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choice was ratified jt rejected by the applause or clamor of the Roman peoji.e. But the election was imperfect; noi could the pontiff be legally consecrated till the emperor, th« advocate of* the church, had graciously signified his approbation and consent. The royal commissioner examined, on the spot, the form and freedom of the proceedings; nor was it till after a previous scrutiny into the qualifications of the candidates, that he accepted an oath of fidelity, and confirmed tf"i donations which had successively enriched the patrimony of St. Peter. In the frequent schisms, the rival claims were submitted to the sentence of the emperor; and in a synod of bishops he presumed to judge, to condemn, and to punish, the crimes of a guilty pontiff. Otho the First imposed a treaty on the senate and people, who engaged to prefer the candidate most acceptable to his majesty :m his successors anticipated or prevented their choice: they bestowed the Roman benefice, like the bishoprics of Cologne or Bamberg, on their chancellors or preceptors; and whatever might be the merit of a Frank or Saxon, his name sufficiently attests the interposition of foreign power. These acts of prerogative were most speciously excused by the vices of a popular election. The competitor who had been excluded by the cardinals appealed to the passions or avarice of the multitude; -he Vatican and the Lateran were stained with blood; and the most powerful senators, the marquises of Tuscany and the counts of Tusculum, held the apostolic see in a long and disgraceful servitude. The Roman pontiffs, of the ninth and tenth centuries, were insulted, imprisoned, and murdered, by their tyrants; and such was their indigence, after the loss and usurpation of the ecclesiastical patrimonies, that they could neither support the state of a prince, nor exercise the charity of a priest.1TM The influence of two sister prostitutes, Maro
so highly exalted by Peter Damianus, are sunk to a level with the rest tf the sacred college.
137 Finniter jurautes, nunquam se papam electuros aut audinaturos, pjaeter consensum et electionem Othonis et filii sui. (Liutprand, ). vl c. 6 p. 4"2.) This important concession may either supply or confirm the de ree of the clergy and people of Rome, so fiercely rejected bv Baronnis, Pagi, and Muratori, (A. D. 964,) and so well defended and explained by St Marc, (Abregu, torn. ii. p. 808—816. toin. iv. p. 1161 —1185.) Consult the historical critic, and the Annals of Muratori, f<» for the election and confirmation of each pope.
yK The oppression and vices of the Roman church, in the xtb ceo Vary, are strongly painted in th> history and legation of Liutprand
aa and Theot fora, was founded on their wealth and beauty their political and amorous intrigues: the most strenuous of their lovers were rewarded with the Roman mitre, and theii reign "* may have suggested to the darker ages I30 the fable 1*1 of a female pope.139 The bastard son, the grandson, and the great-grandson of Marozia, a rare genealogy, were seated in the chair of St. Peter, and it was at the age of nineteen years that the second of these became the head of the Latin church.*
(aee p. 440, 450, 471—476, 479, <fec.;) and it is whimsical enough to observe Muratori tempering the invectives of Baronius against the popes. But these popes had been chosen, not by the cardinals, but by Jay-patrons.
158 The time of Pope Joan (papissa Joanna) is placed somewhat earlier than Theodora or Marozia; and the two years of her imaginary reign are forcibly inserted between Leo IV. and Benedict III. But the contemporary Anastasius indissolubly links the death of Leo ana the elevation of Benedict, (illico, mox, p. '247 ;) and the accurate chronology of Pagi, Muratori, and Leibnitz, fixes both events to the year 857.
130 The advocates for Pope Joan produce one hundred and fifty witnesses, or rather echoes, of the xivth, xvth, and xvith centuries. They bear testimony against themselves and the legend, by multiplying the proof that so curious a story must have been repeated by writers of ••very description to whom it was known. On those of the ixth and xth centuries, the recent event would have flashed with a double force. Would Photius have spared such a reproach? Could Liutprand have missed such scandal? It is scarcely worth while to discuss Ihe various readings of Martinus Polonus, Sigeber of Gamblours, or even Marianus Scotus; but a most palpable forgery is the passage of Pope Joan, which has been foisted into some MSS. and editions of the Roman Anastasius.
1,1 As false, it deserves that name; but I would not pronounce it incredible. Suppose a famous French chevalier of our own times to have been born in Italy, and educated in the church, instead of the army: her merit or fortune might have raised her to St. Peter's chair; her amours would have been natural: her delivery in the streeta unlucky, but nof improbable.
,a Till tin information the tale was repeated and believed without offence: and Juan's female statue long occupied her place among the popes in the cathedral of Sienna, (Pagi, Critica, torn. iii. p. 624—626.) She has been annihilated by two learned Protestants, Blondel and Bayle, (Dictionnaire Critique, Papessk, Polonus, Blondel ;) but their brethren were scandalized by this equitable and generous criticism, ^panheim and Lenfant attempt to save this poor engine of controversy, tad even Mosheim condescends to cherish some doubt and suspicion, (p. 289.)
* John XI. was the son of her husband Alberic, not of her lover, P« pc Bwjriue III., as Muratori has distinctly proved. Ann. ad ann. 911. torn 9
His youth and manhood were of a suitable complexion; and the nations of pilgrims could bear testimony to the charges that were urged against him in a Roman synod, and in tha presence of Otho the Great. As John XII. had renounced the dress and decencies of his profession, the soldier may not perhaps be dishonored by the wine which he drank, the blood that he spilt, the flames that he kindled, or the licentious pursuits of gaming and hunting. His open simony might be the consequence of distress; and his blasphemous invocation of Jupiter and Venus, if it be true, could not possibly be serious. But we read, with some surprise, that the worthy grandson of Marozia lived in public adultery with the matrons of Rome; that the Lateran palace was turned into a school for prostitution, and that his rapes of virgins and widows had deterred the female pilgrims from visiting the tomb of St. Peter, lest, in the devout act, they should be violated by his successor.1" The Protestants have dwelt with malicious pleasure on these characters of Antichrist; but to a philosophic eye, the vices of the clergy are far less dangerous than their virtues. After a long series of scandal, the apostolic see was reformed and exalted by the austerity and zeal of Gregory VII. That ambitious monk devoted his life to the execution of two projects. I. To fix in the college of cardinals the freedom and independence of election, and forever to abolish the right or usurpation of the emperors and the Roman people. II. To bestow and resume the Western empire as a fief or benefice 134 of the church, and to extend his temporal dominion over the kings
133 Lateranense palatium . . . prostibulum meretricum . . . Testis omnium gentium, praeterqunm Romanorum, absentia mulierum, quae sanctorum apostolorum limina orandi gratia timent visere, cum nonnullas ante dies paucos, hunc audierint conjugatas, viduas, virg'mes vi oppressisse, (Liutprand, Hist. 1. vi. c. 6, p. 471. See the whole affair of Johu XII, p. 471—*76.)
134 A new example of the mischief of equivocation is the bencficium (Ducange, torn. i. p. 617, &c.) which the pope conferred on the em peror Frederic I., since the Latin word may signify either a legal fief, or a simple favor, an obligation, (we want the word bienfait.) (See Schmidt, Hist, des Allemands, torn. iii. p. 393—408. Pfeffel, Abrege 3hrouolngique, torn. i. p. 229, 296, 317, 324, 420, 430, E00, 506, 109, Ac.)
». MS Hor grandson Octavian, otherwise called John XII., was pope, but a great-grandson cannot be discovered in any of the succeeding popes; nor dees our historian himself, in his subsequent narration, (p. 202,) seen teknovr of one. Hobhouse. Illustrations of Childe Harold, p. 309 — M.
and kingdoms of the earth. After a contest of fifty years, the first of these designs was accomplished by the firm support of the ecclesiastical order, whose liberty was connected with that of their chief. But the second attempt, though it Mas vowned with some partial and apparent success, has been rigorously resisted by the secular power, and finally extin Bfuished by the improvement of human reason.
In the revival of the empire of Rome, neither the bishop il :>r the people could bestow on Charlemagne or Otho the provinces which were lost, as they had been won, by the chance of arms. But the Romans were free to choose a mastei for themselves; and the powers which had been delegated to the patrician, were irrevocably granted to the French and Saxon emperors of the West. The broken records of the times136 preserve some remembrance of their palace, their mint, their tribunal, their edicts, and the sword of justice, which, as late as the thirteenth century, was derived from Caesar to the praefect of the city.186 Between the arts of the popes and the violence of the people, this supremacy was crushed and annihilated. Content with the titles of emperor and Augustus, the successors of Charlemagne neglected to assert this local jurisdiction. In the hour of prosperity, their ambition was diverted by more alluring objects; and in the decay and division of the empire, they were oppressed by the defence of their hereditary provinces. Amidst the ruins of Italy, the famous Marozia invited one of the usurpers to assume the character of her third husband; and Hugh, king of Burgundy was introduced by her faction into the mole of Hadrian or Castle of St. Angelo, which commands the principal bridge and entrance of Rome. Her son by the first marriage, Alberic, was compelled to attend at the nuptial banquet; but his reluctant and ungraceful service was chastised with a blow by his new father. The blow was productive of a revolution. "Romans," exclaimed the youth, "once you were the masters of the world, and these Burgundians the most abject of your slaves. They now reign, these voracious and
,s* For the history of the emperors in Rome and Italy, see Sigoniua, ■le Regno Italise, Opp. torn, ii., with the Notes of Saxius, aDd the Annals of Muratori, who might refer more distinctly to the author! of his great collection.
186 See the Dissertation of Le Blanc at the end of his treatise iet Monnoyes de France, in which he prodces soiae Reman coit* of th* French empeiora
brutal savages, and my injury is the commencement of joui sei \ itude."18T The alarum bell rang to arms in ever}' quartei of the city: the Burgundians retreated with haste an<* shame; Marozia was imprisoned by her victorious son, and (lis brother, Pope John XL, was reduced to the exercise of his spiritual functions. With the title of prince, Alberic possessed above twenty years the government of Rome; and he is said to have gratified the popular prejudice, by restoring the office, or at least the title, of consuls and tribunes. His son and heir Octavian assumed, with the pontificate, the name of John XII.: like his predecessor, he was provoked by the Lombard princes to seek a deliverer for the church and republic; and the services of Otho were rewarded with the Imperial dignity. But the Saxon was imperious, the Romans were impatient, the festival of the coronation was disturbed by the secret conflict of prerogative and freedom, and Otho commanded his sword-bearer not to stir from his person, lest he should be assaulted and murdered at the foot of the altar.138 Before he repassed the Alps, the emperor chastised the revolt of the people and the ingratitude of John XII. The pope was degraded in a synod; the prsefect was mounted on an ass, whipped through the city, and cast into a dungeon; thirteen of the most guilty were hanged, others were mutilated or banished; and this severe process was justified by the ancient laws of Theodosius and Justinian. The voice of fame has accused the second Otho of a perfidious and bloody act, the massacre of the senators, whom he had invited to his table under the fair semblance of hospitality and friendship.189 In the minority of his son Otho the Third, Rome made a bold attempt to shake off the Saxon yoke, and the consul Crescentius was the Brutus of the republic. From the condition of a subject and an exile, he twice rose to the command of the
187 Romanorum aliquando servi, scilicet Burgundiones, Romania tmperent? . . Romanae urbis dignitas ad tantam est stultitiun ducia, lit meretricum etiam imperio pareat? (Liutprand, 1. iii. c. 12, p. 450.) Sigonius (1. vi. p. 400) positively affirms the renovation of the consulship; but in the old writers Albericus is more frequently styled priii ceps Romanorum.
138 Ditrcar, p. 354, apud Schmidt, torn. iii. p. 439.
181 This bloody feast is described in Leonine verse in the Pantheoc of 04<>dfrey of Viterbo, (Script. Ital. torn. vii. p. 436, 437,) who flour isfced towards the end of the xiith century, (Fabricius Bibliot. Latin. Med. et Infimi JExi, torn. iii. p 69, edit. Mansi;) bu* his evident?, which imposed on Sigoniug is reasonably suspected by Muratori (Annali, torn. viii. p. 177.)