There are two indispensable tools for the serious student of the history of the General Councils, one of them a source book and the other a history. The first, referred to always as Mansi, is a collection of all the known documentation of councils of every kind, made by John Dominic Mansi, archbishop of Lucca, and published in 31 folio volumes in the eighteenth century, 1759-98, Sacrorum Concilium Nova et Amplissima Collectio. A new, revised edition was prepared and published 1899-1927. This includes the nineteenth-century councils and runs to 60 volumes. The second indispensable work is the History of the Councils by Carl Joseph Hefele, who later, as has been related, played a part in the Vatican Council. This work goes as far as the Lateran Council of 1517. It was, many years later, translated into French and brought up to date, in the matter of research, by the Farnborough Benedictine Henri Leclercq, in eight volumes (1907- 21). This is the work cited as Hefele-Leclercq.
The reader will see that to make use of these "indispensables" our serious student needs at least a reading knowledge of Latin and French. And there is the same need of foreign languages for all of us whose curiosity about this history takes us any appreciable distance beyond such a book as mine. The exiguity of Catholic scholarly work, in the English language, in the field of Church History is notorious and, considering the fact that English-speaking Catholics must number a good 60 or 70 million, is very little to our credit. For far too long now we have left it all to the "heretics." Indeed, I can think of only one figure who can be ranked with the great French and German scholars, from Dollinger to Duchesne and Batiffol, and that is Newman. This, in explanation of the character of the books I am now going to suggest "for further reading."
As to the general history of the Church there are now available in translation, published by Herder (St. Louis) several volumes of Mourret's Histoire de l'Eglise--very thoroughly done, and scholarly indeed, but a little out of date after nearly sixty years. A more succinct account, not yet (I trust) to be labelled, "somewhat out of date," is my own History of the Church, in three volumes, which goes down to the end of the Fifth Lateran Council, 1517. Volume I tells the story of the councils as far as the sixth (680). In Volume II are the last two eastern councils (787 and 869) and the medieval councils from First Lateran to First Lyons inclusively. In Volume III, Lyons II to Lateran V are dealt with. I mention these two, somewhat detailed, general works because it is not possible to understand the councils without some knowledge of the general history, and because unless history is read in considerable detail it not only raises more questions than it answers, and risks all the time being a distortion or a caricature of the truth, but is horribly dull and dreary work. Who is there who ever got any satisfaction, for example, out of these terrible survey courses of the history of our civilisation, one massive (splendidly produced) volume that begins with the Egyptians (and earlier) and tells us all about it, down to the conventions of 1960? What a dreadful prostitution of a great branch of learning! What a fraud on the young people! There are no short cuts in history; from the nature of the matter there cannot be.
As to the special works on particular councils, they are not so numerous as might be expected. I should like to begin with Newman's Arians of the Fourth Century, for the first two councils--a book greatly admired by the nineteenth century for its classic purity of style, and which (after 130 years) has not ceased to be very useful indeed. The fifteenth centenary of Chalcedon (1951) produced Das Konzil von Chalkedon, Geschichte und Gegenwart, edited by A. Grillmaier, S.J., and H. Bacht, S.J., in three volumes. The next council for which I can suggest a special ad hoc work is the "Photius" council of 869-70, for which see Fr. Francis Dvornik's book in the list that follows. No one has written a specialist general work on any of the next six councils. But for the Council of Vienne (1311-12) we possess Das Konzil von Vienne by E. Muller, O.F.M. (1934). About the so- called Conciliar Theory which underlay the activities whence came the troubles of the next two General Councils, we have two very remarkable books, Foundations of Conciliar Theory by Brian Tierney (1955) and Studies in the Conciliar Epoch, by E. F. Jacob (1943) . Although no one has yet attempted to sum up, for their own sake, the history of the councils of Constance and Basel, mention must be made of two great pieces of scholarship, re--the proceedings on both these occasions, viz., Acta Concilii Constantiensis, 4 vols. (1896-1928), due primarily to Fr. H. Finke, and Concilium Basiliense, 8 vols. (1896-1936), the work of J. Haller and others. From the Papal Oriental Institute in Rome there has now come a similar work on the Council of Florence, Concilium Florentinum, 6 vols. (1940-55); one of the scholars engaged on it, Fr. Joseph Gill, S.J., is the author of the work noted in the list that follows.
As to Trent, the greatest council of all, the history of its history has indeed been one of conflict. The first account, the basis of the antipapal view that has coloured almost every account since given, published (in Italian) in London in 1619 was the work of a Servite friar, Fra Paolo Sarpi, who certainly had access to many of the closely guarded documents and the diplomatic correspondence. He was a Venetian, and a kind of literary bravo in the service of the Serenissima during its conflict with Pope Paul V (1605-21) who had laid Venice under an interdict. This partisan and highly damaging work went unanswered for forty years, when Cardinal Pallavicini S.J., specially commissioned by the pope, and with access to all the papers, produced his Istoria del Concilio di Trento, in three volumes. Ranke's critical comparison of these two works is one of the classic feats of his well-known History of the Popes. But in our own time the real history of the council has at last appeared, Monsignor Hubert Jedin, modestly announcing himself with a finished history of the History of the Council of Trent, Das Konzil von Trient. Ein Uberblick uber die Erforschung seiner Geschichte (1948). There have now been published also the first two volumes of his History of the Council of Trent, the first of which has also appeared in an excellent English translation by Dom Ernest Graf (1957). Mgr. Jedin comes to his task after a hard apprenticeship in the service of the great German enterprise which, for sixty years and more, has been classifying and critically editing the documents of the council. Of this work, Concilium Tridentinum, twelve volumes have so far been published. Meanwhile, for the reader who needs today to know this history, there remains the much neglected account of the Council of Trent to be found in Pastor's History of the Popes, the details of which I transcribe: vol. 10, 106-69, 221-29; vol. 12, 124-408; vol. 13, 76-128; vol. 15, 216- 65.
The Vatican Council was scarcely more fortunate than Trent in the way the forces hostile to it in the intellectual world were allowed a good fifty years start in their commentaries. Given the notorious fact of the bitter feeling, it is somewhat surprising that twenty years went by before, in vol. VII of the Jesuit work on councils, Collectio Lacensis, the essential documentation began to appear (1892). This was, again, a German enterprise, and it was a German Jesuit also, Granderath, who in 1903-6 published the first history, Geschichte des Vatikanischen Konzils, 3 volumes. For this work the author was given all the papers he desired to see. In 1923-27 the whole of the papers were published as volumes 49-53 of the new edition of Mansi. Then, in 1930, appeared Butler's book, noted below, which Canon Aubert generously calls "the best account," to be himself rewarded (so to say) for his own account, noted below, by a like word from Mgr. Jedin. As an introduction to the socio-religious history of the years 1789-1870, I cannot too highly recommend two books by E. E. Y. Hales, The Catholic Church in the Modern World; A survey from the French Revolution to the present (1958) and Pio Nono; Creator of the Modern Papacy (1954); Revolution and Papacy; The Papacy and the Revolutionary Movement in Europe, 1769-1846 (1960).
NOTES 1. Since several of these volumes are in more than one "part" the bulk is really considerable. 2. Needless to say, for those who read French the great Fliche and Martin series offers a means of study far beyond anything so far attempted. See the list in Appendix 11.
AMANN, E., see under F. and M., vols. 6, 7. AUBERT, R., see under F. and M., vol. 21. BARDY, G., Les Luttes Christologiques apres le Concile de Chalcedoine, see under F. and M., vol. 4. BARRY, COLMAN, O.S.B., Readings in Church History, 1960. BATIFFOL, PIERRE, L'Eglise Naissante, 1908. ------, La Paix Constantinienne et le Catholicisme, 312-59, 3rd edition, 1914. ------, Le Siege Apostolique, 359-451. BREHIER, L., La Querelle des Images, see under F. and M., vol. 5. BUTLER, CUTHBERT, O.S.B., The Vatican Council, 2 vols., 1930. CHAPMAN, JOHN, O.S.B., The Condemnation of Pope Honorius, London, 1907. COHN, NORMAN, The Quest of the Millennium, 1957. DENZINGER, Enchiridion [A Handbook of Creeds, Definitions and Declarations of the Popes about Faith and Morals--Latin and Greek texts]. DUCHESNE, LOUIS, L'Eglise au VIme Siecle, 1925. DVORNIK, FRANCIS, The Photian Schism: History and Legend, 1948. F. AND M., Histoire de l'Eglise edited by A. Fliche and Msgr. V. Martin. ------, Vol. 4 395-590 by various authors. ------, Vol. 5 590-757 by various authors. ------, Vol. 6 757-888 L'Epoque Carolingienne by E. Amann. ------, Vol. 7 888-1057 L'Eglise au pouvoir des Laiques by E. Amann. ------, Vol. 8 1057-1123 La Reforme Gregorienne et la Reconquete Chretien by A. Fliche ------, Vol. 9, pt. 1 1123-53 by various authors. ------, Vol. 9, pt. 2 1153-98 by various authors. ------, Vol. 10 1198-1274 La Chretiente Romaine by A. Fliche. ------, Vol. 21 1846-78 Le Pontificat de Pie IX by R. Aubert. FLICHE, A., see last entry, vols. 8 and 10. FINLAY, G., The Byzantine Empire, 717-1057, Everyman's Library edition. GILL, JOSEPH, S.J., The Council of Florence, 1959. JAFFE-WATTENBACH, Regesta pontificum Romanorum, 1888. [A catalogue of all the existing papal letters down to 1198.] JALLAND, T. G., The Church and the Papacy, 1944. JEDIN, HUBERT, A History of the Council of Trent, vol. I, London, 1957. This is the best survey yet made of the general history of the Church in the 150 years before the council actually met. KIRCH, C., S.J., Enchiridion Fontium Historiae Ecclesiasticae Antiquae. [Handbook of sources for the history of the early Church: 600 pages of texts, Latin and Greek, from various writers, and councils, from A.D. 80 to 750.] NEWMAN, JOHN HENRY, CARDINAL, Apostolical Tradition, in Essays, Critical and Historical, vol. I. ------, "Causes of the Rise and Successes of Arianism," in Tracts, Theological and Ecclesiastical. ------, "The Heresy of Apollinaris," in Tracts, etc. ------, "St. Cyril's Formula," ibid. ------, "The Trials of Theodoret," in Historical Sketches, vol. II. PASTOR, L. VON, History of the Popes, vols. 6, 8. ROUET DE JOURNEL, M. J., S.J., Enchiridion Patristicum. [Handbook of extracts from the Fathers of the Church and other ecclesiastical writers, A.D. 90 to 600, Latin and Greek texts, 760 pages.] SCHROEDER, H. J., O.P., Disciplinary Decrees of the General Councils, Text, Translation and Commentary, 1937. [Ends with the Lateran Council of 1517.] TIXERONT, J., Histoire des Dogmes, 6me edition, 1922, 3 vols. English translation, History of Dogmas, 2nd edition, 1926, 3 vols. WATERWORTH, J., The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent. [The whole of the Tridentine laws translated into English.]