Friars,
an offshoot of the rule of St. Augustine, received a separate
establishment before the end of the century.

[Sidenote: The Work of the Mendicants.]

The Mendicants of the thirteenth century worked out to the fullest
result the ideal of St. Augustine of combining the life of a monk with
the work of a clerk, and thus stand in the strongest contrast to the
older contemplative orders, who sought seclusion from the world and
eschewed even the care of souls as a worldly occupation. If, despite
this self-imposed limitation, the earlier orders had been enabled to
play so large a part in the religious life of the times of their
foundation and early fervour, it is easy to see how much more complete
and permanent was the influence of bodies of self-devoted men pledged to
redeem their own souls by working out the salvation of others. Through
their labours the ascetic and hierarchic ideals of the Church
penetrated, as they had never penetrated before, into every rank and
every region of the Christian commonwealth. [Sidenote: Preaching.]
Popular preaching assumed a new importance now that specialists trained
to devote their lives to pulpit oratory supplemented the rude and
occasional efforts of the ill-educated parish priests, and the still
more occasional appearances of the dignified clergy as teachers of the
people. Preaching was naturally the first care of the followers of
Dominic, whose official name was the Order of Preachers, and among whose
doctors one at least maintained that preaching was more important for
the people than the Mass itself. But, even from the beginning, the
Minorites were almost as much devoted to this work as the Black Friars
themselves. [Sidenote: Contrast between Franciscan and Dominican
Preaching.] While Dominican preaching tended to be grave, learned, and
argumentative, the Grey Friars rather affected the simple,
straightforward, emotional methods of address, through which St. Francis
himself had gone straight to the hearts of his hearers. These qualities
were strongly illustrated by the career of St. Anthony of Padua (_d._
1231), a native of Lisbon and an Austin canon, who, like St. Dominic,
preached with great effect in Languedoc, and, attaching himself to St.
Francis and Poverty, became the most popular of the early Minorite
orators, and died in 1231 at Padua, in the enjoyment of a unique
reputation for his eloquence and miraculous powers. The best side of the
Mendicant gospel was impressed on Germany and the East by the wonderful
preaching of another Minorite, Berthold of Ratisbon (_d._ 1272), whose
still surviving German sermons are striking illustrations of the depth
and force of the new teaching. Nor did the Order of Preachers neglect
the more popular side of its special work. Its greatest intellect, St.
Thomas of Aquino, was not only the famous doctor of the schools but a
practical preacher to the people in the Italian vernacular. [Sidenote:
Religious Poetry.] Not less effective and more permanent than their
sermons was the religious poetry inspired by the Mendicants, and
especially by the Franciscans, both in the vulgar tongues and in Latin.
St. Francis’ own famous Song of the Sun struck a chord that was
re-echoed in the hearts of his followers. To his biographer, Thomas of
Celano, is commonly ascribed the most majestic of mediæval Latin hymns,
the _Dies Iræ_. The pathetic _Stabat Mater Dolorosa_ is, with less
certainty, attributed to Jacopone da Todi, a Grey Friar of the latter
part of the century, whose vernacular poems express not only the mystic
piety of St. Francis but the fierce glow of indignation of the
Fraticelli against the worldliness of the hierarchy.

[Sidenote: Pastoral care.]

The pastoral work of the Mendicants among the people was the chief means
by which they established that profound hold over the mind of Europe
that, despite many corruptions, they retained until the Reformation. The
parish clergy were ignorant and lax, and tended in too many cases to
limit themselves to the perfunctory discharge of the routine duties of
their office. A new state of things began when the zeal of Gregory IX.
assured for both Franciscans and Dominicans the right to preach and hear
confessions over all Christendom. Despite the natural but violent
opposition which both the seculars and the older orders offered to their
pushing rivals, the Friars soon won by their devotion, their skill, and
their sympathy a unique place among the religious teachers of Europe.
They chose as their favourite abodes the noisome suburbs where the
poorest were huddled together outside the bounds of municipal authority
or care. They lived among the sick, the suffering, and the lepers.
Poorer than the poorest, they inspired no envy, but shared the lot of
those among whom they lived and worked. They set no rigid limits to
their activity. Their care for the sick led them to the study of
medicine, while their sympathy with the oppressed made them the natural
spokesmen of the cause of popular rights. A nameless Franciscan
formulated the English baronial policy in the Song of Lewes. Yet kings
like St. Louis or Edward I. chose Friars as their confessors, and their
power was as great among the highest as the lowest. Great churches grew
up in every city of Europe for each of the four orders of Friars, and
were thronged by earnest and zealous congregations. It became a
cherished privilege to be allowed burial within their precincts. The
extraordinary popularity of the Mendicants soon brought dangers in its
train. Their churches became more splendid and adorned with the fairest
works of art. [Sidenote: The extent of Mendicant influence.] Wealth
flowed towards them, and this, though at first they held it in trust for
the poor, they soon began to regard as virtually their own, with the
result that, particularly among the Franciscans, there was a continued
feud as to whether the rule of absolute poverty was to be rigidly or
laxly interpreted. Long before the danger of wealth had begun, the more
subtle temptations of power had exercised their sway. In direct
contradiction to the teachings of St. Francis, Mendicants accepted high
places in the Church, and became bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and
popes. Flushed with the pride of their devotion, they laid their hands
on all that they could reach. They called the Benedictines proud
epicureans, the Canons little better than laymen, and the Cistercians
rude rustics. ‘None of the faithful,’ lamented the Benedictine Matthew
Paris, ‘now believe that they can be saved unless they are under the
direction of the Preachers or the Minorites.’ Innocent IV. sought to
withstand their growing influence by refusing to allow them to exercise
the cure of souls in parishes without the permission of the parish
priest, and directed that they should hand over to the same authority a
share of the gifts made to them by the faithful who had bought the right
of burial in the friars’ churches. But on Innocent’s death—hastened, as
it was believed, by the prayers of the Mendicants—Alexander IV. reversed
his legislation and left the new orders triumphant. With all their
feverish grasping after power, they used it with more sense of
responsibility than most of their rivals. A real revival of religion
followed everywhere upon their work, and was manifested not only in
formal acts, in heaping wealth upon ecclesiastics, and in an extension
of the power of the Church, but in works of piety and justice,
generosity and mercy, that were all too few in the rude Middle Ages.

[Sidenote: The Mendicants and the Inquisition.]

The Mendicant Orders were everywhere the champions of papal authority,
rigid hierarchical pretensions, and uncompromising orthodoxy. Both
Franciscans and Dominicans were intrusted with the administration of the
Papal Inquisition which Gregory IX. had established, and did not scruple
to hand over to the secular arm the relapsed or unrepentant heretic. But
they were not merely persecutors. They were unwearied in their missions
to the heretic as well as in those to the heathen and the infidel, and
it was now an easier task to deal with popular heresy, since it yielded
even more readily to the preaching of the Friars than to the terrors of
the Inquisition. The intellectual heresies of the schools, and the
vaguer unrestfulness that saw no permanent satisfaction in the
traditional teachings, were harder to deal with. Yet even against these
the Mendicants waged a long contest, which did not end until they had
wrested scholastic philosophy and the new Aristotle to serve as chief
buttresses to the authority of the Church.

[Sidenote: The Friars and the Universities.]

The special mission of the Order of Preachers made it from the first a
great centre of theological study. St. Dominic settled down in Bologna
because of its schools, and his death and burial there gave the place an
enduring sanctity to his faithful followers. In 1221, the year of the
founders death, the Dominican Convent of St. James was established at
Paris, and very soon made itself a separate and exclusive school of
rigidly orthodox theology, without any great care being taken to
co-ordinate its teaching and system with those of the public regents of
the university. Doctors of great reputation attached themselves to the
order, and before long a regular succession of friar-doctors, trained
within the convent, set up a definite type of Mendicant theological
teaching. The Franciscans were not slow in following the example of the
Preachers. Though Francis himself had no learning and few speculative
interests, his teaching had never been more effective than among the
proud doctors of Bologna, and the spirit of Elias and Ugolino, no less
than the necessities of the time and the desire to rival the Preachers,
turned even the earlier followers of the saint to theological study.
With the establishment of St. Anthony, Francis’ close friend, at Padua,
where a great university was just being formed by a secession from
Bologna, the Minorites enter eagerly on the course marked out by St.
Dominic. If Francis inspired Dominic with the worship of poverty,
Dominic supplied the followers of Francis with his zeal for theology.
Within a year of the foundation of the Jacobin convent, four years
before St. Francis’ death, the English theologian, Alexander of Hales,
who was then teaching with great applause at Paris, entered the Minorite
fold, and was celebrated as the ‘first Paris doctor of the Franciscan
religion.’ Before long he resumed his teaching, and henceforth the
Parisian convent of the Franciscans was only second to the Dominican
cloister in its intellectual activity. [Sidenote: The struggle between
Mendicants and Seculars at Paris.] Within thirty years the Mendicant
schools of theology had taken up so overwhelming a position in Paris,
and so ostentatiously kept aloof from all the ordinary regulations and
traditions of the university, that a vigorous attack was made upon them
by the secular masters. In 1252 the university required the Friars to
take an oath of obedience to its statutes, and, on their refusal,
expelled them from its fellowship. A fierce and long struggle followed,
in which the chief secular champion, William of Saint-Amour, wrote a
book called _The Perils of the Last Times_, which violently attacked the
Mendicants and their ideals. The seculars availed themselves of the
notorious splits within their enemies’ ranks, and regarding the orders
as a whole as responsible for the extremer members of one society,
signalled out for attack as heretical an ‘Introduction to the Eternal
Gospel,’ in which an Italian Franciscan gave currency to the apocalyptic
ideas of the abbot Joachim. The disfavour of Innocent IV. to the Friars
increased their difficulties, though they had strong supporters in St.
Louis and his brothers. At last Alexander IV. cleared the way for their
return, and condemned William’s book as scandalous though not heretical.
Restored to their chairs in 1255, the Mendicant doctors were contented
to abate some of their extreme pretensions. Finally, they decided to
accept the oath to the statutes and recognise their responsibilities as
members of the corporation of masters. Their doctors were now in so
commanding a position that they had no longer reason to desire such
exceptional privileges as in the days of their weakness. [Sidenote: The
Mendicants’ victory.] South of the Alps the Mendicant theologians
acquired what there was no chance of their ever getting in the northern
universities, a practical monopoly of the teaching of theology.
Everywhere the tone of the theological schools was attuned to their
teaching. Philosophy was made orthodox, and the most brilliant and
fruitful period of scholasticism followed when the ranks of the Friars
produced the greatest of the mediæval philosophers and theologians.

[Sidenote: The Great Mendicant Scholastics.]

Alexander of Hales (_d._ 1245), the first Franciscan doctor at Paris,
began in his _Summa Theologiæ_, which weighed, said an enemy, as much as
a horse, the series of the systematic Mendicant scholastics, and was
celebrated as the monarch of theologians and the irrefragable doctor.
The first of the great Dominicans was Albertus Magnus (_d._ 1280), a
German, who as doctor at Paris, chief of the Dominican school at
Cologne, Provincial of his order in Germany, and bishop of Ratisbon,
exercised a profound influence and became known as the universal doctor.
[Sidenote: Albertus Magnus.] Albert’s pupil, Thomas of Aquino
(1225–1274), represents the culminating point of scholastic theology.
[Sidenote: Thomas Aquinas.] A son of an illustrious Neapolitan house,
Thomas renounced the brilliant worldly career promised by his influence
and abilities, and entered a Dominican convent. He studied under Albert
at Paris, where he acquired a unique reputation. Called back to Italy by
Urban IV., he gave a momentary lustre to the struggling university at
Naples, which Charles of Anjou had restored. He died in 1274, on his way
to the Council of Lyons. Short as was his life, he was not only the most
authoritative but the most voluminous of the schoolmen. His _Summa
Theologiæ_ represents the most complete accommodation of Aristotelian
doctrine with Catholic orthodoxy, and has profoundly influenced all
later ecclesiastical teaching. His political and ethical writings no
less faithfully represent the Peripatetic tradition. [Sidenote:
Bonaventura.] His friend, the Italian Franciscan Bonaventura (_d._
1274), a pupil of Alexander of Hales, gave a scholarly form to the
mysticism of the Minorites. Other paths of learning were trodden by
writers such as Hugh of Saint-Cher, the chief of the mediæval expositors
of Scripture, while the physical speculations and the advocacy of
experimental methods by the English Franciscan, Roger Bacon (_d._ 1294),
were the most promising results of that contact with nature to which the
pursuit of medicine had led the Minorite order. [Sidenote: Roger Bacon.]
Even in their studies the distinct individual impression of the two
rival communities was preserved, but they so far worked in common that
they had won for the Church the absolute command of the whole field of
learning. With the death of Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventura in 1274 the
most fruitful period of their activity came to an end.

[Sidenote: The triumph of the Schoolmen.]

Thus the Studium, which might have rivalled the Sacerdotium, became its
most strenuous ally, and the little band of mediæval scholars, who had
enough faith and character to tear themselves away from bread-winning
studies and all-engrossing professions found their highest satisfaction
in justifying the ways of the Church. Before the end of the century the
Empire had fallen from its ancient dignity, and within a generation the
Papacy itself succumbed to the rough measures of a royal conqueror. But
though the Empire might decline and the Papacy itself wane, the command
which the Church had acquired of the world of thought and learning
remained but little broken until the dawn of the Renascence, and kept
alive the papal idea when the popes were captive in a foreign land, and
when, through a still more lamentable decline, rival pontiffs at Rome
and Avignon disputed the allegiance of Europe and prostituted their
dignity by the violence of their brawls. The Studium survived the
Regnum, and sustained with its authority the declining might of the
Sacerdotium, thus allowing mediæval ideas to remain longer in currency,
even when the political and hierarchical system which had engendered
them was no longer supreme and triumphant. It is significant that the
chief seat of this newly-won power of the mind was at Paris, the one
great national capital of the strongest of the national states that had
arisen on the ruins of Feudalism and the Empire. But the national
principles of the king and his knights and clerks in the Cité were in
strange contrast to the fundamental ideas of the cosmopolitan doctors of
the university. [Sidenote: Paris and France.] Yet both the physical
forces which kings can wield and the intellectual influence of teachers
and thinkers united to show that France had become the centre of all the
chief European movements. In her vernacular literature, more strenuous,
copious, robust and varied than that of any other nation, France was
showing how in due course a new national culture might supersede the
international universal culture of the mediæval schools. No less
permanent was her influence on social ideas, on manners, on art, on
knightly action and on civic life. It is significant that Brunetto
Latini, the master of Dante, wrote his chief work in French, because
‘the French tongue is the most delectable and the most common to all
peoples.’ Even in a land like England, at a time when the national
sentiment was becoming strongly anti-French, the French tongue, art,
manners and ideals became more profoundly influential than at the time
when the island was the province of a French duke. So thorough an
Englishman as Matthew Paris called the French monarch the king of
earthly kings.[39]

                              CHAPTER XIX

  Characteristics of the Thirteenth-Century Crusades—Innocent III. and
    the Crusades—The Children’s Crusade—The State of the Latin
    Kingdom—The Fifth Crusade—Andrew of Hungary—John of Brienne and the
    Siege of Damietta—Crusade of Frederick II. and the Recovery of
    Jerusalem—Crusades of Theobald of Navarre and Richard of
    Cornwall—The Charismians conquer Jerusalem—The Tartar Crisis—The
    Sixth Crusade—St. Louis in Egypt—Divisions of the Latin Kingdom—The
    Mamelukes and Bibars—Fall of Antioch—The Seventh Crusade—Death of
    St. Louis at Tunis—Crusade of Edward I.—The Fall of Acre and the end
    of the Crusades.

The terrible disappointment of the Fourth Crusade showed that the great
age of the Holy Wars was over. Yet the century that began with that
colossal failure has a place of its own in the history of the Crusades.
In no age was the need of new expeditions to the Holy Land more
constantly discussed or more commonly recognised. [Sidenote: The place
of the Thirteenth Century in the History of the Crusades.] Numerous
great Crusades were planned; many leading kings and princes took the
Cross; and never was Europe more systematically or regularly taxed to
defray the expenses of the projected movements. But very little positive
results flowed from all the talk and preparation. The very Crusaders
were not in earnest with their work, and few of those magnates who
signed themselves with the Cross put their whole energy into the
redemption of their vows. There were no longer the prospects of rich
estates or principalities to attract Crusaders of the baser sort. To
most the Crusade was a pious aspiration, or at best an incidental
pilgrimage. The great expeditions never came off. St. Louis alone
represented the ancient ardour, but the most successful Crusader was the
sceptical and self-willed Frederick II. There was no thirteenth-century
St. Bernard to direct the enthusiasm of Christendom. It was
characteristic that St. Francis went to Egypt not to fight the Sultan
but to reason with him, and that his disciple Roger Bacon questioned
altogether the utility of the movement. The holy war against the Moors
of Spain brought results that no longer flowed from the struggle in
Palestine. Hermann of Salza showed a true instinct when he transferred
the operations of his order from Syria to Prussia. Even the Popes began
to divert the crusading zeal of Europe to the so-called crusades against
heretics, and finally also against the political enemies of the Holy
See. Yet to all earnest minds of the century, to fight, pay, or pray for
the maintenance of the Latin East remained a Christian duty, while a
constant stream of pilgrims and frequent small crusading expeditions
kept alive for nearly the whole of the century the poor remnants of the
Catholic kingdom of Jerusalem.

[Sidenote: Innocent III. and the Crusades.]

Despite the failure of the Fourth Crusade, Innocent III. never lost
sight of the need of a more devoted and better-directed expedition that
would save the declining fortunes of Latin Syria. Yet he did but a
doubtful service for the crusading cause when he forced princes so
careless as John of England and Frederick of Sicily to pledge themselves
to the holy work. The enthusiasm for the Crusades was dying among the
mighty, but it still lived on in the hearts of the poor, and the strange
episodes known as the Crusade of the Children showed that the ignorant
and disordered zeal that had preceded the march of Godfrey of Boulogne
had still its representatives in the early thirteenth century.
[Sidenote: The Children’s Crusade, 1212.] A shepherd lad from the
neighbourhood of Vendôme, named Stephen, assembled a crowd of boys,
peasants, workmen and women, who made their way to Marseilles, and
prevailed upon two merchants to provide them with a passage to Syria;
but once embarked on the sea, the merchants sold them as slaves in
Egypt. Another swarm of German youths from the Lower Rhine made their
way to Brindisi, where the bishop wisely prevented them taking ship,
though very few ever managed to make their way back to their distant
homes.[41] The useless devotion of these swarms of children is said to
have provoked from Innocent III. the remark, ‘These children shame us.
While we are asleep, they march forth joyously to conquer the Holy
Land.’ He had good reason for his bitterness. Despite all his efforts,
no Crusade had been actually started at the moment of his death. Three
kings, however, had taken the Cross, and the Lateran Council fixed June
1217 as the moment of their departure for the East.

[Sidenote: Fifth Crusade, 1217.]

The death of John and the calculated delays of Frederick II. left Andrew
of Hungary the only reigning king who started in 1217 for what is
generally called the Fifth Crusade. Andrew was a hot-headed and
chivalrous prince, who, abandoning the administration of his kingdom to
the great lords who were breaking down the central power, sought in
foreign adventures the career that was denied him at home. [Sidenote:
Andrew of Hungary.] Embarking with a small army, mainly German and
Hungarian, at Spalato, he took ship for Acre, where he found the Latin
East in an exceptional state of confusion. The northern principality of
Antioch had been wasting its resources in a long and devastating war
with the Christian kings of Armenia, while famine, pestilence, and
earthquake complicated the difficulties in which a rapid succession of
weak rulers had plunged the kingdom of Jerusalem. [Sidenote: State of
the Latin Kingdom, 1197–1210.] Luckily the division of the dominions of
Saladin among his sons and other kinsmen broke up the unity of Islam and
saved the Latins from any real disaster, while the constant flow of
small expeditions, the scanty outcome of the great efforts of Henry VI.
and Innocent III., still enabled the Latins to carry on the struggle.
Henry of Champagne, whom Richard of England had left King of Jerusalem,
was accidentally slain in 1197. His widow Isabella, through whom he held
his right to rule, chose a new husband in Amalric of Lusignan, the
representative of the rival house that Richard had established in
Cyprus, who was now crowned as King Amalric II., and reigned vigorously
and successfully until his death in 1205. His infant son, who thus
became Amalric III., died, as did his mother Isabella, before the year
was out. Hugh, Amalric II.’s son by a former wife, now became King of
Cyprus, while Isabella’s eldest daughter by Conrad of Montferrat
succeeded as Queen Mary of Jerusalem. Both princes were children, but a
regent and husband was soon found for Mary by Philip Augustus. This was
John of Brienne, a warrior of great experience and energy, though of
slender resources. He reached Acre in 1210, and was then crowned
together with Mary. Too weak to embark on an adventurous policy, John
made a truce with the Saracens, and patiently waited until the expected
Crusaders came. But the arrival of Andrew did not afford the hoped-for
relief. Though a considerable army was collected, and the King of
Armenia joined the Western Crusaders at Acre, the Christians were not
able to force the Saracens to engage in battle, and the kings of Hungary
and Armenia soon went home disgusted.

[Sidenote: John of Brienne and the Siege of Damietta, 1218–1219.]

The autumn passage brought many new Crusaders to Acre, and in 1218 John
of Brienne prevailed upon his Western allies to take ship for Damietta,
hoping thus to attack the Sultan of Egypt near the very centre of his
power. At first fortune smiled upon their arms. Damietta was closely
besieged, and a strong tower commanding the passage of the Nile was
occupied, though the city still held out. The siege was carried on
vigorously all through the winter, and many additional Crusaders joined
the besieging army, conspicuous among them being the papal legate,
Pelagius, who took the supreme command, and a band of English warriors,
including Robert Fitzwalter and the Earls of Winchester, Arundel, and
Chester. The Christians suffered severely from flood, pestilence, and
famine, but at last, on 5th November 1219, Damietta was taken by a
sudden assault. The fall of Damietta spread joy throughout Christendom
and consternation all over the Mohammedan world. But the Christians
quarrelled fiercely over the partition of the spoils, and John de
Brienne, indignant at the assumption of Pelagius, withdrew to Syria.
Saladin’s nephew, El-Kamil, who now became Sultan of Egypt, profited by
their slowness to build a new fortress, Mansourah, to block their
invasion of the interior of Egypt. Nevertheless, the fear of the
Christians was so great that the Sultan offered to yield up Jerusalem
itself, if the Crusaders would but restore Damietta. But the Latins
expected great things from the projected Crusade of Frederick II., and
rejected his proposals. At last, in the summer of 1221, Pelagius
advanced against Cairo, having persuaded John de Brienne to come back to
his assistance. The expedition was a disastrous failure. The Egyptians
flooded the country, and the invaders were soon prevented either from
advancing or retreating, and were, moreover, threatened with starvation.
John de Brienne prevailed upon the Sultan to allow the army to retire
unmolested, on condition of Damietta being restored and a long truce
granted. Thus the enterprise, from which so much had been hoped, ended
in disastrous failure, and the Latin East remained in a worse plight
than ever.

[Sidenote: Crusade of Frederick II., 1227–1229.]

John de Brienne wandered through Europe imploring help for his kingdom.
By his marriage of his daughter Iolande to Frederick II., he gave the
hesitating Emperor a new motive for fulfilling his vow; but a rupture
soon broke out between them, and, though Frederick claimed the kingdom
on his wife’s account, his father-in-law disappeared from the history of
Syria, finding fresh fields for adventure in commanding the papal troops
in Apulia, and dying in 1237 as regent of the Latin Emperor of
Constantinople (see pages 353 and 369). At last Frederick II. went, as
we have seen, on his long-deferred Crusade (see page 368). Despite the
ban of the Church he obtained a large measure of success, and the treaty
of 1229 restored Jerusalem to the Christians, after it had been for more
than forty years in the hands of the Infidel. It was the last real
triumph of the Crusades.

Frederick had done a great service to Christendom in recovering
Jerusalem, but his attempt to govern the Latin kingdom of Syria as a
non-resident sovereign involved the land in fresh disasters. The Syrian
lords revolted against the governors of the Emperor, and the continued
disfavour of the Church extended with disastrous results the strife of
Papacy and Empire into a region where the absolute union of all the
Westerns was the essential condition of the maintenance of the Christian
cause. [Sidenote: Decline of the Ayoubite Power.] Fortunately, the
divisions of Islam saved the Syrian monarchy from any immediate danger,
especially after El-Kamil’s death in 1238, when there was again a
general scramble for power among the numerous Ayoubite chieftains.
Moreover, a constant stream of Crusaders still flowed to the East, and
occasionally regular expeditions were successfully organised.
Conspicuous among these latter was the Crusade of 1239, which Gregory
IX. had proclaimed, and then sought to divert, because of his renewed
quarrel with the Emperor. [Sidenote: Crusades of Theobald of Navarre
(1239) and Richard of Cornwall (1240).] Regardless of the Pope’s advice,
a numerous band of French nobles, headed by Theobald the Great, Count of
Champagne and King of Navarre, and including Amalric of Montfort, the
former Count of Toulouse, set sail for Acre. In 1240 an English Crusade
appeared in Palestine, commanded by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, the
future King of the Romans, who was joined by his brother-in-law,
Amalric’s famous brother, Simon, Earl of Leicester. But the King of
Navarre had been beaten and had gone home disgusted before the
Englishmen had arrived, and Richard, whose name and the fame of his
uncle King Richard had excited the liveliest expectations, was able to
do little more than make a treaty which secured the freedom of the
captives. The fierce feuds of Templars and Hospitallers, and the renewed
quarrel of Pope and Emperor, further increased the difficulties of the
English prince. The rival attractions of an alliance either with
Damascus or Egypt caused violent partisanships among those pledged to
general war against the Infidel, while Richard was looked upon with much
suspicion by the hierarchical party because he persisted in regarding
Frederick II. or his son Conrad as lawful King of Jerusalem.

[Sidenote: The Charismians and the Tartars.]

The great Mongol power was already disturbing all Asia. About 1220 the
Charismians, a Turkish race that had established itself to the south of
the sea of Aral, and had finally reduced all Persia to subjection, were
overwhelmed by the hosts of Genghiz Khan. The survivors of the disaster
were driven into exile, and forced to earn their bread as the
mercenaries of any Eastern prince who could pay for them. Es-Saleh
Ayoub, El-Kamil’s eldest son, the lord of Damascus, had been so hard
pressed by his Christian and Mohammedan enemies that he took some of
these fierce hordes into his service. In 1244 they suddenly swooped down
on Jerusalem, and captured it, brutally murdering all its inhabitants.
[Sidenote: The Charismian Conquest of Jerusalem, 1244.] Christians and
Mohammedans united against the savage Charismians, and provoked them to
battle at Gaza. But the Saracens fled early in the fight, leaving the
Christians to struggle alone against a superior enemy. The result was
the annihilation of the crusading host and the practical end of the
Latin Kingdom. Henceforth the Christians were reduced, as after 1187, to
a few sea-coast cities. But the fall of Jerusalem now stirred up no such
general ferment throughout Christendom as did its first reconquest by
the Saracens. The news arrived when Innocent IV. was fulminating his
final deposition against Frederick. The Crusade against the Emperor
seemed to all followers of the papal teaching a more pressing necessity
than the Crusade against Islam. Under such circumstances, the
proclamation of a new Crusade at the Council of Lyons could lead to no
real result. It was not by talk only that Jerusalem could be restored to
the Cross.

The spirit of a former age was not quite extinct, but the only great
prince who was still under its influence was the King of France. St.
Louis had long desired to go upon Crusade, and would gladly have
accompanied the King of Navarre in 1239. The state of his dominions was
now so satisfactory that he at last felt able to embark upon the
undertaking. [Sidenote: Sixth Crusade, 1248–1254.] After striving in
vain to make the Crusade general by uniting Pope and Emperor, he saw
that the effort would have to be made by himself alone. In the summer of
1248 he embarked from Aigues Mortes and took ship to Cyprus, where
during the winter a large but almost exclusively French army of pilgrims
gathered together. Among the adventurers was the lord of Joinville, who
has in his _Life of St. Louis_ left an imperishable account of the

Egypt was still the chief seat of Ayoub’s power, and, as in 1218, it was
thought more profitable to attack Egypt than Palestine. Thus the Sixth
Crusade became almost a repetition of the Fifth. [Sidenote: St Louis in
Egypt, 1249–1251.] In the spring of 1249, the Christian host sailed from
Cyprus and landed near Damietta. They were luckier than John de Brienne
and Pelagius, for their arrival threw the Mussulman garrison into such
alarm that it withdrew in the night, and Damietta was occupied without
any difficulty. Precious time was now wasted waiting for Alfonse of
Poitiers, who at last arrived with reinforcements. The army was also
joined by William Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, and a band of
Englishmen. Hot disputes arose as to the method of carrying on the
campaign. The prudent were in favour of a gradual conquest of the
sea-coast, and advised a march on Alexandria. But Robert of Artois urged
a direct march on Cairo, and his opinion prevailed. In November 1249 the
Crusaders made their way inwards through the Delta, untaught by the
disasters of thirty years before. The result was a further repetition of
the blunders and ill-luck of Pelagius. The vast host marched from
Damietta and invested Mansourah, but their progress was made excessively
slow by the difficult nature of the country, cut up by broad canals and
arms of the Nile. The fatal rashness of Robert of Artois led a part of
the army to a premature attack, in which Robert was slain. Before long
the besiegers were themselves almost besieged. Wasted by heat and lack
of food, the Crusaders lost all heart, and finally a terrible epidemic
devastated the camp and completed their demoralisation. Louis at last
ordered a retirement on Damietta, but the Saracens threw themselves on
the retreating host. Louis fought valiantly at the post of danger in the
rear. He was before long taken prisoner, whereupon the whole army laid
down its arms. The mass of the captives was put to the sword, but Louis
and the great lords were ransomed, in consideration of an enormous
payment and the surrender of Damietta. The King on his release went on
pilgrimage to Palestine. He sent his brothers Alfonse and Charles back
to France, but himself abode for more than three years in the Holy Land,
labouring strenuously at restoring the Christian fortresses, and atoning
for his failure in Egypt by works of piety and self-sacrifice.
[Sidenote: St. Louis in Palestine, 1251–1254.] The Sultan of Damascus
offered him a safe-conduct to Jerusalem, but he refused to see the Holy
City since he could not rescue it from the hands of the enemies of the
faith. At last the death of his mother necessitated his return to France
(June 1254). He was the last Western king who led a great army to the

In the years after the return of Louis the Crusading State managed to
hold its own. The Tartars still pressed on Islam on the east, and it was
no time for the Saracens to make fresh conquests when their very
existence was in danger. Moreover, constant changes in the Mohammedan
world further limited its power of aggression. [Sidenote: The Rise of
the Mamelukes.] Es-Saleh died while St. Louis was in Egypt, whereupon in
1254 the Mameluke mercenaries finally destroyed the Ayoubite power, and,
inspired by their leader Bibars, the soul of the resistance to St.
Louis, set up sultans at their discretion and murdered them when they
were weary of them.

[Sidenote: Vicissitudes of the Latin Kingdom.]

It was small praise to the Franks themselves that the Crusading State
still continued. The fierce factions of the Latins grew worse than ever.
A line of bailiffs of the house of Ibelin ruled in the name of the
absentee Hohenstaufen, Henry, Conrad and Conradin. With the execution of
the latter, the house of Hohenstaufen became extinct, and the King of
Cyprus, Hugh III. of Lusignan, was crowned in 1269 as King of Jerusalem,
though his title was contested by his aunt, Mary of Antioch. His rule
was not strong enough to keep order, so that Templars and Hospitallers,
Pullani and emigrants, Venetians and Genoese, carried out their feuds
with little hindrance. Acre, the crusading capital, remained, despite
the disorder, a considerable commercial centre, and the trading
rivalries of the Italian cities were the most fruitful of all sources of
disorder. In 1258 a pitched battle between great fleets of Venetians and
Genoese was fought off the coast of Acre, in which the Genoese were so
severely beaten that they were obliged to abandon their quarter in the
capital and establish their factory at Tyre.

[Sidenote: The Tartar Crisis, 1258–1260.]

While this was going on, the contest of Saracen and Tartar reached its
height. In 1258 the Tartars took Bagdad and ended the nominal Caliphate.
Next year they appeared in Syria and captured Damascus. The Western
Christians hoped that the Tartars would root out Islam and then turn
Christian, but the Syrian Franks knew better. Though the Prince of
Antioch appeared as a suppliant in the Tartar camp, the barbarians soon
turned their arms against Acre. All that the Christians could hope for
was from the dissensions of their enemies. Even this did not avail them
long. In 1260 the Sultan Kutuz of Egypt defeated the Tartars at Ain
Talut. It was the Eastern counterpart of the victories of Conrad, and
equally decisive. The barbarians withdrew to the East, leaving Islam
again triumphant.

[Sidenote: The Sultan Bibars, 1260.]

Kutuz went back to Egypt, and was murdered by his Mameluke soldiers. The
time was now ripe for Bibars to mount his throne, and the former Turkman
slave and Mameluke captain soon proved himself the most dangerous enemy
that the Eastern Christians had seen since the death of Saladin. A stern
but just ruler of his own subjects, and a pious and ascetic Mussulman,
he was willingly obeyed by the Mohammedans of the Levant. A strenuous
warrior against the Christians, he was also statesman enough to seek
allies among the Christian states of Europe, whose friendship soon
proved as useful to him as the valour of his soldiers. In 1262 Bibars
began his attacks on the Latin Kingdom. Though town after town fell into
his hands, the Franks could not end their quarrels even in the face of
the enemy. In 1267 the Genoese waged war against Acre, now wholly given
over to the commerce of Venice. At that very time Bibars, having already
conquered the Templars’ stronghold of Safed, was devastating the country
about Acre. In the spring of 1268 he conquered Jaffa, and then, turning
his arms northwards, overran the principality of Antioch. [Sidenote:
Fall of Jaffa and Antioch, 1268.] Before the end of the year Antioch had
surrendered, after a disgracefully short resistance. The northern
crusading state was thus brought to an end, and once more Europe was
confronted with the imminent danger of the few remaining towns, like
Acre and Tripoli, that still resisted Bibars.

[Sidenote: Seventh Crusade, 1270.]

St. Louis again took the Cross, but even in France the crusading fever
was dying out, and Joinville himself refused to accompany the king on
his second adventure against Islam. Other sovereigns promised to follow
Louis’s example. James of Aragon actually embarked, but a tempest
shattered his ships, and he piously withdrew from an enterprise of
which, he argued, God had shown His disapproval. Edward of England did
not hesitate to leave his aged father to follow his uncle, the French
king, but his following was small, and his departure was delayed.
[Sidenote: St. Louis again takes the Cross.] But the worst was that the
host of St. Louis was no longer an army of pilgrims or enthusiasts, but
of highly paid mercenaries or of reluctant barons, whom duty to the king
alone withdrew from their homes. Even more fatal was the presence of
Charles of Anjou, established in Sicily since 1266, with whom Bibars had
established friendly relations, and who had striven hard to divert his
brother’s army from Egypt or Syria to a place where it would more
directly play the game of the house of Anjou. [Sidenote: The Crusade
diverted to Tunis.] His craft proved only too successful. He persuaded
Louis to direct his forces against Tunis, an ancient dependency of the
Norman kings of Sicily, whose sultans had always continued to pay
tribute to the Hohenstaufen, though they had refused it to their Angevin
supplanter. Accordingly St. Louis disembarked at Tunis, and took up his
quarters amidst the ruins of Carthage. He had hoped that the presence of
his army would frighten the enemy into yielding and accepting
Christianity, but he soon found himself blockaded in his camp.
[Sidenote: Its Failure. Death of St. Louis.] Plague followed the heats
of summer, and on 25th August St. Louis died. The new king, Philip the
Bold, who was in the camp, was almost forced by his barons to conclude a
truce by which the ancient tribute to the King of Sicily was promised
henceforth in double measure. The remnants of the host then went sadly
home, reverently conveying with them the remains of their dead monarch.

[Sidenote: Crusade of Edward of England, 1270–1272.]

Edward of England appeared off Tunis after the truce had been signed. He
indignantly refused to be bound by the disgraceful accommodation, and
sailed with his little fleet of thirteen ships to Acre, where his energy
infused a little life into the resistance of the Latins. Even there the
subtle influence of Charles of Anjou made itself felt. He offered his
mediation with Bibars, and the dispirited Syrian Franks could not refuse
the chance of enjoying a short period of rest. As at Carthage, Edward
contemptuously held aloof, but the truce was signed, and the Sultan
sought to assassinate the last champion of resistance. The attempt
failed, and as soon as his wounds were cured, Edward went home to claim
his kingdom. A companion of his pilgrimage to Acre, Theobald of Liége,
now became Pope Gregory X., and strove once more to preach a great
Crusade. [Sidenote: The Second Council of Lyons and the failure to
revive the Crusades, 1274.] At the Council of Lyons of 1274, which saw
the temporary union of the Greek and Latin Churches, the whole Western
Church was called upon to contribute a tenth of its revenues for six
years to equip the new Crusade. The Holy War was preached all over
Christendom, but the appeal fell on deaf ears. Gregory soon died, and
his successors allowed the kings of Europe to lay hands on the sacred
treasure, a power which Edward I. himself did not scruple to exercise.
The hopes of a new rising of Christendom became fainter and fainter as
years rolled on and nothing was done. The hollow union of Orthodox and
Catholic soon came to an end. The death of Bibars rather than the arms
of the Westerns still kept alive the remnants of the Latin East.
[Sidenote: End of the Latin Kingdom, 1291.] At last Islam descended upon
its prey. In 1289 Tripoli fell, and in 1291 Acre itself surrendered.
Henceforth the Latin East was only represented by the power of the
Lusignans in Cyprus, and by the Hospitallers’ stronghold of Rhodes. The
crusading impulse still survived among a few enthusiasts: but with its
decay as a real force over the minds of men the noblest period of the
Middle Ages was at an end. Yet the Crusaders had not died in vain. With
all their violence and fanaticism, they had afforded Europe the most
striking embodiment of the universal monarchy of the Church. They had
made a long and valiant effort to stem the tide of Eastern fury, and
their long resistance lessened and lightened the shock of its impact.
Had they succeeded permanently the Eastern Mediterranean would have been
saved from the horrors of Turkish rule, and the Cross might never have
yielded to the Crescent on the shores of the Bosporus.

                               CHAPTER XX
                   THE GROWTH OF CHRISTIAN SPAIN[42]

  Characteristics of Spanish History—The Caliphate of Cordova and its
    decline—The Christian States—Navarre under Sancho the
    Great—Beginning of the Christian advance—Alfonso VI. and the
    Conquest of Toledo—The Cid—The Almoravides and the Battle of
    Zallaca—The Divisions of Islam—Rivalry of Almoravides and
    Almohades—Alfonso I. and the Rise of Aragon—Affonso Henriquez and
    the Capture of Lisbon—Triumph of the Almohades—Innocent III. and the
    Spanish Crusades—Las Navas de Tolosa—James I. of Aragon and St.
    Ferdinand of Castile—Completion of the Reconquest—Organisation of
    Christian Spain—Peter of Aragon and Alfonso the Wise of Castile.

[Sidenote: Characteristics of Spanish History.]

The period covered by this volume is marked by the gradual re-entry of
the Spanish peninsula into the Christian Commonwealth. At the beginning
of the tenth century the Christian states of Spain were still confined
to the extreme north, while nearly all the land worth having was subject
to the sway of the Caliphs of Cordova. Before the end of the thirteenth
century Islam had been driven back into the hills of southern Andalusia.
Four strong Christian kingdoms ruled the greater part of the peninsula,
and acquired, as a result of the continued Crusade that gave them
existence, a character intensely warlike, turbulent, religious, and
enthusiastic. On the ruins of the civilisation of Islam arose one of the
most characteristic types of mediæval Christianity.

It is impossible to follow in detail either the unending revolutions of
the Spanish Mohammedans, or the constant fluctuations of victory and
defeat between them and their Christian rivals, or the intricate
domestic history and perpetual unions and divisions of the Spanish
states themselves. Yet the history of Europe, and of the great contest
of Christianity and Islam round which so much of our history turns,
would be very incompletely narrated were all reference to the Spanish
struggle omitted. In the present chapter this can only be told in the
baldest and briefest outline.

[Sidenote: The Caliphate of Cordova.]

Among the first signs of the dissolution of Islam had been the
establishment by a branch of the Ommiades of a schismatic Caliphate at
Cordova. Yet so long as the divisions of the Mohammedan world were not
too inveterate, the followers of the Prophet, if no longer active or
aggressive, still upheld great and flourishing states. Nowhere did
Mohammedan civilisation attain a greater glory than under the Caliphs of
Cordova. The wealth, the luxury, the trade, the science and the arts of
the East never shone more brilliantly than in the days when Cordova
rivalled in splendour, luxury, and culture both the Fatimite Court at
Cairo and the orthodox Abbasside Caliphs of Bagdad. Both the Jews and
Christians enjoyed tolerable prosperity under the Ommiad yoke, and the
schools of Cordova preserved a tradition of Greek culture which made
them famous even in the Christian world. The Caliphs ruled over all
Spain south of the lower Douro and the mountains of the Guadarrama,
restricting the kings of Leon and Navarre and the counts of Castile
within the rugged region of the north, while a series of
half-independent Moorish states ran like a wedge from the Ebro to the
Pyrenees, and utterly separated the kingdom of Navarre from the county
of Barcelona or Catalonia, which in its weakness remained dependent upon
the West-Frankish kings, as it had been since Charlemagne first
organised the Spanish March between Pyrenees and Ebro. Wars of
aggression seemed over; religious wars even were almost dead. The
Christian warriors of the north held frequent intercourse with their
infidel neighbours, and did not scruple to avail themselves of their aid
in their ceaseless feuds with one another.

[Sidenote: The Decline of Cordova.]

The decline of the Caliphate of Cordova destroyed these fair prospects.
The dismemberment of Moorish Spain amongst a series of rival Ameers
increased the opportunities of Christian aggression, while it destroyed
the peace and prosperity of Islam. In 1002 the death of the great
minister Almansor ended the prosperity of the Caliphate. In 1028 the
fall of the Ommiades was completed. Yet Moorish culture died very
slowly, and it was not until the next century was nearly over that the
glory of Arab science attained its culmination in the career of Averroes
(1126–1198), the greatest of the Cordovan doctors, and the teacher of
the schoolmen of Christendom. But political supremacy had long passed
away from the Moors. The disunion of Islam was the opportunity of the
Christians, and, despite several Mohammedan revivals, the fortunes of
Christian Spain were now assured, though for a long time the advance was
fitful and exceedingly slow. The divided Moors fell back upon the
support of their brethren in Africa, without whose help their decline
would have been much more rapid.

[Sidenote: The Christian States.]

At the time of the fall of the Calipate there were four Christian states
in Spain, the kingdoms of Leon and Navarre, and the counties of
Barcelona and Castile. Under the rule of Sancho the Great (970–1035) the
little upland kingdom of Navarre held for the moment the first place
among them. But Sancho turned his main energies towards conquering his
Christian neighbours, and before his death he dominated, with the title
of Emperor, all Christian Spain, save the Spanish March. [Sidenote:
Supremacy of Navarre under Sancho the Great.] On his death his dominions
were divided among his children. Among these was Castile, already
erected into a kingdom in favour of his second son Ferdinand. Another
son, Ramiro, had received the little knot of mountain land which
subsequently grew into the kingdom of Aragon, and which under Alfonso I.
extended its territories towards the Ebro valley, at the expense of the
Ameers of Saragossa. [Sidenote: Union of Castile and Leon and beginning
of the Christian advance.] Meanwhile the preponderance formerly enjoyed
by Sancho the Great was transferred to central Spain by the union of the
ancient kingdom of Leon with the great monarchy of Castile, under
Ferdinand I. Before this prince’s death in 1065 the conquest of the
valley of the Douro began the period of definitive expansion. In the
lower Douro valley Ferdinand set up the vassal county of Oporto, and,
between that stream and the Mondego, another tributary county of
Coimbra. Under Alfonso VI. the time of the great conquests began. The
Castilians crossed the high mountains of Guadarrama, and penetrated into
the valley of the Tagus. For a long time Alfonso feared to break openly
with the Ameer of Toledo, the lord of that region, but he found an ally
in the rival Ameer of Seville, whose daughter he now took as his
concubine. [Sidenote: Alfonso VI. conquers Toledo.] While the Moors of
Toledo fought against their co-religionists at Seville, Alfonso
conquered the upper valley of the Tagus, and became lord of Madrid, the
modern capital of Spain. In vain the Ameer offered to become the vassal
of the triumphant Castilian for the rest of his dominions. Alfonso
swept, steadily down the course of the great river. In 1085 he entered
in triumph into Toledo itself.

The history of Alfonso’s alliances shows how little of religious
fanaticism entered into the wars of the two races. Even his crowning
conquest of Toledo was due not so much to his prowess as to a
treacherous league with some of its disloyal defenders. [Sidenote: The
Cid.] Alfonso’s famous subject, Ruy Diaz, the Cid Campeador, the most
famous legendary hero of early Spain, though figuring in romance as a
Christian hero, was in history a brave and self-seeking _condottiere_,
who sold his sword to the Moors, or took the pay of the rival King of
Aragon almost as cheerfully as he fought for his native Castile. But the
fall of the ancient Gothic capital created a terrible panic in the
Mohammedan world, and something like a Crusade was started by Islam to
win back the ground that it had lost. The frightened Ameers of Spain met
together, and agreed to seek foreign help against the overbearing foe.
[Sidenote: The Almoravides.] A sect of Mohammedan enthusiasts, called
the Almoravides, and mainly composed of the Berbers of the Sahara, had
recently overrun all northern Africa, displacing the ancient Arab
dynasts, and rekindling the ancient zeal of the followers of the
Prophet. The Spanish Moors now turned to Yussuf, the Almoravides’
leader, and begged him to come to their assistance. After some
hesitation Yussuf accepted the challenge. In 1086 he crossed the Straits
of Gibraltar. His army of fierce and barbarous nomads of the desert soon
wrought infinitely greater havoc on the Christians than the lax and
effeminate Arabs of the Peninsula had been wont to do. Alfonso VI., who
was besieging Saragossa when he heard of Yussuf’s arrival, turned south
to resist the new foe, and the kings of Aragon and Navarre sent
reinforcements to the strongest representative of the Christian cause.
[Sidenote: Battle of Zallaca.] But on 23rd October 1086 the host of
Alfonso was utterly destroyed at the battle of Zallaca, near Badajoz,
and the victorious African was proclaimed Ameer of Andalous or Moorish

[Sidenote: Divisions of Islam.]

Spanish Christianity was now saved by the dissensions that broke out
between the Spanish Arabs and their African champion. The petty Ameers
of Spain were disgusted at Yussuf remaining behind in the Peninsula and
striving to be its effective ruler. Hostilities soon broke out between
them and Yussuf, who, finding allies in the fanatic party in Andalous
itself, diverted his arms from the Christians against the subordinate
lords of Islam. Within the next few years he had conquered every Ameer
save the ruler of Saragossa, who was suffered to hold his northern
marchland against the aggressive Aragonese. During this period Alfonso
VI. resumed his conquests. He devastated the lower valley of the Tagus
from Toledo to the sea, and for the time made himself master of Lisbon.
[Sidenote: Alfonso VI. takes Lisbon.] Meanwhile the Cid profited by the
dissensions of Islam to pursue a bolder career. He deserted his
paymaster, the Ameer of Saragossa, and at the head of his trusty
mercenaries sought to carve a state for himself out of the ruins of the
power of Islam in eastern Spain. [Sidenote: Conquest of Valencia by the
Cid.] In 1094 he made himself master of Valencia, after performing
prodigies of valour. But a disastrous failure cost him the lives of the
best of his troops, and in 1099 the Cid died of grief at the loss of his
faithful followers. His widow strove in vain to hold Valencia against
the Moors, but her only possible helper was the king of Castile, and he
was too far off to give effective assistance. Three years later she
abandoned the smoking ruins of Valencia to the Moorish hosts, and
retired with the bones of her husband to a safe refuge in Castile.
Before this Yussuf had become master of Mohammedan Spain. He again
turned his arms against Alfonso, and easily drove the Castilians from
Lisbon and their other recent conquests. It was all that Alfonso could
do to maintain himself in Toledo. His death in 1108 saved him from
further disasters.

[Sidenote: The rivalry of Almoravides and Almohades.]

Yussuf had already died in 1106, but the dissensions of Castile and Leon
that followed the death of Alfonso VI. made it easy for his successors
to hold their own. Before long, however, the short term of activity of
an Oriental dynasty had ended; and the Almoravides saw their African
possessions taken away from them by the newer and fiercer power of the
Almohades, the Berbers of the Atlas, who had long resented the rule of
their brethren of the desert. Meanwhile the Almoravides’ hold over Spain
was becoming weakened. The Berber soldiers still ruled over the Moslem
as conquered subjects, and their fanatic zeal still more disgusted the
Mozarabic Christians (_i.e._ the Christians subject to the Arab yoke)
who had borne with equanimity the tolerant yoke of the Spanish Arabs.
[Sidenote: Alfonso I. and the Rise of Aragon.] A new saviour of the
Christians now arose in Alfonso I. of Aragon, the true founder of the
Aragonese power. In 1118 he had won for Aragon its natural capital in
Saragossa. He led destructive forays into the heart of Andalusia, and
brought home with him numerous Mozarabic families, to whom he afforded a
new home in the north. By the time of his death before the walls of
Valencia, Aragon had become second only to Castile among the kingdoms of
Christian Spain. Nor were the successes of the Cross only in Aragon.
Count Raymond Berengar IV. of Barcelona united for a time his county
with Aragon and conquered Tortosa in 1148. In the extreme west the
little counties of Oporto and Coimbra had long been united to form the
county of Portugal, now ruled by Affonso Henriquez, the founder of
Portuguese greatness. [Sidenote: Affonso Henriquez and the Capture of
Lisbon.] In 1139 Affonso penetrated far into the heart of the Moorish
country beyond the Tagus and won the famous battle of Ourique. Next year
he assumed the title of King of Portugal. In 1147, with the help of a
fleet of English and German warriors on their way to join the Second
Crusade, Affonso drove the Moors out of Lisbon, which now became the
capital of the infant kingdom. The Crusaders to the East now joined
hands with the Crusaders of the West. While the Northern pilgrims helped
to conquer Lisbon, French Crusaders fought for Raymond Berengar of
Barcelona and Provence, and the Knights of the Temple and the Hospital
stationed themselves in the valley of the Ebro as well as in Syria.
Spain soon had Military Orders of her own. In 1149 Sancho IX. of Castile
captured Calatrava, on the upper Guadiana, from the Moors, and made it
over to the Cistercians, who, inspired by St. Bernard, were already
establishing themselves in Spain and proclaiming the Crusade against the
infidel. [Sidenote: The Spanish Military Orders.] In 1158 the knightly
order of Calatrava was set up to defend the Cistercian possession. The
order was the ‘holy soldiery of Cîteaux,’ a sort of martial section of
the White Monks, and in close dependence upon them. In an equally close
relation to the Cistercians stood the order of St. Julian, founded even
earlier, in 1152, by the king of Leon, which became, in 1218, the order
of Alcantara, when that stronghold on the lower Tagus was won from the
Moors and handed over to the knights to defend it. Both orders took the
full monastic vows, but a less ascetic regimen prevailed with the order
of Evora in Portugal, set up in 1162 as a sort of ‘conversi’ or lay
brethren of the Cistercians, and allowed marriage and the enjoyment of
property. On the same lines was formed, under the patronage of Alexander
III. and Innocent III., the most famous of the Spanish orders, that of
Santiago, which, alone of its class, was quite independent of Cîteaux.
[Sidenote: The Crusades in Spain.] Under the Cistercian guidance the
Spanish struggle took more and more the character of a religious war.
Instead of local wars between neighbouring chieftains, the contest now
became part of the general struggle between the two civilisations and
religions that had so long divided the world.

[Sidenote: Triumph of the Almohades.]

The deepening feud of the Almoravides and Almohades allowed the
Christians, despite their own divisions, to win fresh ground. In 1146
Morocco was captured by the Almohades, who immediately afterwards
crossed the Straits to extend their rule from Africa to Andalous. The
fierce sectarian conflict of the rival Mohammedans had for its natural
result the almost simultaneous captures of Tortosa, Lisbon, and
Calatrava. But the Almohades soon made themselves masters of infidel
Spain, and turned fiercely against the Christians. In 1185 they won the
battle of Alarcos over Alfonso VIII. of Castile. Their victory stayed
for the time the progress of the Cross, and restored Calatrava to the
rule of the Crescent. For the rest of the century the constant wars
between Leon, Castile, Navarre, and Aragon played the game of the

[Sidenote: Innocent III. and the Spanish Crusade.]

Innocent III. revived the Crusading ardour of Spain, and inspired great
bands of Northern warriors to cross the Pyrenees and join in the
struggle against Islam. Alfonso VIII. sought to atone for the disasters
of his youth by victories in his old age. A vast Crusading host
collected at Toledo, and showed its ardour by mercilessly butchering the
Jews of that city. The threats and entreaties of the great Pope inspired
King Peter of Aragon and the king of Navarre to join the army of Alfonso
of Castile. The local military orders were well to the fore, and only
the king of Leon held aloof from the greatest combined effort that had
as yet ever been made against Spanish Islam. [Sidenote: Battle of Las
Navas de Tolosa.] The crusading host crossed the mountains of Toledo and
restored the rule of Castile in the upper valley of the Guadiana, where
Calatrava was now restored to its Cistercian lords. It was with much
difficulty that the Christians could be persuaded to advance farther
south, but a shepherd showed them a path which enabled them to avoid the
Moorish host that was waiting for them in the defiles of the Sierra
Morena, and they successfully crossed the mountains to Las Navas de
Tolosa, an upland valley watered by a tributary of the Guadalquivir.
There, on 16th July 1212, was fought the famous battle of Las Navas de
Tolosa, which secured for ever the preponderance of Christianity in
Spain. Within fifty years of the victory the Moors had all they could do
to hold their own in the little kingdom of Granada that alone
represented the ancient Andalous.

[Sidenote: James I. of Aragon.]

James I. (1213–1276) of Aragon and Ferdinand III. (the Saint) completed
the work which Alfonso VIII. had thus successfully begun. The son of
that Peter of Aragon who had fought so well at Las Navas de Tolosa,
James was called to his kingdom as a child by his father’s death on the
fatal field of Muret. He was a true hero of chivalry, one of the
greatest warriors of the Middle Ages, ardent, pious, merciful, and
ignorant of the very name of fear. Though a soldier of the Cross, his
matrimonial irregularities did not escape papal censure. While first of
all a warrior, he did not shun the arts of peace, writing in his native
Catalan tongue an autobiographical chronicle which is one of the most
precious records of the thirteenth century.[43] His first exploit was
the conquest of the Balearic Islands between 1229 and 1232. He then
turned against Valencia, anxious to do over again the work of the Cid.
In 1238 Valencia opened her gates to him, and Aragon thus established
her limits such as they remained so long as she remained an independent

[Sidenote: St. Ferdinand of Castile.]

Saint Ferdinand (Ferdinand III.) of Castile reigned from 1214–1252, and
was enabled in 1230 to effect the definitive union of Leon with his
original inheritance. He fought with great brilliancy and courage with
the Moors in the valley of the Guadalquivir, and before his death
succeeded in utterly expelling them from the most famous of their
haunts. In 1236 he conquered the ancient seat of the Caliphs at Cordova,
and turned the famous mosque of many columns into a Christian cathedral,
while in 1246 his triumphs in this region were completed by his capture
of Jaen. Before that, in 1244, he had entered Seville, and in 1250 the
capture of Xeres and Cadiz gave him access to the Atlantic. His
successor, Alfonso X., completed the conquest of Murcia in conjunction
with James of Aragon. Meanwhile Portugal had acquired her modern limits
by 1262, by the conquest of Algarve, Spanish Algarve being also won by
Alfonso X. When Islam was thus nearly overthrown the tide of conquest
was stayed, and for more than two hundred years longer Granada, but
Granada alone, remained in Moorish hands.

After the land had been won back from the Moors, the Spanish kings had
to deal with the organisation and government of their conquests. The
withdrawal of the Mohammedans left great tracts of territory open to the
settlement of the hardy northerners, among whom the land was divided
out, like a new country for the first time opened up to civilisation.
[Sidenote: The Organisation and Government of Christian Spain.] Foreign
countries, especially the south of France, contributed to these
emigrations. The Mozarabs soon amalgamated with the settlers, and even
after constant expulsions a strong Moorish and a considerable Jewish
element remained, especially in the south, for the central provinces of
Old and New Castile were cleared of the Moors. The whole of Spanish
institutions bore a deep impress of the character of the conquest. The
military orders, who had fought so well, had enormous territories in the
reconquered lands. The clergy were invested with higher authority than
in any other Christian country. The kings were proud to obtain from the
Papacy a confirmation of their right to govern their realms. But the
nobility was also very powerful, and the division of interests between
the greater and the lesser barons was so marked that in Aragon they
formed separate Estates of the realm. In Castile the monarchical
authority was the strongest, but the grants of privileges to the king’s
partners in the conquest had even here given the institutions a markedly
aristocratic character, and no country was fuller of hereditary feuds
and local dissensions. Aragon was a thoroughly feudalised country, where
the maintenance of public rights was intrusted to a supreme magistrate
called the _Justicia_, before whose tribunal all disputes between the
king and his subjects might be carried, and whose influence overshadowed
that of the monarch. The _Justicia_ was always chosen from the lesser
nobility, a class that the Aragonese kings favoured as their best
supporters against the feudal magnates. Even the towns of Spain bore the
military and ecclesiastical impress that the Moorish wars had given to
the whole nation. They were an important element of the _Cortes_, or
Estates-General, that grew up very early in the Peninsula. Their
associations or _hermandads_ were almost as formidable to the crown as
the leagues of the nobility.

[Sidenote: The New Spain.]

After the reconquest from the Moors was over, Spanish history takes a
new character. Under Alfonso X. of Castile (1252–1284), Peter III. of
Aragon (1276–1285), and Affonso III. of Portugal (1245–1279) the
internal development of the three chief Spanish kingdoms falls into line
with that of the rest of Europe.

[Sidenote: Alfonso X. of Castile.]

Alfonso X., surnamed the Wise, of Castile, was one of the most
remarkable sovereigns of the thirteenth century, and is well worthy to
be classed with St. Louis, with Frederick II., or with his
brother-in-law, Edward I. of England. His rare gifts gave him fame as a
man of learning, a poet, a historian, and a legislator, but his violent
and unmeasured ambition paid but too little regard to the narrowness of
his resources, and he had not the iron will and strong, resolute
character without which no mediæval king could be a successful ruler.
Thus it was that Alfonso failed in his early struggles with his
neighbour Affonso III. of Portugal, whose more limited ambitions better
enabled him to carry out his ideas. [Sidenote: Affonso III. of
Portugal.] While the Castilian strove to play a great part in Europe,
the Portuguese built cities, encouraged trade and agriculture, and
struggled successfully even with the Papacy. While Portugal secured its
rights over the Algarves, Alfonso plunged into a long contest with his
Castilian nobles, in which he was by no means triumphant. The marriage
of Alfonso’s sister with his Portuguese rival at last secured peace
between the two realms. Alfonso X. was a theorist even in his famous
legislation, called the _Siete Partidas_, in which he laid down a high
theory of monarchy, though he could not live up to his pretensions. His
contest with Richard of Cornwall for the Holy Roman Empire was the
extreme example of his desire to cut a great figure in the world, but
his subjects would not allow him to take any real steps to assert his
claims. His quarrel with his son Sancho led to bloody civil wars that
were continued after his death, and made it impossible for Castile to
play a great part in Europe; but with all his errors Alfonso the Wise
had first made her a European power. Even greater difficulties beset
Alfonso’s contemporary Peter III. in Aragon. [Sidenote: Peter III. of
Aragon.] Like James I., Peter III. had to yield before the nobles and
the confederate cities, while his intervention in the affairs of Italy
involved him in a fierce contest with the Papacy, and seemed for long to
be utterly futile. But, like Alfonso X., Peter prepared for others the
way that he was unable to traverse himself. More than two hundred years
were still to elapse before the rulers of the Peninsula were able to
realise the monarchical theories of Alfonso, and push to a successful
result the Italian policy of Peter.



                              CHAPTER XXI

  The Reign of Conrad IV.—Innocent IV. and Manfred—Alexander IV. and
    Edmund of England—Manfred King of Sicily—Fall of Eccelin da
    Romano—Ghibelline triumph in Tuscany—Urban IV.—Clement
    IV.—Coronation of Charles of Anjou—Battle of Grandella and Death of
    Manfred—Charles conquers Sicily—Guelfic Revolution in
    Tuscany—Conradin’s Expedition to Italy—Battle of Tagliacozzo—The
    Papal Vacancy and the Restoration of Peace by Gregory IX.—the Great
    Interregnum in Germany—Rivalry of Richard of Cornwall and Alfonso of
    Castile—Destruction of the German Kingdom—The Triumph of the Princes
    and the Town Leagues—The Election of Rudolf of Hapsburg.

[Sidenote: The Reign of Conrad IV., 1250–1254.]

According to his father’s testament, King Conrad succeeded on Frederick
II.’s death-bed to the Empire and the kingdom of Sicily. Conrad remained
in Germany. Manfred, Frederick’s bastard son, acted as lieutenant for
his brother in Sicily, and received as his share in the inheritance the
principality of Taranto. To Henry, Frederick’s son by Isabella of
England, was assigned either Jerusalem or Burgundy, at Conrad’s
discretion, while to Frederick, son of the dead Henry VII., Austria and
Styria, his mother’s heritage, were allotted. But the hostility of the
Church was not abated by the death of the chief offender. ‘Root out the
name of the Babylonian, and what remains of him, his succession and his
seed,’ was now the cry of Innocent IV. The careful precautions taken by
the dead Emperor to maintain the union of the Empire and Sicily showed
that the long struggle was still far from its end.

Conrad IV., finding that he made no way against his rival, William of
Holland, left his wife with her father, Duke Otto of Bavaria, his chief
supporter, and abandoned Germany. Early in 1252 he appeared in Italy.
[Sidenote: Conrad in Italy, 1252–1254.] After rallying his partisans in
Upper Italy, he took ship at Venice for Siponto, where Manfred and the
Apulian barons gave him a hearty welcome. His appearance within his
kingdom was followed by a strong reaction in his favour. The magnates
generally recognised him, and Naples and Capua were forced to open their
gates. But misfortunes still dogged the house of Hohenstaufen. Conrad’s
position in southern Germany was now shattered by the death of his
father-in-law, the Duke of Bavaria, which was rapidly followed by that
of Conrad’s nephew, the young Duke Frederick of Austria and Styria.
Early in 1254 Henry, Conrad’s half-brother, also died, and his removal
destroyed the last ties which bound the Hohenstaufen to England. Worse
than all, Conrad and Manfred began to disagree, and their dispute gave
the Papacy an opportunity to intervene with effect in Apulia. [Sidenote:
Innocent IV.’s hostility to him.] So early as 1250 Innocent had sought
to set up candidates of his own for the Sicilian throne. He had sounded
Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother of Henry III., as to his willingness
to accept it, and in 1252 he had renewed his offer. But neither Richard
nor his brother, the King of England, were willing to break from the
Hohenstaufen, though, after the death of Isabella’s son, in 1253, their
scruples were removed, and in the same year Henry III. accepted another
offer of the Sicilian throne on behalf of his younger son Edmund.
Meanwhile Innocent had returned in 1251 from Lyons to Italy, and had,
after a progress through the north-Italian cities, taken up his
residence at Perugia. Before the end of 1253 he was strong enough to
return to Rome. Active hostilities were now threatened. Mendicant Friars
vigorously proclaimed the Crusade against Conrad, and in the spring of
1254 Innocent renewed his excommunication. [Sidenote: Death of Conrad,
1254.] But in May 1254 Conrad died suddenly, when only twenty-six years
old, leaving Conradin, a child of two, as his heir, and, in his distrust
of Manfred, intrusting the regency to the Margrave Berthold of
Hohenburg. The body of the deceased king had hardly been laid in its
tomb at Messina when the ancient hatred of the Germans and South
Italians burst out as violently as of old. Berthold found himself so
powerless that he cheerfully gave up the regency, and Manfred was put in
his place. [Sidenote: Innocent IV. and Manfred, 1254.] Meanwhile
Innocent’s troops had invaded the kingdom, and took possession of the
important border stronghold of San Germano. The barons of the
neighbourhood sent in their submission, and the Margrave Berthold made
overtures to the Pope. Manfred was forced to negotiate with Innocent,
and in September 1254 a peace was signed, in which Innocent recognised
Manfred as Prince of Taranto and reconciled him to the Church. Nothing
was said as to the rights of Conradin, and in October Innocent himself
went on progress through the cities of the kingdom, and took up his
quarters at Naples, where he posed as feudal lord of the realm, the
disposal of which rested entirely in his hands. Manfred had hoped that
his submission would be followed by the recognition, if not of his
nephew, at least of himself as King of Sicily. He now saw that he had
been tricked by the Pope, and that the king whom the Pope would
acknowledge was not himself but the young Edmund of England. [Sidenote:
Death of Innocent, 1254.] He rode hastily to the trusty Saracens of
Lucera, and with their help gathered together an army to withstand the
aggressions of the Pope. Before any decisive action could take place,
Innocent died on 7th December at Naples.

[Sidenote: Alexander IV., 1254–1261.]

The Conclave assembled at Naples and elected a nephew of Gregory IX.,
who took the name of Alexander IV. The new Pope was described by Matthew
Paris as ‘kindly and pious, assiduous in prayer and strenuously ascetic,
but easily moved by flatterers and inclined to avarice.’ He had not the
inflexible will of his predecessor and (though he continued Innocent’s
policy) he was not very successful in his efforts, despite the fact that
it was easier to carry on the war against the Hohenstaufen now that the
legitimate stock was almost extinct and Germany entirely isolated from
Sicily. He soon found it prudent to withdraw from Naples to his own
territories, but he excommunicated Manfred and renewed Innocent’s offer
of the Sicilian throne to Edmund of England. [Sidenote: Edmund of
England King of Sicily.] In April 1255 the conditions were drawn up on
which Edmund was to obtain the proffered kingship. He was to pay a
yearly tribute of two thousand ounces of pure gold, and be responsible
for all past and future expenses involved in the prosecution of the war
against Manfred, besides sending an army and a general to assist in the
conquest of his kingdom. Edmund was still a mere child, and remained in
England while papal legates waged war against the usurper in his name
and sent in the bills to King Henry, who exhausted his last resources in
a vain effort to extract from the clergy and laity of England the sums
necessary for their payment. Meanwhile Manfred more than held his own
against the papalists, and showed in the struggle a daring courage and
force of character that proved that he was no unworthy son of his
father. [Sidenote: Manfred conquers Naples and Sicily, 1255–1256.]
Before the end of 1255 the bastard of Frederick had established his
position on the mainland. Early in 1256 he crossed over to Sicily, and
soon subjected the whole of the island to his obedience. Alexander now
found that there was no prospect of the promised English army and
subsidies. In 1257 the Pope’s difficulties were increased by a popular
revolt in Rome, where the Senator Brancaleone drove him to take refuge
in Viterbo, while a violent and sanguinary democracy lorded over the
capital and entered into friendly relations with Manfred, to whom the
Ghibelline towns now turned as their best protector against Pope and
Clergy. By politic commercial treaties Manfred secured the active
alliance of both Genoa and Venice. At last he grew so strong that he
scorned any longer to rule merely as the regent of his nephew. An untrue
report of Conradin’s death gave him a pretext for accepting the offer of
the throne from the Sicilian magnates, and in August 1258 he was crowned
at Palermo. [Sidenote: Manfred’s Coronation, 1258.] He soon learnt that
Conradin was still alive, but he did not lay down his crown. For a brief
space Naples and Sicily enjoyed peace and prosperity under his rule. The
early years of Frederick II. seemed revived, and the strong national
traditions of the South Italian kingdom were never more capably
expressed than in the brilliant court of Manfred at Palermo.

The cause of the Hohenstaufen seemed once more in the ascendant. Even in
Germany, where the little Conradin had hitherto found but scanty
acknowledgment outside his hereditary estates in Swabia, things took a
turn for the better. William of Holland died in 1256, and nearly a year
elapsed before a new election was made. Even then the papalists
disagreed, and, instead of a single strong partisan with an undoubted
title, two weak foreign claimants, neither of whom were very zealous for
Rome, disputed, as we shall see, the title of King of the Romans.
[Sidenote: Guelfs and Ghibellines in Northern and Central Italy.] In
Italy the success of Manfred had led to a strong Ghibelline revival, and
the one apparent reverse which their cause now suffered in the fall of
Eccelin da Romano did good by relieving the party from complicity in the
odious deeds of the ‘most cruel and redoubtable tyrant that ever was
among Christians.’ The cities of north-eastern Italy began to revolt
against the horrors of his rule, and the papal Crusade preached against
him now found a welcome even among his own subjects. [Sidenote: Fall of
Eccelin da Romano, 1259.] But Eccelin lacked neither energy nor ability,
and in September 1258 he signally defeated the Guelfic Crusaders at
Torricella. But his comrade in victory, the Marquis Pallavicino, soon
deserted his blood-stained cause, and was joined by Cremona, Mantua,
Ferrara, and revolted Padua. Manfred himself expressed his goodwill to
the confederates. Eccelin’s days were now numbered. He made a last
desperate effort to regain power by allying himself with the Milanese
nobles who had been recently exiled from their city by the popular
leader, Martin della Torre. But the attack on Milan failed, and Eccelin
himself was wounded and taken prisoner at Casciano by Pallavicino and
the Cremonese. Conscious that the game was up, he tore off his bandages
and perished (7th October 1259). The allies now wreaked their revenge on
his brother Alberic, murdering his wife and eight children before his
eyes, and then tearing him to pieces with wild horses. The house of
Romano had fought for its own hand rather than for the Emperor, and
their fall did little towards helping forward the papal cause. Yet
Eccelin was the prototype of the swarm of Ghibelline tyrants who in
subsequent generations were the most characteristic upholders of a once
great cause in Italy.

The fall of Eccelin made Manfred the uncontested head of the Italian
Ghibellines. In 1258 the Guelfic city of Florence had driven out the
local Ghibellines, who took refuge in Siena and appealed to Manfred for
help. In 1260 the Florentines marched out against Siena with their
_carroccio_. They were utterly defeated on 4th September at Montaperto,
a battle which secured the triumph of the Ghibellines over all Tuscany
save Lucca. [Sidenote: Battle of Montaperto and Ghibelline triumph in
Tuscany, 1260.] The victors proposed to reduce Florence to open
villages, but the patriotism and courage of the exiled Farinata degli
Uberti dissuaded his fellow-countrymen from this act of sacrilege.
Manfred had sent a troop of German horsemen to help the allies at
Montaperto. He now, says Villani, ‘rose to great lordship and state, and
all the imperial party in Tuscany and in Lombardy greatly increased in
power, and the Church and its devout and faithful followers were much
abased.’ The baffled Guelfs were now reduced to the sorry shift of
sending to Conradin’s mother in Germany, hoping to stir up her and her
son to resent the power of Manfred.

[Sidenote: Urban IV. 1261–1264.]

Alexander IV. was now so hopeless that he vainly sought to make peace
with Manfred. He died in May 1261, and a three months’ vacancy showed
even more clearly the impotence of the cardinals and the abasement of
the Church. At last the choice of the conclave fell upon the nominal
Patriarch of Jerusalem, James of Court Palais, the son of a cobbler of
Troyes, who took the title of Urban IV. During the three years of his
pontificate, the French Pope lived mostly at Viterbo and Orvieto, while
at Rome the Ghibellines again won the upper hand, and talked of making
Manfred their Senator. But Urban was a hot-tempered, strong and active
partisan, who brought back the Papacy to the policy of Innocent IV., and
struggled with all his might to lay low the power of Manfred, and
strove, though in vain, to end the schism of rival kings in Germany. He
was clear-sighted enough to see that it was no use fighting Manfred in
the name of a nominal king like Edmund of England, especially since,
after 1258, the Provisions of Oxford had effectually deprived his father
of money and power. [Sidenote: Charles of Anjou offered Sicily.] Urban
therefore prudently threw over the creature of Innocent and Alexander,
and offered the Sicilian throne to Charles of Anjou, the brother of St.
Louis, whose successful rule of Provence had shown his fitness for the
difficult task of withstanding the son of Frederick. St. Louis shrank
from countenancing the aggression of his brother, but Charles was
ambitious, and brushing aside all objections, gladly accepted the offer.
Manfred meanwhile grew more powerful than ever, and was steadily
extending his authority over the States of the Church. Before the
Angevin could come to his assistance, Urban IV. died on 2nd October

There was no delay in electing the next Pope. Guy Foulquois, a native of
Saint Gilles, and a born subject of the King of France, who had attained
the cardinal bishopric of Sabina, and was at the moment striving as
papal legate to uphold Henry III. against his barons, was chosen in his
absence by the cardinals, and assumed the name of Clement IV. [Sidenote:
Clement IV., 1264–1268.] A capable man and a strong partisan, Clement at
once entered into the enjoyment of the results of the labours of his
predecessors. He proclaimed a Crusade against Manfred, and in May 1265
Charles of Anjou himself appeared in Rome, where the fickle Romans,
among whom the Pope never ventured to risk himself, received him with
enthusiasm and named him their Senator. Next month a commission of
cardinals conferred upon him the investiture of Sicily, and received his
acceptance of the onerous conditions on which he was permitted to occupy
the papal fief. [Sidenote: Charles of Anjou crowned King of Sicily,
1266.] He was to pay 8000 ounces of gold as tribute, to surrender
Benevento to the Apostolic See, and to renounce the office of Roman
Senator as soon as he had conquered Manfred’s dominions. Charles
returned to Provence to raise an adequate army. Before the end of the
year he was back in Rome, where on 6th January 1266 he and his wife
Beatrice were crowned King and Queen of Sicily.

Within a few weeks of his hallowing, Charles invaded Manfred’s dominions
with an army of Provençals, North-French adventurers, and Italian
Guelfs. The Neapolitans were unprepared to fight a winter campaign, and
many towns and castles opened their gates to the French. Manfred
retreated from Capua to Benevento, where he resolved to strike his great
blow. [Sidenote: Battle of Grandella and Death of Manfred 1266.] On 26th
February the decisive battle was fought in the plain of Grandella,
north-westward of Benevento. Manfred’s Saracens easily scattered the
Provençal foot, but were in their turn overwhelmed by the mail-clad
mounted knights. The German cavalry, that were still faithful to the
Hohenstaufen, sought to redress the fortunes of the day. Charles hastily
directed the flower of his army against the Germans, who after a short
sharp fight were outnumbered and defeated. The chivalry of Apulia took
fright at the discomfiture of the Germans, and rode off the field
without striking a blow. [Sidenote: Charles conquers Sicily.] Manfred
saw the hopelessness of the situation, spurred his horse into the thick
of the fight, and valiantly met his fate. His wife and children fell
into the victor’s hands, and on that one day Charles gained his new
kingdom, which he now sought to tame by stern and systematic cruelty. He
was soon able to give material help to the struggling Guelfs of Tuscany.
On the news of Charles’s victory reaching Florence, the Ghibellines were
expelled, and the Guelfs availed themselves of their triumph to
reorganise the constitution. It was the first faint beginning of
Florentine democracy, and the turning-point in the whole history of the
city. [Sidenote: Guelfic Revolution in Tuscany, 1266–1267.] Fearing for
the permanence of their power, the Florentines called upon Charles to
aid them. On Easter Day 1267, Count Guy of Montfort, the fiercest and
wildest of the banished sons of Leicester, marched into the city at the
head of a band of French horse. Charles was made lord of Florence for
ten years. The Guelfs were almost as triumphant in Tuscany as in Naples.

[Sidenote: Conradin’s Italian Expedition, 1267–1268.]

Conradin was in his fifteenth year when the death of his uncle made him
the sole surviving representative of the house of Hohenstaufen. He was a
precocious and gallant youth, conscious that there was no prospect of
his playing a great part in Germany, and greedily listening to the
stories which Ghibelline exiles told of the wrongs of Italy and the
violence of the Angevin usurper. The triumph of Charles had been too
rapid to be permanent, and a strong reaction set in both in Apulia and
Tuscany against the brutal violence of his partisans. A revolt broke out
in Calabria. The Pope himself trembled at the completeness of his ally’s
success, and Rome chose Henry of Castile, brother of Alfonso X. and an
old enemy of Charles, as her Senator. Pisa raised the Ghibelline
standard in Tuscany, and the northern feudalists vied with the
Ghibelline cities in stemming the Guelfic tide. Conradin judged the
moment opportune to try his fortunes in Italy. At the head of a small
army, and accompanied by his uncle, Duke Louis of Bavaria, and by his
closest friend, Frederick, the nominal Duke of Austria, the young prince
crossed the Brenner, and in October 1267 entered Verona. But he was not
strong enough to act at once, and Charles profited by the delay to
prepare thoroughly for the struggle. At the approach of danger the
jealousies of the Guelfs vanished, and Clement was as eager as Charles
to destroy the ‘basilisk sprung from the seed of the dragon.’

[Sidenote: Battle of Tagliacozzo and Death of Conradin, 1268.]

Early in 1268 Conradin began to move. Welcomed in January in Ghibelline
Pavia, in April he was nobly received in Pisa, where he long tarried,
hoping to make head against the Guelfic reaction which, thanks to
Charles’s energy, was already apparent in Tuscany. In July he entered
Rome, where the Senator Henry of Castile joined his forces with the
Ghibelline host. He pressed on into Apulia, hoping to join hands with
the revolted Saracens of Lucera. But Charles hurried to meet him, and on
23rd August annihilated his army at the battle of Tagliacozzo. Conradin
fled from the ruin of his hopes, but was betrayed to Charles, and was
beheaded at Naples along with his comrade Frederick of Austria. He was
the last of his race, and his death ensured the Guelfic triumph in
Italy, which was henceforth to be utterly separate from Germany, and was
to go through long generations of anguish before she could work out her
destinies for herself. Clement IV. only just outlived the success of his
policy. After his death, in November 1268, a three years’ vacancy in the
Papacy completed the victory of Charles of Anjou by depriving him of the
only control that could be set over his actions. It was during this
period that he attained that fatal ascendency over Louis IX. that led to
the expedition to Tunis, where even the sacred crusading cause was made
subservient to the ambition of the lord of Naples. Yet, fierce and
violent as he was, Charles’s power alone kept Italy from absolute

While Italy was distracted by the contest between Guelfs and
Ghibellines, Germany was equally divided by the troubles of the Great
Interregnum which followed the death of William of Holland in 1256.
[Sidenote: Germany, 1254–1273.] After Conrad IV.’s departure to Italy,
William had begun to make way in Germany, and his marriage with the
daughter of Duke Otto of Brunswick connected him closely with the
traditional leaders of the German Guelfs. After Conrad’s death many of
the partisans of the Hohenstaufen, including the Rhenish cities,
recognised his claim, and no attempt was made to set up the infant
Conradin as his rival. [Sidenote: King William of Holland, 1254–1256.]
But if he thus gained formal recognition, William never aspired to be
more than a king in name. The chief event of his reign was the union in
1254 of the Rhenish cities in a league which extended beyond its
original limits as far as Ratisbon, and gave a precedent for other and
even more memorable unions of German towns. The local alliance between
Lübeck and Hamburg, established as far back as 1241, proved the nucleus
of the famous Hanseatic League. William’s death was only important
because of the troubles that a contested election evoked. The friends of
the Hohenstaufen found it useless to pursue the candidature of Conradin,
and were anxious to effect a compromise. They sought to find some prince
who, while friendly to the Swabian traditions, was acceptable to the
Pope and his partisans. Even the Rhenish archbishops, who had procured
the elections of Henry and William, felt the need for peace. Thus both
the Bavarian kinsfolk of Conradin, and Conrad of Hochstaden, the Guelfic
archbishop of Cologne, agreed in the sort of candidate that they would
welcome. They soon found no one in Germany who answered their
requirements. [Sidenote: The Double Election of 1257.] Ottocar, King of
Bohemia, possessed a power that far outshadowed that of any native
prince, and his recent acquisition of Austria and Styria gave him a sort
of claim to be considered a German. But all parties viewed with alarm
the aggrandisement of so powerful and dangerous a neighbour, and looked
further afield, hoping to find a candidate who, though not strong enough
to overwhelm their independence, was rich and energetic enough to save
them from the ambitious Czech. Conrad of Hochstaden, already well
acquainted with England, declared himself in favour of Richard, Earl of
Cornwall, whose wealth and reputation were great, and whose rejection of
the Sicilian throne, afterwards bestowed by the Pope on his nephew
Edmund, showed that he would keep clear from the complications of
Italian politics. Henry III., delighted that his brother and son should
divide the Hohenstaufen inheritance between them, backed up his
candidature. Richard was a good friend of the Pope, and yet had been the
brother-in-law and ally of Frederick II. He scattered his money freely,
and the Jews, his faithful dependants in England, actively furthered his
candidature. But France took the alarm at the extension of the power of
her English enemies, and the inveterate Ghibelline partisans of the
Italian cities would hear of no Emperor indifferent to their ancient
feuds. The citizens of Pisa suggested that Alfonso X. of Castile would
be a better candidate than the Earl of Cornwall, and the French party
eagerly took up his claims. The ancient rights of all the German nobles
to choose their king had fallen into disuse during the recent troubles,
and the right of election had gradually passed to seven of their
leaders, who on this occasion first definitely exercised the power that
belonged to the Seven Electors of later times.

In January 1257 the Archbishop of Cologne appeared with the Count
Palatine Otto of Bavaria and the proxy of the captive Archbishop of
Mainz before the walls of Frankfurt. On being refused admission to the
city, they formally elected Richard as King of the Romans before the
gates. The Archbishop of Trier, who had held the town against them, was
soon joined by the Duke of Saxony and the Margrave of Brandenburg, and
on 1st April these three elected Alfonso of Castile. Ottocar of Bohemia,
the remaining elector, for some time hesitated between the two, but his
declaration in favour of Richard gave the English earl a majority of the
votes of the electoral college. [Sidenote: The Great Interregnum,
1257–1273.] In May Richard crossed over the North Sea, and was crowned
at Aachen by Archbishop Conrad. He remained nearly two years in Germany,
and succeeded in getting himself generally recognised by the estates of
the Rhineland. But the rest of Germany took little interest in his
movements, and as soon as his money was exhausted, even his Rhenish
friends grew lukewarm in his cause. More hopeful was the support of
Alexander IV. and the alliance of Milan and other Italian cities. The
Castilians refused to allow Alfonso to prosecute his candidature in
person, and an absentee competitor might safely be neglected. Richard
now hoped to be able to seek the Imperial crown at Rome. But his
absorption in English politics required his return to his native land,
and the death of Alexander IV. deprived him of his best chance of formal

Richard paid three subsequent visits to Germany, but never obtained any
greater power. Neither his character nor his resources were adequate to
the difficult task that he had undertaken, and his divided allegiance to
his old and new country made real success quite impossible. His simple
policy was to obtain formal recognition from the princes by making them
lavish grants of privileges. A striking example of this was when in 1262
he secured the permanent friendship of Ottocar by confirming his
acquisitions of Austria and Styria. For all practical purposes Germany
had no king at all. The abeyance of the central power forced the princes
to exercise all sovereign rights, and their feuds and factions reduced
the realm to a deplorable state of anarchy. Richard’s gold had broken up
the league of the Rhenish cities, and for the time the feudal party
seemed to have it all their own way. Richard, despairing of general
recognition, at last agreed to submit his claims to the judgment of
Clement IV., though he had refused similar proffers from Urban IV.
Clement died in 1268 before anything could be decided, and three years’
vacancy of the Papacy between 1268 and 1271 left the world without
either a spiritual or a temporal head. The great days of Papacy and
Empire were plainly over.

Henceforth the Empire was little more than an unrealised theory, but the
Papacy was still a practical necessity for the age, however much the
furious Guelfic partisanship of recent pontiffs had deprived the
Apostolic See of its former position as spiritual director of Europe.
Only a good and a strong Pope could restore peace to Italy and Germany,
and in September 1271 the election of the holy Theobald of Piacenza,
Archdeacon of Liége, then actually on pilgrimage in the Holy Land,
secured for Europe a high-minded spiritual leader. [Sidenote: Gregory X.
and the restoration of peace 1271–1276.] The short pontificate of
Theobald, who took the name of Gregory X. (1271–1276), stands in noble
contrast to the reigns of a Gregory IX., an Innocent IV., or a Clement
IV. With the wise and peace-loving pontiff, who sought to win back
Europe to better ways, the highest spirit of the Roman Church was
restored. We have seen how Gregory laboured in the second Council of
Lyons for the organisation of the Mendicant Orders, for the union of
East and West, and for the renewal of the Crusades. He devoted himself
with equal energy to ending the long anarchy in Germany. Richard of
Cornwall submitted to his decision, but died in 1272 before it could be
pronounced. In 1273 the Electors chose Rudolf, Count of Hapsburg, in his
stead. Gregory smoothed over the difficulties which might have attended
his candidature, and established friendly relations with him. But the
peace that the Pope loved was but of short duration. The Papacy again
succumbed to the spirit of intrigue and violence, and before long fell
at the hands of the grandson of St. Louis, the great-nephew of Charles
of Anjou. The glory of the Papacy only outlasted the glory of the Empire
for two generations: but while the Empire had become little more than a
mere name, the Papacy, even in the days of the Captivity, continued,
though with diminished lustre, to command the spiritual allegiance of
Europe. Germany and Italy, the chief names of the Imperial idea, had
hopelessly lost any prospect of national unity, while losing the wider
unity of the Roman State. The real future thus remained with the
localised national states, which were best represented by France,
England, and the Spanish kingdoms. With their establishment on the ruins
of the older system, the age of the Papacy and Empire came to an end.

                          TABLES OF SOVEREIGNS

                               (1) POPES.

 John X., 914–928.

 Leo VI., 928–929.

 Stephen VII., 929–931.

 John XI., 931–936.

 Leo VII., 936–939.

 Stephen VIII., 939–942.

 Martin III. or Marinus II., 942–946.

 Agapet II., 946–955.

 John XII., 955–963.

 Leo VIII., 963–964.

 Benedict V., 964–965.

 John XIII., 965–972.

 Benedict VI., 972–974.

 Benedict VII., 974–983.

 John XIV., 983–984.

 Boniface VII., Antipope, 974–984;
   recognised, 984–985.

 John XV., 985–996.

 Gregory V., 996–999.

 John XVI., 997–998 (partisan of Crescentius).

 Sylvester II., 999–1003.

 John XVII., 1003.

 John XVIII., 1003–1009.

 Sergius IV., 1009–1012.

 Benedict VIII., 1012–1024.

 John XIX., 1024–1033.

 Benedict IX., 1033–1046.                 } deposed in 1046.
   [Antipope, Sylvester III., 1044–1046.] } deposed in 1046.
 Gregory VI., 1044–1046.                  } deposed in 1046.

 Clement II., 1046–1047.

 Damasus II., 1048.

 Leo IX., 1048–1054.

 Victor II., 1055–1057.

 Stephen IX., 1057–1058.
   [Antipope, Benedict X., 1058–1059.]

 Nicholas II., 1058–1061.

 Alexander II., 1061–1073.
   [Antipope, Honorius, 1061–1062.]

 Gregory VII., 1073–1085.
   [Antipope, Clement III., 1080–1100.]

 Victor III., 1086–1087.

 Urban II., 1088–1099.

 Paschal II., 1099–1118.
   [Antipopes, Albert, Theodoric, and Sylvester IV.]

 Gelasius II., 1118–1119.
   [Antipope, Gregory VIII., 1118–1121.]

 Calixtus II., 1119–1124.

 Honorius II., 1124–1130.

 Innocent II., 1130–1143.
   [Antipopes, Anacletus, 1130–1138.
               Victor, 1138 (abdicated).]

 Celestine II., 1143–1144.

 Lucius II., 1144–1145.

 Eugenius III., 1145–1153.

 Anastasius IV., 1153–1154.

 Adrian IV., 1154–1159.

 Alexander III., 1159–1181.
   [Antipopes, Victor, 1159–1164.
               Paschal III., 1164–1168.
               Calixtus III., 1168–1178.
               Lando, 1178–1180.]

 Lucius III., 1181–1185.

 Urban III., 1185–1187.

 Gregory VIII., 1187.

 Clement III., 1187–1191.

 Celestine III., 1191–1198.

 Innocent III., 1198–1216.

 Honorius III., 1216–1227.

 Gregory IX., 1227–1241.

 Celestine IV., 1241.

 Innocent IV., 1243–1254.

 Alexander IV., 1254–1261.

 Urban IV., 1261–1264.

 Clement IV., 1265–1268.

 Gregory X., 1271–1276.

                 (2) EMPERORS AND KINGS OF THE ROMANS.

 Henry I. (the Fowler), 918–936.

 *Otto I. (the Great), 936–973.

 *Otto II., 973–983.

 *Otto III., 983–1002.

 *Henry II. (the Saint), 1002–1024.

 *Conrad II. (the Salic), 1024–1039.

 *Henry III. (the Black), 1039–1056.

 *Henry IV., 1056–1106.
   [Rivals—Rudolf of Swabia, 1077–1080.
           Hermann of Luxemburg, 1082–1093.
           Conrad of Franconia, 1093–1101.]

 *Henry V., 1106–1125.

 *Lothair II., 1125–1138.

 Conrad III., 1138–1152.

 *Frederick I. (Barbarossa), 1152–1190.

 *Henry VI., 1190–1197.

 *Otto IV., 1197–1212,  } Rivals.
 Philip II., 1197–1208, } Rivals.

 *Frederick II., 1212–1250.
   [Rivals—Henry Raspe, 1246–1247;
           William of Holland, 1247–1256.]

 Conrad IV., 1250–1254.

 The Great Interregnum, 1254–1273.

 Richard, Earl of Cornwall, } Rivals, 1257–1272.
 Alfonso X., King of Castile, } Rivals, 1257–1272.

* An asterisk is affixed to these Kings who were crowned Emperors by the

                         (3) EASTERN EMPERORS.

 Constantine VII. (Porphyrogenitus), 912–959.
   [Joint-rulers—Alexander, 912–913.
                 Romanus I. (Lecapenus), 919–945.]

 Romanus II., 959–963.

 Basil II. (Bulgaroctonus), 963–1025.
   [Joint-rulers—Nicephorus II. (Phocas), 963–969.
                 John I. (Zimisces), 969–976.]

 Constantine VIII., 1025–1028.

 Romanus III. (Argyrus), 1028–1034.

 Michael IV. (the Paphlagonian), 1034–1041.

 Michael V., 1041–1042.

 Constantine IX. (Monomachus), 1042–1054.

 Theodora, 1054–1057.

 Michael VI. (Stratioticus), 1057.

 Isaac I. (Comnenus), 1057–1059.

 Constantine X. (Ducas), 1059–1067.

 Michael VII. (Ducas), 1067–1078.
   [Joint-ruler—Romanus IV. (Diogenes), 1068–1071.]

 Nicephorus III. (Botaniates), 1078–1081.

 Alexius I. (Comnenus), 1081–1118.

 John II. (Comnenus), 1118–1143.

 Manuel I. (Comnenus), 1143–1180.

 Alexius II. (Comnenus), 1180–1183.

 Andronicus I. (Comnenus), 1183–1185.

 Isaac II. (Angelus), 1185–1195.

 Alexius III. (Angelus), 1195–1203.

 Isaac II. (restored)  } Joint-rulers 1203–1204.
 Alexius IV. (Angelus) } Joint-rulers 1203–1204.

 Alexius V. (Ducas), 1204.

                    (4) LATIN EMPERORS OF THE EAST.

 Baldwin I., 1204–1205.

 Henry of Flanders, 1205–1216.

 Peter of Courtenay, 1216–1219.

 Robert, 1219–1228.

 Baldwin II., 1228–1261.

                        (5) KINGS OF JERUSALEM.

 Godfrey of Boulogne, 1099–1100 [refused the title].

 Baldwin I. of Edessa, 1100–1118.

 Baldwin II. of Edessa, 1118–1130.

 Fulk of Anjou, 1130–1143.

 Baldwin III., 1143–1163.

 Amalric I., 1163–1174.

 Baldwin IV. (the Leper), 1173–1185.

 Baldwin V. (the Child), 1185–1186.

 Guy of Lusignan, 1186–1194.

 [Conrad of Montferrat, 1191–1192.]

 [Henry of Champagne, 1192–1197.]

 Amalric II. of Lusignan, 1197–1205.

 Amalric III., 1205–1206.

 John of Brienne, 1210–1225.

 Iolande of Brienne, 1225–1228.

 Frederick II., 1228–1250.

 Hugh of Lusignan (King of Cyprus), 1268–1284.

                          (6) KINGS OF FRANCE.

 Charles the Simple, 896–929.

 [Rivals—Robert of Paris, 922–923;
         Rudolf of Burgundy, 923–936.]

 Rudolf of Burgundy, 929–936.

 Louis IV., 936–954.

 Lothaire, 954–986.

 Louis V., 986–987.

 Hugh Capet, 987–996.

 Robert II., 996–1031.

 Henry I., 1031–1060.

 Philip I., 1060–1108.

 Louis VI., 1108–1137.

 Louis VII., 1137–1180.

 Philip II., Augustus, 1180–1223.

 Louis VIII., 1223–1226.

 Louis IX. (Saint Louis), 1226–1270.


 Aachen, 18, 46, 51, 139, 141, 258, 331, 371.

 —— palace at, 46, 80.

 Aarhus, 22.

 Aba, king of Hungary, 61.

 Abbassides, the, 158, 465.

 Abbeville, 416.

 Abelard, 7, 208, 211–214, 239, 240, 241, 429, 432.

 Abotrites, the, 21, 226, 227, 264.

 Abul Cassim, 39.

 Acarnania, 348.

 Acerra, Diepold of. _See_ Diepold.

 Achaia, Villehardouin, Prince of, 349.

 —— Princes of, 355.

 Acre, 186, 192, 300, 302–303, 304, 312, 337, 368, 453, 461, 462, 463.

 —— battle of, 459–460.

 —— St. Thomas of. _See_ Thomas, St.

 Adalbero, Archbishop of Reims, 44, 70, 71, 74, 77.

 —— Archbishop of Trier, 231.

 Adalbert, St., 43, 45, 379.

 —— Archbishop of Bremen, 121, 122, 123, 223, 236.

 —— —— of Mainz, 144, 146, 231.

 Adela, daughter of William the Conqueror, 87.

 —— of Champagne, third wife of Louis VII., 290, 291.

 Adelaide of Burgundy, wife of Otto I., 28, 29, 31, 41.

 —— of Maurienne, queen of Louis VI., 282.

 —— of Poitou, 69.

 Adenulfus, Duke of Benevento, 106.

 Adhemar, bishop of Le Puy, 182, 183.

 Adige, the, 29, 258.

 Adolf of Holstein, 265.

 —— Archbishop of Cologne, 311.

 Adrian IV., Pope, 249–250, 252–254, 256.

 Adrianople, 155, 162, 299, 348;
   battle at, 351.

 Ægean, islands of, 158, 348;
   crusaders in, 345.

 Ætolia, 348.

 Affonso Henriquez, king of Portugal, 325, 470–471, 475.

 Afghanistan, 168.

 Africa, 158, 170, 236–237, 468, 409, 471.

 —— Christianity in, 103.

 Agenais, the, 416.

 Agnes of Poitou, wife of Henry III., 62, 121, 122, 128.

 —— daughter of Henry IV., 221.

 —— wife of Henry of Brunswick, and daughter of Conrad, Count Palatine,
    308, 319.

 —— of France, daughter of Louis VII., and wife of Alexius II., 340.

 —— of Meran, wife of Philip Augustus, 323–324, 408.

 Agriculture under Frederick I., 272.

 Aigues Mortes, 457.

 Ain Talut, battle of, 460.

 Aix (in Provence), 417, 418.

 Alan ‘of the Twisted Beard,’ first Count of Brittany, 85.

 Alarcos, battle of, 471.

 Albania, 164, 348; Greeks in, 350.

 Alberic I., Marquis of Camerino, 30.

 —— II., 30, 38.

 —— 381.

 —— da Romano, 483.

 Albert the Bear, the Margrave, 226, 232, 233, 251, 264, 265, 268.

 —— of Brabant, claimant to Liège, 307.

 —— of Buxhöwden, 379.

 —— the Great, 378, 447.

 Albi, 216.

 Albigenses, the, 216–217, 334, 394, 397, 398, 401, 419, 433, 436.

 Albigensian Crusade, the, 332. _See also_ Albigenses.

 Albigeois, 287.

 Albina, daughter of Tancred, 317.

 Alcantara, Order of, 207, 471.

 Alençon, Peter, Count of. _See_ Peter.

 Aleppo, 158, 195;
   Ameer of, 159–160.

 Alessandria founded (1168), 259, 260;
   besieged, 261, 382.

 Alexander II., Pope, 116, 124, 145.

 —— III., Pope, 6, 256, 257–264, 269–270, 288, 471.

 —— IV., Pope, 444, 446, 481–484, 490.

 —— joint-emperor of Eastern Empire, 152.

 —— of Hales, 445, 446, 447.

 Alexandria, 195, 458.

 Alexius I., Comnenus, 173–175, 179, 180, 182, 183, 184–185, 336–338.

 —— II., Comnenus, 340.

 —— III., 312, 342, 345.

 —— IV., Angelus, 342, 344–346.

 —— V. (Ducas), Murzuphlus, 346.

 Alfonse of Poitiers, Count of Poitou, 407, 408, 410, 413, 414, 415,
    416, 417, 418, 458.

 —— Jordan, Count of Toulouse, 283–284, 287.

 Alfonso, king of Leon, 326.

 —— I., of Aragon, 467, 470.

 —— VI., of Castile, 467, 468, 469.

 —— VIII., king of Castile, 395, 421, 431, 467, 468, 469.

 —— X., the Wise, of Castile, 10, 473, 475–476, 487, 490.

 Alfred, king of Wessex, 15, 25.

 Algarve, 473, 475.

 —— Spanish, 473.

 Algebra, Arabic, 363.

 Alice, daughter of Louis VII. and Constance of Castile, betrothed to
    Richard of Aquitaine, 288, 290, 293, 302.

 —— of Champagne. _See_ Adela.

 —— queen of Cyprus, 409.

 Almansor, 466.

 Almohades, the, 469–472.

 Almoravides, the, 468–471.

 Alp Arslan, Seljukian Sultan, 169, 171, 172, 179.

 Amalfi, 117, 227.

 Amalric I., king of Jerusalem, 185, 193.

 —— II., of Lusignan, 453.

 —— III., of Lusignan, 453.

 —— of Bena, 433.

 —— of Montfort, 456. _See_ Amaury.

 Amaury, abbot of Cîteaux, 399, 400.

 —— de Montfort, 402, 406.

 Amiens, 291, 292.

 —— treaty of, 416.

 Anacletus II., Antipope, 228, 229, 230, 234, 235, 241, 281.

 Anagni, 257, 262;
   meeting of Gregory IX. and Frederick II. at, 369.

 Anastasius IV., Pope, 249.

 Ancona, 310;
   siege of, 261, 310;
   March of, 384.

 Andalous (Andalusia), 464, 468, 470, 471, 472, 473.

 Andechs-Meran, house of, 323.

 Andernach, 19.

 Andrew, king of Hungary, 61, 326, 452, 453, 454.

 Andronicus Comnenus, 340–341.

 Angelus, house of, 341–346, 351, 353.

 Angevins. _See_ Anjou.

 Angoulême, Isabella of. _See_ Isabella.

 Ani captured, 169.

 Aniane, Benedict of, 97.

 Anjou, county of, 71, 76, 79, 87, 88;
   rise of the house of, 286–287, 395–396, 404, 415, 416, 417.
   _See_ Bertrada, Charles, Fulk, Geoffrey, Henry, Joan, John, Richard.

 Anna Comnena, 107, 173, 337, 338.

 Anne of Russia, wife of Henry I. of France, 79.

 Anno, Archbishop of Cologne, 116, 121, 122, 123.

 Anselm, St., of Canterbury, 7, 100, 139, 141, 210.

 —— of Laon, 211.

 —— Bishop of Lucca. _See_ Alexander II.

 Anthony, St., of Padua, 441, 445.

 Antioch, 160, 163, 182, 183, 184, 185, 188, 192, 195, 196, 285–300,
   principality of, 117, 460;
   capture of by Bibars, 460.

 —— Frederick of. _See_ Frederick.

 Anweiler, Markwald of. _See_ Markwald.

 Aosta, 210.

 Apulia, 10, 11, 50, 166, 227, 228, 230, 253, 261, 306–307, 309–310,
    311–312, 316–318, 328, 367, 369, 374, 390, 458, 479;
   the Normans and, 105, 106, 114, 117.

 Aquileia, 29;
   patriarch of, 50.

 Aquino, St Thomas of. _See_ Thomas, St.

 Aquitaine, 75, 89, 90, 280–281, 286–287, 395, 396, 398, 406, 415, 416;
   barons of, 76;
   dukes of, 91.
   _See also_ William V. of;
     William the Pious of, and Eleanor of.

 Arabs, the, 39;
   of South Italy, 34;
   and Aristotle, 432;
   civilisation of, 169, 170;
   and Holy Sepulchre, 178;
   and Frederick II., 360, 361.

 Aragon, 215, 229, 325, 326, 327, 467, 470, 471, 472, 473, 474, 475–476.

 —— kings of. _See_ Peter II. and James I.

 Aral, Sea of, 456.

 Arbrissel, Robert of. _See_ Robert.

 Archers, Norman, 175.

 Archipelago, Duchy of the, 352.

 Architecture, Romanesque, 7.
   _See also_ Romanesque.

 —— Gothic, 7, 378, 403.
   _See also_ Gothic.

 Ardoin of Ivrea, 49, 52, 106.

 Arelate, the, 3, 23, 53, 55, 56, 80, 266, 289, 308, 320, 386, 398, 417,

 Arezzo, 100.

 Argenton, 320.

 Argyrus, son of Meles, 107.

 Aribert, archbishop of Milan, 53, 58, 59, 238.

 Aribo, archbishop of Mainz, 50, 51, 52.

 Aristotle, 214, 447;
   translations by Michael Scot of, 363;
   study of, 432;
   Averroes’ commentaries on, 433.

 Arles, kingdom of. _See_ Arelate.

 —— kings of, Conrad, 51.
   _See_ Rudolf III.;
   Constance of. _See_ Constance;
   archbishop of, 418.

 Armenia, 155, 170, 171, 326;
   kingdom of, 303, 311, 453, 454;
   attacked by Togrul Beg, 169.

 Armenian kingdom in Cilicia, the, 179.

 Armenians, the, 165, 339.

 Arnold of Brescia, 208, 213, 234, 239–242, 249–250.

 —— archbishop of Mainz, 250.

 Arnulf of Carinthia, 13.

 —— duke of Bavaria, 15, 18, 20.

 —— (2), Count Palatine, 19.

 —— archbishop of Reims, 42, 44.

 Arpad, house of, 61.

 Arthur, legend of, 378.

 —— duke of Brittany, 395.

 Artois, 86, 291, 292.

 —— Robert of. _See_ Robert.

 Art, 2, 7, 10.

 Arts in East, 157;
   under Frederick II., 362, 363.

 Arundel, Earl of, 454.

 Ascalon, battle of, 183;
   barony of, 186.

 Asia, 169;
   nobles of, 171.

 —— Central, 167, 168.

 —— Minor, 4, 155, 163, 172, 179, 182–183, 192, 351.

 Assisi, 333, 388, 434, 435, 439;
   St. Francis’ chapel at, 439.

 Assizes of Jerusalem, 186, 355.

 —— of Romania, 355.

 Asti, 260;
   captured, 261.

 Atabeks, rise of the, 191, 195.

 Athelstan, 15, 68.

 Athens, Odo, Lord of, 349;
   dukes of, 355.

 Athos, Mount, 157.

 Attalia, 192.

 Attica, 155.

 Attila, 167.

 Augsburg, 23;
   treaty at, 269.

 Augustine of Hippo, St., 205, 440.

 Augustus. _See_ Philip Augustus, King of France.

 Aumâle, the peace of, 292.

 Aurillac, 42, 43, 209.

 Austin, St., rule of, 437.

 —— Canons, 204–206.

 —— Friars, the, 440.

 Austria, 23, 37, 223, 329;
   the duchy of, created, 251, 265;
   dukes of, 353, 375, 478, 479, 490.
   _See_ Frederick and Leopold.

 Auvergne, 89, 90, 287, 289, 407, 413, 415;
   Synod in, 138;
   and Hugh Capet, 76;
   William of. _See_ William.

 Auxerre, Peter of. _See_ Peter.

 Aventine, palace on, 44.

 Averroes, 432, 433, 466.

 Averroists, the, 433.

 Aversa, 107;
   foundation of, 105.

 Avignon, 398, 406, 448.

 Ayoub, 457.

 Ayoubites, the, 455.

 _Azymites_, 350.

 Bacon, Roger, friar, 447, 451.

 Badajoz, 468.

 Bagdad, 158, 169, 170, 465.

 _Baillage_, the court of the, 425.

 _Baillis_, the, 404, 424.

 Bailiffs, Frederick II.’s, 362.

 Balearic Islands, the, 473.

 Balkans, the, 163.

 Baltic, the, 21, 380.

 Baldwin of Boulogne, first Count of Edessa, 182, 184, 185.

 —— —— the younger, 182.

 —— of the Iron Arm, first Count of Flanders, 85.

 —— V., Count of Flanders, 80, 86.

 —— VII., Count of Flanders, 278.

 —— IX., Count of Flanders, 343. _See also_ Baldwin I., Latin Emperor in
    the East.

 —— Count of Hainault, 291.

 —— I., King of Jerusalem, 185. _See also_ Baldwin of Boulogne, and
    Baldwin, Count of Edessa.

 —— II., King of Jerusalem, 185. _See also_ Baldwin of Boulogne the

 —— III., King of Jerusalem, 185, 193.

 —— IV., King of Jerusalem, 193.

 —— I., Latin Emperor in the East, 348, 351, 352.

 —— II., Latin Emperor in the East, 353, 354, 355, 387.

 Bamberg, 225.

 —— cathedral of, consecrated, 50.

 —— Suidgar, bishop of, 63. _See_ Clement II.

 Bandinelli, Roland, 253–254, 256. _See also_ Alexander III.

 Barbarians, invasions of, 15.

 Barbarossa. _See_ Frederick I.

 Barcelona, 43, 91, 419.

 —— county of, 465, 466, 470.

 Bari, 38, 103, 104, 107, 117, 118, 156, 172, 174, 230.

 —— Synod of, 139.

 Barral des Baux, 418.

 Basil, dynasty of, 170.

 —— I., the Macedonian, Eastern Emperor, 152, 167.

 —— II., Eastern Emperor, 159, 163, 164, 165, 167.

 —— St., shrine of, 171.

 _Basilica_, the, code of laws, 154.

 Basilius, chamberlain of John Zimisces, 162, 163.

 Basque language, the, 90.

 _Bastides_, 415.

 Baty, Tartar chief, 385.

 Bavaria, 2, 15, 16, 18, 19, 28, 37, 40, 47, 56, 58, 64, 121, 133, 139,
    231, 232, 248, 266, 268, 329.

 —— Otto of Wittelsbach, Count Palatine of. _See_ Otto.

 —— Welf or Guelf, Duke of. _See_ Welf.

 Beatrice of Provence, 418, 485.

 —— wife of Otto IV., 329.

 —— wife (1) of Boniface of Tuscany, (2) of Godfrey the Bearded, 109.

 Beatrix of Savoy, 417.

 Beaucaire, 418.

 —— Seneschal of, 413.

 Beauce, the, 78, 277.

 Beaugency, Council of, 285.

 _Beauséant_, 190.

 Beauvais, 277.

 Bec, Le, abbey of, 48, 100, 209, 210.

 Becket. _See_ Thomas, St., archbishop of Canterbury.

 Bela II., King of Hungary, 226.

 —— III., King of Hungary, 299.

 Bena, Amalric of. _See_ Amalric.

 Benedict V., Pope, 33.

 —— VIII., Pope, 48, 50, 63. 105.

 —— IX., Pope, 63.

 —— X., Antipope, 112, 113.

 —— St., of Nursia, rule of, 94, 98.

 —— St., of Aniane, 97.

 Benedictine nuns, 438.

 Benedictines, the, 443.

 Benefices, feudal, become hereditary, 56, 57.

 Benevento, 34, 107, 127, 485.

 —— Lombard dukes of, 103.

 Berbers, the, 468, 469.

 Berengar, the Emperor, 27, 28.

 —— of Ivrea, King of Italy, 28, 29, 30, 33.

 —— of Tours, 111, 114, 209.

 Berengaria of Castile, 326.

 —— of Navarre, queen of Richard I., 302.

 Bergamo, 259, 269.

 Bernard, St., 7, 189, 191–192, 199, 202, 207–208, 209, 212–214, 215,
    228–229, 232, 234–235, 240, 241, 242, 276, 281–282, 285, 432, 470.

 —— of Anhalt, 268.

 —— of Ventadour, 397.

 —— Sylvester, 211.

 Bernardone, John. _See_ Francis, St. Berno of Cluny, 97.

 Bernward, St., bishop of Hildesheim, 41, 45, 46.

 Berri, 76, 90, 287.

 Bertha of Sulzbach, wife of Manuel I., 192. _See also_ Irene.

 —— Empress of Henry IV., and daughter of Odo of Turin, 122, 123, 130,

 —— of Holland, repudiated by Philip I. of France, 80, 81, 275.

 —— widow of Odo I. wife of Robert II., 78.

 Berthold of Hohenburg, 480.

 —— of Zähringen, 222, 248, 251.

 —— Duke of Bavaria, 18.

 —— of Ratisbon, 441, 442.

 Bertrada of Montfort, Countess of Anjou, 80, 138, 278.

 Bertrand de Born, 397.

 Bessin, the, 83.

 Besançon, 130.

 —— Diet at, 252, 253, 254, 268.

 Bethlehem, 368.

 Béziers, Raymond Roger, Viscount of. _See_ Raymond Roger.

 Biandrate, Counts of, 260.

 Bibars, the Sultan, 459, 460, 461, 462, 463.

 Bieda, 140.

 Billung, Hermann, the Margrave, 19, 21, 23, 35.

 Billungs, the, 232.

 Birthen, 19.

 Black Forest, 54.

 Blanche of Castile wife of Louis VIII., 395, 407, 408, 410, 420, 426.

 Blaye, 414.

 Blois, 286, 289–291, 343.

 —— the house of, 76, 79, 86, 87, 277, 279–280, 286, 291–292, 416.

 Bobbio, 44.

 Bogomilians, 174, 216.

 Bohemia, 5, 23, 34, 37, 40, 41, 43, 60, 61, 142, 215, 226, 252, 326,

 Bohemund, son of Robert Guiscard, prince of Antioch, 47, 175, 182, 184,
    185, 194.

 Boleslav, king of Poland, 54.

 —— king of Bohemia, 23.

 —— duke of Poland, 48, 226.

 —— IV., king of Poland, 252.

 Bologna, 219, 237, 247, 259, 269, 382, 386, 391, 437, 444, 445.

 —— schools and university of, 218, 219, 255, 313, 429, 430.

 Bonaventura, St., 447.

 Boniface of Tuscany, 109.

 —— of Montferrat, king of Thessalonica, 344, 345, 347, 348, 351, 352.

 _Boni homines_ (municipal), 238.

 Bordeaux, English seneschal of, 413.

 —— siege of, 414.

 Born, Bertrand de. _See_ Bertrand.

 Borrel, Count of Barcelona, 43.

 Boso, founder of kingdom of Provence, brother of Richard the Justiciar,

 Bouchard the Venerable, 76.

 Boulogne, 286, 287, 291.

 —— the Counts of, 86, 87, 330. _See_ also Eustace, Philip, Stephen.

 —— Godfrey of. _See_ Godfrey.

 Bourbon, 417.

 Bourges, 75, 81, 277, 287.

 —— Peter, archbishop of. _See_ Châtre, Peter de la.

 Bouvines, battle of, 331, 393, 396.

 Bowides, the, 158, 169.

 Brabant, the Dukes of, 307, 308, 330, 388.

 Braga, Burdinus of. _See_ Gregory VIII.

 Brancaleone, senator of Rome, 482.

 Brandenburg, 16, 22, 223, 378, 490.

 —— the Margraves of, 378.

 Breakspear, Nicholas, 249. _See also_ Adrian IV.

 Brennabor. _See_ Brandenburg.

 Bremen, 226, 379.

 —— Adalbert of. _See_ Adalbert.

 —— archbishopric of, 223, 265.

 Brenner Pass, the, 31, 50, 53, 134, 248, 250.

 Brenner, the, 487.

 Brescia, 239, 240, 381, 382.

 —— Arnold of. _See_ Arnold.

 Bretislav, Duke of Bohemia, 60, 61.

 Brienne, house of, 355.

 —— John of. _See_ John.

 —— Iolande or Isabella of. _See_ Isabella.

 —— Walter of. _See_ Walter.

 Brindisi, 367, 368, 452.

 Brittany, 75, 84, 85, 91, 212, 395, 408, 416.

 —— Arthur of. _See_ Arthur.

 —— Peter of. _See_ Peter.

 Brixen, Poppo, bishop of. _See_ Damasus II.

 Bruno, archbishop of Cologne, 24, 25, 31.

 —— bishop of Toul. _See_ Leo IX.

 —— St., founder of the Carthusian order, 200–201, 209.

 —— cousin of Otto III. _See_ Gregory V.

 Brunswick, 265, 268, 331.

 —— Egbert of, 121. _See_ Egbert.

 —— new duchy of, 375.

 Bruys, Peter de. _See_ Peter.

 Bulgaria, 34, 155, 157, 162–164, 167, 168, 192, 215, 326, 341–342,
    361–352, 353.

 Burdinus of Braga. _See_ Gregory VIII.