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History of the Christian Church, Volume V: The Middle Ages. A.D. 1049-1294.
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§ 82. The Amaurians and Other Isolated Sects.


Occupying a distinct place of their own were the pantheistic coteries of dissenters, the Amaurians and Ortlibenses, and perhaps other groups, like the Passagians and Speronistae, of which we know scarcely more than the names.

The Amaurians, or Amauricians,10301030    Mansi, XXII. 801-809; Denifle, Chartul. Un. Paris, I. 70, 71, 72, 79</cbr>, 107, etc.; Caesar of Heisterbach, Strange ed., II., 304 sqq.; Martène-Durand, Thes. anec., IV. 166 sq.; Jundt, Hist. du pantheisme, etc., p. 20 sq.; Preger, Gesch. der deutschen Mystik, I. 173-184; Delacroix, Le mysticisme speculatif, etc., 32-51; Alpbandéry, pp. 141-154. For other sources, see Delacroix, p. 39 sq.ved their origin from the speculations of the Paris professor, Amaury of Bena, a town in the diocese of Chartres. Innocent III. cited him to appear at Rome and condemned his views. On his return to Paris, the university obliged him to publicly confess his errors. He died about 1204. His followers were condemned by a synod, held in Paris, 1209.

From the detailed account given by Caesar of Heisterbach, we learn that a number of Amaury’s followers were seized and examined by the bishops. Eight priests and William the Goldsmith, called also one of the seven apostles, were burnt. Four other priests were condemned to lifelong imprisonment. Amaury’s bones were exhumed and thrown into a field.10311031    Chartularium, p. 70. Here, also, are given the names of the priests who were burnt or imprisoned.

The Amaurians seem to have relied for their pantheistic views upon John Scotus Erigena, whose work, De divisione naturae, was also condemned at the synod of Paris, 1209. Amaury’s system was also condemned by the Fourth Lateran, which represented him as holding that God was all things, deus erat omnia. To this he added the two doctrines that every Christian must believe that he is a member of Christ’s body, this faith being as necessary to salvation as the faith in Christ’s birth and death; and that to him who abides in love, sin is not reckoned. God becomes incarnate in believers who are members of Christ’s body, as He became incarnate in the body of Jesus. God was as much in the body of Ovid as He was in the body of Augustine. Christ is no more in the consecrated bread than in any other bread or object. The Amaurians denied the resurrection of the body, and said that heaven and hell are states of the soul. The sinner carries hell in himself, even as a mouth holds a bad tooth.10321032    Putridus dens in ore, synod of Paris, 1209.nd the Roman Church, Babylon. The relics of the martyrs are nothing but dust.

From these statements the conclusion is to be drawn that Amaury and his followers insisted upon the liberty of the Spirit working independently of outer rites and dwelling in the heart. The Fourth Lateran, in its second canon, declared that the father of lies had so blinded Amaury’s mind that his doctrine was the raving of an insane man rather than a heresy. Amaury absorbed Joachism, for he speaks of three ages, the ages of the Father and the Son, and the age of the Spirit, which was the last age, had begun in Amaury’s time, and would continue to the consummation of all things. Amaury’s followers seem to have become merged with the Brethren of the Free Spirit.10331033    So Preger, I. 212, on the basis of the "Anonymous of Passau." For the ninety-seven errors ascribed to the Brethren of the Free Spirit, see Preger, I. 461-469, and Hauck, in Herzog, I. 431.

The synod of Paris, which condemned the Amaurians, also condemned David of Dinant, and ordered one of his works, the Quarternuli, burnt. His writings were also forbidden by the statutes of the University of Paris of 1215, which forbade the reading of some of the works of Aristotle, Amaury the heretic, and Maurice of Spain.10341034    Chartul., pp. 70, 79.10351035    Preger, I. 184-191.

Belonging to the same class were the followers of Ortlieb of Strassburg, called Ortlibenses, Ortilibarii, Oriliwenses, Ortoleni,10361036    This name, given in the code of Frederick II., would seem to refer to the same sect. The "Anonymous of Passau," writing about 1316, is our chief authority. See Müller, Die Waldenser, pp. 147 sqq.; Döllinger, Beiträge, II. 301, 703, etc.; Preger, II. 191-196; Delacroix, 52-76; Alphandéry, 154-167; Deutsch, art. Ortlieb, in Herzog, XIV. 499-501. Alphandéry urges the affiliation of the Ortlibenses with the Vaudois, chiefly because of their frequent juxtaposition in mediaeval writings. were charged with holding that the world is eternal and God is immanent in all things. He did not have a Son, till Jesus was born of Joseph and Mary. They denied the resurrection of the body. The death and resurrection of Christ had only a symbolic import. The body of Christ is no more in the eucharistic bread than in any other bread. The established Church was the courtesan of the Apocalypse. The four Gospels are the chief parts of the Scriptures. They allowed marriage but condemned carnal cohabitation. The Ortlibenses were, like the Amaurians, spiritualists, and said that a man must follow the guidance of the Spirit who dwells in him.10371037    Delacroix, p. 73, insists upon the identity of the Amaurians and Ortlibenses in all essential matters.o large a place as late as the fifteenth century.

The Passagii, or Passageni, a sect whose name is first mentioned in the acts of the synod of Verona, seem to have been unique in that they required the literal observance of the Mosaic law, including the Jewish Sabbath and circumcision. It is possible they are identical with the Circumcisi spoken of in the code of Frederick II. As late as 1267 and 1274 papal bulls call for the punishment of heretics who had gone back to Jewish rites, and the Passagii10381038    See Döllinger, II. 327; Alphandéry, 168 sqq. be referred to.

The Luciferans10391039    The notices are scattered. See under diabolus and Lucifer in Döllinger and Alphandéry, pp. 174 sqq. M. Paris, writing of 1226 and Frederick’s march through Northern Italy, speaks of Milan being a refuge and receptacle of all sorts of heretics, Patarines, Luciferi, Publicani, Albigenses, and usurers. distinct sect. The name was applied without precision to Cathari and others who held that Lucifer was unjustly cast out of heaven. Heretics of this name were burnt in Passau and Saltzburg, 1312–1315 and 1338, and as late as 1395 in other parts of Austria.

As for the Warini, Speronistae, and Josephini, who are also mentioned in the Frederican code, we know nothing more than the names.10401040    The Josephini are mentioned by the synod of Verona, 1184, and the bull of Gregory IX., June 25, 1231, and the Speronistae by Salve Burce, Döllinger, II. 62, and in the bulls of Gregory IX., Aug. 20, 1229, June 25, 1231. See Fredericq, I. 75 sq.



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