What Is The Source Of The Roman Empire? The Empire Was Not From The Pope Chapter 28 ~ William Of Ockham


What Is The Source Of The Roman Empire? 

The Empire Was Not From The Pope

Chapter 28

Student Since that opinion holds that the empire was from the Roman people and consequently was not from the pope, you have brought forward some arguments to prove that the empire was from the people. Would you now bring forward some particular arguments to prove that the empire was not from the pope?

Master Some arguments for this are hinted at in the glosses on the decrees and decretals. For a gloss on dist. 10, c. Quoniam idem [col. 33-4] says, "It is argued that the empire is not had from the pope and that the pope does not have both swords. For the army makes the emperor, as in dist. 93, c. Legimus." From this it is argued as follows: the empire is not from him who does not make the emperor; the pope does not make the emperor because he is [made] by the army; therefore, the empire is not from the pope.

Student By that argument the empire is not from the Roman people but from the army.

Master The reply is that the army does not make the emperor except by the authority of the Roman people. On account of the danger that could threaten if the emperor were to die while with the army and it lack a head and chief, the Roman people committed to the army the power of creating and electing the emperor. [[Omitting the first potestatem against authority of mss.]]

Student Bring forward another argument.

Master Another argument is implied by the gloss on Extra, Qui filii sunt legitimi, c. Causam [c.7, col.1535] when it says, "There was an emperor before he began to receive his crown from the pope and his sword from the altar (dist. 93, c. Legimus), because the empire existed before the apostolate." Since, therefore, the apostolate is not earlier it follows that the empire is not from the pope. [[All mss seem to be wrong here, or should we read a posteriori?]]

Student Those two arguments seem to prove that the empire was not originally from the pope but they do not prove that the empire is not now from the pope. For the power of ordaining to the empire seems now to be in the power of the pope, although it was not in his power from the beginning; indeed the empire existed before the pope.

Master Some people say that it is clearly proved by those arguments that the empire is not from the pope, in so far as the pope is the vicar of Christ and the successor of blessed Peter. And those who hold that opinion mainly have this in mind.

Student Would you bring forward some other arguments?

Master A gloss on dist. 10, c. Quoniam idem [col. 34] implies another argument when it says, "If it," that is the empire, "were had from him," that is the pope, "it would be licit to appeal to him in temporal matters. Alexander forbids this and says that those things do not belong to his jurisdiction (Extra, Qui filii sunt legitimi, c. Causam)." For it is possible to appeal from the emperor to the one from whom the empire comes.

Student By that argument it has always been possible to appeal from the emperor because the emperor has always had the empire from someone.

Master It is granted that in some cases it has always been permissible to appeal from the emperor, but in many cases it has not been permissible to do so (though in these cases it has been permissible to appeal from other judges). Therefore the laws that say there should be no appeal from the emperor should not be understood to be some singular cases which rarely or never happen but others, just as the sacred canons about which they say there should be no appeal from the pope should not be understood to be a case of heresy, because it is permissible to appeal from the pope in a case of heresy.

Student Would you bring forward another argument?

Master The gloss cited earlier implies another argument when it says [col.34], "Again, churches owe tribute to the emperor, as in 11, q. 1, c. Magnum." However, the empire is not from him who owes tribute to the emperor. The empire is not from the pope, therefore, if the pope owes tribute to the emperor.


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