Subsidiary SourcebooksAfricanEastern AsianGlobalIndianJewishIslamicLesbian/GayScienceWomen

Special ResourcesByzantiumMedieval MusicSaints' Lives
Ancient Law
Medieval Law
Film: Ancient
Film: Medieval
Film: Modern

About IHSPIHSP Credits

Medieval Sourcebook:
Frederick II (r. 1215-1250):
Dispute with the Church, 1245-1246

Sentence of Deposition, Council of Lyons, June 1245

He has committed four very grave offences, which cannot be covered up by any subterfuge...he has abjured God on many occasions; he has wantonly broken the peace which had been established between the Church and the Empire; he has also committed sacrilege by causing to be imprisoned the Cardinals of the holy Roman Church, and the prelates and clerics...coming to the council which our predecessor had summoned; he is also accused of heresy...

We therefore, who are the and declare on account of the above-mentioned shameful crimes and many others...that the aforesaid bound by his sins and cast out and deprived of all honor.... We absolve forever all who owe him alliegence in virtue of an oath of fealty.... Whoever shall in future afford him advice, help or goodwill as if he were Emperor or king, shall fall "ipso facto" under the binding force of excommunication.

Letter of Frederick to the kings of Christendom, 1246

The ancients called happy those who learned caution from the danger of wax receives its impression from a seal, so the character of human life is shaped by example. ...those who are considered clerics, grown fat on the alms of princes, now oppress princes' sons.... What is implied by our maltreatment is made plain by the presumption of Pope Innocent IV for, having summoned a council--he has declared to pronounce a sentence of deposition against us who were neither summoned nor proved guilty of any deceit or wickedness, which sentence he could not enact without grievious prejudice to all kings. You and all kings of particular regions have everything to fear from the effrontery of such a prince of priests when he sets out to depose us who have been divinely honored by the imperial diadem and solemly elected by the princes with the approval of the whole church at a time when faith and religion were flourishing....

Encyclical letter Eger cui levia, c. 1246

If then Frederick, formerly Emperor, strives to accuse with noisy widespread complaints the sacred judge of the universal church through whom he was declared cast down by God so that he might no longer rule or reign, it ought not to seem anything new or marvellous, for he is behaving in the same fashion as others in like case....


Hanover College Texts Site ]part of a larger document]

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

© Paul Halsall, August 1998


The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 20 January 2021 [CV]