Collection of Letters: Detail
- Rainerius/Rangerio, bishop of Lucca
To the daughter of Peter, may violets be given after lilies,
and dew from the fountain of God to water them.
There was a battle as long as Guibert/Wibert could rage,
leader of perfidy, openly laying waste the church.
But what does it matter that he attack the strongest castles of God?
Can he, with God ruling, reach the stars?
He is dead and consigned to perdition,
whoever defends the guilty one against reason.
Whoever denied Gregory, the outstanding vessel,
let him see if he can how falsely he thought.
Urban who broke two statues, flowed
from that fountain and washes far, no less zealously than he.
Whoever does not confess him before God or does so too late,
he is reprobate and deviant and deserves punishment.
With these wondrous leaders, our collection
was not silent, while the barking went on.
Now they return with what face they can who rebelled;
I see them grieving much, as God punishes them.
But let them return and have us and our things freely;
but let them see that it is not secretly behind our backs.
Now it is not necessary for anything to be healed
by what was strong until division was wanted.
About price and pain and dissension/insurrection,
they know and speak to us knowingly.
For neither price nor pain conciliates them,
those who desire, who seize, are condemned by them.
Reason, tradition, seem equally partisan,
may the judgment of God offer what seems to be lacking.
A conflict about the staff has arisen between the people and the fathers;
this was the gate that did not lack darkness;
this what tore apart Paul and Peter;
this what held equally the king and God.
Is this frenzy not heresy, is it not a labyrinth?
Through darkness, and through darkness is there not labor within?
We want this [frenzy], we of the dogma of Christ,
so that they may flee and reject all together.
I want, lest we be surrounded by deception,
to speak briefly but not lightly what should be considered.
Christ, you know with what heat you seize enflamed hearts,
make it be what you know to be for love of peace.(1)
Filiolae Petri violae post lilia dentur,
Detur ei de fonte Dei ros unde rigentur.
Pugna fuit donec potuit sevire Guibertus
Perfidiae dux aecclesiae vastator apertus.
Sed quid ei temptare Dei firmissima castra?
Nunquid eo regnante Deo pervenit ad astra?
Mortuus est et traditus est in perditionem,
Quique reum defendit eum, contra rationem.
Gregorium vas egregium quicumque negavit,
Iam videat si forte queat quam falso putavit.
Quique duas fregit statuas Urbanus, ab illo
Fonte fluit, longeque eluit, non segnius illo.
Quisque eum non ante Deum vel sero fatetur,
Reprobus est et devius est, poenamque meretur.
His ducibus mirabilibus, collectio nostra
Non tacuit, donec tenuit latrantia rostra.
Iam redeunt qua fronte queunt qui prosiliere;
Quos video tangente Deo plerumque dolere.
Sed redeant et nos habeant et nostra libenter;
Sed videant ut non redeant post terga latenter.
Nunc igitur non exigitur quicquid mederi,
Qua valuit donec voluit divisus haberi.
De precio de flagicio de seditione,
Et sapiunt et nos aiunt in cognitione.
Nam precium nam flagicium non complacet illis
Qui cupiunt qui diripiunt dampnantur ab illis.
Par ratio, par traditio, pro parte videtur,
Prestet ei censura Dei quod deesse videtur.
De baculo lis est populo cum patribus orta;
Ista fuit quae non caruit caligine porta;
Ista fuit quae diripuit Paulumque Petrumque;
Ista fuit quae par habuit regemque Deumque.
Haec frenesis non est heresis, non est laberinthus?
Per tenebras, et per latebras non est labor intus?
Hanc volumus quicumque sumus de dogmate Christi,
Ut fugiant et reiiciant communiter isti.
Unde volo ne forte dolo circumveniamur,
Ut breviter sed non leviter pensanda loquamur.
Christe sapis quo corda rapis succensa calore,
Fac fieri quae scis fieri pro pacis amore.
This is a letter dedicating the Liber de anulo et baculo to Matilda, which is cited by Donizo (in verse). The letter is no longer connected to the manuscript of the Liber and we only know it from Donizo who presumably saw the dedication copy. At the end of the passage Donizo comments: “Rangerius knows that Mathilda more than all other laymen is intent on the law of the Lord and eternal life, and that is why he produced this volume for her.” The Guibert/Wibert mentioned in the dedication was archbishop of Ravenna and anti-pope Clement III, nominated in 1080 when Gregory VII was deposed by the synod of Brixen; he was consecrated in 1084 when Henry IV came to Rome to be crowned emperor, and driven out by Urban II in 1089. He remained archbishop of Ravenna and a rival pope until his death in 1100.
(1)I am grateful to Carmela Franklin for making many helpful suggestions about this text.
Donizo in Vita Mathildis Carmine Scripta a Donizone Presbytero, ed. Luigi Simeoni (Bologna: Zanichelli, 1930-34), book II, lines 395-434