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of a prayer to Peter: "Thou art my witness," he cried, "that thy Holy Roman Church placed me at the helm against my will. . . By the strength of thy grace, and now by reason of my own deeds, thou wert pleased that thy Christian people should obey me as thy viceroy; and for thy sake there was given me the power to bind and to loose in heaven and on earth. Filled with such confidence, for the honour and protection of thy Church in the name of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, in the strength of thy power, I forbid King Henty, the son of Henry the Emperor, who has risen against thy Church in unheard-of arrogance, to rule over the whole Empire and Italy. I dispense all Christians of the oath given to him or still to be given, and forbid herewith that anyone whatsoever shall obey him as a King ... I bind him in thy stead with the bonds of the curse, so that the peoples may know and bear in mind that thou art Peter, and that upon this Rock, the Son of the Living God built his Church, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail."
This anathema flashed like lightning over the terrified countries. Thus there was unleashed in the twinkling of an eye the ancient storm that hung above the Empire; and the brightness of the lightning fell upon the crumbling structure in which even the holy spirits of its founders stood at the bar of judgment as if they, too, were guilty.
Soon it was lonely for the King. The ban meant exclusion from the communion of the Church, and this in that time was equivalent to being cast out of human society. As long as the curse lay upon him, Henry was unable to perform his duties as ruler. Ecclesiastical and spiritual leaders now turned their backs on him. The Saxons were restive again, and no one came to the King's parliaments. The Papal legates who crossed the lands had an easy task. The princes were agreed that Henry should be deposed if he had not freed himself from die ban within the year. A parliament, to which the Pope was invited, was to convene on Candlemas Day, 1077, to decide the fate of the royal crown.
Enemies to the death were now about to cross swords. Were they only two men, one a King and the other Priest? When placed side by side these words suffice to convey the antagonism of the forces they signified. Hiereus and Basiletts, Sacerdos and Imperator, Pope and