He encased himself in fatalism, with the result that in two years the mightiest empire reared by man broke under the twofold strain.
Rather, as the god - or the chief god - of a region and a people, the most sublime and impressive phenomena, the control of the mightiest forces of nature are attributed to him.
Moreover, the mightiest secular ruler was but a poor sinner dependent for his eternal welfare on the Church and its head, the pope, who in this way necessarily exercised an indirect control over the civil government, which even the emperor Henry IV.
Mission work commenced in Bulgaria during the latter part of the 9th century; thence it extended to Moravia, where in 863 two Greek missionaries - Cyril and Methodius - provided for the people a Slavonic Bible and a Slavonic Liturgy; thence to Bohemia and Poland, and so onwards to the Russian kingdom of Ruric the Northman, where about the close of the 10th century the Eastern Church " silently and almost unconsciously bore into the world her mightiest offspring."
This episode, derided at first at Rome as the act of an obscure Augustinian friar intent on scoring a point in a scholastic disputation, was in reality an event of vast significance, for it brought to the front, as the exponent of the national sentiment, one of the mightiest spirits whom Germany has produced.