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More Separation of Church and State

King Edward I of England issues the writ of Circumspecte Agatis that sets limits of jurisdiction between the Church's religious court and the King's common court. Until this time, questions of jurisdiction were tricky but this is not judicial reform. It's locking in what the Church and State have been doing informally for some time.

These are the years of English jurisprudence from which America will draw it's baseline legal precepts. It may not seem like much, but America's founding will depend on little things like this. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In the modern day the United Kingdom and Europe have set aside government positions for the clergy. This sometimes leads to misunderstandings between the Europeans and Americans. An American professor once received a phone call from his European relative who asked, "Who is the Chief Rabbi of Michigan?" Most Americans will realize what a ridiculous question this is. It is the equivalent of asking, "What government agency is in charge of beer parties?" The American government does not organize religion but this is different from exempting religious institutions from certain taxes. "The power to tax is the power to destroy" so the government must act judiciously when taxing religious institutions so that it is not using its power to oppress freedom of religion. The same goes for freedom of speech where the recent IRS scandal is an example of "the power to tax" suppressing political speech. Conservative or Liberal, when the government taxes people, to some extent it can control them. That is why a government should be limited in its power to tax.

Say Bye-Bye to Charles and His Puppet Pope

King Charles I of Sicily (and Naples) was having a bad day when the Sicilians rebelled and ousted him in favor of King Peter of Aragonoth. Later the Argonese fleet captured King Charles's son and held him hostage. But, while preparing for another invasion of Sicily, King Charles fell ill and died. The people of Byzantium and Sicily cheered.

Pope Martin IV, the puppet Pope of King Charles I, lived a few days longer than the King. The Pope dies of unknown causes. His critics will say he died of indigestion, but that seems like satire. He will be replaced by one of his appointees, Pope Honorius IV. His papacy will be undistinguished except for the notoriety of being the last of the married men to become Pope. [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
King Charles I of Sicily and Naples is a mixed bag and how you view his actions good or bad depends largely on who you are rooting for. He is bad for distracting the Byzantium Emperor and thus allowing the Muslin forces to grow and eventually take down the Empire. He taxed the Sicilians mercilessly and was careless about their Greek connections. But King Charles did represent the Latin Church and if you supported the Latin Church, I suppose you would cheer on Charles. You might even think that the destruction of Byzantium was inevitable, and it may well have been. We'll never know. But interfering with the papacy seemed like a big risk with little real payback. And it destroyed any hope of reuniting the Latin and Greek Church. I'm not sure what the King was thinking. By all reports, Pope Martin IV was a pious man. I'm assuming the Pope was trying to do what he thought was best for the French and ended up doing more harm than good.

A Slave Becomes Emperor

Insanity and murder seem to plague the Emperor's line of succession so when a former slave usurps the throne of the Empire of Mali in Africa, no one complains. At this point almost anyone could have done better that the previous Mansa (Emperor), but Mansa Sakura does very well indeed. Although he was born a slave he rises to the level of general, takes the throne to popular acclaim and reunites the Empire. He will be a better leader than Mali has seen in generations. Mansa Sakura's reign will last 13 productive years. After his death the succession will return to the original family line and Mali will hit the jackpot again. Mansa Musa will spread the wealth so liberally that gold prices in Egypt will fall, but that is far in the future. For now, Mansa Sakura is busy rebuilding an Empire. [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I found it inspiring that a slave could rise to Emperor in a single go but what I found more interesting was that Mansa Sakura's successor managed to drop gold prices in Egypt due to his liberal use of gold. That is a subject not often covered. When you have a lot of gold and spend it like crazy, you may think you are rich, but what happens to gold prices locally when you dump so much gold onto the local market? I would think local conditions would tend to make gold prices fluctuate in the Middle Ages because you couldn't easily move gold from places where it is plentiful to places where it is scarce.

See Also


  1. Circumspecte Agatis Revisited, David Millon, Law and History Review Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring, 1984, pp. 105-127
  2. Year 1285, Wikipedia
  3. King Charles I of Naples, Wikipedia
  4. Pope Martin IV, Michael Ott, "Pope Martin IV", The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910
  5. Pope Honorius IV, drawn from Wikipedia
  6. Mali Empire, from Afropedia
  7. The Cambridge History of Africa, Volume 3, edited by J.D. Fage and Roland Anthony Oliver, Cambridge University Press, Jan 20, 1977, p 380
  8. Mansa means Emperor, Wikipedia

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