Section I: Foundations of Western Civilizations (Late Medieval Period) A. Late Medieval Period
● The roots of some modern political tenets are found in the late medieval period
● Late medieval economic developments changed the class structure of Europe and led to a more modern demographic arrangement.
● The breakdown of the Catholic Church, and other late medieval disasters (plague, little ice age, etc.) began to change the traditional structures of Europe.
1. Babylonian Captivity/ Great Western Schism/ Conciliar Movement
a. Babylonian captivity (13091377):
i. Refers to the 70 years in ancient Hebrews were held captive in Mesopotomian Babylon ii. Background
1. Disputes arose between Pope Boniface VIII and King Philip IV (“The Fair”) of
France over the right of the king to tax the clergy.
2. Boniface issued the “Unam Sanctam” (church over state) as an attempt to assert his control and Boniface’s men attempt to murder Philip. He dies shortly afterwards. iii. Beginning in 1309, Pope Clement V moved to Avignon in Eastern France, already the place of the pope’s summer residence (taking Philip IV up on his offer of a large palace and
1. The church became a puppet of the French monarchy
2. Most Cardinals eventually were French
3. Practice of selling indulgences begins in Avignon under Clement VI
4. Hated by most nonFrench Catholics. b. Great Schism
i. Pope Gregory XI returned to Rome in 1378—and died within a few months.
1. New Italian pope = Urban VI
a. Promised to reform College of Cardinals (mainly French)
b. The popes at Rome were Urban VI (1378–89), Boniface IX (1389–1404),
Innocent VII (1404–6), and Gregory XII (1406–15). nd ii. French Cardinals elected a 2 pope that lived in Avignon (Clement VII). Supported by French monarch Charles V (followed by Benedict XIII) iii. Each pope claims legitimacy scandal to Christendom
Conciliar Movement (Schism Ends)
i. Legally, only a pope could convene a church council, but competing popes would not call one that could potentially oust them from power ii. Conciliar theory defined the church as the whole body of the faithful, of which the elected head, the pope, was only one part iii. Pope’s sole purpose, they argued, was to maintain the unity and wellbeing of the church (schism isn’t achieving this) iv. 1409 Council of Pisa (Conciliar Movement)
1. On this basis, cardinals from both popes met on their own authority.
2. They deposed both popes and elect a new one.
3. Other 2 popes do not agree to this
a. Elected Alexander V who soon died and was followed by John XXIII.
4. 3 Popes!!!
v. 1414 Council of Constance
1. Martin V elected as new pope
2. Gregory resigned; other two were deposed by force.
3. Also, burned Jan (John) Hus at the stake
Wycliffe and Huss
a. John Wycliffe
i. English scholar & theologian ii. Precursor to Protestant Reformation iii. Followers = Lollards iv. Promotes rights of royalty against secular (nonreligious) claims of popes
v. Argues personal merit, not rank and office, = true basis of religious authority vi. Urges abolishing practices such as veneration of saints, pilgrimages, pluralism, and absenteeism vii.
Scriptures alone should be standard of Christian belief and practice st viii.
Sincere Christians should read the Bible themselves ( 1 English translation of Bible) ix. Argued that church should be stripped of its property
x. Posthumously condemned by pope. Lollards also condemned. b. John (Jan) Huss
i. Followers = Hussites ii. Rector @ University of Prague in Bohemia (Czech) iii. Supports vernacular translation of Bible and critical of traditional ceremonies of church, especially those involving the sacrament iv. Supports lay communion of bread AND wine (wine traditionally reserved just for clergy) v. Excommunicated by church and…