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Tia M. Kolbaba [ 125 ] imperial laws from the period continued the Byzantine tradition by which Jews were second-class citizens. For example, the laws spelled out the penalties a Jew should suﬀer if he should manage—by inﬂuence or bribery, for he could not do it legally—to attain a civil or military oﬃce in the government. On the other hand, such laws indicate that some Jews had suﬃcient inﬂuence and wealth to circumvent the laws and that some Christians were willing to help them do so.33 In the years leading up to the quarrel between Cardinal Humbert and Keroularios in 1054, Jews had also come to the attention of imperial authorities in more negative ways. In 1042 they had participated, with Armenians and other “foreigners,” in the riots that accompanied an attempt to depose the empresses, Zoe and Theodora.34 In 1051 the Jews of Bari revolted, and the Christian citizens of the town retaliated by burning down the Jewish quarter.35 All of this is relevant to the azyme issue because Byzantines associated unleavened bread with the Jewish commemoration of Passover. Here Byzantines made all sorts of connections that modern historians ﬁnd unconvincing, but our skepticism does not mean that the Byzantines themselves were not honestly convinced. Byzantine polemicists argued that using unleavened bread was in itself a “Judaizing” practice, indicating a lack of recognition that the New Testament had, in all ways, superseded the Old.
So we see that the early eleventh century had been a period of debate about orthodox identity, especially about who was to be excluded from the category of “orthodoxy.” In that debate, unleavened bread had been used as a marker—the symbol that distinguished nonorthodox “them” from orthodox “us.” When some of the same men who had excluded Armenians for this reason became aware that Latins, too, used unleavened bread, they concluded that Latins, too, were heretics. But other orthodox churchmen did not agree. Thus Leo of Ohrid’s letter against azymes, which is usually seen as the ﬁrst volley in the war between Michael Keroularios and Humbert of Silva Candida, was addressed not to the pope or his cardinal, but rather to one of Leo’s acquaintances, John, bishop of Trani. Trani is in southern Italy and was at that time under Byzantine authority. John Ibid., 112–13.
Erickson, “Leavened and Unleavened,” 165–69.
´´ Trullo 33 and Trullo 99—P.-P. Joannou, Fonti. Fascicolo IX: Discipline generale antique (IIe–IXe s.), vol. 1.1, ´ ´ Les canons des conciles oecumeniques (Rome, 1962), 166–67, 235–36 [ G. A. Rhalles and M. Potles, Suntagma ´ ` ´ tw'n qeiwn kai iJerw'n kanonwn (Athens, 1852–59), 2:379, 2:543]. See also G. Dagron, “Judaıser,” TM 11 ¨ (1991): 365.
[ 126 ] Byzantine Perceptions of Latin Religious “Errors” was “a Byzantine sympathizer” and “an honorary member of the hierarchy of the Great Church in Constantinople.” Leo wrote to John because he had heard that this otherwise orthodox bishop was accepting azymites in his church.38 In sum, the quarrel about azymes and Latins became ﬁerce because it was internal— not a simple matter of “us” versus “them,” but a debate about the very deﬁnition of “us.” The Twelfth Century In the early years of the Komnenoi, the main concern remained azymes, even for those whose lives were disrupted by the Crusades.39 Patriarch John IV of Antioch (1089–
98) saw the First Crusade capture his city. Initially he stayed in Antioch, where he presided over both Greek and Latin clergy, but he later quarreled with the Latin rulers, ﬂed to Constantinople, and abdicated. Around 1112 he wrote a tract on azymes in which he explicitly stated that he saw azymes as the most important error of the Latins: “The principal cause of the division between them and us is in the matter of azymes.... The matter of azymes involves in summary form the whole question of true piety; if it is not cured, the disease of the church cannot be cured.”40 John represents Byzantine churchmen who were convinced that the use of azymes was itself heretical. Other Orthodox theologians disagreed. Around 1090, Theophylact, archbishop of Ohrid (1088/ 89–post 1126), reproached those who raised trivial issues, including azymes, against the Latins: “It seems to me,” he wrote, “that a man versed in church tradition and aware that no custom is important enough to divide the churches, except for that which leads to the destruction of dogma, will not” agree that the Westerners “commit unpardonable sins” in matters such as azymes.41 This issue, then, was still debated because it was still not settled.
Taking second place after azymes in the twelfth century was the issue of papal primacy.42 For example, in one of his texts written for debates with papal envoys in the capital in 1112, Niketas Seides (ﬂ. ﬁrst half of the 12th century) named twelve Latin errors, but insisted that only three were truly important: the procession of the Holy Spirit, azymes, and not calling Mary Theotokos. The importance of primacy is demonstrated by his ﬁrst treatise, for although he began by saying that his concern was the three doctrinal issues, he ended up writing a refutation of the claims of the papal legates that Rome is the Mother of the churches.43 From that refutation, he moved to doctrinal matters by arguing that even if Rome were the Mother of the churches, mothers deserve to be followed only if they are faithful to God. His example of how Rome had not been faithful, and the subject of his second discourse, was azymes. The emphasis on papal Smith, And Taking Bread, 91, 91 n. 47, 114–18.
Beck, Kirche und theologische Literatur, 610.
´ ´ ` B. Leib, Deux inedits byzantins sur les azymes au debut du XIIe siecle (Rome, 1924), 245 , cited and trans.
in Pelikan, Spirit of Eastern Christendom, 177.
´ Theophylact of Bulgaria, Proslalia tini tw'n aujtou' oJmilitw'n peri wn ejgkalou'ntai Lati'noi, ed.
´ ´ ´P. Gautier, Theophylacte d’Achrida: Discours, traites, poesies. Introduction, texte, traduction et notes (Thessaloniki, 1980), 279.
` Darrouzes, “Documents,” passim.
Tia M. Kolbaba [ 127 ] primacy in Seides’ work, and in that of his contemporary, Theodore Smyrnaios (ﬂ.
1080–1112), had two roots. First, it was a direct response to papal pretensions. In a letter to Emperor Alexios I, Pope Pascal II (1099–1118) had indicated that acceptance of Rome’s primacy, in matters of doctrine as in all else, was a prerequisite for ecclesiastical peace.44 Seides, Smyrnaios, and others had been assigned by the emperor to refute such claims. So, too, Patriarch John X Kamateros’ (1198–1206) later refutation of papal primacy was a direct response to Innocent III’s (1198–1216) assertion of that primacy.45 The second reason for Byzantine interest in papal primacy in the twelfth century relates directly to the Crusades. When Latin Crusaders conquered Antioch (1098) and Jerusalem (1099), they installed Latin patriarchs in both places. Those patriarchs owed at least nominal allegiance to the pope; at most, as was often the case, they were actually appointed by the pope. Constantinopolitans had not exactly been enthusiastic about the independence of the other Eastern patriarchs before the Crusades, and the patriarchs of Constantinople had been known to interfere in the other patriarchates. Nevertheless, they were quick to denounce Rome’s attempts to control them.
Still, Joseph Gill’s assessment of Byzantine denials of papal primacy before 1204 rings true: they lack heat. John Kamateros’ debate with Innocent III is “largely academic” in tone, with “little sense of urgency.”46 Lists of Latin errors, the lowest and most rabid kind of polemic, do not raise the issue of papal authority until after 1204.47 The question is crucial in high-level negotiations with Rome, but it is not contested within the Byzantine church. Debates about papal primacy have Greek-speaking, Orthodox people on one side, Latins on the other. Even if the Latins score points in a debate, papal primacy is not going to be applied to the East. There is no identity crisis here. “They” believe in papal primacy; “we” do not. As with other issues, it is only when papal primacy becomes an issue within Greek circles that it generates some heat, and that happens only after 1204.
Finally, the Filioque reemerges in the Komnenian period. It scarcely seemed important in the furor about azymes around 1054, but by the late eleventh century Theophylact of Ohrid and others returned to Photios’ claim that this was the truly horrible error.
A century later, Innocent III called for the return of the Greek “daughter” church to her “mother,” the Roman church. Patriarch John Kamateros responded that it was the Roman church, in fact, that left, by teaching a heresy and adding to the creed.48 In sum, Byzantines in the Komnenian period worried about many of the same issues as in the time of Keroularios, especially azymes. They were also increasingly troubled by papal claims to plenitudo potestatis and all that that meant. Among other things, the ` Letter 437, PL 163:588–89. Darrouzes, “Documents,” 51–54, 57.
A. Papadakis and A.-M. Talbot, “John X Camaterus Confronts Innocent III: An Unpublished Correspondence,” BSl 33 (1972): 26–41. Also published in part in PL 214:325–29, 756–72, and in J. Spiteris, La critica bizantina del Primato Romano nel secolo XII (Rome, 1979), 324–31. Discussion of these letters, with further bibliography: T. M. Kolbaba, “Barlaam the Calabrian: Three Treatises on Papal Primacy,” REB 53 (1995): 43–44.
Gill, Byzantium and the Papacy, 12.
The ﬁrst reference to papal primacy in such texts is in Constantine Stilbes’ list, compiled after 1204: Dar´ rouzes, “Memoire,” para. 4, 44.
Papadakis and Talbot, “John X Camaterus,” 34–35.
[ 128 ] Byzantine Perceptions of Latin Religious “Errors” Byzantines were beginning to realize that they could not openly discuss diﬀerences with the Latins if the Latins were not willing to give up the idea that the pope could do things alone, without the approval of the other patriarchs.
1204–1261 The next major development in Greco-Latin relations was traumatic and unlikely to endear Latins to theologians or any other Byzantines. The Fourth Crusade ended in the Latin army’s sack of Constantinople on 12 April 1204. Pope Innocent III hoped that the establishment of a Latin emperor in Constantinople might lead to reunion of the churches. On the contrary, it stiﬀened resistance to Latins within the Greek-speaking churches of Nicaea and Epiros. The Latin conquest did, however, change the priorities of Byzantines who criticized Latin doctrines and practices. Although azymes remained important and the Filioque was growing in importance,49 the dominant issue was now papal primacy.50 Texts from this period emphasize the role of the pope in the church and do so in ways that are not at all “academic.” For example, in discussions held between Greeks and Latins in the capital after the appointment of Thomas Morosini as Latin patriarch in 1204, the issue of papal primacy was central. In December 1204, the papal legate Peter Capuano held discussions with Greek clergy. He asked them to submit to the pope, but most of them refused. In 1206 most of the Greek clergy in the capital were still refusing to accept Morosini as their patriarch. In August, September, and October of that year, Patriarch Morosini and the papal legate Benedict, Cardinal of St. Susanna, debated with Greek clergy. The discussion laid out the arguments for and against papal primacy in what had, by then, become a formula. The Greeks remained adamant. They wanted their own, Greek patriarch.51 These events from early in the period of Latin rule reveal the ﬁrst reason for the centrality of papal primacy in this period: in the areas they controlled after 1204, the Latins insisted that Greek clergy and bishops take an oath of obedience to the pope or be deposed from their churches. Moreover, they were quite open about the implications of that oath, for they refused to separate theological issues from papal primacy. If the pope was indeed the head of the church, if Rome was the mother of all the other churches—if, in short, all the Western claims for papal primacy in law and doctrine were true—then the only solution to the schism was for the daughter church to return to the mother, the schismatics to return to the catholic church. All other issues were subsumed For example, in discussions between Greek theologians and papal legates in 1234, the Greek representatives insisted that the Filioque was the most important issue, while the Latins condemned the Greek refusal to accept unleavened bread in the eucharist. Gill, Byzantium and the Papacy, 65–72.
See, e.g., the letter of Patriarch Germanos II to the clergy on Cyprus (1229), PG 140:613–21; summary in Gill, Byzantium and the Papacy, 60. It might be possible to count up the number of references to any given topic in all the extant texts of the era, but it would not be particularly useful. Most texts that survive do so because later eras are interested in their content. Based on my reading of surviving theological texts and on the accounts of historians, I have reached the conclusion that papal primacy is the central issue in most debates; that judgment, while defensible, remains subjective.
Gill, Byzantium and the Papacy, 32–34. For typical Greek arguments against papal primacy, the best summaries are Darrouzes, “Documents,” 42–88, and Spiteris, La critica bizantina.