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The Reaction to the Council of Lyons

Joseph Gill, Byzantium and the Papacy 1198- 1400,
ed. Rutgers University Press, New Jersey 1979, p. 160 -181.

The Greek envoys to Pope Gregory in Lyons set off home in the autumn of 1274, bearers of the various papal letters. With them went John Parastron, commissioned specially by the Pope to continue to exercise in Constantinople the zeal for union he had shown in Lyons (1). The Abbot of Monte Cassino was also of the party, entrusted with the task of arranging yet another truce between Philip of Courtenay and Charles of Anjou, the Latin contenders for power in Byzantium, and the Greek Emperor Michael. In this he succeeded and was back in Italy before 29 April 1275. So the Angevin expedition against the Greek capital was deferred again, this time till at least 1 May 1276. Anjou's acceptance of this proposal was not due entirely to religious motives. In 1274 he was engaged in defending Guelf interests in northern Italy. There, faced by a combination of Ghibelline cities headed by Genoa and supported by Alfonso of Castile, claimant for the kingship of the Romans, he was losing ground. Also the Genoese fleet dominated the waters round Sicily. Pope Gregory, after the election of Rudolf of Habsburg as King of the Romans, was bent on persuading Alfonso of Castile to withdraw his candidature and he looked, not to Charles, but to Rudolf, to settle the Ghibellme-Guelf strife in Italy. By the summer of 1276 Charles possessed only a few towns and villages in Piedmont (2). He could then give more attention to his other projects. In the meantime he had not altogether neglected them; in fact, he had not been allowed to. Palaeologus did not consider that wars in Greece fell within the limits of the truces he had agreed to and, even during the council, he attacked towns held by Charles in Albania, capturing Butrinto and threatening Durazzo and Avlona. Charles had to send reinforcements to hold the Byzantine troops off (3). But like Anjou, Emperor Michael accepted the truce proposed by Bernard of Monte Cassino, perhaps because he saw in it what the Pope meant it to be, the beginning of a permanent peace with the West and also, he hoped, liberty to pursue his plans in Greece.

When he wrote to Gregory to announce the success of his mission, the Abbot of Monte Cassino informed him that the Emperor Michael intended to send an embassy. At Gregory's request King Charles not only issued for it a safe-conduct, but assigned one of his officials to accompany it (4). Not long afterwards Palaeologus sent another embassy. One of these two embassies was composed of two persons only, George Metochites and Theodore the Grand Dispenser. The other had four envoys, the Metropolitan of Serres, Theodore Monomachus and two others. Which came first and which second is not clear. Both figure in the same safe- conduct for the return-journey, given by Charles and dated Rome, 19 May 1276 (5), and this is the sum total of what we know of the existence and purpose of the larger mission. In respect of the smaller mission, Metochites has left an account of the task allotted to him by the Greek Emperor (6). It was nothing less than, among other things, to suggest that the crusade that was to Gregory “as the breath of life” should make its way to Palestine, not by sea, but by land through Asia Minor. This was said to offer many advantages. The march would be safer, for Michael would arrange with his son-in-law, the Sultan of Turkey (7), for safe passage. There would be less risk of dispersal of the army, and en route it would bring back into the hands of believers so many places famous and venerable for their past Christian associations. Gregory, reports Metochites, was ravished at the thought and declared that “either before or after the restoration of the Holy Places” it should be done. As, however, he was on the point of departing for Italy, he sent the ambassadors on to Rome to await him there. When he reached Rome in the winter, he would send one of his cardinals to Constantinople with them, and after Easter he would himself go to Brindisi and either there or in Avlona on the mainland of Epirus he would meet the Emperor Michael and arrange details.

The envoys waited in Rome, but Gregory never came. He had died on 10 January 1276 a few days' journey away from the city. Another important object of Metochites ' mission (and perhaps the main one of that headed by the Archbishop of Serres ) was to enquire about the Latin crusade—its personnel, prospective strength, time-table—and to renew certain requests previously made by the Greek Emperor—censures against “apostates” and security of inheritance to the throne for his descendants (8).

Gregory's successor was the first Dominican to become Pope. He was Pierre de Tarentaise, archbishop of Lyons, then cardinal bishop of Ostia, elected on 20 January 1276, who took the name of Innocent V. To him it fell to deal with the two embassies sent to his predecessor. In answer to the political enquiries made through Metochites, he informed the Emperor that the kings of the Romans, of France and of Portugal, with a multitude of knights and nobles had taken the Cross and would set out when arrangements were concluded. Palaeologus himself should help generously, despite his treaty with the “Sultan of Babylon” ( Baibars of Egypt), from which the Pope released him. In respect of the request for ex­communications, “since certain princes of the Latins have petitioned and still petition with great insistence for what is diametrically opposite to your demands, in order that injury may not seem to be done to either of the two parties urging such contrary requests, We of set purpose have decided to comply with neither of them in these matters, thinking not without reason that such an attitude will do much to promote the negotiations for peace between you and those princes, negotiations whose success We have very much at heart” (9).

This letter he delivered to the Greek envoys. At the same time he commissioned four Franciscans, headed by Jerome of Ascoli, to take to the Greek Emperor other letters dealing with the spiritual situation. The two parties left for Constantinople in company. When they reached Ancona they learned that Innocent had died on 22 June 1276. The Greeks continued their journey. The Franciscans turned back.

The Greek legation that had assisted at the Council of Lyons had reached Constantinople towards the end of autumn 1274 with its tidings of success. But Patriarch Joseph made no move to abdicate from the patriarchal throne, and it needed a decision of the synod, that in the circumstances the agreement he had made in the previous January amounted to an abdication. He ceased to be commemorated in the Liturgy on 11 January 1275 and was lodged comfortably in the Lavra (the monastery of St. Michael) near Anaplous. A few days later, on 16 January, a solemn Liturgy was celebrated in the church of the Blachemae palace by Nicholas of Chalcedon. The epistle (10) and the gospel were read in both Greek and Latin, and Pope Gregory was commemorated in the appropriate place. The union was thus proclaimed, but the Greek Church was more than ever split into parties, some composed of people “whose knowledge was confined to the hoe and the axe... others with knowledge but far too vehement in their advocacies” (11).

As successor to Joseph, Beccus was elected patriarch (26 May) and enthroned (2 June 1275). Joseph at Anaplous was too near Constantinople to be left in peace. He became the centre of antiunionist resistance and, in answer to the Emperor's expostulations, replied that he could not in conscience refuse his counsel no matter who asked for it. As a result, he was removed to Chele, a harsh place in winter, and Job Jasites was sent to Cabaia, a fort on the Sangarios river. The unrest in Constantinople con­tinued. Michael's own favourite sister, Eulogia, was strongly anti-unionist. Her daughter, the Czarina of Bulgaria, at her mother's instigation conveyed to her by monks, even invited the Sultan Baibars to ally with her husband, the Czar, against her uncle Michael.

Michael must have had early news of the death of Pope Innocent from George Metochites and the other returning ambassadors. At some time, perhaps to felicitate the late Pope on his election, perhaps also as bearers of the new Patriarch's letter of enthronisation, he had "sent still another embassy to the Pope, both to make known the successful conclusion of the business and to learn whether Charles had desisted from the expedition and had restrained his ambitions.” The envoys had found Charles at the papal court, biting his sceptre in paroxysms of frustrated rage as the Pope blandly turned a deaf ear to his protests and demands for freedom of action (12).

Metochites would also have informed the Emperor and the new Patriarch, Beccus, that Pope Innocent had meant to send four nuncios to the court of Constantinople and, as he had been very friendly with the head of that embassy, Jerome of Ascoli (13), he may have had a hint that the purpose of the Latin embassy was to press for a more general and palpable implementation of the union. It may have been this information that excited the anti-unionists to manifest their opposition more openly, and impelled the ecclesiastical authorities to take steps to restrain them. In February 1277 the Holy Synod met for the purpose and produced a tomographia —a Statement in Writing—that was signed by all the bishops present, imposing severe penalties on the opponents of the union. The document describes the situation it was intended to meet. It makes it clear that the opposition was both widespread and deeply felt, for among the anti-unionists were members of the imperial family, bishops, senators, ecclesiastical dignitaries, monks and laymen (among whom there were many women), whose propaganda was undermining the goodwill of the simple. So they were summoned to appear before the synod, and the impenitent were condemned, if they were clerics, to deprivation of office and ex- communication; if laymen,, to excommunication (14).

All the officials of St. Sophia had to subscribe to the Statement, and there is extant a document bearing forty-one of their signatures witnessing that they accepted papal primacy, right of appeal, and commemoration of the pope in the union of the Churches (15). Likewise the unsettled state of affairs prompted the Emperor to exact a declaration of loyalty from the officials of the palace (16). Perhaps it was also in this same period of intense upheaval that an accurate translation of the dogmatic definition of the Council of Lyons was issued (17).

At about the same time as the great synod was meeting in Constantinople to approve and confirm the union of the Churches, in Thessaly John Doucas was convening an assembly for precisely the opposite purpose—to condemn it. He gathered together eight bishops, several abbots and about a hundred monks, who excommunicated Pope, Emperor, Patriarch and all who supported them in their nefarious work of union. Palaeologus sent an emissary to reason with John and his brother Nicephorus who also dubbed all unionists heretics. Thessaly, Epirus and even Trebizond were becoming refuges to which anti-unionists fled from Constantinople and the power of the Emperor. Their rulers saw a chance not only of vindicating their own orthodoxy but of making political capital out of the ecclesiastical unrest. Nicephorus of Epirus and John Doucas, the “Bastard,” of Thessaly were both of them liege-vassals of the Emperor Michael, the one with the title of Despot, the other of Sebastocrator. They did not abate their opposition even when the Emperor sent them copies of two excommunications against opponents of union, the one promulgated by the great synod, the other issued by Rome (18).

Beccus informed the Pope of the positive action that the Greek Church had taken when it decreed the punishment of anti-unionists in a letter which must date from very shortly after the meeting of the synod (19). In it he affirms the acceptance by his Church of all papal prerogatives and privileges, and as evidence of the synod's zeal for union he sent also a copy of the tomographia. The letter ends with a profession of faith as a testimony to the Pope of the Patriarch's personal orthodoxy (20). It was entrusted for delivery to the papal nuncios who had already arrived in Constantinople, probably at the end of February 1277.

The Pope who had sent them was John XXI. No sooner had he been elected on 8 September 1276 than he began to organise an embassy to Greece. It was composed of four Dominicans, two of them bishops (21). They were the bearers of letters identical with those prepared by Innocent, apart from a change in the names of the nuncios, a small amendment in their faculties since two of them were bishops, and a permission to enlist in­terpreters. They set out for Constantinople early in December 1276 (22).

The spiritual letters they carried were short. They announced to the Emperor, to his son Andronicus, and to the Patriarch with his hierarchy John's accession to the throne, his rejoicing over the union and his desire that it should be brought to completion. To the hierarchy nothing more specific was said, except to recommend his nuncios to them. To the two Emperors a further hint was given, that “considering the situation together with our brethren, We find that what was done by you stands in need of the stability that comes from a greater firmness” (23 ): the nuncios would help them to remedy the defect.

The political situation was dealt with in the Bull, Pacis aemulus. The spiritual union that had been achieved ought not to be jeopardised by political dissension. Though what the Emperor had done in the spiritual sphere “still stands in need of the stability that comes from a greater firm­ness,” nevertheless the Pope will proceed to deal with the temporal. Strife, disorder, rapine (he writes) are almost tangibly present, because Philip claims Constantinople as his own, Charles vindicates rights over some parts of it, and both declare themselves set on making good their titles (24). The Pope fears that it will result in an appeal to arms. Palaeologus should not put his trust in his might or the uncertain fortunes of war but rather, on reflection, adjust his mind to thoughts of peace and communicate his conclusions to the papal nuncios. He should send his own plenipotentiaries to the Apostolic See within 'five months of the receipt of this papal Bull. “There is no doubt that it is to your advantage not to delay in this matter, for unless an effective and speedy answer is forthcoming concerning it, the aforesaid princes, thinking that they are being played with, will not (so they affirm) patiently let themselves be cheated of the ripeness of the present moment, on which they set great value. Nor can We without doing violence to their rights prevent them from pursuing those rights by such remedies as are permitted.” Therefore to avoid incidents that could seriously interfere with the negotiations, Palaeologus should agree to a truce, as the nuncios would propose, “for We have already managed to incline the minds of the Emperor and the King to a truce” (25).

This letter has a very threatening tone, and the claims of the Latin contenders for the Greek Empire are expressed in blunt, almost violent, words. And it was addressed to “Michael, Emperor of the Greeks” (26) while Philip was described as Emperor of Constantinople. Innocent had already won Charles to accept yet another truce. The chief aim of the letter to Palaeologus with its ominous ending was to induce him to co-operate and, in addition, to take steps to establish a permanent peace. The Latin princes were already tired of his dilatoriness, construed by them as a policy. Alexander and then John XXI gave him five months in which to make a move. If he did not, they accepted no responsibility for the consequences.

What the Pope meant by the “stability that comes from a greater firm­ness” was indicated in the instructions given to the nuncios. When they met the Greek Emperors they were to salute them in the Pope's name, express his joy over the union and his affection for their imperial persons. Then in respect of spiritual requirements they were to ask 1) Michael to sign the original copy of his profession of faith (which they had with them) and to testify to it by oath, and 2) publicly to abjure the schism, which would be a demonstration of his sincerity and give him a greater claim on the gratitude of the Roman Church. 3) Andronicus was to be asked to do the same, and several copies on parchment and paper, sealed, were to be made of these public acts. 4) The Emperor was to be persuaded to induce the bishops who had not yet made a profession of faith and acceptance of the primacy to do so. 5) He should agree to abstain from what would impede the negotiations for peace and to agree to a truce covering the period known to be agreeable to Philip and Charles. 6) To meet the Emperor's request, the Roman Church “means as far as with God it can favourably to uphold them [the Greeks] and to support them in those of their rites which in the eyes of the Apostolic See do not infringe the integrity of Catholic faith and in no way transgress the enactments of the sacred canons.” 7) The prelates and the clergy, singly, should unconditionally profess and recognize the truth of the faith, and accept the primacy of the Roman Church as Pope Gregory had enacted through Jerome of Ascoli, and should take an oath to that effect. The formula for that oath was included in the letter of instructions. (It was not the one proposed by Gregory, but the more rigid formula enacted by the Conclave in 1270-, which included also a promise of canonical obedience with the act of obedience. Not only that. Other requirements set by the Conclave were added.) 8) Clerics were not to preach anything against that faith and in the Creed they were to chant also “And from the Son,” “because that was treated of specially and acknowledgement of the true faith ought not to be hidden but rather to be publicly preached.” 9), 10), 11) The envoys themselves were to go to the bigger cities to witness the professions. These were to be made in several copies and sealed, one of which was to be preserved locally in the archives for the information of posterity (27).

The above Memoriale sets the maximum that the Pope hoped for. Other instructions to the envoys mitigated somewhat its demands (28). If the Emperor would not abjure the schism publicly, he should do it at least in the presence of some notables; if not with an oath, he should repeat personally all that the Logothete had affirmed in his name and sign at least two copies or, at any rate, one. If the prelates refused manual obedience, it could be omitted and the envoys should get as many copies of their professions as was possible. As the Holy See was most anxious to maintain and to strengthen the union, the legates should fulfill all the requirements of the Memoriale if they could. If they could not, they should get as much as was in the circumstances possible, but they should also indicate to the Greeks their dissatisfaction at any deficiency.

Innocent V and after him John XXI in this letter suggest that they are imitating Pope Gregory when they propose their formula of acceptance of the faith and primacy of the Roman Church. That is not true, even verbally. The formula they proposed, of the Conclave of 1270, was devised in an atmosphere of distrust to pin down the Greeks and to eliminate all possibility of evasion. Gregory had introduced into the negotiations a new tone of trust, of sympathy, of elasticity in practical application. Though he hoped for more, he insisted only on a minimum—good will on the part of the Patriarch and of some eminent prelates. With that he was satisfied. He allowed variations in the formula and did not insist on an oath. He was content to get the union going in the hope that it would grow from strength to strength.

Innocent plunged it back into the old cast-iron mould. He would have it complete and immediate and, to demonstrate that it was so, he insisted that the Filioque should be publicly recited in the Liturgy. Presumably he did not realise how fatal a step that was, that it would seriously disconcert the unionists in Greece, antagonise the waverers and rally all the anti-unionists to a more implacable opposition. But if he did not, perhaps someone else did. Charles of Anjou, fully persuaded that Michael's unionistic fervour was purely political and expedient, and, from his contacts in Epirus and Thessaly, aware of the strength of the opposition to it in Constantinople, possibly urged Innocent to prove the sincerity of the ecclesiastical union by applying the acid test, the Filioque. Charles had some reason for his scepticism about Michael. The Greek Emperor, though pressed by suc­cessive popes, never did enter into serious negotiations for a stable peace, for that might have tied his hands in Greece and the Balkans. Gregory would have countered Charles's insistence with “The fortunes of war which once gave Constantinople to the Latins had now restored it to the Greeks” (29). Neither Innocent nor John had the breadth of mind to be so impartial.

The Greek Emperors, Michael and Andronicus, raised no difficulty about complying with the religious requirements of the Pope, in so fax as they were concerned personally. In a long letter of April 1277 Michael re­affirmed his adherence to the union and his obedience to the Holy See (30). This he sent to the Pope by a solemn embassy, bearers also of several copies of his profession of faith and of the oath he signed to accompany it. An­dronicus also sent a long letter and copies of his profession and oath (31).

Beccus was stimulated by their example to make a similar profession of faith. He wrote another and longer letter to the Pope (32). Like the former one, this letter also began with union, that the Greek Church accepted wholeheartedly the primacy, the right of appeal and commemoration of the Pope. Again the penalties they had imposed on opponents were mentioned to show that the Church had accepted the union sincerely (33). Then, he continued, because it had been said that “there was some difference in dogmas between the two Churches, the Greek and the Latin, by reason of the addition to the Creed, We certainly should set forth the formula of our faith."

The letter then becomes a profession of the Patriarch's faith, a paraphrase rather than a copy of the Clementine formula. Schism we abhor; we accept ecclesiastical concord and the unity and the primacy of the Holy See, and we promise to preserve inviolate the prerogatives recognised by previous patriarchs of Constantinople and the obedience and rights acknowledged by our emperors and our God-inspired Fathers as belonging to that See—“namely, that that sacred and holy Roman Church possesses supreme and complete primacy and sovereignty over the whole Catholic Church. We sincerely and humbly acknowledge that she received this, together with the plenitude of power, granted to her by the Lord in Blessed Peter, prince or head of the Apostles, whose successor is the Roman Pontiff. We likewise acknowledge that just as, more than others, she is held to defend the faith, so if questions about the faith arise they ought to be settled by her decision.” To her all may appeal: to her all Churches should be subject and obedient. Whatever privileges other Churches may have acquired were confirmed by her and could be confirmed by no other (34). There is no difference of faith between what is read in the Nicene Creed, in the Constantinopolitan Creed, and in the Roman Creed with the addition.

Then, beginning “We believe in one God,” the patriarchal profession very verbosely expresses the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, including the Procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son as from one source (35). The Latin doctrine about the hereafter comes next, expressed in the words of the Clementine text; then belief in the seven sacraments, with comments both to affirm the legitimacy of eastern practices regarding confirmation conferred by simple priests and the Eucharist celebrated with leavened bread and to admit third and even later marriages. “To sum up in a word: since the said holy Roman Church reverences and preaches all these tenets, we believe and say that that same Holy Roman Church teaches and preaches them with sound faith, orthodoxy and truth, but even so we must abide without change in the customs that have obtained in our Church from the beginning.” This document is to prove our rejection of schism, our obedience to the Roman Church and that our Church is in complete agreement in the orthodoxy of its faith with the “holy, apostolic mother of all Churches, the Roman Church” (April 6785 {= 1277]).

The last document that the Greek envoys carried was a letter of credence dated 24 July 1277 authorising six named ambassadors to proceed to the papal Curia as plenipotentiaries to arrange a truce with Philip of Con­stantinople and Charles of Anjou (36). When they arrived in the autumn of 1277 they found the papal throne vacant, for still another pope was dead. John XXI had succumbed on 20 May 1277.

All these new conditions required by the Holy Sea “to add stability” could not but render the task of Palaeologus and Beccus more difficult— indeed should they really try to implement them all, impossible. They did their best. On 16 July 1277 Patriarch Beccus excommunicated Nicephorus and John Doucas by name according to the formula drawn up by him and his Great Synod on the previous 19 February against all schismatics and disturbers of the union who would not recognise the Roman Church as “mother and head of all other Churches and mistress of the orthodox faith,” and acknowledge the pope as “first pontiff and pastor of all Christians” (37). For his part, Emperor Michael sent an army under four generals, who were all relatives of his, to subjugate Thessaly. The generals, “knowing that the Emperor was united with the Pope and therefore deeming him a heretic,” turned traitor and refused to engage, letting the Bastard occupy certain imperial strongpoints. They were brought back and imprisoned. Other commanders were sent, who disobeyed orders and were defeated. On the other side of Constantinople, the Emperor of Trebizond set himself up as an orthodox rival for the imperial throne “occupied by a heretic.” John Doucas entered into an alliance with him. At home, women of the imperial and of noble families were plotting against the crown. Many magnates, men and women, were in prison for their anti-unionism. In Thessaly the bishop of Trikkala, because he stood by his word given in the Great Synod held by Beccus, was imprisoned by John for more than a year, until he escaped to Lepanto. Hie bishop of Kitros, suffragan of Thessalonica, was maltreated for the same reason. Those enemies of union were being constantly aided by the Latin lords of Thebes, Athens, Negroponte and the Morea. That is why Negroponte (so ends the aide- memoire of Ogerius) had been attacked and, by God's grace, successfully (38).

Palaeologus readily fulfilled all the demands made on him by Pope John to implement the union. He wanted something in return. The nuncios nominated by Popes Innocent and John had been given faculties to impose ecclesiastical censures on those who impeded the union. Michael had asked Innocent for the excommunication of Nicephorus of Epirus and, par­ticularly, of John of Thessaly. Innocent had refused, maintaining neutrality, for those two rulers, though admittedly they were fomenters of anti-unionist activity, were political allies of Charles of Anjou and political enemies of the Greek Emperor. Michael exerted great pressure on the four nuncios sent by John XXI to make them use their faculties against the two Despots and, one would say, not without reason in view of the Bastard's local synod that denounced all unionism as heretical. The nuncios probably promulgated in general terms the excommunication of all those who im­peded union. They did not excommunicate anyone by name. On returning to the papal court they told the new Pope, Nicholas, about the insistent demand of the Emperor, with the consequence that when later Nicholas sent ambassadors of his own he laid down for them very detailed criteria on which to base their action.

So the embassy of Pope John XXI only laid new burdens on Palaeologus and released him of none. Yet the tale of woe, all of it true, recounted in the aide-memoire of Ogerius demonstrates the difficulties in which he was placed, and the intensity and the ubiquity of the opposition to the union. It could not, however, adequately convey to Latin minds the magnitude of the danger threatening him. Their Emperor was, for the Greeks, the divinely appointed guardian of orthodoxy. If he were to lapse from the true faith, he could not be fulfilling his office (39). As a heretic he could easily be regarded as having forfeited his imperial throne. That was precisely what John of Thessaly and Alexius Comnenus of Trebizond were saying openly and the Arsenite faction of monks, whose aims were as much political as ec­clesiastical—to restore the Lascarid Dynasty to power—was whispering covertly when they claimed that Michael was a heretic.

As a result Constantinople was seething with unrest (40). The populace— nobles and commoners alike—kept in a ferment by the ever-busy monks was divided into Arsenites and Josephites but united as anti-unionists. Forbidden to voice their protests publicly, they had recourse to pam­phleteering. Leaflets, anonymous and so irresponsible, made the most outrageous statements. Beccus was the target of many. The hierarchy also was opposed to him. Michael was irritated by his insistence in pleading for clemency for condemned prisoners. He lent a ready ear to accusations made against him by the clergy and, to show his displeasure, he withdrew all patriarchal monasteries outside of the diocese of Constantinople from patriarchal jurisdiction, alleging an abuse. Beccus resigned his office on 2 March 1279 (41).

That the patriarchate should have been vacant at that moment was un­fortunate for the Emperor, since papal nuncios arrived just then. He met them at Adrianople and, while escorting them to Constantinople, sent to beg Beccus to take up office again. The papal envoys had been dispatched by the new Pope. Giovanni Gaetani Orsini, an Italian, elected on 25 November 1277 as Pope Nicholas III, had announced his election both to Palaeologus and to Beccus and had received back from them in the course of 1279 replies expressive of their devoted affection (42). The Greek Emperor utilised the returning papal messengers as envoys of his own and entrusted them with a viva voce communication for the Pope, whose content was outlined in the aide-memoire of Ogerius already referred to. Palaeologus asked the Pope to give them a gracious hearing and begged him, ‘‘now that you know the truth, with aid, benedictions, counsel and favour, to assist me, the devoted son of Your Apostolic Holiness, to perform with profit for the heavenly Caesar what pertains to the earthly Caesar, that by Your help the works of the impious may be confounded.” It was another plea for papal action against “apostates.”

Before the year was ended Nicholas reopened contact with Con­stantinople. Meantime he had despatched a group of Franciscans to the Tartar kingdom in Persia ruled over by Abaga, who had sent an embassy to Pope Gregory in Lyons and another to Italy to Pope John (43). By another letter he transferred to the vacant See of Corone the Latin bishop of Lacedaemon, who had never been able to, and still could not, have access to his See of Lacedaemon, which was in the hands of the Greeks (44). In Hungary, the Tartar invasion had wiped out the Christian mission of the Franciscans. Nicholas took steps to restore it and he encouraged the Dominicans working among the Cumans, “allowing them to baptize those who wish to be converted to the faith according to the rite which in such cases the Roman Church observes” (45).

In October 1278 Pope Nicholas prepared an embassy for Constantinople, composed of four Franciscans, Bartholomew, bishop of Grosseto, with Bartholomew, Franciscan superior in Syria, Philip and Angelo. They were armed with a sheaf of letters and safe-conducts (46). In the Brief presenting his nuncios Pope Nicholas praises Michael and his son for their zeal for union and thanks them for having sent the signed copies of the professions of faith. He encourages them to persevere. Report, statements from papal envoys, the truth and Palaeologus himself all declare that “this business [of union] and its perfect completion depend entirely on you” and so he should see to it and promptly. The papal ambassadors will ask the Emperor “to hear with good will what should suitably be done both by you and by others to lead to a more perfect completion, establishment, and a firmer strengthening, of this business.” Nicholas apologises that Palaeologus's messengers had been detained for so long at the Curia (from the previous year) and ends: “In respect of the requests [for excommunications] made in your name to Our predecessors... and recently repeated in Our... presence, We know that... Innocent returned to you in a special letter a reply that sufficiently met the facts of the case, and, as no new circumstance has arisen to change these, neither have We thought that his answer should be changed” (47). In other words, no excommunication of Palaeologus's political enemies, the two Greek Despots who were patrons of the anti­unionists, or of the Latin lords in Greece who assisted them.

Accompanying this letter was another addressed to Emperor Michael, which, largely in the words of Pope Innocent, urged him to send within five months plenipotentiaries to conclude a truce with Philip of Constantinople and Charles of Anjou. Nicholas told Palaeologus openly that he had done nothing to comply with a similar request made by Pope John (48). Herein is a mystery, for the papal archives contain a letter of credence from the Greek Emperor dated 24 July 1277 presenting envoys precisely to treat of a truce (49). But clearly Pope Nicholas knew nothing of it.

Nicholas wrote also to the co-Emperor Andronicus a letter of thanks and congratulation. But he warned him that “for the more perfect completion of the union... there were some other things still to be done,” for which reason he was sending his four Franciscan nuncios. A letter went also to the Patriarch and the prelates, praising them for the steps they had taken in the union. It held up to them as models the professions of faith of their Em­perors and finally intimated that each and every one of them should do what they had done and fulfil ] all the requirements that his envoys would propose to them (50).

What those requirements were, and what the Emperors should do “for the more perfect completion of the union,” were contained in die Memoriale that Nicholas delivered to the Bishop of Grosseto (51). It repeated almost verbatim large sections of the Memoriale of his predecessor— spiritual matters first; the papal purpose of procuring peace; more copies of the professions of faith on parchment with seals but addressed now to Nicholas. The prelates should make the profession of faith and should chant “And from the Son” in the Creed, “because unity of faith does not allow of diversity in its adherents either in the profession, the chanting or any other manifestation of the faith and especially in the chanting of the Creed, which, the more frequently it is used in the churches, the more ought it to be seen to be completely uniform. Therefore, the Roman Church has decided and wishes that it should be chanted uniformly by both Latins and Greeks with the addition of the Filioque, both because there have been special negotiations about that addition and because acknowledgement of the true faith ought not to be hidden but rather to be revealed and to be proclaimed publicly.” Nicholas allowed the same conditional use of the Greek rite as Innocent, and like him recommended a truce with the Latin powers. All clerics of all towns, fortresses, villages, and localities were to accept the Roman faith and (once more using Gregory's name) sign a certificate to that effect according to the 1270 formula. They were also to confirm their word by oath, any custom to the contrary being merely an abuse, and they should preach that faith including the Filioque. The envoys were to go to towns and monasteries, etc., to witness the abjurations, which were to be recorded in several copies and preserved in local archives.

So far this Memoriale is like that of John, except that it is harsher in tone and more uncomprehending of the Greek mentality and situation. In it Nicholas repeats his conviction about Palaeologus, “who admits and af­firms that this whole business [in reference to the professions of the prelates] depends on him and that his power in it all is paramount.” This, when the Emperor was being defied by the greater part of the citizens of Constantinople precisely because of his policy on union. So Nicholas is more insistent on the Filioque and adamant on the bishops taking an oath. This was not owing to any special subservience to Philip and Charles for, though he consulted them, he deliberately limited Anjou's influence in Italy as part of his policy of making the Papal States independent of outside powers. While he asked Rudolph, the King of the Romans, to remove his officials from Romagna, he requested Charles to resign the senatorship of Rome (which he had been granted for ten years in 1268) and to give up his vicariate of Tuscany. Charles asked only for a few months' delay of execution, and then complied without difficulty (52).

Nicholas displayed his logical, canonical mind and his complete ignorance of the broad situation even more in the concluding part of his Memoriale. The nuncios were to bring to the attention of the Greek prelates the surprise felt by the Roman Church that, after the union, they had taken no steps to obtain absolution from the censures incurred by their schism and had not sought from the Holy See any confirmation of the offices they held. These considerations, the document suggests, would give the nuncios a neat opportunity to intimate to the Emperor that he should ask for a cardinal Apostolic Legate, who with full papal powers could settle all outstanding questions on the spot. Nicholas meant to send one. The envoys should make discreet inquiries as to what treatment papal legates (if there had been any) had been accorded in the past and to suggest what would be suitable. If possible, they were to get Michael to put a request into writing or at least they were to note carefully whatever information they could gather on this topic.

The last point of the Memoriale was the vexed question of the censures on the enemies of the union. Nicholas repeats here the reply of Innocent and the refusal of Pope John's envoys to comply with Palaeologus's request. He bade his envoys use the utmost discretion. They were not to excommunicate any, just because they had withdrawn themselves from submission to the Greek Emperor and had allied themselves with the Latin Philip and Charles against him, but only “if they directly oppose the union and directly prevent Greeks and Latins from being united under obedience to the Roman Church in mutual charity, unity of faith and acknowledgement and acceptance of the primacy of that Church.” Nicholas told his envoys that “above all things, they were to be careful not to say or do anything that could cause a breakdown in the business [of union] or give occasion, as far as in them lay, for such a rupture.” All the same, he wanted not a superficial answer (as others had produced in the past), but a clear Yes or No to the various items of the commission entrusted to them.

The Pope had foreseen, however, that he might be disappointed in some respects. Like the four popes before him, he gave further instructions to the nuncios, mitigating somewhat the rigors of his Memoriale, in almost the same words as Innocent and John. Also, he armed them with faculties for censuring, absolving and dispensing—the copy, after a new introduction, of those first conceded by Innocent” (53). From Charles of Anjou in somewhat peremptory terms he asked on behalf of his own envoys and of the present and future Greek envoys, with their suites, safety both on their journeys and during the period of their negotiations (54).

Such was the drastic and uncomprehending commission given to the four Franciscans who left the Curia some time after 7 January 1279 (55).Michael's task, when he met them in Adrianople, was, somehow or other, to make them believe that the union of the Churches was a reality. Certainly he had done his part. He had fallen in with every wish that the Popes had expressed for his personal execution. He had also employed every available means to obtain obedience from his people. Where persuasion had failed he had used force.

When the papal envoys reached Constantinople and Pera, where there were Franciscan convents, their confreres doubtless told them something of what was going on and opened their eyes to the real situation in respect of the union. Indeed, records Pachymeres (56),their inf ormants were Greeks involved in the ecclesiastical dissension, who asserted that the union was a farce and, with the Filioque in mind, bade them judge for themselves when they heard the Greek Creed. In that way they hoped to face the Emperor with a dilemma. If he refused the Friars' demands to insert the Filioque into the Creed, he would seriously jeopardise the union already achieved; if he accepted, he would palpably contravene his own guarantee to preserve inviolate their rite and customs, and so clearly justify the inveterate opposition.

Michael countered by summoning all the clergy, and only the clergy, to a meeting. In a long speech he reminded them of the harsh measures he had used against many people, among them persons most dear to him, not a few being relatives of his own, to impose the union, for such was its importance. In St. Sophia there was still exhibited the chrysobull of his solemn promise not to change one jot or tittle of the Creed. Some among them had told the Friars that the union was all make-believe, and so these were now demanding new and more stringent conditions. He was forewarning them, to prepare them. So he reaffirmed his guarantee given before on oath and asked them to meet the papal envoys graciously and peaceably.

They did. With Beccus back in the Mangana monastery, they met there and listened quietly to the legates explaining their demands. To impress the envoys still further, Palaeologus had his spiritual father, Isaac, bishop of Ephesus, conduct them round some of the prisons where anti-unionists were confined. They visited the cell where the four treacherous generals, his relatives, were chained by the neck, each in a separate comer.

Beccus resumed his patriarchal functions on 6 August 1279. Some little time after, a declaration on the faith was prepared for the Pope. It con­tained a great many citations from Greek Fathers, and, in regard to the Procession, professed that the Spirit “pours forth from, goes forth from, is given by, shines forth from, appears from, the Son.” Signatures in abundance were appended, many of them of fictitious persons and fictitious Sees. The Emperor must have been cognizant of what was being done, though whether Beccus was or not Pachymeres did not know (57). In Sep­tember the Emperor Michael and his son Andronicus repeated once again their professions of faith and their oaths, signed and sealed (58). The papal envoys, armed with these documents, returned to the Curia. They took with them also two Greeks, who had been condemned for their opposition to the union, to be submitted to the Pope's good pleasure. Nicholas received them kindly and sent them back with a letter recommending them for their blameless lives.

Opposition to the union hardened. There were many who, because of the traditional condemnation of the Latins, though they themselves had no personal knowledge of them, could not believe that the Western Church retained any vestige of the ancient faith and practice (59). The Emperor again addressed the clergy—bishops, monks and certain known leaders of the anti-unionist faction whose security from arrest was guaranteed for the occasion. Without ever mentioning any doctrinal point in particular, he exhorted them not to damage their own Church by their divisive activity. To such a general appeal there was no immediate opposition.

At some time Beccus, who earlier had wisely decided not to condescend to enter into the pamphleteering-lists, could contain himself no longer. He began to write, and having begun went on, arguing forcibly that in respect of the Procession of the Holy Spirit, “Through” and “From” were synonymous and that the Latin faith, therefore, was sound. His action only drove his adversaries to write more answers. It also angered many of the bishops, especially the imperial confessor, Isaac, by “making dogma a subject of dispute,” when they were managing to tolerate the union and so escape the monarch's wrath by avoiding any dogmatic issue. Besides, what he was doing was strictly forbidden to others. Appeal was made to the Emperor, whose reply was evasive (60).

The obdurate opposition to the union roused the Emperor to fury and his cruelty increased. He had the three surviving imprisoned generals (one had died in chains) brought to him. Two were blinded for persisting in their refusal to agree to his union, the third yielded. He tortured and mutilated innocent people suspected of being cognizant of a plot. Many monks practised fortune telling. They were prophesying the Emperor's death. When they fell into his hands they lost eyes (like Galaction ) or nose or tongue (like Meletius ) or they were sent into exile. Pamphlets were written anonymously and distributed under cover of night. In defect of the author, the finder who read one, who passed one on, who did not straightway burn it, was to be punished by death. A most praiseworthy official of the queen's household caught with one, through her intercession had his punishment commuted to the loss of his sight. All clerics were summoned to be present. The victim was blinded by having a cap of burning pitch pressed on his head down to his eyes. His nose was then cut with a knife and “he was left half­dead and half-blind” (61).

Meanwhile the papal envoys had taken back to the Curia the professions of faith of Michael and Andronicus, and had given the Pope their im­pressions of the state of things in Constantinople. In the west the situation had developed. William of Villehardouin died on 1 May 1278, a year after the death of his son-in-law, Philip. Charles of Anjou, therefore, became lord of Achaia. This was not an unmixed blessing for him. It meant that the defence of the Morea was now his responsibility. For this he had to spend money and send troops, who were not very successful against the sporadic Greek attacks. At the same time he was strengthening his bases in Epirus and Albania. A formal treaty with Nicephorus put him in possession of the towns and ports that had once formed the dowry that Queen Helena had brought on her marriage to Manfred. One of these was Butrinto, nearly opposite Corfu, which was the port serving the fortress of Berat, which in turn was the key to the gateway leading to Macedonia..In 1279 and 1280 a strong force under Hugo le Rousseau de Sully was sent to Epirus, which in late 1280 laid siege to Berat. The situation was serious for Palaeologus, since Venice after renewing its treaty with him in 1275 and again in 1277 refused to do so in 1279. Licario, Michael's Italian admiral, was being too successful in Negroponte and other islands of the Aegean for the peace of mind of the Signoria, and the ravages on Venetian trade by pirates in the Aegean was going on unabated despite treaty obligations. In view of the growing danger from the west, public prayers were ordered in Con­stantinople and an army was sent to relieve Berat. The almost accidental capture of General Sully caused panic in the Angevin army (3 April 1281) and the Greeks not only retained Berat but occupied also much of Epirus. That event was more important than a mere victory and a triumph in Constantinople with Sully paraded before the citizens. It checkmated Charles's plan to launch his attack on the Bosphorus by land. Now to fulfill his dream he would have to get control of a fleet and mount a naval ex­pedition.

While these events were taking place Nicholas III died on 22 May 1280. He was, however, probably still Pope when the Greek Emperor sent an ambassador, named Mandas or Mercurius, who on reaching Apulia was detained by Charles and was freed only after papal protests (62).

Nicholas's successor was Martin IV, elected on 22 February 1281. He was a Frenchman who did not disguise his partisanship for the House of Anjou. One of his first measures after his election was to give back to Charles the senatorship of Rome and with it control of the city. The Emperor Michael, when he learnt that there was still another new Pope, sent the Metropolitan of Heraclea, Leo, and the one-time ambassador to Lyons, Theophanes of Nicaea, to proffer his congratulations and homage. They were very coldly received. They had to wait a long time before being admitted to an audience and, when they were, it was to hear the good faith of their Emperor im­pugned. Finally they were dismissed without the honours and courtesies usually shown to official ambassadors (63). According to Pachymeres the reason for this was that the Curia had come to learn the truth about the situation in Byzantium, that the union was a make-believe and that “apart from the Emperor, the Patriarch and those immediately connected with them, everybody looked on the union with disfavour and that the Emperor was trying to preserve it by dealing out extravagant penalties” (64). That was, indeed, the situation and the stories brought back by the Friars, as well as the diplomatic note of Ogerius, made it all too plain. Besides, Palaeologus had not yet made the permanent peace that the Holy See had so often asked from him. Doubtless Charles of Sicily drummed his protests into the ears of the sympathetic Pope. Martin was not the one to restrain him. On 3 July 1281 in Viterbo where the papal court then was, Philip de Courtenay, Charles and Venice signed a pact for a common expedition “for the exaltation of the orthodox faith, the restoration of the apostolic authority in respect of the withdrawal from it of the Empire of Romania... and the recuperation of the Empire of Romania”. The armament was to be ready not later than April 1283 (65).

Pachymeres recounts that it was the archbishop of Nicaea who on his return from Italy (the archbishop of Heraclea had meantime died) told Emperor Michael that he was excommunicated by the Pope. That was done on 18 November 1281 by Martin IV: “With the advice of Our brethren We, in the presence of a great concourse of the faithful, formally declare that Michael Palaeologus, who is called Emperor of the Greeks, as patron of the Greeks who are inveterate schismatics and fixed in the ancient schism, who are therefore also heretics, patron too of their heresy and schism, has in­curred a sentence of excommunication and will be held bound by that sentence.” Everyone, individuals and communities, were forbidden to help him or to communicate with him under pain of censure and interdict. The excommunication was promulgated by being affixed to the doors of the chief church in Viterbo (66).

This ban was added to the list of excommunications renewed publicly every Maundy Thursday (in 1282, on 26 March), when it was also specified that any one who supplied the Greeks with warlike materials—horses, iron, timber, ships, etc.—on any pretext whatsoever were also excommunicated. The original excommunication with the later specifications was renewed on 7 May because “the Roman Church, mother and mistress of the faithful, having this very much at heart, is most anxious that nothing should be attempted to the detriment of the Christian faith” (67).

So Michael Palaeologus, who was making himself execrated at home by his own subjects for his harsh imposition of the “Christian faith” of the Roman Church, since he could not be assailed as a heretic or even as a schismatic when he had at least twice in his own person made the prescribed profession of faith, was excommunicated as a promotor of schism. The excommunication was, perhaps, directed as much against his friends in the west as against Palaeologus himself, for all excommunications, and specifically this one against him, involved in the ban all those who aided and abetted the excommunicated. By the end of 1281 Charles had, perhaps, begun to suspect that intrigues were going on between the Greek Emperor and some western powers. Certainly there were grounds for disquiet. Perhaps as early as 1279 Michael was in communication with the court of Peter of Aragon, whose wife, Constance, the daughter of Manfred of Sicily, was still looked on as a patroness of Hohenstaufen refugees. Of these, one in particular, John of Procida, and the Genoese Zaccaria, were the agents that moved between the two courts. Peter began to build a fleet in 1280, ostensibly to protect his interests in Africa. Towards the end of 1281 Palaeologus was sending money and an offer of marriage for his son (68).The intrigue was widespread and active also in Sicily.

Charles's preparations for his long-deferred expedition were quickly coming to completion. He had the good will of Bulgaria and Serbia and the promise of assistance from John of Thessaly. Nicephorus of Epirus was not only Charles's vassal, but he was also a party to the treaty between him, the Latin Emperor Philip and Venice (69). The Angevin fleet was being collected together at Messina and was said to amount to 400 vessels. The Pope had granted Charles a dime on Sardinia and Hungary for six years and the proceeds from the redemption of vows in Sicily, Provence and elsewhere for the same period (70). To the Sicilians, restive under the heavy taxes imposed on them, it was forbidden to carry arms.

The stage was thus set for the great event, when Sicily exploded in revolt. A trifling incident was the occasion. An Angevin soldier molested a Sicilian woman in the square outside the church of the Holy Spirit near Palermo after the vespers of Easter Monday, 30 March 1282. Her husband stabbed the soldier. The crowd joined in. Soon all the island was in arms and Frenchmen everywhere were being massacred. On 28 April the fleet at Messina was destroyed and the town, the last Angevin stronghold, also fell. Peter of Aragon, intimidated by threats from France, made a pretence of sailing to Tunis before directing his fleet towards Sicily. It was only when Charles's efforts to retake Messina failed that Peter left Algeria to land in Trapani on 30 August 1282. He entered Palermo on 2 September, and Messina on 2 October and even carried the war against Charles into southern Italy (71). Nothing that Charles and the excommunications of Martin IV against him and Palaeologus (72) could do availed to change the situation. Sicily was finally lost to Charles. His expedition against Constantinople was rendered utterly impossible. The union of the Churches was at an end.

When the Emperor Michael had first heard of the papal ex- communication against him he had been very angry. As an immediate reaction he had forbidden any further commemoration of the Pope in the Liturgy and had felt inclined to drop the union altogether. But second thoughts, that with the restoration of Joseph to the patriarchal throne the ecclesiastical situation would be easier, checked any hasty action (73). The “Sicilian Vespers” relieved him of his great anxiety from the West. He did not survive his triumph long. While on a campaign in Thrace he fell ill at Allage. He received Holy Communion just before he died on 11 December 1282, excommunicated by the Roman Church with which he was united and execrated (and, as it will appear, forbidden the rites of Christian burial) by the Greek church of his birth. That same night he was hastily interred in a nearby monastery by his son Andronicus.

Michael was an astute politician in his dealing with political powers, less dear-sighted when dealing with his own people. He entered on the project of Church union unquestionably from political motives. He achieved it and maintained it for the same ends in spite of opposition. But it seems to me that in the course of his negotiations he became sincerely convinced that it was justified also from the theological point of view. Writing to Pope Urban IV he had asserted that the thesis of Nicholas of Cotrone had opened his eyes to the real unity in faith and practice of the two Churches. There is no good reason for doubting that statement, especially when men of un­doubted integrity like Beccus, Metochites, Meliteniotes and various bishops like Theophanes affirmed precisely the same. Both Pachymeres and George Metochites portray even the Patriarch Joseph as a unionist at heart, restrained from showing his mind openly by the oath he had taken. Palaeologus's fury with his opponents may have come in part measure from his sense of frustration, not so much that they could not, as that they would not, face the evidence and draw the right conclusion. Or rather, they had drawn the conclusion in the time of Vatatzes, and even during his own reign the Great Synod (i.e., all the bishops), had signed the “tome” that was sent to Pope John XXI and had approved the solemn excommunication of opponents of union, dated 16 July 1277, both of which documents un­conditionally acknowledged the orthodoxy of the Roman faith and ad­mitted papal primacy. The most open and effective enemies of the union of Lyons were the monks. The vast majority of these had no theological formation at all and very many of them were Arsenites for whom, union or do union, Palaeologus was a usurper. The laity was very much under the influence of the monks. The combination of bishops, monks and laity was a formidable opposition that Michael held in check by fear. His death removed the restraint. Andronicus's interment of his father's body, hastily performed to avoid any untoward incident, was a significant indication of the reaction that was to come


(1) Tautu, Urban, n. 54.

(2) Runciman, Op. tit., pp. 186-8.

(3)D. M. Nicol, “The Relation of Charles of Anjou with Nikephoros of Epirus,” in BForsch, IV (1972), pp. 180-94, esp. p. 180.

(4) Dated 1 May 1275, M.-H, Laurent, Innocent V et son temps (ST 129, Citti del Vaticano, 1947), p. 269.

(5)Ibid., p. 141. In the document the two others are called “Calada et Ioannis Paganus.”

(6)C. Giannelli, ‘'Le recit d'une mission diplomatique de Georges le Métochite (1275-1276) et le Vat. Gr. 1716,” = Appendix IV in M.-H. Laurent, Op. Cit., pp. 419-43. The envoys found the Pope probably in Beaucaire negotiating with Alfonso of Castile and went with him to Lausanne, where he arrived on 6 October 1275 to treat with Rudolph of Habsburg.

(7) I.e., Abaga, son of Hüllegü, Khan of the Mongols.

(8)This is known from a letter of Gregory's successor, Innocent V, who dealt with the two embassies: Acta Romanorum Pontiflcum ab Innocentio V ad Benedictum XI (1276-1304) (= Pont. Comm., Ill, V, II), ed. F.M. Delorme, O.F.M. and A.L. Tautu (Città del Vaticano, 1954) (quoted hereafter as Delorme), n. 2, dated 23 May 1276. The Greek Emperor was suspicious of western crusades: one of them, had captured Constantinople.

(9) 23 May 1276, Delorme, n.2.

(10)It recounted the imprisonment and the freeing of St. Peter taken from the Acts of the Apostles; Pach. I p. 399. The celebrant of the Liturgy was not the Patriarch, for the patriarchal throne was vacant, and so the place of the celebration was not the patriarchal Great Church; hence this promulgation of the union was unimpressive.

(11)Pach. I, pp.401.

(12) Pach. I pp. 409-410. “Consummation of the business” probably refers to promul­gation of the union through the Liturgy in the Blachernae palace. The only Pope who blandly refused Charles's pleas would have been Gregory X. His successors restrained him somewhat but with a barely disguised sympathy towards him. Charles, however, was never at Gregory's court at the same time as Greek envoys. This description may refer to Innocent's reign. Charles was at Innocent's side from 7/8 February till the end of May.

(13) M.-H Laurent, Op. cit., pp. 441-2.

(14) Gill,“The Church Union of Lyons”, doc.V.

(15)Ibid., doc. VI. The name of the historian George Pachymeres is among the signatures.

(16) Ibid., doc. VII.

(17)Ibid., doc. IV. The Latin preposition “ek” is translated by the Greek “apo” or “para.” The title of this text in the manuscript runs: “Synodical decree which the bishops of that time in Constantinople made about the Holy Spirit.” This title is the work of the compiler of the collection of texts or of a copyist, and may or may not be correct.

(18)Most of the statements made in this paragraph are taken from an aide-mémoire given by Ogerius, “protonotary of Latin interpreters of the Curia of My Lord the most holy Emperor of Romania,” to two papal envoys, Marcus and Marchetus, about whom no detail is known. The text is in Delorme, n. 23, and in R.J. Loenertz, “Memoire d'Ogier,” in OCP, 31 (1965), pp. 374-408.

The two envoys went to Constantinople probably in early 1278. The aide-mémoire was written probably in late spring 1278. Its purpose was to remind the envoys of what the Emperor had said to them viva voce, so the authority behind it is the Emperor's. At one point it states that Michael sent to the "apostates,” Nicephorus and John, “the excommunication accounted by the nuncios of the holy Apostolic See.” Certainly no nuncio excommunicated any of Palaeologus's political enemies by name. They may have made known the general excommunication of all enemies of the union.

Cf. D.M. Nicol, “The Report of Ogerius,” in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy LXIII, sect. C, 1 (Dublin, 1962); V. Grumel. “Condle anti-unioniste contre Michel et Beccos,” infO, 24 (1925), pp. 321-4.

(19) So the letter was written in late February or early March.

(20)For the Greek text with an English translation cf. Gill, Art. cit., doc. VIII. A French translation has been published by V. Laurent, “Lettre inédite de Jean XI Beccos, patriarche de Constantinople (1275-1282) au Pape Grégoire X (1271-1276),” in L'Unité de l'Eglise, XII (1934),pp.268-70.

(21) Giacomo, bishop of Ferentino; Goffrido, bishop of Turin; Rainone, prior in Viterbo; and Salvo, lector in Lucca.

(22)Safe-conduct from Charles, 26 November 1276.

(23) solidilate roboris plenioris: Delorme, nn. 4,5; to Patriarch, n. 6.

(24)“...chiefly because our most dear son in Christ, Philip, Emperor of Constantinople, claims that the Empire of Constantinople belongs to him and that it is common knowledge that his father of glorious memory, Baldwin, Emperor of Constantinople, to whose place and right he succeeded, was by violence despoiled of the city of Constantinople; and Charles, illustrious King of Sicily, claims rights over certain parts of that Empire. These, trusting in their rights, their illustrious blood, their title of victory and the strength of their valiant race, declare that they will not be sluggish in enforcing their claims, but with all their might, with fixed intent and with the combined forces of themselves and their friends, will prosecute it with determined purpose” (Delorme, pp. 5-6).

(25)Delorme, n. 3, dated 23 May 1276. “May 28: By agreement with Innocent V Charles sends Brother Jerome of Ascoli to Michael VIII Palaeologus to treat with a view to a truce between (Charles] and Palaeologus”; M.-H. Laurent, Op. cit., p. 483, n. 163.

(26)Michael called himself “Emperor of the Romans,” i.e., of the whole Christian world.

(27)Delorme, n. 8.

(28)Delorme, nn. 9,11.

(29)Pach. 1, p. 410.

(30)Delorme, n. 14.

(31)Delorme, nn. 15,16, 17. Four copies of Michael's profession in Latin with his signature in Greek and three copies of Andronicus's profession, two in Latin, one in Latin and Greek, all with his signature in Greek, are still preserved in the Vatican archives.

(32)Greek text in A. Theiner and F. Miklosich, Monumenta spectentia ad unionem ecclesiarum graecae et latinae (Viodobonae, 1872), pp. 21-8. Latin text in Delorme, n. 18.

(33)That is, the tomographia, as described above.

(34)“But in her the plenitude of power consists in this, that what privileges the other Churches and especially patriarchal ones, acquired at different times by acts of the illustrious and holy emperors of yore and by canonical decisions and enactments of holy and divine councils, these the Roman Church approved and confirmed, and in no other way did such prerogatives of the Churches obtain approval, if the same Roman Church had not expressed on them its judgement and sentence, its own privileges, however, both in general councils and in all others remaining unimpaired” (pp. 23-4 of the Greek text, p. 38 of the Latin text). This is not quite what Pope Clement wrote, but the result is the same.

(35)The Greek text uses the technical term "proceeds from” (ekporeuetai) in respect only of the Father, for this had a special significance, viz., “proceed from as from the primary source.” With relation to the Son it employs “is poured forth from” (ekcheitai). That does not, however, imply any hesitation in belief of the Filioque doctrine, for the whole context reads as follows: “For he is poured forth, that is, he proceeds from God and Father as from a source; he is poured forth too from the Son himself as from a source, exactly as from God himself and Father. But, both the Father is the source of the Spirit and the Son is source of the Spirit, nevertheless the Father and the Son are not two sources, but the orthodox mind holds Father and Son as one source of the Spirit, and for that reason the luminaries and doctors of the Church have always taught that the Holy Spirit is common to Father and Son, For just as the Spirit is from the substance of the Father by nature, so the Spirit is from the substance of the Son by nature, and just as in respect of substance he is from God and Father, so according to substance he is of the Son, and just as he is properly of the substance of the Father and not coming forth into being apart from him, so he is properly of the substance of the Son, and not coming forth into being outside of him too” (Theiner and Miklosich, Op. cit., pp. 25-6).

This profession of faith was a “more personal” act of the Patriarch. Probably few of the bishops would have subscribed to it in its entirety. On the other hand, incidents like the persecution of the bishops of Trikkala and Kitros (whose metropolitan of Thessalonica is reported as also having signed the profession) for loyalty to their signatures given at this synod and the fact that, in Pachymeres's narrative, bishops do not figure among those who were exiled or mutilated for their faith but that, on the contrary, they were still at large and in communication with the Emperor (which they would not have been, had they boycotted the synod or openly refused to subscribe to its document) imply a certain loyalty to the union.

Of two bishops in particular, Pachymeres, with perhaps a little sarcasm, wrote that when Beccus in synod (probably c. 1280) was urging the equivalence of “Through” and “From,” “the friends of the Metropolitan of Ephesus and of Meletius of Athens and very many more were scandalised, preferring the lesser evil of their own sin in making peace with people who erred in divine dogmas to the greater evil of seeming to call dogmas in question.” He goes on to relate that Meletius got very worked up and threatened to go into exile (but does not say that he went), whereas "Isaac of Ephesus and his friends were more prudent, keeping in mind the Emperor and not wishing to seem to embroil the situation further with scandals” (p. 483). So Ephesus and Meletius. and their friends with very many others “made peace” with the Latins—and signed the synodical document.

(36)Delorme, n.20.

(37)Latin text dated 16 July 1277, Delorme, n. 19.

(38)Delorme, n. 23. The treachery of Michael's generals occurred in early summer 1277.

(39)The anti-unionist “synaxis” in 1450 argued precisely on these lines when it refused to acknowledge Constantine Palaeologus as Emperor: cf. J. Gill, The Council of Florence (Cambridge, 1959), p. 373 with n. 5.

(40)The anti-unionists, inspired by the devil, “deceived and corrupted the more guileless and simple and taught them what perverts the Christian way and manner of life, that is, not to frequent the holy and divine churches, to boycott [unionist] priests, to shun the sacrifices celebrated by them, and moreover to reject and set aside the baptisms performed by them. In other words, by all this they tried to the best of their power to bring Christianity to an end" (Gill, “The Church Union of Lyons, etc.,” p. 25).

The Arsenites held a council in Thessaly in 1278 where they condemned by name the patriarchs Nicephorus, Oermanus and Joseph, i.e., all those who had held office during the lifetime of Arsenius; Cf. V. Grumel, “Un concile arséniste en 1278,” in EO. 24 (1925), pp. 324-5.

(41) Pach. I, p. 449-52.

(42) Delorme, nn. 21,22.

(43) 1,5,7 April 1278, Delorme, nn. 24,25,27. Raynaldus, 1278,18-22.

(44)18 August 1278, Delorme, n. 26. The papal letter also states that there were no Latin faithful in the diocese in need of his ministrations.

(45) 7 October 1278, Delorme, n. 28.

(46) Safe-conducts, dated October 1278, Delorme, nn. 32,40,41,42.

(47) 7 October 1278, Delorme, n. 29.

(48) 7 October 1278, Delorme, n. 30.

(49) Delorme, n. 20. Nicholas wrote to Philip, Emperor of Constantinople: [Pope John had treated with Palaeologus about political relations with Philip and Charles.) “At length We, called to the supreme See of the apostolate, since We find that the envoys sent on the part of Palaeologus had no mandate to treat of political questions, We mean to reply to him by our letters to send within five months” authorized ambassadors as desired by John XXI: he asked Philip and Charles to co-operate: (no date, but clearly before October 1278): M.J. Gay, Les registres de Nicholas III, I-V, (Paris, 1898-1938), n. 709. Cf. also nn. 708,710 and (dated 18 October 1278) n. 378.

(50) 7,8 October 1278, Delorme, nn. 31,34.

(51) 9 October 1278, Delorme, n. 35.

(52)Gay, Registres, n. 711.

(53) 9October 1278, Delorme, nn. 36, 37, 38.

(54)11,18 October 1278, Delorme, nn. 40,41, 42.

(55)The letters and instructions given to the four Franciscan nuncios were the answer to the letters and professions of faith, dated April 1277, of the Greek Emperors and Patriarch, entrusted to the papal envoys sent by John XXI for transmission to the same Pope. They reached the Curia, sede vacante, after John's death and before the election of Nicholas. This is slated in the letters that Nicholas gave his own envoys and is manifest also from their general content. In these letters there is absolutely no reference, either direct or indirect, to the Greek letters of congratulation on his elevation to the papacy or to the aide-memoire of Ogerius carried by the messengers, Marcus and Marchetus.

Hence R.-J. Loenertz is mistaken in asserting that these latter letters and the aide-mémoire “played a decisive role in the mission of the four apostolic nuncios of autumn 1278” (“Mémoire d'Ogier, protonotaire, pour Marco et Marchetto nonces de Michel VIIl Paléologue auprès du pape Nicholas III. 1278, printemps-été,” in OCP, 31 [1965], p. 376), and has no grounds for stating that they reached the Pope either “before July [1278]” (Ibid. p. 375) or (here followed by V. Laurent, Reg., n. 1439, p. 231) before 8 October 1278 (“Notes d'histoire et de chronologie byzantines," in REB, 20 [1962], p. 179). The Greek letters, being in answer to the announcement of Nicholas's crowning (26 December 1277), were written probably in 1278. There is no indication when they arrived at the papal Curia apart from their place in the papal registers—which suggests the year 1278—and their lack of influence on the papal embassy, which received its safe- conduct from Charles of Anjou sometime after 7 January 1279, when he ordered his port officials to facilitate their journey (££751 p. 299)—which suggests 1279.

(56)Pp. 455ss.

(57)Pach. I, pp. 461-2, is the sole source for knowledge of this letter. He describes it, but does not transcribe the text.

(58)Detorme, nn. 45,46.

(59)Here Pachymeres insists on the sufficiency of western sacraments, “baptism, priest­hood, matrimony, the monastic state and the rest” (p. 463). The “tomographia” quoted in note 40 reflects the rejection of these by the anti-unionists.

(60)Pach. I, pp. 472ss., 494-5.

(61)Pach. I, pp. 483-93.

(62)Pach. I, pp. 475-6, the only source of information about this embassy.

(63)Pach. 1, p. 505, Dölger, Reg, n. 2049, Geanakoplos, Op. cit., p. 344, and Roberg, Op. cit., pp. 214-5 date the departure of this embassy from Greece as before 9 January. 1281, because 1) Pachymeres (the sole source of more precise information) seems to say that Palaeologus anticipated Martin's accession (ephthase), and 2) Dölger and Geanakoplos connect it with the capture of two Greek envoys, Philip and Constantine, by an Angevin war galley; the order for their release given by Charles was dated 9 January 1281 (Norden, Op. cit., p. 621 n. 2). The connection, at any rate, between Philip and Constantine and the Greek bishops is purely conjectural.

(64)Pach. I, p. 505.

(65)TT. IIl, pp. 287-95. When the treaty was being made Pope Martin was ill and knew nothing of it—Roberg, Op. cit., p. 216 n. 14.

(66)Delorme, n. S3.

(67)Delorme, n. 54.

(68) For a more detailed account of this diplomatic activity cf. Geanakoplos, Op. cit., pp. 344-57 and Runciman, Op. cit., pp. 222-35 and App. pp. 313-18. These excellent books, the one treating events as western history, the other as eastern history, happily complement each other. Runciman's study covers a wider field. Dölger, Reg, n. 2059.

(69)D.M. Nicol, “The Relations of Charles of Anjou with Nikephorus of Epirus,” p. 191.

(70) Les registres de Martin IV (1281-1285) par Les Membres de I'Ecole Française de Rome, I-III (Paris. 1901-1935), nn. 116,117, dated 18 March 1282.

(71) Runciman, Op. cit., pp. 251-303.

(72)18,21 November 1282, Delorme, nn. 58,59,59a.

(73)Pach. I. p. 506.

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