Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/136

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a numerous community, embracing many nobles, and towards the close of the century San Pietro di Parenzo earned his canonization by his severe measures of repression, in retaliation for which the heretics took his life in 1199. This may be regarded as an example of the struggle which was going on in many Italian cities, showing the stubborn vitality of the heresy. In the political condition of Italy, subdivided into innumerable virtually self-governing communities, torn by mutual quarrels and civic strife, general measures of repression were almost impossible. Heresy, suppressed by spasmodic exertion in one city, was always flourishing elsewhere and ready to furnish new missionaries and new martyrs as soon as the storm had passed. Through all these vicissitudes its growth was constant. All the northern half of the peninsula, from the Alps to the Patrimony of St. Peter, was honeycombed with it, and even as far south as Calabria it was to be found. When Innocent III., in 1198, ascended the papal throne he at once commenced active proceedings for its extermination, and the obstinacy of the heretics may be estimated by the struggle in Viterbo, a city subject to the temporal as well as spiritual jurisdiction of the papacy. In March, 1199, Innocent, stimulated by the increase of heresy and the audacity of its public display, wrote to the Viterbians, renewing and sharpening the penalties against all who received or favored heretics. Yet, in spite of this, in 1205, the heretics carried the municipal election and elected as chamberlain a heretic under excommunication. Innocent's indignation was boundless. If the elements, he told the citizens, should conspire to destroy them, without sparing age or sex, leaving their memory an eternal shame, the punishment would be inadequate. He ordered obedience to be refused to the newly-elected municipality, which was to be deposed ; that the bishop, who had been ejected, should be received back, that the laws against heresy should be enforced, and that if all this was not done within fifteen days the people of the surrounding towns and castles were commanded to take up arms and make active war upon the rebellious city. Even this was insufficient. Two years later, in February, 1207, there were fresh troubles, and it was not until June of that year, when Innocent himself came to Viterbo, and all the Patarins fled at his approach, that he was able to purify the town by tearing down all the houses of the heretics and confiscating aU their property. This