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A History of Diplomacy in the International Development of Europe: Vol I The Struggle for Universal Empire
- The Reunification of Europe by the Church
by David Jayne Hill, LL.D.


All the circumstances of the time tended to strengthen the influence of the Papacy. Even the miseries of Rome during the Lombard invasion, when her churches were pillaged, her priests massacred, and her population nearly exterminated, furnished occasion for enhancing the prestige of her bishop; who, in the person of Gregory I, called the Great, seemed to the people of Rome like a messenger sent from heaven. Descended from an ancient and honorable Roman family, possessing all the culture of his time, and having served as prefect of the city, Gregory had renounced his ample fortune, founded seven monasteries, and retired from the world. From the seclusion of his cell on the Aventine, he was sent, much against his will, as the envoy of Pope Pelagius II in his negotiations with the Emperor of the East. After a sojourn of five years at Constantinople, during which he perceived how unable to govern the West the Eastern Empire really was, Gregory, returning to Rome in 590, was elected with unanimity to succeed Pelagius, who had fallen a victim to the plague. With great reluctance he assumed the papal office, and his first act was to exorcise the pestilence which had afflicted the city by a great expiatory procession, in which the whole population had a part. The august spectacle was soon followed by a cessation of the plague, and Gregory was thenceforth regarded as God's instrument for the salvation of the city. Poet and musician, as well as theologian, he appealed to the imagination of the Christian world with a new and fascinating power. More than any other man of his time he became the interpreter of its spirit and ideals, and a new dominion of Rome dates from his pontificate. The city was lifted once more from its ruins, rebuilt and remodelled, the relics of mere secular power were pushed into the background, and henceforth a churchly Rome, the seat of a new spiritual dominion, asserts its pretensions as the capital of the world.

Master of Rome, whose government was practically in his hands, Gregory became the recipient of gifts and legacies, including rich domains in Italy, Gaul, Asia, and Africa, - by which his power was incredibly augmented. The growing patrimony of St. Peter called for pontifical officers to administer it in nearly all the provinces, as well as in all parts of Italy; while the personal virtues of the Pontiff rendered him the final arbiter in the disputes of the clergy everywhere. Thus were opened those avenues of information and influence which were to render the Papacy for centuries the one really international institution in the world.

But the correspondence of Gregory was not confined to his pontifical officers and the eccelesiastics of other lands; he wrote letters to the Emperor at Constantinople and to the barbarian kings, but particularly to the Empress and to other notable women, faithful Catholics, whose influence was desired for the Church. Thus Theodelinda, Queen of the Lombards, became the means of turning the Lombard kings to the orthodox faith; and Ingunthis, a daughter of Queen Brunhildis, influenced by her orthodoxy the rescue of Spain from the Arian heresy.

Sure of himself, his Romans, and his cause, Gregory displayed a boldness which contributed greatly to the prestige of the Papacy. Having founded its temporal power by his government of Rome and his administration of the patrimony of St. Peter, he did not hesitate to negotiate directly with the King of the Lombards without consulting the imperial exarch. And yet he remained the loyal subject of the Empire, flattering the Empress when he could not prevail with the Emperor, and making haste to greet with his homage the Emperor Phocas when he succeeded to the throne. The attitude of the Papacy toward the imperial authority was later to have an interesting history, but for another century it maintained its traditional subordination.

Two great dangers menaced the primacy of the Roman pontiff, - the persistence of heresy, especially of the Arian doctrine, and the threatened development of national churches. Against both of these perils there was one strong bulwark, the loyalty of Rome to the divinity of Jesus Christ. In his name, it spoke with an authority which defied all human contradiction. Maintaining with equal boldness and tenacity the divine character of its founder and the divinely appointed supremacy of its bishops, Rome could tolerate no rival and would admit no equal. Everywhere in Western Europe were powerful ecclesiastics who accepted these claims to obedience; but most important is the fact that the Roman faith was essentially missionary and proselyting in its character. While, therefore, Arianism sent out no missionaries, Rome always maintained a powerful propaganda. The imposition of Roman authority upon remote regions was an ancient imperial practice, and the means and methods of establishing and maintaining its influence were perfectly familiar. The missionary movement emanating from Ireland under the direction of the holy monks of Iona, which, moved by the same conception of its divine authority, was spreading over Europe, inspired anew the missionary zeal of the Papacy. Gregory the Great would gladly have consecrated his own life to a mission among the barbarians, but was restrained by his large preoccupations. He saw in the success of the Irish missions, independent in their origin and direction, a grave danger to the unity of the Church, and set about a counter movement to correct this tendency toward decentralization. The Visigoths in Spain and the Anglo-Saxons in Britain were special objects of his solicitude, and in those remote regions his faithful monks labored to convert both kings and people to the faith of Rome. His success was marvellous, and while Spain was soon to be lost for a while to Christendom through the invasions of the Arabs, Great Britain was won for the Catholic faith.

The conversion of Great Britain marked an immense advance in the power of the Papacy, for it was from that island that missionaries went forth for the subsequent conquest of Germany. Designating in advance Augustine, prior of the monastery of St. Coelius, as Bishop of Great Britain, Gregory sent him with forty of his monks to win that region for the Papacy. Furnished with interpreters by the sous of Brunhildis, to whom the missionaries bore letters from the Pope, they easily converted Ethelbert, King of Kent, who had married Bertha, daughter of the Frankish king Charibert. Establishing their centre at Canterbury in an old Roman basilica, the monks, by their imposing ritual, their elevated doctrine and their austere lives, soon attracted the barbarians, who with their king were baptized by thousands. Gregory rewarded Augustine by bestowing upon him the primacy over all the British Christians, but the native British bishops resented the authority of Rome and a long struggle ensued. The balance finally turned in favor of Rome when the monk Wilfrid converted King Oswin of Northumbria in a debate with Colman, Bishop of Lindisfarne. "Is it true, Colman," said the King, "that the Lord said to Peter, 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church'?" "It is true," replied Colman. "Do you admit that the keys of the kingdom of heaven have been intrusted to him?" "Yes." "Then," said the King, "I do not wish to be opposed to the gate-keeper of heaven, for if he turns his back upon me when I present myself for admission, there will be no one to open for me."1 Northumbria was won for Rome, and Colman and his followers retired to Ireland.

While Rome was thus creating a new European unity by its work within, events of immense importance were compelling Christendom to assume a new solidarity by pressure from without. The power of the Saracens was rising to ascendency in Western Asia, and stripping the Eastern Empire of its African possessions. Europe was soon invaded by these new barbarians from the South, and by 713 the Visigothic kingdom had disappeared, Spain was entirely at the mercy of the Saracens, except in the fastnesses of its northern mountains, and the new and fanatical religion of Mohammed, sword in hand, was contesting with Christianity the supremacy of the earth. Thenceforth it was Christendom against the Infidel, Europe against Asia. At such a time, patriotism and heresy could not dwell under the same roof. By the conquests of the Arabs the patriarchates of the East, - Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, - with the exception of Constantinople, were in the hands of the Mussulmans. But Constantinople had ceased to be possible as the capital of Christianity. It had become merely the frontier of Christendom, while Rome had become its stronghold.

A succession of events had rendered the relation of the Pope to the Eastern Empire one of serious embarrassment. Although remaining a submissive subject of the Emperor, the Pope had become the only effective authority in Italy. When the Lombards became loyal Catholics, it was the Pope who had by his expostulations preserved from their conquering ambition the Italian possessions of the Empire. In return, the Papacy had been subjected to humiliations and injuries which it could not easily forgive.2 The right of the Emperor to confirm the election of the Pope had never been questioned; but, in 685, the Emperor committed the slight of delegating this prerogative to his exarch at Ravenna. The superiority of the Bishop of Rome over the Patriarch of Constantinople had been proclaimed by the Emperor Phocas, on the ground that the church at Constantinople was not founded by an apostle, but was classed as a patriarchate simply because Constantine had made that city the capital of his Empire; but the pretensions of the Eastern patriarchate had been revived and sustained by the later emperors. Constantine III, as if to show his contempt for the papal authority, had not only exempted the Bishop of Ravenna from the jurisdiction of Rome, but excluded the Pope from the ceremony of his consecration, and raised the bishopric to the rank of a patriarchate by sending the pallium to his new favorite. Even greater indignities had been perpetrated upon the Papacy. The Emperor had refused to recognize the election of Pope Martin I, and ordered the Exarch to seize his person and send him to Constantinople, where he was rudely treated and sent away to die in exile. Justinian II had endeavored to subject Pope Sergius to similar treatment, but he was defended by the soldiers, and the imperial officer sent to arrest him sought refuge under the papal bed.

Notwithstanding all these causes of estrangement, the sovereignty of the Emperor was still acknowledged at Rome, but it was felt to be a burden. It was inevitable that two such positive characters as Pope Gregory II and the Emperor Leo III should come into conflict. The Emperor's proscription of the sacred images in 726, which he attempted to enforce in Italy, aroused the indignant opposition of Gregory. The popular excitement became intense, and for a time rose to open rebellion. The Pope addressed the Emperor in terms that revealed the dangerous depths to which the conflict between Rome and Constantinople was now leading. An attempt was made to capture the person of Gregory and either take his life or carry him into exile; but the plot was discovered and the design prevented. In letters of scathing bitterness, Gregory defended the rights of St. Peter and breathed defiance against the Emperor. In reply, Leo warned him that he himself was both priest and emperor, and commanded the Pope's submission.

The Lombards, loyal to the Pope, proposed to drive the imperial officers out of Italy; and Liutprand, deeming the occasion favorable for his long meditated design of annexing the entire peninsula to his kingdom, in 727 began its execution. The Exarch of Ravenna having been slain, the Lombard king promptly invaded the Exarchate and was treasonably admitted to the city. The popular commotion made his path of conquest easy, and he soon captured several towns, penetrating even into the territory of Rome.

Gregory witnessed with alarm the progress of the conqueror, and raised his hand to restrain him. Upholding the rights of the Empire, he rebuked the course of the King; who, as a pious devotee, desisted from further conquests, and as a token of his submission bestowed upon the Papacy the city of Sutri, the first contribution outside of Rome to the temporal sovereignty of the Pope.

But a new fear had been awakened in the mind of Gregory, who saw in the triumph of the Lombard monarchy a fresh menace to the freedom of the Church. He promptly turned toward the young Republic of Venice in search of aid to liberate Ravenna and the Exarchate from the grasp of the Lombard. Surprised by the sudden attack of the Venetian fleet and embarrassed by the defection of the dukes of Spoleto and Benevento in Southern Italy, Liutprand was obliged to evacuate the Exarchate; but the disappointed Lombard was not slow to learn the lesson in diplomacy which the Pope had taught him. To the amazement of every one, he not only concluded peace with the Emperor, but formed a friendly alliance with him, for the joint purpose of punishing his rebellious dukes and aiding the Emperor to restore his authority at Rome.

The position of the Pope was unexpectedly embarrassing but his triumph was destined to be complete. At the moment when Rome seemed doomed to fall into the hands of the Lombards, Gregory, perceiving that armed resistance was certain to be ineffectual, resorted to another expedient. Appearing unprotected in the camp of Liutprand, Gregory, clad in his priestly vestments, sought the tent of the King and reproved him for his sinful act in besieging the sacred city. Falling upon his knees before the Holy Father, the penitent monarch confessed his fault; then, having been led for absolution to the tomb of St. Peter, he divested himself of all the insignia of his royal office and laid them in contrition at the feet of the Apostle.

But the policy of Gregory was neither to destroy the Lombard power nor to annihilate the influence of the Empire; it was, rather, to secure a free hand for the Papacy by a dexterous use of the one against the other. Having witnessed the departure of the Lombard army, he dismissed a pretender to imperial power near Rome in a different fashion. One Tiberius Petasius having prematurely proclaimed himself Emperor of the West, Gregory placed the imperial Exarch in command of the Roman troops, and the head of the usurper was soon afterward sent as a trophy, first to Rome and afterward to Constantinople.

Thus, by balancing against each other the authority of the Empire and the power of the Lombard, Gregory maintained his supremacy in Italy until his death. He laid the foundation for the independence of the Papacy, but in doing so he evoked a spirit which was to give Italy no rest for more than a thousand years. The political unity of Italy and the independence of the Papacy seemed to successive generations to be incompatible conceptions. A dread of restriction upon its freedom and authority filled the Papacy with distrust of all effective political control, and inspired its classic policy of rendering the foreigner impotent at Rome while using him to keep Italy divided. Thus Rome became the focus of political intrigue in every great historical crisis, and Italy the scene where empires were to be won or lost.

The power of the Pope at Rome had, since the time of Gregory I, never ceased to be preponderant; but the attitude of the Papacy in defending the sacred images rendered the Pope the recognized leader of the Roman population, who placed him at the head of their revolt. When Gregory III assumed the papal office in 731, the relations of Rome with the Empire continued to be strained, and Italy was gradually awakened to the depth of the chasm which the policy of the iconoclastic Emperor had opened. One of Gregory's first acts was to send letters to the Emperor in which the subject of the sacred images was presented in the spirit of bis predecessor; but the unhappy envoy who bore these letters was so terrified by the power of Leo that he dared not present them, and returned to throw himself in tears at the feet of the Holy Father.

In November, 731, a great council, composed of ninety-three Italian bishops, assembled in St. Peter's Church, and excommunication was pronounced upon all who destroyed the sacred images. A second envoy was sent to bear this ultimatum to the Emperor, but the luckless messenger was detained by the imperial officers and cast into prison. In open defiance of the imperial decree ordering the destruction of images Gregory expended vast sums upon the decoration of the churches at Rome, and art flourished under his rebellious patronage.

While with one band the defiant Pope built and embellished churches, with the other he restored the walls of Rome and prepared for that crisis which his conduct was inviting. In 733, Leo sent a fleet to reduce Italy to his authority, but the shipwreck of his vessels in the Adriatic defeated the purpose of this expedition. Impotent to enforce his will at Rome, he wreaked his vengeance on the cities of Calabria and Sicily, increasing the burdens of his subjects there and confiscating the valuable properties which pious donors had bestowed upon the Holy See.

The violence of Leo, far from intimidating the energetic Gregory, only tended to bring to consciousness the perilous position of the spiritual power, now threatened with the vengeance of the Empire and still exposed to the ambition of the Lombards. Gregory II had made a bold struggle for the independence of the Papacy, and to secure it had thwarted the plans of Liutprand for the unification of Italy under the Lombard rule. Gregory III now perceived that, unless the Papacy organized its own defence and provided itself with a new basis of security, it was destined to be forever the appanage of temporal rulers, who would defeat its mission as the bead of the Universal Church.

Accordingly, reverting to the old Roman idea of the republic, he proposed the creation of a free state, of which the Pope should be the head. But the realization of this idea was invested with serious difficulties. Lombard and Byzantine alike would oppose the "Sancta Respublica" which would plant in the heart of Italy a new centre of power adverse to the interests of both. Where, then, was Gregory to find the support necessary to the execution of his plan?

The castle of Galliensis, in Roman Tuscany, had been taken and held by the Lombard Duke of Spoleto, and Rome had never been able to recover it. By a secret treaty, Gregory now obtained the restitution of the stronghold to the "Holy Republic" and the "Roman army remaining in the body of Christ," - expressions which imply the union of Roman liberty and papal government in a Christian theocracy.

The purpose of Trasamund, Duke of Spoleto, in making this secret treaty - to which Godschalk, Duke of Benevento, also acceded - was to throw off the Lombard suzerainty and establish an independent rule; and Gregory, whose policy was to weaken as much as possible the Lombard power, entered with enthusiasm upon this enterprise.

Liutprand, having discovered the plan, promptly invaded Spoleto, in 739, and Trasamund, unable to resist him, sought refuge with the Pope, who took him under his protection. When Gregory refused to surrender his protegé, Liutprand seized and plundered four cities belonging to Rome; and, having made this reprisal, returned to Pavia. With the aid of the Roman army Trasamund was able to recover his duchy, but was no sooner restored to power than he resolved to abandon his alliance with Gregory, and refused to aid in the recovery of the Roman cities which Liutprand had taken. Thus betrayed and isolated, Gregory found himself in the deepest distress; for he was not only in revolt against the Emperor, he had now drawn upon himself the open hostility of the Lombard king, whose piety as a Catholic could not be depended upon to restrain his vengeance.

The dream of an independent Holy Republic under the government of the Pope seemed about to be rudely dispelled, but out of Gregory's desperate embarrassment was born the settled policy of the Papacy for centuries to come. As no purely Italian influence could save its freedom, the stranger must be invoked to establish the temporal security of the Pope at Rome. When Rome was once firmly grasped, Italy would gradually be won. With Italy as a basis, the Republic of God would extend its empire over the earth, as old Rome bad extended its dominion. While the oppression of the Empire was an inconvenience to be averted, its ideal was not to be destroyed; for it was in the power of its traditions and the splendor of its theory that Rome was to be made once more the mistress of the world.

In the light of this project, all other perils paled into insignificance beside the ambition of the Lombard monarchy. How to arrest its progress was the one problem which Gregory was called upon to solve. The solution was bold, but simple, - Gregory sent the keys of the tomb of St. Peter to Charles Martel.

The kingdom of the Franks had not performed for Christendom the great work of which the conquests of Clovis had given promise. The crimes and cruelties of the Merovingian kings rendered the record of their reigns a dreary chronicle, and stamped their dynasty with every mark of degeneration. The untamed passions of the barbarian were ill restrained, and the energies of the three kingdoms were largely wasted in fruitless tragedies. Although Clothar II had united the government of all the Franks in his own name by the murder of Brunhildis in 614, he profited little by this concentration of power. Owing the union of the kingdoms to the treachery of the nobles, Clothar II was held in check by the bishops, dukes, and counts, who from his time onward participated in framing legislation. His reign is notable also for the beginning of the ascendancy of the mayors of the palace, who were to become the virtual rulers of the Franks. These officers now demanded that their appointment should be for life, and not as before during the King's pleasure. Toward the close of his reign, Clothar made his young son Dagobert the King of Austrasia, under the counsel of two able men, - Arnulf, Bishop of Metz, and Count Pippin of Landen. Arnulf was one of the best and wisest men of his time, and Pippin, made Mayor of the Palace, became the virtual ruler of Austrasia. The two united their families by a marriage from which sprang the famous line of kings and emperors who were to establish the greatness of the Frankish monarchy. When Clothar II died in 628, his son Dagobert became the ruler of the three kingdoms, but the power was largely in the hands of Pippin. From this time forward the history of the Franks is marked by the progressive degeneration of the "rois fainéants," or do-nothing kings, and the increasing authority of the mayors of the palace; until Charles Martel, an illegitimate son of Pippin the Younger, in 717 became Mayor of the Palace in Austrasia, and in 719 master of all the kingdoms.

For twenty-six years (688-714), Pippin the Younger, as Mayor of the Palace, had been in reality the ruler of all the Franks. In this long period he had done much to repair the ancient boundaries of the Frankish realm and to give new vigor to its administration. He had seen that the greatest peril to the power of the Franks was the vast barbarian population which lay to the East, still untamed and pagan, and liable to invade the territories of the monarchy upon some favorable occasion and sweep away its very foundations. Pippin, therefore, had sought to accomplish the conversion of Germany to Christianity, by which he hoped not only to avert the impending danger, but to prepare the way for the future extension of the Frankish rule. Accordingly, Pippin invited from England as missionaries to Germany Willibrord, who became an apostle to the Frisians, and Suidbert, who labored among the Hessians. The enterprise grew to great proportions, and the conversion of Germany became the chief event of the century. Numbers of devoted men - St. Amand at the mouths of the Rhine, St. Emmeran and St. Rupert in Bavaria, St. Gall in the vicinity of Lake Constance, St. Killian on the banks of the Main, and above all the English monk Winfrid, better known as St. Boniface, whom Gregory III finally consecrated as archbishop and placed in charge of the whole movement - toiled heroically for the accomplishment of this great task.

In this co-operation between the Papacy and the Frankish monarchy was laid the foundation of an alliance of vast significance for the future of Europe. The Franks found in it a means of preparing the extension of their realm, and the Papacy an aid in establishing its own Supremacy. It was in the hope of consolidating this entente and thereby securing the independence of the Papacy in Italy, that Gregory III sent the keys of the Apostolic tomb to Charles Martel.

Escaping from the prison in which his stepmother, Plectrudis, had confined him, in order that she might rule in the name of her grandson after the death of Pippin in 715, the young Charles found the Frankish kingdom in the throes of civil war. With an energy which won for him the sobriquet the "Hammer," he soon made himself the undisputed master of the realm. Thenceforth, although the ancient dynasty was still permitted to wear the crown, it was Charles Martel and his successors whose will was law among the Franks. For twenty-two years (719-741) he carried out the policy of his father, Pippin the Younger, repressing anarchy among the turbulent nobles, restoring the ancient boundaries, and spreading Christianity among his pagan neighbors with the edge of the sword. He punished the Saxons for their interference in the civil war of the Franks, subdued the Frisians, and made war on the Bavarians. Everywhere the armies of Charles had the friendship of the missionaries to prepare their way and in return he sustained them with a zeal as uncompromising as their own. It was only fear of the Frankish power which withheld the murderous vengeance of the pagans when, as a proof of the impotence of their gods, Boniface with his own hand hewed down the sacred oak of Woden at Fritzlar. "Without the aid of the Prince of the Franks," wrote St. Boniface to Daniel, Bishop of Winchester, "I should not be able to rule my church, nor defend the lives of my priests and nuns, nor keep my converts from lapsing into pagan rites and observances.3

But a new task was preparing for Charles in the South. The Saracens had crossed the Pyrenees, and in 732 were marching through Southern Gaul. Storming Bordeaux, they advanced with an immense army to near Poitiers. It was an invasion that threatened disaster to Christendom, for the Saracens were bent on permanent conquest, and had penetrated to the heart of Gaul. The fate of Europe seemed to hang upon the issue. Crossing the Loire near Tours, Charles advanced with his army and faced the enemy. For seven days the lines of battle threatened each other, then the tempest burst. When darkness came the Arabs disappeared, their leader left dead upon the field. Retreating to the Pyrenees, the remnant of the Saracen host hastened back to Spain, but returning made successive inroads into Southeastern Gaul. Before 740, however, Charles had driven the Moslem out of Provence, recovered Arles and Avignon, and confined the invaders to a portion of Septimania. He had saved Christendom from the Infidel, and had become the greatest hero of his age. It was for this reason that Gregory III sought to invoke the assistance of Charles Martel.

It was, without doubt, at the suggestion of St. Boniface that Gregory III took this step. In 738, that great servant of the Church had made a journey to Rome, to confer with the Pope regarding the establishment of his authority in Germany. The Bavarian and other German bishops had shown themselves indisposed at first to accept that subordination to Rome which the Pope had expected and which Boniface had steadfastly labored to inspire. But the success of his missions had greatly strengthened the hands of Boniface, and he enjoyed the perfect confidence and powerful protection of Charles Martel. The Mayor of the Palace, in quelling the anarchy of the Frankish kingdom, had treated harshly many of the bishops, handling them exactly as he did the secular nobles whom he found recalcitrant to his will, and giving their lands to others who were faithful to his person and policy.

It was a rude hand, without doubt, which Charles Martel laid upon the Church in Gaul, and loud complaints went up to Rome against him. But in Boniface he had a friend who recognized his immense service to the Church, and this great organizer of men saw in the alliance with the Frank the only safeguard of the Papacy. After spending more than a year at Rome in council with the Pope, Boniface returned to Germany with full powers to convoke semi-annual synods of the bishops, and charged with the duty of imposing upon them "the Holy Catholic and Apostolic tradition of the Roman Church." Supported by the authority of Charles, after ceaseless and energetic labors, Boniface succeeded in organizing the Church in Germany in affiliation to the Church at Rome.

The letter which Pope Gregory III had sent with the Apostolic keys in 741 found Charles Martel indisposed to molest the King of the Lombards, who had been his ally in the war against the Saracens, and both Gregory and Charles soon after died. But the policy of Boniface was in no respect abandoned. The death of Charles Martel in 741 brought to power his two sons, Carloman and Pippin, called the Short, between whom the authority was divided. Boniface and Pope Zacharias, the successor of Gregory III, immediately proceeded, with the aid of Carloman and Pippin, to the reorganization of the Frankish Church.

Clothed with full authority by the Pope, Boniface presided over the synods and councils which from 741 to 748 achieved the task which he had outlined, and which resulted in the complete establishment of the papal authority. First at Köln and afterwards at Mainz, Boniface was installed as archbishop, to superintend the system he had introduced. In 748 he crowned his great enterprise by imposing upon the bishops of Gaul, as he had already done upon those of Germany, complete obedience to the authority of the Pope. The formula of their oath bound them to absolute submission to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and his Vicar. And thus, before this venerable prelate expired by a voluntary martyrdom, he saw the supremacy of the Papacy acknowledged in Great Britain, Germany, and Gaul, as well as in Italy. A new spiritual empire had been founded upon the orthodoxy of Rome, and nearly the whole of Western Europe had been united by invisible bonds of faith and obedience. It needed only one link more to complete the chain, - the assertion of a universal temporal authority by which the independence of the Papacy could be sustained; but the diplomacy of St. Boniface had pointed out the direction in which that also was to be sought and found.




1. See Bede, Ecclesiastical History of England, for the mission of Augustine and conversion of Great Britain.

2. In 663, the Emperor Constans II came to Rome, where he was met by the Pope, Vitalian, six miles from the city gates, and escorted to St. Peter's Church. Having performed his religious rites, during his twelve days' visit he was entertained in the Lateran palace by the Pope; but requited this hospitality by stripping the city of its ornaments, which be carried as spoil to Naples sud afterward to Syracuse. See Paul Diaconus, De Gestis Longobardorum, V, 6,7.

3. The letter of St. Bonifice to Daniel of Winchester is found in Bonafatii Epistolae, 63. See Jaffé, Monumenta Carolina.

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