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CHAP. es, and each parish was governed by a cardinal-priest, or XLIX.

presbyter, a title which, however common and modest in its origin, has aspired to emulate the purple of kings. Their number was enlarged by the association of the seven deacons of the most considerable hospitals, the seven palatine judges of the Lateran, and some dignitaries of the church. This ecclesiastical senate was directed by the seven cardinal-bishops of the Roman province, who were less occupied in the suburb dioceses of Ostia, Porto, Velitræ, Tusculum, Præneste, Tibur, and the Sabines, than by their weekly service in the Lateran, and their superior share in the honours and authority of the apostolic see. On the death of the pope, these bishops recommended a successor to the suffrage of the college of cardinals,126 and their choice was ratified or rejected by the applause or clamour of the Roman people. But the election was imperfect; nor could the pontiff be legally consecrated till the emperor, the advocate of the church, had graciously signified his approbation and consent. The royal commissioner examined, on the spot, the form and freedom of the proceedings; nor was it, till after a previous scrutiny into the qualifications of the candidates, that he accepted an oath of fidelity, and confirmed the donations which had successively enriched the patrimony of St. Peter. In the frequent schisms, the rival claims were submitted to the sentence of the emperor; and in a synod of bishops he presumed to judge, to condemn, and to punish, the crimes of a guilty pontiff. Otho the first imposed a treaty on the senate and people, who engaged to prefer the candidate most acceptable to his majesty;127 his successors anticipated or prevented their choice: they bestowed the Roman benefice, like the bishoprics of Cologne or Bamberg, on their chancellors or preceptors; and whatever might be the merit of a Frank or Saxon, his name sufficiently attests the interposition of CHAP. foreign power. These acts of prerogative were most spe

126 The origin and progress of the title of cardinal may be found in Tho. massin (Discipline de l'Eglise, tom. i. p. 1161...1298), Muratori (Antiquitat.

. Italize Medii Ævi, tom. vi. dissert. Ixi. p. 159...182), and Mosheiin (Institut. Hist. Eccles. p. 345...347), who accurately remarks the forms and changes of the election. The cardinal Bishops, so highly exalted by Peter Damianus, are sunk to a level with the rest of the sacred college.

127 Firmiter jurantes, nunquam se papam electuros aut ordinaturos, præter consensum et electionem Othonis et filii sui (Liutprand, I. vi. c. 6. p. 472). This important concession may either supply or confirm the decree of the clergy and people of Rome, so fiercely rejected by Baronius, Pagi, and Mu. ratori (A. D. 964), and so well defended and explained by St. Marc (Abregé, tom. ij. p. 808...816. tom. iv. p. 1167...1185). Consult that historical critic, and the annals of Muratori, for the election and confirmation of each pope.

XLIX. ciously excused by the vices of a popular election. The competitor who had been excluded by the cardinals, appealed to the passions or avarice of the multitude: the Vatican and the Lateran were stained with blood; and the most powerful senators, the marquisses of Tuscany and the counts of Tusculum, held the apostolic see in a long and disgraceful servitude. The Roman pontiffs, of the ninth and tenth cen- Disorders. turies, were insulted, imprisoned, and murdered, by their tyrants; and such was their indigence after the loss and usurpation of the ecclesiastical patrimonies, that they could neither support the state of a prince, nor exercise the charity of a priest.'28 The influence of two sister prostitutes, Marozia, and Theodora, was founded on their wealth and beauty, their political and amorous intrigues: the most strenuous of their lovers were rewarded with the Roman mitre, and their reign'29 may have suggested to the darker ages 130 the fable131 of a female pope.132 The bastard son, the grandson

128 The oppression and vices of the Roman church in the xth century are strongly painted in the history and legation of Liutprand (see p. 440. 450. 471...476. 479, &c.); and it is whimsical enough to observe Muratori tempering the invectives of Baronius against the popes. But these popes had been chosen, not by the cardinals, but by lay-patrons. 129 The time of pope Joan (papissa Joanna

) is placed somewhat earlier than Theodora or Marozia ; and the two years of her imaginary reign are forcibly inserted between Leo IV. and Benedict III. But the contemporary , Anastasius indissolubly links the death of Leo and the elevation of Benedict (illico, mox, p. 247): and the accurate chronology of Pagi, Muratori, and Leibnitz, fixes both events to the year 857.

130 The advocates for pope Joan produce one hundred and fifty witnesses, or rather echoes, of the xivth, xvth, and xvith centuries. They bear testimony against themselves and the legend, by multiplying the proof that so curious a story must have been repeated by writers of every description to whom it was known. On those of the ixth and xth centuries, the recent event would have fiashed with a double force. Would Photius have spared such a reproach? Could Liutprand have missed such a scandal ? It is scarcely worth while to discuss the various readings of Martinus Polonus, Sigebert of Gemblours, or even Marianus Scotus ; but a most palpable forgery is the passage of pope Joan, which has been foisted into some MSS. and editions of the Roman Anastasius.

131 As false, it deserves that name; but I would not pronounce it incredi. ble. Suppose a famous French chevalier of our own times to have been born in Italy, and educated in the church, instead of the army: her merit or fortune might have raised her to St. Peter's chair ; her amours would have been natural; her delivery in the streets unlucky, but not improbable.

132 Till the reformation, the tale was repeated and believed without of. fence; and Joan's female statue long occupied her place among the popes in the cathedral of Sienna (Pagi, Critica, tom. iii.p. 624...626). She has been annihilated by two learned protestants, Blondel and Bayle (Dictionarie Critique, Papesse, Polonus, BLONDEL); but their brethren were scandalised


CHAP. and the great grandson of Marozia, a rare genealogy, were XLIX.

seated in the chair of St. Peter, and it was at the age of nineteen years that the second of these became the head of the Latin church. His youth and manhood were of a suitable complexion; and the nations of pilgrims could bear testimony to the charges that were urged against him in a Roman synod, and in the presence of Otho the great. As John XII. had renounced the dress and decencies of his profession, the soldier may not perhaps be dishonoured by the wine which he drank, the blood that he spilt, the flames that he kindled, or the licentious pursuits of gaming and hunting. His open simony might be the consequence of distress; and his blasphemous invocation of Jupiter and Venus, if it be true, could not possibly be serious. But we read with some surprise, that the worthy grandson of Marozia lived in public adultery with the matrons of Rome; that the Lateran palace was turned into a school for prostitution, and that his rapes of virgins and widows had deterred the female pilgrims from visiting the tomb of St. Peter, lest, in the devout act, they should be violated by his successor." protestants have dwelt with malicious pleasure on these cha

racters of anti-christ; but to a philosophic eye, the vices of Reforma- the clergy are far less dangerous than their virtues. After tion and claims of long series of scandal, the apostolic see was reformed and the church, exalted by the austerity and zeal of Gregory VII. That

A. D. 1073, &c. ambitious monk devoted his life to the execution of two pro

jects. I. To fix in the college of cardinals the freedom and independence of election, and for ever to abolish the right or usurpation of the emperors and the Roman people. II. To bestow and resume the Western empire as a fief or benefice 34 of the church, and to extend his temporal dominion


.133 The


by this equitable and generous criticism. Spanheim and Lenfant attempt to save this poor engine of controversy; and even Mosheim condescends to che. rish some doubt and suspicion (p. 289).

133 Lateranense palatium prostibulum meretricum .... Testis omnium gentium, præterquam Romanorum, absentia mulierum, quæ sancto. rum apostolorum limina orandi gratiâ timent visere, cum nonnullas ante dies paucos, hunc audierint conjugatas viduas, virgines vi oppressisse (Liutprand, Hist. I. vi.c. 6. p. 471. See the whole affair of John XII. p. 471..476).

134 A new example of the mischief of equivncation is the berejicium (Du. sange, tom. i. p. 617, &c.) which the pope conferred on the emperor Frederic I. since the Latin word may signify either a legal fief, or a simple favour, an obligation (we want the word bienfait). (See Schmidt, Hist. des Ailemands, tom. iii. p. 393...408. Pfeffel, Abregé Chronologique, tom. i. p. 229. 296. 317. 324. 420. 430. 500. 505. 509, &c.).

over the kings and kingdoms of the earth. After a contest CHAP. of fifty years, the first of these designs was accomplished by

XLIX. the firm support of the ecclesiastical order, whose liberty was' connected with that of their chief. But the second attempt, though it was crowned with some partial and apparent success, has been vigorously resisted by the secular power, and finally extinguished by the improvement of human reason. In the revival of the empire of Rome, neither the bishop Authority

of the ema nor the people could bestow on Charlemagne or Otho, the perors in provinces which were lost, as they had been won, by the Rome. chance of arms. But the Romans were free to chuse a master for themselves; and the powers which had been delegated to the patrician, were irrevocably granted to the French and Saxon emperors of the West. The broken records of the times'35 preserve some remembrance of their palace, their mint, their tribunal, their edicts, and the sword of justice, which, as late as the thirteenth century, was derived from Cæsar to the præfect of the city.136 Between the arts of the popes and the violence of the people, this supremacy was crushed and annihilated. Content with the titles of emperor and Augustus, the successors of Charlemagne neglected to assert this local jurisdiction. In the hour of prosperity, their ambition was diverted by more alluring objects; and in the decay and division of the empire, they were oppressed by the defence of their hereditary provinces. Amidst the ruins Revolt of

Alberic, of Italy, the famous Marozia invited one of the usurpers A.D. 932 assume the character of her third husband; and Hugh, king

1 of Burgundy, was introduced by her faction into the mole of Hadrian or castle of St. Angelo, which commands the principal bridge and entrance of Rome. Her son by the first marriage, Alberic, was compelled to attend at the nuptial banquet; but his reluctant and ungraceful service was chastised with a blow by his new father. The blow was productive of a revolution. “ Romans," exclaimed the youth,

once you were the masters of the world, and these Burgundians the most abject of your slaves. They now reign, ,


135 For the history of the emperors in Rome and Italy, see Sigonius, de Reg. no 1:aliæ ; Opp. tom. ij. with the Notes of Saxius, and the Annals of Muratori, who might refer more distinctly to the authors of his great collection.

136 See the Dissertation of Le Blanc at the end of his Treatise des Monnoyes de France, in which he produces some Roman coins of the French emperors. VOL. VI.



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CHAP. “these voracious and brutal savages, and my injury is the . commencement of your servitude.” 137

The alarum-bell rung to arms in every quarter of the city; the Burgundians retreated with haste and shame; Marozia was imprisoned by her victorious son; and his brother, pope John XI. was reduced to the exercise of his spiritual functions. With the title of prince, Alberic possessed above twenty years the government of Rome, and he is said to have gratified the popular prejudice, by restoring the office, or at least the title, of consuls and tribunes. His son and heir Octavian assumed, with the pontificate, the name of John XII.; like his predecessor, he was provoked by the Lombard princes to seek a deliverer for the church and republic; and the services of Otho were rewarded with the Imperial dignity. But the Saxon was imperious, the Romans were impatient, the festival of the coronation was disturbed by the secret conflict of prerogative and freedoin, and Otho commanded his sword. bearer not to stir from his person, lest he should be assaulted

and murdered at the foot of the altar.138 Before he repassed John XII. A. D. 967. the Alps, the emperor chastised the revolt of the people and

the ingratitude of John XII. The pope was degraded in a synod; the præfect was mounted on an ass, whipped through the city, and cast into a dungeon; thirteen of the most guilty were hanged, others were mutilated or banished; and this severe process was justified by the ancient laws of Theodosius and Justinian. The voice of fame has accused the second Otho of a perfidious and bloody act, the massacre of the senators, whom he had invited to his table under the fair semblance of hospitality and friendship.139 In the minority of his son Otho the third, Rome made a bold attempt to shake

off the Saxon yoke, and the consul Crescentius was the BruOf the con- tus of the republic. From the condition of a subject and an sul Crescentius,

exile, he twice rose to the command of the city, oppressed,

Of pope


137 Romanorum aliquando servi, scilicet Burgundiones, Romanis imper. ent? .... Romanæ urbis dignitas ad tantam est stultitiam ducta, ut mere. tricum etiam imperio pareat? (Liutprand, l. iii. c. 12. p. 450). Sigonius ( p. 400) positively affirms the renovation of the consulship; but in the old writers Albericus is more frequently styled princeps Romanorum.

138 Ditmar, p. 354, apud Schmidt, tom. iii. p. 439.

139 This bloody feast is described in Leonine verse, in the Pantheon of Godfrey of Viterbo (Script. Ital. tom.vii. p. 436,437), who flourished towards the end of the xiith century (Fabricius, Bibliot. Latin. med. et infimi Ævi, tom. iii. p. 69. edit. Mansi); but his evidence, which imposed on Sigonius, is reasonably suspected by Muratori (Annali, tom. viii. p. 177).

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