Sunday, 15 April 2012

Road to Avignon

Batu's road to Avignon

So, Batu Khan did not die in Rome? Big deal! But neither did any of the Popes between this Innocent III and Innocent IV. They were called the wandering Popes and seemed to have wandered from castle to castle, being welcomed by the locals as an incentive to trade, but not overstaying their welcome, because of the negative side effects of having the Lord of the World within your city walls. 

That is Honorius III, Gregory IX, Celestine IV and Innocent IV followed by a whole list of no. 4s! That seems as suspicious as the list of no. 3s before Innocent III. In total 18 Popes, who did not live in Rome, nor did they die there and nor were they elected there!

From Innocent IV a letter is known to the Great Khan in far East Asia:

Kuyuk Khan in China. So much
for the tale of Marco Polo
'discovering' China!
Pope Innocent IV (1245) to Kuyuk Khan:
"For good reasons are we driven to express in strong terms our amazement that you according to what we have heard, that you have invaded many countries belonging to Christians and to others and are laying them waste in a dreadful ruin and with unabated fury you continue, sparing neither sex nor age, raging against any and all with the sword of punishment..."

After which Innocent IV asks Kuyuk to submit to his authority. Kuyuk replies:

Kuyuk Khan (1247) to Pope Innocent IV:
"How do you know God approves of the words you speak? From the East where the sun rises to the West where it sets, I have made all the lands subject to me. Who could do this against the will of God?"


"Therefore to show us you accept peace and are willing to surrender your strongholds to us, You pope and christian princes, in no way delay in coming to us to make peace. Then we will know that you desire peace with us. But if you do not believe our words and God's command,  nor heed our advice, then we will know for certain that you desire war. "

Apparently the great Schism between East and West was that between family factions of the family of the great Khan. We may assume that the great Khan very well knew what the name Innocent stood for...

There seem to be some ambiguity with regard to the exact dates, but in 'China and Christianity' by Stephen Uhalley and Xiaoxin Wu we found following quote:

"Pope Innocent IV (1243-1254) understood that as soon as the succession dispute amongst the Mongols was settled, the christian West had to prepare for an onslaught. To prevent such a threat he sent a Franciscan (Giovanni da Pian del Carpine 1190-1252) to the great Khan Guyuk (1240-1248)"

There are some 30 years between the reigns of Innocent IV and Innocent III as well as between the great Khan Kuyuk and Batu Khan!

This sets the activities of Batu Khan well back in the early 1200s and that is exactly the time frame for Innocent III.

Then accordingly there was no Pope in Rome from early 1200s to 1378! 

Francis preaching (converting) the Pope...
But more importantly this is also the time frame for someone, who probably became the most important figure for the Catholic Church. St. Francis of Assisi!

Again, we have a person without a real name. Being associated with two locations France and Assisi in Italy. But his name might as well translate to: (the follower of) Jesus from France!

As we saw Batu Khan's conquest of the West stop at the borders of France we have to conclude that there were two forces, which held Batu Khan back from proceeding. It was the Knight Templar, who still were attached to the old order, namely Byzantium and a deeply pious population who would have regarded Batu Khan's claims as those of the anti-Christ. 

Only two figures represented an outcome for Batu Khan. Emperor Frederick II, who probably was the person to inspire Batu Khan to a new direction, safeguarding his own position. But most of all, it was Francis of Assisi. 

The relationship is uniquely described in Francis' relationship with Innocent III. It was Francis who prevented the Catholic Church in the West to tumble, but also preventing this collapse to crush Innocent (Batu Khan). As a matter of fact Francis 'converted' Batu Khan to become the leader and protector of Christianity! The situation is again more accurately described in the tale of Francis taming the 'wolves'. And so Francis became: 


Troubadour of the Great King

The troops of Batu Khan were the wolves or 'guelphes', the later nickname of the factions supporting the Papacy. 

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