HENRY CHARLES LEA,
AUTHOR OF "AN HISTORICAL SKETCH OF SACERDOTAL CELIBACY," "SUPERSTITION AND FORCE," "STUDIES IN CHURCH HISTORY."
IN THREE VOLUMES.
VOL. I. (of 3)
NEW YORK: HARPER & BROTHERS,
FRANKLIN SQUARE. 1888.
THE history of the Inquisition naturally divides itself into two portions, each of which may be considered as a whole. The Reformation is the boundary-line between them, except in Spain, where the New Inquisition was founded by Ferdinand and Isabella. In the present work I have sought to present an impartial account of the institution as it existed during the earlier period. For the second portion I have made large collections of material, through which I hope in due time to continue the history to its end.
The Inquisition was not an organization arbitrarily devised and imposed upon the judicial system of Christendom by the ambition or fanaticism of the Church. It was rather a natural -one may almost say an inevitable -- evolution of the forces at work in the thirteenth century, and no one can rightly appreciate the process of its development and the results of its activity without a somewhat minute consideration of the factors controlling the minds and souls of men during the ages which laid the foundation of modern civilization. To accomplish this it has been necessary to pass in review nearly all the spiritual and intellectual movements of the Middle Ages, and to glance at the condition of society in certain of its phases.
At the commencement of my historical studies I speedily be. came convinced that the surest basis of investigation for a given period lay in an examination of its jurisprudence, which presents without disguise its aspirations and the means regarded as best adapted for their realization. I have accordingly devoted much space to the origin and development of the inquisitorial process, feeling convinced that in this manner only can we understand the operations of the Holy Office and the influence which it exercised on successive generations. By the application of the results thus obtained it has seemed to me that many points which have been misunderstood or imperfectly appreciated can be elucidated. If in this I have occasionally been led to conclusions differing from those currently accepted, I beg the reader to believe that the views presented have not been hastily formed, but that they are the outcome of a conscientious survey of all the original sources accessible to me.
No serious historical work is worth the writing or the reading unless it conveys a moral, but to be useful the moral must develop itself in the mind of the reader without being obtruded upon him. Especially is this the case in a history treating of a subject which has called forth the fiercest passions of man, arousing alternately his highest and his basest impulses. I have not paused to moralize, but I have missed my aim if the events narrated are not so presented as to teach their appropriate lesson. It only remains for me to express my thanks to the numerous friends and correspondents who have rendered me assistance in the arduous labor of collecting the very varied material, much of it inedited, on which the present work is based. Especially do I desire to record my gratitude to the memory of that cultured gentleman and earnest scholar, the late Hon. George P. Marsh, who for so many years worthily represented the United States at the Italian court. I never had the fortune to look upon his face, but the courteous readiness with which he aided my researches in Italy merit my warmest acknowledgments. To Professor Charles Molinier, of the University of Toulouse, moreover, my special thanks are due as to one who has always been ready to share with a fellow-student his own unrivalled knowledge of the In- quisition of Languedoc. In the Florentine archives I owe much to Francis Philip Nast, Esq., to Professor Felice Tocco, and to Doctor Giuseppe Papaleoni; in those of Naples, to the Superintendent Cav. Minieri Riccio and to the Cav. Leopoldo Ovary; in those of Venice to the Cav. Teodoro Toderini and Sig. Bartolomeo Cecchetti: in those of Brussels to M. Charles Rahlenbeck. In Paris I have to congratulate myself on the careful assiduity with which M. L. Sandret has exhausted for my benefit the rich collections of MSS., especially those of the Bibliothéque Nationale. To a student, separated by a thousand leagues of ocean from the repositories of the Old World, assistance of this nature is a necessity, and I esteem myself fortunate in having enlisted the co-operation of those who have removed for me some of the disabilities of time and space.
Should the remaining portion of my task be hereafter accomplished, I hope to have the opportunity of acknowledging my obligations to many other gentlemen of both hemispheres who have furnished me with unpublished material illustrating the later development of the Holy Office.
PHILADELPHIA, August, 1887.
Domination of the Church in the Twelfth Century
Causes of Antagonism with the Laity
Election of Bishops
Simony and Favoritism
Martial Character of Prelates
Difficulty of Punishing Offenders
Prostitution of the Episcopal Office
Abuse of Papal Jurisdiction
Abuse of Episcopal Jurisdiction
Oppression from the Building of Cathedrals
Neglect of Preaching
Abuses of Patronage
Sale of the Sacraments
Extortion of Pious Legacies
Quarrels over Burials
The Monastic Orders
The Religion of the Middle Ages
Tendency to Fetishism
Magic Power of Formulas and Relics
Awakening of the Human Intellect in the Twelfth Century
Popular Characteristics 59
Nature of Heresies 60
Antisacerdotal Heresies 62
Nullity of Sacraments in Polluted Hands 62
Éon de l'Étoile 66
Peculiar Civilization of Southern France 66
Pierre de Bruys 68
Henry of Lausanne 69
Arnaldo of Brescia
Peter Waldo and the Waldenses
Passagii, Joseppini, Siscidentes, Runcarii
Attractions of the Dualistic Theory
Derivation of Catharism from Manichæism
Belief and Organization of the Catharan Church
Missionary Zeal and Thirst for Martyrdom
Spread of Catharism from Slavonia
Diffusion throughout Europe in the Eleventh Century
Increase in Twelfth Century
Comparative Exemption of Germany and England
Growth in Italy. Efforts of Innocent III
Its Stronghold in Southern France
Its Expected Triumph
Failure of Crusade of 1181
Period of Toleration and Growth
Policy of the Church towards Heresy
Suppression of Heresy in the Nivernais
Translations of Scripture forbidden at Metz
Power of Raymond VI. of Toulouse
Condition of the Church in his Dominions
Innocent III. Undertakes the Suppression of Heresy
The Prelates Refuse their Aid
Arnaud of Citeaux Sent as Chief Legate
Fruitless Effort to Organize a Crusade in 1204 139
The Bishop of Osma and St. Dominic Urge Fresh Efforts in 1206
Attempt to Organize a Crusade in 1207
Murder of Pierre de Castelnau, Jan. 16, 1208
Crusade successfully Preached in 1208
Raymond's Efforts to Avert the Storm
His Submission and Penance; Duplicity of Innocent III
Raymond Directs the Crusade against the Vicomte de Béziers
Sack of Béziers. -- Surrender of Carcassonne
Pedro of Aragon and Simon de Montfort
De Montford Accepts the Conquered Territories. -- His Difficulties
Raymond Attacked. -- Deceit Practised by the Church
His Desperate Efforts to Avert a Rupture
First Siege of Toulouse. -- Raymond Gradually Overpowered
Intervention of Pedro of Aragon
Raymond Prejudged. -- Trial Denied him
Pedro Declares War. -- Battle of Muret, Sept. 13, 1213
De Montfort's Vicissitudes. -- Pious Fraud of the Legate
Raymond Deposed and Replaced by De Montfort
The Lateran Council. -- It Decides in De Montfort's Favor
Rising of the People under the Younger Raymond
Second Siege of Toulouse in 1217. -- Death of De Montfort
Crusade of Louis Cœur-de-Lion. -- Third Siege of Toulouse
Raymond VII. Recovers his Lands. -- Recrudescence of Heresy
Negotiations Opened. -- Death of Philip Augustus
Louis VIII. Proposes a Crusade. -- Raymond Makes Terms with the Church
Duplicity of Honorius III. -- Council of Bourges, Nov. 1225 Louis Organizes the Crusade in 1226
His Conquering Advance. -- His Retreat and Death
Desultory War in 1227. -- Negotiations in 1228
Treaty of Paris, April, 1229. -- Persecution Established
Growth of Intolerance in the Early Church 209
Persecution Commences under Constantine
The Church Adopts the Death-penalty for Heresy
Duty of the Ruler to Suppress Heresy
Decline of Persecuting Spirit under the Barbarians
Hesitation to Punish in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries
Uncertainty as to Form of Punishment
Burning Alive Adopted in the Thirteenth Century
Evasion of Responsibility by the Church
The Temporal Authority Coerced to Persecute
Persecution of the Dead
Motives Impelling to Persecution
Cruelty of the Middle Ages
Exaggerated Detestation of Heresy
Influence of Asceticism
Material for Reform within the Church
Foulques de Neuilly
Durán de Huesca anticipates Dominic and Francis
St. Dominic, his Career and Character
His Order founded in 1214. -- Its Success
St. Francis of Assisi
His Order Founded. -- Injunction of Poverty
He Realizes the Christian Ideal
Extravagant Laudation of Poverty
Influence of the Mendicant Orders
Emotional Character of the Age. -- The Pastoureaux. -- The Flagellants
The Mendicants Rendered Independent of the Prelates
Their Utility to the Papacy
Antagonism between, them and the Secular Clergy
The Battle Fought out in the University of Paris
Victory of the Mendicants. -- Unappeasable Hostility
Degneracy of the Orders
Their Activity as Missionaries
Their Functions as Inquisitors
Inveterate Hostility between the Orders
Uncertainty in the Discovery and Punishment of Heretics
Growth of Episcopal Jurisdiction
Procedure in Episcopal Courts. -- The Inquisitorial Process
System of Inquests
Efforts to Establish an Episcopal Inquisition
Endeavor to Create a Legatine Inquisition
Fitness of the Mendicant Orders for the Work
Secular Legislation for Suppression of Heresy
Edict of Gregory XI. in 1231. -- Secular Inquisition Tried
Tentative Introduction of Papal Inquisitors
Dominicans Invested with Inquisitorial Functions
Episcopal Functions not Superseded
Struggle between Bishops and Inquisitors
Settlement when Inquisition Becomes Permanent
Control Given to Inquisitors in Italy; in France; in Aragon
All Opposing Legislation Annulled
All Social Forces Placed at Command of Inquisition
Absence of Supervision and Accountability
Extent of Jurisdiction
Penalty of Impeding the Inquisition
Fruitless Rivalry of the Bishops
Limits of Extension of the Inquisition
The Northern Nations Virtually Exempt
Africa and the East
Vicissitudes of Episcopal Inquisition
Greater Efficiency of the Papal Inquisition
Bernard Gui's Model Inquisitor
Simplicity of the Inquisition
Inquisitorial Districts. -- Itinerant Inquests
Time of Grace. -- Its Efficiency
Buildings and Prisons
Personnel of the Tribunal
The Records. -- Their Completeness and Importance
Familiars. -- Question of Bearing Arms
Resources of the State at Command of Inquisitors
Episcopal Concurrence in Sentence
The Assembly of Experts
The Sermo or Auto de fé
Co-operation of Tribunals
Inquisitor both Judge and Confessor
Difficulty of Proving Heresy
The Inquisitorial Process universally Employed
Age of Responsibility. -- Proceedings in Absentia. -- The Dead
All Safeguards Withdrawn. -- Secrecy of Procedure
Confession not Requisite for Conviction
Importance Attached to Confession
Interrogatory of the Accused
Resources for Extracting Confession. -- Deceit
Irregular Tortures, Mental and Physical. -- Delays
Restricted by Clement V
Rules for its Employment
Retraction of Confessions
Comparative Unimportance of Witnesses
Flimsiness of Evidence Admitted
The Crime Known as "Suspicion of Heresy"
Number of Witnesses. -- No Restrictions as to Character or Age
Mortal Enmity the only Disability
Secrecy of Confessional Disregarded
Suppression of Names of Witnesses
Evidence sometimes Withheld
Frequency of False-witness. -- Its Penalty
Opportunity of Defence Reduced to a Minimum
Denial of Counsel
Malice of Witnesses the only Defence
Prosecution of the Dead
Defence practically Impossible. -- Appeals
Condemnation virtually Inevitable
Suspicion of Heresy. -- Light, Vehement, and Violent
Purgation by Conjurators
Penance not Punishment
Grades of Penance
Miscellaneous Penances 463
Crusades to Palestine
Fines and Commutations
Abuses. -- Bribery and Extortion
Destruction of Houses
Troubles about the Expenses
Treatment of Prisoners
Comparative Frequency of Different Penalties
Modification of Sentences
Penitents never Pardoned, although Reprieved
Penalties of Descendants
Origin in the Roman Law
The Church Responsible for its Introduction
Varying Practice in Decreeing it
Degree of Criminality Entailing it
Question of the Dowers of Wives
The Church Shares the Spoils in Italy
In France they are Seized by the State
The Bishops Obtain a Share
Rapacity of Confiscation
Alienations and Obligations Void
Paralyzing Influence on Commercial Development
Expenses of Inquisition, how Defrayed
Persecution Dependent on Confiscation
Theoretical Irresponsibility of the Inquisition
The Church Coerces the Secular Power to Burn Heretics
Only Impenitent Heretics Burned
Relapse. -- Hesitation as to its Penalty. -- Burning Decided upon
Difficulty of Defining Relapse
Refusal to Submit to Penance
Probable Frequency of Burning
Details of Execution
Burning of Books
Influence of Inquisitorial Methods on the Church
Influence on Secular Jurisprudence
ORIGIN AND ORGANIZATION.
As the twelfth century drew to a close, the Church was approaching a crisis in its career. The vicissitudes of a hundred and fifty years, skilfully improved, had rendered it the mistress of Christendom. History records no such triumph of intellect over brute strength as that which, in an age of turmoil and battle, was wrested from the fierce warriors of the time by priests who had no material force at their command, and whose power was based alone on the souls and consciences of men. Over soul and conscience their empire was complete. No Christian could hope for salvation who was not in all things an obedient son of the Church, and who was not ready to take up arms in its defence; and, in a time when faith was a determining factor of conduct, this belief created a spiritual despotism which placed all things within reach of him who could wield it.
This could be accomplished only by a centralized organization such as that which had gradually developed itself within the ranks of the hierarchy. The ancient independence of the episcopate was no more. Step by step the supremacy of the Roman see had been asserted and enforced, until it enjoyed the universal jurisdiction which enabled it to bend to its wishes every prelate, under the naked alternative of submission or expulsion. The papal man- date, just or unjust, reasonable or unreasonable, was to be received and implicitly obeyed, for there was no appeal from the representative of St. Peter. In a narrower sphere, and subject to the pope, the bishop held an authority which, at least in theory, was equally absolute; while the humbler minister of the altar was the instrument by which the decrees of pope and bishop were enforced among the people; for the destiny of all men lay in the hands which could administer or withhold the sacraments essential to salvation.
Thus intrusted with responsibility for the fate of mankind, it was necessary that the Church should possess the powers and the machinery requisite for the due discharge of a trust so unspeakably important. For the internal regulation of the conscience it had erected the institution of auricular confession, which by this time had become almost the exclusive appanage of the priesthood. When this might fail to keep the believer in the path of righteousness, it could resort to the spiritual courts which had grown up around every episcopal seat, with an undefined jurisdiction capable of almost unlimited extension. Besides supervision over matters of faith and discipline, of marriage, of inheritance, and of usury, which belonged to them by general consent, there were comparatively few questions between man and man which could not be made to include some case of conscience involving the interpellation of spiritual interference, especially when agreements were customarily confirmed with the sanction of the oath; and the cure of souls implied a perpetual inquest over the aberrations, positive or possible, of every member of the flock. It would be difficult to set bounds to the intrusion upon the concerns of every man which was thus rendered possible, or to the influence thence derivable.
Not only did the humblest priest wield a supernatural power which marked him as one elevated above the common level of humanity, but his person and possessions were alike inviolable. No matter what crimes he might commit, secular justice could not take cognizance of them, and secular officials could not arrest him. He was amenable only to the tribunals of his own order, which were debarred from inflicting punishments involving the effusion of blood, and from whose decisions an appeal to the supreme jurisdiction of distant Rome conferred too often virtual immunity.
The same privilege protected ecclesiastical property, conferred on the Church by the piety of successive generations, and covering no small portion of the most fertile lands of Europe. Moreover, the seignorial rights attaching to those lands often carried extensive temporal jurisdiction, which gave to their ghostly possessors the power over life and limb enjoyed by feudal lords.
The line of separation between the laity and the clergy was widened and deepened by the enforcement of the canon requiring celibacy on the part of all concerned in the ministry of the altar. Revived about the middle of the eleventh century, and enforced after an obstinate struggle of a hundred years, the compulsory celibacy of the priesthood divided them from the people, preserved intact the vast acquisitions of the Church, and furnished it with an innumerable army whose aspirations and ambition were necessarily restricted within its circle. The man who entered the service of the Church was no longer a citizen. He owed no allegiance superior to that assumed in his ordination. He was released from the distraction of family cares and the seduction of family ties. The Church was his country and his home, and its interests were his own. The moral, intellectual, and physical forces which, throughout the laity, were divided between the claims of patriotism, the selfish struggle for advancement, the provision for wife and children, were in the Church consecrated to a common end, in the success of which all might hope to share, while all were assured of the necessities of existence, and were relieved of anxiety as to the future.
The Church, moreover, offered the only career open to men of all ranks and stations. In the sharply-defined class distinctions of the feudal system advancement was almost impossible to one not born within the charmed circle of gentle blood. In the Church, however much rank and family connections might assist in securing promotion to high place, yet talent and energy could always make themselves felt despite lowliness of birth. Urban II. and Adrian IV. sprang from the humblest origin; Alexander V. had been a beggar-boy; Gregory VII. was the son of a carpenter; Benedict XII., of a baker; Nicholas V., of a poor physician; Sixtus IV., of a peasant; Urban IV. and John XXII. were sons of cobblers, and Benedict XI. and Sixtus V. of shepherds; in fact, the annals of the hierarchy are full of those who rose from the lowest ranks of society to the most commanding positions. The Church thus constantly recruited its ranks with fresh blood. Free from the curse of hereditary descent, through which crowns and coronets frequently lapsed into weak and incapable hands, it called into its service an indefinite amount of restless vigor for which there was no other sphere of action, and which, when once enlisted, found itself perforce identified irrevocably with the body which it had joined. The character of the priest was indelible; the vows taken at ordination could not be thrown aside; the monk, when once admitted to the cloister, could not abandon his order unless it were to enter another of more rigorous observance. The Church Militant was thus an army encamped on the soil of Christendom, with its outposts everywhere, subject to the most efficient discipline, animated with a common purpose, every soldier panoplied with inviolability and armed with the tremendous weapons which slew the soul. There was little that could not be dared or done by the commander of such a force, whose orders were listened to as oracles of God, from Portugal to Palestine and from Sicily to Iceland. "Princes," says John of Salisbury, "derive their power from the Church, and are servants of the priesthood." "The least of the priestly order is worthier than any king," exclaims Honorius of Autun; "prince and people are subjected to the clergy, which shines superior as the sun to the moon." Innocent III. used a more spiritual metaphor when he declared that the priestly power was as superior to the secular as the soul of man was to his body; and he summed up his estimate of his own position by pronouncing himself to be the Vicar of Christ, the Christ of the Lord, the God of Pharaoh, placed midway between God and man, this side of God but beyond man, less than God but greater than man, who judges all, and is judged by none. That he was supreme over all the earth -- over pagans and infidels as well as over Christians -- was legally proved and universally taught by the medicaval doctors. * Though the power thus vaingloriously asserted was fraught with evil in many ways, yet was it none the less a service to humanity that, in those rude ages, there existed a
* Johann. Saresberiens. Polycrat. lib. IV. cap. iii. -- Honor. Augustod. Summ. Glor. de Apost. cap. v., viii. -- Innocent PP. III. Regest. de Negot. Rom. Imp. xviii.; Ejusd. Serm. de Sanctis vii.; Serm. de Diversis iii. -- Eymerici Direct. Inquisit. Ed. Venet. 1607, p. 353.
moral force superior to high descent and martial prowess, which could remind king and noble that they must obey the law of God even when uttered by a peasant's son; as when Urban II., himself a Frenchman of low birth, dared to excommunicate his monarch, Philip I., for his adultery, thus upholding the moral order and enforcing the sanctions of eternal justice at a time when everything seemed permissible to the recklessness of power.
Yet, in achieving this supremacy, much had been of necessity sacrificed. The Christian virtues of humility and charity and selfabnegation had virtually disappeared in the contest which left the spiritual power dominant over the temporal. The affection of the populations was no longer attracted by the graces and loveliness of Christianity; submission was purchased by the promise of salvation, to be acquired by faith and obedience, or was extorted by the threat of perdition or by the sharper terrors of earthly persecution. If the Church, by sundering itself completely from the laity, had acquired the services of a militia devoted wholly to itself, it had thereby created an antagonism between itself and the people. Practically, the whole body of Christians no longer constituted the Church; that body was divided into two essentially distinct classes, the shepherds and the sheep; and the lambs were often apt to think, not unreasonably, that they were tended only to be shorn. The worldly prizes offered to ambition by an ecclesiastical career drew into the ranks of the Church able men, it is true, but men whose object was worldly ambition rather than spiritual development. The immunities and privileges of the Church and the enlargement of its temporal acquisitions were objects held more at heart than the salvation of souls, and its high places were filled, for the most part, with men in whom worldliness was more conspicuous than the humbler virtues.
This was inevitable in the state of society which existed in the early Middle Ages. While angels would have been required to exercise becomingly the tremendous powers claimed and acquired by the Church, the methods by which clerical preferment and promotion were secured were such as to favor the unscrupulous rather than the deserving. To understand fully the causes which drove so many thousands into schism and heresy, leading to wars and persecutions, and the establishment of the Inquisition, it is necessary to cast a glance at the character of the men who represented the Church before the people, and at the use which they made, for good or for evil, of the absolute spiritual despotism which had become established. In wise and devout hands it might elevate incalculably the moral and material standards of European civilization; in the hands of the selfish and depraved it could become the instrument of minute and all-pervading oppression, driving whole nations to despair.
As regards the methods of election to the episcopate there cannot be said at this period to have been any settled and invariable rule. The ancient form of election by the clergy, with the acquiescence of the people of the diocese, was still preserved in theory, but in practice the electoral body consisted of the cathedral canons; while the confirmation required of the king, or semi-independent feudal noble, and of the pope, in a time of unsettled institutions, frequently rendered the election an empty form, in which the royal or papal power might prevail, according to the tendencies of time and place. The constantly increasing appeals to Rome, as to the tribunal of last resort, by disappointed aspirants, under every imaginable pretext, gave to the Holy See a rapidly-growing influence, which, in many cases, amounted almost to the power of appointment; and Innocent II., at the Lateran Council of 1139, applied the feudal system to the Church by declaring that all ecclesiastical dignities were received and held of the popes like fiefs. Whatever rules, however, might be laid down, they could not operate in rendering the elect better than the electors. The stream will not rise above its source, and a corrupt electing or appointing power is not apt to be restrained from the selection of fitting representatives of itself by methods, however ingeniously devised, which have not the inherent ability of self-enforcement. The oath which cardinals were obliged to take on entering a conclave -- "I call God to witness that I choose him whom I judge according to God ought to be chosen" -- was notoriously inefficacious in securing the election of pontiffs fitted to serve as the vicegerents of God; and so, from the humblest parish priest to the loftiest prelate, all grides of the hierarchy were likely to be filled by worldly, ambitious, self-seeking, and licentious men. The material to be selected from, moreover, was of such a character that even the most exacting friends of the Church had to content themselves when the least worthless was successful. St. Peter Damiani, in asking of Gregory VI. the confirmation of a bishop-elect of Fossombrone, admits that he is unfit, and that he ought to undergo penance before undertaking the episcopate, but yet there is nothing better to be done, for in the whole diocese there was not a single ecclesiastic worthy of the office; all were selfishly ambitious, too eager for preferment to think of rendering themselves worthy of it, inflamed with desire for power, but utterly careless as to its duties. *
Under these circumstances simony, with all its attendant evils, was almost universal, and those evils made themselves everywhere felt on the character both of electors and elected. In the fruitless war waged by Gregory VII. and his successors against this allpervading vice, the number of bishops assailed is the surest index of the means which had been found successful, and of the men who thus were enabled to represent the apostles. As Innocent III. declared, it was a disease of the Church immedicable by either soothing remedies or fire; and Peter Cantor, who died in the odor of sanctity, relates with approval the story of a Cardinal Martin, who, on officiating in the Christmas solemnities at the Roman court, rejected a gift of twenty pounds sent him by the papal chancellor, for the reason that it was notoriously the product of rapine and simony. It was related as a supreme instance of the virtue of Peter, Cardinal of St. Chrysogono, formerly Bishop of Meaux, that he had, in a single election, refused the dazzling bribe of five hundred marks of silver. Temporal princes were more ready to turn the power of confirmation to profitable account, and few imitated the example of Philip Augustus, who, when the abbacy of St. Denis became vacant, and the provost, the treasurer, and the cellarer of the abbey each sought him secretly, and gave him five hundred livres for the succession, quietly went to the abbey, picked out a simple monk standing in a corner, conferred the dignity on him, and handed him the fifteen hundred livres. The Council of Rouen, in 1050, complains bitterly of the pernicious custom by which ambitious men accumulated, by every possible means, presents wherewith to gain the favor of the prince and his courtiers in order to obtain bishoprics, but it could suggest no rem-
* Gratiani P. I. Dist. LXII. -- Concil Lateran. IV. c. xxiii.-XXV. -- Isambert, Anciennes Loix Françaises, I. 145. -- P. Damiani Lib. I. Epist. ii.
edy. The council was directly concerned only with the Norman dukes, but the contemporary King of France, Henry I., was notorious as a vendor of bishopries. He had commenced his reign with an edict prohibiting the purchase and sale of preferment under penalty of forfeiture of both purchase-money and benefice, and had boasted that, as God had given him the crown gratis, so he would take nothing for his right of confirmation, reproaching his prelates bitterly for the prevalence of the vice which was eating out the heart of the Church. Yet in time he yielded to the custom, and a single instance will illustrate the working of the system. A certain Helinand, a clerk of low extraction and deficient training, had found favor at the court of Edward the Confessor, where he had ample opportunities of amassing wealth. Happening to be sent on a mission to Henry, he made a bargain by which he purchased the reversion of the first vacant bishopric, which chanced in course of time to be Laon, where he was duly installed. Henry's successor, Philip I., was known as the most venal of men, and from him, by a similar transaction, Helinand purchased, with the money acquired from the revenues of Laon, the primatial see of Reims. Such jobbers in patronage were accustomed to enter into compacts with each other for mutual assistance, and to consult astrologers as to expected vacancies. The manipulation of ecclesiastical preferment was reduced to a system, calling forth the indignant remonstrance of all the better class of churchmen. Instances of these abuses might be multiplied indefinitely, and their influence on the character of the Church cannot easily be overestimated. *
Even where the consideration paid for preferment was not actually money, the effect was equally deplorable. Peter Cantor assures us that, if those who were promoted for relationship were
* Innocent. PP. III. Regest. I. 261. -- P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. cv. -- Alex. PP. III. Epist. 395. - Cæsar. Heisterb. Dial. Mirac. Dist. VI. c. 5. -- Concil. Rotomag. ann. 1050 c. 2. -- Rodolphi Glabri Hist. Lib. v. c. 5. -- Guibert. Noviogent. de Vita sua Lib. III. c. 2. -- Joann. Saresberiens. Polycrat. Lib. VII. c. 19. -- Hist. Monast. Andaginens. c. 81. -- Ruperti Tuitens. Chron. S. Laurent. c. 28, 45. -Hist. Monast. S. Laurent. Leodiens. Lib. v. c. 62, 121-3. -- Chron. Cornel. Zantfliet ann. 1305.
A story very similar to that of Philip Augustus is told of the Chancellor of Roger of Sicily and three competitors for the see of Avellana -- Joann. Saresberiens. ubi sup.
required to resign, it would cause general destruction throughout the Church; and worse motives were constantly at work. Though Philip I., for his adultery with Bertrade of Anjou, was nominally deprived of the confirmation, or, rather, nomination, of bishops, there were none to prevent his exercise of the power. About the year 1100 the Archbishop of Tours, having gratified the king by disregarding the excommunication under which he lay, claimed his reward by demanding that the vacant see of Orleans should be given to a youth whom he loved not wisely but too well, and who was so notorious for the facility with which he granted his favors (the preceding Archbishop of Tours had likewise been one of his lovers) that he was popularly known as Flora, in allusion to a noted courtesan of the day, and ribald love-songs addressed to him were openly sung in the streets. Such of the Orleans clergy as threatened trouble were put out of the way by false accusations and exiled, and the remainder not only submitted, but even made a jest of the fact that the election took place on the Feast of the Innocents--
"Elegimus puerum, puerorum festa colentes, Non nostrum morem sed regis jussa sequentes." * Under such influences it was in vain that the better class of men who occasionally appeared in the ranks of the hierarchy, such as Fulbert of Chartres, Hildebert of Le Mans, Ivo of Chartres, Lanfranc, Anselm, St. Bruno, St. Bernard, St. Norbert, and others, struggled to enforce respect for religion and morality. The current against them was too strong, and they could do little but protest and offer an example which few were found to follow. In those days of violence the meek and humble had little chance, and the prizes were for those who could intrigue and chaffer, or whose martial tendencies offered promise that they would make the rights of their churches and vassals respected. In fact, the military character of the mediæval prelates is a subject which it would be interesting to consider in more detail than space will here admit. The wealthy abbeys and powerful bishoprics came to be largely regarded as appropriate means to provide for younger sons of noble houses, or to increase the influence of
* P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. xxxvi. -- Chron. Turon. ann. 1097. -- Ivon. Carnotens. Lib. I. Epp. lxvi., lxvii.
leading families. By such methods as we have seen they passed into the hands of those whose training had been military rather than religious. The mitre and cross had no more scruple than the knightly pennon to be seen in the forefront of battle. When excommunication failed to bring to reason restless vassals or encroaching neighbors, there was prompt recourse to the fleshly arm, and the plundered peasant could not distinguish between the ravages of the robber baron and of the representative of Christ. One of the early adventures of Rodolph of Hapsburg, by which he won the reputation which elevated him to the imperial throne, was the war declared by Walter, Bishop of Strassburg, against his burghers, because they had refused to aid him in gratuitously interfering in a quarrel between the Bishop of Metz and a troublesome noble. As they disregarded his excommunication, Bishop Walter attacked them vigorously, when they placed themselves under the command of Rodolph, and utterly defeated their pastor, after a war which desolated every portion of Alsace.
The chronicles of the period are full of details of this nature. Worldly and turbulent, there was little to differentiate the prelate from the baron, and the latter had no more scruple in making reprisals on Church property than on secular possessions. In the dissensions which reduced the wealthy Abbey of St. Tron to beggary, the pious Godfrey of Bouillon, shortly before the crusade which won for him the throne of Jerusalem, ravaged the abbey lands with fire and sword. The people, on whom fell the crushing weight of these conflicts, could only look upon the baron and priest as enemies both; and whatever might be lacking in the military ability of the spiritual warriors, was compensated for by their seeking to kill the souls as well as the bodies of their foes. This was especially the case in Germany, where the prelates were princes as well as priests, and where a great religious house like the Abbey of St. Gall was the temporal ruler of the Cantons of St. Gall and Appenzel, until the latter threw off the yoke after a long and devastating war. The historian of the abbey chronicles with pride the martial virtues of successive abbots, and in speaking of Ulric III., who died in 1117, he remarks that, worn out with many battles, he at last passed away in peace. All this was in some sort a necessity of the incongruous union of feudal noble and Christian prelate, and though more marked in Germany than elsewhere, it was to be seen everywhere. In 1224 the Bishops of Coutances, Avranches, and Lisieux withdrew from the army of Louis VIII. at Tours, under an agreement that the king should make legal investigation to determine whether the bishops of Normandy were bound to serve personally in the royal armies; if this was found to be the case, they were to return and pay the amercement for deserting him. The decision apparently went against them, for in 1272 we find them serving personally under Philippe le Hardi. This indisposition to fight the battles of others was not often shown when the cause was their own. Geroch of Reichersperg inveighs bitterly against the warlike prelates who provoke unjust wars, attacking the peaceful and delighting in the slaughter which they cause and witness, giving no quarter, taking no prisoners, sparing neither clergy nor laity, and spending the revenues of the Church on soldiers, to the deprivation of the poor.
Such a prelate was Lupold, Bishop of Worms, whose recklessness provoked his brother to say, "My lord bishop, you scandalize us laymen greatly by your example. Before you were a bishop you feared God a little, but now you care nothing for him," to which Bishop Lupold flippantly retorted that when they both should be in hell he would exchange seats if his brother desired. During the wars between the emperors Philip and Otho IV. he personally led his troops in support of Philip, and when his soldiers hesitated about sacking churches, he would tell them that it was enough if they left the bones of the dead. The story is well known of Richard of England, and Philippe of Dreux, the warlike Bishop of Beauvais, who had shown himself equally skilful and ruthless in the predatory warfare of the age, and who, when at last captured by Earl John, complained to Celestin III. of his imprisonment as a violation of ecclesiastical privileges. When Celestin, reproving him for his martial propensities, interceded for his release, King Richard sent to the pope the coat of mail in which the prelate had been captured, with the inquiry made to Jacob by his sons, "Know, whether it be thy son's coat?" to which the good pontiff responded by abandoning the appeal. A different result, not long afterwards, attended a similar experience of Theodore, Marquis of Montferrat, when he defeated and captured Aymon, Bishop of Vercelli. It happened that Cardinal Tagliaferro, papal legate to Aragon, was tarrying at Geneva, and, hearing of the sacrilege,
wrote in threatening wise to the marquis, who responded with the same inquiry as King Richard, sending him the martial gear of the prelate, including his sword still stained with blood. Yet the proud noble felt his inability to cope with his spiritual foes, and not only liberated the bishop, but surrendered to him the fortress which had been the occasion of the war. Even more instructive is the case of the Bishop-elect of Verona, who, in 1265, when marching at the head of an army, was taken prisoner by the troops of Manfred of Sicily. Although Urban IV. was busily urging forward the crusade which was to deprive Manfred of life and kingdom, he had the assurance to demand the liberation of his bishop, telling Manfred that if he had a spark left of the fear of God he would dismiss his prisoner. When Manfred replied, evading the demand with exuberant humility, Clement IV., who had meanwhile succeeded to the papacy, called upon Jayme I. of Aragon to intervene. Neither pope seemed to imagine that there could be any hesitation in acceding to the preposterous claim, and King Jayme interposed so effectually that Manfred offered to release the bishop on his swearing not to bear arms against him in future. Even this condition was not accepted without difficulty. When the spiritual character thus only served to confer immunity for acts of violence, it is easy to understand the irresistible temptation to their commission. *
A clerical rhymer of the thirteenth century describes the prelates of the day --
"Episcopi cornuti -- "sicut fortes incedunt
conticuere muti; -- et a Deo discedunt.
ad prsedam sunt parati -- ut leones feroces
et indecenter coronati, -- et ut aquilte veloces,
pro virga ferunt lanceam -- ut apri frendentes
pro infula galeam. -- exacuere dentes."
Carmina Burana, p. 15 ( Breslau, 1883).
* Chron. Senonens. Lib. v. cap. xiii.-XV. -- Chron. S. Trudon. Lib. V. -- Fulbert. Carnotens. Epist. 112. -- Metzleri do Viris Illust. S. Gallons. Lib. ii. cap. 28, 30, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 49, 53, 54, 56, 57, 60. -- Martene Collect. Ampliss. I. 1188-9. -- Vaissette, Hist. Gén. de Languedoc. T. IV. p. 7 (Ed. 1742). -Gerhohi Reichersperg. Exposit. in Psalm lxiv. cap. 34. -- Ejusd. Lib. de Ædificio Dei cap. 5. -- Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. II. cap. 9. -- Matt. Paris. Hist. Angl. ann. 1196. -- Rog. Hovedens. ann. 1197. -- Benedicti Gesta Henrici II. ann 1188. -- Baggiolini, Dolcino e i Patarini, p. 53 ( Novara, 1838). -- Martene, Thesaur. II. 90-93, 99, 100, 150, 151, 192.
The impression which these worldly and turbulent men made upon their quieter contemporaries was, that pious souls believed that no bishop could reach the kingdom of heaven. There was a story widely circulated of Geoffroi de Péronne, Prior of Clairvaux, who was elected Bishop of Tournay, and who was urged by St. Bernard and Eugenius III. to accept, but who cast himself on the ground, saying, "If you turn me out, I may become a vagrant monk, but a bishop never!" On his death-bed he promised a friend to return and report as to his condition in the other world, and did so as the latter was praying at the altar. He announced that he was among the blessed, but it had been revealed to him by the Trinity that if he had accepted the bishopric he would have been numbered with the damned. Peter of Blois, who relates this story, and Peter Cantor, who repeats it, both manifested their belief in it by persistently refusing bishoprics; and not long after an ecclesiastic in Paris declared that he could believe all things except that any German bishop could be saved, because they bore the two swords, of the spirit and of the flesh. All this Cæsarius of Heisterbach explains by the rarity of worthy prelates, and the superabounding multitude of wicked ones; and he further points out that the tribulations to which they were exposed arose from the fact that the hand of God was not visible in their promotion. Language can scarce be stronger than that employed by Louis VII. in describing the worldliness and pomp of the bishops, when he vainly appealed to Alexander III. to utilize his triumph over Frederic Barbarossa by reforming the Church. *
In fact, the records of the time bear ample testimony to the rapine and violence, the flagrant crimes and defiant immorality of these princes of the Church. The only tribunal to which they were amenable was that of Rome. It required the courage of desperation to cause complaints to be made there against them, and when such complaints were made, the difficulty of proving charges, the length to which proceedings were drawn out, and the notorious venality of the Roman curia, afforded virtual immunity. When a resolute and incorruptible pontiff like Innocent III. occupied the
* P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. liv. -- Pet. Blesens. Epist. ccxl. -- Cæsar. Heisterb. Dial. Mirac. Dist. II. c. 27, 28; Dist. VI. c. 20. -- Varior. ad Alex. PP. III. Epist. xxi. (Migne, Patrolog. CC. 1379). -- Pet. Blesens. Tract. quales sunt P. II. IV.
papal chair, there was some chance for sufferers to make themselves heard, and the number of such trials alluded to in his epistles show how wide-spread and deep-rooted was the evil. Yet, even under him, the protraction of the proceedings, and the evident shrinking from final condemnation, show how little encouragement there was for prosecutions likely to react so dangerously on the prosecutor. Thus, in 1198, Gérard de Rougemont, Archbishop of Besançon, was accused by his chapter of perjury, simony, and incest. When summoned to Rome the accusers did not dare to prosecute the charges, though they did not withdraw them, and Innocent, charitably quoting the woman taken in adultery, sent him back to purge himself and be absolved. Then followed a long course of undisturbed scandals, through which religion in his diocese became a mockery. He continued to live in incest with his relative, the Abbess of Remireinont, and other concubines, one of whom was a nun, and another the daughter of a priest; no church could be consecrated or preferment conferred without payment; by his exactions and oppressions his clergy were reduced to live like peasants, and were exposed to the contempt of their parishioners; and monks and nuns who could bribe him were allowed to abandon their convents and marry. At last another attempt was made, in 1211, to remove him, which, after more than a year, resulted in a sentence that he should undergo canonical purgation; i. e., find two bishops and three abbots to join him in an oath of disculpation, when negotiations as to the character of the oath ensued, lasting until 1214. Finally the citizens rose and drove him out; he retired to the Abbey of Bellevaux, where he died in 1225. Maheu de Lorraine, Bishop of Toul, was a prelate of the same stamp. Consecrated in 1200, within two years his chapter applied to Innocent for his deposition, alleging that he had already reduced the revenues of the see from a thousand livres to thirty. It was not until 1210 that his removal could be effected, after a most intricate series of commissions and appeals, interspersed with acts of violence. He was wholly abandoned to debauchery and the chase, and his favorite concubine was his daughter by a nun of Épinal, but he retained a valuable preferment, as Grand-prévôt of Saint-Dié. In 1217 he caused his successor Renaud de Senlis to be murdered, soon after which his uncle, Thiebault, Duke of Lorraine, happening to meet him, slew him on the spot. Ordi- nary justice, apparently, could do nothing with him. Very similar was the case of the Bishop of Vence, whom Celestin III. had ordered suspended and sent to Rome to answer for his enormities, and who had defiantly continued in the exercise of his functions. On Innocent's accession, in 1198, his excommunication was ordered, which was equally ineffectual; and at length, in 1204, Innocent sent peremptory orders to the Archbishop of Embrun to investigate the charges, and, if they were found correct, to depose him. Meanwhile the diocese had been brought to the verge of ruin, the churches were demolished, and divine service was performed in only a few parishes. So in Narbonne, the headquarters of heresy, the Archbishop, Berenger II., natural son of Raymond Berenger, Count of Barcelona, preferred to live in Aragon, where he held a rich abbey and the bishopric of Lerida, and never even visited his province. Consecrated in 1190, he had never seen it in 1204, though he drew large revenues from it, both in the regular way and by the sale of bishopries and benefices, which were indiscriminately bestowed on children or on men of the most abandoned lives. The condition of the province, the highest ecclesiastical dignity of France, was consequently shocking in the extreme, through the misconduct of the clergy, the boldness of the heretics, and the violence of the laity. As early as the year 1200, Innocent III. summoned Berenger to account. In 1204 he made another attempt, continued during the following years, as no amendment was visible, and as the farce of appeals from legate to pope was persistently kept up. At length, in 1210, we find Innocent still writing to his legate to investigate the archbishops of Narbonne and Ausch and execute without appeal whatever the canons require, but it was not until 1212 that Berenger was removed. It is probable that even then he might have escaped had not the legate, Arnaud of Citeaux, been desirous of the succession, which he obtained. We can readily believe the assertion of a writer of the thirteenth century, that the process of deposing a prelate was so cumbrous that even the most wicked had no dread of punishment. *
* Innocent. PP. III. Regest. I. 277; XIV. 125; XVI. 63, 158. -- 11. 34; VII. 84. -- III. 24; VII. 75, 76; VIII. 106; IX. 66; X. 68; XIII. 88; XV. 93. See also II. 236; VI. 216; X. 182, 194; XI. 142; XII. 24, 25; XV, 186, 235; XVI. 12. -
Even where the enormity of offences did not call for papal intervention, the episcopal office was prostituted in a thousand ways of oppression and exaction which were sufficiently within the law to afford the sufferers no opportunity of redress. How thoroughly its profitable nature was recognized, is shown by the case of a bishop who, when fallen in years, summoned together his nephews and relatives that they might agree among themselves as to his succession. They united upon one of their number, and conjointly borrowed the large sums requisite to purchase the election. Unluckily the bishop-elect died before obtaining possession, and on his death-bed was heartily objurgated by his ruined kinsmen, who saw no means of repaying the borrowed capital which they had invested in the abortive episcopal partnership. As St. Bernard says, boys were inducted into the episcopate at an age when they rejoiced rather at escaping from the ferule of their teachers than at acquiring rule; but, soon growing insolent, they learn to sell the altar and empty the pouches of their subjects. In thus exploiting their office the bishops only followed the example set them by the papacy, which, directly or through its agents, by its exactions, made itself the terror of the Christian churches. Arnold, who was Archbishop of Trèves from 1169 to 1183, won great credit for his astuteness in saving his people from spoliation by papal nuncios, for whenever he heard of their expected arrival he used to go to meet them, and by heavy bribes induce them to bend their steps elsewhere, to the infinite relief of his own flock. In 1160 the Templars complained to Alexander III. that their labors for the Holy Land were seriously impaired by the extortions of papal legates and nuncios, who were not content with the free quarters and supply of necessaries to which they were entitled, and Alexander graciously granted the Order special exemption from the abuse, except when the legate was a cardinal. It was
Gollut, République Séquanoise (Ed. Duvernoy Arbois, 1846, pp. 80, 1724). -- La Porte du Theil (Académie des Inscriptions, Notices des MSS. III. 617 sqq.). -Opusc. Tripartiti P. III. cap. IV. (Fasciculi Rer. Expetendarum et Fugiendarum, II. 225, Ed. 1690).
In May, 1212, Legate Arnauld is addressed as Archbishop-elect of Narbonne ( Innocent. PP. III. Regest. XV. 93, 101), but in the necrology of the Abbey of Saint-Just of Narbonne, Berenger, at his death, Aug. 11, 1213, is qualified as archbishop (Chron. de S. Just, Vaissette, Ed. Privat, VIII. 218).
worse when the pope came himself. Clement V., after his consecration at Lyons, made a progress to Bordeaux, in which he and his retinue so effectually plundered the churches on the road that, after his departure from Bourges, Archbishop Gilles, in order to support life, was obliged to present himself daily among his canons for a share in the distribution of provisions; and the papal residence at the wealthy Priory of Grammont so impoverished the house that the prior resigned in despair of being able to reestablish its affairs, and his successor was obliged to levy a heavy tax on all the houses of the order. England, after the ignominious surrender of King John, was peculiarly subjected to papal extortion. Rich benefices were bestowed on foreigners, who made no pretext of residence, until the annual revenue thus withdrawn from the island was computed to amount to seventy thousand marks, or three times the income of the crown, and all resistance was suppressed by excommunications which disturbed the whole kingdom. At the general council of Lyons, held in 1245, an address was presented in the name of the Anglican Church, complaining of these oppressions in terms more energetic than respectful, but it accomplished nothing. Ten years later the papal legate, Rustand, made a demand in the name of Alexander IV. for an immense subsidy -the share of the Abbey of St. Albans was no less than six hundred marks -- when Fulk, Bishop of London, declared that he would be decapitated, and Walter of Worcester that he would be hanged, sooner than submit; but this resistance was broken down by the device of trumping up fictitious claims of debts due Italian bankers for moneys alleged to have been advanced to defray expenses before the Roman curia, and these claims were enforced by excommunication. When Robert Grosseteste of Lincoln found that his efforts to reform his clergy were rendered nugatory by appeals to Rome, where the offenders could always purchase immunity, he visited Innocent IV. in hopes of obtaining some change for the better, and on utterly failing, he bluntly exclaimed to the pope, "Oh, money, money, how much thou canst effect, especially in the Roman court!" This special abuse was one of old standing, and complaints of its demoralizing effect upon the priesthood date back from the time of the establishment of the appellate jurisdiction of Rome under Charles le Chauve. Prelates like Hildebert of Le Mans, who honestly sought to better the depraved lives of their clergy, constantly found their efforts frustrated, and had scant reticence in remonstrating. Remonstrances, however, were of little avail, though occasionally an upright pope like Innocent III., whose biographer finds special cause of praise in his refusal of "propinas" -- gifts or bribes for issuing letters -would sometimes recall a letter of remission avowedly issued in ignorance of the facts, or would even grant to a prelate the right to punish without appeal, while other popes were found who sought to neutralize the effects of their letters without diminishing the business and fees of the chancery. Even when papal letters were not of this demoralizing character, they were never issued without payment. When Luke, the holy Archbishop of Gran, was thrown in prison by the usurper Ladislas, in 1172, he refused to avail himself of letters of liberation procured from Alexander III., saying that he would not owe his freedom to simony. *
This was by no means the only mode in which the supreme jurisdiction of Rome worked inestimable evil throughout Christendom. While the feudal courts were strictly territorial and local, and the judicial functions of the bishops were limited to their own dioceses so that every man knew to whom he was responsible in a tolerably well-settled system of justice, the universal jurisdiction of Rome gave ample opportunity for abuses of the worst kind. The pope, as supreme judge, could delegate to any one any portion of his authority, which was supreme everywhere; and the papal chancery was not too nice in its discrimination as to the character of the persons to whom it issued letters empowering them to exercise judicial functions and enforce them with the last dread sentence of excommunication -- letters, indeed, which, if the papal
* P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. 71. -- S. Bernardi Tract. de Mor. et Offic. Episc. c. vii. No. 25. -- Gesta Treviror. Archiep. cap.. 92. -- Prutz, Malteser Urkunden und Registen, München, 1883, p. 38. -- Guillel. Nangiac. Contin. ann. 1305. -- Hist.Prior. Grandimont. (Martene Ampliss. Coll. VI. 122, 135-137). -- Matt. Paris Hist. Angl. ann. 1245, 1248, 1250, 1252, 1255, 1256. -- Hincmari Epist. xxxii. 20. -- Hildeberti Cenoman. Epist. Lib. ii. No. 41, 47. -- S. Bernard. de Consideratione Lib. i. cap. 4. -- Innocent. PP. III. Gesta xli. -- Ejusd. Regest. I. 330; II, 265; V. 33, 34; X. 188. -- Gregor. PP. IX. Bull. Desiderantes plurimum (Potthast Regesta, I. 673). -- Chron. Augustan. ann. 1260. -- Stephani Tornacens. Epist. 43. -- Gualt. Mapes do Nugis Curialium Dist. II. cap. VII.
chancery is not wronged, were freely sold to all able to pay for them. Europe thus was traversed by multitudes of men armed with these weapons, which they used without remorse for extortion and oppression. Bishops, too, were not backward in thus farming out their more limited jurisdictions, and, in the confusion thus arising, it was not difficult for reckless adventurers to pretend to the possession of these delegated powers and use them likewise for the basest purposes, no one daring to risk the possible consequences of resistance. These letters thus afforded a carte blanche through which injustice could be perpetrated and malignity gratified to the fullest extent. An additional complication which not unnaturally followed was the fabrication and falsification of these letters. It was not easy to refer to distant Rome to ascertain the genuineness of a papal brief confidently produced by its bearer, and the impunity with which powers so tremendous could be assumed was irresistibly attractive. When Innocent III. ascended the throne he found a factory of forged letters in full operation in Rome, and although this was suppressed, the business was too profitable to be broken up by even his vigilance. To the end of his pontificate the detection of fraudulent briefs was a constant preoccupation. Nor was this industry confined to Rome. About the same period Stephen, Bishop of Tournay, discovered in his episcopal city a similar nest of counterfeiters, who had invented an ingenious instrument for the fabrication of the papal seals. To the people, however, it mattered little whether they were genuine or fictitious; the suffering was the same whether the papal chancery had received its fee or not. *
* Can. 43, Extra Lib. I. tit. iii. -- Petri Exoniens. Summula Exigendi Confessionis (Harduin. VII. 1126). -- Concil. Herbipolens. ann. 1187 c. 37. -- Concil. apud Campinacum. ann. 1238 c. 1, 2, 7. -- Concil. apud Castrum Gonterii ann. 1253 can. unic. -- C. Nugariolens. ann. 1290 c. 3. -- C. Avenionens. ann. 1326 c. 49; ann. 1337 c. 59. -- C. Bituricens. ann. 1336 c. 5. -- C. Vaurens. ann. 1368 c. 10, 11. -- Lucii. PP. III. Epist. 252. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. Lib. I. Epist. 235, 349, 405, 456, 536, 540; II. 29; III. 37; VI. 120, 233, 234; VII. 26; X. 15, 79, 93; XI. 144, 161, 275; XV. 218, 223; Supplem. 234. -- Berger, Registre d'Innocent IV. pp. lxxvilxxvii., No. 2591, 3214, 3812, 4086. -- Theiner Vet. Monument. Hiberu. et Scotor. No. 196, p. 75. -- De Reiffenberg, Chron. de Ph. Mouskes, I. CCXXV. When the comprehensive annual curse, known as the Bull in Czena Domini, came in fashion, falsifiers of papal letters were included in its anathemas, until the abrogation of the custom in 1773.
Thus the Roman curia was a terror to all who were brought in contact with it. Hildebert of le Mans pictures its officials as selling justice, delaying decisions on every pretext, and, finally, oblivious when bribes were exhausted. They were stone as to understanding, wood as to rendering judgment, fire as to wrath, iron as to forgiveness, foxes in deceit, bulls in pride, and minotaurs in consuming everything. In the next century Robert Grosseteste boldly told Innocent IV. and his cardinals that the curia was the source of all the vileness which rendered the priesthood a hissing and a reproach to Christianity, and, after another century and a half, those who knew it best described it as unaltered. *
When such was the example set by the head of the Church, it would have been a marvel had not too many bishops used all their abundant opportunities for the fleecing of their flocks. Peter Cantor, an unexceptionable witness, describes them as fishers for money and not for souls, with a thousand frauds to empty the pockets of the poor. They have, he says, three hooks with which to catch their prey in the depths -- the confessor, to whom is committed the hearing of confessions and the cure of souls; the dean, archdeacon, and other officials, who advance the interest of the prelate by fair means or foul; and the rural provost, who is chosen solely with regard to his skill in squeezing the pockets of the poor and carrying the spoil to his master. These places were frequently farmed out, and the right to torture and despoil the people was sold to the highest bidder. The general detestation in which these gentry were held is illustrated by the story of an ecclesiastic who, having by an unlucky run of the dice lost all his money but five sols, exclaimed in blasphemous madness that he would give them to any one who would teach him how most greatly to offend God, and a bystander was adjudged to have won the money when he said, "If you wish to offend God beyond all other sinners, become an episcopal official or collector." Formerly, continues Peter Cantor, there was some decent concealment in absorbing the property of rich and poor, but now it is publicly and boldly seized through infinite devices and frauds and novelties of extortion. The officials of the prelates are not only their leeches, who suck and are squeezed, but
* Fascic. Rerum Expetendarum et Fugiendarum II. 7, 254-255 (Ed. 1690).
are strainers of the milk of their rapine, retaining for themselves the dregs of sin. *
From this honest burst of indignation we see that the main instrument of exaction and oppression was the judicial functions of the episcopate. Considerable revenues, it is true, were derived from the sale of benefices and the exaction of fees for all official acts, and many prelates did not blush to derive a filthy gain from the licentiousness universal among a celibate clergy by exacting a tribute known as "cullagium," on payment of which the priest was allowed to keep his concubine in peace, but the spiritual jurisdiction was the source of the greatest profit to the prelate and of the greatest misery to the people. Even in the temporal courts, the fines arising from litigation formed no mean portion of the income of the seigneurs; and in the Courts Christian, embracing the whole of spiritual jurisprudence and much of temporal, there was an ample harvest to be gathered. Thus, as Peter Cantor says, the most holy sacrament of matrimony, owing to the remote consanguinity coming within the prohibited degrees, was made a subject of derision to the laity by the venality with which marriages were made and unmade to fill the pouches of the episcopal officials. Excommunication was another fruitful source of extortion. If an unjust demand was resisted, the recalcitrant was excommunicated, and then had to pay for reconciliation in addition to the original sum. Any delay in obeying a summons to the court of the Officiality entailed excommunication with the same result of extortion. When litigation was so profitable, it was encouraged to the utmost, to the infinite wretchedness of the people. When a priest was inducted into a benefice, it was customary to exact of him an oath that he would not overlook any offences committed by his parishioners, but would report them to the Ordinary that the offenders might be prosecuted and fined, and that he would not allow any quarrels to be settled amicably; and though Alexander III. issued a decretal pronouncing all such oaths void, yet they continued to be required. As an illustration of the system a case is recorded where a boy in play accidentally killed a comrade with an arrow. The father of the slayer chanced to be wealthy, and
* P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. 24. -- Cf. Petri. Blesensis Epist. 23; Johann. Saresberiens. Polycrat. Lib. VII. cap. 21, Lib. VIII. cap. 17.
the two parents were not permitted to be reconciled gratuitously. Peter of Blois, Archdeacon of Bath, was probably not far wrong when he described the episcopal Ordinaries as vipers of iniquity transcending in malice all serpents and basilisks, as shepherds, not of lambs, but of wolves, and as devoting themselves wholly to malice and rapine. *
Even more efficient as a cause of misery to the people and hostility towards the Church was the venality of many of the episcopal courts. The character of the transactions and of the clerical lawyers who pleaded before them is visible in an attempted reformation by the Council of Rouen, in 1231, requiring the counsel who practised in these courts to swear that they would not steal the papers of the other side or produce forgeries or perjured testimony in support of their cases. The judges were well fitted to preside over such a bar. They are described as extortioners who sought by every device to filch the money of suitors to the last farthing, and when any fraud was too glaring for their own performance they had subordinate officials ever ready to play into their hands, rendering their occupation more base than that of a pimp with his bawds. That money was supreme in all judicial matters was clearly assumed when the Abbey of Andres quarrelled with the mother-house of Charroux, and the latter assured the former that it could spend in any court one hundred marks of silver against every ten livres that the other could afford; and in effect, when the ten years' litigation was over, including three appeals to Rome, Andres found itself oppressed with the enormous debt of fourteen hundred livres parisis, while the details of the transaction show the most unblushing bribery. The Roman court set the example to the rest, and its current reputation is visible in the praise bestowed on Eugenius III. for rebuking a prior who commenced a suit before him by offering a mark of gold to win his favor. †
* Concil. Juliobonens. ann. 1080 c. 3, 5. -- Concil. Bremens. ann. 1266. -- Eadmer. Hist. Novor. Lib. IV. -- Concil. Melfitan. ann. 1284 c. 5. -- P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. 24, 79. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. X. 85; XII. 37. -- Pet. Blesensis Epist. 209.
† Concil. Rotomag. ann. 1231 c. 48. -- P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. 23. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. I. 376. -- Chron. Andres. Monast. -- Narrat. Restaur. Abbat. S. Mart. Tornacens, cap. 113, 114. -- Joann. Saresberiens. Polycrat. Lib. v. cap. 15. Cf. Lib. VI. cap. 24.
There was another source of oppression which had a loftier motive and better results, but which was none the less grinding upon the mass of the people. It was about this time that the fashion set in of building magnificent churches and abbeys, and the invention of stained glass and its rapid introduction show the luxury of ornamentation which was sought. While these structures were in some degree the expression of ardent faith, yet more were they the manifestation of the pride of the prelates who erected them, and in our admiration of these sublime relics of the past, in whatever reverential spirit we may view the towering spire, the long-arched nave, and the glorious window, we must not lose sight of the supreme effort which they cost -- an effort which inevitably fell upon suffering serf and peasant. Peter Cantor assures us that they were built out of exactions on the poor, out of the unhallowed gains of usury, and out of the lies and deceits of the quæstuarii or pardoners; and the vast sums lavished upon them, he assures us, would be much better spent in redeeming captives and relieving the necessities of the helpless. *
It was hardly to be expected that prelates such as filled most of the sees of Christendom should devote themselves to the real duties of their position. Foremost among these duties was that of preaching the word of God and instructing their flocks in faith and morals. The office of preacher, indeed, was especially an episcopal function; he was the only man in the diocese authorized to exercise it; it formed no part of the duty or training of the parish priest, who could not presume to deliver a sermon without a special license from his superior. It need not surprise us, therefore, to see this portion of Christian teaching and devotion utterly neglected, for the turbulent and martial prelates of the day were too wholly engrossed in worldly cares to bestow a thought upon a matter for which their unfitness was complete. In 1031 the Council of Limoges expressed a wish that preaching should be done, not only at the episcopal seat, but in other churches, when the will of God inspires a competent doctor to the task; but the Church slumbered on until the spread of heresy aroused it to a sense of its unwisdom in neglecting so powerful a source of influence. In 1209 the Council of Avignon ordered the bishops to preach more
* P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. 86.
frequently and diligently than heretofore, and, when opportunity offered, to cause preaching to be done by honest and discreet persons. In 1215 the great Council of Lateran admitted the impracticability of bishops attending to this among so many more pressing avocations, and directed them to provide and pay proper persons to visit their parishes and edify the people by word and example. Yet little improvement could be expected from exhortations such as these, and the heretics had the field virtually to themselves until the Preaching Friars arose and were steadily rebuffed by those whose negligence they replaced. The Troubadour Inquisitor Izarn does not hesitate to declare that heresy never could have spread had there been good preachers to oppose it, and that it never could have been subdued but for the Dominicans. *
The character of the lower orders of ecclesiastics could not be reasonably expected to be better than that of their prelates. Beneflces were mostly in the gift of the bishops, though, of course, advowsons were frequently held by the laity; special rights of patronage were held by religious bodies, and many of these latter filled vacancies in their own ranks by co-optation. Whatever was the nominating power, however, the result was apt to be the same. It is the universal complaint of the age that benefices were openly sold, or were bestowed through favor, without examination into the qualifications of the appointee, or the slightest regard as to his fitness. Even the rigid virtue of St. Bernard did not prevent him, in 1151, from soliciting a provostship for a graceless youth, the nephew of his friend the Bishop of Auxerre, though repentance induced by cooller reflection led him to withdraw his application, which he could the more easily do on learning that his friend, in dying, had left no less than seven churches to his beloved nephew. In the same year he was more cautious in refusing Count Thibaut of Champagne some preferment which he had asked for his son, a child of tender years; but the mere request for it shows how benefices, when not sold, were wont to be distributed; and it is safe to say that there were few like St. Bernard, with courage and conviction to reject the solicitations of the powerful. It is true that the
* Concil. Lemovicens. ann. 1031. -- Concil. Avenionens. ann. 1209 c. 1. -- Concil. Lateranens. ann. 1215 c. 10. -- Millot, Hist. Litt. des Troubadours, II. 61.
canon law was full of admirable precepts respecting the virtues and qualifications requisite for incumbents, but in practice they were a dead letter. Alexander III. was moved to indignation when he learned that the Bishop of Coventry was in the habit of giving churches to boys under ten years of age, but he could only order that the cures should be intrusted to competent vicars until the nominees reached a proper age, and this age he himself fixed at fourteen; while other popes charitably reduced to seven the minimum age for holding simple benefices or rebends. No effectual check for abuses of patronage, of course, could be expected of Rome, when the curia itself was the most eager recipient of benefit from the wrong. Its army of pimps and parasites was ever on the watch to obtain fat preferments in all the lands of Europe, and the popes were constantly writing to bishops and chapters demanding places for their friends. *
That pluralities, with all their attendant evils and abuses, should be habitual under such a system follows as a matter of course. In vain reforming popes and councils issued constitutions prohibiting them; in vain indignant moralists inveighed against the scandals and injuries which they occasioned, the ruin of the temporalities, the sacrifice of souls, and the general contempt excited for the Church. Forbidden by the canon law, like all other abuses they were a source of profit to the Roman curia, which was always ready to issue dispensations when the holders of pluralities found themselves likely to be disturbed in their sin; or they could be used for purposes of statecraft, as when Innocent IV., in 1246, by skilful use of such dispensations broke up the menacing combination of the nobles of France. In fact, learned doctors of theology were found to defend the lawfulness of the abuse, as was done in a public disputation about the year 1238 by Master Philip, Chancellor of the University of Paris, who was a notorious pluralist himself. His fate, however, was a solemn warning to others. On his death-bed his friend, William of Auvergne, Bishop of Paris,
* S. Bernard. Epistt. 271, 274, 276. -- Can. 2, 3, Extra Lib. i. Tit. xiii. -- Thomassin, Discip. de l'Église. P. IV. Lib. ii. cap. 38. -- Gaufridi Vosiensis Chron. ann. 1181. -- Concil. Turon. ann. 1231. c. 16. -- Concil. Lugdun. ann. 1274 c. 12. -- P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. 55, 60, 61. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. XI. 142. -- Even a pontiff such as Innocent III. was not above intruding his dependants upon the churches everywhere. His registers are full of such missives.
urged him to resign all his benefices but one, promising to make good the sacrifice if he should recover, but Philip refused, on the ground that he wished to experience whether he should be subjected to damnation on that account. The disputatious ardor of the schoolman was gratified. Soon after his death a dusky shade appeared to the good bishop at his prayers, announced itself to be the chancellor's soul, and declared that it was damned to eternity; though it must be admitted that habitual licentiousness was superadded to pluralism as a cause of hopeless perdition. *
A clergy recruited in such a manner and subjected to such influences could only, for the most part, be a curse to the people under their spiritual direction. A purchased benefice was naturally regarded as a business investment, to be exploited to the utmost profit, and there was little scruple in turning to account every device for extorting money from parishioners, while the duties of the Christian pastorate received little attention.
One of the most fruitful sources of quarrel and discontent was the tithe. This most harassing and oppressive form of taxation had long been the cause of incurable trouble, aggravated by the rapacity with which it was enforced, even to the pitiful collections of the gleaner. It had proved the greatest of the obstacles to Charlemagne's proselyting efforts among the Saxons, and, as we shall see, in the thirteenth century it led to a most devastating crusade against the Frisians. The resistance of the people to its exaction in some places was such that its non-payment was stigmatized as heresy, and everywhere we see it the cause of scandal-
* Concil. Lateran. III. ann. 1179 c. 13, 14; IV. ann. 1215 c. 29. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. I. 82, 191, 471. -- P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. 31, 32, 34, 80. -Honor. PP. III. Epist. ad Archiep. Bituricens. ann. 1219. -- Urbani. PP. V. Constit. 1367 (Harduin. Concil. VII. 1767). -- Isambert. Anc. Loix Franç. I. 252. -Matt. Paris. Hist. Angl. ann. 1246 (Ed. 1644p. 483) -- Wadding. Annal. Minor. ann. 1238, No. 8. -- D'Argentré, Collect. Judicior. de Nov. Error. I. I. 143. The correspondence of the papal chancery under Innocent IV., as preserved in the official register, for the first three months of 1245, embraces three hundred and thirty-two letters, and of these about one fifth are dispensations to sixty-five persons to hold pluralities ( Berger, Registres d'Innoc. IV. t. I.). A considerable proportion of the remainder are licenses for violations of canon law, showing how exhaustless were the vices of the clergy as a source of profit to the curia. For the rapacity with which the benefices of the dying were sought and disputed, see ibid. No. 1611.
ous altercation between pastor and flock, and between rival claimants, giving rise to a very intricate branch of canon law. Carlyle states that at the outbreak of the French Revolution there were no less than sixty thousand cases arising from tithes then pending before the courts, and though the statement may be exaggerated, it is by no means improbable. Anciently the tithe had been divided into four parts, of which one went to the bishop, one to the parish priest, one to the fabric of the Church, and one to the poor, but in the prevailing acquisitiveness of the period, bishop and priest each seized and held all they could get, the Church received little, and the poor none at all. *
The portion of the tithe which the priest could retain in this scramble was rarely sufficient for his wants, addicted as he frequently was to dissolute living, and exposed to the rapacity of his superiors. The form of simony which consists in selling his sacred ministrations therefore became general. Thus confession, which was now becoming obligatory on the faithful and the exclusive function of the priest, afforded a wide field for perverse ingenuity. Some confessors rated the sacrament of penitence so low that for a chicken or a pint of wine they would grant absolution for any sin, but others understood its productiveness far better. It is related of Einhardt, the priest of Soest, by a contemporary, that he sharply reproved a parishioner who, in preparation for Easter, confessed incontinence during Lent, and demanded of him eighteen deniers that he might say eighteen masses for his soul. Another came who said that during Lent he had abstained from his wife, and he was fined the same amount for masses because he had lost the chance of begetting a child, as was his duty. Both men had to sell their harvests prematurely to raise money to pay the fine, and, happening to meet upon the market-place, compared notes, when
* Clement. PP. IV. Epist. 456. ( Martene Thesaur. II. 461). -- Alcuini Epist. i. ad Arnon. Salisburg. ( Pez Thesaur. II. i. 4). -- Decreti P. II. Caus. XIII. Gratiani Comment. in Q. I. cap. i; Caus. XVI. Q. i. cap. 42, 43, 45-47, 56, 57; Caus. XVI. Q. vii. cap. 1-8. -- Extra Lib. III. tit. XXX. -- Concil. Rotomag. ann. 1189 c. 23. -- Concil. Wigorn. ann. 1240 c. 44, 45. -- Concil Mertonens. ann. 1300. -- Concil. apud Pennam Fidelem ann. 1302 c. 7. -- Concil. Maghfeldens. ann. 1332. -- Concil. Londin. ann. 1342 c. 4, 5. -- Concil. Nimociens. ann. 1298 c. 16. -- Concil. Nicosiens. ann. 1340 c. 1. -- Concil. Marciac. ann. 1326 c. 30. -- Concil. Vaurens. ann. 1368 c. 68-70. -- Gerhohi Reichersperg. Lib. de Ædificio Dei c. 46.
they complained to the Dean and Chapter of St. Patroclus, and the story came out, to the scandal of the faithful, but Einhardt was permitted to continue his speculative career. Every function of the priest was thus turned to account, and the complaints of the practice are too frequent and sweeping for us to doubt that it was a general custom. Marriage and funeral ceremonies were refused until the fees demanded were paid in advance, and the Eucharist was withheld from the communicant unless he offered an oblation. To the believer in Transubstantiation nothing could be more inexpressibly shocking, and Peter Cantor well describes the priests of his day as worse than Judas Iscariot, who sold the body of the Lord for thirty pieces of silver, while they do it daily for a denier. Not content with this, many of them transgressed the rules which forbade, except on special occasions, the celebration by a priest of more than one mass a day, and it was almost impossible to enforce its observance; while those who obeyed the rule invented an ingenious evasion through which, by repeating the Introit, they would split a single mass up into half a dozen, and collect an oblation for each. *
If the faithful Christian thus was mulcted throughout life at every turn, the pursuit of gain was continued to his death-bed, and even his body had a speculative value which was turned to account by the ghouls who quarrelled over it. The necessity of the final sacraments for salvation gave rise to an occasional abuse by which they were refused unless an illegal fee or perquisite was paid, such as the sheet on which the dying sinner lay, but this we may well believe was not usual. More profitable was the custom by which the fears of approaching judgment were exploited and legacies for pious uses were suggested as an appropriate atonement for a life of wickedness or cruelty. It is well known how large a portion of the temporal possessions of the Church was procured in this manner, and already in the ninth century it had become a subject of
* Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. iii. cap. 40, 41. -- Hist. Monast. S. Laurent. Leodiens. Lib. V. cap. 39. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. I. 220; II. 101. -- Pet. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. 27-29, 38-40. -- Grandjean, Registre de Benoit XI. No. 975. -- Concil. Lateran. IV. ann. 1215, c. 63-66. -- Concil. Rotomag. ann. 1231, c. 14. -- Teulet, Layettes II. 306, No. 2428. -- Const. Provin. S. Edmund. Cantuar. ann. 1236, c. 8. -- Synod. Wigorn. ann. 1240, c. 16, 26, 29. -- Concil. Turon. ann. 1239, c. 4, 17.
complaint. In 811 Charlemagne, in summoning provincial councils throughout his empire, asks them whether that man can be truly said to have renounced the world who unceasingly seeks to augment his possessions, and by promises of heaven and threats of hell persuades the simple and unlearned to disinherit their heirs, who are thus compelled by poverty to robbery and crime. To this pregnant question the Council of Chalons, in 813, responded by a canon forbidding such practices, and reminding the clergy that the Church should succor the needy rather than despoil them; that of Tours replied that it had made inquiry and could find no one complaining of exheredation; that of Reims prudently passed the matter over in silence; and that of Mainz promised restoration in such cases. This check was but temporary; the Church continued to urge its claims on the fears of the dying, and finally Alexander III., about 1170, decreed that no one could make a valid will except in the presence of his parish priest. In some places the notary drawing a will in the absence of the priest was excommunicated and the body of the testator was refused Christian burial. The reason sometimes alleged for this was the preventing of a here tic from leaving his property to heretics, but the flimsiness of this is shown by the repeated promulgation of the rule in regions where heresy was unknown, and the loud remonstrances against local customs which sought to defeat this development of ecclesiastical greed. Complaints were also sometimes made that the parish priest converted to his personal use legacies which were left for the benefit of pious foundations. *
Even after death the control which the Church exercised over the living and the profit to be derived from him were not abandoned. So general was the custom of leaving considerable sums for the pious ministrations by which the Church lightened the
* Synod. Andegav. ann. 1294, c. 3. -- Capit. Car. Mag. II. ann. 811, cap. 5. -Concil. Cabillon. II. ann. 813, c. 6. -- Concil. Turonens. III. ann. 813, c. 51. -Concil. Remens. ann. 813. -- Concil. Mogunt. ann. 813, c. 6. -- Can. 10, Extra Lib. III. tit. xxvi. -- Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1227, c. 5. -- Concil. Tolosan. ann. 1228, c. 5; ann. 1229, c. 16. -- Concil. Rotomag. ann. 1231, c. 23. -- Concil. Arelatens. ann. 1234, c. 21; ann. 1275, c. 8. -- Constit. Provin. S. Edmund. Cantuar. ann. 1236, c. 33. -- Concil. Albiens. ann. 1254, c. 11. -- Concil. Andegav. ann. 1266; 1300. -Respons. Episc. Carcassonn. ann. 1275 ( Martene Thesaur. I. 1151). -- Concil. Nemausiens. ann. 1284, c. 8. -- Concil. Reatinens. ann. 1303, c. 8. -- Concil. Cameracens. ann. 1317.
torments of purgatory, and so usual was the bestowal of oblations at the funeral, that the custody of the corpse became a source of gain not to be despised, and the parish in which the sinner had lived and died claimed to have a reversionary right in the ashes which were thus so profitable. Occasionally intruders would trespass upon their preserves, and some monastery would prevail upon the dying to bequeath his fertilizing remains to its care, giving rise to unseemly squabbles over the corpse and the privilege of burying it and saying mortuary masses for its soul. As early as the fifth century Leo the Great did not hesitate to condemn in the severest terms the rapacity which led the monasteries to invite the living to their retreats for the sake of the possessions which they would bring with them, to the manifest detriment of the parish priest, thus deprived of his legitimate expectations. Leo therefore ordered a compromise, by which one half of the goods and chattels thus acquired should be transferred to the church of the deceased, whether he had entered the monastery dead or alive. The parish churches at last came to claim the bodies of their parishioners as a matter of right, and to deny to the dying the privilege of electing a place of sepulture. It required repeated papal decisions to set aside claims so persistently urged, but these decisions invariably conceded to the churches a portion of one fourth, one third, or one half the sum the deceased had set apart for the care of his soul. In some places the parish church asserted a right by custom to certain payments on the death of a parishioner, and the Council of Worcester, in 1240, decided that when this claim would reduce the widow and orphans to beggary, the Church should mercifully content itself with one third of the estate and relinquish the other two thirds to the family of the defunct; while in Lisbon the last consolations of religion were denied to any one who refused to leave a portion, usually one third, of his property to the Church. Under other local customs, the priest claimed as a perquisite the bier on which a corpse was brought to his church, leading, in case of resistance, to quarrels more lively than edifying. In Navarre the law stepped in to define the amount which the poorer classes should give as an offering in the mortuary mass, being two measures of corn for a peasant. Among the caballeros the usual offering was the incongruous one of a war-horse, a suit of armor, and jewels; and the cost of this was frequently defrayed by the king to honor the memory of some distinguished knight. That the amounts were not small is evident when we see that, in 1372, Charles II. of Navarre paid to the Franciscan Guardian of Pampeluna thirty livres to redeem the charger, armor, etc., offered at the funeral of Masen Seguin de Badostal. With the rise of the mendicant orders and their enormous popularity, the rivalry between them and the secular clergy for the possession of corpses and the accompanying fees became more intense than ever, creating scandals of which we shall have more to say hereafter. *
On no point were the relations between the clergy and the people more delicate than on that of sexual purity. I have treated this subject fully in another work, and can be spared further reference to it, except to say that at the period under consideration the enforced celibacy of the priesthood had become generally recognized in most of the countries owing obedience to the Latin Church. It had not been accompanied, however, by the gift of chastity so confidently promised by its promoters. Deprived as was the priesthood of the gratification afforded by marriage to the natural instincts of man, the wife at best was succeeded by the concubine; at worst by a succession of paramours, for which the functions of priest and confessor gave peculiar opportunity. So thoroughly was this recognized that a man confessing an illicit amour was forbidden to name the partner of his guilt for fear it might lead the confessor into the temptation of abusing his knowledge of her frailty. No sooner had the Church, indeed, succeeded in suppressing the wedlock of its ministers, than we find it everywhere and incessantly busied in the apparently impossible task of compelling their chastity -- an effort the futility of which is sufficiently demonstrated by its continuance to modern times. The age was not particularly sensitive on the subject of female virtue, but yet the spectacle of a priesthood professing ascetic purity as
* Decreti. II. Caus. xiii. Q. 2. -- Can. 1-10, Sexto Lib. III. Tit. xxviii. -- Anon Zwetlens. Hist. Rom. Pontif. No. 155 (Pez Thesaur. I. iii. 383). -- Narrat. Restaur. Abbat. S. Martini Tornacens. cap. 86-89. -- Synod. Wigorn. ann. 1240, c. 50. -Ripoll Bullar. Ord. Prædic. VII. 5. -- Grandjean, Registre de Benoit XI. No. 974. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. VII. 165. -- G. B. de Lagrèze, La Navarre, t. II. p. 165. -Concil. Avenion. ann. 1320, c. 27; ann. 1237, c. 32. -- Teulet, Layettes II. 306, No. 2428. -- Concil. Nimociens. ann. 1296, c. 17. -- Constit. Joann. Arch. Nicosiens. ann. 1321, c. 10. -- Concil. Vaurens. ann. 1368, c. 63, 64.
an essential prerequisite to its functions, and practising a dissoluteness more cynical than that of the average layman, was not adapted to raise it in popular esteem; while the individual cases in which the peace and honor of families were sacrificed to the lusts of the pastor necessarily tended to rouse the deepest antagonism. As for darker and more deplorable crimes, they were sufficiently frequent, not alone in monasteries from which women were rigorously excluded; and, moreover, they were committed with virtual immunity. Not the least of the evils involved in the artificial asceticism ostensibly imposed on the priesthood was the erection of a false standard of morality which did infinite harm to the laity as well as to the Church. So long as the priest did not defy the canons by marrying, everything could be forgiven. Alexander II., who labored so strenuously to restore the rule of celibacy, in 1064 decided that a priest of Orange who had committed adultery with the wife of his father was not to be deprived of communion for fear of driving him to desperation; and, in view of the fragility of the flesh, he was to be allowed to remain in holy orders, though in the lower grades. Two years later the same pope charitably diminished the penance imposed on a priest of Padua who had committed incest with his mother, and left it to his bishop whether he should be retained in the priesthood. It would be difficult to exaggerate the disastrous influence on the people of such examples. *
Yet perhaps the most efficient cause of demoralization in the clergy, and of hostility between them and the laity, was the personal inviolability and the immunity from secular jurisdiction which they succeeded in establishing as a recognized principle of public law. While this was doubtless necessary for the independence, and even for the safety of a presumably peaceful class in an age of violence, it worked unhappily in a double sense. The readiness with which acquittal was obtainable in ecclesiastical procedure by canonical purgation, or the "wager of law," and the comparative mildness of the penalties in case of conviction, relieved the ecclesiastic in great measure from the terrors of the law, and removed from him the necessity of restraining his evil
* Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. III. cap. 27. -- P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. 138. -- Löwenfeld Epistt. Pont. Rom. ined. No. 92, 114 (Lipsiæ, 1885). -- See the Author's "Historical Sketch of Sacerdotal Celibacy," 2d edition, 1884.
propensities. At the same time it attracted to the Church vast numbers of worthless men, who, without abandoning their worldly pursuits, entered the lower grades and enjoyed the irresponsibility of their position, to the injury of its character and the detriment of all who came in contact with them. How, in maintaining its privileges, the Church habitually threw its ægis over those least deserving of sympathy, is well illustrated by the intervention of Innocent III. in favor of Waldemar, Bishop of Sleswick. He was the natural son of Cnut V. of Denmark, and had headed an armed insurrection against Waldemar II., the reigning king, on the suppression of which he was cast into prison. Innocent demanded his liberation, as his incarceration was a violation of the immunities of the Church. Waldemar naturally hesitated thus to expose his kingdom to the repetition of revolt, and Innocent at first modified his command in so far as to order the offender conveyed to Hungary and liberated there, promising that he should not be permitted again to disturb the realm; but he subsequently evoked the case to Rome, where, in spite of the bishop being the offspring of a double adultery and thus ineligible to holy orders, and in spite of the representations of the Danish envoys that he had been guilty of perjury, adultery, apostasy, and dilapidation, Innocent, in behalf of the liberties of the Church, restored him to his bishopric and patrimony, with the special privilege of administering it by deputy if he feared that residence would endanger his personal safety. When requested to decide whether laymen could arrest and bring before the episcopal court a clerk caught red-handed in the commission of gross wickedness, Innocent replied that they could only do so under the special command of a prelate -- which was tantamount to granting virtual impunity in such cases. A sacerdotal body, whose class-privileges of wrong-doing were so tenderly guarded, was not likely to prove itself a desirable element of society; and when the orderly enforcement of law gradually established itself throughout Christendom, the courts of justice found in the immunity of the ecclesiastic a more formidable enemy to order than in the pretensions of the feudal seigniory. Indeed, when malefactors were arrested, their first effort habitually was to prove their clergy, that they wore the tonsure, and that they were not subject to the jurisdiction of the secular courts, while zeal for ecclesiastical rights, and possibly for fees, always prompted the episcopal officials to support their claims and demand their release. The Church thus became responsible for crowds of unprincipled men, clerks only in name, who used the immunity of their position as a stalking-horse in preying upon the community. *
The similar immunity attaching to ecclesiastical property gave rise to abuses equally flagrant. The cleric, whether plaintiff or defendant, was entitled in civil cases to be heard before the spiritual courts, which were naturally partial in his favor, even when not venal, so that justice was scarce to be obtained by the laity. That such, in fact, was the experience is shown by the practice which grew up of clerks purchasing doubtful claims from laymen and then enforcing them before the Courts Christian -- a speculative proceeding, forbidden, indeed, by the councils, but too profitable to be suppressed. Another abuse which excited loud complaint consisted in harassing unfortunate laymen by citing them to answer in the same case in several spiritual courts simultaneously, each of which enforced its process remorselessly by the expedient of excommunication, with consequent fines for reconciliation, on all who by neglect placed themselves in an apparent attitude of contumacy, frequently without even pausing to ascertain whether the parties thus amerced had actually been cited. To estimate properly the amount of wrong and suffering thus inflicted on the community, we must bear in mind that culture and training were almost exclusively confined to the ecclesiastical class, whose sharpened intelligence thus enabled them to take the utmost advantage of the ignorant and defenceless. †
The monastic orders formed too large and important a class not to share fully in the responsibility of the Church for good or for evil. Great as were their unquestioned services to religion and culture, they were peculiarly exposed to the degrading tendencies
* Stepbani Tornacens. Epist. XII. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. VI. 183; VIII. 192-193; X. 209-210, 215; XV. 202. For the subsequent career of Waldemar of Sleswick, see Regest. XI. 10, 173; XII. 63; XIII. 158; XV. 3; Supplement. 187, 224, 228, 243. Cf. Arnold. Lubecens. VI. 18; VII. 12, 13; and Vaissette, Hist. Gén. de Languedoc, IV. 80 (ed. 1742). For details of clerical immunity, see the author's "Studies in Church History", 2d edition, 1883. Concil. ap. Campinacum ann. 1238, c. 1, 6.
of the age, and their virtues suffered proportionally. At this period they were rapidly obtaining exemption from episcopal jurisdiction and subjecting themselves immediately to Rome. This inevitably stimulated conventual degeneracy. Richard, Archbishop of Canterbury, complained bitterly to Alexander III. of the fatal relaxation thus induced in monastic discipline, but to no purpose. It abased the episcopate; it increased the authority of the Holy See, both directly and indirectly, through the important allies thus acquired in its struggles with the bishops; and it was, moreover, a source of revenue, if we may believe the Abbot of Malmesbury, who boasted that for an ounce of gold per year paid to Rome he could obtain exemption from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Salisbury. In too many cases the abbeys thus became centres of corruption and disturbance, the nunneries scarce better than houses of prostitution, and the monasteries feudal castles where the monks lived riotously and waged war upon their neighbors as ferociously as the turbulent barons, with the added disadvantage that, as there was no hereditary succession, the death of an abbot was apt to be followed by a disputed election producing internal broils and outside interference. Thus in a quarrel of this kind occurring in 1182, the rich abbey of St. Tron was attacked by the Bishops of Metz and Liège, the town and abbey were burned, and the inhabitants put to the sword. The trouble lasted until the end of the century, and when it was temporarily patched up by a pecuniary transaction, the wretched vassals and serfs were reduced to starvation to raise the funds which bought the elevation of an ambitious monk. It is true that all establishments were not lost to the duties for which they had received so abundantly of the benefactions of the faithful. In the famine of 1197, though the monastery of Heisterbach was still young and poor, the Abbot Gebhardt distributed alms so lavishly that sometimes he fed fifteen hundred people a day, while the mother-house of Hemmenrode was even more liberal, and supported all the poor of its district till harvest-time. At the same time a Cistercian abbey in Westphalia slaughtered all its flocks and herds and pledged its books and sacred vessels to feed the starving. It is satisfactory to be assured that in each case the expenditures were more than made up by the donations which the establishments received in consequence of their charity. Such instances go far to redeem the institution of monachism, but for the most part the abbeys were sources of evil rather than of good. * This is scarce to be wondered at if we consider the material from which their inmates were drawn. It is the severest reproach upon their discipline to find so enthusiastic an admirer of the strict Cistercian rule as Cæsarius of Heisterbach asserting as an admitted fact that boys bred in monasteries made bad monks and frequently became apostates. As for those who took the vows in advanced life, he enumerates their motives as sickness, poverty, captivity, infamy, mortal danger, dread of hell or desire of heaven, among which the predominance of selfish impulses was not likely to secure a desirable class of devotees. In fact, he assures us that criminals frequently escaped punishment by agreeing to enter monasteries, which thus in some sort became penal settlements, or prisons, and he illustrates this with the case of a robber baron in 1209, condemned to death for his crimes by the Count Palatine Henry, who was rescued by Daniel, Abbot of Schonau, on condition of his entering the Cistercian order. Scarcely less desirable inmates were those who, moved by a sudden revulsion of conscience, would turn from a life stained with crime and violence to bury themselves in the cloister while yet in the full vigor of strength and with passions unexhausted, finding, perhaps, at last their fierce and untamed natures unfitted to bear the unaccustomed restraint. The chronicles are full of illustrations of this passionate religious energy in natures wholly untrained in self-control, and they explain much that otherwise would seem incredible to the calmer and more self-contained world of to-day. For instance when, in 1071, Arnoul III. of Flanders, fell at Montcassel in defending his dominions against his uncle, Robert the Frisian, Gerbald, the knight who slew his suzerain, was seized with remorse for his act and wandered to Rome, where he presented himself before Gregory VII. with the request that his hands be stricken off as a fitting
* Varior. ad Alex. PP. III. Epist. XCV. (Migne, Patrolog. CC. 1457). Cf. Pet. Blesens. Epist XC. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. I. 386, 476, 483, 499; v. 159; VIII. 12; IX. 209; XIII. 132; XV. 105. -- Pet. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. 44. -- Gerbohi Lib. de., Ædificio Dei cap. 33; Ejusd. Exposit. in Psalm. lxiv. cap. 35. -- Chron. S. Trudon. Libb. III., IV.,V. -- Hist. Vezeliacens. Libb. II.-IV. -- Chron. Senoniens. Libb. IV., V. -- Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. IV. cap. 65-67. For ample details as to the immorality of the monasteries, see the author's "History of Celibacy."
penance. Gregory assented, and ordered his chief cook to do the service, secretly instructing him that if, when the axe was raised, Gerbald shrank or wavered, he was to strike without mercy, but if the penitent was firm, then he was to announce that he was spared. Gerbald did not blench, and the pope declared to him that the hands thus preserved were no longer his but the Lord's, and sent him to Cluny to be placed under the charge of the holy Abbot Hugh, where the fierce warrior peacefully ended his days. If, as sometimes happened, these untamable souls chafed under the irrevocable vow, after the fit of repentance had passed, they offered ample material for internal sedition and external violence. *
Among these ill-assorted crowds it was impossible to maintain the community of property which was the essence of the rule of Benedict. Gregory the Great, when Abbot of St. Andreas, denied the last consolations of religion to a dying brother, and kept his soul for sixty days in the torments of purgatory, because three pieces of gold had been found among his garments. Yet the good monks of St. Andreas, of Vienne, found it necessary to adopt a formal constitution segregating as a sacrilegious thief any of the brethren detected in stealing clothing from the dormitory, or cups or plates from the refectory, and threatening to call in the intervention of the bishop if the offence could not be otherwise suppressed. So it is mentioned that in the Abbey of St. Tron, about the year 1200, each monk had a locked cupboard behind his seat in the refectory, wherein he carefully secured his napkin, spoon, cup, and dish, to preserve them from his brethren. In the dormitory matters were even worse. Those who could procure chests threw into them their bed-clothes on rising, and those who could not were constantly complaining of the thievish propensities of their fellows. †
The name of monk was rendered still more despicable by the crowds of "gyrovagi" and "sarabaitce" and "stertzer" -- wanderers and vagrants, bearded and tonsured and wearing the religious habit, who traversed every corner of Christendom, living by beg-
* Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. I. cap. 3, 24, 31. -- Hist. Monast. Andaginens. cap. 34. † Gregor. PP. I. Dialog. IV. 55. -- D'Achery. Spicileg. III. 382. -- Chron. S. Trudon. Lib. VI.
ging and imposture, peddling false relics and false miracles. This was a pest which had afflicted the Church ever since the rise of monachism in the fourth century, and it continued unabated. Though there were holy and saintly men among these ghostly tramps, yet were they all subjected to common abhorrence. They were often detected in crime and slain without mercy; and in a vain effort to suppress the evil, the Synod of Cologne, early in the thirteenth century, absolutely forbade that any of them should be received to hospitality throughout that extensive province. *
It was not that earnest efforts were lacking to restore the neglected monastic discipline. Individual monasteries were constantly being reformed, to sink back after a time into relaxation and indulgence. Ingenuity was taxed to frame new and severer rules, such as the Premonstratensian, the Carthusian, the Cistercian, which should repel all but the most ardent souls in search of ascetic self-mortification, but as each order grew in repute for holiness, the liberality of the faithful showered wealth upon it, and with wealth came corruption. Or the humble hermitage founded by a few self-denying anchorites, whose only thought was to secure salvation by macerating the flesh and eluding temptation, would become possessed of the relics of some saint, whose wonder-working powers drew flocks of pious pilgrims and sufferers in search of relief. Offerings in abundance would flow in, and the fame and riches thus showered on the modest retreat of the hermits speedily changed it to a splendid structure where the severe virtues of the founders disappeared amid a crowd of self-indulgent monks, indolent in all good works and active only in evil. Few communities had the cautious wisdom of the early denizens in the celebrated Priory of Grammont, before it became the head of a powerful order. When its founder and first prior, St. Stephen of Thiern, after his death in 1124, commenced to show his sanctity by curing a paralytic knight and restoring sight to a blind man, his singleminded followers took alarm at the prospect of wealth and noto-
* Augustin. de Op. Monachor. ii. 3. -- Cassiani. de Cænob. Instit. ii. 3. -- Hieron. Epistt. XXXIX.; CXXXV. 16. -- Regest. S. Benedicti cap. 1. -- S. Isidor. Hispal. de Eccles. Offic. II. XVI. 3, 7. -- Ludov. Pii de Reform. Eccles. cap. 100. -- Smaragd. Comment. in Regest. Benedict. c. 1. -- Ripoll Bull. Ord. FF. Prædic. I. 38. -- Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. VI. cap. 20. -- Catalog. Varior. Hæreticor. (Bib. Max. Patrum. Ed. 1618, t. XIII. p. 309).
riety thus about to be forced upon them. His successor, Prior Peter of Limoges, accordingly repaired to his tomb and reproachfully addressed him: "O servant of God, thou hast shown us the path of poverty and hast earnestly striven to teach us to walk therein. Now thou wishest to lead us from the straight and narrow way of salvation to the broad road of eternal death. Thou hast preached the solitude, and now thou seekest to convert the solitude into a market-place and a fair. We already believe sufficiently in thy saintliness. Then work no more miracles to prove it and at the same time to destroy our humility. Be not so solicitous for thy own fame as to neglect our salvation; this we enjoin on thee, this we ask of thy charity. If thou dost otherwise, we declare, by the obedience which we have vowed to thee, that we will dig up thy bones and cast them into the river." This mingled supplication and threat proved sufficient, and until St. Stephen was formally canonized he ceased to perform the miracles so dangerous to the souls of his followers. The canonization, which occurred in 1189, was the result of the first official act of Prior Girard, in applying for it to Clement III., and as Girard had een elected in place of two contestants set aside by papal authority, after dissensions which had almost ruined the monastery, it shows that worldly passions and ambition had invaded the holy seclusion of Grammont, to work out their inevitable result. *
In the failure of all these partial efforts at reform to rescue the monastic orders from their degradation, we hardly need the emphatic testimony of the venerable Gilbert, Abbot of Gemblours, about 1190, when he confesses with shame that monachism had become an oppression and a scandal, a hissing and reproach to an men. †
The religion which was thus exploited by priest and monk
* Brevis Hist. Prior. Grandimont. -- Stephani Tornacens. Epistt. 115, 152, 153, 156, 162. Prior Peter's fear that the convent would be converted into a market-place and a fair is illustrated by the complaint of the Council of Béziers in 1233, that many religious houses were in the habit of retailing their wine within the sacred enclosure, and attracting consumers by having jugglers, actors, gamblers, and strumpets there. -- Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1233, c. 23.
Giberti Gemblac. Epistt. V. VI.
had necessarily become a very different creed from that taught by Christ and Paul. Doctrines are beyond my province, but a brief reference is requisite to certain phases of belief and observance to render clear the relation between clergy and people, and to explain the religious revolt of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
The theory of justification by works, to which the Church owed so much of its power and wealth, had, in its development, to a great extent deprived religion of all spiritual vitality, replacing its essentials with a dry and meaningless formalism. It was not that men were becoming indifferent to the destiny of their souls, for never, perhaps, have the terrors of perdition, the bliss of salvation, and the never-ending efforts of the arch-fiend possessed a more burning reality for man, but religion had become in many respects a fetichism. Teachers might still inculcate that pious and charitable works to be efficient must be accompanied with a change of heart, with repentance, with amendment, with an earnest seeking after Christ and a higher life; but in a gross and hardened generation it was far easier for the sinner to fall into the practices habitual around him, which taught that absolution could be had by the repetition of a certain number of Pater Nosters or Ave Marias accompanied by the magical sacrament of penitence; nay, even that if the penitent himself were unable to perform the penance enjoined, it could be undertaken by his friends, whose merits were transferred to him by some kind of sacred jugglery. When a congregation, in preparation for Easter, was confessed and absolved as a whole, or in squads and batches, as was customary with some careless priests, the lesson taught was that the sacrament of penitence was a magic ceremony or incantation, in which the internal condition of the soul was a matter of virtual indifference. *
More serviceable to the Church, and quite as disastrous in its influence on faith and morals, was the current belief that the posthumous liberality of the death-bed, which founded a monastery or enriched a cathedral out of the spoils for which the sinner had no further use, would atone for a lifelong course of cruelty and rapine; and that a few weeks' service against the enemies of a
* Petri Exoniens. Summ. Exigendi Confess. ann. 1287 (Harduin. VII. 1128). -- Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. III. cap. 45. -- Martene Ampliss. Coll. I. 357.
pope would wipe out all the sins of him who assumed the cross to exterminate his fellow-Christians. The use, or abuse, of indulgences, indeed, is a subject which would repay extended investigation, and a brief reference to it may be pardoned here, in view of the frequent allusions to it which will occur hereafter.
That sin, confessed and repented, could be absolved through penance, was a doctrine dating back to primitive times. That penance could be redeemed by sacrifices made for the Church was a corollary of later origin, but yet well established at this period. Thus, in 1059, we see Guido, Archbishop of Milan, imposing on himself a penance of one hundred years, to atone for rebellion against Rome, and redeeming it at a certain sum for each year -- a transaction which satisfied even so stern a moralist as St. Peter Damiani. Now the Church was the depository of the treasure of salvation, accumulated through the merits of the Crucifixion and of the saints, and the pope, as the vicar of God, had the unlimited dispensation of that treasure. It was for him to prescribe the methods by which the faithful could partake of it, and no theologian before Wickliffe was hardy enough to question his decisions. According to the modern theory of indulgences they shorten, by specified times, the duration of torment in purgatory, after the soul has escaped condemnation to hell by confession and absolution. In the Middle Ages the distinction was not so nice, and the rewards promised were more direct. At first they consisted in a remission for specified times of the penance imposed for absolution, in return for pious works, pilgrimages to shrines, contributions towards the building of churches, bridges, etc. -- for a spiritual punishment could be commuted to a corporal or to a pecuniary one, and the power to grant such indulgence was a valuable franchise to the church which obtained it, for it served as a constant attraction to pilgrims. Abuses, of course, crept in, denounced by Abelard, who vents his indignation at the covetousness which habitually made a traffic of salvation. Alexander III., about 1175, expressed his disapproval of these corruptions, and the great Council of Lateran, in 1215, sought to check the destruction of discipline and the contempt felt for the Church by limiting to one year the amount of penance released by any one indulgence. Great opposition was excited when St. Francis of Assisi procured, in 1223, from Houorius III. the celebrated "Portiuncula" indulgence,
whereby all who visited the Church of Santa Maria de Portiuncula, at Assisi, from the vespers of August 1st to the vespers of August 2d, obtained complete and entire remission of all sins committed since baptism; and even the fact that St. Francis had been directed by God to apply to Honorius for it, and the admission of Satan that this indulgence was depopulating hell, did not serve to reconcile the Dominicans to so great an advantage given to the Franciscans. Boniface VIII., when he conceived the fruitful idea of the jubilee, carried this out still further by promising to all who should perform certain devotions in the basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul, during the year 1300, not only "plena venia," but "plenissima," of all their sins. By this time the idea that an indulgence might confer entire forgiveness of all sins had become familiar to the Christian mind. When the Church sought to arouse Europe to supreme exertion for the redemption of the Holy Sepulchre some infinite reward was requisite to excite the enthusiastic fanaticism requisite for the crusades. If Mahomet could stimulate his followers to court death by the promise of immediate and eternal bliss to him who fell fighting for the Crescent, the vicegerent of the true God must not be behindhand in his promises to the martyrs of the Cross. It was to be a death-struggle between the two faiths, and Christianity must not be less liberal than Islam in its bounty to its recruits. Accordingly when Urban II. held the great Council of Clermont, which resolved on the first crusade, and where thirteen archbishops, two hundred and fifteen bishops, and ninety mitred abbots represented the universal Church Militant, the device of plenary indulgence was introduced, and the military pilgrims were exhorted to have full faith that those who fell repentant would gain the completest fruit of eternal mercy. The device was so successful that it became an established rule in all the holy wars in which the Church engaged; all the more attractive, perhaps, because of the demoralizing character of the service, for it was a commonplace of the jongleur of the period that the crusader, if he escaped the perils of sea and land, was tolerably sure to return home a lawless bandit, even as the pilgrim who went to Rome to secure pardon came back much worse than he started. As the novelty of crusading wore off, still greater promises were necessary. Thus, in 1291, Nicholas IV. promised full remission of sins to every one who would send a crusader or go at another's expense; while he who went at his own expense was vaguely told that in addition he would have an increase of salvation -- a term which the Decretalists perhaps could not find it easy to explain. Finally, forgotten sins were included in the pardon, as well as those confessed and repented. *
* P. Damiani Opusc. V. -- Concil. Trident. Sess. vi. Decret. de Justific. c. 16, 30. -- Migne, Encyclopédic Theologique. t. XXVII. pp. 59-63, 118. -- Abælardi Ethica, cap. 25. -- Can. 4 Extra Lib. v. tit. xxxviii. -- Concil. Lateran. IV. c. 72. -Alani de Insulis contra Hoeret. Lib. II. cap. xi. -- Gregor. PP. IX. Bull. 29 Apr. 1228; 18 Jul. 1237 (Potthast Regesta, I. 705, 884). -- Addis and Arnold's Catholic Dict. s. v. Portiuncula. -- Lib. Conformitatum S. Fran. Lib. II. tract. ii. (fol. 135-138. Ed. 1513. -- Bonifacii PP. VIII. Bull. Antiquorum habet. -- Concil. Claromont. ann. 1195, c. 2. -- Urbani PP. II. Synodalis Concio. -- Concil. Lateran. IV. can. ult. -- Le Grand d'Aussy, Fabliaux, I. 379, 392. -- Prediche del B. Frà Giordano da Rivalto (Fircnze, 1831, I. 258). -- Nicolai PP. IV. Bull. Illuminit, ann. 1291. -Gregor. PP. XII. Bull. Dudum, 23 Apr. 1372.
The mediæval doctrine of indulgence is truly expressed by Alonso, Bishop of Avila, in 1443, when disculpating himself to Eugenius IV. from an accusation of doubting the papal power: "Papa etiam potest absolvere ab omnibus peccatis et potest dare plenariam indulgentiam, liberando homine a tota pæna Purgatorii, scilicet faciendo quod non veniet in illum etiamsi multa pcena (peccata) commiserit" (D'Argentré, Collect. Judic. de novis Error. I. ii. 241). Yet when an enthusiastic Franciscan taught at Tournay, in 1482, that the pope at will could empty purgatory, the University of Paris qualified the proposition as doubtful and scandalous (Ibid. I. ii. 305). The same year the University again interfered, when the church of Saintes, having procured a bull of indulgence from Sixtus IV., announced publicly that, no matter how long a period of punishment had been assigned by divine justice to a soul, it would fly from purgatory to heaven as soon as three sols were paid in its behalf to be expended in repairing the church (Ibid. 307). In 1518 the university was obliged to repeat its condemnation of the same promises made to those who would contribute a teston for the crusade which was always under way and never attempted (Ib. 355). Yet the doctrine thus condemned by the university was pronounced, to be unquestionable Catholic truth by the Dominican Silvestro Mozzolino, in his refutation of Luther's Theses, dedicated to Leo X. ( F. Silvest. Prieriatis Dialogus, No. 27). As Silvestro was made general of his order and master of the sacred palace, it is evident that no exceptions to his teaching were taken at Rome. Those who doubt that the abuses of the system were the proximate cause of the Refotmation can consult Van Espen, Jur. Eccles. Universi P. II. tit. vii. cap. 3 No. 9-12. Cf. Ibid. P. II. tit. xxxvii. cap. 6 No. 43-46, for their continuance into the eighteenth century.
The modern commercial spirit has not failed to take advantage of the indulgence. The Libreria Religiosa of Barcelona is enabled to advertise that various
As an additional inducement to crusaders they were, moreover, released from earthly as well as heavenly justice, by being classed with clerks and subjected only to spiritual jurisdiction. When accused, the ecclesiastical judge was directed to take them from the secular courts by the use of excommunication, if necessary, and when found guilty of enormous crime, such as murder, they were merely divested of the cross, and punished with the same leniency as ecclesiastics. This became embodied in secular jurisprudence, and its attraction to the reckless adventurers who formed so large a portion of the papal armies is readily conceivable. When, in 1246, those who had taken the cross in France were indulging themselves in robbery, murder, and rape, St. Louis was obliged to appeal to Innocent IV., and the pope responded by instructing his legate that such malefactors were not to be protected. *
Still further rewards were offered when personal ambition and vindictiveness were to be gratified in the crusade preached by Innocent IV. against the Emperor Conrad IV., after the death of Frederic II., when he granted a larger remission of sins than for the voyage to the Holy Land, and included the father and mother of the crusader as beneficiaries in the assurance of heaven. A profitable device had also been introduced by which crusaders, unwilling or unable to perform their vow, were absolved from it on a money payment proportioned to their ability, and very large sums were raised in this manner, which were expended, nominally at least, for the furtherance of the holy cause. The development of the system continued until it came to be employed in the pettiest private quarrels of the popes as masters of the patrimony of St. Peter. If Alexander IV. could use it successfully against Eccelin da Romano, the next century saw John XXII. have recourse to it, not only in making war against a formidable antagonist like Matteo Visconti or the Marquis of Montefeltre, but even when he wished to reduce the rebellious citizens of little places like Osimo and Recanati, in the March of Ancona, or the turbulent
Spanish prelates have granted an indulgence of 2320 days (fifty-eight quarantaines) to every one who will read or hear read a chapter or even a single page of any of its publications. * Concil. Turon. ann. 1236, c. 1. -- Établissements de S. Louis, Liv. i. cap. 84. -- Berger, Les Registres d'Innocent IV. No. 2230.
people of Rome itself. The ingenious method of granting indulgences to those who took the cross, and then releasing them from service for a sum of money, had become too cumbrous, and the purchase of salvation simplified itself into a direct payment, so that John was able to raise funds for his private wars by thus distributing the treasures of salvation over Christendom, and ordering the prelates everywhere to establish coffers in the churches by which the pious could help the Church while they saved their souls. The prelates who saw with regret the coins of their parishioners disappear into the never-satisfied maelstrom of the Holy See, in vain endeavored to resist. They were no longer independent, and the slender barriers which they sought to erect were easily swept away. *
These money payments were doubtless more practically efficacious than an indulgence, remitting a certain number of days of penance, offered to all who would earnestly pray to God, especially during the solemnity of the mass, for the success of the same pope in his death-struggle with Louis of Bavaria. This is a specimen of the minor indulgences which were frequently granted as a stimulus to acts of devotion, such as visiting cathedrals on the anniversaries of their patron saints; reciting, for the peace and prosperity of the Church, on bended knees, the Pater Noster five times, in honor of the five wounds of Christ; the Ave Maria seven times, in honor of the seven joys of the Virgin, and other similar practices. †
* Matt. Paris. Hist. Angl. ann. 1251 (p. 553, Ed. 1644). -- Chron. Turon. ann. 1226. -- Joannis PP. XXII. Reaest. IV. 73, 74, 767, 77, 95, 97, 99. -- Baluz. et Mansi Miscell. III. 242. -- Concil. Ravennat. ann. 1314, c. 20. † Concil. Avenion. ann. 1326, c. 3. -- Concil. Marciacens. ann. 1326, c. 45. -Concil. Vaurens. ann. 1368, c. 127. -- Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1374, c. 27. The magic character attributed to these formulas of devotion is well illustrated by the story of Thierry d'Avesnes, who, during a raid into the territories of Baldwin of Mons, burned the convents of St. Waltruda of Mons, and St. Aldegonda of Maubeuge. Thereupon a holy hermit had a vision in which he saw the two angry saints demanding from the Virgin satisfaction for their injuries. This the Virgin refused, because Ada, the wife of Thierry, rendered to her the most grateful service by repeating the Ave Maria sixty times a day -- twenty standing, twenty on her knees, and twenty prostrate. The saints still insisted on their wrongs, and the Virgin at length promised them revenge, when it could be inflicted without injury to Ada. Some years afterwards Thierry incautiously pro-
A more demoralizing system of indulgences was that of sending out "quaestuarii," or pardoners, sometimes furnished with relics, by a church or hospital in need of money, and sometimes merely carrying papal or episcopal letters, by which they were authorized to issue pardons for sin in return for contributions. Though these letters were cautiously framed, yet they were ambiguous enough to enable the pardoners to promise, not only the salvation of the living, but the liberation of the damned from hell for a few small coins. Already, in 1215, the Council of Lateran inveighs bitterly against these practices, and prohibits the removal of relies from the churches; but the abuse was too profitable to be suppressed. Needy bishops and popes were constantly issuing such letters, and the business of the pardoner became a regular profession, in which the most impudent and shameless were the most successful, so that we can readily believe the pseudo Peter of Pilichdorf, when he sorrowfully admits that the "indiscreet" but profitable granting of indulgences to all sorts of men weakened the faith of many Catholics in the whole system. As early as 1261 the Council of Mainz can hardly find words strong enough to denounce the pestilent sellers of indulgences, whose knavish tricks excite the hatred of all men, who spend their filthy gains in vile debauchery, and who so mislead the faithful that confession is neglected on the ground that sinners have purchased forgiveness of their sins. Complaint was useless, however, and the lucrative abuse continued unchecked until it aroused the indignation which
cured a divorce from her on the plea of consanguinity, because she remained barren after twenty years of marriage, and in a short time, while hunting, he was ambushed and slain by an enemy. His nephew and successor, Joscelin, took warning by this, and was very particular in constantly repeating the Ave Maria, and forcing his troopers to do likewise, so that, although he wrought much evil, yet he made a good ending. -- Narrat. Restaur. S. Martini Tornacens. cap. 57. Somewhat similar is the story of the knight, who, though cruel and revengeful, had such veneration for the cross that he never passed one without descending from his horse and adoring it. Once, when riding alone through a dense forest, he was assailed by the kinsmen of a noble whom he had slain, and was forced to seek safety in flight. Coming to a cross-road, where stood a cross, he dismounted and knelt before it, when his enemies, coming up, were struck with sudden blindness, and groped vainly around, while he rode quietly away. -Lucæ Tudensis de Altera Vita Lib. III. cap. 6.
found a mouthpiece in Luther. Subsequent councils are full of complaints of the lies and frauds of these peddlers of salvation, who continued to flourish until the Reformation; and Tassoni fairly represents the popular conviction that this was an unfailing resort of the Church in its secular aims --
"Le cose della guerra andavan zoppe; I Bolognesi richiedean danari Al Papa, ad egli rispondeva coppe, E mandava indulgenze per gli altar." *
The sale of indulgences illustrates effectively the sacerdotalism which formed the distinguishing feature of mediæval religion. The believer did not deal directly with his Creator -- scarce even with the Virgin or hosts of intercessory saints. The supernatural powers claimed for the priest interposed him as the mediator between God and man; his bestowal or withholding of the sacraments decided the fate of immortal souls; his performance of the mass diminished or shortened the pains of purgatory; his decision in the confessional determined the very nature of sin itself. The implements which he wielded -- the Eucharist, the relies, the holy water, the chrism, the exorcism, the prayer -- became in some sort fetiches which had a power of their own entirely irrespective of the moral or spiritual condition of him who employed them or of him for whom they were employed; and in the popular view the rites of religion could hardly be more than magic formulas which in some mysterious way worked to the advantage, temporal and spiritual, of those for whom they were performed.
How sedulously this fetichism was inculcated by those who profited from the control of the fetiches is shown by a thousand stories and incidents of the time. Thus a twelfth-century chronicler piously narrates that when, in 887, the relies of St. Martin of Tours were brought home from Auxerre, whither they had been
* Concil. Lateran. IV. c. 62. -- P. de Pilichdorf contr. Waldenses cap. XXX. -- Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246, c. 5. -- Concil. Cenomanens. ann. 1248. -- Concil. Burdegalens. ann. 1255, c. 2. -- Concil. Vienn. ann. 1311 (Clementin. Lib. v. tit. ix. c. 2). -- Concil. Remens. ann. 1303. -- Concil. Carnotens. ann. 1325, c. 18. -- Martene Thesaur. IV. 858. -- Martene Ampliss. Collect. VII. 197, etc. -- Concil. Mogruntin. ann. 1261, c. 48. -- La Secehia Rapita, xii. 1. For the repression of these abuses after the Reformation see cap. 1, 2 in Septimo iii. 15.
carried to escape the Danish incursions, two cripples of Touraine, who earned an easy livelihood by beggary, on hearing of the approach of the saintly bones, counselled together to escape from the territory as quickly as possible, lest the returning saint should cure them and thus deprive them of claims on the alms of the charitable. Their fears were well founded, but their means of locomotion were insufficient, for the relics arrived in Touraine before they could get beyond the bounds of the province, and they were cured in spite of themselves. The eagerness with which rival princes and republics disputed with each other the possession of these wonder-working fetiches, and the manner in which the holy objects were obtained by force or fraud and defended by the same methods, form a curious chapter in the history of human credulity, and show how completely the miraculous virtue was held to reside in the relic itself, wholly irrespective of the crimes through which it was acquired or the frame of mind of the possessor. Thus in the above case, Ingelger of Anjou was obliged to reclaim from the Auxerrois the bones of St. Martin at the head of an armed force, more peaceful means of recovering the venerated relies having failed; and in 1177 we see a certain Martin, canon of the Breton church of Bomigny, stealing the body of St. Petroc from his own church for the benefit of the Abbey of St. Mevennes, which would not surrender it until the intervention of King Henry II. was brought to bear. Two years after the capture of Constantinople the Venetian leaders, in 1206, forcibly broke into the Church of St. Sophia and carried off a picture of the Virgin, said to have been painted by St. Luke, in which popular superstition imagined her to reside, and kept it in spite of excommunication and interdict launched against them by the patriarch and confirmed by the papal legate. Fairly illustrative of this belief is a story told of a merchant of Groningen who in one of his voyages coveted the arm of St. John the Baptist belonging to a hospital, and obtained it by bribing heavily the mistress of the guardian, who induced him to steal it. On his return the merchant built a house and secretly encased the relic in a pillar forming part of the structure. Under its protection he prospered mightily and grew wealthy, till once in a conflagration he refused to take measures to save the house, saying that it was under good guardianship. The house was not burned, and public curiosity was so much ex- cited that he was forced to reveal his talisman, when the people carried it off and deposited it in a church, where it worked many miracles, while the merchant was reduced to poverty. It was a superstition even less rational than that which led the Romans to conjure into their camp the tutelary deity of a city which they were besieging; and the universal wearing of relics as charms or amulets had in it nothing to distinguish it from the similar practices of paganism. Even the images and portraits of saints and martyrs had equal virtue. A single glance at the representation of St. Christopher, for instance, was held to preserve one from disease or sudden death for the rest of the day --
"Christophori sancti speciem quicumque tuetur Illo namque die nullo languore tenetur -- and a huge image of the gigantic saint was often painted on the outside of churches for the preservation of the population. The custom of selecting a patron saint by lot at the altar is another manifestation of the same blindness of superstition. *
The Eucharist was particularly efficacious as a fetich. During the persecution of heresy in the Rhinelands by the inquisitor Conrad of Marburg, in 1233, one obstinate culprit refused to burn in spite of all the efforts of his zealous executioners, until a thoughtful priest brought to the roaring pile a consecrated host. This at once dissolved the spell by a mightier magic, and the luckless heretic was speedily reduced to ashes. A conventicle of these same heretics possessed an image of Satan which gave forth oracular responses, until a priest entering the room produced from his bosom a pyx containing the body of Christ, when Satan at once acknowledged his inferiority by falling down. Not long afterwards St. Peter Martyr overcame, by the same means, the imposture of a Milanese heretic in whose behalf a demon was wont to appear in a heterodox church in the shape of the Virgin, resplendent and holding in her arms the holy Child. The evidence in favor of heresy seemed to be overwhelming, until St. Peter dispelled it by presenting to the demon a host, and saying, "If thou
* Gesta. Consulum. Andegavens. iii. 23. -- Roger. Hoveden. ann. 1177. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. IX. 243. -- Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. VIII. cap. 53. -- Muratori. Antiq. Med. Ævi Dissert. lviii. -- Anon. Passaviens. adv. Waldens. cap. 5 (Mag. Bib. Pat. XIII. 301).
art the true Mother of God, adore this thy Son," whereupon the demon disappeared in a flash of lightning, leaving an intolerable stench behind him. The consecrated wafer was popularly believed to possess a magic efficacy of incomparable power, and stories are numerous of the punishment inflicted on those who sacrilegiously sought thus to use it. A priest who retained it in his mouth for the purpose of using it to overcome the virtue of a woman of whom he was enamoured, was afflicted with the hallucination that he had swelled to the point that he could not pass through a doorway; and on burying the sacred object in his garden it was changed into a small crucifix bearing a man of flesh and freshly bleeding. So when a woman kept the wafer and placed it in her beehive to stop an epidemic among the bees, the pious insects built around it a complete chapel, with walls, windows, roof, and bell-tower, and inside an altar on which they reverently placed it. Another woman, to preserve her cabbages from the ravages of caterpillars, crumbled a holy wafer and sprinkled it over the vegetables, when she was at once afflicted with incurable paralysis. This particular form of fetichism was evidently not regarded with favor, but it was the direct evolution of orthodox teaching. It was the same in respect to the water in which a priest washed his hands after handling the Eucharist, to which supernatural virtues were ascribed, but the use of which was condemned as savoring of sorcery. *
The power of these magic formulas, as I have said, was wholly disconnected with any devotional feeling on the part of those who employed them. Thus the efficacy of St. Thomas of Canterbury was illustrated by a story of a matron whose veneration for him led her to invoke him on all occasions, and even to teach her pet bird to repeat the formula "Sancte Thoma adjuva me!" Once a hawk seized the bird and flew away with it, but on the bird uttering the accustomed phrase, the hawk fell dead and the bird returned unhurt to its mistress. So little, indeed, of sanctity was requisite, that wicked priests employed the mass as an incantation and execration, mentally cursing their enemies while engaged in its solemnization, and expecting that in some way the malediction
* Hartzheim. Concil. German. III. 543. -- Campana, Storia di San Piero Martire Lib. II. cap. 3. -- Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. IX. cap. 6, 8, 24, 25.
would work evil on the person against whom it was directed. Nay, it was even used in connection with the immemorial superstition of the wax figurine which represented the enemy to be destroyed, and mass celebrated ten times over such an image was supposed to insure his death within ten days. *
Even confession could be used as a magic formula to escape the detection of guilt. As demons professed a knowledge of every crime committed, and would reveal them through the mouth of those whom they possessed, demoniacs were frequently used as detectives in case of suspected persons. Yet when sins were confessed with due contrition, the absolution wiped them forever from the demon's memory, and he would deny all knowledge of them -- a fact which was regularly acted on by those afraid of exposure; for even after the demon had revealed the guilt, the perpetrator could go at once and confess, and then confidently return and challenge a repetition of the denunciation. †
Examples such as these could be multiplied almost indefinitely, but they would only serve to weary the reader. What I have given will probably suffice to illustrate the degeneracy of the Christianity superimposed upon paganism and wielded by a sacerdotal body so worldly in its aspirations as that of the Middle Ages.
The picture which I have drawn of the Church in its relations with the people is perhaps too unrelieved in its blackness. All popes were not like Innocent IV. and John XXII.; all bishops were not cruel and licentious; all priests were not intent solely on impoverishing men and dishonoring women. In many sees and abbeys, and in thousands of parishes, doubtless, there were prelates and pastors earnestly seeking to do God's work, and illuminate the darkened souls of their flocks with such gospel light as the superstition of the time would permit. Yet the evil was more apparent than the good; the humble workers passed away unobtrusively, while pride and cruelty and lust and avarice were demonstrative and far-reaching in their influence. Such as I have
* Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. X. cap. 56. -- Wibaldi Abbat. Corbeiens. Epist. 157. -- P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. 29. † Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. III. cap. 2, 3, 6; Dist. v. cap. 3. depicted the Church it appeared to all the men of the time who had the clearest insight and the loftiest aspirations; and its repulsiveness must be understood by those who would understand the movements that agitated Christendom. No more unexceptionable witness as to the Church of the twelfth century can be had than St. Bernard, and he is never weary of denouncing the pride, the wickedness, the ambition, and the lust that reigned everywhere. When fornication, adultery, incest, palled upon the exhausted senses, a zest was sought in deeper depths of degradation. In vain the cities of the plain were destroyed by the avenging fire of heaven; the enemy has scattered their remains everywhere, and the Church is infected with their accursed ashes. The Church is left poor and bare and miserable, neglected and bloodless. Her children seek not to bedeck, but to spoil her; not to guard her, but to destroy her; not to defend, but to expose; not to institute, but to prostitute; not to feed the flock, but to slay and devour it. They exact the price of sins and give no thought to sinners. "Whom can you show me among the prelates who does not seek rather to empty the pockets of his flock than to subdue their vices?" St. Bernard's contemporary, Potho of Pruhm, in 1152, voices the same complaints. The Church is rushing to ruin, and not a hand is raised to stay its downward progress; there is not a single priest fitted to rise up as a mediator between God and man and approach the divine throne with an appeal for mercy. *
The papal legate, Cardinal Henry of Albano, in his Encyclical letter of 1188 to the prelates of Germany, is equally emphatic though less eloquent. The triumph of the Prince of Darkness is to be expected in view of the depravity of the clergy -- their luxury, their gluttony, their disregard of the fasts, their holding of pluralities, their hunting, hawking, and gambling, their trading and their quarrels, and, chief of all, their incontinence, whence the wrath of God is provoked to the highest degree and the worst scandals are created between the clergy and the people. Peter Cantor, about
* S. Bernardi Serm. do Conversione cap. 19, 20. -- Ejusd. Serm. 77 in Cantica cap. 1. -- Cf. Ejusd. Serm. 33 in Cantica cap. 16; Tract. do Moribus et Offic. Episc. cap. vii. No. 25, 27, 28. -- De Consideratione Lib. III. cap. 4, 5. -- Pothon. Prumiens. de Statu Domus Dei Lib. I.
the same time, describes the Church as filled to the mouth with the filth of temporalities, of avarice, and of negligence, so that in these points it far surpasses the laity; and he points out that nothing is more damaging to the Church than to see laymen superior, as a class, to the clergy. Gilbert of Gemblours tells the same tale. The prelates for the most part enter the Church not by election, but by the use of money and the favor of princes; they enter, not to feed, but to be fed; not to minister, but to be ministered to; not to sow, but to reap; not to labor, but to rest; not to guard the sheep from the wolves, but, fiercer than wolves, themselves to tear the sheep. St. Hildegarda, in her prophecies, espouses the cause of the people against the clergy. "The prelates are ravishers of the churches; their avarice consumes all that it can acquire. With their oppressions they make us paupers and contaminate us and themselves. . . . Is it fitting that wearers of the tonsure should have greater store of soldiers and arms than we? Is it becoming that a clerk should be a soldier and a soldier a clerk? . . . God did not command that one son should have both coat and cloak and that the other should go naked, but ordered the cloak to be given to one and the coat to the other. Let the laity then have the cloak on account of the cares of the world, and let the clergy have the coat that they may not lack that which is necessary." *
One of the main objects in convoking the great Council of Lateran, in 1215, was the correction of the prevailing vices of the clergy, and it adopted numerous canons looking to the suppression of the chief abuses, but in vain. Those abuses were too deeply rooted, and four years later Honorius III., in an Encyclical addressed to all the prelates of Christendom, says that he has waited to see the result. He finds the evils of the Church increasing rather than diminishing. The ministers of the altar, worse than beasts wallowing in their dung, glory in their sins, as in Sodom. They are a snare and a destruction to the people. Many prelates consume the property committed to their trust and scatter the stores of the sanctuary throughout the public places; they promote the unworthy, waste the revenues of the Church on the wicked, and convert the churches into conventicles of their kindred. Monks and
* Cod. Diplom. Viennens. No. 163. -- P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. cap. 57, 59. -Guiberti Abbat. Gemblacens. Epist. 1. -- S. Hildegardæ Revelat. Vis. X. cap. 16.
nuns throw off the yoke, break their chains, and render themselves contemptible as dung. "Thus it is that heresies flourish. Let each of you gird his sword to his thigh and spare not his brother and his nearest kindred." What was accomplished by this earnest exhortation may be estimated from the description which Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, gave of the Church in the presence of Innocent IV. and his cardinals in 1250. The details can well be spared, but they are summed up in his assertion that the clergy were a source of pollution to the whole earth; they were antichrists and devils masquerading as angels of light, who made the house of prayer a den of robbers. When the earnest inquisitor of Passau, about 1260, undertook to explain the stubbornness of the heresy which he was vainly endeavoring to suppress, he did so by drawing up a list of the crimes prevalent among the clergy, which is awful in the completeness of its details. A church such as he describes was an unmitigated curse, politically, socially, and morally. *
This is all ecclesiastical testimony. How the clergy were regarded by the laity is illustrated in a remark by William of PuyLaurens, that it was a common phrase "I had rather be a priest than do that," just as one might say "I had rather be a Jew." It is true that the priests had the same contempt for the monks, for Emeric, Abbot of Anchin, tells us that a clerk would never associate with any one whom he had once seen wearing the black Benedictine habit. But priest and monk were both comprehended in the general detestation of the people. Walther von der Vogelweide sums up the popular appreciation of the whole ecclesiastical body, from pope downward:
" St. Peter's chair is filled to-day as well As when 'twas fouled by Gerbert's sorcery; For he consigned himself alone to hell, While this pope thither drags all Christentie. Why are the chastisements of Heaven delayed? How long wilt thou in slumber lie, O Lord? Thy work is hindered and thy word gainsaid, Thy treasurer steals the wealth that thou hast stored.
* Honor. PP. III, Epist. ad Archiep. Bituricens. ( Martene Collect. Amplis. I. 1149-1151; Thesaur. Anecdot. I. 875-877). -- Fascie. Rer. Expetendarum et Fugiendarum, II. 251 (Ed. 1690). -- W. Preger, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Waldesier, München, 1875, pp. 64-67.
Thy ministers rob here and murder there, And o'er thy sheep a wolf has shepherd's care." * Walther's echo is heard from the other end of Europe in the Troubadour Pierre Cardinal, who enlarges on the same theme in a manner to show how popular were these invectives and how completely they expressed the general feeling:
"I see the pope his sacred trust betray, For, while the rich his grace can gain alway, His favors from the poor are aye withholden. He strives to gather wealth as best he may, Forcing Christ's people blindly to obey, So that he may repose in garments golden. The vilest traffickers in souls are all His chapmen, and for gold a prebend's stall He'll sell them, or an abbacy or mitre. And to us he sends clowns and tramps who crawl Vending his pardon briefs from cot to hall -Letters and pardons worthy of the writer, Which leave our pokes, if not our souls, the lighter. "No better is each honored cardinal. From early morning's dawn to evening's fall, Their time is passed in eagerly contriving To drive some bargain foul with each and all. So, if you feel a want, or great or small, Or if for some preferment you are striving, The more you please to give the more 'twill bring, Be it a purple cap or bishop's ring. And it need ne'er in any way alarm you That you are ignorant everything To which a minister of Christ should cling, You will have revenue enough to warm you -And, bear in mind, that lesser gifts won't harm you. "Our bishops, too, are plunged in similar sin, For pitilessly they flay the very skin From all their priests who chance to have fat livings. For gold their seal official you can win To any writ, no matter what's therein. Sure God alone can make them stop their thievings.
* Guill. Pod. Laurent. Chron. Procem. -- Narrat. Restaur. Abbat. S. Martin Tornacens. cap. 38. -- Panniers Walthers von der Vogelweide sämmtliche Gedichte, No. 110, p. 118. Cf. No. 85, 111-113.
'Twere hard, in full, their evil works to tell, As when, for a few pence, they greedily sell The tonsure to some mountebank or jester, Whereby the temporal courts are wronged as well, For then these tonsured rogues they cannot quell, Howeler their scampish doings may us pester, While round the church still growing evils fester. "Then as for all the priests and minor clerks, There are, God knows, too many of them whose works And daily life belie their daily teaching. Scarce better are they than so many Turks, Though they, no doubt, may be well taught -- it irks Me not to own the fulness of their teaching -For, learned or ignorant, they're ever bent To make a traffic of each sacrament, The Mass's holy sacrifice included; And when they shrive an honest penitent Who will not bribe, his penance they augment, For honesty should never be obtruded -But this, by sinners fair, is easily eluded. "Tis true the monks and friars make ample show Of rules austere which they all undergo, But this the vainest is of all pretences. In sooth, they live full twice as well, we know, As e'er they did at home, despite their vow, And all their mock parade of abstinences. No jollier life than theirs can be, indeed; And specially the begging friars exceed, Whose frock grants license as abroad they wander. These motives 'tis which to the Orders lead So many worthless men, in sorest need Of pelf, which on their vices they may squander, And then, the frock protects them in their plunder." * It was inevitable that such a religion should breed dissidence and such a priesthood provoke revolt.
* From "La Gesta de Fra Peyre Cardinal", Raynouard, Lexique Roman, I. 464. See also pp. 446, 451. Cardinal was of noble birth and high consideration at the courts of Aragon and Toulouse; he was born in 1206, and is said to have lived until 1306. He was no heretic, although "los fals clerques reprendia molt." -- (Miquel de la Tor, Vie de Peire Cardinal, ap. Meyer, Anciens Textesp. 100.) -- See also his Sirvente, "Un sirventes vuelh far dels autz glotos" ( Raynouard, Lexique Roman, I. 447).
THE Church, which we have seen so far removed from its ideal and so derelict in its duties, found itself, somewhat unexpectedly, confronted by new dangers and threatened in the very citadel of its power. Just as its triumph over king and kaiser was complete a new enemy arose in the awakened consciousness of man. The dense ignorance of the tenth century, which followed the evanescent Carlovingian civilization, had begun in the eleventh to yield to the first faint pulsations of intellectual movement. Early in the twelfth century that movement already shows in its gathering force the promise of the development which was to render Europe the home of art and science, of learning, culture, and civilization. The stagnation of the human mind could not be thus broken without leading to inquiry and to doubt. When men began to reason and to ask questions, to criticise and to speculate on forbidden topics, it was not possible for them to avoid seeing how woful was the contrast between the teaching and the practice of the Church, and how little correspondence existed between religion and ritual, between the lives of monk and priest and the profession of their vows. Even the blind reverence which for generations had been felt for the utterances of the Church began to be shaken. Such a book as Abelard "Sic et Non," in which the contradictions of tradition and decretal were pitilessly set forth, was not only an indication of mental disquiet ripening to rebellion, but a fruitful source of future trouble in sowing the seeds of further investigation and irreverence. Vainly, at the command of the Roman curia, might Gratian seek to show, in his famous "Concordantia Discordantium Canonum," that the contradictions might be reconciled, and that the canon law was not merely a mass of clashing rules called forth by special exigencies, but an harmonious body of spiritual law. The fatal word had been spoken, and the efforts of the Glossators, of Masters of Sentences, of Angelic Doctors, and of the innumerable crowd of scholastic theologians and canon lawyers, with all their skilful dialectics, could never restore to the minds of men the placid and unbroken trust in the divine inspiration of the Church Militant. Few as were the assailants as yet, and intermittent as were their attacks, the very number of the defenders and the vigor of the defence show the danger which was recognized as dwelling in the spirit of inquiry which had at last been partially aroused from its long slumber. That spirit had received a powerful impulse from the school of Toledo, whither adventurous scholars flocked as to the fountain where they could take long draughts of Arabic and Grecian and Jewish lore. Even in the darkness of the tenth century Sylvester II., while yet plain Gerbert of Aurillac, had acquired a sinister reputation as a magician, owing to his asserted studies of forbidden science at that centre of intellectual activity. Towards the middle of the twelfth century Robert de Rétines, at the instance of Peter the Venerable of Cluny, laid aside for a while his studies in astronomy and geometry, in order to translate the Koran, and enable his patron to controvert the errors of Islam. The works of Aristotle and Ptolemy, of Abubekr, Avicenna, and Alfarabi, and finally those of Averrhoes, were rendered into Latin, and were copied with incredible zeal in all the lands of Christendom. The Crusaders, too, brought home with them fragmentary remains of ancient thought which met with an equally warm reception. It is true that judicial astrology was the chief subject of study and speculation among these new-found treasures, but the earnestness with which more fruitful topics were investigated and the danger which lurked in them are evidenced by the repeated prohibitions of the works of Aristotle and the denunciations of their use in the University of Paris. Even more menacing to the Church was the revival of the Civil Law. Whether or not this was caused by the discovery of the Pandects of Amalfi, the ardor with which it came, by the middle of the twelfth century, to be studied in all the great centres of learning is incontestable, and men found, to their surprise, that there was a system of jurisprudence of wonderful symmetry and subtle adjustment of right, immeasurably superior to the clumsy and confused canon law and the barbarous feudal customs, while drawing its authority from immutable justice as represented by the sovereign, and not from canon or decretal, from pope or council, or even from Holy Writ. The clearsightedness of St. Bernard was not in fault when, as early as 1149, he recognized the danger to the Church, and complained that the courts rang with the laws of Justinian rather than with those of God. *
To understand fully the effect of this intellectual movement upon the popular mind and heart, we must picture to ourselves a state of society in many respects wholly unlike our own. It is not only that in civilized lands settled institutions have rendered men more submissive to law and custom, but the diffusion of intelligence and the training of generations have brought them more under the control of reason and rendered them less susceptible to impulse and emotion. Even in modern times we have seen, in outbursts like the Revolution of '89, the possibilities of popular frenzy when reason is dethroned by passion. Yet the madness of the Reign of Terror is no unapt illustration of the violent emotions to which mediæval populations were subject, for good or for evil, giving occasion to the startling contrasts which render the period so picturesque, and relieve the sordidness of its daily life with splendid exhibitions of the loftiest enthusiasm or with hideous deeds of brutality. Unaccustomed to restraint, vigorous manhood asserted itself in all its greatness and its littleness, whether in wreaking cruel vengeance upon the defenceless or in offering itself joyfully as a sacrifice to humanity. Thrills of delirious emotion spread from land to land, arousing the populations from their lethargy in blind attempts to achieve they scarcely knew whatin crusades which bleached the sands of Palestine with Christian bones, in wild excesses of flagellation, in purposeless wanderings of the Pastoureaux. In the deep and hopeless misery which oppressed the mass of the people there was an ever-present feeling of unrest which constantly saw in the near future the coming of Antichrist, the end of the world, and the Day of Judgment. In the deplorable condition of society, torn with unceasing and say-
* Pelayo, Heterodoxos Españoles I. 405 ( Madrid, 1880). -- Petri Venerab. Opp. pp. 650 sqq. (Ed. Migne). -- F. Francisci Pipini Chron. cap: 16. -- Rigord. de Gest. Phil. Aug. aun. 1210. -- Concil. Paris. ann. 1210. -- Gregor. PP. IX. Bull. Cum salutem, 29 Apr. 1231. -- S. Bernardi de Consideratione Lib. i. cap. 4. For the adoration paid to Aristotle by the schoolmen of the twelfth century see John of Salisbury's Metalogicus Lib. ii. c. 16.
age neighborhood-war and ground under the iron heel of feudalism, the common man might indeed well imagine that the reign of Antichrist was ever imminent, or might welcome any change which possibly might benefit, and scarce could injure, his condition. The invisible world, moreover, with its mysterious attraction and horrible fascination, was ever present and real to every one. Demons were always around him, to smite him with sickness, to ruin his pitiful little cornfield or vineyard, or to lure his soul to perdition; while angels and saints were similarly ready to help him, to listen to his invocations, and to intercede for him at the throne of mercy, which he dared not to address directly. It was among a population thus impressionable, emotional, and superstitious, slowly awakening in the intellectual dawn, that orthodoxy and heterodoxy -- the forces of conservatism and progress -were to fight the battle in which neither could win permanent victory. It is a noteworthy fact, presaging the new form which modern civilization and enlightenment were to assume, that the heresies which were to shake the Church to its foundations were no longer, as of old, mere speculative subtleties propounded by learned theologians and prelates in the gradual evolution of Christian doctrine. We have not to deal with men like Arius or Priscillian, or Nestorius or Eutyches, scholars and prelates who filled the Church with the disputatious wrangles of their learning. Hierarchical organization was too perfect, and theological dogma too thoroughly petrified, to admit of this; and the occasional deviations, real or assumed, of the schoolmen from orthodoxy, as in the case of Berenger of Tours, of Abelard, of Gilbert de la Poréde, of Peter Lombard, of Folkmar von Trieffenstein, were readily suppressed by the machinery of the establishment. Nor have we, for the most part, to deal with the governing classes, for the alliance between Church and State to keep the people in subjection had been handed down from the Roman Empire, and however much monarchs like John of England or Frederic II. had to complain of ecclesiastical pretensions, they never dared to loosen the foundations on which rested their own prerogatives. As a rule, heresy had to be thoroughly disseminated among the people before those of gentle blood would meddle with it, as we shall see in Languedoc and Lombardy. The blows which brought real danger to the hierarchy came from ob- scure men, laboring among the poor and oppressed, who, in their misery and degradation, felt that the Church had failed in its mission, whether through the worldliness of its ministers or through defects in its doctrine. Among these lost sheep of Israel, like the Goim, whom, neglected and despised by the rabbis, it was Christ's mission to bring into the fold, they found ready and eager listeners, and the heresies which they taught divide themselves naturally into two classes. On the one hand we have sectaries holding fast to all the essentials of Christianity, with antisacerdotalism as their mainspring, and on the other hand we have Manichæans.
In briefly reviewing these and their vicissitudes, it must be borne in mind that, with scarce an exception, the authorities are exclusively their antagonists and persecutors. Saving a few Waldensian tracts and a single Catharan ritual, their literature has wholly perished. We are left, for the most part, to gather their doctrines from those who wrote to confute them or to excite popular odium against them, and we can only learn their struggles and their fate from their ruthless exterminators. I shall say no word in their praise that is not based upon the admissions or accusations of their enemies; and if I reject some of the abuse lavished upon them, it is because that abuse is so manifestly conscious or unconscious exaggeration that it is deprived of all historical value. In general, the prima facie case may be assumed to be in favor of those who were ready to endure persecution and face death for the sake of what they believed to be truth; nor, in the existing corruption of the Church, can it be imagined, as the orthodox controversialists assumed, that any one would place himself outside of the pale for the purpose of more freely indulging disorderly appetites.
The fact is, as we have seen, that the highest authorities in the Church admitted that its scandals were the cause, if not the justification, of heresy. An inquisitor who was actively engaged in its suppression enumerates among the efficient agents in its dissemination the depraved lives of the clergy, their ignorance, leading to the preaching of false and frivolous things, their irreverence for the sacraments, and the hatred commonly entertained for them. Another informs us that the leading arguments of the heretics were drawn from the pride, the avarice, and the unclean lives of clerks and prelates. All this, according to Lucas, Bishop of Tuy, who laboriously confuted heterodoxy, was exaggerated by false stories of miracles skilfully directed against the observances of the Church and the weaknesses of its ministers; but if so this was a work of surplusage, for nothing that the heretics could invent was likely to be more appalling than the reality as stated by the most resolute champions of the Church. Not many controversialists, indeed, were capable of the frank assurance of the learned author of the tract which passes under the name of Peter of Pilichdorf, in answering the arguments of the heretics, that the Catholic priests were fornicators and usurers and drunkards and dicers and forgers, by boldly saying, "What then? They are none the less priests, and the worst of men who is a priest is worthier than the most holy layman. Was not Judas Iscariot, on account of his apostleship, worthier than Nathaniel, though less holy?" The Troubadour Inquisitor Isarn only uttered a truth generally recognized when he said that no believer would be misled into Catharism or Waldensianism if he had a good pastor:
"Ja no fara crezens heretje ni baudes Si agues bon pastor que lur contradisses." *
The antisacerdotal heresies were directed against the abuses in doctrine and practice which priestcraft had invented to enslave the souls of men. One feature common to them all was a revival of the Donatist tenet that the sacraments are polluted in polluted hands, so that a priest living in mortal sin is incapable of administering them. In the existing condition of ecclesiastical morals this was destructive to the functions of nearly the whole body of the priesthood, and its readiness as a means of attack had been facilitated by the policy of the Holy See in its efforts to suppress clerical marriage and concubinage. In 1059 the Synod of Rome, under the impulsion of Nicholas II., had adopted a canon forbidding any one to be present at the mass of a priest known to keep a concubine or wife. This was inviting the flock to sit in judgment on the pastor; and though it remained virtually a dead letter for fifteen years, when it was revived and effectually put in
* Reinerii contra Waldenses cap. 3. -- Tractatus de Modo procedendi contra Hæreticos (MSS. Bib. Nat. Coll. Doat XXX. 185 sqq.). -- Lucæ Tudensis de Altera Vita Lib. 111. cap. 7-10. -- P. de Pilichdorf contra Waldenses cap. 16. -- Passaviens. Anon. ( Preger, Beiträge, pp. 64-67). -- Raynouard, Lexique Roman, V. 471.
force by Gregory VII., in 1074, it produced immense confusion, for continent priests were rare exceptions. So violent was the contest excited that, in 1077, at Cambrai, the married or concubinary priesthood actually burned at the stake an unfortunate who resolutely maintained the orthodoxy of the papal rescripts. The orders of Gregory were reiterated by Innocent II. as late as the Council of Reims, in 1131, and in that of Lateran, in 1139, and Gratian embodied the whole series in the canon law, where they still remain. Although Urban II. had endeavored to point out that it was merely a matter of discipline, and that the virtue of the sacraments remained unaltered in the hands of the worst of men, still it was difficult for the popular mind to recognize so subtle a distinction. A learned theologian like Geroch of Reichersperg might safely declare that he paid no more attention to the masses of concubinary priests than if they were those of so many pagans, and yet be unimpeached in his orthodoxy, but to minds less robust in faith the question presented insoluble difficulties. Albero, a priest of Mercke, near Cologne, shortly afterwards, when he taught that the consecration of the host was imperfect in sinful hands, was forced, by the unanimous testimony of the Fathers, to recant; but he adopted the theory that such sacraments were profitable to those who took them in ignorance of the wickedness of the celebrant, while they were useless to the dead and to those who were cognizant of the sin. This was likewise heretical, and Albero's offer to prove its orthodoxy by undergoing the ordeal of fire was rejected on the logical ground that sorcery might thus enable false doctrine to triumph. The question continued to plague the Church until, about 1230, Gregory IX. abandoned the position of his predecessors, and undertook to settle it by an authoritative decision that every priest in mortal sin is suspended, as far as concerns himself, until he repents and is absolved, yet his offices are not to be avoided, because he is not suspended as regards others, unless the sin is notorious by judicial confession or sentence, or by evidence so clear that no tergiversation is possible. To the Church it was, of course, impossible to admit that the virtue of the sacrament depended upon the virtue of the ministrant, but these finedrawn distinctions show how the question troubled the minds of the faithful, and how readily the heresy could suggest itself that transubstantiation might fail in the hands of the wicked. In fact, even without the suggestive commands of Gregory and Innocent, to a thoughtful and pious mind there was a grievous incompatibility between the awful powers vested by the Church in her ministers and the flagitious lives which disgraced so many of them. That the error should be stubborn was unavoidable. As late as 1396 it was taught by Jean de Varennes, a priest of the Remois, who was forced to recant, and in 1458 we find Alonso de Spina declaring it to be common to the Waldenses, the Wickliffites, and the Hussites. *
One or two of the earlier antisacerdotal heresies may be mentioned which were local and temporary in their character, but which yet have interest as showing how ready were the lower ranks of the people to rise in revolt against the Church, and how contagious was the enthusiasm excited by any leader bold enough to voice the general feeling of unrest and discontent. About 1108, in the Zeeland Isles, there appeared a preacher named Tanchelm, who seems to have been an apostate monk, subtle and skilled in disputation. He taught the nullity of all hierarchical dignities, from pope to simple clerk, that the Eucharist was polluted in unworthy hands, and that tithes were not to be paid. The people listened eagerly, and after filling all Flanders with his heresy, he found in Antwerp an appropriate centre of influence. Although that city was already populous and wealthy through commerce, it had but a single priest, and he, involved in an incestuous union with a near relative, had neither leisure nor inclination for his duties. A people thus destitute of orthodox instruction fell an easy prey to the tempter and eagerly followed him, reverencing him to that degree that the water in which he bathed was distributed and preserved as a relic. He readily raised a force of three thousand fighting men, with which he dominated the land,
* Concil. Roman. ann. 1059, can. 3. -- Lambert. Hersfeld. ann. 1074. -- Gregor. PP. VII. Epist. Extrav. 4; Regist. Lib. IV. Ep. 20. -- Concil. Remens. ann. 1131, c. 5. -- Concil. Lateran. II. ann. 1139, c. 7. -- c. 5, 6, Decret. I. xxxii.; c. 15; I. lxxxi. -- Gerhohi Dial. de Different. Cleri. Cf. Ejusd. Lib. contr. duas Hæreses c. 3, 6; Dialogus de Clericis Sæcul. et Regular. -- Anon. Libell. adv. Errores Alberonis ( Martene Ampliss. Collect. IX. 1251- 1270). -- Can. 10 Extra Lib. 111. tit. ii. -- D'Argentré, Collect. Judic. de novis Erroribus, I. ii. 154. -- Fortalicium Fidei, fol. 62 b (Ed. 1494). The importance of the question in the twelfth century is shown by the number of canons devoted to it by Gratian.
nor was there duke or bishop who dared withstand him. The stories that he pretended to be God and the equal of Jesus Christ, and that he celebrated his marriage with the Virgin Mary, may safely be rejected as the embroideries of frightened clerks; nor could Tanchelm have really considered himself as a heretic, for we find him visiting Rome with a few followers for the purpose of obtaining a division of the extensive see of Utrecht and the allotment of a portion of it to the episcopate of Terouane. On his return from Rome, in 1112, while passing through Cologne, he and his retinue were thrown in prison by the archbishop, who the next year summoned a synod to sit in judgment on them. Several of them purged themselves by the water-ordeal, while others succeeded in escaping by flight. Of these, three were burned at Bonn, preferring a frightful death to abandoning their faith, while Tanchelm himself reached Bruges in safety. The anathema which had been pronounced against him, however, had impaired his credit, and the clergy of Bruges had little difficulty in procuring his ejectment. Yet Antwerp remained faithful, and he continued his missionary career until 1115, when, being in a boat with but few followers, a zealous priest piously knocked him on the head, and his soul went to rejoin its master, Satan. Even this did not suppress the effect of his teaching and his heresy continued to flourish. In vain the bishop gave twelve assistants to the lonely priest of St. Michael's in Antwerp; it was not until 1126, when St. Norbert, the ardent ascetic who founded the Premonstratensian order, was placed in charge of the city with his followers, and undertook to evangelize it with his burning eloquence, that the people could be brought back to the faith. St. Norbert built other churches and filled them with disciples zealous as himself, and the stubborn heretics were docile enough to pastors who taught by example as well as by words their sympathy for those who had so long been neglected. Consecrated hosts which had lain hidden for fifteen years in chinks and corners were brought forth by pious souls, and the heresy vanished without leaving a trace. *
* Hartzheim Concil. German. III. 763-766. -- Meyeri Anual. Flandriæ Lib. IV. ann. 1113-1115. -- Sigeberti Gemblacens. Contin. Valcellens. ann. 1115. -- P. Abælardi Introd. ad Theolog. Lib. 11. cap. 4. -- Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1127. -Vit. S. Norbert. Archiep. Magdeburg, cap. iii. No. 79, 80.
Somewhat similar was the heresy propagated not long afterwards in Brittany by Éon de I'Étoile, except that in this case the heresiarch was unquestionably insane. Sprung from a noble family, he had gained a reputation for sanctity by the life of a hermit in the wilderness, when, from the words of the collect, "per eum qui venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos," he conceived the idea that he was the Son of God. It was not difficult to find sharers in this belief who adored him as the Deity incarnate, and he soon had a numerous band of followers, with whose aid he pillaged the churches of their ill-used treasures, and distributed them to the poor. The heresy became sufficiently formidable to induce the legate, Cardinal Alberic of Ostia, to preach against it at Nantes.in 1145, and Hugues, Archbishop of Rouen, to combat it with dreary polemics; but the most convincing argument used was the soldiery despatched against the heretics, many of whom were captured and burned at Alet, refusing obstinately to recant. Éon retired to Aquitaine for a season, but in 1148 he ventured to appear in Champagne, where he was seized with his followers by Samson, Archbishop of Reims, and brought before Eugenius III. at the Council of Rouen. Here his insanity was so manifest that he was charitably consigned to the care of Suger, Abbot of St. Denis, where he soon after died, but many of his disciples were stubborn, and preferred the stake to recantation. *
More durable and more formidable were the heresies which about the same time took stubborn root in the south of France, where the condition of society was especially favorable for their propagation. There the population and civilization were wholly different from those of the north. The first wave of the Aryan invasion of Europe had driven to the Mediterranean littoral the ancient Ligurian inhabitants, who had left abundant traces of their race in the swarthy skins and black hair of their descendants. Greek and Phœnician colonies had still further crossed the blood. Gothic domination had been long continued, and the Merovingian conquest had scarce given to the Frank a foothold in the soil.
* Sigibert. Gemblac. Continuat. Gemblac. ann. 1146. -- Ejusd. Continuat. Præmonstrat. ann. 1148. -- Roberti do Monte Chron. ann. 1148. -- Guilliel. de Newburg. Lib. I. cap. 19. -- Otton. Frising. de Gest. Frid. I. Lib. 1. cap. 54, 55. -- Hugon. Rothomag. contr. Hæret. Lib. III. cap.6. -- Sehmidt, Histoire des Cathares, I. 49. Even Saracenic elements were not wanting to make up the strange admixture of races which rendered the citizen of Narbonne or Marseilles so different a being from the inhabitant of Paris -- quite as different as the Langue d'Oc from the Langue d'Oyl. The feudal tie which bound the Count of Toulouse, or the Marquis of Provence, or the Duke of Aquitaine to the King of Paris or the Emperor was but feeble, and when the last named fief was carried by Eleanor to Henry II., the rival pretensions of England and France preserved the virtual independence of the great feudatories of the South, leading to antagonisms of which we shall see the full fruits in the Albigensian crusades. The contrast of civilization was as marked as that of race. Nowhere in Europe had culture and luxury made such progress as in the south of France. Chivalry and poetry were assiduously cultivated by the nobles; and, even in the cities, which had acquired for themselves a large measure of freedom, and which were enriched by trade and commerce, the citizens boasted a degree of education and enlightenment unknown elsewhere. Nowhere in Europe, moreover, were the clergy more negligent of their duties or more despised by the people. There was little earnestness of religious conviction among either prelates or nobles to stimulate persecution, so that there was considerable freedom of belief. In no other Christian land did the despised Jew enjoy such privileges. His right to hold land in franc-alleu was similar to that of the Christian; he was admitted to public office, and his administrative ability rendered him a favorite in such capacity with both prelate and noble; his synagogues were undisturbed; and the Hebrew school of Narbonne was renowned in Israel as the home of the Kimchis. Under such influences, those who really possessed religious convictions were but little deterred by prejudice or the fear of persecution from criticising the shortcomings of the Church, or from seeking what might more nearly respond to their aspirations. *
* Saige, Les Juifs du Languedoc. P. 1. ch. ii.; P. 11. ch. ii. ( Paris, 1881). The same causes were at work in Spain, where the faithful complained that they were not allowed to persecute the Jew ( Lucæ Tudens. de altera Vita Lib. III. cap. 3), and missionary work among the slaves of Jews was rendered costly by forcing the bishop of the diocese to pay to the master an extortionate price for every slave converted to Christianity and thus set free, for Jews could not hold Chris-
It was in such a population as this that the first antisacerdotal heresy was preached in Vallonise about 1106, by Pierre de Bruys, a native of the diocese of Embrun. The prelates of Embrun, Gap, and Die endeavored in vain to stay his progress until they procured assistance from the king, when he was driven out and took refuge in Gascony. For twenty years he continued his mission, and the openness and success with which he taught is shown by the story that in one place, to show his contempt for the objects of sacerdotal veneration, he caused a great pile of consecrated crosses to be accumulated, and then, setting fire to them, deliberately roasted meat at the flames. Persecution at length became more active, and about the year 1126 he was seized and burned at St. Gilles.
His teaching was simply antisacerdotal -- to some extent a revival of the errors of Claudius of Turin. Pædo-baptism was useless, for the faith of another cannot help him who cannot use his own -- a far-reaching proposition, fraught with immeasurable consequences. For the same reason offerings, alms, masses, prayers and other good works for the dead are useless and each will be judged on his own merits. Churches are unnecessary and should be destroyed, for holy places are not wanted for Christian prayer, since God listens to those who deserve it, whether invoked in church or tavern, in temple or market-place, before the altar or before the stable; and the Church of God does not consist of a multitude of stones piled together, but in the united congregation of the faithful. As for the cross, as a senseless thing it is not to be invoked with foolish prayers, but is rather to be destroyed as the instrument on which Christ was cruelly tortured to death. His most serious error, however, was his rejection of the Eucharist. Transubstantiation had not yet had time to become immovably fixed in the perceptions of all men, and Pierre de Bruys went even further than Berenger of Tours. His only recorded utterance is his vigorous rejection of the sacrament: "O people, believe not the bishops, the priests, and the clerks, who, as in much else, seek to deceive you as to the office
tian slaves. They were also relieved from the oppressive tax of the tithe (Innocent. III. Regest. VIII. 50; IX. 150). Even until late in the thirteenth century we find Jews freely holding real estate in Languedoc. See MSS. Bib. Nat. Coll. Doat. T. XXXVII. fol. 20, 146, 148, 149, 151, 152. For the independence of the communes, see Fauriel edition of William of Tudela, Introd. pp. lv. sq., and Mazure et Hatoulet, Fors de Béarn, p. xliii.
of the altar, where they lyingly pretend to make the body of Christ and give it to you for the salvation of your souls. They plainly lie, for the body of Christ was but once made by Christ in the supper before the Passion, and but once given to the disciples. Since then it has been never made and never given." *
There was evidently nothing to do with such a man but to burn him, but even this did not suffice to suppress his heresy. The Petrobrusians continued to diffuse his doctrines, secretly or openly, and, some five or six years after his death, Peter the Venerable of Cluny considered them still so formidable as to require his controversial tract, to which we are indebted for almost all we know about the sect. This is dedicated to the bishops of Embrun, Arles, Die, and Gap, and urges them to renewed efforts for the suppression of the heresy by preaching and by the arms of the laity.
All their efforts might well be needed, for Peter was succeeded by a yet more formidable heresiarch. Little is known of the earlier life of Henry, the Monk of Lausanne, except that he left his convent there under circumstances for which St. Bernard afterwards reproached him, but which may well have been but the first ebullition of the reformatory spirit to which he finally fell a victim. We next hear of him at Le Mans, perhaps as early as 1116, but the dates are uncertain. Here his austerities gained him the veneration of the people, which he turned with disastrous effect upon the clergy. We know little of his doctrines at this time, except that he rejected the invocation of saints, but we are told that his eloquence was so persuasive that under its influence women abandoned, their jewels and sumptuous apparel, and young men married courtesans to reclaim them. While thus teaching asceticism and charity, he so lashed the vices of the Church that the clergy throughout the diocese would have been destroyed but for the active protection of the nobles. Henry had taken advantage of the absence in Rome of the bishop, the celebrated Hildebert of Le Mans, who, on his return, overcame the heretic in disputation and forced him to abandon the field, but could not punish him. We have glimpses of his activity in Poitiers and Bordeaux, and then lose sight of him till we
* Jonæ. Aureliens. de Cultu Imaginum. -- Petri Venerab. Tract. contra Petrobrusianos. -- P. Abælardi Introd. ad Theolog. Lib. II. cap. 4. -- Alphonsi a Castro adv. Hæreses Lib. III. p. 168 (Ed. 1571). -- Fisquet, La France Pontificale, Embrun, p. 848.
find him a prisoner of the Archbishop of Arles, who took him to the presence of Innocent II. at the Council of Pisa, in 1134. Here he was convicted of heresy and condemned to imprisonment, but was subsequently released and sent back to his convent, whence he departed with the intention of entering the strict Cistercian order at Clairvaux. What led to his resuming his heretical mission we do not know, but we meet him again, bolder than before, adopting substantially the Petrobrusian tenets, rejecting the Eucharist, refusing all reverence for the priesthood, all tithes, oblations, and other sources of ecclesiastical revenue, and all attendance at church.
The scene of this activity was southern France, where the embers of Petrobrusianism were ready to be kindled into flame. His success was immense. In 1147 St. Bernard despairingly describes the condition of religion in the extensive territories of the Count of Toulouse: "The churches are without people, the people without priests, the priests without the reverence due them, and Christians without Christ. The churches are regarded as synagogues, the sanctuary of the Lord is no longer holy; the sacraments are no more held sacred; feast days are without solemnities; men die in their sins, and their souls are hurried to the dread tribunal, neither reconciled by penance nor fortified by the holy communion. The little ones of Christ are debarred from life since baptism is denied them. The voice of a single heretic silences all those apostolic and prophetic voices which have united in calling all the nations into the Church of Christ." The prelates of southern France were powerless to arrest the progress of the bold heresiarch, and imploringly appealed for assistance. The nobles would not aid them, for, like the people, they hated the clergy and were glad of the excuses which Henry's doctrines gave them for spoiling and oppressing the Church. The papal legate, Alberic, was summoned, and he prevailed upon St. Bernard to accompany him with Geoffrey, Bishop of Chartres, and other men of mark. Though St. Bernard was sick, the perilous condition of the tottering establishment aroused all his zeal, and he unflinchingly undertook the mission. What was the condition of popular feeling and how boldly it dared to express itself may be gathered from the reception of the legate at Albi, where the people went forth to meet him with asses and drums in sign of derision, and when they were convoked to be present at his celebration of mass scarcely thirty attended.
If we may believe the accounts of his disciples, the success of Bernard was immense. His reputation had preceded him, and it was heightened by the stories of miracles which he daily performed, no less than by his burning eloquence and skill in disputation. Crowds flocked to hear him preach, and were converted. At Albi, two days after the miserable failure of the legate, St. Bernard arrived, and the cathedral was scarcely able to hold the multitude which assembled to listen to him. On the conclusion of his discourse he adjured them: "Repent, then, all ye who have been contaminated. Return to the Church; and that we may know who repents, let each penitent raise his right hand" -- and every hand was raised. Scarce less effective was his rejoinder when, after preaching to an immense assemblage, he mounted his horse to depart and a hardened heretic, thinking to confuse him, said, "My lord abbot, our heretic, of whom you think so ill, has not a horse so fat and spirited as yours.""Friend," replied the saint, "I deny it not. The horse eats and grows fat for itself, for it is but a brute and by nature given to its appetites, whereby it offends not God. But before the judgment seat of God I and your master will not be judged by horse's necks, but each by his own neck. Now, then, look at my neck and see if it is fatter than your master's, and if you can justly reprehend me." Then he threw down his cowl and displayed his neck, long and thin and wasted by maceration and austerities, to the confusion of the misbelievers. If he failed to make converts at Verfeil, where a hundred knights refused to listen to him, he at least had the satisfaction of cursing them, which we are assured caused them all to perish miserably.
St. Bernard challenged Henry to a disputation, which the prudent heretic declined, whether through fear of his antagonist's eloquence or a reasonable regard for the safety of his own person. It mattered little which, for his refusal discredited him in the eyes of many of the nobles who had hitherto protected him, and thenceforth he was obliged to lie in hiding. Orthodoxy took heart and was soon on his track: he was captured the next year and brought in chains before his bishop. His end is not known, but he is presumed to have died in prison. *
* S. Bernardi Epistt. 241, 242. -- Gesta Pontif. Cenomanens. ( D. Bouquet T. XII. pp. 547-551, 554). -- Hildebert. Cenoman. Epistt. 23, 24. -- S. Bernardi Vit. Prim.
We hear no more of the Henricians as a definite sect, though in 1151 a young girl, miraculously inspired by the Virgin Mary, is said to have converted many of them, and they probably continued to exist throughout Languedoc, furnishing material in the next generation for the spread of the Waldenses. We have scanty indications, however, in widely separated places, of the existence of sectaries probably Henrician, showing how, in spite of persecution, the antisacerdotal spirit continued to manifest itself. Contemporary with St. Bernard's mission to Languedoc is a letter addressed to him by Evervin, Provost of Steinfeld, imploring his aid against heretics recently discovered at Cologne -- some Manichæans and others, evidently Henricians, who had betrayed themselves by their mutual quarrels. These Henricians boasted that their sect was numerously scattered throughout all the lands of Christendom, and their zeal is shown by an allusion to those among their number who perished at the stake. Probably Henrician, too, were heretics who infested Perigord under a teacher named Pons, whose austerities and external holiness drew to them numerous adherents, including nobles and priests, monks and nuns. Besides the antisacerdotal tenets described above, these enthusiasts anticipated St. Francis in proclaiming poverty to be essential to salvation and in refusing to receive money. The impression which they produced upon a worldly generation is shown by the marvellous legends which grew around them. They courted persecution and sought for persecutors who should slay them, yet they could not be punished, for their master, Satan, liberated them from chains and prison. Thus if one should be fettered hand and foot and placed under an inverted hogshead watched by guards, he would disappear until it pleased him to return. We know nothing as to the fate of Pons and his disciples, but their numbers and activity were a manifestation of the pervading disquiet and yearning for a change. *
Arnald of Brescia's heresy was much more limited in its scope. A pupil of Abelard, he was accused of sharing his master's errors,
Lib. III. cap. 6; Lib. VII. p. iii. ad calcem; Lib. VIL. cap. 17. -- Guill. de PodioLaurent. cap. 1. -- Alberic. Trium Font. Chron. ann. 1148.
* Matt. Paris. Hist. Angl. ann. 1151. -- S. Bernardi Epist. 472. -- Hereberti Monachi Epist. ( D. Bouquet. XII. 550-551).
and incorrect notions respecting pædo-baptism and the Eucharist were attributed to him. Whatever may have been his theological aberrations, his real offence was the energetic way in which he lashed the vices of the clergy and stimulated the laity to repossess the ample wealth and extended privileges which the Church had acquired. Profoundly convinced that the evils of Christendom arose from the worldliness of the ecclesiastical body, he taught that the Church should hold neither temporal possessions nor jurisdiction, and should confine itself rigidly to its spiritual functions. Of austere and commanding virtue, irreproachable in his self-denying life, trained in all the learning of the schools, and gifted with rare persuasive eloquence, he became the terror of the hierarchy, and found the laity ready enough to listen and to act upon doctrines which satisfied their worldly aspirations as well as their spiritual longings. The second Lateran Council, in 1139, endeavored to suppress the revolt which he excited in the Lombard cities by condemning and imposing silence on him; he refused obedience, and the next year Innocent II., in approving the proceedings of the Council of Sens, included him in the condemnation of Abelard, and ordered both to be imprisoned and their writings burned. Arnald had fled from Italy to France, and now he was driven to Germany, where we find his restless activity at work in Constance and then in Torgau, pursued by the sleepless watchfulness of St. Bernard. According to the latter, his conquests over souls in Switzerland were rapid, for his teeth were arms and arrows, and his tongue was a sharp sword. After the death of Innocent II. he returned to Rome, where he seems to have been reconciled to Eugenius III. in 1145 or 1146. The new pope, speedily wearied with the turbulence of the city which had exhausted his predecessors, abandoned it and finally sought refuge in France. Arnald was not idle in these movements, and was generally held responsible for them. Vain were the remonstrances of St. Bernard to the Roman commonalty, and equally vain his appeals to the Emperor Conrad to restore the papal power by force. At the same time Conrad treated with disdain envoys sent by the Roman republic, protesting that their object was to restore the imperial supremacy as it had existed under the Cæsars, and inviting him to come and assume the empire of Italy. Eugenius, on his return to Italy, in 1148, issued from Brescia a condemna- tion of Arnald, directed especially to his supporters among the Roman clergy, who were threatened with deprivation of preferment; but the citizens stood firm, and the pope was only allowed to return to his city on condition of allowing Arnald to remain there.
After the death of Conrad III., in 1152, Eugenius III. hastened to win the support of the new King of the Romans, Frederic Barbarossa, by intimating that Arnald and his partisans were conspiring to elect another emperor and make the empire Roman in fact as well as in name. The papal favor seemed necessary to Frederic to secure his coveted coronation and recognition. Blindly overlooking the irreconcilable antagonism between the temporal and spiritual swords, he cast his fortunes with the pope, swore to subdue for him the rebellious city and regain for him the territory of which he had been deprived; while Eugenius, on his side, promised to crown him when he should invade Italy, and to use freely the artillery of excommunication for the abasement of his enemies. The domination of the Roman populace has not been wholly moderate and peaceful. In more than one emeute the palaces of noble and cardinal had been sacked and destroyed and their persons maltreated, and at length, in 1154, in some popular uprising, the cardinal of Santa Pudenziana was slain. Adrian IV., the masterful Englishman who had recently ascended the papal throne, took advantage of the opportunity and set the novel example of laying an interdict on the capital of Christianity until Arnald should be expelled from the city; the fickle populace, dismayed at the deprivation of the sacrament, indispensable to all Christians at the approaching Easter solemnities, were withdrawn from his support, and he retired to the castle of a friendly baron of the Campagna. The next year Frederic reached Rome, after entering into engagements with Adrian which included the sacrifice of Arnald, and he lost no time in performing his share of the bargain. Arnald's protectors were summoned to surrender him, and were obliged to obey. For the cruel ending the Church sought to shirk the responsibility, but there would seem to be no reasonable doubt that he was regularly condemned by a spiritual tribunal as a heretic, for he was in holy orders, and could be tried only by the Church, after which he was handed over to the secular arm for punishment. He was offered pardon if he would recant his erroneous doctrines, but he persistently refused, and passed his last moments in silent prayer. Whether or not he was mercifully hanged before being reduced to ashes is perhaps doubtful, but those ashes were cast into the Tiber to prevent the people of Rome from preserving them as relics and honoring him as a martyr. It was not long before Frederic had ample cause to repent the loss of an ally who might have saved him from the bitter humiliation of his surrender to Alexander III. *
Though the immediate influence of Arnald of Brescia was evanescent, his career has its importance as a manifestation of the temper with which the more spiritually minded received the encroachments and corruption of the Church. Yet, though he failed in his attempt to revolutionize society, and perished through miscalculating the tremendous forces arrayed against him, his sacrifice was not wholly in vain. His teachings left a deep impress in the minds of the population, and his followers in secret cherished his memory and his principles for centuries. It was not without a full knowledge of the position that the Roman curia scattered his ashes in the Tiber, dreading the effect of the veneration which the people felt for their martyr. Secret associations of Arnaldistas were formed who called themselves "Poor Men," and adopted the tenet that the sacraments could only be administered by virtuous men. In 1184 we find them condemned by Lucius III. at the socalled Council of Verona; about 1190 they are alluded to by Bonaccorsi, and even until the sixteenth century their name occurs in the lists of heresies proscribed in successive bulls and edicts. Yet the complete oblivion into which they fell is seen in the learned glossator Johannes Andreas, who died in 1348, remarking that perhaps the name of the sect may be derived from some one who founded it. When Peter Waldo of Lyons endeavored, in more pacific wise, to carry out the same views, and his followers grew into the "Poor
* S. Bernardi Epistt. 189, 195, 196, 243, 244. -- Gualt. Mapes de Nugis Curialium Dist. 1. cap. xxiv. -- Otton. Frisingens. de Gestis Frid. I. Lib. I. cap. 27; Lib. II. cap. 20. -- Harduin. Concil. VI. ii. 1224. -- Martene Ampliss. Collect. II. 554-558. -Guntheri Ligurin. Lib. III. 262-348. -- Gerhohi Reichersperg. de Investigat. Antichristi 1. -- Baronii Annal. ann. 1148, No. 38. -- Jaffé Regesta, No. 6445. -- Vit. Adriani PP. III. (Muratori III. 441, 442). -- Sächsische Weltchronik, No. 301. -- Cantù, Eretici d'Italia, I. 61-63. -- Tocco, L'Eresia nel Medio Evo, pp. 242, 243. -Comba, La Riforma in Italia, I. 193, 194. -- Bonghi, Arnaldo da Brescia, Città di Castello, 1885.
Men of Lyons," the Italian brethren were ready to welcome the new reformers and to co-operate with them. Though there were some unimportant points of difference between the two schools, yet their resemblance was so great that they virtually coalesced; they were usually confounded by the Church, and were enveloped in a common anathema. Closely connected with them were the Umiliati, described as wandering laymen who preached and heard confessions, to the great scandal of the priesthood, but who were yet not strictly heretics. *
Far greater in importance and more durable in results was the antisacerdotal movement unconsciously set on foot by Peter Waldo of Lyons, in the second half of the twelfth century. He was a rich merchant, unlearned, but eager to acquire the truths of Scripture, to which end he caused the translation into Romance of the New Testament and a collection of extracts from the Fathers, known as "Sentences." Diligently studying these, he learned them by heart, and arrived at the conviction that nowhere was the apostolic life observed as commanded by Christ. Striving for evangelical perfection, he gave his wife the choice between his real estate and his movables. On her selecting the former, he sold the latter; portioned his two daughters, and placed them in the Abbey of Fontevraud, and distributed the rest of the proceeds among the poor then suffering from a famine. It is related that after this he begged for bread of an acquaintance who promised to support him during his life, and this coming to the ears of his wife, she appealed to the archbishop, who ordered him in future
* Lucii PP. III. Epist. 171. -- Bonacursi Vit. Hæreticor. ( D'Achery T. I. 214, 215). -- Constit. General. Frid. II. ann. 1220 § 5. -- Ejusd. Constit. Ravennat. ann. 1232. -- Conrad. Urspergens. ann. 1210. -- Pauli Æmilii de Rebus. Gest. Fran. Lib. VI. p. 316 (Ed. 1569). -- Nicolai PP. III. Bull. Noverit Universitas, 5 Mart. 1280. -Julii PP. II. Bull Consueverunt, 1 Mart. 1511. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. II. 228. -- Joann. Andreæ Gloss. super cap. Excommunicamus ( Eymerici Direct. Inquisit. p. 182). The name of the Poor Men of Lyons was likewise forgotten, for Andreas's only remark with respect to them is that poverty is not a crime in itself.
The differences between the Italian and French Waldenses are set forth in a very interesting letter from the former to the German brethren, subsequently to a conference held at Bergamo in 1218. This was discovered about twelve years ago by Wilhelm Preger in a MS. of the Royal Library of Munich, and is printed in his Beiträge zur Gesehichte der Waldesier im Mittelalter, 1875.
to accept food only from her. Devoting himself to preaching the gospel through the streets and by the wayside, admiring imitators of both sexes sprang up around him, whom he despatched as missionaries to the neighboring towns. They entered houses, announcing the gospel to the inmates; they preached in the churches, they discoursed in the public places, and everywhere they found eager listeners, for, as we have seen, the negligence and indolence of the clergy had rendered the function of preaching almost a forgotten duty. According to the fashion of the time, they speedily adopted a peculiar form of dress, including, in imitation of the apostles, a sandal with a kind of plate upon it, whence they acquired the name of the "Shoed," Insabbatati, or Zaptati -- though the appellation which they bestowed upon themselves was that of Li Poure de Lyod, or Poor Men of Lyons. *
* Chron. Canon. Laudunens. ann. 1173 (Bouquet XIII. 680). -- Steph. de Borbone s. Bellavilla Lib. de Sept. Donis Spiritus, P. IV. Tit. vii. cap. 3 ( D'Argentré Coll. Judicior. de Nov. Error. I. i. 85 sqq.). -- Richard. Cluniacens. Vit. Alex. PP. III. (Muratori III. 447). -- David Augustens. Tract. de Paup. de Lugd. (Martone Thesaur. V. 1778). -- Monetæ adv. Cath. et Waldens. Lib. v. cap. 1 § 4. -Pet. Sarnens. cap. 2. -- Passaviens. Anon. ap. Gretser (Mag. Bib. Pat. Ed. 1618, T. XIII. p. 300). -- Petri de Pilichdorf contr. Hæres. Waldens. cap. 1. -- Pegnæ Comment. 39 in Eymerici Direct. Inquis. p. 280. The pretension of the Waldenses to descend from the primitive Church through the Leonistæ and Claudius of Turin is, I believe, now generally abandoned. See Edouard Montet, Histoire Litt. des Vaudois, Paris, 1885, pp. 32, 33; Prof. Emilio Comba, in the Rivista Christiana, Giugno, 1882, pp. 200-206, and his Riforma in Italia, I. 233 sqq. -- Bernard Gui, in his Practica, P. v. (MSS. Bib. Nat. Coll. Doat, T. XXX. fol. 185 sqq.), following Richard of Cluny and Stephen of Bourbon, places the rise of Peter Waldo about 1170, and the Canon of Laon gives the date of 1173.
The time and place of Peter Waldo's death are unknown. His French disciples affectionately revered his memory and that of his assistant Vivet, to the extent of asserting, as a point of belief, that they were in Paradise with God; the Lombard branch, however, would only prudently admit that they might be saved if they had satisfied God before death; both sides were obstinate, and at the Conference of Bergamo, in 1218, this promised to make a schism (Rescript. Paup. Lombard. 15. -- W. Preger, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Waldesier, pp. 58, 59). It was not possible that ignorant zeal could thus undertake the office of religious instruction without committing errors which acute theologians could detect. It is not likely, moreover, that it would spare the vices and crimes of the clergy in summoning the faithful to repentance and salvation. Complaint speedily arose of the scandals which the new evangelists disseminated, and the Archbishop of Lyons, Jean aux Bellesmains, summoned them before him, and prohibited them from further preaching. They disobeyed and were excommunicated. Peter Waldo then appealed to the pope (probably Alexander III.), who approved his vow of poverty and authorized him to preach when permitted by the priests -- a restriction which was observed for a time and then disregarded. The obstinate Poor Men gradually put forward one dangerous tenet after another, while their attacks upon the clergy became sharper and sharper; yet as late as the year 1179 they came before the Council of Lateran, submitted their version of the Scriptures, and asked for license to preach. Walter Mapes, who was present, ridicules their ignorant simplicity, and chuckles over his own shrewdness in confusing them when he was delegated to examine their theological acquirements, yet he bears emphatic' testimony to their holy poverty and zeal in imitating the apostles and following Christ. Again they applied to Rome for authority to found an order of preachers, but Lucius III. objected to their sandals, to their monkish copes, and to the companionship of men and women in their wandering life. Finding them obstinate, he finally anathematized them at the Council of Verona in 1184, but they still refused to abandon their mission, or even to consider themselves as separated from the Church. Though again condemned in a council held at Narbonne, they agreed, about 1190, to take the chances of a disputation held in the Cathedral of Narbonne, with Raymond of Daventry, a religious and God-fearing Catholic, as judge. Of
foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines" (Cant. ii. 15) in mediæval exegesis was traditionally explained by the ravages of heretics in the Church. In the papal bulls urging the Inquisition to redoubled activity the heretics are habitually alluded to as the foxes which ravage the vineyard of the Lord. If any originality could be looked for in Waldensian exposition, we might expect it in this passage, and yet Angelomus, Bruno, and Bernard are duly quoted by the Waldensian teacher to show that the foxes are heretics and the vines are the Church.
course the decision went against them, and of course they were as little inclined as before to submit, but the colloquy has an interest as showing what progress at that period they had made in dissidence from Rome. The six points on which the argument was held were, 1st. That they refused obedience to the authority of pope and prelate; 2d. That all, even laymen, can preach; 3d. That, according to the apostles, God is to be obeyed rather than man; 4th. That women may preach; 5th. That masses, prayers, and alms for the dead are of no avail, with the addition that some of them denied the existence of purgatory; and 6th. That prayer in bed, or in a chamber, or in a stable, is as efficacious as in a church. * All this was rebellion against sacerdotalism rather than actual heresy; but we learn, about the same period, from the "Universal Doctor," Alain de l'Isle, who, at the request of Lucius III., wrote a tract for their refutation, that they were prepared to carry these principles to their legitimate but dangerous conclusions, and that they added various other doctrines at variance with the teachings of the Church.
Good prelates, they held, who led apostolic lives, were to be obeyed, and to them alone was granted the power to bind and loose -- which was striking a mortal blow at the whole organization of the Church. Merit, and not ordination, conferred the power to consecrate and bless, to bind and to loose; every one, therefore, who led an apostolic life had this power, and as they assumed that they all led such a life, it followed that they, although laymen, could execute all the functions of the priesthood. It likewise followed that the ministrations of sinful priests were invalid, though at first the French Waldenses were not willing to admit this, while the Italians boldly affirmed it. A further error was, that confession to a layman was as efficacious as to a priest, which was a serious attack upon the sacrament of penitence; though, as yet, the Fourth Council of Lateran had not made priestly confession indispensable, and Alain is willing to admit that in the absence of a priest, confession to a layman is sufficient. The sys-
* Chron. Canon. Laudunens. ann. 1177, 1178 (Bouquet XIII. 682). -- Stephani de Borbone l. c. -- Richard. Cluniac. l. c. -- David Augustens. l. c. -- Monetæ l. c. -Gualt. Mapes de Nugis Curialium Dist. I. cap. xxxi. -- Lucii PP. III. Epist. 171. -Conrad. Ursperg. ann. 1210 -- Bernardi Fontis Calidi adv. Waldenses Liber.
tem. of indulgences was another of the sacerdotal devices which they rejected; and they added three specific rules of morality which became distinctive characteristics of the sect. Every lie is a mortal sin; every oath, even in a court of justice, is unlawful; and homicide is under no circumstances to be permitted, whether in war or in execution of judicial sentences. This necessarily involved non-resistance, rendering the Waldenses dangerous only from such moral influence as they could acquire. Even as late as 1217, a well-informed contemporary assures us that the four chief errors of the Waldenses were, their wearing sandals after the fashion of the apostles, their prohibition of oaths and of homicide, and their assertion that any member of the sect, if he wore sandals, could in case of necessity consecrate the Eucharist. *
All this was a simple-hearted endeavor to obey the commands of Christ and make the gospel an actual standard for the conduct of daily life; but these principles, if universally adopted, would have reduced the Church to a condition of apostolic poverty, and would have swept away much of the distinction between priest and layman. Besides, the sectaries were inspired with the true missionary spirit; their proselyting zeal knew no bounds; they wandered from land to land promulgating their doctrines, and finding everywhere a cordial response, especially among the lower classes, who were ready enough to embrace a dogma that promised to release them from the vices and oppression of the clergy. We are told that one of their chief apostles carried with him various disguises, appearing now as a cobbler, then as a barber, and again as a peasant, and though this may have been, as alleged, for the purpose of eluding capture, it shows the social stratum
* Alani de Insulis contra Hæreticos Lib. II. -- Disputat. inter Cathol. et Paterin. ( Martene Thesaur. V. 1754). -- Rescript. Pauperum Lombard. 21, 22 ( W. Preger , Beiträge, pp. 60, 61). -- Eymerici Direct. Inquis. p. ii. q. 14. (pp. 278, 279). -Petri Sarnaii Hist. Albigens. cap. 2. -- In 1321, a man and wife brought before the Inquisition of Toulouse both refused to swear, and they alleged as a reason, in addition to the sinful nature of the oath, the man that it would subject him to falling sickness, the woman that she would have an abortion (Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. Ed. Limborch, p. 289). In the persecution of the Waldenses of Piedmont towards the close of the fourteenth century, one of the crucial questions of the inquisitors was as to belief in the validity of the sacraments of sinful priests. -- Processus contra Valdenses ( Archivio Storico Italiano, 1865, No. 39, p. 48).
to which their missions were addressed. The Poor Men of Lyons multiplied with incredible rapidity throughout Europe; the Church became seriously alarmed, and not without reason, for an ancient document of the sectaries shows a tradition among them that under Waldo, or immediately afterwards, their councils had an average attendance of about seven hundred members present. Not long after the Colloquy of Narbonne, in 1194, the note of persecution was sounded by Alonso II. of Aragon, in an edict which is worthy of note as the first secular legislation, with the exception of the Assizes of Clarendon, in the modern world against heresy. The Waldenses and all other heretics anathematized by the Church are ordered, as public enemies, to quit his dominions by the day after All-Saints'. Any one who receives them on his lands, listens to their preaching, or gives them food shall incur the penalties of treason, with confiscation of all his goods and possessions. The decree is to be published by all pastors on Sundays, and all public officials are ordered to enforce it. Any heretic remaining after three days' notice of the law can be despoiled by any one, and any injury inflicted on him, short of death or mutilation, so far from being an offence, shall be regarded as meriting the royal favor. The ferocious atrocity of these provisions, which rendered the heretic an outlaw, which condemned him in advance, and which exposed him without a trial to the cupidity or malice of every man, was exceeded three years later by Alonso's son, Pedro II. In a national council of Girona, in 1197, he renewed his father's legislation, adding the penalty of the stake for the heretic. If any noble failed to eject these enemies of the Church, the officials and people of the diocese were ordered to proceed to his castle and seize them without responsibility for any damages committed, and any one failing to join in the foray was subjected to the heavy fine of twenty pieces of gold to the royal fisc. Moreover, all officials were commanded, within eight days after summons, to present themselves before their bishop, or his representative, and take an oath to enforce the law. *
The character of this legislation reveals the spirit in which
* Rivista Cristiana, Marzo, 1887, p. 92. -- Pegnæ Comment. 39 in Eymerici Director. p. 281. -- Steph. de Borbone l. c. -- Concil. Gerundens. ann. 1197 (Aguirre, V. 102, 103).
Church and State were prepared to deal with the intellectual and spiritual movement of the time. Harmless as the Waldenses might seem to be, they were recognized as most dangerous enemies, to be mercilessly persecuted. In southern France they were devoted to common destruction with the Albigenses, though the distinction between the sects was clearly recognized. The documents ot the Inquisition constantly refer to "heresy and Waldensianism," designating Catharism by the former term as the heresy par excellence. The Waldenses themselves regarded the Cathari as heretics to be combated intellectually, though the persecution which they shared forced them to associate freely together. *
In a sect so widely scattered, from Aragon to Bohemia, consisting mostly of poor and simple folk, hiding their belief in the lowlands, or dwelling in separate communities among the mountain fastnesses of the Cottian Alps or of Calabria, it was inevitable that differences of organization and doctrine should arise, and that there should be variations in the rapidity of independent development. The labors of Dieckhoff, Herzog, and especially of Montet in recent times, have shown that the early Waldenses were not Protestants in our modern sense, and that, in spite of persecution, many of them long continued to regard themselves as members of the Church of Rome, with a persistence proving how real were the abuses which had forced them to schism, and finally to heresy. Yet, in others, the spirit of revolt ripened much more rapidly, and it is impossible, within our limited space, to present a definite scheme of a doctrine which differed in so many points according to time and circumstance.
In the crucial test of belief in transubstantiation, for instance, as early as the thirteenth century, an experienced inquisitor, in drawing up instructions for the examination of Waldenses, assumes disbelief in the existence of the body and blood in the Eucharist as one of the points whereby to detect them, and in 1332 we hear of such a denial among the Waldenses of Savoy. Yet about this latter date Bernard Gui assures us that they believed in it, and M. Montet has shown from their successive writings how their views on the subject changed. The inquisitor who
* See the Sentences of Pierre Cella in Doat, XXII. -- Montet, Hist. Litt. des Vaudois, pp. 116 sq.
burned the Waldenses of Cologne in 1392 tells us that they denied transubstantiation, but they added, that if it occurred it could not be wrought in the hands of a sinful priest. So it was with regard to purgatory -- which for a long while was regarded as an open question, to be definitely decided in the negative by the close of the fourteenth century -- together with the suffrages of the saints, the invocation of the Virgin, and the other devices of which it was the excuse. The antisacerdotalism in which the sect took its rise, naturally, in its development, tended to do away with all that interposed mediators between God and man, although this progress was by no means uniform. The Waldenses burned in Strassburg, in 1212, rejected all distinction between the laity and the priesthood. In Lombardy, about the same time, the community elected ministers either temporary or for life. Both the French and Lombard Waldenses of this period held that the Eucharist could only be made by an ordained priest, though they differed as to the necessity of his not being in mortal sin. Bernard Gui speaks of three orders among them -- deacons, priests, and bishops; M. Montet has found in a MS. of 1404 a form of Waldensian ordination; and when the Unitas Fratrum of Bohemia was organized in 1467, it had recourse, as we shall see hereafter, to the Waldensian Bishop Stephen to consecrate its first bishops. Yet the antisacerdotal tendencies were so strong that the difference between the laity and priesthood was greatly diminished, and the power of the keys was wholly rejected. About 1400, the Nobla Leyczon declares that all the popes, cardinals, bishops, and abbots since the days of Silvester could not pardon a single mortal sin, for God alone has the power of pardon. As the soul thus dealt directly with God, the whole machinery of indulgences and so-called pious works was thrown aside. It is true that faith without works was idle -- "la fe es ociosa sensa las obras" -- but good works were piety, repentance, charity, justice, not pilgrimages and formal exercises, the founding of churches and the honoring of saints. *
* Tract. de Paup. de Lugd. ( Martene Thesaur. V. 1792). -- Wadding. Annal. Minor. Ann. 1332, No. 6. -- Bern. Guidon. Practica P. v. (Doat, XXX.). -- Montet Hist. Litt. pp. 38, 44, 45, 89, 142. -- Haupt, Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, 1885 p. 551. -- Pet. Cœlest. ( Preger, Beiträge, pp. 68, 69). -- Kaltner, Konrad von Marburg, pp. 69-71. -- Rescript. Paup. Lombard. §§ 4, 5, 17, 19, 22, 23. -- Nobla Leyczon, 409-413; cf Montet. pp. 49, 50, 103, 104, 143. -- Passaviens. Anon. cap. 5
The Waldensian system thus created a simple church organization with a tendency ever to grow simpler. As a general proposition it may be stated that the distinction between the clergy and laity was reduced to a minimum, especially when transubstantiation was rejected. The layman could hear confessions, baptize, and preach. In some places it was the custom for each head of a family on Holy Thursday to administer communion in a simple fashion, consecrating the elements and distributing them himself. Yet of necessity there was a recognized priesthood, known as the Perfected, or Majorales, who taught the faithful and converted the unbeliever, who renounced all property and separated themselves from their wives, or who had observed strict chastity from youth, who wandered around hearing confessions and making converts, and were supported by the voluntary contributions of those who labored for their bread. The Pomeranian Waldenses believed that every seven years two of these were transported to the gate of Paradise, that they might understand the wisdom of God. One marked distinction between them and the laity was that, when on trial before the Inquisition, the prohibition of swearing was relaxed in favor of the latter, who might take an oath under compulsion, while the Perfects would die rather than violate the precept. The inquisitors, while complaining of the ingenuity with which the heretics evaded their examination, admitted that all were much more solicitous to save their friends and kindred than themselves. *
With this tendency towards a restoration of evangelical simplicity, it followed that the special religious teaching of the Waldenses
(Mag. Bib. Pat. XIII. 300). -- Disput. inter Cath. et Paterin. ( Martene Thesaur. V. 1754). -- David Augustens. (ibid. p. 1778). -- Lucæ Tudens. de altera Vita Lib. I. cap. 4-7. -- Tract. de modo procedendi contra Hæret. (Doat XXX.). -- Index Error. Waldens. (Mag. Bib. Pat. XIII. 340). -- P. de Pilichdorfcontra Waldens. cap. 34. -- Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. pp. 200, 201. -- Nobla Leyczon, 17-24, 387-405, 416-423, Yet it was impossible to resist the contagion of superstition. The Pomeranian Waldenses, in 1394, are described as believing that if a man died within a year after confession and absolution, he went directly to heaven. Even speaking with a minister preserved one from damnation for a year. There is even a case of a legacy of eight marks for prayers for the soul of the deceased. -- Wattenbach , Sitzungsberichte der Preuss. Akad. 1886, pp. 51, 52. * Passaviens. Anon. cap. 5. -- Bernard. Guidon. Practica P. v. -- David Augustens. ( Martene Thesaur. V. 1786). -- Steph. de Borbone, l. c. -- Wattenbach, ubi sup. -- Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. p. 352.
was to a great extent ethical. The reply of an unfortunate before the Inquisition of Toulouse, when questioned as to what his instructors had taught him, was "that he should neither speak nor do evil, that he should do nothing to others that he would not have done to himself, and that he should not lie or swear" -- a simple formula enough, but one which practically leaves little to be desired; and a similar statement was made to the Celestinian Peter in his inquisition of the Pomeranian Waldenses in 1394. A persecuted Church is almost inevitably a pure Church, and the men who through those dreary centuries lay in hiding, with the stake ever before their eyes, to spread what they believed to be the unadulterated truths of the gospel in obedience to the commands of Christ, were not likely to contaminate their high and holy mission with vulgar vices. In fact, the unanimous testimony of their persecutors is that their external virtues were worthy of all praise, and the contrast between the purity of their lives and the depravity which pervaded the clergy of the dominant Church is more than once deplored by their antagonists as a most effective factor in the dissemination of heresy. An inquisitor who knew them well describes them: "Heretics are recognizable by their customs and speech, for they are modest and well regulated. They take no pride in their garments, which are neither costly nor vile. They do not engage in trade, to avoid lies and oaths and frauds, but live by their labor as mechanics -- their teachers are cobblers. They do not accumulate wealth, but are content with necessaries. They are chaste and temperate in meat and drink. They do not frequent taverns or dances or other vanities. They restrain themselves from anger. They are always at work; they teach and learn and consequently pray but little. They are to be known by their modesty and precision of speech, avoiding scurrility and detraction and light words and lies and oaths. They do not even say vere or certe, regarding them as oaths." Such is the general testimony, and the tales which were told as to the sexual abominations customary among them may safely be set down as devices to excite popular detestation, grounded possibly on extravagances of asceticism, such as were common among the early Christians, for the Waldenses held that connubial intercourse was only lawful for the procurement of offspring. An inquisitor admits his disbelief as to these stories, for which he had never found a basis worthy of credence, nor does anything of the kind make its appear-ance in the examinations of the sectaries under the skilful handling of their persecutors, until in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the inquisitors of Piedmont and Provence found it expedient to extract such confessions from their victims. *
There was also objected to them the hypocrisy which led them to conceal their belief under assiduous attendance at mass and confession, and punctual observance of orthodox externalities; but this, like the ingenious evasions under examination, which so irritated their inquisitorial critics, may readily be pardoned to those with whom it was the necessity of self-preservation, and who, at least during the earlier period, had often no other means of enjoying the sacraments which they deemed essential to salvation. They were also ridiculed for their humble condition in life, being almost wholly peasants, mechanics, and the like -- poor and despised folk of whom the Church took little count, except to tax when orthodox and burn when heretic. But their crowning offence was their love and reverence for Scripture, and their burning zeal in making converts. The Inquisitor of Passau informs us that they had translations of the whole Bible in the vulgar tongue, which the Church vainly sought to suppress, and which they studied with incredible assiduity. He knew a peasant who could recite the Book of Job word for word; many of them had the whole of the New Testament by heart, and, simple as they were, were dangerous disputants. As for the missionary spirit, he tells of one who, on a winter night, swam the river Ips in order to gain a chance of converting a Catholic; and all, men and women, old and young, were ceaseless in learning and teaching. After a hard day's labor they would devote the night to instruction; they sought the lazar-
* Wattenbach, Sitzungsberichte der Preuss. Akad. 1886, p. 51. -- Lib. Sentt. Inq. Tolosan. p. 367. -- Anon. Passaviens. cap. 7, 8. -- Refutat. Error. Waldens. (Mag. Bib. Pat. XIII. 336). -- David Augustens. ( Martene Thesaur. Y. 1771-1772). -- Archivio Storico Italiano, 1865, No. 38, pp. 39, 40. -- Rorengo, Memorie Istoriche, Torino, 1649, p. 12. -- Even as late as the end of the fourteenth century, in the extensive inquisitions of the Celestinian Peter, from Styria to Pomerania, there is no allusion to immoral practices. ( Preger, Beiträge, pp. 68-72; Wattenbach, ubi sup.). For the ascetic tendency of the Waldenses, recognizing vows of chastity, and the seduction of nuns as incest, see Montet, pp. 97, 98, 108-110. For the merit of fasting, see p. 99.
houses to carry salvation to the leper; a disciple of ten days' standing would seek out another whom he could instruct, and when the dull and untrained brain would fain abandon the task in despair they would speak words of encouragement: "Learn a single word a day, in a year you will know three hundred, and thus you will gain in the end." Surely if ever there was a God-fearing people it was these unfortunates under the ban of Church and State, whose secret passwords were, "Ce dit sainct Pol, Ne mentir," "Ce dit sainct Jacques, Ne jurer," "Ce dit saind Pierre, Ne rendre mal pour mal, mais biens contraires." The "Nobla Leyczon" scarce says more than the inquisitors, when it bitterly declares that the sign of a Vaudois, deemed worthy of death, was that he followed Christ and sought to obey the commandments of God.
"Que si n'i a alcun bon que ame e terna Yeshu Xrist, Que non volha maudire ni jurar ni mentir, Ni avoutrar ni aucir ni penre de l'altruy, Ni venjar se de li seo enemis, Ilh dion qu'es Vaudes e degne de punir, E li troban cayson en meczonja e engan."
In fact, amid the license of the Middle Ages ascetic virtue was apt to be regarded as a sign of heresy. About 1220 a clerk of Spire, whose austerity subsequently led him to join the Franciscans, was only saved by the interposition of Conrad, afterwards Bishop of Hildesheim, from being burned as a heretic, because his preaching led certain women to lay aside their vanities of apparel and behave with humility. *
The sincerity with which the Waldenses adhered to their beliefs is shown by the thousands who cheerfully endured the horrors of the prison, the torture-chamber, and the stake, rather than return to a faith which they believed to be corrupt. I have met with a case in 1320, in which a poor old woman at Pamiers submitted to the dreadful sentence for heresy simply because she would not take an oath. She answered all interrogations on points of faith
* Lib. Sententt. Inquis. Tolosan. p. 367. -- Anon. Passaviens. cap. 1, 3, 7, 8. -- Refutat. Error. Waldens. (Mag. Bib. Pat. XIII. 336). -- David Augustens. ( Martene Thesaur. V. 1771, 1772, 1782, 1794). -- P. de Pilichdorf contra Error. Waldens. cap. 1. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. II. 141. -- La Nobla Leyczon, 368-373. -Frat. Jordani Chron. (Analecta Franciscana, T. I. p. 4. Quaracchi, 1885).
in orthodox fashion, but though offered her life if she would swear on the Gospels, she refused to burden her soul with the sin, and for this she was condemned as a heretic. *
That all antisacerdotalists should agree, even under persecution, in a common creed, is not to be expected. In the decrees against heretics and in the writings of controversialists we meet the names of other sects, but they are of too little importance in numbers and duration to require more than a passing notice. The Passagii ("all-holy" or "vagabond") or Circumcisi were Judaizing Christians, who sought to escape the domination of Rome by a recourse to the old law and denying the equality of Christ with God. The Joseppini were still more obscure, and their errors appear mostly to lie in the region of artificial and unclean sexual asceticism. The Siscidentes were virtually the same as the Waldenses, the only difference being as to the administration of the Eucharist. The Ordibarii and Ortlibenses, followers of Ortlieb of Strassburg, who flourished about the year 1216, were likewise externally akin to the Waldenses, but indulged in doctrinal errors to which we shall have to recur hereafter. The Runcarii appear to have been a connecting link between the Poor Men of Lyons and the Albigenses or Manichæans; an intermediate sect whose existence might be presupposed as an almost necessary result of the common interests and common sufferings of the two leading branches of heresy. †
MSS. Bib. Nat. Coll. Moreau, 1274, fol. 72.
† Bonacursi Vit. Hæreticorum ( D'Achery I. 211, 212). -- Lucii PP. III. Epist. 171. -- Muratori Antiquitat. Dissert. LX. -- Constit. General. Frid. II. ann. 1220, § 5. -- Lucæ Tudens. de altera Vita Lib. III. cap. 3. -- Anon. Passaviens. contra Waldens. cap. 6. -- P. de Pilichdorf contra Waldens. cap. 12. -- Hoffman, Geschichte der Inquisition, II. 371. -- Schmidt, Hist. des Cathares, II. 284.
THE movements described above were the natural outcome of antisacerdotalism seeking to renew the simplicity of the Apostolic Church. It is a singular feature of the religious sentiment of the time that the most formidable development of hostility to Rome was based on a faith that can scarce be classed as Christian, and that this hybrid doctrine spread so rapidly and resisted so stubbornly the sternest efforts at suppression that at one time it may fairly be said to have threatened the permanent existence of Christianity itself. The explanation of this may perhaps be found in the fascination which the dualistic theory -- the antagonism of co-equal good and evil principles -- offers to those who regard the existence of evil as incompatible with the supremacy of an all-wise and beneficent God. When to Dualism is added the doctrine of transmigration as a means of reward and retribution, the sufferings of man seem to be fully accounted for; and in a period when those sufferings were so universal and so hopeless as in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, it is possible to understand that many might be predisposed to adopt so ready an explanation. Yet this will not account for the fact that the Manichæism of the Cathari, Patarins, or Albigenses, was not a mere speculative dogma of the schools, but a faith which aroused fanaticism so enthusiastic that its devotees shrank from no sacrifices in its propagation and mounted the blazing pyre with steadfast joy. A profound conviction of the emptiness of sacerdotal Christianity, of its failure and approaching extinction, and of the speedy triumph of their own faith may partially explain the unselfish fervor which it excited among the poor and illiterate. Of all the heresies with which the early Church had to contend, none had excited such mingled fear and loathing as Manichæism. Manes had so skilfully compounded Mazdean Dualism with Chris- tianity and with Gnostic and Buddhist elements, that his doctrine found favor with high and low, with the subtle intellects of the schools and with the toiling masses. Instinctively recognizing it as the most dangerous of rivals, the Church, as soon as it could command the resources of the State, persecuted it relentlessly. Among the numerous edicts of both Pagan and Christian emperors, repressing freedom of thought, those directed against the Manichæans were the sharpest and most cruel. Persecution attained its end, after prolonged struggle, in suppressing all outward manifestations of Manichæism within the confines of the imperial power, though it long afterwards maintained a secret existence, even in the West. In the East it withdrew ostensibly to the boundaries of the empire, still keeping up hidden relations with its sectaries scattered throughout the provinces, and even in Constantinople itself. It abandoned its reverence for Manes as the paraclete and transferred its allegiance to two others of its leaders, Paul and John of Samosata, from the first of whom it acquired the name of Paulicianism. Under the Emperor Constans, in 653, a certain Constantine perfected its doctrine, and it maintained itself under repeated and cruel persecutions, which it endured with the unflinching willingness of martyrdom and persistent missionary zeal that we shall see characterize its European descendants. Sometimes driven across the border to the Saracens and then driven back, the Paulicians at times maintained an independent existence among the mountains of Armenia and carried on a predatory warfare with the empire. Leo the Isaurian, Michael Curopalates, Leo the Armenian, and the Regent Empress Theodora in vain sought their extermination in the eighth and ninth centuries, until at length, in the latter half of the tenth century, John Zimiskes tried the experiment of toleration, and transplanted a large number of them to Thrace, where they multiplied greatly, showing equal vigor in industry and in war. In 1115 we hear of Alexis Comnenus spending a summer at Philippopolis and amusing himself in disputation with them, resulting in the conversion of many of the heretics. *
* Mosaic. et Roman. Legg. Collat. tit. xv. § 3 ( Hugo, 1465). -- Const. 11, 12, Cod.I.V. -- P. Siculi Hist. de Manichæis. -- Zonaræ Annal. tom. III. pp. 126, 241, 242 (Ed. 1557). -- Findlay's Hist. of Greece, 2d Ed. III. 65. The Bogomili (Friends of God), another Manichæan sect, whose name betrays their Slav or Bulgarian origin, have been cited as a link connecting the Pauli-
It was almost immediately after their transfer to Europe by Zimiskes that we meet with traces of them in the West, showing that the activity of their propagandism was unabated.
In all essentials the doctrine of the Paulicians was identical with that of the Albigenses. The simple Dualism of Mazdeism, which regards the universe as the mingled creations of Hormazd and Ahriman, each seeking to neutralize the labors of the other, and carrying on interminable warfare in every detail of life and nature, explains the existence of evil in a manner to enlist man to contribute his assistance to Hormazd in the eternal conflict, by good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. Enticed by Gnostic speculation, Manes modified this by identifying spirit with the good and matter with the evil principle -- perhaps a more refined and philosophical conception, but one which led directly to pessimistic consequences and to excesses of asceticism, since the soul of man could only fulfil its duty by trampling on the flesh. Thus in the Paulician faith we find two coequal principles, God and Satan, of whom the former created the invisible, spiritual, and eternal universe, the latter the material and temporal, which he governs. Satan is the Jehovah of the Old Testament; the prophets and patriarchs are robbers, and, consequently, all Scripture anterior to the Gospels is to be rejected. The New Testament, however, is Holy Writ, but Christ was not a man, but a phantasm -- the Son of God who appeared to be born of the Virgin Mary and came from Heaven to overthrow the worship of Satan. Transmigration provides for the future reward or punishment of deeds done in life. The sacraments are rejected, and the priests and elders of the
cians and the Cathari, but incorrectly, although they may have had some influence in producing the moderated Dualism of a portion of the latter. Their leader, Demetrius, was burned alive by Alexis Comnenus in 1118 after a series of investigations more creditable to the zeal of the emperor than to his good faith. They continued to enjoy a limited toleration until the thirteenth century, when they disappeared. -- See Annæ Comnenæ Alexiados Lib. xv. -- Georgaii Cedreni Hist. Comp. sub ann. 20 Constant. -- Zonaræ Annal. t. III. p. 238. -- Balsamon. Schol. in Nomocanon tit. x. cap. 8. -- Schmidt, Hist. des Cathares, I. 13-15; II. 265. About the middle of the eleventh century Psellus describes another Manichæan sect named Euchitæ, who believed in a father ruling the supramundane regions and committing to the younger of his two sons the heavens and to the elder the earth. The latter was worshipped under the name of Satanaki --(Pselli de Operat. Dæmon. Dial.).
Church are only teachers without authority over the faithful. Such are the outlines of Paulicianism as they have reached us, and their identity with the belief of the Cathari is too marked for us to accept the theory of Schmidt, which assigns to the latter an origin among the dreamers of the Bulgarian convents. A further irrefragable evidence of the derivation of Catharism from Manichæism is furnished by the sacred thread and garment which were worn by all the Perfect among the Cathari. This custom is too peculiar to have had an independent origin, and is manifestly the Mazdean kosti and saddarah, the sacred thread and shirt, the wearing of which was essential to all believers, and the use of which by both Zends and Brahmans shows that its origin is to be traced to the prehistoric period anterior to the separation of those branches of the Aryan family. Among the Cathari the wearer of the thread and vestment was what was known among the inquisitors as the "hæreticus indutus" or "vestitus," initiated into all the mysteries of the heresy. *
* P. Siculi op. cit. -- Bleek Avesta, III. 4. -- Haug Essays, 2d ed. pp. 244, 249, 286, 367. -- Yajnavalkya, i. 37. For the corresponding tenets of the Cathari, see Radulf. Ardent. T. I. p. II. Hom. xix. -- Ermengaudi contra Hæret. Opusc. -- Epist. Leodiens. ad Lucium PP. III. (Martene. Ampl. Collect. I. 776-778). -- Ecberti Schonaug. Serm. contra Catharos, Serm. I. viii. xi. -- Gregor. Episc. Fanens. Disput. Catholici contra Hæret. -- Monetæ adv. Catharos Lib. I. cap. 1. -- Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Coll. Doat, XXXII. f. 93). -- Rainerii Saccon. Summa. -- Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. v. cap. 21. -- Lib. Sentt. Inquis. Tolosan. pp. 92, 93, 249 (Limborch). -- Lib. Confess. Inq. Albiens. (MSS. Bib. Nat. fonds latin 11847). -- Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1163.
In a MS. controversial tract against the Cathari, dating from the end of the thirteenth century, the writer, following Moneta, states that their objections to the Old Testament sprang from four roots: first, the contradiction which seemed to exist between the Old and New Testaments; second, the changefulness of God himself, manifest in Scripture; third, the cruel attributes of God in Scripture; fourth, the falsehood ascribed to God. A single example will suffice of the arguments which the heretics advanced in support of their position. "They quote Genesis iii. 'Behold, Adam has become as one of us.' Now God says this of Adam after he had sinned, and he must have spoken truth or falsehood. If truth, then Adam had become like him who spoke and those to whom he spoke; but Adam after the fall had become a sinner, and therefore evil. If falsehood, then he is a liar; he sinned in so saying and thus was evil." To this logic the orthodox polemic contents himself with the answer that God spoke ironically. Throughout the tract the reasoning ascribed to the Cathari shows them to possess a thorough acquaintance with Scripture, and the use which they
Catharism thus was a thoroughly antisacerdotal. form of belief. It cast aside all the machinery of the Church. The Roman Church indeed was the synagogue of Satan, in which salvation was impossible. Consequently the sacraments, the sacrifices of the altar, the suffrages and interposition of the Virgin and saints, purgatory, relics, images, crosses, holy water, indulgences, and the other devices by which the priest procured salvation for the faithful were rejected, as well as the tithes and oblations which rendered the procuring of salvation so profitable. Yet the Catharan Church, as the Church of Christ, inherited the power to bind and to loose bestowed by Christ on his disciples; the Consolamentum, or Baptism of the Spirit, wiped out all sin, but no prayers were of use for the sinner who persisted in wrong-doing. Curiously enough, though Catharism translated the Scripture, it retained the Latin language in its prayers, which were thus unintelligible to most of the disciples, and it had its consecrated class who conducted its simple services. Some regular form of organization, indeed, was necessary for the government of its rapidly increasing communities and for the missionary work which was so zealously carried forward. Thus there came to be four orders selected from among the "Perfected," who were distinguished from the mass of believers, or simple "Christians" -- the Bishop, the Filius Major, the Filius Minor, and the Deacon. Each of the three higher grades had a deacon as an assistant, or to replace him; for the functions of all were the same, though the Filii were mostly employed in visiting the members of the church. The Filius Major was elected by the congregation and promotions were made to the episcopate as vacancies occurred. Ordination was conferred by the imposition of hands or Consolamentum, which was the equivalent of baptism, administered to all who were admitted to the Church. The belief that sacraments were vitiated in sinful hands gave rise to considerable anxiety, and to guard against it the Consolamentum was generally repeated a second and a third time. It was generally, though not universally, held that the lower in grade could not consecrate the higher, and therefore in many cities there were habitu-
made of it explains the prohibition of the Bible to the laity by the Church. --Archives de l'Inq. de Carcassonne, Coll. Doat, XXXVI. 91. (See Appendix.) Yet the Catharan ritual published by Cunitz quotes Isaiahand Solomon. (Beiträge zu den theolog. Wissenschaften, B. IV. 1852, pp. 16, 26.)
ally two bishops, so that in the case of death consecration should not be sought at the hands of a filius major. *
The Catharan ritual was severe in its simplicity. The Catholic Eucharist was replaced by the benediction of bread, which was performed daily at table. He who was senior by profession or position took the bread and wine, while all stood up and recited the Lord's Prayer. The senior then saying, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us," broke the bread, and distributed it to all present. This blessed bread was regarded with special reverence by the great mass of the Cathari, who were, as a rule, merely "crezentz," "credentes," or believers, and not fully received or "perfected" in the Church. These would sometimes procure a piece of this bread and keep it for years, occasionally taking a morsel. Every act of eating or drinking was preceded by prayer; when a "perfected" minister was at the table, the first drink and every new dish that was tasted was accompanied by the guests with "Benedicite," to which he responded "Diaus vos benesiga." There was a monthly ceremony of confession, which, however, was general in its character and was performed by the assembled faithful. The great ceremony was the "Cossolament," "Consolamentum," or Baptism of the Holy Ghost, which reunited the soul to the Holy Spirit, and which, like the Christian baptism, worked absolution of all sin. It consisted in the imposition of hands, it required two ministrants, and could be performed by any one of the Perfected not in mortal sin -- even by a woman. It was inefficacious, however, when one of these was involved in sin. This was the process of "heretication," as the inquisitors termed the admission into the Church, and except in the case of those who proposed to become ministers was, as a rule, postponed until the death-bed, probably for fear of persecution; but the "credens" frequently entered into an agreement, known as "la covenansa," binding himself to undergo it at the last moment, and this engagement authorized its performance even though he had lost the power of speech and was unable to make the responses. In form it was exceedingly simple, though it was generally preceded by
* Tract. de Modo Procedendi contra Hæreticos (MSS. Bib. Nat. Coll. Doat, XXX. fol. 185 sqq.). -- Rainerii Saccon. Summa. -- E. Cunitz in Beiträge zu den theol. Wissenschaften, 1852, B. IV. pp. 30, 36, 85.
preparation, including a prolonged fast. The ministrant addressed the postulant, "Brother, dost thou wish to give thyself to our faith?" The neophyte, after several genuflexions and blessings, said, "Ask God for this sinner, that he may lead me to a good end and make me a good Christian," to which the ministrant rejoined, "Let God be asked to make thee a good Christian and to bring thee to a good end. Dost thou give thyself to God and to the gospel?" and after an affirmative response, "Dost thou promise that in future thou wilt eat no meat, nor eggs, nor cheese, nor any victual except from water and wood; that thou wilt not lie or swear or do any lust with thy body, or go alone when thou canst have a comrade, or abandon the faith for fear of water or fire or any other form of death?" These promises being duly made, the bystanders knelt, while the minister placed on the head of the postulant the Gospel of St. John and recited the text: "In the beginning was the Word," etc., and invested him with the sacred thread. Then the kiss of peace went round, the women receiving it by a touch of the elbow. The ceremony was held to symbolize the abandonment of the Evil Spirit, and the return of the soul to God, with the resolve to lead henceforth a pure and sinless life. With the married, the assent of the spouse was of course a condition precedent. When this heretication occurred on the deathbed, it was commonly followed by the "Endura" or "privation." The ministrant asked the neophyte whether he desired to be a confessor or a martyr; if the latter, a pillow or a towel (known among the German Cathari as Untertuch) was placed over his mouth while certain prayers were recited; if he chose the former he remained without food or drink, except a little water, for three days; and in either case, if he survived, he became one of the Perfected. This Endura was also sometimes used as a mode of suicide, which was frequent in the sect. Torture at the end of life relieved them of torment in the next world, and suicide by voluntary starvation, by swallowing pounded glass or poisonous potions, or opening the veins in a bath, was not uncommon -- and, failing this, it was a kind office for the next of kin to extinguish life when death was near. The ceremony known to the sectaries as "Melioramentum," and described by the inquisitors as "veneration," was important as affording to them a proof of heresy. When a "credens" approached or took leave of a minister of the sect, he bent the knee thrice, saying "benedicite," to which the minister replied, "Diaus vos benesiga." It was a mark of respect to the Holy Ghost assumed to dwell in the minister, and in the records of trials we find it eagerly inquired into, as it served to convict those who performed it. *
These customs, and the precepts embodied in the formula of heretication, illustrate the strong ascetic tendency of the faith. This was the inevitable consequence of its peculiar form of Dualism. As all matter was the handiwork of Satan, it was in its nature evil; the spirit was engaged in a perpetual conflict with it, and the Catharan's earnest prayer to God was not to spare the flesh sprung from corruption, but to have mercy on the imprisoned spirit -- "no aias merce de la carn nada de corruptio, mais aias merce de l esperit pausat en carcer." Consequently, whatever
* Rainerii Saccon. Summa. -- Lib. Confess. Inquis. Albiens. (MSS. Bib. Nat. fonds latin, 11847). -- Coll. Doat, XXII. 208, 209; XXIV. 174; XXVI. 197, 259, 272. -- Lib. Sentt. Inquis. Tolosan. pp. 10, 33, 37, 70, 71, 76, 84, 94, 125, 126, 137-139, 143, 160, 173, 179, 199. -- Bern. Guidon. Practica P. IV. V. (MSS. Bib. Nat. Collect. Doat. T. XXX.). -- Landulf. Senior Hist. Mediolan. ii. 27. -- Anon. Passaviens. contra Waldens. cap. 7 -- Processus contra Valdenses (Archivio Storico Italiano, 1865, No. 39, p. 57). The description in the text of the form of heretication, by Rainerio Saccone, is confirmed in its details by the depositions of witnesses before the Inquisition of Toulouse, showing that the form was essentially the same throughout the churches. -- Doat, XXII. 224, 237 sqq.; XXIII. 272, 344; XXIV. 71. See also Vaissette III. Preuves, 386, and Cunitz, Beiträge zu den theolog. Wissenschaften, 1852, B. IV. pp. 12-14, 21-28, 33, 60. The practice of the Endura among the Cathari of Languedoc has been investigated with his customary thoroughness by M. Charles Molinier (Annales de la Faculté des Lettres de Bordeaux, 1881, No. 3). It was not always limited to three days, and its rigor may be guessed by a single example. Blanche, the mother of Vital Gilbert, caused her infant grandchild to be "consoled" while sick, and then prevented the mother, Guillelma, from giving it milk till it died (Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolos. p. 104). Molinier's theory that the custom was of comparatively late introduction is confirmed by the absence of any allusion to it in the ritual published by Cunitz (loc. cit.), but that it was not confined to Languedoc is shown by the Anon. Passaviens. and the evidence in the Piedmontese trials of 1388 (Arch. Storico, ubi sup.).
A case in which the Consolamentum was administered to an insensible patient who subsequently recovered is recorded in the sentences of Pierre Cella (Doat, XXI. 295), and also several instances in which young girls were "perfected" at a very early age, and wore the vestments for limited periods of two or three years (ibid. 241, 244). tended to the reproduction of animal life was to be shunned. To mortify the flesh the Catharan fasted on bread and water three days in each week, except when travelling, and in addition there were in the year three fasts of forty days each. Marriage was also forbidden except among a few, who permitted it between virgins provided they separated as soon as a child was born, and the mitigated Dualists who confined the prohibition to the Perfect and permitted marriage to the believers. Among the rigid, carnal matrimony was replaced by the spiritual union between the soul and God effected by the rite of Consolamentum. Sexual passion, in fact, was the original sin of Adam and Eve, the forbidden fruit whereby Satan has continued his empire over man. In a confession before the Inquisition of Toulouse in 1310, it is said of one heretic teacher that he would not touch a woman for the whole world; in another case a woman relates of her father that after he was hereticated he told her she must never touch him again, and she obeyed the command even when he was on the death-bed. So far was this carried that the use of meat, of eggs, of milk, of everything, in short, which was the result of animal propagation, was inhibited, except fish, which by a strange inconsistency seems to have been regarded as having some different origin. The condemnation of marriage and the rejection of meat constituted, with the prohibition of oaths, the chief external characteristics of Catharism, by which the sectaries were marked and known. In 1229 two leading Tuscan Cathari, Pietro and Andrea, performed public abjuration before Gregory IX. in Perugia, and two days later, June 26th, they gave solemn assurance of the sincerity of their conversion by eating flesh in the presence of a number of prelates, which was duly recorded in an instrument drawn up for the purpose. *
* S. Bernardi Serm. lxvi. in Cantica, cap. 3-7. -- Ecberti Sebonaug. Serm. i. v. vi. contra Catharos. -- Bonactirsi Vit. Hæreticor. -- Gregor. Fanens. Disput. Cathol. contra Hæreticos cap. 1, 2, 11, 14. -- Monetæ adv. Catharos Lib. I. cap. 1. -- Cunitz (Beiträge zu den theol. Wissenschaften, 1852, p. 14). -- Radulf. Coggeshall. Chron. Anglic. ( D. Bouquet, XVIII. 92, 93). -- Evervini Steinfeldens. Epist. ad S. Bernard. cap. 3. -- Concil. Lombariens. ann. 1165. -- Radulf. Ardent. T. I. p. II. Hom. xix. -- Ermengaudi contra Hæret. Opusc. -- Bonacursus contra Catharos (Baluz. et Mansi, II. 581-586). -- Alani de Insulis contra Hæeret. Lib. I. -- Monet. adv. Catharos. Lib. IV. cap. vii. § 3. -- Rainerii Saccon. Summa. -- Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. pp. 111, 115. -- Coll. Doat, T. XXX. fol. 185 sqq.; XXXII. fol. 93 sqq. --
It was inevitable that, in process of time, diversities should spring up in a sect so widely scattered, and accordingly we find among the Italian Cathari two minor divisions known as Concorrezenses (from Concorrezo, near Monza, in Lombardy) and Bajolenses (from Bagnolo in Piedmont), who held a modified form of Dualism in which Satan was inferior to God, by whose permission he created and ruled the world, and formed man. The Concorrezenses taught that Satan infused in Adam an angel who had sinned a little, and they revived the old Traducian heresy in maintaining that all human souls are derived from that spirit. The Bajolenses differed from this in saying that all human souls were created by God before the world was formed, and that even then they had sinned. These speculations were expanded into a myth relating that Satan was the steward of heaven, charged with the duty of collecting the daily amount of praise and psalmody due by the angels to God. Desiring to become like the Highest, he abstracted and retained for himself a portion of the praise, when God, detecting the fraud, replaced him by Michael and ejected him and his accomplices. Satan thereupon uncovered the earth from water and created Adam and Eve, but labored in vain for thirty years to infuse souls into them, until he procured from heaven two angels who favored him, and who subsequently passed through the bodies of Enoch Noah, Abraham, and all the patriarchs and prophets, wandering and vainly seeking salvation until, as Simeon and Anna, at the advent of Christ ( Luke iii. 25-38), they accomplished their redemption and were permitted to return to heaven. Human souls are similarly all fallen spirits passing through probation, and this was very generally the belief of all the sects of Cathari, leading to a theory of transmigration very similar to that of Buddhism, though modified by the belief that Christ's earthly mission was the redemption of these fallen spirits.
Stephan. de Borbone ( D'Argentré, Coll. Judie. de novis Error. I. I. 91). -- Archiv. Fiorent. Prov. S. Maria Novella, Giugno 26, 1229.
In the early days of the Inquisition a certain Jean Teisseire, summoned before the tribunal of Toulouse, defended himself by exclaiming, "I am not a heretic, for I have a wife and I lie with her, and have children, and I eat flesh, and lie, and swear, and am a faithful Christian." -- (Guillel. Pelisso Chron. Ed. Molinier, Anicii 1880, p. 17). See also the Sentences of Pierre Cella, Coll. Doat, XXI. 223.
Until the perfected soul could return to its Creator, as in the mokska or absorption in Brahma of the Hindu, it was forced to undergo repeated existence. As it could be still further punished for evil deeds by transmission into the lower animal forms, there naturally followed the Buddhistic and Brahmanical prohibition of slaying any created thing, except reptiles and fish. The Cathari who were hanged at Goslar in 1052 refused to kill a pullet, even with the gallows before their eyes, and in the thirteenth century this test was regarded as a ready means of identifying them. * There were a few philosophic spirits in the sect, moreover, who emerged from these vain speculations and curiously anticipated the theories of modern Rationalism. With these Nature took the place of Satan; God, after forming the universe, abandoned its conduct to Nature, which has the power of creating all things and regulating them. Even the production of individual species is not the act of divine Providence, but is a process of nature -- in fact, of evolution, in modern parlance. These Naturalists, as they called themselves, denied the existence of miracles; they explained, by an exegesis not much more strained than that of orthodoxy, all those in the Gospels; and they held that it was useless to pray to God for good weather, for Nature alone controlled the elements. They wrote much, and a Catholic antagonist admits the attraction of their writings, especially the work known as Perpendiculum Scientiarum," or the "Plummet of Science," which he says was well adapted to make a deep impression on the reader through its array of philosophy and happily-chosen texts of Scripture. †
* Rainerii Saccon. Summa. -- Tocco, L'Eresia nel Medio Evo, p. 75. -- Gregor. Fanens. Disput. cap. iv. -- Monetæ adv. Catharos Lib. I. cap. 1, 2, 4, 6. -- Alani de Insulis contra Hæret. Lib. I. -- Ecberti Schonaug. Serm. i., xiii. contra Catharos. -- Ermengaudi contra Heeret. Opuse. cap. 14. -- Millot, Hist. Litt. des Troubadours, II. 64. -- Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolosan. p. 84. -- Gest. Episcop. Leodiens. Lib. II. cap. 60, 61. -- Stephan. de Borbone (D'Argentré, Collect. Judie. de nov. Error. I. I. 90). -- Muratori Antiq. Ital. Diss. lx.
Among the early Christians there was a strong tendency to adopt the theory of transmigration as an explanation of the apparent injustice of the judgments of God. See Hieron. Epist. cxxx. ad Demetriadem, 16.
† Lucæ, Tudens. de altera Vita Lib. III. cap. ii.
Before ridiculing the Catharan theory of Dualism, we must bear in mind how
There was nothing in such a faith to attract the sensual and carnal-minded. In fact, it was far more repellant than attractive, and nothing but the discontent excited by the pervading corruption and oppression of the Church can explain its rapid diffusion and the deep hold which it obtained upon the veneration of its converts. Although the asceticism which it inculcated was beyond the reach of average humanity, its ethical teachings were
strong is the tendency in this direction of sensitive and ardent souls, who keenly feel the imperfections of man's nature and its contrast with the possibilities of an ideal. Thus Flacius Illyricus, the fervid reformer, about 1560, came perilously near to the Catharan myths, and gave rise to a warm controversy by maintaining that original sin was not an accident, but the substance in man; that the original image of God was, through the Fall, not replaced, but metamorphosed into an image of Satan, a transformation of absolute good into absolute evil; a theory which, as he was warned by his friends Musæus and Judex, must necessarily lead to Manichæism. -- See Herzog, Abriss der gesammten Kirchengeschichte, III. 313.
Orthodox asceticism also trenches closely on Manichæism in its denunciation of the flesh, which it treats as the antagonist and enemy of the soul. Thus, St. Francis of Assisi says, "Many, when they sin or are injured, blame their enemy or neighbor. This should not be so, for every one has his enemy in his power, namely, the body through which he sins. Thus blessed is that servant who always holds captive and guards himself against that enemy delivered to him, for when he does thus no other visible enemy can hurt him" (S. Francisci Admonit. ad Fratres No. 9). And in another passage (Apoph. xxvii.) he describes his body as the most cruel enemy and worst adversary, whom he would willingly abandon to the demon.
According to the Dominican Tauler, the leader of the German mystics in the fourteenth century, man in himself is but a mass of impurity, a being sprung from evil and corrupt matter, only fit to inspire horror; and this opinion was fully shared by his followers even though they were overflowing with love and charity ( Jundt, les Amis de Dieu, Paris, 1879, pp. 77, 229).
Jean-Jacques Olier, the founder of the great theological seminary of St. Sulpice, in his Catechisme Chrétien pour la vie interieure, which I believe is still in use there as a text-book, goes as far as Manes or Buddha in his detestation of the flesh as the cause of man's sinful nature -- "Je ne m' étonne plus si vous dites qu'il faut haïr sa chair, que l'on doit avoir horreur de soi m?ême, et que l'homme, dans son état actuel, doit étre maudit. . . . En verité, il n'y a aucune sorte de maux et de malheurs qui ne doivent tomber sur li à cause de sa chair." -- See Renan, Souvenirs de l'enfance et de jeunesse, p. 206.
With such views it is simply a question of words whether the creator of such an abomination as the crowning work of the terrestrial universe is to be called God or Satan; he certainly cannot be the Good Principle
admirable. As a rule they were reasonably obeyed, and the orthodox admitted with regret and shame the contrast between the heretics and the faithful. It is true that the exaggerated condemnation of marriage expressed in the formula, that relations with a wife were as sinful as incest with mother or sister, was naturally enough perverted into the statement that such incest was permissible and was practised. Wild stories, moreover, were told of the nightly orgies in which the lights were extinguished and promiscuous intercourse took place; and the stubbornness of heresy was explained by telling how, when a child was born of these foul excesses, it was tossed from hand to hand through a fire until it expired; and that from its body was made an infernal eucharist of such power that whoever partook of it was thereafter incapable of abandoning the sect. There is ample store of such tales, but however useful they might be in exciting a wholesome popular detestation of heresy, the candid and intelligent inquisitors who had the best means of knowing the truth admit that they have no foundation in fact; and in the many hundreds of examinations and sentences which I have read there is no allusion to anything of the kind, except in some proceedings of Frà Antonio Secco among the Alpine valleys in 1387. As a rule, the inquisitors wasted no time in searching for what they knew was non-existent. As St. Bernard says, "If you interrogate them, nothing can be more Christian; as to their conversation, nothing can be less reprehensible, and what they speak they prove by deeds. As for the morals of the heretic, he cheats no one, he oppresses no one, he strikes no one; his cheeks are pale with fasting, he eats not the bread of idleness, his hands labor for his livelihood." This last assertion is especially true, for they were mostly simple folk, industrious peasants and mechanics, who felt the evils around them and welcomed any change. The theologians who combated them ridiculed them as ignorant churls, and in France they were popularly known by the name of Texerant (Tisserands), on account of the prevalence of the heresy among the weavers, whose monotonous occupation doubtless gave ample opportunity for thought. Rude and ignorant they might be for the most part, but they had skilled theologians for teachers, and an extensive popular literature which has utterly perished, saving a Catharan version of the New Testament in Romance and a book of ritual. Their familiarity with Scripture is vouched for by the warning of Lucas, Bishop of Tuy, that the Christian should dread their conversation as he would a tempest, unless he is deeply skilled in the law of God, so that he can overcome them in argument. Their strict morality was never corrupted, and a hundred years after St. Bernard the same testimony is rendered to the virtues of those who were persecuted in Florence in the middle of the thirteenth century. In fact the formula of confession used in their assemblies shows how strict a guard was maintained over every idle thought and careless word. *
Their proselyting zeal was especially dreaded. No labor was too severe, no risks too great, to deter them from spreading the faith which they deemed essential to salvation. Missionaries wandered over Europe through strange lands to carry the glad tidings to benighted populations, regardless of hardship, and undeterred by the fate of their brethren, whom they saw expiate at the stake the hardihood of their revolt. Externally they professed to be Catholics, and were exemplary in the performance of their religious duties till they had won the confidence of their new neighbors, and could venture on the attempt of secret conversion whenever they saw opportunity. They scattered by the wayside writings in which the poison of their doctrine was skilfully conveyed
* Processus contra Valdenses ( Archivio Storico Italiano, 1865, Nos. 38, 39). --S. Bernardi Serm. in Cantica lxv. cap. 5; lxvi. cap. 1. -- Gregor. Fanens Disputat. cap. 17. -- Anon. Passaviens. contra Waldens. cap. 7. -- Radulf. Coggeshall. Chron. Anglic. (D. Bouquet, XVIII. 93). -- Concil. Remens. ann. 1157, c. 1. -- Ecberti Schonaug. contra Catharos Serm. i. cap. 1. -- Cunitz, Beiträge zu den theol. Wissenschaften,1852M, B. IV. pp. 4, 12-14. -- Lucæ Tudens. de altera Vita Lib. II. cap. 9; Lib. III. cap. 5. -- Lami, Antichità Toscane,p. 550. The Cathari probably had Romance versions of the New Testament as early as 1178, when we find the cardinal legate disputing at Toulouse with two Catharan bishops whose ignorance of Latin was a subject of ridicule, while they seem to have been ready enough with Scripture. -- Roger. Hoveden. Aunal. ann. 1178. See also Molinier, Annales do la Faculté des lettres de Bordeaux, 1883, No. 3.
Abbot Joachim bears testimony to the external virtues of the Cathari of Calabria, and the advantage which they derived from the vices of the clergy. -Tocco, L'Eresia nel Medio Evo,p. 403.
The story of the sacrament made from the bodies of children born of promiscuous intercourse was widely circulated and variously applied. It was related in the eleventh century of the Euchitæ by Psellus (De Operat. Dæmon.) and continued to be told of successive heretics -- even of the Templars.
without being obtrusive, and sometimes they had no scruple in calling to their aid the superstitions of orthodoxy, as when such writings would promise indulgences to those who would read them carefully and circulate them among their neighbors, or when they purported to come from Jesus Christ and be conveyed by angels. It does not say much for the intelligence of the clergy when we are told that many priests were corrupted by such papers, picked up by shepherds and carried to them to be deciphered. Even more reprehensible was the device of the Cathari of Moncoul in France, who made an image of the Virgin, deformed and ugly and one-eyed, saying that Christ, to show his humility, had selected such a woman for a mother. Then they proceeded to work miracles with it, feigning to be sick and to be cured by it, until it acquired such reputation that many similar ones were made and placed in churches or oratories, until the heretics divulged the secret, to the great confusion of the faithful. The same device was carried out with a crucifix having no upper arm, the feet of Christ crossed, and only three nails -- an unconventional form which was imitated and caused great scandal when the mockery was discovered. Even bolder frauds were attempted in Leon, and not without success, as we shall see hereafter. *
The zeal for the faith, which prompted these eccentric missionary efforts, manifested itself in a resolute adherence to the precepts enjoined on the neophyte when admitted into the circle of the Perfects. As in the case of the Waldenses, while the Inquisition complained bitterly of the difficulty of obtaining an avowal from the simple "credens," whose rustic astuteness eluded the practised skill of the interrogator, it was the general testimony that the perfected heretic refused to lie, or to take an oath; and one member of the Holy Office warns his brethren not to begin by asking "Are you truly a Catharan?" for the answer will simply be "Yes," and then nothing more can be extracted; but if the Perfect is exhorted by the God in whom he believes to tell all about his life, he will faithfully detail it without falsehood. When we consider that this frankness led inevitably to the torture of death by burn-
* Ecberti Schonaug. contra Catharos Serm. I. cap. 2. -- Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. v. cap. 18. -- Lucæ Tudensis de altera Vita Lib. II. cap. 9; Lib. III. cap. 9, 18.
ing, it is curious to observe that the inquisitor seems utterly unconscious of the emphatic testimony which he renders to the superhuman conscientiousness of his victims. *
It is not easy for us to realize what there was in the faith of the Cathari to inspire men with the enthusiastic zeal of martyrdom, but no religion can show a more unbroken roll of those who unshrinkingly and joyfully sought death in its most abhorrent form in preference to apostasy. If the blood of the martyrs were really the seed of the Church, Manichæism. would now be the dominant religion of Europe. It may be partially explained by the belief that a painful death for the faith insured the return of the soul to God; but human weakness does not often permit such habitual triumph of the spirit over the flesh as that which rendered the Cathari a proverb in their thirst for martyrdom. The hostile testimony to this effect is virtually unanimous. In the earliest persecution on record, at Orleans about 1017, out of fifteen, thirteen remained steadfast in the face of the fire kindled for their destruction; they refused to recant though pardon was offered, and their constancy was the wonderment of the spectators. When, about 1040, the heretics of Monforte were discovered, and Eriberto, Archbishop of Milan, sent for Gherardo, their leader, he came at once and voluntarily set forth his belief, rejoicing in the opportunity of sealing his faith with torment. Those who were burned at Cologne in 1163 produced a profound impression by the cheerful alacrity with which they endured their fearful punishment; and while they were in their agony it is related that their leader, Arnold, half roasted to death, placed a liberated arm on the heads of his disciples, calmly saying, "Be ye constant in your faith, for this day shall ye be with Lawrence!" Among this group of heretics was a beautiful girl whose modesty moved the compassion of even the brutal executioners. She was withdrawn from the flames and promises were made to find her a husband or place her in a convent. Seeming to assent, she remained quiet till the rest were dead, and then asked her guards to show her the seducer of souls. In pointing out the body of Arnold they loosened their hold, when she suddenly broke from them, and, covering her face with her
* Anon. Passaviens. c. 6. -- Processus contra Valdenses (Arch. Storico Ital. 1865, No. 39, p. 57).
dress, threw herself upon the remains of her teacher, and, burning to death, descended with him into hell for eternity. Those who about the same time were detected at Oxford, rejected all offers of mercy, with the words of Christ, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;" and when they were led forth after a sentence which virtually consigned them to a shameful and lingering death, they went rejoicing to the punishment, their leader Gerhard preceding them, singing "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you." In the Albigensian Crusade, at the capture of the Castle of Minerve, the Crusaders piously offered their prisoners the alternative of recantation or the stake, and a hundred and eighty preferred the stake, when, as the monkish chronicler quietly remarks, "no doubt all these martyrs of the devil passed from temporal to eternal flames." An experienced inquisitor of the fourteenth century tells us that the Cathari usually were either truly converted by the efforts of the Holy Office or else were ready to die for their faith; while the Waldenses were apt to feign conversion in order to escape. This obdurate zeal, we are assured by the orthodox writers, had in it nothing of the constancy of Christian martyrdom, but was simply hardness of heart inspired by Satan; and Frederic II. enumerated among their evil traits the obstinacy which led the survivors to be in no way dismayed or deterred by the ruthless example made of those who were punished. *
It was, perhaps, natural that these Manichæans should be accused of worshipping the devil. To men bred in the current orthodox practices of purchasing by prayer, or money, or other good works whatever blessings they desired, and expecting nothing
* Radulphi Glabri Lib. III. c. 8. -- Landulf. Senior. Mediolan. Hist. II. 27. --Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. v. c. 19. -- Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1163. -- Guill. de Newburg. Hist. Anglic. Lib. II. c. 13. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1210. -- Chron. Turon. ann. 1210. -- Radulf. Coggeshall Chron. Anglic. (D. Bouquet. XVIII. 93). -- Bernard. Guidon. Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.). -- S. Bernardi Serm. in Cantic. LXV. c. 13. -- Lucæ Tudens. de altera Vita Lib. III. c. 21. -- Constitt. Sicular. Lib. I. tit. i.
The story of the young girl of Cologne assumes a somewhat mythical air when we find it repeated by Moneta as occurring in Lombardy (Cantù, Eretici d'Italia, I. 88); but this only enforces the universal tribute to the marvellous constancy of the heretics.
without such payment, it seemed inevitable that the Manichæan, regarding all matter to be the work of Satan, should invoke him for worldly prosperity. The husbandman, for instance, could not pray to God for a plentiful harvest, but must do so to Satan, who was the creator of corn. It is true that there was a sect, known as Luciferani, who were said to worship Satan, regarding him as the brother of God, unjustly banished from heaven, and the dispenser of worldly good, but these, as we shall see hereafter, were a branch of the Brethren of the Free Spirit, probably descended from the Ortlibenses, and there is absolutely no evidence that the Cathari ever wavered in their trust in Christ or diverted their aspirations from the hope of reunion with God. *
Such was the faith whose rapid spread throughout the south of Europe filled the Church with well-grounded dismay; and, however much we may deprecate the means used for its suppression and commiserate those who suffered for conscience' sake, we cannot but admit that the cause of orthodoxy was in this case the cause of progress and civilization. Had Catharism become dominant, or even had it been allowed to exist on equal terms, its influence could not have failed to prove disastrous. Its asceticism with regard to commerce between the sexes, if strictly enforced, could only have led to the extinction of the race, and as this involves a contradiction of nature, it would have probably resulted in lawless concubinage and the destruction of the institution of the family, rather than in the disappearance of the human race and the return of exiled souls to their Creator, which was the summum bonum of the true Catharan. Its condemnation of the visible universe and of matter in general as the work of Satan rendered sinful all striving after material improvement, and the conscientious belief in such a creed could only lead man back, in time, to his original condition of savagism. It was not only a revolt against the Church, but a renunciation of man's domination over nature. As such it was doomed from the start, and our only wonder must be that it maintained itself so long and so stubbornly even against a Church which had earned so much of popular detestation. Yet though
* Radulf. Coggeshall l. c. -- Pauli Carnotens. Vet. Aganon. Lib. VI. c. iii. --Campana, Storia di San Piero Martire, Lib. II. c. 2, p. 57. -- Fragment. adv. Hæret. (Mag. Bib. Pat. XIII. 341). -- Cf. Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1315. the exaltation caused by persecution might keep it alive among the enthusiastic and the discontented, had it obtained the upper hand and maintained its purity it must surely have perished through its fundamental errors. Had it become a dominant faith, moreover, it would have bred a sacerdotal class as privileged as the Catholic priesthood, for the "veneration" offered to the consecrated ministers as the tabernacles of the Holy Ghost shows us what vantage ground they would have had when persecution had given place to power, and carnal human nature had asserted itself in the ambitious men who would have sought its high places.
The soil was probably prepared for its reception by remains of the older Manichæism which, with strange pertinacity, long maintained itself in secret after its public manifestation had been completely suppressed. Muratori has printed a Latin anathema of its doctrines, probably dating about the year 800, which shows that even so late as the ninth century it was still an object of persecution. It was about 970 that John Zimiski transplanted the Paulicians to Thrace, whence they spread with great rapidity through the Balkan peninsula. When the Crusaders under Bohemond of Tarento, in 1097, arrived in Macedonia they learned that the city of Pelagonia was inhabited wholly by heretics, whereupon they paused in their pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre long enough to capture the town, to raze it to the earth, and to put all the citizens to the sword. In Dalmatia the Paulicians founded the seaport of Dugunthia (Trau), which became the seat of one of their leading episcopates; and in the time of Innocent III. we find them in great numbers throughout the whole Slav territory, making extensive conversions with their customary missionary zeal, and giving that pontiff much concern, in unavailing efforts for their suppression. Numerous as the Cathari of Western Europe became, they always looked to the east of the Adriatic as to the headquarters of their sect. It was there that arose the form of modified Dualism known as Concorrezan, under the influence of the Bogomili, and religious questions were wont to be referred thither for solution. *
* Schmidt, Hist. des Cathares, I. 15-21. -- Muratori Anecdota Ambrosiana, II. 112. -- Guillel. Tyrii Lib. II. c. 13. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. II. 176; III, 3; V. 103, 110; VI. 140,141, 212. -- See also the curious letter of a Patarin in Matt. Paris, Hist. Angl. ann. 1243 (Ed. 1644p. 413).
Their missionary activity made itself felt in the West in a marvellously short period after their settlement in Bulgaria. Our materials for an intimate acquaintance with that age are very scanty, and we must content ourselves with occasional vague indications, but when we see that Gerbert of Aurillac, on his election to the archiepiscopate of Reims in 991, was obliged to utter a profession of faith in which he declared his belief that Satan was wicked of free-will, that the Old and New Testaments were of equal authority, and that marriage and the use of meat were allowable, it shows that Paulician opinions were already well understood and dreaded as far north as Champagne. There seems, indeed, to have been a centre of Catharism there, for in 1100 a peasant named Leutard, at Vertus, was convicted of teaching antisacerdotal doctrines which were evidently of Manichæan origin, and he is discreetly said to have drowned himself in a well when overcome in argument by Bishop Liburnius. The Château of Mont Wimer, in the neighborhood of Vertus, retained its evil reputation as a centre of the heresy. About the same period we have a misty account of a Ravennatese grammarian named Vilgardus who, inspired by demons in the shape of Virgil, Horace, and Juvenal, erected the Latin poets into infallible guides and taught much that was contrary to the faith. His heresy was probably Manichæan; it could not have been simply blind worship of classic writers, for culture was too rare in that age for such belief to become popular, and we are told that Vilgardus had numerous disciples in all the cities in Italy, who, after his condemnation by Peter, Archbishop of Ravenna, were put to death by the sword or at the stake. His heresy likewise spread to Sardinia and Spain, where it was ruthlessly exterminated. *
Shortly after this Cathari were discovered in Aquitaine, where they made many converts, and their heresy spread secretly throughout southern France in spite of the free use of the fagot. Even as far north as Orleans it was discovered, in 1017, under circumstances which aroused general attention. A female missionary from Italy had carried the infection there, and a number of the most prominent clergy of the city fell victims to it. In their proselyting zeal they sent out emissaries, and were discovered. On
* Gerberti Epist. 187. -- Radulphi Glabri Lib. II. c. 11, 12. -- Epist. Leodiens. ad Lucium PP. II. (Martene Ampliss. Collect. I. 776-8).
hearing of it, King Robert the Pious hastened to Orleans with Queen Constance, and summoned a council of bishops to determine what should be done to meet the novel and threatening danger. The heretics, on being questioned, made no secret of their faith, and boldly declared themselves ready to die rather than to abandon it. The popular feeling was so bitter against them that Robert stationed his queen at the door of the church in which the assembly was held, to preserve them from being torn to pieces by the mob when they were led forth; but Constance shared the passions of her subjects, and as they passed her she smote with a rod one who had been her confessor, and put out his eye. They were taken beyond the walls, and again, in the presence of the blazing pyre, were entreated to recant, but they preferred death, and their unshrinking firmness was the wonder of all spectators. Such converts as they had made elsewhere were diligently hunted up and mercilessly despatched. In 1025 there was a further discovery of the heresy at Liége, but the sectaries proved less stubborn, and were pardoned on professing conversion. About the same time we hear of others, in Lombardy, in the Castle of Monforte, near Asti, who were the objects of active persecution by the neighboring nobles and bishops, and who were burned whenever they could be captured. At length, about 1040, Eriberto, Archbishop of Milan, in visiting his province, came to Asti, and, hearing of these heretics, sent for them. They came willingly enough, including their teacher, Gherardo, and the Countess of Monforte who was of their sect; all boldly professed their faith, and were carried by Eriberto back to Milan, where he hoped to convert them. In place of this, they labored to spread their heresy among those who crowded to see them in prison, until the enraged people, against the will of the archbishop, forcibly dragged them out, and gave them the choice between the cross and the stake. A few of them yielded, but the most part, covering their faces with their hands, boldly leaped into the flames, and sealed their faith with martyrdom. In 1045 we find them in Chalons, when Bishop Roger applied to Bishop Wazo of Liége, asking what he should do with them, and whether the secular arm should be called in to prevent the leaven from corrupting the whole people, to which the good Wazo replied that they should be left to God, "for those whom the world now regards as tares may be garnered by him as wheat when comes the harvest-time. Those whom we deem the adversaries of God he may make superior to us in heaven." Wazo, indeed, had heard that heretics were commonly detected by their pallor, and, under the delusion that those who were pale must necessarily be heretics, many good Catholics had been slain. By the year 1052 the heresy had extended to Germany, where the pious emperor, Henry the Black, caused a number to be hanged at Goslar. During the rest of the century we hear little more of them, though traces of them occur at Toulouse in 1056 and Bézxiers in 1062, and about the year 1200 they are described as infecting the whole diocese of Agen. *
In the twelfth century the evil continued unabated in northern France. Count John of Soissons was noted as a protector of heretics, but, in spite of his favor, Lisiard, the bishop, captured several, and gave the first example of what subsequently became common enough -- the use of the ordeal to determine heretical guilt. One, at least, of the accused, floated when thrown into exorcised water, and the bishop, not knowing what to do with them, held them in prison while he went to the Council of Beauvais, in 1114, to consult his episcopal brethren. The populace, however, felt no doubts on the subject, and, fearing that they would be deprived of their prey, broke open the jail and burned them during the bishop's absence -- a manifestation of holy zeal which greatly pleased the pious chronicler. About the same time Flanders was the scene of another discovery of Catharism. The heresiarch, on being summoned before the Bishop of Cambrai, made no secret of his
* Ademari S. Cibardi Hist. Lib. III. c. 49, 59. -- Pauli Carnot. Vet. Aganon. Lib. VI. c. 3. -- Frag. Hist. Aquitan. et Frag. Hist. Franc. (Pithœi Hist. Franc. Scriptt. xi. pp. 82, 84). -- Radulf. Glabri Hist. III. 8, IV. 2. -- Gesta Synod. Aurel. circa 1017 (D'Achery I. 604-6). -- Chron. S. Petri Vivi. -- Synod. Atrebat. ann. 1025 (Labbe et Coleti XI. 1177,1178; Hartzheim. Concil. German. III. 68). -- Landulf. Sen. Mediol. Hist. II. 27. -- Gesta Episcop. Leodiens. cap. 60, 61. -- Hermann. Contract. ann. 1052. -- Lambert. Hersfeldens. Annal. ann. 1053. -- Scbmidt, Hist. des Cathares, I. 37. -- Radulf. Ardent. T. I. P. ii. Hom. 19.
Bishop Wazo's complaint that pallor was considered a positive proof of heresy was by no means a new one. In the fourth century it was regarded as sufficient to betray the Gnostic and Manichæan asceticism of the Priscillianists (Sulpic. Severi Dial. III. cap. xi.), and Jerome tells us that the orthodox who were pale with fasting and maceration were stigmatized as Manichæans (Hieron. Epist. ad Eustoch. c. 5). To the end of the twelfth century pallor continued to be regarded as a diagnostic symptom of Catharism (P. Cantor. Verb. abbrev. c. 78).
crime; he was stubborn, and was shut up in a hut, which was fired, and he died in prayer. The people must, in this case, have been rather favorably inclined to him, for they allowed his friends to collect his remains, and he was found to have many followers, especially among the craft of weavers. When, about the same period, we see Paschal II. advising the Bishop of Constance that converted heretics were to be welcomed back, we may conclude that error had penetrated even into Switzerland. *
As the century wore on the manifestations of heresy became more numerous. In 1144 at Liége again; in 1153 again in Artois; in 1157 at Reims; in 1163 at Vezelai, where there was a significant concomitant attempt to throw off the temporal jurisdiction of the Abbey of St. Madelaine; about 1170 at Besanæon; and in 1180 at Reims again. This latter case has picturesque features recited for us by one of the actors in the drama, Gervais of Tilbury, at that time a young man and a canon of Reims. Riding out one afternoon as part of the retinue of his archbishop, William, his fancy was caught by a pretty girl laboring alone in a vineyard. He lost no time in pressing his suit, but was repulsed with the assertion that if she listened to his addresses she would be irretrievably damned. Virtue so severe as this was a manifest sign of heresy, and the archbishop, coming up, ordered her at once into custody, for he recognized her as necessarily belonging to the Cathari, whom Philip of Flanders had for some time been mercilessly persecuting. Under examination, she gave the name of her instructress, who was forthwith arrested, and who manifested such thorough familiarity with Scripture and such consummate dexterity in defending her faith, that no doubt was felt of her being inspired by Satan. The defeated theologians respited the pair till the next day, when they obstinately refused to yield to threats or promises, and were unanimously condemned to the stake. At this the elder woman laughed, saying, "Foolish and unjust judges, think you to burn me in your fire? I fear not your sentence, and dread not your stake." With that she pulled from her bosom a ball of thread and tossed it out of the window, retaining one end, and calling out, "Take it!" The ball arose in the air, and the old woman followed it through
* Guibert. Noviogent. do Vita sua Lib. III. c. 17. -- Schmidt, op. cit. I. 47. -Martene Thesaur. I. 336.
the window, and was seen no more. The girl was left, and as she was insensible alike to offers of wealth and threats of punishment, she was duly burned, suffering her torment cheerfully and without a groan. Even in distant Britanny Catharism appeared in 1208, at Nantes and St. Malo. *
In Flanders the heresy seems to have taken deep root among the industrious craftsmen who were already making their cities centres of wealth and progress. In 1162 Henry, Archbishop of Reims, in a visitation of Flanders, which formed part of his province, found Manichæism prevailing there to an alarming extent. In the existing confusion and uncertainty of the canon law as respects the treatment of heresy, he allowed the appeal of those whom he captured to Alexander III., then in Touraine. The pope inclined to mercy, much to the disgust of the archbishop and of his brother, Louis VII., who urged the adoption of rigorous measures, and asserted that the enormous bribe of six hundred marks had been offered for their liberation. If this were so, the heresy must have penetrated to the upper ranks of society. In spite of Alexander's humanity the persecution was sharp enough, however, to drive many of the heretics away, and we shall meet with some of them at Cologne. Twenty years later we find the evil still growing, and Philip I., Count of Flanders, whose zeal for the faith was manifested subsequently by his death in Palestine, busily engaged in persecuting them with the aid of William, Archbishop of Reims. They are described as comprising all classes, nobles and peasants, clerks, soldiers, and mechanics, maids, wives, and widows, and numbers of them were burned without putting an end to the pestilence. †
The Teutonic peoples were comparatively free from the infection, although the propinquity of the Rhinelands to France led to occasional visitations. About 1110 we hear of some heretics at Trèves, who seem to have escaped without punishment, though two among them were priests, and in 1200 eight more were found
* Epist. Leodiens. ad Lucium PP. II. (Martene Ampl. Coll. I. 776-778). -Alex. PP. III. Epist. 2 (ibid. II. 628). -- Concil. Remens. ann. 1157. -- Hist. Monast. Vezeliacens. Lib. IV. ann. 1167. -- Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dial. Mirac. Dist. v. c. 18. -- Radulf. Coggeshall ubi sup. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. IX. 208.
† Alex. PP. III. Epist. 118, 122. -- Varior. ad Alex. PP. III. Epist. No. 16. -Annal. Aquicinctens. Monast. ann. 1182, 1183. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1183.
there and burned. In 1145 a number were discovered in Cologne, some of whom were tried; but, during the examination, the impatient populace, fearing to be balked of their spectacle, broke in, carried off the culprits, and burned them out of hand -- a fate which they bore not only with patience, but with joyfulness. There must have been a Catharan Church established by this time at Cologne, since one of the sufferers was called their bishop. In 1163 fugitives from the Flemish persecution were found at Cologne -- eight men and three women, who had taken refuge in a barn. As they associated with no one, and did not frequent the churches, the Christian neighbors recognized them as heretics, seized them, and took them before the bishop, when they boldly avowed their faith, and suffered burning with the resolute gladness which distinguished the sect. We hear of others, about the same time, burned at Bonn, but this scanty catalogue exhausts the list of German heresies in the twelfth century. Missionaries penetrated the country from Hungary, Italy, and Flanders; they are found in Switzerland, Bavaria, Suabia, and even as far as Saxony, but they made few converts. *
England was likewise little troubled with heresy. It was shortly after the persecutions in Flanders that in 1166 there were discovered thirty rustics -- men and women -- German in race and speech, probably Flemings, fleeing from the pious zeal of Henry of Reims, who had come and were endeavoring to propagate their errors. They made but one convert, a woman, who deserted them in the hour of trial. The rest stood firm when Henry II., then engaged in his quarrel with Becket, and anxious to prove his fidelity to the Church, called a council of bishops at Oxford, and presided over it, to determine their faith. They openly avowed it, and were condemned to be scourged, branded in the face with a key, and driven forth. The importance which Henry attached to the matter is shown by his devoting, soon after, in the Assizes of Clarendon, an article to the subject, forbidding any one to receive them under penalty of having his house torn down, and
* Histor. Trevirens. (D'Achery II. 221, 222). -- Alberic. Trium Font. Chron. ann. 1200. -- Evervini Steinfeld. Epist. (S. Bernardi Epist. 472). -- Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1163. -- Ecberti Schonaug. contra Catharos Serm. VIII. -- Schmidt, I. 94-96.
requiring all sheriffs to swear to the observance of the law, and to make all stewards of the barons and all knights and franc-tenants swear likewise -- the first secular law on the subject in any statutebook since the fall of Rome. I have already mentioned the steadfastness with which the unfortunates endured their martyrdom. Stripped to the waist and soundly scourged, and branded on the forehead, they were sent adrift shelterless in the winter-time, and speedily, one by one, they miserably perished. England was not hospitable to heresy, and we hear little more of it there. Towards the close of the century some heretics were found in the province of York, and early in the next century a few were discovered in London, and one was burned; but practically the orthodoxy of England was unsullied until the rise of Wickliffe. *
Italy, as the channel through which the Bulgarian heresy passed to the West, was naturally deeply infected. Milan had the reputation of being its centre, whence missionaries were despatched to other lands, whither pilgrims resorted from the western kingdoms, and where originated the sinister term of Patarins, by which the Cathari became generally known to the people of Europe. † Yet the popes, involved in a death-struggle
* Guillel. de Newburg Hist. Anglic. Lib. II. c. 13. -- Matt. Paris. Hist. Anglic. ann. 1166 (p. 74). -- Radulf. de Diceto ann. 1166. -- Radulf. Coggeshall (D. Bouquet, X-VIII. 92). -- Assize of Clarendon, Art. 21. -- Petri Blesens. Epist. 113. -- Schmidt, I. 99.
† The nomenclature of the heresy is quite extensive. The sectaries called themselves Cathari, or the pure. The origin of the term Patarin has been the subject of considerable dispute, but there would seem to be no doubt that it arose in Milan about the middle of the eleventh century, during the civil wars resulting from the papal efforts to enforce celibacy on the Milanese married clergy. In the Romance dialects pates signifies old linen; rag-pickers in Lombardy were called Patari, and the quarter inhabited by them in Milan was known, even up to the last century, as Pattaria, or Contrada de' Pattari. Even to-day there are in Italian cities quarters or streets of that name ( Schmidt0, II. 279).
In the eleventh century quarrels the papalists held secret meetings in the Pattaria, and were contemptuously designated by their antagonists as Patarins -- a name which was finally recognized and accepted by them (Arnulf. Mediolanens. Lib. III. cap. 11; Lib. IV. c. 6, 11. -- Landulf. Jun. c. 1. -- Willelmi Clusiens. vita Benedicti Abbat. Clusiens. c. 33. -- Benzon. Comm. de Reb. Henrici IV. Lib. VII. C. 2). As the papal condemnation of clerical marriage was stigmatized as Manichæan, and as the papalists were supported by the secret heretics, followers of Gherardo
with the empire, and frequently wanderers abroad, paid little attention to them during the first half of the twelfth century, and the indications which have reached us of their existence are but scanty, though sufficient to show that they were numerous and aggressive in the consciousness of growing strength. Thus at Orvieto, in 1125, they actually obtained the mastery for a while, but after a bloody struggle were subdued by the Catholics. In 1150 the effort was resumed by Diotesalvi of Florence and Gherardo of Massano; but the bishop succeeded in expelling them, when they were replaced by two women missionaries -- Milita of Monte-Meano, and Giulitta of Florence -- whose piety and charity won the esteem of the clergy and sympathy of the people, until the heresy was discovered, in 1163, when many heretics were burned and hanged, and the rest exiled. Yet soon afterwards Peter the Lombard undertook to propagate it again, and formed
di Monforte, the name was not unnaturally transferred to the Cathari in Lombardy, when they became publicly known, and it spread from there throughout Europe. In Italy the word Cathari, vulgarized into Gazzari, was also commonly used, and came gradually to designate all heretics; the officials of the Inquisition were nicknamed Cazzagazzari (Cathari hunters), and even accepted the designation (Muratori Antiq. Diss. LX. Tom. XII. pp. 510, 516), and the word is still seen in the German Ketzer. The Cathari, from their Bulgarian origin, were also known as Bulgari, Bugari, Bulgri, Bugres (Matt. Paris. ann. 1238) -- a word which has been retained with an infamous signification in the English, French, and Italian vernaculars. We have seen above that from the number of weavers among them they were also known in France as Texerant, or Textores (cf. Doat, XXIII. 209-10). The term Speronistæ was derived from Robert de Sperone, bishop of the French Cathari in Italy (Schmidt, II. 282). The Crusaders who met the Paulicians (?a????a???´) in the East brought home the word and called them Publicani, or Popelicans. More local designations were Piphili or Pifres (Ecbert. Schonaug. Serm. I. c. 1), Telonarii or Deonarii (D'Achery, II. 560), and Boni Homines, or Bonshommes. The term Albigenses, from the district of Albi4, where they were numerous, was first employed by Geoffroy of Vigeois, in 1181 (Gaufridi Vosens. Chron. ann. 1181), and became generally used during the crusades against Raymond of Toulouse.
The various sects into which the Catbari were divided were further known by special names, as Albanenses, Concorrezenses, Bajolenses, etc. (Rainerii Saccon. Summa. Cf. Muratori Dissert. LX.).
In the official language of the Inquisition of the thirteenth century, "heretic always means Catharan, while the Vaudois are specifically designated as such. The accused was interrogated "Super facto hæresis vel Valdesiæ."
a numerous community, embracing many nobles, and towards the close of the century San Pietro di Parenzo earned his canonization by his severe measures of repression, in retaliation for which the heretics took his life in 1199. This may be regarded as an example of the struggle which was going on in many Italian cities, showing the stubborn vitality of the heresy. In the political condition of Italy, subdivided into innumerable virtually self-governing communities, torn by mutual quarrels and civic strife, general measures of repression were almost impossible. Heresy, suppressed by spasmodic exertion in one city, was always flourishing elsewhere, and ready to furnish new missionaries and new martyrs as soon as the storm had passed. Through all these vicissitudes its growth was constant. All the northern half of the peninsula, from the Alps to the Patrimony of St. Peter, was honeycombed with it, and even as far south as Calabria it was to be found. When Innocent III., in 1198, ascended the papal throne he at once commenced active proceedings for its extermination, and the obstinacy of the heretics may be estimated by the struggle in Viterbo, a city subject to the temporal as well as spiritual jurisdiction of the papacy. In March, 1199, Innocent, stimulated by the increase of heresy and the audacity of its public display, wrote to the Viterbians, renewing and sharpening the penalties against all who received or favored heretics. Yet, in spite of this, in 1205, the heretics carried the municipal election and elected as chamberlain a heretic under excommunication. Innocent's indignation was boundless. If the elements, he told the citizens, should conspire to destroy them, without sparing age or sex, leaving their memory an eternal shame, the punishment would be inadequate. He ordered obedience to be refused to the newly-elected municipality, which was to be deposed; that the bishop, who had been ejected, should be received back, that the laws against heresy should be enforced, and that if all this was not done within fifteen days the people of the surrounding towns and castles were commanded to take up arms and make active war upon the rebellious city. Even this was insufficient. Two years later, in February, 1207, there were fresh troubles, and it was not until June of that year, when Innocent himself came to Viterbo, and all the Patarins fled at his approach, that he was able to purify the town by tearing down all the houses of the heretics and confiscating all their property. This he followed up in September with a decree addressed to all the faithful in the Patrimony of St. Peter, ordering measures of increasing severity to be inscribed in the local laws of every community, and all podestà and other officials to be sworn to their enforcement under heavy penalties. Proceedings of more or less rigor commanded in Milan, Ferrara, Verona, Rimini, Florence, Prato, Faenza, Piacenza, and Treviso show the extent of the evil, the difficulty of restraining it, and the encouragement given to heresy by the scandals of the clergy. *
It was in southern France, however, that the struggle was deadliest and the battle was fought to its bitter end. There the soil, as we have seen, was the most favorable, and the growth of heresy the rankest. Early in the century we find open resistance at Albi, when the bishop, Sicard, aided by the Abbot of Castres, endeavored to imprison obstinate heretics and was baffled by the people, leading to a dangerous quarrel between the civil and ecclesiastical jurisdictions. About the same time, Amelius of Toulouse tried milder methods by calling in the aid of the celebrated Robert d'Arbrissel, whose preaching, we are told, was rewarded with many conversions. In 1119 Calixtus II. presided over a council at Toulouse which condemned the Manichæan heresy, but was forced to content itself with sentencing the heretics to expulsion from the Church. It is perhaps remarkable that when Innocent II., driven from Rome by the antipope Pier-Leone, was wandering through France and held a great council at Reims in 1131, no measures were taken for the repression of heresy; but when restored to Rome he seems to have awakened to the necessity of action, and in the Second General Lateran Council, in 1139, he issued a decisive decree which is interesting as the earliest example of the interpellation of the secular arm. Not only were the Cathari condemned and expelled from the Church, but the temporal authorities were ordered to coerce them and all those who favored or defended them. This policy was followed up in 1148 by the Council
* Schmidt, I. 63-5. -- Muratori Antiq. Dissert. LX. (p. 462-3). -- Raynald. An. nal. ann. 1199 No. 23-5; ann. 1205 No. 67; 1207 No. 3. -- Lami, Antichità Toscane, p. 491. -- Innocent. PP. III. Regest. I. 298; II. 1, 50; V. 33, VII. 37; VIII. 85, 105; IX. 7, 8, 18, 19, 166-9, 204, 213, 258; x. 54, 105, 130; XV. 189; Gesta cxxiii.
of Reims, which forbade any one to receive or maintain on his lands the heretics dwelling in Gascony, Provence, and elsewhere, and not to afford them shelter in passing or give them a refuge, under pain of excommunication and interdict. *
When Alexander III. was exiled from Rome by Frederic Barbarossa and his antipope Victor, and came to France, he called, in 1163, a great council at Tours. It was an imposing assemblage, comprising seventeen cardinals, one hundred and twenty-four bishops (including Thomas Becket) and hundreds of abbots, besides hosts of other ecclesiastics and a vast number of laymen. This august body, after performing its first duty of anathematizing the rival pope, proceeded to deplore the heresy which, arising in the Toulousain, had spread like a cancer throughout Gascony, deeply infecting the faithful everywhere. The prelates of those regions were ordered to be vigilant in suppressing it by anathematizing all who should permit heretics to dwell on their lands or should hold intercourse with them, in buying or selling, so that, being cut off from human society, they might be compelled to abandon their errors. All secular princes moreover were commanded to imprison them and to confiscate their property. By this time, it is evident that heresy was no longer concealed, but displayed itself openly and defiantly; and the futility of the papal commands at Tours to cut heretics off from human intercourse was shown two years later at the council, or rather colloquy, of Lombers near Albi. This was a public disputation between representatives of orthodoxy and the bos-homes, bos Crestias, or "good men," as they styled themselves, before judges agreed upon by both sides, in the presence of Pons, Archbishop of Narbonne, and sundry bishops, besides the most powerful nobles of the region -- Constance, sister of King Louis VII. and wife of Raymond of Toulouse, Trencavel of Béziers, Sicard of Lautrec, and others. Nearly all of the population of Lombers and Albi assembled, and the proceedings were evidently regarded as of the greatest public interest and importance. A full report of the discussion, including the decision against the Cathari, has reached us from several orthodox sources, but the
* Schmidt I. 38. -- Chron. Episc. Albigens. (D'Achery III. 572). -- Udalr. Babenb. Cod. II. 303. -- Concil. Tolosan. ann. 1119 c. 3. -- Concil. Lateran. II. ann. 1139 c. 23. -- Concil. Remens. ann. 1148 c. 18.
only interest which the affair has is its marked significance in showing that heresy had fairly outgrown all the means of repression at command of the local churches, that reason had to be appealed to in place of force, that heretics had no scruple in manifesting and declaring themselves, and that the Catholic disputants had to submit to their demands in citing only the New Testament as an authority. The powerlessness of the Church was still further exhibited in the fact that the council, after its argumentative triumph, was obliged to content itself with simply ordering the nobles of Lombers no longer to protect the heretics. What satisfaction Pons of Narbonne found the next year in confirming the conclusions of the Council of Lombers, in a council held at Cabestaing, it would be difficult to define. So great was the prevailing demoralization that when some monks of the strict Cistercian order left their monastery of Villemagne near Agde, and publicly took wives, he was unable to punish this gross infraction of their vows, and the interposition of Alexander III. was invoked -- probably without result. *
Evidently the Church was powerless. When it could condemn the doctrines and not the persons of heretics it confessed to the world that it possessed no machinery capable of dealing with opposition on a scale of such magnitude. The nobles and the people were indisposed to do its bidding, and without their aid the fulmination of its anathema was an empty ceremony. The Cathari saw this plainly, and within two years of the Council of Lombers they dared, in 1167, to hold a council of their own at St. Felix de Caraman near Toulouse. Their highest dignitary, Bishop Nicetas, came from Constantinople to preside, with deputies from Lombardy; the French Church was strengthened against the modified Dualism of the Concorrezan school; bishops were elected for the vacant sees of Toulouse, Val d'Aran, Carcassonne, Albi, and France north of the Loire, the latter being Robert de Sperone, subsequently a refugee in Lombardy, where he gave his name to the sect of the Speronistæ; commissioners were named to settle a disputed boundary between the sees of Toulouse and Carcassonne; in
* Concil. Turon. ann. 1163 c. 4. -- Concil. Lombariense ann. 1165 (Harduin. VI. 11. 1643-52). -- Roger de Hoveden. ann. 1176. -- D. Vaissette, Hist. Gén. de Languedoc, III. 4 -- Löwenfeld, Epistt. Pont. Roman. inedd. No. 247 (Lipsiæ, 1885).
short, the business was that of an established and independent Church, which looked upon itself as destined to supersede the Church of Rome. Based upon the affection and reverence of the people, which Rome had forfeited, it might well look forward to ultimate supremacy. *
In fact, its progress during the next ten years was such as to justify the most enthusiastic hopes. Raymond of Toulouse, whose power was virtually that of an independent sovereign, adhered to Frederic Barbarossa, acknowledged the antipope Victor and his successors, and cared nothing for Alexander III., who was received by the rest of France; and the Church, distracted by the schism, could offer little opposition to the development of heresy. In 1177, however, Alexander triumphed and received the submission of Frederic. Raymond necessarily followed his suzerain (a large portion of his territories was subject to the empire) and suddenly awoke to the necessity of arresting the progress of heresy. Powerful as he was, he felt himself unequal to the task. The burgesses of his cities, independent and intractable, were for the most part Cathari. A large portion of his knights and gentlemen were secretly or avowedly protectors of heresy; the common people throughout his dominions despised the clergy and honored the heretics. When a heretic preached they crowded to listen and applaud; when a Catholic assumed the rare function of religious instruction they jeered at him and asked him what he had to do with proclaiming the Word of God. In a state of chronic war with powerful vassals and more powerful neighbors, like the kings of Aragon and England, it was manifestly impossible for Raymond to undertake the extermination of a half or more than half of his subjects. Whether he was sincere in his desire to suppress heresy is doubtful, but in any case his situation is interesting, as an illustration of the difficulties which surrounded his son and grandson, and led to the Crusades and the extinction of his house. Whatever his motives, however, Raymond V. craftily placed himself on the right side. He called upon the king, Louis VII., to come to his assistance, and, remembering how St. Bernard had, in the previous generation, aided to suppress the Henricians, he applied to Bernard's successor, Henry of Clairvaux, head of the great Cis-
* D. Bouquet, XIV. 448-50. -- D. Vaissette, III. 4, 537.
tercian order, to support his appeal. He described the condition of religion in his dominions as desperate. The priesthood had allowed itself to be seduced; the churches were abandoned and falling into ruin; the sacraments were despised and no longer in use; Dualism had prevailed over Trinitarianism. Anxious as he was to be the minister of the vengeance of God, he was powerless, for his principal subjects had embraced the false faith, together with the better part of his people. Spiritual punishment no longer had any terror, and force alone would be of service. If the king would come, Raymond promised personally to conduct him through the land and point out the heretics to be chastised, and with their united efforts success could hardly fail to crown the good work. * Henry II. of England, who as Duke of Aquitaine was nearly concerned in the matter, had just concluded a peace with Louis of France, and, free from the preoccupation of mutual war, the monarchs conferred together with the intention of proceeding in person with a heavy force in response to Raymond's appeal. The Abbot of Clairvaux also wrote to Alexander III., with more earnestness than courtesy, stimulating him to do his duty and put down heresy as he had quelled schism; the two kings, he said, were debating as to the measures to be taken, and no remissness of the spiritual power must serve as excuse for lack of energy on the part of the temporal: in Languedoc, priest and people were alike infected, or rather the contagion proceeded from the shepherds to the flock; the least the pope could do was to instruct his legate, Cardinal Peter of St. Chrysogono, to remain longer in France and to attack the heretics. During these preliminaries the zeal of the monarchs had cooled, and in place of marching at the head of armies they contented themselves with sending a mission consisting of the cardinal legate, the archbishops of Narbonne and Bourges, Henry of Clairvaux and other prelates, at the same time urging the Count of Toulouse, the Viscount of Turenne, and other nobles to aid them. †
If Raymond was sincere, this was not the assistance he required. The kings had resolved to depend upon the spiritual
* Roger. Hoveden. Annal. ann. 1178. -- D. Vaissette, III. 46-7. † Benedict. Petroburg. Vit. Henrici. II. ann. 1178. -- Alexander. PP. III. Epist. 395 ( D. Bouquet, XV. 959-960).
sword, and he was too shrewd to exhaust his strength in an unaided struggle with his subjects, especially as a menacing league was then forming against him by Alonso II. of Aragon with the nobles of Narbonne, Nimes, Montpellier, and Carcassonne. While therefore, he protected the missionary prelates, he made no pretence of drawing the carnal sword. When they entered Toulouse the heretics crowded around them jeering and calling them hypocrites, apostates, and other opprobrious names; and Henry of Clairvaux consoles himself for the insignificant positive results of the mission with the reflection that if it had been postponed until three years later, they would not have found a single Catholic in the city. Lists of heretics, interminable in length, were made out for them, at the head of which stood Pierre Mauran, an old man of great wealth and influence, and so universally respected by his co-religionists that he was popularly known as John the Evangelist. He was selected to be made an example. After many tergiversations he was convicted of heresy, when, to save his confiscated property, he agreed to recant and undergo such penance as might be assigned to him. Stripped to the waist, with the Bishop of Toulouse and the Abbot of St. Sernin busily scourging him on either side, he was led through an immense crowd to the high altar of the Cathedral of St. Stephen, where, for the good of his soul, he was ordered to undertake a three years' pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to be daily scourged through the streets of Toulouse until his departure, to make restitution of all Church lands occupied by him and of all moneys acquired by usury, and to pay to the count five hundred pounds of silver in redemption of his forfeited property. This resolute beginning produced the desired effect, and multitudes of Cathari hastened to make their peace with the Church; but how little real result it had is shown by the fact that when Mauran returned from Palestine his fellow-citizens thrice honored him with election to the office of capitoul, and his family remained bitterly anti-Catholic. In 1234 an old man named Mauran was condemned as a "perfected" heretic, and in 1235 another Mauran, one of the capitouls, was excommunicated for impeding the introduction of the Inquisition. The enormous fine for the benefit of the Count of Toulouse was well calculated to excite the religious fervor of that potentate, but even that stimulus failed to arouse him to the decisive action which he doubtless felt to be impracticable. When the legate desired to confute two heresiarchs, Raymond de Baimiac and Bernard Raymond, the Catharan bishops of Val d'Aran and Toulouse, he was obliged to give them a safe-conduct before they would present themselves before him, and to content himself afterwards with excommunicating them; and when proceedings were had against the powerful Roger Trencavel, Viscount of Béziers, for keeping the Bishop of Albi in prison, excommunication was likewise the only penalty, nor do we read that the captured prelate was liberated. The mission so pompously heralded returned to France, and we can readily believe the statement of contemporary chroniclers that it had accomplished little or nothing. It is true that Raymond of Toulouse and his nobles had been induced to issue an edict banishing all heretics, but this remained a dead letter. *
It was in September of the same year, 1178, that Alexander III. published the call for the assembling of the Third Council of Lateran, and an ominous allusion in it to the tares which choke the wheat and must be pulled up by the roots shows that he recognized the futility of all measures heretofore adopted to check the daily growing power of heresy. Accordingly, when the council met, in 1179, it bemoaned the damnable perversity of the Patarins, who publicly seduced the faithful throughout Gascony, the Albigeois, and the Toulousain; it commended the employment of force by the secular power to compel men to their own salvation; it anathematized, as usual, the heretics and those who sheltered and protected them, and it included among heretics the Cotereaux, Brabançons, Aragonese, Navarrese, Basques, and Triaverdins, of whom more anon. It then proceeded to take a step of much significance in proclaiming a crusade against all these enemies of the Church -- the first experiment of a resort to this weapon against Christians, which afterwards became so common, and gave the Church in its private quarrels the services of a warlike militia in every land, ever ready to be mobilized. Two years' indulgence
* Roger. Hovedens. Annal. ann. 1178. -- Schmidt, I. 78. -- Martene Thesaur. I. 992. -- Rob. de Monte Chron. ann. 1178. -- Benedict. Petroburg. Vit. Henrici II. ann. 1178.
Roger Trencavel of Béziers was no heretic (see Vaissette, III. 49) and his treatment of the Bishop of Albi and disregard of the missionary bishops shows the complete contempt into which the Church had fallen, even among the faithful.
was promised to all who should take up arms in the holy cause; they were received under the protection of the Church, and those who should fall were assured of eternal salvation. Among the restless and sinful warriors of the time it was not difficult to raise an army, serving without pay, on terms like these. *
Immediately on his return from the council Pons, Archbishop of Narbonne, made haste to publish this decree, with all its anathemas and interdicts, and he included in its terms those who exacted new and unaccustomed tolls from travellers -- a rapidly growing extortion of the feudal nobles which we shall constantly see reappear, like the Cotereaux, in the Albigensian quarrels. Henry of Clairvaux had refused the troublesome see of Toulouse, which had become vacant shortly after his mission thither in 1178, but had accepted the cardinalate of Albano, and he was forthwith sent as papal legate to preach and lead the crusade. His eloquence enabled him to raise a considerable force of horse and foot, with which, in 1181, he fell upon the territories of the Viscount of Béziers and laid siege to the stronghold of Lavaur where the Viscountess Adelaide, daughter of Raymond of Toulouse, and the leading Patarins had taken refuge. We are told that Lavaur was captured through a miracle, and that in various parts of France consecrated wafers dropping blood announced the success of the Christian arms. Roger of Béziers hastened to make his submission and swear no longer to protect heresy. Raymond de Baimiac and Bernard Raymond, the Catharan bishops, who were taken prisoners, renounced their heresy and were rewarded with prebends in two churches of Toulouse. Many other heretics gave in their submission, but returned to the false faith as soon as the danger was past. The short term for which the Crusaders had enlisted expired; the army disbanded itself, and the next year the cardinal-legate went back to Rome, having accomplished, virtually, nothing except to increase the mutual exasperation by the devastation of the country through which his troops had passed. Raymond of Toulouse, involved in desperate war with the King of Aragon, seems to have preserved complete indifference as to this expedition, taking no part in it on either side. †
* Concil. Lateran. III. ann. 1179 c. 27. † Gaufridi Vosiens. Chron. ann. 1181. -- Roberti Autissiodor. Chron. ann.
The Cotereaux and Brabançons, whom we have seen included with the Patarins in the denunciations of the Council of Lateran, are a feature of the period whose significance deserves a passing notice. We shall find them constantly reappearing, and their maintenance was one of the sins which gained for Raymond VI. of Toulouse almost as much hostility from the Church as the support of heresy which was imputed to him. They were freebooters, the precursors of the dreaded Free Companies which, especially during the fourteenth century, were the terror of all peaceable men, inflicting incalculable damage to the advancement of civilization. Their various names of Brabançons, Hainaulters, Catalans, Aragonese, Navarrese, Basques, etc., show how widespread was the evil and how every province ascribed the hated bands to its neighbors; while the more familiar terms of Brigandi, Pilardi, Ruptarii, Mainatae (mesnie), etc., express their function and occupation; and the names of Cotarelli, Palearii, Triaverdins, Asperes, Vales, have afforded ample field for fanciful etymology. They consisted of the idle and dissipated, peasants who had been hopelessly ruined in the increasing desolation of war, fugitives from serfdom, outlaws, escaped criminals, worthless ecclesiastics, outcast monks, and in general the scum which society threw upon the surface in its constant turmoil. They preyed upon the community in bands of varying size, and their swords were ever at the service of the nobles who would grant them pay or plunder when a military force was needed for a longer term than the short campaign prescribed as due from the vassal to his feudal lord. The chronicles of the time are full of lamentations over their incessant devastations; and it is significant of the relations between the Church and the community that the ecclesiastical annalists insist that their blows ever fell heavier on church and monastery than on the castle of the seigneur or the cottage of the peasant. They ridiculed the priests as singers, and it was one of their savage sports to beat them to death while mockingly begging their intercession -- "Sing for us, you singer, sing for us;" and the culmination of their irreverent sacrilege was seen in their casting out and trampling on the holy wafers whose precious pyxes they
1181. -- Alberic. Trium Font. Chron. ann. 1181. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1181. -Chron. Turonens. ann.1181. -- D.Vaissette, III. 57. -- Guillel. de Pod. -- Laurent. c. 2.
eagerly seized. They were popularly classed as heretics, and were accused of openly denying the existence of God. In 1181 Bishop Stephen of Tournay feelingly describes his terror while traversing, on a mission from the king, through the Toulousain, then recently the seat of war between the Count of Toulouse and the King of Aragon, where deserted solitudes revealed nothing but ruined churches and desolated villages, and where he was ever in expectation of attack, from robbers Qr from the more dreaded bands of Cotereaux. It was probably a result of the crusade decreed against them, in common with the Paiarins, that a concerted attack was soon after made upon the bandits in central France. They were driven together, and in July, 1183, at Châteaudun, a signal victory over them was won, the number of the slain brigands being variously estimated at from six thousand to ten thousand five hundred and twenty-five. An immense booty was obtained, among which may perhaps be reckoned fifteen hundred strumpets, who accompanied the robber host. The victors, who had assumed the name of Paciferi in token of their peaceful object, were not merciful. Fifteen days later we hear of the capture of one of the routier captains with fifteen hundred men, who were all summarily hanged; and about the same time of eighty more, who were caught and blinded. In spite of these ruthless measures, the evil continued unabated. The causes which produced it remained as active as ever, and the services of the reckless and Godless mercenaries continued useful to the great feudatories involved in endless war with their neighbors. *
The admitted failure of the crusade of 1181 seems to have rendered the Church hopeless, for the time, of making headway against heresy. For a quarter of a century it was allowed to develop in comparative toleration throughout the territories of Gascony, Languedoc, and Provence. It is true that the decree of Lucius III., issued at Verona in 1184, is important as attempting the foundation of an organized Inquisition, but it worked no immediate effect.
* Stephani Tornacens. Epist. 92. -- Gaufridi Vosiens. Chron. ann. 1183. -- Gualt. Mapes de Nugis Curialium Dist. 1. c. xxix. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1183. -- Rigord. de Gest. Phil. Aug. ann. 1183. -- Guillel. Brito de Gest. Phil. Aug. ann. 1183. -Ejusd. Philippidos Lib. 1. 726-45. -- Grandes Chroniques, ann. 1183. -- Du Cange s. vv. Cotarellus, Palearii.
It is true that in 1195 another papal legate, Michael, held a provincial council at Montpellier, where he commanded the enforcement of the Lateran canons on all heretics and Mainatæ, or brigands, whose property was to be confiscated and whose persons reduced to slavery; * but all this fell dead upon the indifference of the nobles, who, involved in perpetual war with each other, preferred to risk the anathemas of the Church rather than to complicate their troubles by attempting the extermination of a majority of their subjects at the behest of a hierarchy which no longer inspired respect or reverence. Perhaps, also, the fall of Jerusalem, in 1186, in arousing an unprecedented fervor of fanaticism, directed it towards Palestine, and left little for the vindication of the faith nearer home. Be this as it may, no effective persecution was undertaken until the vigorous ability of Innocent III., after vainly trying milder measures, organized overwhelming war against heresy. During this interval the Poor Men of Lyons arose, and were forced to make common cause with the Cathari; the proselyting zeal which had been so successful in secrecy and tribulation had free scope for its development, and had no effective antagonism to dread from a negligent and disheartened clergy. The heretics preached and made converts, while the priests were glad if they could save a fraction of their tithes and revenues from rapacious nobles and rebellious or indifferent parishioners. Heresy throve accordingly. Innocent III. admitted the humiliating fact that the heretics were allowed to preach and teach and make converts in public, and that unless speedy measures were taken for their suppression there was danger that the infection would spread to the whole Church. William of Tudela says that the heretics possessed the Albigeois, the Carcasses, and the Lauragais, and that to describe them as numerous throughout the whole district from Béziers to Bordeaux is not saying enough. Walter Mapes asserts that there were none of them in Britanny, but that they abounded in Anjou, while in Aquitaine and Burgundy their number was infinite. William of Puy-Laurens assures us that Satan possessed in peace the greater part of southern France; the clergy were so despised that they were accustomed to conceal the tonsure through very shame, and the bishops were obliged to admit to holy orders whoever was
* Lucii PP. III. Epist. 171. -- Concil. Monspeliens. ann. 1195.
willing to assume them; the whole land, under a curse, produced nothing but thorns and thistles, ravishers and bandits, robbers, murderers, adulterers, and usurers. Cæsarius of Heisterbach declares that the Albigensian errors increased so rapidly that they soon infected a thousand cities, and he believes that if they had not been repressed by the sword of the faithful the whole of Europe would have been corrupted. A German inquisitor informs us that in Lombardy, Provence, and other regions there were more schools of heresy than of orthodox theology, with more scholars; that they disputed publicly, and summoned the people to public debates; that they preached in the market-places, the fields, the houses; and that there were none who dared to interfere with them, owing to the multitude and power of their protectors. As we have seen, they were regularly organized in dioceses; they had their educational establishments for the training of women as well as men; and, at least in one instance, all the nuns of a convent embraced Catharism without quitting the house or the habit of their order. * Such was the position to which corruption had reduced the Church. Intent upon the acquisition of temporal power, it had well-nigh abandoned its spiritual duties; and its empire, which rested on spiritual foundations, was crumbling with their decay, and threatening to pass away like an unsubstantial vision. There have been few crises in the history of the Church more dangerous than that which Lothario Conti, when he assumed the triple crown at the early age of thirty-eight, was called upon to meet. In his consecration sermon he announced that one of his principal duties would be the destruction of heresy, and of this he never lost sight to the end, amid his endless conflicts with emperors and princes. † It is fortunate for civilization that he possessed the qualifications which enabled him to guide the shattered bark of St. Peter through the tempest and among the rocks -- if not always wisely, yet with a resolute spirit, an unswerving purpose, and an unfailing trust that accomplished his mission in the end.
* Innocent. PP. III. Serm. de Tempore XII. -- Guillem. de Tudela, c. ii. -- Gualt. Mapes de Nugis Curialium Dist. 1. c. xxx. -- Guillel. de Pod.-Laurent. Procem.; cf. cap. 3, 4. -- Cæsar. Heisterbac. Dist. v. c. 21. -- Stephani Tornacens. Epist. 92. -- Anon. Passaviens. (Bib. Mag. Pat. XIII. 299). -- Schmidt, I. 200. † Innocent. PP. III. Serm. de Diversis III.
THE ALBIGENSIAN CRUSADES.
THE Church admitted that it had brought upon itself the dangers which threatened it -- that the alarming progress of heresy was caused and fostered by clerical negligence and corruption. In his opening address to the great Lateran Council, Innocent III. had no scruple in declaring to the assembled fathers: "The corruption of the people has its chief source in the clergy. From this arise the evils of Christendom: faith perishes, religion is defaced, liberty is restricted, justice is trodden under foot, the heretics multiply, the schismatics are emboldened, the faithless grow strong, the Saracens are victorious;" and after the futile attempt of the council to strike at the root of the evil, Honorius III., in admitting its failure, repeated the assertion. In fact this was an axiom which none were so hardy as to deny, yet when, in 1204, the legates whom Innocent had sent to oppose the Albigenses appealed to him for aid against prelates whom they had failed to coerce, and whose infamy of life gave scandal to the faithful and an irresistible argument to the heretic, Innocent curtly bade them attend to the object of their mission and not allow themselves to be diverted by less important matters. The reply fairly indicates the policy of the Church. Thoroughly to cleanse the Augean stable was a task from which even Innocent's fearless spirit might well shrink. It seemed an easier and more hopeful plan to crush revolt with fire and sword. * We have seen how promptly and persistently Innocent took in hand the heretics of Italy, nor were his dealings with 'those
* Innocent. PP. III. Serm. de Diversis VI.; Regrest. VII. 165, X. 54. -- Honor. PP. III. Epist. ad Archiep. Bituricens. (Martene Ampl. Collect. I. 1149-51). In 1250 Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, told Innocent IV. at Lyons that the corruption of the priesthood was the cause of the heresies which afflicted the Church (Fascic. Rer. Expetend. et Fugiend. II. 251. Ed. 1690).
beyond the Alps less active and decisive, though they manifest an evident desire to do exact justice, and not to confound the innocent with the guilty. The Nivernois had long been noted as a deeply infected district. The troubles occasioned by Catharism at Vezelai in 1167 have already been alluded to, and the sharp repression of heresy then had put an end to its outward manifestation without destroying its germs. Towards the end of the century Bishop Hugues of Auxerre earned the title of the Hammer of Heretics by his energy and success in persecution; and though he was likewise noted for avarice, usurpation of illegal rights, oppression of his flock, and ferocity in ruining those who had offended him, his zeal for the faith covered the multitude of sins, hardly needing the urgency with which, in 1204, Innocent commanded him to clear his diocese of heresy. By the pitiless employment of confiscation, exile, and the stake he labored to purify it, but the evil was stubborn and constantly reappeared. The chief propagator was an anchorite named Terric who dwelt in a cavern near Corbigny, where he was finally surprised and burned, through the exertions of Foulques de Neuilly, but the infection was not confined to the poor and humble. In 1199 we find the Dean of Nevers and the Abbot of St. Martin of Nevers appealing to Innocent from prosecutions commenced against them, and the answers of the pope show both his anxious desire that they should have full opportunity to prove their innocence, and the uncertainty and cumbrous nature of the ecclesiastical procedure of the time. In 1201 Bishop Hugues was more successful with a criminal of equal importance, the knight, Everard of Châteauneuf, to whom Count Hervey of Nevers had intrusted the stewardship of his territories. In this case, the Legate Octavian called a council in Paris, comprising many bishops and theologians, for his trial; he was convicted principally on the testimony of Bishop Hugues and was handed over to the secular arm and burned, after a respite for the purpose of rendering an account of his office to Count Hervey. His nephew, Thierry, an equally hardened heretic, escaped to Toulouse, where five years later we find him a bishop among the Albigenses, who were gratified in having a Frenchman as an accomplice. La Charité was an especially active centre of heresy in the Nivernois, and from 1202 to 1208 there are frequent appeals to Innocent from its citizens, show. ing that Rome was regarded as more indulgent than the local courts; and the papal decisions continue to manifest a laudable desire to prevent injustice. All this proved inefficient, and it was one of the first places to which, in 1233, an inquisitor was sent. At Troyes, in 1200, five male and three female Catharans were burned; and at Braisne, in 1204, a number were similarly put to death, among whom was Nicholas, the most renowned painter in France. * .
In 1199 another danger threatened the Church in Metz, where Waldensian sectaries were found in possession of French translations of the New Testament, the Psalter, Job, and other portions of Scripture, which they contumaciously studied with unwearied perseverance and refused to abandon at the command of their parish priests; nay, they were hardy enough to assert that they knew more of Holy Writ than their pastors, and that they had a right to the consolation which they found in its perusal. The case was somewhat puzzling, since the Church as yet had had no occasion to interdict formally the popular reading of the Bible, and these poor folk were not accused of any definite heretical tenets. Innocent, therefore, when applied to, admitted that there was nothing condemnable in the desire to understand Scripture, but he added that such is its profundity that even the learlied and wise are unequal to its comprehension, and consequently it is far beyond the grasp of the simple and illiterate. The people of Metz were therefore exhorted to abandon these reprehensible practices and return to a proper degree of respect for their pastors if they wished pardon for their sins, with a significant threat of compulsion in case of further obstinacy; and when the simple and illiterate folk proved deaf to this command, a commission was sent to the Abbot of Citeaux and two others, to proceed to Metz and put a stop, without appeal, to these unlawful studies -- with what success we may infer from the fact that in 1231 the heretics of Tréves were found in possession of German versions of Holy Writ. †
* Roberti Autissiodor. Chron. ann. 1198-1201. -- Hist. Episcopp. Autissiodor. (D. Bouquet, XVIII. 725-6, 729). -- Petri Sarnens. Hist. Albigens. c. 3. - Innoc. PP. III. Regest. II. 63, 99; V. 36; VII. 63, 239; IX. 110; X. 206. -- Potthast, No. 9152. -Alberic. Trium Font. Chron. ann. 1200. -- Chron. Canon. Laudunens. ann. 1204 (D. Bouquet, XVIII. 713)
Regest. II. 141, 142, 235. -- Gesta Treviror. c. 104.
It was the stronghold of heresy in southern France, however, which rightly gave rise to chief concern in Rome, and to this Innocent resolutely, bent his energies. Raymond VI. of Toulouse, in the full vigor of mature manhood, at the age of thirty-eight, had, in January, 1195, succeeded his father in the possession of territories which rendered him the most powerful feudatory of the monarchy and almost an independent sovereign. Besides the county of Toulouse, the duchy of Narbonne conferred on him the dignity of first lay peer of France. He was likewise suzerain, with more or less direct authority, of the Marquisate of Provence, the Comtat Venaissin and the counties of St. Gilles, Foix, Comminges, and Rodez, and of the Albigeois, Vivarais, Gévaudan, Velai, Rouergue, Querci, and Agenois. Even in distant Italy he was known as the greatest count on earth, with fourteen counts as his vassals, and his troubadour flatterers assured him that he was the equal of emperors --
Car il val tan qu'en la soa valor Auri' assatz ad un emperador.
Even after the sacrifice of a major part of the possessions of the house, his son, Raymond VII., at his splendid Christmas court of 1244, conferred the honor of knighthood on no less than two hundred nobles. So far as matrimonial alliances can have weight, Raymond VI. was strengthened with them on every side, for he was of close kindred to the royal houses of Castile, Aragon, Navarre, France, and England. His fourth wife was Joan of England, whom he married in 1196 in pursuance of a favorable treaty with her brother Richard, thus relieving him of the enmity of that redoubtable warrior, who, as Duke of Aquitaine, had pressed his father hard. Yet that treaty with Richard gave secret offence to Philip Augustus, destined to bear bitter fruit thereafter. Almost at the same time he was liberated from another formidable hereditary foe by the death of Alonso II. of Aragon, whose large possessions and still larger pretensions in southern France had at times almost threatened the extinction of the house of Toulouse. With his successor, Pedro II., Raymond's relations were most friendly, cemented in 1200 by his marriage with Pedro's sister Eleanor, and in 1205 by the engagement of his young son, Raymond VII., with Pedro's infant daughter. Though the distant sovereignty of France troubled. him but little, yet the friendliness manifested to him on his accession by Philip Augustus was a not unimportant element in the prosperity which on every side seemed to give him assurance of a peaceful and fortunate reign.
Thus secured against external aggression and confident of the future, he recked little of an excommunication which had been fulminated against him in 1195 by Celestin III. on account of the invasion of the rights of the Abbey of St. Gilles -- an excommunication which Innocent III. removed shortly after his accession, but not without words of reproof and warning which Raymond defiantly disregarded, thus laying the foundation of a quarrel destined to result so disastrously. Though not a heretic, his indifference on religious questions led him to tolerate the heresy of his subjects. Most of his barons were either heretics or favorably inclined to a faith which, by denying the pretensions of the Church, justified its spoliation or, at least, liberated them from its domination. Raymond himself was doubtless influenced by the same motive, and when, in 1195, the Council of Montpellier anathematized all princes who neglected to enforce the Lateran canons against heretics and mercenaries, he paid no attention to its utterances. It would, in fact, have required the most ardent fanaticism to lead a prince so circumstanced to provoke his vassals, to lay waste his territories, to massacre his subjects, and to invite assault from watchful rivals, for the purpose of enforcing uniformity in religion and subjugation to a Church known only by its rapacity and corruption. Toleration had endured for nearly a generation; the land was blessed with peace after almost interminable war, and all the dictates of worldly prudence counselled him to follow in his father's footsteps. Surrounded by one of the gayest and most cultured courts in Christendom, fond of women, a patron of poets, somewhat irresolute of purpose, and enjoying the love of his subjects, nothing could have appeared to him more objectless than a persecution such as Rome held to be the most indispensable of his duties. *
The condition of the Church in his dominions might well ex-
* Villani Cronica, Lib. v. c. 90. -- Diez, Leben und Werke der Troubadours, 424. -- Guill. Pod. Laur. cap. 47. -- Vaissette, Éd. Privat, VIII. 558. -- Petri Sarnensis Hist. Albigens. c. 1. -- Vaissette, Éd. 1730, III. 101.
cite the indignation of a pontiff like Innocent III., who conscientiously believed in the full measure of its awful authority and imprescriptible rights. A chronicler assures us that among many thousands of the people there were but few Catholics to be found; and although this is doubtless an exaggeration, we have seen in the preceding chapter what rapid strides heresy had made. How utterly discredited the Church had become, and how loss of respect for the spirituality had led to spoliation of the temporality is shown by the condition of the episcopate of the capital, Toulouse. Bishop Fulcrand, who died in 1200, is described as living perforce in apostolical poverty like a private citizen. His tithes had been seized by the knights and the monasteries; his first-fruits by the parish priests, and his only revenue was derived from a few farms and from the public baking-oven over which he retained a feudal right. In his extremity he brought suit against his own chapter to compel them to assign to him the income of a single prebend as a means of livelihood. When he visited the parishes, he was obliged to beg an escort from the lords of the lands over which he passed. When Fulcrand's wretched life came to an end, uninviting as the episcopate seemed to be, it was the subject of a bitter and disgraceful contest which ended in the success of Raymond de Rabastens, Archdeacon of Agen, whose career was even more miserable than that of his predecessor. Perhaps his poverty might excuse the unblushing simony with which he sought to augment his revenues; but when he had pledged or parted with all the remaining possessions of his see to defray the expenses of a fruitless litigation with Raymond de Beaupuy, one of his vassals, he was rightly adjudged a wicked and slothful servant, and was deposed with an annual assignment of thirty livres toulousains to keep him from beggary. His successor, Foulques of Marseilles, a distinguished troubadour who had renounced the world and become Abbot of Floréges, used to relate that when he took possession of the see he was obliged to water his mules at home, having no one to send with them to the common watering-place on the Garonne. Foulques was a man of different temper, whose ruthless bigotry in time carried fire and sword throughout his diocese. *
Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1207. -- Vaissette, III. 128, 132. -- Guillel. Pod. Lau-
The evil was constantly increasing, and unless checked it seemed only a question of time when the Church would disappear throughout all the Mediterranean provinces of France. Yet it must be said for the credit of the heretics that there was no manifestation of a persecuting spirit on their part. The rapacity of the barons, it is true, was rapidly depriving the ecclesiastics of their revenues and possessions; as they neglected their duties, and as the law of the strongest was all-prevailing, the invader of Church property had small scruple in despoiling lazy monks and worldly priests whose numbers were constantly diminishing; but the Cathari, however much they may have deemed themselves the Church of the future, seem never to have thought of extending their faith by force. They reasoned and argued and disputed when they found a Catholic zealous enough to contend with them, and they preached to the people, who had no other source of instruction; but, content with peaceable conversions and zealous missionary work, they dwelt in perfect amity with their orthodox neighbors. To the Church this state of affairs was unbearable. It has always held the toleration of others to be persecution of itself. By the very law of its being it can brook no rivalry in its domination over the human soul; and, in the present case, as toleration was slowly but surely leading to its destruction, it was bound by its sense of duty no less than of self-preservation to put an end to a situation so abhorrent. Yet, before it could resort effectually to force it was compelled to make what efforts
rent. c. 6, 7. -- Regest. VIII. 115-6. -- For the condition of other sees -- Carcassonne, Vence, Agde, Ausch, Narbonne, Bordeaux -- see Regest. I. 194; III. 24; VI. 216; VII. 84; VIII. 76; XVI. 5. For the biography of Foulques, or Folquet, of Marseilles, who, after being favored by Raymond V., became the most bitter enemy of Raymond VI., see Paul Meyer ap. Vaissette, Éd. Privat, VII. 444. Dante places him in the heaven of Venus, together with Cunizza, the lascivious sister of Ezzelin da Romano (Paradiso, IX.). It is related of him that once when preaching against the heretics He compared them to wolves and the faithful to sheep. A heretic whose eyes had been torn out and his nose and lips cut off by Simon de Montfort, arose and said, "Did you ever see sheep bite a wolf thus?" to which Foulques rejoined that de Montfort was a good dog who had thus bitten the wolf. A more pleasing trait is seen in the story that he gave alms to a poor heretic beggar-woman, saying that lie gave it to poverty and not to heresy. -- Chabaneau (Vaissette, Éd. Privat, X. 292).
it could at persuasion -- not of heretics, indeed, but of their protectors.
Innocent was consecrated February 22, 1198, and already by April 1st we find him writing to the Archbishop of Ausch, deploring the spread of heresy and the danger of its becoming universal. The prelate and his brethren are ordered to extirpate it by the utmost rigor of ecclesiastical censures, and if necessary by bringing the secular arm to bear through the assistance of princes and people. Not only are heretics themselves to be punished, but all who have any dealings with them, or who are suspect by reason of undue familiarity with them. In the existing posture of affairs, the prelates to whom these commands were addressed can only have regarded them with mingled derision and despair; and we can readily imagine the replies in which they declared their zeal and lamented their powerlessness. Innocent probably was aware of this in advance and did not await the response. By April 21st he had two commissioners ready to represent the Holy See on the spot -- Rainier and Gui -- whom he sent armed with letters to all the prelates, princes, nobles, and people of southern France, empowering them to enforce whatever regulations they might see fit to employ to avert the imminent peril to the Church arising from the countless increase of Cathari and Waldenses, who corrupted the people by simulated works of justice and charity. Those heretics who will not return to the true faith are to be banished and their property confiscated; these provisions are to be enforced by the secular authorities under penalty of interdict for refusal or negligence, and with the reward for obedience of the same indulgences as those granted for a pilgrimage to Rome or Compostella; and all who consort or deal with heretics or show them favor or protection are to share their punishment. It was apparently an after-thought when Rainier, six months later, was empowered to remove the source of the evil by reforming the churches and restoring discipline. Rainier's powers evidently proved insufficient, and in July, 1199, they were enlarged, both as a reformer and a persecutor, and he was appointed legate, to be received and obeyed with as much reverence as the pope himself. About this time there appeared to be a gleam of success in the application of William, Lord of Montpellier, for a legate to assist him in suppressing heresy; but though William was a good Catholic this special manifestation of zeal was due to his anxiety to obtain the legitimation of the children of a second wife whom he had married without legally divorcing a previous one, and as Innocent refused to sanction the wrong, no great results were to be anticipated fur religion. A vigorous show of reform was also commenced by attacking two high-placed and notorious offenders, the archbishops of Narbonne and Ausch, whose personal wickedness, negligence, and toleration of heresy had reduced the Church in their provinces to a most deplorable state; but as these proceedings dragged on for ten or twelve years before the removal of the sinners could be effected, no immediate purification could be hoped for by the most sanguine. *
In fact, for a time at least, these spasmodic efforts at reform only rendered matters worse. Angered and humiliated by the powers conferred on the representatives of Rome, and alarmed at the attempts to punish their evil lives, the local prelates were in no mood to second the exertions put forth for the eradication of heresy, and at one time it would even seem as though they might be driven to make common cause with the heretics, in opposition to the Holy See, in order to protect themselves and their clergy. Rainier had fallen sick in the summer of 1202 and had been replaced by Pierre de Castelnau and Raoul, two Cistercian monks of Fontfroide, who succeeded, after infinite trouble, by threats of the royal vengeance, in persuading the magistracy of Toulouse to swear to abjure heresy and expel heretics, in return for an oath pledging immunity and the preservation of the liberties of the city; but no sooner were their backs turned than heresy was as flagrant as before. Encouraged by this apparent success, they undertook the task of obtaining a similar oath from Count Raymond. This they finally accomplished, with equally slender result, but the process showed what assistance they might expect from the hierarchy. When they summoned the Archbishop of Narbonne to accompany them to the Count of Toulouse for the purpose, he not only refused, but declined to aid them in any way, and it was only after long entreaty that he would even furnish them a horse for the journey. With the Bishop of Béziers their success was no
* Regest. 1. 92, 93, 94, 165, 395; II. 122, 123, 298; III. 24; V. 96; VII. 17, 75;
VIII. 75, 106; IX. 66; X. 68; XIII 88; XIV. 32; XVI. 5. -- Vaissette, III, 117.
better. He likewise declined to go with them to Raymond; and when they asked his co-operation in summoning the consults of Béziers to abjure heresy and defend the Church against heretics, he not only withheld it, but impeded their efforts; and though he finally promised to excommunicate the magistrates for contumacy, he never did so, in spite of the fact that heresy so predominated in the town that the viscount was obliged to authorize the cathedral canons to fortify the Church of St. Peter for fear that the heretics would seize it. Possibly he was deterred by the example made of his neighbor, Berenger, Bishop of Carcassonne, who, in consequence of threatening his flock for heresy, was expelled the city and a heavy fine imposed on any one who should have dealings with him. * .
Evidently pope and legate were of small account in the chaos which reigned in Languedoc. The prelates refused to be reformed, and yet the legates, in their disputations with the heretics, were so continually answered with references to the evil lives of the clergy that they recognized reformation as a condition precedent to any peaceable conversion of the people. The heretics were daily growing bolder, as if to show their scorn of the futile efforts of Innocent. About this very time Esclairmonde, sister of the powerful Count of Foix, with five other ladies of rank, was "hereticated" in a public assemblage of Cathari, where many knights and nobles were present, and it was remarked that the count was the only one who did not give the heretical salute or "veneration" to the ministrants. Even Pedro the Catholic of Aragon presided over a public debate at Carcassonne, between the legates and a number of leading heretics, which had no result. The situation was desperate, and Innocent may be pardoned if he reached the conclusion that a deluge was needed to cleanse the land of sin and prepare it for a new race. ‡ .
Enough time had been lost in half-measures while the evil was daily increasing in magnitude, and Innocent proceeded to put
* Petri Sarnens. c. 1, 17. -- Vaissette, III. 129, 134-5; Preuves, 197. -- Regest. VI. 242-3 ‡ Pet. Sarnens. c. 3. -- Vaissette, III. 133, 135 -- Guillem deTudela iv. My references to the poem which passes under the name of Guillem de Tudela are to Fauriel's edition ( 1837). A metrical version by Mary-Lafon appeared in 1868, since when M. Paul Meyer has issued a critical edition with abundant apparatus
forth the whole strength of the Church. To the monks of Fontfroide he adjoined as chief legate the "Abbot of abbots," Arnaud of Citeaux, head of the great Cistercian Order, a stern, resolute, and implacable man, full of zeal for the cause and gifted with rare persistency. Since the time of St. Bernard the abbots of Citeaux had seemed to feel a personal responsibility for the suppression of heresy in Languedoc, and Arnaud was better fitted for the work before him than any of his predecessors. To the legation thus constituted, at the end of May, 1204, Innocent issued a fresh commission of extraordinary powers. The prelates of the infected provinces were bitterly reproached for the negligence and timidity which had permitted heresy to assume its alarming proportions. They were ordered to obey humbly whatever the legates might see fit to command, and the vengeance of the Holy See was threatened for slackness or contumacy. Wherever heresy existed, the legates were armed with authority "to destroy, throw down, or pluck up whatever is to be destroyed, thrown down, or plucked up, and to plant and build whatever is to be built or planted." With one blow the independence of the local churches was destroyed and an absolute dictatorship was created. Recognizing, moreover, of how little worth were ecclesiastical censures, Innocent proceeded to appeal to force, which was evidently the only possible cure for the trouble. Not only were the legates directed to deliver all impenitent heretics to the secular arm for perpetual proscription and confiscation of property, but they were empowered to offer complete remission of sins, the same as for a crusade to the Holy Land, to Philip Augustus and his son, Louis Coeur-de-Lion, and to all nobles who should aid in the suppression of heresy. The dangerous classes were also stimulated by the prospect of pardon and plunder, through a special clause authorizing the legates to absolve all under excommunication for crimes of violence who would join in persecuting heretics -- an offer which subsequent correspondence shows was not unfruitful. To Philip Augustus, also, Innocent wrote at the same time, earnestly exhorting him to draw the sword and slay the wolves who had thus far found no one to withstand their ravages in the fold of the Lord. If he could not proceed in person, let him send his son, or some experienced leader, and exercise the power conferred on him for the purpose by Heaven. Not only was remission of sins promised him, as for a voyage to Palestine, but he was empowered to seize and add to his dominions the territories of all nobles who might not join in persecution and expel the hated heretic. *
Innocent might well feel disheartened at the failure of this vigorous move. He had played his last card and lost. The prelates of the infected provinces, indignant at the usurpation of their rights, were less disposed than ever to second the efforts of the legates. Philip Augustus was unmoved by the dazzling bribes, spiritual and temporal, offered to him. He had already had the benefit of an indulgence for a crusade to the Holy Land, and had probably not found his spiritual estate much benefited thereby; while his recent acquisitions in Normandy, Anjou, Poitou, and Aquitaine, at the expense of John of England, required his whole attention, and might be endangered by creating fresh enmities in too sudden a renewal of conquest. He took no steps, therefore, in response to the impassioned arguments of Innocent, and the legates found the heretics more obdurate than ever. Pierre de Castelnau grew so discouraged that he begged the pope to permit him to return to his abbey; but Innocent refused permission, assuring him that God would reward him according to the labor rather than to the result. A second urgent appeal to Philip in February, 1205, was equally fruitless; and a concession in the following June, to Pedro of Aragon, of all the lands that he could acquire from heretics, and a year later of all their goods, was similarly without result, except that Pedro seized the Castle of Escure, belonging to the papacy, which had been occupied by Cathari. If something appeared to be gained when at Toulouse, in 1205, some dead heretics were prosecuted and their bones exhumed, it was speedily lost, for the municipality promptly adopted a law forbidding trials of the dead who had not been accused during life, unless they had been hereticated on the death-bed. ‡ .
The work might well seem hopeless, and all three legates were on the point of abandoning it peremptorily in despair, even Arnaud's iron will yielding to the insurmountable passive resistance of a people among whom the heretics would not be converted and
Regest. VII. 76, 77, 79, 165. ‡ Regest. VII. 210, 212; VIII. 94, 97; IX. 103. -- Havet, L'Hérésie et le bras seculier (Bibliothèque de I'École des Chartes, 1880, 582)
the orthodox could not be stimulated to persecution. Bishop Foulques of Toulouse used to relate that in a disputation at which he was present the Cathari were, as usual, vanquished, when he asked Pons de Rodelle, a knight renowned for wisdom and a good Catholic, why he did not drive from his lands those who were so manifestly in error. "How can we do it?" replied the knight. "We have been brought up with these people, we have kindred among them, and we see them live righteously." Dogmatic zeal fell powerless before such kindliness; and we can readily believe the monk of Vaux-Cernay, when he tells us that the barons of the land were nearly all protectors and receivers of heretics, loving them fervently and defending them against God and the Church. * .
The case seemed desperate, when a new light fell as though from heaven upon those groping blindly in the darkness. About mid-summer in 1206 the three legates met at Montpellier, and the result of their conference was a determination to withdraw from the thankless labor. By chance, a Spanish prelate, Diego de Azevedo, Bishop of Osma, arrived there on his return from Rome, where he had vainly supplicated Innocent to permit his resignation of his bishopric in order that he might devote his life to missionary work among the infidel. On learning the decision of the legates, he earnestly dissuaded them, and suggested their dismissing their splendid retinues and worldly pomp and going among the people, barefooted and poor like the apostles, to preach the Word of God. The idea was so novel that the legates hesitated, but finally assented, if an example were set them by one in authority. Diego offered himself for the purpose and was accepted, whereupon he sent his servitors home, retaining only his sub-prior, Domingo de Guzman, who had already, on the voyage towards Rome, converted a heretic in Toulouse. Arnaud returned to Citeaux to hold a general chapter of the order and to obtain recruits for the missionary work, while the other two legates with Diego and Dominic commenced their experiment at Caraman, where for eight days they disputed with the heresiarchs Baldwin and Thierry, the latter of whom we have seen driven from the Nivernois some years before. We are told that they converted
Guillel. de Pod. Laurent. c. 8. -- Pet. Samens. c. 1
all the simple folk, but that the lord of the castle would not allow the two disputants to be expelled. * .
Further colloquies of similar character are recorded, occupying the autumn and winter, and, with the opening of spring, in 1207, Arnaud had held his chapter and obtained numerous volunteers for the pious work, among them no less than twelve abbots. Taking boats, they descended the Saone to the Rhone, without horses or retinue, and proceeded to their field of labor, where they separated into twos and threes, wandering barefoot among the towns and villages and seeking to gather in the lost sheep of Israel. For three months they thus labored diligently, like real evangelists, finding thousands of heretics and few orthodox, but the harvest was scanty and conversions rarely rewarded their pains -- in fact, the only practical result was to excite the heretics to renewed missionary zeal. It speaks well for the tolerant temper of the Cathari that men who had been invoking the most powerful sovereigns of Christendom to exterminate them with fire and sword, should have incurred no real danger in a task apparently so full of risk. The missionaries had to complain of occasional insult, but never were even threatened with injury, except perhaps, at Béziers, Pierre de Castelnau, who seems to have attracted to himself the special dislike of the sectaries. It shows, moreover, the zealous care with which the Church restricted the office of preaching that the legates, in spite of the extraordinary powers with which they were clothed, felt obliged to apply to Innocent for special authority to confer the license to teach in public on those whom they deemed worthy. The favorable answer of the pope was in reality one of the important events of the century, for it gave the impulsion out of which eventually grew the great Dominican Order. †
Pierre de Castelnau left his colleagues and visited Provence to make peace among the nobles, in the hope of uniting them for the expulsion of heretics. Raymond of Toulouse refused to lay down his arms until the intrepid monk excommunicated him and laid his dominions under interdict, finally reproaching him bitterly to his
Pet. Sarnens. c. 3
† Pet. Samens. c. 3, 5. -- Rob. Autissiodor. ann. 1207. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1207. -- Guillel. de Pod. Laurent. c. 8. -- Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1208. -- Regest. IX. 185.
face for his perjuries and other misdeeds. Raymond submitted in patience to this reproof, while Pierre applied to Innocent for confirmation of the sentence. By this time, in fact, Raymond had acquired the special hatred of the papalists, through his obstinate neglect to persecute his heretical subjects, in spite of his readiness to take what oaths were required of him. Notwithstanding his outward conformity to orthodoxy, they accused him of being at heart a heretic, and stories were circulated that he always carried with him "perfected" heretics, disguised in ordinary vestments, together with a New Testament, that he might be "hereticated" in case of sudden death; that he had declared that he would rather be like a certain crippled heretic living in poverty at Castres than be a king or an emperor; that he knew that he would in the end be disinherited for the sake of the "Good Men," but that he was ready to suffer even beheading for them. All this and much more, including exaggerated gossip as to his undoubted frailties, was diligently published in order to render him odious, but there is no proof that his religious indifference ever led him to deviate from the faith, and no accusation that he had ever interfered with the legates in their mission. They were free to make what converts they could by persuasion or argument, but he committed the unpardonable crime of refusing at their bidding to plunge his dominions in blood. * .
Innocent promptly confirmed the sentence of his legate, May 29, 1207, in an epistle to Raymond which was an unreserved expression of the passions accumulated through long years of zealous effort frustrated in its results. In the harshest vituperation of ecclesiastical rhetoric, Raymond was threatened with the vengeance of God here and hereafter. The excommunication and interdict were to be strictly observed until due satisfaction and obedience were rendered; and he was warned that these must be speedy, or he would be deprived of certain territories which he held of the Church, and if this did not suffice, the princes of Christendom would be summoned to seize and partition his dominions so that the land might be forever freed from heresy. Yet in the recital of misdeeds which were held to justify this rigorous sentence there was nothing that had not been for two generations so universal in
Pet. Sarnens. c. 3, 4
Languedoc that it might almost be regarded as a part of the public law of the land. He had continued to wage war when desired by the legates to make peace, and had refused to suspend operations on feast-days or holidays; he had violated his oaths to purge his land of heresy, and had shown such favor to heretics as to render his own faith vehemently suspected; in derision of the Christian religion he had bestowed public office on Jews; he had despoiled the Church and ill-treated certain bishops; he had continued to employ the robber bands of mercenaries and had increased the tolls. Such is the summary of crime alleged against him, which we may reasonably assume to cover everything possibly susceptible of proof. *
Innocent waited awhile to prove the effect of this threat and the results of the missionary effort so auspiciously started by Bishop Azevedo. Both were null. Raymond, indeed, made peace with the Provençal nobles, and was released from excommunication, but he showed no signs of awakening from his exasperating indifference on the religious question, while the Cistercian abbots, disheartened by the obstinacy of the heretics, dropped off one by one, and retired to their monasteries. Legate Raoul died, and Arnaud of Citeaux was called elsewhere by important affairs. Bishop Azevedo went to Spain to set his diocese in order and return to devote his life to the work; but he, too, died when on the point of setting out. He had left behind him the saintly Dominic, who was quietly bringing together a few ardent souls, the germs of the great Order of Preachers, and Pierre de Castelnau remained as the sole representative of Rome until Raoul was replaced by the Bishop of Conserans. Everything thus had been tried and had failed, except the appeal to the sword, and to this Innocent again recurred with all the energy of despair. A milder tone towards Philip Augustus with regard to his matrimonial complications between Ingeburga of Denmark and Agnes of Meran might predispose him to vindicate energetically the wrongs of the Church; but, while condescending to this, Innocent now addressed, not only the king, but all the faithful throughout France, and the leading magnates were honored with special missives. November 16, 1207, the letters were sent out, pathetically representing the incessant and
Regest. X. 69.
alarming growth of heresy and the failure of all endeavors to bring the heretics to reason, to frighten them with threats, or to allure them with blandishments. Nothing was left but an appeal to arms; and to all who would embark in this good work the same indulgences were offered as for a crusade to Palestine. The lands of all engaged in it were taken under the special protection of holy Church, and those of the heretics were abandoned to the spoiler. All creditors of Crusaders were obliged to postpone their claims without interest, and clerks taking part were empowered to pledge their revenues in advance for two years. *
Earnest and impassioned as was this appeal, it fell, like the previous one, upon deaf ears. Innocent had for years been invoking the religious martial ardor of Europe in aid of the Latin kingdoms of the East, and that ardor seemed for a time exhausted. Philip Augustus coolly responded that his relations with England did not allow him to let the forces of his kingdom be divided, but that, if he could be assured of a two years' truce, then, if the barons and knights of France wanted to undertake a crusade, he would permit them, and aid it with fifty livres a day for a year. Apparently the present effort was destined to prove as inefficient as the former one had been, when a startling incident suddenly changed the whole aspect of affairs. The murder of the legate Pierre de Castelnau sent a thrill of horror throughout Christendom like that caused by the assassination of Becket thirty-eight years before. Of its details, however, the accounts are so contradictory that it is impossible to speak of it with precision. This much we know, that Pierre had greatly angered Raymond by the bitterness of his personal reproaches; that the count, aroused by the sense of impending danger in the fresh call for a crusade, had invited the legates to an interview at St. Gilles, promising to show himself in all things an obedient son of the Church; that difficulties arose in the conference, the demands of the legates being greater than Raymond was willing to concede. The Romance version of the catastrophe is simply that, during the conference, Pierre became entangled in an angry religious dispute with one of the gentlemen of the court, who drew his dagger and slew him; that the count was greatly concerned at an event so deplorable,
* Pet. Samens. c. 3, 6, 7. -- Regest. X. 149, 176; XI. 11.
and would have taken summary vengeance on the murderer but for his escape and hiding with friends at Beaucaire. The story carried to Rome by the Bishops of Conserans and Toulouse, who hastened thither to inflame Innocent against Raymond, was that, wearied with the count's tergiversations, the legates announced their intentions to withdraw, when he was heard to threaten them with death, saying that he would track them by land and water. That the Abbot of St. Gilles and the citizens, unable to appease his wrath, furnished the legates with an escort, and they reached the Rhone in safety, where they passed the night. While preparing to cross the river in the morning ( January 16, 1208), two strangers, who had joined the party, approached the legates, and one of them suddenly thrust his lance through Pierre, who, turning on his murderer, said, "May God forgive thee, for I forgive thee!" and speedily breathed his last; and that Raymond, so far from punishing the crime, protected and rewarded the perpetrator, even honoring him with a seat at his own table. The papal account, it must be owned, is somewhat impaired in effect by the remark that Pierre, as a martyr, would certainly have shone forth in miracles but for the incredulity of the people. It may well be that a proud and powerful prince, exasperated by continued objurgation and menace, may have uttered some angry expression, which an overzealous servitor hastened to translate into action, and Raymond, certainly, never was able to clear himself of suspicion of complicity; but there are not wanting indications to show that Innocent eventually regarded his exculpation as satisfactory. * .
The crime gave the Church an enormous advantage, of which Innocent hastened to make the most. On March 10 he issued letters to all the prelates' in the infected provinces commanding that, in all churches, on every Sunday and feast-day, the murderers and their abettors, including Raymond, be excommunicated with bell, book, and candle, and every place cursed with their presence was declared under interdict. As no faith was to be kept with him who kept not faith with God, all of Raymond's
* Vaissette, Éd. Privat, VIII. 557. -- Hist. du Comte de Toulouse (Vaissette, III. Pr. 3, 4). -- Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 9. -- Pet. Sarnens. c. 9. -- Rob. Autissiodor. ann. 1209. -- Guill. Nangiac. ann. 1208. -- Regest. XI. 26; XII. 106. -- Guillem de Tudela, v
vassals were released from their oaths of allegiance, and his lands were declared the prey of any Catholic who might assail them, while, if he applied for pardon, his first sign of repentance must be the extermination of heresy throughout his dominions. These letters were likewise sent to Philip Augustus and his chief barons, with eloquent adjurations to assume the cross, and rescue the imperilled Church from the assaults of the emboldened heretics; commissioners were sent to negotiate and enforce a truce for two years between France and England, that nothing might interfere with the projected crusade, and every effort was made to transmute into warlike zeal the horror which the sacrilegious murder was so well fitted to arouse. Arnaud of Citeaux hastened to call a general chapter of his Order, where it was unanimously resolved to devote all its energies to preaching the crusade, and soon multitudes of fiery monks were inflaming the passions of the people, and offering redemption in every church and on every marketplace in Europe. *
The flame which had been so long kindling burst forth at last. To estimate fully the force of these popular ebullitions in the Middle Ages, we must bear in mind the susceptibility of the people to contagious emotions and enthusiasms of which we know little in our colder day. A trifle might start a movement which the wisest could not explain nor the most powerful restrain. It was during the preaching of this crusade that villages and towns in Germany were filled with women who, unable to expend their religious ardor in taking the cross, stripped themselves naked and ran silently through the roads and streets. Still more symptomatic of the diseased spirituality of the time was the Crusade of the Children, which desolated thousands of homes. From vast districts of territory, incited apparently by a simultaneous and spontaneous impulse, crowds of children set forth, without leaders or guides, in search of the Holy Land; and their only answer, when questioned as to their object, was that they were going to Jerusalem. Vainly did parents lock their children up; they would break loose and disappear; and the few who eventually found their way home again could give no reason for the overmastering longing which had car-
* Regest. XI. 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33. -- Archives Nationales de France J, 430, No. 2. -- Hist. du C. de Toul. (Vaissette, III. Pr. 4).
ried them away. Nor must we lose sight of other and less creditable springs of action which brought to all crusades the vile, who came for license and spoil, and the base, who sought the immunity conferred by the quality of Crusader. This is illustrated by the case of a knave who took the cross to evade the payment of a debt contracted at the fair of Lille, and was on the point of escaping when he was arrested and delivered to his creditor. For this invasion of immunity the Archbishop of Reims excommunicated the Countess Matilda of Flanders, and placed her whole land under interdict in order to compel his release. How this principle worked to secure the higher order of recruits was shown when Gui, Count of Auvergne, who had been excommunicated for the unpardonable offence of imprisoning his brother, the Bishop of Clermont, was absolved on condition of joining the Host of the Lord. *
Other special motives contributed in this case to render the crusade attractive. There was antagonism of race, jealousy of the wealth and more advanced civilization of the South, and a natural desire to complete the Frankish conquest so often begun and never yet accomplished. More than all, the pardon to be gained was the same as that for the prolonged and dangerous and costly expedition to Palestine, while here the distance was short and the term of service limited to forty days. Paradise, surely, could not be gained on easier terms, and the preachers did not fail to point out that the labor was small and the reward illimitable. With Christendom fairly aroused by the murder of the legate, there could be no doubt, therefore, as to the result. Whether Philip Augustus contributed, in men or money, is more than doubtful, but he made no opposition to the service of his barons, and endeavored to turn his acquiescence to account in the affair of his divorce, while he declined personal participation on the ground of the threatening aspect of his relations with King John and the Emperor Otho. He significantly warned the pope, however, that Raymond's territories could not be exposed to seizure until he had been condemned for heresy, which had not yet been done, and that when such condemnation should be pronounced it would be for the suzerain, and not for the Holy See, to proclaim the penalty. This was strictly
* Alberti Stadens. Chron. ann. 1212. -- Chronik des Jacob v. Königshofen (Chron. der deutschen Städte IX. 649). -- Regest. XI. 234; XV. 199.
in accordance with existing law, for the principle had not yet been introduced into European jurisprudence that suspicion of heresy annulled all rights -- a principle which the case of Raymond went far to establish, for the Church without a trial stripped him of his possessions and then decided that he had forfeited them, after which the king could only acquiesce in the decision. Scruples of this kind, however, did not dampen the zeal of those whom the Church summoned to defend the faith. Many great nobles assumed the cross -- the Duke of Burgundy and the Counts of Nevers, St. Pol, Auxerre, Montfort, Geneva, Poitiers, Forez, and others, with numerous bishops. With time there came large contingents from Germany, under the Dukes of Austria and Saxony, the Counts of Bar, of Juliers, and of Berg. Recruits were drawn from distant Bremen on the one hand, and Lombardy on the other, and we even hear of Slavonian barons leaving the original home of Catharism to combat it in its seat of latest development. There was salvation to be had for the pious, knightly fame for the warrior, and spoil for the worldly; and the army of the Cross, recruited from the chivalry and the scum of Europe, promised to be strong enough to settle decisively the question which had now for three generations defied all the efforts of the faithful. * .
All this was, necessarily, a work of time, and Raymond sought in the interval to conjure the coming storm. Roused at last from his dream of security, he recognized the fatal position in which the murder of the legate had placed him, and if he could save his dignities he was ready to sacrifice his honor and his subjects. He hastened to his uncle, Philip Augustusn, who received him kindly and counselled submission, but forbade an appeal to his enemy, the Emperor Otho. Raymond, however, in his despair, sought the emperor, whose vassal he was for his territories beyond the Rhone, obtaining no help, and incurring the ill-will of Philip, which was of much greater moment. On his return, learning that Arnaud was about to hold a council at Aubinas, Raymond hurried thither
* Guillel. Briton. Philippidos VIII. 490-529. -- Regest. XI. 156, 157, 158, 159, 180, 181, 182, 231, 234. -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 4, 96. -- Vaissette, Éd. Privat, VIII. 559, 563. -- Pet. Samens. c. 10, 14. -- Guill. de Tudela viii., lvi., cliv. -- Alberti Stadens. Chron. ann. 1210. -- Cæsar. Heisterb. Dial. Mirac. Dist. v. c. 21. -- Reineri Monach. Leodiens. Chron. ann. 1210, 1213. -- Chron. Engelhusii (Leibnitz Script. Rer. Brunsv. II. 1113)
with his nephew, the young Raymond Roger, Viscount of Béziers, and endeavored to prove his innocence and make his peace, but was coldly refused a hearing, and was referred to Rome. Returning much disconcerted, he took counsel with his nephew, who advised resisting the invasion to the death; but Raymond's courage was unequal to the manly part. They quarrelled, whereupon the hot-headed youth commenced to make war on his uncle, while the latter sent envoys to Rome for terms of submission, and asked for new and impartial legates to replace those who were irrevocably prejudiced against him. Innocent demanded that, as security for his good faith, he should place in the hands of the Church his seven most important strongholds, after which he should be heard, and, if he could prove his innocence, be absolved. Raymond gladly ratified the conditions, and earnestly welcomed Milo and Theodisius, the new representatives of the Church, who treated him with such apparent friendliness that, when Milo subsequently died at Arles, he mourned greatly, believing that he had lost a protector who would have saved him from his misfortunes. He did not know that the legates had secret instructions from Innocent to amuse him with fair promises, to detach him from the heretics, and when they should be disposed of by the Crusaders, to deal with him as they should see fit. *
He was played with accordingly, skilfully, cruelly, and remorselessly. The seven castles were duly delivered to Master Theodisius, thus fatally crippling him for resistance; the consuls of Avignon, Nîmes, and St. Gilles were sworn to renounce their allegiance to him if he did not obey implicitly the future commands of the pope, and he was reconciled to the Church by the most humiliating of ceremonies. The new legate, Milo, with some twenty archbishops and bishops, went to St. Gilles, the scene of his alleged crime, and there, June 18, 1209, arrayed themselves before the portal of the Church of St. Gilles. Stripped to the waist, Raymond was brought before them as a penitent, and swore on the relics of St. Gilles to obey the Church in all matters whereof he was accused. Then the legate placed a stole around his neck, in the fashion of a halter, and led him into the Church, while he was industriously scourged on his naked back and shoulders up to the altar, where he was absolved. The curious crowd assem-
Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 13. -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 4, 5. -- Regest. XI. 232.
bled to witness the degradation of their lord was so great that return through the entrance was impossible, and Raymond was carried down to the crypt where the martyred Pierre de Castelnau lay buried, whose spirit was granted the satisfaction of seeing his humbled enemy led past his tomb with shoulders dropping blood. From a churchman's point of view the conditions of absolution laid upon him were not excessive, though well known to be impossible of fulfilment. Besides the extirpation of heresy, he was to dismiss all Jews from office and all his mercenary bands from his service; he was to restore all property of which the churches had been despoiled, to keep the roads safe, to abolish all arbitrary tolls, and to observe strictly the Truce of God. *
All that Raymond had gained by these sacrifices was the privilege of joining the crusade and assisting in the subjugation of his country. Four days after the absolution he solemnly assumed the cross at the hands of the legate Milo and took the oath -- "In the name of God, I, Raymond, Duke of Narbonne, Count of Toulouse, and Marquis of Provence, swear with hand upon the Holy Gospels of God that when the crusading princes shall reach my territories I will obey their commands in all things, as well as regards security as whatever they may see fit to enjoin for their benefit and that of the whole army." It is true that in July, Innocent, faithful to his prearranged duplicity, wrote to Raymond benignantly congratulating him on his purgation and submission, and promising him that it should redound to his worldly as well as spiritual benefit; but the same courier carried a letter to Milo urging him to continue as he had begun; and Milo, on whom Raymond was basing his hopes, soon after, hearing a report that the count had gone to Rome, warned his master, with superabundant caution, not to spoil the game. "As for the Count of Toulouse," writes the legate, "that enemy of truth and justice, if he has sought your presence to recover the castles in my hands, as he boasts that he can easily do, be not moved by his tongue, skilful only in his slanders, but let him, as he deserves, feel the hand of the Church heavier day by day. After I had received security for his oath on at least fifteen heads, he has perjured himself on them all. Thus he has manifestly forfeited his rights on Melgueil as well as the seven castles which I hold. They are so strong by
Pet. Sarnens. c. 11, 12. -- Regest. XII. post Epistt. 85, 107.
nature and art that, with the assistance of the barons and people who are devoted to the Church, it will be easy to drive him from the land which he has polluted with his vileness." Already the absolution which had cost so much was withdrawn, and Raymond was again excommunicated and his dominions laid under a fresh interdict, because he had not, within sixty days, during which he was with the Crusaders, performed the impossible task of expelling all heretics, and the city of Toulouse lay under a special anathema because it had not delivered to the Crusaders all the heretics among its citizens. It is true that subsequently a delay until All-Saints' (Nov. 1) was mercifully granted to Raymond to perform all the duties imposed on him; but he was evidently prejudged and foredoomed, and nothing but his destruction would satisfy the implacable legates. *
Meanwhile the Crusaders had assembled in numbers such as never before, according to the delighted Abbot of Citeaux, had been gathered together in Christendom; and it is quite possible that there is but slight exaggeration in the enumeration of twenty thousand cavaliers and more than two hundred thousand foot, including villeins and peasants, besides two subsidiary contingents which advanced from the West. The legates had been empowered to levy what sums they saw fit from all the ecclesiastics in the kingdom, and to enforce the payment by excommunication. As for the laity, their revenues were likewise subjected to the legatine discretion, with the proviso that they were not to be coerced into payment without the consent of their seigneurs. With all the wealth of the realm thus under contribution, backed by the exhaustless treasures of salvation, it was not difficult to provide for the motley host whose campaign opened under the spirit-stirring adjuration of the vicegerent of God -- "Forward, then, most valiant soldiers of Christ! Go to meet the forerunners of Antichrist and strike down the ministers of the Old Serpent! Perhaps you have hitherto fought for transitory glory; fight now for everlasting glory; you have fought for the world; fight now for God! We do not exhort you to perform this great service to God for any earthly reward, but for the kingdom of Christ, which we most confidently promise you!" †
Regest. ubi sup; XII. 89, 90, 106, 107.
Regest. XI. 230; XII. 97, 98, 99. -- Guillem do Tudela, xiii. -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 10.
Under this inspiration the Crusaders assembled at Lyons about St. John's day ( June 24, 1209), and Raymond hastened from the scene of his humiliation at St. Gilles to complete his infamy by leading them against his countrymen, offering them his son as a hostage in pledge of his good faith. He was welcomed by them at Valence, and, under the supreme command of Legate Arnaud, guided them against his nephew of Béziers. The latter, after a vain attempt at composition with the legate, who sternly refused his submission, had hurriedly placed his strongholds in condition of defence and levied what forces he could to resist the onset. * .
The war, it should be observed, despite its religious origin, was already assuming a national character. The position taken by Raymond and the rejected submission of the Viscount of Béziers, in fact, deprived the Church of all colorable excuse for further action; but the men of the North were eager to complete the conquest commenced seven centuries before by Clovis, and the men of the South, Catholics as well as heretics, were virtually unanimous in resisting the invasion, notwithstanding the many pledges given by nobles and cities at the commencement. We hear nothing of religious dissensions among them, and comparatively little of assistance rendered to the invaders by the orthodox, who might be presumed to welcome the Crusaders as liberators from the domination or the presence of a hated antagonistic faith. Toleration had become habitual and race-instinct was too strong for religious feeling, presenting almost the solitary example of the kind during the Middle Ages, when nationality had not yet been developed out of feudalism and religious interests were universally regarded as dominant. This explains the remarkable fact that the pusillanimous course of Raymond was distasteful to his own subjects, who were constantly urging him to resistance, and who clung to him and his son with a fidelity that no misfortune or selfishness could shake, until the extinction of the House of Toulouse left them without a leader.
Raymond Roger of Béziers had fortified and garrisoned his capital, and then, to the great discouragement of his people, had withdrawn to the safer stronghold of Carcassonne. Reginald, Bishop of Béziers, was with the crusading forces, and when they
Pet. Samens. c. 15. -- Guillem de Tudela, xi., xiv. -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 7
arrived before the city, humanely desiring to save it from destruction, he obtained from the legate authority to offer it full exemption if the heretics, of whom he had a list, were delivered up or expelled. Nothing could be more moderate, from the crusading standpoint, but when he entered the town and called the chief inhabitants together the offer was unanimously spurned. Catholic and Catharan were too firmly united in the bonds of common citizenship for one to betray the other. They would, as they magnanimously declared, although abandoned by their lord, rather defend themselves to such extremity that they should be reduced to eat their children. This unexpected answer stirred the legate to such wrath that he swore to destroy the place with fire and sword -- to spare neither age nor sex, and not to leave one stone upon another. While the chiefs of the army were debating as to the next step, suddenly the camp-followers, a vile and unarmed folk as the legates reported, inspired by God, made a rush for the walls and carried them, without orders from the leaders and without their knowledge. The army followed, and the legate's oath was fulfilled by a massacre almost without parallel in European history. From infancy in arms to tottering age, not one was spared -- seven thousand, it is said, were slaughtered in the Church of Mary Magdalen to which they had fled for asylum -- and the total number of slain is set down by the legates at nearly twenty thousand, which is more probable than the sixty thousand or one hundred thousand reported by less trustworthy chroniclers. A fervent Cistercian contemporary informs us that when Arnaud was asked whether the Catholics should be spared, he feared the heretics would escape by feigning orthodoxy, and fiercely replied, "Kill them all, for God knows his own!" In the mad carnage and pillage the town was set on fire, and the sun of that awful July day closed on a mass of smouldering ruins and blackened corpses -- a holocaust to a deity of mercy and love whom the Cathari might well be pardoned for regarding as the Principle of Evil. To the orthodox the whole was so manifestly the work of God that the Crusaders did not doubt that the blessing of Heaven attended their arms. Indeed, other miracles were not wanting to encourage them. Although in their senseless havoc they destroyed all the mills within their reach, bread was always miraculously plentiful and cheap in the camp -- thirty loaves for a denier was the ordinary price; and during the whole campaign it was noted as an encouragement from heaven that no vulture, or crow, or other bird ever flew over the host. *
Similar good-fortune had attended the smaller crusading armies on their way to join the main body. One, under the Viscount of Turenne and Gui d'Auvergne, had captured the almost impregnable castle of Chasseneuil after a short siege. The garrison obtained terms and were allowed to depart, but the inhabitants were left to the discretion of the conquerors. The choice between conversion and the stake was offered them, and, proving obstinate in their errors, they were pitilessly burned -- an example which was generally followed. The other force, under the Bishop of Puy, had put to ransom Caussade and St. Antonin, and was generally censured for this misplaced avaricious mercy. Such terror pervaded the land that when a fugitive came to the Castle of Villemur falsely reporting that the Crusaders were coming and would treat it like the rest, the inhabitants abandoned it under cover of the night and themselves set it on fire. Innumerable strongholds, in fact, were surrendered without a blow, or were found vacant, though amply provisioned and strengthened for a siege, and a mountainous region bristling with castles, which would have cost years to conquer if obstinately defended, was occupied in a campaign of a month or two. The populous and mutinous town of Narbonne, to save itself, adopted the severest laws against heresy, raised a large subvention in aid of the crusade, and surrendered sundry castles as security. ‡
Without dallying over the ruins of Béziers, the Crusaders, still under the guidance of Raymond, moved swiftly to Carcassonne, a place regarded as impregnable, where Raymond Roger had elected to make his final stand. The wiser heads among the invaders, looking to a permanent occupation of the country, had no desire to repeat the example already given, and have on their hands a land without defences. Arriving before the walls on August 1st, only nine days after the sack of Béziers, a regular siege was commenced. The outer suburb, which was scarce defensible,
* Regest. XII. 108. -- Pet. Sarnens. c. 16. -- Vaissette, III. 168; Pr. 10, 11 -- Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 13. -- Guillem de Tudela xvi. -- xxiii., xxv. -- Roberti Autissiodor. Chron. ann. 1209. -- Cæsar. Heisterb. Dial. Mirac. v. 21.
‡ Guillem de Tudela, xiii., xiv. -- Vaissette, III. 169, 170; Pr. 9, 10.
was carried and burned after a desperate resistance. The second suburb, strongly fortified, cost a prolonged effort, in which all the resources of the military art of the day were brought into play on both sides, and when it was no longer tenable the besieged evacuated and burned it. There remained the city itself, the capture of which seemed hopeless. Tradition related that Charlemagne had vainly besieged it for seven years and had finally become its master only by a miracle. Terms were offered to the viscount; he was free to depart with eleven of his own choosing, if the city and its people were abandoned to the discretion of the Crusaders, but he rejected the proposal with manly indignation. Still, the situation was becoming insupportable; the town was crowded with refugees from the surrounding country; the summer had been cursed with drought, and the water supply had given out, causing a pestilence under which the wretched people were daily dying by scores. In his anxiety for peace the young viscount allowed himself to be decoyed into the besieging camp, where he was treacherously detained as a prisoner -- dying shortly after, it was said, of dysentery, but not without well-grounded suspicions of foul play. Deprived of their chief, the people lost heart; but to avoid the destruction of the city, they were allowed to depart, carrying with them nothing but their sins -- the men in their breeches and the women in their chemises -- and the place was occupied without further struggle. Curiously enough, we hear nothing of any investigation into their faith, or any burning of heretics. *
The siege of Carcassonne brings before us two men, with whom we shall have much to do hereafter, representing so typically the opposing elements in the contest that we may well pause for a moment to give them consideration. These are Pedro II. of Aragon and Simon de Montfort.
* Regest. XII. 108; XV. 212. -- Pet. Sarnens. c. 17. -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 11-18. -- Guillem do Tudela, xxiv. -- xxxiii., xl. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1209. -- Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 14. -- A. Molinier, ap. Vaissette, Éd. Privat, VI. 296. Dom Vaissette (III. 172) cites Cæsarius of Heisterbach as authority for the statement that four hundred and fifty of the inhabitants of Carcassonne refused to abjure heresy, of whom four hundred were burned and the rest hanged. The silence of better-informed contemporaries may well render this doubtful, especially as Cæsarius assigns the incident to a city which he terms Pulchravallis (Dial. Mirac. Dist. v. c. 21).
Pedro was the suzerain of Béziers, and the young viscount was bound to him with ties of close friendship. Though when appealed to in advance for aid he had declined, yet when he heard of the sack of Béziers he hurried to Carcassonne to mediate if possible for his vassal, though his efforts were fruitless. He was everywhere regarded as a model for the chivalry of the South. Heroic in stature and trained in every knightly accomplishment, he was ever in the front of battle; and on the tremendous day of Las Navas de Tolosa, which broke the Moorish power in Spain, it was he, by common consent, among all the kings and nobles present, who won the loftiest renown. In the bower he was no less dangerous than in the field. His gallantries were countless, and his licentiousness notorious, even in that age of easy morals. He was munificent to prodigality, fond of magnificent display, courteous to all comers, and magnanimous to all enemies. Like his father, Alonso II., moreover, he was a troubadour, and his songs won applause, none the less hearty, perhaps, that he was a liberal patron of rival poets. With all this his religious zeal was ardent, and he gloried in the title of el Catolico. This he manifested not only in the savage edict against the Waldenses, referred to in a previous chapter, but by an extraordinary act of devotion to the Holy See. In 1095 his ancestor, Pedro I., had placed the kingdom of Aragon under the special protection of the popes, from whom his successors were to receive it on their accession and to pay an annual tribute of five hundred mancuses. In 1204 Pedro II. resolved to perform this act of fealty in person. With a splendid retinue he sailed for Rome, where he took an oath of allegiance to Innocent, including a pledge to persecute heresy. He was crowned with a crown of unleavened bread, and received from the pope the sceptre, mantle, and other royal insignia, which he reverently laid upon the altar of St. Peter, to whom he offered his kingdom, taking in lieu his sword from Innocent, subjecting his realm to an annual tribute, and renouncing all rights of patronage over churches and benefices. As an equivalent for all this he was satisfied with the title of First Alferez or Standard-bearer of the Church and the privilege for his successors of being crowned by the Archbishop of Tarragona in his cathedral church. The nobles of Aragon, however, regarded this as an inadequate return for the taxes occasioned by his extravagance and for the loss of Church patronage, and their dissatisfaction was expressed in forming the confederation known as La Union, which for generations was of dangerous import to his successors. Impulsive and generous, Pedro's career reads like a romance of chivalry, and, with such a character, it was impossible for him to avoid participating in the Albigensian wars, in which he had a direct interest, owing to his claims upon Provence, Montpellier, Béarn, Roussillon, Gascony, Comminges, and Béziers. *
In marked contrast with this splendid knight-errantry was the solid and earnest character of de Montfort, who had distinguished himself, as was his wont, at the siege of Carcassonne. He was the first to lead in the assault on the outer suburb; and when an attack upon the second had been repulsed and a Crusader was left writhing in the ditch with a broken thigh, de Montfort with a single squire leaped back into it, under a shower of missiles, and bore him off in safety. The younger son of the Count of Evreux, a descendant of Rollo the Norman, he was Earl of Leicester by right of his mother the heiress, and had won a distinguished name for prowess in the field and wisdom and eloquence in the council. Religious to bigotry, he never passed a day without hearing mass; and the true-hearted affection which his wife, Alice of Montmorency, bore him, shows that his reputation for chastity -- a rare virtue in those days -- was probably not undeserved. In 1201 he had joined the crusade of Baldwin of Flanders; and when, during the long detention in Venice, the Crusaders sold their services to the Venetians for the destruction of Zara, de Montfort alone refused, saying that he had come to fight the infidel and not to make war on Christians. He left the host in consequence, made his way to Apulia, and with a few friends took ship to Palestine, where he served the cross with honor. It is curious to speculate what change there might have been in the destiny of both France and England had he remained with the crusade to the capture of Constantinople, when he, and his yet greater son, Simon of Leicester, might have founded principalities in Greece or Thessaly and have worn out their lives in obscure and forgotten conflicts. When the Albigensian
* Regest. VII. 229; XV. 212; XVI. 87. -- Fran. Tarafæ de Reg. Hisp. -- Lafuente, Hist. de Esp. V. 492-5. -- Mariana, Hist. de Esp. XII. 2. -- L. Marinæi Siculi de Reb. Hisp. Lib. X. -- Diez, Leben und Werke der Troubadours, 424. -- Vaissette, III. 124. -- Gest. Com. Barcenon. c. 24.
crusade was preached, one of the Cistercian abbots who devoted himself most earnestly to the work was Gui of Vaux-Cernay, who had been a Crusader with de Montfort at Venice. It was owing to his persuasion that the Duke of Burgundy took the cross on the present occasion, and he was the bearer of letters from the duke to de Montfort making him splendid offers if he would likewise take up arms. At de Montfort's castle of Rochefort, Gui found the pious count in his oratory, and set forth the object of his mission. De Montfort hesitated, and then, taking up a psalter, opened it at random and placed his finger on a verse which he asked the abbot to translate for him. It read:
"For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee in their hands, that thou hurt not thy foot against a stone." (Ps. XCI. 11, 12).
The divine encouragement was manifest. De Montfort ook the cross, which was to be his life's work, and the brilliant valor of the Catalan knight proved no match for the deep earnestness of the Norman, who felt himself an instrument in the hand of God. * .
With the capture of Carcassonne the Crusaders seem to have felt that their mission was accomplished; at least, the brief service of forty days which sufficed to earn the pardon was rendered, and they were eager to return home. The legate naturally held that the conquered territory was to be so occupied and organized that heresy should have no further foothold there, and it was offered first to the Duke of Burgundy and then successively to the Counts of Nevers and St. Pol, but all were too wary to be tempted, and alleged in refusal that the Viscount of Béziers had already been sufficiently punished. Then two bishops and four knights, with Arnaud at their head, were appointed to select the one on whom the confiscated land should be bestowed; and these seven, under the manifest influence of the Holy Ghost, unanimously selected de Montfort. We may well believe, from his reputation for sagacity, that his unwillingness to accept the offer was unfeigned, and that after prayers had proved unavailing, he yielded only to the absolute commands of the legate, speaking with all the authority of
* Pet. Sarnens. c. 16-18. -- Joann. Iperii. Chron. ann. 1201. -- Geoff. de Villehardouin, c. 55. -- Alberic. Trium Fqnt. ann. 1202. -- Guillem de Tudela, XXXV
the Holy See. He made it a condition, however, that the continued and efficient support which he foresaw would be requisite should be given him. This was duly promised, with little intention of fulfilment. The Count of Nevers, between whom and the Duke of Burgundy a mortal quarrel had arisen, withdrew almost immediately after the capture of Carcassonne, and with him the great body of the Crusaders. The duke remained for a short time, when he likewise turned his face homewards, and de Montfort was left with but about forty-five hundred men, mostly Burgundians and Germans, for whose services he was obliged to offer double pay. *
De Montfort's position was perilous in the extreme. It mattered little that in August, during the full flush of success, the legates had held a council in Avignon which ordered all bishops to swear every knight, noble, and magistrate in their dioceses to exterminate heresy, or that such an oath had already been forced upon Montpellier and other cities which were trembling before the wrath to come. Such oaths, extorted by fear, were but an empty form, and the homage which de Montfort received from his new vassals was equally hollow. It is true that he regulated his boundaries with Raymond, who promised to marry his son with de Montfort's daughter, and he styled himself Viscount of Béziers and Carcassonne, but Pedro of Aragon refused to receive his homage, and secretly comforted the castellans who still held out with promises of early assistance, while others who had submitted revolted, and castles which had been occupied were recaptured. The country was recovering from its terror. An annoying partisan warfare sprang up; small parties of his men were cut off, and his rule extended no farther than the reach of his lance. At one time it was with difficulty that he restrained those who were with him in Carcassonne from flight; and when he set forth to besiege Termes it was almost impossible to find a knight willing to assume command of Carcassonne, so dangerous was the post considered. Yet'with all this he succeeded in subduing additional strongholds, and extended his dominion over the Albigeois and into the territory
* Pet. Sarnens. c. 17bis. -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 19. -- Regest. XII. 108. -- Pierre de Vaux-Cernay asserts that de Montfort was able to retain but thirty knights, but this is manifestly an exaggeration.
of the Count of Foix. He hastened, moreover, to acquire the good graces of Innocent, whose confirmation of his new dignity was requisite, and whose influence for further succor he earnestly implored. All tithes and first-fruits were to be rigorously paid to the churches; any one remaining under excommunication for forty days was to be heavily fined according to his station; Rome, in return for the treasures of salvation so lavishly expended, was to receive from a devastated land an annual tax of three deniers on every hearth, while a yearly tribute from the count himself was vaguely promised. To this, in November, Innocent replied, full of joy at the wonderful success which had wrested five hundred cities and castles from the grasp of heretics. He graciously accepted the offered tribute, and confirmed de Montfort's title to both Béziers and Albi, with an adjuration to be sleepless in the extirpation of heresy; but he could scarce have appreciated the Crusader's perilous position, for he excused himself from efficient aid on the score of complaints which reached him from Palestine that the succor sorely needed there had been diverted to subdue heretics nearer home. He therefore only called upon the Emperor Otho, the Kings of Aragon and Castile, and sundry cities and nobles from whom no real aid could be expected. The archbishops of the whole infected region were directed to persuade their clergy to contribute to him a portion of their revenues, and his troops were exhorted to be patient and to ask no pay until the following Easter; neither of which requests were likely to yield results. Somewhat more fruitful was the release of all Crusaders from any obligations which they might have assumed to pay interest on sums borrowed; but the most practical measure was one which forcibly illustrates the friendly and confidential intercourse which had existed between the heretics and the clergy in southern France, for all abbots and prelates throughout Narbonne, Béziers, Toulouse, and Albi were directed to confiscate for de Montfort's benefit all deposits placed by obstinate heretics for safe-keeping in their hands, the amount of which was said to be considerable. *
* Concil. Avenion. ann. 1209. -- D'Achery Spicileg I. 706. -- Pet. Sarnens. c. 20-26, 34. -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 20. -- Guillem de Tudela, xxxvi. -- Regest. XII. 108, 109, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 129, 132, 136, 137; XIII. 86. -- Teulet, Layettes, I. 340, No. 899.
By a very curious exegetical effort, the Dominicans succeed in convincing
After losing most of his conquests, de Montfort's position became more hopeful towards the spring of 1210, as his forces were swelled by the arrival of successive bands of "pilgrims" -- as these peaceful folk were accustomed to style themselves -- and his ambitious views expanded. The short term for which the cross was assumed rendered it necessary to turn the new-comers to immediate account, and de Montfort was unceasingly active in recovering his ground and in reducing the castles which still held out. It is not worth our while to follow in detail these exploits of military religious ardor, which, when successful, were usually crowned by putting the garrison to the sword and offering the non-combatants the choice between obedience to Rome and the stake -- a choice which gave occasion to zealous martyrdom on the part of hundreds of obscure and forgotten enthusiasts. Lavaur, Minerve, Casser, Termes, are names which suggest all that man can inflict and man can suffer for the glory of God. The spirit of the respective parties was well exhibited at the capitulation of Minerve, where Robert Mauvoisin, de Montfort's most faithful follower, objected to the clause which spared the heretics who should recant, and was told by Legate Arnaud that he need not fear the conversion of many, as ample experience had shown their prevailing obstinacy. Arnaud was right; for, with the exception of three women, they unanimously refused to secure safety by apostasy, and saved their captors the trouble of casting them on the blazing pyre by leaping exultingly into the flames. If the playful zeal of the pilgrims sometimes manifested itself in eccentric fashion, as when they blinded the monks of Bolbonne and cut off their noses and ears till there was scarce a trace of the human visage left, we must remember the sources whence the Church drew her recruits, and the immunity which she secured for them, here and hereafter. *
If Raymond had fancied that he had skilfully saved himself at the expense of his nephew of Béziers, he had at last discovered his
themselves that Innocent's letter confirming Albi to de Montfort (XIII. 86) is an approbation of the Dominican Order and a proof that de Montfort was a member of it (Ripoll Bullar. Ord. FF. Prædicat. T. VII. p. 1). * Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 17, 18. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1210. -- Rob. Autissiodor. Chron. ann. 1211. -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 29, 35. -- Guillem de Tudela, xlix., lxviii. -- lxxi., lxxxiv. -- Regest. XVI. 41. -- Chron. Turon. ann. 1210. -- Pet. Sarnens. c. 37, 52, 53. -- Teulet, Layettes, I. 371, No. 968.
mistake. Arnaud of Citeaux had fully resolved upon his ruin, and de Montfort was eager to extend his lordship and the purity of the faith. Already, in the autumn of 1209, the citizens of Toulouse had been startled by a demand from the legate to surrender all whom his envoys might select as heretics, under pain of excommunication and interdict. They protested that there were no heretics among them; that all who were named were ready to purge themselves of heresy; that Raymond V. had, at their instance, passed laws against heretics, under which they had burned many and were burning all who could be found. Therefore they appealed to the pope, naming January 29, 1210, as the day for the hearing. At the same time de Montfort had notified Raymond that unless the legate's demands were conceded he would assail him and enforce obedience. Raymond replied that he would settle the matter with the pope, and lost no time in appealing in person to Philip Augustus and the Emperor Otho, from whom he received only fair words. On reaching Rome he was apparently more fortunate. He had a strong case. He had never been convicted, or even tried, for the crimes whereof he was accused; he had always professed obedience to the Church and readiness to prove his innocence, according to the legal methods of the age, by canonical purgation; he had undergone cruel penance as though convicted, and had been absolved as though forgiven, since when he had rendered faithful and valuable service against his friends and had made what reparation he could to the churches which he had despoiled. He boldly asserted his innocence, demanded a trial, and claimed the restoration of his castles. Innocent seems at first to have been touched by the wrongs inflicted on him and the ruin impending over him; but if so the impression was but momentary, and he returned to the duplicity which thus far had worked so well. The citizens of Toulouse he pronounced to have justified themselves, and ordered their excommunication removed. As regards Raymond, he instructed the Archbishops of Narbonne and Arles to assemble a council of prelates and nobles for the trial which Raymond so earnestly demanded. If there an accuser should assert his heresy and responsibility for the murder of Pierre de Castelnau, both sides should be heard and judgment be rendered and sent to Rome for final decision; if no formal accuser appeared, then fitting purgation should be assigned to him, on performance of which he should be declared a good Catholic and his castles be restored. All this was fair seeming enough, yet it is impossible not to see the purposed deceit in an accompanying letter to the legate Arnaud, praising him warmly for what had been done and explaining that the conduct of the matter had been ostensibly intrusted to the new commissioner, Master Theodisius, merely as a lure for Raymond; or, to use the pope's own words, that the legate was to be the hook of which Theodisius was the bait. Instructions were also given as to some minor matters, and to lull Raymond to a more complete sense of security, on his final audience Innocent presented him with a rich mantle and with a ring which he drew from his own finger. *
Joy reigned in Toulouse when the count returned, bringing with him the removal of the interdict and the promise of a speedy settlement of the troubles. Legate Arnaud entered fully into the spirit of his instructions and suddenly became friendly and affectionate. We even hear of a visit paid by him and de Montfort to Raymond in Toulouse, where they were magnificently received; and Raymond, it is said, was persuaded to give the citadel of the town, known as the Château Narbonnois, as a residence to the legate, from whose hands it passed into those of de Montfort, costing eventually the lives of a thousand men for its recapture. Arnaud, moreover, exacted a promise of one thousand livres toulousains from the citizens before he would give effect to the papal letters removing the interdict; when one half was paid, he gave them his benediction, but a delay in raising the other half caused him to renew the interdict, which cost them much trouble to remove. †
Master Theodisius joined the legate at Toulouse, as we are told by a fiercely orthodox eye-witness, for the purpose of consulting with him as to the most plausible excuse for eluding Innocent's promise to Raymond of an opportunity of purgation, for they foresaw that he would purge himself and that the destruction of the faith would follow. The readiest method of obtaining this pious object lay in Raymond's failure to perform the impossible task assigned him of clearing his lands of heresy; but in order to avoid
* Vaissette, III. Pr. 20, 23, 232-3. -- Pet. Sarnens. c. 33, 34. -- Guillem de Tudela, xl., xlii., xliii. -- Regest. XII.
152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 168, 169, 170, 171, 173, 174, 175, 176. -- Teulet, Layettes, I. 368, No. 968.
Vaissette, III. Pr. 24-5, 234. -- Guillem de Tudela, xliv. -- Teulet, loc. cit.
the appearance of premeditated unfairness, the solemn mockery was arranged of assigning him a day three months distant, to appear at St. Gilles and offer his purgation as to heresy and the murder of the legate -- a warning being added about his slackness in persecution. At the appointed time, in September, 1210, a number of prelates and nobles were assembled at St. Gilles, and Raymond presented himself with his compurgators in the full confidence of a final reconciliation with the Church. He was coolly informed that his purgation would not be received; that he was manifestly a perjurer in not having executed the promises to which he had repeatedly sworn, and his oath being worthless in minor matters, it could not be accepted in charges so weighty as those of heresy and legate-murder, nor were those of his accomplices any better. A man of stronger character would have been roused to fiery indignation at this contemptuous revelation of the deception practised on him; but Raymond, overwhelmed with the sudden destruction of his illusions, simply burst into tears -- which was duly recorded by his judges as an additional proof of his innate depravity, and he was promptly again placed under the excommunication which it had cost him such infinite pains to remove. For form's sake, however, he was told that when he should clear the land of heresy and otherwise show himself worthy of mercy, the papal commands in his favor would be fulfilled. The Provençal was evidently no match for the wily Italians; and Innocent's approbation of this cruel comedy is seen in a letter addressed by him to Raymond, in December, 1210, expressing his grief that the count had not yet performed his promises as to the extermination of heretics, and warning him that if he did not do so his lands would be delivered to the Crusaders. Another epistle by the same courier to de Montfort, complaining of the scanty returns of the three-denier hearth-tax, shows that even Innocent kept an eye on the profitable side of persecution; while exhortations addressed to the Counts of Toulouse, Comminges, and Foix, and Gaston of Béarn, requiring them to help de Montfort, with threats of holding them to be fautors of heresy in case they resisted him, showed how completely all questions were prejudged and that they were doomed to be delivered up to the spoiler. *
* Pet. Samens. c. 39. -- Regest. XIII. 188, 189; XVI. 39. -- Guillem de Tudela, lviii. -- Teulet, Layettes, I. 360, No. 948.
Raymond at length began to see what all clear-visioned men must long before have recognized, that his ruin was the deliberate purpose of the legates. Had the nobles of Languedoc been united at the beginning, they could probably have offered successful resistance to the spasmodic attacks of the Crusaders, but they were being devoured one by one, while Raymond, their natural leader, was kept idle with delusive hopes of reconciliation. The restoration of his castles was hopeless, and it was time for him to prepare himself as best he could for the inevitable war. With this object, to unite his subjects, he circulated a list of conditions which he said had been proposed to him at a conference in Arles, in February, 1211 -- conditions which were onerous and degrading to the last degree to the people as well as to himself -- which would have placed the whole territory and its population under the control of the legates and of de Montfort, would have branded every inhabitant, Catholic as well as heretic, noble as well as villein, with the mark of servitude, and would have banished Raymond to the Holy Land virtually for life. Whether such demands were really made or not, their effect was great upon the people, who rallied around their sovereign and were ready for any self-sacrifice. *
That the list of conditions was supposititious is rendered probable by other negotiations in which Raymond desperately strove to avert the inevitable rupture. In December, 1210, we find him at Narbonne in conference with the legates, de Montfort, and Pedro of Aragon, where impracticable terms were offered him, and where Pedro finally consented to receive de Montfort's hemand for Béziers. Shortly afterwards another meeting was held at Montpellier, equally fruitless, except for de Montfort, who made a treaty with Pedro and received from him his infant son Jayme, to be held as a hostage. Even in the spring of 1211 Raymond again visited de Montfort at the siege of Lavaur and allowed provisions to be supplied for a while to the Crusaders from Toulouse, although he had fruitlessly endeavored to prevent the marching of a con-
* The sole authority for this extraordinary document is Guillem de Tudela (lix., lx., lxi.), followed by the Historien du Comte de Toulouse (Vaissette, III. Pr. 30. Cf. Text p. 204 and notes p. 561, also Hardouin VI. II. 1998). Though generally accepted by historians, I cannot regard it as genuine, and its only explanation seems to me that it was manufactured by Raymond to arouse the indignation of his people.
tingent which the Toulousains furnished to the besiegers. Almost as soon as Lavaur was taken, May 3, 1211, de Montfort fell upon his territories and captured some of his castles, apparently without defiance or declaration of war, when he made a last miserable effort of submission by offering his whole possessions except the city of Toulouse, to be held by the legate and de Montfort as security for the performance of what might be demanded of him, reserving only his life and his son's right of inheritance. Even these terms were contemptuously rejected. He had so abased himself that he seems to have been regarded as no longer an element of weight in the situation. Besides, the Count of Bar was speedily expected with a large force of Crusaders, whose forty-days' term was to be utilized to the utmost, and the siege of Toulouse was resolved on. *
As soon as the citizens heard of this design they sent an embassy to the Crusaders to deprecate it. They had been reconciled to the Church, and had assisted at the siege of Lavaur, but they were sternly told that they would not be spared unless they would eject Raymond from the city and renounce their allegiance to him. This they refused unanimously. All the old civic quarrels were forgotten, and as one man they prepared for resistance. It is a noteworthy illustration of the strength of the republican institution of the civic commune, that the siege of Toulouse was the first considerable check received by the Crusaders. The town was well fortified and garrisoned; the Counts of Foix and Comminges had come at the summons of their suzerain, and the citizens were earnest in defence. They not only kept their gates open, but made breaches in the walls to facilitate the furious sallies which cost the besiegers heavily. The latter retired, June 29th, under cover of the night, so hastily that they abandoned their sick and wounded, having accomplished nothing except the complete devastation of the land -- dwellings, vineyards, orchards, women and children were alike indiscriminately destroyed in their wrath -- and de Montfort turned from the scene of his defeat to carry the same ravage into Foix. This final effort of self-defence was naturally construed as fautorship of heresy and drew from Innocent a fresh excommuni-
* Guill. de Pod. Laureat. c. 16, 17. -- Pet. Sarnens. c. 43, 47, 49, 53, 54, 55. -Vaissette, III. Pr. 234.
cation of Raymond and of the city for "persecuting" de Montfort and the Crusaders. *
Encouraged by his escape, Raymond now took the offensive, but with little result. The siege of Castelnaudary was a failure, and a good deal of desultory fighting occurred, mostly to the advantage of de Montfort, whose military skill was exhibited to the best advantage in his difficult position. The crusade was still industriously preached throughout Christendom, and his forces were irregularly renewed with fresh swarms of "pilgrims" for fortydays' service, so that he would frequently find himself at the head of a considerable army, which again would soon melt away to a handful. To utilize this varying stream of strangers of all nationalities in a difficult country which was bitterly hostile required capacity of a high order, and de Montfort proved himself thoroughly equal to it. His opponents, though frequently greatly superior in numbers, never ventured on a pitched battle, and the war was one of sieges and devastations, conducted on both sides with savage ferocity. Prisoners were frequently hanged, or less mercifully blinded or mutilated, and mutual hate grew stronger and fiercer as de Montfort gradually extended his boundaries and Raymond's territories grew less and less. The defection of his natural brother Baldwin, whom he had always treated with suspicion, and who had been won over by de Montfort when captured at Montferrand, before the siege of Toulouse, had been a severe blow to the national cause; how deeply felt was seen when, in 1214, he was treacherously given up and Raymond hanged him, with difficulty granting his last prayer for the consolations of religion. †
Early in 1212 the Abbot of Vaux-Cernay received in the bishopric of Carcassonne the reward of his zeal in furthering the crusade, and Legate Arnaud obtained the great archbishopric of Narbonne on the death or degradation of the negligent Berenger. Not content with the ecclesiastical dignity, Arnaud claimed to be likewise duke, giving rise to a vigorous quarrel with de Montfort, who, notwithstanding his devotion to the Church, had no intention of surrendering to it his temporal possessions. Possibly it was the
* Vaissette, III. Pr. 38-40, 234-5. -- Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 18. -- Guillem de Tudela, lxxx.-lxxxiii. -- Teulet, Layettes, I. 370, No. 968; 372, No. 975.
Pet. Samens. c. 75. -- Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 23.
commencement of coolness between them that induced Arnaud to favor the crusade preached at the request of Alonso IX. of Castile, at that time threatened by a desperate effort of the Moors, largely reinforced from Africa, to regain their Spanish possessions. Much as de Montfort needed every man, the new Archbishop of Narbonne marched into Spain at the head of a large force of Crusaders to swell the army with which the kings of Aragon, Castile, and Navarre advanced against the Saracen. It is characteristic of the tenacity of the man that, when the French contingent grew weary of the service and refused to advance after the capture of Calatrava, returning ingloriously home, Arnaud remained with those whom he could persuade to stay, and shared in the glory of Las Navas de Tolosa, where a cross in the sky encouraged the Christians, and two hundred thousand Moors were slain. *
The spring and summer of 1212 saw an almost unbroken series of successes for de Montfort, until Raymond's territories were reduced to Montauban and Toulouse, and the latter city, crowded with refugees from the neighboring districts, was virtually beleaguered, as the Crusaders from their surrounding strongholds made forays up to the very gates. de Montfort desired the papal confirmation of his new acquisitions, and for this application was made to Rome by the legates. Innocent seems to have been aroused to a sense of the scandal created by the faithful carrying out of his policy, for Raymond, though constantly claiming a trial, had never been heard or convicted, and yet had been punished by the seizure of nearly all his dominions. Innocent accordingly assumed a tone of grave surprise. It is true, he said, that the count had been found guilty of many offences against the Church, for which he had been excommunicated and his lands exposed to the first comer; but the loss of most of them had served as a punishment, and it must be remembered that, although suspected of heresy and of the murder of the legate, he had never been convicted, nor did the pope know why his commands to afford him an opportunity of purging himself had never been carried out. In the absence of a formal trial and conviction his lands could not be adjudged to another. The proper forms must be observed, or the Church
* Pet. Sarnens. c. 60. -- Vaissette, III. 271-2. -- Rod. Tolet. de Reb. Hispan. VIII. 2, 6, 11. -- Rod. Santii Hist. Hispan. III. 35.
might be deemed guilty of fraud in continuing to hold the castles made over to it in pledge. Innocent evidently felt that his representatives, involved in the passions and ambitions of the strife, had done what could not be justified, and he wound up by ordering them to report to him the full and simple truth. Another letter, in the same sense, to Master Theodisius and the Bishop of Riez, cautioned them not to be remiss in their duty, as they were said to have thus far been, which undoubtedly refers to their withholding from Raymond the opportunity of justification. At the same time, a prolonged correspondence on the subject of the hearth-tax, and the acceptance of an opportune donation of a thousand marks from de Montfort, place Innocent in an unfortunate light as an upright and impartial judge. *
To this Theodisius and the Bishop of Riez replied with the transparent falsehood that they had not been remiss, but had repeatedly summoned Raymond to justify himself, and that Raymond had neglected to make reparation to certain prelates and churches, which was quite likely, seeing that de Montfort had been giving him ample occupation. They proceeded, however, to make a bustling show of activity in compliance with Innocent's present commands, and they called a council at Avignon to give a colorable pretext for pushing Raymond to the wall. Avignon, however, was fortunately unhealthy, so that many prelates refused to attend, and Theodisius had a timely sickness, rendering a postponement necessary. Another council was therefore summoned to convene at Lavaur, a castle not far from Toulouse, in the hands of de Montfort, who, at the request of Pedro of Aragon, graciously granted an eight days' suspension of hostilities for the purpose. †
The matter, in fact, had assumed a shape which could no longer be eluded. Pedro of Aragon, fresh from the triumph of Las Navas, was a champion of the faith who was not to be treated with contempt, and he had finally come forward as the protector of Raymond and of his own vassals. As overlord he could not passively see the latter stripped of their lands, and his interests in the whole region were too great for him to view with indifference the establishment of so overmastering a power as de Montfort was rapidly
Pet. Sarnens. c. 59-64. -- Regest. xv. 102, 103, 167-76.
Pet. Samens. c. 66. -- Regest. xvi. 39.
consolidating. The conquered fiefs were being filled with Frenchmen; a parliament had just been held at Pamiers to organize the institutions of the country on a French basis, and everything looked to an overturning of the old order. It was full time for him to act. He had already sent a mission to Innocent to complain of the proceedings of the legates as arbitrary, unjust, and subversive of the true interests of religion, and he came to Toulouse for the avowed purpose of interceding for his ruined brother-in-law. By assuming this position he was assuring the supremacy of the House of Aragon over that of Toulouse, with which it had had so many fruitless struggles in the past. *
Pedro's envoys drew from Innocent a command to de Montfort to give up all lands seized from those who were not heretics, and instructions to Arnaud not to interfere with the crusade against the Saracens by using indulgences to prolong the war in the Toulousain. This action of Innocent, coupled with the powerful intercession of Pedro, created a profound impression, and all the ecclesiastical organization of Languedoc was summoned to meet the crisis. When the council assembled at Lavaur, in January, 1213, a petition was presented by King Pedro, humbly asking mercy rather than justice for the despoiled nobles. He produced a formal cession executed by Raymond and his son and confirmed by the city of Toulouse, together with similar cessions made by the Counts of Foix and Comminges and by Gaston of Béarn, of all their lands, rights, and jurisdictions to him, to do with as he might see fit in compelling them to obey the commands of the pope in case they should prove recalcitrant. He asked restitution of the lands conquered from them, on their rendering due satisfaction to the Church for all misdeeds; and if Raymond could not be heard, the proposal was made that he should retire in favor of his young son -- the father serving with his knights against the infidel in Spain or Palestine, and the youth being retained in careful guardianship until he should show himself worthy the confidence of the Church. All this, in fact, was virtually the same as the offers already transmitted by Pedro to Innocent. †
No submission could be more complete; no guarantees more
* Pet. Samens. c. 65. -- Regest. xv. 212. -- A. Molinier (Vaissette, Éd Privat, VI. 407). Regest. xv. 212; xvi. 42, 47.
absolute could be demanded. There was no pretence of shielding heretics, who could, under such a settlement, be securely exterminated; but the prelates assembled at Lavaur were under the domination of passions and ambitions and hatreds, the memory of wrongs suffered and inflicted, and the dread of reprisals, which rendered them deaf to everything that might interfere with the predetermined purpose. The ruin of the house of Toulouse was essential to their comfort -- they might well believe even to their personal safety -- and it was pressed unswervingly. As legates, Master Theodisius and the Bishop of Riez presided, while the assembled prelates of the land were led by the intractable Arnaud of Narbonne. All forms were duly observed. The legates, as judges, asked the opinion of the prelates as assessors, whether Raymond should be admitted to purgation. A written answer was returned in the negative, not only for the reason previously alleged, that he was too notorious a perjurer to be listened to, but also because of fresh offences committed during the war, the slaying of Crusaders who were attacking him being seriously included among his sins. As a further subterfuge it was agreed that the excommunication under which he lay could only be removed by the pope. Shielding themselves behind this answer, the legates notified Raymond that they could proceed no further without special license from the pope -- a repetition of the eternal shifting of responsibility, like a shuttlecock from one player in the game to another -- and when Raymond implored for mercy and begged an interview, he was coldly told that it would be useless trouble and expense for both parties. There remained the appeal of King Pedro to be disposed of, and this was treated with the same disingenuous evasion. The prelates undertook to answer this without the legates, so as to be able to say that Raymond's affairs were out of their hands, as he had himself committed them to the legates; and, besides, his excesses had rendered him unworthy of all mercy or kindness. As for the other three nobles, their crimes were recited, especially their self-defence against the Crusaders, and it was added that if they would satisfy the Church and obtain absolution, their complaints would be listened to; but no method was indicated by which absolution could be obtained, and no notice was deigned to the guarantees offered in Pedro's petition. Indeed, Arnaud of Narbonne, in his capacity of legate, wrote to him in violent terms, threatening him with excommunication for consorting with excommunicants and accused heretics, and his request for a truce until Pentecost, or at least until Easter, was refused on the ground that it would interfere with the success of the crusade, which was still preached in France with a vigor justifying doubts of the sincerity of Innocent's orders to the contrary. *
The whole proceedings were so defiant a mockery of justice that there was a very manifest alarm lest Innocent should repudiate them and yield to the powerful intercession of King Pedro. Master Theodisius and several bishops were despatched to Rome with the documents so as to bring personal influence to bear. The prelates of the council addressed him, adjuring him by the bowels of the mercy of God not to draw back from the good work which he had commenced, but to lay his axe to the root of the tree and cut it down forever. Raymond was painted in the blackest colors. The effort he had made to obtain succor from the Emperor Otho, and the assistance at one time rendered him by Savary de Mauleon, lieutenant of King John in Aquitaine, were skilfully used to excite odium, as both these monarchs were hostile to Rome; and he was even accused of having implored help from the Emperor of Morocco, to the subversion of Christianity itself. Fearing that this might be insufficient, letters were showered on Innocent by bishops from every part of the troubled region, assuring him that peace and prosperity had followed on the footsteps of the Crusaders, that the land which had been ravaged by heretics and bandits was restored to religion and safety, that if but one more supreme effort were made and the city of Toulouse were wiped out, with its villainous brood, wicked as the children of Sodom and Gomorrah, the faithful could enjoy the Land of Promise; but that if Raymond were allowed to raise his head, chaos would come again, and it would be better for the Church to take refuge among the barbarians. Yet in all this nothing was said to the pope of the guarantees offered through King Pedro, who was obliged, in March, 1213, to transmit to Rome copies of the cessions executed by the inculpated nobles, duly authenticated by the Archbishop of Tarragona and his suffragans. †
Regest. xvi. 39, 42, 43. -- Pet. Sarnens. c. 66.
Regest. xvi. 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47.
Master Theodisius and his colleagues found the task harder than they had anticipated. Innocent had solemnly declared that Raymond should have the opportunity of vindication, and that condemnation should only follow trial. He was now required to eat his words, while the persistent refusal to allow a trial must have shown him that the charges so industriously made were destitute of proof. The struggle was hard for a proud man, but he finally yielded to the pressure, though the delay of the decision until May 21, 1213, shows what effort it cost. When the decree came, however, its decisiveness proved that pride and consistency had been overcome. Innocent's letters to his legates have not reached us -- perhaps a prudent reticence kept them out of the Regesta -- but to Pedro he wrote sternly, commanding him to abandon the protection of heretics unless he was ready to be included in the objects of the new crusade which was threatened if further resistance was attempted. The orders which Pedro had obtained for the restoration of non-heretical lands were withdrawn as granted through misrepresentation, and the lords of Foix, Comminges, and Navarre were remitted to the discretion of Arnaud of Narbonne. The city of Toulouse could obtain reconciliation by banishment and confiscation inflicted on all whom Foulques, its fanatic bishop, might point out, and no peace or truce or other engagement entered into with heretics was to be observed. As to Raymond, the complete silence preserved with respect to him was more significant than could have been the severest animadversions. He was simply ignored, as though no further account was to be taken of him. *
Meanwhile both parties had proceeded without waiting the event in Rome. In France the crusade had been vigorously preached; Louis Cœeur-de-Lion, son of Philip Augustus, had taken the cross with many barons, and great hopes were entertained of the overwhelming force which would put an end to further resistance, when Philip's preparations for the invasion of England caused him to intervene and stop the movement which threatened seriously to interfere with his designs. On the other hand, King Pedro entered into still closer alliance with Raymond and the excommunicated nobles, and received an oath of fidelity from the
Pet. Sarneus. c. 66, 70. -- Regest. xvi. 48.
magistracy of Toulouse. When the papal mandate was received, he made a pretence of obeying it, but continued, nevertheless, his preparations for the war, among which the one which best illustrates the man and the age was his procuring from Innocent the renewal of Urban's bull of 1095, placing his kingdom under the special protection of the Holy See, with the privilege that it should not be subjected to interdict except by the pope himself. A sirvente by an anonymous troubadour shows how anxiously he was expected in Languedoc. He is reproached with his delays, and urged to come to collect his revenues from the Carcassès like a good king, and to suppress the insolence of the French, whom may God confound. *
The rupture came with a formal declaration of war from Pedro, accepted by de Montfort, though he had but few troops and the hoped-for reinforcements from France were not forthcoming; indeed, a legate sent by Innocent to preach the crusade for the Holy Land had turned in that direction all the effort which Philip would permit to be made. Pedro had left in Toulouse his representatives and had gone to his own dominions to raise forces, with which he recrossed the Pyrenees and was received enthusiastically by all those who had submitted to de Montfort. He advanced to the castle of Muret, within ten miles of Toulouse, where de Montfort had left a slender garrison, and was joined by the Counts of Toulouse, Foix, and Comminges, their united forces amounting to a considerable army, though far from the hundred thousand men represented by the eulogists of de Montfort. Pedro had brought about a thousand horsemen with him; the three counts, stripped of most of their dominions, can scarce have furnished a larger force of cavaliers, and the great mass of their array consisted of the militia of Toulouse, on foot and untrained in arms. †
The siege of Muret commenced September 10, 1213. Word was immediately carried to de Montfort, who lay about twentyfive miles distant at Fanjeaux, with a small force, including seven bishops and three abbots sent by Arnaud of Narbonne to treat
* Pet. Sarnens. c. 66-8. -- Regest. XVI. 87. -- Raynouard, Lexique Roman, I. 512-3.
† Pet. Sarnens. c. 69, 70. -- Vaissette, III. Note XVII. -- A. Molinier (Vaissette, Éd. Privat, VII. 256).
with Pedro. Notwithstanding the disparity of numbers, he did not hesitate a moment to advance and succor his people. Sending back the Countess Alice, who was with him, to Carcassonne, where she persuaded some retiring Crusaders to return to his aid, he set forth at once, hastily collecting such troops as were within reach. At Bolbonne, near Saverdun, where he halted to hear mass, Maurin, the sacristan, afterwards Abbot of Pamiers, expressed wonder at his risking with a mere handful of men an encounter with a warrior so renowned as the King of Aragon. De Montfort in reply drew from his pouch an intercepted letter to a lady in Toulouse, in which Pedro assured her that he was coming out of love for her to drive the Frenchman from her land, and when Maurin asked him what he meant by it, he exclaimed, "What do I mean? God help me as much as I little fear him who comes for the sake of a woman to undo the work of God!" It was the God-trusting Norman against the chivalrous Catalan gallant, and he never doubted the result.
The next day de Montfort entered Muret, which was besieged only on one side, the enemy interposing no obstacle, as they hoped to capture the chief of the Crusaders. The bishops sought to negotiate with Pedro, but no terms could be reached, and the following morning, Thursday, September 13, the Crusaders, numbering perhaps a thousand cavaliers, sallied forth for the attack. As they passed, the Bishop of Comminges comforted them greatly by assuring them that on the Day of Judgment he would be their witness, and that none who might be slain would have to undergo the fires of purgatory for any sins which they had confessed or might intend to confess after the battle. The holy men then gathered in the church, praying fervently to God for the success of his warriors; and here we get a traditional glimpse of Dominic, who is said to have been one of the little band; indeed, we are gravely told by his followers that the ensuing victory was due to the devotion of the Rosary, which he invented and assiduously practised.
As de Montfort drew away in the opposite direction, the besiegers at first thought that he was abandoning the town, and they were only undeceived when he wheeled and they saw he had made a circuit to obtain a level field for the attack. Count Raymond counselled awaiting the onset behind the rampart of wagons and exhausting the Crusaders with missiles, but the fiery Catalan rejected the advice as pusillanimous. Then armor was donned in hot haste, and the horsemen rushed forth in a confused mass, leaving the footmen to continue the labors of the siege. Emulous rather of the fame of a good knight than of a general, Pedro was immediately behind the vanguard, as two squadrons of the Crusaders came on in solid order, and was readily found by two renowned French knights, Alain de Roucy and Florent de Ville, who had concerted to set upon him. He was speedily thrown from his horse and slain. The confusion into which his followers were thrown was converted into a panic as de Montfort, at the head of a third squadron, charged them in flank. They turned and fled, followed by the Frenchmen, who slew them without mercy, and then, returning from the pursuit, fell upon the camp where the infantry had remained unconscious of the evil-fortune of the field. Here the slaughter was tremendous, until the flying wretches succeeded in crossing the Garonne, in which many were drowned. The loss of the Crusaders was less than twenty, that of the allies from fifteen to twenty thousand, and no one was hardy enough to doubt that the hand of God was visible in a triumph so miraculous, especially as on the last Sunday in August a great procession had been held in Rome with solemn ceremonies, followed by a two days' fast, for the success of the Catholic arms. Yet King Jayme tells us that his father's death, and the consequent loss of the battle, arose from his prevailing vice. The Albigensian nobles, to ingratiate themselves with him, had placed their wives and daughters at his disposal, and he was so exhausted by his excesses that on the morning of the battle he could not stand at the celebration of the mass. *
* Pet. Sarnens. c. 70-3. -- Guillel. de Pod. Laurent. c. 21-22. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1213. -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 52-4. -- Guillem de Tudela, cxxv. -- cxl. -- Zurita, Añales de Aragon, Lib. II. c. 63. -- De Gestis Com. Barcenon. ann. 1213. -- Bernard d'Esclot, Cronica del Rey en Pere, c. 6. -- Campana, Storia di San Piero Martire p. 44. -- Tamburini, Ist. dell' Inquisizione, I. 351-2. -- Comentarios del Rey en Jacme c. 8 (Mariana, IV. 267-8).
Don Jayme himself, then a child in his sixth year, was still in the hands of de Montfort as a hostage, and if the Catalan chroniclers speak truth, it was with difficulty that the young king was recovered, even after Innocent III. had ordered his release. -- L. Marinæi Siculi do Reb. Hispan. Lib. X. -- Regest. XVI. 171.
With the few men at his command de Montfort was unable to' follow up his advantage, and the immediate effect of the miraculous victory was scarcely perceptible. The citizens of Toulouse professed a desire for reconciliation, but when their bishop, Foulques, demanded two hundred hostages as security, they refused to give more than sixty, and when the bishop assented to this, they withdrew the offer. de Montfort made a foray into Foix, carrying desolation in his track, and showed himself before Toulouse, but was soon put on the defensive. When he came peaceably to the city of Narbonne, of which he claimed the overlordship, he was refused entrance; the same thing happened to him at Montpellier, and he was obliged to digest these affronts in silence. His condition, indeed, was almost desperate in the winter of 1214, when affairs suddenly took a different turn. The prohibition to preach the crusade in France was removed, and news came that an army of one hundred thousand fresh pilgrims might be expected after Easter. Besides this a new legate, Cardinal Peter of Benevento, arrived with full powers from the pope, and at Narbonne received the unqualified submission of the Counts of Toulouse, Foix, and Comminges, of Aimeric, Viscount of Naxbonne, and of the city of Toulouse. All these agreed to expel heretics and to comply explicitly with all demands of the Church, furnishing whatever security might be demanded. Raymond, moreover, placed his dominions in the hands of the legate, at whose command he engaged to absent himself, either at the English court or elsewhere, until he could go to Rome; and in effect, on his return to Toulouse he and his son lived as private citizens with their wives, in the house of David de Roaix. Rome having thus obtained everything that she had ever demanded, the legate absolved all the penitents and reconciled them to the Church.
If the land expected peace with submission it was cruelly deceived. The whole affair had been but another act in the comedy which Innocent and his agents had so long played, another juggle with the despair of whole populations. The legate had merely desired to tide de Montfort over the time during which in his weakness he might have been overwhelmed, and to amuse the threatened provinces until the arrival of the fresh swarm of pilgrims. The trick was perfectly successful, and the monkish chronicler is delighted with the pious fraud so astutely conceived and so dexterously managed. His admiring ejaculation, "O pious fraud of the legate! O fraudulent piety!" is the key which unlocks to us the secrets of Italian diplomacy with the Albigenses. *
In spite of King Philip's war with John of England and the Emperor Otho, the expected hordes of Crusaders, eager to win pardon so easily, poured down upon the unhappy southern provinces. Their initial exploit was the capture of Maurillac, notable to us as conveying the first distinct reference to the Waldenses in the history of the war. Of these sectaries, seven were found among the captives; they boldly affirmed their faith before the legate, and were burned, as we are told, with immense rejoicings by the soldiers of Christ. With his wonted ability de Montfort made use of his reinforcements to extend his authority over the Agenois, Quercy, Limousin, Rouergue, and Périgord. Resistance being now at an end, the legate, in January, 1215, assembled a council of prelates at Montpellier. The jealous citizens would not allow de Montfort to enter the town, though he directed the deliberations from the house of the Templars beyond the walls; and once, when he had been secretly introduced to attend a session, the people discovered it, and would have set upon him, had he not been conveyed away through back streets. The council fulfilled its functions by deposing Raymond and electing de Montfort as lord over the whole land; and, as the confirmation of Innocent was required, an embassy was sent to Rome, which obtained his assent. He declared that Raymond, who had never yet had the trial so often demanded, was deposed on account of heresy; his wife was to have her dower, and one hundred and fifty marks were assigned to her, secured by the Castle of Beaucaire. The final disposition of the territory was postponed for the decision of the general council of Lateran, called for the ensuing November; and meanwhile it was confided to the custody of de Montfort, whom the bishops were exhorted to assist and the inhabitants to obey, while from its revenues some provision was contemptuously ordered to be made for the support of Raymond. Bishop Foulques returned to his city of Toulouse, of which he was virtually master, under the legate
* Pet. Sarnens. c. 74-8. -- Regest. XVI. 167, 170, 171, 172. -- Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 24, 25. -- Vaissette, III. 260-2; Pr. 239-42. -- Teulet, Layettes, I. 399-402, No. 1068-9, 1073.
who continued to hold it and Narbonne, to keep them out of the hands of Louis Cœur-de-Lion, who was shortly expected in fulfilment of his Crusader's vow, taken three years previously; and the "faidits," as the dispossessed knights and gentlemen were called, were graciously permitted to seek a livelihood throughout the country, provided they never entered castles or walled towns, and travelled on ponies, with but one spur, and without arms. *
The battle of Bouvines had released France from the dangers which had been so threatening, and the heir-apparent could be spared for the performance of his vow. Louis came with a noble and gallant company, who earned the pardon of their sins by a peaceful pilgrimage of forty days. The fears which had been felt as to his intentions proved groundless. He showed no disposition to demand for the crown the acquisitions made by previous crusades, and advantage was taken of his presence to obtain temporary investiture for de Montfort, and to order the dismantling of the two chief centres of discontent -- Toulouse and Narbonne. De Montfort's brother Gui took possession of the former city, and saw to the levelling of its walls. As for Narbonne, Archbishop Arnaud, mindful rather of his pretensions as duke than of the interests of religion, vainly protested against its being rendered defenceless. In making over Raymond's territories to de Montfort, however, Innocent had excepted the county of Melgueil, over which the Church had a sort of claim, and this he sold to the Bishop of Maguelonne, costing the latter, including gratifications to the creatures of the papal camera, no less a sum than thirty-three thousand marks. The transaction held good, in spite of the claims of the crown as the eventual heir of the Count of Toulouse, and, until the Revolution, the Bishops of Maguelonne or Montpellier had the satisfaction of styling themselves Counts of Melgueil. It was but a small share of the gigantic plunder, and Innocent would have best consulted his dignity by abstention. †
Meanwhile the two Raymonds had withdrawn -- possibly to the English court, where King John is said to have given them
* Pet. Sarnens. c. 80, 81, 82. -- Harduin. Concil. VII. II. 2052. -- Innocent. PP. III. Rubricella. -- Teulet, Layettes,
I. 410-16, Nos. 1099, 1113-16. -- Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 24, 25.
Pet. Sarnens. c. 82. -- Vaissette, III. 269; Pr. 56.
ten thousand marks in return for the rendering of a worthless homage, to which is perhaps attributable the permission given by Philip Augustus to his son to perform the crusade and grant investiture to de Montfort of the lands thus transferred to English sovereignty. * Foreign humiliations and domestic revolt, however, rendered John useless as an ally or a suzerain, and Raymond awaited, with what patience he might, the assembling of the great council to which the final decision of his fate had been referred. Here, at least, he would have a last chance of being heard, and of appealing for the justice so long and so steadily denied him.
In April, 1213, had gone forth the call for the Parliament of Christendom, the Twelfth General Council, where the assembled wisdom and piety of the Church were to deliberate on the recovery of the Holy Land, the reformation of the Church, the correction of excesses, the rehabilitation of morals, the extirpation of heresy, the strengthening of faith, and the quieting of discord. All these were specified as the objects of the convocation, and two years and a half had been allowed for preparation. By the appointed day, November 1, 1215, the prelates had gathered together, and Innocent's pardonable ambition was gratified in opening and presiding over the most august assemblage that Latin Christianity had ever seen. The Frankish occupation of Constantinople gave opportunity for the reunion, nominal at least, of the Eastern and the Western churches, and Patriarchs of Constantinople and Jerusalem were there in humble obedience to St. Peter. All that was foremost in Church and State had come, in person or by representative. Every monarch had his ambassador there, to see that his interests suffered no detriment from a body which, acting under the direct inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and under the principle that temporal concerns were wholly subordinate to spiritual, might have little respect for the rights of sovereigns. The most learned theologians and doctors were at hand to give counsel as to points of faith and intricate questions of canon law. The princes of the Church were present in numbers wholly unprecedented. Besides patriarchs, there were seventy-one primates and metropolitans, four hundred and twelve bishops, more than eight hundred abbots and priors, and the countless delegates of those prelates who were un-
* Radulph. Coggeshall ann. 1213.
able to attend in person. * Two centuries were to pass away before Europe was again to show its collective strength in a body such as now crowded the ample dimensions of the Basilica of Constantine; and it is a weighty illustration of the service which the Church has rendered in counteracting the centrifugal tendencies of the nations, that such a federative council of Christendom, attainable in no other way, was brought together at the summons of the Roman pontiff. Without some such cohesive power modern civilization would have worn a very different aspect.
The Counts of Toulouse, Foix, and Comminges had reached Rome in advance, where they were joined by the younger Raymond, coming through France from England disguised as the servitor of a merchant, to escape the emissaries of de Montfort. In repeated interviews with Innocent they pleaded their cause, and produced no little impression on him. Arnaud of Narbonne, embittered by his quarrel with de Montfort, is said to have aided them, but the other prelates, to whom it was almost a question of life or death, were so violent in their denunciations of Raymond, and drew so fearful a picture of the destruction impending over religion, that Innocent, after a short period of irresolution, was deterred from action. de Montfort had sent his brother Gui to represent him, and when the council met both parties pressed their claims before it. Its decision was prompt, and, as might be expected, was in favor of the champion of the Church. The verdict, as promulgated by Innocent, December 15, 1215, recited the labors of the Church to free the province of Narbonne from heresy, and the peace and tranquillity with which its success had been crowned. It assumed that Raymond had been found guilty of heresy and spoliation, and therefore deprived him of the dominion which he had abused, and sentenced him to dwell elsewhere in penance for his sins, promising him four hundred marks a year so long as he proved obedient. His wife was to retain the lands of her dower, or to receive a competent equivalent for them. All the territories won by the Crusaders, together with Toulouse, the centre of heresy, and Montauban, were granted to de Montfort, who was extolled as the chief instrument in the triumph of the faith. The other possessions of Raymond, not as yet conquered, were to be
* Chron. Fossæ Novæ ann. 1215.
held by the Church for the benefit of the younger Raymond, to be delivered to him when he should reach the proper age, in whole or in part, as might be found expedient, provided he should manifest himself worthy. So far as Count Raymond was concerned, the verdict was final; thereafter the Church always spoke of him as "the former count," "quondam comes." Subsequent decisions as to Foix and Comminges at least arrested the arms of de Montfort in that direction, although they proved far less favorable to the native nobles than they appeared on the surface. *
The highest tribunal of the Church Universal had spoken, and in no uncertain tone; and we may see a significant illustration of the forfeiture of its hold on popular veneration in the fact that this, in place of meeting with acquiescence, was the signal of revolt. Apparently the decision had been awaited in the confidence that it would repair the long course of wrong and injustice perpetrated in the name of religion; and, with the frustration of that hope, there was no hesitation in resorting to resistance, with the national spirit inflamed to the highest pitch of enthusiasm. If de Montfort thought that his conquests were secured by the voice of the Lateran fathers, and by King Philip's reception of the homage which he lost no time in rendering, he only showed how little he had learned of the temper of the race with which he had to deal. Yet in France he was naturally the hero of the hour, and the journey on his way to tender allegiance was a triumphal progress. Crowds flocked to see the champion of the Church; the clergy marched forth in solemn procession to welcome him to every town, and those thought themselves happy who could touch the hem of his garment. †
The younger Raymond, at this time a youth of eighteen, hardened by years of adversity, was winning in manner, and is said to have made a most favorable impression on Innocent, who dismissed him with a benediction and good advice; not to take what belonged to another, but to defend his own -- "res de l'autrui non pregas; lo teu, se degun lo te vol hostar, deffendas" -- and he made
* Guillem de Tudela, cxlii.-clii. -- Vaissette, III. 280-1; Pr. 57-63. -- Teulet, Layettes, I. 420, No. 1132. -- Pet. Samens. c. 83. -- D'Achery I. 707. -- Molinier, L'Ensevelissement du Comte de Toulouse, Angers, 1885, p. 6. Pet. Sarnens. c. 83.
haste to follow the counsel, according to his own interpretation. The part of his inheritance which had been reserved for him under custody of the Church lay to the east of the Rhone, and thither, on their return from Italy, early in 1216, father and son took their way, to find a basis of operations. The outlook was encouraging, and after a short stay the elder Raymond proceeded to Spain to raise what troops he could. Marseilles, Avignon, Tarascon -- the whole country, in fact -- rose as one man to welcome their lord, and demanded to be led against the Frenchmen, reckless of the fulminations of the Church, and placing life and property at his disposal. The part which the cities and the people play in the conflict becomes henceforth even more noticeable than heretofore -- the semi-republican communes fighting for life against the rigid feudalism of the North. How subordinated was the religious question, and how confused were religious notions, is manifested by the fact that, while thus warring against the Church, at the siege of the castle of Beaucaire, when entrenchments were necessary against the relieving army of de Montfort, Raymond's chaplain offered salvation to any one who would labor on the ramparts, and the townsfolk set eagerly to work to obtain the promised pardons. The people apparently reasoned little as to the source from whence indulgences came, nor the object for which they were granted. *
De Montfort met this unexpected turn of fortune with his wonted activity, but his hour of prosperity was past, and one might almost say, with the Church historians, that he was weighed down by the excommunication launched at him by the implacable Arnaud of Narbonne, whom he had treated harshly in their quarrel over the dukedom -- an excommuiaication which he wholly disregarded, not even intermitting his attendance at mass, though he had looked upon the censures of the Church with such veneration when they were directed against his antagonists. Obliged, after hard fighting, to leave Beaucaire to its fate, he marched in angry mood to Toulouse, which was preparing to recall its old lord. He set fire to the town in several places, but the citizens barricaded the streets, and resisted his troops step by step, till accommodation was made, and he agreed to spare the city for the immense
* Guillem de Tudela, cliii.-viii. -- Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 27-8. -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 64-66. -- Pet. Sarnens. c. 83.
sum of thirty thousand marks; but he destroyed what was left of the fortifications, filled up the ditches, rendered the place as defenceless as possible, and disarmed the inhabitants. Despite his excommunication, he still had the earnest support of the Church. Innocent died July 20, 1216, but his successor, Honorius III., inherited his policy, and a new legate, Cardinal Bertrand of St. John and St. Paul, was, if possible, more bitter than his predecessors in the determination to suppress the revolt against Rome. The preaching of the crusade had been resumed, and in the beginning of 1217, with fresh reinforcements of Crusaders and a small contingent furnished by Philip Augustus, de Montfort crossed the Rhone, and made rapid progress in subduing the territories left to young Raymond.
He was suddenly recalled by the news that Toulouse was in rebellion; that Raymond VI. had been received there with rejoicings, bringing with him auxiliaries from Spain; that Foix and Comminges, and all the nobles of the land, had flocked thither to welcome their lord, and that the Countess of Montfort was in peril in the Château Narbonnais, the citadel outside of the town, which he had left to bridle the citizens. Abandoning his conquests, he hastened back. In September, 1217, commenced the second siege of the heroic city, in which the burghers displayed unflinching resolve to preserve themselves from the yoke of the stranger -- or perhaps, rather, the courage of desperation, if the account is to be believed that the cardinal-legate ordered the Crusaders to slay all the inhabitants, without distinction of age or sex. In spite of the defenceless condition of the town, which men and women unitedly worked night and day to repair; in spite of the threatening and beseeching letters which Honorius wrote to the Kings of Aragon and France, to the younger Raymond, the Count of Foix, the citizens of Toulouse, Avignon, Marseilles, and all whom he thought to deter or excite; in spite of heavy reinforcements brought by a vigorous renewal of preaching the crusade, for nine weary months the siege dragged on, in furious assaults and yet more furious sallies, with intervals of suspended operations as the crusading army swelled or decreased. de Montfort's brother Gui and his eldest son Amauri were seriously wounded. The baffled chieftain's troubles were rendered sorer by the legate, who taunted him with his ill-success, and accused him of ignorance or slackness in his work. Sick at heart, and praying for death as a welcome release, on the morrow of St. John's day, 1218, he was superintending the reconstruction of his machines, after repelling a sally, when a stone from a mangonel, worked, as Toulousain tradition says, by women, went straight to the right spot -- "E venc tot dret la peira lai on era mestiers" -- it crushed in his helmet, and he never more spoke word. Great was the sorrow of the faithful through all the lands of Europe when the tidings spread that the glorious champion of Christ, the new Maccabee, the bulwark of the faith, had fallen as a martyr in the cause of religion. He was buried at Haute-Bruyère, a cell of the Monastery of Dol, and the miracles worked at his tomb showed how acceptable to God had been his life and death, though there were not wanting those who drew the moral that his sudden downfall, just as his success seemed to be firmly established, was the punishment of neglecting the persecution of heresy in his eagerness to gratify his ambition. *
If proof were lacking of de Montfort's pre-eminent capacity it would be furnished by the rapid undoing of all that he had accomplished, in the hands of his son and successor Amauri. Even during the siege his prestige was yet such that, December 18, 1217, the powerful Jourdain de I'Isle-Jourdain made submission to him as Duke of Narbonne and Count of Toulouse and furnished as securities Géraud, Count of Armagnac and Fézenzac, Roger, Viscount of Fézenzaquet, and other nobles; and in February, 1218, the citizens of Narbonne abandoned their rebellious attitude. His death was regarded as the signal of liberation, and wherever the French garrisons were not too strong, the people arose, massacred the invaders, and gave themselves back to their ancient lords. Vainly did Honorius recognize Amauri as the successor to his father's lordships, put the two Raymonds to the ban, and grant Philip Augustus a twentieth of ecclesiastical revenues as an incentive to another cru-
* Pet. Sarnens. c. 83-6. -- Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 28-30. -- Vaissette, III. 271-2; Pr. 66-93. -- Guillem de Tudela, clviii.-ccv. -- Raynald. Annal. ann. 1217 No. 52, 55-62; ann. 1218 No. 55. -- Martene Ampliss. Collect. I. 1129. -- Annal. Waverliens. ann. 1218. -- Bernardi Iterii Chron. ann. 1218. -- Chron. Lemovicens. ann. 1218. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1218. -- Chron. Turonens. ann. 1218. -- Roberti Autissiodor. Chron. ann. 1218. -- Chron. S. Taurin. Ebroicens. ann. 1218. -- Chron. Joan Iperii ann. 1218. -- Chron. Laudunens. ann. 1218. -- Chron. S. Petri Vivi Senonens. Append. ann. 1218. -- Alberici Trium Font. Chron. ann. 1218.
sade, while plenary indulgence was offered to all who would serve. Vainly did Louis Cœur-de-Lion, with his father's sanction, and accompanied by the Cardinal-Legate Bertrand, lead a gallant army of pilgrims which numbered in its ranks no less than thirty-three counts and twenty bishops. They penetrated, indeed, to Toulouse, but the third siege of the unyielding city was no more successful than its predecessors, and Louis was obliged to withdraw ingloriously, having accomplished nothing but the massacre of Marmande, where five thousand souls were put to the sword, without distinction of age or sex. Indeed, the pitiless cruelty and brutal licentiousness habitual among the Crusaders, who spared no man in their wrath, and no woman in their lust, aided no little in inflaming the resistance to foreign domination. One by one the strongholds still held by the French were wrested from their grasp, and but very few of the invaders founded families who kept their place among the gentry of the land. In 1220 a new legate, Conrad, tried the experiment of founding a military order under the name of the Knights of the Faith of Jesus Christ, but it proved useless. Equally vain was the papal sentence of excommunication and exheredation fulminated in 1221; and when, in the same year, Louis undertook a new crusade and received from Honorius a twentieth of the Church revenues to defray the expenses, he turned the army thus raised against the English possessions and captured La Rochelle, in spite of the protests of king and pope. *
Early in 1222, Amauri, reduced to desperation, offered to Philip Augustus all his possessions and claims, urging Honorius to support the proposal. The pope welcomed it as the only feasible mode of accomplishing the result for which years of effort had been fruitlessly spent, and he wrote to the king, May 14, representing that in this way alone could the Church be saved. The heretics who had hid themselves in caverns and mountain fastnesses where French
* Teulet, Layettes, I. 454, No. 1271; pp. 461-2, No. 1279-80; p. 466, No. 1301; p. 475, No. 1331; p. 511, No. 1435; p. 518, No. 1656. -- Vaissette, III. 307, 316-17, 568; Pr. 98-102. -- Raynald. Annal. ann. 1218, No. 54-57; ann. 1221, No. 44, 45. -Archives Nationales de France J. 430, No. 15, 16. -- Guillel. de Pod. Laurent. c. 81-33. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1219-1220. -- Bernardi Iterii Chron. ann. 1219. -Robert. Autissiodor. Chron. ann. 1219. -- Chron. Laudunens. ann. 1219. -- Chron. Andrens. ann. 1219. -- Alberici Trium Font. Chron. ann. 1219. -- Martene Thesaur. I. 884. -- Rymer, Fœedera, I. 229.
domination prevailed, came forth again as soon as the invaders were driven out, and their unceasing missionary efforts were aided by the common detestation in which the foreigner was held by all. The Church had made itself the national enemy, and we can easily believe the description which Honorius gives of the lamentable condition of orthodoxy in Languedoc. Heresy was openly practised and taught; the heretic bishops set themselves up defiantly against the Catholic prelates, and there was danger that the pestilence would spread throughout the land. In spite of all this, however, and of an offer of a twentieth of the church revenues and unlimited indulgences for a crusade, Philip turned a deaf ear to the entreaty; and when Amauri's offer was transferred to Thibaut of Champagne, and the latter applied to the king for encouragement, he was coldly told that if, after due consideration, he resolved on the undertaking, the king wished him all success, but could render him no aid nor release him from his obligations of service in view of the threatening relations with England. Possibly encouraged by this, the younger Raymond in June appealed to Philip as his lord, and, if he dared so to call him, as his kinsman, imploring his pity, and begging in the humblest terms his intervention to procure his reconciliation to the Church, and thus remove the incapacity of inheritance to which he was subjected. *
This must have been suggested by the expectation of the death of Raymond VI., which occurred shortly after, in August, 1222. It made no change in the political or religious situation, but is not without interest in view of the charge of heresy so persistently made and used as an excuse for his destruction. In 1218 he had executed his will, in which he left pious legacies to the Templars and Hospitallers of Toulouse, declared his intention of entering the latter order, and desired to be buried with them. On the morning of his sudden death he had twice visited for prayer the church of la Daurade, but his agony was short and he was speechless when the Abbot of St. Sernin, who had been hurriedly sent for, reached his bedside, to administer to him the consolations of religion. A Hospitaller who was present cast over him his cloak with the cross, to secure the burial of the body for his house; but a zealous pa-
* Vaissette, III. 319; Pr. 275, 276. -- Raynald. Annal. ann. 1222, No. 44-47. -Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 47. -- Teulet, Layettes, I. 546, No. 1537.
rishioner of St. Sernin pulled it off, and a disgraceful squabble arose over the dying man, for the abbot claimed the sepulture, as the death chanced to take place in his parish, and he summoned the people not to allow the corpse to be removed beyond its precincts. This ghastly struggle over the remains has its ludicrous aspect, from the fact that the Church would never permit the inhumation of its enemy, and the body remained unburied in spite of the reiterated pious efforts of Raymond VII., after his reconciliation, to secure the repose of his father's soul. It was in vain that the inquest ordered by Innocent IV., in 1247, gathered evidence from a hundred and twenty witnesses to prove that Raymond VI. had been the most pious and charitable of men and most obedient to the Church. His remains lay for a century and a half the sport of rats in the house of the Hospitallers, and when they disappeared piece-meal, the skull was still kept as an object of curiosity, at least until the end of the seventeenth century. *
After his father's death Raymond VII. pursued his advantage, and in December Amauri was reduced to offering again his claims to Philip Augustus, only to be exposed to another refusal. In May, 1223, there seem to have been hopes that Philip would undertake a crusade, and the Legate Conrad of Porto, with the bishops of Nîmes, Agde, and Lodève wrote to him urgently from Béziers describing the deplorable state of the land in which the cities and castles were daily opening their gates to the heretics and inviting them to take possession. Negotiations with Raymond followed, and matters went so far that we find Honorius writing to his legate to look after the interest of the Bishop of Viviers in the expected settlement. There was fresh urgency felt for the pacification in the absence of any hope of assistance from the king, since the progress of the Catharan heresy was ever more alarming. Additional energy had been infused into it by the activity of its Bulgarian antipope. Heretics from Languedoc were resorting to him in increasing numbers and returning with freshened zeal; and his representative, Bartholomew, Bishop of Carcassonne, who styled himself, in imitation of the popes, Servant of the servants of the Holy Faith, was making successful efforts to
* Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 34. -- Vaissette, III. 306, 321-4. -- Molinier, L'Ensevelissement de Raimond VI.
spread the belief. Traces between Amauri and Raymond were therefore made and conferences held, and finally the legate called a council to assemble at Sens, July 6, 1223, where a final pacification was expected. It was transferred to Paris, because Philip Augustus desired to be present, and its importance in his eyes must have been great, since he set out on his journey thither in spite of a raging fever, to which he succumbed on the road, at Meudon, July 14. Raymond's well-grounded hopes were shattered on the eve of realization, for Philip's death rendered the council useless and changed in a moment the whole face of affairs. *
Though Philip showed his practical sympathy with de Montfort by leaving him a legacy of thirty thousand livres to assist him in his Albigensian troubles, his prudence had avoided all entanglements, and he had steadily rejected the proffer of the de Montfort claims. Yet his sagacity led him to prophesy truly that after his death the clergy would use every effort to involve Louis, whose feeble health would prove unequal to the strain, and the kingdom would be left in the hands of a woman and a child. It was probably the desire to avert this by a settlement which led him to make the fatal effort to attend the council, and his prediction did not long await its fulfilment. Louis, on the very day of his coronation, promised the legate that he would undertake the matter; Honorius urged it with vehemence, and in February, 1224, Louis accepted a conditional cession from Amauri of all his rights over Languedoc. Raymond thus found himself confronted by the King of France as his adversary. †
The situation was full of new and unexpected peril. But a month before, Amauri, in utter penury, had been obliged to surrender what few strongholds he yet retained, and had quitted forever the land which he and his father had cursed, a portion of Philip's legacy being used to extricate his garrisons. The triumph, so long hoped for and won by so many years of persistent struggle, was a Dead-Sea apple, full of ashes and bitterness. The discomfited adversary was now replaced by one who was rash and enter-
* Vaissette, III. Pr. 276, 282. -- Teulet, Layettes, I. 561, No. 1577. -- Raynald. Annal. ann. 1222, No. 48. -- Matt. Paris ann. 1223, p. 219.
† Alberici Trium Font. Chron. ann. 1223. -- Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 34. -Vaissette, III. Pr. 290. -- Raynald. Annal. ann. 1223, No. 41-45. -- Teulet, Layettes, II. 24, No. 1631.
prising, who wielded all the power gained by Philip's long and fortunate reign, and whose pride was enlisted in avenging the check which he had received five years before under the walls of Toulouse. Already in February he wrote to the citizens of Narbonne, praising their loyalty and promising to lead a crusade three weeks after Easter, which should restore to the crown all the lands forfeited by the house of Toulouse. Zealous as he was, however, he felt that the eagerness of the Church warranted him in driving the best bargain he could for his services to the faith, and he demanded as conditions of taking up arms that peace abroad and at home should be assured to him, that a crusade should be preached with the same indulgences as for the Holy Land, that all his vassals not joining in it should be excommunicated, that the Archbishop of Bourges should be legate in place of the Cardinal of Porto, that all the lands of Raymond, of his allies, and of all who resisted the crusade should be his prize, that he should have a subsidy of sixty thousand livres parisis a year from the Church, and that he should be free to return as soon or remain as long as he might see fit. *
Louis asserted that these conditions were accepted, and went on with his preparations, while Raymond made desperate efforts to conjure the coming storm. Henry III. of England used his good offices with Honorius, and Raymond was encouraged to make offers of obedience through envoys to Rome, whose liberalities among the officials of the curia are said to have produced a most favorable impression. Honorius replied in a most gracious letter, promising to send Romano, Cardinal of Sant' Angelo, as legate to arrange a settlement, and he followed this by informing Louis that the offers of Frederic II. to recover the Holy Land were so favorable that everything else must be postponed to that great object, and all indulgences must be used solely for that purpose; but that if he will continue to threaten Raymond, that prince will be forced to submit. Instructions were at the same time sent to Arnaud of Narbonne to act with other prelates in leading Raymond to offer acceptable terms. Louis, justly indignant at being thus played with, made public protestation that he washed his hands of the whole business, and told the pope the curia might come to what terms it pleased with Raymond, that he had noth-
* Vaissette, III. Pr. 285, 291-3. -- Gesta Ludovici VIII. aun. 1224.
ing to do with points of faith, but that his rights must be respected and no new tributes be imposed. At a parliament held in Paris, May 5, 1224, the legate withdrew the indulgences granted against the Albigenses and approved of Raymond as a good Catholic, while Louis made a statement of the whole transaction in terms which showed how completely he felt himself to be duped. He turned his military preparations to account, however, by wrenching from Henry III. a considerable portion of the remaining English possessions in France. *
The storm seemed to be successfully conjured. Nothing remained but to settle the terms, and Raymond's escape had been too narrow for him to raise difficulties on this score. At Pentecost (June 2) with his chief vassals, he met Arnaud and the bishops at Montpellier, where he agreed to observe and maintain the Catholic faith throughout his dominions, and expel all heretics pointed out by the Church, confiscate their property and punish their bodies, to maintain peace and dismiss the bandit mercenaries, to restore all rights and privileges to the churches, to pay twenty thousand marks for reparation of ecclesiastical losses and for Amauri's compensation, on condition that the pope would cause Amauri to renounce his claims and deliver up all documents attesting them. If this would not suffice, he would submit himself entirely to the Church, saving his allegiance to the king. His signature to this was accompanied by those of the Count of Foix and the Viscount of Béziers. As an evidence of good faith he reinstated his father's old enemy, Theodisius, in the bishopric of Agde, which the quondam legate had obtained and from which he had been driven, and in addition he restored various other church properties. These conditions were transmitted to Rome for approbation with notice that a council would be held August 20 for their ratification, and Honorius returned an equivocal answer which might be construed as accepting them. On the appointed day the council met at Montpellier. Amauri sent a protest begging the bishops desperately not to throw away the fruits of victory within their grasp. The King of France, he said,
* Rymer, Foedera I. 271. -- Vaissette, III. 339-40; Pr. 283. -- Raynald. Annal. ann. 1224, No. 40. -- Gesta Ludovici VIII. ann. 1224. -- Chron. Turonens. ann. 1224. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1224. -- Epistolm Seculi XIII. Tom. I. No. 249 (Monument. Hist. German.).
was on the point of making the cause his own, and to abandon it now would be a scandal and a humiliation to the Church Universal. Notwithstanding this, the bishops received the oaths of Raymond and his vassals to the conditions previously agreed, with the addition that the decision of the pope should be followed as to the composition with Amauri, and that any further commands of the Church should be obeyed, saving the supremacy of the king and the emperor, for all of which satisfactory security was offered. *
What more the Church could ask it is hard to see. Raymond had triumphed over it and all the Crusaders whom it could muster, and yet he offered submission as complete as could reasonably have been exacted of his father in the hour of his deepest abasement. At this very time, moreover, a public disputation held at CastelSarrasin between some Catholic priests and Catharan ministers shows the growing confidence of heresy and the necessity of an accommodation if its progress was to be checked. Not less significant was a Catharan council held not long after at Pieussan, where, with the consent of Guillabert of Castres, heretic bishop of Toulouse, the new episcopate of Rasez was carved out of his see and that of Carcassès. Yet the vicissitudes and surprises in this business were not yet exhausted. In October, when Raymond's envoys reached Rome to obtain the papal confirmation of the settlement, they were opposed by Gui de Montfort, sent by Louis to prevent it. There were not wanting Languedocian bishops who feared that with peace they would be forced to restore possessions usurped during the troubles, and who consequently busied themselves with proving that Raymond was at heart a heretic. Honorius shuffled with the negotiation until the commencement of 1225, when he sent Cardinal Romano again to France with full powers as legate, and with instructions to threaten Raymond and to bring about a truce between France and England so as to free Louis's hands. He wrote to Louis in the same sense, while to Amauri he sent money and words of encouragement. His description of Languedoc, as a land of iron and brass
* Vaissette, III. Pr. 284, 296. -- Vaissette, Éd. Privat, VIII. 804. -- Baluz. Concil. Narbonn. pp. 60-64. -- Gesta Ludovici VIII. ann. 1224. -- Concil. Montispessulan. ann. 1224 (Harduin. VII. 131-33). -- Grandes Chroniques, ann. 1224. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1224.
of which the rust could only be removed by fire, shows the side which he had finally determined to take. *
After several conferences with Louis and the leading bishops and nobles, the legate convened a national council at Bourges in November, 1225, for the final settlement of the question. Raymond appeared before it, humbly seeking absolution and reconciliation; he offered his purgation and whatever amends might be required by the churches, promising to render his lands peaceful and secure and obedient to Rome. As for heresy, he not only engaged to suppress it, but urged the legate to visit every city in his dominions and make inquisition into the faith of the people, pledging himself to punish rigorously all delinquents and to coerce any town offering opposition. For himself, he was ready to render full satisfaction for any derelictions, and to undergo an examination as to his faith. On the other hand, Amauri exhibited the decrees of Innocent condemning Raymond VI. and bestowing his lands on Simon, and Philip's recognition of the latter. There was much wrangling in the council until the legate ordered each archbishop to deliberate separately with his suffragans and deliver to him the result in writing, to be submitted to the king and pope, under the seal of secrecy, enforced by excommunication. *
There is an episode in the proceedings of this council worth attention as an illustration of the relations between Rome and the local churches and the character of the establishment to which the heretics were invited to return with the gentle inducements of the stake and gibbet. After the ostensible business of the assemblage was over, the legate craftily gave to the delegates of
* Vaissette, III. Pr. 284-5. -- Schmidt I. 291. -- Coll. Doat, XXIII. 269-70. -Rymer, Fœd. I. 273, 274, 281. -- Raynald. Annal. ann. 1225, No. 28-34. -- Teulet, Layettes, II. 47, No. 1694.
* Chron. Turonens. ann. 1225. -- Matt. Paris ann. 1225, pp. 227-9.
A poetaster of the period, in describing the council, depicts Raymond's discomfiture with emphasis:
"Et s'i vint li quens de St. Gille,
Ki n'i fist vallant une tille De sa besougne, quant vint là,
Qu' escuméniies s'en r'ala,
Ausi com il i fu venus,
Voire plus, s'il pot estre plus."
-- Chronique de Philippe Mousket, 25385-90.
the chapters permission to depart, while retaining the bishops. The delegates thus dismissed were keen to scent some mischief in the wind; they consulted together and sent to the legate a committee from all the metropolitan chapters to say that they understood him to have special letters from the Roman curia demanding for the pope in perpetuity the fruits of two prebends in every episcopal and abbatial chapter and one in every conventual church. They adjured him, for the sake of God, not to cause so great a scandal, assuring him that the king and the barons would be ready to resist at the peril of life and dignity, and that it would cause a general subversion of the Church. Under this pressure the legate exhibited the letters and argued that the grant would relieve the Roman Church of the scandal of concupiscence, as it would put an end to the necessity of demanding and receiving presents. On this the delegate from Lyons quietly observed that they did not wish to be without friends in the Roman court, and were perfectly willing to bribe them; others represented that the fountain of cupidity never would run dry, and that the added wealth would only render the Romans more madly eager, leading to mutual quarrels which would end in the destruction of the city; others, again, pointed out that the revenues thus accruing to the curia, computed to be greater than those of the crown, would render its members so rich that justice would be more costly than ever; moreover, it was evident that the host of officials in each church, whom the pope would be entitled to appoint to look after the collections, would not only lead to infinite additional exactions, but would be used to control the elections of the chapters, and end by bringing them all under subjection to Rome. They wound up by assuring him that it was for the interest of Rome itself to abandon the project, for if oppression thus became universal it would be followed by universal revolt. The legate, unable to face the storm, agreed to suppress the letters, saying that he disapproved of them, but had had no opportunity of remonstrance, as they had only reached him after his arrival in France. An equally audacious proposition, by which the curia hoped to obtain control over all the abbeys in the kingdom, was frustrated by the active opposition of the archbishops. Heresy might well hold itself justifiable in keeping aloof from such a Church as this. *
* Chron. Turonens. ann. 1225. -- Matt. Paris ann. 1225, pp. 227-8. Possi-
What were really the conclusions reached in the Albigensian matter by the archiepiscopal caucuses no one might reveal, but with pope and king resolved on intervention there could be little doubt as to the practical result. Moreover, the stars in their courses had fought against Raymond, for in this critical juncture death had carried off Archbishop Arnaud of Narbonne, who had become his vigorous friend, and who was succeeded by Pierre Amiel, his bitter enemy. There could be no effective resistance to royal and papal wishes; it was announced that no peace honorable to the Church could be reached with Raymond, and that a tithe of ecclesiastical revenues for five years was offered to Louis if he would undertake the holy war. Reckless as was Louis, however, and eager to clutch at the tempting prize, he shrank from the encounter with the obstinate patriotism of the South while involved in hostilities with England. He demanded therefore that Honorius should prohibit Henry III. from disturbing the French territories during the crusade. When Henry received the papal letters he was eagerly preparing an expedition to relieve his brother, Richard of Cornwall, but his counsellors urged him not to prevent Louis from entangling himself in so difficult and costly an enterprise, and one of them, William Pierrepont, a skilled astrologer, confidently predicted that Louis would either lose his life or be overwhelmed with misfortune. In the nick of time, news arrived from Richard giving good accounts of his success; Henry's anxieties were calmed, and he gave the required assurances, in spite of an alliance into which he had shortly before entered with Raymond. As a further precaution to insure the success of the crusade, all private wars were forbidden during its continuance. *
bly the chroniclers may be guilty of exaggeration, for the letters of Honorius only ask for a single prebend in each cathedral and collegiate church (Martene Thesaur. I. 929). In either case the encroachments of Rome were only postponed, for in 1385 Charles le Sage complained that nearly all the benefices of France were practically held by the cardinals, who carried the revenue to Italy, so that the churches were falling to ruin, the abbeys deserted, the orphanages and hospitals diverted from their purpose, divine service had ceased in many places, and the lands of the Church were uncultivated. To remedy this, he seized all such revenues and ordered them to be expended on the objects for which they had been given to the Church (Ibid. I. 1612).
* Matt. Paris. ann. 1226, p. 229. -- Vaissette, III. 349. -- Rymer, Fœd. I. 281. -Martene Collect. Nova, p. 104; Thesaur. I. 931.
The question of religion had practically disappeared by this time, except as an excuse for indulgences and ecclesiastical subsidies and as a cloak for dynastic expansion. If Raymond had not yet actively persecuted his heretic subjects it was merely because of the impolicy, under constant threats of foreign aggression, of alienating so large a portion of the population on which he relied for support. He had shown himself quite ready to do so in exchange for reconciliation to the Church, and he had urged the legate to establish an organized inquisition throughout his dominions. Amid all the troubles the Dominicans had been allowed to grow and establish themselves in his territories; and when their rivals in persecution, the Franciscans, had come to Toulouse, he had welcomed them and assisted them in taking root. In this very year, 1225, St. Antony of Padua, who stands next to St. Francis in the veneration of the order, came to France to preach against heresy, and in the Toulousain his eloquence excited such a storm of persecution as to earn for him the honorable title of the Tireless Hammer of Heretics. The coming struggle thus, even more than its predecessors, was to be a war of races, with the whole power of the North, led by the king and the Church, against the exhausted provinces which clung to Raymond as their suzerain. We cannot wonder that he was willing to submit to any terms to avert it, for he was left to breast the tempest alone. His greatest vassal, the Count of Foix, it is true, stood by him, but the next in importance, the Count of Comminges, made his peace, and is found acting for the king; the Count of Provence entered into the alliance against him, while, at a warning from Louis, Jayme of Aragon and Nuñez Sancho of Roussillon forbade their subjects from lending aid to the heretic. *
Meanwhile the crusade was organized on the largest scale. At a great parliament held in Paris, January 28, 1226, the nobles presented an address urging the king to undertake it and pledging their assistance to the end. He assumed the cross under condition that he should lay it aside when he pleased, and his example was followed by nearly all the bishops and barons, though we are told that many did so unwillingly, holding it an abuse to assail a faith-
* Waddingi Annal. Minorum ann. 1225, No. 14. -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 305, 318. -- Teulet, Layettes, II. 75, No. 1758; p. 79, No. 1768; p. 90, No. 1794.
ful Christian who, at the Council of Bourges, had offered all possible satisfaction. Amauri and his uncle Gui executed a renunciation of all their claims in favor of the crown; the cross was diligently preached throughout the kingdom, with the customary offer of indulgences, and the legate guaranteed that the ecclesiastical tithe granted for five years should amount to at least one hundred thousand livres per annum. The only cloud to mar the prospect was the discovery that Honorius had sent letters and legates to the barons of Poitou and Aquitaine, ordering them within a month to return to their allegiance to England in spite of any oaths taken to the contrary. This curious piece of treachery can only be explained by persuasive bribes from Raymond or from Henry III., and Louis promptly met it with liberal payments to the pope, by which he procured the suspension of the letters. This being got out of the way, another council was held March 29, where Louis commanded his lieges to assemble on May 17, at Bourges, fully equipped and prepared to remain with him as long as he should stay in the South. The forty day's service which had so repeatedly snatched from de Montfort the fruits of his victories was no longer to arrest the tide of a permanent conquest. * On the appointed day the chivalry of the kingdom gathered around their monarch at Bourges, but before setting forth there was much to be done. Innumerable abbots and delegates from chapters besieged the king, imploring him not to reduce the national Church to servitude by exacting the tithe bestowed on him, and promising to make ample provision for his needs; but he was unrelenting, and they departed, secretly cursing both crusade and king. The legate was busy dismissing the boys, women, old men, paupers, and cripples who had assumed the cross. These he forced to swear as to the amount of money which they possessed; of this he took the major part and let them go after granting them absolution from the vow -- an indirect way of selling indulgences which became habitual and produced large sums. Louis drove a thriving trade of the same kind from a higher class of Crusaders by accepting heavy payments from those who owed him service and were not ambitious of the glory or the perils of the expedition.
* Vaissette, III. Pr. 300, 308-14. -- Teulet, Layettes, II. 68-9, No. 1742-3. -Matt. Paris ann. 1226, p. 229. -- Chron. Turonens. ann. 1225, 1226.
He also forced the Count of La Marche to send back to Raymond his young daughter Jeanne, betrothed to La Marche's son, and reserved, as we shall see, for loftier nuptials. To Bourges likewise flocked many of the nobles of Narbonne, eager to show their loyalty by doing homage to the king and to advise him not to advance through their district, which was devastated by war, but to march by way of the Rhone to Avignon -- disinterested counsel which he adopted. *
Louis set forth from Lyons with a magnificent army consisting, it is said, of fifty thousand horse and innumerable foot. The terror of his coming preceded him; many of Raymond's vassals and cities made haste to offer their submission -- Nîmes, Narbonne, Carcassonne, Albi, Béziers, Marseilles, Castres, Puylaurens, Avignon-and he seemed reduced to the last extremity. When the host reached Avignon, however, and Louis proposed to march through the city, the inhabitants, with sudden fear, shut their gates in his face, and though they offered him unmolested passage around it, he resolved on a siege, in spite of its being a fief of the empire. It had lain for ten years under excommunication, and was noted as a nest of Waldenses, so the Cardinal-Legate Romano ordered the Crusaders to purge it of heresy by force of arms. The task proved no easy one. From June 10 till about September 10 the citizens resisted desperately, inflicting heavy loss upon the besiegers. Raymond had devastated the surrounding country and was ever on the watch to cut off foraging-parties, so that supplies were scanty. An epidemic set in, and a plague of flies carried infection from the dead to the living. Disaffection in the camp aggravated the trouble. Pierre Mauclerc of Britanny was offended with Louis for traversing his plot of marriage with Jeanne of Flanders, whose divorce from her husband he had procured from the pope, and he entered into a league with Thibaut of Champagne and the Count of La Marche, who were all suspected of entertaining secret relations with the enemy. Thibaut even left the army without leave, after forty days of service, returned home and commenced strengthening his castles. The crusade, so brilliantly begun, was on the point of abandoning its first serious enterprise, when the Avignonese, reduced to the utmost straits, unexpectedly offered to capit-
* Chron. Turonens. ann. 1226. -- Teulet, Layettes, II. 72, No. 1751.
ulate. Considering the customs of the age, the terms were not hard. They agreed to satisfy the king and Church, they paid a considerable ransom, their walls were thrown down and three hundred fortified houses in the town were dismantled, and they received as bishop, at the hands of the legate, Nicholas de Corbie, who instituted laws for the suppression of heresy. It was fortunate for Louis that the submission came when it did, for a few days later there occurred an inundation of the Durance which would have drowned his camp. *
From Avignon Louis marched westward, everywhere receiving the submission of nobles and cities until within a few leagues of Toulouse. The reduction of that obstinate focus of heresy was apparently all that remained to complete the ruin of Raymond and the success of the crusade, when Louis suddenly turned his face homeward. No explanation of this unlooked-for termination of the campaign is furnished by any of the chroniclers, but it is probably to be sought in the sickness which pursued the Crusaders, and possibly in the commencement of the disease which terminated the march and the life of the king at Montpensier on November 8 -- fulfilling the prophecy of Merlin, "In ventris monte morietur leo pacificus" -- and not without suspicion of poisoning by Thibaut of Champagne. Throughout Europe, however, the retreat was regarded as the result of serious military reverses. Louis had designed to return the following year, and had left garrisons in the places which had submitted to him, with Humbert de Beaujeu, a renowned captain, in supreme command, and Gul de Montfort under him, but their feats of arms were few, though the burning of heretics was not neglected, when occasion offered, if only to maintain the sacred character of the war. †
Saved as by a miracle from the ruin which had seemed inevitable, Raymond lost no time in recovering a portion of his dominions. The death of Louis had worked a complete revolution in the situa-
* Matt. Paris ann. 1226. -- Teulet, Layettes, II. 71, 78, 81, 84, 85, 87, 89, 90, 91, 648-9. -- Guillel. de Pod. Laurent. c. 35. -- Vaissette, III. 354, 364. -- Chron. Turonens. ann. 1226. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1226. -- Gesta Ludovici VIII. ann. 1226.
The city of Agen seems to have remained faithful to Raymond (Teulet, II. 82). † Gesta Ludovici VIII. ann. 1226. -- Matt. Paris ann. 1226. -- Chron. Turonens. ann. 1226. -- Guillel. de Pod. Laurent. c. 36, 38. -- Alberti Stadens. Chron. ann. 1226. -- Vaissette, III. 363.
tion, and, for a time at least, he had little to fear. It is true that Louis IX., a child of thirteen, was crowned without delay at Reims, and the regency was confided to his mother, Blanche of Castile, but the great barons were restive, and the conspiracy, hatched before the walls of Avignon, was yet in existence. Britanny, Champagne, and La Marche ostentatiously kept away from the coronation, delayed offering their homage, and intrigued with England. Early in 1227, however, they quarrelled, when a show of force and favorable terms brought them in one by one; short truces were made with Henry III. and the Viscount of Thouars, and a temporary respite was obtained. Gregory IX., who mounted the papal throne March 19, 1227, took the regent and the boy-king under the papal protection, on the ground of their being engaged in war against heresy; but the succors which they sent from time to time to de Beaujeu were probably only enough to give color to a continuance of the ecclesiastical tithe, which the four great provinces of Reims, Rouen, Sens, and Tours resisted till the legate authorized the regent to seize church property and compel the payment. Raymond thus was enabled to continue the struggle with varying fortune. The Council of Narbonne, held during Lent, 1227, in excommunicating those who had proved faithless to the oaths given to Louis shows that the people had returned to their ancient allegiance where they safely could; and in commanding a strict perquisition of heretics by the bishops and their punishment by the secular authorities, it indicates that even in territories held by the French the duties of persecution were slackly performed. *
The war dragged on through 1227 with varying result. De Beaujeu, assisted by Pierre Amiel of Narbonne and Foulques of Toulouse, captured, after a desperate siege, the castle of Bécède, when the garrison was slaughtered and the heretic deacon Géraud de Motte and his comrades were burned, the castellan, Pagan de
* Chron. Turonens. ann. 1226,1227. -- Martene Ampliss. Collect. I. 1210-13. -Potthast Regesta, 7897, 7920. -- Vaissette, III. Pr. 323-5. -- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1227. Guillel. de Pod. Laurent. c. 38. -- Matt. Paris ann. 1228. -- Martene Thesaur. I. 940. -- Conell. Narbonnens. ann. 1227 can. 13-17. -- Vaissette, Éd. Privat, VIII. 265. Letters of the Archbishop of Sens and Bishop of Chartres, in 1227, promising to pay to the king a subsidy for the crusade against the Albigenses are preserved in the Archives Nationales de France, J. 428, No. 8.
Bécède, becoming a "faidit" and a leader among the proscribed heretics, to be burned at last in 1233. Raymond recovered Castel-Sarrasin, but could not prevent the Crusaders from devastating the land up to the walls of Toulouse. The following year found both parties inclined for peace. We have seen that Raymond was eager to make sacrifices for it, even before the last crusade had stripped him of most of his possessions. The regent Blanche had ample motives to come to terms. With all her firmness and capacity the task before her was no easy one. The nobles of Aquitaine were corresponding with Henry III. who always cherished the hope of reconquering the ample territories wrenched from the English crown by Philip Augustus. The great barons, despising the rule of a woman, were quarrelling between themselves and involving a large portion of the kingdom in war. The hope of completing the conquest of the South could scarce repay the constant drain on the royal resources, while chronic warfare there was highly dangerous in the explosive condition of the realm. The difficulty of collecting the tithe from the recalcitrant churches was increasing, and it could not be continued permanently. Every motive of policy would therefore incline Queen Blanche to listen to the humble prayers for reconciliation which Raymond and his father had never ceased to utter, and a way of securing for the royal line the rich inheritance of the house of Toulouse seemed to offer itself in the fact that Raymond had but one child, Jeanne, still unmarried. A union between her and one of the younger brothers of St. Louis, with a reversion of the territories to them and to their heirs, would attain peaceably all the political advantages of the crusade, while, as to its religious objects, Raymond had left no doubts of his willingness to secure them.
Gregoiy IX. was quite content thus to close the war which Innocent had commenced twenty years before. Already, in March, 1228, he wrote to Louis IX., urging him to make peace according to the judgment of the legate, Cardinal Romano, who had full powers in the premises, and it was in the name of the legate that the first overtures were made to Raymond through the Abbot of Grandselve. That the marriage was the pivot upon which from the beginning the negotiations turned is shown by another letter of June 25, authorizing Romano to dispense with the impediment of consanguinity if the union between Jeanne and one of the king's brothers would lead to peace. Another epistle of October 21, announcing to all the prelates of France that he had renewed the indulgences for a crusade against the Albigenses, would seem to show that the terms offered to Raymond were hard of acceptance, and that renewed pressure on him was necessary. This was enforced by extensive devastations in his territories, and in December, 1228, he gave the abbot full power to assent to whatever might be agreed upon by Thibaut of Champagne, who acted as mediator for him. A conference was held at Meaux, where we find the consuls of Toulouse also represented, and preliminaries were signed in January, 1229. Finally, on Holy Thursday, April 12, 1229, the long war came to an end. Before the portal of Nôtre Dame de Paris Raymond humbly approached the legate and begged for reconciliation to the Church; barefooted and in his shirt he was conducted to the altar as a penitent, received absolution in the presence of the dignitaries of Church and State, and his followers were relieved from excommunication. After this he constituted himself a prisoner in the Louvre until his daughter and five of his castles should be in the hands of the king, and five hundred toises of the walls of Toulouse should be demolished. *
The terms to which he had agreed were hard and humiliating. In the royal proclamation of the treaty, he is represented as acting at the command of the legate, and humbly praying Church and king for mercy and not for justice. He swore to persecute heresy with his whole strength, including heretics and believers, their protectors and receivers, and not sparing his nearest kindred, friends, and vassals. On all these speedy punishment was to be inflicted, and an inquisition for their detection was to be instituted in such form as the legate might dictate, while in its aid Raymond agreed to offer the large reward of two marks per head for every manifest ("perfected") heretic captured during two years, and one mark forever thereafter. As for other heretics, believers, receivers, and defenders, he agreed to do whatever the legate or pope should command. His baillis, or local officers,
* Bernard. Guidon. Vit. Gregor. PP. IX. (Muratori, S. R. I. III. 570-1). -- Guillel. de Pod. Laurent. c. 38, 39. -- Teulet, Layettes, II. 144, No. 1980. -- Potthast Regesta, 8150, 8216, 8267. -- Raynald. Annal. ann. 1228, No. 20-4. -- Martene Thesaur. I. 943. -- Vaissette, III. 377-8; Pr. 326-9, 335.
moreover, were to be good Catholics, free of all suspicion. He was to defend the Church and all its members and privileges; to enforce its censures by seizing the property of all who should remain for a year under excommunication; to restore all church lands and lands of ecclesiastics occupied since the commencement of the troubles, and to pay as damages for personal property taken the sum of ten thousand silver marks; to enforce for the future the payment of tithes, and, as a special fine, to pay five thousand marks to five religious houses named, besides six thousand marks to be expended in fortifying certain strongholds to be held by the king as security for the Church, and between three thousand and four thousand marks to support for ten years at Toulouse two masters in theology, two decretalists, and six masters in grammar and the liberal arts. Moreover, as penance, he agreed to assume the cross immediately on receiving absolution, and to proceed within two years to Palestine, to serve there for five years -- a penance which he never performed, though repeatedly summoned to do so, until in 1247 he made preparations for a departure which was arrested by death. An oath was further to be administered to his people, renewable every five years, binding them to make active war upon all heretics, their believers, receivers, and fautors, and to help the Church and king in subduing heresy.
The interests of the Church and of religion being thus provided for, the marriage of Jeanne with one of the king's brothers was treated as a favor bestowed on Raymond. It was tacitly assumed that all his dominions had been forfeited, and the king graciously granted him all the lands comprised within the ancient bishopric of Toulouse, subject to their reversion after his death to his daughter and her husband, in such wise that whether there was issue of the marriage or not, or whether she survived her husband or not, they passed irrevocably to the royal family. Agen, Rouergue, Quercy, except Cahors, and part of Albi were likewise granted to Raymond, with reversion to his daughter in default of lawful heirs; but the king retained the extensive territories comprised within the duchy of Narbonne and the counties of Velay, Gévaudan, Viviers, and Lodève. The marquisate of Provence, beyond the Rhone, a dependency of the empire, was given to the Church. Raymond thus lost two thirds of his vast dominions.
In addition to this he was obliged to destroy the fortifications of Toulouse and of thirty other strongholds, and was prohibited from strengthening any in their stead; he was to deliver to the king eight other specified places for ten years, and to pay fifteen hundred marks per annum for five years for their maintenance; and he was to take active measures to reduce to subjection any recalcitrant vassals, especially the Count of Foix, who, being thus abandoned, came in the same year and made a humiliating peace. A general amnesty was proclaimed, and the "faidits," or ejected knights and gentlemen, were restored, excluding, of course, all who were heretics. Raymond, moreover, engaged to maintain peace throughout the land, and the routiers, or bandit mercenaries, who for fifty years had been the special objects of animadversion by the Church, were to be expelled forever. To all these conditions his vassals and people were to be sworn, obligating themselves to assist him in the performance; and if, after forty days' notice, he continued derelict on any point, all the lands granted him reverted to the king, his subjects' allegiance was transferred, and he fell back into his present condition of an excommunicate. *
The king's assumed right to the territories thus disposed of arose partly from the conquests of his father, and partly from Amauri, who a few days later executed a third cession of all his claims without reserve or consideration, other than what the king in his bounty might see fit to grant. The reward he obtained was the reversion of the dignity of Constable of France, which fell in the next year on the death of Matthieu de Montmorency. In 1237 he foolishly revived his claims, again styled himself Duke of Narbonne, made an unsuccessful effort to seize Dauphiné in right of his wife, and invaded the county of Melgueil, thereby incurring the wrath of Gregory IX., who ordered him as a penance to join the crusade then preparing to start for the Holy Land. In effect he did so, and Gregory generously granted him, to be paid after he was beyond seas, the large sum of three thousand marks out of the fund arising from the redemption of their vows by Crusaders staying at home -- by this time a customary mode of selling indul-
* Harduin. Concil. VII. 165-72. -- Vaissette, III. 375; Pr.329-35, 340-3. -- Teulet, Layettes, II. 147-52, No. 1991-4; pp. 154-57, No. 1998-99, 2003-4. -- Guill. de Pod. Laurent. c. 47.
gences, and one exceedingly lucrative, for this payment was assigned simply on the province of Sens and the lands of Amauri himself. In 1238 he sailed, and his customary ill-luck pursued him, for in 1241 we hear of him as a prisoner of the Saracens, and Gregory again came to his aid by contributing to his ransom four thousand marks from the same redemption fund. His death occurred the same year at Otranto, on his return from Palestine, thus closing a life of strange vicissitudes and almost uninterrupted misfortune. *
The house of Toulouse was thus reduced from the position of the most powerful feudatory, with possessions greater than those of the crown, to a condition in which it was to be no longer dreaded, though Gregory IX. and Frederic II., in 1234, at the reiterated request of Louis IX., restored to it the Marquisate of Provence, probably as a reward for increased zeal in persecution. Raymond no longer, as Duke of Narbonne, held the first rank among the six lay peers of France, but was relegated to the fourth place. The treaty resulted as its framers intended. In 1229 Jeanne of Toulouse and her destined husband Alphonse, brother of Louis, were children in their ninth year. Their marriage was deferred until 1237, and when Raymond, in 1249, closed his unquiet career, they succeeded to his territories. They both died without issue in 1271, when Philip III. took possession, not only of the county of Toulouse, as provided for in the settlement, but also of the other possessions which Jeanne had vainly attempted to dispose of by will, thus rendering the crown supreme throughout southern France, and preparing it for the rude shocks of the wars with Edward III. and Henry V. It is fairly questionable, indeed, whether, during those convulsions, the house of Toulouse might not have become independently royal, governing a well - defined territory of homogeneous population, had not the religious enthusiasm excited by heresy enabled the Capets, with
* Martene Ampliss. Collect. I. 1225. -- Vaissette, III. 375, 412. -- Teulet, Layettes, II. 155, No. 2000. -- Raynald. ann. 1237, No. 31. -- Rob. de Monte Chron. ann. 1238. -- Potthast Regest. 10469, 10516-17, 10563, 10579, 10666, 10670, 10996. -- Cf. Berger, Les Registres d'Innoc. IV. No. 2763-69. For the sums raised in England in 1234 by selling releases of Crusaders' vows see Matt. Paris ann. 1234, p. 276.
the assistance of the papacy, to destroy it in the thirteenth century.
That a monarchy so distracted and weakened as that of France during the minority of Louis IX. could demand and exact terms so humiliating as those which Raymond was glad to accept, shows the helpless isolation to which the religious question had reduced him, despite the fidelity of his subjects and the repeated failure of the assaults upon him. Those assaults he had met with the courage of a gallant knight and the resources of a skilful leader, but his neglect to persecute heresy deprived him of sympathy and of allies, and the anathema of the Church hung over him as an everpresent curse. To the public law of the period he was an outlaw, without even the right of self-defence against the first-comer, for his very self-defence was rated among his crimes; in the popular faith of the age he was an accursed thing, without hope, here or hereafter. The only way of readmission into human fellowship, the only hope of salvation, lay in reconciliation with the Church through the removal of the awful ban which had formed part of his inheritance. To obtain this he had repeatedly offered to sacrifice his honor and his subjects, and the offer had been contemptuously spurned. Now that the necessities of the royal court had rendered the regent and her counsellors unwilling to risk the drain and the dangers of prolonged war, he was too eager to escape from his cruel position to hesitate long in accepting the hard conditions which were exacted of him, although, as Bernard Gui says, the single provision which assured the reversion of Toulouse to the royal house would have been sufficiently hard if the king had captured Count Raymond on a stricken field. * There was much that he could allege in justification, had he imagined that justification was needed. Born in 1197, he was yet a child when the storm had broken over his father's head. Ever since he could observe and reason he had seen his land the prey of the ruthless chivalry of the North, at the head of vagabond hordes, as eager for spoil as for the redemption of their sins. As soon as one host had melted away it had been succeeded by another, and for twenty years the wretched people who clung to him had known no peace. He and they had barely escaped as by
* Bern. Guidon. Vit. Gregor. PP. IX. ( Muratori S. R. I. III. 572).
a miracle from destruction in the last crusade, and there was no prospect of better days in the future, so long as Rome's implacable enmity to heresy, acting upon the ambition of the restless Franks, could always call forth fresh swarms of marauders and dignify them with the Cross. Though he could not be a fervent disciple of a Church which had been to him so stern a stepmother, he was yet no Catharan; and while perfectly ready to tolerate the heresy of a large portion of his subjects, he might well ask himself whether their toleration was to be purchased at the cost of the whole population, who could never look for peace so long as heresy was endured among them. The choice lay between sacrificing one side or both sides; and what well might seem the lesser evil coincided with his own selfish instincts of self-preservation. He never hesitated as to the choice; and, after he had accomplished his object, he faithfully adhered to his promise of uprooting heresy, though more than once he interfered when the excessive rigor of the Inquisition threatened trouble. Perhaps the task at first was a distasteful one, but he had no alternative. He was but a man of his time; had he been more he might have played a martyr's part without better securing the happiness of his people.
The battle of toleration against persecution had been fought and lost; nor, with such a warning as the fate of the two Raymonds, was there risk that other potentates would disregard the public opinion of Christendom by ill-advised mercy to the heretic. Calling upon the state for its assured support, the Church made haste to reap the fruits of victory, and the Inquisition was soon at work among those who had so long bidden her defiance. That this was unanimously regarded by Europe as necessary and righteous, in spite of the vices and corruption of the ecclesiastical body, is so strange a development of the religion of Christ as to render the process of its evolution an indispensable subject for our consideration.
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