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And no man was excused from the labour ; for some digged, others carried earth, both nobles and common folk. It must be noted also to what an extent this, like most other religious movements in the Middle Ages, came from the people rather than from the hierarchy. Benedict of the Horn had no more claim to Apostolical Succession than General Booth, or, for the matter of that, than St. Francis when he first began to preach. There is no hint that either of them had at first any episcopal licence even of the most informal kind, any more than the Blessed Joachim of Fiore and St.

Catherine of Siena, who both set an example of lay preaching. No doubt the practice was contrary to canon law : but the thing was constantly done ; and, so long as the preacher did not become a revolutionary, it seems to have caused neither scandal nor surprise. Matthew Paris ann. The canonization of saints, in the same way, almost always came from the people and the lower classes. Nothing is more false than to suppose that the medieval Church was disciplined like the present Church of Rome. It was as various in its elements, with as many cross-currents and as many conflicts of theory with practice, as modern Anglicanism ; and much which seems smooth and harmonious to us, at six hundred years distance, was as confusing to contemporaries as a Fulham Round- Table Conference.

Again, the oft-quoted saying of Macaulay, that Rome has always been far more adroit than Protestantism in directing enthusiasm, is true so far as it is true at all only of Rome since the Reformation. What Darwin took at first for smooth unbroken grass-land proved, on nearer examination, to be thick-set with tiny self-sown firs, which the cattle regularly cropped as they grew. Similarly, that which some love to picture as the harmonious growth of one great body through the Middle Ages is really a history of many divergent opinions violently strangled at birth ; while hundreds more, too vigorous to be killed by the adverse surroundings, and elastic enough to take something of the outward colour of their environment, grew in spite of the hierarchy into organisms which, in their Conversion.

If the medieval theory and practice of persecution had still been in full force in the eighteenth century in England, nearly all the best Wesleyans would have chosen to remain within the Church rather than to shed blood in revolt ; and the rest would have been killed off like wild beasts. The present unity of Romanism, so far as it exists, is due less to tact than to naked force ; so that in the Middle Ages, when communication was difficult and discipline of any kind irregularly enforced, the religious world naturally heaved with strange and widespread fermentations.

It is true that the modern Church historian generally slurs them over : yet they were very pressing realities at the time. Amid these wars, Salimbene records one very dramatic scene The Bishop of Mantua, whose sister was afterwards " mea devota " i. And, having made an end of speaking, he brought forth the Bishop s blood-stained dalmatic, wherein he had been slain in the Church of St. Andrew at Mantua, and spread it before the Pope, saying : Behold, Father, and see whether it be thy son s coat or not.

And Pope Gregory IX, with all his cardinals, wept at the sight as men who could not be comforted ; for he was a man of great compassion and bowels of mercy. Note that folk say commonly in Tuscany D ohmo alevandhizo, et de piodo apicadhizo no po Vohm gaudere : which is, being interpreted, A man hath no joy of a man who is a foreigner, nor of a louse which clingeth : that is, thou hast no solace of another man s louse which clingeth to thee, nor of a stranger man whom thou cherishest.

Which may be seen in Frederick II, whom the Church cherished as her ward, and who afterwards raised his heel against her and afflicted her in many ways. Then the good friar goes on with his common story of wars and bloodshed : for of the 76 years covered by the Chronicle proper, only 21 are free from express record of war in the writer s own neighbourhood, while several of the others were years of famine or pestilence. Salimbene, as he played about the streets of Parma, saw the heralds of the mighty host that Frederick was bringing to crush the rebellious cities of Lombardy, " an elephant, with many dromedaries, camels, and leopards," and all the strange beasts and birds that the great Emperor loved to have about him Two years later, another imperial elephant came through Parma armed for war, with a great tower and pennons on its back, " as described in the first Book of Maccabees and in the book of Bro.

Bartholomew the Englishman " From his earliest childhood he had been familiar with the trophies of the bloody fight at San Cesario a number of mangonels taken from the vanquished Bolognese, and ranged along the Baptistery and the west front of the Cathedral, almost under the windows of his father s house And now in his seventeenth year the sad side of war was for the first time brought vividly before his bodily eyes.

The Bolognese in their turn had destroyed Castiglione, a fortress of friendly Modena ; and Parma itself was threatened And hearing his words, my bowels yearned for him with a compassion that moved me even to tears. For I considered how Parma was stripped of men, nor were any left in the city but boys and girls, youths and maidens, old men and women ; since the men of Parma, with the hosts of many other cities, had gone in the Emperor s service against Milan.

Within the brief space of three hundred yards he had passed from one world to another. A friend of his, Alberto Cremonella, was admitted at the same time, but went out during his noviciate, became a physician, and later on entered the Cistercian Order. Sixteen years may seem a strangely immature age at which to renounce the world for life ; yet very many joined the Friars at an earlier age than this.

Conrad of Offida and John of La Vernia, two of the most distinguished Franciscans of the first generation, were only fourteen and thirteen respectively when they joined the Order. Salimbene s contemporary, Roger Bacon, asserts that most Friars had joined before they were of age, and that in all countries they were habitually received at any age between ten and twenty years. Thousands become friars, he says, who can read neither their grammar nor their psalter. Richard de Bury, Bishop of Durham, accused the Friars of attracting boys by presents of apples and wine ; and in the University of Oxford passed a statute forbidding them to receive novices below eighteen years of age.

The crude spirit of adventure, which prompts a modern schoolboy to go to sea, sometimes found a vent six hundred years ago in an equally ill-regulated religious enthusiasm.

Full text of "The Austin Chronicle "

Only nine years before Salimbene s birth, Northern Italy had witnessed the Boys Crusade, which originated on the Rhine and swelled to a troop of seven thousand youths and children, many of whom were of noble families, and who expected to cross the sea dry-shod from Genoa to the Holy Land. The Genoese, scandalized by the moral disorders which reigned among them, and judging them "to be led by levity rather than by necessity," closed their gates upon the juvenile pilgrims, who were dispersed and perished miserably.

Salimbene tells the story on p. Albert and Salimbene had chosen their time well ; for Bro. Elias, the powerful Minister-General of the Order, was at that moment passing through Parma ; and, once received by him in person, they were pretty safe from all outside interference. They found the great man on a bed of down in the guesten-hall ; for the easy-chair was not a medieval institution, and even kings or queens would receive visitors seated on their beds.

Elias 38 From St. Elias, who in his youth had been glad to earn a scanty living by sewing mattresses and teaching little boys to read their psalter. Gerard of Modena was also present : and at his prayer the young Salimbene was received into the Order. The Abbot of St. John s at Parma had sent for the Brethren s supper a peasant loaded with capons hanging before and behind from a pole over his shoulders ; the friars took the boy to sup in the infirmary, where more delicate fare could be had than the ordinary Rule permitted.

Here, " though I had supped magnificently in my father s house, they set an excel lent meal before me again. Salimbene kept his eyes and ears open that evening : for he was in the presence of one of the greatest men in Italy. As a grown man he was far from approving Bro. Elias s policy, of which he has left the most detailed criticism now extant. This most thorny question, however, is exhaustively discussed in Lempp s Frere Elie de Cortone, and well summarized by Miss Macdonell ; so I shall quote elsewhere only such of our chronicler s remarks as throw definite light upon the general conditions of the Order.

This supper in the infirmary before his admission was in fact excellent ; only, when once he was admitted, he must needs eat cabbages at his daily meals in the refectory, like the rest of the Brethren. Cum pi pi faris, non te tenet ungula talis. Guido di Adamo was a man of influence, and only too likely to resent the loss of his son and heir : for the proselytizing methods of the friars constantly caused bitter family quarrels. As St. Bonaventura s secretary writes "To speak with outsiders, whether lay folk even such as serve the Brethren or Religious of any Order, is absolutely forbidden to the novices except in the presence of a professed friar, who shall hear and follow all the words spoken on either side ; nor may the novices without special licence be allowed to go to the gate or to outsiders.

Wherefore he made complaint to the Emperor, who had come in those days to Parma, that the Brethren Minor had robbed him of his son. Then the Emperor wrote to Bro. Elias, Minister-General of the Order, saying that, as he loved his favour, he should hearken to him and give me back to my father. Then my father journeyed to Assisi, where Bro. Elias was, and laid the Emperor s letter in the General s hand, whereof the first words were as follows : To comfort the sighing of our trusty and well-beloved Guido di Adamo, etc. Elias, and who was wont to write in a book, apart by themselves, all the fair letters which were sent by princes of the world to the Minister-General, showed me that letter, when in process of time I dwelt with him in the convent of Siena.

Where fore Bro. Elias, having read the Emperor s letter, wrote forthwith to the Brethren of the convent of Fano, where I then dwelt, bidding them, if I were willing, to give me back to my father without delay, in virtue of holy obedience ; but if they found me unwilling to return, then should they keep me as the apple of their eye. Whereupon many knights came with my father to the house of the Brethren in the city of Fano, to see the issue of this matter. For when the Brethren and the laymen had assembled in the chapter-house, and many words had been bandied to and fro, my father brought forth the letter of the Minister-General, and showed it to the Brethren.

Where upon Bro. Jeremiah the Custode, having read it, replied to my father, My Lord Guido, we have compassion for your grief, and are ready to obey the letters of our father. But here is your son : he is of age, let him speak for himself. Enquire ye of him : if he is willing to go with you, let him go in God s name. But if not, we cannot do him violence, that he should go with you.

My father asked therefore whether I would go with him, or not. To whom I answered, No ; for the Lord saith, " No man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. To whom I made answer, No care have I in truth, for the Lord saith, "He that loveth father or mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me. And the Brethren marvelled and rejoiced that I spake thus to my father.

Then said he to the Brethren, Ye have bewitched and deceived my son, lest he should obey me. I will complain to the Emperor again concerning you, and to the Minister- General. Yet suffer me to speak with my son secretly and apart ; and ye shall see that he will follow me without delay. So the Brethren suffered me to speak alone with my father, since they had some small confidence in me because of my words that I had even now spoken.

Yet they listened behind the partition to hear what manner of talk we had : for they quaked as a rush quakes in the water, lest my father by his blandishments should change my purpose. And they feared not only for the salvation of my soul, but also lest my departure should give occasion to others not to enter the Order. And I spake unto him : Say unto her for my part, Thus saith thy son : "When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. My curse cleave to thee through all eternity, and send thee to the devils of hell!

And so he departed, troubled beyond measure ; but we remained in great consolation, giving thanks unto God, and saying to Him, Though they curse, yet bless Thou. For he who is blessed above the earth, let him be blessed in God. For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist and gainsay. In the following night the Blessed Virgin rewarded me.

For methought I lay prostrate in prayer before the altar, as is the wont of the Brethren, when they arise to matins : and I heard the voice of the Blessed Virgin calling unto me. And, raising my face, I saw her sitting upon the altar, in that place where the Host and the chalice are set. And she had her little Child in her lap, Whom she held out to me, saying, Draw thou nigh without fear, and kiss my Son Whom thou hast confessed yesterday before men.

And when I feared, I saw that the Child opened His arms gladly, awaiting my coming. Trusting, therefore, in the cheer fulness and innocence of the Child, no less than in this so liberal favour of His mother, I came forward and embraced and kissed Him ; and His gracious mother left Him to me for a long space. And since I could not take my fill of Him, at length the Holy Virgin blessed me, saying : Depart, beloved son, and take thy rest, lest the Brethren should rise to matins, and find thee here with us.

I obeyed, and the vision disappeared : but in my heart remained so great sweetness as tongue could never tell. In very truth I avow, that never in this world had I such sweetness 42 From St. And then I knew the truth of that scripture which saith, To him who hath tasted of the spirit, there is no taste in any flesh. And after a few days there came through the city of Fano Amizo degli Amici, going into Apulia to fetch gold from thence ; and he came unto the house of the Brethren, where he saw us : for he was our acquaintance and friend and neighbour.

And then, beginning from another matter, we enquired how it might be with Such-an-one now his name was Gerard de Senzanesi , and he said to us : It is ill with him, for the other day he slew a monk. Then we knew that at times dreams are true. Further more, at that time also, when first my father passed through the city of Fano, journeying towards Assisi, the Brethren hid me many days, together with my brother, in the house of the Lord Martin of Fano, who was a Master of Laws, and his palace was hard by the seaside.

And at times he would come to us and speak to us of God and of the Holy Scriptures, and his mother ministered unto us. Afterwards he entered the Order of the Friars Preachers, wherein he ended his life with all praise. While then he was yet in that Order, he was chosen Bishop of his own city : but the Preachers would not suffer him to accept it, for they were not willing to lose him. He would have entered our Order, but he was dissuaded therefrom by Bro. Taddeo Buonconte, who was himself thereof. For our Brethren lay sore upon Taddeo that he should return all ill-gotten gains, if he would be received among us : and he said to the Lord Martin, So will they do with thee also, if thou enter the Order.

Forty-six years afterwards, on the anniversary of his entrance, he looks back with pardonable complacency over this long term of study. Umile of Milan, who had studied at Bologna under Bro. Umile read them in the schools : and I have not ceased since then to study and learn in the schools. And as the Jews said to Christ, Six and forty years was this temple in building, so may I also say : for it is 46 years to-day, Saturday the Feast of St.

And I have not ceased to study since then : yet not even so have I come to the wisdom of my ancestors. A Wicked World. BUT Salimbene s stay at Fano was brief. The friary lay outside the walls, by the sea-shore, and he was haunted by the idea that his father had hired pirates to seize and kidnap him.

He therefore gladly welcomed a message from Bro. Elias, who, delighted at the boy s constancy in cleaving to the Order, sent him word that he might choose his own province. He chose Tuscany, and went thither after a brief stay at Jesi. On his way, he changed his home name for that which he was to bear during the rest of his life.

This was the last Brother whom the blessed Francis robed and received into the Order, as he himself related to me. He, hearing that I was called All-good, was amazed, and said to me, Son, there is none good but One, that is, God. And I rejoiced, knowing that he was moved with a right spirit, and seeing that a name was laid upon me by so holy a man. Yet had I not the name which I coveted : for I would fain have been called Dionysius, not only on account of my reverence for that most excellent doctor, who was the disciple of the Apostle Paul, but also because on the Feast of St.

Dionysius I was born into this world.


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And thus it was that I saw the last Brother whom the blessed Francis received into the Order, after whom he received and robed no other. Ognibene in the Order at the same time as our chronicler. He is mentioned by Eccleston p. Bernard of Quintavalle, with whom I dwelt for a whole winter in the Convent of Siena.

And he was my familiar friend, and to me and other young men he would recount many marvels concerning the blessed Francis ; and much good have I heard and learnt from him. It is possible that he was twice at Pisa, since he had there an adventure which seems to imply that he was scarcely yet settled in the Order.

At any rate it belongs logically, if not chronologically, to this place. And a few days later, he disappeared so utterly that no man in the world could find him : wherefore the Brethren suspected that the devil had carried him off : let him look to it! So when I was begging bread with him in the city of Pisa, we came upon a certain court yard, and entered it together. Therein was a living vine, overspreading the whole space above, delightful to the eye with its fresh green, and inviting us to rest under its shade.

There also were many leopards and other beasts from beyond the seas, whereon we gazed long and gladly, as men love to see strange and fair sights. For youths and maidens were there in the flower of their age, whose rich array and comely features caught our eyes with manifold delights, and drew our hearts to them. And all held in their hands viols and lutes and other instruments of music, on which they played with all sweetness of harmony and grace of motion.

There was no tumult among them, nor did any speak, but all listened in silence. And their song was strange and fair both in its words and in the variety and melody of its air, so that our hearts were rejoiced above measure. They spake no word to us, nor we to them, and they ceased not to sing and to play while we stayed there : for we lingered long in that spot, scarce knowing how to tear ourselves away. I know not I speak the truth in God , how we met with so fair and glad a pageant, for we had never seen it before, nor could we see any such hereafter.

So when we had gone forth from that place, a certain man met me whom I knew not, saying that he was of the city of Parma : and he began to upbraid and rebuke me bitterly with harsh words of scorn, saying : 4 Hence, wretch, hence! Many hired servants in thy father s house have bread 46 From St. Thou shouldest even now be caracoling through the streets of Parma on thy charger, and making sad folk merry with tournaments, a fair sight for the ladies, and a solace to the minstrels.

For thy father wasteth aw r ay with grief, and thy mother well-nigh despaireth of God for love of thee, whom she may no longer see. For thou savourest not the things which are of God, but the things which are of fleshly men : for what thou sayest, flesh and blood hath revealed it to thee, not our Father which is in heaven. So, when we had finished our round [of begging], that evening I began to turn and ponder in my mind all that I had seen and heard, considering within myself that if I were to live fifty years in the Order, begging my bread in this fashion, not only would the journey be too great for me 1 Kings xix.

When therefore I had spent almost the whole night without sleep, pondering these things, it pleased God that a brief slumber should fall upon me, wherein He showed me a vision wondrous fair, which brought comfort to my soul, and mirth and sweetness beyond all that ear hath heard. And then I knew the truth of that saying of Eusebius, 4 Needs must God s help come when man s help ceases : for I seemed in my dream to go begging bread from door to door, after the wont of the Brethren ; and I went through the quarter of St.

Michael of Pisa, in the direction of the Visconti ; because in the other direction the merchants of Parma had their lodging, which the Pisans call Fondaco ; and that part I avoided both for shame s sake, since I was not yet fully strengthened in Christ, and also fearing lest I might chance to hear words from my father which might shake my heart. For ever my father pursued me to the day of his death, and still he lay in wait to withdraw me from the Order of St.

Francis ; nor was he ever reconciled to me, but persisted still in his hardness of heart. Likewise also did the Blessed Virgin, and Joseph the child s foster-father, to whom the Blessed Virgin had been espoused. And so they did until my round was ended and my basket filled. For it is the custom in those parts to cover the basket over with a cloth and leave it below ; and the friar goes up into the house to beg bread and bring it down to his basket. So when my round was ended and my basket filled, the Son of God said unto me : I am thy Saviour, and this is My Mother, and the third is Joseph who was called My father.

I am He Who for the salvation of mankind left My home and abandoned Mine inheritance and gave My beloved soul into the hands of its enemies. Under the thin veil of our Lord s speech to him, the good friar here launches out into a long and rambling disquisition on the merits of voluntary poverty and mendicancy : a theme so absorbing that he more than once loses sight of all dramatic propriety.

Not only does he make our Lord quote freely from apocryphal medieval legends ; but more than once we find Him inadvertently speaking of God in the third person. There are, however, one or two points of interest in this wilderness of incoherent texts and old wives tales. Salimbene, who as he tells us elsewhere had at least one Jewish friend, gives us an interesting glimpse of thirteenth century apologetics.

Indeed, his wordy and futile apologia illustrates admirably a well- known anecdote of St. Now a knight was present to whom the Abbot had given bread for God s sake ; and he prayed the Abbot to let him say the first word, which with some pain he granted. Then the knight raised himself on his crutch, and bade them go fetch the greatest clerk and chief rabbi of the Jews : which was done.

Whereupon the knight 48 From St. And the Jew answered that of all this he believed naught. Then answered the knight that he had wrought great folly, in that he believed not and loved her not, and yet was come into her minster and her house. And of a truth, said the knight, you shall pay it dear. With that he lifted his crutch and smote the Jew under the ear and felled him to earth.

And the Jews turned to flight and bare off their wounded rabbi ; and thus was the disputation ended. Then came the Abbot to the knight and said that he had wrought great folly. But he said that the Abbot had wrought more folly to ordain such a disputation : For here, he said, 1 are many good Christians present who, or ever the dispute had been ended, would have departed in unbelief, for they would never have understood the Jews. So say I, added the king, that none should dispute with them, but if he be a very learned clerk.

The layman, when he hears any speak ill of the Christian faith, should defend it, not with words but with the sword, which he should thrust into the other s belly as far as it will go. The story is all the more instructive because St. Louis was, in practice, extremely kind to the Jews in comparison with most medieval princes.

These time-hallowed liberties in the interpretation of Scripture go far to explain why medieval religious controversy, even among Christians, nearly always ended in an appeal to physical force. So long as a word and a blow was looked upon as the most cogent religious argument, men seldom attempted either to understand their opponents position or to weigh seriously their own arguments. And so in this passage our good friar loses himself in his own labyrinth of texts, and at last confesses that most of this elaborate dialogue has been a mere afterthought, a " story with a purpose.

Amour and other wicked people who, seeing how far the friars had already drifted from the Rule of St. Francis, accused them of being the " ungodly men " of 1 Tim. For upon a day one came to me and said, Your father salutes you and says thus : " Your mother would fain see you one day ; after which she would willingly die on the morrow. My father is an Amorite unto me, and my mother a daughter of Heth.

And he withdrew in confusion, and came no more. Salimbene, had once great possessions " : and he repeats the same phrase a second time, when he comes again to speak of the great Cardinal. Similarly, he cannot think without indignation of the miserable price at which his father s house was sold when poor Guido was gone, leaving his wife and children dead to the world in their respective convents.

In those, as in later, days, there was no such friend for a cleric as a Pope s nephew : and Salimbene, speaking of a nephew of Pope Innocent IV, continues : 61 "I knew him well, and he told me that my father hoped to procure from Pope Innocent my egress from; the Order ; but he was prevented by death. For my father, dwelling hard by the Cathedral Church, was well known to Pope Innocent, who had been a canon of Parma and was a man of great memory.

Furthermore, my father had married his daughter Maria to the Lord Azzo, who was akin to the Lord Guarino, the Pope s brother-in-law ; wherefore he hoped, what with the Pope s nephews and what with his own familiar knowledge of him, that the Pope would restore me to my home, especially since my 50 From St. Which, as I believe, the Pope would never have done ; but perchance to solace my father he might have given me a Bishopric or some other dignity : for he was a man of great liberality.

The two last males of his house have definitely exchanged all their earthly possessions for a heavenly. But, if we would fully understand the rest of Salimbene s earthly life, we must pause a moment here to take stock of the old world he had left, and of the new world into which he had so intrepidly leapt at the age of sixteen years. One would be tempted to say that " the world," in the thir teenth century, deserved almost all the evil which religious men were never weary of speaking about it.

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It is scarcely possible to exaggerate the blank and universal pessimism, so far as this life is concerned, which breathes from literature of the time. It is always rash to assert a negative ; yet after long search in likely places, I have found only one contemporary author who speaks of his own brilliant century as marking a real advance, in morals and religion, on the past.

This is Cardinal Jacques de Vitry, who died in , before the decline of the friars was too obvious to be blinked, and who wrote earlier still, while St. Francis was alive. Moreover, even his testimonial to the improve ment during his own days must be taken in connection with his astounding descriptions of the moral and religious squalor which reigned before the advent of Francis and Dominic.

What is more, he plainly tells us that he looks upon even this new Revival as the last nicker of an expiring world. The Franciscan Order, he says, " has revived religion, which had almost died out in the A Wicked World. Most of them, however pious and learned and brave, simply ring variations on the theme which to us seems so incon gruous on the lips of our remote ancestors : " The world is very evil, the times are waxing late!

The greatest of all medieval historians, Matthew Paris, had no doubt that the thirteenth century marked the last stage of senile decay. Adam Marsh, one of the greatest and most strenuous of the early Franciscans in England, is never weary of alluding to " these most damnable times," " these days of uttermost perdition," in which " no man can fail to see plainly that Satan is either already loosed or soon to be loosed, except those whom according to the Scripture the Lord hath struck with madness and blind ness. Innocent III writes in a Bull of " the corruption of this world, which is hasting to old age.

Francis, at the end of his life, sighed over "these times of superabundant malice and iniquity. Bonaventura, Vincent of Beauvais, Humbert de Romans, Gerard de Frachet, Thomas of Chantimpre, Raimondo da Vigna to name only distinguished friars who were not tempted to minimize the work of their Orders towards the betterment of the world , echo the same despairing cry.

Dante shares their belief that the end of the world is at hand, and leaves but few seats still vacant in his Paradise xxx. Convito ii. His Ubertino da Casale has a curious reason for thinking that the world will just last his own time. Petrus Comestor,t in his commentary on Gen. Francis could come back to life for a single day, their first and greatest surprise would probably be that the world still exists after six hundred years, far younger and more hopeful than in their days ; a world in which even visionaries and ascetics look rather for gradual progress than for any sudden and dramatic appearance of Antichrist.

But more significant even than the chorus of misery and despair from thirteenth- century theologians and poets is the deliberate pessimism of a cool and far-sighted genius like Roger Bacon. He anticipated the verdict of modern criticism on the boasted philosophy of his contemporaries : that, with all its external perfection, it rested upon a Bible and an Aristotle frequently misunderstood, and showed a fatal neglect of the mathematical and physical sciences.

But in the domain of history he shared the ignorance of his time, and was deprived of that assurance of progress in the past, which is one of the mainsprings of future progress for the world. The passage is so significant both of the barbarous atmosphere which stifled the greatest minds of the thirteenth century, and of the limited outlook which paralyzed their best energies, that I must give a full summary of it here.

It was written in , two whole generations after St. Francis began to preach ; and the writer, it must be remembered, was himself a Franciscan. Wisdom, he says, is intimately connected with morality ; and although there has been a vast extension of learning of late especially through the Friars during the last forty years and, by the Devil s wiles, much appearance of learning yet " never was so much ignorance, so much error as now.

For more sins reign in these days of ours than in any past age, and sin is incompatible with wisdom. Let us see all conditions in the world, and consider them diligently everywhere : we shall find boundless corruption, and first of all in the Head. See the prelates : how they hunt after money and neglect the cure of souls. Let us consider the Religious Orders : I exclude none from what I say. See how far they are fallen, one and all, from their right state ; and A Wicked World. We come next to the Suebi. They are not a single tribe, as the Chauci or Tencteri, for example; they include a great many tribes, each one with its own name, but all called in common Suebi.

The Semnones claim to be the most ancient and the noblest of the Suebi. They inhabit a hundred districts and consider themselves, because of their number, the most important tribe of the Suebi. On the other hand, the Lombards are known for the small number of their members, but they are secure from conquest by their more powerful neighbors by reason of their courage and their experience in war. The Marcomanni drove the Boii out of their land, which they now inhabit. Back of these tribes lie the Marsigni, Cotini, Osi, and Buri. The Marsigni and the Buri have the same language and worship as the Suebi; but the fact that the Cotini speak a Gallic language and the Osi a Pannonian would indicate that they are not German tribes.

Beyond the Lugii are the Gutones. The tribes of the Suiones inhabit a land situated in the midst of the ocean [Scandinavia], and are famous for their fleets. Beyond the Edition: current; Page: [ 8 ] Suiones is that dreary ocean which is believed to encircle the whole world. On the right [east] shore of the Suebian Sea [the Baltic] dwell the Aestii, a people that have the same customs and manners as the Suebi, but speak a language more like that of the inhabitants of Britain.

The land of the Suiones is continued by that of the Sithones. This is the end of Suebia. This and the following number are taken from the writings of Procopius, a Roman official and historian who lived about to ad , and had a personal share in the wars of Justinian against the East Goths and Vandals. The earlier parts of his histories are drawn largely from tradition. During the reign of Honorius [] in the west the barbarians began to overrun the empire.

These tribes have different names, but in all other respects they resemble one another very closely; they all have light complexions, yellow hair, large bodies, and handsome faces; they obey the same laws and have the same religion, the Arian; and they all speak the same language, Gothic. I am of the opinion, therefore, that they were originally one people and have separated into tribes under different leaders. The first to move were the West Goths. This tribe entered into an alliance with the Romans, but later, since such an alliance could not be permanent, they revolted under Alaric.

Starting from Thrace, they made a raid through all of Europe, attacking both emperors. With them went the Alani. Boniface sent secretly to Spain and made an agreement with Gunderich and Geiserich, the sons and successors of Godegisel, whereby they were to bring the Vandals into Africa, and the three were to divide the rule of Africa among themselves, mutually supporting one another in case of attacks from outside.

Accordingly the Vandals crossed the strait at Gades and entered Africa, while the West Goths moved forward from Gaul into Spain after them. Geiserich now got together a large fleet and attacked Italy, capturing Rome and the palace of the emperor. The usurper Maximus was slain by the populace and his body torn to pieces. Geiserich took back to Carthage Eudoxia, the empress, and her two daughters, Eudocia and Placidia, carrying off also an immense booty in gold and silver.

The imperial palace was plundered of all its treasures, as was also the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, including a large part of the roof, which was made of bronze, heavily plated with gold. While Zeno [] was emperor in Byzantium, the west was ruled by Augustus, whom the Romans called Edition: current; Page: [ 13 ] Augustulus, because of his youth.

The actual government was in the hands of his father Orestes, a most able man. Some time before this, as a result of the reverses which they had suffered at the hands of Attila and Alaric, the Romans had taken the Sciri, Alani, and other German tribes into the empire as allies. The renown of Roman arms had long since vanished, and the barbarians were coming into Italy in ever-increasing numbers, where they were actual masters under the false name of allies federati.

They continually seized more and more power, until finally they demanded a third of all the lands of Italy. When Orestes refused to grant this they slew him. Then one of the imperial officers, Odovaker, also a barbarian, promised to secure this for them if they would recognize him as ruler.

In spite of the power which he thus acquired, Odovaker did not attack the emperor [Romulus Augustulus], but only forced him to retire to private life. He then gave the barbarians the third of the lands which they had demanded, thus binding them more closely to him, and ruled over Italy unopposed for ten years. About this time the East Goths, who had been allowed to settle in Thrace, rose against the emperor under their king, Theoderich. He had been brought up at Byzantium, where he had been given the rank of a patrician, and had even held the title of consul. The emperor Zeno, a master in diplomacy, persuaded Theoderich to invade Italy and attack Odovaker, with the chance of winning the whole west for himself and the East Goths.

Theoderich seized on this opportunity eagerly, and the whole tribe set out for Italy, taking along with them in wagons their women and children and all their movables. Odovaker hastened with an army to oppose this invasion, but was defeated in several battles, and finally shut up in Ravenna. After the siege had lasted for about three years both parties were willing to come to terms, the Goths being weary of the long siege and the soldiers of Odovaker being on the verge Edition: current; Page: [ 14 ] of starvation.

So, through the efforts of the bishop of Ravenna, a treaty was made according to which Theoderich and Odovaker were to rule the city jointly. This treaty was kept for a short time, but finally Theoderich treacherously seized Odovaker at a banquet to which he had invited him, and had him put to death. He then won over to him all his enemies, and from that time on ruled over Goths and Italians unopposed. Theoderich never assumed the name or dignity of emperor, being content to be known as king, as the barbarians call their rulers. In fact, however, the subjects bore the same relation to him as to an emperor.

He dispensed justice with a strong hand, and rigidly enforced the law and kept peace. In his time the land was protected from the attacks of neighboring barbarians, and his might and his wisdom were famous far and wide. He allowed his subjects neither to suffer nor to commit wrongs; his own followers were given only the lands which Odovaker had taken for his supporters. Thus Theoderich, although he bore the title of a tyrant, was in fact a righteous emperor. He loved the Goths and the Italians equally, recognizing no difference between them, contrary as this may seem to human nature.

After a reign of thirty-seven years, he died lamented by all his people. In the period before the migrations, each of the German tribes had its primitive code of laws. This law was not put in writing, but was held in memory; it was not based on abstract reasons of right and justice, but grew up out of practice and custom. The migrations and the development of tribal kingdoms on Roman soil brought about important changes in the public and private life of the Germans, partly the result of changed conditions, partly the direct influence of Roman manners and institutions.

One result was that the old unwritten customary laws were codified and published in written form. These codes, called the Leges Barbarorum, or laws of the barbarians, form an important historical source, for of course they reflect the new conditions in which the Germans found themselves Edition: current; Page: [ 15 ] after their settlement. Some of them show the influence of Roman law and institutions in a marked degree; others are more purely Germanic. One of the oldest and at the same time one of the most purely German in character is the law of the Salic Franks, called in Latin, Lex Salica; it was probably written about the year , in the reign of Chlodovech The title usually has a heading, as: XVII.

De vulneribus Concerning wounds. The parts translated are intended to illustrate: 1 the character of the tribal laws in general, and 2 certain important institutions and customs of the Franks. Certain features of the Salic law are common to nearly all of the German laws; these are suggested here for the convenience of the reader.

The code contains mainly private law.

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This is characteristic of most of the German codes; they are concerned with private and not with public or administrative law. The law makes minute specification of injuries. This feature is found in most of the codes and is characteristic of a primitive stage of legal conception and a barbarous state of society. The important function of primitive law is the settlement of differences between individuals to prevent personal reprisals, so the various injuries that are apt to occur are specified and provided with special fines.

A large part of the procedure takes place out of court, and is conducted by the individuals concerned. So in title I, 3, the plaintiff summons the defendant in person; in title L, 2, the creditor tries to collect the amount fixed by the court; in title XLVII the whole process of tracing and recovering stolen property, except the last stage, is conducted out of court. All the German laws provide for the payment of the wergeld. The origin of this is doubtless to be found in the underlying conception of primitive law referred to in paragraph 2.

The purpose being Edition: current; Page: [ 16 ] to put an end to private revenge, which would mean continual private war, the law prescribes the amount to be paid to the kindred of the slain man, and they must on receipt of that give up the blood-feud. See no. In many of the codes different values are assigned to different classes of people, as here in title XLI. The public institutions of the Franks are referred to in the law only incidentally, the law being concerned, as has been said, mainly with private matters, and taking for granted a knowledge of public law.

Following is a brief statement of the form of government, administration of justice, etc. The state ruled by the king of the Salic Franks was composed of several small tribes, originally independent see no. The kingdom was divided into counties, some of which correspond to the former independent tribes, and some to old Roman political divisions. The judicial system was based on the division of the county known as the hundred see no. The function of the grafio, the representative of the king in the county, was mainly executive; he was appealed to only when every other means of forcing the delinquent to obey the law or the decision of the court had failed, but he has no part in the trial of cases.

See title L, 3, for an instance of the function of the grafio. If anyone is summoned to the court and does not come, he shall pay denarii, which make 15 solidi. When anyone summons another to court, he shall go with witnesses to the house of that person, and if he is not present the summoner shall serve notice on his wife or his family that he is legally summoned.

If anyone is convicted of shooting a poisoned arrow at another, even though he misses him, he shall pay 2, denarii, which make 63 solidi. If anyone wounds another in the head, so that the brain appears and the three bones which lie above the brain are uncovered, he shall pay 1, denarii, which make 30 solidi. If anyone wounds another between the ribs or in the abdomen, so that the wound can be seen and extends to the vitals, he shall pay 1, denarii, which make 30 solidi, besides 5 solidi for the healing.

If anyone wounds another so that the blood falls to the ground, he shall pay denarii, which make 15 solidi. If a freeman strikes another freeman with a club, so that the blood does not flow, he shall pay denarii, which make 3 solidi, for each blow, up to three. If the blood does flow, he shall pay as much for each blow as if he had wounded him with a sword. If anyone strikes another with the closed fist, he shall pay denarii, which make 9 solidi; that is, 3 solidi for each blow up to three.

If anyone is convicted of trying to rob another on the highroad, even though he fails, he shall pay 2, denarii, which make 63 solidi. If anyone destroys the hand or the foot of another, or cuts out his eye, or cuts off his nose, he shall pay 4, denarii, which make solidi. If anyone cuts off the thumb or the great toe of another, he shall pay 2, denarii, which make 50 solidi.

If the thumb or the toe hangs useless, he shall pay 1, denarii, which make 30 solidi. If he cuts off the second finger, by which the bowstring is drawn, he shall pay 1, denarii, which make 35 solidi. If he cuts off the rest of the fingers that is, the other three at one blow, he shall pay 50 solidi. If he cuts off two of them, he shall pay 35 solidi. If he cuts off one of them, he shall pay 30 solidi.

If anyone is convicted of killing a free Frank or a barbarian living by the Salic law, he shall pay 8, denarii, which make solidi. If he has put the body in a well, or under water, or has covered it with branches or other things for the purpose of hiding it, he shall pay 24, denarii, which make solidi. If he kills a Roman who was a table-companion of the king, he shall pay 12, denarii, which make solidi.

If the slain man was a Roman landowner, and not Edition: current; Page: [ 19 ] a table-companion of the king, he who slew him shall pay 4, denarii, which make solidi. If anyone kills a Roman tributarius, he shall pay 63 solidi. If anyone desires to enter a village, with the consent of one or more of the inhabitants of that village, and a single one objects, he shall not be allowed to settle there. But if anyone settles in another village and remains there twelve months without any one of the inhabitants objecting, he shall be allowed to remain in peace like his neighbors.

That is, each one is to summon the man from whom he got it. And if anyone of these has been summoned and legal hindrance has not kept him away, and he does not come within the appointed term, then the one who had dealings with this delinquent is to bring three witnesses to the fact that he had summoned him and three more to the fact that he had obtained the property from him legally and in good faith; if he does this he is clear of suspicion of theft.

But he who would not come and against whom the witnesses have borne testimony, shall be held to be the thief of the man who recognized his own, and he [the thief] shall return the price to the man who dealt with him and shall pay the lawful compensation to the man who recognized his own. But if he in whose hands it was recognized dwells beyond the Loire or the Carbonaria the time allowed shall be eighty days.

If a free man or a letus 1 has given pledge [that is, made a solemn promise at the court] to another, then he to whom the pledge was given shall go to the house of the other within forty nights, 2 or whatever period was set, with witnesses or with such as can estimate the price.

If he will not, let the sun set upon him. And this thing is to be done three times in three weeks, and if on the third summons he will not pay all this, then denarii, which make 9 solidi, are to be added to the debt, that is, 3 solidi for every summons and setting of the sun. The next two sections are now generally regarded as a later addition— i. If this is so, then sections 3 and 4 have replaced certain older sections which must have completed the process described in sections 1 and 2; there must have been a further stage in which the delinquent was finally forced to pay, perhaps the process described in title LVI, by which a delinquent can be outlawed if he is still contumacious.

I pledge myself and my fortune that you may safely and lawfully lay hands on his property. Choose two men, whomsoever you will, who together with these rachinburgii shall assess from your goods the amount you ought to pay. And so shall you make good what you owe according to legal value.

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If then he will not restore them, at the end of another seven nights he is to go with witnesses again and ask him to pay what he owes. If he will not pay, let the sun set on him. But when the sun has set on him three times, for each time denarii which make 3 solidi are to be added to the original amount of the debt. And if still he will neither pay nor give pledge of payment, he is to be held liable to him who loaned him the goods for denarii which make 15 solidi above the original debt and above the 9 solidi which accrued through the three summons.

If anyone kills a grafio 1 he shall pay 24, denarii, which make solidi. If anyone refuses to come to court or to do what the rachinburgii have commanded, that is, to give pledge for payment, or for the ordeal, or for anything which the law requires, then the complainant is to summon him to the presence of the king. And twelve witnesses, being sworn in turn by threes, shall say: [the first three] that they were present when the rachinburgius condemned him to undergo ordeal or to give pledge for payment, and that he had not obeyed.

The second three are to swear that they were present on the day when the rachinburgii [again] condemned him to clear himself by ordeal or by paying the fine; that is, that, forty nights from the first day, the sun set on him in the mallberg 1 again, and that he would in no way obey the law. Then the complainant is to summon him before the king, in fourteen nights [after the last mallus ], and three witnesses are to swear that they were present when he summoned him and the sun set on him. If he will not come, Edition: current; Page: [ 26 ] then these nine witnesses, having sworn, are to say what we have said above.

Then the criminal and all his goods are liable. And whoever shall feed him or give him hospitality, even if it be his own wife, shall be held liable for denarii, which make 15 solidi, until he shall have paid all that has been imposed on him. By the end of the fifth century, the Roman government in the west had practically come to an end and most of the territory was occupied by German tribes. The confederated tribes living along the middle and lower Rhine began to be called Franks about ad For the next two centuries, the Roman garrisons had great difficulty in keeping them out of northern Gaul.

With the weakening and final withdrawal of these garrisons in the beginning of the fifth century, the Franks spread over northern Gaul and by about had occupied the land as far south as the river Somme. Under Chlodovech the confederated tribes, which still had their own kings, were united under his single rule, and the other inhabitants of Gaul—Romans, Alamanni, West Goths, and Burgundians—were absorbed Edition: current; Page: [ 27 ] or reduced to dependence.

The work of Chlodovech was carried on by his sons and grandsons with the conquest of the Burgundians, Thuringians, Bavarians, etc. Then came the civil wars among the descendants of Chlodovech which prevented further advance until the rise of the house of Karl the Great. There are few documents or chronicles for the history of the Franks during the fifth to the seventh centuries. The only connected account is that of Gregory, bishop of Tours from to His position made him one of the most influential men of his time and he was well acquainted with the contemporary events which he narrates.

The earlier part of his work is, of course, less reliable, because he depended upon tradition. II, 9. It is not known who was the first king of the Franks. We read in the lists of consuls that Theodomer, king of the Franks, son of a certain Richemer, and his mother Ascyla were slain by the sword.

They say also that afterward Chlogio, a brave and illustrious man of that race, was king of the Franks and had his seat at Dispargum, on the boundary of the Thuringians. Chlogio sent spies to the city of Cambrai 1 to spy out the situation and report to him. Then he seized the city and dwelt there a short time, occupying the land as far as the Somme.

Some assert that king Merovech, whose son was Childerich, 2 belonged to the line of Chlogio. After the death of Childerich his son Chlodovech ruled in his stead []. Now Chlodovech and his relative Ragnachar advanced against Syagrius and challenged him to battle; and the latter eagerly accepted the challenge. But in the course of the conflict Syagrius, seeing that his army was defeated, turned and fled Edition: current; Page: [ 28 ] from the field, seeking safety with king Alaric at Toulouse.

Then Chlodovech had him thrown into prison, and, after seizing his kingdom, had him secretly slain. Now Gundevech, of the line of the persecuting king, Athanaric, was king of the Burgundians. Chlodovech sent an embassy to Gundobad demanding the hand of Chlothilde in marriage, and Gundobad, fearing to refuse him, surrendered her to the messengers of Chlodovech, who bore her straightway to the king.

The queen [Chlothilde] continually urged Chlodovech to abandon his idols and accept the true God. She was not successful, however, until finally, when he was waging war on the Alamanni, 6 he was compelled by necessity to accept that which he had formerly refused. For I have called on my own gods and they have Edition: current; Page: [ 29 ] failed to help me; therefore I believe they have no power, since they do not come to the aid of their worshippers.

I call now upon thee; I desire to believe in thee, that I be not destroyed by mine enemies. Then the king demanded that he should be the first to be baptized by the bishop. So the new Constantine advanced to the font, to be cleansed from the old leprosy of his sin, and from the sordid stains of his past life, in the water of baptism. Then the king having professed his belief in omnipotent God the Trinity, was baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and was anointed with the holy oil with the sign of the cross of Christ.

And more than 3, of his army were baptized also. They, as well as their people, were Arian. At the time appointed, Chlodovech advanced with his army against Gundobad. Let us unite to withstand this enemy, lest if we remain divided, each of us should suffer the fate of the other nations.

Thus the three armies advancing at the same time, came together at Dijon, and Godegisel and Chlodovech joined forces and defeated Gundobad. There they held a conference, and ate and drank together, and separated in peace, having exchanged vows of friendship. But already many of the Gauls [under Alaric] were greatly desirous of being under Frankish rule.

Let us go with the aid of God and reduce them to subjection. There the Goths fled, according to their custom, and Chlodovech gained a great victory with the aid of God. And Chloderic, the son of Sigibert the Lame, aided him in this battle. If he should die his kingdom would come to you and my friendship with it. Edition: current; Page: [ 31 ] And when Sigibert set out from Cologne and crossed the Rhine to go through the Buchonian forest [in Hesse, near Fulda], his son had him slain by assassins while he was sleeping in his tent, in order that he might gain the kingdom for himself.

But by the judgment of God he fell into the pit which he had digged for his father. Now send messengers to me, that I may send to you whatever you would like from his hoard. While I was sailing on the Scheldt river, Chloderic, son of Sigibert, my relative, attacked his father, pretending that I had wished him to slay him. And so when his father fled through the Buchonian forest, the assassins of Chloderic set upon him and slew him.

I am in no way guilty of these things, for I could not shed the blood of my relatives, which is very wrong. But since these things have happened, if it seems best to you, I advise you to unite with me and come under my protection. Thus Chlodovech gained the kingdom of Sigibert and his treasures and won over his subjects to his own rule. For God daily overwhelmed his enemies and increased his kingdom because he walked uprightly before him and did that which was pleasing in his sight. Then Chlodovech turned against Chararic. For when he was waging war against Syagrius, this Chararic, although Chlodovech had asked him for aid, had kept out of the struggle and had given him no help, waiting to see the issue, that he might then make friends with the victor.

On this account, Chlodovech was angry with him and attacked him.

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When he had succeeded in seizing Chararic and his son by treachery, he caused their heads to be shaved and ordered Chararic to be ordained a priest and his son a deacon. Would that he who did this thing might as quickly perish. Then Chlodovech made war upon his relative, Ragnachar [king of the region about Cambrai]. And when Ragnachar saw that his army was defeated, he attempted to flee, but his own men seized him and his brother Richar and brought them bound before Chlodovech. It would have been better for you to have been slain.

Thus by their death Chlodovech took the kingdom and treasures. And Edition: current; Page: [ 33 ] many other kings and relatives of his, who he feared might take his kingdom from him, were slain, and his kingdom was extended over all Gaul. And after this he died at Paris and was buried in the basilica of the holy saints which he and his queen, Chlothilde, had built.

III, 1. Now Chlodovech being dead, his four sons, Theodoric, Chlodomer, Childebert, and Chlothar, received his kingdom and divided it equally. But while Chlothar was staying at Paris, Childebert, perceiving that his mother Chlothilde loved the sons of Chlodomer greatly, was stirred with envy and with the fear that they might be restored to the kingdom of their dead father by aid of the queen-mother. Now Childebert had caused the rumor to be spread among the people that the two kings were coming together to consider the establishing of the children on the throne of their father.

But when the children had left her they were immediately seized and Edition: current; Page: [ 34 ] separated from their servants and imprisoned by themselves. Then Childebert and Chlothar sent a certain Arcadius, their messenger, to the queen with a pair of shears and a naked sword. And when the messenger brought back this reply, Chlothar immediately seized the oldest boy by the arm and throwing him on the floor slew him with his dagger. You are the instigator of this business, and do you so soon repent? Of the boys one was ten and the other seven years old. But the third boy, Chlodoald, escaped by the aid of certain powerful persons; rejecting a worldly kingdom, he turned to God, and became a priest, cutting off his hair with his own hands.

And Childebert and Chlothar divided the kingdom of Chlodomer between them. He left four sons, Charibert, Gunthram, Chilperic, and Sigbert, who divided the kingdom among themselves. IV, Now when Sigbert saw that his brothers had Edition: current; Page: [ 35 ] taken wives of lowly rank, he sent an embassy to Spain and sought the hand of Brunhilda, daughter of king Athanagild [king of the West Goths]. When Chilperic heard of this, although he already had several wives, he sought the hand of Galeswintha, sister of Brunhilda, promising that he would leave his other wives, if he should be given a wife of royal rank.

Athanagild, believing the promise of Chilperic, sent him his daughter Galeswintha with rich gifts, as he had already sent Brunhilda. And when she came to king Chilperic, he received her with great honor and was married to her; and he loved her greatly, for she brought rich treasures with her.

But great strife was caused by the love of Chilperic for Fredegonda, with whom he had formerly lived. Galeswintha complained to the king of the indignity offered to her and said that she had no honor in his house, and she begged him to keep the treasures which she had brought with her and let her depart alone to her own land. But the king attempted to placate her with soft and deceitful words. Finally he ordered her to be slain by a servant, and she was found dead in her bed. And Chilperic, having mourned her death, after a few days married Fredegonda.

One of the most important results of the civil wars and weakening of the monarchy in the later Merovingian period was the rise to power of the mayor of the palace. As the king used his private servants in the administration of public affairs the chief servant became eventually the chief public official. In the eastern Frankish kingdom Austrasia this office, like many other offices in this period, had become hereditary in the hands of one of the great families. The last stage of the civil war see no. The actual power and the wise administration of the mayors of this house were in striking contrast to the weakness and the inefficiency of the last Merovingian kings, and this was the chief reason for the change in succession related in this passage.

Anno The pope replied by these ambassadors that it Edition: current; Page: [ 38 ] would be better that he who actually had the power should be called king. In this year Pippin was named king of the Franks with the sanction of the pope, and in the city of Soissons he was anointed with the holy oil by the hands of Boniface, archbishop and martyr of blessed memory, and was raised to the throne after the custom of the Franks.

But Childerich, who had the name of king, was shorn of his locks and sent into a monastery. In this year pope Stephen came to Pippin at Kiersy, to urge him to defend the Roman church from the attacks of the Lombards. And after pope Stephen had received a promise from king Pippin that he would defend the Roman church, he anointed the king and his two sons, Karl and Karlmann, with the holy oil.

Everything was just left hanging Sort of a sad way to end an awesome 30 book epic voyage!!! I know all good things must come to an end. I like how there were some things left unanswered - what happens to Mark and Sophia? Additionally, if everyone is back in their "places" don't they retain their powers, memories, etc to come and go as they please? I'm liking it. Oh you know that's a book in itself!

Overall a series that I could not put down, and will enjoy reading again and again. Well done Brendan Carroll! Carroll wraps up the series by way of affixing genealogy to the beloved characters we came to know, follow, and love on this awesome 30 volume journey so we the reader complete our understanding and relationships amongst them. Carroll's fabulous research, especially into the various books of the bible, added a credulity of reality.

This is the best fiction series I have read since the Dune series. Take a bow Carroll! This whole series take you to another world. So interesting that you cannot put the books down. Combines history with fantasy like no other author. I have read the series twice now and still as interested as when I read the first book in this series. I read all 30 books in the Red Cross of Gold series, enjoyed every single one of them. Just sorry that there aren't any more.