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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1860 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #105 on: February 01, 2009, 10:57:56 pm »

pledged themselves to stand by those who adhered to the resistance made by France to papal usurpation. Boniface next excommunicated the king, who intercepted the bull, and prevented its publication. The pope finally offered the crown of France to the emperor Albert of Austria. Matters were now come to an extremity, and Philip ventured on one of the boldest acts that have ever been attempted in the Christian world.

Philip had afforded an asylum at his court to some members of the Colonna family, the personal enemies of the pope. His chancellor and fast adherent was William de Nogaret, who had been his agent in the affair of appealing to a general council, by presenting to the states general a charge of simony, magic, and the usual real or imaginary crimes of the day against the pontiff. This man, and some of the Italian exiles, attended by a body of 300 horse, set out for Italy, and took up his abode at a castle between Florence and Sienna, under pretext of its being a convenient situation for carrying on negotiations with Rome. The pope was meantime residing at Anagni, his native town. Nogaret having, by a liberal distribution of money, acquired a sufficient number of partisans, appeared before the gate of Anagni early on the morning of the 7th September, 1303. The gate was opened by a traitor, and the French and their partisans ran through the streets, crying Live the king of France, die Boniface. They entered the palace without opposition; the French ran here and there in search of plunder, and Sciarra Colonna and his Italians alone came in presence of the pope. Boniface, who was now eighty-six years of age, was clad in his pontifical vestments, and on his knees before the altar, in expectation of death. At the sight of hint the conspirators, whose intention had been to slay him, stopped short, filled with involuntary awe, and did not dare to lay a hand upon him. During three

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