(and concerning) Manasses I, Archbishop of Reims, and Hugh, bishop of Die
and papal legate, to Pope Gregory VII (1077-1080)
Translated from the Latin by John S. Ott, Department of History,
Portland State University. Translations, introduction
and notes are (C) John S. Ott and may not be reproduced without permission,
but the notes and translations may be employed without the author's permission
for classroom use. Last revised 10 May 2016.
Manasses I of Gournay, archbishop of Reims from c. 1069-1080, was one of
the most powerful prelates in France during a time of acute transformation
and periodic crisis within the medieval church. Although initially installed
in his office with the full support of then-pope Alexander II (1061-1073)
and his archdeacon Hildebrand, the future Pope Gregory VII, Manasses's falling
out with, and eventual deposition by, Gregory in 1080 stands as one of the
more spectacular ecclesiastical downfalls of the late eleventh century.
If the reasons for Manasses' hasty promotion from near total obscurity to
high church office are relatively clear and boil down to his friendship with
Alexander and Hildebrand, his decline and fall are rather more complex and
go straight to the heart of a host of issues connected to Pope Gregory VII's
vision of the medieval church and his program for its reform. Gregory's correspondence
with (and about) Manasses of Reims is well known and widely available through
the editions and translations of his papal Registers.  Manasses's
correspondence with Gregory and his legate for France, Hugh of Die , while
available in editions of varying quality, is little studied by comparison.
This is a shame, not only because Manasses was a flamboyant and outspoken
prelate--and one not afraid of voicing his displeasure at his treatment
by Gregory's legate, Hugh--but because the archbishop's letters present his
understanding of the privileges and powers of the episcopal office at a time
when Gregory was insisting that bishops demonstrate, above all else, obedience
to St. Peter and to papal authority. The letters below thus display
Manasses's perspective on the compromises demanded of bishops in general,
and himself in particular, during Gregory's papacy. In them he expresses
dismay, hurt, and finally anger and defiance, at his treatment by his former
friend and presumptive ally, Gregory. He also marshals a variety of
legal and textual defenses on his own behalf, appealing to history, his metropolitan
privilege, church law, and his personal bond with the pope. In the end,
they availed him not: Gregory pronounced his official deposition on 27 December
1080. While Manasses clung to power for another nine months , he
seems to have departed Reims for good by April 1081 and to have never returned.
What became of him afterward is a mystery. He simply disappears from
the historical record. 
Endnotes to Introduction
 The edition of
Gregory's letters was realized by Erich Caspar, ed., Das Register Gregors
VII., 2 vols, MGH, Epistolae
selectae, 2 [hereafter abbreviated Reg., followed by the letter and its date]
(Berlin: Weidmann, 1955). There have been two English translations
of Gregory's letters, the first (and partial) by Ephraim Emerton, The Correspondence of Pope Gregory VII. Selected
Letters from the Registrum (New York: Columbia University Press, 1932),
the most recent (and complete) achieved by H. E. J. Cowdrey, The
Register of Pope Gregory VII, 1073-1085 (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
 Hugh was bishop of Die from 1074-1082, later archbishop of Lyon
from 1082-1109. He served as Pope Gregory's chief legate to France from
1075 on. Modern Die is a
sub-prefecture in the French département of Drôme, in the Alpine
foothills of southeastern France. In the Middle Ages it was a small county.
Hugh was a fairly severe and uncompromising man, as his letters with Manasses,
and Gregory VII's letter to Hugh himself, make clear. On Hugh's legation
to France and relationship with Gregory, see: Theodor Schieffer,
Die päpstlichen Legaten in Frankreich, vom Vertrage von Meersen
(870) bis zum Schisma von 1130 (Berlin: Dr Emil Ebering, 1935), pp. 92-101;
and Kriston R. Rennie, "Extending Gregory VII's 'Friendship Network': Social
Contacts in Late Eleventh-Century France", History. The Journal
of the Historical Association, 93 (2008), 475-96; along with Rennie's
Law and Practice in the Age of Reform: The Legatine Work of Hugh
of Die (1073-1106), Medieval Church Studies, 17 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2010).
 Manasses's last known act as archbishop of Reims was to consecrate
a church at Braux-sur-Meuse (near the modern French border with Belgium, in
Champagne-Ardenne) on 26 September 1081. For the charter, see H. Lacaille,
ed., Trésor des chartes du comté de Rethel,
vol. 1 (Monaco, 1902), p. 2. Others have dated this charter to 1080
in order to have it accord with Manasses's deposition in December 1080, but
I have seen no compelling reason to follow suit, especially since Manasses
was still acting in his capacity as archbishop (despite his deposition) as
late as May 1081.
 The archbishop's disappearance has led scholars to propose various
outcomes: that he left France to reside at the imperial court of Henry IV;
that he eventually left on pilgrimage for Jerusalem. There is no evidence
for either supposition. The likeliest explanation, and also the simplest,
is that he died. A manuscript narrating a long-lasting property dispute
between the abbeys of Saint-Remi and Saint-Nicaise of Reims, known as the
Libelli de discordia
inter monachos S. Remigii et S. Nicasii Remenses agitata tempore Pachalis
II papae (ed. Hermann Meinart;
Weimar: Hermann Böhlaus, 1931), composed in the 1110s, notes that he
died, perhaps clinging tenaciously to his see, and was succeeded in his office
by Archbishop Renaud (cc. 7-8, pp. 272-73).
The Letters (with other documents) of Archbishop
Manasses I of Reims, Hugh of Die, and Pope Gregory VII (1077-1080)
The letters below have been arranged chronologically. Translations of previously
untranslated letters by Manasses and Hugh appear here; Gregory's letters,
which are available in English translation elsewhere, have simply been noted
and briefly summarized. The editions of the letters from which the translations
have been made are noted at the closing of each translation, together with
the footnoted material. I should quickly add that the letters appearing
here by no means exhaust the correspondence between the pope and archbishop,
which began immediately upon Gregory's ascension to the papal see in 1073.
They do represent the complete extant correspondence from the last years
of Manasses's episcopacy, however, when his relationship with Gregory began
Hugh of Die to Pope Gregory VII (1077, after 10 September)
Hugh wrote this letter
after the synod he called at Autun, in Burgundy, in September 10. In
it, he gives Gregory an account of the synodal business transacted.
The archbishop of Reims had been summoned to the council at the pope's request
(Reg. 4.22, 12 May 1077), not to be tried for simony but to assist Hugh of Die in deciding a case concerning the
bishop of Cambrai, Gerard II (r. 1076/77-1092), who had, in the previous year,
been promoted into his office by King Henry IV of Germany. Manasses
did not go, but sent representatives, including one of his archdeacons, in
his place. His deposition by Hugh of Die, clearly encouraged by two high-ranking
clergy from Reims, namely the provost and schoolmaster of the cathedral,
seems to have caught Manasses by complete surprise.
TO THE MOST reverend father and lord Pope Gregory, from
his sanctity's least useful servant, Hugh, priest of Die, [sends] greetings.
We have learned that your [faithful man] R., to whom
we enjoined that he should relate to you faithfully, like your son, what
transpired at the council of Autun , at which he was present, has [in
fact] returned to Paris. Since he neither returned to us, nor wrote
to us anything about your condition, we request your paternity that you deign
to convey to us his sentence concerning the arrangement of the churches of
Reims, Bourges, and Chartres. Your paternity should also know that
the so-called bishop of Noyon , who was closely investigated by us under
the pressure of public examination, confessed his simony to us in the presence
of the bishops of Laon and Langres, along with certain others. He then
confirmed by oath upon the holy gospels that, having seen your letters and
by your legation, he had rightly resigned the church which he had wrongly
occupied, and swore that to the best of his knowledge and ability he was
legitimately ordained. However, the bishop of Senlis , having received
investiture by the king's hand, was ordained by that heresiarch of Reims
, whom you forbade by your letters from accepting into the episcopate
[a man] of this sort. The recently ordained bishop of Auxerre  did
not receive investiture by the king, although he sought his blessing through
the king's advisors. Moreover, concerning the archbishop of Sens ,
I hope you have adequately heard through the aforementioned R. what injury
and insult he inflicted on your authority during our legation. Nor
in saying this, God as my witness, am I seeking my own glory. And also
[the archbishop of] Bordeaux , although summoned the past year to the
council of Auvergne , neither came nor excused himself canonically, and
was suspended from his episcopal office at the same council. Whereupon
he, dismissing the interdict, usurped the office for himself. He was
called a second time to the council of Autun, but because he sent no explanation
to us, we suspended him from the priesthood.
Concerning all these things, we beseech you, write back
to our smallness what your greatness judges and what you would then like
to do. Furthermore, we earnestly request that you send to us by the
lord bishop of Valence the pallium  in order to confirm the ordination
of that most religious archbishop of Lyon  against the barking of heretics,
who are basely exulting about the king's indignation against God's ordination.
â€¦ Moreover, we commend to the grace of your sanctity our friend
in Christ Manasses, who at the Council of Clermont surrendered into our hands
the wickedly acquired provostship of the church of Reims. [We also commend]
that sincere defender of the Catholic faith and most honest schoolmaster of
the church of Reims, lord Bruno. Both men are worthy to be confirmed
by you and your authority in those things which are God's, since they were
considered worthy to suffer abuse in the name of Jesus. For that reason
you should consider them useful advisors in God's cause and allies in the
lands of France. The deposition of the heretic of Reims  [...] or
order him to be sent to us [...] and be sealed by the signature of your authority.[...]
since [they carried out?] an episcopal election [in spite of?] your excommunication,
without consulting us. Your son Tiezo  has now returned to you,
unless he was detained in order to call, or, God willing, celebrate the council
at Poitiers on the 13th of January. In this council, we humbly beseech
that the protection of your merits be with us. Pray for us, most holy
Notes to Letter A.
 This is probably the bishop of Langres,
Hugh-Rainard, concerning whom see below and Reg. 4.22.
 The council of Autun was held in September
1077 and presided over by Hugh of Die, with the bishop of Langres, Hugh-Rainard,
 Radbod II, bishop of Noyon-Tournai from
 Likely Ivo II, bishop of Senlis from 1077-1079/81.
Senlis and Noyon were both in the archdiocese of Reims
 Meaning Manasses I of Gournay, archbishop of Reims
 Robert of Nevers was bishop of Auxerre from 1076-1092. He was
the son of Count William I of Nevers, Auxerre, and Tonnerre.
Richer, archbishop of Sens from 1062-1096.
 Gozelin, archbishop of Bordeaux
 Held under Hugh of Die at Clermont in Auvergne
on 7 August 1076
 A strip of linen or lamb's wool signifying
the archiepiscopal office, conferred directly by the pope.
 Archbishop Gebuin of Lyon, who ruled from
 Manasses, the provost of the chapter of Sainte-Marie of Reims, and
future archbishop of that diocese (1096-1106), will emerge as the archbishop's
most strident opponent. At the Council of Autun, he ingratiated himself
with Hugh of Die in the clear hopes of gaining papal support in his campaign
against the archbishop. It is worth noting here that the provost had acquired
his office by simony, probably through the influence of his relative, Count
Ebalus (or Ebles) of Roucy, in 1076, only to surrender it into Hugh of Die's
hands in August of that year. Restored to office, the provost became
an implacable enemy of Archbishop Manasses.
 Bruno of Cologne was one of the leading schoolmasters of the eleventh
century, and was master of the school at Reims, where he may have been installed
as early as 1055. He became chancellor in 1075 or 1076, but was forced
from the position, presumably by the archbishop, in 1077 or 1078, when another
schoolmaster, Godfrey of Reims, assumed that important position. Bruno and
the provost Manasses worked assiduously for the archbishop's removal from
1077-1080. In return, the archbishop seized the possessions of both
men and effectively barred them from the city.
 Again, referring to Archbishop Manasses. His heresy is not named,
but appears to consist of his having ordained the bishop of Senlis, who had
been promoted to his bishopric by the King of France--and, thus, was considered
a simoniac. At this point, a series of lacunae in the edition obscure the
concluding passages of the letter.
 Tiezo or Teuzo was
a papal functionary often called upon to carry out Rome's business.
Source: Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima
Mansi, 35 vols.
(Florence and Venice: Zatta, 1759-98), 20:488-490.
Archbishop Manasses to Pope Gregory VII (1077, after
10 September, and before January 1078)
In this letter, Manasses protests to
Gregory his treatment at Autun, and gives the pope his explanation of events.
In particular, he denounces his high-handed treatment by Hugh of Die and,
most especially, the conduct of Hugh-Rainard, the bishop of Langres, who had
assisted Hugh at Autun and who had pretended to possess full legatine powers.
In fact, Hugh-Rainard seems to have been widely detested, as the clergy
of Cambrai, who wrote to their colleagues
at Reims at this same time, also disparaged him. No doubt complicating matters,
Hugh-Rainard happened to be a cousin of Manasses.
TO HIS REVEREND lord Gregory, pontiff of the holy and
apostolic Roman see, Manasses, by the Lord's grace archbishop of Reims, [offers] all due subjection and the compliance
of infinite servitude.
I am endeavoring to write to your majesty how, reverend
father, Lord Hugh of Die and his advisor and master, the bishop of Langres',
the slickest of all men found on earth, have dealt with me, the servant of
This year the aforementioned [bishop of] Langres arranged
to visit the cities and bishops of our province. There
he conducted himself so shamefully and, they say, so self-indulgently, that
songs about the lovers which he left behind in the places he had departed
are sung in our region by those like him. One
of them begins as follows; may I beg your indulgence, I am embarrassed to
mention things of this sort to your majesty:
came, beautiful and delicate
with smooth skin, like a girl. [1bis]
On learning of this I began to grow sad with dismay, not only because he
steadfastly asserted himself not to be some sort of legate, but rather the
advisor and master of your sanctity's legate [Hugh of Die], and also because
he was our relative.
When he perceived this, namely
that such infamy of his name was everywhere being spread in our parts, he
began to impute to me what others, God as my witness, were saying [about him],
and such a hatred boiled up in him for me that he said he would prefer to
die rather than that I should remain in my diocese.
He associated with himself every ally whom
he recognized to have or have had an issue or conflict with me.
He associated with, I say, He-Who-Ought-to-be-Eliminated,
the bishop of Laon , whose hatred remains foremost in his mind
 concerning the episcopacy which he lost in your dignity's presence and
I obtained through your paternity's intercession. 
He took up no less with Ebalus of Roucy, who daily does not cease
to depopulate our church with rapine, homicide, arson and various persecutions.
He even associated with, together with certain
leading men attached to our church, the provost of the same church, Manasses:
uneducated, the most vile sort of buffoon, a man lacking all authority, whom
even secular judgments, to say nothing of ecclesiastical, would not admitâ€”and
who even, I have no doubt, slept with his sister, a nun and abbess. 
All these men together with their supporters set
out for the council at Autun, conspiring against me.
Now, may your serenity hear by what means and how unjustly and absurdly
they dealt with me, the servant of your sublimity!, there.
It was asked by the bishop of Langres why the bishop of Reims
, who had been called to the council, was not
On hearing this our legates, namely
W., the lord archdeacon of Reims
with certain other leading clerics of our church , responded:
Our lord [Manasses], fearing
the ambushes of his enemies, from whom he has suffered the utmost persecution,
as you well know, was unable to be here. He was
anticipating, if the lord pope should boldly make the alpine crossing as he
had confided to him in his letter, that either our lord should go out to meet
him in German lands, or else the lord pope should come to him or send his
legates to him, as he had indicated. It was also
decided that you ought not to take his absence badly if two or three men
of the same diocese should be present at the council in the bishop's place,
since he had not been summoned for any fault or crime which had been imputed
to him. [Pope] Leo wrote to the bishop of Thessalonika
 concerning sending representatives in this way in clause 10: â€˜In
summoning your fellow bishops we wish you to be most moderate, and not seem
to revel in grave injuries to maintain the appearance of due diligence. Whence if any major conflict should arise, for which
it is rational and necessary to call a fraternal assembly, two bishops from
each province, which the metropolitans believe should be sent, should be
sufficient to come to your fraternity. And although,
terrified by the fear of death or being captured but fully assured of the
expectation of his legates and also of the decree of his predecessor Pope
Leo, he did not come at your summons although he was called, he commits his
magistracy into your hand, to whom he is subordinate after God; and even
if he had been commanded, as we said, on account of some wrongdoing or any
crime, but simply because he should be present here, we pray, and he prays,
that because he is not present here, you should not take it badly. Indeed if a plea or a display of either justice or
the law cannot be extended to us or to him, and, guided by some sort of prejudice
he wishes to harm him by cupidity or dislike, we call upon his behalf the
lord pope, who established him in the see of Reims; indeed we call that very
man who, shunning prejudice, saw fit to weigh truth and falsehood on the
scales of justice.
Then the lord Hugh of Die, having been induced to think
that [Manasses] was more vile than he, and moved by anger and shockingly
agitated beyond all measure by the bishop of Langres and his accomplices,
did not do what he ought, but what he pleased, and in a single moment carried
out what your majesty had put off for six years with the bishop of ChÃ¢lons:
he suspended, excommunicated, and carried out whatever the bishop [of Langres]
and his supporters wanted.  He utterly forgot
the decrees of Pope Leo, which he directed on behalf of the metropolitan
Atticus of Epyrus to the archbishop of Thessalonika in the following words:
I am greatly amazed, dearest
brother, but I am even more distressed, that you could be so violently and
cruelly angered against a man concerning whom you passed no greater a judgment
than that when summoned he deferred coming and offered the excuse of sickness. Especially since, if he had deserved [censure] of
this sort, you ought to have waited for whatever I would reply in writing
to your decision. And shortly after: 'But even if he
had done something serious and intolerable, our censure ought to have been
waited for, so that you would not first decide something until you were aware
of our judgment. Indeed, we entrusted our office
to your charity, so that you might act out of pastoral concern, not in the
fullness of power. Whence, while the many things which were done by you piously
make us very happy, so those deeds which were wrongly done deeply sadden us.'
Indeed, Leo the Great did not praise what his legate,
namely the archbishop of Thessalonika, did concerning Atticus the metropolitan
of Epyrus; [Pope] Nicholas did not praise what Rotoald and Zacharias did
concerning the patriarch Ignatius; and Pope Hilary condemned and counted
for nothing whatever he considered illicit or he found had been allowed by
his predecessors.  Moreover, I raise a complaint
with your paternity concerning the injury done to me by the bishops of Die
and of Langres on your sanctity's behalf. The
King of the Germans gave the bishopric of Cambrai to a certain cleric when
the [previous] bishop died.  When [this cleric] sought my blessing I
utterly refused, knowing that the king was bound by your anathema. The same man after our return went to the bishop
of Langres  and stayed with him for six months, and, as was reported
to me, promised him gifts. And then at the aforementioned
council the bishop of Die, at the bishop of Langres' urging, excommunicated
meâ€”the servant of your sanctityâ€”and without my knowledge
consecrated that same cleric whom I had rejected on your behalf. 
Whence, most reverend father, I request that the clemency
of your serenity uproot such fickleness and such pride, while we, who are
no Lombards! bend our necks to your power like a faithful man and servant,
and that you make us come into your presence ; and in the meantime,
until I should come to you, I request that you permit me to be free from
the most unheard-of excommunication in our time.
May your sanctity be well, most reverend father.
Notes to Letter B.
letter's editors have suggested it may have been ghost-written by Manasses's
new chancellor, Godfrey of Reims (Erdmann and Fickermann, eds., Briefsammlungen der Zeit Heinrichs IV., no. 107, p. 178 n.
[1bis] Compare Plautus, Casina 108:
'bella et tenella Casina'.
 A clever pun substituting
the Latin eliminandum for the bishop of Laon's name, Helinand.
 Manasses is referring here to Helinand of Laon's (1052-1096) attempt
to secure for himself the archiepiscopacy following the death of Gervais of
Chateau-du-Loir in July 1067. Manasses, the papal candidate, ultimately prevailed
of course, and Helinand seems to have borne considerable hostility toward
his rival as a result.
was count of Roucy (he died before 1103), a territory quite close to Reims. The Roucy clan was
a dominant force in local ecclesiastical politics.
was provost of the cathedral from c. 1075/76-1096, and later became archbishop
of Reims (1096-1106).
He was related to the Roucy clan and the son of the vicedominus of
Reims, a powerful local aristocrat. His sister,
Adela, was the abbess of Notre-Dame of Laon.
 This was Wido, or Guido, archdeacon of Reims from c. 1070-1081. He
was a consistent partisan of the archbishop and a member of his inner circle.
Leo I (440-461), Letter 14 (c. 10), to the bishop of Thessalonika, reproduced
in PL 54:674, trans. by Edmund Hunt, St. Leo the Great. Letters
(Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of American Press, 1957), 58-67.
VII had been seeking to bring the bishop of Châlons, Roger III (1066-1092)
to account for various misdoings since 1074 (and perhaps longer); indeed,
the pope had appealed to Manasses, who was Roger's clerical superior, to assist
him. Manasses had not acted with the alacrity
letters 91 and 94 of Pope Nicholas I (MGH Epp. 6:516-518 and 544-547); letter
12 of Pope Hilary.
was Gerard II, eventually bishop of Cambrai from 1077-1092, about whom the
canons of Cambrai wrote a letter of complaint.
 The same Hugh-Rainard, Manasses's bitter enemy.
 Manasses was unaware,
or feigning ignorance, of the fact that Gregory VII had absolved Gerard II
of Cambrai and sent him to Autun precisely to be consecrated by Hugh of Die.
 This somewhat gratuitous reference to "Lombards" indicates Manasses
was aware of the pope's troubles with the rebellious bishops of Lombardy,
especially the archbishops of Milan. A similar awareness of the vexing issues
surrounding the Pataria is evidenced in the letter of the clergy of Cambrai
to the clergy of Reims on the subject of clerical fornication.
Carl Erdmann and Norbert Fickermann, eds, Die Briefe der deutschen Kaiserzeit
, Briefsammlungen der Zeit Heinrichs IV
BÃ¶hlaus, 1950), no. 107, pp. 178-182
of Pope Gregory VII, overturning Hugh of Die's sentence against Manasses done
at Autun in September 1077 (Reg. 5.17, 9 March 1078)
Sometime before 15 January 1078, Hugh
of Die issued another summons to Manasses, that he should come to a second
legatine council to be held in Poitiers. Manasses ignored it, having already
appealed to Gregory directly by letter, a missive he followed up by traveling
to Rome in person to face the accusations being brought against him by Ebalus
of Roucy. In this memorandum of the decisions arrived at during the
papal Lenten synod (25 February-3 March 1078), Gregory overturned Hugh of
Die's pronouncements and restored Manasses to his office, on the condition
that the archbishop swear on the relics of St. Peter to attend all future
summonses, reply to any future charges before the papal legate, and faithfully
manage the lands and possessions of the church of Reims. This he seems to
have done, returning to northern France sometime in late May.
Archbishop Manasses to Pope Gregory (after 22 May 1078 [Pentecost] and before
During his absence in Rome, Manasses's
enemies seized the opportunity to move against him--or so he suggests in
this letter, in which he presents himself as Gregory's faithful servant. Gregory,
it seems, had used Manasses's submission to seek his military support on
behalf of Matilda of Tuscany, a papal ally. Manasses also seems to
have promised to return to Rome the following year (Easter 1079), though he
did not. In any case, he uses this letter to take the initiative against
Ebalus of Roucy, the provost Manasses, and the bishops of Laon and Soissons,
arguing (in a clearly frustrated tone) that his attempts to govern the church
according to his metropolitan rights had been severely undermined by their
activities and by the doings of Guermond, the archbishop of Vienne. He also
restates his willingness to attend any summons by a Roman legate--that is,
by a legate from the city of Rome--but not an 'ultramontane' legate: a clear
reference to Hugh, the bishop of Die.
TO THE SUPREME pontiff lord Gregory, his father and lord,
Manasses, by the grace of God archbishop of Reims,
[offers] faithful servitude, obedient subjection, and prayerful devotion.
At your request and by your intervention, my lord, I
relayed to the lady marquess M[atilda of Tuscany] everything which her predecessor
had believed about me; and to defend her I promise and faithfully promised
my counsel and aid, which she accepted.  On
the matter of opposing G[odfrey of Bouillon] and receiving Count A[rnulf of
Chiny], I am prepared to carry out whatever she asks.
To confirm all these things, during the holy days of Pentecost I was
with our brother and your faithful bishop Thierry at his city of Verdun, having
put off all my pressing business for her sake during that sacrosanct time.
 But I, ever your faithful man and among all
churches prepared to obey your law, urgently seek your counsel and ask you
to carry out judgment concerning the archbishop of Vienne, Guermond, who
degraded priests in my archdiocese, and then again restored them to office. Although he did not insinuate that he was a Roman
legate, when he had filled his purses, not in the name of truth, but in imitation
of those who, as the Apostle said, "place value on pious words" , he left
my diocese and returned home. For that reason,
and for the honor of God and the Roman church, correct as is fitting this
sort of presumption and pretense, so that no one henceforward shall be so
presumptuous in another's place. I also bring
to your attention that while I was in Rome,
two of my suffragan bishops, of Laon and Soissons,
consecrated a third, of Amiens,
in my archdiocese and without my knowledge. [This
happened] against your foremost decree, by which you had stated that no archbishop
should consecrate a bishop who had received the gift of an episcopate from
a layperson. And especially since those very same
men had been present at the council of Autun , where Hugh the lord bishop
of Die promulgated and stated before everyone that this was your ecclesiastical
decree. This was thus done, apart from what we
already said, against authority and the canons, and was considered, if you
please, invalid and unprecedented, and indeed to all sane people incredible
or, it might be better said, unbelievable. But
because as you know the consecration of bishops cannot be lawfully carried
out by any fellow bishops without the metropolitan, I wish you to be prevailed
upon and entreated so that you may with the zeal of justice correct for our
honor, your honor, and the honor of God such heedless confusion of the ecclesiastical
hierarchy; so that each and every person shall know to remain in his rank
and station, and not heedlessly arrogate to themselves things that are foreign
to them. I beseech the benevolence of your honor
that you deign to reserve for me the dignity which your predecessors reserved
for my archiepiscopal predecessors, along with the privileges and other writings
they left for the memory of later generations. May
the privilege which you granted to me not be rendered void or broken, namely
that when called I shall respond to you and to your Roman legates, but not
when called by those ultramontanes, who, attaching themselves to the Romans,
look after themselves, not the things of Jesus Christ, and who use their good
names to act on behalf of their own cupidity, not for the church of God.
Whence, on account of shameful censures and summons
of this sort, it is appropriate for you to deal with me, who should be the
one to convoke the bishops of all Gaul,
without calling on the legates, until I should come to you at Easter, God
willing. Moreover, I wish to beseech you and
forewarn you strongly that since, during my recent absence while I resided
with you [at Rome], many depraved and uncalled for things were done in the
regions of my diocese, I cannot disregard but indeed shall appeal to your
oversight for ecclesiastical correction of these matters.
Concerning Count Ebalus [of Roucy], who was accusing
me in your presence and was commending himself and his faith to you with
honeyed words, you have to judge whether the sincerity of his faith toward
you is real: whether my [faith]â€”I, who am prepared to obey you and
God in all thingsâ€”or his [faith]â€”he, who attacks the church
of blessed Peter, and in our region persecuted blessed Mary by receiving
Manasses and his followers in his castle. Manasses--concerning
whom we spoke, and whom we consented, by your command, would be welcomed among
us if he should return to his mother church--burdened by an awareness of
his wickedness, neither wished to return to us nor to live in harmony with
the peace of the church, but instead, along with his henchmen, does not cease
to wound me and the church with words and curses, because he cannot do it
outright with deeds. Whence, I shall remain silent
about the same Ebalus, in whom I believe you have executed a just and apostolic
sentence, so that I earnestly beseech your majesty concerning Manasses, that
you either command him to return to his lands and no longer assault the church,
or that you direct the punishment of apostolic force against him, his patrons,
and his accomplices. We have even deigned to
write a pointed letter to their protectors, [stating] that they should either
cease sheltering [Manasses and his men] against church law, or find themselves
stricken with a similar judgment. If any sort
of accusation on this account should find its way to you, you should neither
quickly jump to conclusions, nor be aggravated toward me; but deal with it
in our presence before you, because in no way do I want to exceed the bounds
of authority. Indeed, those men make themselves
out to be your legates; but it is more just that I (through you) ought to
deal with those things which belong to our providence, rather than any foreigners.
Finally, I must report this to you, because lord bishop
Hugh of Die suspended our bishop Drogo from the see of ThÃ©rouanne. He is so elderly, that although he was for a
long time a priest before becoming bishop, he has now held the rank of bishop
for a period of more than 60 [sic] years, and nears death with every passing
day. For that reason we wish earnestly to implore
you that we deigned to restore him by your command to his office so that
he would not die in a state of excommunication, which we were greatly afraid
of. Concerning that which you asked of me, namely
that for the protection of the bishop of Paris, I should send some knights
to you, I want you to know that I had every intention of sending them; but
Fulco the count of Arlon, then returning from Rome, intimated this to me
on your behalf, since you had repeatedly importuned me about sending the
knights. Likewise that in our region I should
zealously and decisively help the lady marquess M[atilda].
In this matter therefore, your messenger having arrived, the passage
of the aforesaid expedition has continued on from our region [to Matilda].
May your saintliness
be well, most reverend father.
Notes to Letter
 Matilda, marquess/countess of Tuscany (1076-1115)
was one of Gregory's most important allies in northern Italy. Her "predecessor"
here likely refers to her mother, Beatrice, who had recently died (in 1076).
 This is of course the same Godfrey of Bouillon made famous during the
First Crusade (d. 1100). Arnulf was count of Chiny (before 1066-1106), in
the southeastern corner of modern Belgium.
was bishop of Verdun, a neighboring diocese
to Reims, from 1047-1089.
Pentecost in 1078 fell on May 22.
 Guermond had been
promoted to the archbishopric of Vienne just
the year before, in 1077. Guermond's activities in the diocese of Reims, where
he enjoyed no formal jurisdiction, greatly aggravated Manasses.
 1 Tim. 6:5.
 Manasses had in
his previous letter to Gregory identified bishops Helinand of Laon (1052-1098)
and Thibaud of Soissons (1072-1080) as personal enemies. The bishop of Amiens
was Raoul, who had been acting in that capacity as bishop-elect since at least
February 1076, but had not been, it seems, consecrated by Manasses.
 In September 1077.
 Manasses is speaking
of the Roman church and Sainte-Marie, the cathedral church of Reims.
 This letter is lost.
 Drogo was bishop
of Thérouanne from 1030 until 21 August 1078. In fact he was bishop
for close to fifty years, not sixty.
 Arlon is located
in the southeastern corner of modern Belgium,
along its border with Luxembourg.
Source: Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, ed. Joannes Dominicus Mansi, 35 vols.
(Florence and Venice: Zatta, 1759-98), 20:486-88.
E. Letters of Gregory VII to Archbishop
Manasses (Reg. 6.2) and to Hugh of Die and Hugh, Abbot of Cluny (Reg. 6.3)
(22 August 1078)
In his letter of
22 August to Manasses, Gregory acknowledges Manasses's charges against Ebalus,
et al., and promises that his complaints shall have a fair hearing before
his legate Hugh of Die and Hugh, the abbot of Cluny (1049-1109). (The
pope's letter to the two Hughs follows up on this and urges them to hold a
hearing.) Gregory pointedly rebuffs Manasses's assertion that he may only
be judged by a Roman legate, however, and cites legal precedents defending
the jurisdictional powers of his ultramontate legates.
F. Letter of
Gregory VII to Hugh of Die (Epistolae vagantes,
no. 30, pp. 77-81, ed. and trans. H. E. J. Cowdrey) (1079, April-May)
In order to resolve
once and for all the controversy between the archbishop of Reims and the provost
Manasses--to whose grievances Bruno of Cologne had added his own pleas concerning
the seizure of his possessions at Reims--Hugh of Die called a council at
Troyes, east of Paris, where he was to be joined by Abbot Hugh of Cluny (see
also Letter H, below). This time, the archbishop and several of his
senior clergy heeded the summons, and traveled to Troyes, perhaps in March
or April of 1079. The council never convened, however, in large part
because the archbishop's accusers feared to go. Manasses, as he says
in Letter H., carried out the part of the council's business that pertained
to him, and returned to Reims. In the meantime, word of Manasses's rough
treatment of his clergy--chiefly the provost and his allies--had filtered
back to Italy (turpis de eo fama,
or "a scandalous report concerning him," in the Latin), and reached Gregory's
ears. At this point, Gregory wanted absolute assurances that Manasses's conduct
was on the up and up, and he told Hugh of Die to again summon the archbishop
along with six other bishops who would vouch for him. Hugh repeats this condition
in the next letter.
G. Letter of
Hugh of Die to Archbishop Manasses (1079, late, perhaps October or early November)
In this letter, the
first of two summons he issued, Hugh of Die executes Gregory's wishes, and
pointedly identifies that one of the accusations against the archbishop is
simony--not, it seems, concerning his own office, but in his handling of other
clerical offices. Hugh may be here referring back to Manasses's ordination
of the bishop of Senlis in 1077 (an accusation raised at Autun), or he may
mean, as I think likely, claims by Bruno of Cologne and the provost Manasses
that he had promoted his favorites into clerical positions within the episcopal
court and chapter. Either way, the archbishop's opponents had refused to let
the matter drop.
HUGH, BISHOP OF DIE and legate of the Apostolic See,
to Manasses archbishop of Reims, that he might not crave lofty things but
consent to what is humble.
Granted that we know ourselves to be sometimes located
in the ranks, and sometimes in the spotlight, so that, following the saying
of the apostle, our presence should daily be the concern of all churches ;
nevertheless, the care of things chiefly falls to us with greater vigilance,
and a legation for their benefit was enjoined specifically upon our smallness
by apostolic authority. Hence, we desire the holy and venerable church of
Reims, which we accept as being of greater reverence and greater religion
than the others of our legation, and which we love with a more ready disposition,
to be well advised in all things, receiving what is owed to it by our office. We, having heard of its grave desolation and wretched persecution,
grievously lamented, and have desired along with other tireless men to rescue
it from its foundering to the fullest extent possible.
For, as was made known to us by certain truthful men,
and broadcast not only throughout Gallia but also through nearly all of Italy,
you undertake hardly any pastoral care of the flock entrusted to you, but
shamelessly glory in playing the soldier rather than living canonically,
contending the greater gift is to enjoy the presence of any kind of military
man rather than keeping company with those who live religiously. Even if
nothing should happen to the flock under you from your indecent habits, but
it happens that you alone rush headlong into danger, mother church will nevertheless
deservedly groan, for although she is deprived of not a small part of her
body, the remainder of her sons nevertheless may restore her desolation by
a more fitting comfort, when she sees that she is unharmed and, as we said,
to have endured no loss from you. But now rumor
has surfaced that your tyranny is such that in the church of Reims
it is permitted to no one to fight for the Lord; to no one to strive after
what is good; and to no one to live canonically. Instead
if anyone, preferring the Lord to man, removes himself from your society,
if anyone wishes to embrace what is honest, virtuous, or truly religious,
having ventured this he is declared a perjuror and sower of discord, and is
judged a detractor, hypocrite, and traitor by you and your accomplices.
Whence it happened that certain brothers of the church of Reims having a saner and more considered
disposition, sent themselves into a sort of exile rather than be tainted
by living with you or oppressed by your dominion. And they, having frequently
and repeatedly addressed the lord pope, complained about your fanaticism
numerous times, accusing you of many things and especially of the simoniac
heresy. Indeed because our office as legate enjoins
that the integrity of the lord's ship should not be undone, and that we set
the oars of justice against tumultuous waves if we have the means to do so,
and to lay anchor in the port of tranquility, we have determined that a location
should be set for resolving the case between you and your accusers, so that,
with both sides having had their say in this matter of such enormous discord,
a settlement might be imposed and the city of Reims, restored to its pristine
liberty, might endure and rejoice.
mandate to you and we command by apostolic authority that, putting aside
all objections concerning the unsuitability of the timing, and representing
yourself at the council at Lyon , you
respond to Manasses [the provost] and his companions, and because it is fair
that you will carry out what the synod decrees without prejudice. Moreover you know that we have selected Lyon because
of the suitability of the place, and because the aforesaid clergy who did
not dare to come to Troyes
do not fear to go there as we have arranged. You
shall come. You shall come, I say, with six bishops who are
not tainted by infamy, so that by the presentation of their evidence the accusation
of your adversaries shall either be confirmed, or it baselessness proved. Farewell.
Notes to Letter G.
 Rom. 12:16.
 2 Cor. 11:28.
 From Hugh's point
of view a necessary condition given that Manasses had sent others to represent
him in the past.
Herzog August Bibliothek Ms. 27.9 Aug. 2, fol. 251r-v. The relevant folios
have been edited by: Martina Hartmann, Humanismus
und Kirchenkritik: Matthias Flacius Illyricus als Erforscher des Mittelalters,
Beiträge zur Geschichte und Quellenkunde des Mittelalters, vol. 19 (Stuttgart:
Thorbecke, 2001), pp. 273-74
Letter of Archbishop Manasses to Hugh of Die (1079, November or December,
and in any case before 3 January 1080)
This is the final letter by Archbishop
Manasses to either Hugh of Die or Gregory VII that has been preserved. In
it, Manasses mounts a defense of his position, and his reasons for refusing
Hugh's summons to the council called for Lyon in early 1080. The letter is
long and, in Manasses's desire to spell out his position as thoroughly as
possible, somewhat repetitive. He seems to be unaware that the requirement
that he produce six bishops to vouch for his conduct was not a contrivance
of Hugh of Die, but a condition established by Gregory himself. [NB: The translation below is not yet
TO LORD HUGH, bishop of Die, Manasses, archbishop of
Reims [sends] greetings.
You urged me to hasten to you at the council of Lyon. Concerning this,
I consider it fitting to let you and the entire council know via letter why
I shall not come, so that by chance there shall be no one, either privately
or publicly, who can legitimately fault us in this matter. For indeed, it has been noted not only throughout
nearly all the Gauls, but even in Italy and Rome, how two years before in
the same province matters were violently and unjustly conducted against us
by you and certain others. So I went to Rome, afflicted by
force and prejudice, and there concerning this matter I appealed to Roman
and apostolic judgment. Because you were not
present, I remained in the same region by the order of the Apostolic lord
[the pope], and waited for your arrival for nearly eleven weeks. And when you did not come, nevertheless in the presence
of the Apostolic lord and general council, the dispute between us and those
whom you had directed to be present in your place was aired, and what we
had endured from their accusation and in our defense, and ought not to stand
unresolved, was judged and corrected. Then I
declared to the Apostolic lord in everyone's presence that, if I should wish,
I would no longer put myself in your hands in ecclesiastical judgments; and
since I ought not to be subject to you beyond the law, I laid out my just
reasons in the hearing of the same Roman assembly. With
the same lord Apostolic subsequently inquiring, and with me choosing in reply
the abbot of Cluny, it was stated that in
Gallic councils, as we've already said, your judgment shall suffice for the
affairs of others, but only the abbot of Cluny shall pass judgment on us. Then the
same Apostolic lord established that I should make a solemn promise to him
of the following sort, namely that if I should be called to a council in
the regions of Gaul either by a messenger or by letters from the apostolic
see, I should not fail to come unless I had been hindered by a lawful excuse;
and he added this, that if [the vow] should be contradicted, I might not
go altogether. For that reason when a council
was recently called by you at Troyes, in which summons the name of the abbot
of Cluny was likewise inserted, I hastened there with all of my abbots and
clergy and beneficed men of my church ; because, as I said above, I discerned
no mention from the lord Apostolic of an order contradictory to the aforementioned
I understood that the abbot of Cluny, who ought to judge me, would be there;
and because in your [subsequent] cancellation [of the council] I found that
you had faced no obstacle which made it impossible; nor had I received letters
such as there had been in the councils [previously] countermanded by you
or by the abbot of Cluny. Hence, hastening there, as I said,
although you did not come, I carried out the part of this same council which
pertained to me and thus freed myself of the aforesaid vow according to the
consequence of the agreement. For that reason
we will not come to this council at Lyon,
because we have not one, but many canonical excuses why we should not.
First, because in the summons I have heard no mention
of the lord abbot of Cluny,
who, by the command of the Apostolic lord, ought to adjudicate. Second, because it is not being held in these regions
of Gaul, where we were ordered to submit
to its judgments, as we will explain in what follows.
Third, because the region lying between us and Lyon is in complete
tumult from the tempests of war owing to the capture of the count of Nevers,
the bishop of Auxerre, and their soldiers, with the result that safe passage
across it is granted to no one from the kingdom of the Franks. For when those same two men may be seized and held
captive in a dungeon on account of our lord king of France, we expect that we will
be captured and imprisoned by the men of this province on account of the king,
because we are the kingâ€™s bishops. And
for that reason, according to the law of Justinian in the second book of the
Code, we have a legitimate excuse when we fear in going danger to our health
and bodily pain. Moreover, when we became aware
that this council would be celebrated in this same province and by these
very men, where and by whom in this other council we were dealt with violently
and inhumanely, and so unfairly, that we saw all of it overturned at Rome,
and on account of which matter we were released from their hands in the general
Roman council, with the consequence that in the end we had neither to submit
to their judgment nor to their laying hands on us. In
all these matters we are fully supported by the sacred authorities, since
if we are afraid of the force of multiple hazards, we ought to select a place
[for the council] that is closer to us, in which it would not be as difficult
to bring forth witnesses and to conclude the case. We
are referring to those things as the â€˜force of multiple hazardsâ€™
similar to what was done against us violently and heedlessly by those men
in the same province but in the other council, which was not upheld by Rome, but rather overturned. The chosen place [for the upcoming council] is neither
near to us, nor would it be easy to produce witnesses, because by road it
lies nearly fifteen days from us.
Indeed, because we have received from you two completely
different summons to a single council within three weeks, we will first
deal with the first [summons], then with the second.
In the first you said that we should come to the council to respond
to our accusers, namely Manasses and his companion.
And I am telling you that I, and Manasses on behalf of all of his
companions save two, have made peace. One of
them, namely Bruno, is neither our cleric nor was born nor baptized here,
but is a canon of St. Cunibert of Cologne in the German Empire. We have not really sought out his friendship,
since we are completely ignorant about his life and legal status, and because,
when he was with us, having gathered to himself multiple benefits from us,
we were treated poorly and worse. As for
the other, namely Pontius, he was disproved at the Roman council in our presence. For that reason we neither wish to respond to one
or the other in ecclesiastical judgment, nor ought we to.
Moreover, you said that you had chosen Lyon because of the suitableness
of the place, for the reason that the aforesaid clerics, who did not dare
to come to Troyes, were not afraid to go [to
Lyon]. And we
argued against this, because we are far more afraid to go to Lyon than those
men were to go to Troyes, and because given how much greater and wealthier
we are than those men, how much more likely and quickly we would be seized
and still worse utterly fleeced in return for our freedom by some random
tyrant. For we seem to be, from an abundance of iniquity, caught up in a
new custom, such that day by day we lament bishops who have been seized and
thrust in prison, just like we saw happen to the bishop of Auxerre, of whom
we spoke above; just like the bishop of Liège, whom we know was seized
during Christmas Eve vigils; and just as, as you yourself know, the lord
Apostolic was dragged from the altar on Christmas night, and right in the
middle of the Mass, by the greatest of wickedness. Hence it is commonly
said, we chastise more lightly the danger done to others than that done to
ourselves. It appears to one and all that Lyon is in no way a suitable place
for us; it appears that no journey there is without danger; and for that
reason, according to the sentence of the aforementioned Roman legation, and
on account of the offense recently inflicted on us in that province, we have
a legitimate excuse [to ignore the summons] in this matter.
Concerning the second summons consequently we say this:
because you said that, even if the accusers should not be present, I should
come to the council prepared to expurgate myself, together with six bishops
whose life was not tainted by infamy. And let us by contrast respond that,
if my accusers are not present, we should not respond to anyone
concerning this. Even if they were there, we pronounce that we ought to
respond only if they confirm in person that they saw or heard these things. And this was established by the sacred authorities,
and was commended to us by the lord Apostolic in the previously mentioned
Roman council, under this same condition. Moreover
we have honorable witnesses in this matter who were present, and we shall
undertake to prove this through them. Moreover,
we are expecting no accusation from the aforesaid Manasses and his friends,
because they themselvesâ€”unless perhaps they returned [like dogs] to
their vomit  for the occasion of this councilâ€”made a peace-pact
with us, excepting for the two of them, as I said, Bruno and Pons, to whom,
by the preceding rationale, I neither wish nor I ought to respond. And if any one of them among those whom we said was
in agreement with Manassesâ€™ legation, broke the peace and subsequently
travelled there, and wish to say whatever they want against us, they should
not be received; because neither my supporters nor my canons will have enough
time to get there so that they can provide testimony concerning my lifestyle.
Moreover, because you commanded us to appear there with
six bishops, you put us in an incredibly tight spot given the time, as a
mere twenty days may be counted from the day when your letters were sent
to me until the day when, if we were to go there, we should depart [in order
to make it on time]. Indeed, in the sacred authorities
it is established that if any cleric of an inferior order, much less a bishop,
should be accused of any sort of crime, he ought to have either an entire
year, or half a year, or a year-and-a-half grace period in which he may prepare
and look out for himself in the time provided. You, however, having set aside
both a longer or shorter grace period, require this of us in the span of a
mere twenty daysâ€”and when our dioceses are not, as they are around
Rome and in other regions, located within seven or ten miles. Indeed, several
of ours are separated from one another by forty, or fifty, even sixty miles
or more! Forget a year-and-a-half, which is the
legitimate grace period given by sacred authority to those who are accused
of any sort of crime: how shall we manage to round up, in twenty days, six
bishops of our realm, and especially six who are not tainted by infamy,
when in the span of all those days one can scarcely manage to walk from one
bishopric to the other?
Now, about those bishops whose life has not been tainted
by infamy, what shall we say, when we know that our lord Jesus Christ was
called a glutton and a drinker of wine, and a friend of tax collectors and
sinners, and of the possessed? Who, I say, was so holy, and so perfect,
that he should not be seized from time to time by rumor of some sort of notoriety? We are unable to conceive by what standard of sanctity
of this kind we might be able to round up six bishops, unless it should happen
that the holy fathers Remigius, Martin, Julian, Germanus, Hilarius, and Dionysius
should rise up from their tombs. If the admonition had been just
and if it had required us to join with six bishops of this sort who reside
in these parts, it still would have been utterly impossible to assemble them
in so brief a time. And what shall we say of the impossibility by which
we are ordered to seek out only those untouched by any blemish of infamy?
Assuredly we said and we confirm that this summons of yours, which requires
so much of us, lends itself to a canonical excuse on account of its impossibility.
For the aforesaid summons heaps upon us not only what is impossible, but also
what is unbelievable. In the first place, in the total absence of accusors,
it requires that we bring forth six bishops, who are not tainted by infamy.
But even if, in the total absence of accusors, we sought merely to bring
along six clerics, that would be
unheard of. But six bishops? That is truly incredible. And six
bishops such as have not been tainted by infamy, and that you should have
put us up to this without there being accusors, as you've done--this has
never been heard of in the history of the world.
Indeed, you said that our infamy had reached Gaul and
Italy, and on account of this, I ought to appear in order to purge myself
along with six bishops not stained by infamy. To this we wholly replied
that our accusors, and those who have dealt with us blindly--that these very
men have wished to fill up Gaul and Italy with an infamy unjustly attributed
to us. But we, going to Rome and utterly destroying what had been so
heedlessly done, emptied Gaul and Italy of infamy, and utterly cancelling
out whatever lies had been spread by them, we, God willing, made certain that
this infamy had neither been true nor could be truthfully said.
Because, I say, you said that even if my accusors were wanting, I ought to
expurgate myself with so many witnesses, and of such quality, tracked down
in such a short span of time--why should I, even if the rumors were true (which
they most certainly are not), do this when the accusors are absent?
Do we not teach in the canons and decrees that no criminal case among bishops
and clergy ought to be decided without legitimate accusors? What shall we
do about that decree of the holy pope and martyr Evaristus , "Let wicked
reports stir no one up, nor anyone believe anything without absolute proof"?
What? The Lord knew Judas was a thief, and yet because he was not accused
he was not thrown out, but remained among the apostles. For the blessed
pope Eutychianus  said on the subject of not commuting the authority of
the holy fathers,"We forbid that any causes shall be heard by ecclesiastical
judges, which are not covered by the law, or which are known to be forbidden."
And there is another reason for being excused, namely
that, even if it had been just for the testimony of six bishops to be brought
forth in so short a span of time, and you were to have asked this of other
archbishops or bishops, you neverthless ought not to have asked it of me,
namely for the reason that many from among our suffragan bishops at that time,
both willing and unwilling, were participants in that violence which was
done against us while, as we said, we were weakened by illness in Rome. .
But now that we have said enough about these things for
the time being, it is fitting that we should return to the promise which we
said above that we had made to the lord Apostolic. The substance of it was
that I should go to a council in the regions of Gaul called either by a nuncio
or by the letters of the Apostolic See, unless I were hindered from going
by a canonical excuse, and that in these regions I should not hinder an apostolic
council from being held. When "in the regions of Gaul" was said, no one ought
to consider that this meant "anywhere beyond the Alps." You can figure
this out easily enough, because when "not hindering councils in the regions
of Gaul" was inquired into, "except in those regions in which we are able
to be of help or hindrance" was not said. Where, moreover, do you think that
we can offer aid or hindrance, unless in the kingdom of the Franks? How
can we possibly create a disturbance, either at Lyon or anywhere outside
the kingdom of the Franks, where no recognition or reverence for our king
or ourselves flourishes? For that reason, if you wanted to, you would see
easily enough that "in those regions of the Gauls" without a doubt meant
"where the kingdom of France is located."
And indeed, we promised to come to the council unless
prevented by a canonical excuse; we said this just above because we have not
one, but many canonical excuses. Let us review. [Manasses restates all the
canonical objections he has just raised.]
For the rest, we want you to know that if anyone, speaking
fallaciously, wishes to refute any of these indictments, you will know for
certain that we admit and hold to those that are of established authority
and cannot be questioned. However much we will canonically excuse ourselves
before you, as if we were debtors in your servitude, we are able to show by
clear reason; but even if no other canonical excuses were open to us, we
should still by no means set out to your hearing.
We beseech you before this council with charity and humility,
and if you wish to listen we will give useful counsel, namely that you should
not hold the scales of judgment against us, and striving to surpass both
measure and reason you have strived to impose upon us a weight which neither
we, nor our fathers, were accustomed to bear. It would be better if,
acting mildly and not flaunting justice, you win throughout France the advantage
and honor of the Roman church, rather than, by antagonizing France, you hinder
its justice and subjection to the Roman church. Because if you are
disposed to continue in your stubbornness--as we conveyed to the lord pope
in these very words--and wish to suspend or excommunicate us by your will
alone, the path we should follow was shown to us and the model to which we
should be molded is placed before us. I should follow the words of
the blessed Gregory, who says, "Often, in binding and loosing his subordinates,
the pastor follows the motions of his will and not the merits of the case."
. . . Likewise the blessed Augustine said in his book on the words of the
Lord: "See whether you bind your brother justly or unjustly, since unjust
chains are burst by justice." Moreover I assert that if you excommunicate
me, the privilege of Peter and of the lord pope, that is, the power of binding
and loosing, will fail. Whence Leo the Great in the sermon  on
his anniversary said the following: "The privilege of Peter resides wherever
justice is borne from his equity." From these words we may freely infer that
the privilege of Peter does not
reside anywhere a judgment is not borne by his equity.
Notes to Letter H.
is referring to the September 1077 council of Autun.
Lenten council held in Rome
in April 1078.
 Called by Hugh of Die, but not formally convened, in spring 1079.
 Here Manasses is being disingenuous. Though Hugh had called off
the council of Troyes and did not go, because the form
of his cancellation did not resemble
the form of earlier such cancelled councils, Manasses went to Troyes anyway,
on what was a rather pointless display of obedience to the letter of the law.
bishop of Auxerre was Robert of Nevers (1076-1092), brother of the count
 This is of course Bruno, the schoolmaster at Reims.
 The "multiple benefits" in this case probably refers to the chancellorship
which Manasses conferred upon him in 1075 or 1076, in addition to his standing
 This Pontius (Pons) and his grievance are obscure; he may have been
a supporter of Bruno or Manasses the provost.
bishop of LiÃ¨ge was Henri (1075-1091), with whom Manasses has
spent Pentecost in 1078. Pope Gregory VII had been seized while celebrating
the Mass and imprisoned by one of his Roman enemies, Cencius the Prefect
(Cencius Stephani) on Christmas Eve 1075.
 Prov. 26:11.
 This is a legitimate gripe, compounded by the fact that there were
scarcely six dioceses to be found in the province that were not vacant, their
occupants suspended, or were occupied by bishops openly hostile to Manasses.
 These saints were all widely venerated in France.
 The Latin reads: hoc a saeculis
auditum non est.
 Manasses is here referring to his trip to Rome to attend the Lenten
synod of 1078.
 Pseudo-Evaristus, Ep. 2.11,
from the Pseudo Isidorean Decretals
3.2 (decreta pontificum). (Tradition holds that Evaristus was pope between
ca. 99-107 C.E.)
 Pseudo-Eutychian, from Pseudo-Isidorean
Decretals 25.9 (decreta pontificum). (Eutychianus was pope from 275-283
 Gregory the Great, Homiliae in evangelia,
hom. 26 (homily on John 20:19-29).
 Augustine of Hippo, De verbis evangelii
(Mt. 18:15-18), Sermo 82, IV.7.
 Pope Leo I (440-461 C.E.)
Sources: Museum Italicum, seu Collectio veterum sciptorum
ex bibliothecis Italicis, vol. 1, Pars altera, ed. Jean Mabillon
and Michel Germain (Paris: Montalant,
1724), pp. 119-127; Recueil des historiens des Gaules et
de la France
, ed. Michel-Jean-Joseph Brial, vol.
new edn (Paris: Victor PalmÃ©, 1877), pp. 781-786.
Letter of Archbishop Manasses to Pope Gregory VII (lost; written before
3 January 1080 and at the same time as, or slightly before, Letter H)
In Letter H above, Manasses refers to a letter
he wrote to Gregory complaining of Hugh's "pertinacity." It was presumably
dispatched at the same time as his long complaint to Hugh. Gregory responded
on 3 January 1080, but Manasses's letter is lost.
J. Letter of Pope Gregory VII to Archbishop Manasses (Reg. 7.12,
3 January 1080)
In his reply to Manasses's earlier letter,
Gregory chastises him for making excuses to not attend the Lyon council; assures
him that he will be guided through the dioceses of Langres and Lyon to the
council site by Hugh of Die and Hugh-Rainard, and guarantees that his case
will be given a fair hearing in the presence of Abbot Hugh of Cluny and Peter,
the cardinal-bishop of Albano (1072-1089). Moreover, he adds that Manasses
should not come to Rome but resolve his issues before the council. Should
Manasses fail to attend--which he did--Gregory warns him that he will uphold
and confirm by his apostolic authority any sentence that Hugh passes against
The council was convened in February,
and Manasses was duly pronounced deposed by Hugh of Die. Gregory then confirmed
the sentence at his Lenten synod held 7 March 1080.
Letter of Pope Gregory VII to Archbishop Manasses (Reg. 7.20, 17 April 1080)
Gregory notifies Manasses that he has confirmed
Hugh's sentence in his Lenten synod, but offers the archbishop one more chance
to redeem himself and be restored to his position. Acting from an abundance
of mercy, Gregory says, Manasses may have until 29 September 1080 to purge
himself before six bishops from his province, on the condition that he restore
the goods and possessions belonging to Bruno the Schoolmaster and the provost
Manasses, and retreat either to the abbey of Cluny or the abbey of La Chaise-Dieu
(in the diocese of Clermont). He may also, Gregory adds, clear himself
of the charges against him by oath before Hugh of Die, Abbot Hugh of Cluny,
or should the abbot be absent, before Amatus of Oloron, another papal legate.
Should he refuse the offer, Gregory declares that the sentence will remain
Letters (4) of Pope Gregory VII: to the people and clergy of Reims; to Ebalus
count of Roucy; to the bishops of the province of Belgica Secunda; and to
King Philip I (Reg. 8.17-20, 27 December 1080)
In these letters, dispatched from Rome
on the same day, Gregory calls upon the recipients to resist Manasses, who,
Gregory indicates, was devastating the church of Reims and its possessions.
He further pronounces Manasses irrevocably deposed, and urges the clergy and
people to proceed to a new election. The bishops are absolved of their
oaths of obedience to their former archbishop and are told to resist him
as an invader. King Philip, to whom Manasses had gone for support, is told
to break all contact with him.