In the Nibelungenlied, on the other hand, the influence of other wholly unconnected stories is felt: thus Hildebrand appears during the final fight at Etzel's court, and Theodoric the Great (Dietrich von Bern; see THEODORIc), for no better reason than that the Dietrich legend had sent him into exile there, and that he must have been there when the Burgundians arrived.
Under the influence of these two men, five successive popes between 1045 and 1073 attempted a radical reform; and when, in this latter year, Hildebrand himself became pope, he took measures so stringent that he has sometimes been erroneously represented not merely as the most uncompromising champion, but actually as the author of the strict rule of celibacy for all clerics in sacred orders.
In 1073, while Germany was in this confused state, Hildebrand had become pope as Gregory VII., and in 1075 he issued his famous decree against the marriage of the clergy and against their investiture by laymen.
It must, however, be remarked that the genuineness of this letter, in which Gerbert to some extent foreshadows the temporal claims of Hildebrand and Innocent III., has been hotly contested, and that the original document has long been lost.
With the help of the Normans, Hildebrand seized the castle of Galeria, where Benedict had taken refuge, and degraded him to the rank of a simple priest.
In 104 9 a writing denouncing the vices of the clergy and entitled Liber Gomorrhianus; and soon became associated with Hildebrand in the work of reform.
William of Occam was the most prominent intellectual leader in an age which witnessed the disintegration of the old scholastic realism, the rise of the theological scepticism of the later middle ages, the great contest between pope and emperor which laid the foundations of modern theories of government, and the quarrel between the Roman curia and the Franciscans which showed the long-concealed antagonism between the theories of Hildebrand and Francis of Assisi; and he shared in all these movements.
He was accompanied into exile by his young protege Hildebrand (afterwards pope as Gregory VII.), and was succeeded by Clement II.
Enraged by this unexpected arrogance, Henry summoned a synod of German bishops to Worms in January 1076, and Hildebrand was declared deposed.
Their appointment, according to notions which defined themselves within the church at this epoch, was simoniacal; and during the long minority of Henry IV., who succeeded his father in 1056, the terrible Tuscan monk, Hildebrand of Soana, forged weapons which he used with deadly effect against the presumption of the empire.