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The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also '), were a series of territories in the
Italian Peninsula The Italian Peninsula (Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regi ...
under the direct
sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descende ...

sovereign
rule of the
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

pope
from 756 until 1870. They were among the major states of Italy from the 8th century until the
unification of Italy The unification of Italy ( it, Unità d'Italia ), also known as the ''Risorgimento'' (, ; meaning "Resurgence"), was the 19th-century political and social movement that resulted in the consolidation of different states of the Italian Penins ...
, between 1859 and 1870. The state had its origins in the rise of
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

Christianity
throughout Italy, and with it the rising influence of the Christian Church. By the mid-8th century, with the decline of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
in Italy, the Papacy became effectively sovereign. Several Christian rulers - including the Frankish kings
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
and
Pepin the Short Pepin the Short, also called the Younger (german: Pippin der Jüngere, french: Pépin le Bref, c. 714 – 24 September 768) was King of the Franks The Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was ...
- further donated lands to be governed by the Church. During
the Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...
, the papal territory expanded greatly and the pope became one of Italy's most important secular rulers as well as the head of the Church. At their zenith, the Papal States covered most of the modern Italian regions of
Lazio it, Laziale , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...

Lazio
(which includes
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
),
Marche Marche ( , ) is one of the Regions of Italy, twenty regions of Italy. In English, the region is referred to as The Marches ( ). The region is located in the Central Italy, central area of the country, bordered by Emilia-Romagna and the republic ...

Marche
,
Umbria Umbria ( , ) is a of central . It includes Lake and , and is crossed by the River . It is the only landlocked region on the . The regional capital is . The region is characterized by hills, mountains, valleys and historical towns such as the un ...

Umbria
and
Romagna Romagna ( rgn, Rumâgna) is an Italy, Italian historical region that approximately corresponds to the south-eastern portion of present-day Emilia-Romagna, North Italy. Traditionally, it is limited by the Apennine Mountains, Apennines to the south- ...

Romagna
, and portions of Emilia. These holdings were considered to be a manifestation of the temporal power of the pope, as opposed to his ecclesiastical primacy. However, by 1861, much of the Papal States' territory had been conquered by the
Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II of Kingdom of Sardinia, Sardinia was proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, proclaimed King of Italy—until 1946, when civil discontent l ...
. Only Lazio, including Rome, remained under the pope's temporal control. In 1870, the pope lost Lazio and Rome and had no physical territory at all, except the
Basilica of St Peter
Basilica of St Peter
and
the papal residence
the papal residence
and related buildings around the Vatican quarter of Rome, which the new Italian state did not occupy militarily, despite annexation of Lazio. In 1929 the
Italian Fascist Italian Fascism ( it, fascismo italiano), also known as Classical Fascism or simply Fascism, is the original fascist Fascism () is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppres ...
leader
Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
, the head of the Italian government, ended the "
Prisoner in the Vatican A prisoner in the Vatican ( Italian: ''Prigioniero nel Vaticano''; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rom ...
" problem involving a unified Italy and the Holy See by negotiating the
Lateran Treaty The Lateran Treaty ( it, Patti Lateranensi; la, Pacta Lateranensia) was one component of the Lateran Pacts of 1929, agreements between the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861—when ...
, signed by the two parties. This treaty recognized the sovereignty of the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
over a newly created international territorial entity, a city state within Rome limited to a token territory which became the
Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Cidade do Vatica ...

Vatican City
.


Name

The Papal States were also known as the ''Papal State'' (although the plural is usually preferred, the singular is equally correct as the polity was more than a mere
personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The Stat ...

personal union
). The territories were also referred to variously as the ''State(s) of the Church'', the ''Pontifical States'', the ''Ecclesiastical States'', or the ''Roman States'' ( it, Stato Pontificio, also ', ', ', and '; la, Status Pontificius, also ' "papal rule"). To some extent the name used varied with the preferences and habits of the European languages in which it was expressed.


History


Origins

For its first 300 years, within the Roman Empire the
Church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is used to refer to the physical build ...
was persecuted and unrecognized, unable to hold or transfer property.Schnürer, Gustav. "States of the Church."
''Catholic Encyclopedia''. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 16 July 2014
Early congregations met in rooms set aside for that purpose in the homes of well-to-do individuals, and a number of early churches, known as
titular church In the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country ...
es and located on the outskirts of
ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who stud ...
, were held as property by individuals, rather than by the Church itself. Nonetheless, the properties held nominally or actually by individual members of the Roman churches would usually be considered as a common patrimony handed over successively to the legitimate "heir" of that property, often its senior
deacon A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christianity, Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the C ...

deacon
s, who were, in turn, assistants to the local bishop. This common patrimony attached to the churches at Rome and thus, under its ruling bishop, became quite considerable, including as it did not only houses etc. in Rome or nearby but landed estates, such as
latifundia A latifundium is a very extensive parcel of privately owned land. The latifundia (Latin: ''latus'', "spacious" and ''fundus'', "farm, estate") of Roman Empire, Roman history were great landed property, landed estates specializing in agriculture dest ...
s, whole or in part, across Italy and beyond. This system began to change during the reign of the Emperor
Constantine I Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). Th ...

Constantine I
, who made Christianity legal within the Roman Empire, and restored to it any properties that had been confiscated; in the larger cities of the empire this would have been quite considerable, and the Roman patrimony not least among them. The
Lateran Palace The Lateran Palace ( la, Palatium Lateranense), formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran ( la, Palatium Apostolicum Lateranense), is an ancient palace A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence, or the home of a head of sta ...
was the first significant new donation to the Church, most probably a gift from Constantine himself. Other donations followed, primarily in mainland Italy but also in the provinces of the Roman Empire. However, the Church held all of these lands as a private landowner, not as a sovereign entity. Following the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the papacy found itself increasingly placed in a precarious and vulnerable position. As central Roman authority disintegrated throughout the late 5th century, control over the Italian peninsula repeatedly changed hands, falling under
Arian Arianism is a Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius Arius (; grc-koi, Ἄρειος, ; 250 or 256–336) was a Cyrenaic The Cyrenaics or Kyrenaics ( grc, Κυρηναϊκοί; ''Kyrēnaïkoí'') were a sensual hedonist Greek ...
suzerainty during the reign of
Odoacer Flavius Odoacer ( ; – 493 AD), also spelled Odovacer or Odovacar ( grc, Ὀδόακρος, translit=Odóakros), was a soldier and statesman of barbarian A barbarian is a human who is perceived to be either Civilization, uncivilized or pr ...

Odoacer
and, later, the
Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mention ...
. The Church organization in Italy, with the
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

pope
at its head, submitted of necessity to their sovereign authority while asserting its spiritual primacy over the whole
Church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is used to refer to the physical build ...

Church
. The seeds of the Papal States as a sovereign political entity were planted in the 6th century. Beginning in 535, the
Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Eastern Roman Empire
– referred to by most historians as the Byzantine Empire to distinguish the Greek-speaking and religiously Orthodox polity based in Constantinople from the Latin-speaking, Catholic Empire ruled from Rome – under Emperor
Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...
, launched a reconquest of Italy which took several decades and devastated Italy's political and economic structures. Then in 568 the
Lombards The Lombards () or Langobards ( la, Langobardi) were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by G ...
entered the peninsula from the north, establishing an Italian kingdom, and over the next two centuries they would conquer most of the Italian territory regained by Byzantium. By the 7th century, Byzantine authority was largely limited to a diagonal band running roughly from
Ravenna Ravenna ( , , also ; rgn, Ravèna) is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna The province of Ravenna ( it, provincia di Ravenna; ) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, admin ...

Ravenna
, where the emperor's representative, or
Exarch The term exarch () comes from the ἔξαρχος, ''exarchos'', and designates holders of various historical offices, some of them being political or military and others being ecclesiastical. In the late and early , an ''exarch'' was a gove ...
, was located, to Rome and south to Naples, plus coastal exclaves. North of Naples, the band of Byzantine control contracted and the borders of the "Rome-Ravenna corridor" were extremely narrow. With effective Byzantine power weighted at the northeast end of this territory, the pope, as the largest landowner and most prestigious figure in Italy, began by default to take on much of the ruling authority that the Byzantines were unable to exercise in the areas surrounding the city of Rome. While the popes legally remained “Roman subjects”, under Byzantine authority, in practice the
Duchy of Rome A duchy is a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe s ...
, an area roughly equivalent to , became an independent state ruled by the pope. The Church's independence, aided by popular support for the papacy in Italy, enabled various popes to defy the will of the Byzantine emperor:
Pope Gregory II Pope Gregory II ( la, Gregorius II; 669 – 11 February 731) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority a ...

Pope Gregory II
even
excommunicated Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. In parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the accepted rules Rule or ruling may refer to: Hum ...

excommunicated
Emperor Leo III during the
Iconoclastic Controversy Byzantine Iconoclasm ( gr, Εἰκονομαχία, Eikonomachía, literally, "image struggle" or "war on icons") refers to two periods in the history of the Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empir ...
. Nevertheless, the pope and the exarch still worked together to check the rising power of the Lombards in Italy. As Byzantine power weakened, though, the papacy assumed an ever-larger role in protecting Rome from the Lombards, but lacking direct control over sizable military assets, the Pope relied mainly on
diplomacy Diplomacy is the practice of influencing the decisions and conduct of foreign governments or organizations through dialogue, negotiation, and other nonviolent means. Diplomacy usually refers to international relations carried out through the inte ...

diplomacy
to achieve as much. In practice, these papal efforts served to focus Lombard aggrandizement on the exarch and Ravenna. A climactic moment in the founding of the Papal States was the agreement over boundaries embodied in the Lombard King Liutprand's ''
Donation of Sutri The Donation of Sutri was an agreement reached at Sutri by Liutprand, King of the Lombards and Pope Pope Gregory II, Gregory II in 728. At Sutri, the two reached an agreement by which the city and some hill towns in Latium (like Vetralla) were g ...
'' (728) to
Pope Gregory II Pope Gregory II ( la, Gregorius II; 669 – 11 February 731) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority a ...

Pope Gregory II
.


Donation of Pepin

When the
Exarchate of Ravenna The Exarchate of Ravenna or of Italy ( la, Exarchatus Ravennatis) was a lordship of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Rom ...
finally fell to the Lombards in 751, the
Duchy of Rome A duchy is a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe s ...
was completely cut off from the Byzantine Empire, of which it was theoretically still a part. The popes renewed earlier attempts to secure the support of the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
. In 751,
Pope Zachary Pope Zachary ( la, Zacharias; 679 – March 752) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversigh ...

Pope Zachary
had
Pepin the Short Pepin the Short, also called the Younger (german: Pippin der Jüngere, french: Pépin le Bref, c. 714 – 24 September 768) was King of the Franks The Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was ...
crowned king in place of the powerless
Merovingian The Merovingian dynasty () was the ruling family of the Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the ...
figurehead king
Childeric III Childeric III (c. 717 – c. 754) was King of the Franks, King of Francia from 743 until he was deposed by Pope Zachary in March 751 at the instigation of Pepin the Short. Although his parentage is uncertain, he is considered the last Frankish king ...

Childeric III
. Zachary's successor,
Pope Stephen II Pope Stephen II ( la, Stephanus II; 714 – 26 April 757) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority an ...

Pope Stephen II
, later granted Pepin the title ''
Patrician Patrician may refer to: * Patrician (ancient Rome), the original aristocratic families of ancient Rome, and a synonym for "aristocratic" in modern English usage * Patrician (post-Roman Europe), the governing elites of cities in parts of medieval a ...
of the Romans''. Pepin led a Frankish army into Italy in 754 and 756. Pepin defeated the Lombards – taking control of northern Italy – and made a gift (called the
Donation of Pepin The Donation of Pepin in 756 provided a legal basis for the creation of the Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also ') were a s ...
) of the properties formerly constituting the Exarchate of Ravenna to the pope. In 781,
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
codified the regions over which the pope would be temporal sovereign: the
Duchy of Rome A duchy is a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe s ...
was key, but the territory was expanded to include Ravenna, the
Duchy of the Pentapolis In the Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was C ...
, parts of the
Duchy of Benevento The Duchy of Benevento (after 774, Principality of Benevento) was the southernmost Lombards, Lombard duchy in the Italian Peninsula that was centred on Benevento, a city in Southern Italy. Lombard dukes ruled Benevento from 571 to 1077, when it w ...
,
Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = Italian , demogra ...
,
Corsica Corsica (, Upper , Southern , ; french: link=no, Corse ; lij, link=no, Còrsega) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north ...

Corsica
,
Lombardy Lombardy ( ; it, Lombardia ; lmo, Lombardia, , ) is one of the twenty administrative regions of Italy, in the Northwest Italy, northwest of the country, with an area of . About 10 million people live in Lombardy, forming more than one-sixth of It ...
, and a number of Italian cities. The cooperation between the papacy and the Carolingian dynasty climaxed in 800, when
Pope Leo III Leo III (died 12 June 816) was the 96th pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of th ...

Pope Leo III
crowned Charlemagne as ' Emperor of the Romans'.


Relationship with the Holy Roman Empire

The precise nature of the relationship between the popes and
emperors An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore the he ...
– and between the Papal States and the
Empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and ...
– is disputed. It was unclear whether the Papal States were a separate realm with the pope as their sovereign ruler, merely a part of the
Frankish Empire Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks ( la, Regnum Francorum), Frankish Kingdom, Frankland or Frankish Empire, was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom A barbarian is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most popu ...

Frankish Empire
over which the popes had administrative control, as suggested in the late-9th-century treatise '' Libellus de imperatoria potestate in urbe Roma'', or whether the Holy Roman Emperors were vicars of the pope (as a sort of Archemperor) ruling Christendom, with the pope directly responsible only for the environs of Rome and spiritual duties. Events in the 9th century postponed the conflict. The Holy Roman Empire in its Frankish form collapsed as it was subdivided among
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
's grandchildren. Imperial power in Italy waned and the papacy's prestige declined. This led to a rise in the power of the local Roman nobility, and the control of the Papal States during the early 10th century passed to a powerful and corrupt aristocratic family, the
Theophylacti The counts of Tusculum Tusculum is a ruined Classical Rome, Roman city in the Alban Hills, in the Latium region of Italy. Tusculum was most famous in Roman times for the many great and luxurious patrician country villas sited close to the city, ...
. This period was later dubbed the ''
Saeculum obscurum ''Saeculum obscurum'' (, "the dark age/century"), was a period in the history of the Papacy during the first two-thirds of the 10th century, beginning with the installation of Pope Sergius III Pope Sergius III (c. 860 − 14 April 911) was th ...
'' ("dark age"), and sometimes as the "rule by harlots". In practice, the popes were unable to exercise effective sovereignty over the extensive and mountainous territories of the Papal States, and the region preserved its old system of government, with many small countships and marquisates, each centred upon a fortified '' rocca''. Over several campaigns in the mid-10th century, the German ruler
Otto I Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (german: Otto der Große, it, Ottone il Grande), was East Francian king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henr ...

Otto I
conquered northern Italy;
Pope John XII Pope John XII ( la, Ioannes XII; c. 930/93714 May 964), born Octavian, was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 16 December 955 to his death in 964. He was related to the counts of Tusculum, a powerful Roman family which had domi ...

Pope John XII
crowned him emperor (the first so crowned in more than forty years) and the two of them ratified the Diploma Ottonianum, by which the emperor became the guarantor of the independence of the Papal States. Yet over the next two centuries, popes and emperors squabbled over a variety of issues, and the German rulers routinely treated the Papal States as part of their realms on those occasions when they projected power into Italy. As the
Gregorian Reform#REDIRECT Gregorian Reform : ''Should not be confused with the Gregorian calendar''. The Gregorian Reforms were a series of reforms initiated by Pope Gregory VII and the circle he formed in the Roman Curia, papal curia, c. 1050–80, which dealt w ...
worked to free the administration of the church from imperial interference, the independence of the Papal States increased in importance. After the extinction of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, the German emperors rarely interfered in Italian affairs. In response to the struggle between the
Guelphs and Ghibellines The Guelphs and Ghibellines (, , ; it, guelfi e ghibellini ) were faction Faction or factionalism may refer to: * Political faction, a group of people with a common political purpose * Faction (literature), a type of historical novel based o ...
, the
Treaty of Venice Fresco in Palazzo Pubblico, Siena depicting the submission of the emperor to the Pope The Treaty or Peace of Venice, 1177, was a peace treaty A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governmen ...
made official the independence of Papal States from the Holy Roman Empire in 1177. By 1300, the Papal States, along with the rest of the Italian principalities, were effectively independent.


Avignon Papacy

From 1305 to 1378, the popes lived in the papal enclave of
Avignon Avignon (, ; ; oc, Avinhon, label= Provençal or , ; la, Avenio) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. L ...

Avignon
, surrounded by
Provence Provence (, , , , ; oc, Provença or ''Prouvènço'' , ) is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, R ...

Provence
and under the influence of the French kings. This period was known as the "Avignonese" or "Babylonian Captivity". During this period the city of Avignon itself was added to the Papal States; it remained a papal possession for some 400 years even after the popes returned to Rome, until it was seized and incorporated into the French state during the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
. During the
Avignon Papacy The Avignon Papacy, also known as the Babylonian Captivity, was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven successive pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () o ...
, local despots took advantage of the absence of the popes to establish themselves in nominally papal cities: the
Pepoli The Pepoli are an aristocratic banking family of Bologna, in northern Italy. They were signoria, lords of the city for thirteen years in the fourteenth century. A branch of the family moved to Trapani in Sicily and were granted several feudal lords ...
in Bologna, the
Ordelaffi The House of Ordelaffi was a noble family that ruled the lower Romagna Romagna ( rgn, Rumâgna) is an Italy, Italian historical region that approximately corresponds to the south-eastern portion of present-day Emilia-Romagna, North Italy. Traditi ...
in
Forlì Forlì ( , ; rgn, Furlè ; la, Forum Livii) is a ''comune'' (municipality) and city in Emilia-Romagna, Northern Italy, and is the capital of the province of Forlì-Cesena. It is the central city of Romagna. The city is situated along the Via Em ...
, the
Manfredi Manfredi is a surname of Italians, Italian origin. The name may refer to: People * Manfredi family, a noble family, lords of Faenza, Italy ** Francesco I Manfredi (1260–1343), Lord of Faenza ** Astorre I Manfredi (1345–1405), condottiero, found ...
in
Faenza Faenza (, , ; rgn, Fènza or ; la, Faventia) is an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a ...
, and the Malatesta in
Rimini Rimini ( , ; rgn, Rémin; la, Ariminum) is a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy and capital city of the Province of Rimini. It sprawls along the Adriatic Sea, on the coast between the rivers Marecchia (the ancient ''Ariminus ...

Rimini
all gave nominal acknowledgement to their papal overlords and were declared vicars of the Church. In Ferrara, the death of
Azzo VIII d'Este Azzo VIII d'Este (died 31 January 1308) was lord of Ferrara The Duchy of Ferrara ( la, Ducatus Ferrariensis egl, Ducà ad Frara it, Ducato di Ferrara) was a state in what is now northern Italy. It consisted of about 1,100 km2 south of the lo ...

Azzo VIII d'Este
without legitimate heirs (1308) encouraged Pope Clement V to bring Ferrara under his direct rule: however, it was governed by his appointed vicar,
King Robert of Naples Robert of Anjou ( it, Roberto d'Angiò), known as Robert the Wise ( it, Roberto il Saggio; 1276 – 20 January 1343), was King of Naples, titular King of Jerusalem and Count of Provence and Count of Forcalquier, Forcalquier from 1309 to 1343, the c ...
, for only nine years before the citizens recalled the Este from exile (1317); interdiction and excommunications were in vain: in 1332 John XXII was obliged to name three Este brothers as his vicars in Ferrara. In Rome itself the
OrsiniOrsini is a surname of Italian origin, ultimately derived from Latin ''ursinus'' ("bearlike") and originating as an epithet or sobriquet describing the name-bearer's purported strength. Notable people with the surname include the following: * Gia ...
and the
Colonna Colonna, also known as ''Sciarrillo'' or ''Sciarra'', is an Italian noble family, forming part of the papal nobility The Papal nobility is the nobility of the Holy See. History Like many other European countries, the Papal States under the temp ...
struggled for supremacy, dividing the city's ''
rioni The Rioni ( ka, რიონი, ; , ) is the main river of western Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern ...

rioni
'' between them. The resulting aristocratic anarchy in the city provided the setting for the fantastic dreams of universal democracy of
Cola di Rienzo Nicola Gabrini (1313 8 October 1354), commonly known as Cola di Rienzo () or Rienzi, was an Italian medieval politician and popular leader, who styled himself as "". For his rhetoric, popular appeal and (as nobility) sentiment, some sources c ...

Cola di Rienzo
, who was acclaimed Tribune of the People in 1347, and met a violent death in early October 1354 as he was assassinated by supporters of the Colonna family. To many, rather than an ancient Roman tribune reborn, he had become just another tyrant using the rhetoric of Roman renewal and rebirth to mask his grab for power. As Prof. Guido Ruggiero states, "even with the support of
Petrarch Francesco Petrarca (; 20 July 1304 – 18/19 July 1374), commonly anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases ...

Petrarch
, his return to first times and the rebirth of ancient Rome was one that would not prevail." The Rienzo episode engendered renewed attempts from the absentee papacy to re-establish order in the dissolving Papal States, resulting in the military progress of Cardinal Albornoz, who was appointed papal legate, and his
condottieri ''Condottieri'' (; singular ''condottiero'' or ''condottiere'') were Italian captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire depar ...
heading a small mercenary army. Having received the support of the archbishop of Milan and Giovanni Visconti, he defeated Giovanni di Vico, lord of Viterbo, moving against Galeotto Malatesta of Rimini and the
Ordelaffi The House of Ordelaffi was a noble family that ruled the lower Romagna Romagna ( rgn, Rumâgna) is an Italy, Italian historical region that approximately corresponds to the south-eastern portion of present-day Emilia-Romagna, North Italy. Traditi ...
of Forlì, the Montefeltro of Urbino and the da Polenta of
Ravenna Ravenna ( , , also ; rgn, Ravèna) is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna The province of Ravenna ( it, provincia di Ravenna; ) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, admin ...

Ravenna
, and against the cities of Senigallia and Ancona. The last holdouts against full papal control were Giovanni Manfredi of Faenza and Francesco II Ordelaffi of Forlì. Albornoz, at the point of being recalled, in a meeting with all the Papal vicars on 29 April 1357, promulgated the ''Constitutiones Sanctæ Matris Ecclesiæ'', which replaced the mosaic of local law and accumulated traditional 'liberties' with a uniform code of civil law. These ''Constitutiones Egidiane'' mark a watershed in the legal history of the Papal States; they remained in effect until 1816. Pope Urban V ventured a return to Italy in 1367 that proved premature; he returned to Avignon in 1370 just before his death.


Renaissance

During
the Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...
, the papal territory expanded greatly, notably under the popes Alexander VI and Julius II. The pope became one of Italy's most important secular rulers as well as the head of the Church, signing treaties with other sovereigns and fighting wars. In practice, though, most of the Papal States was still only nominally controlled by the pope, and much of the territory was ruled by minor princes. Control was always contested; indeed it took until the 16th century for the pope to have any genuine control over all his territories. Papal responsibilities were often in conflict. The Papal States were involved in at least three wars in the first two decades of the 16th century. Julius II, the "Warrior Pope", fought on their behalf.


Reformation

The Reformation began in 1517. In 1527, before the Holy Roman Empire fought the Protestants, troops loyal to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Emperor Charles V brutally Sack of Rome (1527), sacked Rome and imprisoned Pope Clement VII, as a side effect of battles over the Papal States. Thus Clement VII was forced to give up Parma, Modena, and several smaller territories. A generation later the armies of King Philip II of Spain defeated those of Pope Paul IV over the same issues. This period saw a gradual revival of the pope's temporal power in the Papal States. Throughout the 16th century virtually independent fiefs such as Rimini (a possession of the Malatesta family) were brought back under Papal control. In 1512 the state of the church annexed Parma and Piacenza, which in 1545 became an independent ducate under an illegitimate son of Pope Paul III. This process culminated in the reclaiming of the Duchy of Ferrara in 1598, and the Duchy of Urbino in 1631. At its greatest extent, in the 18th century, the Papal States included most of central Italy – Latium,
Umbria Umbria ( , ) is a of central . It includes Lake and , and is crossed by the River . It is the only landlocked region on the . The regional capital is . The region is characterized by hills, mountains, valleys and historical towns such as the un ...

Umbria
,
Marche Marche ( , ) is one of the Regions of Italy, twenty regions of Italy. In English, the region is referred to as The Marches ( ). The region is located in the Central Italy, central area of the country, bordered by Emilia-Romagna and the republic ...

Marche
and the Papal Legations, Legations of
Ravenna Ravenna ( , , also ; rgn, Ravèna) is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna The province of Ravenna ( it, provincia di Ravenna; ) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, admin ...

Ravenna
, Ferrara and Bologna extending north into the
Romagna Romagna ( rgn, Rumâgna) is an Italy, Italian historical region that approximately corresponds to the south-eastern portion of present-day Emilia-Romagna, North Italy. Traditionally, it is limited by the Apennine Mountains, Apennines to the south- ...

Romagna
. It also included the small enclaves of Benevento and Pontecorvo in southern Italy and the larger Comtat Venaissin around
Avignon Avignon (, ; ; oc, Avinhon, label= Provençal or , ; la, Avenio) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. L ...

Avignon
in southern France.


Napoleonic era

The
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
affected the temporal territories of the Papacy as well as the Roman Church in general. In 1791 an election in Comtat Venaissin and
Avignon Avignon (, ; ; oc, Avinhon, label= Provençal or , ; la, Avenio) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. L ...

Avignon
was followed by occupation by Revolutionary France. Later, with the French invasion of Italy in 1796, the Legations (the Papal States' northern territories) were seized and became part of the Cisalpine Republic. Two years later, French forces invaded the remaining area of the Papal States and General Louis-Alexandre Berthier declared a Roman Republic (18th century), Roman Republic (February 1798). Pope Pius VI fled to Siena, and died in exile in Valence (France) in 1799. The French Consulate restored the Papal States in June 1800 and the newly elected Pope Pius VII took up residency in Rome, but the First French Empire, French Empire under Napoleon invaded in 1808, and this time on 17 May 1809 the remainder of the States of the Church were annexed to France, forming the ''départements'' of ''Tibre'' and ''Trasimène''. Following the fall of the Napoleonic system in 1814, the Congress of Vienna officially restored the Italian territories of the Papal States (but not the Comtat Venaissin or Avignon) to Vatican control. From 1814 until the death of Pope Gregory XVI in 1846, the popes followed a reactionary policy in the Papal States. For instance, the city of Rome maintained the last Roman Ghetto, Jewish ghetto in Western Europe. There were hopes that this would change when Pope Pius IX (in office 1846–1878) succeeded Gregory XVI and began to introduce liberal reforms.


Italian unification

Italian nationalism had been stoked during the Napoleonic period but dashed by the settlement of the Congress of Vienna (1814–15), which sought to restore the pre-Napoleonic conditions: most of northern Italy was under the rule of junior branches of the Habsburgs and the House of Bourbon, Bourbons. The Papal States in central Italy and the Bourbon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the south were both restored. Popular opposition to the reconstituted and corrupt clerical government led to numerous revolts, which were suppressed by the intervention of the Austrian Empire, Austrian army. The nationalist and liberal revolutions of 1848 affected much of Europe. In February 1849 a Roman Republic (19th century), Roman Republic was declared, and the hitherto liberally-inclined Pope Pius IX had to flee the city. The revolution was suppressed with French help in 1849 and Pius IX switched to a conservative line of government. Until his return to Rome in 1850, the Papal States were governed by a group of cardinals known as the Red Triumvirate. As a result of the Second Italian War of Independence, Austro-Sardinian War of 1859, Sardinia-Piedmont annexed Lombardy, while Giuseppe Garibaldi overthrew the Bourbon monarchy in the south. Afraid that Garibaldi would set up a republican government, the Piedmont government petitioned French Emperor Napoleon III for permission to send troops through the Papal States to gain control of the south. This was granted on the condition that Rome be left undisturbed. In 1860, with much of the region already in rebellion against Papal rule, Sardinia-Piedmont conquered the eastern two-thirds of the Papal States and cemented its hold on the south. Bologna, Ferrara, Umbria, the Marches, Benevento and Pontecorvo were all formally annexed by November of the same year. While considerably reduced, the Papal States nevertheless still covered the Latium and large areas northwest of Rome. A unified
Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II of Kingdom of Sardinia, Sardinia was proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, proclaimed King of Italy—until 1946, when civil discontent l ...
was declared and in March 1861 the first Italian parliament, which met in Turin, the old capital of Piedmont, declared Rome the capital of the new Kingdom. However, the Italian government could not take possession of the city because a French garrison in Rome protected Pope Pius IX. The opportunity for the Kingdom of Italy to eliminate the Papal States came in 1870; the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in July prompted Napoleon III to recall his garrison from Rome and the collapse of the Second French Empire at the Battle of Sedan (1870), Battle of Sedan deprived Rome of its French protector. King Victor Emmanuel II at first aimed at a peaceful conquest of the city and proposed sending troops into Rome, under the guise of offering protection to the pope. When the pope refused, Italy declared war on 10 September 1870, and the Italian Army, commanded by General Raffaele Cadorna, crossed the frontier of the papal territory on September 11 and advanced slowly toward Rome. The Italian Army reached the Aurelian Walls on September 19 and placed Rome under a state of siege. Although the pope's tiny army was incapable of defending the city, Pius IX ordered it to put up more than a token resistance to emphasize that Italy was acquiring Rome by force and not consent. This incidentally served the purposes of the Italian State and gave rise to the myth of the Capture of Rome#Breach of Porta Pia, Breach of Porta Pia, in reality a tame affair involving a cannonade at close range that demolished a 1600-year-old wall in poor repair. Pope Pius IX ordered the commander of the papal forces to limit the defense of the city in order to avoid bloodshed. The Capture of Rome, city was captured on 20 September 1870. Rome and what was left of the Papal States was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy as a result of a plebiscite the following October. This marked the definite end of the Papal States. Despite the fact that the traditionally Catholic powers did not come to the pope's aid, the papacy rejected the 1871 "Law of Guarantees" and any substantial accommodation with the Italian Kingdom, especially any proposal which required the pope to become an Italian subject. Instead the papacy confined itself (see
Prisoner in the Vatican A prisoner in the Vatican ( Italian: ''Prigioniero nel Vaticano''; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rom ...
) to the Apostolic Palace and adjacent buildings in the loop of the ancient fortifications known as the Leonine City, on Vatican Hill. From there it maintained a number of features pertaining to sovereignty, such as diplomatic relations, since in canon law these were inherent in the papacy. In the 1920s, the papacy – then under Pius XI – renounced the bulk of the Papal States. The
Lateran Treaty The Lateran Treaty ( it, Patti Lateranensi; la, Pacta Lateranensia) was one component of the Lateran Pacts of 1929, agreements between the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861—when ...
with Kingdom of Italy#Fascist regime .281922.E2.80.931943.29, Italy (then ruled by the National Fascist Party under ) was signed on 11 February 1929, creating the Vatican City, State of the Vatican City, forming the sovereign territory of the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
, which was also indemnified to some degree for loss of territory.


Regional governors

As the plural name Papal States indicates, the various regional components retained their identity under papal rule. The pope was represented in each province by a governor, who bore one of a number of titles. These included "papal legate", as in the former principality of Benevento, or at Bologna, in
Romagna Romagna ( rgn, Rumâgna) is an Italy, Italian historical region that approximately corresponds to the south-eastern portion of present-day Emilia-Romagna, North Italy. Traditionally, it is limited by the Apennine Mountains, Apennines to the south- ...

Romagna
, and the March of Ancona; and "papal delegate", as in the former duchy of Pontecorvo and in the Campagne and Maritime Province. Other titles like "Papal Vicar", "Vicar General", and also several titles of nobility, such as "count" or even "prince" were used. However, throughout the history of the Papal States many warlords and even bandit chieftains controlled cities and small duchies without having received any title from the Pope of the day.


Papal military

Historically the Papal States maintained military forces composed of Military volunteer, volunteers and mercenary, mercenaries, including Catholic Military order (religious society), military orders. Between 1860 and 1870 the Papal Army (''Esercito Pontificio'' in Italian) comprised two regiments of locally recruited Italian infantry, two Swiss regiments and a battalion of Irish military diaspora, Irish volunteers, plus artillery and dragoons. In 1861 an international Catholic volunteer corps, called Papal Zouaves after a kind of French colonial native Algerian infantry, and imitating their uniform type, was created. Predominantly made up of Dutch, French and Belgian volunteers, this corps saw service against Giuseppe Garibaldi, Garibaldi's redshirts (Italy), Redshirts, Italian patriots, and finally the forces of the newly united Italy.Charles A. Coulombe, ''The Pope's Legion: The Multinational Fighting Force that Defended the Vatican'', Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2008 The Papal Army was disbanded in 1870, leaving only the Palatine Guard, which was itself disbanded on 14 September 1970 by Pope Paul VI; the Noble Guard, which also disbanded in 1970; and the Pontifical Swiss Guard, Swiss Guard, which continues to serve both as a ceremonial unit at the Vatican and as the pope's protective force. A small Papal Navy was also maintained, based at Civitavecchia on the west coast and Ancona on the east. With the fall of the Papal States in 1870 the last ships of the flotilla were sailed to France, where they were sold on the death of Pius IX.


See also

* Captain General of the Church * Donation of Constantine * History of Rome * Index of Vatican City-related articles * Italian United Provinces * Italian unification * Roman Question * War of the Eight Saints


References


Citations


Sources

* * Chambers, D.S. 2006. ''Popes, Cardinals & War: The Military Church in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe''. I.B. Tauris. . * * * * * * * * * * * Luther, Martin (1521)
''Passional Christi und Antichristi''
Reprinted in W.H.T. Dau (1921). ''At the Tribunal of Caesar: Leaves from the Story of Luther's Life''. St. Louis: Concordia. (Google Books) * * * * * * * *


External links





{{Authority control Papal States, History of Rome States and territories established in the 750s States and territories disestablished in 1798 States and territories established in 1799 States and territories disestablished in 1809 States and territories established in 1814 States and territories disestablished in 1849 States and territories established in 1849 States and territories disestablished in 1870 Christian states 1870 disestablishments in the Papal States Former theocracies History of Catholicism in Italy History of the papacy 8th-century establishments in the Papal States 754 establishments