(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, 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: 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).
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 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 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 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
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
He associated with, I say, He-Who-Ought-to-be-Eliminated,
the bishop of Laon , whose hatred remains foremost in his
 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
, along 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
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.
 This 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.
 Pope 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
 Cf. Letter
 See 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
 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 lordâ€™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.
Thus we 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
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 Hughâ€™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,
BeitrÃ¤ge 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
fully completed (it's a very long letter!).]
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 everyoneâ€™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 weâ€™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 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
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 LiÃ¨ge,
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
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
 The bishop
of Auxerre was Robert of Nevers (1076-1092), brother of the count of Nevers.
 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.
 The 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
 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
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
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.