BETWEEN the schism of Michael Cerularius and the capture of Constantinople by the Turks, a period of four hundred years, from 1054 to 1453, some thirty attempts were made to unite the Greeks and the Latins once more in the same communion. At three separate times, in 1204 under compulsion, and in 1274 and 1439 by the terms of an agreement, the union appeared to have been effected; but on each occasion it was inchoate and ephemeral.

It might be said that, from the eleventh to the fifteenth century, the union was the "great ambition" of the Popes and Emperors. It seemed to them the one effective remedy for all the ills of Christendom, which would reconstruct the unity of the Church and re-establish religious concord; strengthened by it, Christendom could resist the attacks of the infidels. Every time that this splendid ideal seemed within grasp, events thwarted its realisation; and the wisest combinations, the most subtle compromises, the fruit of long and laborious negotiations, were powerless before the permanent causes of schism which were destined to render all these efforts abortive. The history therefore of the attempts at union is one of continued mortification, repeated checks, perpetual failures, which militated against religious peace. In point of fact, the union could never be completely attained, and it was the impossibility of achieving this end which brought on the final fall of the Empire.

At the present day the dogmatic and disciplinary divergences which were then separating the two Churches, the double Procession of the Holy Ghost, the dispute as to the pains of purgatory, the use of unleavened bread, and so on, do not appear insuperable difficulties to the union. Agreement on these points was reached several times, and the Popes recognised the right of the Uniate Greeks to preserve their peculiar uses.

But all these questions, which gave birth to countless controversies, were really only an excuse for schism. The fundamental difficulty was the recognition by the Greek Church of the papal supremacy, which was far more wide-reaching in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries than in the days of Photius and Cerularius. The Greek Church, jealous of her traditions, proud of her history and of the Ecumenical Councils on which orthodoxy was based, and in which she had played so prominent a part, could not accept passively the idea of pontifical monarchy held by a Gregory VII or an Innocent III. She admitted the primacy of the Pope, while the more moderate of her members allowed the Papacy its universal character, but one and all rejected the disciplinary jurisdiction which made all bishops merely delegates and papal vicars.

Two irreconcilable parties were thus opposed, and there was no solution to the dispute on the religious side. The Western conception of the freedom of the Church from the State, for which the supremacy of the Pope was the essential guarantee, was confronted by the Eastern doctrine of the autocephalous Church, whose autonomy corresponded to that of the State, to which it was strictly subordinated. It is the rule with the East that an independent sovereign requires an autonomous patriarch, whose relations with the other patriarchs are only spiritual. The one link between the Churches is the participation in orthodoxy established by the Councils. The Patriarch of Constantinople himself was bound, within his own territory, to recognise the autocephalia of the island of Cyprus, Bulgaria, Serbia, Russia, and Moldo-Wallachia.

Since no agreement was possible between these two contradictory conceptions, the questions of dogma and discipline were always in dispute. Theologians, far from trying to solve them, took pleasure in complicating them. This is the explanation why that protracted controversy, in which on the Latin side men like St Anselm or St Thomas Aquinas, on the Greek side men like John Beccus (Veccus), Barlaam, Mark of Ephesus, Bessarion, Gemistos Plethon, are found, produced absolutely no results.

It may be said that from 1054 to 1453 the question did not advance one step. Nothing can surpass the monotony of these erudite treatises on the Procession of the Holy Ghost, of these dialogues and contradictory debates, which repeat over and over again the same arguments and appeal continually to the same authorities. Whether at Constantinople in 1054, at Lyons in 1274, or at Florence in 1439, the discussion revolves round the same points and arrives at no result.

One chief hindrance to the establishment of the union was its complication at all times with political interests. It was never desired for its own sake, but for the temporal advantages which the Emperors, Byzantine and Western alike, expected from it. The consequence was that, when the political advantages looked for from the union disappeared, the union itself was abandoned.

From 1054 to 1453 the Emperors always looked to religious union as a means of carrying out their political designs, or of assuring the defence of the Empire. From 1055 to 1071 they, as Constantine IX had done, contracted, by means of the union, a political and military alliance with the Papacy against the Normans of Italy. Then from 1073 to 1099 the union was courted by Michael VII and Alexius Comnenus to assure the defence of the Empire against the Seljuq Turks. In the twelfth century, at the time of the Popes’ struggle with the Germanic Emperors, John and Manuel Comnenus had entertained the fond hope of reconquering Italy by means of the union, and assuming at Rome the Western imperial crown. After the conquest of 1204, at the time of the decadence of the Latin Empire, Theodore I Lascaris, John Vatatzes, and Theodore II saw in the union the means of re-entering Constantinople. Michael Palaeologus, master of the capital in 1261, made full use of the union to check the ambitious projects of Charles of Anjou. Finally, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the preliminary negotiations for the union were more or less actively prosecuted according to the advance or the retreat of the Ottomans, and it was not until the danger from them was pressing that this union was finally realised at Florence in 1439.

The Popes, on their side, saw in the union primarily a means of saving Eastern Christendom from the Musulman invasion. Such was the point of view of Gregory VII and of Urban II. Then the Popes of the twelfth century, Paschal II, Calixtus II, Honorius II, Hadrian IV, Alexander III, thought to employ the union to secure for themselves at Constantinople a protector against the schemes of the Germanic Emperors. The series of Popes which starts with Innocent III saw, on the contrary, that the sole chance of success in the Crusades lay in the union, and pursued the policy of making Constantinople a base of operations against the infidels. Finally, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the Ottoman peril which threatened all Europe constituted the chief reason why they sought the union.

The policy of the union, voluntarily adopted, was opposed by that of conquest which was intended to bring about a union by force. The Kings of Sicily—Roger II, William I, William II—being desirous of founding a mighty Mediterranean empire, initiated this policy, which was adopted by such men as St Bernard and Suger. The Hohenstaufen, who were masters of Sicily by inheritance, dreamed of realising this ambition of the Norman kings, and the conquest of 1204 was prepared by an agreement between Philip of Swabia and Venice. The union had been forcibly imposed on the Greek Church, and then, when some years later the collapse of the Latin Empire was apparent, Charles of Anjou and his heirs revived against Constantinople the plans of their predecessors in Sicily.

Such are the different points of view which by their continuous opposition add to the complication of this period of history, but they all have the common characteristic of regarding the union merely as a means of political profit, and this lack of sincerity and altruism on both sides is the ultimate cause of the final failure of all these efforts.

We know that the solidarity, which united the interests of the Pope to that of the Emperor in common cause against the Normans in Italy, had been the principal obstacle to the schism of 10541. It is not surprising then that the first efforts to resume relations were made in that sphere. After 1055 the trusty emissary of the alliance between Pope and Emperor, the Lombard Argyrus, comes once more on the scene. In order to save Byzantine Italy he has recourse to Henry III, to whom he sends an embassy. He himself, taking advantage of the semi-disgrace into which Michael Cerularius fell in the reign of Theodora, went to Constantinople to ask for fresh powers.

One of the legates of 1054, the Chancellor Frederick of Lorraine, elected Pope under the name of Stephen IX (1057), thought the moment had come to resume the policy of Leo IX, and chose Desiderius, Abbot-designate of Monte Cassino, and two other legates to go to Constantinople. But when the legates were on the point of embarking with Argyrus (January 1058), the news of the Pope's death stopped their departure.

This policy was obsolete, and the counsellors of the Papacy, such as Hildebrand, clearly saw that it did not correspond with the actual situation. The treaty of Melfi (1059), by which Nicholas II recognised the sovereignty of the Norman Robert Guiscard over Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily, set the seal to the expropriation of the imperial power in Italy.

The political basis on which the union might have been built up was removed. In 1062 the Emperor Constantine X made a fruitless attempt at Rome to secure the election of a Pope pledged to the alliance with Byzantium. As the result of an intrigue engineered by the Piedmontese Bishop Benzo and Pantaleone, a merchant of Amalfi in high repute at Constantinople, Cadalus, Bishop of Parma, elected Pope under the style of Honorius II, was opposed to the candidate of reform, Alexander II. But in 1064 Cadalus, who had sought asylum in the castle of Sant Angelo, was driven from Rome, and with him the plan of alliance against the Normans disappeared. In 1071 the capture of Bari by Robert Guiscard completed the fall of the imperial power in South Italy. The time was not far off when, on the very territory of the Empire, the Basileus would have to fight the Normans, now become the allies and protectors of the Pope.

Henceforward, the negotiations towards the union were transacted in another sphere. The victory of the Normans marked the first check to the expansion of Byzantium which had begun at the end of the ninth century. The Empire for the future is on the defensive: it has to face the Normans on the west, the Patzinaks on the north, the Seljuq Turks on the east. The most menacing danger was on the Turkish side; the battle of Manzikert (1071), in which Romanus Diogenes was taken prisoner, shook the Byzantine domination in Asia Minor and even the security of Constantinople. For a long time now bodies of Western mercenaries, Lombards, Anglo-Saxons, or Normans, had figured in the imperial armies. Confronted by the new dangers which threatened the Empire, the Basileus naturally thought of raising larger levies in the West, and the religious union seemed to him the most effective means of persuading the Popes to uphold their cause among the peoples.

This new policy was entered upon in 1073 by the Emperor Michael VII. On his accession he sent two monks to convey to Gregory VII a letter, in which he expresses his devotion to the Roman Church. The Pope sent him an answer by Dominic, Patriarch of Grado, and informed him of his wish to re-establish "the ancient concord" between the two Churches. As a result of these parleys Gregory VIII published on 1 March 1074 a letter addressed to all the faithful, ad omnes christianos, in which, after describing the outrages of the Turks, he exhorts them to help the Christians of the East. In his letter of 7 December to Henry IV he announced that he was ready himself to march at the head of 50,000 men to liberate the East and the Holy Sepulchre, and to bring the Oriental Churches back to Christian unity. But circumstances prevented the realisation of this grandiose plan. The Pope was soon involved in the struggle with Henry IV; Michael VII was dethroned by Nicephorus Botaniates, whom the Pope solemnly excommunicated in 1078 as a usurper, and relations were once more broken off between Rome and Constantinople. The close alliance made in 1080 between Gregory VII and Robert Guiscard excluded all possibility of an agreement.

Under Urban II and Alexius Comnenus the conferences were resumed. On his accession (1088) the Pope sent the Emperor two legates, one of whom was the Basilian Abbot of Grottaferrata, in order to ask him to allow the Latin priests to celebrate mass with unleavened bread. The Emperor received the request graciously, and invited the Pope to come to Constantinople to settle the question.

The events of which Rome was then the theatre prevented Urban II from leaving Italy, but towards 1091 the tension between Rome and Constantinople was considerably relieved, as is shown by a curious treatise of Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrida, "On the errors of the Latins," written at this period. He twits the Greeks on their craze for finding heresies everywhere, and for blaming the Latin priests because they shaved their beards, wore gold rings, fasted on Saturday, and so on. The only difference which seemed to him important was the addition to the Creed.

It appears certain that at the same time levies of troops were being raised in Italy on behalf of the Emperors, and a regular correspondence was established between Urban II and Alexius Comnenus, who the whole time continued to be in constant communication with the monks of Monte Cassino. Finally in 1094 Greek ambassadors appeared at the Council of Piacenza to ask the Pope and the faithful to defend Christendom against the pagans. At the request of Urban II many knights pledged themselves by an oath to go to the East.

Such was the sequence of events, and it is clear, as has been established by Chalandon, that, when asking for extensive reinforcements, Alexius Comnenus did not contemplate the formidable movement of the Crusade, of which the Council of Clermont (18-28 November 1095) was the starting point. It is evident that the idea of proclaiming the Holy War and launching armed multitudes on the East belonged to Urban II, but the Pope was himself supported and probably incited by the mystic impulse which drew the Western peoples to the Holy Sepulchre. The ambitious programme of the Crusade widely surpassed in its scale that of the union between the Churches, which according to the Pope's idea ought to have followed naturally from it. The Crusade was to solve all difficulties, political or religious.

We know that the Crusade did not long remain true to this exalted ideal. On the one hand, Alexius Comnenus tried to exploit it for re-conquering the territories torn from the Empire by the Turks. On the other hand, the Western barons, become sovereign princes in Syria, were not slow in shelving their hostility to the Empire. The Crusade, far from solving the problems, only increased the misunderstanding between the East and the West. In 1098 the crusaders complained to the Pope, charging Alexius with being the principal obstacle to their march on Jerusalem.

The capture of Antioch and of Jerusalem had at any rate the result of bringing two of the ancient Eastern patriarchates, whose holders were henceforward Latins, directly under the authority of the Pope. The councils held by Urban II at Bari (1098) and at Rome (1099) were probably intended to proclaim the religious union with these patriarchates. At Bari there was a debate in the presence of the Pope between St Anselm and the Greek clergy on the Procession of the Holy Ghost; at Rome the Pope published decrees condemning the errors of the Greeks. But this was only a partial union, for the Patriarch of Constantinople does not appear to have been represented at these meetings. A more significant fact is that Pope Paschal II gave his support to Bohemond, Prince of Antioch, in his attempt to conquer the Greek Empire, which failed before Durazzo in 1108. This attack of Bohemond may fairly be regarded as a first attempt to settle the Graeco-Latin dispute by conquests.

The negotiations for the religious union were soon placed on another basis, and to achieve this object the Basileus tried to employ the protracted struggle between the Papacy and the Germanic Empire which filled the twelfth century. Alexius Comnenus seems to have initiated this policy. Paschal II having been made prisoner by Henry V in 1111 and forced to crown him Emperor, Alexius wrote, in January 1112, a letter to the Romans, in which he protested against this treatment of the Pope, and professed his readiness to come in person to Rome to assume the imperial crown. The Romans welcomed these proposals, and sent a numerous embassy to Constantinople. An illness prevented Alexius from keeping his promise. But the correspondence between the Pope and the Emperor was continued. At the close of 1112 the Pope signified to Alexius that the first condition of the alliance ought to be the submission of the Greek Church, and suggested the calling of a new council. In 1113 Peter Chrysolanus, Archbishop of Milan, held a public debate with Eustratius, Bishop of Nicaea, but the matter went no further.

Negotiations were again opened between Calixtus II and John Comnenus about 1124. The Pope sent an embassy to Constantinople, and received one from the Emperor. New embassies were exchanged in 1126 between John Comnenus and Honorius II. In 1136 a new controversy was broached at Constantinople between Anselm of Havelberg and Nicetas, Archbishop of Nicomedia. No agreement resulted from it.

Meanwhile the opinion spread more and more widely in the West that conquest alone would put an end to the of the Greeks, and assure the success of the crusades. The chief mover in this direction was Roger II, King of Sicily, who at the very moment when the Second Crusade was starting had taken the offensive against the Greek Empire (1147). But he tried in vain to induce the King of France, Louis VII, to favour his project, and give permission to use the route through Southern Italy to gain the East. The crusaders reached Constantinople by the Danube route, but while Louis VII was actually the guest of Manuel Comnenus the Bishop of Langres advised him to open the Crusade by seizing Constantinople. Such a proposal had no chance of being entertained by a King of France, but Roger II returned to the attack when he had an interview with Louis VII at Potenza on his return from the Crusade. The king, passing through Italy, communicated the project to Pope Eugenius III at Tivoli, but the Pope, who feared the ambition of the King of Sicily, did not welcome the idea. Nevertheless, the plan of Roger was approved by highly qualified religious personalities, by Peter the Venerable, Abbot of Cluny, by St Bernard, and above all by Suger, Abbot of St Denis, who in his correspondence with the Pope saw in it the most effective means of consummating the union between the Churches. The plan of a crusade against Constantinople was definitely given to the world.

This danger being temporarily averted, Manuel Comnenus tried to utilise the political rivalries which divided the West to revive the grandiose project of Alexius Comnenus of bartering the religious union for the imperial crown at St Peter's in Rome.

From the very first it was the common hostility of Pope Hadrian IV and the Basileus against William I, King of Sicily, which furnished a basis of negotiations. An alliance was concluded between them at Bari in 1155. This partook of a military character, and the Pope was pledged to raise troops to help the Greek generals to conquer Apulia. But the religious union was not forgotten, and Hadrian IV sent to Constantinople two pontifical notaries to work there. The correspondence which he exchanged on this subject with Basil, Archbishop of Ochrida, shows us how far more difficult the religious agreement was than the political alliance. When the Pope compared the Greek Church to the lost piece of silver or the lost sheep of the Gospel, Basil replied somewhat sharply that the Roman Church, which had herself made an addition to the Creed, was not entitled to accuse the Greeks of having wandered from the fold.

Circumstances seemed more propitious when in 1159 Alexander III sent an embassy to Manuel, asking his alliance against Frederick Barbarossa. The struggle between the Pope and the Germanic Empire began afresh with Italy as the stake, but Manuel seemed to hesitate, when in 1161 he received letters from the King of France, Louis VII, and the pontifical legate in France, William of Pavia, which urged him to recognise Alexander III and proposed an alliance. The legate, after censuring the conduct of the Germanic Emperors, recalled the prosperous times which the Church had known when there was but one Empire in the world. The allusion was clear.

Manuel seems to have been favourably disposed towards this idea. On 25 December 1161 he writes to Louis VII that he recognises Alexander III as lawful Pope, and asks the king to send an embassy to Constantinople. He himself sent in 1163 to France three ambassadors, whose mission was to communicate a matter of extreme importance, not to be divulged except in the joint presence of the Pope and the king at the same conference. But this preliminary condition could not be carried out, and it would appear from the correspondence exchanged on the matter that it was the hesitation of Louis VII which destroyed the formal conclusion of an alliance. After having seen the king, the ambassadors waited a long time at Saint-Gilles for instructions which never came. It was January 1164 before they once more reached Constantinople.

This want of success did not deter Manuel, who now adopted the policy of addressing himself directly to the Pope, and proposed in 1166 the reunion of the Churches in exchange for the imperial crown of the West. The Pope cordially welcomed these overtures and sent to Constantinople Ubaldo, Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia, and Cardinal Johns. Discussions were held at Constantinople between these legates and the members of the Greek clergy, but they led to nothing. According to Cinnamus, the Pope required Manuel to transfer his residence to Rome, and that was the cause of the discontinuance of the negotiations.

In 1170 Manuel made a final attempt with Alexander III, but the favourable moment had passed. The formation of the Lombard League had improved the position of the Pope, who only returned an evasive answer to these overtures, but sent, however, two legates to Constantinople. The relations between the Pope and the Basileus were excellent right up to the last. In 1175 Manuel announced to Alexander III the victory which he had just won over the Turks at Dorylaeum, and invited him to accelerate the departure of the Western crusaders to fight the Turks. The Pope gave instructions to this effect to the legate whom he had sent to France. But notwithstanding sincerely good intentions the Pope and the Emperor had been powerless to triumph over the obstacles which militated against their agreement. The very curious dialogue between the Emperor Manuel and the Patriarch Michael Anchialus shows unmistakably that the Greek clergy clung to all their distrust of Rome. On the other hand, the incessant interference of the Comneni in the doctrinal and disciplinary matters of the Greek Church proves that the Basileus would never consent to resign the religious authority which had been transmitted to him from his predecessors.

The death of Manuel Comnenus in 1180 was followed by a violent reaction against his Western policy and against the Latins. Andronicus Comnenus, the usurper of the throne, consolidated his power by letting popular hatred work its worst on the Western colonies in Constantinople. The massacre of the Latins in 1182 was an unpardonable act which led to the reprisals of 1204. From this moment it was open warfare between the West and Byzantium, and act upon act of hostility followed. Now it was the aggression of William II, King of Sicily, in 1189, and the sack of Thessalonica; now the alliance of Isaac Angelus with Saladin in 1189; now the hostility which he evinced to Frederick Barbarossa in 1190; now the occupation of the island of Cyprus in 1191 by Richard Coeur-de-Lion. Above all, there were the preparations of Henry VI, heir to the Norman Kings of Sicily, to have done once and for all with the Byzantine Empire: a fleet had already been assembled at Messina, and, in spite of the Pope, the Emperor was on the point of embarking for Constantinople when he died prematurely (28 September 1198).

All these acts intensified bitterness. At the very time when Barbarossa’s Crusade was passing through, the Greeks openly treated the Latins as heretics, and the Patriarch in a sermon preached at St Sophia promised indulgences to every Greek who killed a hundred crusaders. The crusade against Constantinople seemed therefore inevitable, and would have taken place sooner had not the death of Henry VI produced a lull which the new Pope, Innocent III, tried to utilise on behalf of the union.

Ever since his accession, in fact, Innocent III had been busy in organising a crusade, and to his mind the realisation of religious union with Constantinople was the postulate of its success. The first step towards agreement was taken by Alexius III, who found he had the same enemy as the Pope in the person of Philip of Swabia, brother of Henry VI and son-in-law of the deposed Emperor Isaac Angelus. He openly proposed to the Pope an alliance against the Hohenstaufen, but Innocent III in his answer brought the question on to the religious plane by intimating to the Emperor that, if he wanted to end the complaints of the Western peoples against him, he ought to lead a crusade to the Holy Land, and work for the union of the Churches. A letter on the necessity of re-establishing the unity of the Church was at the same time addressed to the Patriarch. For more than a year this correspondence was kept up without any result, and in a style which shewed little diplomacy, for the two principals refused to make the slightest concession in fundamentals.

The Pope, while negotiating with Alexius III, was all the time ordering the Crusade to be preached; but the expedition was organised independently of him, and the barons who took the cross were content with asking him to ratify the measures which they adopted. The Pope took no share in the conclusion of the treaty with Venice for free passage (March 1201), nor in the election of Boniface of Montferrat as leader of the Crusade (May 1201). The prince Alexius, son of Isaac Angelus, escaping from his prison, lost little time in coming, first of all, to ask Innocent III to support the restoration of his father, and to undertake the promotion of the religious union; but he next went to Germany to his brother-in-law Philip of Swabia, and it was then probably that, without the cognisance of Innocent III, Philip of Swabia and Boniface of Montferrat decided at the interview at Haguenau (25 December 1201) to divert the Crusade to Constantinople. Boniface of Montferrat, on presenting himself at Rome in May 1202 to propose to Innocent III the restoration of Isaac Angelus with the support of the crusaders, encountered a categorical refusal.

The barons thereupon acted contrary to the wish of the Pope, and the crisis was precipitated. There was, first of all, the diversion to Zara, to which the crusaders consented on the plea of paying their debt to the Venetians. Then, on the Pope's refusal to excuse the capture of Zara, it was determined to confront him with the accomplished fact. The arrival at Zara of embassies from Philip of Swabia (1 January 1203) and from the pretender Alexius (7 April) decided the crusaders to attack Constantinople. The conscience of the crusaders had been salved by most specious promises, union of the Churches, participation of the restored Emperor in the Crusade—the entire programme of the Pope himself.

Innocent III had in vain made the greatest efforts to keep the Crusade on the route to Egypt. The alliance between the Ghibellines, of whom Philip of Swabia was the leader, and the Venetians, which saw in the Byzantine Empire a tempting prey, was stronger than the will of the Pope. Further, Isaac Angelus and his son, once restored, were unable to keep the promises which they had made, and the crusaders were forced to besiege Constantinople a second time. This time it was conquest pure and simple: the sack of the palace, the monasteries, and the churches, the partition of the Empire between the barons and the Venetians. In 1205 the whole East was covered with Latin settlements, and only two centres of resistance were left, the one in Epirus under the dynasty of the Angeli, the other at Nicaea round Theodore Lascaris. The conquerors could fondly flatter themselves that, by disobeying the orders of the Pope, they had put an end to the schism of the Greeks, and assured for ever the supremacy of the Roman Church in the East.

According to the principles of the Canon Law, the conquest of the East in no way necessarily involved the absorption of the Greek Church by the Latin Church. To realise the union, it was necessary, first, that the Greeks gave a formal adherence, then, that the Greek Church should return to the conditions previous to 1054, communion with Rome, autonomous institutions, native clergy, national rites. But for this solution to prevail the conquerors, clerics as well as laymen, would have had to shew improbable self-abnegation; the property and revenue of the Greek clergy was too tempting a prey for them.

To do this, these men of the thirteenth century needed a perfect familiarity with history which they could not possess. Between 1054 and 1204 the position of the Papacy had been completely changed; the spiritual supremacy of the Holy See was accepted by all, and many would defend its temporal supremacy. To the West, since the schism of the Greeks, the Roman Church represented the Catholic Church. What she required from the other Churches was no longer merely communion, but submission in matters of dogma and discipline. The Christian republic tended to become a monarchy.

On the side of the Greeks, finally, a spirit of conciliation would have been necessary, but the events of which they had just been victims rendered this impossible. The chronicle of Nicetas echoes the exasperation which the sack of Constantinople roused among them. A contemporary pamphlet, entitled "Our grievances against the Latin Church," enumerates a long list, as absurd as it is spiteful, of the practices with which they charged the Latins, and declares that it is impossible to communicate with men who shave their beards and eat meat on Wednesday and fish in Lent. The more moderate Greeks, in a letter to Innocent III about 1213, declared that they would gladly attempt a conciliation, but on condition that the difficulties were solved by an Ecumenical Council and that no violence should be employed to secure their adhesion.

Innocent III, resigned to the conquest of Constantinople, which he had never wished but in the end considered a providential event, resolved at least to turn it to the best advantage of Christendom by realising the religious union and organising the Church of the East. But the crusaders, taking no account of his intentions, had confronted him with actual facts. At the very outset, on their own authority, they placed Latin clergy at the head of the churches and monasteries; their task was lightened by the Greek clergy, of whom many members had fled for refuge to Nicaea or Epirus. On the other hand, agreeably to the bargain struck with Venice, the greater part of the property of the Church was secularised. At Constantinople itself the Venetians took possession of the richest monasteries, and installed at St Sophia a chapter of canons, who elected to the Patriarchate a Venetian noble, Thomas Morosini. The Pope, much against his will, was forced to confirm this choice.

The same example was followed in all the states founded by the Latins, the kingdom of Thessalonica, duchy of Athens, principality of Achaia, the Venetian possessions in Crete and the Archipelago. The Latin clergy and the religious or military orders of the West were installed everywhere. Innocent III had no choice but to accept this spoliation of the Greek Church; he did his best, however, to stop it, and to bring the new clergy into strict subordination to the Holy See. His legate, Cardinal Benedict of Santa Susanna, was able to sign a treaty in 1206 with the regent of the Latin Empire, Henry of Flanders, by which the barons relinquished to the Church a fifteenth of their estates and incomes. The same legate was commissioned to obtain the consent of the Greek clergy to the religious union. His instructions were to offer most conciliatory terms. He negotiated with the Greek bishops of one power after another, even treating with those of the Empire of Nicaea, and going so far as to concede the use of leavened bread for the Eucharist. The Pope even allowed the validity of the orders conferred by the Greek prelates. The only obligation which he imposed on them was to recognise formally the authority of the Holy See by means of an oath taken according to the feudal form while clasping the hands of the legate. The bishop must swear fidelity and obedience to the Roman Church, undertake to answer every summons to a council, to make a journey, like the Western bishops, to the threshold (ad limina) of the Apostles, to receive the legates with due ceremony, and to inscribe the name of the Pope on the diptychs.

This was in reality a serious innovation, irreconcilable with the system of autonomy which the Greek Church had enjoyed before 1054. Many indeed of the Greek bishops agreed to take this oath, but it was one of the principal obstacles to the duration of the union. In many places resistance was offered to it, and there were even scenes of violence.

The mission entrusted to Cardinal Pelagius in 1213 completed the exasperation of the Greeks. His instructions were far less conciliatory than those of his predecessor, and he went far beyond them. Being commissioned to obtain the submission of all the Greek clergy, he had the recalcitrant thrown into prison, had seals affixed to the church doors, and drove the monks out of their convents. The Emperor Henry was alarmed at these events, and intervened, liberating the prisoners and re­opening the churches.

In these circumstances Pelagius, in order to carry out the pontifical instructions, called for the assembling of a conference at Constantinople with the Greek clergy of Nicaea. Nothing could come of this. The delegate of the Empire of Nicaea, Nicholas Mesarites, Metropolitan of Ephesus, was received with honour, but complained of the haughty attitude of Pelagius. Sharp and sarcastic words were exchanged, and, after a week of discussion, the meeting broke up without any results.

At the Lateran Council, in 1215, there was not a single representative of the Greek native clergy, and very few of the Latin bishops of the Eastern Empire took the trouble to attend. The Council proclaimed that the Greeks had come once more under the jurisdiction of the Holy See. They were permitted to preserve their ritual and their peculiar uses, but the hatred which they incessantly shewed towards the Latins, by re-baptising the infants whom they had baptised, and by purifying the altars which had been used by them, was denounced in vigorous terms.

The situation did not improve under the successors of Innocent III, and the relations between the Latin clergy and the natives became worse and worse. The correspondence of the Popes of the thirteenth century is full of expostulations directed against the Latin bishops for their abuse of power and their outrages. Step by step as the Emperor John Vatatzes or the Despot of Epirus reconquered territories, the Latin bishops were compelled to abdicate and make room for Orthodox Greeks. Towards the middle of the thirteenth century the Church of the Latin Empire was, like the Empire itself, plunged into deep distress, and, except in the Morea and in the Venetian possessions, the moment was drawing near when it would disappear. Nothing was destined to remain of the conquerors' exploits but the hatred rankling in the heart of the Greeks.

But for a long time the Popes had come to despair of the safety of the Latin Empire and, being supremely solicitous for the interests of Christendom, they were beginning to welcome the proposals for alliance which came to them from Nicaea.

Theodore Lascaris had indeed thought of regaining Constantinople by peaceable means, through a marriage with the daughter of the Emperor Peter de Courtenay in 1219. This matrimonial policy was intended to be completed by a religious union with Rome. According to a letter of the Patriarch of Nicaea to John Apocaucus, Metropolitan of Naupactus, he contemplated calling a council at Nicaea to put an end to the schism. This project was not carried out, doubtless on account of the opposition of the clergy, sufficiently shown by the reply of John Apocaucus to the Patriarch. The process was not all on one side, for in 1232, Manuel, Despot of Epirus, became master of Thessalonica, and, seeing his overtures rejected by the Patriarch of Nicaea, made his submission to Pope Gregory IX.

At the same time the Emperor of Nicaea, John Vatatzes, sent by the hands of the Patriarch Germanus a letter to the Pope and cardinals to propose the union to them. In reality, John Vatatzes was trying in this way to check the offensive which John de Brienne, elected Emperor of Constantinople in 1231, was preparing against Nicaea. Gregory IX was favourably inclined towards these proposals, and sent to Nicaea two Franciscans and two Dominicans who had conversations with the Patriarch and the Holy Synod, but far from ending in harmony the conference terminated in reciprocal anathemas. Vatatzes at least had been able to conclude a suspension of hostilities with John de Brienne.

Gregory IX made another overture to Vatatzes in 1237, but the letter which he sent him was never answered 2. The Pope then prepared a crusade against him, and the King of Hungary, Bela, consented to direct it (1240). Vatatzes in alarm sent to Bela a promise of religious union with Rome. But, Hungary having been invaded by the Mongols in 1241, Vatatzes, having no cause of anxiety from that quarter, forgot his promise.

Nevertheless with laudable constancy the Popes, who had abandoned the task of supporting effectively the Latin Empire, continued to follow up the religious union with Nicaea. At the Council of Lyons in 1245 Innocent IV reckoned the Greek schism among the five wounds from which the Church was suffering. In 1249 he sent to Vatatzes John of Parma, General of the Franciscans, in order to dissuade him from the alliance with Frederick II, and to gain him over to the union. Conferences followed, but in 1250 Frederick II captured in Southern Italy the ambassadors whom Vatatzes was sending to the Pope. They remained in prison until his death (December 1250). Set free by Manfred, they were able to rejoin the Pope at Perugia in November 1251, but the negotiations came to nothing, and Vatatzes renewed his attacks upon the Latin Empire.

It was Vatatzes who resumed the pourparlers in 1254. His ambassadors, the Archbishops of Cyzicus and Sardis, were detained like their predecessors in the kingdom of Sicily, but ended by joining Innocent IV at Rome, and accompanied him to Anagni and then to Assisi. Vatatzes demanded the abandonment of Constantinople, the re-establishment of the Greek Patriarch, and the withdrawal of the Latin clergy. In return he undertook to recognise the primacy of the Pope, to replace his name in the diptychs, to obey his decisions in so far as they conformed to the Councils, and to admit his jurisdiction and his right to assemble councils. He even admitted that the Greek clergy should take an oath of canonical obedience to the Papacy. Never had the Greeks up to that time made such liberal concessions, and the matter might perhaps have been settled but for the simultaneous deaths of Innocent IV and John Vatatzes (1254).

The conversations were resumed, however, in 1256 between Theodore II Lascaris and Alexander IV. The Pope sent to Nicaea Orbevieto, Bishop of Civitavecchia; he had instructions to arrange for the assembling of a council, and to ask that Greek clerics should be sent to Rome, but after the interview which he had with Theodore at Thessalonica the preliminaries were broken off.

The plan of the Pope had failed, and he had not been able to use for the union the valuable pledge of Constantinople. The Greeks re-entered that city in 1261 without ceasing to be schismatics. The Pope, Urban IV, contemplated at first preparations for a crusade against Michael Palaeologus, but to carry that out he would have been forced to tolerate the alliance of Manfred, whose idea was to restore the Latin Empire for his own advantage. On his side, Michael Palaeologus, having tried in vain to treat with Manfred, had no resource left but to turn to the Pope. It was thus a common hostility against Manfred which decided them to take up the question of the union.

Michael Palaeologus, one of the most practical minds of the thirteenth century and as subtle a diplomat as the Byzantine world ever produced, regarded the union merely as an instrument which would enable him at the same time to gain all the Latin States and hinder the promotion of a new crusade against Constantinople. This is the key to the fluctuating character of his diplomacy. The whole time he was negotiating with the Pope he was continually fighting the Latins, and his zeal for the union varied with his successes and his reverses.

In 1262 Michael sent to Urban IV an embassy which put the question in unequivocal terms. Let the Pope recognise Michael Palaeologus as legitimate sovereign of Constantinople, and the religious union would be easy. Urban answered that he would consent to that, if Michael refrained from attacking the Latin possessions. But at the beginning of 1263 Michael, finding the occasion favourable, attacked the Venetian possessions with the aid of the Genoese fleet. The Pope immediately ordered a crusade against him to be preached and then, in consequence of the ill-success of his appeal, picked up the broken threads of the negotiations. He wrote a conciliatory letter to Michael (28 July 1263), and sent him four Franciscan friars, but these delayed on their route to negotiate at Venice, in Epirus, and in Achaia.

It was only in the spring of 1264, at the moment when the discouraged Pope was preaching the crusade against him, that Michael Palaeologus, whose army had suffered a check in Messenia, once more contemplated the union. The letter which he addressed to Urban IV contains a formal promise of union and of participation in the crusade. The Pope in his answer (June 1264) could not disguise his joy, and he announced the despatch of legates to Constantinople.

But Urban IV died (close of 1264), and at the outset of his pontificate Clement IV, occupied with the struggle against Manfred, ignored Constantinople. It was probably in 1266 that new embassies were exchanged, but at that moment the victory of Charles of Anjou over Manfred at Benevento (February 1266) was a factor which modified and complicated the question. Charles of Anjou, titular defender of the Holy See, lord of the kingdom of Sicily, soon revived the plans of his Ghibelline predecessors against Constantinople. On 27 May 1267, by the treaty of Viterbo, Baldwin II surrendered to Charles of Anjou his rights over the Latin Empire, and the King of Sicily made immediate preparations to start his expedition.

But Clement IV, while seeming to approve them, distrusted the plans of Charles of Anjou, and continued to treat with Michael Palaeologus, who, disturbed by the menaces of the King of Sicily, had sent him another embassy, imploring him to prevent the war between the Greeks and Latins (1267). A characteristic detail, which shews how pressing the danger seemed, is that even the Patriarch wrote to the Pope proposing the union to him. The Pope welcomed these overtures, but, deeming himself master of the situation, insisted in his answer upon a complete submission of the Greek Church without any discussion, undertaking in return to prevent the war. Michael, whose fears were increasing, replied that he could not accept these terms of union without rousing against himself all the Greeks. To testify his goodwill, he actually offered to take part in the coming crusade. The Pope in his answer (17 May 1267) maintained his uncompromising attitude, and refused to give any assurance to the Emperor until the union was accomplished. On 27 May following Clement IV gave his approbation to the Treaty of Viterbo, a clear proof that he counted upon the threat of Charles of Anjou to render the Greeks more tractable.

Clement IV, however, died on 28 November 1268, and in consequence of divisions among the cardinals the papal throne was vacant for three years. Charles of Anjou wished to profit by this circumstance to realise his plans, but, in the absence of a Pope, it was to the King of France, St Louis, that Michael Palaeologus turned in order to avert the danger. He sent two embassies to France (1269) with proposals for religious union. St Louis referred the matter to the college of cardinals, who returned to Michael Palaeologus the ultimatum imposed by Clement IV in 1267. The Emperor had at least attained his object, for Charles by joining his brother St Louis in the crusade of Tunis (1270) was obliged to postpone his attack upon Constantinople.

Immediately after the death of St Louis (25 August 1270), however, Charles of Anjou resumed his offensive against the Greek Empire both by diplomacy and by force of arms. It was evident that nothing but the conclusion of the union would succeed in stopping him. The cause of the union, so much desired by Michael Palaeologus, found a champion in the person of the new Pope, Tedaldo Visconti, elected under the name of Gregory X (September 1271), who was in the Holy Land when he heard of his exaltation. Gregory X, like Innocent III before him, saw in the union the essential condition of success of the crusades. He could not therefore be anything but hostile to the ambitious projects of Charles of Anjou, and as soon as he assumed the tiara he opened relations with Michael Palaeologus.

A series of embassies was exchanged in 1272 and 1273 between Rome and Constantinople. One of the most active emissaries between the two courts seems to have been a Franciscan friar of Greek origin, John Parastron, who could speak both Greek and Latin. During these negotiations Charles of Anjou was hurrying on his preparations, and sent an army to the Morea (May 1273). Michael Palaeologus on his side continued to attack the Latin states.

In spite of these unfavourable circumstances, the Pope and the Emperor had such interests in the union that they ended by achieving their purpose. The embassy sent by the Pope to Constantinople in 1272 announced the assembling of an Ecumenical Council at Lyons for May 1274. Michael Palaeologus then set on foot among the Greek clergy a very clever campaign of propaganda, by emphasising the incalculable benefits which the union would procure for the Empire at the cost of trifling or purely platonic concessions, such as the recognition of the primacy of the Pope and his commemoration on the diptychs. He met with an obstinate opposition headed by the Patriarch Joseph, but he was resolved to have his own way.

In May 1273 Michael sent a new embassy to Rome. Without disguising the difficulties with which he met from the Greek clergy, he declared that the union would shortly be consummated, and he asked the Pope for safe-conducts for the Greek ambassadors who would be sent to the Council. Gregory X immediately took measures to insure the safety of this embassy, and in November 1273 he called on Charles of Anjou to enter into a solemn undertaking on the point. The King of Sicily, who saw himself threatened by a possible rising of the Ghibellines in Italy, complied, sorely against his will, and gave the necessary instructions to his agents.

Michael Palaeologus, meanwhile, had not been inactive at Constantinople, and had continued his propaganda among the clergy. A decisive success for him was the conversion of the chartophylax John Beccus to the cause of the union; this example helped to win over several bishops. The most obstinate were sent into exile or imprisoned. Finally, on the assurance that not an iota would be changed in the Creed, the clergy drew up an act by which they agreed to the primacy of the Pope, his mention on the diptychs, and appeals to Rome. The Patriarch Joseph alone remained obdurate. This act was intended to be handed to the Pope simultaneously with a letter from the Emperor which recognised the Roman doctrines in a much more explicit manner.

Gregory X had opened the Ecumenical Council in the cathedral of Lyons on 7 May 1274. On 24 June following, Germanus, ex-Patriarch of Constantinople, the Archbishop of Nicaea, and the Grand Logothete were received there with great ceremony, and put the letters of the Emperor and the Greek people into the hands of the Pope. On 6 July the Pope read out these letters and, in the name of the Emperor, the Grand Logothete repudiated the schism; the Pope then chanted a Te Deum. The union was achieved, and the ex-Patriarch handed to the Pope letters from the Serbian and Bulgarian clergy who formally recognised it.

Thus, according to the plan which had been drawn up by Clement IV, the union had been accomplished without discussion or controversies. The Greek Church had submitted voluntarily, at least in appearance. A new era of peace seemed to dawn for Christendom, but its duration was destined to be brief.

The first tangible result of the union for Michael Palaeologus was the conclusion of a truce with Charles of Anjou, through the mediation of the Abbot of Monte-Cassino delegated by the Pope (1 May 1275). Gregory X had kept his promise. Would Michael Palaeologus be able to keep all of his?

There is evidence that from the very first he continued in 1275 his attacks on the Latin states of Greece. Was he at least going to make a reality of the religious union? On 16 January, the day of the festival of St Peter, he had a solemn service held in the chapel of the imperial palace, and commemorated the name of the Pope. On 25 May following, the Patriarch Joseph, obdurate as ever, was replaced by John Beccus, head of the union-party. But the public ceremony, by which the decisions of the Council of Lyons should have been notified to the people, was continually postponed. In the family of the Emperor his sister Eulogia was at the head of the opponents of Rome. Michael, notwithstanding, continued to make a show of burning zeal to the Pope, and on 10 January 1276 he announced to Gregory X his intention of taking part in the much talked-of crusade.

Even in Rome the conditions were becoming less favourable to the union. After the death of Gregory X three Popes of the Angevin party followed within a few months of each other. An ultimatum prepared by Innocent V was sent to Michael Palaeologus by John XXI (1277). The Emperor was to swear to the union personally, and to obtain an oath from the Greek clergy, who were to pledge themselves also to teach nothing contrary to the Roman doctrines. The Emperor consented to take the required oath, but the mass of the Greek clergy refused, in spite of ex­communications from John Beccus. At the same moment the Despot of Epirus, John the Bastard, held an anti-unionist council, which excommunicated the Emperor, the Patriarch, and the Pope.

John Gaetano Orsini, elected Pope in 1278 under the name of Nicholas III, was, unlike John XXI, an opponent of the Angevins, and he rendered a conspicuous service to Michael Palaeologus when he forbade Charles of Anjou to attack Constantinople. On the question of the union, however, he was more peremptory than his predecessors. The papal nuncios, whom he sent to Michael Palaeologus in October 1278, notified a new ultimatum to him. The Emperor was called upon to send a fresh statement of his adherence to the confession of Lyons, to compel the Patriarch and the clergy also to swear adherence to it, to accept the permanent residence of a papal legate at Constantinople, to introduce the Filioque into the Creed, to renounce all uses which the Pope might deem contrary to the faith, and to excommunicate the enemies of the union.

A fresh breach was imminent, and yet Michael Palaeologus struggled to the end to uphold the union. A synod was convened to receive the proposals of the nuncios, and drew up a reply, the exact wording of which is not known, but which appears, without running counter to the Pope's wishes, to have consisted mainly of vague promises. Nevertheless, in order to satisfy the Pope, John Beccus introduced the Filioque into the Creed, but by doing so he only supplied new grievances to the opposite party, many of whom were imprisoned by the Emperor.

Nicholas III was succeeded, however, on 22 February 1281 by a Pope of the Angevin party, Martin IV. Charles of Anjou had already sent troops to Epirus, and, with the support of the Pope, was preparing a decisive attack on the Greek Empire. It is not therefore astonishing that the Pope did not receive favourably the embassies which Michael Palaeologus had sent him. So much so that on 18 November 1281 he excommunicated Michael Palaeologus, and threatened to pronounce his deposition if he did not submit before 1 May 1282. Some months previously the Pope had entered into the coalition formed by Venice and Charles of Anjou against Michael (July 1281). The departure of the Crusade was fixed for the month of April 1283. The days of the Byzantine Empire seemed numbered, when the tragedy of the Sicilian Vespers (30 March 1282) wrecked the schemes of the coalition. When Michael Palaeologus died (11 December 1282) he had shaken off the nightmare of Angevin invasion, but the religious union to which he had devoted all his energies was definitely broken.

With the power of Charles of Anjou disappeared the principal political reason which could justify this union in the eyes of the Greeks. The new Emperor, Andronicus II, had no anxieties on the Western frontier. It is not therefore surprising that his reign was marked by a violent reaction against the policy of union. All the clergy condemned by Michael Palaeologus were considered martyrs of Orthodoxy, and were released from their prisons. The Patriarch John Beccus was deposed, exiled to Prusa, and then brought before a synod. A reign of terror prevailed at Constantinople, and the unionist clergy knew in their turn the pains of exile and imprisonment. Even the memory of the late Emperor was condemned. This outburst of fanaticism shews the intense unpopularity of the union at Constantinople. Henceforward the monks dominated the Greek Church, and from this epoch onwards the higher ranks of the clergy were almost exclusively recruited from among them. It was the monks then who fanned the flame of popular hatred against the Westerners. Forced into an attitude of sullen nationalism, they showed that they preferred the ruin of the Empire to union with Rome.

The check to the union and the attitude of Andronicus II explain why the Crusade against Constantinople was still the order of the day in the West, but there was no prince now in those parts capable of renewing the attempt of Charles of Anjou. Charles of Valois in 1307-1308 and Philip of Taranto (1312-1325), both heirs by marriage of claimants to the Latin Empire, tried in turn, but without success, to invade Greece. The danger to the Empire that was destined to revive the proposals of union lay in a different quarter.

It may be said that it was during the long and disastrous reign of Andronicus II (1282-1332) that the fate of Byzantium was sealed. Religious disputes, ravages by the Catalan Company, Turkish invasions of Asia Minor, civil war, all these calamities burst almost at once over the Empire. Andronicus by his incompetence and invertebrate policy destroyed the fabric reared by his father. It is not then surprising that he could not maintain to the end the uncompromising attitude which he had adopted towards the Latins.

In 1323, learning that a French fleet in the service of the Pope, commanded by Amaury de Narbonne, was on the point of setting sail for Constantinople, he sent to the West the Genoese Bishop of Kaffa to propose a new union. Soon after, in 1326, he commissioned another Genoese to bear a letter on the same subject to the King of France, Charles the Fair. The king sent to Constantinople the Dominican Benedict of Como, but the negotiations were kept secret, and Andronicus was compelled to admit to the ambassador how difficult it would be to propose a new union to the Greeks'.

Meantime the Ottoman State, which had been allowed to form owing to the weakness of Andronicus II, was becoming more and more a menace to Constantinople. In 1334 Andronicus III became anxious, and sent overtures of union to Pope John XXII by two Dominicans who were returning from the Tartars. The Pope gave them a favourable hearing and sent them back to Constantinople, but they were unable to discuss the matter publicly with the Greek clergy as they demanded.

In 1335, as a proof of his good will, Andronicus III consented to take part in the Crusade organised by Benedict XII under the leadership of the King of France. Finally in 1339 the Emperor sent secretly to Avignon the Venetian Stephen Dandolo, and one of the most celebrated humanists of Constantinople, the Calabrian monk Barlaam, Abbot of the Soter. But these emissaries had not even official letters accrediting them to the Pope. They had the difficult mission of inducing Benedict XII to promise the despatch of prompt aid to the East. It was only subsequently that there could be any question of union. Barlaam pleaded his case eloquently. "That which separates the Greeks from you", he said, not without justification, "is not so much the difference of dogmas as the hatred they feel against the Latins, provoked by the wrongs which they on their side have suffered. It will be necessary to confer some great benefit upon them to change this feeling". He added that the union could not be effected by force; only a General Council could establish it, and if the Greeks had not recognised the Council of Lyons it was because the Greek emissaries had been appointed by the Emperor and not by the Patriarchs of the East. Barlaam had thus outlined the programme of the future council which was intended to effect the union, but this idea was so far premature, and the Pope offered an invincible opposition to every argument. The despatch of Western help must in his view be conditional on the recognition by the Greeks of the Council of Lyons. The whole matter went no further than the exchange of fine promises.

There existed, however, at Constantinople a party favourable to the union, which centred round the Empress Anne of Savoy and the nobles of her country whom she had brought to Constantinople in 13263. Having become regent in the name of her son John V Palaeologus after the death of Andronicus III in 1341, Anne of Savoy sent to Pope Clement VI in the autumn of 1343 a gentleman of Savoy, Philip de Saint-Germain, bearing instructions from the regent and the Grand Duke Alexius Apocaucus. He was commissioned to express to the Pope the attachment of the regent and of her son John V to the Roman Church, and to pray for the despatch of a fleet and an army to defend Constantinople against the attacks of the Turks, as well as against those of their ally John Cantacuzene, who had proclaimed himself Emperor.

Clement VI was extremely favourable to the union. In 1343 he was occupied in organising with the help of Venice the naval league which ended in the recapture of Smyrna from the Turks (1344). He wrote to the Latin Patriarch Henry, who resided at Negropont, to the Dominicans of Pera, and to the Venetian and Genoese colonies of Constantinople, to invite them to exert all their efforts towards preparing the union. In spite of his friendly inclinations, the Pope held the same point of view as his predecessors; the despatch of assistance must be conditional on the abjuration of the schism.

At the time of the ill-starred Crusade of the Archipelago in 1346, the heir to the Dauphine, Humbert, treated with the regent, and the question between them was the union of the Churches, but nothing occurred beyond conversations, and the occupation of the island of Chios by the Genoese only exacerbated the Greeks.

Meanwhile Western politicians regarded the union as more and more desirable. When the prince Humbert, a disillusioned man, entered the Dominican order, he founded scholarships at the University of Paris, and reserved many of them for students belonging by birth to "Greece and the Holy Land," whom he destined to teach Greek in the convents of the Dominicans (1349). But these good intentions were powerless before the hatred which divided the Greeks from the Western nations. There were incessant conflicts in the countries still occupied by the Latins. In 1364 the Greeks of Candia rose against the Venetians, who wished to impose the Latin ritual on them, and terrible massacres ensued. The anecdotes related at the same epoch by Petrarch to Urban V leave no doubt about the feeling of the people towards the Latins. Sometimes they riotously interrupted the Latin services, sometimes they fumigated the churches frequented by the Latins, and lost no opportunity of treating them as dogs, when they could do so with impunity."

John Cantacuzene, now master of Constantinople (February 1347), sought to dissipate the justifiable distrust which his alliance with the Turks had roused against him. Unlike his predecessors, he sent to the Pope an official embassy to persuade him that, far from favouring the Turks, he was prepared to fight them, and also to ask that the leader of the coming crusade might act in concert with him. Clement VI, who was by no means friendly towards Cantacuzene, gave a vague answer and promised to send him an embassy, but three years elapsed before he despatched to Constantinople two Dominicans, one a bishop in Venetia, the other in Crete, with instructions to negotiate the religious union.

John VI replied to these overtures by testifying his zeal for the union, at the same time declaring that only a truly Ecumenical Council could render it possible. The Pope, on his side, informed him that he was favourable to holding a council, but that the existing state of Christendom made it impossible to assemble its. Relations, however, still continued between him and the Emperor, but nothing came of them.

Under cover of the civil war between John Cantacuzene and John Palaeologus, the Ottomans had gained a footing in Europe by the capture of Gallipoli (1354), and had lost no time in overrunning Thrace. John V, who held power after the abdication of Cantacuzene (1355), saw no hope of safety except in complete submission to the Pope. In 1356 he sent two ambassadors to Avignon with a document in which he pledged himself to recognise the Pope as head of the Church, to obtain like recognition from his subjects, to receive the pontifical legates with all respect, and to send his son Manuel to Rome as a hostage. In return he claimed prompt aid for Constantinople, of which the Pope would bear the cost for six months. During that period a legate could go to Constantinople, and collate whom he wished to ecclesiastical benefices. As a clearer proof of his zeal the Emperor proposed to found at Constantinople colleges where Latin would be taught, and he recognised the right of the Pope to declare the throne vacant if he failed to execute his promises.

Innocent replied to the Emperor by a gushing letter, writing also to the Patriarch Callistus and the principal bishops, and sent two nuncios to Constantinople. But, when the question of collecting the required fleet was broached, the Pope could not obtain anything from the Latin powers: neither Venice, nor Genoa, nor the King of Cyprus, nor even the Knights of Rhodes, consented to the slightest sacrifice.

Meantime the position of the Ottomans in the Balkan Peninsula grew stronger day by day. In 1363 Murad compelled John V to sign a treaty, tantamount to vassalage, which prevented him from lending his help to the effort made by the Hungarians and the Serbs, in response to the Pope’s demand, to recapture Hadrianople. In 1366 Murad actually took up his residence at Hadrianople, the first step towards the blockade of Constantinople. At this crisis John V made fresh appeals to the Pope for help, and, while Urban V preached the crusade, he himself paid a visit to the King of Hungary towards the close of 1365, in order to remove the scruples which the king felt in lending his help to schismatics, and to affirm by oath the intention of himself and all his family to embrace the Roman faith.

The Crusade, led by Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy, cousin of the Emperor, succeeded in recovering Gallipoli from the Turks and in rescuing John V, whose return to Constantinople was in danger of being cut off by the Bulgarians. The Archbishop of Smyrna and the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople actually embarked on the fleet of Amadeus VI, which was returning to the West, with orders to announce to Urban V that the Emperor would come and abjure the schism before him in person (1367). Urban V lost no time in writing to the three sons of the Emperor, to the Empress Helena, to John Cantacuzene (who had retired to a convent), to the Patriarch Philotheus, to the people and clergy of Constantinople, to exhort them to favour the union.

On 18 October 1369 John V, received at Rome with the greatest ceremony, presented his profession of faith to the cardinals. On 21 October he solemnly abjured the schism before the Pope on the steps of the basilica of St Peter. But this was only a personal abjuration, and was not binding on the Greeks. Thus the voyage of John V to Italy failed to produce the results anticipated from it. His conduct at Venice ended in his being thrown into prison for debt, and, when after this humiliation he passed once more through Rome in 1370, he could not obtain from the Pope the smallest subsidy.

It was in vain that in 1373 his ambassadors scoured Europe and actually reached France, where Charles V made them vague promises. In vain Pope Gregory XI, fully aware of the danger which the Ottomans were threatening to Europe, wrote urgent letter after letter to the crowned heads, to Louis, King of Hungary (1372 and 1375), to Edward III, King of England (1375). The sovereigns and their knights assumed the cross with stately pomp, for it was a time of splendid festivals and eloquent speeches; but no profitable results followed. John V, abandoned by all, had ended in 1373 by acknowledging himself the vassal of Murad and handing over to him his son Manuel as hostage.

Manuel, who became Emperor in 1391, renewed the same pressing appeals by embassies to the Western sovereigns. This time the King of Hungary, Sigismund, directly threatened by the Turks, backed up the Byzantine demands, and Pope Boniface preached the Crusade which terminated in the disaster of Nicopolis (1396), although its object had been the deliverance of Constantinople. In 1397 Manuel sent his uncle Theodore Cantacuzene to Paris. The King Charles VI refused permission to his brother the Duke of Orleans to start for the East, but he promised 600 men-at-arms, who were placed under the orders of Marshal Boucicaut, and succeeded in clearing the immediate approaches to Constantinople and breaking the blockade.

At the advice of Boucicaut himself, Manuel adopted the policy of visiting the West personally in order to plead more effectually the cause of Constantinople. He set out on 10 December 1399, passed through Venice, Padua, and Milan, made another solemn entry into Paris on 3 June 1400, landed in England, was received in London on 21 December by Henry IV, returned to France in February 1401, and remained in Paris until November 1402. After a stay at Genoa, he went to take ship at Venice (April 1403), and on 15 June following he was back in Constantinople.

The Emperor had found everywhere a courteous and splendid welcome. At Paris and at London, in particular, he and his suite owed much to their being objects of public curiosity. He was overwhelmed with banquets; the most complimentary speeches and the fairest promises were lavished on him. During his stay in Paris he even had a controversy on the Procession of the Holy Ghost with a doctor of the Sorbonne, but this was only a showy passage of arms without any results. As a crowning misfortune, the West was torn by the Schism, and Manuel appears to have negotiated at the same time with the two Popes, Benedict XIII and Boniface IX. The latter sent on 27 May 1400 an encyclical, exhorting all Christians to arm for the defence of Constantinople, and promising them the same indulgences as for a crusade; but everyone turned a deaf ear to his appeals, and the travels of Manuel were, when all is summed up, as useless for the cause of the union as for that of the crusade.

The salvation of Constantinople came from a wholly unexpected quarter, from the Mongols of Timur. While Manuel was in France the Ottoman power was broken at the battle of Angora (20 July 1402), and the dynastic discord which followed the death of Bayazid gave some years of respite to the remnant of the Byzantine Empire. It would have seemed natural to utilise this lull for negotiating the union and preparing a new crusade, but this was the period when the civil wars in France, and even more the Great Schism, distracted the West. Further, it seems that the easily-won successes of Manuel in the midst of the Ottoman intrigues had greatly quenched his zeal for the union. From 1402-1417 he took no action in the West, and did not even send a representative to the Council of Pisa (1409).

It was only when the Turkish menace was renewed that Manuel came once more into touch with the West. In 1417 he sent to Martin V an embassy which appeared at the Council of Constance. After the siege of Constantinople by Murad II (1422) an embassy, headed by John Palaeologus with Francesco Filelfo as interpreter, went the round of the Western courts. The Pope Martin V, who was strongly in favour of the union, proposed that a council should be held in Italy, and offered 100,000 florins to defray the travelling expenses of the Greeks (1423). The same Pope authorised in 1425 marriage between Greeks and Latins, and granted indulgences to those who would go to the aid of the Greeks. Deceived by the friendly attitude of Manuel, he nominated the Cardinal of Sant Angelo to be legate at Constantinople, and sent two nuncios to inform the Emperor of the fact. Manuel, who had just made terms with Mural II, rejected the proposals of the Pope, and let him understand that no union was possible before the Ecumenical Council was held (1425). It is hard to say whether the cynical words, which Phrantzes attributes to him on his death-bed, can be taken as exact. He is said to have recommended his son not to consider the union as anything except a weapon against the Turks. "Propose," he said to him, "a council; open negotiations, but protract them interminably....The pride of the Latins and the obstinacy of the Greeks will never agree. By wishing to achieve the union you will only strengthen the schism." True or not, these words define excellently the policy which he had himself followed.


The Greeks and the Council of Basle

Nevertheless, the union appeared to all who reflected upon the subject as an essential condition of salvation for Christian Europe menaced by the Turks. At Constantinople even, and in the very convents of Mount Athos, a party of resolute unionists was formed, of which the most authoritative representatives were Isidore, Igumen of St Demetrius at Constantinople, and Bessarion, a native of Trebizond, subsequently a monk in the Morea. The idea of an ecumenical council, which would finally solve all dogmatic or disciplinary difficulties and put an end to all misconceptions, is from this time onwards equally popular in the West and in the East.


In 1431 John VIII Palaeologus sent envoys to the Pope in order to come to some agreement with him as to holding the council which had been talked of for more than a century. The Greek clergy would have preferred it to be held at Constantinople, but the Emperor accepted an Italian town on condition that the Pope undertook to defray all the travelling expenses of the Greeks. The envoys on their way learnt of the death of Martin V and retraced their steps, but a new embassy was sent to the new Pope, Eugenius IV.


At this moment an Ecumenical Council, called by Martin V before his death, assembled at Basle to work at the reform of the Church. The Council of Basle took in hand the problem of the Greeks, and on 19 October 1431 asked the Pope to despatch envoys on this subject to Constantinople. But soon a veritable feud broke out between the Fathers assembled at Basle and Eugenius IV. The Pope, under pretext of giving satisfaction to the Greeks, endeavoured to transfer the Council to Italy. In order to render this transference impossible, the Council of Basle tried to bring the Greeks to join with it in order to conclude the union. An embassy from the Council arrived at Constantinople in 1433, charged with informing the Emperor that the Council was superior to the Pope, that it was under the protection of the Emperor Sigismund, and that if the Greeks consented to come to Basle they would receive money and troops for the defence of Constantinople.


The Emperor entertained these proposals favourably, and sent to Basle his brother Demetrius and the Abbot Isidore. But at the same time he was exchanging letters and embassies with Eugenius IV. By a singularly rapid change the legate Christopher Garatoni, sent to Constantinople in 1434, accepted the proposal that the Council should be held in the imperial city. He returned to Italy with two ambassadors of John VIII in 1435, and this decision was at once communicated to the Council of Basle, which formally refused to admit it.


A second deputation, consisting of the Dominican John of Ragusa, a canon of Constance, and a canon of Orleans, left Basle in 1435. It was empowered to offer the Emperor financial help, with a first instalment of 9000 florins in a bill on the banks of the Medici, on the condition that the council was held in the West. After a three months' journey the mission reached Constantinople 24 September 1435. The Pope's legate Christopher Garatoni appeared in his turn (1436). Each party then tried to outbid the other, and to attract the Greeks to its side by offering the greatest advantages. The Emperor, vacillating as ever, sent two ambassadors, one, Manuel Bulotes, to the Pope, the other, John Dishypatus, to Basle.




The Council at Ferrara, 1438 




At the same time the choice of the city where the union was to be concluded roused violent storms in the Council of Basle. The majority had fixed on Avignon, the minority, supported by John Dishypatus, pronounced in favour of Florence or Udine. On the voting-day each party had prepared its decree and the uproar was so great that it almost came to blows. A bishop of the minority forcibly seized the seal of the Council, and, after sealing the decree started off to convey it to the Pope (7 May 1437).


Eugenius IV, considering the decree of the minority as alone valid, appointed an embassy to announce the fact at Constantinople. On the way it took up at Crete 300 archers intended for the defence of the city. The ambassador of Basle, John of Ragusa, was still there. He was speedily ignored, and John VIII concluded a treaty with the Pope, who undertook to put at his disposal the necessary ships and escort.


After six years of wearisome negotiations the Council of Union was finally convened. In order to invest it with a truly ecumenical character the Emperor asked the three Eastern Patriarchs to send representatives to it. The Abbot Isidore, nominated Archbishop of Kiev, was intended to bring over the Great Prince of Russia, and delegations were secured from the Prince of Moldo-Wallachia and the Iberian clergy. Conferences of theologians, in which the partisans and the opponents of the union confronted each other, were assembled in order to discuss the concessions that could be made to Rome.


John Palaeologus, accompanied by his brother the Despot Demetrius, by the Patriarch Joseph, seventeen metropolitans, and a large number of bishops and igumens, left Constantinople on 24 November 1437 and arrived at Venice on 8 February 1438. Pope Eugenius IV awaited him at Ferrara, where the Council was to sit. The most important question, if we leave aside the preliminary difficulties which emerged at the interview of the Pope with the Patriarch, was to determine the procedure to be followed. The Emperor, whose thoughts were mainly fixed on the defence of Constantinople, wished to await the delegates of the princes, in order to settle first of all the political and military question. But the numerous theologians of the rival camps did not agree to this. After the opening of the Council (9 April 1438) commissions were nominated for the pur­pose of solving the fundamental divergences between the two Churches: the Procession of the Holy Ghost, the use of unleavened bread, the nature of the pains of purgatory, the primacy of the Pope.


The opponents of the union, at whose head was Mark of Ephesus,demanded that it should first be discussed "whether it is permitted to add to the Creed," thinking thus to block the union by this preliminary question. It was in vain that Bessarion asked that the question should be put in this form: "is the Filioque lawful?" The point of view of Mark of Ephesus prevailed, and on 14 October began a long series of oratorical sessions, in which Greeks and Latins confuted each other in turn and quite fruitlessly. The form of a debate by picked opponents was then tried, but, after a brilliant oratorical tournament which lasted several days between Mark of Ephesus and Julian Cesarini, the discussion had made little advance. Then the plague, which was raging at Ferrara and had already made several victims in the Council, decided the Pope to remove the Council to Florence (10 January 1439).

Taught by the experience of Ferrara, the Pope and the Emperor resolved to quicken the discussions. It was arranged that there should be a public session three times a week, and that on the other days mixed commissions should transact preliminaries for the union. But fresh and endless debates on the Procession of the Holy Ghost began again for a month between Mark of Ephesus and John of Ragusa. Another change of method was tried. On 30 March it was decided to suppress the open discussions, and to substitute conferences between unionists of both sides. But the negotiations touching the union did not start before 13 April. After a series of preliminaries, the Greeks ended by agreeing on the identity of the formula qui ex Patre Filioque procedit, and qui ex Patre per Filium procedit (3 June). The union was now in sight.

Concurrently with these theological discussions, political harmony was being promoted. The Pope undertook to preach the crusade for the defence of Constantinople, to maintain permanently a force of 300 soldiers to guard the city, and to supply galleys in event of a siege. Then, in order to accelerate matters, the Pope put into the hands of the Emperor's delegates schedules, on which were noted the doctrines to be accepted on the points in dispute. It was their duty to get the Greeks to subscribe to them.


On 12 June an agreement was reached about the nature of the pains of purgatory, on 15 June about the eucharistic bread, unleavened or leavened, on 20 June about the words of consecration. But when the doctrine of the primacy of the Pope was touched upon, the whole discussion nearly began de novo. Heated debates were held, and the Emperor talked of leaving. Finally, on 26 June Bessarion proposed a formula of conciliation, which recognised the universal authority of the Pope as "the representative and vicar of Christ," the rights and privileges of the Eastern Churches being reserved. Nothing now was left but to draw up the decree of union which, translated into Greek, was approved by the Pope and the Emperor on 5 July. The next day, 6 July, in the cathedral of Florence, under the dome completed by Brunelleschi in 1436, the decree was read in Latin by Cardinal Julian Cesarini and in Greek by Bessarion; the two prelates then kissed each other, and all the members of the Council, the Emperor at their head, bent the knee before the Pope.

Finally, after the close of the Council the union was completed by the declarations of assent which the Eastern Churches sent to the Pope, each like the Greek Church retaining its liturgical and disciplinary uses. On 22 November 1439 the union was accepted by the delegates of Constantine, Patriarch of the Armenians, on 5 February 1441 by the Jacobites of Syria. On 2 September 1441 the Pope received an embassy of Constantine, King of the Ethiopians, and on 25 February 1443 he announced in an encyclical that the Ethiopians had adhered to the union. Finally, on 26 April 1442 Eugenius IV promulgated at St John Lateran the constitutions for the Syrians, the Chaldeans, and the Maronites.

For the first time since 1054 the unity of the Church seemed restored, and even the last scattered remnants of the heretical sects, most of which had been separated from the Church since the fifth century, had ended by returning to the fold. Whereas at the Council of Lyons the union had been imposed upon the Greek clergy by the will of the Emperor, at Florence its representatives had come voluntarily to debate with the Latins. The most obstinate opponents of the union, such as Mark of Ephesus, had been able to bring forward their objections without fear. The question seemed settled for all time to come, and Christendom, united in one and the same communion, would be able to devote itself to the crusade against the Turks. In order to cement this union more closely, on 18 December 1439 the Pope admitted Bessarion, Archbishop of Nicaea, and Isidore, Archbishop of Kiev, to the College of Cardinals.

Unhappily by signing the union at Florence John Palaeologus had only accomplished a part of his task. It was now necessary to make the clergy and the people of Constantinople accept it. On his return to his capital (1 February 1440) the Emperor encountered an obstinate opposition. If Ducas may be believed, when the Venetian ships with John VIII and his suite on board entered the Golden Horn, the travellers were greeted with ribaldry and insults. Many bishops who had subscribed to the decree of union protested that their signatures had been extracted from them by force. The Patriarch Joseph had died at Florence, and the Emperor had to exercise great pressure on the clergy of St Sophia to induce them to nominate a unionist successor, Metrophanes, Bishop of Cyzicus.

The opposition was led by the Emperor's own brother, the Despot Demetrius, and notably by Mark of Ephesus, whose submission John VIII, notwithstanding the solicitations of the Pope, had not succeeded in obtaining. Mark soon became very popular and was venerated as a saint. He began a very active campaign against the union in the monasteries of Constantinople and on Mount Athos, where the monks refused to communicate with the unionists. In the end Mark was ordered to return to his diocese of Ephesus. Imprisoned in the island of Lemnos, he continued his propaganda and won over to his views the Emperor's private secretary, George Scholarius, who had faithfully served the Council.

In order that the union might triumph at Constantinople, the Western Crusade, on which it had been conditional, ought to have been rapidly organised, and ought to have won sufficiently decisive victories to release Constantinople from the grip of the Turks. In spite of the disturbed condition of the East the Pope tried to keep his promise so far as possible. In 1443 an army commanded by Cardinal Julian Cesarini joined forces with John Hunyadi and Vladislav I, King of Hungary. The Sultan Mufad II suffered a sanguinary defeat before Nig. On 24 Decem­ber 1443 the crusaders entered Sofia: the road to Constantinople was open. Unfortunately the leaders of the Crusade were unable to follow up their victory. On 15 July John Hunyadi signed a truce with Mural. Julian Cesarini refused to recognise it. The crusaders continued their march in Bulgaria, but the disaster that befel them at Varna on 10 November 1444 wrecked all the hopes of Christendom. Constantinople was nearing its death-throes.

This serious defeat and the death of John VIII (31 October 1448) increased the boldness of the opponents of the union. The new Emperor, Constantine XI, brother of John VIII, had been one of its most determined partisans. George Scholarius dared to propose that his coronation should be deferred until he had given pledges for his orthodoxy. Threatened with prosecution, George took refuge in a monastery, and under the name of Gennadius succeeded Mark of Ephesus, who died in 1447, as head of the opponents of the union.

Under his influence an anti-unionist council, at which the three Eastern Patriarchs were present, assembled in St Sophia in 1450. The Patriarch Gregory, elected since 1443, was cited to appear there to justify himself, and on his refusal he was deposed and replaced by the monk Athanasius. Gemistos Plethon violently attacked the Latin doctrine of the Holy Ghost, denounced the pressure which the Emperor had brought to bear on the bishops to force them to admit it, and resisted the ambitious schemes of Bessarion. A list of Latin errors was drawn up in twenty-nine articles and published. The Patriarch Gregory was obliged to fly to Italy.

At the moment when the blockade of Constantinople was tightening again, and on the eve of the accession of Mahomet II, no demonstration could be more inopportune. On 11 October 1451 Pope Nicholas V called upon Constantine XII to proclaim solemnly the union at Constantinople, to bring back the Patriarch Gregory, and to compel the clergy to mention the name of the Pope in the liturgy. The decree was brought to Constantinople by Cardinal Isidore of Kiev in 1452. He negotiated with the opposing party, lavished promises and threats, and ended by bringing over part of the superior clergy.

Finally, on 12 December 1452 the union was solemnly proclaimed in St Sophia in the presence of Constantine, the legate, and the Patriarch Gregory, who officiated together with the assistance of 300 priests. But the infuriated populace rushed to the monastery of Pantokrator, where they found written by Gennadius on the door of his cell a prophecy which threatened the Empire with its coming slavery to the Turks. In that fanatical crowd, already attacked by what has been called "siege-fever," the conviction spread that the Panagia (the Virgin) would herself defend her city, as in the times of Heraclius and of Photius. While the crowd was shouting in the streets "Death to the Azymites!" the Grand Duke Lucas Notaras declared that he would rather see the turban at Constantinople than the hat of a Roman cardinal. Henceforward the church of St Sophia, where the union had been proclaimed, was deserted by the people, and remained empty until that gloomy vigil of 28 May 1453 which preceded the capture of Constantinople.

Obliged to choose between the safety of the Empire and the autonomy of their Church, the Greeks resolutely sacrificed their political independence to their hatred of the West and to their antipathy to Rome. There is no doubt that their attitude diminished the good-will of the Western nations, as is proved by a curious question put to the Pope on the point, whether a Christian had the right to go to the assistance of schismatic Greeks. Besides this, the new regime which the Greek Church was about to experience had already been working for many years in the provinces occupied by the Turks. The bishops, nominated by the Patriarchs, were everywhere recognised by the conquerors as the civil and religious heads of the Christian community. Mahomet II therefore had no difficulty in extending this regime to the whole Empire by requiring, immediately after his entry into Byzantium, the election of a new Patriarch; this was Gennadius, the leader of the opponents of the union.

Thus for four centuries the Byzantine Emperors and the Popes indefatigably laboured to stay the schism which divided Christendom since 1054. Whether their object was to conclude an alliance against a common enemy, or to make Constantinople a rampart against Asiatic invasion, the necessity of first attaining religious union always thwarted their wish for agreement.

This much-desired union was, in truth, the ambition of the Christian policy of the last four centuries of the Middle Ages, but to the reasons for its failure, which the analysis of the facts has shewn, we must add a more profound cause. The Christian policy, the European policy we might say, which surpassed in breadth the narrow standpoint of the territorial policy of the various states, was clearly grasped only by the great Popes of the Middle Ages, such as Gregory VII, Innocent III, Gregory X, and by Byzantine Emperors such as Alexius I, Manuel Comnenus, and Michael Palaeologus; but their views were different and their interests irreconcilable. The Caesars of Byzantium, at least until Manuel Comnenus, cherished the illusive hope of regaining the heritage of the Caesars of Rome; for them the union was but a means of rebuilding their sovereignty in the West, or of saving it in the East. The Popes, on their side, saw in the union under them the unity of the restored Church, a Christendom united in one communion and forgetting its private quarrels, which were veritable civil wars, in order to repel the infidel and make the whole world the kingdom of Christ.

Between these two conceptions agreement was impossible, and this explains why the union could only be realised in periods of crisis, whether by violent conquest as in 1204, or in the face of an imminent peril as in 1274 or in 1439. On the contrary, every time the situation improved the pontifical doctrine and the imperial doctrine came into conflict, without any real hope of conciliation.

It is thus easy to see why the union, realised at three separate times, had on each occasion so ephemeral an existence. The abnormal conditions in which it was concluded doomed it to early failure. In 1204 the union imposed by force lighted in the heart of the Greeks an unquenchable hatred. The union of 1274 was tainted in its core by the violent pressure which Michael Palaeologus brought to bear on his clergy. The union of 1439, although debated by an Ecumenical Council, came too late. When the house is blazing it is too late to settle disputes about ways of preventing fire.


The Battle of Angora, 1402 

The Council at Florence, 1439