Page:The Normans in European History.djvu/151

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NORMANDY AND FRANCE

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Innocent III over the divorce of his queen Ingeborg, and a treaty was signed in 1200, by which, on giving up territory in the Norman border and in central France and paying a large relief of 20,000 marks for his lands, John was confirmed in his control of Anjou and Brittany, while a visit to Paris, where he was splendidly received, seemed to crown the reconciliation. In a position, however, where all possible strength and resourcefulness were required, John's defects of character proved fatal. No one could depend upon him for loyalty, judgment, or even persistence, and he quickly earned his name of "Soft-Sword."

Meanwhile the legally-minded Philip, while spending money freely on John's followers and abating nothing of his diplomatic and military efforts, brought to bear the weapons of law. The revival of legal studies in the twelfth century had given rise in western Europe to a body of professional lawyers, skilled in the Roman and the canon law, and quick to turn their learning to the advantage of the princes whom they served. Philip had a number of such advisers at his court, and they doubtless contributed to the more lawyerlike methods of doing things which make their appearance in his reign; but it was feudal custom, and not Roman law, that he used against John. In law John was Philip's vassal,—indeed, he had just confessed as much in the treaty of 1200,—and as such was held to attend Philip's feudal court and subject himself to its decision in disputes