Ecclesiastical Empire - Book 1|
Go to Book 2, 8, 27 National Apostasy
Alonzo Trevier Jones
Chapter I - An Ecclesiastical World Power|
Chapter II - The Visigoths in the Middle Ages
Chapter III - The Suevi in The Middle Ages
Chapter IV - The Franks in the Middle Ages|
Notes & References
An Ecclesiastical World Power.
The Roman Empire had perished. "Never had the existence of a nation been more completely overthrown."  New peoples in ten distinct kingdoms, in AD 476, occupied the territory which for five hundred years had been Roman. These are the nations which, inextricably involved with the papacy, are the subject of the mediaeval and modern history of Western Europe, that we are now to trace.
2. The establishment, the growth, and the reign of the papacy as a world-power, is distinctly a subject of prophecy, as really as is the fall of Rome and the planting of the Ten Kingdoms upon the ruins thereof.  Indeed, the prophecy of this is an inseparable part of the prophecy of the other. To any one who will closely observe, it will plainly appear that in the three great lines of prophecy in Daniel 7, and 8, and 11, the great subject is Rome. In the Scriptures in each of these chapters far more space is given to the description of Rome than is given to Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Grecia all together. And in it is definitely and significantly stated "the children of robbers shall exalt themselves to establish vision." That is to say: Rome is the particular object of the vision; and when Rome is reached and she enters upon the scene, the vision is established.
In Daniel 7, the four great world-empires - Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome - are pictured by four great beasts. The last characteristic of the fourth is that "it had ten horns." Then, says the prophet, "I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the rooots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things."  This "little horn" the prophet beheld even till "the judgment was set and the books were opened." And then he says, "I beheld then [at the time of the Judgment] because of the great words which the horn spake. I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame."
4. Note that the prophet is considering the "little horn" in its career even to the end. But when that "little horn" comes to its end, it is not said, I beheld till the horn was broken; but, "I beheld till the beast was slain." At the time of the Judgment, "I beheld then because of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain." This shows beyond question that that which is symbolized by the "little horn" is simply another phase of what is symbolized by the great and terrible beast. The "little horn" is but the continuation of the beast in a different shape: the same characteristics are there: the same spirit is there: the same thing that is the beast continues through all the time of the little horn until its destruction comes; and when the destruction of the little "horn" does come, it is "the beast" that is slain and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame.
5. In Daniel 8 the thought is the same, except that both phases of this power which is Rome, are symbolized in "a little horn which waxed exceeding great toward the south and toward the east and toward the pleasant land;" that "waxed great even to the host of heaven;" who magnified himself even to the Prince of the host, and by whom the daily sacrifice is taken away and the place of His sanctuary was cast down." The further sketch of Rome in its whole career, and under whatever form, from its entrance into the field of the world's affairs unto the end, is given in verses 23-25: "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand." Dan. 8:23-25.
6. When in chapter 7 the angel explained to Daniel the meaning of these things, he said: "The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." Dan. 7:24,25.
7. Of the fourth great kingdom - Rome - the angel said that not only was it "diverse from all the kingdoms that were before it," but that it was "diverse from all kingdoms." Rome was diverse from all the powers that were before it, and also diverse from all kingdoms, in that it was a republic. It is true that this republic degenerated into a oneman power, a terrible imperial despotism, in which it was also diverse from all that were before it, and even from all; yet, the name and form of a republic were still retained, even to its latest days.
8. That empire perished, and in is place stood ten powers which were called kingdoms. But, now of this other peculiar one which comes up amongst the ten, before whom three of the ten are rooted out - of this one it is written: "He shall be diverse from the first." The first was diverse from "all;" and yet this is diverse even from that one. This shows, then, that the power here referred to would be diverse from all, even to a degree beyond that one which is plainly declared to be diverse from all: that it would be of an utterly new and strange order.
9. Note that of this power it is written that he should "speak great words against the Most High;" that he should "wear out the saints of the Most High;" and that he should "think to change times and the law"  of the Most High. In the description of the same power, given in chapter 8:25, it is stated that "he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes." Throughout the book of Daniel the expression "stand up," where used in connection with kings, invariably signifies "to reign."  This power, then, would reign in opposition to Christ; for only He is the Prince of princes.
10. Further information with respect to this power, is given by Paul in 2.Thess. 2, where, in writing of the day of the coming of the Lord he said: "That day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." 2.Thess. 2:3,4. And that this instruction is derived directly from the passages which we have quoted from Daniel 7 and 8, is clear from the fact that Paul appeals to the Thessalonians: "Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?" When he was yet with them, and telling them these things, he "reasoned with them out of the Scriptures." The only Scriptures that they then had were the OT Scriptures. And the only place in the OT Scriptures where these things are mentioned which he cited, is in these chapters of the book of Daniel.
11. These specifications of scriptures make it certain that the power referred to is an ecclesiastical one - it deals particularly with "the Most High": it reigns in opposition to "the Prince of princes." The specifications show that it is more than simply an ecclesiastical power: it is an ecclesiastical world-power, a theocratical world-kingdom, requiring worship to itself: putting itself above all else that is worshiped, even sitting "in the temple" - the place of worship - "of God, showing himself that he is God."
12. All this is emphasized by the further description of the same power: "I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration." Rev. 17:3-6. These saints and martyrs of Jesus are in the same book symbolized by another woman - "a woman clothed with the sun, and the mood under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars" - who "fled into the wilderness" Reev. 12:1,6,14, while this terrible woman on the scarlet-colored beast is doing all in her power utterly to "wear out the saints of the Most High." The condition as thus revealed, is woman against woman - Church against Church: a corrupt Church opposed to the pure Church.
13. The book of Revelation is the complement of the book of Daniel. The book of Daniel has for its great subject national history, with Church history incidental. The book of Revelation has for its great subject Church history, with national history incidental. Accordingly, that which is but briefly mentioned in the book of Daniel concerning this ecclesiastical kingdom which takes such a large place in the world, is quite fully treated in the book of Revelation: and treated in both its phases, that of the true Church and that of the false; that of the faithful Church, and that of the apostate.
14. The line of prophecy of the Seven Churches of the book of Revelation, is a series of seven letters addressed by the Lord to His own Church in the seven phases of the complete round of her experience from the first advent of Christ unto the second. In each of these seven letters not only is counsel given in the way of right, but there are pointed out the dangers and evils that beset the Church, against which she must be especially guarded, and which, in order to remain pure, she must escape.
15. To the Church in her first stage - the Church of Ephesus - He says: "I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works." Rev. 2:4,5. This points definitely to the falling away that is mentioned by Paul to the elders of the Church at Ephesus (Acts 20:30), and that is again mentioned and dwelt upon by him in 2.Thess. 2, which falling away, when continued, developed "that man of sin." "the son of perdition," "who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped" - the ecclesiastical State now under consideration. The time of this phase of the Church is by the letter itself, shown to be the days of the apostles (Rev. 2:2), and therefore ended about AD 100.
16. The letter to the Church in her second phase, is wholly commendatory. This shows that, while individuals had continued in the apostasy mentioned in the first letter, yet the Church herself had heeded the counsel given by the Head of the Church, and had repented and returned to "the first works." The time of this phase of the Church's experience is definitely suggested in the letter itself, by the statement that she should "have tribulation ten days." Rev. 2:10. This refers to the ten years of persecution in the reign of Diocletian, from 303-313; which was ended by the Edict of Milan, issued by the two emperors, Constantine and Licinius, March 313.
17. The letter to the Church in the third phase of her experience gives the key to this particular thought which is now before us - the identification of that ecclesiastical State. In this letter Christ mentions with commendation the fact that His Church had held fast His name, and had not denied His faith, "even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr."  This word "Antipas" is not a person's name, but is a term characteristic of the times. It is composed of two words, anti and pappas. "Anti" signifies against, and "pappas" signifies papa, which is our English, and also the universal word for "pa," and is the original of the word "pope."
18. Therefore, the word "Antipas" - "against `pas' or `papas'" - shows the growth of the papa-cy in the period immediately following AD 313. This was the period of Constantine and onward, in which the papa-cy was distinctly formed. And history records that in that time, while the other principal bishops of the Church bore the title of "patriarch," the bishop of Rome studiosly avoided that particular term, as placing him on a level with other "patriarchs." He always preferred the title of "papa," or "pope"  : and this because "patriarch" bespeaks an oligarchical Church government - that is government by a few; whereas "pope" bespeaks a monarchial Church government - that is government by one.  Thus the history, and the word of the counsel of Christ, unite in marking as the characteristic of that phase of the Church's experience, the formation of the papa-cy, and the assertion of the authority of the pope.
19. And thus, beyond all question, the papacy is identified, and that by the very Word of God itself, as that eccleasiastical State, that church-kingdom, sketched by Daniel, in chapters 7 and 8; described by Paul, in 2. Thessalonians 2; and fully traced by John, in the Revelation. The time covered by this third letter of Christ to His Church is, by that letter itself, shown to be the time of the making of the papacy; and to the words of the letter correspond exactly the facts of history in the period reaching from the Edict of Milan to the ruin of the empire. The "falling away," the leaving of the "first love," mentioned in the first letter, had, in this time of the third letter, culminated in the formation of the papacy.
20. Now this same course is traced on the side of the apostasy, in the first three steps of the line of prophecy of the Seven Seals of the book of Revelation. Under the First Seal there was seen going forth a white horse (Rev. 6:2), corresponding to the Church in her first phase - that of her original purity, her "first love." But the counsel of Christ in His first letter said that there was even then a falling away from that first love: and this is signified in the Second Seal, at the opening of which "there went out another horse that was red."  And, under the Third Seal "I beheld, and lo a black horse!"  Thus the symbols of the seals, passing in three steps from white to black, mark identically the course of apostasy in the three steps, from the first love, in which Christ was all in all, in the first stage of the Church, to the third stage, in which, "where Satan's seat" was, and where Satan dwelt, a man was put in the place of God, in that which professed to be the Church of God, "passing himself off for God."
21. The immediate effect of this apostasy, which developed the papacy in the Roman Empire, was the complete ruin of the Roman Empire. And, this consequence of the apostasy, which is traced in the first three steps of the two lines of prophecy of the Seven Churches and the Seven Seals, is sketched in the first four trumpets of the line of prophecy of the Seven Trumpet. And here it is - in the Seven Trumpets - that national history enters, as an incident, in his book of Church history; as in the rise of the little horn amongst the ten, in the book of Daniel, there enters Church history. as an incident, in that book of national history. The Seven Trumpets aptly enter here, because the trumpet is the symbol of war; and it was by the universal war of the floods of barbarians from the north, that there was swept away that mass of corruption that was heaped upon the Roman Empire by its union with the apostate Church, in the making of the papacy.
Contents: Theodoric, the Visigoth - The Visigothic Empire.
The Visigoths in the Middle Ages
The Ecclesiastical Empire is the grand center of history that we are now to study. Yet with this there are inseparably connected other empires, and the Ten Kingdoms of Western Europe. In the nature of the case, these will have to be considered to a great or lesser extent. Therefore, in order that each of these may have its due attention, as well as that the history of the Ecclesiastical Empire itself may be followed uninterruptedly and the more intelligently, it will be first to sketch the kingdoms of Western Europe through the Middle Ages.
2. The Ten Kingdoms could not continue in either undisturbed or undisturbing relations, even among themselves. As ever in human history from the day of Nimrod, the desire to enlarge dominion, the ambition for empire, was the chief characteristic, the ruling passion, among these.
3. The first to make their power predominant among the Ten Kingdoms was the Visigoths. It will be remembered  that under Wallia the Visigoths as early as AD 419 had gained a permanent seat in South-western Gaul, from the Mediterraenean Sea to the Bay of Biscay, and from the River Loire to the River Rhone, with their capital at Toulouse. There the newly established kingdom "gradually acquired strength and maturity." "After the death of Wallia (AD 419) over a turbulent people, may be allowed to prove that his prudence was supported by uncommon vigor, both of mind and body. Impatient of his narrow limits, Theodoric aspired to the possession of Arles, the wealthy seat of government and commerce; but" this enterprise failed.
4. "Theodoric, king of the Visigoths, appears to have deserved the love of his subjects, the confidence of his allies, and the esteem of mankind. His throne was surrounded by six valiant sons, who were educated with equal care in the exercises of the Barbarian camp, and in those of the Gallic schools: from the study of Roman jurisprudence they acquired the theory, at least, of law and justice." "The two daughters of the Gothic king were given in marriage to the eldest sons of the kings of the Suevi and of the Vandals, who reigned in Spain and Africa."  - This domestic alliance with the house of the king of the Vandals was fraught with far-reaching and dreadful consequences. The king of the Vandals at that time was "the terrible Genseric." He indulged a suspicion that his daughter-in-law had formed a conspiracy to poison him. With Genseric, his own suspicion was sufficient proof of guilt, and upon the hapless daughter of Theodoric was inflicted the horrible penalty of cutting off her nose and ears. Thus mutilated, she was sent back to the house of her father.
5. By this outrage Theodoric was stirred up to make war upon the king of the Vandals, in which he was widely supported by the sympathy of his neighbors. To protect himself and his dominions from this dangerous invasion Genseric by "rich gifts and pressing solicitations inflamed the ambition of Attila," who, thus persuaded, marched, AD 451, with an army of 700,000 men in his memorable invasion of Gaul. This required that not only the forces of Theodoric, but all the power of the whole West should stand unitedly in defense of their very homes. The battle that was fought was the battle of Chalons. "The body of Theodoric, pierced with honorabel wounds, was discovered under a heap of the slain: his subjects bewailed the death of their king and father; but their tears were performed in the face of a vanquished enemy. The Goths, clashing their arms, elevated on a buckler his eldest son, Torismond, to whom they justly ascribed the glory of their success; and the new king accepted the obligation of revenge as a sacred portion of his paternal inheritance." 
6. Torismond was murdered in AD 453 by his younger brother, Theodoric II, who reigned till 466. In 456 he invaded Spain in an expedition against "the Suevi who had fixed their kingdom in Gallica," and who now "aspired to the conquest of Spain," and even threatened to attack Theodoric under the very walls of his own capital. "Such a challenge urged Theodoric to prevent the bold designs of his enemy: he passed the Pyrenees at the head of the Visigoths: the Franks and the Burgundians served under his standard. . . . The two armies, or rather the two nations, encountered each other on the banks of the River Urbicus, about 12 miles from Astorga in Galicia; and the decisive victory of the Goths appeared for a while to have extirpated the name and kingdom of the Suevi. From the field of battle Theodoric advanced to Braga, their metropolis, which still retained the splendid vestiges of its ancient commerce and dignity."  The king of the Suevi was captured and slain by Theodoric, who "carried his victorious arms as far as Merida, east of Lisbon in Spain.," whence he returned to his capital.
7. In AD 466 Theodoric was assassinated by Euric, who reigned till 485. Immediately upon his succession he renewed the Visigothic invasion of Spain. "He passed the Pyrenees at the head of a numerous army, subdued the cities of Zaragoza/Saragossa and Pamplona/Pampeluna, vanquished in battle the martial nobles of the Tarragonese province, carried his victorious arms into the heart of Lusitania, and permitted the Suevi to hold the kingdom of Gallica under the Gothic monarchy of Spain" which he made permanent.
8. "The effects of Euric were not less vigorous nor less successful in Gaul; and throughout the country that extends from the Pyrenees to the Rhone and the Loire, Berry and Auvergne were the only cities, or dioceses, which refused to acknowledge him as their master." "As soon as Odoacer had extinguished the Western Empire, he sought the friendship of the most powerful of the barbarians. The new sovereign of Italy resigned to Euric, king of the Visigoths (AD 476-485), all the Roman conquests beyond the Alps as far as the Rhine and the ocean; and the Senate might confirm this liberal gift with some ostentation of power, and without any real loss of revenue or dominion.
9. "The lawful pretensions of Euric were justified by ambition and success; and the Gothic nation might aspire, under his command, to the monarchy of Spain and Gaul. Arles and Marseilles surrendered to his arms; he oppressed the freedom of Auvergne; and the bishop condescended to purchase his recall from exile by a tribute of just, but reluctant praise. Sidonius waited before the gates of the palace among a crowd of ambassadors and supplicants; and their various business at the court of Bordeaux attested the power and the renown of the king of the Visigoths. The Heruli of the distant ocean, who painted their naked bodies with its cerulean color, implored his protection; and the Saxons respected the maritime provinces of a prince who was destitute of any naval force. The tall Burgundians submitted to his authority; nor did he restore the captive Franks till he had imposed on that fierce nation the terms of an unequal peace. The Vandals of Africa cultivated his useful friendship: and the Ostrogoths of Pannonia were supported by his powerful aid against the oppression of the neighboring Huns. The North (such are the lofty strains of the poet) was agitated or appeased by the nod of Euric; the great king of Persia consulted the oracle of the West; and the aged god of the Tyber/Tiber was protected by the swelling genius of the Garonne."
10. The reign of Euric "was the culminating point of the Visigothic monarchy in Gaul.  He was succeeded, AD 485, by his son, Alaric II, at the time "a helpless infant." Though Alaric II reigned 22 years, he so "gave himself up to the pursuit of pleasure" that his reign "was the epoch of the decay of the Visigothic monarchy in Gaul," which indeed ended at the death of Alaric II by the hand of Clovis the Frank, in the battle of Poitiers, AD 507. Alaric II was succeeded by his infant son, Amalaric, who was taken into Spain. And though the Visigoths still held in Gaul "a narrow tract of seacoast from the Rhone to the Pyrenees," from this time forward their dominion was properly in Spain, to which country it was limited, and wherein its seat was permanently fixed in the reign of Theudes, who succeeded Amalaric in AD 531, and reigned till 548.
11. The kingdom of the Visigoths continued to flourish in all Spain until AD 711. By that time luxury had so enervated them, and their despotism and persecutions had so estranged the subject peoples, that in a single year, 711-712, Tarik, the Saracen commander, conquered the country from the Straits of Gibralta to the Bay of Biscay, a distance of 700 miles. This can be easily understood from the fact that to a great and decisive battle against the invading Saracens, Roderick, the king of the Visigoths, went "sustaining on his head a diadem of pearls, incumbered with a flowing robe of gold and silken embroidery, and reclining on a litter or car of ivory, drawn by two white mules." 
12. The remnant of the Visigoths, "a scanty band of warriors, headed by Pelayo, probably of the Visigothic royal family, found refuge in the cave of Covadonga, among the inaccessible mountains of Asturias" in the extreme northwestern part of the peninsula (East and West of Oviedo), "Their own bravery and the difficulties of the country enabled them to hold their own; and they became the rallying point for all who preferred a life of hardship to slavish submission."  This little band of warriors, never subdued, continued to hold their own, and to grow in strength and success. Little by little they pushed back the Saracens, enlarging their territory, and holding all that they gained. This they steadily continued for 780 years, when, in AD 1492, the last vestige of Mohammedan power in Spain was broken, and the descendants of the original Visigoths once more possessed the whole country. The present - AD 1901 - child-heir to the throne of Spain is Alfonso XIII; and Alfonso I was the grandson of Pelayo, the intrepid leader of that "scanty band of warriors" who in AD 712 "found refuge in the cave of Covadonga among the inaccessible mountains of Asturias."
13. The year of the final recovery of Spain from the Mohammedan power, it will be noted, was also the very year of the discovery of the West Indies by Columbus - AD 1492. This era of discovery and conquest opened by Columbus, and continued by Balboa, Cortes, and others, with an intricate complication of territorial accessions in Europe, suddenly at the beginning of the 16th century elevated Spain to the place of the leading power, and her king - Charles I - to the position of the greatest sovereign, then in the world. In 50 years, however, she had begun a decline which steadily continued till she was reduced, in 1898, to the bounds of the original kingdom of the Visigoths in the Spanish peninsula, with a few outlying islands.
Contents: Portuguese Discoveries - Discovery of the Indies and China.
The Suevi in The Middle Ages
On the original and permanent settlement of the Suevi, in the Roman Empire, they occupied "the greater portion of Southern and Western Spain; and their capital was Astorga" in Galicia. In the period between the departure of the Vandals into Africa, AD 429, and the coming of the Visigoths into Spain, AD 456, the Suevi were "the only barbarian power left in the peninsula."  Though in the great battle with Theodoric, the Visigoth, in 456, they were signally defeated and their power was much weakened, yet the distinct Suevic kingdom continued until 587, when, by the power of Leovigild the Visigoth, it became entirely subject and tributary to the Visigothic kingdom.
2. During the time of the occupation of the peninsula by the Mohammedan power, 711, the Suevi, until about 1250, shared the fate of the Visigoths. As little by little the brave descendants of the unconquerable Pelayo pushed back the bounds of the Mohammedan dominion, the Suevi, inhabiting the territory of what is now Portugal and Galacia, was really the first to be freed. Indeed Alfonso I, grandson of Pelayo, not only drove the Mohammedans out of Galacia, but was able to advance "with his victorious troops" as far as to the River Douro. Alfonso III, 866-910, made expeditions as far south as to Coimbra and Lisbon, though his permanent southern boundary was still the River Douro.
3. Ferdinand the Great, king of Leon, Castile, and Galacia, 1055-1064, and his son, in 1065, carried the boundary southward till it included the present Portuguese province of Beira. Alfonso VI, 1072-1109, compelled the cession of Lisbon and Santerem, which was practically all that part of the province of Estramadura, which lies west and north of the River Tagus. In 1086 the danger that the Mohammedans would regain these territories was so great that Alfonso VI "summoned the chivalry of Christendom to his aid. Among the knights who came to his assistance were Counts Raymond and Henry of Burgundy; . . . and in 1094 he combined the fiefs of Coimbra and Oporto into one great country," called Terra Portucalensis, or County of Porto Cale; and, with the hand of his daughter Theresa, conferred it upon Henry of Burgundy, who thus became Count of Portucalensis: Porto Cale: Portugal. And that the Suevi who at the first inhabited Southern and Western Spain and Galacia, where the root of this Portugal, is clear from the fact that "ethnologically the Galicians are allied to the Portuguese, whom they resemble in dialect, in appearance, and in habits, more than any other inhabitants of the peninsula."
4. The history of Portugal as a kingdom, therefore, really begins with this gift by Alfonso VI, descended from Alfonso I, grandson of Pelayo the Visigoth, to Henry of Burgundy in AD 1094. It must be remembered, however, that at that time Portugal was only a county, held in fief by Henry of Burgundy as vassal of Alfonso VI, king of Leon, Castile, and Galicia, who by reason of his great successes assumed the title of "Emperor of Spain." This grand title, however, vanished with him; and he was no sooner dead than count Henry, his beneficiary, invaded the kingdom in a contest with four other claiments, to make himself king. He carried on this contest for five years, but failed; and died suddenly at Astorga in 1112, leaving his wife Theresa to rule the county of Portugal during the minority of his infant son, Affonso Henriques.
5. Affonso Henriques, who, at the age of 17, assumed the government (1112-1185), was one of the heroes of the Middle Ages. He succeeded to the rule of the county of Portugal when it was still regarded as a fief of Galacia; and after nearly 60 years of incessant fighting, he bequeathed to his son a powerful little kingdom, whose independence was unquestioned, and whose fame was spread abroad throughout Christendom by the reports of the victories of its first king over the Mohammedans. The four wars of independence which Affonso Henriques waged against Alphonso VII, lasted more than 12 years, and were fought out on the Galacian frontier with varying success, until the question of Portuguese independence was peaceably established and confirmed by the valor of the Portuguese knights who overcame those of Castile in the famous tournament of Valdevez, and Affonso Henriques assumed the title of King of Portugal." 
6. It was not till the reign of Affonso III, 1248-1279, that the Mohammedans were finally expelled, and Portugal attained its ultimate European limits by the Portuguese conquest of all the territory west of the River Guadilquivir, and southward to the sea. Thus Portugal effected the expulsion of the Mohammedans from her dominions, 250 years before Spain completely recovered hers. After this had been accomplished there was a long period of comparative peace, in which the kingdom and the people greatly prospered. About 1400 there was begun by the Portuguese an era of exploration and discovery, that is one of the greatest in the history of the world; that at that time led the world; and that brought to the king of Portugal "an income greater than that of any prince in Europe, so that he had no need of taxes."
7. This splendid era of discovery was begun by Prince Henry, son of King Joao, or John, who by his energy and success acquired the title "the Navigator." Until his day the pathways of the human race had been the mountain, the river, and the plain, the strait, the lake, and the inland sea. It was he who conceived the thought of opening a road through the unexplored ocean - a road replete with danger, but abundant in promise. Born on March 4, 1394, Prince Henry was a younger son of King Joao of Portugal, and of Philippa of Lancaster, the grandchild of Edward III; so that he was half an Englishman. Prince Henry relinquished the pleasures of the court, and took up his abode on the inhospitable promontory of Sagres at the extreme southwestern angle of Europe." His great aim was to find the sea-path to the then only known Indies. He did no accomplish it; but he did a great thing in destroying the terror of the great ocean, and so opening the door of courage to those who should come after. His ships and men reached the islands of Madeira (SW off coast of Casablanca) and Porto Santo in 1418 and 1420, which were granted to him by the king, his brother, in 1433. They doubled the Cape of Bojador in 1433. In 1435 they went a 150 miles beyond Cape Bojador. In 1443 they went 25 miles beyond Cape Blanco (ca. lo. west 15.65, lt. 21.5). In 1445 they reached the mouth of the River Senegal. In 1455 he passed Cape Verde and went as far as to the mouth of the River Gambia. Prince Henry, the Navigator, died Nov. 13, 1460.
8. The enterprise which Prince Henry, the Navigator, had so well begun was continued after his death. In 1462 the Cape Verde Islands were discovered and colonized. In the same year an expedition under Pedro de Cintra reached a point on the Sierra Leone coast, 600 miles beyond the Gambia. In 1469 another expedition under Fernan Gomes reached the Gold Coast. In 1469 Diogo Cam reached the mouth of the Congo. In 1486 Bartholomew Dias succeeded in rounding the extreme Cabo Tormentoso, - Cape Torment, - but the king of Portugal, Joao II, cheered with the prospect that the ay was now surely opened to India, named it Cape of Good Hope.
9. This continued series of successes had drawn to Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, adventurous strangers "from all parts of the world," and among these there came from Genoa, in Italy, in 1470, Christopher Columbus. He entered the service of the king of Portugal, where he remained till 1484, making "several voyages to the coast of Guinea." As early as 1474 he had determined in his mind that the world is round; that therefore India should be reached by sailing westward; and that he would sail in that direction to find it. He project ha made known to King Joao II, who referred him to his Committee of Council for Geographical Affairs. The committee rendered a decidedly adverse report; but the bishop of Ceuta, seeing that the king was inclined to favor Columbus's view, suggested to him that he reap the advantage of it by sending an expedition which from fear soon returned. Columbus, discovering the trick that had been attempted, in just indignation quitted Lisbon in 1484; and so the glory and the wonders of the discovery of the Western Continent, the New World, was lost to Portugal.
10. The Portuguese, however, having passed the most southern point of Africa, followed up the attempt to reach India by sailing eastward. In July, 1497, Vasco da Gama sailed from Lisbon. November 22 he rounded the Cape of Good Hope. Christmas day, as he was sailing along, land was sighted, which, in honor of the day, he named Natal. April 7, 1498, he reached Mombasa, on the east coast of Africa, near the equator; and May 20, 1498, the India problem was solved by his sighting the Malabar coast of Western India, and anchoring his ships before Calicut (after a 5 month voyage). March 9, 1500, another expedition left Lisbon, under the command of Pedro Alvarez Cabral, and April 22 discovered the southeast coast of Brazil, taking possession in the name of the king of Portugal. Cabral then sailed for India, arriving at Calicut in September, and continued his voyage southward as far as the Cananore, and finally to Cochin, India. In 1501 Joao da Nova discovered the island of Ascension, and Amerigo Vespucci discovered the Rio Plata and Paraguay. Ceylon was discovered in 1505. In 1506 Albuquerque "explored the coasts of Arabia and Persia, made the king of Ormus tributary to the king of Portugal, and sent embassies to Abyssinia." In 1510 he conquered Goa, on the Indian coast, a little north of Calicut. In 1512 the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, off the coast of China, were discovered; and in 1517 the grand era of Portuguese discovery was fitly rounded out by Fernam Peres de Andrade's discovery of China, and entering "into commercial relations with the governor of Canton."
11. These discoveries led large numbers of the Portuguese to emigrate in search of fortune; and the great wealth poured into the kingdom by the trade of the new lands, induced luxury and consequent enervation of those who remained at home: while there was also no immigration, and the soil was worked by slaves. These things of themselves weakened the kingdom; but as though to make its decline certain, in 1536 King Joao III established the Inquisition, which "quickly destroyed all that was left of the old Portuguese spirit." Because of these things at home and the tyranny and corruption of the governors in the colonies, "everthing went from bad to worse." In 1578 the direct royal succession expired with King Sebastian. The kingdom fell for two years to the late king's uncle, who was old, and died last day of January, 1580; and, in the confusion and intrigues of the several aspirants to the throne that followed, Philip II, king of Spain, was successful in seizing the kingdom and making himself also king of Portugal.
12. In 1640 the Portuguese revolted and were successful in casting off the yoke of Spain, in expelling the Spaniards from Portugal; and in re-establishing a kingdom of their own by crowning a king of their own choice - the duke of Braganza as King Joao (John) IV. During "the sixty years' captivity" to Spain, however, the trade of her wide possessions, and a considerable portion of those possessions themselves, had been absorbed by other nations. From this Portugal never recovered; and has since had very little power or influence outside her proper European limits.
Contents: Subjection of the Burgundians - Clovis Sole King of the Franks - The Mayors of the Palaces - Empire of Charlemagne - The Invasion of the Northmen - The Formation of Normandy - Establishment of the Capetian Dynasty - The Feudal System.
The Franks in the Middle Ages
It was by the Franks , under the leadership of Clovis, that the Visigothic monarchy was broken and deprived of its possessions in Gaul, which it had held for nearly a hundred years. Thus, of the Ten Kingdoms, after the Visigoths the Franks were the next in order to make their power predominant, and even supreme.
2. As late as "thirty years after the battle of Chalone" the tribes of the Franks who had "settled in Gaul were not yet united as one nation." "Several tribes, independent one of another, were planted between the Rhine and the Somme; there were some in the environs of Cologne, Calais, Cambrai, even beyond the Seine and as far as Le Mans, on the confines of the Britons. . . . The two principal, Frankish tribes were those of the Salian Franks and the Ripuarian Franks, settled, the latter in the east of Belgica, on the banks of the Meuse, the ocean, and the Somme. Merovens, whose name was perpetuated in his line, was one of the principal chieftains of the Salian Franks; and his son Childeric, who resided in Tournay , where his tomb was discovered in 1655, was the father of Clovis, who succeeded him in 481, and with whom really commenced the kingdom and history of France." 
3. As late as AD 486 there was a small portion of Gaul, embracing the cities of Rheims, Troyes, Beauvais, Amiens, and the city and diocese of Soissons, which was still fairly Roman, and was ruled by Syagrius, a Roman, under the title of Patrician, or, as some give it, king of the Romans. "The first exploit of Clovis was the defeat of Syagrius," in AD 486, and the reduction of the country which had acknowledged his authority. By this victory all the country of Gaul north of the Moselle, clear to the Seine, was possessed by the Franks. "The Belgic cities surrendered to the king of the Franks; and his dominions were enlarged toward the east by the ample diocese of Tongres, which Clovis subdued in the tenth year of his reign." 
4. Until this time the Franks and the Alemanni had made almost equal progress in Gaul, and had made their conquests in that province, apparently in perfect national friendliness. But now both nations had become so powerful that it was impossible that two such fierce and warlike nations should subsist side by side without an appeal to arms for the decision of the question as to which should have the supremacy.
5. "From the source of the Rhine to its conflux with the Main and the Moselle, the formidable swarms of the Alemani commanded either side of the river by the right of ancient possession, or recent victory. They had spread themselves into Gaul, over the modern provinces of Alsace and Lorraine; and their bold invasion of the kingdom of Cologne summoned the Salic prince to the defense of his Ripuarien allies. Clovis encountered the invaders of Gaul in the plain of Tolbiac (AD 496), about 24 miles from Cologne; and the two fiercest nations of Germany were mutually animated by the memory of past exploits, and the prospect of future greatness. The Franks, after an obstinate struggle, gave way; and the Alemanni, raising a shout of victory, impetuously pressed their retreat. But the battle was restored by the valor, and the conduct, and perhaps by the piety, of Clovis; and the event of the bloody day decided forever the alternative of empire or servitude. The last king of the Alemanni was slain in the field, and his people were slaughtered, or pursued, till they threw down their arms, and yielded to the mercy of the conqueror. Without discipline it was impossible for them to rally; they had contemptuously demolished the walls and fortifications which might have protected their distress; and they were followed into the heart of their forests by an enemy not less active, or intrepid, than themselves.
6. "The great Theodoric congratulated the victory of Clovis, whose sister Albofleda the king of Italy had lately married; but he mildly interceded with his brother in favor of the suppliants and fugitives, who had implored his protection. The Gallic territories, which were possessed by the Alemanni, became the prize of their conqueror; and the haughty nation, invincible, or rebellious, to the arms of Rome, acknowledged the sovereignty of the Merovingian kings, who graciously permitted them to enjoy their peculiar manners and institutions, under the government of official, and, at length, of hereditary dukes." 
7. The defeat of the Burgundians followed that of the Alemanni, AD 499. "The kingdom of the Burgundians, which was defined by the course of two Gallic rivers, the Saone and the Rhone, extended from the forest of Vosges (Vogesen, west of Strassburg) to the Alps and the sea of Marseilles. The scepter was in the hands of Grundobald. That valiant and ambitious prince had reduced the number of royal candidates by the death of two brothers, one of whom was the father of Clotilda; but his imperfect prudence still permitted Godesil, the youngest of his brothers, to possess the dependent principality of Geneva.
8. "The allegiance of his brother was already seduced; and the obedience of Godegesil, who joined the royal standard with the troops of Geneva, more effectually promoted the success of the conspiracy. While the Franks and Burgundians contended with equal valor, his seasonable desertion decided the event of the battle; and as Grundobald was faintly supported by the disaffected Gauls, he yielded to the arms of Clovis (AD500), and hastily retreated from the field, which appears to have been situated between Langres and Dijon. He distrusted the strength of Dijon, a quadrangular fortress, encompassed by two rivers, and by a wall 30 feet high, and 15 feet thick, with four gates, and 33 towers; he abandoned to the pursuit of Clovis the important cities of Lyons and Vienna; and Gundobald still fled with precipitation, till he had reached Avignon, at the distance of 250 miles from the field of battle. A long siege and an artful negotiation admonished the king of the Franks of the danger and difficulty of his enterprise. He imposed a tribute on the Burgundian prince, compelled him to pardon and reward his brother's treachery, and proudly returned to his own dominions, with the spoils and captives of the southern provinces.
9. "This splendid triumph was soon clouded by the intelligence that Gundobald had violated his recent obligations, and that the unfortunate Godegesil, who was left at Vienna with a garrison of 5,000 Franks, had been besieged, surprised, and massacred by his inhuman brother. Such an outrage might have exasperated the patience of the most peaceful sovereign; yet the conqueror of Gaul dissembled the injury, released the tribute, and accepted the alliance and military service of the king of Burgundy. Clovis no longer possessed those advantages which had assured the success of the preceding war, and his rival, instructed by adversity, had found new resources of the affections of his people. The Gauls or Romans applauded the mild and impartial laws of Gundobald, which almost raised them to the same level with their conquerors. The bishops were reconciled and flattered by the hopes, which he artfully suggested, of his approaching conversion; and though he eluded their accomplishment to the last moment of his life, his moderation secured the peace and suspended the ruin of the kingdom of Burgundy." 
10. In AD 507 Clovis turned his arms against the Visigoths in southwestern Gaul, who were ruled by Alaric II. "At the third hour of the day, about ten miles from Poitiers, Clovis overtook, and instantly attacked, the Gothic army, whose defeat was already prepared by terror and confusion. Yet they rallied in their extreme distress, and the martial youths, who had clamorously demanded the battle, refused to survive the ignominy of flight. The two kings encountered each other in single combat. Alaric fell by the hand of his rival; and the victorious Frank was saved, by the goodness of his cuirass, and the vigor of his horse, from the spears of two desperate Goths, who furiously rode against him to revenge the death of their sovereign. The vague expression of a mountain of the slain serves to indicate a cruel though indefinite slaughter."  In AD 508 a treaty of peace was made between the two peoples. "The Visigoths were suffered to retain the possession of Septimania, a narrow tract of seacoast, from the Rhone to the Pyrenees; but the ample province of Aquitain, from those mountains to the Loire, was indissoluble united to the kingdom of France." 
11. In AD 510, Anastasius, emperor of the Eastern Empire of Rome, sent to Clovis "at Tours a solemn embassy, bringing to him the titles and insignia of Patrician and Consul. `Clovis,' says Gregory of Tours, `put on the tunic of purple and the chlamys and the diadem; then mounting his horse he scattered with his own hand and with much bounty gold and silver amongst the people on the road which lies between the gate of the court belonging to the basilica of St. Martin and the church of the city. From that day he was called Consul and Augustus. On leaving the city of Tours he repaired to Paris, where he fixed the seat of his government.'
12. "Paris was certainly the political center of the dominion, the intermediate point between the early settlements of his race and himself in Gaul, and his new Gallic conquests; but he lacked some of the possessions nearest to him. . . . To the east, north, and southwest of Paris were settled some independent Frankish tribes, governed by chieftains with the name of kings. So soon as he had settled in Paris, it was the one fixed idea of Clovis to reduce them all to subjection. He had conquered the Burgundians and the Visigoths; it remained for him to conquer and unite together all the Franks. The barbarian showed himself in his true colors, during his new enterprise, with his violence, his craft, his cruelty, and his perfidy." By the basest treachery and by sheer murder he put out of his way the kings of these Frankish tribes; and "so Clovis remained sole king of the Franks: for all the independent chieftains had disappeared." 
13. Clovis died, Nov. 27, 511 (481-511); and his dominions were divided among his four sons - Theodoric, or Thierry I, Childebert, Clodomir, and Clotaire I. Theodoric, or Thierry I, the eldest son, had the northeastern portion, which lay on both sides of the Rhine, with his capital at Metz. Childebert, the second son, held the central part, the country around Paris, with Paris as his capital. Clodomir, the third son, received western Gaul, along the Loire; and had his capital at Orleans. Clotaire, the youngest son, ruled in the northern part of Gaul, with is capital at Soissons. The Alemanni under the governorship of dukes, belonged with the eastern partition and were tributary to Theodoric. The Burgundians were still ruled by their own kings until 532, when the last Burgundian king, Sigismond, the son of Gundobald, was removed by being buried alive in a deep well, and the Burgundians, too, ruled by dukes, "were still permitted to enjoy their national laws under the obligation of tribute and military service; and the Merovingian princes peaceably reigned over a kingdom, whose glory and greatness had been first overthrown by the arms of Clovis." 
14. The quadruple division of the dominions of Clovis ended in 558 by being merged in the sole rule of Clotaire I, who held the power till his death in 561, when it was again divided into four parts among his four sons - Charibert, king of Paris; Gontran, of Orleans; Sigebert, of Metz; and Chilperic, of Soissons. The Burgundians fell to the portion of Gontran, who left Orleans, and fixed his capital in their country.
15. "In 567 Charibert, king of Paris, died, without children, and a new partition left only three kingdoms - Austrasia, Neustria, and Burgundy. Austrasia, in the east, extended over the two banks of the Rhine, and comprised, side by side with Roman towns and districts, populations that had remained Germanic. (The Alemanni - Suabians (Schwaben) - belonged in this division.) Neustria, in the west, was essentially Gallo-Roman, though it comprised in the north the old territory of the Salian Franks, on the borders of the Scheldt. Burgundy was the old kingdom of the Burgundians, enlarged in the north by some few counties. Paris, as having been the residence of Clovis, their common progenitor, "was kept as a sort of neutral city, which none of them could enter without the common consent of all." 
16. In AD 567-570, the Lombards, who until this time had continued to dwell in Noricum and northern Panmonia, led by their King Alboin, removed to Italy. "The victorius Autharis (584-590) asserted his claim to the dominion of Italy. At the foot of the Rhaetian Alps, he subdued the resistance, and rifled the hidden treasures, of a sequestered island in the lake of Comum. At the extreme point of Calabria, he touched with his spear a column on the seashore of Rhegium, proclaiming that ancient landmark to stand (as) the immovable boundary of his kingdom." With the exception of the possessions of the Exarchate of Ravenna, and some cities on the coast, "the remainder of Italy was possessed by the Lombards; and from Pavia, the royal seat, their kingdom was extended to the east, the north, and the west, as far as the confines of the Avars , the Bavarians, and the Franks of Austrasia and Burgundy." 
17. "In AD 613 new incidents connected with family matters placed Clotaire II, son of Chilperic, and heretofore king of Soissons, in possession of the three kingdoms" of Austrasia, Neustria, and Burgundy. Clotaire II "kept them united until 628 and left them so to his son Dagobert I, who remained in possession of them until 638. At his death a new division of the Frankish dominions took place, no longer into three but two kingdoms: Austrasia being the one, and Neustria and Burgundy the other." 
18. In tracing the history farther it is essential to note the rise of a new character in these kingdoms, - the Mayor of the Palace, - which finally developed the era of Charlemagne. The last king of the line of Clovis, who displayed or possessed any of the characteristics of a king was Dagobert I. After his death in 638, the kings dwindled into insignificance, if not idiocy, and the Mayors of the Palace assumed sole authority, yet always in the name of the "do-nothing" kings; and the struggle for supremacy was kept up between the mayors, as it had been before by the kings. Finally, in 687, Pepin of Heristal (680-714), Mayor of the Palace, of Austrasia defeated Berthar, mayor of Neustria, at the battle of Testry, and so brought the contest virtually to an end. "From that time to the end of his life, in 714, Pepin of Heristal was unquestioned master of all Franks, the kings under him being utterly insignificant." Pepin of Heristal was succeeded by his son Charles, who in 732 won the name of Martel - the Hammer - by the crushing defeat which he gave to the Saracens under Abdel-Rahman at the battle of Tours.
19. Charles Martel died Oct. 22, 741, and left his dominions divided between his two sons, Pepin the Short, and Carloman. Pepin had Neustria, Burgundy, Provence, and the suzerainty of Aquitaine. Carloman had Austrasia, Thuringia, and Allemannia. Each, however, with only the title of Mayor of the Palace. In 746 Carloman abdicated his power, left his dominions to Pepin, had Pope Zachary to make him a monk, and shut himself up in the monastery of Monte Casino. Thus in 747 Pepin the Short found himself sole master of all the heritage of Clovis, but still with only the title of Mayor of the Palace. At last in 751 he decided to put an end to the fiction. He sent an embassy to the pope to consult him "on the subject of the kings then existing amongst the Franks, and who bore only the name of king without enjoying a title of royal authority." The pope, who had been already posted on the matter, answered that "it was better to give the title of king to him who exercised the sovereign power." Accordingly the next year in March, 752, "in the presence and with the assent of the general assembly" at Soissons, Pepin was proclaimed king of the Franks, and received from the hand of St. Boniface the sacred anointing. "A the head of the Franks, as Mayor of the Palace from 741, and as king from 752-768, Pepin had completed in France and extended in Italy the work which his father Charles Martel had begun and carried on from 714 to 741 in State and Church. He left France reunited in one and placed at the head of Christian Europe."  He died at the monastery of St. Denis, Sept. 18, 768.
20. Pepin, like his father, left his dominions to two sons, Charles and Carloman; but in 771 Carloman died, leaving Charles sole king, who, by his remarkable ability, became Charles the Great - Charlemagne. "The appellation of great has often been bestowed and sometimes deserved, but Charlemagne is the only prince in whose favor the title has been indissolubly blended with the name. . . . The dignity of his person, the length of his reign, the prosperity of his arms, the vigor of his government, and the reverence of distant nations, distinguish him from the royal crowd; and Europe dates a new era from his restoration of the Western Empire." 
21. It seems almost certain that Charlemagne really aspired to the restoration of the Roman Empire. But one life was too short, and there was no second Charlemagne. Besides this, the prophetic word was written that when once Rome was divided into its ten parts, they should not be made to cleave one to another any more than could iron and clay.
22. Charlemagne reigned forty-six years - 43 years from the death of Carloman - 33 years of which were spent in almost ceaseless wars. He conducted, in all, 53 expeditions - 31 against the Saxons, Frisons, Danes, Slavs, Bavarians, and the Avars in southern Germany, Bohemia, Noricum, and Pannonia; 5 against the Lombards, in Italy; 12 against the Saracens, in Spain, Corsica, and Sardinia; 2 against the Greeks; and 3 in Gaul itself against the Aquitanians and the Britons. Thus Saxony, Bohemia, Bavaria, Pannonia; the Lombard kingdom of Italy as far as the duchy of Beneventum; that part of Spain between the Pyrenees and the river Ebro; Burgundy, Alemannia, and all of Gaul, were subject to Charlemagne.
23. He already worde the iron crown of Lombardy, in addition to bearing the kingship of all the Frankish dominions; and on Christmas day, 800, in the church of St. Peter, Pope Leo III (816) placed a precious crown upon the head of this mighty king, while the great dome resounded with the acclamations of the people: "Long life and victory to Charles, the most pious Augustus, crowned by God the great and pacific emperor of the Romans." "And when in 801 an embassy arrived with curious presents from Harun-al-Rashid, the great caliph who held in the East the like position to that held by Charles in the West, men recognized it as a becoming testimony to the world-wide reputation of the Frankish monarchy." "For fourteen years, with less of fighting and more organization, Charles the Great proved that he was worthy of his high title and revived office of emperor of the West."
24. But this honor, this title, and this glory were short-lived, a mere 14 years. Charlemagne died at Aix-la Chapelle (i.e. Aachen), January 28, 814, and the unity of the empire which he had formed was at an end. "Like more than one great barbaric warrior, he admired the Roman Empire that had fallen, - its vastness all in one and its powerful organization under the had of a single master. He thought he could resuscitate it, durably, through the victory of a new people and a new faith, by the hand of Franks and Christians. With this view he labored to conquer, convert, and govern. He tried to be, at one and the same time, Caesar, Augustus and Constantine. And for a moment he appeared to have succeeded; but the absolute power of the emperor were buried in his grave." 
25. Charlemagne was succeeded by his only surviving son, Louis the Pious, or Easy, upon whom he had fixed the succession in 813, about six months before his death. Louis passed his life in a struggle with an ambitious second wife, and three undutiful sons, who by constant rebellions abused his natural gentleness and goodness. In the quarrels and jealousies of his sons he was twice deposed and twice restored; and perhaps only escaped a third disposition, by his death, June 20, 840. This set his sons free to wrangle among themselves, which they did till the fearful battle of Fontanet, June 25, 841; and the treaty of Verdun, August, 843, put an end to their mutual struggles and "to the griefs of the age." Lothair, the eldest son, retained the title of emperor; and received the Italian territory, with a long, narrow strip stretching from the Gulf of Lyons to the North Sea, bounded on the east by the Alps and the Rhine, and on the west by the Rhone, the Saone, the Meuse, and the Scheldi rivers. Charles the Bald had all the rest of Gaul. Louis the German received, Alemannia and all the rest of the German lands east of the Rhine (Rhein Flu▀), with the towns of Mainz, Worms, and Spires, on the western bank of the river.
26. This division, though counted as marking the real beginning of the history of France and Germany as separate kingdoms, continued but a short time. For the emperor Lothair died in 855, and was succeeded in his possessions to the north of Italy by Lothair II, who died in 869, when Charles the Bald seized upon his territory. But Louis the German disputed his seizure of the whole prize, and in 870 they signed the treaty of Mersen by which Louis became possessor of most of Lotharingia, or, as it was now called, Lorraine; Charles the Bald the rest of it; and Lothar's brother, Louis II died in 875, and Charles the Bald managed to secure the imperial crown, and aimed at the possession of the whole empire with it. But Louis the German, at his death in 876, had divided Germany among his three sons, - Carlman, Louis, and Charles, - the second of whom, Louis, met Charles the Bald on the field of Andernach (ca. lg 7.3, lt 7.26), and gained such a victory over him as not only to put an effectual damper upon his imperial aspirations, but to force him to give up the portions of Lorraine that had been ceded to his father by the treaty of Mersen/Meerssen (SE Holland). Carlman and Louis both soon died, and the German kingdom passed to Charles surnamed "the Fat," the youngest of the three sons of Louis the German.
27. Charles the Fat, incompetent, indolent, and gluttenous, became, without any effort of his own, sovereign of all the dominions of Charlemagne, except Burgundy, which now became again an independent state. Alemannia - Swabia (Schwaben) - he inherited from his father in 876; by the death of his brother Carlman, he received Bavaria, and became king of Italy, in 880; he was crowned emperor in 881; the death of his brother Louis of Saxony gave him all the rest of the Germanic possessions; and as Charles the Bald had died in 877, and had no successor who could relieve France from the scourge of the Northmen, Charles the Fat was invited to become the king of France, at the death of Carloman in 885. But instead of boldly meeting the Northmen with an army, he adopted the policy of buying off these bold savages who had plundered Cologne and Treves, and had fed their horses over the very grave and in the beautiful basilica of Charlemagne. And when they laid siege to Paris and Charles still pursued the same cowardly course, his distinguished subjects under the leadership of his nephew Arnulf, deposed him in 887, and in a week or two afterward he died. Charles the Fat was the last ruler who ever reigned over both France and Germany. After his deposition, the history of these two countries is distinct.
28. At the time of the deposition of Charles the Fat, France proper was already broken up into "twenty-nine provinces or fragments of provinces which had become petty states, the former governors of which, under the name of dukes, counts, marquises, and viscounts, were pretty nearly real sovereigns. Twenty-nine great fiefs, which have played a special part in French history, date back to this epoch."  This divided condition of things prevented any systematic defense of the land against the Norman invasions, which like wave after wave of a mighty tide flooded the land. After Charles the Fat had so signally failed them in their struggle against the Normans, the states of France chose from among themselves (one) to be central ruler and king, Eudes, count of Paris. Before Charles the Fat had come to Paris with his army only to buy off the Normans, Eudes had demonstrated his ability and valor, in the defense of Paris against the terrible siege pressed by the Normans led by Rolf; and he was now, AD 888, rewarded with the position and title of king.
29. The Northmen - Normas - were people of the far north: first of Scandinavia in general, later more especially of Norway. Their invasions of France began even in the time of Charlemagne. For when Charlemagne on day "arrived by mere happenstance and unexpectedly in a certain town of Narbonnese Gaul, whilst he was at dinner and was as yet unrecognized by any, some corsairs of the Northmen came to ply their piracies in the very port. When their vessels were described, they were supposed to be Jewish traders according to some, African according to others, and British in the opinions of others; but the gifted monarch, perceiving by the build and lightness of the craft, that they bore not merchandise, but foes, said to his own folks: `These vessels be not laden with merchandise, but manned with cruel foes.' At these words all the Franks, in rivalry one with another, ran to their ships, but uselessly; for the Northmen . . . feared lest all their fleet should be taken or destroyed in the port, and they avoided, by a flight of inconceivable rapidity, not only the glaives (??), but even the eyes, of those who were pursuing them.
30. "Pious Charles, however, a prey to well-grounded fear, rose up from the table, stationed himself at a window looking eastward, and there remained a long while, and his eyes were filled with tears. As none dared question him, this warlike prince explained to the grandees who were about his person, the cause of his movement and of his tears: `Know ye, my lieges, wherefore I weep so bitterly? Of a surety I fear not lest these fellows should succeed in injuring me by their miserable piracies; but it grieveth me deeply that, whilst I live, they should have been nigh to touching at this shore; and I am a prey to violent sorrow when I foresee what evils they will heap upon my descendants and their people.'"
31. "The forecast and the dejection of Charles were not unreasonable. It will be found that there is special mention made, in the Chronicles of the ninth and tenth centuries, of 47 incursions into France, of Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, and Irish pirates, all comprised under the name of Northmen; and, doubtless, many other incursions of less gravity have left no trace in history."  It was one of the greatest of these invasions, led by Rollo, or Rolf, that resulted in the raising of Eudes, count of Paris, to the kingship in 888. When questioned by a messenger of the Franks, as to their intentions, Rollo answered: "We be Danes; and all be equally masters amongst us. We be come to drive out the inhabitants of this land, and subject it as our own country." 
32. The contest between Eudes and Rollo was variable; but with the general gain in favor of the Normans. This because Rollo showed himself friendly to the people not found in arms, and treated gently those in the towns and country which he gained. Thus not only were the Franks kept from uniting solidly against the Normans, but some of the divisions were actually won to co-operation with them. In addition to this successful policy toward the people of France, Rollo held the lasting friendship of Alfred the Great, and his successor, Athelstane, of England. "He thus became, from day to day, more reputable as well as more formidable in France, insomuch that Eudes himself was obliged to have recourse, in dealing with him, to negotiations and presents." 
33. The provinces of southern France had not acknowledge Eudes as king. When he had quieted the Normans, Eudes ventured an attempt to compel the southern provinces to acknowledge him as king. Then the southern lords united with the disaffected parties in the northern provinces, held at Rheims in 893 "a great assembly," and elected as rival king, Charles the Simple. He placed himself under the protection of the Emperor Arnulf, of whose house he was; and Arnulf "formally invested him with the kingdom of France, and sent soldiers to assert his claims." In 898 Eudes died, and Charles the Simple was recognized sole king of France.
34. By this time, Rollo with his Normans had grown to be such a power in France "that the necessity of treating with him was clear. In 911 Charles, by advice of his councilors and, amongst them, of Robert, brother of the late king Eudes, who had himself become count of Paris and duke of France, sent to the chieftains of the Northmen Franco, archbishop of Rouen, with orders to offer him the cession of a considerable portion of Neistria and the hand of his young daughter Gisele, on condition that he become a Christian and acknowledge himself the king's vassal. Rollo, by the advice of his comrades, received these overtures with a good grace; and agreed to a truce for three months, during which they might treat about peace."  At the end of the three months the Normans had concluded to accept in general the king's offer. A day was fixed for the formal settlement of the terms of the proposed arrangement. Rollo insisted on receiving much more territory than King Charles had originally offered. This, with all other matters, was made satisfactory to him and his warriors; and then came the fulfillment of their part of the compact - their baptism, and Rollo's swearing fealty (fidelity) as vassal of the king. Rollo and his warriors were formally baptized, Rollo receiving the name of Robert; and duly receiving in marriage the king's daughter Gisele.
35. Then came the swearing of fealty. This was a ceremony which, in those times, was performed "Whenever there was a change either of the overlord or of the underlord. The duke, count, or whatever he was, knelt down before the overlord; and, holding his hands, swore to follow him in war, and to be true to him always. The overlord, in his turn, swore to aid him and be a true and good lord to him in return, and kissed his brow. In return, the underlord - vassal, as he was called - was to kiss the foot of his superior. This was paying homage. Kings thus paid homage and swore allegiance to the emperor; dukes or counts, to kings; lesser counts or barons, to dukes; and for the lands they owned they were bound to serve their lord in council and in war, and not to fight against him. Lands so held were called fiefs; and the whole was called the feudal system."  The ceremony passed off all smoothly enough until it came to the point where Rollo should kiss the king's foot. This Rollo omitted. The bishops told him that one "who received such a gift as the duchy of Normandy, was bound to kiss the king's foot." But Rollo bluntly answered: "Never will I bend the knee before the knees of any; and I will kiss the foot of none."
36. However, at the special request of the Franks. and rather than to make a breach in the compact, Rollo consented that the king's foot should be kissed; but only by one of his warriors, and so gave order to one standing by. The tall Northman, instead of kneeling and reverently performing the ceremony, simply stooped and seized the king's foot, and, standing "bolt upright," lifted it to his lips: with the result that the king, with his throne and all, was upset backward: "which caused great bursts of laughter and much disturbance amongst the throng. Then the king and all the grandees who were about him - prelates, abbots, dukes, and counts - swore, in the name of the Catholic faith, that they would protect the patrician Rollo in his life, his members, and his folk, and would guarantee to him the possession of the aforesaid land, to him and his descendants forever. After which the king, well satisfied, returned to his domain; and Rollo departed with Duke Robert for the town of Rouen." 
37. Thus arose the duchy of Normandy, whose dukes and people played such a large part in the history of the later Middle Ages. There "the history of Normandy began. Hrolf becomes Duke Robert, his people become Frenchmen. The duchy soon grew into a compact and orderly state, prosperous and vigorous; Norman towns and churches sprang up in all the arts of peace, in building, commerce, letters, the Normans forthwith so large a portion of the world's history, herein made (their) worthy mark on the soil and institutions of France.
38. "Soon after this time the French lords, headed by Robert, duke of France, the `king of the barons,' second son of Robert the Strong, rose against their Caroling king (Charles III the Simple, 922), and shut him up in Laon, the last stronghold of his family; thence he fled into Lorraine. On the death of Robert, the barons made Rodolf of Burgundy their king, and continued the strife; and Charles, falling into the hands of Hubert of Vermandois, was held by him as a hostage till his death in 929. Rodolf then became undisturbed king till he, too, died in 936. The barons under the guidance of Hugh `the White' or `the Great,' son of Robert, the greatest man of his age, sent over to England for Louis the son of Charles, who had been carried thither by his mother for safety. This is that `Louis d'Outremer' - `Louis from Over-sea' - who now became king. After showing unusual vigor in a struggle with Otto the Great of Germany (936-973), who claimed the kingship over France, he was recognized by all in 941.
39. "His reign could be nothing but the miserable record of a struggle against the great lords, Hugh the Great and Richard of Normandy. In this perpetual and wearisome strife he spent his latter days, and died, still a young man, in 954. He was the only man of energy among all the later Carolings. His son Lothair (Lothar) succeeded. His was a long and inglorious reign, ending in 986. His son Louis followed, ruling for a single year. He died childless in 987; and the only heir to the throne - if the feudal lords chose to recognize an hereditary claim - was his uncle, Charles, duke of Lorraine. The barons did not choose to be so tied. They set the Caroling prince aside, and elected Hugh, duke of France, to be king. He was afterward solemnly crowned at Rheims by Archbishop Adalberon. Thus did Hugh Capet, founder of a great dynasty, come to the throne. With him begins the true history of the kingdom of France: we have reached the epoch of his feudal monarchy." 
40. "Hugh Capet, eldest son of Hugh the Great, duke of France, was but a Neustrian noble when he was elected king. The house of the Carolings was entirely set aside, its claims and rights denied, by the new force now growing up, the force of feudalism. The head of the barons should be one of themselves; he should stand clear of the imperial ideas and ambitions which had ruled the conduct of his predecessors; he should be a Frenchman in speech and birth and thought, and not a German; but above all, he must be strong enough to hold his own. And among the great lords of northern France, the representative of the house of Robert the Strong held the most central position, and united in himself most elements of strength."  That the king should be strong enough to hold his own, was indeed the greatest need, if there were to be any king of France at all. We have seen that at the time of the deposition of Charles the Fat, exactly a hundred years before, France was broken up into 29 petty states. But at the time of the election of Hugh Capot, 987, the number of petty states had increased to 55. And the temper of their rulers is aptly indicated in the reply that one of them, Adalbert, count of Pergord, once made to Hugh Capet himself after he had been made king. In a tone of superiority, Hugh had asked: "Who made thee count?" Quick as a flash, Adalbert darted back the words: "Who made thee king?"
41. "It was a confederation of petty sovereigns, of petty depots, unequal amongst themselves, and having, one toward another, certain duties and rights; but invested in their own domains, over their personal and direct subjects, with arbitrary and absolute power. This is the essential element of the feudal system: therein it differs from every other aristocracy, every other form of government. There has been no scarcity, in this world, of aristocracies and despotisms. There have been peoples arbitrarily governed, nay, absolutely possessed, by a single man, by a college of priests, by a body of patricians. But none of these despotic governments was like the feudal system. . . .
42. "Liberty, equality, and tranquillity were all alike wanting, from the 10th to the 13th century, to the inhabitants of each lord's domains: their sovereign was at their very doors, and none of them was hidden from him or beyond the reach of his mighty arm. Of all tyrannies, the worst is that which can thus keep account of its subjects; and which sees from its seat, the limits of its empire. The caprices of the human will then show themselves in all their intolerable extravagance and, moreover, with irresistible promptness. It is then, too, that inequality of conditions makes itself more rudely felt: riches, might, independence, every advantage and every right present themselves every instant to the gaze of misery, weakness, and servitude. The inhabitants of fiefs could not find consolation in the bosom of tranquillity: incessantly mixed up in the quarrels of their lord, a prey to his neighbors' devastations, they led a life still more precarious and still more restless that that of the lords themselves, and they had to put up at one and the same time with the presence of war, privilege, and absolute power." 
43. Politically, feudalism might be defined as the system which made the owner of a piece of land, whether large or small, the sovereign of those who dwelt thereon: an annexation of personal to territorial authority more familiar to Eastern despotism than to the free races of primitive Europe. On this principle were founded, and by it are explained, feudal law and justice, feudal legislation, each tenant holding toward his lord the position which his own tenants held toward himself. And it is just because the relation was so uniform, the principle so comprehensive, the ruling class so firmly bound to its support, that feudalism has been able to lay upon society that grasp which the struggles of more than 20 generations have scarcely shaken off." 
44. From this point onward to the period of the Reformation, the history of France is so wrapped up in contentions with the papacy, with the Crusades, and with the "Hundred Years' War" with England, that it is necessary to treat it any further separately. The dynasty founded in the election of Hugh Capot continues even to-day, in certain claimants to the throne of France, if only that throne were restored.[End of this Book I.]
Notes & References
 The Franks were German tribes from the Rhineland, who migrated into France after the destruction of the Roman Empire to seize Gaul. At first they plundered Gaul at the end of the 4th century and weakened the owners of the land. It may be that the old city of Frankurt am Main is an echo of the origins of the Franks. The word `Frank' occurs in numerous geographical names.
 GDF, chap. xxxviii, par. 10. - Merovingian treasures of the Saint-Denis Basilica, northern Paris, includes the12th century Cathedral of St. Denis, the prototype of the Gothic style and for the Notre Dame at Chartres. Here some Frankish kings of the Merovingian Dynasty were buried, among them Queen Aregonde, the only complete Merovingian period (481-751 AD) sepulcher ever discovered in France. She, the sister of his wife Ingonde, was added to the house of the voluptuous Clotaire. Aregonde was the mother of Chilpric (born 539 AD), so his mother was born between 520-525 AD. Forensic examination concluded she died about at 45 years of age, between 565-570. See `Archaeology', Mar/Apr 2000, p. 54-55.
 In 1559 in Venice, Alphonsus Alvarez Guerrero, a Spanish civil and canon lawyer noted for his expertise (bene peritus) in antiquities of the church, and advisor to King Philip II of Spain in Naples Italy, published his Thesaurus Christianae Religiones (Treasure store of the Christian Religion), a detailed exposition of the powers, rights and duties of Christian authorities, civil and spiritual. He twice applied the title Vicarius Filii Dei to the Pope, asserting the authority of the Pope over the Holy Roman Emperor (Imperator Romanorum), a title granted by the Pope, at his discretion, to the German kings via a formal ceremonial crowning. The first such crowning of the German king Otto I by Pope Johannes XII in 962 was referred to as the `translatio imperii.' Based on that papal sanctioned transfer of power to the Germans, in 1202 claimed continuing authority to examine, anoint, consecrate and crown each German king as he saw fit, in the bull `Venerabilem fratrem nostrum' (Our brother worthy of respect). - - "Et post Deum Imperator Apostolicus hoc approbat, ut in ca. venerabilem. de electione. et ibi docto. Ex quibus apparet, qu˛d Imperator Romanorum est dominus seu protector universÓlis Christianorum. et vide Abba. in c. novit. de judi. qui dicit communem esse opinionem, qu˛d Imperium Ó Deo sit; et Ó papa immediate, qui est Vicarius filii Dei."
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