Info

to the whole body of the church. The death of Ignatios II in 1252, the ensuing schism,27 the Mongol whirlwind, and finally the fall of the crusader states in 1291 meant that this rapprochement would lead nowhere.

There were equally contacts between Rome and the Nestorians. The most important were those that tookplace under the catholicos Yahballaha III (12811317), as part of exchanges between the papacy and the Ilkhans of Persia.28 There were, however, no long-lasting consequences, for the Nestorians remained attached to their beliefs, traditions and ritual. Leaving aside the Armenians,29 this unionist policy only obtained concrete results in the case of the Maronites, who entered the Roman obedience in 1182 and renounced the Monothelite heresy, despite strong internal opposition. This union was sealed by the papal bull Quia divinae sapientiae, which Pope Innocent III presented to the Maronite patriarch in 1215 on the occasion of the latter's visit to the Fourth Lateran Council. It guaranteed the continuing existence of the Maronite hierarchy and ritual.

The appearance of an aggressive form of Christianity in the Near East in the shape of crusades backed by the papacy led to a decisive change in Muslim attitudes towards Christians.30 This did not affect the legal position, since the Muslim authorities, religious and political alike, made a clear distinction between the Christians living in the lands of Islam, known as nasranî, and the crusaders, denoted by the general term of Franks (Ifranj). While the former enjoyed dhimma status, the latter had come from abroad to seize Muslim territory and were therefore infidels against whom war was justified. However, the appeals for jihad against the Franks made by devout men and by the rulers of Syria and Egypt were couched in terms of the impiety of the Christian polytheists, who polluted Jerusalem with their presence. Such accusations rebounded on the native Christians, as Louis Pouzet has shown in his study of religious life in Damascus in the thirteenth century. He notes that the term kuffar (infidels) was now applied to the Christians of the city, who were insulted as adorers of the cross.31

28 In 1288 Barsauma, a Nestorian monk, was sent to the west by the Ilkhan Arghun and received by Pope Nicholas IV, who according to Syriac sources recognised Yahballaha III as patriarch of the Church of the East. Thereafter the Dominican Ricoldo di Montecroce worked hard to persuade the catholicos and his flock to reject the doctrines ofNestorios.

30 See E. Sivan, 'Note sur la situation des chrétiens sous les Ayyûbides', Revue d'Histoire des Religions 172 (1967), 117-30.

31 L. Pouzet, Damas au VIIe/XIIIe siecle:vie et structures religieuses dans une métropole islamique [Recherches. Collection publiée sous la direction de la Faculté des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines de l'Universite Saint-Joseph] (Beirut: al-Mashraq, 1988), cap. 7.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment