The Beginnings of Modern Europe (1250-1450)

By Ephraim Emerton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
THE AGE OF THE COUNCILS

The death of the Italian pope, Innocent VII, November 6, 1406, opened up once more the possibility of ending the Great Schism either by the retirement (cessio) of his rival, Benedict XIII, or by the voluntary acceptance of Benedict by the Italian cardinals. If any one was still optimist enough to expect any such display of self-sacrifice, he was promptly undeceived. Benedict had broken so many promises that his refusal to abdicate can hardly have surprised his best friends, and the Italian cardinals, zealous as some of them had shown themselves for union, were ready to unite only in their own way. They came together at Rome immediately after the death of Innocent and agreed upon a plan of union which committed the newly elected pope to every possible measure likely to secure this supreme good. Each cardinal bound himself by the most terrible oaths to carry out this agreement if he should be elected and to use his whole influence upon any other elected pope, whether he were a member of the Sacred College or not, to the same end. A contemporary historian, himself a member of the papal household, says that the most active person in drawing up this ironclad agreement (capitulatio) was the aged Cardinal Angelo Correr (Corrario), a Venetian nobleman.

Renewed Efforts to secure the Unity of the Church, 1406

It may have been for this reason that Correr was chosen to carry out the plans of the Italian cardinals. Immediately upon his election he solemnly renewed the oaths he had taken as cardinal and then proceeded to break them all with a consistent energy not surpassed by that of any of his predecessors. If his advanced age had seemed to the cardinals to promise easy

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The Beginnings of Modern Europe (1250-1450)
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • Contents xiii
  • LIST OF MAPS xiv
  • The Beginnings of Modern Europe 1
  • Chapter II- The New Empire 47
  • Chapter III- (1300-1409) 106
  • Chapter IV- The Rise of a Middle Class 164
  • Chapter V- The Italian Republics to 1300 215
  • Chapter VI- The Hundred Years'' War 252
  • Chapter VII- The Age of the Councils 311
  • Chapter VIII- The Age of the Despots in Italy 358
  • Chapter IX- The Renaissance in Italy 461
  • Chapter X- The Northern Renaissance 509
  • Index 535
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