Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Letter John of Salisbury to Becket, early July 1170

Just before the meeting at Frétéval with King Henry II John of Salisbury wrote to Becket advising him to ready himself to issue the severe ecclesiastical punishments, interdict against the king and excommunications or suspensions against those who had transgressed by having officiated at the Coronation of Henry the Young King.

James Craigie Robertson; Joseph Brigstocke Sheppard (1885). Materials for the history of Thomas Becket: Epistles, DXXXI-DCCCVIII. Volume 7. Epistola 677: Longman & Company. pp. 318–.
MTB 677 John of Salisbury to Becket 

Anne J. Duggan (2000). The Correspondence of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1162-1170: Letters 176-329. Volume 2. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-820893-8. pp. 1257-9. CTB 298

John (of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres) (1979). Editors W. J. Millor, Christopher Nugent Lawrence Brooke, Harold Edgeworth Butler The Letters of John of SalisburyVolume 2. Clarendon Press. p. 709. ISBN 978-0-19-822240-8.

O'Connor, John Francis, "An Annotated Translation of the Letters of John of Salisbury" (1947). Master's Theses. Paper 672. 
P.73 Letter 303/297
John to Archbishop Thomas Becket

Corpus Corporum Universität Zürich
(Patrologia Latina Tomus 199 Col. 0345B-)
EPISTOLA CCXCVII. AD THOMAM CANTUARIENSEM EPISCOPUM. (A. D. 1170, M. Iun.)
THOMAE Cantuar. archiepiscopo, I. SARES. a Carnoto.

Consilium domini Senonensis et nostrum est, si vobis melius non occurrit, ut litterae urgentiores quas habetis penes vos de iustitia exercenda, si pax (0345C) non fuerit, celerius Rothomagensi et Turonensi archiepiscopis ostendantur: saltem ut audiat hostis et terreatur. Praeterea desiderat ut suae reddantur Auxitano et Burdegalensi, quia et causae prodesse poterit, et persecutoris minuere vires, si in Guasconia auditum fuerit terram eius interdicto subiiciendam esse. Nam ad Bituricensem, quidquid de guerris contingat, semper facilior probabiliter speratur accessus. Et memineritis quantum periculum et infortunium ad se traxerit mora porrigendi conventionales archiepiscopo Rothomagensi et episcopo Nivernensi, et item prohibitorias Eboracensi archiepiscopo et episcopis transmarinis. Nec dixeritis quae provenerunt vobis non fuisse praedicta, sed (0345D) potius quod omnium auspicantium more, subtilitatem vestram vaticinia quae non erant a spiritu deluserunt. Utinam non sit deceptionis huius morbus irreparabilis: sed nisi coelitus data sit relevatio seu consolatio non occurrit. Et quidem recte, ut arbitror, cum nos alieni ingenii imaginationibus vanis praesumeremus evolvere cordis humani latebras, quarum solus Deus arbiter est. Quid, quaeso, magis temerarium, aut in Deum, qui hoc singularis eminentiae privilegio vindicat, iniuriosius est? Nam se ipsum nosse, etiam Apollinis oraculo summam esse sapientiam adeo celebris est sententia apud philosophos, ut ei nemo veterum ausus sit refragari. De coelo si quidem, ut aiunt, descendit Γνῶθι σεαυτὸν, id est Scito te ipsum. Quia ergo hic humana (0346A) deficit et angelica eatenus non attingit, sola Dei sapientia est quae consilia et cogitationes hominum non imaginatione phantastica coniicit, sed sicut sunt usquequaque cognoscit. Vaticiniis ergo renuntiemus inposterum, quia nos in hac parte gravius infortunia perculerunt. Qui corda finxit, illa examinet: nos quid domi nostrae sit exploremus.

“It is the advice of myself,” he says, “and his Lordship of Sens, unless any better course should occur to yourself, that those urgent letters, which your Lordship has in your possession, empowering you, in case no peace should be made, to take judicial steps, should be shown to the Archbishops of Rouen and Tours; that, at least, the adversary [the king their guest] may hear and tremble. It will be of great service to our cause, and will diminish the persecutor’s strength, when the news reaches Gascony that his dominions are to be laid under an Interdict. You know what great evils and mistakes the delay in delivering the conventional letters to the Archbishop of Rouen and Bishop of Nivers, and the prohibitory ones to the Archbishop of York and the other English Bishops, gave rise to.” 

References

Richard Hurrell Froude (1839). Remains. Chapter XX: Accommodation at Freitville. pp. 494–.

John Allen Giles (1846). The Life and Letters of Thomas À Becket: Now First Gathered from the Contemporary Historians. Chapter XXXVII: Whittaker. pp. 269–.

 

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