Cambridge Medieval History Volume 5: Contest of Empire and Papacy

 
9781505870169: Cambridge Medieval History Volume 5: Contest of Empire and Papacy
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From the preface: "THE century and a half, roughly from 1050 to 1200, with which this volume is concerned, follows on a period when the disorganisation and anarchy of the ninth century had barely been made good. Order had been to some extent restored; the desire for order and for peace was at any rate widespread. The opportunity for fruitful development, both in the sphere of ecclesiastical and of secular government, and also in those pursuits which especially needed peace for their prosecution, such as culture and commerce, had now arrived. We have to deal, then, with a period, on the one hand, of new movements and new ideas—the appearance of new monastic orders, a renaissance of thought and learning, the rise of towns and the expansion of commerce; on the other, of consolidation and centralisation—the organisation of the monarchical government of the Church, the development of monarchical institutions in the various countries of Europe, and, to give direction and solidity to the whole, the revived study of Civil and Canon Law. Finally, and most novel of all, we see Europe at once divided by the great conflict of Empire and Papacy and united by the Crusades in the holy war against the infidel. The former as well as the latter implies a conception of the unity of Western Christendom, a unity which found expression in the universal Church. For the Church alone was universal, European, international; and, as its institutions begin to take more definite form, the more deeply is this character impressed upon them. The volume opens with a chapter on the Reform of the Church, which was not merely a prelude to, but also a principal cause of, the striking events that followed; for in the pursuit of the work of reform the Papacy both developed its own organisation and was brought into conflict with the secular power. In the first half of the eleventh century, it had been entirely dominated by the secular interests of the local nobles. It had been rescued by the Emperor Henry III, and Pope Leo IX had immediately taken his natural place as leader of the reform movement. When he undertook personally, in France, Germany, and Italy, the promulgation and enforcement of the principles of reform, he made the universality of papal power a reality; the bishops might mutter, but the people adored. The Papacy was content to take a subordinate place while Henry III was alive; Henry IVs minority worked a complete change. The first great step was the Papal Election Decree of Nicholas II, and, though the attempt of the Roman nobles to recover their influence was perhaps the immediate cause, the Papacy took the opportunity to shake off imperial control as well. An opening for interference still remained in the case of a disputed election, as was clearly shewn in the contest of Innocent II and Anastasius II, and especially in that of Alexander III and Victor IV. This gap was closed by the Third Lateran Council in 1179, which decreed that whoever obtained the votes of two-thirds of the cardinals should be declared Pope."

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J.B. Bury
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ISBN 10 : 150587016X ISBN 13 : 9781505870169
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Revaluation Books
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