Slike stranica

work on holy days, on the prohibition of marriages within the forbidden degrees. Besides these taboos, he lays down that it is unlawful to enter a church with a turban on the head, and that no food may be tasted before nine o'clock in the morning. On the other hand, he discountenances some taboos which the Greek priests had sought to impose, that it is unlawful to bathe on Wednesdays and Fridays, and to eat the flesh of an animal that has been killed by a eunuch. But he rules that it is not allowable to taste an animal which has been hunted by a Christian if it has been killed by a pagan, or killed by a Christian if it has been hunted by a pagan. The Bulgarians had inquired whether they should adopt the habit of wearing drawers; he replied that it was a matter of no importance. It was the custom for their king to eat in solitary grandeur, not even his wife was permitted to sit beside him. The Pope observes that this is bad manners and that Jesus Christ did not disdain to eat with publicans and sinners, but candidly affirms that it is not wrong nor irreligious. He bids them substitute the cross for the horse's tail which was their military standard. He strictly prohibits the practice of pagan superstitions, the use of healing charms, and swearing by the sword.

He commands them to discontinue the singing of songs and taking of auguries before battle, and exhorts them to prepare for combat by reciting prayers, opening prisons, liberating slaves, and bestowing alms. He condemns the superstition of sortes biblicae to which the Greeks resorted.?

A pleasing feature of the Pope's Responses is his solicitude to humanize the Bulgarians by advising them to mitigate their punishments in dealing with offenders. He sternly denounces, and supports his denunciation by the argument of common sense, the use of torture for extracting confessions from accused

He condemns the measures which had been taken to destroy the rebels and their families as severe and unjust, and censures the punishment which had been inflicted on the Greek who had masqueraded as a priest. He enjoins the right of asylum in churches, and lays down that even parricides and fratricides who seek the refuge of the sanctuary should be treated with mildness. But in the eyes of the medieval




2 1b. 77. i Nic. Resp. 66 (cum ligatura lintei).

4 See above, p. 387.

3 Ib. 86.

Christian, murder, which the unenlightened sense of antiquity regarded as the gravest criminal offence, was a more pardonable transgression than the monstrous sin of possessing two wives. “The crime of homicide,” the Pope asserts, “ the crime of Cain against Abel, could be wiped out in the ninth generation by the flood; but the heinous sin of adultery perpetrated by Lamech could not be atoned for till the seventy-seventh generation by the blood of Christ.”] The Bulgarians are commanded, not indeed, as we might expect, to put the bigamist to death, but to compel him to repudiate the unfortunate woman who had the later claim upon his protection and to perform the penance imposed by the priest.

The treatment of unbelievers was one of the more pressing questions which Nicolas was asked to decide, and his ruling on this point has some interest for the theory of religious persecution. A distinction is drawn between the case of pagans who worship idols and refuse to accept the new faith, and the case of apostates who have embraced or promised to embrace it, but have slidden back into infidelity. No personal violence is to be offered to the former, no direct compulsion is to be applied, because conversion must be voluntary; but they are to be excluded from the society of Christians. In the case of a backslider, persuasive means should first be employed to recall him to the faith ; but if the attempts of the Church fail to reform him, it is the duty of the secular power to crush him. For if Christian governments did not exert themselves against persons of this kind, how could they render to God an account of their rule; for it is the function of Christian kings to preserve the Church their mother in peace and undiminished. We read that King Nebuchadnezzar decreed, when the three children were delivered from the flames, Whosoever shall blaspheme the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall perish, and their houses shall be destroyed. If a barbarian

' king could be so wroth at blasphemy against the God of Israel because he could deliver three children from temporal fire, how much greater wrath should be felt by Christian kings at the denial and mockery of Christ who can deliver the whole world, with the kings themselves, from everlasting fire. Those who are convicted of lying or infidelity to kings are seldom if

i Nic. Resp. 51.

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ever allowed to escape alive; how great should be the royal anger when men deny, and do not keep their promised faith to, Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Be zealous with the zeal of God.” Thus was the principle of the Inquisition laid down by Rome for the benefit of Bulgaria.

In the eyes of Boris the most important question submitted to the Pope was the appointment of a Patriarch. On this point Nicolas declined to commit himself. He said that he could not decide until he had heard the report of his legates ; but he promised that in any case Bulgaria should have a bishop, and when a certain number of churches had been built, an archbishop, if not a Patriarch. The prospect of an archbishopric seems to have satisfied the king. He welcomed the papal legates and, expelling all other missionaries from the kingdom, committed to them exclusively the task of preaching and baptizing. Formosus succeeded so well in ingratiating himself, that Boris destined him for the future archbishopric; but the Pope declined to spare him from his Italian see, and sent out other bishops and priests, promising to consecrate as archbishop whichever of them the king should select.

The Latin ecclesiastics worked for more than a year (A.D. 866-867) in the land which the Pope hoped he had annexed to the spiritual dominion of Rome. Bulgaria, however, was not destined to belong to the Latin Church ; her fate was linked in the religious as in the political sphere to Constantinople. But the defeat of papal hopes and the triumph of Byzantine diplomacy transcend the limits of the present volume.

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§ 3. The Slavonic Apostles The Slavonic land of Moravia, which extended into the modern Hungary as far eastward as the river Gran, was split into small principalities, the rivalries of whose lords invited the interference of the Franks. The margraves of the East Mark looked on the country as a client state; the archbishops of Passau considered it as within their spiritual jurisdiction ; and German ecclesiastics worked here and there in the land, though Christian theology had penetrated but little into the

i Vit. Nic. pap. 157.
2 For the denunciation of their prac.

tices by Photius, see above, Chap. VI.

p. 200.



" 3

wilds, and only by an abuse of terms could Moravia be described as Christian. The Moravian Slavs chafed under a dependency which their own divisions had helped to bring about, and we have seen how Rostislav, a prince who owed his ascendancy in the land to the support of King Lewis the German, sent an embassy to Constantinople.

Ecclesiastical tradition affirms that his envoys, who arrived at the court of Michael III. in A.D. 862-863, requested the Emperor to send to Moravia a teacher who knew Slavonic and could instruct the inhabitants in the Christian faith and explain the Scriptures. “Christian teachers have been amongst us already, from Italy, Greece, and Germany, teaching us contradictory doctrines; but we are simple Slavs and we want some one to teach us the whole truth.”

We may confidently reject this account of the matter as a legend. The truth probably is that, when the Moravian embassy arrived, the Patriarch Photius saw an opportunity of extending the influence of the Greek Church among the Slavs, and incidentally of counteracting, in a new field, the forms of Western Christianity which he so ardently detested. The suggestion may have come to him from his friend Constantine the Philosopher, a man of Thessalonica, who had a remarkable gift for languages and was a master of that Slavonic tongue which was spoken in the regions around his birthplace.

There is not the least reason to suppose that the family of Constantine (more familiarly known under his later name of Cyril) was not Greek.4 His elder brother, Methodius, had entered the public service, had held the post of governor of some region where there were Slavonic settlements, and had then retired to a monastery on Mt. Olympus in Bithynia. Constantine (born about A.D. 827) had been devoted to

1 At the Synod of Mainz in A.D. 852 above, p. 383, for its real object. we hear of the “rudis adhuc chri. 3 Vit. Meth. c. 5; cp. Translatio, stianitas gentis Marahensium : M.G.H. c. 7, “qui ad legendum eos et ad (Leg.) i. 414. Cp. Jagić, Entstehungs- perfectam legem ipsam edoceat.” geschichte, i. 7.

4 Jireček's attempt to claim the 2 A.D. 860 or 861, acc. to Jagić, apostles as Slavs (Geschichte, 151) is Entstehungsgeschichte, i. 6. As Con- unconvincing. stantine probably did not go to Moravia 5 Vit. Met. c. 3, držati slovensko, till A.D. 864 (see below, p. 396), it seems principatum Slovenicum. more likely that the embassy arrived 6 When he died (A.D. 869, February in 863 or at earliest 862. So too 14) he was 42 years old (Vit. Const. Bretholz, Geschichte Mährens, 66. See c. 18).





learning from his youth. Legend said that at the age of seven years he had chosen, in a dream, Wisdom as his bride. The promise of his boyhood excited the interest of the statesman Theoktistos, who fetched him to Constantinople to complete his education. He pursued his studies under two eminent men of learning, Leo 1 and Photius. But he disappointed the hopes of his patron, who destined him for a secular career and offered him the hand of his god-daughter, a wealthy heiress. He took orders and acted for some time as librarian of the Patriarch's library, a post which, when Photius was Patriarch, could not have been filled by one who was not exceptionally proficient in learning. But Constantine soon buried himself in a cloister, which he was with difficulty persuaded to leave, in order to occupy what may be described as an official chair of philosophy at Constantinople. His biographer says that he was chosen by the Emperor to hold a disputation with Saracen theologians on the doctrine of the Trinity. Subsequently he retired to live with his brother on Mount Olympus. He was in this retreat when envoys from the Chagan of the Khazars arrived at Constantinople and asked the Emperor to send him a learned man to explain the tenets of Christianity, so that the Khazars might judge between it and two other faiths, Judaism and Mohammadanism, which were competing for their acceptance. Michael, by the advice of Photius, entrusted the mission to Constantine, who, accompanied by Imperial envoys, travelled to Cherson with the embassy of the Khazars." At Cherson he remained some months to learn the Khazar language, and to seek for the body of St. Clement, the first bishop of Rome, who had suffered martyrdom in the neighbourhood. But St. Clement was a name almost forgotten by the natives, or rather the 1 See below, p. 436.

since, according to the source, Vit. 2 On the Stenon, i.e. the Bosphorus Const. 6, he was aged 24. The author (Vit. Const. C. 4).

of this life describes the debate at 3 See below, p. 439. His friendship length. with Photius did not deter him from 5 Cp. below, p. 423.

The source entering into a speculative controversy for the discovery of the body of St. with the learned Patriarch, who had Clement is the Translatio of Gauderic, written a treatise to maintain the rash cp. Appendix XI. doctrine that two souls inhabited the 6 Translatio, c. 2. In Vit. Const. human body. Anastasius, Praef. 6, C. 8 he is represented as studying 66 fortissimo eius amico."

Hebrew and Samaritan at ChersonCp. Appendix XI. The date, if the Hebrew evidently for the purpose of story were true, would be A.D. 851, disputing with the Jews.




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