The struggle between Imperial authority and the Papacy remained at its height during half a century. It began with Gregory's tumul- tuous election in 1073, and ended with the compromise of Worms in 1 1 22. It was the age of triumphant feudalism, when the new ro- mantic ministers were rising, when the new urban freedom and an infant Scholasticism were first arousing interest. New religious or- ders surpassed in youthful heroism the rich Cluny, now already de- clining. But it was also a time when a Manichean spirit of heresy was taking form almost unnoticed, and when Christian armies were marching against Islam in Spain. The Normans were still masters of Southern Italy and of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom. Yet of all the things which characterized the era, the most far-reaching was the effect of Hildebrand's mind.
This soon found expression in Papal words and deeds. When the Lenten Synods of 1074 and 1075 met, resolutions more severe than any heretofore known were adopted against simony and the sexual lapses of the clergy. The faithful were summoned to enforce these decisions, and to abstain from attending Mass when that was cele- brated by a married priest. The Pope ignored disturbances in Ger- many and elsewhere that grew out of protests organized by prelates. When German and Lombard bishops, including even Councillors of the King, did not obey, he imposed the ban on them. Henry him- self, who at first when he was weak because of the uprising in Saxony, had written to Rome in an obedient and penitential spirit, again be- came the battler of old against Hildebrand once he had gained a vic- tory over his foes. He now made appointments to benefices quite as he had always done, even though the Pope had issued decrees that were to stamp out all the evil at the root. He had denied to the sec- ular ruler the right to give away bishoprics, and forbidden the laity under penalty of the ban to have a hand in the conferring of churchly offices. Gregory was willing for a time to negotiate concerning a modification of this prohibition. He was fully conscious of the grave results which might follow a breach with the German crown, and his objective was not separation between church and state but freedom for the church in the choice of its shepherds.
Henry, meanwhile, set a man of his choice in the See of Milan, and gave prominence once more to the banned councillors. Again Greg-