chapter
25 Pages

Manuscript of Felix Leitner’s “My Youth and Parents,” Written in 1965 for Roger Cutter

ByLouis Auchincloss

James Bryce in his Holy Roman Empire described the division of world rule in the medieval mind between a spiritual vicar and a temporal chief. Man’s soul on earth was under the aegis of the Pope; his body under that of the Holy Roman Emperor. All creation bowed to the sway of these two forces of church and state. The fact that the Mediterranean swarmed with Moslem fleets, that in Constantinople the claims of Rome were scoffed at, and that half of Europe considered the emperor as nothing but a German king did not in the least affect the theory. The medieval people loved ideals. It pleased them to think of civilization as a unit under the cross and the scepter. But these opposite yet complementary concepts, this yin and yang, had a way of coming together, of merging, and then of flying apart again, each having borrowed some of the characteristics of the other.