The Western Church from 1050 to 1250
PART I - cont.
THE DISCORD OF EMPIRE AND PAPACY 1073-1099
i Gregory VII
Immediately after the death of Alexander II a tumultuous election took place at Rome on 22 April 1073. The new pope was Archdeacon Hildebrand, who had long been a powerful influence at the Lateran palace and who now took the title Gregory VII. The proceedings were irregular, for the 1059 decree was totally disregarded: there was no preliminary discussion among the cardinal-bishops, and no consultation of the German court, nor indeed any other acknowledgement of the due honour which the decree had vaguely reserved to the emperor. The questionable character of the election was to figure among the many charges which Gregory's enemies would direct against him.
He was recognized by contemporaries as one of those rare personalities who can make or mar a world: 'the Christian people is divided into two, with some saying that he is good and others calling him an imposter and a false monk and an anti-Christian'. 1 He had been called, he believed, to care for the cause of righteousness, iusticia, and there were almost no limits to the extent of his responsibility. He was deeply impressed by the mass of evil which confronted him in the world, and one of his favourite quotations was Philippians 2: 21: 'they all look after their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ'. He saw those who afflicted the church as 'members of Antichrist' and therefore signs of the approaching end of the world, although it is hard to be sure how literally he intended this language to be understood. 2 Against the ranks of iniquity he devoted himself to fighting God's war, a war which was not only a metaphor, for he showed no hesitation in using force against the unrighteous. His
1 Wido of Ferrara, De Scismate Hildebrandi, i. 2 (MGH LdL i. 535).
2 For the evidence see K. J. Benz, "Eschatologisches Gedankengut bei Gregor VII", ZKg 97 ( 1986), 1-35.
enemies were threatened with punishment in this life as well as in the life to come, and in the crisis of 1080 Gregory prophesied that if Henry IV 'has not repented before the feast of St Peter he will be dead or deposed. If this does not happen you ought not to believe me any more'. 3
Gregory's vision of the world as a place where great forces of good and evil were contending underlies his whole conduct of the papal office. He believed that all men were committed to the struggle, and repeatedly quoted a text of Jeremiah: ' Cursed is he who keeps back his swordfrom bloodshed, that is the word of preaching from the rebuke of fleshly men.' 4 This sense of urgent involvement led Gregory to support unreservedly those whom he saw as friends of God and the Roman Church, and moderates were alienated by his association with men of violence such as Erlembald and by his choice of intransigent legates. His urgency was connected with his conviction, unique in its intensity among all the popes of the period, of his identification with St Peter. He believed that Peter and Paul had summoned him to headship in the Roman Church: 'I have not chosen you, but you have chosen me, and imposed upon me the most heavy weight of your church.' He was empowered to address others on their behalf: 'blessed Peter answers by me'. 5 Obedience to the commands of the apostolic see became, for him, increasingly the test of righteousness and even of catholic belief.
Gregory shared the conviction of the reformers as a whole that it was their duty to restore the perfection of the apostolic church. Like them, he looked for models in the New Testament, canon law, and monastic tradition. He was prepared on occasions to compromise, but was at heart a man who wanted to sweep away accepted practices which obstructed the path of righteousness. It was perhaps Gregory who introduced the famous remark: 'if by chance you are in opposition to a custom, it must be observed that the Lord said, "I am the truth and the life". He did not say, "I am the custom", but "the truth".' 6 Accordingly, there was a new urgency in his reference to
3 Bonizo, Liber ad amicum, ix (MGH LdL i.616). The correct date is almost certainly 1080 rather than 1076.
4 Reg. I. 15 (23). The text is from Jer. 48: 10, the interpretation from the Regula Pastoralis of Gregory the Great, and the text occurs more than ten times in the register.
5 See Reg. VII- 14a (483): IV. 2 (293); 1.10, 13, 42 (17, 22, 65); and VIII.21 (561).
6 The words probably originated with Tertullian and were cited by other Fathers. They were quoted by Urban II to Count Robert of Flanders in 1092 ( ep. 70. PL 151.356C ) but also occur in another letter perhaps by Gregory himself. See Greg. VII Extrav. 67 (151) and G. B. Ladner , "Two Gregorian Letters", S. Greg. 5 ( 1956), esp. 225-35.
canon law, and he actively encouraged the production of collections. Inevitably, Gregory shared the same distorted idea of the early church as did his associates. Many of the texts to which he attached most importance were forgeries from the Carolingian period, and his idea of the apostolic age was an amalgam of history, legend, and misunderstanding. There was also a further distorting element in Gregory's vision of the ancient traditions. His concern to enforce the laws of the church was so pressing that when he encountered resistance he responded by taking the matter under his immediate supervision. He listened to a small group of favourite advisers, which included his faithful supporters Countesses Beatrice and Matilda of the house of Tuscany. Even within the Roman Church, the cardinals found that policy was decided without consultation, and their discontent turned to open rebellion in 1084. In his dealings with the provinces Gregory worked through the ranks of his own confidants, who were appointed to an office of a new kind, as resident legates for long periods. The sole precedent for this arrangement was the legateship in Spain of Cardinal Hugh Candidus under Alexander II. Notable among these appointments were Bishop Hugh of Die, subsequently archbishop of Lyon, in Gaul from about 1075; Bishop Amatus of Oléron in southern Gaul and Spain in 1077; Bishop Altmann of Passau in Germany in 1080; Bishop Anselm II of Lucca in Lombardy in 1081; and Abbot Richard of St Victor, Marseille, in Spain in 1079. The powers entrusted to such legates were great, and they had an almost vice-regal status, exercising a wide range of papal powers of intervention, in some cases for a period of years.
Contemporaries and modern historians have disagreed about the long-term intention of this policy. Of the increasing initiative displayed by the Roman Church there is no doubt, but it is questionable whether Gregory was seeking a permanent change in the constitution of the western church. The difficulty in assessing his design is expressed in the summary of the powers of the apostolic see inserted in his register. This document, the so-called Dictatus Pape, made some very large claims, to which it will be necessary to return in detail later. It is a crucial text in the interpretation of Gregory's policy, and something must therefore be said about the technical problems involved in its interpretation. Dictatus Pape is not strictly a title but a rubric, occasionally used elsewhere in the register and apparently meaning that the pope dictated the particular item himself. It is found among the letters for the spring of 1075, but the text is undated and there are reasons for thinking that the earlier years of the register were written up as a block. 7 We cannot therefore say with confidence whether the document was designed as a papal response to the conflict with the German archbishops or monarchy, or whether it was a broad policy statement to clarify Gregory's future actions. The majority view of historians has been that it consists of headings for a small collection of canons defining the authority of the papacy. Some scholars, however, have taken precisely the opposite view: this arbitrary collection of claims was composed precisely because it was not possible for Gregory to find a basis for his actions in traditional canon law. It was thus an expression of his 'contempt for antiquity' of which some historians have written. There is no ready solution to this dispute. The case for seeing the Dictatus Pape as an interpretation of canon law rests on the similarity between its claims and those made by later 'Gregorian' canonical collections, notably that of Cardinal Deusdedit, and these resemblances seem to me convincing. Undoubtedly, its emphases were very different from those of the older collections, but it was probably intended to reinterpret the canonical tradition, not to supersede it. The actual character of the claims suggests that its main purpose was not to provide a blueprint for papal absolutism, but to define the emergency powers inherent in the Roman see to enable it to take action for the reform of the church.
In all probability, Gregory himself would not have admitted to a wish to deprive bishops and metropolitans of their authority. On the contrary, he hoped to liberate them from subservience to lay rulers; he aimed at giving back to metropolitans a real power of supervising episcopal elections; and from time to time he cited many of the standard canonical texts about the dignity of bishops. He had no machinery for centralizing their powers in his own hands, and the permanent legates, who had very varied commissions, could not have functioned as a replacement for the normal constitution. The threat to the traditional position of the bishops did not arise from a conscious project for centralization but from Gregory's sense of urgency in pressing the reform of the clergy, which led him to
7 There is a further question whether Reg. Vat. 2 is the original working register from the papal writing-office, or whether it is a collection made subsequently. The nature of the Dictatus Pape is however not affected by this uncertainty. Perhaps spring 1076 is the more likely date. We do not know that Gregory composed the sentences; the existence of very similar texts in other manuscripts suggest that he did not.
intervene repeatedly in the ordinary course of ecclesiastical discipline. This drew him into conflict with some of the great regional powers in the western church, and consequently into alliance with dissatisfied groups. He supported the extreme policies of Erlembald at Milan, and at Bamberg, Constance, and elsewhere welcomed the charges made by dissidents against their bishops. The metropolitans with whom he came into conflict were often not corrupt, but were champions of an older order. At Reims the removal of Archbishop Manasses was more the result of his defence of his rights than of a record of simony. In England Gregory succeeded in alienating the devout and influential Archbishop Lanfranc of Canterbury, who grew impatient at the demands made on him to visit Rome, and who eventually lapsed into neutrality in the papal schism. Even given the assumption that Gregory's interventions were essentially emergency measures, conservatives were right to be worried: subsequent events were to show that it was easier for the papacy to assume authority than to restore it once regional powers had lost the directing initiative. It was a series of interventions of this type which provoked collisions with archbishops and princes in many parts of Europe, and above all with the German government under Henry IV.
ii. The Breach with the Empire
The confrontation between Gregory VII and Henry IV is one of the episodes of medieval history which has entered into popular awareness, and in Germany 'Canossa' has more than once become a political slogan. In recent years, some historians have suggested that the drama of these events has led to their receiving too exclusive a treatment, and that it would be preferable to displace our attention towards the spiritual aspects of Gregory's work. The fact remains, however, that Gregory was 'less a man of far-reaching ideas than of decisive action'. 8 The collision with the empire is the most important example of his determination to implement the policy of the papal reformers, even at a cost which would have seemed unthinkable a few years before, and it was to have a profound effect on the papacy and on the structure of the church.
The first stage was one of conflict with the archbishops. Between
8 R. Schieffer, "Gregor VII. Ein Versuch über die historische Grösse", HJb 97 ( 1978), 106. A different approach is represented by G. Fornasari, "Dal nuovo su Gregorio VII?", Studi Medieval iii. 24 ( 1983), 315-53.
1073 and 1075 the decrees of Roman synods against simony and clerical concubinage were circulated with instructions to have them published locally, and as a result there were uproars of clergy in centres such as Passau and Erfurt, as there were also at Paris. Gregory was bitterly disappointed by the attitude of some bishops. In face of clerical opposition, Archbishop Siegfried of Mainz moderated the decrees (as did Lanfranc in England), and when Gregory sent his legates to publish them Liemar of Bremen, who was no friend of simony, objected angrily to their activity. He described Gregory as a dangerous man, who ordered bishops about as if they were his bailiffs. 9 Gregory showed no inclination to compromise in face of this opposition. He summoned several bishops to Rome to answer accusations, and in July 1075, after many delays, he pronounced the final deposition of Hermann of Bamberg for simony. It was an innovation to intervene to such an extent in the provinces of metropolitans, and still more so to hear complaints of subordinates against their bishop. 10 In a letter of 11 January 1075 Gregory made plain his intention to counter the disobedience of bishops by resorting to innovations, 'for it seems to us far better to re-establish divine justice by means of new counsels than to allow the souls of men to perish along with the laws which they have neglected'. 11 What to the pope was the declaration of a state of emergency appeared to the German bishops as the subversion of traditional order. By 1076 the German prelates had reached the verge of withdrawing their obedience, because Gregory had surrendered 'the control of ecclesiastical affairs to the ravening fury of the mob' -a reference to his appeal to laymen not to attend the masses of married or simoniac priests.
At this point the relation of pope and bishops became entangled with a quarrel between pope and king. The estrangement which had taken place at the end of Alexander's pontificate over Milan was suddenly healed when, in the summer of 1073, Henry IV was faced with a major rebellion in Saxony. Unwilling to fight on two fronts, Henry wrote an abject apology for his simony in a letter the like of
10 Peter Damian had already defended this procedure in ep. I. 12 (PL 144.215-6). The power was stated in Dictatus Pape 24 (Reg. II. 55a (207) ): "Quod illius precepto et licentia subiectis liceat accusare".
11 Letter to south German princes, Reg. II. 45 (184). It is uncertain whether the reforming decrees which provoked the archbishops' hostility were issued in 1074 or 1075.
9 It is not in fact clear that Lanfranc's relatively conservative legislation was in any way influenced by Gregory. See M. Brett, "The Canons of the First Lateran Council in English Manuscripts", ICMCL 6, 13-28.
which, wrote the gratified pope, 'we do not recall that he or his predecessors ever sent to Roman pontiffs'. 12 The letter inaugurated a period of two years of relative friendship. When in 1075 the relations between the two powers reached crisis point the background was a new papal policy towards the election and investiture of bishops (to which we shall return shortly); but the occasion was Milan. A renewed outbreak of violence by the Patarini in March led to the burning down of the cathedral, and then to a conservative reaction in which Erlembald was killed and the Patarini greatly weakened. The now dominant conservatives asked Henry to end the troubles by setting aside both claimants and investing a new archbishop. Henry at first hesitated; but when, in alliance with the south German princes, he heavily defeated the Saxons in June 1075, he resolved to take the initiative in Italy. He therefore nominated the young Milanese deacon Tedald as archbishop. Gregory reacted sharply in a letter of 8 December 1075, which ended with a full-blooded assertion of Henry's duty to God and St Peter, but what did the damage was probably a verbal message accompanying the letter, threatening that if Henry did not behave as a faithful son of the church he would be excommunicated and deposed. 13 Henry's exaggerated response has to be explained by his concern for his royal dignity: given his assumptions about his God-given power, Gregory's message must have sounded blasphemous, and the idea of withdrawing his allegiance from Gregory, and thus annulling in advance any sentence of excommunication, would have been attractive. There were also other parties pressing him to take action, including the aggrieved German bishops and Gregory's opponents at Rome, whence Cardinal Hugh Candidus had travelled north to co-ordinate action against the pope. A synod of German bishops assembled at Worms on 24 January 1076, and there they issued a letter to complain about the discord which 'brother Hildebrand' had caused and of his disorderly election. The bishops therefore withdrew their recognition of him, and Henry as patricius invited the Romans to depose him. It was a drastic action, widely publicized by the issue of
12 Reg. 1.25 ( 42 ) to Erlembald, 27 Sept. 1073. Henry's letter is Reg. 1. 29 a. We do not know whether it was Henry's own iniative -- a sort of preview of Canossa -- or whether he was coerced into writing it by Rudolf of Suabia and the southern princes, who were mediating between the Saxons and the king, and whose support was crucial to Henry.
13 Reg. III. 10 ( 263 -7) (the date in the register, 8 Jan. 1076, must be a copyist's error); Bernold, Chronicon (MGH SS V.432). Was the threat of excommunication, if indeed it existed, the sanction expressed in the investiture decree of spring 1075? In that case investiture, while not in itself the main issue, played a crucial part in the outbreak of hostility.
propaganda versions of the letters. Brother Hildebrand was in no way overawed, and at the Lent synod of 1076 he withdrew from Henry the government of Germany and Italy and excommunicated him. 14 In this unparalleled exchange of outrages Henry appeared to public opinion as the aggressor. Some of the bishops had been coerced into joining in the sentence at Worms, and these quickly made their peace with the pope. Still worse, Duke Rudolf of Suabia and the southern princes were alienated, and the Saxons given an opportunity to resume their opposition. The situation was perilous for Henry, but his enemies were far from united. We are not quite clear about Gregory's objectives in the summer of 1076, but he may have been looking for Henry's submission followed by a council at which the pope could judge the affairs of the German church and kingdom. Within the German opposition, there were differing policies: one group, led by the Saxons, had given up all hope of a settlement with Henry and was pressing for his removal. Others (including several bishops) were primarily concerned to secure a reconciliation between king and pope. When the princes met at Tribur on 16 October 1076, the conflicting demands rapidly became obvious. The result was a compromise. Henry was required to swear obedience to Gregory and to revoke the sentence of Worms. The princes also swore no longer to recognize Henry if he did not obtain absolution within a year of his excommunication, and to meet at Augsburg in Gregory's presence early in 1077. It was a notable humiliation for the king, but the plan was a ramshackle one which involved a number of uncertainties, and which in the event was to enable Henry to bring off his coup at Canossa, which transformed the situation.
Gregory set out for the meeting, but the deadline was not realistic and the princes had no means of escorting the pope across Lombardy, where the strongly imperialist bishops were powerful. Late in January the pope reached Countess Matilda's castle at Canossa, and there Henry arrived to ask for absolution. His pleas were supported by Matilda and by his godfather, Abbot Hugh of Cluny, and after being obliged to wait for three days in the garb of a penitent he was absolved on 28 January 1077. The one condition of absolution was that Henry promised to meet the pope and the princes and to do justice according to Gregory's decision. The arguments about the significance of Canossa began immediately and
14 Reg. III. 6 * (253-4).
have continued ever since. From Henry's point of view the three-day penance may have been perceived as a further humiliation, following the one he had suffered at Tribur, and it certainly seemed so to some contemporaries; and he had been obliged to promise to accept the decision of the forthcoming council. On the other hand, it was not unprecedented for kings to do public penance; his policy at Worms had already been abandoned under the pressure of the princes, and so he lost nothing further by his reconciliation with Gregory; he had obtained absolution in the time demanded of him, and had opened the way to winning back the moderates whom he had alienated the previous year. Gregory's policy was still fixed upon the goal of a council. He had secured no specific assurances, not even about Milan, and had failed to make clear whether Henry could now be regarded as legitimately king or not. Without the assembly of pope and princes to judge Henry the pope's policy made no sense.
It may well be that both sides hoped to find in Canossa a genuine reconciliation, for a complete breach between empire and papacy was a new and disquieting possibility. If that was their aim, they had reckoned without their supporters. The Lombard bishops refused to withdraw their hostility against Gregory and insisted on negotiations being abandoned, thus making the journey to Germany effectively impossible. There, the opposition met at Forchheim on 13 March 1077, refused to delay until the pope's arrival, and elected Rudolf of Suabia as king in Henry's place. The country was now in civil war, and Gregory acknowledged with distress that the dispute 'has grown to a most severe conflict and almost to the division of the whole country'. 15 Rudolf's ecclesiastical policy was ostentatiously Gregorian in character and he was supported by the papal legates, Cardinaldeacon Bernard and Abbot Bernard of St Victor, Marseille, as well as by many leading prelates, including Archbishops Siegfried of Mainz and Gebhard of Salzburg, and Bishops Adalbero of Würzburg and Altmann of Passau. The new ecclesiastical policy had a good deal to offer the southern princes. Their impact on the appointment of bishops had hitherto been fairly slight, for royal control and the power of the bishops at court had prevented the local nobility from acquiring the sort of influence which was relatively common in France. The Gregorian party broke away from the old system: none of its nominees had served in the royal chapel and many were monks, some of them belonging to the families of the southern
15 Reg. IV. 25 (339) and V. 7 (356), 9 June and 30 Sept. 1077.
nobility. The pope continued to strive to establish a tribunal to judge the dispute, but in the disorder this was impossible. Rudolf's authority was rapidly reduced to Saxony and a small part of Suabia, and several Gregorian bishops had to take refuge in Saxony. As Henry's military position improved he became more intransigent, and by the beginning of 1080 Gregory had abandoned all hope of a council or of any other form of settlement with Henry.
At Easter, 7 March 1080, Gregory pronounced his sentence at Rome. Henry was condemned for impeding the assembly and ruining the churches of Germany. He was deprived of his royal power and SS Peter and Paul were asked to implement the sentence. 16 Gregory prophesied that the king would be deposed within a short time. But in 1080 the position was not as favourable as in 1076. Even the moderates were growing impatient with Gregory. Egilbert, archbishop-elect of Trier, refused him the name of Christian, 'because he does not have the sign of Christ, which is peace and charity'. 17 Even so, they were still hesitant, and the decisive act of schism was carried out by an assembly consisting mainly of the intransigent Lombard bishops. At Brixen on 25 June 1080 it was declared that Gregory had been wrongly elected, and in his place Archbishop Wibert of Ravenna was elected as Clement III. Clement was no mere creature of Henry IV. He was a capable man, a sincere opponent of simony, and a defender of papal rights. He was cast in a more conservative mould than the radical Gregory: his propaganda was received sympathetically by the episcopate, by a number of kingdoms, and even by part of the governing group within the Roman Church, but he made no attempt to appeal to broad strata of the population or to the armed force of the laity other than to the traditional protection of the emperor. The western church was in a state of formal schism between the representatives of conflicting ideals.
The critical year 1075 was also the point at which Gregory abandoned the tolerance of lay interference in episcopal appointments. In his first year or two he had accepted investiture with ring and staff and the participation of rulers in the nomination of bishops. From 1075, his correspondence shows a clear determination to restrict their intervention and to have the election supervised by the pope or metropolitan. At the Lent synod of 1080 the new procedure, which the pope was already following, was clearly spelled out:
16 Reg. VII. 14a (486-7).
17 P. Jaffé, Bibliotheca rerum Germanicarum, 5 ( Berlin, 1869), no. 61, p. 128.
When on the death of the pastor of any church another has to be canonically substituted, at the instance of a bishop who shall be sent as visitor by the apostolic or the metropolitan see, the clergy and people without any secular desire, fear or favour shall, with the consent of the apostolic see or their metropolitan, elect for themselves a pastor according to God. 18
The prohibition of lay investiture is clearly associated with this new policy. It was reported that in 1075 the pope 'openly forbade the king henceforth to have any right in giving bishoprics and removed all lay persons from the investiture of churches'. It is probable that the issue of this decree arose from his conviction that the existing situation was intolerable, for he said himself that it was 'a truth necessary for salvation'. 19 If this decree of 1075 was intended to be generally applicable, it seems that Gregory regarded it as negotiable, for in the crucial letter of December 1075 he offered to discuss outstanding problems with Henry, and no attempt was made to implement the policy in England until after 1100. Whatever modifications Gregory might have contemplated, his decree in the Roman synod of autumn 1078 gave the subject maximum publicity, commenting that such investitures 'are, as we know, being made in many regions by lay persons against the statutes of the holy Fathers and as a result many disorders are arising in the church from which the Christian religion is afflicted'. 20 Since episcopal churches had no defined electorate and no experience in using this new liberty, the withdrawal of royal influence tended to place appointments in the hands of the pope or metropolitan. It is unfortunately impossible to be sure what connection there was between the adoption of this new policy and the breach with Henry IV . Certainly the traditional name for the whole dispute, 'the investiture contest', is wrong in implying that investitures were the primary issue. In the minds of the controversialists there was a much wider range of questions, and it was only after 1100 that the royal right of investiture became the central, and intractable, issue.
After the final breach in 1080 the position of the Gregorians
18 Reg. VII. 14a (482). Letters to Montefeltre and Gubbio, 2 Jan. 1075 (Reg. II-41 (178) ); Chartres. 4 Mar. 1077 (Reg. IV. 14 (318) and V. 11 (364) ); Aquileia 17 Sept. 1077 (Reg. V.5-5 (352-5) ). See also the letter to Philip I on 27 Dec. 1080 (Reg. VIII. 20 (543) ).
19 Reg. III. 10 (266). The decree of 1075 is mentioned only in Arnulf, Gesta Archiep. Mediolan. iv. 7 (MGH SS VIII.27). It has been doubted whether the decree was issued at all in spring 1075, but the early synods of Gregory are poorly recorded and references in Dec. 1075 and in May 1077 confirm its existence. The evidence is excellently presented by R. Schieffer, Die Entstehung des päpstlichen Investiturverbots für den deutschen König ( Stuttgart, 1981), 114-52, although the conclusions are controversial.
20 Reg. VI 5b (403).
continued to decline. Their party soon suffered a severe setback with the death of King Rudolf of his wounds in the battle of the river Elster on 15 October 1080. He was buried under an inscription which proclaimed him as a martyr: 'Where his men triumphed, he fell, war's sacred victim. For him, death was life. He died for the church.' 21 His successor as anti-king was a feeble figure, and Henry was left free to bring pressure upon Gregory in Italy. The pope tried to buttress his power with a new alliance. Almost since his accession he had been on terms of bitter hostility with Robert Guiscard, who was now the most powerful Norman leader, but in June 1080 they were reconciled and Guiscard did homage to the pope at Ceprano. The new policy brought little immediate benefit to the pope, for the Norman leader's ambition was set on a campaign against the Byzantine empire. The resistance of the citizens of Rome and of Gregory's other supporters was sufficient to oblige Henry to spend three years in building up his position in northern and central Italy, but his pressure opened a gap between Gregory and a large, discontented group within the Roman Church. The tension was already visible in May 1082, when the Roman clergy refused to allow the treasures of their churches to be employed for the defence of the city, and early in 1084 thirteen cardinals, much of the staff of the Lateran palace, and even the papal chancellor changed their allegiance to Clement III. On Easter Day 1084 Henry, along with his empress Bertha, received the imperial crown at the hands of Clement III. In practice neither of the contending popes could hold Rome. In May a Norman army under Robert Guiscard arrived, forced Clement to retreat, and ravaged the city from the Lateran to the Colosseum. Gregory in turn was obliged to withdraw with the Normans, and spent the last year of his life under their protection.
His determination to continue the battle was expressed in an encyclical letter late in 1084: 'Ever since by God's providence mother church set me upon the apostolic throne. . . my greatest concern has been that holy church, the bride of Christ, our lady and mother, should return to her true glory and stand free, chaste and catholic.' 22 Odo, cardinal-bishop of Ostia, was sent to rally the Gregorians in Germany early in 1085. They were still established in parts of Saxony and the south, but the imperialist cause was in the ascendant. Most of the cathedral cities were controlled by bishops who recognized
21 Inscription on tomb slab of Rudolf of Suabia in Merseburg cathedral.
22 Greg. VII, Extrav. 54 (133).
Clement III, and Henry was able to hold a magnificent council at Mainz in May. When Gregory died at Salerno on 25 May 1085 he was an apparent failure. He had alienated from his cause many who shared his desire for a renewal of the church, had failed to defeat Henry and had stirred up a civil war which did grave harm to the German churches. He left Rome, the city he loved, in disorder, damaged at the hands of his Norman allies. The western church was in schism and the once fruitful co-operation between papacy and empire replaced by suspicion and hostility. It was an inheritance which in the long term deeply marked the character of the papacy.
iii. The Revival of the Gregorian Papacy 1085-1099
The years 1085-99 were the high point in the fortunes of the imperialist pope, Clement III. He was at least precariously in control of Rome, where seventeen of the twenty-eight cardinal-priests are known to have been firmly on his side, although only one of the cardinal-bishops was; and he commanded the allegiance of much of the empire, Denmark, Poland, and Hungary, while England had taken up a position of neutrality. Throughout this region he appears to have been a responsible pope, conscious of papal rights, with a policy of moderate reform, and not obviously inferior to his main rival Urban II. Meanwhile the Gregorians were unable to produce an agreed successor. The Normans pressed for Abbot Desiderius of Monte Cassino, but he was fiercely opposed by some of Gregory's closest associates as being dangerously soft towards the emperor. Eventually Odo, cardinal-bishop of Ostia, gave way and consecrated Desiderius as Victor III on 9 May 1087. His pontificate was short, for he died on 16 September, expressing a wish for Odo to succeed him. The election took place at Terracina on 12 March 1088, and Odo took the title Urban II. He was a Frenchman, educated at Reims, where St Bruno had been one of his masters. By about 1074 Odo had become grand prior of Cluny, and probably in 1080 he was appointed cardinal-bishop of Ostia. In that capacity he was closely associated with Gregory VII, and was unkindly described as Gregory's personal slave, pedisequus. Urban himself issued a resounding declaration of his loyalty to the principles of Gregory. 23 He was, nevertheless, far from being an unimaginative imitator. He was more prepared than his predecessor to permit exceptions when
23 Ep. 1 (PL 151.284A) to the bishops of Germany.
they seemed advantageous, as when he allowed former supporters of Clement III to continue in their orders and benefices. Concessions of this kind were criticized by hard-line Gregorians, but they were facilitated by the growing clarity of the theory of dispensation. It was not a new idea that the pope could dispense from the requirements of the canons, but Urban set out more precisely the right to suspend the rules of law. 24 Urban also relied far more than Gregory on consultation. There is little in his letters about a personal relationship with St Peter, and he spoke not as a man with a private illumination, but as head of the Roman Church after discussion with its clergy. He had learned the lesson of 1084 and associated the cardinals in the conduct of business. As the unquestioned choice of his party, who had inherited and not caused the schism, he was in a position of moral authority.
These advantages had to be set against his initial political weakness. The Normans in southern Italy were convulsed by civil war, and although they offered the valuable facility of a territory in which Urban could reside and hold synods, they were in no position to give support in central Italy. Within the empire Urban depended on two main circles of supporters, both of them held together no doubt in part by political interest, but more obviously by spiritual and ideological aims and by the more subtle ties of friendship and proximity. They have been called 'friendship circles', and in the broader medieval sense of amicitia, participation in a common cause which extended beyond simple personal affection, this is a good name for them. One of them had its centre in the court of Countess Matilda of Tuscany. Her enormous estates, including both fiefs and allods under her direct ownership, extended from Verona as far as Lucca, and therefore dominated a large area of northern Italy and controlled several of the most important roads between Germany and Rome. For much of our period the Matildine lands were to play an important part in papal-imperial relations. She was not only one of the most powerful landowners in Europe, but a cultivated woman with a considerable library, who corresponded with influential church leaders and was an important patron of learning and of her family monasteries of Santa Apollonia, Canossa, and San Benedetto,
24 On the earlier history of the idea, see S. Kutnner, "Urban II and the Doctrine of Interpretation", S. Grat, 15 ( 1972), 53-85. Urban's theory of dispensation is stated in a fragment of a letter to Bishop Peter of Terracina 1088 ( S. Loewenfeld, Epistolae Pontificum Romanorum ineditae ( Leipzig, 1885), no. 121, p.59), and it was discussed by Bernold of Constance in his De Exconiniunicatis Vitandis.
Polirone. She may have encouraged the work of Irnerius on Roman law at Bologna, and she certainly asked John of Mantua to write his commentary on the Song of Songs in 1081-3 -- an early example of a theme which was to be very fashionable in the following century. The great canonist Anselm II of Lucca was a friend. There were times when Matilda almost appeared as the conscience of the Gregorian party. It was to Matilda that the dissidents appealed in the crisis over Desiderius' election, and she was resolute in her loyalty to Urban.
The nexus of his supporters in southern Germany was more complex. At its heart was the school at Constance. The collection of canonistic material there had apparently been begun by the master, Bernard, before his move to Hildesheim in 1072, and was continued by his talented successor Bernold. As a result of the presence of an unusually fine collection of texts, Bernold was able to make an important contribution to the polemic which began in the late 1070s. Another element was supplied by the work of the enthusiastic Gregorian Abbot William of Hirsau, the monks of whose foundations became notable for their propaganda. Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ( 1060-88) and Bishop Altmann of Passau ( 1065-91) were associated with the group, and through them the houses of canons centred on Rottenbuch (founded c. 1070). The protection of the lay nobility greatly increased the importance of this ecclesiastical circle. After the death of Rudolf of Suabia the south German princes, now under the leadership of Berthold of Zähringen and Welf of Bavaria, had continued to be opponents of Henry IV, founders of monasteries and champions of the new ideals of church reform. They also had a personal connection with Urban, who as Cardinal-bishop Odo of Ostia had been sent as legate to rally the German opposition in 1085. The personal links which held together these south German Gregorians may be seen in the able Bishop Gebhard of Constance, who effectively became the leader of the south German Gregorians. Gebhard was a former monk of Hirsau and brother of Berthold of Zähringen and had been consecrated by Odo of Ostia. The loyalty of this connection was the more important because the Gregorian position had wholly crumbled in Saxony, where the nobility had been reconciled with Henry IV in 1088.
For Urban the central religious problem in his dealings with the empire was the schism with Clement III. Gregorian extremists argued that all who had dealings with excommunicates were themselves excommunicate, a rigorist view which unchurched most of Germany, since all the subjects of a schismatic bishop would fall under the ban. Urban did not question their position and saw himself faced by 'a contagion of general evil', but he prescribed light penances for those who had sinned out of ignorance or fear. 25 Although in principle he adopted the rigorist view about clergy ordained by simoniacs, he was willing to dispense them completely on occasions, as at Milan in 1088 where clergy ordained by Archbishop Tedald were allowed to remain in office unless they were personally guilty of simony. Urban has sometimes been seen as a moderate, a Cluniac rather than a Gregorian pope, but his attitude to the schism suggests that he was a rigorist who was prepared to use his discretion freely for the general good of the church. In a society which lived, not by general laws but by franchises and privileges, this appeared a legitimate attitude to a complex situation.
One of Urban's persistent aims was to strengthen his party in Lombardy. In 1088 he secured the submission of Archbishop Anselm of Milan, thus ending the long alliance between the church there and the emperor. From 1090 onwards the presence of Henry IV in Lombardy strengthened the imperialists, but early in 1093 his son Conrad deserted him and was crowned king of the Lombards by Archbishop Anselm at Milan. During the next three years, while Germany remained faithful to Henry, he was himself isolated in Lombardy by his enemies' control of the Alpine passes. Urban took advantage of this turn of fortune by moving from southern Italy, and met Conrad at Cremona, where the young king ceremonially performed the service of a groom to the pope and swore fidelity to the Roman Church. 26 In March 1095 Urban was able to hold the first general assembly of his supporters in the synod of Piacenza. A variety of matters was considered: the relations of Philip I of France with Bertrada of Montfort, the complaints of Praxedis, second wife of Henry IV, against his alleged maltreatment, and the appeal for help of an embassy from the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I. The main business however was the re-enactment of Gregory VII's legislation. Simony was condemned, and it was decreed that anything by way of holy orders or ecclesiastical rights obtained by money was 'unlawful
25 Ep. 15 to Bishop Gebhard of Constance(PL 151.297-8), Apr. 1089.
26 MGH Leges IV Const. I, no. 394 (p. 564) and Bernold, Chronicon s.a. 1095 (MGH SS V.463). Urban was following the proposal by Gregory VII in 1081 that the successor of Rudolf of Suabia should take an oath of obedience to him (Reg. IX- 3 (575-6) ). Probably in both cases an oath of spiritual fidelity, not of vassalage, was intended.
( irritum). . . and never possessing any force'. 27 A final ruling was given that the orders of Clementist clergy were only to be recognized in special circumstances. Urban followed his triumph in Lombardy by making the first papal visit to France since Leo IX's brief appearance at Reims in 1049. The high point of the French tour was the great assembly at Clermont in November 1095, in the presence of about thirteen archbishops, eighty-two bishops and innumerable abbots. The most famous episode was the proclamation of the First Crusade, which must be considered later, and in addition Philip I was excommunicated because of the Bertrada affair. The bulk of the assembly's business however was the provision of a comprehensive body of reforming regulations. They included a broad condemnation of the lay ownership of churches and the prohibition not merely of investiture, but also of the performance of homage by bishops and priests to lay rulers. This was a natural extension of the investiture decree, and was probably directed against the solemn hand-oath rather than all forms of sworn allegiance. The canons of Clermont were an impressive expression of the policy which Urban had inherited, and which he summarized in words taken from Gregory's last encyclical: 'the church shall be catholic, chaste and free: catholic in the faith and fellowship of the saints, chaste from all contagion of evil, and free from all secular power. 28
Meanwhile other churches were being persuaded by judicious concessions to support Urban. About 1095 King Eric III of Denmark quarrelled with Liemar, the strongly Clementist archbishop of Hamburg, and undertook a dramatic journey to Italy to meet Urban. He secured a promise of independence from Hamburg, which led to the foundation of the archbishopric of Lund in 1103. England under William Rufus acknowledged Urban in 1095 in return for a promise to send no legates there without the king's permission. In 1098 Urban's loyal supporter Count Roger of Sicily received an even larger grant, the position of perpetual legate within his territories. In the course of ten years Urban had immensely strengthened the position of the Gregorian line of popes. At the time of his death on 29 July 1099 he was still not secure in Rome, but he had succeeded in laying the foundations of the triumph of Gregorian ideas of church government over those of Clement III, the representative of the older
27 C. of Piacenza C.2 (MGH Leges IV Const. I no. 393, p. 561). There is no evidence that the investiture decrees were renewed at Piacenza, but Urban assumed in his negotiations with Conrad that they were still in force.
28 R. Somerville, The Councils of Urban II: Decreta Claromontensia ( Amsterdam, 1972), 90.
pattern of imperial protection of the church. The programme enunciated by Gregory had been brought to much wider acceptance. This, however, was not the whole of his achievement. He began to build the papal administration on new foundations, and he turned papal policy away from its concentration on the empire. Certainly there were precedents for this, for the involvement with southern Italy and Spain dated back to the time before Gregory VII. Urban developed these relationships and added to them a much closer link with the French church, which reflected his own French origins, and he originated the great enterprise of the First Crusade. By 1099, although Clement III survived him, Urban had visibly made himself the head of the greater part of Christendom. 29
iv. The War of Ideas (1076-1099)
We are told that when Gregory VII proclaimed the excommunication of Henry IV the chair of St Peter was miraculously split in two, thus showing how the church was divided against itself. To Manegold of Lautembach it seemed that St Augustine's two cities, the earthly and the heavenly, had separated themselves 'so that there is scarcely a city in the whole Latin world which does not have defenders of both sides in this affair'. There was schism, too, in the minds of men:
Often I reflect how many people there are in support of each party, and how they are as well advanced in learning as men can be, and most seriousminded, and how it would therefore be wrong to believe that one side or the other is deliberately acting in defiance of justice or of the peace of the church. So I find that my own small judgement begins to waver, and I am covered with a dark cloud of doubt. 30
Some important European churchmen, in face of this unprecedented hostility between pope and emperor, withdrew into neutrality. Lanfranc of Canterbury seems to have done so, and Abbot Hugh of Cluny was less than whole-hearted in his advocacy of Gregory's cause. Cluny commemorated the emperors in its prayers, and Hugh made attempts to reconcile the two parties; indeed, his biographer regarded it as one of the most striking instances of his notable work
29 The First Crusade and the development of the papal administration are discussed in subsequent chapters.
30 Manegold, Contra Wolfelmum, 23, ed. W. Hartmann, MGH Quellen 8, 102; Wido of Osnabrück (MGH LdL i.462).
as a mediator. One aspect of Gregory's actions which was widely resented was the involvement of the laity and even of the lower classes in the controversy. Henry's supporters complained angrily of seditious preaching:
But the lord pope says, 'He is perverse, to whom you gave your oath. He is wicked, and a perjuror, and a criminal; you do not owe fidelity to him.' This indeed, my lord pope, we read in your writings, this indeed we have heard carried throughout the world by your evangelists. 31
The material for this appeal to public opinion, in the market place and the pulpit, was provided by a pamphlet war for which there had been no real parallel since the ancient world.
The controversy is recorded in the register of Gregory VII, in collections of canons, and in polemical treatises. The register of Gregory's letters is a unique survival before Innocent III. They were major vehicles of propaganda, and the most crucial of them, such as the second letter to Bishop Hermann of Metz in 1081, were widely known in Germany. 'The first decade of the history of the polemical literature of the Investiture Contest is dominated by the circulation of the letters of Gregory VII.' 32 At first the papal reformers had not found it necessary to produce lawbooks of their own, but used traditional collections supplemented by the more recent work of Burchard. When the controversy raised questions which these collections were not designed to answer, thematically arranged extracts began to be produced in the Roman Church itself, in the circle of Countess Matilda and by the canonists of the Constance group. They all bore the marks of the crisis but by no means all reflected Gregory's own position in detail. The one most closely associated with him was the Dictatus Pape entered in his register in 1075 or 1076. At about the same time a collection called Diversorum Patrum Sententie (or alternatively the Collection in 74 Titles) was beginning to circulate in Italy and Germany, although its origin is not clear. 33 The great period of new collections was the 1080s, when there came from within the Roman Church the Capitulare of Cardinal Atto and (in 1087) the work of Cardinal Deusdedit, each reflecting the ideas of different groups among the cardinals. The
31 Wenrich of Trier 6 (LdLi. 294).
32 I. S. Robinson, "The Dissemination of the Letters of Pope Gregory VII", JEH 34 ( 1983), 193.
33 Once regarded as the earliest of the reformers' collections, it is no longer clear that it reflects Gregorian thinking, and there is no firm evidence for its existence before 1070.
collection of Bishop Anselm of Lucca, prepared in Lombardy about 1083, was specially important in disseminating Gregorian thinking since it supplied much material to the subsequent authoritative books of Ivo of Chartres and Gratian. This canonistic activity was viewed with distaste by imperialists, who continued to use the traditional books in place of the systematic excerpts preferred by the Gregorians and complained about the 'fraudulent compilations' produced by Hildebrand, Urban, Anselm of Lucca, and Deusdedit. 34 There were, finally, many occasional works of controversy. These include histories written in a strongly partisan spirit, such as the Ad Heinricum IV Imperatorem by the imperialist Benzo of Alba and the Liber ad Amicum by the papalist Bonizo of Sutri. Pamphlets were written to answer other pamphlets, as when Wenrich of Trier's criticism of papalist arguments was in turn answered by Manegold of Lautembach's Liber ad Gebhardum.
Gregory and his followers based their case on the responsibility of the Roman Church, and it is somewhat surprising that they did not offer much theological reflection about the source of its authority. Gregory's longest statement of this is therefore worth quoting:
You all know in your charity. . . that care and anxiety for all the churches (II Cor.xi.28) have been committed to us, little as we are, by God. For the lord Jesus Christ appointed St Peter the chief of the apostles, giving him the keys of the kingdom of heaven and the power of binding and loosing in heaven and on earth. Upon him he also built his church (Mt. xvi. 18-9), commending to him his sheep to be fed (Jn.xxi. 17). From that time onwards that supremacy and power passed down through St Peter to all those who receive his see, or who shall receive it until the end of the world, by divine privilege and hereditary right. As a successor to that see it is incumbent on us, as a necessity which we cannot avoid, to bring help to all the oppressed and to fight even to the death if necessary with the sword of the holy spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. vi. 17), in defence of righteousness against the enemies of God until they be converted. 35
In this passage Gregory was drawing from both Paul and Peter, the founders of the Roman Church, while defining its relations with Peter in decidedly contemporary terms as 'privilege and hereditary right'. Since the pope shared the supreme apostolate of Peter he had a right to intervene in other dioceses. At this point the papal theorists
34 Cardinal Beno in MGH LdL ii. 416. On the approach of the two sides to collections of canons, see the interesting article by H. Fuhrmann, "Pseudoisidor, Otto von Ostia und der Zltatenkampf von Gerstungen", ZSSRGkA 99 ( 1982) 52-69.
35 Greg. VII, Reg. IX. 35 (622-3).
were precise. The Dictatus Pape, which has sometimes (wrongly) been regarded as a definition of Gregory's reforming programme, was primarily a list of the special prerogatives of the Roman Church. The pope has power, even without a synod, to depose and restore bishops (clauses iii, xxv). He may translate them, unite bishoprics and ordain clergy of any church (vii, xiii-xv). All 'greater causes' ought to be referred to the apostolic see (xxi). The pope has power to depose the guilty even in their absence (v). Legates, even of inferior rank, take precedence over bishops (iv). Accusations can be heard from subjects against their superiors (xxiv). All of these rights are supported by material in the collections of Deusdedit and Anselm and most of them had some precedent in earlier canon law. Yet the claims of the Dictatus Pape represent a slanted version of canonical tradition. They contravened many of the normal legal principles: that judgement should be given in synod, that inferiors might not accuse superiors, and that the accused should not be condemned in his absence. These principles protected established rights, and the claiming of power to overrule them was a declaration of a state of emergency.
Gregory was bringing into question all the accepted principles of obedience to traditional authority, and it was only one stage further to the assumption that Rome has absolute supremacy over all churches: 'the Roman Church has obtained the primacy from Christ'. 36 Rome alone was guaranteed from error: 'the Roman Church has never erred nor, by Scripture's authority, will ever err'. 37 It was even held that the Roman Church could decide which canons were authentic: 'Peter is the goldsmith's stone, which tests the gold, whether it be true or false.' 38 This was a large shift of emphasis, but it was limited by the expectation that the pope would be guided by canon law, into which, in fact, not much material was incorporated from the eleventh-century popes. Gregory provided a balanced statement of the position: 'it is customary for the holy and apostolic see to tolerate many things on mature consideration, but never in its decrees and constitutions to depart from the concord of canonical tradition'. 39 These claims nevertheless gave the pope a
36 W. von Glanvell, Die Kanonessammlung des Kardinals Deusdedit ( Paderborn, 1905), prol. p. 6.
37 Dictatus Pape 22 (Reg.II 55a (207) ). The reference is to Luke 22: 31-2.
38 Atto, Capitulare, prol. ( A. Mal, Scriptorum Veterum Nova Collectio VI ( Rome, 1832):
Trium Attonum Scripta, 61.) See also J. J. Ryan, S. Peter Damiani and his Canonical Sources ( Toronto, 1956), nos. 18-20, pp. 29-30.
39 Greg. VII, Reg. II. 50 (191), 24 Jan. 1075.
quasi-royal position within the church, and Bernold of Constance made the analogy precise: 'Each bishop does not have so great a power over the flock committed to him as does the apostolic prelate, for although the latter has divided his cure into particular bishoprics he has in no way deprived himself of his universal and principal power; just as the king has not diminished his royal power although he has divided his kingdom among different dukes, counts and judges.' 40 This authority was expressed in the language of imperial splendour. Alphanus of Salerno addressed Peter,
Caesar and consul both, command the Roman senate. Behold, the world beneath the sky obeys your word. 41
The pope now acquired, along with his bishop's mitre, a crown or regnum. We first hear of a papal coronation in 1059 and from 1075 we hear of ceremonies in which, as at a royal crown-wearing, the pope appeared with crown and imperial robe. Gregory claimed that only the pope could use imperial insignia and boasted that the law of the Roman pontiffs has prevailed in more lands than the law of the Roman emperors. 42
This is a claim to papal monarchy, but it is hard to determine its exact meaning. One significance was the eschatological one. The New Testament had taught that the Roman empire was the force which restrained the coming of Antichrist, but since 1076 the empire had fallen away and this function devolved upon the pope. 43 The imperial claim also expressed the duty of the pope as described in the commission to Jeremiah: 'see, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant' (Jer. 1: 10). Gregory's duty to strive for righteousness, iusticia, is expressed frequently in his works, and he believed that the papal office had been established for this very purpose. Primarily, this meant the liberty and purity of the church; it was only rarely that he intervened in a case of secular oppression where the interests of the church were not involved. To Gregory's
40 Bernold, Apologeticus, 23 (MGH LdL ii. 88).
41 J. Szövérffy, "Der Investiturstreit und die Petrus-Hymnen des Mittelalters", DAEM 13 ( 1957), 230.
42 Dictatus Pape 8 (Reg. II. 55a (204) and Reg. II. 75 (237) ). There were even charters issued in Burgundy in 1082-3 domino nostro papa Gregorio Romanum imperium tenente (C. U. J. Chevalier, Cartulaire de l'abbaye de S. Bernard de Romans (Romans, 1898), nos. 186, 188), but this is very unusual.
43 2 Thess. 2: 6 -7 was usually understood as referring to the restraint of Antichrist by the Roman Empire, as by John of Mantua just after 1080: B. Bischoff and B. Taeger, In Cantica canticoruni. . . ad comitissam Matildam, Spicilegium Friburgense 19 ( 1973), 64-5.
eyes the sphere of religion was incomparably more important than secular affairs. They differed as do sun and moon, gold and lead, and even a simple exorcist, since he can command demons, is mightier than a king. 44 Gregory continued to see regnum and sacerdotium as both founded by God, and by the monarchical symbols he was claiming not a right to worldly authority, but a power better than that of the world.
It was his conviction that in a critical situation it was his duty to recall secular rulers to the way of righteousness, which caused the final breach. The Dictatus Pape asserted that the pope can depose emperors and absolve subjects from their allegiance, and these powers were actually exercised against Henry IV. 45 The precedents were argued in the second letter to Hermann of Metz, and were on the whole poor. Gregory also sought to involve the whole Christian people in his apostolic struggle against evil. Just as he appealed for lay support against simoniac clergy, so he enlisted sympathetic princes, such as those of southern Germany, into a militia of St Peter, as he described it, bound to serve the Roman Church even against 'non-catholic' monarchs, including their own lord Henry IV. Gregory even proposed in 1081 that the next German king should take such an oath of obedience. 46 To conservatives the attack upon the position of Henry IV was an outrage:
It is a new thing, and unheard of in all previous ages, that popes should wish so easily to divide up the kingdoms of the peoples; to wipe out in a sudden conspiracy the name of kings, which was found from the beginning of the world and afterwards established by God; to change the anointed of the Lord like common villeins whenever they please; to order them to come down from the throne of their fathers and, if they do not do so at once, curse them with an anathema. 47
Conversely Bonizo held that 'the dispute between the pope and the king arose from nowhere else but this, that. . . . without judgement he attempted to drive from his see the lord pope of the elder Rome.' 48 The controversialists, while aware of other causes, saw the heart of the matter in the deposition of pope by king and king by pope.
44 Reg. IV. 2 (296); IX. 37 (631); VIII. 21 (555-6). In each instance Gregory specifically based his claim on patristic authority. 45 Dictatus Pape, 12, 27 (Reg. II. 55a (204, 208) ).
46 Reg. IX. 3 (575-6).
47 Wenrich of Trier 4 (MGH LdL i. 289).
48 Bonizo, Liber ad Amicum, ix (LdL i. 617-8).
It has even been argued, notably by Karl Jordan, that Gregory extended his programme of enlisting the princes in the service of St Peter into an ambitious project to reduce the lay rulers generally to feudal obedience. The Normans in southern Italy and the kingdom of Aragon were already bound by an oath and a commitment to pay tribute; Gregory also asserted a similar supremacy in England, and proposed an oath to the Roman Church for future German kings; and there are indications that he regarded the crowns of Denmark and Poland also as bound to the suzerainty of Rome. The existence of this element in his policy is undeniable, but we should not interpret it as a grand design to secure the recognition of papal overlordship throughout the west. For Gregory, obedience to the see of Rome was the supreme test of righteousness, and in the ethos of the period it was natural to express this obligation in terms which we would regard as feudal. It certainly did not imply that he had any intention to direct the political affairs of the country in question, and as a matter of fact, he was not even very active in advancing these 'feudal' claims: in southern Italy and Aragon they had been inherited from the past, and in England he was asserting what he believed to be an established right of the Roman Church, based either on Alexander II's supposed grant of the kingdom to William the Conqueror or on the payment of Peter's Pence. Ties of this sort indicated Gregory's concern to enlist the princes on the side of the angels against the simoniac Henry and expressed their obligation to assist the Roman Church.
The outburst of pamphlet controversy has been seen as the foundation of the western tradition of political thought. There is truth in this, but the argument about political theory was confined within some specific issues: was Gregory properly elected? Was Henry a just king, and if he was not had his subjects a right to rebel? Had the pope a right to dispense them from their allegiance? Had the lay power a right to invest bishops and receive their homage? The answer to these questions had to be found in canon law, and canonists were prominent in the controversy. When canon law did not provide a clear solution, appeal was made to historical precedent. The Gregorians believed themselves to be restorers of a right order which had existed in the past, and zealously assembled instances of popes who had excommunicated rulers and been parties to their deposition. Between the two sides there remained a large agreeement about political principles. Almost all the imperialists rested their arguments on the traditional two-power theory:
Whoever carefully considers this disposition of God according to the divine ordinance of the two powers must certainly conclude that in this a great iniquity has been worked by Hildebrand and his bishops, who, although they ought not on account of the episcopal dignity to interfere in any secular affairs, usurped the institution of royal dignity against the ordinance of God and against the custom and discipline of the church. 49
The Gregorians similarly defended themselves in the name of the separation of powers: 'Let kings have what belongs to kings, and priests have what belongs to priests. So shall they keep peace towards each other and respect one another in the one body of Christ.' 50 These words of Paschal II in 1105 were faithful to the tradition of Gregory VII, who in 1074 wrote to William the Conqueror that it was the king's duty 'to take counsel for the churches committed to you to defend'; and who even contemplated the possibility of leaving the Roman Church in the care of Henry IV 'that you may preserve it as your holy mother and defend its honour'. 51 The controversy over particular issues took place on the common ground of the two-power theory.
There were some exceptions. Benzo of Alba made unlimited claims for the royal office, reminding the bishops that they were appointed 'by the hands of the king, not by the hands of Foldebrand'. 52 Among the Gregorians the two-power theory was under strain. In the second letter to Hermann of Metz Gregory ascribed the creation of kingship to the sins of men. Even if he was referring to non-catholic or pagan kings, the argument represented a debasement of the monarchical dignity which cannot easily be parallelled. Good Christians were seen as having more right to a royal title than bad kings. 53 The old idea of Christian order had not been formally rejected, but on occasions the Gregorian party was eroding it by the way the Petrine primacy was now affirmed.
49 Liber de Unitate, ii. 15 (MGH LdL ii. 226).
50 Paschal II, ep. 164 (PL 163. 175B).
51 Reg. II. 31 (167) and 1. 70 (101).
52 Benzo, Ad Heinricum Imperatorem, iv prol. (MGH SS XI. 634).
53 Reg. VIII. 21 (557), with reference to the royal priesthood of 1 Pet. 2: 9.
GREEKS AND SARACENS
i. The Situation in the Mediterranean World
The Cluniac monk Raoul Glaber had already before the middle of the eleventh century commented that the preaching of the Gospel in the north of Europe had enjoyed much greater success than in the south. 1 The Roman Church recognized the need to assist in the organization of the new churches in Scandinavia and to send missions to the remoter regions, but its attention was more occupied by the Mediterranean. There the frontier between the Latin, Greek, and Moslem worlds lay close to Rome itself, and the popes were conscious of the Christian churches which were subject to Moslem rule in Sicily, Spain, and north Africa. The arrival at Rome of the reforming party, with its policy based on a new ideology and implemented by northerners who were unfamiliar with the attitudes of the south, would in any event have led to changes. The desire for a new policy is illustrated by Leo IX's appointment of Humbert as archbishop of Sicily in 1050. Perhaps he was chosen because he knew some Greek, but it was a paper appointment, significant only as a declaration of intent. As it happened, the new approach by Rome coincided with a new chapter in the centuries-old conflict of Islam and Christianity.
The most obvious feature in the new political situation was the expansion of the Byzantine empire under the Macedonian dynasty, a process which continued until the death of Basil II in 1025. Its frontiers were extended far into Syria, to the Danube, and into southern Italy, so that in 1050 they were wider than at any time since the rise of Islam. False modesty was never a Byzantine defect, and the consequence of this brilliant story of success was to confirm the impression that Constantinople was the centre of the civilized world. The contrast between the great eastern Christian empire and the Roman Church of the early part of the century, with its limited
1 Raoul Glaber, Historiae, ii. 5 (PL 142.626C).
power and local interests, was vivid. By 1050, it was becoming blurred as Byzantium faced growing problems and the Roman Church reasserted its role of leadership, and the distance between image and reality was one of the reasons for the crisis of 1054. The Byzantine control of the eastern Mediterranean facilitated communications with the other patriarchates, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria, with which contact had been poor, and in particular made possible an enormous growth in western pilgrimage to Jerusalem, both through the Balkans and by sea. The Greek advance into southern Italy had included within the empire areas of Latin speech and practice and brought the frontier quite close to Rome itself. The changes in the eastern Mediterranean had been echoed, much more feebly, in the west also. There, the joint expedition of Pisa and Genoa to remove the Moslem bases from Sardinia in 101516 marked the end of the period of Saracen naval dominance, although it was a long time before the Christian fleets were strong enough to go seriously onto the offensive. In Spain a sustained Christian advance was beginning in the middle years of the century, and its first major chapter culminated in the fall of Toledo to Alfonso VI of Castile in 1085; but that is another story, reserved for a separate volume in this series. The growth of easier communications throughout the Mediterranean as a whole is illustrated by the correspondence of Patriarch Peter of Antioch with Leo IX, in which he lamented the long isolation of Rome from the eastern churches, and with Dominic of Grado, the head of the Venetian church, in 1052-3. Leo was also in touch with the remains of the once great church in north Africa, where he noted in 1053 that scarcely five bishoprics remained in a province in which once 205 bishops had met in council at Carthage. 2
The source of later developments is primarily to be found in southern Italy. It was a meeting-place of three cultures, with Sicily dominated by the Moslems, a traditional Byzantine presence in the coastal regions on the mainland, and a Lombard population inland. This unstable region had been further disturbed by the extension of Byzantine power, and even more by the arrival of the Normans. By 1050, they were already regarded by Byzantium as a dangerous threat. Some areas of southern Italy were heavily Greek in culture, notably Calabria and the southern peninsula of Apulia, while elsewhere Greek officials and Greek bishops were governing a
2 Letter of 17 Dec. 1053, PL 143.728A.
largely Latin population. The extent to which the church still existed in the island of Sicily is a matter of controversy. Norman chroniclers tell us of Christians who welcomed the arrival of the conquerors, but the signs are that the faith survived in restricted areas and primarily among a subject rural population. There is an indication that the direction of the Sicilian church had been transferred to Reggio on the mainland, although when the Normans captured Palermo they discovered a bishop there, 'timid and of Greek nationality'. We hear of only one other Greek bishop in Sicily, a certain James of no known see in 1103, and the supposition is that the Normans had arrived just in time to encounter the last ruins of the former hierarchy. Although some historians have been optimistic about the survival of Sicilian monasticism of an eremitical type, we hear much more of hermits migrating onto the mainland, and it is doubtful whether many survived on the island.
The Normans were to become the appointed agents of the Roman Church for the restoration of Latin Christianity, but the policy of the popes was for a long time delicately balanced between their need for Norman support and their apprehensions of Norman expansion into the neighbourhood of Rome. The definitive alliance of 1059 established the main lines of future policy, but there were many withdrawals from it, particularly under Gregory VII, who was in bitter conflict with the Norman leader, Robert Guiscard, from 1073 to 1080. But the Norman alliance had not yet been formed when the complex politics of southern Italy provided the occasion for the breach between Rome and Constantinople in 1054.
Over the centuries the Greek and Latin churches had been growing apart in customs and attitudes. The closer contact which was resumed in the mid-eleventh century did indeed include some attempts at active co-operation, but its effect was much more to reveal the distance between Rome and Constantinople. There were three issues. The first was the question of usages: the Latins used unleavened bread in the eucharist and observed different practices in fasting and in the observance of Lent, and western canon law forbade priests to live as married men. Both sides were quite capable of being tolerant about these customs, but considerations of high policy made their amicable discussion difficult. The reforming party at Rome, with its belief that Roman practices were apostolic practices and its determined attack on clerical marriage, found it hard to regard Greek customs as permissible divergences. The Byzantines saw uniformity
in the main points of the liturgy as important, and their sense of grandeur made it hard for them to be sympathetic to the comparative barbarians of the west, while they had a political problem of their own in the need to secure conformity from the Armenians, who had been incorporated in the empire by Basil II and whose customs were in some way similar to those of the Latins. The second issue which had developed over a long period was the filioque. The western church had added the word to the creed to describe the Holy Spirit as 'proceeding from the Father and the Son'. The point of trinitarian doctrine which this expressed was a relatively arcane one. Latin theology had always stressed the equality of the three persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and the closeness of their common bond of unity, while the Greeks sought the same unity in the Father as its source. The issue was made much more acute by the addition of the word to the Creed, for Byzantium regarded this as an ecumenical document which could only be changed, if at all, by a council of the whole church. The change had originated in western Europe outside Rome, which had been resistant to it for a long time. It was probably the inclusion of the filioque in the letter which Sergius IV had sent to Constantinople in 1009 which led the patriarch to withhold formal recognition of him; thereafter, no pope's name was included in the diptychs or formal prayer lists there. If this was a schism, it was a very technical one, but at least it recorded the existence of an unresolved issue.
In the light of the later history of Græco-Latin relations, the most significant issue was the claim to supremacy which the Roman Church was increasingly making in terms unacceptable to Constantinople. It can be discerned in the background of the particular disputes in the eleventh century, but surprisingly it rarely became overt. The concern of Greek theologians about the 'scandal' of papal claims was a future development. 3 The theology of Roman supremacy over other patriarchates was still undeveloped. Cardinal Deusdedit, good Gregorian as he was, insisted towards the end of the century on the concord which should exist between the ancient patriarchates in essential matters of faith and order, and when Leo IX wished to expound the privileges of the Roman Church he had to resort to huge quotations from the Donation of Constantine, which in effect gave them a secular and not a theological origin.
The quarrel with Constantinople began paradoxically with an
3 See D. M. Nicol, "The Papal Scandal", SCH 13 ( 1976), 141-68.
attempt at an alliance. Leo IX's interest in joint action against the Normans was eagerly echoed by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX and by the Lombard governor, Argyrus, whom he had just appointed to control southern Italy. Unhappily the patriarch, Michael Cerularius ( 1043-58), was a flamboyant politician, fiercely hostile to the Latins and to imperial policy and popular in the capital. The trouble started when the patriarch closed the churches observing the Latin rite in Constantinople, and when there arrived in the west a tract written by Archbishop Leo of Ochrida attacking the Latin use of unleavened bread and other practices. Westerners believed that Cerularius inspired, or even wrote, Leo's tract, and was engaged in a piece of unprovoked aggression against the Latins. The exact progress of the correspondence is difficult to chart, but it was fatally complicated by the defeat of Argyrus in February 1053 and the capture of Leo IX by the Normans at Civitate in June. Thereafter Cerularius was convinced that the pope was not in control of affairs, and that the western reaction was being manipulated by his own bitter enemy Argyrus and by a group of cardinals. On the western side, Humbert was certainly involved, perhaps both translating Greek letters and writing Latin ones, and he was little disposed towards compromise with Constantinople. The pope responded to the tract of Leo of Ochrida with the first letter to Michael Cerularius, asserting the authority of Rome (and therefore of its customs) in extremely firm terms, drawn largely from the supposed Donation of Constantine, a western forgery not known in the east. It is not clear that this hard-line letter was ever sent; it may have been held back because of the arrival of more amicable messages from the patriarch and the emperor. An embassy set off from Rome, consisting of Humbert, Frederick of Lorraine, and Archbishop Peter of Amalfi. We do not know its purpose, other than to carry the papal reply to these two letters. It may have been designed to restore good relations, or more specifically to renew the alliance against the Normans. Whatever the intention, the result was disastrous. The ambassadors were welcomed by the emperor and ignored by the patriarch, while an atmosphere of controversy and vituperation grew in the city. Finally on 16 July 1054 the legates entered St Sophia and laid on the altar a bull excommunicating Michael Cerularius, Leo of Ochrida, and all their followers. The document was full of wild charges against the Greeks, who were declared to be prozymite (leavenusing) heretics. At a synod at Constantinople on 24 July the events were rehearsed and the responsibility fixed upon the three irresponsible westerners and Argyrus, who was blamed for the contents of the letters which they brought with them.
The bizarre proceedings of 1054 came to be regarded as the starting-point of the definitive schism between the two great branches of the Christian church, and were symbolically revoked as a gesture of reconciliation by both pope and patriarch in 1965. To regard them in this light is a great oversimplification. The estrangement of Greeks and Latins was a process which began before the eleventh century and continued long after it. Soon after 1054 popes were again in touch with Constantinople, and it is clear that on the Greek side the condemnations were directed against four specific people, who were not treated as representing the Roman Church. It is less certain that Humbert regarded the excommunication as a personal one. The inclusion not only of Cerularius, but of all his followers, and the denunciation of the Greeks as prozymite heretics, does look like a condemnation of the whole Byzantine church until it should change its practices. The most important fact was that future popes did not assume that they were dealing with heretics or schismatics at Constantinople, and this prevents us from regarding it as the genuine date of the schism; but the action of a high-powered legation from the west in treating the Greeks as a whole as heretics, even if under great stress and in a highly complex situation, had to be regarded as a bad omen for future relations.
ii. The Conquest of Sicily and Apulia
The oath which Robert Guiscard took to Pope Nicholas II in 1059 to inaugurate the alliance between Normans and papacy was a remarkable one. Some of its terms were naturally addressed to meeting the immediate needs of the Roman Church, such as the protection of papal elections, but it was formed by a wider vision. The new vassal described himself as 'by the grace of God and St Peter duke of Apulia and Calabria and by their help future duke of Sicily'. He thus announced a programme of conquest of the Greek provinces and of Moslem Sicily. He also swore to the pope that 'I will put into your power all the churches which are in my dominion with their possessions and I will be their defender'. 4 It is unlikely that this was a promise to Latinize the churches there, since it does not apply
4 J. Déer, Das Papsttum und die süditalienischen Normanannenstaaten (Göttingen, 1969), 17-18.
specifically to Greek churches. The policy of Latinization which he subsequently followed was inspired by Norman as well as papal interests, although there is no reason to suppose that the pope was uneasy about it, and in 1067 Alexander II commented on the task of Guiscard 'to build Latin monasteries in place of those of the Greeks'. 5
The process of conquest proceeded rapidly on the mainland, assisted by the fact that the attention of Byzantium was distracted elsewhere, and a serious defence could only be provided at a few important places. By 1071, with the fall of Bari, the whole of the mainland was in Norman hands. In spite of deep divisions among the Moslems of Sicily, their resistance was more protracted. Count Roger, Guiscard's younger brother, secured Messina in 1061, but had great difficulty in maintaining himself in the island, and only did so by a victory over great odds at Cerami in 1063, with divine aid it was believed. 6 It was only when Guiscard was free to come to his assistance that a joint operation secured the conquest of Palermo in 1072 after a long siege, and the final surrender of the last Moslem strongholds took place as late as 1091. Historians have given very different accounts of the policy of the Norman conquerors. They have been seen in particular as creating, especially in Sicily itself, a multi-cultural society highly unusual in the intolerant medieval world. On the island Count Roger had relative freedom in shaping the new Christian settlement, for he was confronted by a Moslem establishment and a ruined Greek church. The mainland presented a different issue, for there Robert Guiscard, scourge of Byzantine emperors, ruled a land of mixed, but predominantly Greek, religious tradition. Here again, historians have varied in their views between a policy of imposing Latin men and manners as far as the situation permitted, and (alternatively) the creation of an amalgam, of ' Norman Byzantinism'. What were the attitudes of the first generation of conquerors, with whom we are now concerned?
The overall impact of Guiscard's policy on the mainland is one of strong Latinization. This is not necessarily a by-product of his antiByzantine foreign policy, but may well be a simple reflection of his belief in the superiority of Latin over Greek customs. It was his policy to found Latin monasteries. He completed the development of
5 A. Pratesi, Carte Latine di abbazie calabresi (Vatican, 1958), no. 3, p. 5. 6 Our account of the battle of Cerami depends almost wholly on the later description by William of Malaterra. He gave it great prominence, but may have exaggerated its importance.
Holy Trinity, Venosa, near Melfi (dedicated 1059). The second abbot, Berengar, built it up to a community of a hundred monks, and it received enormous endowments, many of them assets stripped from Greek monasteries. It was designed as the ducal foundation of the Hauteville family, and Guiscard himself was to be buried there. In the strongly Greek province of Calabria, he founded Sant'Eufemia ( 1062) and, in conjunction with his brother count Roger, Holy Trinity Mileto ( 1080). Great donations were bestowed on Monte Cassino and La Cava, often including Greek priories and even some major Greek monasteries such as St Peter, Taranto, given to Monte Cassino in 1080. The building up of these monastic empires was not solely a matter of enforcing Latin religious supremacy, but was a process of improving monastic organization by submitting small houses to the discipline of great abbeys. It is not surprising that most indications of serious decline were to be found among the Greek houses, including some large ones such as Santa Maria Roccella near Catanzaro, built soon after the Norman conquest but in disuse shortly after 1100. This picture of decline is not universal, but the few stories of persistence or growth in Basilian (Greek) monasticism were confined to strongly Greek regions. Except where there were large Greek populations, it was also the practice to appoint Latin bishops. The important archbishopric of Reggio was, after some resistance, firmly in the hands of a Latin bishop from 1086 at the latest. In the totally Greek town of Rossano in 1093 an attempt to intrude a Latin had to be abandoned in face of the opposition of the inhabitants. In solidly Greek areas, the Greek rite and Greek bishops survived for many centuries, but they are the exception, a compromise with reality on the part of a Latinizing government. On the island, the total collapse of the hierarchy left Count Roger a free hand to create a Latin episcopate. The first bishop at Palermo was Nicodemus, presumably the 'timid Greek' found by the Normans on their entry, but within the following twenty years a Latin hierarchy had been created at centres such as Troina ( 1080-1), Syracuse, Mazaro, Catania, and Agrigento ( 1086-8), almost entirely with bishops from France. Roger has often been credited with a revival of Greek monasticism in Sicily, and it is clear that he did found a number of Basilian houses in the last twenty years of the century. Ménager has argued strongly, however, that it is a mistake to see this as deliberate encouragement of Greek culture. What was happening was a move away from the mainland houses under the pressure of
Latinization there, a counter-migration from areas colonized originally by Sicilian hermits escaping from Moslem pressure. Count Roger was doing no more than providing facilities for this migration: the apparent 'Basilian renaissance' was always artificial, and within a generation the new houses were on the verge of collapse. It is certainly true that Roger was importing skilled Greek administrators from Apulia to help in running Sicily, but that is a different matter. In ecclesiastical policy, the evidence justifies us only in finding vigorous Latinization on the mainland, combined with a readiness in Sicily itself to accept the dissatisfied Basilians who were impelled to move there. 7
The Norman conquest of Apulia and Sicily was an important precedent for the future, for it was much the most dramatic example of the extension of the frontiers of Latin Christianity under papal encouragement, and it was accompanied by propaganda about the operations as being wars fought on God's behalf. The message is strongly put in both the major chronicles of the Norman conquests, by Amatus of Monte Cassino and William of Malaterra. 8 It is present in the speech of Robert Guiscard: 'I wish to deliver the Christians and Catholics, who are subjected to the servitude of the Saracens. My great desire is to free them from their servitude and avenge the injury done to God.' 9 The armies make their communion and receive absolution before battle; at Cerami, we are told that St George appeared on the field to fight for the Christians, who subsequently received the gift of the banner of St Peter Alexander II. Urban II saw Roger as 'champion of the Christian faith'. 10 This did not, on the other hand, mean that the Normans were active in the conversion of the Sicilian Moslems, or were intended to be; when some of them in the army at the siege of Capua in 1098 were moved by the sanctity of Anselm of Canterbury to think of conversion, they dared not take the step because of the hostility of Count Roger. In a real sense, Roger was the refounder of the Sicilian church. Gregory VII and
10 Urban II, ep. 59, Mar. 1092 (PL 151.340C). For the expression of some reservations about the 'crusading' character of the Norman conquests, see C. Erdmann, The Origin of the Idea of Crusade, tr. and notes by M. W. Baldwin ( Princeton, 1977), 134 n. 64.
7 See especially L.-R. Mdnager, "La byzantinisation religieuse de l'Italie m-ridionale et la politique monastique des Normands d'Italie", RHE 53 ( 1958), 747-74 and 54 ( 1959), 1-40.
8 It must be noticed that William of Malaterra wrote after the First Crusade, and may have been reading back its ideas into the conquest of Sicily. Amatus of Monte Cassino had finished his chronicle by about 1085, although it only survives in a much later French translation.
9 V. de Bartholomaeis (ed.), Storia de' Nortnanni di Amato di Montecassino ( Rome, 1935), V. 12 (234).
Urban showed great confidence in him, and Urban (after attempting the appointment of a bishop as resident legate) recognized Roger himself as possessing legatine authority. The concession was a striking one, and reflects the position of Roger as a warrior who had restored to the church one of its lost provinces. With the exception of this special treatment of the office of legate, the ethos of the Norman conquests anticipates that of the First Crusade more closely than any other wars of the period.
iii. The Rise of Christian Militarism
One of the most striking features of our period is that it is the age of the crusades. To those who know the New Testament, they must be a surprising development. They are the more remarkable because the scholars of the time were well aware of the injunctions of Christ to seek peace and to forgive wrongs without seeking vengeance, and of the teaching of St Augustine which permitted Christian princes to use force to defend their rights and to protect the church, but only in strictly limited circumstances. In particular the principle that unbelievers may not be coerced into baptism was traditionally accepted and was widely known in this period. Collections of canon law did not give a great deal of space to the ethics of warfare, but such material as they included was heavily drawn from the Augustinian tradition. It is difficult to find in the collection of Anselm of Lucca any hint of a justification for the First Crusade which was to take place in the following decade. The impression that the church was committed on the side of peace is confirmed by the activity of bishops in promoting the Peace and Truce of God and by the prohibition of the carrying of arms by clergy, a canonical rule repeatedly stressed by reforming councils in the eleventh century. The assumption that participation in warfare was in itself an evil was widespread in ecclesiastical circles. Norman warriors were obliged to do penance after the battle of Hastings for those they had killed or injured there and Guibert of Nogent, commenting on the change produced by the preaching of the First Crusade, pointed out that in the past knights could only attain salvation by giving up their appointed way of life, that is by becoming monks. 11 There was, however, a contrary tradition. The defence of Christendom against unbelievers had increasingly been seen as
11 Guibert, "Gesta Dei per Francos", i, RHC Occ. iv. 124.
blessed by God. In the ninth century Popes Leo IV and John VIII gave assurances of forgiveness and eternal life to those who were killed in battle against the heathen, and such warriors were sometimes seen as martyrs for the faith. Epics or chansons de geste designed to entertain nobles and their knights centred largely on war against the Saracens, a theme as persistent as cowboys and Indians in early 'westerns'. Surviving versions of these chansons date from the twelfth century, but they were unquestionably in circulation before then, and it is reasonable to assume that from at least 1050 stories of the heroic deeds of Roland and William of Orange against Islam were widely known. Even within Europe, the clergy had been obliged to accept warfare as a fact. Blessings of arms can be found from the tenth century onwards, and it is probable that at the time of the conversion the priests of the new religion had taken over from the old the function of protecting weapons from evil magic by appropriate rituals. A further element had been added by the growth of the Peace of God movement itself. It may seem odd to use this as a benchmark in the rise of militarism, since its whole purpose was the restraint of violence, but it did contain features which pointed in another direction. The failure of the central authority to maintain order in large parts of Europe, and most notably in France, left bishops with no real alternative but to defend themselves, and the movement towards the militarization of bishops' households was very general in the eleventh century. It was said of Bishop Wulfstan of Worcester ( 1062-95), the last surviving Old English bishop, that he was obliged to fill his court with knights as the Norman king and bishops required. 12 The Peace of God movement was the point at which the bishops took the responsibility for public order which kings could no longer discharge, and at times they assembled peace militias from their own resources and those of their allies and directed them to the repression of evil-doers. True, most warriors were still seen as agents of evil, and the pun militia -- malitia survived for a long time; but it had been recognized that they might also be engaged in the task of fighting for peace.
The arrival of the reforming party in control of the Roman Church was, in this as in so many respects, an important turning-point because 'the church reformers were the very men who stood for the idea of holy war and sought to put it into practice'. 13 Their
12 R. R. Darlington (ed.), "The Vita Wulfstani of William of Malmesbury", Camden Series iii. 40 ( 1928), 55-6.
13 Erdmann, Idea of Crusade, 143.
willingness to use force to maintain control in central Italy and to combat the enemies of the Roman Church is striking, and goes beyond a simple response to the exigencies of the situation. One contributory reason was probably the experience of the early reform popes in commanding their own armed forces as German bishops. The ecclesiastical contingents were a particularly important element in German armies, and Leo IX, who had already been engaged in expeditions in the service of Henry III as bishop of Toul, would not have found his Norman campaign as strange as some contemporaries did. There were also more fundamental reasons of ideology. The reformers assumed that they had a duty of leadership within Christendom. Far more than in the previous Peace of God movement, they were prepared to do what the lay power had left undone, and if necessary to challenge rulers who obstructed their reforms. Leadership of this type necessarily involved decisions about the use of force, which was so fundamental a part of the duties of government. A further reason was the profound conviction of the papal reformers that God was calling them to restore right order in Christian society. For clergy, this meant the ending of simony and a celibate life in community; for the aristocracy, it meant to put their swords at the disposal of God and the Roman Church. The devout warrior now stood beside the holy priest in the attainment of a church which would be free, catholic, and chaste: the first clear statement of the duties of the Christian knight is to be found in the extreme Gregorian Bonizo of Sutri. 14
The first striking manifestation of the new papal militarism was the expedition of Leo IX against the Normans in 1053. Its aim was to defend the territories of the Roman Church and to protect the population against Norman savagery, and it was undertaken after an appeal to Henry III had failed to persuade the emperor to repress the Norman menace. The personal participation of the pope shocked some contemporaries, including Peter Damian, and Leo himself was worried about what he had done, especially after the disastrous defeat at Civitate. He was reassured, his biographer tells us, by a vision of the fallen in heaven, where they were placed in the ranks of the martyrs. Subsequent popes used force to secure their control of the Roman countryside, and the growing spirit of militarism may be seen in the practice of Alexander II in sending the banner of St Peter
14 Bonizo, Liber de Vita Christiana, ed. E. Perels ( Berlin, 1930), 248-9.
as a sign of approval of a campaign. It is true that there are some questions about the despatch of these banners, but it is likely that they were sent to Erlembald, the Patarine leader at Milan, in 1063, to Roger of Sicily in the same year, to the leaders of the Barbastro campaign in Spain in 1064, and to William of Normandy for his invasion of England in 1066. There are reasons for thinking that Hildebrand was the inspirer of this policy, which he continued as Gregory VII in orchestrating the opposition to Henry IV, encouraging armed resistance by the princes, and associating his sympathizers in the ranks of the 'militia of St Peter'. The phrase is very rare before Gregory, and the concept, a military fellowship of those who are sworn to implement papal policy, was totally new. Gregory was militarizing the traditional idea of the 'faithful', and seeing the fideles, not indeed as vassals, but as warriors in St Peter's service. Historians of the crusades have often noticed the way in which in the thirteenth century the idea was deflected for use in western Europe against the enemies of the Roman Church. This did indeed happen, as we shall see later, but in a sense it was a return to the origins of the movement, for the eleventh-century popes employed armed force against their European enemies before they directed it against the infidels elsewhere.
At the same time the idea that warfare should be undertaken in the service of God against the unbeliever was becoming more generally accepted. The Christian frontiers were under attack at various points throughout the century, and moreover almost all the territories of Islam had once been Christian, so that the western expeditions in Spain, Sicily, Syria, and even north Africa could be seen as lawful attempts to recover territory of which Christendom had been deprived by force. There had already been a period of vigorous activity in the early years of the century. The Venetian defence of Bari against Moslem attack in 1003 was said by the chronicler John the Deacon to have been undertaken 'not out of worldly fear but out of the fear of God'. 15 Much more remarkable was the response to the news that the Egyptian Caliph Hakim had ordered the destruction of the church of the Holy Sepulchre in 1009. A letter of Pope Sergius IV urged the coastal cities to assemble a fleet which might go to the rescue of the city, and offered a promise of forgiveness to all those who took part. If this letter is authentic, it is the first suggestion of an
15 G. Monticolo (ed.), Cronache veneziane, Fonti per la Stona d' Italia 9 ( 1887), 166.
expedition to the east under papal direction. 16 Nearer to home, Benedict VIII supported the Pisan and Genoan attack on Saracen bases in Sardinia in 1015-16.
The continuous history of warfare against Islam in the Mediterranean began just after 1059. The Norman expansion in Sicily was an important part of it, and Alexander II's sponsorship of the expedition to Spain in 1064 spread the policy there; although the papal involvement in this campaign is in doubt, and in general Spanish historians have moved away from the older idea that 'holy war' was a tradition in the Spanish kingdoms, which provided a forcingground for the growth of crusading in the eleventh century. The Pisan raid on Palermo in 1063 was consciously undertaken in the service of Christendom, and the spoils were used to begin the magnificent new cathedral there. In 1087, Pisa attacked the great north African city of Mahdia, and a poem celebrated the triumph there as God's work. It is interesting to notice that the French were prominent in many of these expeditions and that almost all had a pilgrimage element somewhere in the background. Frenchmen were attracted to Spain by the shrine of St James at Compostella, and Normans to southern Italy by that of St Michael on Monte Gargano: while in 1087 the Pisans combined their voyage with a pilgrimage to Rome. In spite of the theoretical incompatibility of war and pilgrimage, since the pilgrim could not carry arms, the two things went closely together. By this time, moreover, events in the eastern Mediterranean had created a new area of concern for both warriors and pilgrims.
iv. The First Crusade
The transformation in the Middle East was the result of the Seljuk invasion. In the middle years of the eleventh century the defences which protected Persia from the nomadic peoples of Central Asia had collapsed, thus allowing the creation of a great Seljuk empire and also a large influx of nomads into the settled lands. At the battle of Manzikert in 1071 the Byzantine army was overwhelmed, and this defeat had two consequences for the Christian world. The most
16 See text in H. Zimmermann, Papsturkunden 869-1046 ii ( Vienna, 1985), no. 445, pp. 8458. The authenticity of the letter has been denied by A. Gieysztor, "The Genesis of the Crusades: the Encyclical of Sergius IV", Medievalia et Humanistica 5 ( 1949), 3-23 and 6 ( 1950), 3-34. He regards it as a piece of propaganda designed for the First Crusade. It is certainly an odd letter, but I do not myself think that its peculiarities are removed by transporting them to 1095.
obvious was the loss of the Greek province of Anatolia (modern Turkey), where Turkish nomads took over the plateau, and a Seljuk prince established the sultanate of Rum, with its capital at Nicaea. The threat to the Byzantine empire was acute: Turkish forces were close to Constantinople, while armies of Pecheneg nomads from the Russian steppes were raiding the Balkans, and Bari, the last possession in southern Italy, had been lost to the Normans. There was also a less direct consequence. The Seljuk invasion led to the establishment in Syria of a series of Turkish principalities, with Jerusalem itself in dispute between the Turks and the Fatimite government of Egypt. We know little about the route for western pilgrims to Jerusalem, but the signs are that with the collapse of Byzantium and the disorders in Syria, it had become much more dangerous. Even by 1064-5a large German pilgrimage had been attacked and had to defend itself with improvised arms. Apart from the persecution by Caliph Hakim in 1009, the Fatimite rulers had been tolerant towards Christians. The nomads from the steppes were less so, and the breakdown of order would by itself have been enough to make the journey more hazardous.
Manzikert brought a quick attempt at a response from the west. The Byzantine Emperor Michael VII appealed to both Gregory VII and Robert Guiscard for assistance. The negotiation was delicate because the two were in bitter discord, and what emerged from Gregory's side was a proposal in 1074 to lead an expedition himself which would first defeat Guiscard and then go to the assistance of the Byzantines. We know of the project only from a few letters, for it barely seems to have existed except on paper. It is interesting that Gregory briefly mentioned his intention that the expedition should continue to Jerusalem, perhaps (although this is not quite clear) as a pilgrimage after the relief of Byzantium. 17 Michael's negotiations with Robert Guiscard were more successful and led to a marriage alliance; but the consequences were tragic, because Michael was deposed in 1078 by Nicephorus Boteniates. By 1081 Nicephorus also had fallen, and the new emperor, Alexius I Comnenus, was confronted by a large-scale Norman invasion of Greece with the blessing of Gregory VII. The first western attempts to intervene had originated with the crisis of 1071, but had misfired disastrously. It is more difficult to discern why the First Crusade was
17 Greg. VII, Reg. II.31 (166).
proclaimed in 1095. Modern historians have been inclined to see it as designed for the relief of Byzantium, and there are some arguments for this view. Alexius I ( 1081-1118) certainly made several attempts to secure western help; he had been reconciled with Urban II in a friendly correspondence between 1089 and 1090; and there were Greek ambassadors at Piacenza in the spring of 1095 asking for assistance, although we have few details of their appeal. On the other hand, Alexius had considerably improved the Byzantine position by 1095, and the despatch of a large expedition to Jerusalem in that year seems a strange response to the situation. There was a story told, probably during the crusade itself, that Peter the Hermit had brought back an appeal for help from the patriarch of Jerusalem because of the oppression of the church there; an appeal confirmed, it was said, by a vision of Christ in the church of the Holy Sepulchre. This account has for a long time been dismissed as a legend, but on insufficient grounds, and if true it would help to explain the timing of the expedition and the choice of Jerusalem as objective better than the theory that the action was designed exclusively for the assistance of Byzantium. It would also mean that the hermit movement, which made an impact on western culture in so many different ways, was influential in the genesis of the First Crusade as well. 18 Whatever the correct explanation of the date, it was, unknown to the westerners, a happy accident, for in 1092 the Seljuk empire had lost both its sultan, Malik Shah, and its vizir, Nizam al-Mulk, and its enormous forces were convulsed in civil war and could not be efficiently deployed against the Latin invaders.
The council of Clermont met in November 1095, and it was probably on 27 November that Urban II announced the project for an expedition to the east: 'whoever for devotion alone, not to obtain honour or money, shall set out to free the church of God at Jerusalem, that shall be counted to him for all penance'. 19 Urban probably had in mind the sufferings of the eastern churches in general, for his subsequent letters mention Constantinople, Antioch, and Jerusalem. The spiritual inducement was a handsome one, offered in terms of the contemporary penitential system. Participants
18 See E. O. Blake and C. Morris, "A Hermit Goes to War: Peter and the Origins of the First Crusade", SCH 22 ( 1985), 79-107, in contradiction to the view of H. Hagenmeyer, Peter der Heremite ( Leipzig, 1879). 19 R. Somerville, The Councils of Urban II: 1. Decreta Claromontensia ( Amsterdam, 1972), 74. For a view of the origins of the Crusade which differs from the one in the text, see H. E. Mayer , The Crusades ( Oxford, 1972), 10-11.
would be freed from any requirement to perform penance; or, to put it another way, they would receive immediate forgiveness of sins. The effect, for a knight, was to allow him to go on the expedition as a warrior, bearing arms, and yet with the full promise of salvation. 20 It has sometimes been suggested that Urban's motives must be seen in strictly western terms: he was anxious, at a time of schism, to be seen to be directing the forces of Christendom, while Henry IV cut a feeble figure of inactivity. Certainly, there is a western dimension to what was happening. The development of a heavy western cavalry and the growth of the Italian fleets were sufficient (but only just sufficient, as events showed) to make the expedition feasible. Moreover, Urban may have been attracted by prophecies that Jerusalem would be delivered by a godly emperor; in the absence, as he saw it, of any legitimate emperor, the task had fallen to the papacy. Yet the decision to send large forces from his supporters to the east could not have risen from political calculation, but from a conviction that it was God's will to deliver Jerusalem. Urban had been in close contact with all the forces which were active in the holy war in the western Mediterranean: a Frenchman himself, he had spent a number of years with the Normans in southern Italy, had actively encouraged the Spanish reconquest, and had visited Pisa on his way north to Piacenza and Clermont. The principles of action learned in the apprenticeship in the west were now to be applied on an even larger stage in the east. The motto 'God's will! Deus lo volt!' was chosen by the pope to be the warcry of the armies, and the sign of the cross to be their badge. The preaching of Peter the Hermit enlisted a large force consisting of a number of knights and many poor, but the cutting edge of the expedition consisted of contingents of great Lords: Raymond of St Giles, Count of Toulouse, Duke Robert of Normandy, Counts Stephen of Blois and Robert of Flanders, Duke Godfrey of Lorraine with his brother Baldwin, and the able Bohemond of Taranto, son of Robert Guiscard, who joined the crusade uninvited as it crossed Italy. Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy was appointed as the pope's vicar on the expedition.
The intention was that the leaders would co-operate closely with the Emperor Alexius, but this was a precarious hope from the
20 Again, contrast Mayer, The Crusades, 26-9. Earlier popes had offered a general assurance of salvation; Alexander II, probably in 1064, had ordered penance to be imposed and then remitted. Urban's cancellation of all penance for all sins was both more precise and more radical than any previous grant.
beginning. Tension began with the problems of supplies for the crusaders, made more acute by the fact that the first contingent to arrive in Constantinople was the relatively undisciplined force assembled by Peter the Hermit. Feelings were roused when Alexius demanded that each leader should take an oath of homage to him. The crucial breach, however, came over Antioch, which the crusaders captured in June 1098. Some of the leaders argued that Alexius had failed to keep his promise to assist them. They had been left in a grave situation from which they had only been extracted by the military talents of Bohemond and the inspiration given to them by the discovery of the Holy Lance, whose presence in the cathedral at Antioch was revealed to a poor crusader, Peter Bartholomew, in a vision. The problems in the army were made much more acute by the death of Bishop Adhemar shortly after the fall of the city, and after fierce disputes among the leaders it was agreed not to return Antioch to the emperor as they had promised, but to give the city to Bohemond, who had master-minded its capture. This marked one of the stages in the alienation of eastern and western Christians, for the fate of Antioch, the second Greek city in the world, was something which Alexius could not ignore. The leaders were lukewarm in their desire to continue to Jerusalem, and it was only after a long delay, under pressure from the mass of poor crusaders, that the march was resumed. Even then, the army moved forward without the help of Bohemond and Baldwin, who were occupied in establishing themselves in their new possessions at Antioch and Edessa. Jerusalem fell on 15 July 1099, and victory was marked by a massacre of the Moslem population. Duke Godfrey was established as ruler, and confirmed his tenure of the city by a victory at Ascalon over the Egyptians on 12 August.
The remarkable success of this extraordinary expedition was partly due to the moral cohesion of an army which, in spite of divisions and rivalries, had a conviction of a divine call. The western forces arrived at a time when the Seljuk empire was paralysed by civil war, while Syria, their main objective, was politically fragmented and religiously divided between Sunnites and Shiites. Moslem rulers felt no obligation to unite to oppose the crusaders, and it was only some forty years later that an effective propaganda campaign was opened to proclaim a jihad or holy war against the Frankish intruders. The westerners' heavy cavalry proved highly effective against opponents who were not familiar with its methods of fighting, and assistance from the fleets of Italian cities was crucial in the sieges of both Antioch and Jerusalem. The naval power of Venice, Genoa, and Pisa was even more vital in the following phase, when a relatively small number of Frankish settlers, assisted by large forces of pilgrims who came each summer to fight and pray, not only succeeded in defending Jerusalem but was able to complete the conquest of the whole Syrian coastal strip. By 1125 the Franks had created the four Christian states of Jerusalem, Tripoli, Antioch, and Edessa and controlled the coast from Antioch to the outskirts of Ascalon.
The triumph of the First Crusade had a rapid impact upon the awareness of western Europeans. Not only was it described at length in major chronicles, such as those of William of Malmesbury and Ordericus Vitalis; it also formed the sole subject of many works, in a way which had rarely happened to any historical event in the past. There were histories by eyewitnesses, such as that of Raymond of Aguilers and the anonymous Gesta Francorum. These were then worked into longer studies such as those of Robert of Reims and Baudri of Bourgueil. The spirit of much of this writing is reflected in the proud title of Guibert of Nogent's book, Gesta Dei per Francos, God's Deeds through the Franks. There was an immediate desire to support the Franks in the east, including an ambitious but unsuccessful attempt to reinforce them in 1101. The dissemination of relics carried crusading ideology with them; although the Holy Lance rapidly disappeared, there was the Cross, fragments of which were widely distributed, and many new finds, such as the bodies of the patriarchs at Hebron (or, as the Franks called it, St Abraham) about 1118. Once the way was opened to pilgrims, this time by sea, very large numbers began to come to the Holy Land. The spreading of devotion to the Passion and the historical life of Jesus, which we shall have to consider in a later chapter, was undoubtedly accelerated by these means. The crusade also produced its own vocabulary. This was not, perhaps, quite what we would expect, for the term 'crusade' never really emerged: the nearest equivalent (crucesignati or cross-signed) almost never occurs before the Third Crusade, and older terms such as pilgrimage or expedition remained current. More significant was the common use in crusading chronicles of such words as 'Christians' and 'Christendom', which had been rare in the past and expressed a sense of polarization against the outside world which had come with the crusade. Even more common was the phrase milites Christi, knights of Christ, which became a standard way of referring to the crusaders. In the past it had normally been used for monks, and its adoption reflected the conviction that the military calling could be pleasing to God; knighthood was becoming a vocation.
Finally, westerners discovered a new interest in the world of Islam. Before 1095, they had known very little indeed about it. Now there was a series of attempts by Hugh of Fleury, Sigebert of Gembloux, Guibert of Nogent, and Embricho of Mainz to produce a life of Mahomet. Derived ultimately from Byzantine anti-Moslem propaganda, their contents were decidedly strange, but they form the first attempt at understanding the enemy. 21 A very different picture of Saracens appeared in the chansons de geste, where they were presented as idolaters and polytheists, in absurd contrast with the theological reality of Islam. Interestingly this picture only appears in rather pale colours in the chronicles written at the time of the First Crusade, and it is tempting to think that the new interest in the Moslems provoked by the Crusade explains the appearance of a highly satirical and savage description of them in the Song of Roland and thence in later poems. We do not know, however, at what date this element appeared in the Roland materials. Whatever the reality of this last speculation, there is no doubt that in general the First Crusade opened a range of new ideas and interests Fwhich was to help shape the distinctive character of the twelfth century.
21 Three of these lives of Mahomet, included within longer histories, were written within a year or two of 1110. The fourth, a separate work by Embricho of Mainz, unfortunately cannot be dated accurately, but was probably written at about the same time.
THE CONFLICT RENEWED: THE QUESTION OF INVESTITURE (1099-1122)
i. Paschal II (1099-1118)
At the turn of the century a series of deaths marked the end of the long-continued schism in the Roman Church. Urban II died at Rome on 29 July 1099, with his hold on the city still insecure. On 13 August the cardinals of his party elected Rainier, cardinal-priest of San Clemente, who took the title of Paschal II. Like his predecessor he was a monk who had come to Rome in the time of Gregory VII, entered papal service, and acted as a legate. His situation was simplified by the death in September 1100 of Clement III. Thereafter, there was no serious anti-pope. Several elections were attempted, but in most cases with little support from the imperial court. With the death in 1101 of the young anti-king Conrad, a further obstacle to mutual recognition by pope and emperor was removed, and neither side was inclined to continue the state of schism within the papacy or empire. In the long series of negotiations which followed, the popes showed a willingness to compromise on some vital issues. In the course of the settlement with Henry V in 1105-6, they did not insist on the removal of all bishops and clergy ordained in obedience to Clement. Nor was there any proposal to renew the onslaught upon simony and concubinage which had marked the early stages of papal reform, and occasioned the clash with the German bishops in the early days of Gregory VII. Simony was regarded with as much abhorrence as ever, but as far as we know the possibility was never even considered of requiring, as part of a settlement, the removal of clergy in Henry's obedience who had obtained their offices for money. We can only guess why such a course of action was ignored: the consciousness may have dawned by now that a charge of Simony was difficult to prove and the prosecutions would have been ruinous for better relations between papacy and empire. Perhaps also the Gregorians were aware of the painful fact that simony was much more common in the loyal province of southern France than in the schismatic empire, and concubinage of clergy still almost universal. Whatever the reason, simony (while remaining formally the gravest of sins) had become something of a ghost issue, hiding behind the concrete and demonstrable question of lay investiture.
It was the decision of Paschal II to maintain this prohibition which determined the character of the second phase of the struggle between the popes and the Salian emperors. He made his decision early: in 1102 at the Lateran synod both lay investiture and the performance of homage to laymen were prohibited. In one respect he went further than his predecessors, who had tolerated it silently in many parts of the west. While lay investiture continued in the decent obscurity of eastern Europe, Paschal clearly regarded the prohibition as one for universal enforcement. He may not have sought the conflict in England, where Archbishop Anselm raised the question in 1100, but his response there, as in the empire and in France, was decisive. We have no clear evidence why the pope and his advisers decided to maintain the struggle over a ceremony, when so many pastoral and political considerations pointed to peace. It is quite true that logically it was a difficult practice to defend; whatever the king's role in the appointment of a bishop, it was hard to see that he should exercise it by bestowing the spiritual insignia of ring and staff. It was, however, difficult for the lay power to concede because this was the traditional way of giving to a new bishop the endowments, estates, and jurisdictions of his church, and the increasingly technical discussion of the subject uncovered profound differences about the nature of the church's endowments and of the secular services which were due for them. Almost certainly, Paschal's policy was based on the very clear opinion of his Gregorian supporters, for when circumstances led him in 1111-12 on the paths of compromise or surrender, their rejection was immediate. The Gregorians maintained a deep loyalty to the good old cause for which many of them had suffered, and some had personal, emotional, and political reasons for continued hostility to the empire; and there was no doubt that the prohibition of investiture was firmly in the tradition. It had been fully and formally condemned in 1078; at Clermont 1095 Urban renewed the prohibition and in addition forbade bishops and priests to do homage to laymen. The investiture question had been one of the many issues involved in the controversy between regnum and sacerdotium but it now became the primary obstacle to agreement between the two powers. If ring and staff were given by laymen it nullified the possibility of a free election, and opened the way to simony. The doctrine that investiture was 'the seedbed of the heresy of simony' had already been stated by Cardinal Deusdedit, and it was affirmed by Paschal II in a letter of 1102 and in the first phase of the negotiations in 1111. 1 At the opposite extreme a few writers held that it was within the power of the king to create bishops by investiture: this was the position of the so-called Anglo-Norman Anonymous about 1100, and of the Orthodoxa Defensio which was written at the great imperialist abbey of Farfa to justify the actions of Henry V in 1111. This argument was fortified by documents of Popes Hadrian I and Leo VIII granting to Charlemagne and Otto I the right to exercise investiture. These were certainly imperialist forgeries, written almost certainly in Ravenna circles in the 1080s. Yet even the most resolutely royalist writers were progressively showing the influence of a middle position which was far more characteristic of imperialist polemic than was the absolute claim to nominate bishops. This view held that investiture was the grant, not of a church, but of the lands and jurisdictions ( regalia) which the king had given to it. Such thinking had been adumbrated by Wenrich of Trier, and more clearly by Wido of Ferrara, and in France the distinction between the grant of possessions and of spiritual authority went back for some decades. Its most famous expression was in a letter of Bishop Ivo of Chartres to Hugh of Lyon, the papal legate, in 1097, arguing that Urban's legislation at Clermont was not intended to forbid lay rulers to grant temporal possessions to a new bishop: What does it matter how this grant is made -- by hand, or nod, or word, or staff -- provided that kings do not intend to give anything spiritual, but only to assent to the request of petitioners or to concede to the bishops-elect the churches' vills and other external properties which they receive from the generosity of kings?
This was a forced interpretation of the Clermont decree, but the letter became widely known and made familiar the distinction
1 Deusdedit, Contra Invasores et Simoniacos, i. 15 (MGH LdL ii. 314); Paschal, ep. 93 to Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury (PL 163. 91B); and MGH Leges Const. I, no. 90, p. 141. For the text of the decree of 1102, see U.-R. Blumenthal, The early Councils of Pope Paschal II 110010 ( Toronto, 1978), 17-20; and for the supposed grant of Leo VIII, and references to it, see H. Zimmermann , Papsturkunden 896-1046 ( Vienna, 1985), i, no. 165, pp. 314-17.
between the bishopric itself and the regalia attached to it. Hugh of Fleury shortly afterwards made a similar distinction with an important variant: the bishop-elect should receive 'the investiture of secular things' from the king, but not by ring or staff, and the cure of souls was given by the archbishop at consecration. 2
The first clash arising from Paschal's firm position occurred in England. Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury had been in exile on the Continent and had attended the councils of Bari in 1098 and Rome in 1099. At the latter he heard, apparently for the first time, the papal prohibition of lay investiture and homage. When in 1100 Anselm was invited to return to England by the new king Henry I ( 1100-35) he accordingly refused to consecrate any bishop who had received royal investiture, and also declined to do homage himself. Since Paschal would not modify the decrees Anselm was once more obliged to leave the country. The controversy waged fiercely for some years, but a settlement was reached at a meeting of king and archbishop at Laigle in Normandy in July 1105 and confirmed at London in August 1107. The pope showed considerable dexterity in avoiding an open concession, for, while lifting the sentence of excommunication from all who had offended against the decree, he simply authorized Anselm, until the king should come to a better mind, to consecrate bishops who had done homage for their temporal possessions. In return Henry I agreed to surrender the right to invest bishops. Nothing seems to have been said about the conduct of elections, but a York writer, Hugh the Chantor, commented that the concession cost the king 'little or nothing -- a little, indeed, of his royal dignity, but nothing at all from his power to enthrone whomever he chose'. 3 The English settlement is sometimes regarded as a triumph for Ivo's principles, but its terms do not really fit his teaching and it looks more like a compromise in which homage was tolerated in exchange for the surrender of
2 Ivo of Chartres, ep.60 (PL 162. 73 BC); Hugh of Fleury, De Regia Potestate et Sacerdotali Dignitate, i. 5 (MGH LdL ii. 472). 3 C. Johnson (ed.), Hugh the Chantor, History of the Church of York ( Edinburgh, 1961), 14. On the other hand, Anselm's biographer Eadmer claimed that the king 'nec personas quae in regimen ecclesiarum sumebantur per se elegit, nec eas per dationem virgae pastoralis ecclesiis quibus preficiebantur investivit': R. W. Southern (ed.), The Life of S. Anselm ( Edinburgh, 1962), c. 63, p. 140. Anselm's attitude is puzzling: it is hard to believe that he had not previously heard of the decrees, especially as he had sent a representative, Boso, to Clermont in 1095 where they were enacted. There are signs that in the eleventh century the decrees of a council were binding on the clergy present, and this may be the explanation of Anselm's rigid adherence to legislation which he had previously ignored.
investiture. In France an agreement was reached relatively easily. The king renounced both investiture and homage but retained the right to grant temporalities to new bishops and to receive an oath of fealty. The settlement was probably negotiated under the influence of the young Louis VI, who was emerging into prominence in the last years of his father's reign, and must have been reached at least by the time of the meeting in 1107 between Paschal, Philip I, and Louis VI.
The intractable problem arose in the empire. Although Henry IV wanted a settlement with Paschal, it proved difficult to initiate serious negotiations until in December 1104 the young Henry, now heir to the throne, rebelled either in frustration at his exclusion from power or from conviction that it was essential to resolve the interminable struggle against the papacy. He at once won the support of the remaining German Gregorians and of Paschal himself, although his victory was only complete with the death of his father at Liège on 7 August 1106. Many bishops were reconciled with the pope and others were replaced, but beneath the general pacification there lurked the problem of investiture. Paschal had no intention of making concessions on this issue. In November 1105 he wrote a firm letter to Archbishop Ruthard of Mainz saying that investiture was the cause of all the conflict between regnum and sacerdotium. At the synod of Guastella in October 1106 the gap between the pope and Henry's delegation proved to be so great that Paschal abandoned his intention to visit Germany and went to France instead.
Henry V had succeeded in uniting behind him a wide range of German opinion, and in the second half of 1110 he entered Italy to receive imperial coronation, to restore his political position there, and to settle the investiture issue. The great Liège scholar Sigebert of Gembloux had previously prepared a paper on investiture, the De Investitura Episcoporum, which argued the case for lay investiture on the ground that it was essential to maintain royal rights over regalia in churches as handsomely endowed as those in the empire. 4 Henry had entered Italy with perhaps the biggest army that had so far been raised by a German ruler, and the presence of this force goes far
4 On authorship and purpose, see J. Beumann, "Sigebert von Gembloux und der Traktat De Investitura Episcoporum", VuF Sonderband 20 ( 1976) and DAEM 33 ( 1977) 37-83; and, for a different view, A. J. Stoclet, "Une nouvelle pièce au dossier du Tractatus de investitura episcoporum", Latomus 43 ( 1984), 454-9. The theory of Augustin Fliche that this tract ascribed to the emperor the right to invest with both spiritual and temporal powers has not been generally accepted by scholars.
towards explaining the events of 1111. He was met by a radical proposal from the pope: that the emperor should give up investiture, and in return the churches would surrender the regalian rights which they held. It seems that the pope intended these to comprise 'cities, duchies, marches, counties, mints, toll, market rights, royal advocacies, hundred rights and vills which are manifestly royal, with their attachments, military service and royal castles'. 5 The proposal looks like a response to the idea of the De Investitura Episcoporum that investiture was made necessary by the church's large landed endowments. In the past, historians have seen it as a striking attempt to draw the church onto the road of voluntary poverty by forcing the bishops to live only on tithes and offerings, a policy which 'if it had been applied would have opened genuinely revolutionary prospects for the church of the time'. 6 This idealistic interpretation led to a picture of Paschal as a saintly extremist with few political skills. It is clear, however, that there was no intention of giving up all the possessions of the church. The draft agreement expressly freed them from imperial control: 'we decree that churches with their offerings and hereditary possessions, which did not manifestly belong to the kingdom, shall remain free'. 7 The 'manifest' regalia must have been those lands for which an imperial grant was extant, or perhaps those which owed a definite service; all others would, at least in the eyes of the pope, have been part of the 'hereditary' lands of the church. In return the pope would receive, not only the abandonment of lay investiture, but a promise by Henry V to restore the papal lands in Italy to their fullest extent -- a promise to which Paschal attached great importance. The proposal was designed to free the clergy from secular duties disliked by Gregorian theorists, not to reduce them to apostolic poverty. Henry's advisers seem at first to have been suspicious about the proposals, but the terms were finally agreed at Sutri on 9 February 1111. The treaty was concealed from the imperial bishops in an ill-advised attempt to deny them a chance to discuss it.
On 12 February a great assembly met at St Peter's for Henry's coronation, and the reading of the agreement produced an uproar. Unsurprisingly each side blamed the other: the details are impossible
5 MGH Leges Const. I, no. 90, p. 141. The imperial version shows the pope as surrendering all land and castles without qualification, but this is a polemical distortion.
6 G. Miccoli, Storia d'Italia: la storia religiosa, 3: la riforma gregoriana ( Turin, 1974), 511.
7 MGH Leges Const. I, no. 90, p. 141.
to discern clearly, except that the protests of the German bishops were loud and clear. It was impossible to continue with the ceremony, and the day ended with Henry arresting the pope and many of the cardinals. The course of events strongly suggests that he had not planned this breakdown, and he had great difficulty in getting his captives out of the city. Paschal did not easily give way to Henry's demands, but he was in a desperate position. Not only was he a captive, but virtually the whole of the papal territory was occupied by a large German army. Henry was hinting at schism, and with many of the senior Roman clergy in his hands he might have been able to impose an anti-pope at Rome. At the negotiations of Ponte Mammolo Paschal surrendered, promising to grant Henry the free right of investiture, to crown him emperor, and never to excommunicate him. In return Henry would release his captives and restore the papal patrimony in full, an important undertaking which he made no real effort to fulfil. The coronation took place on 13 April. Henry had secured more than he had originally even thought of asking.
The privilege of 1111 created bitter divisions among the Gregorians. Paschal was reluctant to take the easy way of revoking the concessions on the grounds that they were forced, and may have thought of resigning in order to allow his successor to nullify the agreement. Meanwhile he was subjected to extremely hostile criticism from the old Gregorian Bishop Bruno of Segni and a group of French churchmen led by Abbot Geoffrey of Vendôme and Archbishop Josserand of Lyon, who argued that lay investiture was a heresy, and the pope was a heretic if he permitted it. The theory behind this unyielding position was expressed by Placidus of Nonantula in his Liber de Honore Ecclesie, which held that the material possessions of the church formed part of the spiritual dignity of the bishop and therefore that no compromise with the lay power was possible on the issue. Even the settlement permitted in France would have been excluded by this argument, since the lay power had nothing to give the bishop-elect and there was no place for any sort of ceremony. The Lateran synod of 18 March 1112 ended in a rather confused compromise between the pope and his critics. The privilege (now neatly christened the pravilegium) was cancelled, apparently by the synod in Paschal's presence, but investiture was not formally denounced as a heresy and the emperor was not excommunicated. For some of the opposition, this was too little and too late. In September 1112 the synod of Vienne, assembled by Archbishop Guy, excommunicated Henry V and threatened to withdraw obedience from Paschal if he did not do the same. It is a salutary reminder of the complexity of the politics of the period to notice that Guy of Vienne was by no means a sea-green incorruptible Gregorian, and that his powerful family had a long history of opposition to Henry V in Burgundy. Paschal's own legate, the influential Cardinal-bishop Cono of Praeneste, also pressed him to confirm the sentence of excommunication, and at the Lateran Synod of 1116 the pope was still being accused of heresy. This time he had far more support than in 1112, but the episode had stamped the developing theory of Roman primacy with the awareness that a pope had arguably become a heretic, and that it was the energy of the cardinals and the authority of a synod which had led the Roman Church out of peril.
Meanwhile the unity of German opinion in support of the emperor had broken. The cause was not initially the investiture problem but the clash of territorial interests, which produced bitter quarrels in 1112 with Duke Lothar of Saxony and with Adalbert, the one-time friend and chancellor of Henry but now an assertive archbishop of Mainz. For the moment their opposition was suppressed and they were personally humiliated, and Henry was able to celebrate his marriage with Matilda of England on 7 January 1114 with unparalleled splendour. 1115 was the year of decision. In February Henry's forces were defeated by the Saxons at Welfesholze, and later the townsmen of Mainz forced the king to release their captive archbishop. Henry's power, which had been impressive for almost a decade, never recovered from the double blow. 'From then on the unhappy empire, which had only experienced a few years of rest, was once again torn asunder and divided on both sides of the Alps.' 8
The opposition demanded a settlement with Rome. Even the lay princes, who had some sympathy with the emperor over the preservation of his rights of investiture, were impatient to see an end to the interminable quarrel, while Adalbert of Mainz, now a bitter enemy of Henry, had adopted a strongly papalist line in which he was supported by Frederick of Cologne and the bishops of the province of Salzburg, for long a bulwark of Gregorian ideas. While the position of Henry V was crumbling in Germany, Italian affairs
8 Otto of Freising, Chronicon, vii. 15, ed. A. Hofmeister ( Hanover, 1912), 329-30.
were turning to his advantage. Henry had established good relations with Countess Matilda, who at her death in 1115 bequeathed to him her vast estates. She had already in 1102 conceded to the pope a nominal overlordship (at least, that is the most probable interpretation of her intention) and the consequence of the double bequest was to create a curious situation in the former Matildine lands. For the time being, Henry took possession of them, apparently without objection from Paschal. The pope, in any case, had reason to be worried about the situation at Rome. The Pierleoni, stalwart upholders of papal reform, had received great privileges within the city, and other families were increasingly resentful. By the time of the death of Paschal on 21 January 1118 the tension there was acute. The cardinals chose John of Gaeta as the new Pope Gelasius II, presumably as a safe man who would follow the traditional paths, since he had been papal chancellor since the days of Urban II. His brief pontificate was a troubled one. He was immediately kidnapped by Cencius Frangipani, the leader of one of the noble factions, and was then chased from Rome by Henry V, who refused to recognize him and appointed an unconvincing anti-pope, Archbishop Maurice of the Spanish see of Braga, as Gregory VIII. Gelasius followed the path of his predecessors to France and died at Cluny on 29 January 1119 . Paschal had been stubborn in defending the prohibition of lay investiture, and skilful in extricating himself from the consequences of his forced concession in the pravilegium, but by 1119 the long dispute had reached no conclusion. The one real prospect of a solution came from the determination of the opposition in Germany to force Henry to the conference table.
ii. The Concordat of Worms
The cardinals who were in France, in choosing Gelasius' successor, were almost certainly not thinking of a compromise with the emperor, for their choice fell on Archbishop Guy of Vienne, one of the 'ultras' of 1112, a man who, although he was a relative of the Salian house, belonged to a family with a tradition of political resistance to it. For the first time for over half a century, a pope was chosen from outside the monastic orders. The new pope took the name Calixtus II. His immediate objective was to secure the unconditional surrender of investiture by Henry V, and his hope of doing so was founded on the strong demand within Germany for a settlement. He very nearly succeeded. In negotiations at Strasburg, where the arrangements in France were explained to him, Henry expressed himself satisfied, and in further preliminary negotiations he was persuaded to agree to a blanket renunciation: 'I surrender all investiture of all churches.' Encouraged by this, Calixtus arranged to meet the emperor in person at Mouzon on the Franco-German frontier and summoned a large council at Reims for 20 October 1119 to confirm the terms of the triumph. The result was a serious discomfiture for the pope. The arrival of a large German army at Mouzon revived uncomfortable memories of 1111, and the papal advisers had begun to have reservations about the surrender formula, which contained nothing about the possessions of churches: 'if the king is really acting sincerely, these words are satisfactory, but if he is inclined to quibble about the terms, it seems to us that we need a clarification. Otherwise, he could try to claim the ancient possessions of the churches for himself, or else start investing bishops with them again.' 9 Whatever the intentions of Henry V, he was not willing to alter the already agreed formula. Calixtus had to return, exhausted, to Reims to report failure, and his annoyance was increased when he found that he could not even prevail on the council to issue a general condemnation of investiture. The draft decree condemning 'the investiture of all churches and ecclesiastical possessions by lay hands in any form' had to be softened to 'the investiture by lay hands of bishoprics and abbeys'. 10
This setback at the brink of apparent victory was very disappointing, and probably convinced the new pope that he must look, not for a blanket condemnation, but for a detailed agreement. His underlying situation remained favourable. He was recognized everywhere outside the empire, and no one was taking the anti-pope seriously. Even the emperor had in practice abandoned him, and Calixtus was able to travel to Rome and take control of the city. In Germany a renewal of hostilities between Henry and the Saxons led to a meeting between the princes on both sides at Wiirzburg on 29 September 1121, where they concluded a 'firm peace' among themselves and advised the emperor to seek a final settlement with the pope, and to secure his absolution from the excommunication which had been
10 Hesso ( iii. 27). The opposition was probably occasioned by reluctance to cancel the rights of lay patrons in local churches, but the wording makes no mention of ecclesiastical possessions and is less comprehensive than the renunciation offered by Henry. 9 Hesso, Relatio (MGH LdL iii. 25).
imposed when he recognized the anti-pope Gregory VIII. The way was opened for what, in the event, proved to be the decisive negotiations.
The representatives of the Roman Church were Lambert, cardinalbishop of Ostia, and Cardinals Saxo and Gregory, a distinguished group which included two future popes. It became clear that they would have to make large concessions in order to obtain the end of lay investiture, for even the princes did not wish to see its abandonment and attacked Archbishop Adalbert as a 'destroyer of the empire' when he argued against it. The agreement took the form of two documents setting out the renunciations made by each side. The emperor surrendered 'all investiture by ring and staff' and granted canonical election and free consecration in all churches of the empire. The pope allowed that in Germany the election of bishops might take place in Henry's presence, that he might settle disputed elections with the advice of the bishops of the province, and that the elect would receive the regalia from him by a sceptre and would do what was by law required (an evasive phrase intended to avoid saying bluntly that the pope was permitting homage before consecration). On these terms, the surrender of imperial investiture in Germany could only be regarded as a technical change, which did not even greatly alter the traditional ceremonies. Elsewhere in the empire far more of the imperial rights were signed away, and the only concession to the emperor was that a new bishop should do homage within six months of consecration. 11 The agreement was announced outside the walls of Worms on 23 September 1122, and met with considerable opposition from the advisers of the pope. Adalbert of Mainz tried to persuade him to disown it, and there was trouble at the First Lateran Council (as it is usually named) which met to ratify it on 18 March 1123. When the papal concession was read, there were loud shouts of non placet! The resistance was overcome only by the plea that the arrangements should be tolerated for the sake of peace, and radicals such as Gerhoh of Reichersberg continued afterwards to be troubled by the concessions made by the church. None the less, the agreement was approved. After almost fifty years of hostility, papacy and empire were at last at peace.
iii. Papal Administration.
The new responsibilities of the popes were by this time bringing
11 MGH Leges Const. I, no. 108, p. 161.
with them a change in the government of the church. The Roman Church in the eleventh century had been designed for worship. The liturgy at the cathedral, St John Lateran, was maintained by the seven bishops of the suburban sees of Ostia, Porto, Albano, Palestrina, Silva Candida, Tusculum, and Sabina. The four other great basilicas of St Peter, San Paolo fuori le mura, San Lorenzo fuori le mura and Santa Maria Maggiore were eached served by seven priests who held parishes or 'titles' in the city. The seven bishops and twenty-eight priests were known as cardinals, because they were 'incardinated' (hinged, dovetailed) into the liturgical arrangements of the great churches. Rome was unique only in the scale of the provision made for worship, for other churches had cardinals and Roman cardinals had no special standing in the western church as a whole. Apart from their liturgical duties, they were not clearly distinguished from the other clergy of the Roman province, and they had no function within the papal administration. The structure of the Roman Church was not designed to sustain any policy of intervention in the affairs of other churches. The main officers were the judges or iudices palatini, who were responsible for finance, almsgiving, and the supervision of the writing-office, but they were far from being mere agents of papal policy and were closely connected with the nobility of the city. The notaries or scriniaries who prepared papal documents were still at the beginning of the century using papyrus, which was almost unknown elsewhere in Europe, and their distinctive script, the littera Romana, could not even be read north of the Alps. The papal household itself was located in the Lateran palace and was accordingly termed the sacrum palatium Lateranense. The title reflected the tendency, from the time of the Ottonian interventions at Rome, to adopt a more dignified or even imperial style, but the Lateran palace cannot be seen as a government. The judges were only members of it in a rather limited sense, and the clerical staff were concerned with daily running rather than with major decisions. The papal household was rooted in the Roman earth and had to be transformed before it could assume a directive role on an international scale.
The policy changes of the period up to the end of Gregory VII's pontificate had less impact upon the structure of papal administration than might be expected. The one major change was the increasing weight of administration discharged by the clergy of the Roman church, a tendency which had already been apparent under the Tusculan popes. The Roman synod became a regular occasion at which canons were issued and notified to the western church generally. More striking still was the transformation of the cardinalbishops, whose ranks were filled with able men often drawn from outside Rome. The city parishes were similarly used to advance leading advisers of the reforming popes. The cardinal-bishops and priests provided legates to represent the Roman Church in other regions and formed a body of advisers who began, especially under Alexander II, to act as witnesses to papal documents. These changes seem to have been both conscious and deliberate: at an early stage Peter Damian saw the Roman Church as an imitation of the curia of ancient Rome, with the cardinals acting as the 'spiritual senators of the universal church'. 12 There were also signs of increasing activity by deacons and subdeacons attached to the Lateran palace and of a body of chaplains there. There are other instances, too, of the growing administrative importance of senior clergy. The office of papal chancellor had emerged well before the middle of the century, and in the 1050s it was occupied by important advisers such as Frederick of Lorraine and Humbert of Silva Candida. It may also be that Hildebrand, as archdeacon of Rome from 1059 onwards, took over some of the financial duties of the older officers, but the matter remains obscure. All of this represents a significant development of Roman clergy to meet enlarged responsibilities for policy-making in the church as a whole, and some of the changes were to be of great importance for the future. Nevertheless, we must regard 1084 rather than 1046 as the starting-point of the new structure through which the Roman Church was to exercise control in the later Middle Ages. The innovations of the forty years after 1046 had not led to an overhaul of the method of government. The writing-office was not systematically reorganized by the chancellors, who introduced notaries from the north alongside the old officials who continued to produce documents in the traditional forms. The iudices palatini lost some of their status within the papal household, but retained their functions. Moreover, the progress towards a new organization was not a smooth one. Gregory VII actually moved away from some of the new features introduced by his predecessors, partly because of his autocratic style and partly, perhaps, because he had himself been trained in the old Roman Church. His tendency to take decisions by his own authority or with a small group of confidential advisers, his neglect of the views of the cardinal-priests, many of whom were
12 Contra Philargyriam, 7 (PL 145. 540B).
uneasy about the breach with Henry IV, his use of his personal confidants as legates, and the financial problems caused by his policies led to the wholesale abandonment of Gregory in the crisis of 1084. The iudices, the chancellor, the archdeacon, and many of the priests in the Roman titles went over to Clement III.
Urban II and Paschal II were faced with the need to reconstitute the papal administration, and they had to do so largely in isolation from Rome, where between 1084 and 1122 they were never really secure. The circumstances inevitably removed some of the features of the old order. The iudices lost their administrative functions within the household and became primarily ceremonial or civic officials. The Roman synods, which had been so important in formulating policy until the last years of Gregory VII, were never revived in their old form. The central feature of the new structure was the authority given to the cardinals as a whole. The theory was stated by Deusdedit, who was himself a cardinal-priest: 'the name cardinals is derived from the hinges ( cardinibus ) of a door, because they so rule and act that they move the people of God . . . to the love of God by holy doctrines'. 13 Consciously or not, this marked the abandonment of the original derivation of the term from their duties in the basilicas. With the weakening of this liturgical aspect, it became possible to enlist the deacons of the Roman Church in the ranks of the cardinals. The emergence of the cardinal-deacons, a title virtually unknown before 1090, completed the membership of the college in its later form. The use of the cardinals to attest papal bulls, which had occurred under Alexander, was resumed and extended by Urban, and by the time of Paschal they were being consulted about all questions of importance. In 1087 Victor III had already involved them in the election of Oderisius, his successor as abbot of Monte Cassino, and their advice was taken about the renewal of the emperor's excommunication in 1089 and about disputed elections to bishoprics, such as those at Halberstadt and Arras in 1094. 14 The general activity of the cardinals in the government of the western church has a continuous history from the pontificate of Urban II. It was very
13 W. von den Glanvell (ed.), Die Kanonessammlung des Kardinals Deusdedit ( Paderborn, 1905), ii. 160. The same derivation was given by Leo IX to the patriarch of Constantinople (ep. 100 c. 32, PL 143. 765B), but with an important difference: for Leo, it meant only that the cardinals were close to the hinge, which was the apostolic see.
14 Peter the Deacon, Chronica Monasterii Casinensis, iv. 1 (MGH SS VII .760); J. Sydow, Studien und Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des Benediktiner-Ordens 63 ( 1951) 49; Urban II, ep. 100 (PL 151. 375C); Lambert, De Primatu Sedis Atrebatensis (PL 162. 638A)
much a reality under Paschal II: the cardinals were closely involved in the crisis in relations with Henry V in 1111-12, both as guarantors of the surrender at Ponte Mammolo, and then paradoxically as agents in its repudiation; and the college included some of Paschal's most bitter critics. The role of the cardinals as papal electors was also recognized at much the same time. The decree 0f 1059 had given special authority in elections to the cardinal-bishops, but it had never been properly applied. At least from the time of Urban II's election in 1088 there was participation by all ranks of cardinals, and other groups were increasingly excluded. The use of cardinals as legates became normal practice under Paschal, and their role as legal advisers was beginning to develop. Shortly after 1100 the bishop of Barbastro in Catalonia raised some questions of canon law with cardinal Albert of St Sabina, who explained that he had consulted the cardinals as a body before replying, and by 1120 Baudri of Bourgueil, archbishop of Dol, was calling them 'those senators who obtained the primacy of the whole apostolate'. 15
In the meantime the papal household was being reorganized into a pattern much closer to that of the courts of northern Europe. The chamber emerged as the principal financial office. Urban probably took the idea from his old abbey of Cluny. The first known papal chamberlain was a Cluniac monk, Peter, who was in office for some years from 1099 onwards, and at first the chamber actually seems to have been located there. The tie with Cluny lasted until 1123, when Calixtus appointed a Roman clerk, Alfanus. The chancery was reshaped under John of Gaeta, cardinal-deacon of St Maria in Cosmedin, who became chancellor in September 1089 and held the office for almost thirty years until he became pope as Gelasius II. During this time a standard diploma and formal prose or cursus was adopted for use and replaced the old formulary, the Liber Diurnus, which had long provided the examplar for papal documents, but which ceased to be used soon after 1087. The papal chaplains were becoming a more structured body, and Paschal II is said to have promoted to the cardinalate nine of his 'chaplains and writers', while the papal household was acquiring a distinctive rite of its own, separate from that in the basilica of St John Lateran. The terms 'chapel' and 'chaplains' were still not standard under Paschal, but the
15 H.-W. Klewitz, Die Entstehung des Kardinalskollegium, Reformpapsttum und Kardinalkolleg ( Darmstadt, 1957), 110; Baudri, Vita S. Hugonis, 6 (PL 162. 637A), reflecting his contemporary situation back into the past.
reality was beginning to appear. With its chamber, newly organized writing-office, and chapel the papal household was taking on a different appearance. It was also acquiring a new name, curia, which first appears in a papal document in 1089. We must not exaggerate the abruptness of the change. The word curia, in the sense of assembly, had occasionally been used in the eleventh century, and it was in any case becoming fashionable as the standard word for royal or princely courts. Moreover, it was not frequent under Urban and Paschal. The reason why it was to become the standard description for the papal household was its widespread use for 'lawcourt', which is precisely what the curia was going to become. But that, in 1122, lay mainly in the future.
iv. The Achievement of the Papal Reform Movement
Calixtus II celebrated the Concordat of Worms and the return of the papacy to the Lateran by inaugurating a major rebuilding of the palace there. In particular he undertook the construction of the chapel of St Nicholas, which a few years later was decorated with a triumphal fresco. The chapel was demolished in 1747 but several sketches remain of the painting, which depicted the victory of the true popes over Clement III and the other anti-popes. It was a dramatic depiction of the papal belief that a long chapter of struggle had reached its end.
For all that the Roman Church had done to promulgate a new vision of ecclesiastical order, the impact of popes upon many regional churches was still slight. In writing a history of (for example) the English church during the first quarter of the twelfth century, the chapter on the influence of Rome would be a relatively short one. The importance which the papal reformers have assumed so far in this book is the result of concentration upon the church as an international body. That is not to say that their significance is an optical illusion, rather that it is a matter of perspective: they bulk large from the viewpoint where we are standing. It must also be remembered that the group of reformers who established themselves within the Roman Church was only one of many movements, which had strong ties of sympathy but which cannot by any device be consolidated into one great international Gregorian party. Cluniacs and canonical reformers, Hirsau and hermits, Patarini and Vallombrosans, Countess Matilda and the school of Constance, Deusdedit and Anselm of Lucca, form a whole within which constituent parts had close associations, but also differing priorities. The objective of the papal reformers was to create a church which, to use the formula of Gregory and Urban, was catholic, chaste, and free; that is, delivered from the pollutions of simony, concubinage, and lay control. The programme went back to the days of Leo IX, but from the beginning it seemed to its advocates that it could only be applied if Christendom would honour the words and authority of the see of Peter. As time went on, their policy became more specific still as attention was focused upon lay investiture as the central issue. Some of these objectives were shared by men of good will generally. It was possible to be an enemy of simony without wishing to see the authority of the bishops suspended or the rights of the anointed king subverted. Modern historiography has made us aware that the Gregorians were not necessarily right in their analysis of what was needed for the church. We do not have to agree with Gregory in his belief that the victory of Clement III would have been the triumph of Simon Magus over Simon Peter. Even the title 'papal reformers' is a term of art, if a useful one. Clement, too, was a papal reformer, but one who desired to reform corruptions in the traditional way, by securing the co-operation of the emperor.
One of the most outstanding successes of the reformers was the formulation of a coherent programme and the persuasion of hearers who were not at first eager to receive it. While Burchard of Worms and others had laid a basis for this already, the ability of Leo IX and his successors to secure the adoption of a clear set of priorities remains impressive. There were not many precedents for the means by which the programme was disseminated: the importing of outstanding men into the leadership of the Roman Church, the promulgation of decrees and their circulation by legates (sometimes even with the aid of miracles); the creation of an effective system of polemics supported by theme-centred collections of canon law; and an appeal to lay support which deployed strikes against decadent clergy and rebellion against obstructive kings. Equally successful was the defence of their dominant position within the Roman Church, which was essential for the continuance of the movement. In 1059, 1084, and 1111 the position of the papal reform seemed desperate, but in each case it was rescued by tough and clear-minded action. It was a model of how an initially small group can make, disseminate, and defend a revolution. There were other striking successes by the papal reformers or their allies. The expansion of monasticism was impressive. So was the progress made in the spread of the common life among canons, which they regarded as particularly important in the establishment of clerical discipline on a sound basis. The leadership which the popes gave to the expansion of Christendom in the Mediterranean also had some dramatic results, and in particular produced the remarkable achievement of the First Crusade. Whatever we may think about the sending of military expeditions to distant places, the establishment of Christian rule in Jerusalem was seen at the time as a God-given triumph.
These achievements, however, are in the last resort peripheral to the problems which had brought the reform movement into existence. Had the hold of simony and concubinage on the church been weakened by the campaign which had been waged against them? One thing certainly had been achieved. There is little doubt that they had become more repugnant to public opinion. But if the reformers had won the argument, had they reduced the evils? Something may have been achieved at those points on which the reformers concentrated. Money probably passed less frequently at episcopal elections, and there was certainly a lower proportion of married canons in 1120 than there had been in 1050. But it remained common for country priests to have a family life and to pass their church to a son; the reformers had not been in a position to do much about the ordinary clergy. It is also clear that customary payments continued which to the modern eye look decidedly like simony: it was still accepted, in the 1120s and later, that bishops received a fee for the consecration of chrism each year, and that applicants for admission to monasteries had to bring an endowment with them. Moreover, the reformers allowed themselves to be sidetracked in the war against simony. Their hostility was deflected from the routine task of eliminating cash payments to the struggle with the adherents of the schismatic pope and the attempt to end the practice of lay investiture. To the Gregorians it seemed that victory in these causes was essential before simony could be overcome and that Clementists and investers were by definition simonists. Even if we accept this analysis without challenge, it postponed the removal of simony from ordinary transactions to a distant future. The reformers had formulated an ideology as a basis for spiritual reform, and ended by fighting for the ideology rather than the reform. This was implicit in their whole approach, which was designed to ensure the ritual purity of the clergy rather than to improve their pastoral efficiency. From this point of view they attached importance to the process of 'restitution', which had immensely reduced the number of benefices to which laymen were appointing. The change did little or nothing for the pastoral care of the parishioners, for almost all the grants were made to monasteries who probably exploited the revenues more thoroughly than the lay lords had done. But that is a different viewpoint: the papal reformers were not seeking revenues for an effective pastorate, but purity from lay contamination.
The price paid for these limited and ambiguous successes was the creation of a series of rifts within the common culture of Christian Europe. It is a curious paradox that the very period which saw the adoption of 'Christendom' as a standard expression also saw the disruption of its post-Carolingian inheritance. The separation of clergy from laity was a major feature of the reforming programme, and its effects will be studied in more detail in the next section. If the traditional dating of the schism between the Latin and Greek churches to 1054 is an over-simplification, the events of that year crucially worsened relations just when Christian unity was going to be required in face of the revived threat of Islam in the east; and the First Crusade, whatever Urban II's intentions, further jeopardized the mutual understanding of the two great traditions. Germany was divided internally and was divided from the western kingdoms with which it had been closely linked in earlier centuries. It would be foolish to make the papal reformers solely responsible for all these changes. The movement towards a society of 'estates' or separate professional groups was in any case pointing towards a clear distinction of clergy and laity, and the different historical experiences of Germans and French after the end of common Carolingian government and of Latins and Greeks from a much earlier date, were separating them into distinct, and mutually antagonistic, cultures. The effect of the papal reform movement was to exaggerate these schismatic trends and to formalize them as the basis of the new church order.
The most obvious of all the divisions was the hostility between empire and papacy. Here, the Concordat of Worms was a compromise which on paper was dearly bought by the reformers. They had to concede to Henry V a range of privileges which offended Gregorian principles: the election of bishops in the presence of the king, royal control over disputed elections, and the performance of homage before consecration. If Calixtus II proclaimed it as a triumph, that was partly a necessity of propaganda, for there were influential critics of the Concordat and he could not afford to concede that it was no more than half a victory. Yet there was substance in his argument. The central issue in contention, lay investiture with ring and staff, had been resolved in favour of the papal viewpoint, and in the Italian churches the papal demands had been conceded to an extent which gravely eroded the prospects of imperial control there. In addition, the death of Henry V in 1125 removed the danger that the German Crown would use its privileges under the Concordat to secure the predominance of the royalist bishops, and instead inaugurated a period of co-operation between empire and papacy. It was only after 1152 that the popes were faced with the determination of the German court to enforce all, and more than all, its rights under the agreement, and by then this was only one of a range of issues which led to the renewal of conflict after a generation of peace between the two powers.
THE GROWTH OF CHRISTENDOM (1122-98)
Hans-Walter Klewitz saw the 1120s as 'the end of the reform papacy'. The signing of the Concordat of Worms, shortly followed in 1125 by the death of the Emperor Henry V, marked a profound change in the relationship of empire and papacy. It coincided, moreover, with the emergence of new forces which were increasingly to shape the history of the church in western Europe. That is not to say that the next generation of leaders renounced the inheritance which they had received from Gregory VII and his followers; but their concerns were significantly different, and the extension of the word 'Gregorian' to cover their policy is unhelpful.
The hostility which had for so long marked the policy of the Roman Church towards the German emperors was transformed, for thirty years, into an alliance. Some historians have seen these years as a successful expression of papal overlordship over secular kingdoms, and others have called them after one of the outstanding churchmen of the time, 'the age of St Bernard. We shall have to consider the appropriateness of these descriptions; certainly one cannot disregard a new warmth in the relations of regnum and sacerdotium or the prominence of a number of great churchmen (Bernard himself, Suger of Saint-Denis, Wibald of Stavelot among them) who combined respect for papal authority with influence upon the policy of kings. With the middle of the century, we have a sharp change in atmosphere: the succession of two powerful and strong-minded rulers, the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and King Henry II of England, brought a renewal of conflict between church and state, although the issues were largely different from those of the years before 1122.
The second characteristic of the period was the creation of a new monasticism. The groups of hermits who had been experimenting with forms of communal living outside the established houses were brought together not only into monasteries, but into huge families or orders, some of them including hundreds of houses. The Cistercians, Premonstratensians, Carthusians, Gilbertines, Fontevrault, grandmont, and the families of regular canons transformed the monastic scene with remarkable speed.
The third feature was the expansion of Christendom. Literally, the frontier was being pushed forward: there was missionary and military expansion in the Baltic and in Spain and structures of support were provided, if in the end unsuccessfully, for the Latin states in Syria. This was accompanied by the building of a Christian culture within western Europe. Cathedrals and pilgrimage churches were provided on a previously unparalleled scale, local churches increased in number or rebuilt in stone, and patterns of living proposed for the laity through the formulation of ethics of marriage, chivalry, charity, and even (reluctantly and slowly) of commercial conduct. This remarkable drive towards Christianization can be seen in part as a 'post-Gregorian' feature. The definition of the special character of the clergy as an order distinct from the rest of the Christian people, which had been so prominent in the reformers' policy, led to a concern for the proper definition of the role of the laity within the divine economy. This became more urgent as the ranks of the laity became more diverse, more skilled, and also more inclined to demand religious provision, if necessary by joining heretical groups. There was also a colonization of inner space. Before 1120 not much had been written about personal experience in prayer. The works of Peter Damian and some devotions of John of Fécamp and Anselm of Canterbury had been forerunners of the new age, but they are small in volume when set beside the output of spiritual theology which was specially the achievement of the Cistercian writers. The working of the human spirit became a subject of central interest. William of St Thierry's books opened a new approach to psychology, and in ethics the intention of the individual was given much more importance in the assessment of conduct. These ideas were directed in the first place to an audience of monks and scholars, but they show a kinship with developments in wider strata of society: pilgrimage and the cults of the cross, the Blessed Virgin, and Mary Magdalen echo Cistercian meditations on the heavenly Jerusalem, the passion, the incarnation, and penitence. Twelfthcentury thinkers were well aware of the progress which was going on around them and used a variety of concepts to explain it. Some saw themselves in direct continuity with the culture of former generations, but others were conscious of a gap between the 'ancients' and 'moderns'; yet others were aware of the power of innovation which was the special quality of Nature, parens Natura; and a few like Otto of Freising and Anselm of Havelberg saw their own age as occupying a special place in the historical process and began to strain the limits of a model of Christian history which had remained largely unchanged since the time of St Augustine. New developments in the concepts of nature, history, and eschatology were thus implicit in what was happening in the history of the church. It is with this range of developments in mind that I have given this section of the book the subtitle (metaphorical, admittedly) 'the Growth of Christendom'.
The description which has won most favour among modern historians to represent this outburst of creativity is that of the twelfth-century Renaissance. When C. H. Haskins introduced the concept in 1927 he had in mind primarily the revival of classical learning in the city schools. It was not a term used at the time, for men of letters did not feel the need to deny their immediate predecessors and revive the values and style of the classical world; they were attempting to recover and apply the wisdom of all past ages, Cicero and Seneca, civil law and canon law, Augustine and Ambrose, Gregory and Benedict, without categorizing any one group of authorities as being pre-eminently 'classics'. The title is justified in that the growth of understanding was based on the recovery of past wisdom; like a dwarf on the back of a giant, to use a favourite image, the scholar was lifted up by ancient learning so that he could see the horizon. This appropriation of the treasures of the past can be seen not only in the schools, but in the new monasteries and the lay courts. It was a threefold renaissance which rested (among many other things) on Latin learning, early monastic writing, and Roman law. For our purposes it had quite specific relevance to the history of the church in the development of theology as a structured subject of study, in the growth of a new legal system controlled by the papal curia, and in the development of better administrative control, through the availability of a class of welleducated clerks, both in church and state.
This remarkable creativity had another side to it: codification. While experiments in monastic community continued, the really distinctive feature of the twelfth century was the acceptance of constitutions and rules which regulated the life of the new monastic orders. The drive to Christianize society was embodied in the creation of increasingly elaborate lawcodes. In attempting to chart its progress, we shall often have occasion to cite the Decretum of Gratian, the collection of canons (with comments) of about 1140 which summed up the existing state of the law of the church; and, at a later stage, the papal decretals, especially those issued by Alexander III ( 1159-81), which attempted to shape legal norms for all the churches subject to the decisions of Rome. The achievement of an elaborate system of law for enforcement through the ecclesiastical courts was an illustration of an element in the culture of the twelfthcentury church which contrasts markedly with the more open elements: the defence of ecclesiastical privilege. Fear of the laity as the invaders of the just rights of the clergy was part of the Gregorian heritage. It is impossible to know whether it might have been assuaged if church lands had been freed from all lay obligations, as the reformers intended. In fact, the Concordat of Worms and similar compromises left the bishops with continuing commitments in the political order, and canon law set itself to define the limits of these and to extend the exemptions of the clergy from the government of the lay princes.
One final introductory remark needs to be made. The period from 1122 to 1198 offers us a paradox. Papal control over the provincial churches grew steadily, but there is no clear equivalent for the firm reforming policy stated by Leo IX and revised by Gregory VII nor for the much more elaborate programme championed by Innocent III. The popes of the twelfth century, even Alexander III, failed to provide the same leadership. In part the explanation was personal: a Gregory VII does not achieve authority in every generation. It was also the case that the apparatus of government in both church and state essentially functioned by response to appeals or complaints from subjects, and was not adapted to the formulation of high policy. The popes did not have the means of defining governmental objectives and securing their acceptance by the bishops as a whole. Their legal activity was impressive, but it was designed mainly to ensure that the Roman Church was able to respond consistently to the many pleas which parties were bringing before it. The most obvious place at which a policy could be formulated and accepted was a council, and there were indeed some important ones. Yet at first they were directed to the solution of immediate problems (it is not an accident that the Lateran Councils of 1123, 1139, and 1179 were held to celebrate the end of a schism), and the concept of a programme of legislation proved difficult to achieve. This was partly because of technical problems: popes were lax about even providing proper records of conciliar decrees, diocesan records were totally inadequate for the exercise of control, and the use of local synods to promulgate central decisions was rare. It was only in the last quarter of the century that steps began to be taken towards a solution of these problems, and the way was thus being opened to the impressive formulation of policy by Innocent III and the Fourth Lateran Council. It is no doubt true that all government ( twentieth-century included) is a matter of response, usually belated, to a rising storm of protest, but medieval rulers did not have at their disposal the means of devising general programmes which could be universally applied. Innocent III was rare in the extent to which he succeeded in finding these means; in the meantime, it must be noted that, for all the growth in papal administration, central initiative was not a large feature in the life of the twelfth-century church.
THE ROMAN CHURCH AND THE EMPIRE IN THE TWELFTH CENTURY
i. After the Concordat of Worms (1122-1153)
The end of the controversy over investiture marked a change in the relationship between Rome and the rest of Christendom. The popes had to respond to the growing power of a new spirituality; to the crisis of a schism, this time generated within the Roman Church and not imposed from outside; and to the new opportunities provided by a period of co-operation with the empire and other secular powers. The changing character of the papacy was illustrated by the type of men who were elected. In the forty-six years from 1073 to 1119 the four popes all came from a Benedictine or Cluniac background. From 1124 to 1159 this predominance disappeared. Of the seven popes, four had been regular canons and one a Cistercian; men from the new orders were pope for twenty-one of the thirty-five years. 1 From 1130 onwards, Bernard of Clairvaux, the passionate advocate of the Cistercian order, was influential at Rome, especially under the Cistercian Pope Eugenius III ( 1145-53).
The smooth development of the Roman Church in the period after Worms was disrupted by the election of 1130. Division among the cardinals was no new thing. A large party had abandoned Gregory VII in 1084, and there had been bitter conflicts over the Pravilegium after 1112. In the 1120S, after Calixtus II had returned to Rome, one of the dominant personalities in the curia was Peter Pierleone. It was said of him about 1125 that 'he stands so high at Rome that all Rome speaks or is silent at his nod'. 2 He was a member of a Roman family which had grown great in the service of the Gregorian popes.
1 The number of popes who were regular canons has been overestimated by historians. There is no solid reason for thinking that Innocent II, Anastasius II, or chancellor Haimeric were regular canons, but the extent of the change remains impressive. The calculations omit the Cluniac Anacletus II.
2 'For this and other references, see H. Bloch, "The schism of Anacletus and the Glanfeuil forgeries", Traditio 8 ( 1952), 163-4n.
Already under Calixtus we can discern the rising influence of other groups, among them the noble family of the Frangipani. Above all, in 1123 the influential office of papal chancellor was given to the dynamic Cardinal Haimeric, a Frenchman imported by a French pope. The tension came to the surface at the death of Calixtus II on 13 December 1124, when in disorderly proceedings Bishop Lambert of Ostia, the candidate of Haimeric and the Frangipani, was recognized as Honorius II. Pandulf, the author of the Lives of the Popes for this period, regarded the coup of 1124 as the root of the later schism. By 1130 it was clear that the conflict of factions was threatening the orderly election of a new pope, and the cardinals agreed to appoint an electoral college of eight. In the prevailing atmosphere it would have been difficult to reach agreement, but any hope of peace was extinguished by the conduct of Haimeric's supporters, who on the death of Honorius II unilaterally elected Cardinal Gregory of St Angelo as Innocent II. The rival party then assembled its adherents and elected Peter Pierleone as Anacletus II. The Frangipani soon abandoned Innocent, leaving Rome solid for Anacletus; but Haimeric and his supporters appealed to their contacts in northern Europe, and the schism was to last for eight years. It shocked public opinion to see how 'in many monasteries two abbots appeared, and in bishoprics two prelates struggled for office, one of them supporting Peter Anacletus and the other favouring Gregory Innocent'. 3 The Anacletians were in a slight majority, but against that Innocent had the support of five of the six cardinal-bishops. Anacletus was the candidate of the older men. Half his supporters had been appointed by Paschal II before 1118, whereas among the nineteen Innocentians only two, one of them Innocent himself, went back to Paschal's time. Cardinal Peter of Porto described them as 'a handful of new boys', novitii.
A recent tradition of historical writing has argued that the schism in the college of cardinals was the product of the changed spirituality in the curia. Beginning with an article by H.-W. Klewitz significantly entitled "The End of the Reform Papacy", this school has identified the supporters of Anacletus with the old Gregorian party, hostile to the empire, unhappy about the Concordat of Worms, and closely linked with the older Benedictine monasticism; while Innocent is seen as the candidate of the party of Haimeric, marked by
3 Ordericus Vitalis, xiii. 1 (vi. 418-19).
strong links with France and the new monastic orders and welldisposed to co-operation with the rulers of France and Germany. The analysis of the parties does not confirm the more exaggerated claims which have sometimes been made about them: the Innocentians included only one regular canon and two Frenchmen, and among the cardinals created by Innocent II there were several Benedictine abbots. We should not think in terms of coherent parties, but of interest groups forced into conflict by Haimeric's determination to secure the papacy for his own candidate in 1130.
The fate of the two claimants was determined by the contacts of their supporters. Anacletus II rapidly made an alliance with Roger of Sicily, recognizing his control on the mainland and granting him the royal title. Meanwhile Haimeric had carried the papal chancery and an extensive network of correspondents into Innocent's service, and the kings of France and Germany were rapidly informed of his election. They were brought onto his side largely by the pressure of sympathetic churchmen: Suger of Saint-Denis, Peter of Cluny, Norbert of Magdeburg, and Walter of Ravenna. Bernard of Clairvaux rose to international prominence as a skilful and ruthless propagandist. The allegiance of France was declared for Innocent at the council of Étampes, and that of Germany at Würzburg, and Innocent travelled north to meet Henry I of England, Louis VI of France, and (in a splendid gathering at Liège in March 1131) Lothar of Germany. An expedition in 1133 secured for Lothar the imperial Crown, but Innocent was forced again to retreat to the north. Even a much larger army in 1137 had to withdraw without inflicting a decisive defeat on Roger. The resolution of the schism was finally made possible by the death of Anacletus on 25 January 1138, and in the following year Innocent, having failed again to overcome Roger, recognized him as king. The victory of the Innocentians was a mark of the growing power of international opinion and of its limitations. It had sustained his cause effectively, but the resolution of the schism had to await its natural end through his rival's death.
The Concordat of Worms, which had initiated this new period, had been a compromise, but the events of the next thirty years confirmed the claim of Calixtus II to have won a victory for the church. The two most powerful kingdoms of the north, England and Germany, had been cautious about the Gregorian papacy or hostile to it, but in both the situation was transformed. The incidence of a disputed succession between Stephen and Matilda in 1135 left the contending parties in England anxious for the support of pope and bishops. In Germany the Salian monarchy was succeeded by two kings, Lothar of Saxony ( 1125-37) and Conrad of Hohenstaufen ( 1138-52), specifically committed to a close relationship with the papacy. The exact character of this relationship has been much disputed by historians. Some have seen the popes as aspiring successfully to general control in the west; Eugenius III is said in 1147-8, during the Second Crusade, to have been 'on the direct road to universal rule'. 4 An alternative view, while not denying the existence of this triumphalist element in the curia, stresses that it did not intend to overthrow the independence of the secular power in its own sphere: co-operation, not complete supremacy, was the ideal for church-state relations.
The changed character of the German monarchy was illustrated by the elections of 1125 and 1138. Under the influence of Archbishop Adalbert of Mainz, an extremist who had serious reservations about the Concordat, the electors in 1125 turned their backs on Salian policy, passing over the nephew of Henry V and choosing instead Lothar, a long-standing enemy of Henry whose whole political alignment had been with the Gregorian party. The choice of Conrad III in 1138 was primarily the work of Archbishop Adalbero of Trier, who arranged the election in the presence of the papal legate, Cardinal Theodwin. In both cases the result was the election of a king whose policy was alignment with papal interests, and whose independence of action was impeded by civil war. The division of Welf and Waibling (Hohenstaufen), or Guelph and Ghibelline, which was to underlie party warfare in the Italian cities, now appeared for the first time in imperial history. So did the 'ecclesiastical principality', a territory within which the bishop possessed most important rights of government. The effect of the Investiture Contest had been to bring to power men who had not been trained in the imperial chapel and who did not think in the ways instilled by the Salian emperors. Lothar III, in sharp contrast with his predecessors, found very few of his bishops from the clerks of his chapel. The prelates of the early twelfth century such as Ruthard of Mainz ( 1089-1109), Frederick I of Cologne ( 1100-31) and Bruno of Trier ( 1101-24) steered their way between the conflicting claims of pope and emperor and concentrated on building up their local territorial
4 H. Gleber, Papst Eugen III (Jena, 1936), 176.
power. This policy reflected the increasing difficulty of relying on the effective protection of the emperor: like the French bishops a century before, the Germans now had to make their own plans for the security of their churches. The old traditions of the imperial church had not been so severely disrupted that it was beyond the possibility of renewal by Frederick I after 1152, but the bishops whom he found in office had been trained in a very different school from those of Henry III's reign.
One direct consequence of the change of government was the effective limitation of the rights of the Crown by the Concordat. The report that Lothar had renounced his remaining rights at his coronation is almost certainly incorrect, but in his first years there were cases of elections out of the royal presence and occasionally bishops were consecrated before investiture. At Liège in 1131 and Rome in 1133 Lothar raised the issue of investiture, and he eventually secured a confirmation of the right to give investiture before consecration. After 1133 one can trace a significantly greater royal influence in elections. It remained true that papal representatives were judging questions which Henry V would have treated as part of the royal prerogative: at Magdeburg the disputed election of 1126 led to the nomination of Norbert by Archbishop Adalbert and the papal legates, and in 1131 Adalbero of Trier owed his see to the support of Innocent II. The partial weakening of control over appointments did not mean that the special relationship between the emperor and the German churches had been destroyed. Lothar insisted on the performance of military service and other duties by bishops and abbots, and increased the number of abbeys under direct imperial protection.
In Italy the imperial position had been much weakened by the Concordat. The pope was able to control abbatial elections at imperial abbeys such as Farfa and Monte Cassino, and Ravenna, which for a long time had been the centre of opposition to Roman influence, came into the hands of Archbishop Walter ( 1119-44), a regular canon and enthusiastic supporter of the papal cause. The question of the Matildine lands was resolved by compromise: Innocent II granted them to Lothar and his son-in-law Henry the Proud to hold from him. The whole approach of the curia towards secular powers radiated a new confidence. Conrad III was anointed by a papal legate; Stephen of England boasted in 1136 that he had been 'confirmed' by the pope, and Eugenius III 'approved' the election of Frederick Barbarossa in 1152. At Liège in 1131 Lothar had acted as the pope's marshal, assisting him to dismount. Innocent II decorated the Lateran palace with a painting which showed Lothar's oath to preserve the privileges of the city of Rome, his investiture (perhaps) with the Matildine lands, and his imperial coronation. An inscription claimed that 'he becomes the pope's man', homo fit papae. 5 The fresco later aroused the angry protest of Frederick Barbarossa, but before 1152 propaganda of this kind does not seem to have provoked annoyance in government circles in Germany; under Conrad his principal adviser on foreign policy, Abbot Wibald of Stavelot, was a strong supporter of friendly relations between the two powers.
The supremacy of the Roman Church was expressed by the splendid Second Lateran Council, celebrated by Innocent II in 1139 to mark the end of the schism. In his opening discourse he is reported as asserting 'that Rome is the head of the world, that promotion to ecclesiastical dignity is requested from the Roman pontiff as if by the custom of feudal law and is not legally held without his permission'. 6 The legislation enacted there was largely drawn from the canons of Innocent's earlier councils such as Clermont 1130, Reims 1131, and Pisa 1135, and diverged in only a few details from that of earlier popes, thus providing its final formulation on the eve of the publication of Gratian's Decretum. The pontificate of Eugenius III, with the pope sponsoring the Second Crusade and advising regents about the conduct of government during the absence of rulers in the east, seemed to confirm the reality of the papal triumph, but one must notice its limitations. Innocent and Eugenius were bringing under the control of the Roman Church rights which were essentially ecclesiastical: to summon a crusade or anoint a ruler. They did not normally claim to direct rulers in the exercise of their governmental powers. What is more, their policy generated a reaction. Radicals such as Bernard of Clairvaux and Gerhoh of Reichersberg were critical of the growing judicial and political commitments of churchmen, and there was increasing lay resentment. In 1143 the Romans rose in rebellion against Innocent II and
5 The exact nature of the painting, and even the number of scenes illustrated, are disputed. See A. Frugoni, "A pictura cepit", Bulletitio dell' Istituto Storico Italiano 78 ( 1967),123-36, whose view of the evidence is followed in the text here. W. Heinemeyer in Archiv für Diplomatik 15 ( 1969), especially 183-97, argues that the inscription, with its claim to supremacy, was a later escalation of the painting, which was itself a more general assertion of papal dignity.
6 Chronicon Mauriacense, III (PL 180. 168A)
set up a city government based on Roman models and anti-clerical in tone. In spite of the alliance between the popes and the German kings, there were a few significant moments of tension between them. When in 1137 Lothar had overrrun much of southern Italy, they had a sharp exchange about the control of Monte Cassino and the right to invest the new duke of Apulia. The German princes too were becoming increasingly concerned about clerical privilege. A growing series of complaints was sharpened by awareness of the unhappy condition of a Germany in the throes of civil wars. When Frederick Barbarossa in 1152 and Henry II in 1154 took over in Germany and England and resolved to restore the dignity of the Crown, they were to find plenty of support.
ii. Frederick I and the Renewal of the Empire
'By our careful application the catholic church should be adorned by the privileges of its dignity, and the majesty of the Roman Empire should be reformed, by God's help, to the original strength of its excellence.' In these words from the letter of March 1152, announcing his election to Pope Eugenius III, Frederick I already struck the keynote of his reign. 7 He named himself pater patriae, father of the fatherland, ruling a 'kingdom conferred on him by God', and saw himself as obliged to defend the 'venerable decrees and sacred laws' of his predecessors. The relationship between church and state was to be determined by the principle laid down by Gelasius I: 'there are two things by which this world is chiefly ruled, that is the sacred authority of the pontiffs and the royal power'. The major part of Frederick's programme had thus been stated at the beginning of his reign. He interpreted these claims in their widest sense. The statement that the empire was conferred by God (which the popes in one sense did not deny) meant to the new emperor that the pope did not bestow it. The development of the cult of the Three Kings at Cologne and the canonization of Charlemagne also expressed the holiness of the royal office. Frederick's desire for co-operation with the pope and bishops was genuine, as was his piety; at Bamberg he left the reputation of having been a 'lover of the churches'. But he took a large view of the directing power of the Crown. While he accepted the validity of the Concordat of Worms he differed from his
7 R. L. Benson in RR, 361. The letter is printed in MGH Leges IV Const. I, no. 137, pp. 191 -2.
predecessors in that he exercised all, and more than all, the rights which it guaranteed to the monarchy, including the adjudication of disputed elections. In the same way in Italy Frederick was to press to the maximum his rights to govern and to tax lands which the Roman Church believed to be its own patrimony.
The change in tone in 1152 was dramatic, but the elements of the new rhetoric can be found in the preceding period. There is a direct continuation between the letters written by Wibald of Stavelot on behalf of Conrad III and his draft for the announcement of Frederick's election. It was the arrival of a new and glamorous monarch in Germany which made it possible for Abbot Wibald to gather together the claims which had been made piecemeal in recent years into a coherent position. Frederick, the nephew of Conrad III, was in his late twenties and already duke of Suabia, a commanding personality whose striking appearance is recorded in a description by the chronicler Rahewin and in a silver-gilt bust which he presented to his godfather, Otto of Cappenburg. His red-gold hair led Italians to give him the nickname Barbarossa, by which he is still known. He was well placed by descent to bring unity to Germany, for his father was a Hohenstaufen and his mother a Welf. The position formulated by Frederick and his advisers was in some important ways an innovation. The self-conscious proclamation of the majesty of the empire was new, as was the abundant use of Roman law. In order to restore to obedience the great cities of Lombardy, which had grown in prosperity and independence since the days of Henry V, Frederick harnessed new techniques of administration and legal doctrines. But the heart of his ideology was a return to the past glory of the empire, tarnished by recent events. There was a conservatism about his approach which rendered him, for all the tactical skill which he often showed in diplomacy, unable to make use of new forces. He rejected the approaches of the Roman commune as emphatically as he demanded the submission of the greater cities of the north, and (unlike his grandson, Frederick II) he made no use, even for propaganda, of radical critics of the curia. He was clumsy in relations with the rising kingdoms of the west and under the influence of Rainald of Dassel allowed their rulers to be described as kings of provinces or as reguli, petty kings. The heart of the matter was a return to the past, and although the concessions of recent kings were not cancelled, they were interpreted in such a minimalist style that a conflict was almost inevitable with the Italian cities and with the Roman Church.
Eugenius III and Frederick were not looking for a quarrel. Both believed in the collaboration of the two powers, and Eugenius had strong reasons for seeking imperial support. The papal territories in central Italy were threatened by the pressure of the Norman kingdom of Sicily, which now stretched to within a few miles of Rome. Even more serious was the Roman commune, which claimed to exercise sole jurisdiction within the city through its senate on the Capitol and which had welcomed Arnold of Brescia and his message that the hierarchy should give up its privileges and return to the simplicity of the apostles. The grandiloquent language which the leaders had drawn from the imperial past now sounds absurd but the threat to the papal position was real. Eugenius therefore urged the emperor to carry out the expedition to Rome which had already been promised by Conrad III, and the conditions for the enterprise were ratified on 23 March 1153 at the Treaty of Constance. As 'special advocate of the holy Roman Church' Frederick was to defend and recover its territories. The pope promised to crown him, to 'enlarge the honour of the empire' and to excommunicate its enermes. 8
The first signs were reasonably hopeful. While the expedition was in preparation, papal legates co-operated with the emperor in the affairs of the German church except in the case of Magdeburg, where Frederick had used his supposed right to adjudicate in a disputed election to appoint Wichmann as archbishop, and now impeded the legates' attempts to hear the dispute. Even there, Eugenius's shortlived successor Anastasius IV ( 1153-4) backed down, to the anger of some members of the curia. When Frederick began his first Italian campaign with a small army, it was as an ally of the Roman Church. He was met in Italy by a new pope. On 4 December 1154 Nicholas Breakspear, cardinal-bishop of Albano, had been elected, the only Englishman ever to be pope. He had been abbot of the great house of regular canons, St Ruf at Avignon, and had become a cardinal probably in 1149. Thereafter much of his time had been spent on a very successful legation in Scandinavia. His character has been variously assessed. Some historians have seen him as tough and inflexible, but others as a relatively mild man whose policy was fashioned by some authoritative advisers, notably Roland, who was already papal chancellor at the time of Hadrian's accession, and Boso, the papal chamberlain. Hadrian's main priority was the
8 MGH Leges IV Const. I, no. 144-5, pp. 201 -3.
security of Rome itself. By imposing an interdict on the city he was able to force the commune to expel Arnold of Brescia, and then to secure his arrest by Frederick and execution by papal officers. Papal lands and fortresses were energetically built up within the Patrimony under Boso's effective guidance. In a short pontificate, Hadrian did more than any of his predecessors to secure the papal position in central Italy, but he was much less successful in his conduct of relations with the empire.
The first meeting of Frederick and Hadrian was unfortunate. It took place at Sutri on 8 June 1155 as the emperor was on his way to Rome for the coronation. Frederick at first refused to honour the pope by performing the service of marshal as Lothar had done. This may merely have been a mistake in protocol, but it is more likely that he was aware of the Lateran picture showing Lothar as the pope's man. After this mishap both parties tried to observe their obligations under the Concordat. The emperor refused to listen to representatives of the Roman citizens, and the pope crowned him on 18 June 1155. At this point, with the commune still in control of Rome and without any action against the Normans, the German princes urged that the army should return home, and Frederick reluctantly agreed. Hadrian was left to face the Normans alone and in June 1156 he was obliged to sign the Treaty of Benevento. William I was recognized as king subject to homage and a large tribute, and his special powers as legate in the island of Sicily were confirmed with a few amendments. However reluctantly, Hadrian had departed from the policy of cooperation with the empire. Meanwhile the German court had moved an important step in the opposite direction with the appointment of the talented Rainald of Dassel as chancellor. Rainald, a fervent imperialist, was chosen from outside the chancery and his arrival gave a new edge to the ideology expressed in royal letters and diplomas.
The extent of the breach was shown in 1157. Hadrian sent two legates to the imperial court, the chancellor Roland and Bernard of San Clemente, who met the emperor at Besançon in October. In his letter the pope reminded Frederick that he had conferred on him the imperial Crown, and said that he would gladly give him greater beneficia if it were possible. Beneficium is the normal Latin for a benefit or gift; it was also in Germany the standard term for a fief, and Rainald, who was translating, chose this meaning and rendered it as Lehen. The emperor had to intervene to prevent his princes from
lynching the legates. A letter of the German bishops to the pope and a manifesto from the emperor to his subjects for the first time stated the imperialist ideology in a clearly anti-papal form. The emperor asserted that the imperial Crown was a divine beneficium and was initially bestowed by the election of the princes. Hadrian was obliged, in a letter to the court at Augsburg, to explain away his original language: beneficium meant a benefit and by 'conferring' the crown he meant placing it on the emperor's head. On any showing it was a signal diplomatic defeat, but historians are not agreed whether the pope's choice of feudal language was inadvertent or deliberate. The truth is probably that he was using triumphalist language to emphasize his supremacy without troubling about its precise legal implications. His inflated rhetoric enabled Rainald to manœuvre him into an embarrassing position.
By this time Italian affairs were causing further difficulties between pope and emperor. The decrees of Roncaglia in 1158 had claimed for the emperor a large range of political and financial rights within the Lombard cities, and led to a final breach with the great city of Milan, which was put to the ban of empire in April 1159. The curia was becoming concerned at the invasion of the privileges of the Roman Church by the imperial legates, Counts Guy of Biandrate and Otto of Wittelsbach, and a letter from Hadrian complained about the emperor's failure to observe the Treaty of Constance, the exaction of homage from Italian bishops, the excessive levy of hospitality from bishops, the taxation of the lands of St Peter, and interference by imperial representatives in papal territories, including Rome itself. 9 Relations were at breaking-point and reports were circulating that Milan and its allies had reached an agreement with the curia which would involve the excommunication of the emperor. The coalition of papacy, Lombards, and Normans, which was eventually to wreck Frederick's ambitions, had thus probably come into being under Hadrian IV, but the final breakdown of the long peace was not to be the result of a direct declaration of war. It was occasioned by the growing division within the college of cardinals between the 'Sicilian' party and the imperialist sympathizers, which came to a head at the death of Hadrian IV on I September 1159.
iii. The Alexandrine Schism (1159-1177)
During three days of tense negotiations after the funeral of Hadrian IV
9 MGH Leges IV Const. I, no. 179-80, pp. 250 -1.
IV on 4 September 1159 rival groups of cardinals elected two candidates, Roland the papal chancellor as Alexander III and Octavian, cardinal-priest of St Cecilia, as Victor IV. It was the third major schism in less than a century, following those of 1080-1100 and 1130-8. The propaganda from each side gave different accounts of events. The Victorines alleged that the 'Sicilian' party had committed the papal curia to hostility to the empire by allying with the Norman kingdom and with Milan, had taken an illicit oath only to elect from their own number, and finally had broken an agreement to proceed to an election with the cardinals as a whole. The Alexandrines complained of the interference of the imperial representative in Rome, Otto of Wittelsbach, in advancing the cause of Victor. It is no longer possible to discover the truth behind these two sets of allegations, but they agree in finding the cause of the schism in political circumstances. The scene was set by Frederick Barbarossa's enforcement of imperial authority in Italy. No previous emperor had enjoyed such control for at least a century, and the cardinals were divided in their reactions. One group welcomed the prospect of imperial protection against the Norman kingdom and intended to continue the alliance which had prevailed before 1156, but the other saw the emperor as a growing menace. It was this group which elected Alexander, and it was fairly rapidly joined by the uncommitted cardinals. Out of a total college of thirty-one, Victor's supporters originally may have numbered nine or more, but they soon dropped to only five. The rules governing papal elections were vague, since the decree of 1059 had never been effectively applied and was now in complete abeyance. The large Alexandrine majority was an obvious weakness in the imperialists' case, but it must be remembered that if the accusations of sectional oaths and breach of procedure were true, Alexander's election would have been very questionable.
Both candidates had already had distinguished careers in curial service. Victor was a native of the Roman Campagna, a member of a family of the highest nobility which had a tradition of loyalty to the empire. Roland was one of the new men who had risen through the schools and papal service. Descended from one of the major families of Siena (later tradition said it was the Bandinelli), he had taught theology at Bologna and then become a canon of Pisa. From there he was summoned to papal service by Eugenius III, probably in 1148, and then had been appointed papal chancellor. He has for a long time been identified with M. Roland, a Bologna canonist, but there are no grounds for this. M. Roland had studied at Paris; but with the abandonment of the identification we lose any firm evidence that Cardinal Roland had done so, although the support which he received from the French schoolmen suggests they found him a natural champion. Circumstances forced him to formulate the papal position in face of imperial power, but he did so cautiously, using little of the exaggerated rhetoric of Gregory VII. His letters are full of traditional claims: the pope can be judged by no one, the emperor is invading the rights of the church and fomenting schism. Only rarely do we find political actions justified by large statements of papal supremacy. It was a marked retreat from the style of Hadrian, whether or not this had been inspired by the new pope as Cardinal Roland.
The first period of the schism was dominated by the strength of Frederick I's position in Italy, which was confirmed by the unconditional surrender of Milan after a long siege in 1162. The emperor claimed that, as advocate of the Roman Church, it was his duty to summon a council to adjudicate in the disputed election, although he ostentatiously left the decision to the bishops. Alexander refused to attend on the grounds that the pope could not be judged, and when the council of Pavia, consisting of about fifty bishops from imperial territories, met on 5 February 1160 it found in favour of Victor, whom the emperor formally recognized. A great part of the German church accepted him, with the Alexandrine sympathies of the province of Salzburg being tolerated by the emperor; at first, indeed, even radical reformers such as Gerhoh of Reichersberg were predisposed to Victor because Alexander was blamed for the treacherous creation of the papal alliance with Sicily. Alexander responded to the council of Pavia by excommunicating Frederick and releasing his subjects from their allegiance, but unlike Gregory VII he did not pronounce a sentence of deposition. His political support came initially from the kingdom of Sicily and the Lombards, but soon a series of negotiations in England and France led to his recognition by both kingdoms at a joint meeting at Beauvais in July 1160. Alexander decided to follow the trail blazed by several predecessors and to move to France, where he arrived in April 1162. On 19 May 1163 he opened an impressive council at Tours with some 118 bishops, at which the excommunication of the emperor was renewed. 10 Frederick was putting heavy pressure upon Louis VII
10 On the date of the opening of the council, see R. Somerville, Pope Alexander III and the Council of Tours ( Los Angeles, 1977), 11.
VII of France to withdraw recognition from Alexander, but without success.
The support for Victor IV was now largely confined to lands under the direct control of the emperor, and the death of Victor on 20 April 1164 was a serious blow to the imperial cause. Rainald of Dassel, apparently without instructions from the emperor, arranged for the election of Cardinal Guy of Crema as Pope Paschal III, but the deliberate continuation of the schism lost a good deal of support, and several leaders of the German church, including Archbishops Conrad of Mainz and Hillin of Trier, recognized Alexander as pope. By determined action, Frederick removed any prospect of an early peace. His motives were explained in a conversation with Gerhoh of Reichersberg, to whom he said that he would never obey a pope who strove to diminish the rights of the empire, or who 'under the name of pope wishes to rule not only over the clergy but also over the kingdom'. 11 His determination was strengthened by the hope, which proved vain, that the split between Henry II of England and Archbishop Thomas Becket might lead to the abandonment of Alexander there. At a major assembly of German bishops at Würzburg at Pentecost 1165 an oath was imposed never to acknowledge Alexander as pope, and a few bishops who proved intractable were replaced. In particular, Conrad at Mainz was succeeded by the emperor's military-minded chancellor Christian. The western church was now closer to a state of permanent schism than at any time before the Great Schism of the fourteenth century. Frederick also took steps to deal with a deterioration of the situation in Italy. There the foundation of the League of Verona had marked the emergence of a new resistance to Frederick's dominance, and in 1165 Alexander returned to Rome. The emperor attempted to resolve the situation by mounting a major expedition to Rome and was successful in occupying the Vatican basilica and in having Paschal enthroned as pope on 22 July 1167. At this point, disaster visited the German cause. A devastating infection, probably malaria, decimated the army and killed many of its leaders, including Rainald of Dassel. The Lombards took the opportunity offered by German weakness to renew the League on I December 1167, and to rebuild Milan and found a new city, called Alessandria in honour of the pope. The discomfiture to the imperial cause was completed by the death of Paschal on 20 September 1168.
11 P. Classen, Gerhoch von Reichersberg ( Wiesbaden, 1960), 276 with references.
In the remaining years of the schism the conflict between the Lombard League and the emperor was in the foreground. Alexander III now committed himself firmly to alliance with the renascent League, and in his letter Nullum est dubium to the Lombard consuls in March 1170 the pope prohibited the making of any new association under pain of excommunication, commanded that all should obey the rectors of Lombardy, and threatened to deprive any city which seceded from the league of its status as a diocese. Moreover the new imperialist pope, Calixtus III, was in a weak position, having been elected by only a tiny rump of cardinals. The apparently dominant position of Alexander was, however, weakened by continuing problems with the city of Rome. He was scarcely able to enter the city for ten years after 1167, and the Roman clergy and commune showed alarming signs of neutrality in the schism. Some deeds were dated simply by the year of the schism, and a tract in 1171 argued that unjust excommunications were invalid and that 'a man can be saved without the Roman pontiff'. 12 Frederick's return to Italy with a considerable army in 1174 led to an attempt at a negotiated settlement with the Lombard League, but the League's refusal to abandon Alexander provoked a renewal of hostilities. The defeat of the German army at the Battle of Legnano in May 1176 finally convinced the emperor that he had to come to terms with the pope.
These were agreed at Anagni in November 1176 and finalized in a personal meeting at Venice on 24 July 1177. Frederick was obliged to renounce Calixtus III and to acknowledge Alexander, to whom he did the marshal-service which had provoked controversy in the past. A truce for six years was made with the Lombards, leaving them in practice in possession of most of the disputed rights of selfgovernment, and another for fifteen years with Sicily. But the agreement was very far from being an unconditional defeat for the emperor, and there is a striking contrast between the preliminary conditions at Anagni and the final settlement at Venice. There it was agreed that the emperor was to retain the revenues from the former Matildine lands for fifteen years, pending a full discussion of the title to them, and the undertaking to restore the papal possessions in central Italy was made in distinctly vague terms. The settlement of the affairs of the German church left Frederick in complete possession of the extensive rights which he had claimed to direct its
12 J. Petersohn, "Papstschisma und Kirchenfrieden", QFIAB 59 ( 1979), 163.
affairs, and he secured special terms for the leading imperialist churchmen. In particular, Mainz was kept by the ultra-imperialist Christian in preference to the Alexander's supporter Conrad, who was to have the next vacant archbishopric in Germany.
Considering the stress which had been placed in Alexander's propaganda upon the struggle for the liberty of the church, this was a remarkable end to the affair. It can be explained in part by the pope's need for the support of imperial arms to secure access to Rome, from which he had virtually been excluded by the commune. A still stronger reason may be found in the general desire for peace, which burst out in great rejoicing when the settlement was announced. The policy of never recognizing Alexander adopted at Würzburg in 1165 had threatened an almost indefinite schism, to avoid which it was worth making many silent concessions. In company with Archbishop Christian, Alexander returned to Rome. The commune was to keep the liberties it had possessed since 1143, but the senators took an oath to the pope and restored papal regalia. Alexander followed the examples of 1123 and 1139 in marking the end of the schism by the assembly of the Third Lateran Council of 1179. The council was apparently envisaged as early as the negotiations at Anagni, and opened in the presence of over 300 bishops on 5 March 1179. Part of its business was to wind up the schism, notably by the issue of a decree which required the consent of two-thirds of the cardinals for the election of a new pope. A series of decisions regulated the question of ordinations and appointments made under the schismatic popes -- a difficult issue because of the exemptions which Frederick had already secured. Apart from this immediate business, the council issued canons regulating the affairs of the western churches as a whole, which mark an important step between the ideals of the Gregorian reformers and the legislation of Innocent III. The schism was finally over, and Frederick and Alexander were seemingly determined on co-operation. It was true, however, that the peace had been bought at the price of silence over many issues which were to give rise to trouble in the future.
iv. The Papacy under Pressure (1177-1198)
During the twenty-five years following the end of the schism the Roman Church was under intense political pressure. At no other time was imperial government in Italy so close to being a reality. The relations of emperors and popes were not uniformly hostile, for both sides had an interest in reaching an agreement. Frederick I and Henry VI needed the settlement of Italian affairs to be confirmed by concordat with the papacy, and the popes required support for their campaign against heresy and for the defence of the Holy Land, a question which became very urgent with the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin in 1187. There were three issues, left unsettled at the Treaty of Venice, which shaped papal-imperial relations during these years.
The first was the control of the German church. The emperor's claims had scarcely been affected by the agreement with Alexander III. He continued to exercise a strong influence on the election of bishops and to settle disputed elections. Apart from Urban III in 1186 the popes did not seriously attempt to interfere with the ordinary course of royal control over the church in Germany, but two major causes célèbres at Trier and Liège caused severe problems. A shift in the pattern of political control also affected the position of the church with the overthrow in 1180 of Henry the Lion, head of the house of Welf and former ally of Frederick I. The power of the great dukes was now finally transferred to a larger number of princely families, who aimed at the promotion of their own members to local bishoprics: we are told that on 8 September 1191 Liège was crowded with nobles who had come for the election. At a political level, it also proved impossible to eradicate the power of the Welfs, and the ability of Henry the Lion to exploit dissatisfaction against his Hohenstaufen rivals was a major problem for the emperors. The second issue between emperors and popes was the question of territorial rights within Italy. From the Peace of Venice onwards, Barbarossa's new policy was to base his power solidly on the Matildine lands and on imperial claims in central Italy, where in 1177 he appointed two of his most trusted agents to govern the duchy of Spoleto and the march of Ancona. On 25 June 1183 he signed the Peace of Constance with the representatives of the Lombard League, and in addition he made an alliance with Milan, formerly his bitter enemy. On the papal side, as a natural reaction, there was a more active interest in the title deeds of the territorial claims of the Roman Church contained in the forged Donation of Constantine, the grants of former emperors, and other documents. These were embodied in the Liber Censuum compiled by the papal chamberlain Cencius in 1192 and formed the basis for the policy of recuperation which was to be directed against the empire immediately after the death of Henry VI. The third issue was the radical realignment of diplomatic relations created by the alliance of Germany and Sicily. These two powers, whose hostility had been persistent throughout our whole period, were linked by the betrothal in 1184 of Henry and Constance, the heirs to the imperial and Sicilian thrones, and were united when Henry VI enforced his claim to Sicily in 1194. The change implied long-lasting domination of central Italy by Hohenstaufen power. The union of kingdom and empire also prompted a series of attempts to make succession to the empire hereditary as a means of ensuring the continued unity of the two powers, and this directly involved the papal right to crown the emperor.
After the death of Alexander III in 1181 Frederick Barbarossa was confronted by a series of short-lived popes. The first of them, Lucius III ( 1181-5), was an elderly Cistercian who was seriously interested in an amicable settlement. In 1183 Frederick suggested that the Roman Church surrender its territorial claims in return for a large annual pension from the imperial revenues in Italy; alternatively a commission could be appointed to determine boundaries and possibly arrange exchanges. 13 He also proposed a summit conference with the pope, which in fact took place in November 1184 at Verona. There a discussion which began well ended in frustration. Some issues were readily agreed: co-operation against heresy, the planning of a new crusade, and (at the request of the pope) the return to Germany of the banished Henry the Lion. There was a discussion of the appeal of Folmar, one of the candidates in the disputed election at Trier in May 1183, against Rudolf of Wied, whom the emperor had invested. The cause of the subsequent breakdown of the conference is obscure: some sources ascribe it to the arrival of news that Henry VI had resorted to violence against Folmar's adherents in Germany. The announcement at Augsburg on 29 October of the betrothal of Henry and Constance must also have come as a bombshell if the plans were not already known to the curia, but the timing suggests that the pope had already been informed, even if there is no reason to accept Johannes Haller's view that Lucius himself forwarded the Sicilian marriage project. Whatever the precise breaking-point, anti-imperial cardinals pressed Lucius to resist, and Frederick left Verona without a settlement of the Trier
13 MGH Leges Const. I, no. 296, pp. 420 -1.
dispute or of the question of the Matildine lands and in face of a papal refusal to crown Henry VI as emperor during his father's life-time.
After the death of Lucius III the state of opinion among the cardinals was reflected in the unanimous election on 25 November 1185 of the archbishop of Milan, a fierce opponent of the emperor, as Urban III. Urban embarked on a systematic campaign against Barbarossa's policy. Not only did he maintain the refusal to crown Henry, but he decided the Trier election in favour of Folmar in May 1186 and attacked the royal exercise of rights over the German bishoprics. The Hohenstaufen counter-attack was formidable: Henry occupied the Patrimony of St Peter, while the German bishops at Gelnhausen on 28 November 1186 supported Frederick and protested at the pope's conduct. Urban, threatening to excommunicate the emperor, died at Ferrara on 20 October 1187, after a brief pontificate which had demonstrated the weakness of the political position of the curia. Another swing of opinion among the cardinals led to the election of the papal chancellor Albert of Morra, who was reputedly an imperialist sympathizer. The pontificate of Gregory VIII ( 21 October-17 December 1187) was one of the shortest in papal history, but it began the response of western Christendom to the loss of Jerusalem with the issue of Audita tremendi, the encyclical which launched the Third Crusade.
The next pope, Clement III ( 1187-91), has often been regarded as another imperialist, but it is more accurate to see him as essentially a Roman. He was Paolo Scolari, a member of a noble family who had been educated at the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and become cardinal-bishop of Palestrina. His agreement with the commune of Rome made it possible for the popes to reside there again; his numerous nominations of cardinals, which virtually recreated the sacred college in the space of four years, filled it with men of Roman birth and training; and he was the first of a line of Roman popes who were to occupy the papal throne for over fifty years. All of this was a very marked break with the past, for Rome had only intermittently been a base for the popes since 1084 and popes of Roman birth had been rare since Gregory VII. Clement was no Innocent III, but he created the preconditions for Innocent's policy. He was by disposition a compromiser. The settlement with the Roman senate on 31 May 1188 involved the return to the pope of the regalia and several major Roman churches, but also compensated the Romans for the resulting loss of income. Tusculum, the city which had long resisted the senate, was to be surrendered to its vengeance -- a provision which in practice the pope was unable to fulfil. A further compromise with the emperor followed in spring 1189. It included the deposition of Folmar as archbishop of Trier and a promise by the pope to crown Henry as emperor. The territorial terms were embodied in a rescript from Henry VI on 3 April restoring a list of places in the Patrimony of St Peter to the pope 'in possession, saving the right of the empire as to both property and possession'. In effect this reconstituted the region surrounding Rome as a papal domain, but no mention was made of the rest of central Italy or of the Matildine lands, which remained in the emperor's control. 14 It was a blueprint for an Italy under Hohenstaufen influence, and it has been rightly said to 'mark the final triumph of imperial policy' at the end of Barbarossa's reign. 15
A new situation was created by two deaths. The first was that of William II of Sicily on 18 November 1189. Up to that point the prospect of a Hohenstaufen succession in Sicily was fairly remote, for although William was childless he was still only in early middle age. With his death, the danger that the Hohenstaufen would dominate the peninsula became real. Clement III, who had worked in co-operation with the empire, now supported the opposition party in Sicily in the election of Tancred of Lecce, an illegitimate member of the royal family. A few months later the report arrived of the death of Frederick I during the Third Crusade on 10 June 1190 in an accident at a river crossing in Anatolia. His heir Henry VI thus became emperor in his own right. He was of a very different temperament from his father. A man of considerable learning, whom Godfrey of Viterbo greeted as a philosopher-king, he possessed neither Barbarossa's striking physique nor his ability to win affection and loyalty, and in Henry the Hohenstaufen drive for power was not balanced by other qualities. 16 His political aims, however, were close to those which Barbarossa had followed in his later years. They included secure control in Italy and an active interest in the eastern Mediterranean. Historians have sometimes attributed to Henry a desire for world dominion which would necessarily have been a challenge to the papacy, and it is true that in addition to Sicily he received the homage of Richard of England and of the kings of Armenia and Cyprus in the east, and he was also
14 Const. I. no. 322-4, pp. 460 -3
15 A. L. Poole, CMH V-459.
16 Godfrey of Viterbo, Memoria seculorum (MGH SS XXII 103).
thought to be striving for the submission of Philip Augustus of France. Henry was undoubtedly convinced of the superiority of the imperial office over that of kings, and exacted their deference to his higher status, but that is not the same thing as seeking the power to govern other kingdoms or even to intervene politically there. The issues dividing Henry from the papacy were much more concrete.
Clement III, in spite of disagreement over the Sicilian question, did not attempt to avoid his commitment to crown Henry, who was in the neighbourhood of Rome for the ceremony when Clement died. His successor Celestine III was the oldest man ever to be elected pope. He was a Roman of noble birth, Hyacinth Bobone, and had been educated in France where he had been a pupil of Peter Abelard. He was about 85 at the time of his election, much the most senior man among a body of new cardinals. His opposition to Henry VI has often been described as passive resistance, but that is a great understatement: he was a determined and resolute opponent. If he did not excommunicate Henry, it must be remembered that the precedents for this action, by Gregory VII and Alexander III, were both in circumstances where the emperor was attempting to depose the pope. After some delay and bargaining Celestine proceeded with the coronation on 15 April 1191. Henry's first attempt to enforce his claims in Sicily rapidly failed, and in June 1192 the pope signed the Concordat of Gravina with Tancred, who in return for his investiture with the kingdom surrendered many of the rights which his predecessors had held over the Sicilian church.
The opposition in Germany was exacerbated by two scandals at the end of 1192. Albert of Brabant had been elected bishop of Liège by a majority of the voters but rejected by the emperor. His claim was upheld by Celestine III and he was consecrated at Reims, where he was murdered by a party of German knights on 24 November 1192. The similarity to the case of Thomas Becket of Canterbury was underlined by Albert's biographer, who quoted Dean Ralph of Reims's remark, 'Behold a greater than Thomas is here!' 17 A month later, Richard I of England, on his way home through Germany at the end of the Third Crusade, was captured by his personal enemy Leopold of Austria and surrendered to the emperor. In the eyes of his enemies Henry had now been responsible for the killing of a bishop and imprisonment of a crusader. The powerful relatives of Bishop
17 Vita Alberti, written perhaps by Abbot Werric of Lobbes, c.46 (MGH SS XXV. 168)
Albert made common cause with the Welf allies of Richard of England, with the support of Tancred and the pope. Henry extricated himself from this dangerous situation by adroit negotiations with Richard. The terms for release included not only a huge ransom and homage for England, but a close alliance against Philip Augustus of France and an undertaking to make peace with the Welfs. The transformation of the situation was completed by the death of Tancred on 20 February 1194. With peace in Germany, central Italy in the control of his officers, and funding from the English ransom, Henry rapidly overran Sicily and was crowned at Palermo on Christmas Day 1194. The next day his triumph was completed by the birth of a son, baptized Frederick Roger, who was to be his heir in both kingdoms.
To make this succession a reality Henry needed the agreement of the German princes and the pope. To reopen negotiations with the pope he took a crusading vow, and there followed a long series of discussions culminating in November 1196. The emperor's aim, we are told by the Marbach annalist, was that the pope 'should baptize his son. . . and anoint him king', that is king of the Romans and therefore acknowledged heir to the empire. 18 Henry was in effect proposing a major change in the constitutional relations of empire and papacy, and to obtain it he relied in part upon the coercion of the papal territories by his officers. He also envisaged important concessions. In a letter of 17 November 1196 he reminded Celestine that he had offered 'such things. . . as had been offered. . . neither by our father. . . nor by any other of our predecessors'. 19 Unfortunately there is no record of the nature of these. It has been widely accepted that Henry undertook to put a canonry in every collegiate church of the empire at the disposal of pope and cardinals -- a plausible suggestion in view of the development of papal provisions in precisely this period. Other scholars have suggested that Henry was willing to receive investiture of the empire as a fief from the pope by means of a golden orb, or again to make large territorial concessions in central Italy in return for the coronation of his son. These suggestions, however, rest on sources which are of dubious relevance to the negotiations of 1195-6, and the matter has to be left open.
18 Annales Marbacenses s.a. 1196 (MGH SS XVII 167).
19 MGH Leges Const. I, no. 376, p. 525. For the date, see G. Baaken, "Die Verhandlungen zwischen Kaiser Heinrich VI und Papst Coelestin III". DAEM 27 ( 1971), 457-513
The discussions led to no agreement, and must have been broken off at the latest in May 1197, when a major conspiracy in Sicily designed to murder Henry, to which Celestine may have been privy, was ferociously repressed by the emperor. Henry was meanwhile pressing ahead with his plans for a crusade, and the major part of the expedition had actually left for the east when the emperor fell ill and died at Messina on 28 September 1197. With a 2-year-old boy as his heir, his political system collapsed. Celestine, with the initiative thus unexpectedly restored to him, at once took effective action to recover the lands claimed by the papacy, and was rapidly able to organize a league of Tuscan cities directed against the German oppressors. He also, in a curious mirror-image of the 'hereditary empire' scheme, held a discussion among the cardinals at Christmas of the succession to the papacy and offered to resign if Cardinal John of St Paul, his closest adviser, were elected as the new pope. The cardinals wisely refused to establish such a startling precedent. The continuation of the papal counter-offensive against the Hohenstaufen after the death of Celestine on 8 January 1198 was to be continued by other, and very much younger, hands.
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CHURCH IN THE TWELFTH CENTURY
i. Concepts of Papal Authority
The opening address at the Third Lateran Council in March 1179 was delivered by the canonist Bishop Rufinus of Assisi, and we may safely assume that the description of papal authority was one which Alexander III wished the bishops to take to their home churches: There are many things to wonder at in the sight of an assembly of such noble fathers, and as I look I see this blessed gathering of prelates as presenting the image of a magnificent city, where there is the king, nobles, consuls and also a crowd of people. Is not the chief pontiff the king? The nobles or magnates are his brothers and flanks, the lord cardinals; the archbishops are the consuls; and we other bishops and abbots are not ashamed in so noble a city to take the place of the people. 1
It is clear that we are presented here with an image of papal monarchy in the government of the church; the question is what sense the thinkers of the twelfth century gave to that idea. In a diverse culture, there were different assumptions. Theologians glorified the papal office by the rhetorical use of Biblical symbolism, led by the need to find in Rome protection for privileges or leadership in the struggle against abuses. Canonists came to see the pope as the supreme judge. At the same time the ancient texts on which both disciplines were founded expressed limitations which created a complex pattern within which papal supremacy was at once affirmed and restricted.
The twelfth century introduced some important innovations in the vocabulary of papal monarchy, which were to reach their full significance under Innocent III. For the first time, leaving aside a few precedents in the distant past, the pope came to be addressed as the
1 G. Morin, "Le discours d'ouverture du concile général du Latran (1179)", Memorie della pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia, III. 2 ( 1928), 116-17.
vicar of Christ. Taken by itself it was not a remarkable title, for anybody who acted on behalf of Christ could be called his vicar, and the term had been used of both kings and bishops. The new development was to treat it as unique to the pope. The statement that the pope acts in place of Christ ( vice Christi ) appears in Peter Damian and in a few writers of the early twelfth century, but the first application to the pope of the precise title 'vicar of Christ' seems to be early in the twelfth century in Honorius's Jewel of the Soul, ( De gemma animae ), which makes its special character quite clear: 'the pope is the vicar of Christ and all the bishops are vicars of the apostles'. Its appearance about 1150 in the De consideratione of Bernard of Clairvaux was particularly significant because of the huge influence of the work. The first pope to use the title was Eugenius III in 1153, and thereafter its acceptance was widespread. 2
Another term which was winning increasing significance was 'fullness of power', plenitudo potestatis. It had a long history beginning with a letter of Leo I, but up to the time of Gratian it had attracted little notice. Its use was confined to Leo's letter and two pseudo-Isidorian texts based on it, and it simply contrasted the authority of the apostolic see with those (such as legates or metropolitans) who had been authorized to perform a subordinate function. It was Bernard's De consideratione which introduced a new interpretation when he wrote to Eugenius III that 'according to your canons, others are called to a share in caring; you, to the fullness of power. The power of others is confined within fixed limits; yours extends also to those who have received power over others.' 3 In spite of the specific reference to canon law the meaning is new, because Bernard understood it as referring to the universal power of the Roman pontiff to intervene in all parts of the church. The term, which was to be a favourite of Innocent III's, was used several times by the curia in letters of his predecessor Celestine III. Other concepts were also to be found with increasing frequency: Rome was the mother and mistress, the head and hinge, of all the churches. Its bishop alone could rightly be called universal, a title which came into use in spite of Gratian's preservation of older texts which prohibited it. As Rufinus noted, this is not observed today, for we regularly in our letters call the chief pontiff universal'. 4
2 For the references see M. Maccarrone, Vicarius Christi. Storia del titolo papale ( Rome, 1952), esp. 86-100.
3 Bernard, De consideratione, II. viii. 16, Opera, iii. 424.
4 Gratian, Decr. D. XCIX, c. 4-5 (351); H. Singer (ed.), Die Summa Decretorum des Magister Rufinus ( Paderborn, 1902), 194.
This terminology expressed the headship of Rome over the church, but it had implications also for the political actions of the popes which are revealed in the development of the terminology of the two swords. It was at the beginning of our period that writers first applied to the church-state relationship the words in Luke 22: 38: 'And they said, "Look, Lord, here are two swords." And he said to them, "It is enough." ' The image was seized on by imperialist writers to express their two-power theory and was used in this sense by writers on both sides, since both agreed that the secular power existed for the sake of righteousness. A significant change in vocabulary is found in Bernard of Clairvaux: 'Both therefore belong to the church, the spiritual and the material sword; but the one is to be used for the church, the other by the church; the former by the hand of the priest, the latter by that of the knight, but at the indication of the priest and the hand of the emperor.' 5 It was common ground that spiritual and material power was to be used in the service of the church, but Bernard refashioned this by assuming that 'the church' properly meant the bishops, and above all the pope, who therefore had authority to request the aid of the emperor to defend the interests of Christianity. The argument was not that royal authority was in principle derived from the pope; Bernard would have been the last man to make a constitutional point of that sort, and he had in mind practical situations such as the crusades. The same point could, however, be expressed in a way which sounded like a claim to universal authority, as in Eugenius III's statement that God founded the Roman Church and committed to it 'the laws of both heavenly and earthly empire'. 6
The core of the argument lay in the supremacy of Rome over other churches. To canonists this signified its position as head in matters of justice, administration, and discipline. This had some foundations in tradition, for it had always been recognized that Rome had cognizance of certain 'major causes', and the False Decretals had extended these to cover a range of rights to intervene in other churches. Mostly, however, the rights claimed for the Roman Church were new, as was the framework of law within which they were exercised. Some writers saw the pope as the source of canon law, from which he could dispense and exempt. Gratian expressed the claim in an extreme form: 'The holy Roman Church imparts right and authority to the sacred canons, but is not bound by them.
5 Bernard, De consideratione, IV. iii. 7, Opera, iii. 454.
6 P. Jaffé, Regesta Pontificum Romanorum, 2 vols. ( Leipzig, 1888), 9149.
For it has the right of establishing canons, since it is the head and hinge of all churches, from whose ruling no one may dissent. It therefore gives authority to the canons without subjecting itself to them.' The canonists took up the idea of the universal authority of the Roman Church, which Huguccio described as 'the common and general forum of all clergy and all churches'. 7 This function became even more important with the increasingly juridical way in which decisions, even in matters of faith, were reached. Since the curia was head of the judicial system, larger areas of the life of the church fell by this means under its control.
This concept sat rather uneasily within the framework of an older theology which saw the Roman Church as the guardian of the catholic faith, founded by God and preserved from error by divine promise. Any divergence of customs, as in the Mozarabic liturgy in Spain or the Ambrosian rite at Milan, was assumed to have arisen because the local church had departed from apostolic practice, which could be reliably observed in the Church of Rome. The clearest statement of this position is in the Dialogues of Anselm of Havelberg:
For this purpose the holy Roman Church was chosen before the others by the Lord, was given by him and blessed with a special privilege, and stands above all churches as if by prerogative, and by divine right excels them. For the others from time to time have been invaded by various heresies and wavered in the catholic faith; but she, founded and established upon a rock, has always remained unshaken.
The title-deeds of the Roman Church were the familiar Petrine texts, but these were not interpreted as applying solely to the pope. Thus the declaration of Matthew 16: 18, 'on this rock I will build my church', was usually regarded as a reference not to Peter, but to Christ or to the confession of faith, and it was held that the powers of binding and loosing belonged to all the apostles ( Matt. 18: 18) while being given principally to Peter, as Matthew 16: 19 implies. The contemporary idea of Peter's ministry was expressed by Anselm in a fine passage:
Peter was the senior in age of the apostles, more sure in faith, more simple in hearing the words of eternal life . . . more ready in responding among Christ and the apostles, more effective in healing the sick even with the shadow of his body. After the Ascension of the Lord he took over in place
7 Gratian, Decr. C. IX, q. 1, dictum post c. 16 (1011); Huguccio, cited J. A. Watt, "The Theory of Papal Monarchy in the Thirteenth Century", Traditio 20 ( 1964), 270.
of Christ that young and primitive church. . . Therefore it is not right that any of the faithful should in any way doubt or put in question, but they should hold most firmly that Peter was appointed by the Lord chief of the apostles. 8
Such statements did not indicate precisely where authority lay, and for most purposes no distinction was made between the terms Roman Church, apostolic see, and pope (usually under the title 'supreme pontiff'), while the growth of the college of cardinals left it uncertain how much the pope could undertake without them. The phrase 'Roman Church' was quite often used even more widely, to include the whole body of the faithful, and if the prevailing tendency was to identify it with the pope, this did not rest on any basis of theory and was held in check by interpretations which imposed limits on papal authority. In particular, Gratian had preserved material which threw doubt on the absolute authority of the pope in matters of doctrine. The crucial text here was the statement that the pope 'is the judge of all men and is himself judged of no one, unless he is found to be erroneous in faith'. 9 This last phrase made it clear that a pope could be a heretic, and Gratian accepted this without much misgiving. He was not familiar with Pope Honorius, whose heresy was to bulk large in post-Reformation controversy, but Anastasius II (496-8) served as the type of the heretic pope. 10 In recognizing that a pope might fall into error Gratian was a man of his time. The extreme Gregorians had accused Paschal II of heresy when he surrendered to Henry V, and one canonist went so far as to comment that 'it would be dangerous for us to commit our faith to the decision of one man'. 11 Nor did the canonists assume that the pope had unrestricted rights even in matters which were not a question of faith, for they stressed his duty to uphold the status ecclesie, the constitution or welfare of the church. St Bernard saw this as involving the obligation to defend the traditional hierarchy against the threats posed by appeals and exemptions. Huguccio's statement is a fair summary of the balance of opinion in the twelfth century: 'In those things which pertain to salvation, as is contained in the Gospel, the Law and the prophets, he cannot amend. Also in those which
10 Gratian, Decr. D. XIX, c. 9 (64).
11 Glossa Palatina, cited B. Tierney, Origins of Papal Infallibility ( Leiden, 1972), 32 n.
8 Anselm, Dialogi, iii. 5 (PL 188. 1214C) and 10 (col. 1222-3).
9 Gratian, Decr. D. XL, c. 6 (146). The passage first appeared in Deusdedit, where it was wrongly ascribed to St Boniface. It appears to be part of a treatise composed at Rome in the eleventh century.
concern the state of the church, as in the sacraments and articles of faith, he cannot dispense. 12 Twelfth-century thinkers commonly accepted that the Roman Church had a God-given primacy and that it was preserved from heresy by the promise of Christ. The Roman Church could not in practice reach a decision without the pope, but the prevailing view did not accept that the supreme pontiff alone could define in matters of faith, alter the structure of the church, or exploit for his own purposes the property of other churches.
ii. The Exercise of Papal Power
The pope's principal agents in the exercise of his authority came from the college of cardinals. We have seen in an earlier chapter the origins of their change from liturgical duties to governmental functions: by the time of the Concordat of Worms they were being consulted about the wide range of decisions which came to the apostolic see. The early ascendancy of the cardinal-bishops had vanished except as a matter of ceremony, and for practical purposes no distinction was made between the various orders. The total possible number of cardinals was in theory over fifty, but some titles were left vacant for long periods and others amalgamated, so that there were only thirty at the time of the schism of 1159, and as few as nineteen when Clement III became pope in 1187. The popes had the power to nominate, and in two cases used it to flood the college with supporters. In 1123 in face of the protests against the Concordat, Calixtus II appointed fifteen cardinals, and Clement III created twenty-five to fill the college with men of Roman birth and education. The later practice of nominating leaders of other national churches as cardinals outside the curia was still rare, and most cardinals were Italians, together with some Frenchmen and a handful from other nationalities. Bernard of Clairvaux's plea to Eugenius III to recruit them widely ('should they not be chosen from the whole world, who are to judge the world?') remained without permanent effect. 13
The changing role of the cardinals can be illustrated by their part in the election of a new pope. Traditionally this had belonged to the clergy and laity of the Roman Church, dominated by the local nobility, and the first step away from such practice was the grant in
12 Cited by G. Post, SGrat ix. 372.
13 Bernard, De consideratione, IV. iv.4, Opera, iii.456.
1059 of power to the cardinal-bishops to process the election in a tractatio. By 1100 the cardinals as a whole seem to have been participating in papal elections, although not yet to the exclusion of other Roman clergy and laity. Werner Maleczek considers that the first pope to be elected by cardinals alone was Innocent II in the disputed election of 1130. 14 This system was formalized by the election decree of 1179, Licet de vitanda, which thereafter gave the decision to the cardinals as a whole, voting by a two-thirds majority: a striking statement of the equality of all the members irrespective of their standing as bishops, priests, or deacons, and of the monopoly which they had established over papal business. 15 Their theoretical position as joint rulers of the Roman Church was now acknowledged. The decretist Huguccio held that new laws should be discussed in consistory with the cardinals, and saw them as guaranteeing the inerrancy of the Roman Church even if the pope should stumble. 16 New popes were elected almost entirely from the ranks of the cardinals. From them most papal legates were appointed, and the rapidly growing number of appeals was handled largely by the cardinals as auditors. This involvement in legal business at the highest level naturally made the cardinals unpopular with satirists, whose attacks on the Roman curia regularly assumed that the pope was surrounded by cardinals even more involved in extortion than the pope himself.
The period between the schism of 1084 and the Concordat of Worms had seen the creation of a papal curia with its own chamber and chancery, separate from the traditional officers of the city of Rome. The next phase in its history was shaped by the need to provide for the flood of appeals which effectively began in the 1130s. Early in the twelfth century Paschal II reminded Henry I of England of the two types of causes which should be heard by the apostolic see: causae maiores (greater causes) and appeals from all who believed themselves to be oppressed. 17 The former were a group of special issues long recognized in canon law and greatly extended in the course of the twelfth century. The latter category was based mainly on canons from the pseudo-Isidorian decretals, which did not define the groups who might appeal; but the matter was one of secondary
14 W. Maleczek, Papst und Kardinalskolleg 1191-1216 ( Vienna, 1984), 218.
15 Lateran III can. 1 (Alberigo 187) = Greg. IX, Decretals, I. 6.6(51).
16 See B. Tierney, Foundations of the Conciliar Theory ( Cambridge, 1955), 71, 81.
17 Eadmer, Historia novorum in Anglia, ed. M. Rule (RS, 1884), 233.
importance, because the possibility of a volume of appeals which would swamp the existing machinery still seemed remote.
The growth of appeals was to some extent the result of the increased initiative in the life of the western church under the Gregorian papacy, for when an instruction or a privilege had come from Rome disputes about it would naturally involve papal authority. In practice appeals extended far beyond these special cases and included litigation about matters of routine. By 1160 it was already regarded as usual for a dispute over the possession of a parish church to be appealed to the curia. Technically this had become possible because the revival of Roman law had provided procedures which could be linked into a system for the handling of appeals, but beneath this lay a more fundamental change. Papal activity was the outstanding example of what has been called 'rescript' government. This means that letters or rescripts were issued in response to petitions from outside the curia, and that they often simply echoed the wording of the request. It was the task of the papal officials to ensure that the answer was in accordance with the law, but there was no investigation of facts or even a proper check to make sure whether an incompatible instruction had been issued. Clement III noted the difficulty of making sure that the same case was not delegated to different sets of judges, and commented that 'when one commission frustrates another it makes the Roman curia look frivolous'. 18 This administration by response left most of the initiative in the hands of petitioners and meant that a vast amount of paperwork might imply only a minimum of true policy-making. It was not unique to the papacy: on the contrary, it was a style of government which was emerging rapidly and can be traced in the rise of common law in England. Central governments did not have the resources to enforce their authority evenly in the manner of a modern state, but instead were providing a jurisdiction to which parties could turn in the settlement of local disputes. At the heart of what may seem a very active administration the pope or king was passive, responding to applications without, in many cases, any real capacity to assess the situation. A picture of this kind helps us to understand the popes' remarkable failure (as it has seemed to historians) to carry through a systematic reform of the western church. This was not mainly because the Roman curia was itself corrupt but because the structure
18 Cited by Pitz, Papstreskript und Kaiserreskript im Ma. ( Tübingen, 1971), 327.
was not designed for the exercise of major initiatives or the application of consistent policies. The papacy was not surprisingly a monarchy of its period, far removed from the absolutism which became possible in later centuries.
Inevitably there were protests. It was an unattractive idea to turn the household of St Peter into a set of tribunals for property rights, and some influential advisers were anxious to limit the juridical activity of the curia to matters of genuine spiritual significance. Bernard of Clairvaux warned his protégé Eugenius III that he was in danger of undermining the proper hierarchy of the church: 'Abbots are being withdrawn from their bishops, bishops from their archbishops. . . You have been appointed to preserve for each the grades and orders of honours and dignities, not to prejudice them', and similar complaints were made in indignant terms by the hierarchy of the provincial churches. 19 Appeals provided a highly convenient machinery by which abbeys could obtain Roman protection for their privileges, and could extend them into full exemption from episcopal authority. Several popes attempted to restrict the growth of appeals, but on the whole the weight of opinion was in favour of freedom of appeal. Gratian had assigned to appellants almost unrestricted rights: they could appeal at any time (not just after sentence); any person could appeal who felt himself oppressed (not simply against a faulty judgement); and the bishop had no power to restrict appeals. 20 So great was the liberty extended to complainants that many actions were brought straight to the curia without any hearing before the diocesan or other local authorities.
We only know a limited amount about the arrangements within the curia before Innocent III. Although the pope personally heard cases the numbers were too great for this to be the normal procedure, and many were referred to groups of cardinals for decision. The key to the growth of appeals lay in the delegation of cases to judges in the country of origin by papal mandate. It is not possible to give a precise starting-date for this, because the reference of individual cases to local judges went back far into papal history, and the legal possibility of delegation was recognized in the collections of Anselm of Lucca and Deusdedit. The new features were the increasingly large number of cases and the development of standardized letters initially based on the mandates known to Roman civil law. The full
19 Bernard, De consideratiotie, III. iv. 14, Opera, iii. 442.
20 Gratian, Decr. C. II, q. 6, dictum post c. 14 (470).
development of such common-form mandates is mainly to be ascribed to the time of Alexander III, but the large-scale use of judges delegate goes back before the middle of the century. Most historians see the pontificate of Innocent II as the time when a steady flow of delegations began. In England Robert of Béthune, bishop of Hereford( 1131-48), already had a reputation for hearing causes as a judge delegate, while Bishop Roger of Worcester ( 1164-79) can be found acting as a delegate in about a hundred cases. It is probable that there were many others of which we have no record, because a register of Archbishop Henry of Reims, who died in 1175, indicates that he received no less that 423 papal letters, of which the larger proportion concerned lawsuits. The use of judges delegate enabled a litigant to escape from the jurisdiction of the bishop, who might well have his own interests or sympathies, and to submit his plea to a tribunal of three experienced judges.
The system of appeals was financed by fees to curial advocates and notaries and by presents which were barely distinguishable from bribes. Nevertheless the papacy found itself in severe financial difficulties. For much of the century the popes were unable to obtain access to their revenues from the city of Rome, and their income from the Patrimony of St Peter outside it was threatened by local cities and nobles as well as by imperial pressure. The political and military costs of resistance to the Hohenstaufen must have been formidable: as Hadrian IV put it, 'no one can make war without pay'. 21 One effect of the isolation of the curia from the city of Rome was to diminish the financial significance of the traditional officers, and from the middle of the century the chamberlain was completely in charge of papal revenues. He was invariably a cardinal, and two holders of the office, Boso under Hadrian IV and Cencius (the later Honorius III) under Celestine III, were major political figures. The concern of the curia about its finances was reflected in a series of attempts to list its revenues. The process had already begun with Deusdedit's collection of canons, which focused particularly on the rights of the Roman Church, and it culminated in the Liber Censuum completed by Cencius in 1192. This was designed to continue in use under his successors, with gaps left for new entries. It was a reasonably thorough piece of work, but all these works were marked by an 'unsurpassed conservatism'. 22 They are lists of legal rights
21 nemo potest sine stipendiis militare, cited V. Pfaff, "Päpstliche Finanzverwaltung am Ende des 12 Jhs", MIOG 64 ( 1956), 21.
22 V. Pfaff, "Päpstliche Finanzverwaltung", 12.
combined with other liturgical and historical material: the collections are a major source of information about the Ordo Romanus which governed the ceremonial of the Roman Church. The image of a papacy bound up with the traditional life of the city is preserved here, although in view of the long absences from Rome it must have been on the way to being an anachronism. Unfortunately no list of receipts and outgoings survives from the chamber for this period; such a list might have given a more workmanlike impression of its operation.
The revenues recorded in the Liber Censuum would have been inadequate for the needs of the popes. Historically the principal income of the Roman Church came from its landed estates in central Italy and from the proceeds of lordship such as tolls and judicial revenues; but there had been large losses and many estates yielded only nominal rents. Cencius records only two types of income derived from the western church outside Italy: the census due from exempt abbeys and the tribute payable by certain kingdoms and principalities. Such tributes had emerged, mainly in the eleventh century, with the acknowledgement of papal overlordship by the Normans in Sicily and other states; they also included Peter's Pence from England, Scandinavia, and Poland, a customary gift of uncertain origin which was interpreted by the curia as a sign of subjection. Peter's Pence was notionally a levy of a penny on the house of every freeman, but it had been eroded by custom so that the annual sum actually produced by England was just under £200. The total revenue implied by the Liber Censuum is hard to estimate because the items are stated in many different currencies, but V. Pfaff has assessed it as 1,214 gold ounces. By international standards this was very small, amounting to less than 5 per cent of Richard I's annual income from England; and it must be added that some of the items, particularly the sums due from princes and exempt monasteries, were not always paid. 23 On the other hand, there were important resources not included in the Liber Censuum. The income in cash and kind received from central Italy by papal rectors and other officers is not there, nor is the papal share of offerings in the great Roman basilicas adequately represented. These omissions are understandable, because the purpose was to provide a working list of sums due directly at the chamber, but they mean that the local
23 V. Pfaff, "Die Einnahmen der römischen Kurie", Vierteljahresschrift für Sozialwissenschaft und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 40 ( 1953), 97-118.
revenue of the popes must have been greater than Cencius has indicated and that the popes' acute concern about imperial pressure on their territories becomes readily understandable. Another important financial resource was the right to finance the journeys of popes and legates by taking 'procurations' or subsistence expenses from the churches which they were visiting. Carlrichard Brühl has shown that the claim for procurations for legates originated with Gregory VII, and for popes with Urban II's visit to France, and he has stressed the importance of this right in giving the popes freedom of action. 24 Procurations were sometimes, perhaps usually, taken in money as well as in free hospitality, and some legates were reported to have taken a large sum in silver back to the curia with them. This custom meant that the pope was able to conduct diplomacy and organize inspections without cost to himself, and possibly at a considerable profit to his agents.
There were also attempts to increase the international revenue of the curia. Perhaps the most important was the appeal for subsidies from sympathetic churchmen. The earliest of which we know was a request by Urban II to the clergy of southern France in 1093 for gifts 'in restoration of the liberty of the apostolic see'. Alexander III repeatedly asked for gifts from groups of clergy, for example the English prelates in 1173; and in 1184 Lucius III, excluded from Rome by the commune, asked Henry II for a grant from the English clergy. The level of such subsidies was presumably determined by the donors, for the age of papally imposed income taxes was yet to come. Sometimes they were more complex than simple charitable donations. We hear of 'the common collections made for the lord pope or his nuncios' as a custom at Genoa in 1187, and this becomes comprehensible in the light of the close financial relations between the papacy and Genoa, which had led Alexander III in 1162 to describe the city as 'the special chamber of St Peter'. 25 Papal support for Genoese mercantile operations brought in a good deal of money to the curia. The papacy attempted also to maximize the contributions from other churches by having payments made to its own appointed collectors, and began to provide curial officers with incomes by securing for them canonries in collegiate churches, two practices which were to be systematized in the thirteenth century. The effective papal revenue was thus larger than the Liber Censuum
24 C. Brühl, Zur Geschichte der procuratio canonica, MCSM VII ( 1974), 419-31.
25 Cited V. Pfaff, Päpstliche Finanzverwaltung, 21.
indicates; but it did not match the responsibilities. One can well understand the offers by Frederick Barbarossa and Henry VI of a reliable revenue to the curia in return for a settlement of territorial questions in Italy. Although they were not accepted, they were undoubtedly directed towards a pressing need on the part of the papacy.
In the twelfth century, therefore, the agenda for papal business was written by interested parties in Christendom as a whole. The machinery of the curia was designed to respond to petitioners and appellants; its revenues were inadequate and the attempts to increase them relied on improvisations pursued with little system. The idea of the papacy as an absolute monarchy able to decide at will the affairs of the provincial churches is an illusion. Nevertheless the Roman Church had other channels of communication which gave it considerable powers of direction. The machinery to which the popes turned for the dissemination of their policy was primarily the council. The synods of Rome, which had been important to the papal reformers of the late eleventh century, had ceased to exist in their old form as the consistory of cardinals assumed their place as the assembly of the Roman Church. A different type of council now emerged, presided over by the popes on their travels. The new councils were designed to bring together the curia and the bishops, and their assembly was usually a response to a crisis. Reims 1119 was intended to arrive at a settlement of the dispute over investitures, while Clermont 1130, Reims 1131, Pisa 1135, and Tours 1163 were designed to rally support in times of schism. The most famous, the three Lateran Councils of 1123, 1139, and 1179, were all called to resolve the issues posed by the ending of a schism and the return to Rome of the papacy after a long absence. The purpose of these councils, however, was not only political, for almost all of them issued important decrees about church discipline. In contrast with this legislative activity by the pope in council, archbishops and bishops issued few canons between 1123 and 1198. Even in England and Normandy, where the archbishops of Canterbury and Rouen had presided over important national or provincial assemblies in earlier decades, there seems to be a reduction of synodal activity until its revival under Innocent III. The initiative in legislation was being left to the pope, who summoned councils, notified the bishops by his legates or letters, and chose the preachers to give the keynote addresses. The decrees were probably drafted in the curia; at Third Lateran some of them reflect policies already applied in Alexander III's decretal letters. It would be wrong, however, to suppose that there was no genuine exchange between the curia and the provincial bishops. At Third Lateran, for example, canon 9 mentioned a 'vehement complaint by our brothers and fellow bishops' about the abuse of privileges by the Templars and Hospitallers, and there is a report of a sharp criticism by John of Salisbury, then bishop of Chartres, of the excessively legalistic procedure of the council. 26 The conciliar procedure provided an opportunity to formulate papal policy in the light of comments from the bishops.
One of the major lines of communication between the curia and the provinces was the legate. A marked change took place with the disappearance of the long-standing 'viceroys' whom Gregory VII had appointed from among his confidants to supervise the regional churches. The last examples of this type of appointment were Bishops Gerald of Angoulême and Geoffrey of Chartres, legates of the rival popes in the schism of 1130. The curia operated instead through legates who, although they had wide powers, were sent for a limited term and for a specific purpose. They often, in the twelfth century, had a political objective: to raise support for the pope in a time of schism, to safeguard the position of his allies in the Lombard League, or to negotiate peace between rival Christian powers. They were members of the curia, and almost always cardinals. The other development of the office of legate was quite different in kind: the appointment as resident legate with limited powers of a member of the local hierarchy. This might be the result of a desire to honour an archbishop who enjoyed the approval of the curia, or it could be a simple way of solving a local difficulty. Thus a long-standing quarrel about Canterbury's claim to primacy over the English church as a whole was evaded by making the archbishop of Canterbury the resident legate. This system, which continued with breaks from 1126 onwards, gave him precedence over the archbishop of York. The two different types of legate, the later legatus a latere and legatus natus, were thus in practice differentiated during this century.
There were other ways, too, in which the popes could take the initiative in introducing policies to the church as a whole. Although, as we saw earlier, the system of judges delegate was a response to the demands of litigants, it also involved the issue of decretal letters to
26 Lateran III can. 9 (Alberigo 192) = Greg. IX, Decretals, V. 3.9(751).
rule on points of law, and these allowed popes to imprint their own ideas, or those of their curial advisers, upon the law of the western church. The custom that a crusade was originated by a papal bull was widely accepted in the century. It did not mean that the pope's policy always prevailed; Bernard of Clairvaux probably exceeded his instructions in recruiting Conrad III for the Second Crusade, and Henry VI's crusade may have been wished on Pope Celestine III (the matter is not clear). But it did give the pope the opportunity to originate and plan crusades and to publicize his theology of crusading, as Gregory VIII did in his bull Audita tremendi. The century also saw a shift in the accepted method of creating a new saint. In the past this had normally been a response to the pressure of public demand authenticated by the decision of the diocesan, but in the twelfth century the official procedure shifted decisively in favour of seeking the permission of the pope in synod. In 1163 at Tours Alexander found himself faced by requests for no less than six canonizations, including Anselm of Canterbury and three who had died recently: Bernard of Clairvaux ( 1153), the Irish Malachy of Armagh ( 1148), and the Tuscan hermit William of Malavalle ( 1157). Finally with the increasing threat of heresy the bishops turned to papal authority for leadership, and the first steps toward decisive action were taken at Third Lateran and at the meeting of Verona in 1184. In these areas it was possible for the popes not merely to respond to pressures from outside but to offer a formative leadership to the western churches.
iii. The Pastorate of the Bishops
The European church was divided into dioceses, each with a bishop at its head. Their size varied enormously between the Mediterranean region and the north. To take extreme examples, Ravello near Salerno was less than two miles long, whereas Constance in Germany and Lincoln in England were immense, so that the standing of a southern Italian bishop was more like that of the rector of a city church in the north. Even within particular regions the accidents of history had left bishoprics of uneven size: the three Alpine dioceses of Tarentaise, Aosta, and Sitten contained less than 100 parishes each, whereas their neighbour Geneva had over 400. This network of dioceses was being extended to cover the whole continent. Apart from bishoprics founded in the mission fields the Celtic churches in Scotland and Ireland were being transformed from their monastic structure to a diocesan one. Territories were also being defined more clearly. Whereas a bishopric had usually been described in papal diplomas by listing its major estates, after 1100 the assumption prevailed that a bishop's authority was defined by geographical limits. The Collection in 74 Titles had required that 'every one be content with his own boundaries' and Gratian was concerned to prevent bishops from ordaining clergy from elsewhere. 27 The older proprietorial assumption nevertheless left some scars on the body of the church in the form of outlying fragments of dioceses where a bishop had maintained his former interest, and in a few dioceses, notably Dol in Brittany, these scattered portions were larger than the handful of parishes in the core around the cathedral city.
The bishop was the primary authority. In the language of the developing canon law he was the 'ordinary', who held all spiritual jurisdiction unless it had been specifically devolved elsewhere. Admittedly, with rare exceptions, dioceses did not stand directly under the pope but were combined into provinces led by an archbishop or metropolitan (the two words, in this period, meant the same). The archbishop was important in terms of prestige and leadership, but his office was never designed to give general managerial authority over other bishops, and with the growth of papal initiative during the twelfth century its administrative function tended to be marginalized. Moreover the provincial synod, over which the archbishop presided, was to a considerable extent in abeyance during the twelfth century. The organization of the church into provinces did not abolish the place of the diocese as the primary structure.
St Anselm had defined the traditional idea of the office when he spoke to the bishops of the province of Canterbury: 'Brethren, I have summoned you to come to me because on you especially devolves the duty of handling, dispensing and maintaining the word of God. You are bishops: you are set in authority in the church of God: you are sons of God.' 28 It was essentially the ideal which Gregory I had set out long before in his Cura Pastoralis. After a period in which the
27 Collection in 74 Titles, xxvi, ed. J. Gilchrist (Vatican, 1973), 119-21; Gratian, Decr. C. IX q. 2, opening dictum (602).
28 Translation from G. Bosanquet, Eadmer's History of Recent Events in England ( London, 1964), 85.
monasteries had been the leading powers in the church, the twelfth century saw a concerted attempt to rediscover the power of the bishop in what Cinzio Violante has called a 'new episcopalism'. 29 Around the middle of the century a series of writings set out to present a model of the good bishop. Hugh of St Victor explored the theology of the episcopate in his On the Sacraments, and Bernard of Clairvaux dedicated to Archbishop Henry of Sens a treatise On the conduct and office of bishops, and wrote a Life of Archbishop Malachy of Armagh. Gratian included a section on the personal qualities required of a bishop, basing it on 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1: 7-9 and on passages from Gregory the Great; an innovation in the canonical collections of the period. 30 A further indication of the new episcopalism was the papal legislation giving the bishop authority over local churches and tithes, and in particular requiring his consent to their transfer to monastic ownership. The programme was essentially complete in the canons of the First Lateran Council:
No archdeacon or arclipriest or provost or dean shall in any way grant the cure of souls or prebends of the church to anyone except with the judgement and consent of the bishop. Indeed, as is decreed by the sacred canons, the cure of souls and stewardship of ecclesiastical property are to remain in the power and judgement of the bishop.
A further canon insisted on the subjection of monks to their bishops and on the need for the bishop to grant cure of souls to priests appointed by monks to parish churches. 31 The policy was maintained by the later Lateran Councils and its principles were applied in many settlements over monastic rights throughout Christendom. This episcopalian tendency may also be reflected in the ending of the sequence of monk-popes after 1118 in favour of popes drawn from the ranks of the regular canons and elsewhere, but we must not see it as a simple reaction against monks or against Gregorian policy. Gregory VII and Urban II had already legislated to restore disciplinary power to the bishops, and the new orders such as the Cistercians supported the withdrawal of monks from involvement in the world and from ownership of parish churches and tithes. This movement in thinking came too late, however, to give the bishops
29 C. Violante, Pievi e parrochie nell'Italia centrosettentrionale, MCSM VIII ( 1977), 699.
30 Hugh of St Victor, De Sacramentis, iii. 12 (PL 176. 428-30); Bernard, ep. 42 De Moribus et Officio Episcoporum, ( Opera vii. 100 ff.) and "Vita S. Malachiae" (iii.297 ff.); on Gratian, see J. Gaudemet , Patristique et pastorale: la contribution de Grégoire le Grand au Miroir de l'Evêque dans le Décret de Gratien, Le Bras i. 129-39.
31 I Lateran can. 4, 16 (Alberigo 166, 169).
the full benefit of the massive shift in the ownership of parish churches from laymen to ecclesiastics; as was noticed in Chapter 3.i above, the primary beneficiaries of this movement were the great abbeys.
The bishop's control over his diocese was exercised through a network of subsidiary jurisdictions. The office of archdeacon, long established in France, was extended to other regions and its powers were more accurately defined. England does not seem to have had an organized archidiaconal system until after the Norman Conquest, and its introduction may have been connected with the decree of William I about 1072 transferring ecclesiastical causes to the hearing of the bishops. Italy never acquired archdeacons: this was understandable in the small dioceses of the south and centre, but they did not appear either in the large dioceses of the north. Northern French dioceses already had several archdeacons at the beginning of our period, and the twelfth century saw the clearer definition of their territories and the introduction of the practice of subdivision elsewhere. Lincoln had eight archdeacons before the middle of the twelfth century, with circumscriptions largely coinciding with the shires. The term 'archdeaconry', archidiaconatus, was coming into use around 1100, and in the following years the scope of the office was defined in a series of local settlements as it was at Paris, with papal approval, in 1126-7. Below the archdeacon was the archpriest, rural dean, or dean of Christianity (the term used varied from one region to another), presiding over a small group of parishes. The arrangement had earlier origins but became generally established in the twelfth century. Sometimes, as in the region of Liège, the deanery represented the remains of the authority of the old baptismal church before its subdivision into parishes; in Italy, where the system survived more intact than elsewhere, the head of the pieve functioned as archpriest. Elsewhere deaneries appear to be later constructions defined in terms of existing secular units, such as the hundred in England. By about 1150 in many parts of Europe the village church had thus been incorporated into a deanery and an archdeaconry, under the overall direction of the bishop. The increase in episcopal authority is given some statistical definition by the growing number of acta emerging from the bishop's writing office. At Orléans the surviving documents total 21 for 971-1096 (0.17 per year), 26 for 1096-1145 (0.53) and 244 for 1146-1207 (4.0). 32 At Angers we have
32 C. Vuillez, "L'évêque au miroir de l'ars dictaminis", RHEF 70 ( 1984), 277-304, from calculations of Mauricette Simon.
records of 165 letters of Bishop Ulger ( 1125-48), a huge increase on the recorded activity of any of his predecessors.
Such developments may suggest that the ideal of the bishop was approximating to the form which it was to take for much of the future history of the church: a pastor whose task was to instruct his clergy in their duties and to supervise their efficiency through his officers. To describe the function of the bishop thus would be a serious misunderstanding of the situation before 1200. The administrative structure was still very inadequate for the task of detailed supervision. Archdeacons were cathedral dignitaries in their own right and imperfectly controlled by the bishop, and the activity of the episcopal writing office, even though it had increased, was mainly concerned with confirmations of rights and properties and did not extend to maintaining proper records. Bishop Roger of Worcester ( 1164-79) may have kept a roll of clerks instituted to benefices, but if so he was innovating in having such a basic document as that. The signs are that the active supervision of the country clergy had scarcely yet been formulated even as an ideal. Action could be taken against scandalous clergy on occasion, but the instances in the letters of bishop Arnulf of Lisieux ( 1139-72) indicate that this sort of activity was only spasmodic. It was not clear what legal powers the bishop possessed to discipline local clergy, and Roger of Worcester found it necessary shortly after his consecration in 1164 to request a papal letter, Inter cetera sollicitudinis, to define his rights. The treatises designed to provide a mirror for bishops concentrated on their personal qualities: Bernard of Clairvaux stressed repeatedly the 'example' offered by Malachy of Armagh. The series of lives of the bishops of Auxerre written during the century was centred on their sanctity (especially their humility) and their administration, but this term meant the defence of the rights of the church of Auxerre. Nor do the bishops in reality seem to have been setting the tone for the spirituality of the period. It is significant that in Germany, only two twelfth-century bishops came to be venerated as saints, in contrast with seventeen in the preceding century. The fashionable spiritual ideals were being presented by the new monastic orders and the regular canons, and although both of these were defenders of episcopal authority, at least in theory, they were shaped by their own dynamic. The twelfth-century bishop's task was to be the liturgical head of his church, exemplary in his conduct and effective in his protection of its rights; the day-to-day supervision and instruction of the clergy was not a central part of his duties. It was only in the closing decades of the century that a new efficiency in diocesan administration and new ideas of the pastorate gave indications of a change to come, and to these we shall turn later in this book.
The character of the episcopate was naturally determined by its method of appointment. The demand for canonical election had become one of the keynotes of the Gregorian programme, and was enshrined in canon 3 of the First Lateran Council: 'no one shall consecrate a bishop unless he has been canonically elected'. 33 This left the procedure unclear, and the decretist Rufinus about 1157 defined it as involving 'the wishes of the citizens, the testimony of the people, the will of the nobles and of religious men, the election of the clergy, the confirmation of the metropolitan and bishops'. 34 While several of those elements remained, the characteristic development of the twelfth century was to isolate the act of election proper and confine it to the canons of the cathedral. A precedent for this development had been set long before in grants by the emperors of a right of election to canons of German cathedrals, but the first sign of its wider adoption was in the decree of the Second Lateran Council that 'we prohibit the canons of the episcopal see from excluding religious men from the election of bishops, but by their counsel an honest and suitable person shall be elected as bishop'. 35 It was uncertain at the time who were these religious men whose participation were being protected: the monks in the diocese, or its senior clergy as a whole? Forty years later, a letter of Alexander III to the church of Bremen showed a marked shift of policy:
although for the election of a bishop the favour and assent of the prince should be requested, yet laymen should not be admitted to the election. But the election is to be held by the canons of the cathedral church and the religious men from the city and diocese. However we do not mean by this that the objection of the religious should override the canons. 36
By the early thirteenth century it was simply accepted that the canons elected the bishop. As we shall see in the next section, the exclusion of laymen from the election did not prevent kings and princes from influencing the choice, whereas papal intervention was still rare. There are a few famous cases when a disputed election led to an international uproar (Langres 1138, York 1140, Trier 1183), but
33 Alberigo, 166.
34 H. Singer (ed.), Die Summa Decretorum des Magister Rufinus ( Paderborn, 1902), 155.
35 II Lateran can. 28 (Alberigo 179).
36 Letter to Bremen, 1171/2, PL 200. 1270D.
these are abnormal. Much more common was a request for papal confirmation of an election after it had been made. Electors in fact were liable to turn to a range of different authorities in the search for security, and the Roman Church was the most frequently invoked. Requests for confirmation are a clear indication of growing papal prestige, but they are not the same thing as the exercise of a voice in the choice of the bishops. In Germany Carlrichard Briihl has counted only seven cases of papal intervention in an election in the eleventh century and nineteen in the twelfth. In France when Eugenius III appointed the first bishop of Tournai in 1146 he explained that this was because the see had just been re-established, and it was only in the years after 1180 that the papal influence became significant, with ten interventions in twenty years. The basic pattern remained election by the canons under the influence of the lay power.
The control of elections by the canons had obvious effects upon the choice of bishops. A very large proportion came from their ranks, many of them former archdeacons. Monks provided about 10 per cent of the German episcopate between 1000 and 1200; the proportion in France was rather higher, but not in the area of royal influence in the north. It is significant that as far as we know not a single bishop in Germany, France, or England was elected because he had been a successful parish priest. (The situation in the small dioceses of Italy was different.) Overlapping with the tendency to appoint canons of cathedrals was the nomination of royal servants, who had often been rewarded with such positions already. The major families of Capetian officers, such as Garlande, are well represented in the sees of northern France, and a crude example of the exercise of royal influence can be found in 1173 after the murder of Thomas Becket, when Henry II filled three of the six vacant bishoprics with royal officials who had been opponents of the martyr. When left to themselves, chapters tended to elect local men: only one bishop of Auxerre in the twelfth century came from outside the region, and he was also the one example of a papally influenced appointment there. The system also produced episcopal families. Sometimes these continued in the same see: the bishops of Chartres came from the family of Lèves between 1116 and 1155; five archbishops of Cologne were from the family of the counts of Berg between 1132 and 1216; and relatives of the Belmeis family provided several bishops of London. Such local and family ties were at least as strong in the twelfth century as they had been earlier; in particular, the ability of the German rulers to make appointments with an imperial horizon from their court chapel, as they had done before 1100, was restricted by the growing power of the territorial nobility. It was usually royal influence which broke into the local circle: the Capetians had a marked tendency to appoint Paris men in other parts of France, and Henry II introduced Normans into other parts of the Angevin empire. A few rulers (among them Roger II of Sicily and the Polish dukes) actively recruited foreigners for vacant bishoprics. The intensely aristocratic character of the twelfth-century episcopate does not imply that it was hostile to reforming tendencies. Some of the families mentioned, such as the Lèves at Chartres, were loyal supporters of Gregorian ideas, while Henry of France, the brother of Louis VII, who became an outstanding archbishop of Reims, had in earlier life renounced all his preferments to join the Cistercians. Most bishops, like most saints, were still drawn from the noble families who were qualified to protect the lands of the see and provide an example to their subjects.
iv. Churches and Kingdoms
The church saw western Europe as a grouping of kingdoms. In spite of the fact that ecclesiastical divisions frequently did not correspond with political ones the official record in the Liber Censuum of 1192 listed kingdoms first and provinces or archbishoprics as their subdivisions, and the curia preferred to correspond with kings about ecclesiastical business rather than with nobles. Historians have often seen the relations of church and state in the twelfth century as shaped by the triumph of Gregorian ideas, and have suggested that because the religious authority of the king was no longer recognized, he had to look for other foundations for his power. On this interpretation, by 'desacralizing' the monarchy the papacy had opened the road to the secular state. It is certainly true that the new papalist thinking had implications for royal government. The description of the pope as the vicar of Christ and as the possessor of fulness of power implied the superior dignity of the spiritual power, for the secular ruler could not make such claims. High-church writers categorized the king as a layman and denied that his anointing had the same character as that of a bishop. Royal unction disappeared from lists of sacraments. The functions of clergy and laity were clearly distinguished by the exclusion of laymen from the investiture of bishops and (with important exceptions) from presence at their election. At the same time the kingdoms, led by England and Sicily, were being provided with a more effective machinery of government and Frederick Barbarossa was formulating the theory of imperial power. These changes, however, cannot accurately be described as the emergence of a secular state or the desacralization of the monarchy. As we saw in Chapter 1, the God-given power of the king had always been seen as exercised in tandem with that of the priesthood, and kings in the twelfth century continued to use the language of divine authority. The monarchy, so far from giving up its claims, laid even more emphasis upon its religious origin.
It remained the official doctrine, alike of royal chanceries and of clerical reformers, that the king ruled by the power of God; indeed, the words of St Paul in Romans 13: 1 ruled out any other view. The argument of Gregory VII in the second letter to Bishop Herman of Metz that kings came into existence because of sin stripped the royal office of much of its dignity, but was rarely echoed by later writers. The ideology propounded by Abbot Suger of Saint Denis for Louis VI of France ( 1108-37) struck a very different note. Suger described the king as the vicar of God, bearing his image, and told how on his death-bed Louis required his son to swear 'to guard the church of God and defend the poor and orphans and maintain every one in his right'. 37 The sign of divine commission was the ceremony of anointing which inaugurated a new reign, and in spite of the distinction of this from episcopal anointing it continued to be regarded with great respect. The papalist Bishop Grosseteste of Lincoln wrote in the middle of the thirteenth century that 'royal unction is a sign of the prerogative of the reception of the most sacred sevenfold gift of the spirit'. 38 Pictorial presentations of the relations of church and state, in sculptures on cathedrals or illuminations in manuscripts of Gratian's collection of canon law, presented them as parallel authorities, each with a sphere of influence bestowed on it by God. The bishop or spiritual authority usually is given more dignity than the king or secular authority (although even that it not true in Germany) but the underlying duality of two powers is clear.
Belief in the sacred power of the king was disseminated widely in society by new or developed ceremonial. The first mentions of the
37 Suger, Vita Ludovici Grossi, ed. H. Waquet ( Paris, 1929), 134, 274.
38 H. R. Luard (ed.), Roberti Grosseteste Epistolae, RS, 1861, ep. 124, p. 350.
healing power of kings ascribe it to Robert the Pious in France ( 9961031) and Edward the Confessor in England ( 1042-66), but in both cases possibly the power was a function of their personal sanctity. It is likely that from the early twelfth century their successors in France and England were touching for scrofula, which was later to be known as 'the king's evil', although we cannot be sure that it had become a regular practice until the thirteenth century. The gift by a chamberlain to two Norman abbeys of basins which he had received from the hands of Henry I may well suggest a belief in the sacred touch of royalty. 39 Liturgical ceremonies also enhanced the dignity of the king's office. In most parts of Europe the funerals of great men had been simple and even (in the cases of William the Conqueror in 1087 and William Rufus in 1100) squalid. Now kings began to make careful preparation for their burials, building great churches for them as Henry I did at Reading Abbey and Stephen at Faversham. From Henry II onwards kings of England were probably buried in their coronation robes, and splendid tombs were provided, such as those of the Angevin royal house at Fontevraud or the Sicilian kings as Palermo.
The most striking development was the creation of a strong link between the royal family and the saints, preferably (where possible) with a member of the royal house. The German kings secured the canonization of the Emperor Henry II (died 1024) and his wife Kunigunde, and sub sequently -- although by an anti-pope -- of Charlemagne himself. Henry II of England persuaded Alexander III to canonize Edward the Confessor in 1161. Other rulers promoted saints with whom they had been associated, as did Louis VII ( 113780) with the Cistercian Peter of Tarantaise and Thomas Becket. Political authority was as sensitive as the rest of public opinion to miracles worked by the saints. There was a spectacular episode at the abbey of Déols in May 1187 during a campaign between Philip Augustus of France and Richard Coeur de Lion, when it was observed that a statue of the Virgin had torn her robe in grief at the violence done to the countryside. Richard, who himself came forward as a witness of the miracle, hastily agreed a truce with his opponent. The most striking association of a royal family with a saint in the course of the century was, however, the Capetian link with Saint-Denis, which already existed but was made much stronger by the co-operation of Abbot Suger with his friend Louis
39 M. R. James et al. (eds.), Walter Map: de Nugibus Curialium ( Oxford, 1983), v. 6, p. 490.
VI. In 1124, faced by a threatened invasion by the Emperor Henry V, Louis went to the abbey and received the banner of St Denis from the altar, where the relics of the saint and his companions were exposed as a defence in time of national danger. The banner was soon identified with the oriflamme, the traditional name of the banner of Charlemagne, and was to be carried by the French kings as long as the monarchy lasted. At about this time (unfortunately we cannot date it securely) there was composed the forged Donation of Charlemagne, granting the kingdom to the abbey of Saint-Denis and commending it to his protection. The significance of this association of the monarchy with the national saint was increased by the spectacular rebuilding undertaken by Suger in the first experiment in the 'Gothic' style, inspired by the theories of vision in St Denis's own supposed writings. St Denis was to become to France what the lion of St Mark was to Venice, the symbol of national identity and religious protection, and to this the rising French monarchy had linked itself firmly in the imagination of its subjects.
Among all the monarchies of Christendom, the Capetians provided the model for royal protection of the church. Once the informal agreement over lay investiture had been made during the visit of Paschal II clashes were rare. Louis VI occasionally collided with ecclesiastical authority over the reform of churches in which he had a direct interest, and the politique de grandeur (as Marcel Pacaut has called it) during Louis VII's early years gave rise to several quarrels, and culminating in the disputed election at Bourges in 1141 and a war with Theobald of Champagne, in which the pope and St Bernard strongly supported the count. Thereafter Louis was a friend of reform and of the papacy. The university of Paris was a major centre of papalist theory, and France was a refuge for Alexander III from 1162 to 1165 and for Thomas Becket from 1164 to 1170. This did not mean that the Crown was sacrificing its interests, for its customary rights enabled it to control and even exploit bishoprics and abbeys. Kings could ensure the election of their chosen candidates by use of the royal licence for election, and the new bishop had to take an oath of fealty to the king and receive from him the temporalities of the see. Henry II and Frederick Barbarossa insisted that the election be held in the king's presence and that the bishop perform the more formal act of homage, but the example of France suggests that gentler methods were ample to safeguard the royal interest.
Apart from this influence over appointments, churches were attached to the royal interest by their hope of generosity and protection. Royal benevolence could be on a splendid scale. At times it was inspired by directly religious motives. William the Conqueror founded the great abbey of Battle to celebrate his victory in 1066, and Philip Augustus founded La Victoire after his triumph at Bouvines in 1214. There was also a steady flow of donations on more routine occasions. It was not always the kings whom we regard as most 'ecclesiastical' in their policy who gave most. Barbarossa was a generous donor, and Louis VII gave more during his early grandiose years, when he was frequently in collision with the papacy, than he did later. Louis's pattern of donation has been analysed by Marcel Pacaut, who has found 452 acts surviving from the 43 years of his reign, 177 being new gifts and 275 confirmations of existing rights. Twenty-five per cent of these acts applied to the large areas of France outside the royal demesne, and the number of confirmations reminds us that, from the point of view of the clergy, the king's role in defending the possessions of the churches from depredation was at least as important as the prospect of obtaining new income from his good pleasure. Royal protection did not rest only on political calculation. It was an essential part of the king's function, and it was inspired by his own need, in turn, for the protection of God and the saints. It also had more measurable value for the monarchy, since 'protection' in medieval style implied control as well as responsibility. The clergy were important servants of the Crown. In strict canon law they should not have been, but in practice it was accepted that clerks, usually in minor orders, should be involved in the royal bureaucracy. Bishops and abbots might act as royal advisers: high churchmen saw the role of Suger under Louis VI and VII and Wibald of Stavelot under Conrad III as models. The growth of royal administration posed a more difficult question, since kings wanted to use bishops as officers of their government. At first the convention was for royal servants to resign on appointment to bishoprics, but in the late twelfth century there are important examples to the contrary. Rainald of Dassel, Barbarossa's chancellor from May 1156, was elected archbishop of Cologne in spring 1159 and thus added to his powers the formerly conventional post of arch-chancellor for Italy, and in 1159 Hugh of Champfleury remained chancellor of Louis VII on his appointment as bishop of Soissons. In 1162 it was Henry II's intention that Thomas Becket should continue as chancellor while archbishop of Canterbury, and subsequently several bishops functioned as royal justices, while in the reign of Richard I Hubert Walter was at the head of administration in both church and state, being archbishop of Canterbury, papal legate, and justiciar, an early foretaste of Cardinal Wolsey. Numerically such civil servant bishops were the exception; much more characteristic was the enjoyment of political support from bishops who were linked to the Crown alike by advancement, interest, and convention. The Hohenstaufen emperors enjoyed much support from the German hierarchy, and Henry II was sustained in his quarrel with Becket by several of the English bishops. There were, of course, exceptions, and it is noticeable that when bishops acted independently, as they did in England under Stephen and in Germany in the aftermath of the Investiture Contest, the reason was often the weakening of royal authority, which forced them to consolidate their territorial power in order to protect themselves. The Capetians were able to extend their power by intervening in areas outside the demesne (as Louis VI and VII both did in the Auvergne) in response to appeals from bishops against the local nobility; and they were to do so even more spectacularly later when they intervened in the south against the growing threat of the Albigensian heresy. It was not only oppression but also the absence of protection which caused problems between king and bishops.
The control of the church also had direct cash value for the Crown. In almost every part of Europe vacant bishoprics and abbeys were in its custody, and the richer ones provided an important source of income. The English kings proved particularly susceptible to the temptation to defer appointments in order to enjoy the income: there were enormous vacancies at Canterbury ( 1089-93 and 1109-13) and York ( 1181-91). The duty to provide hospitality was also important in a century when most kings were continuously travelling, and in the empire especially it was a formal and burdensome obligation. Revenue came from the churches either as presents or feudal aids, according to local custom, although with a few exceptions the development of regular royal taxation of the church, like that of papal taxation, belongs to the thirteenth century.
The interweaving of the interests of church and state was so close that lay governments were involved in questions of ecclesiastical organization. The clearest examples come from the edges of Europe, where the structure of the church was in the process of definition. Poland and Hungary had already at the beginning of our period obtained their own archbishoprics, and during the twelfth century Denmark ( Lund 1104), Norway ( Trondheim 1152), and Sweden ( Uppsala 1164) were formed into provinces. In England the attempts of the archbishops of Canterbury to exercise an effective primacy over York were usually supported by the Crown, which also welcomed the attempts of York to establish itself as the metropolitan see in Scotland. This was eventually frustrated with the granting by Celestine III in 1192 of an extraordinary status to the Scottish church, which was to have no archbishop but be directly under the papacy. In Ireland there were signs at first that Canterbury was extending its authority there, but the reorganization of the Irish church into dioceses, completed at the Council of Kells under the papal legate John Parparo in 1152, provided the island with four provinces of its own. The expansion of Angevin authority into Ireland took place within this framework, but with papal support. Hadrian IV's bull Laudabiliter (assuming that it is not a forgery) granted the country to Henry II, and Henry's establishment of his authority there some years later was actively assisted by Alexander III.
The common interests between church and state were disrupted by a number of important issues. The greatest of these, the collision between empire and papacy in Italy, has been discussed in the previous chapter, but there were others. Most governments in the later twelfth century were less considerate than the Capetians in their dealings with the church, and Frederick Barbarossa, Henry II, the Sicilian kings, and the Lombard cities asserted wider rights over it and enforced them more toughly. This attitude, especially as it followed the greater liberty which the churches enjoyed under Stephen in England and Lothar in Germany, led to indignant complaints about royal oppression; John of Salisbury, a member of the papal curia and then secretary to the archbishop of Canterbury, saw the Hohenstaufen, the Angevins, and the Norman kings of Sicily as tyrants. Even so, the issues only occasionally led to an explosion. Kings usually based their claims upon custom, but often these customs had been recognized, however reluctantly, by earlier popes. Barbarossa's power over episcopal appointments rested on the Concordat of Worms. The kings of England, Hungary, and Sicily claimed the right to exclude papal legates from their territories, and it seems that this had been conceded in all three cases by Urban II, verbally or (in the case of the island of Sicily) in the diploma of 1098. There was tension over this issue, but the kings were able to maintain their position until the late twelfth century.
The expansion of the activity of church courts, when placed alongside the improved efficiency of royal ones, also created points of conflict. Clerical privilege, matrimonial suits, disputes over lay patronage, and other matters might all involve the interests of the Crown and nobility, and the growth of appeals potentially transferred the final decision outside the kingdom altogether. In general these conflicts of jurisdiction were dealt with as technical matters. Royal lawyers devised methods for defending their jurisdiction, such as writs of prohibition, and a great deal depended on the preference of litigants, who often could choose between the two tribunals. Kings were liable to interfere with appeals in cases where they had a strong interest, and occasionally suspended them altogether as a means of coercing the papacy, as Barbarossa did after the quarrel at Besançon. In two instances, such conflicts of jurisdiction led to longlasting disputes between the two powers. Late in the century the liberties of the church in Norway were challenged by the extraordinary King Sverre, a native of the Faeroe Islands who had been educated for the priesthood and was (so he claimed) an illegimate son of the royal house. A talented soldier, he established an uncertain control in Norway by 1184, and forced into exile two archbishops in succession, Eystein in 1180 and Erik Ivarssoen in 1190. Sverre was excommunicated in 1194, and in 1198 Innocent III imposed an interdict on the entire kingdom. Sverre retained his position, however, until his death in 1202, and meanwhile issued in the vernacular an incisive 'speech against the bishops'. Its assertion of the supremacy of the secular power looked back to Scandinavian traditions of royal control of the church, and at the same time forward to claims which were to be advanced by the rising national monarchies of the later thirteenth century. In the eyes of western Europe as a whole, however, a much more important clash between church and state arose under Henry II of England, who in the 1150 s and 1160 s enforced the traditional ducal customs in Normandy, attempted to introduce them elsewhere in his Continental lands, and set out to restrict ecclesiastical jurisdiction in England. Before the death of Archbishop Theobald in 1161 the clergy of Canterbury were already complaining about the king's oppression. Even so, most of the English bishops, even papalists like Gilbert Foliot of Hereford and London, saw the issues as negotiable. The exception who proved the rule was Thomas Becket.
Thomas was a Londoner, educated for service of both church and state, but much less of a scholar than many of his episcopal colleagues. From 1155 he was at once archdeacon of Canterbury and royal chancellor, and an inseparable companion of Henry II. In 1162 under royal pressure he was appointed archbishop of Canterbury. We do not know whether Henry was hoping that he would sell out the interests of the church or whether he was seen (being both a Canterbury man and a king's friend) as an agent of an acceptable compromise. Both expectations were misplaced. Thomas emerged as an ardent champion of the liberties of the church. He resigned the chancellorship and annoyed Henry by refusing to co-operate about a number of issues. In October 1163 at Westminster Henry demanded an oath from the bishops to observe the customs of the realm, and after some opposition Thomas agreed. When the bishops offered to take the oath at Clarendon on 13 January 1164, Henry produced a written record of the customs. It was probably a fair statement of practice in the reign of Henry I, but several of the clauses were contrary to canon law and to prevailing practice in more recent years. The issue which provoked most public discussion was the king's claim that a clerk accused of a crime should, after trial in the bishop's court, be deprived of his orders and handed to the lay power for punishment. To this Thomas responded that 'God Himself does not judge his enemies twice'. He had perhaps learned this reference to Nahum 1: 9 from the theologians on his staff, for local custom and the teaching of canonists both varied considerably and Henry's position was a defensible one in canon law. We do not know when Henry resolved on the written formulation of the customs; it may have been his purpose from the beginning, or he may have decided on it in view of the bishops' resistance at Westminster. In either case he was demanding too much from the bishops. In response to this error, Becket made one of his own. After leading the opposition of the bishops, he suddenly reversed his position and without consulting them offered to accept the document. Thomas soon repented of his concession, but by then the bishops had lost their solidarity. Clarendon determined the pattern of the next seven years.
The king was now completely alienated from his former friend, and proceeded against him so fiercely that Thomas escaped to the Continent in autumn 1164, looking to the protection of the king of France and the pope. He no longer enjoyed the support of his fellow bishops, several of whom, while refusing to sign the Constitutions, supported the king in his complaints about the archbishop. Alexander had no difficulty in condemning many of the Constitutions, but was more hesitant about what to do next, faced as he was by an intransigent archbishop, appeals by bishops against him, an uncertain legal situation and a king who might be tempted to transfer his allegiance to the imperialist pope. In 1170 each side moved into a more extreme position. Henry secured the coronation as his heir of his son Henry, the ceremony being carried out by Archbishop Roger of York in the absence of the archbishop of Canterbury, whose right it was; and the pope threatened excommunication and interdict. Henry drew back from the brink and came to an agreement with Thomas at Fréteval, but even then there was no real settlement of the issues. Thomas returned to Canterbury, already anticipating his death at the hands of his enemies, and on 29 December he was cut down in his own cathedral by four knights who had misunderstood (or correctly understood?) a threat spoken against him by the king.
The discussions after the murder of the archbishop confirmed the view of Gilbert Foliot and other bishops that the questions at issue were negotiable. Apart from the conditions of Henry's penance, which included the promise of a crusade and substantial help for the Holy Land, the king gave a qualified undertaking to allow appeals to the curia. He did not have to renounce the Constitutions, and the customs which they described continued in the royal courts. Even the issue of criminous clerks was only settled in subsequent negotiations in 1176. The quarrel, if not precisely over a non-issue, was over issues which elsewhere had caused little trouble, and Henry's control over the English church was scarcely disturbed. The reasons why the controversy proved so intractable and so caught the attention of contemporaries were in part personal: Thomas's defiant attitude and his changes of front exasperated the king (and some of his own friends) and led Henry to seek his deposition, and possibly his death. The situation was also particularly favourable to publicity: since the pope was in northern France at the time, the curia was intimately involved, as were the kings of England and France. Moreover, Thomas was not a former chancellor for nothing: his household issued a huge stream of propaganda, swelled by his allies in the schools at Paris and the Cistercians, and matched by the highly vocal Anglo-Norman bishops. Whatever the king's intentions, it was certainly true that the church of Canterbury was being persecuted: its pastor exiled, its clergy threatened and its lands impounded. In this situation, a martyrdom had a highly dramatic effect, so that within a few years Thomas had been canonized and his cult spread from Iceland to Palermo. In these ways the episode had no close parallels in the twelfth century, but it revealed the potentially explosive power of a technical issue between church and state, if unwisely handled. It was also a dramatic vindication of the wisdom of the Capetian approach as against the tough methods which the Angevins used in controlling the church.
THE NEW MONASTIC ORDERS
i. From Hermitage to Monastery
One of the features of the monastic scene in the late eleventh century had been the appearance of groups of hermits who lived outside existing rules and customs. The dominant characteristic in the twelfth century was the opposite: the emergence of new orders with clearly defined constitutions. Paradoxically, these monks were the lineal descendants of the hermits: the Cistercians and Carthusians trace their ancestry back to hermits gathered in Burgundy, while Fontevraud, Savigny, and Tiron have their origin in the povertyand-preaching movement in north-western France. Historians have disagreed about the dynamics of the change: was it transition or treason? 1 Ernst Werner saw the movement from the freer life of hermits into regulated communities primarily as the result of pressure by the hierarchy, whereas Giles Constable and Henrietta Leyser have rejected any suggestion of a sharp contrast between hermits on the one hand and monks on the other, emphasizing there was a multitude of forms of 'eremitical monasticism', within which movement could take place in one direction or the other. 2 In any case, we must not exaggerate the speed of the transformation. There were certainly plenty of communities whose founders chose to accept a Rule from an established house, but when a community developed its own customs into a new form of religious life the process usually took a considerable time. Remarkably, in almost every such case the original founder had moved elsewhere, and there are doubts about the continuity of ideals; a feature common to Bruno at Chartreuse, Robert at Cîteaux, Cono at Arroualse, William of Champeaux at St Victor, and Norbert at Prémontré.
____________________ 1 L. Mills, "L'évolution de l'érémitisme au canonicat régulier . . . : transition ou trahison?", MCSM 7 ( 1977), 223-38.
2 E. Werner, Pauperes Christi ( Leipzig, 1956); H. Leyser, Hermits and the new Monasticism ( London, 1984); and G. Constable, "The Study of Monastic History Today", in his Religious Life and Thought ( London, 1979).
There was no one reason for the change. In many cases a simple increase in numbers meant that an unstructured life was no longer possible. Some houses were worried by their liberty, as at Obazine, where 'they wanted to belong to an order authorized by the church, so that in the absence of their masters there would remain to them the unfailing authority of a written law', and at Fountains where 'it did not seem to them to be right to trust their own whims and intuition, lest they should be tricked and deceived'. 3 Sometimes a local crisis led to the acceptance of a Rule, as at Tournai when Odo impoverished the house by his gifts in the famine of 1095. Some groups indulged in careful discussions before they decided which Rule to adopt, and made modifications before it was accepted. Oigny resolved 'to follow the Rule of St Augustine and the eremitical life', living the common life according to the former and observing the austerity that was proper to the latter. 4 Sometimes the adoption of a structured monastic life did not emerge from the community itself, but was the result of pressure or persuasion by the bishop. This might be an expression of sympathetic concern for the hermits' ideals. Bishop Bartholomew of Laon was a source of strength and guidance to Norbert in the early days of the Premonstratensian movement, and archbishop Hildebert of Tours was concerned to provide for the hermit groups of his diocese. There were also times when considerable pressure was applied. Robert of Molesme, who at various stages abandoned all three houses of which he was abbot, was ordered to leave Cîteaux; Robert of Arbrissel was criticized for going about with bands of women and for leaving the communities which he had gathered at La Roë and Fontevraud in order to continue his preaching ministry; Gilbert of Sempringham seemed unable or unwilling to provide any proper structure for his double order of canons and nuns.
The monastic orders which emerged from hermit foundations often bore the marks of their origin. The Carthusians provided for a solitary life within the community, and in Italy Camaldoli and Fonte Avellana and their dependencies remained strongly eremitical. In one sense the Cistercians turned their back firmly on the hermit ideal, to which they were less sympathetic than the Cluniacs, but they carried into the cenobitic life features of hermit inspiration such as the
3 For references, see Leyser, Hertmits, 87, 89. The second case may be Cistercian propaganda; their certainty was their strength.
4 Propositum of Oigny, printed by C. Dereine, RHE 43 ( 1948), 440.
severity with which they kept the Rule, manual labour, the reduction in the weight of monastic liturgy and the stress on withdrawal to the wilderness. Within the order of canons, a much more severe version of the Rule of St Augustine appeared. In these ways monastic and canonical tradition was changed by the eremitical movement. At the same time, the attractions of the more severe monasticism made themselves felt upon the remaining hermits, whose houses were inclined to affiliate rapidly with the new orders or to borrow their customs on a large scale. Inevitably some of the hermits' ideals were abandoned in the process. This is dramatically illustrated by the censorship to which some of the early founders' lives were subjected in order to bring them into conformity with the discipline which had developed, as when Petronilla of Fontevraud was first dissatisfied with the Life of Robert of Arbrissel which she had commissioned from Baudri of Dol, and then circulated its replacement by his chaplain André in a very truncated form. The movement towards formal monasticism lowered the status of lay members, who frequently began on equal terms with the clergy but ended as a subsidiary group of conversi. The relative freedom of the treatment of women by Robert of Arbrissel, Gilbert of Sempringham, and Norbert of Xanten was subsequently replaced by seclusion. In some places the hermit inspiration appears to have been wholly lost. Afflighem, founded by laymen in 1083, had within twenty years become a house following Cluniac customs, accepting the whole range of property which these allowed; and the highly aristocratic nunneries of the order of Fontevraud were far removed from the ideals of Robert of Arbrissel's earlier career.
In spite of the enormous scale on which transfers had taken place from hermitage to monastery, the old pattern of eremitical life still survived. One example among many was Galgano, a layman in southern Tuscany, who was called like Romuald almost two centuries before him to abandon his arms and take up the peaceful life of a solitary. He lived among a small group of followers for a short period and died about 1181. His foundation illustrates the pattern of mutual attraction and repulsion between monks and hermits, for the Cistercians shortly after 1191 sought to take over his cult and founded their largest abbey in Tuscany; but many of his original followers retired from the site, where the oratory and the abbey may still be seen side by side. Eremitism did not merely continue: by developing new forms it adjusted to the new society. Recluses, men or women living in cells beside a church, had existed in the past, but now became much more common and functioned as advisers for the neighbourhood and sometimes as visionaries whose comments manifested God's word in the midst of local problems. Such holy men and women as Mabel of Parma, who lived as a recluse at the church of St Eusebio, Vercelli, from 1189 to 1237, or as the Englishmen Wulfric of Haselbury and Godric of Finchale, brought the eremitical spirit to the people living in towns and cities. There was also an overlap between the ideals of the groups of hermits with whom we have so far been concerned, and movements in which the desire to follow Christ in preaching and in poverty was taking a still more radical form. In a few survivors of the old hermit ideas, such as Henry of Lausanne, the poverty and preaching movement fed the growing currents of heresy and dissent, and it escaped into the city streets and found recruits such as the Waldensians and Humiliati. St Francis of Assisi was to emerge from the background of Italian eremitism. But by that time, having moved far outside monasticism in any form then recognized, it was another story which must concern us later.
ii. The New Orders
Incomparably the most successful of all the new orders was that of Cîteaux. The speed of its expansion exceeded any similar movement in the whole history of monasticism, while it exerted a strong and direct influence on other new orders and had a major impact upon the spirituality of the twelfth century as a whole. It originated in a secession from the abbey of Molesme, which had been founded as recently as 1075. Abbot Robert and Prior Alberic led a party of monks, said to have been twenty-one in number, to found a 'new monastery' (the title by which it was at first known) at Cîteaux in a valley among the hills of Burgundy in the spring of 1098. Its early history was troubled. The monks of Molesme protested and, under the pressure of the papal legate, Robert agreed to return there, taking back with him those monks 'who did not love the wilderness'. 5 According to William of Malmesbury, only eight remained. The new abbot was Alberic, who governed the young community until his death early in 1109. He was succeeded by Stephen Harding, an
5 Exordium parvum, vii. 13. There are several good editions: see, most recently, J.-B. Auberger, L'unanimité cistercienne (Achel, 1986), doc. I/5, pp, 355-75.
Englishman who had been at Molesme, and who presided over the first expansion of the order, beginning with La Ferté ( 1113), Pontigny ( 1114), and Morimond and Clairvaux ( 1115). By the time of the first major confirmation of the constitution by Calixtus II in Ad hoc in apostolicae on 23 December 1119 rapid growth was in progress. Harding had been joined in 1112 or 1113 by Bernard of Clairvaux, one of the outstanding men of the century, whose contribution to the growth of the Cistercians was to be enormous; but it is unlikely, as Bernard's biographer later suggested, that Cîteaux was still in a perilous condition when he entered. The first important arrival of recruits and acquisition of property had probably taken place by then.
The distinctive features of the fully developed Cistercian Order were derived from an underlying principle: the commitment to observe the Rule of St Benedict literally. Unfortunately the stages by which this programme developed are uncertain because the dates of the early sources are a matter of controversy. The most significant of all is the Exordium parvum a history of the origins which incorporates important documentary material. All the main outlines of the order's policy are included in it, and Chapter xv assigns the basic legislation to the time of Alberic. If this account is reliable, it suggests that the seceders had left Molesme, not simply because it had grown prosperous and lax, but because they objected to the modifications to the Rule introduced in all Benedictine houses. The argument, however, continues whether the Exordium was written before 1119, or was a polemical work produced about 1150 as a response to Cluniac criticism. The later dating would remove any evidence for regarding the special characteristics of the Cistercians as part of the programme brought from Molesme, and make it more natural to see them as produced by the influence of Stephen Harding or St Bernard. The foundation of Cîteaux would then be one of many hermit experiments, and in itself a non-event. 6
Already in Molesme the desire had been expressed to observe the Rule more faithfully. Archbishop Hugh of Lyon, when dealing with the crisis produced by the secession, addressed the founders of the new monastery as wishing 'henceforth more strictly and perfectly to keep the Rule of St Benedict, which so far you have kept in a
6 'pratiquement banale', M. Pacaut, "Cîteaux: recherche banale, expérience originale", Cahiers d'Histoire 19 ( 1974), 109-20, esp. 110.
lukewarm and negligent fashion.' 7 In the Exordium parvum the motto 'Back to the Rule' is asserted firmly: the Cistercian life is to walk 'in the straight and narrow way which the Rule points out'. 8 If this account is early, we have here the logical basis of the more detailed Cistercian usages. William of Malmesbury was impressed by the ratio which underlay the planning of Stephen Harding, whose policy rested on reasoned argument from the text of the Rule. 9 This involved the rejection of all alleviations which had been introduced by later Benedictine custom and the adoption of extreme simplicity in clothing, extra meals, and bedding and 'all those things which are contrary to the purity of the Rule'. 10 On the assumption that the Rule excluded whatever it did not specifically authorize, a much more severe monastic regime was required, and one which satisfied the contemporary aspiration to follow Christ in poverty. Another of the simplifications was the adoption of a habit of undyed wool in place of the traditional Benedictine black, so that the 'white' or 'grey' monks were visibly different from all others. On the same principle, the original provision for labour to be part of the monastic day was restored, and the Cistercians stressed it as an important element. Associated with this was the rejection of sources of income not mentioned by the Rule, 'churches and altars, or offerings or burialdues or the tithes of other men, or ovens and mills, or vills or peasants'. 11 The refusal to accept such wealth was characteristic of several of the new orders, and in the Cistercians it was rooted in their programme for the literal observance of the Rule.
Yet there were difficulties in the literal observance of an ancient text, and in practice the Cistercians made innovations. One was the decision not to accept boys offered by their parents but to recruit only men old enough to decide for themselves. Most of the new orders opted for adult recruiting, and even in the older houses there was a tendency to close the internal schools designed to train boys. Ulrich of Cluny had already stressed to Abbot William of Hirsau that the best monks were those who joined the monastery 'not before years of discretion, nor by their parents' command, but of their own
10 Exordium parvum, XV. 2.
11 Ibid. XV. 5.
7 Exordium parvum, ii. 2. Archbishop Hugh's phrases are more moderate than those of the narrative, and it is improbable that (as has been suggested) they were written into the letter later. 8 Ibid. , prologue.
9 W. Stubbs (ed.), Willelmi Malmesbiriensis monachi De Gestis Regum Anglorum, 2 vols. (RS, 1889), 381-3.
will, of mature years at the command of Christ alone'. 12 This move was typical of a society which offered an increasing range of choice and placed more emphasis on individual decisions. Another way in which the Cistercians departed from the Rule was the creation of a second order of monks, the conversi or lay or 'bearded' brothers. Cluny had already had a large number of conversi, and they existed in several of the new orders. According to the Exordium parvum Alberic had introduced them at Cîteaux 'because without their assistance they were unable to obey the precepts of the Rule fully day and night', but their existence in the order is not confirmed by other references until later, and they would more naturally belong to the period of growing property endowment under Stephen Harding. 13 The Cistercian practice differed from that of Cluny in that there was far more separation between choir monks and lay brothers; 'we now have within the enclosure of the monastery two monasteries, that is one of lay brothers and the other of clergy'. 14 The lay brothers were usually unlearned, said much simplified prayers, and were physically separated from the choir monks, residing in the west range outside the main cloister. The third advance beyond the Rule of Benedict was the creation of an effective system of common government. It was embodied in the Carta Caritatis, which probably originated in its initial form in 1113. The idea was that all the monasteries should observe the same customs, but respect for the Rule prevented the adoption of the Cluniac arrangement of one single abbot with power over the whole order. The scheme of central control can be seen in evolution through the various editions of the Charter of Charity. At first, a great deal depended on the abbot of Cîteaux, but increasingly control was exercised by the general chapter of all abbots, together with the abbots of the four senior daughters of Cîteaux. In addition, abbots throughout the order had the task of visiting daughter-houses to inspect discipline. By the 1120s at the latest the Cistercians had a programme which expressed many of the monastic aspirations of the period, together with an effective system of government.
The success of Cîteaux in embodying contemporary aspirations into a clear programme lay behind its enormous attraction for the next two or three generations. There was also a personal reason:
12 Ulrich of Cluny, Antiquiores consuetudines, Epistola nuncupatoria (PL 149.636-7). 13 Exordiumparvum, XV. 1.
14 Dialogus inter Cluniacensem motiachum et Cisterciensem, iii, E. Martène and U. Durand, Thesaurus novus anecdotorum ( Paris, 1717), v. 1648A
Bernard of Clairvaux. Bernard was a brilliantly successful persuader, and was also the most outstanding spiritual theologian in an age which had begun eagerly to reflect upon the religious life. We do not know what sort of spiritual teaching was being given at Cîteaux before his time, but recent historians such as J.-B. Auberger have seen Clairvaux as the source of a new spirituality, with more stress on the literal observance of the Rule, on asceticism, and on interior piety, whereas the Cîteaux of Stephen Harding stood closer to traditional Benedictine values. Whatever the truth of this, Bernard's thinking was extremely influential, and attracted still more recruits. Almost half of the abbeys in existence at his death in 1153 were daughters of Clairvaux, and this gives some measure of his contribution to the spread of the order. Another reason for the Cistercians' expansion was their withdrawal from the complexities of manorial life. In refusing mills, ovens, serfs, and tithes, they had opted for the running of their own estates 'in the wilderness'. They aimed for a solid block of land which they developed and exploited from a centre or 'grange'. which was run by the lay brothers. These conversi are sometimes seen as a peasant work-force, but it is clear that (except perhaps at one or two houses at the beginning) they were not numerous enough for that. They were the bailiffs who supervised granges and hired labourers, and were also the smiths and tradesmen whom the abbey needed and, increasingly, the merchants who resided at a hall in a nearby city and handled the abbey's commercial connections. We do not have enough information to be sure from what social groups the conversi were recruited, and undoubtedly this must have differed from one region to another. They included men of high birth and townsmen, attracted perhaps both by devotion and by the opportunity for using their skills on a larger stage. This method of estate administration was, as it turned out, the formula for economic success; a success which was increased by the fact that Cistercian regulations forbade expenditure on treasures or ostentatious building, so that surplus cash tended to be used in purchasing new land. They were soon making the wilderness blossom, and joining in the great clearance of forests and wastes. Houses were established in the Yorkshire Pennines, where Rievaulx was founded in 1132 and Fountains affiliated 1135, and on the Flemish seacoast, where Les Dunes, which joined them in 1138, eventually absorbed much of the coastline of modern Belgium. They became frontiersmen par excellence, and many of their richest houses were those established on the edge of the Christian territories, like those of Alcobaça ( 1148) or Poblet (1150) in the Iberian peninsula, or their foundations in eastern Germany.
They had the gift of drawing influential people from both the aristocracy and the schools, 'many noble warriors and profound philosophers' into the order. 15 These included recruits of royal status: Henry of France from the Capetian royal house, Conrad the Welf and Otto of Freising from the great families of Germany. Assisted by such influential members, they spread rapidly. By 1120, monks from La Ferté had crossed the Alps into Italy and founded the first house there at Tiglieto in Liguria. A series of acquisitions followed, including the ancient abbey of SS Vincent and Anastasius at Rome (the later Tre Fontane) offered by Innocent II to Bernard. Its first Cistercian abbot in 1140 was Bernard of Pisa, the later Eugenius III. In 1123 the order secured its first foundation in Germany, Camp or Altenkamp near Cologne, and between 1131 and 1135 monks from Clairvaux took over the important house of Eberbach. Meanwhile the Cistercians were entering England with a series of foundations, beginning at Waverley in Surrey. As a whole the order grew from one abbey in 1112 to 10 in 1119 and to 344 in 1153, by which time there were houses in every country from Norway and Poland to Portugal. By then, Louis Lekai has calculated, there must have been over 11,000 Cistercians in all, taking monks and lay brothers together, and his calculation perhaps errs, if at all, on the side of caution. The general chapter decreed in 1152 that no further houses should be founded, but even in an order subject to uniform regulations the decision affected different regions differently. In England and France foundations almost stopped, and this perhaps opened the way to sustained expansion by the Premonstratensians and other regular canons. In Germany and the east, where houses descended from Morimond were less isolated from society and were in growing demand for assisting settlement, the decree was little observed. By 1200 there were 530 abbeys in the order.
No other monastic confederation approached the international success of the Cistercians, but there were several which, in any age less expansionist than the twelfth century, would strike us as remarkable stories of development. Characteristically, their work was focused on their own large region, and not spread over western
15 Ordericus Vitalis viii. 26 ( iv, p. 327).
Europe as a whole. La Chaise-Dieu (founded 1043) eventually became the mother-house of an order with 11 abbeys and 330 priories, the great majority of them in southern and central France. After Stephen's hermitage of Muret was moved to Grandmont in 1125, it received customs and an organization under Prior Stephen of Liciac ( 1139-63) and expanded to about 150 dependent houses in France and England. Fontevraud operated in the same area, with 129 foundations in the course of the twelfth century. The mother-house had been founded about 1101 by Robert of Arbrissel to provide separate refuges for the various groups among his mixed following, including aristocratic ladies, prostitutes, lepers, and clergy. Robert insisted on giving a woman head for the whole order, and appointed Petronilla of Chemillé as grand abbess shortly before his death in 1116. Petronilla's policy was to shape the order into something close to the traditional upper-class nunneries, and its expansion was the result of the shortage of aristocratic facilities of this kind in northwestern Europe. In southern Germany the observances of Hirsau, closely based on Cluny, were followed by up to 100 monasteries, although there was no structure of centralized government in the group. Other monastic families, after a period of expansion, sought membership of a still larger federation, as when Savigny and Obazine with all their dependencies were affiliated with the Cistercians in 1147. Among these orders, the Carthusians were distinctive. It is clear that Bruno of Cologne did not intend to establish an order. After founding La Grande Chartreuse in 1084, he left it for papal service and eventually founded another house in Calabria, where the district of Serra San Bruno is still full of memories of him. Although the house eventually became Carthusian, it does not seem originally to have had the same customs or any direct governmental tie with Bruno's earlier foundation. The manner of life at La Grande Chartreuse is uncertain in the earlier years, but we know from the description by Guibert of Nogent that it had assumed its later form at least by 1115, that is thirty years after its creation. Under the fifth prior, Guigo ( 1109-36), the first dependent monasteries were acquired, and he wrote the first set of customs between 1121 and 1127. Expansion was slow, but by 1200 there were just under forty houses, with a concentration in Burgundy but some scattered as far away as western England. Some features were reminiscent of the Cistercians: the estates formed a 'waste' or wilderness directly exploited by the order, and there was a sharp separation between monks and lay brothers, which went even further than that at Cîteaux. The two groups occupied quite separate buildings, an 'upper' and a 'lower' house. The monks lived an eremitical life, each having a cell with a garden within the monastery; the community met only at worship in the church. Like the Cistercians, the Carthusians had a highly organized and disciplined programme of life; unlike them, they did not have the experience of unrestricted expansion which was to create many problems for Cîteaux.
Side by side with the new monastic orders, the regular canons were also expanding. Something has already been said in Chapter 3 about the development of the canonical movement; it continued apace in the twelfth century, with so many variations that its proliferation cannot be described in a short space. The underlying motivation is clear enough in a desire to live the apostolic life. This could be differently defined: some houses laid their emphasis on the service of the Christian community or the 'cure of souls'; others stressed poverty and withdrawal from the world. The latter group, among whom the Premonstratensians were prominent, are liable to strike us as monks by nature; but men who were already canons were liable to seek to purify their own order rather than to submit themselves to an unfamiliar monastic discipline. Although the name 'canon' should (from its Greek derivation) mean a clerk who was submitted to a rule, by the middle of the twelfth century it was being applied to four different groups: canons of ancient cathedrals and colleges who had individual incomes and houses in the manner of modern Anglican canons; communities living under the ancient Rule of Aix, in community but with personal property; those living under the milder Augustinian Third Rule ; and those under a much stricter and more recent version of the Augustinian rule. From about 1130 the convention was to describe the Augustinians as 'regular canons' (tautologically, because both words meant the same thing) and the others as 'secular canons'. Even this description hugely understates the complexities, because the Rule of St Augustine was much less specific than that of Benedict, and allowed enormous variations in the customs which a house might follow, from a small group of brethren serving a hospital to a cathedral with immense endowments.
One of the interesting parts of the spectrum was formed by the regular canons who were the chosen agents of bishops for the reform of their dioceses. In southern Europe they controlled many of the cathedrals, including St John Lateran at Rome, Florence, and Lucca; Cefalù in Sicily; and in southern France Toulouse, Nimes, and Carcassonne. The high point in the use of regular canons in the government of the church was in eastern Germany, where they occupied a key place in the policy of such men as Bishop Reinhard of Halberstadt (1107-23) and Archbishop Conrad I of Salzburg ( 110647) for restoring their churches after the ravages of the dispute between papacy and emperors. Bishop Reinhard found on his accession a 'wretched church', and when Conrad returned from exile in Saxony in 1121 or 1122 he found his diocese 'very poor and greatly devastated'. Before the end of his pontificate Conrad had regularized fourteen houses, including the cathedral, and the whole group was supervised by an assembly which met under his presidency. The houses of canons were centres of liturgical worship and of administration, since archdeaconries were sometimes located there, and they assisted the bishop in the supervision of his possessions. Eastern Germany showed the potential of the canons as an alternative system of government, where exceptional circumstances allowed them to be fully developed. It opened fascinating possibilities, for it represented a wholly different way of administering the church from the one which eventually triumphed; but it had only a limited spread in place and time, and even before the end of the century the common life was beginning to break down in many of the German dioceses.
In France and England, the secular cathedral chapters remained almost completely impervious to the efforts of the bishops to introduce the regular life. North of the Loire, only the chapter of Sées, a small cathedral in southern Normandy, reformed from St Victor at Paris, acquired a regular chapter, and in England only Carlisle, although many of the richest English cathedrals already had Benedictine chapters whose existence went back before the Norman conquest. It was, however, possible for bishops to establish regular canons in many of the smaller collegiate churches, and they did so by encouraging the growth of the great federations of Augustinians. St Ruf, Avignon, continued its growth until in 1158, when the community moved to Valence, it had about 100 houses following its customs, although the constitutional attachments were slight. St Victor at Paris was a specialist in the reform of other houses: its expansion came almost totally from the aggregation of existing communities. The Augustinians in England were highly favoured by the king's men who had made their fortunes under Henry I ( 110035): some of them, such as Waldef of Kirkham, had close links with the Cistercians and were essentially monastic in character, while others were in cities or small towns (St Bartholomew's, London, and Cirencester) and drew a great deal of their income from city rents and the ownership of parish churches, a source which was forbidden to Cistercians.
A new feature among the canons was the appearance of a more severe version of the Augustinian Rule, the Ordo monasterii, whose provisions included silence, fasting, and manual labour. This set of customs brought canons much closer to the new orders of monks, and naturally it appealed most strongly to those groups which had a hermit background. Springiersbach adopted it soon after 1100 and transmitted it to a group of houses in the Rhineland and Germany; Arrouaise accepted the new customs under Abbot Gervase, probably in 1126. Such groups formed the 'new order' of regular canons in contrast to the 'old order' which continued to follow the Regula Tertia. The most remarkable federation following the new order, however, were the Premonstratensians. Prémontré had its roots in the world of hermits and itinerant preachers. Its founder, Norbert, was a member of a noble German family and a canon of Xanten in the Rhineland. As a royal chaplain, he accompanied Henry V on his dramatic visit to Rome in 1111. Norbert experienced a deep personal conversion about 1115. He at first attempted to persuade the canons of Xanten to live as regulars, and having failed he set out to preach. Eventually, under the protection of Bishop Bartholomew of Laon, he founded a community in the forests at Prémontré in 1121. There, Norbert considered the customs of his new house. He decided not to apply for affiliation to the Cistercians, but to accept the Augustinian Rule, apparently on the ground of his original calling as a canon, 'for he wished now to live the apostolic life which he had undertaken in words'. 16 This was accepted in its stringent form of the 'new order', and at once had to contend with complaints from nearby 'old order' canons about the innovation. Norbert left the community in 1126 when he was appointed archbishop of Magdeburg. By then, it had begun to spread with great speed, with new houses already in 1122 at Floreffe and Cappenburg. It was indeed distinctive, among all the new federations of canons or monks, in that its expansion followed
16 Vita A, MGH SS XII. 683.
immediately upon the foundation of the mother-house, without a substantial period of development such as took place within Cîteaux or La Grande Chartreuse. The adoption of a set of customs, a modification of the Ordo monasterii in a moderate direction, and the organization of an order, whose system of government was heavily influenced by the Cistercian model, was the work of Norbert's successor, Hugh of Fosses. By 1200 there were about 100 abbeys, and their way of life spanned the monastic and the canonical. It was a severe order, with a great deal of sympathy with the Cistercians, but at the same time its houses, almost from the beginning, had acquired parishes to govern, and some of the Premonstratensians were leading apologists of the canons in the controversies with the monks which developed in the course of the century.
iii. Controversy and Criticism
Giles Constable has drawn attention to the change in the subjectmatter of controversy between the eleventh and twelfth centuries. During the last quarter of the eleventh century the main interest lay in the relationship between the church and the secular power, and this was continued under Paschal II, although with a focus on more technical problems and especially on investiture. After 1125, public controversy was centred on the proper form of the religious life. 17 There were three major debates: between Cistercians and black monks, between monks and regular canons, and a third more general current of criticism by seculars directed in particular against the reformed orders.
The sharp exchanges between Cistercians and traditional monks should not be allowed to obscure a large degree of sympathy between them. They read the same literature and shared many of the same ideals. On the black-monk side, Guibert of Nogent about 1115 wrote warmly about the new monasticism, William of Malmesbury about 1125 wrote a very sympathetic account of Cistercian origins, and about 1131 Abbot William of St Thierry presided at Reims over a council of Benedictine abbots who resolved to introduce Cisterciantype usages into their own houses. Although Suger of Saint-Denis was in many ways a champion of traditional Benedictinism, Bernard of Clairvaux wrote him a warm letter of congratulation about his
17 G. Constable, "Papal, Imperial and Monastic Propaganda", Preaching and Propaganda in the Middle Ages ( Paris, 1983), 179-99
reforms at the abbey and remained on good terms with him throughout their lives. The common ground was, in a sense, what produced the problem, because the Cistercian reform proved very attractive to ardent monks, and many wished to become Cistercians (as William of St Thierry did, eventually going to Signy in 1135 as a simple monk) or to import into their own lives the emphasis on silence and manual labour which was characteristic of the new orders. Many of the sharpest exchanges were generated by the migration of monks from one order to another or by a threat to traditional usages.
The outbreak of controversy between Cistercians and Cluniacs coincided with a scandal at Cluny. Pons of Melgueil, who had become abbot in 1109, was descended from a family notable for its support of the Gregorian papacy, and indeed was the godson of Paschal II. He governed the abbey and its dependencies in much the same spirit as his great predecessor, Hugh. The growth of dissatisfaction with him was probably the result of financial difficulties at the abbey. The vast building programme, which Hugh had adopted reluctantly, and the large provision for the relief of the poor were too much even for Cluny's considerable revenues, especially when events in Spain led to an interruption of the subsidy from Castile. The pressure was increased by the attempts of neighbouring bishops to restrict the exemptions of the abbey. Pons had to face complaints from both inside and outside, and when he met Calixtus II he found the pope unsympathetic. Calixtus had been a great metropolitan himself and was disinclined to continue the old Gregorian championship of monastic privileges, against which the tide was turning. Pons apparently resigned in anger and went on perpetual pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Peter the Venerable was elected in his place in 1122. Pons, however, returned to the west and settled as a hermit near Vicenza. In 1126, persuaded by his former supporters, he returned to Cluny and attempted to resume control, provoking disorders in the course of which the abbey was sacked. Summoned to Rome, he refused to answer for his conduct, and died there after a few months in a papal prison. This startling episode obviously reveals the tensions which existed within the community, but one must not conclude too hastily that Cluny was in decline. The abbey retained influence at Rome, and Cluniacs were in demand for bishoprics and as abbots for houses outside the order. Henry I of England helped with the finance needed for the completion of the new abbey church in 1133, and his own royal foundation at Reading in 1121 adopted the customs of Cluny. So did Faversham, the foundation of his successor Stephen in 1148. Stephen's brother Henry of Blois was a Cluniac who became bishop of Winchester ( 1129-71) and combined this office with that of abbot to wealthy Glastonbury and, for a time, with that of papal legate in England. The new abbot of Cluny, Peter of Montboissier or Peter the Venerable, was one of the most remarkable men in his generation. Although Peter staunchly defended Cluniac customs against Bernard of Clairvaux, when he wrote to his own monks he was a good deal more critical of the state of affairs and was anxious to correct the relaxed features of Cluniac life. He held a large reforming assembly at Cluny in 1132 and in 1146 published a consolidated edition of his new statutes. Both these steps reflected a concern to improve coordination within the Cluniac family, which had depended on the sole authority of the abbot. It must be admitted that some of the problems arising from the poor structure of government remained unsolved. At about the time of Peter's death the German monk Idung of Prüfening, a Cluniac turned Cistercian, contrasted the efficient system of Cîteaux with the chaos of Cluny: 'Since your abbots are without a head, like acephali with no master over themselves, everyone in his own monastery does what he wants and leaves out what he wants. This is the reason why religious life in your monasteries is not durable.' 18
Idung's Dialogue between a Cistercian and a Cluniac belonged to a tradition of Cistercian criticism which apparently began about 1124 with an open letter addressed by Bernard of Clairvaux to his cousin Robert, who had left the Cistercians to become a Cluniac. It has been suggested that this was a device to intervene in the dispute raging inside Cluny between reformers and conservatives, of which the Pons affair was an expression, but it need not be more than a response to a case of 'migration' which had touched Bernard nearly. It was followed a few months later at the request of William of St Thierry by a more systematic attack in the Apologia ad Guillelmum, one of the masterpieces of monastic polemic. These works began a pamphlet war which continued for more than a generation. There were dignified replies from Peter the Venerable, and the adoption of
18 Dialogus, iii, Thesaurus, v. 1641 E. The fall of Pons is difficult to interpret because of the large discrepancies between the account later given by Peter the Venerable and that of other contemporaries. See discussions listed in bibliography.
some of the changes advocated by Bernard by the abbots of the province of Reims produced an indignant reply by the Cluniac Matthew of Albano. The issues were still keenly felt in the 1150s, when Idung of Prüfening wrote, and about 1160 when they formed a central interest in the Life of Amadeus of Bonnevaux. The terms of the debate did not alter greatly during this period. The black-monk position was in part a sheer defence of the authority of accepted custom. As Matthew of Albano demanded to know, 'What is this new law? What is this new teaching?' 19 They found particularly offensive the Cistercian claim to a monopoly of the Rule of Benedict, which they alone observed literally: 'a new race of pharisees comes back to the world, who set themselves apart and prefer themselves to others'. 20 The Cistercians, on the contrary, argued that the black monks did not keep the Rule to which they had sworn, and they made much of the ease and display typical of the Cluniac life, of which the classic criticism is Bernard's Apologia. The buildings are vast, ornate, and decorated with unsuitable monsters and grotesques. The cooking is worthy of the Good Food Guide : 'Who could describe, for example, the different ways of preparing eggs alone, not to mention anything else? With great expertise they are beaten and mixed, or cooked in water or hard boiled or chopped small. They are served fried, roasted, stuffed, by themselves or with other things.' 21 The liturgy is inordinately long and splendid, and what silence remains is swallowed up in idle chatter. This comfortable life rests upon the exploitation of property rights and revenues not permitted by the Rule. Bernard's picture is that of the opposition between primitive simplicity and a decadent way of life which had moved away from the one to which monks were sworn.
While this argument was in progress, another was developing. Monks and canons were by now much more similar to one another than they had been in the Carolingian period. The tendency for monks to become priests, which had already been apparent then, had made steady progress, to an extent which was criticized in some quarters, as Abbot Rupert of Deutz noted: 'Why so many priests in
19 U. Berlière, Documents inédits pour servir à l'histoire ecclésiastique de la Belgique I ( 1894), 101. Cf Ordericus Vitalis viii. 27, (iv, p. 333): 'present-day teachers who prefer new traditions to the customs of the fathers of old, calling other monks seculars and presumptuously condemning them as violators of the Rule'.
20 G. Constable (ed.), The Letters of Peter the Venerable ( Cambridge, Mass., 1967), ep. 28, i. p. 57.
21 Bernard, Apologia ad Guillelmum, ix. 20 (Opera iii. 98).
the monasteries?' 22 The process of 'restitution' had also put into the hands of monasteries great numbers of local churches and a large revenue from tithe, whose possession was defended on the ground that monks are entitled to exercise the cure of souls. While monks were thus in the process of becoming clergy, some clergy were on the way to becoming monks. The regular canons lived in community under a Rule, and those who had adopted the more severe 'new order' had accepted with it important aspects of monastic custom. Houses of regular canons did not necessarily exercise cure of souls, and they did not automatically serve the parishes which belonged to their monastery; indeed, the signs are that they had to obtain a special privilege to be allowed to do so. The similarity between monks and canons made the issues in dispute all the more significant.
One was the question of migration between the orders. The accepted doctrine was that an applicant could move only from a less to a more severe one. To Rupert of Deutz this meant flatly that 'it is lawful and always will be for a clerk to become a monk'. 23 The issue was technical, but it had large implications because the canons argued that their calling was superior, being more firmly rooted in the Gospel. The Premonstratensian Anselm of Havelberg, writing about 1150 to Abbot Egbert of Huysberg, referred to the types of ministry listed by St Paul in I Corinthians 12: 4-10 and asked: 'are these not sufficient. . . . for the building up of the body of Christ, which is the church? Although this can exist in good shape without monks, still it is better and more attractively constructed and decorated with the variety given by different orders of the elect.' 24 The argument was to spill over into some important areas, including (as we shall see later) the interpretation of Christian history and its falfilment.
The second subject of controversy was close to the first: the claim of the canons that they had a monopoly of pastoral care. This term was not a common one at the time, but the range of functions is described in a canon of the First Lateran Council of 1123 which established a solid basis for the canons' claim: 'We also forbid abbots and monks to give public penance, to visit the sick and to anoint them, and to sing mass publicly.' 25 The problem was posed by
22 Rupert, In Regulam S. Benedicti, iii. 12 (PL 170-520A).
23 Ibid., iv. 13 (PL 170-536D) .
24 Anselm, Epistola apologetica pro ordine canonicorum regularium, PL 188.1136C.
25 Lateran I c. 16, Alberigo 169 n. See also the discussion in ch. 9. iii above.
Gratian, who devoted a whole section or Causa of his canonical collection to the question, in the form, 'is it permissible for monks to perform offices for the people, give penance and baptize?' His answer was that a monk, if a priest, could perform such functions, but only if appropriately appointed and authorized; in other words, he was in the same position as any other priest. 26 We do not know how frequently monks acted as clergy in churches owned by the monasteries, but the weight of evidence is that it was rare. The canons were firm in asserting their position: the Premonstratensian Philip of Harvengt held that not even a good monk should be promoted to clerical orders and that ' Christ gave to the apostles and to apostolic men, that is to clergy, the office of preaching'. 27 For the first time for many centuries the pastoral office was claiming to stand at the centre of the church's life, and to relegate the monks to a secondary position.
The Cistercians were not only under fire from the black monks for their innovations; they were also being increasingly criticized for abandoning their principles, and above all for greed. The management of Cistercian estates was designed to be quite different from that of the older monasteries. The Exordium parvum makes it clear that their houses were intended to be situated in the wilderness, far from cities, and to be supported, not by the revenue from peasant cultivations, mills, tithes, or churches, but by the direct exploitation of land by lay brothers and hired labour. In many abbeys the early days were difficult. The problems were such that the site of the monastery might have to be changed -- this happened at twenty-one abbeys in England and Wales, and the abbey of Øm in Jutland established a record by moving four times between 1165 and 1172. Not all Cistercian houses supervised great clearances in the woodlands or marshes. Local circumstances might lead to an economy based mainly on animal husbandry, as at several Burgundian abbeys, but the clearance pattern was the more usual one. By the second half of the twelfth century, each Cistercian abbey was surrounded by a ring of granges, varying normally between five and fifteen in number, from which the needs of the monks were supplied. Eventually some abbeys were to develop this system into massive production for the market, as in the Yorkshire abbeys with their great sheep-runs, but on a large scale this was a thirteenth-century development. Why, then, was there criticism of the Cistercians as
26 Gratian, Decr. C. XVI (761 ff.).
27 Philip of Harvengt, De Institutione Clericorum, iv. 72 (PL 203.762A).
landlords by writers who held no particular brief for the attitudes of earlier monasticism?
It is quite easy, even in the first half of the century, to find breaches of the rules set out in the Exordium parvum. Perhaps the 'wilderness' in which the early monks settled was always a theological concept rather than a topographical one. Not all the sites were savage, nor were they always remote from human settlement. More seriously, they were sometimes already occupied: there was even a chapel and several serfs on the site of Cîteaux. The technique on such occasions was to remove the inhabitants in order to have the land available for Cistercian exploitation. Only a thorough study of the twelfthcentury foundations as a whole would reveal how common these clearances were, but the signs are that there were many. A study by G. Despy of three Lotharingian abbeys ( Orval 1131, Villers 1146, Aulne 1147) reveals the destruction of existing settlements on all of them; even an intervention by ecclesiastical authority failed to save the peasants from expulsion. 28 We do know that on some occasions compensation was provided in the form of a new site, but of its adequacy we have no means of judging. These removals certainly left a bad taste in the mouths of contemporaries such as Walter Map, who commented that 'they make a wilderness so that they can be alone'. 29 In a sense, this policy indicates excessive enthusiasm to follow the principles of the order, by removing any inhabitants whose presence would be contrary to them. It also happened, however, that abbeys held property of the kinds renounced in Exordium parvum, particularly when an existing monastery joined the order. Thus Tre Fontane at Rome was permitted by Pope Eugenius III to have 'a certain castle and some other possessions'. When the monastic families of Savigny and Obazine were affiliated en bloc in 1147, they were allowed to keep the tithes which, under their own regulations, they lawfully owned, and their example proved infectious so that by 1200 most Cistercian abbeys had some revenue from tithe. From the 1160s onwards some abbeys were acquiring town houses, presumably for purposes of trade, in a way which was clearly contrary to the spirit of the early regulations. These instances probably reflect the inability of the general chapter to keep control of an order which was growing too quickly. Yet in 1200 the estates of a
28 G. Despy, "Les richesses de la terre: Cîteaux et Prémontré devant l'économie de profit", Problèmes d'histoire du Christianisme, ed. J. Préaux, 5 ( Brussels, 1974-5), 58-80.
29 M. R. James et al. (eds.), Walter Map, De Nugis Curialium ( Oxford, 1983), i. 25, p. 92.
Cistercian abbey were still very different in organization from those of a black-monk house, and their characteristics reflected the distinctive rules which had been established at the beginning. Income from tithes and other property was relatively small, and so was involvement in commercial affairs.
The basis for criticism, apart from distaste at the expulsions, was probably twofold. For one thing, the Cistercians had been too successful for their own good. Their formula of direct exploitation of the land had made them wealthy once the granges were in full production, and in the later part of the century they had all the irritating power of nouveaux riches who had come from nowhere to great prosperity. The same criticisms were directed against the new wealth of the military orders. The other major source of annoyance was the scale of their privileges. About 1150 Bernard of Clairvaux wrote strongly in his De Consideratione against such grants, but his order was already accumulating them. Essentially the privileges which they obtained emerged directly from the character of the order. When a bishop accepted the foundation of a house, he thereby recognized the Carta Caritatis and thus signed away most of his powers of discipline and jurisdiction there. By the time that Lucius III brought their privileges together into a general grant, Monastice sinceritas, in 1184, the order had escaped from almost all the normal obligations to bishops under canon law. A similar pattern may be observed with tithes. Monks had traditionally (although not always successfully) claimed that they need not pay tithes on new land ( novalia, ) nor on estates which they directly cultivated themselves. An order which received no tithe, and which claimed to cultivate all its estates itself and moreover, in some parts of Europe, was a major colonizer of new land, was in a convincing position to advance such claims. The struggle to secure papal recognition of them continued until Innocent III provided a compromise, favourable to the order, which excused it from paying tithes on novalia already held, but prohibited any further expansion of the privilege. Even the friends of the Cistercians were growing uneasy about its prosperity: Alexander III's letter Inter innumeras of 1169, while thanking them for their support in the schism, gently reminded them of the need to follow the steps of their fathers; and Geoffrey of Auxerre, devoted as he was to his own order, feared that it was slipping back into the relaxation of traditional monasticism which it existed to remedy. 30
30 F. Gastaldelli, "Tre sermoni di Goffredo di Auxerre", Cîteaux 31 ( 1980), 193-225.
iv. The New Orders in Twetfth-century Society
For a long time it was fashionable to describe the second quarter of the twelfth century as the age of St Bernard. He was the son of a minor Burgundian noble, born in 1090, who in 1112 or 1113, instead of continuing his studies in the schools, decided to withdraw to the nearby abbey of Cîteaux with a group of relations and companions. In 1115 he was sent to establish a new community at Clairvaux, and he remained abbot there until his death in 1153. He refused several offers of preferment, and his simple curriculum vitae suggests a man who spent his life in the retirement to which the Cistercians were dedicated. In reality, he was one of the most influential men of his lifetime, even when we have discounted the exaggerated importance assigned to him by his biographers. Bernard was a prolific correspondent and persuasive speaker, who visited Germany, Italy, and southern France in person and wrote letters to places as far apart as England and the eastern Mediterranean. He was essentially a propagandist, who used the available media with immense effect to transmit his message; he possessed no power except the ability to influence those who did. His major interventions in international affairs began with the schism of 1130, when he was a prominent supporter of Innocent II and spent a long time travelling with the pope and curia. He intervened in disputed episcopal elections, usually successfully and in the interest of the Cistercian candidate, and emerged as a champion of orthodoxy against those who seemed to threaten it, including schoolmen (Abelard 1140, Gilbert of Poitiers 1148), radical reformers ( Arnold of Brescia) and the rising tide of popular heretics (in Cologne and southern France in the 1140s). It was at that time that he reached his highest level of influence with the election of his pupil Bernard as the first Cistercian pope, Eugenius III, in 1146. Eugenius continued to regard him as his mentor, asking for the book of spiritual advice, the De Consideratione, an incisive discussion of the papal office and a vade-mecum for many later popes. Bernard's own reading of the situation was disconcertingly revealed by his remark that 'people say that I am pope rather than you'; other accounts of the curia do not confirm this exaggerated notion. 31 Nevertheless, he took the lead in the preaching of the Second Crusade, perhaps going well beyond the commission which the pope had given him, and suffered from the criticism which was generated by its dismal failure.
31 "Ep. 239 to Eugenius III" ( Opera viii. 120).
Along with William of St Thierry and Ælred of Rievaulx, Bernard was the leader of the most influential school of spirituality which had existed since the patristic period. Bernard was also instrumental in encouraging effective Cistercian participation in the life of the church as a whole: up to the time of his death Clairvaux provided over half the Cistercians who became bishops. The order's presence in the cardinals' college and on the bishops' bench was never spectacular, however, since it was rare to appoint monks as bishops. The largest number of Cistercian bishops at any one time was twenty-nine. A more significant contribution was perhaps the use of Cistercians as 'shock troops' in critical situations: they were sent to preach against heretics in southern France, and their abbeys were important in assisting Christian settlement on the frontiers, in Spain and eastern Germany. More than any other pope, it was Innocent III who saw the Cistercians as his special agents -- a warning that we must not lay too much emphasis on the symptoms of decline which some have discerned as already present in the twelfth century. There is no escaping the element of paradox in this situation. An order which stood for withdrawal from the world was intervening in it more forcefully than Cluny. There are some considerations which mitigate this tension. The Rule charged the abbot with representing the monastery in the outside world, and this type of activity was almost always undertaken by abbots. Moreover, Cistercians rarely supplied regular advice about routine political affairs in the style of Suger of Saint-Denis or Wibald of Stavelot. This element in the life of the order was probably a special contribution of Bernard's, for he began the tradition and was its most extreme representative. One must accept that there was an element of contradiction in his whole personality, for he was an enthusiast of contemplation who happened to be outstandingly good at persuasion. He seems to have been somewhat puzzled by his own predicament, and referred to himself sadly as the chimera of his age, 'neither clerk nor layman; I have long since abandoned the way of life, but not the habit, of the monk'. 32
The spectacular interventions of Bernard must not lead us to overestimate his influence, and that of his order, upon the culture of his time. Another very powerful influence was that of the regular canons. Karl Bosl has even suggested that 1124-1159 should be envisaged as the 'canonical period of papal history', and it is true
32 "Ep. 250 to Carthusian Prior Bernard of Porto" ( Opera viii. 147).
that, even if the number of regular-canon popes has been exaggerated, they were influential in the curia. Their members can be found in almost every important area of the church's life: they were scholars (Hugh of St Victor), radical reformers (Gerhoh of Reichersberg) or revolutionaries ( Arnold of Brescia), and canonists (Ivo of Chartres, Gratian). Their total impact has to be assessed as greater than that of the Cistercians. We must also remember that the eye always tends to see what is moving rather than the stationary landscape, and acknowledge the continuing influence exercised by traditional Benedictine abbeys. Relatively few new ones were founded in the twelfth century, but a great number of priories were being created by existing monasteries. Individual abbots were still among the most important men on the European scene; in France, in the second quarter of the century, the most influential churchmen were Abbots Bernard of Clairvaux, Peter the Venerable of Cluny and Suger of Saint-Denis. This fact is certainly a tribute to the genius of Bernard, whose standing had been achieved solely by his own talent, while the others were the heads of very great abbeys, but it is wrong to see him as dominant among the three. This was perhaps the last generation in which traditional Benedictines were making a major contribution in the fields of artistic creation, as Suger was, or of scholarship, like Rupert of Deutz; after 1150, it is difficult to think of successors of the same calibre. Perhaps the greatest restraint on the influence of the new orders was the existence of other creative forces which had now appeared, notably the city schools. It is not altogether exaggerated to speak of Bernard and Abelard as contending for the youth of Europe. 33 The development of law and administration, too, was a new element which proved impossible to restrain; for all the influence exercised by Bernard's De Consideratione his attack on the growing legal responsibilities of the curia was wholly ineffective.
Apart from the influence of the new orders on European politics and culture, the sheer weight of new foundations had a great impact upon the countryside. The combination of monasteries of the new orders with additional Benedictine priories meant that almost every village lay within a short distance of a monastic community. The large diocese of Soissons in northern France will serve as an example. About 1070, it had four Benedictine abbeys with perhaps eight priories. There were two large houses of secular canons, the
33 F. Heer, The Medieval World ( New York, 1963), 115.
cathedral and St Corneille, Compiègne, and many small ones in castles or attached to nunneries or other churches, perhaps nineteen in all. By 1200 the situation had been transformed and the monastic presence was much greater. The four Benedictine abbeys remained, and so did the cathedral, probably the only surviving community of secular canons amid a tide which had swept the rest away, including Compiègne, which in 1150 had been taken over by a group of monks from Saint Denis amid fierce resistance. There were by that time over thirty Benedictine priories. There were also four Premonstratensian abbeys newly created, and although there was only one Cistercian, Longpont, it was a rich house with eleven granges. In addition there were several other houses of regular canons, which had very largely taken over the functions of the former secular communities, among them two further Premonstratensian houses. 34 The same picture of monastic impact emerges from the nearby Beauvais region, where the Cistercian and Premonstratensian granges were in the process of creating a new landscape and where their foundations were so numerous that it was necessary to agree that neither order would establish an abbey within four miles of a house of the other, nor a grange within one mile. 35 In the old kingdom of Burgundy, to take another example, there were 1,800 monasteries by 1200, and in the most settled region this amounted to as many as two in every parish.
Various views have been taken of the significance of this monastic landownership for twelfth-century society. Bernard Bligny has offered us a pessimistic reading. The houses of new orders were deliberately situated away from major centres, and were therefore of much less use than the old Benedictine abbeys for hospitality for travellers and succour for the poor. The Carthusians, in fact, did not regard poor relief as a major concern of theirs, since it would interfere with their isolation. Yet by the second half of the century, these were rich houses, even if the monks in them did not have individual property. Their wealth had been created ultimately at the expense of the peasantry, by withdrawing land from lay cultivation and sometimes by removing existing villages. This analysis is certainly true of some regions, but there is a balance on the other side. The Cistercians opened large areas for settlement, and the
34 L. Duval-Arnould, "Moines et chanoines dans le diocèse de Soissons", MCSM 9 ( 1980), 679-91. 35 D. Lohrmann, Kirchengut im nördlichen Frankreich ( Bonn, 1983).
consequent demand for wage-labour, which they required for working the estates, offered opportunities for employment which did not previously exist. At least during the twelfth century, their reputation as the pioneers opening new lands within Europe and on the frontier has a good deal of reality, and their wealth was a thing of new creation. 36 Not enough is known to be sure whether on balance the peasants gained or lost, but it must be agreed that the effect of their activities on peasant communities was, to the monks, a matter of very little interest.
36 B. Bligny, "Monachisme et pauvreté au XIIème siècle", Atti del II Convegno internazionale. . . . di Studi francescani (Assisi, 1975), 105-47, with comments by P. Tomea, Aevum 5l ( 1977), 389-95.
THE CHRISTIAN FRONTIER
i. The Theory of Mission
On the west front of the abbey church at Vézelay there is a carving of the glorified Christ sending his power upon the apostles. In the outer bands of the composition are representations of the peoples of the world, including the distant dog-headed races of whom geographers had told. This carving was a confident statement of the universal mission of the church, inspired perhaps by Abbot Peter of Cluny, and it stood at one of the centres of Christendom, where the Second Crusade was preached and the Third Crusade assembled. The missionary task was conceived in a very different way from the approach in more recent ages, which have seen religion as a matter of personal conviction. The medieval assumption, on the contrary, was that the Christian faith provided the framework of a healthy society. As they saw it, they were confronted outside Christendom with an evil society founded upon idolatry, and their task was to replace it by an order which rested upon the sure ground of reverence for the one true God. Thus in 1007 the synod of Frankfurt saw the purpose of the new bishopric of Bamberg as being 'both that the paganism of the Slavs may be destroyed and also that the memory of the Christian name may be forever celebrated there'. 1 To destroy pagan worship and to substitute for it the cult of the true God remained the double objective throughout our period; as the leaders of the First Crusade put it, their aim was 'that . . . when the strength of the Saracens and of the devil is broken, the kingdom of Christ and of the church may extend everywhere from sea to sea'. 2 As these words imply, the awareness was growing strong of a territorial division between the lands where Christ ruled, and the dominions of the false gods. The term Christianitas was not new, but its use greatly increased around 1100 as an expression for the geographical concept
1 MGH Diplornata, III no. 143, p. 170.
2 H. Hagenmeyer, Epistulae et chartae ad historiam primi belli sacri spectantes ( Innsbruck, 1901; repr. Hildesheirn, 1973), ep. XVIII, p. 171.
which we would call Christendom. The use of the word (even of the word 'Christian') was however rare until the First Crusade; it was in the chroniclers of the Crusade that the word first became a standard part of western vocabulary. To extend the boundaries of Christendom was a structural task and no more a matter of individual persuasion than, in the eyes of the Pentagon today, resistance to communism is a question of convincing individual Russians that they are wrong.
The northern and southern frontiers required different approaches. The beginning of expansion in the Mediterranean world was examined in Chapter 6. It was characterized by the aim of delivering Christian communities from Moslem oppression and hence by the resort to force under papal auspices, and it was complicated by the need to deal with Christians whose traditions were sometimes very different from those of Rome. In the north, the task was one of preaching the Gospel and building up the church in those pagan lands whose rulers were sympathetic to the new religion. It was much more obviously a missionary situation.
It is probable that the first Christian presence in Scandinavia and the Slavonic east had arisen from accidental contacts: trading, raiding, exile of royal families in England or Germany, and links with relatives who had colonized western provinces and become Christians there -- processes which can be traced well before the year Iooo. These contacts formed the basis on which native kings instituted a policy of deliberate Christianization. The correlation between the rise of new monarchies and the establishment of the church was close. The strength of pre-Christian cults rested on the kin or clan, and the church offered an attractive prospect to a ruler engaged in creating a new style of power. The missionaries were imbued with a traditional spirit of reverence for monarchy and were ready to recognize the king as enjoying a divinely-given authority. The introduction of clergy provided an impressive ceremonial, a network of connections in Europe, and secretarial and administrative support. The assumption that it was for the king, or for the body of chiefs as a whole, to decide on the people's religion was an accepted one, and the princes of Pomerania in 1128 expressed their dislike of the democratic methods of the early church:
In the primitive church, as we have heard, the religion of Christian faith began with the people and with common persons and spread to the middle classes and at length influenced the great princes of this world. Let us change the order of the primitive church and let it begin with us princes and, passing on from us to the middle classes by an easy progress, let the sanctifying influence of the divine religion enlighten the whole people and nation. 3
The task of the kings in introducing Christianity was not a straightforward one. The clans were sometimes persistent in upholding the old deities, and there was a danger of a combination of rebellion and pagan reaction. Christianity might also mean the danger of foreign dominance, against which different strategies were adopted. In Poland and Hungary a hierarchy controlled by national archbishops was rapidly created. In Scandinavia there was no independent metropolitan until the twelfth century, but the kings retained a strong link of personal dependence with their bishops. One region alone, that of the Wends on the Elbe, reacted to the threat by attachment to the old religion. It was a pattern repeated in Prussia and Lithuania in the thirteenth century, but before 1200 the Wendish tribes were the one group among whom Christianity was not the chosen faith and preferred instrument of the local dynasties.
One of the basic methods in spreading the faith was by preaching. We have a detailed account of the work of Bishop Otto of Bamberg, who went to Pomerania under the auspices of Boleslaw III of Poland in the 1120s. The need for preachers did not at first lead to the creation of special missionary societies or orders. Stability was the mark of monastic life, and, although individual monks made major contributions, there were no organizations with a mobile membership which could be transferred at need. These only arose with the creation of the Templars (for military purposes) and later of the friars. In the same way, there were no central pressure groups for missions in the western church and no co-ordinated ways of financing them. Serious thinking about the subject was largely confined to the north of Germany, where already in the early eleventh century Thietmar of Merseburg had, in his chronicle, shown a concern with the assimilation of neighbouring peoples into Christian society. This tradition was continued in Adam of Bremen's work The Deeds of the Archbishops of the Church of Hamburg in the 1170s, and a century later in The Chronicle of the Slavs by Helmold of Bosau. The strategy was to baptize first, and then to instruct. Duke
3 Herbord, Vita Ottonis episcopi Bambergensis, iii (MGH SS XII. 802-3).
Richard I of Normandy had said in an earlier age to his pagan allies, 'I will first have you baptized. . . . and then further instructed in the full and perfect faith through preaching by the bishops.' 4 This remained the approach in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It meant that, with rare exceptions, preaching was an official enterprise sponsored by authority, and in the early period of the conversion it is unlikely, given the small number of clergy and the unsuitability of their training, that much was achieved beyond the widespread baptism of the population. That is not to say that rulers were all content with a merely nominal acceptance of the Gospel. Gottschalk, the devout believer who was prince of the Wendish Obodrites until 1066, used to preach personally in the Slavic tongue, interpreting to the people the more difficult teaching of the clergy. 5
Another major element in the expansion of Latin Christianity was settlement. The rising population led to migration outside the former frontiers, and the settlers took with them their religion and way of life. Villages of western character were established in Palestine, in the frontier zones in Spain and in the Slavonic east. Acre, an old Arab city, was thoroughly westernized, and a Moslem visitor was dismayed to find it full of pigs and crosses, those signs of Christian conviction. On the coast of the Baltic German cities were created, such as Lübeck and Rostock. The long-term fate of these Latin settlements varied: in Palestine they were doomed to perish in face of Moslem reconquest, but in Sicily the Lombards, and in eastern Europe the Germans, came to have cultural predominance. This does not indicate, as has sometimes been suggested, that the advance of Christianity beyond the Elbe was achieved by the annihilation of the original inhabitants. Wendish princes encouraged settlers from Saxony and Franconia in the hope of increasing the prosperity of their lands, and eventually adopted German language and culture. In almost all the frontier regions, the great ecclesiastical establishments were important agents in settlement. In Palestine the canons of the Holy Sepulchre introduced western peasants onto their great estates centred on Magna Mahumeria north of Jerusalem, and in the land of the Obodrites Bishop Bern of Schwerin had built up a network of prosperous estates by the time of his death in 1191.
4 Dudo of S. Quentin, De Gestis Normaimiae Ducum, iii (PL 141. 745B).
5 B. Schmeidler (ed.), Adam von Bremen, Hamburgische Kirchetigeschichte ( Hanover, 1917), in . 20, p. 163.
Cistercian and Premonstratensian abbeys were also important. There is not much sign that they undertook direct missionary work, but their example was probably significant: Duke Bogislav of Pomerania expressed the hope that 'if we support good provosts and men of holy life we shall succeed in making our unbelieving people recognize the true faith'. More obviously important was their function as centres of settlement, bringing new land into cultivation under Christian auspices: the monks of Dargun received 'full power and perfect freedom in calling to themselves and settling . . . Germans, Danes, Slavs or people of any nation whatsoever and in setting up parishes and priests'. 6
Where the faith could not be spread by preaching or settlement under the patronage of native rulers, western Europeans resorted to warfare, which was the primary instrument of expansion in Spain, Sicily, and Syria, and a significant one in eastern Germany. Christian tradition held that people should not be coerced into baptism. Pomeranian Christians protested in 1147 against the whole philosophy of warfare in the service of the Christ: 'if they have come to strengthen the Christian faith, they should have done so not by arms but by the preaching of bishops'. 7 These principles did not prevent the launching of crusades. This was partly because the military aristocracy was ready to use force when its interests were involved, as they were along the Elbe frontier. But the door to Christian militarism was opened more widely by the fact that the traditional theory of the just war permitted the use of force in self-defence or in the recovery of legitimate rights. In the Mediterranean it could always be argued that oppressed Christians needed defending or lost territories were being recovered in Spain, Sicily, and Syria, and even in the north Helmold remarked that in Holstein the masonry and landmarks of old Christian settlements, abandoned in face of pagan reaction, could still be seen. Strictly this did not justify compulsory baptism, but even the missionary-minded Otto of Bamberg in Pomerania threatened that recalcitrants would be punished, and it is not surprising that on the First Crusade there were clear examples of a choice between death and baptism, or that the Song of Roland approved the use of direct action:
6 Cited E. Christiansen, The Northern Crusades ( London, 1980), 68.
7 Vincent of Prague (MGH SS XVII.663). It should be noted that the Pomeranian Christians were themselves being attacked by the crusaders.
Then to the font the pagans are compelled. If any dare defy Charlemagne's command, Then he is hanged or killed or burned with fire. A hundred thousand men are thus baptized And are made Christians . . . 8
On the whole canonists and papal encyclicals never adopted compulsory conversion as official policy, but there is one significant exception in the so-called Wendish crusade of 1147, sponsored by Bernard of Clairvaux and authorized by Eugenius III as a diversion from the Second Crusade. Although there is disagreement about the precise intention of Bernard's words, they do seem to demand the conversion or annihilation of the pagans, and in that sense mark an important invasion of official doctrine by more popular ideas. H.-D. Kahl has made the interesting suggestion that Bernard was influenced by Sibylline prophecies of the end of the world, which spoke of the conquest and conversion of the peoples of the north by a king of the Romans and which Bernard applied to his contemporary situation. 9 Just as the north provided a more purely missionary framework, so it also offered a particularly clear example of holy wars fought to extend the frontiers of faith.
By the middle of the eleventh century Christianity was the official religion in both Denmark and Norway. Denmark had had Christian kings for most of the preceding century and possessed several wellestablished bishoprics. Under Swein II Estrithson ( 1047-74) it was entering fully into the comity of Christian nations. Norwegian Christianity was less securely based, but Olaf Tryggvason ( 9951000) had enforced its public acceptance in Norway and Iceland, and his policy had been continued by Olaf Haraldson ( 1015-30), who was to become the patron saint of the country. In Sweden, progress was slower. Several missionaries were at work there under King Stenkil ( 1057-66) and in some provinces the old temples were being destroyed, but Stenkil did not dare to proceed against the great shrine of Uppsala. His wisdom was shown when the attempt by his successor Inge to destroy it set in motion a pagan reaction in which
8 Chanson de Roland, laisse 266.
9 H.-D. Kahl, "Die Ableitung des Missionkreuzzugs aus sybillinischer Eschatologie", H. Nowak (ed.), Die Rolle der Ritterorden ( Torun, 1983), 129-39.
the king was forced to flee and the English missionary Eskil martyred. In the event this proved to be the last determined act of resistance, and about 1138 King Sverker celebrated the public triumph of the new faith by a great church at Uppsala, using material from the temple. Even so, the old practices lingered, and in 1181 Pope Lucius III, appointing Bishop Giles of Västeras, required him 'to root out paganism, to wipe out harmful practices, to implant Christianity and other salutary teaching'. 10 The last Scandinavian country to be evangelized was Finland. There is no evidence of a Christian presence there before the expedition of King Erik of Sweden in 1157 and the early years of the church are obscure. The first bishop, Henry, was martyred, and his successors met with severe difficulties. Pope Alexander III was gloomy about the Finns and remarked that they would only profess Christianity when threatened by an enemy army.
One of the striking features was the late date at which the new churches secured autonomy through the grant of a separate archbishopric. There were several reasons for this. It was difficult, especially in Norway and Sweden, to endow bishoprics because of the limited area of cultivated land and the nature of the property customs. Kings therefore preferred to treat bishops as court officials, and in the early years chose primarily clergy of English birth and education. The archbishopric of Hamburg-Bremen also had an entrenched position. Since the time of Ansgar in the ninth century it had been regarded as the missionary centre for the north and east and it enjoyed support from the German emperors. Its importance was also enhanced by the ambitious policy of Archbishop Adalbert ( 1043-72). He was, Adam of Bremen tells us, 'so affable and generous and hospitable, so desirous of both divine and human glory, that little Bremen was made famous like Rome by his power, and was visited in devotion by all parts of the earth, especially by all the northern peoples'. 11 Adalbert was committed to the missionary enterprise, and considered going north himself as a preacher until he was dissuaded by his friend King Swein of Denmark, who stressed the importance of knowing the language and customs of the people at first hand. Adalbert even devised a grandiose plan for a northern patriarchate with twelve subordinate bishops. He was unable to implement this project, but at least he managed to extend the
10 Lucius III, ep. 12 Of 30 Dec. 1181 (PL 201. 1086A).
11 B. Schmeldler (ed.), Adam von Bremen, iii. 24, p. 167.
organization of his church. Denmark received additional bishoprics, but still no archbishop; and the first native bishop, Isleifr at the see of Skalholt, was provided for Iceland.
The first important step in the direction of an autonomous ecclesiastical structure was the creation of the archbishopric of Lund in 1104 by Paschal II, and the basis for the final organization was laid in a legatine mission in 1152 by Nicholas Breakspear, cardinalbishop of Albano, later Hadrian IV. Norway received its own archbishop at Nidaros ( Trondheim), shortly followed in 1164 by one for Sweden at Uppsala. By this time the whole immense region from Greenland in the west to Finland in the east had been provided with bishoprics, and few changes in the pattern of dioceses took place between then and the Reformation. Even so, Scandinavian Christianity continued to display some eccentric features. The memory of the old pagan legends was still alive in the early thirteenth century and was being used in the writing of sagas, although it is difficult to know how far it retained any religious import. The process of conversion had replaced temples by churches, which often occupied the same niche in society. Except in Iceland, the main centre of worship tended to be a 'folk-church', and it was difficult, for reasons already stated, to find endowments for a parish system on the same basis as in France or Germany. The monastic constitution was also different. In the tenth century several of the English missionaries had been monks, but in spite of this there were few Benedictine monasteries in Scandinavia. This was partly because the system of land tenure made it difficult to provide the landed endowments required for the support of the black monks, and partly a simple matter of chronology: the monastic foundations in the north took place during the great age of Cistercian expansion. In Sweden, for example, the first successful monastic foundation about 1143 was the Cistercian Alvastra, whose daughter-house Varnhem was to become the most important abbey in the country. In Denmark, two successive archbishops of Lund, Eskil ( 1138-77) and Absalom ( 11771201), both outstanding ecclesiastical statesmen, sponsored the arrival of the Cistercians. Although Eskil was a personal friend of Bernard of Clairvaux, the houses in Denmark did not preserve the original simplicity of the order and, for example, seem to have owned tithes from the beginning. In Ireland, another country outside the main body of continental Europe, monastic colonization was similarly carried out by the Cistercians, but there they overlaid a long-established tradition of native monasticism. The pattern of parochial and monastic organization in Scandinavia remained different from that in the west as a whole.
iii. Eastern Europe 12
On the eastern boundary of the Latin world lay two countries, Poland and Hungary, which (like Denmark and Norway to the north) had formally accepted Christianity before the beginning of our period. Their churches had already obtained independence under their own archbishops, long before this happened in Scandinavia, but the position of the Crown, and of the church which it supported, was still insecure in the middle of the eleventh century. In Poland, where the Piast family had created a powerful monarchy, a combination of pagan reaction and Bohemian invasion in the years after 1034 swept away the archbishopric and several other sees. Since they had been supported mainly by levies on the royal estates it was difficult for the weakened ruling house to restore them. The problem was complicated by the fact that the archbishopric of Gniezno had in a sense been founded in the wrong place, for the true religious and cultural centre was aków, with its longer tradition of Christianity and its contacts with Bohemia and Hungary. When papal legates visited the country in 1075, there was no archbishop and probably only two bishops, at Kraków and Wroclaw. With the support of Boleslaw II the legates restored Gniezno as the metropolitan see and created two further bishoprics, and in 1076 Boleslaw celebrated the restoration of the Polish church by receiving royal coronation-the last ruler to do so for many years. Under Duke Boleslaw III ( 110238) the structure of the hierarchy was completed with the creation of three more bishoprics, including one for newly conquered Pomerania. The claims of the archbishop of Magdeburg to authority over Gniezno were never effectively pursued, and were finally extinguished by a bull of Innocent II to Archbishop James of Gniezno in 1136.
The Polish church was dominated by the duke or king. It had been founded in the heyday of the Ottonian system and continued to live by its values. The earliest Polish chronicler, the 'Anonymous', who wrote early in the twelfth century and was probably a foreign monk,
12 Relations of the Greek and Latin churches in the twelfth century are discussed in another volume in this series by J. M. Hussey, The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire ( Oxford, 1986), 167-83.
derived the special powers of the Polish rulers from a grant by the Emperor Otto III to King Boleslaw the Great, which was then confirmed by the pope. The Anonymous described Boleslaw as the 'patron and advocate of bishops' and said that he had the power of creating new bishoprics in pagan territories. 13 The position in Poland would thus have an origin like that in Sicily, where Roger I received legatine powers because of his service of the church in expanding the Christian frontier. The co-operation between Boleslaw II and Gregory VII in restoring the Polish hierarchy did not lead to any reduction in the dominant position of the lay power, which lasted in the old form longer than in the west. This was in part because of the intensely conservative senior Piast, Mesco the Old, who throughout much of the twelfth century strove to maintain the old polity. By that time, joint action between provincial nobles and bishops was already bringing about changes: at the conference of Leczyca in 1180 important concessions were made to the church by Casimir the Just, who had replaced Mesco as duke of Kraków. Even so, until the end of the twelfth century bishops were still invested in the old style by the lay ruler, and the first canonical election was at Kraków in 1207. One arbitrary use of royal power became important in Polish history or legend: in 1079 Boleslaw II executed Bishop Stanislas of Kraków for involvement in a conspiracy against him. Much later the canons of Kraków surrounded the episode with a halo of sanctity, but the earliest evidence suggests that Stanislas was neither a patriot nor a martyr, but a political bishop who fell foul of the ruler's tight control over the church.
The Piasts welcomed relationships with distant parts of Europe. In about 990 a loose tributary relationship had been established with Rome, and soon afterwards Poland was paying Peter's pence to the pope. The Lotharingian marriage connections of the royal house led to the import of clerks from the province, and the Benedictine abbeys of Tyniec, Lubin and Mogilno were founded by monks from there. Kraków soon had an excellent school, which had French masters and sent scholars to the west for further study, and ambitious westerners travelled to Poland to look for advancement, as did the young Otto, later bishop of Bamberg and apostle of Pomerania. Like him, many of the imports were imperialists by sympathy. Bishop Werner of Plock (1157-c. 72) came from the region of Bamberg, was a strong supporter of Barbarossa and attended the
13 C. Maleczynski (ed.), Galli Anonymi Chronica ( Kraków 1952), 20.
ceremony for the canonization of Charlemagne. His predecessor, the Lotharingian Alexander of Malonne ( 1129-56), was a strenuous frontiersman, who was described later as 'both lamb and lion . . . bishop and knight, at once well-armed and devout'. 14 The extension of the faith within Poland was mostly achieved by the proliferation of houses of secular canons, of which seventy-six are known to have existed by 1200. Most were in Silesia or Little Poland (the province of Kraków), and in the rest of the country local provision was slight. Considerable areas remained untouched by the new faith; even in the thirteenth century there was pagan worship in remote districts and adult baptism was quite common. It was the ruling class and the more populated provinces which, under the patronage of the ducal dynasty, had been incorporated into the cultural framework of the west.
The history of the establishment of Christianity in Hungary displays some broad parallels with Poland. Stephen ( 997-1038) had created an imposing organization of two archbishoprics and eight bishoprics together with a number of monasteries, but as in Poland there was a long period of disruption in the middle years of the century. Ladislas I ( 1077-95) had taken refuge as a child at the Polish court, and his mother was Lotharingian. There are signs of the influence of personnel, liturgical books, and saints from that area. The reigns of Ladislas and his successor Koloman ( 1095-1114) confirmed beyond further question the Christian imprint on Hungarian culture. Stephen was canonized to become the model of Christian monarchy, the hierarchy was extended and its privileges defined in new legislation. The synod of Szabolcs in 1092 was concerned with the restoration of ecclesiastical discipline after the ravages of the civil wars, including the rebuilding of damaged churches and the payment of tithe.
While there are similarities between the two countries, there are also important differences. The impact of the Greek Orthodox church upon Poland was slight, whereas Hungary was one of the most important meeting-places of eastern and western influences. The Magyars had settled in an area where Greek missions had previously been active; some southern Magyar princes were early converted to the Greek use, and the population of frontier districts such as Sirmium were solidly attached to the Greek rite; and there were still Basilian monasteries in Hungary in the late twelfth
14 For references see J. Kloczowski in MCSM 7 ( 1974), 442.
century. With the revival of Byzantine ambitions under the Emperor Manuel ( 1143-80) Hungary found itself under the political influence of Constantinople, and Bela III ( 1172-96) was brought up there. It is far from clear what determined the choice of the Latin rite, but once that was made the Hungarian church seems to have remained solidly Latin; when there was rivalry between 'eastern' and 'western' parties, it was a question of politics and does not seem to have involved any doubt about ecclesiastical allegiance. There was another important difference between the two churches. Poland was on the road to nowhere, but Hungary was a centre of international communications. The pilgrimages of the eleventh century and crusades of the twelfth crossed the Hungarian plains, and expansion into Croatia brought involvement with Venice. The kings of Hungary, like the dukes of Poland, valued their influence over the church, and their permission was necessary for a legate to enter the country or for an appeal to go to Rome, but far sooner than in Poland it was recognized that the old forms could not continue, and the right of investiture was surrendered at the synod of Guastalla in 1106. Clerical privileges in legal matters were acknowledged by about 1070 and were clearly asserted in the legislation of Ladislas and Koloman. In the twelfth century, Hungary was in many ways an up-to-date and influential western country, with a rich and effective monarchy which had accepted many of the principles of ecclesiastical government which were shaping the church in the west.
Scandinavia, Poland, and Hungary were all success stories, in which the church, championed by the ruling families, had established its dominance without too many protests or reactions. It was different on the Baltic coast among the peoples to the east of the Elbe. Here a rebellion in 983 had overthrown the Saxon lordship and fixed the eastern border of Germany along the Elbe and then northward on a well-delineated frontier through modern Holstein. The territory was occupied by a series of peoples largely independent of each other. Immediately east of the Elbe were tribes under the control of the prince of the Obodrites; then, moving eastward, the Wilzi or Liutizi close to the river Oder; beyond them, the Pomeranians; and finally the Prussians, far to the east of the Oder, who were largely untouched by Christianity until the thirteenth century. In the long run, the Obodrites and Pomeranians were converted by the same mechanism as the Poles and Hungarians, that is by the adoption of Christianity by a native dynasty; but this process was much slower than in other parts of the east.
Even in 1050 the Obodrites and the Wilzi, between them occupying what is now the northern part of the German Democratic Republic, were almost surrounded by Christian Saxony, Denmark, and Poland, and their remarkable powers of resistance therefore need explanation. One element was certainly the special character of paganism among the Wends (as we may conveniently call this group of peoples). It was remarkable for its great centres such as Szczecin in Pomerania or the temple of the god Sventovit on the island of Rügen or that of the god Redigast. These were more than local deities, and their cult was supervised by colleges of priests with extensive landed endowments. Both in Pomerania and among the Liutizi the pagan priesthood formed the hard core of opposition to conversion. In spite of recent archaeological work, our information about Polish paganism, which disappeared so much earlier, is insufficient to be sure whether it originally possessed the same structure and organization. It is however very possible that the structure was not indigenous, but was built up because of the political circumstances in which the Wends found themselves. Among the Wends, as among the Poles, the ruling house was relatively quick to accept Christianity, but the resistance of the provincial nobles was far more formidable in the Wendish territories. The explanation was almost certainly a political one. Although there were some problems in Poland about intervention from the empire, these were slight when compared with the heavy pressure of the Saxons (and to some extent of the Danes and Poles as well) upon the Wends, who were threatened by direct political dominance and economic exploitation. The result was that while in Poland and Hungary Christianity became the means of asserting national identity, that function among the Wendish peoples was performed largely by a pagan priesthood. During the twelfth century, there were Christian advocates of military conquest as the best way of establishing the church in the Wendish territories, and some historians have seen the eventual success as the result of the establishment of German political dominance there. This appears at best to be a gross over-simplification. Adam of Bremen and Helmold, both perceptive observers, thought that the Saxon demand for tribute did harm to the progress of the Gospel. Helmold acidly remarked that during the expedition of Duke Henry the Lion into Slavia 'no mention has been made of Christianity, but only of money'. 15 As a result, the new religion seemed to offer the Slavs 'a German god'. 16
Prospects for the rapid Christianization of the Baltic Slavs appeared good in the middle of the eleventh century. The prince of the Obodrites, Gottschalk, had established a stable authority and good relations with the Saxon princes. He was energetically building up the church under his rule, providing colleges of canons in the main towns and no less than three bishoprics ( Oldenburg, Ratzeburg, and Mecklenburg). These hopes were overthrown by the rebellion of 1066, led by the Liutizi, in which Gottschalk was slain, several clergy executed, and the churches completely destroyed. The pagan victory began a period of more than half a century in which virtually no effort was made to convert the Slavs. Prince Henry of the Obodrites 1083-1127) was personally a Christian but did not attempt to extend the faith outside his own chapel.
A more fluid situation arose in the 1120s, partly because of the arrival of regular canons in eastern Germany. Vicelin, the apostle to the Obodrites, took charge of the frontier church of Faldera (later Neumünster) about 1127; Norbert became archbishop of Magdeburg in 1126; and Bishop Otto of Bamberg, the missionary to Pomerania, also had strong links with the new orders. The first major success was in Pomerania, and the way was opened by the conquest by Boleslaw III of Poland. He invited Bishop Otto, who had once lived at the Polish court, to carry out preaching missions in Pomerania in 1124-5 and 1128. Although this looks like Christianity by conquest, the situation was more complex, for Duke Wartislaw of Pomerania had been baptized in his youth at Merseburg, and he now encouraged the establishment of the church as a way of building up the coherence of the duchy. By 1140 it had acquired its own separate bishopric. The conversion of Pomerania left the Obodrites and Liutizi completely surrounded by Christian societies, but there was still no church in the territory, and the prince from 1131 to 1160, Niclot, was a firm adherent of the old religion. Pressure was increasing from the extension of settlement, Lübeck being founded as a German city in 1143. The long-vacant bishoprics of Oldenburg and Mecklenburg were filled in 1149, the former by the elderly Vicelin. Military action became more forceful: the Wendish Crusade
15 B. Schmeidler (ed.), Helmolds Slavenchronik ( Hanover, 1937), i.68, p. 129.
16 Ebbo, Vita Ottonis episcopi Bambergensis, iii. i (MGH SS XII. 859).
of 1147, the first occasion on which the pope unambiguously sponsored a policy of 'conversion by conquest', proved futile, but in 1160 Duke Henry the Lion of Saxony completely overcame Niclot and he was able to treat the region as a conquered province. In the end, however, the prospect of introducing Christianity under Saxon military occupation proved illusory. In 1164 a rebellion restored power to a Christian son of Niclot, Pribislaw, and it was a Danish expedition which in 1168-9 achieved the destruction of the last major pagan temple, at Arkona on the island of Rügen. Peace in 1171 between Saxons, Danes, and Wends created the precondition for the secure establishment of the church. Pribislaw became a close ally of Henry the Lion. Their families were joined in marriage, and they went together on pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1172-3. Bishop Bern of Schwerin ( 1158-91) supervised the process of building up the church. A Cistercian himself, he encouraged landowners to endow Cistercian abbeys. Doberan was founded by monks from Bern's own home community of Amelungsborn in 1171, and Dargun from Esrom in Denmark in 1172. The first, wooden, cathedral of Schwerin was consecrated on 9 September 1171, and at Lübeck a stone cathedral was begun in 1173 or 1174. Cathedral chapters were in existence by that time, and there were clergy working in the countryside. Both among Obodrites and Pomeranians, settlers from the west were welcomed. Westernization, after long decades of resistance, was now more rapid than in Poland, but the underlying process of the adoption of Christianity under the auspices of a native dynasty was the same. The Wends were never really conquered, let alone obliterated, by the Germans. 17
iv. The Defence of the Holy Sepulchre
One of the disconcerting things about twelfth century thought is that it found no evident place for crusading. The very words 'crusade' and 'crusader' had no exact equivalent in contemporary vocabulary, at least until the appearance of crucesignati late in the century, and Gratian's compilation of canons contains no discussion of warfare with unbelievers. The explanation of this irritating unawareness of living in an age of crusading is primarily that from 1099 to 1187
17 See the constrasting account in J. T. Addison, The Medieval Missionary (repr. Philadelphia, 1976), 56: 'the land was at last Christian, but the great bulk of its inhabitants were no longer Wends.'
Jerusalem was a Christian possession, and the theory of just war applied to its defence in the same way as to any other lawful right. There was no plan for an unrestricted offensive against the heathen, and no need to discuss its justification. Moreover between 1101 and 1187 there was only one general European expedition ('crusade') to the east. The link of the west with the Holy Sepulchre was not kept alive by crusades, but by institutions of a quite different sort: pilgrimages and military orders.
The twelfth century saw the development of pilgrimage to Jerusalem on a very large scale. The land route across Asia Minor was no longer practicable, and the pilgrims came by sea, usually to Acre but sometimes to Jaffa, a much poorer harbour but nearer Jerusalem. Contemporaries were deeply convinced of the value of praying in the place where Christ lived and died, and for those who could not travel Christ's presence was mediated by the fragments of the Cross and other relics of the Passion, and by the building of representations of the Holy Sepulchre, of which a fine example survives at Bologna. The spirit of the pilgrims is expressed in an early thirteenth-century song:
Allerêrst lebe ich mir werde, Now my life has found a purpose, sît mîn sündic ouge siht For my sinful eyes behold daz reine lant und ouch die erde That fair land and holy country der man sô vil êten giht. Of which wondrous things are told. mirst geschehen des ich le bat, My desire is granted now: ich bin komen an die stat I have seen the place which God dâ got mennischlîchen trat. 18 In a human body trod.
For the Franks in Palestine the pilgrims were a financial, military, and emotional lifeline to the west. Ansellus, the cantor of the church of the Holy Sepulchre, wrote to his old colleagues at Paris a letter which vividly captures the attitude of some settlers in the east:
Although I have now for twenty-four years been absent in body from your church and you, in which and with whom I was brought up and educated, yet in my mind I am still fervent in your love, and live in my mind with you in your church. I always talked with those who over the years have come from you to us, who knew you and were known to you, and inquired eagerly about the condition of your church, and what you are doing, and how you are, especially those of you whom I saw and knew . . . Often in dreams I seem to be taking part in your ceremonies and processions, and at your daily mattins and offices, and to be saying the psalms with you. 19
18 Walter von der Vogelweide, Palästinalied, ed. P. Stapf ( Wiesbaden, n. d.), no. 171, p. 464.
19 Gall. Christ. VII, Instr. no. 53, p. 44.
The churches and chapels at the sacred sites in Jerusalem were rebuilt -- it is likely that most of them were still in ruins after their devastation by al-Hakim almost a century before. A splendid reconstruction was undertaken at the church of the Holy Sepulchre itself, bringing into one building for the first time the Sepulchre, the site of Calvary, and St Helena's chapel. It was consecrated in 1149 in time to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the fall of the city, and the new church was later depicted on the coinage of the kingdom under Amalric ( 1162-74). Meanwhile research, made fertile by imagination, was revealing new sacred sites. One of the major responsibilities of the authorities was the protection of pilgrims, especially on the southern route from Jaffa to Jerusalem which was exposed to raids from the Egyptian city of Ascalon. In the 1130s King Fulk established a series of castles and settlements to mask Ascalon and make such attacks more difficult. The pilgrims themselves also made a significant contribution to the safety of the kingdom, for many, perhaps most, came expecting to fight during the campaigning season. In the early years, when the Franks were very short of manpower, the influx of pilgrims each summer brought vital reinforcements, and is always carefully recorded by Fulcher of Chartres in his chronicle. From this mixed background of pilgrimage and warfare emerged one of the most remarkable innovations of the period: the military orders.
The appearance of the military orders was the final stage in the sacralization of knighthood, its conversion into an 'order' in the service of Christ. The basic thinking can be found already in the accounts of Urban II's speech at Clermont some ten years after the First Crusade. Baudri of Bourgueil presented him as saying, 'Holy church reserved for her defence a militia, but you have depraved it into malitia. . . If you want to save your souls, either throw away at once the belt of this sort of militia or proceed boldly as soldiers of Christ and go speedily to the defence of the eastern church.' 20 In 1118 a group of knights in the Holy Land, led by Hugh of Payns, devoted themselves to the protection of pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem, promising to live in obedience to the Rule of St Augustine at the Holy Sepulchre. They provided a nucleus for noble pilgrims who joined them temporarily on visits, but according to William of Tyre there were only nine with a full commitment as 'fellow-soldiers of Christ', commilitones Christi, to use their original title. In 1128 Hugh
20 Baudri, Historia Jerosolimitana, i. 3 (RHC Occ. IV. 14).
came to western Europe to seek approval for the Rule and to recruit. The Rule, with some amendments, was approved at the council of Troyes, and endowments began to flow in with remarkable speed. In 1139, the bull Omne datum optimum granted almost complete freedom from episcopal authority, and by this time the knights had become known as the Templars from their principal headquarters at Jerusalem. Meanwhile, a different course was being followed by another order, the Hospitallers. Before the arrival of the First Crusade there was already a Hospital of St John at Jerusalem for the reception of western pilgrims. Its warden Gerard won the confidence of the new rulers and received handsome donations, including a gift from Baldwin I of a tenth of his possessions -- a striking indication of his estimate of the importance of the pilgrim traffic. By 1113 the Hospital had hostels in the major ports in southern Europe used by pilgrims, and in that year Paschal II defined its status in Pie postulatio voluntatis, which effectively made it the first self-governing international order, a considerable time before either the Cistercians or the Templars achieved a similar position. It was still a wholly charitable organization, and the first clear sign of military responsibility only appeared in 1136, when King Fulk granted the castle of Bethgibelin, significantly designed for the protection of pilgrims on the Jerusalem road. In 1144 the donation of large territories on the frontier of the county of Tripoli indicates the existence of a real military potential.
The two orders acted as channels by which funds and manpower were sent to support the eastern Franks. They contributed materially to the defence of Jerusalem through the fortresses which they maintained and their well-disciplined troops; the Templars were the first uniformed force in the new Europe, and were subject to strict regulations in battle. The main task of the Hospitallers was always the maintenance of the great Hospital at Jerusalem, which had first charge on their revenues and was the first European body of the kind to retain a permanent medical staff. It has been suggested that by this route the superior Arab knowledge of medical care was channelled to the west, but at this time every western city was providing hospitals; it was just that circumstances made the Hospital of S. John at Jerusalem much the greatest and most advanced of all.
In spite of the contribution which these two orders made to the Latin possessions in the east, they (and especially the Templars) were subject to criticism. This is partly to be explained by resentment at the wealth and privileges which they had rapidly assembled, and to the involvement of the Templars in international banking. Before the end of the century Walter Map was complaining that 'nowhere except at Jerusalem are they in poverty'. 21 Behind this, however, was contemporary unease at the confusion of ideals which they represented, since, being at once monks and knights, they posed the question of militarism in its most acute form. The Templars were conscious of their ambiguous status as followers of 'this new kind of religion, that is that you mix knighthood with religion'. 22 Bernard of Clairvaux addressed himself to the problem in the pamphlet which he wrote at the request of the Templars some time before 1135, In Praise of the New Militia. It is true that this is in many ways the most aggressive statement of militant Christianity written: 'in the death of the pagan the Christian glories, because Christ is glorified in it.' 23 But Bernard is clearly aware of the need to defend the standing of an order formed of men who were both monks and killers, and other writers, including John of Salisbury, William of Tyre, and Walter Map, continued to be very critical. The Templars were never unambiguously accepted as champions of Christendom.
The Latin population of Syria consisted largely of Franks, together with Italians in the trading posts which had been conceded to them in the ports in return for naval assistance in the conquest. Residence in a society of many faiths and languages was an unfamiliar experience to them, and they reacted by a firm assertion of Latin supremacy. Antioch and Jerusalem immediately received Latin patriarchs, and the traditional boundary between them was altered to correspond with the northern frontier of the kingdom of Jerusalem. Greek bishops were replaced by Latins, and new Latin bishoprics created. On the other hand the Syriac churches remained relatively unaffected since they were regarded as separate and schismatic organizations, and the great majority of Greek local churches in the countryside must have remained undisturbed. There was, indeed, no occasion to create a Latin parochial system covering the conquered territories, because the immigrants resided mainly in cities and in castles. There are some instances of the creation of purely western villages, especially in the kingdom of Jerusalem, which is much the best
21 M. R. James et al. (eds.), Walter Map, De Nugis Curialium ( Oxford, 1983), i.20, p. 60.
22 H. de Curzon (ed.), La règle du Temple ( Paris, 1886), C. 57, p. 58. It is not clear when this phrase was accepted into the Rule.
23 Bernard, De Laude novae Militiae, iii-4 (Opera, iii.217).
documented of the states; but they were certainly not numerous. We would be safe to think of the Latin church as consisting of bishoprics, some monasteries, city parishes, and castle chapels, surrounded by Greek and Syrian Christians whose liturgical life was probably not much disturbed by the new rulers.
We know much less than we would wish about everyday life in Outremer ('Overseas') as the Franks were inclined to call it, but the dominant picture has changed greatly since the days when historians saw in its society the basis for a Franco-Syrian nation. R. C. Smail and Joshua Prawer have taught us to see the Latins as a highly privileged group, retaining in their hands almost all powers of government and the vast majority of estates. They were intolerant towards the Moslems, many of whom had in any case been killed or fled during the period of the conquest. Moslems and Jews were not normally permitted to enter Jerusalem, which was a holy city for all three religions, and there is virtually no evidence of functioning mosques during the crusader occupation. Villages of Moslem peasants retained their own headmen and presumably observed the daily prayers and other basic duties of Islam. The pattern of Latin dominance and exploitation was so strong that Frankish Syria has been described as the first example of western colonialism. 24 In substance this picture must be the correct one, but it is important not to draw it in too simplistic a fashion. There must have been a large population of mixed race derived from marriage between Frankish men and Syrian Christian women; if they do not appear clearly in the sources, the most probable explanation is that they were assimilated to the Latins for legal purposes. Moreover Bernard Hamilton has pointed out that relations between the various Christian communities were more amicable than is sometimes recognized. The Greeks were certainly regarded as part of the true church, and the rulers continued to tolerate divergences of customs which were becoming increasingly questioned in the west. There was a good deal of mutual admiration between Armenians and Latins. Eastern Christians were ready to look to the Franks for protection in times of danger, but ultimately there was no real identity of interest, and native Christians did not necessarily prefer Latin rule to that of a tolerant Moslem ruler such as Saladin. 25
24 J. Le Goff, La civilisation de l'occident médiéal ( Paris, 1964), 98; and J. Prawer, The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: European Colonialism in the Middle Ages ( London, 1972).
25 B. Hamilton, The Latin Church and the Crusader States ( London, 1980), chs. 7-8.
The brilliant successes of the early years were followed by a long period of stability. Tyre, the last Moslem port in central Syria, was taken with Venetian assistance in 1124, and Ascalon in 1153. The failure to maintain the Christian position in the second half of the century has been variously explained, in particular by an insufficient number of settlers and inadequate aid from the west. The underlying truth was that the resources of the Frankish states, although considerable, had obvious restrictions. There was a shortage of good agricultural land, and much of the income from the developing trade went to the privileged Italian cities whose naval strength had made the conquest of the coast possible. The number of western settlers was probably large, but there was no prospect of attracting enough immigrants to westernize the region entirely. 26 The society would have been secure against anything other than a sustained offensive by a large Moslem power, and there was initially little reason to fear this. The first grave warning came when in 1144 Zengi overran Edessa, the most exposed of the principalities. More serious still in a sense was the character of his propaganda, with its revival of the old Koranic idea of jihad, holy war, now directed against the Franks as occupiers of the holy city of Jerusalem. The idea became a central plank in the political platform of his successor Nureddin, whose aim it was to assemble an Islamic confederation large enough to overthrow the Frankish states. This was in fact achieved under Saladin, who had extinguished the Fatimite caliphate in Egypt, and by 1183 had brought Cairo, Damascus, and Aleppo under his government. Although a bitter political conflict within the kingdom of Jerusalem made Saladin's task easier, it was fundamentally this achievement of Moslem unity which made the position of the Franks untenable. On 4 July 1187 a large Christian army was completely overwhelmed at the Battle of Hattin, and on 2 October Jerusalem capitulated. The Christian population found Saladin a more merciful conqueror than the crusaders had been in 1099.
To both of the major crises the west responded by sending a large expedition. The Second Crusade, which was an answer to the loss of Edessa, was the occasion for an international recruiting campaign by Bernard of Clairvaux, and large French and German forces set out under Louis VII and Conrad III. The survival of the earliest crusading songs gives us a clear idea of the motivation of the recruits,
26 M. Benvenisti, The Crusaders in the Holy Land ( Jerusalem, 1970), 18 and 215.
or at least of what the song-writer thought they would find an acceptable ideal. The first vernacular one is Chevalier, mult estes guariz, which invites the knight to accept the opportunity of forgiveness, to avenge the wrong done to God by His enemies, and to follow his noble leader, Louis:
Chevalier, mult estes guariz, Knights, now is this your healing hour Quant Deu a vus fait sa clamur When God to you has made His plea Des Turs e des Amoraviz, Against the Moors and Turkish power Ki li unt fait tels deshenors. Who treated Him dishonourably. Cher a tort unt ses fieuz saisiz; They wronged Him and they took His fief, Bien en devurns avoir dolur, And we must feel the deepest grief, Cher la fud Deu primes servi For there God first was served and then E reconuu pur segnuur. Was recognized as Lord by men. Ki ore irat od Loovis If you with Louis will arise Ja mar d'enfern avrat pouur, You will not need to fear hell's sword. Char s'alme en lert en pareis Your soul will go to paradise Od les angles nostre Segnor. 27 With the angels of our Lord.
The expedition was a disaster. The German army was almost destroyed, and the French army weakened, during the crossing of Anatolia, and the remaining strength of the French army was wasted by political wrangling and misjudgements in Syria. Its failure sent waves of shock throughout western Europe. Saint Bernard, who had been so closely associated with its preaching, was fiercely criticized, and Eugenius III who had authorized it described the catastrophe as 'the most severe injury of the Christian name which the church of God has suffered in our time'. 28 In the 1170s concern was rekindled when a series of appeals from Syria warned western Europe about the grave danger threatened by Saladin, but they led to no effective action until the shocking news arrived that Jerusalem had fallen and almost all the kingdom, with the exception of the port of Tyre, was in the hands of Saladin. The impact of this news in the west was profound. It is one of the few events of the period which appears in chronicles in every country, and innumerable laments on the fall of the Holy City, and recruiting songs for a next crusade, were written. Gregory VIII's appeal for the crusade, Audita tremendi, struck a new note in blaming its loss on the sins of Christendom as a whole: 'not only the sins of its inhabitants but also ours, and those of the whole
27 J. Bédier and P. Aubry (ed.), Les chansons de croisade ( Paris, 1909; repr. Geneva, 1974), no. 1, pp. 7-12. 28 Eugenius III, ep. 382 to Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis, PL 180. 1414C.
Christian people'. 29 For the first time the institution of reforms in the church was associated with the crusading enterprise.
The preaching was conducted so successfully that the largest of all the crusades set out, its armies led by the three senior rulers in the west, the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and the rival kings Philip Augustus of France and Richard of England. It was a formidable expedition, but was gravely damaged by the death of Frederick Barbarossa in crossing the river Saleph on 10 June 1190. In the early summer of 1191 the forces of Philip and Richard arrived by sea in Syria and rapidly succeeded in recovering the important port of Acre, thus bringing to an end a long and bitter siege. Without the emperor, however, the personal hostility between the two kings jeopardized the progress of the expedition, and when Philip went home at the end of July Richard continued the campaign alone. He then confronted the strategic problem which Saladin's conquest had left: the fortresses which had protected Jerusalem from the south, Kerak and Montréal, along with Ascalon and its encircling castles, had fallen into Moslem hands. Even if Jerusalem were retaken, it would be effectively undefended against an attack from Egypt. Richard's preferred objective for the campaign was Ascalon, where he could sever the main communications between Cairo and Damascus and threaten Egypt itself, but in the event he failed to secure Ascalon permanently or to take Jerusalem. He left the east in October 1192 with a three-years' truce, and probably an intention to return. The former Frankish possessions had been transformed: they now consisted of the island of Cyprus, seized by Richard on his way to Syria, and of a string of ports and coastal castles as far south of Jaffa. The problem of how to recapture and defend Jerusalem remained, and was to dominate the planning of the thirteenthcentury crusades.
Meanwhile the image of the Saracen as a monster of iniquity had been widely disseminated in the west. The parody in the Song of Roland, with its idolaters and image-worshippers, had been taken into later songs and poems which circulated among the military classes. How generally the opprobrious lives of Mahomet composed by such writers as Guibert and Embricho were known, is less clear. 30 Another version had been added with the Otia de Machumete of Walter of Compiègne in 1137, and this was put into French much
29 See E. Siberry, Criticism of Crusading ( Oxford, 1985), 81-3.
30 For earlier versions of this material, see ch. 6 above.
later by Alexander of Villedieu in 1258. Thereafter, it circulated freely, but it is not possible to say with confidence whether these stories were shaping opinion before then. In contradiction to this general western view a handful of scholars was arriving at a better understanding of the Moslem religion. In 1142 Peter the Venerable, in the course of a visit to Cluniac abbeys in Spain, sponsored a series of translations from Arabic, most notably a version of the Koran by the English scholar Robert of Ketton. On the basis of this information, he wrote his 'Book against the Sect or Heresy of the Saracens'. The title is significant, for it contains the implication that Islam is an aberrant version of Christianity, not a monstrosity, and the intention was the eirenic one of resorting to reason instead of force. Yet it made little impact, and a further introduction to Islam was provided by William of Tyre. About 1184, shortly before his death, William was engaged in completing two histories, the History of Outremer, which is our major source for the kingdom of Jerusalem, and the History of the Princes of the East. Much has been claimed for this latter work; William, a native of Jerusalem, is said to have read widely in the Arabic sources, and produced a unique work, a serious Christian history of Islam, which was subsequently used by scholars and preachers in the next century, including Oliver of Paderborn, James of Vitry, William of Rübrück, and Raymond Lull. It may well be, however, that the great merit of the book lies in its disappearance; William's knowledge of Arabic is not confirmed by occasional mentions of the language in the History of Outremer, and there is no clear evidence that he was doing more than rehashing, with some material derived at second hand from Christian Arabic sources, the accepted western ideas. Nor is it certain that the later writers really did derive their knowledge of Islam from William's book. In the long run, in any case, this study of Islam fell on stony ground: the book was not of sufficient interest to be widely copied, and all its manuscripts have now disappeared. The serious attempt to understand the enemy was confined to a tiny group of academics and enthusiasts, and even they studied it with doubtful effect. Meanwhile, the first indications were reaching the west that in the depth of Asia there were pagans, and even Christians: there was something beyond Islam. But the consequences of that discovery lie in the thirteenth century, and we shall return to it then.
[Continue to PART II - Chapter 12]
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