AFTERMATH OF CANOSSA 133
the contrite monarch and gave him the Sacred Host. Men had been of divided mind concerning this occurrence, as they might be upon arrival at a parting of the ways. The eternal crisis that arises out of the fact that man is a citizen of two countries was not of that time alone, but it seems to have been brought to a focus in that scene at Canossa. At bottom both Pope and Emperor found themselves adrift on the same eddy of energies. In Gregory the priest struggled with the statesman; in Henry the honour of the Crown was in con- flict with the demands of the Church. The outcome was that the Pope incurred a political defeat by doing his duty as a priest, while the King secured a political advantage in that he purchased a new freedom of action the price of which, however, was humiliation of the throne beneath the spiritual sceptre.
The consequences of these events was that the Pope, though not the Papacy, was brought to a serious impasse. Spiritual and temporal masters in Lombardy were arrayed against Gregory more resolutely than ever before while the German princes felt that he, their ally, had betrayed them and so made Rudolph of Swabia counter-King. Henry, now free of the anathema, had sufficient followers to beard the Pope, and demanded that his rival should be laid low with the ban. Mean- while Gregory insisted upon clinging to the role of arbitrator, in order that he might show the contenders in whose hand the fate of princes and peoples lay. Finally, however, when both sides refused to ac- cept his plan, he hurled his second thunderbolt it was then the spring of 1080 : against the Penitent of Canossa, who had long since lapsed again, and entrusted the kingdom to Rudolph. There followed a merciless Civil War. Meanwhile the north of Italy also manifested its deep antipathy to the political dominion of the Church, united itself with the German bishops, and set against Hildebrand his old enemy Vibert, Archbishop of Ravenna, as Pope Clement III. After Rudolph had fallen in the battle on the Elster, Henry conducted the widely popular anti-Pope through the domains of Mathilda, then threatened from within and weakened from without by the Imperial arms. She was as ever a self-sacrificing friend of Hildebrand and his aims.
Canossa did not mean that Gregory had ceased to be the man he had always been. Throughout all the world to which the Christian