The Annals of Lambert of Hersfeld

translated by G.A.Loud (December, 2000)


Relatively little is known about the author of these 'annals' - more properly an extended chronicle - which is the most detailed contemporary source for the early years of Henry IV of Germany. Lambert tells us that he became a monk at the abbey of Hersfeld in Thuringia in March 1058, was ordained priest in September of that year, and then (without his abbot's permission) went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, from which he returned to Hersfeld in October 1059. He was then forgiven by Abbot Meinhard and allowed to re-enter the monastery. But thereafter his account resolutely excluded any personal information. His work comprised a set of very sketchy and derivative annals from the beginnings of Biblical history (as was conventional), which become more detailed and original in his own time, from 1053 onwards. Although an annalistic structure was still retained - each year began with a record of where the ruler held his Christmas court - from 1063 onwards until it breaks off in March 1077, after the election of Rudolf of Rheinfelden as king, it was actually a vivid and detailed contemporary history. Quite when and how it was written is uncertain, but it was almost certainly completed before the death of the anti-king Rudolf in the autumn of 1080. Lambert makes little pretence to objectivity: he was throughout bitterly hostile to Henry IV, sympathetic to the Saxon rebels, and his version of the events of 1075-7 (which comprises more than a third of his account) expresses the view of the more extreme faction among the German nobility which actively sought King Henry's deposition.

The following extracts are taken from Lamperti Monachi Hersfeldensis Opera, ed. 0. Holder-Egger (MGH SS Rerum Germanicarum. Berlin 1894), pp. 251-2, 253-7, 258-9, 269-71, 273-4, 276-7, 278, 281, 285-95 (this last section somewhat abbreviated).

[The Council of Worms and its Aftermath]

The legates of Pope Hildebrand arrived, ordering the king to attend a synod at Rome on the second day of the second week in Lent [22nd February], in order to defend himself concerning the crimes with which he was being charged. He should know that otherwise he would on that day and without further delay be cut off from the body of the holy Church by apostolic anathema, This legation annoyed the king intensely. The legates were immediately dismissed in a most insulting manner, and he ordered all the bishops and abbots in the kingdom to gather together in Worms on Septuagesima Sunday [24th January 1076] since he wished to discuss with them whether any way or means was available to him to secure the deposition of the Roman pontiff, for he reckoned that in this crisis both his personal safety and the stability of his kingdom would be in peril unless that man [Gregory VII] was removed from his see. ...

The king came to Worms on the appointed day; a very large number of bishops and abbots also came there. Fortuitously, given the important issues that had to be addressed, one of the Roman cardinals also appeared, Hugh, known as 'the White'. A few days earlier the pope had deprived him of his position because of his unfitness and unsuitable conduct. He brought with him a fictional tale along the same lines with all sorts of unlikely claims about the life and appointment of the pope: namely about where he came from, his behaviour from an early age, of how he had improperly seized the papal throne, and how both before and after he had received the pontificate he had committed crimes that were incredible to relate. Gratefully accepting his authority, which had been provided for them as though it was divinely-inspired, and immediately following it, they promulgated a sentence that someone who had stained his life with such shameful deeds and crimes could not be pope, nor had he now or had had at any time any power of binding and loosing in accordance with the privilege of the Roman See. Although ail the other [prelates] subscribed to his condemnation with no hesitation at all, Bishop Adalbero of Würzburg and Bishop Herman of Metz opposed this for a considerable time, saying that it was quite improper and uncanonical that any bishop should be condemned in his absence without there being a general council and proper and suitable plaintiffs and witnesses, and when the charges against him were unproven, let alone the Roman pontiff who ought not to be accused by any bishop or archbishop. But William, Bishop of Utrecht, who resolutely supported the king's side, forcefully urged them to subscribe with the others to the condemnation of the pope. The alternative was immediately to reject the king to whom they had promised their fealty on oath. This bishop was at that time especially dear to the king, who had delegated to him as his deputy the management of all private and public business. He was exceptionally well-educated in secular letters, but so puffed up with pride that he was quite unbearable, even to himself . Thus in the name of all those bishops and abbots who were present, a letter was sent to Rome, full of abuse, in which the Roman pontiff was informed that he should abdicate from the papal office which he had usurped contrary to the laws of the Church, and that he should know that anything which he did, ordered or decreed after that day would be considered void.

The envoys, as they had been instructed, made as much haste as they could on their Journey. They entered Rome and handed over their letter on the day before the synod was due to be celebrated. They then fulfilled the rest of their embassy as they had been instructed, with words no less outrageous than those that had been written, [but] the pope was in no way put out by the insults of the message. The next day the clergy and people flocked to [his] synod, and the pope had the letter read out in everybody's hearing, and then with the agreement of all the bishops who had gathered there he excommunicated the king, and along with him also Archbishop Siegfried of Mainz, and Bishops William of Utrecht and Rupert of Bamberg. He appointed a day for the others who had taken part in this conspiracy to appear in Rome and explain the reason for this new and unprecedented rebellion against the apostolic see. Unless they did this they too would likewise share in the sentence of excommunication passed on the others. Furthermore he had long ago excommunicated Bishops Otto of Regensburg, Otto of Constance and Burchard of Lausanne, as well as Count Eberhard, Udalric and a few others who were the king's most influential counsellors.

Duke Godfrey of the Lotharingians was in a town called Antwerp, on the border between Lotharingia and Flanders, when he was murdered, so it was said through the plots of Count Robert of Flanders. For during the night when everyone was asleep he went outside to answer a call of nature, and a man with a spear who had been stationed outside the house stabbed him in his private parts, and then - leaving the iron in the wound - fled away as fast as he could. The duke lived on for some seven days after he had been wounded, but died on 27th February. He was buried next to his father at Verdun. He was of great and powerful support to the German kingdom since, as has already often been said, although he appeared insignificant because of his small stature and his hunchback, he was however rendered glorious by his wealth and by the number of his most valiant knights, and he was sound in Judgement. Finally, his temperance throughout his life rendered him far superior to the other princes.

Once the council at Worms was over, the king returned in haste to Goslar, and there with great cruelty he gave full rein to the anger which had for a long time been seething within him against the Saxons. He despatched those Saxon princes who had come to surrender to the most distant parts of the kingdom, granting out their property to his supporters to plunder it as they saw fit. Those who had not yet surrendered were daily urged in ferocious edicts to do so; unless and until they submitted they would be harried with fire and sword, and he threatened them with being driven far from their native land. Then he rebuilt all the castles which a year or two earlier he had ordered to be destroyed, with much effort, hard work and toll by the local people. He also placed new castles on every mountain and hill in Saxony that seemed even the slightest bit suitable to be fortified, as well as stationing garrisons in those castles which the Saxons had surrendered to him. Evils, disasters and destruction were multiplied throughout Saxony and Thuringia, to a greater extent than anybody could remember in the past. ...

As was described above, Bishop William of Utrecht was an obstinate supporter of the king, in defiance of good and equity, and to uphold the king's cause did much to injure the Roman pontiff. He denounced the latter furiously during the celebration of the mass on almost every solemn feast day, calling him a perjuror, adulterer and pseudo-pope, and announcing that he had many times been excommunicated both by him and by the other bishops. Soon after the king had left Utrecht, after spending Easter there, the bishop suddenly fell gravely ill, and while he was suffering excruciating pain both to his body and soul, he gave a terrible cry, and in front of all those who were present called out that he had, by the just Judgement of God, lost not only this present life but Eternal Life, because he had devoted his talents to striving for the king in the forwarding of his evil work, and in the hope of royal grace he had knowingly and deliberately made grave accusations against the Roman pontiff, a most holy man of apostolic virtues. While saying this, so it was claimed, he passed away, without receiving communion or making any expiation. ...

[The King faces renewed problems in Saxony]

The king, as we described above, had been warned by Otto, the former Duke of Bavaria, that he ought to take wise counsel about the troubled state of affairs in Saxony, and to do so now. [The king] ordered him to meet him on a particular day at Saalfeld, so as to discuss the matter and decide what policy should be adopted. Afterwards, however, relying upon those men whom he had absolved from surrender so that with their help he could take a fitting revenge upon the Saxons who had injured him, he changed his mind. On the appointed day, instead of turning up himself, he sent envoys to Duke Otto at Saalfeld, to tell him to raise as many troops as possible and to hurry to meet him in the March of Meissen; the king himself would lead his army there by way of Bohemia, and if God allowed his cause to prosper, he would treat the sons of Count Gero, who had foolishly mustered a multitude unused to arms, as they deserved. He sent the same orders to the princes of Saxony and Thuringia whom he had recently allowed to return home, asking that they speedily show their thanks for the kindness he had shown them, that they encourage everyone they could to avoid associating with these lost souls, and that they present themselves in person, armed and well-disciplined, to bring help [to him] in these affairs of state, on the designated day and at the chosen place. He himself, as he had planned, marched into Bohemia, accompanied by only a very few knights from the German army, for what he intended was entirely unknown to everybody else. There he met with the Duke of Bohemia and his army, and placing more trust in them than was sensible for such a great undertaking, he entered the March of Meissen, suddenly and somewhat carelessly, for he was evidently deluded by the vain hope that through the efforts of Duke Otto and the others whom he was confident that he had made indebted to himself by his favour [beneficium] every delay and difficulty in bringing the enterprise to a successful conclusion would be swept away.

But knowing that the Saxon people had just cause for their rebellion, Duke Otto had already for a long time been sending regular embassies to the king asking that he remedy the causes that were creating ill-will and conflict, that he permit their own laws and rights to remain in force among the Saxons, and that he restrain disturbances by fairness rather than [resorting to] arms. He would then without difficulty enjoy for ever the service of a most powerful people, without all the effort and bloodshed which would be expended in battle. There was a great difference between a king and a tyrant. The former ruled his subjects and instructed them what was to be done according to law and custom. The latter extorted obedience from those who were unwilling through violence and cruelty. ...[Further complaints about the king's behaviour follow]

The king [he claimed] relied on the worst of advisors, opposed everything that the great men of the realm were rightly urging upon him, nor indeed did he admit them to his counsel, unless some unforseen crisis caused him to do so- indeed, if he had the strength to do so, he sought rather to limit and almost to destroy their authority, so that when anything suggested itself to him, nobody would stop him from putting his intentions freely into practice nor even make objections. Hence Duke Otto vehemently asserted that contrary to his advice the king was forcing Saxony into a war. He told Bishop Eppo of Zeitz, who met him at Saalfeld, acting (so it was reported) as the king's envoy, that he had suggested what was best for the king's honour and for the commonwealth. But since the king had more faith in foolish flatterers than in him, and placed more hope and trust in the Bohemian contingent than in the German army, the results of what would happen were entirely the king's fault. He himself would have neither the glory if things turned out well nor the disgrace if it all went wrong; moreover no religious constraint could hold him to the oath through which he had pledged [the king] his faith, since no attention was paid to him even though he was urging what was lawful and right and especially he was being ordered to take up arms to shed innocent blood as though he were a pagan, contrary to the laws of God, the honour of the empire, and imperilling the salvation of his own soul. As a result he would be absolved from all perjury, and in the future free to maintain to the best of his ability the cause of his own people both by force of arms and through his wealth, for that cause was just. The other leaders both of Saxony and of Thuringia also made exactly the same proclamation. ...

[The Rebels give the king an ultimatum]

Meanwhile Duke Rudolf of the Swabians, Duke Welf of the Bavarians, Duke Berthold of the Carinthians, Bishop Adalbero of Wurzburg, Bishop Adalbert of Worms, and others who were upset by the troubles facing the state, met at Ulm and announced that all those who wished to discuss the fate of the commonwealth should gather at Tribur on 16th October where they would finally finish with the evil which appalled them and put an end to the various disasters which had troubled the peace of the Church for many years. They announced this to all the princes of Swabia, Bavaria, Saxony, Lotharingia and Franconia, begging them all in God's name to put aside all excuses and thoughts of private interest and that each of them pledge support for this proposal for the common welfare. While everyone was surprised and anxiously awaiting this, the [Arch]bishop of Mainz and many others who had up to now been ardent supporters of the king, abandoned him and, burning with most ardent zeal for the reformation of the kingdom, joined the above-mentioned princes. Furthermore, once this extraordinary and unexpected series of events had been set in motion no hindrance could hold it back; thus the hostages by whom some of the princes had pledged their faith to the king a year earlier were at once restored to those who had given them. Of the two sons of Duke Otto the king himself held one, but the man to whom the king had entrusted the other returned him to his father (who was not expecting this) without the king's knowledge.

A very large number of the princes of the Swabians and the Saxons met on the appointed day at Tribur, as had been agreed, and they were determined to remove King Henry from the government of the kingdom and to create another [ruler], elected by common consent. Legates of the Apostolic See were also present, namely Sigehard, Patriarch of Aquileia, and Bishop Altmann of Passau, a man of apostolic life and possessed of great Christian virtue, to whom the pope had delegated authority in judging ecclesiastical cases, as well as some laymen who had abandoned great wealth and voluntarily dedicated themselves to a private and simple life for God's sake. They had been sent by the Roman pontiff to proclaim publicly throughout Germany how King Henry had been excommunicated on good grounds, and to promise that the election of another king would have the support of apostolic consent and authority. They refused to have contact with anybody, prince or private individual, who had associated with King Henry, either by word or action, after his excommunication, until that person publicly expressed his penitence and was absolved from anathema by Altmann, acting as vicar of the Roman pontiff. With similar care they avoided contact with those who had communion in prayer with married priests or with those who had bought church offices. Earnest discussion continued for a whole week as to the best policy to be pursued through which the shipwreck that threatened the state might be avoided. . ..

King Henry remained with those of his supporters whom he had kept with him at the village of Oppenheim on the other bank of the River Rhine, and during this time he sent frequent envoys to them, daily promising that he would in future correct everything which had offended them. If life were granted to him he would purge the memory of old injuries through new benefits, and that he would in future take no action in public affairs without their advice, and in addition would willingly cede his right of governance to them and dispose of his whole kingdom, and make law and exercise power, according to their judgement provided that they would suffer him to retain the name of king ...,

The Saxons and Swabians sent envoys to the king to tell him that, even though they had never had justice from him either in peace or in war, nor had he paid any attention to the law, they however wished to act lawfully towards him. The crimes with which he was charged were abundantly clear to everyone, but they would reserve the whole issue to the Judgement of the Roman pontiff. They would arrange with the pope that the latter would come to Augsburg on the Purification of the Virgin Mary [2nd February], there to have a grand meeting with the princes of the whole kingdom, and to discuss the allegations of both sides. [The pope] would personally sentence the accused [king] or absolve him, according to his Judgement. If, however, [Henry] was not absolved, through his own fault, before the anniversary of his excommunication, his case would at once be lost forever and he could not thereafter lawfully claim the kingship.

[King Henry seeks absolution from the pope]

King Henry set off for Italy, and celebrated Christmas at a place in Burgundy called Besançon, in some style given that he was facing disaster, His host was his wife's maternal uncle Count William, who possessed extensive and valuable property in this region. The reason that he had abandoned the direct route to take the round-about way through Burgundy was that he had received reliable information that Dukes Rudolf, Welf and Berthold had anticipated him and placed guards on all the roads and at every entry route leading to Italy, those which are known by the popular name of 'passes', to make it impossible for him to cross there. After the feast of Christmas he set out [again], and when he arrived at a place called Gex he met his mother-in-law and the latter's son, who was called Amadeus. They had extensive possessions, the highest authority and a high reputation in these regions. They received him honourably on his arrival. However, they were unwilling to grant him permission to travel through their lands unless he granted them the revenues of five Italian bishoprics which lay near their lands as the price of resuming his journey. This seemed very hard and quite intolerable to all the king's counsellors. But inevitable necessity forced him to make what terms he could to permit him to continue his journey, and they were moved neither by ties of relationship nor by pity for his terrible plight. So, after a great deal of time and trouble had been expended in these negotiations, finally and with some difficulty it was agreed that in return for their permission to travel they would receive the province of Burgundy, which was extremely wealthy. Thus God's anger alienated from him not only those who had been made subject to him by oaths and through frequent benefits but even his friends and those related to him by blood.

Once the difficulty of obtaining permission to proceed had been overcome, another problem immediately presented itself. The winter was very bitter, the mountains which he had to cross were very high - their peaks almost in the clouds - and were so covered with snow and ice that neither horse nor toot could take a step on the steep and slippery slope without danger. But the anniversary of the king's excommunication drew near, and would allow no delays on the journey, since he knew that, unless he was absolved from anathema before that day, it had been decided by the common sentence of the princes that his cause would be lost for ever and his kingdom forfeit, with no hope of future restitution. Hence he hired local men who were expert and experienced in the steep Alpine passes to guide his party through the deep snow and over the mountain, and who could lighten the harshness of the journey to those who followed them with such skill as they possessed. With these men as guides they reached the summit, albeit with great difficulty, but there was no possibility of going further, so it was said, because the ice on the steep mountainside was so slippery that it prevented any possibility of descent. The men in the party did their very best to overcome this dangerous situation, now scrambling on their hands and feet, now leaning on the shoulders of their guides, sometimes slipping on the treacherous surface, falling over and rolling some way. Finally, after a long time in peril, they just managed to reach the plains below, The guides sat the queen and the ladies of her household on oxhides, led the way themselves and dragged them down behind them. They placed some of the horses on sleds, and led others with their feet hobbled, but many of these died as they were being dragged, and most of the others were in a very bad state: only a few were able to escape the danger unscathed.

When the news spread through Italy that the king had overcome the mountain barrier and arrived within the country's frontiers, the bishops and counts of Italy all eagerly flocked to him, and received him with the great honour that was due to a king's majesty. Within a few days an army of great size had gathered to support him, for ever since his accession they had always looked forward to his arrival in Italy, for the kingdom had been constantly plagued by war and sedition, as well as by robbery and all sorts of other crimes by private persons. They hoped that royal authority would curb the challenge which wicked men had made to law and ancestral rights, Furthermore, it was rumoured that he was hastening there because he was absolutely determined to depose the pope. They were delighted that an opportunity had presented itself to take such a suitable revenge against the man who had previously suspended them from the communion of the Church.

Meanwhile a letter from the German princes who had gathered at Oppenheim had invited the pope to discuss the king's case with them at Augsburg on the Purification of the Virgin Mary. Although the Roman nobles were unwilling, and tried to dissuade him from travelling because of the chancy nature of the business, he left Rome and made what haste he could to arrive on the day which had been set. Matilda, the widow of Duke Godfrey of the Lotharingians, and daughter of Margrave Boniface and Countess Beatrice, offered her services as his guide. Even while her husband was alive, she had behaved as though she was a widow, separated from him by great distances, for she had no wish to follow her spouse to Lotharingia, far from her native land. He was busy with the affairs of his duchy, and after the third or fourth year [of their marriage] hardly ever visited the Italian march. After his death she became the devoted attendant and supporter of the Roman pontiff and cherished an extraordinary affection for him. And since a considerable part of Italy appeared to be under her rule, people believed that she was wealthier than the other princes of that land, and whenever the pope needed her support she came immediately, and rendered him dutiful service as though to her father and lord. As a result she could not avoid suspicions that her affection was improper. The king's supporters, and especially the clerics, alleged that she had an illicit union against all the canonical teachings, and that the pope was wallowing in her embraces day and night, and that the reason why she refused to enter a second marriage after the loss of her husband was that she was busy with her secret love affair with the pope. But it was blindingly obvious to anybody of any sense that what they said was false. For the pope led such an extraordinary and so apostolic a life that his great virtue gave not a hint of this ugly rumour in his way of life, and she would never have been able to commit any such disgusting act unnoticed in the middle of a crowded city and while she was surrounded by her servants. Furthermore, the signs and prodigies that resulted very frequently from the pope's prayers, and his most fervent zeal for God and for the laws of the Church were a sufficient defence for him against the poisonous tongues of his detractors.

While the pope was on his way to Germany, he suddenly heard that the king was already in Italy. On Matilda's advice he turned aside to a strongly fortified castle called Canossa, intending to wait until he could discover exactly why he had come - whether this was to beg forgiveness for what he had done or if he had come with his mind set on seeking revenge for the injury done by his excommunication by force of arms. ...

Meanwhile King Henry summoned Countess Matilda to confer with him, and then sent her back to the pope laden with prayers and promises, and along with her he sent his mother-in-law and her son, Margrave Azzo [of Este], the Abbot of Cluny, and various other Italian princes, whose authority he was confident would have great influence with the pope. He begged the pope to absolve him from his excommunication, and not to trust the German princes too rashly since they had been anxious to accuse him through envy rather than from any zeal for justice. When the pope heard their message, he said that it was quite wrong and contrary to canon law that the defendant's case should be heard in the absence of the accusers, but that if the king was confident in his innocence, he could confidently and without any trace of fear meet him at Augsburg on the day on which the other princes had arranged to meet. There he would hear the arguments of both parties, and neither fear nor favour would make him violate the law. He would give as just a judgement as he could on every charge, in accordance with the canons. To this they replied that the king would never try to avoid his judgement by worldly means, for he knew that the pope would be absolutely incorruptible and would maintain and support fairness and vindicate his innocence. However, the day which was the anniversary of his excommunication was fast approaching, and the princes of the kingdom were eagerly and expectantly awaiting it. If he was not absolved from excommunication before that day, then according to the laws of the palace he would be adjudged unworthy of the royal honour, nor would he be allowed any opportunity further to assert his innocence. He pledged to do anything which the pope required of him and to be ready to make any sort of satisfaction, but he begged the latter that he should in the meanwhile absolve him and restore him to the grace of communion with the Church. He was prepared to answer in full the charges which had been made against him, on whatever day and in whatever place the pope might instruct him. If he purged himself from these accusations let the sentence restore him to his kingdom, while he would accept its loss if his defence was found wanting.

The pope held out for a long time, fearing that the king's mind was swayed by the inconstancy of youth and his tendency to do whatever his flatterers urged him to. But at last he was persuaded by the urgency of their appeal and the weight of their arguments. 'If he is truly penitent for what he has done', he said, ' let him surrender into our power the crown and other royal insignia as proof that he really is repentant and let him confess himself to be henceforth unworthy of the name and honour of a king after being so stubbornly sinful'. This seemed too hard to the ambassadors. They insisted that he should soften his sentence, and not utterly destroy a reed shaken by the wind with a judgement of such extreme severity. Finally the pope reluctantly agreed that the king could come, and if he was truly penitent, then he could now, by showing his obedience to the Apostolic See, wipe away the guilt which he had incurred by his previous disregard for its decrees. The king came as he was commanded, and since the castle was surrounded by a triple wall, he was allowed within the second of these walls, leaving all his attendants outside, and there, stripped of his royal robes, with nothing kingly about him, entirely without ceremonial, and with his feet bare, he stood, fasting, from morning until evening while he waited for the pope's sentence. He did this for a second, and then a third day. Finally, on the fourth day he was admitted to the pope's presence, and after much discussion he was absolved from his excommunication on condition that on a day and at a place which the pope would designate he would attend a general council, to which the German princes were also summoned, and answer the accusations which had been made against him. The pope would then, if he chose to do so, act as his judge, and would give his sentence as to whether he retained his kingship, if he proved his innocence. But if his crimes were proved he would then be unworthy of the royal honour according to canon law, and he should then accept the loss of his throne. He would never take revenge on anyone for this injury, whether he retained or lost his throne. Until the day when his case was lawfully discussed and resolved he would wear no royal robes nor use any of the outward marks of kingship, nor would he take any part in the administration of public affairs as was his customary right. He would take no decisions as to what ought to be done, except for the exaction of those royal services which were needed to sustain himself and his men, but otherwise he would usurp no royal nor public right. All those who had pledged their faith to him, would in the meanwhile remain free and absolved from the bond created by their oath before God and men, and from observing the fealty that they owed. He must also remove for ever from his court Bishop Rupert of Bamberg, Udalric of Cosheim and the others by whose advice he had betrayed both himself and the state. Even if he purged himself of the charges made against him and stood confirmed and able to govern his kingdom, he should always be obedient and subject to the Roman pontiff, and he should agree and actively co-operate in the reformation of whatever wicked customs had grown up in his kingdom contrary to the laws of the Church. Finally, if he failed to observe these conditions, then the absolution from excommunication which he wanted so much would be void; instead he would be considered to have already confessed his guilt, nor would he gain any further hearing for his claims of innocence. The princes of the kingdom would in future be freed from any restraint and any sacred oath, and be entitled to choose another king by election and general consent.

The king willingly accepted these conditions and promised with the most holy pledges that he could make to uphold them all. However, his word was far from being uncritically accepted. Since swearing oaths was deemed unsuitable for those in the monastic order, the Abbot of Cluny pledged his word to all this before the all-seeing eyes of God, while the Bishops of Zeitz and Vercelli, Margrave Azzo and other leaders of his party confirmed on oath sworn over holy relics that the king would do what he had promised, nor would any problems or changes in events thereafter make him disobey the sentence.

After he had thus been absolved, the pope celebrated a solemn mass, and when making the sacred oblation, he summoned the king and all the many other people who were present to come to the altar, and with his own hand he gave them the Body of the Lord.

Text encoded by The Leeds Electronic Text Centre   January 2001