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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 [ 137 ] Greek in the city would have let him “reform” a Greek church. If Humbert “reformed” Latin churches in Constantinople, those churches must have been open.92 Second, it is often asserted that Keroularios stirred the common people up to join his conflict with the emperor and Western envoys, and that he found it easy to do so because the people harbored a xenophobic hatred for Westerners.93 A closer look makes this assertion even more questionable than the first. Evidence for popular anti-Latin sentiment in this period is meager. Keroularios did indeed raise the rabble on more than one occasion, but the people’s rage seems to have had other roots: unhappiness with Constantine IX Monomachos, as well as the general malaise of this period of instability in Byzantium.94 In sum, the events of 1054 were insignificant for the short run. They received little attention in the empire at the time. The first known references to a “schism” between Keroularios and Humbert date from the early twelfth century.95 As in the time of Photios, much of the conflict was more individual than general—Humbert versus Keroularios, rather than Rome versus Constantinople. Many of the features of later relations between Byzantium and Latins were not yet evident. Perception of the West as a unity and a threat; anxiety about Latin theological sophistication; popular antipathy—all of these would emerge later.

The Twelfth Century During the Komnenian period (1081–1204), Latin penetration of the empire grew exponentially. This has been discussed too often and too well by other scholars to need elaboration here.96 But this was not the impact of an active, vibrant, potent, masculine Western force on a passive, decadent, impotent, effeminate Eastern despotism. Byzantine emperors and their subjects reacted to Western pressures and exerted their own pressures on Westerners. To read Paul Magdalino’s account of Manuel I’s empire (1143–80) or Ralph-Johannes Lilie’s account of Byzantine relations with the Crusader kingdoms of Syria and Palestine is to see Byzantine emperors both exerting great influence on Westerners and adopting Western ideas and methods.97 The central dichotomy of Alexios I’s (1081–1118) or his grandson’s world was not as much between “Rhomaioi” and “Latinoi” as between “those who are for me” and “those who are against me”; not between “Roman” ways of doing things and “Latin” ones, but between “what works” and “what does not.” The borders were permeable, and both sides were changed by extended contact.

For a fuller statement of this argument, with citations of the primary texts, see Smith, And Taking Bread, 119–21.

Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State, 297; Hussey, Orthodox Church, 134.

´´ ´´ ` ´ Helene Ahrweiler concurs: “Recherches sur la societe byzantine au XIe siecle: Nouvelles hierarchies et ´ nouvelles solidarites,” TM 6 (1976): 121.

A. Michel, Humbert und Kerullarios, Studien, vol. 1 (Paderborn, 1924), 30–33.

Even to survey the bibliography of this topic would be a monumental task. See the bibliography in P.

Magdalino, The Empire of Manuel I Komnenos, 1143–1180 (Cambridge, 1993), or in M. Angold, Church and Society under the Comneni, 1081–1261 (Cambridge, 1995).

Magdalino, Manuel I; R.-J. Lilie, Byzantium and the Crusader States, 1096–1204, trans. J. C. Morris and J. E. Ridings (Oxford, 1993).

[ 138 ] Byzantine Perceptions of Latin Religious “Errors” This two-way flow of men and ideas is a recurring theme in recent histories of the politics, economy, and warfare of the empire. In contrast, the theological sphere in this period is generally portrayed as impermeable. Adopting the view our Byzantine sources would like us to adopt, we tend to see Orthodoxy as a kind of fortress with outer walls of slippery-smooth marble. Latin theological ideas, recognized as novelties and dangerous heresies, bounced off this marble without so much as leaving a smudge. In the end, however, the same sources inadvertently show us a rather different Byzantium, and we cannot quite believe their explicit message of a faith untouched by Western ideas. Perhaps Byzantine theologians remained truly unaffected by Latin ideas in the time of Photios, for at that time their theological and philosophical training was superior to that of anyone in the West. By the twelfth century, however, such superiority was melting away.

The Latins were catching up, and some Greeks knew they were. Given the acrimonious ad hominem attacks of 1054, it is unlikely that Humbert’s logic impressed them. In contrast, when Alexios I listened to debates regarding the procession of the Holy Spirit between a Latin bishop and some Greek theologians (1112), he was convinced by the Latin arguments and sent his own theologians back to the drawing board. The extant account of this debate was written by the Latin bishop, so we should be skeptical. Yet it is true that various Greek theologians worked very hard at refuting Latin arguments around 1112. One senses that their confident condescension had been shaken.98 Still more interesting is the controversy, in the time of Manuel I, over the Gospel phrase, “The Father is greater than I.” The trouble began when an imperial ambassador, Demetrios of Lampe, returning from the Latin West, brought with him ideas about the relations of the persons in the Trinity. He reported that he had heard Latins say that the Son was at the same time inferior to and equal to the Father, and he proclaimed that opinion ridiculous. Emperor Manuel differed with Demetrios and deputed Hugo Eteriano, a Pisan theologian and friend, to argue against him. Probably most of the churchmen of Constantinople supported Demetrios, in part because they believed that his opinion was the traditional, native one, while Hugo’s was a Latin innovation.99 However that may be, the emperor dominated the council that decided the matter in 1166, and so Demetrios’ position was anathematized in the Synodikon of Orthodoxy and Hugo’s inscribed on enormous marble tablets attached to the walls of the Great Church.100 The doctrine that had been criticized by a Greek and defended by a Latin became official dogma within the Greek church.101 Beck, Kirche und theologische Literatur, 616; ODB, s.v. “Grossolano, Peter,” 2:885.





Magdalino, Manuel I, 287–90.

On the tablets, see C. Mango, “The Conciliar Edict of 1166,” DOP 17 (1963): 317–30.

The sources for this controversy have been studied very carefully, and much has been learned from rather scanty material. Still, it may be worthy of another study; ideas about the import of Latin influence in the Komnenian period have changed a great deal since the last careful study of the origins and meaning of this conflict.

My analysis of the events is based on a quick reading of the primary sources and on reflections inspired by Magdalino’s version of the events in P. Magdalino, “The Phenomenon of Manuel I Komnenos,” in Byzantium and the West, c. 850–c. 1200, ed. J. D. Howard-Johnston ( ByzF 13; Amsterdam, 1988); repr. in Tradition and Transformation in Medieval Byzantium (Aldershot, 1991), no. , 196–98. The most thorough article on the controversy, with publication of texts, is P. Classen, “Das Konzil von Konstantinopel und die Lateiner,” BZ 48 (1955): 338–68. See also G. Thetford, “The Christological Councils of 1166 and 1170 in Constantinople,” Tia M. Kolbaba [ 139 ] Although many details of the case elude historians, its broad outlines reveal three important features of Byzantine relations with Latins in the twelfth century. First, the intellectual boundaries between East and West were permeable. Demetrios traveled west and picked up a controversy there. Hugo Eteriano, an Italian, lived in Constantinople and entered the lists as the emperor’s champion. This permeability complicates historical reconstruction of the boundaries between East and West, Greek and Latin, Orthodox and Catholic. Even what initially seems like the simplest question has no answer: Which was the “Latin” position here? At first glance, it seems clear that Hugo’s was the “Latin” opinion. But the answer is probably more complex than that. According to the historian John Kinnamos, Demetrios’ position was imported, for he had “returned from [the West] full of drivel.”102 We cannot unquestioningly believe Kinnamos, however, who was ever-supportive of the emperor and ever-contemptuous of Latins; he omitted any mention of Hugo’s role and presented the emperor’s opinion as wholly self-generated.

In the end, it seems that both sides of the debate were inspired by Western concerns, but that their accounts after the fact were anxious to hide Western influences.103 When we read between the lines, Orthodox Constantinople’s walls look more like a cellular membrane than a marble castle.

Second, Byzantines continued to disagree among themselves about the definition of orthodoxy and specifically about whether that definition included Latins. On the one hand, around this time a list of Latin “errors,” which had probably been circulating for a while, surfaces in the historical record. This, the most scurrilous kind of anti-Latin polemic, reveals the existence of a virulently anti-Latin contingent in Constantinople.104 On the other hand, there is obviously a problem with concentrating too much on the anti-Latin crowd. At least in the controversy surrounding Demetrios of Lampe, they seem to have lost. Hugo and Manuel won; it was their position that became the orthodox position. The marble tablets in the Great Church remained there until 1567.105 Besides, that list of Latin errors was written to convince fellow Byzantines, not to convince Latins.

In other words, the list reveals the existence of Byzantines who were not convinced that Latins were filthy heretics, as well as the existence of those who were.

Third, it was necessary for each side to downplay the role of Western influence in these events. Demetrios and his supporters saw and portrayed themselves as diligent polishers of the smooth marble walls of Orthodoxy, trying to rebuff all things Latin, while

–  –  –

Kinnamos did not mention Hugo Eteriano’s role and portrayed Demetrios’ heresy as an imported product.

A summary of these mixed messages is difficult. Given that it was desirable for both sides to hide any “Latin” connection in their teaching, it seems that anti-Latin sentiment was strong and getting stronger. Yet the presence of Latins in the empire and frequent embassies of Greeks to the West allowed both friendly and unfriendly interaction, as well as mutual influences that usually went unrecorded in contemporary sources. This was still the empire of the Komnenoi, with their ties of blood and friendship to Latins, and with subjects who had not yet experienced the traumatic events of 1204.

1204–1261 After 1204 the opinion that Latins are Christian brothers was modified, even in the most pro-Latin circles. Everyone took the separation of the churches for granted. The period was characterized by one attempt after another to reunite the churches. It also saw both violent resistance to these efforts and a kind of openness to Western ideas.

Paradoxically, the openness was often a result of the division. Some Byzantine scholars thought they had to learn more about the Latins before they could refute them. In the end, these trends led to a wide spectrum of opinion.

At one end of the spectrum is the most scurrilous kind of polemic against the Latins, which became popular. Lists of Latin “customs” or “errors” circulated widely. These included not only theological issues such as the Filioque and liturgical issues such as azymes, but also disgust at the things Latins ate and the clothes they wore.106 In this way, opponents of church union sought to undermine the advocates of union by associating them with filthy heretics. For example, the anti-unionists could not acknowledge that John Bekkos might have reached a conviction of the orthodoxy of the Filioque by reading patristic texts. He must, rather, be a servant of the pope. One of the most infamous anti-Latin texts, the “Dialogue of Panagiotes with an Azymite,” dates to around the Second Council of Lyons. It begins with a description of the arrival of a papal envoy in Constantinople. He is met by John Bekkos, who wears a miter and a ring, which, the author assures us, are symbols of the pope. The papal envoy is leading a mule with a basket on its back. In the basket is an image of the pope. Both Bekkos and Emperor Michael VIII perform acts of submission in front of this mule. Michael actually leads it by its bridle, an idea familiar to Western medievalists and an allusion to Michael’s earlier, hypocritical submission to Patriarch Arsenios.107 An even more striking example of this sort of condemnation-by-association is the case of Patriarch Gregory II of Cyprus. In spite of being the person who finally defeated Bekkos, in spite of his sophisticated elucidation of the Greek doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit, he ran into trouble.

His enemies accused him of heresy in that very elucidation, and more than one of them ` ´ See, e.g., Darrouzes, “Memoire,” para. 30, 63, 65, 66, 75.

D. J. Geanakoplos, Interaction of the ‘Sibling’ Byzantine and Western Cultures in the Middle Ages and Italian Renaissance, 330–1600 (New Haven, Conn., 1976), 158. Greek text ed. A. Vasiliev, Anecdota graeco-byzantina (Moscow, 1893), 179.



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