A history of the church

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A HISTORY OF THE CHURCH

To the Eve of the Reformation

by Philip Hughes

Vol. 1: -711

CHAPTER 1: THE WORLD IN WHICH THE CHURCH WAS FOUNDED

1. THE ROMAN IMPERIAL UNITY

2. THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF THE ROMANO-HELLENISTIC CULTURE

3. THE RELIGION OF THE JEWS

4. TENDENCIES IN THE RELIGIOUS WORLD OF THE FIRST CENTURY A.D.

CHAPTER 2: THE FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH

1. THE FOUNDER

2. THE FIRST GENERATION

• NOTE A: THE END OF JEWISH CHRISTIANITY

• NOTE B: ST. PETER AT ROME

CHAPTER 3: THE FIRST CONTACTS WITH THE PAGAN RELIGIOUS WORLD

1. THE RELIGIOUS WORLD OF THE SECOND CENTURY

2. THE FIRST APOLOGISTS

3. THE GNOSTICS AND THE CHURCH

4. ST. IRENAEUS OF LYONS

5. MARCION -- MONTANISM

CHAPTER 4: THE CRISES OF THE THIRD CENTURY

1. THE EASTER CONTROVERSY

2. MONARCHIANS -- SABELLIUS -- ST. HIPPOLYTUS

3. THE PENITENTIAL CONTROVERSY -- ST. CALIXTUS I

4. THE SCHISM OF NOVATIAN

5. ST. CYPRIAN AND ROME

6. THE SCHOOL OF ALEXANDRIA -- ORIGEN

7. MITHRAISM

8. THE MANICHEES

9. DENIS OF ALEXANDRIA -- PAUL OF SAMOSATA

CHAPTER 5: THE WAY OF CHRISTIAN LIFE

CHAPTER 6: THE CHURCH AND THE PAGAN ROMAN EMPIRE

1. THE STATE -- HOSTILE AND TOLERANT

2. THE STATE DE-PAGANISED

• NOTE C: THE CHRISTIAN VIEW OF THE PERSECUTING STATE

CHAPTER 7: THE ARIANS, 318-359

CHAPTER 8

• THE CATHOLIC RESTORATION. 359-382

CHAPTER 9: ROME AND THE CATHOLIC EAST. 381-453

1. THE PRIMACY OF HONOUR. 381-419

2. EPHESUS. 427-433

3. CHALCEDON. 446-452

CHAPTER 10: THE TRADITIONAL FAITH AND THE IMPERIAL POLICY

1. THE AFTERMATH OF CHALCEDON. 452-518

2. JUSTINIAN. 527-565

3. BYZANTINE CATHOLICISM. 565-711

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Vol. 2: 313-1274

CHAPTER 1: THE CHURCH IN THE WEST DURING THE LAST CENTURY OF THE IMPERIAL UNITY, 313-30

1. THE DONATIST SCHISM, 311-393

2. ST. AUGUSTINE AND THE DONATIST SCHISM

3. ST. AUGUSTINE AND THE HERESY OF PELAGIUS

4. THE INFLUENCE OF ST. AUGUSTINE

5. PRISCILLIAN

6. THE ROMAN SEE AND THE WESTERN CHURCHES

CHAPTER 2:THE CHURCH AND THE DISRUPTION OF THE IMPERIAL UNITY, 395-537

1. THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL SITUATION IN THE FOURTH CENTURY: DIOCLETIAN TO THEODOSIUS, 284-395

2. SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CHANGES DURING THE FIFTH CENTURY, 395-526

3. THE CHURCHES OF THE WEST DURING THE CRISIS SPAIN, AFRICA, GAUL

4. THE ROMAN SEE AND ITALY

5. ST. PATRICK AND THE CONVERSION OF THE IRISH

6. ST. BENEDICT AND THE HOLY RULE

CHAPTER 3: ST. GREGORY THE GREAT AND THE BEGINNINGS OF RESTORATION

1. ST. GREGORY, FOUNDER OF THE MIDDLE AGES

2. ITALY, GAUL AND SPAIN IN THE CENTURY OF ST. GREGORY

3. THE CHURCH IN ROMAN BRITAIN: THE CONVERSION OF THE ENGLISH, 313-735

4. MAHOMET AND THE RISE OF ISLAM

5. SPANISH CATHOLICISM AND ST. ISIDORE OF SEVILLE, 589-711

CHAPTER 4: THE CHURCH AND THE CAROLINGIAN EMPIRE, 714-814

1. THE HERESY OF THE ICONOCLASTS

2. THE WORK OF ST. BONIFACE

3. THE ORIGIN OF THE PAPAL STATE

4. THE FIRST YEARS OF THE PAPAL STATE

5. CHARLEMAGNE, 768-814

CHAPTER 5: THE SIEGE OF CHRISTENDOM, 814-1046

1. THE BREAK-UP OF CHARLEMAGNE’S EMPIRE, 814-888

2. CAROLINGIAN CATHOLICISM: PIETY, LEARNING, MISSIONS

3. EASTERN CATHOLICISM: THE END OF ICONOCLASM: THE SCHISM OF PHOTIUS: 813-925

4. THE ROMAN SEE AND THE DISSOLUTION OF THE EMPIRE, 814-900

5. THE ROMAN SEE AND THE ANARCHY, 900-1046

6. CATHOLIC LIFE DURING THE ANARCHY: ABUSES, REFORMERS, MISSIONARY CONQUESTS

CHAPTER 6: THE RESTORATION OF SPIRITUAL INDEPENDENCE, 1046-1123

1. THE MOVEMENT OF REFORM AND ST. GREGORY VII, 1046-1123

2. THE SCHISM OF CERULARIUS

3. . THE OFFENSIVE AGAINST ISLAM: SICILY, SPAIN, THE EAST. 106-1099

4. THE MONASTIC RENAISSANCE: CHARTREUSE, CITEAUX, PREMONTRE

5. THE RENAISSANCE OF CATHOLIC THOUGHT

6. THE FIRST GENERAL COUNCIL IN THE WEST

CHAPTER 7: THE AGE OF ST. BERNARD, 1123-1181

1. ST. BERNARD

2. THE PROGRESS OF CATHOLIC THOUGHT: ABELARD -- GILBERT OF LA PORREE -- HUGH OF ST. VICTOR -- PETER LOMBARD -- GRATIAN -- ROLAND BANDINELLI

3. THE ROMAN SEE IN THE GENERATION AFTER THE CONCORDAT OF WORMS, 1123-1153

4. THE LATIN EAST, 1100-1151

5. THE IMPERIAL MENACE TO THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION: (I) FREDERICK BARBAROSSA AND ALEXANDER III, 1154-1177

6. THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF 1179

CHAPTER 8: THE CRISIS OF THE MIDDLE AGES, 1181-1198

1. THE IMPERIAL MENACE TO THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION: (2) THE EMPEROR HENRY VI

2. THE DISASTERS IN THE LATIN EAST, 1150-1197

3. CATHOLIC THOUGHT: THE MENACE OF ARISTOTLE AND AVERROES

4. ANTI-CLERICALISM, HERESY AND ANTI-CATHOLICISM: WALDENSES, JOACHIM OF FLORA, ALBIGENSES

CHAPTER 9: INNOCENT III AND THE CATHOLIC REACTION, 1198-1216

1. THE CRUSADE AGAINST THE ALBIGENSES

2. ST. DOMINIC AND THE FRIARS PREACHERS

3. ST. FRANCIS AND THE FRIARS MINOR

4. INNOCENT III AND THE CATHOLIC PRINCES

5, INNOCENT III AND THE LATIN EAST

6. INNOCENT III AND THE REFORM OF CATHOLIC LIFE: THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF 1215

CHAPTER 10: THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY: ACHIEVEMENT AND PROBLEMS, 1216-1274.

1. THE IMPERIAL MENACE TO THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION: (3) THE EMPEROR FREDERICK II.

2. THE CRUSADE OF ST. LOUIS IX, 1247-1254

3. INNOCENT IV AND THE PAPAL MONARCHY

4. THE END OF THE HOHENSTAUFEN: URBAN IV, CLEMENT IV AND CHARLES OF ANJOU

5. THE INQUISITION

6. THE TRIUMPH OF THE CATHOLIC INTELLIGENCE: ST. BONAVENTURE, ST. ALBERT THE GREAT, ST. THOMAS AQUINAS

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Vol. 3: 1274-1520

CHAPTER 1: GESTA PER FRANCOS, 1270-1314

1. BL. GREGORY X AND THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF LYONS, 1270-1276

2. THE SHADOW OF ANJOU, 1276-1285

3. FRANCE AND THE SICILIAN WAR, 1285-1294

4. BONIFACE VIII, 1294-1303

5. PHILIP THE FAIR’S LAST VICTORY, 1303-1314

CHAPTER 2: ‘THE AVIGNON CAPTIVITY’, 1314-1362

1. CRISIS IN THE WORLD OF THOUGHT

• i. The Problem of Church and State

• ii. The Problem of Faith and Reason

2. THE TROUBLED TIMES OF JOHN XXII

• i. The Friars Minor

• ii. The Last War with the Empire, 1314-1356

• iii. Marsiglio of Padua

• iv. The End of John XXII

3. THE AVIGNON REGIME

• i. The Centralised Administration

• ii. The Popes, 1334-1362

CHAPTER 3: THE RETURN OF ST. PETER TO ROME, 1362-1420

1. INFELIX ITALIA, 1305--1367

2. THE POPES LEAVE AVIGNON, 1362-1378

3. CHRISTIAN LIFE, MYSTICS, THINKERS

4. THE SCHISM OF THE WEST, 1378-1409

• i. The Two Conclaves of 1378.

• ii. Discord in each ‘Obedience,’ 1379-1394.

• iii. Benedict XIII’s Quarrels with the French, 1394-1403

• iv. The Roman Popes, 1389-1406

• v. Benedict XIII and Gregory XII, 1406-1409

5. THE CHURCH UNDER THE COUNCILS, 1409-1418

• i. Pisa, 1409

• ii. Constance, 1414-1418

CHAPTER 4: FIFTY CRITICAL YEARS, 1420-1471

1. THE MENACE OF HERESY AND SCHISM, 1420-1449

2. THE RETURN OF ISLAM, 1291-1481

3. THE RETURN OF THE ANCIENT WORLD

CHAPTER 5: ‘FACILIS DESCENSUS. . .’ 1471-1517

1. A PAPACY OF PRINCES

• SIXTUS IV

• INNOCENT VIII

• ALEXANDER VI

• JULIUS II

• LEO X


2. CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THOUGHT, 1471-1517

3. LUTHER

------------------------------------------------------------------------

A HISTORY OF THE CHURCH

To the Eve of the Reformation

by Philip Hughes

-------------------------------------------------

Vol. 1: -711

-------------------------------------------------

Vol. 1: -711

CHAPTER 1: THE WORLD IN WHICH THE CHURCH WAS FOUNDED

1. THE ROMAN IMPERIAL UNITY

2. THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF THE ROMANO-HELLENISTIC CULTURE

3. THE RELIGION OF THE JEWS

4. TENDENCIES IN THE RELIGIOUS WORLD OF THE FIRST CENTURY A.D.

CHAPTER 2: THE FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH

1. THE FOUNDER

2. THE FIRST GENERATION

NOTE A: THE END OF JEWISH CHRISTIANITY

NOTE B: ST. PETER AT ROME

CHAPTER 3: THE FIRST CONTACTS WITH THE PAGAN RELIGIOUS WORLD

1. THE RELIGIOUS WORLD OF THE SECOND CENTURY

2. THE FIRST APOLOGISTS

3. THE GNOSTICS AND THE CHURCH

4. ST. IRENAEUS OF LYONS

5. MARCION -- MONTANISM

CHAPTER 4: THE CRISES OF THE THIRD CENTURY

1. THE EASTER CONTROVERSY

2. MONARCHIANS -- SABELLIUS -- ST. HIPPOLYTUS

3. THE PENITENTIAL CONTROVERSY -- ST. CALIXTUS I

4. THE SCHISM OF NOVATIAN

5. ST. CYPRIAN AND ROME

6. THE SCHOOL OF ALEXANDRIA -- ORIGEN

7. MITHRAISM

8. THE MANICHEES

9. DENIS OF ALEXANDRIA -- PAUL OF SAMOSATA

CHAPTER 5: THE WAY OF CHRISTIAN LIFE

CHAPTER 6: THE CHURCH AND THE PAGAN ROMAN EMPIRE

1. THE STATE -- HOSTILE AND TOLERANT

2. THE STATE DE-PAGANISED

NOTE C: THE CHRISTIAN VIEW OF THE PERSECUTING STATE

CHAPTER 7: THE ARIANS, 318-359

CHAPTER 8

THE CATHOLIC RESTORATION. 359-382

CHAPTER 9: ROME AND THE CATHOLIC EAST. 381-453

1. THE PRIMACY OF HONOUR. 381-419

2. EPHESUS. 427-433

3. CHALCEDON. 446-452

CHAPTER 10: THE TRADITIONAL FAITH AND THE IMPERIAL POLICY

1. THE AFTERMATH OF CHALCEDON. 452-518

2. JUSTINIAN. 527-565

3. BYZANTINE CATHOLICISM. 565-711

CHAPTER 1: THE WORLD IN WHICH THE CHURCH WAS FOUNDED

1. THE ROMAN IMPERIAL UNITY

IT is not possible to understand the early history of the Church without some knowledge of the political and cultural world into which the Church came, of the Roman Empire, that is to say, as it was in the century which followed the Battle of Actium (31 B.C.), of Hellenism, of the older pre-Hellenistic civilisation still alive below the surface, and of the rich diversity of the Empire’s religions. The Empire in which the first Christian propagandists worked was a vast state whose forty provinces took in roughly all Europe west of the Rhine and south of the Danube, with the island of Britain, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Arabia and Egypt and the north coast of Africa thence to the Atlantic. Rome, its central capital city, had begun its history as a city-state. Then, as the head of a league of similar local states, as the chief state of an Italian federation, it had acquired, in little more than a century and a half, in a variety of ways, province by province, the greatest of antique Empires. Spain, Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica were the spoil of the wars with Carthage. The best part of Asia Minor came through the will of the last of its native kings. Gaul was the product of Julius Caesar’s military genius. Syria, Palestine and the rest of Asia Minor of that of his rivaI, Pompey. Egypt was the conquest of Augustus himself. Much of the East came with little native resistance: Gaul, on the other hand, cost nine years of Caesar’s campaigns; Italy was only reconciled to Roman hegemony after the bloody Social War (90-88 B.C.), while in Spain two centuries elapsed between the first occupation and the final definitive victories.

The provinces differed as much in the character of their pre-Roman civilisation as they differed in the circumstances which had subdued them to the Roman power; and hence they differed no less greatly in the degree to which the Roman power “romanised” them. In Greece and Asia, Rome subdued politically peoples who were, culturally, her superiors. In Syria, and especially in Egypt, there was a civilisation older still than that of Greece, “hellenised” now for several centuries; in Gaul a native Celtic civilisation, of yet another type; in Spain a population of fierce local clans where each separate valley was a new, separate people. Greece and Asia were politically organised, famous for their cities, centuries before Roman history began; while in the West it was Rome who introduced the “city,” and, in many western provinces, cities were rare even centuries after the Roman occupation.

From the days when she was merely the head of a league of Italian city-states, Rome had shown unique capacity for combining diversity in union, a political flexibility always ready to find new relationships on which to build alliances. Hence in the Empire, where no part was less firmly bound to Rome than another, and every part as firmly as possible, each part was yet bound by special links forged by the special circumstances of its conquest. All were equally subject; but in the manner of the subjection and in its implications there was diversity. To the immense population of this vast state the empire gave two hundred years of internal peace -- an achievement that has had few parallels in history. It developed the Hellenistic civilisation it found in possession, and brought that civilisation -- the best material civilisation the world had ever known -- to countries which otherwise, in East and West alike, would never have known it. It was through the Roman town -- the civitas, the city, that is, and the surrounding countryside attached to it -- that this work of civilisation was accomplished. For the city was no mere agglomeration of buildings, its population nothing more than the association of a few thousand or a hundred thousand individuals. The Roman towns were, as far as the thing was possible within the structure of the Empire, city-states, conscious of their existence as such, each with its own personality, centres of strong local patriotism and self-confidence [1] In varying degrees the towns were all of them self-governing, independent of the central government’s bureaucracy except for certain taxes and the provision of recruits for the army. From this point of view the Empire was a vast federation of self-governing cities. The constitution of this local state varied according to its charter. There was provision always for magistrates who acted as judges, settled the local taxes and collected them, saw to the upkeep of roads and the post. The magistrates were elected, as was also the city’s senate; and the elections were realities. There was, finally, in the city, the popular assembly; year by year representatives of all the cities of a province met at the provincial capital for the solemn rites with which the Emperor and the Genius of Rome were worshipped.

This Provincial Assembly also came in time to have a political importance. It became, for example, the organ through which complaints were made to the emperor. For the centre of the empire, its ruler, was the city of Rome, still in theory a republic of which the emperor was but the chief magistrate. When after a century of terrible civil wars -- Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Antony -- the victory of Actium (31 B.C.) left Caesar’s nephew, Octavian, sole master of the Roman world, he was able to build on the ruins of the old republic, where an aristocratic senate had been omnipotent, a new state. The form of the old he carefully preserved, but the reality was the rule of a military chief, an autocrat obeyed by virtue of personal oath of allegiance. The basis of his power was his victorious army, and thence derived one of the empire’s great problems: how to keep this army of professional long-service volunteers, who yet were citizens, from interfering in political life for its own profit. Here the personality of the reigning emperor mattered enormously, and while Augustus’ first successor Tiberius (14-37) succeeded as Augustus himself had done, five emperors, within sixty years of the death of Augustus, had died violently at the hands of the troops and civil war had revived again (68-69). There followed a century of capable rulers -- Vespasian to Marcus Aurelius (69-180), and then in 192 the army, increasingly out of hand, brought about another century of civil wars and finally a reorganisation of the Imperium, under Diocletian and Constantine, that made it a new thing. It is this Empire of the Antonines, either functioning (98-180), or in dissolution (180-284), that is the political background of primitive Christianity.

But the emperor was much more than the chief magistrate of the republic, omnipotent because he commanded an army that was bound to him by personal ties. He was the direct ruler of many of the provinces -- Egypt, one of the wealthiest, was practically a vast imperial estate. There had thus grown up inevitably a great corps of the emperor’s personal servants, paid to watch over his personal and imperial interests throughout the provinces -- to gather monies due to him, to administer his properties, to safeguard his interests in the multitude of cities against distant local rapacity or indifference, to execute his decrees and to see that others observed his laws. Here was a whole superstructure of offices and officials, concerned principally with Finance and Law, and of this, as well as of the army, the emperor was the absolute chief. The chief authors of this system were Claudius (41-54), Vespasian (69-78), and Hadrian (117-138). Inevitably, with the passing years, the importance of this imperial bureaucracy grew. Duties of supervising local government were laid upon it, and in the end the local elective governments came to be of secondary importance beside the paid, Rome-appointed official. In somewhat similar fashion the Law too developed, the emperor being omni-competent and his decisions becoming a source of law, judicial and administrative. When to this is added the development of the religious cultus of the emperor it will be easily understood how by the fourth century the Roman Emperor had become an absolute monarch of the pre-classical, oriental type.

The Roman Empire was not merely one politically, it was one also in culture; and this second unity outlasted the first, survived indeed to be a main foundation of all subsequent culture, to influence the Church in no small degree, sometimes aiding, sometimes hindering the development of her institutions, her expansion and her very doctrines. Politically the Empire was Roman; culturally it was, not Greek, but Hellenistic.

This Hellenistic Culture was the product of the political conquest of the East by the Macedonian king, Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.).

The Macedonians, though the language they spoke was undoubtedly a Greek dialect, and though they were probably Greeks by blood, were none the less reckoned barbarians by the Greeks of the classic culture. The Macedonian conquest of the East was therefore, from its beginning, a victory for a “Grecianism” that had never been purely classical, for a culture almost entirely Greek but a culture already mixed, and ready therefore to adapt itself to other cultures. The opportunity came with Alexander’s conquest of the Persian Empire.

Persia had menaced the Greek civilisation -- that is, roughly, all that we know as “the East,” had seemed bound inevitably to replace in the West all that we know as “the West” -- for a century and a half already when Alexander became king, 336 B.C. The lack of unity among the Greek city-states, the wars between them -- the long Peloponnesian War 431-403 B.C. -- were an eternal invitation to Persian aggression. To defend the West against this, unity was essential; and to unite Greece in a league directed by himself was the aim of Philip of Macedon (360-336). By 337 he had accomplished it. The following year, however, he was assassinated, and it was Philip’s son, Alexander, who led the alliance to victory. The story of his conquests reads like a fairy tale, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia and Persia itself, and even beyond the Indus -- in thirteen years he was master of the world from the Himalayas to the Adriatic. Then, unexpectedly, he died, thirty-three years of age.

That his Empire should descend intact to his baby son was not to be expected. It became, naturally, the much-disputed spoil of his leading generals, and thus Macedonian dynasties were established in Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt -- the only parts of the conquest that concern this story. These original dynasties vanished, the kingdoms were divided still further. From Syria were formed Armenia, Cappadocia, Pontus and Bithynia within a hundred and fifty years. The Celts came in (278 B.C.) and established themselves in Galatia, while the impotent Seleucid kings looked on from Antioch, and in self-defence against the invaders the natives established the Kingdom of Pergamum. Finally into Persia itself came the Parthians, “the Turks of Antiquity,” destined to harass and wear down the Roman Empire for centuries. Thus, with Greek or Macedonian dynasties ruling, the hellenising of the East was only a matter of time. By the time of the Roman Conquest it was largely accomplished, and thenceforward Rome is the agent of Hellenism’s expansion in the West.

Alexander had dreamed of a real union of all the races he conquered, their fusion into one new people. He had planned the administration of his Empire on this principle and had himself married a Persian. This fusion of Europe and Asia on a basis of Greek culture, Hellenism did not achieve; nor did it ever make Greeks of the Orientals. Nevertheless it transformed the East for centuries, and for this transformation the chief credit once more is Alexander’s. He promised to be as great a ruler as he had been a general in the field. His conquests he welcomed as enlarging the scope and opportunity for the development of the Greek mind, the spread of Greek ideas and ideals of life, of the Greek scientific achievement. Aristotle had been his tutor and the cultural sequel to his conquest was natural. He was the world’s great city founder, and the seventy which claim him as their founder were all of them Greek in form and spirit, so many active centres whence diffused Greek thought and life. Alexander’s successors were, in this respect, his enthusiastic imitators. A vast scheme of colonisation went with the foundations, and soon the East was filled with Greek traders, Greek artisans, Greeks to organise and exploit native talent, native industry, and especially land. The superiority of Greek methods and policies whether in diplomacy, in politics, or in the exploitation of natural resources, brought a new age of prosperity and peace to the East -- to the profit indeed principally of the Greeks. The East -- Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt -- became one vast market, Greek controlled.

At the head of this new hellenised world were the Greek rulers, secure because conquerors, and more stable still because they inherited, for their native subjects, the divinity acknowledged in the native kings they had dispossessed. Between these Greek rulers and their native subjects there grew up a new, extensive and wealthy middle class of commercials, industrials and middle men of all kinds. This class again was almost entirely Greek. The centres of its wealth were the hellenised towns; and the natives, dispossessed, were bound to the soil, a despised and impoverished class. Between the town and the country, drained for its advantage, here was inevitably a chronic hostility, and an allied hostility between natives and foreigners. The new social and political strain gave to the old native religions a new importance -- they were the one means left for the corporate expression of “national” feeling. Of all these countries Egypt affords the best example of this oppression, for in Egypt the government owned and controlled everything -- agriculture, industry, trade. The country was one vast royal estate, its people the ruler’s slaves or serfs.



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