of (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 updated 2 January 2021.
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, 2002).
 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:
 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 for him: that he left France to reside at the imperial court of
Henry IV (we know that he was with Henry, outside the walls of Rome, in April
1081); that he eventually left on pilgrimage for Jerusalem. There is no
conclusive evidence for either position. 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 somewhat
laconically that he died and was succeeded in his office by Archbishop
Renaud [Renaud I, 1083-1096] (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 to deteriorate.
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
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 father.
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
 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
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
 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
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 your holiness.
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:
I 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.
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
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. 
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 admit -- 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, let 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: 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 Châlons:
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 me --
the servant of your sanctity -- 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. 1).
[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
 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
Böhlaus, 1950), no. 107, pp. 178-182
Memorandum 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] -- I, who am prepared to obey you and God
in all things -- or his [faith] -- 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 Thérouanne. 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
 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.
of Gregory VII to Hugh of Die (Epistolae
vagantes, no. 30, pp. 77-81, ed. and trans. H. E. J. Cowdrey) (1079,
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.
of Hugh of Die to Archbishop Manasses (1079, late, perhaps October or early
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
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),
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 fully completed.]
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 vow; because 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 king'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
"force of multiple hazards" 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
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 themselves -- unless perhaps they returned [like dogs] to their
vomit  for the occasion of this council -- 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 Manasses' 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 days -- 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
bishop of Auxerre was Robert of Nevers (1076-1092), brother of the count of
 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 Liège 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
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 in place.
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.