“Nicolae Iorga” Institute of History at Bucharest
At the end of the twelfth century, when South-Eastern Europe was embarking upon an era of great political and territorial changes, the denominational picture of the region was not much different from the one set around the year 1000, when two major changes had occurred: on the one hand, the Christianizing of the Hungarians and the organization in Panonia and in the neighbouring Carpathian regions of the Hungarian Church in subordination to Rome; on the other hand, the reestablishment of the authority of the Byzantine Empire in the west and north of the Balkan Peninsula, and the ecclesiastic reorganization of this space in subordination to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The two processes occurred before the “Great Schism” of 1054, which sanctioned the different courses taken for centuries by the two branches of (Western and Eastern) Christianity, and deepened the discrepancies between them. The Christianizing of the Hungarians occurred around the year 1000. The Hungarian Church was organized at the time of King Stephen I (Saint Stephen). It had ten bishoprics, among which the bishopric of Esztergom and that of Kalocsa were raised to the rank of archbishoprics. The Archbishopric of Kalocsa exerted jurisdiction over the eastern and southern parts of the Hungarian Kingdom. The regions lying at the Balkan border also belonged to this bishopric. From the very beginning, the Archbishopric of Kalocsa played an important role in the propagation of Latin Christianity among the Southern Slavs. Another center, which had come under Hungarian suzerainty, rallied to the mission: the Archbishopric of Spalato (Split). The latter exerted its jurisdiction over the Dalmatian region. Most of the territory of the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia, which had come into dynastic union with the Kingdom of Hungary since the beginning of the twelfth century, belonged to the bishopric of Zagreb, which was subordinated to the Archbishopric of Kalocsa.
The Byzantines returned to the Danube at the north-western limit of the Balkan Peninsula in 1002, when Emperor Basil II conquered Vidin. In 1018, he occupied the Bulgarian State of Samuil, with the capital at Ochrida. Basil II ordered an ecclesiastic reorganization of the region. By his Chrysobul of 1019-1020, he suppressed the Bulgarian Patriarchate of Ochrida and reduced it to the rank of an archbishopric. The center and north of the Balkan Peninsula were placed under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Ochrida. The latter had an autocephalous character. The underlying reason of the adopted formula was to bestow upon the new archbishopric larger prerogatives of Church organization beyond the borders of the Empire. During the Byzantine period, the Archbishopric of Ochrida –as shown in the bishopric lists– had 22 bishoprics, to which the bishopric of the Vlachs, later to be attested, was added.
Until about 1200, the separation line between the Archbishopric of Ochrida and that of Kalocsa corresponded to the political border between the Byzantine Empire
and the Hungarian Kingdom. It also corresponded, grosso modo, to the denominational border between the Catholic and Orthodox worlds.
However, the situation was far more complicated, for a large number of Christians belonging to the Eastern rite lived in the Hungarian Kingdom. A Metropolitanate of Greek rite functioned in Hungary for a long period of time. The Metropolitanate of Greek rite of “Turkey” (=Hungary) is mentioned in the deeds of the Patriarchate of Constantinople starting with 1028. It functioned until the end of the twelfth century. There are no further records after 1181, a few years before the Vlach-Bulgarian rebellion. The establishment of this Metropolitanate was very likely a consequence of the direct relations between the Empire and the Hungarian Kingdom, and was related tot he conversion of Achtum, at Vidin, in 1002. At that time, its jurisdiction is assumed to have been stretching all over the territory of the Hungarian Kingdom.
In the eleventh-twelfth centuries, belonging to the Christianity of Eastern rite was not a limit to the Slavs and the Romanians in the regions at the southern and eastern borders of the Kingdom. Part of the Hungarian population embraced the Eastern rite, and remained faithful to it. Denomination pluralism, as well as ethnic and linguistic pluralism was among the basic traits of the kingdom of Saint Stephen, accepted as such by the Árpádian kings who, for a long time, did not consider a denominational unification. The relations of the Hungarian kings to the Orthodox Byzantium were positive as a whole. The closest intertwining of the interests of the Hungarian and Byzantine courts was recorded in the second half of the twelfth century, when Béla III (1163-1196) was within an ace of climbing on the throne of the basileums.
Especially the regions neighboring upon the south-eastern borders of the Hungarian Kingdom, where the Southern Slavs and the Romanians were predominant, shared this denomination. In the eleventh-twelfth centuries numerous “Greek” monasteries functioned here, which testifies to the presence in this region of a considerable number of believers of Greek rite. Information about these monasteries comes from a later time, namely from the first decades of the thirteenth century, when
the issue of their integration into the Catholic Church arose. At the time, the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hungary had ceased to operate.
The ecclesiastic authority over the communities of Greek rite in these regions of the Hungarian Kingdom was exerted by local bishops, whose headquarters were in monasteries or on the estates of the feudal lords who had offered them protection, or by chore bishops (missionary bishops). Several documents dating from the first years of the thirteenth century mention such cases in which “Greek” bishops became the target of the policy of the papacy and the Hungarian king, in the attempt to bring them –one way or another– under the authority of the Catholic Church. This was also the case of the bishopric of the land of the sons of Cnez Bela, which makes the object of the Papal letter of 3 May 1205.
As long as the Empire was located on the Danube, such bishops were under the canonical authority of the Byzantine Church. The documents of the time mention in the region north of the Danube several ecclesiastic structures subordinated to the Archbishopric of Ochrida. The Chrysobul of Basil II lists both the bishopric seats subordinated to the new archbishopric and the secondary centers subordinated to each bishopric. At the Danube border with Hungary, there were the bishoprics of Niš, Belgrade and Braničevo. Among the bishopric castles of the bishopric of Braničevo (Branitza) is mentioned Dibisiskos (Dibiskos, Tibiskos), most probably identifiable with the ancient Tibiscum (nowadays, Jupa), in nowadays Banat. A secondary bishop had his headquarters here, as there must have been others in the regions inhabited by Orthodox, beyond the Danubian border of the Empire. The ecclesiastic jurisdiction of the Byzantine bishoprics at the Danube over the territories beyond the river which were inhabited by the Orthodox was also exerted by the aforementioned bishoprics. In addition, in this regions neighboring upon the Hungarian Kingdom, the bishopric of Vidin operated, an important ecclesiastic center that may have exerted its authority over the neighboring territory lying north of the Danube as well. In the Byzantine time, and also sometime later, the Christian population in the north-Danubian territories, even if under the political domination of the Hungarian Kingdom or of the Cumans, must have been subordinated ecclesiastically to the South-Danubian Church.
This picture of the denomination organization would alter with the decline of the Byzantine rule in the Balkans. At the end of the twelfth century and the beginning of
the thirteenth century there was a radical transformation of the political map of South-Eastern Europe. After the death of Emperor Manuel Comnen (1180), there was a massive dislocation in the area of Byzantine domination in the northwest of the Balkan Peninsula, to the benefit of Hungary, as well as of Serbia, and the Vlach-Bulgarian State, the latter founded after the rebellion of 1185, led by the Asens. The Byzantine authority in the Balkans reached its lowest in 1204, with the conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders, and the establishment in those parts of the Latin Empire. With the withdrawal of the Byzantine power, the ecclesiastic organization subordinated to the Byzantine Church crushed. Most of the territory of the Archbishopric of Ochrida was incorporated into Serbia, into the Vlach-Bulgarian State and into Hungary. The Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, which had jurisdiction over most of the Peninsula, was forced into exile at Nicaea. For many years, its authority in South-Eastern Europe was restrained to the possessions of the Greek states (first of all, to the Despotate of Epirus). Only around 1230 would the Orthodox Patriarchate become an ecclesiastic authority in the Balkans again and would recover part of its lost territories, but in a new formula.
The Balkan states created in the area formerly under Byzantine rule (the Empire of the Asens and Serbia), showed a tendency for creating national Churches, albeit under canonical subordination to Constantinople. The Serbian and Vlach-Bulgarian monarchs targeted the structuring of a Church hierarchy subordinated to themselves, under the authority of a local patriarch, or at least of an autonomous archbishop. In fact, they adopted the Byzantine model. As a consequence, the ecclesiastic reorganization of the country was undertaken. New dioceses were created. The diocese borders were modified. The political capitals became the ecclesiastic centers of the country. The effort of ecclesiastic reorganization by the Balkan sovereigns also reckoned with a new element, namely with church union.
The most severe consequences in points of denomination of the political-territorial changes were borne by the Christians of the Greek rite in the regions which were or had newly come into the possession of the Hungarian Kingdom, as well as in the territories lying north of the Danube, which were at least formally under Cuman authority. The withdrawal of the Byzantines from the Balkan provinces marked the fall of the administrative structure of the Orthodox Church in the Hungarian Kingdom and north of the Danube. The population of Eastern rite in the southern and southeastern regions of the Hungarian Kingdom was left without an ecclesiastic organization of its own. There were no more titular bishops, as there were no more means to keep the
ecclesiastic establishments in good condition. There are many records of the poor condition of these structures at the beginning of the thirteenth century, when to the disorganizing caused by the loss of the Byzantine protection added the offensive of the Catholic Church against the “schismatic”. The letter sent by Pope Innocent III on 16 April 1204 to the bishop of Oradea (Nagyvárad)) and the abbot of Pilis resumes a letter of King Emeric on the subject of the monasteries belonging to the Greek (=Orthodox) monks, which were falling to ruin. It is true that after the withdrawal of Byzantium, some Orthodox bishops survived in their position for a while. Such was the case of the bishop of the land of Cnez Bela, mentioned in 1205.
The ecclesiastic reorganization was part of the process of state organization in the space inhabited by the Serbs, the Bulgarians, and the north-Balkan Vlachs. In the Vlach-Bulgarian State, Tărnovo, the capital of the Asens, the Church became the center of the new state. From the beginning, the brothers Peter and Asen transferred the seat of the Bulgarian Archbishopric from Ochrida to Tărnovo, and replaced the Greek bishops with Vlach and Bulgarian ones. The subordination of the bishoprics in the region was passed over from Ochrida to Tărnovo. Also to Tărnovo were subordinated the Bulgarian eparchies, which had formerly belonged directly to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Nevertheless, the Archbishopric of Ochrida was not dissolved by Ioannitsa Asen, when the latter took over Macedonia. It continued to operate, albeit with a smaller number of bishoprics. In Stephen Nemanja’ Serbia, in 1220, the bishoprics previously belonging to the Archbishopric of Ochrida were subordinated to the new Serbian autocephalous archbishopric. Subsequently, the Archbishopric of Ochrida preserved only ten of the 22 bishoprics it previously owned. The bishopric of the Vlachs was no longer mentioned; it must have been dissolved. (After the fall of Constantinople, except for the rule of Ioannitsa Asen, Ochrida belonged to the Despotate of Epirus).
Therefore, in the time of Ioannitsa Asen and Boril, a hybrid formula of ecclesiastic organization, at first sight, operated in the Vlach-Bulgarian State, which ensured the coexistence of the two ecclesiastic centers, Tărnovo and Ochrida, both directly linked to the Vlach-Bulgarian suzerain. Initially, this formula may have told of the Asens’ concern not to break all ties with the Byzantine Church and the Byzantine Empire, a possible source of recognition of their authority. Ioannitsa Asen, under the reign of whom was perfected the administrative, ecclesiastic, etc. organization of the new state, preserved this duality at ecclesiastic level. He linked the church of Tărnovo to Rome, acknowledged the primacy of the Pope, and thus earned his recognition as a king, and the quality of Archbishopric for his Church. This was the union of the Bulgarians
and Vlachs with the Roman Church in the first decades of the thirteenth century. However, the church union only involved the eparchies belonging to Tărnovo, and not to those subordinated to the Archbishopric of Ochrida. Ioannitsa preserved the independence of the Archbishopric of Ochrida in relation to the Roman Church. Ochrida, which kept its relations with the Byzantine emperor and the Orthodox Patriarch (who after 1204 had taken refuge to Nicaea), became in this way a bastion of the Orthodoxy in the Balkans, and subsequently played an important role in the resistance put up against union.
The Serbian lands, which at the end of the twelfth century were for their greatest part under the leadership of the Great Župan of Rascia (Raška), Stephen Nemanja, were under different ecclesiastic jurisdictions. The territory of Stephen Nemanja partially fell under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Ochrida, and partially under that of the Archbishops of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) and Antibari. The Archbishopric of Ragusa had in subordination the bishoprics of Trebinje, Stagno, and the bishopric of Bosnia. The Archbishopric of Antibari exerted its jurisdiction over the land of Zeta (Dioclea, corresponding nowadays to the Montenegro). The territories lying west of Neretva, temporarily included into the Serbian State, were under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Spalato. The territory of Stephen Nemanja was therefore crossed by a line separating Western and Eastern Christianity. This situation was rooted in the history of the region, featured by the existence of several territorial units led by Serbian princes, often in rivalry. The option for Orthodoxy was made later, in 1219. Serbian princes seem to have been hesitating over Catholicism before that date, as well as later on. In fact, throughout the thirteenth century, Serbia swung between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. The two competitors for supremacy in the Serbian world at the turn of the twelfth century recognized Papal authority: Vukan, Prince of Dioclea, in 1198, and Stephen Nemanja, the Great Župan of Rascia, in 1202. In 1217, Pope Honorius III bestowed the crown and the royal title upon Stephen Nemanja.
On the backdrop of the ecclesiastic organization, such gestures did not produce significant changes. The two princes were seen by the Papacy and the Hungarian king as belonging to the Roman Church. It was hoped that, together with them, their lands would embrace the Latin denomination. In 1198 the Pope recognized the Metropolitan (archbishopric) seat from Antibari. (There had been only a bishopric there in the previous times.) An ecclesiastical restructuring would only intervene subsequently, in 1219, when the autocephalous Serbian Archbishopric canonically subordinated to the Byzantine Patriarchate of Nicaea is recognized. This marked the removal of the Serbian territories from under the authority of the Archbishopric of Ochrida. The restructuring of the eparchies was made by Metropolitan Sava in 1220. Beside the older
bishoprics, which had previously been under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Ochrida (Raška, Lipljan and Prizren), he created new bishoprics with their headquarters in monasteries. But the Serbian Archbishopric also encompassed territories previously belonging to the Archbishopric of Ragusa. With the coming into being of the Serbian Archbishopric, the Latin Bishop of Sagno was transferred to the island of Curzola, and the Bishop of Trebinje took refuge in Ragusa, where he obtained the small island of Mrkan. With the creation of the autocephalous Serbian Archbishopric, the border between Catholicism and Orthodoxy in this western part of the Balkan Peninsula was pushed further to the west. However, at that time, under the influence and jurisdiction of the Pope, it also stretched further to the east, reaching as far as Constantinople. As a result, the developments in the small Serbian state did not elicit any reaction from the Catholic Church.
The general offensive of Catholicism in South-Eastern Europe in the first decades of the thirteenth century, especially the expansion in this direction of the Kingdom of Hungary, the great Catholic power in the region, triggered the creation of new Catholic bishoprics. The bishopric of Syrmia (Srem, Szérem) counted among the first. In 1181, the coming under Hungarian authority of the Byzantine province of Sirmium, lying between the Danube and Sava, was accompanied by the organization here of a Catholic bishopric, which in fact was replacing the Orthodox one. Since this territory, turned into a county (Szérem), was to be kept under the rule of the medieval Hungarian Kingdom, the bishopric of Syrmia, with its headquarters at Bač (Bács) and subordinated to the Archbishopric of Kalocsa, remained one of the dioceses of the Hungarian Church.
However, this would be the only case of a Byzantine Orthodox bishopric turned into a Catholic bishopric and coming under the authority of the Hungarian Church. No such thing ever happened after 1200, when the Hungarians wrested new Balkan territories, to the detriment of the Vlach-Bulgarian State. The “Greek” bishoprics in the conquered territories were not turned automatically into Latin bishoprics. The policy of church union promoted by the Papacy, with which the Hungarian kings had to comply, had in view a different treatment to be applied to the Orthodox ecclesiastic structures.
Another Catholic bishopric which now came into being was the bishopric of the Cumans, founded in 1228 in the territories newly fallen under the control of the Hungarian Kingdom and lying outside the Carpathian arch, that is in nowadays Muntenia and the south of Moldavia. The Cuman bishopric was a key-element in the
Papacy’s project to Christianizing the entire space inhabited by the Cumans in Eastern Europe, and this is why it was linked directly to the Apostolic See on 13 September 1229. In the Bârsa Land a new ecclesiastic structure was also created, the Decanate of the Bârsa Land, at a time when the territory was under the control of the Teutonic Order. The first records date back to 1224. It was a structure subordinated directly to Rome, and not to the Hungarian Church. Subsequently, the Bârsa Land was integrated into the Cuman bishopric. In 1238, a new issue was taken under consideration, namely that of organizing a Catholic bishopric in the Severin Land, a territory bordered by the Carpathians, the Danube, and the River Olt to the east, which a few years before had come under Hungarian rule. However, the project of creating a bishopric of Severin was abandoned. These territories lying north of the Danube were Orthodox, and inhabited predominantly by Romanians. As testified by the sources of the time, the population living in the region of the Carpathian arch, “Cumania” included, was mainly Romanian.
Once the policy of ecclesiastic union launched, the Hungarian Kingdom ceased to create Catholic bishoprics at its Balkan borders by restructuring the existing Orthodox dioceses. Canonically speaking, the decision to create new dioceses belonged to the Papal See. Pope Innocent III subordinated the structuring and restructuring of dioceses in the South-Eastern European territories inhabited by “schismatic” to the long-term interest of Papacy, which was to win over to Catholicism the population living there. The issue of the ecclesiastic organization lay at the core of the policy of this Pope, who after 1204 employed himself to apply a formula that ruled out any brutal interference with the preexisting structures. These structures had to be maintained and, at the same time, made liable to meet the requirements of unification. The integration of the “schismatic” was to be made by preserving according to possibilities the old bishoprics, and even the hierarchs themselves. To the concessions as to the rite and dogma, which the Catholic Church had made to the “schismatic”, would add those on the level of diocesan organization put into practice by Pope Innocent III. Another facet of the Papal policy of ecclesiastic organization of the region was the principle of placing the new Catholic dioceses, regardless of how they were created, under direct authority of the Papal See.
The issue of how to proceed with the ecclesiastic structures of the Orthodox was of great consequence. In fact, it turned into a bone of contention between Papacy and the Hungarian king. Theoretically, there were several solutions for the ecclesiastic structures of the “Greeks” in the region: total dissolution; preservation, on condition that the respective hierarchs should accept the union, but in subordination to the Hungarian Catholic Church through a bishop vicar; also, provided they accepted union, these structures could have been allowed to operate in dependency to the Latin Patriarchate of Constantinople. The interests of Papacy and the Hungarian kings were different. By the creation of dioceses subordinated to the Hungarian Church, the latter sought the recognition by the Papacy of the territorial expansion of the kingdom to the detriment of the Asens’State. The Pope contemplated the long-term success of the union and the preservation of good relations with the Asens, at a time when the Asens and the Church of their country were in contact with Rome. The solutions eventually adopted were of course in relation to the practice of the Catholic Church, and the canons of the Lateran Council IV (1215). But here, in the Balkan-Carpathian space, the situation was far more complicated than in the Christian East. This mainly because of the political implications and nature of any denominational and ecclesiastic action. The expansionist tendencies of Hungary in the Balkan and extra-Carpathian space, the territorial and ideological Hungarian-Bulgarian rivalry, the dependency of the Latin Empire of Constantinople on the aid of Papacy, and the military intervention of Hungary against the Asens, who target the control of the former capital of the basileos, counted among the factors which made Innocent III and his successors to be extremely careful as to ecclesiastic organization.
The first region to which the Papacy tried to apply the new formula lay at the border which separated the biggest two states in the region: the Kingdom of Hungary and the State of the Asens. Naturally, the Hungarian kings had the tendency to integrate the newly conquered regions as fully as possible into the structures of the Kingdom. In points of ecclesiastic organization, this could only be done by dissolving the Orthodox bishoprics and, if possible, creating new bishoprics or extending the authority of the neighboring Hungarian bishoprics over the new territories. In letters to the Pope by Hungarian kings and several higher Hungarian prelates, this wish to incorporate the new territories into the Hungarian Church is recurrent. However, over approximately three decades, the Papacy was able to impose its own formula. It is nonetheless true that, for a long time, the Papacy had to mediate between Hungary and Bulgaria, at clutches in a terrible territorial dispute over the borderlands. The solution was reached on many occasions –namely the placing of the bishoprics in the respective regions under the direct jurisdiction of Rome– was not a mere compromise, meant to avoid giving complete satisfaction fully to one party or another, but a decision expressing one of the principles
of the Papal policy in the ecclesiastic organization of the regions inhabited by the Orthodox.
The first such decision aimed at the monasteries of Greek rite in the region of Belgrade–Braničevo. In a letter that has not been preserved, but which is resumed in a Papal letter of 16 April 1204, the Hungarian King Emeric informed Innocent III on the degree of decay of “some churches belonging to the Greek monks” (=Orthodox) in his kingdom (quaedam ecclesie monachorum Graecorum in regno Ungariae constitutae), because of the lack of interest showed by the diocesan bishops and monks. He requested that the Pope should create there an Orthodox bishopric under the direct authority of the Papacy, or to appoint at the head of these churches Latin abbots and clerics, able to reform them (ut auc[toritate] n[ostra] unus fieret episcopatus ex ipsis, qui nobis nullo mediante subesset; vel abbates aut praepositi Latini constituerent in illis). In his letter addressed to the bishop of Oradea and the abbot of Pilis, Innocent III express his intention to take under the direct control (nullo mediante) these churches that were to be administered by the two prelates.
King Emeric is assumed to have formed to wish to create an Orthodox bishopric in the regions at the southern border of the Kingdom, but the Papacy denied it. This might have occurred before the conquest of Constantinople, when the denominational policy of the Hungarian king had not yet reached its subsequent Catholic and anti-schismatic firmness.
The solution envisaged by the Pope for the bishopric of the land of the sons of Cnez Bela (quidam episcopatus in terra filiorum Beleknese) of 1205 –which is presented in the letter of Pope Innocent III to the Archbishop of Kalocsa of 3 May 1205–, reflects the same policy of putting the Orthodox ecclesiastic structures under the control of the Papacy, and not under the jurisdiction of the Hungarian Church. King Emeric had asked from the Pope the leave to put this bishopric, of which is said that it was not submitted to any Metropolitanate, under subordination to the Apostolic See, and to place it under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Kalocsa. Innocent III admitted the king’s request, under the reserve that the bishopric in question should not have previously belonged to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In this case, the bishopric had to be maintained in dependency to the Patriarchate, which now had become Latin. The direct or indirect (in this latter case, through the Archbishopric of Ochrida) affiliation of a bishopric, lying in the North-West area of the Balkan Peninsula, to the Patriarchate of Constantinople was compulsory, and therefore the reserve expressed by the Pope was equivalent to a rejection of the king’s proposal. Subordination to the Latin Patriarchate of
Constantinople also involved the exertion of a control by the Papacy over this diocese, and prevention of its coming into subordination to the Hungarian Church.
Innocent’s III scruples concerning the “rights” of the Patriarchate of Constantinople can be explained, I believe, by his interest to prevent the extension of the Hungarian Church’s jurisdiction –and implicitly that of the Hungarian kings as well– over a region also under claim by the Asens, whose winning over to Catholicism was essential to the enduring success of church union. The Pope was in fact trying not to offend the Vlach-Bulgarian State.
During the Pontificates of Innocent III and Honorius III, the Papacy continued to apply this policy. When the failure of the church union in Bulgaria became evident, and when there was no hope to ever persuade this land back into the union, Pope Gregorius IX gave up his position as a mediator between Hungary and Bulgaria in their disputes over territories and ecclesiastic jurisdiction. Now the Pope yielded to the request of the Hungarian Church concerning the ecclesiastic organization of the Orthodox.
In January 1229, Pope Gregorius IX granted the request of the Archbishop of Kalocsa concerning the creation of a new diocese with its headquarters at the monastery of Ku (Kou, Kew, Kö, subsequently Bánmonostor, nowadays Banoštor; in the aforementioned document, it appears as Cuhet), in Syrmia, and subordinated to Kalocsa. The goal was to speed up the process of integration of the neighboring “Greeks”. It was undoubtedly a bishopric for the “schismatics”, who had to be persuaded into union. The bishopric probably succeeded to an older Orthodox bishopric that might have survived at Syrmia until that time. The new bishopric for the schismatic operated effectively, since it is mentioned in another document of the same year.
In 1229, another issue was taken up, namely the ecclesiastic organization of the province opposite Syrmia, on the right bank of Sava, now called –in relation to Syrmia proper (Sirmia Citerior)– Sirmia Ulterior, and later on, after several decades, Mačva. This territory was in possession of Margaret, the sister of the Hungarian King Andrew II. It was inhabited by “Slavs and Greeks” who observed the Greek rite. There was a church there that the people called bishopric, at the head of which Margaret placed a provisor, waiting for a reglementation of the ecclesiastic situation. The Archbishop of Kalocsa had requested for the respective territory to be annexed to the new diocese with the headquarters at the monastery of Ku, ut Sclavi et Graeci, qui inhabitant terram illam, in divinis officiis et ecclesiasticis Sacramentis ad Latinorum ritum et oboedientiam Romanae Ecclesiae, si potest fieri, convertantur. This information is recorded in the letter of 3 March 1229 of Pope Gregorius IX to Aegidius, the Papal legate in Hungary. The same document reports on the decision of the Pope concerning the Orthodox bishopric of Sirmia Ulterior. The Pope’s instructions to his legate, in case there was a
bishop in the related territory and he was willing to subordinate himself to the Roman Church, that bishop should be accepted (as a diocesan bishop); if there was no such bishop or if the existing bishop was reluctant to submit to the Apostolic See, then the diocese should be annexed to the new bishopric of Kou.
When it became necessary to establish the statute of the Bulgarian bishoprics of Belgrade (Alba) and Braničevo (Brandusium) –in 1232, after the land south of the Danube coming under the rule of the Hungarian Kingdom– the Papacy applied the same method like in the two neighboring Syrmia. As it was mentioned in the letter of Pope Gregorius IX of 21 March 1232 to the Bishop of Cenad (Csanád), the respective bishoprics had been placed under the authority of the Roman Church. This of course at a time when the Asens had recognized the union, and also at a time when Hungary had been ruling there. Now, however, the bishops of the two dioceses of Eastern rite refused to obey Rome. For this reason, the Pope asked the Bishop of Cenad to set a delay in which they should make it known whether or not they wanted to submit to the Roman Church. If they refused, the Bishop of Cenad was authorized to put their territory under the authority of the bishopric of Syrmia.
In 1229, there was no direct subordination to Rome, either in the case of the Orthodox bishopric of Syrmia, or in that of the bishopric of Syrmia Ulterior. Both provinces were in fact placed under the jurisdiction of the Hungarian Church, even if the “Greeks and Slavs” in question still preserved their rite. And in 1232, the Pope envisaged to place the bishoprics of Belgrade and Braničevo under the authority of the bishopric of Syrmia. At the end of the 1220s, the Papacy abandoned the old policy towards the ecclesiastic structures of the “schismatics” in the region in question.
What other regions were concerned, the Papacy still refused to give up the old policy, even at that moment. This explains why the Papal letters of 1237 concerning the Catholic propaganda in the Severin land did not mention this region being under the authority of the Hungarian Kingdom. A fact which made some historians assert that at that time the Hungarians did not rule over the Severin land; or even that this territory was still in subordination to Bulgaria. The Pope’s intention was to link the Catholic communities of the Severin land –like in the other extra-Carpathian lands which had
come under the rule of the Kingdom– to Rome, and not to the Hungarian Church. Pope Gregorius IX granted to the preacher monks from the Severin land some bishopric prerogatives. The fact that the action of the Dominicans occurred at a time of détente in the relations between the Papal See and John Asen II, did not mean that the Severin was subordinated to the Bulgarian Tsarate. The Pope did not send any letter to the Hungarian King concerning the mission in Severin because at that time the relations between Gregorius IX and Béla IV were cold. The situation reflects in the letter that the king would address to the Pope on 7 June 1239, and mention the excommunications that weighed on the entire Hungary for having infringed on the property of the Catholic Church. In fact, the inhabitants of the Severin Land had suffered excommunication as well. In the letter of 16 May 1237, among other things, Pope Gregorius IX conferred to the Dominicans of Severin the right to lift up excommunication. It is reasonable to believe that the local population, impervious to Catholic propaganda, might have attracted the excommunication by Rome. In 1237 Gregorius IX preferred to keep control over the Catholics in the Severin land. If the issue of creating here a bishopric had ever come up, this bishopric would have depended directly on Rome, like the neighboring Cuman bishopric.
The territories in the extra-Carpathian space that had come under the authority of the Hungarian Kingdom in the first half of the thirteenth century seemed to be destined an ecclesiastic organization directly dependent on the Apostolic See. Pope Honorius III opened this perspective when he placed the Teutonic Order –established in the Bârsa Land by the Hungarian King Andrew II in 1211–, ecclesiastically, directly under the jurisdiction of Rome. On 30 April 1224, Honorius III took the Bârsa Land and the territories outside the mountains in ius et proprietatem beati Petri, banning there the exertion of ecclesiastic jurisdiction by any archbishop or bishop. The Hungarian Church had previously tried, through the bishop of Transylvania, to extend its jurisdiction in the region. The Pope reacted by the letter of 12 December 1223. There were major political implications, as the gate to transformation of the possessions of the Teutonic Order into an autonomous state under the aegis of Papacy had been opened. Innocent III had the idea to organize a system of states under the direct authority of Rome. A State of the Teutonic Order at the arch of the Carpathians would have been a considerable aid in the struggle against the pagans and “Schism”. After Andrew II, in 1225, drove Teutons out the land he had given them himself 14 years before, Honorius II
tried repeatedly, until the beginning of the fourth decade, to oblige the Hungarian king to restore the Bârsa Land to them. Thing that highlights the Papal policy concerning the way in which the lands at the arch of the Carpathians were to be integrated into the order sought by Rome.
The Cuman bishopric always remained under the jurisdiction of the Apostolic See, although, politically, this territorial structure in Muntenia and the southwest of Moldavia were under the authority of the Árpádian Kingdom. In 1234, Pope Gregorius IX obviously applied there the canon thought up by the Lateran Council IV, concerning the Catholic dioceses that included inhabitants of various denominations. He decided that a Catholic bishop should be ordained “according to the related nation [=Romanians – note by V. A.]” (catholicum … episcopum illi nationi conformem), that is of an Orthodox vicar by the Catholic bishop of the Cumans. The vicar would have been a “solution” to the “pseudo-bishops” (pseudoepiscopi, Graecorum ritum tenentes) within the Cuman bishopric referred to in the related document. The results of this intervention are not known. What is known is that in the same letter, Prince Béla (later King Béla IV) was asked to keep the promise made to the Cardinal of Praeneste, at a time when he was the papal legate in Hungary, to oblige the Romanians to submit to this vicariate which he was to endow with part of the revenue collected from the same Romanians.
In 1238, also in the case of Severin Pope Gregorius IX gave up the old formula of organization of the regions inhabited by the Orthodox into ecclesiastic structures placed under the jurisdiction of Rome. He accepted the request of the Hungarian King Béla IV to include this land into the Hungarian Church. The change in attitude of the Papal See occurred on the backdrop of the preparations for the crusade against John Asen II, Tsar of Bulgaria. The church union of Bulgaria failed as early as 1235, when the Patriarchate of Nicaea acknowledged the Bulgarian Church the rank of Patriarchate. The alliance with the Empire of Nicaea of John III Vatatzes and the threats against the Latin Empire of Constantinople prompted the Pope to intervene. As early as 1236, he was requesting King Béla IV to make an expedition against the two “schismatic” sovereigns. On 27 January 1238, Pope Gregorius IX proclaimed the crusade against John Asen II and his country, and invested with this mission King Béla IV. The Hungarian king knew to wrest major benefits from the situation. He obtained from the Papacy even the recognition of the right to occupy and annex the country of John Asen II. As ecclesiastic jurisdiction was of utmost importance, after the experience of over three decades in which the initiatives of the Hungarian kings and the Hungarian Church met with constant opposition by the Papal See, which had targeted the establishment of some direct relations between the schismatic territories in the Balkan-Carpathian space and
Rome, in 1238 Béla IV requested and was granted his investment with the attribution of papal legate, having the right to make a new ecclesiastic organization in the conquered territories. He obtained from the Pope the right to appoint from the higher clerics of the Hungarian Kingdom a legate who would be invested with increased attributions. Among the conditions he opposed to an expedition against John Asen II –such as they appear in the letter of 7 June 1238– included the right to attribute the Severin Land to a bishop “of our own choice” (secundum nostrum beneplacitum). Therefore, in 1238, the Severin land, where the Hungarians had organized several years before a Banate, was included also ecclesiastically into the Hungarian Kingdom. No new bishopric was established and, unfortunately, it is unknown to whom of the neighboring Hungarian Catholic dioceses was this territory subordinated: to the bishopric of Transylvania or –more likely, in points of geography– to the bishopric of Cenad. Subordination to the Cuman bishopric must be excluded, given the special purposes of this Catholic structure. The ecclesiastic organization which the aforementioned document has in view must have been an element of a policy aiming to create closer links between the province, lying between the Danube, the Southern Carpathians and the Olt, and the Hungarian Kingdom. I do not believe that we can talk here –as asserted in the historiography of the Banate of Severin– of the king’s concern that the Papacy would establish in this land a bishopric subordinated to Rome, such as had happened in Cumania a decade before.
The ecclesiastic history of Bosnia in the first decades of the thirteenth century fits the general evolutions in the Balkan-Carpathian space, even if the situation there was extremely complicated, especially owing to the heresy problem. The Slav bishopric of Bosnia dated to the eleventh century. Until 1180 (or 1183) the Bosnian bishopric belonged to the Archbishopric of Spalato, which was in the territory of the Árpádian Kingdom. At the aforementioned moment, the Ban Kulin, probably in relation to his policy towards Hungary, changed this relation of subordination, and placed the bishopric of his country under the authority of the Metropolitanate of Ragusa. With the occurrence of the question of the Bosnian heresy, at the beginning of the thirteenth century and throughout the first decades of this century, the Bosnian bishopric preserved this same subordination. Bosnia was, effectively as far as its northern regions were concerned, and only formally for the rest of the territory, under the authority of the Hungarian Kingdom. The tendency showed by the latter in the first decades of the thirteenth century was to swallow up Bosnia, ecclesiastic organization included. The crusades against the Bosnian heresy –such as the one made in 1222 by the Archbishop of Kalocsa, Ugrinus, probably encouraged by King Andrew II– provided it with the opportunity. The attempt of
Hungary to subordinate Bosnia ecclesiastically came in contradiction with the position of the Papacy, which sought a direct control of ecclesiastic matters in this country. Undoubtedly, the target was what was left of the Bosnian bishopric, after the greater part of the population had embraced the heresy. On 30 May 1233, Pope Gegorius IX dismissed the Bosnia bishop. At the head of the diocese was placed the former provincial of the Dominican province of Hungary, Johannes Theutonicus. He was succeeded by another Dominican from Hungary, Ponsa. In a chart dated 26 April 1238, Gregorius IX proceeded to take the bishopric of Bosnia from under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan of Ragusa and place it under the direct authority of the Pope. Several years later, however, the Papacy abandoned this position. In 1247, the bishopric of Bosnia was subordinated to the Archbishopric of Kalocsa, which meant the ecclesiastic subordination of the country to Hungary. Bosnia was therefore included in the Hungarian Church. In 1252 at the most, the Bishop Ponsa (1235-1272?), under the pressure of the heretics, relocated with his chapter into Hungarian territory. He settled in at Dakovo, on the estate he had received in 1239 as a donation from Prince Koloman, the brother of King Béla IV. From now on and until the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Bosnian bishopric was administered from the outside, namely from Hungary. The absence of the bishop would have direct consequences on the organization of Catholicism in Bosnia. The Franciscans who had settled in Bosnia were able to enlarge their prerogatives considerably, and their structure acquired in this land features never to be matched elsewhere.
As evidenced in some concrete cases, the union was an important element in the ecclesiastic restructuring of the Balkan-Carpathian region. The policy of the Papacy to attract to the Roman Church the Orthodox peoples marked there a specific course for the territorial and administrative history of Christianity. The assertion refers especially to the territories that after 1204 came under Hungarian rule. But the impact was no less important in Serbia and Bulgaria. Changes occurred there in ecclesiastic organization, which were in direct relation with union. The acceptance by the sovereigns of the two countries of the Roman supremacy was founded on political interests, such as the denominational policy of the Hungarian kings was motivated politically.
The new policy of the Hungarian kings towards the “Schism” and the “schismatics” in the kingdom and in its zone of interest was in fact a new political and territorial offensive of Hungary in the southeastern direction. As demonstrated by the entire history of the Hungarian action in Southeastern Europe in the four decades preceding the great Mongol invasion, the church union and the crusade were just a pretext to attain other goals. The repeated attempts of the Hungarian kings and the Hungarian Church –at last, towards 1230, partially successful– to place the lands newly taken under Árpádian control in the ecclesiastic structure of the kingdom, as well as the
disputes on the subject with the Papacy express the relation between denomination and policy in the case of Hungary.
For the Balkan states, the church union was an option with a political motivation in the first place. The sovereigns of these states, created by separation from the Byzantium and unrecognized by the latter, had turned even before 1204 to Rome, by which they were expecting to be given legitimacy. Union was a political option. That it was not made sincerely is shown by the fact that these countries gave up union when political interest called for it: Serbia in 1219, and Bulgaria, definitely, in 1235. In both cases, it was an administrative union based on the recognition of the Papal primate without any interference in dogmas or rite.
As for the union of Bulgaria, considered at the time one of the great successes of the Papal policy towards the Schism, there have been voices claiming that it was not completed even in points of territory, meaning that only some of the dioceses within the State of the Asens had come under the supremacy of Rome. I think that this hypothesis still needs arguments. I can hardly believe that Pope Innocent III would have been content with only part of the Vlach-Bulgarian State embracing the union. Even if formal, the union agreed in 1204 must have concerned all the dioceses of the Bulgarian Church. It is however certain the presence of some hierarchs who were reluctant to accept union and subordination to Rome. Whenever they could, they acted accordingly. In the Asens’ Bulgaria, like in the rest of the Balkan-Carpathian space, the bishoprics and the metropolitanates had been centers of Orthodox resistance. The resistance of the Orthodox to the pressures towards Catholicism and union was nonetheless a wider phenomenon. Ultimately, it must have been the most important factor which explains the failure of the offensive of the Western Church in Southeastern Europe in the thirteenth century. Of course, even if accepting the union, the Vlach-Bulgarian sovereign had no intention to sever all links to the Byzantine Orthodox Church. This explains, I believe, why the unification was not extended to the archbishopric of Ochrida as well, which never gave up its status of an Orthodox center.
The dynasts of the Balkan countries were not the promoters of Catholicism. Even if formally regimented into the Catholic Church, by the act of union, they still claimed their roots in the tradition of Byzantium, and tried to act after the example of the basileos. As to the Asens, it was asserted in historiography that they intended to make of Tărnovo, their capital, “a third Rome”. The dispute of Ioannitsa Asen with Hungary over the canonical subordination of the “Greeks” on the Hungarian-Bulgarian border led
to the hypothesis that Ioannitsa targeted to become a sort of patron of the Christians of Greek rite in the Hungarian Kingdom, or even that he would have tried to restore under his aegis the ecclesiastic organization of the region. I do not believe that there are sufficient arguments to prove these assertions which also regard the territory of southwestern Romania. The occupation of the Braničevo region did not necessarily mean the raising of claims as to the ecclesiastic jurisdiction of the lands lying north of the Danube. It is unlikely that the affiliation to the bishopric of Braničevo, though the intermediary of Dibiskos, which ruled at a certain point in time over the Banat, had been contemplated by the Balkan sovereign. In addition, it was supposed that John Asen II backed up the Orthodox reaction of the Romanians and Cumans to the north of the Danube against the dual Catholic-Hungarian attempt to convert and denationalize. This in relation to the Orthodox “pseudo-bishoprics” of the Cuman bishopric which took up the spiritual leadership of the Romanians living there, and which extended their influence over many Hungarians, Germans, etc. coming from the Hungarian Kingdom. The Orthodox elements must have been backed up by the Asens, but this still remains unclear. What is certain is that the opposition to unification was considerable in the Vlach-Bulgarian State, that it caused a lot of political turmoil, and that eventually it led, among other factors, to the rejection of union.
Bulgaria broke away from the Roman obedience progressively. The clear break was made in 1235, with the establishment of the Bulgarian Orthodox Patriarchate. The union had been abandoned de facto as early as 1232, when John Asen II started negotiations with the Patriarch of Nicaea for the recognition of the new archbishop of Tărnovo as autonomous head of the Bulgarian Church. That year, in the eyes of the Papacy and the Catholic clergy, the Bulgarians became once again “schismatic and heretics”. John Asen II approached John III Vatatzes, the Emperor of Nicaea by the good offices of Ochrida. The anti-Latin alliance of the two sovereigns was completed at Church level by the recognition by the Patriarch of Nicaea, Germanos II, of the title of Patriarch of the Archbishop of Tărnovo. The raising of the Bulgarian Church to the rank of a Patriarchate sanctioned the condition of Bulgaria as a sovereign state. John Asen II used the intricate international situation of the time to wrest this ecclesiastic recognition, which also meant the recognition of his royal dignity by the Emperor and the Patriarch of Nicaea. The most significant measure taken by John Asen II before the open break with Rome was also the replacement, in the recently conquered territories, of the church hierarchs favorable to Catholicism, or even appointed directly by the Patriarchate of
Constantinople, therefore “latinophron”, with hierarchs subordinated to the Church of Tărnovo.
The vehement reaction of the Pope to this alteration of the ecclesiastic map of South-Eastern Europe was made known only in January 1238, when the anti-Bulgarian crusade was organized, as shortly after the event of 1235, namely the death of the Latin Emperor John of Brienne (March 1237), John Asen II changed alliances once again, and approached this time the Latins. It seemed that Bulgaria would be restored to the Catholic world, and, therefore, Pope Gregorius IX tried coax the Bulgarian Church into turning to Rome, albeit unsuccessfully.
The abandonment of the union by Serbia and Bulgaria meant the establishment of new juridical and canonical relations within the Orthodoxy. The autocephalous Serbian Archbishopric, in 1219, and the Bulgarian Patriarchate, in 1235, were placed under the canonical jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Nicaea. Since 1261, the canonical subordination tended towards the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which was reinstalled in that year. The hierarchy within the Orthodox Church was that established in 1219, and respectively 1235. As for the diocesan organization of the two Balkan Churches, in the thirteenth century there would be no essential changes. No new dioceses were created. There was but one difficult moment for Orthodoxy. In 1272, Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus contested the legality and the autocephaly of the Patriarchate of Bulgaria and of the Archbishopric of Serbia. He insisted on this fact during the negotiations for the church union. One of the condition upon which he hinged the making of the union was the declaration of the autonomy of the Bulgarian Patriarchate and the Serbian Archbishopric as non-canonical, since its proclamation had been made without the consent of Rome, and because in their letters to the Patriarch of Constantinople, Joseph, the heads of the two Churches would have expressed a negative stand in the issue of the union. This condition was accepted and proclaimed in the Council of Lyon of 1274.
The ecclesiastic map of the Balkan-Carpathian region in the thirteenth century remained throughout the thirteenth century approximately the same as that after Bulgaria’s return to Orthodoxy. No essential modifications were made in the territorial organization of the Orthodox Churches. The return of the Patriarch to Constantinople did not bring much novelties in this respect. The church union attempt by the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus failed. It was blocked by the resistance of the Orthodox clergy and population. Bulgaria remained an Orthodox country. The political changes often occurring in this country, especially the political orientation towards Hungary, even the coming under its protection at certain times, either of the Bulgarian Tsar or of some territorial Bulgarian princes, were not denominational concessions. Unlike Bulgaria, Serbia had denominational oscillations. During the reign of Stephen Uroš I (1243-1276) there was an obvious tendency to turn once more to Catholicism, an
important part being played in this respect by the Queen, Helen of Valois, a Latin. These tendencies would become ever more intense during Stephen Dragutin’s reign (king between 1276-1282; between 1284-1316, ruler of Mačva and of the north of Bosnia). The denominational oscillations in the Serbian history in the second half of the century can be explained by geographical location and by the extremely intricate history of the Serbian lands.
As for the Romanian territories lying in the northern and eastern parts of the Carpathians, a Church hierarchy would only be established in the fourteenth century, with the coming into being of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, at the beginning and respectively middle of the century. The two Metropolitanates were placed under the church jurisdiction of the ecumenical Patriarchate. As the title of the two Metropolitans also mentions their quality as “exarches” –“exarch of the Mountain lands” for the Metropolitan of Ungrovlachia (Wallachia), “exarch of the Holy See of Constantinople, of all mountain monasteries” for the Metropolitan of Moldavia– and in the title enumeration the quality of exarch is older than that of Metropolitan, the hypothesis –pertinent, as I believe– would be that the exarchate was the ancient form of Church organization in these lands. The Patriarchate of Constantinople introduced here this formula owing to the specific conditions in the territories north of the Danube in the period preceding the organization of the two principalities.
The Catholic Church would never return in the thirteenth century to the position it had held in the Balkan-Carpathian area around 1230. The progress made occasionally by Catholicism in these part was short-lived. Until the beginning of the fourteenth century, no new Catholic bishoprics would be created. It is true that Catholicism did not remain exclusively in the Hungarian Kingdom and the neighboring territories over which the Árpádians exerted their political rule. However, in Bulgaria and Serbia the only Catholics were the merchants and inhabitants of towns who had come from the Italian Republics and Ragusa.
The Papacy did not give up on the idea to win over the peoples in the Balkan-Carpathian space to the Catholic Church. Neither the great Mongol invasion, nor the disappearance of the Latin Empire of Constantinople determined any change in the Papal goal. But at this moment, in order to reach this goal, the Papacy adopted new tactics. If starting with Innocent III and until Gregorius IX at the core of the Papal action lay the creation in this area of some states or provinces placed under the protection of the Papal See and the appeal to the military force of the Hungarian Kingdom, liable to influence the denominational behavior of the main target of this policy (Bulgaria), to begin with the fifth decade the Papacy proceeded with the organization of the Catholic mission among the Orthodox people. The Popes appealed to the missionary orders
(Dominican and Franciscan) that now became the main agent of Catholicism. The Papacy established direct contacts with the political leaders in this space who could facilitate the mission.
It was a new orientation of the Papacy owed to Innocent IV (1243-1254). Its adoption related to the change in attitude of the Hungarian king towards the Orthodox and the pagans, within or without the kingdom, but was not conditioned by it. And this, because the new tactics of Papacy were put into practice even before the elaboration by King Béla IV of a new concept of external policy. On 21 March 1245, Pope Innocent IV sent to the Bulgarian Tsar Kaliman I, by the good offices of the Franciscan friars, a detailed letter in which he tried to persuade him to return to the church union and to send Bulgarian prelates to the Council of Lyon, where this topic was to be discussed. Several days later, on 25 March, the Pope sent to all non-Latin Churches in the East a circular letter in which he was summoning them to unite with Rome. Thirteen Christian peoples are mentioned in our regions of interest: the Bulgarians, the Romanians (Blaci), the Gazari, the Sclavi, and the Serbs (Servi). The year 1245 of the Council Lyon I marked a new stage in the Catholic action in the Orthodox world, including in the Southeastern European area.
After the great Mongol invasion, the Hungarian Kingdom –of which had been linked the successes of Catholicism in the previous period– renounced the position of advocate for the Roman faith. The new political conception of King Béla IV, elaborated in 1246-1247 and expressed in his famous letter to Pope Innocent IV of 11 November , marked a break with the past in this respect as well. Practically, Béla IV abandoned the Catholic mission of the Kingdom. From now on he would not try to find a religious justification for his political and military actions; in contradiction with the situation of 1238, in the case of the anti-Bulgarian crusade. No less true is that even before the religious cause had been as a rule more a pretext. With Béla IV, however, Hungary would not get involved in any external actions whose justification would be purely religiously. The interventions in Bosnia were not an exception, as the Bogomile heresy contested and opposed the Hungarian rule over this country. Even if sometimes in the documents drawn up for foreign eyes the “Schism” is still mentioned, practically, the confessional factor plays no more a role in the policy of the Árpádians. The concern for preserving good relations with Orthodox monarchs in the region determined Béla IV
to renounce this mission. From now on, the motivation of the Hungarian interventions in Southeastern Europe would not be linked to the necessity to fight against the Schism. In addition, the relations of the Hungarian kings to the Pope changed. From now on, and for a long time, Hungary would no longer be an instrument at the disposal of the Papacy. More than before, the Pope was a political partner. Only at the end of the century, during the serious political crisis in the kingdom would the Papacy succeed in reestablishing its initial relations with the Hungarian kings.
To begin with 1245, the Pope addressed the leaders of the peoples in the Balkan-Carpathian space repeated appeals for church union. To this added the attempt to attract the Mongols to Christianity. The Christianizing of the Mongols was one of the major Papal goals, the Franciscan Order being given the main role in this effort. The policy towards the Mongols had implications on our region of interest. At the end of the 1270s, the Papacy tried to revive the former Cuman bishopric at the Carpathian arch. On 7 October 1278, Pope Nicholas III summoned the papal legate in Hungary to make an investigation into this bishopric which had been destroyed by the Tatars during the great invasion of 1241. The Pope intended to attribute to the future local bishop, with his headquarters at Milcov or Milcovia (civitas de Multo), a town lying in confinibus Tartarorum, the role to ordain the Franciscan friars which were already acting with excellent results among the Tatars.
The attempt of Pope Nicholas III to rekindle the Catholic faith in the ancient Cuman bishopric is one of the most suggestive episodes of Papal policy in the space controlled by the Mongols. I believe that, contrary to the assertions usually made in historiography, the attempt of 1278 was not linked to a possible restoration of the authority of the Hungarian Kingdom outside the Carpathian arch. Nothing in the actions of external policy of the kingdom during the minority of Ladislaus IV the Cuman indicates an anti-Tatar action effectively made, or even taken under consideration, that would have led to a recuperation of “Cumania”. The Papal attempt of 1278 falls within the range of his policy targeting to resume the Catholic mission in Eastern Europe, in the territories under the rule or the control of the Golden Horde. This was done in the space controlled by the Mongols, and with their collaboration, as demonstrated by the success of the Franciscan missionaries. The project of Nicholas III concerning the Cuman bishopric must be considered within the Papal policy of approaching the Mongols and creating some centers of Catholicism in the centers of Mongol political domination. “Cumania” lying at the Carpathian arch, also mentioned in documents after 1241-1242, was a territorial structure at first autonomous and in the sphere of domination of the
Mongols, and later on it fell under their direct domination. It was a suitable ground for Catholic action, given the antecedents dating to the time of the Hungarian rule.
There are no indices that the Cuman bishopric was restored. What we know is that in the centers at the mouth of the Danube and on the Pontic shore, under Mongol domination, this policy was successful to some extent. Catholic establishments were created, such as the Franciscan convent of Vicina, attested in 1287, but which very likely dates back to 1286. Some time later, the Franciscan establishments in the region were organized in the custody of Gazariei (Crimea), with the headquarters at Caffa, belonging to the Vicariate of Aquilonary Tartary. However, this happened only after the regulation of the Tatar-Genoese relations in 1313. The organization of Catholic communities in the Pontic space in a Catholic bishopric took place at the same time. The Catholic bishopric of Caffa, mentioned for the first time in a Papal bull of 26 February 1318, exerted its jurisdiction over a vast territory, stretching from Varna, in Bulgaria, to Saray, and from the Black Sea shore to the Russian lands. The bishopric was founded in 1318, if not even in 1317. There had been no earlier Catholic bishopric in the region.
A success for Catholicism, albeit short-lived, was the policy of Stephen Dragutin in the formerly Hungarian lands which were given to him in 1284 by his father-in-law, King Ladislaus IV. The territories in question were Mačva and the north of Bosnia, that is all the territories lying at the Balkan borders of the Hungarian Kingdom with Serbia and Bulgaria. Stephen Dragutin, the former Serbian king who ruled over these lands in his quality as a member of the Hungarian royal family and as a Hungarian magnate, acted in fervent Catholic. He led a harsh policy against Bogomilism. He was the one who invited over the Franciscans to Bosnia in 1291. He rendered services to Catholicism like no other Serbian ruler. However, Dragutin died (in 1316) a Serbian monk, and there is no indication that he would have belonged to the Catholic Church. The lands under his rule were preponderantly Catholic, and it seems that he supported Catholicism merely out of political reasons.
It was noted that in his relations to the Holy See and to Velika Crkva (the Serbian Orthodox Church), Dragutin showed a peculiar similarity with his mother, Helen of Valois. The queen-mother had contributed to the prosperity of Catholic convents and churches on the Dalmatian shore, and kept the best relations possible with the Papacy. Concurrently, she is recorded in the Serbian Orthodox tradition as an
example of Christian virtue, without her attachment to Catholicism ever being denied. The denominational policies of Stephen Dragutin, in the “Hungarian lands” and the “Bosnian lands” under is rule, and of his brother, Stephen Uroš II Milutin, the Serbian king, in Rascia, were very different. It was noted that at the time the border between Byzantium and the West was the line separating Milutin’s Serbia from Dragutin’s. But in the following period, at the end of the thirteenth century and the beginning of the fourteenth century, in which the lands under the rule of Dragutin would be integrated into the Serbian State, the Serbs would make Orthodoxy their enduring choice, thus putting an end to a history of over a one century of hesitation over the denomination of the country.
Under Pope Nicholas IV (1288-1292), the Catholic mission in the Balkan Peninsula was extremely active. This Pope nurtured the hope to unite the peoples of the region with the Roman Church. To this purpose, he corresponded with the political leaders in the region. The letter addressed on 23 July 1288 to Stephen Uroš II Milutin carries the expressly made proposition that the Serbian king and his people should embrace the Catholic faith. As we learn from the letter of Nicholas IV of 23 March 1291 addressed to Helen, regina Serviae, the latter had previously come up with a plan for the union of the Bulgarian Church with Rome. It was undoubtedly her intercession with Tsar George I Terter, a relative of hers. This policy of the Papacy, however, did not yield any results, with the exception of Stephen Dragutin, whom the Pope took, him and his rule, sub beati Petri et nostra protectione. Papal messengers and missionaries were now the Franciscan friars of Provincia Sclavoniae (This Franciscan province encompassed the Dalamatian-Croatian territory along the Adriatic coast.) In 1298, Pope Boniface VIII ordered that Provincia Sclavoniae should extend its missionary action to the partes Serviae, Rasciae, Dalmatiae, Croatiae, Bosnae atque Istrae. If in the Orthodox countries of the Balkans no new Catholic dioceses could be founded, in exchange, owing to a complex of factors, the territorial organization of the Franciscan Order was made more freely. In the fourteenth century, most of the successes of
p. 176 /o:p>
Catholicism in this space would be owed to the mission undertaken by the Franciscan Order.
For this material, permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use.
Whether you intend to utilize it in scientific purposes, indicate the source: either this web address or the Quaderni della Casa Romena 3 (2004) (a cura di Ioan-Aurel Pop e Cristian Luca), Bucarest: Casa Editrice dell’Istituto Culturale Romeno, 2004
No permission is granted for commercial use.
© Şerban Marin, June 2005, Bucharest, Romania
Last updated: July 2006
Acta Honorii III et Gregorii IX = Acta Honorii III (1216) et Gregorii IX (1227-1241), ed. A. L. Tăutu, Romae, 1950.
Acta Innocenttii PP. III = Acta Innocentii PP. III (1198-1216), ed. Th. Haluščynskyj, Romae, 1944.
Acta Innocenttii PP. IV = Acta Innocentii PP. IV (1243-1254), ed. Th. Haluščinskyj et M. M. Vojmar, Romae, 1962.
Acta Romanoruum Pontificum ab Innocentio V ad Benedictum XI = Acta Romanorum Pontificum ab Innocentio V ad Benedictum XI (1276-1304), ed. A. L. Tăutu, Romae, 1954.
Acta Urbani IIV, Clementis IV, Gregorii X = Acta Urbani IV, Clementis IV, Gregorii X (1261-1276), ed. A. L. Tăutu, Romae, 1953.
DIR, C, I-II = Documente privind istoria României, Seria C, Transilvania, veacul XI, XII şi XIII, vols. I-II, ed. Şt. Pascu et alii, Bucharest, 1951-1952.
DRH, D, I = Documenta Romaniae Historica, Seria D, Relaţii între ţările române, vol. I, Bucharest, 1977.
Fejér = G. Fejér, Codex diplomaticus Hungariae ecclesiasticus ac civilis, vols. II-VII, Budae, 1829-1841.
Hurmuzaki, I/1 = E. de Hurmuzaki, Documente privitoare la istoria românilor, vol. I/1, ed. N. Densuşianu, Bucharest, 1887.
Smičiklas, CDCr = Codex diplomaticus regni Croatiae, Dalmatiae et Slavoniae, vols. III-IV, ed. T. Smičiklas, Zagrabiae, 1905-1906.
Theiner, VMHH, I = A. Theiner, Vetera monumenta historica Hungariam sacram illustrantia, vol. I, Romae, 1859.
Theiner, VMSM, I = A. Theiner, Vetera monumenta Slavorum meridionalium historiam illustrantia, vol. I, Romae, 1863.
Ub., I = Urkundenbuch zur Geschichte der Deutschen in Siebenbürgen, vol. I, ed. Fr. Zimmermann and C. Werner, Hermannstadt (Sibiu), 1892.
 The ecclesiastic organization of the Hungarian Kingdom in the first century at Gy. Györffy, Zu den Anfängen der ungarischen Kirchenorganisation auf Grund neuer quellenkritischer Ergebnisse, in “Archivum Historiae Pontificae”, 7, 1969, pp. 79-113.
 For the organization of the Archbishopric of Ochrida and its subsequent history, see H. Gelzer, Der Patriarchat von Achrida. Geschichte und Urkunden, Leipzig, 1902; St. Novakoviæ, Ohridska arhiepiskopija u početku XI veka. Hrisovulje cara Vasilija II od 1019 i 1020 god. Geografijska istraživanja, in “Glas Srpska Kraljevska Akademija”, LXXXVI, 1908, pp. 1-62; Iv. Snegarov, Istorija na Ohridskata arhiepiskopija, vol. I, Sofia, 1924, p. 52 et seq.
 H. Gelzer, op. cit., pp. 10-11; Idem, Ungedruckte und wenig bekannte Bistümerverzeichnisse der orientalischen Kirche, in “Byzantinische Zeitschrift”, II, 1893, pp. 42-46. The bishopric of the Vlachs, which already existed in 1087, encompassed a territory with Vlach concentration, detached from an older diocese. The remaining Vlachs, “spread all over Bulgaria” (as attested in a document given by Emperor Basil II in May 1020), belonged to the other bishoprics in the area of jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Ochrida. See M. Gyóni, L’évêché vlaque de l’archévêché bulgare d’Achris aux XIe-XIVe siècles, in “Études Slaves et Roumaines”, I, 1948, pp. 148-159 and 224-233.
 For the Christianity of Byzantine Rite in Hungary during the first centuries, see, among others, Gy. Moravcsik, The Role of the Byzantine Church in Medieval Hungary, in “The American Slavic and East European Review”, 6, nos. 18-19, 1947, pp. 134-151 (and Idem, Studia Byzantina, Budapest, 1968, pp. 326-340); Idem, Byzantium and the Magyars, Budapest, 1970, pp. 101-119; Gy. Székely, La Hongrie et Byzance aux Xe-XIIe siècles, in “Acta Historica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae”, XIII, 1967, pp. 291-311; I. Timkó, Keleti kereszténység, keleti egyház, Budapest, 1971; I. Rămureanu, Începuturile creştinării ungurilor în credinţa ortodoxă a Răsăritului (The Beginnings of the Christianizing of the Hungarians in the Orthodox Faith of the East), in “Studii Teologice”, IX, 1957, pp. 23-57. Also see notes 5 and 7.
 N. Oikonomidès, À propos des relations ecclésiastiques entre Byzance et la Hongrie au XIe siècle: le métropolite de Turquie, in “Revue des études Sud-Est européennes”, IX, 1971, pp. 527-533; I. Baán, “Turkia metropolitája”. Újabb adalék a bizánci egyház történetéhez a középkori Magyarországon, in “Századok”, 129, 1995, pp. 1167-1170.
 N. Oikonomidès, op. cit., p. 532.
 Gy. Moravcsik, Byzantium and the Magyars, pp. 113-116. For the Orthodox monasteries in Hungary until the beginning of the thirteenth century, see E. von Ivánka, Griechische Kirche und griechisches Mönchtum im mittelalterlichen Ungarn, in “Orientalia Christiana Periodica”, VIII, 1942, pp. 183-194; Gy. Györffy, Das Güterverzeichnis des griechischen Klosters zu Szávaszentdemeter (Sremska Mitrovica) aus dem 12. Jahrhundert, in “Studia Slavica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae”, V, 1959, pp. 9-74; A. L. Tăutu, Griechische Klöster im mittelalterlichen Ungarn, in “Acta Historica. Societas Academica Daco-Romana”, IV, 1965, pp. 43-66.
 See below the paragraph with note 27.
 H. Gelzer, Ungedruckte und wenig bekannte Bistümerverzeichnisse, p. 43.
 This identification in M. Gyóni, L’église orientale dans la Hongrie du XIe siècle, in “Revue d’Histoire Comparée”, XXV, no. 3, 1947, pp. 42-49. Also adopted by Gy. Moravcsik, Gy. Székely et alii.
 The situation of the Orthodox Church in the Carpathian-Balkan space (not only in the north-Danube one) in the first half of the thirteenth century, in C. Andreescu, Reacţiuni ortodoxe în contra catolicizării regiunilor carpato-dunărene în prima jumătate a secolului al XIII-lea, in “Biserica Ortodoxă Română”, LVI, 1938, pp. 770-779; Č. Bonev, L’église orthodoxe dans les territoires carpato-danubiens et la politique pontificale pendant la première moitié du XIIIe s., in “Etudes Balkaniques”, XXI, no. 4, 1986, pp. 101-108; V. Iorgulescu, L’église byzantine nord-danubienne au début du XIIIe siècle. Quelques témoignages documentaires aux alentours de la quatrième Croisade, in “Byzantinische Forschungen”, XXII, 1996, pp. 53-77.
 See below the paragraph with note 25.
 H. Gelzer, Der Patriarchat von Achrida, p. 11. The German Byzantinologist makes an enumeration of the bishoprics which transferred from the Archbishopric of Ochrida to the Bulgarian Patriarchate and to the autocephalous Serbian Archbishopric: Skopje, Velbužd (Kjustendil), Sredec (Sofia), Malešovo, Vidin, Prizren, Niš, Braničevo, Belgrade, Lipljan, Striamon-Zemlin and Raška. I should note that the bishoprics of Niš, Braničevo, Belgrad and Striamon-Zemlin did not transfer to the Serbian Archbishopric, such as the cited author believes, but were incorporated into the Bulgarian Church.
 C. Andreescu, op. cit., pp. 771-772.
 For a complete image of the ecclesiastic organization of the Serbian lands until 1220, see M. Janković, Episkopije i mitropolija Srpske Crkve u srednjem veku, Belgrade, 1985, pp. 13-16. Also see S. Ćirković, La Serbie au Moyen Age, translated by D. W. Witters, s. l., 1992, pp. 90 et sqq.
 The bishoprics of the Serbian Church in 1220 in M. Janković, op. cit., pp. 17-33.
 Cf. S. Ćirković, op. cit., p. 92.
 For the expansion of the Hungarian Kingdom and the offensive of Catholicism in the region during the thirteenth century, see Ş. Papacostea, Românii în secolul al XIII-lea. Între cruciată şi Imperiul mongol, Bucharest, 1993, passim.
 For the issue of the beginnings of this bishopric, see Magyarország története. Előzmények és magyar történet 1241-ig, vol. II, Budapest, 1984, pp. 916-917 (Gy. Györffy).
 From the rich literature concerning the Cuman bishopric, see: C. Auner, Episcopia Milcoviei, in “Revista catolică”, I, 1912, pp. 533-551; N. Pfeiffer, Die ungarische Dominikanerordensprovinz von ihrer Gründung 1221 bis zum Tatarenverwüstung 1241-1242, Zürich, 1913, pp. 75-92; I. Ferenţ, Cumanii şi episcopia lor, Blaj, , pp. 133-152; L. Makkai, A milkói (kún) püspökség és népei, Debrecen, 1936, pp. 10-44; Gh. I. Moisescu, Catolicismul în Moldova până la sfârşitul veacului XIV, Bucharest, 1942, pp. 10-17; Ş. Papacostea, op. cit., pp. 66-69.
 Fejér, III/2, p. 203; Theiner, VMSM, I, no. 59, p. 90; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 87, p. 112; Acta Honorii III et Gregorii IX, no. 163, p. 215. For the missions to the Cumans, see J. Richard, La Papauté et les missions d’Orient au Moyen Age (XIIIe-XVe siècles), Paris, 1977, pp. 20-33.
 See G. Müller, Die deutschen Landkapitel in Siebenbürgen und ihre Dechanten 1192-1848. Ein rechtgeschichtlicher Beitrag zur Geschichte der deutschen Landeskirche in Siebenbürgen, Hermannstadt, 1934-1936 (=Archiv des Vereins für Siebenbürgische Landeskunde, 48), pp. 7-8, 281-282; P. Binder, Unele probleme referitoare la prima menţiune documentară a Braşovului, in “Cumidava”, III, 1969, pp. 125-131.
 See below the paragraph with notes 33 and 34.
 The relations between the Hungarian Kingdom and the Papacy at the beginning of the thirteenth century, especially concerning the position towards the Orthodox denomination, in D. Hintner, Die Ungarn und das byzantinische Christentum der Bulgaren im Spiegel der Register Papst Innocenz’ III, Leipzig, 1976; J. R. Sweeney, Papal-Hungarian Relations during the Pontificate of Innocent III, 1198-1216, Ann Arbor/Michigan, 1976.
 Theiner, VMSM, I, no. 55, pp. 33-34; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 30, pp. 39-40; Acta Innocentii PP. III, no. 60, pp. 269-270; DIR, C, I, no. 46, p. 367. Also see Acta Innocentii PP. III, pp. 96-98; Č. Bonev, op. cit., p. 102; Ş. Papacostea, op. cit., p. 71.
 I. Timkó, op. cit., p. 412.
 Fejér, II, pp. 459-460; Theiner, VMSM, I, no. 62, p. 40; Acta Innocentii PP. III, no. 78, pp. 300-301. Also see Acta Innocentii PP. III, pp. 99-100; Ş. Papacostea, op. cit., pp. 59, 74-75. I opt for the localization of this bishopric at the Balkan borders of the Hungarian Kingdom, most probably in Syrmia.
 Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 158, p. 88; Acta Honorii III et Gregorii IX, no. 161, pp. 212-214. For this episode, see L. Tăutu, Le conflit entre Johanitsa Asen et Emeric roi de Hongrie (1202-1204) (Contribution à l’étude du problème du seconde empire valaque-bulgare), in Mélanges Eugène Tisserant, III (=Studi e Testi, 233), Città del Vaticano, 1964, p. 385; V. Iorgulescu, op. cit., p. 71.
 Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 159, pp. 88-89; Acta Honorii III et Gregorii IX, no. 162, p. 214.
 For this moment, see L. Tăutu, Le conflit, p. 386; L. Tăutu, Margherita di Ungheria imperatrice di Bisanzio, in “Antemurale”, III, 1956, pp. 66-67.
 Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 179, pp. 103-104; Acta Honorii III et Gregorii IX, no. 175, p. 231. For this episode, see L. Tăutu, Le conflit, p. 386.
 It is the old Catholic bishopric of Syrmia, and not the bishopric with its headquarters at Kou, also in Syrmia, which had been created in 1229 for the Orthodox who accepted the union (as assumed by L. Tăutu, Margherita, p. 68).
 Fejér, IV/1, pp. 84-85; IV/1, pp. 85-86; IV/1, pp. 90-91; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 268, pp. 150-151; no. 269, pp. 151; no. 270, pp. 151; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 115, pp. 153; no. 116, pp. 153-154; no. 117, pp. 154-155; Acta Honorii III et Gregorii IX, no. 224, pp. 300-301; no. 225, pp. 301-301.
 Maria Holban, Despre Ţara Severinului şi banatul de Severin în secolul al XIII-lea, in Din cronica relaţiilor româno-ungare în secolele XIII-XIV, Bucharest, 1981, pp. 65-67; V. Iorgulescu, op. cit., pp. 72-75.
 Fejér, IV/1, pp. 111-115; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 308, pp. 170-171; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 140, pp. 182-183.
 Fejér, IV/1, pp. 84-85; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 268, pp. 150-151; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 115, p. 153; Acta Honorii III et Gregorii IX, no. 224, pp. 300-301.
 Cf. V. Iorgulescu, op. cit., pp. 73-74.
 Fejér, III/1, pp. 459-461; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 105, pp. 50-51; Ub., I, no. 40, pp. 29-30; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 63, pp. 85-86; DRH, D, I, no. 4, pp. 8-10.
 Fejér, III/1, pp. 420-421; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 87, p. 43; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 60, p. 82; Ub., I, no. 36, p. 25; DRH, D, I, no. 3, pp. 7-8.
 For the issue of the Teutonic Order and its religious jurisdiction in the territories acquired, see Ş. Papacostea, op. cit., pp. 31-36, especially p. 35.
 Fejér, III/2, p. 399-401; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 225, p. 131; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 105, pp. 132-133; Ub., I, no. 69, pp. 60-61; Acta Honorii III et Gregorii IX, no. 209, pp. 284-286; DIR, C, I, no. 230, pp. 403-404; DRH, D, I, no. 9, pp. 20-21. For this episode, see especially Ş. Papacostea, op. cit., pp. 61-64.
 Fejér, IV/1, pp. 101-104; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 283, pp. 159-160; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 125, pp. 166-168.
 Fejér, IV/1, pp. 115-118; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 295, p. 166; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 133, pp. 175-176; Acta Honorii III et Gregorii IX, no. 248, pp. 325-326.
 Fejér, IV/1, pp. 111-115; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 308, pp. 170-171; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 140, pp. 182-184; Acta Honorii III et Gregorii IX, no. 248 b, pp. 327-328.
 M. Holban, op. cit., pp. 64-65.
 For the ecclesiastic organization of medieval Bosnia, see among others J. Džambo, Die Franziskaner im mittelalterlichen Bosnien, Werl/Westfalen, 1991, pp. 39 et sqq.
 Fejér, III/2, p. 341; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 192, p. 113; Smičiklas, CDCr, III, no. 327, pp. 379-380.
 Fejér, IV/2, p. 124; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 289, pp. 162-163; Smičiklas, CDCr, IV, no. 50, pp. 56-57.
 See J. Džambo, op. cit., pp. 41-43 and the notes.
 V. Gjuzelev, Das Papsttum und Bulgarien im Mittelalter (9.-14. Jh.), in Forschungen zur Geschichte Bulgariens im Mittelalter, Vienna, 1986, p. 184, with the references in the notes. The Bulgarian historian’s assertion is based on the fact that only some of the Bulgarian hierarchs are mentioned in the documents concerning the union (the Papal correspondence with Ioannitsa Asen and other documents concerning the diocese “Bulgaria”), whereas the Synodicon of Tsar Boril (1215) lists a greater number of hierarchs.
 For a study on the Orthodox resistance to union, see C. Andreescu, op. cit., pp. 770-779.
 D. Obolensky, The Cult of St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki in the History of Byzantine-Slav Relations, in “Balkan Studies”, 15, no. 1, 1974, p. 5.
 See V. Iorgulescu, op. cit., pp. 67-68 and the notes.
 C. Andreescu, op. cit., pp. 772-773.
 From the literature concerning the ‘restoration’ of the Bulgarian Patriarchate, see V. G. Vasilevskii, Obnovlenie bolgarskogo patriašestva pri care Ioanne Asene v 1235 g., in “Žurnal Ministerstva narodnogo proveštenija”, CCXXXVIII, 1885, pp. 1-56, 206-238; G. Cankova–Petkova, Vosstanovlenie bolgarskogo patriaršestva v 1235 g. i meždunarodnoe položenie Bolgarskogo gosudarstva, in “Vizantijskij Vremennik”, XXVIII, 1968, pp. 136-150; Eadem, Griechisch-bulgarische Bündnisse in den Jahren 1235 und 1246, in “Byzantinobulgarica”, III, 1969, pp. 49 et sqq.
 Ş. Papacostea, op. cit., p. 43 and note 122.
 Acta Urbani IV, Clementis IV, Gregorii X, no. 50, pp. 135-137 (for the paragraph in question, see p. 136). Also see V. Gjuzelev, op. cit., pp. 191-192.
 Cf. I. Donat, The Romanians South of the Carpathians and the Migratory Peoples in the Tenth-Thirteenth Centuries, in Relations between the Autochthonous Population and the Migratory Populations on the Territory of Romania, Bucharest, 1975, pp. 288-290.
 A similar observation in C. Andreescu, op. cit., p. 779.
 Fejér, IV/1, pp. 365-367; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 365, pp. 196-197; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 175, pp. 225-227; Acta Innocentii PP. IV, no. 20, pp. 43-46.
 Acta Innocentii PP. IV, no. 21, p. 48.
 A more detailed approach in Ş. Papacostea, op. cit., pp. 105 et sqq.
 Fejér, IV/2, pp. 218-224 (under 1254); Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 440, pp. 230-232 (under 1254); Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 199, pp. 259-262 (under 1254). This letter dated 11 November bears no year. In a recent investigation it was established, with arguments which I consider irrefutable, taking into account the historical information it contains, that the letter was written in 1247, possibly in 1248. See T. Senga, IV. Béla külpolitikája és a IV. Ince pápához intézett “tatár-levele”, in “Századok”, 121, 1987, pp. 604-609.
 For the elaboration of the new foreign policy of King Béla IV after 1246-1247, see J. Szűcs, Az utolsó Árpádok, Budapest, 1993, pp. 75-82.
 See especially G. Soranzo, Il papato, l’Europa cristiana e i Tartari. Un secolo di penetrazione occidentale in Asia, Milano, 1930, pp. 77 et sqq.; J. Richard, op. cit., pp. 63 et sqq.
 Fejér, VI/2, pp. 403-404; VII/5, pp. 439-440; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 552, p. 337; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 345, pp. 429-430 (under 1279); Acta Romanorum Pontificum ab Innocentio V ad Benedictum XI, no. 27, pp. 59-60; DRH, D, I, no. 12, pp. 29-30.
 Recently, see Ş. Papacostea, op. cit., p. 143.
 See C. Andreescu, Aşezări franciscane la Dunăre şi Marea Neagră în sec. XIII-XIV, in “Cercetări Istorice”, VIII-IX, 1932-1933, no. 2, pp. 151-163.
 J. Richard, op. cit., pp. 157-159.
 At the request of Stephen Dragutin, rex Serviae, Pope Nicholas IV ordered on 23 March 1291 that the minister of the Province of Slavonia send two brothers to Bosnia, who should fight against the heresy and spread the Catholic faith (Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 611, pp. 378-379; Acta Romanorum Pontificum ab Innocentio V ad Benedictum XI, no. 102, pp. 173-174).
 For the denominational policy of Stephen Dragutin and his relations to Papacy, see D. Maritch, Papstbriefe an serbische Fürsten im Mittelalter. Kritische Studien, Srem–Karlovci, 1933, pp. 61-66.
 Cf. D. Maritch, op. cit., p. 66.
 Concerning Helen and her relations to Papacy, see D. Maritch, op. cit., pp. 51-59. Also see L. Mavromatis, La fondation de l’Empire serbe. Le kralj Milutin, Thessaloniki, 1978, pp. 22-23.
 L. Mavromatis, op. cit., p. 28.
 Fejér, VII/5, pp. 476-478 (under 1289); Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 581, pp. 360-361; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 387, pp. 480-482; Acta Romanorum Pontificum ab Innocentio V ad Benedictum XI, no. 76, pp. 137-139.
 Fejér, VII/5, pp. 489-491; Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 607, pp. 375-376; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 414, pp. 512-513; Acta Romanorum Pontificum ab Innocentio V ad Benedictum XI, no. 98, pp. 167-168. In 1288 the Pope requested that Helene should advocate before Dragutin and Milutin his proposals concerning the union (Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 580, pp. 359-360; Hurmuzaki, I/1, no. 386, pp. 479-480; Acta Romanorum Pontificum ab Innocentio V ad Benedictum XI, no. 77, pp. 139-140).
 Cf. D. Maritch, op. cit., p. 57.
 Theiner, VMHH, I, no. 605, p. 375; Acta Romanorum Pontificum ab Innocentio V ad Benedictum XI, no. 96, p. 166.
 J. Džambo, op. cit., p. 65 and note 47.
 For the Franciscan Order in South-Eastern Europe in the thirteenth-fourteenth centuries, see especially Iv. Dujčev, Il francescanesimo in Bulgaria nei secoli XIII e XIV, in Medioevo bizantino-slavo, vol. I, Saggi di storia politica e culturale, Rome, 1965, pp. 395-424; J. Džambo, op. cit., pp. 55 et sqq.