Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/127

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107
THEIR RAPID DEVELOPMENT.

the exaltation caused by persecution might keep it alive among the enthusiastic and the discontented, had it obtained the upper hand and maintained its purity it must surely have perished through its fundamental errors. Had it become a dominant faith, moreover, it would have bred a sacerdotal class as privileged as the Catholic priesthood, for the "veneration" offered to the consecrated ministers as the tabernacles of the Holy Ghost shows us what vantage ground they would have had when persecution had given place to power, and carnal human nature had asserted itself in the ambitious men who would have sought its high places.

The soil was probably prepared for its reception by remains of the older Manichaeism which, with strange pertinacity, long maintained itself in secret after its public manifestation had been completely suppressed. Muratori has printed a Latin anathema of its doctrines, probably dating about the year 800, which shows that even so late as the ninth century it was still an object of persecution. It was about 970 that John Zimiski transplanted the Paulicians to Thrace, whence they spread with great rapidity through the Balkan peninsula. When the Crusaders under Bohemond of Tarento, in 1097, arrived in Macedonia they learned that the city of Pelagonia was inhabited wholly by heretics, whereupon they paused in their pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre long enough to capture the town, to raze it to the earth, and to put all the citizens to the sword. In Dalmatia the Paulicians founded the seaport of Dugunthia (Trau), which became the seat of one of their leading episcopates ; and in the time of Innocent III. we find them in great numbers throughout the whole Slav territory, making extensive conversions with their customary missionary zeal, and giving that pontiff much concern, in unavailing efforts for their suppression. Numerous as the Cathari of Western Europe became, they always looked to the east of the Adriatic as to the headquarters of their sect. It was there that arose the form of modified Dualism known as Concorrezan, under the influence of the Bogomili, and religious questions were wont to be referred thither for solution.[1]


  1. Schmidt, Hist, des Cathares, 1. 15-21. — Muratori Anecdota Ambrosiana, II. 112.— Guillel. Tyrii Lib. ii. c. 13.— Innocent. PP. III. Regest. ii. 176; iii. 3; v. 103,110; VI. 140, 141,212.— See also the curious letter of a Patarin in Matt. Paris, Hist. Angl. ann. 1243 (Ed. 1644 p. 413).