39. QUARREL BETWEEN THE EMPEROR FREDERICK BARBAROSSA AND THE PAPACY
And now (according to my promise premised) the time requireth to proceed to the history of Frederic the First, (called Barbarossa,) successor unto Conradus in the empire, who marched up to Italy to subdue there certain rebels. The pope hearing that, came with his clergy to meet him by the way, in a town called Sutrium, thinking by him to find aid against his enemies. The emperor seeing the bishop, lighteth from his horse to receive him, holding the stirrup to the prelate on the left side, when he should have held it on the right, whereat the pope showed himself somewhat grieved. The emperor smiling, excused himself; that he was never accustomed to hold stirrups. And seeing it was done only of good will, and of no duty, the less matter was what side of the horse he held. The next day, to make amends again to the bishop, the emperor sending for him received him, holding the right stirrup unto the prelate, and so all the matter was made whole, and he the pope's white son again.
After this, as they were come in and sat together, Adrian the pope beginneth to declare unto him, how his ancestors before him, such as sought unto the see of Rome for the crown, were wont always to leave behind them some special token or monument of their benevolence for the obtaining thereof, Carolus Magnus in subduing the Lombards, Otho the Berengarians, Lotharius the Normans, &c. Wherefore he required some benefit to proceed likewise from him unto the Church of Rome, in restoring again the country of Apulia to the Church of Rome. Which thing if he would do, he for his part again would do that which appertained unto him to do; meaning in giving him the crown, for at that time the popes had brought the emperors to fetch their crown at their hands.
Frederic, with his princes, perceiving that unless he would of his own proper costs and charges fetch in again Apulia out of Duke William's hands, he could not speed of the crown, was fain to promise to all that the pope required, and so the next day after was crowned.
This done, the emperor returneth into Germany, to refresh his army and his other furnitures, for the subduing of Apulia. In the mean while Adrian, not thinking to be idle, first giveth forth censures of excommunication against William, duke of Apulia. Besides, not content with this, he sendeth also to Emmanuel, emperor of Constantinople, incensing him to war against the foresaid William. The duke perceiving this, sendeth to the pope for peace, promising to restore to him whatsoever he would.
But the pope, through the malignant counsel of his cardinals, would grant to no peace, thinking to get more by war. The duke, seeing nothing but war, prepareth himself with all expedition to the same. To be brief, making all his power out of Sicilia, he arrived at Apulia, and there putteth the emperor Emmanuel to flight. This done, he proceedeth to the city of Bonaventure, where the pope with his cardinals were looking for victory. He, planting there his siege, so straitly pressed the city, that the pope with his cardinals were glad to entreat for peace, which they refused before. The duke granted unto their peace upon certain conditions, that is, that neither he should invade such possessions as belonged to Rome, and that the pope should make him king of both Sicilies. So the matter was concluded, and they departed. The bishop, coming to Rome, was no less troubled there about their consuls and senators, insomuch that when his curses and excommunications could not prevail nor serve, he was fain to leave Rome, and removed to Ariminum.
The emperor, all this while sitting quietly at home, began to consider with himself how the pope had extorted from the emperors his predecessors the investing and enduing of prelates; how he had pilled and polled all nations by his legates, and also had been the sower of seditions through all his empire. He began therefore to require of all the hishops of Germany homage, and oath of their allegiance; commanding also the pope's legates, if they came into Germany without his sending for, not to be received. Charging, moreover, all his subjects that none of them should appeal to Rome. Besides this, in his letters he set and prefixed his name before the pope's name; whereupon the pope, being not a little offended, directed his letters to the foresaid Frederic, emperor, after this tenor and form as followeth.
The copy of Adrianus the pope's letters to Frederic the emperor.
"Adrian, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to Frederic, emperor, health and apostolical benediction. The law of God, as it promiseth to them that honour father and mother long life, so it threateneth the sentence of death to them that curse father and mother. We are taught by the word of truth, that every one the which exalteth himself shall be brought low. Whrefore (my well-beloved son in the Lord) we marvel not a little at your wisdom, in that you seem not to show that reverence to blessed St. Peter, and to the holy Church of Rome, which you ought to show. For why? In your letters sent to us, you prefer your own name before ours; wherein you incur the note of insolency, yea rather, (to speak it,) of arrogancy. What should I here recite unto you the oath of your fidelity, which you aware to blessed St. Peter and to us, and how you observe and keep the same? Seeing you so require homage and allegiance of them that be gods, and all the sons of the High God, and presume to join their holy lands with yours, working contrary to us; seeing also you exclude, not only out of your churches, but also out of your cities, our cardinals, whom we direct as legates from our side; what shall I say then unto you? Amend therefore, I advise you, amend; for while you go about to obtain of us your consecration and crown, and to get those things you have not, I fear much your honour will lose the things you have. Thus fare ye well."
The answer of Frederic, the emperor, to the pope.
"Frederic, by the grace of God,Roman emperor, ever Augustus, unto Adrian, bishop of the Roman church, and unto all such that be willing to cleave unto those things which Jesus began to work and teach, greeting. The law of justice giveth to every person accordingly that which is his. Neither do we derogate from our parents; of whom, according as we have received this our dignity of the imperial crown and governance, so in the same kingdom of ours we do render their due and true honour to them again. And forsomuch as duty in all sorts of men is to be sought out, let us see first in the time of Constantine (Silvester then being bishop of Rome) what patrimony or regality he had of his own due to him that he might claim. Did not Constantine of his liberal benignity give liberty, and restored peace unto the church? And what soever regality or patrimony the see of your papacy hath, was it not by the donation of princes given unto them? Revolve and turn over the ancient chronicles, (if either you have not read or neglected that we do affirm,) there it is to be found. Of them which be gods by adoption, and hold our lordships of us, why may we not justly require their homage, and their sworn allegiance, whenas he which is both your Master and ours (taking nothing of any king or any man, but giving all goodness to all men) payed toll and tribute for him and Peter unto Cæsar? giving you example to do the like. And therefore he saith to you and all men, "Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart," &c. Wherefore either render again your lordships and patrimonies which ye hold of us; or else, if ye find them so sweet unto you, then give that which is due to God unto God, and that which is due to Cæsar unto Cæsar. As for your cardinals, we shut them out both of churches and cities, for that we see them not preachers, but prollers; not repairers of peace, but rakers for money; not pillars and upholders of the church, but pollers insatiable of the world, and moilers of money and gold. What time we shall see them to be other men, (such as the church requireth them to be,) members and makers of peace, shining forth like lights to the people, assisting poor and weak men's causes in the way of equity, &c., then shall they find us prepared and ready to relieve them with stipends, and all things necessary. And whereas you infer such questions as these unto secular men, (little conducing to religion,) you incur thereby no little note and blemish of your humility, (which is keeper of all virtues,) and of your mansuetude. Therefore let your fatherhood beware and take heed, lest in moving such matters as seem to us unseemly for you, ye give thereby offence to such as depend of your word (giving ear to your mouth, as it were to an evening shower); for we cannot but tell you of that we hear, seeing now the detestable beast of pride doth creep into the seat of Peter, providing always (as much as we may by God's grace) for the peace of the church. Fare ye well."
Upon this Adrian the pope directeth out a bull against Frederic, excommunicating him with public and solemn ceremonies. Moreover, conspiring with William, duke of Apulia, he sought all manner of ways to infest the emperor, and to set all men against him, especially the clergy. Amongst many other writing to Hillinus, bishop of Trivers, to Arnulphus, bishop of Mentz, and to Frederic, bishop of Cullen, he seeketh first to make them of his side.
Much trouble had good Fredericus with this pope; but much more with the other that followed. For this pope continued not very long, the space only of four years and odd months. About whose time rose up the order of the hermits by one William, once duke of Aquitania, and afterward a friar. This Adrianus, walking with his cardinals abroad to a place called Anagnia, or Arignanum, (as Volateran calleth it,) chanced to be choked with a fly getting into his throat, and so was strangled; who, in the later time of his papacy, was wont to say, that there is no more miserable kind of life in the earth, than to be pope, and to come to the papacy by blood, that is, (said he,) not to succeed Peter, but rather Romulus, who, to reign alone, did slay his brother.
Although this Adrian was bad enough, yet came the next much worse, one Alexander, the third of that name, who yet was not elect alone; for beside him the emperor with nine cardinals (albeit Sabellicus saith but with three) did set up another pope, named Victor the Fourth. Between these two popes rose a foul schism and great discord, and long continued. Insomuch that the emperor, being required to take up the matter, sent for them both to appear before him, that in hearing them both he might judge their cause the better. Victor came, but Alexander (disdaining that his matter should come in controversy) refused to appear. Whereupon the emperor, with a full consent of his bishops and clergy about him, assigned and ratified the election of Victor to stand, and so brought him into the city, there to be received and placed. Alexander flying into France, accused them both, sending his letters to all Christendom against them, as men to be avoided and cast out of all Christian company. Also to get him friends at Rome, by flattery and money he got on his side the greatest part of the city, both to the favouring of him, and to the setting up of such consuls as were for his purpose. After this, Alexander coming from France to Sicily, and from thence to Rome, was there received with much favour, through the help of Philip the French king. The
MPEROR, hearing this rebellion and conspiracy in Rome, removed with great power into Italy, where he had destroyed divers great cities. Coming at length to Rome, he required the citizens that the cause betwixt the two popes might be decided, and that he which had the best right might be taken. If they would so do, he would restore again that which he took from them before. Alexander mistrusting his part, and doubting the wills of the citizens, (having ships ready prepared for him from William, duke of Apulia,) fetched a course about to Venice.
To declare here the difference in histories, between Blondus, Sabellicus, and the Venetian chroniclers, with other writers, concerning the order of this matter, I will overpass. In this most do agree, that the pope being at Venice, and required to be sent of the Venetians to the emperor, they would not send him. Whereupon Fredericus the emperor sent thither his son Otho, with men and ships well appointed, charging him not to attempt any thing before his coming. The young man, more hardy than circumspect, (joining with the Venetians,) was overcome; and so taken, was brought out into the city. Hereby the pope took no small occasion to work his feats.
The father, to help the captivity and misery of his son, was compelled to submit himself to the pope, and to entreat for peace. So the emperor, coming to Venice, (at St. Mark's church, where the bishop was, there to take his absolution,) was bid to kneel down at the pope's feet.
The proud pope, setting his foot upon the emperor's neck, said the verse of the Psalm, "Thou shalt walk upon the adder and on the basilisk, and shalt tread down the lion and the dragon." To whom the emperor answering again, said, Not to thee, but to Peter. The pope again, Both to me and to Peter. The emperor, fearing to give any occasion of further quarrelling, held his peace, and so was absolved, and peace made between them. The conditions whereof were these. First, that he should receive Alexander for the true pope. Secondly. that he should restore again to the Church of Rome all that he had taken away before. And thus the emperor, obtaining again his son. departed.
Here, as I note in divers writers a great diversity and variety touching the order of this matter. (of whom some say that the emperor camped in Palestina before he came to Venice, some say after,) so I marvel to see in Volateran (so great a favourer of the pope) such a contradiction, who in his two and twentieth book saith, that Otho, the emperor's son. was taken in this conflict, which was the cause of the peace between his father and the pope. And in his three and twentieth book again saith, that the emperor himself was taken prisoner in the same battle; and so afterwards (peace concluded) took his journey to Asia and Palestina. This pope, in the time of his papacy, (which continued one and twenty years,) kept sundry councils both at Turo and at Lateran, where he confirmed the wicked proceedings of Hildebrand, and others his predecessors; as to bind all orders of the clery to the vow of chastity; which were not greatly to be reprehended, if they would define chastity aright. For who so liveth not a chaste life (saith he) is not fit to be a minister. But herein lieth an error full of much blindness, and also peril, to think that matrimony immaculate (as St. Paul calleth it) is not chastity, but only a single life, that they esteem to be a chaste life.