History of the christian church



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8248 "Maximo totius populi luctu, " says Eginhard.

9249 The historic foundation of this defeat is given by Eginhard, ch. 9. It was then marvellously embellished, and Roland became the favorite theme of minstrels and poets, as Théroulde’s Chanson de Roland, Turpin’s Chroniqué, Bojardo’s Orlando Innamorato, Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, etc. His enchanted Horn sounded so loud that the birds fell dead at its blast, and the whole Saracen army drew back terror-struck. When he was attacked in the Pyrenees, he blew the horn for the last time so hard that the veins of his neck started, and Charlemagne heard it several miles off at St. Jean Pied de Port, but too late to save

"The dead who, deathless all,

Were slain at famous Roncevall."


0250 Annales Laurissenses ad ann. 801: "Ipsa die sacratissima natalis Domini cum Rex ad Missam ante confessionem b. Petri Apostoli ab oratione surgeret, Leo P. coronam capriti ejus imposuit, et a cuncto Romanorum populo acclamatum est:, Karolo Augusto, a Deo coronato, magno et pacifico Imperatori Romanorum, vita et victoria!’ Et post Laudes ab Apostolico more antiquorum principum adoratus est, atque, ablato Patricii nomine, Imperator et Augustus est appellatus." Comp. Eginhard, Annal. ad ann. 800, and Vita Car., c. 28.

1251 But the date of the letter and the meaning of imperialis are not quite certain. See Rettberg, Kirchengesch. Deutschlands, I. 430, and Baxmann, Politik der Päpste, I. 313 sqq.

252 The picture is reproduced in the works of Vétault and Stacke above quoted.

3253 Milman (II. 497): "The Council of Frankfort displays most fully the power assumed by Charlemagne over the hierarchy as well as the nobility of the realm, the mingled character, the all-embracing comprehensiveness of his legislation. The assembly at Frankfort was at once a Diet or Parliament of the realm and an ecclesiastical Council. It took cognizance alternately of matters purely ecclesiastical and of matters as clearly, secular. Charlemagne was present and presided in the Council of Frankfort. The canons as well as the other statutes were issued chiefly in his name."

4254 Sanctae Ecclesiae tam pium ac devotum in servitio Dei rectorem. Also, in his own language, Devotus Ecclesiae defensor atque adjutor in omnibus apostolicae sedis. Rettberg I. 425, 439 sqq.

5255 Ann. Einhardi, ad. ann. 813 (in Migne’s Patrol. Tom. 104, p. 478): Evocatum ad se apud Aquasgrani filium suum Illudovicum Aquitaniae regem, coronam illi imposuit et imperialis nominis sibi consortem fecit.’ When Stephen IV. visited Louis in 816, he bestowed on him simply spiritual consecration. In the same manner Louis appointed his son Lothair emperor who was afterwards crowned by the pope in Rome (823).

6256 Bryce, p. 396 (8th ed.)

7257 Friedrich Rückert has reproduced this significant German legend in a poem beginning:

Der alte Barbarossa,

Der Kaiser Friederich,

Im unterird’schen Schlosse

Hält er verzaubert sich.
Er ist niemals gestorben,

Er lebt darin noch jetzt;

Er hat im Schloss verborgen

Zum Schlaf sich hingesetzt.


Er hat hinabgenommen

Des Reiches Herrlichkeit,

Und wird einst wiederkommen

Mit ihr zu seiner Zeit, "etc.



8258 He alone, of all the emperors, is consigned to hell by Dante (Inferno, x. 119):

"Within here is the second Frederick."



9259 Schiller calls it "die kaiserlose, die schreckliche Zeit."

0260 The pope Pius VI. even made a journey to Vienna, but when he extended his hand to the minister Kaunitz to kiss, the minister took it and shook it. Joseph in turn visited Rome, and was received by the people with the shout: "Evviva il nostro imperatore!"

1261 Dante (Purgat. VII. 94) represents Rudolf of Hapsburg as seated gloomily apart in purgatory, and mourning his sin of neglecting
"To heal the wounds that Italy have slain."
Weary of the endless strife of domestic tyrants and factions in every city, Dante longed for some controlling power that should restore unity and peace to his beloved but unfortunate Italy. He expounded his political ideas in his work De Monarchia.

262 In another letter to Fesch (Correspond. de l’ empereur Napol. Ier, Tom. xi. 528), he writes, "Pour le pape je suis Charemagne. parce que comme Charlemagne je réunis la couronne de Prance à celle du Lombards et que mon empire confine avec l’ Orient." Quoted by Bryce.

3263 The oldest testimony in the almost contemporary "Liber Pontificalis" of Anastasius is wanting in the best manuscripts, and must be a later interpolation. Döllinger shows that the myth, although it may have circulated earlier in the mouth of the people, was not definitely put into writing before the middle of the thirteenth century.

4264 The preface begins: "Isidorus Mercator servus Christi lectori conservo suo et parenti suo in Domino fideli (al. fidei) salutem.’ The byname "Mercator," which is found in 30 of the oldest codices, is so far unexplained. Some refer it to Marius Mercator, a learned Occidental layman residing in Constantinople, who wrote against Pelagius and translated ecclesiastical records which pseudo-Isidorus made use of. Others regard it as a mistake for " Peccator" (a title of humility frequently used by priests and bishops, e.g. by St. Patrick in his " Confession"), which is found in 3 copies. " Mercatus" also occurs it, several copies, and this would be equivalent to redemptus, " Isidorus, the redeemed servant of Christ." See Hinschius and Richter, l.c.

5265 The original name was decretale constitutum or decretalis epistola, afterwards decretalis. See Richter, l.c. p. 80.

6266 The forgery was first suggested by Nicolaus de Cusa, in the fifteenth century, and Calvin (Inst. IV. 7, 11, 20), and then proved by the Magdeburg Centuries, and more conclusively by the Calvinistic divine David Blondel (1628) against the attempted vindication of the Jesuit Torres (Turrianus, 1572). The brothers Ballerini, Baronius, Bellarmin, Theiner, Walter, Möhler, Hefele, and other Roman Catholic scholars admit the forgery, but usually try to mitigate it and to underrate the originality and influence of Pseudo-Isidor. Some Protestant divines have erred in the opposite direction (as Richter justly observes, l.c. p. 117).

7267 "Dominis meis beatissimis Petro et Paulo, et per eos etiam beato Sylvestro Patri nostro summo pontifici, et universalis urbis Romae papae, et omnibus ejus successoribus pontificibus . . concedimus palatium imperii nostri Lateranense ... deinde diadema, videlicet coronam capitis nostri simulque pallium, vel mitram .... . et omnia imperialia indumenta ... et imperialia sceptra . . et omnem possessionem imperialis culminis et gloriam potestatis nostrae ... Unde ut pontificalis apex non vilescat, sed magis amplius quam terreni imperii dignitas et gloriae potentia decoretur, ecce tam palatium nostrum, ut praedictum est, quamque Pomanae vobis et omnes Italiae seu occidentalium regionum provincias, loca et civitates beatissimo pontifici nostro, Sylvestro universali papae, concedimus atque relinquimus." In Migne, Tom. 130, p. 249 sq.

8268 That Constantine made donations to Sylvester on occasion of his pretended baptism is related first in the Acta Sylvestri, then by Hadrian I. in a letter to Charlemagne (780). In the ninth century the spurious document appeared. The spuriousness was perceived as early as 999 by the emperor Otho III. and proven by Laurentius Valla about 1440 in De falso credita et ementita Constantini donatione. The document is universally given up as a fiction, though Baronius defended the donation itself.

9269 The following persons have been suggested as authors: Benedictus Levita (Deacon) of Mayence, whose Capitularium of about 847 agrees in several passages literally with the Decretals (Blondel, Knust, Walter); Rothad of Soissons (Phillips, Gfrörer); Otgar, archbishop of Mayence, who took a prominent part in the clerical rebellion against Louis the Pious (Ballerinii, Wasserschleben); Ebo, archbishop of Rheims, the predecessor of Hincmar and leader in that rebellion, or some unknown ecclesiastic in that diocese (Weizsäcker, von Noorden, Hinschius, Richter, Baxmann). The repetitions suggest a number of authors and a gradual growth.

0270 Nicolai I. Epist. ad universos episcopos Galliae ann. 865 (Mansi xv. p. 694 sq.): "Decretales epistolae Rom. Pontificum sunt recipiendae, etiamsi non sunt canonum codici compaginatae: quoniam inter ipsos canones unum b. Leonis capitulum constat esse permixtum, quo omnia decretalia constituta sedes apostolicae custodiri mandantur.—Itaque nihil interest, utrum sint omnia decretalia sedis Apost. constituta inter canones conciliorum immixta, cum omnia in uno copore compaginare non possint et illa eis intersint, quae firmitatem his quae desunt et vigorem suum assignet.—Sanctus Gelasius (quoque) non dixit suscipiendas decretales epistolas quae inter canones habentur, nec tantum quas moderni pontifices ediderunt, sed quas beatissimi Papae diversis temporibus ab urbe Roma dederunt."

1271 Jaffé, 246 and 247, and Mansi, XV. 687 sqq.

272 Rotha dum canonice ... dejectum et a Nicolao papa non regulariter, sed potentialiter restitutum." See Baxmann, II. 26.

3273 According to Auxentius and Vulgarius, pope Stephen VII. was the author of the outrage on the corpse of Formosus; Liutprand traces it to Sergius III. in 898, when he was anti-pope of John IX. Baronius conjectures that Liutprand wrote Sergius for Stephanus. Hefele assents, Conciliengesch. IV. 561 sqq.

4274 Höfler (I. 16) asserts that every princely family of Italy in the tenth century was tainted with incestuous blood, and that it was difficult to distinguish wives and sisters mothers and daughters. See his genealogical tables appended to the first volume.

5275 Liutprandi Antapodosis, II. 48 (Pertz, V. 297; Migne, CXXXVI. 827): Theodora, scortum impudens ... (quod dictu etiam foedissimum est), Romanae civitatis non inviriliter monarchiam obtinebat. Quae duas habuit natas, Marotiam atque Theodoram, sibi non solum coaequales, verum etiam Veneris exercitio promptiores. Harum Marotia ex Papa Sergio-Joannem, qui post Joannis Ravennatis obitum Romanae Ecclesiae obtinuit dignitatem, nefario genuit adulterio, "etc. In the same ch. he calls the elder Theodora "meretrix satis impudentissima, Veneris calore succensa."

This Theodora was the wife of Theophylactus, Roman Consul and Senator, probably of Byzantine origin, who appears in 901 among the Roman judges of Louis III. She called herself " Senatrix." She was the mistress of Adalbert of Tuscany, called the Rich (d. 926), and of pope John X. (d. 928). And yet she is addressed by Eugenius Vulgarius as "sanctissima et venerabilis matrona!" (See Dümmler, l.c. p. 146, and Hefele, IV. 575.) Her daughter Marozia (or Maruccia, the diminutive of Maria, Mariechen) was the boldest and most successful of the three. She was the mistress of pope Sergius III. and of Alberic I., Count of Tusculum (d. 926), and married several times. Comp. Liutprand, III. 43 and 44. She perpetuated her rule through her son, Alberic II., and her grandson, pope John XII. With all their talents and influence, these strong-minded women were very, ignorant; the daughters of the younger Theodora could neither read nor write, and signed their name in 945 with a +. (Gregorovius, III. 282 sq.) The Tusculan popes and the Crescentii, who controlled and disgraced the papacy in the eleventh century, were descendants of the same stock.



The main facts of this shameful reign rest on good contemporary Catholic authorities (as Liutprand, Flodoard, Ratherius of Verona, Benedict of Soracte, Gerbert, the transactions of the Councils in Rome, Rheims, etc.), and are frankly admitted with devout indignation by Baronius and other Roman Catholic historians, but turned by them into an argument for the divine origin of the papacy, whose restoration to power appears all the more wonderful from the depth of its degradation. Möhler (Kirchgesch. ed. by Gama, II. 183) calls Sergius III., John X., John XI., and John XII." horrible popes," and says that " crimes alone secured the papal dignity!" Others acquit the papacy of guilt, since it was not independent. The best lesson which Romanists might derive from this period of prostitution is humility and charity. It is a terrible rebuke to pretensions of superior sanctity.

6276 Baronius, following Liutprand, calls Sergius "homo vitiorum omnium servus." But Flodoard and the inscriptions give him a somewhat better character. See Hefele IV. 576, Gregorovius III. 269, and von Reumont II. 273.

7277 Gfrörer makes him the paramour of the younger Theodora, which on chronological grounds is more probable; but Hefele, Gregorovius, von Peumont, and Greenwood link him with the elder Theodora. This seems to be the meaning of Liutprand (II. 47 and 48), who says that she fell in love with John for his great beauty, and actually forced him to sin (secumque hunc scortari non solum voluit, verum etiam atque etiam compulit). She could not stand the separation from her lover, and called him to Rome. Baronius treats John X. as a pseudopapa. Muratori, Duret, and Hefele dissent from Liutprand and give John a somewhat better character, without, however, denying his relation to Theodora. See Hefele, IV. 579 sq.

8278 Liutprand, Antapodosis, III. 43 (Migne, l.c., 852): "Papam [John X.]custodia maniciparunt, in qua non multo post ea defunctus; aiunt enim quod cervical super os eius imponerent, sicque cum pessime su ffocarent. Quo mortuo ipsius Marotiae filium Johannem nomine [John XI.] quem ex Sergio papa meretrix genuerat, papam constituunt." The parentage of John XI. from pope Sergius is adopted by Gregorovius, Dümmler, Greenwood, and Baxmann, but disputed by Muratori, Hefele, and Gfrörer, who maintain that John XI. was the son of Marozia’s husband, Alberic I., if they ever were married. For, according to Benedict of Soracte, Marozia accepted him "non quasi uxor, sed in consuetudinem malignam." Albericus Marchio was an adventurer before he became Markgrave, about 897, and must not be confounded with Albertus Marchio or Adalbert the Rich of Tuscany. See Gregorovius, III. 275; von Reumont, II. 228, 231, and the genealogical tables in Höfler, Vol. I., Append. V. and VI.

9279 See the account in Liutprand III. 44.

0280 Among the charges of the Synod against him were that he appeared constantly armed with sword, lance, helmet, and breastplate, that he neglected matins and vespers, that he never signed himself with the sign of the cross, that he was fond of hunting, that he had made a boy of ten years a bishop, and ordained a bishop or deacon in a stable, that he had mutilated a priest, that he had set houses on fire, like Nero, that he had committed homicide and adultery, had violated virgins and widows high and low, lived with his father’s mistress, converted the pontifical palace into a brothel, drank to the health of the devil, and invoked at the gambling-table the help of Jupiter and Venus and other heathen demons! The emperor Otho would not believe these enormities until they, were proven, but the bishops replied, that they were matters of public notoriety requiring no proof. Before the Synod convened John XII. had made his escape from Rome, carrying with him the portable part of the treasury of St. Peter. But after the departure of the emperor he was readmitted to the city, restored for a short time, and killed in an act of adultery ("dum se cum viri cujusdam uxore oblectaret") by the enraged husband of his paramour. or by, the devil ("a diabolo est percussus"). Liutprand, De rebus gestis Ottonis (in Migne, Tom. XXXVI. 898-910). Hefele (IV. 619) thinks that he died of apoplexy.

1281 A full account of this Synod see in Liutprand, De rebus gestis Ottonis, and in Baronius, Annal. ad ann 963. Comp. also Greenwood, Bk VIII. ch. 12, Gfrörer, vol. III., p. iii., 1249 sqq., Giesebrecht, I. 465 and 828, and Hefele, IV. 612 sqq. Gfrörer, without defending John XII., charges Otho with having first violated the engagement (p. 1253). The pope was three times summoned before the Synod, but the answer came from Tivoli that he had gone hunting. Baronius, Floss, and Hefele regard this synod as uncanonical.

282 Baronius, ad ann. 964, pronounced the document spurious, chiefly because it is very inconvenient to his ultramontane doctrine. It is printed in Mon. Germ. iv.2 (Leges, II. 167), and in a more extensive form from a MS. at Treves in Leonis VIII. privilegium de investituris, by H. J. Floss, Freib., 1858. This publication has changed the state of the controversy in favor of a genuine element in the document. See the discussion in Hefele, IV. 622 sqq.

3283 This antipathy found its last expression and termination in the expulsion of the Austrians from Lombardy and Venice, and the formation of a united kingdom of Italy.

4284 Ditmar of Merseburg, the historian of Henry II., expresses the sentiment of that time when he says (Chron. IV. 22): "Neither the climate nor the people suit our countrymen. Both in Rome and Lombardy treason is always at work. Strangers who visit Italy expect no hospitality: everything they require must be instantly paid for; and even then they must submit to be over-reached and cheated, and not unfrequently to be poisoned after all."

5285 "Quid hunc, rev. Patres, in sublimi solio residentem veste purpurea et aurea radiantem, quid hunc, inqam, esse censetis? Nimirum si caritate destituitur, solaque inflatur et extollitur, Antichristus est, in templo Dei sedens, et se ostendens tamquam sit D Eus. Si autem nec caritate fundatur, nec scientia erigitur, in templo Dei tamquam statua, tanquam idolum est, a quo responsa petere, marmora consulere est."

6286 The acts of this Synod were first published in the Magdeburg Centuries, then by Mansi, Conc. XIX. 107, and Pertz, Mon. V. 658. Baronius pronounced them spurious, and interspersed them with indignant notes; but Mansi (p. 107) says: "Censent vulgo omnes, Gerbertum reipsa et sincere recitasse acta concilii vere habiti." See Gieseler, Greenwood (Book VIII. ch. 6), and Hefele (IV. 637 sqq.). Hefele pronounces the speech schismatical.

7287 He is called Crescentius de Theodora, and seems to have died in a convent about 984. Some make him the son of Pope John X. and the elder Theodora, others, of the younger Theodora. See Gregorovius, III. 407 sqq; von Reumont, II. 292 sqq.; and the genealogy of the Crescentii in Höfler, I. 300.

8288 Gerbert (afterwards pope Sylvester II.) called this Bonifacius a "Malefactor," (Malifacius) and "horrendum monstrum, cunctos mortales nequitia superans, etiam prioris pontificis sanguine cruentus."Gregorovius, III. 410.

9289 The Tusculan family claimed descent from Julius Caesar and Octavian. See Gregorovius, IV. 10, and Giesebrecht II. 174; also the genealogical table of Höfler at the close of Vol. I.

0290 Baronius, however, says that Stephen VIII. (939-942) was a German, and for this reason opposed by the Romans. Bruno was only twenty-four years old when elected. Höfler (I. 94 sqq.) gives him a very high character.

1291 See preceding section, p. 290.

292 According to several Italian writers he was poisoned by Stephania, under the disguise of a loving mistress, in revenge of the murder of Crescentius, her husband. Muratori and Milman accept the story, but it is not mentioned by Ditmar (Chron. IV. 30), and discredited by Leo, Gfrörer, and Greenwood. Otho had restored to the son of Stephania all his father’s property, and made him prefect of Rome. The same remorseless Stephania is said to have admininistered subtle poison to pope Sylvester II.

3293 See Gfrörer, III. P. III. 1550 sq. He regards Sylvester II. one of the greatest of popes and statesmen who developed all the germs of the system, and showed the way to his successors. Comp. on him Milman, Bk. V. ch. 13; Giesebrecht, I. 613 sqq. and 690 sqq.

4294 His historian, bishop Thitmar or Ditmar of Merseburg, relates that Henry never held carnal intercourse with his wife, and submitted to rigid penances and frequent flagellations for the subjugation of animal passions. But Hase (§ 160, tenth ed.) remarks: "Die Mönche, die er zu Gunsten der Bisthümer beraubt hat, dachten ihn nur eben von der Hölle gerettet; auch den Heiligenschein der jungfraeulichen Kaiserinhat der Teufel zu verdunkeln gewusst." Comp. C. Schurzfleisch, De innocentia Cunig., Wit., 1700. A. Noel, Leben der heil. Kunigunde, Luxemb. 1856. For a high and just estimate of Henry’s character see Giesebrecht II. 94-96. "The legend," he says, "describes Henry as a monk in purple, as a penitent with a crown, who can scarcely drag along his lame body; it places Kunigunde at his side not as wife but as a nun, who in prayer and mortification of the flesh seeks with him the path to heaven. History gives a very different picture of king Henry and his wife. It bears witness that he was one of the most active and energetic rulers that ever sat on the German throne, and possessed a sharp understanding and a power of organization very rare in those times. It was a misfortune for Germany that such a statesman had to spend most of his life in internal and external wars. Honorable as he was in arms, he would have acquired a higher fame in times of peace."
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