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«The Crusades from the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World edited by Angeliki E. Laiou and Roy Parviz Mottahedeh published by Dumbarton Oaks ...»

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Tia M. Kolbaba [ 133 ] in his youth, he began to study Thomas Aquinas and other Latin theologians: “Now it would become apparent that the Latins too had people capable of the highest intellectual attainments—something that had not been widely known in the past among the Byzantines.... For too long, my Byzantine countrymen had been content to hold on to the staid old notion that mankind was divided into two groups: Greeks and Barbarians....

The Latins could not be credited as being capable of anything worthy of human beings.”70 This awareness of Latin theological sophistication brings us to the second major point of this paper: between Photios and Bekkos there had been a fundamental shift in how Byzantine intellectuals perceived their Western European brethren, a shift reflected in the changing tone of anti-Latin texts.

The Ninth Century Photios and others after him manifested the classic middle Byzantine attitude toward Western “barbarians.” Photios claimed that Pope Leo (III?) had made Christians in Rome say the creed in Greek because Latin was such an inferior language that it “often render[s] false notions of the doctrines of the faith.”71 Photios was willing to blame most Western errors on ignorance and lack of education. Even when he descended to namecalling and aspersions, his epithets did not resemble later polemic. Rather, he used the classic terminology of heresy and heretics: arrogance, rashness, insolence, impudence, pride. In The Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit, for example, he described the advocates of the Filioque in ways that echo talk about heretics throughout history. For example, he wrote of “the arrogance of those contentious men who hold fast to unrighteousness and strive against the truth.”72 He referred to their “rash impudence,” “brutal and insolent attacks,” and “lawlessness.”73 “When all is said and done,” he wrote, “it comes down to the same unending pride.”74 We would err if we put too much weight on these descriptions as indications of what Photios thought of “Latins.” If we compare these epithets to Photios’ synopsis of the ecumenical synods in his letter to the Khan of Bulgaria, we see striking parallels. Arios was also proud; he had “an overweening attitude” and refused to “see something that is true of everything and self-evident.”75 Makedonios, too, ignored the obvious and was “arrogant” and “insolent.”76 This is an old story: heretics are proud and devil-inspired, refusing to see what any honest, humble, praying man would see. They are mad, arrogant, insolent, blasphemous, and willfully blind. When Photios described Demetrios Kydones, Apologia 1, ed. G. Mercati, in Notizie di Procoro e Demetrio Cidone, Manuele Caleca e Teodoro Meliteniota ed altri appunti per la storia della teologia e della letteratura bizantina del secolo XIV, ST 56 (Vatican City, 1931), 364; trans. J. Likoudis, Ending the Byzantine Greek Schism (New Rochelle, N.Y., 1983), 26. See also F. Kianka, “The Apology of Demetrius Cydones: A Fourteenth-Century Autobiographical Source,” ByzSt 7.1 (1980), 57–71; eadem, “Demetrius Cydones and Thomas Aquinas,” Byzantion 52 (1982): 264–86.

` J´ ´ ´ ´ Photius, Logo" peri th'" tou' Agiou Pneumato" mustagwgia", PG 102:376, trans. J. P. Farrell, Saint Photios: The Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit (Brookline, Mass., 1987), 103.

PG 120:280; trans. Farrell, 59.

E.g., see PG 120:297–301; trans. Farrell, 66–68.

PG 120:324; trans. Farrell, 80.

Photius, Epistulae et Amphilochia, 1:5; trans. D. S. White and J. R. Berrigan Jr., The Patriarch and the Prince (Brookline, Mass., 1982), 42.

Photius, Epistulae et Amphilochia, 1:6; trans. White and Berrigan, 43–44.

[ 134 ] Byzantine Perceptions of Latin Religious “Errors” Frankish missionaries in Bulgaria in such terms, he was not commenting on the ethnic or racial characteristics of Westerners; he was describing heretics.

The Eleventh Century The tone of the arguments in 1054 was a bit worse than at the time of Photios. Yet it was nowhere near as acrimonious as generally assumed. That general assumption rests on a reading of only what Humbert of Silva Candida and Michael Keroularios wrote.

In the balance against these writings we need to put not only the oft-noted irenic position of Peter of Antioch, but also a multitude of other texts from the period. In these texts, Byzantine writers still condescended to their Western brothers. Both Peter of Antioch and Leo of Ohrid assumed that the Latins had wandered from the true path out of ignorance, and that if they were corrected by their more learned, wiser Eastern brethren, they would return to the straight and narrow.77 Latins were barbarians, ignorant of doctrine. The superior orthodox Christians must be patient with them.

Byzantine disputants also limited their instruction to a part of the Western church;

they did not maintain that the whole Western church had fallen into error. Keroularios, for example, although he was inconsistent on this point, usually insisted that the pope was not to blame for the errors of the West or for his dispute with Humbert. He distinguished between the pope, with whom he wanted an alliance, and the “Franks,” including his archenemy and the Byzantine governor in southern Italy, the Lombard Argyros.

Keroularios’ synod in 1054 did not condemn the pope or Westerners in general, but claimed that Humbert and the other legates were impostors bearing forged letters altered by Argyros.78 Peter of Antioch defended Westerners on the basis of his knowledge of them, and insisted that if some Westerners were violating canon law (by eating strangled things or marrying within forbidden degrees), they must be doing so without the knowledge of the pope.79 Behind this last comment, and fundamental to our understanding of the events of 1054, was an awareness that the West was not a monolith. Peter of Antioch, Leo of Ohrid, and Michael Keroularios did not live in a world where the division of East from West was clear and all-important. Instead of that bipolar world—Rome facing Constantinople—that dominates modern accounts of 1054, we find different groups, with different interests, involved in ecclesiastical negotiations and disputes. In Italy alone the actors included the pope, the German emperor, the Normans in southern Italy, the Lombards in southern and central Italy, and the indigenous Italians of the same region, some of whom still considered themselves subjects of the emperor in Constantinople. Sometimes a single individual embodied this complex world: Argyros, whom Keroularios blames for the whole fiasco, was a Lombard of the Latin rite. He had lived in Constantinople. In 1054 he was the Byzantine imperial governor in southern Italy. Other examples E.g., Peter of Antioch, Letter to Michael Keroularios, PG 120:805: “For they are our brothers, even if it happens that, through rusticity and lack of education, they have often fallen from what is proper.” Synodal Judgment, PG 120:741.





Letter to Keroularios, PG 120:808.

Tia M. Kolbaba [ 135 ] of this multilateral world include the recipients of two of the earliest and most important anti-azyme texts: Dominic of Grado and John of Trani.

Peter of Antioch wrote to Dominic, bishop of Grado, probably in the spring of

1054.80 No one who studies the events of 1054 overlooks this text, for it is one of the earliest.81 One aspect of its context, however, is seldom explicitly noted. As a result, it is generally presented as a straightforward example of a letter from an “Eastern” patriarch to a “Western” bishop, as if the distinction were as clear-cut as it would be in the thirteenth or fourteenth century. But history had made Grado an odd sort of liminal place.

For reasons too complicated to discuss here, the metropolitans (or patriarchs, as they came to call themselves) of Grado sat on a cathedra not on the island of Grado but in Venice. Now, in hindsight, we see clearly that Venice had gained political independence from Constantinople in the course of the tenth century. But its cultural independence could not have been so clear. Dominic of Grado, the recipient of Peter’s letter, built the “new” church of San Marco, the one we see today. He imported architects and skilled craftsmen from the East to do so, which explains the fundamentally Byzantine character of San Marco.82 So the geography of Venice, between Byzantium and the West, was reflected in its culture, as it always has been. Leo of Ohrid’s treatise on azymes illuminates another section of this multicultural world. Leo’s addressee, John, bishop of Trani, was a representative of the Byzantine church in southern Italy, and he was “asked to call these matters to the pope’s attention only after he [had] ‘corrected himself.’”83 Aware of the ethnic and religious diversity of Western Europe, eleventh-century authors of Byzantine religious texts did not yet engage in the kind of name-calling that would characterize later anti-Latin polemic. For them (if not for the contemporary historians),84 Westerners were not barbarian “Franks” or “Kelts.” Usually they were called “Romans,” even when they erred. Thus Keroularios told Peter of Antioch about Roman ´ errors ( Rwmaikw'n sfalmatwn).85 Peter replied, speaking also of “Romans,” whom he ¨ J distinguished from “Vandals,” although he feared that the Romans might have been inuenced by the Vandals.86 When tribal names of barbarians appear, it tends to be in what we would call secular contexts. Keroularios, for example, wrote about his desire to form an alliance with the pope against the “Franks,” by which he meant the men we call “Normans.”87 Put simply, Byzantines were not yet constructing a world in which the “Latins” or “Franks” from the West were a monolithic, threatening group. Keroularios was the only person to imply that the Western church as a whole was in a state of schism. Although PG 120:755–82.

Smith, And Taking Bread, 54–59, 134, 157, 173, 178–79.

DHGE 21 (1986), s.v. “Grado.” Leo of Ohrid, Letter to John of Trani, PG 120:835–44. Quote from Smith, And Taking Bread, 114. For other information regarding Leo’s letter, see Smith, 106–8, 156–57, 173, 174.

See Alexander Kazhdan’s contribution to this volume.

PG 120:789.

PG 120:805.

Letter to Peter of Antioch, PG 120:784.

[ 136 ] Byzantine Perceptions of Latin Religious “Errors” he usually maintained that they had nothing against the popes, and that his only quarrel was with the “false” envoys and their “forged” papers, Keroularios did tell Peter of Antioch that: “From the sixth holy and ecumenical council to the present, the commemoration of the pope has been excised from the sacred diptychs of our holy churches. [This is] because the pope of that time, Vigilius, did not want to come to that council, nor to anathematize what Theodoritos wrote against the orthodox faith and against the twelve chapters of St. Cyril, or the letter of Ibas. And from that time to the present the pope has been cut off from our holy and catholic church.”88 But Peter rebuked Keroularios for this statement, pointing out that it was wrong both in its central point and in its

knowledge of history:

I was ashamed of these latter things contained in the letter of Your Honor, nor do I know what to say, believe me.... For before examination and complete understanding, from vain rumor you have set forth that which never happened as if it had happened.... For Vigilius was at the fifth council..., but he was not at the sixth council. The interval between these two synods was 139 years. It did happen, for a brief while, that commemoration was cut off on account of [Vigilius] contending with the most holy patriarch Menas and subjecting him to demotion. [This schism lasted] until the archbishops made peace and were reconciled with one another. At the sixth holy synod, the pope was the priest Agathon, a worthy and divine man, wise in divine things. Read the acts of the sixth council, as it is customary to do on the Sunday after the Exaltation of the Venerable Cross. For you will find there that the aforementioned Agathon was gloriously acclaimed in that holy council.89 Even later writers who copied and expanded Keroularios’ list of Latin errors tended to leave off his erroneous introduction. The idea that the popes were heretics who had been in error for centuries was not commonly accepted in 1054. Keroularios’ claim that they were was idiosyncratic.

Two other pieces of evidence are often adduced in support of the idea that something radically different and more hostile took place around 1054. First, it is often asserted that Keroularios closed the Latin churches in Constantinople.90 However, as Mahlon Smith has noted, this statement is based on slim evidence. Humbert of Silva Candida alleged on several occasions that Keroularios persecuted Latin churches. This persecution seems mostly to have taken the form of “mocking” the Latins by calling them “azymites.”91 Humbert claimed only once that Keroularios actually closed Latin churches in the capital, and even then he qualified his statement as hearsay. Later, when he was in Constantinople, he reformed the practices of certain churches there. These must have been churches founded for the Westerners in the city; neither Keroularios nor any other PG 120:788–89.

PG 120:797–800.

For example, it is stated in passing as a fact by Hussey, Orthodox Church, 132. Grumel, Regestes, no. 863, ´ “Ordre de fermer les eglises Latines de la capitale,” assumes that such a document once existed but notes that no such document is extant.

PL 143:759.



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