« ForrigeFortsett »
state from the ambitious conqueror, who had assumed the title, or at least the powers, of King of Rome.” I have not undertaken the ecclesiastical history of the schism; but son. Rome, the object of these last chapters, is deeply interested egociations . - - to “a in the disputed succession of her sovereigns. The first counsels for the peace and union of Christendom arose from the university of Paris, from the faculty of the Sorbonne, whose doctors were esteemed, at least in the Gallican Church, as the most consummate masters of theological science.” Prudently waiving all invidious inquiry into the origin and merits of the dispute, they proposed, as a healing measure, that the two pretenders of Rome and Avignon should abdicate at the same time, after qualifying the cardinals of the adverse factions to join in a legitimate election; and that the nations should subtract " their obedience, if either of the competitors preferred his own interest to that of the public. At each vacancy these physicians of the church deprecated the mischiefs of a hasty choice; but the policy of the conclave and the ambition of its members were deaf to reason and entreaties; and whatsoever promises were made, the pope could never be bound by the oaths of the cardinal. During fifteen years the pacific designs of the university were eluded by the arts of the rival pontiffs, the scruples or passions of their adherents, and the vicissitudes of French factions, that ruled the insanity of Charles the Sixth. At length a vigorous resolution was embraced; and a solemn embassy, of the titular patriarch of Alexandria, two archbishops, five bishops, five abbots, three knights, and twenty doctors, was sent to the courts of Avignon and Rome, to require, in the name of the church and king, the abdication of the two pretenders, of Peter de Luna, who styled himself Benedict the Thirteenth, and of Angelo Corrario, who assumed the name of Gregory the Twelfth. For the ancient honour of Rome, and the success of their commission, the ambassadors solicited a conference with the magistrates of the city, whom they gratified by a positive declaration that the most Christian king did
* It is supposed oy Giannone (tom. iii. p. 292) that he styled himself Rex Romae, a title unknown to the world since the expulsion of Tarquin. But a nearer inspection has justified the reading of Rex Ramae, of Rama, an obscure kingdom annexed to the crown of Hungary.
* The leading and decisive part which France assumed in the schism is stated by Peter du Puis in a separate history, extracted from authentic records, and inserted in the ** volume of the last and best edition of his friend Thuanus (P. xi. p. 110-184).
* Of this measure John Gerson, a stout doctor, was the author or the champion. The proceedings of the university of Paris and the Gallican church were often prompted § advice, and are copiously displayed in his theological writings, of which Le Clerc (Bibliothèque Choisie, tom. x. p. 1-78) has given a valuable extract. John Gerson acted an important part in the councils of Pisa and Constance.
A.D. 1414–1418. COUNCILS OF PISA AND CONSTANCE, 255
not entertain a wish of transporting the holy see from the Vatican, which he considered as the genuine and proper seat of the successor of St. Peter. In the name of the senate and people, an eloquent Roman asserted their desire to co-operate in the union of the church, deplored the temporal and spiritual calamities of the long schism, and requested the protection of France against the arms of the king of Naples. The answers of Benedict and Gregory were alike edifying and alike deceitful; and, in evading the demand of their abdication, the two rivals were animated by a common spirit. They agreed on the necessity of a previous interview ; but the time, the place, and the manner, could never be ascertained by mutual consent. “If the one “advances,” says a servant of Gregory, “the other retreats; the “one appears an animal fearful of the land, the other a creature “apprehensive of the water. And thus, for a short remnant of life “ and power, will these aged priests endanger the peace and salvation “ of the Christian world.” 74 The Christian world was at length provoked by their obstinacy and fraud: they were deserted by their cardinals, who embraced each other as friends and colleagues; and their revolt was Pio, supported by a numerous assembly of prelates and ambas- “ sadors. With equal justice, the council of Pisa deposed the popes of Rome and Avignon; the conclave was unanimous in the choice of Alexander the Fifth, and his vacant seat was soon filled by a similar election of John the Twenty-third, the most profligate of mankind. But instead of extinguishing the schism, the rashness of the French and Italians had given a third pretender to the chair of St. Peter. Such new claims of the synod and conclave were disputed; three kings, of Germany, Hungary, and Naples, adhered to the cause of Gregory the Twelfth : and Benedict the Thirteenth, himself a Spaniard, was acknowledged by the devotion and patriotism of that powerful nation. The rash proceedings of Pisa were cor- council of rected by the council of Constance; the emperor Sigismond *.* acted a conspicuous part as the advocate or protector of the * Catholic church; and the number and weight of civil and ecclesiastical members might seem to constitute the states-general of Europe. Of the three popes, John the Twenty-third was the first victim: he fled and was brought back a prisoner: the most scandalous charges were suppressed; the vicar of Christ was only accused of piracy, murder, rape, sodomy, and incest; and after subscribing his own
* Leonardus Brunus Aretinus, one of the revivers of classic learning in Italy, who, after serving many years as secretary in the Roman court, retired to the honourable office of chancellor of the republic of Florence (Fabric. Biblioth. medii AEvi, tom. i. 200). Lenfant has given the version of this curious epistle (Concile de Pise, tom, p, 192-195).
condemnation, he expiated in prison the imprudence of trusting his person to a free city beyond the Alps. Gregory the Twelfth, whose obedience was reduced to the narrow precincts of Rimini, descended with more bonour from the throne; and his ambassador convened the session in which he renounced the title and authority of lawful pope. To vanquish the obstinacy of Benedict the Thirteenth or his adherents, the emperor in person undertook a journey from Constance to Perpignan. The kings of Castile, Arragon, Navarre, and Scotland, obtained an equal and honourable treaty : with the concurrence of the Spaniards, Benedict was deposed by the council; but the harmless old man was left in a solitary castle to excommunicate twice each day the rebel kingdoms which had deserted his cause. After thus 2radicating the remains of the schism, the synod of Constance oroceeded with slow and cautious steps to elect the sovereign of Rome and the head of the church. On this momentous occasion the 20llege of twenty-three cardinals was fortified with thirty deputies; six of whom were chosen in each of the five great nations of Christendom, the Italian, the German, the French, the Spanish, and the English:” the interference of strangers was softened by
Election of their generous preference of an Italian and a Roman; and
*" the hereditary, as well as personal, merit of Otho Colonna recommended him to the conclave. Rome accepted with joy and obedience the noblest of her sons; the ecclesiastical state was defended by his powerful family; and the elevation of Martin the Fifth is the aera of the restoration and establishment of the popes in the Vatican.”
” I cannot overlook this great national cause, which was vigorously maintained by the English ambassadors against those of France. The latter contended that . Christendom was essentially distributed into the four great nations and votes of Italy, Germany, France, and Spain; and that the lesser kingdoms (such as England, Denmark, Portugal, &c.) were comprehended under one or other of these great divisions. The English asserted that the British islands, of which they were the head, should be considered as a fifth and co-ordinate nation, with an equal vote; and every argument of truth or fable was introduced to exalt the dignity of their country. Including England, Scotland, Wales, the four kingdoms of Ireland, and the Orkneys, the British islands are decorated with eight royal crowns, and discriminated by four or five languages, English, Welsh, Cornish, Scotch, Irish, &c. The greater island from north to south measures 800 miles, or 40 days’ journey; and England alone contains 32 counties and 52,000 parish churches (a .# account!) besides cathedrals, colleges, priories, and hospitals. They celebrate the mission of St. Joseph of Arimathea, the birth of Constantine, and the legatine powers of the two primates, without forgetting the testimony of Bartholemy de Glanville (A.D. 1360), who reckons only four Christian kingdoms— 1, of Rome; 2, of Constantinople; 3, of Ireland, which had been transferred to the English monarchs; and, 4, of Spain. Our countrymen prevailed in the council, but the victories of Henry W. added much weight to their arguments. The adverse Whi. were found at Constance by Sir Robert Wingfield, ambassador from Henry
III. to the emperor Maximilian I., and by him printed in 1517 at Louvain. From a Leipsic MS. they are more correctly published in the Collection of Won der Hardt, tom. v.; but I have only seen Lenfant's abstract of these acts (Concile de Constance, torn. ii. p. 447, 453, &c.).
* Tee histories of the three successive councils, Pisa, Constance, and Basil, have
The royal prerogative of coining money, which had been exercised near three hundred years by the senate, was first resumed Martin v. by Martin the Fifth,” and his image and superscription *** introduce the series of the papal medals. Of his two immediate successors, Eugenius the Fourth was the last pope expelled by the tumults of the Roman people,” and Nicholas the Fifth, Eugeniustv. the last who was importuned by the presence of a Roman ov emperor.” I. The conflict of Eugenius with the fathers A. so.” of Basil, and the weight or apprehension of a new excise, i..."
of Rome, emboldened and provoked the Romans to usurp the tem- so
poral government of the city. They rose in arms; elected §2.
seven governors of the republic, and a constable of the Capitol; imprisoned the pope's nephew ; besieged his person in the palace; and shot volleys of arrows into his bark as he escaped down the Tiber in the habit of a monk. But he still possessed in the castle of St. Angelo a faithful garrison and a train of artillery: their batteries incessantly thundered on the city, and a bullet more dexterously pointed broke down the barricade of the bridge, and scattered with a single shot the heroes of the republic. Their constancy was exhausted by a rebellion of five months. Under the tyranny of the Ghibeline nobles, the wisest patriots regretted the dominion of the church; and their repentance was unanimous and effectual. The troops of St. Peter again occupied the Capitol; the magistrates departed to their homes; the most guilty were executed or exiled; and the legate, at the head of two thousand foot and four thousand horse, was saluted as the father of the city. The synods of Ferrara and Florence, the fear or resentment of Eugenius, prolonged his absence: he was received by a submissive people; but the pontiff understood, from the acclamations of his triumphal entry, that, to secure their loyalty and his own repose, he must grant without delay the abolition of the odious excise. II. Rome was restored, adorned, and enlightened, by the peaceful reign of Nicholas the Fifth. In the
been written with a tolerable degree of candour, industry, and elegance, by a Protestant minister, M. Lenfant, who retired from France to Berlin. They form six volumes in quarto; and as Basil is the worst, so Constance is the best, part of the Collection. 7 See the xxviith Dissertation of the Antiquities of Muratori, and the 1st Instruction of the Science des Médailles of the Père Joubert and the Baron de la Bastie. The Metallic History of Martin W. and his successors has been composed by two monks, Moulinet a Frenchman, and Bonanni an Italian: but I understand that the first part of the series is restored from more recent coins. * Besides the Lives of Eugenius IV. (Rerum Italic. tom. iii. P. i. p. 869, and tom. xxv. p. 256), the Diaries of Paul Petroni and Stephen Infessura are the best original evidence for the revolt of the Romans against Eugenius IV. The former, who lived at the time and on the spot, speaks the language of a citizen, equally afraid of priestly and popular tyranny. * The coronation of Frederic III. is described by Lenfant (Concile de Basle, tom. ii. p. 276-288) from Æneas Sylvius, a spectator and actor in that splendid scene. WOL. VIII s
midst of these laudable occupations, the pope was alarmed by the approach of Frederic the Third of Austria; though his fears could not be justified by the character or the power of the Imperial candi1....... date. After drawing his military force to the metropolis, #: and imposing. the best security of oaths” and treaties, ;III. Nicholas received with a smiling countenance the faithfu. An ion,” advocate and vassal of the church. So tame were the “" times, so feeble was the Austrian, that the pomp of his coronation was accomplished with order and harmony: but the superfluous honour was so disgraceful to an independent nation, that his successors have excused themselves from the toilsome pilgrimage to the Vatican, and rest their Imperial title on the choice of the electors of Germany. A citizen has remarked, with pride and pleasure, that the king of The statute, the Romans, after passing with a slight salute the cardinals .*.* and prelates who met him at the gate, distinguished the Rome. dress and person of the senator of Rome; and in this last farewell, the pageants of the empire and the republic were clasped in a friendly embrace.” According to the laws of Rome * her first magistrate was required to be a doctor of laws, an alien, of a place at least forty miles from the city, with whose inhabitants he must not be connected in the third canonical degree of blood or alliance. The election was annual: a severe scrutiny was instituted into the conduct of the departing senator; nor could he be recalled to the same office till after the expiration of two years. A liberal salary of three thousand florins was assigned for his expense and reward; and his public appearance represented the majesty of the republic. His robes were of gold brocade or crimson velvet, or in the summer season of a lighter silk: he bore in his hand an ivory sceptre; the sound of trumpets announced his approach; and his solemn steps were preceded at least by four lictors or attendants, whose red wands were enveloped with bands or streamers of the golden colour or livery of the city. His oath in the Capitol proclaims his right and duty, to observe and assert the laws, to control the proud, to protect
* The oath of fidelity imposed on the emperor by the pope is recorded and sanctified in the Clementines (l. ii. tit. ix.); and Æneas Sylvius, who objects to this new demand, could not foresee that in a few years he should ascend the throne and imbibe the maxims of Boniface VIII.
* Lo senatore di Roma, vestito di brocarto con quella beretta, econ quelle maniche, et ornamenti di pelle, co’ qualiva alle feste di Testaccio e Nagone, might escape the eye of AEneas Sylvius, but he is viewed with admiration and complacency by the Roman citizen (Diario di Stephano Infessura, p. 1133).
* See in the statutes of Rome the senator and three judges (l. i. c. 3-14), the conservators (l. i. c. 15, 16, 17, l. iii. c. 4), the caporioni (l. i. c. 18, l. iii. c. 8), the secret council (l. iii. c. 2), the common council (l., iii. c. 3). The title of feuds, defiances, acts of violence, &c., is spread through many a chapter (c. 14-4C) of the second book.