For Boniface the jubilee was a real victory. The crowds that streamed to Rome showed him that men still retained their belief in the city as the sacred temple of the united world. The monster festival of reconciliation seemed to flow like a river of grace over its own past, and to wipe away the hated recollection of Celestine V, of his war with the Colonnas, and all the accusations of his enemies. In these days he could revel in a feeling of almost divine power, as scarcely any pope had been able to do before him. He sat on the highest throne of the West, adorned by the spoils of empire, as the “vicar of God” on earth. As the dogmatic ruler of the world, the keys of blessing and destruction in his hand, he beheld thousands from distant lands come before his throne and cast themselves in the dust before him as before a higher being. Kings, however, he did not see. Beyond Charles Martel, no monarch came to Rome to receive, as a penitent, absolution for his sins. This shows that the faith, which the battles of Alexander III and Innocent III had formerly won, was extinguished at royal courts.
Boniface VIII closed the memorable festival on Christmas Eve of the year 1300. It forms an epoch in the history of the papacy, as in that of Rome. The year of jubilee and enthusiasm was followed, in terrible contrast, by the tragic end of the Pope, the fall of the papacy from its height, and the decline of Rome to a condition of awful solitude.
EMBRACING THE PERIOD COVERED IN THIS VOLUME
JOHN RUDD, LL.D.
EMBRACING THE PERIOD COVERED IN THIS VOLUME A.D. 1162-1300
JOHN RUDD, LL.D.
Events treated at length are here indicated in large type; the numerals following give volume and page.
Separate chronologies of the various nations, and of the careers of famous persons, will be found in the INDEX VOLUME, with volume and page references showing where the several events are fully treated.
1162. Surrender and destruction of the city of Milan; the whole of Lombardy submits to Frederick.
Thomas Becket, appointed archbishop of Canterbury, resigns the chancellorship. See “ARCHIEPISCOPATE OF THOMAS BECKET,” vi, i. Flight of Pope Alexander III into France.
1163. Council of Tours; Alexander declares void all the acts of his opponents; stringent decrees against the heretics of Southern France, called Manicheans, Paulicians, and afterward Albigenses.
1164. Henry II convokes an assembly of barons and prelates; they enact the Constitutions of Clarendon. See “ARCHIEPISCOPATE OF THOMAS BECKET,” vi, i.
1165. Pope Alexander returns to Rome.