PETER IN CHAINS
things the Church remained the limit beyond which the State could not go, and the State circumscribed the Church no matter how inti- mately it might be associated in the government. Otto conferred ecclesiastical authority on people of his choice by giving them the ring and the staff a practice that was later termed investiture. He did not inquire very deeply into whether or not these men were called to the priesthood. Thus the Church in his time acquired new vigour but it shouldered a heavy temporal bondage in which there lay the tragic germ of conflict with the Imperial authority. This tragedy of a single theocratic idea incorporated in two powers proved inescapable. If the Church was the primal source of the religious conception of the Empire, then the crown and its authority could only be legitimate if they emanated from the Church. Therefore every time the state limited the freedom of the Church, it had necessarily to sacrifice some of its own power and authority. It had, therefore, gradually to sur- render all influence upon the Church, which then, as the unconditioned representation, yes, as the reality of the supernal Civitas Dei on earth, took over world dominion in a higher and deeper sense than the worldly Empire could exemplify. But whether the two powers united forces or separated, they could not escape from each other since conflict between them was contained in the very conception of the Civitas Dei. This conflict was at bottom only a necessary, perma- nently creative duality, similar to that which human nature has to confront unceasingly, by reason of the fact that it is a blend of body and soul, of matter and spirit.
Otto the Great was still far from believing that a separation between the two powers was desirable. He harnessed the Church and the power of the State together in a relationship of mutual service. The impressive progress of his Italian and Imperial policy was not the result of a desire to serve the Popes, for though he held die highest office on earth in reverence, he made himself its master. Yet he rendered the universal Church a service by manifesting to those who guided its destinies, the earnestness with which the German spirit weighed the highest values of life. When in 966 he went to reside in Italy for six years, he insisted that the Church should be safeguarded more firmly there against the ambitions of the nobles who were its officials and vassals. Pope John XIII was himself a nobleman who had been