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The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

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Oscar Wilde

The Worm Ouroboros

E. R. Eddison

The Bhagavad Gita


A history of the reformation

by Thomas Martin Lindsay


The fullest expression of this temporal and spiritual supremacy claimed by the Bishops of Rome is to be found in Pope Innocent iv.'s Qommentary on the Decretals3 (12431254), and in the Bull, Unam Sanctam, published by Pope Boniface vni. in 1302. But succeeding Bishops of Rome in no way abated their pretensions to universal sovereignty. The same claims were made during the Exile at Avignon and in the days of the Great Schism. They were asserted by Pope Pius n. in his Bull, Execrabilis et pristinis (1459), and by Pope Leo X. on the very eve of the Reformation, in his Bull, Pastor jEtemus (1516); while Pope Alexander vi. (Rodrigo Borgia), acting as the lord of the universe, made over the New World to Isabella of Castile and to Ferdinand of Aragon by legal deed of gift in his Bull, Inter cwtera divinm (May 4th, 1493).1

1 Harnack, History of Dogma, vi. 132 n. (Eng. trans.).

s Compare his Opuseula contra errorcs Groxorum; De rcgimine principum. (The first two books were written by Thomas and the other two probably by Tolonieo (Ptolomaeus) of Lucca.)

* Apparatus super quinquc libris Decretalium (Strassburg, 1488).

The power claimed in these documents was a twofold supremacy, temporal and spiritual.

§ 2. The Temporal Supremacy.

The former, stated in its widest extent, was the right to depose kings, free their subjects from their allegiance, and bestow their territories on another. It could only be enforced when the Pope found a stronger potentate willing to carry out his orders, and was naturally but rarely exercised. Two instances, however, occurred not long before the Reformation. George Podiebrod, the King of Bohemia, offended the Bishop of Rome by insisting that' the Roman See should keep the bargain made with his Kussite subjects at the Council of Basel. He was summoned to Rome to be tried as a heretic by Pope Pius n. in 1464, and by Pope Paul n. in 1465, and was declared by the latter to be deposed; his subjects were released from their allegiance, and his kingdom was offered to Matthias Corvinus, the King of Hungary, who gladly accepted the offer, and a protracted and bloody war was the consequence. Later still, in 1511, Pope Julius n. excommunicated the King of Navarre, and empowered any neighbouring king to seize his dominions—an offer readily accepted by Ferdinand of Aragon.1

1 Full quotations from the Bulls, Unam Sanctam and Inter ccetera divince, •re to be found in Mirbt's Quellen zur Geschiehte des PapMums (Leipzig, 1895), pp. 88, 107. The Bulls, Execrabilis and Pastor JEternus, are in Denzinger, Enchiridion (Wiirzburg, 1900), 9th ed. pp. 172, 174.

The Deed of Gift of the American Continent to Isabella and Ferdinand is in the 6th section of- the Bull, Inter ccetera divinw. It is as follows:— "Motu proprio . . . de nostra mci a liberalitate et ex certa scientia ac de apostolicoe potestatis plenitndine omnes insulas et terras firmas inventas et inveniendas, detectas et detegendas versus Occidentcm et Meridiem fabricando et construendo unam lineam a Polo Artico scilicet Septcntrione ad Polum Antarticum scilicet Meridiem, sive terra hrmae et insula; invents et inveniendffi sint versus Indium aut versus aliam quamcumque partem, quae linea distct a qualibet insularum, quaa vulgariter nuncupantur de los Azores y cabo vierde, centum leucis versus Occidentem et Meridiem; ita quod omnes insula; et terrae firmae, repertae et reperienda;, detecta et detegendas, a prafata linea versus Occidentem et Meridiem per alium Regem aut Principem Christianum non fuerint actualiter possesses usque ad diem nativitatis Domini Nostii Jesu Christi proximi proeteritnm . . . auctoritate omnipotentis Dei nobis in Beato Petro eoneessa, ac vicarius Jesu Christi, qua fungimur in terris, cum omnibus illarum dominiis, civitatihus, castris, locis et villis, juribusque et jurisdictionitms ac pertinentiis univeris, vobis haeredibusque et successoribus vestris in perpetuum tenore pnesintium donamus. . . . Vosque et haen-des ac successores praefatos illarum dominos cum plena, libera et omnimoda potestatc, auctoritate et jurisdictione facinius, constituimus et deputanius."

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