The Twelfth Century
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1102 Union of Croatia and Hungary.

1103 With new kings and popes in place, the investiture controversy in England flared up again.  King Henry I of England (1100-35) and Pope Paschal II (1099-1118) were the key players.  The Concordat of London in 1107 made peace.  By this agreement, Henry abandoned lay investiture, but maintained authority over bishops and abbots in his realm.  The Concordat of London was a model for the Concordat of Worms (1122).  Paschal was motivated to peace by a desire to launch a crusade against his fellow Christians in Constantinople.

1104 The Danish town of Lund became an archbishopric.

1104 In around this year, Basil the Bogomil was burned on a pyre in the Hippodrome in Constantinople.  It is not clear to what extent, if any, Basil and his followers were indebted to the Bulgarian Bogomils (see 970).  Basil had twelve principal lieutenants, known as Apostles, and a large following of disciples.  Although the emperor Alexius himself repeatedly visited Basil in prison and attempted to persuade him of his errors, he refused to recant.  His followers were permitted to choose the stake at which they would die.  One stake had a cross attached, and the other was bare.  Those who selected the cross were set free, but the rest  were burned.

Basil claimed that all non-Bogomils were under the power of demons, and he attributed the miraculous works of saints to the machinations of demons.  He held that the cross was a symbol favored by demons, because it was the instrument of Christ’s death.  Communion and the venation of icons (involving material objects) were acts of reverence to demons.  Basil’s Bogomils rejected marriage on the grounds of Matthew 22.30, dressed as monks, and identified the Cappadocian Fathers and St. John Chrysostom with the false prophets the New Testament warned against.  They had few services or ceremonies, citing Matthew 6.6.  The only prayer they used was the Lord’s Prayer, which they recited seven times in the day and five times at night.  They eschewed converts from among the educated.  The twelve Apostles were supposed never to die, but to be translated into the kingdom of heaven while they slept, their bodies meanwhile drying into dust and ashes.  In the actual course of events, however, they did die.

Basil had a novel interpretation of the fall and Christ’s work.  Satan was originally God’s eldest son, but he had been turned out of heaven for leading the angels in rebellion.  On earth, he created Adam, but had to turn to God to provide the man’s soul.  Thus Satan and God shared authority over mankind.  God had pity on men, and sent the archangel Michael to become incarnate, entering the Virgin Mary through her right ear.  Christ (Michael) did not actually die on the cross; he only appeared to do so.  But he did descend into hell and confine the devil there.  He then ascended into heaven and took the devil’s former place at God’s right hand.

1106 A bishopric established in Holar in Iceland.  A school was founded where a woman named Ingunn taught Latin and depicted the lives of the saints in embroidery.

1106/7 Abbot Daniel of Tchernigov, a Russian on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, observed Latins and Greeks worshipping together.  He pointed out happily, however, that at the ceremony of the Holy Fire the Greek lamps were lit miraculously while the Latin ones were lit from the Greeks’.

1108 Likely date of the Magdeburg Appeal, a letter to the clergy of Saxony, the Rhineland, and Flanders asking for military support in a proposed thrust against the pagan Wends.  The effort of crushing the Wends is “an occasion for you to save your souls and ... to acquire the best land on which to live.”  The Wends lived in the region between the Elbe and Pomerania (Mecklenburg).

1111 Paschal II (1099-1118) concluded a concordat with the German emperor Henry V (1106-25) to end the investiture controversy.  In return for Henry V’s agreement not to interfere in church affairs, Paschal would surrender all church lands and secular offices.  Paschal crowned Henry German emperor. Opinion in the church was so strong against him, that Paschal was forced to withdraw from the agreement.

1112 At a debate with Latin theologians in this year, the Orthodox began to understand what the Westerners meant by papal primacy.  The insistence that Rome was the source of all authority within the church began to be seen as a challenge to traditional ecclesiology.

1114 The Premonstratensian order formed by a German aristocrat named Norbert.  The order emphasized evangelism.

1116 A hermit named Henry and his followers took control of Le Mans (France).  Henry soon disappeared, but one of his followers, Pons, came to Perigueux, with some followers.  They called themselves Apostolics and owned no money, ate no meat, drank no alcohol, eschewed private property and disapproved of almsgiving.  Although they genuflected 100 times per day, the Apostolics rejected the mass and the cross.  Many converted to their beliefs, including some clergy.  It was thought that the Apostolics worked magic, and that Satan assisted them by freeing them from prison.

1117 The Roman (Byzantine) emperor Alexius I Comnenus (1081-1118) presided over a synod seated to hear the case of heresy against Eustratios (Eustratius), metropolitan of Nicaea, who had been accused of Nestorianism.  The emperor Alexius had employed Eustratius in an attempt to win the Armenians back to Orthodoxy.  Eustratius slipped into error, and his approach was not acceptable to Orthodox or Armenians.    At the synod, the prosecution was led by Nicetas, metropolitan of Heracleia.  The emperor lobbied for Eustratios, but the synod deadlocked, eleven to eleven.  It reconvened in Alexius’s absence, under the leadership of John Agapetos, patriarch of Constantinople (1111-34), and Eustratios was condemned.  Eustratios had been a disciple of John Italos.  It appears that the synod was opposed not only to Eustratius’s doctrinal innovation, but also his methodology:  Eustratius employed dialectic in reaching his conclusions. 

The following anathemas concerning Eustratios were added to the Synodicon of Orthodoxy:
(26) those who say that Christ’s human nature will always be in servitude to his Divine nature;
(27) those who improperly use the distinction between the two natures of Christ and say that the human nature is lower in dignity and obligated to worship the Divine nature; and those say our High Priest is that human nature, and not the one person of Christ;

Although the emperor urged clemency, Eustratius was suspended for life.  Interestingly, Eustratios was a leading member of the anti-Latin party within the church.

1118 John II Comnenus Roman (Byzantine) emperor (1118-43).  John’s wife Eirene inspired the founding of the Pantokrator monastery in Constantinople, to which a hospital was attached. St. Eirene was known for her works of charity, particularly on the behalf of orphans and widows.  Before her death, she entered a nunnery, becoming the nun Xene. 

1118 The German emperor Henry V appointed Maurice de Bourdin Pope Gregory VIII (1118-21).  Maurice had been one of Pope Paschal II’s ambassadors to the emperor, but he had gone over to Henry’s side in the investiture controversy.

1119 Four hundred and twenty-seven bishops attended a council in Rheims.  It excommunicated the German emperor Henry V (1106-25) and Pope Gregory VIII (1118-21).

1119 In June, Pope Calixtus II (1119-24) held a council in Toulouse to condemn a group of heretics who denied the hierarchy of the church, the priesthood, marriage, baptism, and the eucharist.

1120 A new pagan temple constructed at Gutzkow.  The region east of the Elbe was enjoying a period of prosperity, attested by strong urban growth.

1120+ The Templars originated in Palestine as a group of knights who took the monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, whose purpose was to protect pilgrims as they traveled in the Holy Land between the coast and Jerusalem.  Their name came from the location of their residence in Jerusalem, thought to be on the site of Solomon’s temple.

1121 Peter Abelard’s Theologia condemned at a council held in Soissons for presenting an erroneous view of the Trinity.

1121 Hosios Nicholas Kataskepenos, a disciple of St. Cyril Philiotes, who had been dead for 11 years, opened the saint’s tomb.  He found the head uncorrupt, exuding a pleasant odor.  Kataskepenos later wrote a Life of Cyril Philiotes.  From Philea in Thrace where he lived in a cell near a church his brother had converted into a monastery, Cyril, for a period in his life, walked into Constantinople every Friday evening to view the miraculous unveiling of the icon of the Virgin Mary in the church of the Blachernai.  The emperor Alexius I Comnenus visited Cyril on two occasions.  On the first, the emperor was concerned that the duties of his office left him little time for prayer, but Cyril assured him that God would not forget his care for the poor, as shown in the support he had shown to the Orphanage of St. Paul, his concern for churches and monasteries, and his efforts to convert barbarians to Christ.  On his second visit, Alexius sought counsel on the appropriate time to initiate a campaign against the Turks.  Cyril advised him to delay, and the emperor did so.

1122 The Concordat of Worms between Henry V (1106-1125) and Pope Calixtus II (1119-1124) ended the investiture controversy.  In this compromise, Henry abandoned lay investiture and the doctrine of theocratic kingship.  But the pope granted the king the right to veto the appointments of bishops and abbots.  As it turned out, the German monarch had been so weakened by the civil wars that he was no longer able to control appointments outside of his own territory.  The monarch was severely weakened.

1123 First Lateran Council.  The council condemned simony, forbade laypersons from disposing of church property, and prohibited the marriage of clerics in major orders.

1124-5 Duke Boleslas III of Poland had captured Pomerania (the northern part of modern Poland) by this year.  Afterwards, Vratislav (Warcislaw), a Pomeranian warlord who, as a youth, had been baptized while held prisoner in Germany, encouraged the spread of Christianity into the land.  He established a bishopric on Usedom Island, near the mouth of the Oder, and he protected Otto, bishop of Bamburg, during the latter’s missionary journey in 1124/25.  At one point, Duke Boleslas threatened military action against the citizens of Szczecin if they refused to convert - they acceded to his demand.  Otto is reported to have baptized 22,165 persons in Pomerania.  His technique involved offering presents to encourage conversion - food and clothing for the poor; rings, sword belts, sandals, and cloth of gold to the wealthy.  After Otto departed from Pomerania, however, apostasy was widespread.

1125 A priest named Arnold appointed bishop for Greenland.  In 1126 he established his see at Gardar.

1125 Clementius, a peasant from Bucy near Soissons, France, formed a heretical group teaching that human reproduction was evil.  His followers engaged in exclusively homosexual relationships, except for rare orgies.  Babies which resulted from orgies were said to have been burned at birth and their ashes made into communion bread.  Clementius’s followers did not believe in the bodily incarnation of Christ, but they held instead that he was but a phantasm.  They also taught that the altar was “the mouth of hell” and the sacraments were of no value.  Clementius was arrested and sentenced to imprisonment for life.

1125-1200 During this period a large number of Greek and Arabic works were translated into Latin and became available to Western scholars.

1126 The heretic Peter de Bruys burned at St. Gilles (France).  Peter had commited his beliefs to writing, and they were later adumbrated by an ex-monk named Henry.  Peter’s followers, known as Petrobrusians, forbade infant baptism and taught that the cross should be hated (not venerated) since Christ died upon it.  They also saw no value in the mass, criticized prayers for the dead, and argued that churches should be torn down, since God, being omnipresent, has no need for them.

1127-28 Otto of Bamburg’s second missionary journey to the Pomeranians (see 1124-5).  He met with great success.

1127 Vizelin (Vicelinus), a native of Hamelin, set up a base in Faldera (now Neumeister in Schleswig-Holstein) to evangelize the Wends.  The German Emperor Lothar (1125-37) and Count Adolf of Holstein supported other missionary communities of Segeburg and Lubeck.  Adolf also encouraged Germans to immigrate to Holstein and Wagria.

1130 When Nyklot succeeded Henry (see 1093) as leader of the Wends, he stood as champion of the pagan cause.

1130 When Pope Honorius II died, a majority elected Cardinal Pietro Pierleoni as Anacletus II (1130-38) as pope, while a minority elected Grigorio Papareshi as Innocent II (1130-43).  Anacletus was supported by Roger of Sicily, while, with the aid of Archbishop Norbert of Magdeburg and Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Innocent gained the support of King Henry I of England and the German Emperor Lothair.

1134 King Eric II of Denmark raided Rugen (near Germany’s Baltic coast) and conquered the fortress of Arkana, center of the cult of the god Svantovit.  Eric forced baptism on the Arkanians.  They promptly apostatized when Eric returned to Denmark. 

1136 Anselm, Roman Catholic bishop of Havelburg, visited Constantinople on a diplomatic mission.  While there, he entered into public debate with Nicetas, metropolitan of Nicomedia.  Nicetas made a speech summarizing the East’s view of papal claims:  “We do not deny to the Roman Church the primacy amongst the five sister patriarchates; and we recognize her right to the most honorable seat at an ecumenical council.  But she has separated herself from us by her own deeds, when through pride she assumed a monarchy which does not belong to her office. . . . How shall we accept decrees from her that have been issued without consulting us and even without our knowledge?  If the Roman Pontiff, seated on the lofty throne of his glory, wishes to thunder at us and, so to speak, hurl his mandates at us from on high, and if he wishes to judge us and even to rule us and our churches, not by taking counsel with us but at his own arbitrary pleasure, what kind of brotherhood, or even what kind of parenthood can this be?  We should be the slaves, not the sons, of such a church, and the Roman see would not be the pious mother of sons but a hard and imperious mistress of slaves.”

1137 Arnold, prior of the monastery at Brescia (Venice), took part in a popular revolt against Bishop Manfred, the local lord.  Arnold of Brescia proposed that the clergy strip themselves of temporal power.  He was condemned by Pope Innocent II (1130-43) at the Second Lateran Council (1139). 

1139 Second Lateran Council.  The council condemned the followers of Arnold of Brescia as heretics and terminated ended the schism caused by the election of Anacletus II as a rival pope to Innocent II (see 1130 – Anacletus had died in 1138).  This council also declared marriages involving monks and those in major orders invalid.  In addition, the council echoed Innocent’s support (from 1136) of King Stephen over Empress Matilda as the rightful sovereign of England.

1140 Gratian produced an unofficial collection of canon law known as the Decretum.  It was a favorite source book in the West for about 100 years.

1140 In a letter to the canons of Lyons, Bernard of Clairvaux condemned the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary - long commemorated in the East on December 9 - claiming that her Conception was not holy, though her Nativity was.

1140 The patriarchal synod in Constantinople posthumously condemned Constantine Chrysomallos, formerly a resident (though not a monk) at the monastery of Kyr Nicholas.  Chrysomallos had denied the efficacy of baptism, repentance, and confession, and had insisted that to be saved, one must have attained spiritual illumination.  Chrysomallos had followers among men of high rank.

1141 Peter Abelard condemned at the Council of Sens.  Though sometimes portrayed as a skeptic, Abelard’s stated goal in his Sic et Non was to demonstrate that the apparent contradictions of scripture, discovered through the use of logic, could be reconciled once the true intent of the texts was understood.  Arnold of Brescia (see 1137) had traveled to France and become one of Peter Abelard’s supporters.  The Council of Sens condemned Arnold as well.  Bernard of Clairvaux was influential in the council’s decisions.

1143 The citizens of Rome rebelled against ecclesiastical rule and established a Republican form of government, known as the Commune.  Rome was temporarily unsafe for the popes.

1143 A synod that met in Constantinople condemned the following propositions of the Bogomils.  These anathemas were added to the Synodicon of Orthodoxy (see 843),
(23) those who deny that the three members of the Trinity have one nature; those who say the Son was created accidentally, and is merely an angel; and those who say that the Holy Spirit is inferior to the Son and the Father;
(23) those who say that Satan is the creator and ruler of the universe and the creator of mankind;
(24) those who deny that the Logos and Son was begotten before time, and became incarnate of the Virgin Mary for our salvation; and those who believe the eucharist to be only bread and wine and not truly the flesh and blood of the Savior;
(25) those who do not worship the cross through which our God Jesus Christ destroyed the devices of the enemy.

1143 Between this year 1157, six different men became patriarch of Constantinople:  Michael the Oxite Kourkouas (1143-46), Cosmas Atticus (1146-47), Nicholas Mouzalon (1147-51), Theodotos (1151-53), Constantine Khliarenos (1154-57), and Luke Chrysoberges (1157-69).  Theodotos’s right hand darkened during his terminal illness.  After his death, Soterichos Panteugenos accused Theodotos of having harbored Bogomil sympathies:  Soterichos’s research had shown that Bogomil corpses always had blackened hands.  When George Tornikes came to the late patriarch’s defense, Soterichos accused him of Bogomil leanings as well.  See 1157.

1143 The prior of Steinfeld in the Rhineland wrote for advice to Bernard of Clairvaux regarding heretics who had come to Cologne, a bishop and one other who claimed to represent a secret tradition preserved in Greece.  They termed themselves Apostles.  The heretics had great success in gaining converts near Toulouse. The Western Bogomils came to be called Cathars or Cathari.  See 1213.

1144 On 22 February, a patriarchal synod under Michael Kourkouas condemned Niphon, a monk of the Peribleptos monastery in Constantinople, as a Bogomil.  The next patriarch, Cosmas Atticus, was Niphon’s friend.  An imperial tribunal, meeting on 26 February 1147, used this as an excuse to depose Atticus.

1144 The Roman (Byzantine) emperor Manuel Comnenus (1143-80) declared priests exempt from taxation and the performance of duties for the state.

1144 At the preaching of Bernard of Clairvaux, the Second Crusade was launched.  The crusade was motivated by the news that the Saracens had conquered the Christian principality of Edessa.  Bernard was successful in persuading knights from France and the south of Germany to join the crusade, but Spain and northern Germany found his message less than convincing.  Pope Eugenius III (1145-53) allowed Alfonso VII of Castille to attack the Muslims in Spain instead of those in the Middle East.  The crusading force that did head east was obliterated in Asia Minor.

1145 Pope Lucius II (1144-45) died in battle against the forces of the Commune on the Capitol in Rome.

1146 On 13 March, Bernard of Clairvaux attended a Reichstag in Frankfurt where Saxon nobles asked for authorization to attack the pagan Slavs to the east.  Bernard passed this information along to Pope Eugenius, who authorized the crusade against the Wends.

1146 Pope Eugenius III (1145-53) was forced from Rome by the forces of Arnold of Brescia.  Arnold had reconciled with the papacy in 1145, and, for Arnold’s act of penance, Pope Eugenius sent him to Rome on a pilgrimmage.  While there, Arnold allied himself with the Commune (1143) and preached against pope and cardinals.

1147 Pope Eugenius III (1145-53), preaching the Second Crusade in the south of France, was alarmed at the number of heretics he found there.  He sent Bernard of Clairvaux to deal with them.  Bernard found the heretics concentrated near Albi, and their most prominent members were weavers.  They were called Arriani after a village near Toulouse where they were especially strong in numbers. 

1147 The Wendish Crusade.  On 13 April, in the bull Divina dispensatione, Pope Eugenius III (1145-53) gave the Saxons spiritual privileges typical for crusaders as incentive for warring upon the pagan Wends.  The crusade was made necessary by Count Adolf of Holstein’s annexation of Wendish territory, which he provided to immigrants from the west of Germany.  In support of the crusade, Bernard, abbot of Clairvaux wrote, “We expressly forbid that for any reason whatsoever they should make a truce with these people [the Wends] ... until such time as ... either their religion or their nation be destroyed.” Nyklot’s forces (see 1130) were opposed by a Danish navy and a Saxon army, the latter under the command of Bishop Anselm of Havelburg.  Nyklot was defeated and some Wends were baptized.

1147 Germans moving eastward on the Second Crusade plundered the suburbs of Philippopolis.  The metropolitan, Michael Italikos, convinced the German emperor Conrad II to keep his troops in line.  Then the locals murdered some of the crusaders.  Italikos was able to persuade Conrad to spare the city. 

1148 A council meeting in Reims condemned Eudes de l’Etoile for heresy.  He was imprisoned, where he died.  Eudes (also known as Eon) taught his heresy near Saint-Malo and met secretly with his followers in the forest of Broceliande.  He proclaimed himself the Christ, and said he had come to judge the quick and the dead.  Eon’s more important followers were given the names of the Manichean eons (Knowledge, Wisdom, etc.).  Eon lived in high style on the contributions of his followers, and his prosperity led to the accusation that he worked magic.

1148 In July, Pope Eugenius III (1145-53) excommunicated Arnold of Brescia.

1148-51 Peter Lombard wrote his Four Books of Sentences, a systematic treatment of the teachings of the Bible and the fathers on Christian doctrine.  It remained a standard theological textbook until the 1500s.

1149 The emperor Manuel Comnenus took Corfu back from the Normans.

1149 The bishoprics of Oldenburg and Meckleburg re-established.  Vizelin (see 1127) was ordained bishop of Oldenburg.

1153 Pope Eugenius III (1145-53) concluded a treaty with the German emperor Frederick I Barbarosa (1152-90) (the Treaty of Constance) setting conditions for Frederick’s coronation.  Eugenius died before Frederick could come to Italy to be crowned.

1154 Philip of Mahdia was burned to death in Palermo.  Philip, raised a Muslim, had converted to Christianity and served King Roger of Sicily.  He was executed for apostasy when he relapsed to Islam.

1154 Nicholas Breakspear elected Pope Adrian IV (1154-59).  Nicholas was the only Englishman to be elected pope.  He had reorganized the church in Scandinavia for Eugenius III.

1155 Pope Adrian IV (1154-59) placed Rome under interdict.  Resistance in the Commune’s Senate collapsed, and papal government was restored.  Arnold of Brescia fled, but was captured by the German emperor Frederick I Barbarosa’s troops.  Arnold was tried for heresy and condemned.  He was hanged, and his body was burned.  The ashes were cast into the Tiber.

1155 Pope Adrian IV crowned Frederick I Barbarosa (1152-90) Holy Roman Emperor.

1156 When Bishop Gerold of Oldenburg held Epiphany service there, no Slavs attended the service.  Gerold cut down a grove of trees sacred to the Prove, a Slavic god, as he traveled to Lubeck.

1156 William of Sicily forced Pope Adrian (Hadrian) IV (1154-59) to sign the Concordat of Benevento.  The Normans were given land as far north as Naples.  The German emperor Frederick I Barbarosa (1152-90) understood this concordat to be in violation of the Treaty of Constance, which he had made with Pope Eugenius III in 1153.

1156 Pope Adrian IV, in the bull Laudabiliter, granted King Henry II of England the right to take Ireland as a possession.

1157  The Synod of Blachernae, held on May 12.  In part, this synod condemned the errors of Basilakes and Soterichos (Soterichus).  The following anathemas from that synod are included in the Synodicon of Orthodoxy (see 842 above).

(28) those who say that Christ offered his sacrifice to God the Father alone, and not to himself and to the Holy Spirit;
(30) those who deny that the daily sacrifice of the priests of the Church is to the Holy Trinity;
(31) those who say that the sacrifice of the Divine Liturgy is only figuratively the sacrifice of Christ's body and blood; those who deny that the sacrifice in the Lirtugy is one and the same as that of Christ on the cross;
(33) those who deny that Christ reconciled us to Himself though the entire mystery of the economy, and so reconciled us to all of the Holy Trinity, but say instead that we were reconciled to the Son through the incarnation and to the Father through the passion;
(34) those who misunderstand and twist the teachings of the Church;
(35) those who think the deification of Christ's humanity destroyed his human nature; and those who deny that his deified human nature is worthy of worship; and those who say that, since the human nature of Christ was swallowed up into Divinity, his passion was an illusion;
(36) those who reject the doctrines of Athanasius, Cyril, Ambrose, Amphilochius, and Leo of Old Rome, and who do not accept the teachings of the Ecumenical councils, in particular, the fourth and sixth councils;
(37) those who say that characteristics of Christ's human nature - such as creaturehood, circumscription, mortality, and blameless passions - exist only hypothetically, when one considers Christ's human nature in abstraction, and not really and truly;

The emperor Manuel Comnenus called the council to settle a dispute over the words in the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, “Thou art he who offers and is offered and receives.”  Basil, the deacon who held the chair of the gospels, interpreted this to mean that the Son is both the victim and the recipient of the sacrifice.  Soterichos Panteugenos attacked Basil’s position in a Platonic dialogue, but George Tornikes, metropolitan of Ephesus, came to Basil’s defense.  A synod (26 Jan 1156) had settled the matter in Basil’s favor, but Soterichos Panteugenos and Nichephorus Basilakes had not been present and refused to accept the synod’s decision.

After the synod of Blachernae, Nichephorus Basilakes and Soterichos (Soterichus), deacons of the Great Church of St. Sophia in Constantinople, recanted.  George Tornikes wrote a tract against the methods of Basilakes and Soterichos, accusing them of playing intellectual games with the doctrines of the church.

1157 The archbishop of Reims, Samson, noted that Manicheanism was being popularized in his diocese by itinerant weavers.  These Manicheans reportedly criticized marriage and promoted licentious behavior.  Samson referred to the heretics as Poblicani.

1159 The cardinals electing Adrian IV’s successor to the papacy were split into two camps.  The majority supported Alexander III (1159-81), while a minority elected Victor IV (1159-64).  William of Sicily supported Alexander III, while Victor IV was aligned with the German emperor Frederick I Barbarosa (1152-90).  During the period 1159-80, there were two rival popes.  Victor IV was succeeded by Paschal III (1164-68), Callistus III (1168-78), and Innocent III (1179-80).

1160 The German emperor Frederick I Barbarosa (1152-90) convened a council in Pavia to gain support for Victor IV as pope.  Victor gained little support, however, as other nations had little desire to see a return to imperial control of the papacy.  Alexander III excommunicated Frederick for calling the council.

1160 Bern, bishop of Mecklenburg, converted Pribislav, the son of Nyklot and ruler of the Wends.  Prabislav cut a deal with Duke Henry the Lion of Saxony, agreeing to accept Henry’s overlordship in exchange for a principality of Mecklenburg.  However, no plans were made to form and instruct a native Wendish clergy.

1160 Gerold, Vizelin’s successor as bishop of Oldenburg (see 1149, 1156), moved his see to Lubeck.  The cathedral chapter at Lubeck adopted the Augustinian rule at this time.

1160 A certain Gerard came to England from Germany at the head of a sect numbering 30.   Gerard opposed marriage, baptism and the eucharist.  At the order of a council held at Oxford, these “Publicani” were branded on the forehead. 

1161Thomas Becket, a companion of King Henry II (1154-89) of England, became Archbishop of Canterbury.  Gervase of Canterbury attributes the celebration of Trinity Sunday (the Sunday one week after Pentecost (Whitsunday)) to Thomas, although there is evidence that it actually began in the Low Countries in the tenth century.  The Roman Church added Trinity Sunday to their calendar during the pontificate of John XXII in the fourteenth century.  The Eastern Church has no Trinity Sunday, referring to the day instead as All Holy Martyrs.

1161 Edward the Confessor was canonized.  At this time, permission from the bishop of Rome began to be required before changes to the English church’s calendar were authorized (see 747).

1161 When the Seljuq sultan Kilidj Arslan visited Constantinople in this year, his planned trip to St. Sophia was blocked by the patriarch Luke Chrysoberges (1157-69/70), who would not permit an infidel to set foot within the Great Church.

At some point during Luke Chrysoberges’ patriarchate, the question was raised whether Muslims who had been baptized by Orthodox priests at their parents’ request needed do anything further to convert to Orthodoxy.  A synod decided that such baptism was insufficient, even when the Muslim’s mother had been Orthodox.  Instead, the prospective convert was required to curse Mohammed and his god, as had been customary.  One of the Seljuq sultan’s viziers, Iktiyar ad-Din Hasan ibn Gabras, a convert to Islam and member of the Byzantine Gabras family, urged the emperor to remove the curse as a requirement, since it had prevented his conversion back to Christianity.  In the hope that others in the sultan’s court might convert, Manuel urged that the requirement to anathematize Mohammed and his god be dropped.  The issue was discussed in a synod, and as a compromise, the anathema was modified to apply only to Mohammed and his teachings.

1162 Henry, archbishop of Reims, observed that a large number of heretics had penetrated into Flanders.  He called them “Manicheans who are known as Populicani.”

1163 Burning of Cathars at Cologne at the urging of Eckbert, Abbot of Schonau.

1163 Pope Alexander III (1159-81) held a council in Tours.  King Louis VII (1137-80) asked the pope to condemn all who provided support to the heretics in Gascony and the region near Toulouse (see 1147).

1164 Death of St. Hilarion, bishop of Moglena (in Macedonia).  Hilarion is the only 12th century Orthodox bishop considered a saint.  He is noted for his opposition to the Paulicians and Bogomils of Macedonia.  On one occasion the Bogomils stoned him, but he convinced the residents of Moglena to take no vengeance.  Hilarion built a church dedicated to the Holy Apostles on the spot where Bogomil prayer meetings had been held.

1164 Pole Alexander III (1159-81) made Uppsala a bishopric.

1165 By this year, the Cathars of Languedoc were so numerous that they openly defied the regional prelates as they met at Lombers (Lombez).  A heretical leader named Oliver proclaimed his doctrines publicly.

1165 At the command of the German emperor Frederick I Barbarosa (1152-90), Pope Paschal III (1164-68) canonized Charlemagne. 

1166 A council met under the presidency of the emperor Manuel Comnenus to address the interpretation of John 14.28:  “My father is greater than I.”  Demetrius of Lampe, a Roman (Byzantine) diplomat recently returned from the West, raised the issue to the emperor’s attention.  Demetrius ridiculed the way the verse was interpreted there:  Christ was inferior to his father in his humanity, but equal in his divinity.  The emperor thought the Western interpretation made good sense.  Eventually, he called a council to settle the matter.  The council met on March 2.  The following anathemas were directed against Constantine the Bulgarian, formerly Metropolitan of Corfu, and John Irenicus, by a synod in 1166.  They are included in the Synodicon of Orthodoxy (see year 842).

(38) Constantine the Bulgarian, who says that “My father is greater than I” refers only to Christ's human nature, taken in abstraction; whereas the Fathers use such an abstraction only to explain statements implying servitude or ignorance, and explain the statement "My father is greater than I" in various ways, one of which is that the statement refers to the fact that Christ's human nature retained its properties in the hypostatic union;
(39) those who agree with Constantine of Bulgaria;
(40) John Irenicus, who held the same view.

At the emperor’s insistence, the council agreed that, “By Christ was to be understood his created and concrete nature, according to which he suffered, as others.”  In the form of an edict (an Ekthesis) he proclaimed severe punishment for those who refused to accept this formula:  bishops and officials would lose their posts, while lower orders of the clergy could expect exile.  The Ekthesis was carved in stone and erected in the narthex of St. Sophia.  Metropolitans were required to have their suffragans sign a copy of the Ekthesis.  It is said that most of the church in Constantinople was opposed to the Ekthesis, perhaps due to anti-Latin feelings in the capital.

1167 A group of Poplicani (also called Deonarii) was tried in Vezelay in Burgundy.  Seven were burned, but one was scourged and set free.  They had refused to admit the value of the sacraments.

1167 In around this year, a Bogomil known as Papa Niquinta or Nicetas, presided over an assembly of the leading Cathars of Languedoc at Saint-Felix-de-Caraman (near Toulouse).  Nicetas claimed to be head of the church of Drugunthia (which has yet to be located).  As to church organization, he advised the Cathars to follow the example of the Bogomil churches in the East (Romania, Drugunthia, Melenguia, Bulgaria, and Dalmatia), each of which was independent, but which all strove for peace with one another.  Nicetas taught an absolute dualism, in which there are two uncreated gods, one good and one evil, which he contrasted with the teachings of the Bulgarian Bogomils, who taught that Satan was a created being.  Nicetas also visited the Cathars of Lombardy, whose leader, Mark, had learned his faith from Bulgarian Bogomils.  Mark accepted correction from Nicetas, but at some later point a representative of the Bulgarian Bogomils cast doubts on the validity of Nicetas’s consecration, claiming that Nicetas’s predecessor as bishop of Drugunthia had been found with a woman in his room.

1168 King Valdemar I of Denmark conquered Rugen (see 1134).  The temple of Svantovit was destroyed.  Svantovit himself (or his image) was used as firewood.  The inhabitants of Rugen again accepted Christiantiy.  Twelve churches existed on the island by 1172.

1168 Giovanni de Struma became Pope Calixtus III (1168-78) with the support of the German emperor Frederick I Barbarosa (1152-90).

1169 Norman adventurers (encouraged by Pope Adrian IV’s bull Laudabiliter (1156)) invaded eastern Ireland.  King Henry II of England took possession in October, 1171.

1169 In this year, a monastery for Russians was founded at Mount Athos (see 963).

1169-1187 A period of persecution for Coptic Christians.  Fearing they might support the Frankish crusaders, the Ayyubid rulers forbade Copts from holding office or riding horses, banned bells, crosses, and religious processions, and had church walls painted black.  These restrictions were generally relaxed after the defeat of the crusaders.

1170 At some point during his tenure as patriarch of Constantinople (1170-78), Michael Ankhialos suppressed certain celebrations that occurred on the evening of June 23.  The celebrations involved dressing a young, eldest daughter as a bride and having her handle small, personal objects to predict the owners’ fates.  The celebrants also jumped over bonfires for luck, put garlands on their houses, then splashed the houses with seawater.  Ankhialos was also commended by Eustathius of Thessalonica for his suppression of heretics.

1171Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by four knights.

1171 Pope Alexander III issued the bull Non parum animus noster, equating war against the Estonians and the Finns with pilgrimage to the Holy Land:  “We therefore grant to those who fight with might and courage against the aforesaid pagans one year’s remission for the sins they confess and receive penance for, trusting in God’s mercy and the merits of the apostles Peter and Paul, just as we usually grant to those who visit the sepulcher of the Lord; and if those who perish in the fight are doing their penance, to them we grant remission of all their sins.”

1171 The Roman (Byzantine) emperor Manuel I Comnenus (1143-80) had all Venetians in the empire arrested and confiscated their goods.  He had established trade arrangements with the Genoese in 1169 and with the Pisans in 1170.

1173 Death of Euphrosyne of Polotsk, patron saint of Belarus.  Euphrosyne was the daughter of Prince Vseslav of Polotsk.  She entered a convent rather than accept marriage.   Noted for her generosity (she used most of her income for almsgiving), Euphrosyne copied books for income.  Toward the end of her life, she traveled to Constantinople and the Holy Land.

1176 The Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Manuel Comnenus (1143-80) defeated by the Turks at Myriocephalon in Anatolia.

1176 The Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, Leontius, was imprisoned by the Franks when he slipped into Jerusalem to visit his see.

1177  Joachim of Fiore (1130/35-1201/02) became abbot of the Cistercian Monastery in Corazzo, Sicily, shortly before developing a Trinitarian philosophy of history.  The Old Testament era corresponded to the time of the Father, and the period since the incarnation was the era of the Son.  The third era, that of the Spirit, was to have been won through the efforts of the Church, especially of hermits and monastics, and to have begun in 1260.  The Franciscan and Dominican orders were later seen as fulfilling this need for spiritual workers.  Joachim was a mystic, having experienced three moments of intense spiritual illumination.

1178 At the request of Louis VII of France (1137-80), Pope Alexander III (1159-81) sent a mission to Toulouse to deal with the Cathars.  Apart from Count Raymond V of Toulouse, the nobles favored the Cathars and offered the mission no support.  The Cistercian Cardinal Peter of St. Chrysogonus was booed in the streets of Toulouse.

1179 Lando di Sezze elected Pope Innocent III (1179-80).  Innocent was the fourth in a series of so-called “antipopes” going back to Victor IV in 1159.  Alexander III had Innocent confined at the monastery of La Cava in the south of Italy.

1179  Third Lateran Council.  This council condemned the Cathari and settled on a two-thirds majority among cardinals as the requirement for papal election.

1180 An Augustinian canon, Meinhard, set up a mission station at Uxkull (Ikskile), inland on the Dvina (Daugava) River (modern Latvia).  His fort there was built of stone for protection against Lithuanian slavers.

1182Many Latin-speaking residents of Constantinople were massacred by the Roman (Byzantine) populace during a riot.  Many of these were Venetians.

1184 Pope Lucius III (1181-85) issued the bull Ad Abolendam, which condemned the teachings of Peter Valdes (Peter Waldo).  Valdes was an uneducated lay preacher in Lyon who used a non-Latin Bible.  His followers, the Waldensees, spread though much of Western Europe.  They refused to take oaths before courts, said no prayers for the dead, and criticized the adoration of the cross.  Instead, the Waldensees stressed moral purity, confession, fasting, poverty, and yearly communion.  Lucius set up an inquisition to deal with the Waldensees and the Cathars.

1184 The synod of Verona condemned the Arnoldists, followers of Arnold of Brescia (see 1137, 1155).  The Arnoldists decried the Church’s temporal power and saw a contradiction between material possessions and spiritual health.

1185 In August, the Normans laid siege to and sacked Thessalonica.  A description of the Norman atrocities survives, written by Eustathius, metropolitan of the city.  Eustathius also complained that the Norman conquerors were contemptuous of Greek church services, and that the local Jews and Armenians profited from the sacking of the city (demanding high prices for bread) and rejoiced that a disaster had fallen upon the Greeks.

1186 Death of St. John of Novgorod.  He had been archbishop of Novgorod during a siege.  As he prayed one day, John had a vision of the Theotokos, who told him to go to the Church of Christ the Savior and take her icon from there, then carry it along the walls of the city.  She promised him he would then see the city rescued.  As John carried the icon in procession to the city walls, tears began to stream from the Virgin Mary’s eyes, and the enemy fell into complete confusion and fled.

1186 Founding of the Second Bulgarian Empire. John (Ivan) Asen I was tsar from 1186 to 1196.

1187 Death of Gerard of Cremona, who had translated over 70 ancient Greek works into Latin from the Arabic.

1187 The Fatamid (Turkish) vizier Yusuf Ibn Eyub, known by his title of Sala ed-Din, or Saladin, swept into Palestine, defeating the crusader King Guy at the battle of Tiberias in June, and conquering Jerusalem in October.  In addition to dealing the death blow to the Latin kingdom in Palestine, Saladin conquered Egypt, thereby insuring that Islam in the west was Sunni – though in Persia it remains Shiah to this day.

1188 Pope Clement III (1187-91) recognized Rome’s communal government (see 1143).

1189 The Third Crusade set off under the leadership of Richard the Lionhearted of England (1189-1199), Philip Augustus of France (1180-1223), and Frederick Barbarosa of Germany (1152-1190).  There was strong popular support in Constantinople for the patriarch Dositheus’s (1090-91) efforts to block the crusaders’ passage.  The crusaders succeeded in capturing Cyprus and Acre in 1191.  On his return home, Richard was captured by Leopold of Austria and held captive by Henry VI.

~1190 The Teutonic Order of Jerusalem (the Teutonic Knights) formed largely from German knights of the third crusade.  Their goal was to defend the Christian presence in the Holy Land.

1091 On his return journed from the Third Crusade, Philip Augustus stopped on the island of Patmos.  He gave the Monastery of St. John the Theologian thirty bezants and requested a relic of St. Christodoulos, the monastery’s founder (see 1088).  The monks refused, but one of Philip’s followers bit off the tip of one of Christodoulos’s fingers and took it with him.  A storm later forced Philip’s party back to the island, and the fingertip was restored to the monastery.

1194 The Norman kingdom in southern Italy became part of the German empire.

1195 Some time after this year, Theodore Balsamon, patriarch of Antioch (1185-95?), died.  Balsamon attended his flock with difficulty, given the presence of crusader forces and a Latin patriarch in that city.  He was a noted canonist, promoting the harmony of ecclesial and imperial law/jurisdiction, and a champion of the rights and authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

In around this year, the patriarch of Alexandria asked Balsamon’s advice on whether to provide communion for Latin prisoners of war.  Balsamon responded by rejecting papal primacy and by using 28th canon of the the council of Chalcedon to argue that the patriarch of Constantinople had all the privileges supposedly granted to the papacy by the Donation of Constantine.  Since Rome had fallen into heresy, Latin prisoners of war should be required to renounce their errors before receiving communion.

1197 In this year, a monastery for Serbians was founded at Mount Athos (see 963).

1197 The monk Boso became abbot of the monastery in Alet (southern France).  The monks had preferred a different candidate, but Bertrand of Saissac, the regent of Foix, forced them to elect Boso in a council over which the corpse of their previous abbot presided.

1198 The Livonian Crusade.  When Meinhard’s (see 1180) successor Berthold found the mission along the Dvina in danger of failure, Pole Celestine III (1191-98) encouraged a crusade.  A Saxon army invaded Livonia (~modern Latvia and Estonia) and defeated the Livonians in battle.  Berthold was slain.  When the Saxons returned home, the priests at the Livonian mission fled under death threats from the Livonians.  (The unreliability of occasional crusaders to protect missionaries later led to the formation of military/spiritual brotherhoods - see 1202.)

1198 During Innocent III’s pontificate (1198-1216), the papacy exercised increased direct control over the church, both through written instructions and the presence of legates.  Elements of the modern Western system of liturgical colors can be found in a treatise by Innocent III, written before he became pope in this year.  Since the time of Pope Gregory VII (1075-83), the popes had been dissatisfied with identifying themselves as the vicar of St. Peter.  Innocent reflected the change in perspective when he wrote, “We are the successor of the prince of the Apostles, but we are not his vicar, nor the vicar of any man or Apostle, but the vicar of Jesus Christ himself.”

1199 Innocent III sent a Cistercian mission to Languedoc to deal with the Cathar heretics who were numerous in that province.

1199 Bosnia became an openly Bogomil state when Kulin, the Ban of Bosnia, and ten thousand subjects publicly proclaimed the Bogomil faith.  The Bogomils of Bosnia were known as Patarenes.  The strength of the Patarenes in Bosnia ended only with the Turkish conquest in 1463.

1200 Death of Stephan Nemanya, former Grand Zhupan of Serbia, who had followed his son Sava (see 1219) into the monastic life, adopting the name Symeon.  Toward the end of the thirteenth century, Nemanya called a council of the Serbian church to condemn the doctrines of the Bogomils.  Some of the Bogomil missionaries had entered Bosnia, where they were instrumental in the conversion of Kulin.

1200 In the late twelfth century, the monk Athanasius of Jerusalem wrote to a certain Pank, who had been reading Bogomil writings, “If you have read the homily of the priest Jeremiah, the one on the Holy Wood and the Holy Trinity, of which you used to talk, then you have read lying fables.”  This quote indicates the existence of a corpus of Bogomil works.  The 1608 edition of the Russian index “Of True and False Books” identified the priest Jeremiah with Bogomil himself.

1200 Albert of Buxtehunde led a crusading army into Livonia.  In 1201, he abandoned the mission station at Uxkull (see 1180) and established his base at the mouth of the Dvina River.  The city of Riga grew from this beginning.

1200 When John “the Fat” Comnenus broke into St. Sophia in Constantinope and had himself proclaimed emperor, the patriarch John Kamateros (1199-1206) hid in a broom closet.  The emperor Alexius III Angelus (1195-1203) squelched John Comnenus’s coup.

It was common in this era in Constantinople to find scholars in discussion in the forecourt of the Church of the Holy Apostles on such topics as conception, the nature of sight, number theory, and the workings of sensation.

1200 A synod met in Constantinople to discuss the eucharist as a result of a controversy between which began in 1197 between John Kamateros and the historian Nicetas Choniates.  The resulting synod condemned the teachings of Myron Sikidites (aka Michael Glykas).  Glykas had argued that, since the communion bread was broken by the priest, it could not be corruptible.  He also concluded that, since Christ’s body had been transformed after his sacrifice on the cross, so also the communion elements were miraculously transformed only after they had been sacrificed, that is, after they were consumed.  However, as the synod’s decision was being read to the emperor for confirmation, John Kastamonites, bishop of Chalcedon and an enthusiastic supporter of Sikidites’ views, entered uninvited and argued persuasively against it.  Sikidites was not censured.

1200 The beginning of the ‘Little Ice Age’ in Western Europe, which lasted for approximately 200 years.  The colder, damper conditions led to poor harvests, and, after 1250, little new land was available for cultivation.  Western Europe experienced multiple famines in the early fourteenth century.