Sardinia is given up to the emperor.
In this year, whilst the emperor was wintering in Italy, the rich islands lying in the Mediterranean next adjoining the city of Pisa, namely, the greatest and most powerful part of Sardinia, were given up to him. The right of this island was said to belong especially to the patrimony of St. Peter, but the emperor asserted that it belonged from times of old to the empire, but that the emperors had lost it owing to their engagements, and other pressing imperial necessity, and that he had now restored it to the body of the empire ; 1 ” I have sworn,” said he, “as the world well knows, to recover I the scattered portions of the empire, and this I will not be slow to fulfil;” and he, therefore, notwithstanding the pope’s prohibition, sent his son to receive the portion of the aforesaid island, which was offered to him. When the pope heard of this he was filled with the greatest indignation, and rose up to take open vengeance, for he considered it a great loss. The said island of Sardinia was, indeed, a place of refuge for merchants, the comfort of shipwrecked people, and an asylum for exiles; and is governed by four chiefs, whom they call judges. The loss was heavy, but the manner of its loss was more heavy to endure, and seemed to be an injury; and the hatred which sprung up between the pope and the emperor, like an old wound, produced foul matter.
The pope and the court of Rome elect Robert, the French king’s brother, as their emperor, but he at once refuses to accept the dignity.
About this time, the pope wrote to the French king, and sent special messengers to him, with a message to order this letter to be solemnly and thoughtfully read in the presence of him and the whole of the barons of France ; the main purport of which letter was said to have been as follows :—” Be it known to the beloved son of the spiritual Church—the illustrious king of France, as well as to the whole community of barons of that kingdom, that we, after a careful discussion and deliberation with our brethren, have condemned and cut off the so-called emperor Frederick from the imperial dignity, and have elected Count Robert, brother of the French king, in his stead, whom not only the Church of Rome, but the Church universal, has thought fit with its utmost endeavours to assist and promote to that dignity. Be not, therefore, on any account slow to receive with open arms such a great dignity, which is voluntarily offered, and to obtain which we will freely afford assistance, both in labour and money. For the manifold crimes of the aforesaid Frederick, of which the world is well aware, have irrevocably condemned him.” To this offer the great caution of the French king suggested the following reply:—”In what spirit, or by what rash presumption has the pope disinherited and hurled from the imperial dignity such a great prince, than whom there is none greater yea, whose equal is not to be found amongst Christians, when he has not been convicted of, nor confessed, the charges brought against him? who, even if he merited to be deposed, owing to his urgent sins, could not be deprived of his crown, unless by a decision of a general council. With regard to his transgressions, we ought not to put faith in his enemies, of whom the pope is well known to be the chief; to us he is, as yet, innocent, yea, and a good neighbour; nor have we seen anything sinister in his secular fealty or his Catholic faith ; but we know that he has faithfully fought for our Lord Jesus, and exposed himself to the dangers of the sea and of war on his behalf: such religion we have not discovered in the pope. Yea, the very person who ought to have promoted his welfare, and protected him when fighting for God, endeavoured to destroy and supplant him. “We do not wish to throw ourselves into such great dangers as to attack such a powerful prince as this said Frederick, whom so many kingdoms would assist against us, and who would give their support in a just cause. What would the lavish effusion of our blood matter to the Romans, so long as we satisfied their anger.If the pope should conquer him by our means, or the help of others, he would trample on all the princes of the world, assuming the horns of boasting and pride, since he had conquered the great emperor Frederick. But in order that we may not appear to have received the pope’s mandate as an empty message, although this appears to have emanated from the church of Rome more out of hatred to the emperor than from love for us, we will send prudent messengers from us to the emperor, to make a careful inquiry as to his opinions of the Catholic faith, and to inform us of them : and if they discover nothing but what is right, why is he to be molested ? But, if otherwise, we will persecute him, even to the death, aye, or even the pope himself, or any mortal who thinks evilly of God.” On hearing which reply, the pope’s messengers went away in confusion. Special French messengers were then sent to the emperor to tell him the particulars of the message they had received from the pope. The emperor, when he heard them, was perfectly astonished at the enormity of the pope’s hatred, and replied that he was a Catholic and a Christian, and entertained right opinions on all the articles of the orthodox faith, and, added he: ” May it please God that I shall never abandon the steps of my noble forefathers and predecessors, and follow the footsteps of those doomed to perdition. Let God judge between me and him, who has so basely slandered me throughout the world.” Then raising his hands to heaven, and with sighs and gushing tears, he exclaimed : ” May the Lord God of vengeance award him just retribution.” Then turning to the messengers he said : ” My friends, and well-beloved neighbours, whatever this enemy of mine—this thirster after my blood, and subverter of my honour—may say, I believe the same as any other Christian ; and if you determine to make war on me, do not be astonished if I defend myself against those who attack me ; for I trust that God, the protector of the innocent, will, in his might, free me from my enemies; for he knows that the pope, in favour of my rebellious subjects—especially the heretic Milanese— has, in his anger, raised his, heel against me, and attacked me. But to you I owe a debt of gratitude, because you determined, before acceding to his request, to assure yourselves of the facts of the present case by my answer.” To this the messengers replied, ” God grant that it may never enter our hearts to attack any Christian without manifest cause: and ambition does not excite us, for we believe that our lord the king of France, whom a line of royal blood has advanced to sway the sceptre of the French, is higher than any emperor whom only voluntary election advances to that dignity; and it is sufficient for Count Robert to be the brother of such a great king.” And with these words the messengers went away, with the good-will and thanks of the emperor: and thus the pope’s endeavours to effect his purpose entirely failed.
The pope uses all his endeavours to collect money for his defence.
The pope, in the mean time, by persuasions and exciting the people by manifold arguments, by the agency of the Preachers and Minorites, endeavoured to acquire money for himself, wherever it could be scraped together, to the injury of the emperor. The Preachers and Minorites had at this time become the special counsellors and messengers of kings; so that, as those who were clothed in soft garments were, formerly in the houses of kings, so those, who were then clad in vile clothing, were in the houses, rooms, and palaces of princes. The king, at this time, summoned his brother, John de St. Giles, to his council; and many were astonished that the pope did not attend to the prayers of the Christians, as we read of St. Peter when kept in prison.
The assembling of the crusaders at Lyons.
About this time, the nobles who had assumed the cross in France and the adjacent provinces, assembled at a famous city lying on the Rhone, called Agauno or Lugdunum, or commonly, Lyons, there to make arrangements for starting on their journey. But whilst they were holding council, a messenger arrived in all haste from the pope, who, as strenuously as he had formerly urged and persuaded them to set out on the expedition, now as eagerly dissuaded them from setting out on their journey ; and the messenger, in the name of his lord the pope, ordered each to return to his home at once, and showed them all the papal warrant for so doing. To this they all unanimously replied, “Whence arises this fickleness in the Roman court and the pope? Was not this period and this place pre-arranged a long time ago by the legates and preachers of the pope, for our passage across the sea? According to the words and promises of the preachers, we have prepared ourselves for the journey in God’s behalf; we had procured provisions, arms, and all things necessary for starting ; we have pledged or sold our lands, with our houses and all our furniture; we have taken leave of our friends ; we have sent all our money to the Holy Land in advance of us; we have sent word of our approach beforehand ; we have come to the port, and now, to obstruct the crusade from proceeding, our pastors alter their tone, and rise against us;” and being enraged in no slight degree, they almost attacked the pope’s messenger, and would have done so, if the prudence of the prelates had not restrained the fury of the people. Immediately afterwards, messengers arrived from the emperor, and advised them not to set sail imprudently and hastily, without the guidance and presence of the emperor himself; bringing letters also from him to that effect, in which he skillfully made sufficient excuses for failing to make the passage. On this, the condition of the crusaders became indeed pitiable, for their council was dissolved, and they became like sand without flint, or as a wall without cement. Many returned to their homes murmuring, and giving vent to reproaches, and detesting the false assertions of some of the prelates; some went to the port of Marseilles, and trusting to the chances of the sea, set sail in great desperation towards the Holy Land: great numbers of them waited in Sicily till spring, expecting the arrival of their chiefs, whilst others, through the kind permission of the emperor, proceeded by the seacoast, and, leaving the Italian gulf on the left, went into the neighbourhood of Brindisi.
The emperor dissuades the Crusaders from setting sail.
The emperor now, by letter, advised the whole body of crusaders—although they were prepared, and it appeared a severe annoyance to them—to wait with patience, and not take their departure for Jerusalem, until the blast of the pope’s wrath was lulled, when he would joyfully accompany them; because a countless host of eastern nations were prepared in arms to engage them. The rest, however, refused to listen to his advice; on which, the emperor, in anger, forbade any vendible articles of food from being supplied or conveyed, on any terms, to the French army, from his adjacent fruitful territories, namely, Apulia and Cyprus. The Saracens, when they heard of this, raised their heads; and becoming bold, caused much damage to the Christians, both in their persons and possessions, audaciously spreading fire and slaughter amongst them ; and, to add to the mass of their sorrows, Greece had set up her anti-pope against the Roman church : the emperor, too, had placed in opposition to the pope, Brother Elias, who had been for some time chief minister, and a most famous preacher of the Minorite order ; and thus evils began to multiply on the face of the earth, for he absolved all whom the pope anathematized, and great scandal was excited in the Church ; for by the machinations of this agent, the church of Rome was made notorious by charges of usury, simony, and robbery, and the sons were turned against the stepsons. The aforesaid Brother Elias asserted that the pope was venting his fury against the rights of the empire ; that he only thirsted for money, and extorted it by divers arguments; and that he did not attend to prayers, masses, processions, and fastings, by which the oppressed are usually freed from their persecutions, as it is written, ” Peter, therefore, was kept in prison ; but prayer was made without ceasing of the Church unto God for him ;” that he also practiced fraud with the money collected for the assistance of the Holy Land; that he privately sealed writings in his chamber, at his own pleasure, without obtaining the consent of the brethren; and even gave his messengers a great many empty schedules, but sealed with his bull, for them to write in them whatever suited their pleasure, which was dreadful; and many other charges he made against the pope, uplifting his voice to heaven : wherefore, the pope excommunicated the said Elias.
The emperor and the pope mutually harass one another.
The pope at this time, seeing that the strength and boldness of the emperor was not yet weakened nor yet bowed down to the will of himself and the Roman church, sent long admonitory letters to all the prelates and nobles; dwelling in Germany and other parts of the empire, and peremptorily ordered them all to rise against their emperor, who was a rebel against God and the Roman church, and defaming him by many other serious charges. He also absolved all who were bound by oath of allegiance to him, persuading them that they were faithful in infidelity, obedient in disobedience ; but the knavery of the Roman, church was so deservedly execrated by all, that the pope’s authority was respected by few, if any.
The pope forbids the crusaders to set sail.
About this time the pope, notwithstanding the time had arrived which had been predetermined on by the preachers, and contrary to their own intention, and the hopes which they had conceived from the promises of the said preachers, gave orders to the legate to forbid the crusaders to set out on their expedition to the Holy Land until spring, and the passage in March; if they did otherwise, they should not enjoy the indulgence for their sins which had been granted to them.
Severe letter from the pope against the emperor, sent to the legate.
” Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his beloved son Otto, cardinal deacon of St. Nicolas in Careers Tulliano, legate of the Apostolic See, Health and the apostolic benediction.—The Apostolic See, as almost the whole world by evidence of the fact hath learnt, has, from the time when she received him from the womb of his mother on her knees, in her maternal affection suckled the emperor Frederic, and carried him in her arms, and received him to be cherished under her protection, him, who was formerly quite helpless and abandoned to a precarious destiny; and has opposed herself in her might against all the invaders of his kingdom, who, casting the eyes of cupidity on his territory, had already entered the boundaries of his country, and were laying claim to it without opposition, and defending him from those who plotted against his life, and who, being jealous of his salvation, were endeavouring to put an end to his life, and to blot out all recollection of him from the face of the earth. And when the said emperor had arrived at a more mature age, defended by the shield of ecclesiastical protection, both in his person and kingdom, and G. de Gualganem, of good memory, a priest of the chapter of St. Anastasius and a cardinal, had been for many years deputed to take charge of him by the Apostolic See, he was at length raised by the said see to the summit of a higher station. But he seems to have lost the benefit of the care bestowed on his person, and the toils which the church underwent in his behalf, since he is unmindful of so many benefits, and ungrateful for such great favours. And would that he did not pass the bounds of even ingratitude, by which he would be content with a denial of his having received these benefits. Besides this, •although every offence makes one feel the stings of sorrow, this, however, in which ingratitude is the recompense for kindness, and evil is returned for good, strikes with a heavier weapon. And although the Apostolic See loves him, and has raised him to the summit of secular power, yet owing to his urgent sins, for which, although often admonished by us, he has refused to atone, we are compelled, however unwillingly, to rebuke him. For, although Divine Providence raised up Adam to a height of dignity and power, and placed all the living things of the earth in subjection to him, yet, because he exceeded the commands of his Maker, his faults were not spared. The returns which the church has received from the aforesaid Frederic, for all the benefits conferred, we do not wish you to be ignorant of, and in this present letter we set forth a few examples out of the many. In the city he has excited a serious disturbance, endeavouring, by all the means in his power, to exclude us and our brethren there from; thus bringing dishonour on the Apostolic See, and trampling on the liberty of the church itself, and rashly violating the oaths he has taken. He caused our venerable brother, the bishop of Praeneste, to be obstructed on his journey by some of his subjects, when we sent that prelate to the Albigensian provinces for the strengthening of the Catholic faith. On no account will he allow cathedral and other vacant churches of his kingdom to be filled up, to the peril and serious injury of their souls, but, nevertheless, despoils them and others of all their possessions, and levies talliages and unjust imposts on prelates, religious men, and other secular clerks. Nobles, poor people, orphans, and widows, are reduced to the extreme of destitution, and the cruel and harsh severity of his extortionists does not allow them the least breathing space, and he has thus, as far as he could, reduced, as it were, to ashes and cinders, his whole kingdom, which is the spiritual patrimony of St. Peter, and for which he is bound by an oath of fealty to the Apostolic See, and is its vassal; and since he has not, after having been warned by us, thought proper to amend his proceedings, we shall, with God’s assistance, act in the matter as we shall see proper. Besides this, he impedes the cause of the Holy Land and of the Roman empire ; and although, at the time when peace was re-established between him and the church, he swore, at the hands of the legates of the Apostolic See, to obey the injunctions of the church, he refused to fulfil the mandate received from them,—not on any account to seize on, occupy, or devastate the territory of the church or their lands, which he then held in his own hands, or their persons,— but took possession of the said church’s land, namely, Ferrara, Bologna, and Fusignano, in Lombardy, and the country of Sardinia; Messina and Lucca, seizing on the dioceses, and deposing those prelates whom the church reserved for herself, and devastating their lands, although the said legates pronounced sentence of excommunication against him in his presence, if he would not act in this matter as they ordered. Again, this said emperor is detaining a prisoner, the nephew of the king of Tunis, who was coming to the court and church of Rome to receive the rites of baptism; as also our beloved son, Peter the Saracen, a noble Roman citizen, who was sent to us on the part of our beloved son in Christ, the illustrious king of England, to the Apostolic See, as also the son of the said Peter. Although he has been ofttimes admonished by us, he does not feel the remedy of correction, as the ulcers of his offences are become hardened, and he daily presumes to commit worse crimes; we, therefore, being unable any longer, without offence to Christ, to pass over these things in silence, by the advice of our brethren, and in the name of the Almighty God (whose vicegerent we are on earth), by the authority of the blessed Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, however unwilling we may be, have thought fit to promulgate the sentence of excommunication and anathema against the said emperor Frederic, consigning him to Satan, that by the death of his body, on the day of the Lord, his soul may be saved. All who are bound to him by an oath of allegiance, we decree to be absolved from the observance of this oath, and strictly forbid them to abide by their fealty to him, as long as he continues bound by the chain of excommunication. “Wherefore we warn and exhort you on your devotion, and by these apostolic letters command you to cause the aforesaid sentence of excommunication and anathema to be solemnly published on each Sunday and feast day, with bells ringing and candles burning, and in like manner to cause the said absolution and prohibition to be published and announced throughout the whole province of your legation ; and to fulfil our commands in such a manner that your devotion may be deservedly commended by us. Again, since the aforesaid Frederic has become notorious for other great and heavy crimes, -we, by God’s grace, will proceed in those matters in their proper time and place, as the nature of the case requires. However, as the noise of terror is always sounding in the ears of the wicked, and they suspect treachery even when it is peace, because the disturbed conscience always forbodes evil, the said Frederick, even before sentence of excommunication had been pronounced against him, determined to send some letters to our brethren, which letters are in part mentioned before, and which came to our knowledge and to theirs after the said sentence had been issued. Wherefore, as the Lord, who lays open the hidden things of darkness, and reveals the secrets of all hearts, wished to disclose the hidden thoughts of his heart, we gather from the purport of these letters what kind of devotion he feels towards the Roman church, his mother; what reverence or respect he has for the supreme pontiff and his brethren and the Apostolic See, whose vassal he is in respect of his kingdom ; for he seems to have conspired against us and them, from which it is sufficiently shown what kind of, and how great a crime he has committed. Amongst other things contained in his letter, these words are inserted, ‘ Wherefore we grieve, not without just cause, that the apostolic father endeavours so seriously to injure us, for, when such a great injury falls on a firm man, although we may wish to endure it patiently, the enormity of the offence does not permit us to do so, but the violence of the deed impels us to take the vengeance which the Caesars were accustomed to practise. However, when we consider the impatience of the assailant, and the difficult position of the defendant, if we were allowed impartially to put in practice the private revenge which we could take on the man who / has originated this offence, and his allies in. blood, we should think it more endurable, and the attempted injury to our see would redound on him and his. But as neither he nor the whole of his race, who will suffer for this, would be of such great importance that the majesty of the empire should be very eager for their punishment, and since the authority of the position withdraws all restraint from audacity, and the weight of so many venerable brothers seems to sustain him in the obstinacy which he has conceived, a cause of annoyance disturbs our mind still more deeply, that, whilst we endeavour to protect ourselves from any assailant, we are compelled, in defending ourselves, to give greater oifence by our resistance.—Given at the Lateran the llth of April, in the thirteenth year of our pontificate.”
The emperor’s great anger against the pope, and his heavy complaints against him.
When the emperor was informed of this defamation of his character, as being a tyrant instead of a king j his anger, not without cause, raged more and more against the Milanese and other traitors to him, whom the pope effectually assisted and encouraged against him : the Milanese becoming more bold owing to the assistance afforded by him, and finding that it was a matter of life and death, sallied forth, making most furious attacks, accompanied by a certain legate who had been sent from the pope to their assistance; and when the emperor had gone to distant parts, they forcibly took possession of Ferrara, and other cities and castles of the emperor’s, ravaging the neighbourhood, and spreading destruction and death. Those who were besieged met with no mercy, and although they begged of the legate, with tears, that, if they gave up their cities and property entirely into their hands, their persons alone might be spared in God’s name, they were not listened to unless they submitted themselves and their property to him entirely and (unconditionally. The holy and religious men. who inhabited Christian provinces, were greatly astonished at such inhuman and bloody cruelty in a prelate of the church, and uttered Imprecations against him, for that, making use ‘only of the material sword, he remembered not to show mercy. Fear and dread seized their hearts, lest the Lord God of Hosts should pour forth his anger on these hardened beings, and the church should suffer a great downfall, especially, as the party of the pope did not care for prayers or fasts, masses or processions; nor did it enjoin on the community to avert the anger of God by pouring forth prayersto him, by which the Church usually drew breath in its tribulations, and often gained triumphs over its oppressors ; but placing all its confidence in its treasures, and in rapine, it rushed headlong to the sword, and to take its own vengeance; and from this arose grief and desolation of the Christians”; the tfireaTs’bT”noBres”,”fury and rancour, hatred and animosity between the Church and the empire, and this lamentable commencement threatened a more lamentable termination. The emperor, thus pierced by the stings of this grief, endeavoured to excuse himself and to accuse the pope, and wrote the following letter to several kings and princes, and especially to the king of England, and his brother Richard, earl of Cornwall, as his beloved brothers-in-law, in whom he placed particular confidence:— The emperor’s letter to Richard, earl of Cornwall. ” Frederic, by the grace of God emperor of the Romans, ever Augustus, king of Jerusalem and Sicily, to Richard, earl of Cornwall, his dear brother-in-law, Health and every blessing.— Cast your eyes around you : attend, ye sons of men, and grieve over the scandal of the world, the quarrels of nations, and the universal banishment of justice ; since the wickedness of Babylon comes forth from the elders of the people, who appeared to be its rulers, in that they turn judgment into bitterness, and the fruits of justice into wormwood. Sit still, ye princes; and understand, ye nations, your cause. Let your judgment come forth in the sight of the Lord, and let your eyes behold equity. For we know, and trust in the virtue of the Supreme Judge, that, as divers weights and divers measures are not found with you, you will assuredly see that our moderation and innocence outweigh in the scale of your judgment the calumnious words issuing from the lips of our detractors, and their poisonous inventions and falsehoods ; but we know that it is not now for the first time that the justice of our cause, and the wickedness of him who sits in the seat of the Lord, have come under the knowledge of the world; and besides the prelude of rapid fame, who mostly takes the gloss of novelty from our ears, in all cases of importance—we ourselves could confirm, by our own subsequent representations, that which rumour had in the first instance proclaimed, namely, how this new combatant appointed our chief priest under evil auspices, our especial friend, so long as he was in an inferior station; but immediately upon his elevation, forgetting all the favours with which our Christian empire has enriched the holy church, altering his faith with circumstances, and changing his character with his dignity,—influenced in some way by a prurient desire to cause public disturbance,—whetted the edge of his malignity against us, who are the chief and especial son of the Church. For taking his opportunity, when to avoid imminent scandal after taking the oath, the sentence of excommunication pronounced against us, we bound ourselves to cross within a certain time to the Holy Land; then, because we were delayed by ill-health (adding many other charges respecting which we had never been forewarned or admonished), he, contrary to the wish of God and to justice, altogether rejected our excuses, as liable to excommunication. To this we submitted with all humility, as though it had been in the first instance pronounced at our wish, praying for absolution, and promising that, when our our former bodily health was restored, we would prepare instantly to make our passage. Though our humble petition was insultingly denied, we crossed to its rescue, in pious fulfilment of our vow, thinking that the vicar of Jesus Christ aimed at the fulfilment of this matter rather than the gratification of his hatred against us. But he, who we hoped savoured only of things which are above, and who we supposed contemplated heavenly things with his eye, and dwelt upon them in thought, was found all at once to be a person not only void of truth, by his deeds of cruelty, but even cut off from all feelings of humanity. For besides the hindrances which he threw in our way in Syria, by his messengers and legates, inasmuch as by letters from him,—the bearers of which we seized, and which letters we keep as evidences,— they warned the sultan not to yield to us the land which was devoted to divine worship and the laws of the kingdom of Jerusalem ; he made forcible entry into our kingdom of Sicily, alleging, as a reason to do so, that R., son of the former duke of Spoleto, was preparing to enter the lands of the church, though this was without our consent or privity, as we afterwards made evident by punishing him. Nor did they proceed as holy men have done, and conquer kingdoms by faith, but by perfidy and perjury, to all; or, if there were any who could not be tempted to perjury by the simple assertion, yet were these, too, immediately tempted ; when the very commanders of the papal forces, that they might the more easily gain our territory, asserted on oath that we were prisoners in Syria. Again, on our return from beyond the seas, we simply repelled the wrong put upon us, abstaining from all attempts to avenge ourselves in accordance with the proud custom of our empire, and then willingly lent our ears to the words of peace, which mediators^ advanced. We know that, from our acknowledgment of the Catholic faith, we have found a true mother in the church ; but our father we have always found false. For on the very day of our reconciliation, devising a plan for our ruin, he most earnestly advised us to return into Italy with an unarmed and private retinue, assigning as his reason, the fear that we should give occasion for alarm to our faithful subjects if accompanied as before by an armed escort; besides which, he declared that he would make everything secure for us. At the same time, he manifestly contrived the very contrary of this by letters and messages, as is evident from the testimony of many of our faithful subjects who were at the time privy to everything, as though they were sharers in these plots, and also from other chiefs of that party. Wherefore, as the public roads were everywhere stopped by our rebellious subjects against our son and some of our chiefs, who were coming to us from Germany; and, moreover, as our said son, when at Aquileia, and bound thence toGermany, with difficulty regained the protection of his ships, we were forced to return to our kingdom, as the advice, or rather cunning device, of our father, had sent us unprepared to check the wicked rebellion of our subjects. And here, again, when we were in some measure breathing more freely, and taking repose after our labours, our holy father invaded our quiet, taking upon himself the character of counsellor, and urging us most vehemently to proceed with vigour against the Romans who were devoted to us, and other rebellious subjects of ours in Tuscany, who were withholding the rights of the church and empire, trusting securely to his favour, because he wished to share with us our own and the empire’s burdens. In accordance, therefore, with his earnest advice, it behoved us to proclaim war on behalf of the church against the Romans, who were at that time attacking Viterbo, whilst he was sending secret letters to the city to the effect, that we were acting thus from hatred of the Romans, of our own will, without his privity or instructions. Meantime, a sedition having arisen in Sicily, we were obliged to visit Messina, that we might oppose, in its early stages, a faction that was forming there, giving as our sole reason, that we were unwilling to lose our noble island of Sicily; on which occasion, without asking our advice, indeed, keeping the whole matter from our knowledge, against the law of nations, which decides that those who are allies and sharers in the same enterprise should not desert one another, he made a treaty with the Romans, against whom we had proclaimed war at his bidding, as above stated ; and this, too, without giving heed to the fact that, not without some risk and peril to our honour, we remained defenceless amongst rebellious and seditious subjects, and had sent a numerous and strong force to his assistance, though we were unable to be present in person. In addition to this, since the uprightness of our conscience, and the sincere devotion which we felt towards the church, our mother, did not allow the son to notice the unnatural follies of his father, we attributed to chance what belonged to craft; and we were continually willing to refer the settlement of the reparation due to us to the arbitration of this stepfather, who on every occasion deceived us more grossly, mocked us more bitterly, in proportion as his promises of a full arbitration were more unhesitating. In the mean time, when, judging from our past differences, no hope, or, at least, but little, remained to us of settling the affairs of Italy to the honour of the empire, by means of the pope ; and when we were expecting the same persecution, at a time whilst we were thus waiting, all at once we thought that fortune had smiled upon us, for the quarrel between the church and the Romans began afresh; and in it we were so nobly and devotedly lavish of our treasures, and exposed our person, that we believed we had entirely removed the rust of an evil conscience from the hearts of our ill-wishers. Not content with all this, as we desired to offer to the church indisputable security as to our feelings, inflamed with the warmth of the fullest devotion towards it, as well as by the incentives of perfect charity in God, we went, in person, before this supreme pontiff, even without summons, taking with us our dear son Conrad, now elected king of the Romans, and the heir to the kingdom of Jerusalem, who was at that time, owing to the glaring offences of his brother, the only son left to enjoy our fatherly affection. And after presenting our person to the church, we did not think it beneath us to offer this, our son, as a full hostage to the supreme pontiff, asking with all humility, and calling on God to bear witness to our sincerity, for a complete union between ourselves and the church, such as this prelate of the general church had long ago, when he was bishop of Ostia, persuaded us it was our duty to seek. On all which accounts, as the offer, which has been mentioned, procured for us favourable countenance on the part of the whole court, and as thankful speeches appeared to show the sincere good-will, as much of the supreme pontiff as of those of all his court, thinking that we had managed everything with them by the proposal of our holy intention, and not less in reliance upon our submissiveness, we thought proper, with prompt devotion, to explain the cause of the differences between ourselves and the Lombards, which had been so often stifled in the breast of a corrupt judge, and the settlement of the discord between ourselves and the citizens and nobles of Ancona. Thus feeling sure of a favourable consummation of all our affairs, we proceeded in person, with good-will to the service of the church, with a numerous army which, by heavy payments from our treasury, we had caused to be collected from the parts of Germany, as well as Italy. Nor did we desist from the prosecution of our purpose before that our power had restored to its former and proper condition the liberty of the church, which had been trodden under foot in the city and its territory, which had been seized on outside it, thinking it to be beyond doubt that the submissiveness of our devotion would earn for us what the favour due to our justice had been unable to gain. But listen ye, to the wonderful return which, for our great devotion, our numerous benefits, our confirmation of such undoubted faith, this vicar of Christ, this shepherd of our Catholic church, this preacher of the faith endeavoured to make to us in each case. And first, about the business beyond the sea : whatever had been reasonably arranged by the agency of the archbishop of Ravenna, our beloved prince, and apostolical legate, according to the express form given him by the church, concerning restoring ourselves, and our aforesaid son Conrad, to the full and former possession of all our rights in the kingdom, according to the treaty, immediately on the arrival of the archbishop of Csesarea, without waiting for the aforesaid legate, or our messengers that were coming to the court; and, without any further delay than that within which he could count on the arrival of the bezants, the whole business regarding Italy was most irregularly overturned—to say nothing of his arranging matters, as he had promised, to our own and the empire’s honour, or also, of his neglect, when we begged and were urgent with him for the recall of our enemies. Nor did he suffer us to go with the soldiers, which, as we said, we were keeping in those parts to defend the provinces of the church, nor would he send any messenger or letters, owing to which there ensued, in the pitched battles which took place, immense slaughter of men and burnings of churches. Again also, not contented with such great and uncommon baseness, when we were staying with him at Keate, and expending many thousand marks on his cause, he refused to give up to us the city of Castella, which was taken by him at the commencement of the quarrel, as he was bound to do by the terms of peace, and advised to by all his brethren, because he had only received fifty thousand marks of that money. See how this most holy father of ours loved us ! After this, for the benefit of us all, and to pacify Italy, (especially as we were obliged to give up all hopes of any good-will being shown us by our father, or rather our stepfather,) we took up our arms and shield, and assembled our forces from the provinces of Germany, (to which at that time we had been called by necessity, owing to the foul play of oir son,) for the purpose of invading Italy, strengthening our just cause with brave soldiers, as we could not obtain our ends by entreaties. When this came to the knowledge of the supreme pontiff, he, on the plea of the truce agreed on by the faithful people and princes of the earth, for the sake of assisting the Holy Land, by apostolic letters, forbade our entering Italy with an armed force ; then, forgetting this, on the very day on which he proclaimed the aforesaid truce, he asked us, as a defender and advocate of the Church, to proceed in force against the Romans, who, he said, had taken away some of the church’s possessions, although he considered it unjust in us that we endeavoured to force our way into our house and the possessions given us by our ancestors, which the mad rebellion of our faithless subjects had shut us out from, yet he believed it to be just for him to act in this way to the Romans, who were not bound in any way to his father, grandfather, or any of his ancestors. He also added, in the aforesaid letters, that in the matter of Lombardy, we ought, without any delay and unconditionally, without reserving any honour or claim to the empire, to make a compromise with him, by which he could either prevent us for ever from prosecuting any claim of ours, or could, at his pleasure, stifle the rights and honour of the empire. But, as neither the advice of our chiefs, nor the memory of past losses, recommended us to do this, he then had recourse to other devices, sending a rapacious wolf in. sheep’s clothing to meet us, namely, the bishop of Praeneste, commended to us by the apostolic letters as a man of most holy life, by whose means he recalled to the perjuries of the Milanese faction the city of Placentia, which was subject and friendly to us, firmly thinking, by his means, so generally to confuse our faithful subjects, and to such a degree, that he might entirely enervate our purpose of proceeding into Italy. In this hope, however, by the mercy of God, who protects his empire he was entirely deceived ; and the fire spreading amongst our rebellious subjects, and the depopulation caused by the slaughter of the guilty, cried aloud upon him, reproaching him for having inspired them with confidence in their rebellion, and also for his breach of faith, because he had promised to assist them against us and the empire ; and because he could not, in accordance with their request, justly excommunicate us on the aforesaid opportunity, he clandestinely threw obstacles in the way of our proceedings in all directions, by sending letters and messengers throughout the empire, and all parts of the world, to seduce whomsoever he could from their faith and declaration of allegiance to us. But, as the good faith of our subjects and the affection of our friends would not allow all these circumstances to be kept from our knowledge, we, not choosing to be conquered by evil, but rather wishing to conquer evil by good, determined to send special messengers to the Apostolic See, and, accordingly, dispatched thither the venerable the archbishop of Palermo, the bishops of Florence and Ratisbon, Master Thaddeus de Sessa, a judge of our high court, and Master R., chaplain of Portastellana, our well beloved and faithful subjects. And as offers of all devotion were made by them on our behalf, a discussion entered into to disprove the charge of heresy made against us, as also concerning the liberty of the church, and the re-establishment of the rights of the church and the empire (long ago desired and looked for between us and the church), the supreme pontiff, by the advice of all of his brethren then present, agreed to the request of our embassy in all points, and through them and the archbishop of Messina, whom he sent as a messenger to us to obtain his peace, he promised us that he would order a stop to be put to all the impediments in all quarters, which he had thrown in the way of our proceedings, as he openly confessed in the presence of his brethren and our messengers; and all these things are most clearly proved by testimonial letters of all the aforesaid bishops. With this answer our messengers and his returned to us, but before they had been three days’ journey distant from the court, without their knowledge, and to their confusion, he gave the legatine office in Lombardy to G. de Monte Longo, whom he had in the first place sent as a messenger to us, and had afterwards appointed to subdue Mantua, and to seduce other faithful subjects of ours, thinking the greater power that was given to him, the more he would be able to throw impediments in the way of us and our followers. To some of our chiefs, and the prelates of Italy and Germany, who were staying with us at our court, he sent letters, containing no slight imputations on our fame, with certain articles included, especially concerning the oppressions which were said to have been practised on certain churches of our kingdom, and concerning which he ordered us to be admonished by the said chiefs; and of all these matters of complaint, and of our replies to each of them, we send you an account, under the public attestation, for your inspection. All these things having been explained to the princes and prelates, and to several religious men of every order, one after another (although the sons felt themselves ashamed at the great fickleness of the father, and though, out of respect for him, blushes covered their faces), nevertheless, by their advice, we sent back to the Apostolic See the aforesaid archbishop of Palermo, Master T. and Master E,. of Portastellana, our messengers, with the messengers of our faithful cities, through whom we declared ourselves ready, without any delay or difficulty, to give every satisfaction. But not even by all this was his fury averted from us, but this so-called vicar of Christ, the preacher of peace, but who is in reality a stirrer up of schism and a friend of dissensions, in opposition to the injunctions of the holy fathers, when he heard that our messengers were bearing to him our offer of devotion in all matters, fearing that, if they reached him, he would be checked by the rampart of justice, and would, perhaps, be unable to proceed further without exciting public scandal, in his too great haste he conceived an abortive design, and, contrary to the special custom of the holy mother Church, on Palm Sunday hurled a sentence against us, the supreme prince of the Christians, and afterwards repeated the same on the day of our Lord’s Supper, by which (as we have heard by report, although we ought to put little credence in it) he is said to have bound us with the chains of excommunication, by the advice of certain Lombard cardinals, although the wiser portion of his brethren opposed it; he also, by means of his abettors and satellites, who are supported out of the patrimony of poor people, prevented our messengers, who had now arrived, from going into his presence, and appearing before the public, to prove the justice of our cause and our innocence, and, indeed, to offer satisfaction, even to the giving of security. Concerning which, although, for singular and peculiar reasons, owing to the justice of our cause and the infamy of his proceeding, we ought justly to have preferred it, yet that he proceeded rashly and irregularly, since he would in any way give vent to his wickedness, would not, perhaps, have previously become known ; but we grieve in our heart, out of shame for the holy mother Church, which our Lord Jesus Christ, under the appearance of the Blessed Virgin, intrusted to his disciple in the Testament of his passion. Otherwise we do not think that any injury could have been done to us by this man, whom we with good reason do not consider as our judge, because he previously declared himself to be our chief enemy, as well as our judge, by word and deed, and openly favoured the rebels against us and the empire. Moreover, he rendered himself unworthy of the submission of such a great prince, and, indeed, of any pontifical authority at all, inasmuch as, in opposition to us and the empire, he protected with his manifest favour the city of Milan, which is, according to the testimony of a great many credible religious men, inhabited for the most part by heretics. Also, when the bishop of Florence, a man of irreproachable life and good character, brought several articles of heresy against R. de Mandello, a citizen of Milan, and formerly podesta of Milan and Clarentia, out of hatred to us and favour to the Milanese, he was not listened to. Moreover, we think him unworthy to be considered a vicar of Christ, a successor of Peter, and dispenser of the souls of Christians ; not on account of the injury done to our dignity, but to the faults of the person, because the dispensations, which ought to be granted only after great deliberation with his brethren, he weighed in the scale of traffic, like a merchant, and granted in his own chamber, concealing the opinions of his brethren (with whom, according to ecclesiastical discipline, he was bound to deliberate), thus making himself his own sealer, writer, and, perhaps, his own accountant. Concerning which matters, we do not wish to pass over in silence the remarkable dispensations by which, on receiving a small sum of money, he allowed Sipha, the daughter of the late constable of the kingdom of Cyprus, to become the wife of Balian de Jocelin, contrary to the sentence of separation pronounced by the bishop of Nicosia hi that matter, and the oath he had given at the same time that he would not have her; and also allowed the sister of John of Caesarea to marry James of Amendolia, who had previously married her sister, both of them being traitorous to us, and the women being both related to him in the third degree, and whatever was deficient in the amount of money paid to him, for this was made up by the degree of his hatred to us. We also grieve at his sin and prevarication in the fact, that, not content with spending money in order to gain over the nobles and chiefs of Romania, to become his followers and adherents, he wasted the possessions of the Roman church, which is intrusted to our special protection, to bestow on them castles and possessions given to the holy fathers by the pious devotion of faithful Christians. Let not, therefore, the universal church or the Christian people wonder, that we do not fear the sentence of such a judge, not in contempt of the papal office or the apostolic dignity (to which all professors of the orthodox faith, and we more particularly than others, ought to be subservient) ; but we blame the prevarication of this person, who has proved himself unworthy of the throne of such a great government; and let all nobles and princes bearing the name of Christians know our holy intention and the zeal of pious devotion that is in us, and that it is not from the fuel of hatred, but from a most just cause, that the Roman prince is provoked against the Roman high priest, as he fears that the Lord’s flock, under such a shepherd, may be led through pathless places. Behold, we, by our letters and messengers, call on the cardinals of the holy Roman church, by the blood of Christ, and under attestation of the Divine judgment, to summon a general council of the prelates and other faithful followers of Christ; we also sent for our messengers and those of the rest of the princes, before whom we ourselves were present, and prepared to explain and prove all we have said ; and even worse matters than them. And we are not the less disturbed by the probable reason that this ruler of the Church, who ought to possess all kinds of virtues, to be of the greatest constancy, a chosen vessel, and without the stain of cupidity, lest the error of the chiefs should be propagated with increase amongst those subject to them, is endeavouring to trample on the rights of the empire, contrary to his pi’omise, given by the advice of his brethren, and expressed in his letters, by which he promised not to fail us, but to aid us with his counsel, assistance, and favour, in restoring the strength of the said empire ; and is, moreover, heaping infamy, not to say blasphemy, on our person ; especially as, however carefully we balance the scale of our conscience, we find in ourselves no occasion or reason why this inimical man ought to be so bitterly excited against us, unless that our majesty believed it improper, and considered it unworthy of us, to enter into a contract with him for the marriage of his niece with our natural son Henry, now king of Tunis and Galluri. Condole, therefore, with us, thou loved friend, as well as those dear to thee ; thou, who art a prince that will benefit the world ; and not only with us, but with the Church, which is the congregation of all faithful Christians—for its head is sick ; its prince is in the midst, like a roaring lion ; its prophet, mad—a faithless man ; its priest polluting its sanctuary, and unjustly acting against the law. But the faults of such a pontiff ought with reason to be deplored by us more than all the other princes of the world, as we are, as it were, nearer to him in our place of residence, more allied to him in our office,—we heap honours upon him, and feel his burdens. We must not, however, omit to mention this; out of regard for your relationship to us, we earnestly beg of you to consider the contumely heaped on us as your own injury, and to hasten to your own house with water when the fire is raging in the neighbouring ones. Give heed to the cause of the proceeding of the pontiff, because it is to favour the rebels against us; which cause, although it is not mentioned at present, is easily inferred; we would have you fear that similar proceedings are impending over you in your affairs. For the humiliation of all other kings and princes is believed to be an easy matter, if the power of the Csesar of the Romans is first overthrown ; as his shield endures the first shock of the darts of the enemy. For the true cause which pricked the heart of the pope and burnt within it is this, namely, the affair of the Lombards, although he did not dare to bring it out openly, for fear of exciting scandal amongst us, and all who heard of it; for which matter, he, by a special and trustworthy messenger of his (whose testimony we call upon to prove the truth of this), verbally promised that, if we would rest the matter of the Lombards on his decision, not only would he not injure our majesty in anything, but would also apply to our uses the tithes of the whole world which were consecrated to supply the necessities of the Holy Land. Nor is it to be wondered at : for he was pricked by the urgent and sharp sophistries of the Lombards, to whom, as we have learnt by the confession of some prelates, he gave his oath in his own person. to act against us and the empire ; and when we were on a pilgrimage in Syria, in the service of Jesus Christ, he sent them into the kingdom; but when the time for the fulfilment of the above promise came, he could lawfully break his word and alter the decree which had been issued. To favour them, also, he did not hesitate to perpetrate an action dreadful to the ear, arid devoid of all prudence and reason. For, through G., bishop of Brescia, H., of Cuma, and other bishops, he advised us either to receive satisfaction from the Lombards through him, or to make a truce with them, as we have stated, for four years, in order to promote the cause of the Holy Land, although five years since the said truce had already elapsed. We, however, reserved a matter of such moment for a short time, to deliberate thereon with our faithful councillors, whilst the admonitions concerning the approval of the aforesaid legate, G. de Monte Longo (who, in the mean time, was residing amongst the Milanese), approved the truce aforesaid, as all these matters are clearly proved by the-evidence of those prelates. In the mean time, without waiting for our decision, or for TIS to take the counsel of our advisers, he vomited forth against us the poison he had conceived, as the relation of certain persons has declared. Lastly, we, for our own sake, adjure you and ask your aid, and that of all of you, the magnates and princes of the whole world; not because our own strength is not sufficient to avert such injuries from ourselves; but that the whole world may know that the honour of all secular princes is touched when the person of one is offended. Given at Treviso, the twentieth day of April, ninth [12th] indiction.”
Of the lamentable scandal which arose from the above.
This letter, with the change, however, of the superscription and a few words at the end, the emperor sent to the V king of England, and to many princes throughout the world, in order to prove his own innocence, and to show the frowardness of the pope ; and a scandal began to spread through the whole world. But the pope, having learnt these facts from credible persons, defamed the emperor more and more, heaped reproaches xipon him, and also declared him guilty of heretical irregularities; and, in order to condemn him, and render him infamous in the sight of the whole world, he sent a long invective letter to the princes and prelates of the world, as follows :— The pope’s letter. ” Gregory, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his venerable brethren, the archbishop of Canterbury and his suffragans, Health and tJie apostolic benediction.—There has risen from. the sea a beast, full of words of blasphemy, which, formed with the feet of a bear, the mouth of a raging lion, and, as it were, a panther in its other limbs, opens its mouth in blasphemies against God’s name, and continually attacks with similar weapons his tabernacle, and the saints who dwell in heaven. This beast, endeavouring to grind everything to pieces with its claws and teeth of iron, and to trample with its feet on the universal world, formerly prepared secret battering-engines against the faith; and now it openly sets in array the engines of the Ismaelites, turning souls from the right path, and rises against Christ, the Redeemer of the world (the records of whose Testament, as report declares, he endeavours to destroy by the pen of heretical wickedness). Cease, therefore, to wonder, all of you, to whose ears the slanders of blasphemy against us which have emanated from this beast have reached, if we, who are subject to God in all manner of servitude, are assailed by the arrows of backbiters, since the Lord himself is not free from these insults; cease to wonder if he draws the sword of injury against us, because he now aims at blotting out the name of the Lord from the earth ; but, that you may be the better able to oppose his lies by open truth, and to confute his deceits by the arguments of purity, carefully examine the head, the middle, and the lower parts of this beast Frederick, the so-called emperor; and, as you find only abominations and wickedness in his words, arm your sincere hearts with the shield of truth. Consider how the said Frederick, by his letters, sent throughout the various countries of the world, has endeavoured to stain the sincerity of the Apostolic See and our own by his polluted statements ; a worker of falsehoods; ignorant of all modesty, and untinged by the blush of shame, he falsely asserts that we, on being raised to the office of the apostleship, abandoned him, who was a friend to us of old, when we were in an inferior station, and that we broke our faith, and changed our conduct; that when he was bound by an oath, and the sentence of excommunication issued against him, to proceed to the assistance and defence of the Holy Land, at a time pre-arranged, and was unable to go, from sickness, we sought to strain the force of excommunication against him, and refused him the benefit of absolution on his recovering his health ; and that when he was proceeding to the succour of the said land, we impeded him in his purpose by means of our messengers and legates, and by sending letters to the sultan to oppose his progress, in order that he might be thus deceived in the hope he had conceived of recovering the kingdom of Jerusalem : he also makes a false complaint, that we unjustly and forcibly invaded the kingdom of Sicily, and incited the people to commit perjury, because Reynald, son of a former duke of Spoleto, invaded the territory of the Church, which was done without his knowledge. And he boasts that, when he returned from Syria into Apulia, he refrained from avenging the injury done to him, accepted our offer of goodwill and peace, and returned to the mother Church; but, although the general knowledge of facts disproves these falsehoods, yet sometimes a concealed lie takes possession of the seat of truth in the ear of sincerity, when truth finds in it no advocate for itself therein. And in order that falsehood may not by any deceitful means creep into your hearts, it is proper that you should not be left in ignorance of the true particulars and manner of our proceeding. Both before and after we took on our shoulders the burden of the apostolic office, we distinguished with all favour this said Frederick, who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, until all the hope which is conceived by a father of his son was destroyed in us ; for the said Frederick, blustering in his greatness, and intoxicated with the power he had acquired, returned evil for good •to his mother the Church; and began, like a scorpion, with the sting of its tail, to infuse poison into her, whilst at times he soothed her with the painted falsehoods of his words. For some time since, when the necessities of the Holy Land, the aforesaid sentence and his oath, and the period fixed upon for his departure demanded that he should set sail, and many thousand crusaders, who were awaiting him at Brundusium, requested him with great earnestness to do so, he detained the said crusaders there till, owing to the unseasonableness of a climate to which they were unaccustomed, they perished by pitiable deaths from various diseases ; and thus, voluntarily incurring the charge of perjury and the sentence of excommunication, this man, unsound in faith, but sound in body, neglected to make the passage he had promised, that he might more safely spread lies against God, and deceive the Church, lay for some days on the bed of sickness, under pretence of infirmity, and hesitated not to leave the Holy Land exposed to the incursions of the enemies of Christ; nor was he touched with any grief at the death of the noble landgrave of Thuringia, of illustrious memory, who met with his death there.— God forbid that it should have been caused by poison, as the world reports. And when we were informed by letters from the prelates residing there, of his feigning sickness and the other foregoing matters, we feared lest ourselves and the Apostolic See should become notorious for failing to apply the rod of discipline to so weighty a crime : we deplored the death of the crusaders and the danger to the Holy Land, and wishing, at least in one case, to wipe away the tears of the Church’s sorrow, with the right hand of due consolation, we determined that he was subject to the sentence of excommunication, passed on him with his own consent by the authority of our predecessor of blessed memory, Pope Honorius, earnestly entreating that we might hear he had amended his ways, and confessing his great misdeeds, would afford us the hoped for aid, offering him, in our letters, that we would give him the benefit of absolution in due form, as soon as he would set out on the crusade aforesaid ; but he, in whose breast there was little trouble about these matters, paying little heed to the keys of the Church, crossed into Syria without being absolved, where he entered into a treaty for six years with the sultan, on condition only that the walls of Jerusalem should be restored to him, and sending to him a large number of horses and armed men to assail the Christians, and leaving the Lord’s temple to the company of the Saracens, who there sang the praises of Mahomet, he was changed from a defender to an enemy, and with all his might assailed our venerable brother the patriarch of Jerusalem and the Templars. It ought not, however, to be believed by any person of sound mind, that we, or our legates, endeavoured to impede him in recovering the kingdom of Jerusalem, since the Church had greatly exerted itself to effect this purpose, and had borne much of the burden of the great expense. But it is well known to the whole world, that this said Frederick, in the same way as he in person was persecuting the Church of God in Syria, so, by the agency of the said Reynald, whom, contrary to our advice, he had left as his lieutenant in his kingdom, he was harassing it on this side the sea. For the said Reynald invaded the territory of the Church, protected by letters sealed with the golden bull, and supported by the money, and attended by the vassals of the said Frederick, presumed to suspend, mutilate, and slay some priests and clerks, and also, as we were in a disturbed state, to take possession of the province of Perusium, belonging to the said Church’s territory. And although our faithful and devoted subjects, who could no longer endure such proceedings, expelled him from that part of the country, Christ giving the victory to his spouse ; yet because the said Reynald would by no means desist from his persecution, they considered that it would be more prudent to cut into the veins of the original evil than to await the violence of the already disturbed torrent, which would be swollen by fresh rivulets ; they therefore entered the kingdom of Sicily, which is the spiritual patrimony of the Church, that they may not ask of us javelins from that quarter whence assistance ought to be expected ; and though many of the inhabitants of that kingdom became obedient to the Apostolic See, yet they ought not, on that account, to be considered in any way guilty of perjury, since they were released from the oath of fealty they had given to the said Frederick by the sentence of excommunication which had been pronounced against him. When the said Frederick returned from the transmarine provinces, and came to the bosom of the mother Church, we opened the bosom of the Apostolic affection, and, inclining a favourable ear to his request for peace, we granted to him the benefit of absolution. In addition to these things, this son of lies, heaping falsehoods on falsehoods, in order that the more he was entangled in the nets of falsehood, the greater might be the perils in which he was ensnared, now declares, in a lying writing, that, on purpose to ruin him we promised, if he would go to Lombardy peaceably, and without an army, we would smooth all difficulties, and that through the opposition made by our letters and messengers, we hindered him from attaining the goal of his intentions ; and that, because he was not supported by arms, being compelled to return into his kingdom, he falsely asserts that at our instance he defied the Romans then attacking Viterbo, and sent a strong body of men to assist the people of that town ; and he complains that we wrote to the Romans, saying that this was done without our knowledge, and without consulting him made peace with them again, flattering himself with a new falsehood, that, the Romans being again estranged from the peace of the Church, the same man, uninvited, together with his son Conrad, whom he offered to us as a hostage, coming personally into our presence, and submitting to our arbitration the cause of discord raised between him and the Lombards, restored to the rights of the Apostolic See the land which had been occupied, and replaced the liberty of the Church in its former and proper position. Would that this false-speaking man were one possessed of spirit. Would that this statement of falsehood had had a true result. With regard to the matter of restoring to him and the said Conrad their rights in the city of Jerusalem, which they had been deprived of, and which matter had been arranged by our venerable brother the bishop of Ravenna, he, without regard to truth, complains that, as soon as the money could be brought and paid, we distributed it amongst the Christians (who were harassed by hostile attacks, attended by burnings of churches and slaughter of men), and that we interdicted all aid from him, and on that account would not send a messenger or letters. Also he is not ashamed with his lying pen to write letters stating that, contrary to the terms of peace, and the advice of our brethren, the city of Castellana was detained by us to the prejudice of his rights. But although there is not the least atom of truth mixed up with these falsehoods, so as to give them a colouring, in order that you may more clearly understand that no slight mass of falsehoods discolours the whole of these statements, we wish you to know for certain that, although, as is now known by the course of events, it would, appear probable, to a discreet mind, that he could better have gained his ends with the Lombards if he had shown himself an affectionate parent and a merciful lord to them, as they were strong in the number of their people, the thickness of their ramparts, their large army, and the height of their walls, than if he were to draw the sword of vengeance on his subjects, who were trembling for the offence imputed to them, and to strike terror into them by coming upon them with his legions of soldiers, we, who are bound to promote the benefits of peace, advised him, in all good faith, to abandon the idea of awing them by his troops, and to bring them back to their due devotedness to the empire by a remission of the punishments threatened, and by showing: them kindness. And although he proceeded to Lombardy, attended by an unarmed retinue, yet, inasmuch as he, forgetful of our friendly advice to take part in the slaughter of the Cremonensians, became an agent of schism, and endeavoured to cause a wider rupture in Lombardy, which was already disunited by discord, and by terror and threats to drive from him the Milanese, whom on the contrary he ought rather to have drawn to him by the bond of affection, we, in our innocence, ought not to be blamed because he returned into Apulia deceived in his hopes, as lie himself brought death on his hopes. After this, in the matter of protecting the liberty of the Church, and of extirpating heresy, he declared himself ready to obey our pleasure ; in reply to which we answered by letter, that, as in his kingdom, where no one moved hand or foot without his order, heresy was diffusing its poison far and wide over the Catholic faith, and where the Church’s liberty was entirely trampled underfoot as it were, it was not thought proper to apply the remedy to the head where the foot had been rendered diseased by contact; a short space of time, too, proved the truth of this reply; for, hearing that certain persons, led away by wicked counsel, were wishing to enter the territory of the Church, he immediately went away into Sicily, as if taking to flight, in order that his violated promise might not accuse him of falsehood ; and did not proceed against them in any way, either by word or deed, blaming us because we, with paternal diligence, endeavoured to recall to their devotion to their mother the Romans, the special sons of the Church, who returned to the city. He also, understanding that some sons of iniquity were striving to withdraw them from their affection to the Church, and thinking that he could more easily oppress both her and them if he could, with his usual deceit, injure their affectionate feelings more deeply, hastened, although unsummoned, to the Apostolic See, we being then at Riati, and there with much humility he promised that he would restore the lost territory of the Church to its former state, and would defend it to the utmost of his power; and yet in Tuscany, to which he lent his assistance, he hindered us from recovering a certain castle which could have been restored to the jurisdiction of the Church with little trouble. And whilst the hands of the traitor were with us at the table, his deputy, on a given signal, as is openly proved against him by the consequences of his deed, and by his own letters, which are kept by us as a proof of his great treachery, made a covenant with the enemies of the Church, on the subject of that castle, which ought to be given up on a fixed day; and so he gave them an excuse for remaining in arms. See what service this secret enemy affords to the Church, who is not ashamed to transform himself into a servant of the same, in order that he may have more effectual means to injure us. We wish you, however, to be assured that we, passing over these matters connected with him in silence, did not allow the apostolic purity to undergo any change, but ordered the rights, of which he and the aforesaid Conrad had been deprived in the kingdom of Jerusalem, to be restored to them by the said archbishop, to whom the legatine duties were intrusted; who, although he did so, yet exceeded the license given to him, because an appeal had been made to us from him ; and, after an appeal against this sentence, laid the Holy Land under an interdict, a proceeding unheard of at any time previous. We, therefore, considering that, in consequence of this proceeding, and to the great peril of the said land, pilgrims would depart from it; and that others would delay their passage to it, after receiving security from the barons, nobles, and provinces of the said kingdom, in all sincerity, and by the advice of our brethren, thought proper to withdraw the said sentence, which, as it had been pronounced after a legal appeal had been made, was, ipso jure, null and void, due care being taken not to invalidate the proceedings of the aforesaid archbishop in all other points. Let not, therefore, your mind be disturbed because, owing to this, he reproaches us with his polluted lips ; for, although the vessel is full of the dross of vice, he thinks that the same stings of crime which have tainted his own mind, rage also in others ; wherefore, as the insults of wicked men resound prai&e, and their praise insult, we much prefer being attacked by the slanders of this man, whose every word teems with infamy, to being praised by him. But perhaps he thinks to wash away the stain of his opinions by these reproaches ; for whilst he was staying at Yiterbo, corrupting that place, he shamelessly fled from before the enemies of the Church, and, lavish of the honour of the empire and held back by fear, he did not go to the defence of his faithful subjects, whom his enemies were besieging before his very eyes, and who found no one to prevent them from devastating the country, he declaring that his proceeding to their aid was forbidden by us; and from this he accused us in our innocence for not having sent a messenger a latere, to prevent the losses incurred by this war. Nor is it to be wondered at, since the Church was at that time harassed by the manifold vexations of its persecutors. We came to the city of Castellana, the citizens of which, violating their oath of fealty, and without the knowledge of the Church, betrayed that Church, and gave themselves up to him, but could not by this proceeding acquire any right in themselves, nor could they bring any injury on us as to the possession of the city, inasmuch as we possessed the jurisdiction, as it were, of the city and citizens. For if men possess for the benefit of another and not of themselves, it is vain to make demands upon them: the beginning of possession cannot destroy the laws of possession, or confer on strangers the rights of the true possessors. Also, as he had often given his oath to restore the possessions which belonged to him, by reason of the Church, he seemed to act imprudently in asking from us what he could not retain possession of without being guilty of perjury. But it must not be believed in this matter that we despised the counsel of our brethren, as we were prepared to do every kind of justice to him, according to the decision of arbitrators, or in any other way; but as his messengers refused to proceed with the trial, which had been commenced, it was not required of us; but his design rather was to have proceeded with that petition only for the deceitful purpose of being thus afforded an opportunity of reviling the Church, and of destroying the peace which had been made between it and him. The circumstances which his detestable letter mentions concerning the fate of the empire, among other things, our pen describes in this present letter, in order that the more it is made known to people, the more he may be put to confusion in his statement. He complains of us, that when we heard that he was marching into Lombardy with many thousands of soldiers, to recover the rights of the empire, we commanded him, by an apostolical writing, not to enter Italy in arms, and compromise us in the matter of the Lombards, in order that we might perpetually suspend that over him, or without restraint stifle the imperial right, sending against him our venerable brother the bishop of Praeneste, by whose agency we might nullify his intentions, and stirring up against him numberless clandestine impediments by our legates and letters from every part of the world. This man, too, to whom was perhaps denied by divine judgment the power either to confess the truth or to pronounce justice, as he was not ashamed, on false grounds, to disparage our person, so also he did not fear to make his own excuses in similar assertions, and to declare that he, through his messengers, our venerable brother the archbishop of Palermo, and some others, who were sent to the Apostolic See, had offered to show his devotion in all matters connected with re-establishing the liberty of the Church, and restoring her rights and those of the empire; and he also asserts that, when his messengers were returning to him, we, although we promised and endeavoured to desist from impeding him in any way, intrusted the duties of the legateship to our well-beloved son G. de Monte Longo, our notary, to the ruin of his subjects ; and he concludes by falsely stating, that although, notwithstanding this, he sent back the aforesaid archbishop and his other messengers to the Apostolic See, and, through them, offered every kind of satisfaction, we, contrary to the injunctions handed down by the holy fathers, and to the special custom of the Church, unjustly excommunicated him, although we were opposed by the wiser portion of our brethren; adding, to his own shame, that we, the vicar of St. Peter, had not the power of binding and loosing, as though he would declare that we were without the power of the keys which was given to the chief of the apostles. Take up, therefore, we beseech you, the scale of reason, and in it weigh the aforesaid Frederick against the Church, balancing his faults with the benefits he has received from her, and you will clearly see that, although this dragon, who was formed to deceive us, and was given as food to the Ethiopian people, has emitted the waters of persecution from his mouth, like a river, to the subversion of the Church, yet the Apostolic See has overcome his baseness by the inestimable mercy of its benefits. For, from the time of his tender years, when he was formerly exposed, in the lake of confusion, to the attacks of those who eagerly coveted his land, and sought his life, when he was entirely destitute of the consolation of relatives and friends, and almost naked the mother Church, seeing his condition, nourished him, and, fulfilling the duties of a nurse, covered him with the cloak of the Apostolic See, snatched him from the toils of the hunters, and, at much labour and expense, exalted him to the throne and crown of the empire. Moreover, considering that in thus acting she had done but little for him, she obtained for him the government of the kingdom of Jerusalem, and exalted him in all parts of the world; and although, to her sorrow, she felt herself injured in manifold ways by him, yet for some short time past she powerfully assisted him against his son Henry, who had seduced a large portion of Germany from its allegiance to him, and, forgetting the wounds inflicted on her by him, raised him, as it were, anew to the imperial dignity, and also, at his request, reformed Germany by the apostolic letters. By these and other benefits, which we cannot recollect, she raised the defences of his honour; but this staff of the impious, this hammer of the earth, desiring to disturb the whole earth, to crush kingdoms, and to make the world a desert, reduced the liberty of the Church in the said kingdom of Sicily to a disgraceful state of the lowest servitude, overwhelming with filth, burdens, and other oppressions, the churches, of which, to fill his own belly out of their tenderness, he had entirely torn the bones out, as it were; he robbed them of their sacred property, that had been assigned to the uses of holy men, consigned ecclesiastics to prison, compelled them to undergo accusation, to pay talliages, and to exhaust the property of the churches, that they might redeem themselves from his oppressions, and finally drove them into exile. The widowed churches, deprived of their pastors, he does not allow to choose a spouse for themselves, and to lay aside the garb of widowhood, until they are consigned by compulsion to the adulterous embraces of anyone. Out of the dwellings of Christians he builds the walls of Babylon, and transfers the buildings in which the name of God is worshipped, to that place where the lost Mahomet is held in adoration; and has forbidden the faith and name of the Crucified One to be publicly preached in his said kingdom, to the crowds collected from all quarters. He impeded the recovery of the Holy Land and the crusade, by forbidding any of the property of his subjects to be given for the accomplishment of that object. Contrary to his pledged oath and the terms of the peace made between him and the Church, he deprived the nobles of their castles and other property, imprisoned their wives and children, compelled them to abandon their own places, and to transfer their abodes to the dwelling-places of others; those brought up in crimson he obliged to lie in the mire, and reduced them to a state of the lowest destitution. Whilst also he oppressed the poor with similar injuries, we think that he displeased God the more, the more truly we believe that they were innocent. What further shall I say? He, by unheard-of cruelties, reduced barons, knights, and other people of the said kingdom of Sicily, to the condition of slaves; and now the inhabitants of that kingdom, for the most part, have not the means of resting on a bed of their own, however vile, of covering their nakedness with coarse sackcloth, and can scarcely fill their bellies with dry bread. And as the lamentations and complaints of the said churches and of the people had continually worried the ears of the Church, since the time of our predecessor, the said Honorius, and as we could scarcely pass over them in silence without wounding our conscience, we, by messengers and letters, not only once, but several times, warned him to correct his faults; and have waited with great patience for some time past to see if he would perchance raise his eyes towards heaven, shake oft’ the old and put on the new man, and restrain his hands from the perpetration of such great crimes. Still, moreover, being doubtful about the required reformation, we wished to congratulate him on his own progress in the amendment of his condition; and when he entered Lombardy in arms, we sent orders that in the places lying under interdict, for whatever cause it might be, the interdict should not be observed where he was present; and by our letters we warned the said Frederick to give us a strict promise not to impede the cause of the cross, which had been undertaken for the advantage of the Church, the empire, and the whole Christian community; and not, by proceeding in arms against the Lombards, to set such a pernicious example as would give reason to many people to suppose that the Church would deceive the rest. Again, as it is incumbent on us, in our office of servant to the servants of God, to repair the chasms caused by schism, in order to set at rest the discord existing between the empire and the Lombards, we thought proper to send the bishop of Praeneste, charged with the legatine office, chiefly for this consideration, namely, that for themselves and all others quarrelling, he should with the less reason be held suspected, in proportion as by his actions he should cause less matter for hatred or favour, who being drawn away from the world and the flesh by the enterprise of holy religion, had mounted to the height of the divine love. Let our detracter answer for himself, what imputation can be brought on these grounds against us and the same bishop, if at Placentia concord was effected between fathers, sons, connecting relations, and cousins, himself being present and protesting that this was accomplished without prejudice to the honours and rights of the emperor, the empire, and any others whom it might concern. Moreover, let this said blasphemer understand, that it is justly considered a disgrace to him, that although, at his request and that of his messengers, we had sent our venerable brother the bishop of Ostia, and our son T., a cardinal priest of St. Sabina, to those parts, for the purpose of re-establishing peace between the empire and the Lombards, according to the terms given by his said messengers; and although the said legates were prepared to fulfil the terms demanded, and even to grant more, we found ourselves deceived, as he refused to agree to the re-establishment of peace on the terms offered by them. Now understand how we had trampled on the rights of the empire; learn from the foregoing matters how he has been impeded by us; for he determined that his own shoulders, and those of his followers, should be bruised by long and useless labour, rather than allow the rights of the empire to be re-established by us. Moreover, the same man, not content with the injuries he had done to the Church, by means of giving a large sum of money to certain rebels against us, several times endeavoured to excite sedition against us in the city, in order that by us and our brethren being expelled from our see, and the head which the Lord has placed over the faith being shaken, the edifice itself might be thrown down by a lighter effort on his part. He also, in violation of his oath, came into Lombardy and took possession of Ferrara, with others of the Church’s lands ; concerning which proceeding, as well as others, he sent to us the aforesaid archbishop of Palermo, and other messengers of his, with letters of credence, thinking to entertain us by empty speeches; and whilst they were offering to give us respectful satisfaction, and to make amends for the above-mentioned offences, he, both before and after their departure from our court, employed himself in taking possession of the land of Sardinia and the diocese of Messana Lunensis, both belonging to the Roman church ; by which proceeding he taught us not any longer to expect his amendment; and the evidence of his actions proved that no confidence ought to be placed in him or his messengers. Wherefore, with this only reflection in his mind, that his heart was directed to the ruin of the churches and the Catholic faith, he was, with good reason, suspected by us, from whom he could now no longer conceal himself under the garb of deceit, because we, becoming suspicious of his power, out of regard to justice, and as it is better to prevent wounds than to find a remedy after their infliction, intrusted the legatine office to the said notary, for the purpose of stopping his progress ; which we did not do by any means out of suspicion of him, but that, by means of the said legate, we might be able to prevent the slaughter of war, and obviate the perils impending over souls and bodies. Being unable, therefore, from, the foregoing circumstances, and others besides, to entertain hopes of his amendment, and grieving that we have been so often deluded by his promises so often made, we, by the advice of our brethren, pronounced sentence of excommunication on the aforesaid Frederick. Although, owing to this, he ought to have resumed his lost senses, and to have humbled himself more before God, yet he only raved the more furiously thereupon, as he now found out his own confusion, and strongly feared that the coils of the serpent would be unfolded by the mediating hand of the Church ; declaring that we were unworthy by our personal merits of the authority of the papal office, and in his letters presumptuously declared that he could not be bound by the aforesaid sentence by us ; and also that we, who in our time have, by God’s grace, increased the patrimony of the Church in no slight degree, are by him accused of wasting the property of the Church, of making dispensations, and of receiving presents, and brands us with the vile crime of avarice. He also falsely asserts, that we are provoked against him, because he refused his consent to the contracting of a marriage between a niece of ours and his natural son; he openly declares that we gave our personal oath to the Lombards to act against him and the empire, and that we promised to convert to his use the tithes of the whole world, which were reserved for the benefit of the Holy Land, if he would submit the Lombard affair to our decision. We confess that we are wanting in merit to be the vicar of Christ; we confess that we are inadequate to such a heavy burden, which no mortal of any condition can support without God’s assistance; nevertheless, we perform the duties of the office intrusted to us as well as our frailty allows us, and endeavour to dispose matters as the quality and nature of places, times, persons, and circumstances require, and, when necessity demands it, grant dispensations to the full extent of our power, freely, and in accordance with our duty to God, to those deserving it. Nevertheless, it is not a cause of sorrow that he wounds the Church so deeply, as also that, whilst he passes the limits of the kingly office, he is unable to assail the duties of the priests. Owing to which circumstance, this man, who out of thirst for gold has reduced the said kingdom of Sicily to ashes, who has all his life afforded pure justice to but few, whilst he has corruptly sold it to many, that, reviving the great Simon in his own person, he may be able to pollute the Church with the filth of temporal gain, that he may thus be allowed to assail spiritual matters and to remain in his own filth, has attempted, in many ways, to break through the wall of the Church’s purity, and especially by the offer of castles, and the entertainment of kindred feelings between his people and ours, which he has often requested of us through certain great prelates, and his messengers as well. But as he could not obtain this from us by any entreaties, by any device (as is now well known at our court), and finds himself and his adherents now left to the deceits of their own devices, and still becoming worse off, as he knows not what to do further, he disgraces himself by disparaging others by his falsehoods, like the Egyptian harlot, who invited Joseph to lie with her, and, on being refused by him, accused him to her husband. There is one thing at which, although we ought to mourn for a lost man, you ought to rejoice greatly, and for which you ought to return thanks to God, namely, that this man, who delights in being called a forerunner of Antichrist, by God’s will, no longer endures to be veiled in darkness ; not expecting that his trial and disgrace are near, he with his own hands undermines the wall of his abominations, and, by the said letters of his, brings his works of darkness to the light, boldly setting forth in them, that he could not be excommunicated by us, although the vicar of Christ; thus affirming that the Church had not the power of binding and loosing, which was given by our Lord to St. Peter and his successors; and thus asserting heresy, he concludes by an argument suited to him, proving by this that he thinks badly of the other articles of the orthodox faith, inasmuch as he endeavours to deprive the Church, on which that faith is founded and supported, of the privilege of power granted to it by the word of God. But as it may not be easily believed by some people that he has ensnared himself by the words of his own mouth, proofs are ready, to the triumph of the faith ; for this king of pestilence openly asserts, that the whole world was deceived by three, namely, Christ Jesus, /Moses, and Mahomet ; that, two of them having died in glory, the said Jesus was suspended on the cross; and he, moreover, presumes plainly to affirm (or rather to lie), that all are foolish who believe that God, who created nature, and could do all things, was born of the virgin. This heresy he confirms by the false doctrine that no one can be born whose conception has not been preceded by connection between man and woman, and no man ought to believe anything beyond what can be proved by the force and reason of nature. These and many other words, as well as deeds, by which he has attacked, and still attacks, the Catholic faith, can be plainly proved in their proper time and place, as is proper and expedient. Wherefore we ask, warn, and urgently exhort your community, and by these apostolic letters strictly order you, by virtue of your obedience, not to allow the aforesaid Frederick any means of undermining the hearts of faithful Christians by his deceitful speeches, or in any way to pollute the Lord’s flock by his contagion ; and also fully and faithfully to publish the abovementioned matters to the clergy and people subject to you. “Given at the Lateran, the 21st of May, in the thirteenth year of our pontificate.” The last clause above-written was sent to the lord of the kingdom, with the preceding letters, in this form :—” Wherefore we have thought fit to advise and to exhort your royal highness that you cause the aforesaid to be diligently explained, so that the purity of the royal innocence may not be contaminated by deceitful words. Given at the Lateran, ‘&c., as above.”