History of the Medieval Church
The Middle Ages, Limits and General Character
The Middle Age, as the term implies, is the period which intervenes between ancient
and modern times, and connects them, by continuing the one, and preparing for
the other. It forms the transition from the Graeco-Roman civilization to the
Romano-Germanic, civilization, which gradually arose out of the intervening chaos
of barbarism. The connecting link is Christianity, which saved the best elements of
the old, and directed and moulded the new order of things.
Politically, the middle age dates from the great migration of nations and the
downfall of the western Roman Empire in the fifth century; but for ecclesiastical
history it begins with Gregory the Great, the last of the fathers and the first of the
popes, at the close of the sixth century. Its termination, both for secular and
ecclesiastical history, is the Reformation of the sixteenth century (1517), which
introduces the modern age of the Christian era. Some date modern history from
the invention of the art of printing, or from the discovery of America, which
preceded the Reformation; but these events were only preparatory to a great
reform movement and extension of the Christian world.
The theatre of mediaeval Christianity is mainly Europe. In Western Asia and North
Africa, the Cross was supplanted by the Crescent; and America, which opened a
new field for the ever-expanding energies of history, was not discovered until the
close of the fifteenth century.
Europe was peopled by a warlike emigration of heathen barbarians from Asia as
America is peopled by a peaceful emigration from civilized and Christian Europe.
The great migration of nations marks a turning point in the history of religion and
civilization. It was destructive in its first effects, and appeared like the doom of the
judgment-day; but it proved the harbinger of a new creation, the chaos preceding
the cosmos. The change was brought about gradually. The forces of the old Greek
and Roman world continued to work for centuries alongside of the new elements.
The barbarian irruption came not like a single torrent which passes by, but as the
tide which advances and retires, returns and at last becomes master of the flooded
soil. The savages of the north swept down the valley of the Danube to the borders
of the Greek Empire, and southward over the Rhine and the Vosges into Gaul,
across the Alps into Italy, and across the Pyrenees into Spain. They were not a
single people, but many independent tribes; not an organized army of a conqueror,
but irregular hordes of wild warriors ruled by intrepid kings; not directed by the
ambition of one controlling genius, like Alexander or Caesar, but prompted by the
irresistible impulse of an historical instinct, and unconsciously bearing in their rear
the future destinies of Europe and America. They brought with them fire and sword,
destruction and desolation, but also life and vigor, respect for woman, sense of
honor, love of liberty—noble instincts, which, being purified and developed by
Christianity, became the governing principles of a higher civilization than that of
Greece and Rome. The Christian monk Salvian, who lived in the midst of the
barbarian flood, in the middle of the fifth century, draws a most gloomy and
appalling picture of the vices of the orthodox Romans of his time, and does not
hesitate to give preference to the heretical (Arian) and heathen barbarians, "whose
chastity purifies the deep stained with the Roman debauches." St. Augustin (d.
430), who took a more sober and comprehensive view, intimates, in his great
work on the City of God, the possibility of the rise of a new and better civilization
from the ruins of the old Roman empire; and his pupil, Orosius, clearly expresses
this hopeful view. "Men assert," he says, "that the barbarians are enemies of the
State. I reply that all the East thought the same of the great Alexander; the
Romans also seemed no better than the enemies of all society to the nations afar
off, whose repose they troubled. But the Greeks, you say, established empires;
the Germans overthrow them. Well, the Macedonians began by subduing the
nations which afterwards they civilized. The Germans are now upsetting all this
world; but if, which Heaven avert, they, finish by continuing to be its masters,
peradventure some day posterity will salute with the title of great princes those in
whom we at this day can see nothing but enemies."
The Nations of Mediaeval Christianity. The Kelt, the Teuton, and the Slav.
The new national forces which now enter upon the arena of church-history may be
divided into four groups:
1. The Romanic or Latin nations of Southern Europe, including the Italians,
Spaniards, Portuguese and French. They are the natural descendants and heirs of
the old Roman nationality and Latin Christianity, yet mixed with the new Keltic and
Germanic forces. Their languages are all derived from the Latin; they inherited
Roman laws and customs, and adhered to the Roman See as the centre of their
ecclesiastical organization; they carried Christianity to the advancing barbarians,
and by their superior civilization gave laws to the conquerors. They still adhere,
with their descendants in Central and South America, to the Roman Catholic
2. The Keltic race, embracing the Gauls, old Britons, the Picts and Scots, the Welsh
and Irish with their numerous emigrants in all the large cities of Great Britain and
the United States, appear in history several hundred years before Christ, as the
first light wave of the vast Aryan migration from the mysterious bowels of Asia,
which swept to the borders of the extreme West. The Gauls were conquered
by Caesar, but afterwards commingled with the Teutonic Francs, who founded the
French monarchy. The Britons were likewise subdued by the Romans, and
afterwards driven to Wales and Cornwall by the Anglo-Saxons. The Scotch in the
highlands (Gaels) remained Keltic, while in the lowlands they mixed with Saxons
The mental characteristics of the Kelts remain unchanged for two thousand years:
quick wit, fluent speech, vivacity, sprightliness, impressibility, personal bravery and
daring, loyalty to the chief or the clan, but also levity, fickleness, quarrelsomeness
and incapacity for self-government. "They shook all empires, but founded none."
The elder Cato says of them: "To two things are the Kelts most attent: to fighting
(ars militaris), and to adroitness of speech (argute loqui)." Caesar censures their
love of levity and change. The apostle Paul complains of the same weakness.
Thierry, their historian, well describes them thus: "Their prominent attributes are
personal valor, in which they excel all nations; a frank, impetuous spirit open to
every impression; great intelligence, but joined with extreme mobility, deficient
perseverance, restlessness under discipline and order, boastfulness and eternal
discord, resulting from boundless vanity." Mommsen quotes this passage, and adds
that the Kelts make good soldiers, but bad citizens; that the only order to which
they submit is the military, because the severe general discipline relieves them of
the heavy burden of individual self-control. 
Keltic Christianity was at first independent of Rome, and even antagonistic to it in
certain subordinate rites; but after the Saxon and Norman conquests, it was
brought into conformity, and since the Reformation, the Irish have been more
attached to the Roman Church than even the Latin races. The French formerly
inclined likewise to a liberal Catholicism (called Gallicanism); but they sacrificed the
Gallican liberties to the Ultramontanism of the Vatican Council. The Welsh and
Scotch, on the contrary, with the exception of a portion of the Highlanders in the
North of Scotland, embraced the Protestant Reformation in its Calvinistic rigor, and
are among its sternest and most vigorous advocates. The course of the Keltic
nations had been anticipated by the Galatians, who first embraced with great
readiness and heartiness the independent gospel of St. Paul, but were soon turned
away to a Judaizing legalism by false teachers, and then brought back again by
Paul to the right path.
3. The Germanic  or Teutonic  nations followed the Keltic migration in
successive westward and southward waves, before and after Christ, and spread
over Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Scandinavia, the Baltic provinces of Russia,
and, since the Anglo-Saxon invasion, also over England and Scotland and the
northern (non-Keltic) part of Ireland. In modern times their descendants peacefully
settled the British Provinces and the greater part of North America. The Germanic
nations are the fresh, vigorous, promising and advancing races of the middle age
and modern times. Their Christianization began in the fourth century, and went on
in wholesale style till it was completed in the tenth. The Germans, under their
leader Odoacer in 476, deposed Romulus Augustulus—the shadow of old Romulus
and Augustus—and overthrew the West Roman Empire, thus fulfilling the old augury
of the twelve birds of fate, that Rome was to grow six centuries and to decline six
centuries. Wherever they went, they brought destruction to decaying institutions.
But with few exceptions, they readily embraced the religion of the conquered Latin
provinces, and with childlike docility submitted to its educational power. They were
predestinated for Christianity, and Christianity for them. It curbed their warlike
passions, regulated their wild force, and developed their nobler instincts, their
devotion and fidelity, their respect for woman, their reverence for all family-relations, their love of personal liberty and independence. The Latin church was to
them only a school of discipline to prepare them for an age of Christian manhood
and independence, which dawned in the sixteenth century. The Protestant
Reformation was the emancipation of the Germanic races from the pupilage of
mediaeval and legalistic Catholicism.
Tacitus, the great heathen historian, no doubt idealized the barbarous Germans in
contrast with the degenerate Romans of his day (as Montaigne and Rousseau
painted the savages "in a fit of ill humor against their country"); but he
unconsciously prophesied their future greatness, and his prophecy has been more
4. The Slavonic or Slavic or Slavs  in the East and North of Europe, including the
Bulgarians, Bohemians (Czechs), Moravians, Slovaks, Servians, Croatians, Wends,
Poles, and Russians, were mainly converted through Eastern missionaries since the
ninth and tenth century. The Eastern Slavs, who are the vast majority, were
incorporated with the Greek Church, which became the national religion of Russia,
and through this empire acquired a territory almost equal to that of the Roman
Church. The western Slavs, the Bohemians and Poles, became subject to the
The Slavs, who number in all nearly 80,000,000, occupy a very subordinate
position in the history of the middle ages, and are isolated from the main current;
but recently, they have begun to develop their resources, and seem to have a
great future before them through the commanding political power of Russia in
Europe and in Asia. Russia is the bearer of the destinies of Panslavism and of the,
5. The Greek nationality, which figured so conspicuously in ancient Christianity,
maintained its independence down to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453; but
it was mixed with Slavonic elements. The Greek Church was much weakened by
the inroads of Mohammedanism) and lost the possession of the territories of
primitive Christianity, but secured a new and vast missionary field in Russia.
Genius of Mediaeval Christianity
Mediaeval Christianity is, on the one hand, a legitimate continuation and further
development of ancient Catholicism; on the other hand, a preparation for
Its leading form are the papacy, monasticism, and scholasticism, which were
developed to their height, and then assailed by growing opposition from within.
Christianity, at its first introduction, had to do with highly civilized nations; but now
it had to lay the foundation of a new civilization among barbarians. The apostles
planted churches in the cities of the Jews, Greeks, and Romans, and the word
"pagan" i.e, villager, backwoodsman, gradually came to denote an idolater. They
spoke and wrote in a language which had already a large and immortal literature;
their progress was paved by the high roads of the Roman legions; they found
everywhere an established order of society, and government; and their mission
was to infuse into the ancient civilization a new spiritual life and to make it
subservient to higher moral ends. But the missionaries of the dark ages had to visit
wild woods and untilled fields, to teach rude nations the alphabet, and to lay the
foundation for society, literature and art.
Hence Christianity assumed the character of a strong disciplinary institution, a
training school for nations in their infancy, which had to be treated as children.
Hence the legalistic, hierarchical, ritualistic and romantic character of mediaeval
Catholicism. Yet in proportion as the nations were trained in the school of the
church, they began to assert their independence of the hierarchy and to develop a
national literature in their own language. Compared with our times, in which
thought and reflection have become the highest arbiter of human life, the middle
age was an age of passion. The written law, such as it was developed in Roman
society, the barbarian could not understand and would not obey. But he was easily
impressed by the spoken law, the living word, and found a kind of charm in bending
his will absolutely before another will. Thus the teaching church became the law in
the land, and formed the very foundation of all social and political organization.
The middle ages are often called "the dark ages:" truly, if we compare them with
ancient Christianity, which preceded, and with modern Christianity, which followed;
falsely and unjustly, if the church is made responsible for the darkness. Christianity
was the light that shone in the darkness of surrounding barbarism and heathenism,
and gradually dispelled it. Industrious priests and monks saved from the wreck of
the Roman Empire the treasures of classical literature, together with the Holy
Scriptures and patristic writings, and transmitted them to better times. The
mediaeval light was indeed the borrowed star and moon-light of ecclesiastical
tradition, rather than the clear sun-light from the inspired pages of the New
Testament; but it was such light as the eyes of nations in their ignorance could
bear, and it never ceased to shine till it disappeared in the day-light of the great
Reformation. Christ had his witnesses in all ages and countries, and those shine all
the brighter who were surrounded by midnight darkness.
Pause where we may upon the desert-road,
Some shelter is in sight, some sacred safe abode.
On the other hand, the middle ages are often called, especially by Roman Catholic
writers, "the ages of faith." They abound in legends of saints, which had the charm
of religious novels. All men believed in the supernatural and miraculous as readily as
children do now. Heaven and hell were as real to the mind as the kingdom of
France and the, republic of Venice. Skepticism and infidelity were almost unknown,
or at least suppressed and concealed. But with faith was connected a vast deal of
superstition and an entire absence of critical investigation and judgment. Faith was
blind and unreasoning, like the faith of children. The most incredible and absurd
legends were accepted without a question. And yet the morality was not a whit
better, but in many respects ruder, coarser and more passionate, than in modern
The church as a visible organization never had greater power over the minds of
men. She controlled all departments of life from the cradle to the grave. She
monopolized all the learning and made sciences and arts tributary to her. She took
the lead in every progressive movement. She founded universities, built lofty
cathedrals, stirred up the crusades, made and unmade kings, dispensed blessings
and curses to whole nations. The mediaeval hierarchy centering in Rome re-enacted the Jewish theocracy on a more comprehensive scale. It was a carnal
anticipation of the millennial reign of Christ. It took centuries to rear up this
imposing structure, and centuries to take it down again.
The opposition came partly from the anti-Catholic sects, which, in spite of cruel
persecution, never ceased to protest against the corruptions and tyranny of the
papacy; partly from the spirit of nationality which arose in opposition to an all-absorbing hierarchical centralization; partly from the revival of classical and biblical
learning, which undermined the reign of superstition and tradition; and partly from
the inner and deeper life of the Catholic Church itself, which loudly called for a
reformation, and struggled through the severe discipline of the law to the light and
freedom of the gospel. The mediaeval Church was a schoolmaster to lead men to
Christ. The Reformation was an emancipation of Western Christendom from the
bondage of the law, and a re-conquest of that liberty "wherewith Christ hath made
us free" (Gal. v. 1).
Periods of the Middle Age
The Middle Age may be divided into three periods:
1. The missionary period from Gregory I. to Hildebrand or Gregory VII., a.d.
590–1073. The conversion of the northern barbarians. The dawn of a new
civilization. The origin and progress of Islam. The separation of the West from the
East. Some subdivide this period by Charlemagne (800), the founder of the
2. The palmy period of the papal theocracy from Gregory VII. to Boniface VIII., a.d.
1073–1294. The height of the papacy, monasticism and scholasticism. The
Crusades. The conflict between the Pope and the Emperor. If we go back to the
rise of Hildebrand, this period begins in 1049.
3. The decline of mediaeval Catholicism and preparation for modern Christianity,
from Boniface VIII. to the Reformation, a.d. 1294–1517. The papal exile and
schism; the reformatory councils; the decay of scholasticism; the growth of
mysticism; the revival of letters, and the art of printing; the discovery of America;
forerunners of Protestantism; the dawn of the Reformation.
These three periods are related to each other as the wild youth, the ripe manhood,
and the declining old age. But the gradual dissolution of mediaevalism was only the
preparation for a new life, a destruction looking to a reconstruction.
The three periods may be treated separately, or as a continuous whole. Both
methods have their advantages: the first for a minute study; the second for a
connected survey of the great movements.
According to our division laid down in the introduction to the first volume, the three
periods of the middle ages are the fourth, fifth and sixth periods of the general
history of Christianity.
1. Keltoivor Kevltai, Celtae, Galavtai, Galatae or Galati, Galli, Gael. Some derive
it from celt, a cover, shelter; others from celu (Lat. celo) to conceal.
Herodotus first mentions them, as dwelling in the extreme northwest of
Europe. On these terms see Diefenbach, Celtica, Brandes, Kelten und
Germanen, Thierry, Histoire des Gaulois, the art. Galli in Pauly’s
Realencyclopädie, and the introductions to the critical Commentaries on the
Galatians by Wieseler and Lightfoot (and Lightfoot’s Excursus I). The
Galatians in Asia Minor, to whom Paul addressed his epistle, were a branch of
the Keltic race, which either separated from the main current of the
westward migration, or, being obstructed by the ocean, retraced their steps,
and turned eastward. Wieseler (in his Com. and in several articles in the
"Studien und Kritiken, " and in the "Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte," 1877
No. 1) tries to make them Germans, a view first hinted at by Luther. But the
fickleness of the Galatian Christians is characterristic of the ancient Gauls and
2. Römische Geschichte, Vol. I., p. 329, 5th ed., Berlin, 1868.
3. The word is of uncertain origin. Some derive it from a Keltic root, garm or
gairm, i.e. noise; some from the old German gere (guerre), a pointed
weapon, spear or javelin (so that German would mean an armed man, or
war-man, Wehrmann); others, from the Persian irman, erman, i.e. guest.
4. From the Gothic thiudisco, gentiles, popularis; hence the Latin teutonicus,
and the German deutsch or teutsch (which may also be connected with
diutan, deutsch deutlich). In the English usage, the term German is confined
to the Germans proper, and Dutch to the Hollanders; but Germanic and
Teutonic apply to all cognate races.
5. The term Slav or Slavonian is derived by some from slovo, word, by others,
from slava, glory. From it are derived the words slave and slavery (Sclave,
esclave), because many Slavs were reduced to a state of slavery or
serfdom by their German masters. Webster spells slave instead of slav, and
Edward A. Freeman, in his Historical Essays (third series, 1879), defends this
spelling on three grounds: 1) No English word ends in v. But many Russian
words do, as Kiev, Yaroslav, and some Hebrew grammars use Tav and Vav
for Tau and Vau. 2) Analogy. We write Dane, Swede, Pole, not Dan, etc. But
the a in Slav has the continental sound, and the tendency is to get rid of
mute vowels. 3) The form Slave perpetuates the etymology. But the
etymology (slave = dou'lo") is uncertain, and it is well to distinguish the
national name from the ordinary slaves, and thus avoid offence. The
Germans also distinguish between Slaven, Sclaven.
Sources and Literature
August Potthast: Bibliotheca Historica Medii Aoevi. Wegweiser durch die
Geschichtswerke des Europäischen Mittelalters von 375–1500. Berlin, 1862.
The mediaeval literature embraces four distinct branches;
1. The Romano-Germanic or Western Christian;
2. The Graeco-Byzantine or Eastern Christian;
3. The Talmudic and Rabbinical;
4. The Arabic and Mohammedan.
We notice here only the first and second; the other two will be mentioned in
subdivisions as far as they are connected with church history.
The Christian literature consists partly of documentary sources, partly of historical
works. We confine ourselves here to the most important works of a more general
character. Books referring to particular countries and sections of church history will
be noticed in the progress of the narrative.
They are mostly in Latin—the official language of the Western Church,—and in
Greek,—the official language of the Eastern Church.
(1) For the history of missions: the letters and biographies of missionaries.
(2) For church polity and government: the official letters of popes, patriarchs, and
The documents of the papal court embrace (a) Regesta (registra), the transactions
of the various branches of the papal government from a.d. 1198–1572, deposited
in the Vatican library, and difficult of access. (b) Epistolae decretales, which
constitute the basis of the Corpus juris canonici, brought to a close in 1313. (c)
The bulls (bulla, a seal or stamp of globular form, though some derive it from
boulhv, will, decree) and briefs (breve, a short, concise summary), i.e., the official
letters since the conclusion of the Canon law. They are of equal authority, but the
bulls differ from the briefs by their more solemn form. The bulls are written on
parchment, and sealed with a seal of lead or gold, which is stamped on one side
with the effigies of Peter and Paul, and on the other with the name of the reigning
pope, and attached to the instrument by a string; while the briefs are written on
paper, sealed with red wax, and impressed with the seal of the fisherman or Peter
in a boat.
(3) For the history of Christian life: the biographies of saints, the disciplinary
canons of synods, the ascetic literature.
(4) For worship and ceremonies: liturgies, hymns, homilies, works of architecture
sculpture, painting, poetry, music. The Gothic cathedrals are as striking
embodiments of mediaeval Christianity as the Egyptian pyramids are of the
civilization of the Pharaohs.
(5) For theology and Christian learning: the works of the later fathers (beginning
with Gregory I.), schoolmen, mystics, and the forerunners of the Reformation.
Documentary Collections, Works of Mediaeval Writers
(1) For the Oriental Church.
Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae, opera Niebuhrii, Bekkeri, et al. Bonnae,
1828–’78, 50 vols. 8vo. Contains a complete history of the East-Roman Empire
from the sixth century to its fall. The chief writers are Zonaras, from the Creation
to a.d. 1118; Nicetas, from 1118 to 1206; Gregoras, from 1204 to 1359;
Laonicus, from 1298 to 1463; Ducas, from 1341 to 1462; Phrantzes, from 1401
J. A. Fabricius (d. 1736): Bibliotheca Graeca sive Notitia Scriptorum veterum
Graecorum, 4th ed., by G. Chr. Harless, with additions. Hamburg, 1790–1811, 12
vols. A supplement by S. F. W. Hoffmann: Bibliographisches Lexicon der
gesammten Literatur der Griechen. Leipzig, 1838–’45, 3 vols.
(2) For the Westem Church.
Bibliotheca Maxima Patrum. Lugduni, 1677, 27 vols. fol.
Martene (d. 1739) and Durand (d. 1773): Thesaurus Anecdotorum Novus, seu
Collectio Monumentorum, etc. Paris, 1717, 5 vols. fol. By the same: Veterum
Scriptorum et Monumentorum Collectio ampliss. Paris, 1724–’38, 9 vols. fol.
J. A. Fabricius: Bibliotheca Latina Mediae et Infimae AEtatis. Hamb. 1734, and with
supplem. 1754, 6 vols. 4to.
Abbé Migne: Patralogiae Cursus Completus, sive Bibliotheca Universalis ... Patrum,
etc. Paris, 1844–’66. The Latin series (1844–’55) has 221 vols. (4 vols. indices);
the Greek series (1857–66) has 166 vols. The Latin series, from tom. 80–217,
contains the writers from Gregory the Great to Innocent III. Reprints of older
editions, and most valuable for completeness and convenience, though lacking in
Abbé Horay: Medii AEvi Bibliotheca Patristica ab anno MCCXVI usque ad Concilii
Tridentini Tempora. Paris, 1879 sqq. A continuation of Migne in the same style. The
first 4 vols. contain the Opera Honori III.
Joan. Domin. Mansi (archbishop of Lucca, d. 1769): Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et
amplissima Collectio. Florence and Venice 1759–1798, 31 vols. fol. The best
collection down to 1509. A new ed. (facsimile) publ. by Victor Palmé, Paris and
Berlin 1884 sqq. Earlier collections of Councils by Labbé and Cossart (1671–72, 18
vols), Colet (with the supplements of Mansi, 1728–52, 29 vols. fol.), and Hardouin
(1715, 12 vols. fol.).
C. Cocquelines: Magnum Bullarium Romanum. Bullarum, Privilegiorum ac
Diplomatum Romanorum Pontificum usque ad Clementem XII. amplissima
Collectio. Rom. 1738–58. 14 Tom. fol. in 28 Partes; new ed. 1847–72, in 24 vols.
A. A. Barberi: Magni Bullarii Rom. Continuatio a Clemente XIII ad Pium VIII.
(1758–1830). Rom. 1835–’57, 18 vols. fol. The bulls of Gregory XVI. appeared
1857 in 1 vol.
G. H. Pertz (d. 1876): Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Hannov. 1826–1879. 24
vols. fol. Continued by G. Waitz.
Acta Sanctorum Bollandistarum. Antw. Bruxellis et Tongerloae, 1643–1794; Brux.
1845 sqq., new ed. Paris, 1863–75, in 61 vols. fol. (with supplement). See a list of
contents in the seventh volume for June or the first volume for October; also in
the second part of Potthast, sub "Vita," pp. 575 sqq.
This monumental work of John Bolland (a learned Jesuit, 1596–1665), Godefr.
Henschen (†1681), Dan. Papebroch (†1714), and their associates and followers,
called Bollandists, contains biographies of all the saints of the Catholic Church in the
order of the calendar, and divided into months. They are not critical histories, but
compilations of an immense material of facts and fiction, which illustrate the life and
manners of the ancient and mediaeval church. Potthast justly calls it a
"riesenhaftes Denkmal wissenschaftlichen Strebens." It was carried on with the aid
of the Belgic government, which contributed (since 1837) 6,000 francs annually.
Caes. Baronius (d. 1607): Annales ecclesiastici a Christo nato ad annum 1198.
Rom. 1588–1593, 12 vols. Continued by Raynaldi (from 1198 to 1565), Laderchi
(from 1566–1571), and A. Theiner (1572–1584). Best ed. by Mansi, with the
continuations of Raynaldi, and the Critica of Pagi, Lucca, 1738–’59, 35 vols. fol.
text, and 3 vols. of index universalis. A new ed. by A. Theiner (d. 1874), Bar-le-Duc, 1864 sqq. Likewise a work of herculean industry, but to be used with critical
caution, as it contains many spurious documents, legends and fictions, and is
written in the interest and defence of the papacy.
Modern Histories of the Middle Ages
J. M. F. Frantin: Annales du moyen age. Dijon, 1825, 8 vols. 8vo.
F. Rehm: Geschichte des Mittelalters. Marbg, 1821–’38, 4 vols. 8vo.
Heinrich Leo: Geschichte des Mittelalters. Halle, 1830, 2 vols.
Charpentier: Histoire literaire du moyen age. Par. 1833.
R. Hampson: Medii aevi Calendarium, or Dates, Charters, and Customs of the
Middle Ages, with Kalenders from the Xth to the XVth century. London, 1841, 2
Henry Hallam (d. 1859): View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages.
London, 1818, 3d ed. 1848, Boston ed. 1864 in 3 vols. By the same: Introduction
to the Literature of Europe in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. Several ed., Engl.
and Am. Boston ed. 1864 in 4 vols.; N. York, 1880, in 4 vols.
Charles Hardwick († l859): A History of the Christian Church. Middle Age. 3d ed. by
Stubbs, London, 1872.
Henry Hart Milman († 1868): History of Latin Christianity; including that of the
Popes to the Pontificate of Nicholas V. London and N. York, 1854, 8 vols., new ed.,
N. York (A. C. Armstrong & Son), 1880.
Richard Chenevix Trench (Archbishop of Dublin): Lectures on Mediaeval Church
History. London, 1877, republ. N. York, 1878.
V. The Mediaeval Sections of the General Church Histories.
(a) Roman Catholic: Baronius (see above), Fleury, Möhler, Alzog, Döllinger (before
(b) Protestant: Mosheim, Schröckh, Gieseler, Neander, Baur, Hagenbach,
Robertson. Also Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Rom. Empire (Wm. Smith’s ed.),
from ch. 45 to the close.
Domin. Du Cange (Charles du Fresne, d. 1688): Glossarium ad Scriptores mediae
et infimae Latinitatis, Paris, 1678; new ed. by Henschel, Par. 1840–’50, in 7 vols.
4to; and again by Favre, 1883 sqq.—By the same: Glossarium ad Scriptores
medicae et infimae Graecitatis, Par. 1682, and Lugd. Batav. 1688, 2 vols. fol.
These two works are the philological keys to the knowledge of mediaeval church
An English ed. of the Latin glossary has been announced by John Murray, of
London: Mediaeval Latin-English Dictionary, based upon the great work of Du
Cange. With additions and corrections by E. A. Dayman.
Taken from Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research
Systems, Inc.) 1997. This material has been carefully compared, correcteḑ and amended
(according to the 1910 edition of Charles Scribner's Sons) by The Electronic Bible Society, Dallas,
Feel free to copy and distribute for non-commercial use only.
Faith & Reason Forum.