Christianus sum. Christiani nihil a me alienum puto
THE MIDDLE AGES
From Gregory VII., 1049, to BONIFACE VIII., 1294
by DAVID S. SCHAFF, D.D. ————
preface. It was the constant hope of Dr. Philip Schaff, the author of the History of the Christian Church, that he might live to finish the treatment of the Middle Ages, to which he had devoted one volume, covering the years 600–1050. He frequently said, during the last years of his life, "If I am able to accomplish this, my History of the Christian Church will be measurably complete and I will be satisfied then to stop." He entered upon the task and had completed his studies on the pontificates of Gregory VII. and Alexander III., when his pen was laid aside and death overtook him, Oct. 20, 1893. The two volumes found lying open on his study table, as he had left them the day before, Jeremy Taylor’s Holy Living and Holy Dying and a volume of Hurter’s Life of Innocent III., showed the nature of his thoughts in his last hours.
Dr. Schaff’s distinction as a writer on Church History dated from the year 1851 when his History of the Apostolic Church appeared, first in its original German form, Mercersburg, Pa., pp. xvi, 576, and Leipzig, 1853, and then in English translation, New York and Edinburgh, 1853, 1854. Before that time, he had shown his taste for historical studies in his tract on What is Church History? translated by Dr. John W. Nevin, Phila., 1846, pp. 128, and the address on the Principle of Protestantism, which he delivered at his inauguration as professor in the theological seminary at Mercersburg, 1844. This address was published in its German form and in an English translation by Dr. Nevin, Chambersburg, 1845.
Dr. Schaff continued his publications in this department with the issue of his History of the Christian Church 1–600, in 2 volumes, N. Y., 1858–1867. In the meantime, his attention had been called to the subjects of biblical literature and exegesis, and his labors resulted in the publication of the American edition of Lange’s Commentary in 25 volumes and other works. In 1887 he issued his Creeds of Christendom in 3 volumes. Left free to devote himself to the continuation of his History, which he was inclined to regard as his chief literary work, he found it necessary, in order to keep abreast of the times and to present a fresh treatment, to begin his studies again at the very beginning and consequently the series, to which this volume belongs, is an independent work written afresh and differing in marked features from its predecessors. For example, the first volume, on the Apostolic age, devotes an extensive treatment to the authorship and dates of the Apostolic writings to which scarcely any space was given in the History of the Apostolic Church of 1851 and the History of the Apostolic Church of 1858–1867. The treatment was demanded by the new attitude of scholarship to the questions presented by the Apostolic age.
Dr. Schaff lived to prepare six volumes of this new work, three on early Christianity, one on mediaeval Christianity, and two on the Protestant Reformation. It is of some interest that Dr. Schaff’s last writing was a pamphlet on the Reunion of Christendom, pp. 71, a subject which he treated with warm practical sympathy and with materials furnished by the studies of the historian. The substance of the pamphlet had been used as a paper read before the Parliament of Religions at the Columbian Exposition, Chicago. It was a great satisfaction to him to have the Faculty of the Berlin University,—where he had spent part of his student life, 1840–1841, and which had conferred on him the doctorate of divinity in 1854,—bear testimony in their congratulatory letter on the semicentennial of his professorial career that his "History of the Christian Church is the most notable monument of universal historical learning produced by the school of Neander" (Life Of Philip Schaff, p. 467).
The further treatment of the Middle Ages, Dr. Schaff left to his son, the author of this volume. It was deemed by him best to begin the work anew, using the materials Dr. Schaff had left as the basis of the first four chapters.
The delay in the issue of the present volume is due chiefly to the requirements of study and in part to the difficulty in getting all the necessary literature. The author has felt unwilling to issue the volume without giving to it as thorough study as it was possible for him to give. This meant that he should familiarize himself not only with the mediaeval writings themselves but with the vast amount of research which has been devoted to the Middle Ages during the last quarter of a century and more. As for the literature, not a little of it has been, until recently, inaccessible to the student in this country. At Lane seminary, where the author was a professor, he found in the library an unusually well selected collection of works on the mediaeval period made fifty years ago by the wise judgment of two of its professors, Calvin E. Stowe and the late George E. Day, who made tours in Europe for the purpose of making purchases for its shelves. He also owes a debt to the Rev. Dr. Henry Goodwin Smith, for some time professor in the seminary and its librarian, for his liberal use of the library funds in supplementing the works in the mediaeval department. In passing, it may be also said that the Cincinnati Public Library, by reason of a large permanent fund given more than a half century ago for the purchase of theological works and by the wise selection of such men as Professor George E. Day, is unusually rich in works for the historical student, some of which may perhaps not be duplicated in this country.
On removing to the Western Theological seminary, the author found its librarian, Professor James A. Kelso, most ready to fill up the shelves of the mediaeval department so that it now possesses all the more important works both original and secondary. To the librarians of the two Roman Catholic libraries of Cincinnati and to other librarians the author is indebted for the courtesy of the free use of their collections.
An explanation is due for devoting an entire volume to the middle period of the Middle Ages, 1050–1294, when it was the intention of Dr. Philip Schaff to embrace it and the third period of the Middle Ages, 1294–1517, in a single volume. It is doubtful whether Dr. Schaff, after proceeding with his studies, would have thought it wise to attempt to execute his original purpose. However this might have been, to have confined the treatment of 500 years to the limits of a single volume would have meant to do a relative injustice and, in the light of recent study, to have missed a proper proportion. To the first 600 years, 1–590, the History devotes three volumes. Dr. Schaff intended to devote three volumes to the Protestant Reformation, two of which he lived to prepare. The intervening 900 years deserve an equal amount of space. The period covered by this volume is of great importance. Here belong the Crusades, the rejuvenation of monasticism by the mendicant orders, the development of the canon law, the rise of the universities, the determined struggles of the papacy with the empire, the development of the Inquisition, the settlement of the sacramental system, and some of the most notable characters the Christian Church has produced. No one can fully understand the spirit and doctrinal system of the Roman communion without knowing this period. Nor can any one, without such knowledge, fully understand the meaning of the Protestant Reformation, for the Reformation was a protest against the mediaeval theology and mediaeval practices. The best evidence for the truth of the latter statement is found in the work of the learned Dominican Denifle, entitled Luther und Lutherthum, and the Protestant rejoinders to its assaults.
A partial list of the more modern works show the amount of study that has recently been spent upon this period. Among the great collections of mediaeval documents, besides the older ones by Mabillon, Muratori, and Migne, are the Monumenta Germaniae, intended to give an exhaustive collection of mediaeval German writers, the series of collections of the papal documents called the Regesta, edited by Jaffé, Potthast, Auvray, Berger, and others, the Chartularium universitatis Parisiensis, a collection of documents edited by Denifle and Chatelain of the highest importance for the study of the university system, the Recueil des Historiens des Croisades, the remarkable collection of mediaeval sacred poetry edited by Dreves and Blume filling about 15 volumes, the Boehmer-Friedberg edition of the Canon Law, and the Rolls Series, containing the writers of mediaeval England. To such works must be added the new editions of Schoolmen, Albertus Magnus by Borgnet, Bonaventura by Peltier, Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas, and the editions of such writers as Caesar of Heisterbach, De Voragine, Salimbene, and Etienne de Bourbon. Among the recent students who have made a specialty of this period are Giesebrecht, Gregorovius, Scheffer-Boichorst, Karl Mueller, Hauck, Deutsch, Lempp, and other Protestants of Germany, and among German Catholic scholars Doellinger, Father Denifle, Ehrle, Knoepfler, Schwane, Schulte, Funk, and Felder. In France we have Rémusat, Hauréau, Chevalier, Vacandard, Sabatier, Alphandéry. In England and America, we have Dr. Henry Charles Lea, who deserves to be mentioned first, the late Bp. Stubbs, R. L. Poole, Rashdall, Bridges, the editors of the Rolls Series, such as Brewer and Luard, and Prof. D. C. Munro, O. T. Thatcher, and Shailer Mathews.
Except in rare cases, the quotations are taken from the original works, whether they were written in the Middle Ages or are modern discussions. An exception is the History of the City of Rome by Gregorovius. It has required severe discipline to check the inclination to extend the notes to a far greater length than they have been carried, especially in such chapters as those on the sacramental system and the Schoolmen. In the tables of literature, the more important modern works have at times been indicated by a star, *.
In the preparation of the volume for the press, efficient aid has been rendered by the Rev. David E. Culley, fellow and tutor in the Western Theological seminary, whose literary and historical tastes and sober judgment have been confirmed by studies abroad.
The second part of this volume, carrying the history from Boniface VIII. to the Reformation, is in an advanced stage of preparation.
In closing, the author indulges the hope that Dr. Philip Schaff’s spirit of toleration may be found permeating this volume, and its general historic judgments to be such as Dr. Schaff himself would have expressed.
DAVID S. SCHAFF.
The Western Theological Seminary,
Allegheny, Pa ———————————
CONTENTS. FROM GREGORY VII. TO BONIFACE VIII. A. D. 1049–1294.
§ 1. General Literature.
§ 2. Introductory Survey.
CHAPTER I. THE HILDEBRANDIAN POPES. A.D. 1049–1073.
§ 3. Sources and Literature on Chapters I. and II.
§ 4. Hildebrand and his Training.
§ 5. Hildebrand and Leo IX. 1049–1054.
§ 6. Victor II. and Stephen IX. (X.). 1055–1058.
§ 7. Nicolas II. and the Cardinals. 1059–1061.
§ 8. The War against Clerical Marriage.
§ 9. Alexander II. and the Schism of Cadalus. 1061–1073.
CHAPTER II. GREGORY VII, 1073–1085.
§ 10. Hildebrand elected Pope. His Views on the Situation.
§ 11. The Gregorian Theocracy.
§ 12. Gregory VII. as a Moral Reformer. Simony and Clerical Marriage.
§ 13. The Enforcement of Sacerdotal Celibacy.
§ 14. The War over Investiture.
§ 15. Gregory VII. and Henry IV.
§ 16. Canossa. 1077.
§ 17. Renewal of the Conflict. Two Kings and Two Popes.
§ 18. Death of Gregory VII.
CHAPTER III. THE PAPACY FROM THE DEATH OF GREGORY VII. TO THE CONCORDAT OF WORMS. A.D. 1085–1122.
§ 19. Victor III. and Urban II. 1086–1099.
§ 20. Pascal II. and Henry V. 1099–1118.
§ 21. The Concordat of Worms. 1122.
§ 22. The Conflict of the Hierarchy in England. William the Conqueror and Lanfranc.
§ 23. William Rufus and Anselm.
§ 24. Anselm and Henry I.
CHAPTER IV. THE PAPACY FROM THE CONCORDAT OF WORMS TO INNOCENT III. A.D. 1122–1198.
§ 25. Innocent II., 1130–1143, and Eugene III., 1145–1153.
§ 26. Arnold of Brescia.
§ 27. The Popes and the Hohenstaufen.
§ 28. Adrian IV. and Frederick Barbarossa.
§ 29. Alexander III. in Conflict with Barbarossa.
§ 30. The Peace of Venice. 1177.
§ 31. Thomas Becket and Henry II of England.
§ 32. The Archbishop and the King.
§ 33. The Martyrdom of Thomas Becket. Dec. 29, 1170.
§ 34. The Effects of Becket’s Murder.
CHAPTER V. INNOCENT III. AND HIS AGE. A.D. 1198–1216.
§ 35. Literature.
§ 36. Innocent’s Training and Election.
§ 37. Innocent’s Theory of the Papacy.
§ 38. Innocent and the German Empire.
§ 39. Innocent and King John of England.
§ 40. Innocent and Magna Charta.
§ 41. The Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.
CHAPTER VI. THE PAPACY FROM THE DEATH OF INNOCENT III. TO BONIFACE VIII. 1216–1294.
§ 42. The Papal Conflict with Frederick II Begun.
§ 43. Gregory IX. and Frederick II. 1227–1241.
§ 44. The First Council of Lyons and the Close of Frederick’s Career. 1241–1250.
§ 45. The Last of the Hohenstaufen.
§ 46. The Empire and Papacy at Peace. 1271–1294.
CHAPTER VII. THE CRUSADES.
§ 47. Literature on the Crusades as a Whole.
§ 48. Character and Causes of the Crusades.
§ 49. The Call to the Crusades.
§ 50. The First Crusade and the Capture of Jerusalem.
§ 51. The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. 1099–1187.
§ 52. The Fall of Edessa and the Second Crusade.
§ 53. The Third Crusade. 1189–1192.
§ 54. The Children’s Crusades.
§ 55. The Fourth Crusade and the Capture of Constantinople. 1200–1204.
§ 56. Frederick II. and the Fifth Crusade. 1229.
§ 57. St. Louis and the Last Crusades. 1248, 1270.
§ 58. The Last Stronghold of the Crusaders in Palestine.
§ 59. Effects of the Crusades.
§ 60. The Military Orders.
CHAPTER VIII. THE MONASTIC ORDERS.
§ 61. The Revival of Monasticism.
§ 62. Monasticism and the Papacy.
§ 63. The Monks of Cluny.
§ 64. The Cistercians.
§ 65. St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
§ 66. The Augustinians, Carthusians, Carmelites, and other Orders.
§ 67. Monastic Prophets.
§ 68. The Mendicant Orders.
§ 69. Franciscan Literature.
§ 70. St. Francis d’Assisi.
§ 71. The Franciscans.
§ 72. St. Dominic and the Dominicans.
CHAPTER IX. MISSIONS.
§ 73. Literature and General Survey.
§ 74. Missions in Northeastern Germany.
§ 75. Missions among the Mohammedans.
§ 76. Missions among the Mongols.
§ 77. The Jews.
CHAPTER X. HERESY AND ITS SUPPRESSION.
§ 78. Literature for the Entire Chapter.
§ 79. The Mediaeval Dissenters.
§ 80. The Cathari.
§ 81. Peter de Bruys and Other Independent Leaders.
§ 82. The Amaurians and Other Isolated Sects.
§ 83. The Beguines and Beghards.
§ 84. The Waldenses.
§ 85. The Crusades against the Albigenses.
§ 86. The Inquisition. Its Origin and Purpose.
§ 87. The Inquisition. Its Mode of Procedure and Penalties.
CHAPTER XI. UNIVERSITIES AND CATHEDRALS.
§ 88. Schools.
§ 89. Books and Libraries.
§ 90. The Universities.
§ 91. The University of Bologna.
§ 92. The University of Paris.
§ 93. Oxford and Cambridge.
§ 94. The Cathedrals.
CHAPTER XII. SCHOLASTIC AND MYSTIC THEOLOGY.
§ 95. Literature and General Introduction.
§ 96. Sources and Development of Scholasticism.
§ 97. Realism and Nominalism.
§ 98. Anselm of Canterbury.
§ 99. Peter Abaelard.
§ 100. Abaelard’s Teachings and Theology.
§ 101. Younger Contemporaries of Abaelard.
§ 102. Peter the Lombard and the Summists.
§ 103. Mysticism.
§ 104. St. Bernard as a Mystic.
§ 105. Hugo and Richard of St. Victor.
CHAPTER XIII. SCHOLASTICISM AT ITS HEIGHT.
§ 106. Alexander of Hales.
§ 107. Albertus Magnus.
§ 108 Thomas Aquinas.
§ 109. Bonaventura.
§ 110. Duns Scotus.
§ 111. Roger Bacon.
CHAPTER XIV. THE SACRAMENTAL SYSTEM.
§ 112. Literature on the Sacraments.
§ 113. The Seven Sacraments.
§ 114. Baptism and Confirmation.
§ 115. The Eucharist.
§ 116. Eucharistic Practice and Superstition.
§ 117. Penance and Indulgences.
§ 118. Penance and Indulgences.
§ 119. Extreme Unction, Ordination, and Marriage.
§ 120. Sin and Grace.
§ 121. The Future State.
CHAPTER XV. POPE AND CLERGY.
§ 122. The canon Law.
§ 123. The Papal Supremacy in Church and State.
§ 124. The Pope and the Curia.
§ 125. Bishops.
§ 126. The Lower Clergy.
§ 127. The Councils.
§ 128. Church and Clergy in England.
§ 129. Two English Bishops.
CHAPTER XVI. POPULAR WORSHIP AND SUPERSTITION.
§ 130. The Worship of Mary.
§ 131. The Worship of Relics.
§ 132. The Sermon.
§ 133. Hymns and Sacred Poetry.
§ 134. The Religious Drama.
§ 135. The Flagellants.
§ 136. Demonology and the Dark Arts.
§ 137. The Age passing Judgment upon Itself.
THE MIDDLE AGES. THE PAPAL THEOCRACY IN CONFLICT WITH
THE SECULAR POWER. FROM GREGORY VII. TO BONIFACE VIII. A. D. 1049–1294. THE FIFTH PERIOD OF CHURCH HISTORY. § 1. General Literature. Sources: J. P. Migne: Patrologiae cursus completus, etc. The Latin series containing the writings of the "Fathers, Doctors, and Writers of the Latin Church from Tertullian to Innocent III.," 221 vols. Paris, 1844–1864. Indispensable. The writers of the 11th century begin with vol. 139.—Philip Labbaeus, S. J., d. 1667: Sacrosancta concilia ad regiam editionem exacta, 18 vols. Paris, 1662 sqq. Labbaeus lived to see vol. IX. in print. Completed by Gabriel Cossart. This collection has been used in places in this volume. —John D. Mansi, abp. of Lucca, d. 1769: Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, 31 vols., Florence and Venice, 1759–1798. Extends to the Council of Florence, 1439. New facsimile ed. with continuation. Paris, 1901 sqq. Thus far 38 vols., 0–37, reaching to 1735.—L. A. Muratori, d. 1750: Rerum Italicarum scriptores, 500–1600, 25 vols. Milan, 1723–1761, with supplemental vols., Florence, 1748, 1770, Venice, 1771, in all 31 parts. Repub. and ed. by G. Carducci et V. Fiorini, Citta di Castello 1902 sqq.—Monumenta Germaniae historica, ed. by G. H. Pertz, d. 1870, and his coeditors and successors, Wattenbach, Böhmer, etc. More than 50 vols. Han., 1826 sqq. They cover the whole history of the empire and papacy.—Scriptores rerum Germanicarum for use in schools and drawn from the preceding, ed. by Pertz, 42 vols. Han., 1840–1894.—Die Geschichtschreiber der deutschen Vorzeit, ed. by Pertz, etc., in German trans, 92 vols. Berlin and Leipzig, 1849–1892.—The Rolls Series, Rerum Britannicarum medii aevi scriptores, 97 vols., London, 1858–1891, contains splendid edd. of William of Malmesbury, Roger of Wendover, Ralph of Coggeshall, Richard of Hoveden, Matthew Paris (7 vols.), Grosseteste, and other English mediaeval writers.—Bohn’s Antiq. Library, 41 vols. London, 1848–1864 sqq., gives translations of M. Paris, Richard of Hoveden, etc.—J. F. Böhmer: Regesta imperii, 1198–1254. New ed. by J. Ficker and Winkelmann, Innsbruck, 1881–1894. Regesta pontificum romanorum from St. Peter to Innocent III., ed. by Jaffé, d. 1878, Berlin, 1851, pp. 951; 2d ed. by Wattenbach, Löwenthal, Kaltenbrunner, and Ewald, vol. I. Lips., 1885, from Peter to Innocent II., 64–1143; vol. II. Lips., 1888 from Coelestin II. to Innocent III., 1143–1198. —Continuation by Aug. Potthast, from Innocent III., to Benedict XI., 1198–1304, 2 vols. pp. 2157, Berlin, 1873, 1875.—J. Von Pflugk Harttung: Acta pontificum rom. inedita, 3 vols. Tübing. 1881–1888. Carl Mirbt: Quellen zur Geschichte des Papsttums und des röm. Katholizismus, 2d ed. Tübing. 1901, pp. 482. Very convenient and valuable, giving the original Latin documents.—Shailer Mathews: Select Mediaeval Docts. etc., illustr. the Hist. Of the Church and Empire, 754–1254, N. Y. 1892.—Heinrich Denifle, O. P., archivarius of the Vatican Library, d. 1905, and Franz Ehrle, S. J.: Archiv für Literaturund Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters, Freib. im Br. 1885 sqq. Many important documents were published here for the first time.—Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken herausgegeben vom Koenigl-Preussichen Historischen Institut in Rom., thus far 8 vols. 1897–1905.
Secondary Works: Histoire Littéraire de la France, 1733 sqq. Dicty. of Natl. Biogr., ed. by Leslie Stephen, 63 vols. with Supplem., London, 1885–1903,—Wetzer-Welte: Kirchen Lexikon, 2d ed. 12 vols. Freib. im Br. 1882–1901.—Herzog: Realencyklopaedia für protestantische Theologie und Kirche, ed. by A. Hauck, 3d ed. 1896 sqq. Thus far 18 vols.—W. Giesebrecht: Gesch. der deutschen Kaiserzeit, 3 vols. 5th ed. Leipzig, 1890.—Döllinger-Friedrich: Das Papstthum, Munich, 1892. A revision of Döllinger’s The Pope and the Council, which appeared in 1869 under the pseudonym Janus, as a protest against the doctrine of Papal Infallibility about to be taken up at the Vatican Council.—Ferdinand Gregorovius: Geschichte der Stadt Rom. im Mittelalter, Engl. trans. from the 4th German, ed. 1886–1893, Stuttg., by Annie Hamilton, 8 vols. (13 parts), London, 1894–1902. The most valuable general work of the Middle Ages.—James Bryce: The Holy Roman Empire, new ed. London, 1904, pp. 575. Thorough and lucid.—Carl J. von Hefele, Bishop of Rottenburg, d. 1893: Conciliengeschichte to 1536, 2d ed. 9 vols. Freib. im Br. 1873–1890. Vols. V.-VII. in 2d ed. by A. Knöpfler. Vols. VIII. IX. were prepared by Cardinal Hergenröther.—A. Hauck: Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, 4 vols. Leipzig, 1887–1903; vols. I. II 4th ed. 1904.—Gibbon: Decline and Fall of Rome, ed. by J. B. Bury, 7 vols. London, 1897–1900.—Leopold Von Ranke: Weltgeschichte to 1453, 9 vols. Leipzig, 1883–1888.—The Church Histories of Neander, Gieseler, Baur, Die christl. Kirche des Mittelalters, 1861, Milman, Hagenbach, K. Hase, Rich. C. Trench: Med. Ch. History, 1877. The Manuals of Church History of Hefele-Knöpfler, 3d ed. 1902, F. X. Funk, 4th ed. 1902, W. Möller Engl. trans. 3 vols. 1898–1900, Karl Muller, 2 vols. 1892–1902, Hergenröther, rev. by J. P. Kirsch, 4th ed. 1902 sqq. Loofs, 1901, Hans Von Schubert, 1904, Geo. P. Fisher, 1887, H. C. Sheldon, 5 vols. N. Y. 1890, A. C. Zenos, Phil. 1899, A. H. Newman, 2 vols. 1900 sqq. The Histories of Christian Doctrine, of Harnack Engl. trans. from 3d Ger. ed. 7 vols. Boston, 1897–1900. Loofs, 3d ed. 1893, Geo. P. Fisher, 1896, Seeberg, 2 vols. 1895, H. C. Sheldon, 2 vols. 4th ed. 1905.—Hallam: Hist. of the Middle Ages.—Guizot: Hist. of Civilization from the Fall of the Rom. Emp. to the French Revolution.—Lecky: Hist. of Rationalism in Europe and European Morals.—H. Weingarten: Zeittafeln und Ueberblicke zur Kirchengeschichte, 6th ed. by Arnold, Leipzig, 1905.
For Literature: A. Potthast: Bibliotheca Historica medii aevi, Wegweiser durch die Geschichtswerke des europäischen Mittelalters bis 1500, 2 vols. Berlin, 1864–1868, 2d ed. Berlin, 1896. A work of great industry and value.—U. Chevalier: Répertoire des sources historiques du moyen âge, Paris, 1877–1886, Supplem. 1888.—W. Wattenbach: Deutsche Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter, to 1250, 2 vols. Berlin, 1858, 6th ed. 1893 sq.
For other works relating to the whole period of the Middle Ages, see vol. IV. 1–4.
§ 2. Introductory Survey. The fifth period of general Church history, or the second period of mediaeval Church history, begins with the rise of Hildebrand, 1049, and ends with the elevation of Boniface VIII. to the papal dignity, 1294.
In this period the Church and the papacy ascend from the lowest state of weakness and corruption to the highest power and influence over the nations of Europe. It is the classical age of Latin Christianity: the age of the papal theocracy, aiming to control the German Empire and the kingdoms of France, Spain, and England. It witnessed the rise of the great Mendicant orders and the religious revival which followed. It beheld the full flower of chivalry and the progress of the crusades, with the heroic conquest and loss of the Holy Land. It saw the foundations laid of the great universities of Bologna, Paris, Oxford. It was the age of scholastic philosophy and theology, and their gigantic efforts to solve all conceivable problems and by dialectical skill to prove every article of faith. During its progress Norman and Gothic architecture began to rear the cathedrals. All the arts were made the handmaids of religion; and legendary poetry and romance flourished. Then the Inquisition was established, involving the theory of the persecution of Jews and heretics as a divine right, and carrying it into execution in awful scenes of torture and blood. It was an age of bright light and deep shadows, of strong faith and stronger superstition, of sublime heroism and wild passions, of ascetic self-denial and sensual indulgence, of Christian devotion and barbarous cruelty.1 Dante, in his Divina Commedia, which "heaven and earth" combined to produce, gives a poetic mirror of Christianity and civilization in the thirteenth and the opening years of the fourteenth century, when the Roman Church was at the summit of its power, and yet, by the abuse—of that power and its worldliness, was calling forth loud protests, and demands for a thorough reformation from all parts of Western Christendom.
A striking feature of the Middle Ages is the contrast and co-operation of the forces of extreme self-abnegation as represented in monasticism and extreme ambition for worldly dominion as represented in the papacy.2 The former gave moral support to the latter, and the latter utilized the former. The monks were the standing army of the pope, and fought his battles against the secular rulers of Western Europe.
The papal theocracy in conflict with the secular powers and at the height of its power is the leading topic. The weak and degenerate popes who ruled from 900–1046 are now succeeded by a line of vigorous minds, men of moral as well as intellectual strength. The world has had few rulers equal to Gregory VII. 1073–1085, Alexander III. 1159–1181, and Innocent III. 1198–1216, not to speak of other pontiffs scarcely second to these masters in the art of government and aspiring aims. The papacy was a necessity and a blessing in a barbarous age, as a check upon brute force, and as a school of moral discipline. The popes stood on a much higher plane than the princes of their time. The spirit has a right to rule over the body; the intellectual and moral interests are superior to the material and political. But the papal theocracy carried in it the temptation to secularization. By the abuse of opportunity it became a hindrance to pure religion and morals. Christ gave to Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven, but he also said, "My kingdom is not of this world." The pope coveted both kingdoms, and he got what he coveted. But he was not able to hold the power he claimed over the State, and aspiring after temporal authority lost spiritual power. Boniface VIII. marks the beginning of the decline and fall of the papal rule; and the seeds of this decline and fall were sown in the period when the hierarchy was in the pride of its worldly might and glory.
In this period also, and chiefly as the result of the crusades, the schism between the churches of the East and the West was completed. All attempts made at reconciliation by pope and council only ended in wider alienation.
The ruling nations during the Middle Ages were the Latin, who descended from the old Roman stock, but showed the mixture of barbaric blood and vigor, and the Teutonic. The Italians and French had the most learning and culture. Politically, the German nation, owing to its possession of the imperial crown and its connection with the papacy, was the most powerful, especially under the Hohenstaufen dynasty. England, favored by her insular isolation, developed the power of self-government and independent nationality, and begins to come into prominence in the papal administration. Western Europe is the scene of intellectual, ecclesiastical, and political activities of vast import, but its arms and devotion find their most conspicuous arena in Palestine and the East.
Finally this period of two centuries and a half is a period of imposing personalities. The names of the greatest of the popes have been mentioned, Gregory VII., Alexander III., and Innocent III. Its more notable sovereigns were William the Conqueror, Frederick Barbarossa, Frederick II., and St. Louis of France. Dante the poet illumines its last years. St. Bernard, Francis d’Assisi, and Dominic, the Spaniard, rise above a long array of famous monks. In the front rank of its Schoolmen were Anselm, Abelard, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventura, and Duns Scotus. Thomas à Becket and Grosseteste are prominent representatives of the body of episcopal statesmen. This combination of great figures and of great movements gives to this period a variety of interest such as belongs to few periods of Church history or the history of mankind.