The Church and the Empire

The Church and the Empire
Being an outline of the history of the church from A.D. 1003 to A.D. 1304

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The Church and the Empire by D. J. Medley

Published:

1910

Pages:

226

Downloads:

798

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The Church and the Empire
Being an outline of the history of the church from A.D. 1003 to A.D. 1304

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Book Excerpt

ct dualism in the organisation of society and, therefore, of the theoretical equality between the ecclesiastical and the secular organs of government. According to this doctrine Sacerdotium and Imperium are independent spheres, each wielding the one of the two swords appropriate to itself, and thus the Emperor no less than the Pope is Vicarius Dei. It is this doctrine behind which the champions of the Empire entrench themselves in their contest with the Papacy. It was asserted by the Emperors themselves, notably by Frederick I and Frederick II, and it has been enshrined in the writings of Dante.

[Sidenote: Its weakness.]

The weak point of this theory was that it was rather a thesis for academic debate than a rallying cry for the field of battle. Popular contests are for victory, not for delimitation of territory. And its weakness was apparent in this, that while the thorough-going partisans of the Church allowed to the Emperor practically no power except such as he obtained by concession of or

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